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My mask was my smile

Some say that everyone needs to be happy with how they look.  I never got that.

How could I be happy with being over 150 pounds overweight and not being able to lose it?

Image by PDPics from Pixabay

I felt so miserable and depressed. But how could I show that to the world?

When I was younger someone told me that you need to decide to be happy. So I would smile and laugh and pretend that I was happy. Maybe looking happy would make me happy.

People said that I was such a positive person. When in reality there was a small amount of time I was actually happy.

I started to find happiness in food.  Chocolate, creamy sauces. While I was eating I was as close to happy as I could be.

Once I stopped eating the I was back to being unhappy.

It was all short lived.

One day I was travelling with work and had been told to take the weekend off and enjoy myself, so I did a sightseeing tour. 

Washington DC, June 2017

It was so wonderful. A beautiful June day, with blue sky’s,  warm weather, the sun was shining.

I had a wonderful time.

It made me think, why was I not enjoying life everyday?  Why only once in a while?

I decided to stop existing, stop only finding a little happiness in food.

I would start to do the activities that I wanted to do once I had lost the weight.  A time that I was thinking would never come.

I really decided to be happy.  To start living my life.  The more I lived and did the activities I wanted to do, the more weight came off and the easier it was to do things.

What activities are you waiting to do? Why wait?

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Is snacking bad?

How many times have you been given advice from someone who has not struggled with their weight?  Sometimes I think everyone I knew had some advice.

Food was the most frequent topic of advice.

Put lemon in your water to lose weight.

Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Remove carbs from your diet.

Don’t eat after 6pm.

Don’t snack.

For years I tried them and had no success.  In fact, I probably did more harm to myself than good.

I would wait as long as I could to eat, then be famished and ate something quick and unhealthy.  Eating so fast that I would eat more than I needed.

I never lost the weight and just kept gaining. The more I gained the more advice I tried.

It went on and on.  If I ate and someone made a comment about whether I really needed to eat it or would it not be better to cut back, I would start to starve myself. Eating less than my body needed to run.

After a few days I would start to feel terrible, until I had to eat.  Then ate too much.

It was after surgery I found out that half a yogurt for breakfast, the filling from half a sandwich at lunch and either half a yogurt for dinner or half a cup of soup was not healthy, or enough to live on.

I was tired all the time, forced myself to keep going until I could not do it anymore.

My dietician said that that was not enough, I still did not listen until I went away on a business trip.  She had said to start enjoy what I ate, and take some time off while away and sightsee.

Me in 2017, Washington DC, USA

I took her advice and ate regular meals, with small healthy snacks between.  I did a walking tour of the town and took the weekend off to see the other sights.

Over 10 days I lost 10 pounds!

I was not hungry over those days and I foods that I really loved.

What did my trip teach me?

That food can help you lose weight. Not eating enough leaves you really tired, but eating too much of a bad thing is not good either.

I also realised that if I am really hungry I will eat more at the next meal, probably more than I need. My choice of food will not be as good either.  So if I have a healthy snack between meals I will not be famished and will be able to make better food choices and eat a healthy amount.

Do you let yourself get so hungry that you overeat or make poor food choices?  What snacks could you have that would help you with this?

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I am scared of lettuce

Do you have a food that even thinking of it makes you cringe or want to run? I do.

Image by lipefontes0 from Pixabay

I had a bad experience once, I ate a chicken Caesar salad.  It was delicious while I was eating it, but I reacted badly to the lettuce.  I know for sure it was the lettuce and not the chicken. Sorry to be graphic but it felt like razor blades going through my digestive system.

From that point on I cannot look at salad the same way.  Even the word salad brings back bad memories.

This is wrong.  Not all salads have to have lettuce, I can live without eating it.  But salad is a whole type of food.

In order to eat healthy I decided to let go of my fear and remove the association I had of lettuce with salad.  Now when I think of salads I think, grated carrots, chopped cucumber, lots of other vegetables, with possibly some fruit.

Image by TheAndrasBarta from Pixabay

I realised that we can sometimes get stuck with a preconceived thought about something, it is our decision to let that hold us back or to free ourselves from it and change how we think.

As with all change it can take time, every time I thought about salads I had to remind myself that salad does not have to have lettuce.  Now I can think of salads, in fact I really would like to try a brussels sprout salad.

Is there any food that you have preconceived notions of?  Can you change how you thing of it?

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Falling of the diet wagon

Holidays can be very difficult when you are on a diet. They seem to revolve around food and drink.

If you are on a diet it can spell bad news. You have CHEATED!

So what, that is life! We need a bit of naughty foods.

The next meal is a new start. Go back to eating healthy food that provides good fuel for your body that you like to eat.

If you overcompensate and go on an extreme diet you will probably fall off that wagon very quickly so better to eat heathy and regularly instead.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
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Learning to live with naughty food

When we look at food there is some we consider healthy and some we consider naughty.

  • It is a fact of life that there are going to be times in our lives when we should eat naughty foods.
  • Celebrations, parties, maybe just friends over.
  • Instead of telling yourself off when you eat any food you consider naughty you should make sure that before you eat them you feed your body something nutritious.
  • Then the next meal or the next day you start eating healthy again.
  • When deciding how much to eat think how much you need to feel satisfied. I have seen people scarf down food without tasting it. How can you enjoy what you are eating if you eat so quick that you can’t taste it? Remembering another meal?

Whatever the reason if you eat naughty food quickly you need to slow down.

It is called mindful eating.

Put your utensils down while chewing, think about how the food tastes, the texture. Chew the food completely, that takes a bit of time.

Some people follow the 20/20 rule or one like it, chew 20 time or for 20 seconds or whatever they are following. I found that I was not enjoying eating when I did that. I was concentrating on counting chews or watching the timer.

Now I concentrate on the food that I am eating. Enjoying it. Yes this takes longer but I am so much more satisfied with what I have eaten that when I eat cake or chocolate this way I eat less but enjoy it so much more.

I call it having a foodgasm. Try it over the holidays to see if it makes a difference to your enjoyment and the amounts you eat before you are full.