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My Weight Loss Journey

Week 1

History

I decided on many New Year resolutions for 2018. Weight loss is one of them. Have I tried this before? Yes. Many, many times. I’ve done the lemon and maple syrup diet and the Cambridge diet. I tried boot camp (twice), swimming, boxercize, fencing, Zumba, Jazzercize, hitting the gym. You name it, I’ve tried it.

Did it work? Yes, most of them. Until mother nature decided that losing weight was not what she had in mind for me and threw a spanner in the works. I got shin splints, calcified tendons, torn tendons, and even a diagnosis of being ‘exercise intolerant’ (i.e. slightly asthmatic). I’ve tried going to the gym multiple times, but after a month I just get bored with it. Likewise with the diets. After three months of starving myself, I’m just dying for a snack and go overboard.

Do I really need to lose weight? Yes, I do. My BMI (body mass index) is 32, so just into the obese range. I nearly faint due to lack of oxygen when tying my shoelaces, and my clothes are screaming at me to buy a bigger size. Most of all, I didn’t look good in any dress I wanted to wear over Christmas, so something had to be done!

My Way

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This time, I’m going to do it differently. I’m doing yoga, to warm up my body for some exercise in the future, probably karate (as half of my family is doing it). Not only is yoga good for your body, but looking at Finlay Wilson’s nicely shaped body is also good for the mind 🙂 (don’t worry, the book was a Christmas present from my husband, so he’s okay with the eye candy).

I’m not doing a particular diet nor counting calories nor measuring amounts of food. I’m just going to eat less. Cutting out a lot of carbs in particular. This means not eating the potatoes/rice/noodles that go with our dinners and not having any biscuits with my tea in the afternoon. It also means I can’t have sandwiches for breakfast or lunch and have to be more creative. Variety is the spice of life, n’est-ce pas?

Results

Every week I’ll embarrass myself and show you photos so you can see the difference. I’ll show you the first photos taken and then what I look like that week. You won’t be going ‘oh wow!’ if I show you the photos from the previous week (except for this week of course) as I’m expecting my weight loss to be a slow process. My GP once said to me, ‘It didn’t get there overnight, so don’t expect it to come off overnight.’ Wise words. So here are my results for Week 1.

I’m (still) 1.58m tall (5’2″), and at the beginning of the year, I weighted exactly 80kg (12.6 stone). I’ve never been this heavy in my life! This morning, I weighed… (drumroll): 77kg (12.1 stone)! I only began my diet last week, so I must have lost some weight in the first week of January. We were home again from our overeating expedition in Holland (visiting the family), so my diet was a lot healthier when I got back although not optimal.

W1F

 

Note the lesser amount of shadow on my belly. I’m trying to ‘keep my stomach in’ about the same on all the photos, so I’m not cheating. I’ll try in the future to keep my hands on my hips so you can see the ‘saddlebag’ I’ve got on my right hip. I suppose everybody is, but I hate being asymmetrical.

W1S

 

As you can see in the W0 photo (when you take a loupe 🙂 ), I have an indent mid-belly that is almost gone in the W1 photo. Woohoo! My belly is still sticking out way beyond my boobs, so we have a long way to go still, but we’re working on it.

Did I notice losing the weight? Yes, I did. I was able to move up to the next hole of my belt, going from a waistline of 88cm (34.6inch) to 85.5cm (33.7inch). Also, my pants are feeling slightly loser around my belly.

Diet

As mentioned, I cut out a lot of carbs from my diet. No potatoes, rice or noodles. Did I cheat? Yes, I did. I had a small handful of french fries with my dinner one day, and I did have some licorice lollies when I had a sore throat. I managed to stay away from any biscuits with my tea, though. I didn’t cut sugar out as I can’t drink my coffee without it, but that’s the only added form of sugar I’ve head. Oh, and no desserts of course. I once had some yoghurt with raspberries, but that’s it.

Here are some images of the breakfast and lunches I’ve had this week.

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My breakfast for the last two days has been a berry smoothie: yoghurt, milk, rolled oats, raspberries, and blueberries. Very nice. I don’t measure or weigh anything, I just add them so I have about 250ml (8.8oz) in total. I try to fill my stomach with an amount of about the size of my fist (usually slightly more for dinner). One of the lunches with sushimi (love that stuff!) has a dollop of garlic and herb sauce on it (the light version). I’m not going fat-free. You need fats to be able to absorb certain vitamins (A, D, E, K), so I eat fat, but in the amount of a teaspoon per meal.

Have I been hungry? Yes, I have. But as my Mom always says, ‘when your tummy rumbles, it doesn’t mean you have to put something in it every time.’

Are you on a weight loss journey? Why not do it together? Let me know how you’re going and we can help each other staying strong!

 

Header Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

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Born to be a Writer

Or: Having an Exercise Intolerance

I’m sure I heard Irony giggle when I did my back in due to an exercise in the gym. I have tried again and again to get fit, with little luck so far. I’ll give you a list of what happened over the years.

  1. As a toddler, I have never been able to touch my toes (still can’t, never will), much to the annoyance of my ballet teacher.
  2. Inter-(primary)school running race:  A toddler crossed my path and I had to dive over it to avoid it. I still have the scars to show for it.
  3. Fencing at uni: I was diagnosed with, I kid you not, exercise intolerance. I now have a puffer I never use.
  4. I tried a boot camp: tore a ligament in my foot.
  5. I tried swimming: got calcifications in my shoulder tendons, first left then right side.
  6. Tried boot camp again: got shin splints in both legs.
  7. Bought a treadmill, so I could at least walk. But my Achilles tendons have shortened so much that even walking, i.e. lifting my feet beyond a 90-degree angle, is painful. I also have Hallux limitus (my big toe joint can’t bend normally), so can’t wear high heals either. It appears I can’t beat them but also can’t join them.
  8. Tried going to the gym: did my back in, twice (did the same thing last year).

So you see, I don’t have good experiences exercising. The problem is that I need to exercise if I don’t want to get morbidly obese. I just got my weight back to the border of healthy, but now, with this back problem preventing me from exercising, I don’t know how long this is going to stay there.

I could eat less. I suppose I could. I certainly don’t need the amount of calories with my sitting lifestyle. But food is nice. I like food. Especially the high calories stuff. I certainly have a choice to make here.

In the meantime, I’ll have some ibuprofen, some diazepam (why not get happy as well 🙂 ), and stick my cherry pit bag into the microwave for the zillionth time. Can’t live without my cherry pit bag at the moment.

Get your own  Cherry pit bags yellow/white Floral (24×24) Cherry pit pillow.

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Banner photo by Keit Trysh, from Unsplash

Keit Trysh

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Writers’ Corner update 17/03/17

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 17/03/2017!

Due to health reasons I took some ‘days off’ this past week and hence am running a bit late. My apologies if you have been waiting for new articles.

In Writers’ Corner I have an article about Character Development. I put it in the magazine 8 days ago, so not sure if you’ve already read it. There’s an article for sci-fi fans which explains how we can now store data in DNA, which blew my mind away. Another article is from the psychology department and explains Why We Feel The Need to Conform – Safety in Numbers. I couldn’t resist putting in an article explaining Dexter’s Darkness. He is my favourite serial killer 🙂 . Get all eight seasons here.

Dexter

I’m afraid there’s nothing new in Focus on Filming. Filming is not a subject that a lot is written about, other than movie reviews and which actor has done/is doing/is going to do what, which is not really about filming itself. Such a shame.

Health Herald has quite a few new articles. One is about an Ancient technique that can dramatically improve memory, but I can’t remember what technique that was (LOL!). A study found that Violent video games DO NOT cause antisocial or aggressive behaviour. Thank heavens for that as my son doesn’t do much else. There’s articles on Why men die earlier than woman, 6 warning signs your body give you before a heart attack, the first physiological test for schizophrenia and depression, and according to another the use of Ibuprofen appears to be linked to increased risk of cardiac arrest (which, btw, is not the same as a heart attack. Just in case you wanted to use the other article for it). And there’s another reason to drink more red wine as a Study Finds Red Wine Compound Slows Aging in Muscles and Neurons. I knew it!

The only article in Sci-Non-Fi is the one on DNA storage. It’s pretty impressive though. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.

In contrast of the amount of articles on filming, there is an abundance of articles on photography. For Pretty Pictures, I try to pick out the ones that are do-able by people like you and me, not the ones describing how to use a multi-thousand dollar lens. So, to start off with, there is an article on 9 Common Photography Mistakes – And How to Fix Them. One article talks about Sensor Noise. There are 10 Tips and Tricks for Making Difficult Selections in Photoshop (for if you want to change the background for something else for example). I was very pleased with Adobe’s ‘Make It Now’ Series that Teaches You Photoshop Tricks in Just One Minute. Awesome! Most favourite of all this week was the Landscape Photography Composition Rules You Need to Start Using Today. A fun one I added is on how to Make simple and cheap DIY smoke for photos and videos. It’s very small scale though, but fun. And last I added Tips for Photographing Waterfalls by the Washington Trails Association. Now I wished I had a Neutral Density filter when I was photographing waterfalls in Karijini, Western Australia.

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Writers’ Corner update 01/03/2017

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 01/03/2017!

Flipboard finally seems to be working as per normal, yay! In Writer’s Corner, there are lots of articles for you to ponder over that you could use for your writing. You could polish up on your Books for Understanding Global Politics, find out about what happens during CPR, get your sci-fi story going with the article on the TRAPPIST-1 System or the one about When The Lights Went Out In The Universe. I couldn’t help myself and added an article on Justin Trudeau’s Butt. Something for the romantics amongst us 🙂 .

In Focus on Filming I have an article on what it means to have ‘Green Light’ for screenwriters, an article about The Dark Knight’s Pencil Scene, and a good one on how fighting scenes of Jackie Chan are filmed.

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In Health Herald there is a very interesting article that tells us about a Giant Neuron Wrapped Around the Brain that may hold the key to consciousness. Another article tells us that Under-25s Turn To Mindful Drinking (at last!), and yet another how Good Gut Bacteria Could Transform Your Health. And while you’re reading this, why not do 5 Joint Mobility Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Function?

Sci-Non-Fi has 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017 for you. Apart from the TRAPPIST-1 System article earlier mentioned and a video example of Future Medical Learning (I just love this one, you’ve got to see it. So cool!).

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I’ve been pretty busy in Pretty Pictures this week. Photography has always been a hobby of mine and I couldn’t resist. I also couldn’t resist adding a few articles beside my pretty pictures. There’s one about Why Black and White Photos are More Elegant at Times and one about Why The Camera Matters, But Not in The Way You’re Thinking. Hmmm, what way could it be then? Go check it out!

 

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A life or death situation

About two weeks ago I read on Facebook that somebody’s friend had died of asthma. I remember thinking ‘do people still die of asthma?’ Apparently they do. My daughter has asthma. Not severely, thankfully, but when she gets a cold, she gets it extra bad and needs to use her inhaler. Again, she’s doesn’t get it as bad as some people do, but enough to worry you as a mother.

Last weekend I went back to Holland to visit my family as my sister turned fifty and her husband had a retirement party. My Mum and I met my sister for lunch and found out she just came from the breast clinic where they found suspicious lumps in her breast. She needs to have more tests done and will hear the results a week later. That means a whole week in anxiety for her (and us). Both my sister and Mum were coughing from the other side of the lunch table as they apparently had a ‘bad cold.’ As I was staying with my Mum for the weekend, I naturally picked up this ‘bad cold.’ It actually was a H1N1 flu strain and had me knocked down within a few days. A sore throat, headaches, snotty nose, muscle aches, vomiting, chills, and sweaty spells. I got the lot.

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I hadn’t had a cold in years and it knocked my off my socks, as a matter of speech next to literally, that I was so susceptible to it. I didn’t have any existing health issues, yet this tiny little thing had me crawling on hands and knees in no time. What would this bug do to people who do have health issues? People who’s immune system is compromised by an illness, elderly people, people with asthma? And then it hit me that it may kill my daughter.

I’m not so short sighted that I think that I can shield my daughter from any outside effects. But what if I’m the one that brings in the rot? What if I contaminate her with a bug that hospitalises her? As we will have no doctor close at hand over the Christmas holidays, I had another issue to deal with. Do I try my best not to contaminate her and keep my distance for a week until I’m no longer contagious or, suspecting that I can’t prevent contaminating her as we’re living in the same house, do I contaminate her asap in order to get it over and done with now we still have access to a healthcare professional? I felt I had become her judge, jury, and executioner. I had to decide whether I actively made her sick or not.

However, you don’t say to your child ‘come here because I want to cough in your face so you can get this horrible illness.’ There is always the chance that she doesn’t get ill at all. Maybe I was not as healthy as I thought. Maybe she had this flu strain before, when she had that awful asthma spell a few years ago in Australia (the strain did start in Australia in 2009). You try to think of all sorts of reasons not to make your child ill. You have got to keep weighing the pro’s against the con’s though. What if she finally picks this highly contagious bug up elsewhere and we haven’t got access to a doctor at short notice? Is it worth the risk? Of course not. So I try to cough as ‘accidentally’ as possible near her. Because I love her.

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Tomorrow is the day that my sister will hear her test results and the last day my daughter can safely show the signs of contamination. If my daughter has a sore throat, she will have a rough time ahead, but will be able to get the healthcare she’ll need. If not, I will have to keep my fingers crossed she won’t show any symptoms for another three weeks. For both a moment that could possibly decide their fate.

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Writer’s Corner update 26/10/16

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet lately. It was partly because of my shoulder playing up, partly because I was working hard to get a decent copy of my first novel on Amazon. The work is done now and it’s available for FREE for 5 whole days as of the 27th of October! Get it while it’s hot and download your copy soon!

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US copy of Living Like A Vampire (Suckers Book 1)

UK copy of Living Like A Vampire (Suckers Book 1)

AU copy of Living Like A Vampire (Suckers Book 1)

 

 

In the mean time, check out my Writer’s Corner update 26/10/16!

This week’s articles are about horror, haunted houses and what a little white lie may lead to.

Focus on Filming focusses on cinema’s scariest haunted houses and the stories behind them.

Health Herald helps keeps you ‘unscared’ with an article on how not to overthink things. And while you’re trying to keep your mind from worrying, why not learn to play an instrument. It’s appears to do good for your brain in the long run.

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Writers’ Corner update 19/10/2016

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 19/10/2016!

This week my Writer’s Corner update contains a post that is close to my heart: the Science Fiction Women Problem (or the fact that women are still under-represented in Science Fiction). This can be extrapolated to most other areas, like main characters in movies, writing in general, science, business management, just to name a few… I was surprised to read this was already a problem a 100+ years ago in Colin Garrow’s book ‘The Hounds of Hellerby Hall,’ in which a young lady has to take a male pseudonym to be able to sell her stories. You should check it out, it’s a great murder mystery!

Focus on Filming has only one other entry this week, and it’s a graphic designer’s personal take on movies. Have a look, the images are extremely creatively designed.

Health Herald has two new entries; one on the fact that you need to keep exercising to keep the blood flow to your brain going (so much for my break in karate due to my shoulder issue), and another one on a new, mobile sort of CT scanner, which is actually made for horses, but which can be adjusted for humans and should, in the future, make it possible to make CT scans while you’re standing up (which horses also prefer).

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Writers’ Corner update 12/10/2016

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 12/10/2016!

I know I said no posts for a while due to my attempt to getting my book ready for the fair, but I can’t help myself, too many interesting articles. 🙂

For example the article about what makes a leader, or the one about what it’s like to have Borderline Personality Disorder. Very interesting articles for characters in your next book.

In my Focus on Filming there is an interesting article which claims that Guardians of the Galaxy is the deadliest film of all times.

And according in my Health Herald magazine I sure hope I don’t get breast cancer after I turn 75 in the UK.

 

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Lessons Learned #31

Ergonomics for Writers

Because it’s important!

Writing Ergonomics: Top Tips for Proper Posture, Alignment, and Movement

Ergonomics for Writers

Ergonomics for Writerly Folk

 

 

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Writers’ Corner update 28/09/2016

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 28/09/2016!

One of the latest article in my Writers’ Corner is an interesting one on what we can learn from Quentin Tarantino’s scriptwriting.

In Focus on Filming people seem to like the article on the penis worm that resembles the Sarlacc of ‘Star Wars.’

In Health Herald I couldn’t, of course, pass on the article on the first baby born from the DNA of three parents.