Monday, 18 November 2019

Food Intake

This is Step Four of my Makeover Plan.  I need to sort out the types of food I am going to eat. 

A salad to enjoy

There is a lot of “advice” around on what makes a nutritional diet, but so much of it is contradictory that it gets very confusing to sort out.  Even the standard “low-fat” advice is now being questioned, at the same time as we seem to be tipping headfirst into a “sugar is evil” trend.  Will that advice change in ten years, back to what it used to be decades ago (that we should have some sugar in our diet)?

I have been giving this subject some deep thought (my brain hurts!) and these are some of my conclusions:

o   We are all different and different things suit different people, so what is it that suits me?
o   I don’t believe in cutting out whole food groups.  There are good fats, good sugars, even good salts, that we should be eating.  It is the “bad” ones we need to avoid.
o   I love food!  Food adds immensely to my enjoyment of living so I do not want to become paranoid about what I eat.
o   The one thing nutritionists appear to agree upon is that overly refined and processed foods are not good for us.
o   I am inclined to lean towards the “a little bit of what you love is good for you” – as long as it is only a little bit and not too often! 
o   Eat a wide variety of different foodstuffs, cooking from scratch whenever possible.
o   Always be thankful for the food you eat.

Summer fruit

I’ve made pages of notes about my thoughts on this subject, slept on it several times, looked again through several of the books I own, carefully considered how I react to certain foods, and I seem to have come to an answer:

o   Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably seasonal
o   Eat meat 3-5 times a week
o   Eat seafood 1-2 times a week, including oily fish once a week
o   Eat eggs, but minimize my intake of dairy (milk, cheese)
o   Have a controlled portion of carbohydrates with every meal
o   Include good fats in my diet, but limit the amount used
o   Drink plenty of pure water
o   Only drink alcohol when eating food, and then limit the amount
o   Avoid artificial sweeteners, colourings, flavourings and preservatives
o   Limit intake of refined foods like sugar and white flour
o   Allow self to “cheat” on special occasions

Roast beef

My next step is Portion Control, and then I should have a good set of guidelines I can follow.

For nearly a week now I have had no ice-cream for dessert in the evening and I am sleeping much better – who would think that there could be a connection between those two?


Sunday, 17 November 2019

I Enjoy Ironing!

It seems to be a very unpopular pastime at the moment, to iron one’s clothes or household items.  Many people I know will go to extraordinary lengths to purchase items that do not need ironing.  I know how they feel, because for many years I absolutely hated ironing.  Procrastination would take over and the ironing box would be full before it got tackled.

Not anymore.  My husband always said a workman is only as good as his tools, and when we looked at the ironing situation we discovered I really disliked having the board moving around when I was ironing.

My ironing board now is a Brabantia model and has the stable feet I love.  With a good steam iron to help, ironing has become a joy and not a chore - especially with some background music to keep one company.

I like to iron in my sunny bedroom

Back in the 1980s (such a long time ago!) I knew a woman who was already well into her 70s.  As a teenager she had worked in a commercial laundry after school and knew several tips about how to iron different items.

Ironing handkerchiefs is one that really stuck with me.  Somehow, when my hankies come in from the clothesline they always seem to be skewiff and hard to iron straight.  Mrs W taught me to iron each of the four sides straight, and then iron the middle.  Most of the time I then end up with an even-sided handkerchief.

Beginning the ironing of a handkerchief

My mother loved to embroider items and taught me how to iron embroidered cloths.  Always iron on the wrong side so that the embroidery will stand out on the right side.  If it was a special piece, place the item on top of a towel to prevent the embroidery from flattening and make it stand out even more.

Ironing an embroidered cloth

It is not that I iron everything that I could.  Upon leaving school I boarded with a woman who insisted on ironing all of her sheets as she loved the crisp clean feeling of wrinkle-free sheets.  I have a sister-in-law who irons her towels and they always look neat and tidy sitting on the shelf.  My sheets and towels only get folded, but that is my personal choice (I do iron pillowcases).

How much do you enjoy ironing?

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Makeover Two And Three


To record my makeover journey and to help keep me on track, I am setting up a journal that will hold everything and anything, from the goals I set to the food I eat and the exercise programmes I follow.  My notebook choice is a Bullet Journal as I like the dotted pages to help me plan headings etc. 

I want this journal to be a fun book, a happy book, something that fills me with excitement when I use it.  When I find some pretty stickers to purchase, then it will be decorated.  I may even put a dab of essential oil (I love lavender and sandalwood, so probably one of those two) inside the back cover.

I am already working on the first pages – a title page, the story of why I am doing this, The Plan itself, my notes about step one setting a goal, motivators I can use, affirmations, and a food diary. 

The Food Diary is a very important part of my journey.  I have read that those who keep a record of everything they consume are much more aware of what they are doing, and therefore have a much greater chance of not only losing the excess weight but also of keeping it off.  

I am starting this immediately as I hope it will reveal any hidden patterns I may have regarding my eating habits, e.g., overeating when tired, snacking too much, not drinking enough water etc.  I only record the time and what I have eaten as I don’t want this to become burdensome, but I know some people like to record extra things as well, such as how they feel, why they are eating, even who they are eating with. 

The other important pages I have are to record weight and measurements.  I have decided to take my measurements every four weeks, but my weight weekly.  I know there is no way I can stay away from the scales for longer than a week!  I can last a week but then I would want to peep to see what was happening.  To keep myself on track, I have loaded “appointments” into my phone to weigh-in every Wednesday morning and measure myself every fourth Wednesday.

Support is important as well.  I am really appreciating the support I have been receiving so far from you, my Blogland Friends.  I know my close family are supporting me as well, and I am receiving professional advice from my medical centre.

This is such an exciting journey to be on,

Friday, 15 November 2019

Rose Garden Visit

First, a big thankyou to everyone for all their comments yesterday.  I felt overwhelmed by the kindness and encouragement shown, and really appreciate all that was said.

Today has been full of squally showers, strong gusts of wind, fast-moving clouds, and bright sunshine.  A real mix!

I had to take my car for its Warrant of Fitness this morning (vehicle check to make sure it is roadworthy).  This is a yearly event for my car, but today was a month overdue as I never received any reminder and simply had not noticed it was due.   It passed with flying colours, so I am all set for another year.

The Pacific Rose Festival opened today and runs over the weekend, so I popped in for a look on my way home.  It is held in the Rogers Rose Garden, another of the areas in the Hamilton Gardens complex.  There were a few people wandering around, and some had cards to fill in for the public vote for the best rose.  I went for a good walk around the area and enjoyed the colour, and sometimes the scent, of the roses.  Some had been battered by our recent spell of windy weather, which was a shame.

Not many birds around today, presumably because of the squally conditions.  I saw one thrush and several blackbirds (both male and female), and heard a tui, a grey warbler, and a shining cuckoo.  When we were children we always believed that when the shining cuckoo sang, if he finished his song with a downward note then we were in for rain.  This cuckoo didn’t do that, so hopefully we are going to be in for some fine weather for a change.

Enjoy your weekend,

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Makeover Step One

Thank-you everyone for all your supportive comments on my last post.   Anyone is most welcome to come along on this Makeover Journey with me.  But please note that I am only writing about what I am doing;  I am not a medical person and cannot guarantee any results (not even for myself!).

I have been spending time today finalising the Plan that I want to follow to help me reduce to a more healthy weight.   After lunch I had to take son to an eye appointment up at the Hospital, and that has inspired me even further to do this makeover journey.

There were so many “old people” there – do I really want to advance into my senior years as a decrepit misfit hobbling around with a sour face?  I don’t think so, yet it would be so easy to just sit back and go “woe is me, I am old and sick so I cannot possibly enjoy living.” 
Thankfully I have known many older people who kept a smile on their face and accepted age and health limitations with grace and calm resignation.  They make wonderful examples of how to grow old gracefully.  
I have no desire to be young again or as slim as I was at age 18 – I just want to live a happy life, as healthy as I can be.  My mother always said “you are only as old as you feel” and I like to think she was right.

The dawning of a new day

It looks like My Makeover Plan will have twelve different steps that I want to implement:

1.            Goal setting
2.            Recording my journey
3.            Tracking and support
4.            Food intake
5.            Portion control
6.            Mindful eating
7.            Deep breathing
8.            Move it!
9.            Mobility
10.          Balance
11.          Suppleness
12.          Beauty routines

STEP ONE is goal setting.  Without a goal to aim for there is little point in attempting anything.  I have broken this step into six different areas:

THE GOAL – it must be realistic and attainable;  it should have a definite time frame;  the goal should be worded in the present tense.
My goal will be :  On or before 1 April 2020, I will weigh less than 97 kg  
(I am a wee bit embarrassed to admit that amount as I never tell anyone what my weight is!)

MOTIVATOR CARD – decide on some prime motivators to help inspire me to stay on track (e.g., have more energy, feel more attractive in my clothes, wear high heels again);  write these out on a small card and keep it in my handbag;  read when feeling tempted or if I feel depressed over slow progress.

VISION BOARD/BOOK – cut out pictures or find photos of how I want to be when the goal is attained;  put them together on a board or in a book;   I have yet to do this, but intend to put mine in my tracking journal (step 2);  look at them daily and spend time every day deeply imagining/visualising myself looking like that;  feel happy while doing this.

AFFIRMATIONS – these are needed to help me love myself more and stop me feeling/thinking “fat”;  write them out on a card and say them daily (e.g., I feel healthy and buoyant, I love my body, my new life is so exciting);  could also do extra things like:  write “I love you, you are a beautiful woman” on a card and attach it to my dressing table;  write “smile, you are becoming more gorgeous every day” on a card and keep it somewhere in the car  where it is on view but not obstructing my driving.

THE MAKEOVER PLAN – the steps I need to implement to achieve my goal;  they are listed above and I will write more as I come to each one – this is a slow steady journey, I am not in a mad rush as I do not want to crash and burn, I want to achieve this as a permanent goal.

REWARDS – decide on a special treat to be had when the goal is accomplished (apart from feeling fantastic!);  this is not a motivator in itself but more of a pat-on-the-back acknowledgment of achievement;  small rewards could be implemented as impressive milestones are reached (e.g., have a massage when I have lost 10 kilos).
For my goal achievement reward, I choose to treat myself to a thermal mud spa at Hell’s Gate in Rotorua.  What awesome fun that will be!

More coming soon,

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Not Mundane At All

Yesterday I had a doctor appointment that I thought would be a mundane normal yearly check-up.  Wrong!  My blood pressure was so high (even though I am on medication for it) it was approaching dangerous, and I was given a Cardiac Vascular Disease assessment and told I have a very very high risk of having a heart-related medical event within the next five years.  Something needs to be done!

Lake Rotoroa in central Hamilton

I know I have put on a lot of weight since losing my husband.  The last thing on my mind has been taking care of myself, even though I was told to often enough.   I knew I should have been doing more, but I felt at a bit of a loss as to what exactly to do (or was I procrastinating?).  Now I need to lose at least 15 kilos to get my weight down to a manageable level again, and at the same time improve my level of health if I wish to continue into my Senior Years without too many problems.

This is not the sort of thing I would normally post about, not liking to talk about health issues, but I decided that some readers may be interested in the journey I am about to embark upon – and maybe even like to join me, or be inspired to take better care of their own health.

Walking beside the Lake

The first step I am taking is setting a goal of exactly what it is that I want to achieve, then make a plan on how I can do that, as well as setting rewards for smaller achievements along the way.

This is going to be a whole lifestyle change and is going to take time.  My weight did not appear overnight and, realistically, it will not disappear overnight.  I need to learn to be patient, to set up a Plan and then follow it.

It is a very pleasant walk in places

This morning I went for a walk beside Lake Rotoroa in the centre of Hamilton.  I went early but there were still quite a few people out walking or running or following their dog around.  I kept a special eye out for birdlife and was happy to see mallard ducks, Australian coots, pukeko (some had chicks with them), pigeons (they roost in the Phoenix palms), sparrows, blackbirds, starlings, Indian mynahs, some welcome swallows, a couple of kingfishers, and a very special sighting (both heard and seen) of a long-tailed cuckoo (Eudynamys taitensis). 

Long Tailed Cuckoo
(Buller, Walter Lawry, Birds of New Zealand, 1888)

Long-tailed cuckoos are summer migrants to New Zealand (they breed here and nowhere else) and are not that common.  I have only had a confirmed encounter with one other bird and that was several years ago when I had the privilege of watching it stalk a smaller bird through some shrubbery.  Watching wildlife is so amazing.

Let birdsong bring joy to your soul,

Monday, 11 November 2019

Too Many Recipes

Monday is the day for housework, so that all got done this morning.  Then it was time to catch up with a friend for an hour, before having a lunch of cold corned beef with salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, spring onion, kumara chips and salad dressing).  The weather has been warm with a bit of a breeze and increasing cloud. 

Son has had a day off work today (he worked all weekend) and has been out in the garden, beginning the demolishing of a garden bed that is unwanted.  He also moved the position of our rustic wobbly garden seat.  The cats love that seat (it is not strong enough for humans to sit on) and were soon checking it out. 

Mittens investigated and gave it her approval and is now curled up in the chair beside me. 

Mittens checking out the rustic chair

Millie was next.  She sat beneath the chair and had a wash before curling up for a long cat-nap.  Now Teenie is out there, sitting on the arm and keeping a wary eye on any activity around her.   With summer approaching the cats are all losing their winter coats.  Millie and Mittens are both fluffy and leave patches of black fur behind them wherever they sit.

This afternoon I decided it must be time to back-up some of my computer files.  I lost a lot of records and some photo files last year when my main computer went down and then my main back-up hard-drive decided to corrupt itself.  Thankfully I did have another (older) back-up copy of the hard-drive so never lost everything.  I am now syncing my back-ups between two different hard-drives so they have the same files.  Computers!

The laptop I now use has very limited memory so I am inclined to work off one or other of my hard-drives.  The files that I use a lot I have loaded into my laptop, but its memory is close to capacity and I need to weed out some things.  What a shock to discover I have over 8500 “items” stored in my Cooking folder on the computer!  I think some of them are webpages, but even so.  Me thinks that is one folder that needs some serious weeding and certainly does not need to be on the laptop!  Surely I don’t have that many copies of actual recipes, so there must be a lot of double-ups in the folders within that folder.

A day out planned for tomorrow – mundane things like a routine doctor's appointment and a bit of shopping.

Take care,