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I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

#35 The Battle of the Bulge

It is so true that in general, weight loss all comes down to what we put in our mouth. 

Exercise all you like, but if you are then going to reward yourself for your work-out with as much junk food as you like, chances are you won't make the gains you're hoping for.

Over the course of chemotherapy, I put on 10 kilos.  Initially, the side-effects of the steroids I took made me gain weight, as well as increasing my appetite.  As you might have gathered, I'm very good at self-compassion and self-reward.  If I had to go through chemotherapy and cancer, I was going to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

After one cycle of chemotherapy, I finished work at 4pm and craved some form of fat.  I called into the local fish and chip shop on the way home and bought four potato cakes.  If you don't know what this is, it's a thick slice of potato dipped in batter and deep fried.  It is disgusting..... disgustingly good!

Let's just say, I ate like that a lot.  And it didn't stop when chemo did.  Three years later I was still treating and rewarding myself with food and other luxuries.

I don't want to paint the wrong picture, I mean, it's not like anyone else would have looked at me and thought much of the weight gain.  I was fairly underweight beforehand which helped.  But, I felt uncomfortable.  My clothes didn't fit well and my fat clothes became my skinny clothes.

Then one day towards the end of last year, my friend Em suggested we do the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation program.  It was the best thing I've ever done.  It combines an eating plan with an exercise plan.  With a sprained ankle and some surgery in the middle of the program, I didn't actually do much exercise.  I did however, follow the calorie controlled eating plan.

The food was all delicious and different to what I'd normally cook.  It interested me and more importantly, it satisfied me.  I learnt a lot about controlling my calorie intake for the day and I lost 5kg over the 12 weeks.  It was perfect for me.  Just the right amount, proving to myself that at 41, I could still change my body.

It astounded me the number of empty calories I'd been putting in my mouth.  Two chocolates here, some Teddy Bear biscuits there, a piece of hedgehog because I'd had a difficult afternoon, a bag of lollies because I felt tired.

Sadly, the program ended and Christmas arrived.  I've fallen off the wagon BIG TIME and have put a couple of kilos back on.  It's not the end of the world, but it has taught me that for me it's all or nothing.  My lack of self-control doesn't allow me to have just one chocolate.

I want to re-create my good eating habits, so I'm starting today and I'm going to give you a weekly update to keep myself honest.

I'll let you know how I'm doing, where I struggle and whether or not I can figure out any foolproof ways to win the battle.

Feel free to share your tips here!

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