Forgive my delay in getting this update up. I had to write the most boring assignment in the history of mankind and pretend I meant it. It took me 10 hours straight because I always leave everything to the last minute, but it has been submitted so I belong to you now.
7 days ago I was 71 kg and then I did some unusual things to my body like exercise and strength train and put green things into my mouth and this morning I stood on the scales again and the numbers had changed. They were not 71. They were 68.4.
I lost 2.6KG (5.7 lbs) in 7 days.
Now I want to do two things in this post. 1. I want to tell you what I spent the last 7 days doing which resulted in me being 2.6 kg’s less fat than I was last Monday and 2. I want to take some of the things I have learned in the 8 years I have been studying nutrition and health and weight loss as a hobby, put it into Vanessa language and then write it out in a way that other regular people like me can understand and hopefully learn a thing or two so you can have your own banging body. But before we carry on, can I just make something clear:
This post is for regular human beings.
It is not for career athletes or organic health nuts or people who know what Quinoline Yellow, Tartrazine and Latol Rubine are and avoid all foods with such ingredients. It is not for people who know about carbohydrate loading how to manipulate glycogen stores in the body. This post is for the little people. The ones who have a normal life and know the loose change menu at macdonalds off by heart. It’s for the people who haven’t looked at a food pyramid since you finger-painted one in kindergarten and who believe coca cola when they promise that ‘life tastes better with coke’ and don’t care if you never run a marathon in your whole life, but just want to fit into those little jeans again.
More importantly, its for people that don’t mind taking a few weight loss and nutrition tips from a woman without a PHD in biceps or a Masters in veganism, but rather, a woman who has spent over 8 years reading about it in her spare time because she finds it interesting, so with saying that, these are the 2 rules that come with reading this post:
- You have to accept right now that I know that studying a bachelor of Nursing does not qualify me as a nutritionist or an iron woman. You are not allowed to read this, and then write a snarky little comment at the end saying ‘What qualifications do you have to suggest that A, B and C are nutritionally sound, blah blah blah. Because I will either delete the comment, or just write the word ‘Dick’ underneath it. In saying that, I have been studying the physiology of the human body at university for nearly two years, so i’m not a complete moron.
- Because this is a post for normal people, and normal people aren’t going to take things that are necessary for life and enjoyment such as, oh, I don’t know eating meals and replace it with a protein shake or a green, slimy glass of ‘health muck’, and you happen to swear by, or sell this kind of devilry, then you can keep that little secret close to your chest and if I catch anyone trying to be a little sneak and advertise that shit in the comments section, then the comments will either be deleted, or again, I will simply write the word ‘dick’ underneath it.
Ok here we go now. After I had babies and realised I was getting fat I realised that if I were to ever get back into shape again and be able to maintain it, I would have to educate myself on the basics of how the body uses the food you put into it, and what is good and what is bad and basically how the human body responds to physical activity. The reason being, is that if you don’t understand why you are doing something, i.e: beginning a diet that says you can eat food A but not food B and you have to walk/run/cycle for X amount of minutes but you don’t understand even a basic logic and reasoning behind why they told you to do that, then you are only going to be able to stick to such a regime for as long as you have that particular book or DVD or trainer in your life. Find yourself on your own, and you’re in trouble. So I urge you, urge you, urge you that if you are reading this and you actually do have a weight or fitness problem and you want to have a hope in hell of turning things around in your life, then get serious and before even picking up a carrot stick or putting your trainers on, start educating yourself. It is the best investment you can make and with the wealth of information online, it won’t cost you anything but your time. Don’t be overwhelmed, you do not have to learn big words or get the biology books out again, you just have to know some real basics. I will provide links, book titles and will even adapt some good info to know for you here in this post, because i’m a friendly little writer.
First thing you need to know is what your Basal Metabolic Rate is (BMR) because this will be perhaps the best thing you read all day. A BMR measures how much energy (Kilojoules or Calories) your body uses by maintaining life. Your beating heart, your breathing lungs, your digestive system, and your neurological system etc, all use a substantial amount of energy to operate and the BMR measures how much energy your body uses to keep these functions operating. In other words, there are several thousand kilojoules/calories that your body chews through every day and even if you lay in bed all day and didn’t so much as lift your pinky finger, you have that several thousand kilojoules/calories in the bank.
The reason it helps to know what your BMR is, is it will help you calculate (approx) how many kilojoules/calories you are going to consume on a daily basis during the time you are wanting to lose weight. You can calculate your BMR HERE (This provides metric and Imperial measurements, but will provide your BMR in CALORIES. If you use metric measurements, you will need to use a calorie – Kj converter)
My BMR is 6286.73 Kilojoules. If I do nothing at all for 24 hours, not even wriggle my toes, my body will burn that many kilojoules in that 24 hours period. Any walking, talking, chewing, typing, booty shaking, shuffling or hustling I happen to do burns even more kilojoules, and it all becomes like an overdraft in a bank. So you need to imagine energy and the expenditure of that energy to be like money in a bank account. Your BMR number is an amount that gets added to that account every day. For me, as you know, it would be 6286. Anything physical I do at all, e.g styling my hair for 10 mins (105Kj) is also added to the account. However, anything that passes your lips withdraws from that account. If I eat an apple (270Kj) then I have to subtract 270 from the ‘account’. Whatever you have left in that account at the end of the day (e.g 2000Kjs) is a defecit which your body needs to make even again, and it will burn the fat on your backside to do it. I know that is a real sesame street way to explain it, but it gets the point across.
Next thing you must do is get familiar with how many Kjs/calories are in typical foods, or foods you eat. I’m not going to write that out for you as there are many websites and books which can give you the lowdown on this, but the reason its important to know is that you are going to get some pleasant, and some nasty surprises. For example, there are some foods that use more energy to digest than they actually contain (AKA Negative calorie foods) What this means is, if you eat any food on the negative calorie list, then your body uses more energy digesting it and breaking it down in your system that the food actually has, therefore, by eating it (brocoli, grapefruit, some melons etc) you are going to burn more energy than if you didnt eat at all. How fantastic. On the flip side, there are some foods that you may be eating on a daily basis that you will not believe how many Kjs it has. I nearly fainted the day I saw how many Kjs were in a single teaspoon of Olive oil. Being part Greek, I used to all but drink that stuff.
The one major rule is drink water. The more water you drink the more weight you have the ability to lose. Also, the best way to make you look less bloated and to lose excess water weight, is to drink water. Your body will store water in your muscles if you aren’t drinking enough (thus making you look bigger and bloated) Now guidelines generally say to drink 2L of water per day. I drink around 5-6L. The reason I am able to do this is because of this beautiful thing:
This is my CamelBak water bottle and I don’t go anywhere without it. I have been using these things for over 5 years, I buy them for friends, I try to evangelize workmates and family about them, and the reason I swear by it is because of the straw. See the straw in there? well when I take a drink from this beautiful thing, I usually take in 150-200mls per drink, as opposed to around 30mls when drinking from a regular bottle. This means I get through about 7 bottles of water per day. You can find them in camping and fitness stores and they come in 750 and 1000 ml bottles and are available in every colour of the rainbow.
Buy one. Trust me.
Next make no mistake; anything that promises that you will loose 5 kg in three days is generally a scam. Well, not entirely I guess, you probably will loose some weight but it wont be fat. It will be water weight, muscle mass and bone density. It is easier to lose bone density, muscle mass and water than fat (believe it or not)
Loosing this kind of weight is dangerous. When you lose bone density, you are putting your future, grey haired self at an almost guaranteed risk of developing Osteoporosis. When you lose muscle mass, you are losing the very thing in your body that increases your bodies ability to burn energy. Look. I could go on and on about this, but just take my word for it ok? The fitness industry is rife with scams that are making millions out of selling snake oil to men and women who will believe any promise or put anything in their mouth that will promise you can lose weight without actually eating well and getting off the couch.
I would greatly encourage any woman reading this to purchase the book: Strong women stay slim
. It explains everything I have just said and if this is the only book about health, weight loss and banging body-ness that you ever read, then it would be enough. Really. Seriously. Buy it.
I feel this post is getting too long and too much is being said about things you could easily read yourself i your spare time, and not enough about what i’ve been doing over the past week to lose 2.6kg and sharing with you my secrets. I could write about the other stuff all day because I am so interested in it, so if you want more info or you have a question and Google can’t help you, then email me and i’ll write to you all about it.
So down to business.
Whenever I am waiting for something i.e the kettle to boil, a lecture to load, a tv show to come on etc, etc, I do squats. Usually just 10-15 at a time, not enough to kill my legs. Though it is only 10-15 in one go, I actually end up doing this around 20-30 times a day which means that I actually do 300-450 squats every single day and because they are spread out during the day, I don’t die on the ground as I would if I tried to do them all at once.
I do the same with those funny body lift things you do with your arms, hang on…. here’s a picture
My coffee table happens to be the perfect height to do these things on, and its the same deal, only I do about 20 at a time and do this between 10-20 times per day, so you do the math, that means I am doing 200-400 funny arm lift things per day. With doing this many squats and that many arm lift things, I actually saw a change in my legs, bum, arms, back and thighs by the third day. One week in and my bum, which is notorious for being as flat as a pancake, is now looking more perky and my back and arms look noticeably more toned.
Yesterday morning (day 7) I was in my room getting changed and after I put my undergarments on (I couldn’t bring myself to call them knickers just then) I got a fright because I caught myself in the mirror and I didn’t recognise by own bum! I actually looked at myself and said out loud ‘oh my goodness!’ because everything I have read had told me not to expect any noticeable changes in your body shape for at least 3 weeks, and yet there I was, standing in my bedroom with someone else’s bum at the top of my legs. I actually jabbed at it and tried on different underwear to see what it would look like in black, and then pink and a bit of lace. It was like getting a new toy.
I go to the gym every morning before I eat breakfast. (This is a little easier for me as the estate where I live has its own gym about 30 meters from my front door) But still, getting into this habit has required some changes in my morning routine. When I get up, I put gym clothes on. I used to just put normal clothes on, but I kid you not there was this one day where I didn’t go to the gym just because I had put on a pretty dress in the morning and I didn’t want to take it off so i’ve lost that privilege now and have had to become like those annoying mums who drive the SUVs and have ‘my family’ stickers on the back of the car and drop their kids off to school in their gym gear.
When I arrive home I go straight to my laptop and watch 2-5 mins of a victoria secrets runway show.
I have a few favorites which I have bookmarked and I load my pick for the day first thing in the morning and that thing will get watched maybe 5 times in a single day. Now you try and watch 5 mins of that visual torture and then not go to the gym. I’m telling you it is impossible. I usually sit there watching those winged definitions of perfection and can’t even get through the whole thing before I am running like a crazy down my street and straight into the gym where I am sure I work out as if I was on speed.
When I limp home from that gym of hell I prepare breakfast, which at the moment is porridge (without milk or sugar) and black coffee with 1/4tsp of sugar. I know it sounds rubbish, and it is rubbish to eat but that breakfast right there is less than 500kj and that means I can use the rest of my daily Kj allowance to eat yummier things for lunch and dinner, so I just suck it up.
As my two addictions are white wine and pasta, I do have several moments every day where I find myself going to the kitchen fully prepared to throw the towel in on this Banging Body thing for the sake of a huge bowl of pasta and cheese but my rule is, I am not allowed eating anything until I have watched at least 1 minute of my victoria secrets video and that little trick works every time. In the 7 1/2 days since starting Operation Banging Body, not one molecule of food has passed by my lips that I know shouldn’t have. I don’t go hungry and I definitely do not starve myself, but the food choices I have been making have been 100% nutritionally perfect and i’m telling you, its because of those damn videos.
Now before this post gets so long that you all miss your favorite TV show by reading it all, I want to say something. Learning the basics of nutrition, BMRs, kilojoules and burning energy does take a bit of time, as does working out, as does doing things like squats and arm lift thingys, I know this. But I don’t want anyone ever to write to me and say how you wish you had the time to start your own healthy lifestyle or Operation Banging Body but you are just too busy…etc etc because you know what? I raise 2 boys on my own as well as my teenage sister. The closest family I have is 14 hours away and I don’t have a babysitter. I am a neat freak so I am constantly cleaning my house and organising cupboards. Because I am a poor student and don’t want my power to be turned off, I have to restore furniture so I can sell it online and pay my bills.
This takes a long time.
I also study a full time Nursing Degree on campus and anyone who has ever done this particular Degree will know its bloody hard. I mean, seriously, its like a mental endurance test every single fricken day and at the moment I am working on 2 assignments, studying for exams and preparing for 2 clinical placements. I then also have to fit in training for this 10K run I promised y’all I would do and make sure I sit down and write to you beatuiful people every week while trying to make sure I am still getting enough sleep. Despite everything I have going on in my life I make sure that I never miss a single morning at the gym to train for Operation Banging body, so if I hear anyone blame ‘lack of time’ for the reason you can’t get healthy and fit, then i’m going to call bullshit on that one because people always find time to do what is important to them so I would have to suggest the real problem is that its just not important enough to you.
There have been quite a number of people however, who, despite their own hectic and busy lives have decided to turn things around since reading the Operation Banging Body story and I have been so amazed and proud of how well those people have been doing. Most of you have been keeping me up to date on how you are going via email and even via your own blogs and it’s been really good to know I am not doing this alone. I have a friend from New Zealand who is just a normal person like you and I, with her own two children and demanding life, yet who has made a commitment, and is managing to find the time to change her habits and her body, and then write about it (among the other very useful things she writes about).
As it can be motivating to read about normal, every day people who are making simple and manageable changes to their life for the sake of their body, I suggest you read her words too, which you can find HERE
So thats all I have to say about that right now. I think my brain is still a bit hungover from my assignment binge yesterday so I am wondering if this post is going to be useful at all to anyone, but if it isn’t then maybe I can make things right again with the next post I publish, which is going to be another one of my stories, but this one is different to the others as it is perhaps my most private and cherished story and one which I found great joy, sadness and difficulty in writing. So I hope you enjoy it.
Until then, I will be staying strong with Operation Banging Body and will weigh in again next Monday and let you know how I go.