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Zoe's W9 Challenge


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Feel I need more accountability during my W9 challenge as part of my overall personal development.

So a daily log seems to fit the bill.

I am on day X – not counting & not having an end date yet – for me it is more about the lifestyle than the numbers.

I have been working on hydration – I find it is pretty easy to slurp away at herbal teas all morning – but tend to ease off in the afternoon.

I have been having a hot drink before bedtime – a splash of lemon / lime juice in water.

I generally struggle with liquid as I tend to retain a lot and I have noticed that since I have increased my intake I have bloated up and everything is tight – sadly I am not making lots of trips to the bathroom yet.

Fortunately I am so scared to go on the scales that I am w30 compliant on that respect.

I once did the Dukan diet (years ago) and drank and drank each day – it took about 2 weeks for my body to adjust to a lot of liquid – so hopefully I will see an improvement soon.

Speaking of the Dukan diet – I actually really enjoyed the meal side of it (generally meat and veg) but felt terrible about a week in and could hardly put one foot in front of the other – knowing now what I do about my body I was failing as the diet included oat bran (GLUTEN) and 0% fat milk/dairy (DAIRY) and allowed as much diet drinks as you wanted (FRANKIN-SUGAR AND AWAKENING THE SUGAR DRAGON).

I so know now that GLUTEN / DAIRY & SUGAR (in pretty much any form) are bad for me.


Today’s meals

M1 – curried turkey mince + onion + carrot / salad / egg

M2 - curried turkey mince + onion + carrot / salad / egg

M3 – smoked salmon / salad / sauerkraut


I really don’t mind a lot of repetition in my food as long as it is tasty – but I will flip my menu from time to time. 

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Feeling a bit down today - sleep not good 

Did circuits last night and must have nipped a nerve in my lower back 

I am normally pretty bendy - but can hardly touch my toes today - so will work on stretching 

At one point last night I thought I would need a plain killer - haven't had one of them since I went paleo nearly 2 years ago 

But survived - I have an acupuncture thing which I use when I have pain - which seemed to do the trick - well enough to get me to sleep

Sleep is something I have to work on - but that will be later in the year

In the mean time - HYDRATION - still feel like a bloated womble

Had one of my teas yesterday and was woozy after it with pounding in my ears - I will try it again today and if I get the same response will look at eliminating - hope it is not fennel (I love fennel) 


Today’s meals

M1 – curried turkey mince + onion + carrot / salad / egg

M2 - omelette / 1/2 grapefruit - love grapefruit and try to fit one in each week without going overboard on the sugar

M3 – Liver / salad / egg / sauerkraut

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Amendments to yesterday ...

  • Did kidney instead of liver at M3
  • Then - utterly predictable had a handful of grapes while washing a bunch for the kids snack - it is a habit one I need to be mindful of

Hydration is going well in terms of it going in - still not rushing to the bathroom - so not so sure it is all coming out - and still feel like a jelly with all this fluid in me

But the hydration seems to be making me more settled and cravings have been less frequent so that is a good thing 

My skin is also feeling more hydrated - I have noticed the skin around my finger nails looks better / less inflamed and broken

Still on hydration - had another woozy moment after a tea yesterday - it had licorice in it (the other tea had licorice in it as well) - will keep a check on this today 

Also got myself some raspberry leaf tea - soon after drinking I felt pain in the  region where my kidneys are - so will try it again today - if I get the same response - out goes the raspberry leaf


Today's meals

M1 - liver / salad / egg

M2 - omelette / 1/2 grapefruit 

M3 - smoked salmon / salad / olives / egg


But overall feeling generally well settled 

I need to up my walking - should have walked last night - but ran out of time - will try for a walk tonight 

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OK - still doing lots of liquid - still not very much coming out !!! SIGH !!!

Sleeping badly at the moment - still seem to be getting a pain in my lower back when I lie down - NOT GOOD 

I remember reading on MDA him saying when he ate clean and ditched the alcohol all his niggles and pains went away - I WISH

I also remember him saying primal living would result in effortless weight loss - I SEEM TO STILL HAVE TO PUT A LOT OF EFFORT IN !!! 

Granted when I started down the paleo/primal  route I did do some dairy and that was a mistake for me


Rant over


Now on to today


Friday is always a tricky day for eating as I do a long session at the gym from early evening so don't get to eat before and can't eat after as I take levo in the evening and it has to be on an empty stomach. 


So today's meals...

M1 - omelette - with mushroom / rocket / parma ham

M2 - tuna salad + olives


Personal reminders:


Breathe !!!

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Did less liquid yesterday and hey presto - today I feel better - so just need to strike a sensible balance - having said that filling myself with water for a week with hopefully have flushed out a lot of toxins

Back pain a bit better - sleep still not great


Today's meals 

M1 - Liver / egg / salad

M2 - not really hungry - might have some grapefruit

M3 - turkey burgers / sweet pot / salad


Today's exercise

1 km swim

2 hr hike + 10 kg

1 hr gym session - light cross training + lifting heavy things


Working my way through eating mindfully by Susan Albers

Really want to focus on how I am eating - still too much eating on the run

Even now I am trying to focus on my freshly brewed espresso - smelling it / tasting it / savouring it 

If I can do it with coffee I can do it with food


Also want to focus on doing some nice things for me 

I have neglected myself for some time (end of marriage trauma) - clothes / hair / skin / nails / appearance / falling behind on general beauty maintenance (waxing etc)

So want to get a plan together to improve that - started yesterday with wearing something smart - normally just fall into my track suit at the weekend

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Yesterday did another day with less liquid and I feel better - how can you be better less hydrated ???

Sleep last night good - back pain gone


Todays meal's

m1 - omelette - with parma ham / mushrooms 

m2 - prawn salad

m3 - maybe some grapefruit as I have gym tonight


Today's exercise

Morning squats / cross crawls / stretches

Lunch - 30 min walk

willpower and grace


I am enjoying the "eating mindfully book" - some of it is a bit fluffy and overkill for me - but the essence of it is good and I really want to take a mindful eating process out of it all 

It is probably a book I will need to take some time over - plan to read it / read it and highlight / then make notes - so will take a little time 

In the mean time I am going to slow down - SMELL / TASTE - put my knife and fork down when eating / CHEW / clear my mouth before taking another bite / THINK ABOUT THE FOOD - that sort of thing

These should be easy things that will hopefully make a difference


Today's focus get down to clearing a whole pile of work on my desk   

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Sleep was awful last night - thought I was going to be sick at one point

So feeling sluggish and vulnerable today - not a good place


Still reading through "eating mindfully" - it is very thought provoking

I have been considering my eating habits from a very young age to now - they are not all good ...


I have over-ate / under-ate / over-exercised (purged) / binged / starved / fasted / restricted / ate poor food choices / restricted on good food choices / I have tried various diets (starting as a child - maybe 13 - I was podgy) / I have hydrated / dehydrated / I've done gluten free / dairy free / alcohol free / alcohol in / caffeine out / caffeine in / gone primal / gone paleo / done ketosis / tried structured eating W30 / tried unstructured eating / done lent etc........


I have been overweight and underweight to the extent I don't even know what weight is actually healthy for me


And during all of this have I been happy and content with me - no probably not

Have I beaten myself up time and time again - yes yes and yes

Have I sabotaged when things have been going well - yes yes and yes

I have NOT listened to my body  

This is why I am doing a W9 - I want to be finally at peace with myself in mind body and spirit

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i have not had a good day

i have not been mindful - starting to realise how some of my meal times are far from mindful - some i struggle to even sit down for

i have snacked and picked all day and was still munching close to 7 - normally stop around 6

i think i am just tired - work has been busy / training has been busy / life has been busy 

i just feel like curling up and going to sleep 

i should walk tonight 

but a bath and a sleep may be more restorative and ultimately better for me in the long run

on the up side - lots of cheap prawns bought so i will have prawn salads for lunch next week - love prawns

also on the up side my charity fund raising is going well - a thank you email around everyone has brought in another £ 500

i am going to focus again on hydration - but might go easy on some of the herbal teas - think they might have been doing more harm than good 

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So tired - sleep rubbish again – maybe just need to accept that lying flat is good enough rather than WORRYING about NOT sleeping


M1 – liver / spinach / beetroot / egg / grapes – I am stuffed

M2 – something and leaves (tuna ?)

M3 – smoked salmon / salad / olives / egg


Exercise is going badly – must get out for a walk tonight BUT it is a washing night and I have to get a batch of spag bol sauce done & prep a curry


Feeling sorry for myself - I just have to accept that my body doesn’t work as well as others

·         I have no hormones & everything in my body runs slowly

·         I need lots of exercise to keep me ticking over

·         I don’t need very much food

·         Liquid of any sort in large amounts just bloats me up


It is probably time to get a blood check – with so much weight on my levo levels are probably under

BUT meditation work shop all booked – looking forward to it

I have decided that fruit except lemon / lime & maybe some grapefruit is out in Feb – just to take a rest from sugars 

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Sleep was good / better last night – walked my socks off before bed and had a “sleep” herbal tea – thought I wouldn’t drop off with the wind & had to get up in the middle of the night BUT seemed to get a night of restful sleep


M1 – curried mince / leaves / eggs

M2 – curried mince / leaves / eggs

M3 – skip as at the gym early



Spin x 30 mins

Dynamic yoga x 75 mins + sauna


So pleased about my sleep

Still know I have bad eating habits – probably rushed M1 this morning – that will be kids for you

I am going to have a coffee now and I am really going to enjoy it and think about it


Feb challenges

·         will be skipping fruit (other than lemon / lime / grapefruit)

·         introducing the scales once a week

·         learning how to meditate – workshop booked

·         trying to view myself differently – I am someone with a great big scary plan this year  - it will challenge me / it will hopefully be life changing

·         also trying to put things in to perspective – have been looking at a few other threads – people are staring their W30 journeys – some are around my height and are 50+ lbs heavier than me – I should count my blessings rather than beating myself up

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Slept well - woke early but that's alright when you think your sleep has been restful

Unfortunately my 1st hour up was not restful - boys fighting 

And I was hungry so had a spoonful or 2 of b'fast before b'fast - don't know if that's snacking or not and threw an extra egg in 

Lots to do today - but dinner is in the slow cooker (beef vindaloo)


m1 - curried mince / leaves / eggs

m2 - will probably skip as had a big b'fast and will have a big dinner

M3 - beef vindaloo / leaves


Hopefully will get a couple of walks in one with weights and one without

Trying to be mindful about meals but feel b'fast was a bit rushed

Have a "want to eat nuts" thing hanging over me - not sure why it is there - but would like it to go away - prefer life without nuts

There should be no reason for hunger as b'fast was huge and lovely - so it is just MINDLESS

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Sleep poor - woke up feeling sick in the middle of the night - but ok in the morning 

Up and out for my 1km swim

M1 - liver / egg / leaves 

Followed that with a 1 hr 45 min yomp up & down a hill while Boy 1 was at hockey

M2 - more of a snack - mackerel and roasted carrots

M3 - lamb shank / veg

Hope to get a weight training session later at the gym with a very much needed sauna


Have been thinking about my eating and about my weight gain over the last year 

Eating habits have not been good - have to work on 3 times a day and no snacking 

Also have to rationalise a slow approach to getting back in shape - 1 lb a month will do 


Breathe - I am blessed that my health is so much better than others and I can do a whole lot more than the average bod of my age - BE APPRECIATIVE 

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Sleep OK when I got over - had to get up once - happy enough with this as I am enjoying my evening "sleep" tea - has chamomile etc in it and it is very soothing 

Starting today I am considering this a new W30 

I am reintroducing scales once a week - weighed this morning - I little dissapointed but not surprised

I am tweaking this month to cut out fruit - want to break a dried fruit habit and explore some more veg options


M1 - omelette - with mushroom / leaves / parma ham

M2 - prawn + mackerel salad

M3 - curried mince


E1 - morning squats

E2 - hopefully will get a 30 min @ lunch - but juts heard the morning meeting has been postponed !!!

E3 - will power & grace + flipping the big tyre


Inspiration for today / this month  -  "WANT POWER NOT WILL POWER"  than you Meadowlily - love this 

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OK - So didn't get my walk at lunch yesterday and probably won't get any exercise this evening - just need to accept that 

Sleep OK - woke once - my own doing as I had 2 cups of tea before bed

M1 - omelette with mushroom / leaves / parma ham - YUM

M2 - prawn salad + will probably add an egg - YUM YUM

M3 - curried mince - SUPER YUM



I really fancied a drink last night - just a sip - didn't and was pleased with myself - it is just a slippery slope to bad feelings and bad eating habits

Not only does it make me feel sad / upset / create cravings and generally make me feel bad - the aftermath can last for days

Don't really know why I get an urge - did drink free for years when pregnant and breast feeding (x 3) and it didn't fizz on me

For a while I think I drank just to be able to tolerate life not because I enjoyed it - but it can make a miserable existence 

It is so nice to be clean - which is why I was a bit upset last night when the thought came to me

But we are into another day and another busy schedule so hopefully that horrid little voice won't get at me again tonight 

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No exercise last night and it showed - mentally / physically - just feel a bit more energised when I get the body moving 

Sleep ok - was a bit cold so took a while to get over - woke once (don't mind - that's the tea)

M1 - omelette - mush / leaves / p ham

M2 - salmon salad / olives / capers

M3 - liver / salad / egg

I am hungry today - funny you should be more hungry when you haven't exercised than when you do exercise - may double up on the salmon

Still trying to be mindful when eating - trying to pace myself with my Boy 3 - the slowest eater in the world - but a voice in my head says life / time is too short to dither over food for 40-50 mins each mealtime 

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So yesterday was a bad day - nearly collapsed in work after a herbal tea - who would have thought !!

I had a niggle that something in the tea was reacting because I had been getting pounding in my ears after drinking it - but nearly passing out is quite another thing 

Have narrowed it down to licorice root ? (thanks cottagequeen) - in the light of a new day I can clearly live with out it 


But there has been aftermath....

I would get allergic type reactions from time to time with foods - honey was my last one / avocado the time before 

Was still shaky when I got home / had dinner and started into the usual routine - knew I wasn't right 

Sleep was awful - so cold / heart racing / tight and swollen

Could hardly get up this morning - have had to take the day off


With a bit of extra sleep under my belt I have had a wake up call

I have to be much more alert to signs that things are not right in my body rather than just pushing it to the side so I can get on with stuff - I have to LISTEN 

I have to take care of myself to be fighting fit - so I can look after everyone else

I have to accept that I am sensitive to some (many ?) foods and I have to live with it positively


I wonder what will be the next curve ball ? 

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busy day 

meals a bit up in the air

M1 - curried turkey + leaves

M2 - curried turkey + veg - ate in car - how sad

M3 - some parma ham & veg on the hoof - so much for mindful !!!!!


spin - far too much time out of the saddle

dynamic yoga - perfect - thighs really feeling it 

sauna - breathe - come down from the day 

lots of kitchen stuff to do 

1. boy at taekwondo competition needs a whole days food so pasta salad (GF) and other food stuff done

2. always treat the boys (3 off) to nice saturday b'fast - brioche prepared and rising (I HOPE - GF FLOUR ALWAYS HARD TO WORK WITH) 


Boy 2 - problematic at scouts - everyone hates him apparently!!!!! he should be a MUM ! then he would know !

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brioche - looked like rock cakes - but thumbs up from boys 

M1 - liver + leaves - have gone right off liver & kidney - not sure what I can substitute with as it is at least 3 of my meals 

M2 - curried turkey

M3 - duck & roasted veg

Will try and get a training walk in tonight

I am going to my meditation course today - looking forward to what it will be like

Really fancy something sweet - might treat myself to some dried apricots if I can find unsulphered ones

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Lost the plot since last post 

Feel crap 

Actually think I need a "whole reset" 

Something is still problematic for me and I don't know what it is  

I am not a religious person but lent is always a good time for me to abstain - as I know I am doing it with the masses

I know it is not W30 but I think I need a couple of days of fasting and drinking plenty of water to reboot my system and give my insides a complete rest

Then I will start back on carefully monitoring food in and reactions

SIGH - the joys of an autoimmune gene pool 

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I am resting from food today 


I am in an autoimmune family so also problematic are - NUTS / SEEDS / NIGHTSHADES / EGGS

I had been eating eggs but I am going to have a rest from them as well 

I have my suspicions that the following are no good as well - OLIVE OIL / SALMON / PORK - cant be sure - just a gut feel - HA GET IT

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Had a good rest from food yesterday

Will just see how things go today - need to stick with protein / veg for a while 

Did circuits last night - the warm-up is a run - it is a long time since I have done any running 

My observations

  • How exactly did I run a marathon a week for years - when I can hardly run a couple of steps now
  • I am so inflamed and overweight (for me) I could feel my body juddering (is that a word) while I was running
  • I can definitely do the circuits / weights etc - but the running feels awful

SO if I cant run 50+ Km a week anymore to stay slim I HAVE to manage alternative exercise and food

BUT I am utterly tired of stressing over everything - what to eat / what not to eat / when to eat / how many times a day to eat / how to exercise / when to exercise / reps v weight / balance etc etc etc

Probably need another rest today to re-group my thoughts 

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Sleep poor - not entirely sure why - was a little cold and went to bed a little later than usual due to reading 

M1 - liver and leaves - had gone off liver a bit but did it grilled with herbs and it was ok - might try something else for a while

M2 - havent decided

M3 - salad / olives / and either fish or prawns (or both)

Will try and get another training walk in tonight 

Contemplating AIP again - was kind of eating that way anyway apart form eggs & small amounts of seeds / nightshades

Really want to get back in shape

Think a hair cut and taking a bit more care of my appearance would help too - so easy to slip into a rut with 3 kids and a FT job 

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Good training walk last night 

Thought it would help sleep but sadly not - but I am well rested

M1 - turkey curry + leaves - added an egg but conscious about reducing egg intake

M2 - tuna salad

Will probably not get another M in as spinning and yoga tonight 

Hair cut booked - chop it all off 

I am not one for makeup but may go and get myself a few low maintenance beauty products to have a bit of a change  

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A good day 

Swim x 1km

M1 - liver / olives /leaves

Kind of split M2 before and after a training walk - pork / s'kraut

M3 - rib eye / roasted cauli / green beans / leaves - the boys love rib eye / the cauli went down well (never done it before)


Hair all off - probably a bit short BUT hair grows !!

Had an interesting chat with a lady in the gym tonight - she has rheumatoid arthritis - we got to talking about autoimmune disease - then on to diet - although she is a vegetarian she had heard of paleo - don't get many people like that round these parts - it was refreshing to not feel weirder than the "average bear" for a change 

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Sleep not good - don't know why - had hot lime before bed - maybe it was the sugar in it ?

Anyway - the positive of poor sleep is think time - I have lots to think about !!!

Got on the scales this morning - I am about 21-22 lbs over the weight I used to try and achieve

I say this as I have no idea what weight I should be - I was overweight as a child - probably down to gluten and dairy in my diet - but when I was at my lightest I was running so hard and eating so little it was absolutely unsustainable - so my thoughts are where should I be ? - have rested on some where in the middle - so @ 10 lbs to loose

SIGH - but I have drawn some inspiration from the thread I am on and I think yesterday I finally want to do it rather than thinking I have to do it 

I have so many of the good building blocks in place

  • I exercise well - much more of a balance than before (although I have been thinking about running again)
  • I generally eat well - but can go off the rails - and when I do I go big style
  • I like eating W30 / paleo / I like the lifestyle - that is half the battle
  • I think I have a fair idea of what makes me sick and inflamed: GLUTEN / DAIRY / SUGAR / HONEY / COCONUT / LICORICE & VALERIAN ROOT / AVOCADO / NIGHTSHADES

All I need to do now is commit to ME - don't know what has stopped me looking after me recently 

I need to put all the crap and rubbish people in the past and move on

I want to commit to doing 1 good day at a time - then repeat 

Will keep posting 

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