Monday, January 30, 2012

Week 4 Weigh In; or... A time to refocus‏.

Hi all! Happy Australia Day! What a crazy week with all the protests and what have you, I feel like we are not meant to celebrate Australia Day or something. To me, Australia Day is more about friends, BBQs and the Hottest 100! Which is exactly how I spent my day. That and eating! Ha ha.

I lost 0.5 kg this week, which is fabulous given that despite my good intentions, I pretty much had a 'normal' Australia Day. I went to a BBQ and although I took my own food, I allowed myself to be encouraged to eat some other food too. Bits and pieces and not too much of anything, but I had some non-allowed stuff like some potato and a small piece of cake. I also indulged in some champagne, which was lovely. I'm pretty excited that I've been able to maintain my weightloss while still leading a relatively normal life, as opposed to last time when I shut myself away for 5 months. But - it is going much slower. I'm 1 kg up from the weight I wanted to be at this weigh in, but I think that's a small cost when compared with the fun that I've had.
I am going to try to stay on plan for a couple of weeks as I have my Daddy's birthday at home in 2 weeks time and don't expect to be losing weight that week. I'm also going to try not to weigh myself this week until weigh in day. Not sure how I'll go with that (I like to peek at my progress) but we'll see how we go.

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

M. x

P.S - Photos are of my lazy Sunday morning breakfast and my well-intentioned Australia Day kebabs. :) x

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week 3 Weigh In; or... Watch out for peaches!!

Hi all - happy happy Sunday! Sundays are my favourite day of the week. :) This week, I lost 0.8 kg - yay! I suspect it might have been more if I had not had a day where I ate 3 times my fruit allowance (oops), hence the, 'watch out for peaches.' Let's just say they were good! I think I have found a good balance this week with my food and 'the rules'. I didn't have any alcohol this week but I have been a bit more relaxed and feeling a lot less anxious about the whole thing than I did last year. I am actually enjoying it, there is something lovely about cooking or preparing 3 wonderful meals for yourself each day. I take care of myself much more when I am following Cohen's and I am very much treating this as a forever thing, rather than a diet thing.

I am 1.5 kg away from my first goal, which is exciting. Would love to do it in one week but we'll see how we go. I am going to a big Australia Day BBQ on Thursday and it's BYO meat. That suits me perfectly because I will just weigh out my meat and veg allowance and make kebabs with it. Then I can just eat them and try not to eat anything else. Might eat a bit of extra salad or something but I will take something nice to drink with me so I can stay away from alcohol. The fact that I will drive makes it much easier!

I love Saturday mornings. It's when I usually buy all my vegies and wash them all ready to put in the fridge. Always feels like such a great start to the weekend - all that freshness just sitting there waiting to be eaten. I made fish and salad for lunch yesterday, and prawn and bok choy soup for dinner. Wonder what I am going to have today? I think I am going to have a hard time going past that fish and salad... yum! Maybe feta and cauliflower soup for dinner...

Hope you all have a fabulous week and that you are all well and happy. :)

M. x

P.S - If any of the people who are reading this blog but not following it have a blog of their own, please send me a message so I can follow your journey too!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 2 Weigh In; or I have a confession to make...

Woot woot! I lost 1.6 kg!! That's more than I lost on my first round of Cohen's (1.2 kg). Funny though, because this time I am doing a more relaxed version using the plan as the main framework but sometimes having a bit of extra vegetable or even a non-allowed vegetable, and this week - vodka!

Last week I had some beautiful baby beetroots from my lovely Uncle and Aunt's garden. I had a few left over when I 'got back on plan' and thought, 'There is no way I am wasting these!' and so I ate them! I realised afterward that they are a carby vegetable, but oh well. I think I ate them 2 or 3 times last week. I just tried to eat less crackers to compensate.

As for the vodka, a friend from work asked me out for a drink after work early in the week (at 4:55 pm - totally unplanned) and one of my best friends broke up with her boyfriend this week and so we went out on Saturday night. I promised myself that I would do it differently this time. I'm not doing Cohen's through a clinic like last year so I'm not having blood tests and don't have to worry about Dr Cohen not giving me my refeed diet or whatever, so my focus is on making this work for life, rather than making it work while I'm on plan. Last time it worked brilliantly while I was on plan and then as soon as I got off it... well... obviously it didn't go so well or else I would not have had to start again!!!

I must admit that this has been my intention all along, I was just a bit too scared to write about it because of all the Cohenites that follow this blog. I know it looks like I only have a couple of followers (see right), but my blog gets hits from all over the world and I get many private messages from people currently doing Cohen's and I have been concerned about admitting it publicly in case it throws anybody else off track. But then my best friend reminded me that this blog is for me, and it is best to be honest for myself. And so there you have it. I would like to say however, that I don't know how long this system will work for me. I remember when I was getting closer to goal weight last time, any little blip would throw me out. There was a month where I was almost the same weight (on average) for 4 weeks, so.... please don't try this at home, kids. ;) There will more than likely come a time where I will need to do it properly as I get closer. Please don't let what I am doing change what you are doing.

I just finished reading, 'Why French Women Don't Get Fat.' It is a wonderful book and revolves around the principle of not denying yourself. I'm still not sure I could eat the way they do and stay at my goal weight, but I will be giving it a try when I am in maintenance. One of the main things they do, which I have tried to incorporate into my new lifestyle, is what the author refers to as 'robbing Peter to pay Paul.' As in, if they are going to indulge, they restrict themselves the next day. Or if they have a big lunch, they have a small dinner, etc... All rather simple but something I've never quite been able to master. They don't weigh themselves the next day and say, 'Oh dear, I've put on weight!', they just don't eat as much bread/potatoes/dessert the next day. Because they already know and don't need to weigh themselves. In fact, most French women don't know what they weigh - they go by their clothes. I, on the other hand, indulge, weigh myself the next day, freak out, try to be good all day and then end up sabotaging myself at some point.

Like I said earlier, when I ate the beetroot (carbs), which I know is restricted on Cohen's, I ate less crackers so as to minimise the impact. When I had vodka in my system after work earlier in the week, I had a prawn stirfry for dinner. Because I know that when there is alcohol in your system that your body cannot burn any fat. So I didn't put any fat into it. In the future I might, but not during this phase of my diet. The vodka did cost me some weightloss though (I stalled for a few days), but I was not upset as I had prepared myself for it and am committed to this taking a bit longer and me having a life too.

So on that note I shall go and get back to my life - I hope you have a wonderful week! :)

M. x

PS - Check out my fish cakes - they are amazing. Just put all my veg/fish allowance into the food processor with herbs and spices and voila! Bought a kilo of fish and made 9 batches (blended them all individually for correct weights) and froze the mixture in little snap lock bags. Made 2 flavours; tomato/basil/spring onion/zucchini/cauli/garlic/S&P and coriander/spring onion/chili/lemon/zucchini/cauli/S&P. Delicious.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Week 1 Weigh In

Can I get a, 'woop woop', can I get a 'woop woop'? 3.7 kg - BOOYA! So excited, can you tell?? First week down and I smashed it. On track for all of my goals and very happy indeed.

I actually don't have much else to say! Maybe because I've been rambling a lot this week. However, I'd like to mention at this point that I had a beautiful friend of mine over for dinner last night and she drank and I didn't - YAY! I never actually planned to go 'back on plan' after France, instead I was hoping to use the maintenance guidelines to wiggle my way down but just couldn't get my eating back in control at all. So when I made this decision to go back on plan I made it on the proviso that I didn't say no to any social events because I was on my diet. Last year I literally shut myself away for 5 months (boy, were people shocked when they saw me!) and it was incredibly lonely. I was just too scared to eat out or go out and not be able to 'not drink' but this time I am going to find a balance. This is for life, not just for a few months, so I have to learn to go out and pick a Cohen's friendly dinner and keep things in moderation. So it might take a little bit longer, but what does that matter if I maintain forever??

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

M. x

P.S - Photo is of a Turkey Burger Salad. Turkey mince/lemon juice/chili/coriander/celtic salt and salad. YUM!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New lifestyle choices; or No more morning tea for me!

I have mentioned in the past (several times in my last blog) that there is a staff morning tea every Friday morning at work in our office. During my first stint of Cohen's I managed to avoid it by eating my crackers right before it and sitting there sipping on a herbal tea or a coffee, but was quite excited at the prospect of being able to 'join in' again when Cohen's was over. I planned to build it into one of my treat times. My consultant kept saying, 'don't plan on eating at those morning teas!' but did I listen? Clearly not.

I went straight to France for 5 weeks after Cohen's and there wasn't a morning tea before I left. Had there been time for one I assume I would have treated it with caution, however by the time I got back from France (all nice and plumped up again) I did not treat them with caution at all. I went straight back into sampling bits of everything!
Here is what was at morning tea today:

1) Lamingtons with cream in the middle;
2) A sliced nectarine and some strawberries (unusual to have any healthy stuff there!);
3) Spinach/feta/spring onion muffins;
4) Banana and date muffins;
5) Sugar-coated jam donuts from some famous place (everyone was raving about them);
6) Pumkin, cashew and basil dip;
7) Bagel chips;
8) Normal smoky flavoured chips;
9) Little pretzel shaped pastry biscuits covered in sugar; and
10) Little hazelnut/chocolate wafer squares.

Let me just add at this point that most of the stuff was still on the table for most of the day. Morning tea is at 10:30 am and the photo attached was taken at 2 pm! So it's not just a case of not eating it when everyone else does, I have to avoid it all day.

Today I basically sat there not feeling like eating much of anything. I ate a piece of nectarine but other than that didn't want anything (except for the strawberries which I'm not allowed). It got me thinking, why can I sit here easily now and not eat this stuff when I sat through 7 morning teas after France last year, each time having promised myself I'd 'be good', and yet was unable to stop myself from eating a bit of everything. Ok, maybe it was less than I might have eaten before (or was it?), but I couldn't control myself. So how did I do it today???

I think the biggest reason is that I know Cohen's works and I don't want to stuff up my diet by eating something I shouldn't. So then I thought - what would I eat normally? I'd probably eat the dip with the bagel chips (god i love them), a couple of chips and some of the spinach/feta muffin.

That's when I realised... it's not about avoiding morning tea when i'm on the diet, it's about avoiding morning tea FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! I'm normally not hungry, I just eat it because it's there and everybody else is eating it and I want to taste it. Not to mention it's usually all abolute junk (todays quality was much higher than normal). If I went and chose a dip to buy from the shops it would be a different flavour and the muffins always smell better than they taste - so why waste a treat time? I'm far better off having my favourite chocolate bar after dinner than eating random bits of stuff at a morning tea. Or chocolate I don't really like.

So that is my learning for today. Don't deprive yourself of treats, but don't just eat random crap because it is put in front of you. Choose a fabulous treat and have it at a more appropriate time (see below).

Hope you are all having a fabulous day!

M. x

P.S - Anyone who has done Cohen's (and I know a lot of you who read this are doing it now or have done it before) knows the maintenance guidelines encourage you to eat treats just after a meal that contains specific things (I won't write it here because I can't give away Dr Cohen's secrets). This makes it almost impossible to indulge at a morning or afternoon tea anyway unless you have breakfast at 10 am or lunch at 3 pm. So I've decided that in the future if somebody bakes something particularly irresistible that I want to eat, I will take home a little slice and have it for dessert. No more morning teas for me!

P.P.S - The sexy beef salad at the top is just steak (marinated in lemon juice, garlic, chili and celtic salt) with cucumber, tomato, thai basil and coriander. Uber yummy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 2/3 Update‏; or OMG I've actually started!

Wow! Day 2 of ‘proper Cohen’s’ is almost over. I say Day 2 because even though it is Day 3 of the New Year and of my diet, the first day was more what I’d like to call, ‘Cohenesque’ than actual Cohen’s.

All I can say is, ‘wow.’ It really is all about the headspace. I guess I always knew this but couldn’t work out a way to actually get myself back into the good headspace I was in when I did Cohen’s last year. I tried several times to get back into my diet after my trip to France, but all attempts failed and I actually gained weight. I wish I could say that I have a way to teach you how to create it but I can’t. All I can say is that I think it is mostly to do with the preparation. Mental and physical. I think the best points I can make about how I am going to try and replicate this in the future are these:

1. Make some rules. What you can and can’t eat/drink. For me it was to get back on plan and all of the rules that came with that.

2. Set a start date for when you have a couple of days up your sleeve that you can control. For example, when you have a couple of days alone or a few days where you can control your temptations.

3. Start removing all of the foods on your ‘don’t eat’ list from the house and ensure there are none left by your start date.

I think before Christmas I was making wishy-washy rules with myself and then I’d go to work and see chocolates on the table and think I’d start again tomorrow. Because I was on Day 3 when I went back to work today, I’d already lost 1.6 kg and had 2 days of good eating under my belt so when I walked into work this morning and saw chocolates (see photo) and the biscuits in the barrel (see other photo) I could say, ‘no thanks’, because I’m on a bit of a roll and am excited about my progress and want to keep going!! If I was starting today, I’m quite sure I would have ended up thinking, ‘stuff it, I’ll start tomorrow!’ And I’m sure you know the rest of that story…

So, I guess my biggest ‘wow’ is coming from the fact that I’m not really hungry. I mean, I have gotten a bit hungry here and there but if I distract myself it goes. Last time I started this diet, the first few days were hard and I was starving. I guess my body knows what to expect now. I just can’t believe how easy it actually seems now that I am doing it. YAY! It’s such great salad weather too, had a prawn salad for dinner last night (see above). I love what I eat when I am on Cohen’s. I put so much more effort into making tasty things and enjoying them. If you are only allowed a small amount of food then you have to make the most of it!

Hope you all had a good first day back at work or are enjoying your holidays if you are not back yet.

Mel. x

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 - The Year of New Beginnings

Well hello there! Can’t believe it is 2012 already. I thought I should start a new blog for a new year. I have entitled this blog, ‘2012 - The Year of New Beginnings,’ keeping with the theme of, ‘2011 – The Year of Mel.’

I have learned a few lessons over the past year and want to use the opportunity of the new year as a good time to review where I’ve been, where I’m heading and where I am at. I sat down this morning on the first day of the year and wrote out some goals for 2012. They fall into 7 categories; weight, fitness, career, finances, French, boundaries and friendships. I won’t list them all here as some of them are a tad too personal, but I will list my weight goals as part of my declaration to get me on my way to achieving them.

1. Get back to my post-Cohen’s weight by 25 March 2012;
2. Get to my goal weight by 22 April 2012;
3. Go to France for 2 weeks to prove to myself that I can keep the weight off; and
4. Be at goal weight on my birthday (August) and at Christmas of 2012.

I've based my goal weights/times around how long it took me to lose the weight last time, so I think it is reasonable. The second goal weight is due to me refeeding early after my first stint on the Cohen’s Lifestyle Program. I refed early to go overseas, and then completely lost control of my eating as the meals were provided at the school I was studying at. That is why I want to go again when I am at my goal weight, and prove to myself that I can face challenges like that and cope with them in the future. The last goal is simply to maintain that weight (obviously!) but I thought that putting a few dates in would help to make the whole thing more powerful.

This year is all about defining who I want to be for the rest of my life. Powerful, accomplished and able to say no! Learning to say no is one of my goals under the ‘boundary’ heading of my 2012 goals. You’ll note that I didn’t write thin; I wrote powerful. That’s because I know that people love me the way I am. Plenty of men are attracted to me, but I’m not attracted to myself. And when I am attracted to myself, I feel powerful.

So… watch this space! I didn’t start back on Cohen’s today as I woke up at 11:30 am after a big night on the town for the NYE celebrations, meaning I couldn’t have 3 meals, 5 hours apart with the latest one being before 9 pm. So I have done a bit of a compromised version today. I had a (very soft) boiled egg salad for breakfast (see photo), with 2 eggs instead of 1, and will have a thai beef salad for dinner, with slightly more beef than my allowance. So 2 bigger meals instead of 3. I also went through my cupboards and fridge today and made sure there was no food in my house that isn’t Cohen’s-friendly. I’d been working towards using it all up or chucking it out over the last month (to prepare for today), so there wasn’t much to do.

I am posting this as both the first post on my new blog and the last post on my old blog. My old blog address, for those who are interested is:

Until then – enjoy the new year! May you all achieve everything you set your minds and hearts to achieving this year.