I tend to stay at 10 stone (140 pounds, 64kg). Give or take a few pounds here and there. My body tends to stay roughly the same sort of size, (but clothes numbers can be size 8 – 16 depending on the shop!) give or take some bloating now and again.
So why am I sharing this with you?
Because I am now honing in on what I’m doing more and more in terms of specifics; as I’m considering opening up a free group coaching programme for any one who wants to find some weight balance!
I’m quite excited about adding this new string to the Eat Happy bow, because I think I can meet people where they are at in a way that is still firmly rooted in my Eat Happy ethos.
Having been thinking about this, I am now more aware of what I am doing with food, thoughts of food, exercise, meal planning (or severe lack thereof) and all the rest. I thought you might like to see what I’ve been thinking about.
Before I dive in, I would love you to know that your mindset is key. And that self acceptance first creates balance across the board later. Annoying I know, why can’t you just eat some special pudding and all your weight and life and self-worth worries just work themselves out!
Because I’ve been 10 stone now for around 7+ years. Maybe even 10 years. I dipped to 9.5 stone last year as I cut my carbs in order to help the anxiety I was feeling at the time. Kind of worked, hard to sustain long term. I’m now ten stone again and psychologically more comfortable here!
So how can I eat whatever I want and stay the same? I must do some things in order not to baloon to 20 stone plus?
Alright here are some of the patterns I have that are often weaved into Eat Happy, but I’m picking out the ones to do with not gaining or losing loads of fat.
I allow myself to think about food and I allow cravings.
I really, really, REALLY, listen to my food desires (which are not really cravings that come from denial). I’m really interested in them and I open up and almost have a dialogue with these thoughts. Sometimes I’ll want some chocolate. I can now tell if it’s just a thought because I saw some chocolate, or I sort of truly want it! If I truly feel like I WANT it, I know I can. I listen some more. Is it because I’m hungry? When was the last time I ate? I have the general intention of not eating that much sugar all the time, but it’s an overall intention not a harsh rule or abstaining. And so I keep digging. Would I be equally satisfied with another delicious but more nourishing meal?
If I feel another pull around this desire for some particular food, I’ll check in with me to see how I feel. Am I feeling good, happy, sad, mad, fat, worthless? And yes, I can still feel all of those things. I can still get fat days and feel ugly and just want to eat in a way that will keep me down.
I keep digging. Have I exercised much or not at all? Did I eat carby food last night?
None of this is to STOP me having this chocolate. Actually, if I feel that I have lots of understandable reasons for wanting this chocolate (time of the month, feeling a bit low) then I will honour it like CRAZY.
An example: Last week, I went into my new favourite shop: Home Bargains, thank you very much. And saw that they had MILKA chocolate. I’m half German, so seeing Milka chocolate in the UK is a big deal for me as it isn’t available in many other shops unless I go all the way to Germany! So I definitely had that feeling of FOMO. Like – OMG, here is Milka chocolate, what if they take it away and I’ll never have it again – I better get some. But I reassured myself that they probably stock it all the time. And then I felt a bit more relaxed and then….. did I buy some? No! Why not? Because I love it, and I’m waiting for the perfect craving so that I can give it the Milka it wants so much! But – I haven’t had the craving, or need, or want, or desire for it yet. I will be excited when I do, because it will be great to enjoy some Milka again!
And why aren’t I eating it anyway? Because I won’t enjoy it! And my enjoyment is very important to me. If I know that I’ll sit there without a genuine Milka chocolate hunger, it will be wasted!
I know that the more I think about it, the more I’ll want it, but that is just how minds work. Funny that, innit! Something to bear in mind the more you think about what you can’t have!
I have some very natural and intuitive signs that tell me what I need to be doing
I have intentions around a lot of things. They help. Because I’m defining something clearly, and so when I’m not doing it, it’s obvious.
This is particularly true when it comes to movement. It is my intention to move AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Meaning either a walk, or at least yoga every single day. If not those sorts of movements, then exercise every single day with weights or running. If I am not doing this, I know I need to just make things clearer still. I may need to understand how my routine or work schedule has changed to allow me to fit in movement. I believe movement is as necessary as teeth brushing.
I feel my guts get sluggish and doughy without moving them. I tense up, my fascia gets tight and it will cause me headaches.
Just like my conversation with desires around food – I open up to my movement intentions, especially when I’m not moving. At the moment, I am feeling kinda FAT. I’m sure my body hasn’t gotten fat, but I feel like I’m carrying fat and it’s not alive or vibrant. There’s a dull feeling around me. I haven’t moved for a while. So why? Well actually I am carrying a sense of being burdened by my other work at the moment, I’m feeling a bit of financial strain and other pressures and it’s making me feel low. I want to hunker, sit, cuddle a pillow. I’m not feeling bright and sparkly – and so my inside emotions are affecting how I am moving in the world. In this case, I’m not! I haven’t gone for a walk, because I feel bored. But I have done some yoga. I don’t want to open up, I want to close down. And so I’m not moving.
Not a wise move because this is one of my red flag behaviours! Meaning the more I carry on like this, the worse I will feel and I will really fall into a hole that’s harder to get out of! And so I know that movement and how we move our bodies will shape our feelings and moods too. When I feel like this, I really listen, and always encourage SOMETHING. There is always an intention of “Come on then, time to move now!” I don’t really let myself off the hook. And so, a few pressups or a stretch to open my heart will be enough! It might make me cry, but maybe that’s what I need. I hope you are starting to see how much I want to foster a great relationship with myself. I’m really listening and honouring. At the same time, I’m pretty firm, yet fair. It’s like the parent that believes in you, that doesn’t say “don’t do it if you don’t want to”. Which you end up missing out on proper skills with, I want to be believed in and encouraged. To know that I can be more, and do more and be better. I will walk soon, even if I don’t feel like it now, it will happen, because it must!
I have some bright line rules around food
This is similar to the intentions above, but a bit clearer. Less of an intention, and maybe a bit more firm. You know – like a bright line. You can see it, and it’s obvious.
For example, I don’t drink pop. I don’t buy alcohol except red wine vary rarely. I don’t like to buy foods that will make me sluggish. (Ok, that was three examples, and here’s some more).
I don’t keep a tin of ‘treats’. I don’t buy snacks as part of my weekly shop. I always go out to buy snacks that are EXTRA to my shop if I really feel like them. I don’t just put them in the basket just for the sake of having some in the house ‘just in case’. I don’t let myself not fit into my clothes. I don’t let myself keep eating junky food for too long. I’ll always add vegetables into a dish (when possible).
So these are a bit more rule like – but I do them because they are a part of me. I’m sharing them now, because I’m wanting to write about my weight balance and how I’ve achieved it.
I eat more some days, and less on the others – this balances out overall
My sister has a baby daughter who is around 2 years old. She told me something the other day, that I realized that me and my baby niece share in common. She said that her daughter will not eat very much food for a couple of days, but then eat a lot more in one day and then go back to not eating very much. This to me seemed like it must be completely natural as babies really and truly do listen to their bodies. But then, I realized, I do pretty much the same. I can go a few days on less food, and then sometimes I just get the hunger! And I eat.
I understand a lot more about myself now.
I know I have a tendency to eat when I’m sad, or feeling uncomfortable or when I’m anxious.
I also know I find it easy to skip dinners when I just want to go to bed.
I know that I am really not into food for a few days before my period, and then, when I’m on, I really want to eat (and I get a surge of energy).
I know that the more I sit, the more I want to sit!
I know that the more sugar I have, the more sugar I want.
All of this is to say: know thyself! I hope that I’ve painted a picture for you that shows that I am open to listening and to understanding myself. It happened slowly and intentionally over many years. It was a real practice to keep being kind to myself. But it has led to a real balance with my food and my weight. I hope this was an interesting snap shot into a reformed binge eater. I will probably always carry that around with me in some shape or form. But I have skills and tools now that I never had before and that I am now teaching around the UK and the world through the Eat Happy Method! I’ve got a free mini e-course if you’re interested, it shows how to get started to find your own version of balance – get it here!
Speak soon x