What To Do When The Scales Don’t Say What You Want To Hear!

When the scales say OMG

This is week 1 on my Mind & Body Transformation Challenge and I’ve felt super motivated to succeed! I’ve been pouring my energy into the belief that I can make a difference because this time I’m addressing mind-set rather than just weight loss.

But the reality is that weight loss is still one of my priority goals and the most tangible way to measure success. A week ago my fitness buddy and I weighed, measured and photographed one another, setting out on our weight loss journey with determination, commitment and solidarity. A week later, we met again and stepped onto the scales.

Now before I tell you the result I need to fill you in on the feelings I’ve had about this impending weigh-in – I’ve been dreading it!!

Why Am I Dreading The Scales?

In the past I would be dreading the scales because I know I’ve not stuck to my plan, however, this week I have stuck to my plan and this makes weighing myself even worse! It’s easy to take a poor result when you have the excuse ‘I’ve eaten terribly’ but much more difficult if you’ve been doing everything you can! I felt more vulnerable than ever!

The verdict on the scales: my buddy had a loss and I gained 100g.  I was  gutted.

Fear Of Failure

My fear of failure reared its ugly head and said ‘I knew you couldn’t do it!’

When the scales say what you don’t want to hear it can derail the whole transformation process,  fueling negative self-talk, leading to comfort eating and then self-loathing! I’m sure that this cycle is familiar!

This week I broke that cycle!

Finding a Way to Break the Cycle of Self Loathing

To break the cycle of self loathing I had to create new emotional patterns.

These are the 5 things I did:

  1. Acknowledge the emotion and release it
  2. Reflect on what is driving the emotion
  3. Get physical right away
  4. Identify the positives & negatives
  5. Plan for next week

I found an understanding shoulder to cry on  and I let out that disappointment with strong safe arms supporting me. And then I reflected – why am I so upset about this?

It didn’t take much soul-searching to know why; it feeds my lie – the lie that whispers – you can’t change, you’ve been here before and you’re here again, you do not have what it takes to make this happen.

The insidious thing about that lie is that it calls on certain truths to prove itself – I have been here before, the only one out of a group of friends failing at the scales each week. And what happens next feels as if it’s already written – my suppressed emotion turns into an angry binge on chips, chocolate and cheese!

So I went straight to Combat, and punched the crap out of that feeling of failure!

Then I started to make a new plan; evaluating the previous week, identifying the positives and negatives, setting out to repeat the positives, eliminate the negatives.

By the end of the morning I wasn’t wallowing in self-pity, I was ready to attack the coming week with conviction!

This is the first time I can remember managing my disappointment without turning to comfort eating!

How do you manage your emotions when the scales say what you don’t want to hear? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

 

 

Further Information:

Lisa is participating in a 6 week Mind & Body Transformation program run by Advanced Fitness.

 

Does My Mum Look Big In This? #NoDietDay

International no diet day

Back on the Menu

What Does a Photo Say To You?

Photos, we treasure them.

Whether in albums, frames or on phones they are the visual journal of our lives. Photos prompt our memories to recall those feelings and nuances that often fade from recollection.

‘A picture speaks a thousand words’, but some of those words are the ones I don’t want to hear!

I can’t remember the last time I looked at a photo of myself without checking out if it made me look fat. Only very recently did it occur to me how many of life’s precious moments have been tarnished with the voice that whispers inside my head:

‘Look how fat your belly is, you look disgusting’.

Pictures that captured a moment of laughter with my kids would be pushed aside because they spoke to me of belly rolls, bulges and bingo-wings!

 

Never Slim Enough

So it will come as no surprise that I have been on a perpetual diet for as long as I can remember.

As a child I remember wanting to have a figure like my Sindy doll (a UK version of Barbie) but I became ‘plump’ as a pre-teen and overheard plenty of comments like ‘how much are you feeding her?’

In my teens I discovered the relationship between food and exercise and exploited it, training daily and thinning down. But I was never as ‘slim’ as my friend, or as attractive as her mate.

When I was in my early twenties I reached a body weight where everyone said how well I looked, and praise about my appearance flowed in.

I loved that feeling, but I still didn’t love myself. I didn’t feel as slim as the competition.

Insecurity and self-doubt dogged my perception of body image and I dieted, often unsuccessfully.

 

Eating For Two

And then I became pregnant. The only time in my life where I could love my body regardless of its shape because it carried something precious inside.

And every body else loved my body shape, because a pregnant belly is big and beautiful.

Nine months of bliss.

But all good things must come to an end, and as a first time Mum, I resorted to survival eating! This means consuming whatever you can, whenever you can, with little or no thought to the consequences!

By the time survival mode had eased up, I was pregnant with baby number two and eating for 2!

 

International No Diet Day

So where am I now? Why the reflection on body image today?

Because tomorrow is International No Diet Day, and it gave me pause for thought.

In 21 Lessons I Don’t Want My Children to Learn From Me! I wrote that I eat when I’m happy, sad, stressed or bored saying:

Don’t fill your stomach when you could fill your brain or heart instead!

Good advice but how do I apply it?

I question that gnawing empty feeling in my stomach, asking is that really a message to eat? Could it be a feeling of discontent? Wanting something but more but not knowing what? Could it be a feeling of emptiness in my heart?

When I was grieving for my Dad, that gnawing empty feeling made me want to eat, continually.

But it was an unfillable space.

When I recognised that food couldn’t comfort me, I felt lost. Food had been my friend, comforter and confidante for years. It had abandoned me.

 

When Food Fails You

When the moment arrived that I realised that food is neither my friend or my enemy, it was a wake-up call.

Food has been the object of my emotions, but I can re-direct those emotions elsewhere:

  • Into writing.
  • Into fitness.
  • Into my children.
  • Into my marriage.
  • Into travel.
  • Into adventure.
  • Into passion.

I re-directed my focus.

I choose to talk about myself with respect and care, I choose to eat for health and vitality, I choose to challenge myself, I choose to value myself based on my goals, talents, accomplishments and character.

Take the Pledge:

So join me tomorrow, on May 6, International No Diet Day, and take this pledge;

I will accept myself just as I am
I will feed myself if hungry
I will feel no shame or guilt about my size or eating

…and I will LOVE MYSELF for who I am, not who I feel pressure to be!

Check out the No Diet Day Facebook Page  and don’t diet for 1 day!

 

Decide to avoid judging others and yourself on the basis of body weight or shape.  Turn off the voices in your head that tell you that a person’s body weight or muscularity says anything about their character, personality, or value as a person.

National Eating Disorders

Resources:

The Health At Every Size Blog promotes size acceptance and has a huge range of posts supporting acceptance of a range of body shapes and sizes.

National Eating Disorders Association NEDA (Australia) provides a comprehensive Parent Toolkit as a downloadable PDF or e-document.

Psychology Today runs through a history of how No Diet Day originated in 1991 with Mary Evans Young.

 

 

In Celebration of Friends #friendsday

Besties

Besties

After bemoaning the fact that I was lacking inspiration on what to blog this week, I put the phone down to my Bestie and thought about what she’s said:

I love reading your blog posts, you always write something amazing, I don’t know where it comes from!

Don’t under-sell yourself.

That was just what I needed to hear – support, encouragement and belief.

 

And that got me thinking about friends.

What are they and why are they so important to us?

Most people seem to have at least one, some have more than a dozen.

There is definitely an invisible compass that measures the degrees of friendship, letting you know when you cross the line between good friend and BFF. Female friendships are more tricky than boyfriends, primarily because you (usually) only have one boyfriend at a time, but you can have multiple friends. Unlike multiple boyfriends, you can introduce your friends to each other and although it’s not necessarily a ‘match made in heaven’, a punch up isn’t guaranteed either!

I have shared my life with many friends from different countries, continents and cultures, and this week I’m reflecting on the complex beauty of those relationships.

My five favourite friendship quotes and how they define my friendships:

 

Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.

Shirley Maclaine.

I’m a big believer in opening your heart to people and diving in! Fear of rejection, feelings of inadequacy and over-thinking things holds too many people back from making friendships that could change lives. Don’t make strangers of people who could bring you inspiration, joy and adventure!

 

I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod, my shadow does that much better.

Plutarch

Well said Plutarch! I did not choose my friends to humour me, they are there because I value their opinions, individuality and originality! When I ask my friends what they think, I know I can expect honesty sweetened  with a measure of compassion when necessary! Because I respect my friends I work hard to be honest in return, even if that means having the difficult conversations when things aren’t quite going to plan.

 

Men kick friendship around like a football, but it doesn’t seem to crack. Women treat it like glass and it goes to pieces.

Anne Morrow Lindberg.

Wow, this one rings true! The simplicity of male friendships is enviable at times, but it’s the complexity of all that emotional investment that makes my female friendships so intense! I have had friendships that are like delicately blown glass, they are beautiful and absorbing, but so easily broken! Sometimes it’s a clumsy word, a miscommunication that shatters it, but the fall-out is usually messy and leaves more than a few scars.

 

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and be understood.

Lucious Anneaus Seneca

These friends are the BFFs of my life. When I’m with them I feel like I’m on the same page, the same wave length in mind, body and soul. These friends understand my passions, pains and petulant moods! They are the cornerstones of my life and although they number few, they are as essential as breathing itself.

 

A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often – just to save it from dying out completely.

Pam Brown.

‘Little and often’ is my personal motto; I thrive best when I receive regular texts, random acts of kindness and quirky birthday cards. I strive to give the same back but I confess that my long distance friends do suffer neglect at times. Those friends who depend on me finding the time to write an email, send a photo or make a phone call have had to survive in some very thin soil! And that is why I thank Mark Zuckerman for creating a tool that enables the lazy busy friend to connect and comment, share a photo and never have an excuse to forget a birthday! Thank you Facebook!

You help me to mulch, water and grow my friendships around the world.

 

Lets turn today into a day to celebrate a friend.

Mark Zuckerberg  #friendsday!

 

This post is dedicated to MJP my BFF with love x

 

Why PMT is my new BFF!

trickle[1]For a long time I thought that my emotional pre-menstrual week was my enemy.

PMT was the thing that caused me to bite peoples head’s off, cry uncontrollably and take my husband  to task over the  minor details in life! I couldn’t understand how it served any purpose; it put my emotions in the driving seat and I went careening off at top speed through red lights stop signs!

But, just recently I’ve come to welcome PMT as my new BFF.

Why?

I have always battled with the dominance of my head over my heart. I am primarily a thinking person, and much of my emotional activity is analysed, rationalised and sanitised before it is unleashed on the world. However, during PMT there is a dominance switch; and I become a bitch speak my mind!

Bring out the Bitch!

PMT  creates an emotional circuit from my heart to my mouth, and that cuts out the crap!

I am guilty of diluting what I really think to ensure that I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, or make anyone angry. I strive for harmony and reconciliation and as a result carefully phrase everything I say to avoid confrontation. So for my family, friends and work colleagues my PMT week is quite a shock!

For example in my family everyone asks me everything, and I don’t just mean my children! My husband is one of the worst offenders!

Where are the sultanas?  What’s for lunch? Where are my pants? Do we have any more milk?

No-one looks before they ask the question, and my husband’s questions are like a running commentary of his thoughts, an internal monologue with volume! The trouble is (and I know I’m my own worst enemy for this) I can’t help but answer! So when he habitually asks ‘where’s the salt?’ the normal response would be ‘middle shelf in front of the oil’. But during PMT week he gets my internal monologue on full-bore:

Why are you asking me stuff you already know! Open your f***ing eyes and find it yourself!

Needless to say harmony and reconciliation can go and take a run-an’-jump!

The things that flare me up during PMT week are the little things that I usually ignore but do grate on my nerves a lot of the time. PMT week gives them an airing, gets them right out there in people’s faces, and gives rise to a healthy release – either a good-old-fashioned slanging match or simply a few choice expletives!

Everyone knows where they stand at the end of PMT week and I’m reset ready for another month of harmony!

How is PMT my BFF…?

Now, an essential quality of any BFF is to provide you with a shoulder to cry on. But my new BFF can do even more than that…

At the moment I am  hurting inside most of the time, but I just don’t feel it yet. That’s because I am watching while cancer destroys the life of someone dear to me. Again.

But I don’t cry. I get down and dirty with the action of assisting in any way I can. Like a moth drawn to the flame, I can’t keep away. And the closer I get the more it burns, and the more my tears dry up.

My BFF knows this, and knows that it’s not good for me to carry unshed tears. She re-opens the connection to my heart so I can find the time to cry. Like the most nurturing friend PMT heightens my emotional response to everything around me, and generates the very tears that soothe the soul.

So I wouldn’t be without her, she keeps me sane (while driving my husband insane)!

PMT is the best friend a girl could have!