Happy, but nothing to do with Pharrell

Hi!

Health and mood are funny things.

I don’t know what it is, but for the last couple of weeks I have been in an incredibly good mood. I am cheerful all the time (seriously, I am). It’s not that I am not usually happy, I am usually in a good mood. But, I have my ups and downs. And when I’m down I have my binges and etc, I’ve talked about that before so won’t go into it again. And I also have days where I struggle with motivation and procrastination.

I don’t know what’s with me lately but I’m feeling very positive, energetic and happy.

Nothing much has changed. I have had a holiday recently so that could have put pep in my step (sorry that was corny, I don’t usually use the term ‘pep’).

So just to analyse what I have been doing differently over the past few weeks since my holiday:

  • I’ve been trying to get more out of my days, particularly now that it’s winter and the days are shorter (reminder I live in Australia) so I have been starting work earlier so that I can finish earlier. Luckily I have that flexibility. It means that I get some daylight at the end of the day rather than getting home in the dark, usually that gets me down towards the end of winter. I’m doing it mostly for my dog, so I can take him for a walk at the end of the day.
  • Because I’m starting early I’m also trying to make sure I get enough sleep so that I can get up earlier. I’m naturally a night person so on weekends and holidays I stay up later and get up later. But also the older I get the earlier I get up in the morning. How clichéd, haha.
  • I haven’t been stressing so much about diet, weight, blah. I should be. I probably put on a kilo or two over my holiday plus Easter. But I’m just not. I’m eating healthy, most of the time, but I’m also not stressing about eating perfectly. It’s not possible for me, I get too obsessive then I crave things and then the bad binge cycle starts. If I want something, I eat it. Then I make up for it.

Reflecting on this, I guess it’s the combination of being stress-free because of my holiday, feeling well rested and not having anxiety over weight and diet, that has resulted in me feeling good.

I am going to embrace this feeling of wellbeing and happiness! Bring it on, if only every day could be like this!

Celebrating my wins!

Win #1 19 days of eating no added sugar…no chocolates, candies or baddies!

Win #2 I’m 2 kilos down and feeling good

Win #3 The less added sugar I have, the less I seem to want it. Some very minor, “I could go some chocolate about now”, but not too bad in the scheme of things

Win #4 I can’t even remember the last time I binged, or thought about bingeing. It was probably around Christmas when people gave me so much chocolate.

Win #5 My skin is really clear at the moment. I guess it’s the Slow Carb Diet. But for the last five or so days, I’ve eaten no nasties at all. No dairy and no wheat. I usually have a couple of small pimples along my jawline, I’ve read that they are hormonal pimples, and they are totally gone. I wonder if it’s the dairy or the wheat.

Has it really been this long?

Wow, it’s been a really really long time since I last posted.

First of all, thank goodness Christmas is done and dusted. I am not a Christmas hater! There are lots of things I love about that time of the year: catching up with family and friends, end of year celebrations, summer sales and all that glorious food.

But there are also things I hate, um all that glorious food! Plus people giving me boxes of chocolate as presents!  Ahhh! I wish I had the courage to give them back! But I don’t, I take them and eat them and regret them. I can never even seem to throw them out. Anyway, I received maybe 2 or 3 boxes of chocolate, luckily not they were not that big.

I can’t believe it’s February already. I started a new job at the start of the year so the time has flown as I’ve been trying to get my head around everything.

But, I feel like I’m kind of getting back on track with health stuff. I put on the token and expected 2 kilos over Christmas. I think I’m down almost one. But today is day four of FebFast and I’ve given up sugar for the month. Yep, that crazy white stuff. I had been thinking of doing it for awhile, then a friend started a FF team, so I joined. The guidelines of FF are no refined sugar, but I’m extending it to no artificial sweetener (which I don’t eat anyway) and no sugar replacements like stevia, honey or syrup of any kind. What’s the point in giving up sugar when I can still buy the most amazing vegan chocolate! I know I’ve made it a bit harder for myself, but I feel accountable because I’m doing FF with friends. And I think it’s been good going cold turkey.

I have survived four days without chocolate. I think it was a blessing that it started on the weekend, it seemed to be easier then than Monday at work. When I got to that awful 3pm time, I started thinking about hot chocolate and that jar of chocolates on someone’s desk was calling me! But I didn’t succumb, I survived!

It’s interesting; I think I am actually thinking about food less. I love food, everything about it: buying it, preparing it and especially eating it. But today, for dinner I had a giant green smoothie! It was delish and filling.

A while back my naturopath told me that my thyroid was in the lower end of normal, and having read a lot of Sarah Wilson’s blog, she talks about how her thyroid condition improved when she gave up sugar. It took awhile, and she has hashimoto’s which is more severe than me, but I’m hoping I get good results too. I find it incredibly hard to lose weight so theoretically if my thyroid is working better, I should lose weight more easily.

Feeling in control

Two days ago, I almost binged.

I didn’t quite realise it at the time. But all the tell tale signs were there.

The day started off okay, it wasn’t my usual routine though. The thing that totally threw it out of whack was that I didn’t have my usual meals at the usual times.

Instead of having breakfast as soon as I get to work, I had a handful of nuts on the go.

Instead of having my usual lunch, I was out and about and grabbed something quick a bit later.

Because I had a late lunch, I wasn’t hungry at dinner and picked. Then I picked some more. I hadn’t done my weekly shop so I didn’t have much food around the house. But each time I picked I would have something small, and a little bit later I’d be hungry. Repeat.

Usually that kind of picking and eating small bits that don’t fill me up sets me up for a binge.

But in hindsight, the things I picked at were not really unhealthy, and the total quantity was not that different to a typical meal for me.

It’s nice to feel in control.

I’m ba-ack

It’s funny how a week ago I was feeling totally unmotivated. I had a binge slip up a bit over a week ago, and the few days after that my positivity dipped. But now I feel like it’s back.

I have no idea why.

I haven’t been sleeping well, but despite that my eating has been pretty good and super healthy, except I had one chocolate today. But it was just one regular sized chocolate bar. I can live with that.

My weight hasn’t moved at all. It seems to constantly stay around the same. Even when I binge and my food isn’t great and right through to when I’m eating super healthy and exercising regularly.

Maybe it’s because one cancels the other out?

I’ve also realised that I will never be consistent. Sometimes I’ll be positive and healthy and tracking well with my overall health, and other times I’ll feel down and not that great. But I guess if I can make those lows not so low, and the highs not so high I’ll be much more consistent and in the long run this seems better.

Is it weird that I’m in my 30’s and I’ve just realised this? Haha.

Balance. That’s what it’s all about. I don’t think I’m very good at it but I’ll give it a go.

Time for a vent

I hate, hate, hate it when skinny people talk about needing to lose weight.

I’ve gotten to the point where if a friend of mine starts saying anything like this. I turn silent. I refuse to offer a sympathetic ear and exacerbate their already warped view of their body.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not mean about it. I listen, I nod. I let them talk. But inside me. I am holding on to every bit of self-control to not roll my eyes or tell them to wake up, that they look great.

Every now and again I will tell them that they look great, and that they’re stressing over nothing.

I know that everybody, regardless of his or her body size, has an issue with weight. Everybody wants to be bigger here, smaller there, firmer here and softer there.

Maybe this frustration speaks more to my issues than anything else.

And I’m sure that me not commenting about my weight says more than anything else. But because nobody knows about my binge eating I just couldn’t bear if someone was to unknowingly minimise my situation by saying that I should just eat less and exercise more. There is so much more to it than that.

When someone comments on their weight and to me they look healthy, depending on my state of mind I either think they are fishing for a compliment or they have a warped view of themselves (mostly I think the latter).

Thank you to anyone who has read this.

Big sigh to get this off my chest; I’m sure many people have thought this before.

Where is my mind

The last few days since my last post have been funny kinds of days.

I’ve been pretty busy, and had lots to occupy my mind.

In my last post, 4 days ago, I talked about a binge. I haven’t binged since, but I have been overeating. A bit too much snacking, including getting into the lolly jar at work. Usually I avoid it because it brings back bad habits; I easily slip into the mid-afternoon sugar-craving urge. If I give in and have chocolate or lollies, I will usually crave the same a few hours later. That happened today. It wasn’t a typical binge, but I bought chocolate and ate it all, and it was too much for one sitting.

So I’ve been thinking about what’s been happening over the last few days to cause my motivation to dip. I feel like I’m kind of distracted from my health goals, which is eating healthy and not bingeing.

I haven’t been weighing myself. Previously, I’ve said that I shouldn’t weigh myself but since I’ve stopped I’ve binged and haven’t been eating my usual healthy foods. Not sure if there is a correlation there. On the one hand, maybe weighing myself keeps me accountable and is a daily reminder of my weight loss goals. But on the other hand it wasn’t great for my confidence.

Also, feeling so distracted has resulted in me eating mindlessly. I just eat without thinking, and before I know it I’m going back for seconds. The same with when I go food shopping, I just throw things in the basket. Today, I just wanted chocolate and just threw it in, it wasn’t a conscious thought. I didn’t give myself the time to process if that’s what I really wanted, and if there was a healthier alternative that I would be happy with.

Well, today’s lesson is clear, slow down and be mindful. Reflect and think about what I’m doing before I actually do it.

Here’s a very fitting song for how I’m feeling by the wonderful Pixies.

Major stuff up today

The day started off okay. I went out for lunch with friends, had a couple of glasses of wine. Then I stopped at the shops on my way home. I should have just gone straight home, there was nothing I needed to get that couldn’t wait.

I don’t know what came over me. I kept on putting item after item in my shopping basket. Food that I didn’t need: chips, popcorn, chocolate and biscuits.

When I got home I picked at everything, but I didn’t finish anything.

Initially I had this weird excitement, and then when I started eating I just didn’t want it and felt awful. But I kept on picking at it.

It didn’t go as long as some binges. I started with one item. Then would stop. Then I’d start again with the next item.

Even after the first couple of bites I realised I didn’t want it. But I didn’t stop straight away.

I still have the food sitting on my kitchen table. I’ve put it into a plastic bag. I know if I keep it in the house I risk eating it later tonight or tomorrow. I’m going to throw it in the rubbish bin outside.

I feel sick and awful.

Motivation!

Motivation is an interesting thing. My motivation is cyclical. It doesn’t matter what I am motivated about, it comes in waves: starting strong, keeping steady, and then eventually dropping off. When it’s work related I get through the slumps and make up for them when my motivation starts to peak. Sometimes I wish I could be more consistent, but usually there are external factors that spark up my motivation such as deadlines or events.

My motivation in relation to my health and struggle against binge eating is the same.

I just did some reading about the cyclical nature of motivation.

Motivation = driving state > behaviour aroused > behaviour directed towards goal.

This is an interesting theory: homeostasis, which explains the “stability of inner environment”. So when our “internal state” is not right, it motivates us to do something to fix it, once it is fixed we return to homeostasis.

I guess if I were to apply this thinking to how I have approached dieting or trying to lose weight in the past it would be:

Driving state:

I am not happy with my weight  (internal environment unstable)

Behaviour:

Dieting and exercise  (internal environment becoming stable)

Behaviour towards goal:

Dieting and exercise to lose weight (internal environment becoming even more stable)

So, even if I haven’t reached my weight loss goal my internal environment becomes more stable because I feel like I am doing something to reach my goal. Therefore I lose motivation because I am in “homeostasis”.

What is the solution?  Is there one?

Maybe the goal is too far away and my efforts need to be so long term that I eventually lose sight of the goal.

So, lesson here, make the goal:

  1. Not about weight loss because like I’ve shared previously that’s tough for me
  2. More about health and wellness and something I can control

This is easier said than done because even though when I write this blog I always say my current focus is on being healthy and getting past binge eating (which I am, I’ve been doing pretty well with it) I still weigh myself everyday and am disappointed!

I totally need to stop weighing myself, at least on a daily basis!

In my motivation research, here are some good tips for staying motivated:

1. Shift your vibe

Get rid of the negative self-talk by recognising it and squashing it! Replace it with something positive.

2. Stick with it

Recongise that motivation is cyclical and come back to it. Don’t give up!

3. Immerse yourself

Eat, sleep and breathe your goal.

4. Start small

Keep goals small and achievable.

PS – if you are reading this because your motivation is lacking, stick with it! You’ll get there!

References:

http://www.preservearticles.com/201104195558/facts-about-motivation.html

http://www.vibeshifting.com/surviving-the-slump-how-to-stay-motivated/

Sometimes I really hate my ‘irrational self’

I’ve been thinking about rational versus irrational. It’s interesting how I can feel totally positive, in control and rational in one moment; and then a few seconds later I can do a 180 and feel the total opposite.

Is it that I’m over sensitive and when something is out of my control I have a big reaction? Maybe. I can be controlling about some elements of my life, but not all. Obviously not all because I have experienced that total loss of control when binge eating.

This post kind of links with a previous one on positivity and negativity.

I thought I’d try to break it down and identify what goes through my head when I’m feeling irrational, maybe then if I can identify it, I can tell myself that I’m being irrational and talk myself into a more positive place.

It’s my irrational self that:

  • tells me to weigh myself every morning
  • makes me feel down on myself when I’m not happy with that figure on the scales or it inexplicably goes up for no reason at all
  • makes me think that food will be a comfort

When I feel strong and positive my ‘rational self’ is in control and:

  • tells me not to worry about what’s on the scales, because right now I am focussing on being healthy and getting my binge eating under control
  • takes joy in the fact that my bingeing is getting under control
  • tells me that my mildly underactive thyroid makes it harder for me to lose weight, it’s not impossible but progress will be slower
  • tells me that being healthy is better than being thin
  • reminds me that I have an injury that needs a couple more weeks to heal so exercise is on the back burner for a little while