Thursday, 19 September 2013

It is the simple things

Something as simple as choosing water and fruit as snacks for journey instead of fizzy drinks (however much I miss you diet coke!) and chocolate/taytos is definitely making a difference

Monday, 16 September 2013

Eating habits

One of the main things that I needed to target what my attitude to food and how much/what I was eating.

My main bad habits were/are

  • Eating main meals late in the evening - I don't enjoy eating on my own so would wait until himself was home to have dinner. I also didn't think too much about what I was putting into food - cheese, creamy sauces, salt...
  • Snacking while doing chores/reading/watching tv - Not at all out of hunger, more something to do!
  • If I had a cup of tea (which was frequently!) I would have something sweet also. This meant that I again was eating unnecessarily.
  • Fizzy drinks - LOVE Diet Coke and would happily drink it each day.
  • Not eating fruit remotely regularly or enough water per day
I know what I should have been doing all along, in theory, but as I mentioned previously I never thought too much about my weight therefore didn't take any of the logical advice on board for a long time.

Basically snacking a lot and fizzy drinks were my worst vices. Trying to change some well established bad habits was going to be a good chunk of my initial fight against my weight. As my friend mentioned in her guest post, it takes three weeks to really get out of a habit but by God you must be determined to do it in order for the urge to get out of your system. 

I'm two weeks into the 'Macra's Feirme Bodies' journey so we shall see how I am getting on by next week!

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values, 
Your values become your destiny.” 
Mahatma Ghandi

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Guest post I - Other people's experiences and advice

Hey everyone,

My name is Aisling, I am 25 years of age, in the past two and a half years ive lost just over seven stone still not finished but almost! Rebecca has asked me to write a few posts over the next number of weeks just give everyone a few tips and just share my experience! I'm happy to answer questions or help anyone in any way i can!

First things first i want to wish Rebecca and all those taking part in Macras Feirme bodies initiative the best of luck. Its not an easy task but the rewards make every harrowing moment worth it!

If you take nothing from this post please take this: If you want to attain your goal of losing a substantial amount of weight you must be really committed to it! You must want to it for yourself not to impress others! You have to sit yourself down and say i really want this! This is a long and sometimes very tedious journey that you need to ready for! 

If some very nice person comes up to you and says 'you've lost weight weight well done! Are you on a diet?' the answer is simply 'no' followed with "I've just changed what I'm eating and doing a bit of exercise.....its more of a lifestyle change." Thats exactly what it is you must retrain your brain and your stomach to your new way of life! 

My Story:

It was January 2011, my weight had been creeping up over the years and i hated it but at that point my attitude was it was gone so far what was the point in even trying. I tried everything in the past lipotrim egg diets even Operation Transformation you name it i tried it but the weight i had just came back and more with it! 
My brother was getting married at the end of the year and i wanted to look good!
That January i started Operation Transformation and that year it just clicked as i really wanted it!
Why operation Transformation?

Different strokes for different folks i guess and it worked for me!

It gives you an extensive knowledge of healthy normal food! It makes you try food that you never would have before. It teaches you healthy alternatives to common dishes that are just as tasty. You soon discover what you like and don't like and Dr. Eva very importantly teaches you about portion control. It is so simple as every meal is planned for you.


Everything is planned for you! Everyday there is a video and set of directions to complete your task! All you need is two bottles of water and you are ready to go! Karl Henry is someone you can't help but love but on your third set of lunges you feel like you might throw your water bottle at him!

There is a feeling of comradery with every leader and what seems to be half of Ireland doing it with you! They face the same challenges as you! They spur you and you are fighting for them too! 

A good start is half the battle
Ive done this every January completely committed for the last three years! I still use the recipes every week ill pick two or three of my favourite recipes and make them my dinner! I will always let myself have something nice if really want but i have to really want it! The Operation Transformation website is available everyday so if you wanna start today go there and start day one! The knowledge and understanding of food and exercise that you gain from the show is invaluable in my opinion if done right!

This a very simple overview of what i have done! For those starting out remember they say it takes three weeks to break a habit of a lifetime and the first three weeks are the hardest but if you persevere i believe it will soon become a way of life.

Until next time remember this quote:

 "Desire is the key to motivation but its determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence that will enable you to attain the success that you seek."
Mario Andretti


Friday, 13 September 2013

Macra's Feirme Bodies - Part III

So what have we done exactly?
A quick update -
To start off was the dreaded weigh-in...
The ten leaders all met a couple of Saturdays ago and we did the initial weigh-in. In fairness to the lads most of them were quite open about their 'starting' weight but most of us ladies kept it quiet - maybe at a later date!
I kind of/half saw my weight on the scales - was trying to look down to see it while staying as straight as possible, not an easy task. It is the number I am working off from now on.

The next day we did a 3km walk around a fabulous local activity area which was to help kick off the project. Quite enjoyable and (as I always do after exercise) I felt great and then questioned myself as to why I don't do this kind of thing more often!

The group taking part in the first of our Macra's Feirme Bodies activities - a 3km walk

I've started back at Zumba in the last fortnight and have met up with another leader Úna to go for a walk. Really enjoying what I have done so far!

I'll do a separate post about my eating habits and a more in depth one about the exercise...

Second weigh-in is tomorrow so I will keep you all updated!!

“But the beauty is in the walking -- we are betrayed by destinations.” 
Gwyn Thomas

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Recipe ideas part I

My tagline states that this blog is also going to include recipe ideas so here is the first post of these.

As part of the whole get healthy challenge (If this were twitter I'd hashtag #getfit #gethealthy here), I will take the recipes I put up, try them and document my results :) Hope you like this idea?

The following links and attached comments are courtesy of the wonderful Ms. Helen Flynn-Becerra (who we miss here in Ireland!). Thanks a million for the ideas!

This list is stuff I make all the time and is guaranteed delicious while being healthy. I've made so many things from these blogs, I'm sure you'll love em too!
(The dressing is onraaaale)
(, srsly!)
(I make this about once a month and it's under 200 cals per medium bowlful if you go easy on the cheese & avocado. You'll feed yourself for a week with one batch)
(I like to add extra veggies to this. As long as your beef is pretty lean it's very healthy)
(Absolutely amazing! One of my top 3 fave things to eat ever in the world ever!)
(Not as good as fried falafels but nice for a change from meat. The yogurt sauce wasn't my thing though, I used Ballymaloe relish haha!)
(I make this a lot to bring to barbeques/parties. I use quinoa instead of the barely)

I hope you like them as much as I do!!!

Thanks a million Helen - I'll post pictures of my efforts as soon as I get to them but they look delicious!

“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”
Orson Welles

Monday, 9 September 2013

The offending picture...

In an earlier post (here), I explained that what really spurred me on to do something to get healthier and fitter was a photo.

A seemingly innocuous photo showing myself and four friends partaking in an event.

I didn't know the photo was being taken and while I am smirking delightedly (no idea why! Funny joke? Hilarious answer to one of the questions asked in the event? Who knows!) by God I wasn't too delighted to see the photo.

More bumps.
Bumps on bulges.

Was too afraid to put it up earlier but here goes...

I've even blurred out the others' faces, I'm embarrassed for them to be in the photo!

Be gentle.

"A picture is worth a thousand words"
Napoleon Boneparte

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Macra's Feirme Bodies - Part II

I suppose it would be a good idea to explain a bit more about the initiative wouldn't it? :)

For anyone unfamiliar with the whole 'Operation Transformation' idea, I suppose I'll start there.
Operation Transformation is a television programme on RTÉ here in Ireland which follows five 'leaders' on their journey to get fitter, healthier and losing weight. While doing the programme, they are supported by a panel of people who are experts in exercise, nutrition, etc.
Each leader is different. They are doing it for different reasons and what is great about it is that each leader has a tailored diet and fitness plan depending on their needs and lifestyle. 
Viewers of the programme are encouraged to follow a leader, choosing whomever is most like yourself in terms of needs etc, and nationwide events are organised to get encourage the Irish people to get fitter and healthier.
It is always fascinating to see how the people do transform from start to finish but also the trials and tribulations which accompany such a venture. In fairness to the programme makers, there is no glossing over when people are upset, unmotivated or not working as hard as they could be and while it can be harsh to see the experts being quite blunt about someone on the programme, ultimately, it is for their own good.

Thus an idea was born! 

The wonderful Caroline (wife of current Macra president Kieran and active Sligo Macra member and PRO) had the brainwave of using the format within the Macra organisation and put it to the National representatives.
The idea was that the President and his three Vice-Presidents (James, Seán and Paddy) would all undertake an eight week 'Operation Transformation' style challenge and that they would choose two people from their provinces to help as leaders.
Each group then would individually be monitored but would also do their best to encourage their local members and areas to join them by eating better, organising fun physical activity events and just generally promoting healthier lifestyles.

I put my name forward - as I said in my last post, it seemed like fate that this initiative was happening now - and was delighted to be chosen to work with James as well as another lady, Úna. And so it began... but how would we get on? Would I have the motivation and patience to stick with it?


"The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are and look
realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and the direction you have chosen"
Ralph Marsten

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Macra's Feirme Bodies part I

I am a very much actively involved member of my local macra (more info here) club and region. It is all about getting young people (at 27 am I really that young???) in communities to come together to socialise, learn new skills, take part in competitions (sports, public speaking, performing, etc.) and the national Macra organisation promotes an active, fulfilling lifestyle for all members.

A few weeks after I started this blog, I saw that one of our local lads who is the Munster Vice President of the organisation was going to take part in an initiative to encourage healthier lifestyles throughout the organisation. The plan was to have an 'operation transformation' type scenario where the national President and his three VPs (including our lad James) would take on a two month lifestyle change to get fitter and healthier and they would be looking for people to volunteer as leaders to encourage it more locally also.

It was the perfect opportunity to get my whole get fitter and happier idea really going and I do believe that it all happened around now for a reason; call it fate or whatever you want but it just seems like too much of a coincidence!!

I volunteered myself anyway and was delighted to be chosen to represent Munster along with James Healy the Munster Vice President and Úna Ryan from South Tipperary.
The Macra's Feirme Bodies Leaders (Myself, Úna on left and James in black jersey on right)


"To keep the body in good health is a duty...
Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear"