Sunday, March 2, 2014


Life is a challenge.  Just getting through one day at a time can be the biggest challenge of all.

The challenge I set myself at the end of last year was by far the biggest challenge I have ever embarked on in my life.  I needed a challenge and wanted a challenge more than anything.  As I have said before, this is the year for me to get healthy and turn my life around.  Every day is a challenge.  Even just to get out of bed sometimes, especially when I am so tired that I don’t want to move is a challenge.

When I started out on this journey, I knew it would be just that, a challenge.  Changing old habits and doing new things is always a challenge.  You tend to want to stick to the old ways and even if you try to do the right things, the new things, at times you will automatically go back to doing what is comfortable and familiar.  That is where the challenge comes in.

You have to think a lot more.  Think about what you are doing and not just run on automatic pilot.  Instead of grabbing a piece of chocolate, you have to think, and remember instead to grab a piece of fruit, a healthy snack instead. 

People have been asking me ….. How are you doing it?  What are you doing?  What ‘diet’ are you on?

First of all ‘DIET’ …. Now there is a word that I personally do not like.  Diet is the food that you eat.  We all have a diet, we all eat a diet …. Of food that is.  Some of our diets are not healthy and other people have very healthy diets.  I now chose for the most part to have a healthy diet.  Am I following The Pritikin diet, or Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig????  No I am not.  Actually I am just following the eating healthy diet.  The one where you eat nutritious food.

I eat 3 meals a day and snacks in between.  I have come to realise through
research and other information that it is best (at least for me) to eat smaller meals more frequently.  I have a protein shake for breakfast with berries in it.  I buy frozen mixed berries from the supermarket and at these to a very healthy shake.  I am using Herbalife, which is awesome, has a great flavour, and after researching which one was best, I think I have made the right decision.  I take vitamins … also Herbalife.  Besides the shake powder, which I put in soy milk, or if that is not available I use low fat milk, I also add some protein powder.  I find that the shakes are really good and don’t leave me feeling hungry.  The protein powder added helps to stave off those feelings.

As a snack I have 12 almonds or a piece of fruit, or a tub of yoghurt or some other healthy snack.  I will then have another shake at lunch time or much of the time I will have a salad roll, with a piece of lean meat in it and fill it with salad. In the afternoon I will have another snack, again a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit.  Then at dinnertime I will have chicken or steak and vegetables or salad, not skimping on the veges or salad.  Sometimes I even just feel like eating a bowl of salad without meat and I love that too. To some people this would not seem like a lot of food and they may even think that I am not eating enough, but I don’t feel deprived, certainly don’t feel hungry and feel that I am getting plenty of nutrition.  

Things that have changed for me are; eating more regularly throughout the day.  I eat earlier in the morning.  It used to be lunchtime before I would have anything to eat in the past, but now I have breakfast at breakfast time.  I know that eating on a more regular basis means that I am not pigging out at the end of the day because I am starving.  I also eat 6 smaller meals throughout the day, and that includes my snacks.  This speeds up your metabolism.

Most importantly I drink plenty of water.  I drink 2 to 3 litres per day .... most days I drink 3 litres.  This is so important for your body and a must if you want to be healthy.

The biggest change of course has been exercising. I now exercise 6 days a week.  I train with a personal trainer (pt) 3 days a week and I walk the other 3 days.  I do a 45 min session with the pt and although it has been a challenge and is an ongoing challenge, I really do love it and love what it is doing for my health and fitness.  I feel healthier than I have in a very long time.  Then I walk 3 times per week on alternate days to my workouts at the gym.  Then I have one day off a week.  At the moment I am walking 5.5klms, which after today will be 6klm 3 times a week. 

The one other thing that I would say is to have a good nights sleep, don't get tired, because when you do you are more likely to want to eat foods that are not good for you or to binge eat.  So if you are tired, and you can, have a sleep, it will do more good for you than bingeing out on unhealthy food.

As most of you know through my blog I started out walking 1klm and thought that I was going to die.  I got home and slumped into a chair and puffed and panted and sweated like nothing else.  I didn’t know if I could go out the next day, in fact I didn’t know if I was going to live to see the next day.  But well obviously I did.  That first day I wondered if I could do the challenge that I had set myself.  I had serious doubts and concerns.  However, despite those doubts and concerns, the one thing I did know was that I had a goal that I wanted to achieve, and I thought to myself, this just has to get better, I can’t feel like this forever.  So I just kept on going, each day, believing that it would get better. 

Along the way I knew that if I were going to ride in the Ride to Conquer Cancer (which by the way is now not happening) I would need some help.  Walking was not going to cut it.  I would need to build up strength in my legs and upper body and knew that I was going to need help with that.  I knew it would be expensive and that I would need the help of a personal trainer, but I also knew that if I were going to succeed I would have to do it.  We all have to make sacrifices sometimes and I knew that I would have to make sacrifices financially to do this.  The thing is when you want to achieve a goal, really achieve a goal; you will do anything to achieve it.  That was the way it was for me.  So with the help of a pt it was onward and upward.
 Doing these things doesn’t come without much thought and perseverance, determination and effort. 

·      Decide what your goal is, what it is that you want to achieve.  Make that goal something that you REALLY want to achieve.  Something that has great significance and meaning for you.
·      Make a decision to achieve that goal.  The decision is the most important thing – I can stress that enough.  This means taking steps to achieve it no matter what happens.
·      Have small goals along the way.  This will help you to feel a sense of achievement on the journey to getting to the bigger goal.  This will help you to feel as though you are achieving something.
·      Be determined to keep on going, even when the going gets tough.
·      This is one of the most important things – you must have good self-talk.  The things you say to yourself must be positive and uplifting.  Whenever you have negative thoughts or feelings, you have to challenge them.  Know in advance the type of things that you will say to yourself.
·      Most importantly don’t let anybody, anyone or anything steal your dream.  Stay focused no matter what goes on around you.

So that is my journey so far and what I am doing to make my dream and my goal happen.