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Soothes the Savage Beast

I know I must make quite a sight as I go out for a run around my local park. There I am in my tight-fitting grey trackies, my bright orange singlet top and my colour-coordinated grey jacket with orange trim. To top it off, I have new running shoes that are a glorious purple with more orange trim. (No, I did not buy them for their colour!) I get swooped on by magpies, chased after by dogs and rained on by…well, rain. But I run – slowly, yes- but run nonetheless – and if you’ve ever seen somebody my size running, you’d probably raise your eyebrows as I’m sure my neighbours do. Strangely, I never think about that – instead, I’m always worried that people can see me singing and dancing as I go along the track! (more…)

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My Body Beware – 4

I have diabetes in my family history. My Dad has Type II, so did an aunt of mine, and my Great Aunt died of it. As a chubby (sort of) kid with that kind of family history, it’s not surprising that my blood sugar has been tested on a regular basis through most of my life. And it’s fine. Always has been. But blood sugar is only the second half of the equation. The first half is how the body reacts to insulin – and mine doesn’t.

Insulin does a lot of things but its biggest job is to control the carbohydrates I eat and transmit the processed glucose to the cells in my body, so I can use that energy. If the cells don’t open up to receive the glucose, my body produces more insulin to force the cells open and to deal with the glucose running loose in my body. This is insulin resistance (a very simple explanation, sorry), and the worst thing about it is a) it stops you losing weight and b) if untreated, leads directly to Type II Diabetes. (more…)

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My Body Beware – 3

A variety of foods made from wheat.

I can honestly say that for the last 20 plus years, I have worked hard in some areas to ensure that I ate a well-balanced and healthy diet, keeping grains, vegetables and proteins, healthy fats and fruit at the core of my daily food intake. Yes, I have also eaten a lot of crap, I don’t deny it, but in between the crap was an understanding of and determined adherence to eating food that was good for me, was healthy and filled the biological needs of my body. While I know (and knew all along) that the crap was bad for me, I was completely unaware that some of the good foods were just as bad. (more…)

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My Body Beware – 2

I don’t like my belly. I haven’t liked it since it got so big. I particularly dislike that when I sit back in a chair, the only position for my hands is to clasp them across the great girth of my tummy, reminding me of just how big it is. I don’t like how it feels when I move, or how I can always see it when I look down, and have to bend further before I can glimpse the gorgeous red polish of my latest pedicure. So no, I don’t like my stomach that much. And as it turns out, my stomach doesn’t like me all that much, either. (more…)

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My Body Beware

I’m in a state of shock. Some huge changes are happening in my life and it’s hard getting my head around them. While some of it’s pretty scary, it’s also a bit exciting.
Bacteria solution

I feel a bit like I’m standing on the ground during an earthquake as it shifts and rolls beneath me. These changes are all related to food, my body and above all, my health. There’s so much going on in my head at the moment, I’m struggling to get to sleep – and it’s really hard to know where to begin or how to explain it all. I do know it can’t be contained within one post, so this will be an introduction of sorts.

If you’ve read any of this blog you’ll know that I am a great believer in addressing all the causes of obesity, not just those related to a reduced-calorie diet. My experience – and the weight of decades of science – has proven that reducing caloric intake is just a small part of the equation, and I’ve written extensively on many of those other aspects. But my explorations and research were largely academic. Some of the issues I wrote about applied to me, others didn’t. Until last week, that is.  (more…)

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Gut Reactions and Obesity

So you’re on a diet, and your resistance to temptation is firing on all thrusters. You’re out for a jog every day, doing weights every second day. You have 30kg to lose, but when you go to weigh in you find that, despite the fact that you burned 800 calories every day in sweat-filled exercise, and not swallowed a mouthful above your stated 1200 calories per day – you’ve lost almost nothing.

This is the point at which even grown, butch manly-men will cry. What did you do wrong? Why isn’t it working? Why does it work for other people but not you? (more…)

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Getting Back Up – Or Not

English: Custom made birthday cake

In the grand scheme of weight loss things, there are some tasks that have a difficulty factor of 9.5. Listed among those are:

  • getting up at 5am on a winter’s morning so you can go outside and train
  • be the only one in a pub full of friends NOT eating the pizza and drinking the beer
  • saying no to the slice of birthday cake when all your colleagues are urging that just one small slice won’t hurt
  • not smacking the person in the face who says to you, “losing weight is easy, just go on a diet”

(actually, that last is possibly just me).

There is one task however, that I feel scores an 11.5 on the Richter Scale – getting back on the wagon after you’ve slipped off and landed face down in the mud. (more…)

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When the Wheels Fall Off

Yep, it happened. And not just for a day, but for half a week. I’m not going to beat around the bush – but I’m also not going to beat myself around the head. I know from experience that yelling at myself, calling myself all sorts of names, feeling like a loser or a failure only sends me down the same emotional path that leads to bad eating and more bad habits. There’s a reason those things became habits in the first place – because I did them so often. So I don’t do that any more. But what do I do now when the wheels fall off? Can somebody hand me a spanner to put them back on? No? (more…)

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We Got to Move It, Move It

If I really wanted to, I could fill an entire blog post using only words that convey what’s most unlikeable about exercise. Some of those words would be: sweaty, uncomfortable, painful, exerting, time-consuming and depriving-me-of-quality-couch-potato-time.

But I’m not going to do that, despite what I just wrote – and yes, despite the fact that what I just wrote is also very true. Because, as usual in life, there’s two sides to truth – and there’s two sides to exercise. (more…)

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Leaps Forward

I’m a couple of days into this Round* of the 12WBT program now and I’m seeing some very interesting things crop up as, I think, a direct result of doing the last Round (which was my first). I didn’t lose much weight last time, and I’d put it all back on in the last couple of weeks as the wheels fell off to a large extent. I had struggled from about 4 weeks in, particularly with getting myself to exercise.

I should explain how big this particular issue was for me. Firstly, in all the “diets” I’ve ever done, the one thing I had no trouble doing was getting up to exercise. I would struggle to eat only lite foods – but training was never the issue. For most of my life, I’ve been active, with some periods where I’ve been downright fit. So finding myself reluctant to do any exercise at all really bothered me.  At first I thought it was because I’d injured my knee back in March (torn tendon), then I was worried I was developing a heart condition (my brother had a massive heart attack a couple of years ago at the same age I am now). Then I started treatment for my knee – which included careful exercise, and my doctor pointed out I’m a hypochondriac with a little asthma from the cold air :-).

The down side to this exercise story is that all of that happened with 4 weeks to go on that last round, and I still didn’t exercise! (more…)

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