Tuesday, 24 February 2015

I weigh a bag of dog food less

7kgs that is my number.

On Monday I moved into week 3 of the #brainsurgeonsdiet #16weekchallenge with a whopping 7kg loss in the first 2 weeks.  Seven kilograms ..... damn that is almost a bag of dog food ... and you know how you lug that around the supermarket ... which means that my spine, legs and feet are now lugging around a bag of dog food less.  Hear that sound?  It is my spine applauding in gratitude.

Now given that I would like to lose 21kgs (even if it means I have to finally reach this after the challenge ends) .. the amazing thing is that I am a third of the way there and that is a huge mind motivator.  Every other diet had me losing 0.3kg and then 0.1kg per week which made the 21kgs look like Mount Everest.

Perhaps that is the thing .... the word DIET.  That is where it went wrong.  A long list of may and may not eats which sometimes had me feeling so deprived and sorry for myself that when I crashed ... I crashed big.  This was usually followed by "oh what the hell let me leave this punishment".

This is where Dr Adriaan changed everything for me.  I have now read the book at least a half dozen times .... because his crucial words are BRAIN and LIFESTYLE.  I admit I wondered if my brain could be trained ..... but it could ..... it learnt that food can be controlled, that urges can be controlled, that I do not have to be deprived and desolate ..... that less food would lead to more exercise.  Brain & Lifestyle I tell you again.

Yes I have stuck to it faithfully .... I carry his book and my notebook with me everywhere.  As I lose weight I recalculate the kilojoules I may eat daily, according to the formula he gives you involving weight, height and age.  Obviously I eat less as I weigh less.  I eat a minimum of 2000 kjs less that the maximum amount I am allowed daily ... because if you don't, you stay the same.  I have accumulated in excess of 32 000 kjs of "eating less" every day.  It is my Bank and I will be able to draw from it should I get the chance to go to a helluva event where I cannot gauge the portion sizes.  Is it a pain?  No ... I have a little scale in my office and one in my house ... but after eating 100g of watermelon ten times I know exactly where it fits in the cup.  It is only really meat and protein as well as veg that needs to be weighed ... and you learn that size too.  You become familiar with the kjs of coffee, milk, sugar and all the other things you eat.

Do I have something sweet?  Yes.  I would sell my soul around Easter for those white Beacon eggs with the chocolate inside.  To eat one I have to use up 342kj.  I am happy some days to do so.  The choice is yours.  Yesterday I decided to give up a whooping 1100kj for some Smooch frozen yoghurt.  It was lovely, but left me with such a sugar high that I not only felt a little nauseous, but also could barely keep my eyes open.  A month ago I would have been able to knock back 5000kj of it without hesitation.  So it is not really worth the kjs.

Exercise ... had you asked me 3 weeks ago I would have sighed, moaned and rolled my eyes.  My exercise involved walking from the car to my office and from the couch to the fridge.  Seriously.

I have since taken a one hour bootcamp class, I have taken a long walk most nights at a swift pace, I walked 3.2km in one brisk go two nights ago and have now decided to swim.  Not up and down in the 3m pool, but in Hillcrest pool which is 50m long.  I last swam that length in 1983 when I captained the school swimming team ... but I figure that since I swam for 8 years, surely I can catch up again now.  So I have a monthly ticket, my daughter's swimming cap and goggles and tomorrow I will jump into the pool like that little child in the Jungle Oats advert.

My kids still look a little like "Bambi in headlights" when they see this array of exercising.  My son says he hears the words coming out my mouth but somehow he is still astounded.  My family, best friend and boss are cheering me on like a "ra-ra" team and my boss notices the weight loss even though he sees me every day at the office.  On that point let me tell you .... you need a cheering squad.... because you want to have the change noticed. My chef daughter returns from CT in 3 weeks time for a 4 day break ... man I cannot wait to see her face at the airport when she sees me.

So I enter week 3 .... keen ..... I look forward to Mondays so I can hop on the scale .... I am wearing clothes that did not fit a month ago .... I have no more daily headaches ... I sleep like a baby and I don't feel on the verge of cardiac arrest anymore.

So me?  I am in it to win it.  I am living proof that Dr Adriaan was right .... stick it out ... train your brain "Question:  How do you eat an elephant?  Answer:  Bit by Bit".  Amen.

till next week
c'est la vie xxxx

Friday, 20 February 2015

Lent - words of wonder, not wounding

Lent is right here. 

So around me there are many sentences starting with “I am giving up ……..” and there are many things – wine, social media, chocolates, movies, meat, fizzy colddrinks, cigarettes ….. the list is endless.

I too give up something tangible like that ….. it differs from year to year, but as I get older, I find that “thing” that I give up to be less and less of what is important to me about Lent.

When it comes to my prayer life I try and see if there is not an additional hour I can spend in Adoration, even during a slot of someone else, I make a commitment to the 6am Mass at least once a week, I try and up my prayer life and time and when it comes to Almsgiving – I concentrate even more on those that struggle.  We often are blinded into thinking that people at robots holding signs or those in the streets are the only ones battling.  However around us, at all times, are people that are battling due to unemployment, rising costs and many other challenges.  I am not speaking about people living beyond their means and now struggling, I am speaking about people we see every day at work, sit next to every week in church.  People we talk to, text, whatsapp all the time.  How much do you really know about those people.  Do you know whether helping them with dinner for their family once a week will help greatly?  Have you talked to them, really talked … the kind of talking where you not only listen, but hear what they say?  Help begins in a community and very often people are too shy to ask for help, too shy to reach out, too afraid of stigma or “skinner” and so we need to take it upon ourselves to try and listen more or find out if such people are around us. 

 Maybe Lent is a good time to start that. 

However this year, I fiind myself wondering if during this time of reflection and sacrifice, we should not consider giving up some other things, rather than the ones we put into our mouths. 
How about we give up some of the things that come out of our mouths?  Words.
We happily eat chocolate and then give it up for Lent.  What about giving up Words.  Not the good ones.  Not the kind, truthful, real words that build people up, build communities and inspire others.  Not the words that heal and fix things.  Not the words that show sympathy, empathy, gentleness and love.

How about we give up the other Words.

The ones that are mean and spiteful.  The things we say that harm and hurt others.  The untruths, gossip and mean things.  The impatient words.  The demeaning words.  The abrupt ones, unkind ones and those that do nothing but break other human beings down and cause unnecessary heartache.
How about we try and give up some of those?  I know I will.  So try it – greet people with kindness and warmth … in your home, your office and your friendship circle.  Smile more, acknowledge a good deed.  Say please and thank you – tell someone they matter to you.  Don’t repeat things unless you know them to be true.

Try it – words of wonder as opposed to words of wounding

May Lent be a wonderful time of reflection, prayer, giving and gentleness for you all. 

till soon
c'est la vie 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

kilojoules, calculations, salami and other fun stuff

So I read The Brain Surgeon's Diet book twice before I started the challenge.  I re-read a great deal of it yesterday and again today.

I carry it with me 24/7 and bound to it with an elastic is my new friend, the notebook, in which I strictly follow the little verse "if you bite it, you write it".  By keeping it with me I ensure that I don't forget because it is so easy to slip a sweet into your mouth or eat an apple and forget.

Even after only 2 days I already know the exact kj when I have a coffee with frothed milk, I know what a spoon of sugar counts as, I even found out something today - pumpkin seeds ..... yo .... that 50g came at  quite a high price.  So you think when you chew on seeds all day it is ok?  Can you see me .... I am shaking my head ..... not ok!

I started over-keen yesterday and so found myself at 4pm nauseous as hell (too little food) and when I got home and updated my booklet I found that I had so many kj's left that no normal person could eat that in one go.  I learnt 2 things ..... when Dr Liebenberg says space your food over 6 meals ... he meant it :) and also that I must write as I eat, not write at lunchtime and in the evening.  When you write each time, you always know where you are.   I prefer to not be nauseous.

Today I discovered that I had it a little wrong .... after finishing up the BMR calculation and converting it to kj .... I knew how much I could eat to stay the same ..... I worked out that by cutting out 2500 kj and adding 1 hour exercise I would work steadily, according to the calculation, towards my target weight.  But then I accidentally took that 2500 kj and deducted it twice.  Nearly starved myself all over again.

So I have notes all over your book Dr L and I recalculated all my "what I put in my mouth" things and now I am on track.

Today was Day 1 of Bootcamp and I was so keen.  However the heavens are about to open and due to lightening, the class was cancelled.  I remain hopeful for tomorrow!!  I have warned the instructor that there is a possibility that I will not survive the training and that she should check my phone under ICE for all the people she should phone.

So here I am - clutching my roll with cheese, tomato, salami and lettuce .... yes I know it comes to 1494kj ..... and in my head I am already seeing myself with less chubby cheeks and I know that it surely will feel good to wear pants without them straining.

So the #16weekchallenge is now at #15weeksand5days.

Onwards and upwards.

see you soon
c'est la vie xx

Monday, 2 February 2015


So, here is the thing ....... Penguin Books SA (now becoming PenguinRandomHouse) is one of my favourite webpages and Facebook pages.  I enter all their book competitions and have been quite lucky which is great for an avid reader like me.

Dr Adriaan Liebenberg, a SA neurosurgeon, wrote a book called "The Brain Surgeon's Diet" in which he explains that your brain can also be trained to assist in whipping your body into shape.  There is a semi-complicated sum of working out, based on height and weight (ok that did make me nervous), how many kj you should eat in a day.  The sum is simply to indicate that you need to eat less that that to lose weight and you need to include exercise which will help you lose faster by speeding up your Metabolic Base Rate ...... I also learned that you need to cut down 32 000 kj for every kg of weight you lose.  Similarly the lower the carbs the better.

So they launched the #brainsurgeonsdiet #16weekchallenge and I jumped at the chance .... perhaps having to do it a bit more publically via social media will prompt me to think before eating stuff.

The registration form also meant you had to have a full length photo taken with a newspaper to show the date, plus a photo of your scale when you are on it (that proved to be somewhat traumatic) with the newspaper hooked under it to again confirm the same date.  I will admit that getting a focused picture was somewhat tricky.

Now that is in and I wait for the starter's gun from Penguin for the 16 weeks to start.  In return we have to Tweet / Instagram / Facebook daily with their hashtag on how it is going.

So there it will be .... out there .... I am expecting / hoping / determining that it will go well, most of the time.  But a start has to be made.  And this seems to be a good place.

till soon
c'est la vie

2019 - new beginnings and other excitement

2019 is a big year for me.  For the first time in probably 30 years I am not in a fixed Monday to Friday job.  This is huge.  I return from...