For the love of fat

Anyone who has ever read any of my blog entries on this page would know that I have struggled with eating in a balanced, healthy way. I get cravings, I over eat and I emotionally eat. My meals are usually healthy, but snacking is my downfall as is eating at night. For years, it has really been an effort to lose weight. I can lose a kilo or 2, and a couple of years ago I lost 6 kilos. But I quickly put it back on. I can’t remember ever losing more than 6 kilos, instead I have gradually put on weight over the years and a couple of months ago I was the heaviest I have ever been.
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This year I have focused more on mindset and going gently, and about 3 months ago started eating low carb in an effort to lose weight before I turn 40 in a few months. After 2 months of eating low carb, I had lost about 4 kilos and after a friend had huge success with LCHF/keto I decided to ramp things up and give it a go.

The 4 kilos that came off  with moderate low carb, required effort and decent amounts of exercise (I know I know, weight loss is more about food than exercise, but for me it seemed to encourage more consistent weight loss).

Things got really exciting thought when I switched to LCHF/keto and I’ve lost 5 kilos in just under 4 weeks. The process also seemed to be effortless. The switch from moderately low carb to LCHF/keto was easy. I didn’t get the keto flu so many people get, and my food only needed a few tweaks. There are heaps of resources out there and facebook groups for support and food ideas, and I have to say it really is amazing! I always thought that I was one of those people that really struggled losing weight but I think I was doing it all wrong! And I’m not super strict! If I really really feel like it I will have chocolate but I’ll buy a single serve of the darkest chocolate. I also went to a wedding recently and ate everything, carbs and all! But the next day I went right back into it. A lot of people who are into keto would say that is a huge no no and it will throw you out of ketosis, but if I am losing weight and feeling good I don’t care what anyone says I will do what is right for me!

Here are the biggest changes over the last 3 months:

  • Lost 9 kilos in 3 months, with the last 5 eating keto and coming off in under 4 weeks
  • Clothes are looser
  • Energy is more consistent – no afternoon slumps
  • I typically eat 2 meals a day and I no longer snack
  • No more cravings!
  • Mood is more consistent
  • No more achy feet (this is an odd one, I used to get sore feet walking in bare feet but I no longer do. I put it down to the reduced inflammation in my body)
  • Sleeping better (a big one for me!)

For anyone thinking of going keto, I would highly recommend it!

Just remember that you can make it as simple or as complicated as you like! It really doesn’t need to be difficult!

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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

 

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.

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!

It’s been awhile, trying to get back into the swing of it

This will just be a short update.

I’ve been away on holidays and although I’ve been back for a while it’s been hard getting back into my routine. In the couple of weeks before I left the slow carb thing was going well. But I couldn’t maintain it while on holiday and on the move. So I put it on hold with the intent of going back to it as soon as I got back. But a few weeks later and I still haven’t.

And Easter. The dreaded Easter. Too much chocolate and no willpower to say no. I eat it straight away!

If I was an alcoholic people wouldn’t buy me bottles of wine! So frustrating! But how do you say no to people that are trying to do something nice. They don’t know what’s going on in my head.

Although I have eaten so much chocolate over the last week or so, it has almost run out thank goodness. So my goal for this weekend is to get back onto the wagon, not worry about the past and just move forward. Return to my routine, stock up the pantry and fridge with good, healthy food (which I really miss).

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.

Quick update on going Slow

Today is my third day on the Slow Carb D*&^, here’s a quick update on how I’m going:

I weighed myself this morning and I’m a kilo down from 2 days ago. I know I know what the response will be – in 2 days weight can fluctuate in a big way. But, for me, fluctuations only go up. Then they come back down to what I’m always at. That’s it. They never, ever go down and them come up. So a kilo down is a big thing for me.

I’m finding the protein at every meal a bit of a challenge. I’m not used to eating this much meat.

Since I’ve started here’s what I’ve been eating:

Day 1:

Roast chicken, salad and red kidney beans (I started at dinner)

Day 2:

2 small egg and vegetable muffins with red kidney beans

Roast chicken, salad and red kidney beans

Afternoon snack: Can tuna and beans, handful of snowpeas

Steak, salad and red kidney beans

Evening snack: 1 small egg and vegetable muffin

Day 3:

2 small egg and vegetable muffins, with lentils

(Note: I made a batch of egg and vegetable muffins in advance for breakfasts)

I had the snacks because I was hungry a few hours after my meal, but the eating plan advises to have 4 meals a day (a small lunch late afternoon).

Past the halfway mark!

I’ve just passed two weeks with no added sugar.

I’m feeling so proud of myself because I am a self-proclaimed chocolate addict. And I can’t believe how many things have sugar in them. Some are obvious – condiments and the like, others like canned salmon are not obvious! I’m feeling very positive about the next couple of weeks and I know that I can get through.

As an aside, it’s surprising how many people like to point out obvious things to create a negative spin. I’ve probably done it in the past, but my goodness I am so aware of it now. I have had so many people say “fruit has sugar”, “alcohol has sugar”, “carrots have sugar”. I KNOW! Everything has sugar! But it’s natural sugar. I am cutting out added sugar, which I have said over and over.

Sigh.

Going back to the point of this entry though, I wanted to share that I was a little frustrated that I hadn’t lost more weight.

But I need to remind myself that:

  • I eat lots of nuts, in fact too many I think
  • I wasn’t really “watching” my diet, I just tried to eat normally which is usually healthy

So, I hate to be one of those people (actually I don’t really know who those people are) that try different diets all the time. But I was listening to a podcast the other day and Tim Ferriss was interviewed and talked about his Slow Carb Diet.

Without going on about the interview, I thought it sounded good, healthy and like something I could stick to. Even though I know what is good for me, I feel like I can rationalise anything!

In my head:

  • I can eat nuts, nuts are healthy and contain good fats
  • I can eat this dark chocolate (before the no sugar thing) it has lots of antioxidants
  • I can have a bit of this, because it will prevent a binge later if I have a small amount now

And the list goes on.

So the basics of the Slow Carb Diet are:

  1. Avoid white carbs
  2. Eat the same meals over and over (protein source, legumes and vegetables)
  3. Don’t drink calories
  4. Don’t eat fruit
  5. Take one ‘cheat’ day off per week

1 to 4 are followed for 6 days, and there are no rules for number 5. Although there are some guidelines like eating a healthy breakfast, increasing exercise and only buying enough food for the one day so cheat foods are not around the house for the rest of the week.

It is very early days; I only started last night for dinner and had breakfast this morning following the eating plan (let’s not use that awful D-word). After dinner, I thought there is no way this is going to keep me full, but it did. I would usually have a snack later in the night too, but I didn’t last night and sometimes if I have had a light or early dinner I’ll wake up hungry. But this morning I was fine.

Wish me luck xxx

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.

Been busy, but I’m back

Wow, it’s been ages since my last post.

The time has flown; it’s been a busy few weeks. I can’t believe we’re so close to Christmas.

The last month has been good. I’ve had some really fun events with family and friends. And my work is going really well.

But that’s not really what I wanted to write about.

I wanted to write about health and bingeing and all the other things I always focus on. The bingeing has been okay, not fantastic but certainly not that bad. I’ve started to think about my bingeing habits as low level and high level. I define high level as that totally out of control, will eat anything around teamed with extreme negative thoughts. Even though it is about it being a large amount of food, it’s more about how out of control I feel.

I haven’t had any high level binges in more than a month. That’s a good thing and I’m proud of myself for that.

But my low level bingeing is still there. Maybe some people would say that I’m not bingeing that I’m just overeating. But I know that it’s bingeing. Sometimes it’s like I don’t think about what I’m doing. These binges typically go the same way. I’m usually at the supermarket, I might be walking around with a basket or a trolley and I go down the confectionary or snack aisle and mindlessly through a couple of things in the trolley. I still look at what I throw in. I check out what is on sale. But I never stop and think (like I always say I will). I don’t know what it is. Sometimes I know that I do the thing that I should never do – go shopping when I’m hungry. But that’s not always the reason.

I always tell myself that that will be the last time. But it’s not. I do it a couple of times a week.

So these low level binges then end up with me at home, sometimes wanting the binge food and sometimes not. But I already have it at home so I eat it. Sometimes I will polish off a large packet of chips, or a chocolate block (usually the Lindt ones, so they are big, but actually only a bit bigger than a Cadbury individual chocolate block….man, I sound like I am justifying this).

I don’t usually finish things off in one go. But I always start on the food as soon as I get home, but after thinking why did I even buy this stuff?

I get so frustrated in myself.

I’ve been doing this about once a week, sometimes twice a week.

It’s not enough to have caused me to put on weight. Yet. Because I still eat really healthy food for most of the time. But it has made it impossible to lose weight.

I’ve also been struggling with some negative thoughts – maybe it’s the holiday season.