I think too much. That's for sure. Part of my journey with weight loss, and Weight Watchers, has been unpacking some of the ways that I think and the ways that affects my food, mood and weight.
So.....I love watching those psychological experiment shows where they try to get people to lose weight, put on weight, and work on the way that they eat. Last night I watched a show that was about skinny people who were made to eat twice their regular calorie intake over four weeks. It showed that some of them put on weight, but some of them didn't. Isn't that weird? Some of their metabolisms were firing so strongly, that any more calories than they needed were put into muscle, automatically. Their bodies just did it by itself. This program also explored the idea that genetics has a big part to play in whether people overeat or not.
There seems to be a gene that makes people more susceptible to overeating and feelings of hunger. Through an MRI, they showed that obese people, who had lost some weight, had a brain reaction of being ravenously hungry when they saw food, even if they were full, or had just eaten. Isn't that amazing? So persons who have a predisposition towards weight gain not only have to fight the mental battle, but they have their bodies telling them that they are STARVING!
The skinny people in this show were not allowed to walk more than 5,000 steps in one day, and many of them found this difficult. And, once they had finished the four weeks of the study, they went back to their normal eating habits, and all of them lost the weight WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING.....eating what they needed and stopping when they were hungry was just their body's way of doing things. Wow. Doesn't that sound fabulous?
I have experienced a phenomenon in the past few days.....that I could relate to with the skinny people. It showed them eating lots, and not wanting to....that they were looking forward to getting into exercising again, that they didn't want to live with minimal exercise and shovelling food into their mouths. And I can totally relate! In the beginning of Weight Watchers, all I wanted to do was eat, and I felt fat and gross, and deprived, and that I couldn't keep doing it. But, gradually, as this thing has become a way of life....and I have learned to embrace healthy eating and to LOVE my treats...and include them daily....but to feel good about what I eat without feeling deprived.
Does that make sense? On the weekend, we had a family Christmas, and I ate:
Uncle Tobys' Oats, 4pp
Skim Milk, 4pp
Flaked Almonds 2pp
Beesting from Howlong Bakery 6pp (sooo yum!)
Chicken Breast 3pp
Greek Salad 4pp
6 x mini Milky Bars 9pp
2 x mini flakes 4pp
1 Milo snack bar 3pp
Gourmet Chicken Sandwich 12pp
Hot Chips, large serve 9pp
Cadbury Favourites, 13 pieces 14pp
71 Propoints, baby!! But....guess what? I ate what I wanted, stopped when I was full, didn't eat everything, and felt good about myself. After eating all the chocolate, I felt a bit piggy, and was glad to get back into eating good food again. And it's so nice not to have to beat myself up about having a little mini pig out. Because of the 49 weekly propoints, it's all completely legal.....there is no more forbidden food, and because of that, overeating is less of an issue. I dont' feel like I have to gorge myself, because I know that I can always have more of what I am eating tomorrow. And I can fill up on fruit and veg that make me feel fabulous.
Oh...and I had the beesting on the way to my nephew Petey's party....where a variety of party food was served...but because I'd had the delicious custardy creamy beesting, I was so full that I didn't need to eat anything there. I had that at 10am and didn't eat again until about 1pm...because I was craving exactly that, ate it, and didn't need to stuff myself full of other things that I didn't really want, just because I felt deprived. I think that's the number one reason why I used to overeat, because I felt lonely, sad, and because the food was so forbidden......I couldn't just have a little bit of it. There was no moderation...there was either "I am being good and eating salad and cottage cheese", or "I AM A SUGAR MONSTER AND MUST CONSUME EVERYTHING IN MY PATH"....
Yesterday I got up, had a 2 yummy crumpets with peanut butter, then some fruit salad with yoghurt and flaked almonds. It was delicious!! I went and did all my jobs, went to the gym, which felt fantastic, and realised I was hungry about 11.45. I did not feel hungry until then. For some people, who have never been totally at the mercy of their appetite and food thinking all their lives, this may not seem like a big deal...but for me it is a total, massive and amazing victory. I have always obsessed about food...but now I enjoy it. I listen to my body, eat what I want to, without guilt, enjoy a variety of healthy and unhealthy food, and feel like I am really getting on with the business of living, without being a prisoner to my thoughts any more.
So.....I may not get it all right every day, and I have massive self doubts sometimes.....but I see my life coming together in a way that I am so happy with....and I want that for you. Yes, you, reading this. I didn't ever think that I could be this free, and now I am. And so can you be.