Monthly Archives: September 2012

Losing 100 pounds: challenges and secrets.

I can’t lose weight because I cook for everyone else.  Have you heard that refrain before perhaps even uttered it?  I have a family and i have to cook for them and they won’t eat diet food, another song I have heard and sung, lets leave the other songs and have a quick look at these ones perhaps.

As a sole parent I do the cooking, when I was married I did the cooking so nothing changes at all for me.  I also do the grocery shopping.  I have developed a special technique that allows me to eat anything I want to eat at any time. It is very simple and anyone can use it any where.  I just don’t eat as much as I used to.  It starts as simply as that.  There are other things that I can do but that is the number one key to losing weight and to maintaining that weight loss.

In 2011 I returned to University and completed a graduate diploma in English and this year I have all but completed a graduate diploma in Teaching, (High School).  In short it has meant that I have had to live very frugally, no money for the gym. Cheap cuts of meat, frozen veg rather than fresh.  I haven’t cycled in 5 months but…  I have stayed within 3 kgs of my lowest weight, maintained my fitness at an acceptable level, (I can climb 5 stories of stairs and still have a conversation at the end).

This is in spite of poor physical health,  I swear if I were a horse I would have been shot , three herniated discs, constant sciatic pain, half of my diaphragm is paralysed and I have permanent nerve damage in my arm.  Over the last three months I have struggled with a post viral syndrome from a nasty bout of the flu. But none of those things give me an excuse to start eating what I do not need to.

Today I went to a place that has had a significant impact on my life Totara Springs Christian Centre  I won’t go into the ins and outs of why this place is important to me right now suffice to say it is always about people.  I was dropping my children off to help out in the school vacation camps.  I help out cooking there when they are busy and I gave them some time today.  It helps clear my head and I love the huge kitchen and the opportunity to be creative.  Now why do I tell you this.

Can you imagine any worse place to be than in the food industry when you are trying to lose weight?   Especially when you are catering for very active young people, high energy diets are called for, but even here I can succeed.  I use a tasting spoon.  I choose what I taste and how much.  At the end of the day when I sit down to eat I still choose quantities and what food I eat.  Truth is that I ate more food today than what i normally would, I feel bloated and uncomfortable, however tomorrow I will be back to normal and will eat as per normal. It is always about choice and always will be about choice.  I cooked the special diets today for the vegetarians and the egg, gluten and dairy free people, capsicums  (bell peppers) filled with lightly roasted pumpkin, mushroom, red onion, celery, carrot. swede, garlic and capsicum, seasoned with rock salt, pepper, garam masala and ginger drizzled with olive oil and a balsamic glaze, dessert was waffles with baked bananas and maple syrup dressed with cinnamon,nutmeg and sugar and dairy free ice cream.  It all tasted great.  I could eat any of it.

I said earlier that I thought my weight had crept up and I was on the scales on Monday at 97.9 kgs.  A gulp and a quick turn of the screws, upping my exercise  (walking faster and taking a bigger stride and cutting my food just a little and this morning 96.2.  It takes very little effort to turn the weight loss back on again but I need to be vigilant.

Remember all it takes to lose weight is to eat less energy than what you put out.  It is as simple as energy in and energy out!

Till next time



Part Three of how I lost 100 pounds. Barriers

Barriers to achieving goals are everywhere.  I am the first to admit that.  When it comes to personal goals they often seem so huge that it feels pointless even getting started.  Moreover when your experiences have ingrained in you negativity and loss, when you feel battered and bruised and you just feel like curling up in a corner and opting out I understand.   I have been there and done that. But let me tell you there is good news. 

My experience is that the narrative that I have just talked about is common.  For some reason our society has evolved into this beast that consumes individuality in favour of the collective.  If you don’t fit the norms then you are out on the margins.  When I talk about a healthy mind equalling a healthy body it really starts with this.  You have to accept who you are.

Accepting who you are is not about accepting that you are short; tall, fat, thin, or any other physical attributes it is about accepting that you are an individual and that you have flaws as well as strengths.  The inability to recognise either of these is just as problematic. It is not about the knowledge of what these are but it is about what you do with them.

This is not as easy as what it sounds and I recommend that if there are significant issues in your life that you have entered into a therapeutic professional relationship to look at those issues first.  There is not a lot of point in trying to deal with a weight problem that is informed by a lack of self esteem unless you have looked at that core set of beliefs that inform you about issue in the first place.

For me I had done significant self work over the years but there was one hurdle that I had to jump, more about that another day.   The key factor was that I was ready, in a space where it was just time.  Now it could have happened much earlier for me but the truth is that I lacked the courage to look in the mirror, as long as I could postpone that honest look then I could postpone the necessity of doing anything about my weight.

The truth is that I was . . . FAT.   Not overweight, not morbidly obese, not short for my weight I was FAT  to the extent that I could not breathe properly, that I was placing demand on my body that meant I was doing permanent damage, I was impacting on my family my children were embarrassed, I was embarrassed.  I dressed in black because it was slimming.  If the subject came up I would say oh well I have the arteries of an 18 year old, a bullet proof pancreas and I am happy.  What a crock of shit.  Yes my heart was in good shape and I did not have a blood sugar problem but there were other health issues and being so Fat I was wearing my organs out prematurely.   Enough  on health now we will cover that another day.

The good news is that you have a choice.  You are not powerless, any narrative that you have in your head that tells you otherwise is a lie.  We all have the capability to change and we all can find the will power to confront those kind of issues in our lives whether it is gross obesity, smoking whatever, they are all beatable.  There are people in your community who are living proof of that.  You just need to want it enough. If you want it enough you will find away.  I can’t guarantee that it will be easy but generally anything easy is not worth having.  

So the first step I believe is to tell yourself the truth, look in the mirror and say what you see, not the physical but the emotional, spiritual and psychological.  Give yourself permission to accept that you have imperfections, foibles whatever.  Feel the fear and know that you will still exist even if you don’t like what you see.  Then do something about it.  That something I will talk about next time.  Till then live ,love and laugh!


Part Two 100 Excuses for Obesity Debunked (well at least 5)

People have asked me what is the secret to losing weight.  They say they have tried this diet and that and as soon as they stop the weight comes back.  They tell me that there metabolism is super slow and that they don’t eat too much, look at my wife/ husband he eats more than me and he/she is skinny.  My knees are buggered, my back is out.  I don’t have time to exercise. It’s my medication, I just don’t burn the calories as quick now as I did when I was 20.  I must go to the Dr and get my thyroid checked.  These are some of the most common reasons I have heard people say when they look at me or hear my story.

I chose these not only because they are common excuses they are all plausible and possibly true but for every one of these there is a simple answer.  You see friends they do not matter, the incidence of a genuine endocrine problem that causes uncontrollable appetite and weight gain is so rare you probably have more chance of winning the lottery. Hypothyroidism does exist but once again rarely.  The simple cause of obesity is calories in versus calories out.

At a recent dinner in the capital I was talking to a young woman who asked me the secret to losing weight,  I prefaced my answer with some advice.  Never ask a question that you don’t want to hear an answer to.  She said you can tell me anything you like as long as you don’t talk about calorie input and output.  So  I turned to her neighbour and asked her how she was.  Fortunately the conversation was well lubricated and she laughed.  I told her our bodies are just a bank account.  Put more calories in than what you need and you will make the account larger.  I was a billionaire!

The hardest part of losing weight was telling myself the truth.  The truth is the only thing that caused me to be  overweight  was looking right back at me in the mirror.  I was the cause of my own obesity.  Yes I had a bad back, yes I was not happy with my life, yes my genetics predisposed me towards obesity but. . . in the end I was in control.  I had to exercise that control over my life.  To do that i needed to have a healthy mind and from a healthy mind I would then extend  to a healthy body.  No secret here at all  very simple.  Healthy mind = healthy body.  More on that next post.  In the meantime comment away feel free to disagree with me if you wish.


The Fatman must go!!!

I looked in the mirror
With much disgust
At that image
Its wasn’t august

Fat I see
Is everywhere
From head to toe
Nothing spared

Full of loathing and shame
I look and  see
That soon I’ll be staring
At eternity

Clothes I own
More like tents
Nothing fits
Is my lament

Hope is at hand
New life new love
And extra help
From him above

Twenty kilos
Gone forever
Its the beginning
Of the golden weather

A few words as I moved through my journey

I looked in the mirror,
with much disgust.
At that image I saw,
it wasn’t august.

Fat I see,
is everywhere,
From head to toe,
nothing spared.

Full of loathing and shame,
I look and  see,
that soon I’ll be staring,
at eternity.

Clothes I own,
more like tents.
Nothing fits,
is my lament.

Hope is at hand,
new life, new love,
and extra help,
from him above.

Twenty kilos,
gone forever.
Its the beginning,
of the golden weather.Image

How I lost 100 lbs (45 kg) Nearly 1/3 of my body weight!

Talking about procrastination got me to thinking about some further unfinished business.  In April 2010 I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself the truth.  I said and pardon the f bomb here nut it is what I said “f – – – that is pretty disgusting.   I was talking about my reflection, all 138.9 kgs of it.  That is nearly 307 pounds for my American readers or nearly 22 stone for my Uk readers.

I was morbidly obese.  I was recently separated and had let myself go over the last 20 years, it had started with a back injury and then as I did not deal with all the other problems in my life I began to eat.  I could eat a two pound steak with sausage and bread and ½ a dozen beers no problems.  The dessert and snacks all good.  Stop to buy gas, always add a chocolate bar, coke, flavoured milk whatever. As to exercise well I could work all day but at a slow pace.  I decided that if I wanted someone else in my life then I needed to do something about it.   I had been offered help to get a stomach staple but I had decided that these could get beaten and that I needed a change in my heart that extended to my body. Healthy mind, healthy soul.

I set about doing something about it.  I set a goal of losing 5 kgs, I joined the gym and went for it.  I started to lose weight. Hmmm. I thought maybe there is something in this, well to cut to the chase I weigh in at around 93 kgs give or take a kilo depending on the week.  Yes that’s right I have lost over 100 pounds or 6 stone.  Almost 1/3 of my body weight.  Now here is the good news.  I will share how to do this with you, how much would you pay for this knowledge, my secret to success, $90.00 well today, I will give you an opportunity to find out my story for … wait for it not 90.00, not 80.00 not 50.00 not even 20.00.  For the grand sum of just 3.00 I will share the secrets of my weight loss with you.  That is right, $3.00.  (if you want to trawl through my blogs you can learn it for free!

Wait there must be a catch.  Nope, nada, nix, not even, No catch or conditions.  All you have to do is follow my blog.  I can even throw in some cooking lessons and recipes if you like.  Just tell me what you want to know.  I am even prepared to journey with you via cyber space on your journey of weight loss if that is what you prefer.  I know that this knowledge is worth paying for and if you decide that you like what you hear and want to acknowledge that in a tangible form, you can buy my book.  Anyway back to the story of procrastination.  I have been stable for the last 6 months bouncing around the 93 to 95 kg mark.  I have a goal to reach 85 kgs before I turn 50 in January.   Procrastinate no more, back on the wagon, follow my journey.  Weigh in tomorrow.  I may have even sneaked back into the 96 kg mark.

I have posted some before and after photos so you can see the reality of my change.  I hope you enjoyed my story.


Decisions Decisions Decisions!

There sometimes comes in our life a time to make big calls.  This week I have had to make three and frankly I am worn out. In days past I would have assumed the position, and planted my head truly and firmly in the sand, watching and waiting for someone else to make a decision for me.  If I was lucky then someone else might have made the decision for me.  A bit like having a little niggle in a tooth, it starts off as a vague ache but left unattended the cost can be enormous,  The main driver of procrastination is not laziness but fear.  I have learnt this lesson the hard way and the cost has been huge, however, I have learnt.

I am not saying that these decisions have come without cost and some of them I may even regret. But they were unavoidable if I wanted to keep my integrity and be a responsible parent, friend and employee.  I have felt the fear and done it anyway.  These were not rash spur of the moment decisions, these kinds of decisions always have a high price to pay and are most often regretted.  I have thought things through carefully and in a reasoned manner.  One of the decisions was way past overdue and I have paid a toll in a loss of my own personal sense of integrity.

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that some people are prepared to go to so that they can avoid conflict.   All avoidance has a cost and like a bank loan the longer you avoid paying that cost the greater amount it costs you to make that decision.  I recommend an approach to issues that you know you are avoiding is direct and reflective and this will pay off in the end.  In the meantime
Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.