Posted in Acting journey, Insight & perspective, Uncategorized, Writing journey

“It takes a village to create a successful Artist” – Selma Danculovic

I had a meeting with my agent. I had finally met her and felt instantly connected.

What I took away from the meeting is that having a clear and strategic plan may assist you with taking the correct steps towards the right direction.

For the first time, I don’t feel alone on this journey. The wheels are in motion.

Yes, at times it may appear that you are travelling on this path, scattered and trying to land some traction, but I truly believe that,

“IT TAKES AN VILLAGE TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST.” – I am coining this quote.

It takes time, trial and error, learning, tears, fears and utter enjoyment.

I work in an industry that a degree doesn’t guarantee a job. Being in a long-running drama doesn’t guarantee you will be employed again.

But I am in an occupation that when one of us passes away, millions mourn the world over. Our work can move a stranger to tears/laughter/anger/nostalgia etc. Our work entertains. It allows us and the viewer to imagine and can make a massive and significant impact on our world.

Artists out there – enjoy your journey. Don’t be too concerned with time and goals. Be more mindful of your impact. Your legacy. How has your work effected another – and that’s including yourselves.
We are creators.

 

Posted in Weight loss journey

Motivation in the form of a trip to Hawaii.

So I have arrived back from Hawaii after a much needed holiday with my darling.

Prior to our holiday my boyfriend and I decided to go on a diet to lose a ‘few kilos’ just to look and feel a little more ‘fitter’. Through some hard work and dedication we achieved a combined weight loss effort of approximately 12 kilos (he lost a little over 7 kilos, I lost a little over 5 kilos).

Now you must be wondering how we did it? A magic pill? A vibrating belt strap thingy wrapped around our waist and hips while standing there and doing , well, nothing? I’m sorry to disappoint you but it was just good old fashioned HARD WORK!

Diet, exercise and determination! Yes I sound like a broken record. You’ve heard it all before, what’s new right?

It started off when we invited a lovely lifelong friend over for dinner. She always looks fantastic but what I had noticed in this instance was that she had a bit more of a bounce in her step. She had mentioned she had recently embarked on a, what I would refer to as a somewhat ‘sugar-free diet.’ She went on to explain what that exactly involved. I’ll paraphrase what she had mentioned.

  1. The obvious was to eliminate adding sugar to your diet. That’s easy, no sugar in your coffee and/or tea. This is something that I took to quite easily like a duck to water.
  2. To eliminate complex carbohydrates such as rice, bread and pasta. Oats are allowed and so are sweet potatoes however I find that I eat sweet potatoes sparingly and I’m not a massive fan of oats. It’s best to limit these to a few times a week.
  3. No cakes, biscuits, ice cream, chocolates, custards, basically all sweet treats.
  4. Yogurts with sugar (Greek Yogurt is preferred).
  5. Eat fruit and vegetables. Reduce the consumption of the following fruits and vegetables such bananas, pumpkin and carrot although I do eat these and I will explain my reasons later on. The preferred fruits are pears, berries and kiwi fruit (just to name a few.)
  6. You don’t need to count calories.
  7. Dairy is allowed. It’s best to go for the full fat option as opposed to the skimmed variety as these options tend to have added sugars.
  8. Eat regularly.
  9. Drink plenty of water.
  10. No soft drinks.

These are some of the many pointers.

As mentioned in a previous post, my boyfriend and I had previously embarked on a Paleo/primal/low carb diet early last year. We had a small amount of success. We teetered off and gained most of it back.

So whilst my friend was still there my boyfriend went out and bought some Greek yogurt, berries and walnuts. To tell you the truth, I didn’t enjoy it at first spoonful (I acted like I enjoyed it) and I didn’t think I could continue on. But I had decided that come Monday I would give it a go. The only difference is that I decided to tweak it slightly.

So that’s where the watered down Paleo/primal/low-carb/sugar-free diet began.

So here are the tweaks. My boyfriend and I implemented the above points but we allowed the following:

  1. One or two cheat meals per week not full days. The idea of this is when you allow yourself a full day to eat anything you wanted you could easily consume more than what’s required. That than could result to regaining what you had lost (by eating less and/or exercising off) previously. Also, your meal tends to taste a lot nicer therefore you have an appreciation of what you are eating even if it’s just good ol’ fish n chips.
  2. When we prepare steaks, chicken breasts (without skin) or any other cuts of meat we do like a little flavor so we allow ourselves to include some gravy or barbeque / tomato sauces. (We try to control the amount.)
  3. We do eat bananas, pumpkins, carrots, peas, corn and other starchy fruits and vegetables. My reason for consuming them is because I’m quite active with relation to going to the gym regularly. My gym workouts tend to vary in intensity so I do need those extra carbohydrates to fuel my workouts. I do however limit the amount of these types of foods daily.
  4. P.S. Don’t get me wrong  we occasionally fall of the wagon but we try our hardest to get back up on again.

These are only a few tweaks. I’m sure there are more.

Now while embarking on these new diet changes it wasn’t all sunshine and lolly-pops (obviously no lolly-pops). The first week or so, my boyfriend and I felt lethargic at times (well, I got hit the worst. My boyfriend? Not so bad.) I would often stay in contact with my friend. She would ensure me that it was normal. The key is to continue to drink a lot of water and to eat small regular meals (protein rich with veggies and the like -paraphrasing of course.) I found that this transition from my old way of eating and readopting this new way was a very slow progression but after a couple of weeks my body began to get used to the changes. This phase tends to vary amongst people. Just be aware of it.

Blood, sweat and tears? No just SWEAT, SWEAT and SWEAT!

You’ve heard it all before. Exercise is very important. It truly is. For a number of years I had embarked on so many weight loss ventures. Regardless of the amount of time I put in I would lose a little then it would creep back on and then some. This is what I had found worked for me this time around.

  1. Workout 5-6 times a week.
    1. I would usually workout 6 times a week on average. The sessions would go around an hour at a time. I would incorporate weight training and cardio work (skipping, running on a treadmill, X trainer, stepper, stationary bike etc)
    2. I increased my sessions a few times a week where I would attend the gym twice a day.
    3. The key seems to be consistency and variety (I.e with exercises, intensity etc)

I started this diet and exercise regime around mid March 2014 and finished it by late April 2014. My boyfriend had only started working out towards the end of the time frame a few times a week for around 45 minutes – 1 hour at a time. Most of his workouts were cardio based. Although he didn’t workout regularly he did lose the weight, however (now here is a disclaimer) he tends to lose weight quickly (if he puts some effort) but on the same token he can put it straight back on if he is not careful.

Now where to from here?

We had arrived back from our holiday a couple of weeks ago. Both my boyfriend and I had put on a few kilos during our holiday but to date we have lost most of it. I have ever so slowly gone back to our diet and exercise regime. My boyfriend hasn’t gone back to the gym but he too is slowly incorporating the diet, we had previously embarked on, back into his life.

Last week I went to the gym 6 times (1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes) each time. This week I will be visiting the gym 4-5 times. I will aim to add two extra sessions onto two of those days. I also have a 5km MS charity fun run I will be competing in this Sunday.

I guess my next goal is to continue what I had done to lose the last 5 kilos and aim to lose another. Let’s see if it will work this time around.

We have had quite a few slip-ups but all in all we are slowly getting back on track. We are finding it a little harder to stay motivated as I guess we don’t have a tropical island to visit as our first mini goal/incentive. What keeps us going and learning from our mistakes is staying focussed on our major goal of losing the excess we have accumulated over the years and to change our damaging eating habits we had adopted. It takes time and trial and error but I guess if we work together we will get there.

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures: Reach for the Stars

http://www.amazon.com/The-Papakittens-Adventures-Reach-Stars-ebook/dp/B00IKYEH7U

Disclaimer* This is in no way diet advice but our own personal journey and experience. I’m not a dietician. Please seek professional advice when embarking on any diet and/or exercise regime.

#paleo #lowcarb #sugarfree #dieting #success

Posted in Weight loss journey

So here we go again.

Hello, my name is Selma Danculovic and I’m a serial dieter. Yes, here we go again, another weight-loss blog taking the reader on a journey of the trials and tribulations of #dieting and the like that the writer has to face. Tears, losses, failures, positivity, gains (on the physical and mental/spiritual/intellectual levels). The long absences from one last post to another because, well, life just gets in the way. Yes, yes. I know, just another weight-loss blog. I’m not going to promise you that I’m not going to go through what was just previously mentioned. In fact, I will guarantee you I will (with a big red seal of approval). But I will say this I’m sick to death of my yo-yo dieting, body loss and gains, the rollar-coaster ride that I seriously need to get off of because the first high point/win was great, but after that it just got too scary and unsafe. I need change. I need stability. I need structure. I need to win.

This form of pouring my heart out aka blogging, is my way, I guess, of some sort of accountability? Maybe, just a form of venting? An outlet? A little from a, b and c? I’ll try and not get too deep and meaningful. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I would just like to make more light-hearted observations of the obvious and let you in on it. My observations will be more than just about dieting. Generally it will be about life. More specifically it will about my discoveries about what it means to lead a healthy life. What is well-being? What makes me ultimately happy. A dabble into travel. An insight on trying to succeed in my new-found career as a self-published author. My acting ventures (yes I act. Shock, horror, gasp!) and so many other areas I’ve yet to discover. Now, let’s go back to the general reason behind it all. I’m hoping it will be an insight on how I go about understanding why things are, how I work things out and how I conquer those things. Just living life really.

Oh and yes, as mentioned earlier, I’m also a writer, more specifically a children’s author. I had recently self published my first children’s book for my proposed series The Papakittens Adventures, called Reach for the Stars http://www.thepapakittens.com The first book is available on http://www.amazon.com   Yes, yes a plug. I know. But I have to start somewhere right? You will occasionally read about it or see some sort of reference to it every so often.  Aaaand that’s the end of that for today.

So let’s just jump back on the dieting bandwagon. My boyfriend and I have recently embarked on a diet which I guess is a bit of paleo/primal/atkins kind of combined with a twist of our own interpretation. We decided to start this (again) about a week ago. What I mean by again is we had embarked on a similar diet like this oh I have to say a little over a year again (Jan 3rd 2013 to be exact). We were doing well. My boyfriend lost around 12-13 kilos over a course of a few months (he has gained 5-6 kilos or so since then) with very little exercise. Very little exercise? Oh sorry, I meant almost non existent. Was I jealous?? Absolutely! I slaved away and I could barely loose a few kilos. Anyway, like many other good intended diets that a majority of society commence then kind of trail back off the track to how things were, for reasons, I’m uncertain of <please insert your own reasons here>. Our reason? Well, I guess it was just laziness to comply to consistency and our lack of discipline. This observation could be viewed as a generalisation but could also work as more specific reasons.

Now as we travelled along the year. We ate what we wanted. I went on another health kick around Aug 2013 by deciding to face my fears and joining a gym. My fears you ask? Well, when I was a teenager I went to the gym like ALWAYS. I put in so many hours and although I was fit I thought I didn’t look it. My quest to reduce my weight further just failed and although I hovered around a specific range, I was just not happy. So I stopped (after a few years) and never signed up for a membership again. I went casually a few times over a course of several years, but most of my work outs were at home. Which worked well up until a couple of years ago. So the fear, you might say, is the fear of failing. I didn’t want to start up, do my workout (several hundred times) and invest so many hours and energy to gain nothing and most importantly, loose nothing!

So I spin-back kicked my fear and I joined the gym. I weighed myself once and didn’t weigh myself again until about a week ago. Now why haven’t I weighed myself since Aug 2013? Prior to joining the gym last year I was obsessed with weighing myself. By obsessed I mean daily, more specifically, often a few times a day. It would often get me down and I just became unmotivated. So by not weighing myself, I deciding to tackle my weight loss journey in a more, I guess you would say, a holistic approach? I started to look at myself in the mirror and objectively view my body changes. This actually worked well. I started to become more positive and had become more kind to myself. My workouts became more performance based so I pushed myself almost each and every workout. I challenged my workouts and injected more variation. When I looked at the mirror I could see the changes and those areas that needed more work I encouraged myself with positivity instead of the usual stream of negativity. It was all coming up Selma.

Now, in saying all of this, I weighed myself a week or so ago and low and behold…I gained a bit over 7 kilos!!!

I will let you digest that a bit. I assure you it’s calorie-free.

I assure you, devastation is an understatement. I remember looking at the scale in complete jaw-dropping shock.

How could this be? I have worked out several times a week, weekly. My diet was occasionally inconsistent but it wasn’t THAT unhealthy surely. So my rollar-coaster of emotions went in full motion surprisingly omitting sadness and anger. Those two emotions were completely absent. I hint of justification came into play for instance, ‘oh it must be muscle gain. I have been lifting heavy weights’. That may be the case, but the figure on the scale is still too high and in my world it’s just not acceptable.

So what did I do? I told my boyfriend that we need to go on that diet we had started last year and we need to stick to it. Very vague, I know, but the difference this time is that we both are completely on board to do this. Our full intention is behind this. And although my boyfriend has mentioned on occasion he is doing this for me, I know deep down he is doing it for himself. We do have our own specific goals. We both want to win at this. We both communicate to each other when one is feeling down about it or wants to quit. We offer words of encouragement. We are metaphorically rowing upstream, with each of us on either side of the boat, oar in hand and paddling in rhythm. Yes, we are not in the lead of this race, but who are we are really competing with?

At this point, I’m not going to mention my current weight. It’s too much for me to bare. All you need to know is that my boyfriend and I are planning an overseas trip and by then (by the end of April) and my first mini-goal is that I would like to loose 15 kilos. Whoa! you say. Whoa indeed.

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures Reach for the Stars

http://www.amazon.com/The-Papakittens-Adventures-Reach-Stars-ebook/dp/B00IKYEH7U

#paleosuccess #primal