I’d love to hear your story and experience, or thoughts on weight loss, and our relationship to food and ourselves. By sharing we can learn from and support each other, it is empowering and so important to do, so please feel free to leave a comment, or to contact me X X
MY OWN WEIGHT LOSS EXPERIENCE
I have battled with my weight, and self-image, since my teens, and over the years my weight has gone up and down. I could never get my head around small portions, could not cope with being hungry, and was often hungry, even after a meal. I thought about food A LOT, and loved cooking, sharing and eating, especially cooking, but after eating I usually felt tired and ill, and increasingly stressed and guilty.
food was my solace, my creativity, a way I showed love to others, and yet it was making me so unhappy.
My relationship with food was, is, multi-faceted, as is everyone’s. Food pervades our lives, our relationship to our environment, our identity and culture, to our family and loved ones, to ourselves. It’s complex. I was partly healthily enjoying good food, partly ’emotionally’ eating, partly indulging to ‘treat’ myself because I felt so unbalanced and poorly so often, which in total made me feel unhappy and trapped. My relationship to food was complicated by developing severe coeliac (celiac) disease and lactose intolerance, and then drawn out late onset type 1 diabetes, which greatly increased my stress around eating and food, and made my relationship to food even more complicated than it already was, and is for most people.
I was a slim child, felt I was overweight as a teen, but wasn’t (an all too normal story) and then gained weight during a stressful period of my early twenties. I worked hard to lose this weight through exercise and keeping tabs on what I was eating. I then put most of it back on, again due to stress. In my late twenties I was diagnosed with late onset type 1 diabetes, after years of intermittent symptoms (wrongly diagnosed as type 2), which made my relationship to food manic and needy. Developing type 1 diabetes meant that eventually my weight suddenly dropped, as my pancreas finally stopped producing insulin, I lost two stone in a month and at my lowest point I was skeletal. This was extremely painful, both physically and emotionally. At first I was literally starving, and would eat ravenously. Encouraged to eat as much as I could of whatever I wanted. I went through the difficult process of putting weight back on, was very body dysmorphic, felt I was fat when I was very thin, and eventually ended up overweight again, which for me was the worst case scenario. Back to square one.
Proportionally, I have to take a lot of insulin for the carbs I eat, and this hinders weight loss, insulin being a growth hormone, and so this last leg of my weight loss journey has been very slow. I am not yet entirely happy with my weight and hope to naturally lose more. But now I feel more at peace with where I am heading, less uncomfortable with my body, and more comfortable and positive about the food I eat, which makes me feel good, before, during and after eating, which is really the key. The most important thing is that I eat well, I naturally eat normal portion sizes of the right foods, and exercise as much as I can, without getting stressed about my limitations.
my food problems have been solved through the anti-inflammatory diet I eat, of wholesome, natural foods!
I have followed many methods of losing weight over the years, never fad diets, I like food way too much for that! but often involving calorie restriction, a lot of effort, and not necessarily a real idea of where I was going wrong. I tried intermittent fasting of various kinds, with limited success. Diets and lifestyles that incorporate various types of fasting are great, fasting has a lot of health benefits, and I would totally endorse it for most, but for me, with all the other food pressures I have, until recently (see my juice fast journey) it made life too stressful. The 18:6 style of intermittent fasting I find the best personally as you can easily incorporate it into daily life, without too much stress and pressure around food. You give your body a rest, and then you eat normally.
I hadn’t truly understood that I was overweight because my portion sizes were too big and I ate too many carbs, and so when following the 5:2 fast diet for example, which works very well for many and is very good for you, I was working very hard to stand still, which was tough going. Calorie counting I also have very mixed feelings about. For many it is a useful tool, but in general I think it is controlling and that the most important thing is to educate yourself and change your relationship towards food. I got to the point where food was very negative for me. It already often made me feel ill (as a severe coeliac, lactose intolerant and arthritic this was literally the case), and I knew I had to make some real changes to what and how I ate, and my attitude towards myself and my weight. The wholesome food I eat now does that, it has transformed my relationship to food. I no longer have to think about calories, which is such a release. Getting an organic fruit and veg box truly changed my life so much, it has allowed me to be more mindful and in touch with what I am eating, and so more appreciative and less wasteful.
I am so thankful to my beautiful, organic fruit + vegetables ♥
Food has really dominated my life. But since eating the highly nourishing plant-based food shown through my recipes I have steadily lost weight, and (drum roll please)…
for the first time, I feel relaxed and comfortable with the food I eat, BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER EATING.
This is the key. I have permanently changed my attitude and relationship towards food and taken the power back! The anti-inflammatory plant-based diet I eat has allowed me to do that. I used to have frequent strong food-cravings, which made my relationship to food manic and fraught, and now I don’t have them at all. Which means that I don’t over eat, and when I do eat I feel good, before, during and afterwards.
my food-cravings stopped because I started eating a diet high in whole foods, fruit and vegetables, which gave my body the nutrition it needed.
Deficiencies in nutrients cause imbalance and food cravings. Cravings cause a manic relationship to food and lead to weight-gain. If you don’t get to the root cause of why you are over-weight, sustainable weight loss will difficult to achieve. I used to eat too much, my portions were too big, and carbs made up to large a part of each meal. I craved food, and so was compulsive in how I ate.
the most sustainable way to lose weight is to permanently address and change the personal and lifestyle reasons you have put weight on.
Because the food I eat makes me feel good, before, during and after eating, and I have no cravings, I eat less than I did, which stops me putting on weight and is far healthier on my digestive system and body in general. I eat nutritious low GI/ GL carbs, more vegetables and protein, and really enjoy cooking and eating, whilst not obsessing over it.
Check out my guide to the areas that will help you to lose weight sustainably. Remember that long-term weight loss may take time, be honest, patient and kind with yourself, and allow your habits to change as you adjust. Be as positive as you can be and do what you can to keep your motivation going. Healthy lifestyle change is a great thing X X
GO FOR IT!