Clear thinking

6Long time no see – it’s been deliberate. I’ve thought about this blog a lot. I’ve thought about weight loss a lot. I’ve thought about my general habits and mindset a lot. I’ve thought about a lot a lot. I’ve been thinking too much (full stop)¬† to know what I want to say. But I think the fog is beginning to clear and I’m seeing my way forward.

I remember saying towards the end of last year that it might be next year, ie this year, before I weighed myself. Reader, I still haven’t. I’m scared, and I keep thinking of a friend of mine who has no idea what she weighs but knows that her trousers that were tight are now loose. My aim is not numbers on the dial but feeling happy in jeans, a pair of blue trousers I’ve never fitted into, two winter skirts I felt too fat to wear last year and two pairs of knee-high boots. If I achieve those goals then in the abstract, I don’t care what the scales say.

I’ve been aware of feeling very bogged down generally. I’m 43 and my system is definitely changing, but I’ve been feeling sluggish, lazy and enormously disappointed with myself for failing to lose weight. Things are changing at last and I’m delighted, really delighted. Closely connected are getting new hens and getting up early in the morning. Six hens need far more looking after (read mucking out) than the one to which we had dwindled so I found myself most days scrabbling about on the hen house floor shovelling sh1t. For reasons I won’t bore you with we’ve changed the henhouse set-up so that the nest boxes are removed overnight and put back in to the henhouse at 7am. By me. So, I’m getting up early every morning. That’s normal for term time but we’ve just had seven weeks of summer holidays and I’ve been very lazy, staying in bed til 9am if I can. It feels good to be up and about early again and I can feel the difference seeping into my whole day.

I feel like I’ve taken charge and once again feel completely able to make the rest of the changes that are necessary. I’m loving the autumn abundance of forage foods, I’m loving taking care of my hens, I’m happy to be in the routine of the new school term and I’m feeling on top of it all. I’m considering (really seriously considering) having my hair cut short (it’s very long and ridiculously I’m feeling weighted down by it), which will make me feel more like a well-presented woman in her 40s, rather than a silly woman who can’t let go of her lovely wavy chestnut locks. But most of all, what is making me feel so good today, I’ve successfully fasted for the first time in weeks. It’s nearly 8pm and since 6pm yesterday (after a supper of mackerel pate, greens and toast) I’ve had a carrot with mayonnaise and a very small slushy that my daughter made. I’m optimistic that I’ll get through the rest of the evening. To know I can do it is a hell of an ego-boost.

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What I’m eating, in no particular order:

  • Giant cappuccino with chocolate powder on top (v bad, as Bridget Jones would say, but at least I had no sugar on it and nothing sugary to eat with it)
  • Smoked haddock and mushroom cheesy omelette with salad & mayonnaise (v good)
  • Steak with broccoli, cauliflower & spinach cheese (cream sauce, not flour & milk)
  • Ham fried in butter, with leftover cauli cheese and extra fresh parsley
  • Coffee with double cream
  • Tricolore salad with pine nuts, balsamic (50% carb so just a splash), olive oil, mayonnaise, various leaves, couple of small tomatoes
  • Eggs fried in butter, with leftover cauli cheese
  • Tomato soup with double cream
  • Cold roast beef spread with cream cheese & horseradish and rolled up with salad
  • Thinly sliced cold leftover steak dipped in horseradish
  • Cold burger with cream cheese (I was very hungry and in a hurry!)

Two steps forward

Or maybe that should be one step forward two steps back. I’m not sticking to LCHF, or at least not completely. This is for two big reasons and one smaller reason:

  1. Carbohydrates exist in my house because I have children that eat toast, cereal, rice and potatoes, albeit in lower quantities than most children
  2. It’s virtually impossibly to take part in any kind of social activity in the UK without having to negotiate a carbohydrate minefield and look a real whiner if you go on about what you can’t eat. I eat the carbs and shut up, in the main.
  3. smaller reason: I get low moods and feel cheered up by something naughty. This makes me like the other 99.99% of the population.

I’m working on 3. I’m giving meditation and mindfulness a go as nothing will ever change if nothing changes now. I’m approaching weight loss from the wrong angle and think it will happen fairly naturally if I tackle some other problems. No-one but no-one has a completely string-free relationship with food and though I don’t think of myself as someone who has deep-rooted big hairy problems, I want to disconnect a few thoughts from¬† actions.

I’ve discovered that I get terrible water retention in the second half of my cycle. I can feel quite sylph-like once it dissipates, but that is an illusion! I think I’m peri-menopausal, which brings with it its own fun and games.

Something I’m going to do for the time being is list what I eat. This will remind me what I can eat and introduce more variety. I’ve subscribed to the Diet Doctor newsletter which is inspirational and reminds me that I do very much want to lose two stone. If I’ve lost anything lately it’s negligable. I’ve not been fasting and find it almost impossible in the holidays with children to feed, but I plan to get back to it when the children are back at school next week.

Holding out

It’s a month since I lost a couple of pounds, and to my amazement I have kept them off. I haven’t gone mad on festive foods but with guests and birthdays and Christmas I’ve eaten and drunk (and thoroughly enjoyed) all sorts of things that would normally be off-limits. Keeping lost weight off in those circumstances feels like a rare old achievement.


Or trying to. As usual the wheels have come of my attempts to avoid carbs completely. A depressingly familiar scenario played out yesterday:

There was a birthday in the family so I hosted a tea party. I stuck the rules – mainly – eating lots of cheese and pate. I did succumb to one triangle of pizza, but I could live with that. I hd a small glass of Bucks Fizz too. I felt those were acceptable in the circumstances, and not too OTT. I’ll be honest, it was a stressful afternoon with the children pushing any button they could find, so when our guests left I fell into a whisky & ginger ale. Of course, once I had a little alcohol inside me, I got the munchies. I ate FOUR triangles of pizza – bad Heather. So, having eaten shedloads of fat at tea, I then ended up eating the carbs too.

I’m in the second half of my cycle so already feel like the Michelin woman. In an attempt to put things right I’m fasting today, until supper time. I like to eat with my children – no, let me rephrase that: I think I should eat with my children, but I don’t usually enjoy it much.

I’m ravenous. Not sure I’m going to last, but I’m hidden away in my office so as long as I don’t go through to the kitchen things are under control.