How I slowly changed my diet and discovered what they call, ‘abs’

If you’d told me last year, that 2017 would be the start of a ‘new year, new me,’ I would’ve laughed in your face. No no, I’m kidding; I would’ve politely smiled and said, “Naw, that’s wonderfully ambitious!” and in my head, laugh maniacally cos I’m about as sloth-y as they come.

My, how the tables have turned.

Backstory

Me and fad diets go way back. I wasn’t ever overweight, but at 159cm and 55kg, I was definitely… ‘solid’ during my high school years. I distinctly remember my aunt telling me that I needed to lose 2kg to look prettier and that number has been burned into my brain like a cow tat. What are they actually called? Brands? Cow brand? Poked with a hot pokey cow poke?? Cow tattoo. You know what I mean.

Anyway. High schoolers be impressionable right? So I tried drinking nothing but protein shakes cos I read somewhere that that’s what Nicole Richie did and she’d lost only 5kg, but it’d made a huge difference in her appearance cos she’s short like me? Problem was, I’d binge on ramen after I couldn’t take it anymore after a day of watery vanilla protein shakes. Ew.

I’d read about celebrities eating only lettuce or kumara. Or remember how the Atkin’s diet was big for ages?? Ugh. Seriously, my silly teenaged brain was so vulnerable to all these unhealthy influences.

Anyway, my point? Even if I reached my goal of losing 2kg, I always put it straight back on, sometimes more, once I couldn’t cope on said fad diet anymore. It just wasn’t sustainable.

During university and after some trying times, my weight went completely the other way – 45kg at my lowest point, mentally and physically (life kicked me in the metaphorical balls hah) – but since then, and since I perked back up, I’ve always been around 50-52kg (not including pregnancies), and I’ve been completely happy with my size for the past 8 years. Sure I was never ripped or super toned, but I was ok with that.

Also, I hate exercise. There was a time when I couldn’t make it up the ramp at Coundown without getting puffed. I’m quite petite when you consider the global spectrum, so a lot of people automatically assume I’m healthy and fit, but actually I’m surprisingly unfit. And weak. I’ve always had very low blood pressure and low iron levels so that kinda gives you an idea into the inner workings of this lil boy-looking body.

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6 months preggo and taking benji bump to dance fitness

Cue 2017

Since the beginning of this year, Husband started counting every single calorie after about the millionth time I noted his gluttony when it came to meals. With our Fiji holiday coming up, he thought he’d make it his goal to lose the Dad Bod by then. And me being super-awesome-encouraging-wifey-supreme, I started portioning our dinners as all the health textbooks say: smaller dinner plate than your restaurant-standard (cos they’re HUGE) with 1/2 veg, 1/4 protein and 1/4 carbs.

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Hubs plate and my plate (chicken nugget for the lil nugget – he steals from my plate a lot so extra rice and chicken on here)

Ho-ly. Shit.

For the first 2 weeks we were so damn hungry. We had to top ourselves up at around 8pm with some yoghurt and fruit to curb them hunger pangs I tell ya. Ugh. Bit of a drag. But cos we were both in it together (I didn’t have any goals; just wanted to support the hubs and be healthier), it was a bit like that whole misery shared thing, which we all know, is… misery halved? Hmm… isn’t it technically doubled in total? Or at least 25% more that you’d feel if you’re sharing all venn-diagram-like? Whatever. I digress.

Fast-forward 5 months, we still portion our food the same way.

Our stomachs got used to the new, smaller portions so the hunger pangs went away eventually. First 2 weeks were the hardest. But now it’s just part of our lifestyle. Being in it together means we hold each other accountable. No scoffing an entire bag of chips every few nights a week!! No more cheese, wine and crackers every other night!!

I admit, there are still times that I indulge terribly (eg. half a block of camembert, whole bag of Starburst Snakes…) but I don’t punish myself for it after or lose hope that that’s me officially ‘off the wagon.’ I just rein it in after, carry on with my new ‘normal.’ It’s a small but effective mental shift that I feel has had the biggest impact on how I live my life.

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Still gotta indulge. All in moderation!

I’ve also made a smidge more of an effort to be fitter – walking the dog more, walking to my mum’s house instead of taking the car (she’s literally a few hundred metres down the road)… I’ve also been going to dance fitness once a week for a couple of years now (minus late pregnancy and newborn stage).

But I hate running and I hate dedicated exercise. As in, weights, crunches, push ups, planking, lunges, squats etc. I run on the odd occasion (say, during holidays or wedding season, or even winter, when the calorie consumption goes through the roof), but I never enjoy it. I hate it. Every second of it. But to compensate for bonus calories in a bit of long stretch, I know I need to balance it with some extra calorie-burning. Makes sense. It’s basic math; addition and subtraction.

Also in the past few weeks, I’ve attempted to lower my sugar and dairy intake – for the sake of my skin this time, as hormonal acne is a bitch of a problem that I can’t remedy with drugs cos I’m still nursing the little one. So I’ve swapped regular milk for soy, almond or rice milk; I have dairy-free yoghurt in the fridge; I’m trying to eventually make my way to completely sugar-free dark chocolate (baby steps; for the moment, it’s still Whittaker’s, which is high cal’s but not as yummy as their regular creamy milk choc so I’m not tempted to eat half a block in one sitting hahaha).

So far, Husband has lost around 8kgs. Using the MyFitnessPal app, he input his height, weight, usual amount of daily activity and goal to lose weight, and it told him in order to be in a calorie deficit at the end of each day, he needed to consume 1800cal’s. It was pretty painless for him cos the app allows you to scan barcodes at the supermarket and it spits out all the calorie info, right there and then. He still gets to enjoy Maccas, Dominos, Burger Fuel, you name it. So long as he’s under 1800 by the end of the day, he’s sweet.

I personally don’t weigh myself unless I’ve been asked to by the doctor’s, or it’s been a few months and I’m just curious, but last I checked I’ve lost around 2-3kg’s (so around 48-49kg now) unintentionally since we started eating better. My goal was never to lose weight as I thought I was at a good weight anyway and I don’t mind if I gain a bucket-load (as long as I see a bucket-load more definition hehe). I’m not sure if I’m technically in the ‘healthy’ range for BMI anymore but that’s a load of bull anyhow. Just a very rough guideline – nothing to take to heart. It’s more telling to have your fat pinched by a doc with one of them fat pinchy grabbers… jargon. It’s beyond me today.

So yeah. Even without any major change to the physical activity, I’ve somehow achieved more definition. I don’t think I’ve seen my abs since I was 7. All through a healthier diet apparently.

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Is that… wait, are those… WHAT the… ! The one time I praise bathroom lighting: good job. Way to make me look ripped yeeeea boi.

Anyway. Here’s my usual daily consumption.

BREAKFAST

Toast with Pic’s PB, quarter of a banana, teaspoon of flaxseed

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or

Toast with pesto, roast chicken, red onion, pepper

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LUNCH

Toast with pesto, roast chicken, red onion, pepper

or

Rice/Noodles, with chicken/tuna, veg

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or (in case of maj calories of late)

Salad with chicken/tuna

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DINNER

Rice/noodles, with protein (half steak/fried chicken & capsicum/roast chicken/fried fish), veggies

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Yep – I butchered my steak here. What can you do when you got kids in the kitchen screaming for milk in a different cup.

SNACKS

Rice cakes

or

2-4 small squares of dark choc

or

Dairy-free yoghurt with flaxseed and cut fruit

NOTE: I know I need to eat more fruit. I hate fruit. I’m getting there.

I’m also trying to find a form of exercise I enjoy, to do in the earlier half of the week as currently, an hour of dance fitness on a Thursday night is all I do at the moment. I shall see what I can find. I hate yoga. I hate running. I do prefer dancing cos it’s not like exercise to me so I’ll see if I can find another class nearby and at a baby-in-bed time lol.

Eventually, my goal is to be stronger and way fitter and overall just a healthy lil human being (whatever the scales say). But as I said: baby steps. This sloth has come a long way already and now I gotta nap.

Annie, xoxo

 

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