Sunday, 5 June 2011

What's This all About Then?

First let me say I am a nurse, at an age which the world would describe as middle and weighing 12st 4lb, 5' 4" with a BMI of 29.4 and Body Fat Percentage (BFP) of 40.2%  - ghastly I know but hey that's why I'm on this journey!! Since that certain time in a woman's life, the fat has rapidly fallen into a tyre around my belly, hips & thighs with the rest generously spread everywhere else.

I wanted to lose this weight with an eating plan that I could adapt to my life style and carry on for the rest of my life - hence no ultra low calorie/points counting bla bla bla for me. I wanted something that was easy to remember, easy to eat, easy to maintain and most importantly, worked.....

At work I see a lot of problems with increased numbers of people with Type 2 Diabetes, most of which have arisen because of obesity, apple shaped bellys and insulin resistance. I do not want this to happen to me. 

Insulin is the hormone made by the pancreas that allows glucose to enter the body’s cells, where it is used as fuel for energy so we can work, play and generally live our lives. It is vital for life.

Insulin works on sugar in the blood called glucose (anything ending in ..ose is a sugar) and this comes mainly from eating carbohydrates. 

All foods contain some carbohydrate, whether it's from starchy foods such as bread, potatoes and chapatis; fruit; vegetables; some dairy products; sugar and other sweet foods. Eat normal amounts i.e. not being a greedy devil and the whole system works to perfection, but go overboard, lose the capacity to feel full before being stuffed, and wham, that delicate system starts to go wrong.

When there is too much glucose swimming around in your blood, the liver kicks in and simply changes it into fat which is not burned it as energy, it is stored as fat. Flabby, wobbly fat. And as India say 'Hello thighs!'...... 

So, I delved and researched widely and realised if I managed to control the causes of insulin spikes, I could maybe stabilise it and then control my appetite! Obviously this meant cutting out sugar in all it's forms - obviously - but also my faves, bread, pasta, lentils etc. At least for the time being.

Didn't want to do Atkins - he's way tooo hardcore for my liking, Dukan had strange ideas that didn't seem to fit into  any lifestyle which is where Idiot Proof Diet (IPD) came in. I vaguely remembered reading about India Knight and her weight loss some years ago in the Independent, but wasn't mentally ready to give this the full attention it needed, but the name had seemed to stick - Pig to Twig. Sort of feels right eh girls? 

So here I am - ready to get started.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

How Did I Get to This Point?

I reached a point last year on holiday in France in a lovely villa with a pool, covered up in a sarong, not going swimming because I was ashamed of myself, embarrassed at belly flab, bum wobble, thigh rub (sounds gorgeous, no?)...size 16 and hating every ounce of it, but it's taken until now and this years  holiday to get me cracking. I'm one of thousands upon thousands of women who've dieted on and off for years, been relatively successful, then 1-2 years down the line, poof, how did that happen - it's all back on again......

I can't say I've had a particularly unhealthy diet but I graze way too often, eat larger portions than I used to, love rich dark chocolate and a glass of wine (or two), always like veg and fruit and am a proper carnivore. I definitely have NOT done enough exercise of any sort to balance what goes into my mouth and therein, I hate to say it, lies my basic problem.

Now I hate it when someone says exercise is 'good for you' - expensive gym membership, thin stick women in lycra nothings? No thank you..... but I do enjoy walking & have a fabulous park nearby.

Why haven't I got off my bum and used it - pure laziness, it's easier to stay at home and potter in the garden or watch TV. But no more, not sure I'll go the whole hog and walk to work but if I start slowly, increase the length of time gradually I will get fit again.

Back to Basics...

Right, this is it, no more yo-yoing, no more size 18 knickers, THIS IS IT!!

I was in my local library the other day looking through the cookbook section, looking for some Atkins/Low Carbohydrate recipes and came across one that looked quite exciting - at least from the back cover.

'Low Carb Cooking. So, meat for breakfast, meat for lunch and meat for dinner with a side helping of cream, right? Wrong. How about onion bhajias, sesame stirfried duck and a fabulously retro Black Forest Trifle for pudding? YES, Pudding! Here is the most ingenious, least diety food in the world - but eating this way has resulted in tens of thousands of women losing unbelievable amounts of weight.'

Yea right......then it said But you should get the diet book to get all the benefits (another marketing ploy thought I), another Yea Right! 

THEN I found the book on the shelf.......... and the rest I hope will be history :)

I sat down in the armchairs they now have in the library (cosseted, or what) and literally giggled for an hour, thinking 'THIS IS ME!'

Got home, read the whole book in a day and had an epiphany - it just seems such a natural way to eat, yes of course there are restrictions - hec I've a lot of weight to lose but long term it's a fabulous way to eat and I am now determined to get back to an ideal weight, lose any risk I may have from potential metabolic syndrome, reduce my cholesterol and feel fantastic again! Not toooo much to ask surely?

This gorgeous sounding diet is written by India Knight and Neris Thomas and is called 'Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet: From Pig to Twig'