Feeling Hungry!

Walking away from the mountain is a long trek – they do say Rome wasn’t built-in a day, and it did take a whopping 42 years to build up this seriously unhealthy relationship to food and anxiety, it’s not going to take a day to break it all down.  But, after seeing the sports nutritionist, there have been some improvements.

  1. Firstly, I don’t have cravings anymore where all I could do is butter my desk at work, at a touch of salt, and eat it.  And that is always good.
  2. Secondly, my blood sugar seems to be more stable.  I am still always feeling hungry, but somehow it seems just less so… (maybe I am just having a good week?)
  3. Thirdly, I am really enjoying my running – and is also always good.  I am going to run and lunch time now, although it is gale force winds outside, but if hubby can cycle in this wind, I can run in this wind.
  4. And lastly – for now – I don’t feel like I’m eating all the time.

So, surely I must be headed in the right direction?  Well, we can hope – what I do know is this: I cannot continue to live my life surrounded by the idea that I need to eat all the time and eat everything in sight.  It’s not healthy, nor is it balanced.  So, I guess more than seeing the sports nutritionist, is working on my thoughts and attitude.  And it is so hard – when you’ve been thinking one way your entire life, its hard to build up a new complex network of new thoughts.

She also said we must eat slowly, really chew our food well – and focus on enjoying our meals: give our brains and bodies time to realise that we’re actually full…

 

 

 

 

Eating the table!

I know I may sound like an idiot, but I honestly don’t know what to do when I get so hungry.  Like today, for example…  I am so hungry, I could put a little bit of butter on the table, a dash of salt, and eat the frigging table!!!

Is this normal?

I have no idea.  All I know is that before I fell pregnant, and grabbed hold of the opportunity of gaining weight with every fibre of my being, I never felt hunger like this.

Never...

In fact, I used to eat probably one full meal a day, with snacking in between and was quite happy…  And satisfied.  Now I’m eating three full meals a day, plus snacking in-between, and I am always hungry.  Always…  It drives me nuts, and is still quite an adjustment to me, considering that for 36 years I ate one way, and now for the last 8 years I’m eating completely differently…  And battling with it!

Last week, we discussed using Visualization techniques and I really do believe in this, but it’s no quick fix.  I read a while ago of a woman who lost a tremendous amount of weight.  And she did it – according to her – purely through visualization.  She said – according to the article I was reading – that she would sit every day, and every moment of every day, and think about what she would look like, be like and act like if she lost a lot of weight.  One of the ways this helped her was that every time she went to the fridge for a snack, she wouldn’t take anything, because a skinny person doesn’t snack all the time.

She thought like a skinny person and believed she was a skinny person – until she actually became one.

And I’m all fine with that, except I get so hungry that skinny chick be damned.

Not helping my cause much, is it?

Anyway, so I am going to sit for a few minutes every day – even if I have to do this at work – and visualize what it is I want to accomplish:

  • Being peaceful
  • Being calm
  • Eating less
  • Exercising more

Sit and actually see it in my mind’s eye – feel the emotions that go with it, figure out the actions, and change the actual DNA in my brain.

The reason why I know visualization works so well, is because for 36 years before I fell pregnant I had complete anxiety that I was too skinny, and couldn’t wait to gain weight.  I realise now just how stupid that thinking was, but it set the stage for what I am now battling with.  I would give my eye teeth to go back to how I used to eat before falling pregnant – in moderation and when I was hungry.

So, now I need to set a new stage…

Who’s with me?

Thinking Positive Thoughts…

Visualization…

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.  For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.  Imagination is everything.  It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. ” – Albert Einstein (emphasis mine)

As the old saying goes, “Seeing is believing”.  Except seeing – or thinking positive thoughts – in one’s mind is what creates the belief.  Or, at least, this is what I am referring to when it comes to weight loss, eating healthy, running 21 km, or pretty much anything else we want to achieve.

I don’t think enough positive thoughts.  I fear, I panic and dwell on horrid “what if” scenarios (yes, I am a what-iffer)… and then I allow myself to stew in those negative thoughts and negative emotions.  It’s almost like a drug, a high that sometimes I just can’t help myself.

Then today, I come across this:

By practicing positive visualizations of the future.  Drown out the ugly projections.  Look at them and dismiss them, again and again.  Deny them the air they need to live.  It may take months.  It may take years.  But thoughts, like animals, fight for prominence within your conscious mind.  Support the positive conceptions.  Do not nurture the negative with attention.  https://walkeredwards.com/2017/05/03/why-positive-thinking-matters/

I need to stop nurturing the negative.  I have made huge strides in this journey of mine, but I still have this tendency…  So, whether it is constantly working on positive thinking – i.e. viewing any situation I find myself in with a positive slant, or actually sitting down and visualising how I react to those situations, I need to be more committed to walking towards mental health and away from anxiety, stress and eating everything in sight.

The big problem for me is time:  I’m always run off my feet, so to find the time (and the privacy) to sit down for 10 minutes to visualize something, seems – well – rather inconvenient.  BUT – what about when I’m in bed, trying to get my body to sleep?  Or when I need a 10 minute break from my computer at work?  Or in my lunch break?

There is always a way…  And I can use visualization to visual that way… 🙂

There are a number of things I need to visualize:

  1. Not eating when not hungry – I can picture myself as feeling full and not eating anything;
  2. Eating healthy foods – I can picture myself as being hungry, but rather reaching for an apple or something healthy than for a chocolate or chips;
  3. Only eating when hungry – picture myself as only eating when I am truly hungry;
  4. Being able to remain calm and in control when hungry – my meal may be delayed, or I am too busy to eat, or any other situation may arise, but I can remain calm and in control and not give into fear and panic when hungry;
  5. Eating out with my husband in a calm and enjoyable manner – to enjoy a meal out with my husband;
  6. Eating out with friends in a calm and enjoyable manner – to enjoy a meal out with my friends;
  7. Having a healthy relationship with food…

Changing my mind

Well, I have lost some weight.

And as I’ve gotten on the scale to see, the whole fear and old haunting voices have come out to challenge me:

You're no good!
You'll never succeed!
What if everyone sees the real you - 
what will you hide behind then???
What if you get so skinny, you get sick and die?
What if I choke and get so skinny - and die?

Yes, these are the thoughts running through my head.  And I have become painfully aware of my power.  My power to choose.  To choose to believe the lies.  Or to reject the lies and search for the truth.  And what is the truth?

The truth is that I can step out into the sun, I can feel the gentle breeze on my face.  I can break down the walls I’ve been hiding behind my entire life.  In Jesus, I am safe, loved and accepted.  I can embrace my husband and my life as blessings from God.  I can embrace God who loves me completely.  I can trust in who God created me to be.  I can trust God will always guide me saying, “Here is the path.”  I can trust God has created me fearfully and wonderfully.  I will NOT give up.  I will reap the harvest of blessing if I do NOT give up.

So, as tempted as it is to follow the well-worn paths in my brain to believing the lies, and falling down the well again, I can choose to believe the truth.  This time, I am focusing on God’s word, His truth and His unending love for me.

I’m addicted to sugar…

We all know that we shouldn’t eat too much sugar, and while I have taken great lengths to go from two or three teaspoons of sugar in my coffee to none, I haven’t given up chocolates (I mean, who gives up chocolate), biscuits, sweets and ice-cream.  I guess there’s my weight right there…

Anyway, I have now decided to cut down on my sugar intake and to start eating more sensibly.  I fear my brain may be so fried from all the sugar intake that this may be a more difficult feat than what I realise.

After my lunch at work yesterday, I had a slab of mint chocolate (my favourite).  And I thought I would just have a small block or two.  I finished the entire slab.  The whole thing.  In about five minutes I had flattened the entire slab of chocolate and that’s when I realised that I have a sugar addiction.  I couldn’t get enough of the chocolate and I couldn’t get it fast enough.

It scared me.

I was always the girl who didn’t have a sweet tooth, who probably only ate one meal a day, who was teased for “eating like a bird”, who was the “naturally skinny” one in class – in her group of friends…

Me…

Now wolfing down a slab of chocolate in under five minutes flat.

This is not who I am.

It is only because I had this thought in my head that I have nurtured my entire life that there is something wrong with me, and that I had to start eating as much as I can to “fix” me!  And that thought has grown and grown and now I see myself as this fat person – I feel comfortable where I am.

But, it is not me…

Because it hasn’t resolved any of my issues.  I’m still completely body conscious, shy, insecure and overly analytical.  Picking up weight and eating everything in sight has only caused me to well, pick up weight – I’m still just me.  Well, a rather larger me.

So, now, I have to wean myself off sugar.

My first step is to stop eating chocolates and sweets.  In fact, with Lent coming up, it’s a good thing to quite over the 40 days (and then to maintain it going forward).  I’m also giving up wine from a Monday to a Thursday, and just having a glass over the weekend.

I do believe though that no diet or calorie restriction is going to work until I re-work my mind.

Ephesians 4:22-24 New International Version (NIV):  22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self,created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

So, while I am reducing my sugar intake by starting off with cutting out sugar in sweets and chocolate, I need to renew my mind to see myself as a new person who weighs less and eats well.

I came across this article in a simple step plan to combat sugar cravings – the idea is to distract yourself:

1. If at All Hungry, Eat a Meal

2. Take a Hot Shower

3. Go For a Walk, Distance Yourself

Here are some other methods you may find useful.

  • Have a glass of water.  Some people say that cravings can be caused by dehydration.  I am quite good with drinking water every day.

  • Eat a fruit. Having a piece of fruit may help satisfy sugar cravings for some people. Bananas, apples, oranges work great.  I am going to try this – just this afternoon I had an apple, which hopefully will help.  It’s not going to help though if I keep dreaming of chocolate so I need to distract myself and focus on something else.

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners.  If you feel that artificial sweeteners trigger cravings for you, then you might want to avoid them.  I have never in my life had artificial sweetener – I can’t stand the taste, and would rather just cut sugar than resorting to using artificial sweetener.

  • Eat more protein.  Protein is great for satiety, may help with cravings as well.  Not always easy to do at work, but I am trying…

  • Talk to a friend.  Call/go meet someone who understands what you’re going through.  Explain that you’re going through a craving and ask for a few words of encouragement.  If this doesn’t help, or if I don’t have anyone to call, I will talk to myself and reinforce the fact that I am not hungry, I have eaten, but I am having a craving that I don’t need to give into, because that is not who I am.

  • Sleep well.  Getting proper, refreshing sleep is important for overall health and can help prevent cravings.  Although I do have Baby Girl who loves to wake me up all the time, I do try sleep a healthy sleep when and where I can.

  • Avoid excess stress.  Same as with sleep, avoiding stress can help prevent cravings.  I find this sad, because stress used to make me not eat.  Now I grab anything and everything.

  • Avoid certain triggers.  Try to avoid specific activities or places that give you cravings, such as walking past McDonald’s.  Once again, I never had any desire for fast food – at all.  It used to make me feel queasy – now, I can quite happily have a burger every day.  How is it my brain has changed so much.

  • Take a multivitamin. This will help prevent any deficiencies.  I don’t like popping pills…

  • Read your list. It can be very helpful to carry with you a list of the reasons you want to eat healthy, because it can be hard to remember such things when you get a craving.  This is important.  Why I am doing this?  Why can’t I just be happy as I am?  Well, firstly, because its’ not me.  If I was going to be overweight, I would’ve been as a child already.  Secondly, the only reason that I am overweight is because I believed a lie – and now I’m paying the price and I want to get back to who God created me to be.  Thirdly, I want to be healthy.  Fourth, I want to be attractive to my husband, and finally, I want to run faster and look like an athlete instead of a blob.

  • Don’t starve yourself. Try to prevent yourself from becoming too hungry between meals.  Nope, I get too hungry to even contemplate this…

I will keep you posted on how my combating the sugar disease is going.

One Foot Forward at a time...

A losing battle…

Towards the end of last year (end of November’ish), I put my back out after one particularly hectic boot camp session.  And I still have not been able to go back.  Sigh…  I just can’t seem to win.  Anyway, I’m off to the Chiropractor on Monday (had to wait for the New Year so we had new medical aid benefits).

But…

All is not lost.

Hubby and I were in Cape Town over Christmas and I ran the Durbanville Parkrun at Meerendal, as well as the Greenpoint Parkrun.  And I ran a couple of trail runs in between, which considering my rather substantial size at the moment, is quite a feat.  So, while I can’t do the strenuous exercises of Boot Camp, I have been able to run.  I’m still eating everything in sight, and my goal for this year is just to learn to eat slowly: take small bites and eat slowly.

You have to change your mindset about diets and the way you eat, otherwise you will always follow the same old habits.

And that is what I am trying to do…  Change how I think about my health, my weight and getting fit…

Practice Saying NO!

I find it so ironic that I have gone from the naturally slender one in the group, to the largest one.  Just this past weekend, a friend took a photo of me and hubby standing together.  And I was shocked.  I had no idea that I had gotten so huge.  (Of course, it doesn’t help when one of the ladies in the group kept on bragging about how beautiful her body is.)  But, I was the smallest in the group, and I am now by far the largest.  In my mind, although I know on one level that I have a vast amount of excess weight, I still think of myself as that skinny girl from way back – and I think that is probably why I am battling to lose this weight.  I don’t see myself as being so huge; in my mind’s eye I am still that skinny little girl…  I won’t really have the victory if I don’t acknowledge it, see it, and then move to where I want to be.

So, besides for signing up for Boot Camp (I have my first session tomorrow and I am so, so nervous – I have no idea what to expect), I think I also need to practice the fine art of saying NO!  Before I fell pregnant and gained all this weight, I always used to say No.

  • No thank you to the extra glass of wine;
  • No thank you to desert;
  • No thank you to chocolate (I never used to have a sweet tooth – I have since honed the skill of needing a chocolate on a regular basis);
  • Sometimes even no thank you to breakfast…

Now, I say yes to everything.  Sometimes even to seconds and thirds…

Now, I need to start saying No.  I suppose there will be many times I will fall – saying yes to chocolate is a lot easier to learn than saying no to chocolate…  But, I am trying.  Just last night I got a free smoothie from Kauai and whereas I would normally have a smoothie AND then still have supper, I only had a small bite of supper.  I was starving when I went to bed, but I made it through and only had my breakfast this morning.  It’s not much – but I do hope it is a step in the right direction.

The character trait needed for this is perseverance: to keep practicing the fine art of saying, “No, thank you” as opposed to saying yes to everything edible.

The Baby Mama