Tag Archives: healthy-living

A pre-emptive strike: Final verdict

27 Jun

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”

~ W. C. Fields

A few weeks ago I officially resigned from my efforts to keep fit and eat healthy in Honduras. Declaring myself a lost cause, I relaxed all my standards and started eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

Using “I’ve put on weight” as an excuse to relax your diet is not the smartest move, but I’ve decided to focus on weight loss when I’m back in the Land of Oz, not while travelling.

In How I Met Your Mother, one of Marshall’s five reasons for wearing a nightshirt is: “no elastic waistband leaving its judgmental pink teeth marks around my Thanksgiving belly.”

Oh, how I emphasize with this! While I’m still able to fit into my pants, by the end of the day I can’t wait to get home so I can take them off and start breathing again.

This week, believe it or not, both my regular taxi drivers made comments about my weight.

M, who I hadn’t seen in more than a month, declared as I entered his cab on Tuesday, “Wow, you can see that you’ve really liked Honduran food!”

And yesterday JC said to me, “You’re going to return home a little fat, aren’t you?” This sounds harsh in English, but said in Spanish it’s not quite as offensive. It still stung a little though.

Not as much as being asked if I was pregnant (who does that?) but it’s never nice to be reminded you’ve porked up.

Despite the weight gain, I wouldn’t class my pre-emptive strike program as a failure.

My main aim, if you recall, was to lose enough weight before I head to Honduras that it will offset the extra padding I expect to acquire while over there.

And I’ve been successful in that respect. Late last year I was about 10 kilos over weight, which I lost before leaving Australia, but then put on again in Honduras.

If I hadn’t conducted my pre-emptive strike on rice and beans I would have arrived in Honduras 10 kilos overweight, put on another 10 kilos and returned home 20 kilos heavier than I should be.

I’m much happier with the prospect of losing 10 kilos once back home than 20. Hugely happier. (Pardon the pun.)

Plus I’m harboring the (slightly delusional?) hope that during my 7 weeks of backpacking through South America, all the walking will miraculously melt away my extra kilos. Never mind all the delicious South American food I’ll be eating.

Stranger things have happened, right? I like to be an optimist. 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find some chilenas de leche. Now that I’ve reached my final week in Honduras, I’ve decided to remove my self-imposed ban.

¡Buen provecho!

Related posts:

Stairway to trim, taut and terrific

A pre-emptive strike: Final update

A pre-emptive strike: Update 2

A pre-emptive strike: Update 1

A pre-emptive strike on rice and beans

That one cut me deep, bro

8 May

“The weight comes off, you know? If you stop with the bread and the pie, it really does. It really works.”

~ Philip Seymour Hoffman

A male colleague asked me this afternoon if I was pregnant.

Ouch.

I don’t know if he or I was more embarrassed after I blurted out a startled, “Me? NO!”

Gentlemen, let me give you a hot tip: unless a lady is giving birth right in front of you, it is never OK to ask her if she’s pregnant.

My colleague’s faux pas was both incredibly awkward and excruciatingly mortifying, but it also made me realise it’s time to face the truth.

Despite my good intentions, the stairs I use every day, and the gym I go to a couple of times a week, what affects my weight the most is my diet.

And I have been eating far too many chilenas, tortillas and other assorted carbs and far too few vegetables.

I haven’t been weighing myself, but when I arrived here all my pants were loose. My pants still fit me but now they’re starting to get tight. Uncomfortably tight. Apparently, ‘you-look-pregnant’ tight.

So it’s time to get disciplined and follow my basic ‘healthy eating’ principles again. This entails:

  • boosting the amount of vegetables I eat
  • increasing my protein intake
  • drinking a truckload of water
  • controlling the size of my portions, and
  • monitoring and limiting (but not eliminating) less healthy foods, particularly anything that contains sugar.

Saying goodbye to my beloved chilenas was hard, but I successfully met that challenge.

This gives me some hope I’ll be able to get back on the wagon, and start looking like less of a wagon wheel.

*sigh*

A pre-emptive strike: Final update

8 Feb

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

~ Jim Rohn

It seems like only yesterday I declared my intention of waging a pre-emptive strike against rice and beans however, after 18 weeks of trying to get healthier and happier, I had my final assessment at the gym on Thursday.

And there’s good news! All measurements had decreased and both my trainer and I were chuffed with what I’ve managed to achieve over a relatively short space of time.

During the last four and half months I have:

  • lost a total of 6.2 kilos
  • reduced my waist measurement by 11cm (this has meant dropping a dress size)
  • decreased my average skinfold measurement by 6.25mm (which didn’t sound like a lot to me, but according to my trainer this is a fair effort)
  • increased my bicep measurements (there’s actually a tiny bit of muscle there!)
  • not lost any lower thigh muscle.*

In essence I’ve lost weight where I needed and gained weight where I needed. Less fat, more muscle. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

*Not losing any lower thigh muscle is particularly important with my dodgy knees. My program at the gym is designed to help me strengthen and maintain muscles that support the knee. I went to the physio this week and she was impressed with my ‘quad bulk’.

My next challenge is to maintain this level of muscle strength throughout my time in Honduras, so that when I visit Machu Picchu I don’t conk out halfway through.

And of course the big questions remain: Have I lost enough weight that it will offset the extra padding I expect to acquire while in Honduras? Will I suffer from Another Fat Student (AFS) syndrome? Can I continue my healthy eating habits while travelling?

Stay tuned to find out the answers to all these important questions and more. 🙂

Related posts:

A pre-emptive strike on rice and beans

A pre-emptive strike: Update 1

A pre-emptive strike: Update 2

A pre-emptive strike: Update 2

4 Jan

“Eating crappy food isn’t a reward—it’s a punishment.”

~ Drew Carey

It’s been six weeks, so time for another update about my ‘pre-emptive strike on rice and beans’.

Today’s assessment at the gym had me quite literally running into the change rooms afterwards and doing a happy dance. Despite the recent Christmas and New Year celebrations, this time I’ve still managed to lose 3 kilos and reduce all my body measurements by 1–2.5cms.

I’m also starting to fit back into clothes I haven’t worn for 12, 18, and even 24 months. Most importantly, I feel healthier, fitter and stronger than I have in ages.

I keep getting asked what diet I’m on, but I’m actually not on one. I’ve just been:

  • seriously boosting the amount of vegetables I eat
  • increasing my protein intake (because of the amount of exercise I’m doing)
  • drinking a truckload of water
  • controlling the size of my portions
  • monitoring and limiting (but not eliminating) less healthy foods, particularly anything that contains sugar.

And that’s it. It’s been a bit of a slapdash, haphazard approach, but it seems to be working for me. My good results to date are actually probably more of an indication of just how bad my eating habits were before, as opposed to any crazy or radical change now.

I’m hoping that my new healthy habits will not only put me in good stead for the change of diet coming my way in Honduras, but that I’ll also be able to continue most of them while travelling. I guess I’ll find out how possible this is once I’m on the road.

40 more sleeps to go!