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!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Making progress

Been an odd day and I’m knackered now. The morning turned into a bit of a rush as I put off getting showered as long as I could, desperate to weigh myself but knowing when I went into the bathroom the scales would not be there. Sounds pathetic but first thing I felt frozen about going into the bathroom. However I didn’t try and look for them either which I am very proud of!

Once I had had a coffee, woken up a bit more and given myself a stern talking to I was able to get washed and dressed without any problem then sit down to this breakfast.

Still no guilt about eating it as I know what is in it. This was today's breakfast and well look at it! The remainder of Sundays pancakes, mixed berries and natural yogurt. I think all Monday breakfasts should start with a cherry on top!

After a rescue mission to get a stranded lovely hubby home, the evening got a bit rushed and by the time darling daughter was in bed we needed a quick easy tea. For us this used to be beans on toast with a couple of poached eggs. But as I discovered last week, the bread in the bread pushed me over my allowance. So I found the solution of pasta (free on my plan) this is now my favourite quick cant be bothered end of a long day dinner. Pasta – baked beans – poached eggs

I’m loving the fact I seem to have power over food rather than the other way round. I went to the supermarket today (again! I always forget something and have to go back!) and was able to walk past so many foods I would normally desire to pick up, sometimes without even thinking. The usual things chocolate, cake, crisps that kind of thing. Wasn’t even tempted today which considering where my hormones are right now I would normally be devouring a small mountain of it... I do however have one Ferrero Rocher sitting next to me and now I am done here, I’m off to enjoy it – which of course means eating it in a the childish way of biting all the chocolate off and then pulling the wafer ball apart!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

weight on my mind

Was fine about hubby hiding the scales yesterday and I should have been fine this morning. I broke the habit of weighing myself everyday ages ago, as I used them yesterday logic says I should have been fine this morning and not even noticed for a few days. But I felt really itchy that I couldn't check today especially after last nights dinner which was Haggis, Mashed tatties and neeps, mushrooms and onions cooked in Whiskey and  gravy.. with a glass of red wine.... and a chocolate to follow. All in all I didn't do to badly as far as the plan is concerned only one syn over so no big drama and I didn't feel guilty, quite happy in fact as it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But its the first time I have gone over my allowance of anything  and I think that is why I really wanted to check this morning.

I would like to say it got better as the day went on, but I have had been extra careful with what I ate and just want to weigh myself. I'm kidding myself I would be fine if I just weighed once more as I know the next day I would want it again. When I put it like that it sounds like some sort of an addiction - but I didn't need them all the time when I *knew* they were there. I'm hoping these feeling lessen over the week.

I shall focus more on my lovely pictures. I have been thinking more about all the photos I am taking of my food. It is helping me so much and I'm not sure why. I wonder if there is a bit of aversion therapy going on as well the more I look at pictures of the food the less scared I am of it. In fact I would go so far as to say I'm pretty proud of it all which is another very pleasant change

Breakfast was a triumph today it looks so decadent but is so good. Very odd making pancakes out of yogurt and porridge and eggs, but it works well. I just need to get better at turning them. I plan to have the rest of the pancakes with yogurt and berries for tomorrows breakfast.

Dinner was a vegetable and bean soup, very simple and very tasty - I spent some syns on a slice of fresh bread to dip in it as well. So funny weighing a slice of bread but I had no idea what to allow for it as it was an uncut loaf!

So all in all the way I am feeling about food is improving... but the way I am feeling about my body is worse due to not having scales and feeling out of control. I need to focus on the fact its the food that gives me control not the scales. This feels like an impossible challenge right now.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Supermarkets rules

For various reasons (stuff not in stock and forgetfulness) I have been to two different supermarkets in two days. I really hate going into those places, I distract myself with the nice sections first... Oh look clothes.... stationary.... music...home ware.... and then I can’t avoid it any longer and I have to hit the food sections (Cue dramatic music! Well in my head anyway!) 

It feels a little silly to say but I have been scared of food for a long time, how sad it that... I listen to ‘foodie’ people talk passionately about a recipe and part of me is jealous they get that much pleasure from the whole experience preparing, cooking and eating. I just go into a bit of a spiral of ‘but what about that bit? Can you use that? Isn’t that bad?’ etc. Which in the past has made preparing meals a hellish task, but I am getting more excited about it now, especially as I feel I am beginning to really understand what ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food is. Yes ok I know food isn’t really good and bad it’s all about moderation but you’re in my head now and this is how it works. I have grouped food as ‘good/bad’ for as long as I remember but my grouping system is another highly dysfunctional rule. I have the obvious ones Apple = good and Chocolate = bad. But I tried to make them absolute rules and then things get confusing and made no sense to me. I hated it when things got messed up like Apple = good, but Apple pie = bad.  

But my ‘good/bad’ rules got worse over the years as I began to define my rules of good and bad from others behaviour. The people I met, what I saw them eat and their body shapes and comparing to mine. Now my body image is totally screwed I have been pulled up many times by saying I am the same body shape/size as someone only to have whoever I am talking to go ‘What? You are nothing like them’ So this is another screwed perspective to add to the list, and this one is proving harder to fix as although I know what I see in the mirror is not what you might see... well.... are you sure? It’s not that I think my family and friends are lying, it’s just the two images really don’t match up.
Before I continue, I want to really make the point I am not passing judgement on others and what they eat and how they live their life. I realise that it’s going to sound judgemental no matter what I type here as at the end of the day I am comparing myself to others and well.... most people would see that as a judgement. It is more like I am looking around and going I don’t like that haircut or that hair colour, I’m not saying short spiky blue hair is wrong – I’m saying I don’t want short spiky blue hair (quietly prays I haven’t just offended any people with short blue spiky hair!) 

Where was I before all that.. Oh yeah *deep breath* Supermarkets. Once inside a supermarket I constantly scan others trolleys the rule as always been if I see an overweight person with something in their trolley that I have in my trolley I take it out. Now I suppose there was some level of logic if their trolley is full of chocolate cakes but far more often than not they would have something like a bag of salad. So my screwed up thought process now wants me to take the salad out of the trolley... but salad is good... but that person is over-weight... but but... At the other end of the scale I see a thin person with nothing but a chocolate cake and an apple in their trolley suddenly I feel a surge of excitement as this person must know the secret to healthy eating look at them they look great! They have invented the chocolate cake and apple diet! You can see why it used to take me hours to do the shopping!! 

I constantly judge myself against others and no matter who they are and what size they are I will find something that I am unable to live up to and put myself down for. I know no one is perfect * but where as I am happy to accept that others are not perfect, applying that to myself is a little harder. Did I say little harder? It’s a lot harder, one of the hardest parts of this challenge

However things are changing, this week I noticed I didn’t go off my shopping list once. I stayed focused and I didn’t look in others trolleys (apart from the one that had a very cute toddler going ‘chaaarge’ in it!) I didn’t go down aisles I didn’t need stuff from and I got to the checkout and felt happy about everything on the conveyer belt. Another good step for me, it was also quicker, less stressful and less stressful. So maybe supermarkets don’t have to be that bad.

Oh and before I go....Lovely hubby has hidden the bathroom scales today. I admit I had one last quick weigh this morning but that was it and as I am missing group this week in order to see my counsellor so I won’t know what impact my healthy eating is having on me for another nine days. I am feeling very anxious about that, it is the longest I have gone without weighing myself in approximately 18 years. Crumbs. I just need to remember to trust the system and know what I am eating....

*Except maybe the girl who invented the chocolate cake and apple diet!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Not about the weight....

In my first entry I said this blog was not about ‘how to lose weight’ what I meant was this blog will NEVER be a ‘do what I did and you will be thin and life will be perfect’ sort of read. If my words inspire someone in any way that’s amazing but you make your own life what it is. I now understand it is impossible for me to not focus on my weight as I write as, well it is woven into my relationship with food. I have been really touched by the messages people have already sent encouraging me to keep going and how they are interested in what I am saying (I’m gobsmacked to be honest). Someone said it takes a lot of guts to put myself out there in this way. I am positive that if I wasn’t at a point where I had pulled apart all my rules and believes on food and found them to be dysfunctional to say the least I wouldn’t be doing this. Some I haven’t spoken about yet I am a little embarrassed I used to stick to them so devotedly, but if I don’t admit to them, they may sneak back into my sub-conscious and re-emerge one day without me noticing. Instead I am going to publicly name and shame me past behaviour, ridicule it, pick on it and laugh at it so it can never returns as a serious belief. 

.... I must be mad!

So next on my list is those bathroom scales...

The subject of weighing myself came up in comments to my last post and it really got me thinking. I used to weigh myself everyday and depending on what they said would dictate that day’s food intake to an extreme. Excuse me for repeating myself from yesterday, I worked really hard to make sure I only weighed myself once or twice a week... Ok sometimes three times a week. But my daughter has seen me do this and now insists on standing on the scales as well. Now I know to her it is just a game you stand on the platform and the screen flashes and numbers appear (she loves counting) Even though she doesn’t understand what she is doing it breaks my heart when I see her and was one of the final straws for me in making a stand and getting this sorted once and for all. 

I get that the scales at my meetings are more accurate than mine at home. I hate that they weigh me in my clothes *shudder* For longer than I can remember I have weighed myself naked – first thing – before breakfast or coffee – after a wee! So in order to stop getting confused between the two differing weights I should no longer use the bathroom scales and only be weighed in meetings. Lisa suggested I get James to hide them.... at this point I suddenly felt a surge in anxiety – not having access to scales when I want them makes me very very nervous. It surprised me it was such a severe reaction, but that means I know I have to tackle it. So I will ask my lovely husband if he can hide them somewhere, I’m honestly not sure how I will feel or more importantly how my behaviour will change and find ways to compensate... but to say the least I’m nervous. The most obvious reaction for me will be to start restricting my food as I can’t know for sure the effect what I am eating is having on my body. But that’s the whole point of this I need to put those fears to one side and trust that I now know what I can eat lots of and what I should be aware of consuming too much of. 

I feel have to train myself to *know* the food I am eating at the point I choose to pick it up and put it in my mouth. To be mindful of why I am eating what I am about to munch, is it emotional? habitual? or within my plan for the day? Rather than deal with the issue once the scales go up a few lb. It is time to be pro-active not re-active... I’ll stop there before I start to sound like a self-help book!


I can’t believe how much taking photos of my food is helping me. I look back and don’t feel guilty; I look back and see colour and yum. I have always liked pictures more than words they make the page look pretty depending on how neatly I dished it up! 

Lunch - a jacket potato with chicken, chopped tomatoes, mushroom, sweet corn and herbs topped with Feta cheese and a salad on the side.

Dinner – leftover lasagna, left over baked beans and a side salad. Don't know why I had salad twice on such a cold day, I’m thinking of making some soup tomorrow!

PS - I'm having a glass of red wine this evening, I'm still within my syn allowance for the day, I have had a long hard think and can definitely say I don't feel guilty about the wine *grin*