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Perfect ten. Sunday June 12, 2016

I'm on a diet. I need to lose weight. My weight has been a problem to me over the years. But I don't ever see myself as a fat girl, I only see me as I was. Always skinny as a youngster. Sometimes it's the clothes that nip and crease or just won't do up, sometimes it's the photos that tell me - god, you're fat! And it's always a shock! How did that happen? Someone snuck in during the night and pumped me full of fat!!! Or did I eat from a plate that said EAT ME and drink from a bottle that said DRINK ME!

I wish I hadn't! Why did I? Was I seeking comfort? Eating from boredom or just because it was there? I know tonight I ate far too much. I put together a wonderful selection of chilli foods - chilli beef and beans, re-fried beans, nachos, cheese, sour cream, guacamole... and then I had to eat it! Just me. Wasn't trying to impress anyone but me. I knew how it should be done and I did it. Knew I was on a diet. But I ate it. I am furious with myself. Tomorrow I will have to work twice as hard at the gym.

I could give up, but I won't! It's important to me, to my self esteem. I want to look as good as I can and so I will go the extra mile. I will get my weight back under control.

Why? This might be very shallow, but when people tell me I look good - I feel good. When my clothes hang right (no extra bumps and curves) I feel people looking at me and not appraising me badly but WELL! It makes me feel better about myself.

Is it shallow of people to judge me this way (yes of course it is and I know this is only peripheral - but at least they look!) or is it more shallow of me to be affected by it? Probably! However I bet most of us have body issues? I never knew anyone who was totally happy with what they were given, or trained and acquired. Look around - not many perfect tens (or male equivalents)! However with a plan and sticking to the plan perhaps we could all be perfect tens!!

So what is my message - apart from avoid the chilli and all the trimmings! It is really about taking control of what is important to you. Only you/me can do this for ourselves! And it's about self respect. Set your values and stick with them. If body image is an issue/value for you, as it is for me, then it has to be worth working at and sacrificing for.

I let myself down today but I am not going to beat myself up about it anymore. Tomorrow I shall diet again and exercise some more and take control back into my hands and out of the hands of that little demon who was serving my dinner tonight. She's sacked!

I have faced up to my foolish excesses, forgiven myself, but each and every day is a new opportunity for a new start. Tomorrow can be a wonderful new today.

What will you do with your new day today or tomorrow?

A Moodscope Member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Orangeblossom Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 8:07am

Hi Alice' thanks for your blog. I read it with great interest & fully identified with it.

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 8:48am

Your blog gets a perfect ten from me, Alice!
Ugh the dieting...have gone up a few pounds myself....darn that, curry, wine!
But that's the trouble really...we almost always overeat/drink/spend/hurt ourselves to compensate for something else: I've had a hard day at work/or (fill in the whatever it is that deserves something) - it's reward time.
So where did the reward system come from? I know that many of us do it so we need to break the cycle and think that actually the reward will be not overeating or drinking but being able to be admired and accepting the compliments and fitting into that dress/trousers without spelling over the top!
Slightly overweight Bear hugs to you all...will wave paws excitedly to work off a few pounds!!
x x x

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 5:04pm

Dear Bear, kind as ever. Where does the reward system come from - our upbringing. How we were trained as young. Guilt/reward.......we are stuck with it!

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 5:04pm

Dear Bear, kind as ever. Where does the reward system come from - our upbringing. How we were trained as young. Guilt/reward.......we are stuck with it!

Anonymous Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 8:49am

Good morning Alice. Dieting is rife with problems. I could never stick to one. I know that and now will never start a diet. My weight has crept up over the years but recently with all my bike riding, I find I can eat whatever I like and have actually lost a few lbs. I would rather be a few lbs lighter but as I can eat whatever I like and I am not fat by any means, I am going to stick with with how I am. We don't really know what a normal weight or size is these days. I was reading in Heat magazine that Katy Perry and Jennifer Lawrence are considered Plus sizes!! Yet they are size 8 to 10 in UK sizes. They and some other normal sized celebrities are on a mission to eductae the public, particularly young girls and boys about what is a normal weight and "look"
I hope you really enjoyed the Mexican meal you are beating yourself over and wish you hadn't eaten! I think weight drops off if you start to be less fixated on it. People tell me that if I stop thinking about my lack of sleep, it will come back naturally but possibly, like you Alice, I cannot stop myself obsessing about insomnia and how it impacts on my life. So I do understand and wish you bon courage with losing weight. But if you do over eat and drop off the diet for a short time, don't beat yourself up about it. As you say tomorrow's another day. Julxx

Angela Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:44am

I've recently been unable to cope so have eaten loads of sweet things " to make myself feel better" It blocks the feelings out. It feels a lesser evil than self harming to cope.

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 11:31am

Angela, its a much better alternative so I am glad you are there. Don't drop it. You have made a great leap forward and when you are ready you can leap again. Have you got anyone around to support you?

Angela Mon, Jun 13th 2016 @ 5:02pm

Hi ratg, I have an appt with cmht on 30th june. Some friends from Church know about my MH probs xx

Leah Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:47am

Great to see your name on Moodscope again. I love food too much to be slim but I feel I am healthy and am nearly comfortable with my body and could look into a mirror and smile. I wish you all the best . My eating is also a reflection of my emotions. Cheers Leah

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 5:09pm

Hi Leah, you are right food, eating and our emotional state are linked. Can't remember who the model was who said "nothing tastes as good as being slim" or words to that effect.......personally I think you have it right! And admire the approach whilst recognising my own weakness and putting it out there helps me see how silly it is! What could be better than being healthy? Keep writing Leah. Love to read your words xx

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:59am

Hello Alice, what a super blog. I agree with Bear, food is frequently used to replace or supplement something else. If you can, stop around the time you want to eat and ask yourself 'what do I need' it sometimes helps. I mean 'what do I need' emotions-wise not food wise. It might make your food choice different and help you find what you really need. I had less of a problem with food and more of a problem with alcohol until I overhauled life. I would find I would crave a glass of wine at my most tired time of day, the time when home life with 3 children became really busy and the time when I missed having someone to share it with. So the reason I was drinking was because I was tired and lonely. I couldn't do very much about either of those things...but it was a support to know and it made a difference.

As always, I believe we will each have success in whatever we need to do if we just keep going. Everyone falls off the path but as long as you fall off and instantly get back on then you will reach the goal, just a day later. Eyes on the prize... Love ratg x.

Lexi Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 12:45pm

RATG - me too. Ah, me too. The tired and lonely and glass (or 2) of wine go hand in hand. I too am trying to stop and ask myself "what do I really want" before reaching for the glass. Some days I find alternatives - tea, yoga, meditating - other days I give in. But I find forgiving myself and starting the new day with fresh resolve and thinking through the day and planing out what to do at the witching hour really helps. Thank you for your awesome words. It's nice to know our struggles are shared by others. xo

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 5:12pm

Yes RATG and Lexi!! Knowing we are not alone, strange or too different is what this site allows us. I think we all have weaknesses with our consumptions at some time. Although I wrote this while back I still remember how I felt that night. But I knew I wasn't alone. Xx

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 11:00am

I belatedly replied to yesterday's blog for anyone who commented x.

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 11:07am

And my tips for food changes:

(apologies that the formatting will probably make this come through as one big paragraph!)

Have two big dried dates when you crave sugar. Its still sugar but natural and the caramel taste can be enough to satiate.

Or have two squares of 80% chocolate. Its quite bitter but so rich it can stop the craving for anything else. Eat it slowly, let it melt in the mouth.

Menu plan. Always. Everything. It will take away the focus on food.

Prepare your fruit and veg intake in the morning and have it then have something to reach for. After a while, it becomes second nature and you start to lose the cravings for other stuff.

Eat the 'bad' stuff but have it only when, and in the amount, you have decided in advance.

Eat good fats...cashews, avocado...the make you feel full and help hormone balance.

Drop gluten. It makes a huge difference. Bread, pasta etc, and don't do the high calorie replacements. There's no need to go 100% super strict unless you are ceoliac but dropping 80% from your diet makes an enormous difference. Wheat based foods don't really give much nutrition to your diet.

Think "what is this giving me" before you eat it.

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 11:27am

Last point before I bore everyone senseless...

Have the chilli. It tastes great! Just adapt it. So drop the nachos, have gauacamole but only if its homemade. Half the meat and make it up with veg, so use half the minced beef in your recipe but bulk it with red peppers and celery. Have something like rocket in place of the nachos, still use cheese. You'll still have the tastes but you will have transformed it into a much healthier alternative. I read once that a habit change can take up to 20 attempts. Eat your new chilli 20 times and maybe you'll not go back to the other version...let me know if it works!
OK I'm now shutting UP :-)

Christine Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 1:11pm

RATG, if Alice keeps the meat and drops the nachos it will be better still...the fat is way healthier than too many carbs! - Christine

Skyblue Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 3:12pm

That's really encouraging info about the 20 attempts at a habit change, ratg. Thanks. We've been trying to get red meat down to once a week and it's been a slow process but coming along well. In the same vein, I heard that once you've practised a new routine (exercise, daily meditation, food elimination, whatever) for 30 consecutive days, the body internalizes the new ways. xx

Lexi Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 1:18pm

Hi Alice. Your dinner sounded delicious. :) I was wondering - do you give yourself time to be "bad?" I mean, when I need to cut back on foods I allow myself one day a week to eat whatever I want. We are always so hard on ourselves, so much more so than others. Can we reach our goals while being kind to ourselves, loving ourselves, forgiving? There's a reason I reach for wine and it's not just for the taste...though I do love a rich, buttery, oaky chardonnay....but seriously I am like RATG in the sense that I reach for it when I'm tired and lonely, which is a lot these days. Knowing that actually helps me to replace the wine with something else and in fact lessens my desire for it. Not sure if that would help you, but regardless I know you will reach your goal!

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 5:16pm

I was there Lexi but have been a little down of late and expect that my lifetime struggles will continue! In a way I hope they do - it does give me something to focus on! That plus exercise - please don't forget exercise. The two go hand in had for me. Alice x

Christine Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 1:25pm

Hello Alice I was very interested in your many of us, men and women of all ages really struggle with our weight. I am now over 15 stone (210 lbs) and feel total despair at ever losing any weight at all. I "blamed" it on medication - but I stopped all medication over a year ago; the small print showed "may cause weight gain" and I could not deal with that on top of the terrible physical pain I am I self medicate (!) with whiskey. It doesn't take the pain away, but it stops me crying. Despite the pain, most days I work do very hard physical work; we have a huge garden, plus a wood - 10 acres in all, with streams and ponds and waterfalls, idyllic, and exhausting. since moving here in 2013, I have gained 3 stone (42 lbs) even though I do watch what I eat....whiskey has no carbs(!) rarely eat anything with sugar, and like you, am constantly surprised to see myself in a mirror; how did I get so FAT?? In my head, I am thin as I was in my 20s, although as a 62 year old, I do get told "weight often comes on you as you age"...solution? Shrug. I don't see one anywhere....and like you, I can hate myself after eating "so-called" BAD food - but I do try to hold onto the bigger (sic) picture; food is POLITICAL. Decisions made by people (not us) to add corn starch and corn sugar to everything, is beyond our control. We can help ourselves best by eating food that has been as little processed as possible....and as for meat, eating only organic and free-range everything else will have been fed the corn starch/sugars, too.....I'm ranting now...I'll finish...but Alice; I hear you. xx

Tutti Frutti Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 3:53pm

hi Christine - I've had trouble with some of the medication I have had for my bipolar and weight gain. It's been pretty depressing when I come out of an episode of mania and am plummetting downwards anyway to find that I've put 2 or 3 stone on and need a new wardrobe 3 sizes bigger than normal. I have finally shifted the weight from my last episode 4 years later (to cross about what had happened to diet effectively in the first 3 years). Anyway I do feel for you. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you dont sound like you know that unfortunately alcohol has calories in itself whether there is any sugar in it or

Tutti Frutti Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 3:59pm

Sorry trouble with uploading today. The above should say whether it has sugar in or not. I also wanted to let you know that I have found slimming world really supportive. They are good on helping you ditch the guilt if you have a lapse which surprisingly actually makes it easier to stay on track and they have a daily allowance to use for treats so you can still have whisky or chocolate or whatever on occasion. Love and hugs TF

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 5:18pm

Hi Christine. Loved your response - rant away!!

The Gardener Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 1:51pm

Alice's blog must resonate with half the population. Biggest swizz, exercise helps weight loss. I have an amazing metabolism - if I was an breed of animal providing food I'd be very popular as a good converter. I'm told that if your maintenance is 1800 calories per day, and you have an extra glass of wine you need to walk 5 miles to use it up, or where does it go? On the hips. I used to write a lot on agricultural politics particularly marketing of our product, vegetables. I shopped in the supermarkets of rather a poor town locally, lots rented accommodation, what is loosely, and wrongly termed 'working' class. I scrutinised their trolleys - not just all carbs, but nearly all processed, so very costly and full of additives - not even fruit, save the odd banana. People try to excuse the weight saying that it's their 'genes'. So many fat children I noted had fat mothers. Mothers had got fat on an appalling diet (and no exercise) and they brought their children up the same way. There is a saying 'in every fat person there is a thin one trying to get out'. Victimising fat people is, in theory, wrong - but if you spend a long plane journey half in the aisle because your neighbour's flesh oozes over into your seat then you feel they ought to pay more to put their bulk in a wider seat. One quite alarming thing I saw on TV - at the Queen's birthday celebrations in St. Paul's Kate Middleton (still think of her that way) looked spectacularly elegant, but SO thin. Being the world's most famous clothes horse hope she has not gone anorexic.

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 5:19pm

Fabulous response Gardiner xx

Jonathan Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 2:51pm

I have major problems with diets. Due to my spinal injury I can not exercise, I can only stand or walk for very short periods of time. I even have an app that tell me I've been a good boy and met my target for standing for the day. Yeah I have actually achieved something it might even raise my moonscape test score above it current 1%. I often wonder how many people on the sight actually take the test regularly.
1% puts my life in perspective. Oh well perhaps it might get to 2% one day. I better go and make my next slimmers shakes. Skimmed milk, a banana and the magic powder all blitzed together yummy. Keep well everyone. My thoughts and prayers are with you all (sorry but that's all I can give as I don't have any hopes and dreams!)

Thought off the day: Not All disabilities can be seen

Skyblue Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 3:02pm

Hi Jonathan, hopes and dreams don't have to be big. My morning smoothie lets me feel ecstatic for a few minutes in the morning and sometimes that's enough to feel what joy is. I'm thinking of your slimmer's shake here:) Thoughts and prayers are everything. I send mine back to you. xx

Tutti Frutti Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 3:31pm

Johnathan I am very touched that you are praying for the rest of us while feeling so low. I have prayed for you as well. Love TF

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 5:26pm

Good luck Jonathan with your targets. I do believe that is what it is all about. It doesn't have to be large, it is still an achievement. And we all know what we ourselves can achieve. We are not competing with others only our 'other' self! But in your eating the most important target is health. Your all round health........... Alice x

Skyblue Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 2:56pm

Hi Alice. No, I don't think it's shallow to feel good when you know you look good; it's important to feel that our representation of ourselves to the world reflects who we are in the best possible way. That's not vanity. I have the opposite problem to all of you re weight. For a long time, food allergies and chemical sensitivity caused huge problems and I just didn't digest food properly. Also, when depressed, I just couldn't eat or else I'd actually forget to do so. As a result, I was underweight for a long time. It used to upset me when people would say 'you must put some weight on' and I'd think 'would they give their opinion if I was overweight instead?' I felt self-conscious enough as it was without concerned directives. I'm so much better now, my weight much more normal for my bone structure, etc. It's important to find your body weight that makes you feel like YOU, whatever that is, and that requires taking control, with love and respect for your physical body. Re gluten: I had a nasty fall last September and my weight plummeted again to the point of being upsetting. i needed to do something drastic so started having an M&S croissant every single day. A dear friend literally pushed them through the letter slot when I was too fragile to get out of bed!! Upshot: within 6 weeks I had gained more than half a stone and I know it was the croissants!! I write this by way of saying that, yeah, if you're trying to drop some weight, gluten could be key. And it goes without saying that avoiding all the processed stuff is important also. Go well, all you beautiful people! Thank you, Alice. xx

Tutti Frutti Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 4:15pm

Alice I don't think it's shallow to feel better about yourself for being complimented on how you look either. There are obviously much more important things about people than how they look and I don't feel anyone should be judged for their weight. You never know why that is how they are. I have just managed to shift the weight I put on last time I was manic and I am definitely getting a boost from being complimented. I think for me though it is because I can actually manage to believe these compliments at the moment and believe that I deserve them after all my hard work. There are so many other areas of my life where I would just dismiss compliments that I think it is good rather than shallow that I am taking these ones on board. Best wishes for your diet and glad to hear that you have forgiven yourself for the chilli and are getting on with it again. Love TF PS I comfort eat too (whole packets of smarties on occasion even though they are really too sweet for me these days and I land up feeling a bit queasy. How daft is that?) Will certainly be trying to ask myself 'what do I need' in future. Thx.

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 5:28pm

Lovely points there SkyBlue and Tutti Frutti!

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 5:36pm

Can I just say to everyone, how much I appreciated your comments. When you write a blog and no one responds it feels just awful! To know that what one writes touches a nerve or offers some positive thought to help someone else is great. Food and drink are so important in our lives, whether to keep us alive and healthy, as an unhealthy obsession or with a spin off impact on ourselves and/or those around us. There is no simple panacea, no recipe for success if we do have problems of this nature but sharing helps. And throughout the human experience there has been no greater sharing than the breaking of bread and offering of hospitality. Excuse the pun - it is inbred........

Alice xx

Mary Wednesday Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 7:35pm

Hmmm... such a sore point Alice.... Yet more surgery on Friday and another month without exercise... It's only 30lbs I need to lose but - oh - the difficulty. I am engaged in defeating the demon alcohol at present (he's winning on balance so far, but I will prevail eventually) and I trust his absence in my life will assist the weight loss - just so long as I don't replace him with his brother demon, sugar!

Alice Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:19pm

Oh Mary. So sorry. Said from the heart and with deep deep understanding. Stay well and fight the demons. Xxx

Laura Mon, Jun 13th 2016 @ 1:13am

Hi Alice - I can relate to wondering how it happened! I gained 40 pounds from taking Lithium for only 6 months, and another 15 from 2 months of Depakote. Yes, that was over 10 years ago, and I am in the process of trying to lose it all again. It's very hard.

On the upside, at least you go to the gym! Give yourself some credit for that. Here's to health and happiness to all of us :)

Anne Tue, Jun 14th 2016 @ 7:35am

Um hey, I don't have the mental energy to go into this in depth, but I just wanted to say that as someone who's been struggling with an eating disorder for years, I found this super triggering to read and I really would've appreciated some sort of trigger warning at the beginning of your post.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Jun 14th 2016 @ 8:14am

Hi Anne, sorry if this has caused you some angst. We will bear that in mind when publishing blogs in future. Kind regards. Caroline

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