Thursday, 29 April 2010

Nibbles, and learning about myself.

It's an interesting process, this blogging, isn't it? This online diary of mine, concerned with the weight-loss journey is taking shape (unlike me!)  but I have no idea if it's just for my benefit or if others will read and get something from it, or get nothing much from it at all, but just enjoy the read.

I know lots of successful people have blogged about their days on the road to losing weight and shaping up. It's been very helpful for me to read that most people either struggle or find a way to get through their days - the days they feel determined and on track and the days when they feel like going mad, food-wise and eating all before them. I need blogs to be 'human' and to detail thoughts, struggles, successes, determination, and all the other emotions, including misery, anger, frustration, joy, satisfaction etc. I have to say that those who write about their programme at the gym and their 15 hours a day of exercise don't do much for me - mainly because I am not a gym bunny right now, or a particularly 'active' person, one interested in exercise. I maybe in time to come - I don't rule it out - but - I am beginning to know myself really well.

I know that I need to lose weight. I know that I look awful, feel depressed knowing I am a fat blob and looking at my reflection in a mirror brings me no pleasure. I know that I have to look for my good bits too, and I do that. I am not a complete write-off :)

I know I can be very determined one minute and really grumpy the next that I can't stuff my face with cream cakes. I know that despite eating well all day I'll often be growling "What can I eat? I hate this restriction! I need food!" at the end of the day, and feel resentful that my calories are limited.

So, knowing about the way I tick has been interesting when it comes to devising an eating plan which will help me lose weight. I know Weight Watchers and slimming clubs aren't for me right now. I know that I hate rigid routine and sticking to plans devised by other people. I'd rather be my own boss in this. For now, at least.

Yesterday was interesting. I felt down. Really ugly, fat, useless and past-it. I was full of self-loathing after my awful-shock-in-the-mirror episode the night before. I felt that the days ahead were going to be a struggle. I was not full of enthusiasm or self-love, or determination. However, I did feel yesterday that food was my enemy. I hated it for what it had done to me...but not myself for eating it! Food was BAD. I looked at it critically and before I ate anything I thought about whether it was fatty, sweet, bulky, starchy and what it would do for me in terms of filling me up, providing energy and providing nutrition. I don't want my days to be like this. Eating should be a pleasure. Sitting down with friends and food is one of my favourite ways of spending time. So, I picked at food yesterday. I didn't cook anything hot at all, mainly because I was feeling  I couldn't be bothered. It proved interesting. I jotted down all I ate. I'll work out calories later.

I was the fat woman eating, and everything I ate would add to my chubby frame. So, I had a tiny portion of muesli..about a tablespoon, to which I added a few raisins for sweetness and a tiny scattering - about a teaspoonful, of sunflower seeds, because I like the taste and crunch of them. It was good and I had a mug of tea with it. I drank a tall tumbler full of cold water about fifteen minutes later.

About two hours later I was mooching, in between tasks so I made myself a small jug of fresh coffee and thought, as usual "Um...I need food to go with it." (That's a bad habit - tea or coffee accompanied by food - but it's one I don't have to break if I choose foods wisely.) So I had a light yogurt. I checked the cals, fats and carbs.

I busied myself with things and nipped out to the shops, in the car, because I had bulky things to bring back. I came back, needing tea. I thought about food. It was now 1.30pm, so lunchtime. I nibbled on a cherry tomato whilst I thought "What can I eat now?" I drank my tea and pulled two small light BabyBel cheeses from the fridge. I ate them with four more tiny tomatoes. I found a carrot, washed it and nibbled on it. Whole. No preparation. I drank another glass of water, and because I had moved my mouth, exercised my jaws, done the whole chewing and tasting thing, I was satisfied. Isn't it strange? I discovered what I ate wasn't as important as the physical eating process. The tasting, chewing..sticking food in my mouth was the satisfying element. I probably wasn't THAT hungry either, but I felt some satisfaction that all foods so far had been GOOD ones.

I put some washing on, tidied up the kitchen, checked emails, had another glass of water and went out to the garden to hang washing on the line. I talked to the cat, put some more fat balls on the bird table  for my feathered friends and pulled at a dastardly dandelion. No seed heads from them allowed to form in my garden! Oooh..bending and stretching. Exercise! LOL.

I had cheered up considerably by then. I am not a moody person really. I am quite introspective though, but that comes from having time on my hands now I am not working I suspect. Again, I felt the need to punctuate my day with food, but given I had been eating healthily all day, and there were no 'bad' foods in the house I wondered what I'd track down. There was a pot of hummus in the fridge, so I toasted a pitta bread - just one, and ate that. I made the pitta bread into a pouch and stuffed baby spinach leaves inside. I broke it into bits and dipped it into my hummus. very tasty...and one fat woman was satisfied, and hunger was banished. I had about six almonds an hour later when the urge to have food in my mouth was strong again. I made another mug of tea later, and feeling the need for cakes or biscuits - anything that was sweet, I grabbed five raisins and deliberately sucked them slowly. My old bad habit of tea accompanied by a sweet snack of some sort has to be tamed. The urge passed and I enjoyed my tea. Before the man came over I had a small packet of salt and vinegar flavoured rice cakes. That felt like a food indulgence, but it wasn't  really. Good on lots of levels!

That was it for the day...No evening meal. The boys were out and fending for themselves. My man came over and we watched a film on TV. I used to feed him but that entailed eating a big meal at 8.30pm..or 9pm. That's too late for me. I could have eaten the contents of the fridge by the time I'd served it up. I told him this, explaining it would be a problem for me to eat a big meal that late, so he cooked for himself before he came over, and was quite happy to do so. I felt a bit mean cutting out this social event, but it was a habit that wasn't good.  At the end of the evening he said "Thanks for the tea..." and we laughed.

This is my plan. I shall have a decent breakfast - but a small portion of cereal and if I need something with it I'll have fruit. Then, whenever the urge to eat strikes, I shall snack..but snack on GOOD things, and in tiny amounts. I actually didn't feel hungry at any time yesterday...

OK, that's very vague and a plan open to abuse, but if all I have in the house is healthy food and I think about how I am combining bits and pieces there are no "Oh noooo. I have snacked between meals - I am weak and a complete and utter fat failure" episodes. The plan is, I can eat when that urge to eat strikes me...but the eating will be tiny amounts of whatever I can find. No specified times. So, no guilt associated from eating frequently. Not only that, there don't have to be any big meals prepared. I'll have to cook something at around 6pm for the boys, on some days, not all,  but I tend to give them vegetables and lean meat anyway...or beans, jackets potatoes etc. I may have a meal for myself but I'll have the veg and meat..a small portion of meat and fore-go potatoes or rice or aware that I can only have a portion of carbs which is very small. I am OK with that. I don't need HUGE meals..but I do need to eat nibble even. I shall endeavour not to eat after 7pm.

Today, all I have had is a small bowl of bran flakes with semi-skimmed milk. I haven't had anything else because I had a doctor's appointment this morning. I shall have two tangerines now whilst I put the kettle on. Two Ryvita with cottage cheese and chives will be what I eat...followed by my mug of tea. if I feel the need for sweeteness I'll have a few raisins or a banana. There are yogurts in the fridge, fruit in the bowl and chicken portions for dinner tonight. I have green beans and baby sweetcorn to go with it and new potatoes for the boys. I may have one, but that's my limit.

Not scientific, not calorie counted, definitely spontaneous, but a nibbler's eating plan is what I need. I'll see how it goes and weigh myself on Monday. I'll also try to incorporate walking and gardening into my days as well as a turn on the bike in the evenings whilst watching TV. When I want to eat, I will, because I am learning that tiny amounts of food, frequently, satisfy that urge.

The Nibbler has landed.

             A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.  

            ~ George S. Patton

Hmm. Violent raisin-eating. There's a thought.....


  1. You mentioned something about "guilt associated from eating frequently". Write that 'guilt' thought on a piece of scrappy paper, tear it into teensy bits and flush it down the loo.

    Reading the blog world for the last few years has taught me that eating small, healthy snackettes frequently is a good thing, not the starter for a guilt-trip.

    Diana, over at says about fruit
    "When eating five to seven fruits and vegetables a day, it really should be five to seven vegetables and fruits a day. We should be eating more vegetables than fruit..."
    "My snacks are always a complete snack. For example, I try to never eat just a piece of fruit. I always add some protein. A few almonds, an ounce of turkey, a small piece of cheese, some Greek yogurt. Something to make me feel satisfied. Never just a carb, but always a carb and a protein."

    Might help? BTW, I always keep a fruit bowl or a box of raw veggie bits at work for my regular snack attack moments. It gets some odd looks, but it helps banish the vending machine devil!

  2. Grumpy: Hey, you have a plan! Now it may need some tweaking along the way, but you know what works best for you. I also have trouble reading the weight loss blogs that talk about their 8 hours of exercise in one day. Excuse me...I work full time and am still raising kids and have a home, garden and marriage to maintain. How the hell would I fit in 8 hours at the gym and why would I want to? One of my favorite quotes... "There is no finish line--keep running". Jo :)

  3. Deniz and Jo - thanks so much for your support. It is really appreciated. I felt quite emotional yesterday, no idea why, but I saw losing weight as a GOOD thing, an easy thing and something I really wanted to do. Perhaps all you need is a small success, a little determination and the positivity that comes from taking control? I hope it lasts!
    Yes Deniz, guilt is destructive. We can't keep beating ourselves up. However, my snacking before consisted of scoffing whatever I could get my hands on - and lots of bread. I was piling on the pounds with the stodge I think and feeling lethargic because I wasn't thinking about vitamins, minerals, fibre etc. Little and often - with the house being stocked with healthy stuff is the way forward for me I think.

    Jo - I love that quote :) This way of eating has to become a habit, not just until I have shifted a few pounds. I have six stones to lose...and like you I don't have the luxury of just thinking about me. MY kids have grown now, well, at least my daughter has. I am not sure if my two young men will ever mature as she has! I am having to remember that they have mighty appetites too..but they can eat the things I eat and fill up on bread and cereal if necessary. I am still their Mum and although they are capable of looking after themselves, the mother in me does like to provide them with hot meals at the end of the day. I am trying to see housework (ugh - a necessary but repetitive evil!) as good free exercise :)