March 22   Week 6

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Trigger warning: I talk about food issues herein.

Well it’s week 6 of this 12 week program I’m on – almost half way through. Already? It’s hard to believe actually. I thought it would be so much harder – to give up some of my much loved habits and I thought it would be harder to drag myself up off the couch. Which is not to say that there haven’t been skipped workout sessions or off program meals but they have been the exception rather than the norm. I’ve never stayed on a program this long before. I am the queen of the two week flunk out, to be truthful.

It’s weird to know that I really can go 6 weeks without a packet of lollies and not only not die but not even really miss them. Sure I get the odd craving but it turns out cravings are fleeting. Huh. There are a few things that I have downshifted calories and servings sizes so as to not have to give them up completely. I might really think the world without chocolate is not worthwhile so I’ve shifted to a sugar free dark chocolate which, to be honest, is really not that bad. And we’re also allowed a brand of low fat ice-creams so I’ve not really gone ice-cream-free either.

That said, there have been two main reasons for stopping myself from throwing it out the window and diving into the mini fun size choccie bars flopped seductively in their charity box just 10 steps down from my office cubicle. The first is that I really have worked hard to get to here, both physically and mentally, and I don’t want to undo that and that leads into the second, which is, I suspect that if I had one taste, just one, I wouldn’t be able to stop again. I’d be back into those foods having a hold over me and I’d be back where I started. If I could have just one chocolate bar and stop. And then not have another for a while, I’d be ok. And the goal is to get to that place. I just think it’s a little while off from here still.

So, where am I at? Cause as it turns out, it isn’t just about losing weight.

I’ve lost 5 kg in 5 weeks, which I’m quite happy with. My 12 week goal was to lose half a kilo a week (6kg) and I almost completed that in the first third of the program. I have had to review my goals (which is apparently what you are supposed to do and not just me shifting the goalposts) and now am aiming to lose 12 kg by the end.

We’re eating a lot more healthily and consistently than we were before. We clean out the fridge at the end of every week because we need to make room for the new week’s food plan. I noticed this weekend that we threw out a lot less moldy fruit and veggies and that we had almost no leftovers from cooked meals in the fridge at all. And what went in were almost all fresh, unprocessed groceries. And lots and lots of colour.

On top of this, I’ve started taking a nighttime multivitamin which is supposed to promote rest and repair for your body. I’m really really crap at remembering to take multivitamins in the morning but a nighttime one suits me perfectly and I’ve been really consistent about this.

So the sum of all these things is that I am sleeping better than I have done in years. In YEARS! Yes I also gave up espresso coffee. And I’m exercising a lot more than I was before. And OMG sleeeeep. I know that’s the thing people with children tease you about but I have never ever been a good sleeper so being able to sleep through the whole night without waking up 6 times? Divine! And new for me. And you know what else? I wake up feel rested. RESTED! It’s like a whole new body. Every day. And therefore, unsurprisingly, my Crohn’s is really settling down. I’ve found the nutrition plan has a lot more gluten in it than I would ordinarily eat. We’ve sort of tried the food as is to get a feel for it but this week I am switching things out to replace, especially bread, with gluten free options. I’ll be interested to see how this plays out.

And exercise. OMG exercise. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It’s always been this way for me – putting on the clothes (to be fair, more so when it was those thick ballet stockings with the seam you had to have perfectly straight) is always the hardest part for me and sometimes can be the stumbling block I cannot climb. I am enjoying seeing myself get fitter and stronger. I’m enjoying being able to do more and recover faster. Today I ran all the way down to the sports complex and back and I can’t believe how comfortably I did that (in 3 min/2mn run/walk blocks). I’m getting the endorphin rush that makes it all worthwhile. And I’m also really aware of all the studies that show how exercise can alleviate depression and Crohn’s symptoms.

I’m also *moving* around and strengthening core muscles! I’m suddenly aware of how many friends of mine suffer from RSI and it occurred to me that whilst I am not a writer, I still spend a lot of time at a desk and then further hours hunched over a laptop. It might be prudent for me to be proactive about preventing injuries. I’ve noticed since about the first week of this program that my headaches have gone – I used to pretty much have constant headaches and now I know, because I *remember* them, that I have had only 3 in the past 6 weeks. Not only that but my neck issues seem to have eased up as well. And you know, physios and doctors tell you that exercise will help but you kinda look at them and think something FREE will fix this? Come on! Yeah it turns out getting off your arse and moving around a bit is good for you. Who knew?

I’m only 6 weeks in. I have to make it another 6 weeks and then beyond. And I don’t know how I will go yet. But I have started to get really (more) cynical about a bunch of things in modern life. All these things that are supposed to be convenient and help you save time but really make you fat and lazy and cost you money and then you have to pay more money to get thin and moving and so on. You really have to wonder what kinds of mugs we are, just lapping up all the cola and fries we can get whilst flicking the channels on the remote.

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