Okay – so I know that some of you will roll your eyes at me (again!) when I talk about this…but if I was asked to share only one piece of advice with my fellow losers then it would be this – WRITE IT DOWN! And you can stop rolling your eyes – it really does help.
As an avid consumer of not only food, but words too, I have read so many books and articles surrounding the psychology of weight loss. For example, Dr Christopher G. Fairburn discusses ‘self-monitoring’ in his book – Overcoming Binge Eating – and states that, “accurate monitoring almost always highlights features that were not obvious beforehand.” So for those of you who think that you are well aware of what you eat, when you eat, and why you eat – without using a food / mood diary – yet still have an issue in understanding why your weight loss is not as it should be, I would suggest that you get monitoring. It is the first piece of advice that he gives in this book – and this book has helped me overcome many demons!
Slimming World advise the completion of a ‘food diary’ and offers a money back guarantee for those who do not lose weight within the first four weeks as long as you have completed your diary (along with a couple of other things – such as attending Image Therapy). I think that this speaks volumes about not only the faith they have in their healthy eating plan, but also about the power of recording your eating activities accurately. I rarely complete a ‘food diary’ and hand it in to my consultant…but I do record what I eat in my blog…which she now reads!
As I sat watching episodes of ‘Secret Eaters’ last night – episodes that I had already watched – I have to admit that it amazed me how shocked people were to have the evidence of their eating activity shown to them. But when you think about it, this is because we never see a weeks worth of our food intake! We might see the family shop – with a full fridge at the beginning of the week, and dwindling supplies at the end of the week – but this is before we have eaten…and doesn’t account for the extras that sneak in. That sausage roll from the snack wagon at work, or the sneaky doughnut from the bag a colleague bought in to celebrate their birthday, and what about that KitKat from the petrol station?! You will eat either more than you think, or different items to those that you had planned – I could almost guarantee it!
I have always said that I would love to see a huge table laid out with the food I had eaten the previous week, and my Mum – bless her – was going to do this for me when I was at the height of my binge eating. I think she wanted to shock me into action, but I didn’t want to bankrupt her and so told her not to be silly! It would have been far worse than anything seen on ‘Secret Eaters’ – I would get through at least six packets of crisps and six sausage rolls a day, along with a family bar of chocolate, a couple of sandwiches, at least four slices of toast for breakfast – if it wasn’t two double egg McMuffin meals – and a takeaway for dinner with side orders too. It sounds horrific, and it was – how else did I end up at 43st+…I had given up on myself and I had given up on life.
Does the fact that I was shocked at the participants of ‘Secret Eaters’ mean that I think they are stupid? Of course not! They are human and habits creep in – I think they are pretty bloody marvellous for putting themselves out there actually! We do like to think at times that anyone or anything but ourselves and our habits are causing our weight issues. If I had £1 for each time I heard an obese person say that they must have a slow metabolism or thyroid issue then I would be living in a nice country cottage rather than in a house next to a dual carriageway! But this doesn’t make them stupid or ignorant – it just makes them a bit guilty of burying their heads in the sand…something I think that we are all guilty of at times. I actually admire participants on these shows as I think they help to highlight the issues and show how easy it is to overeat without realising you are doing it. Although I must admit that the whole block of cheese and half a block of butter in the one litre, 2000 calorie, cheese sauce on this weeks episode made me chuckle! I think if that lovely chap had put his hand on his heart and engaged his noggin, he would have admitted that his recipe was not conducive to slender hips! Bless them – they seemed like such a lovely couple – and handsome / beautiful too – I really hope that they continue their weight loss streak.
What this does highlight though is the need for some sort of monitoring or tracking system. Dr David Lewis – the psychologist on ‘Secret Eaters’ – has been conducting a series of experiments on the show which back this up. One of the ones that I found most interesting was that of the chicken wings! A group of people were invited to watch a comedy gig and plates of chicken wings were placed in front of them. Half of the group had the dirty plates and bones removed, but the other half had to sit and look at the remains whilst both continued to be supplied with fresh wings. Those who had had their remains cleared away consumed 70% MORE than those who had to sit with the evidence of their consumption in front of them. It was quite powerful to see this. So the advice was to leave pop bottles, drink cans, empty sweet and crisp packets in front of you…so that you don’t keep eating. Basically, if you can see that you have already eaten then you are likely to understand that you don’t really need that eighteenth chicken wing!
Probably the most powerful thing that I have started doing is taking photos of what I eat and putting them in my blog. I owe a big shout out to Minxy here…as it was her blog that inspired me to do this! Seeing what I have eaten really stops me in my tracks at times. If I get the munchies at night, but am sitting writing the blog and staring at pictures of what I have already eaten, I know that I don’t really need to eat and that my craving is just that – a craving. So if you can, just take a snap of what you eat each day, and do it for a week, and let me know if you think it helps!
Anyway – I won’t ramble on too much…but do yourself a favour and start writing it down or taking pictures of your munchies!
Let me get on to the usuals…
My little grey lady woke us up this morning – my 13 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier – as she was padding around the house and I could her her nails click-clacking on the wooden floors! Luckily, there was no post delivery today…or else the postman would have had a fright as she was up and about so early…and tries to eat the post…we often end up with shredded letters! So as she wasn’t up for a lie-in, we got up and waited for my Mum to arrive to take us to see the horses. We had gorgeous sunshine when we arrived there and I spent some time grooming the horses. My youngest horse was a bit wary of humans when he first arrived, but he stood there all relaxed – with his leg resting – and enjoying being brushed! After this, we headed to Asda for supplies and then went home for a relaxing Saturday afternoon…not much option really as Freddie Freelander is still in the repair shop. I can’t remember if I’d mentioned that they have found further damage to the suspension – which may delay his return – despite the fact that I had practically ripped the wheel off…surely any mechanic worth his money would have checked the suspension in such a situation?! Anyway – enough of that as it only winds me up! So I spent the afternoon mooching on the HOOP (Helping Overcome Obesity Problems) UK page on Facebook. They are a brilliant charity who are working to raise awareness of obesity related issues, and offer support to individuals and families – they have some wonderful resources! You would make me a very happy WLB if you ‘liked’ their page – click this link – HOOP – as they really are fab…and you know that I don’t recommend rubbish or promote stuff that isn’t much good! This evening I will be forced to watch ‘Britains Got Talent’ as my other half loves it – I think that I might read a book instead!
Breakfast: Apple and blueberry porridge (9 syns) with sliced plum and cinnamon.
Today’s food was immensely tasty – especially dinner! But first of all, brekkie was another variety – with a nice flavoured porridge that I topped with sliced plum and cinnamon…it was lovely. Lunch was a quick and filling noodle veggie combo – full of Superfree veggies – cheap too! Dinner was a bit of a concoction, but I still have loads of lentils and tins of chickpeas and wanted to use some of them. I decided on a curry and put in a tin of chickpeas, a big double handful of lentils, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a massive handful of spinach, sweet potato, onions, a red pepper, mushrooms, ginger, garlic and madras powder. It was the nicest curry I have had in ages…I just wish I written down the quantities instead of just adding bits here and there – but that is the beauty of cooking and having a go. The pittas needed using and are lovely, but cost me quite a few syns…less than a naan bread though! Snack-wise, I had a mid afternoon raspberry craving and so used a few spoons of fat free natural yogurt with them, and then saved my healthy extras for cheese toasties – yummy!
Exercise: My leg needs looking at – I am in quite a lot of pain, but still managed to stand and groom the horses…I just can’t put much weight on it…which is a slight issue when I weigh over 31st! So I will have to see what I can sort out as I don’t want to make it worse, but want to crack on with my exercise.
Anyway, I hope that you are enjoying the weekend – enjoy your Sunday!
Weight Loss Bitch xxx