Day #10: Confession time

No, I didn’t binge. But I also didn’t weigh myself today.

I wasn’t scared to or anything, but I’ve been away on tour and my scales were just too heavy to bring (ironically!). They’re about 12lbs in weight, and lugging them down to Portsmouth would have meant there wasn’t room for everything else I needed to take in the suitcase. (And, possibly, that I couldn’t even lift the suitcase.)

I really intended to take them, as you probably read in my New Year’s Eve post – but it just wasn’t viable.

I woke up in a hotel in Portsmouth and there were no scales in the bathroom. I mostly avoided the breakfast buffet though, so that’s a win!

God I’m knackered though. Travelling really takes it out of you, which makes no sense as you’re sitting on your bum most of the time. Perhaps your body has to continually adjust to the motion or something?

Anyhow, next time I go on tour (next Tuesday and Wednesday, to the Isle of Wight) I’ll bring my tape measure along. It weighs next to nothing and should give me an indication of how I’m doing weight-wise.

Thanks for bearing with me, lovelies.

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Marc Alexander, Sammy and Jelly, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Graham Nunn and Marcus P Knight.

They receive a whole host of exciting rewards in addition to this credit, including my secret never-published fiction and top secret photos! If you enjoyed this post, please support me on Patreon

 

 

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Day #9: Slipping up

Yesterday I slipped up, on the first tour date of the year. The super-lovely host gave me a box of Cadbury’s Heroes as a thank you present. I was feeling nauseous on the train due to a car journey, and thought ‘I’ll just have a couple of chocolates to settle my stomach’. One train journey later, the box was empty…

The thing about slipping up and bingeing is I always berate myself with negative self-talk. ‘Look what you’ve done! You’ll never be slim now. Is there any point in trying? You’ve undone all your good work.’ We speak to ourselves like we would never speak to a friend, let alone a child.

My lovely Facebook friend Vladimir Pyaskovsky sent me this BBC article on sticking to your goals. It’s worth reading in full, but it’s about cutting yourself slack and building in room for setbacks on the road to achievement. The final paragraph says “Perhaps, try not to be too hard on yourself if you receive a setback. The evidence suggests that we catastrophise our failures when we really ought to see them as excusable slips.”

In the spirit of that: I’ve still lost 6.2lbs in the past eight days. I just have to get up and keep going, and be kinder to myself. So now I’m going to go and have some porridge and berries, and start the new day.

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Diet update

Days: 8

Total loss: 6.2lbs

Still need to lose: 61.2lbs

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Marc Alexander, Sammy and Jelly, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Graham Nunn and Marcus P Knight.

They receive a whole host of exciting rewards in addition to this credit, including my secret never-published fiction and top secret photos! If you enjoyed this post, please support me on Patreon

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Day #8: Over half a stone gone!

Just a tiny blog today (as I’m preparing to go to Chelmsford) to say that in just seven days, I’ve shed 7.2lbs. Super-happy and determined to keep it up!

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Marc Alexander, Sammy and Jelly, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Graham Nunn and Marcus P Knight.

They receive a whole host of exciting rewards in addition to this credit, including my secret never-published fiction and top secret photos! If you enjoyed this post, please support me on Patreon

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Day #7: Setting off on tour!

Just a quick blog today as I’m preparing for my first two tour dates of the year: Chelmsford tomorrow, and Portsmouth on Thursday. There are now so many dates on the poster, we’ve had to put it on two columns!

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It’s really difficult eating healthily and lightly when you’re on tour. Well-meaning and kind people always try to ply you with food, and most food you can buy on the go is unhealthy.

To solve this problem, I decided to buy peanuts to snack on when on tour, measuring them out in batches of 100 calories. However, because I wanted to be as healthy as possible, I decided to buy unsalted raw peanuts. Wrong! Today I discovered that unroasted and unsalted peanuts taste terrible. That must be why literally 99% of the peanuts you can buy are roasted and salted.

So I’ll be taking a trip to Tesco tomorrow to buy some healthy low-calorie snacks. Preparation is everything, as hunger is the enemy of dieting. If you let yourself get super-hungry – say, on a long train journey – that’s when you give into temptation, the snacks trolley and vending machines.

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Diet update

Days: 6

Total loss: 6.4lbs

Still need to lose: 61lbs

I mostly ate beans, houmous and oatcakes yesterday, as well as a very nice salad from EAT.

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I also tried to buy Greggs’ new vegan fake steak bake, but they’d sold out. Boooooooo!

Anyone want some raw peanuts? I have two giant jars full.

As ever, I hit my Apple Watch targets.

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Takeaways

Be aware that it’s harder dieting while travelling, and easier to fall prey to temptation.

Preparation is key. Go on a special shopping trip beforehand so you can pack and take healthy low-calorie snacks with you.

Quote of the Day

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ― Albert Einstein

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Marc Alexander, Sammy and Jelly, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Graham Nunn and Marcus P Knight.

They receive a whole host of exciting rewards in addition to this credit, including my secret never-published fiction and top secret photos! If you enjoyed this post, please support me on Patreon.

Rewards start from just $1 a month for my weekly Patreon email. It’s like this blog, but I’m even more open in it (if you can imagine that!)

 

 

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Day #6: Why weight loss and healthy eating aren’t the same thing

Today I got a DM on Twitter from one of my favourite celebrities. They wrote:

“Read your blog about yet another strict regime to lose weight and then an immediate breach of it by polishing off an ice cream and then scoffing a muffin or whatever it was! The only way you’re ever going to conquer this is if you’re totally serious about it. xx”

I replied:

“You missed the bit where I still lost weight those days though! xx”

They retorted:

“That’s the point. You start losing weight then you spoil that by doing something daft. xx”

Lovely though they are, I have to beg to differ: it actually doesn’t really matter what you eat when it comes to weight loss. Eat less energy than you burn and you’ll lose weight.

Yes, there are arguments that a calorie isn’t a calorie – that the body absorbs more of some substances than others, etc – but it’s perfectly possible to lose weight while eating absolute crap. I know because I’ve done it.

I also know because a nutrition professor called Mark Haub proved this point by losing weight on a ‘convenience store diet’. In 2010, he ate a daily diet of powdered doughnuts, chocolate bars, Doritos, Oreos and sugary cereals for ten weeks, and lost 27lbs in the process.

Even though he was eating junk, the article above reports that Haub’s health indicators improved due to the weight loss: ‘his “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his “good” cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent.’

OK, so I’m not saying it’s the best idea to lose weight by eating doughnuts and chocolate. It’s certainly not my intention to lose my weight that way – I’d rather eat a healthy vegan diet as I know it’s better for my body. But if I do eat the odd muffin or chocolate ice cream, my weight loss won’t suffer, as long as I stick to 1,200 calories a day.

Conversely, yesterday I ate the perfect vegan diet:

Four slices of sourdough toast with almond butter and banana
Five super seeded oatcakes with houmous
Salad made of cherry tomatoes, celery, coriander, button mushrooms and yellow pepper
Big can of baked beans on sourdough toast
Raspberries and blackberries

… however, I ate too many calories to lose weight, and so my weight today was the same as it was yesterday.

Scales.jpg

Diet update

Days: 5

Total loss: 5.6lbs

Still need to lose: 61.8lbs

Exercise: hit all my Apple Watch goals again but didn’t do a run (if I had, it would have helped burn calories).

Apple Watch 1

Apple Watch 2

Takeaways:

It doesn’t really matter what you eat when it comes to weight loss. Eat less energy than you burn and you’ll lose weight.

A nutrition professor, Mark Haub, proved this point in 2010 by losing weight on a ‘convenience store diet’. He ate a daily diet of powdered doughnuts, chocolate bars, Doritos, Oreos and sugary cereals for ten weeks, and lost 27lbs.

Even though he was eating junk, Haub’s health indicators improved: ‘his “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his “good” cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He also reduced his level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent.

It’s not the best idea to replicate his diet. Of course, a healthy diet (ideally vegan with some fish) is much better for your body.

However: if you do eat the odd muffin or chocolate ice cream, your weight loss won’t suffer, as long as you eat fewer calories than you expend.

Conversely, eat more than you burn and you won’t lose weight – however healthy the food is.

Quote of the Day

“You didn’t gain all your weight in one day; you won’t lose it in one day. Be patient with yourself.” – Jenna Wolfe

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Marc Alexander, Sammy and Jelly, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Graham Nunn and Marcus P Knight.

They receive a whole host of exciting rewards in addition to this credit, including my secret never-published fiction and top secret photos! If you enjoyed this post, please support me on Patreon.

Rewards start from just $1 a month for my weekly Patreon email. It’s like this blog, but I’m even more open in it (if you can imagine that!)

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Day #5: How to identify your triggers

It’s odd: I feel guilty and ashamed of binge-eating and being fat, but we all have flaws. In terms of other addictions, some people drink to excess; some smoke; some take drugs; some eat junk food for every meal. And on a lesser level, some people can’t function without coffee first thing in the morning – which I think is still a minor addiction.

Then there are worse behavioural flaws that affect other people more: some folk have affairs time and time again, some are terrible gossips, some bitch about their friends. And some lose their temper a lot: I know an aggressive man who regularly pushes his partner around and shouts at his children. I’d much rather binge-eat than do anything like that.

Anyhow, becoming aware of your behaviour is the first step to fixing it. Identifying the triggers for the behaviour can be really helpful, as you can then try and avoid or avert them, and therefore reduce the behaviour.

The triggers are the prompts that directly precede your unhealthy behaviour and lead to it, seemingly inevitably. Different behaviours will have different triggers; but to give you an example, here are my triggers for binge-eating (the fixes for them are in the takeaways further down):

Food that’s going to waste. When I grew up, if I left food on my plate, one of three things would happen: I’d either be hit, force-fed, or I’d find the same food on my plate for the next meal, and the next, until I ate it. That programmed me with deep anxiety about leaving food, and to this day I’ll eat my daughter’s food that she leaves on her plate.

Free food. I have no idea why, but if food is free, it’s like my brain gives me carte blanche to binge on it. For this reason, I’ve had to avoid Slimming World ‘taster evenings’ where everyone brings a dish. They’re usually low-calorie dishes, but if you eat enough of anything it’s going to add up. I’ve also avoided parties for this reason.

Being in the kitchen. Naturally, I associate the kitchen with eating, and that triggers my hunger even if I wouldn’t otherwise be hungry.

When everyone else is eating. I’m a very social person and love meeting up with friends. When friends are eating, it just feels wrong not to join in – and it also makes me feel deprived to see them enjoying delicious food.

Yesterday, my lovely friend Lucy came round and we played lots of board and card games with Lily. They both ate mini-muffins, and Lily ate ice cream, and so I’m reluctant to say it but I ate both. I was conservative about the amounts though, so still lost weight!

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We played Cluedo and I realised that the character Reverend Green was a dead ringer for my friend Charlie Brooker!

And I ate loads of fruit, including a mango and pineapple fruit salad and two bananas:

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Scales

Diet update

Days: 4

Total loss: 5.6lbs

Still need to lose: 61.8lbs

Yesterday I ate:

Two slices of sourdough toast with almond butter and banana
Five super seeded oatcakes with houmous
Baked beans
Raspberries and blackberries
Pineapple and mango fruit salad
THE DREADED MINI-MUFFIN AND ICE CREAM!

Exercise: hit all my Apple Watch goals again and did a 26-minute run for 2.41km (over 1.5 miles, which is amazing for someone so unfit!) but did it in two instalments.

Takeaways (with fixes):

Identifying your triggers is the first step to changing unhelpful behaviours. You can’t change something if you’re not aware of it.

When food is going to waste, give it away, either to a food bank, friends, family or neighbours. Sometimes I leave unwanted food outside my house with a ‘please take’ sign!  There’s also an app called OLIO for giving away unwanted food for free. If all else fails, cover the food in washing up liquid and throw it in the bin. It’s better that it goes in the bin than in you!

Free food. I try to think of it as free fat: ‘Look at all this free fat for your muffin top!’ That reframes the food as undesirable.

Being in the kitchen. If you have to be in the kitchen for a social event, drink tea. That way you’re busying yourself with slurping and it may trick your brain into thinking it’s equivalent to eating.

When everyone else is eating, eat fruit and veg. At least you’ll be joining in that way. No, it’s not as good (and no, I didn’t manage to avoid the mini-muffin and ice cream yesterday – so if you can’t be virtuous, be judicious with your portions!)

Quote of the Day

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Narcotics Anonymous

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Marc Alexander, Sammy and Jelly, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Graham Nunn and Marcus P Knight.

They receive a whole host of exciting rewards in addition to this credit, including my secret never-published fiction and top secret photos! If you enjoyed this post, please support me on Patreon.

Rewards start from just $1 a month for my weekly Patreon email. It’s like this blog, but I’m even more open in it (if you can imagine that!)

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Day #4: How to avoid temptation

Guys, I have good news and bad news.

The good news: I went for a run yesterday! It was only for 13 minutes, I was very slow and my massive heavy boobs were flopping about all over the place – but it was a start. I felt really proud of myself, as I had no idea I could run for that long. I was only jogging around my bedroom, accompanied by my eight-year-old singing karaoke to tracks from The Greatest Showman, but I really enjoyed it!

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Unfortunately, afterwards I felt very hungry (this is why exercise doesn’t help with weight loss). I went downstairs to eat some berries (I promise!) and saw a packet of scones just sitting there on the kitchen worktop. (If only I’d put them in the cupboard instead. Out of sight, out of mind…)

So I ate a scone. One moment it was sitting there; the next, it was in my stomach.

It was like that joke: ‘What’s the fastest cake? ‘Scone!’

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I didn’t have any strawberry jam or anything with it, thankfully. And I still weighed 0.6lbs less today. But I feel bad for eating refined flour and sugar.

Remember on Day #2, when I talked about black and white thinking? I think writing that blog and working through the thought processes involved helped me to avoid going ‘Fuck it, I’ve ruined the diet now – I might as well eat the whole packet of scones as well as all the muffins and chocolate ice cream!’

Straight afterwards, because the combination of fat and sugar triggers binges, I shovelled a load of raspberries and blackberries into my mouth. The sour unrefined sweetness neutralised the taste of refined sugar from the scone, and I think this also helped me avoid bingeing.

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Lily refuses to eat most things, so I generally have treats and desserts in the house for her when she’s here – meaning it’s an ongoing issue for my diet. Here are some tips I’ve used for avoiding culinary temptation:

Don’t have treats in the house if you’re the only person there. You might tell yourself you won’t eat them, but late in the evening after a whole day of being ‘good’, your willpower may wane.

Only buy the amount of food you’re going to use. If you have guests to stay (or a small chocoholic child!), ensure you’re not buying more food than they can reasonably eat in the time.

When they go home, wrap up the food and give it to them to take with them. NB Doesn’t work for ice cream.

If they leave the food at your house, get rid of it as soon as they’ve left. I had a little Christmas party for Lily and her friends, and sadly no one ate much (too busy partying!), so there was loads of food left over. I ate lots (using the age-old seasonal excuse ‘it’s Christmas!’) but there was way too much even for me, so I ended up taking it all to the food bank – except for the mince pies, which I gave to my next door neighbour.

If you live with flatmates or a partner who have bad food in the house, ask them to hide it. I used to ask Graham to put his sugary breakfast cereals in the car, which I didn’t have access to, and it drove him mad! But he did it. If you can’t see the food, you’re less likely to eat it.

Wrap up and regift presents. Well-meaning people often give me boxes of chocolate. They’re right that I love them, but they don’t exactly fit in with my diet. Wrap them up beautifully and regift them ASAP before you’re tempted to eat them.

Freeze food. Bread, cake, muffins and scones can be frozen. If you’re tempted to binge, you’ll have a window of time to reconsider while you’re unfreezing them. (Again: this doesn’t work with ice cream. Avoid ice cream!)

Throw it away. If all else fails, cover the food in washing up liquid and throw it in the bin. I personally hate wasting food and will do anything not to have to do this – but if it’s perishable and past its sell-by date, it’s better that it goes in the bin than in you.

If you start to binge on desserts, eat some fruit immediately as the unrefined sugar will neutralise the taste of refined sugar and stop your craving.

Remember that, often, the urge to binge overrides rationalism. Making it as inconvenient to procure ‘bad’ food as possible will work in your diet’s favour.

Look in the mirror before you binge. Still want to binge now you’ve seen your double chin and overhanging muffin top? Thought not!

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Diet update

Days: 3

Total loss: 4.4lbs

Still need to lose: 63lbs

Yesterday I ate:

Two slices of sourdough toast with almond butter and banana
Salad made of cherry tomatoes, radishes, celery, coriander, button mushrooms and yellow pepper
Five super seeded oatcakes with houmous
Raspberries and blackberries
THE DREADED SCONE!

Exercise: hit all my Apple Watch goals again and did a 13-minute run.

Takeaways

Don’t have treats in the house if you’re the only person there. If they don’t exist, you won’t be tempted to eat them.

Only buy the amount of food you’re going to use. If you have guests to stay, ensure you’re not buying more food than they can reasonably eat in the time.

When they go home, wrap up the food and give it to them to take with them. NB Doesn’t work for ice cream.

If you live with flatmates or a partner who have bad food in the house, ask them to hide it. If you can’t see the food, you’re less likely to eat it.

If they leave the food at your house, get rid of it as soon as they’ve left. Remember the food bank as many hungry people would be grateful for the food – or, if you don’t have one nearby, your neighbours might welcome packaged food.

Wrap up and regift presents of boxes of chocolate. Wrap them beautifully and regift them ASAP before you’re tempted to eat them.

Freeze food. Bread, cake, muffins and scones can be frozen. If you’re tempted to binge, you’ll have a window of time to reconsider while you’re unfreezing them. (Again: this doesn’t work with ice cream. Avoid ice cream!)

Throw it away. If all else fails, cover the food in washing up liquid and throw it in the bin. If it’s perishable and past its sell-by date, it’s better that it goes in the bin than in you.

If you start to binge on desserts, eat some fruit immediately as the unrefined sugar will neutralise the taste of refined sugar and stop your craving.

Remember that, often, the urge to binge overrides rationalism. Making it as inconvenient to procure ‘bad’ food as possible will work in your diet’s favour.

Look in the mirror before you binge. Seeing how overweight you are will often snap you out of wanting to overeat. (Or, if you’re in shape, think of losing your lovely figure!)

Quote of the Day

“If you’re still looking for that one person to change your life, take a look in the mirror.” – Lewis Howes

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Marc Alexander, Sammy and Jelly, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Graham Nunn and Marcus P Knight.

They receive a whole host of exciting rewards in addition to this credit, including my secret never-published fiction and top secret photos! If you enjoyed this post, please support me on Patreon.

Rewards start from just $1 a month for my weekly Patreon email. It’s like this blog, but I’m even more open in it (if you can imagine that!)

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