Impressive Fat Loss – And A Note on Healthy Eating

BulletProof Diet Infographic

Infographic on one healthy eating plan, as suggested by the BulletProof Diet.

 

So, it’s the morning after the 4th day and I feel pretty good.  The weight loss has slowed to half a pound, but that makes it 4 in total this week.  Not bad for a 1st go at the BulletProof Intermittent Fasting!  I’ve continued to do my 2 x the 7 minute workout, and am getting faster and stronger (10 pushups in 30 seconds…. up from 3ish two weeks ago).  Apparently my metabolism should be speeding up rather than slowing down, as it can with fasting, but I’m going to start looking at testing so I can tell you for sure.  God I love America.

Having tried more fad diets than I can even name in my lifetime though, I thought I would dedicate this post to the importance of healthy eating.  Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, works if your goal is to lose weight quickly and not make some life changes in your habits.

Growing up in Victoria B.C., I had  just scraped by in to my teens when the the fat-free epidemic suddenly hit North America.  Canada wouldn’t stock a lot of the products ( !!! Surely that should have been an indicator), so I would ask people to bring back the fat-free butter or the Olestra-laced cookies from their trips across the border to Seattle. The beauty of fat-free?  The Golden Promise that potentially America could continue to overeat, without gaining weight.  Overeat products laden with chemicals, ridiculous amounts of sugar and ingredients that are not even food… and what happened?  The nation got fatter.  And developed eating disorders. You see – some fats are good!  If you don’t know that already, or don’t know the difference between a good fat and a bad one, I’d encourage you to spend a couple hours reading, or even a few minutes signing up for email updates from people like Ben Greenfield, Able James or Dave Asprey.  These guys are all on a mission to live bigger, better lives and have some pretty cutting-edge discoveries, backed up by solid scientific research.

You’ll need to decide for yourself what your body seems happiest with when it comes to what you eat more of and less of.  For me, gluten is a big one and I feels worlds better when I don’t eat it.  There are other foods that I just feel tons better without ( and with! ), but really the point I’m making is that you need to make those decisions for you.

So if you’re looking for a quick-fix way to lose 10 pounds so that you can go back to eating burgers and fried chicken as a lifestyle ( rather than once in a while – I love burgers!!), then honestly don’t bother.  The weight loss and weight gain yo-yoing is terrible for you.  Instead, make a decision to make one positive change.  Maybe it’s even to drink more water. Whatever.  It’s about improving your life so that you can live longer and better, not just for you, but for your family and the world around you that you have a part to play in.

Bulletproof Coffee For Chicks

My new morning routine

My new morning routine

Today I am introducing in to my blog a new love of mine that will feature significantly in my posts from now on: shortcuts in health and fitness.  In keeping with what not to do, I’m going to start testing out plus revisiting past experiences on successful and failed shortcuts – from biohacking to optimum exercise times and everything in between.

Since having moved to America, I am quickly discovering that everything in America is a race.  This discovery is actually pretty ok with me, as I do much better when focused on a goal.  The problem is, I lead a full life and am not that excited about increasing the time spent each day on things, like losing those pesky 5 (10) pounds that attached themselves to me on a recent Foodie Trip to Peru (more on that to come in another post).  Instead my goal is to get smarter about the time I spend, in order to achieve goals faster in the same – or less – time spent.

Enter BulletProof Coffee and Intermittent Fasting.  I had heard through Paleo-loving friends about putting butter in coffee, but wrongly assumed that this was just because they couldn’t have cream.  As my husband and I eat (pretty much) Paleo (except for my beloved glass of red wine with dinner and his occasional beer) when we’re not traveling, I thought I’d look in to the butter in coffee thing.  But BulletProof Coffee is proving to be quite an incredible discovery.  This stuff makes you lose weight, while retaining muscle and increasing brain functions!  And it’s safe for women who still want their bodies to remember they’re women.

I’m on my third morning, having lost 2.5 pounds so far.  I feel fantastic, have no cravings at all and am mentally alert.  The only exercise I’m doing is my two to three rounds of the 7-minute workout (more on this in another post) which on it’s own in my past three weeks of testing has made no improvement at all, though I have been able to sustain my weight and fitness using it (which to be fair, isn’t bad for 14 to 21 minutes a day).  Coupled with the BulletProof Intermittent Fasting though, I seem to be on to a winner.

True to form for me, I of course want to push the boat out some by keeping my glass (or two) of red wine in, and I’ve also added in lemon and hot water first thing in the morning as this does wonders for your skin and getting the toxins out of your liver 1st thing in the morning.    Apart from that I’m following the BulletProof eating guide, which is quite close to the Paleo life we follow at home.

My goal is the remaining 6 pounds by the 4th of November, when we leave for a holiday in Spain.  I’m doubtful that I can sustain this pace of weight loss – particularly with the weekend approaching when ‘crapola’  – to use a dear friend Dr Simone Laubscher‘s phrase – happens.  My prediction will be that after another day the weight loss will slow to half a pound a day and I’ll be set back a pound or two by the weekend.  Stay tuned!  I’ll update on my progress pre and post weekend.

 

Happy Friday! Don’t Drink and Facebook

AddvocateDrunkInfographic

Friendships In Funny Places

 

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New cities.  Moving at 35 from a city that I kicked and fought to stay in from the age of 19 was never going to be easy.

Although, I really can’t complain.  The move across was incredibly easy, and we have met fantastic people quite easily.  In spite of all the meetups I’ve been to since arriving in which I’ve lasted 10 minutes (my current average time overall is 27 minutes) I’ve managed to find friendships in funny places.

Everyone has a theory on how long it takes to settle in to a new place.  Some say a year, some 6 months, some say the 3-month milestone is the most significant.  For me though, it was from the moment I really committed to being present in this new place.  In the excitement of leaving London for a new adventure, I didn’t grieve at all for the incredible friendships that I was about to put an ocean and a bloody large mass of land between.  A month in to being here in the wonderful city of San Francisco though, and it hit me.  Phone calls to London friends help, and don’t help.  As dear as those friends will always be to me – trying to insert myself back in to the day to day world of London life really doesn’t help the loneliness.  The only solution for loneliness that I have found is to be present.

The average time a person stays in San Francisco is 3 years.  The average rise and fall of a new startup is 3 years.  Sell for big bucks or go under… either way it’s 3 years.  And people here are weathered, wary of the constant footfall of new people to the area.  Only so many times can you invest in new friendships only to see them leave before the merry go round grows tiresome.  And if your heart isn’t here, people are like horses.  They can smell it on you.

After a trip to London in January in which during the 1st week I thought I’d never be able to leave again, in the second week I began to miss our new home, our new situations and opportunities and of course – any sign of the sun whatsoever.  On return to San Francisco I felt more ready to settle, be present, and be available for new friendships.

I’ve discovered when you really commit to a place, it’s a lot easier to find true friendships.  On the roof of our building last weekend drinking wine and eating cheese with a bunch of girls from the building we live in, full of food from the BBQ we’d just had with friends from the local area, I revelled in how much can change in a short period of time.  Call it the stars aligning, or whatever you please, but since truly giving my heart to the city I live in I’m finding real friends in the funniest places.

 

 

The Silent No

shush

 

This is the beginning of what will one day be a book, written just as soon as I come up with some genius formula for handling The Silent No.

If you’re not familiar with the phrase, it is when rather than giving you a ‘no’, or ‘check back in a few weeks’ in regards to whatever it is that you may be discussing, the person you are in conversation with simply ignores you in the hopes you’ll go away.  Rather than have to deal with a difficult ( 2-second) situation or having to justify their answer (ok fair enough but surely not to those you have a working relationship with?) they simply ignore all further communication with you until, after weeks of frustration and not-knowing, you eventually crawl back under your rock.

I’m discovering that in business development, many don’t like to ever give a ‘no’ in case they want to later change their mind or worse, in case I’m the next Facebook and they become that idiot that turned down Facebook.

I’m also discovering that in general, if someone is busy and doesn’t want to engage in a conversation that week, they also will simply ignore you – sometimes for weeks – until the point in time in which they are ready to again proceed.

The trouble is – both situations look on the surface like The Silent No.  The solution?  Weekly diary reminders to ‘email Frank again to touch base’ until eventually the stars align and he is ready to move forward or until I finally lose the will to live and relegate Frank’s details to the  ‘if we ever are really really successful don’t let this guy use our tech’ pile.

Like I said, I don’t yet have a genius formula, but would love to hear from those of you that think you might have insight… or who just want to rant.

New Horizons

 

You can’t move forward while staying in the same place.

That’s my mantra for this season.  Today marks 16 years that I’ve been in my beloved London, and 2 weeks from now marks the move to pastures anew.  In 2 weeks my husband and I move to San Francisco, California.  Having never lived in the States before (other than a couple random stints) I am adequately nervous and excited, in equal parts.  Although the excitement is definitely winning the war.

So stay tuned, for lessons learned in the American tech market, and in the journey of new relationships, new adventures, and a whole list of things you’ll know not to do once I’ve done them.

Pivot

Admittedly,  I haven’t blogged in a while.

One thing that I’ve found rather tricky in writing about what not to do is when the lessons some are learning are at a company you are close to and obvious ties can be drawn.  Maybe in the months and years to come I can begin to revisit some of the lessons I’ve learned over the past season in a more anonymous way.  Lessons a lot of us have learned, alignment of vision, along with changes in the market and a whole heap of other factors that have led us to where we are now.  For one company my husband is consulting for that ‘where’ is a pivot.

Pivots are exciting.  For those of you not familiar with the term Eric Reis, author of The Lean Startup is often credited with coining this term and describes it as “the idea that successful startups change directions but stay grounded in what they’ve learned. They keep one foot in the past and place one foot in a new possible future. Over time, this pivoting may lead them far afield from their original vision, but if you look carefully, you’ll be able to detect common threads that link each iteration“.  (Eric Reis, Startup Lessons Learned, June 2009)

Some of my favourite pivots are:

YouTube:   previously a dating site

Flickr:        previously a role-playing game

Groupon:   previously a web community for mobilizing social actions     (downhill pivot? lesser moral purpose anyway…)

There are heaps but these are just a few fun examples.  A pivot isn’t only just from one purpose or customer problem to another though.  Forbes describes well the 8 most recognised pivots so I won’t reinvent the wheel.

If you haven’t read up yet on pivots and your business is in great need of change maybe now is the time.  To sum it up… don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

 

 

Culture Shock & Other Things

Creating change is easy  (ok not that easy, but easier…).  Sustaining change, is hard.

I can cut my hair, quit my job, jump on the wagon, scrap all my systems, decide on new systems, all quite easily.  Sustaining these changes well is a whole different story.

Implementing a new process in to a business I have decided is a whole lot like losing weight.  With a goal in sight and sheer determination just about anyone can lose weight.  It’s exciting seeing the change and the benefit… enough to make the pain worth it.  But once you’ve hit your goal, a lifetime of bad habits and comfort-based behaviours start creeping in.   Before you know it life takes over and we’ve slipped back to what we know best or are most familiar with.  Of course this will at some point cause us to blame the process (or in this example whatever fad diet we got the results with) leading us to select another process – and we’re off again.  Change has to be sustainable.

Change in the workplace is similar.  We have a problem, so we find a solution, implement and often voila! we get results.  But over time we slip back in to our old habits, back to whatever is most comfortable.  My advice?  Don’t ignore the steps required to make change sustainable, and don’t ditch the process when things go a little wobbly for a new, shinier process (unless yours really is awful).  Consistency in an organisation can be a real battle, but one worth fighting, as this is what real growth is built upon.

Objections to Change

 

Change is a funny thing.  When things are changing that are out of our control we often struggle against it, yet when nothing is changing we kick against that too.  Then there is the change that we enable, that we own.

What normally happens when we look to implement change and come up against resistance?  We fend our corner whilst the opposing party fends theirs, until someone eventually pulls rank.  Then, not surprisingly, the change is implemented in an often-painful manner that causes disruption and misalignment amongst teams or individuals.

What if?

What if we were to take the time to allow those whom the change effects to feed back on our proposed changes and give objections?  What if we then took the time to consider those objections and responded accordingly?  Sometimes the objections are because those affected don’t have the full picture, but sometimes those objections are valid and could save you a lot of grief later on down the line.

How many times have you come out of a train wreck of a situation only to have someone say ‘I knew that was going to happen’?  Although not particularly helpful at that stage, that feedback could have been a lifesaver if sought earlier on.

Often we avoid the objections, as we just want to get on with the changes and don’t want the delays caused by considering objections and doing the legwork involved in considering opinions.  I would argue this time would more often than not be less than the time wasted when a change is executed, only to fail.

In taking this route of considering objections, although more lengthy in the planning, you also gain buy-in from those being effected by the change, as well as their support.  In my experience, leading people through change is a whole lot more pleasant than forcing them.

 

 

Failing To Plan

 

 

Planning.  At one stage of my life I was the avid planner, enjoying the planning and dreaming for whatever expedition I was off on next nearly as much as the journey itself.  It used to drive my ex-husband crazy.  To him, planning felt rigid and controlling.  To me, it was dreaming of what could be.

Maybe it was because I realised over time that things never go to plan that I stopped planning.  Maybe it was because ‘winging it’ was always way more fun.  If you wing it for long enough you build a confidence that you can pull anything off, without planning.  That place, is a dangerous place.

I’ve been learning a lot of lessons lately in and around the value in planning.  Really planning.  Thought through, documented, challenged, agreed planning.  The painful kind that takes way too long and is laboriously painful when all you want to do is Get Going.  In capitals.

Yet the planning stage is the time in which you find out if your plan will work, before it costs you time, resource, money, friends, or whatever your half-cocked plan ends up robbing you of.  The planning stage is how you get to the end of the project and everyone has built the same thing.  And completed at the same time.  And they’re still speaking.

Most recently I’ve been spending my time delving in to the Theory of Constraints and Critical Chain philosophies.  Simple, clear cut methods of ensuring that The Goal is always in sight, with each and every member of your team confident in their role in achieving the goal.

In practicing what I preach, I have only just emerged from 2 weeks of project plan hell.  Mainly hell because I skipped the first couple steps around really confirming and documenting scope before beginning to plan, and so began the 47 versions of Microsoft Project plans.  But once we had at last an agreed plan, this past week has been a week of successful execution.  We still have a lot to learn about just what level of detail works best for us, but we’re getting there.   And this is only the beginning.