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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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.

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).

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.

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

Naturopath, thyroid and wheat

Late last year I visited a naturopath because I was struggling to lose weight. It was at a time when I didn’t really acknowledge my issues with food. I’m not quite sure what I was thinking when I did binge, but listening to others speak on the Quit Binge Eating podcast it’s quite common to a) not realise you’re binge eating at the moment (I recall sometimes stopping, and realising I had been eating) and b) when I think back I don’t think I remember all the binge eating that I’ve done over the years, it kind of blends into the background.

Anyway, so I went to the naturopath to get some advice about losing weight. I wanted to lose weight in a healthy way and weightwatchers had never worked for me, and I hated lite and easy food (yuck). Friends had done juice fasts but the results never last.

When you first visit a naturopath they get you to do blood tests to check for the usual things, one being thyroid.

When I went to the GP to pick up my results, he said everything was normal.

I took my result to the naturopath and she said that my thyroid was mildly underactive (hypothyroid). I told her what the GP had said and she said that in the view of mainstream medical practitioners their window for normal is much smaller, but she advised that if I look after my diet (more fruit and veg) and take herbal supplements I can help my thyroid issue before it gets so bad it has an impact and I need to take medication.

Interesting!

So as a result of my mild thyroid issue I find it a bit harder to lose weight – it’s not impossible, but progress is slow.

I’ve been reading up on the link between gluten/wheat and hypothyroidism and even though I won’t get into the technical stuff, people who have hypothyroidism are generally encouraged to avoid wheat. (Google wheat and thyroid for more info)

So I’m going to do a test. I’m going to cut out wheat for a bit to see if that has any impact on my weight or how I feel.

I think it’s going to be tough because I love bread!  I don’t eat white bread or anything, or even that much bread. But I love wholemeal pitta bread and often use it to make a quick healthy pizza or wrap.

So here we go.

Wish me luck.

🙂

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