This simple book can help you on your way

Hello, my name is Carolyn and I’d love to help you.

After my success at finally reaching and staying at my ideal weight, I thought it was time to share my secret and help others to finally reach their weight loss goal. Without stringent dieting, without obsessive exercise, without any pain at all!

If you follow the tips in my Ebook, you can reach your goal weight and stay there (and you can still eat chocolate too, if you want to!).

Check out the link below and see what you think - you only have your excess weight to lose!

How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

At the low, low price of $3.75

Carolyn Cordon

wife, mother, poet and weight loss success

This is me in 2009

This is me in 2009
Happy, healthy, size ten jeans!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fat Parent - Fat Child

Fat parent have fat kids, and lazy parents have fat lazy kids. It's a crazy combination of nature and nurture perhaps.

There may be a genetic predisposition toward being fat, but you don't have to be that fat person, if you're clever and eat and exercise, you can beat that predisposition, in spite of your genes.
I think part of the whole problem these days may be unresolved guilt feelings.

A lot of parents are doing too many things, and not giving their children enough time, so they pander to their child's every want, so the child is 'happy'. The thing most children want most from their parents is love and attention.

If you begin as you hope to continue, you should be OK. I have to admit though, that I found it difficult when my son was small, and underweight, I fed him whatever I could get into him because I was terrified he was starving. I was breastfeeding him, visiting the baby nurse, and slowly going mad from post natal depression (without realising it). I’m over it now, and all is well, but it took a while.

Now, sixteen years later, my son is short for his age, compared to a lot of other students in his year level. But I'm short, my husband is not tall, my parents and his are/were all short. I think that, back when he was a baby, if the nurse had really thought about genetics, we could have all realised this baby was never going to be big, and we could have relaxed and enjoyed it all so much more.

I feed my son and my husband and myself good nutritional food, with the occasional yummy treat. We exercise a little (far too little on my part) and we are all working at getting to our healthiest state we can. It won’t happen overnight, but, with focus and work, it will happen.

I’ll get off my hobby horse and go back to the stable. Thanks for your attention.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Guilt Chocolate

I have just written a short post on one of the sites I'm a member of. If your love of chocolate is a downfall for you, you may find some help from the post which you will find here.

Moderation is the key, and if you follow the instructions in the post, you will be engaging in 'mindful eating'. Chowing down thoughtlessly like a pig at its trough is one of the main reasons for weight gain for many people.

If you practice 'mindful eating' you will slow down on your intake so that you mind and body are more in sync. So have a read and give it a try. Your body will say thank you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Low Fat Sausages?

Yesterday was one of those days. Nothing much in the fridge and sausages in the freezer. Teenage son was asking 'What's for tea?' I was asking myself the same question.

I looked in the cupboard and found a can of soup, Campbell's Country Ladle, Wholegrain Chicken & Vegetable soup with wholegrain pasta. I got the sausages out to defrost. OK, that's what was for tea. Sausages and soup.

But that wasn't all. I boiled the sausages to get rid of as much of the fat as possible, then cut up (diced) an onion and some mushrooms. I sauteed the onion and mushrooms, added the soup with some basmati rice and some Bio Grape red wine chilli sauce. Then I turned the heat down low and let it simmer ever so gently until the rice was cooked.

The resulting meal was even better than the individual parts. I spoke to a dietitian friend today and she confirmed that boiling sausages does indeed reduce the fat content. I hope to make that meal again. No complaints at all, and it was a wonderfully healthy and simple meal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's swimwear weather!

It's that dreaded time of the year for some of us. The time when we have to get out the old togs and stretch the lycra over our lumps and bumps.

As the weather warms up, the soft drinks go down, adding to the problem. But with a little bit of knowledge and some healthy ideas, you mmight finish off summer this year slimmer and happier than ever.

I know the swimming costume I currently own is the smallest and sexiest I've ever had, and it's all down to, no not a diet or exercise program, it's down to sensible lifestyle changes. I don't like exercise much, but I love being a size ten. I got down to my ideal weight with help from my basic knowledge on healthy nutrition. Eat less fats, eat more fibre, and just don't eat too much of anything.

Eating only when hungry and ignoring most of the dictates of society helped me. I say most of the dictates, not all. Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day. It sets your metabolism up and it sets you up as well. If you starve yourslef, your body goes into calorie hoarding mode, and keeps those fat molecules. If you're well fed, your body is relaxed about it and uses up the excess calories, as long as you do a little work to keep it all going.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's a Healthy Crunchy Snack?

Well, crunchy and healthy and orange in fact. Carrots (and sweet potatoes too)! Yes, it's not just rabbits who should snack on carrots, we should snack on them too. I've added sweet potatoes too because they are a slightly different taste and texture and they are loaded with valuable anti-oxidants.

Anti-oxidants help get rid our bodies of free radicals, which are thought to be one of the causes of cancer. But carrots and sweet potatoes aren't only healthy, they are sweet and yummy to eat as well. Children love food that crunches and these vegetables, cut into matchstick shapes make fantastic food for eating dips with.

Some scientists think that eating crunchy foods may release 'feel good' chemicals in the brain. It has been shown too that eating crunchy foods makes you slow down to you chew your food, which can lead to weight loss.

So the next time you or your family are looking for a snack, put some cut up carrot or sweet potato in the fridge and snack totally guilt-free.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Which Wine is Better?

Red wine, white wine. Which is better?

Well, that depends on whether you are talking about taste, or weight loss or which is healthiest. Taste is a very personal thing. Some people love a good chardonnay, others love a fruity shiraz, and it goes on from there. The important thing is that you drink for the right reasons and you drink in moderately.

Getting drunk isn't good for anyone, in terms of physical health, mental health, relationships and possibly the law. If you need to drink to help get you through your life, please seek help. There are lots of people and organisations out there who can help if you have dependency issues. Look them up in your local phone book.

If you are talking about weight loss, red wine has slightly fewer calories than white wine, but it is important to remember that the problem with drinking alcohol is it can make you forget your inhibitions, and you could end up eating far more than you would if you were still in control.

In terms of health, red wine has valuable anti-oxidants which can help in reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol in small amounts only!

So which is better? A fruity shiraz for me thank you, one glass with my dinner and I am totally guilt-free!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My New Food Bible

Do you need help finding recipes that are nutritious and acceptable to the whole family? Have you search and searched for a single source that has all you need?

This is the site you need - Chef Jeena. It has everything you need - nutrition, pasta, chicken, sweet treats, it's all there, in colour and with video too. Check it out, you'll be glad you did!

It was onion bhajis that got me to this site, but there is so much more there too. Gluten free, vegetarian, and more.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Do you know your onions?

I discovered a few things about onions today that I am totally thrilled about. The first thing is that onions have lots of vitamin C. Did your know that? Oranges and lemons, sure but onions?

Well they have, so get stuck into them, they're good for your health, and they taste damned fine too, don't they? There's nothing that says dinner is on the way way better than the smell of an onion hissing in the pan. Yum!

The other amazing thing is something I haven't tested yet, but I will at dinner time tonight.

The Washington post here had an article about onions, and described a french way of chopping an onion, and I suspect the method might help prevent or at least lessen the onion causing tears. As I said, I'll be trying it out tonight. I hope it works, I love eating onions, but they always make me cry if I have to chop them.

Onions, good for you and maybe, just maybe, they won't make you cry!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weight Loss not always a Good Thing!

We are constantly being told that we must be thin if we want to be loved/successful/beautiful. And we believe this, because, hey, if you're told something a hundred times a day, it's hard work to not believe it's true.

But recent studies (click here) have shed new light on the whole issue. A study, based on people's weight at age 40, has shown that slightly overweight people live longer than people of normal weight. The headlines are more impressive that the actual figures. Obese people died earlier than that.

The order of length of life beyond 40 for the various weight level groups, shortest life to longest, was Thin, Obese, Normal Weight, Overweight. So based on those figures, you should be aiming at being overweight at the age of forty, and certainly not thin at that age.

The overweight and obese groups had the highest medical costs, it seems, and it was thought that maybe because the overweight went to the doctor more often, their may pick up health issues more quickly and deal with them.

There is a need to do much more study on this issue, and I feel it is important to take account of how much a person is enjoying their life. If a person is a little overweight, and is OK with that, then they are lucky, they'll enjoy their extra time on this Earth. If they are desperate to be thinner, even though being too thin is bad for your life expectancy, well, they may not want to live longer anyway.

I think the upshot of all of this is, find the weight you feel happiest and healthiest at, and stay there. If it means doing a bit of exercise to keep in the overweight rather than obese range, that's a very good thing. For people who are at their healthy weight range, make sure you don't stray down into the thin range. Too thin is worse that any other thing. The healthy weight range people shouldn't be too smug, and they too will benefit from exercise. It might raise their weight a little, but that will be from increased muscle, and who doesn't want to be stronger?!

One to keep an eye on, I think!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's Official now, I am a Community Foodie

Ask me a question about healthy eating, go on, I want you to ask me something. I have spent six weeks learning about healthy eating, good food and nutrition, and I am itching to test out my skills.

If I don't know the answer to your question, I have a nifty book that is packed full of the answers to attaining a healthy diet. I am also about to begin a course that will accredit me as a Community Service Worker. These two things together are my tools to create a healthier, happier world.

I am feeling revved up and ready to go, so keep an eye out as I zip around the community!

Chocolate is good, preferably dark chocolate, and only in moderation. A new study has shown the benefits are truly there for the Mediterranean diet, and the main thing about it is the insistence on the good things, only in moderation.

On my reading, it seems the moderation part is the most important part. And isn't that what the old wives have been saying forever - All things in Moderation. The key to healthy eating is to give all kinds of things a bit of a go, but only a little bit.

Want tome steak - go for it, but only a piece of steak the size of your palm. Like chocolate? Don't deny yourself, just limit it to a small piece. It's not rocket science, and it has been proven to keep you healthier.

Give it a moderate go!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Community Foodies, Week Four

For our fourth session we talked about making a plan and organising ourselves to do our work as Community Foodies, once we are all trained. The other participants and I have a good idea about what we are going to do for our presentation to the group, and that begins in week five.

I am going to do a short presentation about getting non-vegetable lovers to eat vegetables. I have been putting more vegetables into the food I serve up for our family. It has been very good because I have been made more aware about the importance of vegetables in our diet. I won't say I feel better physically for doing this, but I certainly feel I am being a better mother and wife for doing it. The physical benefits take a little long, but they are happening.

We also talked bout the importance of exercise. I am aware that I have been remiss about this one too, and I will aim at doing a lot more. It's difficult when it's winter and so cold outside!

No excuses. I have Wii Fit, and I can get my exercise inside where it's much, much warmer than outside. So, from now on, or soon, anyway, I will try very hard to get in the required thirty minutes of exercise that the health authorities recommend for adults.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Community Foodies, Week Three

This week our group talked about presenting a session to a group. As Community Foodies, we will be giving information and support to people in our community who would like help with nutrition.

That can be all manner things, from feeding children, eating for weight loss, eating for better health and others. Various diseases require different nutritional response. By the time we have finished our training, we will be far better equipped to help people out with their food needs, either by telling people what they're interested in knowing, or by letting people know who they can get the information or help from.

Someone at the group yesterday talked about hating to be called a do-gooder and getting derided for it. I thought about that for a while. Personally, I always try to do good things, but for some reason being a 'do-gooder' has become a bad thing.

I told the person they can call themselves a helper rather than a do-gooder. That is the way I see my role as a Community Foodie, as a helper to people who want my help. I will not force my opinions on people, but will be there if they would like some help.

All of the members in the group will be putting on a short presentation to the other members in a fortnights' time, and yesterday we said what we thought we might do. The range of things covered was amazing. From a small group of less than ten, we were all looking at doing something interesting and different.

I am personally interested in increasing my own vegetable intake, because I am well aware now of the importance of it. I also have a son who was a fussy eater as a young child (he's fifteen now, and much more accepting of different foods), so my idea for a presentation was about ways to hide vegetables in acceptable food for people, particularly children who don't like vegetables.

I already have some ideas on this, and I have done some research on it today as well. I will try to make it fun, and will welcome ideas from the people I give my presentation too. I will have a recipe handout, and some other information available.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Way to Lose Weight, Save money too!

When you are trying to lose weight, sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you. Jealous friends may be hoping you fail, jealous spouses may want you to stay the way you are, and stay with them.

Every time you look at the TV or read the newspaper you see ads for the foods that caused your weight explosion. Exercise classes and diet 'experts' are can be too expensive and don't teach you real life ways to lose your weight and keep it off. They only show you how to do it if you stick with them.

I have found a person who knows how you feel, she knows the road you are trying to travel, because she has travelled the same road, and reached the goal. Successful weight loss can be yours. You will learn the tricks and tips that helped another to achieve their ideal weight, and they will be as close as your computer keyboard, helping you along your way.

If you are interested in giving this service a try, you will get ten percent discount if you quote "carolyn" when you put your order in.

I have gone down this road too, but I did it alone, struggling with myself, my friends and family, people who knew me and disapproved of what I was doing. Now, at my idea weight, I have so much more self-confidence and so much more self esteem I know I am a winner because I won the weight loss course. You can too, with just a little help from your new friend at When you are trying to lose weight, sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you. Jealous friends may be hoping you fail, jealous spouses may want you to stay the way you are, and stay with them.

When you know you have control over your weight, and you know you have that control because you have learned the secrets that you can take with you all through life, then you will know you are a winner too!

2 Fruit and 5 Vegetable

I've heard about the push from the health authorities for years. Where they try to get Australians to eat more fruit and vegetables.

It has always made me feel a little guilty, because I don't eat that many vegetable. I eat potatoes, and onions, mushrooms too, most days. But I could only rarely manage to eat 5 different vegetables.

Imagine my joy yesterday when I discovered I was mixed up. I didn't have to eat different vegetables, I just had to eat five servings of vegetables. I could have three servings of potatoes and two of sweetcorn, if that was what I wanted. Or five servings of mushrooms!

I found out this liberating information yesterday at my Community Foodies training, and it made me so happy! I've been beating myself up as a bad mother for not giving my son five different veges every day, when all I needed to do is feed him lots of my yummy home-made wedges, and some sweet corn, and I could wear my good mother hat with pride!

Of course, eating a wide variety of food, whether fruit, vegetable, grains, dairy or meat is the best way. Food scientists know a lot about food, but they are always discovering new things. If we all eat a bit of everything, then we'll get all of the goodies scientists know about, and also the goodies they haven't discovered yet.

Yesterday we learned about the five food groups, how to read labels including understanding the sometimes misleading language on them, antioxidants, fibre, the importance of eating breakfast and drinking enough water. We also have a delicious curry cooked by one of the other people doing the course. Thanks Shirley! It was a great day of sharing what we already knew, and learning more.

So part of my homework is having breakfast every day, and drinking more water - I am not good about these things, but now I have more information about why they are important, so I will follow the guidelines better.

Breakfast is another opportunity to fit more serves of different foods into my day, and water helps my body do what it does. I'm convinced now, and I'm going to get my breakfast of cereal right now!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First meeting out of the way

The Community Foodies group in the Wakefield region had their fist meeting yesterday. We discussed what we knew about healthy food and nutrition, and had a presentation by a person from District Council of Mallala regarding proper food handling for not-for-profit groups. There was a DVD which was interesting and a Q & A session afterwards.

I found the day interesting and informative, and I'm very much looking forward to the meeting next Wednesday, when we will be talking about basic nutrition. You know the kind of stuff, the five food groups, eat more fruit and vegetables, have breakfast, eat more whole foods, drink more water.

Personally, I have a real struggle to fit in 5 serves of vegetables. It's not unusual for me to only manage one or two different vegetables, which is simply not good enough. Thinking about my kitchen at the moment, I only have sweet corn, potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onions. Almost there, but I'd be hard pressed to put even those four together in one meal.

I'm off to the Adelaide Central Market tomorrow, and I will be buying more of the veg we already have, and I'll get some baby spinach, cauliflower, maybe snow peas, spring onions and perhaps something else entirely - I'll have a good look around and see what I find. I know, capsicum. We usually have red capsicums in the fridge but they've been used up for the week.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Great Website

I have just found a fantastic website, jam-packed full of good information for those of us who care about what we eat.

Everybody has at least one reason why food is important to them. Most people have many reasons. The first and obvious reason is you eat to stay alive. There are many other reasons why people eat, and reason they eat what they eat. Some of those reason can lead to living a healthy life, other reasons lead to poor food choices.

But if you don't know enough about nutrition, you may not know which food choices to make. I can strongly recommend you visit the website of the Australian Better Health Initiative (ABHI), a national program, supported by the Australian and state and territory governments. There is information about food groups, tips for getting active, recipes for healthy foods, advice on how much is a 'serving' of fruit and vegetables.

There's also a quiz, which is on the website I've mentioned. I was very excited to test my nutritional knowledge. And I was even more excited when I got all of the questions correct.

There is also a quiz for testing how physically active you are. I'm not so excited about that one, and I don't think I'll get a good score. I know I am nowhere near as active as I could/should be. But, in the interests of fairness, and encouraging others, here goes...

...Well, it could have been worse. The answer to the question of how physically I am, was that I'm not active enough, but I'm getting there. I'd better get back on Wii Fit today, and every day (every other day at the very least).

How do you think you'll go at these quizzes. Is your knowledge about your physical health up to scratch?

I'd love to hear from people about their thoughts on physical health. Tips, recipes, quiz results, let us know. This is a community issue, be a part of the community by leaving a comment!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Community Healthy Eating, It's On!

Community Foodies classes are starting next Wednesday, so I'll be getting all trained up in healthy eating and all kinds of other interesting things. I am so looking forward to be able to say, with authority, this is true, this is what you might be able to do to have a better diet.

At the moment, I know what I should eat, even though I know I don't eat enough vegetables, but I'd love to have more knowledge, and to know the best places to look for the most up to date knowledge.

There is just so much information available out there, and I know that a lot of the information is just plain wrong. It is frustrating. And every time I go to the supermarket and look in the shopping trolleys of other people, I can see where they are going wrong.

I'm not saying I am a saint with my own eating, but when I have something higher in calories, I make up for it in other ways. Chocolate is fine for me, as long as I only have a little bit, and I have a little less of something else later on.

And as long as I don't have it too often. I shared a block of chocolate with my husband and son last night, and we have another block of chocolate in the fridge still. I'm OK with that - the chocolate block only weighs 30 grams - 10 grams each is not going to be a major weight problem, unless we started eating that at every meal and on every day, instead of for dessert once a month.

So on Wednesday, I will get to know my fellow Foodies better, and begin a whole new adventure in better health for me, my family and my community!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I've got a cold at the moment, so my taste buds are not working very well. What I used to do when I had a cold was to stock up on chocolate because choccie sweetness taste is so strong, I can taste it.

What I'm doing now though, is only eating when I feel like eating, the same as usual. And because I don't feel like eating, I'm not eating much. The problem with that is that your body needs nutrients to fight the cold germs.

There's an old saying 'Feed a cold and starve a fever. This is largely a myth, but it sounds good. When you've got a cold, you just don't feel like eating.

What you have to do though, and this is on the reputable website I've linked to above, is you have to keep your (non-alcoholic) fluids up. Drink plenty of water.
Rest is important too. That's what I feel like doing right now, resting. I went out last night, and I'm glad I did, but I am so tired today, I just know I won't be doing much during the day.

It doesn't matter what you do, your cold will probably take a week to go away, but if you don't look after yourself it might turn into a chest infection and hang around for much longer.

I know I've probably lost weight over the last few days, simply because I haven't eaten much. Once I'm feeling better, my food intake will pick up, but I'll be watching what I eat, with maybe just a slight indulgence of couple of tiny Easter eggs that are (surprisingly) still left. My son is on a get fit kick at the moment, so he's not pigging out on the chocolate.

I'm hoping that this time next week I'll be fighting fit and ready for action!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Losing Weight, Finding Friends

I was talking to a woman at the Lawn Bowls Grand Final at Port Wakefield on Saturday, and we got talking about weight loss. We didn't know each other, but we were drawn together by our support of loved ones who were playing in the finals.

She was a bit older than I am (I'm nearly 46) and she's taller than me and a bigger lady. She told me she was excited because she'd lost 21cm. I'm assuming it was in total loss of all of the points measured at the weight loss place she goes to. She said she had recently bought some new clothes and the size 16 she tried on was too big, and the size 14 fitted well. This was good, but it was even better than that because she had been up to a size 22. I congratulated her heartily and we discussed our various methods of healthy eating and weight loss.

I spoke of my trying on of a size 10 dress recently that was too big, and suggested she try something I had read of somewhere, or perhaps the idea crept into my head from someone else. I felt so fantastic when I put on that size 8 dress, and it looked so good on, that I feel everyone trying to lose weight could try a version of what I experienced, but on a cheaper track. I think because we were both on the healthy eating track, we were both connecting in meaningful ways.

The idea was this. Go to an opportunity shop and look at the fancy dresses in a size smaller than what you currently are. Don't be silly and try for size 10 if you are currently wearing size 20, but go down a couple or a few dress sizes. Hang the dress up in your wardrobe, and get it out to look at every now and then. Hopefully you will find it easier to stay focussed on healthy eating when you have the motivation of the lovely dress to wear when you lose those kilos.

Perhaps you could begin to plan an occasion for the wonderful day that you can finally fit into the dress. Get your family and friends involved too. If they don't support you in your plan for attaining a healthier weight, explain to them how important it is to you. They should begin to see it you way, and if they don't well, find supporters from other of your friends.

It's not just about being able to wear smaller clothes, it's about being healthier and happier, and all of your family and friends should want that for you.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What is a Community Foodie?

I’m very excited, after the meeting I went to last week. The meeting was an initial information session for people who felt they might be interested in becoming ‘Community Foodies’. The program is run by the Health department of South Australian Government, and they have a website with information about it here.

At the session, we were told about the overall ‘Foodie’ project in South Australia, and were asked to indicate whether we were interested. There were about seven or so wannabe ‘Foodies’ and a few others had expressed their interest in being involved in the project in our district.

Community Foodie groups are quite strong in Adelaide, doing a range of things from planting and caring for community gardens to providing information on budgeting and preparing healthy food.

Trainee ‘Foodies’ receive 24 hours of training, over a six week period, and learn about nutrition, health, food safety, and well as group work, presentation skills and planning and evaluation skills.

At the initial meeting, we received information handouts, showing us the kind of things we will have to help us as ‘Foodies’ in our own communities. My head is buzzing with the range of activities I could put on and be involved in, and certainly I will have completely up to date information to put on this website.

I am very excited. The only downer is that it’s not able to start until early May. I want it to start now!

Keep your eye out for further information on this site.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Save Money with What You Eat

In our household, no-one buys lunch during the week. Husband and son both take their lunch from home and save quite a bit by doing it. My son has a sandwich, an apple and something nibbly - minimal cost, maximum health. Husband has a similar lunch and we all benefit in financial ways and health as well.

For dinner we will usually have home cooked meals, and we only have take-away and dine out as an occasional treat, maybe once a fortnight. I can do wonderful things with mince meat, and we all love the versatile mushroom. Baked mushrooms with garlic and spices, topped with cheese and breadcrumbs. Very nice!

Fruit and vegetables are cheaper than buying ready made meals, and baked wedges made and cooked at home are cheaper and much healthier than fries bought at McDonalds or bought frozen at the supermarket. My home made burgers are nicer than Macca’s too!

Healthy food is usually not really expensive. We all need to be careful health-wise and with our money as well, so it's a no-brainer - eat well, eat cheap.

I make muffins and freeze them for a quick snack – Once they’re in the freezer, get one out, thirty seconds in the microwave - yummy! I feel like one now - walnut and blueberry muffin with coffee. Got to go now!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wonder of Wonders!

I had the most wonderful experience last week, something that has never happened to me before. I tried on a lovely fancy dress, and the size ten was too big!

The shop assistant brought me a size eight, and wow, it fitted me beautifully well. I couldn't believe it. I only wish I had been able to buy that dress so I could get a photo of me wearing it and then you could see it too.

The dress cost $229.00, and there was no way in the world I could ever afford it, but it was lovely to pretend, and to see myself in such a lovely dress. I don't usually bother trying on dresses like this one, my usual mode of dress is in between daggy, and neat casual, certainly not formal, strapless frocks. But for a few precious minutes I could be a princess.

I strongly recommend you try on clothes once you have made some progress in your weight loss journey. The feeling you get when you can slip into something smaller and still feel comfortable is a fantastic feeling. And being able to tell those who love and care for you about it is a lovely experience too.

I have to admit, I've been shamelessly bragging about my size eight experience. It hasn't made me new friends, but boy, it feels good!

Perhaps the next time I go near an op shop I'll slip in and find myself something gorgeous to take home. Opportunity shops are far more in my price range, and those sort of ritzy dresses tend to get grown out of rather than worn out, so I should be able to find myself something on the off chance I'll have an occasion to wear it too.

Now that's really something to look forward to!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Really Wanting to Lose Weight

If you really want to lose weight, you have to be prepared to commit to it. There's not a lot of point to saying, 'Gee I'd like to lose weight', and then not making any changes in the way you behave.

The most important thing you need to work on isn't your exercise program, or the food you eat. The most important thing you need to work on is your head, your mind. People gain excess weight in a variety of ways, and for a variety of reasons.

I'm not a psychologist, I can't get inside your head. I'm just a person, and ordinary person, who has lost weight and kept it off. I didn't join a gym, or go on a restrictive diet. I just used the information that is sitting in my head.

I know a bit about nutrition, and I've read lots and lots of diet books. I've read about fruit diets, vegetable diets, carbs, low fat, all of that stuff. The thing that struck me most was that a lot of these diets were not made for real live people, living in a family, with all of the hustle and bustle that involves. I needed to do something different, something I could do for the rest of my life without making myself feel like I was missing out.

I started listening to my body, and realised that I don't get hungry very often. I always used to eat at the designated meal times, and have snacks sometimes, without ever having my tummy tell me 'Hey, I'm hungry!'

That realisation was the most amazing thing. Once I learnt to listen to my stomach, not my head, I was on my path to reaching my ideal weight. It means I wait until I'm hungry before I eat. It means I can eat whatever I want, as long as my tummy is hungry for it.

Of course, I still need to be aware of eating what is healthy for me, fruit, grains and seed, vegetables, small amounts of meat. But it also means I can have chocolate too sometimes, if I really feel like it. And that is great!

Because I know I can eat things like chocolate, I don't have cravings, and I only eat enough to savour it. I don't eat cheap chocolate, I only eat good quality chocolate. And I enjoy it, guilt free.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Are you really hungry?

Here's one easy tip to try next time you think you're hungry. Have a glass of water, then wait fifteen minutes and think about it again. Are you still feeling hungry?

You may have been thirsty, rather than hungry. And learning to wait, rather than eating straight away is a good habit to get into if you're trying to lose weight.
It can be as simple as that.

Drinking can be a problem with weight gain too. Try low fat milk with your tea and coffee. And low fat iced coffee is available too, just the thing on a hot day when you need a caffeine lift. Lemonade made at home with real lemons can be a refreshing drink in summer, and lime juice is even better, refreshing, no fat, and so good for you.

Good snacks with satisfying crunch are carrot and celery sticks, with a little salt if you like. They sure beat chips if weight is an issue for you.

It's heading toward cooler weather here in Australia, which can be a danger time for many trying to lose weight. One tip is to use a little water instead of oil to saute food. Try it when making a tomato sauce for spaghetti bolognaise next time. There's still a lot of flavour, with a lot less fat.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dining out

Dining out, you ask, you mean I can dine out when I'm trying to lose weight?!

Well, sure, why not. I'm not talking about fast food, but sit down dining in a restaurant. It takes a bit of planning to do it at the optimal level, but, with that planning done, you can relax and enjoy yourself.

The first thing is to eat earlier in the day, realising that you will be dining well later on. This means eating lower fat things, and eating less. If you feel like you're being starved, just remind yourself of the good things that are coming later on.

Some good lower fat options might be cereal, with low fat milk for breakfast, or perhaps without the milk for a snack later in the day. Fruit is always a good option, just be aware of the 'All things in moderation' rule. Bananas are harder to go overboard with than fruits like grapes may be - a banana will never be a bad food choice.

Once you arrive at the restaurant, look carefully at the menu. This is what to look for in your meal choice:
  • Items grilled rather than fried
  • No cream sauces
  • Vegetarian over steak
  • Chicken over beef
  • Fish, if you like it, grilled is a good choice
  • Don't get fries, or if your plate does arrive piled up with fries, well, just leave them!
  • Ask for a children's sized meal if available - it never hurts to ask
  • Or go for an entree sized main course if you can, again, never hurts to ask

If you've seen the dessert of your dreams on the menu, radically rethink your main course - if you opt for a salad, with no high fat dressing, and don't eat any bread extras, well, go for the dessert. Just make sure you take your time and savour the yummy sweetness. Luxuriate in it, and it will be there in your memory for a long time to come.

Of course, dining out like this will become boring and might lead to weight gain, not weight loss if you do it too often. Keep it as a special treat, enjoy your food, and think about the best choices. You can dine well and still lose weight, as long as you follow these few rules.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What's for tea?

If you're a wife and mother, you will have heard those words a million times. I know I have.

Now that I'm more conscious of the importance of diet, I'm more restricted in some ways, with what the answer might be. I know sausages and chips will get a positive response, but I'm careful about too much fat in the diet, and the importance of getting enough fibre, so that is not the best thing for tea very often.

I've had more success with mini pizzas, made with English muffins and topped with whatever is in the fridge that seems suitable. Capsicum, mushrooms, onions, cold meats, BBQ sauce, cheese are usual suspects in our mini pizzas, and we all enjoy them. Fibre from the vegetables (extra if you use wholemeal muffins), vitamins, protein. It's all good.

I'm thinking about home made burgers for tea - we have a bit of mince, and lots of carrots - I'll grate the carrots and mix them up with the mince, an egg, some sweet chilli sauce and whatever takes my attention closer to tea time - probably balsamic vinegar.

I'll have to go and get some hamburger rolls from the shop, and I'll grill the burgers and serve with cheese and lettuce, with BBQ sauce.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Being a good wife!

Encouraging others to get to the weight they want to get to can be a thankless task. Others would much rather whinge and whine about their weight problem, than do anything useful about it.

For women married to chubby chaps, you usually have the opportunity to cook healthy low fat, low cal meals. But so many times you do that, your loved one acts like you're starving them, and say they want what they used to eat.

What to do? Sometimes you have to become secretive, and sneak in healthy bits and pieces instead of the usual high cal foods your spouse is accustomed to. If you are the one who does the shopping, just don't buy the usual nuts and chips that are snacked on mindlessly by others in the household.

Another way of reducing fat in meals is to bake rather than fry, and to cook things in a little water that you used to saute with oil.

Try to have plenty of fresh or dried fruit options instead of the bad old ones. Dates are very satisfying, and breakfast cereal, especially a low fat, low cal one can fill the need for chips quite well.

You can encourage romantic walks in the moonlight - lots of fun to take the kids along too. Visits to the beach, no matter the season, can be a fun way to get a bit of extra exercise too.

If you have a dog, there are no excuses for not doing any exercise - the average canine companion is always ready to go for a stroll, any time, any weather.

One very important thing to remember, is to praise good behaviour. If your man snacks on fruit instead of having a beer, make sure you tell him he's done a good thing. Men can take a lot longer than women to grow up, and they're like kids in this regard. Praise, and find healthy rewards.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Talk to your body!

If you want to lose weight, it is important to do one thing. You have to talk to your body.

Your body gives you messages all the time. It tells you when you are tired, it tells you when it hurts. One thing most people don't realise is that their body probably does not tell them when it's hungry.

You may think your body is telling you you are hungry when you are bored, or upset, or when the clock is telling you it is dinner time. If you live in relatively good conditions in a Western country, your body is probably not the one telling you you are hungry.

The one who tells you that you are hungry most of the time is your head. Boredom, needing comfort food, being a slave to 'what you're meant to do', are all tools your head uses to convince you about your hunger. Your body doesn't have as loud a voice as your head does, so your head gets in there first and convinces you to eat, when your body knows you are not hungry.

This is the most important factor to accept as truth - Your head tells you lies! Your body is far more truthful than your head. If you can accept this truth, you will be well on the way to achieving your ideal weight.

Try it for a couple of days. Only eat when your body tells you about hunger, ignore that liar head of yours! Stop eating as soon as your body tells you the hunger has stopped. It doesn't matter if there is still food on your plate, stop eating.

If you can do this, YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More about how I lost weight

I realised where I was going wrong. The answer was not the greatest new whizz-bang diet. The answer was to stop looking at diets and to start looking at lifestyle change. Since I made that realisation, I haven’t ‘gone a diet’ again, and I probably never will. Going on a diet leads to going off a diet, and that’s where the trouble starts – You might have been good as gold with your diet, and lose the weight you wanted to, but the diet ends and old habits fill the spot the diet had filled.

After the birth of my son, I stacked the kilograms on, and couldn’t lose any weight no matter what I tried. I’m only 152 cm tall, and at my maximum weight of 65 kg, I was size 14-16 and very uncomfortable.

Now, my dress size is 10, and I’m the slimmest and healthiest feeling I’ve been since I was twelve years old. It’s taken me a while to get to 50kg, but I know I can stay at that weight by using the knowledge I now have. Don’t go on a diet, change your lifestyle! It worked for me, it can work for you, too.

Changing your lifestyle means learning new and good habits to take you to a healthy weight and keep you there for the rest of your life. You and your family will all reap the rewards.

Tried to Lose Weight but failed?

It happens to most of us at times through our lives. The pressure is on to be thin, thin, thin.

And the pressure is on to buy, buy, buy. We buy the food that's being promoted to us daily, and it makes us fat. Then we buy the most recent weight loss method, maybe lose some weight, then go back to our normal life, and the weight goes straight back on.

It isn’t easy to lose weight, as almost everybody knows. Some people go on and off a new diet almost every week without attaining the ideal weight they hope to achieve. I’ve been on just about every diet since my teenage years myself, but hadn’t ever felt satisfied with the results. I did lose some weight, many times, but I always put the weight back on, and often some extra weight as well.

Then I had one of those epiphanies. I realised the problem with going on a diet was that at the end, you go off the diet.

As soon as you go off the diet, old habits come back, and so does the weight. The answer for me was to
Change my Lifestyle, Not my Diet.

That was about a year and a half ago. I was unhappy with my weight, feeling fat and frumpy when I realised what the answer might be, and I decided to change my lifestyle. I have attained my ideal weight, and it doesn't look like I will ever be fat and frumpy ever again.

I didn't have an enormous weight loss, because I didn't have an enormous amount of weight to lose. I just knew that my ideal weight was not the 65 kilos I was back in 2007, it was more like 54 kilos. So that was my aim. I would use my knowledge about losing weight and good nutrition, and focus on getting to my target of 54 kilos.

I got there in 2008, and it feels so good to fit into jeans the size I could fit into when I was a twelve year old, and thought I would never fit into again.

Now, in 2009, I weight 50 kilos, and feel completely in control of my body and my life. Losing weight, in the way I did it, has empowered me, and I want to help others to be and remain the weight they know they should be, and they want to be.