Lifestyle, Not Diet

When the diet is unsustainable.

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“Eighty percent kitchen, twenty percent exercise.”

 

Fresh Fridge
The new fresh foods fridge

That’s the old adage often bandied around when asked how to lose weight. How true it may be is up for your own interpretation, as there is a school of thought that thinks the 80/20 rule means eating healthily for eighty percent of the time, and indulging for twenty percent with no referral to exercise.

What I believe to be true is that: a) it’s not about losing weight, it’s about losing fat and building muscle to help change your body composition; and b) the best way to change your body is to utilise tools from both a nutritional point of view and an exercise one.

My basic routine is monitor my food intake; making sure I get a good balance of protein, carbs and fat, while working to a calorie deficit. This may sound funny given the size I was; but I’m a forgetful eater, so tracking my food helps me remember to eat. I very rarely feel hungry; and can go for most of the day before realising I’ve not had anything.

Exercise wise; I weight train in my own home gym (currently 4 times a week), and attend tai chi once a week.  However; this post isn’t about me telling you my way is the best way, or that it fits everyone. It fits me; and I’m getting results in MY body, which what I want.

Pickled Coleslaw
Pickled Coleslaw

I guess the biggest difference between now and my previous attempts is my mindset shifted, and I stopped thinking about being on a diet trying to lose weight. Instead my aim for the past several years has been to change my lifestyle; and lose fat whilst building muscle.

Yes, there have been ups and downs, especially over the past 18 months.  Family issues, lack of motivation, sinking into the darkest recesses of my mind have all been obstacles in my way.  Add the fact it took me years to get where I was; and the amount of fat to lose, I’m not going to magically fix myself in a few months.  However; like riding a bike, I never truly forgot what to do because I had begun to engrain it into my life.

That’s why last weekend; after having got another fridge (finally!!!) and loading up on fresh fruit and vegetables, I got my daughter helping me out in the kitchen.  Pickled coleslaw, chilli jam, banana bread, and pickled cucumber to name a few of the things we put together.  You see; changing my lifestyle means I’ve been changing the whole family lifestyle as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an ogre. There are no “bad” foods. We still go out for meals, and the kids still get treats.  It’s simply some foods need to be moderated a little more than others, and I’m trying to teach my children how they can make better choices for themselves.  I don’t want to see my kids to suffer healthwise as I have, and the easiest way to do that is to teach them now.

Plus; with all the social activities and clubs they have going on, and their preference for technology when they are in the house, it’s actually nice to be able to spend time creating yummy  foods together as a family.

Spicy Burgers Cooked
Homemade spicy burgers

I’ll sleep when I’m dead

When sleep don’t come easy…

It’s been a  hectic week, but I’m heading into the weekend with positive thoughts in my head.  Which is a lot better than where my headspace was at 0800 hours Monday morning.

Issues with kids are never a good start to anyone’s day.  Neither is sitting at your computer an hour later; working out the day’s plan in your head as you fill out a form, and suddenly realise it’s the 27th and you have a university report deadline at 1700 hours the following day.  Needless to say all plans went out the window.  My Tai Chi class was skipped, my workout was scrapped, and emergency measures instigated.

Problem was; it wasn’t I hadn’t done any work, I’d just lost track of the date and had spent the weekend doing other reports that are also due over the next few weeks.  However; a full day of me working on computer, and proofreading by my lovely partner, saw me going to bed with a report that was basically finished.  The following morning had me just doing a final proofread and checking the referencing before submitting and heading off to my business research class.

The rest of the week has gotten better over time.  Workouts got done on Tuesday and Wednesday; another report is almost complete, a group assignment has been started, and I’ve even helped my training partner (Spirited Fitness) start her own blog to record her journey.  In fact there’s only one issue I can’t seem to fix at the moment, and that’s my sleeping habits.

decent-sleep

I’ve always had issues sleeping.  Some people would class me as an insomniac, but years ago several doctors agreed I didn’t fit the criteria as I don’t display the classic signs.  It wasn’t I couldn’t sleep;  and would lay tossing and turning, even though I was tired. It was I just didn’t get tired.  I could function normally for a few days (my personal record is 5 days) with no sleep; and then would crash for hours, or spend a few days catnapping as well as going to bed.

Now I do get more tired (probably old age lol); and my max is usually two days before I’m ready for my bed.  However; now there are nights I lay awake trying to sleep but it doesn’t come, or I wake up at regular intervals.  I’m still able to function properly the following day, but I can feel less refreshed than I should.

Funny thing is though; I can go to sleep easily during the day for a few hours, if I have the time which is rare.  Another interesting factor is; I rarely have issues sleeping properly at night if I’m in New Zealand with my fella.

With my weight training I know I need the sleep to help my body recover.  So I guess I’ve just got to try to figure out how to make myself drop off and get a decent night’s sleep on a more regular basis than I am.