My Lust list

I’m not sure why, but I felt the need to share some of my faves for this season. I try to stick to a simple capsule wardrobe, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t spend boo-koodles of time on the net drooling over fashions I would love to see hanging in my closet.

Here are a few of the items I would buy in a heartbeat if I was able:

cotton-dress

Verdusa Women’s Casual V Neck Side Split Beach Long Maxi Dress Grey L

I’ve really been into super comfy dresses, especially since I have surgery coming up and like to look nice, even though I’ll be hanging in around the house. This, I’m in love with! So simple, comfy, yet will look super sleek with a thick belt.

belt.jpg

Retro Wide Metal Interlock Buckle Womens Elastic Waist Belt Cinch (Black 1)

silk

Parker Women’s Annie Blouse, Argentella, L

A great silk blouse with leather pants or a leather skirt for an edgy look.

leather

Jessica London Women’s Plus Size Leather Pants Black,12

cashmere

Lark & Ro Women’s 100 Percent Cashmere 2 Ply Slouchy Turtleneck Sweater, Light Grey, X-Large

Starting to see a pattern here? I love items that can mix and match easily with each other. It makes it possible to create a variety of looks with minimal effort (and expense).

Now for accessories and home, which I am really digging right now because I want to feel comfy and luxurious, and I want to look like I spent hours on my look, when I only threw on some bangles and earrings 😉

bangle

Kate Spade New York Womens Idiom Bangles Solid Gold Gold One Size

I am loving this bangle right now. It can be worn with basically every kind of outfit to kick it up a notch.

earrings

14k Yellow Gold Hoop Earrings (2″ Diameter)

silk-robe

TexereSilk Women’s Luxury Long Silk Bathrobe (Beautibliss, Mulberry, Large/X-Large) Unique Bath Robes for Her WS0102-MUL-LXL

This Mulberry silk robe is one of my must-haves. Super soft, cozy and WASHABLE 🙂

Thanks for checking out my online window shopping wish-list!

-Mliae

WWWOOOOHHHOOO!!! Winter Slim down goal achieved!!

After a very long battle with my weight…I’VE DONE IT!!

yeah-baby-yeah

This has really been some sort of journey! I started out at 76 kgs (168 lbs) and more than 2 yore than a year later, I’m now at 59,9 kgs (132 lbs)! I picked up on my attempt at shedding those last stubborn 20 lbs of weight while blogging. Those were absolutely the most impossible and stubborn to shed! But today, I’m here to celebrate meeting weightless goal! I’ve tried and failed, tried and succeeded with so many different things and I’d like to go over some of those now.

To recap some of the alternatives I tried:

  • No sugar
    • This actually helped a lot but I was astonished to discover that everything we eat has tons of sugar in it! I mean seriously! Take a look at your ketchup bottle. Now divide the grams by 4 and thats how many tablespoons of sugar are in 1 serving of ketchup! If you can curb the sugar, its a great feeling. You know your body is starting to get over it when you feel like someone has hit you head with a sledgehammer.
  • No booze
    • This was a no-brainer. Booze has tons of hidden calories in it, and I always get the munchies when I indulge. So, I limited my intake to 1 or 2 glasses of wine or a small cognac on only special occasions.
  • Dramatically limiting my calorie intake
    • Great in theory, horrendous in practice. No doubt. I was hungry all the time, and completely lost my senses – resulting in The Nacho Incident. If you scroll down to the bottom of the linked post, you’ll see a list of low calorie foods and their serving sizes in 100 Kcal increments.
  • Strict exercise regime
    • When I finally realized that I desperately needed some outside help, and someone that I trust to hold me accountable for my own failure or success, I was fortunate enough to get David from Chape Personal TrainerChape Personal Trainer to work me into shape! David has been awesome! He takes the time to explain things to me that defy logic, listen to me whine about my bad diet days, patiently listens to me bitch about muscle soreness, and has supported me with friendship, consistently updating new workouts for those  soft cushy spots on my body that are driving me mad and always adjusting whatever need be to make sure that I had a positive and successful experience with him as a personal trainer. Thank you, David! You pushed me to meet my weightless goal and I DID IT!!
  • A not so strict, gradually increased exercise of convenience regime
    • This was at the beginning and I…sucked at it. I’ve discovered in this process that I have zero will power if I allow myself even a millimeter of lee-way.
  • Diet soups and green teas
    • Green tea helps a lot, but really only by getting rid of water weight. Green tea is super healthy though, so I say go for it! The diet soups worked well…for awhile. But then I was just – HUNGRY! The lack of vital nutrients made me feel really run down and basically worthless. The hunger turned me into a monster.
  • Vegan and vegetarian
    • This, I highly suggest – if you make sure to have enough protein. Always have a backup though because when Chape suggested I lose the tofu, tempeh and cheese for a week – I lost my mind.
  • Only eating fresh fruit and veg
    • This, I loved! It was a bit more time consuming to cook and clean, but I felt really great, higher energy and less hunger!
  • Consulting Chape Personal Trainer
    • BEST MOVE I MADE!  I seriously could not have done this without David’s help! Super simple – All I had to do was consult daily. I kept a daily/hourly food and drink journal, David posted workout regimes, times, weigh in days, measurement days and scales for me and then would adjust the workouts to fit my needs as he saw fit. This took all the stress out of trying to figure out what was best. I just trusted him, and on occasion listened to him tell me things in a quite loud voice, and IT WORKED!
  • No fizzy drinks
    • This was easy, and I suggest it as a first move to anyone who’s trying to shed some weight. Fizzy drinks have TONS of sugar and other bad stuff for you and cutting back on just one a day can make a massive difference! I went to mineral water, hot teas, black coffee and the occasional juice. Also, shocker: cutting back on fizzy drinks actually reduces your thirst. Fizzy drinks dehydrate you – making you thirsty.
  • Eating my carbs in the morning
    • This was actually a great suggestion by a fellow blogger at Olivier fiction. And it actually worked out pretty well! At least when you eat your carbs in the morning, you have time to burn them off throughout the day and you don’t crave it so badly. Not exactly sure how it works body-wise, but it helped ease the pain of the carb and sauce cut down.
  • Cutting carbs completely
    • Oh Atkins, how you mutilate my mainly vegetarian diet! This just wasn’t for me. Granted, broccoli has tons of protein. Buuuttt, do you have any idea how frustrating it is to be a herbivore on a carnivores diet and still manage to find something yummy to eat? No fun…no fun at all.
  • Going yeast free for 1 week
    • This was actually something I did not share on the blog. I wanted to see if I could actually even pull it off. I did! Surprisingly, yeast is in lots of baked foods which one would not expect. After what I thought was a sly move on my part when I bought a weeks worth of tortilla wraps as a substitute, my fiancé took one look at me and said ‘you know thats made with yeast, don’t you?’. I didn’t believe him. I was wrong. Gggrrr…I hate being wrong. The yeast free week was a long one – especially when I got to watch everyone else enjoying my wraps. But you know what? At the end of the week, my belly looked pretty flat! I never realized how much yeast containing products contribute to belly bloat! So, if you’re working on that beach bod, I’d give this a shot!
  • Reducing portion sizes
    • This was quite easy. Stopping myself from getting seconds was the hard part.
  • Eating earlier in the day
    • Great in theory, virtually impossible when you are eating in a household setting and with others who actually have schedules to contend with.
  • Guzzling matcha and cutting back on the sauces
    • Matcha, I love you. Sauce, I love you too. Putting a few drops of salad or hot sauce on my food just didn’t cut it. Sorry.
  • Drinking more water
    • I’ve been told to do this on countless occasions. But I just don’t like it. I try, but I float. I’m a chic. I’m already running to the Loo every chance I get. Add a preliminary water consumption minimum and I might as well set up shop there. Tried, and failed. However Im drinking more than I was – so maybe not totally failed.
  • Eating more
    • When David suggested this, Thought he had lost his mind for sure. After he explained it to me, I thought – great, I’m going to go on an eat more diet and turn into a blueberry. But, I tried it. And you know what? IT WORKED! How the hell???
  • Drinking Yerba Mate before meals 
    • This is actually something a girlfriend of mine from Argentina suggested when I very first trying to shed the weight, weighing in at 76 kg or 168 lbs. I was desperate to lose some of the flab before I turned into a ball. She suggested drinking a full glass of heavily steeped yerba mate before every meal so as to reduce my appetite. It worked! I will never again have a home without this stuff in it.
  • Fasting
    • Intermittent fasting wasn’t actually bad at all and I managed t0 pull it off for like 2 weeks. However, eventually my body began to expect food at 4 and to not be hungry after 7, but the weight loss stopped. When I stopped fasting, I re-gained the weight.

Moments when I went totally off the rails:

  • Christmas and New Years
    • I decided I would allow myself some holiday indulgence. What a terrible idea this was…I actually gained back all the weight I’d lost (while trying to shed this last bit) + 2kgs/5lbs! Nothing like starting all over again 😦
  • The Nacho incident
    • I don’t even know what happened on this day. It’s like I was being a nice normal chic in the supermarket and then…insanity struck. I kid you not when I say that I barely even remember grabbing all requirements for an amazing set (or 2 – YES, 2!) of nachos! Including a solid weeks worth of my calorie intake. Boy did I ever regret that move!

Some of the exercises that worked really well for me:

  • I used forearm planks and flute bridges as warm ups and to tone my core:
    • Forearm plank – I find myself doing extra of these randomly and mixing with ->
    • Glute bridge – Doing flute bridges feels like a bit of a break after planks. Mixing these is awesome and its really simple to just jump off the sofa and do a set!
    • Bird Dog
    • Dumbbell Shrug – I love this one! Simple and really effective 🙂
    • Reverse fly – Great for arms, shoulders and back. You get used to it, but at first = Ow ow ow! However, it’s a REALLY important exercise so I suggest you try it if you are doing any for of weights.

Some of the exercises that were difficult:

  • This reverse crunch is a great exercise, but hard, hard, hard!!
  • This Alternating Shoulder Tap Plank made me feel like I was going to land on my face. But its super effective, and to tell you the truth, I was incredibly proud of myself when I finally nailed it!

In addition to all the exercises I received from Chape (there are many), I also go on several dog walks daily, which aids in burning some calories. I have been intermittently trying to conquer the kettle bell swing. I look like Mr Magoo trying to do it, but I will nail it down eventually.

Although I have met my weight loss goal – YYYYEEEESSSS!!! – I do plan to continue eating well and utilizing these exercises. I would like to at least maintain my weight and would be very happy to take up more! Besides, I want to look fantastic in that bikini and I have a wedding dress to fit into! I will, of course keep you updated on my progress and pitfalls.

I am SSSSOOOOOO HAPPY! I was seriously starting to doubt that this milestone day would ever come! Just consider me living proof that a woman metabolism does not come to a screeching halt in her 30’s 😉 Thank you all so much for following me and my journey, for all the support and ideas, suggestions, encouragement and motivation! Thank you David, for all the time, effort and energy you put into getting me into good shape! And a special Thank you to my fiancé for putting up with my whining about sore muscles, midnight rampages about being hungry and not having suitable food, and for laughing at me when I’m acting like a total psycho.  We did it!!! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Winter slim-down week 4

Three weeks down, and embarking on the last week of a month. The mysterious ‘they’ say that any habit can be changed (or at least dramatically altered) in 21 days. Well, here we are…day 21. I’ve lost exactly 3 kg (about 7 lbs) and have 6+ kg to go yet. My starting weight was 64,1 kg, my current weight is 61,1 kg this week and my goal weight is 55 kg. (Unless I can manage another way to fit into my fabulous clothing items…in which case, the scale can say whatever it well wants!) So, 10 kg total (or the plus side of 20 lbs) which really sounds like a ton of weight.

It seems that ‘they’ must be correct, as many of my habits have changed. In the lifestyle kind of way, not the diet rules kind of way. For example; I have been lectured repeatedly about the necessity of not eating after 6 in the evening, and giving your body at least 12 hours to properly process the food and begin to burn fat. No problemo. My body starts screaming at me by 3:30 in the afternoon, so I’m done eating by 6 in the evening. 12 hours after that is before 6 in the morning, so the closest thing I’ll be getting to actual nutrition at that time of day is chugging coffee and perhaps a protein shake. It no longer seems like such a task to do some squats and handweights. Usually, I even get a bit carried away once I’ve found a corner of solitude…I mean the heart rate is already up, right?

I have apparently set a pattern regardless of what I am or am not doing properly, that I’m shedding an average of 1 kg weekly. Slow, but reliable so it works just fine for me.

Eating healthy: Yes, please! Sunday was a celebration day for us, so all food rules went straight out the window. We gorged ourselves on whatever was available…and it was AWESOME! (Especially after deciding to try a veg smoothie fast the day before…hello hungry belly) All involved knew the scale would reflect our indulgence the next day. And it did, but we expected it so there were no major meltdowns 🙂 Thanks to all the vegan food-porn instagrammers (*evil eye: you know who you are, and I’m now following you…thanks for the veg choc pancake blueberry, Dear God I cant even guess whats in it – recipe, but I want it so badly right now…*drool, drool, drool….) I have stayed hungry. Even when I’m not hungry, I really want to run to a bakery and buy just everything so I can bring it home and stare at it. Seriously, self torture but sooo worth it because it looks so good! This week I will try to continue to intermittent fasting and eating only between  4-6 in the evening. However, if my belly is rumbling, I’ve decided not to torture myself totally. Snacking on a celery or carrot stick will do like zero harm.

Exercise: I’m pretty much in the habit at this point, but I will be increasing my reps this week. And that’s basically the plan….just to stick to what I’m doing. I definitely do NOT want to pack on all the weight once I’ve invested this much time into losing it! Besides, when cravings hit – 25 squats done where you stand makes those cravings subside quickly!

No-No’s: Fast food, anything not fruit or veggie (sans cheese and maaayyyybe fish, but probably not), tea or honey. No mass produced food. (Seriously, boxed/frozen/freeze dried meals are totally NOT HEALTHY!) And no more cakes on an empty stomach! Blech!

I welcome your advice, opinions and experiences!

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

Winter slim-down week 3

I’m back on the wagon! Thank you for your encouragement and advice 🙂

Two weeks ago, my starting weight was 64,1 kg or 141 lbs. (Eeeekkk!!) I was really hoping not to have to share my weight (as no woman wants to divulge that info) however I realize that it is a bit difficult to follow my journey unless you have all the facts. Two weeks down, and exactly 2 kg down as well. Current weight as of this morning: 62,1 kg or 136 lbs (give or take…the conversion isn’t always perfect).

Given my absolute impatience, it is frustrating not to be losing weight at a faster pace. Yes, I know, shedding 1 kg per week is actually the healthy way to diet. Still, there are some fantastic pieces hanging in my closet that I am just dying to get back into!

This week, it’s back on the exercise wagon. Seriously.

  • 100 squats daily
  • Return to the hand weights, kettle bells and resistance weights (alternated)
  • Add in some cardio to get things started. (jumping jacks, jogging, etc)

As for le diet, I’ll remain on the intermittent fast, but allow myself some protein snacks in the form of sunflower seeds, chia seeds and flax if I reach the point of ravenous before meal time. Back to the yerba mate and green tea during the day and tons of water at night.

Lessons learned from the past 2 weeks:

  • Ixnay on the Carbs
  • Pigging out during a 2 hour period doesn’t really help. Must keep it in moderation
  • Veggies keep me feeling full, longer
  • Caffeine keeps me up half the night if I’m guzzling green tea in the evening
  • Sporadic exercise does nothing

Wish me luck! Please share your thoughts, I look forward to reading and trying them 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

Update: Winter slim-down week 2

Hello and happy 1st week of November, all! Time for my weekly diet check-in. Halfway through week 2. I’ll go ahead and admit it, I have totally fallen off the exercise wagon. Totally. Shame on me.

In the past few days, my weight has been fluctuating quite a bit. I’m not entirely sure why, but I do have a theory or two. Perhaps someone reading this will have some input they’d be willing to share. I have, as of today, lost 2,3 kg or about 5 lbs. Good? Yes, absolutely. Confusing and frustrating? Yes, absolutely.

Here’s how it’s been going down: I totally bombed on the no wine rule. Two nights, I had a glass of wine. I’ve altered the diet parameters after a ton of googling and speaking to a few people in the nutrition and health fields. I’d heard about intermittent fasting (not in the religious sense) to cleanse the toxins from your system and get your body and energy back on track. By fasting, I do NOT mean starving myself. I’m speaking of  more like getting my body into survival mode by taking a relatively small chunk of time each day to eat whatever I want during that time and nothing else other than teas, vitamins and a ton of water for the rest of the day. This supposedly gets your body burning its fat reserves for additional energy after the first couple days. I don’t care if it is harsh. If I can spend an hour a day eating whatever my little heart desires while on a diet, I’m all for it!

Day one of this fasting, I paced like a caged animal for hours before I ate. My meal consisted of pasta and steamed veg. A ton of it. I was so full afterward that I slept like a baby.

Day two result: 0,5 kg down. A drastic loss in energy. I slept late, was unmotivated to manage even the lightest object on my to-do list book. When it was time to eat, I was READY. My meal consisted of leftover pasta and stir fry  tempeh and mixed veg and a glass of wine.

Day three result: 0,2 kg down. Helloooo energy! Most productive day this week. I got a ton of mundane tasks accomplished, but when it came to working out, I just felt weak. Fell in love with Netflix. Hungry. My evening meal consisted of fries. And waffles. Total carbo fest. Felt guilty immediately and my stomach was growling all night. Realized that all the carbs I’d been eating were keeping me hungry.

Day four result: 1,2 kg UP! WHAT?!?! Ok, given the junk food fest I’d had the night before it’s no big surprise. But it is frustrating to work so hard to lose every little bit and then…WHAM! Most of it gained back overnight. After a minor freak-out, I vowed to myself that would not happen again. Evening meal was tofu sausage and root veg.

Day five result: Weight down only about 200 grams. I’m unsure if my body is using fat reserves at this point, which it should be, but I’m also noticing that everything is slowing down. Even though I’m drinking tons of water, my metabolism is slower and my energy is seriously low. Occasionally I’ll get a burst of productive energy. However I’m noticing that it is usually in the evenings after I have eaten. Workouts are a thing of the past.

Yesterday I took myself for a reward facial at Mimando spa at it really helped me feel a bit better. Especially since my skin is drying out and all the toxins seem to be coming out of my body…through my face.

So here we are…now just trying to figure out if this will begin to work as well as it should if I can manage to stop sabotaging myself. Think I’ll keep it up for a few more days and actually do it properly and see what happens. I would really like to know any advice or experience anyone has to offer. So, please share.

Thank you for reading!

-mliae