Confessions of a Food-aholic!
I always pride myself as being as honest and open about both my weight loss journey and all other topics covered in my blogs and as I sat down last night working on the laptop with “Confessions of a Shopaholic” playing away in the background it struck a chord with me and in turn I suppose has prompted this blog! Not so much of the factual and “useful” information in todays blog – but never the less, I’m sure will resonate with many of the members and followers of Why Weight Ireland 🙂
My name is Hannah Nolan and I am a Food-aholic! Recovered Food-aholic?! Well, yes, for the most part – but like anyone else, and unlike what some people may think, yes I am also human too and have my moments like anyone else where the “good” Hannah goes out of the window and the “bad” Hannah returns. My theory is that for the majority of people who are overweight, or who have been overweight is that it is like some sort of addiction almost. Once the problem has been established over a period of time it is hard to crack. But unlike drinking, smoking and other addictive habits, you can’t just go cold Turkey – we HAVE to eat to survive! So that makes it even harder. For me – the reason is often one of complete bewilderment. Why did I just eat that??! I don’t actually know? Do I need to have that slice of cake……NOPE, but I’m having it anyway! Just before Christmas last year I was working away with my father doing up the Studio and I popped out to get us a treat of Chocolate brownies. Anyway, it must’ve been sitting or prepared next to a lasagna or something similar as when I bit into it the taste was not delicious and chocolaty as expected but literally tasted like a lasagna flavoured brownie (not that I don’t like lasagna – I LOVE it…..but just not in a chocolate brownie). Anyway – it was GROSS……..but despite being the worst tasting brownie I’d ever had, guess what – I ate it all anyway like the real trouper that I am 🙂 Afterwards I’m left thinking – “Hannah – you have just eaten probably the guts of 500 calories of something that has made you feel sick and didn’t even taste good…..Why??!” I suppose my answer to myself was, that I had absolutely no idea why I’d continued to eat it even though it tasted nasty – perhaps because it was cake and my mind was telling me I wanted cake so I’d bloody well eat it no matter how sh*te it tasted. I don’t know. I honestly don’t. But what this does show me yet again – is that this deep-rooted issue with food is a lot more complex than many people can ever imagine.
I have spoken to people before who have never had an issue with their weight, and although in MY mind now I also agree that the concept is quite clear “Eat less + Exercise More = LOSE WEIGHT” – it really is rarely as cut and dried as that. So hard to explain to someone why you have just sat and eaten something you don’t even want, or forced yourself to finish a plateful that was too big but it happens. And the problem is OURSELVES!
For a long time I lived in complete denial and just like Rebecca Bloomwood in confessions of a shopaholic (if you haven’t read the book do) really didn’t seem “click” until I had actually admitted to MYSELF that there was a problem. You can tell yourself as many times as you like that you haven’t eaten “that much” or your portion sizes are “small” or that you eat “all the right foods” but in reality – quite often our own perceptions of what is actually an adequate amount are completely out of touch with reality. We kid ourselves into believing our own lies. There are many reasons why people gain weight and some cannot be helped due to medical reasons BUT for the huge and vast majority it comes down to what you are putting in your mouth!
So here is my honest and truthful confession. Pretty much since the school holidays broke up my diet has seen a little too many naughty things creep back in. A little slice of cake here, an extra spoon of sugar there (because I’d run out of sweetener and couldn’t be bothered to remember to pick some up from the shop), eating out because I couldn’t face the mess of cooking in the house……..small thing after small thing after small thing. I gained a few pounds – which for me not really a big thing as I can take care of that so hopped back into the diary for a few weeks just to keep check of everything……but what I found myself doing was the complete opposite of what I was supposed to be doing. I was supposed to be being HONEST with the diary to see how much I was eating in comparison to my exercise. When I would look in the diary and type in my evening meal for example if I’d eaten out and the calories popped up at 900 calories for a curry I didn’t like the answer…….so went back into the diary and instead found a different curry (low fat option from tesco or something similar) saw it was only 350 calories and thought “Yep – that will do”…..urm HELLO???!!! Who the hell am I kidding?! Really you eat out and have a big ass curry with rice, poppadoms and naan bread and you actually believe that would add up to 350 calories? In reality I probably ate more than 900 calories on the meal after robbing the leftovers off the kids plates, and even more because of the 2 glasses of wine that I chose to “forget” about.
Then of course myself and the family went away for 2 weeks to visit family and friends in England. Well – after my clothes already starting to feel tight I start talking to my husband about it “I just don’t understand it?!” I’m saying to him…..”I’m being really good?!” – “I mean I’ve had a few treats but nothing excessive……….sure I’ve hardly eaten anything ALL day”. But now I’m home and the scales are telling me I’ve gained more than I’d like to comment about the reality is sinking in and I’m actually in slight disbelief that I’ve managed to convince myself over the last 6 weeks that I’ve been “quite good”. Most days in fairness I wasn’t THAT bad (here I go again with the excuses ha ha) but for me it was all the small little “extras” that I wouldn’t usually have. When I’m at home I don’t really drink wine except on the odd occasion. On Holiday it was a glass of wine (or 2) every night. Then of course we ate out with friends and family and for the most part again chose the lowest calorie option on the Menu – however when I added the desert every other day into the mix this was another “extra” that I wouldn’t usually have. At home if I have a dessert or something sweet, I have already accounted for it by making sure I have done extra exercise in ADVANCE so that I’ve burnt it off before it even touches my lips. My first week away I was fabulous with the running and got 6 days done and dusted no bother, but the second week I just “rested” and the body no longer burning energy, coupled with the glass of wine and the dessert = weight gain 🙁
I suppose the main thing I am trying to say here – is that NOBODY is perfect. EVERYBODY has slip ups and that is OKAY! It is how you deal with them when they arise that matters. As we arrived back home and I heaved my very tired ass out of the car I looked in the mirror and said “NO MORE HANNAH”. The next morning I weighed in, and yes I was very surprised with the numbers staring back at me (in a bad way). Yes I was completely annoyed with myself – but I KNOW that no matter what – the line is always drawn back in place and I will NEVER let this thing beat me. I like chocolate, I like cake, I like crisps and I like eating out, sometimes I like take-away even though I know its not good for me (and actually doesn’t really taste so nice anymore since I’m not used to the fat content). But this does not and will not define me. I am also a mother and role model to my 2 young children and it is MY actions towards food that will affect their lives and their health as they grow. I am a mentor to others who are battling to stay on track with their own food and I am a trainer who helps people to get into shape. But above all of these things – I am a human being who has had a weight issue, and probably always will have some sort of issue with over eating. It’s hard to control sometimes, and occasionally we lose a little momentum, we lose a little bit of control and we fall off the wagon. But this happens to EVERYONE who has issues with food and overeating. The key is to keep going, keep pushing forward and keep believing that you deserve to be the person you want to be. I know that by keeping my head down, sticking to my fitness plan and being honest with my food diary I will have those gained pounds removed in a week or two. Hard work pays off and if you want it hard enough then it will happen.
I have worked hard to maintain my weight for over 3 years now. Some days I slip up but most days I’m on track. To say it’s “easy” I don’t think will ever be true – but what I can say is that it is easier than it was before I lost the weight. My mind allows me to believe that change IS possible and I have proven that to myself time and again. With my initial weight loss, with improving my fitness and with my new passion and love of running – there are things I never believed possible and they have come true. Dream, believe and achieve. 🙂
When you start a journey it is very easy to give in to that little voice that tells you to eat, that makes you believe that you’re doing okay when you’re not. But as time goes on that voice gets quieter and the stronger, more confident voice begins to be heard. You become more in control, you enjoy being in control of your own body and you DESERVE IT! But if you give up, or put it off again and again it will just never happen. You need to be honest, you need to be honest with those trying to help you and the most important is that you need to be honest with YOURSELF.
I put a post up on Facebook a few days ago letting everyone know it was still 4 months until Christmas and still LOTS of time to refocus and shift LOTS of weight before then, and do you know what??! The amount of people who have emailed or called who have said that they were actually going to wait until New Year to “start” until they saw that post is incredible. It really does just show how much we underestimate our own abilities to succeed in something. Perhaps it is because we are so used to failing it becomes something that just gets put on the back burner yet again instead of just telling yourself you CAN! Just look at some of our recent success stories – Laura who reached her goal weight and lost 3 stone in less than 4 months and Jackie who is well on her way through her weight loss journey and has already lost 3 stone in just 13 weeks! Now with those kind of proven results why would you chose to wait?! There does need to be that positive mind set in place. The motivation DOES need to be there, and if you are not in the right place of mind then, no, it likely won’t work. But if you can work with yourself on a day-to-day basis, make small steps and be truthful with yourself then you know – you may just reach for those stars and even grab one 🙂
Never, Never, NEVER give up x
My name is Hannah Nolan and I am a Food-aholic!…..(reformed…..almost) xx
What are your confessions? – feel free to send them to me email@example.com and I’ll share them on the Why Weight Ireland Facebook page www.facebook.com/whyweightireland. Sharing your confessions can give you a clean slate and encourage you to get going again 🙂
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