Slow and steady!

Looks like a few tweaks to my exercise and even relaxed a bit regarding my paleo eating and it’s had positive results.

This week I can safely say I’m finally under that mental hurdle of 60kg.  I was 58.8kg as of this morning. And before you go all crazy and give me a lecture that it’s not about weight, I know, I know, I bloody well know.  My journey is not to become a waif, trust me, I love food too much.

What I don’t know is what the body fat or muscle is doing in my body. The evil scales that my friend uses, well, I haven’t seen them in 3 weeks. My measurements have shrunk again, and that is generally a good indication of what is going on with my body. I put on my skinny jeans today, only to find they are baggy, and particularly around my butt. Less junk in my trunk huh?

I’ve also spent more time changing my exercise – downgrading on the running and cardio, which as you know isn’t easy for me. More casual bike rides, a few more walks up Bridle Path (even showing a new friend the track – even if he had some leg trouble the next day…), and generally trying to chill out more.

bike

Bridle PathI have experienced a bit of insomnia recently and I’m not sure what’s causing the issue. A few people have given me their two cents worth, which while is great, isn’t solving the issue.  Nothing like lying awake at night to reflect on your entire life!

Part of the paleo lifestyle is to make sure you eat clean and get sunshine on your face – and if I’m lucky enough, I get to combine the two together – eating in the sunshine!

Feet

Salmon

I’m not sure where I’m going to head from here – more of the same and see what happens… I guess that’s the fun part, not knowing where you’ll end up! I really enjoy writing this blog and am getting more followers all the time, as well as some great feedback, so please keep sending me your love, it really makes a difference.

And yes, I still owe you the before paleo and after paleo photos – perhaps that’ll be my next blog post!

 

Plateau – now what?

The dreaded plateau. Not just one week, but a run of staying the same weight and measurements.

I had this a few times and each time, I thought I was at my final weight. If this was where I was to end up, then ok, that’s my weight. Then a few weeks later a wee voice would niggle in my ear, what if I did something to change my food or exercise. Would it be possible to lose another kilogram?

I hit a major plateau in March 2011, just after the earthquake. My weight remained similar (although I put on 2 kilograms over Christmas). Then I undertook a self stupidity test in February 2012. I decided to see if I could do 30 workouts in 34 days. Be extremely strict with my food and see what would happen. Initially I thought it was impossible, working out nearly every day, sometimes twice a day to allow for rest days. Part way through I lost the plot. Telling myself I couldn’t do it, I was insane and it wouldn’t make any difference. Well, I survived and was a very happy size 10.

In March 2012 I got a friend of mine who is a professional photographer to take some shots for me. They were to be used for my professional headshots and for a reference point for me.

Alison-6 Alison-3 Alison-10

Again, I hit a flat line in weight over the next 6 months. Then I struck a major life hiccup. My partner of 14 years left me. Result was weight loss, as I threw myself into exercise overload and struggled to eat correctly. Turns out it’s possible to eat really awfully fatty food, high in calories and still lose weight. I don’t recommend this as a strategy for anyone as it was an awful time and experience.

I managed to get myself back on track with healthy eating and over Christmas put on the 3 kilograms I had lost. In March 2013 I started the paleo challenge, and I’ve since dropped to my lowest ever weight of 60.6 kilograms. I am now officially a size 8 which is just weird. It’s now June 2013 and I don’t want to lose anymore weight – sure getting below 60 kilograms would be awesome, but it’s about becoming toned and ensuring I’m healthy. After all, wasn’t the aim all along?

Paleo, pal-e-who?

Along the way I’ve had food challenges to take it to the next level.  One of my more recent ones was changing to Paleo food. It’s essentially trying to eat and drink as many unprocessed foods as possible.

Excluded: all forms of sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol, potato, bread, wheat, and all the good tasty stuff.

Included: a huge variety of everything else – fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, spices, herbs, seeds and surprising cocoa.

It was something my trainer was doing, and I thought, heck why not give it a go.  The first few days I thought I was going to be eating very boring meals as my brain couldn’t figure out what to eat. Bless the internet.  I googled and researched and found some very delicious breakfast ideas and snacks.  It required a switch in the brain and by day 4, I had most of this sorted out.

Two of my favourite snacks are chocolate protein squares which taste like a dense fudge, and some pancakes (although I make them small like pikelets). The pikelets are my absolute first choice for a pre-workout long run or event and I’ve been known to eat the whole batch in one day.

Piklets

Pikelet recipe:

2 bananas, 3 eggs, 3tbs coconut flour, 1tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp baking soda, pinch salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Mash banana, add eggs. Mix until smooth. Add all other ingredients and mix until smooth. Top with blueberries as you spoon each batter into pan. I get about 13 from this mix. If you don’t eat them all as they come out of the pan, they keep for a day or two.

I stuck religiously to the guidelines for 3 weeks and lost a staggering 3 kilograms.  Bloody hell I thought, is this even possible? After the initial timeframe, I kept to most of the rules – although I did try some of the old foods.  Dairy was ok (gosh I love ice-cream) and the first taste of processed sugar just about sent me into a spin.  I tried some bread – this wasn’t a good idea and my stomach turned into giant knot and it took about 4 hours for it to calm down again. Since then, I’ve eaten very little grains and I guess I’m essentially gluten-free by choice.

Counting calories and what does it mean?

I started to count calories right at the beginning. It was easy as I was eating and drinking the meal replacements. I became calorie obsessed and could rattle off the calories in anything. Just ask some of my friends how annoying I was. Just at the exact moment they would put any food or drink in their mouth, I would say “oh that’s 250 calories and you will need to run for 25 minutes to burn that off”. Needless to say, I might have offended a few people. Opppps, sorry.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the calorie debate. I used myfitnesspal which is a free mobile application which can be used to track just about anything. It’s a great tool as a general guideline and it certainly helped me get my head around good and bad calories.

Calories are essentially a way of measuring the energy that you will get out of a particular type of food. If I eat a chocolate bar with 200 calories, I will get the same energy as a piece of grilled fish and a pile of vegetables. Now I know which I would rather eat – it’s the chocolate by the way – but I also know that the fish and vegetables are going to sustain me for longer and provide me with cleaner, better fuel for my body.

A misconception is that if you eat less than your daily calorie recommendation that you will lose weight. This might be true if you eat only 90% of your allocation, but if you eat any less than this, your body will go into overdrive to keep all the energy it can from the little amount of food you are feeding it.

I need to eat. The cleaner and more nutritious the better it will be for me in the long run. I talk about this in another blog post, but I can actually eat a heck of a lot of food and still lose weight – as long as it’s the right food.

I currently eat my share of food, more than I ever thought I should do at my current weight. I love food and now I have developed a healthy respect for my body so will generally only feed it quality tasty and fresh food. Oh, and the occasional piece of chocolate… I’m a girl after all!