You know those really irritating statements that people make when you’re having a shit food day? Yeah – you know the ones – they make you want to poke the eyes out of the person who uttered the words. Well I am going to be one of those people! 🙂
It’ll be quick and painless – I promise!
I was given a bunch of flowers last week – beautiful tulips – by the chap at the veggie farm shop I go to. I cut the stems and put them in water and left them on the kitchen windowsill in the sunlight. I happened to notice this morning that the petals were dropping off one of the tulips and my first thought was to throw them all out. And then I remembered the irritating – but accurate – words of a friend. She had once told me that if I had a vase full of roses and one of them was dead, that I should just pluck out that single dead rose and bin it…not throw them all away.
Now, this conversation happened to centre around the fact that I was struggling not to take an all or nothing approach with my eating. One ‘bad’ meal gave me the excuse to think ‘Fuck it!’ and then I’d blow the week…and the week would lead to two weeks…which would lead to a month…which in my case led to the majority of 2015! 😉
My quest for normality when it comes to eating is never-ending – like that fucking story with the weird flying dog, which scared me as a kid! – I want to be able to go out and enjoy a meal with friends without blowing it. So I keep trying. At the moment I am not doing so badly – but this is a drop in the ocean and I am not one to get complacent and always like to have a think about how I will deal with challenging situations. Like summer barbecues with my ‘over the top, cater for 50 when there are 5’ family…I’ll have a think about that one soon as the ‘BBQ’ word has already been mentioned after one day of sunshine!
At the moment, I want to focus on that all or nothing ‘Fuck it!’ mentality.
My ‘professional’ work and my personal interests lie in coaching. I love nothing more than facilitating the process of change within someone by challenging them in a way that helps to build their confidence and belief. I took a break from the personal coaching as I am a believer in the premise that you can’t help someone else until you are helping yourself…I wasn’t doing so well and it felt hypocritical of me to encourage others to make a change when I was struggling myself. However, I keep in touch with the people I have worked with from a health and weight loss perspective and get told that the one thing that stuck with them was being able to ditch the all or nothing approach.
I was reminded of this with the tulips this morning.
I was reminded of this when I looked at some of my foodie pictures from the past few weeks.
Take a look at the following:
It represents 24 days worth of food.
It represents 75 meals.
Or if you want to look at it another way, it represents 75 opportunities to eat well.
Think about it – if, like me, you eat 3 meals a day, then you have 21 opportunities in a week to eat well and stay on track – if you eat 4 meals a day, then you have 28 opportunities in a week to eat well and stay on track.
Take it a step further and think about a month – 4.3 weeks on average – that’s just over 90 opportunities to eat well and stay on track, or just over 120 opportunities.
Can you see where I am going with this?
It’s those fucking irritating roses – irritating, but accurate!
Or if you prefer to think about car tyres – as a gentlemen coachee of mine couldn’t get his head around the rose analogy! – then imagine walking outside to see that you had a flat tyre. Would you slash the other three?
I remember working with someone who was really worried about the festive season. The work parties, catching up with friends, and then of course the main event. We looked about how many opportunities there were to stay on track and fuel herself well. We then looked at the parties and the meals with friends. The latter element represented 9 meals. As she was a 4 meals a day person – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an evening snack – this represented just 7.5% of the month.
Put that into context. If you are sat there right now really struggling to eat well and feeling out of control, and I suggested that you would be able to stay on track 92.5% of the time this month, would you take it? Would you be proud of yourself at the end of the month for being on track 92.5% of the time?
I fucking would be! 🙂
I sat here a couple of months ago contemplating having weight loss surgery. I hadn’t been able to go more than a couple of days without binge-eating. I hadn’t had consistent weight losses in months. I had gained over half of what I had lost. I was really struggling and had lost the fire within me that knew I could do it. I cannot hand on heart say that the fire is back…it’s more like a tiny spark…I guess I feel a bit like a newborn foal finding my legs again – I feel a bit shaky and unsure but I am determined to make progress.
The past few weeks have gone really well but, again not wanting to get complacent, I am not celebrating. I want to try and take it meal by meal, day by day, and week by week.
The past 4 weeks have gone well. I haven’t binge-eaten, I haven’t strayed off track, I have had four losses in a row…I am feeling good.
But I wasn’t. I was in quite a bad place with it all a few weeks ago.
Trying to focus on taking things meal by meal seems to have helped. If you’d have told me that I could eat like this for 24 days I would have laughed at you…and snapped your hand off if you’d have given me a guarantee!
Look at those numbers above again – in fact fuck the 92.5% – if you have managed to eat healthily 10% of this past week, then aim for 15% this coming week…whatever numbers work for you. You know yourself better than anyone else does. If you have gotten into a binge-eating cycle and find yourself doing so every day, try and skip just one day – I will write more about this actually soon…as it’s a very complex process. My point is, stop trying to be perfect as I don’t think it exists – don’t set yourself up to fail.
Just take each opportunity you get to eat healthily and do it. Don’t beat yourself up about the missed opportunities…learn from them – why did it happen, what could you have done differently, and what will you do differently?
On that note I am going to shut up as I am in danger of turning into a coach when I am nowhere near out of the woods myself yet…and I am not sure that I ever will be – I think all we can do is learn to manage our demons rather than banish them!
My food for the day has been good:
Breakfast – leftover sausage omelette with red onion, tenderstem broccoli, button mushrooms, spinach, and parmesan.
Lunch – strawberries and raspberries with cream.
Dinner – turkey with those exotic mushrooms, onion, asparagus, and more tenderstem broccoli.
Thank you for reading,
P.S. I took the lazy route and left the dead one in the vase…nobody’s perfect after all! 😉