No-sugar, no-wheat, no-dairy, no alcohol - DAY ONE

Saturday, 20 February 2010

For my birthday this year, I decided to give myself a really extra special gift.


I was perusing some old photos recently (like, really old... yes these high-waisted jeans are from the mid-90s, NOT last year) and although I realise my entry into the middle-age-spread years will never again see this kind of streamlined silhouette (unless I become a triathlete, and that ain't gonna happen), I absolutely cannot succumb to the idea that a well-toned middle-age body is impossible. Sure, it may not be easy, but it's certainly do-able.

But this post is about much more than cottage cheese thighs.

For the past 10 months, I’ve been feeling lethargic, tired, exhausted, drained. Whoozy, nauseous, crabby, ratty. Energy-less, depressed, despondent, hopeless, histronic. Head-achey, bloated, crampy, weepy and my skin has gone to the dogs. I feel old old old and fat fat fat.

And the life of a writer doesn’t help. In my job roles as blogger, freelance writer, book reviewer, author, editor and publisher, there’s one thing in common. I sit. I’m sedentary. And my thighs really are cottage cheese.

But I’m tired of making excuses. I’m just plain tired, really.

I’ve been watching that amazing show You Are What You Eat and I love it. I love it because I agree with it and, for the most part, our family lives its life abundant with a low fat, high fibre, high-nutrition diet. But we still sneak sugar. Sometimes lots. I know I do.

And when it comes to exercise, I'm failing. I’ve been an aerobics addict and body-builder in my time so I understand exercise and what it does to the body and how vital it is to the body. It’s just that I have so much else to do, you see - and exercise is so often relegated.

And boy oh boy, am I now paying the price.

Frankly, though, I no longer have a choice. My lifestyle past is now catching up on me and I'm paying dearly. It’s showing in my face, my skin, my hair, my nails, my body condition. But also my psyche. Put it this way – I’ve been in a really bad mood for far too long now.

When you’re really ready to make changes, the Universe provides the goods. I’ve always believed this. Since making this health decision (I booked in to a naturopath and for my first dental checkup in 2 years, just to kickstart the commitment) the past few days have been quite miraculous. Two days ago, I dug into my groaning pile of book review copies and dug out Body Blitz Diet (Orion, A$46.99).

Most weirdly (or maybe not so weirdly) it is written by the woman who conceived You Are What You Eat. (Universe at work here.) In the book, Anna Richardson swears you’ll melt kilos in two weeks if you give up sugar, wheat, alcohol and dairy. Oh, and no carbs after 6pm.

This idea was not only tempting because I’d like to banish my cottage cheese things, but also because I SO badly want to feel healthy again. I want to feel good. Damn it, I want to feel great! No more fatigue, no more feeling ill, no more feeling blue.

So, yesterday, I started. It went better than expected. I also moved more. In fact, I did my morning exercise, but through the day, I’d frequently get up and move around, do kick boxing while waiting for the kettle to boil, do side lunges at the ironing board, do squats at the stove over dinner.

It’s only been one day of my two-week programme and after spending all day yesterday without a single gram of dairy, sugar, wheat or alcohol – I have to say – today I am feeling UNBELIEVABLE.

I feel amazing. Wonderful. Energised. Refreshed. Happy. Excited, even! I am absolutely and utterly gobsmacked. My stomach is already flatter (thighs still pudge, but let’s give that time), I have greater mental clarity and I feel incredibly invigorated. I. Am. Stunned.

If this is how I’m going to feel after ONE DAY on this thing, can you imagine how I’m going to feel in two weeks’ time?

Well, I shall tell you. Every day over the next two weeks, I will be reporting the changes (ups AND downs) I experience on this two-week journey. Check back daily and hopefully this will inspire you to take your own health by the throat and feel the reward.

Yes, this stomach used to belong to me.

Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven
Day Eight
Day Nine
Day Ten
Day Eleven
Day Twelve
Day Thirteen
Day Fourteen


Anonymous said...

Wow! My stomach never looked like that! I empathise completely and look forward to reading along. I'm in a similar position to you (without actually being a book reviewer, editor and publisher so amazing!) and I'm trying to figure out what works for me too. Wishing you all the best. xx

MissChief Maker said...

Ooohhh that stomach. Did you do 100 ab crunch everyday to achieve that?

Tania McCartney said...

I was superfit here. I had the fortune of being able to take a year off to write, so all I did was exercise and wrote.

I did boxing, yoga, swimming, an aerobics class at least once a day as well as an hour of treadmill power walking every day. On top of that, I did weights, stationery bicycle or step machine for at least half an hour daily, and tai chi and a stretch class three times a week.

Also, I was young.

I think that kind of body is almost unachievable in 'real life' unless you're genetically thin, or have endless days to do all this exercise in (or are a professional athlete). THAT's why my stomach looks like it does in this pic, and I have to say, I don't ever expect my tummy to look like that again!

I just want to feel good again. Healthy, energetic, happy. I really do. If I lose a few kg in the meantime, that's a nice side bonus, but trust me - I ain't banking on looking like that again in this lifetime!


Emma Davidson said...

Wow, if I took sugar, wheat, and dairy out of my diet, there wouldn't be much left! Would love to know what you CAN eat - lots of fresh fruit and vegies? Chickpeas and lentils?

Anonymous said...

HI Tania, I first communicated with you in January about my daughter Bella's birthday party. I will forward those photos to you soon (a burglery has prevented me from doing so) but I wanted to say that this is about the 5th post you have done that has completely spoken to me. I feel the same as you (permanent bad mood, tiredness etc) and you have inspired me to detox. Thank you so much!

Tania McCartney said...

You can eat EVERYTHING! Just no wheat, dairy, alcohol, sugar. The sugar thing is refined sugar only. Fruit is ok, as is rice milk, soy milk. You're allowed 300ml skim milk a day, but I would normally have less than that anyway. You can have rice and rye and corn crackers and bread and noodles. They're so much choice. Oh - and no potatoes, in any form, especially chips and crisps. You CAN have tea and coffee.
Basically, to me, this is a lifestyle diet, not a 'diet'. It is basically giving up JUNK and refined food. I will eventually reintroduce dairy but only because I only ate a little of it before, anyway.
I am loving this. Day Three and going strong.

Tania McCartney said...

Hi Marie! So lovely to hear from you. PLEASE follow my journey along - I will post everything I do and experience. In just three days I feel like a new woman and I am NOT missing these foods at ALL. Sure, I will have some bubbles or a G&T again one day, but for the most part, if eating like this makes me feel this wonderful, then this is IT for me.
Looking forward to the pics and sorry you've suffered burglary!

life and the memoirs said...

Hi Tania! I can relate in everyway to how you have been feeling for the past 10 months! Me too!! Oh and I'm so sleep deprived, mostly self inflicted because I don't put myself to bed at a reasonable hour!
Your comments and journey are so inspiring for me to give the program a go!
Well done on taking this on :)

Megan said...

Hi Tania, just catching up on some reading now, and I see you've embarked on a huge lifestyle change!

Good luck, sounds like it's all going well so far. I can't believe you were a body-builder in a 'past life' - you are full to the brim with surprises!

I'm trialling a gluten free diet at the moment, which can be a little tough when I go out (gluten is in everything!), but at the same time it's a good feeling to take more control over what goes into my body. I guess that's how you'd be feeling too?

Megan xo

Dani said...

GO GO GO girl! The mere fact that you embarked on this journey the day BEFORE your birthday speaks volumes about your dedication! Is there a time frame? The thought of no Margaritas on a long term basis scares me! I too look at old photos of myself and wish I could have appreciated what I saw in the mirror. When you are that age you only see the faults. I have started running again and have shifted nearly 10kg in 5 months. Slow and steady wins the race!!!!

Susan @ Reading Upside Down said...

I could have written this post about myself (except for the past life involving lots of exercise. That definitely isn't me).

Before checking out your blog today I phoned an immunologist to make an appt because I have been so run down etc for the past 18 months. I would love to ring and cancel the appointment (which isn't until June and will set me back $250+ after Medicare)because I manage to sort things out for myself before then.

I'll have to look into getting a copy of the book you're using as your guide for this. Is your whole family following this diet? I have no problem with avoiding most of the things you've mentioned, but I think my kids would rebel if I asked them to.

I'm assuming that the book discusses how to maintain intake of things such as calcium etc.

I'm off to check days 2 & 3 to find out how you're going now.

Anonymous said...

you are awesome! I could totally do this - I normally do not eat any dairy at all, barely any wheat and NO drinks for me ever - but the sugar - oh the sugar. And the potatoes! Chips are my weakness!!! Plus, how can an IA girl not eat potatoes. This seems similar to the NO WHITE foods cleansing. What about pasta? Did you still eat pasta? CONGRATS to you on this - will you continue?? TB

Anonymous said...

So here I am turning 54 with a ballerina daughter in London, a swimmer at university and a soccer/crew addict finishing high school and I have a nightmare menopause. So I think the lifestyle change does indeed involve no dairy, alcohol, sugars, or wheat products-doing spinach and salmon and broccoli. It is that tired/lethargic thing that bugs me as I used to figure skate and was very active so am now getting back into serious swimming. This is all very helpful-would like to feel "chipper" again!

danajustdana said...

Just found your blog, as I am about to start my own dairy/wheat/sugar/alcohol-free diet tomorrow... Thanks for the inspiration!

Tania McCartney said...

Best of luck Dana - it's worth it!

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