From Zero to 5KM (Part 1)

A total of 2.6 kg (5 pounds / 3.6 stone) lost so far. Not much is it?

As I write this, I have two choices: I can focus on how little progress I've made, OR I can celebrate the fact that I'm slightly lighter than I was on Halloween and that I can now walk 3 - 4 km with little/no breaks.

Being thankful for little mercies does wonders for a journey to joy, so this year I chose to be thankful for the progress I have made so far. [Also for the fact that Thanksgiving food isn't a thing down here too. #DodgedACalorieBullet]

How It All Went Down

Weeks 1 & 2

There were no exercise goals for the first 2 weeks, but the end of October was already looming and I knew I had to start something right away. Basically, most of the talking happened over these first two weeks.

Having already quit smoking in August, I resolved to make sugar my first priority (ie avoiding it - must read those labels!).

The rest of the babbling also brought forth these nuggets of wisdom:

  • Fructose in fresh, whole fruit isn't as bad as added sugar/juices, but they do need to be limited to 1 or 2 a day to help level out blood sugar levels (ie stop messing with my insulin, which leads to less fat being 'held onto' by my body).
  • Another helpful hint in terms of food is that meals should always include protein, healthy fats and 'greens' (vegetables).
  • Working my way through BuzzFeed's 21 breakfast toast ideas is a lot of fun - so far my favourite combos (with some substitutions) were:
    Avo + Feta + Pomegranate
    Berries + Basil + Cream Cheese
    Banana + Peanut butter + Chia Seeds (I didn't have almond butter, but at least I used peanut butter free from added sugar & salt)
    Strawberry + Feta + Edamame + Balsamic + Salt (I didn't have goat's cheese)
    Pineapple + Cream Cheese +Cashews (I can't stand cottage cheese!)
    Apple + Cream Cheese + Honey (I didn't have Pear or Ricotta)
  • I even tried a toast combo derivative of my own creation, Cream Cheese + Strawberry + Walnuts.
  • Bingeing on Halloween candy (and champagne @ the PiP Halloween Forest Walk outing) was a terrible idea! Only 50g down on my 2nd weigh-in (no change on the 1st one). Actually, I gained 450g - the 50g net difference was mainly due to donating blood earlier that morning. 😣

Week 3

[6 - 12 November 2017]

The Numbers:

Day 2 = 20min walking, 1.85km
Day 4 = weighed in @ 1.8kg ↓
           = 25min walking, 1.38km
Day 6 = 30min walking, 2.05km

Additional Notes/Comments:
  • The motivation behind my new resolve has nothing to do with what I look like to the world. It's about getting medically fit to attempt the Fish River Canyon multi-day hike in 2019. (You need a medical certificate and there is NO WAY any Doctor is giving me one of those without a lot of effort from my side.)
  • My body surprised me. I did not think I'd be able to walk that far on my first day out on the streets.
  • I had to experiment to find my happy medium when it comes to breakfast. What seems to work for me, is (a) eating as soon as I can after waking up, and (b) reducing carbs to only 1 slice of toast and then increasing (or even doubling up on) protein instead.
  • Woolworths' Low GI Brown Seed Bread is the Top Toast choice. (It keeps me fuller for longer.)
  • Baked bacon is fantastic! Not only does it taste great, but other benefits include easy clean-up (even more so if you use foil to line your baking tray) and the fact that you can pop it in the oven and then continue with other things that need to be done before you leave for work.

Week 4

[13 - 19 November 2017]

The Numbers:

Day 1 = 35min walking, 2.4km
Day 3 = 47min walking, 2.9km
Day 4 = weighed in @ 1.1kg ↓
                   ≈2.9kg ↓ so far
Day 5 = 45min walking, 2.9km
Day 7 = 53min walking, 3.51km

Additional Notes/Comments:

    • This bulky body of mine keeps surprising me. On 'Day 3' I only had to walk 40 minutes, but the route took me a little longer than anticipated and I managed to push through an extra 7 minutes. (Okay, it's terrible if walking speed was an issue, but that can be focused on later. Right now, I just need to keep moving.) [FYI this happened again on Sunday + 3 minutes.👏]
    • However, motivation was nowhere to be found on Saturday (when my weekend walk was supposed to happen). That's why I only got around to it on Sunday.
    • I had some champagne over the weekend of Week 3. The sugar definitely had a knock-on effect, because I started craving EVERYTHING around the 3rd day of Week 4.

    Week 5

    [20 - 26 November 2017]

    The Numbers:

    Day 1 = 57min walking, 3.56km
    Day 4 = weighed in @ 0.6kg ↑ 😒
                       ≈2.3kg ↓ so far
    Day 5 = 40min walking, 2.65km
    Day 6 = 65min walking, 4.75km

    Additional Notes/Comments:
    • When I saw that weight increase on the scale, it came as no real surprise. I was expecting results to be less than desirable this week, because Peanut Butter. I caved and ate too much peanut butter straight from the jar on Sunday...and it was Franscois' with added sugar... And McD's. And aQuellé Limited Edition Passion Fruit flavoured sparkling water. Oh! And there was that night at Spur when I ate the toppings off a sundae (that I ordered for Franscois, even though he didn't really want to eat dessert).
    • No need to even mention that avoiding food guilt was tough this week, right? In hindsight, I realise that the first of these binges may have been a side effect of being fat-shamed (and then the other temptations were difficult to resist once my body had a sugar fix again), but if I'm honest with myself, it started immediately after my previous week's weigh-in. Instead of just carrying on with my new healthy habits, my Mind Addict trapped me into making food a reward system. That's my default setting, and my biggest challenge in all of this - food should just be nutrition (and part of the odd celebration now and then), but never, NEVER part of a reward system or a form of punishment.
    • To refocus, I reflected on all things #healthspo and reminded myself of why I'm on this journey in the first place.
    • Rainy weather is one of my favourite things. It always has been. The fresh scent of nature hangs in the air, which is the perfect companion to any good book.That, and coffee! This week was the first time I kind of wished it away a little bit when it mucked about with my walking schedule. I was unable to go out on Wednesday and Thursday, and our walk was cut short on Friday. 😢

    Week 6

    [27 November - 3 December 2017]

    The Numbers:

    Day 4 = weighed in @ 0.3kg ↓
                       ≈2.6kg ↓ so far

    Additional Notes/Comments:
    • It poured down almost daily. And when it wasn't, I was stuck in an office. It was stifling my walking goals (and slowing down my weight loss, I think).
    • With December also came all the year-end festivities and next week we'll be off to New Zealand. I'm hoping to face the Holiday Hurdles with hope, self-love, and determination.

    My actual personal calendar for the month (note the Cat Stevens entry on the 8th?). I stuck it to the back of my closet door, adding notes and crossing out days as time passed. (I even pasted gold "medals" - for days all goals were met.)

    *Disclaimer: I am not a health/medical professional. This lifestyle plan was developed to suit me personally (I suffer from PCOS & insulin resistance and I'm on medication for anxiety & high cholesterol). I am - and will continue to - consult my GP as I continue on this journey. Please do me (and yourself) a favour by always talking to your Doctor before starting any exercise or lifestyle program.


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