Back to basics

It seems everywhere I look on blogs there is talk of no sugar, organic diets, green smoothies and a general health kick. It’s not surprising I guess, it’s that time of the year. In the lead up to summer, warmer weather and longer days means that exercise is easier to fit into the day, salads are easier to put on the table. I read these blogs by fabulous women and cheer them on from behind my screen. Wow! Truly inspiring! I have such a predictably boring pattern with weight loss and well being and exercise. I have had the same pattern my entire life: feel like a fat mole when I realise that my jeans don’t do up properly or see myself in an unflattering photo, decide to lose weight and go on strict health and exercise programme. See results with a couple of kilos lost so slacken off, go back to full normal me mode which is eat most things without caring, take it up a notch to rolling finger buns with the girls because even though I am a little fat, I’m not that fat, I could be much worse, and why can’t I just be happy with the way I am? Size 14/16 isn’t that bad. Until I see a photo of myself and the whole things starts again. The cycle is usually 6 months long. And it’s been going on for the past 20 years. 20 years.

How boring.

I am currently in phase one of the cycle. The “I’m a fat mole and I need to do something. Quickly”. I woke yesterday and went for a walk/run. It felt great to be outside and again I wondered why I just didn’t do this for my mental health – let alone the fatty boombah arse helping it was doing. I watched everything I ate – no carbs, less sugar, less everything, even no wine! By the end of the day my bloated gut from last week’s holiday was flatter. I felt better.

By the end of the week I will jump on those scales and see an improvement no doubt. In a week after that clothes will feel looser and fit better and not dig or stick and someone might even tell me I look good, or that I’ve lost weight. It will be just the thing to keep me going.

Until I stop. Again. It’s so boring. How, dear GOD, how do you stay motivated and make real, proper changes in your diet? I have never been able to do it, never. Ever.

Actually, I did lose some weight when Rob and I first started going out which kind of lasted for a few years until I had kids. I was probably consistently 5+ kilos lighter with him than what I used to be with my past life when I drank a lot of coke and smoked a lot of ciggies.

Since the start of this year Rob had lost 15 kilos. 15! Can you imagine? He is a new man, he is happier, more confident and he looks amazing. The size 40 jeans have been replaced with 34. 34! All from exercise. Consistent, consistent, consistent exercise. Not much else has changed – he still drinks beer and eats all the dinners that I put in front of him except that now he exercises. His mind has shifted. It’s just part of his life now. His skinny fabulous life.

How can I make the shift? How can I turn into the size 10-12 person that I know I am capable of being? Why am I asking the interwebs when I could be out running actually moving my arse up a hill? Why are finger buns with pink icing so irresistible?

OK. I’m off for another walk. And then hopefully another. And maybe another after that. Baby steps. Chubby, wobbly, baby steps.


  1. An email from me is on it’s way to you today… xx

  2. yet again, Im glad Im not riding alone on this roller coaster of ridiculousness. Im bigger than I have ever been – I last roughly about 3 weeks and then the pork crackling comes a’ callin’. I need to sit in an Indian Ashram for 6 months I think.

  3. When you find the secret please fling it my way! I’ve been up-down-up-down-up-up-up-down-up for my whole life. I ‘know’ what I ‘should’ do but just can’ Those vegies look lovely πŸ™‚

  4. Hi beth, I’ve been one of those blogs on a health kick too.

    Actually, the health kick started from an insult at my best friend’s baby shower. Someone asked how I was doing after my recent hospital stay, & do the doctors know what had caused my infection. I said no. They then asked if it was weight related, & I didn’t understand what they meant. And then they said it, “did you get sick because you’re overweight”.

    It felt like such a kick in the gut. My big, fat gut πŸ™‚

    Cried the whole way home, bitched to my husband about it, & he said, well why don’t you do something about it?

    He’s ‘skinny & fabulous’ like your Rob.


    So I have, & I still am, & it’s great.

    Good luck, keep at it, & by the way … your recent holiday snaps were just beautiful, I can’t imagine they’d have been the ones to fuel this current health kick.

    Cherie xox

  5. So very true – such a nutty cycle. I do the same thing.

  6. Just found your blog – Love it !!

  7. That food looks delicious!
    In my experience boys are better at just getting on with it and losing weight, girls think about it too much, I think.
    I don’t think there’s an easy answer about motivation.

  8. Beth, those vegies look incredible. You’ve just given me inspiration for tea tonight!

    It’s always so much harder to exercise in Winter. Now that it’s daylight savings and warmer weather, I find I’m out more running too. Give the Couch to 5km program a go, it’s fantastic. Best thing I ever did! xx

  9. I have never had to lose weight really but this year I started running and am surprised to find I really love it. It helps me get out of my head & I enjoy seeing how hard I can push myself. I hate actually getting our of the door but the feeling once I am on my way home? LOVE IT and feel so motivated.
    I think the key is finding a type of activity you love & sticking with it.
    Good luck!

  10. I’m the same as you Beth .. and am currently in the ‘oh my gawd I’m so fat’ stage .. gotta say it is so much harder dropping the weight at 40 than it was at 30! Killer! Today is the day I will get serious (I say, again, I’m sure I said it last week, and the week before), but the sunshine will aid my motivation .. I think. Good luck. To you, and to me!

  11. OMG – this post is SO me. The mental up and down like ‘why do we all have to be skinny, what’s wrong with being happy like I am’ .. to ‘my life would be perfect if I was 15 kilos lighter’ .. to ‘today’s the day: I’m starting again today’ (which I should note I have ‘yet again’).

    I was even going to make myself a poster with these words.

    Fat wouldn’t be fat
    If skinny wasn’t so skinny.
    What does it matter if
    I’m in a moomooo or a mini.

    You like that?
    I do. But, it still doesn’t help whem my guts stick out more than my boobs – and btw, my boobs stick out a fair way.

    All I can say is good luck and try again. What the hell. At least after 5 days of eating good, which is about all I last, the bad food takes extra good (-:

  12. The Little Red Hen says

    I think what you said about wondering why you don’t do it for your mental health is the exact thing that has finally gotten me to change the way I do things. I’ve just had my 2nd baby & am doing everything I can to avoid the PND I had first time around. It’s so annoyingly true but the advice that exercise stimulates=endorphins & helps with sleep (although not sleep for the baby, bummer!) seems to be spot-on for me. So it seems that the motivation to look better was never enough for me, but the desire not to fall back into a black hole has me exercising every day. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but honestly I still am when I just do it every day, without trying to mentally negotiate my way out of it!

  13. Yes I know weight for me is a constant battle. I’ve never been really overweight either, just a bit chubby at times. My problem is I hate exercise!! I don’t like to sweat. I know this sound prissy, but I don’t like it….
    So my only answer is portion control and walking the dog. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!!

  14. Hi Babymac, long time reader, first time commenter (i think… you and i are cast from the same weight related dye. Honestly if i were to write a blog post about my weight it would be exactly what you have written! Its so nice to know that I am not the only one who feel like this. Why is it that going for a walk and eating well makes me feel so good and yet i don’t do it enough cos slobbing out in front of real housewives and eating icecream makes me feel even better…except it doesn’t…Maybe i’ll give it another go, betthany frankel’s book naturally skinny is a great book in terms of changing your mind set…although obviously not that great or my mind would have been changed already…anyway rambling now…must stop.

  15. Oh snap.

    I could have written most of this post.

    My husband too has just gone from a 40 to a 34 and I feel like a lazy fat slothenly cow next to him.

    I am quite tall but you know when you see back fat in photos it is time to do something…hmmmm

  16. I can’t control my food glutton self but I make her work for it!!

    I also find that timetabling my exercise helps.
    I enjoy that walking/running/gym time where I don’t have to be wife/mum/unpaid help for the duration.
    It seems to be deemed more acceptable to the family than just “I’m sitting on the couch with a mag/blog for 30 minutes. Don’t come near me!!”

    We have a few pieces of exercise equipment at home too. A stationary bike, some weights and a med ball. Having them right here eliminates some of my excuses too.

    And don’t be so hard on yourself – life is for living, not bloody starving.

  17. I ask myself everyday – why does food have to be so tasty? Why does champagne have to be so bubbly and happy?

    I’ve started calling comfort food ‘discomfort food’ – I KNOW, I annoy MYSELF.

    I am almost pushing maximum density once more because what’s another piece of a slice laden with butter, nuts, chocolate and sweetened condensed milk?

    So, back to the pavement pounding I go and OF COURSE then remember – oh YEAH – I feel SO.MUCH.BETTER when I do this.

    So freakin’ annoying.

  18. I just went for my first run of the “cycle” yesterday! God it feels good. I have no answers to your questions exept for the one about finger buns. It’s the pink that does it. *le sigh* and good luck! *s*

  19. I so could have written this exact post myself! The cycle of fat mole to lose a few to gain a few to fuck I can’t do up jeans anymore. Yep, that’s me.
    Meanwhile I sit here dunking custard creams in sugary tea. I’m at “gain a few” in the cycle.
    Men seem to be able to get away with losing weight with these kinds of changes. My dad did the same thing last year except that he just changed his food and didn’t exercise AT ALL. He still enjoys a beer and a cake occasionally. But OCCASIONALLY.
    Dammit. Mmmmmm custard creams.
    I wish you well BabyMac!

  20. Same here, god it’s so boring isn’t it? My “oh Jesus I’ve got to loose some weight” moment is always the week out from a wedding that we’re due to attend when that “6 kilo I’l drop before” the wedding has not so much as budged an inch. I get all self hatey refuse to even bother spending time to shop for a nice outfit cause I”m ” so fat I don’t deserve it”. I do believe that Rob has the right idea – exercise is the key. Once you’re feeling good everything else follows doesn’t it?. I weigh 15 kilo more than I did when I had my first child 5 years ago. I’d love to be be able to get within 5 of that 15 surely that can’t be so hard. Anyhoo, I’ve jumped on the Michelle Bridges 12 weeks body transformation bandwagon. I’m not so much interested in the “diet” part but plan on doing all the exercise she suggests. I figure even if I don’t loose a lot at least it wont wobble around as much. Ps. I loved the pics from your holidays, it looks like it was fabulous.

  21. I’ve been a yo-yo dieter all my life. Now for the first time ever, I’m thinking about exercise and healthy eating in terms of my health, rather thank looks.

    Being told that I could be on medication for the rest of my life and that my risk of heart attack and stroke are increased, was my wake up call.

    Zero fags, small amount of booze, cut out the saturated fat, lower salt and a just a little of what I fancy rather than a lot. Boring but I don’t want to take tablets forever and I don’t want to have doctors stand round my bed and look concerned for a looooooooooooong time, if ever.

  22. I am back at the gym for the first time in 1.5 years. Man do I feel better, I *hate* being a fat fuck with flabby arms, pretending I can lose it anytime I want to.

    I just got back from the shop having bought a jar of Nutella for Max – I ate the WHOLE THING BETH.
    Now I feel sick and bloated. Max will get home from school and never know I bought him Nutella.

    But I will, and so will my arms.

    I’ll try again tomorrow, fucks sake.

    Your veggies look delish.


  23. 15 Kilos! That is like one of my boobs! Well done Rob. And good luck to you Beth, but I think your are so gorgeous anyway xx

  24. Exercise. Yucky boring ick exercise.
    Uggh and healthy eating. I’m sorry but I cannot watch an episode of Entourage with a carrot stick hanging out of my mouth. No. Not I. But I hear you. It is the way to beat the mental monster. It’s the best medicine. And dang it, I WILL fit into a size 10 bathers buy summer. Joining the battle with ya gal! WE CAN DO IT!! Especially if our men can! Pfft. Piece of cake. Mmmmm chocolate mud cake. And a dollop of double cream and a scoop of ice-cream.

  25. I am 11 1/2 months fructose free (except whole fruit). The benefits are amazing. Because my Ï/m full”signal is back on (fructose turns it off) I can eat whatever I like (except sugar) and feel satisfied. I lost 6kg in 6 weeks and have lost a further 3kg since. Still bake and eat icecream, all home made with dextrose not fructose. You should consider reading Sweet Poison the Quit Guide to get an understanding. I gorged chocolate and sweets in my past.

  26. i’m always talking myself into and out of being a fatty boom bah but I love food and wine too much to diet, I got blood taken last week to get my chol checked that might get my jubbly tummy out for that morning walk i keep imagining myself doing …

  27. this is me to a (fa)T!

    I’m all or nothing. There’s no ‘maintenance’. It’s either getting skinny or getting fat…no just ‘being’. I am about to join weight watchers (not because I need to learn how to lose weight – I wrote the book – but because I think having to do that weekly weigh in will keep me focused.)

    As boring as it is, I loved this post. So me.


  28. could we be any more alike??? you are telling my story sister.

    I am currently on my last ever weight loss regime…. jenny craig. this is the only one I havent done and I am DETERMINED to make it work this time. I have to. Up until last week I had lost 4.7kgs… and then a week away with drinks and nibbles every night, non jenny food and my reward? 1.5 put back on. fucker!

    so I hear you. loud and clear. even with a set menu of jenny food every single moment is a struggle. I just want deliciousness in my mouth all the time. not that the food is bad, but I just want more of it. all the time.

    I also nearly killed myself this morning riding to work… with 6 year old in tow in the bike trailer. damn near died. but i did it. i dunno if I will do it again!

    more hurdles… 2 weekends time I am up your way to kangaroo valley for a girls weekend. A traditional food and booze frenzy.

    sorry for the long comment. I am very familiar with this topic!

  29. I can come from two angles here.. I am an ex Personal Trainer and yet now a Mum of two with very little time to exercise and I serious love of anything that will make my arse twice as fat in a very short space of time if consumed on a regular basis.

    Don’t “Diet” it is boring and it is even tougher mentally, just cut back switch to only wine on certain days and no that is not 6 out of 7, same goes for naughty food…make it a sometimes food and get shed loads of watermelon or sweet fruits in.

    The true key is calories in vs calories out so go get sweaty.. Shag (you have to be on top), run , walk up hills…WHATEVER.. just get sweaty and do it as often as you can for as long as you can. It is a chore and even me who loves exercise thinks nah fuck it on each and every day I have scheduled for training but I don’t and an hour later I am proud and ticking boxes along with kicking goals.

    Keep up the Good Work but don’t make it a drag….your gorgeous anyway..

    Sorry long answer….its a topic I have lectured on for many, many years…Love ya x

  30. Lady, honestly, women could talk about this topic until the cows come home…with the cream in tow. Here is what I have discovered in my 30 years of life and 5 years of struggling with my body image. Any change I make has to be sustainable, I can’t go on a diet per se, cos I am mentally trained to believe that diet means denying myself. If I want something, anything, I’ll generally have some. A little bit, not a lot, but a little. I also tend to think more about what my body needs rather than what my emotions want. Food is fuel, nothing more, nothing less. Remove the emotion from food, and it becomes what it is. Something that fuels you to do all the things you need to do. My mantra when I’m feeling weak and know I have had a few too many sometime treats is…FOOD IS FUEL. Most of all, be kind to yourself – beating yourself up over enjoying life isn’t healthy either.

  31. Haha, loved reading this one lady. Have no idea what to say on the diet/exercise front… it works (or doesn’t) differently for every individual. BUT I will say, those bloody pink finger buns are a disaster, I generally ate one a day during both pregnancies. Pink with coconut, even better! :o) xo

  32. I’m convinced I need to break up with my partner because misery instantly makes me lose my appetite (and being happy has the complete opposite effect). Alas, I’m rather happy with my relationship at the moment dammit. So I need to look for inspiration for misery elsewhere. Any tips? Anyone? LOL.

  33. Yeah, im in that phase again too. When I moved to my 100acres of serene bush land I vowed to walk around it every. single. day. Well we have been here a year now, and I have walked around it just once.

  34. Oh it sucks.

    I have a few hot tips. Firstly, do exercise at least 3 times a week. JFDI – just fucking do it. No excuses, rain hail or shine. Get your bum in a park and run. It’s free and good for the soul too.

    Don’t buy big bags of chips, ice cream and crap basically and tell yourself you won’t eat it. Because AS SOON AS THOSE SMALLS ARE IN BED, you’ll polish it off in one hit. If you’re like me. So JDFBI – just don’t fucking buy it.

    Graze all day on celery, nuts, tea, coffee, whatever to NOT eat shit that isn’t good for you.

    Don’t waste calories on beverages. I’d rather eat my calories than drink them.

    xx Good luck Beth!

  35. I have been overweight since I left high school, and now? I’m like seriously overweight. Obese even.

    Since Jan 1st, I’ve lost 15kgs. 13kgs was on the Michelle Bridges 12WBT. It finished this week, and people were saying, 13kgs, that’s amazing. But honestly, I’m so gutted because I still have so far to go. And then I get even more depressed thinking, how did I ever let myself get this way πŸ™

    Every day is a new day. Life is short. Make it count.

    Take baby steps, don’t try and change 50 things at once.

    If you can, keep it different to ensure you don’t get bored. Yoga, pilates, swimming are all fantastic for the body, and the mind. Running is obviously the best thing you can do. Walking is great. Cycling is great.

    My kids are eating better because there is NO CRAP in the house ever. Only fresh fruit, cheese, crackers, wholegrain bread and wraps. Of course, they get a treat every now and then, but usually at the grandparents house.

    I don’t say to people, I’m on a diet. I tell people, I’ve changed my lifestyle and eating habits. I’m an adult now, I know right from wrong. I know sitting on the couch eating chocolate and icecream is going to make me a fatty boom bah… Sure, you can have a treat every now and then, but not every night, like I was!!

    Try and exercise with someone if you can. Group exercise or having a work out buddy really helped me. It doesn’t feel as lonely and boring if you are buzzing around a group of people, all there to have fun and get fit. You go for family walks with the kids which is awesome. You could even ask one of your amazing neighbours to mind the kids for an hour, while you and Rob go for a long run or hike.

    I exercise 5-6 days a week. It’s still hard, but I tell myself. You sat there for years and did nothing, and now look at you. SO, move your ass!!

    Persistence is the key. If you never give up, you never have to re-start again!

    I’m on this journey with you my friend.


  36. Beth, I think you are gorgeous, but I so get the cycle happening over 20 years thing. So get it. However, post nervous breakdown I have managed to keep 10kg off for more or less three years. I am still an Oompa Loompa, but less of one. The secret is carbs at breakfast, none for the rest of the day. As prescribed by my exercise physiologist.

  37. Can I just say – DITTO.
    I have the husband who cycles almost daily, and is naturally thin (yeah, whatever!!!) and I am one of those who looks sideways at a doughnut and I swear it jumps right on to my thighs!
    And I am one of those on the attempting to kick the sugar habit… And it’s working!!
    Good luck on your quest, you have a huge team cheering you on πŸ™‚

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