The Not-So-Secret Diary of an OverEater

My Battle to Have a Healthy Relationship with Food


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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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!


Quick Update

Just to say I’m back down to 11 stone this morning. I wasn’t as good as I could have been this week so I’m quite pleased with that although it would have been nice to nudge into the 10 stone-something range!

Only a few more days until our holiday so I probably won’t post again for a while.

When we get back I’m intending to start again as if it was 1st January! Continuing with the 5:2 eating plan and getting back to running and exercise classes.

So watch this space – an average 1lb a week loss between now and my birthday will see me another half a stone down and by the beginning of November I could reach my target weight.

It’s doable. I just need to do it.


Our Amber. Who is rarely this still!

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I wrote this on Friday 20th June:

“Well I have some exciting news to report.  I weighed myself yesterday morning and I am down to 11st 2lbs!  That is a 9lbs weight loss since I started the Fast Diet.  I was so pleased.  I have also lost some inches here and there.  I am going to try to insert a graph of my losses so far when I get home but that might be a bridge too far with my so far very basic blog-writing skills!”

Then on Wednesday 25th June I wrote this:

“Well it’s clear to all of you that I didn’t make time at the weekend.  This was because shortly after typing this I had to go home from work sick.  I had the worst cold I’ve had in years and it was miserable.  I can’t remember the last time I went home from work sick; in fact the only time I can remember having to do that was when I was 17 and working at Boots.  I actually had to sprint from my till point to the staff toilets to be sick that time.  This time I just felt well and truly grotty, coughing, sneezing and feeling quite weak.  Thankfully I’m nearly better now but I’ve felt miserable all weekend.”

Both times I was interrupted and then didn’t get another chance to carry on.  I could really do with a few more hours in each day.  I think an additional 6 hours to bring it up to a round 30-hour day would be good.  It could be 3 more hours for getting stuff done and 3 more hours in bed.  Anyone else agree with me?  Perhaps an extra day every weekend would be good too?

Umm, anyway, back in reality!  How am I going on the diet/eating plan?  Am I making progress?  Well you can see from the above that the scales are gradually moving down.  A bit too gradually for my liking but then if I didn’t eat quite so much on the non-fast days it would probably be quicker.  Plus I haven’t had time to exercise for ages.

When I weighed myself on Thursday (26th) I had lost another pound, bringing me to a grand total of 10lbs lost.  Yay!  All my inches are down too but I’m at work at the moment so I can’t look it up (it’s on my phone and I don’t think the students would be particularly impressed if I got my phone out when they’re not allowed to look at theirs!  I don’t think my Line Manager would look too kindly on it either…) but hopefully I’ll remember to make a note on paper later on so I can include the details for you later on.

I am finding the fast days hard but doable if that makes sense.  The worst times are between getting home from work and eating tea, and then it’s really hard between tea and bed.  The temptation is to cook and eat as soon as possible after getting home from work, but that then leaves a longer time before bed.  Unfortunately I can’t just have an early night as I need to get my daughters to go to bed (sadly if I just leave them, they won’t turn their lights out for hours and the youngest then won’t get up for school in the morning).  But I keep on reminding myself that I can eat tomorrow.

I am liking that my fast days are on Mondays and Wednesdays as that gets them over with at the beginning of the week and it feels like I have more time to eat what I want for the rest of the week.  I have to be careful though.  This weekend we went to see Avenue Q on Friday night and to save the exorbitant cost of sweets from the theatre, I bought some from the local shops.  I bought too many.  I ate too many.  Self-Control, where have you gone?  (Actually, if I’m totally honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever known Self-Control particularly well, especially when it comes to eating!)

We had a great weekend.  Firstly Avenue Q on the Friday night, which was excellent.  I’d seen it before with one of my best friends in London, but my husband and daughters had not.  Thankfully they all enjoyed it as much as I did, finding it very funny if a little rude.  Okay, a lot rude at times but still funny.  If you haven’t seen it I really recommend you do if it tours near you.  Maybe you think the puppets thing isn’t for you, but it’s so well done that you don’t really care that it’s puppets after the first few minutes.  And the actors work so cleverly with the puppets and sing brilliantly.  See it if you can (and if you’re not too easily offended).  It has a 14 years minimum recommended age limit by the way.

Saturday was my eldest daughter’s prom night.  Wow is all I can say; she looked stunning.  Okay, I know I’m her mum and I’m supposed to think she’s beautiful, but she really did look amazing.  It cost quite a lot of money of course (dress, shoes, bag, hair, nails, ticket, spending money, etc) but she keeps reminding me that others spent a lot more than we did so apparently that makes it okay.  Which it does really I guess.  It was worth it to see how happy she was and hear everyone say how lovely she is.  Thankfully we didn’t have to splash out for a car as her good friend’s parents own a wedding car hire company and they took her, her best friend, their son and his best friend to the prom in an open-top Cadillac.  What a fantastic evening.  One of the teachers said it was the best prom he has organised ever so that was nice to hear.

On Sunday we went to church and then came home and did some more work in the garden.  We got about a third of the deck oiled.  It looks really good.  I’m looking forward to the whole garden being finished but we are needing a bit of a capital injection at the moment.

What is really good about life at the moment is I’ve been able to have a few quality times just me and each of my daughters on their own.  I had a few hours’ shopping with my youngest daughter, followed by a quiet evening meal at home watching TV together.  And I went shopping with my eldest to get her last-minute prom essentials as well.  It’s really lovely to spend time with them and I wish we could do it more often.  Back to needing more hours in the day!

Today is an eating day but I’m feeling quite hungry.  I didn’t have time for much breakfast before I left this morning (bad I know, most important meal of the day and all that) and my lunch is in the fridge at work and I couldn’t be bothered to get it out for a break time snack.  I keep reminding myself that according to the 5:2 ideas fasting between meals is better than lots of small snacks.  And I’ll certainly enjoy my lunch when I eventually eat it!

It’s after lunch now.  And I did enjoy it, even if it was a bit rushed with only 20 minutes to eat it in!  Mind you, having a limited amount of time is good in a way because I didn’t have time to eat everything I had with me so that’s fewer calories consumed, which means fewer inches/lbs the next time I measure myself!

It’s Wednesday 2nd July now and am going to finish this blog post after I’ve weighed in tomorrow, I promise!  It’s taken me aaaggggeeeeessss.  It’s easy for me to type when I’m in a nicely behaved class, where they’re getting on with their work and as I’m quite a fast typist I can get quite a lot done in between going around and checking that they are actually working and presenting the next lot of work to them.  That theory breaks down when a class is trouble, or needing a lot of help and I’m up and down the whole time with no time to just sit and type.

Another fast day today.  I was out of bananas this morning so I had a smoothie with low-fat natural yoghurt, strawberries, a nectarine and a kiwi fruit.  It was quite tasty but not quite as good as the banana/strawberry one.  I would have liked to have added a little sugar but I resisted!

I’m kind of dreading weighing in tomorrow morning because I feel I’ve over done it a bit over the past week and so will the scales be heading in the wrong direction?  I really hope not.  It’s so hard though.  I would be really interested in hearing from people where/how they’ve found the motivation and self-control to eat sensibly.  If you’ve never had a problem with overeating, you’ll probably not be able to understand how it feels, but I would love to hear from a former overeater.  I know that the “aha” moment, when it all suddenly clicks into place and you find that motivation is different for everyone, but to be honest I’m desperate and hope that hearing other people’s experiences will help me to believe it is possible, and maybe inspire me to find my personal motivation.

Okay, it’s Thursday 3rd July now and I weighed myself this morning and I’m 11 stone! That makes a grand total of 11lbs lost over the 7 weeks since I started the 5:2 Fast Diet Plan. I measured myself as well and have lost a total of 11″ as well. So it’s all about the number 11 today!!

I’m so pleased with myself. I really worried that I would have either stayed the same, or worse, put on. It makes me feel really positive that I can still lose on this diet even when I’m not being as controlled as I could be on my eating days. How much more progress could I make if I was exercising and not going quite so over-the-top in between fast days??

I’m going to sign off here or this will never get finished.  I hope I’ll hear from a few people sharing their experiences.  Pretty please??!

Table showing my weight/inches loss.  I tried to cut and paste the graph but it wouldn’t paste for some reason.  I also couldn’t work out how to type under the table!  I’ll get the hang of it eventually I expect…

Date 19/05/2014 27/05/2014 03/06/2014 10/06/2014 19/06/2014 26/06/2014 03/07/2014
Weight 165 161 161 160 156 155 154
Bust 42.5 42 41 42 40 40 40
Waist 40 38 39 38 38 38 37
Hips 40 39 39 39 38.5 38.5 38
L thigh 23 22.5 22.25 22.5 22 22 22
R thigh 24 22.5 22.25 22.5 22.5 22.5 22
L arm 12 12 11.5 11.5 11.5 11.5 11.5
R arm 12 12 12 12 11.5 11.5 11.5

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Week One – A Success Story??

My first "fast" evening meal.

My first “fast” evening meal.


I could have a guilt-free cake at my colleague’s leaving do on Friday!

Hello to my vast audience of two!

I really have no idea what I’m doing regarding making this blog. I know what a blog is, I have read blogs, but I have no idea what various terms mean like tags, categories, parent/children/orphan categories, etc. From just a brief exploration of my dashboard, my head is spinning!

I think I managed to add a category (weight loss) but I don’t know what difference that will make. I haven’t yet managed to work out how to search for other blogs on WordPress. I’m sure it’s not as difficult as it seems! I’m logged on at work though and lots of the pictures don’t seem to be showing properly so maybe it will be easier to see from home.

So, Wednesday’s fast day was okay.  Again, I managed to eat below the 500 calories with nothing between breakfast and dinner, and then nothing again until breakfast today.  I don’t think I was quite as hungry as I was on Monday so that’s good but it was very hard during the afternoon when I got in from work.  That’s my usual kitchen cruise time so I was pleased with myself for resisting.  I hope it will become easier with time.  My evening meal was roasted smoked haddock, poached egg and green beans.  Tasty.  Hubby had the same, except with a jacket potato as well.  My girls were not impressed with the strong fish and egg smells filling the house, both of which they hate!

On Thursday I was back to eating as normal.  I had a smoothie for breakfast although because it’s not a fast day I didn’t weigh the ingredients.  They are sooo yummy!  Lunch was pretty healthy with a tuna mayo and salad wrap, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas, a yoghurt and a satsuma.

Dinner was Stand ‘n’ Stuff Tacos and I even remembered to get the mince out of the freezer before I left for work.  Perhaps thinking about my food a bit more ahead of time will help me become more organized.  That’s the theory anyway!

We were away for the weekend, camping at the Big Church Day Out event in Wiston, near Steyning, West Sussex.  This is a weekend we’ve been to on three occasions now and for the last two years we have volunteered on the Saturday which means that we get the rest of the weekend and the camping for free.  This year we were on the stewarding team from 9am.  It had rained quite hard overnight so the ground was pretty muddy underfoot but was dry at the start of our shift.  Hubby was selected to go with the tractor rides to make sure that everyone stayed safe (remain seated until the vehicle comes to a complete stop and all that) and I was allocated part of the Food Avenue to patrol.  It rained for ages and I got absolutely drenched!  I was cold and my feet ached but later on it stopped and I had dried out by the end of the afternoon.  I dealt with a call for a first aider when a little girl tripped over, helped a parent who had lost their toddler (thankfully she reappeared very quickly) and found someone to help a teenager who had dropped her phone into one of the portaloos!  Hubby stayed pretty much dry the whole time.

Sunday was the complete opposite and it was beautiful sunshine all the way.  We even caught the sun a little bit.  What a contrast!

Anyway, the eating was a bit haphazard during the weekend.  We had planned our meals to save money and it all went well although I did perhaps eat more than I probably ought to have done between meals, including sharing a large bar of my favourite chocolate (Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy Shells) with Ian.  But that was fine.  I didn’t need to feel guilty.  After all, the whole point of this diet is that you are only deprived for a short time and then can go back to normal eating.  I know that normal for me isn’t the same as normal for other people and the advantage of being away is that we only had with us what I’d brought.  And I did put back a few things I had originally packed.  And I also resisted the temptation of the candy floss stall!

Then it was Monday and another fast day.  As it was a Bank Holiday we slept in and I decided not to eat anything until dinner time as I thought my meals would be too close together if I ate a late breakfast.  I made a chicken and bacon pie (it was supposed to have leeks in too but I didn’t have any) which according to the website I got it from should have been under 300 calories.  I couldn’t quite believe that considering that pastry was involved, but I only put the pastry on the top rather than it being a filled pie so that kept it down a bit.  Another time I think I’ll just do the filling and put pastry on it for everyone else.  It was quite tasty.

I decided that I will weigh and measure myself on Tuesday mornings, just after a fast day, for the best and most consistent results.  So here are my vital statistics – put here in the hope that being honest will help me to stick with it.  The first table shows my measurements before I started on 19th May.  The second one shows my measurements this morning (27th May).

Weight 11st 11lbs
Bust 42.5”
Waist 40”
Hips 40”
Left Thigh 23”
Right Thigh 24”
Left Arm 12”
Right Arm 12”

I’m not entirely sure why one leg is a whole inch larger than the other here – I did check them both twice to confirm!

Weight 11st 7lbs
Bust 42”
Waist 38”
Hips 39”
Left Thigh 22.5”
Right Thigh 22.5”
Left Arm 12”
Right Arm 12”

As you can see, a pleasing improvement!  4lbs off and 5.5″.  I like making measurements as well as weighing as I’m aware that sometimes weight loss won’t be as quick as hoped for due to hormonal cycles, fluid retention, muscle gain, etc and in fact for me the most important thing isn’t what I weigh, but what I look like in clothes.  (Well what I look like naked too, but that’s just between me and hubby!)

Well that’s all for now.  I’m going to try to get some photos and tags inserted as well so I hope I don’t lose it all!  (The photos have ended up stuck at the top of the page.  I’m sure there’s a way to move them to within the text.  I’ll maybe work that out next time!)