What I am about to tell you has evolved over many years. I have tried many things mainly because I’m adventurous and like to trial most things in life.
My weight is important to me so I prioritise consistency. I imagine I inherited a predilection for being light from my mother, who also has skinny genes and a love of style. I weigh myself regularly but the key metric is how my clothes fit, or don’t. I feel elegant when I am slim and less together when things feel tight.
It is definitely harder for me to remain at 53kg (I am 5’6”) as I age but I will do everything I can to remain there, it is my happy place.
In a previous life, even when I didn’t need to diet I would join the girls at work in the ‘Egg diet’, the ‘Popcorn’ diet, or whatever the latest fad dictated. I like to try stuff and I loved the team support for common goals. I have developed good willpower. I love this from Kate Moss: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. I miss the camaraderie of the school crowd!
As a teenager I used to jog to work and ate whatever I wanted. An active life was all that was required to stay slim.
In my 20’s and 30’s I did the ‘Jane Fonda’ thing (well come on, it was the eighties – rocking those leg-warmers) and also jogged.
In my 40’s I joined a military bootcamp and cycled a lot.
Now in my 50’s it’s got tougher but it is still doable. I’ve started running Ultra Marathons that require long slow runs as training. This is the best way for me to burn fat.
I don’t often drink alcohol, mainly because my husband doesn’t. Having said that I am longing to out to dinner with a Mescal Margarita and I enjoy good champagne. However, if you have alcohol in your system your body will prioritise using that for fuel, which means that everything you subsequently consume will be stored as fat!
I am strict with my food intake Monday to Friday. If I happen to be going out I still enjoy myself and I don’t beat myself up. At the weekend I eat a little of whatever I fancy. This has worked well for the last few years. However, having put on and re-lost five kilos during lockdown I am reconsidering how much cheating I can really get away with!
It now intend to run longer and even more slowly and maybe only give myself one day off a week. Consistency is key. Summer has hit hard in Dubai and at 5.30am it is already 30 degrees and 87% humidity. This makes it hard to enjoy the running.
Nutrition. While overall wellbeing and immunity is effected by sleep, nutrition and exercise, intake is very important. I prefer to get all my needs from whole foods but I supplement as an insurance policy, particularly for hair and nail health. Sometimes I review to make sure I am not getting into starvation mode through eating too little, which sparks the storage of everything you eat and can leave you exhausted.
At the moment I am eating (today as a snapshot):
- egg with mayonnaise (lunch)
- 3 cups of coffee (latte with an organic soy milk)
- 2 glasses of diet Pepsi (a little extra pleasure)
- Kale salad (My salad of the moment, supper) (recipe at the end)
This is very light on carbs and I err towards ketosis, but it is also tasty and balanced.
When I am back to my normal weight I will eat the following (still no sugar during the week).
- Slow cooker curry
- Slow cooker chilli
- Various vegetable bakes
*See recipes on my instagram page Highlight Recipes
I lived on Diet Pepsi for most of my life. From breakfast time to bedtime. When I stopped it cold turkey in 2019 I replaced it with coffee (through Hypnotism). I felt no different other than the withdrawal headaches. My running stayed the same, my skin, hair and nails, no change.
It has been a year and I am back on the black stuff but now in moderation. I know it’s bad but I like it!
300g chopped Kale. 0.1g carbs, 7cals
100g Parmesan. 4.1g carbs, 431cals
100g Walnuts. 7g carbs, 654cals
50g Raisins. 35.8g carbs, 150cals
100g serving 5.1g carbs, 127cals
Ranch dressing (I added some almond milk to help it coat the kale better)
Hidden Valley 2g 140cals
Home made 1g 60cals (I had no idea how easy this was and tastes great)
In sum: if I’m burning calories I can eat calories. Simple. If I need to lose weight I create a deficit between intake and output.
I know that I would be shot down in flames if I publicly said everyone can lose weight, but it’s my opinion. Some medication can cause you to conserve more reserves, or to retain water. However with good sleep, no underlying medical issues, and consistent exercise there is no excuse. It is a mind-set however; you have to want it more than cake!