Tag Archives: full-filter

Everything I’m Not


I woke up with a familiar sickly feeling this morning, and I have to say it served as a sharp reminder about both how far I’ve come, and how far I still have to travel on this journey to Skinny Town. It’s my own fault for handing over the control of all food-related decisions to the Asshole voice after I got in from work yesterday…he was on form, as always and I can’t even pretend that I put up a fight.

I’d been very organized before I left in the morning, throwing liver and onions in the crock-pot to slow cook all day, so by the time I got home there was a divine smell. My boy, who would rather stick pins in his eyes than go anywhere near liver and onions threw a dirty look at the crock pot and fixed himself a pizza. Obviously I wasn’t going to fall out with that…more for me, right?

So I’d worked out the Smart Points value in the morning and there was only ten in the whole thing. Which to be fair would have comfortably fed three people…three normal people. People who didn’t eat as though their food supply was about to be turned off for a month. My eyes lit up like a Christmas tree when I lifted the lid.

The Asshole voice was all over it. There’s only ten points in the whole thing so you’ve got more than enough to cover it. And it’s liver…you can’t re-heat liver and it’s too awesome to go to waste. Yes, I know the dog’s almost having a heart attack trying to let you know he’d be happy to share but it’ll give him gas and then we’ll ALL suffer. You can manage that, come on you’re hardcore! It’s only ten points!!

I’ve got to admit, it was a challenge fitting it all on the plate, along with the mountain of vegetables, but purleease…as a fat girl who’s built many a salad bowl in a dish the size of a thimble at pizza hut over the years, I know how to build a plate so nothing escapes. And I ate it…all of it. It was only ten points at the end of the day.

I was fit to pop, so stopping there might have been a smart move, right? Ahhh…isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing. I just fancied something to finish with, and there he was again. Yes I know it’s true that you’re practically about to burst, but chocolate cherries hardly take up any space at all, and you’ve got eight points left! You can’t keep them in the bank, use them or lose them, you know the rules…

So I ate eight points’ worth of chocolate covered cherries.

Then, having got the taste for them I finished the bag using exercise points accrued and some of my additional weekly points for good measure. The last three that I put in my mouth took some effort…I was starting to feel a bit sick to be honest. And yet. I had points to cover them, and I was on one.

This morning when I woke up, I knew I’d over-stepped the boundary. I just felt bilious and that familiar prickle of guilt was there, even though technically I was within points, if you don’t mind a bit of creative accounting. But I wasn’t within normal. Normal folk wouldn’t have done that.

For some reason, I was thought about my Grandma. I have no idea why, but something she used to say started rattling around in my head. Don’t apologise for the things that you’re not…instead, shout about the things that you are. Okay then.


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But It’s FREE!!!

melon drums

The irony isn’t lost on me, that as we speak I’m sitting in the corner of my kitchen talking to you lot about being on a diet and all the time my psyche is focusing less on what nuggets of wisdom will fall from these fair lips and fingertips this evening, and more on whether there are any naughty things to be had in any of the cupboards behind me. Concentrate!

My broken full-filter has come under scrutiny again this week. I hate to keep banging the same old drum but I’ve had to have a bit of a word with myself – it sort of came about because I bought the new phone. Indirectly, obviously but you know how my mind works. It’s a monster of a phone with a huge screen, which I can actually see…revolutionary, right? Even with reading glasses on, the old one had become a challenge so I really only used it for emergency Facebook stalking and phone calls you know?

This one is different. It’s been welded to my hand since I bought it, and I’m using it for everything. Need help wiping your bum? There’s an app for that! At least, I’m sure there would be if I looked. Anyway having a good look around the app store sort of led me to the Weight Watchers’ app which I’d never really used before, and it’s awesome.

Except my daily points seem to be adding up at warp speed, and it’s not afraid to point out a few home truths you know? Like I might just be eating a bit too much. And that’s my problem with the Weight Watchers diet. When they say you can eat as much of ‘these’ foods as you like, they have no points…well. That’s the law then. It doesn’t matter that my full-filter is broken, because it’s free food, right? Free. No points. I can eat as much as I like, LOOK…the book says I can. So I am.

Except it’s not really free is it? I mean it might be free of Weight Watcher’s smart points, but it’s not free of calories, is it? Or natural sugar. Let’s take honeydew melon as an example…I love that, it’s my favourite fruit. But just because it happens to be a free food on Weight Watchers doesn’t mean I have to eat a whole one. Every day.

It did occur to me on Sunday when I was doing the supermarket shop that seven melons felt a bit excessive, for two people. Especially when only one of them eats melon…uhuh.

When I was using the little battery powered calculator thingamabob I didn’t even enter free stuff into it, I mean what’s the point…there are no points in it so why would it matter. But now I’m tracking on the app I’ve realised how much I’m actually eating. Free stuff, you know but still…in industrial quantities it’s sort of against the spirit of the diet, dammit.

Which might be another reason why my weight-loss appears to have stalled. Yes, the pills and yes the widespread guesstimating of points values didn’t help, but whilst that’s all sorted now, I’m having a bit of an epiphany which seems to point to the fact that I appear to have swapped cheese balls for something else I can eat without boundaries.

Right now, the Asshole voice is screaming BUT IT’S FREE!!! IT’S FREE!!! DON’T STOP EATING IT’S FREE!!! like his pants are on fire. And granted, unlimited melon is better than unlimited hob-nobs. I doubt anyone ever got fat from eating too much melon.

But still.


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Why Would I Do That?


So I think we’ve established by now that I have a fat-girl mindset. Even during those golden periods in my life when I’ve managed to shed the pounds and do a fair impression of being a skinny girl. I’ve never stayed skinny long enough for it to really get inside my psyche and I’ve certainly never felt like a skinny girl from the inside out. Not that I’ve recognised that before of course, but then it’s not the first time either that the process of tipping out my head spam like a collection of lipsticks, fluff and crumbs from the bottom of an old handbag for examination and discussion with you guys has helped me to shine a light on things I’ve never considered before.

Something that skinny string beans do, that I’ve never done is to leave food on my plate. Just the thought of it fills me with horror…I mean, why would I?  I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum…you’re far more likely to catch me licking the plate than leaving anything on it. Which would, I’m sure, prompt a skinny string bean to throw me exactly the same look of bewilderment that I’d give her for leaving half a pork chop and a dollop of bread sauce…or worst still, a roast potato, I mean that’s practically a criminal offence.

We’ve talked before about my broken ‘full filter’ and the fact that I don’t know when to stop but that’s a bit different…leaving something on your plate is something people offer up as a strategy to manage their weight. Come on, that’s like torture with every meal! So I’m eating something I’m really enjoying…I’ve done the mental calculations, I reckon I’ve got maybe eight mouthfuls left. I’m crafting my final approach, what’s going on the fork with what..what morsel can I use to mop up the gravy..? What’s the best big bit for the last grains of rice to cling to…it’s all planned like a military operation, and yet you want me to lay down my knife and fork now?? And leave the rest..?  Why would I do that??

That’s like living in a world where you walk away from every meal feeling cheated. It’s the scenario with my cheesy bugle playing on a loop, at every meal time. No matter which way up I look at it, I just don’t get it. Other strategies I understand…use a smaller plate? Yes I can see the benefit of that. Cook just the right amount so you don’t have the opportunity to overload…yes, I get that too. But cook it, enjoy it and leave it when you’re not actually in danger of bursting at the seams…no no no no!

Not only have I always finished everything on my own plate, many’s the time I’ve found myself flirting with the leftovers on everyone else’s plate too, especially when my son was little. Stuff he didn’t eat like a fish finger here, or a handful of fries there never made it as far as the dog’s bowl or the bin…somewhere between clearing the table and stacking the plates I’d find myself hoovering up whatever was left. My friend had the same issues but she was more disciplined than I was, even back then…she would encourage her son to tip pepper over the food he left on his plate to stop her picking at his leftovers. I always thought that was a great idea, I just never told my boy in case he actually did it.

It’s hardly surprising that an aversion to leaving food is hardwired into my DNA, if you’ve read my blog from the beginning and you saw the post Born Chewing you’ll have some idea of the relationship I formed with food from a very early age…that photo of me demonstrates more than words ever could how finishing every morsel of food was considered something to celebrate. But I’ve spent the last thirty odd years since reaching adulthood sidestepping every opportunity to unplug my wires and untangle them. I’m trying to do that now.

Smaller portions, yes. Better food choices, yes. Leaving food on the plate..? It’ll  never happen 🙂

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Why Can’t I Stop at One?


I can’t believe I’ve just spent 5 minutes searching for a nice colourful picture of some cupcakes on line, and my mouth is actually watering! That’s ridiculous but then I guess that’s what 6 weeks on a diet will do for you eh?!

So I’ve already talked a bit this week about my issue with portion control and not having a working full-filter. It goes beyond that though. Something in me hesitates to label myself as greedy because that word has so many negative connotations, in fact I can’t think of a single context in which it could be used positively. But lets imagine I was hauled in front of a judge who had to make a ruling on that very issue. I put it to you M’lud that this woman, (points at me) is greedy. I think I’d be on dodgy ground. “Having an excessive desire or appetite for food” is one definition of the word and shit, look already my defense is crumbling, I mean how can I argue with that? I do have an excessive desire for food, I can’t lie.

Now, whether it’s as a fat girl or a skinny girl, if you put that plate of cakes in front of me, I’m not stopping at one. One of my colleagues has just come back from holiday this week, and she brought cupcakes in for the team. How lovely. But seriously, you should have seen the size of these things…they were cupcakes the size of thimbles. Now obviously I passed, because I’m in a good place at the moment, both feet still planted firmly in the sweet spot and my face is a cake-free zone. But I’m here to tell you even I felt cheated and I wasn’t even having one.

I watched in fascination as one of my friends at work picked one out of the box carefully and popped it in her mouth, made all the right noises…apparently it was ‘melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous’ (kill me now) and then carried on with her work. Like that whole rest of the box of tiny cakes wasn’t still there in all their delicate melt-in-the-mouth gorgeousness, right next to her desk. I mean that’s not normal, right? It was tiny. And she just ate one. And then moved on and forgot about the box. Wtf..? WHO DOES THAT!!

Me, in the 3 milliseconds it took me to inhale the lemon one, I’d have been planning which one I was going for next. Wondering whether the colour of the frosting made a difference to the taste. If for some reason I wasn’t able to take a second one but there were cupcakes left in the box, they would have tortured me for as long as they remained in my eye line. Now, is that greedy, or is it something else? Greedy feels like a dirty word somehow, but is that what I am?

I don’t think so…but I’m…something. And I think it’s a question I need to answer before I can be confident that I’ve really got this down, you know?

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So How Full is Full?

sk dog

It’s occurred to me more than once that maybe there’s a fundamental design fault with the human body you know? At least for some of us.  Take your car…it runs low on fuel, the fuel gauge tells you, you fill it up and when the fuel pump clicks, you know it’s full. You can’t squeeze more in, because it just takes what it takes. It doesn’t matter if you’d hoped to squeeze more in, if it’s full it’s full. You wouldn’t stand there and keep giving it large with the nozzle would you? No, of course you wouldn’t.

Now I don’t know about you, but somehow, no matter how much my head recognises that my belly is full, if I’m that way out and want to eat, I’ll find a way to eat. Case in point, Christmas dinner…you know that way where it’s just soooo good and there’s leftovers on the table winking at you and trying everything possible to attract your attention…eat me eat me eat me… you’ve already eaten everything on your plate, you’re stuffed more royally than the turkey ever was and you already suspect you’re going to need a winch to help you up from your chair.

And yet. That minxy little pig nestled in that crispy little blanket seduces you over the brussels sprouts and before you know it your jaws are off again. Your belly is already bursting, you look like you swallowed a beach ball and you’re bordering on a food coma and yet still you can’t resist.

My problem has always been that it isn’t just at Christmas…lots of people walk away from that special once-a-year dinner groaning and pledging not to eat for a week. Me included (although to be fair I’d usually only make it from the dining table as far as the sofa before I was in to the chocolates just because you know, it’s Christmas.) Trouble is, having grown up eating portions that wouldn’t have looked out of place at the top of Jack’s beanstalk, walking away from the table feeling fit to burst was almost the norm in our house.

Having survived the war years on ration coupons and food shortages,  my mum showed love by providing a constant stream of food…she loved to cook, and bake, and although there was only our small little family sitting down to eat, she may as well have been feeding the five thousand. There’d probably have been leftovers even then.  So her love of feeding her family combined with my love of feeding my face kind of created the perfect storm. My full-filter is broken, and I have no concept of what a normal portion looks like. I look at a TV dinner or a ready meal which might be labelled as a meal for one and think “are you kidding me..? “

It’s down to me now though – I get that. Eating till I’m not hungry is different from eating till I’m full, and I get that too. Eating till I’m overfull …I shouldn’t go there at all. There have been times in my life where I’ve felt overpowered by the desire to eat but equally there have been times when I’ve felt like I’m the one calling the shots, and right now I feel strong. In control…it feels good you know?

Even if I still look at a regular sized portion and think ‘great but where’s the rest of it…?!

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