Monday, 4 April 2011 !

Let's face it, kinda the raison d'etre for this here blog. You've seen my journey with food...from the not so good early stages to rockin' the ww plan through the weight loss to finally getting to goal and the central theme to all this madness has been food.

Food. Simultaneously my archemeny and BFF. I have always had a nutty relationship with it. Enter WW stage left! For the first time in my life I had something that worked. It encouraged and enabled me to eat healthily, sensibly and without crazy 'weightloss' techniques....and I may as well be honest, the fact that there were rules was one of its biggest appeals...I like control and parameters to work with ! I adapted quickly to the ww way of eating and it suited me down to the ground. The weight started to come off and eventually I got to goal. Remember this was the 2nd time I had done ww. Remember the ill-fated 23lbs lost in 20 weeks attempt of 2006?! Yeh well. Less said about that the better BUT the main difference between my 2009 attempt compared with 2006 was the change in what I ate. 2006 Liz was all about the 100 calorie snack packs, low fat, reduced fat, light, lite, diet coke drinking 18 points a day. The 2009 version saw me trying to eat 'cleaner' - favouring the 'Filling Foods' and even when ww scrapped the Points system and brought out PROpoints in Nov 2010, I was still able to rock it because of their fabulous 'Simply Filling' version of the PROpoints plan.(Like 'Core Plan' for the old school amongst you!) This helped me to begin to move away from counting points every day - I'll admit that going from 18 to 29 each day freaked me out a tad - and I began to ponder on life after ww. The therapist in me wanted to challenge my reliance upon counting and tracking. A perfectly good technique to have and practice and use on a daily basis. BUT does it teach us to change our behaviours and attitudes towards food? Or is it a means of applying a modicum of control to said behaviours and attitudes?

I began thinking about what I wanted after goal. I'd got to a point where I was tracking ever so carefully and eating ever so perfectly during the week and then would go mental each weekend eatign and drinking pretty much what I liked. (Ah, remember the days when a bottle of wine was 7.5 points !! ;-) ). This became a pattern and although I had hit goal and then some, I think that my health was not the driving concern. Weight loss was. I was weighing in every week and riding a wave of 2lbs on, 2lbs off - week in, week out - all within my goal range so for all ww intents and purposes it didnt matter but how I felt was becoming an issue. I was also training like a demon (circa summer 2010) and as such, this was the control mechanism for the crazy weekends. Eat sensibly in the week, track, no bread, no wine etc etc....go bonkers at weekends but "it's ok because I can train like a loon in the week to claw it back, and ensure a weightloss on the scales on Saturday" Damage Limitation diet. In the and my weight hit a plateau and I was knackered because of all the training I was doing with sooooo the wrong fuel in the machine!

Something had to change!

At the beginning of this year I left ww - essentially because of the pt course I'm doing and time factor. This coincided with getting involved with the twitter community I've mentioned previously. As often happens in life, a timely intervention has sent me down a whole new path in life, in many ways, too numerous to mention, but specifically for the purposes of this blog, in terms of food.

January 2011. Operation #ditchthescale. Those 2 PT types (again, aforementioned) whom I have got to know and greatly respect, began a campaign of merciless yet good natured ribbing to get me to ditch the scales. The idea being that I needed to look to body shape and health as a means of gauging progress rather than being fixated with figure on the scale. Not one to back away from a challenge, I embraced it wholeheartedly and went without weighing myself for February. At this time I also discovered this forum which has proven to be a great resource for the 'new direction' I've taken food wise.

So what is it? Well. Let me tell you. Basic premise? "Eat Natural to Look Natural" Well, duh! I hear you, I hear you. But let's think about this for a sec! Even when I first began reading about 'clean eating', I was still very much on the 'sugar free/low fat' vibe, under the impression that because it's lower in fat and/or sugar, it must therefore be healthier. WRONG-O! So what does that mean?

Embrace the good fats.

*Cue mind meltdown*

Here's the lowdown, no point me regurgitating it here, but suffice it to say this has been one hell of a learning curve. The very fact of 'unlearning' all those 'healthy eating' habits has been a huge challenge...never mind the *actual* doing of it!

Some of the highlights include:-

* Ditching low fat hummus, cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt, etc in favour of full fat - You know what? tastes about a million times better AND is better for me. I still have a massively hard time reprogramming my mind to reach for the full fat rather than the low, but it does stand to reason that 200g of full fat hummus and 200g of low fat hummus is still, what do they ADD to the lower fat version to make it weigh the same? Answer: Sugar, fillers, artificial sweeteners, in short, all kindsa crap. Frankly, I'd rather go full fat.....*gulp* I can't believe I just said that !

*Ditching the diet coke - I didn't drink this a lot at fact I think Christmas was probs the last time, but I do recall the ww journey first time round I used this a lot to surpress my appetite, under the impression that it was a healthy choice because it was sugar free.

*And related to the above - caffeine - DAMN this was hard ! You know me - I looooove my lattes.....and even though I am a 'grandesingleshotskinnylatte' kinda gal, it's still caffeine and still I went cold turkey on caffeine's ass for a month. Dear GOD the withdrawal headaches! Remind me never to do any Class A's - I wouldn't be able to cope with the come down ! (JOKE!!). The thing I found hardest was not starting each day with that all important cuppa (English Breakfast Tea just FYI American pals!!) but I have slowly weaned myself off it and now look forward to green tea. I know! MAD! More importantly, I am at the stage of the plan where I can reintroduce certain things, like the odd latte. What I have found is that my taste for it has changed. I don't want it so much anymore and it's taken its rightful place in the 'once in a while' treat drawer!

*Bread - This was a biggie!! I only ever ate bread at weekends, as a treat, but it was always something I soooo looked forward to, would then go crazy with and then be left feeling, well, pregnant with air and. Fact is, wheat and gluten pretty much sucks & it's really hard for our bods to get to grips with it and use it for anything massively worthwhile. So, rye bread it is. I have battled with this....soooooooooooooo an acquired taste!But you know what? It's ok. And it doesn't leave me bloated to high heaven! Same also goes for spelt products like spelt pasta....working on this one, I don't 'do' a lotta carbs, so this is a new challenge!

*Water - Since I bought that Sigg bottle a year or so ago I have been reeeeeally good with hydration levels - knocking back 3 or so litres a day of filtered (not tap) water - so I've just carried this on - but I wanted to mention it here because it's fundamental to what I am trying to achieve. Some have even described it as 'lifeblood'....

*"If it lived or has been grown - eat it!" - The 'catch-all'...suddenly a whole lot more is on the menu than before. All natural, all good for us.

There's loooooads more I could say but I think I'll leave it there for tonight!

Love, Lizzie xoxo


Joob said...

This was a great post! I think finding the illusive 'balance' with food is a very difficult thing. Personally, I know I eat optimally when I meticulously plan every detail of my diet... but this isn't realistic outside of contest prep (I am 11 days outside of a bodybuilding show at the moment).

I plan a lot in my off season but I am going to try and make a shift to only partially planning things and developing a more long-term approach. Thanks for sharing!

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