In the month leading up to Christmas and the New Year, I ‘free-ate’. By that I mean that I lifted off all controls around food that I usually exert as I can be prone to gain unwanted poundage quite easily. The result – a weight gain of about 4kg/9lbs. I didn’t overeat, I didn’t gorge, I didn’t even have a Christmas lunch. I just ate what was in front of me without worrying about the carbs/portions/sugars etc etc.
My usual eating habits include avoiding bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and any other starchy carbohydrates. Occasional indulgences occur, but I’m happier without. I rarely eat chocolate or sweets. I have a weakness for savoury pastries, so avoid these like the plague. I also perfected a recipe for banana bread – the trouble is the kids weren’t impressed so the only one that ended up eating it was me. I know I never baked for a reason!
But I am a girl that loves her food. And her wine! I get great pleasure from the social aspect of eating and drinking with friends. At the end of a busy day I like to reward myself with a couple of glasses of wine and something tasty to eat. I no doubt exceed government guidelines on accepted safe alcohol limits (!) but I rarely get drunk. In fact, the last time I seriously over-indulged on the alcohol I had to wipe out the whole of the next day. Not an easy thing to do when you are responsible for four young children.
So I was very happy to reach the New Year and get back to my usual everyday eating routines, which suits my way of life – enough energy to get through each day, no bloated uncomfortable feelings (my stomach did blow up like a balloon), and a gentle wind down at the end of the day.
Except that I was left with a weighing problem – I needed to get rid of those extra few kilos. I was going to have to DIET!
If truth be told, I haven’t dieted in years. Because I have found a way of eating that suits me, I’ve managed to get myself back to where I like to be, all be it within a couple of kilos or so, after each baby. It’s not always easy, I certainly haven’t snapped straight back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. But a combination of time, gentle exercise, healthy eating and not putting any pressure on myself, not expecting perfection, and certainly not caring what anyone else may think about my ‘mummy tummy’, I had reached a perfectly acceptable place in the weight game. In fact, until this Christmas ‘experiment’ I could indeed still (just about) get into my pre-pregnancy jeans (my youngest is coming up to three, so I certainly did not rush things!).
When you look at the slimming industry through Thrive eyes, you realise how much it encourages people to rely on external factors to ‘make them lose weight’. From slimming pills and meal replacement shakes, to toning machines that work while you sleep – everything comes down to the fact that when wanting to lose weight, you are looking for maximum results with minimum effort.
Add to this the overwhelming evidence that how you look has a severe effect on your self esteem, as is worrying about what other people may think about your muffin top/mummy tummy/love handles etc.
Quite simply weight issues boil down to our three primary limiting beliefs – a huge external locus of control, low self esteem, and high social anxiety.
The truth of the matter is, losing weight is rarely about using the latest slimming fad, but actually taking control of, and managing the way you think about food and diet.
So for the purposes of this blog, I am going to conduct another little experiment for you. I have procured from the internet something that is called the ‘Commando’ diet. It is very restrictive, and lasts for 7 days. Now the reason why I am doing this, is that way back during my university days when I overindulged to the tune of about three stone, I did a very similar eating plan. The resulting weight loss, and effect on my whole psyche was pretty much life changing. Although I am not looking to change my life now, I do want to do something to totally kick start my system again.
Now, I’ve been thinking about doing this for several days now. And keep putting it off. It’s the weekend, we may go out that night, I’ll just finish off this bottle of wine… the excuses are pouring out of me. Why? Surely the prospect of losing that added weight is enough to pull me through?
Well no, I keep putting it off because I do have a certain ‘instant gratification’ style of thinking – the momentary pleasure I get from a plate of good food, the gentle unwind of a glass of wine. You see, I don’t want to ‘suffer’. These are things I couldn’t possibly get through my day without (catastrophic thinking), well I’ve had one glass of wine now, I might as well have a second (black & white thinking). These are all things I have allowed myself to do having achieved a certain weight level. But to shed that extra weight gain, I am going to have to ‘suffer’.
So I am going to make a conscious effort to Thrive my way through this 7 day diet. And I shall report back here in 7 days time to let you know how my thought processes have gone, and how applying Thrive principles has helped.
So I would say ‘wish me luck’ – but that is a very un-Thrive thing to say. See you in a week!