Moderation is a fatal thing.

Hello! It has almost been 3 weeks since I got started and I have now lost 3.7 kilos (just over 8 pounds). This is a fairly good start. I have to keep telling myself this.

Most of my friends are very health conscious and have tried most diets, everyone has their idea of what works best – some count calories, some carbs, some run, some (most) lift. I have a lodger at the moment who also happens to be one of my better friends. She has a completely different approach to eating, she eats little protein and barely any dairy or fat. She has, like me, been an athlete and is used to rigorous training and eating. We often have long conversation over dinner about what we eat, and why, and we have realised that her and I have one thing in common – how we think about food. This sparked an interest in writing something about it, because we’re different in body but similar in mind. Our enemy? Moderation.

I have an attitude to both food and exercise which can be good, but is also what has turned me from a mean machine into a rusty old bus left in the junk food yard. I either eat well, or really really shit. I either work out 6 times a week or not at all. Here’s an example of this behaviour from last year: during September I went to the gym 5 times a week and did cardio 3 times a week, I prepped every meal and made sure anything I ate was healthy. Then, in the first week of October things kind of fell through and I missed 4 days of exercise. On the 5th day, I got the bus to work and had 4 cinnamon rolls and some chocolate for dinner. It’s as if my mind goes “well, you’ve already fucked this up so you may as well give up”.

So I did. I gave up. I looked in the mirror and hated myself for it, but I didn’t do anything about it. I got acne, which I’ve never had before (I will write about this in a later post). I just quit taking care of myself and treated every emotion with food. “I’m happy with what I’ve done today – I deserve food” and “Today hasn’t been a good day – I deserve food”. It’s sad, and very dangerous.

My beloved lodger told me about this method you can use when you walk towards the cupboard to fetch a snack: the three breath method.

Breath 1: Look at your snack. What are you about to eat?
Breath 2: Do you need this? Are you actually hungry?
Breath 3: Do you genuinely want this? Are you peckish or just bored?

For me, this is a good method. It means I eat because my body wants it, not because I’m treating an emotion.

I’m going to the gym 3-4 times a week. I make sure I go because I want to and not because I “have to”. When something turns into a “have to”, the risk of not doing it is much, much greater. I need to remind myself that it is ok to just relax, that if this is going to work in the long-run, I need to allow myself to just be.

Just like blogging. I’ll do it when I want to, not just to fill up space. I’ll write when I want to share, or need support, or need to vent.

I have an event in a little over three weeks which will require wearing a dress and looking good. My plus-one is already convinced that I will be arm candy, but this remains to be seen.

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As if I needed another reason…

First day back at work after Christmas holidays today, it was not easy getting out of bed – my “breakfast” consisted of a big glass of lemon and ginger water and then a cup of coffee with some coconut oil in it.

At work it was about as busy as usual, it is rather hectic when one has to fit in a full day of tasks in 5 hours. Lunch was swiftly assembled this morning; smoked salmon, salad, avocado, cucumber and cream cheese. Not very exciting, but it did the job.

After work, I finally got to the gym. I hadn’t been for about 3 months. Eurgh. I decided to start off on the scales… I don’t know if it was a mistake or a stroke of genius – I’ll go for the latter. 110 kilos, 17 st 4. I have never in my life been this heavy.

I did arms and shoulders for 1.5 hours then cycled for 8 km. I have never in my life been this weak.

I walked passed the mirror in the gym on my way home and didn’t even think I looked strong, which used to be my “excuse” (hey, I might be fat, but I can also squat 200 kilos!). As such, I have taken some photos today that I can use both as a reminder for why I mustn’t eat shit as well as for comparison, when I feel ready for that.

I’m now home and showered. I don’t feel any endorphins, mainly just a wave of disappointment washing over me. Why have I done this to myself?

Anywho, I am making a taco gratin later and then getting an early nights sleep.

Cheerio.

My chin has gotten company by three more.

Why… Hello.

2014 has been and gone. A lot happened, good and bad. Work took over my life in August and stayed that way until the very last days of the year. I love my job and I have been quite successful, put I paid the price of stop focusing on everything else; body, mind, friends, love. Admittedly, around October, I gave up on the body beautiful (and well slept). It got to the point where I didn’t find myself pretty, not even armed with Spanxx. So – I gave up. Stopped dressing well, barely put makeup on. Felt disgusted and ashamed on the few occasions I left my house to do anything else than work. Self-hatred, to put it straight. Luckily, I had an exam with work that I had to study for which I could point my finger to whenever my friends asked me why I wouldn’t come out clubbing with them. They have all been supportive of course, while I have been sitting on my sofa indulging in my own poor state. I did go out a few times, got hammered drunk to be able to cope with my own mind, and then stumbled home early with a kebab in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Slept for a few hours, woke up, felt even worse. I let myself go, like I promised myself I never would.

I used to look in the mirror to see flaws, now I avoid them. I’d rather hide behind trackies and keep repeating to myself that “hey, at least you’re good at your job”. Depressing, right?

I am not one for new year resolutions. I enter 2015 heavier than ever before with bad habits. I used to pick my poisons, but my body and mind are now riddled. This cannot and will not continue. It is wearing me down. It’s time to try again. Restore confidence and swap Michelin man for Michelin stars.

So, here we go. I’ll be back.

Day 10

You know that feeling when you can barely raise your arms high enough to wash your hair? Yeah. That’s today. Biceps death.

Day 8 and 9

Well well, what a start to week number two! I woke up on Monday and it’s always with a bit of fear that you get on the scales, it sucks if it hasn’t moved or, God forbid, moved in the wrong direction. So…. Starting at 104.5 (16 stone 6) I am now down to 98.8 (15 stone 8)! Down 5.7 kilos (12.5 pounds)!

I can only say I am delighted to see this result. I know most of it is water, but it still feels great!

I continued Monday with a session at the gym focused on arms, in particular front deltas and biceps. It was tough but very efficient. Here it is if you fancy trying it:

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I worked late and got to bed late. I got up this morning and hastily dressed before hopping on my bike to get to work on time. As you might have guessed, no breakfast was had. They say, never bank on an empty stomach… wait, who said that? I had some eggs in the fridge at work (which I was actually meant to take home last night) so I had to try and make something out of it. It’s originally “quiche in a cup” but alas there is no bread in my version so I’d just call it Egg in a cup. Here’s the recipe for one breakfast.

Egg in a cup
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 slice of ham (or any other meat)
2 tsp cream cheese (flavoured if you like)
Pinch of salt.

Beat the egg and milk in a cup. Add the salt and cream cheese and whisk a bit more before finally adding the meat. Put the cup in the microwave for 1 minute and 10 seconds and boom – you have breakfast.

It is actually very tasty. Give it a try!

Once I had finished work I went to the gym and my oh my, what a session! Everything felt easy. That might have something to do with some frustration from work. I even got a new personal best in “Lying down squat”-machine, or whatever it is called. 3 sets of 8 reps at 300 kilos (660 pounds)! So chuffed. The bike ride also felt so easy, even the uphill bit!

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Now I’ve had some chicken (yes, again) and I’m just placed on the sofa. No more work now. Rest. Well, until tomorrow.

Day 7

Amen for lie ins. I woke up at 8 and thought to myself – bollocks to this. I got up, looked at the coffee machine but decided not to. Went back to bed and woke up at 11! I haven’t felt that well rested for a week.

I hopped out of bed and made some marinade with sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and garlic. I beat (yes, like beat with my fist) some chicken breast and drowned them in the marinade, and now they’re in goodness in the fridge.

I then made today’s lovely breakfast – an omelette with cheese and bacon along with some sliced avocado. I don’t think there’s ever a better sign that your day is going to be good as when you cut into a perfect avocado: it’s ripe but not soggy, has a beautiful green hue and the pit comes out without any effort.

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So it’s been a week. How am I feeling? Much, much better. I have, as you’ve been told already, been tired but this is because of the change from rosé-tinted sunglasses and holiday lounging with flip-flops and pommes dauphinoise-party, to banking, squats and actually planning my meals. It should be said that I when I saw my friend on Friday I had some sweet-potato fries but apart from that this week has been clean.

I think is was Oscar Wild who said that I can resist anything except temptation, and this week has been filled with them. At my job, and probably at most offices in Sweden, “Fika” is a tradition no one can mess with. Mess with Fika and you become branded as the misanthropic bitter bitch of the workplace. Fika basically means having something to drink (usually coffee) and a little bite with it (sandwich, cake, biscuit). It has become some sort of top trumps at work when it comes to Fika – who can bring the highest tea. It’s ALWAYS about stepping up to the game. This week it was, over a few days; devils chocolate cake, cinnamon buns, pineapple pie, ice cream with caramel sauce, mudcake… Yeah. In one week. So you get the idea. Always being offered is of course a lovely gesture, and saying “No thanks!” is doable. It is the part that follows afterwards that can be difficult. “Oh… Why not?” “I don’t eat carbs”. And then THE FACE OF MINDBOGGLE. Most people understand the reason behind not eating carbs, Swedes are a very health-conscious people. LCHF swept the nation a few years ago and it was said that 1 in 3 people were following the lifestyle for a while. There are, however, always sceptics. Understandably so, the idea of not eating 50% veg, 25% carbs and 25% protein is new to most people. Of course people react when you pour oil into your coffee. Of course people react when you ask the waitress: “Can I please have salad rather than potatoes, and could I please also have extra sauce and extra butter”. Wait, aren’t you on a diet?

It is mainly out of curiosity that people ask question. I don’t mind it. I see it as a way of explaining why I choose LCHF over anything else. It makes me feel better. The weight loss is more of a bonus. I sleep better, I eat at proper times, I feel happy and I rarely fall ill. I choose not to praise it, it is up to every individual how they eat and live. It just works for me. That’s what matters.

Tomorrow I’ll be stepping on the scales. We’ll see. I’ll be in touch. Now, I’m going to have another brew and lounge.

Day 4, 5 and 6.

And so the work week is finally over for me. It has been gentle to me yet tiring – taking on a six day working week straight after three weeks off might not have been the best of ideas.

I haven’t been up to much. Work, workout and a few hours out with a dear friend. I enjoyed leg day again on Thursday (191 kilos in the leg press – get in!), but I’m paying for it now. I can’t get up from my chair at work without making some terrible noises and the first few steps make me look like I am either raging drunk or as if I’ve had “an accident”. Today I don’t really have any brain capacity to blog for you, so here are some photos from the last couple of days instead.

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Tonight I will lay on the sofa watching some telly and perhaps have a glass of a new Bourgogne I bought for myself. Along with some tasty salami. Yes.

Day 3

Oh dear. Soo… Spinning didn’t happen. My body aches a bit from two tough session on Monday and Tuesday and I was so tired this morning and ended up snoozing for too long. The two factors meant that I just could not be arsed packing my gym bag this morning – I didn’t even have time to make breakfast! I brought a knob of butter with me to work and made some bullet-coffee before my first meeting at 8. Had packed lunch with leftovers from yesterday. Finished just after four and thought that I might go home and get changed and then go to the gym. This did not happen. I ended up on the balcony for a while then on the sofa on which I woke up two hours later. Cream crackered. I had leftovers again, then listened to a few podcasts and now I have gone to bed. Exciting times.

I decided to look at my daily intake today as well. It consisted of bullet-coffee and 4 burgers with cream sauce and cauliflower (both lunch and dinner). I’d like to pardon the Swedish in the pics, the only word you really need to know is carbohydrates – kolhydrater. See, you learn something new each today.

Here’s what I ended up with:

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All is well. I praised hump day to a friend only to realise that I have to work on Saturday. Hopefully the rest of the week will go smooth and pass by fairly quietly.

Now I’m going to sleep with a cup of tea and yet another podcast. Guten nacht.

Day 2.

Day two has come, and by the looks of it, will come to an end rather soon (well, as soon as I’ve showered). It has been a good day.

It was tough getting up this morning but I dragged myself out of bed at 7. Fried eggs and bacon while ironing a shirt I ended up not wearing while trying to pack a bag. I hopped on my bike and left for work. I had a coffee with coconut oil around 10 because I had a late lunch. For lunch I had two chicken thighs with salad and some béarnaise sauce.

I finished work quite early and headed straight to the gym. Today I focused on chest, shoulders and back. It went well and I ended up just as sweaty as yesterday. I did find a new nemesis – the skiing simulator. It looks a little something like this:

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This is an absolute killer. I managed 3 minutes and then I thought my arms were about to catch fire. If you have one in your gym – use it.

I then did some grocery shopping! I can’t say I was particularly inspired but I ended up buying mince, vegetables, a large carton of cream, a couple of packets of organic salted butter and a pack of unsalted butter for making bullet-coffee. I got home and started cooking dinner. Today I made beef burgers in a cream sauce!

Recipe (10 large burgers)
1 kg of beef mince
2 eggs
1 dl cream
Salt & pepper

Mix and then shape into burgers. I like making them big, that way they stay juicy! Sauté the burgers and then pop them in a roasting tin and shove in the oven at 200 degrees for 15-20 odd minutes.

Once done, deglaze the frying pan with some more cream and stir in veil stock for extra flavour. Put the burgers back in the pan and simmer for a minute or three and you should end up with this:

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I had mine with cauliflower rice. Yum.

Tomorrow, spinning. Soon, sleep.

Day 1

So day one of my “mission” is over. It started with the most bog-standard LCHF breakfast: eggs and bacon.

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After this I went to the gym for leg-day, mainly with squats but also some rehab for my long lost knees. It was really sweaty at the gym so I ended up looking like someone who had just ran a marathon – well, I had just put my glutes through hell.

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After this I faced my first day at the office after three weeks off. Work was fine and I have a new adventure coming up in August of which I shall tell you more about later at some point. I went to donate blood before I came in to work so I had a hand full of macadamia nuts just to keep my mind in order. Macadamias are great – low in carbs (5.6 g per 100) but mainly, very tasty.

I didn’t bring packed lunch today, like I normally do, so I settled for a pick-and-mix salad with crayfish and prawns. Dressings can be packed with sugar, so I never get it from the salad bar. Instead, I buy a bottle of this super tasty dressing made by one of Sweden’s sauce legends – Erik Lallerstedt. It is curry-lime flavoured and looks like this. I’ve also included a photo of the nutritional value if you’re interested. So, if you do live in Sweden, I highly recommend that you give it a try!

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I had a friend over to watch the Germany-Algeria game only to watch a great Algeria loose out to the machine that is Deutschland. I had a glass of Fun Light, a Swedish cordial without sugar and sweetened with stevia. It was yummy.

Now it is bedsy-byes for me.