Mrs Miniver Weighs In

"Words were the only net to catch a mood…"

Zero Sum and then some

I thought I had posted this already, oh no, the wish was not mother to the action. The last two and a half weeks have seen me plough on with a few challenges and interesting results. Two weeks ago, I ate quite a lot, within general guidelines for what and stayed found my weight had not changed at all. This was suprisingly heartening, despite not really viewing this as a numbers game anymore, more one of feeling balanaced and controlled. I took this brave-heart feeling and morphed it into dietary recklessness a few days into the following week. And gained 5.5lbs, which gave me pause. I was out of control specifically around Key Lime Pie made for a a big community event. I do like my citrus, but I must find better ways of ingesting it rather than wrapped up in condensed milk if I can’t stick to one piece rather than 3 but licking the bowl out:) And the leftover Easter egg!

Since then I’ve pulled back reasonably admirably and am eating more nourishing food. I’ve also re-started my usual exercise levels now the schools have re-opened. Bit of an eating blip yesterday inspired by dog-tiredness from overnight child illness and being home alone. This blip involved eating LOTS of good food, spare noodle soup from the kids’ meal, extra fruit and nuts and yoghurt. Til my tummy ached. It was comfort eating at its finest, I zoned out and felt calm and happy and rested as i sat there troughing my way through all this stuff, while reading so my head was somewhere else as well. Only time I’ve done that this week so far, have been making a big effort not to read and eat.

I’m still mulling over what I could have done to replace the feeling of comfort and am just not sure. There was no escape from hearth and home, and playing with the kids just made me more tired. Will talk about it at group, possibly. This week I am using a lot of prepared foods and keeping out of the kitchen a bit more than usual to encourage less picking. This is working courtesy of the Waitrose Love Life range, which I find excellent. Especially the soups.

Easter treats

So far:

1. turns out our Pilates teacher is Swiss, should have known. Impeccable manners, great language skills. Presented us with a plate of her countries finest chocolates at the end of class today. I chose the darkest one, prettily decorated, the diameter of a £2 coin and about twice as deep. A shell of chocolate around a perfect ganache. It was three bites of utter pleasure, like eating silk.

2. Currently steeping downstairs for suppertime, a flavoursome mix for the remainder of my dairy portion today (rather a lot of greek total 0% fat yoghurt). I am having Hot Cross Yoghurt. The peel of an orange, a lemon, a half teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves and allspice, soaking in orange flower water and some table sweetener.

Stopped it!

Phew, put on 5lbs with my heroic eating efforts, look and feel stronger and more balanced. Am setting, finally setting, my target weight as 150lbs (10 and a 1/2 stone), as it turns out that’s where I’m comfortable. Need to reign in the extra carbs and extra fruit now, aiming to to stabilise around this mark for several weeks while reintroucing some of the foods I’ve skipped, including some more portable lunches with gluten free pittas and such lie. Had a few struggles this week with menu planning while out and about a lot.

Had a few psychological struggles with fear and doubt about chosen plan for myself and was I eating too much/unhealthily. Was I listening to myself enough? On the whole, the answer has come back: yes! I have also found two spots so far where the veneer of control is thin yet: automatic grazing while batch cooking (will observe myself more and stop it) and some crooked thinking that went like this:

1500: MrsM buys a small and swanky dress for an event

1700: MrsM models it to her family, delightedly

1800: MrsM eats early dinner before rehearsal

1830: MrsM starts to panic if dress still fits, after that one small and healthy dinner

1835: MrsM doesn’t try dress on again to check, MrsM gets a bloody grip and thinks rationally:)

Food baby

Stuffed

I am a few days into adjusting to the last week of the reintroduction to food phase and often feel like I’ve lodged a 5 months pregnancy food baby under my waistband. I’ve been given the last 3 weeks of the program to let me pick through and use the things that don’t trigger gluten-ish issues and to increase portions to try and stop the galloping weight loss. Today is also Test-My-Thyroid day which I am not looking forward to as I have the kids with me for a blood test. Cue endless games of let’s take blood from mummy later I expect.

I am keeping a really, really detailed diary (hence slightly less dense wodge of picture tweets at the foot of this blog recently) so I have data for a proper review of how this week goes. I haven’t yet managed to eat all the portions ‘allowed’ as I’m usually too full by the end of the day, but with heroic and highly enjoyable efforts I’m getting there. Major breakfasts seem to underpin me nicely. Lunch is usually on the run and I need to make better arrangements about eating well when socialising in the evening.

A typical major breakfast includes: 40g (10g more than recommended amount) of date and coconut porridge with 1/3 pint of semi milk and a spoon of honey. 2-300 grams of turkey minced with a couple of field mushrooms, a 1/3 tin of toms and herbed into tasting like heaven, basil, herbes de provence, pepper. Cooked like some giant alien squatting patty in a fry pan with a bit of stock water.

I have been a bit anxious with all of this. Am I eating too much, too little? Am I listening to my cues OK? Why am I losing so much weight still? How will I cope with all this food prep when I am busier at work? Answer: one meal at a time, don’t worry, it only weakens me, you’ll know more and better when you get to the next problem, I’ll be better armed. Off to calculate my likely calorie needs per day….ah. 2252 suggested. That’s such a lot. Think I’m only managing about 1800 at present.

Speed

Like Sandra Bullock at the helm of a runaway liner, I am making heroic efforts to decelerate my weight loss now. About to start my 6th food re-introduction week and I’d lost another 3lbs, despite eating as prescribed + loads more protein. Once I realised week 6 essentially re-introduces gluten which makes me terrifically unpleasant to be around and feel ill, I discussed this in detail with my LighterLife counsellor.

Upshot is that I’ve got weeks 7 and 8 as well to use to pick out things I know I can digest. I’ve also decided to move to 3 meals and one pack with increased size protein and somewhat increased veg portions. Should do the trick.

I will also boost my intake with a daily snack on Keanu Reeves double dipped in caramel. Did I just say that out loud?

The Four Degrees

This works for me: Am I hungry?

Drink

Distract

Deliberate

Decide

Especially 3 and 4. Thinking positively about food and what I might acutally be nourished by, not what i fancy or think habit dictates. Then I decide and do it, enjoy whatever the decision is, eat, not eat, forget about it all. I feel as liberated from obsessive food thoughts I was trapped before when my thinking was very skewed by tiredness, illness and stress.

What a Cassava

I bought a very large sweet potato from a local shop on Friday in honour of its introduction into week 5 of food reintroduction. Peeled it on Saturday morning to discover it was white inside, and not a very large sweet potato at all. not wanting to rouse the household stomping around googling, I experimented with it. Almost tasteless raw, fibrous and a great crunch. Parboiled for 10 minutes, holding shape nicely, not much flavour, sweeter. Dusted in spice and seasoning and oven roast for 20 minutes, sweet, delicious, hint of egg or of squash? Certainly fibrous, possible to pull into strings almost if the mood takes me. Much nicer than sweet potato in texture and satisfaction.

Turns out when Google and I were reunited that it was cassava. It is my new best food friend. I got 10 portions from the one huge root, froze some see how they handle that. Have been having them to add some sustaining substance to my breakfasts, always my favourite meal of the day. I dumped Google for Wikipedia and have been following links all over the place about this lovely addition to my life. Am excited about its mineral and vitamin content, its low carbness, about finding some tapioca flour, one day making African heavy cake, getting the wedges into the family meal. One of its products is called palaver, the making of which seems like a palaver. And then I found out that isn’t the root of the word, so now my tale of food odyssey is over.

5weeksRTM

March 2012

MrsM: looking glam while doing Easter based Lego stuff (Lego. Grinds teeth)

Hunger Games

Off to see the Hunger Games tomorrow with friends. Some RnR, thank goodness. I am now in week 5 of the start of the management program. In lay terms that roughly means I am eating half normal food, half Lighter Life food packs.

The half normal food started yesterday with a large relative increase in range and numbers of portions. I couldn’t eat it all, I was so full by 6pm. I then realised how very very VERY hungry I was in week four. Barely sleeping, losing extra weight I’d have preferred to keep and having to work hard mentally to manage my response to hunger.

Now, I intend to spend the rest of my life eating when genuinely hungry but it was a reassuring excerise in the application of willpower. I’ve never in my entire life attempted to apply willpower to food, either ignoring its importance or treating it on a pleasure principle. The will to maintain my goal will be the central plank of long term management though. Week four has left me feeling confident in my ability to eat and stop, to know hunger, to manage it if I really have to.

Next goal, figuring out the difference between fancying a taste of something when hungry and giving my body what it needs. Do we really get signals like that, or is it all from our heads and the knowledge we have?

Mothering Jeans

In honour of mother’s day (UK) a friend has bought herself some ‘mom jeans’. I laughed because I thought I knew exactly what she meant. Ah, but her mum jeans are Levi Curve ID, to which I aspire as fashiony-y things, having lived in big baggy sweatshop grimness for years. I wish I knew what kind of giddy jean fashion heights there are if those Levi’s a mumsy. I am still wearing under 20 quid wrinklies with stains at present. It’s all relative isn’t it:)

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