The Healthy Eating Challenge – September update…

Target Date:     31st December 2012

Target Weight:    8st 12lbs (without clothes)

Target waist measurement:     28″

Starting Weight:    9st 5lbs (without clothes)

Starting Waist Measurement:   33″ (yes you have read that correctly!)

 

 Target for 30th September 2012: 

Lose 1lb (this will be measured by staying 1lb lighter for more than 7 consecutive days)

This was a mini target for this month to allow for research and implementing ideas

How did I do?

Major Achievements: 

eating an apple a day for my morning snack

drinking only water at work

avoiding cakes and biscuits at work – almost (see below!)

eating less food for evening meal on a smaller plate

taking daily supplements and Flaxseeds

Teeny Weeny Temptations:

I Chocolate Mini Roll (at home – bought to cheer husband up)

I packet of Chocolate Raisins (from Macmillan box at work)

1 tiny party plate of crisps, cheese and french bread (birthday treat at work)

1 Afternoon tea with jam and cream Scone and Trifle (at John Lewis)

Could do better:

Increasing my steps at work – getting up and going to see people rather than email – I have made a conscious effort but not quite good enough

NGOTGY:

(not got off the ground yet)

An evening walk

Yoga

Lots more sleep

Choosing new recipes

Preparing and taking lunches and planned snacks to work

And now the measurements…

Weight as of 1st October:  9st 3lb (yes yes yes I did it 🙂 )

Waist measurement: no change at 33″ (sigh! 😦 )

All in all not a bad result – I have been consistently at 9st 3lb either just over at 9.36 or just under at 9.28 now for the last seven days so I think I can claim a small victory here and really that has been achieved without too much hardship – it is notable though that these little changes have had a desired effect.

The Difficulties

My draw backs have definitely been that I really haven’t had the time to spend on my challenge and I am hoping when we are back to normal life at our house (when daughter and partner return to theirs – getting closer!) I will have more time to spend on myself. 

Work is pretty manic too at the moment my colleague on long term sick now awaiting radiotherapy and her second op in January and my helper off sick this week too!  So I have been holding the fort on my own and I am absolutely worn out this week.

My Teeny Weeny Temptations are obviously when I am either at work or out and about rather than when at home – it is easy to see the pattern when it is documented like this.

The Positives

As you can see from my NGOTGY section I have plenty of work to do to implement the changes I set for myself last month but after doing this challenge over the last few weeks I realise that it is the small and simple changes that are lasting.  The ‘apple’ as I have said before has become my symbol for this challenge and I cannot imagine walking out of the house in the morning without it  – it would be like going out without my keys or my bag.  I automatically reach for my supplements before getting my breakfast and I am so used to drinking water now that my colleagues do not even ask if I want a cup of tea, however, I will be re-introducing a herb or green tea to my list as this is quite a healthy drink.

 

The Next Steps

So from what I have learnt already I have decided to introduce each new challenge more gradually and break each one down into a smaller task than I had first planned.  So my next task this week is to spend time sifting through all my recipes and make myself a folder of snacks, lunches and meals that are easy to prepare, low on calories and high on nutritional value.  From this I will make some kind of menu plan and then a shopping list and then implement the changes starting with lunches for work.  The reason for choosing this first is that when I buy my lunch I have no idea of the content or calorific value.  I suspect that the soup I get from the local sandwich shop, although homemade, is laced with fats, fresh cream and salt – homemade would be much better.

On the Yoga front – I have photocopied some of the Asanas that I wish to work on with a view to laminating these as A5 cards to stick to the wall.  As my only real space for such exercise is in the living room and I do not feel I can contort myself into weird and wonderful positions in full view of my future son-in-law I will have to wait until I can have a little more privacy in the house.

 If I manage to get more sleep that will be a bonus and I will make an effort to set a limit of going to bed before midnight but this will not be a focus this week.  I am expecting that when we are back to the two of us the cooking and washing up marathon that I have now will ease and we will be able to eat much earlier giving me my evenings back.

The October Challenge

I set myself the goal of losing 2lbs for this month so I would then reach a Target Weight of 9st 2lb by October 31st (which has to be fairly consistent for 7 consecutive days to qualify).  As I have dropped more than I thought for September I have a little slack here and am already ahead.  It will be interesting to see if the changes I have already made and adhered to keep my weight constant and when I implement my next tasks how much impact they have.  Wish me luck!

PS  For more ideas have a look over at Laura’s site movetoportugal – I noticed this week she too is setting herself a few targets to lose weight.  I wish you well Laura – I am looking for good ideas so will be following along with you.

The Healthy Eating Challenge…

 

Target Date:     31st December 2012

Target Weight:    8st 12lbs (without clothes)

Target waist measurement:     28″

Starting Weight:    9st 5lbs (without clothes)

Starting Waist Measurement:   33″ (yes you have read that correctly!)

 

Target for 30th September: 

Lose 1lb (this will be measured by staying 1lb lighter for more than 7 consecutive days)

This is a mini target this month to allow for research and implementing ideas

Changes I have made so far –

  • Eating one apple each day:  I have done this religiously on my working days
  • Buying biscuits that are lower in calories: I have bought a supply of Fig Rolls each one is only 61 calories – I ate 4 during the weekend at the cottage but we were doing plenty of manual labour – doesn’t that help burn the extra calories off?
  • Avoiding cakes and biscuits at work:  I have been tempted only 3 times in three weeks – main culprit was the M&S Chocolate Teacakes – 75 calories each.
  • Measuring the amounts of yoghurt and cereal for breakfast
  • Taking my supplements, omega oil and a sprinkle of Flaxseeds
  • Drinking only water at work – partly so I don’t have to go to the kitchen and pass the tempting cake laden table at work

 

Small and not so small changes I need to address next –

Diet (Food and Drink intake and portion control)

  • Make a snack plan – I need to take another snack to work for the afternoon and add some protein to my apple snack in the morning – as I have read this makes it a more balanced way to eat.
  • Eat 2 Brazil nuts each day this will give me all the Selenium I need for the day
  • Introducing a salad at lunchtime while at work Monday – Thursday
  • Search my recipe books for some quick healthy meals to replace any ready meals that I might be tempted to use when I need a quick meal.
  • Look at using a smaller dinner plate – our cereal bowls are already fairly small and I am weighing my breakfast so they are not a problem.

Sleep

  • I need to go to bed at 10.30 each night to get a good 8 hours sleep as I usually get up at 6.30am – bearing in mind I am sometimes stumbling into bed at 12.30 I may find this difficult to adjust and get everything done that I want to within waking hours if there are fewer – so bear with me if I do not reply to comments left or indeed comment on your posts whilst the adjustment takes place!

Exercise

  • This could be my biggest challenge and it really will be little steps as I will struggle to fit in any time for exercising.  At one time I attended a Yoga class every Monday evening and would like to get back to this but I will have to wait until my daughter moves back into her own home (any day week now!) as meal times are a bit frantic at the moment and I can’t cope with any more comings and goings.  So I will practice three yoga exercises in the morning and evening, the Cat Pose, the Tree Pose and the Triangle Pose.
  • I will increase my number of steps in a day – as I don’t know what my average is at the moment I might think about buying a pedometer – until then I will try to go for an evening walk around the block – this however depends on how early we can eat our evening meal, since my daughter and her partner have been here it is approaching 8.30 before we eat.  Once they move out I can aim for 7.15pm when my better half gets home.

Visualising

  • I have read somewhere that it helps to have a mental picture of what you want to look like and to post pictures of this image around the house – so this is mine – a nice trim waist!

English: Woman Measuring Waist.

My thoughts and intentions –

There are a number of major adjustments to make like going to bed early and making tea earlier so I may do this in gradual 15 minute step reductions every other day over the coming week until I reach the target time.  Life is difficult at work at the moment as my colleague has recently had her breast removed and if she has to have radiotherapy it may be a while until she is back  (she is doing remarkably well though and sailed through the op) but meanwhile I have a heavy work load to keep up with and cannot guarantee getting away at 4pm on the dot.

I need to get down to some serious planning now for the snacks and meals so I have time to prepare and shop for them.

I also want to photocopy the Yoga poses and laminate them A5 size so I can stick them with those yellow sticky pads to the wall where I can see them.

So after a quick roam around my favourite blogs I had better start as I mean to go on and begin preparing for bed and a good LONG nights sleep. 

Night, night everyone x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every step you take…

Sorry for the break in transmission I just had to put my blog ‘categories’ into some kind of order before moving on – I felt they were getting out of control.  When I started my blog I really hadn’t thought about categories or paid much attention to them and then soon realised that some of my headings crossed over making it hard to choose which one to assign a mixed post to.

It is so easy to forget just where I have got to when I have a break from blogging for more than a day or so but I will start with a progress report on my Healthy Eating plan.
On September 3rd, first thing in the morning, I weighed myself and also took a note of my muscle, fat and water content that my scales measure (posh scales reduced from £59.99 to £11.99 a bargain from TK MAX 3 years ago).  I also took a waist measurement (which I won’t go into publicly!!) as this is my worst area and the one that I am hoping will trim down.  It is thirty something inches (which is as revealing as I will go) and I want to get it to 28″ even 30″ would be a massive breakthrough.  I will be posting the results in a later post.

On Thursday morning I took advantage of the free Flora Cholesterol test at my local Sainsbury’s in town (they are running it for the two weeks if you are interested).  I booked in for 8.30am so I could do a fasting test (which is more accurate) before work and then have breakfast afterwards.  I will also post the results from this later.

I found this Bamboo Serving Platter for £15.99 in Wilkinson’s Classic White tableware range and thought it would go very well with my collection of white china for parties.  As it is quite large I have now discovered that it is wider than my cupboard is deep!

So it stayed on my table for a while waiting for a home but when I went and bought the extra fruit for my healthier snacks hey presto!…  it makes a great fruit bowl!!

I have been working on breakfast this week too – I usually take some supplements in the morning.  I have to take Vitamin D as a recent blood test revealed I was very low – I also take a pro-biotic and an oil capsule and at the moment I am using up a bottle of Ginko Biloba before it goes out of date though I can’t say that I have noticed any difference whilst taking this but can’t see them go to waste – supplements are so expensive these days.  In the small container is 25ml of Aloe Vera juice (good for digestion) – and a glass of water to wash the tablets down.

As I mentioned in my last post I am switching the Sainsburys 2% fat natural yoghurt (which I prefer) for the Yeo Valley 0% fat natural yoghurt which I used to eat until they changed the packaging and for some reason it seemed to have a different texture – slightly more slimy than creamy.

So this is breakfast – I whizzed some apricots in the food processor into a puree to have with the yoghurt and weighed out the cereal which is Rude Health mixed flakes in this case, though I also like the Weetabix Oatibix Flakes (shame they don’t do organic).  I often add a bit of wheat free museli in with the flakes and I top them with a dessert spoonful of Flaxseeds and some organic soya milk.

I have been getting a list of snacks together and going by Ian Marber’s book ‘How not to get fat’ you should always eat a complex carbohydrate with a protein.  These are my favourites –

  • Banana with a few Almonds
  • Apple and a few Walnuts / Brazil nuts
  • Apple with a small piece of hard cheese
  • Chopped egg with a small amount of Mayonnaise with Salad Cress on 2 Oatcakes
  • Goats Cheese on a slice of cooked Beetroot on 2 Oatcakes
  • Edam and grated Carrot in a small wholemeal Pitta
  • Cooked Lentils mixed with chopped Tomatoes and Rocket on Oatcakes

So I feel I have dealt with breakfast and snacks and I will begin to put these into practice during next week.  Whilst I am making progress on this aspect I am going to move on and look at how I can introduce more exercise into my daily life as well as more quality sleep.

For every 10,000 steps we take we burn 400 calories.

A small hot Chocolate from Costa has about 121 Calories – so I would need to walk about 2,500 steps to burn this off.  I am not even sure how far that is but I am sure I am not going to be doing many steps sat at my desk!  So I need to think of ways to incorporate more steps which might even include less blogging.  I am of course looking to become healthier as well as a little lighter and I like the fact that I can do both at once.

Lose weight while you sleep – The Dream Diet?

There has been an increasing amount of research suggesting that good sleep and weight loss are connected or rather poor and lack of sleep leading to weight gain due to a disruption of two hormones – (just try Googling it for an explanation)

I have poor sleep since having my Thyroid removed – I wake at around 4am each morning needing to go to the loo and then cannot get back to sleep.  I should drink my cocoa earlier in the evening but always forget (I cannot break away from my cocoa drink at night – it is my Enid Blyton comfort drink before bedtime!)

I should also try to get to bed at a reasonable time and that is why I am going to set myself up to do shorter 5-10 minute posts each evening instead of these essays I seem to keep producing.  Again the health benefits can only do me good.
I am grateful for all your ideas so far and look forward to any comments you might have on exercise and sleep.