A helping hand?

You know how things seems to suddenly creep up on you? Like age perhaps.

I remember when I was little my birthdays were so far apart. It felt like decades between each party I was able to throw and I just couldn’t wish time by fast enough. Now though you are wildly grasping at the time, it slips through your fingers like sand as it rushes past. You aren’t able to slow it or stop it. It feels like only yesterday when it was the beginning of the month and now in a week it will be the end.

The same seems to be true with my weight. I managed to get a reasonably flat stomach through exercise and watching what I eat but still having what I fancied in moderation. But now in high season weight appears to have crept on quietly. I think while I was having a bad time with my anxiety I might have let slip the healthy diet. It is difficult to keep track of what you might normally care about when all you are trying to do is survive. There are days where I literally have to grip on to the edge of my desk at work just to try and hang on to the few shreds of sanity I have. If I wasn’t on strong medications that have to be taken on an empty stomach, to stop my transplanted kidney from being rejected, I know I would comfort it. It is quite handy that I am unable to eat between the hours of 7:30 and 10:30 morning and evening.

A few more bars of chocolate sneaked in. A can of cola here and there were added. Before I knew it, my trousers were too tight. I’m now having to resort to leggings as everything else just isn’t comfortable any more. I found out that 4 extra kilos had appeared on the scale.

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I had a go at my husband Caz. ‘Why didn’t you tell me I was getting fat?’! I guess it is difficult to notice small changes if you are with someone each day. It is only when you see someone after a few weeks or months that you notice the little things.

I know exercise is THE best thing for my anxiety. But I can’t. I just can’t face it. I feel tired. My heart is already pounding away. If it is like this when I’m just going about my normal routine what would a workout do to my poor little ticker.

I decided to try meal replacement shakes. I know with all my medical problems I should go to the doctor before trying out a new exercise or diet. But it always seems to end up the same way ‘you know your body best’.

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I thought I would ease myself in so as not to shock the system. I would have a meal replacement shake instead of breakfast and have two regular meals. So far so good. It tastes pretty nice. I got the banana flavour. It is just like a MacDonald’s thick shake!

Come Monday I was ready to start with two shakes a day and a regular but healthy meal in the evening. I felt a bit silly making my shake in the canteen. There were quite a few questions. What is it? Am I on the protein shakes? You think you need to lose weight?

I didn’t actually feel hungry between meals but I still had a banana and some celery sticks just to make sure I was tided over.

I had planned on giving exercise a miss that evening but the knock on effect of consciously doing something to help yourself encouraged me to work out. And I worked out hard! I downloaded the Nike+ app and did a 45 minutes circuit training style workout. A variety of crunches, lunges, squats and other movements later in quick succession with little rest I was done. I felt so drained. I had definitely aced that workout!
I went to sleep with a headache and felt like my body was vibrating in a buzz kind of way. I didn’t feel normal but thought I may have just overdone the workout. I didn’t think any more of it.

Come the morning I still felt a little ‘distant’. It was like there was a feeling of space in my head. Such a strange way to describe it but I don’t know how else to sum it up! I had two shakes again today, but after each one I started feeling more and more sick. I had a meeting at 2pm and while the guy was talking I thought I might have to make my excuses and run out of the room. I wasn’t even sure if I could make it through the rest of the day. I just wanted to go home. But I managed to sit through the rest of the day and couldn’t wait to get home.

It must be the meal replacement shakes. Looking at the nutritional information they appear quite high in sugar – 23.0g. Maybe these sort of shakes are good for someone who is going from takeaways and ready meals to these meal replacement convenience shakes. But for me who is usually pretty careful about food but had just lost my ways it was too much for my body to handle. When I returned home from work I threw the tub in the bin.

I did manage to motivate myself to go for a half hour walk and then did a 30 minutes long HIIT and strength training session. So hopefully I can keep this up. I’m going to be sore though…!

Today, I made myself a home-made shake. It contained semi-skimmed milk, a banana, a handful of blueberries and a handful of frozen black forest fruits. Yummy! I know fruit can be high sugar too but with the carbohydrates that are in fruit too it will be longer release energy.

Then for lunch I have a sweet and crunchy salad with peppers and lettuce along with a sprinkle of chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts. I also put in a little grated mozzarella and balsamic vinegar.

There is no beating what nature produces for us. Our bodies just function so much better when we eat whole or raw ingredients.
The meal replacement shakes might work for you. But it wasn’t for me.
I think I will just stick to the following rules for a good life:

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