Friday, May 22, 2015

End of Week 5 - 7 kilos down



There's not much to report on a week by week basis, but I plateaued after losing the first 5 kilos in the first two weeks.

Now at the 5 week mark I have started losing again as I have been combining sugar free with some other disciplines like fasting days (unintentional ones as I have been out and about being busy) and not eating after the evening meal (totally intentional).

Feeling thinner and healthier again which is nice, and am making more meals myself so I know exactly what goes into each one.

The only real temptations I have had have been Pineapple Lumps (the kids were eating them) and they smelled AWESOME, and the Toffee Apple flavoured M & M's which I wanted to try so much.


But did not on either count and feeling virtuous for it :)

Friday, April 24, 2015



End of Week 2.

The thing about sugar free is the lack of snack foods and junk food, so sugar as something in and of itself may not be so bad. However it's presence in foods of all kinds does tend indicate the food should be avoided. Am snacking less and less, and avoiding eating at night.

All the credit can't just be for lack of sugar but it is a catalyst for me to eat better all round.

Weight this morning exactly 100.00 kilos.

Weight lost in two weeks 5.6 kilos.

Going out to dinner tonight and will be relaxing the no-sugar rule. Where the sauces and the sides will not be examined too carefully but the obvious sugars will be avoided. (so no dessert then :( )

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sugar Free Week 2


My sugar free year is not 8 days in...

Week 2 starts here

It's been a bit of an up and down week this week as I am getting used to being sugar free again, I have definitely lost weight, my final weight for the week 102.5 - about 3 kilos lighter, mostly from the fact that I over indulged in sweet and fatty sugar rich foods in a last ditch farewell to rubbish food.

I got down under 102 at one point during the week but that was due to being out and not eating all day as I had run out of time to do so, a feat I rarely replicate (nor want to).

But apart from people offering me treats, which it's easy enough to decline, it's as always the hidden sugars that get you.

My top 'denied' food for the week?

Bacon.

Dammit.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Year Without Added Sugar Starts Here


2 years ago I stopped the dieting as a serious proposition and over that time I have regained about 24 kilos of the 46 kilos I had lost.

Lots of reasons why that happens, mostly due to eventual slacking and loss of discipline, and the proof that if I do not take it seriously then I will put on weight again.

So this time round, 2 years I have decided that one of my biggest enemies is definitely sweets and sugar contained in foods without my realizing, or caring to be honest.

So this time instead of a month without sugar, it's time to go hard or go home and try living without added sugar for a whole year.

Much harder but I know it can be done.

I read 52 books, lost 46 kilos, wrote 750,000 words, have run over 750 kilometers and all by sticking to the discipline of a years commitment and being bloody minded enough to take it one day at a time and just stick to it.

I am also doing two other projects this year, a manuscript submission per month and a piano lesson/practice every day.

Rules: No Added Sugar in anything I eat. So if it says 'sugar' as an added ingredient then it's a no, regardless of the percentage. Naturally contained sugars are fine, like in fruit or milk, but not if it is an added ingredient. Also excludes sugars under a different name like Dextrose, Maltodextrin etc...

Current Weight Day One: 105.6 kg

I'll update here as I progress, and detail some of the surprises I find along the way.


Friday, July 26, 2013

One Diet a Month - The Book Proposal





It had to happen, I'm writing a book about it.

People keep asking me when I am going to do this, and I have embarked on a separate writing project already by writing a minimum of 1,000 words a day for a year to kick start that pesky writing habit that I never did much with.(www.constantwriting.blogspot.com)

So after yet another reminder that I should get around to this from Gary's editor friend (who coincidentally very politely rejected a novel I wrote over twenty years ago, no hard feelings I swear) who when told of my plan said 'that will be easy to sell!' (or something of that ilk) which is pretty encouraging, so here I am getting around to it.

Because I am writing daily in the fictional arena (at least for now) I'll do this as a separate exercise and follow the commercial model of creating an outline and then creating some sample chapters and then sending it off to see if there is any interest in it. As I have plenty of material in my blog and a year of comments and mentions on Facebook etc... it will be easy enough to reconstruct my year of diets in a single slim volume (with pictures and some fave recipes for added flavour).

Fingers crossed.



Here's a first draft of an introduction.

 Introduction: How did it all come about?

Back in March 2012 I was at least 126 Kilograms as the last time I had checked was back in 2010 and the 126 showing on the scales in my parents house gave me quite a fright. How did I get that heavy? And I certainly was a fairly heavy, unhealthy person like many people become without noticing how.

I accepted that I was big, probably 'technically' obese but I never really thought of myself that way. Sometimes I would catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or in a photo and think 'I can probably afford to lose some weight' or something less flattering to my self image if I was feeling down or depressed.

But did I class myself as 'fat' in my head? No, not really – I did what I suspect most people did and just did not think that much about it. Certainly my doctor had advised me to lose some weight and every now and then if I annoyed my wife enough she'd make a comment about wanting me to be alive when our kids grew up, which was pointed and true but never sunk in. Denial is a powerful tool when left alone, which is basically how it works anyway right?

In February my sister in law got married and I was at home alone that morning and catching up with the wedding party later that day. I grabbed the shirt and pants that I was supposed to wear and found to my horror that the nice dress shirt I had bought the previous year was quite tight. Because I wear casual clothes to work (the advantages of being an IT cliché) I had no fall back position. I put it on and took a bus into the city, stopping off at work for a little while to get some things done before heading down to the Hilton where the wedding was being held.

I knew that the shirt I was wearing was too small, it felt tight and had been cutting into me for the bus ride in to town, and sitting at my desk I could feel it grabbing at me and thinking about spending the next ten or more hours in the shirt was too much to bear. That shirt that did not fit, the largest one I had was a XXL and had been a little loose when I had bought it in 2011 and here I was in February 2012 an hour before I needed to be at the ceremony standing with my wife who looked fabulous in her Maid of Honour's dress, while I was feeling like a sausage bursting on a BBQ in summer. I went out and bought a bigger shirt from a shop in K Road, who kindly ironed out the creases for me, sold me some cuff-links and sent me on my way immensely comfortable again.

This could have been my wake up call to lose weight. This SHOULD have been a wake up call to lose some weight. It was not.

I just carried on as normal and it made no difference except now I had a funny story about being so fat I had to buy a shirt an hour before the wedding I was going to. You can laugh at yourself, and we all know you should not take yourself too seriously and we just carry on with things the way they have always been. The only difference was that I now had a nice dress shirt I could wear and be comfortable in.

In March 2012 I was reading an article in the NZ Herald about a new book all about Sugar and how it was the bane of modern life. The author sounded a little unhinged and like an anti sugar zealot preaching the evils of Sugar. I instantly dismissed the idea as the raving of an over enthusiastic person selling a book based on fear and over emphasis on one 'silver bullet' solution which I have always been suspicious of. Despite this the article stayed with me for a a few days not because I thought it was true but the idea that it was almost impossible to cut sugar out of a modern diet, because it was so pervasive.

I thought about this for a day or two and got the idea in my head to see how hard it was to cut sugar out, was it that hard to do? I had no real idea about diet, the plan that would form after that first month and I had no intention of losing weight. I assumed that I may lose a couple of kilos and that could be ok, but then and there it was a bonus effect. I was satisfying my curiosity, proving the claim true or false that sugar was really that pervasive.

So I made myself a mental challenge, and told a bunch of people I was doing it and why, it was an interesting thing and it got me thinking about additives and how much we don't know about what we are eating.

While it was a 'diet' by definition, I did not do it to lose weight, not at first. Then the coolest thing happened, spoiler alert if you've not figured this out from the cover, but I lost weight and quite a lot. I had to buy some scales because I had none, I had not weighed myself in two years and the last time I did I didn't like the number I saw. I had lost nine kilos by the end of thirty days.

Nine kilos just by cutting sugar completely. Lisa, a woman I worked with told me she read about this diet that the comedian Jimmy Carr was on where he stopped eating at 6 pm and had no caloric intake after that, and that I should try that next.

From this initial curiosity, the grain of an idea of changing up the diets, my willingness to blog about the results I came to the conclusion that I would do one year of dieting in 12 one month diets.

The rules were simple, I started on the 10th day of each month and commenced a new diet until the 9th of the following one. The diet had to be simple, a simple rule in one sentence or a few words. If it were complex I knew I would not do it. I was pretty sure I could make it through 12 types of simply expressed diets in twelve months and post once a week on my blog.

The weight fell off initially because I was doing something, anything to improve the way I related to food. I added exercise somewhere around the halfway mark of the year and by the end of it all I had done thirteen separate diets in that year. I had lost forty five kilos in weight alone, I had changed my wardrobe twice and even ended up on Television in Australia's Channel 9 talking about my plan.

I'd like to claim credit for being a dieting genius and having a goal and sticking to it, weight and health wise. In reality this was a lucky confluence of events that changed my life for the better and in ways that still surprise me have inspired others to make similar changes or take on some of the many, many lessons I have learned.

I blogged about my progress every week for the 52 weeks, and daily in the last few weeks when I was heading to the finish line and creeping up the to the magical mythical number of my BMI. A number if you had asked me at any point of my life after turning twenty until just before I got to the end of my year of diets, I would have said was impossible.

In the end it was not impossible, it was not even improbable.

It was doable.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Favourite Diet Foods: Rocket and Bulghur Wheat Salad w/Pear, Dates and Feta



So technically this is a salad I started eating AFTER my diet ended, but as it did my food habits have gotten a lot better anyway, and this is one of my faves currently.

Meanwhile weight is maintaining in the 86/87 range and I have been at this for about 2 months now (comes and goes from 85 to 88 at times but not much outside of that) and other than the two fasting days per week I eat what I want, it's just that what I want these days excludes most junk food, fast food and red meat is on occasion, and I would estimate vegetarian is over 50% of my week most weeks.


Ingredients


1C cooked bulghur wheat
1 packed cup rocket
1/2 C pitted dates chopped
2 Tbsp feta
1/2 pear cored and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp sliced almonds toasted

Dressing 

3 Tbsp EVO
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp maple syrup
salt to taste

Assembly

Mix dressing together in large bowl.
Add bulghur wheat and dates to dressing, toss.
Fold in feta and pear.
Plate onto rocket.
Sprinkle almonds over the top.


Note:  Substitute feta for goats cheese. Use couscous or quinoa instead of bulghur wheat,  walnuts instead of almonds.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Favourite Diet Foods: Asian Salad w/Spicy Peanut Dressing (caution, may contain nuts...)



A few weeks back I decided to add some recipes of my favourite diet food, and promptly did no such thing.

I have been concentrating on my writing blog and cracking through on the one thousand plus words a day goal but that then takes up all my attention and by the time I finish writing I am no longer interested in finding, writing and posting the recipe.

So now I have posted on this blog first and will go and bake my Monday Cake and THEN head to my 1,000 words (which is closer to 2,000 these days).

So here it is, spicy peanut dressed salad. Definitely not boring.

asian salad with spicy peanut dressing

Ingredients: Salad

red cabbage shredded
carrots (use peeler to slice into ribbons)
cucumber (cut in half, remove seeds and    use peeler to create ribbons)
capsicum (red or yellow) finely sliced
mung bean sprouts
coriander (chopped)
spring onion (finely chopped)
peanuts

Ingredients: Dressing 

4 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp finely chopped chilli
water for texture

Directions


Combine cabbage, carrot and cucumber ribbons and sliced capsicum. Add coriander and spring onion.
Mix together the dressing, adjust to taste. 
Add to salad and toss.
Top with mung beans sprouts and peanuts when plating.

Goes great with grilled fish. 

If mangos are in season. Peel and slice a cheek into strips, add to salad, it offsets the chilli with a bit of sweetness.

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