It’s Friday, not that I have any concept of weekends at the moment given how crazy busy I am! But I felt like taking some time to blog, albeit a bit randomly.
1. A hormonal update
It’s been a while since I talked about my hormones, which I know a lot of you are interested in. As you may remember, I came off the pill for the second time in November as I was dealing with a lot of negative side effects (mainly lots of migraines and difficulty losing weight plus a general aversion to the artificial nature of the pill). Given my skin was already giving me grief at that time, I was concerned that my acne would flare up even more when I went off the pill.
Based on some recommendations from my lovely readers, I started taking vitex agnus castus and DIM-plus. DIM (Di-Indoly Methane) promotes the healthier metabolism of oestrogen, while VAC corrects irregularities within the menstrual cycle and is particularly beneficial for acne. Both supplements are completely natural and are taken once per day. In addition, I resumed taking tetracycline (an acne antibiotic) twice per day.
Now, I don’t know which one of these things is the main reason, or if it is simply the unstoppable combination of these three supplements, but my skin is better now than when I was on the pill! Touch wood…
One other thing I’ve been using for the past few months is black soap. I use it twice a week and it’s amazing! The soap itself was dirt cheap and will last me a very long time. It does dry out your skin but in a good way, if that makes sense? I am still cleansing my face with jojoba oil the rest of the time. Any time I use any other product (even if it is “natural”), it aggravates my skin so I stay away!
My menstrual cycle is still far from regular, and I’ve only had two periods since I came off the pill. I have never had a regular cycle in my life and I don’t know if I ever will, but the current condition of my skin tells me that my hormones are on the right track.
2. A diet update
I have slowly been cutting weight for the past couple of months. Since mid-January I have lost 6kg fairly easily. I’m currently sitting at 72.9kg, which is the lightest I’ve been in more than a year. I’m planning to drop to around 71kg and maintain that size, purely so I don’t have to cut weight before competitions anymore. I also feel better at this size (go figure!) and I haven’t lost any strength. I don’t want to lose much more than that, as I can’t compete in a lower weight class (I qualified for the British as an under 75).
To lose weight, I have simply been tracking my calories. I don’t really target any specific macros but I typically have three higher carb days (with about 250g of carbs and 2200-2300 calories), and four days with a higher fat intake (about 100g of fat and 1900-2000 calories) per week. I took a two week diet break after my competition in February, but the rest of the time I have consistently been losing weight.
I know it’s annoying when people say this, but it really has been effortless. There have been a few days where I’ve felt stupidly hungry, so I generally just eat more. I’ve also had plenty of “junk” type foods, like this delicious Nutella-filled cookie I had yesterday!
It just goes to show how much of an effect the pill had on my weight before – I felt like I was trying absolutely everything and my weight was not budging at all. I am happy to post a full day’s worth of my meals if anyone is interested?
3. 12 days until Australia!
I will be in Perth from April 9 to 23, and then in Sydney until the 27th. Excited is an understatement!!! My mum keeps telling me that the weather is getting too cold to go to the beach, but she doesn’t understand that 30 degrees is a heatwave in England! I have every intention of enjoying the beach while all the silly Perthites sit at home in their jumpers.
4. Five great posts to read
The complete guide to female-specific dieting
How to build your weight loss meal plans and make losing fat easier on yourself
20 incredible feats of strength
37 totally perfect bikini bodies
Stress: In the gym, out of the gym, and how it affects your program and progress
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway if you haven’t already done so! I will announce the winners on Monday.
Have you ever tried black soap? Have you ever lost weight more easily than expected?