All posts tagged diet

Duloxetine Withdrawal, Day, ummm, 3? Or is it 4? Squirrel!

Published September 22, 2015 by Crystal

Thought I would share my symptoms over the few days after my last tablet.

Brain zaps, not so many, just the odd one. Dizziness, not so fun.  Been feeling like I’m on a very long ferry ride, and it’s led to the kind of Nausea from one of those really long very rides.  Dreams are still ridiculously vivid.  Last night I rang Goodwood Hotel to book a room for the revival, and it all went wrong, and Lord March was about to get the longest complaint letter of his life.  My poor brain.  And poor Lord March!  Aaaanyway.  I am a little dizzy this morning.  Exhausted from the vivid dreams, but over all I feel all right.  The Omega 3’s do seem to have helped with the brain zaps, unless I wasn’t going to suffer them much anyway.  And I am about to take a dose of Super Greens, will see if I notice any difference.

My snark and sarc buttons seem to be easy to push today….Not sure the family will notice the difference though.

Going to drink lots of water and green tea and try to flush the body.

Appetite seems to be less today.  Not sure if it is connected to nausea.  Oh, and one thing that was horrendous yesterday was heartburn.  Absolutely hideous.  Not felt it so bad in some months.

Shall try to remember to keep you posted, blog reader.


“What should I eat to lose weight?” “Less”; @DoctorChristian’s flippant response and why it is dangerous.

Published April 30, 2015 by Crystal

It’s only twitter.  It’s only an over inflated ego filled twitter account of an apparent medical expert.  In the scheme of things, it is small and irrelevant.  But someone asked “What should I eat to lose weight?”  And Dr Christian Jessen’s answer was “Less”.

It might seem trivial.  And adoring fans of Dr Christian are falling over themselves to agree with him, and point out the fallacies of anyone daring to question A) the sensibility of giving such an answer so glibly, and B) the actual science behind it.  Of course many will say it is a stupid question to ask, and if they really cared they would be researching.  Indeed, Doctor Christian is not a doctor with knowledge in every field, and from the internet I have gleaned that his specialist area is in Sexual Health.  So diet and exercise aren’t his thing, regardless of his Channel 4 weight clinic programmes.

Because lots of people will argue that it is that simple.  And for them, maybe it is.  But for the vast majority of people I would argue that it isn’t that simple.  And I would argue that it is dangerous to throw such a glib response out.  What was its purpose?  Cheap laughs?  The answer to the country’s obesity crisis?

The irony was the “Less” answer didn’t even really feature on my radar until it was clear he really did not care about the person who posed the question, and instead criticised everyone who dared to question his flippant tweet.


Maybe, part of the reason we are in such a mess is because advice like this has led to many unhappy people enduring many unhappy years of yo yo dieting.  Even Weight Watchers started out with a woman having being told to “Eat Less” in years previous, through fad diets. And Weight Watchers itself started on those same principles.  How’s that working out for us?  How are all those diets helping, by themselves, solve this obesity crisis as we keep calling it?  How are those years of restriction, on advice from doctors to “Eat Less” panning out for the population?  You only have to google Yo yo dieting to see all the associated issues with restriction, and the often inevitable reaction.

So yes, in the short term, “Less” may be a great answer.  And then what?

Thank God for TV doctors who don’t respond to people in search of help with such glib answers in search of cheap laughs for their own amusement.  Thank Goodness for people like Dr Rosemary Leonard, who take issues around food and body image seriously.  Because body image, self esteem, self confidence, they all play a big part in how successful a person is in their endeavours, and it is something that needs acknowledgement more and more.  Even the diet clubs know that much, such as Slimming World with their “Image Therapy”

Maybe I am angry because I genuinely care about people who want to lose weight, and because I have 30 years of experience of being told to eat less, and failing miserably time and again, and because I am still suffering body image issues, and am still working to lose weight and get healthier.  I blogged here in 2013 about the previous 11 years.  This was not a woman who hasn’t tried to eat less over the years.  But it is not the simple easy to do answer to a complex situation.

And here is where my anger with such a lazy answer lies.  Dr Christian Jessen is a public face.  Someone that viewers look up to and believe he can help.  But rather than taking the opportunity to help, he threw out an answer and then enjoyed the fandom of those who agreed to everything he said, while responding with smart-arse comments to anyone who disagreed.  It doesn’t matter whether twitter is or is not a place to look for decent answers.  If he didn’t want to answer he could have ignored it, like he does many tweets.  He could have directed the person to an appropriate website. He objected to my saying he had made assumptions and presumptions in giving such a flippant answer.  But I stand by that.  In telling someone to eat less to lose weight, he is already assuming they eat too much.  And he doesn’t care enough to question further.  He knows nothing of that person’s medical history, and why should he?  That person is a little avatar on twitter.

Maybe he was adhering to the information on his website

Dr Christian is involved in a number of public campaigns and he works closely with various health charities to help look for new ways to educate people in health matters. His main aim is to help raise medical awareness and simplify, demystify, de-stigmatise and explain the sometimes complicated and inaccessible world of medicine to the public.

But then he wasn’t educating, and was doing nothing to de-stigmatise the whole nightmare around diet, and exercise, and living as a person with weight issues.  He added to the stigma that overweight people are stupid, because they asked a question that he had decided needed no more than a one word answer.


I don’t know what my “label” is. But I do know “psychobabble” has helped me #weightloss, #selfcare, #selfacceptance

Published April 7, 2015 by Crystal

Self confidence is, to me, a beautiful thing.  I admire people who ooze self confidence.  I would go so far as to say I envy a little, the sirens who pass through life like a shining beacon,  as in the KT Tunstall song.  There is a myth that thinness creates self confidence in some way.  But I have never really found that to be true myself.  When I was thin, I was still depressed at times, still nervous around people.  Looking back I think my weight loss was heavily linked to one of my high periods, but it still came with tension and anxiety, and paranoia.  I wasn’t fully myself then.  I was in a hyper state.


I wasn’t any more confident above, in 2007, at under 10 stone, than I am currently, below, at just under 14 stone. DSCF1298

I wouldn’t say that being bigger is my “normal” state.  My body changes with the emotions and moods, not metaphorically, I mean very physically.  But when in a very low period, I can eat more than I need, exercise less than I benefit from, and as a result, gain weight.

Self confidence does not come naturally to me at any size.  It is something I fake, in the hope that one day it will be real!

What weight loss does help with is feeling physically more comfortable.

Weight loss for self confidence isn’t something I can relate to.  For health, yes, for ease of movement, yes, to feel more comfortable and a little better in clothes and make up, yes, but looking better won’t make me feel far more confident.  Does that make sense?

Intuitive eating advocates taught me a valuable lesson over the years, and that is to live as much as I can at any size.  To not put off til tomorrow what I can enjoy today, and so I have, and I do.  It’s nothing to do with confidence.  It’s to do with making each day worth while, even with, especially with, depression.

If folks like Steve Miller had their way, I would be hiding my shocking body away until it looked more appealing to passers by.  His concern isn’t for people like me, it’s for people like him, who don’t want to have to see people like me!  Fortunately, it was those “psychobabblers” from the intuitive eating world who encouraged me to get out and get moving, to not be limited by my size at any time.  And so I have completed two Moonwalks;


The most recent above, in 2014 and the first, below, in 2013.  In 2013 I was over 16 stone, In 2014 I was just over 14 stone.


And I am now less than 3 weeks away from the Virgin London Marathon;

20150331_200820 20150331_200830

Yes, it is easier with less weight, but we all have to start somewhere.  When I didn’t seem to be able to get a handle on food, I chose to do something else to support my health and my body instead.  At a pace that my body and mind could cope with.  There’s absolutely no shame in taking the slow path to anywhere!  And while the weight loss has not been the stuff of legends, it is a loss I have maintained, and the fitness I have improved on.

I was encouraged the other day by an article in the latest Slimming World magazine, by a young lady who suffers with bipolar.  She was actually diagnosed during her weight loss journey, after an episode saw her hospitalised.  I felt for her.  But equally I felt inspired to give Slimming World another go because of it.

I am off the medication at the moment.  And I am feeling driven.  The voices at the back of my head are muttering about how I start things but never finish, and weight loss is one of those things.  It’s part of my make up, part of the depression.  I don’t know if my disordered eating came about because of depression, or vice versa.  It is all so long ago, and such a big chunk of my life, it just is there.  But even as the disordered eating lessens at times, the depression remains.

But the past doesn’t have to dictate the future.  And there is no reason I can’t keep trying if it helps me mentally.  What has also helped me is “psychobabble”.  The “psychobabble” that tells me I am not a failure, that I have succeeded at so many things.  The “psychobabble” that tells me my brain functions slightly differently to a normal brain, but that is ok.  The “psychobabble” that doesn’t focus on one facet of my being when I have so many other things going on in my life.  “Psychobabble” is supportive.  And in a world of critics that can only be a good thing.  But it also gives us the chance to change and renew ourselves.  Steve Miller criticises “psychobabble” because it tells us why we are fat.  What he fails to acknowledge is that it also gives us the tools to move forward.  But then, who would he be able to criticise if he acknowledged the truth of those things he scorns?

So it’s back to Slimming World, giving it another go.  Feeling driven, but knowing the drive might last a day or a week.  And somehow, this time, I shall try to fight through the down times, because it looks like they are here for the long haul, and while that isn’t the most ideal thing in the world, it’s better to know and work with that.

All these cakes have left the building!

Published March 19, 2015 by Crystal




They weren’t all for me!  They were for my SANE Tea and Cake Day to raise funds towards my marathon total.  Lovely friends joined me and raised just under £65.
It was a lovely day, and has been a lovely couple of days following!  The funny thing is in total I have had 6 small slices in total over these four days.  Taster slices.  Enough to enjoy the taste.  Had I been on a diet I deeply suspect I would have eaten far more.  The tomorrow mentality.
Tomorrow I Shall be good.  Tomorrow I will start again.  Tomorrow there won’t be any cake to tempt me. 
My mentality now is more; do I want it now?  Will I enjoy it now?  What does it matter if there is still cake in the house tomorrow? 
There is no perfection.  And no striving for it.  I did overeat one of the slices and didn’t pay enough attention.  But I accepted it and moved on.

There was a last slice of Victoria sponge tonight.  Husband had left it on the side instead of putting it back in the fridge.  And I saw it as I went to feed the animals.  One slice.  Then the cake would be gone. I could eat that.  No biggy.
But it dawned.  I didn’t want it.  I was caked out.  So I hollered to the kids and asked if they all wanted to share.  Only a couple of mouthfuls each for them, but they were happy, I was happy and the world hadn’t ended over the decision not to eat the cake!   Husband wants high tea every Wednesday and I think it’s a lovely idea! I enjoy baking.  And home baked means I know what goes into the food.  Life’s too sorry not to enjoy cake.  But too really enjoy the cake.  Not just eat it because it’s there!

I know I may be droning on but it really comes down to years of learning to not diet with folk such as Beyond Chocolate!  And to slimpod! People who have researched weight loss.  People who realise and appreciate weight loss is deeply linked with the mind and wellbeing.    Things are clicking right now and it does feel good.  Stressing less and living more.  And liking myself as I am.  I don’t need to bully my fat. Or put signs up to remind myself I am fat!  I find my being responds better to positive thinking and encouragement.   😉

Something has got to give this week, and that’s judgement! #sizeacceptance #mentalhealth @thinkingslimmer, @slimmables, @beyondchocolate.

Published February 10, 2015 by Crystal

Am taking a breather from food this week.  From thinking too much about what will or won’t benefit me. From the sites that ask my to input my weight and measurements, and ask me to stick to a number of points/syns/bites.

Because this week I cannot do it all.  As I said earlier, I am spent.  For this week, I feel the best thing I can do is focus on moving and listening to kind voices.  So I’m sticking with my slimpod, because it’s calming and soothing and encouraging, and to me, non judgemental.  But everything else needs to take a back seat.  If I’m honest I feel let down by both the dieting and anti dieting groups, not because I expected either to fix me, but because a little support during what has been a crappy week, a voice saying (or typing), no matter what you’re doing, you’re doing your best, and we’re here with you, would have been encouraging.

But they let me down.  The dieting group want success and instant visible praise, and the anti diet group want to prove that dieting is wrong, and criticise every product, forgetting the people.  At least, that’s the way it feels.

And I’m not out to prove anything to anyone other than myself.

So yes, I think I made a mistake signing up for three months of the plan.  I wish I’d just done a month, because yet again I have crashed, and I feel isolated and alone with my body issues and anxieties, except for family and a couple of good friends.  But more so I wish that mental health was something that everyone addressed and took more seriously, bearing in mind that their words can cut deep, and their action or inaction can say a thousand things.

I feel stuck in a whirlpool at the moment, because every time I try to eat well and mindfully, and make really beneficial food choices, the negativity strikes and the depressive voices tell me what a failure I am and I’ll never achieve.

Definitely a rock and a hard place situation at the moment, so I am going to remove myself for a while, and hope the negative voices disappear as the positive messages get louder.


This is one point I would like to make though, to the idiot “expert” who is constantly going on about fat shaming.  If you genuinely mean that you are bullying the fat and not bullying the person, then you need to look at your language.  You’re a hypnotherapist, you’re not so stupid that you don’t know language makes all the difference.  Also, saying you’re not bullying people and putting a photo up of a large woman enjoying the beach is body shaming and person shaming.  To that stranger, it is bullying.  She is a woman, somewhere, and you are placing judgement on her by using her in your photos.  So make up your mind.  Either you’re addressing the fat (which is a substance, like hair, or nails), or you are addressing the person.  You cannot have it both ways.

Grr, #vlm2015 training session cut short. But still, 6 miles..! @slimmables @beyondchoc @londonmarathon

Published February 8, 2015 by Crystal

A year ago I wouldn’t have been saying, oh well, I only managed 6 miles.  So I am claiming that as a mini victory and evidence of the progress I have made in terms of health and fitness.

Unfortunately my old pal IBS has flared up today, and to put it rather delicately, I found running was causing me to feel a need to be close to a toilet with every mile!  I was actually running with the location of the next available rest stop in mind, and as the miles went on things became less comfortable and more painful.  At 5.3 miles I decided to call it a day, and arranged to meet my beloved to get a lift home.  I ran walked the last mile to meet up, and was grateful to be on my way home.

It’s interesting after the morning I have had and the feelings I have had on diets/eatingplans/antidiets this morning.

To me this situation reinforced my decisions to follow the slimmables plan.  I may never do it 100%, but the food I have eaten has nourished and supported me as I have continued to train.  IBS symptoms were non existent, and a headache only happened when I didn’t drink enough before a run.  Today I am suffering IBS and the visual disturbances that come before a migraine.  It could be entirely coincidental, or it could be that I am far more aware these days of how foods do affect me physically.

I will always be thankful to the intuitive eating movement, and that includes beyond chocolate.  But as with every thing I have to take what works for me, and leave the rest.

I’ll admit I felt I was being dug out this morning when I read tweets on my time line. Because I know it is me who has mentioned slimmables several times over the last fortnight.  And yes, it is a diet, and yes, there will no doubt be those who throw themselves in 100%, and 6 months on are onto something else because the honeymoon period has passed.  I am not that person.  I am the one who stumbles and tries to find my way from day one, and probably looks like a failure in the eyes of many weight loss experts.  I did WW and lost some weight, I then did SW and lost some more, all the while picking the bits that helped me.  I’m now on Slimmables and taking what helps me now.  I’m not a conformist, and I doubt I will ever be in some magazine with a Wowzer life changing story.

But I’m still 3 stone lighter than 18 months ago, and I can run walk 6 miles in less than 80 minutes.  Last year I couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds at a time, so progress is happening.

I will probably always feel a little bit unsupported, and a little bit misunderstood, because depression likes to play that game, often.  I will probably always be a little bit paranoid and a little bit anxious.  But I will always be honest about where I am in my journey and in the moment.  I don’t expect anyone to follow my path, it’s messy and chaotic.  But just because I want to run a marathon and lose some weight to make that easier, doesn’t make me a sell out to the Size Acceptance movement.  Because I’m not expecting anyone else to join me in my journey, and because I want every single person in this world to feel comfortable and happy and accepted in their skin and their choices. Don’t dig me out because my choices aren’t in line with yours.  Maybe instead, ask what it is that I am getting out of a choice at this point in time. And cheer on the positives!  Like raising money for a charity that is relevant to everyone in this country, and like noticing the little improvements in health and fitness that enable me to feel better mentally.

Anyway, so 6 miles today, but Thursday is looking free, so I shall aim for 12 then, and I still have my runs with my buddy on Monday and Friday.  I’m not giving up just yet!  Oh, and I managed to collect lots and avoid the zombies in that 6 miles! 😉

#janathon, 4.5 miles in what feels like the longest time. #depression

Published January 29, 2015 by Crystal

Honestly, we averaged 30 minutes a mile! My limbs ache, and though it will partly be all those squats yesterday, I’m pretty convinced that walking super slowly, stopping every 10 seconds trying to get the dog to walk to heal, is what has done it for me today, or rather, what has done me in!

On arriving at the pet shop, we looked at a harness for Muttley.  It might stop him pulling, but I think I need to look into the idea some more.  He definitely did not like the halti, so we aren’t going in that direction.  We did buy Muttley a monkey, which he proudly paraded home, pulling marginally less on the way, so maybe the trick is for him to have a toy on every walk!

He had a quick attack once home, but is now snoozing and snoring away!


Foodwise, I’m onto Day 5 of slimmables.  Breakfast was eggs, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes.  Lunch was sprouts, bacon and cashew;


Today feels hard, and I’m not sure whether it is lack of energy through change of diet, continuing exhausting dreams and interrupted sleep, or getting back into the warm after that slow, long walk.

I want to hope that it is the lack of quality sleep and the long walk.  I am snappy today, and agitated.  But then that’s a pattern from the last two months regardless of what I have or haven’t eaten.  It’s a two tablet day so I am hopeful my mood will pick up a little.

I’ve been reading more today on how this style of eating can be beneficial to people suffering with depression, but then I’ve read this claim for many different eating plans and I guess as with anything else, personal experience is what will really matter.

Date day tomorrow with the beloved, normally means a luscious lunch and a glass of vino…This week it will be alcohol free.  Habits are hard to break, and sorely missed!