Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This really makes sense to me right now. Thank you to the wise Fat Nutritionist for sharing this.

Is it a diet or lifestyle change?

I recently had a blood test which came back normal except for my cholesterol which was very high. I've had elevated cholesterol since I was in my twenties but it has never been this high and it kinda freaked me out. I already exercise regularly but my diet can be at times a little, er, shall we say unbalanced. There are a few reasons for this; we leave the shopping too late and by the time we have to decide what to have for dinner we can't be bothered and there's nothing in the house to make a meal out of so we get takeaways, when I was working shifts sometimes it was easier to buy my dinners, I love chocolate, baked goods and ice-cream and so does my other half. I also love good nourishing food but sometimes its hard to nourish myself when I'm down and I just have to make do with feeding myself what is available. And quite frankly sometimes the thought of having to decide what to make for dinner and planning ahead just feels too much. But now I feel I really do need to make some changes to my lifestyle because I just don't feel good about having such high cholesterol. I've done some reading on foods and natural products that help reduce cholesterol and have decided to try and get my level down this way, I really don't want to go down the medication route. The problem is I feel like I am restricting which feels a lot like dieting and that can lead to bingeing for me. I'm trying to eat a low fat high fibre diet, real food and mostly plants. That's Linda Bacon's catch phrase from 'Health at Every Size: the surprising truth about your weight', she suggests people try and live by this mantra "eat real food, mostly plants". Makes sense really. I do like veges and some fruits (I do have a strange thing with fruit. A lot of it grosses me out! So I'm a bit picky with what I'll eat). But I can't help but feel like I'm on a diet. And I've noticed weight loss thoughts going through my head lately 'if I can do this I might lose some weight'.... So I guess I'm trying to figure out how to use a HAES / Intuitive eating approach to eat in a way that will help reduce my cholesterol. What I'd love to know is how high fat food effects cholesterol, say if I had a burger and hot chips in the week would it impact things? Because sometimes I do just feel like that but I don't know how it will impact things. I'm just going to try and do it one day at at time and hopefully I can lose this feeling that I'm dieting and depriving myself!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If I was skinny life would be much better and other myths

I caught myself daydreaming about how life would be better if I was skinny and had long hair the other night. In my daydream the skinny and long haired me is confident, well liked and happy. Its been a while since I've had that thought and I guess its probably because life hasn't been very easy lately. I've been in a bit of a depression, not a crippling bout thankfully but just enough to really knock me off my feet. Since I was little I've retreated to my head creating a better version of life and myself when I'm feeling scared about life. Its hard to keep up with the HAES, body positivity and fat acceptance when getting out of bed and putting on clothes feels overwhelming so at the moment I'm just concentrating on looking after myself the best way I can. Exercise has been a huge part of this, especially the boxing classes I've recently started going to. They are challenging and I drip with sweat! (attractive I know) but I feel so good afterward both mentally and physically. When I engage in physical activities that fat people aren't meant to do I feel really empowered. I've also quit work which was a really difficult thing for me to do. I wasn't working full time and there was a voice in my head telling me how weak I was to quit. That voice is hard to ignore but when I spent six days with growing dread and anxiety about doing my next shift I knew I had to make a decision. For most of my teens and adult life I've defined a large part of my identity on my intellect and ability to do challenging things. My job was demanding and there was constant deadline pressure which at one time I thrived on. Realizing I can no longer cope in that environment and having to be really honest with myself about the type of work that will be best for my mental health was a dose of humility. So even if I was skinny and had long hair at the moment it would not change the fact I am currently unemployed and slowly regaining my mental health. Thankfully I know that today and don't torment myself for not being skinny and 'perfect'.

Monday, February 27, 2012


A couple of thoughts taken from my old blog where I used to talk about Intuitive Eating and my experiences.  I've actually found these really helpful to look back on right now.

"Food does not fill the gaps when something is missing in my life. It does not stop me missing old friends. It does not make my kids behave better. It does not get the housework done. It does not help when I'm not sure what to do next.

Food is for when I am hungry. Then it's great. When I'm not hungry, it is just adding to my problems, not helping me at all."

"Anyway, this morning as I was making breakfast for the girls, I saw the slice. The crunchy base layer, the caramel, the chocolate icing.. mmm... I thought to myself 'that looks nice' and I was about to consider having a piece - for breakfast - even though I'd just established quite clearly that I was not yet hungry enough for breakfast. But then, another voice randomly popped in my head... "yeah, but it's not". As in, yeah but it's not nice. I thought to myself, that's strange.. I love chocolate caramel slice. And now I'm going to sound crazy, but I had a big conversation with myself in my head about how actually, the caramel was too sweet, the base was too oily, the sweetness hurt my teeth, and it did nothing for me once it was in my stomach - it didn't sit nicely, it didn't fill me up or make me feel nourished. It didn't even make me feel emotionally good. What the hell am I doing by eating it then? "

Interesting what you find out when you actually listen!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cry for help

I read this in the Geneen Roth book 'Feeding the Hungry Heart' - and I had to jot it down because it is just so relevant.

"Your compulsive eating can become a sign that you need something - even though you don't know what it is or how to get it. Rather than viewing it as a seizure that overtakes and propels you toward food, you can use it as an indicator, a barometer of your nonphysical hunger. You don't have to eat because you want to eat; you don't have to reach for the ice cream because it has suddenly become all you can think about. At that very moment - when you know you want to eat but you also know you are not hungry - you are giving yourself the message that some support, some comfort, some cherishing is needed. The drive to eat compulsively is not an uncontrollable instinct; it is a cry for help."

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On a low ebb

I don't know what's going on at the moment but I'm running on a low ebb. I am trying to find a new job right now and my initial enthusiasm has slowly slipped away after a few knock backs. And quite frankly work is arse. Last year was tough for various reasons so I decided this year I'd make an effort and try to make it more positive and enjoyable. The biggest hurdle is the change of job because its hard to put myself out there. Second I think I want to engage more in life. I'm not very good at doing that, my natural state is to isolate and avoid having to be in relationship with people. Which is probably (definitely) where the food thing comes in. So I've being thinking about some of the things I want to do this year that might help me engage more in life. Here's what I have so far:

- Find new job (my requirements for this are basically: Monday - Friday, positive and friendly environment, not time pressured)

- Sew each of the patterns from my Collette Sewing book

- Participate in Run Auckland

- Go to a comedy night at the Classic

- Join a book club (Ok this one scares me a bit because it means interacting with people I don't know very well and possibly having to have the 'oh you don't drink' conversation)

- Knit a garment

- Do either a group or one on one course with the Fat Nutritionist

- Take an Indian cooking course

- Go bowling

- Do some volunteer work

- Start going to yoga (I did actually start at the end of last year but have yet to go back since they started their new term..)

- Do 'the Artists Way'

- Take another look at the story I wrote for the National Novel Writing Month a couple of years ago, might even start editing it... heck I might take part again in November!

That's what I've got so far. Its a start and I'll add to it as I go. Here's to a positive 2012.