When people told me to stop dieting, I thought they were fecking crazy!
What on earth made them think that this was sensible advice for someone with a BMI that reached 95.1?! And by ‘people’ I mean medical professionals…I was told to just stop worrying about what I was eating.
I have since written about how this was probably the best piece of advice that I could have been given. There is a caveat though…my head needed to be in the right place in order to stop worrying about what I was eating. Now that it is I worry less about food…it has almost become something which fuels my life, rather than being my life full-stop!
One of things that helped me reach this point was to start paying a bit more attention to what I was eating and how I was eating – becoming more of a mindful eater. Although I have to admit to breaking one of my own eating ‘rules’…I have just eaten my Nakd bars whilst writing this, rather than concentrating on enjoying my treats.
Anyway, I remember the conversation with the first doctor who told me to stop dieting. She recommended that I read a book…which I did…but I ignored the advice as my desire for a Chinese takeaway stamped all over my desire to lose weight at that point in time.
There was a point at which I knew I needed to make changes. Probably a point that was far, far beyond the point that you might have chosen…I was very much attached to the benefits that food provided me with. It was just the side-effects of this food that weren’t welcome. When that point was reached, I started to put into practice things that I felt worked for me.
One of these things was to start paying attention. I would binge eat and not even realise that I was doing it. I would look at all of the empty junk food wrappers and wonder if I had actually eaten it all. It felt as if I had, as I was often in agony due to the amount I had eaten…but my mind was never satisfied it seemed.
So I started paying attention. I turned the TV off whilst eating. I stopped surfing the net whilst eating. I stopped reading books whilst eating. I stopped responding to emails whilst eating. All I did whilst eating was give my full attention to eating. I really looked at what I was eating. I concentrated on the look of my food, the smell of my food, the taste of my food, and the texture of my food. All I thought about was that food, in that moment – I gave it my all.
The result of this was that my brain started to register that I had eaten. I felt full after smaller amounts. Sweet foods suddenly started tasting sweeter…and visa versa for savoury foods. I didn’t need nor want as much as I had been having before.
There is a little point here that I have to make. Quite often with binge eating disorder, it isn’t actually the food that is the issue…the trigger for a binge is rarely seeing a chocolate bar or a burger. So this mindful eating is a small part of a much wider solution when it comes to eating disorders of the magnitude that I had. It is a worthwhile part to focus on, as mindlessness was a major issue in my binge-eating…but it is not the sole solution. And nor should it be thought of as such. I would say that if you have an issue with time, and just eat on the run, then this could be THE solution for you…but it’s not a cure-all in general. As with all of the things I discuss, they take practice – your brain is the most powerful muscle when it comes to weight loss! 🙂
Now that I have that bit out of the way, as some mindful eating people do tend to tout it as the next best thing since sliced bread – maybe sliced bread isn’t the best analogy considering the subject matter! 😉 – I will give you some more info about it.
Dr Susan Albers, a specialist in this field, says: “It is about being more aware of how you eat than what you eat. Mindful eating is not a diet. There are no menus or recipes. We all have mindless eating habits whether it is sitting on the couch and popping pretzels unconsciously into our mouths or eating at noon whether you are hungry or not. Mindful eaters are aware of their habits, hang-ups and how they eat. They stay one step ahead of their hunger. They eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full.”
She makes it sound quite easy really…which is why I say that it is part of the solution for most of us losers…as it’s not fecking easy!
There are a few good tips that she gives though, so I will share these with you:
Slow down: “Eat with your non-dominant hand. Studies show that this can reduce how much you eat by 30%! Use whatever tactics you can to slow down. It might be matching your pace to the slowest eater in the group or putting your fork down between bites. Remember this motto: ‘pace not race’”.
Sense: “Use your senses. Take mindful bites—in other words before you take a bite commit to half a second to smell it, look closely, examine the texture, notice what it tastes like. Do the “like” test.”
Sit down: “Where you eat matters! It sounds simple, but eating while standing lends itself to losing control over how much you consume. Avoid eating standing up, walking or nibbling in front of the fridge. Try to dine instead of just eat. Use a real plate. A fork can feel like a luxury in our fast food culture. A nice plate makes your meal feel special and should be enjoyed.”
Stay. “Stay in the moment. If you feel yourself slipping back into autopilot or zoning out while you eat, tell yourself to ‘be here’. Pinch your hand, take a deep breath, do whatever it takes to bring your attention back to the task at hand. This can move you from mindlessly plowing through a sleeve of crackers to tasting the salt on each cracker.”
Savour: “Ask yourself—do I like it or love it? Lose it if it isn’t great.”
And that’s all I have to say about mindful eating. It works. It’s not the magic solution. It’s another tool to use though…and let’s face it, we could do with some decent tools to tackle the shite that life throws at us. I have just seen the advert for Asda’s pizza on top of a pizza. It makes me so fecking angry that they think that this is an appropriate product to showcase on TV. These kinds of products should be relegated to a small aisle in the store with the banner ‘death wish food’ above it. Seriously. With shite like this being promoted, what sort of fighting chance do they think the fatties amongst us are given? Forget the fatties for a second…what about your kids, or your grandchildren…or my niece and nephew. I want them to grow up happy and healthy. It seems that supermarkets are quite content to advertise this shite during football match adverts…how about playing a game of fecking football instead of sitting on your fat arse watching it whilst eating a coronary inducing pile of sloppy shite?!
Phew – I will leave it there I think. I am mindful that my rant may be too much for a Saturday evening! 😉
I have just been watching the Brazil v Chile game with Mr WLB. I feel sorry for the ones who don’t score penalties…so sad. I asked Mr WLB, ‘Is it wrong to say that I want Brazil to go through as their players are better looking – would it be better if I said that they play with style and flair?’ He just rolled his eyes at me. I then asked if ‘Hulk’ really was called Hulk in real life…he didn’t know. I was also quite pleased to find out that Naymar – I think that’s what he’s called – was 22 years old…I was starting to feel like a creepy old lady! 😉
So the rest of the day has been fairly sedate. I left Mr WLB at home and headed to Pilates this morning. It was a pleasure to find my cousin there, and I got a big bear hug from him. He’s a martial arts specialist and was there teaching, but joined the class with us. He happened to mention a move that I had never done…and still haven’t. I had to watch the others do it as it was a tad beyond my ability…kind of like a side plank. One day I will plank, but for now I will settle for just being a plank! 😉 Then I picked Mr WLB up and we headed to see the horses and went to the shops. I then got showered and changed and headed off to see a good friend of mine. We haven’t been able to chat properly for a while, despite seeing each other at uni the other day. So it was great to spend some time catching up. And then it was home…to watch bloody football. I now have ‘Horse and Country TV’ on in retaliation! 🙂
Breakfast: Boiled eggs and a banana.
A good food day. I have been hungry today though…and all of my food is eaten! 🙁 Brekkie was the usual, and was followed by a chicken salad. I put some cumin on the chicken and grilled this before putting it on top of some spinach – which I love eating raw. I added some chopped apple, grapes, and cherry tomatoes – with some homemade coleslaw…a simple mix with lighter than light mayo, loads of garlic, and a bit of lemon juice. Dinner was stuffed peppers topped with feta and smoked paprika courgettes. I just made up some mince with onions, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, mixed herbs, and more cumin, and then stuffed this into peppers. And Nakd bars with nuts for my evening snack…which didn’t last very long!
Exercise: 60 minutes Pilates.
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx