Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The road to weight loss is a rocky one...

So this week I knew I was going to be in the vicinity of a certain gourmet deli that sells certain yummy goodies. I don't often go to said place but I dream of their cakes. You know me and cake... :-)

SO I planned to go and buy one of their heavenly baked offerings, pre planned the PPs allocated it as a weekly treat, in place of a couple of glasses of wine. All good. Moderation is the key, denial is a river in Egypt and so on.

Um... what I didn't plan on, was spotting the rocky road they also sell and have been dreaming about for about 2 years since I moved away from there and haven't found a match for anywhere else. And I have tried. Believe me.

So... I placed my preplanned, PP accounted for cake in the basket and walked past the rocky road, looking longingly over my shoulder. I reached the cashier feeling very smug and proud of myself.
"Maybe next time," I told me. Took a deep breath and fished about in my handbag for my purse. And then it happened....
"But there may not be a next time" said inner fatty boombah Rachel. "And it is oh so yummy"
"NO! I am supposed to be being good" I replied
"You can get it today and save it for next week's treat," IFBR pipes up.
"No wahey!!" says I.

By now I was getting some rather stange looks from the cashier and a skinny lady wearing too much gold was tutting in the queue behind.
It wasn't as if I was having the conversation with myself out loud... I don't think..

Anyway, to cut a long and a bit mental story short, I removed myself from the queue, picked up a pack of RR and bought it.

GAH! What was I thinking?

Actually I know exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking,
"Mmm, rocky road,scoff, gobble gobble, slurp, nom nom nom"

And who in their right mind can argue with that?

But that is not the end of the story. Oh no. That would be plain boring.

When I got home, I decided to look up the PPs of said rocky road.



Have a guess.....




(If you aren't familiar with Weight Watcher's ProPoints, my daily allocation is 26. Yes 26 FOR THE WHOLE DAY. And I would have to run for about 63 years to earn that many PPs.

Anyway, that works out as 6PPs per serving... which is actually only about an inch cubed.

There aint NO fecking wahey that sucker is passing my lips.

A) because I don't want to use 6PPs for a measly inch of delectable yumminess no matter how good and B) there would be no way on God's earth I would stop at one inch.

So now I am stuck with the packet of temptation in my cupboard.

And it is approaching the MOST dangerous of all times..... PMS time.....

I absolutely REFUSE to throw it away, being from the place it was, it cost about $100. I don't like anyone enough around here to give it to. My husband and children don't like it.

So my question to you dear friends is

What the feck am I going to do with it????

a) Bury it in the garden?
b) Tape it to my @rse as a permanent reminder of what will happen if I actually eat it?
c) Post it to Tatum Channing or Channing Tatum or whatever his name is as a token of my affection?
d) Scoff the lot and rollaround on the floor in agony as punishment for being such a weak willed numpty?

Actually please don't say d) because that will be all the excuse I need.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Oh go on... you deserve it!

How many times have you justified eating something you know you shouldn't "because you deserve it"?

I used to do it a lot. I used to have the thought that there wasn't much else good in my life, not much else to enjoy and so I deserved to treat myself with food.

It is completely ingrained in our culture, well probably just about every culture to celebrate (or commiserate) with food. Feasts and goodies to eat for anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, deaths, passing exams, behaving ourselves and so on. So when you feel like cheering yourself up, you eat something yummy, after all you deserve it.

It is a habit truly hard to shake.

Trouble is, anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, deaths, passing exams, are all very well, but they don't occur every day.

If you become in the habit of eating something just to make yourself happy on a daily basis, it is time to look elsewhere. It may be time to look into why you rely on food to make you happy, and why you think you deserve copious amounts of 'treats'.

If you are choosing to justify eating large quantities of unhealthy food on a regular basis, because you 'deserve it', it is perhaps time to think about what you are actually doing to yourself.

Well that is the conclusion I came to anyway. Treats and fine foods and alcohol are wonderful in moderation. But on a regular basis they weren't doing me any good. They were making me fat. And being fat is unhealthy. I didn't want to be unhealthy. I wanted to wake up in the morning and feel physically fantastic. I decided that I deserved that. And as I started to achieve that, you know what, it started to make me feel happier than any chocolate bar or packet of crisps ever did (Maybe not a glass of wine though..haha!).

Recently I lost sight of this goal for absolute health. I was feeling so good and healthy. I wasn't rewarding myself with food. But I stopped a little short of the goal posts. I am still in an "unhealthy" weight range. So although I feel so much better, I am not at the 'peak' yet. I now can't wait to get there. Because if I feel this good now, who knows how much better it will get?

Another thing, I no longer reward my children with junk food either. It has gotten to the point where I feel guilty if they consume large amounts of sugar and fat. Such foods have caused my father to develop type 2 diabetes and I don't want them to end up the same way. He didn't deserve that and they deserve better.

And so do we all.

What we deserve are healthy bodies that work efficiently, that move without effort and look good. What those bodies deserve is clean, nourishing, healthy food.

So, if you are teetering on the brink of eating something you shouldn't, and wishing to 'treat' yourself, perhaps think about what your body actually needs. What your body truly wants.

Fruit, vegetables, lean protein, wholegrains, healthy oil, water.

Oh go on...

You deserve it!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Don't think about a giant willy!

I said DON'T think about a giant willy!

Seriously do as you are told. Get that giant willy out of your brain.

STOP thinking about a giant willy!!

I told you NOT to think about a giant willy. Why are you insisting on doing it anyway?

Saucy minx. (Or whatever the male equivalent is...don't know if I have any male readers anyway...)

OK. I'm trying to make a point. One of the first rules of behaviour management I learnt as a trainee teacher was to tell children what you wanted them to do, not what you didn't want them to do.

As in:

"Sit quietly at your desks"

Rather than

"Stop talking"

And whaddaya know... it works.... to some extent anyway.

The theory is that children don't hear the 'don't'. The end of the instruction sticks in their brain. And so they want to do it more. I think it is a real psychological phenomeneonenemon, but I can't be bovered to look it up...soz.

It is the same as the giant willy (you're thinking about it again aren't you.... tsk tsk).

By mentioning something, it makes a mental image and it sticks in your brain. Never mind the 'don't'.

Likewise if you keep thinking of something and talking about it, it becomes more important, because you are giving it so much brain time. So if you obsess about something, it becomes a bigger issue and because it is a bigger issue it becomes more important and you can't stop thinking about it and before you know it you can't think of anything else.... Aaaaaaarrrggghhhhh!

So lets apply this to weight loss.

You wake up in the morning and you think, today I am going to be a good little WWer and I am not going to eat that cake that is sitting in the cupboard. No I am not.......

mmmmmmm cake.........

And you try and take your mind off it, and tell yourself "NO! No cake!" but all your stomach hears is "Cake....Cake"

Before you know it you have eaten the cake. (Stop thinking about cake!)

And if you keep thinking I don't want to be fat. I wish I wasn't so fat. All you can concentrate on is how fat you are.

Same with feeling miserable. You think "Oh I am so miserable" and you look at yourself in the mirror and you look miserable and that makes you feel miserable and focus on everything that is miserable.

It's just miserable I tells ya.

So, I reckon we can turn this around.

Instead of thinking of cake and misery and fat.... try and think of what you WANT. As in in the positive:

"This morning I am going to be a good little WWer and I am going to eat filling and healthy food. Gee I can't wait for my morning snack of I mean ryvita. (You don't necessarily have to believe what you are saying). I am going to be so healthy.

I am such a good WWer that soon I will be slim. I can't wait to be svelte! I can't wait to be healthy!
Well I am going to try it to see if it works, all those positive weight loss words in my mind has got to do something hasn't it?

So instead of thinking about what I DON"T want to be and do, think about my weight loss in the positive, affirmative, what I DO WANT to achieve.

But you can still think about giant willies if you want.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Little pickers wear big knickers

As I sit here and type, there are two pieces of leftover pizza on the table, staring up at me. They have got those cute Puss in Boots eyes and they keep raising their eyebrows seductively at me. Well actually of course they don't really have eyes. That would be gross. But metaphorically, I mean. They keep glancing at me, holding my gaze for just a second too long and then looking away. The floozies.

Why I didn't just chuck them in the bin as soon as my sensible 3 year old decided he was full and wasn't just going to eat them just because they were on his plate, I don't know.

I have a thing about leaving food on plates. Or rather NOT leaving food on plates. I have a thing about feeling it is being wasted if it is thrown away. Mind you, I am very careful not to force my children to finish their plates, except veg. I don't want them to get clean-plate-syndrome. But myself. I have long since been conditioned.

I can't get past the "Can't throw it away, it's wasting it. Perfectly good food," mentality.

May as well eat it.


Terrible. I do it all the time. A few chips here. Half a fish finger there. The end of a sausage here. A piece of garlic bread there.

Funny how I don't quite feel the same about the soggy, cold broccolli. Actually that is never left on the plates because my children gobble up all the veggies first....


Actually I think it is to get them over and done with, so they can get on with enjoying the rest of the food.

But whatever gets them their 5 a day.

Anyway. My Paul McKenna "I can make you slim" book had something interesting to say about it. (Turns out he couldn't but that is a whole nother blog.) He said something along the lines of, once it is cooked, it is wasted anyway. Whether you eat it or not. It is already wasted. What is the point in eating it just to stop it being wasted, if you don't need it? Where is the logic in making yourself fatter just to prevent waste?

Same thing goes for the whole starving kids in Africa thing they used to say.....

Um yeah... there are starving kids in Africa so we in the western world should be fat to compensate????

My mother never actually said that though.  Don't recall having to ever be made to clean my plate either. I did that all by myself, no prompting required! Don't know where I caught clean plate syndrome from.

But still... pretty pointless isn't it? Your stomach is not a rubbish bin.

Part of my new regime is to try and remember that. Both from the leftovers point of view and the processed convenience cr@p. And sorry WW, but I include some of the WW food in that bracket. Their ready meals are pretty dire it has to be said. And the cakey bite things...eugh... would rather only eat one yummy scrummy full fat cake a year than one of those every day.

Anyway, I am rambling .....

Back to the REALLY profound thing I was rabbiting on about...

Oh yeah, don't use your tummy as a bin. Remember... little pickers wear big knickers.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Please note: The use fo the word 'fat' here is not supposed to be emotive.

Me at my thinnest (yesterday) and fattest (2005)
It is widely accepted that if you have an eating disorder, your actions are somewhat beyond your conscious control. If you have an eating disorder you have psychological problems. It may be that you have other problems in life which are generally manifesting themselves through your eating patterns.

It may be that you are attempting to exercise some control in an environment where otherwise you feel you have none. You may be punishing yourself for something you feel you have done. Or something that was done to you.

You may feel worthless.

You may feel that you do not deserve to be healthy or vibrant or loved. You may be so full of self hatred that you push everyone around you to their limits to test their love for you.

You may be so warped in your thinking that you have an exaggerated impression of what your body looks like. It is likely that no matter how many people say nice things about the way you look or how loved you are for you, you struggle to accept what they say as the truth.

Your eating patterns may follow some vicious, self sabotaging cycle which if continued will ulitmately lead to severe health problems or even death.

Now, does any of this sound familiar to you? It certainly does to me and I have never been anorexic or bulimic. I have been overweight though. I have been obese.

Does anybody else find it strange that if you are desperately underweight, society and the medical profession reaches out to you, pities you, supports you.

However if you are desperately overweight you are deemed a self indulgent, lazy failure who lacks any self control over their eating behaviour. And unless you have some further complication such as diabetes, you are pretty much left to your own devices.

Hmmmm, it makes me pretty sad really. The number of blogs I have read on WW tell me that there is much more going on than simply the sins of greed and sloth.

I have been brought to tears by people's stories, I have certainly been brought to tears by my own. Some of the problems preceeded the weight gain. Others are a consequence of it. Many people are living a constant battle between themselves and within themselves and this serves to make them fatter.

Yet from society there is no empathy. There is no attempt to gain insight as to why some of these people are overweight due to their messed up psyches. In fact there is often the complete opposite. People thinking they are entitled to comment, advise or insult a person regarding their largeness. As if that is going to help.

It doesn't really cross people's minds that overeating can be an eating disorder too.

Now I am not saying everyone has "issues" and that is why they are fat. Nor am I saying that it should absolve them of responsibility for making healthy choices. I just wish there was a bit more understanding and help available, as there is for other eating disorders.

Everyone is searching for the answer, the magic bullet, the cure for the epidemic that is becoming obesity. Perhaps if there were more attempts at getting to the root of the psychological causes of somebody's overeating, more individuals would actually succeed in becoming the best, healthiest version of themselves they could be.

Just sayin'

Monday, 18 June 2012

If you change nothing, nothing will change.

Last week I went over my pointage allowance somewhat… We went away for the weekend and one of the evenings I gorged on Maltesers and wine. I woke up with a sugar and booze hangover, felt physically bleurgh and rather annoyed with myself. Do you know what my first thought was?

Was it, “Oh well, I really enjoyed that, but I will move on and eat healthily for the rest of the week and it shouldn’t be too bad come weigh in”?

Oh –ho-ho-ho-ho-nooooooo it wasn’t. That would be the thinking of a logical, rational, level headed person……..

Was it “Aaaggghhhhh I am so wracked with guilt, I have totally learned my lesson and will be a perfect little weight watcher from here on in”?

Nope that is also a little too sensible.

SO what were my twisted, emotionally charged thoughts that morning?

Well, you may know what I was thinking….you may have been there too….

I thought,

“Ahhhhh sod it. I’ve blown it now, may as well go down to the hotel buffet breakfast and gorge myself silly. After all I have spoiled it for his week anyway…..


Is that all about????

Yeah because when I drop my phone on the floor, instead of picking it up and checking it is OK and trying not to drop it again, I stamp on it and throw it against the wall, just to make sure it is REALLY broken…

When I spill a drop of milk on the countertop at breakfast time, I go back and get the whole 3 litre bottle and pour it all over the entire kitchen.

When I trip and stumble on a stair, I throw myself head first down the rest, I have given myself a little bruise... I may as well GO AND BREAK EVERY DARN BONE IN MY BODY….

Ummm..... no.

SO why the whole “I have gone over on my points and eaten too much, therefore I may as well binge myself into oblivion” mentality with a weight loss slip up? I don’t get it AT ALL!

Luckily (for me but not her) I was met at the brekkie buffet with the sight of a VERY large lady helping herself to a VERY large plate of fried food and it brought me to my senses. No! I thought. I am not going to stuff myself just because I stuffed myself yesterday. That makes no sense what soever. It is now all about damage limitation. So instead of a big plate of fried brekkie, 2 croissants and a huge muffin (which is what I really wanted) I ate a big bowl of fresh fruit salad and one croissant. Yep, aren't I good? And it was yum.

What is that quote?… uh….

If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got

Yeah, that's the one. I don’t want that anymore. I don’t want the messed up thinking. I don’t want the guilt. I don’t want the all or nothing mentality. I don’t want the self-sabotage. I don’t want the completely mindless eating for the sake of eating. I don’t want to just keep gorging and gorging.

I don’t want to be fat.

I want to be healthy. Physically and mentally.

Damage limitation.

There is no way I can go through life depriving myself of cake and chocolate and bread and cheese... No way. But just because I have the odd slip up here and there, doesn't mean I need to throw in the towel.  Instead, I just need to hoik my big fat bottom back onto the wagon and carry on carrying on.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf

Ok so it was inevitable really.....
After all my hard work for weeks and weeks, the cracks start to appear...

Yep I gained weight this week. I was expecting it. I am not going to say all that stuff about how I accept it, how I am moving on, how I own it blah blah blah....

But I did deserve it.

And actually it seems to be a part of my pattern. I will show you my graph one of these days.... more spikes than a punk rocker in a cactus patch. But the general trend is downwards.

And that is what counts.

So why the gain? I hear you ask.


It all began on a cold windy Sunday last week. I just could not stop munching. It was seriously bad. Everytime I passed the cupboard I grabbed something. In the words of the great Mick Jagger, I could not "get no satisfaction".

It was then that I realised I had "Very Hungry Caterpillar" syndrome (VHCS). Yes this is a true, medical scientific phenomenenmeonenon.

As in...

On Monday I ate through one bag of rice crackers, but I was still hungry.
On Tuesday I ate through two packets of Belvita biscuits but I was still hungry.
On Wednesday I ate through three muesli bars but I was still hungry.
On Thursday I ate through four bananas but I was still hungry.
On Friday I ate through five squares of chocolate but I was still hungry.

The next morning was Saturday....

You know what's coming don't you,

The next morning was Saturday... and in addition to having VHCS I also had manflu.... and MEGA PMT....

So yes the next morning was Saturday and I ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake and one slice of water melon...

And that night I had a stomach ache.....

Turns out it was actually period pains, but is very fitting for my story...

The next day was Sunday again

And then we went away on a road trip....


Let's just say, I tried VERY VERY hard and I think I limited the damage somewhat. So instead of a Big Mac Meal with a shake at the obligatory McD's road trip stop.... the only time I will let my children eat it.... I had a Cheeseburger and a garden salad.

I packed LOADS of fruit and ate that instead of bags of sweets. I ate rice cakes instead of chips and so on.

But I didn't track my food and I did overeat.

Plus I have gone 3 days without exercise..... aaaaaggghhhhh...... about to go for a run as I have the shakes....

So yes I gained. I gained 2lbs of porkiness. But that was not all I gained, I gained a deeper understanding of myself. I now know that I cannot BEAR the taste of McD's and have conditioned myself to automatically vomit if I have to step foot in the place. I now understand that Hogsbreath cafes (akin to Harvesters I guess) are incapable of serving anything that isn't deep fried unless it is steak... next time I will have the steak.... um.... next time may be a long time....
I have learned that if I spend the evening drinking wine and eating maltesers in bed with my hubby while watching TV (total hotel luxury) I will wake up feeling like UTTER sh!te the next morning. So not worth it, plus I felt too rough to go for a run even though I packed my gear.... tut tut shame on me.

I almost needed that 'weak'end to remind me how different I feel when I don't eat healthily. It is actually quite amazing the difference.

Anyway, back home and back on track... with a vengeance.

I have 3 and a half weeks until we go to Vanuatu. I want to lose 6lbs by then. To do that I am aiming for 2lbs a week for the next 3 weeks. Rather a big aim for me and my track record but not impossible.

So 6lbs in 3 weeks. Filling and healthy, tracking and exercising all the way.

And in case you were wondering about my health, the manflu only lasted a day, so obviously wasn't that after all, must've just been a woman snuffle. And re: the VHCS... seems to be better and I have eaten through one nice big green leaf (plus the rest of the salad) and I do indeed feel much better.

(PS: Credit to Eric Carle for discovering VHCS)