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Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

Howdy.

I’ve discovered that it’s ridiculously easy to slip back to the good ol’ compulsive overeating habits.

I’ve lost almost a stone, gained a few pounds and lost them again, but I’m still finding my feet. I think my eating is probably the healthiest it’s been since … I don’t think I’ve ever eaten as healthily without being obsessed with weight loss and cutting out certain foods altogether.

But with all the salads I’ve prepared and carbs I’ve cut down on, there’s usually the urge to gorge on chocolate peeking around the corner.

Sometimes I overeat. Scratch that, most days I overeat, but the times when I’ve compulsively jammed food into my mouth as if it’s going out of fashion have been few and far between.

I’m amazed by how easily it is to have a good day with eating and exercise and then wake up the next morning and pick out sugar-coated cereal or the chocolate in the fridge without even comprehending what I’m doing. It’s as if I’m in a food trance in these moments, I don’t think about my actions because I don’t want to, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mastered this skill over the years. If there was a University degree in bingeing and ignoring what you’ve eaten, I’d be the head lecturer.

Actually snapping myself out of the trance and forcing myself to rationalise about food is still very difficult. It helps now that I’ve lost some weight, because for a long time I genuinely thought I couldn’t do it. I’m not talking losing a stone or two, realistically I’m talking eight stone. At least. It depends what my body looks and feels like. So for a while I thought I just could not lose that amount of weight, I just wasn’t strong enough.

Now I realise I can eat a healthy, balanced diet and lose weight. Whenever I go for the sugar-coated cereal I reason with myself that I can have the cereal, but I have to accept the consequences that come with it.

Such as:

  1. The guilt.
  2. Sugar cravings
  3. Possible weight gain. Not just from cereals obviously, but if the guilt and the sugar cravings then lead to overeating or bingeing.

I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out which group I’m in as well. Am I now in the category of weight loss, or can I still fit in with the Eating Disordered? I’ve felt like my blog can’t be both because some posts I’ve written I now disagree with (I’ll get to that another time though). For now I’m just going to blog less frequently than before and see where it leads me. I look forward to catching up with what other bloggers are up to as well.

How are you guys doing?!

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In January 2010 I knew I had an Eating Disorder. I’d lost 3 stone on the second round of LighterLife, binged on several bowls of cereal and gone to the University counsellor, where I learned I might have a problem with binge-eating. I stopped doing LighterLife, hoping beyond hope I wouldn’t put weight on whilst I was sorting out therapy options. I went home for Christmas and binged for 2 weeks on anything and everything I could find. Despite this, I was still a lot slimmer, and the glimmer of hope LighterLife gave me – that I would lose weight – was still alight. I didn’t know how severe my bingeing was, or would get, but I thought I’d probably lose weight each week in therapy.

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So in the January sales I purchased a size 12 (UK) pair of jeans. My size 14 jeans were getting looser, and on LighterLife you learn to buy clothes quickly because your body changes quickly. I’d never bought a pair of size 12 jeans before, nor had I ever been able to fit into them. My top half was already a size 8 – I told you my bum was big – as I lost my weight quickly from my waist, so size 12 jeans meant I my thighs were finally catching up and I was well on my way to the body I’d always wanted.

Life didn’t really go to plan, as it rarely does, and I gained weight after stopping LighterLife . I continued to gain weight during therapy, as I started to realise how skewed my view of food and weight really was. I was never going to be happy unless I was an all over size 8. It didn’t matter what my body wanted, it only mattered that I get there and stay there, because then everything would be fine.

I’ve still got the size 12 pair of jeans. They don’t mean so much to me anymore. I was devastated when I gained weight, the dream of being able to pull the jeans over my thighs and do up the buttons slowly ebbing away. I don’t want to let the pair of jeans go, size 12 is an achievable size for my thighs, but instead of believing that size 8 was the only size for me, I’m going to let my body choose what size it wants to be when I’ve sorted my mind out. It’ll be a long, long time before I can get into those jeans, but having opened the wardrobe and seen them sitting there, I can safely say my attitude to my body isn’t perfect, but has changed drastically.

Hayley Emma

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This formerly bigger girl completely gets how ‘fat chicks’ are portrayed and, subsequently, feel. Katie is brilliant and funny, and this post gets a big fat thumbs up from me. (See what I did there?! Wit is my middle name. Sort of.)
Hayley Emma

Sass & Balderdash

I’ve been everywhere on the overweight spectrum; I’ve ranged from being chubby to being obese for most of my life. It’s only within the past year that I’ve lost weight and fought, scratched, and clawed my way into smaller proportions. I’m all too familiar with the fruitless pursuit of reasonably cute XL-sized shirts, the rummaging for jeans that fit well everywhere, and the struggle to feel confident in the paltry amount of clothes I found that actually fit. Such is the plight of a fat chick.

Apparently, I’m not fat anymore. The number on the scale is telling me this. My friends, family, and co-workers have likewise made me aware of this, too. I know they’re all right. Rationally, I’m cognizant of the fact that for the first time in my life, I’m at a healthy, average weight, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly stop being a fat…

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What I’ve already done is yo-yo dieting.

I was 13 when I first stopped bingeing and cut out all snacks. 3 meals a day, nothing else. I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t want anything else, and I did a very old and hilarious workout video, the mother of all workout videos… Jane Fonda. I can remember the songs, the frequent “woo”s and “yeah!”s, and the men who were very into skin-tight workout wear.

(Update – I’ve looked for this on YouTube for years since we lost the video, and I finally found it! Uploaded 2 months ago, this little gem. Me and my mum are going to do this tonight!)

That was a good time. I lost 1 ½ stone, people complimented me and it was the first time I noticed a difference in how people treat you when you’re bigger compared to when you’re smaller.

I remember getting home from school in the days before and after this period – because it didn’t last – and eat small 5,7,10 chocolate bars in one go, hurriedly stuffing them into my mouth and hiding the wrappers down the back of the sofa or in different bins in the house. Hardly a vomit-inducing binge but I felt a sense of compulsion, a loss of control. (People with Binge-eating Disorder will know that stages of not bingeing would be temporary. (Dr Fairburn explains this in Overcoming Binge Eating))

The feeling of being free from your Eating Disorder, although I didn’t know I was disordered at the time, is incredible. I knew I was controlling what I was eating, I was exercising and enjoying it rather than using it as a punishment, and saying no to food I’d usually binge on was empowering. I felt slightly superior. I was taking control of my life (As much as you can at 13).

This is how I felt during every diet that resulted in weight loss, especially LighterLife. But this feeling was short-lived. Something would click back into place.

After all, a disorder does not come and go, the symptoms can fade or evolve.

The periods of control would worsen the bingeing, and I’d gain the weight I’d lost as well as some more for good measure. If anything proves that restrictive dieting doesn’t work, it’s yo-yo dieting. If you have lost weight and you have every reason to be happier with your body, and then as soon as you finish the diet you put the weight back on? I’m pretty sure that’s a major hint that the method of weight loss didn’t work. It could be an emotional attachment to food or being overly restrictive and therefore the results are unsustainable.

Right now, I’m learning how to eat ‘normally’. Regular meals which minimise the risk of bingeing and healthier meals that don’t upset my blood sugar levels. Exercise is less punishing and more enjoyable, laughing when I make a mistake is an important part of realising that it’s my health and well-being I’m trying to improve, rather than aesthetics.

I know this is the right way forward, but the urge to diet and go back to my old ways are creeping back in. I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve done that before, it didn’t lead me to permanent weight loss, and it’s my attitude that needs to change, rather than the diet.

I’m gritting my teeth and sticking with baby steps to success. When I think of re-learning how to eat properly I think I should be moving faster, but since planning 3 meals a day is overwhelming, let alone incorporating regular healthy snacks, it’s necessary.

Are you doing things you aren’t comfortable with? Do you have the urge to go back to what you were doing before, in the hopes that it’ll turn out differently this time? Tell me I’m not the only one who’s fallen into this trap!

Emma

P.s. If anyone decides to do the Jane Fonda or Pump It Up workout please let me know which one if your favourite, both are on YouTube (the Pump It Up workout has a few more parts).

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I said to my therapist that normally when I’m in control as I feel now I’m usually on a diet. 3 meals a day, no snacks – not even fruit – or LighterLife, weight watchers, slimming world, atkins… the list goes on and on.  I feel this time is different, but I still feel I’m waiting for the diet to commence. Instead I’m trying to focus on maintaining my efforts and making small changes that will aid weight loss… it’s all new territory to me though.

Whilst searching for some weight loss quotes to help me keep my focus, I was disappointed at how many of them seemed to be unforgiving and angry. I get it, exercise is hard and not eating what you want is difficult, and as a binge-eater I fully admit that losing a substantial amount of weight is one of the hardest things you can do. Flashback to me and a friend carrying our shopping home, usually a 20 minute walk in the summer. She turns round to me and says “come on!”

I look down at my shopping bags, the occasional hidden food that I know I’ll binge/overeat on later, and look back to her. It’s a hot summers day, I’m wearing jeans and a long-sleeved cardigan because I am too embarrassed to show my arms and legs, I’m carrying food that I know is going to make me feel worse and I’m carrying at least 6 more stone than her. It doesn’t help that I’m bitter of her naturally slim frame that she doesn’t lift a finger for, but the “come on!” certainly doesn’t encourage me.

I feel like weight loss quotes are a little like this. They mean well, and they’re trying to move you forward, but they are unhelpful. They don’t make me feel good, or like I want to get on the treadmill to become healthy, they make me feel like I failed for being overweight and I should be shouted at until I lose it all.

I’ve chosen: I don’t like your tone.

Oh, so when I was bingeing, did that make me a bitch?

You had me up until ‘move’.

It’s the tone I don’t like, as if I need someone treading on my heels every step of the way to keep me going, otherwise I’ll just fall on the sofa and stuff my face. And maybe that’s the point, these weight loss quotes seem to supply bursts of enthusiasm or, dare I say it, self-disgust. They are there for you to lose weight fast and now, whereas I want to lose weight and keep it off forever. Running on angry isn’t going to work long-term – I don’t want to be angry with myself for the rest of my life.

Not all weight loss quotes are annoying though, like these.

It’s acknowledging that it’s easier not to work hard, but it’s also making me laugh. A little humour goes a long way in my books.

Ok so points taken off for being from ‘teach me how to skinny’ but it is acknowledging that your body is linked with the mind, and therefore provides evidence of the tough times as well as the good times.

Thank God for that, at least if I fall at the first hurdle I’ve got more options. And I get to stay cool.

Good advice.

I like these quotes because they acknowledge that weight loss isn’t a steady decline. Sometimes you do everything right and don’t reap the rewards, sure there’s a science behind weight loss but when I was on 500 calories a day on LighterLife I still managed to put on a pound or stay the same when I should have been losing. Sometimes your body can be a tad unpredictable.

Instead of punishing yourself over having the extra piece of chocolate or not getting on the treadmill once, surely it’s better to acknowledge the blip, implement ways of not falling down that hole again and keep on keeping on? I know I’ve felt a lot better being practical and kinder to myself than hating myself over every work out I haven’t done and every chocolate bar I’ve had.

What do you think? Do these quotes work for you? I feel a debate coming on.

Emma

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