I feel like I have been battling with my weight for almost all my adult life. I seem to spiral from diet to diet. Some don’t work for me at all, some I have had success with, but eventually find myself unable to sustain the eating requirements and I slip back into bad habits. When my gallbladder problems kicked in last year I suddenly found myself looking at food in a different way – I didn’t know what might trigger pain, and what wouldn’t. After a lot of experimenting I managed to narrow it down to milk being my trigger, and I gave it up completely.
I was shocked to discover that this halved our milk consumption as a family. I went from buying six 4-litre containers of milk per week to buying three. I seriously had NO IDEA I was drinking that much milk in a week!
I was hopeful that removing that much milk from my diet might result in some weight loss, but no, it didn’t. I discovered that, whist milk would trigger a painful gallbladder attack, chocolate, biscuits and cake were all fine. As I was restricting my diet in many ways to stay pain free, I comfort ate. Big time. I think I may actually have gained a few pounds, but I can’t be sure, as I avoided the scales. All the time I kept telling myself that it was just a short-term thing, and I would try to curb some of my bad eating habits after my gallbladder was removed.
In April I had my operation, and my troublesome gallbladder was removed. I was told that I could probably go back to eating normally, but I should be careful about re-introducing fat to my diet, and not eat large quantities too soon. I decided that as I’d managed to live quite comfortably without milk, even giving up my beloved daily latte, I wouldn’t rush to re-introduce it. But I would need to do more than that to lose weight and become more active.
Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that diets just don’t work. Not long term, anyway. But I need to do something to change things, as I am not comfortable with my current size. Looking at my lifestyle I think the changes I could make that would have the most positive effects on my health are to stop snacking (the biscuit drawer at work is just too tempting!) and to exercise more. So that is what I am trying to do.
In order to support me doing this, the folks at iFit sent me one of their fitness trackers to try out. This is helping me monitor my steps during the day to make sure I am moving as much as possible (full review to follow).
I have also dusted off my old “Lose 2 Jeans Sizes (or more)” Slimpod that I bought from Thinking Slimmer some years ago. Despite several failed attempts at using this cognitive hypnotherapy program, I’m hoping that now my head is more in the right space this will support me in changing many years’ worth of bad habits. I’ve also joined the Thinking Slimmer Facebook support group, which I’m finding very useful. I’m part of a “Drop a dress size in 6 weeks” challenge group, and I have a target to fit into one of my favourite pairs of size 16 jeans by the end of August. Again, I’ll keep you posted with how I get on.
I also intend to dig out my MuTu System exercise videos, again which I bought a while ago now. I struggle to find a time to shoehorn exercise into my life at the moment, but this only takes 10 or 20 minutes per day, and specifically targets the stomach, which is my biggest problem area.
Over the past few weeks I have seen modest success. Whilst I haven’t really got lots of exercise into my life yet, I have managed to achieve my first target of walking for at least 30 minutes a day. I am also seeing my eating habits change – I have resisted the snacks, sweets and chocolates, and I’m trying to stop eating when I have eaten enough. I have also eliminated sugary drinks from my diet, and only drink water (apart from special occasions!). What is a little disappointing is that this hasn’t resulted in a huge weight loss yet. But let’s see what happens as I increase my activity levels.
I’m about to embark on my next big challenge – cooking more meals from scratch. I am a fan of the ready meal, and a very lazy cook. But I know that pre-prepared meals are unhealthy, and the next change I have to make is to stop using them. I am also preparing to take myself right out of my comfort zone and cook main meals in the evening for all of us as a family, rather than feeding the kids separately. If I can get myself organised enough to take a packed lunch to work rather than eating chips in the canteen, that will make a difference I am sure. And also in September the geekdaughter goes into Year 3 at school, where she will no longer receive the free school meals. She has been asking to take packed lunches to school since Reception, but I’ve resisted because I didn’t want to have to cook every day. Her motivation is more to do with the fact that her best friend takes packed lunches than any desire to be healthy, but I think I can probably ensure my kids are eating better if I switch them to packed lunches too.
This involves me being a log more organised about my cooking and shopping. I’m intending to make more use of my slow cooker, and I’m trying to build up my repertoire of recipes that just involve bunging a load of stuff in in the morning and returning to a beautiful cooked dinner.
This is going to be a work in progress. I’m not going to master it all in one week. Probably not even in one month. But I’m motivated to try, and I really believe it’s the best way for me to improve my health, and that of my family.
Disclosure: I was sent an iFit activity tracker for review purposes. All words and opinions are my own.