THE ONE MONTH UPDATE: TAKING A PHASED APPROACH TO WEIGHT-LOSS IS NOT WORKING OUT

Monday, October 29, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa


You guys might have noticed that I am on a bit of an intentional weight-loss journey. I’m one month in and I wanted to share a little update on how things are going on where my mind is at right now.

THE PHASED APPROACH IS NOT WORKING OUT 

The title of this post has probably given you a hint; things are not going too well. At the beginning of this process, I decided to take a phased approach to shed the extra kilos I am carrying around. To me, this phased approach looked something like: attending 2 – 3 ABC Bootcamp session a week and continuing to eat what I have been eating. I mentioned in a previous post, that one of my biggest learning thus far has been that exercise is really only 10% of the journey for me. The biggest and most terrifying issue remains to be my unhealthy relationship with food. Not addressing this has lead to one very surprising and disheartening thing, weight gain. Yep. For the first time in years, I have accepted that I need to lose weight and the only thing that has happened is that I have actually gained weight. It’s difficult not to feel like a bit of a failure. I know that I have gained muscle and muscle is heavier than fat, but still…

SO WHAT AM I DOING ABOUT IT? 

Today will be the start of the first week of adjusting my diet to a portion-controlled eating plan. I have 8 weeks until I go on leave for the Festive Season and while I don’t plan to binge out during the period, I recognise that it may be harder to stick to a strict eating plan during this time. So I am taking the next 8 weeks as a full-on total challenge to myself to stick to my new eating plan. I will then take a 2-week break and pick it up again in early January.

BOOTCAMP IS A WINNER 

Bootcamp remains to be a happy place for me. While I have not enjoyed amazing weight loss, I have never felt better, stronger or fitter than I do right now. The first month was difficult, the workouts get progressively harder, but I have also struggled a bit with my schedule. Finding time to leave the house to do a workout when you have 2 small kids and a partner that doesn’t get home early is a big hurdle and there were many times this month where I questioned how realistic it is for me to continue on this program with my current schedule. In the end, I decided to stick with it. I was going to share a really great before and after pic I had taken at the start of this program and again 2 weeks ago, but truthfully, I have had a bit of a regression and that after picture no longer reflects the way I look.


WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY OUT BOOTCAMP? I HAVE A VOUCHER FOR ANYONE THAT WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND A FREE SESSION JUST POP YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS INTO THE COMMENTS AND I WILL SEND IT TO YOU!



KEEPING IT REAL 

I have always felt like this blog is my place to be the most authentic version of myself, my place to share my truths and be honest about the kind of life I lead. So I am here now to tell you guys that its one month in, I am feeling mixed emotions, on one hand, there have been incredible achievements and on the other, I’ve been feeling like a bit of a failure. I did an Instagram poll a while back and asked what sort of content you’d all like to see on the @fatmomonadiet account and the response was largely mixed, some of you would like more posts about the diet side of things and some of you would like to know about the emotional side of this journey. I can’t please everyone, but I am going to try and do a bit of both.

It’s been a tough month for many reasons, and I always find it easier to deal with challenges by simply ignoring them. I would not like to confront my unhealthy food habits, the idea of really sitting down and unpacking the “why” behind my binge eating is incredibly unappealing, but I am pushing myself to do better, for me.

I have started a health and weight loss bullet journal and some of the spreads I am including are:
  • My why 
  • Starting measurements
  • Long-term goals
  • Periodic stats tracker
  • Favourite healthy meals
  • Weekly workout plan
  • Weight loss tracker
  • Plan for the week
  • Daily tracker
  • Short-term goals
  • Rewards & achievements
  • Notes about what I’ve learned
  • A brain dump about my day
  • A list of obstacles and how to overcome them
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Journaling and reflection pages
Navigating body issues is a freaking minefield. If you’re not struggling through your own internal monologue, you’re facing the external noise that constantly leads you to question if what you’re doing is the right thing.
One of my favourite bloggers, Kelly, from @simplelivingfolks posted this a few weeks ago:



I’m incredibly grateful the body positive movement exists. It was the body positive community that helped me unpack my hurt around my body. It helped me realize I was more than a body and that laid the foundation for my shifting mindset in how I view self care. . But there is a problem in the body positive community: We are not kind or welcoming towards intentional weight loss. I have seen it over and over. When someone starts *purposefully* losing weight, they’re automatically questioned on if they’re “really” body positive and if they “actually” love themselves or accept other plus size people. . I’ve seen articles go viral that practically discourage intentional weight loss, telling people, “90% of people who lose weight gain it all back,” and paint the image that everyone who is purposefully losing weight is suffering on some one egg-one yogurt-one granola bar a day starvation diet when that isn’t true. I’ve seen prominent body positive accounts make memes about how they don’t care about my progress in the gym and we should never be public or proud about our weight loss because someone who is the size we used to be will see that and feel bad about themselves and that’s selfish of me. . Hear this: My weight loss is NOT a judgment of your weight. This is about me. It’s not about you and I’m not judging you any more than I’d be judging brunettes if I suddenly went blonde. (Meaning = not at all) When it comes to you, so long as you’re safe, happy, and loved, that’s all that matters to me. We need to question this cultural mentality that the personal decisions of other people are a personal judgment of us. (Whether that be diet, parenting choices, or other lifestyle decisions) . I’m not losing weight because I hate myself. You cannot hate yourself into loving yourself. I had to START from a place of love to embark on these goals. I’ve lost 43 lbs so far and I’m not sorry about that, but that doesn’t mean I am judging anyone who weighs 43+ lbs more than me either. This is about me. And my intentional weight loss is not a judgment of your body. . Thanks for listening ❤️ This is something that’s been bothering me for awhile and I just needed to express it.
A post shared by Kelly • Simple Living Folks (@simplelivingfolks) on

I know many people will roll their eyes when I say this, but a portion of my struggle to deal with my unhealthy eating habits stems from the little nagging voice that keeps whispering in my ear about self-love and acceptance and this notion that being on a diet means I hate myself. I don’t and I am slowly working to get to a place where I can comfortably shut out all that incredibly loud noise which inspires so many others but just makes me feel bad about myself and my choices.

This post has turned into an unintentional brain dump, as it sometimes does I guess.
I would love to hear from you guys. Who’s on a diet? How are you feeling about it? Does part of your diet include examining the why behind your weight gain? What are you doing to address those underlying issues?

Don’t forget, if you’d like a voucher for one free Bootcamp session, pop your email address into the comments section of this post!
Nikki
Xxx

MY LIFE AS A WORKING MUM

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa


I’ve always been quite adamant that there is no such thing as a work/life balance. We just kind of sail along through the stress and anxiety and money worries and tantrums and meetings and deadlines, all the while doing our best to carve out as much happiness as we can for as long as we can. Yes having a sense of routine, a healthy diet, a good exercise schedule all helps us cope better. But this elusive sense of balance that we’re all supposed to magically strive for is a bit of an illusion.

On Monday I had a crazy day. I am struggling to put my finger on the exact event or moment that caused things to spiral, but by the time I got into bed and switched on my guided meditation, my sanity was in tatters. I feel like this is happening more frequently than ever before. I sat for a minute to think about this. Why am I suddenly feeling so overwhelmed? Is it the time of the year? Has my life gotten harder? I decided to jot down the blow by blow series of events that happen on average in my day. I thought perhaps there may be a few hidden clues. A map that leads back towards my sanity, maybe?


AN AVERAGE DAY IN THE LIFE OF US

05.07 Grace is crying. I'm pretending to be asleep in the hope that Regan gets up. He doesn't.
05.16 Grace goes back to sleep but in our bed.
05.30 Alarm goes off. I briefly contemplate getting up and doing a workout. I hit snooze instead.
05.45 I drag my tired ass out of bed and make 2 cups of coffee
05.49 I try to wake Regan with the promise of freshly made coffee. He assures me that he's awake and getting up. I go to the lounge to drink my coffee.
06.00 No sign of Regan. I head back to our room to wake him up. He's up.
06.04 Grace wakes up because the bed is empty.
06.09 Grace starts nagging to watch Pepper Pig. She can't actually talk but she aggressively gestures in the direction of the laptop while shouting "Pig daddy! Pig daddy!"
06.10 Regan goes off to take his daily 45-minute long shit with his phone.
06.15 I remember my coffee is still in the kitchen. I reheat it.
06.30 I finally get into the shower
06.45 I'm dressed for work. I head into the kitchen to pack all the bags and get ready to leave.
06.50 Regan gets into the shower.
07.00 Sophie wakes up.
07.00-07.20 Sophie cries to wear a dress even though it's clearly pants weather
07.30 Regan’s out the bathroom and getting dressed. Sophie's relented and agrees to wear the pants but refuses to dress.
07.35 Our nanny arrives
07.40 We're all pretty much ready to leave.
07.41 Sophie needs to make a poo
07.59 We actually leave
08.05 We're on the way. Sophie had a meltdown because her seat belt was "cutting into her face”.
08.20 I arrive at work and feel at peace for the first time since opening my eyes
08.20-16.00 I pretend like I'm not incredibly fucking exhausted and totally capable of doing my job
16.00-17.00 I sit in a meeting casually acting like I'm totally invested even though I'm in a flat panic internally because I'm 30 minutes late to let my nanny off and I know that this means she'll only get home at 7 pm
17.16 On the way home
17.29 Arrive at home
17.40 Try to think about what to make for dinner. I put off the monthly grocery shop for so long I can no longer afford to do it so eating is a budget affair.
17.50 Message Regan a list for the shop because fuck going to pick n pay with 2 tired, naggy little monsters
18.00 Regan gets home and immediately we start supper.
18.20 We eat
18.45 Bathtime
19.30 Quite time before bed
20.00 Bedtime
20.30 I go into a total panic because I still need to send the action points from two meetings on and edit a report and clear my inbox. Oh shit, I also have to prepare for 2 meetings tomorrow and reply to someone who is waiting for urgent feedback.
22.59 Practically done with work. I consider maybe putting the rest off until tomorrow. Maybe we'll be early for once?
23.34 Shit I forgot to take my anxiety meds. Will it fuck me up if I just take them now? OK, I'll just miss today.
00.04 Should I listen to a guided meditation or read? I'm so tired I'm not sure it matters. I fall asleep and wake up when my phone painfully falls onto my face. I put my phone on the bedside table and go back to sleep. There's a vague feeling of pain coming from the part of my cheek that connected with my phone.

03.22 Grace is crying.....

Sitting back and examining my day in this format actually leaves me feeling quite grateful that I have any sense of sanity left at all. I also know that most moms who read this will be able to relate quite strongly to it. Yes, this is my life as a working mom, but I am quite sure that many, many stay at home moms feel exactly like this too. Why? I think it all goes right back to that old chestnut about how we, as women, carry the mental load.

What’s that you say? No idea what the mental load is? Well, read this for an in-depth breakdown. The rub of it is that as women we are usually forced (by default) into the role of gatekeeper for all the things, all the information, all the care, and yes, all the stress that comes along with all those aforementioned responsibilities.
It’s too much and when you leave it unchecked (like I often do) it has the power to totally fray you down to the bone and you’ll be left in a similar version of my current state:

Crying on the couch with a migraine and an infected eye eating Nutella out the jar with your finger as a spoon because life just feels like the deep side of the ocean and you’d rather just sink than continue trying to tread water.

Nikki 
Xxx

THE INTERNET TURNED ME INTO A BULLY AND OTHER THINGS ABOUT SEPTEMBER

Friday, October 12, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa


BULLY? SURELY YOU DON’T MEAN ME? 

There is something to be said for the mob mentality that seems to go hand in hand with social media. Someone does something we believe is inherently wrong, we jump up and down with indignation and rush to call them out, to urge them to acknowledge their wrongness, to push our beliefs and opinions on them. This is the world we live in now. We own our opinions with absolute rapaciousness and we aggressively strive to have these opinions recognised as fact.

At the end of August the mom blog community was rocked with scandal (I am being dramatic), and in the wake of this moment, I felt like total shit. I realised how incredibly susceptible to absorbing residual drama my personality is. It’s so crazy, what is it about my brain that calls out for drama and scandal. Why do I grab the popcorn and add logs to fire while watching someone else’s life fall apart online? Why is this something that I can only see as negative in hindsight? I started September feeling like a bully. Feeling like all the habits I work hard to cultivate in my children were so far out of reach for me personally. It felt horrible.

I read this post that Laetitia from Poppet Patch wrote about putting down the things that don’t serve you anymore and her post was the catalyst for an Oprah-esq AHA moment


I don’t want to be the kind of person that views other people’s pain as entertainment, even if this feeling is very internal. I don’t want to walk around the streets of my mind and find them crowded with other people’s drama – God knows, I have enough of my own.

So during the month of September, I made an active effort to be a better kind of person. To not view my opinions as fact, to accept that we can disagree and still be friends, to try harder to walk away from conversations that make me feel negative and (this is a big one) to steer clear of gossip. I said I am trying, I slip up often but I am so much more aware of my thought process now, and I feel like I am able to check myself before I wreck myself.


WORKING OUT, WORKING IN, WORKING IT! 

September was also the month I started my Journey to Summer Challenge with ABC Boot Camp – let it be known that Journey to Summer is the name of the program and not, in fact, my approach to getting fit and healthy, this is about so much more than just summer – which I’ve written extensively about over the month. You can also keep up to date by following me on Instagram. One of the best things about joining this workout program has been the way that I feel, and not necessarily the way that I look. Simple things like walking up a bridge, hell, even getting off the couch, just feel a lot easier now. And I am only 2 weeks in, imagine how awesome I will feel in December when the challenge is done?

If you’re looking for some inspiration to get back to being active, check out this post written by Belinda from Making Mountains. 


There are 10 weeks to go until I go on leave and I am using that time frame to really apply myself to adopting the good, healthy habits I need to carry me through the rest of this weight loss journey because honestly, exercising is only about 10% of the battle for me. I need to work really hard to overcome my negative relationship with food and that part is never easy. I will post more about what I am doing to improve my relationship with food soon.


SHARING AND GROWING

In addition to the working out, the lifestyle changes and the drama, I was also honoured to be featured in Shante Hutton’s Roses for Thorns series where I got the chance to talk about my miscarriages. I would love it if you popped over there and gave it a read. Miscarriage is this really soul destroying thing so many women go through and I just want all women who have gone through it or are going through it to know that they are not alone. We can lessen our pain by sharing it.


OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MONTH

We had our first trip to the beach.
I got way fancy for a work dinner. 
We got some awesome new books from Bargain Books.
We loved each other fiercely. 
We fought bitterly.
I got new shoes. 


SOME AMAZING THINGS I READ DURING SEPTEMBER 

Year One by Nora Roberts – will post a review soon.
The weight of school admin – as if moms don’t have enough to worry about – The Mom Diaries
The reasons for home-schooling in South Africa – Harassed Mom
A guide to modern parenting: Back to Basics – Heart Mama Blog

Today is the 12th of October, so yes, this little update is really late. But I am firmly in the “better late than never” camp.

How are you guys?

Nikki
Xxx

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