All posts for the month June, 2014

Feels like things are on the up, and trying out 5:2

Published June 16, 2014 by Crystal

Imsomnia seems to have made its excuses and left.  It’s a great thing.  Though I seem to be in the opposite state at the moment of not being able to get up in the morning, so I’m still yet to find a happy medium once more.

But I’ve had some laughs the last few days.  And that’s good.  Yes, I have felt tearful, and irrational at times, but there is some recognisable joy of late, and it’s good.

My food issues are still at the forefront of my mind.  Some meals go great, I feel calm, collected, I leave food because I am satisfied with a small amount.  Other times I feel completely out of control, the desire to numb, or not bother at all with paying attention.  Anxiety, stress.  It builds up.

I still want weight loss.  Physically I know I feel better now, a couple of stone lighter.  And I believe I would benefit from some more weight loss.  But I am also aware of the fine line I walk between obsession and normality.  I like control.  I hate being out of control but it easily happens around food.  And when the control is lost, the depression can hit, or depression can hit and control is lost.

So I’ve been thinking what to do about it all, and it was a coincidence that someone asked on a group about the 5:2 and whether anyone has experiences with it.  It’s something that a couple of family members have seen real success with.  Particularly in losing and maintaining the loss.  Personally it hadn’t appealed in the past.  The idea of virtually no food for 2 days of the week just did not appeal.  But then during lent I skipped lunch, and enjoyed the physical feelings.  I felt lighter and enjoyed feeling connected to my body, and noticing the hunger and how it sat in my body.  I stopped before Lent had finished because I was finding it hard to do my long training walks (3+ hours) while Fasting 10 hours a day.  And then in the last few weeks, with my food portions dropping drastically, there was a part that enjoyed again the lighter physical feeling of eating less, but then panic started to come, about what would happen when I started to eat normally (for me) again, and the weight loss I’d got might vanish over time.

So the discussion about the 5:2 was of interest to me this time around.  If you’ve seen the Eat, Fast, Live Longer Horizon show, you will have known the way it took the country by storm.  People didn’t focus on the many possible physical benefits, the actual “Live Longer” aspect of the show, or the information on moving the body into a state of repairing, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure etc. It was the weight loss that appealed.  And  I guess that is human nature in this day and age.  Michael Mosley ended up writing a book after so many requests for his help, and so many people finding the idea of fasting for 2 days a week a really easy way to lose weight.

I downloaded the book, and read through it last night.  Reading with awareness.  Reading with caution that I walk that fine line between obsession and normality.  A part of the book that was of particular interest to me was about Fasting and Mood.  There is some evidence that BDNF is positively affected by Intermittent Fasting, and can have an antidepressant effect, though mostly in rodents, still lots of trials on humans to be done!  I decided that this in itself was a good reason to at least give the 5:2 a good try.  A little bit of control a couple of days a week, feeling hunger, doing things other than eating, then eating “normally” for the other 5 days of the month.

I honestly have no idea how this is going to pan out.  I am going to keep in mind the Beyond Chocolate principle of Be Your Own Guru, but then part of the thing that attracts me to the 5:2 is that this is the approach Michael Mosley says we need to take.  We need to find our own way of making the fast days work for us.  Maybe we’ll want one big meal, maybe 2 small, maybe an apple mid day, maybe no breakfast until it’s gone 11am.  There is flexibility.  Today I started with an omelette.  This evening I will have salmon with rocket salad.

I won’t lie.  There is that little bit of euphoria over starting something new.  But that is better right now than the stress and anxiety over feeling no control.

I’ll keep you posted.




A bitter sweet thing. Rik Mayall narrating “Don’t Fear Death”

Published June 12, 2014 by Crystal


This is pretty poignant to me.  It brings a smile after the sad news of losing a comedy great.  One thing I did hear, was apparently from a friend, was that Rik was happy half an hour before he died.  He wasn’t expecting it, he wasn’t thinking over all the things he hadn’t done.  It came out of the blue.

I guess we never know what’s coming, and so living to our best as much as we can is key.

Keeping on with the one thing a day

Published June 10, 2014 by Crystal

I didn’t go for coffee yesterday as I’d planned. The stress of the garden and all that needed to be done left me knowing that I wouldn’t be happy. That I’d be panicky and feeling I was wasting time. I know that at this moment the physical exertion is benefitting me so much that I don’t want to stop. Maybe it’s the sun and the vitamin d, maybe it’s the activity that leaves me so exhausted I sleep through the night. But seeing changes in the garden is helping to get rid of those negative gremlins constantly chattering away around me. I feel more peaceful when I work.
So yesterday the shed got filled with this and that. Crap sorted into piles, and two trips made to the tip. Today as I type I am enjoying a coffee, having moved compost bins and made a start on chipping logs our of trees we cut down. It’s slow progress, and while I am outside I am aware of panic over the state of inside the house. But I am human, with limitations, and I can accept that, today. Still a way to go. But me and the garden are getting there.

I got on the scales today.

Published June 8, 2014 by Crystal

I know weight is coming off.  That isn’t a surprise.  I wanted to know what I was weighing today, how much has gone in the last few weeks.

The result showed me beneath what had become a massive obstacle over a few months.  I’m now 33lbs lighter than I was at the beginning of October.  Something to celebrate, yes?

It’s odd.  I got on, looked at the number, got off again, and felt, well, numb, really.  The obstacle that had obsessed me for so long has been passed.  With no bells, no whistles.  I’m disliking my obsession around food right now.  I’m trying to be intuitive, but panic over the small amounts I currently eat.  If I eat a larger meal worry creeps in, as if I’m suddenly going to gain half a stone over night.  The constant resistance to wanting to purge is tiring.  But I am winning that battle right now.

There seems to be nowhere to go with it at the moment.  I just have to keep reminding myself to be kind to me and go meal by meal, day by day.

On a very positive note, our shed is complete.  Absolutely done.  Airforce blue and waiting to be filled with the crud from the former shed that currently fills the garden.  And it felt good to be so active for three days solid.  To physically exhaust myself and not have meals, and the many other anxieties taking up my every waking thought.

One step forward is still a step forward.

Making plans during depression

Published June 5, 2014 by Crystal

Woke up and decided I need to make some plans.  Lovely messages from lovely friends who understand, maybe who have been there.  I cancelled a meet up today because being social seems to take everything out of me this week.  But I know in reality that I am not helping myself.

There’s a few reasons why I think I’m struggling with the idea of being social;

Smiling seems an effort.  I can laugh at a joke but the next second be back under the cloud.  It’s like one of those cartoon clouds, maybe, following only me around, and every time I try to dodge, it realises and realigns itself right above my head.

Making conversation seems so, so hard.  A) I don’t feel like I’m worth listening to, no one wants to listen to me drivel on about something and nothing.  B) I am definitely having a concentration issue right now, and actually actively listening to someone else talk is really, really, really hard.  And I don’t want to come across as rude when I have to ask them to repeat because, squirrel!

Food is an issue right now.  I don’t want to eat in public just now.  At home with family, that’s ok, that’s normal.  But in public, just the thought sends my pulse racing.  Will I eat too much?  Will I eat the right thing?  Will I be able to control myself?  I know they’re not healthy thoughts, but I’m dealing with that.  I’m being kind as I can right now.




If I want to get out of this fug before it goes on and on and on I know I need to take action.  So I’m committing to one thing a day for the next week.

Today is to make Hairy Dieters Cheese Leek and Potato Pasties.  They are yummy, my husband loves them, and they’re a good ready made lunch (once they’re made, obviously), and they will be useful during my second round of commitments.

Which is clearing out the old shed and putting up a new.  I won’t be doing it alone, fortunately, but I commit to throwing myself into it and being present while doing it.  Manual labour, decluttering, creating new.  It has to be a positive thing.  I envisage it taking 3 days.

I’m up to Monday.  And I don’t know yet what my plans can be for then.  But I have decided it will involve meeting up with friends, of visiting those that have come to see me or kept me going with witty banter.  Because good friends do understand, they know that it’s not personal.  They know that sometimes depression leads to irrational thoughts and actions, but they love you and are there for you despite it, and I know that, because they all told me that in these last few weeks.  And I am grateful for that.

So those are my plans.  Starting with today.  And when things don’t happen.  That will be ok too.  Part of the thing is seeing that there is even a reason to make plans. xxx


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Back into my Boden jeans. It’s a bitter sweet thing

Published June 4, 2014 by Crystal

I love these jeans, and they haven’t fit for 3 years.  They are a nice cut, a dark fabric, a classic style that doesn’t go out of date (relief seeing as they’re 5 years old and hardly worn).   The normal thing would be to jump around and celebrate this new size.  Another goal ticked, another few pounds lost.  Woohoo!

But depression and disordered eating, and constantly struggling to say nice things to and about myself have made it into a very mundane, slightly sad event.

Embracing Intuitive Eating again has most definitely helped to bring back some normality when the disordered eating creature reared its head again, and those depression gremlins decided to move back out of the attic into the living room.  But each day is an exhausting struggle.  Each meal time seems doubly hard, trying to focus on the mouthfuls, stay in the moment, avoid the distractions, and the wondering mind (and my depression gremlins particularly enjoy stripping me of the ability to concentrate).  But I stick at it, the best I can.  I know I am doing the best I can.  But recently I’ve noticed guilt bubbling up over how much I’m eating, even when it’s mindful.  And that isn’t the Intuitive Eating talking.  It’s the disordered eating, the voices telling me I’m fat and shouldn’t eat at all.  The words going over and over and over that I need to control myself, eat less.

It’s not a nice place to be.  Here.

The greatest thing I read yesterday was

Depression is a liar

And it is sticking with me.  All those negative little one liners my gremlins like to come out with “You’re such a phony”  “You’re not depressed, just lazy” “No one cares about you”  “You’ll always fail and never be fit for anything”, they are all lies.  But I need to keep reminding myself.

I know the mass belief is that a fat girl losing weight has to be a good thing.  But when it’s because of a negative state of mind, rather than self love, it is a very lonely, sad place to be.

So called weight loss experts may pride themselves on “telling it like it is” and telling Fat people they’re ugly and need to lose the lard.  Hell, they’d probably call me a success story for losing.

But where is the real success here, when there is a cloud over every activity, and the joy has been sucked out of life?


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