Headlines in some of the todays British tabloids concern the shocking statistics of over 100 under fives admitted to NHS hospitals in the last year suffering from anorexia.
Where the ins and outs of those headlines are not so clear, nevertheless we all know of the worrying trend for young girls in particular, but also some boys to become caught up in the devastation of eating disorders.
Being on the weight loss journey makes me even more conscious than usual about the politics of food and diets. I don’t have girl children so I don’t think I as exposed as some Mothers are to the impact of the diet police on young minds. Boys in my experience tend to deal with being fit in a more pragmatic way and one based around exercise as a way of controlling weight. Of course that too can get out of hand.
It seems that little girls are hardly out of playgroup before the group pressure and competitive edge kicks in. All those super cute clothes in baby girl sizes can so easily cross over into little sexy misses trying to be teens before their time.
Now I was a chubby child. I didn’t like it and I was conscious of it. But when I look back on photos of my 11 plus self I see a healthy pre and then teen girl. I had a healthy diet like many of us growing up. Not much processed food, fresh veg and fruit. Drinks as a child were water or milk. That’s not to say I didn’t have treats, butterscotch angel delight still holds fond memories as do sherbet dips and fruit salad sweets. My sugar addiction was alive and kicking by the time I was 7 or so but lots if outdoor activities and healthy meals kept me steady until late teenage when I had more control over what I ate.
The tragedy of eating disorders at a younger and younger she seems not just the loss of childhood and the family trauma but also the desperate searching for control in an alien and chaotic world, that the ED seems to signify.
So what can you or I do? I have no special magic wand or fancy answers. I wish I did.
But it makes me wonder if we can try to keep food simple, keep mealtimes a place for families to share more than just food and as a society do our damnedest to ensure that we don’t let either fat fascism or the diet police take over our own heads.
We live what we believe after all. Let us believe in our children’s right to have a happy and healthy childhood and to know they are beautiful and healthy whatever size they wear.
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Well this week has gone well so far. I am sticking with the plan, counting my points and its maki g me focus on portion sizes and what foods are high and low. It all makes perfect sense when you think about it doesn’t it? Fill up with lots of veggies, keep to lean meats and fish, not too much fat or sugar. So far its going well.
I have had some new clothes this week too. I have discovered the joys of eBay fairly recently, sold quite a few things and have now, more dangerously, discovered the art of buying. Being a plus size as they say finding nice clothes that look good, feel good and don’t cost the earth or fall apart quickly is sometimes not easy. The High St isn’t brilliant although places like New Look are good for cheap and cheerful and Monsoon or M and S for the quality stuff. online shopping on the other hand puts the world at your credit card. And eBay means nice stuff at a bargain! I am going fr the middle-aged but colourful, comfortable and hopefully attractive look here. So a jacket from Indigo Moon and some fab new trousers from Quacker factory have made my week. The pale green crop trousers have a bit of sparkly bling on the zips on the calves and a pair of black jeans have some sparkle round the hem. Today a pair of summer trousers arrived that had cost me the grand total of 74p! Anyway I am now topping my eBay shopping extravaganza for a little while to allow myself to enjoy what I’ve got and not overspend. It has given me a great boost though to have some new clothes that fit now, make me smile and I hope look good. I think its hard when you are wanting to lose weight to know what to do about clothes. For a while its ok to carry on wearing the same things but some of my size 24 trousers are now too big and look baggy on which isnt the best look for being smart enough for work. Wearing leggings and bit T’s might be alright on a weekend but it just won’t cut it if I want to look professional!
Having also reduced my income I’m pretty keen not to spend too much on clothes. I love charity shops too but when you are big it’s not always easy to find anything to fit. Having said that one of my current favourites is an Ann Harvey top which came from the Salvation Army shop for £2.50. So I decided that this year my focus for couture is on charity shopping and eBay. It sort of feels like a win win. I make a donation from everything I sell to cancer charities via eBay, I reckon I should share the good fortune. And this way I get to have clothes that fit along the way, I can pass them on or sell them every time I go down a size or two and start all over again.
It’s a whole new language isn’t it? Points. Not as in, ‘what is the..” but as in the divine weightwatchers system. Of course being a big girl I have done diets before and weightwatchers too in various incarnations. But I decided to sign up to their online system last week. I get a discount for joining from the NHS where I work so it seemed like a good enough sign to take the plunge and leap in.
I like having something to record what I’m eating and how much and cleverly the online programme works out your points and adds them up for you. here’s what they say about their philosophy, I kind of like it :
Our approach is built on four pillars that have the greatest impact on success. Our philosophy is that a person should:
▪ Learn to eat more healthfully
▪ Increase physical activity
▪ Learn to create and live in a supportive environment conducive to achieving a healthy weight
▪ Manage the challenges involved in changing behaviors weightwatchers on facebook
As those of you who’ve been around me a while know I’m pretty keen on what I’ve learnt and know from my own experience about sugar addiction and I have integrated the seven steps from Kathleen DesMaisons work into my life over the last few years. I see those as the cornerstone of my health and recovery. But I want to add in other things to help me on my journey to weight loss. There is so much wonderful information available to us and I love reading and researching about health and diets and nutrition as well as about addiction. It is a good way to employ my addictive personality from time to time into doing research!
So this is week one of WW online. I am getting my head round the points thing. With their new system all vegetables and most fruits are points free which is great. I am focusing on really increasing my veg anyway but I am trying to keep the fruit to meals and the lower sugar versions like berries as they suit my sugar sensitive biochemistry the best.
Activity points are another thing to ‘collect’. Apparently you can swap these for food. I am not sure my mind needs to get its head round do this then eat more! But I know movement and activity are Good Things and I love ticking boxes so that is helping me to move more too. Last night me and the Missus went back to the gym and had a swim at 8pm for half and hour. We came out feeling refreshed and both slept well too. Very therapeutic.
So I am looking at this as the next step for me for now in my journey. I don’t see it as a competition between diets or programmes just a way of following a path towards health. I realise I am in this for the long haul. I have had my blips and fits and starts since January but the direction of travel has been the same. I am going to do this and do it well. One day this blog will say Fat Girl IS Slim.
New start, new day, same journey.
Day 1 where today is always a new start. A week of over indulgence is a sure-fire way to end up feeling sick as a dog, fed up with myself and with a fuzzy head and leaky emotions. Obviously not the best way to live my radiant healthy Fat Girl gets Slim life.
But round here we’re not going to do beating ourselves up, looking back or carrying on with heads in the sand. Oh no. This is Day One of the new me all over again. In good ol’ twelve step style I am singing along to ‘One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus..” and logging onto weight watchers online.
I made breakfast pancakes with oats and egg and milk with a handful of strawberries and blueberries and a topping of low-fat greek yogurt. They are an old favourite which actually tick all the boxes including feeling like a treat and the looking after myself one. I finished a great book by Phil Rickman and had a nap. I made lentil soup for lunch and now I am going to take the dog for a walk.
I think today is a self-care day. Mend some bridges from my emotional leakage and settle back into just living life in the moment in the best way possible.
Had a pretty rubbish week. Too much sugar and not enough (any) movement. Did I mention my all or nothing tendencies?
Sugar fog means feeling exhausted, scattered thinking and not wanting to get out of bed in the morning. Much like depression and ‘I need a holiday syndrome’ which I have recently been diagnosed with by a proper professional (me).
I am feeling on a short fuse and in a vicious circle of feel crap eat sugar feel crap. My skin is bad, my stomach off and I need to sleep. So I thought writing it down and sharing the pain might help, if at least give me a kick up the bum.
So picture 1 is me as I am this week. Picture 2 is the what not to eat and number 3 is a plan of how I like it and what makes a difference, good veggies and plenty of them. It’s not like I don’t know what to do, right?
I reckon my first plan is to ‘fess up and make myself accountable. Next is to write down what I’m eating and deal with it.
Then I need to clean it up. One day at a time..
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It found its way into my mouth. I had no intention of eating any. In fact I protested with horror when son 3 suggested I might succumb. I declared myself a sugar free zone (which I was). And at the party I stuck to my plan, no problem.
But the combination of stress and managing everyone else (could this be my inner momma control freak showing her colours?) took its toll. And so did some unhealthy weekend choices.
And the cake went down without touching the sides.
So add that to words with nearest and not so dearest, a bad nights sleep and my inner sugar monster has been on the rampage today. The sad thing is a days worth of sugar can undermine self esteem and strip away confidence ad if I’d put on 4 stone overnight. Bleah.
So what’s to do? Been here and worn the t shirt? Start again tomorrow, one day at a time. I wonder if I’ll ever get off this roller coaster.
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Two weeks of eating the wrong things with not enough of the right exercise ain’t going to get this girl into a smaller size any time soon.
My all or nothing kicked in with a side dish of feeling stressed and tired and boom, there went the D.I.E.T.
Meanwhile the missus who generally speaking is less A.O.N than me has carried on losing weight, drinking wine and eating chocolate. But, and its a big one she doesn’t so much engage in the ‘I’ve had one now so I am ruined and must therefore eat the lot’ mentality of yours truly.
So I am sitting under the apple tree in the garden contemplating my misdoings. And I realise that yes I am a few pounds heavier, but not 2 stone heavier. And I haven’t stopped intending to lose weight or eating good food. Nor have I stopped moving altogether. So I don’t have to throw the proverbial out with the bath water.
But I am thinking I might join a diet class where I can do some exercise and follow a programme. I like the idea of checking in somewhere even though the diet bit might need tweaking. I don’t want to be back on the sugar slide.
Hmm I will keep you updated!
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