Saturday, 1 February 2014

Eating & Exercise

A few people have asked me lately to elaborate on my diet and exercise, so I thought I would. I guess the thing is that I have only started this a few weeks ago, and I haven't yet discovered how well it's going to work! So far so good though I think, like I said, I've lost 3kg this month and have been eating the greasiest food imaginable.

I've just put together all the things I know that genuinely work to help lose weight. Like it or not, it comes down to what we've all been told a thousand times: diet and exercise. There is no "secret" to weight loss, and it isn't easy.

1) Burn more calories than you eat in a day. One uses energy doing usual things, but doing actual exercise i.e. at the gym, an enjoyable sport, walking or running, etc. is a good way to know you've achieved something. I visit the gym most days and do about 40 minutes of cardio (burning roughly 400 cals) and maybe 30 minutes of weights. I've also started Zumba, there are free videos on YouTube. Doing 20 mins of Zumba in the morning is actually pretty fun.

2) Discover how many calories you should have each day. I can have 2,000 to be healthy, but to lose weight, I can consume only 1,200. I used an online calculator to find this out. I also joined which is a useful way to track how many calories you're consuming.

3) Having muscle helps your body burn calories. I do weights at the gym, machines not free weights, which hurts but is worth doing. People, mostly women, worry that if they do weights it'll make them look bulkier, this is absolutely not true.

4) You don't have to starve yourself, but you do have to feel hungry. I figure it's more how much you eat, rather than what. Obviously unhealthy junk food is a No but you can eat other stuff you like as long as you don't eat big amounts of it. A small calorie limit means you do spend much of the day feeling hungry, but really there are worse ways to feel.

5) Focus more on being healthy than thin. If you eat healthy food and learn more about what you can do to improve your health, the rest will take care of itself. I consider what is in everything I'm eating and what the benefits are, such as antioxidants, things to benefit the liver or kidneys or skin and so on.

6) Remove starch. Not eating starch all the time is a great way to help lose weight, so remove pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread from your diet, even for a few months.

7) Water. I find it's a bit yuck to pour water from the tap and drink it at tap temperature, so I bottle and refrigerate it and just drink that throughout the day. Water also helps one feel less hungry.

Basically all of the above are the things I have learnt, and am applying to my lifestyle every day. It all makes sense, right? I believe in being healthy and good to yourself. My diet every day currently consists of bacon and eggs for breakfast fried in extra-virgin olive oil, sometimes with mushrooms. I put on a lot of olive oil because it is unbelievably good for you. It has numerous health benefits as well as being great for skin. The best part of this meal is that the oil now tastes like bacon *thumbs up*.
I haven't been taking lunch, but I'll have a small supper of either fish and steamed vegetables, or avocado on wholegrain Ryvita, or yoghurt with fruit and nuts. I've been drinking 2-3 litres of water each day too as well as green tea. I drink a lot of ordinary tea during the day too which isn't going to change for any reason, the caffeine keeps my face off the floor. So it's a small amount of food, but it's all yummy things that I like!

Anyway, I have to go to work now but I hope I've managed to help at least one person out with their New Year's resolution or something :p Take care now, bye bye then. xox

Friday, 31 January 2014

Oh Look It's 2014 - Achieving Goals

Seeing as it's been 5 years since I last used this blog, I thought it was about time I launched it into action again, or something. Really I've done too much throughout those five years to give any sort of update, so seeing as it's a new year, I might as well start with a few new year things.

Almost everyone sets goals for the year they would like to achieve, and I am no different. What's different for me this year, compared to previous years, is that I started mine by reading some very, very good, somewhat life-changing articles. First I read this one from Cracked, and because I put the Pro in Procrastinate, I read this, followed by this. In my opinion, EVERYONE SHOULD READ THESE. Unless your life is already flawlessly awesome, and good for you if it is, you probably have something great to gain by reading these three articles in the above mentioned order.

I immediately stuck a note behind my computer, where I can't ignore it, which reads, "Stay out of the Dark Playground". You'll understand why once you read the articles. In putting that unavoidable note there, I've actually managed to achieve a lot more stuff.

I've learnt the importance of being specific with goals, and not vague. A vague goal would be, "learn French this year", whereas a goal you will actually do, will look like "Buy a Teach Yourself French book, then begin studying on March 18th at 4:00pm." This, followed by reserving time every day to working towards to goal of speaking French. If you're lacking motivation, imagine how disappointed in yourself you'll feel in December if you haven't progressed any further.

So! Applying this good advice to my life, I've compiled a list of goals I would like to achieve. Maybe they are a bit ambitious? But blah blah put your mind to things, where there's a will there's a way, and all that.

To start with, I have the same goal and many people do: 1) lose weight. I realised, with horror, that I've been unhappy with my weight for a whole decade. I'm not overweight, I have a healthy BMI, but I am pudgier than I would like to be. Weight sits on me in an unflattering way. I get frustrated when none of my outfits seem to look good. So to achieve this, I am adopting a low-carb controlled calorie diet. Usually, I get some exercise, and eat healthy food, but I think I eat too much. I've joined which turns out to be a useful way to count calories. I've learnt that to achieve my goal, I have to stick with a maximum of a piddly 1200 calories a day. Which means a lot of being hungry, but as my fiancé points out, being hungry is part of the process.

I also want to eat food that I like, because I like eating, and get pretty miserable if I have to go without. So, for the last few weeks I have started my day with bacon and eggs cooked in olive oil, sometimes with mushrooms. I'll have a smaller supper of avocado on wholegrain ryvita, or yoghurt with fruit and nuts - all things that I like eating. I've abandoned energy drinks in favour of iced coffee (which I'm trying to convince myself to like) and am drinking a lot more water. I'm also going to the gym and aiming to burn 300-400 cals every visit. I've also just started doing a few minutes of Zumba in the morning.

Since NYE, I've lost 3kg. That's 6.6 pounds eating bacon every day.

My chief motivation for wanting to lose weight, is so I can look my best on my wedding day! YES I AM GETTING MARRIED OMG I can't believe it either. And to the best, cleverest, loveliest, handsomest man I've ever met. So goal number 2) get married.
I am pretty much planning the whole wedding by myself, which is fine, people fret about wedding planning, but those people probably have never planned a film shoot. Which is almost certainly harder. I'm intending to keep an up to date vlog of progress on wedding planning, because naturally, I'll have to put on the Goth wedding to outdo all the other Goth weddings ever.

I started a few projects last year for other people, and I learnt a valuable lesson: do not overcommit yourself. Trying to do too much at once for others will end up letting them down, instead of helping them. As a result, I have nothing finished. It's also meant I've put my personal projects on he back shelf to gather dust. So 3) finish what I started. I want to finish the projects I started for others, so I can stop feeling so terrible about having taken so long.

Since all the work and stress burnt me out so much, I have goal 4) go on holiday. Since I've become engaged, this can probably now take the form of an extended honeymoon. I love travel SO MUCH and it's been SO LONG, I need to get out of New Zealand.  I have no idea how to pay for this.  So therefore, goal 5) get a full-time job, ideally relevant to my interests or qualifications. There is a lot of competition for jobs where I live, especially in film, TV, writing, or media of any kind. And looking like a weird person makes it even harder. I've been applying for many jobs lately, I'm becoming slightly desperate since I'm struggling for money, but if one shoots lots of arrows, one is bound to hit a target.

I would also like to 6) finish my novel. I wrote a large, convoluted book several years ago, it took five years but I finished it. No one will ever get to read it though, I mostly wrote it to prove to myself that I could write a large, convoluted book. Ages ago I started a smaller, simpler one. It was going to be a novella, but it's becoming too long, hence it's a novel now. Anyone who's read an excerpt from this work in progress seems to like it, and I think the characters aee some of the best I've ever created, so I really want to finish it.

Being in two bands, one for nearly 2 years, I think it's about time we 7) record an album. Victorian Goth Rock is definitely a thing I would like to share with the world!

Projects aside, I also need to work on improving myself in general, which will affect everything else in my life. I REALLY need to 8) diminish self-doubt and gain confidence, because as I said in one of my videos, self-doubt can really hold you back. I've spent my life thinking that everything I do is terrible, which is a good and bad thing in the sense that I will keep working to improve things - but I never like them, think they're no good, and therefore show them to no one. Which is probably stupid.

So now that this blog entry is incredibly long, I think I'll leave it there. Now, go read those articles, do it! Off you trot! And good luck to you for achieving any goals you may have for yourself this year.