The Not-So-Secret Diary of an OverEater

My Battle to Have a Healthy Relationship with Food


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Post Christmas Blues?

I hope everyone had a great Christmas?

We had a lovely family time.  It was busy but fun.  Lots of great presents, party games, not much exercise, and of course loads of food!

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On New Years Eve we went up to London to see the fireworks which were absolutely a.maz.ing. So much better than watching on TV. It was a lot of hanging around (7 hours) but totally worth it. We got a prime spot to watch them

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and this is just one of many great shots we took.

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I had planned to continue to fast during the Christmas break, but on different days.  However I completely forgot.  In the end I decided to not worry about what I was eating during the two weeks off.

Perhaps a mistake.

I weighed myself on Thursday morning, as usual.  It was 1st January so a good time for getting a benchmark to start from for 2015.  Before I got brave enough to stand on the scales I tried to prepare myself.  I thought best case scenario (although exceedingly unlikely) would be to stay the same.  Worst case would be having an 11 in front of my numbers again.  I hoped it wouldn’t be worse than 10:10 though; and that is exactly what it was.  I’ve put on 4lbs.  Could be better; so glad it wasn’t worse though.

I looked back at my weight loss record and found that I was last 10:10 at the beginning of October.  It took me until mid-December to get down to 10:6.  I really hope it doesn’t take me until the middle of March to lose those 4lbs again.

I am a bit worried that I’ve got back into old habits.  I have found myself eating when no one’s around, sneaking a bit of extra chocolate or a handful of dolly mixtures.  The “call” is stronger and a lot harder to resist than it has been lately.  Part of me thinks I should just scoff it all so it’s no longer in the house but I think that will just perpetuate the problem.  My youngest daughter is trying to lose weight too and it doesn’t set a good example if I’m eating too much.  But it doesn’t help her when it’s in the house either.

We went for a run on New Years Day which I was really pleased about.  It was a slow one because we had the dog with us and because I hadn’t run for ages.  We were out for an hour and took a long route through the forest.  I was sure it would be 7 or 8k, but looking at my phone when we got home, it was only 6k.  Disappointing but still better than staying in bed!

A friend who is part of a Facebook running group I belong to posted yesterday about the Angmering Bluebell Trail which is 10k or 10 miles through bluebell woods which sounds great.  I looked it up and it’s not too expensive – £15 for the 10k and £17 for the 10 miler.  And it’s on a Sunday at the end of April, so I can do it!  Now the decision is – 10k or 10 miles?

I’ve done a couple of 10ks and they’re quite hard.  But 10 miles would be a good way to challenge myself.  If I don’t try, I’ll never know whether I can do it.  With nearly 4 months to train, would it be possible??  The big concern though is that I’m working so much more now, will we be able to find time to train.  Tuesday evenings for Run Club and Thursday mornings for circuits are all the exercise I can do regularly.  I can sometimes do the Friday boot camp but not every week.  Once it’s a bit lighter in the evenings we could run when Ian gets home from work but it’s tight to fit in cooking, eating, and of course showering if there’s something else on later in the evening.  Plus reminding the girls to do their homework, reminding the girls to do their homework and reminding the girls to do their homework!

The last 10k I did, which was a trail run too, took me about 1 hour 15 minutes.  I reckon a 10 miler will be well over 2 hours, especially one that’s very hilly. I had a look at last year’s results, and for the 10k the last finisher took 1 hour 40 minutes and for the 10 miler the last finisher took 2 hours 19 minutes.  So I’d need to find time to run for 2 hours to train before the race.  Possible?  Maybe.  Do I want to?  That’s the burning question!

(The hilarious thing though is that two years ago when I started running, I’d never have dreamed I could run 1 mile, let alone be contemplating a 10 miler!)

Maybe I’ll stick with the 10k for now and find a longer one on the flat.  Or at least somewhere flatter.  I have just found a race report blog by the winner of last year’s 10 mile race and he describes it as a hard course which is nearly all either up or downhill and very little flat.  I’ll have to chat with my lovely hubby about it.  Maybe he can do the 10 miler and I’ll do the 10k.  We’ll probably finish at around the same time!!

Update: I forgot to finish this blog post, sorry! I weighed myself on Thursday and I was 10:8 so a pleasing 2lbs loss.

I’ll write a separate blog about the NHS mini MOT I had at work and this week’s results in the next few days.

Welcome to my new followers, and welcome back to the ones who’ve been around for a while. *happy waves*. I hope you have enjoyed reading my ramblings. Please feel free to comment and/or pass the link onto your friends. I always love to hear from you!
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Last Post Before Christmas (probably)

I thought I’d better get a quick post in before the Christmas break.

Life has been manic as I’ve just started a second part-time job which is good fun but eats into my free time.  The worst shift is on a Saturday morning when I have to get up at 5:15 in order to get to work for 6:45am.  It’s a 15-20 minute drive, depending on traffic.

I’m on checkouts in a supermarket and I’m enjoying it so far.  It never stops, just when you think there’s a lull, someone else starts unloading their shopping onto your conveyor belt.  I am loving the customer interaction though, talking about their Christmas plans.  One customer said she was going to have a quiet Christmas this year, with only 17 to cater for.  Apparently she usually has 45 people to feed!

So I can’t remember when I last shared my “stats” with you so here goes:

Inches at last measure (Thursday 27th November)

  • Bust 38.5″
  • Waist 35.5″
  • Hips 37.5″
  • L Thigh 21″
  • R Thigh 21″
  • L Arm 11.25″
  • R Arm 11.25″

Nice to be balanced for a change!  (My arms and legs are often half or even a whole inch different!)  I have lost a total of 17″ (I might have told you that last time).

Mind you I’m only partly balanced as I have also added in two new measurements – my calves – at the moment the left one is 16″ and the right one is 15″.  Weird, huh?  I hate my calves, they always seem so huge and dangly, out of proportion to the rest of me I sometimes think.  I can’t buy regular wellies (glad I noticed that auto-correct, I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what it changed to 😉 ) because they are too tight on my calves.  So I have to buy expanding ones or 3/4 height ones which is annoying.

I weighed myself on Thursday 11th December and I was 10 stone 7 pounds.  10 and a half stone!!!  That’s now 18lbs off since 19th May.  I can’t believe it and I was so pleased with myself.

Now, Christmas is coming (in case you hadn’t noticed).

I love Christmas.  I love Christmas food.  In particular the sweets and crisps and other snacks which are always in abundance at this time of year.  I have to find a way to indulge, but in moderation.  If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that moderation hasn’t been a particularly strong point for me over the years so somehow I have to do it this year or I’ll undo all my good work.

I expect to put on a few pounds, but I really hope it’s only 3 or 4 at the most.  I really, really don’t want to pop over the 11 stone barrier again.

I have re-jigged my fast days so I’m not fasting on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, but will try to still have two fast days in the week.  I have to keep my grip on my self-control so that food doesn’t wrest control from my grasp again.

One problem with being so busy is the lack of time to exercise.  I really need to get out and run as it’s been ages since I last ran and I can’t do Parkrun any more because of working on Saturdays.  The past two Thursdays have been taken up with training so I haven’t been able to go to my usual circuits class but I’m hoping to go this week.  Also I’ve been on mum’s taxi duties quite a bit so haven’t been able to get to Run Club either.  Next week for that hopefully!  And maybe a run or two?

Half the problem is I’m so tired when I get home that I can’t quite summon the energy but I do know that it will be worth it if I do.  It’s just convincing myself of that!  And sadly early mornings are no good as I’m up at 5:50 most mornings anyway; I’d have to get up before 5 to fit a run in then!

As I said earlier, I love Christmas.  As well as the food and snacks(!) I love the family time, giving presents to friends and family, seeing the children’s eyes light up when they see what we’ve got for them. I love planning what I’m going to get for people to make sure I’ve got them something special or meaningful for them.  I love hearing and singing along to the Christmas songs in the shops and on the radio.  I love decorating the house (see the top picture of our tree with Polly inspecting it) and seeing all the lovely lights on other people’s homes as we drive around.

For me, though, the most important thing about Christmas is the message which so often is forgotten in the busy lead-up to Christmas Day.  The message which, over time, has become buried under all the tinsel and Santa suits.  The Christian message which celebrates the birth of Jesus, God’s son.  Please feel free to ask me more in the comments, or have a look at http://www.alpha.org.

To close, I’d like to wish all my readers a very happy and laughter-filled Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2015.

See you all next year! 🙂


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Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!

I’ve never bought skinny jeans before because – well – because I’m not.  My daughters have been saying for a while that the boot cut jeans which have been my go-to style of jeans for the past 10+ years are “so” out of date so I thought I should have a look at a more straight style.  I had some birthday money left over (thanks Mum and Dad!) and decided to go on a shopping spree.

Guess what?  I bought skinny jeans.  Not only that, I bought skinny jeans in a size 12.  You read that right – a SIZE TWELVE!!!

I can’t believe it!  Size 12 skinny jeans fit me and not only that, they don’t look all that bad either!

20141116_084228[1]In fact, the whole shopping expedition was quite a success:

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I bought quite a few new tops for work and home, all in size 14s (previously I was a size 16 and sometimes only just that).  The top I’m wearing in the picture with the skinny jeans (skinny jeans, I’m wearing skinny jeans!!) is a size small.  A size small!!  Okay yes, it’s designed to be baggy so I guess I can’t completely say I’m a size small but still.

Now I’m done celebrating (I might come back to that later 😉 ) I want to share something with you.  If you’ve been reading my blog from the beginning, you’ll know I’ve struggled quite a bit to get to this place.  Not only that, it’s a struggle I’m just making ground on; I am not through it yet, by any stretch of the imagination, and I know I am hanging onto the control only by the smallest measure.  It could take me over again just like that.  I don’t say that lightly; I’m just being honest with you.

Anyway, I truly believe that for someone to lose weight, and keep it off, they have to be in the right place.  Back in the day when I did Rosemary Conley’s diet, the group leader said that any diet would work, whichever one you choose, but only if you have the motivation to make it work.  RC worked for me then (I went from the weight I am now, to 9st 4lbs so I know I can do it!) but as soon as I got pregnant, that was my excuse to eat again (I had to eat for two, didn’t I?).  Over the years I’ve started various diets, even lost some weight, but it’s never stayed off because I have never been in the right place mentally and emotionally before; I’ve never been able to see why I eat the way I do and I’ve never been able to admit the control it has over me or even begin to imagine that I could regain the control.

I don’t think you can nag someone into losing weight.  If you point out that someone could do with losing a few lbs, or question whether they really “ought” to eat that packet of crisps or bar of chocolate or whatever; if you mention they could do with starting to exercise, all you are doing is feeding the guilt and maybe pushing them to eat secretly.  In the same way that you can’t force a drug addict or an alcoholic into rehab and expect it to stick until they recognise they have a problem which they want to do something about, you can’t nag someone into losing weight.

I know you mean well; I know your heart is in the right place.  I know your heart is breaking because you are so worried about that person.  You can see what they are doing to themselves.  But you don’t know why.  And unless you’ve been there, you don’t know just. how. hard. it. is. to make it through the day.  They eat because, deep down, they are sad.  For me it was a deeply entrenched conviction that I was a failure.  And of course every time I decided to lose weight and failed it became more entrenched.  Every time I picked up and ate something I “shouldn’t”, I failed in my mind.

When well-meaning people close to me thought they were doing the loving thing to help me lose weight, I just became angry.  If you were one of those lovely people who wanted to help, and I lashed out at you, I am sorry.  I didn’t want to hurt you, but I was angry with myself at my lack of control and lack of – well, everything.  In the end, I didn’t even try because I was so afraid that I would just fail again.

It was a huge step of faith in myself, brought about through receiving CBT counselling, that I was able to start the 5:2 diet.  So far, it has paid off.  I can certainly recommend CBT.  I have a great life, a wonderful husband, two lovely teenage daughters, our extended family are in relatively good health, we have great friends, we have sufficient money coming in to live comfortably.  As well as appreciating all that (which I always have appreciated), now I can appreciate myself and my strengths, my victories, I can love myself in a way I never have before.  I’m not perfect, but I’m as good as I need to be.  For myself and the people around me.  I still make mistakes but that doesn’t mean I have failed, it doesn’t make me a failure.

Well that turned into a bit of a soul-baring exercise, didn’t it?  Sorry about that.

Can I just remind you, in case all that has put it out of your head, I AM WEARING SIZE TWELVE SKINNY JEANS!!! 😀

That’s all for now.  Until next time! 🙂


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I never thought I’d miss bread….

Hello again.

Okay so it’s been another couple of weeks since I posted but there’s lots been going on.  I won’t bore you with all of it or you’ll maybe never read one of my posts again!

The biggest news is that as of this morning, I now weigh 10st 9lbs!  So another pound loss although I did put one on last week.  I had a really horrid week because of a number of things (which ended with me sobbing in the staff room on one of the days).  So I did indulge a little.  But not as much as I would have done previously.

And then I climbed back onto the wagon and had a good week this week so I effectively lost 2lbs this week.  I’m pretty pleased with that!  It’s so hard now but I must remember to celebrate those little victories.  One of my biggest weaknesses is for sausages.  We had sausages for tea on Tuesday (a non-fast day) and yesterday (a fast day) the left overs were there.  I had one and then later on went back for another.  I had it in my hand, was walking through the kitchen with it, when I made myself go back and put it back on the plate.  A significant victory for me!

On Tuesday we went to Run Club and it was a timed mile session.  My previous PB over a mile on track was 10:04.  I wasn’t hopeful that I would get under that time as we haven’t done as much running as I’d like lately.  But I pushed it, especially on the last half a lap, and did it in 9:53!  11 seconds off so not a huge breakthrough, but encouraging none-the-less.

I’ve also re-started going to circuits thanks to my good friend who wanted to go.  The leader has changed and it’s a much more fun but also much more challenging workout than before.  Today’s was particularly challenging – the sweat was flowing and I’m definitely going to feel it tomorrow!  I still enjoy spin but I think I have to mix it up a bit more than I have been.  It’s hard to get to a mix of classes when I’m working (it’s been half term this week which has helped) but I must make more of an effort.  And at the same time hope that I don’t put on weight with muscle which is always a bit disheartening.

Anyway, back to my title and bread.  I have known for some years that I have a sensitivity to yeast, and bread especially.  About 6 years ago I stopped eating white bread because I always got a severe, stabbing pain in my sternum after eating even the smallest amount and stuck with seeded brown bread which seemed to be okay.  Other bread products seemed to be okay.  After a year or so I found I could eat tiger bread (a firm favourite) and other white bread again as long as I didn’t eat too much.

When I first started trying to lose weight in 2013, I found I only lost a very little and then it seemed to plateau for ages.  I was trying to calorie count and then discovered that the bread I was eating each day was about 110 calories per slice!  As I was aiming for 1200 calories a day, that was a huge number gone just like that.  So I decided to give up bread.  And the weight started coming off again.

But then after a few months, I saw bagels on special offer at Tesco and bought some.  Before I knew It, I was buying bagels most weeks and often having them for lunch.  I knew really that I shouldn’t be eating them, and my colleague said that she didn’t eat them because they make her feel bloated.  And what do you know?  The weight was creeping back on.

So when I started the 5:2 Fast Diet, I knew that I would have to give up bread.  Sandwich bread and even bagels I could cope without.  I thought maybe every now and then I would be able to have a little and it would be okay.  But no.  Perhaps I overdosed with the bagels and now I’ve really messed up my system.

The other Thursday we had a fry-up and I thought I would be okay having just one slice of fried bread, especially as it was brown. But almost immediately I felt painfully bloated.  My tummy was hard and tender.  This lasted all night and well into the next day.  During the afternoon I ate a doughnut and the bloatedness came back.  Then on Sunday I was feeling better until I took communion at church.  Such a small piece of bread and woah, the pain was horrible!

Since then I’ve realised I’m also going to miss things like: pizza, sesame prawn toast, treacle tart, and worst of all – hot cross buns!!!  One of my colleagues often has a toasted hot cross bun at work.  The smell really gets me drooling but I know I can’t have one.  Easter will be so hard!

Well that’s all from me for now.  Let’s hope there will be more good news the next time I post.  Take care everyone! 🙂


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Long time, no post

I seem to always be apologising for taking so long between posts. I did have a long-ish one all ready to post except for photos which I wanted to add when I got home. Except when I looked for it, it was gone. How frustrating!

Anyway, I do have some progress to report. Last week I finally made it to a stone down, and this week I lost another pound despite a great Chinese meal out on Friday night, woohoo!!

I am also down a few more inches, and people are starting to notice which really makes a difference. It feels great to be able to say I’ve lost just over a stone rather than nearly a stone. And 10:10 has a bit of a ring to it, don’t you think?

Since I last wrote, I’ve had my birthday and we’ve celebrated our third anniversary.

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The delicious chocolate birthday cake made and decorated by my eldest daughter.

My birthday treat was a trip to Brighton to take part in Color Run. This is a 5k run along the seafront and at various intervals, volunteers throw powder paint at all the runners! It was great fun and as you can see, we got quite colourful by the end.

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So here I am at 10:10 which feels fairly safely on the right side of 11 stone. Halfway to my target weight. 9:9 has an even better ring to it! How far can I make it by Christmas? With 10 weeks to go I’d like to think I could hit 10 stone, but I think it’s more realistic to say I’d like to get below 10:7, maybe as far as 10:3? Let’s hope so.


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Woohoo!! At last!

Yesterday morning I got on the scales.  Having stayed the same weight again last week (which is why I didn’t bother blogging) I tried not to get my hopes up too high.  I reminded myself that I am healthier than I’ve been for ages, I’m enjoying (sort of) spin classes, and I feel thinner when I am lying in bed, resting my hand on my middle.  So that is all positive.

Well I was absolutely elated to find that I have broken that horrible 11 stone barrier, and I’m now 10st 12lbs!!!  That means a total of 13lbs lost since I started on 19th May!  It’s taken me 14 weeks, but I have heard that the slower you lose the weight the more likely it is to stay off so I’m hoping it will stay off for good. This is my chart:

(It will not cut and paste for some reason so I’ll have to add it via a separate post…)

I also measured myself.  I have lost 15.5” in total – that’s 2.5″ off my bust, 5″ off my waist, 2.5″ off my hips, 1.5″ off my left thigh, 2.5″ off my right thigh, 1″ off my left arm and 0.5″ off my right arm.  As you may realise I was, and still am, slightly lopsided!

I can’t quite believe it but obviously I’m really happy!  I have checked and my BMI is actually in the healthy range at long last – at the top end still, but healthy!  (I know that BMI isn’t 100% reliable when it comes to judging health but I think I’m average enough for it to be at least indicative of where I should be.  I’m certainly not muscle-bound (far from it!) so I don’t think the results will be too skewed.)

So my BMI now is 24.5.  According to the NHS, the healthy weight range for someone of my height and age is 8st3-11st2.  The middle of that is where I’d like to be.  9st7lbs is right in the middle with a BMI of 21.4.  Ideally I’d like to get a few lbs below 10st so I have a bit of leeway – if I gain a few lbs it’ll be easy enough to lose them and I’ll still be in a good place weight- wise, whereas right now if I put on a few (please no) I would be back in the overweight bracket again.

I think I’ll be aiming for 9st10 as that’s a BMI of 21.9 and feels kind of achievable.  So – another 16lbs to go then!  I did make it down to 9st7 way back in the Dark Ages, pre-pregnancies, so hopefully I can make it nearly there again.  There are 17 weeks to go until Christmas, so at the same rate of weight loss I should be reaching, or nearly reaching, target by then.  It would be so amazing to be able to shop for a Christmas outfit and not have to worry about wearing my very uncomfortable (and very unsexy) “hold all the fat in” pants this year!

Another thing I’ve found to be positive about is doing my fast days during the holidays.  I had deliberately planned my fast days to fall on days I was at work where food isn’t so easily available, and I was really worried that I would find it very hard to resist the food in the house, especially when the girls are around.  As it turned out, it wasn’t too bad at all.  My eldest daughter and I have been watching the first series of Masterchef Australia (the UK version is much better by the way) which has been a bit frustrating when my tummy is rumbling, but I’ve managed to get through it.

I keep on realising, over and over again, how much easier this way of eating is than traditional “deprivation” dieting.  I know I still need to be sensible on my non-fast days, but it’s so much easier to stick to the 500 calories when I know I can eat tomorrow.  I know it will be possible to maintain my weight once I get down to target by keeping one fast day a week in my routine.  It means if I do eat some chocolate on a non-fast day, I can enjoy it without feeling like I’ve failed yet again.  It was my mum’s birthday yesterday and we organised a family afternoon tea party for her.  We had scones, crisps, cheese and biscuits, and of course, cake.  I could eat it without feeling guilty!  And I don’t think I ate as much as I usually would do.

To end on a happy note: this morning, I thought of where I was in life a few years ago.  Then I thought about where I am now.  A *huge* smile spread across my face.  Life is good!