Yes – I’m doing the 12WBT … Yes – I’m happy to talk about it.

Long time, no post. Sorry peeps. Life gets crazy. So… what the heck have I been up to lately? The answer is A LOT.

So much. But for now, this is the news:

I don’t make any secret of the fact that I followed the 12WBT program when I first started losing weight. It worked for me. It worked in baby steps to help me make better food decisions, to move a little more and and to feel more confident.

I had lost about 35kg with the program before I chose to leave some parts of the program so I could follow a ‘bodybuilder’ diet in order to compete. I kept many other parts of the program and in essence, a lot of what I learned I couldn’t forget if I tried. I’d managed to build a new network of friends all over the country who loved and supported my fitness endeavours and supported me in whatever I did.

I’m open about the fact I eat still in an IIFYM manner. IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros. What that means for me is that I track and alter the levels of protein, fats and carbohydrates that my food comes from. I alter those levels depending on what I am trying to achieve. At the moment, I’m really focussing on getting stronger so that’s what I eat towards.

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I was asked to take part in the 12WBT 2015 advertising campaign and it was an honour to accept. I do still believe in the program and the way it is delivered. I feel it has improved A LOT since I first became a member in 2011. I appreciate any business that is prepared to constantly evaluate, listen to science and reason and EVOLVE not because they HAVE to (12WBT’s format has remained crazily popular) but because they WANT to keep improving. Which is exactly what they have done.

So, as part of my involvement with the program – I will be a card-carrying member of the February 4th round of the 12 Week Body Transformation. I will do the tasks that are set for all members (yes, even the ghastly running!) and am super happy to be available to chat, support and encourage other members both new and returning. And yes, the new program is so customisable that I will be staying true to my IIFYM beliefs, accommodating my food intolerances AND still training for mega heavy lifting too!

As well as blogging more, I’ve invited more current 12WBT members to come and guest-blog here so you can hear weight-loss and fitness experiences from people other than me. It’s going to be a fun trip!

If you’d like to know more about the program or even join, there are 4 days left until it all kicks-off and you can read about it here -CLICK ME-

So ask me questions. And I will answer them. Honestly.

In case you missed any of them, here are a couple of my pics from the 2015 12WBT campaign too!

Also – to make sure you aren’t missing out on any of my adventure, feel free to follow me on

Leave me a comment if you are on board too!

Much love and let the adventure begin!!

Bella

Bella Bellaafter

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Whose afraid of the big bad scales?

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Okay, for most of my readers,  it’s now the day after Christmas and home of the epic food ( and maybe booze ) hangover.

Whether you have gone into full tummy shock and had black coffee and guilt for every meal since or if you’re choosing the ‘bury my head in the cheesecake’ route  – there’s something I need you to know.

It’s okay.

Christmas with family, friends and people we love is important. There is a good chance in ten years time you’ll remember something special about this holiday. It probably won’t have anything to do with the protein/fat/carb/calorie content of what you ate. Life is important. Celebrate it.

If you’ve dared venture onto the scales today, you might be a little horrified, but this post from PauloSportz (if you don’t follow him on facebook you should) sums up my thoughts on it pretty precisely 🙂

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So, when you choose to bring yourself back to your normal shape or return to your health adventure, what can you do?

Step One;
Stop eating. I’m not being silly, of course I still want you to eat – but maybe pack away the ‘Christmas foods’. Freeze, toss away or feed to others any leftovers, onward gift sealed items and make a resolve that holiday eating is marvellous but done.

Step Two;
To help with the extra water your body accumulated in dealing with more carbs than normal – get stuck into drinking water. At least 2.5 litres each day, more if you are larger/overweight, if it is hot or if you are training.  This will help regulate your fluid levels and fight the fluid retention.

Step Three;
Move it! Chances are that either you, your kids, your partner, your dog or your neighbour received a gift that involves the outdoors and/or moving. These public holidays are a GREAT time to get out there using them. Moving will help get over that sluggish feeling we get when we eat more or differently than  normal. Aim for an hour minimum of active movement each day. Plus it’s awesome. This is where our memories are made!

Step Four;
Get snoozing! Did you know that much of our recovery, weight loss, muscle repair and growth all happen while we are sleeping? Between midnight gift-wrapping and 5am gift-wrap-tearings we are all a bit sleep deprived. Getting at least 8 hours sleep will speed up your journey back to the pre-Christmas body.

Step Five;
Breathe. The holidays were worth it. Celebrating with your loved ones was worth it.
Joy is worth it.

We have a whole year of kicking ass ahead of us. I really look forward to having you along for the ride with me.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Sailor Vee

Gone Fruitcake!

Kids in the kitchen!  Making a healthy fruitcake for a family get-together tomorrow and kid#1 LOVES to cook! I’m not militant about how my family eat but this no fat, no refined sugars fruitcake just happens to be delicious!
RECIPE:

Ingredients

1 Teaspoon (Metric) bicarbonate soda
500 Gram dried fruit
1 1⁄2 Cup flour (self raising)
1 Teaspoon (Metric) Mixed Spice
2 Teaspoon (Metric) honey/golden syrup
1 Cup orange juice
1 Cup pumpkin or sweet potato (kumara) (mashed)
600 Gram dried apricots (chopped)
75 Gram fresh ginger (finely chopped)

Notes
This is an excellent recipe idea for vegans and vegetarians as it contains no animal fat or eggs.

If you want to increase the fibre content, think of substituting half of the white flour for wholemeal, and remember sweet potato is a good low GI option.  Simple changes, big differences!

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 160oC.
Grease a 20cm square or 22cm x 12cm cake tin with a little spray oil, and line base with baking paper.
Remove skin from pumpkin or sweet potato. Steam until soft (about 10 minutes depending on the size of pieces). Allow to cool.
Place dried mixed fruit, chopped apricots and honey/golden syrup in a saucepan together with orange juice. Bring to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
Add mashed pumpkin or sweet potato and mix well.
Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and mix spice together and add to fruit mixture. Add ginger and mix well to combine.
Place in cake tin and bake in oven for 1 ¼ hours.

Enjoy and remember to tag me in your results!

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#recipe #food #foodporn #vegan #healthy #instagood #cleaneating #yummy #foodgasm #nutrition #good #sharefood #fitspo #tasty #lunch

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms – Crazy Easy, Crazy Tasty!

I’m not a great cook. If it has more than five ingredients or more than five steps in the recipe I can be pretty confident I’ll make a mess of it!

The issue is, that I love food. Argh, so I spend my life looking for ridiculously easy, tasty recipes that also need to fit my particular/perculiar dietary needs (many intolerances and preferences for high protein foods).

Well, these were a total winner!

Stuffed Portobello Mushroomspotrobello-700

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  • Spray 1 large portobello cap lightly with a good quality olive oil.
    In a bowl, shred/grate 1 small zucchini and toss with about 1/3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta.
  • Place mixture inside mushroom and bake until mushroom is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Approx 230 calories!

Enjoy!

Bella

A beach I don’t remember….

I very rarely write about being a younger person with disordered eating. Partly because everything I knew and taught myself about hiding and being ‘succesful’ with it I learned through reading the forums, blogs, accounts and memoirs of other sufferers and survivors.  Their grim stories of ‘I was so unwell this is what I did’ became my plans. Their ‘at my worst I weighed xx’ became my goals. Awful but true.

Frankly though, I just don’t like talking about it. And I don’t need to.  I’m a decade past my last incident and am confident that I am okay.

Sometimes though, the world forces you to look back. To remenber. And for me, to be grateful.

I had an amazing friend at uni. Smart, funny, artistic and beautiful.  As friends we get along more like sisters. As teenagers that meant we drove each other crazy,  borrowed each others clothes and occasionally liked the same boys. And she happened to save my life that year.

Living with me is not fun. Never has been. Likely never will. Ask my parents,  sibling, the million flatmates, the Captain and my boys. But this year was particularly rough.

I would sometimes freak out so badly thinking I was so awfully fat that I couldn’t leave the house. I journalled obsessively and was a psycho about my privacy. I once got myself so upset about my body that I tripped out and stayed barricaded in the bathroom for quite a few hours, most of that in a cold shower.

She doesn’t ask questions,  my friend. She’s just there.

As the year went on; I started to get sick. Not the obvious skeletal sick,  but the worn-down slow-fade kinda sick.

She didn’t ask questions,  my friend. She told me to get in the car.
I was too tired to argue.

To this day I can’t really explain what happened next.

I think she kidnapped me.

I remember a winding road that made my stomach lurch.

I remember a small country supermarket with strip fluroscent lighting that gave me a panic attack so bad I had to wait outside for her, gripping the roof of her car praying for my heart not to explode.

And then, peace.

It was a tiny cabin. With books to read and cushions in the sunlight on the floor.

She still didn’t ask questions, my friend.

She did make me drink really strong blue Cottee’s cordial for the first and last time in my life. But somehow, the calories didn’t matter.

She didn’t force me to eat. She took me for a walk along the beach and when we got back, there was food. And I wanted to eat it. Because I wanted to be able to walk it again tomorrow. I wanted to be better.

I got to walk along that beach again today.

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She never asked questions.  Not then. Not in the forever since then that she has continued to be an amazing positive presence in my life.

I am incredibly grateful. And lucky.

SV

******* This is where I stopped writing for a few hours toying with the idea of deleting this post *******

This is the other reason I avoid writing about my experiences.  If this post feels like it trivialises eating disorders or over-simplifies recovery – I don’t in any way mean it to.

My friend is not the magical unicorn. She did not cure me with blue Cottee’s and a walk on the beach. What happened there was she happened to know me well enough to see a crack in the wall I was building. It very well could have backfired. But for me, it was a start. I might add, the start of the next two years of relapses and fighting myself and learning to be okay.

If you or someone you know is struggling with disordered eating, I really recommend having a chat with these guys;
http://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/%ef%bb%bfneed-help-now/

All my love in Health and Strength,
Bella

Full Belly not Fat Belly

I love it when I read things in my nutrition studies that actually apply directly to my experiences as a former chubster.

Something I read this week was about the concept of nutrient dense versus calorie dense foods. Sounds fascinating right? But as I broke it down in my mind it made so much sense to me.

You see, for the few years that I was obese it wasn’t because I was eating a LOT of food. In fact, everyone who knew me, including The Captain, would swear and declare that they almost never saw me eat. Part of that was that I was a terrible secret binge-eater. Years of disordered eating as I grew up makes it particularly easy for me to hide my habits around food from others. I’m like a self-destructive food Ninja.

But the main part was that I was whole-heartedly addicted to very calorie dense foods.

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 It means: A food with high calorie density provides a lot of calories in relation to the serving size. A food with low calorie density provides relatively low calories per serving size.

So it looks like this:

Caloric-Density

or terrifyingly like this:

Fast-food-and-apples

 

When I first started losing weight, I was mortified by the AMOUNT of food that I was supposed to be eating. How could it be that I had only been eating a small volume of food once or twice a day (with some snacks) and gaining weight like a prize cow but NOW I was eating buckets of food and losing weight? It really seemed like black magic. Except it’s not. It’s simply caloric density.

A plan consisting of foods with a lower caloric density meant I get to eat a lot MORE food for the same or less calories than my previous high calorie/low volume habits.

Foods that REALLY helped me fill the void left by my crappy diet were things that made me feel full and happy. Things I could eat a GIANT BOWL OF and feel a bit piggy. Because I still needed that mentally. Things like insane amounts of vegie sticks, air-popped popcorn, frozen berries straight from the freezer, a big bowl of fresh green peas…

These days, because I’ve had a few years of training myself to eat more regularly, not skip meals and incorporate more protein into my diet, I don’t get so ravenously hungry any more. While I still love that crazy full-belly feeling sometimes, I don’t NEED it. But in case you do, I hope this helps.

 

Nom Nom,

Bella xx