One woman’s mis­sion to shed the ki­los be­fore the hol­i­days

AHEAD OF THE SUM­MER HOL­I­DAYS, JO KEN­DALL IS DE­TER­MINED TO SHED THE KI­LOS AND GET HEALTHY AGAIN. SHE SHARES WHAT SHE’S LEARNED ON HER JOUR­NEY SO FAR

Good Health (Australia) - - Content -

“I ’m French, so I’ve al­ways been a keen foodie, es­pe­cially when it comes to wine, cheese and cho­co­late! Grow­ing up, we would of­ten in­dulge in treats, but the dif­fer­ence is that in France, they have tiny por­tions and mod­er­a­tion is the key. My fam­ily back home are all slim, and af­ter liv­ing here for 15 years, I feel as though I’ve lost touch with the French way of eat­ing. I’m head­ing back to France at Christ­mas, so the ex­cess weight has got to go. My goal is to lose 15kg, but I would be happy with 10.

I was ini­tially at­tracted to the ‘GM diet’, which is very strict, but I wanted to kick-start my new rou­tine with a big change. The GM stands for Gen­eral Mo­tors and it was de­vel­oped by the com­pany to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity, as fol­low­ers say it in­creases their en­ergy. It in­volves fol­low­ing a low-calo­rie eat­ing plan across seven days. For the first day you eat only wa­ter-based fruit, day two you eat veg­eta­bles but no fruit, day three you’re al­lowed both veges and fruit but no bananas or pota­toes, and you add in some lean pro­tein and brown rice as the week goes on. A cou­ple of col­leagues had tried it and felt amaz­ing, but for me, it was too much. Af­ter about four days I was so tired, I wanted to have a nap at work. Af­ter a week I de­cided to stop it be­cause I knew it just wasn’t nor­mal to feel that ex­hausted, although I lost about 2kg. CHANG­ING tack Af­ter ditching the GM diet, my hus­band and I set about de­sign­ing our own healthy liv­ing rou­tine. He’s sporty and ex­er­cises ev­ery day, so my first step was to join him in run­ning, swim­ming, play­ing ten­nis and go­ing for bike rides. I try to do some­thing most days, and if I’m tired I’ll go for a walk in­stead. For meals, I’m fo­cus­ing on smaller por­tion sizes and fewer carbs. Pasta, bread and pota­toes have been re­placed with lower GI brown rice and sweet potato, and my usual af­ter-work wine is now only for week­ends. An­other big change for me is that be­cause I’m ex­er­cis­ing a lot more, I’m now hun­grier in the morn­ings so I’ll have at least a healthy smoothie to start the day. For lunch, I gen­er­ally stick to low­carb com­bi­na­tions like sal­mon and broc­coli, with a piece of fruit in the af­ter­noon. Din­ner is about lots of veges, lean pro­tein, and qual­ity carbs and I try to eat what’s in sea­son. While I used to be a big snacker, I’m cut­ting back as I think it’s just too easy to get car­ried away and be­fore you re­alise it, you’ve loaded up on the calo­ries.

Two weeks in

I’m not go­ing to lie, the first week was hard, and I es­pe­cially missed my glass of wine in the evening. I think it be­came eas­ier as I got used to smaller por­tion sizes, and I’m now feel­ing fuller, faster. I used to be the sort of per­son who would never do any­thing ac­tive, so I’ve no­ticed that all the fresh air and ex­er­cise is help­ing me to sleep bet­ter.

The weight moved a lot more slowly than with the first diet, and in the first cou­ple of weeks of my new rou­tine I had dropped about a kilo, mak­ing me 3kg lighter in to­tal. But it wasn’t long be­fore my body shape started to change. I carry weight around the hips and I know they’re get­ting smaller as my clothes are get­ting slightly loose. This has been re­ally mo­ti­vat­ing.

I’m head­ing back to France at Christ­mas, so the weight has got to go

It’s hard to get the mo­men­tum with ex­er­cise some­times, but I re­ally be­lieve con­sis­tency is the key, so do­ing some­thing ev­ery day is an im­por­tant as­pect for me.

In the past few years I have never been con­fi­dent enough to ex­er­cise with strangers in a fit­ness class, but it’s funny how just by drop­ping a cou­ple of ki­los and get­ting used to mov­ing more, I’ve felt bet­ter about step­ping back into a gym.

Get­ting my fam­ily in­volved has made ex­er­cise eas­ier. My two daugh­ters have re­ally got into it, and we even have push-up com­pe­ti­tions at night! We started off with five, then 10, and now we try to do 20. My hus­band and I are train­ing to­wards a half marathon, my el­dest is do­ing the 12k and my youngest is do­ing the 5km course. We’re all in it to­gether.

Four weeks in

It took a while to get to know what worked for me, but I’m feel­ing so much bet­ter. My body is still chang­ing, es­pe­cially the tops of my legs, which are a lot slim­mer. I’ve gained a lot more con­fi­dence with ex­er­cis­ing, and that con­fi­dence has moved into other ar­eas of my life. It is hard work, and I do have to push my­self, but I’ve been wait­ing a long time to do this and I’m fi­nally feel­ing ready. So far I’ve lost about 4kg, and I’m happy with los­ing about 1kg per week.

We have a new rit­ual where we all sit around the ta­ble at 7am and chat about our plans for the day. In the evening, we now have din­ner at about 6pm – which is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to the French way I grew up with – and we have the dishes all done by 7.30. It’s re­ally im­proved our life­style and given us more fam­ily time.

Food-wise, I’ve been hav­ing a smoothie and two eggs on toast for break­fast each day, and that’s it un­til din­ner. I’ve been do­ing it for al­most two weeks now and it seems to work out well, as I’m just not hun­gry dur­ing the day any­more. That’s not to say I don’t have the odd treat; it’s still im­por­tant to have some plea­sures in life!

In the past, I’ve got re­ally fit, only to let the weight creep back on again. But this time I’m stick­ing with it. I don’t want big mus­cles or any­thing like that; I just want to look slim like my mum! I be­lieve it’s im­por­tant to get the fam­ily into good habits, and I want to stay as healthy as pos­si­ble for my kids.

*To find out whether Jo meets her goal, check out the De­cem­ber is­sue.

Af­ter 4 weeks

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