#13Weekstil30: Vicki Notaro - 'My weight loss goals have been thwarted by happiness and stubborness'
It’s time to clean up my act.
When I started this column back in October, 13 weeks seemed like a long time – plenty of time to get my ass in gear (and in to smaller jeans). Yet I was determined to do it without suffering too much, and suffering to me meant entirely giving up the finer things in life like bread, cheese, wine and chocolate.
But it’s January in a few days, and now in life as in my work as a journalist, a deadline looms. While I have achieved a lot in the past ten weeks in terms of mental gains, inch loss and actually enjoying exercise, I’ve also been thwarted by happiness, celebration and my own stubbornness several times. Now that my 30th birthday is in plain sight, I need to place some restrictions upon myself in order to reach the goals I set out. I’m smothering with a cold and awaiting an MRI on my dodgy knee, but I must persevere.
This means that I’m now a walking cliché as we enter the new year. My fridge and cupboards have been cleared of the last vestiges of Christmas, my Nutribullet is primed and ready and I have the word GYM scrawled on practically every day of my new Filofax.
I’m thrilled I’ve had a head start on everyone else. The past two months have stood me in good stead; I’m leaner, I look better in my workout gear and I know how to work all the machines, so I’m not likely to suffer from gymtimidation. Now it’s about improving, building on my work and bringing it home.
It’s going to be the food part that’s most difficult in the next few weeks. On January 15th, I’ll be travelling to the US of A to begin my birthday celebrations a whole week before the actual event. One of my favourite things to do in the States is eat, but I will simply have to rein myself in – as I will for the rest of my life, if this is actually to be a permanent lifestyle change.
So Christmas is over. I indulged in stuffing, brie, toasted sandwiches and potato croquettes, not to mention Quality Street and Prosecco. I have no regrets, and I didn’t go hell for leather as I normally would. But it’s time to cop on with my target in sight, and these are the nutrition principles I’ll be living by from today onwards:
*LOW CARB BREAKFASTS
I love toast, sausage sandwiches, potato cakes and hash browns. But no more. Scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, avocado and grilled tomatoes is a delicious breakfast I adore, and I must remember that. A sweet potato hash is divine. Shakshuka is one of my favourite meals. I don’t need the toast. My only concession to this would be a pre-spinning slice of McCambridge’s bread slathered in avocado and cayenne – a superfood combo that health gurus swear is good for us.
*AS MANY GREENS AS PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE
Spinach, kale, apples, broccoli, avocado, celery, sprouts, rocket, cucumber, courgette – get them in to ya, Cynthia.
*GO EASY ON THE PROCESSED FOODS
I’ll still be eating ham, turkey rashers and the divine frozen sweet potato slices I found in my local Fresh store in Smithfield. I’m also fond of a rice cake. But other than that, nada.
*ABSOLUTELY NO TAKEAWAYS
This is a blanket ban and I’ll be trying not to eat out either, until we go to America. Home-cooked meals for the win. The only way to monitor the salt, oil and additives in my food.
*LIMIT THE BOOZE
I’ll be ringing in 2016 in the 3Arena and having a few drinks. But normally I’d have been on the sauce every night since December 23rd, and that hasn’t happened this year. Nobody goes out in the first fortnight of January either, so it won’t be tough to go easy on alcohol for a while.
*STOP WITH THE “TREATS”
I’m a divil for rewarding myself with chocolate and biscuits in the evening, and I must curb my enthusiasm for this one big time. Also, there’s a jar of Nutella literally with my name on it in the press. Must avoid at all costs, because I’ve been known to eat those with a spoon.
My fiancé Joe is a big guy with a rugby player’s physique, and he’s able to bench press three times what I can. However, I often find myself eating the same sized portions as him, and this is definitely something to be conscious of. I find eating from a smaller plate really helps in terms of feeling hard-done-by.
*EATING THE RIGHT CARBS AT THE RIGHT TIME
My trainer Mairead at One Escape (www.oneescape.ie) tells me where possible, to avoid carbs – especially the gluten heavy ones like bread, pizza and pasta. However she’ll concede that if I’m going to have a slice of wholegrain soda bread, it’s best I do it immediately before or after training. Wholegrain basmati rice, sweet potatoes, brown pittas and pearl barley are my nutritious, low GI friends – and also delicious and satisfying.
Follow my journey on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat under the name: vickinotaro