Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Changes can be scary

Well I'm back again to talk a little more about the changes to my eating style. Previous to my hospital admission I was not following a program that would result in weight loss. I had long since given up on the idea that I would be successful in this area. I knew that it was not a healthy attitude by any stretch of the imagination. I suppose in a way I put my mind into neutral and carried on comforting myself with the very thing that was actually harming me, and maybe even killing me. 

Firstly I think it might be helpful to speak about my history.

I come from a long line of eaters. Eating to my family is the one thing we shared that we also enjoyed. Coming from an Italian background food was the  main attraction to our get togethers. But whilst many can control their portion sizes and what they choose to eat I was never mindful of this. I ate until I was stuffed, often crying because I had a tummy that was overfull. This was me as a child. Similar thing happened when I attended birthday parties, I would eat the rich party foods and be sick when I returned home. Although this wasn't just me, as many other kids had the same problem.

Anyway, as I grew up I kept up the eating. 

Food was my crutch, in good times and bad. 

The only times I ate very little is when I visited my boyfriends family home and was too embarrassed to eat in front of them, so I would take a little bite of food and leave the rest. Boy was I hungry after a couple of days. I would make up for it when I got home. (we had a long distance relationship).
 I met the bloke when I was about 19 years old and married at 20 and had a baby quite quickly, just before my 21st birthday. At this stage I was about 101kg and my doctor told me to lose weight as I was too big. However instead of getting smaller I was becoming increasingly bigger. My first child was quite unsettled and I also developed post natal depression, which 26 years ago was really just becoming more widely recognised. Unfortunately, I didn't know I had it until much, much later. In the mean time one way I was able to stay awake during the night to comfort her was to eat. I would scoff ice-cream, lollies, chips, biscuits. You name it and I ate it. It worked. It kept me going until baby would finally sleep and then I could too. Of course after this I joined WW, Easy Slim, tried the diets from the Women's Weekly magazine, all to no avail. My eating was taking over me. I had another four pregnancies and each time I got bigger and bigger.
he ensuing years were filled with much self loathing and derision. I felt terrible and my self esteem was shot.
This is when major depression set in. I was one unhappy girl. 
So this brings me to now. I have had a massive wake up call. I have so ill that I nearly died.
My lifestyle needs to change if I wish to live further. And I do. I really want to be here for my family, my friends and most importantly me.
But to get to the state where I can safely say I have done it, is going to take more strength than I know. To be honest others have more confidence in me than I have, and that is not a good place to be in. I need to feel it too. 
But I have no evidence that I am capable of conquering this massive undertaking. So I need help real quick to change this mindset. I have the support from family, friends and even people I have never even met in person. I am amazed at how a community I belong too via the Internet can mean so much to me. 

Since being home we have been eating some beautiful food. Trying hard to stick to the daily limit of 6000 kj. I know there have been a few days when I have gone over that. It is so hard when I see delicious food. The dietitian told me that even so called healthy food can be over eaten. This means fruit which I enjoy a lot needs to be limited to 2 pieces a day. Not happy about that. 
So this rescue Jan program will be the most challenging of my life. But I am here and I am saying I will give it my best shot. On days when I loose my way I will be kind to myself and not self flagellate. It's no good for the soul.
In the mean time, apart from the healthier food choices and portion control I am listening to relaxation music, classical music and the odd rock song in an attempt to calm my fears and anxieties. I have a long way to go. 
But I hope to record my results here, amongst other parts of my life that come up. 
I hope to be able to sew again soon, my attention span is still limited at the moment. I am quite surprised I have been able to write so much, when I can hardly keep my eyes open.
My insomnia has kicked in big time. :)

The photos I have put in this post are just a selection from my life recently and I like to put pics in my posts.

Well for some unknown reason I was unable to place the pics in between the words like I wanted to so they are all here now.

                               Quiche (not so healthy) with a roasted pumpkin, almond and baby spinach.                

                                        A view of our pantry. Most of the foods in here are fine to eat as they are the things that make food taste better. Anything too rich has been chucked. Lets see if anyone can see anything that might be better not being in here. ")

                                                  One of the nice cold meat and salad meals I ate in hospital. Dinner was at 5pm so by 7pm I was hungry again.
                                                  These are the flowers my SIL sent me but was unable to enjoy due to the rules of no flowers.
                                One of my extra swollen legs last week. Still have a lot of oedema to get rid off. My DD was massaging me with her foot and left this indent on my leg.

Till next time, take care


  1. Oh Jan, I just read what you went through and am so glad you are okay. It must have been such a difficult time.

    I hope you are able to manage your health the best you can. You are doing well to be able to post I think. The relaxation will help and like you said, you don't need to punish yourself for the way you have coped. If overeating is not working for you then you need to find another way. It will be a difficult balance between not overeating yet giving your body enough nourishment to heal from this experience.

    Please keep us updated on your health and life.

  2. Gee, that's tough Jan.

    Personally, I am a staunch believer in the "fake it to you make it" mentality. I just thought I'd mention it in case it is of use to you...

    When I have negative thoughts coming into my head such as "Why do you think anyone would give a rats about your art? You are c*&p!" "Who do you think you are, trying to be a runner - you're not even athletic!" (basically negative words),I just say to myself

    "Why that may very well be the truth, but for now I am just going to FAKE IT and pretend that I am (an artist/a runner etc)."

    I guess it's a way of putting that little negative inner voice back in its place and not allowing it to take over and destroy that delicate balance of feeling good and making progress.

    I guess I'm suggesting when you have that voice saying "You'll never do it!" yada-yada, you can talk back to it and say something like

    "Why that may be so. But for now, I'm just gonna fake it, like I am."

    I hope this is possibly helpful to you. It really has helped me to keep going when things have got tough.

    Anyway, keep going. You can do it! Fake it till you make it baby! xoxoxoxo :-)

  3. Jan, Pat here from SS. Thanks for sharing a little of your history of eating. I know you are doing all you can, and I admire you. I agree it is not good to beat yourself up when you fall. What is a good idea, is to say, "I fell down. Now I am getting back up and back on track." I agree with the post about fake it to make it. I know someone who used this approach with another addiction and it worked, but had to be one day at a time. Sending you lots of love and support. x

  4. I'm not a fan of any of the little catchphrases that go around the weight loss world. In fact, I hate them, sorry those who find them helpful, but I find them trite and feel they diminish the difficulty of what it takes to recover from an eating disorder.

    I say own it all, Jan. Take possession of the fact that being hungry all of the time sucks and that food made you feel better when nothing else could. Mourn the loss of what food does for you emotionally and know that losing weight is not only going to be hard but make your life harder in many other ways. Know that it's all going to be scary and that you're going to fail and use that failure to prove that you can recover and succeed. I've failed so many times and each time I succeeded the next day to show that it wasn't the beginning of a pattern. My failure proved I could succeed by stopping the whole "all or nothing" mentality. You can fail, too, and then you can succeed all the more for having learned things and moved along.

    I'm sorry that the diet is so strict and wish you could have taken baby steps instead of such a huge change up front, but things are what they are. Don't do it because of your family. Do it because you deserve a good quality of life and you matter at any weight. Do it because you deserve to live life as fully as possible. That's why I reached out and contacted you awhile ago, and why I let you into my real life in a way I won't allow others. You can do this, but only if you own it all including the good things you'll be losing along the way. Don't lie to yourself about any of it and you can do it. And I'll do whatever I can to help you. Just ask.

  5. Thanks Pat your support is appreciated.
    SFG, your advice resonates with me and you speak from a place of great understanding. The fact that you have been in a similar position means you have done the hard yards. I will certainly be asking you for your suggestions in the coming days, months.

    Thanks to all who care enough to write and offer support. My very own cheer squad.

  6. Oh dear, I'm sorry Jan and SFG if I upset you with my comment - It was never intended. I would just like to say I write from my own personal experiences with weight issues. It may possibly surprise you to know I DO appreciate how difficult it is. I DO understand the battle. I DO understand temptation.

    I have maintained (the majority of) a significant weightloss for close on 20 years. And no, I've not had an easy time of it in my life to lose weight and maintain that weightloss, in case people think it's been "easier" for me than them. (Be honest. That's probably what you are thinking.) ;-)

    For starters, I have diagnosed poly-cystic ovary syndrome. This makes it hard for me to lose weight and very easy to put weight on. I am also very much an emotional eater. In my life these past ten years I've had three children, plus lost one; I've lost my mother and my home was nearly destroyed in a natural disaster (while I was still in it). I believe I have many, many good "excuses" to be overweight and put all the weight back on plus more.

    However, the fact is I have managed to maintain a healthy BMI throughout all of this. My weight is not down to genetics. I have crappy genetics. Trust me.

    My weight is because I have made the choice and the decision to live my life to the full. Because frankly, I decided my life is worth more than chips, or cake, or biscuits, or lollies, or creamy sauces. And yes, because I believe my children need me. (As I do believe yours need you.)

    Because I am an emotional eater, I'll happily confess that I stuff up all the time! I have days that I eat waaaaaaayyyy too much. And generally, it will be junk. However, I have learnt to stop the unhealthy eating to generally a single sitting, or at worst a couple of days. I have learnt to not let the gorging to continue on for weeks or months in an indulgent pity party for one.

    Through all the trials and tribulations I've gone through, at those low moments - that single thought: "I'm gunna fake it, till I make it" really helped to keep me going, to get up in the morning and try again and not just give up. And that little mantra continues to help me now. That's why I wrote what I wrote - just in case those little words helps you too as much as they've helped me.

    Anyway, please feel free to delete my posts if they aren't helpful. I can *completely* understand Jan and SFG that what I would want to hear, is not necessarily what you would want to hear. :-) Just know I would never, EVER write something I consider "trite" or simplistic in relation to this matter.

    You GO girl!!!!! xo

  7. Kate its all good. Everyone has been most supportive of me. I really appreciate it when caring, lovely people take time to comment. You have not offended me at all. I see that everyone has their own personal story to tell. Just because I have so much weight to shed, it doesn't mean your challenge was any less daunting.