Saturday, 17 March 2012

Long overdue update...

Hello! I haven't vanished, I'm still here! Just about. I haven't updated in a while for many reasons, not all of them weight loss related. I am struggling, flailing, sinking maybe, in more areas than one. It's as though everything is conspiring against me, and if I'm truthful, while diet and exercise has been in the forefront of my mind it's been the last thing I've wanted to pay any attention to.

On Tuesday this week I gained half a pound, which to be honest was a complete surprise because I was expecting a gain of at least 3 or 4 with how bad my diet had been that week. So the weight loss gods smiled on me and I should have learnt my lesson and got back on the wagon this week. But I haven't, and this week has been almost just as bad. I can't remember the last time I did any exercise other than walking to take my eldest to school. I am in a major funk and I can't get out of it.

I don't want to have the relationship that I have with food any more. I want to eat what I want, when I want it and lose weight but of course, that's silly. I can't have it both ways but am finding that following the plan I am is making me feel deprived. Which is equally ridiculous because nothing is banned and I can have a little bit of what I want. If I want chocolate, I can have a small chocolate bar. If I want bread, that's fine too. But, I can't stop at one biscuit or a small piece of cheese. Which is ridiculous because who needs to eat a family sized pack of crisps? I just can't stop myself though. I've tried not having it in the house, but there are certain things I have to have for the children, or Mr FGS. And if there really is nothing "naughty" I'll eat an excessive amount of what is there. Stuff which is fine in moderation, but moderation isn't in my vocab at the moment.

What's causing all this? I don't know exactly, but a combination of things I guess. Stress is a major factor, but I can't take the stress out of my life at the moment. Financially, we're up the proverbial creek, and this rolls down onto other things that get me down. I have lost almost 3 stone, but am still wearing clothes from 6 months ago (even things I wore when I was pregnant, although they're mostly bed clothes) because we can't afford to buy new, or even second hand. Mr FGS lost his job just after Christmas, and therefore all the benefits that came with it. His company car, laptop and phone all were returned, severely limiting the work he can do now and therefore our income has been slashed. Then the car which we took out a loan for and bought 3 weeks ago broke down last weekend, costing us another £200 to fix. Within the space of 4 hours, the car broke down and my laptop, phone and camera all stopped working. Just small things that all added together make me want to cry.

Of course, Mr FGS is working all of the hours he can to try and bring money in. The majority of my evenings are spent in alone, which again makes food difficult because I don't want to buy and cook a meal just for myself. So I plan to have a jacket potato or a salad but when the time comes, once the children are fed, bathed and settled down for the night I go for a sandwich, packed with cheese, mayo, or something equally unhealthy. Of course I could use my time alone in the evenings to do a workout DVD or switch the Wii on, but having eaten badly and been on my own with 2 young children all day I just can't bring myself to do it. Andrew comes home around 9 or 10pm and goes almost straight to bed. It's lonely, and also putting a strain on our relationship.

He's now working all weekend (even on Mothers day tomorrow) and I am stuck in the house with the children alone again. I don't drive, it's raining and we couldn't even go for a walk because another thing which broke last weekend is my pram. It's fine for short trips to the shops or the school run, but the wheel falls off every 5 minutes and it is impossible to steer so a walk in the woods a few minutes from us is impossible. And of course, replacing the pram is out of our financial reach for at least another week and a half, if not longer than that and I am at my wits end.

So the long and short of it is that I am turning to food for comfort, because I feel like it is the only thing I have. At least it's better than alcohol, right? It's what I've always done, and I guess that habit is hard to break. But it is making me feel worse with every mouthful. I know I shouldn't be doing it, and it certainly isn't making me feel any better, but I can't help myself.

I am sorry this has been such a long and negative update, I just wanted to let you know what's been happening and why I've been, and probably will continue to be, a bit quiet. I need to work on my head and heart, and hopefully my body will follow!


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Weekly Update and SCC week 9 review

I nearly didn't write this update. I am about ready to give up, or do something drastic. This week I exercised 5 times, ate within my points every day except for Saturday (which would have been covered by the extra activity points I earned), got 2l of water every day, and had what I consider to be a "good week". So I should be celebrating a loss and giving my halo a polish. But I gained 1 1/2lbs. For no reason. I can't blame my monthly cycle, because I'm right in the middle of it. I'm perfectly healthy, not suffering from a cold or any other ailments. I sweated through a run, two zumba sessions, a pilates session and a legs, bums and tums DVD. I mostly ate clean, not too many carbs, lots of fruit and veg, lean meat and dairy. Over the weekend I had a few biscuits and an extra slice of bread, I refuse to believe a that would make me gain a pound and a half. Plus like I said, on the Weight Watchers system you can earn extra points from activity, and over the week I clocked up more than enough. I can't give up any more of the things I love! I drink mostly water and have almost completely given up caffiene - I used to drink almost 2 litres of diet coke a day, now I have a small 500ml bottle once a week and only allow myself one decaff coffee a day - which I don't even have any milk in. I snack on fruit, veg and rice cakes, instead of crisps, biscuits and bread. I never drink alcohol except special occasions - I've had a drink 3 times this year, whereas I would usually have a bottle of wine in the fridge on the go, and have a glass or two a few times a week. So why am I struggling to much? Why am I gaining weight when I look at what my diet and activity was like before compared to now and it is so different? I am so frustrated, and fed up. Two steps forward and one step back. I could cry.

I met my Spring Chick Challenge goal this week. I wanted to work out 5 times and I did:

Wednesday - rest day
Thursday - 30 minute run
Friday - 50 minute Legs, Bums and Tums DVD
Saturday - 20 mins Zumba + 10 mins Wii Fit
Sunday - 20 mins Zumba + 10 mins Wii Fit
Monday - 50 mins pilates DVD

This week I'll aim for the same if not more - some activity every day, even if it's just 20 minutes Zumba or a walk. This week's challenge is to try a new recipe - which is something I love doing anyway so I'll be sure to blog about it too. I got a new WW mag at my meeting today, so I'll try something from there.

I am so disheartened. I want this so badly, I am trying so hard, I can honestly say that since my birthday I have barely put a foot wrong, but I'm not seeing the results. It's all I think about, but it's making me miserable. I just don't know what to do any more.

Friday, 2 March 2012

How healthy is what you're eating?

So, we're on this journey to lose weight, slim down and generally be more healthful people. But a discussion we had in my Weight Watchers meeting this week got me thinking how healthy I really am, or rather how healthy is the food I'm eating. Sure, I've lost 40lbs, but you can do that simply by restricting your calories (or points in my case) - so you could eat one 1000 calorie burger in a day and nothing else, and still lose weight. But it's not exactly healthy, is it?

Give yourself a number on a scale of 1-10, of how healthy you think you are, food wise. If you think everything you eat is 100% spot on, go for 10. If you're a member of the burger club, it'd be much less! Remember that number.

Guidelines (here in the UK at least, but I think they're a good pointer) detail 5 things you should be doing every day to maximise the health benefits you get from your food. These are:

  1. Eating a variety of 5 portions of fruit and veg a day.
  2. Drinking 6-8 200ml glasses of water (or other fluids) a day.
  3. Eating 2 portions of lean protein a day (meat, poultry, fish, beans, pulses, dairy).
  4. Eating 2 portions of wholegrains a day (fibre-rich foods such as wholemeal pasta and rice, wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread).
  5. Consuming 2 portions of dairy a day (especially important for women).
There are also things you should be cutting down or restricting your intake of:
  1. Salt. No more than 6g a day.
  2. Alcohol. Your intake should not regularly exceed 2-3 units per day for women, 3-4 for men. See here for a guide to alcohol units.
  3. Refined sugars. These contain no nutritional benefit, other than calories!
Now start from 0 and give yourself a point for each of the following:
  • 3 or 4 portions of fruit and veg
  • 5+ portions of fruit and veg
  • 6 or 7 glasses of water a day (1200-1400ml)
  • 8+ glasses of water a day (1600ml +)
  • 1 portion of lean protein (a portion is equivalent to a peice of meat or fish the size of a pack of playing cards, two eggs, four tablespoons of lentils or beans, 100g cottage cheese)
  • 2 portions of lean protein
  • 1 portion of wholegrain (a portion can be 3 heaped tbsps wholegrain breakfast cereal, 1 heaped tbsp uncooked porridge oats, 1 medium slice wholemeal bread, 1 small wholemeal roll, 2 heaped tbsps cooked brown rice,2 heaped tbsps cooked wild rice, 3 heaped tbsps cooked brown pasta, ½ wholemeal pitta bread or 2 rye crispbreads)
  • 2 portions of wholegrain
  • 1 portion of dairy (a medium-size glass of milk, a small pot of yoghurt, or a small matchbox-sized piece of cheese)
  • 2 portions of dairy 
Now take off a point if you:
  • Consume too much salt
  • Consume more than the recommended amount of alcohol regularly
  • Consume too much processed sugar (use your own judgement as to what is too much!)
So, what was your "score"? Was it higher or lower than you initially thought? Initially, I thought I was around a 6 or 7, but actually it's higher than that. I always without fail get my 5 a day now, and usually by lunchtime. I've got the water nailed, at 2 litres a day. I always get at least 1 portion of protein and dairy, and my wholegrain intake is good. I didn't have to take off any points either, leaving me with a score of 8 or 9 (most days!). I don't always get enough dairy, and sometimes protein, but I think I'm doing all right! Food for thought.

If you can get all that within your calorie "budget", then you can officially say you're healthy! Of course, you need to add in exercise/activity, not smoke, do anything else remotely risky and factor in any medical conditions! This healthy business is a full time job!