Lifestyle, Not Diet

When the diet is unsustainable.

“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

Where to begin…

Welcome to my journey

It’s hard to know where to begin; but I guess I’m just looking for a new way to give myself some accountability, and also to remind myself that despite setbacks over the last 18 months I’m not where I once was.

Around 2010 I was morbidly obese with multiple health issues.  I weighed in at over 180kg, suffered with depression and had major family issues going on.  A broken marriage, three kids (two of who have varying autistic disabilities), a poor support network and no idea of how to drag myself out of the darkness I was living in.

birthday
Yup this was me; despite the smile on my face I was dying inside

Fast forward to today.  A lot happened over the past seven years; too much to put in here as my first post, but it will get touched upon over time.  The basic gist though revolves around meeting a guy (Bill); who despite living halfway round the world from me, has cajoled, sweet talked and busted my butt as he taught me to believe in myself and my abilities.

I could lie and say it’s been all open roads and plain sailing, but I won’t.  In all honesty it has been up and down over sleeping policemen, slamming into potholes, navigating diversions and hitting road closures.  The biggest hurdle being around 18 months ago when; despite the fact I’d just reached double digits (coming in just under 100kg) a multitude of issues saw me spiral back into my darkness, losing my way yet again.

Now I’m sat kicking myself; fluctuating around 125kg, cursing the fact that there are times I just can’t control my headspace.  It’s not all bad though.  Bill has been beside me all this time; and keeps believing in me, even when I can’t.  Now I’m ready to get back into the game and this blog is part of that.

Oh just to clarify; while I may speak about my weight, the reality is I have no target weight to aim for and I don’t believe in dieting.  I weight train and try to ensure my food choices reflect the lifestyle I want to aim for.  My journey is about body recomposition and a healthy lifestyle; not weight targets, fad diets or quick fixes.