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 😁


Wot I et ;)

Today I ate:

Breakfast: skip

Lunch: egg omelette (2 eggs, salt, pepper, curry powder, 20g tasty cheese)

Dinner: venison steak (about 8 ounces), 1 tablespoon butter (for cooking the steak), homemade salsa (3/4 avocado, 1 roma tomato, 1/2 onion, 10 ml sweet chilli sauce, 20 ml lemon juice), half cup steamed broccoli, 1/4 small round of brie cheese.

I’ve tracked it all on MyFitnessPal and I’m still well under my 1400 calories. So I might have another piece of brie later on, or maybe some salami.

I’m not feeling hungry. I thought I would be. But I’m getting close to knocking my carb addiction on the head permanently – I don’t crave them very often any more, and the majority of days are good eating days.

Yes, my jeans are getting looser 😁

I’m feeling good. It’s been a positive day today.

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.

Cheat sheet: 3 simple steps to wellness

Most people on the standard Western diet eat up to 10 times a day. Their diets consist mainly of carbohydrates and sugar (plus a huge dose of additives, colours, flavours, stabilizers, preservatives etc.), and there are few healthy habits and set routines.

The end result of all this disordered, poor eating is that you may be perpetually hungry, and suffer from a host of allergies and other ailments, including obesity, hayfever, dry itchy eyes and acne.

If this all sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It sure is real familiar to me!

Breaking down what’s wrong

Eating a high carbohydrate, high sugar diet will keep you being always hungry, with rollercoasting blood sugar levels being a huge part of the problem. Your blood sugar spikes after a high carb / high sugar meal, then plummets a little while later, leaving you exhausting and hungry, looking around for your next sugar “fix”.

Also, if you’re basing your diet on carbohydrates and sugar, you’re almost certainly not getting enough healthy fats. This can lead to dry skin and eyes, eczema and allergies, and digestive difficulties.

The long term result of all this is you keep eating, keep feeling hungry, and keep trashing your blood sugar, leading eventually to obesity, diabetes and a host of other problems.

Solving your own personal sugar crisis

Fixing all this is not complicated, but it is hard. Eat more foods with healthy fats, end your reliance and addiction on carbs and sugars, and reduce and habitualize healthy eating patterns.

Below we overview the 3 simple steps of the Fit, Fed and Fasted program.


A healthy, sensible exercise program can really help with your mindset as well as your fitness.

This doesn’t mean rushing in to sign up at the nearest gym! However it does mean finding an exercise that works for you and your lifestyle, is affordable and is fun.

Walking and swimming are great options, as is lifting weights. Do whatever you prefer – this is your life and your choice.

STEP 2 – Rebalance your diet

Meat and fish should be central to your diet, and provide the vast majority of calories. In fact, the fewer non-animal foods you eat, the healthier you will be. Your blood sugar will settle, and your hunger will become controlled without all the carbs and sugar sending your blood sugar spiralling.

STEP 3 – Reframe your eating window

Getting your eating under control involves reducing when you eat in a 24 hour period. It may – if you choose – also mean reducing how many meals you have in the course of an entire week.

You’ll also need to habitualize where and how you eat, quitting snacking behaviours that undermine your wellbeing.

Three steps to health and wellness

These three steps are straightforward and easy to understand. They’re affordable and manageable for just about anyone.

Yes, you can do it! Over the coming posts, we’ll delve into how to take these steps, and discuss some common problems and pitfalls along the way.

Tools for fasting success: What you need

Losing weight and becoming healthier isn’t about buying expensive plans or special food.

It’s not about fancy gym memberships costing tens of thousands of dollars a year either.

I know this. I’ve tried these methods, and none of them worked.

To lose weight, you need to fast regularly. This will burn off the sugar in your system, then lower your overall calorie intake over the long term.

The good thing is, you don’t need many tools to fast successfully.

Tools for fasting successfully

Scales: You need a reliable scale – or a pair of tight-fitting jeans to measure your loss by. I prefer the “jeans method” myself!

Water bottle: You also need a decent sized water bottle to keep at your workplace and carry around with you. Drinking plenty of water is the key to successful fasting – it helps physically as well as emotionally, because you feel like you’re having something, even though you’re not.

Teas: I find a selection of lovely, high quality teas helps me work through difficult periods of a fast, especially for the times of the day when the rest of the family is eating and I’m not. I curl up in a ball on the sofa, and sip my tea, and I feel like I’m enjoying a treat and some solitude, rather than depriving myself.

Keeping busy: Keeping yourself busy is critical to a successful fast. I usually start my fasts on a Sunday night, so I’m fasting on work days, and am busy. The hardest times are weekends or times when I don’t have a lot to do, and food starts taking over my brain.

A notebook: You may find a little notebook useful. I write down how I’m feeling, how I’m coping, and even a ridiculous list of “all the food I want to eat right now” when times are tough on a fast. Weirdly enough, when I actually write down the foods I’m craving, the cravings go away. Maybe it’s because I usually crave junk food, but when you actually think about junk food deeply, you realise it doesn’t actually taste that good!

Waterfasting forum: The waterfasting forum s a great support network for people who are fasting. Keeping in touch with like-minded individuals who are going through the same things you are going through can really help a lot. There’s a link on this page. It’s free, and very worthwhile.

Metamucil: While technically a “cheat”, it you feel like you desperately need something in your stomach, a teaspoon of metamucil in some water can really help you feel full. It can also help if you find yourself constipated, which can happen to some people when they fast.

Diary: Everyone fasts differently. I tend to fast from most Sunday nights, continuing through the week until I stop, usually lasting anywhere between 3 and 5 days. That works for me. Others find alternate day fasting works better. Do what works for you. But keeping a diary of when you fast and for how long is invaluable in tracking your progress, what works and what doesn’t and why. Add comments on how you felt, what made you stop if you stopped earlier than expected, and how you’re feeling at various points during the fast.

Happy fasting!

Goal weight: What’s yours?

Are goal weights just fantasy? Do they even make sense from a health perspective?

Everyone who has ever struggled with being overweight has a perfect weight they’d like to be.

For me, being a tall woman with a large frame, my goal weight is around 65 kgs /145 pounds.

Despite the fact that, as an adult I’ve never been that weight, I still have the idea firmly stuck in my head that if only I can reach that weight, everything will be roses, I’ll be perfect, my life will be incredible.

All thanks to a number on a scale.

It doesn’t make sense when you think about it logically. Thinking about it logically, what really makes sense is a) not allowing yourself to get obese in the first place and b) if you are obese, eating well, including fasting in your lifestyle, and heading in the right direction for health.

In other words, it doesn’t really matter how slowly you lose weight. It also doesn’t really matter whether you reach a “goal” or not. What matters is that, this time next year, you’d doing better and feeling better than you are right now.

Having an unattainable goal weight stuck in your head might just be making you miserable. That’s not the key to long life or happiness at all. Time and again, when we interview centenarians, they say “being content” was key to their long life. They all seem to be genuinely happy, thankful people.

So stop fixating on your “goal weight” that may or may not happen. Instead, think of some ways that you can make your life better in a genuine way, that may not have anything at all to do with weight. Go for daily walks with a friend or loved one, volunteer at a charity, write and share something useful and positive, fast for a few days and focus on your own wellbeing and spirituality while you do so.

It doesn’t matter how you make your own life better. Everyone’s version of happiness is different. Just like everyone’s goal weight. Which might or might not ever happen.

So smile. Be content. Be happy. Enjoy the sun when it shines.

Life is too short for numbers on a scale anyway!

This is how much weight I lost in THREE weeks of intermittent fasting…

I’ve lost 7.8 kilograms, which is 17.2 pounds!

Has it been hard? Not so much. Because the fasts are intermittent, there are plenty of days where I eat normally, and can eat pretty much whatever I like.


Started fasting: 20 April
Today's date: 8 May
Weight lost: 7.8 kgs / 17.2 pounds
BMI: Was 33.2 currently 30.8
Days fasted during this period: 11 days


My fasts during this period were all between 1-4 days. While fasting, I drank LOTS of water with a little lemon juice added for flavour, but ate no food. I also drank a sugar-free electrolyte drink when I felt I needed to.

When not fasting, I ate normally, but tended to avoid carbs because that’s just how I eat. I’m not much of an exerciser, and didn’t leave the house much, but did get some walking in and lifted a few weights but not much else.


Absolutely. I’m right at the start of my journey, and looking forward to more fasting to come. When I fast I feel healthier, clearer-minded and just “more myself” (I can’t explain it any better than that).

More to the point, fasting feels natural. Once you get over the big mental hurdle of believing we need to eat 3 meals a day every day, you’ve opened the door to a wider, healthier world.

I’m looking forward to continuing my journey.

Short fasts are HARDER. Here’s why.

Let’s be honest: Fasting can be HARD. Especially the shorter fasts.

HUH? Did I just say the shorter fasts are more difficult?

Shorter fasts – and fasts where you get to eat, say, 500 calories on alternate days – are much, much harder than longer fasts where you eat nothing at all for a few days.

Let me explain why, because this absolutely makes sense when you think about it.


Our bodies are adapted beautifully for fasting. We evolved as hunter-gatherers, our main source of calories was animal foods through hunting, and we’d often goes days or sometimes weeks without much to eat.

Also, our food was seasonal. As anyone who has ever grown a fruit tree would know, nature often provides food in gluts. You either have no peaches or enough peaches for the entire neighbourhood! You either had enough wild buffalo meat to stuff yourself and your tribe, or the buffalo were nowhere in sight. That’s how nature works.

Before modern farming (10,000 year old farming techniques are “modern” to our hunter-gatherer bodies, remember!), our bodies were beautifully adapted to all this by putting on fat when we ate to the point of stuffing ourselves, then living off our fat in lean times in between successful hunting.

Women were – and are – able to store fat even more efficiently than men, because we needed to be able to carry children, give birth and feed them. It all makes sense.

Except now we don’t fast any more, because food is so ridiculously plentiful now that obesity is more common than underweight in the world.

I’m not saying this is bad or good, but it’s the way things are now. If we want to lose weight, it makes sense to return to old patterns of eating and to tap into the eat-fast cycles that our bodies are well adapted to.


Shorter fasts are more difficult because they’re not true fasts. Our bodies keep expecting food, our insulin and ghrelin levels never truly level out, and our bodies never fully move into a fasted state. They’re kept in a limbo – not quite fasted, not quite fed – with the result that hunger is more difficult to manage and the benefits of true fasting never emerge.


Several “alternate day fasting” programs allow up to 500 calories of food on the “fasting” days, as evidence seems to suggest that those 500 calories do not interfere with weight loss.

Maybe, but I speak from experience that when I tried one of these programs, on the 500 calorie days all I could think about was food. I was hungry all the time. I spent the whole day fantasising about what I might eat, and obsessing about those 500 calories. It wasn’t pleasant.

Eventually – a couple of weeks into the program – I slid off it. With no weight loss to speak of.

Now there seems to be evidence coming out that suggests that people on these programs end up much hungrier than if they ate zero calories on their fasting days. I’d agree with that. I think you’re better off fasting properly, and eating nothing on fast days. It’s much easier.


Not as hard as you’d think. I’ve found on 3-4 day fasts that the hardest day is day 1, about mid-afternoon. My body hasn’t yet realised I’m fasting, and I’m starting to get hungry because I’ve missed lunch.

At this point, I drink a fair amount of water – at least a litre (four cups) – over an hour or so, and sometimes more. It gives me something to do, and fills me up. It also seems to trick my body into thinking I’ve eaten.

In the end, the only way to figure out what you find hard is to try different lengths of fasts, and see what works for you.

Motivation: What’s yours?

Weight loss is a great motivator. Let’s face it: everyone wants to wear nice clothes and look good in a swimsuit. We all want to look lean and healthy. Nobody wants to look overweight and unwell.

However, while weight loss can be a great motivation, it helps to see the bigger picture of why weight loss can be a great idea.

Truth is – and we all know it – being overweight is unhealthy. While that might not be a huge problem when you’re younger, years of being overweight stacks up on your body balance sheet, doing years of damage over time. While it might not affect you too much in your twenties and thirties, by the time you hit your thirties, forties and fifties, you’re staring down the barrel of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more.

That’s not fun at all.

There’s now strong evidence to suggest that, while most people won’t develop Type 2 diabetes until they hit mid life, the cause of that diabetes has been their lifestyle for the last decades of poor habits and overweight / obesity. Your body has needed more and more insulin to deal with the sugar hits being thrown at it from our high carbohydrate, high sugar processed diet, until diabetes is the inevitable result.

Likewise, heart disease and cancer are also the result of insult after insult to our bodies – feeding ourselves poor quality food and generally ignoring what our bodies need while giving ourselves lots of what we don’t need.

Wanting to look better is a great motivator, but wanting to be better in all respects – well, that’s a terrific motivator.

Think about some reasons why you might want to lose weight permanently and write them down. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Look better in all clothing – and in no clothing! 🙂
  • Lower risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Who doesn’t want that!
  • Able to move better, with less pain and discomfort. I found when I switched to a keto / carnivore diet I stopped feeling achey and sore in the mornings.
  • Able to keep up with younger family members and children as they rush about. If you have young children you’ll know exactly what I mean!
  • Able to achieve fitness goals, and travel goals. If you have plans to travel, you’ll want to be fit and well. Fitness goals can often involve adventure travel (hiking, paragliding, diving, swimming.)
  • Learn to enjoy food again. By putting food in its rightful place as a part rather than the centre of your life, you’ll learn to enjoy tastes and textures more fully.
  • Be able to afford great quality food and drink. Fasting and reducing quantity enables you to afford quality instead.
  • Be able to buy – and wear – the nicest clothing. Fashionable clothing is often only made for leaner bodies. That’s not fair, but its the way things are. Losing weight means you’ll be able to shop in a wider variety of clothing stores and enjoy a wider variety of clothing.

What else can you think of?