Like many of you, when I hear the word “diet” I scrunch my nose and think ‘no’. I think restriction, bimbos and starvation.
My colleagues and I got onto this topic at work one afternoon; about how the statement “I am on a diet” has negative connotations to so many people, myself included. We talked about how changing the word around may impact the unfavorable statement into a positive one and about how diets for many are actually a lifestyle, not a restriction. “I want a balanced diet” … “I want a balanced lifestyle” … “I want balance”.
“I live a balanced life”
Food. Yum. I love eating. I love drinking. I don’t love being judged by what I eat… There are so many strange fads out there at the moment: blood type diets, crash diets, tea detox diets, ‘raw till 4’, the 2:5… the list goes on! I think it is important to find something that works for you, that keeps you happy and helps you find your balanced life – that way, you don’t need to use that demonic statement “I am on a diet”.
As my Mum once told be “be happy Bab, skinny people are not happy. Look at me, I am happy because I can eat”. It is true, eating and drinking make me very happy. So I thought I would try this thing out… try and be ‘one of those people’ who is searching for balance.
In life, when you grow up, the clothing sizes just keep going up… well, that was the case for me anyway. I used to be a teeny tiny beautiful proportioned young thing, until I grew up and my metabolism slowed! I worked a job where I sat down all day every day (still do) and the taste of naughty things was so much better than leaves. Naturally, being a woman, I complained about this. Like you, and many other people on the planet, I too wish there was a pill I could pop that instantly made me loose a million kg’s, toned up all my wobble and removed all the cellulite from my body. Unfortunately for us, team, it requires hard work and commitments – which many of us all fear!
With many friends into the fitness, “balanced lifestyles”, owning gyms and a flatmate as a personal trainer, I consistently complain and talk to them about the little demon we call “diet”. I have asked advice so many times and done nothing about it, hoping that one day my body fat would just fall off me like a fully healed scab… but no, this was and never will be the case! Then one day, my flatmate heard me winging as normal and told me about this 8 week challenge he was starting. It didn’t matter how he was to do it, he just had to loose 5kg by the end of the 8 weeks. He asked me and my other flattie if we would like to join in, with a twist… he said if we won he would buy us a bottle of bourbon each and if we didn’t make it we had to buy him a big bottle of bourbon each. Ahhh bourbon… the way to my heart – challenge accepted!
I had already started a bootcamp through work, which I am still doing and love! I also have a gym membership so I thought I was ready and able to do this… then the little demon we call “diet” popped into my head. I automatically felt anxious, starved and too committed to back out now. You know how they say losing weight is 70% diet and only 30% excersize (or something similar)? Well I, Lazz, Miss “I will never give up wine or burgers”, found this to be true… I started my journey for a balanced life.
I went straight to the A Team at Ascension Gym in Wellington, my go-to-gurus about life and my body. I got a big motivational pep talk and really changed my mindset. I realized I am in control of everything I put into my body. I asked myself “why am I eating” and “what am I eating – is it what my body needs?”. I took a long sad look at my body in the mirror and decided YUCK! it is time! I decided to get my weight down for this challenge I would cut carbs as best I can out of my diet. That sentence made it sound so easy, but anyone who knows me at all would know that carbs are the means of my happiness. I am the girl who will eat a whole bag of Cheezels in thirty seconds, I am the girl who can eat a Hunger Buster and still have room for another burger. I LOVE carbs! and If I am honest with you I did not start the 8 weeks straight away.. I had to ween myself and my thought patterns into slowly removing my slices of carby heaven from my “diet”.
So anyway, I just replaced carbs with other things. For example for a Sheppard’s Pie I would use cauliflower mash instead of potatoes. I would use grated zucchini instead of pasta for Spaghetti. I would have extra bacon for my hangovers instead of bacon and eggs on toast. Granted, I still have oats most mornings for breakfast and I did have a few slip ups here and there but you know what? I did it, I, QUEEN OF CARB CONSUMPTION LOST 5KG’s and I could not be prouder!
**warning, haunting images below may provoke nightmares**
The above images of the collage was from the first or second boot camp I started in about May. I cried after I saw these. I thought I would never show anyone how disgusting I look. But when I compared these images from May to the end of August in the bottom half, just before my final weigh in, I was gob smacked. I never ever thought I would go down a size or two ever again. I am over the moon! I have a little bit of body confidence back!
The funny part is, the little demon we call diet didn’t even feel like a diet! I enjoyed everything I ate! and I love being creative with my food, which keeps it interesting. I think I will also continue to keep eating this way – because it works for me – this is they key! I have however, cut down my wine… and I am slowly learning that vodka can be just as enjoyable but this is something I am still working on changing my mindset about – like they say “you can take a girl out of Pram but you can’t take Pram out of the girl!”.