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Friday, 31 August 2012

The end of my first 2 month challenge

Morning all. This post comes to you at a time that should otherwise be occupied by assignment writing, especially seeing as how it is due in 7 hours and 47 minutes. However, today is 31 August 2012, the final day in my first weight loss goal - 5kg loss in 2 months - so I feel I should report in.

It was touch and go for the last two weeks, particularly seeing as how I didn't register a loss on 22 August. That's it, I was toast. I reevaluated and set myself the goal of getting within one kilo of the 88kg goal.
Ordinarily, I would have reported my success of Weigh In Wednesday, but as today was just two days later, I thought I could hold it over. Weigh In Wednesday was quite successful this week, weighing in at 89kg. You little ripper! I did it! I weighed in under 90kg. This was a monumental day indeed!

As today is the the last day of the first goal challenge, I decided to do something I wouldn't usually do: I stepped on the scales, with great trepidation I might add, for the second time this week. I called to A to come and check what I was seeing. Sure enough, EIGHTY EIGHT KILOGRAMS! I DID IT! I reached my goal! Never mind the current puzzled state of the grey matter - how the heck did I lose one kilo in two days!? - I succeeded. I did something else that I thought I wouldn't do.
Today marks:

  • 5kg lost over winter from 1 July to 31 August 2012
  • 10kg lost since 18 April 2012
  • The first time in almost 2 years since I have been under 90kg
  • And something else but I really can't remember
To say I'm happy is slightly underrated!

All in all, I'd say this week has been somewhat of a relative success: noticeable changes in measurements, weight loss, and my A is almost over his bout of sickness that has rendered him helpless the last two days.
Apologies there are no pictures today, but it really is time that I get to finishing this assignment! No doubt there will be pictures on the next entry showing our costumes from the 70s party we're off to tomorrow night!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Measurement Day

Today is a monumental day - it's a whole year since A and I moved into our cute little apartment! Woohoo to us!
Today, being the 27th, is also Measurement Day. Here's what they were on 27 July vs. 27 August:

27 July 2012                                            27 August 2012

Neck - 37cm                                                               Neck - 36cm
Bust - 111cm                                                               Bust - 111cm
Under Bust - 96cm                                                  Under Bust - 93cm
Waist - 106cm                                                           Waist - 96cm
Hips - 124cm                                                             Hips - 120cm
Thighs - 74cm                                                           Thighs - 72cm

What do you think!? I know what I think - I AM STOKED! TEN CENTIMETRES OFF MY WAIST! A loss everywhere except that darned bust! It's disappointing but I'm really not that surprised.
Not sure how to take your measurements? Use this video here

Now, I promised you I would take my iron tablets...and I'm really bad and I haven't. Definitely have only myself to blame. Starting to feel fatigued as I write this. Must. Have. Iron. Pill. In. Morning.

Moving forward. Food. We all love it. We all need it. This is how our plan looks this week:

Monday - Chili Con Carne and quinoa (substituting the Big Red for a tin of tomatoes)
Tuesday - Fishy Wrap (frozen crumbed fish fillet in a Mission wholegrain wrap, with fillings of your desire)
Wednesday - A's mum cooks for us on Wednesday nights because we both have uni in the evening
Thursday - I'll be eating a Lean Cuisine meal; A will be eating at work
Friday - Roast (lamb or beef) with veges
Saturday - Unsure, friend's 40th birthday, not sure if we need to eat before the party or not
Sunday - One-pan chicken and chick peas (I always want to put an 'e' on the end of peas)

The Chili Con Carne and the One-pan chicken and chick peas haven't been cooked in this house yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they turn out!

My last entry I also promised food pictures. Here's yesterday's breakfast of cheesy quinoa pancakes and a fruit smoothie:

I didn't eat all three pancakes, and it should have been either the smoothie or the pancakes, not both. Was very bloated afterwards. Super tasty though, and saved me from the wrath of morning tea at Babcia's!

Smoothie recipe as follows (serves 2):

2 cups A2 Light Milk
2 ripe bananas
6 strawberries, halved
1 kiwi fruit
4 tsp Beechworth honey (approximation)
2 tsp Jalna Low Fat Natural Yoghurt

Chop the fruit, blend with one cup of milk. Add yoghurt and honey. Blend again. Add one cup of milk. Serve.

Remember how I said that Saturday we have a 40th birthday party to go to? Well, it's a 70s themed party, so the idea is that we go dressed up in 70s gear. We got A a groovy shirt from the Australian Red Cross Shop in Hawthorn on Thursday. I wasn't having much luck after having checked out two op shops; then yesterday we decided we'd buy a plain white top/dress for me to tie-dye. I started to think about it - how would I do multiple colours? I was just going to jump on YouTube to find out how, but then I thought about the costs involved: buying different dyes, buying a top/dress. Scrap that. Back to the drawing board.
Today I had to pop into Elsternwick to go deposit some money into someone's bank account. I went to check out the Salvos and the Australian Red Cross Shop just up from the bank. Winner winner, chicken dinner! I got a dress, a pair of sunglasses and three necklaces (okay, one of them was brand new but on clearance at Sussan's) for the bargain price of $18.90!
Best part? The dress is a MEDIUM! A MEDIUM! *dances a little jig* Oh hells yeah! A medium! I didn't believe it, so I had to ask the volunteer in the Salvos shop if it fit me! haha! Woot, super excited!
Oh, and did I mention that the sunglasses are genuine Nina Ricci and that I paid less than one-one hundredth of the RRP!? Totally hit the jackpot today! I was going to give you a picture, but it's too grainy so you'll have to wait til Saturday!

Well, time for me to get moving; it's 18:40 and time to get dinner cooking!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The moment you realise you're plateauing.

The last week or so, I've felt really blah. You know, that feeling between wanting to give a shit and not? That's where I've been all week. All week. That's at least seven days. No, I lie. I've really only been there since Wednesday when the scales didn't budge at all. Would you count a 100g loss as losing? I didn't. That was probably my first mistake. A loss is a loss, I should take all that I can.

I've had reason to celebrate this week: I turned 28, someone at uni (finally) noticed my weight loss, and I am still breathing. So why do I feel like crap?

Tonight, I did some long, hard thinking. "Did it hurt?" I hear you say. Why yes, it did. I was starting to feel my back tighten, so I decided to take a hot shower. Once that business was sorted, I decided I wanted to lay down in the bath and have the shower water fall over me. Instead of wasting all that water away, I put the plug in. Slowly but surely, the bath started to fill. As the water rose, so did my thought process:
"Why am I not hungry? Why am I not seeing any movement in the scales? Why am I all of a sudden dissatisfied with my weight loss efforts to date? What on Earth is up with me right now? How wrinkly is my skin? How long have I been in the bath for now? I wonder how long til A is home from work? I wonder how difficult it would be to make one of those wooden rail things to go over the bath so I could sit the laptop on there and watch a film in the bath? I wonder if the dietitian answers their e-mails out of the office?"

By this stage, the bath was quite full. And then it dawned on me: my body is no longer a breakwater!

My hips and thighs are pretty sizable, there's no denying that. A loves my womanly curves, even more so now that they're really coming back in definition (now hurry up stomach and sod off!). However, they (hips and thighs) used to be so sizable that they would create a sort of breakwater in the bath. Tonight, not the case. I could lay down comfortably WITH MY ARMS AND HANDS BESIDE ME and still not touch the sides of the tub! That made me feel pretty damned awesome. Then of course, I wanted A to hurry up home so I could show him (not that he would have ever really paid much attention before). And then I got back on my thought train. I was looking into the medicine cabinet above the hand basin (the sliding glass door was open), and I could see the bottle of iron tablets. Remember that thought process I was experiencing earlier? The answer to most of the health-related questions lies within that bottle. I need to take my iron tablets again.

Of course, this doesn't fix everything, but it will help get everything back on track. I was a bit worried seeing how much iron I was consuming when recording it on My Fitness Pal, but I also remembered that given that I'm iron-deficient, I'm not going to be putting too much in!
So, tomorrow morning, with breakfast, I'll be taking my iron tablet again. Not anything little either, a horse tablet with truckloads of iron. That one tablet has roughly five times the amount of iron required daily. I need that iron. I must take that tablet each day. It will also stop me from getting sick. I'm getting the usual cold symptoms, so I really ought to nip it in the bud. Keep track of me taking my pill on MFP, and kick me up the butt if I'm not!

Moving forward, another reason I believe I'm plateauing is because my metabolism has become accustomed to 1200 calories. I mentioned before e-mailing a dietitian (why on Earth do I insist on spelling dietitian, dietician?); although I know how to eat well, I would really appreciate a little more help and guidance in addition to PinterestTaste and the myriad of cookbooks we have here at home. I want to know what a good calorie limit is to eat at to continue weight loss. I understand that I need to exercise as well, but given that exercise is not always easy (take this week for example, I've spent most of this week writhing in pain), I figure that if I'm at least putting the right kinds and balanced amounts of food then that can only help. Heck, it's helped me lose 8kg so far! Fingers crossed I hear from the dietitian on Thursday (she works one day a week at a particular practice).

Another area I've been seriously lacking in is planning. My meal planning has been disastrous of late. It's on like Donkey Kong now though; we need to save money AND eat healthily.
Tonight, we ate delicious eye fillet steak and ever-so-tasty cheesy quinoa cakes. My goodness, they are AMAZINGLY tasty, and SO filling! Fontina cheese is quite hard to track down, and often expensive, so we used Emmental cheese instead.
The great thing about this recipe is that it can be eaten across ANY meal of the day. We didn't cook up all the mixture tonight, so we're going to cook the rest of the mixture for breakfast, along with a fruit and yoghurt (in case you're wondering, I say yog-hurt not yo-ghurt) smoothie. I will take pictures, I need to document so you all (assuming people are reading this!) see what I'm putting through my lips.

I will also post our meal plan for the next week tomorrow, and if there are recipe links, I'll provide those too.

So, all in all, I think I'm doing okay. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to reach my first goal of 88kg by the 31st of August, but I'm hoping that I'll only be 1kg away. I take my measurements on Monday, I'm really looking forward to that, my clothes are fitting me wonderfully so I'm keen to see what the measuring tape tells me!
I have realised a lot of things today, and right now, I have realised that although I am plateauing, I can do something about it. Just the same as I made the conscious decision to lose weight in April.

It's bed time now! Sweet dreams, and thanks for reading this long entry!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

What a difference a year makes

My last post was birthday related. This one is kind of birthday related, but more so tracking my appearance from August 2010 til August 2012.

15 August 2010
Six days before my 26th birthday

21 August 2011
Day of my 27th Birthday

22 August 2012
Day after my 28th birthday
I'm not quite where I was at in August 2010, but I'm awfully close, especially seeing as how I can now wear the purple dress again!
I wish I had a full body shot of the 2011 picture, but alas I do not. The outfit I had on there had been purchased only a week beforehand. A grey long sleeve tee, a short sleeve cotton cardy thing, and a navy high waist skirt. Skirt now swims on me.
The outfit I wore yesterday made me feel so proud of myself! I purchased this skirt from Barkins in March 2010, just before A and I started seeing each other. It's a size 14. I haven't worn it since late 2010.
On Tuesday, I'd been saying to my two friends from uni who joined me for a spot of birthday lunch that I was kind of annoyed that no-one had really noticed or commented at my weight loss (and also said that because they're men I wasn't expecting them to have noticed!). Yesterday, in this outfit, someone noticed who wasn't a part of that conversation! Felt fantastic then! Still feel fantastic now of course.

Well, off to finish writing assignments due tomorrow...need to stop procrastinating already!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Tomorrow signals the beginning of my 'late twenties'

Today's blog post has been inspired by Ali at Cheeky Pickle. Happy Birthday Greta xx 


Two years ago to this day, and almost this time, I was drying and putting away dishes as our (now old) housemate washed. Squatting down to put the plastics away, I felt a very deep twinge in my lower left back. A feeling I'd felt earlier that year. I was watchful of myself for the rest of that evening.
The next morning, I woke early. It was Federal Election day, and I wanted to get our voting done early so we could spend the rest of the day celebrating my 26th birthday. My usual morning routine was okay, a little tender but okay. It was a bitterly cold morning on Saturday 21st August 2010. I went and sat on the couch with my phone, checking Facebook. I kept moving, fidgeting, trying to shift and alleviate the pain. It was now after 9am, it was time for A to get out of bed. I stood up from the couch and promptly felt like a rod had been inserted to my spine. Walking was difficult, in fact, I could barely manage a shuffle. I persevered and continued on to get A out of bed, then shower and dress myself. Maneuvering the four steps from the front door to the ground was tough. When we arrived at the car park, we still had to walk another 500m, or there about, to reach our destination. Shuffling along, by the time we reached the venue housing the polls, I had loosened up a touch. A was a bit wary, and suggested I take the ramp. I insisted I was fine, and that I would just take the (very steep) stairs to the top. No sooner had I reached the top, I called out to Alex and collapsed in his arms. I couldn't walk. There were approximately 50 - 60 people at the polls, staring at us. A was standing there holding me, I am crying and writhing in pain, and the two burly security guards are lost as to what to do.
I somehow gain composure and through gritted teeth tell them to get me a chair because A isn't strong enough to hold me (A is very slightly built, and although I was a lot lighter than I am now, I was still a hefty 82kg). They fumbled around for a chair, all the while the eyes were on A and I.

A and I - 30 July 2012, three weeks before my life-altering experience

All things aside, the security guards took charge of the situation, recognising that I needed urgent medical attention (I refused an ambulance be called because I felt I could walk fine once rested), they organised for A and I to go through the polls ahead of the queues. I was absentee voting, so it took a little while longer for me to get through the roll process. I take my politics somewhat seriously too, so it was an agonising vote.
The security guards then assisted me while A brought the car around to collect me. We then had the tedious task of finding somewhere open on a Saturday morning that had an available appointment. I didn't want to go to casualty because I didn't feel that it was serious enough. In the end, we drove 30 minutes across town to the practice I had been using since moving to Melbourne. I shuffled up the ramp while A parked the car. He managed to come walk along side me and into the practice. 
I spent the next two to three hours laying on a hospital bed in the triage area of the practice. All this time, I was trying to contact everyone who was to be joining us for dinner that night to let them know it might not go ahead.
The doctor finally saw us. There wasn't much she could do for me at the time unfortunately. She poked and prodded my back, gave me some Panadeine Forte and other wonderful pain killers, and told me to come back on Monday for an x-ray.
With the PF in my system, I did not want to give up hope on my birthday. We went for a walk down Lygon Street as I had never really been, and we went to Brunetti's for a sweet treat. I also concluded that I wanted to go ahead with dinner as I had been looking forward to it for weeks.
Dinner with my friends was lovely though excruciatingly painful. The food was not as good as I hoped (after a delicious Greek feast in Tasmania, I wanted a Greek feast for my birthday), and afterward some of us headed back to Brunetti's in Carlton for hot drinks and sweets.
Happy 26th birthday to me.


Tomorrow marks two years since my life-altering experience. The x-rays I had two days after my 26th birthday revealed that there was something wrong with my back, and I was sent to see a general physician the next day, who booked me in for an emergency MRI that same night.
Scans showed that it was serious but nothing to be operated on. I have a prolapsed disc in my L4L5 region.
Two years later, it still gives me grief, though nowhere near as much as that painful January and August 2010 (and again in October 2011). I do have to be careful in what I do - stairs are a no-no, in any direction; sitting for too long or standing for too long are not favoured; and, most of all, high impact sport is out. 
For 20 months, I let this condition rule my life. Twenty months too many. In April, I realised it was now or never, and only I could change my situation. Slowly but surely, here I am, four months later, 8 kilograms lighter, and on my way back to being a much happier and healthier person.
I no longer let the negativity affect my limited ability. I still have ability, just not the way I used to, and nowhere near as bad as others. In late 2010/early 2011, after many people asking me if I would be having surgery to correct the problem, I asked my physiotherapist what his opinion was. He advised me that there was not enough neurological damage to warrant surgery. At the time, I wasn't sure if I should be happy or sad. It took me a VERY long time to realise that this is something to be so incredibly happy about. 
Seeing the transformation in myself is amazing. My outlook has gone from being one clouded with negativity, to being one filled with opportunity and sunshine. Sure, there are grey and cloudy days, but then I look in the mirror at that reflection and think, gee I really have done it, and I am getting somewhere. 
For example, today, I put on a singlet that I purchased in late may, early June. At that stage, I'd lost a few kilograms, and it fitted comfortably, sitting just below my stomach/at the top of my thighs. Today when I put that same singlet on (I purchased two two-packs of these singlets, by the way, at a size 16-18) it was about 5cm (2") from my knees! These garments have turned from singlets to slips!

I have had a slight setback with my challenge to reach 88kg by the time 31 August rolls around in 10 days, but since I started my little challenge on 1 July, I have lost a few kilograms and centimetres (stay tuned for my entry next Monday 27 August for my next measurement update). More importantly, I've gained a wardrobe filled with clothes that fit me again; I've re-cultivated my food knowledge; I've regained my confidence and happiness; but most importantly, I've taken those all important steps to regaining my health.
Happy 28th birthday to me!

(Sorry for the lack of imagery, I haven't had many photos taken in the last 2 years because I have felt so ashamed of my appearance. Will make up for it between now and next Monday!)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Where I was in April vs where I am in August

This CGI is indicative of where I was in April at 98kg, compared with 90kg now. What do you think?

That single moment...

Since uni has started back, it's been near impossible to blog as frequently as I would like. Today is the end of week four of uni, meaning I am already a third of the way through my second semester of my second year. Didn't it feel real when I was working to the wire to submit an assignment this evening!? Ugh, I haven't missed that feeling. But that will teach me for not checking due dates sooner. Still, it's in, and that's all that matters!

The last time I blogged was the 30th of July - today is 10th of August - 12 days since I blogged! Nothing much has happened in that time....except for the fact I can wear over half of my OLD wardrobe! It's really only happened in the last few days, but it is the single most incredible feeling I have had in such a long time. Not even a HD in a subject at uni compares to the euphoria I felt doing up my beautiful grey and blue tartan pea coat! In the last week and a half, I have managed to get into my benchmark dress - my gorgeous purple military dress from Dangerfield. I knew that once I was able to get back into that, I was making some serious progress.
Tonight we went out for dinner to see my girlfriend Sarah who was 30 in July and celebrated in Bali then did a quick whirlwind trip straight after to Morocco. I put on a dress that I bought to wear to dinner for mine and A's first anniversary. In April 2011, it looked nice. Tonight, some 16 months later, it fit me better than ever. In fact, I would even say in some places it was loose. I had to wear a cami underneath too because my cleavage has shrunk somewhat! Imagine my elation when I was able to do the pea coat up over that! I really struggled to believe it! I had only tried the pea coat on the week before and it didn't quite do up properly. It did up, but it wasn't nice. I did shed a little tear when I did get it done up tonight, it really amazed me and proved that I am capable of anything.

Tonight's dinner consisted of pizza and risotto - two very carb and calorie heavy dishes. I had two very tiny bits of the pizza, and about a third of my risotto. I was so full! We brought the risotto home for dinner tomorrow.
How's this though for awesome!? Even after dinner - where I felt I was bursting at the seams - THE JACKET STILL BUTTONED UP! We were halfway home and I cried again. I even said that I am proud of myself (this is something I don't say - ever). A is so proud of me too, he keeps telling me how proud he is of me, and that makes me cry more haha!

Food wise, it's been a really good balance I think since my last entry. It was A's birthday on the 5th, we had family dinner on the 7th, and I didn't eat ANY birthday cake or sweets! No, I lie. I had a Cookie Cream Commotion Choc Top ice cream when we went to see 'The Dark Knight Rises'. I've had some sugar free chocolate too - so tasty.
Last night, a girlfriend told me she decided not to get some chocolate because my weight loss inspired her to be good! That was such a freaking shock - I inspired someone!
If you want, have a look at my food diary on MyFitnessPal to see what I've been eating. There's no cheating either. Whatever passes my lips goes in that diary.

Last Saturday, I played tour guide to a girlfriend visiting from Townsville. We walked ALL. OVER. MELBOURNE. All over Melbourne. It was such a sunny day, and to show her our beautiful architecture and streets, I opted to walk. I haven't had much opportunity to exercise much since then, but I've managed a few little walks here and there.

Also, I'm SO excited to be extremely close to my first major goal of a 10kg loss! I did a little cheat tonight before getting ready just to see how I was going since Wednesday, and tonight, the scale needle moved UNDER THE 90KG MARK! This was so flipping awesome! I can't tell you the last time I was under 90kg! I'm not going to lie, it was something I didn't think I'd ever see again. When I weighed in on Wednesday, I weighed in at 90.5kg and had a loss of 500g which I was wrapped with as it was my first consecutive loss. Because I didn't record tonight's cheat weigh in, I'm still saying I have 2.5kg to lose by the 31st of August. When I was calculating last night how many days vs how many kilos, it equated to needing to lose 115g per day. Ideally, I'd like to be at 88kg by my birthday, which is 11 days from today, but if that doesn't happen, then I'm not going to be heartbroken!

It's time for bed - I hope you've enjoyed this read!