Losing It

My mad, crazy journey to health and beyond

How to lose 15kg in 8 weeks

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  1. Stop drinking alcohol. Have minor nervous breakdown. Get talked off the ledge by sister, friends, and life coach on an almost daily basis. Drink enough sparkling water to sink the Titanic.
  1. Train every day. Squeeze into gym pants that are two sizes too small but refuse to buy new ones because A) you don’t have money, and B) YOU WILL NOT BUY LABELS THAT SAY XXL! Start weightlifting again. If 40kg squats can ever be considered weightlifting. Go back to Adventure Boot Camp. Wear black T-shirts so no-one can see how drenched in sweat you are after the warmup. Sign up for trail runs. Reconsider the run part about 30 seconds in. Do trail walks instead. Push, push, push. Don’t stop. You can walk slowly, but you can’t stop.
  1. Eat actual food. KFC, McDonald’s and Mr D do not count as actual food. Go grocery shopping. Buy stuff that expires. Eat it before it does. Cook meals. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full. Lean protein, healthy fats, vegetables, complex carbs. Make the best choices you can when you go out for meals. Say no to dessert. But eat the chocolate cupcake that your boot camp buddy gives you, because life is short and chocolate is sent from the gods.
  1. Talk to life coach. Your head is a fucking mess. Adulting is hard. You need help. Remember that survivors ask for help; victims sit back and blame everyone else for their mistakes. So go get some help. You badass surviving bitch you.

 

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  1. Get out of the house and do things. Apparently there’s stuff to do in Cape Town other than sit in bars every night and get hammered. So go do it. Play bingo, take part in pub quizzes, go to the cinema, paint clay pots, go for hikes, cook dinner for friends, sing, dance, go to plays, concerts, parties, eat out in restaurants, say yes to anything that gets you out of the house and gets you living again. And then come home exhausted to a big comfy couch and a hard drive full of series. Because, balance.
  1. Connect. With family. With old friends you haven’t seen in ages. With new friends who are now part of your posse. With acquaintances who become friends before you know it. With women in your Facebook group. With yourself. Not with Tinder. Good Christ.
  1. Track your progress. Take before pics. Take before measurements. Try to fit into jeans. Think ‘fucking hell’, and pretend that you’re wearing a skirt because you want to, not because your tubby butt is now too chunky to even fit into your fat jeans. Keep at it, keep tracking and weighing and measuring, and keep remembering that even though it feels like a waste of time and effort, you will get to wear jeans again. Track your progress after 8 weeks and realise that you’ve lost 15kg, 50cm, and that your smallest pair of fat jeans is now too big for you. High five everyone you possibly fucking can. Feel like a rock star, because you are. Write this blog post, and get back to it. Life is too good to miss out on.

 

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Food for thought

Skinless chicken breast, 100g. 23g protein, 2g fat, 0g carbs.

Egg, large. 6.3g protein, 4.8g fat, 0.4g carbs.

White potato, 100g. 2g protein, 1g fat, 17g carbs.

And on, and on, and on, and on.

 

For almost four years now I’ve followed this way of eating. IIFYM. If It Fits Your Macros. A lot of very clever people on a lot of very good sites can explain it far better than I can, but I’ll give it a shot. Essentially it involves you tracking all the food you eat in a day, adding up all the protein, fat and carbohydrate values of every gram of food you put in your mouth, to ensure that you don’t go over the collective total of protein, fats, and carbohydrates (also known as macronutrients) that you’re allowed to eat in a day – a total usually worked out for you with an online calculator, or preferably, by a professional nutritionist. If that’s confusing, then Google is your friend.

 

The point is that it works. It works like gangbusters actually. It helped me lose 55kg in the space of 3 years. The fact that I gained a shitload of weight back isn’t the fault of the eating plan, it’s the fault of my damn self. Not enough self-control, not enough self-care, not enough self-love. My water bottle says it best I think. Zero fucks given.

 

Before IIFYM there was moderate carb. Before that there was fat free. Before that there was eat as little as possible. Before that I can’t remember, but there was most definitely something, as I’ve been on one eating plan or another since I was 16 years old. As have most women I know. Being female is awesome.

 

But back to the here and now. January last year I was at 80kg, which sounds like a lot, but looks like this:

 

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I’m smiling in that pic, but my head is going a million miles a minute. I had just run 5km into Knysna from the white bridge (my shirt is soaked through with sweat if you look closely) and I’m wondering how to track the breakfast I just ate, and what kind of oil my mom will be using to cook dinner that night so I can enter it in MyFitnessPal to make sure that I’m not over my macros for the day. And then I have to figure out who’s driving into town tomorrow so that I can catch a lift to the gym I signed up with so I don’t miss out on a weightlifting session. On my fucking Christmas holiday. There was no keep calm and carry on, there was only plan and track and work and sleep and plan and track and track some more and run and lift and push and pull and PRESSURE SO MUCH PRESSURE.

 

And eventually I cracked under all of it. All that time, eating right and tracking and training and making good choices and not drinking and being completely, totally, 100% focused on my health journey and nothing else. I cracked. And then I did the only thing I could do – I went 100% the other way. And ate and drank and ate and drank and did as little training as I could get away with. Because when I fuck something up, I do it good and proper. No half measures here.

 

I had the occasional glimmer of hope. I did the SleekGeek challenge in October last year and lost 12kg. Gained it all back. I went balls to the wall in February and lost 10kg. Gained it all back. And then somewhere in March or April this year, I came to a realisation. I just did not give a fucking shit. I didn’t care about being healthy, I didn’t care about losing weight, I didn’t care about eating right. I just didn’t care. It was too hard, and too much work, and too much effort, and I didn’t believe that I could do it again anyway.

 

At the same time though, I didn’t LIKE being overweight. I didn’t like that I couldn’t fit into any of my jeans, even the fat ones. I didn’t like that I was huffing and puffing like a stampeding rhino after climbing the one flight of stairs to my flat. And I didn’t like that I felt bloated and tired and lethargic and just plain crap. So even though I didn’t give a shit about being healthy, I WANTED to give a shit about it. Which meant that I had to ask for help. So I did.

 

I usually hate asking for help. I’d rather struggle on my own than inconvenience someone else. I have zero issue admitting that I have a problem, it’s not about that. It’s about imposing on other people, having them go out of their way, and thinking less of me for asking in the first place. So when I say that I asked for help, trust me that it was a big step.

 

But ask for it I did, and it came in the form of a health coach, who I’m still seeing. And I won’t bore you with the details, but we’re looking at a lot of stuff. Why don’t I value my health, why do I drink like a sailor on shore leave, why am I so stressed and anxious and worried about EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME??? I also began consulting with her partner, a holistic health practitioner, not about how to eat healthily (dear God I should bloody well know by now) but about how to adopt healthier habits, and to find physiological balance and healing through the help of natural supplementation. I am paraphrasing like a champ right now, but hopefully you get the picture.

 

What I also did, was make a promise to give up alcohol for six months, which you can read more about here, and to focus less on any kind of stress or trigger and fixation, and to focus more on living.

 

Which is what brings us to this. Five weeks of no alcohol, healthy eating choices, regular training, and an 11.6kg loss to show for it.

 

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BUT OHMIGOD NICOLA, HOW ARE YOU DOING IT?

 

Simple. I’m not obsessing. I’m living. I’m not making healthy living THE ENTIRE FOCUS OF EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s important, sure, but it’s not my whole life – it’s just part of my life. I’m not following any type of structured eating plan. I’m eating all food groups, and following the basics that I’ve learned from IIFYM along the way. More carbs on days I lift weights, fewer carbs on days that I don’t. Big, low-calorie nutrient-dense meals, with no snacking in between. Food bursting with colour, taste and texture. Starch at night, if I’m eating any, so that I sleep better. Simple, sensible, easy-to-follow guidelines that I stick to without much thought. And I’m able to stick to them because after years of IIFYM I know the types of foods I can eat and the portion sizes I need to get the right kinds of nutrients for my body, while creating enough of a calorie deficit in order for me to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable, consistent way.

 

Here’s what I had to eat yesterday, if you’re needing more than that. I did an hour of weightlifting in the morning, so I got to eat more carbs, to give my body the fuel it needed.

 

  • Pre-workout: Fitchef green smoothie with apple, spinach and other stuff (I didn’t look at the label, sorry)
  • Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs on rye, with smoked salmon and mushrooms
  • Lunch: Homemade vegetable stirfry with chicken strips, and 1 tbsp of soya sauce
  • Dinner: Sirloin steak (with the fat cut off), garlic baby potatoes, and steamed vegetables

 

It was delicious, and eating tasty food like that, without stressing about it and tracking it and making it my one and only focus – that’s what’s helping me lose weight in a calmer way this time round.

 

As for training, yes, I’m doing it. Right now I’m doing four weightlifting sessions a week, three boot camp sessions a week, and one trail or road run. If you can count, that adds up to eight (well done you!) because I train twice on Fridays, purposefully. By the time I’ve finished my Friday night boot camp, I’m so exhausted I can barely walk, let alone drink. Which means instead of fantasising about drinking 12 bottles of wine and 90 tequilas at my local, I’m on my couch in my pjs, trying to lift my fork to my mouth while watching MKR. If you set up your life in a way that helps you succeed, that’s exactly what you’ll do.

 

And what else am I doing? I’m living, in a way that brings balance. I’m going out but I’m also staying in. I’m meeting friends and reading books. I’m eating out and I’m cooking at home. I’m weightlifting in the morning and going to pub quizzes in the evening. I’m crying with my coach about all the work stress I’m under, and I’m laughing with my friends and loving every moment. And while I’m doing that, health is becoming a part of my life, not my entire life. Will I fall down? Yes. Will I drink too much again? Absolutely. Will I become angry and frustrated and want to smash an entire lemon meringue pie in my face? Almost certainly. But there’s one thing I won’t do, and that’s make the same mistakes again. Life’s way too short to keep making the same ones anyway. Time to make some brand-new ones, and hopefully learn some brand-new lessons along the way.

 

*Disclaimer: While I may not be following any structured eating plan, the way I’m eating is very much based on IIFYM principles. So that doesn’t mean I sit around all day in my pajamas eating cake and drinking wine. It means I make healthy choices and eat healthy food. And I train every day. If you want to lose weight, those are things you have to do. What you don’t have to do, however, is obsess over them every second of every day. That’s all that’s changed. Just so we’re clear…

 

 

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Some pretty searching questions

So last week I bored everyone senseless by banging on about how restless and drinky I was feeling. Yay for me! That’s why this week I thought it was important to start questioning myself and where I am at this stage in my journey, so I can see a clear path forward.

Congratulations, you have reached the question and answer portion of this exam. You’ve been feeling all AAARRRRGGGGG for the past few weeks – let’s take a look at where you actually are.

1. Why Nicola, are you wearing smaller pants?

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Why yes, yes I am.

2. Why Nicola, are you finally able to fit into the smallest pairs of jeans in your cupboard?

Jeans 1

Jeans 2

Why yes, yes I am.

3. Why Nicola, did you get through the equivalent of a half marathon this past weekend?

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Why yes, yes I did (Barely).

4. Why Nicola, are those collarbones I see?

Collarbones

Why fuck me sideways, yes they are.

5. Why Nicola, what’s that on your toes?

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Why, it’s a fabulous Rouge Spa pedicure in Orly “What’s the Password”, thanks for noticing!

6. Why Nicola, did you crush your weigh-in this morning?

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WHY YES, YES I FUCKING DID!!!!!!!

7. Why Nicola, are you going to be celebrating this?

You bet your tight little ass I am!

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So, bring on the 80s – I’m ready for them. Bad hair, lumo clothes, awesome music, can’t wait! That makes it 45.8kg down, and just 19.2kg until I reach my goal weight. High five for awesomeness!

High Five

PS: Tell me which comedy show I stole my header from, and you win the prize (no, it’s not Friends, don’t be lazy).

PPS: No Caren, you can’t enter (see, told you I’d mention you!).

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You want a hot body? You better work bitch

Much to my surprise, the reaction to my last blog was overwhelming. I guess semi-nudity is always a hit, no matter how many back rolls you have (will bear this in mind for future blog posts). So to those of you who read it, connected with it, and took the time to share your thoughts with me, a huge thank you!

What was most gratifying was seeing how many people agreed with my point of view – how having an obsessive attitude towards healthy eating and fitness is completely unsustainable, and how we need to focus on the bigger picture of making healthy choices for the rest of our lives, and not just for the immediate future.

That said, there was some feedback that worried me a little, and made me think that some people had missed the point either accidentally or on purpose. What I was trying to say was, don’t get so bogged down in the tiny insignificant details, and if you’ve worked hard, don’t let a ridiculous scale reading bother you. It’s for the rest of your life so keep on trucking. What I wasn’t saying was spend all week on the couch eating takeaways and thinking, ‘meh, it’s for the rest of my life, I still got plenty of time to eat right and work out’.

No. Just… no.

While I’m all about the bigger picture, and being relaxed, and not letting a pathetic loss like 200g (i.e. this week) get me down, I’m all about working my ass off too. Literally. There is a pair of size 36 skinny jeans in my cupboard that I am looking forward to CRUSHING at some point. Which is why over the past week I:

1. Logged all my food like a macro-loving fool

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If it was going in my tummy, it went into MyFitnessPal first. Much as I would love to gorge on pizza and Lindt balls, it just ain’t happening. In fact, there are more carbs in a large Debonairs Tikka Chicken pizza than I’m allowed EVER, even on a carb refeed day (trust me, I checked). Mama just don’t have the macros. And I can’t order a regular pizza, because please, who does that?

2. Entered a clusterfuck* of runs

(*Official collective noun)

Night run, parkrun, trail run, I did them all. I ran, I walked, I swore, I complained, I faceplanted like a motherfucker and hurt my hand badly, I came last, I got a PB on my 5k, and I finished every one of them. Because that’s how I roll.

Constantia Trail Run

Grabouw trail run

Parkrun PB

It also has to be said that in the moment I tripped over a tree root, went flying, hit the deck like a sack of potatoes  and bent all the fingers in my right hand back, literally the first thought that went through my head was “how am I going to lift on Friday??”. I don’t know if that’s sad or awesome – I’m gonna go ahead and say a bit of both.

3. Did Satan’s workout

On top of my two PT sessions a week, I also go into the gym once a week for a conditioning session on my own. The one I’ve been given at the moment I have lovingly (??) dubbed Satan’s workout. Because only the Devil himself (or at a push, Lord Voldemort) could have come up with this hellfire on earth.

My trainer. Satan.

My trainer. Satan.

I would love to tell you exactly what it involves, but it mostly passes by in a haze of kettlebell swings, ball slams, assault bike fuckery, and medium-grade nausea. All of which result in me looking like this afterwards:

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Now that’s attractive.

4. Rested

I am not one of these people that works out twice a day, six times a week.  Like, who’s got the time? Four to five times a week is enough for me thanks very much. Bob Harper said it once on The Biggest Loser and it’s still true today. Rest is a weapon. Watch me wield this bitch.

Rest trail run

5. Had me some spoils

This is where the bigger picture thing comes in. Because while I did all the work, I gots to have me some of the play too.

Like for starters, a well-deserved pedicure for my tired, trail running feet. Thanks Rouge Day Spa, you’re the best! And because I like me some unusual colours, I didn’t go for a red or pink – instead I went for this off-beat what-the-heck grey-blue colour, called Pretty Ugly. Which actually I think is pretty awesome. Don’t worry Pretty Ugly – my tootsies and I will show you some love!

Pretty Ugly toes

Pretty Ugly

Then because as of 1 February I’ve given up takeaways for the next 100 days (which means no more “I’m too lazy to cook, let’s get some Simply Asia up in here” evenings) I celebrated my last day of laziness with this:

The most awesome curry in the world.

The most awesome curry in the world.

That there is the chicken vindaloo from Bibi’s Kitchen in Wynberg, and it is without a doubt the most awesome curry in the world. Since I’ve forced myself to stay away from it for the past eight months (!), I figured my last night of takeaways was the perfect time to smash one in my face. Fuck it was good! And before you start wagging your finger at me, it was all worked into my macros. I basically lived on water and hugs just so I could eat this in the evening. And it was totally worth it.

And finally because I’m nothing if not patriotic, I had myself a little biltong orgy courtesy of Meat Locker – a delicious new butchery service I recently discovered. I of course made the fatal mistake of saying, “oh I’ll just have one slice”.

Meat Locker

Bam, that sucker was gone within 24 hours, and it took a lot of higher grade maths and hair pulling to get my macros back on track. But again, totally worth it. And now I’m hungry.

So ja, that was my week – a lot of hard work, a lot of fun, and a lot of dedication. I have no idea if the biltong was cured with sugar, or if it was grain-fed or grass-fed. I have no idea what kind of oil was used to make my chicken vindaloo. I have no idea why I stuck to my macros, trained 5 days out of the week, got enough rest and water, and only lost 200 grams. And I don’t care. Because worrying about things like that takes up too much energy and I don’t have any to spare. Britney and I are too busy working, bitch.

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Ain’t nobody got time for that

This is my third draft of this blog. I threw the other two away because the first one was too soft, and the second one was too hard. Hopefully this one will be just right.

I think the reason why I’ve found this one so difficult to write is because I’m just exhausted. I’m tired of logging onto health and fitness forums and seeing people moan about the same old shit. Worrying because they haven’t lost any weight in the past week. Stressing because they used (gasp) corn in their stir-fry. Panicking because their bacon may or may not have been preserved in sugar (the horror). Or freaking out because they don’t know when the best time of day is to drink water (spoiler alert: any time of day).

Time

I’m tired of seeing rubbish like this because it says one thing to me: the people on these plans think that their journey has an expiry date. They’re not seeing it as a lifestyle, but merely something to do for a certain amount of time, and then they can give it up and go back to mainlining pizza and channel surfing for a living. And it’s depressing.

I know, because I used to be there. I used to set myself ridiculous weight loss goals. I would say to myself, Nicola, you need to lose <X amount of weight> by <completely random social occasion>. And from that point on, I would measure time in kilograms. Ok so your <social occasion that you can only enjoy if you are 20kg lighter> is happening in 15 weeks – that means you need to lose <something stupid> every week and then you’ll finally be thin and happy and everyone will love you. I didn’t think about what would happen after the birthday/wedding/big dinner/date – I only focused on losing weight up until then. Expiry date. And then every week I didn’t hit my ridiculous weight loss target was another week I fell behind, another week further away from my goal and another week people would think badly of me for being overweight.

Same with the obsessive food worrying. Am I sticking to this plan 100%, how many grams of whatever are in this, which farm produced that, Christ Almighty were my pickles preserved with A GRAM OF SUGAR??? No-one can live like that for the rest of their lives (and if they could, they’re not the type of person I’d want to be friends with) which means again, expiry date. At some point you’re going to crack under all the obsession and become close personal friends with Colonel Sanders again. Cluck my life.

KFC

No, seriously.

Years of this. I put myself through years of this shit, and it is fucking exhausting. And what’s even worse is that I did it, because I just didn’t get it. I wanted weight loss, but I didn’t want health. I wanted to be slimmer but I didn’t really care about how I got there. And I wanted to be able to give it all up as soon as I got it, and go back to an easier, more calorific, more couch-driven way of life.

Expiry date.

You hear people say crap about sustainability all the time. “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle”. “It took years to gain, it’ll take years to lose”. Most of the time this just made me want to staple things to their head. I didn’t WANT to eat sensibly for the rest of my life. BOOOORING!!! And I didn’t WANT to wait years to look like a Victoria’s Secret model. Or even just a normal woman. I wanted to reach my goal weight NOW dammit. Fuck waiting.

I am not a patient person. I want to see results, and I want to see them now. When I first started, I was mad and upset as hell if the scale wasn’t playing along. I stressed about getting a BBQ chicken from Woolies because the sauce was made with sugar. I wanted to wear a certain dress on my birthday, and had a fit when it was still busting at the seams come party time. Because I still didn’t get it. I didn’t get that time was actually my friend. That I was sweating the small stuff WAY too much. And that the dress would still be there next year.

Some people benefit from becoming more focused on their journey. But the key for me has been in becoming more relaxed. So you didn’t lose weight this week. So what? There’s still next week. And the rest of your life. So you had pickles in your salad (that were preserved in sugar for the love of god). So what? You had a salad instead of KFC. And so you don’t fit into that dress this birthday. So what? You still have plenty more birthdays to come (even more now that you’re fitter and stronger and healthier).

Kettlebell

Boo-ya!

What I’ve come to realise along the way is that giving yourself an expiry date means giving yourself more headaches, more stress and more anxiety too. By taking that away, and truly, completely, utterly OWNING the fact that this is for the rest of your life – well, that’s way less stressful. And things like not losing weight this week, not checking food labels like some OCD mental case, and not fitting into things just yet really doesn’t matter.

I only lost 200 grams this week. I could give a flying fuck.

I only lost 200 grams this week. I could give a flying fuck.

What does matter is healthy choices and commitment. Making the best choices you can day after day, and not stressing when you have the odd off day (which you will). Worrying less about the sugar content of everything and more about not using food to self-medicate. Remembering every day why you’re doing this. And enjoying the journey for what it is – one of insight, growth, understanding, and ultimately, freedom.

Because when you do that, you see that every week of hard work, whether you lost weight over those seven days or not, eventually adds up to two years’ worth of massive change, both inside and out:

Comparison Front

Comparison Side

Comparison Back

Yes, it took two years. Yes, there were a lot of fuck-ups along the way. And yes I’m still very much a work in progress. But the important part is that it’s progress, and a huge amount at that. So please. Stop worrying about not having lost weight this week. Stop worrying about how much fucking corn is in your stir-fry. And start focusing on what really matters – the rest of your life. And that’s something I have plenty of time for.

Statue

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Things that weigh 40kg

Haha, no not me. Maybe one of my thighs, on a good day. But there are lots of other things that weigh 40kg, like:

This evil plate (times 4)

10 kg weight

This gangsta bling (times 40)

1 kg gold

This ridiculous fish (seriously, just look how ridiculous)

40 kg fish

This dude’s guns (I’m guessing)

40 kg bicep

This tree of cute (aawww)

1 kg kittens

This junior lineup (if you’re looking for Keyser Söze, he’s the one in the middle)

10 kg babies

Oh, and as of this morning, my total weight loss to date:

95kg

I don’t think I need to say much more than that, so I’ll just drop one of these here:

Mic

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99 luftballoons

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What a week it’s been! A week of celebrations, high fives, mocktails, awesomeness, and an unending wave of love and support. I’ve been plodding along this journey for so long that I didn’t realise I’d picked up a bit of an entourage along the way – a group of friends who are so kickass it hurts, Facebook buddies who always have a kind word to say, women who are just as enthusiastic as me about making healthy choices, and even people I don’t really know that well, who are kind and supportive despite, in some cases, being thousands of miles away.

To all of you, I say THANK YOU! You rock the house, and you’ve helped make this week a truly phenomenal one.

While the scale and I have been playing our usual game of ‘fuck you’, ‘no, fuck YOU’ over the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do to mark the eventual 99.9 occasion. I’ve gone under 100 a few times before (I think three, to be exact) and each time, while I have felt a sense of pride and accomplishment, I haven’t done anything to celebrate the milestone. Mostly because I didn’t want to admit that I weighed 99.freaking 9 kgs. It’s under 100, but it’s sure as shit no Victoria’s Secret model.

But now, I could honestly give a flying fuck what anyone thinks. It’s my goal, and I’m damn proud of it. So with that in mind, I set about organising a week’s worth of celebrations, not just with the aim of acknowledging my achievement, but recognising the people who’ve helped me along the way, thanking them for their support, high fiving with them, and making this milestone one to well and truly remember!

So if you missed it, this is what I’ve been up to since we last spoke:

Mocktails in the Northern suburbs

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(Fake) champagne and oysters in Mouille Point

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An exotic dinner date in town

BBC

99ing the place UP in Century City

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Having fun with fake beer and real friends in Kenilworth

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And then, seeing this on the scale today (while still rocking my highly fabulous luxury pedicure from Rouge Day Spa):

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Just goes to show that even if you go mocktail crazy, as long as you eat right, train hard and stay focused, you’ll still go right on achieving your goals!

What an amazing end to a fabulous week, and what a way to introduce myself to the 90s! That’s right all you numbers all the way down to 90 – I’m here, and I’m going to crush every last one of you. Be afraid. Be very afraid. MWAAAHAAAHAAAA!!!!!

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I got 99 problems but the scale ain’t one

I’ve been single for 2.5 years, but for the past 5 years I’ve been in a committed, monogamous relationship – with three numbers on the scale. In 2008/9 I went from 130kg down to 80kg, and I was loving life. But because shit happens and my head wasn’t screwed on right, I ate my way back up the food chain, eventually tipping the scales at 135kg – my heaviest ever. It wasn’t exactly what I would call my proudest moment.

Although it wasn’t something I brought up at parties, there was something cruelly, ridiculously embarrassing about weighing over 100kg. It’s difficult to feel sexy or feminine when you’re built like an NFL linebacker, and knowing that most of the guys you’re friends with weigh less than you do is just crushing in the extreme. Disney princesses don’t weigh over 100kg. (Ursula in The Little Mermaid did though, and we all know how that turned out.) Clothes don’t fit, fucking bathtubs don’t fit, and you have more chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa’s body than you do of finding a sports bra that fits (because apparently if you weigh over 100kg you don’t deserve support, least of all in the chest area).

I think if I stretched this it might fit over one of my boobs.

I think if I stretched this it might fit over one of my boobs.

My ultimate goal has always been to lose 65kgs (losingit65, get it?) and get down to 70kg, but the gigantic, biggest milestone ever has always been to step on the scale, and just for once, for ONCE, see only two numbers in front of the decimal point. Because those two numbers represent more than just digits to me – they represent success, hope, achievement, and the belief that finally, FINALLY I will get where I’m going, and I’ll make it stick. It’s not just 99 kilograms – it’s a promise to the part of me that doesn’t quite believe we’ll ever get there, that by fuck, we have come this far, we have lost 35kgs, and dammit, we are going to take this all the way, no matter how much kicking and screaming and swearing and drinking of sparkling water gets done. Two numbers, with a wealth of meaning behind them.

And so, because I am sick to death of looking like a chest of drawers with legs, for the past 19 weeks, I have been WORKING MY ASS OFF. Trail runs, parkruns, macros, weights, more macros, more weights, no booze, no junk, no falling off the wagon, no getting depressed, just moving forward, always forward, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, always determined. I’ve had big drops, plateaus, unexplained weight gains, the works. When they say it’s not a linear journey, they mean it. But the secret is to just put all that stuff in your Fuck That Shit file, and keep on going. Because, as Joey says in Friends, “If you want something enough and your heart is pure, wondrous things can happen!”

So tell me, do you think this qualifies as wondrous?

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OHHHHHHHH YEAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

99.9kg

NINETY-NINE POINT FUCKING NINE KGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know you’re all probably blinded by the awesomeness of my luxury Rouge Spa pedicure (who knew paraffin wax could be so satisfying?) but that right there is what success looks like!

And this is also what success looks like:

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Post-gym success, hence the hair.

Appropriately enough, the colour of my Morgan Taylor pedicure is “Take Me To Your Tribe” – and that’s exactly where I’ve gone. The tribe of the people who weigh 99 kilograms. I wonder if Jeff Probst is here…?

I know that 99.9kg is breaking the barrier by the skin of my teeth, but to quote Vin Diesel (who should always be quoted), “it doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile – winning’s winning”. True dat. Now I just have to make sure I don’t eat anything all week, so I don’t go over 100kg again. It’s probably a good time to invite me out for dinner because I’m going to be a really cheap date.

So where do we go from here? Well, I’ve still got 29.9kg to lose (fuck me that feels SO MUCH BETTER than saying 65!) so I’m still going to be crushing it. But one thing I’m not going to be doing is going over 100kg again. EVER. Ain’t nobody got time for that. In the words of Lindsey Buckingham (look him up if you’re under 30), “mmhmm, never going back again”.

A big thank you to the wonderful men of Evo, David Cross and De Waal Gerstner, for helping me get here, and a giant hug and a kiss to all my fabulous friends for your enthusiastic, tireless, enduring support. This journey wouldn’t have been half as much fun without you, and it’s twice as wonderful to be able to share it with you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat my breakfast, and not weigh myself again for about a month.

Smoochies xxxx

Kiss 1

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Losing It is taking over Facebook! (ish)

So this morning I had an idea in the shower. (If you’re alone in there you have plenty of time to think.) My ultimate goal (apart from losing weight, looking fly and showing George Clooney what a terrible mistake he made) is to be a powerful weight loss inspiration for women. That’s what gets me up at 5am, that’s what makes me put one foot in front of the other when I want to die on a trail run, and that’s what makes me say, “oh no thanks, no chips/ice cream/pizza/Steers/KFC/fun for me”. FML

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Me. Dying on a trail run.

Anyway, I thought, since I practically live on Facebook (thank god I work for myself), why not use that to help get my message across too? I’m constantly being bombarded with people’s groups for security systems, finance, dogs, arts and crafts, shoes that look like cake (yes) – why not take the same opportunity to annoy the crap out of people with my own Facebook group? It’s a winner of an idea!

Which is why to that end I have created the oh so fabulous, oh so fantastic “Losing It” Facebook group, as a way of sharing the ups and downs of my own journey, sharing my blog posts, sharing my love of swearing, and hopefully sharing my successes too.

So to all the ladies out there (sorry guys) who are interested in losing weight, improving their health, looking at pictures of me in my underwear, or just having a laugh (sometimes at the pictures of me in my underwear), I’d love for you to join. I’ll do my best to make it worth your while.

And if you’re already a member, thanks for placing your trust in me, thanks for opting to have my crap all over your news feed, and thanks for your support. This isn’t an easy journey, so the more people there are to help, commiserate and laugh along the way, the easier it becomes.

You can find my spectacularly wonderful, brand spanking new group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/494162807353807/requests/?notif_t=group_r2j

And if you have any ideas or suggestions as to what type of content you’d like to see there, please let me know. It’s a group, not a dictatorship, and I’d love to take your ideas on board.

Thanks again for the support, and I look forward to both welcoming you, and wowing you too. Losing It for the win!!

Kiss 1

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Weigh-ins, weight loss and wonderfulness

All has been quiet on the western front for a while. Not because I am sitting on the couch crying and eating pizza, oh no. But because the level of busyness in my life has now reached epic proportions. Between my courses, my day job, my side job, my trail running, my recent foray into the world of Tinder (haha, more about that another time) and my need to occasionally leave the house before I pull a Jack Nicholson and go on an axe-murdering cabin feverish rampage, I am starting to lose it in more ways than one. Breathing has become optional, so sadly blogging has had to take a bit of a back seat.

However there’s one thing I haven’t been slacking off on, and that’s my commitment to losing weight and then some.

If you’ve been keeping track (and why wouldn’t you – this blog is AWESOME!) you’ll remember that my last weigh-in looked like this:

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The 104.something kilos that I had hit twice previously over the year, and was stressing about never being able to break through EVER! Well ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to report that after a lot of macro-watching, heavy stuff-lifting and alcohol-avoiding, my subsequent weigh-ins have looked a little something like this:

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Yup – that’s where we are this week – a super-duper OMFG can you believe it 102.1! I think this is the lightest I’ve been in about 3 years. So I’m gonna go ahead and give myself a gigantic high five for that. And I invite you all to do the same!

High Five

I also invite you to give Rouge Spa a high five too, for making my feet look so pretty and purple-licious with this divine Gelish pedicure!

It's a Lily! Purple fabulousness by Gelish.

It’s a Lily! Purple fabulousness by Gelish.

Thinking back over the past 13 weeks (lucky 13 in this case) I’ve realised something so mind-fucking-boggling, I cannot even begin to comprehend it. I have not cheated on my eating plan ONCE in the past 90-something days. NOT ONCE! Someone call Guinness, because this has to be a world record for me. No drowning my sorrows in Cuervo, no eating my stress with Debonairs – just working through my problems like an adult (finally at the age of 37, took long enough FFS) and riding that scale like Zorro.

And the super-awesome scale readings aren’t the only thing I have to show for all my hard work – I have this fabulously designed and almost filled sobriety calendar too:

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Five days to go! Hands up if you think I wouldn’t make it. Now all those with their hands up, you owe me a drink!!

Yes, Nicola may be losing it, but Nicola is also getting to that all-important 99kg milestone whether the scale likes it or not. Keep watching closely people because you’ll be the first to know once it happens. Double digits, me and my fancy toes are coming for you, and you’d better be prepared! Li-li-like a BOSS!

PS: Oh and if you’re wondering what’s going to happen on Day 101, I suggest you tune in on Day 101 to find out. Otherwise known as Tuesday.

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