October 27, 2013
by Kim
1 Comment

There are more important things than food!

So by now you may have read my story about the constant cycle of weight loss and weight gain I was on. If you haven’t click here to read it (Part 1 and Part 2) and this post will make more sense. As I wrote, I was never happy with my size at any stage of weight loss and always thought I should be smaller. I put my body under enormous stress by eating in unhealthy ways to lose the weight and eating in unhealthy ways to put it all back on. I had no balance. I had no nourishment. I had no happiness. Every time I’d put the weight back on I would beat myself up about it and say horrible things to myself.

“You are worthless. How did you let this happen AGAIN? Why can’t you just be normal? You are so weak. You’ve undone all that hard work and it was all for nothing.”

I was putting all my energy into the food and exercise part of weight loss. I am a very determined person and when I want to achieve something I go at it 100% to get results.  The problem was once I got to a certain stage, I wouldn’t be able sustain the ‘diet’ and I’d quickly slide the other way.

My big realisation

Food was not the thing I needed to focus on. Food was not the reason I gained weight and felt unhappy. Food was not the reason I lacked confidence and was sitting on the sidelines of my life. I kept thinking if I focused on food, and ate better – it would get me to my goal weight and everything in my life would be better.

I started thinking about healthy, vibrant, happy people and how they don’t have any attachments to food. They eat in moderation, and always seem to have active, social lives. These people always used to annoy me (when I was judgemental and made constant comparisons) but now I knew I had to learn something from them. Around this time I got hit with the ‘self-love’ phenomenon which was sweeping through social media and on some blogs I was looking into. Seemed weird – but made a lot of sense.

If you truly love yourself, would you spend Friday night sitting on the coach binge-eating? If you truly loved yourself would you feed yourself six meals of animal protein a day with no carbs or vegetables? If you truly loved yourself, would you turn down offers to go out on the weekend with friends to sit at home alone? If you truly loved yourself would you constantly put yourself down and always see the negatives in your job?

As you may know, I’m currently studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. The very first thing that is covered is the concept of ‘Primary Foods’. The idea is, we need to be fed with these foods before real food. Primary Foods are grouped in four categories – Relationships, Career, Spirituality and Physical Activity. If these areas of your life are balanced and aligned, then you are far less likely to be unhappy and unhealthy.

Primary F

Wow! This made so much sense to me. I had already began to have a huge mind-shift when I’d started practising yoga and meditation, creating social events, cutting back on my weekend workload and doing simple exercise like beach walking. The big ‘self-love’ aspect was being met as I focused on the relationship I had with myself and worked on stopping that negative voice that said I wasn’t good enought, worthy, or important. I was finally meeting those needs that needed to be met by not focussing on the food. As I started feeling happier, the bad food started disappearing from my meals as I didn’t need to rely on it to make me feel better. I was beginning to have a healthy relationship with food without having to follow a diet and obsess over everything I was eating.

I have developed a tool I’ve been using to further develop my relationships (with self and others), my physical activity, my spiritual practice and my career. It is really helping me to improve the quality of my life. Keep your eye out over the next couple of days, as I want to share it with you too so you can do the same!

~ Kim

 

October 19, 2013
by Kim
6 Comments

How I have lost and gained over 100 kilograms – Part 2

Today I am writing about my experiences with three diet programs…..
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The Weight Watchers mission is to “help people lose weight in a sustainable way by helping them adapt a healthier lifestyle and a healthier relationship with food and activity.” Members attend a weekly meeting to be weighed in and listen to a presentation about a nutritional topic. I joined this program five times over the course of seven years. I’d never thought about how often I re-joined before and I had to re-check in my head because it sounded like too many times! I joined firstly in about 2002, lost about 8kgs in 3 months and then stopped going. I put the weight I lost back on and was back even heavier a year later to do it again. I did this a third time after a similar weight loss. I re-joined each time as I didn’t want to use my old weigh in card with my lighter weight on it and I wanted to start fresh each time. When I moved to London in 2006, I joined over there too. It was fun to see how many pounds I had lost each week instead of how many kilograms! I was successful there too, losing about 6 kgs in 7 weeks. It slowly crept back on when I stopped going. So I went to another meeting and lost more weight. Guess what happened then? I stopped going and the weight came back on! Are you seeing a pattern yet? When I returned to Australia from London I piled on a lot of weight in a short period of time so I re-joined for the fifth time. This time I only went to meetings for about five weeks.
Now I know from experience that this program works! I lost weight when I followed it and it kept me on track and motivated. I learned a lot about food and portion sizes at the meetings and celebrated losses – even the small ones. I was inspired by those members who had reached their ‘goal weight’ and still attended meetings to check they were on track. So what were the negatives for me? Well firstly the counting of points was hard work. Every food has a ‘points’ value and in a day I had about 20 points to use. I had to add everything up as I went and sometimes would find I had eaten too many points at the end of the day when it was too late to change it. Another problem I faced was trying to get the most value from my points. I’d often have one point left at the end of the day and would open the fridge to see a Weight Watchers Chocolate Mousse (1 point) and an apple (1 point). You can guess which one I chose! I made unhealthy choices as I lost weight. Even though they promoted healthy choices, no food or drink was off limits so I would still fit in ‘bad’ food (and Pepsi Max) and eat less for other parts of the day. I’d even skip breakfast if I had a big night out planned. So you can see for me, this was not a good fit and my eating wasn’t balanced.
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“The Tony Ferguson Weight Management Program is a flexible, 3 phase Program which offers the health benefits of a low GI diet while helping you to change your relationship with food.” On this program I drank a shake (‘powdered stuff’ in water) for breakfast and lunch, ate 2 pieces of fruit for snacks and ate a healthy dinner. I consistently lost 1 kilogram a week when I followed this and did it whenever I wanted to get fast results. I used this program on and off from 2008 to 2011. As with Weight Watchers, I’d often begin putting weight back on as soon as I stopped. It did not teach me how to incorporate healthy foods into my diet and didn’t make me feel good. At times I avoided going out for lunch and was often hungry. Since I took part, the program has improved and it does teach you how to go off the shakes, and incorporate healthy meals into your day. I only ever did it for a quick and easy solution, which of course was never going to set me up for long-term success!

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I have had the most weight-loss success from this program. I bought the DVD package and it taught me the importance of protein and eating small, balanced meals throughout the day to speed up metabolism. I lost 20 kilograms following this over a year (see photos of this journey in my previous post). It promoted walking as the best form of exercise and provided a pedometer to track a target of 10,000 steps per day. This was the first program to actually teach me some things about the nutritional qualities of food. Although I lost a lot of weight, I did not follow this plan properly. I hadn’t eaten salads or vegetables my whole life and so was only eating eggs, meats, fruit and protein powder shakes and recipes the whole year. Although I was eating a high protein diet – I was consuming practically no carbs and absolutely no plants. As my BMI came down, so did my health. I was also still drinking 2 – 3 diet soft drinks a day at the expense of my water intake. I did e-mail BodyTrim and say I didn’t eat vegetables or salads and they replied promptly to tell me this was not healthy and they did not recommend me to follow the program without consuming these foods. I had my warnings but didn’t listen.

These are just three of the many weight loss methods I have tried. If I wrote about them all, they would form a 500 page book! The main point of sharing these experiences is to show that in my case (not every case) they only provided short-term results and they were not the best for me to successfully maintain on a long term basis. I just want to stress – these programs all promote healthy eating and aim to encourage everyone to reach a healthy weight and maintain it. I do not wish to discourage anyone from wanting to try one to kick start a weight-loss journey. These are just my own personal experiences and obviously there were other factors in my life that caused the weight to pile back on time and time again.
So why did I keep putting back on every kilogram I lost? It’s taken me a long time to find out. I will share it in an upcoming post.

~ Kim

October 17, 2013
by Kim
1 Comment

How I have lost and put on over 100 kilograms in 10 years – Part 1

I have tried so many ways of losing weight over the last ten years. I have had meal replacement shakes, counted calories or points, gone to weight loss meetings, seen dieticians, followed online programs, ordered frozen meals, entered my food intake in a website every day, ate low fat, ate high protein, ate no carbs etc. I can honestly say I have lost over 100 kilograms in the last ten years. I have also put on over 100 kilograms too. All of these kilograms were lost or gained on the scale between 70kgs and 90kgs. I have never gone over 90kgs or under 70kgs in the last ten years. The below photo shows me between these two weights. I lost 20kgs in 2011 and this shows the various stages.

Weights

It cost me a whole lot of money to ride this exhaustive rollercoaster of constant weight loss or weight gain. The weight loss industry makes big bucks and I was one of their biggest contributors. There weren’t many periods of time where I was maintaining my weight. It is hard to believe my body has endured this for so long. It’s also hard to believe I hated myself so much to have treated it this way. All the diets I tried have positives and negatives. I won’t ever say a diet was ‘bad’ because they do work differently for different people. I will always support anything that helps motivate people to be healthier and I know that many people have and will continue to achieve life-long success through the weight loss programs I tried. For me, they were only ever short-term fixes as every time I stopped doing them, the weight came back on. This year, I have discovered the real reasons why the weight kept coming back and I now know what I have to do to reach a healthy sustainable weight and stay there. I will be sharing this with you over the next few weeks. First of all I want to share my journey and how I got to this point. Keep visiting back over the coming days where I will post up the next parts to this story. I welcome any comments or questions, so please feel free to post these below along the way. ~ Kim

September 27, 2013
by Kim
6 Comments

My Sorry Addiction….. and how I kicked its ass!

I am not a big drinker. I only ever drink on social occasions and never keep alcohol in my house. I’ve never tried drugs nor touched a cigarette. There hasn’t even been a particular food I’ve developed a major love of that I have to eat it every day. So my addiction was not any of those nasties. But it was still a very bad one.
My addiction was diet soft drink. Pepsi Max was my drink of choice although Diet Coke was a close second. I remember when I was growing up my mum drank Diet Coke on some occasions and I developed a liking to it as well. When I tasted Coke, it was yucky in comparison. I can honestly say I haven’t had more than five Cokes in my life. Even when Coke Zero came out I didn’t like it because it had that same Coke taste.
But DIET Coke or Pepsi Max on the other hand…… I LOVED the taste and I’m ashamed to say I have consumed THOUSANDS of these drinks in my life. Yes, I’ve done the maths and I do mean thousands. In my 20’s, I don’t think very many days passed when I did not drink at least one. In the last few years I was drinking about two cans of Pepsi Max a day – more on weekends.
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I was totally addicted. I had to have my fix. That first grab of the cool can, the sound of the ring pull followed by the gentle fizz of the liquid all was a part of the experience. It was a way to wind down at the end of the day. It was a drink I’d have when going out to lunch or dinner. I’d grab one out of the vending machine at school on the way to a staff meeting. Every second week with the groceries, I’d buy a carton of 24 Pepsi Max cans. If I didn’t have any at home, I’d buy the carton, then have to also buy a cold bottle too so I could have one straight away when I got home! Just so I didn’t have to wait for the cans to get cold in the fridge. Yep – I was bad! Oh the shame!!!!!
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Even when I was losing weight, this addition was the one thing that remained. It had no calories so I thought it wouldn’t affect my weight loss. When I was having shakes, boring grilled chicken meals, counting points or calories, Pepsi Max would get me through because it was that one ‘treat’ I was still allowed. No weight loss program said I couldn’t drink it so I just kept slurping it down every single day.

Until the day I signed up for Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge. Last year in July I signed up for this challenge which was 10 weeks long. There were exercise sessions each day and some ‘clean eating guidelines’ to follow. As I read through these guidelines in the days before I was to start, I read the following under the Big No-no’s section –

“No cordial, fizzy drinks or energy drinks or juice.”

I thought that was okay because she surely just meant the sugary soft drinks. Not the diet ones. Then I turned to the FAQ’s page.

Q. Are diet/sugar-free soft drinks still okay?
A – NO. You need to train your brain so that when you see the word ‘diet’ you think of chemicals and artificial sweeteners which are unhealthy for your body. Soft drinks in particular contain sweeteners which still trick your body into thinking it is sugar and will spike your insulin and basically result in weight gain. It is also hard for your digestive system and blood to absorb nutrients when you feed it unwanted chemicals. STAY AWAY!!!

Oh shit. I was pretty devastated. I’m a good girl who doesn’t break the rules and when I start something new I put everything into it. I knew this was time to give it up. It was a Friday and I had 7 cans of Pepsi Max in the fridge and I started the challenge on Monday. So I drank three cans on Saturday and the last four on Sunday.
I have not had a drop of soft drink ever since!

I’m not going to say it was easy. It was tough – especially those first two weeks. I craved it all the time and wanted it so bad! Having soda water with dinner helped a bit. I’d make sure I had drunk over 2 litres of water throughout the day, then I poured a glass of bubbly soda water/sparkling water to have at the end of the day. In that third week I stopped wanting soft drink as much and I started to notice how much better I was feeling. I was sleeping better and had no headaches. By drinking that stuff every day for so long, I’d forgotten what it felt like to be a normal, hydrated person. Feeling better really helped me stick with it and when that 10 week challenge finished, I thought – I’m just going to continue not drinking it. I was also finding out so much more about artificial sweeteners and all the harm they can cause.
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Only a couple of months ago, I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) that there is so much sugar in a can of coke, that if you just drank that sugar in water, your body would reject it and you’d vomit. Your body cannot handle that much sugar at once. So what the manufacturers do is add in chemicals that help your body keep it down in your stomach. So now you’ve not only poured a huge excessive dose of sugar down your throat, it goes down with a bunch of synthetic chemicals. Healthy huh? So that got me thinking – in the case of diet drinks, there would be just a double dose of the artificial chemicals (Aspartame is the worst) with additive qualities that cause harmful side-effects to your body.
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It has now been 14 months since my last soft drink. My treat drink at the moment is kombucha. But that drink is a whole post on its own!!! I am super proud of myself for giving up the soft drink and the health benefits my body has gained since have been tremendous. Now it disgusts me to look at that browny bubbly liquid. We were never meant to drink it. That stuff does not belong in our bodies. I kicked its artificial, fake, addictive, poisonous ass and I’m not going back.

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September 24, 2013
by Kim
8 Comments

I’m going “poo-free!”

Before you all start freaking out, I’m talking about shampoo. Calm down. The ‘poo-free’ movement has taken hold of many around the world and after coming across it a few weeks ago, I thought “this is for me!”
I have always had really thick, dark hair and I’ve washed it every second day since I can remember. During summer months and those weeks I’ve been doing cardio each day, I’d have to wash it every day. I was very jealous of friends who only had to use their shampoo and conditioner once a week. Their hair didn’t seem to get oily like mine.
Earlier this year I began changing all my cleansing products to natural, more organic brands. I was on a mission to find the perfect shampoo and conditioner to tame my oily hair! Below are the three brands I’ve tried.
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The Sukin products were nice, but I didn’t think they cleaned my hair well enough and I had to use a lot of the conditioner to detangle my hair.
So I tried the Coconut Herbal brand which smelled divine! Unfortunately it was so hard to get the product out of the container. You needed to use two hands to squeeze the bottle and squeeze it out onto your leg or the edge of the bath and quickly scoop it up before it all dribbled away. Not ideal!
Next was Sanctum. The shampoo and conditioner were nice, but the product came out way too fast and I was using so much of it each week. I’d have to buy them every 2 weeks which is a bit expensive.
Now you can see how I was fed up with shampoo and conditioner, the time it took me to wash my hair each week and the expense of going to natural brands with no added nasties. My interest in the ‘no-poo’ challenge was very high!
Shampoos and conditioners act like cleaners (with many yucky chemicals) and strip away all the dirt and oils in your hair. Your hair has to start building up oils again after each wash. I finally understand why my hair was so oily!!! The more I washed – the harder my scalp had to work to produce oils to compensate!
I’ve been shampoo and conditioner free for one week now. I just use water to wash my hair now. Yes, you heard right – that magical ingredient water! As expected, my hair became oily pretty quickly and after I washed my hair last Monday night, it looked like this on Saturday.

Greasy Mess!

Greasy Mess!


Yuck!!! So that is when I turned to the kitchen pantry. Most people who have done this challenge use baking soda and apple cider vinegar to clean the hair when it gets too oily. After a quick google search, I realised bi carb soda is what we call baking powder in Australia. So this is what I used
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda (bi carb soda) in 2 cups of water
I poured a little bit on and worked it into my hair, before adding more and more. I let it sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing out.
- 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs brand)
I poured this is bowl with 2 cups of warm water and then tipped my head upside down into the bowl so it could soak it up a bit. Then I slowly poured it through my hair before rinsing.
My new shampoo and conditioner

My new shampoo and conditioner

I should say that during and straight after this process I thought that there was no way this was working. I had to go out to the farmers market so I quickly tied my hair back and ran out the door. As the day went on, my hair began to dry and it felt……. amazing. So silky and smooth and no oily bits to be found!

12 hours after I washed with bicarb soda and ACV

12 hours after I washed with bi carb soda and ACV


It has been three days since I washed my hair with the bi carb soda and ACV mix. I’ve also done two exercise sessions since then. My hair is becoming oily again but not as quickly as it used too.
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To think that I may not have to spend money on shampoo and conditioner again and not waste time each day washing my hair is an exciting prospect. It will take time and patience to train my hair to get to this stage, but I’m willing to put in the effort.
To read more go to - www.nopoomethod.comDo you have what it takes to go ‘poo-free?’

September 15, 2013
by Kim
9 Comments

Can I be Happy Now?

My friend on Facebook the other day commented on a really old photo of her when she was 18. She wrote, “Look how hot my legs were! I can’t believe I thought I was fat!” I could so completely relate to what she was saying. I’ve been up and down with my weight for so long. I’m either losing it or gaining it. When I come across an old picture of myself at a smaller size, I always ask, “Why weren’t you happy then? You were so slim.” If I’m completely honest with myself, I don’t think I’ve been truly happy with myself or my body at any stage in my life. That is pretty sad for a 31 year old to admit!!! So many women think that they will be happy when they reach a certain size and I was one of them.
“When I weigh under 70kgs, I’ll go paddle boarding.”
“When I lose another 5kgs I’ll buy myself something nice.”
“Guys will start liking me once I get to my goal weight.”
Those are just a few of the hundreds of ridiculous things I’d constantly say to myself to tell myself happiness was only in the future for me. Why do females do this to themselves? Whilst I made these rules, my friends were out having fun paddle boarding, I was not treating myself to new things and guys who may have been around were not on my radar as I believed I didn’t deserve anyone.
I’m not putting the pause button on happiness anymore.
I woke up to myself after attending a workshop earlier this year (I Am Loveable) that helped me realise how silly I was being. There are women out there at my ideal weight with killer bodies who hate themselves. Is that where I want to be? No. I’ve learned by choosing to be happy now, you learn to live in the moment, appreciate what you have and see pleasure in simple things. It is a process. You don’t become happy overnight. It is something I am constantly working on. I am not happy yet, but I’m a lot happier that I was.
The title for this post (my first ever post!) comes from a song by Bon Jovi. Here are the rest of the lyrics from the chorus:

Can I be happy now
Can I let my breath out
Let me believe
I’m building a dream
Don’t try to drag me down
I just want to scream out loud
Can I be happy now
Been down on my knees
I learned how to bleed
I’m turnin my world around

I cannot even begin to express how these words resonate with this stage in my life. I hope they resonate with you too.

PS – I went paddle boarding for the first time in my life last weekend!

~ Kim