Nine Bananas

I’ve been reading up on the Core Plan as many people have suggested it could work for me. It’s a cracker of plan, hats off to the lab rats at WW! But I’m not sure the Core alone would suit me. My diet already consists of core foods – when we’re food shopping my sister and I have a Minimal Meddling policy, aiming to buy as many whole foods as possible with no interference from a factory. After that, I just try to limit processed foods to a couple instances a week (which would fall under the weekly non-core points allocated on WW).

So what’s my problem? It says to eat these core foods in reasonable amounts, when you’re hungry. I don’t trust myself to do that. It’s a fantastic list of delicious foods and I can think of a dozen recipes that I could technically eat as much as I like of. Lentils, couscous, pumpkin, chicken, oh my! There’s endless possibilities. Sure it would be healthy and wholesome but I know I’d end up eating too bloody much. Some people are smart enough to listen to their bodies and stop when they’re full, but I’d undoubtedly see it as my license to PORK OUT!

I will continue eating these Core-y foods but still track my calories so I don’t lose sight of how much I’m actually throwing down my gob. I’ve just finished my first week of WLR. In the end I decided to stick with the 1690 cals it recommended me, calculated by my current weight and activity level. I thought I’d try that awhile and see what happens. The 1500 recommended by Slimming magazine just didn’t feel like enough, especially when I exercised. I stayed within that limit all week, and if I went over it wasn’t horrendously so. I was chocolate free, all week long!

It does a nice wee report for the week, and if you look at the overall picture I was on target. It counts exercise calories, which I was very modest with coz I don’t want to go crazy eating just coz I did a workout. It also does a report of what your Favourite Foods are for that week. The winner was tea with semi-skimmed – 13 cups! Runner up was the humble banana – 9! Bloody hell, nine bananas? Brazil nuts took bronze with 6 serves of 3 nuts.

So it was an interesting exercise because I didn’t have to make any extreme changes. I was just more aware of what I ate – what had the fat, what had the calories – and made some subtle tweaks.

This week will be a toughie as I’m off to Spain on Thursday with the Scottish Companion. Usually I’d see a holiday as an open invitation to binge, but I am bloody determined to exercise restraint. Fair enough having a fancy meal out but my holiday downfall is eating chocolate bars and ice creams like they were fruit and vegies – at least 5 a day! I will enjoy the Valencian cuisine (it’s the home of paella, don’t you know) but I’m aiming to keep thinking before I eat and get as much walking in a possible. And unlike my previous trips this year, I’m not slacking off on the exercise. We fly out Thursday night so I have booked a Body Jam class for Thursday morning. We get back home Tuesday afternoon so I’ll book in a class for Tuesday night. It’s only five days away, so I’m putting plans in place to avoid floundering again.

Hey you groovy people… in all honesty, I just can’t bloody believe I made it through last week and didn’t give up. I didn’t scoff a chocolate, didn’t skip a class, didn’t eat a pile of buttery toast. I haven’t had a week this good since… well I can’t remember when. I’ve been completely terrifed that I couldn’t do this anymore, that I had forever lost my ability to focus and give anything more than a half-assed effort. I honestly thought I could never want it bad enough to get back into that groove. But I do want to change. I haven’t looked at the scale but I feel positive and starting to get some pride back. So here’s to another healthy week.

27 thoughts on “Nine Bananas

  1. I reckon making it through one day is a big achievement, so big kudos for the week. Once you get started, it’s just all about keeping that groove thang going.
    (I so I’ve heard… πŸ˜‰

  2. Hooray for good weeks! It’s so exciting and inspiring at the moment, reading everyone’s blogs, everyone seems back into the groove, really focused and determined. Looks like we all got our mojo back? πŸ™‚

    I’m with you on being scared of oinking out on the Core plan. Free licence to eat so many of the foods that I already eat? Hmmm, dangerous. I don’t trust myself – after all, I didn’t get as big as I was because I exercised great judgement and portion control, heh.

    And Spain…oh my, I’m so very jealous. Have a fantastic, sexy time with your boy!

  3. You know, on the other hand, none of us got overweight by eating too many vegetables or lean meats.

    I know that I got over weight by eating too much chocolate and other calorie-dense food.

    This core plan sounds very similar to the programme I started a month ago with Slimming World and all I can say is that it seems to work. Portion control isn’t necessary.

    I was totally sceptical. But the second week in I had a binge night because my partner was out and I felt lonely. I ended up eating 4 dinners – but all of them were faithful to the plan. I only lost 1 pound that week but still lost. I’ve eaten out – we’ve been to Nandos twice. And by last week I had lost 12 pounds. (Weigh in is on Wednesdays.)

    I know it sounds barmy and stupid but it seems to work. I presume that as you get smaller and need less food, you start choosing smaller portions. But for the moment I am piling the plate high with Vege Chilli and Rice (which I just had for lunch).

    The consultant says – your body is like a furnace. If you don’t put fuel on a fire, it goes out. Same with weight loss.

    It’s worth thinking about.

  4. Congratulations on a ripper week! Well done!

    Go and enjoy Spain, come on, how often are you going to go? If you fall off the wagon, it’s no biggie. Besides, there’s all that exercise you’ll be getting with the Scottish Companion… ;>

  5. cheers guys! really looking forward to it, i’m beginning to forget what sunshine feels like πŸ˜›

    sandra – core is an rockin’ programme, as is slimming world — have heard great things about it, (i read the magazine sometimes πŸ™‚ and now there’s another endorsement with you doing so brilliantly!

    all i was trying to get across in the entry is that i don’t think core would be enough *for me*. i gain weight as soon as i start eating more than my body needs, whether the calories come from lean meat, couscous or a block of lard. i have proven time and time again over the years that i can overeat with ANY food. so just for me *personally*, these core foods need to be used in conjunction with portion control.

  6. Fair enough, DG. Of course, you should do what is right for you.

    My point was that I’ve spent the last couple of years doing the calorie-counting type plans and yoyoing all the time depending on whether I was ‘good’ or ‘bad’. That was torture. I read the SW magazine too for ages and never believed it would work. I just couldn’t see that you could really eat all you want and still lose weight. And I still don’t know WHY it works.

    Now I’m just annoyed that I took so long to try it. I sound like a religious zealot and apologise for that but I’m so excited by my success I feel like shouting it from the rafters. But I’ll contain myself for a while…

  7. i just emailled sandra but i want you all to know i’m not being critical anyone’s method. i think her success with slimming world just goes to show you have to work to find what method suits you best… i really believe there’s no single thing that will work for everyone, we all have our lifestyles and quirks and habits…

    and please, anyone, everyone – go ahead and crow about your success! or your failures, or whether or not Alan Titchmarsh’s hair is real. don’t ever be afraid to say what you’re thinking round here. i am usually bored off my tits at work and enjoy the dialogue…

  8. Awesome! Great job! I rejoined WW last week to check out the new plan (and to give myself a kick in the butt to get remotivated) and it does look great but I worry about the same thing. I could eat healthy things all day! Sounds like your plan is working – stick with it.

    And have a wonderful time in Spain with the SC. I’m so jealous I can barely see to type! πŸ˜‰

  9. never heard about core plan and Im usually not sceptical either about peoples different strategies but WW has never worked for me. It just doesnt feel right for me.

    I do your method as well I count calories but nowadays I dont have to count daily just doing checkups. But Im alot lower then you are. Im on 1100 kcal per day plus my excersise calories and end up on about 1400-1500 per day. When I plan my day properly I can have breakfast, lunch, snack and a dinner and Im not hungry. I try to eat around every third hour and that works fine.

    I prefere to be on the base level meaning activity 0 in my program then I add if I do extra things. That way I dont feel like I have to do things but when I do I feel good and can add it to my kcal that day and I do things daily. It just another way of doing it.

    Good luck with your strategy *S*

  10. btw
    Im planing on baking your chocolate muffins soon to my staff. They like to have something for the coffee in the afternoon but Im trying to figure out what you mean with brown suger. Is it like ordinary suger but not white what we call raw suger or is it the brown suger that is very fine and taste abit different from normal suger? We call that farin suger

  11. Ah Spain! Are you going to Valencia? Gorgeous town it is!Best oranges ever, trust me! I know you will be back all thrilled about how good a girl you were there. You got the buzz back, it is obvious!!!

  12. Congrats on a fantastic week! I’m envious of your Spanish vacation with the Scot…Just avoid the chocolate and enjoy the sangria ! (its just fruit right?)

  13. I still want you to learn to trust your body! You can do it. Here are two questions that I keep coming back to: 1. What can’t my body do, as it is right now, that’s essential to my happiness? (I suspect that the answer to that, for you, would be “nothing.” So why devote all of this energy to altering its form???) 2. If I weren’t obsessing about calories/fat/diets/exercise, what would I be thinking about? The answer(s) to that question will snap you out of the diet addiction and back into your real life.

  14. laurie, i’m a bit confused by your comment… i don’t believe i have a diet addiction. i don’t see anything wrong with devoting attention to altering my form when it is over twenty kilograms overweight.

    i’m also firmly present in my real life. many things occupy my time apart from health and fitness, you just don’t hear about them here because this is a blog about health and fitness.

    in fact, i’ve been so wrapped up in Real Life that my weight started to climb again. when my clothes got tight i knew something had to be done – you can trust your body but sometimes you need to give it a little extra attention πŸ™‚

  15. Yeah, I wasn’t quite following either, given that you seem to have plenty of Real Life, and, for heaven’s sake, your last entry was about chocolate!

    Maybe it’s the name? I know it’s short for ‘Getting Fit and Healthy Girl” (or something like that, wasn’t it?) but I agree that’s just not as snappy. You realise you’ve gone some way to hinder me in setting up a blog of my own? I just can’t think of as good a title. So you’ll just have to put up with long comments πŸ™‚

    Have a rockin’ time in Spain…

  16. I guess it depends on your definition of “reasonable.” I know that Core is working for me, but I’m still eating larger quantities of food than most people I know. It’s seeming to work, though!

  17. It is a fabulous effort to get through a whole week of being good when you have gotten into the habit of slipping (says she who just downed a HUNGER BUSTER meal from McDonalds, should be called a FAMINE in ETHIOPIA Buster!!)

    I am stoked for you and hope your trip to Spain is awesome. Don’t go watching any of those terrible bull fights will you??

  18. I absolutely love your writings DG!!! Thankyou so much for giving me inspiration. You have a way of making the art of eating chocolate so interesting! lol

    I’ll be back for more that’s for sure!!

  19. Hey DG, I haven’t read up on your adventures for a while, so this comment may be from left field, but I noticed those foods in the Core plan you mentioned all have a lot of fiber, which is probably why they said to eat up.

    Metabolically, fiber is more filling and is harder to digest, so you’ll get fuller, faster, and it will be a sort of time-released energy burn, so it should last a while.

    Still, I’m with you on how easy it is to eat too much. Frankly, I watch my intake of carbs of any kind… they are just too tempting.

  20. Shaunie, what would you do with yourself (and your thoughts) if you weren’t overweight and didn’t have to stress about weight issues and how much food is going into your mouth? When you reach your goal what will you fill your time in with? What will you think about? What will you stress about?

    How much of your time and energy is taken up with this whole weight loss business and are these thoughts keeping you overweight?

    How do people without weight issues think?

    Hmmm I’d like to be able to experience the brain of my thin seven year old who thinks of food as an inconvenience that stops him from playing.

    Far too much pondering at this time of the morning. NJ

  21. Hi. πŸ™‚ (new here)

    Congrats to you on your continuing weightloss! Btw, there’s much to b said for doing this sort of thing just one week at a time. Much easier to form new habits that way. Less stressful, too.

    And thanks for all the fun-to-read writing! This is now one of the places I come to for relief from … ah… events in my part of the world. :\

  22. I thought that ww weren’t introducing this core plan thingy in England? Oh well, I go to my first ww meeting on monday so I guess I’ll know for sure then, just got a little confused for a moment.

  23. The Core Plan is the first time Weight Watchers really appealed to me, because I don’t need to count EVERYTHING I eat so much as I need a way to keep track of the week’s “just this once” indulgences. That’s because my weight problems have always been more caused by the extras, and what my meals consisted of, rather than eating HUGE meals all the time. A few years ago eDiets helped me learn portion control, and the concept of balance. To kick myself off a two year plateau the Core Plan has been really great for making me realise that having a salad for lunch means I can have a cookie at a lab meeting and STILL lose weight that week.

    I derailed myself this week by making the infamous caramel shortbread…and waiting until I’d eaten at least one square a day for 5 days before figuring out that they’re 4 points a square! D’OH.

    My only real point is to back up DG’s assertion that very different things work for each of us, because not only do we have different body chemistries, we also all have different issues and habits to tweak. I fully expect there to come a point when I plateau out on Core, and may have to find yet another strategy to keep going from there!

  24. Zan, no, there’s no Core plan yet in England, I think dg got it from another reader/blogger – I know, I was hoping for it myself here but I have no idea how long we’ll be waiting!

    DG, I ended my first week on WLR this week as well (yes, I signed up thanks to your plug) and might I just say I LOVE all the little graphs and pie charts and tracky thingies. Totally eat that stuff up (and it’s calorie-free!) πŸ™‚ Thanks for turning me on to your discovery, I’ve had an eye-opening week. Enjoy your time in Spain and have fun burning loads of extra calories with your sexy Scot!


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