This has been a lifelong dilemma.
And to be honest I think it has been for most women.
So what do we do if we haven’t got a naturally super fast metabolism? Apart from cry….
I used to work at a Gym. And what I saw was a lot of clients regularly attending the gym with militant discipline; even spending a small fortune on trainer’s with minimal results.
I think one of the main reasons was black and white thinking. They separated their life from exercise. I’ve been guilty of this in the past; not believing in the power of small changes. They take the lift, think they can be slack with food because they work so hard in the gym 3 x times a week. Unfortunately it doesn’t;t really work like that.
For me, I can’t think of anything worse than being constantly active. I’m already running around like a headless chicken with stress draining every bit of energy I have.
What used to annoy me was some Personal Trainers lack of ability to consider peoples lifestyles. They had a ‘if you really want it attitude that was more judgemental than helpful. I’d like to see exercise as much as they do with a demanding full time job in another field and even children!
You think the way I run around I’d be skinny as anything but I’m not. In fact I’m the biggest I’ve ever been (Size 12 pushing size 14). I’ve always had child bearing hips which the modelling industry hated, but unfortunately I can’t slim down bone.
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with food and my body. I’m not good to my body, I’ll be the first one to admit it, then I criticise it for not being how I want it.
I’ve denied myself food in the past. Especially as a kid, I was referred to as lanky. But then I moved in with my Dad who was a big foodie and I could eat anything I want and all hell broke loose. I went from the strict upbringing from my Grandparents to the chaotic lifestyle I lived with my Dad. Funny enough this is the relationship I have with food… all or nothing.
I don’t really think London is healthy. I live off sandwiches and sushi and find I’m hungry again in an hour. There is a theory that a lot of fast food chains are in cahoots with diet/slimming companies as keeping us in the gaining weight/loosing weight cycle makes serious bucks!!
The constant buzz means stress levels are constantly high, and stress burns energy so we need more food to just keep going. Stress also releases cortisol which makes it almost impossible to shift that tire around your mid section.
Watching Netflix until silly o’clock in the morning disrupts sleep, spiking cortisol contributing to the Michelin Man look.
Coffee spikes your insulin resulting in a hunger crash. Your body is constantly running on empty so it’s trying to hold anything it can to keep you going.
And you wonder why you’re not losing weight?
You go hours without food, then stuff it in like it’s the last supper. And then that creates a habit for binge eating as you probably don’t know what feeling full really feels like (and no I’m not referring to feeling like your about to combust, I’m talking about feeling like you’ve had sufficient).
Methods I’ve tried:
I’ve tried pretty much everything!
Consistency is my issue.
I’ve spent many years in the gym realising I don’t actually like this. I like the feeling after and feeling motivated but it’s quick and easy to go back to old habits. Actually yes, it’s part discipline and part not having a purpose. I would rather read or write then put myself through pain. And what’s the point I’m not training to be an athlete nor am I about to be on the front cover of Vogue… so what’s the point in putting myself through this torture?
Yes. I got super slim off them, I was also early twenties and didn’t know they were basically speed! My hair fell out, I kept getting bites that were quick to get infected. I was cold not matter how hot it was and I was constantly in a fowl mood (the model agencies loved it!)
As soon as I stopped my course, the hunger came back with vengeance! I abused McDonalds and just could not get enough. My body literally took over my will. It was then I realised it was all good and well losing the weight, but not I realised I had to keep it off!
That pose! Eek! 😣
Trying to keep up an unrealistic lifestyle:
I was surrounded by Personal Trainers and Models all giving me extreme weight loss advice. I began a cycle of rebelling and bingeing, then punishing myself at the gym. Only now do I realise I had/have bulimic tendencies. I wasn’t throwing up so I didn’t see it like that. The more I was ordered to loose weight from agencies the more I got scared and ate more. I should have realised then my heart wasn’t really in it.
I normalised these extreme lifestyles and berated myself if I couldn’t keep up. May I add a lot of these people (not all) had some kind of ‘help’ in the form of slimming pills, detox teas, fat burners or in some extreme cases steroids.
This lifestyle was not for me. I might have been a lot slimmer but I was miserable.
Ok so no pills.
But I can drink warm water, cayenne pepper, maple syrup and lemon instead of food right?
Wrong. You’re supposed to do this for a few weeks, I got to two days. It was awful! And at the end just lost water instead of fat, and was more hungry than I’ve ever been so started eating twice as much as before.
I hear baby food works?
Tried it. Apart from it being gross, it has no nutritional value. I’ve recently learnt if you don’t give your body what it wants it keeps sending the hunger pangs until you do. That’s why even though you feel full after a whole day of carbs your appetite will increase because A) You’re eating more to compensate and more eating will lead to eating more and B) Your not helping your body so it starts nagging. If you want your body to help you, you have to help it.
A few of my friends have tried detox teas and pills that make you drain out the fat when you go to the loo (eww). I was always too scared and yes they had some public accidents… so I really REALLY don’t recommend this!
I liked this as it got to the root cause of my erratic eating patterns. I also think there’s an underlining belief women shouldn’t have a healthy appetite. I know there’s a lot of men who like but I’ve had experiences where some men have made comments, that I think were used to shame me.
‘Mind your fingers’
‘You’re not still hungry are you?’
‘Gosh you like you’re food don’t you’
‘Are you really getting more food’
‘You don’t have discipline’
‘That’s a lot of food you have on your plate’
I will eat however I bloody well like, and it’s not for you to make comments!
One of the books suggested really listening to your body to see when it’s full and to stop there even if you haven’t finished your food. I HATE seeing food to go to waste! As a kid I didn’t care, I left what I didn’t want…wish I could do that now. Think that comes from too many years of being guilt tripped about all the starving children there are in the world. That’s quite a lot to put on a child. I wish I could go back to my natural hunger thermostat.
I’ve come to realise it’s not all my fault. I’m not giving myself a get out of jail free card I admit my motivation and discipline could be worked on. Lets concentrate on what we can do.
Over the next year I will be experimenting from a more self compassionate approach and see how this works. This isn’t to say I’m going to be over lenient with myself I will still have boundaries (with myself), I’ve tried being hard on myself and all it does is demotivate me and makes me reach for the chips!
I’m going to start with the basics. I haven’t got a work routine at the moment so I have to make one for myself. I need to get to know myself properly and what works for me, and what changes I need to make. For example, I only watch what I eat when I’m exercising otherwise what’s the point (needs changing).
Sleep is so important. We can survive days/weeks without food, but sleep more than two night and we start going mad. Even that’s a stretch!
Exercise increases our energy levels. But the first hurdle into exercising when your already burn out is exhausting and I think tough on the body. So how do we get new energy to exercise? More sleep.
I’m guilty of this electronics keeping me awake, my stupid phone beeping to tell me I’ve got a new junk email or what the weather is going to be tomorrow. Turn it all off. I know it’s boring and tempting to what more episode, (I’m not denying that you need some winding down time after work or school).
Make sure you got to bed at a certain time each night. This takes practise, even if your are going to bed most nights on time, that is good enough. I understand this is especially difficult with kids.
I’ve come to realise anything you put before your mental and physical health you ultimately lose. For example, putting work before your health can make you sick. You get sick you cannot work.
If your anything like me, my mind is constantly racing and my body is constantly exhausted relying on caffeine to get me through the next hour. This is not uncommon for Londoners.
So this will be my first step is to sort out my sleep.
I’m not a big fan of cooking, but I’m easily infuriated by the food prices in London. How is a Sandwich close to £5. It’s ridiculous!
- Grill Pan …. I bought this as you can through on some salmon or meat with some vegetables. It’s quick and easy especially if you want a nutritious healthy meal that’s quick!
- Frylight ….This is 1 kcal per spray. I love Olive Oil and it’s somewhat healthy for you, but just in the beginning it’s best to start with something lighter.
- Tupperware….You’re going to need a lot of these. I suggest 1 set of different sizes, and a few set’s of the same size. Preferably one’s you can carry around with you.
- Trainers … I used to run a lot and ended up getting Shin Splints if you want to know what they are click here. It’s really painful and are normally caused by ill fitting or old trainers. I recently started getting pain at the side of my legs and when I went to buy some new trainers in ‘Lilywhites’ they had a device where you stepped onto it and it told you where you put the most pressure on your feet and presented me with the perfect trainer to solve the problem. My foot arch is really high so I over compensate by putting all the weight on the outside of the foot causing a ripping pain on the outside of the leg.
That’s about it really.
Next step is to find out what you enjoy. This will give you a taste for exercise in an enjoyable way. The subconscious is programmed to want more of things so as soon as you get those endorphins going the brain will want more. And you start seeing results, the brain will want more.
I like walking so I’m going to try and incorporate that more. I also use a website called ‘Borrow my doggy’ where you can borrow an owners dog in your area to take out for a while. I fell in loves with Alaska, she’s a 3 year old Siberian Husky !
I check my phone after and I’ve normally done about 20,000 and not even noticed!
I’ve always wanted to try dance, so I’m going to give that a go. Also if you like running maybe you could do it with a friend. Or even swimming? Anything to get you interested again.
If you suffer with depression I know exercise is the equivalent to an anti-depressant but depression itself is starting to be recognised as a physical illness. It drains your body of energy and makes you feel like your being dragged down constantly.
Don’t feel bad if you can only do a small amount, this isn’t suggested because your not capable. It’s suggested because like anyone with a chronic illness it’s a sometimes a little bit more difficult, and it’s not fair as your not always starting at the same place in the race as everyone else. Trust me I should know.
Sometimes I see if anyone’s around to go for a walk with. Or I walk and treat myself at the end with a coffee. Because even though it seems like a small step, the way your body is, it would probably equal to someone who isn’t suffering with depression going on a 30 minute run! There’s actually I great app I sometimes use that builds up your fitness over time. You actually start with mainly walking! It’s called ‘Running for weight loss’ and because it’s interval training it builds up your fitness gradually, which is actually the key for consistency.
I’m never going to have the body of Pussy Cat Doll because I don’t have a Nutritionist, Personal Trainer on hand as well as probably doing 10 hours of dancing a day. I’m always going to be curvy and have soft parts. There’s a saying that goes …. ‘I wish I could be fat like I was at 25’. This is so true! I’ve always seen myself as over weight even when I was actually clinically underweight. And this is because you really can’t have an objective view of yourself as you see your body in your minds eye.
For example, if I always see myself as over weight, my brain will think that’s my natural state. So it will self sabotage to ensure that internal image is matched with reality. That’s why it’s really important to recognise and celebrate your progress. Taking photo’s helps.
Just a note: Don’t be too discouraged by the first picture that comes out. Remember weight in transient. Granted we all have different genes, lifestyles, metabolisms etc… but things like appetite, health and weight are adaptable. Weight should have no attachment to your sense of self… easy to say I know. But it shouldn’t. Also remember not all of this is your fault there are many factors that contribute to your weight stress and life events, bad quality food that’s too easily available, marketing ploys to play on your hunger, energy levels, criticism from the external etc….
Also if you look at any ‘diet’ it comes down to the same.
Healthy Eating + Exercise = Weight Loss.
I will obviously document my progress through out with photographs and evidence. I’m going to give myself a year because I think that’s how long it takes to make something a lifestyle choice. Some people may do it in a shorter time, and after a month it does become a habit but a real consistent lifestyle, for me, take around a year.
This blog also gives me a purpose to keep motivated. As I know how horrible it is to hate your body and feel trapped in this cycle of always being starving followed by guilt and shame. Something’s got to give!
I hope you can take away some tips and motivation from my posts.
Here we go!