Monthly Archives: February 2012

Staying positive when life is crap

Earlier this week I have had a major setback in my life. The week then seemed to just go from bad to worse. I didn’t get a job I wanted, I had a horrendous expereince travelling, I put on weight even though I’m on a very low calorie diet. I’ve started worrying about money and haven’t slept very well. I even managed to get bitten by something when I was in a café and have been in pain since. And, all of this has come after a very difficult few moths following a house fire. But despite all this, I am feeling OK. Actually I’m feeling even more than OK and I’m looking forward to next week. Because even when life is really really crap it is possible to try and make yourself feel a little bit better.

For me, feeling good about life and me is completely linked to my ability to manage my weight. If I feel rubbish then I am less likely to make good decisions about food because I can feel I’m not worth it. I’m more likely to think I should ‘treat’ myself with calorific food or a real blow-out. Plus I tend to stay in more and have less energy. And that again makes me want to eat more sugary food which, of course, is a vicious cycle because it actually makes me more sluggish. Keeping weight off is as much about how we feel as it is about the food we eat.

So how can you feel better when things are really hard? Well here’s my top 10 tips.

1. Allow yourself to feel sad or down. Have quiet ‘me’ time if that’s what you want, cry and get it out. But after you have, tell yourself its time to change how you feel.

2. Do it gradually. Don’t expect to feel positive overnight. Go for small steps and know each time you feel a bit better you are moving forward.

3. Smile and think of nice things, no matter how small or insignificant to help you feel better. Last thing at night is a great time.

4. Make a list of all the things that are good in your life, no matter how small. When you feel down get out your list. Keep adding to it.

5. If your initial response to a difficult situation is ‘chocolate’ or ‘take away’ or similar, just stop and think before you eat it. Think about it they will probably actually will make you feel worse. Instead, eat good foods, like blueberries, that make you feel fantastic.

6. Treat yourself and be proactive. If you know you are facing a tough situation plan something nice to do afterwards or to have the support you need ready in place. Treats don’t have to cost and don’t have to involve food. Try a lovely long bubble bath or a walk, or a great bunch of flowers. Remember taking exercise releases hormones that make us feel better too.

7. Think about the things you love in life and put them around you. Put on some upbeat music or watch a film you love that always makes you smile. Looking at art or images that you like produces brain hormones which make you feel happier. So really look at pictures you have on the wall or at photos of people or places in your life. Even have a scrap book of images you love to look at when times are tough.

8. If something goes the wrong way for you try not to be bitter and angry. As hard as this can be, when we are, it is generally only us that suffers. Instead, try to look at situations in a different way. Do a ‘that feels better exercise’. Write down what you are feeling about the situation and then do a tick, x or ? at the end of each statement to see if it makes you feel worse, neutral or better. As you start to find ideas that make you feel better keep going. Smile and you will find that you soon start to feel a little better.

9. Have an action plan for how you will move forward. Steps can be very small and achievable and this will help you not feel ‘stuck’.

10. Ask for help; it’s not a failure, in fact it shows strength. Ask your friends, family and colleagues, and seek professional help if this is what you need.

Lastly, remember there are always good things that happen even in the midst of rubbish if you look for them. A few months someone stole my husband’s golf clubs. I said before we buy some new ones let’s ask people on Freecycle if they have any they need to get rid of. So a few weeks ago I posted the request. No response initially, but this week we got an email offering us a set that were even better than the ones that were nicked. He’s been on the driving range this morning and it’s put a big smile on his face. No matter how rubbish some things can be, remember there are always nice, good people in the world.

Have a great week. Peg xx

Binging when dieting? – Why, oh why, oh why?

 

As February starts I realised my new year diet has simply not been working. Not surprising as I realised I’ve actually been binging this January. So not only have I not been losing weight, I’ve actually put a little bit of weight on! I know I can diet when I’m motivated so why have I found it so hard to lose weight this January? And how am I going to get back to good habits?

Some of us just struggle around food…
We all have different reasons why we struggle around food. Do you live to eat or eat to live? Me, I love eating. I just don’t have an ‘off-switch’ and I like to just eat and eat and eat. What I’ve learned over the last 4 years since losing nearly 8 stone in weight, and keeping most of it off since is that I will just keep on eating unless I actively manage my food and make deliberate decisions about when to stop. I also have other strategies, particularly making sure that if I want to stuff my face I do it on food that doesn’t matter – like fat burning foods and calorie neutral or Low GI foods.

I’ve also learned that when I allow myself free-reign I lose all boundaries and can’t stop. Before Christmas I made some very, very calorific Florentines (they had 3 bars of choc in and a whole packet of butter). The idea was to take them to the family we were visiting over Christmas. I did take them places but guess who ate most of them? Piece by piece, I just couldn’t stop. The same on Christmas day – I kept eating till I was almost sick!!

New year diet resolution just not working…
I believe that when keeping weight off you have to occasionally re-balance as it’s inevitable you put some weight back on – particularly at a time like Christmas. But even going on my little catch-up diet on 1st January hasn’t stopped me from eating too much! I bought a new Hypnosis book and CD (The Hypno Diet) and have been listening every morning. It is telling me to reduce portion size. So a week ago, totally in the name of research you understand, I went to the most difficult place of all for me – the all you can eat international buffet! I was determined to follow my own advice on how to manage the buffet. Did I? Of course not and I ate and ate until no more could go in.

Back in normal life, I’ve been trying to keep to Slimming World. But sadly, the ‘free food’ concept has not helped – I’ve been eating fruit no-stop even when I am full, let alone hungry. It may be fruit but too much is starting to tell. And worringly, the hypnosis CD is not at this moment helping me.

Taking action…
So I’ve decided I have to take action
. And that is the key for us all I think. If a diet or how you are with food isn’t working, take some time to really think about what it is that isn’t working. A food and activity diary for a few days will help you see what needs to change.

1. Work out what isn’t working.
For me clearly I’m binging and I’m allowing myself to binge on foods I wouldn’t normally have.

2. Think about why it’s not working.
Is it comfort, is it just habit. Why are you feeling less able to make good decisions with food than normal? For me, I have had a lot of disruption at home over the last couple of months and I know I am on the verge of major change in my life. Is it so surprising this might make me want to comfort eat?

3. Work out what you can do to change these habits.
The answer to this one is different for us all. Maybe its just about changing what you do or a routine – for example if you are eating too much rubbish whilst watching TV, maybe try not to watch TV for a few nights or sit in a different seat. Or maybe you need to decide to follow a different eating pattern, eating different foods.

My solution…
For me, I know I need to shift some weight as I do each year (this time about a stone) and I need to stop the binging. So I’ve gone back on Lighterlife Lite for a few weeks. That way I don’t eat food at all during the day (you eat food replacement packs) and what I do eat is strictly measured. Then when I’ve lost the weight I’ll follow a programme to get me back to eating sensible amounts. Sounds drastic but for me it works.

What works for you…
Of course that’s the thing – what works for one person doesn’t always work for others. But once you have found what works for you, stick with it. Take it hour by hour if you have to do, or day by day. Take all the support and help you can from friends and family. And just love how you clothes feel better each day.

Follow the ‘21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off’…
And once you are back where you want to be, well remember to check out my 21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off to help you stay there.

Let me know how you get on.
xxx