I have deliberately not put pen to paper in January because, as with many of you, I have been concentrating on abstinence!
For many years I did not make a New Year’s resolution as I never got past the initial 10- 12 day hump where nearly 90% of us lose both the will and the battle and we just give up.
Last year however was a break through year
Last year I decided to do dry January but extend this to mid February. I would often reach for that glass of wine at the end of the day without even thinking, some evenings it would be two glasses and if you add these up over a week it amounts to quite a few units.
With any change to a habitual routine, the first struggle is with your mind. When you quit you think about alcohol every evening and those thoughts come think and fast. Dealing with these thoughts is usually the hardest part of any planned change, after all we are all creatures of habit.
Extending the sober period freed my mind of this constant battle. It is true to say that I am pleased that I persisted. I probably have a glass of something no more than 2-3 times per month, not because it make me feel saintly, but because it has changed my relationship with wine. I no longer slump at the end of a long day and reach for a glass of wine, I can handle the day with or without it. It seems strange now that it used to be one of the first things I reached for spontaneously at the end of most working days. Now it rarely crosses my mind.
On the back of this triumph I decided to take the plunge once again in 2020 and this year the challenge is with food. I have not really changed my diet, I do not intend to become vegetarian or vegan. I enjoy all foods including meat.
The challenge therefore is to give up deserts, chocolate and bread and to start the day with a hot breakfast that consists of porridge, eggs, soup, bacon or similar.
Strangely it is only in the west that cereals are considered the staple. It is known that cereal breakfasts are little more than sugary junk food with a vitamin pill added for good measure. The typical glycaemic value of cereal breakfast is 70/80 (this is their sugar value). Porridge and muesli have a glycaemic value of about 45. It doesn’t take a mastermind to work out which will increase hunger pangs first.
I do intend to once again to extend my period of abstinence to mid February to truly benefit from the few changes that I have made. I can already open a chocolate laden fridge without the need to reach for a bite, instead my nibbles are nuts.
Visceral Fat Loss
I have lost 4lb – a pound a week which you may not think is much, but interestingly, I have lost two inches from my waist. This means that I am reducing what is known as visceral fat. Visceral fat is stored around important internal organs such as the liver, intestines, pancreas and impedes how hormones function. Visceral fat is insulin resistant fat and can be potentially life threatening.
It is responsible for increasing our risks relating to:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Colorectal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Alzheimers disease
Often your expanding waistline is deemed part of the ageing process and falling oestrogen levels will make losing weight more challenging. The reduction in oestrogen production also increases storage of visceral fat. Genetics also have a part to play.
Focusing on reducing fat rather than losing weight should be a key goal for menopausal women. This is the key to keeping you trim and healthy. If you’re not sure how to target the bad fat, you could consult your GP, a nutritionist or just set your goals slightly differently.
It is my intention to continue with a slow and steady weight loss and not lose track because of hunger pangs. Consult with your practice nurse or your GP if you’re not sure where to start. The doctor can help with getting started and staying on track.
A great website with lots of information and great tips is Diabetes.co.uk
You don’t need to be a diabetic to gain lots of useful knowledge and tips to help you on your journey!
Davina’s blog covers a free library of interesting articles for all things medical, aesthetics, skincare, lifestyle and wellness. If you have any questions why not contact Davina at the Harley Street Skin Clinic Surrey to personalise your research.