Health: I Say ‘Yes’ to a Diet

Regular readers will have picked up on the fact that I’m doing WeightWatchers.  Dedicated readers will remember that I said ‘No’ to diets a while ago.  So I’ve gone back on my word.  Why?

Quite simply, I need an external brake to help me change some old and entrenched habits.  As I’ve said previously, I’ve been treated for Binge Eating Disorder and, while I no longer meet the criteria for that condition, I still ‘enjoy’ eating way more than I need sometimes.  I especially like the ‘warm, sleepy puppy’ feeling of an over-full tummy at bedtime.  I’m no longer compulsive about my over-eating – there isn’t the same sense of urgency when I over-eat.  I also don’t tend to eat emotionally any more although I still find food comforting.  But I do eat when I’m not hungry – I might be tired, bored or just like the taste of my latest kitchen creation.  I don’t have normal feelings of hunger and satiety (although I think these are starting to come back) and really have no clue how much food is reasonable for a 44 year old, 5’1″ woman either at one meal or over the course of a day.

I could get my brake simply from counting calories but I prefer WW.  Out of all the diets I’ve tried (and believe me, I’ve tried them all) this is the one that suits my body best.  It’s high protein, low fat and low sugar and my body likes this.  I like the website.  There’s a local meeting.  It’s flexible rather than dictatorial.  And it rewards physical activity thereby encouraging the Ankle of Doom and I to move more.

So I’m saying ‘Yes’ to the diet that’s right for me today.

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Health: Processed Food

I’ve written about processed foods several times in the past.  As I recommence Eating with Integrity, I’m going to do it again because the past few months have shown me once again how much my mouth likes them while my body doesn’t!

While I was recovering from surgery, I was on the Ready-meal Diet.  And then, as my mental health deteriorated, I moved onto the Delivery-pizza Diet.  I don’t recommend you try either.  I gained weight.  I craved sugar, salt and fat.  My skin still looks horrible just now (and, no, I’m not going to post a picture!)  My bowels were … umm, unhappy in various ways.  And, worst of all, I lacked energy and motivation for even the most basic tasks.

The most frightening thing about it all, however, was the way that I found it was taking more and more of this processed junk to satisfy my appetite.  I started with one medium pizza.  By the time I said ‘Enough now!’ I had developed my habit to a large pizza and two desserts and could still have eaten more a short while later.  Sometimes I even ordered twice in once day …

Is processed food addictive?  I’d suggest that it could be for me.  I do have what some Doctors describe as ‘an addictive personality.’  Which is why I stopped it a couple of weeks ago – I don’t want to prove myself right.

My appetite is now going back to normal.  I’m losing weight and my cravings have diminished again.  My body is a lot happier without it and, although my mouth missed it for a while, proper food is starting to taste good.  I’m confident that my other complaints will calm down given time and care and, indeed, they are beginning to.

I’m not saying ‘never again’ to pizza.  Or dessert.  As an occasional treat, I think they’re fine.  But I’ve had an eating disorder diagnosed in the past (although, thankfully, I no longer meet the criteria) and I don’t want to walk that road again.  The excellent medical treatment I’ve received means that, today, I have a choice.  And my choice is to Eat with Integrity because, at the end of the day, that’s what will make me happy.

Weigh In Monday

Monday is weigh day for me – I like to draw a line under the weekend and start the new week fresh.

I lost 5lbs last week (first week back) and have lost an additional 3lbs this week, bringing my total to 8lbs.  My first half stone has melted away!

I’m pleased with the weight loss.  My food has mostly been according to the WeightWatchers plan although I have found that I tend to snack a lot at bedtime.  This has been offset by the amount of exercise I’ve been getting at the allotment.  But I am rather wondering what I would have lost if I hadn’t eaten all that cheese …

My change for this week, therefore, is to eat a proper supper (a bowl of porridge) instead of hot chocolate followed by grazing.

It’s Been A While …

… since I’ve written here.  And for that, I am sorry.  Again.

The summer months have been very hard here in Laura-Land.  The stress of winter and spring really took their toll on me and things kept happening!  As a result, I haven’t been very well and although I’ve been on FaceBook, I’ve not felt like sharing here.  If it had, it would have been one long, whingeing ramble which I doubt anyone would have wanted to read.

So, on to some good news.  I’m feeling a lot better, a lot of the time.  The Ankle of Doom is still giving me quite a bit of pain but I do have permission to resume my normal activities which I’m doing, albeit while popping painkillers.  At least they’re only over-the-counter ones whereas before the surgery I was on more heavy-duty ones so things are improving.  And, of course, picking up my life again has played a part in getting my mental health back to something approaching normal.

At the moment, my mother, father and I are in the process of demolishing Dottie the Lottie’s old shed, building a new foundation and then moving the new shed onto that.  We’ve done the demolition and are now at the foundation-building stage.  Meantime, the potatoes Farmer Friend helped me plant are just coming into use and will probably continue to be harvested into September.

Since the surgery, I’ve gained about 28lbs.  Inactivity and living on pizza-delivery are not a good combination.  But I’m back on my clean eating programme and, with the help of WeightWatchers, will lose those additional pounds and the ones I was carrying back in January.  January seems like a very, very long time ago.  I can’t believe it’s only been six months – it seems like a lifetime.

Yes, it’s time to start living again.  I’m not quite sure what that’s going to look like and I don’t really have a plan.  Yet.  But you can be sure that there will be one, or even several!

Review: My Peace I Give You by Dawn Eden

In  My Peace I Give You, Dawn offers her own experience of healing from a troubled sexual past with the help of the Saints.  I didn’t find this book as helpful as The Thrill of the Chaste but I think that may be because of the way I read it, rather than a flaw in Dawn’s writing.  A lot of the arguments flew over my head because I was flying through the pages so I do think it would merit a slower, more thoughtful reading.

Review: Something Other than God by Jennifer Fulwiler

Another less-than-24-hour read for me, Something Other than God chronicles Jennifer’s journey from confirmed atheism to the Roman Catholic Church.

I first came across Jennifer as an occasional rider of her blog ‘Conversion Diary’ when I was myself journeying towards the Church.  She came across as intelligent, well-read and honest.  In her book, she’s just the same!

This is a hard book to review mainly because of the Afterword by Cardinal Timothy Dolan who praises its excellence far better than I possibly could.  However, if you’re wondering why an intellectually mature woman would choose Catholicism over doing her own thing for the rest of her life do read it.  You’ll be glad you did.

Review: How to Read your Way to Heaven by Vicki Burbach

I saw Vicki interviewed on EWTN over the Easter weekend and just had to get her book.  I read it in less than 24 hours and have started to do as she suggests and get down to some serious spiritual reading.

Like me, Vicki read and read and read about her faith but without any real structure to her reading.  She found (again, like me) that this meant she tended not to implement many (any?) of the good intentions she acquired from her reading so didn’t really grow despite being a very well-read Catholic.  Let’s face it, there are so many wonderful books out there and I have a tendency to be blown from one to the next with very little thinking time in between reads.

How to Read your Way to Heaven offers a new-to-me approach.  Instead of just reading freely during spiritual reading time, the book contains a plan.  In fact, it contains three – a one-year, a three-year and a five-year plan.  Each plan allows for about 30 minutes of reading, five days a week which isn’t such a huge commitment, especially once you learn to be a little flexible and not tie yourself up in the check-boxes.  Vicki says herself that, although she broadly sticks to the program, the five-year plan took her longer than that to complete due to pressures of life, other reading projects, etc.  The important thing is to read intentionally and to keep going through the inevitable difficulties.

I have begun the five-year plan as it is, obviously, the most comprehensive.  At the moment, this means reading a chapter of Matthew, a bit of the Catechism and a bit of Rome Sweet Home each day.  I’m making some notes and highlighting as I go and am enjoying my reading.  It’s early days and Miss All-or-nothing would like to race ahead and start checking off all those lovely little boxes but five years is a long time.  I’m pacing myself.  And that means I also have time for other things 🙂