Sugar 

I wish it came with a warning – ‘consume at your own risk’

Lately I have been thinking a lot. Thinking and feeling a lot, you know, those ‘failures’ feelings you get after eating something you shouldn’t, thinking to myself I am stronger than this. I have kicked the sugar habit once, how come I am finding it so hard to do it again?

I have come to the conclusion that sugar owns me. This is a very hard thing to admit to myself, especially after I have successfully finished a sugar detox last year. I also have come to the conclusion that sugar is the root of my food problems. In my entire life, I never found a food that was too sweet or too rich. I can eat an entire family chocolate bar in one sitting. Having one bite of cake gives me thoughts of going to the shop and buying another ten cakes, so I can eat them all…..  

But, sugar is everywhere (and I mean, everywhere!). Try looking at the ingredients list of anything in your pantry right now, I dare you. It is the sugar that is added to foods, not the nutritional label I am talking about. I bet you cannot find anything that does not have added sugar in it.

Why has the world come to this? Sugar is addictive, no doubts about it. The foods you are told to eat to lose weight are the foods that trigger your brain to want more food. All the ‘low-fat’ foods are loaded with sugar. It works like this:

Food – Fat = Not very tasty Food

Food – Tasty + Sugar = Edible

 

(Come on, admit it, no diet food is tasty, right?)

I am not just talking about low fat foods here, I found sugar in places where sugar shouldn’t be. Stock cubes, curry sauces, sausages, you name it. Abstaining from cakes and sweets does not mean you are sugar free at all.  

That’s why this is so hard. You would never ‘cure’ a drug addict by giving them a dose of their drug each day, would you? Or an alcoholic a shot of alcohol. It would not happen. So how the heck is a sugar addict supposed to overcome this addiction? What do you do when ‘everything in moderation’ does not work for you?

There is a choice to be made.

You can carry on the cycle of eating something yuou know it’s not good for you and regret it, feel like a failure (hands in the air if that is you! It’s definitely me!)

Or

You can give it up. For G O O D.

Hard? Yes! Impossible? NO WAY!

I have done it before, but I let it sneak back into my life where it’s controlling me again. And it HAS TO STOP! I don’t want to spend the rest of my life fighting with myself, feeling like I am such a failure, with no self-control. But you know what? It’s not about self-control. This is addiction. And I am going to beat it (again!)

a Whole30 is in order

I have decided to do a Whole30

Even though I think I will possibly mention it here from time to time, I won’t make this blog a food journal. There are tons of them out there, visual diaries, recipes etc. I don’t want to make my blog another one of those. Not that there is anything wrong with those blogs, I love them, they give great ideas and tips, recipes etc. I am planning to document how my relationship with food changes over the course of the Whole30. I have come a long way already when it comes to my relationship with food. I really need to get down to the fine print, learn how to deal with my emotions in a different way.

For me, it’s a habit thing: Coffee and cake go together (of course). They are nice together but I can have the coffee (black) without the cake. Where I am standing right now, it does not look that exciting, but I need to do something about my habits. Treats seem to be crawling back into my diet quite regularly, making them not a treat anymore but a regular occurrence.  I beat myself up so much about it, I feel like a big failure. Like I am wasting money on my personal trainer because my eating has not been that great. If you look at it, maybe you can tell me that it hasn’t been that bad, but with each slip up, I feel like maybe old ways want to come back.

It is not about perfection for me, it’s about overcoming myself. I am my own worst enemy and I know that.  

So with this Whole30, I want to reset myself. A fresh start. I think the time limit really helps me with focus. So expect to hear from me, I cannot guarantee that I won’t complain about it, but I can guarantee that with every complain I make, a victory will be attached to it. So maybe I won’t complain at all, but celebrate each step I take towards my goal.

Back again – an update

Wow, it’s been nearly one year since I last came here. One year since my world shattered a little, with the possible PD diagnosis

I have had my moments of complete despair. But to be honest, I got over it.

So instead of making this blog about a possible PD diagnosis and my feelings towards it, I am going to carry on with my fitness/weight loss team, because I am still pursuing  these things. Of course it does not mean that I don’t struggle with my physical limitations (sometimes). I do. But it kinda gives me more drive to do something I struggle with.

With that said… an update!

Well what happened since June last year? A lot.

I think the two main things are: I have stopped running and I am eating a paleo diet now.

The stopped running part happened quite casually, my running buddy hurt her knee and we stopped. We never started again. Sad, but true.

The paleo diet started with a sugar detox. After a lot of soul searching, I decided to do a sugar detox – because let’s face it, sugar is my downfall. I love sugar. Cakes, chocolate, pastries, biscuits, you name it. My biggest struggle (and I think it will be a life time struggle) is moderation when it comes to sweets. I cannot do ‘one bite’. It’s almost like that one bite triggers a monster that lives inside my brain and I CANNOT STOP after I start. I got tired of feeling like a failure, after a whole week of ‘being good’, the weekend would come. The kids have Friday treats, so I would obviously get a treat for myself too, but I would not stop there, it would carry on all weekend.

So I decided that something drastic needed to be done, and I know I am a sugar addict. So I thought it would be ‘fun’ to cut sugar out of my diet.

The first thing we did as a family was to clear out the pantry. That meant everything that was processed or had ‘sugar’ as one of the ingredients. We got rid of 98% of our food, that was so shocking to me. After examining a few labels, I came across one of those muesli bars that are lunchbox friendly (I was feeding it to my kids every day). I kid you not, it had 33 ingredients listed in the ingredient list, I did not know what most of them even were. I could not believe that was what we call ‘food’ It made me realise how far we are from what we are from what we are meant to eat. I don’t know how things started to get so bad. If you think about it, you could barely find overweight people 100 years ago.  Now, you don’t have to look far. You would think that with all ‘low fat’ foods available these days, people would lose weight?

That’s mainly what struck me and convince me to go paleo. When I cut all the sugar from my diet, I had to eat clean. I had no choice. So things like bread and pasta also went out of the window.

People that are the other side of the fence (non-paleo eaters) cannot imagine a life without pasta, and think it’s so hard to follow this way of eating, but let me tell you a secret, it’s not that hard. Sure, the first week is hard, a mental shift is happening. What is hard? Feeling so tired all the time, having no energy, or even worse, feeling sick all the time! For so long we were told that fat is bad for you, grains are good for you, blahblah, when you start to challenge those beliefs, people (yourself included) are automatically sceptical and defensive and some people don’t get it. No one wants to hear that their ‘healthy’ diet is actually not that healthy. You spend so long trying all these things, eating all your grains, the low fat products. In your head, you think you are doing everything right, but think about it: Why are people so overweight these days? The low-fat eaters. Some people run and run and are still overweight. Some people cannot lose weight at all, no matter what they do. It hyas got to make you think!! I could go on and on and on. If you are not convinced and need to do is a little bit of reading, I recommend www.marksdailyapple.com and www.whole30.com

Cutting sugar was not easy, because we are surrounded by it. It is so hard to go grocery shopping, read labels and find out that you cannot buy curry paste, it has added sugar in it. Bummer. You start to get creative (thank you to Pinterest) Having no sugar gets easier as time goes by. It’s tough at the beginning, not going to lie, but if I can do it, anyone can, and I mean it. It takes a little bit of planning and a little bit of purpose and stubbornness but it’s possible, believe me. If you want more info, you can write to me. I am happy to share info and tips.

So after the sugar detox, I noticed a huge difference in myself. No heart burn. I didn’t get tired in the middle of the afternoon. I slept really well and woke up feeling refreshed. And I lost 4kgs in 3 weeks. My husband’s dandruff disappeared, my daughter’s acne improved noticeably. It is hard to ignore the benefits. And it’s even harder to go back to old ways when you learn so much about what you are actually feeding your body.

So that’s how I started. While sugar detoxing, you are eating a paleo diet already (minus the fruit and you are also allowed some dairy products), so the transition to paleo is not a difficult one.

It’s been nearly one year, I have lost 10kgs since starting. I haven’t counted one calorie, I haven’t felt deprived and I do not feel like I am in a diet. The sugar detox gave me freedom from food slavery, the paleo diet keeps me in check. I am not gonna sit here and pretend I am perfect the whole time, because I am not, far from it. Sometimes, when I allow myself a treat, it triggers my ‘monster’ side, and it takes me a while to get back to the wagon. I am not talking about months, it usually just takes a couple of days. But that’s just me, I found that I need to be strict with myself, but some people follow a 80/20 rule when going paleo. Which is great, because life happens.

On the fitness side of things, I have started weight lifting, doing some strength training instead of concentrating in cardio exercises. I have notices that my body shape has changed a lot since I started to lift. And I love the feeling of empowerment lifting gives me! I also engaged a person al trainer (that only happened 3 weeks ago) since my husband is working evenings and I cannot get to the gym after work like I used to. I am having 5.30am sessions with the PT. Which is good and bad. Good, because I cannot get out of it. I know she is waiting for me at the gym and I cannot stand her up. Bad because getting up at 5am is not fun. Especially now that it is winter here.

Like I mentioned before, I am not running anymore but I want to get back into it. I forgot how hard it is to self-motivate. I know it’s something I need to do to get things moving again. Running gives me the feeling that I can accomplish anything! It reminds me that my body responds so well to it, I am curious about how efficient my running body will become now that I am feeding it properly

The Train Chronicles

I have decided to make every Wednesday ‘The Train Chronicles’ day

I have started catching the train to work and back and believe it or not, a lot can happen during my short 20 minute train commute. So much so, that I have decided to share those funny little stories. But first, let me talk about something important:

PUBLIC TRANSPORT ETIQUETTE

Common sense is a gift not everyone possess. Yes, my friends, some people do not have a radar to decide what is appropriate or not while using public transport. Things that I thought were pretty rude or obnoxious are obviously fine for other people. Some other things are funny, and some things leave you with a ‘what the!!??’ expression. I know this is about catching the train, but it made me think about how a person defines what is acceptable public behaviour or not. It’s actually a good environment to study human behaviour.

I have actually spent time creating a list of what acceptable behaviour on a public transport is. Of course, this is my opinion only (as this is my blog and all…), but I do believe that these little rules are not hard to follow and contribute for the greater good of all fellow commuter.

Before I start the list, I just need to say that I catch the train during peak hour, there is no such thing as personal space…. Here we go

• When getting in the train, do not congregate at the door – the train has a lot of space, but people tend to want to hang out by the door (not sure why??), making it impossible for new people to actually get in the train. So MOVE AWAY from the doors when you hop in.
• Please dress appropriately. By appropriately I mean wear a shirt. Bikinis are not clothes. They are bathers, if you are not a the beach, it’s like you are wearing underwear. Please don’t think it’s ok to wear a bikini in a full train just because you have been to the beach hours ago. There is something called a ‘backpack’ where you can actually carry things, even clothes, with you wherever you go. See, problem solved! And boys please, again I repeat, wear a SHIRT too. As there is no such thing as personal space, we really don’t want to be touching your bare chest during the ride. Really.
• Please do not make phone calls in the train. We barely have space to move and it can hear the whole conversation (because we are in very close proximity, we can even hear what the person at the other end is saying) I do not want to know how you got drunk last weekend, or how your boyfriend is so hot. Please spare me of the details of your personal life. I really don’t want to know.
• If you are in the train with friends during peak hour, please don’t be loud and say things that only you (and your friends) think is funny. Especially if you are making fun of the fact that we are all stuck in this stupid full train, pretending it’s the most normal thing in the world. Chances are, the whole train thinks you are an idiot. And you are.
• Turn your music down. I know you are wearing earphones or whatever, but I can still hear what you are listening to. If I wanted to listen to it too, I would ask you. Because every second person who catches the train is listening to music, the train ride becomes a symphony of different types of music being played at the same time.
• Please chose a spot and stare at it the whole way. Periodically change your spot and keep staring at it. Avoid eye contact with strangers, because let’s face it, we are all fed up of being nudged and pushed, we just want to get home!
• And lastly, when the train stops at a train station and you are inside the train standing at the door, please move out of the way so people can get out quickly and give us some more room. Do not stand at the door while people try to push their way out. The train driver gives everyone enough time to get out (and in again), you can make life so much easier by letting people get out without difficulty

I am sure as I commute, more rules will be added to the list

Stay tuned for next Wednesday as I will share more about my train rides

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As in other news, I started a ‘boxercise’ class last Thursday. It’s a circuit training based on boxing moves. It kicked my ass big time, I was not able to sit down and get up for three days because of DOMS. But I did enjoy it

Running is going great! I was very excited on Monday as I had the best run ever. 28 minutes of running and I actually did not feel like I was going to die. I am definitely improving and I am so happy with my progress. But I definitely have a lot to improve with my eating. I am very much a work in progress – I will get there eventually

To keep going when I don’t feel like it and other random thoughts

Well, it’s Tuesday again – it means the weekend has come and gone and I am AGAIN trying to recover from it. You see, weekends are very hard for me, I struggle to keep track of my eating, and I don’t exercise, usually, because we get out and about and time flies when you are having fun.

This weekend in particular was hectic. My husband auditioned for the X-Factor program (I have mixed feelings about it) and he got through to the second audition – but he won’t find out what the outcome is until April. Reality TV is not reality really, this audition thing is a four part process – it makes you wonder how those really bad singers get on TV? 

After he was back, we went swimming, and got invited for a dinner bbq – which was good until dessert came. I had some. It was Ambrosia, one of my favourites!

On Sunday though, we all went to a Brazilian restaurant (I am Brazilian, my siblings live here and my parents are here in Australia visiting). That place is a diet killer. All you can eat Brazilian barbeque for $50 (cheap for Perth standards). And the food is amazing. So we get to eat a lot of different kinds of meat, including one of my favourites, chicken hearts (don’t judge until you try it – it’s delicious!) By the time we had finished there, everyone was ready for a nap, haha!

To be honest I am not really trying hard enough and I hate myself for it. I am still trying to lose the same three kilos I have put on over the holidays. I really want to be consistent and at the same time not be paranoid about what is happening around me, what others are eating or cooking, and I don’t like saying no to desserts. Is this lack of will? I am not saying I want to binge eat on everything under the sun…. I guess I am still trying to find a balance for myself. It takes times and it is not easy.

But we keep pressing on. It’s a very discouraging, slow process sometimes. But the hope of success renew itself every time we slip up.

I wish it was as easy as taking diet pills! And NO, I am not even tempted to go down that road

I have to keep looking back and focus on what I have achieved already! I am running for goodness sake! Never in my life I ran before! This time last year I was 10kgs heavier, not doing any form of exercise and not caring about how many times I had McDonalds in a week

Progress is the KEY word here. We often keep focusing on what we are not achieving. Maybe that’s human nature, but we have to purposely make a decision to celebrate how far we have come.

Also, I want to find an eating plan to make life easy. With a full time job, three kids, a husband, a running partner, I don’t really have a lot of time to fiddle with a lot of stuff.

So today I am researching, reading a lot, thinking.