How Do You Get Fat in the Land of Skinny?

Who comes to the Land of Skinny and gets fat? This girl does. When I did eventually jump on a scale for a medical my initial reaction was the scale’s broken. Has to be. Just in case it wasn’t I mentally deducted 1 kg for my sneakers and 2 kg’s for my clothes. That felt slightly better. But still how did I gain all those kg’s? I then went to a friend’s house and jumped on her scale just to prove that the doctor’s was broken. Well now I was just pissed, 2 broken scales, what’s up with this?

I got home and all I could think about was how I could have allowed myself to put on 8kg’s. Yes I’ll say it again, 8kg’s. Bearing in mind that when I left South Africa I was still trying to get to my ideal weight (60kg). So in reality fatty boom boom over here was thundering in at her heaviest EVER, 18 kg’s over her ideal weight. Can you hear my silent scream?

Nothing like a reality check to get your fat ass into action, so I initiated the #STOPJANANDA2012 campaign in March. I’ve been at it for  2 months now so I thought I’d give you a little update. Firstly, this has not been easy, I’ve had to adjust things here and there but now that I’ve been able to make eating healthy a habit and not just a choice, it has become so much easier.

Here’s the headline news: (drum roll please)

  • I am now 6kg’s lighter. That ‘broken scale’ and my clothes told me so.
  • I have lost this weight just on eating healthy and not exercising. I’m working myself up to the exercising bit. In this area of my life I struggle to multi task. Baby steps.
  • I give myself one day off a week .  And I’ve shocked myself with the responsible adult that I’ve become because even on these days I’ve steered towards the healthy.
  • I’ve become THAT person. You know the person you say you’ll never become. Yes, I count calories, I look at fat content, I eat whole wheat, brown over white, low GI, low fat….the list could go on and on.
  • I don’t drink any alcohol
  • Somehow, the unimaginable has happened and I’ve become an almost vegetarian. I’m still eating chicken and some seafood.
  • I still have friends although I think they have suffered the most. My social life, although it wasn’t much before, is even less now. Because I haven’t been exercising I’ve limited my eating out to my one day off a week. I still see my friends regularly we just not having George Clooney parties anymore.
  • Making healthy eating a habit has forced me to be disciplined.

I’ve kept a really simple eating plan which I prescribed to myself. I have an apple or orange for breakfast, chicken/tuna salad and fruit for lunch and either soup, vegetables and chicken or a small portion of whole wheat pasta and vegetables for dinner. Plain nuts in between meals if I’m hungry.  I have a sweet tooth so an orange after dinner cures my need for a chocolate. And I eat dinner by 6:30 and drink 2L of water a day religiously.

I’ve tried to eat healthy many times before and given up after a week or two. The only reason I’m managing to do it now is because my mind and body are in total alignment. I’ve also had to deal with my emotional eating which is a biggie. Instead of being my own worst critic I’ve become my own best cheerleader. And when you have a cheerleader on your side how could you go wrong?

 

I’ll continue to keep you updated on this journey. I have a long way to go.

Have a  wonderful weekend everyone!

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A sobering moment

On Friday I was in a food coma. I was not hospitalised luckily, but I was confined to my bed like a beached whale. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t hear, I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t see properly. Everything around me was a blur; I couldn’t even bring myself to turn on the television. I just lay there asking myself why would I do this to ME, why? Why? Why?

Naturally this was self inflicted. Let me backtrack a little to give you some context. Last week I launched the #STOPJANANDA2012 campaign. This campaign’s goal is to essentially get me back to fitting into my jeans without looking like a muffin top, for my triumphant return HOME. And up and until Friday at exactly 5:30pm everything was going swimmingly well. I took my mother’s advice for breakfast, which is to eat only half the portion you would normally eat. So I had half the amount of cereal. And I took Commonsense’s advice for lunch and had chicken salad, an apple and yoghurt every day. Now I’m not gonna lie to you. Dinner time was a little wobbly on some days, I wouldn’t say I fell off the campaign trail but I came pretty close.

And then Friday happened.  On my walk home from school, I passed a pizza place. Firstly the smells wafting from the oven drew me in like a snake charmer’s whistle, and then, the warmth and safe shelter it offered from the cold rain outside found me inside the door, and then finally, I saw George Clooney’s face on the pizza saying, “You want me, take me, have me”. Now we all know I can’t resist George and those bedroom eyes and seductive smile so I wanted him, took him and had him. And boy, did I pay the price for my sluttony. Some people need to hit rock bottom to change their situation and I guess I am one of those ”some people”.  The “during” part of devouring George was sensational but the after effects were disastrous. Just ask the beached whale.

Like I said, luckily for me I wasn’t hospitalised so on Saturday morning I rolled out of bed and saw that my ex-almost-sister-in-law had sent me a healthy recipe to try. Determined to regain some dignity and self respect from the morning- after -guilty-conscience which we tend to feel after a night of sluttony, I scrambled to find some paper to write down the said recipe. Of course, none to be found but what I did find is a notebook from 2006 which I brought with me to Korea. I don’t know why but in that notebook in my own handwriting, amongst other things, I wrote, “At some point we all need to have a sobering moment”.  And at that point I knew the Universe was talking to me, so I sat down and had my sobering moment.

If your body is your temple, and I believe it is, and it happens to house things as precious as your heart and soul, why would you do anything to harm it? This was my sobering question.  Now I don’t want to bore you with stories about the army of deep scars that hide in dark holes in my soul, that come out just to taunt my insecurities, which ultimately leads to the sluttonous behaviour. But I do want to share with you how I came to the decision to put up the GOOD FIGHT for the #STOPJANANDA2012 campaign.

Over a year ago, I went on holiday to the Philippines and experienced one of the greatest lessons people get philosophical about all the time.  A friend and I decided to hire motorbikes and a do a day trip around one of the islands. Now we were warned that only a short stretch of the trip would be tar and the rest would be gravel but we thought, hey, how hard could this be.  Indeed.

I wore sandals, not a good idea. Stones tend to fly when you least expect it. I wore a little summer dress, not a good idea. The sun blazes and burns when you least expect it.  The vegetation scratches and hurts when you ride into it. I don’t know how to dance, not a good thing when your bike is doing the electric slide across the road. I can’t break evenly, not a good idea when you about to cartwheel  head first down a hill. I fell off, I got up, I got wedged between the bike and the side of a cliff, and I got on again. We got lost, we continued. Eventually, gravel turned to sand and road turned to a narrow “walking path”. The open road turned to thick green vegetation enveloping us. I didn’t know where we were or how we got there. I couldn’t see where we were going. But just as it seemed as if we were heading to a precarious place called, nowhere, we happened upon this.

An untouched, naturally beautiful, secluded beach, just for us.  I’ve never seen anything more picturesque. And that’s when my friend turned to me and said, “This is a good metaphor for life. Sometimes you have to go through hardship to reach a place of beauty”.  And we sure did have to travel through a long rough gravel road to find this little piece of heaven. And all through the trip we never complained, never worried, never gave up. Each little thing that had happened all formed part of the greater adventure.

Fast forward to today and I’m thinking about how you have to go through hardship to reach a place of beauty. If I’m going to lead the #STOPJANANDA2012 campaign then I need to put my big girl panties back on and continue on the campaign trail. I have to do the work, have the discipline, go through the tough times and get to my little piece of heaven. My campaign manifesto is to try any and all suggestions given to me.  Today it was the healthy recipe from my ex-almost-sister-in-law.

I have to admit to being like a manic banshee trying to make this and take pics. I am no photographer, not even close. So if the pictures don’t do this meal justice I urge you to try it here. Scroll down the comments for the ingredients.

The ingredients

The salad:

The chicken stir fry:

Put a bit of the chicken stir fry and salad in a lettuce leaf and wrap it up and eat it:

It was healthy & DELICIOUS. It tasted of summer – fresh, zesty and light. It made me feel the same way I felt at the end of that long rewarding day in the Philippines – serenely happy & content.

PS my sister suggested a detox. I have to do it now. Pray for my students.

#STOPJANANDA2012

I come from a family of big eaters.  If you had to ask me what I know for sure about my family, it’s that we love to cook, we love to eat and we love to laugh. And normally those three go hand in hand. My happiest memories revolve around sitting at the kitchen table eating, talking and laughing.  It’s the one place where we are able to engage with each other without there being any drama. Because if there is another thing I know for sure, it’s that when my family gets together, there is bound to be drama.

My grandmother was the doyenne of the kitchen. She could whip up a Michelin star meal from the scraps of nothing. I think she was the Food Whisperer. Ingredients spoke to her. They told her the secrets of which herbs or spices blended the best together, and how much of this goes with how much of that, to extract the tastiest flavours from whatever she was cooking.  When you ate her food you tasted love. This is probably the reason why she had so many visitors. She was always in the kitchen happily feeding everyone, and their strays.

And I’m sure this is the reason why I have such a healthy (side-eye) relationship with food. It represents love and happiness to me.  And yes I am still a slut of an emotional eater which you can read about here. But logic dictates that this all stems from food taking me to such a happy orgasmic place.

Now, if my grandmother was the doyenne of the kitchen, then my father is the king of comedy. He loves a good joke, especially a dirty one. And when he tells a joke, he is the first one to roll his head back and let out a roar so loud and so boisterous that you can’t help but get caught up in the tidal wave of laughter.  But as much as he loves a good joke, what he really loves most in the world is to tease people.  If you enter the Lawler household best you do it with your thick skin on.

So I know for sure that if I had to walk into my father’s house right now, with the current curves that I possess, he would say with a big smile on his face, “Ooh I see you getting nice and JANANDA (pronounced Ja-nun-da.). You must be hitting those pots in South Korea.” Cue for two minutes of earth shaking laughter. Now I don’t know where this term JANANDA comes from, but in my family it means that the cheeks on your face and your butt are getting nice and big and rosy, to be polite. And if you don’t have any curves and you’re looking a little mal-nourished then you can be sure to be called SKINNY MALINKS.

This is JANANDA

JANANDA

This is SKINNY MALINKS (Yes, that’s me)

SKINNY MALINKS

When I return home in 5 months time and my father says, “To what do I owe this great honour, that my prodigal daughter has returned.” I don’t want the next words out of his mouth to be “ooh I see you getting nice and JANANDA , you must be hitting those pots in South Korea”.

I want to be somewhere in the middle, somewhere between JANANDA and SKINNY MALINKS. So I took the time today to write down the 5 biggest “white lies” I’m currently feeding myself with regards to food and exercise:

  1. When confronted with anything dessertified or sweet – If you don’t wake up tomorrow morning will you have regrets about not eating this fat slice of chocolate cake? Yes. Then eat it. The answer is always yes.
  2. When deciding on doing exercise – 90% of your weight depends on what you eat and 10% on exercise. (I’m delusional, I make up these stats, please don’t quote me). So, TOMORROW, I will start eating healthy.
  3. Eating makes me happy. I want to be happy. I’d rather be curvaceous and happy then skinny and unhappy.
  4. On deciding to join a gym – I don’t like sweating in front of other people.
  5. When confronted with anything delicious and non-healthy – It’s ONLY 878 calories, if I eat this now then later I’ll have ???Calories or I won’t eat at all. LIES.

I’m an intelligent woman, I know they’re lies but still I listen to them. I need your help. I’ve started the #STOPJANANDA2012 campaign.  I need to put an action kit together. Do you have any ideas? How do I stop listening to the lies? What eating plan or exercise plan works for you?