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Thinking Slimmer – 1st Week In the Trial

I’ve decided to update my Thinking Slimmer post  to let you know how I am going with it.  I have even give it a category all of its’ own.  At the moment, I am not terribly sure how well it is going.  It is still early days in the scheme of the programme.   The programme states that it takes about three weeks for it to become a new habit.  I am ok with that.

How am I doing so far?

In the first few days, I was not sure if the programme was working, or if the fact that I was on the programme was the incentive in itself.  Even, by the nature of posting the results, and reviewing the programme, it can have a placebo type effect.  That’s what I told myself anyway.

Now getting to the first week in, I am noticing small changes, as the programme tells me.  I am making better food choices already.  I am not eating so much, and my confidence is improving.  There is nothing like keeping on hearing it, to help you believe in yourself.

We should try this on the kids when they are dropping off to sleep.  “You will be quiet and respect your mother in the supermarket.”  Joking aside, I am feeling much more positive than I did a week ago.   Is it coincidence, or is it as a result of the programme?  I don’t know, and only time will tell how it works for me.

I have decided not to weigh.  I become obsessed with numbers when I step on the scale, and I want to free myself of that particular reason to shake my confidence.   I am going to do this differently from how Thinking Slimmer is judging results so far.   As a stress eater, taking the stress out of the equation is the best option for me.

I am going to judge my losses and how it works by my clothes and how comfortable I feel, and how positive my outlook becomes.    I don’t want to look at the scales and see how many pounds I have dropped.  I want to know how good I feel wearing whatever sized clothes I am putting on, and how I feel when I look in the mirror.

Roll on week 2.   I began quite sceptical and I have been pleasantly surprised so far.    There is still a long way to go, but  am positive about it rather than feeling like I am being deprived on a diet 24/7.

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Appetite for Disaster – My Fight with Flab

Ok, here we go.   For me, weight is an issue.  

I am not one of those people you read about in papers or magazines who say that they are happy in their skin and that they are comfortable overweight.

At the moment, I have three stones to lose to feel comfortable and get into the lovely clothes in my wardrobe that have been squirreled away for the last four years. 

I have been up and down, I lost two stones last year in January and February, only to put one stone back on again over the year.    This time, I want to lose the three stone. 

I started on January 1st, but there have been many more family issues this year than last year, and I am a comfort eater.  When I am stressed, I eat, then feel guilty, then I eat some more.

I have bad feet, so that rules out jogging, or cycling when they are bad.  I also have a child at home who is not able to be put into a creche etc, so I can’t do my exercise of choice this year, which is swimming. 

What I do have, is all of you.  @livingwithkids on twitter started a weight loss journey with a group of women who are all wanting to lose weight, and although I have not answered this week (sorry Liz, if you end up reading this), I have had an awful week.  I am hoping to do better next week.

The one thing that I really would like in my quest to regain my old body, and that is an appetite retrain facility.  If one of those was available, I can imagine that the person who made it up would be a millionaire overnight.

I have an awful appetite.  It’s not hunger.  Unlike some people, I do know what hunger is as I used to starve in my 20’s.  Not that you would know it now.  I regularly used to go for 2 – 3 weeks on end eating nothing, and I mean nothing.   Perhaps the odd cup of coffee with milk in it, and a cup a soup or two.  And I worked 12 hour shifts when I was at University.   Not once did I ever pass out, or feel faint.

This appetite is the overriding feeling of the fact that you must put that thing into your mouth, chew, and then swallow it, despite all that your head is telling you.  I used to starve without any thought of hunger or appetite.  Even now, I rarely feel hunger, although I recognise when I am peckish.    I don’t need it, I certainly don’t want it, but yet I still pop it into my mouth.  I also find it difficult to look back on the girl who starved for years, and understand how I did it.

I often now, find myself pacing the floor to stop myself from eating.  The craving is so strong, that it is totally unreasonable.  I suspect it is a replacement for what I really need.  The only problem is, that I have not figured out what it is that I actually need.  My desire is to be thin, fit and healthy.  That’s when I feel good, yet I am the one that is doing so much to ensure that it doesn’t happen.

I am putting this out there, as a reminder to myself, that this is the year that I want to crack it properly.  I am resisting the urge to do a starvation session, and I am trying to do this sensibly.  It is taking longer to come off, and I am slipping back and forth with sticking to the diet.

I may need a kick up the derriere a few times this year to get back on the wagon, and the magical button to banish appetite is just not going to happen for me.   This years quest, is simply to be able to ignore it rumbling away in the background.

Maybe I should post a picture of me where I want to be, and have that looking at me every time I log in.  Hmm, that might just make me raid the biscuit tin……

Wish me luck.

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How a Soda Stream broke my addiction.

One of the things I used to do regularly was buy diet drinks.  I was totally addicted to them.  I would have a raging headache if I didn’t have any, so it was not good.  Last year, I decided that I needed to stop the ridiculous cost that I was spending monthly on drinks if I wanted any money to spend on anything else.

I was drinking up to 4 litres and sometimes more a day, and nothing else if I could help it.  Drinks also had to be super cold to be totally enjoyable, and give the breath taking feeling in the back of the throat when drinking.    All that caffeine and artificial sweetener was not doing me any good.  I had tried to stop a few times, but always gave in with the headaches and went back to my old habits.

The brand I liked, I won’t mention, but it was not easy to stop.   I had terrible headaches for about a week, and a sore throat.  I decided to stick it out, and had one or two cups of coffee a day to try and alleviate the caffeine withdrawal symptoms from such a long term caffeine habit.  Using the coffee did help, and I saved one for bedtime so that the headache would go down a little for trying to get to sleep.

I tried drinking water, which is just yeuch to me.  Ok, I know people like it, and it’s the lifegiving nectar, but I just don’t like it.  If I have to drink it, I will, but I’d rather have something flavoured.  I began to use cordials and got fed up of how boring it was.   Then I bought some bottled fizzy water and that was great with the cordials.

Carrying around lots of bottles again, nearly had me revert to picking up the brand I so desired, and on a whim, the next step was to buy a soda stream (just to try it, as you do).  I bought it when we were on holiday and it was reduced in price, so it was a bargain.

I didn’t really expect very much from it, and at first I thought it would be a flash in the pan, and believed I wouldn’t bother with it once the gas bottle ran out.  I didn’t bother with the soda stream syrups, and use the fizzy water it makes to add to lime juice and cordials.  I have even fizzed up some boring wine to make it more fun to drink.

I order enough CO2 bottles to last a few months at a time from Lakeland, and they cover the returns cost so it works out pretty cheaply now to have fizzy water on tap all the time.  The kids and Mr Scottish also use it a lot, and the buzzing is a frequently heard noise in this house.

I’ve kicked the caffeine and now use decaffeinated coffee, and I can have a caffeinated drink now and again without stressing about it any more.  Freedom from 20 years chained to a brand of diet drink may seem silly to some, but it was a big deal for me.

I love my soda stream, and it is THE most used kitchen gadget in our house next to the kettle, but shhhhhh, I would never admit that in RL.

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Eat too much, or just in the Genes?

I have three children, and  all of them have different metabolisms, strengths and weaknesses.    Watching them grow has given me a different perspective on what is healthy and what is not.  I used to have a preconceived notion that overweight children were all lazy, or their mums fed them too much.  I have no doubt that for some children, that may well be the case, but not for all.

I have started to think back recently to my own weight struggles in life.   Three times in my life I have had to lose 4 stones to be able to feel normal, and enjoy my life.   On the times I have been fat, I have never, ever enjoyed life as an overweight woman.   

When I am fat, I avoid social interaction and refuse all invites.   Being fat does not suit my life.  Yes I will make fun of it, because I have been there three times already and have managed, though excessive diet and exercise to lose it. 

Each time, it slowly creeps back over a few years to the point where I can’t live with it any more and from somewhere, comes the ability to fight my fat.   Before that day comes, I wake up each morning hating myself for not having the willpower to be able to control how I look and feel.  Each day I tell myself that this is the day I can do it, until I eat lunch and devour 800 calories in one sitting. 

At the moment I am in one of the better downward spiral stages of my life.  Everything is easier to do when you are not carrying around so much baggage.  To lose weight I need to reduce to approx 800 calories a day and exercise at least 2 hours a day on top of housework and dog walking chores.  I don’t feel sorry for me, as it is my own fault.    It’s ok for others who are happy with their weigh to stay that way, that is their choice. 

For me, being overweight is not a good choice, but I do wish it was an easier road to take.  I have often had to pace the floor to stop myself eating more than my body can deal with.   I have always had hormone issues, which is the likely explanation for my bodys’ sickening efficiency with little amounts of food.

I have times where I cannot keep to my bodys’ ridiculously low requirements for me to be healthy, and I refuse to be fat for the rest of my life.  Willpower to stick to 800 calories a day and do all that exercise is really difficult for me, and I cannot keep that up all the time.

Getting back to my children, which is the real reason I started thinking about all of this.  I have three boys.   They are the hyperactive boy type that never sit still.  I mostly home cook, I ration sweet stuff still, and my children all have healthy appetites.  They eat plenty fruit and veg, and they all play football, go to multi activity club, swim, and do karate twice a week.  

My youngest is the unfortunate one.  He is going to be like me, and fight his weight all his life.  His two older brothers (who do no more exercise than their little bro), are the long, lean, slender types.  They could eat a horse and you wouldn’t see where it went.   My youngest is the same height as his older brother, but he is over a stone heavier, and yet eats no more food, and does no less exercise.  Youngest has the broadest shoulders, and needs trousers two waist sizes bigger than his biggest brother.

How do we explain that when we are talking about over eating versus unlucky genes?  I simply can’t.

What do you think.