When I look in the mirror, I feel….

Now, this depends on the day and, sometimes, even the mirror! But generally how I feel when I look in the mirror falls into one of two trails of thought:

1) I hate myself. I hate the sag under my chin and how big my head is. I hate my arms because they are so big and make me look so wide. I hate my tummy because it’s big and wobbly. I hate my hips/thighs because they are big and ungainly. I hate my pasty skin, cellulite and general lack of glamour/sexiness! I hate that clothes can look really crappy on me.

2) I don’t look as bad as I think I do! Yes I have big bits, I have wobbly bits, but they’re not as big or wobbly as I think they are. Sometimes I put an outfit together and I can feel fab. I can look at myself in the mirror and know that it could be better, but for now it’s not really that bad.

While I am writing this I am thinking that 1 is the mirror in my mind, mirror 2 is the physical mirror that I look in. I spend far too long focussed on mirror 1 and I need to remember that technique where you think about how you would talk to a friend. Would I say those things to a friend that I say to myself when I look in mirror 1? Not in a month of Sundays!! 

Oh I have an action point from this post: put a post-it on my mirror “what would you say to a friend?” And maybe I’ll start being nicer to myself! Fingers crossed.

Dear body, I love you because…..

……you have given me two amazing and beautiful children. Everyday I look at them and know that I am truly blessed. Infertility is affecting family very close to me so I love my body all the more for providing me with two miracles.

And that is it ☹️

Between my body and my brain I am just in this viscous cycle going round and round, hating myself for the way my body looks, eating to make me feel better and then hating myself a little bit more because I can’t find the will power, the strength, the motivation or the inspiration to change my thinking and, in turn, my eating.

I have had a couple of breakthroughs in the last week or so: 1) noticing that I was eating to avoid getting hungry and telling myself it is okay to feel hunger!! 2) noticing that I don’t judge my husband EVER for the way he looks, I love him for who he is, and maybe he is the same!!!

But even with that second breakthrough I then ruin it by thinking okay so just relax about how you look and then I immediately worry that if I relax I’ll pile on the pounds. I just don’t seem to be able to find the positive that is going to steer me in the right direction.

This feels like it is starting to consume me!! 

If you’re  could take a magic pill and have my dream body, what would it be?

I remember seeing a picture of Katy Perry in a magazine – were going back maybe 6 or 7 years here and I thought yes! That is the body I want! I took a photo of it, had it as my phone wall paper etc. I never achieved that body, but still to this day it sticks with me. She wasn’t stick thin, she had curves and boobs, but she had a flat stomach and looked slim.

My dream body would be lean, toned and it would be athletic. Not muscly and sinewy but I would run and swim and do aerobics and my body would reflect that. I don’t want to be size 0 or anything like that I just want to be slim, a size 12 (uk) would do, if I’m being realistic!  I don’t think I have ever been less than a 12. 

Now I am back off my holiday I am going to get my trainers on tonight and pick up the C25K app. I am actually looking forward to it! My only dilemma is whether to repeat week 5 or to just plough on with week 6 having not run for 2 weeks! I am also lookin into taking out a gym membership, which is something I never thought I’d ever do again!! It really reflects the shift I am going through at the moment. I am so determined to be a positive role model to my children. I want them to see exercise as part of everyday life, and at the same time I want to be able to run around with them. I am also placing more of an emphasis on taking up exercise rather than restricting diet as a means to slim down. My emotional eating happens after my kids are in bed so that is something that I am dealing with out of their sight!

On that note,  the realisation that I could afford the gym membership if i stopped buying chocolate/cake/crisps/biscuits every evening has had a big impact on me (and my husband, I think). I always think of gym memberships as the first thing to be culled when I am trying to cut back spending and yet here we are spending, on average, £3 a day on junk food. That didn’t add up for me. But it is the age old problem in our house – short term gain, rather than big picture.

Anywho, I have digressed and started rambling! ! For me I know exactly what I want my dream body to be, I can see I it clearly in my mind. I’ve just got to keep taking these steps forward, making positive changes that might allow.me to achieve it with minimum stress, deprivation and guilt! Fingers crossed!

What is my body? How do I connect food and body?

It may sound obvious but my body is me! It takes me places, allows me to do things, it has given me two beautiful children. But my body also feels like my enemy sometimes, it doesn’t look how I want it to look and I beat myself up about making it look how I want it to!

I started writing this post probabLy a couple of weeks ago and inbetween the last paragraph and this one I have been away on a weeks family holiday. It was a fantastic holiday, I really enjoyed quality time with my husband and my children. BUT, almost the entire holiday was overshadowed my the negative thoughts I was having about myself. I felt fat and disgusting!! We went on an all inclusive holiday and I ate like a machine and then had the most horrendous self-hate afterwards!! I have been itching to get back to this blog because I do feel that it is having an impact, it is really making my think and question myself and take a different perspective on the subject of emotional eating. 

To go back to the original question for this post, what is my body? It is a temple of doom! I want it to be a temple, but at this moment in time it is shrouded by negativity. And how do I connect food and body? In the most horrendous fashion! In fact it could be said that I abuse my body with food!

I want it to stop. I spent a lot of time on my holiday reflecting on how I spend my evening eating all of the worst food there is and how if I cut that out I could use the money for a gym or swim membership and channel the money into a much more positive outcome. I still feel that it is not right for me at the moment to go back to slimming world and again I would like to use that money for something much more rewarding. But I want to continue to use the principles of food optimising to bring balance into my diet. I want to stop getting on the scales and start trying to get back into my winter wardrobe that I unearthed before we went on holiday. I have six pairs of jeans upstairs and I am sure I couldn’t fit into one pair. But my plan is to pluck up the courage to try them on and rank them in order of how close I am to fitting in them – they will be my gauge! I want to eat well – enjoying healthy balanced meals and snacks and enjoying the occasional treat. I want to exercise more – I have reached week 6 of the C25K challenge and I haven’t stopped surprising myself with how much I have enjoyed it. I feel like I am gradually developing I love for exercise, I am really noticing the impact it has had on my mental wellbeing. I want to spend time on myself, with my husband and with my family doing this we enjoy rather than eating things we enjoy!

If my emotional eating has a message, what is it trying to tell me?

I think I might have written this everyday, but this is definitely the hardest question so far! I’m struggling to get my head around what the question is actually asking, I get that sometimes, I doesn’t matter how many times or in how many ways I read the question I still can’t fathom what it is asking! Mostly, my emotional eating is trying to tell me you deserve this, you have earnt this. You have had a really tough morning/afternoon/evening/day and so you have earned a bar of chocolate to make you feel better and reward your efforts. A lot of my emotional eating is trying to make me feel better.

Quite often it is also trying to tell me that it will help me to get through something stressful, this can be at home and at work. I developed a naughty habit at work where I would pop to the supermarket next door and buy a 4 pack of choc bars to have before and after a particularly bad class that I was teaching at the time!! Hideous! 

Some of my emotional eating is telling me what is the point, you’ve already ruined it so just eat more! None of the messages are particularly positive or healthy. So fingers crossed I will be able to change them.

Why Do I eat? What 3 words describe my relationship with food right now? What 3 words do I wish did?

Right, time to up the anti, I must must must complete this blog everyday. I was finding that it was starting to have a positive impact on my thinking regarding food but then I started to become complacent again, not completing the blog and being less mindful about what I have been putting in my cake hole! I really find that as I write these I have these mini epiphanies, things seem to crystallise as I write. So, my conclusion is: write more, eat less!!

I eat because I love food. I love the tastes and the textures. I love cooking and baking. I also eat to reward myself, the worst example of this is treating myself to something because I’ve been really good all day (food-wise that is!). You read that correctly, I will stick to food optimising all day, come in under 15 syns and then I will reward myself with synful food, ridiculous! I eat because it is social. I was talking about this with my brother just today, every social event revolves around found – a meal, a buffet, party food etc and every trip out involves a coffee and cake, an ice cream, lunch, dinner, breakfast and so the list goes on.

Three words to describe my relationship with food right now……oh this is tough……horrible, guiltfilled, frustrating. Unsurprisingly they are all negative words.

In an ideal world the three words that would describe my relationship with food would definitely be positive….fuel, friend, controlled, would be a good start.

Eating aside, I wanna shout from the rooftops that I have nearly completed week 4 of the couch to 5k app 😀😀😀

How does food make me feel? How do I wish I felt about food?

Wow, this 30 day challenge is going to take me all year at this rate – we have been so busy! But, nevertheless, the important thing is that I come back to it, not matter how much time has passed. And in that time I have been running a few times, this evening I completed week 2 day 2 of the C25K app, I covered 3.4 km this evening, very happy with myself.

I have also had a decent SW week. I have attempted to have an SP week, it hasn’t been perfect, but that has been due to social events, other than those I have been okay. I’ve never done SP before, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, so if nothing else’s I have proven myself wrong on that one! I think it’ll go some way to help me get back on track with extra easy. Depending on the results tomorrow I will do at least one more SP week before we go on our hollibobs. 

So, to today’s questions. Food makes me feel just about every emotion going, but in a nutshell I eat to make me feel happy and I eat when I am happy, then I spend a lot of time feeling guilty about it! I love food! I don’t discriminate, I love all food, but most of all I love bad food!! How do I wish I felt about food? Frankly I wish I didn’t give a hoot about food! I wish I could just see food as the fuel that I need to stay alive and I wish I would put the healthiest fuel in my body to keep it running for as long as possible. So there!!! Considering how long I’ve been thinking about those questions I answered them concisely!! Next up…..why do I eat?! See you soon 😊

From the past 5 days, what patterns or understandings can I now see about myself and where I’m headed?

As I said the last time I wrote, I was glad to see this question come up because I am starting to feel as though I am repeating myself! I have come to the conclusion that I am an emotional eater and I am determined to overcome this before it really starts to affect my health. The ways in which I aim to do that is by completing these 30 questions, getting right back into Slimming World food optimising and taking up some exercise.

Today has been a big day because we have been and booked a family holiday. We have been looking for the perfect holiday to go on before I return to work, since we are able to book something outside of the school holidays. We have been looking for ages, but today we finally parted with our money and got it booked. I cannot wait!! But, as soon as it was booked I went into panic mode – Ugh, I am not going to look pretty in a swimming costume!! So, I have 6 weeks. I am feeling motivated. So much so that I went and bought those trainers I keep talking about needing!! Yay!

Next step………..actually putting them on and stepping out that front door. I would like to go and do some classes but money is tight now that holiday is paid for and I am in the last phase of my maternity leave, so for now I have downloaded ZenLab’s C25K app which I will do 3 times a week and I shall pick up the 7 minute workout again and attempt that everyday.

Key to my success over the next 6 weeks will be:

*Continuing this blog.

*Planning and preparing SW meals and attending image therapy every week.

*Running 3 times a week and doing the 7 minute workout everyday.

*Asking myself:

Am I going to be happy with myself after I eat this?

Am I really hungry or do I just like the taste or comfort?

Is this food what I planned on eating today?

Do I need a distraction right now to resist this temptation?

If I can’t resist this food that isn’t on my “approved list”, I will limit myself to a few bites. (http://www.fitfoundme.com/motivational/kick-emotional-eating-curb)

*Using distractions to stop me eating between meals.

*Trying to keep positive and focus on all the positive reasons for doing this. (Not that there are any negative, but I am not good when I feel like I am being made to do something I don’t want to – even though I am the only person making me do this!! Crazy!!)

So here I come Pinterest, I am going to be hunting out all the inspirational quotes I can find. The next 3 posts see me focus on food and eating (my favourite subjects!!) with the first question being “How does food make me feel? How do I wish I felt about food?” – This could be quite a long post! See you all tomorrow for that installment *waves*

How can I invest in myself, my health and my joy this year?

When I first read this question I thought, wow, that’s deep! But, having given it more thought I feel like I have already gone some way to making changes and doing things to in invest in myself, my health and my joy this year. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have been trying to talk over the negative voice in my head. I have always been quite a b*tch, not in a really horrible way, but I have always been a terror for picking at peoples flaws. I don’t know why I do it (although I have a feeling it might be something I have inherited from my mum) and these days I feel ashamed that I have and still do do it. So, I am happy with the progress I have made to stopping this trait of mine and it has gone a long way to change how I believe people may view me too and that has to be a positive thing, right?

Other ways I am going to invest in myself are by doing things that I enjoy – baking, sewing, colouring, and seeing friends. Essentially I want to make time for myself, to do things that I enjoy. I went out for dinner with my husband late night and that time was so precious – I would like more of that. I am going to continue blogging. Normally if I miss doing something for a few days I give up, but here I am after several days away having been crazy busy and I am blogging!! Another mistake I would normally make is trying to catch up with all the days I have missed in one hit, but I have taken a deep breath and rationalised that just because it is a 30 day challenge doesn’t mean it has to be completed in 30 days, the important thing is just to complete it!

I am going to get my head back into SW (still not there yet, but I know it will happen!) and I am going to take up some exercise – I AM GOING TO DO IT!!!! I tried on some trainers today, but wimped out of buying them, whoops! I know we’re all going shopping at the weekend so I just decided that I’d like a second opinion from OH.

Generally I just WANT to invest in myself and that is a big step forward, I recently heard that if you don;t look after yourself you can’t look after others and that resonated with me. So I just need to pull my finger out and make these things happen. I am glad to see tomorrow’s question “Looking back over your past five days of writing, what patterns or understandings can I now see about myself and where I’m headed?” because I feel like I keep repeating myself! I feel as though there are clear ideas about what I want for the future. And yet I am going to make you wait til tomorrow to read what they are!!! Til then, ciao!