Being In Control Of My Body Image

Now – you know I am not a fan of these listy blog posts.  Sometimes you just have to do it!

Here is the rub.  I broke through the barrier that I wanted to.  I shifted that bit of weight that was starting to drive me a bit crazy.  But doing it drove me crazy in a different way.

Here is what I learnt. 1.  I am a hungry person.
Actually I already knew this.  I need fuel.  I can eat carefully, but it always catches me up somewhere.  The need for those lost carbs and energy. If I don’t eat them in the morning, I will still need them before bed time.  Fact.

2. Restricting my intake makes me miserable. 
I am not being dramatic.  I can feel it sucking my mood and bringing me down.  I can feel my energy sinking, my fuse shortening.

3. Sometimes you just need to eat the god damn cake/chocolate bar/ice cream/sausage/peanut butter on thick wholemeal toast. 
And if you need to do that every day for a week its fine.  Enjoy your holiday, week off the diet, visiting friends, recovery, hormones.  Which leads me onto number….

4. I really resented the way in which my period was not taken into account to my points allowance. 
Seriously.  This thing is run by women.  I fully intend to indulge my PMS with whatever food it asks for.  Don’t add guilt and dieting failure shame to my list of problems on these of all days.

This literally took the biscuit.  I would look something up in the book and think “ooo, great I can have that”.  I would add it to my shopping list, and then when I entered it into my log it would be a different.  And when I say different – I mean MORE.  EVERY TIME!

6. I have a healthy diet already. 
My diet included better quality foods, grains, seeds, and less processed foods etc etc before.  But some of those grains and fats are high points so I swapped them.  Butter for example.  I usually have some welsh salted butter, but switched to Flora Light (other brands are available).  And this was a turning point.  What am I doing?  This is processed stuff I don’t even really know how, or where, it is made.  This butter comes from a cow in a not too distant field from a not too distant farm.  Lets just go back to the butter.  Lets have the seeds and whole grains and the healthy carbs.  And take the extra few points on the (double) chin.   

7. It is not really very sustainable. 
Restricting food intake whilst loosing weight had a different point target to maintaining weight loss.  But either way, it is still monitoring everything you eat solely for weight management.  I don’t want to manage my weight.  I want to enjoy my life.  And my food.  I don’t want to log everything and plan everything, and worry about what this bread roll would come under.  If it is full fat or skimmed milk.  I realised this pretty quickly.  I made a bargain with myself to loose the chunk I couldn’t shift and then workout how much exercise I needed to eat whatever I wanted.

8. I need more exercise. 
Again, I think I already knew that.  I was really active before Henry.  And quite fit.  Having lost fitness and energy and stamina it has taken a while to get that back.

9. I actually want my fitness back more than I want to fit into my old jeans. 
Getting more active, making a point of exercising has been a bit of a break through for me on a mental level.   If I need to move my body I put my sports bra on, and I dance around the lounge doing my ‘fake Zumba’ moves for half an hour whilst Cbeebies is on for Henry.  He might join in a bit, want to be bounced around and lifted up, and then go back to his tractors and tv for another few mins.  I would never have done this before.  On days where I feel good when H goes to bed I will put the Zumba DVD on for some much needed instruction.   What this means is – I don’t need to go out for a run or a class.  These things are surprisingly tricky when you have a little one.

10. When I started I felt that WW was rooted in scarcity. 
It created a fear of enjoying food.  You cant eat plenty, you can only eat ‘just enough’.  I was juggling one thing, so I could have another. I was rarely satisfied.  Now I think that was my frustration talking.  The principles are sound.  How it works for us as individuals depends on what our expectations are, where we are physically and mentally, hormonally, and emotionally. And, importantly, what changes we make in our wider lifestyles to maintain it in a way that IS sustainable for us.

We can all yo-yo in any aspect of our lives.  Weight is just another example.  But it is so visual.  It is such a representation of us.  And so socially loaded these days.  We must not forget that not everyone cares if other people are fat or thin.  Not everyone will judge beauty in the same way London Fashion Week would.

The important question is “do I judge myself for how thin I look?” And, maybe some days when my mummy tummy is feeling particularly wobbly yes.  Being honest.  Yes.  I want that wobbly tummy to be smaller. Firmer.  I am not going to shame myself for thinking that.  I am not going to skip a meal, or limit my food intake.  I am going to dance around the lounge in my pants a bit more.  So whilst it might seem wrong to judge myself, I am doing something pro-active and healthy about it. And fun.

Acting without attachment to the outcome is something I try to practice. If I am worried I am putting pressure on what I want or being a bit egotistical about things I will ask myself ‘how will you feel if nothing changes’ (or what ever is appropriate). And I did this with Weight Watchers. I just wanted to know that I had tried to do everything I could to lose the baby weight. If I still end up a bit fat then that is fine. I have tried everything, and was just meant to be a bit fat. It would be gods will!

With love and a shaky-bum-bum
Charlotte xx

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