I’m generally a healthy eater – like, really healthy with a diet packed full of vegetables, lentils and beans, green smoothies and so on – but I also have a weakness for pizza and a major sweet tooth.
This sweet tooth seems to go into overdrive when I am pregnant or breastfeeding. I’m neither of those things right now, but when I was breastfeeding my youngest, Toddler Boy I, I was scoffing a good 100g of chocolate a day, mostly to give me the energy for looking after three pre-schoolers every day by myself. If I’d been up all night with a hungry baby, I’d have a bar of chocolate mid-morning to give me an energy boost. If my kids were arguing or having meltdowns, I’d have chocolate. I don’t like tea or coffee, so when I was out I’d have a hot chocolate. And a chocolate bar to dunk into it. It was getting ridiculous. I was genuinely worried about all my teeth falling out or developing Type 2 diabetes. But sugar is addictive, and I found it difficult to go without.
And so, when Toddler reached his first birthday last March, and I stopped breastfeeding, I decided to quit refined sugary foods, such as chocolate, cake and biscuits, for a month. Everyone asked me why I didn’t just cut down. But the simple truth was I had somehow forgotten how to do moderation, so it was all or nothing.
The first week was hard. Really hard. But after that, it was fine. A month passed, and I thought I might as well do another. And then another. The longer I went without sugar, the better I felt. More energetic, and somehow cleaner and lighter. I don’t just mean weight-wise, but lighter inside somehow; less weighed down with sugary crap, I guess. The longer I went without sugar, the more my taste buds changed. I genuinely didn’t even crave chocolate any more. On one occasion, after much persuasion, I tried a mouthful of hubby’s dessert at a restaurant and it felt so sickly sweet and processed, I just didn’t want it.
I lasted about 17 months, I was doing yoga as often as I could, and felt pretty good.
And then, over the summer holidays, I was tempted by an ice cream one beautiful sunny evening at the beach with my family…. and I haven’t stopped stuffing my face since. That moderation seems to have gone out the window once more.
I’m now 8lbs heavier than I was three months ago and recently a button popped off my jeans. True story. I’m also working part-time freelance in an office where every day someone has brought in cakes or biscuits – and I seem to have lost the will power to say no.
Yesterday morning I woke up with the best intentions of eating healthily again. I did really well. I said no to cakes at work. I snacked on nuts and seeds. And then after tea, my kids started arguing and I hid in the kitchen and ate chocolate. Way more chocolate than was strictly necessary.
So. I’m putting it here so that I can hold myself accountable. Those 8lbs will go by the end of the month. I will, once again, quit chocolate and cake. Not indefinitely, but for a little while. I will increase my yoga practice. I will get back to a healthier me. I won’t be doing it with any fad diets, supplements or cleanses (so please don’t contact me trying to get me to sell me stuff). I’m not a runner or a gym person – but I know from 15 years of practicing yoga that it can work wonders for body and mind. So that’s what I’ll be doing.
I’m not mentioning the word diet to my children; they won’t hear me complain about my weight or my body because I don’t want to give them any hang ups. But they will hear me talk about healthier choices because they make me feel happier inside and out.
I know 8lb might not sound like a lot. But it’s 8lb more than I generally weigh and there’s no reason other than pure gluttony for that 8lb to be there. It’s making me unhappy and I will do something about it.
I find being organised and prepared when it comes to food helps me massively. I’m starting with a cook up of some of my favourite vegetarian recipes so that I always have something quick and healthy to eat, rather than being tempted to eat rubbish.
I’ll be documenting it all here on my blog, not necessarily for anyone else – although if it helps or supports anyone then that’s great – but because it’s ‘out there’ I know I’ll definitely stick to it.
Wish me luck!