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.