My personal election goal

I’ve had a goal this election, and it is nothing to do with party vote or electorate seats.

Due to the nature of my jobs – pollster, blogger, media commentator – the election period is an incredibly busy one. Generally working until midnight, sometimes a bit beyond. Due to the extended hours one is working, it is easy to have an unhealthy lifestyle. No time to exercise, and no time to shop, so snack on food a lot.

I was determined to not let that happen this time (this is my 9th general election campaign), as my weight was already far too high. It peaked at 110 kgs which is okay for a 6’6″ All Black prop, but not for me!

So just over three months ago I set myself a target of getting below 100 kgs for the first time in probably a decade, and even harder to get it to drop during the election period, rather than increase as it normally does.

Last week it was down to 101.3, beginning of this week it was 100.3 and at my final gym session today it was 98.9.I made it!

Still a long way to go (my next goal is to get into something that starts with an 8 not a 9), but am very pleased to have made my target. Partly because I absolutely hate not achieving something I set out to do. I am highly competitive. But also because I obviously feel healthier.

I know I am not the only person out there who struggles with losing weight, so I figured I would share what I have done. Not in any any way putting myself out there as a role model, because I have still got a long way to go, but it is all about getting momentum.

All the experts say you need both exercise and diet, and this is absolutely right. One without the other is like riding your bike on the flat in first gear – takes a hell of a long time.

On the exercise size, I’ve had a PT on and off for some years. One key difference is that this time I made my twice weekly sessions my top priority. Previously I ended up missing or deferring heaps because I was so busy. This time I refused all meetings, all conference calls, all speaking engagements, all travel that would interfere with my sessions, unless absolutely essential. The end result was over three and a bit months, there was no week I didn’t do two sessions.

My trainer was and is Russell at City Fitness Thorndon. A great guy who pushes me past where I want to go, which is exactly what you need. Highly recommended.

I also tried to do a one hour walk most days I wasn’t at the gym. Mixed success there but most weeks I managed a couple. Will be keeping them up over summer, and also doing some of the longer scenic walks as usual.

The other element is food. I took a few steps:

  • Kept a food diary of calories, fat, sugars etc to check I was not exceeding 1500 calories a day
  • When out at social events, avoided the finger food (even one sausage roll is your enemy!)
  • Discovered how unhealthy muesli is and swapped back to my childhood weetbix
  • Pretty much gave up all alcohol except red wine. The exception being the night of the VSM party, and this weekend will also be an exception.
  • Went for controlled portions, and snacked between meals on fruit (bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries) and veges (carrots) rather than meat and dairy

In terms of the controlled portions, my flatmate told me about a company which I have found great. I can do so basic cooking but generally not worth the hassle just for yourself, plus you make the portions too big, and it takes time.

Anyway for those whom time is an issue, and money less so, you may want to check out eat.co.nz, They do fresh meals and lite meals which you can order weekly and they deliver. The lite ones are 380 – 400 grams and only 300 – 400 calories. They taste great, and are much better than the frozen meals generally available in supermarkets. Again, highly recommended.

So come election night, I’m going to be pretty happy regardless of the result! Some things in life are more important than politics!

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