Tag Archives: binge eating

Raising Healthy Girls and the Diet Trap

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Bella out with her friend Ninja: Making health and exercise part of our life

Bella out with her friend Ninja: Making health and exercise part of our life

“Bread goes straight to the hips Bella” my friend caught me saying this morning.

“I thought you weren’t going to talk to Bella like that” she said. Busted. Big time. There I was perpetuating the generational cycle again. Message given: bread bad but delicious, therefore should be eaten in large amounts behind closed doors in a binge like fashion. Not to mention the message about a woman’s hips needing to be a certain shape.

Those who have followed this blog will remember my entries about weight loss. What I have failed to mention here lately is that since Bella was born I have been trying to shed the weight that I gained whilst pregnant.

Let me recap quickly for you. 2007: got married. 2008: became depressed and spent the best part of 18 months rotting away in a psychiatric unit trying to recover but nonetheless, gained 40 kilos in the process (talk about “blowing out” after marriage right?). 2010: got well on the road to recovery, jumped back into life and started down the weight loss path and lost 30 kilos by Christmas 2011. 2012: carried Bella to term and somehow managed to put it all back on.

Now I know what you’re thinking, why did I do it to myself again? Well I can honestly say, I had no idea it was happening. I didn’t own scales at the time and as my big belly grew, the fact that my ass was growing at the same time seemed to elude me. Sure, I couldn’t fit into my clothes but wasn’t that a product of the pregnancy? Apparently not.

So a couple of months after having Bella I procured some scales and was absolutely astounded to see that I had gained over 25 kilos. No, it wasn’t fluid and she was a few months old at that point so it definitely wasn’t her. It was just fat. Friggin fat..again! Deep breath.

Before I fell pregnant I was ten kilos away from my goal weight which by the way was not thin but very comfortable. Having Bella has just put a little stumble block in the way of returning to that goal. The good news is that I have managed to lose 22 of those kilos since that dreaded day on the scales a few months after she was born. But I now have to finish what I started in 2010 and lose that extra ten and get back into wedding dress shape.

But I’m so darn tired of it. I’m tired of this being an issue and I’m tired of being in the proverbial no man’s land when it comes to shopping (every other size 16 woman on the planet knows what I mean when I say this!). But most of all, this little problem needs to be nipped in the bud quick sticks if I’m to set a great example for Bella.

Just to be clear, the example I’m aiming for is not to be thin and beautiful. It’s to be healthy and happy. I’m a short woman so pushing 80 kilos around is not healthy and it certainly ain’t happy. So for the last six months I’ve been pushing the pram up and down hills, over creeks and under bridges. I even went to a Zumba class for seniors last week for heaven’s sake (which by the way was delightful)!

But all that aside, as well as the self-ingratiating sentiment that by doing all this I am somehow being a good mother, I went along this morning and managed to demonstrate that I really haven’t got the picture yet.

So how do we raise these girls of ours then? I read a quote from Kate Winslet that said “As a child I never heard one woman say to me I love my body…no one woman ever said I am so proud of my body. So I make sure to say it to Mia because a positive outlook has to start at an early age”. This quote had quite an effect on me and for some time I tried to follow suit. I started small and told Bella that I really like my fingers and then slowly ventured up to telling her I liked my tummy.

But it felt weird and it went against everything I have been taught about modesty. Perhaps it isn’t right to raise a little girl who goes into interactions with other little girls talking about how beautiful she is anyway? But mainly, I’m not a liar and my stomach resembles more of a circus act than anything else. Like the rest of me, it’s just hanging around waiting for the plastic surgeon to arrive.

Perhaps the best thing is to not mention anything at all; not food, not my fingers, not even my curly mop which Bella seems to have been blessed with as well. Maybe by some sheer luck of the draw she will be a confident little girl despite all the images she sees in the media and her mother’s venomous dislike of her body. But I doubt it.

I fear it’s my job to do this one thing right. And all I know right now is that it starts with those hills and that pram and the last ten kilos so that Bella only knows a mother on the beach who is bouncing around in all her stretch-marked glory with confidence, rather than hiding under an oversized caftan. And while I’m at it, there’s only so much holding-the-camera-above-your-head-whilst-simultaneously-pulling-your-chin-out-and-placing-your-hand-on-your-hip can do for the Christmas photos. Perhaps if I’m happy though, she’ll know no other condition but to be such.

With some embarrassment I’m owning up to my folly during pregnancy and making the public resolution I made here some three years ago. This weight has got to go.

So all together now, collective sigh….Here’s to 2013 and lacy knickers.

P.s. G-srings, boxers, briefs, (new addition of Spanx) and nudies also welcome.

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Case of the Lost Bowl

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There’s a television show currently screening on Australian television which has, as the critics say, “taken the country by storm”. Masterchef Australia fits the formula replicated around the world; contestants, judges and unsuspecting fruits and vegetables get carved up for our viewing pleasure each week night. My family and friends know that I am not a fan of the show. The judges repel my ethical sensibilities as they shovel food into their mouths, with the short bald one sweating as he does so, and I can’t help but picture the many starving around the world who would give their left leg to be so greedy. I probably wouldn’t be as offended if the judges were skinny and looked like they needed a good feed; it’s simply the excess that makes me feel uncomfortable and if I’m honest (which I usually am) the mirrored image that stares back at me…

That aside, I should admit that I do love cooking, although I rarely cook from a cookbook. The best explanation of this is that I have less interest in the actual recipe and flavours than I do with the preparing of it. As I’ve said before, I’m the third generation of good female cooks who can instinctively whip up a curry and I don’t recall my mother ever declaring as she served up my dinner, “the beef is the real hero on the plate darling”. Nor do I remember describing my food as being “eclectic” or “brave”. The thing that really tips me over the edge is when contestants describe their food as “honest”.

Really? Honest? Did that chocolate pudding tell you what a dill you are then? But admittedly I am predisposed to a rant and I’m also predisposed to use psychological rhetoric which I suspect also makes me appear rather arrogant. Maybe “honest food” is the equivalent to an “anal stage of motivational development”?

What they don’t talk about on the show is the growing girth of the judges and I suspect the growing waistlines of the many fans who rush out to replicate the dishes made on the show each night. I was only too aware of my rather rolly-polly waist when the toolman and I were watching our favourite show at the moment; United States of Tara (the toolman likes to see a couple with a wife “crazier” than me I suspect).

I was happy lying at my end (as couples know, we have our ends) and was conscious of the fact I was lying on the remote. A good twenty minutes later I shot up with a gasp.

“What’s wrong baby?” the toolman got a fright, such was my exclamation.

“Omigosh…I can’t believe it….I’m humongous!”

The realization had occurred slowly. I was watching the screen when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the remote on the coffee table. If the remote was on the coffee table, then it couldn’t be under me. Whatever it was felt quite cool against my side. Then I saw the toolman’s dessert bowl sitting next to the remote. Where was my bowl and spoon?…….And then BOOM! I realized I was lying on it, actually lying on it.

“I’m so huge I can’t even feel crockery when I am lying on it! It was stuck between my rolls! People should tell me to stand up and shake when they can’t find their car keys!” I was distraught but then I fell into giggles.

A fellow blogger and “fan” of my blog told me this week to remind myself of the good things I do each week and I think she had a point. Yes, crockery got lost in my blubber and I didn’t even realise it was there and yes, add to that the loss of actually gaining weight this week and the result looks glum. But this week, I’m going to let it ride and have a laugh about it.

Now if I was a dish on Masterchef, do you think they would call be “brave”?

Deserving The Matter

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I’ve been feeling a dull and aching rage swill around in my stomach today. As a consequence, having not yet emotionally evolved, I’ve engaged in a list of masochistic activities all afternoon.

Weigh in this morning saw me lose 700 grams (1.54 pounds) which in the context of my Hungarian feasting last weekend, was quite a relief. However, the meeting that followed left a rather bad taste in my mouth; although I’m getting used to that (Boom Tish)!

It started as normal; some whoop-whooping from the stars who had lost, and some somber faces from those who didn’t. Our meeting leader who had just returned from a tropical holiday was glowing and whilst she is certainly a great advertisement for the weight loss company, she fails to engage me on a real-girl-with-big-bum-licks-the-crumbs-out-of-her-bosom kind of way.

Even though I have experienced a spreading behind and understand the minefield I need to dodge in life because of it, I have absolutely no interest in an Alcoholic Anonymous type meeting where we pat each other on the back for making the “right food choices” between meetings.

There we sit my mum and I each week, in uncomfortable chairs, in rows like children, and subject ourselves to stories from tiny women who proclaim in the most satisfied way, “oh, you wouldn’t believe it…I was out for breakfast and ordered one poached egg with spinach on the side and my friends were telling me how little I eat…I quite simply felt sorry for them, they have no idea what they are doing to their bodies”. In short, these little tales are, as my Aunt likes to say, just Vile!

Of course your friends are annoyed you silly woman, I wanted to say. Who wants to go out to eat with someone who, consciously or not, highlights to everyone else on the table how their indulgent choices are affecting their waist lines. But then again, why does this make me angry? Why should the choices of a perfect stranger affect my own?

Luckily for me, I don’t find it difficult to reach the truth. As truth be told, in a way I’m afraid that I’ll never be like this woman. That I will never have so much control as to deny myself what is needed to keep a svelte figure. And that most of all, I will never be seen as “one of them”. As much as I resent the fact that it is demanded of me, I don’t want to stand out in a physical way. I want to be unique in many other ways, often arguing for an alternate path for the sheer sake of it, but physically, nah-ah.

Why can’t I just be me; fat, skinny or porky pie? Why does it matter? Healthy or not, our figures are much like the cars we drive, the houses we keep, the jewelry we wear and even the words we write. They say all say, “look at me, I’m like you, I’m in the right group”. I would love to fight against it but this my friends is the way it is- am I really so special that I feel I can fight against the grain? Lets face it, I’m no Germaine Greer!

And so, in true oppositionary style, instead of doing all I could to join the in-group today, I chose to complete a list of self-deprecating activities.

  • I trailed through photo upon photo of mere acquaintances on facebook, wondering why they positioned themselves the way they did in each photo; side on, looking up, no remnant of a wobbly bit
  • I sat on my behind eating biscuits whilst looking at said photos
  • I berated myself for not studying for a rather important upcoming exam
  • I bit my nails between biscuit bites, undermining the hard work it took to grow them; and
  • Just to top it off, I chose the only spot on my six-seater couch that was clearly inhabited by my cat overnight, thus covering my own good self in her hair

Why is it so difficult for me to do what is good for me? Why would I never pay for a massage, my nails painted (although I dabbled in that for a time), or a tailored piece of clothing? Do I deserve it simply because I was born?

But then it doesn’t seem all that bad, because I remember that what I fear most is not being excluded from the in group after all; it’s being part of it and tut-tutting as the old me walks past…

“She just doesn’t realise what she’s doing to her body”…Vile!

Why, Oh Why?

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Whilst society tends to take a “poor them” approach when faced with emotionally torn people who hit the bottle or indeed the town when distressed, a less empathetic opinion is formed for those that hit the pantry.

In my house, we (and I mean “he”) has fallen into the habit of going walkabout on a Saturday afternoon, returnng guilty faced sometime before dinner on a Sunday. Even though it would be easy for me to go down the “A phone call is all I ask” track, I’m not that predictable.

Or maybe I am? 

I found myself consuming a bag of salt and vinegar chips (bought for his truly), half a block of chocolate and a litre of soda water (at least I had sense there) at 2 am this morning. In a slight panic based on ‘I can’t sleep’, ‘Someone might break in and kill me’ and the classic, ‘Do we have anything in common after all?’, I habitually and slowly consumed more calories than I normally would in a few days.

And for someone who has worked so hard to lose an initial 15 and a half kilos (34 pounds), I felt the shame of a self-inflicted giant leap back. So even if the distasteful image of a fat girl stuffing her face lingers in your mind, I ask you to think about what you do in time of trouble. Be honest.

But just quietly, if memories of hitting the gym for hours come to mind…no need to comment here.

The High Point of Lows

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In the spirit of full self disclosure, I contacted my loved ones and admittedly, some mutual participants in a few loosely formed friendships to let them know I was starting down the road of fatty emancipation.

That was early last year- 2009. When I arrived at the start of August, and had actually gained 3 kilos, I realised that a clumsily fashioned weight loss plan consisting of diet shakes and broccoli was not going to do the trick. Having already exposed myself to over thirty people (and gained a charitable donation for each kilo lost from most members), I realised that I couldn’t pretend I had never said anything, even though I am sure most would have been polite enough not to ask me.

Two days after that fateful day in August, I walked into weight watchers. Each month, I have sent a detailed account to those supporting me, detailing my failures and losses. Seven months down the track, I’ve hit my first milestone.

This is the email…

Hello Supporters,
 
I’ve just got one thing to say… 

“Ooh Eeh Ooh Ah Ah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang”

Today I finally reached a weight loss of 15kg (33 pounds)! Yes, it has taken me 7 months at Weight Watchers (an average 2 kilo loss a month) and no, it’s not in line with “biggest loser” expectations but I’m quietly proud as punch.
 
When I started this, I thought the weight would just slip off as quickly as it piled on but alas, it’s a bit more involved than that. Whilst the shakes, pills and the elusive goji berry have called may name when I lost little or no weight, I held strong and continued to weigh, measure, prod and poke my food the good ol’ fashioned weight loss way.

I’ve got a way to go yet, another 20kg in fact but I AM going to make it. Can’t wait to get to 18kg…don’t ask me why, it just sounds like an exciting number!
 
A heartfelt thank you for the sideline cheering!

As exciting as this self-affirming diversion has been, must run…I mean plod to the next weight loss goal!
 
Love (Hauling)

 

Even though some might be asking the question as to why it is taking me so long, or even worse, venturing to ask “Are you sure you should be eating that?” (enter Toolman), the support I have gratefully accepted has extended to those here in this forum.

And for that, I have been delightfully surprised!

So That’s How It’s Done?

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Oprah would be proud of me. For the past week I have been quietly espousing the virtues of moving to anyone who will listen but have disguised the lecture as a personal revelation, or “light bulb moment”. For those who weren’t glued to the box watching Oprah but pretending they didn’t know who she was in equal measures during their university days, the former refers to an epiphany whereby the owner of such thought realizes the error of their ways and continues on in their life in an enlightened fashion.

Not to say that I haven’t had a moment of dietary related enlightenment before. I’ve often faced the reality of food consumption and exercise and understood why my shape remains the same. But this week, I am flying high on the result of a 1.5 kilo (3.3 pound) loss that I am convinced is due to simply sweating.

For those of you who hate moving, like I do, take heed.  This is what I have learnt this week:

Don’t:

  • Go to a specialty shoe store and spend 300 dollars on those specially designed running shoes with the pretty pink stripe that you are convinced will make that bulging ankle look less like a strung ham and more like a feminine curve; you’ll wear them once, then use them as a door stop forever more
  • Purchase hundreds of dollars on a perfect sporting outfit that you believe will make you look less of a novice than you so obviously are; squeezing yourself into a Nike singlet isn’t fooling anyone
  • Buy an exercise machine and park it in the middle of your lounge room; I know, I understand, I truly do, but honey, you’ll stop using it after a month and will have to do the walk of shame as you move it to the garage in the dark of night

Do

  • Think about an activity that you feel like or have to do that may raise even the slightest of perspiration, then do it
  • Clean something. Just get up and clean the bathroom, the kitchen, really put your back into it until you feel some moisture on your neck
  • Just walk somewhere that you have to be; no need for special clothes or shoes, just act normal, avoid eye contact, try to breathe and no one will notice this is a big deal for you!

Moving is normal, moving more than normal will break a sweat. I both cleaned and walked to a bookshop, the supermarket and to a coffee shop with my husband. I got out of each encounter with the pavement unscathed and realised that in fact, the world’s not out there to hurt a fat person trying to be a little more active. But if you get dolled up in all the sports gear, it’s embarrassing and it puts a lot of pressure on the fatty standing in them- I’ve got all the gear, should I hop or throw in a little leap somwhere? Perhaps I should be stretching?

I’ll admit, I’m paranoid about going to a gym, a yoga or palates class and have a general aversion to runners that I can’t explain. Moving however, can be done in thongs (my absolute favourite- it’s the Australian in me), slippers or no shoes at all. Just get a bit hot and sweaty!

Don’t worry about the slight whiff of B.O. : In the words of Kate Moss, “Nothing smells like skinny feels…”

I’m sure that’s what she said….

The Heavy Rye Debate

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Buying bread at the supermarket is like shopping for your ideal self. I read not long ago (from a very funny fellow weight loss candidate) that an overweight person will regularly fill their basket with things that represent their ideal- veggies, fruit and fat free biscuits. For me, this sentiment really reveals itself in the bread isle.

Last week, whilst pondering my ideal body shape and which loaf of bread was going to do it for me, a gorgeous couple came up beside me. I quickly picked up the soy and linseed “women’s health loaf” and confidently placed it in my trolley whilst concurrently fantasising about making my way to pick up a “women’s health” magazine (which would of course be precariously balanced on top of my hand bag for every one to see). In reality, I actually just plodded around the corner and did a full loop back into the same bread isle where I threw out the overpriced health loaf and picked up my favourite heavy rye.

I must admit, I usually experience an irrational sense of satisfaction from the bread I purchase. Fluffy white speaks fatty, whilst dark rye speaks healthy, tanned, slim. In reality, my shopping basket doesn’t really reflect my size at all. But even this is a huge source of embarrassment for me. I am sure that those who see my trolley or what I eat think that I am one of those sad women stuffing their faces in the car on the way home but order light in the restaurant (we all know the ones). Should I just order a pizza and stop the confusion, I regularly ask myself. It’s much more comfortable to appraise someone as a fatty because of their poor eating habits- more uncomfortable is the fatty that “is trying”.

This is the same reason that you’ll rarely see me exercising down the street. Walking works well- but I feel self conscious traipsing around my suburb the size I am. I’ve heard others laugh and nudge each other when a fat woman in stretchy pants puffs their way down the street. “At least she’s doing something about it!” I’ll spit out at them. But in reality, I’m terrified of being that woman and having that sideways poor-thing-but-it’s-kind-of-amusing look from strangers. A kinder person may not even consider this a conundrum, but a gentle soul I am not- I am all too aware of the bitchy perils of being a young woman.

So I admit, yes, sesame sour dough was my undoing this week. It was heavy, sour and beige. Not my ideal and it certainly reinforces the same weight problem. I know I’ve gained weight this week and I know I’m running (ok, a slow amble) round in circles doing the same things and getting the same crappy results. I’m also aware of coming apart at the seams because I drank a bottle of wine last night and I’m a non-drinker (and a two pot screamer as my good friend phrased delicately).

So tomorrow I’ll weigh in reluctantly. But I will weigh in because I will not hide from the scales. I just hope they’ll be kind…