Personal bests – and sticking to the plan

Yesterday I managed 70 kgs (154 pounds) on bench press. Not bad for an old chick!

I also managed 100 kgs (220 pounds) on the hammer strength decline press machine. Another personal best.

I was really pleased with both.

I’m putting on a lot of muscle at the moment, and the fat is coming off. My stomach is almost flat, and I’m no longer embarrassed to be seen in light summer clothes.

I can thank Overeaters Anonymous for so much of this. They’ve given me support through everything, a sensible approach to food, and a plan to follow that got me away from the binge eating and overly large portions. OA is a part of my life now, because it works. Add in regular exercise and sensible eating, and I’m a completely different person to who I was a couple of years ago.

Success doesn’t come from fad diets, or from eating well for a short time until you reach your goal weight, then you’re “done”. Success comes from genuine change – reaching a point where you don’t want to go back to those old habits and old ways of being.

I don’t want to ever go back. I’m happy where I am now. Sticking to the plan is easy, because I’m happiest when I do.


What happens to your body when you get fit and lose weight

Pretty much everyone wants to lose weight to look better. But hardly anyone talks about the changes in your body that can make you feel better when you start to get fit and lose weight after years of, well, sitting on your arse.

So let me talk about a few of the changes I’ve experienced.

I sleep better. I used to suffer from the three a.m. nasties. You know – waking at three in the morning, and not finally falling asleep again until ten minutes before my alarm was due to go off. These days a proper night’s sleep is the default, not the exception.

I’m in a better mood. My family and friends are less likely to catch grumpy me, and far more likely to catch serene, content me. The difference is striking.

My skin and allergies are better. I’ve struggled with asthma, allergies and eczema all my life. These days you wouldn’t know it. Rashes are rare, I don’t need an inhaler (unless I come across a dog or a rabbit), and I barely touch antihistamines. My eyes are no longer puffy and red in the mornings either.

I don’t get earwax buildup any more. An odd change, but really noticeable.

I don’t get tartar build-up on my teeth any more. Another weird improvement. Go figure. I always thought tartar had something to do with water quality and getting old, but apparently it’s bodily wellness. Who knew?

I’m looking okay these days, for an old bird. I’ve more improvement to make, but I’m on my way to wellness.

Change comes from persistence. As does wellness. We don’t become healthier from one meal, or one “good day” but from real transformation repeated daily, over and over again every day of our lives.

We can get better. Those of us who are obese can become fit and well again. The slide into poor health and misery is not inevitable. It takes commitment and support from family, friends and groups such as Overeaters Anonymous, but we can do it. We just need to believe in ourselves, and believe we are worth the effort necessary to change.

Weights going up at the gym

I’ve been back at the gym for over a month now, and the weights I’m lifting are still going up nicely.

I’ve been doing a slightly altered version of the StrongLifts program, where you start with virtually nothing then add 2.5 kgs each time you do that exercise.

Bench is now up to 57.5 kgs, and deads are up to 75 kgs. I do leg press instead of squats (due to an old back injury) but overheads are up on 30 kgs, which is not too shabby for a female.

I’m enjoying feeling stronger and healthier, and the gym is helping me shed weight – people at work are noticing I’ve lost a bit and am looking better.

I’m also noticing my general health is improving. I remember a few years ago, when I was a gym junkie, I was never sick. I’m hoping returning to the gym and eating better will help me to build a stronger immune system.

In all, it’s all going well. I’m happy with my improvement, and look forward to more improvement as time goes on.

Healthy eating is a hard habit to make, and an easy habit to break

After just over a year on OA, and working hard to improve my eating and exercise, things are finally falling into place.

These days, I eat 2-3 healthy meals a day, exercise roughly 5x a week at the gym, and am attending OA meetings regularly.

I’m feeling better, eating better, and the muscle that atrophied over the last five years of not exercising is coming back.

It’s taken – is taking – a lot of dedication and consistency, and the results are starting to show.

Gone are my old habits of eating family sized blocks of chocolate and litres of Pepsi Max every night. Instead I drink plain bubbly water (thanks to my soda stream), and when I feel like a snack I have a piece of fruit or some low calorie jelly.

It’s nowhere near perfect yet. I still occasionally binge, and I’d like to be able to say no on our weekly workplace morning teas, but I’m getting better.

It’s true what they say about consistency. You just have to keep coming back to OA, and keep practicing the good habits instead of the bad. It’s not easy – not one bit – but it will become a lifestyle if you keep working.

It’s becoming a lifestyle for me 😁

Fitness, food and fasting

My weight is coming down nicely, and I’m starting to feel way better since fine-tuning my food plan.

This is what I do:

  • Low carb / no carb diet. I eat foods such as steak, salmon, eggs, roast chicken (from the supermarket), rabbit (we grow our own) with lots of salad and green leafy vegetables. I try to keep everything as simple as possible, and cook my meat in butter.
  • Intermittent fasting. I alternate days of fasting through to lunch and fasting through to dinner. So my week looks like Monday fast to dinner, Tuesday fast until lunch, Wednesday fast until dinner and so on. This means I eat 3 meals every 2 days.
  • Blood glucose monitoring. I’m currently wearing a Freestyle libre blood glucose monitor. I find the instant feedback enlightening and encouraging.
  • Fitness. My regime is just walking – I try to get in an hour a day.
  • Podcasts / videos. I listen to OA podcasts and watch videos by Dr Sten Ekberg as often as I can. The reinforcement of my food plan and the success of others motivates me.

I’m feeling better too, since I started eating really well. The low carb diet really helps keep my appetite under control, and the food tastes better anyway.

Lockdown is ending…sorta…

It’s Tuesday 7 September today. We got told, via the Podium of Truth that lockdown ends midnight tonight.

I’ll be working from home for another day and not going back to the office when everyone else does as I have three kids, and school doesn’t go back until Thursday.

I’ll be glad to get back to OA – my first meeting back will be on Saturday. I’ve needed the support and I haven’t had that. Zoom meetings are all very well, but they’re not the same as face to face meetings.

I’ve also decided to start fasting again. I’ll start with going breakfast and lunch free tomorrow, and take things from there. But I’m thinking about doing a full 7 Day water fast. I like the way fasting makes me feel, and I’m looking forward to it.

Apart from that, I’ve started daily walks. I’m actually just about to leave for my walk now. I figure I can go for a lunch hour walk every day and that will help me skip lunches. So from Thursday, when I’m back in the office, I’ll use my lunch hour to walk instead of eat. That should help.

I’m also going to ask for a Sponsor at OA when I get back. Hopefully someone will help me. I think so – they’re a lovely bunch of women.

So that’s where I’m at. Fasting, walking and working towards finding a Sponsor.

I’m starting to feel Hope 😃

Exercise you enjoy

Repeat after me: Exercise is fun!

Exercise is a bit of a dirty word for many of us. Lots of us have gym memberships we don’t use and feel guilty about, or we know we should exercise but we don’t, or we have intentions of getting out there but we’re so busy it just doesn’t happen.

I get that.

All the above are a problem when the exercise you intend to do isn’t something that fits with your lifestyle or personality. What should be fun and enjoyable becomes a source of guilt and failure, and we end up feeling worse about ourselves than if we just sat on the sofa with a family-sized bag of corn chips.

The answer to exercising regularly begins with being honest with yourself.

If you hate gyms and work long hours, a gym membership probably isn’t going to work for you.

Likewise, if you intend to start swimming but it’s a long way to the pool and it’s always busy, that probably won’t work either.

You need to start with an honest assessment of yourself and your lifestyle. Some good questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I self-conscious about my body and what it is currently capable of? If this is so, maybe stripping down to a swimsuit or wearing tight-fitting workout clothes at a gym isn’t right for you.
  • What can I afford to spend? If your budget is stretched, joining an expensive sport (horse-riding or golfing spring to mind) may not work for you.
  • What free time do I have? If you work from 8 am to 6 pm every day, fitting in a sport might be difficult.
  • Where are my energy levels right now? Despite what you hear, regular exercise will probably tire you out at first, especially if you’re not used to it.
  • Will I actually DO it? The smallest, lightest exercise tat you actually DO is always going to get better results than a full-on exercise you intend to do but never actually do.


I think the best exercise you can get are movements like walking, gardening and small weights you can use at home.

A small set of hand weights costs about the same as one weeks’ gym membership. Walking to work (if you’re close enough) or getting off the bus a stop early and walking the est of the way home can actually save you money. Gardening has its own rewards outside of fitness.

In my case, I walk. I leave my office at lunch time and get in a walk, and I sometimes walk to work, which is about half an hour of exercise as well. I walk to our local shops when I just have to buy a few items, and I walk around town when I’m there. I usually grab the car park that is furthest from the door, and take the stairs instead of the elevator, and that gives me extra movement too.

I also do some weight bearing exercise at home with my own set of dumbbells.

Whatever you decide, be realistic ad assess it regularly. If it isn’t working – for whatever reason – try something different.

It doesn’t matter how much you move, as long as you’re moving more.

Defeating allergies: Everything is inflammation

Stop the inflammation, eat more healthy fats, and you cure the allergy. That’s it. That’s what I learned.

If you read my last post, you’ll have read how I’m “allergic to everything”. Or I was. I think I might be cured now. So I want to share what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and how it has helped me.


I think that the medicines that doctors give us for allergies just hide our problems by covering up / curing the symptoms. They don’t actually cure the underlying disease.

It’s like fixing a sunburned face by covering it up with makeup. Sure, you might not look red, but you’re still red underneath. And by covering the burn up and not allowing it to cool down and heal, you’re actually making the problem worse!

You’ll look better for a little while, and you might fool some people if the makeup is really good, but damage is still happening, underneath the makeup.

A lot of the drugs our doctors give us for inflammatory illnesses are the same. They don’t solve the root causes – inflammation and not enough healthy fats in the diet.

So while you might feel better for a time, they’re only ever going to be a stop-gap measure. Plus, some of the side effects they come with might just make things worse. Plus, all the while you’re not dealing with the underlying issue, that issue could be getting worse.

If you have a toothache you might feel better by taking some painkillers, but unless you visit a dentist and get that tooth drilled and sorted, that yucky tooth is going to keep on rotting away and getting worse. You have to fix the problem.

Allergies are the same.


The more we learn, the more we realise that a huge number of modern illnesses are actually symptoms of inflammation and diet.

Some of these are the problems I was suffering from: hayfever, asthma, eczema, allergic itchy eyes, and high blood sugar. Obesity / overweight is also inflammation- related, and there’s a lot of evidence that epilepsy and such disorders as arthritis, autism and multiple schlerosis are too.

We can ease the symptoms with a stack of different drugs that are available – and don’t get me wrong, some of these drugs are very, very good – but unless we fix the inflammation and our diet, these issues will never get resolved.

So you need to fix these if you’re going to get better.


I realised that I was insulting my body in a whole stack of ways. I’m sure you’ve read online, like I did, about all these “superfoods” I was supposed to be eating and all these amazing diets I was supposed to be following.

I couldn’t afford the superfoods, and I was bad at diets. They weren’t going to work. Plus, I suck at taking supplements – I keep forgetting to take them every morning.

Thankfully, what really works is not eating at all. That’s right: fasting. Water fasting gives your body time to clean house and clear your system out, dumping all the rubbish you’ve collected over the years. It sends inflammation running in the other direction!

When you do eat, you need plenty of healthy fats. I eat lots of butter and animal fat, and always eat the skin on the chicken and the rind of fat on meat. I do this and I don’t have allergies. It’s really that simple.

I also quit anything that might be irritating my skin and eyes. I quit all shampoos and conditioners and hair products, only using a bit of coconut oil for styling, and now my hair is great.

I’ll talk about what I did for my eyes and skin in separate posts. But once again, the answers were simple and cheap. I’m actually saving money getting well! 🙂

Diet-wise, I’m on a meat-centered diet, and I’ll talk all about that and how much better I feel as well. The diet I follow is affordable and easy, with no expensive supplements or “superfoods” – and I don’t bother with choosing expensive organic foods, although I do prefer fresh and local when possible.

The solution to allergies is to stop insulting your body. Don’t hurt it with things that cause it pain. Nurture your body with food it appreciates and care it needs.

Then let yourself bloom again.