Call me crazy….12wbt here I come.

So I blog a lot about the things that randomly pass through my sieve like brain but I tend not to let on too much with personal information. It’s not that I am afraid of someone stealing my identity or anything. Actually some days I would gladly accept an identity swap as long as the person I swapped with was getting about 12 hours of sleep a night. It is more just because I don’t think I am really that interesting.

Buuuut…for the purpose of this blog I am going to have to disclose a bit of info. My husband and I own our own business. We work together every day in our jewellery manufacturing business. Things are pretty hectic at our shop as there aren’t too many actual qualified jewellers out there anymore , the ones of us that are left are far outnumbered by the huge influx of “supermarket jewellery stores” by a ratio of about a million to one and he also happens to be damn good at what he does.

We love our shop but I am a grass is greener kind of gal and I am always in need of something big to plan for and organise. After husband got sick last year and after I had the baby the only “big” thing I could plan for was brushing my teeth every day…if I was lucky. Even though it did get kind of scary for a while there, we bounced back and before long it was business as usual and what do you know, I got bored and wanted something to plan for once again.

We decided to open a second store, this one a little bit different. A beautiful little retail boutique in the picturesque town of Daylesford. All of a sudden I was thrust back into list writing, organising heaven. Let me tell you opening a business is ALOT of work even without already having a business to run and two small children demanding most of your attention. It is coming along nicely and with about another month of sleepless nights we should be ready to open.

The new store is about an hours drive from home so I will commuting every day which brought about a roadblock….we only had one car. I conquered that problem, I bought a new car. A little zippy Ford Fiesta just for me. It is small, efficient and quick and most of all insanely easy to park.

Roadblock number two reared its ugly head the other day. I realised that my wardrobe might need a revamp as I have been living in two year old yoga pants and underwear with no elastic left in them. Then I realised I had out a lot of weight back on with the last baby. And I mean a lot! I am now exactly 30 kilos heavier than when I first met my husband. Can you say Mortified?

I absolutely refuse to buy size 18 clothes. I just won’t do it, for me it feels like admitting defeat and telling myself it is ok to have let things go so far. So I took action and signed up for the June round of Michelle bridges 12wbt.

It will be a challenge and the whole organise and diarise thing is going to apply to me big time with the baby and soon to be school goer as well as the businesses. I am going to do this round gluten free and avoid other grains as much as is practical. I guess I am slightly paleofying it a bit.

No, I am not a super mum to juggle so many things, I am just a glutton for punishment hahaha. Truth is any body with children knows what it is like to have to juggle work and home and kids and it leaves very little time for oneself . I had good results with 12wbt in the past and the food was Delish! But I also loved the forums and community feel. It is so nice to have other adults to talk to about things other than baby poo and work.

All this week I am making 12wbt recipes for dinner but I am doubling the serves and freezing the left overs. This way I hope to build up a little stockpile of frozen meals for those days when I am utterly exhausted of which I predict there will be many.

Last night was my fave , chicken laksa. I always save a few calories up so I can add vermicelli that way it is nice and filling. I also refused to pay Safeway $4 for a wilted tiny bunch of broccolini so I used normal broccoli which was just as good if not better. Also, added red chilli flakes for a bit of extra bite. YUM!

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The Irony Is Killing Me !

Oh irony, sweet irony. And I mean real, honest to god irony too. Not the non- irony of the Alanis Morissette song of a similar name where everything she claims as being ironic is actually just really, really unfortunate. Nope, I am living in a new dimension where there is irony at every turn, waiting there to point and laugh.

There may also be a little bit karma thrown into the mix just to add some variety but I will save my diatribe on karma for another day, another blog. But before I digress any further, allow me to explain my opening paragraph to you in some further detail.

My 12wbt days are officially over. No, my second round of twelve weeks has not quite come to a close but I have officially thrown in the towel. Don’t panic dear readers. I promise that I am not typing this blog whilst waiting in line at the nearest buffet or cramming a burger down my throat. I actually have what I believe to be a legitimate reason to throw in this particular towel in favour of something else.

Some of you may recall back in my early 12 week body transformation days that I spent a fair amount of time at the doctors, having blood drained and examined and all manner of other tests in an attempt to get an idea of my current health situation. Well , all that poking and prodding resulted in a lengthy diagnosis:

Fibromyalgia ( to explain the chronic pain and fatigue)
Costalchondritis ( spelling ? To explain the persistent chest pains)
Poly cystic ovarian syndrome ( to explain numerous other symptoms)

I returned home, relieved to finally know what was wrong with me and went along my Michelle bridges 12wbt way. I followed her program to the letter. For the first six weeks, I was stoked. I was losing weight. Slowly but surely. I had been told that it would be incredibly slow going due to the poly cystic ovaries but I persisted. 6 kilos in 6 weeks.

Then I hit a wall. I followed the program still, no more weight would come off. I exercised 2 hours a day instead of 1. The numbers would not budge. I tried more calories, less calories, nothing was working? One week, I exercised for three hours straight on the cross trainer, five days in a row. Nothing, nada, zilch .

The chest pains started to intensify, which was concerning to say the least. The chronic fatigue hit an all new level. It got to the stage that after a meal I would drag myself to the couch at the back of the shop and pass out for three hours. During the time I was so very lethargic that I could not even lift my arms.my entire body felt like it was made of lead.

I spent my Christmas holiday feeling like garbage, it was hard to enjoy the beach when roughly six hours of every day was taken up with recovery after meals. Once I returned home, I was to have some time to myself with my husband taking our daughter to see his parents for a few days. During this time I spent quite a lot of time reading and researching why I might be feeling this way. I felt that there had to be something more to it. There had to be a way for me to lose weight and not feel like absolute shit all of the time!

I stumbled across a website for people with food intolerances and started reading the stories of all these different people suffering exactly the same symptoms as I was. After three days of heavy reading I had a theory. Gluten intolerance could have been responsible for my fatigue but dairy intolerance or more specifically, casein allergy seemed to be causing my chest pains.

I decided to conduct a little experiment . For a week, I ate no gluten or dairy at all. Within 24 hours my energy levels felt restored, I felt like a new person. For the first time in 2 years, I had no pain in my body at all…anywhere!!!! It was the best week I have had in a very long time and to finish it off with a bang, my Sunday weigh in showed a loss of 2.7 kilos, in one week. That was previously unheard of for me.

Then I had a glass of milk. Skim milk. The chest pains came back, before I could even finish. I had heart palpitations and felt very anxious and jittery. It was horrible and scary and I had to wait a full 24 hours before it fully passed. Ok, I knew then that dairy was out.

Once the chest pains had passed, I ate bread. I had a breakfast containing much gluten. Immediately I was bloated. Like six month pregnant bloated. The fatigue came soon after and I spent the majority of the early afternoon in bed. Gluten was out too. No question.

So seeing as gluten was on the banned substance list in my house now, I stocked up on rice products. I had learned that rice was somewhat of a staple for gluten intolerant individuals such as myself. The only problem was that the rice was making me feel kind of sluggish too. Not in the same way as wheat but I knew that when I had say steak and salad, I felt much better compared to when I ate chicken breast, rice and salad.

Back to the Internet. What I found led me to the diet that I am now an avid follower of. And drum roll please……introducing….irony…..

The paleo diet. Yup, you heard me, the sticks and leaves diet that I spent so much time poking fun at in my earlier blogs is now pretty much the only thing I can follow and not feel like crap!!!!

I eat paleo, I feel great, I have no pain, I have energy and I lose weight. I eat as much as I want until I am satisfied and I exercise when I feel like it. I don’t count calories. I don’t count calories burned. I just stick to the foods on the list in whatever combination I choose and it works.

My skin is clearer than it has been in ages. My brain is no longer foggy and forgetful . I have avoided illness when everyone around me has been ill. I am converted. I am not a fanatic….I still reserve the right to poke fun on occasion. I will not disown anyone I know for consuming gluten or dairy. But I cannot gloss over the positive effects of this way of life. It is not a diet. It is a way of life. It has to be because there is no way I am ever going back to feeling the way I felt every day before I got on the sticks and leaves boat.

So fibromyalgia turned out to be gluten intolerance, costalchondritis is in actual fact casein allergy and PCOS is still PCOS but the symptoms are improving every day. Sorry Michelle bridges , I gave it a good go but your menu is a food intolerance nightmare.

Wish me luck people, I am hoping this year brings good results. I am off to have a twig salad for lunch 😉