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Day One

Right. Here we go …

Today is the start of my new nutrition and training programme.

Ok, ok, I *know* you’ve heard this before and yes, I have had a few false starts over the last few months but this weekend was the turning point for me. On Saturday morning I broke down in tears over how much weight I’ve put on – 12 kgs in the last year (I shit you not), which is a LOT on a 163cm frame! I bawled about how I can’t fit into any of my clothes anymore, sobbed about feeling like crap all the time and slumped to a new all time low about how awful I look.


Today. THIS day, things change.

What makes it different this time? Well, apart from hitting complete rock bottom, I have enlisted some help. I have asked Sir G to get involved and give me a hand. I’ve tried a few times by myself and failed miserably. I don’t want to fail again. I want to, want to, want to damn well succeed this time and if that means I have to have someone else watching, pushing, encouraging, policing and tracking my progress, then so be it! I can’t do *everything* by myself, I have decided (obviously), so I swallowed my pride and asked Sir G to assist. Mmk, he’s not really a pushy person at all and I *do* need rather a strong hand at times, so we’ll see how it goes. But he’s been training again for about a month now and he’s already packed on about 3kgs of muscle and can I just say … PHWOAR!!!!

There’s no way I’m going to tell you what I weigh now, or what my measurements are – I’m just far too embarrassed! But, all in all, I’m optimistic about my transformation. I feel different already – my mind is in the right place and I committed to spending the next 6 months getting in the best shape I possibly can. I really owe it to myself.

Of course, the hardest part for me is going to be the night time snacking – that is my weak spot! Aaargh … to NOT lie in bed and nibble on crap is going to be sooooo difficult. But, I’m just going to have to suck it up and give the Cookie Monster the finger. I’m not going even one more DAY feeling miserable about this stupid bloody weight story.

I want to feel good about myself again;

I want more energy;

I want to fit into my clothes;

And, DAMMIT, I want to look good out of them too 😉

Have you tried Chai Tea?

Son#1: “Mom, please can you organize Chai Tea for me?”

Me: “Huh? I thought you wanted to do Muay Thai? I mean, after you met Quentin Chong you were so amped for it.”

Son#1: “What are you TALKING about?”

Me: “I know you! You’ll start off this new sport with great gusto and then lose interest, just you did with Karate!”

Son#1: *totally bewildered look*

Me: “And anyway, you don’t have the time, what with all your other sports and school work and stuff. I’m not going to waste money, or ask Dad to waste money on another flash in the pan idea!”

Son#1: *bends over double in fits of hysterical laughter*

Me: *mortified* (wtf?) “What? Why are you laughing?”

Son#1: “No mom! I mean Chai Tea, not Tai Chi, CHAI TEA … T-E-A … Chai Tea is TEA! Bwahaha!

Me: “Tea?” (the lights go on … ooops!)

Son: “YES!! Its tea. It’s a spicy tea. That you DRINK! You can buy it at Pick ‘n Pay or Woolies or something.”

Me: “Oh. Mmk, I’ll look out for it and see how much it costs.” *blush*


So I looked, and I found it, and I was curious so I bought it =) And let me tell you, it’s totally yummy!

Chai is a spicy milk tea from India – they’ve been drinking it for centuries – and it’s now becoming popular all over the world. It’s a combination of milk, black tea, sweetener and various spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper.

You can make it from scratch, but I think that would be a mission for busy people, so the alternative is to buy it in a concentrate or powered form. All you need to then do is add either hot milk or water, depending on the brand/type you buy. I use fat free milk (‘cos it’s all I keep in the house) and that helps to keep the calories down a bit – works out to about the same amount as a cappuccino.

I bought the powdered one from Woolies (works out to about R4/cup) and Son#1 made me my first cup of Chai Tea a couple of days ago. Lovely stuff! I didn’t think I would like it, but then I didn’t think I would like sushi either … I’m really enjoying the taste (sipping a cuppa as I bang this out … no, really I AM!) – it’s not really like any other flavour I’ve encountered before. I think I can best describe it as a mixture between Horlicks and hot cross buns =) The weird thing is that I don’t actually like either of those two, but the taste combination somehow works for me.

So do give it a whirl if you haven’t yet, you may be in for a real treat! Just be careful though, it apparently has as much caffeine in it as coffee, so don’t go drinking a cup just before bed time.

Bottoms up!

** Based on a true-life conversation

Overcoming Binge Eating – Chapter 4

In this chapter of the book Dr Christopher G. Fairburn deals with the psychological and social problems associate with binge eating.

Again, just for the record, I am neither bulimic nor anorexic but as I read this chapter, I found that could relate to issues like the diet-binge cycle, the effects of this cycle (and being highly concerned about my appearance) on my moods and relationships, plus the character traits common among those with binge eating problems.

Binge eating may be an isolated behaviour, but in most cases it is associated with other problems – some may a consequence of binge eating, others may promote the binge eating and some may result AND encourage binge eating which causes a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. An example of this kind of behaviour is dieting (most people who binge also diet) as it neither be classified as either a cause or effect of binge eating.

Dieting often precedes binge eating, but it also a response to binge eating. It is most obvious in bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, where the dieting is generally extreme to the point of fasting. In binge eating disorder, dieting tends to be less extreme and intermittent, not continuous, and these people alternate between phases of successful dieting and periods of overeating which may continue for years if left untreated. (Because dieting is one of the main factors that contribute to bingeing, treatment is geared at reducing the tendency to diet.)

Dr Fairburn goes on to tell us that there are 3 types of dieting: avoiding eating (fasting between binges), restricting the overall amount eaten (calorie restriction) and avoiding certain types of food (those perceived as “forbidden” or “bad”). There is also mention of dieting in other guises, practiced by those who influence their weight or shape by changing their eating habits and justifying it by attributing it to things like food allergies or being vegetarian. What he says is that if you practice any form of dietary restriction to influence your weight or shape, you are “dieting”.

When strict dieting is practiced, failure is inevitable and this may be extremely demoralizing which in turn leads to binge eating. This vicious cycle operates among those who adopt strict dietary rules, not all those who binge.

Measures for controlling shape or weight are covered next – self induced vomiting, laxative and diuretic misuse and over-exercising.

It was interesting to read that most people are ignorant of the fact that self induced vomiting only purges a maximum of 50% of the calories consumed in a binge. Even the use of “markers” (such eating tomatoes at the start of a binge to ensure that all food has been purged when they reappear) is entirely inaccurate as food in the stomach gets churned around and it’s never a case of “first in, last out”.

Other misconceptions revolve around the use of laxatives and diuretics (water pills) – neither of these eliminate any excess calories, but they do make people feel “cleaner” and less bloated, so that’s probably the main reason for people using them.

Over-exercising is common among those with binge eating problems, particularly bulimics and anorexics. They feel compelled and driven to exercise to the point where don’t eat anything until they feel they have burned up enough calories to justify the intake of food.

All these measures may encourage further binge eating and perpetuate the cycle.

Most people who binge are highly concerned about their appearance and weight. Many tie their self esteem into their appearance and are terrified of weight gain. Some may weigh themselves up to 15-20 times per day and measure themselves continuously. Shame over how they look can interfere with their day-to-day life and many may withdraw from society and isolate themselves. This obviously has many detrimental effects on their mental health (depression is common), moods and their relationships. These people may become completely preoccupied with food, extremely anxious and unable to focus on anything else which can lead to them finding it difficult perform everyday activities such as reading, conversing or even watching tv. Some binge eaters, although overweight, are still very concerned about their appearance and may develop feelings of disgust and self loathing. Some refuse to look at their bodies or allow anyone else to see them. Binge eating problems can affect every aspect of life.

There are certain character traits that are common among those with binge eating problems: low self-esteem, perfectionism, all-or-nothing thinking and impulsivity.

Chapter 5 will cover the physical problems associated with binge eating.

Information about previous chapters can be found here:

  1. What is a Binge?
  2. Binge Eating, Eating Disorders and Obesity
  3. Who Binges?

Overcoming Binge Eating – Chapter 3

“Who Binges?”

Well, this was all very dull I’m afraid. Lot’s of boring stats about research studies, graphs and tables … yawn. And the bottom line was that because binge eating is normally such a secretive thing and not many people ever get treatment for this problem, there’s no real way to determine exactly who binges. Hrmph.

What the author, Dr Christopher G. Fairburn, does reveal about binge eating demographics is not unexpected. Problem binge eating affects mainly young Caucasian adult women – about 3% overall, while Bulimia affects 1% of them – and the prevalence of binge eating disorders is increasing. No news there.

That was all really, nothing very interesting. Chapter 4 will deal with psychological and social problems associated with binge eating …

Crazy food sculptures

Wow, these are really amazing! Jeesh … who thinks of this stuff?? Incredible.

You can click on each for a larger view.