The 30 Day Challenge: It’s the end!

So, it’s come to the end of April and my attempt at the 30 Day Challenge – at the halfway point I’d (somehow) seen an actual difference in my measurements, and now that the 30 days are up, it’s time to see the final result.

Now, I haven’t exactly played by the rules (shown below) – it was more of my own adaption, but I took the shopping list and adopted a healthier, green tea-based lifestyle.

30 day challengeThere were obstacles to overcome, such as my great dislike of fruit (which is a Challenge staple, dammit), my birthday celebrations (green tea was swiftly swapped for prosecco), and then Easter (chocolate. Lots of chocolate).

I did, however, stick to my adaption (and I’m fairly certain a bout of tonsillitis may have helped), but here are my measurements:

Before                           Halfway                              After                      Difference

Bust: 35 inches                  Bust: 34 inches                        Bust: 34 inches                     Bust: – 1 inch

Waist: 27 inches                Waist: 26 inches                      Waist: 25 inches                   Waist: – 2 inches

Hips: 38 inches                  Hips: 36 inches                       Hips: 35.5 inches                  Hips: – 2.5 inches

 

I have to say I’m surprised, chuffed and slightly baffled – I wouldn’t say I have a terrible diet (doughnuts for breakfast is allowed, right?) but somehow, just adopting certain healthier choices has made a difference.

I’m not overly fussed about inch loss, but I would like to be healthier, and I have to say I do feel better inside and out. I would definitely recommend the 30 Day Challenge and I think I’ll stick to some of the rules – I’m a changed woman!

– love Stef x

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The 30 Day Challenge

The people I work with are very much like my extended family – I love them dearly and it’s because of this love that they manage to rope me into taking part in ridiculous things.

Ridiculous things like the 30 Day Challenge

So from today and for the whole of April (except for my birthday weekend), I’ll be consuming a scarily large amount of healthy food, lots of water and taking a foray into the world of green tea.

30 day challengeAs you can see from the list, it’s not a bad selection of food and I only spent £20 in Tesco stocking up on goodness. I’ve opted for granola for breakfast, sushi and salad for lunch, and a variety of fish, rice and veg for tea.

Snacks are going to consist of celery, cucumber, and (*shudder*) low-fat peanut butter on rice bread – yes peanut butter isn’t on the list, but I’m swapping the dark chocolate for it.

Oh and if you’re a bit thick like me, ‘quinoa’ is pronounced ‘keen-wah’ and not ‘kwuh-NO-uh’ – thanks Ellie 😉

Have you ever tried the 30 Day Challenge? And more importantly, am I in for a bumpy, starved ride?

– love Stef x

The Juice Diet: Week #2

Well that’s another week down!

Juice Diet - Week TwoI have got to say, I’m not feeling as rejuvenated as I was promised I would. I am still a little tired, cold, and quite lethargic on the juice days. And I am going to the toilet – a lot.

The tiredness is starting to get to me now, I have no energy to do anything other than sit and watch TV, and I am having some very early nights and still waking up tired.

IBecause of this I am going to do some more research and reassess the diet accordingly, but for now week 2 is over! Here are some of the recipes for the juices I have had this week.

*You’re not supposed to have too many fruit juices as they have so much natural sugar in them, but I can’t resist a nice fruit juice for breakfast.*

My juices are made up to fill 500ml glass bottles and two of my juice days looked like this:

Breakfast: 3 pink grape fruit and 1/2 an orange

Lunch: 2 apples, 1 head of broccoli, 5 carrots, 1/2 a lemon, a handful spinach and 1 courgette

Dinner: 5 carrots, 1/2 a red cabbage, 1 thumb of ginger, 3 oranges, a handful of spinach, and 1/2 a lemon

During the day I am also drinking 6-8 pints of cold water, as well as 2-3 cups of hot water and lemon, and the odd proper cup of tea (no sugar, and a tiny amount of skimmed milk).

It doesn’t look a lot, but honestly I am very full off the amount I am having, but as I  said in week 1, I don’t know how people manage six!

I just need some more energy – if there are any of you lovely readers out there that can tell me what I’m doing wrong, or what I could do differently, then I would love to hear from you!

So, for the stats… not going to lie I am a little disappointed.

From last week I have lost:

– 0.5 inch from hips (1 inch overall)

– no change from waist (1 inch overall)

– 0.5 inch from bust (1 inch overall)

– 1lb (4lbs overall)

– love Carla x

 

The Juice Diet: Week #1.5 – Detox

So as you have read in my previous diet posts, I am embarking upon a serious juice diet, in the hope to shed a few stones (I wish…) and as part of my new ‘Clean Living’ lifestyle, I have done my research and found that there is much more to to this diet than what you put in to your body – and it involves one helluva bath time!

My research showed that hot baths with Dead Sea salts is the way to go – it draws out toxins and all sorts of nasties from your skin. To accompany that, a good scrub down with a natural long handled bath brush makes to make your skin all lovely and smooth. So I purchased some lovely salts from Sainsbury’s, and a scrubbing brush from Tkmaxx, lit some candles and some burning oils, and got in to the hottest bath my skin could take.

The salts came in a plastic re-sealable bag in a box, which for me is a huge no-no, it would end up everywhere if it got knocked over, so I invested in a jar from Poundland – problem solved!

So many sources on the internet say a good 20 minute soak, and a scrubbing down with the brush to the point your skin is red is the way to go. You’re supposed to scrub from the feet up to the heart (something to do with blood flow…) and from the neck down.

My skin turned very red, so I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re intending on leaving the house shortly after with your limbs on show! I made sure to moisturise every inch of my skin with Soap & Glory Smoothie Starand to pout it bluntly, I felt bloody wonderful when I was done. After an hour you could clearly see my skin looked fresher and had colour, to the point I actually got asked for the first time on my life if I’d been at the fake tan. (due to the lack of sunshine in the UK recently, there was no possible reason I could have this natural glow!)

Because of this, I also hunted out a smaller facial brush which I have had forever and never used, and went to town on my face just before bed. When I woke up it literally felt like I was in a new skin. I’m not a morning person, but waking up feeling so fresh could almost turn me. (I said almost…) So It now appears I have a brand new skin regime, all thanks to two brushes! A new skin and natural tan is something I can get on board with, I highly recommend doing this, even if you’re not doing a detox or diet of any kind.

Have you tried the ‘brushing’ technique? I’d love some of your tips if you have, I’m a noob to detox!

– love Carla x

The Juice Diet – What is it?

It has not escaped my attention that I have become somewhat of a hefer.

Since graduating university especially, I have slowly piled on the pounds. In the last 6 months alone I have put on a stone, with no excuse or reason other than I like food. Lots of food.

After seeing the Joe Cross’ documentary last year, Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead, I (like the rest of the UK, it seemed) went on a search for a decent juicer.

*NOTE: At this moment in time all the cheaper juicers had gone, and my dear boyfriend forked out nearly £200 for the actual juicer used in the documentary. I however, kept a hold of my money and went to Maccy’s.*

So here we are – I’m fat and miserable, and now the doctor has also called me a fatty. Time for the change our guest blogger talked about in her story to weightloss, here.

I will blog about my journey, to not only share my findings, but to literally shame myself into sticking to it.

Since January I have steadily lost 7lbs, and well, it ain’t moving quick enough. So I’m going to start the Juice Diet, and share with our lovely readers the high and lows of dieting in the hope of making a healthy change to my lifestyle.

I have done some research on the Juice Diet, and here are the facts I hope to stick with, for 3 days a week. On the days I eat solid food, I will hopefully have some lovely recipes for you to try.

The Diet:

  • 5 to 6 fruit and vegetable juices a day (80% veg to 20% fruit)
  • A glass of water with every juice
  • Hot water and lemon first thing in a morning
  • Minimal exercise due to nature of diet (YAY!)
  • No food (*cries*)

As you can see, for my first week I hit Aldi hard for the fruit and veg – this little lot came to just £12.50!

The juicer came from Amazon, and took just two days to arrive, and with P&P it was just over £60. In my opinion it is just as good as some that retail for £150, or indeed the one my boyfriend spent a small fortune on.

I also ordered some glass bottles with screw tops from Ebay, as keeping juices in plastic bottles basically go funky due to the plastic and something science-y.

Now, these are the best tips for juicing:

  • Ideally juices should be made right before you drink them. (I don’t know how anyone in employment can do this, but okay…) However, you can make them on the morning you wish to have juices, and I even make them the evening before. This is to stop vital nutrients dissipating, but this is a VERY slow process, and it’s all better than a carton of juice from Asda
  • Add a squeeze of lemon if you are pre-making the juices as it slows down the oxidation process – basically it stays fresher a little longer
  • As a rule, citrus juices last longer. If something turns brown quickly, i.e. an apple, don’t juice too far in advance, as it will go bad
  • Store in a cool dry place. Direct sunlight is a no-no

My diary will start from next week, and will include my weight and inches loss. Pictures will be included when I am less ashamed of my weight.

If you have any juicing tips you can share, they would be much appreciated

Happy juicing!

– love Carla x

Guest Blog: One girl’s guide to weight loss motivation

Emma’s story: It was about a year ago when my doctor told me I had an obese BMI and that I needed to lose weight – something like that really changes you.

What I originally thought was just a bit of extra baggage was now a one way ticket to diabetes, and I suddenly questioned everything about myself and my entire lifestyle.

That memory, which even now I hate to think about, was my epiphany moment in which I finally realised that my weight had spiralled out of control – I needed to fix it there and then – there were no excuses and no alternatives, it had to be done.

But do you have to wait until you’re shamed by your GP to finally start a healthy lifestyle? Do you have to wait until you’re classed as obese? No, you don’t. You can start right here, right now, you just need to find out what motivates you.

If you were to ask me today for a motivational weight loss quote I could recite quite a few – classics such as; ‘excuses don’t burn calories’ or ‘don’t eat sugar, you’re sweet enough already’ are some of the things I internally tell myself on a day-to-day basis to try and stay focused on my weight loss journey.

For a long time though, quotes like these meant absolutely nothing to me – I just wasn’t ready to hear them. After trying (and failing miserably) a million different diets and exercise regimes, I grew tired of hearing people say things like ‘eat clean, train dirty’ or ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ – I just want to smack them in the face with my Ben & Jerry’s.

The reality was that those quotes, no matter how inspirational some people thought they were, were just another reminder of my inability to lose weight and the continuous lack of motivation that I had.

When you know you’re fat, the worst thing you can hear is someone telling you you’re fat. It’s the same with motivation – when you have zero motivation, you hate it when people tell you how to be motivated, because you feel like nothing they can say will change you.

Motivation

Some people say that successful weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise – the gym bunnies of the world will probably say that it’s 70% diet and 30% exercise.

The truth is that it is motivation, above anything else, that is the key to a successful health regime, or any other achievement in life. If there is nothing driving you and pushing you to achieve your goals then what is going to stop you reaching for that bag of crisps or tasty chocolate bar?

So before you start your weight loss plan or even if you’ve tried and failed in the past, you need to understand your emotional triggers.

What would truly motivate you to lose weight? You need to find, what I think of as your ‘A-ha!’ moment (no, not the band), an epiphany in which you realise that you need to start making life changes and sticking to them in order to be happy. I like to call this motivational fuel.

For some, this could be something small such as your favourite jeans are now too tight as you’ve put on a few pounds over Christmas. However, for some of us who really struggle to get motivated it could be something much bigger, such as you have an obese BMI like I did, or you’ve been asked if you are pregnant (yes that happened to me too).

Sometimes it takes the drastic or the emotionally scaring to really wake you up and realise you need to do something. If you have finally hit your breaking point then this is your chance, use it to change your life and get healthy.

If you don’t know what your motivational fuel would be, then you need to think about all the times when you have been upset by your weight or when you have wanted to get healthy – try and find what would be a trigger for you to really push yourself.

If you don’t have any, then think of something which could happen in the future, such as you eventually get too big to shop at your favourite store or you would be too shy to wear a bikini on the beach.

Emma's Story

You need to picture how you would feel if that were to happen and why it’s now in your hands to change it. Once you’ve hit that epiphany moment you can now really kick start your life. But remember that motivation is a fire that you need to keep fuelling, so here are some of my tips to help:

1. ‘Think slim’ at every opportunity possible: This could be as soon as you wake up, when you do your food shopping, when you cook dinner and when you are at the gym. Every free moment that you have you need to be thinking about how you’ll look when you lose weight and how great you’ll feel. The more often you think about it the more it will resonate in your mind.

2. Create new habits: If you can dedicate 3 days a week to the gym, stick to those 3 days – no matter what. If you’re not able to go to the gym, start walking for a least 30 minutes a day. Or every time you want some chocolate have a piece of fruit instead. Eventually, it’ll become a habit and it’ll just become part of your routine like going to work or brushing your teeth. When you have created a habit that you can stick to, create more.

3. Don’t buy unhealthy food If it’s not in your cupboards it can’t tempt you: Seriously don’t buy crap, even for ‘treat’ days as you’ll just be making things harder for yourself. Out of sight, out of mind – at least until you can control your cravings.

4. Track your progress: Apps such as MyFitnessPal will allow you to track all the food you eat in a day, the exercise you do and how much weight you’ve lost so far. If I ever feel like I’m struggling I’ll look at my weight chart and this fuels me to keep going.

5. Be proud of your weight loss: If you lose weight don’t keep it to yourself, tell people about it. Others will be proud of your achievement and those supportive comments can really drive you to keep going. After all, you wouldn’t want to tell someone who’s praised you for losing weight that you’ve put it back on, would you?

6. Exercise is your friend: If you suddenly get a craving for something naughty – do some exercise instead. When you’ve worked your butt off (literally) and you’re knackered and sweating, you are less likely to eat unhealthily as you won’t want to undo all your hard work.

7. Social media: The internet is an amazing place for keeping you motivated. YouTube in particular is one of my favourite places to go when I’m struggling. You can find so many weight loss success videos that are incredibly inspiring. Instagram also has Before and After pictures which are fantastic for seeing the effect healthy eating and exercise can have. You can find them using #beforeandafterweightloss – it will make you believe that if they can do it, you can too.

So there you have it, my tips for motivation. Hopefully this will help you if you have been struggling to get started or keep going. Remember, you’re in control and the only person who can achieve your goals is you.

Stay strong and don’t give up – and I’ll let you in on a little secret: Once you’re ready for it and your motivation fire is burning, losing weight is not as hard as you think. The 3 stone I’ve lost so far can vouch for that…