Last week, I was wondering if my genius idea about denying myself sugar, seconds, snacks and alcohol was so very clever after all. It felt like the focus was all on restraint, denial and saying “no” to things. By being so negative, I felt I was setting myself up for a fall. I would most likely fail to stick to my resolutions and then just give up on the whole idea. Reflecting on this, I recalled all those parenting manuals I once devoured so avidly. Of course! The focus shouldn’t be on all the things I can’t do or have, but instead should be on all the things I can and should have. Turn that frown upside down/ positive reinforcement/blah blah blah blah.
So, I had another look at that list of cholesterol lowering foods. Almonds, avocadoes, oats, fruit – those sound great. I proceeded to add them into my diet with gusto. Can you see where I am heading with this? Can you understand the title of this blog now? Yes, I confused gusto with guzzle, and this week, I am sad to say that I have put on a bit of weight.
Well, putting on a few pounds is not necessarily a failure, you might say. Remember, your stated intention when embarking on this regime was to improve your health. Aren’t you feeling brighter, more energetic and generally more cheerful? Yes. Yes, I am. But my stated intention was a big (fat) lie. This blog is not entitled “Confessions of a menopausal woman with high cholesterol” is it? No, this blog is really all about trying to get thinner without dieting. I am certainly not about to stop myself from consuming some of my all-time favourite things in order to get fatter. Hell no.
It is no mystery why I have gained weight despite eating more healthily. Firstly, it is to do with quantity. It may seem blindingly obvious, but too much of even the healthiest food will make you fat. I had hoped that the “no seconds” part of my mantra would address the portion control issue, but I am ashamed to say that my first helpings have often been large enough to feed a hungry family of four.
Then, there is the issue of exercise. Fat Fella (my husband) had the week off work last week and, as a result, did the lion’s share of the dog walking, which is my main form of exercise. Truth be told, dog walking does not always entail very energetic exercise in any case. I have to make a conscious decision to walk faster, climb up and down stairs and hills, and so on. Wandering slowly while texting my friends or browsing the internet on my phone doesn’t cut it.
There is also the whole emotional side of things. On Friday we had a bit of difficulty with my son, and it left me feeling rather sorry for myself. I have always used food as a comfort. That little voice in my head telling me to give myself a treat because I deserve something nice when things in my life aren’t, is seldom a little voice at all – more of a loud shout.
Finally, there are “bad influences”. I know I can’t blame other people for what I decide to put into my mouth, but there’s no doubt that they can make it more difficult to keep oneself on track. On Saturday, Fat Fella and I had a pub lunch with a couple of friends. I had lovely fish and chips (remember, I “deserved” a treat after a bad Friday), but stuck to fizzy water to drink.
It was a glorious sunny day and we returned to our house and the three of them proceeded to have a wonderful and very merry afternoon, drinking beer in the garden. Much chat and laughter and encouragement to join in. Eventually, I just felt too much of a killjoy and had some wine. Not too much, but enough that when Fat Fella ordered a Thai take away for supper, complete with gorgeous (very oily) vegetable tempura, which I love, and coconut cream-rich green curry, I happily partook and (blush) may even have had seconds.
So, the statistics below shouldn’t come as such a blow to me. But they do. This coming week, I am going to stop pretending that this isn’t about weight loss, and I am going to focus on reducing the amount I eat while increasing the exercise I take. And if that doesn’t work, then I really am stuck. In the end, it will only be a failure if I give up. I so hope I don’t.
- Week four: 3 June 2019 – Plus 1.5kg
- Total weight loss: Minus 1kg (2.2lbs)