Does my mood affect my eating or does my eating affect my mood?

I’ve been feeling really good this last week or so.

Exercising regularly, eating well without crazy restriction and very minimal sugar. Whenever I’m on the high road I always wonder how long it is going to last. Work has been going really well, compared to my last job from a few months ago it is awesome.

I am also just in a really good mood. All the time. Which is great, but how long will it last?

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I know this isn’t going to last and I’ve previously posted, I think, about maintaining all these positive things when things stop going well.

I don’t even know how to break down or identify when things start to go down, or even why.

Sometimes I think it’s because I stop exercising, which affects my endorphins which affects my sleep and it starts the downward cycle.

Other times I think it has something to do with my eating. Either eating a lot of processed food or sugar that affects my mood, or maybe it’s more biological than that and affects my gut. I’ve read about the link between gut health and depression. Not that I’m depressed but there is clearly a link there and I wish I knew what came first.

Does my mood affect my eating or does my eating affect my mood?

In all likelihood it is both.

So continuing this path of acceptance and self-love that I talked about in my previous post, I guess all I can do is recognise that I will go up and down. Things are never always going to be great and accepting that is a good thing. I’ve struggled a lot with quite extreme black and white thinking in the past and it’s a tough thought pattern to break.

Onward and upward xx

 

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All you need is…

I need to lose weight.

I hate saying that but if I am completely honest with myself it is true.

It feels uncomfortable saying that for so many reasons.

A big reason is that I have spent so much of my adult life beating myself up over everything and body image is huge for me. I have struggled with binge eating which started because of an isolated traumatic experience and a habit formed that I couldn’t let go. It was compounded further by feelings of inadequacy, striving for perfectionism and black and white thinking.

Saying that I need to lose weight also feels uncomfortable because I am so very very supportive of the body positive movement. I am very aware of the pressure being placed on people – it used to be women, but I think now it’s everyone – to have the perfect body.

But I don’t want to write about the body positive movement, this is my blog and today I’m writing about me. I know I need to lose weight because I have slowly but steadily been putting on weight throughout my adult life. I have just crossed in to dangerous territory where regular shop clothes are starting to not fit. Not every where, but there’s a lot of places that I used to shop in and now I avoid those stores because it’s been so long since anything has fit.

I have just crossed in to dangerous territory where regular shop clothes are starting to not fit.

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I also have a lot of clothes in my wardrobe that I want to fit into again.

Another reason that I want to lose weight is my health. I don’t have the energy I used to – I still do everything I want but I know my general health will be improved if I lighten up a bit.

I also – and I hate to admit this – but I found a fucking stretch mark! The horror! All you women out there – especially you mums, this is not a pregnancy stretch mark. This is a, I’ve put weight on and now it’s affecting my body in ways that I don’t want to admit, stretch mark. And no, I’m not a teenager so this is not about my body just growing up. Insert a big long sigh here.

So I’m short, I’m getting older (late thirties) and I know that it will just get harder for me to lose weight.

I see so many friends just set their mind to losing weight, and they do it. 10kgs – sure no problem! 20kgs – yep, I’ve got this! But me, with my not so distant history of binge eating struggles a bit more to lose weight. I’m sure it’s a combination of what’s going on in my head and what I’ve done to my body slash metabolism means that I find it very hard to lose weight.

So getting back to the point of this blog entry. I do have one.

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All you need is love.

This is a fairly new thing for me. I’m not in love, I’m as single as they come. I’m pretty happy too, although the self love thing is what I don’t have much of. But I’m trying to hold on to it. It’s working. I recently read an article about this lovely woman who lost like 100kgs who realised that you can’t create something positive from a place of negativity.

you can’t create something positive from a place of negativity

I’ve been trying to practice some self love and when I do, when I have compassion and kindness and all things nice, it works. I don’t struggle with my eating. I don’t struggle with procrastination. I’m more likely to see the good in other people and in myself.

Looking after myself and eating healthy food and exercising comes a lot easier when I am doing it from a place of kindness and not because I feel like shit. You know what I used to say to myself. I used to say that I sucked at life. That is so harsh. If ever I heard a friend talking like that I would be shocked and tell them how wonderful they are if only they could see themselves how others did.

I used to say that I sucked at life.

I wonder why it’s so hard for some people and not for others? I imagine some people would read this and think I was completely stating the obvious.

So there you go, all you need is love. Love. Love is all you need.

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.

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/