Wednesday, 10 January 2018

My first week on Weightwatchers Flex

I have had such a good week and I can’t believe I’ve lost 6 pounds. I think that is probably the best start I have ever had to any diet.

My first impressions after a week on Flex are that I like it. It gives that little bit of added flexibility that I need. Things like eggs being zero points are incredibly useful!

I don’t feel that I have had to deprive myself particularly. Sometimes I have had to make decisions over choosing between two types of food but that’s been OK.

I’ve signed up for the online 3 month plan with weightwatchers. This is a big thing for me as it’s the best time I’ve officially joined since the very first time I tried it when I lost 1.5 stone going to meetings but ended up with bulimia! I just felt that this time I wanted the extra support. This means that I have use of all the facilities on the Weightwatchers app and that’s been really helpful.

I know the weight loss will slow down but I’m really buzzing to have had such a good start to my Weightwatchers journey in 2018.

Hope you are all having a great week! Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2018 - No New Year’s Resolutions

Last year I made very specific resolutions for what I was going to achieve in 2017. I just read back though and I didn’t keep to a single one. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t actually think I know anyone who makes them and actually manages to stick to them.

I have decided that, for me at least, making New Year’s resolutions is just putting another unnecessary pressure on myself. If I don’t make them then I can’t fail and break them and end up feeling really crap about myself.

So instead I am setting a theme for 2018. I want it to be my year of self care. I want to be kind to myself for the whole year. Yes, this does involve looking after my body and dealing with my weight as that impacts on my health. But it also involves recognising the fact that mentally I can be quite fragile and I need to protect myself in that respect. Perhaps it just means acknowledging the fact that it is OK to put myself first occasionally.

I hope you all have a wonderful start to 2018. Good luck if you are setting specific New Year’s resolutions and try not to be too hard on yourself if you slip up!

Speak to you next year!

Love Erica xxx

Saturday, 30 December 2017

How to control emotional eating

I am an emotional eater. For years it has been my way to cope with the crap that life throws at us all from time to time. I’ve tried to overcome it and sometimes I’ve managed to control it for long periods of time, however eventually I resort to it as an attempt to deal with whatever is going on in my life. I like to think that I am quite an intelligent person and I’m certainly quite logical so I know that this sort of mindless eating is not good and it’s not an answer. I’m not talking about cheating on my diet occasionally, it’s standing in the kitchen cooking dinner and shovelling biscuits into your mouth one after another because you feel scared, anxious or just a bit of a failure. So, as I am trying to make myself healthier again, this is an issue I need to tackle and I’ve been looking to advice and suggestions to help me combat it. 

One thing that I have found is a book by Susan Albers called “50 more ways to soothe yourself without food. I haven’t been able to buy it yet as I currently have 86p in my bank account but I’ve found several articles about it that have given me ideas about ways to control my eating. Here’s my five favourite ideas from the book.

1. Speak to yourself
I am very self critical and I know this is a common trait with emotional ideas. I live in fear of failing and not measuring up. The idea is that when you feel low, you speak to yourself in glowing and positive terms. So, for me I would say something like “Erica, you are a determined and strong person and you have skills and talents so persevere and you will get there. It’s like giving yourself a verbal pay on the back so that you can break your downward mindset.

2. Ground yourself
Emotional eating is, as it says, all tied into your emotions. The idea behind grounding yourself is that it jolts you back to the physical state and again breaks the mindset. The book suggests holding an ice cube in your hands until it melts and concentrating on how it feels. 

3. Get your favourite book
Always have your favourite book nearby, pick it up and read one page at random. Then read that page backwards. The concentration required to do this should turn your mind from food.

4. Plan out your emotional week
Every week you should sit down and look at what is ahead of you. Consider what may be emotional challenging, flag it up and try to be prepared for how it may make you feel and how you could cope.

5. Make a 5 x 5 list
This is a way to distract yourself and give yourself something else to focus on. The idea is that you write down five different lists with five things in each. The lists could be things you could do to relax,  mantras you can say to help yourself, people you can call for a chat or things to read. Basically you make the lists of anything that you think you help you to keep control of your eating. I’m definitely going to do this and stick the list on my fridge. That way, when everything starts to get a little bit too much for me, I can pick one of my 25 things and it will help me cope until the moment passes.

I think these are quite useful ideas. I’m not saying that they will cure emotional eating but I think they may help control it. The other piece of advice I have is to take one day at a time. If you are having a rough time then be especially gentle with yourself. We will get through it!

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The year of falling apart

December is the time when reviews of the past year appear so here is mine. This is a tough post to write and is a bit of a confessional. I haven’t had a good year. It makes me sad as I had done so well in 2016 but basically this year I blew it. All the hard work and effort I put in have been undone and I’m pretty much back to where I started.

So why did it happen? Same old story really. Things I can’t control in my life like crippling financial debts overwhelmed me. I was working longer hours trying to put food on the table and get my girls what they needed. Somewhere along the line, it became easier to stop caring for myself. Exercise was the first thing to go as I told myself I couldn’t spare the time away from work. Then the odd little cheat crept into my first. This escalated until I was back in the cycle of feeling sad and anxious for at least some point of every day. I tried to solve this by basically throwing food down my throat. People describe it as trying to eat your feelings, well I must have consumed mine a hundred times over.

I felt as if I didn’t have any fight left so it was easier to give up and succumb to suffocating myself in a sea of doughnuts and cakes. The more I did it, the more I hated myself and then the more I ate to try and push down that hatred. St John’s Wort has saved me many times in the past but I was in such a terrible financial state for a few months that I couldn’t even afford it. Walking around Aldi with a calculator every week and then working out what I would have to put back was a bit soul destroying and I turned to cheap crap processed food for myself. You might ask why didn’t I go to my doctors for help or ask anyone for financial help? One of my issues is a terrible fear of being viewed as a failure. I got myself in this mess so it’s down to me to sort it out. My ex husband has helped me out on numerous occasions but I try only to ask if it involves the girls as he pays me a huge amount each month anyway plus he doesn’t earn a fortune now and he has his elderymum to care for. My doctor isn’t very sympathetic and I would prefer not to involve him as I know he would make me feel bad about my weight, he’s done it before.

So how do I stop this spiral of what I suppose is a form of self abuse? I’m trying to go back to basics. I’ve been reading Russell Brands book about addiction and it has helped me to focus. This is my action plan/survival guide.

1. The new year will be my new start. It gives me a focal point.

2. I’m going back to Weightwatchers as I hope the new Flex programme will suit me better.

3. Self care is my priority for the year.

4. I need to remember that exercise will also help my state of mind.

5. There are things in my life I can’t control at the moment (debt) so I have to learn to accept that and just do what I can. That doesn’t mean I am a failure.

I hope this will help. I’m also writing a book about life as a single parent which is my first attempt at a work of fiction. It’s proving to be an interesting experience and quite a cathartic one so far.

Well, there you have it. I screwed up! Not for the first time but hopefully for the last time. I’m in a decent mindset at the moment although writing all this down has made me want to cry a little. I’m just waiting to have money at the end of December to order my Weightwatchers starter kit then I will be back here on a regular basis. I just wanted to explain to you what had happened. I’ve made a couple of attempts to get started again but this time I mean it.

Thank you if you have stuck with my blog still. I do appreciate it. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Monday, 2 October 2017

Step in the right direction

Another 1.25lbs lost this week so I'm definitely heading in the right direction. I'm especially pleased as this was without any workouts and mentally it was quite a tough week.

Work was so manic and I got a cold so although I tried to walk more, I passed on anything more strenuous. Mentally I just felt quite low and my thoughts turned to comfort food, as usual. I'm waiting for some St Johns Wort to arrive in the post so hopefully that will give me a boost. I want to do a post soon about supplements. I'm a great believer in herbal supplements and there are a few that really help me so I will tell you all about them soon.

If you follow my Instagram then you will have seen that I've been enjoying cooking lately.

Giving greater thought to my dinners and trying to make sure they look attractive as well as taste good has really helped me.

The week ahead will be more of the same. I'm planning to experiment with a few recipes including some vegan ones. I may, if this cold goes away, even go for a run or two.

Hope you all have a great week

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Monday, 25 September 2017

First week back on track

Well, I made it through the first week back on weight watchers and I'm delighted with a 3.75 lbs loss. It's actually been a lot better than I expected. I've gone back to fruit smoothies for breakfast with my trusty Nutribullet and stuck to low calorie of fruit snacks. For dinners I've tried to keep it simple and that's definitely worked. If you follow my Instagram then you will have seen that I'm a huge fan of Jamie Oliver's new book and I highly recommend it if you are looking for quick healthy and nutritious meals. The super green pasta was particularly good!

I haven't exercised much but I have tried to walk more. Work is still hectic so I didn't want to try and pack too much in as I already felt quite stressed. Will probably start to build workouts into my routine next week.

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Monday, 18 September 2017

Starting Over

Hi there,  I'm now back to trying to sort myself out properly. The summer is over and although my financial times situation hasn't really improved dramatically, I'm now in a better place mentally to try and concentrate on me. I've also accepted that for me, this will be a life long battle. I'm cross with myself for undoing a lot of my previous good work but I'm trying to learn from what happened.

I think firstly I got complacent. I felt good, I'd lost a lot of weight so I stopped putting the work in. This led to the odd bit of cheating and telling myself that a bar of chocolate wouldn't hurt. Everything then snowballed this summer. I was working all hours, getting about five hours sleep per night and solo parenting with no money to spare and no free time. I also catapulted into menopause which hasn't been pleasant. I hit my 50th birthday and it was like a switch turned off in my body. I didn't expect to be so effected by it so suddenly and it was just another thing that crushed me really. My anxiety and depression came back and I was incredibly low.

I could feel this happening but at the time I didn't have the mental strength to pull myself out of it. So now it's back to the drawing board. I'm going back on weight watchers. Yes, I know it can be restrictive but I think I need that structure and routine. Thankfully I have stopped before I had put back all the weight I lost but it's still not good!

So everything starts today and you will be hearing a lot more from me now!

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx
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