Apologies…. I wrote this last week and forgot to post it. Rookie mistake. Just for those that are interested since then I have lost another 2lbs…. Even though I had 2 alcohol-soaked days when I went out into London for catch-up with friends…
Christmas happened right, and we all know how much we love to eat in those few days right?
I don’t know about you, but most Christmases I manage to undo all the hard work that I put in all year in just a short week.
But 2013 was so much worse…
I travelled loads in the first half of the year, and then the second half was a huge comedown emotionally. There was loads of stuff going on with the family and setting up this website. I was also working hard to writing my third novel, and when I am in writing mode I tend to do the social hermit thing. I almost need to go on a mental ‘pilgrimage’ away from distractions and the real world. Didn’t get that equilibrium back end of last year, so my stress levels were at an all-time high. So basically I came from whizzing about around Europe and Asia and doing my thang to being stuck at home agging about stuff and working through being organised.
Anyway, so probably since about August my exercise habits were dismal.
And if you have ever spent loads of time at home I am sure you will agree with me that staying at home is a one way ticket to snacking and weight gain. Take away going to the gym four times a week for an hour or two at a time, and it’s no surprise that I put on weight. I didn’t see it though. I was living in jogging bottoms and loose fitting robes.
About mid December I had a photoshoot and a bunch of outfits that fans had got for me from my wishlist. I hadn’t tried these on yet, and they were size 12’s mostly. I figured I wasn’t a 10 any more; kinda felt a bit ‘fuller’ but didn’t really think very much of it at the time. So I had responded to the fan mail with make it a 12 would you hon, not a 10. My butt felt a bit rounder, and my thighs weren’t looking so hot, but it wasn’t that bad right? So I packed my kit and off I went to this shoot.
Bear in mind that I spend most of my time when working from home in a gorgeous comfy kaftan. It’s like sitting in a blanket! Gawjjj!
Anyway, I got to this shoot! And I was VEXED when I tried on one outfit after another and I just looked like a giant in shrunken clothing. I mean, I’m not the world’s slimmest to start with, but usually I’m used to putting something on and not looking like I’m pregnant! Here is one of the ‘better pics’ unedited. I love my corsets, but this corset had a nice huge gap in the back of it, hence no side on or back to cam pics. This is the normal size I go for with corsets. The skirt usually looks longer, and has a belt. Belt wouldn’t fit. At least my makeup still looks okay (I hope)
Gosh! Look at the tummy on me though… Depressing.
I was just devastated! It was singularly the most depressing low point of my modelling career. And to make it worse, one of the other outfits was ruched across the midriff. So it split my already super huge stomach in half! I felt just seriously frumpy and just so disappointed in myself. Killed my energy for the whole shoot, even though my photographer friend was super sweet about the whole thing… Well it was a Christmas themed shoot. At least he got his turkey early!
So when I got home I decided not to let it bother me too much; just get through Christmas. Then get back on the exercise and healthy eating bandwagon.
While I was waiting for Crimbo to come and go I went looking around for diet and exercise options. I decided I wanted to head closer towards my aim to live a more Paleo life eventually. I have a multitude of food intolerances, always have. Not severe, but it means when I eat all those yummy things I love like cakes, pastries, chocolate, cheese, red wine (oh yes also have migraines), rice… I immediately bloat up like a balloon. But the round stomach I had now had nothing to do with bloating. That was a happy greedy tummy…. The drastic action for now would be to strip off the excess weight I had put on until I was at a more manageable (flatter tummy) weight. I love my hips and my round behind, but round tummy versus shapely tummy is a huge difference. I also needed to go back to doing exercise. Coming from doing four days a week (and last year I even managed to do Insanity thank you very much) to doing nothing was a huge leap. But I told myself with everything still up in the air with family issues and other stuff that will not be going away anytime soon that I would need to be realistic. And just do an hour exercise at least four times a week.
I had a lot ahead of me.
In the meantime….
I bought myself a Christmas present!
I treated myself to the new Samsung S4. I’ve been lusting after a new phone for a while. And when I was looking round it was either Samsung or Nokia Lumia. I perved loads of friends’ phones, I stalked phone shops, I read reviews…. But eventually I decided that I would go for the Samsung S4. So I got that and was working my way round how it all works when I started this new phase of healthy living.
26 December. Weighed myself.
Now, bear in mind last time I updated my modelling portfolio I was 145lbs. I am 5foot 7 inches and curvy. I was very happy with 145lbs. That was just over a year ago.
When I got on the scale on 26 December I was 171lbs.
I nearly fell off!
That was a huge wake up call!
I am very good at carrying my weight gracefully, I have to be. But at some point in the past year my weight had just crept up till it was nearly 30lbs more than that portfolio weight! And what’s worse I had just let it happen! When I should be more vigilant than most people! I could blame the late nights, the alcohol, the eating out, the travelling, the lack of exercise, the this, the that…
But the truth of the matter is I allowed it to happen.
I got comfortable.
And that’s just what happens when you get too comfortable.
I started eating 3 proper meals a day, plus snacks, I started thinking I didn’t really need to exercise, I started drinking most days despite my pact with myself to only drink at the weekend. I got lazy.
You know, when you get to a point where you can comfortably put away a family sized cheesecake on your own you know something’s wrong. I did that once. My excuse: well if I eat the cheesecake that only counts for my daily allowance of food so it’s ok. Did I eat anything else that day? Of course I did….
No two ways about it.
I got greedy and lazy.
Suddenly the eat modestly and exercise option just didn’t seem to be good enough. If I was going to lose over 2 stone then I needed to take more drastic steps!
It was while I was thinking about this, and wondering where to find info that I was playing round on my phone. And I decided to see if there were any apps that could help.
Here’s what I found:
– Walking Mate (*this comes pre-installed in the phone, so I kept it there and just pressed start. It tracks how many steps you take when you have your phone with you. You can also add exercise classes you take. It recommends a number of steps you need to take each day in order to reach your target weight. I am set at 10,000. That’s about 6 miles a day. It also has a super handy food tracker option that helps you track what you eat and the portions. It’s got like EVERYTHING! Even supermarket specific brands, or you can add a custom one if you can’t find yours. I added sadza – a staple food from Zimbabwe lol)
– Juice Diet Plan (*this is a good overview of what you need to aim for when you are juicing but is not comprehensive enough to use as a standalone)
– Juice RX (*I started off with the basic then loved it so much I got the Juice RX Expansion. This is my lifeline! It says it has around 700 recipes. I am working to try at least one of each one, spoilt for choice with this one!)
After reading the information on the Juice Diet Plan I decided that I was going to go for a personally tailored option for me. I’ll explain.
I have tried loads of diets before. And I hate to feel deprived. Most diets I have tried I felt like something was missing from my diet. Part because they ask me to try foods I would not naturally go for. Cabbage soup diet, cayenne pepper and lemon, Atkins… name it I’ve tried it. And there is no diet plan I’ve seen before that incorporates African food. I love that too…
I love food.
Now this bit would be a deal breaker for me. Food is a hobby for me. I enjoy chewing it, I enjoy preparing it, I even enjoy thinking about the many textures and varieties and smells. And diets that take that enjoyment away from me usually end up with me diving head first into a bowl of caramel ice cream and wolfing down a family sized pizza. Washed down by a bottle of wine of course!
So if I was going to do anything that would last any more than a day I needed to be realistic about it. And the Juice Diet Plan gave me an idea that I then went on and implemented.
In the programme it talks about having three days to prepare for the actual fast. And in those days it is ok to eat a small dinner before 6pm. So I took that note and put it aside. It also advocates having celery every day. So I took that note too. It also advocated mixing it up between green and fruit juices. Green being your veggies of course. So even though I can honestly say that the thought of raw broccoli or raw kale didn’t exactly turn me on I took that on board too.
In the Juice Diet it says to have a green juice in the am, then two meals of fruit juice during the day (*presumably for energy*), then a green juice last thing.
My Way Forward
I decided I would eat like this:
Breakfast: fruit juice for energy
(*gym classes usually between 10 and 11 start)
After gym/brunch: green juice
Afternoon drink: fruit juice
Dinnertime: real meal. Fresh prepared by yours truly. No restrictions. Just whatever my heart desires.
Evening drink: green juice for insomnia
Having alcohol or chocolate in the house. That stuff does a Houdini around me – only thing is it never comes back 🙁
The Results after 16 days
Day 1 was the 28th of December. First day back at exercise which is always chronically the worst. I felt like I was going to die from the muscular pain and vowed to treat myself when I got home. I also told myself that today I wouldn’t calorie count; just get back into doing physical exercise after so long. Result on the exercise. Dismal on the food. I ate 3272 cals instead of my recommended 2072. I couldn’t believe that on just 3 square meals a day I was fuelling up almost twice what I needed a day! Shocking!
And to top it all off I was still starving! I’m used to snacking throughout the day. And I couldn’t do that; you can see the calories in all those crisps and biscuits and trust me that stuff is just depressing. So I spent that day just drooling over all the snacks in my cupboard. Even though technically I should have been full. Then I did the worst thing: I opened up the bottle of wine that was in the fridge. I just stopped calorie counting then. Day 1 was a total disaster! Blast you walking mate’s food tracker!
Day 2 was slightly better. I ate 2487 cals worth of food. But; I did not go to the gym. Or pick up the phone. Or do much of anything actually. I just sat at home and sulked. Thank goodness it was a Sunday! It took me nearly a week to get used to not picking food and sweets throughout the day. I realised I have a serious snacking problem here and how many piggyback calories were making their way into my system. I’ve always known I’m partial to my sugar rushes. And I have had moments of just detoxing from sugar as I always feel more energetic and ‘even’ when I’m not sugared up to the hilt. But for me keeping the stuff in the house is a one way ticket to a relapse. Around day 3 I just chucked it all in the bin.
I had gone round looking at how people did on the juicing cleanses or raw food cleanses. And a lot of people say they get the headaches, tiredness, and grouchiness about two or three days in. I definitely did get that. But I think a lot of it was I am so used to propping my day up with snacks. So when I had no sugary snacks in the house it was easier to say, I have all these fruits and vegetables in the house so I have no choice but to snack on them. I default to grapes. They’re still a sweet treat and actually fool my mind into thinking I’ve had a naughty treat. Just minus the naughty artificial stuff!
I weighed myself every Sunday.
Sunday 1 I had lost 4 lbs. Which was awesome! Especially as I wasn’t exercising as much as I am used to. And I had an alcohol slip-up on the Friday.
Sunday 2 I had lost a further 2lbs. I was surprised in all honesty. Because I knew that week would be difficult. I had to go to London Wednesday for a shoot and then visit family the following day. So I could not be prepared with all the juice I needed for that period. But I packed the ‘Everything Energy’ juice for the Thursday morning when I know my cousin would be making a yummy greasy breakfast. And I packed a veggie juice to sip on during my shoot. Dinner on the Wednesday was sashimi and a salmon teriyaki. No sticky rice. But I did have sake *slap on wrist there*
The Thursday afternoon was salad so no biggie. Then I visited another friend, who was heading down to the kebab shop just as I was getting there. Epic fail! I love the chicken shish! So I had that! The fat was positively swimming from that! But it was oh so yummy!!!! Needless to say there was no corresponding food in the Food Tracker for that nonsense lol!
And to top it off the two days in London meant I couldn’t get to the gym.
But surprisingly I still lost 2lbs.
Conclusion so far:
It’s early days for me. But I passed my first milestone, which was to get through 7 days on this programme. To be honest I think I can easily last a month on this programme. So that is where I am heading. Towards a month of juicing and mostly raw food living. And if I can do a month then I can do two. And so on and so on until I reach my target weight of 140lbs. Will keep you posted!