The Storm Before The Lull

The days of the scape goat have come to an end and back home in the regular routine I’ve been able to find my discipline again. In ten days I’ve lost best part of a whole BMI point and most of that I did during four days last week.

Tuesday
5.6 km power walk
Wednesday
5.6 km power walk
Thursday
4.4 km power walk
Friday
1 hr with Graham
Breakfast

1 boiled egg
Crisp bread
White coffee

Breakfast

1 boiled egg
Crisp bread
White coffee

Breakfast

1 boiled egg
Crisp bread
White coffee

Breakfast

1 boiled egg
Crisp bread
White coffee

Lunch

Cobb salad
Mineral water

Lunch

Vegetable and blue cheese soup
Mineral water

Lunch

Skinny Niçoise
Green tea

Lunch

Frittatas
Green tea

Snack

Green tea
Blueberries

Snack

Green tea
Blueberries

Snack

Red Rooster Juice at Antipodea

Snack

Green tea
Bisquits

Dinner

Turkey Burger with Celeriac Remoulade
Tomato Juice

Dinner

Fish Pie
Ginger ale

Dinner

Grilled Steak and broccoli
Mineral water

Dinner

6 oysters with lemon
Granary baguette
2 glasses of white wine
Mineral water

Now my challenge was to stay at this level for a few days before my next attempt to lose some. It wasn’t so easy because of “storm before the lull”. Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, when I usually take the opportunity to give something up for 40 days. In the past that’s been 40 days on the wagon or 40 days without pasta. Since my new lifestyle is all about giving up lots of things permanently, I’ve decided to go easy on myself this year. I’ll give up alcohol at home, but not when I go out or when I’m travelling.

Sweden, where I come from, is a funny country. It’s been totally secularised for generations, but some religious traditions are very important in Swedes’ every day life. Like Lent, and the Carnival before Lent starts. That is the storm before the lull. But unlike Brazil, New Orleans or Venice Sweden has a more low key Carneval celebration. We don’t party, dance and misbehave. Instead we eat Semla, a brioche type bun stuffed with almond paste and whipped cream, as shown in the photo above.

A Semla is pretty much everything I’m trying to avoid in my diet. But once a year, on Shrove Tuesday, I must have one. It didn’t do my BMI any good, but since I had done so well the week before I’m not too worried. And now we’re in Lent, a 40 day lull, with lots of opportunity for reflection and weight loss.

BodyTrax9Feb2018

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Time For A Scapegoat

I know it’s all about taking responsibility and consequences of your behaviour, but really… I’ve now added another half BMI point and it’s really not my fault.

After the pasta fest in Milan and the festive season, which didn’t help me reach my goals much, I went to beautiful Madeira on holiday. The plan was to play tennis before breakfast, go hiking on the levadas and swim several times a day. Well, it turns out that even Madeira gets some rain in January and the tennis courts at the hotel were too wet to play. So no tennis. I did, however, experience lovely levada walks and had great swims every day. But I also had a few blowout dinners which more than compensated for any lost calory caused by daytime activity.

A Goat In The Bathroom

One of the reasons I went on holiday was that my bathroom was being renovated and I was told that there would be no facilities whatsoever during the first week of the works. Seemed like a good enough reason to escape to Madeira. When I came back, it turned out that the work will not take “maximum two weeks” but more like three – if we’re lucky – so I had to leave home again. For a week now since my return I’ve been exiled to a friend’s house.

It’s really difficult to kick off the new year with sensible eating and drinking when you’re not based at home. This is nothing to do with my character, you understand, and it’s certainly not my friend’s fault. I’ve decided it’s the bathroom people’s. They’re the cause my BMI is now back to where it was in July last year.

Grace & Graham To The Rescue

The good news is that I have decided to rebel against my doctor’s advice in July to do mostly cardio exercise. My muscles really long for a good workout and I’ve resumed Fierce Grace yoga. I’ve also started working with Graham, a personal trainer, who reminded me that building muscle burns energy for up to 48 hours whereas cardio is more of a here-and-now blast.

Naturally I’ll also keep enjoying my energising power walks and the odd tennis game. I’ll keep you posted!

BMIJan2018
My BMI is up 1.5 since November. Not my fault any more – time for a scapegoat.

No Year’s Resolution

When I went to the gym this morning I saw people lining up to join. I felt slightly smug to be a regular, not some loser who only signs up in the beginning of January only to drop out after a few weeks.

On the other hand I’m no better. I let my “new lifestyle” slip completely during November and December and had to pay dearly in the hard currency of BMI points. But now, with the new year like fresh virgin snow ahead of me, I know I’ll stick to the straight and narrow and reach my goal effortlessly.

Yeah. Right.

The goal is to reach BMI 25 by the end of the year. That means I need to drop 7 points over a year or just over 0.5 point per month. When you put it like that it doesn’t seem so difficult.

My plan is to keep my personal combination of 5:2 diet and Dukan’s attack phase. This means that two days every week I eat a diet containing mostly protein. Dukan says exclusively protein, but I like to add something little on the side. Being a foodie and all that.

Also my aim is to exercise at least five days every week.

The first challenge, of course, is that I go on holiday next week. Need to rest after Christmas. Let’s see how that tallys with my snowy bright vision of the future.

BMIJan2018a
Up 0.6 since November.

A Bad, Bad Girl

I am so embarrassed! Ten days ago I set out to give you weekly updates on the progress of my weight loss, full of confidence that my BMI would fall off me as it has the last few months. But I didn’t reckon on the Festive Season.

Parties, mulled wine, hot chocolate, cakes… What happened to my resistance? And last night, after a long meeting I was so hungry I cracked and bought a pizza on the way home. PIZZA?! Not a lovely Chicken Pizza but a proper, cheesy carb pizza from my fabulous local pizza maker.

I’m just saying one thing right now. Revision of plans. My BMI is up to 31.7 and at this point it’s not realistic to go under 30 by the end of the year. The new plan is to stay around 31.5 and not gain any during December.

In January it’s a new regime!

BMINov2017

Taking Consequences

From now my intention is to blog weekly to report on my progress. There are two reasons for this. One – most humble – is that maybe I can inspire other chubby foodies to find a way to kick-start that old metabolism. The other is purely egoistic: I gather that if I go public with my struggles it will motivate me to keep on the straight and narrow. I shall not want to lose face and admit that I haven’t lost BMI points. Let’s see if that works.

Well, I’m here to tell you that after a rather bumpy ride this autumn I was quite pleased to be approaching a BMI of 31. That’s when I got the opportunity to have a long weekend in Milan, a treat I couldn’t resist. I even decided to put all ideas about sensible eating on hold and just indulge, well aware that there would be consequences.

I’m a pasta addict. I love Italian food and there was no way I wouldn’t let myself enjoy four days in this fantastic city.

There were consequences, of course. When I came back my weighing machine told me I was up to 32.8. But, with my wonderful new lifestyle after ten days I’m down to 31.7 and I haven’t even suffered. Much.

My goal is to be down below 30 in January. That will be a challenge, but it’s not inconcievable. My long term goal is to reach BMI 25 before the end of 2018. And stay there. Please cheer me on!

BMIOct2017
This shows my BMI loss before I went to Italy.

Milestone II

In July 2017 I decided to toughen up. Since February my husband and I had tried to stick to the 5:2 lifestyle and it worked a treat for him. In June all his clothes were too big and he had to invest in a set of new summer trousers. His diabetes doctor told him his blood test results had gone down so he could now be considered a borderline diabetic. If he continued this healthy lifestyle he could possibly stop medicating.

That’s great news and I’m so envious. I had not lost as much, even though I was pleased with the fact that I actually stopped gaining. My BMI was down to 31.9 – still pointing at obesity. I decided to get a second opinion from an other specialist who confirmed just that. She also confirmed that everything my regular endocrinologist told me, which was good news.

One thing this doctor pointed out was that cardio training is more important than anything else to start burning fat. I thought I had a good weekly mix of:

  • Tennis because I enjoy it,
  • Fierce Grace Hot Yoga for toning muscles and increase flexibility
  • Gym to build muscles
  • Swim and/or power walks

In the past I have also taken several courses of Boot Camps. I’ve tried both indoors and outdoor camps and I really love them. I like the holistic idea of intensive training coupled with nutritional advice and support. Having a positive trainer and working out in a group is a great experience. During these courses my muscle mass increased of course, but my weird metabolism still allowed my weight to gallop in the wrong direction.

This new doctor said to focus on power walks, at least 40 minutes at least four times every week. I took her advice, except I didn’t stop playing tennis because I enjoy it so much. And on rainy days I do 40 minutes on the rower at the gym instead of walking outside. It can’t be all bad.

BMIJuly2017
People say I should be pleased with dropping 2.5 BMI points in 9 months.

Milestone I

Contrary to most people’s my new lifestyle was all about giving up dieting.

In February 2017 I decided a total lifestyle change. My BMI had already gone down slightly from all time high at 34.8 to 33.5. Still faaaaar too high, though.

My plan was simple. Stop dieting but keep a strict 5:2 regime. Continue exercising. Do things I like, be content and spread happiness around me. Good karma, basically. Luckily my husband also thought it was a good idea and since then we have more or less kept up this new way of life. He – who doesn’t have a thyroid problem the way I do – is the real success story. I’ll come back to that later on.

Let me start by telling you about my attempts to diet.

LCHF

Sticking to low carb/high fat is quite easy and – according to a lot of research – very healthy too. In our household we have more or less practiced this approach to nutrition for years. You can eat lots of good food and kid yourself that you’re not missing out.

Unfortunately it didn’t stop my weight gain at all.

5:2

I’m well aware that some people consider 5:2 a diet, but to me it’s a lifestyle. The great thing about 5:2 is that most people who do it can actually keep it up for a long time. During the 5-days you eat normally and 2 days a week you starve yourself.

It makes a lot of sense, but it turned out that the 2-days of starvation didn’t work with my extra sensitive metabolism.

Weight Watchers

Keeping a Weight Watchers’ diet is much more complicated than 5:2 and in my humble opinion impossible to keep up for any length of time. I have friends who swear by it, and good for them. I fear that because it’s so complicated it invites lapses, and then you have to start all over again or give up completely.

Didn’t work with my metabolism either.

Dukan Diet

Dr Dukan definitely had something going when he created the eat-as-much-as-you-want-of-a-few-foods. My thinking about weight loss has been greatly inspired by Dr Dukan, but as I understand it a lot of people use it as a temporary diet and then they go back to normal eating and start gaining again. I don’t think that’s Dr Dukan’s intention but that’s what happens in this world where everyone wants a quick fix.

For me, the Dukan “Attack Phase” works very well and I have encorporated that in my new lifestyle.

Cleanses

I love a good cleanse! I have no proper name for it, but my favourite cleanse is three weeks of “real”, non-processed food. You can eat it raw, grill or steam it.

  • No caffeine, alcohol, sugar or tobacco.
  • No carbs and no dairy, except full fat yoghurt.
  • Eat as much as you like of vegetables and lean protein.

It makes me feel wonderful inside, but it doesn’t make me lose much weight. Probably my old wacky metabolism again.

BMIFeb2017
By the end of February 2017 my BMI was down to 33.