Sunday, 6 July 2014

After Obsidian: three weeks on

We all know what new eating and fitness regimes are: difficult to keep up. The briefest of looks through this blog will demonstrate just how 'life happens' and our best intentions and desires are scuppered, whether by ourselves or by external events, whether reasons or excuses. In my case, it's been a bout of extremely painful plantar fasciitis lasting two years - 2008 to 2010 - and a severe ankle sprain in June 2013, just as I was at least getting myself back into a regular walking habit, which is still painful twelve months on.

After seeing (and more importantly, feeling) the extraordinary difference made by my Obsidian experience in just eight days, and having experienced the new possibilities afforded by increased vegetarian eating and the delights of juicing, I knew that I needed to make this as easy for myself as possible. So... what has changed?

  • I have kept up my near-as-dammit 5K walks almost every day. OK, so a Norfolk countryside is a lot less tough than Spanish mountains, but it's still done. You can see the evidence on my Runkeeper account. In the 23 days since my return, I have had just three days on which no walking has happened, and two others when I've walked less than 4.5K. That's included some rainy days, by the way.
  • I have eliminated my Assam tea entirely, and am perfectly happy with an assortment of Redbush, fruit and herb teas. The last time I had 'normal' tea was on the flight to Obsidian on 3 June.
  • I have not missed dairy products, and much to my surprise find a real liking for soya milk (which I have on occasional [gluten-free] muesli, and in one or two juices.
  • I have been cooking mostly vegan recipes from Obsidian, using chicken and fish on average once a week each.
  • I have drunk (and enjoyed) three glasses of (half diluted with water) white wine in the time since my return, and haven't missed it the rest of the time.
  • I have reduced my regular carbohydrate in evening meals by half (1 ounce instead of 2 of pasta or rice, 3 ounces instead of 6 of potatoes).
  • I bought a juicer, which arrived five days after my return. Since then, most of my breakfasts have been (post-walk) juices. If I'm in a real hurry, it's gluten-free muesli, fruit and soya yogurt, which I love.
  • I have started treatments with an excellent local sports masseur (James Witham) to try to deal with my continually problematic right ankle. This was inspired by my session with the wonderful Gilly at Obsidian.
Now, for the first ten days after my return, having implemented all the above, I was getting a bit piqued that my 12-6 weight (down from 12-13) hadn't moved an ounce. Very irritating! However, I persevered; and suddenly the downward journey began again. Today, 23 days after my return, I've shed a total of a further 5 pounds; this morning I weighed in at 12 stone 1 pound - a total weight loss of 12 pounds.

I have reclaimed a skirt, a top, a jacket and some t-shirts from the 'keep-and-hope' section of the wardrobe. I don't have to change out of jeans and into baggy trousers in order to sit down and be comfortable; the jeans are OK to sit in. I seem to have left at least one chin behind at Obsidian. My wedding and engagement rings, while still not removable (not that I want to, you understand) can now be moved on my finger rather than cutting off circulation (I was truly afraid that they would have to be cut off and resized). 

My next target is to get down below 12 stone, and to fit into a concert dress for a performance I'm directing and taking part in on 19th July, and I'm on course to do that.

I will add more reflections on this journey - especially the 'learning' and 'moderation' aspects, which are what has made it so achievable for me - very soon. In the meantime, the photo below was taken (outside a wonderful vegetarian restaurant in Norwich, in fact) after I'd had a new haircut and highlights - and my nails painted! - wearing one of those 'rescued' jackets, and feeling SO MUCH BETTER.

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