5 Things I’ve Learned About My Relationship With Food

It’s amazing how little food I actually need to survive. I know I overeat. It’s something that’s been with me since childhood and something that I’ve been working on ever since I recognised the issue. It was really reinforced during recovery from surgery when I couldn’t eat much and quite frankly didn’t really have an appetite to.

Here are some of the things I’ve changed about my eating habits

  1. Not eating out of habit
    I’ve always, when making myself toast or eggs, served myself two regardless of whether I wanted them or not. It was something that just always happened.  After surgery I realised that I was more than satisfied with just one and that I usually ate the other out of habit. If I’ve finished and want some more, I can always make more even though it can be annoying.
  2. Drinking water
    If I feel hungry, I drink a glass of water. When I’m working I can easily get my 2 litres a day but when I’m home I really struggle. I don’t substitute food with water but it does help me differentiate between hunger and thirst.
  3. Make my own junk food
    I’ve learned that it’s ok to have cravings but what’s better is if I can make healthier versions of what I crave. Chocolate and cookies are my biggest weakness so I make my own with ingredients like coconut oil, cacao powder, oats, honey, banana etc.
  4. Accepting that its ok to leave food
    This is the hardest one for me. I have a complicated relationship with food as so many people do and whilst I’m working on it, it still comes out. Leaving food is one of the hardest things for me. I became accustomed to eating everything served to me for a number of reasons and I just couldn’t understand how people stopped halfway because they were full. I realised after researching eating habits that I had grown my stomach to only be full after a lot of food, too much for what my body actually needs. So now if I feel full, more often than not I can leave food on my plate. I still struggle with this when I eat out because there’s the financial side of it but it’s improving. I do now manage to go to places that also serve take-away which means if I don’t finish my meal, I can take it home. Last night I still had a good 2/3 of my pasta on my plate once I was done so it was packed up and it is now my lunch today. If more places were allowed to do this, I think many people wouldn’t overeat when they are out.
  5. Understand that I can have anything I want, when I want
    I’m very lucky that as an adult, I’ve never gone without. I can basically afford to buy myself anything I crave and cook it that night. This is something that is a really big issue for me like point no. 4. It took me a really long time to understand that I don’t need to gorge myself on something just because it’s there because I can have it again tomorrow if I want.

These are all things that have helped me understand my relationship with food. It’s still complicated and there’s still a long way to go but it’s improving and for that I’m thankful.

 

Note – one book that really helped me with identifying my unhealthy relationship with food is Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I re-read it at least once a year just as a reminder.

September Goals – Update

At the start of September I wrote out a list of things I wanted to achieve. Not only was it the start of a new month but it was also the start of a new season. I felt like I was ready to take on the world but sadly, my body did not agree. Whilst I felt physically fine to start with, I forgot that my body was still in recovery mode from surgery so I think I went a little too hard too soon.

Here’s a more detailed account of what went wrong.

  • To exercise daily
    I did really well until day 12. I was doing the 30 day challenge on the 7 minute app but 2 things stopped me from completing it – 1) the app was getting boring. The first few days there were a variety of exercises and you didn’t need to repeat most things 30 times. As I completed the days, I noticed that the app got, well lazy, it got to the point where it was 45 lunges on each leg, 50 squats, 50 ab crunches etc. Whilst that’s fine, it certainly wasn’t what I expected. I did the challenge because I wanted variety, not so I could spend 20 minutes repeating 4 exercises over and over again. 2) I got sick. Really sick. To the point where I had to take a week off work. I came to work for a week, then took a week off. It wasn’t the flu but I felt fatigued and yuck. Again, my body was still recovering from surgery so during that week I barely did any exercise other than stretch as it was all I could manage.
  • To do yoga 3 time a week
    Other than that week off work, I managed this. Some of the time it was a quick 15 minute routine, other times it was the 50 minute one that I do regularly.
  • To ensure the kitchen is tidy every night
    This worked quite well, the exception being when I was sick but that didn’t matter too much because I wasn’t in the rush the following morning so it didn’t bother me. But it did work really well. I even got into the habit of making most of my lunch the night before as well.
  • To say no more
    And I did this. Very easily. I barely went to the in-laws for mandatory family dinner (don’t even get me started), I didn’t go out if I didn’t want to. I didn’t feel guilted into staying longer than I wanted if I was out. It was nice. It was nice to remember that I’m an adult and that I can make choices without offering explanations or having to justify them.
  • To make the ‘junk’ food that I crave rather than buying it
    There were a couple of times I went out and bought things instead of making them but to be fair, that was after I broke our oven and cook top. I’ve been without one for a couple of weeks now and the new one comes on Wednesday. I’ll be able to start making things again.
  • To honour my hunger
    Again, I did this quite well for the most part but it’s always going to be a work in progress. It’s hard to change a habit that’s been with you for the entire life you remember but I figure as long as I’m doing it more often than not, then I’m winning.
  • To organise my wardrobe
    I did this. I even wrote a post about it here.
  • To read more
    I read about 4 books in the month of September so I’m pretty happy with that.
  • To practice Spanish 10 minutes a day
    Again, I did really well until I went back to work after I got sick. I just was so tired after work that I couldn’t even be bothered spending 10 minutes a day practising. But I’ll start getting into the habit again now.

I’m going to keep the same goals for October. I don’t want to add to it because these are still all a work in progress. I want to make sure that I have a handle on them before adding more.

Wardrobe Clean Out

Part of my goals for September was to clean out my wardrobe. It was also something I’ve been putting off doing for a very long time because I didn’t want to admit to myself how much I was holding on to that I either didn’t use or didn’t fit me anymore. Whilst I’m now happy to admit that I’ve put on weight and no longer weigh what I did 5 years ago, somehow admitting that most of the clothing that I love didn’t fit me anymore was just too much. And to be honest, it still is. I haven’t gotten rid of much – what I did instead was store those items in tubs and put them in the storage space under the stairs. I’ve given myself until the end of the year to either fit into those clothes again and keep them, or to sell/donate them.

It’s really hard because most of the items I’ve put away have some sort of sentimental value to them. There’s the Dizingof coat that I bought when I got my very first full time job. There’s the Alannah Hill dress that I wore to every wedding I was invited to for about 2 years. There’s the leather jacket my parents bought me for my 17th birthday, a jacket that they knew I wanted but couldn’t afford and yet they bought it for me even though they themselves couldn’t really afford the splurge. It’s these things that keep me holding on. Plus the idea that I could potentially fit into them again!

Anyway over the weekend I gave myself the task of cleaning and organising my wardrobe and it took a lot less time than I expected. I imagine it’s because I cleaned it out only a few months ago and was pretty ruthless with it so it makes sense this time round it was a lot easier.

Here are some photos of my progress.

Before. The empty cube up the top held towels which were moved to the bathroom a couple of weeks ago.

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This is just the hanging stuff in my wardrobe. I own a lot of dresses and skirts for someone who doesn’t really wear them all that often

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The items that are going to be stored under the stairs for the time being

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The items that are being thrown out because they aren’t in a condition to be donated or sold

After. And I still have the spare cube!

Overall it only took me about an hour and a half. And it’s made a heap of difference. I can clearly see what I own and what I have which will make it easier to choose clothing quickly. The only thing I want to do now is buy a few more wooden hangers, for tops and to hang pants so I can hang my jeans up as well.

 

A New Season

With September starting tomorrow and with my surgery recovery being much quicker than anticipated, I want to get back into a routine with exercise. I lost it a bit during July and August but now I’m ready to start again.

Here are my September goals.

  • To exercise daily
    I am going to do the 30 day challenge on the 7 Minute App that I love so much
  • To do yoga 3 time a week
    Even if it is just 10 minutes at a time
  • To ensure the kitchen is tidy every night
    It makes my mornings so much better yet for some reason spending the 10 minutes tidying it up the night before just seems excruciating
  • To say no more
    To things I don’t want to do, with no explanation other than ‘no’
  • To make the ‘junk’ food that I crave rather than buying it
    I snack a lot when I’m bored but I have all the ingredients for most of the things I crave like peanut butter, chocolate and coconut things
  • To honour my hunger
    I want to stop eating for the sake of eating and eat nutritious, delicious food when my body needs it. This doesn’t mean that I won’t indulge from time to time but it does mean not eating something when I won’t enjoy it just because it is there
  • To organise my wardrobe
    I want to arrange it so that the things I wear everyday are more accessible than they are at the moment
  • To read more
    I have so many books that I haven’t read or have half read because it’s easier to watch TV or play on my phone than it is to read. I want to change that
  • To practice Spanish 10 minutes a day
    My Spanish isn’t great because I never learnt grammar. I want to improve it. I downloaded the Duolingo app ages ago but stopped using it because I felt I didn’t have time.

The main one I want to focus on is the wardrobe. I have a bunch of stuff in there that I’ve kept because I keep thinking I’ll fit into it again. I’m giving myself til the end of the year so I’m going to pack those items away, pop them in the garage and then in the new year I’m going to try them on again. If they still don’t fit then they go.  For some reason these few items have been really hard to let go of. There’s obviously an emotional/sentimental attachment to them but I just can’t quite let them go just yet.

These are pretty simple things but I feel like they’re going to make a huge difference and realistically, most of them will only take an hour out of my day in total.  The good thing is a few of them can become a bit of a night time routine if paired together.

My Favourite Workouts

I’ve been super slack with exercising lately. I seem to lose momentum for one day and then it’s like I shouldn’t bother for the rest of the week because what’s the point? I know it’s a shit attitude to have but most of the time I get back into it within a couple of days.

This last time it took about a week to get back into it and it’s incredible how much my body is hating me for it. My neck and shoulders are sore at work, my legs feel stiff and I’m really cold all the time. I don’t know if the cold thing is a direct cause but it feels like it is.

I don’t like gyms and although I do enjoy classes I find a lot of them are just so expensive for what they are. Plus the internet has so many great options for exercise.

So here’s what I’m using at the moment.

7 Minute App – an all body workout that takes approximately, you guessed it, 7 minutes. It actually takes about 9 because it’s a HIIT workout with 30 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest. There’s also the options for an ab workout, a leg workout, a butt workout and a 30 day challenge with 6 different options. It’s a free app which is even better. I generally mix this up with a few of the below workouts.

Tara Stiles – Tara is my favourite yoga instructor on Youtube. She created a type of yoga called Strala which is very much a flow state of yoga. I really enjoy it because it’s constant movement and there’s not much of the meditative aspect. Considering I already meditate I don’t need more of it when I don’t have much time.

Here are a few of her videos that I really enjoy.

Morning Yoga for Flexibility

Weight Loss and Balance Workout

Body and Mind Flexibility Routine

The Fitness Marshall – This is a new workout that I’ve found that I love, love, love, love, love!. I love dancing and had been looking online for some time trying to find choreographed routines that weren’t boring. Most of them were, or the videos too slow for me or far too repetitive for my liking.  These are brilliant. They’re fun, the backup dancers are great and the commentary is hilarious!

Here are a few that I really love.

Buttons  by The Pussycat Dolls – The Fitness Marshall

Anaconda by Nicki Minaj – The Fitness Marshall

Work by Rihanna – The Fitness Marshall (this one is my absolute favourite – purely for the commentary!)

Lose Control by Missy Elliot – The Fitness Marshall

What I really love about all these options is that you really can mix and match them. Many of them are less than 10 minutes so you can do 4 or 5 different options and have worked out for 30+ minutes which means you’re never bored and can really do exactly what you feel like.  Not only that but they’re free and accessible and you really don’t need a lot of room in order to do them.

What are some of your favourite at home workouts?

 

So I’m a bit late (and have been really, really slack) but part one of renovations are finally complete! I’m so happy that I can a) go home, b) sleep in my own bed and c) have my beautiful puppy back home. There’s still part two and three to complete but we’re getting there.

So here are my updates.

Health

  • To reduce body fat by 5% through exercise and eating well in 6 months
    So my appointment with the doctor went pretty well. It’s amazing what a good doctor can do. We agreed that I’d be more careful with what I’m eating and that I’ll need to develop an exercise routine regardless of the excuses I can give. So to help with this I’ve bought myself a fitbit and it seems to be helping. I’m aiming for 7000 steps during my working days and 12000 on non-working days. Some days are good and some not so much. I did notice that when I don’t actively make an effort to walk I only do about 3000 steps a day which is pretty appalling. So now, provided that it’s not pouring with rain, I’ll walk once or twice around the block before getting into my car to go to work and if I have a really good run, I’ll do a lap around the wetlands near work. That usually gives me around 3000 steps without too much effort. I’ve also started using the 7 minute app a lot more. I’ve just started the 30 day challenge and I have Day 3 tomorrow so that seems to be helping. But again I haven’t weighed myself and I’m not entirely sure I want to.
  • To not smoke for 90 days
    Done! But I’ve been smoking these last couple of weeks. Not a lot but that’s not the point. I wonder if forcing myself to not smoke was counter-productive.
  • To exercise 4 times a week for 3 months
    I’ve done this for about 2 weeks now. I’m not counting walking unless I go for a decent walk.

Financial

  • To save $250 a month for 20 months in order to enrol into a life/health coaching course.
    I’ve popped May’s $250 into a bank account. I’ve also decided that I want to do this course sooner rather than later so whilst I’m still saving for it, I’ll be withdrawing some money from my surgery fund in order to do the October course this year instead of next year. My surgery has turned out to be much cheaper than I anticipated and I already have more than enough for it.
  • Arrange to pay $200 a month to HECS debt by March.
    The $800 is still in an account not doing much. It’s tax time so I’ll ask an accountant when I go get my tax return down what I can do about it.
  • Only purchase lunch one Friday a month and bring lunch from home all other work days.
    I’ve bought lunch a couple of times but I’ve also not gone out for dinner/brunches nearly as often during May so I think they cancel each other out. I’m hoping once I’m back home I’ll be more prepared. It’s hard not being in your own home and having it been made very obvious that you aren’t allowed to use certain things.

Lifestyle

  • Declutter, throw out/donate and organise one space each month for 12 months.
    Didn’t do a new space but I did go through more of my skincare/make up and throw out a whole bunch. I don’t want my new bathroom to be cluttered so I want as little as possible in there.

Personal

  • To be able to do a split on left and right leg by the end of 2017
    I’m at a plateau with both legs. Granted I haven’t practiced splits nearly as much as I had previous months but whilst I’m not seeing any noticeable differences, I am able to work on technique and posture.
  • To be able to do a back and front walkover by the end of 2017
    Again my legs are getting straighter and I am able to hold it for longer. My wrists do hurt a fair bit afterwards so I am a little concerned about doing a back walkover but I’ll deal with that when I get closer to that stage. My real annoyance though is that my surgery is now booked in for August and recover it about 4-6 weeks so I’m sure I’m going to go back a couple of steps but hopefully it’ll be quicker to gain them again.

I think I’m doing pretty well. Granted some goals have changed as well as circumstances making some a bit more difficult to achieve than others but I’m pretty happy with progress. I don’t feel like I’m making excuses for not meeting some of them because I still need to be realistic but I have noticed that the ones I’m really invested in are the ones that I’m meeting regardless.

Goal Update – April

Renovations are well underway now. We’re staying at my fiance’s parents place after I decided that no, I can’t use a port-a-loo all the damn time and no, I don’t want to drive somewhere to have a shower. Lets just say it’s been much easier than anticipated but it’s still frustrating living in someone else’s home that you can’t treat as such.

But moving on, here are my updates

Health

  • To reduce body fat by 5% through exercise and eating well in 6 months
    As I said previously, my heart isn’t into this one anymore. I can’t seem to do it on my own so I made an appointment to see my doctor to help me through the nutrition and exercise stuff. I have no idea if I need a nutritionist, a dietitian, a therapist or what but I clearly need some help and accountability so I’m taking steps to do so. It feels a bit like failure that I can’t seem to do this on my own but hey, I’ve never been afraid of asking for help so I don’t know why this would be any different. I was planning to weigh myself monthly when I decided to stop weighing myself weekly but I haven’t even done that, mostly because I have no idea where my scales are but it doesn’t matter now. Whilst I need to lose weight, the idea is to be fitter and healthier.
  • To not smoke for 90 days
    It’s been 114 days since my last cigarette so I killed this one. I still like the smell of smoke and I still get very tempted but I can do without them and I want to do without them!
  • To exercise 4 times a week for 3 months
    April wasn’t a great month for this one. Most of my home was under tarps and there wasn’t any space to exercise. I have set up my yoga mat and weights at my fiance’s parents place so that makes it a bit easier.

Financial

  • To save $250 a month for 20 months in order to enrol into a life/health coaching course.
    I’ve popped April’s $250 into a bank account.
  • Arrange to pay $200 a month to HECS debt by March.
    I have $600 in an account. At the moment I can’t reach the filing cabinet where my HECS stuff is so I still haven’t actually done anything about paying it off but at least I’m putting money away for it.
  • Only purchase lunch one Friday a month and bring lunch from home all other work days.
    I think I bought lunch a few times during April. But only once the renovations started. We moved out quite quick so for a few days I wasn’t prepared enough so I had to buy something. They’ve been little things that aren’t costly which is good.

Lifestyle

  • Declutter, throw out/donate and organise one space each month for 12 months.
    Haven’t done a new space yet. Again I can’t really get into my house easily so this one will be on hold until renos are done.

Personal

  • To be able to do a split on left and right leg by the end of 2017
    I noticed yesterday that my right has gotten much closer to the ground which is great. Left hasn’t moved a lot but my right leg is sitting straighter on the ground and I’m sitting up straighter also so that to me is an improvement.
  • To be able to do a back and front walkover by the end of 2017
    I need to get a move on this one. It’s already May and I can’t even do a standing back bend. I want to be able to do that by August at the latest.

I feel that so many of my goals are reliant on having consistency and unfortunately this year I don’t have it but change happens and I just have to roll with it.