Losing weight the SLOW way

A coffee shop owner recently confided in me that she and her daughter are undergoing something called “Hipoxy” weight loss. As she put it, you are placed in some sort of machine which massages you for 30 minutes while you do some “light” exercise. Afterwards you are measured. You do this once a week for several months. Apparently her daughter has lost inches! However, neither the cafe owner or the daughter has lost any weight. Just inches.

OMG. How can I tell this lovely, well meaning woman that what she is doing is BOGUS? That someone is taking her money for her to lose water? The website selling this bullshit weightloss regime purports to show scientific evidence for “targeted” weight loss from thighs and buttocks, etc, but all I’ve seen from her is nothing. No evidence that she is losing weight, gaining muscle, or achieving anything other than a lighter wallet.

SIGH. On the plus side, the trainers at my gym are REALLY noticing my weight loss and muscle definition. It’s great. Went there yesterday, tired and grumpy as always, felt better as soon as I walked in the door, when Chelsea-the-trainer noticed my new and improved frame. I had a good, targeted workout that for once felt totally doable (reduced my reps to 12 from 15 but upped the weight) then gossiped terribly with Bailey-the-trainer, and afterwards weighed myself. Despite having a horror few weeks with poor diet and low exercise, I’ve still lost another 300 grams. So I’m down to 63 kgs (138 lb). I don’t weigh myself every week any more. It’s not healthy and I don’t need it. My clothes are testimony to my weight loss, and the comments from people who never knew me as a slim person are really great to hear.

I’m just 4 kgs off my goal weight of 59 kgs. It’s losing these last few kgs that becomes really hard, and they march back on really easily, too. Is it worth the angst to drop these last few kgs when any lack of work at all will reverse the weight loss? 4 kgs equates to 10 lbs. The old 10 lbs problem. I need to think on this (maybe while going to that third gym class).

I’m turning 43 next week and to have the body of a 30 something woman is a real thrill. Slow and steady has done it for me, like I thought it would.


Hang on, I lost weight after all.

After a super PT session this morning using only dumbbells and free weights, we weighed me and found I’ve lost yet another kilo (2lbs). Woohoo! I thought I was just treading water. No. My body is clearly saying to me: run, jump, exercise, lift things, lose weight.

So, from last week’s weigh-in where I had lost no weight at all (64.6 kgs the week before), I am down again! I seem to move in 2 week cycles. Nothing one week, then a good amount the following week. Nice. I am now 63.7 kilos (140lbs). My waist is the most impressive part, as I’ve lost most of the excess fat around my tummy and I have a lovely taut waist and hips again. But Bailey-the-trainer is totally thrilled with the results from my diet and exercise plan. He sees definition in my upper body and arms and is really happy with my approach. I love my gym.

Eating: yes. Eating sensibly? Well, mostly. No chips or fries or anything, but the occasional sandwich wrap if I can’t get a frittata or salad for lunch, and I even had cake on the weekend. Drink? Yes, thanks. Red wine is fine and sometimes I even have two glasses. Pizza? No, thanks. But I DID eat a Grill’d burger the other week and it was GOOD.

Result? I’ve moved into the long-term phase of my eating and drinking plan. The one that says I can have wine, and cake, and chocolate and even potatoes. Just not too much of any one thing, and not too frequently, either.

Happy? Yes. Thrilled, actually. NOTHING fits me any more. But I’ve complained about that before. I’ve bought interim clothes and I have nice shoes. On the down side, my meal sizes have dropped AGAIN, to 1260 calories per day, which will be very hard to stick to without going over. Darn it. For example, I’ve already met nearly all my day’s requirements and I’ve not even had dinner yet. My main meals are about 300 calories each and I’ve taken to eating a protein and berry smoothie half way through teaching at night to keep the energy up, so it means I only get about 200 cals for my evening meal. No wine for me this week!

Tired? Of course. Exhausted. It could be worse. I could be shlumpy, chubby and exhausted. Now I’m exhausted and fit. Heeheehee!

Getting to my goal weight!

Another kilo bites the dust! Actually, 2 lbs bites the dust, and not quite 1 kilo, so 2lbs sounds much better. I’m now 64.6 kilos (142.5 lbs) and 10.4 kilos (23lbs) lighter than when I started. Hooray! I do my training on Tuesday mornings with Bailey-the-trainer and the Achieve Team, and I do my weigh-in then, which is why a few of these happy posts are published now. Time to thank Bailey-the-trainer and the team at Achieve Personal Training in Bulimba, Brisbane for their support and friendship and encouragement throughout this time. It helps to have a team on your side. And apparently Bailey-the-trainer is trumpeting my success to anyone who will listen!

We’re doing measurements next week but when I checked my waist it was 74cm (29″). In my extreme youth I had a 67cm (26″) waist but I’m not sure I can lose much more fat from my waist.

My goal weight was originally 59 kilos (130lbs) by March – luckily there are 31 days in March. Last year I projected how much weight I wanted to lose by March, which was 15 kilos. I should nearly achieve this if I keep working at this pace. I’ve calculated half a kilo, or 1 lb a week until my goal weight is achieved, which takes me to April, but given that muscle is rather heavier than fat, my actual physique is already tauter than when I last did this, in my 30s. At any rate, my happiness is not predicated on a number: rather, it’s dependent on how I feel when I look in the mirror. I’m glad I took a sensible and realistic approach to my weight loss – it means I have been able to hit those goals and not lose hope when I didn’t lose as much weight as I had planned.

I’m getting stronger, anyway: I can leg press 180kgs (396lbs) with ease now and push ups are a breeze, and burpees really aren’t that hard any more. Planking? Meh. No biggie. Crunches? Meh, can’t even feel them.

Last post I reported buying new clothes – pretty much a necessity given that none of my regular clothes fit any more. They probably won’t last too long, either, if I keep this up. Of course, now that I’m so close to my goal I’m backing off the very heavy diet regime but still sticking to around 1500 calories per day. Given my exercise regime, this still means I’m losing weight, but I’m allowing myself the occasional mini-Magnum icecream or glass of wine and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself.

Getting off the “white” carbs has been a great decision – removing potato, rice and wheat from my diet has seen a slow and steady weight loss, but I’m maintaining plenty of other carbs such as leafy green vegetables and salad. I eat enormous amounts of veggies – but then, I always have. I love my veggies.

I feel great. Thanks you guys for supporting me and my weight loss – I feel fitter, healthier and happier than I have in a long time.

I bought new clothes!

I did it. A month earlier than planned, but I did it. I bought new clothes. One of the reasons for this is that I currently have 1 pair of jeans that fit me, 2 Bettina Liano jackets, jocks, socks and shoes. And that’s it. None of my other clothes fit. Not a jot.

I need new clothes. I really really do. When I moved to the bright, hot and sunny climes of Queensland 5 years ago, I bought lots of medium sized cotton shorts and t-shirts, all size 11 or 12. I was  about 6 kgs or 12 lbs heavier than I am now, and on my frame that makes a big difference to my waist size. I didn’t feel particularly large, but I wasn’t the slim me anymore.

Over the last 5 years I added another 5 kgs or 10lbs to my 5’5″ frame, and my dress size slowly crept up from an easy size 10 to an uncomfortable size 12. So when I went shopping for a summer dress at Christmas, I was thrilled to find I was back in a size 10. And none of the clothes I have bought since moving to Qld fit me. They are all cinched in at the waist, saggy round the bum, and frankly they just look too big.

Buying a few new clothes today made me feel really really good. I went in the department store, and I picked out size 10 and 8 clothes (size 8 and 6 in the US) and when I checked myself out in the mirrors, I looked hot. I really did. Normally those appalling lights in the dressing rooms pick out all the sags, folds, creases, lumps and bumps, but today I realised I don’t have too many of those any more! I have a waist, I have boobs, I have a round bum and curvy legs, and I have an hourglass figure again!

I’m looking forward to getting rid of even more fat but I’m so thrilled with where I’m at right now. I’m not super skinny but I’m no longer bulgy. I don’t have much of a muffin top, or back fat anymore. It’s a great feeling to feel so fit and strong, and know that I did this without taking diet pills or medication or starving myself on a really dumb diet.

Today, prior to shopping, I went to a yoga class, and I went swimming, and then I wandered round the mall for 3.5 hours with no makeup, wet hair and in my sad old gym clothes, AND I STILL LOOKED AND FELT GOOD. Funny how making my body a better house for my soul has made me feel happier, huh?!

Kapow! Bam! Zook!

Despite crappy diet and relatively poor exercise, I managed to lose another half kilo (1 lb) this last few weeks. It’s not as if I haven’t been agonising over every little potato entering my mouth: I have. With the house painting and the entertaining children and the holiday season, eating out and all, I’m rather grateful I’ve managed to stave off the worst of the chocolate, wine and icecream binges, and I’m slowly reducing the alcohol consumption again. Result: tight buns and weight now a very respectable 65.3 kilos, and my BMI a healthy 23.7. If I stay on the straight and narrow for the next few weeks, this should reduce further. The scale nearly – nearly! stopped on 64.8. But then it didn’t. But I’m pretty sure it will drop down next week. The main challenge, like any long term goal, is to stay focussed and committed to staying fit and healthy, and reaching my goal of 59 kilos. Time to up the cardio again, go swimming and running, and walk the puppy.

Oh, and I am comfortably leg-pressing 180 kilos. When I say comfortable, I mean, that’s really quite easy. Bailey-the-trainer upped all my weights today after the first round. It was good. For the most part. He’s pretty impressed with my appearance at the moment – I’m finally getting some definition in my body, under all that fat! I’m losing my ferdubbedders (nana arms) and I can now see some of the muscles working.

All my friends have been super supportive and hubby has been best of all. Hubby’s enjoying Quinoa salads and we’ve not eaten pasta or rice in months (I haven’t, at least), and I think, secretly, he loves the new physical, high energy me. 🙂

It’s also great to have friends and family commenting on my weight loss, telling me how good I’m looking! I hated being 75kgs, and I realised, when I could barely bend over to put my shoes on, that I need to stay healthy for the future, not just look good for today. Bring on old age, I say!

So, health and fitness goals for the next two months: lose another 4 kilos, get down to 61.5 kilos (135 lbs), get to 3 PT, circuit and boxing classes per week, do yoga and a swim on Sundays. Drop the sneaky glasses of wine except maybe twice a week (date night; going out); maintain 1330 kcal intake per day, with one day off per week for naughty metabolism boost. There. That should do it.

And to all those people who think “slimming creams” and “diet pills” work: no, no they don’t. Regular exercise, good diet. The only things that work. I’m living proof! Someone asked me how I did it. I said, sagely, because I’m now super wise about these things (hah! not), diet and exercise and a weekly personal trainer to keep you on the straight and narrow. Calorie counting, using a website to track your changes, however small, and developing an awareness of how your physical health affects your mental health and quality of life. And finding supportive, caring people (even if you have to pay them!) to help you in your weight loss quest. And, finally, caring about it, and doing something about it. I cared, I’ve done something about it.

Love, puppies and fences. And exercise.

New fence, new puppy, new love. DH and I are truly, madly, deeply in love with our new puppy, Poppy. She is a beauty. A sweet, funny, happy little black ball of fluff who pees EVERYWHERE and is clearly not house trained, who doesn’t really like the kibble we’ve been informed she eats, and who follows us about, wanting to spend time with us. The house reeks of dog again, and I can’t wait to wash the floor. I’m waiting until the worst of the peeing is over. At present she can’t get out of the house (she can’t climb down stairs), so we have a bit more house training to do before she controls her piddling, pooing habits.

And the fence is coming along beautifully, but we’re still waiting on a gate. Argh!

In other news, I went to my first circuit session after the Christmas break yesterday and it felt fine. Actually, I felt so good that I wondered what I had done differently to give me such pep in my shoes and feelings of power. Then I realised. I had eaten breakfast. Not just my normal bacon and egg brekky, or my muesli and yoghurt one, but my muesli and yoghurt brekky with a BANANA. I had so much energy at the end of the 45 minute session I felt I could have gone on for another 20 minutes and I was pushing myself harder than normal. Usually I feel dead by the end of the circuit class, but yesterday I felt strong! This is a powerful reminder to me that I need to eat a hearty breakfast before any exercise and that bananas are not bad things to eat, m’kay?

I’ve been going to my regular PT sessions (3 catch ups in 7 days, wow!) since getting back from Christmas break, but it has been too hot to do much else – 35 degrees Celsius on many days. Running around in that heat just hurts. So we’ve been painting the fence in that heat, instead. I’ve been very naughty this year and have been drinking a couple of glasses of wine per night, but the weight loss has stayed steady. I’m hoping that my next weigh-in I’ll have lost another 500grams, but considering I’ve not really worked hard since December, I won’t be too disappointed if I’ve not lost anything more. It’s hard to maintain a 1300 calorie diet when one has family and friends to stay! I’ve eased up on the food just a bit, allowing myself the occasional chips or bread wrap every few days, and maintaining a 1500 calorie diet pretty easily. I’m still not eating many sweet things but I did have some fruit recently. It was delicious. The idea of my weight loss has been to get to a good stage physically, so I feel fit, healthy and attractive, and then to maintain the weight and strength over time. This means keeping an eye on my calorie intake and not going crazy with food by eating second helpings or lots of dessert.

I’m getting stronger and faster by the day, with more stamina. I’m still not great on the weights, but I’m lifting as much as I can, I’m not fatiguing as easily, and it’s showing in my increased speed and endurance in all my activities. My poor son, visiting from Melbourne, has been miserable in this heat, while I have learned to love it. Summer is a bitch here in QLD, but when I exercise through the heat and lose weight and feel strong, then the heat just doesn’t sap me the way it used to. Another good thing: all my clothes are swimming on me now. When I moved to QLD my weight quickly ballooned to more than 70kgs, and all the clothes I bought were for a fatter me. Now, below 65 kgs, nothing I bought in the last 5 years fits any more. And I’m not one of those people for whom fat clothes on a skinny person makes me look thin and interesting. I just look fat. Still, I’m looking forward to improving my wardrobe. And I have some dresses I can wear again that are a size 10 (size 8 US). I remember being size 8 for many years and I’m looking forward to being that again. Give me three months.

The Weight Loss End is in sight!

At my second gym session for the year this morning, I felt reasonably strong and well, and upon weighing myself I saw I had lost 1.4 kgs since the 18th December. That’s 20 lbs lost in total so far. I’m feeling good! I now weigh 65.8kgs (145lbs) and am well on the way to reaching my goal weight of 59 kgs (130lbs). This next week will be a bit hairy with all the work going on at the house, including me painting the lower front exterior (it takes FOREVER), so I’ve begged off the cardio exercise, but I’m keeping with the 3 early morning boxing, circuit and PT sessions. Boxing and circuit give me great cardio anyway because we’re made to do Burpees and Mountain climbs and sprints, plus ab crunches, star jumps and lunges. Finish it all off with a Sunday Yoga session and swim and I’m well on the way to maintaining four workouts a week as part of my regular routine.

When I say the End, what I really mean is that I will be in maintenance mode thereafter, and can relax the rigidity of my obsession to get fit and lose weight. I’ve returned to my quite calorie restricted diet and am so happy to be off the booze and the oh-so-sweet things, although I confess I’ve cheated every day with 2 squares of chocolate and a light, low-carb beer. (House painting is very thirsty work.) What I have noticed, though, is that I am maintaining much smaller portions of everything and I’m not going back for seconds. And this is good. It means I’ve permanently changed the way I eat, and I am controlling my calorific intake without pain and suffering to me or other small beasties.

And I don’t feel as hot in this hot, sticky, humid climate. Yay! A Christmas success story, just for a change.


Pushing past the piking out phase


I nearly didn’t go to the gym last night. I was running late, I was tired and a bit grumpy and just wanted to stay at home and chat with DH and have a leisurely evening meal, and as I sat in the car in terrible (for Brisbane) traffic, I thought, “maybe I’ll just take tonight off and go swimming tomorrow instead”. I nearly turned the car around to go home. But I didn’t. I pushed past that piking out phase and I went to my boxing class. And boy, was I glad I did! As soon as I got in there my mood lifted and I felt happy and cheerful again.

I enjoyed every moment of that boxing class. Even after some hard work hitting things, I felt really strong and fit, and fast. In my boxing class, we have sparring partners and take turns to use the boxing gloves, so there is plenty of recovery time. Our burly-but-intelligent gym instructor (whom I shall call Andrew) makes us keep our heart rates high, with plenty of push ups, crunches and other exercises in between boxing “rounds”, and I love the sensation moving fast, weaving and ducking, and trying to jab/cross/uppercut my poor partner’s sparring mitts as quickly as possible. I could have gone another 15 minutes. So I know I’m definitely getting fitter because I couldn’t have said that 2 weeks ago.

Boxing is GREAT for fitness and weight loss and I always feel fantastic after a solid workout.

So, despite my crappy non-weight-loss week, I am feeling stronger, faster, fitter and healthier. Oh! And I swam one km on Wednesday, too. Sure, it’s only breaststroke, and I’m not going very fast or pushing my heart rate at all, but my upper body is getting a great workout, and probably one of the reasons my upper body is feeling stronger.

And, of course, I woke up this morning and my stomach felt flatter than yesterday, and once again I felt a bit “thinner”. Lighter. So glad I pushed past the piking out phase.


Ch ch ch ch ch ch changes!

This morning I woke up and my stomach was flat. I love it when this happens…Even SH noticed and commented it had changed since yesterday. I’m even loving this exercise thingy. Not only do I have more energy than ever, but my clothes are falling off me now and I feel like I’m getting my old body back.

Today after rehearsal I’m going to the gym, then swimming as I won’t have time to do the boxing class. SH is taking me out to an early dinner, followed by a play by the 1st year Musical Theatre kids from our Conservatorium. I’m also trying to correct 70 remaining essays that apparently are due this Friday (no-one told me) and write some articles. I think the articles will have to wait until next week – it’s getting hairy in workload time! So much so that any plans of doing exercise on Friday is impossible unless I do some after about 6pm, which is NOT my finest exercise hour, it must be said.

The weather is becoming sunnier and hotter now, and I must have acclimatised a bit because I feel like this a good thing! It hasn’t been overly warm this year – at least, not by my reckoning – so I’ll be interested to see how I cope with the summer humidity. I think swimming will definitely my preferred summer exercise!