Who Is the Person Behind the Blog You Are Reading?

This could be a really tedious and annoyingly boring post. Imagine listing up your entire life in order of your life. Telling all the little in and out of one’s personality and life.
And then. And then. And then.
Not planning on doing that 🙂
Let us do a few Questions & Answers and see if we can get to know each other some.

Where are you from?
My passports are issued in Sweden and Czech Republic. So I guess somewhere along that line.

Where do you live?
I live in the Czech Republic as of now. I moved here about 12 years ago, not really knowing I would stay for this amount of time. I had a plan to stay few months and that would be it. My father is Czech so there was some meaning of moving here. I did venture out to Bolivia for about 3.5 years, so I have not lived in Prague for 12 years. I moved with my husband and child to Cochabamba, Bolivia but returned 3 years ago.

Married, Single, Mother, what?
As mentioned, I was married but it did not last. Two people wanting to be right and not give in is a hard equation for a lasting relationship. We made a child, my, not so, little daughter. She is here with me now. I also have 5 sisters, brother and a mother.
They all live in Sweden though. I have Czech family but we met way too seldom.

What do you do for a living? 
I work as a teacher, and more specifically an English teacher. Yes, what a shocker right. Expats in Czech republic that is what we all do. I work mainly with companies and business English. I am a certified Agile Coach, but I never really hit it off with that. I like many principles of it, but honestly, I just think going to the same place, work with the same for 8 hours a day would bore me.  I also do translations and some proofreading.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
This is something I am discovering at the moment. I am not so sure. I have had a feeling for a long time I am not doing anything. I used to read, sew, create with arts n crafts. Cook. But last years I have not done a lot of things. I have had a feeling that I lost all these things since I got divorced, as life changed from stability to instability and all I did was to just survive. There was no time to have real hobbies, I could engage with.  I am finding out that I really love exercising and the time I spend doing this is quite a lot. Just today I built a plan for what to do today, reading about what muscle group I am using for each exercise. It is really interesting!

What do you like eating?
This is also something I am discovering at the moment. I have eaten just about anything always. Never really thought about how I feel afterward or what it does to me. More the merrier so to speak. I have noticed that I do not enjoy eating late at night, as it leaves me feeling stuffed. Coffee over tea, but herbal tea is quite nice too. Which I never thought I would feel. I enjoy savory over sweet. However, I do not like too much salt, as I used to. It was my go-to thing. Add salt and it is good. I enjoy the taste of each item, and I prefer not adding too many flavors to it.

What is your plan in life?
I really want to come to a point in life of financial independence. I want to be able to work, only because I want to and not because I have to. I want to work on my writing skills, to be able to publish a book I have been working on for a long time. There is this idea that is growing, that I want to work with people like me. Obese or overweight who want to change their lives. On all levels. I want to have hobbies, I enjoy doing and learn how to play the piano.

What is one strong attribute you have?
That I just do not give up. Ok I panic, and cry, and feel life is utterly unfair and why oh why do I have such a hard life. But after that I set myself up to work and I just do it. What needs to be done, I do.  Okay, then I might come back to the giving up phase and crying phase, but I end up just doing it anyhow. I have learned over my course of life that almost everything is doable. You just need to find the way. I very often freak out during the way, douting everything but one just needs to keep one. If one door does not open, find a different door, to the same room.

What is one negative attribute you have?
This is a tough one, as I do not have many.
Has no one ever said. I have, at least in my head, many. To point out just one is hard. And that might sum up a negative attribute I have. I talk down about myself and focus on bad things about me. How mediocre I am, how many things I have failed for no other reason than just myself. How I have all these bad sides which no one likes. We become what we think about ourselves, so I just giving this negative gift to myself.

Well ladies and gents. Those were some questions and answers from me, to me. I hope you have enjoyed it. Who are you, who reads this blog? Tell me, would be interesting to hear 🙂

Let Us Focus on NSV- Non Scale Victories

I am not going to lie. This morning when I did my weekly weigh-in I almost lost it. I had not lost anything. Nothing. Not a single gram. This is not the first time. I have had this 1 kilo up and down for 2 months now.
“But Manka, once you have lost, most of your weight. Weight loss slows down.”
I have not lost most of it yet. I have 20 kilos down so far, but even just to enter into non-overweight territory am I missing 10 kilos. So there are still quite some kilos to go.
Hence me almost breaking down in tears this morning. I feel I am doing so much, and no result is yielding. This is not starting to affect my well-being as I am really just thinking about this and nothing else. I need to change things up, so let’s focus on some NSV instead!

What is NSV?

NVS is an abbreviation for Non-Scale Victory. And it has been a term in the weight loss world for quite some time already. This is what we tell ourselves we should focus on, and not the scale, to see that health is not only what the scale says.

Nonscale victories, also known as NSVs, are health improvements that result from small life changes. They may go unnoticed if you’re only focused on the scale as a measure of your success. A bathroom scale shows a number — a snapshot of your weight at a given moment on a given day. – Healtline

I guess that it is correct to think like this. Health is so much more. I am able to do things now that I could not, not even when I was 10 kilos less than now. I have a really hard time though to actually be happy about these things, as I just do not want to be considered obese any longer. I am so over it.

 Here Comes My List! 

  1. I can fit in my bathtub as of now. We have a pretty normal-sized bathtub and I could actually not fit in it before. I could not stretch out properly as the tub gets narrower at the end. So that is a pretty nice feeling!
  2. I am able to run several kilometers, without feeling like I am about to die. Not only can I do it but I enjoy doing it. I love the feeling of rushing breath and how I can transport myself.
  3. The blouse I bought last September actually fits now.  It seems to be a reoccurring issue of mine. To know how big or small I actually am. You can read about it here.
    I bought a blouse, that did not fit me that well. Today I think it is a pretty nice fit.                               
  4. I bought a ring few years ago, and I have not been able to fit it. It is back on my finger now.
  5. I have gotten some new hobbies. Today I count working out as a hobby. It is imperative that I move on a daily basis, if not it makes me totally grumpy! As I am challenging myself to live differently from the past, time is being used differently than in the past. I value learning things and experience new things.

Moving Forward

I need to find a balance between these two measurements. I need to learn that these measurements are OK too and that everything is not in what the scale says. That it is OK to be standing still for to months. Learning to see it as a learning experience too. I am working on how to deal with maintenance. This is my end goal, so I should be happy I have found it.
The only problem I am not supposed to be there. I am working to lose weight, so if my losing weight strategy is actually a maintenance strategy, well then I am a bit off. 
Anywho. I will try to be happy about these victories and feel proud about them for now and not worry too much right now, about anything else.

What Did I Do to Get Active – Active Weight loss

Working out nor not working out-that is the question.
The idea in the past was that work out alone was the main activity that would get us slim. Now the winning thought can be found in the expression:

Christmas 2019 at my highest weight

Working out nor not working out-that is the question.
The idea in the past was that work out alone was the main activity that would get us slim. Now the winning thought can be found in the expression:

You Cannot Out Train a Bad Diet

I do not know which is correct. I do understand that working out and eating shit will not do a lot. I do think that dieting alone and no training will make it harder and I believe that exercise is a healthier way  and will keep the weight off in the long run.

In May last year, I started off my weight loss journey by working out. I had the feeling I needed a massive action and that I could wait no longer and had to start. I might have gotten more results when I  really worked on my diet, but for me, the mental part of getting out and working out is the key for me to keep consistent.
So with no further ado.

What Did I Implement to Start With

I started off with a personal trainer. For me it was absolutely crucial. I do not have tons of money, and especially last spring when we were in total lockdown and all my clients postponed all work. I needed the push to prepay someone for a month worth of sessions, for the next following 6 months, so I would go. If I had to pay, I knew I would do it. I could not afford to lose that money.
3 times a week for 1 hour each. These were gym classes and not so much more. Resistance and a little bit of cardio.
I had this idea, similar to my running experience, that I would be out and skating, jumping, free running, swimming, climbing trees, and just be in total zen with my body from the very get-go.
That was obviously not the case. I realized pretty fast that this would take some time. And yes it does. This is a long ride. I slowly started adding things.

What Have I Added After This?

I added mostly walks to begin with. I have a friend that introduced me to it. Geocaching. If you do not know what it is, read more about it here.  A fun treasure hunt around your town, city, country. This I started to do every single weekend. Out and walk and collect caches. I remember one of the first walks that were a bit longer than just the normal walk in the city. I logged 21000 steps and I was almost crying coming home. Head spun all walk and at some point, I did even think I would pass out. It was really scary and the notion that I needed to do something now now now grew even more urgent. With this came my running in. I slowly started that too. You can read about it here.

As School was closed, well and still is, the was a need to bring in my child into the mix. Set a good example and teach her from an early age to work out.  I used to swim a lot in the past, and I went to swimming lessons, so I do have some understanding of it and we began to swim together.

Trying to include her even more and have her moving inspired me to get a set of skates as well. This has maybe been the scariest of them all. Falling with 110kilos is not such a pleasant idea, so I have been terrified of it. My daughter has really liked it though.

Hard Lockdown Workouts

In October did Prague to into a harder lockdown. Gym and swimming pools closed. I had the feeling I needed to up my game if I wanted to reap the benefits of working out. Both mentally and physically. Without my trainer did I feel quite lost. In hindsight was this may be the best. It pushed myself more than anything else. I did not want to lose the gains I had managed to win.
With nothing more than me, myself, and I did I look into more things.

  1. Skating continued for as long as the weather let it. Not magnific but at least something. We did geocaching as much as possible.
  2. We are fortunate that we have quite a few outdoor gyms here in Prague. I went once a week to one of them.
  3. I ran on a regular basis. Not long but 3 times a week. I also started to add in my own resistance training.
  4. My body and I had quite some dates in my courtyard. I bought myself a skipping rope and in the dead start, I could skip about 30 seconds in a row. I am up to way much higher times.
  5. After running I implemented yoga practice, once a week. I am really stiff and help with my flexibility is more than welcome.
  6. Basketball with the intention to add something more fun and playful for my daughter and that she learns a new sport. Ok me too, I had no idea how to play basketball

My 2021 Plan

I am not really sure what I will do. I know I will continue, and that I will continue doing them all. I have this feeling though, this year that I want to add more structure into my exercise. Have a clearer plan and goal with it. There is an urge to see improvements and have some tangible measurement. Learning about what the different practices do and how they are connected is surging. I know that I did a lot in 2020 and I introduced many things, and this year I want to develop them all and more. It is a newfound love and I do not want to let it go. I think I might need to take some course or learn from someone, a bit more. It is all so exciting!

How to Holistic Weight loss- My Version

I read something really sad today. Something I think about quite frequently and it is something I have on my mind on a regular basis.
According to the article on CBC
“Only about five percent of people who try to lose weight ultimately succeed, according to the research. “
There is other research out there saying that losing more than 20 percent of your body weight once, has a success rate of 5% going for a second time the rate is down to 1%
This is not my first nor second time. But It will be my last time. That is why I am doing it differently this time.

Holistic Weight loss

“PHILOSOPHY

characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

MEDICINE
characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.”

And this is exactly what I do differently this time around with my weight loss journey. I have a holistic approach.
I cannot treat my weight loss as a free-standing problem in my life that does not affect or get affected by the other parts of my life. It is all connected.
I have problems with mental health and my mental health issues as many underlying reasons.
I have had financial instability and uncertainty and these issues give me stress and my coping mechanism is always eating. I cannot cure one thing without looking at the other.
I have lived an empty life, without meaning or path, guiding or reason. There has been no plan to work against, and nothing to work towards. I have just had the next meal in mind.
This is what I have done in the past. I have looked at weight as just the single issue of weight. Never ever have I wanted to deal with the issue at hand. All the other parts connected.

What  I Do For a Holistic Weight loss

I have made a plan to discover life. I know I am 35 but better late than never. I need to want to do something more than watch movies and snack. Or go for dinner and have food and drinks. Or meet friends and drink and have snacks.

  1. I am dedicating a minimum of 30 min a week to self-exploration.
    These are things that I do not know if I like, but I have to give it a go. I need to try things out. I have put some time into drawings. I will maybe not become a new master painter but I have to say has given me quite some joy. Ok, quite some frustration as well. I just don’t get how to do it.
    This targets the boredom of life which I often feel and staves off that feeling which just wants me to eat instead.
  2. Studying languages for a minimum of 30 min 3 times a week.
    I live in Czech Republic but I do not speak Czech fluently nor even close to it. This stresses me out, tremendously. What do I do when I am stressed? Yes you are right. I tend to sit on my ass, watch a movie and snack.
    This targets the discomfort I have with language which ultimately will give me peace of mind and less angst about it. 
  3. I work on my finances and the financial independence I am working towards. I have created budgets, sinking funds, plans, and investments to create stability and  foundation for me and my daughter. I do not need to go to bed nervous if I can pay my next rent or not.
    This is quite explanatory it targets the stability in life. 
  4. I am reading books again, both fictional and non-fictional. Traditional self-help books, investing books, novels, anything right now in written form. I want to read what others do or feel. Improving my own situation by learning from others and reading is an amazing resource for that. Reading how others have done things, inspires me to become or do even better, and keeps me motivated to not cave into the mouth pleasures of food.
    It targets the spiritual instability with little connection to meaningfulness I have. 
  1. I move and getting truly excited and interested about it. I know that moving is not the biggest need for weight loss. It has shown that for sustained weight loss exercising is an important tool. Being genuinely interested in it, and actually looking forward to moving and how to improve and what to do really help the entire process. Keeping active helps me with my food intake as well, and my general healthiness.

Will This Work?

I do not know. I cannot tell. I for sure hope so. I can just say that I have a quite different feel about this time around. I feel different. I am different. It is this notion of clarity and understanding. The things I do might change, but I will not stop doing them. Even if it will not work for losing weight, which it will, it is a really workable tool for my life. Getting ahead and having the life I want. Doing and experiencing life to the fullest. As it looks like now, this will be the thing that keeps me in the 1%.

What I Do In a Day to Lose Weight

Photo by Total Shape on Pexels.com
  1. Eat a high protein breakfast. 
  2. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. 
  3. Drink water before meals. 
  4. Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. 
  5. Eat soluble fiber. 
  6. Drink coffee or tea. 
  7. Base your diet on whole foods. 
  8. Eat slowly.

Does anyone recognize a list like this?
I got this from googling “top daily tip on how to lose weight”.
This is not the exception. This is the standard. Almost everywhere people give tips and tricks like these on how to lose weight.
And even if these tips are per say not bad I no longer want to abide them. I used to, just as so many before me but this time around it has to be for life and never again. I cannot mentally go through this again. 
I want and do things differently now because I truly believe that these tips above are only short-term mentality. At least they have been for me. I want and need long-term success. There cannot be any other option for me. This is like my shot of doing it right. I am exhausted already, and making it again, I do not know if I have it in me. 
Hence me really looking into a new way of doing weight loss. Sustainable, long term, mindful and holistic. 
This means, for me looking into all aspect of life. Weight loss is  much more than the amount of water you drink, or how much raw food you consume.
Weight loss is about strategies and a fulfilled life which give you balance and helps you to choice wisely. Weight loss is about being in peace with your mind and get proper coping skills to deal with the suffering of the world. 

What I Do In a Day to Lose Weight

1. Making my bed- I do it straight away when I get up.
This was advised to me years ago by a really dear friend. He told me this when I was in my deepest depression in Bolivia, when I just had gotten divorced. I did not do it then though but wish I had. It does something with me. I start the day of achieving something! If I have achieved one thing, I can do just about anything. If I start the day doing something, I want to keep the day in a positive way. 
And is there anything better than going to bed in a made one!

2. Reading books– Last year I was able to manage 12 books.
This year I want to push it a tad bit more and get 15 under my belt. Once you are in the read, time flies and there is no time to think about anything else. It enriches me and I feel as if I accomplished something again.  An extra plus is that I learn something or only to get entertained. Keeps my mind away from wandering off into the dark side. 

3. Working attentively during the day-I do not only work and nothing else.
But I tend to be quite focused on what I do. I also tend not to think about food while I am working. I am a scout and the scout lead word is to always do its best. Neither this have I truthfully done in the past. But to be immersed and really work your best gives me a real satisfaction and I feel proud over it.  Why make myself unproud of this proudness, doing something which is not beneficial for me, such as stuffing my face or skipping that run. 

4. Working on a new or old skill. I often eat when I am bored.
I do not have time to be bored if I work on some kind of improvement of myself. Again, if I do it properly and give it my all, I do not feel I have cheated something.  Neither am I  in the need to eat those feelings of shame that I have done nothing,  away. I work on my self esteem and to see that I can actually improve, and quite quickly once I have decided about it is such a boost I do not want to spoil it with any negative feeling. 


5. Being on top of my finances. A huge stress factor for me has been finances.
It has been a big reason why I overeat and overfill myself. I have gotten so stressed so I do not know what else to do, then to eat. Having my finances in order and creating a strategy on how to improve them further gives me a sense of relief and I stress less. 
6. Not meeting people. I of course mean people which I do not want to meet.
I am terrified of being left alone. Not being loved and to have no friends. Many times have I met people “because we have been friends for long time and I should”. I am working on not feeling terrified anymore. Everyone do not need to love me, nor me them. I have met with people I did not even like and this is no a healthy action.  Due to some twisted feeling of should. Or old memories and connections. I do no longer do this, or rather say I try not to do this,  and it is such a relief!
7. Working out and watching my diet. Here it came though.
The bit more normal tip. I do try to move and exercise every day. I have a goal of walking 10 000 steps just to know that I have been moving. Then I do quite a lot of other things. You can read more about my activity plan here. I also eat after intermittent fasting and I try to stay away from some foods sometimes. There are no bad foods though, just unhealthy amounts! 

Does It Work Not Focusing on Traditional Tips?

Truth to be told, I have not been moving one single gram the last 2.5 months. Nothing. It is extremely frustrating and more than once have I broken down in tears. Why oh why do I not shed the weight? This is what I have asked myself. Not even one single gram and I struggle immensely with this as of right now. Just today I wanted to stuff myself with something, nothing in particular just something, as I could feel the panic and resentment towards myself rising.
Why you idiot did you do this to yourself. You are a fucking idiot and loser. No one will ever love you as you are such a idiot and you will forever be shit.
On and on it goes.
But somewhere I am truly convinced that if I do not focus on losing weight, and I am focusing on creating a balance in life. I focus on making my bed. On removing toxicity in life, on being gentle with myself it will give the best result. It might take longer time but it will happen. If I really look at my eating habits, there are probably tweaks I can do. I probably do not do all the points above all the time resulting in me not feeling well about myself and either do not do as good work out, or eat something I should not. My mind resent myself sometimes, and by doing this we hang on to weight. I need to forgive and let go. If I work on loving myself and enjoying this journey it will result in something good.

10 Months and 20 Kilos Later- Am I Failing My weight loss?


I have been on this weight loss journey for about 10 months. It is not for about, I should say for 10 months.
It was 10 months ago to the day, that I had my first workout with my trainer. It is interesting looking back because somewhere did I think I would be in great shape 10 lessons later.
As that was my initial plan. 10 Personal trainer sessions and I would be in top shape. What a naïve girl!
The first 10 sessions did not even do a dent in my weight and my overall performance and health. I loudly proclaimed that I would be done by end of month 2 and I would be able to return to life known before.

Where Am I Now? The Same Stats For Last 3 Months


I am at the exact place as I were December 11th. The exact place.
I did get that I did not stay consistent over the holidays and that I would need to work towards losing weight after new year and that did come true.
I did not expect it to come true for this long.
I weight myself every Friday but I took the executive decision to not do it for a couple of weeks. I had a total breakdown last Friday as I had again not even lost 100 grams. The weight transformation does seem to have stopped.
Not only the scale, but my measurements are the same as well. The exact same for last 3 months. I will not lie and say that this does not bother me, as it really bothers me. As well as all the tools and implementations I do which all improve my life, I do them as I think this is the key to a sustainable life and weight loss. I am starting to really doubt myself. Maybe this is not the route to go? Is it? I am doing everything right. Or am I not?

Weight Loss Plateaus Are Normal- Here Is Why

When I first started reading about weight-loss Plateaus I was quite excited. As the first things you read is this:

When a person reaches a weight loss plateau, they will no longer lose any weight, despite following a diet and fitness regimen. Research shows that weight loss plateaus happen after about 6 months of following a low-calorie diet.

That feels quite reassuring. It is not me who is doing anything wrong. It is just how the human body works. As I am following the same regimen both physical movement and eating habits.
The came the less reassuring information. And quite demoralizing information. It is all my fault.

However, the researchers behind a study on this issue concluded that although a person’s metabolism can change as they lose weight, this does not explain why the weight loss plateau occurs. They believe that the weight loss plateau happens due to a person no longer adhering to their diet plan. – Medical News Today.

This have I read in more than one place. Many sources point towards the same results and information.
So what is the conclusion for me? It is easy. I either do not eat really as well as I think I do nor am I expending as much calories as I think I do. One of these or quite plausible both. It would be so amazing if it was something that happened in the body which made us enter the plateau, but as researchers say. We are not as focused as we used to be anymore

Am I Failing My Weight loss or How Do I See It?

Looking at the “proofs” above, we can see I am not doing as well as I could do. I am on a plateau not because the body is entering a plateau for no reasons. I am not moving in any direction as I am not at focused and as strict with my regimen.
I am technically failing the weight loss as I am not losing anything. I do, however, not see it this way. I am somewhat learning how to live without gaining. Which is amazing! This is my end goal one day. Right now? No, but I truly try to see it this way.
I honestly believe that my way I am on, is the one for me. To not focus on only my weight loss as calories in and out, but focus on a holistic loss and improve many sections of my life. I am now incorporating this. I am more mindful and holistic than I have been before, so adding on extra levels will give me a “set back” in the weight loss section. I truly believe though that if I keep on this trajectory and keep being mindful, stress less, doing my daily lists it will naturally come. I will naturally take the food option which is most benefitable for me as I know I might not do that right now. Evidence says I do not. I will continue with my intermittent fasting not because I will lose weight from it but I have gotten amazing brain function from that. I will focus on the benefits from this route I decided to take and not just count calories, as I deeply thing It will move downwards if I just keep at it. Something I have learned is that keep consistent and focus and results will come.
This does not mean I freak out from time to time, I do. As said I will not use the scale for two weeks as I feel the frustration each time and that frustration leads to stress and stress leads to eating for me. So tweaking my life to keep calm and not stress out. Holistic point of view.
I am not failing I am learning!

Lifestyle Inflation- Do Not Stress Over Money With This

I have written about my start in improving my financial situation. You can read about it here.
However it was not an easy and straightforward transformation to actually care about my financial life, my budget, tracking it and actually sticking to it.
It took me a long time to see the value in it and see how it is holistically connected with other parts of my life. 
I felt it did not matter to budget, track or save. Every cent I had was needed somewhere. The money I got was the exact amount that I needed to cover my life.
Budgeting and tracking made no sense, so why do it? 
It would make sense though, once I started to earn more money. If I would have 1000 more that would do it. Then I could save.
Oddly enough, even when I got that 1000 extra it did not help. I found something I needed to spend that on so 1000 was not enough to save. But probably 5000 would be enough. If I would have 5000 more, I would for sure be able to save. It was never enough. 
So I had to look for more students to teach, more translations to do, and just more ways how to get those extra 5000 which I needed which left me working 12+ hours a day, as the rule and not an exception. Thinking back at it, I feel sad about it and how little time with my daughter I had. Spending it working and working. Each hour I increase, my stress and anxiety also increased. Never having time to fully recharge. I could not see how it was all hanging together.  How one part of life, influences the other. 
Only thing I was wondering was how come did I never have any money? I had those 5000 extra but I felt that I had less money than ever. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Never Having Enough Money- Lifestyle Inflation

 Many live their life like this. First time it hit me was when a friend of mine had her credit card declined. I could not understand it as I knew that her salary was in the 6 figures.
How could she have no money?

Lifestyle inflation happens when your expenses increase along with your income. As earnings increase, it’s natural to want to buy a better car or take another vacation. After all, it seems feasible. But if your savings rate isn’t at least keeping up with your rising expenses, you could end up worse off compared to when you earned less.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinmckenna/2020/06/22/the-true-cost-of-lifestyle-inflation/?sh=720381212423

How I Started to Say No and the Path to Financial Stability


This was exactly what also I did.
I had a decent salary but still a deep pit in my belly every time I needed to buy groceries.
Would there be enough money in my bank account?
I very often felt that it did not matter how much money I received as it all only disappeared. How was I still struggling paying rent when I had more money coming in than in the past? It was obviously a rigged game and I was the loser.  This was my excuse. I did not want to look myself in the mirror and see what I did wrong. 
What made it change I do not really know. Somewhere the transformation towards a healthier mindset commenced. 
Maybe had I had the feeling of being sick and tired of too long? A life revolved around anxiety and stress and pushing it away with, mostly, food.
The humiliation, stress, worry, and sickening feelings had grown enough big. Something just had to change. 

I started to finally say no.

Healing From Psychological Hunger

Photo by Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent on Pexels.com

I have been hungry as long as I can remember. I would eat, and almost immediately be hungry again. I would never think that the food on my plate was enough. Going for dinners was planned out so I went to the place not with best food but with biggest plate.
I constantly thought about what my next meal would be and look like.
I would be full, but feel hunger at the same time. Always wanted to eat something. Never feeling saturated.

It has for sure been one of my biggest struggles whenever I have wanted to lose weight. I have not been able to keep myself from not eating. The struggle has been too hard. I would go down to not eat almost anything and then one day have some of the forbidden food and I could not stop myself. I would just eat. Not overfilling myself on one occasion so I have no issues with binge eating. I would just start eating again and as my psychological hunger would be so great, once the forbidden foods were back in my diet, I would just eat them and eat them at whatever occasion. Never restricting a thing any longer.

I did not know that I wanted to fix this, as I did think of it as normal. I was a thought that slowly has been creeping up.
I knew that something needed to change this time around. I want this transformation to be long-lasting and not for a short fix.

What Psychological Hunger Is For Me

Physiological hunger is pretty straight forward. You do not eat for an extended period of time and your brain gets messages from the stomach in form of ghrelin that it needs new fuel.

So what does it really mean- psychological hunger- for me?

It meant for me, that I was constantly hungry or thought about food. Constantly
I would wake up and think about how much I wanted to eat for breakfast. Already before finishing breakfast, I would think about a snack I could have before lunch and lunch could not come fast enough.
The hours between each meal was long dragging time which could not go slower.
It meant thinking, and breathing food and hunger. What I would cook, and how I would enjoy eating it once it was cooked. I would never feel saturated and I could always have just a tad more. Just a tad more again please. And just a tad again.
I would need cup after cup of coffee in-between each meal to be able to manage until the next one.
It must have been impossible that these feeling were sent from the stomach with the transmitter ghrelin. As I was was full.
This is what I refer to as psychological hunger. Something which was not sitting right with my mind and kept me feeling a mental hunger.

What Transformed Me and My Eating Habits?

I started intermittent fasting around September of 2020. I would eat between 10 AM to 6 PM. I would need to sip cup after cup of coffee and tea in the morning and after 6 PM just to be able to continue on. Hunger would be ravenous and I still dreamed about food.
At one point it was even worse than before as now I was restricting the time, and I would stress eat, just because I knew that soon my eating window would close.
Slowly but surly something was happening though, not over night. Not in a week and not in a month.
I started to feel that the 10 AM bit of food was not making sense any-longer. Between 10 and 12 which is my lunch time I would be able to manage. I would not need to eat during these 2 hours.
Staving hunger away with a coffee would be enough. Soon not even that. The hunger was just not needed to be staved away as it was not even there.
So my new eating window would be from Noon to 7PM. And by time the most interesting thing happened. I was not counting the hours until I could have a meal.
Not needed to cook anymore really helped as well. Not needing to be around the aromas and tasting of the food.
The interesting thing is that I have had no restrictions. More than my eating window yes, but the amount or the type of food has been really giving. There has been no forbidden food nor ingredients which I would not eat.


Healing From Psychological Hunger and Coming to Terms With Food

I have been so sad the last month. I have felt like a failure and not knowing how to really move on. I have been working out, and in that department it has been great. I have become stronger, been able to run farther.
My weight stood still though. Not a gram in any direction. I was ready to throw in the towel and announce myself defeated.

Then it hit me.
I am no longer hungry. I no longer obsess about food nor think about it. I do not think what I want to cook and I do not plan what I will snack.

Of course I am hungry, but I do not feel the hunger as a never ending emotion. I wake up in the morning, not feeling like an endless pit or that I have to drink my coffee to be able to survive few hours before lunch.
I do not feel like all I want is night to come, so I no longer need this punishment of not eating food.
I feel fine. I eat. I feel full. I do not think about food, as I feel full.

It is a odd sensation honestly, as this obsession has been with me forever. If I did not eat, I thought about it. Planned it or cooked it.

For me I can clearly see few things that has truly helped me

  • Not cooking myself any-longer.
  • Intermittent fasting.
  • No restrictions in regards of food types
  • Practicing accountability as a part of my life, as it has reduced stress
  • Dealing with my emotions about everything- as it has reduced stress
  • Getting financial stabile- as it has reduced stress and I am in control of my life.

Moving Forward With Weight-loss

Realizing this. the other day left me feeling so much better. I have healed from a terrible condition and we cannot do all in one go. This process might be longer, but I think it is the right one and this only confirms it for me.
I feel I finally have a normal relation to food. I do not need to overeat, I have found that what I eat and how much I move can clearly keep me maintaining. I have somewhat found home.
And I have done it, without feeling like I deprive myself from anything. Amounts has just been naturally and I have stopped when I felt good.

I do want to still lose weight though. I know I have too much body for my frame. I can feel it in my hips and knees and lower back, that they are not happy.
My joint in my toes hurt and I do not think that having these extra 20 kilos is a plus in this equation.
So I will continue on this path, making some tweaks though. I will remove the afternoon cake and the extra 2 bread slices a day.
Being mindful of not eating it everyday, but just sometimes. Not removing completely but decreasing the frequency of it.
Pizza and pasta sometimes, and maybe not all of it every week.
I feel so much in peace with this now, as I know it is nothing painful I need to do. I have already found peace with my food.
Being more mindful about the nutritional value I put into myself does not feel like a chore right now, if feels like a treat.

Quarter Review of My Weight loss and Life Transformation

3 Moths has come and gone already. 2021 is shooting forward, and time could not be flying slower and faster at the same time.
So many things I want to do and there is no time for it, yet as there is nothing open the time runs extremely slow.
An oxymoron I know.
As you can see, that looking at my weight and body I have not changed for the positive. But it is OK,
I love to look in the rearview mirror and evaluate my life.
If we do not look back at what has been, reflect and ponder upon what was, we cannot move forward.
Or as you would refer to it in Agile and Scrum, to hold a retrospective.
What to ask oneself in a retrospective is:

  • What went well in the Sprint?
  • What went wrong in the Sprint?
  • What We had Learn in the Sprint?
  • What should we do differently in the next sprint?

Why on earth am I speaking about Agile and Sprints, well funny fact I am a certified Scrum Master, hence the reference.
I do think that they are really good questions and if we want to succeed in life we have to ask these things.
My Sprint refers to the 3 first months in 2021.

What Went Well In My Weight Loss and Life Transformation?

Due to the lockdown we went into in October, being harder than what we experienced April through July, I had to quite my PT.
I was really scared going into new year, with keeping my consistency in working out. I know working out is not that much related to weight loss, but I want to transform life and keep a healthier life.
What I am really proud about is that I have kept the consistency and I went running 3 times a week on average and 2 times of homework outs.

I started journaling and list making and it has been imperative for me. It has structured down and visualized the issues I am dealing with. Seeing it on paper has been great for me.
In conjunction to this I have made a list to do of the day, and it really has kept me pushing myself forward. So many things were finally taken care of and I have felt that I was not stagnated in one spot.

Writing down my feelings and reactions to things, really have made me realized what I want and directing my life towards that life. Not just saying it, but actually working towards it. Being more intentional with my feelings and writing them down, has helped me healing in my eating disorder.

The plan in finding a hobby has been quite successful and I have been drawing, practicing my handwriting, and working on my math skills has all been so awarding. These are all things I want to put more time into.
It feels like my life took a big leap these three months.

What Went Wrong in My Weight loss and Life Transformation?

Nothing everything went perfect.
Has no one honest ever said.

My eating habits went a bit off these three months. I did give myself a bit more free room than I actually needed.
It has been great, tp start healing from my unhealthy eating habits but in doing so I gave myself a little bit too much wiggle room for eating things which is not beneficial for me.
It is good to let yourself rest a bit, but I should still keep my eyes on the ball and not feel like I have crossed the finished line. I still have 15 kilos which is considered over weight. I understand that scale is not all. But You can see in the photos that I am in no mean average weight still.

I could for sure have added more daily activity into my life. There has been cold and dark and March is hell month for me.
Come on winter, go away already! The panic I feel every single year.
Will winter ever end? Will spring and warmer weather come? Maybe this is the year when eternal winter will prevail.
This breaks me down and keeps me paralyzed. Keeping myself active is really helpful for me, dealing with this. And I have not done that. I have not done all the walk I should have done, just to keep myself not just sitting. As sitting makes me feel this hell, which March is.

Consistency in general has been a weak point, except me working out. It has been hard trying to keep the schedule I wanted to do. It seemed I forgot I have a kid that wants to see me, and me who want to see her too.
I think that I did a lot of work, feeling exhausted afterwards, feeling I needed to get out from home, being alone was all I could deal with. So that was really not positive at all.

What Have I Learned in My Weight Loss and Life Transformation?

I have learned, OK not learned but I have realized what are my goals. What do I really want out of life.
This is amazing! Journaling and working with myself and learning how to deal with feelings has cleared my head and I am realizing what I want.
I am seeing what is standing in my way, and I am learning not to be apologetic for it.
I have not always put myself nor my small family first, and this is absolutely shit. I have let people pressure me into doing things, which has not been beneficial for me nor my kid. I have done this, as I am so scared of being left alone and done anything just for people to like me.
I started this change already last year, but these last 3 months has been really great for this.
I will no longer be pushed into something I do not think is beneficial for me or my daughter. I have several goals and only to stay on track will they come true, and if someone can not deal with my change, I cannot do anything about it.
I am finding my voice again and it is amazing.

I am so capable of doing so much.
I have survived moves from country to country. Continent to continent. Divorce, poverty, lonelytude, depression, alienation, singlehood, parenthood, obesity, mental illness, death.
My adversity is my strength. If I can manage to drag myself up from all, anyone can. And I want to right there helping doing just that.
I have gone though this fairly alone but I have had some amazing support as well of course. I want to be that sort of support.

Searching for hobbies and interest has opened the door to a world that I feel has been lost for such a long time. I am interested in so many things again. I am so much more than what I have let myself be, for long time.


What Should I Do Differently These Following 3 Months in My Weight loss and Transformation?

To keep my good habits, which I felt were sliding a bit. I know they are really positive for me.
I have gotten a trainer, so I can work on some fitness goals I have had in mind and I need help hitting.
I need to do positive affirmations to keep myself on track for a transformed life.
I want to voice my voice more. If I do not feel something is positive for me, I need to do something about it.
Pragmatism. That is my lead word. I know it can be tough on friends and family, but I have just one life.
I want it to be awesome the rest I have.
It will happen with progression, not perfection.

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

My Fully Funded Emergency Fund!

As some might have understood by now, I think finances are a really important part of life.
I believe it is imperative to have my finances in order to be able to keep my emotions in check and therefore not do the emotional eating things I have going on.
I have struggled a great deal with my finances, and about 1.5 years ago I decided that enough was enough and decided to make changes for me to get some financial stability, stop living paycheck to paycheck and ultimately reach financial freedom. You can read more about it there.
Today I am celebrating a big milestone for myself.

My fully funded emergency fund!

What Is a Emergency Fund?

It seems like the word emergency fund has a different meaning for different people.
I will tell you what is my meaning for it.

The term “emergency fund” refers to money stashed away that people can use in times of financial distress.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/emergency_fund.asp

At first, I thought of an emergency fund as monthly income and I just could not understand how I was going to save up to 4-6 months of monthly take-home pay, that would take me year to save up monthly take-home pays.
I have really left that notion and put different definition to the word.

Emergency means just that, it is an emergency. What do we do when in an emergency. We need to make sure that our basic needs are covered for. Not the extra charcuteries or nicer coffee.
For me I decided that these four things would be my base of my fund:

  • Housing
    • Food
    • School
    • Transport

I went thought my budget tracking for the past 6 months and looked what my cost had been for these categories were.
This amount is what I needed to save up to create my emergency fund.

Why Do You Need a Emergency Fund?

For me, emergency fund will not be used for leaving for vacation; buying clothes; getting a bike or whatever things you can imagine.
These are saved for in my sinking funds. Read about my sinking funds here.
Emergency fund is exactly for what is sounds like.

Emergencies.

Emergencies will come. That is the only thing I really know. Flatmate moving out; job getting canceled; health problems or something else unexpected happening.
These are the reasons I was so focused on getting the fund, funded. I have had quite a lot of emergencies happening to me and I have felt like one step from total disaster.
Money can not bring you happiness they say, but I am for sure more calm and happy with the knowledge that I have this money on my bank account.
I have gained such a calm knowing that I have what I need to live OK for 6 months without any other extra income.

6 Months. No other money coming in.

I struggled to live from one day to next, in the past. I am so relieved now. Such a weight lifted from my shoulders.
It also gives me a freedom to say NO. I do not need to say say anymore to everything that comes my way, workwise. I can pick in a different way, as I do not need it to survive today.
I am surviving already. I wish for everyone to have this feeling. I wish for everyone to have this security and the best thing is: if I can do it, anyone can.

Am I Done with My Financial Journey Now?

Not even a little bit.

I am a freelancer and that comes with benefits but as with everything also some drawbacks.
One of them is my pension. I will basically not have any, unless I work for it myself.
No state coming to rescue me.
I will need to work to get it myself and I am not planning to be a poor pensioner. I am not. I have done poor, and I am planning a different future.
As I am single, I will also need to have a look in the mirror regarding housing. I know I will not be able to rent, once I am a pensioner and I know I need to do something regarding that. For that I need money.

I am not only thinking about my future though. I really want other people to have it good, and I want to be able to give more than I am able to do now.
I want to work improving other single parents lives. I need to have enough to be able to give and share so that others who are not in the same situation can seek help somewhere.

I have plans and these includes money, so my financial journey has just begun.

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich on Pexels.com