Weight loss, not hating my body and a fresh start with food (wordy post)

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Weight loss, not hating my body and a fresh start with food (wordy post)

Uncategorized

Scales

As I mentioned last week, I’ve now been blogging for 4 years, one of the benefits of which is being able to look back over your past in rather a lot of detail. I’ve been able to see my journey, losing weight, to losing more once I started blogging, and then how my all or nothing nature took me to such a low weight my periods stopped. I’ve been gaining weight for the last two years, rightfully so, to help bring my body back to balance.

It hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Each time I started to feel uncomfortable in myself, the feeling would pass. I got to the point where I really embraced my body, curves and all. However, now I’m on the other side of the weight gain process I’ve still continued to gain weight. This has been down to a combination of factors, one being that my metabolism was in the gutter after being restrictive for so long, so everything I ate just stuck. Secondly, I’ve had far too much of the ‘fuck it’ attitude going on, that being, ‘fuck it, just eat those truffles, you need to gain weight to be healthy anyway so you’re allowed’. This way of thinking is a double edged sword, on one hand, while I legitimately needed to gain weight it was fantastic, but now I don’t, that whole way of thinking is not helpful. The last two years I’ve developed habits of over eating – which was required at the time – but which is no longer needed. 

Superfoodsalad

That is my issue really, I have no problem eating healthy food – but I do have a problem with eating too much of it. I suffer from ‘eyes too big for my belly’ far too often and I believe that years of yoyo dieting has compromised my natural hunger and fullness signals which makes over eating something I need to keep an eye on. I need to remember that I may have had two years of restrictive behaviour, but before then I had a lifetime of being overweight.

To be honest I’m probably making too much of a song and dance about this, it’s only really been since November when I went to Brighton, which was then followed by Christmas, that I’ve been struggling with feeling past my best weight wise. I know that for me to be healthy I’m never going to be a size 10, but where I am right now is not healthy for me either. If I had to talk numbers, it’s really not much, maybe 7 – 10lbs over. I know that my body reflects my behaviours and there has been a little too much sugar, alcohol and overeating going on these last couple of month, although it has been a much better balance than in previous years. To be clear, the overeating has just been down to a bit of gluttony, I haven’t experienced out of control binges for a very long time, in fact I can’t remember the last time I felt like that!

With all that in mind I feel like 2014 is a big fresh start with my relationship with food. After swinging from one end of the scale to the other I feel like I need to build new habits that are not restrictive, nor over indulgent. I don’t hate my body as it is right now because I know that it’s only this way because of how I have treated it, however I would like to feel healthier and be fitter. As I’ve said before, I have lost weight in the past and I am more than well equipped to do it again – and with my added knowledge from the training I’ve done over the last 4 years and all the clients I’ve coached, I know I can do it healthily and sustainably. 

As I wrote in a recent wordy post, I am still under the care of a hospital consultant with regards to my hormones so I need to be careful I don’t over do it. I don’t plan to restrict food groups, I’m using my Dial It Up approach to keep things sensible and sustainable. While my body is still rebalancing I’m making sure I get loads of extra nourishing foods, but I’m just keeping an eye on portion sizes. I’m loving my workouts at the moment and I feel like I what I’m doing right now is something I could keep up over the long haul. I’m actively making sure I have some treats each week so that I don’t feel deprived too. I’m not calorie counting either as I want the focus to be on nourishing my body with food rather than being concerned with how many calories is in that avocado.

So yes, I’d like to lose a little weight, but no I don’t hate my body, and no, I’m not doing a ‘diet’ to get there. Been there, done that!

Ffion’s post struck a chord with me because I was feeling guilty that I should want to lose weight, but why? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel your best as long as that is within what is healthy for your body and motivated by a desire to feel good rather than a desire to fit an unrealistic social mould. 

PicMonkey Collage jpg

As I’ve blogged recently I’ve found a nice groove with my eating, most days looking something like this…

  • Lemon and warm water followed by one cup of organic coffee with almond milk. if I’m going to the gym early I’ll have a homemade snack ball before I go and a smoothie – usually green with spinach or kale a piece of fruit, scoop of protein powder and some maca and greens powder added – when I get home. If I’m not at the gym then I might have porridge with an egg, fruit, nuts or nut butter, a coconut flour bake or oatless porridge. 
  • Lunch is a salad or soup – both veggie packed. I’ve been loving my anti inflammatory lentil soup and for salads I like tinned tuna or salmon with olives or a variation of my Superfood Salad. I also enjoyed my crustless quiches last week.
  • Snacks when I’m at the office have been coconut flour blueberry muffins, nuts and seeds. When I’m at home I like a green smoothie, sometimes with dried fruit and nut topping or occasionally a fresh juice
  • Dinner is some good quality meat such as organic beef, wild salmon or freedom food chicken with veggies. I love a good paleo cottage pie, beef stew or Thai red chicken curry with cauliflower rice
  • I’ve been finding that I don’t need a dessert during the week, but on weekends I like to have some raw chocolate, protein fluff or frozen berries with yoghurt. 
  • During the day I drink gallons of green tea, I also try and have a daily matcha shot. I’ll also have a couple of cups of rooibos with unsweetened almond milk. I’m refocusing on drinking plenty of plain water as well.

As I said, I am actively having ‘treats’ such as pasta when I’ve eaten out, cheese on toast (my not so guilty pleasure!), pastries and cake once – twice a week to make sure I feel balanced.

When it comes to maintaining weight loss, or just general health for that matter, I think its a case of observing, assessing and readjusting. Doing the Super Conscious Living Programme myself, and seeing others do it, has reminded me that we all change and what works at one stage in our life doesn’t mean it will work in another. 

Right now I’m feeling really good about all of this, I’ve already seen a difference in my body since the start of the year so it seems that my metabolism is functioning a lot better. Once I’m at a place I feel more comfortable I plan to dial back some of the cardio exercise and dial up the strength training and treats to maintain. I’m so excited about this stage in my journey!

Have you ever felt guilty about wanting to lose weight?

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43 Comments

  1. Sarahf

    That balance is so hard to strike! Eating well, and enjoying it, while not eating too much, but still enjoying the “guilty pleasures” (that we really shouldn’t feel guilty about, I firmly believe the soul needs chocolate sometimes), it’s no wonder people get so confused about what to eat, and when! Sometimes I feel self-conscious about wanting to lose weight, or at least keep it where it is, because I have already lost a fair amount, and, when I turn down a doughnut (it doesn’t often happen, but sometimes, I just don’t fancy a doughnut…) and someone says “you’re not on a diet are you, you lost so much weight already!”, it makes me feel quite self-conscious about not wanting the flipping doughnut! In my more rational moments, I realise that I just have to worry about what I think, which is that I’m doing reasonably well at keeping healthy, and less about others, which is much harder than it sounds!

    Reply
    • Laura

      I think that’s the trick, being concerned with what you think and feel, and you are certainly doing very well keeping healthy!

      Reply
  2. Alex

    Your food always looks so beautiful and green!

    I’m trying to lose weight after Christmas, like you it’s not loads, but I’m out of my comfort zone and I’d like to get back there. As much as I’m surrounded by people going to diet clubs, daily gym sessions and juice fasts, I just cannot get on board with them. I want something slow, satisfying and sustainable.

    Ffion’s post was bang on the money, there’s too much negativity attached to weight loss now, when wanting to look and feel your best is a great focus to have!

    Reply
    • Laura

      I’m with you on that one, although I don’t mind a bit of juice! I think January is very hard when you want to lose some weight the sensible way, but I just remind myself that doing it like this is so much better for my body :-)

      Reply
  3. Tamzin

    I too really over did last year and got a point of really needing to rein things in! I wasn’t feeling comfortable in my clothes so I knew it was time to sort myself out! I have lost 4 pounds since Christmas and I think slow and steady is the best way to make sure the weight stays off! I’ll give myself till the end if Feb to get some facts together for the blog to help anyone else that’s struggling! Good luck sounds like you have the right idea I let you know how I get on!

    Reply
    • Laura

      I totally agree, slow and steady wins the race and doesn’t overly stress your body in the mean time!

      Reply
  4. Sarah

    First have to say i love your blog. Recipes, photos and fitness ideas fantastic.

    This post really hit a chord with me. Recovering from a severe restrictive eating disorder but having overshot my natural set point by almost a stone it is hard to find balance due to ingrained eating habits. Loving your philosophy and recipes. Made my first green smoothie last week, yum, and since then have had many more, looking forward to sampling more of your delights!

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks Sarah, so glad that you enjoy the blog! It is a hard balance to strike, if you’re anything like me, you do a lot of second guessing yourself, but focus on really nourishing your body and you’ll get there!

      Reply
  5. Emma

    Well done for speaking out about this Laura. It can’t be easy admitting that you’re in this position but like you say you have no reason to feel guilty for simply wanting to feel your best.
    You’ve got all the knowledge on your side so I’m sure you can achieve your goals :D

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks Emma x

      Reply
  6. Nicole Marie Story

    Divine post, darling. I went through that fuck it attitude from October 2011 until about October 2012. I stopped doing my yoga, and I was too far gone and fat per my standards. I hated myself and did very stupid diets throughout 2013 to backpedal. Nothing stuck? I’m getting it back in MY healthy way in 2014 with my yoga resolution, but it was complete torture during the last two years. I wish that experience on no one! My question for you is this, and I ask this with COMPLETE respect for what you do and who you are… Do you ever consider yourself a hypocrite to be coaching on ‘health’ when you’re so all over the board yourself? Or do you see yourself as a real example of what most people experience thus making your coaching more relatable? If I were seeking a health coach, I would want a very lean and fit-looking person to guide me (like Alexandra Jamieson) and that is why I stopped pursuing a formal health coaching degree in 2012. I would NOT be the chubby health coach. (In no way am I suggesting anything about your size… more so interpreting your attitude about your size). How can you coach others if YOU do not see yourself as looking and feeling your best? <3

    Reply
    • Rachel

      Hi, I know I’m butting in a bit but I just had to answer. As someone who can struggle with food and body image issues, (and therefore, the kind of person who is likely to benefit from a health coach), I find Laura’s story really inspiring. To have been there at both ends of the scale (literally!), someone ‘like me’ who knows what it is like to be overweight and all that that can do to you mentally and physically, but also to know that being very thin does not necessarily solve all your problems and can bring other issues if it is not right for your body, to me gives Laura real authenticity and I can identify with her much more than someone who has never had to struggle with body issues, or someone who fits the ‘ideal’ body image (and therefore reinforces the message that one body type is the best for everyone). Health coaches do not need to be ‘fit and lean’ to inspire – they need to be able to show how they have benefitted from making positive changes, whether they are physical, dietary or in general ‘wellness’ terms – but above all a health coach needs to be able to help someone feel at peace in their own skin.

      In admitting and discussing her own body image and food issues, Laura is allowing her health coaching clients to have permission to feel this way themselves, and to know that they can feel empowered to change their behaviours. I see so much stuff from people in the media and on the internet who all claim to ‘look and feel their best’ all the time – it doesn’t ring true for me. I’d rather be coached by someone who can say ‘you know what? I know exactly where you are coming from’ than someone who cannot identify with my issues or who puts a front on, pretending they always feel their best (and really, whoever does always feel their best?)

      I for one have found your journey fascinating to follow, Laura – never more so than when you have been open and honest about your own struggles, which must be so hard to do in a public arena, especially when you admit you were wrong about a previous way of doing things. Thanks Laura for doing this, it makes your blog so much more than a pile of recipes and workouts!

      Rachel x

      Reply
      • Nicole Marie Story

        I think we can all agree that ‘health coach’ is subjective.
        As is ‘health’.

        Reply
      • PoPpy @ Persistence Over Perfection

        I totally agree with you Rachel, it’s Laura’s honesty and experience that really make her blog (and her coaching) the vital resource that it is. I for one wouldn’t want you to change a thing Laura – you’re an inspiration to me and to so many others. Coming from a place where I’m pretty overweight (and used to be far more so), it’s reassuring to know that you’ve ‘been there’ and that you’re not perfect (whatever perfect is anyway!). I feel like you have far more authority to advise me on the issues affecting me than anyone who is 100% lean and fit for those very reasons. Please keep doing what you’re doing :)

        Reply
        • Laura

          Thanks Pop, just as I said to Rachel, that means a lot to me so thank you so much! I feel honoured that I have inspired you xxxx

          Reply
      • Laura

        Thanks so much for this Rachel, that means so so much to me. I’m completely agree, no one ever feels their best 100% of the time, and I think this healthy living stuff has an ebb and flow to it. I’m glad that my honesty has been a positive thing for you, and I hope for others as well xxx

        Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks Nicole. I think that’s a great question, and it’s with the same complete respect for who you are and what you believe in, that I answer. I think we have different concepts of what is healthy, and therefore, what makes a good health coach. I don’t think that fit and lean = healthy 100% of the time, I also believe that you can be bigger – or chubbier as you might put it, and be very healthy and an excellent health coach.

      For my situation, I would not describe it as being ‘all over the board’. As I’ve said above, what I’ve been dealing with is the tail end of an eating disorder that started way before I started studying to become a health coach. What is healthy for my body is different from what is healthy for your body, and everyone else’s. I’m not perfect, but no one is no matter what image they might project. I could lie here on the blog and project that image of perfection if I wanted to, but lying is something I would never do. No one, and I mean no one, can feel and look their best 100% of the time, anyone who suggests they can is full of shit. What they can do, is work on feeling better as and when they need to. I have not felt my best over the last few weeks and I’m doing something about it. I think my ability as a health coach is reflected in how I handle feeling like that and how quickly I have put a stop to it, than it happening in the first place. I’ve lost 6lbs already, so clearly I can evidence I know what I’m doing.

      I think Rachel’s response below answers that question better than I could anyway!

      Reply
      • Nicole Marie Story

        Laura, Thank you for the thoughtful reply! This is exactly why I keep reading you despite our VERY differently philosophies on what is ‘health’. You’re interesting, and you own it. One of very few bloggers about whom I sing praise. xo

        Reply
        • Laura

          Thanks Nicole! This is exactly it, I completely understand and respect your philosophy even though it is so different to mine because it is yours and what works for you, your body and your aesthetics xx

          Reply
  7. Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve gained some weight over the holiday season as well because of the whole “eff it” mentality, but I’m approaching it with pretty much the same mentality that you are — I’m not hating on my body or upset because of it… I’m just using it as a learning experience in the grand scheme of trying to find that nice middle ground.

    And while I can’t say that I’ve ever felt guilty about wanting to lose weight, I’m always wary of my desire to eat healthy and exercise because of my past history with my ED. I definitely feel like I’m in a completely different place with it right now, but it never hurts to pay attention :)

    Reply
    • Laura

      I think when you’ve had an ED in the past you become hyper vigilant almost, I know I’ve seconded guessed what is best for my body but I’m so good at listening to it now I feel the most confident I’ve ever been in doing what’s right for it :-)

      Reply
  8. Anna @AnnaTheApple

    I think the healthy eating blogging world has a bit of a reputation for being ‘anti’ towards losing weight. There seems to be a trend of demonising calorie counting and efforts towards losing weight. It’s strange really. I don’t think you wanting to lose a bit of weight is a bad thing at all – not that I think you need to lose weight I hasten to add! But if you feel a bit uncomfortable at your current weight then you have to do what makes you happy!
    Personally I don’t want to (nor need to) lose weight, BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t have days (and weeks!) when I’ve overeaten quite a bit of food I’d normally have once or twice a week. This week for example I have been eating cake every day, and not modest slices either. Just coincidentally there’s been a whole lot of cake in different circumstances this week (I know it’s only Tuesday but I’m counting the weekend gone too) AND I’m out for afternoon tea (again – I know) this weekend. So I know next week I will aim to be more sensible to, like you said, dial it back a bit. I’m not ashamed to admit that this is how I like to balance things. Have a naughty day, have a saintly day. That’s how I roll! And incidentally, also how Mary Berry rolls ;-)

    Reply
    • Laura

      I agree! It’s kind of weird isn’t it? I think there’s this huge thing about it being linked to ED behaviour and theres almost a fear towards it. That balance is exactly as it should be really, and if it works for Mary Berry then there you go!

      Reply
  9. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    I think there is such a stigma in the blogging world these days and its so sad – I mention this in a upcoming post. Being happy and healthy comes in different forms for different people. If loosing a few pounds is required to help anyone feel better about themselves and it is for the right reasons and not a detriment to their health then so be it! There should be no guilt involved here at all.

    I’m very much experiencing the same thing, where I have over indulged at Christmas and not just gone with because it’s the season, rather than being moderate about things. Right now I’m trying to find that balance again and to fit into my skinny jeans too. I just feel a little bit uncomfortable and heavy at the moment and would like to reign that in a bit by nourishing and taking care of my body. I not one for being restrictive though and have been having dark chocolate and such as I would go mad otherwise :-)

    I don’t hate my body because of the extra pounds at all, I’m just not feeling my best. I’m just going to use it as a learning curve and get back to my pre-Christmas healthy eating mentality. I’m just really happy that I now have the a better perspective and tools to deal with these issues now.

    Reply
    • Laura

      I think because there’s these two ends of the scale in the HLB world, one side of it being ED behaviour and the other the weight loss and I think there’s a tension there and perhaps some judgement and misunderstanding. I think most of us feel like this after Christmas when we have really enjoyed ourselves!

      Reply
  10. daisychain

    Your posts are always so insightful. This is going to be the year where I fix my relationships with food and my body too. After long last.

    We can do it =) xx

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks chick, I know you will get to where you want to be!

      Reply
  11. Ms.J

    By the sound of it you are handling this is incredibly awesome Laura! I love that you aren’t hating on yourself and focusing on nourishing your body. I have to admit I am scared of overshooting my healthy weight..and then freaking out and falling into old habits. I guess I’m overthinking things abit…

    Reply
    • Laura

      I think overthinking things is part of the process, the key is not to worry about it. Your body will find it’s way!

      Reply
  12. Lexi

    Thanks for sharing this Laura, as always you are so self aware and that is inspiring. Good luck dialling it up! :-)

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks Lexi!

      Reply
  13. Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)

    Great post as always Laura. Sounds like you’ve got into a good groove again, and I’m sure you’ll reach your ‘happy place’ soon!

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks Lauren :-)

      Reply
  14. LilyLipstick

    Love this post, Laura. I don’t there’s any reason to feel guilty about wanting to lose a bit of weight but society makes us feel bad about everything – whether its not fitting the traditional ideas of beauty, being too skinny, being a healthy weight but wanting to lose a few pounds…its awful! I found losing weight a lot easier than maintaining it – I sometimes fall into periods of over-indulging and then over restricting, I think its hard if you’ve ever had to lose or gain weight to not fall into these patterns but it sounds like you’re in a good place and in the right mindset! I’d agree with the comments above about there being a weight loss stigma – I’m a healthy weight but know I’d feel better if I lost a few pounds and yet always find myself making excuses and having to justify myself for having a salad or passing on a treat, this has definitely helped boost my “do what’s right for me” attitude! x

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks Lily, I agree, I think theres an ebb and flow with this healthy living stuff. I know that the challenge for me is to bring the extremes of over indulging and over restricting into the middle if that makes sense? I think that doing what’s right for you and your body is the only way to go!

      Reply
  15. Sian O'Brien

    I always love reading your wordy posts, they’re so down to earth and human, and of all of the resources that I’ve tried (of which there are maaaaaany) to help me get a healthier relationship with my body/food/exercise, I absolutely consistently refer to you, and my Davina DVD’s!
    What I love is the reminder you always give me of how I love people for who they are, not what they weigh, of all those I respect and admire, size and weight is *never* a feature – which is ironic then that I give myself such a hard time over that number that I ordinarily place no value in whatsoever.

    What I have the utmost respect for, is those that live life as true to themselves and to their values as possible (regardless of my personal opinion on them) as long as you are not hurting anyone or anything (including yourself!!).
    Your phrase of ‘do what works for you’ is literally tattooed to my brain! So poignant, and you know, whether it’s loosing weight within your ‘healthy range’ to feel better, buying a new pair of shoes, changing up the content of your diet, changing how your living room is laid out or choosing to write with the other hand (!), as long as whatever the change you’re wanting to make is in line with what works for you, that is the only thing that should hold any weight of impact (excuse the pun!)

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks so much Sian, I feel absolutely the same way, I love my friends and family and their size never ever comes into play, the people that truly love and care about me don’t give a toss what size I am – other than how that affects my health and happiness as it did at my biggest and smallest. I’m so glad that the ‘do what works for you’ thing has stuck because it really is the best bit of advice I could ever give xxx

      Reply
  16. sonja@vesenmork

    just now had time to read this. I really do think you are an inspiration to so many of us. When I come to think of it, i would probably give my left hand to be and stay skinny (not a healthy attitude i know, but it’s the truth) but i would at least give up a couple of fingers to be able to look in such a respectful and loving way to my body as you do to yours. and i love that this respectful doesn’t have to imply you love what you see all of the time, but you love yourself enough anyhow to do right by yourself. you rock :)

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks so much for this Sonja, that means a lot to me it really does xxxx

      Reply
  17. Ffion

    Fab post Laura, I’m in a period of ‘dialing it up’ as you put it now aswell! I’m hoping this will be the year I reach that elusive happy pint with my weight. Glad you enjoyed my blog too. :)

    Reply
  18. Rebecca

    I love this post, finding that balance, and being able to listen to my body was such a long, hard fought process for me but now I’ve done it I feel like a ninja. I rarely overeat now and when I do I really feel it. My body has learnt to tell me when it’s happy and I’ve naturally adapted my appetite and portioning to fit it. It happens so slowly over a period of time, like getting rid of a cough, suddenly you realise you don’t feel hungry anymore and you’ve stopped eating. Bam. I love that feeling of satisfied without being over full.

    I think we’re generally taught as a society that we should have it all, that we should be able to eat all and lose weight (how many diet companies sell that? I can think of three off the top of my head) and that we should be able to live the life we desire because we deserve it rather than because we’ve worked for it, through reflection or grit and determination. It takes time but really being in tune with what you put in to your body you seem to have completely down, healthy and awesome, that must have been a process too now it’s natural, the same will come of portions.

    Reply

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