ODYSSEY CONTINUED : SMART goals

My post this morning has to do with goals.  And what’s more, this post is cribbed directly off a newsletter I subscribe to.  Tom Venuto’s BURN THE FAT Fat Burning Tips E-zine : www.burnthefat.com.

‘They’ say – and I have always believed implicitly in this – that a goal is but a dream until it is written down. This post fits in nicely with my post of yesterday about New Year’s resolutions.

Whether we call them resolutions or goals, we surely all aspire to something in  this fresh New Year? It’s like a nice clean sheet; a new blank page in your new 2011 Journal – you do try to keep a journal do you not?!  Smile You do at least try to keep a food log do you not?! Smile 

I think I have mentioned before that some years ago I created an Excel workbook which enabled Weigh-Less members to record daily food intake and the various formulas would add up and track their daily progress. If any one part of the daily formula was exceeded, the figures would start showing in RED!!! If anyone is interested, I could try and dig it up again from the bowels of my computer! Back in about 2007, I sent out literally hundreds of copies of this spread-sheet. Each page also has space for remarks where you can record what a shit day you are having!

But, as usual, I digress ….. let me just get on with it and list what Venuto calls SMART as well as SMART-ER goals:

1. Specific. Set goals with clarity. Get clear. Get precise. Be specific. Your mind does not respond well to generalities.

2. Measurable. Set goals that can be quantified in  measurable units. Kg weight; body fat % (more about that soon); body measurements; clothing sizes.

3. Accountable. Set goals that you can be held accountable to.  Accountable to yourself with weekly progress charts; a daily nutrition diary/food log; and possibly a training journal. Double that accountability by submitting your results to a third party who can hold you accountable!

4. Realistic. Set goals that are attainable and maintainable. ,5kg a week FAT loss a week is attainable.  1Kg per week would be awesome and not quite so easy imho! I will talk about FAT loss in future posts. I am NO expert but have been reading up about it.

5. Time bound. Set goals with deadlines. With no time limit, there is no urgency for completion. Set weekly goals for nutrition and workouts (!); weekly weight and body composition; then look ahead and check quarterly progress. Set long term goals.

Now for the ER part.

6. Emotional. Goals give direction but strong emotions are the propulsion system that drives you in the desired direction. Connect your goals to your values. What’s most important to you about reaching your goals? What will reaching your goals do for you? What will your life be like then? How will reaching your goals make you FEEL?

7. Review often. Stay laser-focused by writing and reading your goals every day. Repetition is one of the keys to re-programming your mental computer for success.

Of course, I have to add my own little rider to this – also adapted from Tom Venuto’s words –

Work HARD at achieving your goals and EXPECT success!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We are goofing off today with our family on one of our ‘most-est’ favourite jaunts – a trip down to Simonstown  – replete with cat box in the boot.  Love that historic place. Now (sorta!)  settled in our new home, I am  ready to rescue a kitten from TEARS – though I greatly fear it may turn out to be two kitties from TEARS as all three of our grandchildren want to be part of the process.  At R450 each, they are not cheap rescues either! But of course we  understand and accept that it is more about donating to an incredible organisation rather than the cost of a kitten per se.

Have a great day everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odyssey to wellness : a good software resource

Good morning everyone 🙂

Just a quickie post this morning about Benutriwise software. Priya Jaipal, the developer of this excellent resource, has just published her latest Health-e-news newsletter.

While the newsletter does happen to contain a rather disjointed review of the product written by yours truly, that is not the reason for this post.

Priya is offering a “ World Cup Special” of a huge discount on the price of this excellent tool. The price is only R200,00 and I do urge those of you that may have been hesitating about buying this software to download and buy it on-line.

Marketed as a calorie counting instrument, I do not only use the calorie count function. I am working on ways to track GI (Glycemic Index), GL (Glycemic Load)  as well as Weigh-Less portions on the system.

Have a great day.

Weight loss: we must know where we are headed

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.””

— Lewis Carroll, author

Reducing my weight and maintaining at goal weight is the single most important element of my journey to optimum wellness. With my weight at a normal level, the other ills I have will come right. Well, if not ‘come right’, they will certainly be the best results I can achieve given my specific circumstances.

Damn it all to hell! I have said it before and I will say it again. It’s all self inflicted. By upping the ante as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am placing a much higher value on self care.

By doing this, I will be better able to cope with a stressful, busy life and better plan for the more rounded lifestyle I yearn for.

The first thing I am doing, as of this morning, is re-looking at portion control. W & I have been eating far too much and this is one of the main reasons why our weight is not shifting as rapidly as it was. With W-L and the very comprehensive food list booklet they provide, I am able to instantly see what size my portions should be. So, I have no excuses. Period.

The other day, I saw a list of portion sizes compiled by Dr Ingrid van Heerden (DietDoc on Health 24.com). I am sure I made a copy of it. I’ll dig it out and post it later in the day.

Chow for now. Have a good one.

Weight Loss : I’ve got to up the ante

It’s now exactly two weeks since we returned from our wonderful break at Pinnacle Point. A fading memory I am afraid. 😦  We had to jump right back into the fray and catch up on time lost while we chilled out.

There’s something fundamentally wrong with the whole scenario; with the way that we live our lives in our house. This work, work, work is not a good place to be. We should be relaxing and I suppose I should be relaxing doing crochet or something or maybe gossiping with the other tannies in our quiet apartment block. Nah, just can’t see that ever happening.

I, for one, am right up there with my kids checking out the latest Blackberry, muttering about what in the cloud data backups are costing me, taking on new payroll work for small businesses. I would just like to have a more rounded life and in truth am striving towards that goal; without any notable success at this time!

What has happened since returning to Cape Town two weeks ago? Well, on the weight front nothing much at all and therein lies the problem. Having lost 23kg, my metabolism has settled down and decided that this weight is quite OK, thank you very much. So, another dreaded plateau. I have 7kg to go to the W-L goal set for me and I still want to go at least another 5kg down after that!

I feel good! I’m told I look good (but not when I am still working in my dressing gown mid-morning!) I am much smaller than I was, of course. I had the most amazing experience just before we left on holiday. I simply had to go to Woollies and find some denim pants to take on holiday – the old ones were all hanging like sacks on me. Great feeling actually! 🙂

Not having a clue what size to buy, I confidently took home two pairs of denim pants in size 18. Bearing in mind that I had been wearing size 22 stuff, this in itself was a major victory for me. Got home to find that the jeans as well as the pull on elasticised denim pants were both far too big!

As I hate trying on clothes in shop fitting rooms, I went back, changed the pants and came home with size 16’s. Tried them on. WOW!  The fitted jeans were fine – even a little loose. The elasticised pants were too big!  So back to the shop again to came home with size 14’s. Anyone who has worn size 22 clothes and now wears size 14 will know exactly how I felt!  I was and still am over the moon about this very tangible evidence of my progress so far.

SO FAR

Two very crucial little words for me. I have come so far and am justifiably chuffed with my efforts. But now the real test must begin. The last 7kg’s will be difficult to lose and hence the expression below :-

“ If you up the ante, you increase the importance or value of something, especially where there’s an element of risk as the term comes from gambling, where it means to increase the stake (the amount of money bet). “    Wikipedia

The element of risk for me is, of course, the real possibility of deteriorating health issues due to too slow intervention on my part. I must place a much greater emphasis on where I am heading and pick up the pace substantially.  I will have to worry about all the loose, wrinkled, floppy bits that will only get worse once I have arrived at my destination! The value of goal weight as the basis for optimum wellness has to be the most important element of my odyssey.

So, onward and downward again – are you joining me? You are most welcome!

Laziest cook on earth. 4

In our days of being Rotarians, W & I enjoyed an active social life with much interaction with  fellow Rotarians and we did a lot of community service work which is what Rotary International is all about.

At the time, it was a males only organisation and one became a member by invitation only. The wives were called Rotary Anns and we dutifully played our part in the organisation which I see is still very active in community work today.

During our year as Rotary President and Rotary Ann President, we entertained a lot. We had a large double storey home, a full time domestic worker, my folks lived with us in the ‘granny flat’ and they were a wonderful support system with our teenage boys. W & I forged ahead with our respective banking careers and did our share of community work while having fun with good friends. It was a good life and we had marvellous support systems in place.

Things are somewhat different today.  We still live the good life, though in a very different way. We chose to re-locate to Cape Town and we chose to take our ‘retirement jobs’ (a bookkeeping practice) along with us.

There is little time left for entertaining and it is not easy to cater for numbers in our flat, spacious as these old apartments are. Later this year, we are re-locating (again!) to a spacious home in a leafy suburb which belongs to our middle son M. But I am getting horribly sidetracked here – that is a story for a later time.

This is the meal I threw together last night for 6 members of the family:

BUTTER CHICKEN : served with brown basmati rice, cauliflower with cheese sauce and a good tossed salad.

MIXED BERRIES DESSERT : Dessert was slightly defrosted mixed berries with a choice of diet ice cream and/or lite custard. Of course, we all chose ‘and’ and not ‘or’! Mix it all up in a purple mess in your pudding dish – divine, almost fat free and low GI.

Pretty good I would say and the scale showed no overnight weight gain at my ‘Sunday Morning Showdown’ this morning. I should have had broccoli with the cauliflower as lettuce does not count as a dark green veg. (Tabitha Hume!) Red, yellow as well as green pepper strips and home grown mung bean sprouts in the salad made up for it in a small way.

Butter Chicken!!! I hear you say. Yes, so simple really. Browned chicken thighs (bone in, skin off) in a little extra virgin olive oil, dumped them in a large casserole dish with lid and poured Denny Butter Chicken Curry Sauce over them. 20 mins with casserole lid on, 20mins with casserole lid off and left them to sit there until the Sharks had won their game against I don’t know who!

The latest Weigh Less magazine is out and included is a Coat and Cook in Sauces Guide. Get it and check it out!. It will inspire you to serve something new for your family while keeping those kilos in check! You can have a quarter of the packet of wet sauce – only 424kJ and 5.0g fat.

I was given a rice cooker recently (my slow cooker/Crockpot actually does the job just as well) and the berries I had bought in bulk out at Hillcrest Berry Orchards at the height of the berry season. I use them as a treat and am only sorry I did not buy many more kilograms of these wonderful fruits at that time. I will really stock up next year.

www.hillcrestberries.co.za

High Tea at the Nelly (Mount Nelson Hotel) is on my Bucket List but the High Tea served at Hillcrest Berry Orchards is really good. Situated in the magnificent Banhoek Valley outside Stellenbosch, this working farm is well worth the trip. Check it out. They also do B & B.

Hopefully, you are starting to see from my scribblings on this blog that we CAN eat delicious food while keeping to a healthy eating plan. With careful portion control we can still ‘have our cake and eat it’!

This and that …… 1

” This and that “
These words bring back memories and a smile to my face. My only sibling C, my husband W and my children will remember so well that my Dad used to get a rise out of my Mom at least three times a day. She would get all huffy for a couple of seconds and he would grin in a self-satisfied way and stroll off.

How did he do this?
Every single time he stood up after breakfast he would say, ” Thanks Gog, what’s for lunch? “; after lunch he would do the same damn thing and say, “Thanks Gog, what’s for supper? “, and after … but you get my drift… My Mom would answer in an infuriated tone, ” This and That! ” and my Dad would smugly wander off to think of something else to draw attention to himself….

I really must invest in some new dictionaries. The Readers Digest Complete Word Finder and the Oxford Illustrated Dictionary – not surprisingly – do not have the word gogga listed but it does feature in the ” Tweetalige Skool-Woordeboek ” 1988 edition! An Afrikaans word meaning ” insect “, my Dad used the abbreviation “gog” as a pet name for my Mom – unusual in that neither my Mom nor Dad had any Afrikaans connections.

This is getting entirely off the point of this post – fiddling again!
Back to the matter in hand.

Succumbing to sheer laziness, I have had the following for breakfast, so far:
2 x Ouma Nutri Rusks (Intermediate GI)
1 x mug coffee (Jacobs Cronat Gold), with skim milk and 2 sweeteners (Equi-Sweet Blue)
   I also use Equi-Sweet Green but the green dispensers always seem to get jammed up.
   My all time favourite granulated sweetener Sweet Pea is only used on porridge and then only very sparingly.

Not too good hey? BUT not anything that I am not ” allowed ” to have. My point is that W & I work hard to have only ” legal ” foodstuffs in our home. I actually dislike calling food ” legal ” and ” illegal ” – comes from the days when Jean Nidetch founded Weight Watchers in New York yonks ago.

Even with my health challenges including DM II, there is no foodstuff forbidden to me – just have to know how to incorporate the item with other far better choices. Thus diluting/lowering  the glycemic effect of the (usually High GI ) item. We both like Checkers Decaff coffee and will tootle out later (when I can bestir myself to get showered and dressed) to get more.

What we will also do this morning is boil up 6 (Canola) eggs and I will chomp a hard-boiled egg with a teeny sprinkle of Low Salt and some freshly ground black pepper just now. Thus having 2 x carb + 1 x protein for my breakfast.

We keep to a maximum of 4 eggs each per week. These are often hard boiled. Sometimes we also spray a small non-stick frying pan with olive oil spray and fry ourselves an egg to have on low GI toast for breakfast. Once again, sprinkled with S + P as above, together with a dash of Worcestershire sauce.   A dash of  Light All Gold Tomato Sauce or Sweet Chilli sauce would be nice as well.  Note, I said a dash! 🙂 Once again, protein + carb = cool! We also sometimes use 1 x tsp olive oil heated in the non-stick pan and fry the eggs in that; giving an additional 1/2 fat to the day’s total. And yes, we do measure the oil.

Talking about toast – which I love to eat and my spouse does not – I am very particular about bread.
The simple rule is: If the label/packaging of the bread does not include the actual words ” Low GI “, I do not buy it. It’s just that simple.

My personal eating plan allows about 5 complex (starch) carbs per day. I have tried – oh how I have tried over the years – to like coarse bread that tastes like chipboard. OK, OK, as I imagine chipboard would taste! I know all about the linseed and soy loaves, the rye breads and the like. Just cannot get past one slice at the most. If I make my Ultimate Sandwich on rye, I tend to end up eating the protein and salad sandwich filling and not the bread!

We have settled on the following breads in our house:
Albany Brown Seed low GI (Yellow)
Albany White low GI (Lime green-do not confuse with ‘ ordinary ‘ green label one)
Sasko Low GI True Whole Wheat brown loaf
We buy the loaves and freeze them, taking out only what we require. Experiment with thawing times in the microwave and you will have lovely fresh, soft bread for the Ultimate Sandwich or whatever!

I would say that by changing your bread selections to only those specifically labelled ‘low GI’ you can reduce spiking of your glucose levels considerably. It is important to note that curbing spikes in glucose levels – in my experience – is as important for non-diabetics as it is for diabetics/pre-diabetics.

Do you get the munchies mid-afternoon? That’s low blood sugar folks!
My W-L plan lists two afternoon snacks – early afternoon (2-4pm) as well as a late afternoon snack (4-6 pm). I also have a mid-morning snack – making 3 snacks per day in all. This totally in keeping with lowGI/low GL eating guidelines.

Mid-morning is 1 x fruit + 1 x milk.
     I have a fruit (mostly a small crisp apple from the fridge) and 175 ml fat free fruit yoghurt.
Early afternoon is usually another fruit.
I love pears, grapes, kiwi, orange, all the berries. The peaches have been to die for this year and we have eaten a lot of them.
Late afternoon is 1 x Complex (starchy) carb + 1/2 protein.
possibly 3 Finn Crisps with PnP low fat hummus or cottage cheese or lower fat cheese.

Try it, it works!
Talk later, E