Friday, 2 August 2013

"Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken."

I wrote this post a while back but for some reason didn't post it. It wasn't until this week when me and Mrs M were talking after weighing ourselves that we realised that each of us, since we have changed our eating habits have both lost weight what is the equivalent of Opeie (well over his weight actually) and between us we have lost more than Seth. When we thought about it like that its actually quite scary that we were both carrying so much unnecessary weight. 

When I'm in the playground taking or picking Seth up from school I love listening to the moms having their debates, ranting about trivial things,  I don't purposely eavesdrop but some of them are quite vocal. One of the top categories I hear is after child birth body issues. Clearly I have no idea what it's like to have my body stretched out while something grows inside of me but I can related and sympathise with many of the things that are discussed during this school yard adult bonding session. 

I was a lot slimmer before I met Mrs M but over the years I have developed quite the gut on me. It's probably not nearly as bad as I see myself, you know what it's like when you are brutally picking at your own faults, You tend to magnify everything. With that in mind though at my heaviest I had packed on a whopping 3 stone. When Mrs M became ill (which I've written about many times) I had to leave both work and uni to look after her and take care of Seth, it was a tough time for all of us and I began comfort eating. Like many people my sweet tooth would always get the better of me and I would crave rubbish (Mcvities digestives being my ultimate down fall). I was at home most of the time as Mrs M was virtually housebound so exercise had pretty much gone out the window. This went on through the pregnancy with Opeie and when Opeie finally arrived and Mrs M's health returned she jumped on the junk food wagon with me. You don't realise how easy it is to fall in to a bad routine. Especially when your a stay at home parent. You end up picking at the kids food while your cooking, when they don't finish their meals you clear the plate for them and sitting down for a cup of tea ends up as sitting down for a cup of tea and the best part of a packet of biscuits. It's a nightmare. I got to the point where I thought 'this is what size ill be forever now so I might as well just eat what I want', even though I was pretty miserable every time I walked past our mirror in the hall or a shop window and caught a glimpse of myself. If I'm honest the only reason I originally grew my beard was to hide a double chin.

The other major problem was that while I was bulking up I was tired all the time and running about with the boys seemed so much effort. Its also really held me back with other things. I should really take the boys swimming but because i have insecurities about my body i seem to avoid it unless we're on holiday which is really unfair on the boys.

Both myself and Mrs M decided that was enough and before our holiday to Florida last year we both started eating better and exercising more. I managed to lose a substantial amount of weight and even though I pretty much ate what I wanted while I was away I managed to keep the weight off. Unfortunately when we got back I fell off the dieting wagon and ended up much heavier than I originally was. I wasn't feeling great about myself and I was going through some emotional issues and I guess I just gave up. Mrs M stuck to her guns though and the weight has been dropping off her she's done brilliantly. I inevitably began to feel sluggish again and after weighing myself one day and looking down at an 18st 6 pounds reading I felt pretty ashamed of myself. I had other food related health issues so it was time for a change.

I hear from other moms a lot that the snacking on biscuits and things is the most annoying thing for them because they can't seem to stop themselves and I completely understand. Refined sugars are like a drug and I didn't think I would ever get over the hump. I wouldn't advise all people to do it but I decided to go cold turkey, that probably sounds over dramatic with it just being sugar but the 3 days of discomfort back it up. After only three days of not having any I didn't crave things in the same way but during that time as crazy as it sounds I had severe headaches and at more than one occasion thought I was going to black out, my body was craving it so badly. 

I've been eating really healthily for the past few months now but the hardest meal for me to get round was breakfast. I used to have cereal, pick at the boys toast, hot cross buns, bagels and whatever else I could fill up on. I'd eat before taking Seth to school and them eat again when I had got back home. Mrs M was the same with breakfast as a meal so we invested in a protein powder for fruit smoothies and Ive never looked back. Also buying a juicer was probably our best purchase this year and because of it in the last 4 months Ive lost 2st 9lb. I have had a few extra dramatic changes in my diet, Ive basically cut out Gluten and i no longer have cows milk, I'm trying to slowly remove dairy from my diet because i don't think it agrees with me but my love of yogurts is holding me back.

This is a strange post for me as its not directly about the boys but it is relevant. I embrace every moment i have with my family and i don't want to shorten that time in any way or put myself in a situation where i cant fully enjoy it. I know it's difficult to get yourself out of a food funk but its not impossible. You just need a goal. For Mrs M the driving force is our wedding day and although i want to make sure im in good shape for that amazing day for me its something a lot more simple. I want to be able to reach up for things and not feel like i need to pull my t-shirts down.

Having Mrs M in my life has helped most, although i could never give up meat her vegan and Raw recipes have let me have the most amazing treats guilt free. (check out some of her recipes here), we've also met some really switched on people along the way who have really helped with information and their own healthy eating stories (thank you Mr and Mrs Spivey).

Ive still got a long way go but the most important thing is that this is the last time I'm ever going to be dieting. my new way of eating is a way of life now and i don't intend to start eating badly and get myself in to the same situation no matter what I'm going through in my life. It's a long road but i know I'm doing it right, no crash diets, or quick fixes. No weekly public weigh-ins or Expensive meal plans delivered to my door. To lose serious weight and keep it off its about changing your habits, being proactive and respecting the food that you consume.

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