The 5% Rule

I’ve done every diet under the sun over the years. I’ve lost and gained hundreds and hundreds of kilos on these diets. Now I’ve decided I really only follow one simple rule when it comes to healthy living: only consume food and drink with less than 5% sugar.

This works well for my body because I have insulin resistance and my body does not respond well to sugar. In the past I have tried to eat low carb, but I think it’s more important for me to monitor sugar, rather than carbs now.

Let me tell you, this eliminates a lot of foods! I tend to eat a lot of lean meat, vegetables, salad and eggs. I supplement this with brown rice, freekeh, quinoa and legumes. But, it isn’t always practical to prep and cook these foods and a lot of the time I simply can’t be bothered. So these are my go-to items that get me by in-between cooking sessions.

Of course Im not perfect and tubs of ice cream and macaroni and cheese will regularly make an appearance in my diet, but this is the principle I follow most of the time.

I’d love to know if anyone else has any great low sugar products to share. Oh and if you can find me an ice cream with less than 5% sugar, I will give you every cent I have (disclosure: I am poor).

Mayvers Peanut Butter– Dark Roasted is my favourite, best eaten straight out of the jar!

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Jalna Greek Natural Yoghurt– Why are yoghurts so full of sugar? This hits the spot.

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Hubbard’s Natural Muesli- 5 Grains & Hazelnuts– Wow is it hard to find a low sugar cereal!

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Sirena Tuna in Oil with Chilli– On corn thins or just on its own as a snack

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Corn Thins– Topped with cheese and avocado

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Cool Pak Popcorn – For movie night, or any night…

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Coles Simply Less Dark Chocolate– For those sweet cravings

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Rut

I’m not sure if life is getting me down or if I am down and it’s making my life seem shit. What came first, the chicken or the egg? All I can say right now is that I feel like I am in a rut.

Work is just so hard, my house build has been delayed and I don’t know where I am going to live, this infertility stuff is doing my head in and I feel lonely without any family around. I feel overwhelmed and like I have nothing to look forward to right now.

I am starting to wonder if the fertility drug I have been taking, Clomid, is part of the issue because I just don’t feel like myself. I feel like I have severe PMS symptoms all of the time. I am turning into a horrible snappy bitch that I don’t recognise. I’m not sure if I can take the drug much longer or what that might mean for me.

I am really letting it all get to me and I am trying to suffocate the stress with food and alcohol. I am eating poorly, drinking too much and now my clothes don’t fit me anymore. It’s a vicious bloody cycle.

The one thing I can do to help myself is take better care of my health. Eating a diet of potato chips and red wine might feel good in the short term, but it’s obviously not helping. Even though we are heading into the Christmas season, I am committing to focus on better eating and cut down on drinking. I’m going to make choices that my future self will thank me for, even if my current self wants sugar and salt.

In all the darkness, here is the light, I became and aunty on 22nd October. Her name is Penelope Jennifer (Jennifer is after my mum) but we mostly call her Polly. I was lucky enough to be able to fly to Sydney when my sister-in-law went into labour and be there to give her cuddles right away. I can’t wait to see her again at Christmas, I miss her so much!

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My first meeting with my niece

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Proud grandparents

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Juggling baby and dog, no problem!

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2 weeks old (dimples!)

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Looking just like my mum and brother

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Angel

 

 

 

That’s a First

It’s been about 7 years now since I lost a significant amount of weight, but this weekend I experienced a new “first”. When I was initially losing the bulk of the weight after my lapband I was constantly experiencing these firsts and it was an exciting and daunting time in my life.

I can vividly remember so many of these firsts: Going on an amusement park ride, buying clothes from regular size shops, doing up my seatbelt buckle on a plane, getting a massage, travelling overseas, learning to drive, applying for professional work, swimming at the beach, going to a music festival. It makes me emotional just to think about it.

So, this weekend I went on a jumping castle for the first time in my life! AJ’s sister has recently bought a jumping castle business (what a cool job!) and she needed help packing down after an event. When we got there everyone had already left and she asked if we wanted to have a jump before we packed up. I am normally a bit of a reserved person, but I didn’t hesitate, I kicked off my shoes and jumped in. It was so much fun!!!

When I was a little girl I used to pretend that I was too scared to do things like go in jumping castles (and dive in the pool and go water skiing and go on amusement rides). I honestly thought I was so fat that I would break a jumping castle, but of course I wasn’t. I was so scared of being embarrassed or teased by other kids that I held myself back from so many life experiences.

I wish I didn’t wait to lose weight before living my life to the full, but I’m happy I am doing it now!

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Playing Catch Up

So my life lately has really been consumed by work. I haven’t been able to focus on losing weight, but I don’t think I’ve gained weight either. I am counting that as a massive win for me! I am eating healthy on week days (weekends are a disaster) and I’m walking about 25 minutes each way to work most days to keep moving. I need to do more, but lately I just haven’t had the energy and I don’t want to beat myself up about it.

I’ve been in my ‘new’ job for 4 months exactly today. I think I am finally starting to get the hang of it. I still have a long way to go, but I am ever so slightly less panicked and I have even made a couple of friends. I still wish I was living the good life and didn’t have to work though. Man, I really enjoyed that enforced redundancy break. I shouldn’t complain too much though because I guess I am grateful to have a good job.

So my life has really been all about work, but here is what else has been going on in between…

We bought a new car! It was a spur of the moment decision, we had gone out to buy a toaster and ended up driving past a dealership and stopped in for a look. God we are suckers. I am not into cars, but AJ is happy because it does fast sporty things and I am happy because it has heated seats. Win, win.

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AJ was asked to speak at a conference in Sydney, so I took the opportunity to join him and make it a long weekend. My brother and sister in law moved to Sydney last year, so it was great to visit them and also plan a little break to the cute wine area of Mudgee. I loved it, we had a blast.

While we were in Sydney we nabbed tickets to see Ben Folds (one of my favourites) at the Sydney Opera House. I had always wanted to see a show at the Opera House so that was awesome. Sydney is so much fun!

My sister in law is due to have her baby on the 25th October. Eeeek, I can’t believe I’ll be an aunty for the first time soon. I threw her a baby shower in the pub underneath my apartment last month. I stressed myself out with the whole thing of course. Party planning is hard work, but it went really well. Phew.

We are still waiting for our townhouse to be built. Originally it was supposed to be finished in August… and we are now in October and we are still a long way off. Apparently the builder has had health issues and has had to have treatment in France, so I guess there isn’t much we can do about it. What makes me nervous is that my rental apartment is being sold and going to auction this weekend. So there is a good chance we are going to be without a house. Shit, shit, shit.

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That’s all folks.

xxoo

Psychic Adventures Part 2

You are going to think I am so crazy when I tell you this story, but trust me, it’s not as weird as it sounds.

Not last Saturday, but the Saturday before, I was drinking my cup of tea on the balcony and wondering what to do with my weekend when I received a phone call from a number I didn’t recognise (terrifying) .It was my aunty, my dad’s younger sister, who I have spoken to about 5 times in the last 20 years.

She told me that in recent years she had discovered a gift for psychic readings and was a medical intuitive. She had heard through the family grapevine that I had issues with my fertility and asked if she could come and do a reading for me.

To say that I was shocked was an understatement. No one on my dad’s side of the family has reached out to me since my mum passed away or even included me in most family events. I have kept my fertility issues private, except for one person in the family who obviously sprung a little leak. Not to mention the fact that she claimed to be a psychic medium. Crazy right?

In saying all of that, I really appreciated that she put herself out there to try to help me. She was willing to drive from her tiny country town 3 hours away to my apartment in the middle of the city. I was totally blown away. So I gratefully accepted her offer.

Really, I was just hungry to see if my mum would come through. I knew without a doubt that if there was any way for my mum to contact me, she would be there. She was always one of those mum’s who would move heaven and earth to be there for her kids or stick up for them, much to my constant embarrassment as a child!

I actually saw a psychic earlier this year and really felt like I got a lot of peace out of it, so I was very open to doing it again. I actually just re-read over my notes from that reading and noticed one prediction that had come true, that I would leave my job and have a new job by June. Interesting.

So my aunty came over that afternoon and it was an amazing experience. I know that a lot of people don’t believe in this stuff, but after the experience I had, I believe 100%. There is just no other explanation for the things she told me. My mum came through right away and it was such a relief to communicate with her. I just needed to know that she was OK and that she watching over me.

My aunty knew my mum when she was younger, though had not seen her in many years before she passed, but she was aware of my mum’s mental health struggles. Given the very hard times my mum had and her difficult relationship with my dad’s family, my aunty was afraid that my mum would come through in a darker way. Thankfully, my aunty said that my mum came through happy and at peace. I mentioned this to AJ afterwards and he said that he always thought of my mum as a happy person, but that must have been because he always saw her around her kids and that made her happy. It made me feel to so good to hear him say that about my mum.

My mum and my pop came through together and it was just so amazing to communicate with them. I miss them both more than words can express and I felt safe and looked after with them again. My mum spoke about all of the things I did for her. My aunty and I were both crying. I think the whole reading was actually harder on my aunty than on me.

The messages that came through were very similar to the psychic I spoke to earlier this year. It was a lot about looking after myself and not worrying about my older brother who is troubled and estranged from my family. Worry for him consumes me and my mum wanted me to step away and focus on myself, my new house and my relationship with AJ.

My aunty also did a medical intuition reading and she diagnosed every ache and pain from the exact place of my plantar fasciitis, my rotator cuff injury, my spasming lower back, my recent onset of migraines and my fertility problems.

Now, my aunty had heard that I had fertility problems, I didn’t tell her what they were, but she said to me over the phone that she assumed it would be inflammation and that she has seen it in other women. I didn’t correct her, I thought I would wait and see what she said when she did her reading. She immediately said that it wasn’t inflammation at all and that I had lots of cysts on my ovaries. She could see that I don’t get my period and described it is ‘dry’. Well, she was spot on. I have PCOS, cysts on my ovaries and I don’t get my period or ovulate.

She also mentioned a lot a pain in my breast and it was the main issue coming though. I don’t have any pain in my breast, so I am not sure what this is about. I wonder if my mum somehow projected this through my aunty because she was always worried I would get breast cancer because my grandmother and (another) aunty had it. Of course now I am experiencing weird pangs that I am 99% sure are in my head. OK, maybe I am a little crazy.

She was able to offer suggestions for different foods that would assist me (honey, lemon, broccoli), foods I shouldn’t eat (capsicum, onion, tomato), things I should do (yoga and drink more water). I guess they could apply to most people, but it’s always good to be reminded of these things.

Put simply, this experience helped put me at peace somewhat. I needed it and it definitely eased some pain for me. I also just felt overwhelmed that my aunty drove all that way and did that just for me. I don’t have much contact with family and it just meant the world to me. My mum said in the reading that she bought my aunty to me and I believe it.

 

55

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Dear mum,

I can’t believe you are 55 today. I still vividly remember planning your 40th and then 50th birthday celebrations like they were yesterday. It’s the third time your birthday has passed without you here now. I don’t think it gets any easier. Dealing with the constant feelings of loss and sadness just becomes a new normal.

You have missed so much this past year. There have been so many changes in our little family! My little brother and his wife moved all the way to Sydney for work, I started building a new house, I was made redundant from my job, my older brother became estranged from our family, I got a new job and I bought a new car. So it’s been a good and bad year. I know it would have been a lot easier to cope with it all if you were here.

The biggest thing that has happened to our family is that you are expecting your first grandchild. No, it’s not from me! Your youngest son is expecting a baby with his wife in October. I am so happy for them, but it has been really hard news at the same time. I know how badly you wanted to be a grandmother and so it just breaks my heart into a million pieces that you aren’t here to experience it finally.

There is no one is the world who wanted to be a grandparent more than you did. Ever since I was a little kid I can remember you talking about being a grandmother. You had us kids so young that you decided that you would probably make a better grandmother than mother. So you talked non-stop about “when I have grand kids” all the things you would do better. I wish I had bothered to tell you that you were actually an amazing mum and that you had nothing to make up for. I’m so sorry that your grand kids won’t have you in their life.

I’m at home in bed sick today and I have no doubt that if you could, you would be here making me soup and cleaning my house so that I could rest. That would make you happy on your birthday. You loved to be needed by your kids. Instead, I will go and buy your favourite white flowers and think of you.

I want you to know that you are so, so very missed.

Love ya mum.

xxoo

Read 54 here

 

 

 

Resetting Goals

This year I set myself a ‘realistic goal’ for weight loss of 78 kilos (171.6 lbs). I weighed myself last week for the first time in months and discovered that I had already reached this goal. I am not saying this to brag, instead it has made me realise that my body has changed and I need to re-define my goals.

Before I had body lift surgery, 78 kilos was a good number for me. My face, arms and legs thinned out and I had a well defined collar bone. But since I had the excess skin chopped off I now need to reset my expectations when it comes to weight on the scales.

I had about 6 kilos of skin and fat removed in my body lift surgery, so I guess that means that if my past goal was 78 kilos, it probably needs to be 72 kilos (158.4 lbs) now. I don’t feel bad at my current weight and I am thrilled with my progress, but I want to keep going.

Here are some photo of me from before my body lift surgery where I weighed slightly more than I do now. I can clearly see how much thinner I look in these photos than I do now. When I see these photos, all I can think about is how happy and carefree I was back then in 2010. Boy do I wish I could go back in time and tell this girl a thing or two…