So how did I manage to lose 3 kilos (6 pounds) you ask? Well, first you have to know that I love food. I love healthy, tasty food. I love crisp salads, I love spicy food, I love chilli, I love cheeses and I love sweet food. I have no intention of giving up food for some sort of shake or replacement. I also enjoy wine and have no intention of giving that up either. The other thing you have to know is that, while I have nothing against exercise, it bores me to tears.
Faced with those realities and the fact that I’m very stubborn and determined to do things my way, I had to devise a plan that would include good food, wine and exercise that wasn’t boring.
I’ve made four major changes to my eating and exercise patterns:
1) Firstly I’ve limited the amount of wheat I eat. I know wheat is in practically everything, so I’m not paranoid about it, but I’ve cut a major amount of it out of my diet. Instead of the 4-5 pasta meals we used to have per week, we are now having 1-2 and the other meals are based around rice or potatoes. I buy bread made from spelt, kamut or oat flours. Spelt and kamut flours are ancient grains which are gluten free. The breads all taste very good. I have wheat free cereal in the mornings – it’s made from oat clusters with cranberries and almonds – I add dried blueberries, flaked almonds, fat reduced Greek yoghurt and fat reduced milk. I would buy gluten free pasta, but it’s very expensive (the bread isn’t cheap either) and the boys eat such big helpings, I just wouldn’t keep up.
If I go to a friends place or out for dinner somewhere, I eat wheat if it’s being served. But I do notice the difference the next day. Since minimising my wheat content I’ve been less bloated and have no wind problems at all.
2) I’ve limited the size of my meals. I cook pretty much the same meals as I always have but I take much smaller portions for myself and I don’t go back for seconds! I have also stopped snacking between meals. I make sure I always have breakfast, during the week its cereal and on weekends it can also be eggs on toast. I rarely buy lunch; instead I take leftovers from the previous evening’s meal. If I do buy lunch it will be a piece of salmon because I don’t often get to cook fish at home.
I cook on non stick pans without any fat. I don’t use butter. I use an olive oil spread and olive oil for cooking if I need. I usually buy fat reduced or fat free dairy items and I check labels for fat content, etc. We eat a lot of stir fry dishes, pasta dishes like spaghetti bolognaise or gnocchi with a simple sauce, or steak or chicken with salads and home made oven baked chips (both potato and sweet potato). I don’t often make desserts. If I do they are usually fruit based.
3) I drink far more water than I ever did before – just plain tap water. I guess I’m lucky as I don’t like soft drinks at all. I used to drink a lot of coffee, but I’ve limited myself to one large cup in the morning and sometimes one in the afternoon.
4) Now here’s the bit that might make you laugh, or at least smile slightly. I knew I had to increase the amount of exercise I did, but I also knew I hated walking around the block and my knees hate me if I run anywhere. I get bored very easily with walking, even with my youngest encouraging me to plod around the local oval. I also don’t have much time in my day for exercise. On the other hand, there are a few TV shows that I enjoy watching and I realise that the time spent in front of the TV is very unproductive. The outcome is that for at least 30 minutes a day of my TV viewing time I walk and jog on the spot while watching! OK, go ahead and laugh – I’m used to it because that’s exactly what my boys do! One day I’d like to get an exercise bike, but that’s definitely in the future.
Three times a week I also do some exercises when I get out of bed. I use a resistance band to do some tricep exercises, and then I do some sit-ups and a few leg exercises. It takes about 10 minutes.
I do make a conscious effort to move more on a daily basis. At work I will print things out on the farthest printer from my desk. At home I will get up and get whatever I want instead of asking the boys to bring it to me. It all helps!
That’s really all I’ve done but it seems to have worked. I don’t have to lose a huge amount of weight. All I’m trying to do is get to 69 kilos and have a waist measurement of less than 31 inches.
I will let you know if I make it!