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Writing Workshop #15 – Battling my demons

March 2, 2010

I hate to bang on about my dieting again but here we are. In my defence Josie’s prompts for this week Writing Workshop have practically forced me to so you can blame her (and her funky hair)!

2. What demon(s) are you battling with right now?
– Inspired by My Baby Adventure who is finding it hard to keep to her diet!

I’m struggling, oh my goodness am I struggling right now. I was doing so well on the Cambridge Diet, losing over 3 stone but ended that at Christmas. I’m now about 6lbs heavier. Not bad I hear you cry. No, not bad but I’m still 3 stone overweight, I’ve been trying to diet in all this time and I have tweeted about how well I’m doing only to pig out and put it all on again.

On Sunday I managed to eat both a Pizza Hut and a great big fat curry. Plus Minstrels. And sweets. And 2 biscuits. And a Smirnoff Ice. Pig.

I’m a bad dieter. I throw myself into it, nigh on starve myself, feel fabulous, really in control and then, almost without thinking I stuff my face and ruin all my hard work. I need to be on a controlled programme. I need to be told what to eat and then I feel better again. I feel back in control.

But a rather large part of me thinks this isn’t right. I’m a grown up, I’m a mum. How can I possibly bring up my son to be a normal eater when Mummy is either eating cereal bars or drinking shakes? I make healthy, well balanced meals for him but children learn through example and I’m not being a good role model.

I need to control myself and my food urges. I need a good repertoire of meals that are quick, simple and cheap. I need to learn not to reward myself with chocolate after a good day, or to console myself with chocolate after a bad day. I need to work off a stressful day with half an hour on the exercise bike, not a huge bowls of chilli cheese nachos with lashings of guacamole and sour cream, no matter how amazing it is.

 I’ve done Weightwatchers, Slimming World, Slim fast, pills (Alli, not speed or anything dangerous!), Cambridge, calorie counting, fat counting, Atkins and I am still fat! I have to face facts that I have a problem with food, that I’m greedy and take steps to resolve it

I’ve just started reading Paul McKenna’s I can make you thin (ironically while tucking into a huge McDonalds and a Ripple) and I’m hoping that helps. He uses an interesting way of ‘reprogramming’ your brain so that you control food, food doesn’t control you. It tells you all the obvious things about eating but in a way that doesn’t make you feel like a right numpty. You should eat only when hungry, slowly chew and enjoy every mouthful, eat only until full (or sated) and have a drink before every meal, in case you are feel thirsty but don’t recognise it.

I know to the average/slim people this is normal eating. This is how my whole family eat. They eat to live (but enjoy it), they don’t live to eat. Like I do and probably like most overweight people do. I will change my relationship with food and I will do it soon, hopefully with the help of this book. I genuinely worry the harm my diet (binging and extreme dieting) is doing to my body. I will get out of this cycle and I will beat the little demons in my head pushing me to eat more.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2010 4:18 pm

    I can totally relate. I understand that it is about reprogramming. I have to be in the right mindset to lose weight. I know I have issues that cause me to be overweight (good old childhood stuff) but I also know I can lost weight because I have done it before. The harder you try the harder it is – it’s like telling someone not to think of a Pink Elephant. Can you now not think of a pink elephant? Dieting is the same – by thinking so much about food it is hard to limit it. It’s also one of the few addictions where you can’t give it up to cure yourself.
    I do Atkins to gain control and then move over to healthy eating once you reach a target weight because Atkins is not a lifestyle change or long term diet. However it can be very effective at shifting the big chunks and getting your mind in the right place for the rest.
    Good luck with the Paul McKenna thing – hope it works for you.

  2. March 2, 2010 4:48 pm

    sounds like an interesting book. We all know those things i think but knowing them and doing them are two different things. will be interesting to see how it works out for you. good luck with it!

  3. March 2, 2010 5:42 pm

    Great post. You are not “banging on about it.” I know a lot of people out there are struggling with their weight.

    I googled the Cambridge diet, though. Holy guacamole! I hope you’re not doing that any more. Like you say – it’s in the mind, not in the food.

  4. March 2, 2010 8:40 pm

    Dieting is the pits. I was always slim until I had my second baby and now I am totally struggling to take of 20 pounds. It sucks. Just remember you are not alone. There are so many of us out here doing the same as you. It’s not easy. Not at all. I’m proud of you for being brave enough to talk about it. I’m not corageous enough to do that at all on my blog. Thanks for sharing. You definitely made me feel less alone.

  5. March 4, 2010 3:11 pm

    This is a great, honest post that many, many will relate to. If only the ‘facts’ or the science of losing fat were as easy to DO as they are simple to understand. As you say, we all think we know what we ‘should’ be doing, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Eating & food are such emotional issues for most women, & that as you say is where we need to start to change. To adjust our emotions towards food to ones of healthy nourishment, great tastes & savouring every mouthful. Not as comforter, punishment or reward. My suggestion would be to ditch the whole diet concept once & for all. Any restrictive regime you ‘go on’ you will have to ‘come off’, & then you’re right back where you started, just hungrier! Dealing with the demons & emotions of food is as much part of losing weight as what you actually eat. I think there is also a huge factor of actually needing to like (love) ourselves which needs to be present if we are going to nourish our body rather than ‘punish’ or ‘comfort’ it. Sorry if that is a bit long & deep… & Good luck! 🙂

  6. March 4, 2010 3:51 pm

    Honey this does me good to hear you being honest.

    To be honest your extreme dieting scares the crap out of me. I will never, ever believe that is a healthy way to lose weight and tend to think changing your thinking is a hell of a lot more powerful longer term that punishing yourself through so little food.

    I hope you find a better balance my love, I really really do. And the book sounds like a great place to start xxxx

  7. March 5, 2010 5:17 pm

    I’m not sure diets ever really work – I have a love love relationship to junk food and chocolates but I find that the only time I really eat healthily/lose weight is when I’m really happy in the rest of my life – so I’d say do what makes you happy and then you won’t want to eat all those bad foods!!

  8. March 7, 2010 6:51 pm

    would be interested to hear how you get on with the book.

    In desperate need of losing weight myself. Nothing I try seems to work or my motivation is just not enough to stop me eating.

    I feel like i am on my last chance and somehting needs to give now. Have looked at the cambridge and literlife plans but the thought of relying on shakes scares me and not sure about long term effect etc.

    Well done on such an honest post.

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