It all started on Easter weekend, when I went to the Gold Coast for my niece’s wedding.
You see I have a thing about not putting on weight. I like to look a certain slimness, and I maintain some discipline with how I eat so I don’t put on weight – or more importantly size. I like having muscle too, and I’d never want that skinny fat look, or a middle aged, no muscle, thick around the waist look. (You see I’m really quietly vain, and I have a certain image to maintain, with being a nutritionist and all, you might notice I only post photos of me I like.)
In reality I’d like to look like this all the time:
No – this picture is not now – this was 8 years ago, after one of those 3 month challenges. I was starving at this point and once the 3 months was over I had no motivation to maintain the hours of gym and low cal body builder type diet I was on to maintain it. Pretty normal post challenge behaviour really.
I put a bit of weight back on after this – not piles, I wouldn’t let myself do that… I stuck to what worked – a zone-ish diet, because it kept my blood sugar stable and it kept me at an okay weight. When I discovered Paleo eating and CrossFit about 2 years ago, I dropped size, and stayed there – almost back to this but not quite (about 3 – 4 pounds more, and not more than just 1 cm more on waist and hips). That’s okay, I fit into all the clothes I want to (and my usually DD chest stays at around a D; I know there are those that think I’m lucky, but me – I’d rather be a standard C).
I eat paleo, and keep an eye on portion size, but I’m not starving to stay slim. I skip meals occasionally, but never get that nasty low blood sugar I used to get. I CrossFit twice a week, I’m no athlete, but it feels good and keeps me strong.
Recently though, my weight and size has sneaked back up, and I have to admit, I don’t like it, I’m never happy about putting on weight, as I said I have a thing about it – always have.
I could blame my thyroid – which probably has something to do with it, I have sky high thyroid anti-bodies, i.e auto-immune thyroid disease. Despite this, I have no symptoms, I had a thorough checkup with the endocrinologist. (It’s improved since I’ve been on a strict gluten free paleo diet)
I could blame peri-menopause, this too I’m sure is contributing. Again I have no symptoms, the only time I got hot flushes was before I cut gluten out strictly about 18 months ago.
(I could cheat and get liposuction I guess, but I’m not like that, I don’t like short cuts, anyway, it doesn’t solve the problem)
But actually, it all started when I traveled to Australia for the family wedding. I ate more – especially the yummy macaroons one of my nieces made. I got back on the snacking and sugar bandwagon, I started mindless eating. I ate crappy carbs and didn’t balance my meals with protein. My blood sugar swung up and down and I lost my sense of appetite control. I finished off my kids fruit salad from breakfast, after they’d raced out the door to school without finishing it. I grabbed bits of food every time I went past the kitchen. I’ve been drinking more wine and this led to – helping myself to an extra helping of (paleo) dinner when I wasn’t even hungry. The occasional icecream desert became regular. I’ve been mindless eating (and drinking).
I’m back on track as of yesterday. Back to what I know works. I guess really its mindful eating that works. I know the portion size, and food quality that works for me; being mindful is sticking to what works. I’ve caught myself several times over the last couple of days being mindless, and I’ve put food back down before it disappears into my mouth.
I’ll keep you posted. Maybe I’ll discover it is my thyroid playing up or my girly hormones (or testosterone) leaving me. But first I’ll try mindful eating with meals that start with protein, as this controls my blood sugar and appetite, and stops me overeating. Read this article from J Stanton, he’s got the cool graphs that show blood sugar and hormonal consequences of different meals. The study compares a high carbohydrate grain meal to a balanced meal with protein. How heart healthy whole grains make us fat. And I’ll stop snacking!
Comments? What is your experience?