Four weeks ago I set myself a challenge to embrace regular exercise at home, intermittent fasting and a keto/low carb eating style, and to stick with it for 28 days. DONE. DUSTED and out the other side. So proud of me.
Here is a quick video, with more details and my report card is after the video. But first I want to shout out to a couple of girlies who have been my cheerleaders during these few weeks. Whether you have said ‘well done Le’, or sent me an encouraging PM or liked a video, it all helped. I felt like I had a team standing with me, so thankyou ever so much. Then, there is the Mr, who could have easily said ‘I told you so’, but didn’t. He just said ‘wow’ like 5000 times and that helped too.
This is the best thing I have done for myself in the last five years …
So for 28 days I basically stuck to the plan. I outlined the plan in week one, it’s back here. Now here is my self styled report card, with up to five points awarded for each focus area, being food, moving and mind. I scored myself 13.5 out of a possible 15. With a touch more togetherness on a couple of things I will be an ALL STAR!
Rating: 4 out of a possible 5
Overall: High level of Achievement. Le did well with the food, mostly resisting not buying questionable items in the first place. Led astray when she went out with her kids, resulting in consumption of three higher carb items. Reprimanded self, yet at the same time enjoyed the experience. Got stronger, and may well have developed willpower or, more likely, lost any cravings, as weeks went on. Replaced some items with lower sugar, higher fat choices that served her well being as well as her desire. Really got the hang of fasting and enjoyed applying herself to this aspect.
Things that worked 100%: No gluten, no caffeine and no alcohol. Will continue with this.
Intermittent Fasting: 100% 28 days straight of at least a 16 hour fast, usually from 7pm to 11am. BOO YA! Will continue for at least another two weeks as it just works for me.
Things I’m on track with: Lets say 90% – reducing carbs. I know this happened as planned as I got the keto breath thing going on in weeks two and three. I am going forward with this as a thing that just will be. I am no longer a prisoner on the carb-sugar merry-go-round of want it, eat it, want it, eat it. I have hopped off for good.
Things I need work on: Not so great on my 2-3 litres of water per day. Say only a 50% pass here.
Eating purple and red fruits: 100% achieved as I have stuck to purple and red fruits and small quantities, like three strawberry with cream. Not so hard. Will continue on as my go to fruit choice. Will add the odd passionfruit, pineapple and watermelon on occasions as, you know, yum.
Breaking my fast with bone broth: YES 100% using bone broth to break the fast. Excellent addition, happy to continue with this, especially as we go into winter. It is so easy, feels so nutritious and makes me feel brainy. I have added cinnamon and turmeric to the top.
Rating: 4.5 out of a possible 5
Overall: High level of Achievement. Le did exceptionally well with the online fitness videos. One, and occasionally more, sessions each day for 28 days straight. Le responds well to the girly vibe and loves the flexible start times and the huge variety. Also did well with the walks, missing only one day in 28. Mostly morning walks, with the odd catch up night walk. At least 2/3 of walks had hills. Bravo Le!
Things that worked: Yes to walking every day. Will keep this up, including more hills. Yes to doing my online Pop Sugar Fitness video each day – 20 to 45 minutes. I love being able to choose from a range of intensities, depending on my energy levels. From hip hop dance one day to toning the next, I’m there. Will need to add some free weights in to keep my little arm muscles a happening thing.
Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5
Overall: Le can do better here. Needs to remember deep breathing and do it morning and night as it will serve her well, but only if she does it. Did better at self education using Thomas DeLauer as her online YouTube fountain of knowledge. Seems to be developing a mothering crush on Thomas and secretly wishes he was her son as he is such a nerdy sweetie. Now making her boys watch one Thomas a day so they grow up better educated about food that serves.
So I have good intentions about doing my morning deep breathing, but then I get distracted and don’t do it. Getting in my night set as I do them in bed.
Still a Thomas fan, reminds me of that line from Rocky Horror, where Janet says she’s a muscle fan! But it’s his big brain muscle I love the most. So yes to watching more Thomas DeLauer on YouTube and learning even more stuff. Knowledge is power, right.
WHAT HAPPENED – RESULTS
So what happened … lots really. Here are my results, but they only tell part of the story. Read on for my top ten positives, which in reality, are far more interesting than my stats.
- week one lost 1.9kgs
- week two lost 0.8kgs
- week three put on 0.2kgs
- week four lost 0.5kgs
- TOTAL LOSS 3kgs
- wasit down 5cm
- hips down 2cm
- thigh down 4cm
TOP TEN POSITIVES
- Goodbye Sugar Cravings … around day four I realised I was not seeking out something sweet at 10am or 3pm – delighted with this.
- Waking Up Well …ok, so it’s not like I woke up sick all of the time, but I did wake up with kinda non specific pains here and there. Maybe a knee or a shoulder. Now I wake up well, pain free and with energy ready to go! That is a cool thing.
- Consistent Energy … around week two I got a bit tired. I fixed that in week three by eating more and then BOOM, my energy levels came back, became consistent and without any ‘propping up’ from sugar or other carbs. This is good.
- Goodbye bloat … my little round face is looking more angular, my stomach is flat-ish first thing in the morning and I look less puffy. It’s a nice thing.
- Calmer … yes, I think I am. I have upped my magnesium intake and I think that helps. I drink my magnesium and zinc powder as I cook dinner. I have noticed I am nicer at dinner time. Not completely chilled, as I never will be, but I perceive more relaxed. Chill bro.
- Carpel Tunnel Symptoms … I developed carpel tunnel in both wrists back in 2018 and started wearing splints at night in 2019. I don’t wear them now, but was still getting the pins and needles feeling in my hands at about 3am during most nights. It’s now gone, all gone altogether. I think this is due to less imflamation in my body – it’s a guess but it’s a reasonable one. Excellent work.
- Keto Breath … this is a negative positive, as it means around the end of week two and into week three I got the metallic taste in my mouth that is an indicator that ketosis is happening, ya me. Burning fat for energy is the aim and I hit the target. Bullseye!
- More time in the mornings … now that I am not thinking about what to eat first up I have more time. My fasts go till at least 11am, so I just skip breakfast, have my bone broth at 11am and then eat lunch by 12 noon. Yes, I like not eating till after 11am. And the couple of times I have gone out for lunch I get to eat poached eggs with avocado on the side, with hollandaise sauce, if they have it, a personal fav of mine. Such a treat.
- Home Workouts … I love them. I am a convert. Goodbye gym for now, especially with COVID19 still out there, hello free YouTube fitness workouts. I love the convenience, the variety and that they are free. Free. Free. Did I mention, free? I have learnt so much from the Pop Sugar girls, too knowledgeable and cute for words. Sometimes a little weird, but always from a positive place, no bad vibes ever! Girl Power!
- Learning on Line … Yes I have always loved learning new stuff. How did I learn anything before You Tube was born? It’s just amazing how many people are sharing their motivational stories, knowledge, tips and tricks online. Yes, now me too. Because, why not.
There were a couple of things that happened that were not so great, but before I share let it be known that they all PASSED within a few days, five at the most. They were all manageable and none would stop me doing this again. So in a kind of chronological order, here they are with links back to my first observations.
- Stomach gurgles week one and week three
- Number twos exploded in week one
- Leg cramps in week one and week three
- Bit tired week three
TIPS AND TRICKS
There are a couple of things I did that I think really helped with this challenge. So, just in case they are any use to you, here they are.
- Avoided grocery shopping – until I got my eating sorted I sent the Mr to do the grocery shop. Most of my previous points of fail (systems thinking, thank you) happen when I shop and just throw in a couple of treat items, like how did that Turkish Delight get in my trolley. So to avoid the temptation, I sent Col on the grocery shop until week three.
- BYO Smoothie – I made a smoothie or coffee to take out with me when I went shopping. In part so my hands held something that gave my brain a signal I was already catered for. In the other part so I knew what was in it was good for me.
- Thought Positive – I gave myself a lot of positive internal talk, yes talking to myself in my head. We are what we think, so I thought of me as doing this, benefiting from it and achieving a decent outcome. I repeatedly told myself ‘this is easy’ and ‘you have got this’. And it was and I did.
- Low Carb Emporium – I shopped at this little low carb goldmine for some special items I could not find at Woolies, then added a couple of extras, like the Zebra Chocolate to my basket. Helped me with the emotional connection of not denying myself food.
- Breakfast Delegation – I asked the Mr to make the boys breakfasts as I am not eating till 11am and the risk of me licking my fingers (opps, yes gross but true) after I made their breakfast was real. So I negated the risk.
- Strawberries and Cream – strawberries or blackberries and cream have become a mid arvo go to snack. At first I was put off by the cost, but I got over that considering the benefits to my well being outweigh nearly any cost, right.
WHERE TO NOW
Where else, but onward and upwards. My four week challenge is over, but my desire to eat food that serves me, move more and learn lots is not. I shall keep on keeping on, and give the occasional update, say maybe every two to four weeks.
Thanks for coming on my intermittent fasting + low carb + keto journey. I am keeping what I learnt, will build on it and offer myself more more of the same in that quest for a kind of wellness that permeates my everyday. With love and kindness, Le xox
PS If you have any questions or want more details, ask me in the comments or via email. Happy to add value to your journey too. Everyone has their own path to walk, but it’s nice to have company now and then, big squeeze, Le xox