Week 20: where I met a duck.

One of the best things about going to the gym is definitely not the gym itself, but instead the fact that there is a nature reserve just a few minutes walk away.
My weight loss journey journal week 20 - dealing with anxiety.
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Weight Loss Milestones - My Strongest Self
Summary of the key moments in my weight loss journey, including before and after pictures, and weight loss statistics.
Weight Loss Journal - My Strongest Self
A set of weekly posts, diarising my journey towards losing 20 kilos of weight, through transforming my eating and exercising habits.

This week starts with a gym session on Monday morning. One of the best things about going to the gym is definitely not the gym itself, but instead the fact that there is a nature reserve just a few minutes walk away.

Anxiety and ducks

I find myself with a few minutes to spare before today's gym session, so I wander down through the nature reserve, where amongst other things, I meet a duck. The duck somehow seems really happy - probably because the sun is finally out, after what seems to have been the rainiest month of May ever.

And perhaps the duck is also happy because - unlike me - the duck doesn't have to go to the gym.

Since I got into running, I've grown increasingly attached to watching, admiring & feeding the local ducks.

They always seem so happy, so free of worry, fear or anxiety.

Always enjoying floating around, bobbing their heads in and out of the water, having duck races down the river, or sometimes just peacefully sleeping with their heads tucked into their feathers.

The ducks in the video below seem to be quite frenetic actually! But happy nonetheless.

Some happy ducks - quacking and swimming around in circles because someone (me!) threw them duck food!

I often think that it would be a nice life to be a duck.

My personal trainer disagrees. "You'd probably get eaten by a fox! I wouldn't want to get eaten by a fox!" he always says.

Maybe it is true that you'd eventually get eaten by a fox if you're a duck - but the thing is, I don't think that the ducks really think about that.

I'm fairly certain that a duck doesn't spend it's days thinking,

'Oh, I'm so worried today, because it's possible that I might get eaten by a fox tonight, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I just don't know how I'll cope if that happens." 

I'm fairly certain that ducks don't even have the capacity to think into the future like this. They always live rooted in the present moment, simply enjoying everything that is unfolding around them in nature at any given moment in time.

Power of the present moment

As humans, we're possibly the only animal on the planet burdened with the ability to think into the future, and look back into the past. Yet, letting go of our thoughts and being able to stay grounded in the present moment is absolutely the key to letting go of worry, fear and anxiety.

Positive affirmations for anxiety

If like me, you need to learn to be more like the ducks, then you may be interested in this free printable PDF list of 39 positive affirmations for anxiety:

List of positive affirmations for anxiety
Printable pdf list of positive affirmations for anxiety.

The same 39 affirmations for anxiety are also available as a printable set of positive affirmation cards:

Printable positive affirmation cards for anxiety and stress.
PDF instant digital download. Print these anxiety affirmations at home on A4 or US Letter size paper.

An obsession with press-ups

My next training session is on Wednesday morning. This time it's a jogging session, broken up with body-weight exercises. I mentioned in week 7 and week 10 how my PT has an obsession with press-ups. Well, that obsession continues this week, and I find myself being made to do these things at practically every turn.

"Your press-ups are definitely a lot better than they used to be!" he tells me.

Personally, I'm not so sure - it still seems that my back is really bendy, with the top part of me coming up first, then the lower part of my back...

An obsession with protein

After the session my PT asks me what I'm planning to eat when I get home. This is another obsession that my PT has recently developed. He asks me this question after almost every session, and it is invariably followed up with a text an hour or so later saying, "So what did you eat when you got in, Lisa?"

He tells me I should be eating at least 20 grams of protein within 90 minutes of doing exercise, as this will help to repair and rebuild the muscles I've been breaking down during the exercise routines.

Today's protein is going to be poached eggs on toast.

Perfect poached eggs

The Internet makes poaching eggs sound easy.

Apparently, I just have to heat some water in a saucepan until small bubbles are starting to appear, then add a little vinegar, then swirl the water around vigorously with a spoon, then throw the eggs into the well that forms in the middle.

I do all of those things - but as you can see from the picture below on the right, it doesn't turn out so well.

There must be something more to it.

Perhaps the saucepan size matters, or perhaps there's a certain technique to dropping the eggs in, or perhaps I'm not getting the speed of the water-swirling quite right...

At any rate, it seems that making perfect poached eggs is a challenge I'm yet to master.

Weekly food diary

This week I have been eating...

Monday

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. A cup of black coffee.

Snack: A bowl of plain greek yoghurt, with a chopped banana and two spoonfuls of grain free granola mix.

Lunch: Mindful Chef's Mexican pinto beans and salsa stuffed avocado (one third of a two portion recipe).

Snack: One cup of tea with a dash of milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's lamb biryani with edamame and cucumber salad.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Tuesday

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: A bowl of plain greek yoghurt, with a chopped banana and two spoonfuls of grain free granola mix.

Lunch: Mindful Chef's Mexican pinto beans and salsa stuffed avocado (one third of a two portion recipe).

Snack: An orange.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's spicy barbecue beef bibimbap with spinach and egg.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Wednesday

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. One cup of black coffee.

Snack: A bowl of plain greek yoghurt, with a chopped banana and two spoonfuls of grain free granola mix.

Lunch: Mindful Chef's Mexican pinto beans and salsa stuffed avocado (one third of a two portion recipe).

Snack: An orange.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's spicy barbecue beef bibimbap with spinach and egg.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Thursday

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: A banana.

Lunch: Two poached eggs on a piece of brown buttered toast, with some spinach.

Snack: An orange.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's spicy barbecue beef bibimbap with spinach and egg.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Friday

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. One cup of black coffee.

Snack: A bowl of plain greek yoghurt, with a chopped banana and two spoonfuls of grain free granola mix.

Lunch: Two poached eggs on a piece of brown buttered toast, with some spinach.

Snack: An orange.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's peri peri chicken, sautéed peppers and potato wedges.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Saturday

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. One cup of black coffee.

Snack: A bowl of plain natural yoghurt, with a chopped banana and two spoonfuls of grain free granola mix.

Lunch: Two poached eggs on a piece of brown buttered toast, with some spinach.

Snack: One cup of tea with a dash of milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's peri peri chicken, sautéed peppers and potato wedges.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Sunday

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two of three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: An orange.

Lunch: Two poached eggs on a piece of brown buttered toast, with some spinach.

Snack: A banana. One cup of tea with a dash of milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's sweet and sour turkey with egg fried rice.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Up next: my weight loss journey week 21

Week 21: where I planted some positive intentions.
Regardless of whether you believe in the power of this ritual, it is definitely really really fun to do. It involves playing with fire - and anything that involves playing with fire is fun!
About the author

Lisa

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