Going green

Green leafy vegetables are a vital part of our diets for vitamins, calcium, iron and fibre – but sometimes they’re a little bit too easy to “leaf” out of our daily intakes. Nutritionists say that our diets should be 50% … Continue reading

Tenille

Meet Tenille in the success stories section of my blog. She offers an abundance of tips for a healthy lifestyle and shares ways she keeps motivated to exercise, even ways to include her children!

Reflection

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I am quite nervous to post this, in all honesty, I still don’t feel 100% confident in a bikini (especially broadcasted online) but I thought I’d share this to offer some hope to anybody feeling as though they’re stalled or “stuck” at a weight they are not happy with.

The picture on the right is an accomplishment. I know this. But so is the picture on the left, because you know what: I was grappling with the same emotional problems as I am on the right. I don’t feel confident. I don’t feel beautiful. A “bikini body” hasn’t made my happiness level grow whatsoever. All it’s given me is a freedom to show my body without fear of bullying, and that isn’t my problem or my body’s. It’s society’s; and it turns out that even super hot models are told to lose weight to look good in a bikini.

I hate my weight in the picture on the right just as much as I hated my weight in the picture on the left. It’s addictive to see that number go down and to see measurements reduce, but you know what I’ve found? I look in the mirror and I still see the girl on the left. My social life is no better. My grades are no better. Losing weight hasn’t made my life wonderful, like weight loss campaigns tell you. I don’t have more energy, in fact, I have less. I am more tired and colder than I was at my highest weight, but hey, I can wear a bikini.

I used to want to look like Alana Blanchard (who wouldn’t), and then she admitted she had body issues (my world fell apart for a day). Just today, I noticed some creep had told her she was looking chunky and she needed to lose weight on her Instagram account. Why is it okay for guys to tell a model she needs to lose weight? What a jerk. I’ve never been called fat, and I was fat. Here is a fine example of a fit and healthy athlete being told such rubbish. I’m sorry Alana Blanchard that you have to suffer such treatment. I’m sorry anyone that has to suffer such treatment.

Some wise friends of mine told me to throw away the scale and be happy with my body because it is healthy. They’re absolutely right. I don’t post this as a “look at me; I lost weight; my life has changed” post. No. I post it to remind people that our health and fitness are more important than our looks, and to remember that pictures are deceiving. I had an eating disorder on the left. I have an eating disorder on the right. But don’t I look so happy?

Tips to change your lifestyle

I have lost 28 kilograms since June 2013. I changed my lifestyle and I chose to pursue my long desire of becoming a “surfie chick”. A lot of people ask me “how are you doing it” and all I can tell them is that I had a dream and I went after it. I don’t go to the gym. I don’t study nutrition. All I do is try to eat well and surf. Luckily eating well and surfing are good for the soul as well as the waistline!

So I’ve decided to post some tips on how to “lose weight”, but please keep in mind that I am not a dietician nor a nutritionist. I am just a girl that has found something that works for her.

So here are my tips.

 

#1 Get honest about what you’re eating. Keep a food diary and it will show any patterns of triggers or over-eating.

#2 Set realistic, small goals, as well as long- and short-term ones. When you achieve your goals, don’t be afraid to reward yourself with anything you like. Mine was a surfboard.

#3 Accept that you’re going to have bad days as well as good days. I’ve certainly had my share of pizza and chocolate while trying to be healthy but I haven’t given up simply because I move on.

#4 Find an exercise or sport that you love to do and keep at it. I personally cannot stand the gym. I’ve never even set foot inside one because the environment intimidates me. Other people love going to the gym and find it a really effective way to lose weight. My favourite way to stay active is to walk my dog, go surfing, go swimming and ride my horse. You don’t really have to slave away on a treadmill if you don’t want to.

#5 Start the day with whole grains and coffee. Coffee is an appetite suppressor. Have it black with no sweetener. It’ll stop the morning munchies. My breakfast choice is often muesli with no-fat yogurt, or rice bran cereal with some goji berries and a splash of lite milk. If you’re a person that is hungry after breakfast (like I am), go for the rice bran cereal. Sure it won’t taste as awesome as some sugary, fatty junk but you’ll be full until dinner time!

#6 Don’t be afraid to snack on veggies and fruit. Their nutritional value and benefits far outweigh their calorie content. A banana is approximately 90-120 calories. Big deal! They’re a super energy snack so go for it!

#7 At dinner time, make sure half of your plate is vegetables – green vegetables if possible. I love peas, despite them having a high carbohydrate content. I eat a lot of carbs in a day but I still manage to lose weight. Don’t be too afraid of carbs – as long as they’re “good” carbs they won’t make you fat. (“Good” means peas or beans as opposed to white bread and butter; but again, this is what works for me – you may have your bread and butter if you wish.)

#8 Don’t buy into fad diets, crash diets, slimming shakes, meal replacements or any of that BS. You need a program of your own that you can stick with.

#9 Take photos to archive your journey. When you feel like giving up, your progress will remind you how far you’ve come and you’ll become your own inspiration.

#10 Don’t diet. Diets are temporary. Make it a lifestyle change. Do it for your health and happiness instead of the number on the scale.

 

Hopefully this is helpful.

Small goals and baby steps

A lot of people in the Western culture will have a list of ‘New Year Resolutions’ but the moment they wake up on January the 1st, all that hope of ‘tomorrow’ will be tarnished because it’s suddenly ‘today’. They’ll put off whatever they wanted to achieve. I wonder if the reason people do this is because it is merely just hope and dreams or if they just have no-follow-through. I hope it’s not the latter.

I’ve never made a New Year Resolution. I usually skip New Years Eve celebrations and to be honest get downright depressed that I am not the person I wish I was. Are any of us really the people we want to be?

My best advice from an objective position to New Years Resolutions would be the obvious one: set realistic goals. If ‘be happier’ is on the list, you’re kind of doomed to fail. Be happier is awfully broad, just the same as eat better or lose weight. How are you going to eat better? How are you going to lose weight? How are you going to be happier? If you answer diet or exercise – the answer is still too broad and you have a problem. Which leads me to my next piece of advice:

Set small goals. Don’t start running a mile a day if you never ran in 2013. It doesn’t happen. Don’t crash diet because you’ll do just that: crash. Small goals are best because they are more rewarding. Instead of telling yourself to never eat chocolate again, tell yourself you’re only going to eat chocolate once a week for a month. You’ll be empowered with your success (because success is easy if you take baby steps) and you’ll want to better your goal.

365 days is a long time and your life’s habits aren’t going to be kicked just because the calendar changes.

Avoid disappointment and review that list of resolutions and maybe fine-tune a couple. Small goals and baby steps are what leads to success.

Post-Christmas blah?

I hope everybody had an enjoyable Christmas and you embraced the love of family and friends (and Jesus if you are Christian).
There were a few news reports stating that the average Australian consumes more than 7,000 calories on Christmas Day. That sure is a lot!
But it’s Christmas! It’s the one day of the year where we take it as a personal challenge to eat every chocolate or cherry in sight.
There are healthier options to “binge” on for such special occasions. I made huge bowls of garden salads and a quinoa salad and also a natural coleslaw (no dressing, just cabbage, carrot and spring onion). I filled my plates with these before I even looked at the naughty (tastier) stuff like sausages and roast potatoes.
Yet despite eating mainly salad, two lamb cutlets, two sausages and a glass of lemonade, my weight still rocketed upwards to the extent that it was just plain cruel and I wanted to murder my bathroom scale. Maybe it was a bad idea to weigh myself the day after eating so much because of water retention but it was the best way to kick my butt back into gear.
Experts say not to weigh yourself every day. They do have a credible point because our weights do fluctuate, but for accountability reasons, I think weighing every 1-3 days is a good thing. You can easily eat junk one day and be too worried to weigh-in the next day so without that shock factor (be it water retention or not) you might just keep eating junk. Of course, it’s a personal choice. Weighing-in regularly keeps me focused. If measuring or fitness levels is your choice, by all means. Whatever works for you is what will work best. Although, my weight went up by 3.4 kilograms so weighing-in may be a little distressing for those who are overly sensitive! (Don’t worry, I’ve lost all that now plus more so it can be rewarding too.)
Finding the motivation to eat healthily, or work out or even just go for a walk is probably the hardest thing to find at this time of year so my advice is to just find something that is going to remind you of your goals and keep at it because no diet deserves to die just because you’re having a great time.