I have heard that rubbing things too hard can make you go blind…
…so I have decided that I am going to stop with the halo buffing and just leave the horns in place!
Going from a sinner to a saint overnight is a topic of conversation that crops up again and again between my Slimming World consultant and I. It has also been a regular point of interest during the coaching work I have done.
It’s been my downfall on more than one occasion.
I try too hard – or get too cocky, I am not sure which.
When things are going well and I am shifting weight and working hard at the gym I just have to take it that extra mile. I have to try and get clean. I try and cut out all processed food and get all holier than thou about it.
Quite frankly, I piss myself off when I get into this mode – so goodness knows what those around me think.
I won’t touch sweetener, I won’t touch cheese, I won’t even think about eating a bag of crisps, and ‘normal’ milk – yuk! Who am I kidding?
I like sweet food, I fecking adore cheese, and as for crisps…I have been inhaling multipacks as if Walkers have announced that they are shutting up shop. And creamy milky porridge – it’s bloody delicious!
So my clean eating days are temporarily on hold.
That’s not to say that I don’t think cutting out the processed food is the best way to go. I absolutely and wholeheartedly believe that, if you can, you should eat home-cooked food in as natural a state as you can. There are so many reports, albeit conflicting, that show the benefits of eating an unprocessed and natural diet. The health benefits are much promoted and if you can eat like this without it driving you crazy then go for it.
Yet the health benefits of shifting weight far outweigh those of eating clean for me.
There is little point in me eating a diet rich in nuts, avocado, olive oil, various nut butters, and cacao products – which is where I headed in my clean vegan journey – if my weight is still well in excess of what it should be. My body might appreciate the avocado but it sure as hell doesn’t appreciate carrying the extra stones of weight.
Ditching the pounds is more important to me, and more beneficial to my health, than ditching the packets from my cupboard.
Now I am not linking the aforementioned food with my weight. I know many a skinny vegan who live on those products. Yet what the obsession for clean eating did to my mind has been devastating. I was starting to think that I was a failure for eating a packet of French Fries, or enjoying a Muller Light yogurt. Those feelings then led to me binging and starving and binging and starving – and even standing in the bathroom on a couple of occasions trying to make myself sick.
I was not in a good place.
So I am doing something about it. I have stopped my social media obsession with the ‘clean’ crowd. To be honest, I don’t give a feck about what a size 6 yoga guru puts in her shitting Nutribullet smoothie for breakfast. The only thing that is ever going to be a size 6 on me are my feet! I am also really not interested in topping my breakfast with bee pollen, or sprinkling sodding chia seeds on everything, or eating raw cacao bars that cost more than four family bars of Dairy Milk do – actually, I lie…I quite like the raw cacao bars, but they are seriously expensive!
Mr WLB said something to me recently that made me smile. He said, ‘The problem with you is that you are desperate to be a vegan hippy but you never will be…just be you!’
And that ‘me’ means someone who most of the time eats good, home-cooked unprocessed food, but who loves a Muller Light and a packet of French Fries or two whilst watching shite reality TV like Made in Chelsea! It also means that I have stocked my freezer with Slimming World ready meals to help me stay on track on those days that I get home late from work…otherwise I would be eating my body weight in ‘clean’ peanut butter on rye toast and dried fruits…healthy snacks that contain a mountain of calories! It also means that I have French Fries back in my cupboard, and Muller Lights back in the fridge – look:
I was asked a question earlier about various mind theories and the fact that ‘diets’ don’t work and that we should just eat what our body wants – what were my views. Today, my body – or mind…but the mind always wins the battle – wanted McDonalds. I don’t think it’s safe for me to ditch what I know works.
The question set off alarm bells in me. If you could see my bookshelf you would know why – I have a mountain of books surrounding the mind and eating. They might help to a certain extent, but what you put in your mouth helps more. I have spent years researching. I have read research papers. I have read articles in magazines and on websites. I have spoken to numerous healthcare professionals and therapists on a personal and professional level. I still feel that there is a way to get to a healthy weight that works for you and me – but that this way might not be the same for both of us. And it is most definitely not a faddy or dangerous way. So I do get wary about a one size fits all very rigid approach. It’s why I also have a massive gripe with people who say, ‘If I can do it, so can you!’ – big fat hairy bollocks!…we are all so different, how can you say that? I know it’s supposed to be motivational, but it can actually do a great deal of damage to those who can’t do it your way and feel like a failure.
You and I both know that ‘diets’ work for some and not others…however, for me this tends to link back to our habits of things being too good to be true. So we might jump on a fad diet because it promises a miracle and shift the weight and then slowly return back to our old habits – and the weight goes back on. Or we start something that is not at all sustainable and the weight goes back on when we inevitably cave in.
For me, it has to be a long term plan – something that I can do for life.
I got too obsessed, and the desire to be perfect and accepted by the people associated with these trends broke me. It isn’t Slimming World that has done this, it was my quest to be like all of these clean / vegan / Paleo / ‘anything in a packet kills you’ types that I started mixing with!
For some, intuitive eating works. For some, meal replacements work. For some, Slimming World works. For some, clean eating works.
I think you have to know yourself and know what is likely to succeed for you – and this is what my version of ‘mind’ eating looks like…I know that trying to go from sinner to saint overnight will cause me to fail both physically and mentally – I feel like a failure and my weight goes on. Whereas if I enjoy the odd synned treat such as a bag of French Fries, then I stay feeling in control…and that is doable for life for me. I bet you have had just as much experience as I have with fad diets…and I bet you know yourself better than you think – the basics work, you aren’t a lost cause and neither am I – we just have to stop dicking around with fads!
Anyway, I am rambling now. Those of you who wanted me ‘back’ will be regretting it now!
I am still well and truly finding my way towards a healthy weight and lifestyle. The thing is, I keep coming back to Slimming World because it is a way of eating that makes me happy – it can cater for my home-cooked non-processed desires, yet allows the flexibility to bung a healthier ready meal in the microwave. It’s flexible. Just like life needs to be. More importantly, it doesn’t make me feel guilty.
On that note, I am going to love you and leave you. It’s been a busy day and I have an early start at work tomorrow – and I have a pitta bread in the toaster that I sam ticking some peanut butter on (synned!) to eat whilst I watch River.
Today has been another step closer to my goal. Breakfast was a tasty green pepper and mushroom omelette with smoked salmon. Lunch was leftovers from yesterday – a rather gorgeous tomato and olive salad. Dinner was stir fried veggies with Singapore noodles. My snacks have been fruit and a Muller Light – shock horror…it has sweeteners in it!
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx