Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Food Patrol 90 Day Challenge: Bali Blowout

Image from here. La Lucciola is one of the many restaurants we frequented.
Right from the beginning of the Food Patrol challenge I knew that I would spend a week in Bali in the middle of it. After the excitement of getting back into my healthy weight range the week before I left, I was pretty determined to try and maintain my weight while I was away.

Until I arrived.

Until I laid eyes on my first menu. Oh my!

Until I had my first beer in 8 weeks.

I knew it would be near impossible to follow the schedule. Impossible to have a relatively low-carb diet. The food was too good! There were too many new things to try.

The whole week revolved around food. We had our own chef who made us breakfast, lunch and/or dinner when we weren't out and about.  We frequented some of Seminyak and Ubud's best restaurants. The flavours were incredible. So many new dishes to try. New fruit. New desserts. There may or may not have been a pork-belly dish that was sampled... when in Bali...

I tried to off-set some of the excessive consumption with exercise. We rode bikes. We went for runs. I even did a 2 hour Yoga class with the most amazing human noodle as the instructor. I sweated for hours after the class finished and my arms were sore for days. But I knew it wouldn't be enough.

I dreaded the scales upon my return. I left it until Monday (four days after I got back) before I braved it. I had a bit of post-Bali belly in the interim which I felt sure would only help my cause, although was really quite awful!

75.2kg. An increase of 700g. Not too bad considering.

I have the rest of this week and another two weeks after to complete this challenge. I am going to go hard, and then go home.

I hope to reach 73kg by the end of the challenge.

Do you put on weight when you go on holidays? If you do, how do you deal with post-holiday weight gain?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Bali Files - The grass is always greener

Image from here
I found myself exploring the villages of Bali on a bicycle last week. As I wound my way along the narrow roads trying to seamlessly integrate into the baffling flow of traffic, I smiled broadly and honestly at the scenery and people as I went by. Bali is a beautiful country. Its people are friendly and real.

I admired the lives they lead. Growing their own produce. Raising their own livestock. Working together as a community. Finding the happy in all the recent sadness.

Every plant is used from root to leaf tip. Every garden follows principles of organic gardening, companion planting and permaculture. Every animal has a place and purpose. Every person a role.

It isn't an easy life. It is manual labour of the back breaking kind. But there is beauty in the simplicity of it. Work to eat. Eat to live. Live to die.

Religion underpins the culture and the sense of completeness these lovely people have. They pray, they pay homage, they look for signs. God is everywhere in Bali. In the festivals. In the language. In the food that they eat.

I was struck by the lack of technology. The lack of obseity. The lack of processed foods.

I was impressed by the re-purposing and re-using (101 ways with bamboo anyone?) and the simple and sustainable cooking practices they have.

It is ironic, don't you think, that there are movements in first world countries to go 'back' to sustainability? We had it, but we lost it. Sure, improvements in healthcare, water purity and safety have made our societies better places to be in. But the 'improvements' are not necessarily all that.

The Balinese seek what we have. Technology. Processed food. White-collar work. They want an 'easier' life. Working 9-5 behind a desk is definitely 'easier' than farming rice in a paddy field all day in the boiling sun, raging winds and torrential rains. But what do you have to give up for this 21st Century life?

How many cars is too many? How much lack of connectivity is too much? How much money is enough?

The grass is always greener isn't it? There is so much to be learned (remembered?) from places like Bali. I wish I had had more time to spend there to gather more insights.

Don't you just love that travel wakes you up a bit?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Food Patrol 90 Day Challenge: Healthy Weight Range

Cubby house for YTT on Sunday. Just in case you are missing the not-so-famous four
When I started on the Food Patrol* program, the owner asked me what I would like to achieve.  He said: "Reach for the stars. Don't think about what you think might be possible. Tell me what you want."

I said I would like to lose 10kg (lose as in, never to be found again rather than misplace for a few months). "Totally achievable" was his response. At the time I didn't really believe him. But I wanted to. I knew I had more than 10kgs to lose but who would think it possible in 90 days?

It has been my goal for some time to reach my healthy weight range.

During one of my pregnancies I had a one-off high blood pressure reading. I was sent to the High-Risk clinic for a visit with the renal physician the next week. My blood pressure was completely normal during her tests (and for the rest of the pregnancy), but the renal doctor said "This is a warning for you".

With a family history of cardiac issues and high blood pressure, she told me that once I had finished having babies, I needed to get back into my healthy weight range and eat like I had a heart condition (low salt, low fat diet etc). Prevention.

I have never forgotten her words.

I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to (finally) reach this milestone.

My weigh in this week started with the number 74*. Top of my weight range. Back in my healthy weight range. I feel fantastic. Fitter. Thinner. My clothes fit better. Life is less tiring.

I am off on a trip with my husband (sans children) on Friday. I am hoping I can maintain my weight while I am gone, and come back to smash a few more kilos off before my 90 Day Challenge concludes (I also hope that I can resume my regular blogging again!).

I wish you all a wonderful week.

Tell me, are you in your healthy weight range? Do you think the BMI is a good scale?

* The Food Patrol is a sponsor of And then there were four.
** I have now lost 12.1 kg in 8 weeks.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Food Patrol 90 Day Challenge: water

Image from here
I passed the mid-way point on the Food Patrol* program this week. Seven weeks down.

I did my measurements and compared them to the "before" one. Yep. Still got the world's biggest thighs but they are definitely slimmer than before.  17cm each to be exact.

I lost 800g this week. Down 11.2kg in total**. I am now 1.4kg outside the very top of my 'healthy weight range'. (I am 173cm tall) This is the bit that I find the hardest. I have been here before. So close and yet, so far. I feel determined this time though. This program really works for me.

This week, in addition to the resistance training (which isn't going that well for me, unless you count my one Aquarobics class?), I am going to focus on my water consumption. I have written a post before about the importance of drinking water for your weight loss efforts. I started really well with this, but I have noticed lately that my coke zero consumption has increased at exactly the same rate that my water intake has decreased.

The Food Patrol program doesn't encourage you to drink/eat fake sugars. Some of us are just a bit addicted to them. Ahem. Even though we know they are not good for us.

It is the one thing I haven't changed about my diet since doing this diet. What would my Great-Grandmother say? So, while I will not swear off all artificial sugars, I *will* commit to drinking one glass of water after every meal and snack. Back on track with water.

Are you a water drinker? And tell me, what do you think about Aquarobics?

* The Food Patrol is a sponsor of And then there were four.
 ** For those interested in the fine print, I now weigh 75.4kg

Friday, 2 March 2012

Weekend Rewind - Wet weekend edition

Hello there. Here we are again. Ready to share some comment love at the Weekend Rewind.

I saw a weather forecast for Sydney yesterday that almost brought me to tears. 30 days of rain. They promised the same at the beginning of February too (and weren't too far off!). If there is one thing that sends this Mum of four little people, living in a small house in the 'burbs a little bit mental, it is the thought of 30 days of rain. Egad!

So this week, I want you to pull on your raincoats and gumboots and dance in the rain. Life is too short to sit on the sideline and wait for the clouds to pass. Stomp in some puddles. Feel the raindrops on your face.

And then slip us a post that will help the wet weekend feel a bit less wet. And a little shorter. And a little more enjoyable.

The rules remain the same each week. Link up a relevant post from your archives, befriend me if we aren't already acquainted, and comment on the posts of other linkers. Share posts via Facebook, Twitter et al (yours as well as others you like and a plug for the Weekend Rewind wouldn't go astray either :-)

So I will get us started...Oh George W!

Now show us yours...
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