Does losing weight feel like wishful shrinking?

05:01, Oct 31 2012

Many people I speak to tell me they would like to lose weight and be healthy, but struggle with forming new habits and sticking with them long term.

I asked Buck Shelford, legendary former All Black rugby captain, this question last week.

Week 37

On the rugby field, Shelford was known to have a fighting, winning spirit. But in the past few years he has had an even greater fight to tackle ... cancer. He too lost 25 kilograms and what he has come to  realise on his journey is that people need to ''step up and take control of their health''.

In particular, he has targeted men, who are often stubborn or staunch towards getting regular health checks.

He was alarmed when he discovered that men live on average four years less than women, and so he is on a campaign to encourage men to have regular check-ups and to live better.


He has been travelling the country promoting his book Buck Up, The Real Bloke's Guide to Getting Healthy and Living Longer. He discusses more about this on my video interview.

Budgeting versus eating healthily is an issue for many people. So I have been buying snap frozen vege mixes when they are on special.

I cut up heaps of ginger, a few cloves of garlic and lightly fry it in quality oil. I add chilli flakes and then add the veges with boiling water.  I do not overcook the veges, just enough to soften them to enjoy, so I do not cook away all the goodness.

The chilli, ginger and a teaspoon of honey boosts the taste and because it is spicy hot, it feels like I am eating something very substantial. I pan fry a fish fillet with an egg, forming a healthy nutritious meal that is filling for around $5.

For the first time I went to the farmers' market, as shown in my video. I found a large range of locally grown produce at reasonable prices. But dieters be warned, there was a big selection of cakes and goodies as well.

Happily, I resisted! I'm due for my seventh monthly weigh-in this week. My home scales measured me at 100kg and although that's less than last month, I did actually put some weight back on but lost it again. This is a result of working from home, mostly in front of the computer, and eating more because I am home alone, which is not very good! Hence, I put myself on a 12-week challenge, as I identified I could potentially go backwards.

Since then, I have dramatically increased exercise and am eating much better. Ten weeks to go! It's great to have goals but I have had to amend my 12-week goal to 95kg, as Justin Laing felt it was unrealistic trying to lose 12kg in 12 weeks. But that's only because I have already lost 35kg in total and losing weight from now on will be much slower.

I have been more spontaneous with exercise too. For example at random times, almost without thought, I will put my walking shoes on and go for a long walk. A few times in the morning after gym, I will walk an extra hour around our bay. The weather, of course, makes it so much easier to get out.

The Timaru Herald