Tag Archives: control

All My Knobs Are At The Top

You know what, this week is shaping up to be an absolute corker, I mean I’ve had a couple of really cracking days. After all that sorting out at the weekend, I swear the last thing on my mind was going out and buying more stuff, but on Monday I tagged along with a couple of friends from work for a cheeky lunchtime mooch around a local retail park and I accidentally came home with two dresses, two tops and a jacket. Mainly because I really liked them but also because I could. I should probably feel guilty, but you know what, bite me 🙂

Then, I was out of the office all day yesterday on a course at the local University designed to help me develop resilience in the workplace, and I had lightbulbs going off in my head every five minutes. It was supposed to be a work thing, but there were more parallels than I could even count with this weight-loss journey that we’re all on, so I couldn’t wait to tell you.

One thing in particular really resonated, about mental toughness, and God knows those of us on a diet need a bit of that to resist all the pies, right? I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain it.

This professor dude talked about ‘The Four C’s’ of mental toughness, which are Challenge, Control, Confidence and Commitment.

Challenge is about understanding what the challenge is – what needs to be done and the benefit you’ll get if you do it. Confidence is about believing that you have it in you to pull it off. Control is about feeling in control of both your environment and your emotions and commitment is…well, as it sounds – it’s about committing to a goal or an outcome.

It seems you can pretty much write a cheque for success in any situation if all four of those things are present and correct. As he was talking, I was supposed to be applying the theory to a work context but in my head, my thoughts set off running like a hare in a meadow…I started thinking about my weight-loss journey, and I started to get very very giddy.

Because. I understand that I need to lose weight, and I know how much better I’ll feel when I’m skinny. I one hundred percent believe that I can do it and right now I’m in control of what’s around me, and what’s inside me…the Asshole voice is well and truly gagged. And I’m totally committed to my food sobriety.

Imagine a graphic equaliser. In case you’re too young to remember what one of those was, (get out of my blog immediately) they existed in an era before digital sound blew the need for manual twiddling out of vogue. They looked a bit like the picture I’ve stuck at the top, with knobs you could move up and down to isolate and adjust the different bits of sound when you were playing a record, like dialling up the bass or the treble.

Now think about one of those knobs next to each of the four C’s…right now, all four of my C’s are dialled right the way up. All my knobs are at the top and they have been since I gave my head a wobble in the New Year and rediscovered the sweet spot. They’re all up there on full volume, and yesterday I made the connection between all this lovely theory and what’s happening with me right now. My unbroken run of fourteen losses in fourteen weeks. Not a toe out of line where my food plan is concerned. It’s because all my knobs are at the top.

In the last three months of last year when I was climbing on and falling off the wagon with alarming regularity, my knobs were not at the top. Sometimes one or two or maybe even three of them might have been, but if just one of those four things is switched off, you are on the back foot completely and the chances are you won’t succeed. I’ve lived it, remember? I regained twenty two pounds in the last three months of the year. I’m telling you, it was like fucking Blackpool illuminations in my head yesterday when I made the connections.

Where are your knobs? It might be worth doing a quick recce, especially if you’re in that place where you’re taking two steps forwards and one step back…I guess understanding which one of your knobs needs adjusting might just make the difference, right?

On another note, I’ve changed my weigh-day. I decided that since I’m spending my weekly Weight-Watchers points on days three to five of my dieting week it would make more sense if those days fell on a weekend. So, my new weigh-day is Wednesday. Today. And to my surprise and delight although it’s only three days since my last weigh-in, Shitbird Scale offered up one and a quarter pounds.

Told you I was having a good week 🙂

 

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A Perfect St Valentine

So the nearer I get to my holiday, the more I keep expecting the wheels to come off my food plan. There are only four more sleeps to go, and generally by this point – usually way before this point if we’re splitting hairs – the Asshole voice would have kicked the pre-holiday campaign into full swing…you may as well stop now, you’re practically on holiday and you won’t lose any more weight between now and then. You’re going to blow it next week anyway so why don’t you just have a few days without having to worry about dieting and start your blow-out early…you’ve earned it.

This time..? Nothing. The food plan continues in textbook fashion, and not a murmur from the asshole between my ears.

I’m a bit baffled to be honest. Last night would have been a perfect opportunity for him to rattle his chains. I was in a proper strop when I finally got in from work, having left an hour early so I could make a 6pm class at the Kingdom of Pain only to get stuck in shitty traffic. My one hour commute turned into three hours so I missed class altogether…I wasn’t even close.

Then when I finally got home there was nothing in for supper. Well, there was, but it was all food I’m not supposed to be eating, because I rushed out yesterday morning without proper planning. So I cobbled together a fairly random and crappy supper consisting of a couple of crumpets which were past their ‘best before’ date, and a protein shake. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t get an A for effort. I couldn’t help feeling a bit envious at the thought of all those folk enjoying romantic and tasty valentine dinners,  as I sat there with my two stale crumpets and a crappy milkshake.

So the evening’s not going well, right? It was a stinker. Except in so many ways it was perfect. There was food in the fridge that my head just accepted was off-limits, so there was no debate to be had. No standing in front of the fridge whilst I tried to talk myself into it and then out of it again. No fight. Hello? That’s a first.

Then my boy came home later on with a box of seriously good chocolates that he’d been given, and normally I’d be all over those bad boys in a flash…last night, nothing. I wasn’t interested. I didn’t even smell them, that’s how immune I was. It’s not like I was grandstanding, or making a show of being good…I just didn’t want one. And let me be clear, not wanting one has never actually stopped me from having one in the past. If they were there, I could and if I could, I did. Always. But not last night.

Do you think I’m sickening for something?

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Nothing In A Crackly Wrapper

Forty days. Four zero. Forty.

That’s how long it is since I ate something that I shouldn’t…I have to keep pinching myself, you know? It’s a milestone I can’t quite get my head around, when you consider how much my arse was dragging in the last few months of last year. And I’ll tell you what else…I haven’t really found it hard.

I know, right? I don’t understand it either. It’s like the Asshole voice has fallen off a cliff, because he hasn’t rattled his chains in well over a month. And I’m convinced it’s down to the fact that I’m giving refined sugar a really wide berth. I haven’t gone completely sugar-free…I’m not quite ready to go the whole hog and cut it out of my diet altogether, but to be honest I’m pretty close.

For forty days I’ve eaten no processed foods at all. No chocolate. No crisps or snacks. And that means that as I’ve been watching TV in the evenings, my viewing experience has been completely binge-free. Just me, on my own and flying solo without any treats which lead to more treats which lead me directly to hell in a hand cart. I’ve eaten grapes, or melon or a handful of nuts, but nothing which comes in a crackly wrapper.

It’s a weird thing you know…I feel like I’ve been set free. Right now, in this moment and all the moments over the last forty days I haven’t had to fight with myself over every food decision. I haven’t eaten a treat within my food budget and then taken that same budget down to the wire by having one more, then one more, all the time furiously recalculating what I might be able to eat for the rest of the week so I can eat still one more in this moment.

Those mid-afternoon cravings in the office have gone. That’s traditionally where my day took a wobble – everything up to lunchtime would be measured and planned, but whatever I put into my mouth with my afternoon cuppa would pretty much dictate how the rest of the day went, you know? Skidding home in the evening with only a sparse food budget left then spending what was left of the day driving myself mad with thoughts of all the things I wanted but couldn’t have.

Sometimes I’d cave and have them anyway, paying my Weight Watchers points forward with promises that I’d have a lean day tomorrow. Sometimes I’d just think fuck it and blow the budget then spend the rest of the week feeling guilty about the fact that I had no control, and pissed off that I’d left myself no further snacking opportunities. Whichever way, there was no respite from the food thoughts playing on a loop in my head, constantly stirred by my Asshole voice.

Imagine living that way, all the time. It’s like being stalked by some malevolent food beast that you just can’t get away from. The liberation that comes from that all of a sudden not being there is hard to describe. I remember being bullied when I was quite young and feeling like it was never going to end. My meek and gentle mum found out and raised all kinds of hell at the school, and it stopped immediately. What I’m feeling now reminds me of how I felt then, when I realised I could walk through the playground without having to worry about who was hiding in wait for me around the next corner.

Now, all that said, I’m not perfect…I am eating mountains of vegetables, and my portion sizes aren’t getting smaller…I know I need to focus on that, but at the end of the day nobody ever got fat by eating too much broccoli, right? One step at a time.

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Choosy Is Good, Right?

So, I had two things to navigate yesterday. One buffet lunch straight out of the 1970s with no healthy options whatsoever, and then a working dinner with some colleagues last night. I did okay, in fact you would’ve been proud of me. At lunchtime I did eat half a rather greasy sausage and a couple of fat sandwich quarters, but really only enough to stave off starvation and see me through the afternoon. And last night in the restaurant, I watched everyone else eat their appetisers but because there was nothing suitable on the menu for me I didn’t order one. Yes, you heard that right…even though I was ravenous I said no. I would have had one, but I was choosy, and choosy is good, right?

I practised behaving like a skinny girl. Squid? Awesome, I’ll have that, I love squid…oh hang on just a minute, deep fried in batter with a garlic mayo dip? Nah not for me…what else…oooh look, mini ribs with homemade slaw…I’ll have that! Oh blimey, hang on a sec, that barbecue sauce is probably loaded with sugar, and there’ll be half a tub of mayo in that slaw…shit, move past the ribs, come on we’ve got this. So I ordered a big fat juicy steak for my main, and passed on the starter.

The steak was alright, I mean it won’t go down in history as the best steak I’ve ever had but it was okay. It wasn’t big, and it wasn’t even particularly juicy but to be honest by the time I’d watched everyone else eat their squid and their ribs I wasn’t about to send it back. I’d ordered a side order of healthy greens, and I carefully transferred all my fries into the bowl my veggies came in just to get them off my plate.

I did catch my hand reaching out a couple of times to grab one of the fries…I ate three in the end. Which isn’t going to kill me, so there’s no drama and it’s a hell of an improvement on other similar meals in my chequered food past, where no chip escaped unscathed. Not on my watch. Don’t get me wrong, if I was in diet mode and trying, I would’ve just as carefully transferred the fries off my plate in a great show of willpower but over the course of the meal they would have gotten eaten anyway and that’s not willpower as much as geography. But not last night.

I was waiting, you know for the all-consuming desire to kick in and press the override switch on my willpower, but…nothing. It didn’t happen. And I didn’t eat dessert, although I can’t claim that as a victory because nobody else did either so that wasn’t willpower as much as circumstances. 

Interestingly enough though, when someone said does anyone fancy dessert? and the rest of our party shook their heads, my usual visceral reaction of wanting to beat to a pulp all the crazy people who passed on pudding meaning I couldn’t say yes either was also conspicuous by its absence…I didn’t want dessert. And thinking about it, I haven’t eaten anything sweet for over a month now. Saying that out loud almost makes we want to run to the mirror and make sure I’m still me.

I’m taking some comfort from all the above, and feeling rather hopeful that I might continue in a similar vein on my forthcoming trip…not having to fight with the asshole voice makes dinner out with friends a much more enjoyable experience, you know?

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

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Jury’s Out…

So I think I mentioned didn’t I, that my friend and I are heading out on holiday in a couple of weeks – I’m on countdown, with just eighteen sleeps to go. My friend is the world’s best travelling companion…she is uber organised. My modus operandi is to skid into my holidays having worked up to the very last minute with no preparation whatsoever but you know what, I totally get away with it because my friend does enough organising for the both of us. It’s the only bit of my life where I happily sit back and trust someone else to crack on and just tell me what we’re doing.

We’re cruising again – you know how I love life on the ocean – and this time we’re picking up our ship in Abu Dhabi and sailing into Oman, Fujairah, Sir Bani Yas Island and Dubai. I’ve never been to that part of the world and I’m curious to see what it’s like. It’s also my first hot holiday in a while, so I’m looking forward to finding a shady spot and devouring three or four good books as we sail through the week.

Things are going so well with my food plan at the moment that I’m in an agony of indecision trying to decide what food strategy I’m going to adopt whilst I’m on holiday, you know? Even though I stayed active on our last holiday by scaling waterfalls and climbing the odd mountain, and didn’t feel like I went overboard on the eating, I put on a ton of weight over the course of our week in Norway. I know I lost it again within a couple of weeks of coming home – once my plumbing recovered from the trip – but even so, watching the needle go up by eight pounds or so when I got home didn’t exactly fill me with joy and loveliness.

I’m not sure I ever really got back to the real focus I’d had on losing weight before the trip. I mean I limped along between getting home from that holiday and setting off for Cuba, but the impetus definitely fell off a cliff somewhere towards the end of summer.

My dilemma now, is that it feels a bit too soon to step away from this much more disciplined New Year mindset that I’ve manage to kick-start. By the same token I want to be able to enjoy the kind of carefree holiday moments where my friend and I throw caution to the wind and work our way through the cocktail menu for example, which always seems like a great idea at the time. The trouble is, my inhibitions diminish with each sip of whatever I’m drinking.

It’s not as if I’m a big drinker…actually I’m a bit of a fanny but it’s different on holiday somehow. And let’s be honest, you only get a thimble-full of french martini in your glass so it’s too easy to order another, and another…I seem to remember doing exactly that last time, and waking up the next morning with the remains of a cheesecake in my bed and a spoon stuck to my cheek. Not my finest hour, right?

Today marks my 31st day of eating properly, in terms of no processed food, and barely any refined sugar. I’m feeling awesome to be honest, and I know I can definitely keep the momentum going for the next two and a half weeks. The question is can I keep it going whilst I’m on holiday. Should I..?

I’m trying to steer clear of the kind of fat-girl thinking which equates having a good time with how much I can fit in my mouth, but I can already feel the asshole voice gearing up to flood my head with suggestions like it’s okay to relax a bit, you’re on holiday, and come on, you’ve been so good you deserve a treat…life’s too short, live a little and eat the fucking cake!!

I know those kind of sentiments are built on a crooked belief that denying myself the indulgences I want in the moment is some kind of punishment which will spoil the holiday I’ve worked so hard for. Which is bollocks, and I know it.

Still

 

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