Things got off to a slow start with the four week health challenge I’m doing with Helen Joubert, so from when we did the live video together I started implementing some of the changes she suggested but we officially only started on Monday 01 March 2021. I’m blown away by the things that I’ve learned in the last week and the impact that it has already on my life.
The Focus Of The First Week
There were quite a few things that I had to work on this week and I feel that I did really well in most aspects. While a lot of the focus was on eating there was a lot of work that Helen and I did that involved self-care and balance. I love that it is a holistic approach and not just focused on food.
Helen sent me two books to work through, Nutrition Success Formula and My Healthy Life Plan. It’s a lot to take in so I am not finished them yet.
Planning My Food For The Week
I did well at this and bad at the same time. I was so swamped with work and kids that I never got a moment to sit down and do any in depth planning. However I did quickly look at the list of foods I should be eating and what I should not be eating. When I went shopping I filled my trolley with all the recommended foods.
While I did not have a precise plan in place I did to make meals and snacks every day that were made up of the right foods.
I’m loving playing with different salads and adding lentils, beans or chickpeas, something I have never done before. I’m getting my head around a new way of planning and creating my meals.
Eat Regularly & Watch Portion Sizes
I have to eat breakfast lunch and supper, with a morning snack and an afternoon snack. I achieved this but it was tricky because I’ve never eaten regularly during the day when my kids and hubby aren’t home. I eat supper every evening because I prepare the meal for my family, and on weekends I eat with my family because they are all at home.
During the week I’m in the habit of not eating very often and eating larger meals when I do eat. I had to change this and eat every few hours in small portions. I’ve found it hard to eat so often and I found it hard to figure out the right portion sizes. For the first few days my portion sizes were too big and I felt like I was stuffing my face all the time.
Take Multivitamin and Vitamin C Supplements
I bought Vital’s Multivitamin for women and Vitamin C supplements. A big bonus is that I was gifted Probitec probiotics this week so I’ve started taking those too! I’ve only been taking them a few days so I will update soon on how happy I am with them.
Eat Protein and Low GL Carbohydrates With Every Meal
This is where the thinking had to come in big time for me. Every meal must have protein and a carbohydrate that has a low glycemic load (GL). I’m really not used to thinking about my food much. I feel hungry and then I eat. Having to put thought into every meal and snack I eat to make sure that there is protein and a low GL carbohydrate was a little tricky in the beginning but I’m getting better at it.
Keep A Food Diary
I’m keeping track of all the food I eat and sending it to Helen so I’m accountable for everything I eat. Being accountable really has helped me to stay on track. Knowing that I have to send my food diary keeps me on my toes.
The Realization Of How Unhealthy My Relationship With Food has Been
When I’m happy I eat, when I’m sad I eat, when I’m stressed I eat and when I’m bored I eat. I reward myself with food.
I’m not grossly overweight and I would not consider myself a food addict but I can now see that my relationship with food has not been the best. I think it is something that is ingrained in us, by society and by our family life.
When families get together they eat, as a mother I nurture my children through food. I’m going to have to take a closer look at how my eating and my feelings are related and start making some big changes here.
Helen has me making a list of non-food treats for myself, to reward myself with. I think this is going to be a game changer for me.
I’m NOT A Coffee Addict
Helen suggested that I have only one cup of coffee a day and that I replace the sugar with Xylitol. I was so worried about craving coffee but I’ve come to realize that it is not the coffee I’m craving, it is the two spoons of sugar in it. When I drink my coffee with Xylitol I don’t want any coffee. This really was a light bulb moment for me because I would normally have drink four or five cups of coffee a day, suddenly with no sugar there is just no appeal for me anymore.
Within four days of starting the challenge properly this week I got massive sugar withdrawals and oh my word was it bad. I got such a bad migraine that I could not look at my screen, I felt like I would vomit and the room was spinning. I drank some water and lay down for a while. When that did not help I took some paracetamol (I can’t take any of the strong stuff because I’m an addict in recovery) but that did not relieve the pain.
After as few hours I had a coffee with two sugars and it eased off a little. Later on in the evening I had half a glass of coke and a while later I was feeling better.
Moving forward for a while I’m going to have one cup of coffee in the morning with my two sugars because I can’t function with a migraine.
Honestly I’ve not been putting much focus on exercise. I love to walk on the beach in the mornings and I try to do this as often as I can. As for hardcore exercise, it simply does not have a place in my life right now. I find running, jumping and cardio hard on my knees and I am not enjoying my now very big boobs bouncing around.
Perhaps when I’ve lost some weight I will be keen to up my exercise but for now I’m sticking with what I enjoy and that is a morning walk.
My Weight Loss For Week 1
Weight loss is something that I’ve been struggling with since I quit smoking in 2015. I was about 60kgs and when I quit smoking I ate like crazy. The result is that I have been averaging around 82kgs for the last few years.
It feels like every single time I go shopping for clothing I have to get a bigger size. When I quit smoking I was wearing a size 32 to size 34. Recently I went shopping and some of the things I came home with were a size 42 or 44. It feels all wrong and I feel so uncomfortable in my own skin and in my clothing.
I am absolutely delighted with my achievements for this first week. I was weighing myself every day but Helen has advised me not to do that, she has asked me to weigh myself every week.
I will stick to that but I have to say that I lost weight every single day except for one day and my total weight loss from Monday 01 March until Monday 08 March is 1kg – my weight is now exactly 81kgs. It may not sound like a lot but it is a slow and steady daily weight loss and it has been done in a way that feels right to me.
I have not starved myself or gone on a fad diet. I’ve eaten healthy foods that nourish my body. After this first week I’m so amped to start week two and see what I can achieve not only in the next few weeks of this challenge but beyond.