Fresh Air – lets talk the other side of weight loss success

Wow it has been a while since my air smelt fresh and hopeful and truly positive, what an amazing feeling to fall asleep to last night and wake up to again this morning.

So here I am with a clear mind after a succession of binges, I thought I had cracked my old habits and changed my life forever with Filling & Healthy, I saw some foods as poison, I envisaged the power of eating healthy and knew it was healing me like a medicine. Abstained from triggers which I knew would always trip me up. I had for once understood me and what I was capable of and could make myself stronger and powerful in my own truth, some 16 stone later with Weight Watchers I found myself living a life I could only of ever dreamed of.  In the beginning all I wanted was to be able to care for myself and be mobile, fitting into size 12 was not part of that end vision, my dream to save my own life. Yet I did achieve that, size 12, I can barely believe that number even though I know it is fact.

So when did the binges return? When did I become complacent? What happened to knowing my own truth? Did my own truth change? The binges never went away, I had replaced with healthier options of foods, whole tubs of fat free yogurt, punnet of grapes, I was still and still am a binger. The complacency crept upon me, I knew it was there but thought I could handle it, it will be ok tomorrow! Sound familiar? My inner truth has never changed, I just turned down the volume and chose to not listen.

I guess like any abuser, in my case it is food, the emotional reasons will always be there, also the habit of turning to that comfort will always be there, the answer is in mindfulness, not feeling guilt and acknowledging these things that are my make up. It is ok to be who I am and have frailty, it is not ok for me to give up on myself. Even during my binge days I knew I would get back to it, but in those moments that is what I had numbly chose to do.

How do I turn up my inner voice, how do I listen more to that voice than the negative words that can over power my positivity?  It is not easy, but by keep being persistent and breaking down into very small goals I was able to clear a pathway from the fogy path of the binge eater. It goes back to realising my triggers, which are for me as below:

stress

parties

holidays

change of routine

The outcome is consumption of alcohol which leads to eating snacks and rubbish processed foods, which leads to more alcohol and so the cycle begins, next day I get up thinking I will forget yesterday, start again, some times the line I draw the following day I am able to cope other days I may last an hour before the next binge.

So how did I lose so much weight to begin with? By accepting my triggers I knew to save my own life I had to abstain from certain situations and foods, which I did for 3 years. I found by abstaining I was able to remove temptation to a large degree, also I wanted so much to be mobile, so the reason to lose weight was so great much greater than wanting to eat cake, crisps and drink wine!

Is abstaining an option for life? As I have become more socialble, engaging in social situations, enjoying holidays, enjoying dressing up to go out, I felt I could take my own foods with me on many occasions and only drink diet coke, but the past year had seen me believe I can control these triggers on occasional basis, sometimes I did other times I could not.  Which has led to weight gain, I am enjoying a healthy and positive focus on life at the moment binge free – but do I want to go the rest of my life abstaining from my triggers?

I can’t imagine never enjoying a meal out and have a glass of wine, or a cream tea on holiday, or the odd fish and chip treat. But how do I control these treats? How do I stop the binge happening, because once I taste these foods I want more, more and more.

This is for life, which I have known for a long time and have accepted it, but truthfully when in a binge phase it certainly feels terrible because I have lost so much weight I felt ashamed to still be a binger as I had so much knowledge and expertise. Yet I am still fragile.

I will keep going one meal at a time, one day, invest in positive mind building and self esteem.

So many weight loss stories are about success then and now, but what happens when the successful weight loss turns out to be hard to maintain, what happens when you never get to goal? It is time to talk about the other side of weight loss, the person like me who has lost much weight and re gained some of it. Lost control, the weight loss journey is not just about losing weight, it is about facing the struggles, the times when it does not work because we do not use the plan we follow because of emotional distress or our lives being out of routine.

The Lisa below is the Lisa I enjoy being, this is the body and positive mind that is a joy to live with, I will never quit!

 

  • Top tip! Forget the scales, focus on mental well being, on eating well, one meal at a time, if you go to Weight Watchers like I do, go to class, even after a binge, perhaps don’t weigh in, but go, during these tough times is when we need support the most, this is then not about losing weight, it is about building yourself up emotionally in a positive way, with people who understand and care.

 

“I am a binge eater, I suffer with depression, I am not perfect, I am broken and fragile, I am open and honest, a woman who struggles and cares, I will never stop trying to live the life I dream of”

Never Ending Journey

Recently I have found myself being able to admit to myself and out loud to others that I have been having problems with binge eating, which usually happens on a weekend after a couple of drinks, then that leads onto feeling hungry, eating snacks, then another drink, then crazy tipsy cooking when I get home! Then the old homage to “I will start again on Monday’ I am sure many of you know that feeling?

Well I would say I am approx 21 lbs up on my happy place. I feel as though this last year and a half I have been living hanging onto the tail of a huge storm, holding tight and being whipped around not being able to breath, then catch my breath, then the swirling around out of emotional control which felt physical too, I was in the eye of my storm trying to  hold on, yet around and around in cycles I went.  The fighter in me kept believing I could sort this, yet I kept having great weeks in control then a few weeks out of control with the binging.

It has taken me a while, I stepped back from social media a little and just tried to focus on the why? Why do I want this? Today I was shopping and at the shopping centre I saw a very large man, tummy hanging to the floor passed his knees, hardly holding himself up and I recognised that figure, I wanted to cry and go and talk to him, but how could I? I listened to no one when I was in a similar physical position. This made me aware of many people around me today, looking on and so many people are over weight, and struggling to walk, it filled me with great sadness as I remember my own physical discomfort – I am not saying those people felt like me at all, they may be happy with their life. I was not and all I wanted was to be mobile, really mobile to enjoy life. So this really brought it home to me today, to remember why I want to eat healthier and control my eating and weight. My why is – I want to remain mobile.

So today is day 4 back in control of my eating, I have not gone hungry at all, I have made the most of vegetables, fruit and protein, made some kind of pudding that satisfies my sweet tooth, I dug deep and just focused on one day at a time, like I used to. This method has worked really well for me, so I decided to focus on just one day, getting to bed with that day in the bag and not worry about tomorrow.

As to planning, I buy a good stock of food in my cupboards, fridge and freezer that allow me to plan as I fancy, so it is a sort of lose planning, this has always worked for me. So I plan to continue to shop wisely, I am going on holiday in a caravan soon, I plan to take my own foods with me and make oat bran or oat cakes for treats while away. The biggest challenge really is not to have a beer or glass of wine, which I enjoy the taste of, I am trying to remind myself why I did not drink for 3 years – because I knew it was a trigger for me to go off the rails with eating, I do not want to be in the position for the rest of my life that I can not have a glass of wine or beer, but for now whilst I am recovering from binging I need to set it aside.

I am also reading positive quotes daily and listening to uplifting music, looking for new music. Planning a few dreams, I often dream of owning a coffee shop thats dog friendly, by the coast or river. I used to have a set of drums and enjoyed trying to learn to play them, I dream of starting that again too! I dream of a home near the ocean where I can hear the sea, I dream of my grand children coming to stay and we play and walk on the beach with Beau my dog running beside us. Dreaming is good it helps me feel positive and aim, find a way to make those dreams a reality. I am capable I made my dream of being mobile a reality now didn’t I?

Never going back  to this!

With the love of my husband, my family, my dog Beau and my friends at Weight Watchers I turned my life into one of hope and removed the word despair. Life is for living and appreciating the now and those in it, do not look back with regret it will rob you of hope and dreams of tomorrow. Love yourself and those around you

 

Thank you to my husband the love of my life

It’s not always a clear open road

So many weight loss success stories focus on the before and after, whilst I have turned my own life around by losing a significant amount of weight, I have yet to get to ‘goal’ as dictated by BMI, Weight Watchers guidelines, or even in my case as agreed by my Dr.

It is quite strange as I type my WW coach just called me to see how I am, Helen is a friend more than a coach and WW are very lucky to have such a genuine woman heading up her class in Swindon. She has just helped me realise a few things and that I am beating myself up for no good reason. She asked me to write a list of the positive things I have achieved since losing weight. I will do this at the end of my blog post. Which after a positive talk from Helen, has somewhat taken a more upbeat wording.

Back to my first paragraph, I have been feeling the last year a bit of a failure as I have not managed to get to goal, not managed to get to that perfect number! I guess one of my own personal problems is that I often see things in a very black and white perspective and this can lead to self criticism, it leads to self disappointment and feelings that I can and should do better.

Taking a step back can be quite tricky at times of self criticism, sometimes must putting your feelings down into words or talk to a friend or loved one, does really help put some clarity and more than that reasoning.

Weight loss journey for me is more than just losing weight, it has been about self belief, self love, patience, understanding, compassion, building vision of an outcome, a life that would be an ideal. However along the way it is so vital to keep focus on the steps you are taking now, enjoy the life of today, build a happier life by believing in oneself and add as much joy into it as you can. Simple things, the small things in a day can be overlooked. I try to live a mindful life, I guess writing my feelings down as I am now, is living mindfully. These words flow from my thoughts they are not orchestrated, they area as if I was talking to you in the same room.

Regaining focus, how shall I do that today? There is no end to self development, there is a technical goal post win when you get to your weight loss goal, but it is not over, it never will be. Today I will show myself some compassion and set a realistic vision of who I am and what I have achieved, there is no need to reach a perfection that I consider I should achieve. I have achieved my own goal, I am happy and mobile, also yes I have shown self compassion, even when I do not think I have, I practice it daily, because I keep trying to move onwards and evolve who I am.

Today I also aim to try and re focus on why I wanted to lose weight. Keep the big picture too

  1. To be mobile
  2. Independant
  3. self care, no longer a burden
  4. Be a better wife, parent, friend
  5. Travel
  6. Feel alive

Below 10 things I have achieved:

  1. Mobility
  2. Be a better grandmother and parent due to being mobile
  3. Travelled, plane, hot air ballon, bike, boat, bus, train
  4. Positive minded
  5. Helped other people
  6. Buy clothes from any almost any shop
  7. Creative with cookery
  8. Sit in any chair
  9. Had a massage, make over
  10. Able to dream and plan a future

No matter where you are on your journey of self development, just keep going, one step after another, some steps will feel light and effortless, others like walking through sludge, just keep moving!

Lisa x

 

 

Compare and Despair

Compare and despair.  Sound familiar?

Having spent many years going around in circles of needing to feel worthy next to the next person. Why was my self esteem so very low? Trying to understand all of my past experiences and self berating and belittling, self hate and feelings of failure, seems these days somewhat futile energy. However it is something that needs to be shared and accepted by myself too.

I do have memories of childhood where I had some family members often saying’ she is so clumsy, she can’t walk down the road without falling over, don’t let Lisa do it she will break it. It must have been said often as it is something I remember with hurt.  It just goes to show we must always be positive with children, well everyone in our lives! It was never my parents, my parents always thought I was the bees knees, it was wider family really who looked down on me, well that is how it felt. Perhaps I wanted to have approval, that is why those comments as a child hurt and stuck with me?

As a child I carried lots of stress baggage and took those coping mechanisms into adult hood – i.e. emotional eating!  It also led me to think I had to be perfect in everything I do and if I did not achieve perfection, even in the simplest of tasks I felt I had failed, I was useless, compared to other people, other family members, other friends and neighbours.

Here I am at 54 years of age and for the first time in my life I feel I am getting to grips with this feeling, well in fact it was some 4 years ago really, when I met a physiologist who helped me to move on, not from the memories, but from how I felt about me. His help was invaluable. I explained to him how I felt about myself, in detail, I cried, I poured my heart out, he sat and listened and when my ramblings subsided and tears and sobs turned into soft sniffs and gentle tears, he started to speak. His words so mind altering. He said to me, ‘Lisa how would you feel listening to someone who had just said all those things to you about themselves?’ ‘Would you feel badly about them and think yes they are useless and ugly?’ ‘Would you join in a add to the hurt?’ I can remember looking at him and said ‘ no of course not, I would naturally want to hug them, console them, help them see the beauty and positive in who sat before me’ I rambled on some more about what and how I would try and help them. He then said something to me that helped me, to help me! ‘Well then Lisa, if you can show that kindness to others, why can you not show the same compassion to yourself?’ Wow for me that was a revelation!

He helped me put those negative words into the sky and let them float away, sounds a little silly, but it was not, it helped so much, acknowledge the thoughts, appreciate they do not define us or how we live or want to live and just let them float away.

Still today the feeling of not being quite as good as piers around me rears its head, it takes skill of knowing myself well to quieten it and let it go, the sky above is littered with many feelings I let free. Comparing ourselves to others is ridiculous yet for many of us natural to look at the person next to you and think they are better, look better, achieve more, nicer, kinder, cleverer, successful, lucky, all round amazing person, yet in fact those people may look at you standing beside them in just the same way – humans are so funny!

Don’t let comparison be the theif of your own happiness!

Until the next time

Lisa x

Goal Setting

A couple of days this week I have helped out a friend who is a dog professional dog walker, it really is quite amazing how far my physical capabilities have progressed, today I walked down very steep muddy banks, climbed back up them, felt the wind in my face and loved the mud on my jeans, I felt so alive in the elements! Just 3 1/2 years ago I struggled to stand and wash dishes, here I am today taking new things in my stride – it is thrilling! Beyond my original hopes and desires for the life I wanted for myself.

In the beginning I just wanted to feel well and not feel like I was fading away, which is how I felt. How did I face this huge mountain ahead of me?

Well it was not by looking in the distance at that mountain! It was looking at one step alone before the next, dug deep and just focused on each and every little effort I made, the goals were so small and realistic in the beginning, I mean I knew I had to change portions and food types – so I devised to focus on just one meal at a time, get to bed time, feel great I had got those 3 goals in the bag, fall asleep with hope and woke the next day with positive mind and belief I could attempt the one meal a day strategy the next day. I would fall asleep visualising my success the next morning, I started to build a blind belief that this would work.  Meal by meal, day by day, those days turned into weeks, then turned into months, then into years…. no matter what you are facing, break those things into small goals, those steps one by one will get you to where you want to be – no matter how slow or fast they may be.

Set realistic goals, small bite size ones and don’t overwhelm yourself with too high expectations of oneself, hold tight to the thought we do not need to be perfect just persistent in our efforts.

Lisa x

The Golden Penny

The golden penny? What is that then?

There were a few occasions I saw the golden penny on the floor and I chose to walk on by.

When the moment of reality hits home a clear reason that tempts you to get started to change, it is more at that moment a desire to change ones life, not so much I want to lose weight! It is an overwhelming feeling of a need to feel well, a need to not live in the dark any longer.

During my journey I have had beautiful friends that had fought to live whilst fighting cancer, these ladies inspired me beyond measure, but my own self critic hated me, loathed me, I was weak, I was nothing in comparision to my amazing friends. This could have been a moment I could looked to those ladies and used the inspiration I saw in them to lift my own journey. This did not happen that inner critic took me deeper into depression, yes I attempted change but my emotional eating was so engrained I could not believe in myself to overcome the situation I was in. The light dimmed on those golden pennies, I heard the drop but I did not pick them up.

In July 2011 I attempted to cover a music festival in Stevenage, Sonnisphere, it was a huge struggle, day one meant I just covered one stage which meant a short walk from the press arena, some times it was hard to even hold my camera, my hand would shake as it was heavy with the long lens on it. But the photography side of my life is another post to talk about later. At this festival on the second day I arrived and walking back stage to the press arena, I felt really unwell, so odd, I felt sick, dizzy, not the heart holding heart attack we often envisage, I did not have in particular severe pain, but I just knew I had to stop walking, I knew something was really wrong. The upshot was I was taken to hospital, a blood test revealed I had had a heart attack, they carried out an angioplasty the following day, whilst in theatre, they discovered I had a severe blockage of LAD artery some 90 odd percent quite dangerous! They carried out a stent procedure there and then. After a few days in hospital I vowed to get healthy and was thankful for the team treating me. This mindset did not last long as depression moved in a few weeks later. The dreaded D word seems to play a huge roll in my developing life. So a golden opportunity to turn my life around was once again left on the roadside and that golden penny was lost.

When my father in law was terminally ill with cancer we visited him and I can remember walking to his room and it really hurt, I was in so much physical distress, but I had to do this. Sadly my father in law passed away such a sudden and fast moving cancer none of us had time to take it all in. The day of his funeral well perhaps that was his parting gift to me, the final golden penny I would eventually pick up! I can remember walking well hobbling to the crematorium from the car, I was struggling to stand at this point I was well over 30stone approx 32 stone.  Walking into the crematorium for his service I was the almost the last one through the door, I can remember feeling embarrassed, scared, upset for this day of my father in laws funeral, the pain on my husbands face as we saw his coffin stand before us all. The service seemed to go on for ever, it was as though time stood still, I stood somehow to try and sing and robotically do what people do at such affairs. Then my husband, children and myself took our turn to go to his coffin and lay roses on it, as we stood there, I felt this tremendous moment of clarity, the final golden penny, I saw it and picked it up, this was the moment I knew I could change and wanted to change. I did not want to die of my own hand prematurely from over eating, I could do this, it was a few weeks later that I walked into my Doctors begging for help….

Lisa x

 

9th August 2014

9 th August 2014 was a Saturday, I woke up early, often did not sleep due to so much pain in body from laying down. I had been trying to lose weight for a few weeks now and not really feeling like I had lost all that much weight, but I was getting my trigger foods in control and was starting to feel a little more positive. I had resounded myself that I was going to have to continue to prove I could lose weight in order to have the bariatric op I had applied for. On this Saturday morning I woke up with a clear mindset, right I am really going to go for this – no more fear, yet I was afraid, but squished that thought out of my head. I said to my husband Darren I am going to see which WW class is open and going to it! Such was my determination to see this through – I had done WW before and new it could work, well any plan can work, we just have to drive them! But I knew what to expect with WW and felt less fearful. My husband drove me and as usual was so hard to get in the car, he would lift my legs into the foot well, the pain was terrible in my hips, I am very bottom heavy shape and much of my weight was on the lower half and legs. We drove to Haydon Wick in Swindon where the class was being held in a small church hall. I hauled myself out of the car, and took a few steps was no far only maybe 10 steps, I had to steady myself and regain composure before walking through the door, stop myself panting. I walked in a bit scared to look up, I did notice one lady look up at me, was later to realise what a beautiful soul she is. The room was buzzing as there was a class just finishing, I found a seat to sit on, took off my jacket and just sat until it was time for the class to start. My usual WW leader was not there that day, I am afraid I can not remember the stand in leaders name. She was kind I could feel myself panicking to stand on the scales, not so much the number but the pain, when your legs are so very big brining them together and keeping them in that position for more than a few seconds is so difficult, and as the base of the scales is not the large, I had to hold my legs together to stand to get weighed. I can remember a few people saying hello, but if I am honest it was all a blur at the time. I can remember the stand in leader explaining the Simple Start to me and I loved the sound of this formula, just what I needed, I had been eating pretty simple foods with the help from the bariatric support group nutritionists so the two fitted well together.  My husband had waited outside patiently for me, I was so relieved to have joined and something new to focus on, an extra support group to help me lose the weight so I could have that operation and save my life!

There are so many finer things to tell you – I hardly know where to begin to form the picture of how I felt and what it meant to me. After so many attempts to lose weight I had a plan this time it was going to be the last time! The operation was a back up and I was helping myself in the meant time. There was genuine hope within my heart – that started with having self worth enough to consider I am worth the effort to change, everything I had done in my past until now had not worked and that thought was strong in my head, so with that in mind I took upon this as a chance to go about things in a very different way – the penny had finally dropped!

until next time….

Lisa x

Living in the now

What exactly is living in the now?

For me living in the moment, the now is a healing process I have used to move on from the past. Our past have helped shaped who and what we are now, but we can change and shift that, our past mistakes do not have to define or today,  this is what I  realised and decided to do almost 4 years ago.

Where did I start? Self forgiveness.  Now this sounds so blase but I promise you by letting go of self hate, regret and looking backwards at all my failings, all I did was perpetuate those things in my life, a living cycle of setting myself up to fail. Self harm with eating food may sound odd, but it is what I did. I can remember standing once in front of my husband shouting and crying and stuffing food aggressively into my mouth and eating it in front of him in anger. I have had some serious issues with emotions and food control which ended in self harm.

I had felt so much guilt and shame, I had lost beautiful friends to cancer who had fought hard to live, who deserved to live and yet I was throwing my life away, rather  than feel inspired by their fight, I hated myself all the more and punished myself more and accepted the worth, the bar I had set was so low. It was the death of my father in law David in 2014,  at his funeral which was pretty traumatic just getting out the car and into the chapel, standing to sing, standing by the coffin, in front of all those people was acute pain in emotion and physical body.

Holding onto anger and regret is such a vicious emotion that robs us of hope and a better today.

The inner self critic is harsh, learning to silence that voice has taken practice and every now and then it speaks, the way I have learned to silence that voice is by deliberately thinking of something I love, distraction, break the cycle.

Losing the  amount of weight I have lost did mean control with eating plans as guidance, but before those things could be effective I had to come to terms with the past me had gone, only the woman I am today remains, what shall I do with her? The dream of who I want her to be? Shifting my focus into hope was the first step to enabling change. With this sense of hope and self worth, a right to enjoy a happier life because I deserved it meant I was able to take control with baby steps my bad relationship with food.

Love yourself, respect your worth and treat yourself like you would treat others.

My favourite quote as many of my friends know is from The Wizard of Oz, Glinda Goodwitch “you always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself”. 

Be strong you do have the power, please do not tell yourself you are not as strong as others, because if you think that you will become that.

One day some 4 years ago this  May, I was at rock bottom around 32 stone and was desperately unhappy, I went to my Drs to ask for help, in fact I can remember breaking down and begging him to find some how to lock me away and get someone else to manage my food, then after a few months I would emerge a new woman. In fact that is not a realistic thought, I was so depressed so so low, we talked for some time, he was very kind, I asked if I could be referred for bariatric operation, which he said he would, he said I would need to show I would need to prove I could lose a little weight my self. He prescribed ani depressants for me, I wiped my tears and thanked him endlessly.

I went home that day feeling a little hopeful as now I had a plan. I had always said I would never have a bariatric operation, but I never thought I would be so low as I was.

Weight loss began in a very simple way, cutting out things a little at a time, crisps, alcohol, take aways were the first to go, one by one I took out my trigger foods. Slowly I was regaining some self faith, I did not focus on being hungry, I ate when I felt hungry but ate regular foods, basic foods and not processed foods.

Some weeks, many weeks went by and I was only weighing myself monthly and although I did not feel any different in size, I was losing weight just by cutting back.  There was no word from the bariatric referral and I just kept faith the back up would soon be with me.

One morning in August I woke up and decided I just can not wait any longer to hear from the hospital, I got my ipad out and looked for whichever Weight Watchers class was running in my area. I found one in W Swindon close to where I lived, I just had this feeling, secure feeling it was the right thing to do, a gut instinct that my future was calling.

Next blog post I will tell you about the first time I walked through the door of the Weight Watchers meeting and what eventually happened with the bariatric journey.

Until the next time

Lisa x

 

Reflection

Reflection can be a heart warming experience yet also it can be heart wrenching. How we learn to move on from the negative experiences of our past and hold close the positive memories is key to living a happier life. Some sad things in our past can mark us greatly as an adult but they must not define us, that has taken me a very long time to come to terms with.

So today I have reflected on how on earth I ever got to 34 stone, I have had that question asked of me a few times, I honestly do not know how I did. Well I know the facts are I ate too much and moved too little! But the but is huge, how emotionally I let myself get to 34 stone is a much bigger question.

Looking back over my life I have comfort ate and eaten in secret many times, a plaster to make myself feel better for the moment. As a child I felt loved, very much loved by my parents. However I grew up in quite a violent home due to my Dad’s drinking and violence towards my mother. As a child I witnessed many things that a child should not have, my poor mother suffered badly at his hands, when my Dad was sober he was a lovely, but alcohol turned him into a violent wife beater. The graphic detail of this childhood really is too much to bare and I am not sure it would be right to bring it all back into present life as thats not fair on my Mother.

So you are getting a picture of me from a very young age around 5 when I witnessed and still remember terrible violent beating my Mother had, I can remember fleeing the scene screaming. So my comfort eating began quite young. As an only child I expect I shouldered much emotional baggage, but amongst all of this chaos was love, my Mother a strong and amazing women did everything in her power to give me the best she could, we were not a wealthy family, my Mom had to work full time to put a roof over our head as my Dad often drank his wages away.  I had to stay at the grandparents in the school holiday I remember and sick days, my Grandad always spoilt me with my favourite melted cheese on toast, which was always on hand cut door stop size bread. I can remember my Dad dragging me down the path to my grandparents house I would scream I want my Daddy, wriggling and crying I wanted to stay with my Dad. I can remember crying myself to the sleep on the sofa, I think the problem was the house was huge, noisy my Dad was one of 14 children and they had two council houses knocked into one. For me an only child it was all a little overwhelming, so I guess the food my Grandad spoilt me with was again emotional eating. In the 60’s and 70’s people did not interfere with the neighbour who beat his wife, there was no where for my Mom to go and she felt she had not where she could go to find a home for her and her child. Her family would not take her in, the attitude back then was you made your own bed lie in it. How harsh a times and attitude of people back then?

Well along the childhood years I was spoilt by my parents and their friends as an only child I had many ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’ that always bought me sweets etc and gave me pocket money, I was the fat kid who was told it is only puppy fat it will go as you grow older. But that was not the case at all, this makes me smile remembering comments like this. I used to go to social clubs with my parents and their friends, while they played bingo I would be up and down the bar buying crisps and fizzy drinks – I do not remember feeling unhappy about these social evenings, I felt loved by all those people.

Love and food seem linked to many relationships, given to feel better, celebrate, commiserate, console,  placate, actions that seem to be something that many families do – a treat, but when does a treat become too much? I am still trying to work this one out for myself even at the age of almost 54, now as I am older when I think I have a handle of these things, then a stressful situation arrises and suddenly I am that vulnerable child again seeking treats to feel better and make myself feel warm inside, comfort and hugs from myself within. Even now I have the odd binge of these so called treat foods, chocolate, cake etc, its like I am programmed, in a way perhaps I have been. It is taking living with a mindset of being self aware that has really helped me lose the weight I have to date, but on times that vulnerable child just lets rip and lets me know she is still alive and voices herself to me.

Live in the now dear people, do not feel sad for a past that is gone, live for today, make happy moments every day no matter how simple they are. Below is something I found and think is wonderful, something I would like to look into more, Action For Happiness sounds lovely does it not?

 

Lisa x

Family day

Saturday its weigh in day, however due to the snow the last few days weigh in at WW class was called off, always sad to not be able to catch up with my friends. I travel 80 miles to attend the same WW class, I moved from Wiltshire almost 2 years ago, that time has flown by fast! I travel that far for two reasons one because I am very fond of my friends which includes my WW coach and also my family still live in Swindon

Today was a family dinner to celebrate our sons 30 birthday, in the past I would have been scared to eat out, but in those days it was for reasons other than being worried if I would go off plan or over eat! In the past I was so big it was fear, shame, anxiety, panic attacks. So many things to worry about, people looking at me, people judging me and what I was eating, afraid I would not fit in the chairs or even break them, walking past other people in venues was hard as I was so big often I would knock things over as I passed by them. Even thinking about those things would all bubble up in my stomach and I would feel sick and often cancel going to an event last minute because I could not face going through with it

I did find a way to feel able to go out, I became interested in photography, having the camera made me feel I had a legitimate reason to be out in public, it gave me a confidence that I could hide behind, I was not just the huge woman struggling to walk. In a way the camera was a self validation of I was worth while. This is a long story and I will dip in and out of it I expect as the story telling goes by. Photography gave me a lease of life and a reason to just be

Anyhow I diverse! As I often do. So today I was able to feel nice in the clothes I was wearing, feel confident in walking into the restaurant and know I will fit in any chair, that may seem such a simple thing to the average person but to me its priceless. I am now able to look at a menu and choose wisely, today I ate mixed meat grill, salad and jacket potato, leaving out any dressing and butter, living a more mindful life with food and making wise choices has helped me lose so much weight. There are times in the last year I have been binging, usually through stress or low mood as a trigger, binging and stress eating is something I want to talk about but will save that for another day

My top tip when eating out, for me is looking ahead at the menu on line if you can, or even call ahead a day or two before and ask if the chef can prepare something special for you, I have done this on many occasion and the chefs always happy to help out

Below my mix grill with salad and jacket potato, when I got home I made my own oat bran mug cake, the cakes at the restaurant looked amazing but glad I chose not to have one. Lastly a photo of my son and I, hard to believe he is 30!

Tonight I am going to bed feeling content and happy to be me, until the next time take care…….

Lisa x