All posts for the month November, 2013

Believe it or not, your body is NOT trying to piss you off.

Published November 14, 2013 by Crystal

I read a lady’s comment earlier.  She’d gained weight at her weekly weigh in.  Her response was “Well body, you may try to fight me, but I’m not giving up and I’m not giving in”.  I admire the determination, I just feel sad that she thinks she’s at war with her body.

She had many people praising and supporting her statement and determination and I realised this is very much a belief held by many.  That we need to beat our bodies into submission.  That sometimes they gain weight when we’ve done nothing to cause it.  That our bodies don’t want to be slim.  They want to fight us all the way.

I don’t believe it.  I can’t believe it.

My body has served me so well over the last 34 years.  Every day it helps me get out of bed and live a life.  Every day (and night) these lungs work, without me asking them to.  My heart beats without me consciously telling it to.  My digestive system deals with what I give it, and does what it can to get the best out of every meal.  Some times it gets lots of fatty foods.  They must be difficult to deal with.  After all, I feel hellishly sluggish if I eat a heavy meal.  My body puts all efforts into digesting this massive meal.

Some times I don’t eat.  I’m stressed, or fed up, or angry.  My body has to run on whatever reserves I have, but it also cleverly slows things down so it makes the very best of what it does use.

Some times I eat regularly but then do lots of physical activity, and my body holds fluid to help repair my muscles.  This might leave me feeling bloated, but it’s a first aid action,to help my muscles get back to a state where they can work their best.  My body is doing this to help me, not punish me!

Maybe, if I don’t eat regularly, or I eat far less than my body needs, maybe my body will maintain that slow motion activity to keep it going, just in case a next meal is a long way off.

Maybe, if I eat regularly, it will start to work with a bit more faith that food isn’t scarce.

Maybe if my physical activity becomes and remains a regular habit, my muscles won’t need repairing to the same level quite so much and so often, and I won’t hold so much fluid after a time of high activity.

Maybe my body actually finds carrying this extra weight around a little bit strenuous, and would work better with a little less.

Maybe my body is doing everything to carry me through, every single day.

And maybe, if I speak with kindness and appreciation, I won’t see this weight loss malarky so much a battle, as a journey with the very thing that has brought me this far.  This tired, weary, aging, but still serving, body.





The weight is coming away!

Published November 12, 2013 by Crystal

Well, for me, for now, Pro Points are helping me.  I feel good and I feel positive.  I don’t feel deprived, and I feel in control of what I’m eating and the choices I am making.

Truth be told I am on Cloud 9, because for the first time in many years I feel like I know that my body is capable of losing weight, and I am making choices based not only on what I fancy, but on what will make my body feel good!

Last night I got the 5% award, and that’s nice, it shows progress.  I’ve lost 12.5 lbs so far.  It hasn’t been all smooth sailing with weight coming off each week.  One week I maintained, and another week I gained.  But this time, rather than feeling downhearted because the scales didn’t show weight loss, I accepted that my body doesn’t work in a simply linear way.  And most importantly the scales DOES NOT DICTATE my self worth.  I am not suddenly a failure if I haven’t lost weight.  I am not a lesser person for enjoying a few extra indulgent meals in a week.  It simply means that there is no miracle weight loss trick.  It takes a lot of effort and thought to lose weight.  It takes mind, body and soul.  It means deciding whether what I want will leave me feeling good physically and mentally, whether I am happy to live with the consequences of those choices.  And sometimes, an indulgent afternoon with a friend, that results in 3 bottles of wine and an evening takeaway, is more important than eating more physically nourishing foods and avoiding the alcohol!

But for more, using Pro Points is a help in focusing.  It enables me to make those choices of whether I could get the same satisfaction from a meal more mindfully put together.  Let me give you an example.  Last week, I made my kids macaroni cheese.  The good old traditional meal, from scratch.  Plenty of butter, plenty of cheese, mounds of pasta.  And it smelt good.  It smelt nostalgic.  I love home made macaroni cheese.  But I also know that it is one of those foods I find hard to stop at “satisfied”.  I would eat bowls and bowls and bowls of the stuff.  I love it.

I worked out that a bowl would be about 18 points.  Not unreasonable for a meal.  But I wouldn’t be satisfied at one bowl, I’d want two.  36 points.  That’s more than my daily quota, and I would be happy, until the carb slump arrived, and that bloated feeling left me feeling tired and uncomfortable.

So I had a thought, and decided some soft cheese mixed into some pasta and veg would give the cheesy creamy flavour that I craved, but without the heaviness.  I had some mushrooms and leeks, some pasta, and some philly.  It was lovely!  I felt satisfied, and happy that I hadn’t eaten several bowls of the macaroni cheese.

Prior to Beyond Chocolate I would probably be approaching this all with the mind of deprivation.  My last experience of Weight Watchers was deprivation and self loathing.  Believing the scales dictated my successes or failures, not just at weight loss, but at life.  I would want macaroni cheese and wouldn’t feel satisfied until I scratched the itch!  But now, weighing up the qualities of food I choose, and deciding on their merit to me physically and mentally, I feel happy.

I have decided to abstain from alcohol for another week.  I love my wine.  But not drinking it is leaving me feeling mentally clear, and capable of lots of walking, which makes me feel great!  But there is nothing else I am stopping myself from eating. I’m just weighing up how I will feel after.

And I am happy that clothes that were too small are now fitting.  I am happy that physically I feel lighter when I walk.  I am happy that I feel I am working with my body and no longer against it.

So that’s where I’m at.  For now.


If in doubt, eat, and then blame yourself for everything that’s gone wrong in life.

Published November 2, 2013 by Crystal

Does this ring any bells to you?

Because for me it’s a great big gong.

Those days when you find yourself hungry, all, day, long.  You find yourself looking through the cupboards.  There’s nothing in because you haven’t done a shop recently.  But still, you want something.  You don’t know what.  In fact, it doesn’t really matter.  It’s not the food, but the act of eating you are actually focused on.  Something isn’t sitting right with you and you don’t know what it is, but you know that eating will stop you worrying about it, just for those few moments.

So you eat.

A jam sandwich, some dry cereal, some pasta with the scrap of cheese you had left in the fridge. You stand at the fridge, wondering what else there is to nibble on.


Until the point comes when you feel full.  And miserable.

And all those feelings of anxiety and upset come rushing back as you sit with nothing to occupy your mind and mouth.  Suddenly you feel disgusted and disgusting.  Why did you let this happen again?  Why have you no self control?  You deserve to be fat and miserable because clearly you are incapable of looking after yourself.  You don’t deserve friends or happiness.  No wonder people bitch about and hate you.  You’re so out of control and ugly and unloveable.

Does this strike a cord?




What is really going on?  What is really happening that has brought you to this point of feeling and hurt?  To this place where you blame yourself wholly for all that’s going wrong in your life?

How did this day start?

For me, often these feelings come when I’m trying to squash down some other feelings I don’t want to deal with.  I’ve been hurt by a snide comment or bitchy remark.  Or I’m worried about my kids and a situation around them.  I’m remembering a sad occasion and am trying to avoid it.

For me, often these periods of mindless eating are because it’s the one time when i don’t have to think about anything else in the moment, and so it brings a time of peace, no matter however brief.  And it works, in that moment,  But the problem is it doesn’t last.  At the end I am left with the same situation I had temporarily escaped, only now I’ve topped it with feelings of self loathing and and berating, because I tried to eat away my feelings, and am now full from food I didn’t really fully enjoy, and another step away from losing the unwanted weight I have.

It’s not an ideal situation.

And it seems to be something that becomes all the more prominent when one is trying to lose weight.  It seems an oh so often event on diet boards.

But the sad thing as I see it, is that these people who do this are simply using a coping mechanism that they’ve used for years.  They’re trying to escape uncomfortable feelings, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

But it is possible to change.  It is possible to slowly get rid of this habit. Slowly, facing up to our feelings (and realising they won’t kill us) and dealing with horrid situations, we can take away the habit of using food to squash down the feelings.

That person who has made a snide comment, most probably has their own issues going on, and is lashing out at whoever might respond. (Something I can relate to!)

My kids, well, they have to grow and go through their problems, I can only do so much, but I can keep being the best mum I can be.

That sad occasion, it’s hard to remember, but I lived through it, and learnt from it, and remember the good from it.


The food I ate?  It’s just food.  I can make better choices net time around.

Those feelings of worthlessness?  I need to stomp on them and believe better of myself.  We would never tell a friend they’re worthless or loathsome, yet we allow ourselves to say the most horrendous things to us!

This extra weight?  It doesn’t define who I am, and bigger or smaller I’m still the same, more or less 😉