Towards the end of January I set out a 28-day challenge to carry me through the upcoming month. (Click here to read about the challenge and rules I set myself). I was so happy with the results I extended it into March. By the first week of March was a total of 10KG down!
In retrospect I would like to outline the things that worked, and what I had to adjust to maintain the momentum throughout the month.
Due to strict (yet enjoyable) eating and consistent training I comfortably and safely lost 1kg per week. Reducing carbs meant I sometimes turn on autopilot by the time its 7pm but it was manageable. I’ve spent the last two years eating at sporadic timing and running on unnecessary carbs (combine that with minimal training and disaster writes itself). With that being said, it is reasonable for my mind and body to retaliate, and I just had to let fatigue take its course. My friends who visit Bossy Kitchen for dinner would tease me for being so quiet sometimes, but with time I regained my footing and my body managed to run efficiently with what I was fueling it with.
Secondly, my taste pallet changed for the better. I enjoyed more relaxed flavors and was happy just fueling my body with basic lean proteins and simple carbs like rice. Fortunately I live in a household and operate in an industry that allows me to experiment and spice things up without the need to add calories, therefore flavor and the satisfaction of crunch never had to be sacrificed. I honestly enjoyed my food baked, and if needed, crumbed in gluten free ingredients (even with quinoa).
With my physical condition, training becomes tricky, and what I originally set out to do was hindered by shoulder and knee flare ups (although the knee behaved rather well throughout). I had to cut out many training sessions that involved lifting (2 weeks in between, and the final week). I was able to surpass this by remaining consistent with my low impact cardio. I made sure I continually burned calories by power walking regardless of how busy my schedule was or any body alignments. Just because my shoulder was flared up, doesn’t mean that I cant sweat it out on the treadmill right?
After this program, I have decided to live a mostly gluten free and dairy free lifestyle. I miss bread sometimes, but the GF options are satisfactory, and surprisingly I don’t miss dairy at all!
Here are my 5 tips that I learned from this process
- No need to sacrifice flavor. There are simple and clean alterations you can make to basic dishes that will enhance the experience so you don’t have the need to even go for a cheat meal or even worse binge in retaliation later.
- Don’t let injury or workload be an excuse. This was a big issue for me and I had to learn that just because I couldn’t train at 7am, doesn’t mean that I cant sneak in a quick power walk before lunch, and just because my shoulder hurts, doesn’t mean I cant go for cardio instead of scraping the entire workout for the day or even coming days. Don’t fall into that lethargic trap!
- Go through the motions. Your mind and body will retaliate. Heck people around you will do too! They will push dishes without you that you aren’t supposed to be eating during your weight loss period. If you have spent years accumulating bad habits don’t expect a single detox or kale salad to undo everything. You aren’t going to feel fresh out of a Gilette Ad on day one, so buckle up and let it run its course.
- Understand your mind and body. Don’t go jump into crossfit just because its whats in. Once you lose your joint cartilage it ain’t coming back. I am living proof of the daily pain felt even at a young age, when you don’t carefully understand the biomechanics of your body. Go see a physiotherapist, do blood work.
- You and only you are responsible for the outcome of your eating habits and training. Stop blaming your friends outings, or not being able to ‘afford’ a healthy lifestyle or gym membership. My mother always used to tell me “During electrical outages, some people would take their books and study under a street light if they had to.” It’s all about perspective. You can’t buy a 2bd salad, but you would gladly spend 2 bd on a supersized coke at the cinema, or an expensive latte with your name misspelled on it.