Houkamau and his flatmate completed a 30-day challenge — no takeaways, no sugar, no bread and no booze. Combined with at least five 30-minute workouts a week, the weight started to drop off and seeing the results proved to be a big motivator.
I'm several decades older than Te Ua, female and one-third his size when he was at his heaviest - all factors that make it harder for me to drop unwanted kilos - but decided to take his 30-day challenge and see how I feel at the end. He tells me he and his flatmate (roommate, for American readers) made up their own rules and they seem pretty simple.
No takeaways (and taking your lunch to work each day) is no issue for me as I avoid fast food anyway and prepare at least 90 percent of my own meals.
No sugar will be harder, particularly in the mornings when I like a square or two of chocolate, or a home-made brownie, with my morning coffee. My colleagues may have to do without any baking from me for the next month.
No bread is also not difficult for me as I seldom eat it anyway.
No booze will be a little difficult socially, where alcohol is a major part of the expat lifestyle, and professionally, where meals with officials almost always include toasts featuring the local specialty spirits. The concept of a "30-day-challenge" has become fairly ingrained in society, however, as have "dry" months, so it shouldn't be an issue socially. I'm taking friends to a craft brewery they haven't been to tonight, and plan to have a fun night with them while on soda water. As for the officials and endless toasting - I'll deal with that when/if it comes up.
The exercise won't be a problem, as I do more than that each week anyway.
So, yesterday I went to my favorite vegetable market to buy supplies, baked a frittata to have for lunches for the next few days and made tzatziki to have with vegetable crudites as an afternoon snack. This morning, I'm feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and looking forward to the month ahead. I won't bore people with daily or even weekly updates, but will report in on any results at the end of November.