The Joy Of Food
My previous comments on diets not working, being the cause of increased weight etc may seem slightly skewed given my success at weight watchers.
I did in the end lose 6st6lb, 40kg, 90lb, it took over a year, tears, tantrums and the buying of a wedding dress 4 sizes too small but I bloody did it.
However, I can say with complete honesty and belief that had Barbara been a close friend giving me advice on my relationship with food the result would have been the same.
So what were these magical words that Barbara uttered into my ear.
What could she have said or done to change the terrible eating habits I had been steadily cultivating since the age of 14, the age at which my food intake ceased to be controlled by my mum?
The first thing I took away from that very first meeting was honesty.
We were required to keep a journal of every single little morsel that passed our lips. At first I was outraged, as if I was going to allow this woman to scrutinise, criticise and evaluate everything I ate.
No way José!
I'd had enough of that throughout my life. My defensiveness about the food I ate was constantly in overdrive.
If I ate in public I would be sure people were looking at me, judging me. No wonder she's fat, I would convince myself they were thinking, sitting there stuffing her face, bet she's a lazy bitch too, you get the picture.
In fact still to this day I struggle to eat in front of people, friends, family included. I hate going to restaurants, meeting friends for lunch, dinner parties, they still fill me with dread and whilst I can push through it I inevitably only manage a few mouthfuls before the bad feelings kick in.
Hmm, that's actually the first time I've truly acknowledged and realised that it still affects me in that way. I have always told myself I don't like eating out as I'm not a 'foodie' that I've got better things to spend my money on etc etc.
I cannot tell you how many excuses I have made over the years to get out of eating publicly.
Anyhow back to honesty, Barbara wasn't interested in what I had eaten, why I'd eaten it she just wanted me to be aware of what I was putting in my mouth.
And so that's what I did for over a year I wrote down everything little thing i ate, be it five peanuts or five bags of crisps in one sitting (often the case).
It made me really think, yes I could eat that mars bar but instead I could eat a whole meal for the same amount of 'points'.
However, as Barbara reiterated again and again if you really want to eat that mars bar just eat it and enjoy it because chances are you will eat a lot of other stuff to avoid the mars bar and still be in the same position.
She told us to relish every meal, every snack, instead of grabbing lunch and wolfing it down whilst working or watching TV, sit down at a table, put it on a plate with a drink and a napkin, savour it, take your time and let go of the guilt.
Reason to be joyful number 5
Next post letting go of food guilt and secret eating.
How do your eating habits affect your life, does food bring you joy or misery?