Signs of Progress

Phew – another overdue update. A few things have happened in the past little while, so I figured it might be time to share some stuff.

First – about six weeks or so, I decided to try and lose some weight. My binging hadn’t stopped (although the episodes had become even less frequent and severe) so I’m not fully healed and I know it probably wasn’t the best idea. But honestly… I had let my body fat get a bit out of control, I was struggling with my clothes fitting and didn’t like how I looked in the mirror. Not only that, but I really wasn’t paying enough attention to what I was eating – it’s great to have unconditional permission to eat, but there needs to be some balance and variety and I’d tipped the scales way too far towards sugary treats whenever I wanted them, and it had become a habit that I needed to break.

So six weeks ago I stepped on the scales for the first time in over 3 months. The number I saw didn’t scare me, but it certainly confirmed that I was way past where I felt healthy and happy, so I cut calories pretty aggressively with the aim of dropping a fair bit of fat in 4 weeks or so prior to my birthday. My intention was to then do another fat loss phase a bit closer to summer so I can look decent for the warmer months – who doesn’t want that beach body, huh?

Now I’ve got to say, I spent a lot of time very hungry in those first few weeks, but I was never tempted to binge – I think it was nice to have a goal again, instead of just drifting. The diet has gone pretty well, and I dropped enough weight that I am now reasonably comfortable with my physique (and am a very similar weight to what I was exactly 12 months ago at my last birthday).

What was even more pleasant was how generally stable my moods have stayed, despite dealing with work and kids and all the usual life stresses that come our way. And here I am now, starting to increase calories again, knowing that this is the danger zone for me in that the more I tend to eat, the more I tend to WANT to eat – but so far, things are tracking OK. And this week, there’s been some huge signs of progress:

  • On the weekend, my wife took me out to dinner to one of our favourite restaurants for my birthday. I was still dieting at this point, but was planning on just having a couple of courses and skipping dessert. In the end, I did share a dessert with my wife and not only was it bloody delicious, it was absolutely no big deal. No guilt, no problem, no dramas. Life went on.
  • The vinyl wrap is peeling off our kitchen pantry doors and we’ve had to remove them to get them fixed or replaced. This means our our pantry is open to the world – all the chocolate, biscuits and cereals are staring me in the face. Our kitchen/dining/lounge is open plan, so I can’t really avoid it unless I stay out of the living area, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to be bothering me so far and I haven’t had any major urges to go carb crazy. Maybe I’m well fed enough?
  • I’ve been back on the skim milk since I started the diet, but in my wife’s Monday shopping trip she accidentally bought me a bottle of full cream. I shrugged my shoulders and went with it, where before I may have freaked out a little. The worst thing? In my next trip to the shops I intended to grab another bottle of skim myself, but did exactly the same thing and grabbed the wrong bottle. We had four and a half bottles of full cream milk in the fridge last night, but you know what? I’m drinking it anyway – hell, it tastes better, I was only back on the skim temporarily anyway, but it just forced me to go back to full cream earlier.
  • Probably the biggest one of all was yesterday. As I mentioned, it was my birthday on the weekend, and at my workplace (like many others) we usually bring morning tea for our work colleagues to celebrate the day. I said to a few of my workmates that since I was dieting I’d do my morning tea in a couple of weeks so that I could enjoy it with everyone, but god bless ’em, a few of them banded together and put on a joint morning tea anyway for myself and another colleague who’d also just had a birthday. My first instinct was to be pissed off, but for once I realised that it was a really nice gesture (they even made a ‘healthy’ option with me in mind) and decided that I’d try and be grateful for it. So I did indeed eat some cake and sweet treats and enjoyed the moment, and for the first time in a loooong time I walked away without feeling the urgent desire to go and eat several more helpings of super rich dessert food. I ate my normal lunch and dinner, and didn’t feel guilty, and it felt like a real step in the right direction.

So that’s a little bit of what’s been happening recently. I feel as if maybe, just maybe, all that time I spent eating and getting my body fat up did definitely help to regulate my feelings around food and that I’m getting much better at dealing with negative emotions without heading to the fridge. Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel…..