Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Foods, Moods, Obsession and Confession.

Have you all of a sudden become 'the man/woman on a diet'? Has the quest for a healthy body and weight loss become the most important thing in your life?

I know self-love is very important, but does your thinking change altogether when you embark on a course which is intended to improve your health and your outlook on food and exercise? I know I have become a bit preoccupied with food, that's all. I am getting the "Oh I shouldn't eat that" thoughts all day long. I also have the "Oh I must think about my lunch" thoughts every day. I suppose I have moved from mindless eating to planning and preparing for meals, but I am pretty sure naturally thin people (who may or may not do exercise) do not give too much thought to what they eat. I know some do. I know many people who have completely eschewed junk food - BUT - I am wondering if I'll ever be one of them, and even worse, wondering if I WANT to be one of them! (See me blush.)

Is that an awful confession? Am I doomed to remain podgy?

I had a conversation with both my boys last night...21 and 22. Both came in from work with food they'd bought on the way home, because they were hungry.  I commented on it - (it was all very civil - no arguments etc) because I was already cooking dinner - and made the point that they were eating fatty, sweet junk, which wasn't very good for them. I mentioned I was trying to avoid foods like that because I didn't want junk in my body. However, they made me smile. They reckoned (both of them) they'd rather live a short while having a good life with not too many restrictions than lead a long life which eventually means we end up sitting in a chair all day long with the aches and pains of old age...waiting for death and relying on others because we have become frail. How enjoyable is that - even though you're a slim old person? "You have one life. Live like a firework Mum!" one of them said. "Light the blue touch-paper. Burn brightly. Enjoy the fabulous explosion! Life has to be colourful and there have to be some risks, and we have to do what we enjoy doing, sensible or not, or we might as well be dead. Walk on the wild side!" He smiled and patted my arm then wandered off to his room. Huh? When did he become a life coach? :)

Hmmm. I paused and thought about I wondered whether to have butter on my jacket potato. I mean...what is a jacket potato without butter?

Yesterday I read on a blog that one woman, a successful slimmer (and sorry I can't remember your name) had embraced the "I'd rather eat a pizza with friends than sit alone with a perfectly balanced, pre-prepared meal." philosophy. Sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind.

I think they both have a point. In this crazy world I think we have started to become slightly obsessed with health. Yes, for good reason..because enormous people are waddling round full of junk food, and that ISN'T how we are supposed to live - no way. We feel better when we nourish our bodies properly, but in nourishing our bodies, are we playing havoc with our minds and well-being? WHY are there so many weight-loss blogs? Why are we all on this course to find the body beautiful? Why do people crave expensive  acai berries all of a sudden, FFS?

I give you Linda McCartney. There was a vegetarian, non-smoking outdoorsy woman who was slim. She died young. I give you my ex colleague, a fit sporty man in this late thirties who dropped dead from a heart-attack whilst playing squash. Life isn't guaranteed to any of us, is it? I also know we increase our chances of becoming ill by being overweight.

It's a dilemma. Do any of us find losing weight and keeping trim easy? I know I don't. It's a struggle to get back to optimum condition and we have to sacrifice a lot to do that..I also know that many of us feel so much better for making an effort....but will we have to live our whole lives making an effort...and if we do, is that how we are supposed to live?

I merely ask the question. I have spent the morning deliberating about my breakfast, feeling guilty because I found a small toffee in a drawer and ate it.  Mmmm. It tasted nice. It was an unexpected treat. It might have been there a year but I opened the wrapper like a starving prisoner of war! One small toffee rendered me a guilty diet cheat. I felt a bit of a failure an hour after waking because I didn't feel satisfied after my cheese and ham breakfast, so had a bowl of cereal too...and hell's teeth - that's an ENORMOUS amount to eat. Then I think - "Go and do something so you don't feel hungry. Drink a glass of water woman." However - all I wanted to do was root through that kitchen drawer to see if I could find another toffee! What madness is this? Since then I have been thinking about what I'll have for lunch. I have been mentally preparing my fish and thinking I must check to see if the spinach leaves are still fresh. Bugger off food thoughts! Get lost!

Are we really better people for leading a deliberate life? I am merely thinking. I know I don't like myself much if I slob out for too long.

All I know is - I don't like being fat. I also know I am not naturally sporty so I have to FORCE myself to move. I love to walk, yet find it a drag just walking for the sake of it - because I HAVE to exercise. I enjoy swimming. I used to play tennis for my county. I loved to dance...but I cannot, with the best will in the world force myself to go to the boring, horrid, expensive gym again. I am NOT a gym bunny. That exercise equipment bores me to death. Exercise should not be the fat person's punishment. I suppose some people start to enjoy it. I know I get restless legs and cabin fever if I can't get outside for any reason.

Are you embarking on your campaign cheerfully and full of joy, or are you finding that not an hour goes by without a food thought or a weight thought entering your head? Now, if that's how it has to be until I have lost this weight - so be it. However, I wonder, once I get to my goal if I'll still be thinking "I can't have that..." every single day? Some people say a change happens when you eat healthily over a long period of no longer need the sweet, sticky, gungy, fatty stuff. It turns you off....

I am hoping that's going to happen to me, because I am not sure if I like being "The woman on a diet' all the time. Anyway...those are my musings for today. Perhaps I think too much? :)

I am living in the present - it's all I can do. I'll think about the future when (and if) I get there. Have an enjoyable day if you can, but remember to enjoy your here and now and to appreciate your life and the people in it, whether you are fat or slim or somewhere in between! It's all you've got.

“One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”  ~ Ida Scott Taylor


  1. Grumpy:
    Great pause for thought blog. I do not enjoy the obsession with weight, food, scales, food diary, etc. On the other hand, like your blog yesterday, I feel awful about myself at this weight and know that there is a better way to live, which includes taking great care of myself. I always feel "less" around the beautiful people while I'm carrying "more".

    When I get sick of the obsession I also stop to remember how much my feet, knees and back hurt and how much money I am throwing away on medication every month. And how awful the fat makes me feel when I look in the mirror or try clothes on.

    Sure, I'd love to throw caution to the wind and eat any old way I want, but what I have been doing is covering up emotional issues by overeating and if I continue to overeat I won't get to the root of the problem(s).

    I have one sister who weighs less than 100 pounds and eats whatever she wants. However, she drinks and smokes to ease her discomfort, again covering up the emotional issues with something else. Drug of choice?

    Everyone has to decide for themselves what path to take and how their journey will look.

    Carry on.


  2. My mind runs down similar paths all the time. I do, however, want to be normal weight again, for a lot of good reasons. I try to concentrate on those and sometimes even succeed at keeping the ruminations at bay.

    Good luck to you!

  3. I do understand the 'live like a firework' argument, but can't help think that's OK when you are young but, sadly, not so great when you start to find bits of your body don't work as they used to do (she sighs, regretfully).

    I agree with the "change happens when you eat healthily over a long period of time". It did for me - I won't say I don't sometimes crave something really 'naughty' and decadent but am usually happy with such occasionally and in moderation these days. BTW, you are not "The woman on a diet', you are 'the woman who cherishes herself and her body'.

    As to the exercise - if you hate the gym, avoid the gym. Simples, eh! You've identified a couple of things you do like so why not take that man of yours for some seriously sexy salsa sessions instead ;-)