It’s ok to not be able to do it alone

Last week as I mentioned I really hit rock bottom in my frustration of not losing weight.  I feel like I tried something new every week and my thoughts were so absorbed with food and what I needed to do to lose weight that I actually no longer trusted myself to even make the right call when it came to food and as a result I was actually gaining weight.  I also had a body scan taken at work. This was the third scan I had over the last year when I was determined to lose weight.  In this scan I had actually gained even more weight than when I started and my body fat percentage had increased to 42% which is horrendous!  That’s true obesity and while I don’t feel that unhealthy the results speak for themselves and something has to change!

Through this massive reality check I finally admitted I couldn’t do this alone and actually needed the support and guidance of a professional eating plan to at least kick start the weight loss and reset my relationship with food and get my fat percentage down!  My local Jenny Craig didn’t have any appointments on the Saturday morning, but hearing my pain and frustration they found a way I could just pick up the food and then start appointments the following week. (I went with Jenny Craig as I had success with their plan 6 years ago when going through a very hard time in my life and they are the only meal provided plan that have a vegetarian program and the personal coach).

On the drive to the centre I was quite emotional.  One part of me was excited that I would finally start to see progress and the weight that has been holding me back would be gone, and another part of me was scared and proud for finally asking for help.  A lot of self reflection to get to the point where I could admit I can’t do it alone and a lot of disappointment in myself that I needed help.  I tried to stay positive and thought I’d be in and out in 5 minutes.

The ladies who worked in the centre were amazing.  They took my weight (but asked first if I wanted to which I thought was lovely), they didn’t judge, just quietly wrote it down on my sheet with my height.  It was 71.5kg!  I am only 5’2 so that’s a lot, but I have to start somewhere.  They then proceeded to get my food and talked me through the program.  The woman who is going to be my coach then took the time to really talk me through it and get to know me,  Even though they didn’t have an appointment time for me, I feel like I got one anyway and they were all so supportive and kind.  I left feeling really supported, but really emotional and I broke down on my way home.  I think the realisation of what a big step this was and that there are kind supportive people out there, meaning I really don’t need to do it alone (which has been my go to for so much of my life), and I will succeed!

The best piece of advice my new coach gave me was to not eat the meals in their packaging, but to instead plate them up with the vegetables or anything else that goes with the meal to start getting a better association with portion sizes – fantastic advice I would never have thought of.  It also makes the meal more enjoyable as you don’t feel like you are eating diet food, it’s just a nice meal you prepared.

So today is day 6!  So far the food has been great, surprisingly tasty, and things I really love to eat but have avoided for so long as I have been trying to “be good” (which hasn’t paid off).  As a result I am looking forward to each meal and I’m already starting to get a better idea of portion sizes.  I had one wine on Monday with work, but left out my second dairy portion that day to balance it out. And for me to only have one wine is a real achievement.  Otherwise I have stuck to the meals 100%, added in all my additional veggies, fruit and dairy and have stuck to water and tea for drinks.

I went on two walks with friends on Sunday, went to a yoga class on Monday, did an interval run and ab circuit yesterday and walked home from work Monday and Tuesday night (approximately 4.5km each time), so hopefully my first week will show some good results.  I have an all day course tomorrow which i will take my food for, then dinner and a show that night which will be my first challenge as this would normally involve a lot of alcohol and a fancy dinner so I will have to make good choices.

Fingers crossed for a good result for my first week.  First goal – GET OUT OF THE 70’s!!!

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My brain is exhausting me!

Does anyone else feel like their brain is their biggest enemy instead of their biggest supporter?  I am so tired of overthinking and analysing everything that I am doing, and as a result just gaining more weight and then overthinking more and more – it’s such a vicious cycle!

I have spent so much time and money in the last 2 years trying to get to the bottom of why I have issues with food and why I continue to sabotage my efforts to be healthy and lose weight.  I am at the point where I actually don’t trust myself to ever be successful or to even know what I am doing any more.  My relationship with food is now so out of control I don’t trust anything I do.  The constant stream of thought in my brain is about what I should and shouldn’t be eating: “what I am going to eat tomorrow”; “what I am going to eat next”; “what was wrong with what I just ate”; “why didn’t I lose weight today when I didn’t eat that badly yesterday”; “although I did eat healthy and maybe that salad dressing was what tipped me over the edge”; “or did I not eat enough and now my body thinks it is in starvation mode so can’t lose weight”; “am I not losing weight because I have no consistency”; “maybe I am allergic to gluten”; “maybe I have diabetes and that’s why I can’t lose weight”; “I need to stop drinking”; “surely I can drink as long as I have balance”; “I didn’t run today so I’m terrible and I’ll never lose weight”; “but I did do 10,000 steps so at least I am moving”;, “I wonder how much liposuction is and what the recovery time is like”; “Maybe Optifast” and on and on and on.  IT’S EXHAUSTING!!!!

The only thing I have managed to stick to is being vegetarian, and it has now been almost 3 months.  I do feel healthier and my conscious feels better for this life change, but I still weigh far more that I would like, my clothes don’t fit, I am self conscious and my life is obsessed with it.

It feels like a contradiction to everything I have said before, but tomorrow I am going to start Jenny Craig.  I feel like I need to give myself a break mentally and having someone else completely control my diet is exactly what I need right now.  I am trying to get control of, and change, so many things at once I can’t actually cope and am not making any progress.  Mentally I can’t keep doing this to myself and I need some success.  I did Jenny Craig 5 1/2 years ago when I lost my son and my marriage fell apart.  I was about the same weight as I am now when my son was stillborn (that really hurts mentally now as I don’t have the excuse of being pregnant for why I am so out of shape), and trying to grieve my son, my marriage, seperate my life from my husband, sell the house, come to terms with a new future etc, having my food looked after so I didn’t have to think about it and lost weight so I had one part of my life being successful was a great result.

It’s taken a lot to get to this point and admit that no matter how much money I throw into therapy, hypnotherapy, tapping, exercise apps, books etc I can’t do it alone.  I have made some great progress on “why” I have such an unhealthy relationship with food, but that’s not enough.  I am going to go on Jenny until I get back into my healthy weight range, which will ideally be within 12 weeks as it is only about 10kg.   I have some significant events coming up with a ball and my birthday wine tour and costume party, which is making me even more self conscious about my appearance – I want to be able to enjoy these things without the constant self sabotage and self doubt, and to have photos taken I don’t cringe over every time I see them.  I want to be free from the mental mindfuck of food for a while and reset my body chemistry from a constant controlled diet, that I don’t seem to be able to do alone.  Accepting this is actually pretty massive for me,

I looked at other food provided diets as I don’t love the fact Jenny Craig is so processed, but no others offer a vegetarian menu.  This is only until I get back into my healthy weight range and then I will have build great other lifestyle habits to support my success when I go back to regular eating and I will be in better habits for how much food I really need and will have incorporated the correct intake of fruit, veggies and dairy etc.

I am going to work on being kinder to myself and focusing on my exercise to built a stronger, fitter, sexier version of myself and by taking pressure and expectation off in one area will really help.

xx

10 weeks later…

Well, it’s been a crazy 10 weeks, that’s my only excuse for not writing sooner!  I’ve spent time in NZ with my friends and family, bought my own apartment, settled, moved and done a lot of painting and DIY – needless to say there wasn’t a huge amount of time for writing.  I am now very settled and absolutely loving my new home.

I am currently sitting with the doors open, looking out over my balcony and the greenery of the top of the palm trees outside.  It is so light filled and quiet – the perfect creative space, so expect more musings in the future!

So how have the last 10 weeks gone?  There have been some ups and downs with the stress of moving, but emotionally I feel amazing!  I am so proud of what I have achieved in such a short time and how my apartment has come together as the perfect reflection of me.  I feel like I am completely at peace and have really created my home where I will be incredibly happy.  I have gotten back into exercise, I am calmer at work and have a work life balance and I have even started yoga in my lounge now that I have space and the mental capacity since my thoughts aren’t completely filled with house and moving plans.

I haven’t touched meat since 1st Feb and I feel great!  I’m not missing it at all, my energy levels feel pretty consistent and I just feel lighter (the scales are yet to really show it, but it feels like my soul is lighter or something).  I’ve just bought a couple of new vegetarian cookbooks for some inspiration, but all round I am positive that I made the right choice and look forward to sharing with you all my continued journey to happiness through more regular blog posts in the future.

xx

Vego update – one week later

Today marks one week since I decided to stop eating meat and it’s been an enlightening 7 days for many reasons:

  1. Other peoples reactions – I haven’t told many people but if it comes up in conversation I mention it. No one has told me I am doing anything unhealthy or wrong or had a strong opinion about it, however there have been a few comments about “what aren’t you eating this week” that made me realise I have tried and not stuck to a lot of diet related things lately, and have obviously talked about those changes a lot.
  2. We talk about “diets” far too much – I decided when I stopped eating meat not to really tell people so I would be discovering if it was right for me without being influenced by other people’s views.  It has only been a week and I have ended up telling quite a few people as so many conversations turn to diets.  Are we all so unhappy we are permanently trying a new diet to achieve some ideal body we have in our heads.  Is anyone just genuinely happy with life and doesn’t need to constantly think about what they are and aren’t eating?  It’s sad when I think about the beautiful women I connect with each day whose wonderful brains are absorbed with obsessing over food rather than happiness and ideas that could change the world!
  3. Meat is expensive!  I did a massive grocery shop on the weekend with lots of new ingredients to support my new way of eating and trying new recipes.  My trolley was a lot fuller than I expected, so from past experience I was estimating $200-$250 worth, but was comfortable paying that as I new most of the ingredients were pantry staples that I needed for initial set up.  My bill was only $166 and that included a bunch of flowers for myself, expensive gluten free bread and my favourite luxury goats feta at $13 a jar.  With no salmon or chicken or steak like I normally brought, I can see this lifestyle as good for my budget as well.
  4. Takeaways don’t really feel like an option.  Previously if I’d had a long day and couldn’t be bothered cooking I would get a burger or curry from Uber Eats, but since I no longer eat meat it’s just easier to have cheese on toast if I can’t be bothered cooking.  There is a delicious vegan burger place in Melbourne, but it isn’t on Uber Eats which helps, plus being so new to vegetarianism I don’t yet know the good vegetarian options at takeaway places to know if the order is worth it (definitely not a bad thing for the wallet or waistline).
  5. I’m a pretty awesome chef!  I have become far more adventurous in the kitchen and  have made some truely delicious meals.  I am using so many more spices than before and cooking a lot more Mexican and Indian style food. Everything has been so easy and flavourful, and really easy to freeze so I don’t have to cook as often.
  6. I don’t miss meat. There hasn’t been a single point where I have craved meat or thought I was missing out on something because I didn’t eat it, unlike other “diets” where stopping eating something made me crave that thing uncontrollably until I caved and generally binged on it.  I think my decision being made based on what meat is to me, rather than some diet or health fad (so the fact I don’t want to eat animal flesh or be responsible for killing an animal) is making a very large difference in the success of my new lifestyle.
  7. It helps you be more decisive – given there are generally only one or two options on a menu that are vegetarian, it’s pretty easy to order, and you get forced to try new things as a result, which is never a bad thing.

If anyone has any great recipe sites or advice from when they started their vegetarian journey, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Vegetarian?

When I was young I was so passionate about animals I wanted to be a vegetarian but my parents never allowed it.  As I got older I became more concerned with people liking me than what mattered to me and I didn’t want to stand out.  I then married a man who lived on meat and 3 veg and my cooking style adapted.  I then got involved with other men who focused on their protein intake, all through meat sources.  I have then continued that mindset on (without the training to back it up obviously), but recently I can’t stop thinking about whether that’s the right thing for me.  My aunty even called me out at Christmas reminding me how passionate about being a vegetarian I was when I was young, how was I now such a carnivore?

I’ve met a couple of people since I have been in Melbourne who are vegetarian for ethical reasons and I instantly respected and was intrigued by them, but the concept of doing it myself still felt too hard – I’m not sure why.  Is it because it would mean I was different and some people wouldn’t accept me?  Is it because I really like meat?  It is because I wonder what would happen if I met someone and they were a big carnivore and that stopped us falling in love?  All seems like pretty stupid reasons.

As I have read more and tried things to improve my weight situation I haven’t read anything telling me to not eat meat, but the emphasis has been on eating more plants for health benefits and only eating organic, grass fed, ethically treated animals.  And that really gets you thinking about the impact you are having on an animal suffering just so I can have a steak.

I have 2 cats, I am shortly getting a puppy and I sponsor a snow leopard.  I love animals more than humans most of the time, and would never think of killing and eating them, so why is it ok for other animals?  The actual eating of their flesh is a concept I can’t get out of my head lately and it makes me feel sick every time I look at a piece of chicken or steak, so maybe now’s the time to stop and see what happens.  I made two amazing curries in the weekend, one was vegetarian, one only had a small amount of lamb that didn’t really add that much to the dish, so it’s actually not that hard!  What would I really be missing out on?

It needs to be about me and what feels right to me.  If I met the love of my life and he didn’t respect my choices, he can’t be the love of my life can he!

I won’t be telling my family and friends.  I normally tell people far too much then get influenced by their opinion, so this time I’m just going to cut meat out and order the vegetarian option, and probably no one will even notice. I can tell people when I am confident this is the right lifestyle for me.

Day 1 today – wish me luck and let me know any tips!

One step forward, 5 steps back

I feel like I am really struggling at the moment.  I started the year so well, focused on my goals and had great routine, and now that I’ve let those routines slide a bit I have gone further backwards than I would like, especially mentally.

My mind can’t stop bringing up the conversation I wish I’d had with my mother when she commented that I needed to go on a diet.  It was a month ago!  Why can’t I let it go? Why do I even care so much about what she thinks?  Is it because I have grown up never feeling wanted by her and that just reinforces the stories in my head that I’m not good enough to be loved by her?  Realistically should it even matter to my personal happiness if she likes me or not?  No, it shouldn’t, but how to make that happen?  The fact I have identified this as part of my issue is hopefully a really good start, but now how to get past it.

I am heading back to NZ in a couple of weeks where I will catch up with people I haven’t seen in a year or more.  I am now even more self conscious about my weight gain and am getting quite a bit of anxiety about the visit – I think my mother mentioning it to me shows that people notice, so I am worried everyone else will judge me like she did.  One part of my mind is saying “you’ve got 3 weeks, lets go on an extreme diet and exercise every day and we could lose 5kg before then”, another voice “3 weeks isn’t long enough to really change anything so we might as well just eat what we want and just deal with it”, or “if you haven’t done anything about it now, lets just eat that chocolate and start again tomorrow”, plus “even if you managed to stick to an extreme diet and lost 5kg you’d still be fat, so why bother”, a more practical voice is saying “just accept you are this weight and buy/make some bigger clothes so you’ll feel more comfortable – just wear a lot of things that  draw attention to your boobs and no one will notice” and then another voice speaks up and tries to be positive with “if anyone judges you or doesn’t like you because you have put on weight, they are not the sort of person you want in your life”.  My brain is a very crowded place right now!

I had hoped to go back some big success and show I made the right decision and life was working out perfectly.  Perhaps I should focus on what my definition of personal success is.  I have been in Australia 2 1/2 years, I have a fantastically successful job and even got a promotion last year as they value me and the work I am doing so much.  I have a large wonderful group of thoughtful friends who obviously like me for me, not for what I look like or how much I weigh.  I have been on 3 amazing overseas holidays since I have been here (trips back to NZ don’t count). And I’ve just bought an apartment a block from the beach.  For some stupid reason I can only focus on the physical me as a rating of my success and the fact I am still single – why do these things rate so highly in my self worth calculator?

Lightbulb moment – my biggest critic really is myself! If I can’t love myself how will I ever be open to someone else loving me?  I have downloaded some self love meditation type apps as I realise no matter what I do or what plans I put in place, until I value myself I will never stick to those plans, prioritise myself and what I need to do nor will I ever be free enough mentally to be truely happy. Before writing this post I tried Louise Hay’s app for the first time.  The last part of the “love yourself” affirmations turns your camera on so you say the affirmation to yourself – all I could see was my faults when I looked at my image staring back at me – I have A LOT of work to do!

Does anyone have any suggestions on what they have tried, books they have read, etc to help them truely change their relationship with themselves?

 

Whoops!

The last week has been a bit of a whirlwind, overall I have been on the biggest high, but with that my focus on my health has taken a complete back seat.

Last Wednesday I broke my non drinking detox, beautiful sunny weather, great friends and traffic preventing my friend attending our planned bootybarre class contributed, as did seeing an apartment I fell in love with so I just wanted to talk about it and be excited about it.  Thursday I was still buzzing about the apartment and my brain was so full with ideas and plans I missed my morning walk to focus on my finances and do more research on the building, I walked home from work but still my brain was too full and distracted.

On Friday my big boss finished up at work and he took me for a wine so I could get some good feedback and career advice with him, then we carried on when some other people from work joined.  Again I was talking about the apartment and was on an amazing happy buzz (plus he had given me some great feedback and confidence boosts), so four large wines later…

Saturday I had an early appointment, then went to the apartment to do measurements to make sure it was what I wanted, then talked to the agent about making an offer.  I then went to my bimonthly wine club.  This is the second one and it was so much fun sitting in the sun with great people, great food and a selection of Rose wines, and making new friends.  I had an amazing time, but ate, drank and smoked far too much, and when the wine finished we moved on to spirits and margaritas!  All up, just wayyyyyy too many calories!

Sunday, unsurprisingly, I was hungover.  I met an old colleague over from NZ and ate sliders and chips.  And both days still no exercise, but mentally I was full of confidence and hope and I felt really valued and liked from so many great social interactions.

Monday I put an offer on the apartment!  As I was waiting for it to be officially accepted (they needed to go out to see if there were any counter offers) I had my weekly partner catchup at work, but only had one wine.  And I got it!  So in a couple of months time I’ll be living in my very own apartment.  No longer paying someone else’s mortgage and I can make the place truely mine and get a puppy!

Tuesday night I had a big work celebration reflecting the first year of my project and all the success we’ve had.  It was fantastic to celebrate with all of my partners, work colleagues and stakeholders, and there was free champagne, so I had my fair share, more cigarettes (yuck!  why do I do that!) and a burger on the way home (but it was vegan so surely not as bad as it could have been).

Yesterday I was a bit dusty in the morning so slept in instead of going for a walk, and ate way too much crap during the day.  Another hectic day at work and not being home to be organised took it’s toll.

By the scales today I am back up to 70. It could be worse!  I am being hosted at the tennis for most of today and off to country races tomorrow (it’s a public holiday in Australia), which is going to lead to more alcohol. I am having an absolute ball and am feeling amazing at the moment, but my size is always playing on my mind, I avoid photos and am so disappointed in myself when I see them due to my weight.  I am just trying to be kind to myself and get through this disruptive time, but truth is, my life is always disruptive.  A lot of my job revolves around entertaining, and I love having an active social life so I feel valued, and a lot of that contains food and alcohol.  I really need to master “drinking sensibly” but I easily get carried away when I feel confident and happy around others.

Does anyone have any good tips on what’s worked for them to have balance with alcohol after being a binge drink for most of their life?