Monday, May 6, 2013

The Food Thing

I'm pretty active. Yes, I sit at a desk for a good portion of every day, but I do try hard to be active every day. I do my (beloved!😊) Sh'Bam three times a week (and for the past 3 weeks I've been doing weights after each class), Oliver and I swim each Tuesday night, I walk (by myself or with the dog on Thursdays and Fridays, and on the weekends I try and do at least one extra thing that's active: a big walk, a long bike ride with Oliver, some gardening.

And I've been fairly active for a while now, probably since I did my Sh'Bam training about a year ago. But my weight has pretty much stayed the same. Much to my horror.

Because I've got this problem with food. I like it! I enjoy lots if different kinds of food, and probably have some unhealthy associations with it.

As I've documented previously, I've tried lots of 'diets' - recently the 12WBT and Atkins, and I've been relatively successful in both: until they finish. Or something distracts me from that path. And that's happened to me a few times in my life. All 'diet' bring the same result for me: some good weight loss, then it's over and I put it all back on. With interest.

Because tryimg to lose weight has been a significant part of my life (oh god that's sad!), I've done a lot of reading (I know I know, that was my first mistake!). And I've figured out that good eating is pretty simple. Eat when you're hungry, until you're full, and make sure that most of the food you eat is as close to its natural state as possible.

So that's what I'm doing now. I'm not going to starve myself, and I'm not going to deprive myself, but I'm going to be more mindful. These are some of the changes I've been making over the past couple of months;

  • I'm eating very little sugar. Well, fructose to be exact. David Gillespie and Sarah Wilson wrote some pretty compelling stuff that struck a chord with me, and I gave it a go, I'm not quite as militant about it, but I avoid anything with sugar added to it, and don't eat any cakes or biscuits. I've found that I eat little enough that I don't get the cravings, but I do still have the occasional ice cream. And I do drink beer (which actually doesn't contain fructose, so it's ok). Now I know that I said I wasn't going to deprive myself, but I really don't feel that I do. When I initially started with the 'no sugar' thing, I did cut it out completely. And I did get the withdrawals and the headaches and stuff, but once I got through that, I felt really good: my skin was clear, I had more energy, I slept better and I was even all day. No 3pm slump. So it made it worth it. And when I did try something sweet, it didn't have the same appeal, and tasted waaaay to sweet. Like Mars Bars for example. I now find the eye-wateringly sweet. And disgusting. My tastebuds have changed a lot. Raspberries with mascarpone is my sweet treat, and plain sparkling mineral water is my 'soft drink'. 
  • I'm eating less. I'm trying very hard to listen to my body. I try to only eat when I'm hungry, and I don't clean my plate if I'm full. I used to just era it because it was there. I'm definitely noticing that I'm fitting less in.
  • I'm eating more fresh food. I've always done a lot of home cooking, but now I very rarely buy anything pre made. My grocery habits have changed and I spend twice as much on meat, fruit send vegetables than I do on groceries. And most of my groceries are ingredients (except Anthony's chocolate peanuts- the dude's hooked!).
  • I don't drink as many calories. When I was a young, overweight person, I was under the impression that it was food that made you fat, so I couldn't understand why I was so fat when I drank lots of shakes, soft drink or flavoured milks but didn't eat much. Of course now I know better. Now, I stick to water and tea mostly, with the occasional coffee or diet coke (although these aren't as appealing any more), and on the weekends I have a couple of drinks. Usually beer.
I'm careful with what I eat but at the same time I'm not crazed. If I want an ice cream, I have it. If I want some pizza or some really nice cheese, I have it. No deprivation!

And finally, it seems to be working. I'm finally losing a bit of weight. Well, rearranging it anyway; as my measurements change more often than the number on the scales. But it's progress and I'm happy with that.

So my goal, in relation to food, is to keep this up. It should be too hard as its not a 'plan' I'm following, it's just normal life with a little common sense thrown in. I'll keep you posted about my progress.

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