Are you like me and seem to be constantly fighting the battle of the bulge?
I’ve stacked on a few too many kilos again from a recent toe operation and then overdoing Christmas, New Year and most of January.
I know I can easily rid these unwanted kilos by implementing the same philosophies I put into place when I halved my size over a decade ago and managed to shed in excess of 50 kilos. Yes I’ve lost more than Posh Spice weighs and I’ve kept most of it off ever since.
I wrote a best-selling book called Half My Size – The Thinking Person’s Diet and while it’s no longer in print, I’d like to share with you some of the lifestyle changes I’ve applied and I hope they help you achieve the size and shape you’d like to be.
A close friend told me I needed to value my body more and to imagine it as a Temple but whenever I did, all I could think about was The Temple of Doom. She was correct, however, I really needed to treat my body like an expensive prized possession but I had to come up with a better analogy.
Growing up, my Dad had two service stations so the easier comparison for me was to equate our bodies to a car.
Let’s start by thinking about your current shape and size of what make and model of car you feel your body resembles at the moment.
Right now I feel like an 8 seater Tarago with extra boot space. What about you?
The other image I want you to conjure up in your mind is what sort of dream car you’d prefer to look like.
Mine is a red Mercedes convertible with plenty of room to store some junk in my trunk and I can still take the top down in summer.
Here are Susie’s top Tips on How to Achieve Your Dream Car Size & Shape;
- Get off the Blocks
Set a start date and an achievable weight loss goal.
Which lane of life are you in now? Are you parked in the rest bay? Or the slow poke towing a caravan up a steep hill?
1st February, 2017 marks my start date.
Edward Young says it best, ‘Procrastination is the thief of time’.
- Look Out for Potholes
Your weight loss journey won’t be a smooth ride along a yellow brick road; you’ll have to look out for potholes and forks in the road that will tempt you back to your old ways.
- NO MORE DIETS! To stop yo-yo dieting you need to make permanent lifestyle changes.
- DON’T WEIGH YOURSELF! The easiest way to set yourself up to fail is by weighing yourself. Muscle weighs the same as fat but it’s just much denser so simply take your waist measurement and nothing else. The fat that sits around our waist is visceral fat. It coats all our vital organs & can increase the risk of heart disease & stroke. Regardless of your height and build, a male adult’s waist shouldn’t be greater than 94cm and 80cm for most women.
- BABY STEPS. It’s hard to break old habits so don’t be too radical that it becomes too hard to maintain. If the weight comes off slowly it generally stays off longer.
- KEEP A LOG BOOK OF YOUR FOOD FUEL. It’s the best way to stay on track; you can see what you’ve been eating and get an idea of what needs to be tweaked to reduce or change your size & shape. Be honest!
- DON’T OVERFILL THE TANK. Even if we’re eating the healthiest of foods, we can still be eating far too much. If we make a fist, that’s about the size of our stomach so it’s better for our metabolism and maintaining our blood sugar level if we eat 5 small meals a day rather than 3 meals, which are often too far apart, allowing us to get very hungry and make poor choices.
Ideally we should eat anything in moderation or abstain until you can.
- FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL. Despite our best intentions it’s easy to go off-road if we haven’t planned ahead. Especially with the meals we plan to eat as takeaway food is generally laden with too much fat and sugar and salt.
- FOOD FUEL We are what we eat. Choose the food fuel mix to suit your lifestyle – I describe carbohydrates high in refined sugar as high octane and define bad and good fats as leaded and unleaded. Ideally, unless you’re training for a race or rally, we should be running on a low octane unleaded food fuel. Don’t be a martyr, give yourself a treat occasionally.
- GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING The exercise that will suit you best is the one you’ll stick with and be sure to ease yourself into it and get the all clear from you GP if you’ve have not exercised in a while. I learnt how important incidental walking was after a few visits to Golden Door Health Retreat.
- Walking is the best way to start. Park your car further down the street and walk up and down instead, spike your heart rate by taking the stairs or walk up a hill whenever you can and I always use a heart rate monitor to make sure I’m working in the fat burning and sugar burning ranges.
- I trained with three-time world boxing champion Jeff Fenech for 5 years and Jeff always maintains that to stay fit you don’t need to train for any more than one hour a day; just be sure to make it a good hour. If you can’t do a bit of exercise every day then aim for every second day but don’t leave it longer than 3 days.
- In my book, I interview Sex Therapy Specialist Dr Rosie King, who allowed me to publish an exercise comparison chart from her book, ‘Good Loving, Great Sex’, which shows how sex compares with doing things like ironing and housework and mowing the lawn and would you believe sex burns around twice as much energy? So, if you add sex you’ll double your results!
- WILLPOWER Too often we eat at times other than when we are hungry.
If that’s you, then try the H.A.L.T method – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
Ask yourself which one of those you feel before you eat anything.
Stop any mindless eating while you’re watching TV or on your computer.
If you’re having trouble mentally embracing the new changes, you might need to see a good mechanic, start with your health professional and ask them to guide you.
As you hop into the driver’s seat and take control of your body and your life, I’ll leave you with a quote from my Dad Bill, who always said; ’The most dangerous part of any motor vehicle is how loose the nut is behind the wheel’.
So don’t be frightened to stop and ask for directions and if in doubt tune your inner radio to W, double I, FM (WIIFM) and ask, ‘What’s In It For Me?’
Good luck on your weight loss journey, try and enjoy the ride and you’ll find there’s no traffic jam if you go the extra mile, so why not take your handbrake off and see what you can do.
Susie Elelman AM
TV & Radio Broadcaster