27 August 2011
food glorious food
A few days ago I started a new eating plan, some might call it a diet. I'm hoping it's an answer.
Regular readers know that I have a condition called lymphoedema, so what I put into my body is important because putting the wrong things in can lead to serious fatigue, swelling and time off work. Not cool. Kooky chronic illness aside, I have always had a problem with food. Always. I had convinced myself that I just loved food too much and that if being overweight was the consequence I had to pay for that love, so be it.
It's only in the past few days that I have realised what a pathetic way of thinking that actually is. For the last twenty years, I've given myself permission to abuse myself on a daily basis. If I was doing it with drugs or alcohol, I'm sure my family and friends would have intervened but because it's food, it's completely acceptable. I convinced myself that because I've been vegetarian for the last twenty two years, that I was healthier than many, so this whole overweight thing was just my lot in life. I consider myself a reasonably intelligent, together person, so the weight thing couldn't possibly be my mindset, it surely had to be factors outside my control. Surely?
I have dieted since I was eleven. ELEVEN. It has done me no favours. I'm not a chronic dieter because I love food and cooking far too much, hell, I've even written a cookbook (I haven't printed it yet!). So far, nothing has worked for me.
Recently, a friend introduced me to the 80/10/10 way of eating and at first, I thought it was insane. I mean, eating just fruit and vegetables and huge amounts of them sounded absurd but I did some reading and watched a lot of YouTube videos about it and the penny started to drop. A little. I still wasn't 100% sold because the whole concept goes against every dietary rule I've ever been taught. It goes against the way I've lived for forty years. It's bizarre.....but then, it's not. Every time I had a question, there seemed to be an answer for it that made sense.
Walking through the supermarket the other night, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. At first, all I could think about was all the things I couldn't buy but as I started to fill my trolley with organic fruit and vegies in large quantaties, I started to feel a weight fall from my shoulders. It was the weight of too many food choices and I was now free of them. Man it felt good.
I'm not for one moment thinking that this is the answer but I'm willing to give it a try for the next month....or two.....or three. I'm on my third day of this diet and am surprisingly devoid of my usual cravings. Normally, I have chocolate almost every day, it's a staple for me but because I'm eating so much fruit (11 bananas, 4 kiwi fruit, 1 mango, half a pineapple and berries today), the sugar craving is taken care of. Now I should stress, I am not following the 80/10/10 religiously. I do it for two meals a day and for the third meal, I allow myself whatever I like. No, I don't mean pizza or pasta etc. Today and yesterday, I had a head of blanched broccoli with a cup of chickpeas and a sauce of organic tahini with lemon juice, which satisfies my savoury cravings.
Oh and then there's water, I am now drinking two to three litres a day and that is hard because I am not able to sit on a toilet all day. But I'll do this to see how it affects my weight and lymphatic system. I need a solution.
I turn forty next month, my health is ordinary, I'm unfit, I'm overweight, this is not how I imagined myself at this age. I don't hate myself but I am angry at decisions I have made, why haven't I sorted this shit out? I could beat myself up about it but I'm not going to, instead I shall put that energy into moving forward.
I've heard people say this diet is confronting and now I see what they mean. It's hard to explain but it's a journey I feel I need at the moment because I've had my head buried in the sand for too long.
Wow, quite a heavy blog post....and now I feel like a big cry. I did say it was confronting! I'll let you know how it goes.
written by jodie