In February my wife went into Hospital for some pretty heavy surgery, it was selective but was still pretty debilitating. My parents had planned to come over from the UK (we had immigrated to Australia in 2010) to help with the recovery. They know there son; I am not the most sympathetic carer by my own admission so this support was fantastic and greatly appreciated. They were going to stay for ten weeks to allow my wife and me to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. Eating with the family is really important; something I try to do is eat with my kids as much as possible. I don’t worry too much about school grades; I leave that to the wife. I do worry about manners; I value my kids being well mannered and courteous above anything and meal times are no different. I think being able to handle yourself at the meal table, in restaurants is an important life skill. So when grandparents are visiting sitting down for meals and socialising is something that should be done out of respect in my mind.
It therefore follows that I decided that our weekend evening meals would be shared. My Mum and Dad enjoy a social drink, so I would too enjoy that with them. I continued to follow the diet I had been consuming through January and February Monday to Friday, have the same breakfast and lunch on Saturday’s and Sunday’s but I would prepare meals for Saturday and Sunday evenings. These were either meat or fish accompanied with a salad or vegetables. I’d also share a nice glass or two of red wine. This was a good compromise; I needed to show our visitors this respect and also wanted to prove to myself that it was possible to transition to a more real food diet.
Cauliflower proved to be a great versatile vegetable to substitute for potato and rice. Zucchini for pasta. I had both my parents eating Pad Thai made with zucchini noodles. I’ve included a recipe for these in the additional information in this month’s blog; these recipes can be tweeked to give variety. Adding beef or chicken and some chilli, herbs and spices give you three variations on a theme.
Pork Belly slow roasted with crackling made with a coconut oil crackling is a crowd pleaser; again I’ve included the recipe. Steaming fish with seasoning and lemons in baking paper envelopes at about 180 °C for about 25 minutes is easy. No matter what the fish, the size of the fillet this method seems to present the most consistent results. I the fish was whole I’d slice the lemon and put them in the gut cavity as opposed to lay a fillet on the slices.
I would put a table spoon of apple cider vinegar in to almost anything when I remembered. Apple cider vinegar appeared to have some unbelievable health benefits. Again I went into research mode and there is some addition info provided in the tab.
So I was proving to myself that the obsessive way I had kept to the initial eating plan that there was a path that could be taken to transition to a more whole food diet which meant the weight wouldn’t come back on. Essentially I had kept the calorific intake down to below 800 calories and the benefits had been the loss of 21.6 kg’s, in eight weeks. This is without the single most factors that kept me on track. The psychology or mental fortitude was underpinned by this dramatic change, this evident success resulted in me believing what I had set out to do was achievable but also the people around me believed. It was not a struggle, it may have been initially but because the weight loss was so immediate there was no issue with motivation. The psychological war was to be fought with myself, appreciating that I had to change my lifestyle that binging whether alcohol or food was something I could not do. There will be instances of this, a long lunch, a piss up with mates. It just needs to be the exception rather the norm. Keeping this discipline was fundamental to maintaining the ambition to be fitter and lighter.
My KPI’s for March:
Weight: Start: 105 kg’s – End 94.4 kg’s
Run: 2.8 kM in about 18 mins without stopping
Ride: Up to 60 kM; AVG Speed 27.4 kM/h (This was bloody pleasing)
Note: My KPI’s are about what motivates me at a given time. They change and will continue to do so. There are as many or few as I decide but are markers of achievement. When they start to go a way I do not like I hope I can be honest enough to reset them and be accountable in meeting them again. Let’s see!
My diet was:
Breakfast – Optifast Shake (Vanilla)
Lunch – Optifast Bar (Chocolate)
Dinner – Mushrooms, Bok Choi, Asparagus & Broccolini (or any combination) stir fried in coconut oil with any Optifast soup added to make an Asian style broth. Seasoning and herbs added.
On the weekend I ate with the family; protein and salad/vegetables from January’s ‘eat’ list. Pork Belly and Steak were favourites. When socialising generally I kept alcohol consumption to a couple of glasses of Wine; stuck with protein (Meat or Fish) and greens. (Electing to be the nominated driver keeps you on the straight and narrow.)
Alcohol limited to one or two glasses of red wine with the family meals. No more than three glasses in any two days; Black coffee only; Green or Peppermint Tea
My exercise routine:
Calendar is posted above but generally it would follow the below but with some additional runs and bike sessions:
Monday – 45 Min gym session; 18 minutes on the treadmill, 7 minutes on the rower, two weigh machines pressing 15 kgs for 12, 6 repetition circuits.
Tuesday – 3kM plod completed in about 18 mins
Wednesday – 45 Min gym session; 18 minutes on the treadmill, 7 minutes on the rower, two weigh machines pressing 15 kgs for 12, 6 repetition circuits.
Thursday- Soccer; five a side, 2 twenty-minute halves
Friday – 45 Min gym session; 18 minutes on the treadmill, 7 minutes on the rower, two weigh machines pressing 15 kgs for 12, 6 repetition circuits.
Saturday – a ride with friends between 45 & 60 kM’s
Sunday - Started to includes some rides