Saturday, 4 May 2013

Body image..

No pleasing some people eh? I have now been target weight for nearly three weeks and I am happy... well kind of. When I am wearing clothes I am happy, there are a size ten and the swish nicely, nothing is tight or pinching. I will admit to a moment of disbelief every time I try on a size ten and even doing a little dance in the changing room! But if I am honest when I am in the shower or getting dressed I cant really see any difference. Logically I know this could be a good thing because it means I have lost weight all over and my proportions have stayed the same, for example my cup size is still the same even after losing four inches around the chest.

But I guess a small naive part of me was under the illusion that losing the extra weight would create the perfect body (yeah I know that doesn't exist!) I will admit I haven't exercised nearly enough during this process so it make sense there are bits that need toning. But it leaves me with a feeling of disappointment with myself that the initial excitement of making target has lessened in this aspect. There is an aspect of my brain catching up - But I feel a little dumb saying that as I have only lost 1.5 stone which is hardly the huge kind of life changing amount compared to others I have heard about. But no matter I guess thinking habits take longer to catch up.

Don't get me wrong I am really happy and I have broken too many rules for them to start getting to me now. Maybe I need to get a bit more used to really seeing my body for what it is... not what I think it is. This has been a huge issue over the years and has annoyed many a close friend or partner. I have tried to explain that it isn't that I think they are lying to me when they say I look thin, good, slim, pretty etc etc its more that I just don't see it, I don't get it. I genuinely struggle to see my body as others do, and I am hopeless at comparing myself to others - by that I mean if you had a line up of woman of differing sizes I would not be able to pick out the one the same size as me. On average I will liken myself to someone about two sizes bigger, so with that in mind I have tried to focus on the numbers (on the scales and on dress labels) as they are facts so if I focus on them the irrational thoughts have no power.

That's the theory! Just need to focus on those facts a little harder sometimes, but awareness of my weak points is a good place to start. My new wardrobe is another good point I have some lovely new clothes (new to me, they are mostly second hand) and I feel good wearing them. There is still a habit to put on jeans and a t-shirt when I am not doing anything 'special' and save nice clothes for best. But then I don't to much going out and 'special' things so a load of lovely clothes don't get worn which is dumb! So without going to the extreme of wearing a ballgown to Tesco's and can and should wear a nice skirt some days, just because. I am going away next weekend and although its a relaxed time away, I plan to wear only lovely clothes - and stop being so boring and practical when it comes to clothes.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Wardrobes and emotions

Having now hit target weight and bitten the bullet and got new jeans (that actually fitted) I decided it was high time I went for the full wardrobe clear out. I don't want to be one of those women who has a range of sizes in her wardrobe to allow for all eventualities anymore. I am at a fit and healthy weight and I know how to maintain that so see no reason why it would ever go hugely back up again (with the exception of falling pregnant of course!)

Yea Gods that was a tiring and emotional task thankfully my lovely hubby was very supportive and offered a sane external perspective. You luckily when I put weight on there was no denying some things didn't fit as I couldn't physically get into them. But now I have lost weight I can still fit into those bigger clothes so in my head I think they still *fit* me.... This makes me a size 10-16 which logically I know doesn't make sense. Hubby was very good at telling my which clothes look like I am wearing a tent and over the last three days have gone through everything - even pants ;-) This has left my wardrobe with hanging space to spare, which is bizarre when you consider I am normally someone who has to squeeze everything in and fears the day when all the clothes I own are clean and ironed as I know they wont all fit in!

I hated this process and found it very upsetting as so many of my clothes I get sentimentally attached to - who bought them for me - where did I wear them - how they made me feel about myself etc etc. This is the first time I have ever got rid of clothes that I still adore and desperately want to wear. I have four skirts I am praying can be taken in somehow though the task is way beyond my skills, I'm hopeful more skilled sewers will say 'No problem'

Here is the dress I tried on last week and was then sent back to buy. Very different style to that which I would normally go for, but I liked it. Today I also went to get a couple more bras and took the opportunity to pick up some new basic t-shirts and vests, as my summer wardrobe is now non-existent! You see after the wardrobe I decided to keep going and took down my summer wardrobe boxes to go through, 99% of things in there were a size 16. I know it sounds a bit dumb but I hadn't really realised I was three dress sizes bigger this time last year until I saw those clothes.

So its all a bit odd now, I'm not sure what to buy or what suits me as for the first time in years I feel ok wearing fitted clothes (ok still a lot of firming up to go in certain places) but I'm not hiding under floaty smock tops, in fact they now make me look bigger than I am rather than being flattering in any way.

I cant get used to picking up size 10, but I am feeling happier with what I see in the mirror and I have a little wiggle in my walk back - ahhhh confidence where have you been eh? So now to buy a few bits to fill the gaps such as smart work clothes, without breaking the bank. Most of the clothes will go to charity some to friends and some on eBay to try to fund some new clothes so everyone wins in that case :-)

Time for bed now.. which makes me realise that all my PJs are two sizes too big for me now - yet another thing that needs replacing - never knew getting fit cost to much money!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Mission accomplished!

Well I have done it, target weight has been reached and in 14 weeks I have lost 19.5lb and am now smack in the middle of a healthy weight from my height, sex and build. My BMI is 22.5 right in the middle of the healthy band - I know a lot of people think BMI is a load of rubbish but I think it is a good indicator and I do use the proper calculation method using waist measurements etc not the one where you just go height+weight. I am just over the halfway point for healthy weight for my height according to the charts in my CBT workbooks for my eating issue and I am at the weight my therapist and I debated as a sensible place to be.

BUT - the most amazing and important bit for me is I have got there in a healthy way. I now eat four - six bits of fruit a day, a huge amount of veg, lean meat and I meet the daily requirements for fibre and calcium. I feel great :-). I expect to get a little confused as I now work out how to balance things so I stay this weight and don't drop anymore. Although I know I wont stay this exact weight now I have got here and achieved what I set out to I am happy to go up and down a few pound as normal people do. Part of me thinks I would like to lose another 4lb to get my weight at a round number, but stopping here and getting used to this is more important than anything else.

I don't think I have posted about this yet - skip if I have! But last weekend I finally bit the bullet and went to but some new jeans as the only thing holding my jeans up these days is my belt, I figured I must be a 12 now. Imagine my surprise when they were also loose and I fitted in size 10 jeans! Not squeezed in very comfy, I don't even need to wear a belt with them :-) Two days later I was back at the shops to try and find another pair of jeans.... and to make sure it wasn't a fluke! lol! I also went right out of my comfort zone and picked up a fitted shift dress (not a style I would normally go for) Well the jeans fitted and so did the dress ;-) I cant remember the last time I was a comfortable size 10, over 15 years I think! I took a photo of me in the dress and when I showed my lovely hubby he demanded I go back and buy it! I'm doing that tomorrow *grin*

I feel like a whole world of clothes has opened up to me because I feel confident enough to go for looks I would have been to shy of before. But this achievement comes with the financial implications of having a wardrobe pretty much full of size 14 clothes! So I guess I'm going to be having a bit of an eBay blitz to fund the refit!

So I'm happy, relaxed and have just enjoyed a little bit of Green and Blacks chocolate, I would have  a drink to celebrate but I'm a lightweight and I have work in the morning!! Thanks for all your comments and messages of support, I thought I was a little crazy doing this at first but it has really helped me.

Monday, 15 April 2013


In general I have had amazing support and comments about the physical effect of my healthy eating and how I have got my head straight about food now. But over the last week or so I have started to get comments from a couple of people saying 'You aren't going to lose anymore weight are you?' or 'You will look to thin if you loose more weight' and 'You look nice and slim now, but don't loose anymore' Now these comments have been from work colleagues who don't really know me, and a supervisor who does know my history.

Well as it happens I'm pretty much at the weight target I set myself back in January and as peoples weight naturally goes up and down a bit I expect that on occasions I will be a couple of pound lighter than I am right now - likewise a couple of pound heavier and I'm fine with that. I am happy if not a little surprised (pleasantly!) when I look in the mirror.  I am starting to settle into being where I have always wanted to be but never thought I could be, and as you have witnessed I have done it healthily and happily.

But how these comments are made has a bit of an edge I don't like, not sure if its them projecting their stuff onto me, or whether they know my history or not they think I look like the sort of girl to go to far with this sort of thing? Or maybe it is genuine concern? Not sure... But I am sure its weeing on my parade right now!

I do know that no matter what weights I naturally end up bouncing between, it will be a continuation of this healthy process and therefore it wont go 'too far' I know my the medical opinion of my minimum weight and I have no intention of going anywhere near that. For now I am going to relax a bit, ignore the comments and enjoy being right here, right now :-)

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Catch up!

A pretty major thing happened a few days after the last post and I wasn't able to write about it at the time, and now its kind of been processed and forgotten. But I want to try to revisit it for my own reference.

The weigh in after my lovely weekend away and dinner out was a bit of a shock as for the first time since I started this plan I put one pound on. Now logically I could see that was not a lot and as some people have said 'I can wee a pound!' I could also clearly see from my food diary that although I was within my weekly target of 'syns' I had about double the syns I would normally have. So I knew 1lb wasn't a disaster but I was interested in the emotional response I had which was fear. I wasn't exactly sure what I was scared of. I knew that going back on plan would have that pound gone again as quick as it had appeared, I think I was scared of not being in control - I was technically still on plan but I put weight on so now the plan doesn't work.

I said in the meeting I was ok with the gain... and I was at that point. When I left the meeting I had the weekly shop to do. Why do I always seem to end up in supermarkets after a wobble?!!? Anyway I found myself in the Fruit and Veg section thinking 'If I eat nothing but fruit this week it will go' After I had picked up about five things the realisation that I was over reacting *just* a little hit me. I'm so thankful my logic kicks in so much faster these days. I took a deep breath and put a couple of things back and continued getting the items on my shopping list. I had a good week but not an extreme week there was even chocolate in there on a few nights! ;-)

Sure enough next weigh in I had lost that pound and it had taken another pound and a half with it. I was very pleased to be back on track, but it was a real test for me to not over compensate over the whole week and I did it! Very proud of that. It has also given me an insight into how life after I reach target will be. I understand everyone's weight goes up and down by a few pound naturally, but how will I actually cope with that? I have questions on the technicalities of it as if I keep doing what I am the weight will keep going down and I am pretty much at a point where I want it to stop now. I will continue to eat as much fruit and veg as I am as I love the benefit of it too much. Maybe I can have more syns to keep stable? I'm sure it will be explained to me in class.

But I am pleased I had this experience as I have (as usual) learnt from it. I think it would have hit me harder if I never put any on during the time I was attending meetings but then once at target it I gained - that would have been a bigger deal for me I think. I am still in control as I chose to have a relaxed week and I knew what to do to get back on track. No starving, restricting or over compensating

So yet another new challenge just around the corner how to relax it a bit, not freak out or become obsessed and stay a healthy weight in a healthy way. Interesting times ahead.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Eating out

On Saturday I had a big post therapy test - my first meal out. Back when I was in therapy we decided on a tactic of having one course where I am mindful of what I am eating and its ok if I take the 'safe' option *but* I had to have whatever I fancied for the other course. Good balance and no uncomfortable extremes was the idea.

As far as the healthy eating plan goes they say set yourself a limit of syns and stick to that. Don't change your eating habits on the days before or after to compensate either. So spoke to my consultant and decided to set a limit equal to four days worth of syns. I did my research before looking at different food on the website so I had rough ideas of what value different foods may have so I didn't go in totally blind on the night.

I decided I would have a main and a dessert, but then saw a starter that sounded fab so chose that as well! Here is what I ordered

 Starter - Asparagus wrapped in Parma ham with a poached duck egg and Parmesan shavings on a bed of rocket with an artistic drizzle of balsamic glaze. It was as amazing as it sounds really loved it, the glaze was stunning and I haven't had duck eggs for years. There was a little bit of grizzle in the ham which normally freaks me out and I am unable to keep eating, but I calmly separated it and put it on the plate and finished the rest loving every mouthful

Main - Fillet steak with chips, mushrooms and a grilled tomato, in a choice of sauces. As far as I know I have never had fillet steak as it is to expensive for my pockets, but darling hubby said I could go for it! It was amazing without a doubt the nicest steak I have ever had and worth every penny. The chips were only about ten in number and served in a little pot, big chunky and perfect with the steak. The mushrooms I think were cooked in butter again very tasty and went well with the steak, however I left the tomato as the taste just didn't work. I did ask for mine without a sauce as I wanted to really taste the steak, but hubby's ordered the same with a red wine sauce which came in a separate gravy boat. I took him up on his offer to have some and was able to pour a little but not drown the food. I might as for sauces to be served like that in the future so I can control how much I want to have that day.

Sadly the picture of dessert hasn't come out, which is a huge shame as it was by far the prettiest of all the course. Never mind I shall just have to try to describe it. Dessert was my 'have what you want' course and I ordered profiteroles as we had them the first time we ate there and they were lovely. A little different this time as they came on a shortbread biscuit, but as before they had vanilla custard inside and no chocolate sauce over the top, just a little to hold the stack together and then dusted in icing sugar. I let darling hubby have one *giggle* but had the rest all to myself.

Oh and the red wine we had with it was stunning - I am so thankful since being pregnant I can drink red wine again without falling asleep after ten minutes! I had half a bottle and felt a little light headed that night but very heavy headed in the morning!

What was the most amazing about this evening was I felt no nerves or guilt, I was excited about ordering food, enjoyed it more than ever, talked about it discussing how it tasted and what I liked. It felt like the first time I had ever eaten out, and if the experience of eating out can be like that I'm gonna do it more often! Hubby said I was like a different person as well and its great that others can see the change in me.

I was pretty sure I had stayed within my allowance that night but out of interest worked out my syns as best I could and I was well under. So I knew what I was doing and felt confident with the food I was ordering. It was a great success. I know it must sound a bit daft to others but it was such an amazing and positive difference for me I am still excited now, things have really changed for me and food. Never going back, things are better now than I ever dared hope they could be.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Been a bit quiet but I guess that was going to happen as I settled into this new way of being. By triggers are not as big or triggered as often - how nice! However something a lady said to me this week really hit the ouch button. I was chatting to some of the ladies at my evening class as I had just turned down a cookie for the 10th week in a row. I said I am so close to my target that I wont have one until I get there, but I was looking forward to having one then. One of them said 'Oh you know you will put it all back on' OWWWW! Now I know she was just throwing her baggage at me and this says way more about her than me, but it left me smarting.

She doesn't know me or anything about my issues, but for me what would putting it 'all back on' mean? That food was winning again... that I had forgotten all I have learnt over the last few months... that I was back believing my old rules or worse still I had created some new ones. All bad stuff and not from the vain 'Oh no I have gone up a dress size' mentality. But it has highlighted for me that there is to be another period of adjustment when I reach target as I don't want to continue to lose weight, I will have to increase my syns of add more healthy extras (I don't understand exactly how best to do that yet) But it is going to mean re-introducing some previously 'bad' food into my diet and learning a new acceptable and healthy amount to eat. I haven't really made a conscious choice to exclude these foods but with so much other experimenting I haven't had enough room in my tummy to fit them in!. But I hadn't realised how nervous I felt about those foods until that woman's comment, so I thank her for the increase in awareness her throw away comment gave me.

Friday, 15 March 2013


 Have been given another odd recipe this time for a strange kind of strange flat bread so gave it a go last night. It follows the same kind of egg whisking that the chocolate cake I made does and creates a strange spongy looking slab of oddness! Don't get me wrong its not unpleasant... just like nothing I have ever tasted! Here it is pre cooked, it was suggested I add flax seeds, I didn't have any so put caraway seeds in, which I adore...

 ... but might have been a mistake considering what I then decided to do with my slab of stuff!!

I wonder if it would have gone crispy if I had spread it our thinner over two trays, but then it might have been to fragile to do anything with rather than crisp and crunchy?!? Next time I think I will split the mix and do one thin one and a smaller thick one
 Last nights dinner was half the slab (I really don't know what else to call it!!) with tomato puree, lean ham, mushrooms, my cheese allowance for the day and a sprinkling of herbs.

I sort of tasted like pizza (see above re caraway seeds!!) but as I used to have thin crust pizza it was a big difference. Had I been more of a deep pan girl it would of course have been less odd! But as I say odd doesn't mean it tasted bad by any means :-)
The other half was saved for lunch today and I decided to try and make some kind of a roulade thingy. I made a ratatouille rolled it up in foil and popped it in the oven, the cheese was added after and just melted on the hot surface.

I had to eat it cold over at my Dads later which was a shame as I think it would have been better hot. Needs work but the idea is there! I wanted to add pesto to it, but I also think doing it with maybe butternut squash and spinach would be good as well. If I made a bigger one I would like to slice it up to serve but not sure it would stay stuck in a roll if I did that and not sure what to 'glue' it with.

I am having far too much fun with this not being scared of food feeling :-)

Monday, 11 March 2013

Daemon day

Really struggled with my old behaviour today, I only just made it through and am feeling totally washed out and shaken up tonight. You see a lot of my behaviour with food is triggered when I feel out of control of a situation I try to cope by doing one of two extreme behaviours.

Restrict - I would take total control over my eating and stop altogether.... because of course that proves I have supreme control over what I eat and therefore I must have control over the other situation right?

or Binge - Saying to myself 'I'll show them' (whoever that maybe) They don't control me, I control me. Then eat a vast amount of crap food to show I have control of what hurts me not them. I don't really talk about just how much food that used to be but will explain it would be soft food so I didn't have to chew to much (which takes longer and fills you up) and so it wouldn't hurt to much if I over compensated for my behaviour later.

Now over the years different lots of therapy and soul searching I learnt to curb these behaviour so if they did happen a restrict didn't last as long and a binge was a fraction of the size (more like what a normal person would call a pig out) and it has been many many many years since I have over compensated. But truth is despite how under control my issues have been, when I am in a situation I have no control over my default setting is to still go one of these two behaviours.

Since starting the eating plan I have coped with a couple of little things rocking me, but nothing like today. I am stuck waiting for my results and its not the results that are causing me anxiety it is the total lack of communication from the college as to when and how I will get them. As a result I feel I am on constant alert every time the post comes, every time I open my email, will I find out today? next week? Made worse by the fact one of my peers has theirs and I can only theorise as to why that is the case. Today I picked up the last of my work and half hoped there would be confirmation of the total grade with it.... there was not.... and I crashed as a result.

On the way home I couldn't stop crying and that feeling of being totally out of control of something so important to me was overwhelming. I had to stop to get something for tea and that's when I found myself in a supermarket surrounded by food and in my worst frame of mind. I lost count of how many times I looped around the cake section but I focused on the syn value of the things I passed and I didn't pick anything up. Then I tried to remember what I was supposed to be getting but kept getting distracted. In the end I was shaking and fighting tears as hard as I was fighting the urge to grab a mountain of chocolate. I ended up heading for the safety of the fruit and veg section and grabbing random stuff and more pointedly a punnet of grapes. Then I just had to pay and get out of there, my head was pounding and I felt really upset and dissapointed I had let myself get that badly effected even though I hadn't picked anything up.

As I still had a strong urge to stuff chocolate into my gob in order to feel calmer I decided to pretend the grapes were malteasers. Yeah ok I know they don't taste the same, but by thinking of chocolate and letting my body eat something, I dont kow somehow it kind of helped. Maybe it was feeling virtuous that I hadn't gone for the chocolate, I don't know, but I calmed down after a damn good cry. I will have chocolate cake again at some point in the future, my birthday for example! But today was the wrong reason to have it and I know I would have regretted it. So I'm glad I didn't let the daemon win today, but am paying the price now, strong emotions go straight to my tummy and I have felt sick since this afternoon. I have managed to eat a sensible dinner though rather than restrict and that feels better, but not great as I feel full which brings up its own set of destructive thoughts.

I need to calm down, get a handle on why I feel the way I do about the results and either forget about them, or contact the college *again* to try to find out a due date for them. Though past experience tells me I wont find anything out and self preservation tells me to not try. Sorry no food pictures tonight, camera battery died. But even if it hadn't I don't feel like photos of food today.

Good night sleep should sort me out, positive attitude will return, I am both stubborn and determined, after all I did the hard bit walking out of the supermarket with fruit not cake

Sunday, 10 March 2013

heavy blood

So today I am aware of even more good and bad aspects of this healthy eating malarkey. It might be getting a little expensive! I set aside some money to pay for the club membership and weigh in sessions and I'm nor surprised my food bill is higher than before. My old habit of not eating three meals a day has effected this more than the price of the food I buy.

But expenses I hadn't thought of are clothes! It is now very noticeable I have dropped some weight and one the plus side clothes that just fitted tightly are now comfortable. But clothes that fitted before now look very baggy and some will have to go. I'm not to worries as the expense can be offset a little by selling good clothes on Ebay to fund some new wardrobe items. Weight loss has really hit my boobs now *Oh Woe* which is a shame as they are my confidence boost. As a friend once said 'I can always tell when you are nervous about going somewhere by how low cut your top is!' and its true I have used them as a great distraction technique over the years. But goodness my bra's were not fitting well *before* I started this - now its just laughable how badly they fit! I'm going to give it another month to let the last bit of weight go and my body to settle then I am going to have to buy some yummy new bra's.

A more expensive casualty might be my engagement ring :-/ I have James mothers ring and it was always a little loose when my hands were cold, it spins around all the time, but not in danger of falling off so we never got it sized. However it is starting to get worryingly loose now and I may have to get it altered or risk losing it, which would break my heart. Better safe than sorry on that one I think but again as with bra's I will give it another month for things to settle a bit more.

It not all woe and I don't really think any of the above is a big deal in the grand scheme of things, after all its an excuse to go shopping! ;-)

But this morning I discovered a fantastic side effect to the eating plan when I went to give blood. I have only been turned away from donating once because of my iron levels (I think that's what the drop of blood test bit is anyway) But every time the drop of blood takes the longest allowable time to drop and its always touch and go for that moment if I will be allowed to donate. I was eager to see if the big diet changes would have an effect and part of me was worried I should have had more spinach and beef this last week. But no need to worry that little drop of blood went straight down, in fact the nurse said it was perfect! Now that's what healthy eating can do *happy* I gave blood and got my Bronze award this time which makes it even more perfect :-) Oh and as far as the after donation biscuit goes I decided to skip it having worked out last night that it would be most of my days syn allowance, so instead I took a light cereal bar with me and eating plan sabotage was avoided!

On the cooking front slowly getting the hang of the slow cooker and made a very yummy chicken casserole last night that was so yummy I forgot to take a photo! lol!!

So I'm riding the positivity wave this week and gonna crack on with some personal and work tasks I have been hiding from *rolls up sleeves*

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Strange cooking

My appetite is continuing to return and last night had my first proper sized meal as well as bravely using the slow cooker properly for the first time. Very nice it was to, though I am still nervous about leaving the slow cooker on while I leave the house which somewhat defeats the object of having it! I served it up to darling hubby with rice as was his preference. But I didn't fancy rice and I am aware that some days I haven't had as much free veg as the eating plan suggests so instead of rice of potato I went for broccoli and cherry tomatoes. I have already got into the habit of bunging a handful of salad or spinach on the side of meals if the proportions of certain food groups are not as balanced as they could be. This week I also discovered adding a tin of mushy peas to bump up veg count without just filling up on potato or pasta

 I had a go at another strange cooking technique with these smash scones tonight and was pleasantly surprised. Don't get me wrong the are very odd, but also very nice :-) I am trying to work out if I can use the recipe to create a cobbler top to a chili or cottage pie mix.

Hang on I'm getting far to adventurous here! My husband was remembering the wife he used to have who was scared to cook or try new recipes - where has she gone!! 

We had the scones alongside the Mexican bean bake I originally made in the first week of this food experiment. I have tweaked the recipe to use a mix of beans not just kidney beans, and I didn't do the strange Quark topping this time (because I forgot we didn't have any in the fridge!) So spent some extra syns and just grated cheese on top. And very well it worked indeed.
They will make a good snack and I will see what Autumn thinks of them tomorrow.

I am feeling so alive and proud of myself today, I actually noticed I am walking taller today so I must be feeling more confident. With every day that passes after being discharged from the counsellor I am finding my focus on the weight loss is drifting. I don't mean I am not sticking to the eating plan, I just mean the reason for doing it has shifted. I am doing it as it makes me feel good and calm and not scared of food *yay*

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


So today I had my last counselling session. I have now been officially discharged as someone whose eating disorder is in remission.


It's only taken me 20 years to get here. It feels amazing. I know where my issues stemmed from and more importantly I understand how the way I think fuels them. I have learnt a new way of thinking that derails all those past negative thoughts. Is that it? Is it all over now? Well no, still lots to practise and I am going to get thrown off course from time to time, but its now about how I handle that.

A couple of great examples over the last few days really illustrate to me how aware I am of my negative thoughts and how I have learnt to rein them in buy basically throwing a heap of evidence and logical thinking at them - they stand no chance! :-)

First example was on Sunday when I made a batch of chocolate and courgette cookies to leave for the babysitter. Now I love these and haven't made them for ages, so I wanted one. I was supposed to be going out for dinner and had said I would have a syn free day to compensate (not over-compensate!) But I decided you know what one cookie was OK. I have learnt (but am still practising!) that the edge of my healthy eating plan can be stepped over for a specific thing I choose to have, and it isn't disaster. I enjoy the treat and then step calmly back into the healthy eating mode. Now if I had two or three cookies that would be taking the mickey, but my clear choice was I am comfortable with one cookie, I ate it mindfully, I enjoyed it and there was no guilt. Very good balanced behaviour *yes* Sadly the whole think became a non-existent issue in the long run as I came down with a stomach upset (some left over broccoli I think but def not the cookies I hasten to add!) and we didn't go out to dinner and I ate nothing until the following morning! Oh well!

The next example was the old 'how to accept a compliment' issue, yeah I know a lot of us struggle with that one! Well my husband made very approving noises about an outfit I had worn, so I asked him if he had liked it. I am doing this a lot at the moment as I am playing with a few different looks as my body shape is changing. The outfit in question was a pair of fitting blue jeans and a plain white shirt, he said he liked it and something alone the lines of it being simple and elegant. 'Awww that's nice' I think for about two seconds when in pops 'That means he doesn't like your more busy, flowery Joe Brown type outfits... which I love... Oh no :-(' But this time there was a quick pause as I went into my helicopter view went 'hmmmm did he say he didn't like those other outfits? No! So just because this outfit is a positive it doesn't make other outfits a negative' and *boot* the negative thought was out the window and I was able to smile and take the compliment!

*phew* this is knackering beyond believe, second thinking myself and hunting for evidence all the time. But my goodness is it worth it and really really starting to pay off. Long way to go, but I have momentum to keep going.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Role model menu

The drive behind making the changes I have was to teach my daughter what  healthy food is and how it is not good to eat lots of junk. I want to share two things that happened with her and food today, that have made me very happy.

While enjoying her Marmite and veg pasta at lunchtime she reached over and took some fresh spinach from my plate and proceeded to munch her way through half a dozen leaves, declaring it was yummy. Than later as a treat I cut one of her Dads jam donuts into four so she could try a little bit. I brushed off all the excess sugar and showed her the jam in the middle. She poked at it a bit then picked it up and squeezed it so the jam went all over some of her fingers. She refused to eat any off the jam or the donut, she said she didn't like jam and then asked to have her hands wiped. I asked if she would rather have a fig roll 'Yes please mummy' was the reply.

She also mugged me for half my banana this afternoon, now I know she would have properly mugged me for whatever I was eating. All the more important I am eating a banana not a huge packet of crisps or a chocolate bar. I am so much happier with the food lessons she is picking up from me these days.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Food Guru? ;-)

I have recovered my sanity after the lack of weight loss really well. I have not taken any action that could be described as over-compensating since Tuesday morning. I have re looked at my food diary and seen a couple of things I haven't accounted for properly and altered what I was doing as a result, but that is correcting a mistake not stopping all treats or indeed all food which would have been my old coping strategy. Very proud :-)

One thing that has utterly amazed me is the amount of people asking me questions about food, requesting recipes and saying I have inspired them. To say I am flattered would be an understatement of immense proportions, inside my head I keep going 'You do all know I'm the one with the eating issue, right?' What the hell are you asking me for?!?!?! But as some of you have witnessed the change has been out of this world and I'm not that person anymore, I don't think about food like that anymore, I have sensible things to say and most importantly I behave in sensible ways. I still have to remind myself I'm not that person anymore, its almost like an out of body experience when I hear myself talking about food.

As well as taking advice from Penguino I had a long hard think and have not made any change to this week meal plan, to cater for the 'Super Express' solution to 'lose weight fast' That's not what I am in this for. I have upped my fruit a little bit but that's all, and only back to the amount I was having in the first few weeks. I have also tried to shake up my food a little...literally in the case of tonight's dinner as the easiest way to coat the veg before roasting was to put it in a Tupperware and shake it!! Hehe!!

Lunch today was a spinach salad with tuna and soft boiled eggs, but I fancied a bit of crunch so I added crisps. 'Crisps!' I hear you cry. Well myself and my sis-in-law have been experimenting with a healthy version of crisps. I have taken the micro wave option, cut potatoes, sprinkle with smoked paprika and stack in one of those plastic racks that looks like an old slide carousel. Pop in the microwave for 5-7 mins and there you go. They are not at all bad and add a lovely bit of crunch :-)

This weeks discovery has been Harrisa and rose spice paste. It has a *bit* of a kick ;-) The first recipe I used it in was a pretty mild vegetable tangine, but tonight I used it to coat roasted veg and it was a little bit hotter! I decided to pop some Quark on top to cool it a little, but it was extremely nice.

So onwards and upwards. I am feeling stronger and more determined than a few days ago. I am craving cake and stodge and chocolate as us women can tend to do at certain times of the month. But so far I have been calm about how I satisfy my craving for sweet things and stay within my plan. I bought a Dairy Milk caramel bar on Tuesday after the shock I had in the weigh in, I didnt even think about it and that was old behaviour setting in. But I caught myself and didn't scoff it down before I had even got out of the car park. My old response would have been I didn't loose weight - I cant loose it - I'm not in control - I give up - I don't care - buy chocolate and eat it. I wouldn't have tasted or enjoyed it, I wouldn't even have really noticed it until the empty wrapper was in my hand and I felt that surge of disappointment in myself again.... Which would often lead to another chocolate bar.  But I took the bar home, worked out it had 12 syns in and decided to have half on Tuesday half on Wednesday. I took the first bit and ate it really slowly and really really enjoyed it. I then spread it out through the day. I felt no guilt and I enjoyed it much more for taking the time to notice I was eating it.

I am also deeply in love with the chocolate orange cake recipe I was given. This time I made it as cupcakes, topped with quark and orange. But the bit that makes me smile even more than how yummy they taste is the comparison to the little Kipling country slice next to it. Mr Kilping cake 6 syns - verses - chocolate orange cake of yummy which is 1 syn *happy dance*

So with recipes like that and a new found ability to eat chocolate in a slow and mindful way you can see why I am feeling a new surge of determination. I will still avoid making myself a 'treat' box as I know I would then begin eating chocolate because it was just there. Once I am a little further down this path and these new ways are becoming more of a habit I will get to a place where I am happy and comfortable to have a little stock of yummy in the cupboard. But I am very aware of where I am now and know its not time for that just yet.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

plateau time?

Well apparently it takes woman on average six weeks to break, stop or fail at a 'diet' Maybe the body reaches a plateau? Maybe you get complacent with the diet rules? Maybe your body gets used to the food change? Who knows but for what ever reason I have only lost half a pound in two weeks. Now this news this morning is a huge test for me not to go back to old habits (in a weird way I'm glad its happened so I can test myself!) I have not broken the diet in the last two weeks but I may not have been as strict as before, the honeymoon period has passed? Now I know my focus was more healthy than weight loss but it is still my goal to reach my target weight by my birthday in a healthy sustainable way. *WITHOUT* going back to those old habits.

It could be to do with that certain time of the month, I am very bloated right now... or is that an excuse? Trying to be mindful about it but not obsess will be my goal today. I did loose its not a disaster, I ate until I was full and I didn't put any weight on *smashed old rule* I have been eating more in volume so maybe my eat until full gauge is still of and swung the other way a bit. Time to be portion size conscious for a while. But I must not restrict now, I must NOT cut right back. My consultant recommended I use the express menu sample to give my body a kick start this week. Hmm another bad habit of mine would be to panic and jump on that 'I MUST follow that diet plan rigidly for a week' Hang on I have just planned this weeks food! I'm not doing that again!! Maybe I can get some lunch or breakfast ideas from there?

So a week of being mindful and aware and not over reacting and over compensating *sigh* this is gonna be a tough few days I think.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Been a good few days

So this weeks weigh in showed another loss it was half a pound less than I had hoped but I found it much easier and quicker to snap out of that and celebrate the another healthy week of eating and not focus on the side issue of weight loss.

One thing really struck my in the meeting, a couple of people were talking about having meals out and how they would save or allocate syns so they could 'enjoy' their meals out. Other spoke up offering advice on not being to hard on themselves as it was special occasions and they should just relax and enjoy their food. Now I agree with the don't be hard on yourself mentality, OK I'm still learning how, but agree with the sentiment!

But what struck me was the realisation I was surrounded by people who were not only able to 'enjoy' food but actively prioritise it as part of the eating out experience. But for me the worst bit about eating out is the food - Goodness I just realise how odd I sound. Socialising and having a laugh is my priority, but the food.... hmmm. Don't get me wrong its not that I don't like eating good food, who doesn't? But for the last twenty odd years the activity of eating out has been something I have hated, though I am much better than I used to be the old feelings are still there in some form or another. For many years I struggled to even eat my lunch in front of co-workers. Eating was a daily issue, three times a day plus all the hunger pangs I ignored chipping away at my sanity between meals.

The feelings of intense discomfort (bordering on panic at times) used to begin before I even enter the restaurant I would monitor what I ate that day and not eat lunch to 'allow' for the extra and unknown food that night. When it came to looking at the menu a couple of other factors come into play my money worries over the years would often been going for whatever is cheapest and my dyslexia means I am a slow reader and this gets much worse when I am in a stressful situation. I still rarely read a whole menu, its more scan it and pick something quick. I will constantly monitor others around the table, how much they are ordering, how many bread sticks they have eaten. Not because I care about what the effect of what they eat has on them as that's their lookout. But I feel I need to try and eat less than everyone else there if at all possible, I'm still not sure about this rule. I don't know where it came from but if I see someone else eat more than I would I then eat less than I had planned to try and balance it out.... yeah.... that's a weird rule. I am interested as to how the experience of eating out will be now, and I get to find out next month if I can sort out a baby sitter for our anniversary. 

I have also been interested to listen to the members of the group that fill syn boxes of all the things they miss mainly chocolate bars for the week. It never even occurred to me to fill a box like that. A box full of what you love healthily measured out seems like a great idea, but I would worry I would eat it all in one evening and old habits would emerge. I was having a lot of chocolate before this one bar a day sometimes two, eating on the run, hiding from stress or just habit - lots of reasons. But I decided to go pretty much cold turkey on it and its working for me. I have had a few Ferraro Rocher and that went well so I decided this week that I would buy a bar of 'nice' chocolate to divide into syn allowances so I could have a treat in back up for when I fancied it. But I forgot my guide book, and didn't know which one to get! I saw some interesting chocolate mint rice crispy bars but didn't pick them up as I didn't know what their 'syn cost' was. But it felt very different from the restrictive behaviour of the past, I wasn't giving myself a hard time it was calmer focused thought of 'I'm not in possession of all the facts on this and I want to make an educated choice' I will check the stats and go back next week with a couple of ideas of what I would like to go for.

And now for some pretty pictures!

Only a couple of new recipes for this week as I am starting to repeat favourites from previos weeks now. This one has definetly been added to the favourites list. Called Chicken pizza melts, a chicken breast covered in tomatoe, mushrooms, peppers and cheese - baked in the oven. It said to finish off under the grill to brown it, but it came out looking like this so I didnt bother. Tasted amazing.

This is a ham and cauliflower cheesey bake. Healthy honestly I followed the rules and everything! I wasn't blown away to start with but it grew on me, hubby liked it as well. I think it would be better with fresh cauliflower, but I forgot to pick some up so used frozen which is nowhere near as nice.

 Finally tonights dinner of chicken Korma, I do like a curry with peas in. This was very yummy and not to sickly as I find some kormas to be. The cream taste was added using Fromage frais and had the interesting idea of serving with a lime slice to squeeze ontop. However cutting a lime for just two slices seemed such a waste... so we had it with Gin and Tonics as well!

Either tonight or tomorrow morning I am going to make a chocolate cake... which is something that would normally be a huge temptation for me to have in the house. Its a new recipe and follows the plan rules so even if I have a couple of bits I will still be on plan. Lets see how it goes :-/

Big progress this week in both my attitude to things and my ability to keep motivated and focused rather than run away from food, on a side line halfway to loosing the little bit of weight I wanted to as well as being told by three people today that I looked slim, healthy and very well - all this hard work is starting to pay off... *happy and tired sigh*

PS - sorry for spelling mistakes but spell check didnt want to work tonight! Grrrr
PPS - sorry about odd spacing it looks fine and just goes like this when I press preview! Double Grrrr

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pancake heaven

 To tired to do a big post tonight, will write about this weeks meeting over the next few days.

So for tonight I will just give you my choice of pancake for tonight.

The banana/egg pancake I discovered last week

+ 1 table spoon of Nutella (yes I measured it!) = 4 syns

+ one cherry flavoured Muller light

a banana black forest gateau pancake! It was extremely nice and I would have had a second had I not been so full up from the rest of my dinner!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

planning not failing!

Today I was away from home all day at a course. It was bring you own lunch and I knew there was takeaway for dinner, also it was in a remote area not near any shops. So heeding the advice I had been given before I knew I had to go prepared.

And here is the result... 

I had my usual breakfast before I left. Lunch was ratatouille, taco beans and pasta - followed by melon and kiwi. Snacks through out the day were apples, banana, alpen light bar and carrots dipped in cottage cheese.

But its dinner I am the most proud of, I had been told it was fish and chips and I didn't want to be the only one not eating it. So I checked my eating plan books and took a salad and a jacket potato with me. Then when everyone else ordered I asked for cod and *no* chips and a portion of mushy peas! I then.... and I cant quite believe I did this... took the batter off the fish! This made my dinner totally syn free instead of giving into peer pressure and not wanting to be the odd one out. If I had gone along with everyone else that meal would have come to over double my daily allowance. Instead I am well under it.

So I declare today a major win for me being in control of food and not the other way round.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Enjoying food?!?!

Its all about the food today, I seem to spent so much time thinking about or preparing food these days. But not in an obsessional way as I had feared. My attitude to running away from food has calmed so much I am now able to plan a weeks food without dissolving into panic or freezer meals. This way of cooking does take time to prepare I was chopping my lunch up at 11.30am.

Forward planning and paying attention to my portions also means leftovers which eases the stress of lunches a lot. I am no longer ignoring food as long as I can until around 2.30pm I am so hungry I feel sick. My desperation to eat something would then mean I just grabbed the quickest and normally unhealthiest thing I could find. Not preparing a lunch to take to work would often mean not eating until I finished around 2pm and grabbing a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar to scoff so fast I didn't even notice let alone enjoy them. I don't miss that way of eating one bit *win*

So today's food has been amazing I had to share it all! Lunch was red onions, butternut squash, parsnip, carrot and sweet potato roasted with a drizzle of maple syrup towards the end of the cooking time. I got the idea of the maple syrup from another recipe and it is well worth the one syn it costs. I love the way it goes a little sticky especially with the crunch of the vegetables and rock salt.

Next up was a banana pancake. My group leader mentioned this and I thought 'err that's weird' But when I realised I had a black banana that really needed eating or chucking I gave it a go. You just mash a banana, whisk in an egg and bung it in a frying pan. It goes all kind of foamy and looks a bit odd, I couldn't flip or turn it so finished the top off under the grill. I had it with apple and a dollop of natural yogurt, but it would have been just as nice on its own. It tasted absolutely heavenly and I think it will be a regular weekend breakfast.... or anytime treat really! Cant recommend this highly enough! :-)

Finally dinner was a recipe card my hubby picked up, for beetroot risotto. I kind of didn't want to like it as grating four beetroot has to be one of the messiest things I have done in a long time, but I will be cooking it again. Very simple recipe and I'm glad I didn't decide to leave the red wine out. Along with the roasted veg I'm very high on my syns today, but I am not over and more importantly I have really enjoyed all the food I have eaten. Now that is a lovely thing to me able to type here. I am also looking forward to eating like this for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Health not weight ... health not weight...

Trying to keep that going around my head at the moment, but struggling to focus on health. As I have said before it is impossible to separate my relationship with food and my body issues. I had a hope of how much I had lost in the last two weeks since I was weighed and I found out this morning I didn't loose as much as that.  I am struggling to stay focused on the fact I have eaten healthily and well and *still* lost weight without resorting to any of my past bad habits.

I cant allow myself to become obsessed with ever pound I want to loose, the weight loss has to just be a happy side effect of me gaining and maintaining control over my old rules. Way way easier said than done, I have looked at what I have eaten and can see exactly why I haven't lost as much as the first week. I have eaten a little chocolate most nights last week (still well within the plan) but eating that instead of fruit in the evening will have slowed things down. Now I *need* to be ok with that, and I am partly, but not fully. I know why I wanted the chocolate (had pmt) and I chose to treat myself to chocolate, it tasted good, I enjoyed it and there was no guilt at the time. I'm not going to spoil that by feeling guilty now.

Food continues to be colourful, but it is easy to slip and not have as much fruit and veg as ideal. I am going to try to be more mindful this week about the balance of different food groups. Lunch was extremely lovely and will definitely be made again.

Roasted sweet potato (drizzled with a little maple syrup!) on a bed of spinach and green lentils

 Even more spinach for dinner! This time with chicken and butternut squash, seasoned with cumin and coriander. I am surprised how many different herbs and spices I am using as they have always been a bit of a mystery to me and I normally just play it safe and add mixed herbs!

So I am prepared for the morning with leftovers from today's lunch already packed in my lunch box, with a banana and a cereal bar I have no reason to pop into the tuck shop at work and pick up a chocolate bar.

Before I started this three weeks ago I was having 3 or 4 chocolate bars a week (Snickers, Double Deckers etc) Now that isn't a huge amount but I wasn't even noticing or enjoying them. What is the point on having something that isn't hugely healthy if you are not even enjoying it!? Crazy eating. Now when I do have chocolate it feels special, it feels a treat and I notice eating it and boy do I enjoy it! That's a really good shift of thinking. 

So onwards and upwards to the next week

Monday, 4 February 2013

Oh look legs!!

So my love affair with the scales came to an abrupt end last week when I asked Hubby to hide them and I have been going quietly nuts since then... But I havent turned the house upside down looking for them yet, I just look forlornly at the space they used to fill :-(  But I am sure I have lost some weight and I have had some compliments saying I look slim, but at the end of the day it how I feel in me that matters. My clothes do feel different already and today I got ready for work and for some reason put on a pair of thin tights and a short dress (mental really as it was jolly cold today!) I am normally very self conscious of my legs and only wear short dresses over jeans/thick tights or leggings. So what happened today?

Wish I knew! But I do feel different in my skin, more comfortable. I hope there will be more short dresses and skirts in the future.

Tonight I am preoccupied with tomorrow mornings weigh-in as it is my first weigh-in for two weeks - I am very nervous about it. I have an idea of what I think/hope I have lost, but what interests me is how I will react if it is not as much as that. I am still resetting my head as to what it is to be full, what a healthy weight for me is and how to get to healthy weight in a healthy way.

I'm definitely less scared of food, but if tomorrow doesn't go as well as I hope I wonder if I will blame the food I have eaten? This still feels unreal... I don't feel I can really 'trust' the food I am eating as I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact I am breaking my food rules after so many years.

Lets see what the morning bring. I just need to remember that I am in control of the food *not* the other way round.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Taking a compliment

Another different breakfast topping today, this time a fresh fruit salad. Again yummy, but nothing beats the mixed berries for me. I am getting better at not putting breakfast off, this is just a habit as I now have a type of breakfast I really like and I know eating it will stop me snacking on rubbish mid-morning.

I have been told the secret to sticking to this type of healthy eating plan is well to plan! Lunch on a Monday and Wednesday when I am working have, for as long as I can remember, been a sandwich in the car on the way home. So I have started taking something in that fits my plan, so far this has been a portion of the soup I made or leftovers from the night before. Of course this saves me money as well as helping me stick to food plan, and just to put a smile on my face I get to take it in the best ever lunchbox in the world which was a Christmas present last year. How cute is that? The bottom one gets filled with fruit and the top with my main meal. All microwavable and really leak proof even when I happily swing it by the handle on my walk into the office! Having something nice to eat out off is having a good effect as well. I'm making an 'event' of eating again aren't I?

 Now back to my title - I'm not alone in struggling to accept a compliment I know, For me its particularly bad when its a 'you look nice' one. Today I had three compliments on how I looked, two of them specifically mentioning how slim I was looking. Well that melts my brain when I am feeling bloated and out of contact with what my weight is doing. I am very thankful of it today though as I stored them away as evidence against my rule of eating until I feel full means I will get fat. I also stopped to focus on the fact my clothes felt comfortable, especially as I was wearing a skirt I haven't been able to get into for about four years. Now if all the meals I have had in the last week that have left me feeling very full had made me fat then that skirt would have been uncomfortable or lets face it I wouldn't have got it on!

And talking of feeling full, tonight's dinner defeated me and I didn't have a full portion as I was beginning to become uncomfortably full. This bowl of comfort is called 'Cowboy Pie' and I really enjoyed it. Basically its a version of cottage pie with baked beans in and a healthy amount of Worcester sauce. It also uses spring onions which I have never used like this and they added a nice taste.

Although I'm finding this process so helpful, but I think I am going to have to stop writing every day as I'm getting nothing else done in the evenings!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Breaking the rules

The day started with less putting off going into the bathroom than yesterday, but still feeling very uncomfortable about the scales cold turkey. I missed my weekly meeting this morning due to seeing my counsellor and I'm dreading another whole week before I know what my weight has done. After getting washed and dressed I realised there had been a slight disaster as I had forgotten to take my portion of frozen berries out last night so had nothing to pop on top of my Weetabix.

Normally not having access to what I feel is a safe food option would make me panic, but I wasn't as bad as I have been in the past. I looked around the kitchen, got my food guide out and had the usual Weetabix and Almond milk topped with a toffee Muller light, banana and a little cinnamon. Not as good as the berries, but a very acceptable and yummy substitute :-)

I had a great session with my counsellor and we discussed me being discharged in a month or two, once I have continued to stay stable and also had some relapse training as well. Fab news :-) Today was all about testing my rules and I have begun with the one that is effecting me the hardest right now, and that is this one.

 ‘Eating enough to feel full means I will get fat’ 

I have now been set the task of pulling that rule apart with these following five questions.

1 – Where did I learn this rule?

2 – Where and how do I play it out? How do I know it is there?

3 – What are the consequences of this rule?

4 – If someone else who you cared about had this rule how would you view it?

5 – How can I change it into a healthy functioning rule? What behaviour could I change?

Now I'm being pretty honest and open here but I am not going to publish the answers here though I may touch on some points it brings up in the future. I just wanted to share the process of hunting for evidence and checking the validity of faulty rules and assumptions. However if you want to chip in some thoughts to question 4 for me I would be interested in you comments.

Lunch was some more of the soup I had yesterday but I added some very pretty star shaped dried pasta and had a starry soup. Pretty healthy food that made me smile :-)

Dinner tonight was rice (a measured portion for one) and a portion of Ratatouille. As I hadn't had all of my Healthy A extra I crumbled 30g of Feta on top. It left me feeling very full. But was a good test of what it feels like to eat a proper portion and I am now focusing on what this point of full feels like.

It's a big shift in perspective for me and without the scales to back up my thinking around the above rule I am not making life easy for myself. I'm also due on this week, so will be retaining water and that will make me feel bloated. I know over the next seven days its gonna get worse as the sensations in my body are going to be screaming that my rule is correct. I just have to follow the healthy eating plan and hang on until next Tuesday when I can finally find out where I stand. I really dont do things my half do I? Oh well I'm too stubborn to back out now!