Tag Archives: Pre-emptive strike

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

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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!

A pre-emptive strike: Update 1

19 Nov

“It would be far easier to lose weight permanently if replacement parts weren’t so handy in the refrigerator.”

~ Hugh Allen

Those playing along at home may recall my post ‘A pre-emptive strike on rice and beans’ in which I set out my plan to lose weight before my big trip overseas next year.

I intimated that if I got some positive results, you’d hear from me again. But if I didn’t achieve anything, I’d just pretend like I’d never publicly declared I was going to work on my diet and fitness.

Well, the good news is that my revitalised health routine has been working. I had my end-of-program assessment at the gym today and I was very happy with the results: I’m now 2.8 kilos lighter and I’ve lost 2–6cms off all my body measurements. Go me!

I still have a way to go but at least I’m moving in the right direction. Although the biggest benefit I’ve encountered has been how good I feel on a day-to-day basis. I’ve started craving healthy foods as opposed to junk food, and those exercise-related ‘happy’ endorphins are really starting to kick in.

Admittedly, my routine is exhausting (dragon boating 2–3 times a week, personal training 3–4 times a week, Krav Maga practice 2–3 times a week) but at least I’m seeing results, so it feels worth it! I’m also sleeping amazingly well at night.

I have just enough time to squeeze in another 12-week program at the gym before leave for Honduras, so hopefully my progress will continue and I’ll be able to give another positive update in a few weeks’ time.

A pre-emptive strike on rice and beans

2 Oct

The only way to lose weight is to check it as airline baggage.

~Peggy Ryan

Without going all ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ on you, I have a confession to make:
A combination of factors has led to many items in my wardrobe starting to feel a wee bit too tight. I like to call it the knee-injury-plus-break-up effect.

(My top tip: zero exercise due to a dodgy knee and comfort eating due to a broken heart will not be part of the next fad diet.)

Ordinarily, a few extra kilos (or in my case, eight extra kilos) would not be too much cause for concern. Eating healthier food in smaller portions combined with daily exercise should help me gradually get back to my normal weight.

However the complicating factor I’m now facing is that there are only a few months until I depart for an extended overseas trip. And, as many of you would know, weight loss is to travel, as a snowball’s chance is to hell!

Over at The Healthy Globetrotter Leah has some great tips on how to stay fit and healthy while travelling. I had to laugh when I read her description of travel sometimes resulting in coming home with “a little extra padding”.

As an exchange student, we used to joke that AFS stood for Another Fat Student. Weight gain while living overseas was almost unavoidable for most of us youngsters. On the plane home from Brazil we all compared our mass increase like it was a badge of honour.

“I put on nine kilos.”

“That’s nothing, I put on seventeen!”

From what I can gather, the staples of the Honduran diet are beans, tortillas and rice. I already know from past experience that Em + a high-carb diet = extra kilos.

So the challenge is set! Can I lose enough weight before I head to Honduras that it will offset the extra padding I expect to acquire while over there? I would love to break-even, if a net loss isn’t possible.

And before I start getting lectures, yes, I do know that weighing yourself is not an ideal way to track overall health, and yes, I do know that muscle weighs more than fat. But in terms of a benchmark I’m happy to use kilograms for now.

(Besides, I can guarantee you it’s not eight kilos of muscle that have suddenly caused my jeans not to zip up.)

I’ll post regular updates on my progress, assuming there’s anything to report. In this case, no news is bad news!