Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Downhill Side of Detox

I'm not doing any official product-related cleanse, or detox. I'm just putting good stuff in, and letting my body do its thing, until it feels better. Yesterday was ROUGH. I was tired, bloated, cranky, and I just wanted to eat All. The. Carbs. Right. Now.

But I pushed through. I didn't do yesterday perfectly, and that's okay. I did it better than the day before, and that's what I'm aiming to do. 

It might be in my imagination, but I already feel as though I'm less bloated. By no means toned and lean, let's not get crazy - but I feel as though I look a bit different. 

Yesterday I didn't actually go walking, but I played at the beach with the kiddos for an hour, which was nice. And nutritionally, I did okay. Not great generally, but considering my mental state, and the effort it took to NOT go on an eating rampage,  I'm calling it a victory. 

Today, I hit the treadmill, got disgustingly sweaty, and then ate lunch - a ham and cheese wrap. I know tonight's dinner (Yum Cha) is probably going to push me over, but I also know that I'm doing really well and it won't take heaps of effort to make it up. 

And that weight fluctuation thing? According to Nutrition Diva, it can go up or down by several pounds over several (or one!) days. Different people have different opinions about the scale, but I need the constant feedback to measure progress - so I like to weigh in every 2-3 days. 

Here's to a Healthy New Year! 
XO, Sarah

Monday, December 29, 2014

Day Two...

Otherwise known as - 
The Point at Which I Begin To Question WHY I'm Doing This To Myself

As expected, I am beginning to feel worse, which makes me want to eat lots of unhealthy things in unbelievable quantities to make myself feel better. This is something I refuse to do. I have to break this cycle of self-medicating with carbs, sugar, salt, and butter. Getting this "detox" out of the way while my husband is off work this week is a smart move. By next week, I should be feeling a bit better, which will help me to be on top of my game with the kiddos over summer holidays. 

Yesterday's successes: 

I made it to 5 veg and 2 fruit, and surprisingly it wasn't really that hard. 
I exercised.
I kept my food diary for the whole day. 
When everyone else had a yummy-looking doughnut for morning tea, I made a smoothie instead. 

Yesterday's "almost" successes:

I nearly got all my water intake.
I only had two occurrences of mindless eating. 

The Tofu Stir-Fry was tasty, though my stir-fry skills leave a bit to be desired. The recipe could have used a lot more spice, and it wasn't particularly well written. I'd try it again, but with my own seasoning. I think I could love stir-fry in general, with a bit more practice. And the biggest surprise of all was the tofu. I thought I'd hated it, but despite the fact it never browned (it stuck to the wok and crumbled), I liked it. I found it easier to eat than beef/pork strips, which tend to be a bit chewy and dense. Any wok experts out there (wok stars? HAHAHA), feel free to send me your tips!

Today's efforts - Boxing, continue with the food diary, 5veg/2fruit, and reach my daily water consumption. I was nearly there with the last one yesterday, so it should be easily achieved today. 

Also, I re-weighed myself this morning, and it was 85.1 - it's a pretty big difference for just a day and a half, and I doubt it's from actual loss. But how much does weight fluctuate in a day? I want to look into that, I think. 

I'll close this now, because breakfast (which I don't want to eat, but MAN, that whole "must eat breakfast" thing will get me every single time) is calling. Untoasted muesli, Light Greek Yogurt, tinned pears, and of course, coffee and vitamins. 

Have a great day, and make thoughtful choices, gang! 

XO, Sarah

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Day One

Up with the sparrows, as the (somewhat modified) expression goes. 

No really, I was up with the sparrows this morning. I saw them on my walk. So I did not talk myself out of the walk. In fact, I sneaked out, and backed the car out of the driveway without turning on the engine. Like a teenager sneaking out at night. Except I'm a grown woman, sneaking out for a bit of exercise and time alone. Well, alone except for the sparrows anyway. After a walk, I went shopping, and got ingredients for tonight's dinner - tofu stir-fry. I've always been mildly curious about tofu. I want to like it, because I'm not a huge meat eater (although I have to say that the lamb at Christmas could convert any herbivore). So we'll see. 

When I got home, breakfast. Today was two eggs, scrambled with a cup of mushrooms and a handful of grape tomatoes. Oh, and coffee- but half the normal amount. It's probably an easy way to cut a few calories, and takes less time to drink than a giant soup bowl/mug of coffee. 

Also different, is a bottle of water with each meal. It helps me to feel full, reducing portion sizes, as well as keeping me hydrated and helping my body to function a bit more smoothly. 

Little changes, but good ones. 


Preemptive Strike

New Year's Day is just around the corner, and with that comes the dreaded Resolution. Guaranteed to be broken or given up by the end of January, am I right?

Not this time. 

I'm going to post some actual numbers. Now numbers are really just numbers, but they give a reference point. So that next December, when I am writing about how I just climbed Mt. Warning, or how freaking amazing I feel, I can look back and see just how far I've come. 

Current weight: 86.8 (this was done in the evening, so may be wildly different first thing in the morning, which is when I plan on doing it normally. Will check in the morning. 

Current waist measurement: 111 cm. Yikes. Considering that the Heart Foundation of Australia says above 88cm is putting my health at high risk, that's pretty confronting. 

Yes, my friends. I'm getting real. Real-er than I was, at any rate. Time to put on my big-girl pants (pun SO NOT INTENDED), and do what I know I need to do. 

Tonight's better choice was to choose a stir-fry instead of a curry, and to skip the rice. It was delicious (Garlic), most of the sauce is left behind in the container, and I feel full. I don't know how to count the calories in it, but I think it's a reasonably healthy option, when put side by side with a creamy red curry, and coconut sticky rice. :)

Tomorrow, I'm going to post some 'before' photos. I want them to be public, so I can remember what 111cm really felt like.  


Friday, December 19, 2014

He's Right (But Keep That Between Us, Okay?)

There's a recurring theme in my life, of serving others and ignoring my own needs. Notice, I said needs - not wants. I ignore those too, but today, I'm dealing with needs. 

I need mental space. Every day, or I start daydreaming of running away and changing my name. 

I need physical space. It's weird - I love to give cuddles, but on my own terms. Especially at the end of the day - I struggle to not shriek "DON'T TOUCH ME!!!" at the unfortunate soul who approaches me to climb aboard. 

I need mindful, intentional eating habits and food choices. I let the noise, clutter, and chaos overwhelm me until I just start eating whatever I find, whenever I find it. This is not exceptionally helpful. 

I need exercise. The benefits of regular activity are well-documented. Personally, I know how much better I feel when I have this as part of my daily routine; I am a better person for it. 

I need "quiet" time, spent in conversation with my Creator. Preferably at the start of each day, but even when it's an ongoing discussion throughout the day, I notice a difference. 

Why do I push these needs aside continually? I can't be the only person to do that, can I? 

It starts the night before, when my children are finally in bed and asleep. I need to get everything ready for the next morning, and get to bed by 9pm - but I have a husband who is a bit of a night owl, and I feel I should spend time with him, so I go to bed at 10-ish. He doesn't ask me to, it's a choice I make. The late bedtime, combined with often broken sleep means that getting up at 5am is a big ask. Then I have lost almost my only chance for exercise, mental/physical space, and I am feeling "behind" for the rest of the day. Which leads to erratic food choices, and high levels of stress. Everything becomes a huge deal, and I find it impossible to get back "on track", or prioritise anything.

The other day I declared to my husband that next year was going to be different. I would focus more on my needs. His response made me think. He said "Why wait? Shouldn't you do that now?" 

Hmm. Maybe? 

Probably, but how? How do I say "no" to other things, in order to say "yes" to my own needs? For that matter, what things will I choose to say "no" to? How do I decide?

Just some thoughts from a brain in serious overload. :)

XO, Sarah

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

So...maybe a *teeny* bit crazy?


I haven't been feeling all that positive about my body lately. The humid, sticky summer has descended, and I've been feeling overwhelmed by the month of December. Excited about Christmas, Ecstatic about the end of the school year, but seriously drowning in paperwork, social engagements, tired children, and my diet and exercise have reflected it. Lots of poor choices, hurried meals, late meals after the children go to bed, sneaky treats in a vain attempt to soothe my jingle-jangled nerves. 

The weather has meant that my clothing is just uncomfortable, full stop. I want to spend the next three months in the paddling pool, in my swimmers. Since I can't do that, I have to figure out a different way to cope. I have to stop loathing my body, and start loving it. Loving it by feeding it food that will nourish and sustain it. Loving it by giving it exercise. (This doesn't feel very loving at present. It feels rather like punishment, and I'm walking VERY slowly!) 

In short, I have to stop confusing self-abuse with kindness.

Yesterday, I was in the bathroom -I'd popped in to put something away, and I looked in the mirror, which I rarely do. I'm not able to look in the mirror and think kind thoughts about what I see, so I avoid doing it. But this time, I forced myself to make eye contact with my reflection, and to speak kindly to her. Imagining that she was a dear friend, I said all the things I would easily say to someone else, but find so impossible to say to myself. It felt a bit mad, and I debated writing about this (generally, confessing that you talk to yourself in the third person is frowned upon), but I want this space to be real, and it doesn't get much more real than admitting I talk to myself!

I said to her that she will not change a thing until she can see what others have seen; she is beautiful, she is made in God's own image. That in the history of all creation, there has never been another like her. That she is loved beyond measure. It felt weird to look myself in the eye. I can't seem to reconcile the image in the mirror with the image in my mind. And I don't like that I am so critical of someone's appearance. My own, that is. Maybe it's that I can't see the beauty inside, and it colours how I see the outside. 

Whatever the cause, I am choosing to speak kindly to the woman in the mirror, choosing to love her right where she is, choosing to nurture her and be her friend. Because she looks as though she needs a friend like me. 


Monday, November 3, 2014

Ridiculously Happy

Okay - so I know, it's just a number. But it's a number I haven't seen in 6 years, at least. 

Size 14 (Australian, no idea what it is in US sizing). I am beyond encouraged. Little changes, applied consistently, is working for me. I miss the mark sometimes, but that is so okay. I get back up, brush off the crumbs, go for a walk, and try again. Seeing that number again has given me hope that someday, I might reach a size 12. Which is also JUST a number. But one which will give me so many more clothing options, and I really would like to dress a bit less frumpy for the everyday. Not because it makes me a better person, or because it defines me - but because I long to feel good about myself. Tonight, for just a moment - I allowed myself to feel love for my shape. It felt so magical, it was like being inside someone else's head. Someone confident. I liked it, so I'm going to keep on working at this, because I want to feel like that most of the time. Who wouldn't, really? 

I'm also starting a new project. Walking a marathon - in stages. I will never run an actual marathon. It doesn't appeal, running for that long. Running at all, for that matter. Very bad things would happen if I were to take up running at this stage. So walking it is. But I don't have the time (or stamina) to walk a marathon all in one go - so I'm doing it one walk at a time, until the total distance equals a marathon. 

Today's effort? 2.48 kilometers. So a long way to go yet. But I will get there! 

XO, Sarah

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Is Anybody Listening?!?!?

If my body could use actual words, it would probably say just that. "Um, Hello? Can you HEAR me?"

Since it can't, it speaks in other ways - like getting sick. And for some reason, this flu has been tough to shake. I am definitely not SICK sick, but my energy levels are so low. I can do short bursts of activity, but then take two days to recover. It's a big change from my previous pace of life, which is a whole lot of 'doing' and not much 'being'. A lot of driving my children to destinations, A lot of visiting with friends, and so on. I think my body has been trying to get my attention, and instead of listening to what it had to say, I was offering quick fixes for its problems. Tired? Have another coffee. Achy? Take a Panadol. Energy flagging? PB&J. 

The problem with that is that eventually, my body decided it would take matters into its own hands. I was gifted with influenza, and I really mean to say 'gifted'. Because I was so sick, I could do almost nothing. I was forced to slow down, to listen to the messages my body was telling me. I gave it what it was crying out for, and slowly, we are walking a road to health. 

Until I'm nutritionally back on my feet, I'm back on my multivitamin, iron tablet, and omega-3. I notice a difference when I'm taking them, and it's worth it. My appetite is still a bit off, so it will fill in the gaps. 

I'm still working on drinking more water. I'm still not buying junk at the shop. Which is good, because the other night I really really wanted it, and we had nothing in the house. 

I'm also resting when I need to. Letting go of the 'do' in favour of the 'be'. 

And I've signed up with a health coaching service, which was a while ago but I think it's 'clicking' now. 

I've started my food/exercise diary again. It works really well for me, so I just need to do it.

And that's about all for today. Which is really quite a lot of progress (actual and mental), so I'm calling it a victory!
xo, Sarah

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Plot Twist!

Things have been slightly derailed here. The flu came to visit my home (we're blaming the preschooler), and appetites, energy levels, have been all over the place. Plus, one of my children had to stay in hospital (show off much?) for three days, so I was driving back and forth, and we were absolutely inundated with generous deliveries of healthy meals and even some sweets!! For the most part, I continued (as my stomach allowed) to make reasonable choices. A few slips, mostly because my need to stay awake whilst driving required caffeine. Now though, we're home, and I'm able to make the switch from "Survivor: Kardella Ave" to normal family life. Or as normal as it can be during school holidays. One thing I'm determined to do though, is have set meal times. I don't want to spend all day in the kitchen, while the children just revolve through. I want us to all eat at the same time, so I can clean up the mess and get on with the fun of holidays. Just under one month to go, and while I've been knocked for 6, I am still determined that I should not give up. My original goal, my original intent - it's all still there. And even on a hard day, when I can't see the end of this road, I still love them more than chips. Or Coke, or Cadbury. Yes, even Cadbury. 

XO, Sarah

Sunday, September 7, 2014

40 Days to 40!

So far so good. I went shopping after a very long day chasing a toddler, pacifying a preschooler, playing nursemaid to two sick children. I hadn't eaten dinner, so I was hungry. Tired, hungry, and stressed would normally guarantee some dodgy decision making, involving Aisle 4 and some Brie. I was under budget constraints though, and the knowledge that I'd have to confess it here made it an easy decision. So no junk food today! 

As for the new healthy choice I made today? I ate breakfast before I had coffee. A proper breakfast, with fruit.

There you have it. One habit sustained, one habit begun. Small, but wise choices. 

Good night!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Selfishly Unselfish

Which sounds like a massive contradiction in terms, I know. How can one be both selfish AND unselfish? 

For years I have struggled with my weight. I have hidden behind any number of obstacles, too afraid to climb over them. I wrote about it here, and I wanted to believe that I was ready to make real, lasting changes. But as is normal for me, I quickly let my enthusiasm get swallowed by everyday life. 

Raising four squidlets is HARD. Supporting my husband through a law degree? A LOT HARDER than I thought it would be. But do you know the hardest thing of all? Admitting that I am important enough to be a priority. I'm quite happy to schedule my day around my husband's running, the children's swimming, housework - but seeing my own exercise as equally important? No way. I put so much effort and thought into planning what my children will eat for lunch, ensuring they have a healthy selection of food to sustain their growth and learning at school. Do I even come close to putting that much thought into my own need for sustained energy throughout the day? Nope. 

I've written about self-care vs. self-love, and I think too often, I class "self-care" as selfish. It feels good, therefore it must be a luxury. Why do I think this way? It's not helpful, and all it's scored me is a body which functions poorly, feels worse, and is not yet forty, but feels 75. 

I turn Forty in just 41 days. I won't be reaching my ultimate health goals in that short time frame, thanks to a finely honed knack for making excuses and procrastinating. My goal in that time isn't based on weight or numbers. My goal in that time is to adopt just one healthy habit each day, and to sustain it. By the time I enter my Fortieth Year Of Life (Capitalisation intended), I will be living a healthier, more active lifestyle. The weight, the fitness - will take care of itself, if I do my part. 

One of my hurdles is emotional eating. I'm stressed a lot. And this means I eat a lot. Or eat erratically. Or eat too much. Or too little. 

Another hurdle is water. Or the lack thereof. The birth of my third child (and the fourth, 13 months after that) has left me with a lingering complication, meaning that I don't drink a lot of water. Since one of my health goals is to drop excess weight and adapt a lifestyle so that I can have this complication surgically repaired, it's kind of funny that I have to drink more water as part of the process. 

Aaaaand...exercise. This one is weird. I actually really like getting out and exercising. I loved going out for a 5k walk, I loved going swimming. I loved doing my exercise class before I fell pregnant with #3. The challenge here isn't that I hate exercise. It's that I have to sacrifice caring for my family in the here and now, in order to be able to better care for them later. I feel like it's wrong for me to be unavailable for the 30-45 minutes it takes for me to squeeze in a workout. The reality is, I'll be unavailable for a heck of a lot longer than that if I don't make my health a priority. And given the benefits to my mental health, I should be all over this. 

So there you have it. Nothing earth-shattering. Just one mama's journey to wellbeing, one habit at a time. 

Today, I was at the shop with two of my children (stressful much?), and I was staring at the ice cold bottles of soft drink, and the bags of chips. I so wanted to go there. But I thought of this article, and softly but firmly said to no one in particular, "I love them more than I love Coke and chips". Hence the name of this blog. This blog is as much a promise to them as it is to me. That I will choose to love them more than I love the crap food and unhealthy lifestyle. I will love them enough to hit the treadmill. I will love them enough to not buy chips. And every day I do not buy them is a victory, a small but hard-won victory, which will lead me to the ultimate goal of a healthier, fitter, (hopefully slimmer!) me. 

Today's healthy change: Not buying junk food at the shop. 

Thanks for reading,