Postponing the “big” reveal

Just as I predicted at the beginning of this challenge, on my reveal day the weather is not going to be beach friendly so I’m postponing it until further notice.
Peace out!

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A journey less stringent continues

I think that this might be my second last post for this blog. It is the last week of my challenge, literally 3 days to my ‘coming out’. Plans are that a handful of my friends will be joining me at Clifton beach on Saturday, I’ll take a few pics and post them as part of my last post. I’ll also be attending Gops’ bday dinner and will celebrate the official end of this phase – this is especially awesome as Gops has been one of my biggest followers.

This fitness/health journey has been fruitful. I have started to ‘stabilise’ my eating habits in order for me to continue my focus on health and fitness so that I may at this stage maintain my weight and energy.

Regarding my intake, I’ve relaxed my diet a little bit. I now eat bread (mostly rye) and have what I feel like here and there, ensuring that I don’t over do it. Sundays to Thursdays are really my focus time where I specifically focus on eating properly. If I feel for something outside of my eating plan then I would enquire and decide at that stage why I wanna have it. Alot of the time I’ll start eating something and realise that a taste of it is all that I needed, that’s when I’ll stop having it.

I think that the last thing I wanna end off with is the fact that I feel great about my body. I love my body and am happy that I was able to take on this journey and blog about it regularly. Even though I was not able to achieve my 10% body fat, I have lost some body fat and my tummy is flatter – so the ‘tummy in’ part of this challenge happened to a certain extent🙂

I’ll await the happenings of Saturday and will write about it soon.

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Corporate lunch box!

After a bit of a sabbatical I launched myself back into the corporate world at a new employer. It feels really great to be back in the game but it’s honeymoon phase so everything seems all sunflowers and jelly tots.

Being back at a ‘9 to 5’ is very scary not only because of little personal discoveries during my sabbatical but also because of the nutrition change process that I have undergone. The first thing I thought about the day prior to start date was the contents of my lunch box. This is exactly what my friend, Gops, warned me about, I can still hear her saying “you can totally continue eating your meals at home sweety but once you return to work it is going to be a different story”.

So my mind started strategising! Firstly, my new routine includes getting up at 5am, going to gym and from gym heading to work. This means that I have to pack my food the night before. Secondly, I knew that I’ll have to pack 4 mini meals for my working day:

First meal is my post workout meal/breakfast which is a protein shake, tablespoon of olive oil , 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and sometimes fruit. I won’t bore you with setting out the other three meals separately but it consists of boiled eggs, wholewheat toast (yes, I’ve incorporated bread back into my diet and we do have toasters at work🙂 ), avocado, mixed nuts, fish and veggies. Obviously I’ll alternate foods but this forms a very good basis for everyday work meals.

After thinking about all of this I realised that I’ll be just fine – the above will fit into my lunch bag! I use about four tupperware containers which I put in a medium sized lunch bag. And I’m all set! Guess it all worked out Gops🙂

Now I have to tell you about the experience I’ve had at work. Of course nutrition and fitness just automatically forms part of my daily conversations but in this instance it was observed first. First I have recognise that I work with a bunch of amazing people – I’ve never come across such sweet and authentic individuals. However when it comes to nutrition and fitness it seems like these are two foreign concepts to the team. Out of the 11+ people I’ve only seen 2 proudly rocking a lunchbox/bag. When I arrived on my first day I got a bit of a stare from the person who introduced me to the team – It seems like the first thing she noticed about me was my lunchbox, so I guess this was a bit of a shock for her.

As the day progressed I obviously had my meals here and there. While enjoying one of my meals, I was abruptly asked why I’m so healthy which was a bit of a confusing question to me, and I didn’t answer the person, I just presented a courteous smile.

Yesterday I had an even weirder situation when one of my colleagues asked me whether I’m one of “those” people who bring lunch to work. This comment was blurted out in order for most of the department to hear as it is the norm in the office, as it is in most corporates, to publicise conversations. I proudly confirmed her observations and got a disapproving look (was kinda scary). During lunch time a few pizza’s were ordered for the team and it was requested that I push my packed lunch to the side and join in. I sincerely replied that I’ll join in on the conversation but will refrain from eating any pizza as I was planning on having a cheat meal during the evening. I also got a few disapproving looks from this situation.

While driving home yesterday I was thinking that these are the situations that I’ll have to work through while I’m still new and the team still gets to know me. However, I’ve found it very easy for people to understand how nutrition fits into my life and consequently adapt to it. I hope that through my actions I’m able to inspire my colleagues to include better food choices into their diet and to pack a few healthy food items to work.

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Losing the right stuff!

In my last post I stated that the upcoming post would be about something that I’m really disappointed about, well this is it.

So ya’ll know that I have lost about 11kg and some people would say that, that is such an achievement! Well believe it or not, the more educated folks (in the nutrition and fitness arena) would disagree, at least for the most part.

Apparently, any person who goes on a diet should be cautious not to reduce their calories too much because there is such a thing as losing too much weight… and that is exactly what happened to me during this process. I mean I started off at around 76kgs and end up at 65 in like 11-12 weeks.
Now you folks might be thinking what exactly is the problem with losing lots of weight in a  short period? Some of us just really want to shed kilos fast especially with the holiday season approaching and Summer being in the air  (at least for South Africans).

The problem with losing loads of weight in a short period is the fact that alot of the weight will be muscle and muscle is something that you really don’t want to lose, you really want to be losing body fat. I know that this has been mentioned in my blog before but what really made me wanna write about this is the fact that I thought that I was doing really well in terms of reducing my weight but I ended up not feeding my muscle. My daily food in-take consisted of too few calories in order to maintain my muscle. This can easily be shown by the scale: On average, I lost about 1kg per week where I should have lost about 0.45kg (about a pound).

So this is the situation that render’s a sad smile on my face (get it?) – that ‘confused’ smile that you get when you get complimented but you really aren’t as proud of yourself as other people are because of certain glitches that will go unmentioned? Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of the “progress” that I have made and this is really in the area of finding a sense of control to be able to manage what I put into my body as this is what I believe many people are struggling with.

Nonetheless, situation “test, re-test, if it doesn’t work throw it out of the box” is continuing. This time around I’m thinking: the thing about losing this last few percentages of body fat is really about eating the right AMOUNT of food specifically focusing on not eating too little – the struggles that one has to endure in the pursuit of achieving a close to perfect body! I’m eating the right type of food so that’s one less focus issue to deal with and exercise is on track as usual.

There is one last experiment (last, yeah right! hahaha!) that I want to undergo and that is to focus on my diet for about 4 weeks without having cheat meals, just continuing business-as-usual in ‘Corporation Get That BF% Down’. After the four weeks, if nothing has happened to my BF%, then it’s time to give up the quest for a lower BF% – situations are real and it might be time for me to get real! When this 4 week experiment will start I do not know. I’ll let ya’ll know. At the moment I just really want to focus on eating the right amount of food and getting to that stage where I lose 0.45kg or less per week.

So I hope that you realise that some things are worth losing, such as a sense of complacency, a bad fashion sense, a bad attitude, and of course body fat. But what you don’t want to be losing is muscle mass, ultimately you wanna grow or maintain that ish!

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Pre-Clifton, Clifton situations…(get it?)

This past weekend was a highlight when Cape Town experienced amazing weather. On Saturday, my friends and I ended up at the Old Biscuit Mill (OBM) in Woodstock for lunch – OBM is a good foods market, the aspect I like the most about it is that many of the meals are freshly made. I usually have the organic veg wrap, it is the yummiest meal ever! The vibe is also fantastic – people are looking good these days and despite recent reports that Cape Town has the fattest people in South Africa, I saw plenty of hot bods on Saturday.

Talking about hot bods, we made a spur-in-the-moment decision to go to the beach on Saturday!!!! Say what? Yep! And according to one of my biggest blog fans and friend, Gops, it was a pre-coming out (lol) beach day in preparation for my stepping out day during October – which is in 5 weeks… freakin hell!!! I’m thinking that I might need to get me a look-alike person with a better body to pose as me on that day… hahahaha!

Anyway, so we went to Clifton 3rd Beach and anyone who has been to Clifton beach knows that Clifton = hot bods. To make a long story short, yes, I took off my t-shirt and didn’t feel that confident because I still have my tummy to worry about – anyway I was utilising my greatest sucking-in skills ever but it only helped a little bit. At the moment I’m just grateful that I’ve made progress and that progress is what I need to be flaunting. Anyway, screw the fact that I still have this tummy fat to deal with!

Gops says that I’m 90% there but to me it feels like 75% – more evidence that I’m my biggest critic but I mean it’s very difficult to feel amazing about yourself when there are like a million hotter bodies around you (don’t dare look at me like that? you know what I mean! And no, I don’t need therapy!). Maybe having my coming out session at Clifton wasn’t such a good idea *takes a deep breathe*. Maybe I should’ve arranged for it to take place at some public pool where the competition is not as fierce LOL!!!! or even better, make an announcement that Clifton beach will be closed on 23 October 2010.

Am I getting cold feet?

Well, I can’t cancel now, two of my friends, Yanga and Marcel, said that they’ll arrange a small get together on that day so this Clifton thing will be happening, there is just no way out!

#Stats update – my BF% is currently ranging between 14.7%-16.7%, I’ve reached a plateau! … but Madonna will agree that the beat shall go on… there’s just no stopping…

In my next post I want to write about something that I’m really disappointed about

P.S. I got another client! She wants to get wedding ready and I feel honoured to be part of this quest.

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Insanity and beyond!

Being on this weight loss journey has thus far been a grueling experience during which I educated myself on weight loss and exercise and it made me think about a few years ago when I was very ill-informed about weight loss etc. and believing almost everything that was advertised about weight loss on tv commercials – the names ‘Verimark’ and ‘Glomail’ somehow are synonymous with weightloss magic potions and motions.

So I decided to share some of the ridiculous and utterly funny things that are sold out there including one’s that I thought actually worked. Counting down from number 6:

6. Slide slim

This is “a round heel insert of shock absorbing material” which is ‘uniquely designed’ to reduce pain and helps you get fit because you become more active. You slip it into your shoes and you instantly start walking. Yep, believe it or not!

Basically, what Jorge Hane, the guy who designed this master piece, is saying is that God really didn’t know what He was doing when He created our feet – the slide slim was really how feet were supposed to be designed and therefore you would really wanna workout once you get a pair… bull!

I do have to admit that these ‘uniquely designed’ soles do have some placebo effect to it which can add a positive spin, i.e. if this would make one of my clients take a brisk walk 45min a day I would totally encourage them to buy it…. yet, crap remains crap!

5. Vibration plate

Put your hand up if you’ve used this product before. I’ve used it, it is at my gym! Apparently this one helps with blood circulation and most definitely will help you lose weight.

This machine makes me itch so much! I don’t understand how people expect to stand on this machine for 15min a day and expect to look like those models who are advertised it. Some might argue that you must do squats, push-ups, etc. on the machine to aid weight loss but honey, you can totally do that without this machine… Bull!

4. Secret slimmer/slimming body suit/trim ‘n lift

Ja ladies, this is what you specialise in lol. Some men also have a pair of these – don’t be shy now.

These tights/outfits keep the fat intact and make you look more condensed. This one is kind of sad – The person who designed these tights was basically implying that if you’re overweight there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it so slap on a pair of these tights to make yourself instantly look and feel better. Again, load of bull! You have the power to change your body!

3. Power pops weight loss lollipops

This one I was completely disgusted at.

Imagine:

“A lollipop with the amazing Power to Suppress the appetite and give you a burst of energy. What could be more simple?”

What could be more retarded? The producer of this product paired up with a ‘Master Herbalist’ who shared his wealth of knowledge about herbs and weight loss (WTF?). Apparently there are ‘active’ ingredients in the lollipops that suppresses your appetite and by doing that it apparently helps you lose weight. The producers also claim that the active ingredients help burn fat and calories…. double bull!

Like my mom always said, when it sounds too good, it is no good! I would be concerned about the calories that I’ll gain from just chowing those lollies.

2.  Abs products: Abdoer twister/the flex belt/vibraslim

These products are the most tantalizing of all. The promise that is given to the consumer is that you can get amazing abs by just twisting your body on this machine or lie on a couch with the flex belt for just 3 minutes a day. Never mind eating healthily and doing loads of cardio – No wonder there are still people who think that they can get a flat tummy just by doing abs exercises!

1. Siluet40

Numero uno goes to siluet40!

“Siluet 40 Ultra-Slimming Soaps are reducing and firming soaps that act immediately! Just use it in a daily application every time you take a shower”. Say what? And the best part is that the soap can be used on any part of your body… men, watch out! LOL!

Really? I have no further comments on this one.

It is so weird how we as consumers have been brainwashed to think that weight loss is depended on purchasing products that have been researched for years and years. When the simplest things to do is to eat healthy balanced meals (whole foods) and exercise regularly.

To sanity!

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A whole lot of this and none of that…

For the entire existence of this blog I haven’t yet blogged about my specific food intake on a daily basis. This post is dedicated to that. I’ll give you my food diary of 30 August 2010. This is to give you and idea of the type of food and the amount that I eat.

First I need to share with you that my food consumption has become more calorie focused. Over the past 3 weeks I have made sure that I consume a calculated number of calories per day. In order to maintain my weight I have to eat around 2500-2550 calories per day. This number is calculated based on my activity level and my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). You can check your BMR and your prescribed calorie-intake by just Googling it. With the Harris Benedict Equation you will be able to calculate your total daily maintenance calories after calculating your BMR.

Now that we’ve got that down, here’s my food diary for 30 August 2010:

8am:

2 eggs, 0.25 cup of onions (I love onions), half a red pepper, 1 tomato, 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of vegetable oil (I can’t get away from frying my veg)

11h00:

usn protein shake (1 scoop), 1 medium banana

14h00:

half an avocado, 125g of low-fat cottage cheese, salad leaves (as much as I wanted)

16h45:

left over cabbage and tuna from yesterday (a quarter cup cabbage and 60g of protein), 2 fried eggs and 2 onions fried in a tbsp of veg oil.

19h00:

1 tbsp of veg oil, 160g grilled fish (hake), 1 cup chopped onions, 1 medium squash, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

21h15:

usn protein shake

Total calorie intake: 2016

My total calorie intake is below my maintenance amount because of my goal of losing body fat.

I have water throughout the day and after every meal. I make sure that I consume about 140g of protein everyday in order to feed my muscle as I do strength training 4 times a week. My carb intake is very low, some people would criticize me on this but it’s working for me. I do have one day during the week that I usually like to consume heavy vegetable carbs.

I know that it is very tedious to keep track of your calorie intake on a daily basis. Planning your meals an evening before really helps. Another thing that is really helpful to me is the ‘Calorie Counter by FatSecret’ that I downloaded on my BlackBerry. You can search various food options to find out their calorie density levels, keep a calorie diary and keep a log of your daily exercise. It has helped me tremendously! Download it today.

Happy healthy eating!

P.S. I scored my first paying client for nutrition coaching this past weekend. Can’t wait to kick it off!

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