Category Archives: Weight and Food

My struggles with weight loss (or lack thereof) and food (no lack there…)

You’re so sweet for asking…

I’ve had a few requests for an update, since I wrote my blogpost about giving up sugar, almost 5 months ago. So, here you go…

I went off radar when my sugar withdrawal started. Mainly because, as well as dealing with the eating issues, I also had to do something about my sedentary lifestyle. My health and well-being were suffering. I decided that apart from having to sit at a desk to work, anything that kept me in the chair too long HAD TO GO! That included sitting looking at a blank page – not getting any writing done.

amo-in-running-gearSo I ignored the blog for a while and joined a running club. I don’t do real running. I call it ‘enthusiastic walking’. The dark evenings don’t stop me, I’m kitted out with illuminous arm bands and a headlamp, (these do stop me, but only from running into a tree). Most of the time I want to die (of embarrassment and lack of oxygen, alternatively), but I am glad to be doing it and I feel the better for it.

I’ve been asked for ‘before and after’ photos too. I’m always nervous about them. Cos usually they sound the death knell of any efforts to lose weight. I do think I’m in the best frame of mind I’ve ever been though. In a blog post about dieting, which I wrote eons ago, I said the fatal words, ‘I think I have a handle on the eating thing now.’ That signalled a major falling off the wagon. I wonder if a sugar addict like me ever gets a real handle on it. Probably not, but I’m certainly winning at the moment.


auntyamo – 1

I wasn’t confident enough to take a ‘progress’ photo until after the first stone had gone.  Already my favourite comfortable top was starting to hang (a little) and I could see my face changing. I can’t even bring myself to post photos from before that. I don’t think I even ‘saw’ them at the time. I see them now and I can’t believe it. I’m not ashamed of them, just very sad that I waited so long to sort myself out.

I know lots of people don’t like to let the scales rule their progress, but I have to have that weekly accountability. The photos are great and the fact that now I’ve had to buy smaller clothes is fantastic, however the numbers still mean something to me. I try not to get hung up on them, but they do help.

amo-3-and-a-half-2So, if I lose 1lb this week, I’ll have lost 3 and a half stone. I’ve been using myfitnesspal since 2012 but never got anywhere near this number until I vamoosed processed food and sugar from my life. I can’t begin to tell you how different I feel, in every way. I have been praying for years about my weight. Asking God to help me and show me what I need to do. I really believe that this is the answer to those many years of prayer. I’m not saying I won’t ever make a blunder, or lose the plot. I just know that this is the way I can conquer my addiction.

And now it feels like time to get my bum back into the chair – but not for too long. I’m looking forward to writing again, and finding a balance between my writing life and my active life.

Thank you so much to those who’ve been with me on this journey. And thank you blog followers for sticking with me. Hopefully… normal service is resumed.

Whatever that is! 🙂 x


My Sweet Lord!

I wish I could find that photo of myself.

I’m about 12/13 and am sitting on a sand dune on Ballinaclash beach in Co. Wexford. I’ve got my legs crossed and my hands on my knee with a ‘strike a pose’ look on my face. I’m wearing a red bathing suit and there are at least three places to ‘pinch an inch’; but I don’t seem to care. In fact, I don’t remember being aware of the ‘rolls’ as I posed for the photo.

I doubt there’s a photo of me after that time where I’m not self-conscious about how I look. (Discount any where I’m not sober.)

If you’re familiar with this blog then you’ll know that every so often, the subject of eating and weight rears its rotten head. My blogging journey started with a series of posts about weight loss (or not) it’s been coming around like Christmas (only not as often…) You’ll find some examples here and here.

For the last few months I’ve been reading blogs and Facebook pages about the subject; most posts giving actual pain because they talk about a land that I’ve not been to for a long time. A land where I’ve got my food:activity ratio as it should be. A land where I’m looking after myself properly. And more importantly, a land where I’m happy with myself; and my swimsuit, with its rolls.

25482907745_d195113ddd_qIt might sound like I’m jumping on the band wagon, but I’ve known for a long time that sugar is my nemesis. I’ve said before that I’ve an issue with food, but I’ve really believed that I am an addict. I do now though. I love, want, need and crave sugar – in any and all of its forms. Have you read those articles that tell you sugar lights up the same parts of the brain that a cocaine hit does? I’m not a bit surprised. I can think of nothing better than a bucket load of chocolate and a key. To lock the door behind me so I can eat it in secret.

So… about a month ago I quit. None in coffee, none on cereal – in fact no cereal except porridge. No processed food, just fresh meat and vegetables, salads and fruit; you know… all the good stuff. I’m allowing myself a minimal amount of bread and potatoes. (Come on, I’m Irish. I’d have to hand in my passport if I stopped eating the spuds altogether).

I worry about writing a post like this. Saying it out loud is usually the beginning of the end of a diet for me. I’m praying that this is a life change, a turning of my heart towards full dependence on God, and not a sugar buzz, to give me joy.

I’ll be honest, I’m grieving a bit. I’m sad that (please God) I’ll never eat a whole bag of Haribo in one sitting again. That I won’t be enjoying sugary chocolate with sugary coffee on a regular basis. And I’m scared – cos sugar makes me feel better, and what if my whole food bars and a cup of green tea don’t do the same?

I pray these words from Psalm 119: 103 will be true for me and I will get the sweet rush I need from Him.

“How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

If you’re interested, the FB pages I’ve been following are Teresa Sheilds Parker, Sundi Jo and Just Eat Real Food  and if you’re a prayer, please pray for me. I need it!

Thanks, A x

photo credit: Sugar via photopin (license)

10 Day You Challenge, Day 6 – 5 Foods

Day 6 of the ’10 Day You Challenge’ 10-days-you-challenge2 copy Today – 5 foods… 😉 YUM! 

enchiladas1. Enchiladas with cornbread
I was introduced to Mexican food by some Californians – some of Mexican extraction. I am not into hot hot hot food – but I do like tasty food and mexican is one of those foods that you can get lots of taste without killing yourself with chilies…Brownies

2. Chocolate
In any form, shape, size or texture 🙂
These are my brownies.

poppyseed cake

3. Poppy Seed Cake
Thanks to Starbucks and the likes, poppy seed muffins are all the rage now – but I was making poppy seed cake before it was cool. (Not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing…) It is one of my no fail recipes and again was taught to me by an American. And yes – I’m a ‘cups & spoons’ girl. I say ‘huh!’ to your weighing scales.

4. Brennan’s Batch Loaf with ham that has just been cooked, a bag of Tayto cheese and onion crisps and a glass of TK red lemonade Christmas Eve supper in my mam’s house – ahh precious memories

My Bible5. The Bible
Food for the soul. Sometimes not as sweet as my tastebuds would like – but very nourishing.

Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Photo credits: The 10 Day You image above doesn’t seem to come from any central website but can be found on many that have done the challenge. Many use it but there does not seem to be any original source info available. The others were taken by me.

Five Minute Friday – Small

It is a bit of a crazy time which is why it’s been a WHOLE WEEK since I’ve posted! I know I’m a disgrace 🙂 I haven’t been dossing tho… I’ve been hard at work writing and editing in prep for publishing my short story collection. If you haven’t heard about it you can pop over to my fiction blog Fictitious Amo for the news. In the mean time… here we go with this week’s Five Minute Friday… five minutes of unedited, non stop writing on this week’s given theme ‘Small’

Look at me!  I used to be small :)

Look at me! I used to be small 🙂

Small… one thing I’ve always wanted to be.
I must have been small at some stage but I don’t ever remember being small. When I look at photos of myself as a teen I don’t think I look THAT big, but I remember the constant nagging of the older generation for me to lose weight. And here I am at 41 still wrestling with the same rubbish. Now the voices are inside my head – always; I don’t need anyone to tell me these days.

Maybe it was/is rebellion, greed, laziness, apathy… I’m not sure but I am not and never will be… small.

I am grateful however to be loved just as I am by lots of people and especially God. That doesn’t mean there is not incentive to make an effort to change. But right here, right now, Ephsians 2 tells me that God’s love for me is high, and wide and deep and long.

Good thing with my proportions eh? 🙂

Click the image to find about more about Five Minute Friday
Five Minute Friday

“I Am What I Am” – Could I live by this Paralympic anthem?

WOW The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games was A.MAY.ZING!

Little Amo 🙂

I know it might sound like a bit of a cliché but it really has made me think about my outlook on life! I’m such a lazy mare most of the time. And though I hide it (pretty much) on this blog, I can be a bit of a complainer.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time looking at everybody else’s life and asking God to make me someone else or even just like someone else. I want less fat and more intelligence. I want less insecurity and more hilariousness. I want less work and more money.

It was quite striking to see hundreds of people celebrating the difference between them and the Olympians we saw march into that same stadium a month ago. They celebrated that which makes them Paralympians.

Curehead and corsage days

For years I strove to be different. I worked hard on my ‘look’ and made sure I had a look that was noticed by everyone. I wanted to stand out from the crowd. But ended up hanging out with a gang of people who looked just like me!  Outside confidence hid the fact that I was never happy.

Spoiler alert… Most of my confidence and bravado is still a tribute to my acting abilities 😀

The life I have and the person I am is the creative work of God! So maybe I should look in the mirror and say something along the lines of, “Enough of your moaning, Amo! Get on with the life you have, and stop wishing for another life!” That contentment, no matter what , is a very biblical principle. Paul says in the book of Philippians, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation”

I wish I was like that! I would love to be like Paul! You see… there I go again! 😀

I wish I was like her!
oh hang on it’s me 😀

I wish the greatest of success to all the athletes. Especially our Irish heroes. And I hope that the Olympic motto – “Inspire a Generation!” does exactly that.

I was certainly inspired tonight!

At the ceremony Stephen Hawking said “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet” If I may add… and look to the One who made them – the stars… and your feet!  🙂

Armchair Olympics

So there I am with a large mug of coffee and a packet of chocolate digestives criticising the gymnast cos her triple somersault wasn’t perfect…

They have to keep their legs straight – how many times do I have to say it?!?!?!

Anyway…. I suddenly have a moment of crisis. Am I really committed to anything?

There have been lots of ads on the telly lately, focussing on the commitment of athletes who have made it to the Olympics. Not just the last four years, but a life time of early mornings, hard work, sacrificing time and money – committment!

Am I actually committed to anything? Other than getting to the bottom of this packet of biscuits?

Anyone familiar with the Bible will know that themes of perseverance and running the race are used to help explain the Christian life. There’s also a lot of farming analogies, which make much more sense to me now that I live in a rural community. Just last week I was chatting with someone about arranging a get-together but we weren’t sure if it was possible. I was asking what time some of the farmers would be finishing work.  The answer came… “As long as the sun is shining the lads will work.”

“Yeah Amo!” I thought, kicking myself “like they clock out at 5!  helloooooo?!”

Suddenly it dawned on my that ‘Make hay while the sun shines’ is not just an old adage – it’s a work ethic!

I think the problem is that all this running and jumping over things is highlighting the fact that the things I’m passionate about and committed to are in my head and my heart. I can’t think of one that I need to get out of my chair for! Which is a bit worrying really!

Don’t get me wrong. I do move. I had to go all the way over there to get these biscuits. But I’m not committed to moving.

Maybe I should combine my thinking with some athletic efforts! I could record my blog posts with my handsfree kit as I run around the carpark outside the apt. Or maybe I could get a bicycle and a loud haler; go cycling around Kildare shouting, “Here’s a list of the people I love… ”

Yes! Yes, I think this might work you know… all I need to do is get my favourite Bible verses printed on a leotard (might not be room for ALL the Psalms…) and then I can show them gymnasts how it’s SUPPOSED to be done!

That’s it! That’s what I’m going to do. Just one more biscuit tho eh?

Put the calories on wallpaper and I’ll re do my kitchen!

I am someone who struggles to make good food choices. I know I have a problem with food. And it’s not ONLY that I have two hands and just one mouth. Although that is a shame… 🙂 But I do wrestle with food issues and often lose the match. So I think the idea of putting calories on menus is a great idea.

Twitter is abuzz with differing opinions. Restaurants fearing the worst, nanny state gone mad with food policing. Then there’s comments about empowerment and best practice. There’s also a lot of talk about the fact that calorie counting is a thing of the past and that it’s the saturated fats (or the carbs – depending on what side of THAT argument you sit on!) that need to be counted.

I’ve also read comments about how fine dining is an indulgence and it would just ruin it for everyone. Apart from the fact that it would cost the already struggling restaurant owners a fortune!

You see from my perspective, I believe I have an addiction. Don’t misunderstand me. I think alocohol and drug problems are a much much bigger struggle for people and they have far more issues to cope with. But I’m a comfort eater who became a compulsive eater. But I can’t NOT eat ever again. I would love to be able to cut food out of my world, but I can’t. So anything that would help me at the moment of decision, is a help to me.

Going back to alcohol – there are %vol alocohol labels on wine bottles and I’ve never read one before buying a bottle of wine. Even if I did it wouldn’t affect my choice. (My wine choice is usually based on 1. is it Merlot? 2. is it under a tenner?!)

Let’s face it these days eating out is a treat. Not like a few years ago when it was almost commonplace! But for those who do spoil themselves a bit and maybe spend a few more quid than they really have on a meal out… they don’t want added guilt of the calorie count – I get that. Neither do I frankly!

I’ve only seen calories on a menu once. It was in the Kudos Bar in the Clarion Hotel in Liffey Valley and it did inform my choice. One of the dishes had a coconut based sauce (I think) and it was considerably higher than the other dish. So I opted for the lower one – it was fantastic, I really enjoyed it AND I had the benefit of feeling good that I had made a good decision.

So restaurateurs and food fans, you go fight the good fight if you don’t think this is a good thing. But I’m all for it.

After all I’m just a fat girl… sitting in front of a restaurant menu…. asking you to put the caesar dressing on the side!