Sunday, 31 January 2016

7 month challenge: WEEK 1

Challenge: To gain 3kg and to be healthy by my 36th birthday

Due to an ongoing chronic illness and side-effects from medication my health has been deteriorating for most of the past two years. One system effects the other....which effects the other....and so I am stuck with a weak immune system, fatigue, weakness, irritability, etc.

For most of my life I weighed about 49 - 50kg, excluding the times during and after pregnancy. Now I weigh a feeble 46kg. For a person with a small frame 3kg makes a huge difference.

On Tuesday I went for my first visit with a dietitian. I felt a bit nervous before the time but relaxed once I walked into CHOCOLATE Nutrition.

For an hour and a half she did a full evaluation, taking all facets into account, including looking at the blood tests that have been done over the past two years. I expected things to be bad but everything was less than it should have been - body mass, bone mass, muscle mass, body fat, bone density, water intake, ... [Shocking: measurement around the waist = 65cm]

Wednesday I went to my doctor to re-evaluate my chronic medication. He thought that my severe nauseousness, trouble eating (and maybe hair loss) may have been side-effects of one of my medications. So he took me off that medication and then we decided to wait until middle March before we re-evaluate the situation again.

After visiting these two professionals I had a list of 12 blood tests that had to be done. Yikes! Luckily the nurse who drew the blood was funny, fast and did it painlessly - really, no jokes. Five tubes of blood later I was on my way home.

Friday I got my first official meal plan. What I like most about this plan is that it tells you how many portions of protein, fats, carbs, etc. to eat per meal - with examples - but it doesn't tell you that on Monday you have to eat this, Tuesday that, etc.

To any other person it may look like a normal or small amount of food. But remember, I'm not used to eating "real food" for each meal and at snack times. I have to increase an intake of 1 000 kcal (to maintain my current weight) to 1 500 kcal per day! I also have to take in an amount of 1,5 liters of water (or fluids) per day.

A meal plan alone is obviously not enough. I have to build muscles as well. My dietitian recommended Pilates. Since I quit my job and we are only an one-income family I don't have money to go to the gym or attend Pilates classes. I'm already using my savings to cover my dietitian visits during this year. Luckily there is Pinterest, Youtube, etc. I found myself 3 videos I though I may be able to master. A 10 minutes Pilates video for beginners, a 21-day arm challenge and a 5 minute thigh work-out.


  • The dogs were super excited when I went to walk with them one morning. I thought I could commit myself to going for a walk every day but alas.

  • In general I felt weak all the time and found it difficult to find the energy to make food, to do exercises, complete everyday tasks and to look after my boys before and after school.

  • In terms of food I found the meal plan very overwhelming. It was too much food for me to take in per meal time and in the day as a whole. My real problem lies with protein as I don't really like meat and find it difficult to eat eggs more than once per week. So I had to take in more nuts, cheese, etc. [I do LOVE dairy!]

  • For snack times I can replace some of the foods with half a shake. Now we all know that shakes have that fake taste and is difficult to get down, especially if you have to drink it every day. I found the dietitian's proposal to make it with ice water and to add crushed ice invaluable. It was so easy to drink.

  • Saturday I had a full-on CRASH day. I couldn't get out of bed and slept until lunch. I ate random food constantly during the day.

  • In general it is difficult to explain to someone how painful it is to weigh this little. It's painful to sleep on any side, you have body aches all the time, your clothes hurt you and you are easily hurt (always have black and blue spots)


  • Try to keep to my meal plan as best as I can
  • Walk 3 times with the dogs
  • Do Pilates video every second day.
  • Do arm and leg exercises every other day
  • Empty my 1,5 liter water bottle daily
  • Make healthy food for myself and the family
  • Clean the house (That is also exercise!)
  • Have some me-time every day (at least 1 hour per day)

1 comment:

  1. Is jy lus om Saterdagoggend die Root44 parkrun saam met my te doen? Dis 5km en niks se gerun nie. 'n Fliek uur se stap. Maar dis lekker gesellig en hulle neem jou tyd, so jy kompeteer eintlik met jouself. Die beste is dis verniet.