Taking Control

Recently I celebrated my 38th birthday.  The countdown is now on until I turn 40.  Getting older hasn’t really ever bothered me.  Getting older while being overweight does.

I’ve been overweight for most of my life.  Except in my late teens/early twenties when I only ate one meal a day (assisted by an evening shift job after uni and sleeping lots – I couldn’t sustain treating my body that way now); and before we had Squidge when I lost quite a bit of weight via Weight Watchers  by correspondence (it seems sooo long ago!).

I’ve set goals and seen them sail past.  I’ve tried motivating myself by not setting long term goals but rather short term ones like, I’ll eat very well today.  Day by day.

Makes me sound like an addict doesn’t it?  Taking one day at a time. In a way perhaps I am.  Instead of dealing with anxiety and stress by drinking or drugs I reach for food.  On days when I feel anxious I can eat and eat and never fill a void that I truly feel in the pit of my stomach.  And over time it’s become a habit and one that I need to break.

One thing I remember about the period when I didn’t eat or when I was achieving success via Weight Watchers was how good it felt to be in control.  I controlled what I ate and when, rather than blindly giving in to the urge to eat.

Why now?  There’s more and more evidence linking being overweight to disease such as breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes and the list goes on.  I carry a lot of my weight above my belly button – close to my heart.  And the simple fact is I don’t feel good.  I don’t feel attractive, or sexy, or confident.  I feel lumpy and awkward.

I know what I should do – eat fewer calories and expend more via exercise.  Sounds simple yet I don’t seem to achieve it.  But I’ve decided to take back control.  It is as simple as saying No.  To others when they offer me sweets or biscuits.  But most importantly to myself when I reach for food I don’t need.

What tools will I use to help me in gaining control?  Well outing myself on the interweb is one – I hope it makes me accountable.

What I really enjoyed about Weight Watchers was the thinking was done for me – I had meal plans which told me what to eat each and every day for 3 months.  It’s harder now that I have kids and have to take into account their likes and dislikes come meal times because I just cannot make multiple meals for the family.  The other thing it did was encourage me to keep track of the food I was eating.

I can achieve the same thing for free via Calorie King.  You set how much weight you want to lose and it sets a target calorie intake for a day.  You record your meals against for that day and see how you are progressing.  There are recipes, articles and forums.  The database of food is pretty good.

There’s also Weigh It Up – the group that was behind Channel 10’s Million Kilo Challenge earlier this year.  I’m sure they are connected to a health brand (Swisse from memory) but it sets out meal plans and exercise for 8 weeks of weight loss.  I’ve taken ideas from here but found it hard trying to juggle the various dietary requirements in the house.  And just recently I subscribed to Healthy Eating Planner on Facebook – they have weekly menu plans and regular motivational posts.

So how did I go today?  My calorie budget was 1460.  I snacked on a banana and mixed nuts but had lunch at a local cafe of a chicken burger with a few chips.  I came in at 1419 calories.  So far, so good.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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3 thoughts on “Taking Control

  1. Hi Jeneane,

    You have just described my attitude towards food, it is an emotional crux and for years I have been trying to rewire my brain to break the vicious cycle of ‘amount of food = how I am feeling’! (the worse I feel the more I eat) After reading your post I am now motivated to get my eating under control & hopefully burn a few calories in return. Thanks for the link to Calorie King and Weigh It Up…they’ll definitely come in handy!

  2. I hear you sister, and I’m already the other side of 40!!! Since I started getting peri-menopause my weight has increased almost overnight!!!
    I’ve come to the conclusion that I am never going to have the body I had in my 20’s but that’s okay because my body has been through a lot since then and quite frankly I’m not 20 or even 30 something anymore!!! But then I don’t want to have a fat rolls either!!
    My Nana, who lived to over 100, used to say, a little of what you crave does you good. She was very good at moderation! Me, not so much in recent years!

    I was only reading yesterday how the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to “eat for your metabolism type”. Ever done one of those tests? I haven’t but have been tempted.
    Apparently the trick to losing body fat is to improve your liver function and check that your thyroids are working ok (they affect your metabolism). Nutritionists will tell you go for the good carbs (sprouted grain bread, rice) and good fats (real butter, whole eggs, olive oil, avocados, raw nuts) and avoid as much as possible processed foods (the ones with refined sugar and nasty chemicals), artificial sweeteners, high fructose, processed soy products and hydrogenated oils. Mmmm, why do those things have to taste so good if they’re so bad for you??

    I got inspired early this morning and pulled out my Rosemary Stanton Healthy Cooking cookbook and added a few more healthy options to our menu for this week and next! I have to admit I’ve also considered trying out some Raw Food recipes. I’ve met people who swear by this method and eating more “Mood Boosting Superfoods”. After looking after sick kids think I need me some of that!!

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