I am an emotional eater! There I said it!
When I am stressed, down, grieving or just hormonal I gauge on chocolate, cookies, pizza and ice cream, and boy is it good. But since the hell that is September (Poppy’s Anniversaries), I am trying to establish when emotional eating ceased and just general gauging began? All I know is that in recent weeks my clothes have felt more than a little snug!
You see since September I have been slowly gaining weight and when I dared get on the scales at the beginning of this year I realised I had gained just over 10lb! Thankfully since clean eating last Monday I have already lost 4lb of that and hope by the end of Feb to be in better shape than I have been in a long time.
I wish i could say I didn’t care about being 10lb heavier and that I have body confidence whatever but that is totally not true. That extra 10lb puts me over 11 stone and it makes me feel unhappy! My mum tum was so podgy and bloated that I felt I was probably deceiving people to think I could be with child again, and whilst I have had 4 kids and some stretch marks and loose skin is natural, a spare tire, over hang of belly fat, back fat and rolls under my bra strap certainly are not!
I don’t say these things lightly, but I say them to make the point that I am not happy with these areas of my body and whilst I see many people posting about body confidence and embracing what they have, I actually want to make a change, because the reason I am like this is no other than eating crap day in day out and that is not something I want to embrace!
I want to feel happier when the sunshine comes and free to wear less layers comfortably and confidently. I have always been content around the 10.5 stone mark (if not slightly under), and I have always been content as an average/medium UK12. I carry it all well with my height and look healthy but slim. This size gives me confidence and at this size my clothes fit well with no unwanted bulges. At this size I can say yes I have had 4 kids and look… I’m still the same size as when I got married and the same size as I was in my early 20’s.
But its not just about size for me. Yes this is one reason I want to lose at least 10lbs, but it’s also a lot about Self control! I realise I eat too much refined sugar and general rubbishy foods and whilst I want to not cut out treats all together, I do want to have greater balance and self control at what I am putting in my body. And so self control and curbing cravings is just as much of a motivation to eat better as well as shedding lbs to look better and feel better about myself.
Clean eating refers to eating foods in their most natural state and cutting out carbs where possible, as well as refined sugar, processed foods and alcohol (never an issue). It Is a lifestyle choice that really works for me once I am into it and able to rid myself of sugar cravings! I saw the benefits a few years ago when I lost all of my baby weight (and more) after Megan, just by eating more naturally!
Calorie counting on the other hand stresses me out and makes me feel anxious. I hate over thinking food and counting every morsel, I much prefer to know whats good for me, what will help my body get rid itself of stored fats, and then eat it in abundance! I did try calorie counting right at the start of the year but ended up deleting the app as it took up far too much of my thoughts and made me carry guilt for the sake of 50 blumming extra calories!
I am confident with clean eating – it isn’t a diet, its about changing your thoughts and eating habits to make good choices for plant based foods, and when I do it gives me a boost and makes me feel that I have more self control and am putting good things in to my body. I will of course still have the odd pizza now and then, or a chocolate bar because I enjoy these things. Ill even enjoy a KFC or McDonald’s every now and then too when on the road. But the truth is the more used to eating clean you become, the less you want these things anyway. And its all about remembering that to have these often, and alongside other Carb heavy (Pasta mainly) easy foods on an evening leads to being sluggish and therefore more chubby than I’d ever like to be!
So here’s what I’ve been enjoying this last week and a half that has helped me to shed 4lb already and Nathan 3.5!
I’ve always been poor with eating breakfast and go through peaks and troughs with it. I understand though that for energy and a good day I really do need to eat well right away. I also know the benefits, and so I always start the day now with a big glass of water and then eat one of the following, which are all things I love…
Poached eggs with spinach
Berries with Honey Greek yogurt
Banana and almond milk smoothie
Before I decided to commit to eating cleaner, my lunches were anything from some sneaky chips (not often) to the more usual sandwich and some crisps. Occasionally I’d have a healthy wrap, or just skip lunch altogether if I was mega busy! Most recently it was Quesadillas or tinned tomato soup – Heavy on the cheese and 2 wraps whilst delish isn’t the best!
But now I have cleaned up my act and lunch has been..
Homemade Soups (Butternut Squash, Lentil & Tomato or Parsnip)
Poached eggs and asparagus
Hummus and Pitta with chopped raw veg
I’m very good with dinners and mostly always have been. I really enjoy cooking and making a hearty family meal.
It’s usually healthy and made with fresh ingredients but as I have already mentioned – pasta is a staple, and that’s been the biggest challenge! Most of the dinners I have made over the last week or so have been our family faves with a twist to make them cleaner. Its essential that you have very minimal carbs on an evening as your body doesn’t have the time like it does in the day time to burn them up!
Butternut Squash Lasgna
Red Pesto Quorn Pieces with veg cous-cous
Chicken Tikka and Mint yogurt
Bean and lentil Chilli
Coriander/Lemon Fajita Salad (The kids had it in wraps as normal)
Roast Dinner with out the mash
Gluten free Chicken pesto Pasta
Quorn Bolognese with small Jacket and salad
Quorn Bolognese with Courgetti
Wholeearth Peanut butter with apple slices
I wish I could say I’m happy whatever my size but that’s certainly not true. I don’t like that I have rolls and generally knowing I am not in my best shape. I don’t like being able to wear what I want to because it makes me self conscious or feels tight! And so I am really excited about being more trim and not needing to hide under layers, but being happy with how I look in fitted clothes and especially T-shirts!
I plan to clean eat strictly as a kick in the forth coming weeks to reach my goal and then just be sensible in my choices and eat well all week with the odd treat now and then. I will likely introduce a bit more pasta or wraps but the key is that I don’t want to be gauging any more, and that I will have way more “on” days than “off”!
I basically don’t ever want to look in the mirror and feel naff with what I see and know that it is a result of my own doing! I want to feel energised and well and I am doing this for self control and to be my best self. I don’t mind my C-section scar or faded stretch marks anymore from my 4 kiddies, but I do mind my self inflicted rolls and sluggishness, and therefore whilst I can do something and take control, I will!