I’m Famous! FINALLY!

25 Aug

The day has finally come where all my hopes and dreams about fame and glory come to fruition!  My name will be on billboards, a movie on my life will be on the silver screen, a sitcom will emerge based on my tales, a perfume and clothing line will ensue!  The possibilities are endless!  Because, my friends, SOMEBODY wrote their assignment on ME!  Weeeeeeeee!

Okay, so maybe I have gone overboard with the fame and glory stuff but seriously, first comes the assignments and then comes the Oscars.  Seriously.  I’m pretty sure that’s how Kim Kardashian got famous… oh… wait…

Marieke approached me via my blog and asked if she could write her journalism assignment on me.  Of course I said I would be delighted and so she sent me a list of questions for me to answer.

I asked Marieke if I could share her piece on my blog so please enjoy!  I’m almost certain she will get full marks.

“Fighting the Flab

HOW many times have you looked in the mirror and told yourself, this is it, today I am starting a diet?

So you have your muesli with lite milk for breakfast and pack yourself a salad for lunch, confident you will make the change.

Morning tea time comes. You forgot, today is your work mate’s birthday. Perched on the tea room bench is a moist chocolate cake with “Happy Birthday Mark!” piped across the top of rich chocolate icing. Suddenly you find yourself thinking that maybe that diet of yours should start tomorrow. After all, you can’t disappoint him.

Most of us are guilty of it at some time, falling into the trap of ‘just one piece’ or ‘I promise I’ll be good tomorrow’.  So how do you beat that little voice in your head and finally make the decision to fight the flab once and for all?

Nutritionist, Matt O’Neill, says there are four common types of eating triggers that cause people to break a diet; sensations, locations, emotions and relations.

Sensations involve the biochemical changes that occur in response to eating food, or not eating enough.

“Beware of depriving yourself too much and eating too little food,” Matt said. “Avoid skipping meals which can leave you hungry and prone to overeating.”

Matt also says it is important to be aware of your physical location, and identify those that challenge people the most.

“Don’t shop hungry,” adds Matt, “and try to keep high calorie snacks out of sight or out of the house.

Emotions can also subconsciously influence our eating habits, triggering us to turn to food to satisfy an emotional need. Matt suggests teaching yourself positive ways to manage your emotions, such as going for a walk if you are anxious or finding something to occupy your mind if you are bored.

Matt says for many the final eating trigger, relations, can often be the most difficult to overcome.

“Partners, family members and friends can unwittingly influence you to eat when you don’t need or want to.” He suggests asking for support from these people or just having the confidence to say no.

“You are number one and declining a second helping should not offend the cook,” he said.

It sounds simple, so why then are Australians putting on weight? Australia’s most recent National Health Survey showed that almost half of all men and around one-fifth of women who were overweight or obese according to their BMI, considered themselves to be at an acceptable and healthy weight.

What’s more, when people decide to make the change many will turn to quick fix diets, such as meal replacements or a detox.

Dietician Alison Collogan suggests, however, that strict diets such as meal replacements may cause more harm than good.

“There are a number of health risks associated with these diets,” she said. “People need advice to understand the balance of food they are putting into their body and using these diets doesn’t provide them with education. Once people start eating real food again they put the weight back on as they haven’t learnt the skills of balancing their food.”

Alison said that many of her clients have a history of dieting and then regaining the weight. As a result, she tends to focus on behaviour modification and education about food to create new healthy habits for people.

“Most people’s excess weight is the result of bad habits or becoming comfortable in their routine. My job is to provide them with the knowledge and the skills to make healthier choices.”

For many, she said, motivation is their greatest barrier. “Clients with strong goals will do better than someone who has just been sent from the doctor to lose a few kilos. Having goals provides them with something to motivate them and they tend to see better results.”

Alison also suggests a regular exercise plan to help people reach that weight loss goal.

Personal trainer, Gerrard Rider, recommends at least an hour of activity a day for anyone, particularly those trying to lose weight.

“People often turn to fitness when trying to lose weight,” Gerrard said “and if you have gotten great results for people, people will come to you.”

A consultation with a personal trainer can involve a number of measurements including Body Mass Index and body composition. Though Gerrard says he prefers to use body composition as he finds BMI’s to be too inaccurate.

“A lady may come to me with a BMI of 35 and to say that she needs to be between 19 and 24, well the reality of that is she can’t get there,” he said. “I tend to make an initial goal rather than focus on the long term where it seems impossible to get there.”

The most important element of exercise, according to Gerrard, is the enjoyment factor. “If their ultimate goal is weight loss and you can provide the environment that they can have fun in, then the health benefits of being active can possibly outweigh that fat loss benefit for the time being,” he said.

After battling with her weight for ten years, Amanda Weekes, 27, says she has learnt the hard way that weight loss does not happen overnight. Now she has created a blog called Me vs. The Bulge, detailing her personal battle with the scales.

“It makes me feel accountable,” Amanda said. “Publicly announcing my intentions to the blogosphere keeps me on track. It’s very therapeutic.”

Being called ‘skeletor’ throughout school was not easy for Amanda.  So when she gained ten kilograms in one year after being prescribed antidepressants to help her deal with anxiety, she embraced the change. “I was a very bony and gawky looking teenager and I hated people always pointing that out. I wanted womanly curves. I got them, but I just couldn’t stop gaining,” said Amanda.

By the time she reached 19, everything had changed for Amanda. Between the effects of her medication and her lifestyle, Amanda saw her weight creep up to 92 kilograms.

“I would cry in frustration trying to pull on a pair of shorts. I simply had no idea how big I was,” she wrote in her blog.

“I finally went shopping to buy some new clothes and picked up my usual size 12. They wouldn’t go up past my thighs. I went to store after store thinking they were just a small 12 and I would find another pair that fit. No success. Finally…I picked up a size 16, zipped it up successfully, bought the damn thing…and vowed I would never buy a size 16 ever again.”

After yo-yo dieting for years, Amanda finally sought the advice of a nutritionist and was soon medically diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome as well as mild insulin resistance.

Now under the careful guidance of a personal trainer, Amanda has finally begun to see results she can be proud of.  “She really makes it personal…She tailors it to me and what my body requires and also she is there for support,” Amanda said of her personal trainer.

She also attributes her achievements to the constant support she receives from those she is closest to. “I receive a lot of support from my husband who even pays for my personal training sessions,” she said. “He keeps saying though, how he doesn’t want me to get too skinny because he likes my curves.

The biggest change Amanda has noticed is her attitude toward weight loss. She has now set herself short term goals to reach so that she can feel rewarded at each milestone. “I’m more positive and focused,” she said. “I found that consistency and patience is the key. This is now a lifestyle, not a quick fix.”

So next time you see a birthday cake at work, wish them a happy birthday and give yourself a real treat. Just say no, maybe this time your diet can make it to day two.”

Thanks again Marieke!  You have truly inflated my ego.  This is dangerous yet incredibly pleasing.

4 Responses to “I’m Famous! FINALLY!”

  1. Danielle August 25, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Woohoo! I can totally say “I commented on her blogs *before* she was famous!” 😉

    I love how supportive your hubby is! My bf’s the same way. Completely supportive and right behind me and my journey to get fit, but always quick to remind me he thinks my body’s perfect (I knew he needed new glasses!) and that he doesn’t want me to lose my curves.

    • Amanda August 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

      Haha! Don’t worry Danielle, when my fame and glory is at it’s peak I will ALWAYS remember you! 😀

      Yeah – it’s great. He was hugging me last night saying that soon it will feel like he is hugging air! It’s great when guys are advocates for curvy girls. 😉

  2. leashieloo August 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    You’re funny 🙂 And I love the photo at the end, you should paste your face over his next time!

    • Amanda August 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

      Oh that is such a good idea! Hahaha I should have done that! 😉

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