First things first. My week 60 (yes, 60!) weigh day results are in and I have lost a very respectable 2.5lbs. This puts my current weight at 15st 0.5lbs so there’s just one teeny insignificant pound to go until I can see those 14’s! In recent months as soon as I’ve got close to a new stone bracket then self-sabotage has set in and I’ve had a massive gain.
Not this time though.
I’m still 100% focused. I still have two chocolate bars in the fridge that are untouched and I’ve even added a tub of the new vegan friendly Ben & Jerry’s that has just been released. This may seem very dangerous, and in the wrong hands it is, but never fear because I’m totally in control. I did save up the syns over the week for one of the chocolate bars, but then I found that I didn’t want it. So in the fridge it stayed.
I’ve noticed a real change in my attitude towards food since I’ve been back on plan, and it’s also made me think hard about things that I always assumed to be true.
When I was in junior school we went on a bus that had been converted to be an educational space about health. The man there gave a talk and although I can’t remember much else about it, the thing that sticks in my mind was him saying that quite often when we have a headache it can be because we are hungry. Well I clung on to that ‘fact’ like a lifebuoy and never let go! How many times in the last 20+ years have I assumed I had a hunger headache? How many of those times have I loaded up with sugary foods and probably made my headache worse? Too many to count I’d guess. In fact I used to suffer from daily headaches but now I think of it I’ve probably had about 4 in the last year. Even then they were most likely hormone-induced. I have no doubt that the decrease in frequency is directly related to my weight loss.
Another thing I remember hearing about, more recently this time, is that the brains in people who are overweight may not know when their stomachs are full. Again I just assumed it to be true and used it as an excuse for eating really excessive amounts of food, even when I’ve been dieting. It may well be true, but it isn’t necessarily true for everyone. It might have even been true for me, once, but I know that certainly isn’t the case now.
In the last two weeks I’ve half-consciously been modifying my meals. I’ve reduced the amount of chips or wedges I have with any given meal and upped the less energy dense foods. On top of that my overall portions have been smaller and have even fit on one plate! This is unheard of for me. I haven’t noticed that I’ve been any more or less hungry than usual, but last night I cooked way too much food by accident yet piled it all on the plate anyway.
Half way through, and I’m talking literally as I’d eaten half of the food, I noticed that I didn’t want any more so I stopped eating. It wasn’t the kind of meal that would keep well and I knew I wouldn’t want it later, so although I hate wasting food I threw it away there and then rather than putting it in the fridge for a couple of days and throwing it away later. It seems that my stomach and my brain are perfectly in sync after all, and if I’m honest in the past I’ve known full well when it’s time to stop eating and have simply ignored the signals and carried on until I feel sick. It’s hard to admit to at the time though.
The other thing that often weighs heavily on my mind is that (apparently) after dieting only 5% of people keep the weight off. In the past I’d use that as excuse when the pounds started piling back on (I’m sure you can sense a theme here, I have a whole plethora of excuses!) I’d tell myself that it was inevitable, that it wasn’t my fault. I don’t doubt that there are biological functions that make it hard (OK, really damn hard) to keep the weight off. But it’s not impossible and regaining the weight is not inevitable. The more knowledge we arm ourselves with when it comes to things like this the better, because it means we know what to expect, and more importantly how to fight it.
At the beginning of this journey I was saying to myself ‘I’m going to be part of that 5%’. Now I’m saying to myself, ‘I’m going to be part of the awesome group of people who make that 5% go up to 10%, and beyond’. Because now I truly believe that we can all achieve our goals despite everything that’s against us.
On a lighter note (no pun intended) the fabulous people at Quorn have been working on expanding their vegan range and I’ve managed to get my grubby little mits on vegan burgers and BBQ strips. The strips have just been added to Syns Online and they’re free, but the burgers aren’t on there yet so I’ve sent pictures of the packaging off to Slimming World. I’ve also sent pictures of the Ben & Jerry’s, so that I can eat it as part of the Slimming World plan as and when I feel like it.
Linda McCartney are also bringing out a load of new stuff for autumn/winter and although I couldn’t get my hands on a delicious-sounding roast, I did manage to pick up vegetarian beef, mushroom and spinach bites. How nice do they sound? Linda McCartney already do a fairly large sausage roll and despite the pastry it’s a very reasonable 7.5 syns (and it’s delicious dipped in Tesco Free From salad cream, too) so I think these bites will be reasonably synned. I’ve sent pictures of the packaging of these, too, so we will soon find out!
Finally, although it has taken weeks of looking I’ve found Oatly Barista, which counts as an A choice and is meant to be really good in coffee. The thought of a black coffee still makes me feel a bit iffy at the moment, but I could really go for a latté right now and Oatly Barista is meant to be the best plant-based milk when it comes to hot drinks. I’m looking forward to giving it a go, and if you’re really into fancy coffees the label says it’s foamable too!
Right now I’m off to rub myself with Ibuprofen gel as my neck is still playing up. The good thing about that though is that I get to marvel at how I can feel my shoulder blades and every little vertebrae in my spine. It’s just amazing!
Thanks for reading,