Thursday, 6 June 2013

I am about to embark on a weight loss journey

I am about to embark on a weight loss journey. It makes me cringe just writing that as I have always had a very negative attitude towards diets and would never ever admit to being on one but, one year after giving birth, I have not really lost any of the baby weight I gained so it is time to do something about it. When the opportunity to give Bodytrim came up I thought that this might be the kick in the arse that I need. 

I will start by sharing my weight history with you. When I was younger (ie under 22) I was 'lucky' in that I was effortlessly skinny. I say 'lucky' because these days I am not really sure how lucky I actually was. Back then I could eat whatever I wanted. And so I did. However, it meant that I never developed a sense of what was occasional food and what was everyday food. I just ate whatever it was that I damn well felt like. During my honours year I remember eating a family block of chocolate every day but, because I was so flat out doing experiments and so stressed, the weight still fell off me. My weight never really went over 52kgs. Back then I was super active. I played organised sport year round, walked my husband's family dog, Axel, 3 or 4 times a week. We would go go up to the park just to kick a ball around or to play with Axel. We had so much time off at uni that all of this was possible.

Then I started my PhD which was the equivalent of working full time. My weight started creeping up, as I had less time to exercise, but not necessarily in a bad way. My body just became a woman's body rather than a shapeless teenage boys! Whilst I was at uni it was a 1km walk from my apartment to the train station then a 2km walk to my lab from the train station. That meant that I was walking a minimum of 6km/day, 5 days a week. So even though I wasn't participating in as much physical activity, I was still getting plenty of exercise.

This all changed once I started working. I drove to work which mean that I was only really walking 500m from my car to the lab and back. The other big change was that I now had a disposable income to spend on snacks. During my PhD I was on a scholarship so was living on $350/week which was only enough for absolute essentials. Suddenly having an income, with no major financial commitments meant that I could afford to have a milkshake every day, or a chocolate bar, or buy lunch rather than make it. My weight around this time was about 62kg but it was actually a nice healthy weight for me. I was a size 8 top, size 10 bottoms and was very happy with how I looked. I liked that I didn't have to diet to be this size. My job was quite a physical one. I was on my feet most of the day doing experiments and the hospital I worked in was massive. I would easily cover a couple of Km's walking from one side of it to the other picking up samples   So, I guess I was still very active during this time.

I only ever lose weight when I am stressed and I found planning a wedding very stressful. I wasn't intending to diet as I was perfectly happy with how I looked but the stress caused me to lose 5kgs so I was about 57kgs when I got married in 2008. Then the honeymoon hit! Oh how we indulged! We were away for about 4 weeks and I swear I put on around 7kgs. I blame the booze. I rarely drink but on our honeymoon we went to Thailand so instead of drinking water I just drank cocktails - they were cheaper than water (and more trust worthy!). The buffet breakfasts didn't help either. Each day I swore that I was only going to have fruit and somehow ended up with donuts, and bacon and pancakes and all sorts of other crap...plus fruit! When I got back, one of my work colleagues even asked if I was pregnant.  I know honeymoon babies are common but no one shows that early...have some tact! I don't think that it took long for my body to settle back to its happy weight of 62kgs. 

The following year I fell pregnant with The Crazy Kid and became obsessed with weighing myself but not for reasons you might expect. I had shocking morning sickness and so wasn't gaining any weight and this freaked me out. I read the books and they said that you usually put on a couple of kilos in the first trimester then 0.5kgs/week in the second trimester. At week 20 I had not put on a single gram of weight and was really stressed about that. The midwives assured me that it was fine and that I was probably just losing weight from the severe morning sickness at the same rate that I was gaining it with the baby. At week 21 I finally gained my first kilo then gained a kilo a week for the next 5 weeks. At week 26 I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and was put on a really strict diet. I mentioned before that I was very anti-diets. Well, I made an exception here and stuck to my diabetic diet to the letter. The thought of potentially having to squeeze a 5kg baby out of my hoohaa was enough to make me quit all evil sugar and carbs for 3 months. As fate would have it, The Crazy Kid ended up coming out of the sun roof and not out of my hoohaa, thanks to being the wrong way around, but he was a healthy 3.5kgs so the diet worked. Once I commenced the diet I dropped a kilo in the first week then did not put on any more weight for the rest of the pregnancy. I was so stressed about this that I went for an extra scan to check his size and all was fine. I was 68kgs when I gave birth and 64kgs by the time I got home (which was my pre-pregnancy weight). Two weeks after the birth I had dropped to 60kgs and was think that this whole breast feeding thing was awesome - the weight was falling off. 

Unfortunately, breast feeding made me ravenous and I turned to all of the carbs that I had been banned from when I had gestational diabetes. I was making loaves of choc chip banana bread and eating 3-4 slices a day, plus blocks of chocolate, biscuits, and liters of milk. I didn't really gain any weight in the first 6 months but then Crazy went on solids and I started supplementing with formula but didn't cut back or improve what I was eating so by 9 months I found myself back at 66kgs - I had put on more weight eating crap than I had in my entire pregnancy.

I really struggled going from working to being a stay at home mum. The loss of routine in my day meant that I was grazing all day long. When I was working I could only eat at set times of the day - I couldn't eat in the lab so I would have to wait for suitable breaks in my experiments to have something to eat. Another issue I had that was I knew that I wanted to get pregnant again so didn't see the point in dieting or getting my body back.

I was still around 66kgs when I fell pregnant with Kiki. I had even worse morning sickness with her and ended up losing 3kgs in the first trimester. I wasn't as neurotic about weighing myself this time though did still weigh myself weekly or so until the scales ran out of batteries. I think I finished the pregnancy at about 71 or 72kgs. I didn't have diabetes this time around. I had wanted to stick to the diabetes diet anyway, as it is super nutritious but I just didn't have the will power. I was exhausted chasing The Crazy Kid and was craving kilojoule dense foods. I assumed that the weight would just fall off like it did with Crazy but this time around it didn't. I never replaced the batteries in my scales so was living in blissful denial until we went for a helicopter ride for our wedding anniversary (9 months after Kiki's birth) and we all had to weigh ourselves. I weighed 71kgs - the same as what I weighed when I was 9 months pregnant with Kiki and 3kgs more than I was at full term with Crazy. I was shocked. I didn't feel like I was nearly 10kgs over my ideal weight. I think what had tricked me was that I had slowly been replacing all of my clothes with a larger size. I was telling myself that I preferred flowy clothing to the tight clothes that I used to wear when really it was just hiding my increased weight.

Another issue I had was that I refused to diet whilst I breast fed. I didn't want to compromise my milk. But then I was eating like shit so it was a stupid logic. I could have at least adopted a healthy eating plan. Kiki flatly refused formula. She's a stubborn little thing and there was absolutely nothing that we could do to get her to drink it. So I ended up breast feeding for pretty much a year. I stopped breast feeding about a month ago. 

So, I am now officially out of excuses as to why I can't shift my baby weight. After being on the diabetic diet I have all the nutritional information to eat very healthily but I don't have the will power. The reason is that I don't plan my meals - when I am hungry I go to the cupboard and grab something that I can eat immediately rather than taking the time to prepare a nutritious meal. Mornings have become hectic so I have just been having a coffee for breakfast then snacking all morning before having more junk for lunch. As I prepare dinner for the whole family, it tends to be quite healthy. When I prepare meals for the family I try to make something nutritious yet if I am making something just for myself then I just get something quick and easy. I am finding that I am really struggling to look after myself as I am exhausted after looking after my family that I just can't be bothered. Until I start treating my body with respect then the baby weight is not going to shift. I realised that I hit rock bottom when I invented the following awesome disgusting snack: I had bought some banana bread for the kids that was terrible (never buy cheap banana bread as it is unlikely to contain much banana). Rather than throw it away, I would cut myself a thick slice of it and then pour condensed milk all over it - a bit like sticky date pudding. I found a way to quadruple the amount of sugar in a slice of banana bread (and to make matters worse I would have it with a mug of hot Milo).

So, that is where I am at. I will be getting the Bodytrim kit in the next few days and have given myself a week to watch the DVDs and fully understand the program. Therefore, I will be commencing the diet on Monday 17th June. I plan on writing a weekly diary of my experiences. I am hoping that by making my journey public it will help make me accountable and that I stop eating that damn snack of banana bread with condensed milk. I will start my series of diaries with a weigh in, measurements and a before photo. I'm kind of scared about doing the before photo as I know some of my friends read this blog but it is time to stop being in denial. I am 163cm tall and so my ideal weight is between 53-66kgs. Whilst I am not hugely overweight I am currently overweight and it is time to do something about it.

Wish me luck!

Have you ever decided that it was time to embark on a weight loss journey and, if so, how did you go with it?