I need help!

I’m a bit down in the dumps at the mo.

I have gloomy seasons, no particular reason springs to mind for this one. Post Christmas blues maybe? Lots of my fam are on holiday together for my nephew’s wedding – well jel. And I’ve put on a bit of poundage.  arrgghhhh

I’ve lost focus since I’ve had to go dairy free. It’s hard be low carb and dairy free at the same time. And the Christmas fayre didn’t help. It’s cold and damp and as usual when I’m feeling like this, all I want to do is eat. And it’s hard not to.

Today a reminder popped up on my phone saying,

“It’s your My Fitness Pal anniversary – how are you doing?”

I have a vague memory of putting that in, but I forgot all about it.

It is actually 7 years to the day, since I signed up for the MFP app. For the first few years I didn’t make much of a dent in my weight. It’s only a couple of years ago that it changed, but look at my first entry…

Do not adjust your set! Those numbers are real. I am more than 5 stone lighter than that number today. And though I can’t seem to push very far past that 5 stone wall, I DO NOT want to return to those numbers.

I know I blogged about this recently. So some of you may be thinking, “this again? ” You bet this again! Cos if not, it’ll be her on the left again. And I made a promise to myself – always talk about it. This will never be an embargoed subject again!

So hit me up with some inspiration. Pray for me, give me a chuck on the shoulder or a smack on the head. Anything you think might help me out of the doldrums? A 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 never 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

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!