So it’s here…..2017……in all it’s glory and the time of year when we all want to have a fresh start, make resolutions with the hope of keeping maybe one of them at least and start off the year on a good foot. Now you’re probably looking at the title of this post and thinking – ‘oh god, here goes another ‘New Year, New Me’ fanatic on the bandwagon – lets see how long this facade lasts’! And yes, you are right! I’m also a big sceptic of the ‘New Year, New Me’ expression and what it stands for. I normally poke fun at it on my social media accounts with #newyearnewme under my posts – used very loosely and sarcastically of course.
So why am I doing it now……on a more ‘I’m actually serious’ pretence. Well, I’ll be honest. I’m turning 40 next week (how the hell did that happen?) so yes, that has truly driven my motivation and determination desires onto a WHOLE other level. I’m not good at coming to terms with the fact that I will be 10 years off 50 next week to be quite frank. I think in my head of course, I’ll be 39 for at least the next 6 months (sssshhhh….don’t tell anyone!) so this has spurned me into action in a big way. I’ve decided 2017 is the year I’m gonna get fit and healthy – #strongnotskinny may be inserted here also. There’s something about the 40’s though that makes me consider my health more closely and the fact that:
a) its harder to lose weight the older you get which is a given.
b) health issues start creeping up and cannot be ignored and
c) I just think of my family and my kids and think – cop on Irene and start looking after yourself.
So along with the normal resolutions I make every year (I don’t necessarily stick to them mind you!) including:
• Saving money.
• Making more effort to keep in contact with friends and family back home and
• Focus on carving out a little career for myself hopefully this year.
The main goal I have though for 2017 is to get fit and healthy by changing my lifestyle and following a nutritious, sustainable diet plus incorporating exercise into a somewhat daily routine. Do-able – yes, sustainable (in the long run) – maybe…….if I keep myself determined?
I don’t necessarily just want to lose a tonne of weight – thats not what this is about. It’s about getting back to my body shape pre-kids, toning up, feeling better about myself (maybe wearing a bikini again on the beach – who knows?) and being able to maintain it going forward.
Rant alert and TOTALLY off topic: Why are ‘one-piece’ swimsuits either designed for 18 year olds and are cut to shreds leaving very little to the imagination or else COMPLETELY ‘mumsy’ and something a 90 year old granny would wear? Where is the in-between? Stylish, trendy and flattering one-piece swimsuits which the average 35 + year olds and mums would like to wear?
So what am I doing and how am I gonna do this?
(Can I please look like her….thanks lol)
So, I am loosely (and emphasis here on the loosely) following the Kim Beach (above) #noexcuses 8 week weight loss programme. When I say loosely, I’m following the food guidelines such as the shopping list more or less to a tee but making a few variations when it comes to the meal and snack options. I’m also following my own exercise schedule by running at least 3 times a week and then attending a boot camp class twice a week here in Dubai. I will say that the Kim Beach food plan is quite do-able in the long-run and I can see myself being able to sustain this as meals are scheduled to curb your appetite (3 meals, 2 snacks) and you also don’t have that ‘I’m really hungry feeling coz I’m on a detox diet’ that you get when on other types of lifestyle eating plans.
I would say the KEY aspect with this lifestyle weigh-loss programme and with any others to that affect is……….PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. I cannot stress this enough.
• Make lists of your weekly fitness schedule and stick it on the fridge so you know exactly what and when you are doing it.
• Make a comprehensive weekly food shopping list and stick to it.
• Do up a weekly meal plan including your breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner (also stick this to the fridge!).
• Pre-cook some meal and snack options and keep them in the fridge such as hard-boiled eggs, brown rice and quinoa so they are easy to grab when you are on the go and rushing around.
• When cooking, add some interesting spices and herbs to ‘jazz’ up your food and make it less bland and boring.
• Buy yourself a cute lunch box (coz you know we’re all kids at heart!) to make sure you have your snacks or lunch etc with you when you are out and about and don’t get caught out.
• When you are having a weak moment and REALLY REALLY want to reach for that chocolate bar or have that slice of cheesecake in the fridge – think WATER, I need water or tea or coffee! Just drink a liquid and you’ll forget about it – ha,ha! That seems to be working for me.
• Buy yourself some cute gym gear – it will instantly make you feel better and get that motivation started for working out.
• Try and combine both cardio and weight training and aim to exercise at least 30 mins 5 to 6 times a day – even a brisk walk.
• DON’T GIVE UP. Believe me, if I can do it, you can. I’m only a week and a half into it and I’ve felt like throwing it all in already and going back to what I’d normally do and not do but I know if I keep going I’ll be so proud of myself and feel so much happier.
• Adding to all of this, I do recommend using apps on your phone to track your weight and fitness. Two fab apps that I’m finding great at the moment and working hand-in-hand with this lifestyle plan are:
Runkeeper is awesome for tracking your distance, time, calories and overall progress. Probably one of the oldest and most popular running apps there is.
Another great app for seeing your true weight-loss progress. It tracks your moving average and breaks your weight loss goals into incremental milestone goals which makes it all appear so much more achievable.
Let me give you an idea of what my typical daily food plan is at the moment – of course it varies from day to day with lots of different options but this is an example:
A bowl of porridge, cup of tea and 2 glasses of water with lemon which are not in the pic.
Avocado mashed with a boiled egg plus 2 glasses of water (Probably my fav snack and so tasty with salt and pepper added).
Brown rice with flaked salmon (half a small tin of salmon), feta, tomatoes, lemon and 2 glasses of water. I forgot to add rocket leaves this day…..ooops!
10 almonds and 2 glasses of water. You may also have half an apple or half a banana for this option also.
Chicken pieces cooked in olive oil, spices and herbs with steamed veggies. (I added some avocado and cottage cheese – as I’m not really sticking to the actual #noexcuses plan stringently).
Lunch option (on the go)
I told you – a pretty lunch box makes it all less boring ha, ha! This is handy when you are out and about and don’t want to get caught out and end up in Starbucks ordering a BLT with a Macchiato.
Is it working?
The million dollar question! Well, I’ve been on the ‘no refined sugar/no bad carbs/ #noexcuses’ plan now for a week and a half and so far I have lost 1.7 kg. The goal is to lose approximately 1 kg a week and at the moment I’m on track to do just that. I will add, I’ve become less bloated and I do feel significantly lighter. But I won’t lie to you, whilst I’m very happy with this so far, I’m finding it hard and thought I’d have a lot more energy, the weight would just ‘fall’ off me and my skin would be glowing. It’s NOT and maybe that still comes but for now, I will keep going because if nothing the big ‘4-0’ next week is my huge motivation factor.
What I will say about this #noexcuses diet plan and whole ‘no sugar and carbs’ process – it has made me realise, I CAN actually do it. Before this and before I became focused on the ‘shit-I’m-turning-40-and-I-need-to-lose-a-few-pounds’ mantra, I never thought I could actually cut out sugar? I am addicted to the stuff. If I have a cup of tea, I have to have a biscuit or piece of chocolate. If I’m on the go and too busy to eat properly, I will grab a chocolate bar and cappuccino instead of a fruit option and there was that time I kinda became addicted to sugary cereals! So for me to cut out sugar entirely is a biggie. Since I had my son almost a year and a half ago, I have been constantly bloated. Even my wedding rings feel tight on my finger? Up to now, I just thought it was the after effects of pregnancy and thought it would eventually (it being my tummy!) go down. But it didn’t until now that is. Whilst I still have the ‘2-kids-later-mummy-tummy’ – I think I will always have that to a certain extent but of course, I’m gonna work damn hard to firm that fecker up and have an option of wanting to wear a bikini again as opposed to never wanting to don one and show everyone my flabby belly.
In terms of the exercise, this is another area that I would say isn’t exactly my ‘forte’. I’ll be honest, I was the kid at school that PURPOSELY forget their gym gear so as to get out of P.E classes. I was the one that teams never picked first as they knew I was kinda crap at anything sports-related. So for me to partake in exercise and actually stick at it, is unheard of! I LOVE that feeling of when you have completed a run or finished an exercise (in my case a boot-camp) class and you just feel soooo good especially at the beginning of the day – if anything I can see myself becoming addicted to those good endorphins! It’s just the motivation to ‘get up’ to do said exercise is the problem.
So that’s basically how I’m starting off my 2017. I may fall off the bandwagon at some stage or I may not but at least I’ve gained the knowledge in the fact that I now know it is possible to cut out the sugar and carbs with some clever and strategic planning and of course determination.
Thanks for reading everyone and again Happy New Year to you all…..may all your dreams come true for the year ahead.