Sunday, 19 June 2011

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

My new way of eating

It is six months since I discovered that losing weight is not about eating less and exercising more.

Since then, I have come to realise that all the years of focusing on calories and filling myself with low calorie white carbs has caused me to become so fixated on sugar, that I have become addicted, tired and more overweight than I was when I started trying to lose just half a stone when I was a teenager.
My life has been dominated by weight and food issues since I was 15, and my weight has consequently increased over this time. I used to weigh 9 stone, then it was 10, down to 9 and then up to 10 and a half, then it leapt to12, back down to 11 and there it stayed (ignoring a 13 stone smiling pregnant woman in the middle). No matter what I have done, who I have talked to or what I have been tested for (in my more desperate moments) - it's always followed the same pattern.
There is no evidence behind the 'cut your calorie intake by 3,500 per week to lose a 1lb in weight' theory. I was sold a kipper. All that happened was I became starving hungry and my body was filled up with more bowls of plain pasta, dry toast and indigestible beans.

So, in November I was introduced to Zoe Harcombe and her thoughts on food, sugar addiction, candida and food intolerances. Around this time I was also introduced to The Diet Delusion by Gary Taubes (a big tome of a book but worthwhile reading if you like science).
In February Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride and her thoughts on gut dysbiosis captivated me but then I fell off the sugar wagon with a large bump and had to shelve her ideas until I was ready to start again.
So, 5 weeks ago I dumped the sugar and processed food once more and started to look at Dr Natasha's theories again. Far too much information to cover in this little update but essentially becoming vegetarian at 14, going onto the pill at 17, consuming large quantities of low calorie carbohydrates for nearly 25 years as well as the odd course of antibiotics and periods of being vegan could well explain my low stomach acid, tummy troubles (which started when I was 16), reduced fertility, tendency towards feeling down on and off throughout the year and many many more things I could bore you with.

My epiphany goes as follows - by going vegetarian through my sheer love and emotional attachment to animals and a fear of their death, I have essentially made myself low in magnesium and zinc as well as protein deficient. My weight has increased due to the high levels of carbohydrates and my gut flora has become abnormal so I have been suffering with a bloated tummy for as long as I can remember.
Animals have still been killed and eaten regardless. I couldn't save them. I should have prioritised myself.

As many of us know, how we feel about ourselves throughout the day often depends on how flat our tummy is when we get up in the morning. My lifestyle choice increased my weight and bloated my stomach. I started doing more and more dieting but just ate more carbs and less fats (and as we were all told this was the way to eat I thought I was doing the right thing).

So, where am I now? Well, after 25 years I am happily carnivorous. Really carnivorous. My weight has fallen, gradually, but much much more noticeable is the change in my sense of balance, inner peace, hormones and self-perception. I can safely say that I am free of any worries at mealtimes and I haven't woken up cross with myself for a while. On holiday I was quite relaxed and free of the Weight Worries - as it turns out I didn't put any weight on anyway.

Perhaps most importantly I have plenty of time, and knowledge, to ensure Scarlett eats well and stays happy.

So, if you know any young teenage girls thinking about turning vegetarian - see if they would consider eating fish and make sure they eat lots of eggs and stay away from the processed food.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Happy days

I love Cornwall, but I really love Falmouth. I have been visiting for so long that I know where everything is and as soon as I unfurl from the car (6.5 hours door to door if you don't stop) I am relaxed. I am also happy.
It is hard to leave Dan for a week, especially as having Scarlett means I am now separating them.
But it is good for my soul to be with my friends, my special Cornish-dwelling friends.
Last year was a little bit of a disaster - Scarlett was two, she didn't sleep, she screamed a lot during the day, she didn't eat much and I became fraught. This year she was a dream - so much so that I spent a fortune on stripy tops for her in SeaSalt.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Our big adventure, a plant fair and some bunting!

Scarlett has always been quite interested in vehicles - tractors (red ones), buses, 'amb-lances', bikes, 'air-planes' and trains have been in her vocabulary for a long time.

When the opportunity came to take her to see Peppa Pig's Party at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft I thought we could have a real adventure and travel by train.
I kept it all secret. We had our Pyjama Drama class in the morning, and then raced home to get her dressed and ourselves to the train station. I bought her a 'mag-zine', myself a paper (still unread) and we hopped onto the 11.08.
Her little face was a picture, so excited and happy to finally be on a train. She was good company, we did some drawing, had a picnic and we looked out of the windows. 90 minutes later we arrived.
Peppa's Party was OK although a bit old for her I suspect. When you are three, you really don't understand intervals, and you are probably happy to go home after 30 minutes. By the middle of the second half, Scarlett had enough and I was left watching puppets with a screaming, angry little person face down on the carpet.
There was a moment of calm when I bought her and her cousin a £1.50 plastic windmill outside, but once we were back at the train station the tears returned.
What had seemed to quick journey out became interminably long on the way home. Much of the time, Scarlett was rolling on the filthy floor - but I just couldn't face the confrontation. Some of the time she cuddled me and sucked her thumb.
I was so pleased to be back in Ipswich and took two paracetamol as soon as I returned home.
Sadly, Peppa Pig's Party has not been mentioned - not once, not even when she has seen her on the television.
Far too much squeezed into one day for one so small?

On Sunday we took it relatively easy and visited Helmingham Hall for a Plant Sale. It was a really windy day but good weather and just the most beautiful surroundings. 15 minutes from my home and I have never been before. Incredible.
True to form I spent all the money in my purse (I don't seem to be happy until it is empty) but came home with no plants.
[I actually came home with no purse but thanks to some kind people we have now been reunited.]

I have been making garden bunting using old Sarah Smith dishcloths. My kind of easy!