Mea Culpa

I fell off the wagon today, and this blog post is my attempt to climb back on it as fast as possible.

I’ve had a bit of a discouraging week from a weight-loss point of view.  After the magnificent indulgences of Ragdale Hall (healthy indeed, but indulgences nonetheless), I decided to do the Easy Squeezy Three Day Detox which my vitality coach recommended when I was working with her late last year.  Check out the blog post on this detox if you’re interested. It’s quite simple, and the first time I did it, I lost four pounds in three days.  I’ve done it a couple more times since then, with less dramatic impact, but it’s still a good thing to do to bring your system back into line.

All was going well, until the evening of Day Three, when I accidentally made myself a lovely tomato, basil and mozzarella salad – gah!  Cheese!  I wasn’t supposed to be eating cheese! I just didn’t think. Still, as you can see, even with the dairy fail, the effects of the detox (Monday through Wednesday) were… pleasing.

2016-04-24 17.41.59

Sadly however, the feelgood didn’t last, and my morning weigh-ins have been up and down like the proverbial yo-yo all week. Even though I’m used to the way my weight fluctuates on daily weigh-ins, it was more than a little frustrating to reach a historic 14-year low – and then bounce right back up again.

Whilst I end the week just one-fifth of a pound below where I started, my weekly average tells me I’m just over a pound down on last week, which is exactly what I’ve been losing, on average, each week for the last several months. But the detox should have nudged that figure down a little, and it didn’t.

Maybe it was that moreish, melt-in-the-mouth mozzarella.

Or maybe it was the fact that I haven’t been walking much this week. I’ve been super-busy with work; starting early, finishing late and working through the day without so much as a loo-break for hours on end. I did my early morning walk only two days this week. I haven’t walked at all this weekend, and I usually do a decent 50-60 minutes on both Saturday and Sunday. Instead apart from the odd couple of hours, I’ve been sat at my desk, bum glued to chair, for days. No surprise, I’m feeling sluggish.

A couple of other things have knocked me off kilter too.  I went for a haircut on Thursday and when I said I wanted it ‘shorter and choppier’ than usual, I didn’t think I’d end up looking like… this.

I may be smiling but I'm crying inside. I'm also hiding the worst of it
I may be smiling but I’m crying inside. I’m also hiding the worst of it
One friend generously proclaimed it was a ‘Dame Judi Dench cut’. But with all due respect to this esteemed thespian, I’m not ready to be compared to any 81-year old.  Anyway, the haircut – my own misjudgement as much as my stylist’s over-enthusiasm with the scissors – has got me down.

So too the fact that I enjoyed a few so-called healthy snacks at a friend’s house yesterday evening. I liked them so much I went looking for them on Ocado this morning and found to my horror (well, dismay…), that they both contained significant quantities of… sugar. Quite how peanut and almond flavoured so-called ‘healthy’ popcorn can contain enough sugar to make it the third most significant ingredient in weight terms after popcorn and oil, is beyond me.  But it took the wind out of my sails, as I’ve been very, very good at avoiding sugary food, and I should have checked before eating these tasty treats.

So that’s two careless, accidental diet fails, a lapse of walking willpower, wobbly weigh-ins and a dodgy haircut. That all left me feeling deflated and unattractive for the first time in weeks.  And that was all it took. This afternoon, whilst busily engaged in summoning up excuses not to go for a walk in the park, I tumbled off the wagon.

Instead of taking time to plan and prepare a nice healthy meal for myself, I cracked open a 230g tub of houmous and consumed the whole thing (that’s over 350 calories, friends) with around two thirds of a packet of Luke’s Organic Gluten Free Chia & Seed Corn Chips (that’s around 100g, a whopping 486 calories and a stomach-churning 66g of carbohydrate).  Even organic, gluten free and sprinkled with chia seeds, corn chips are … corn chips. They weren’t even that nice. I am undone.

My humous/not-so-healthy corn chips binge ended at 5pm today.  Even though I don’t count calories, I know that cruising through nearly 900 of them for a ‘snack’ is heavy-duty. Add that to my breakfast (muesli with home-made almond milk, Greek yoghurt, mixed nuts and fruit, plus a few little slices of cheese and chorizo on-the-side) (well, it is Sunday…), and I’m done for the day.  I won’t eat again until tomorrow.

In fact, if I can do it… I won’t eat again in any meaningful way until Tuesday.

I’m thinking this might be a suitable time to try a one-day fast, to tell my body I’m sorry for this afternoon’s deluge of carbohydrate and bad fat.  My intention is to stick to plain water, my detox lemon drink (warm water, squeeze of lemon, ginger) and coffee (black, no sugar) for the day.  That’s for 24 hours, until at least 5pm on Monday, or longer if I can keep it up.  I will also walk tomorrow morning, whatever the weather (apparently it’s going to be cold and a bit drizzly, so cross your fingers for me, that I can dodge the worst of it).

Given that the whole point of this post is accountability (and always assuming there’s anyone out there who cares how I get on with my penance), I will report back.

Incidentally, I’m well aware that for many people, a tub of humous and a bowl of corn chips does not a binge/diet fail make. For many people, binges and diet fails are about sugar. The positive I draw from this is that mine… wasn’t about sugar.  My accidental consumption yesterday evening aside, I am very, very serious about staying away from sugar. I’ve just finished reading Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss. Reading books like this fuels my resolve – and makes it all the more annoying when my fails are accidental. But I remain quite pathetically grateful that my body does appear to be learning to live without this deadly, addictive additive.

I know I have to be able to cope with wobbles and disappointments. Part of falling down is getting up quickly and dusting yourself off.  So I put on some chillout tunes, lit an incense stick and fired up my laptop in pursuit of absolution and accountability.

Tomorrow is another day.

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Author: Jools

Abundant, Bold, Confident, Determined, Empathetic, Forthright, Grumpy, Healthier, Individual, Just me, Kind, Loving, Mellifluous, Natural, Optimistic, imPatient, Quirky, Real-world, Single-minded, unTreatable, Unwound, Verbal, Wilful, eXtraordinary, Young and old, Zero-tolerance.

39 thoughts on “Mea Culpa”

    1. Thank you indeed! But did you notice how I hid the top of my head? I couldn’t bear doing a face-on pic! Keeping on keeping on….. And thanks so much for the positive vibes – much needed today 😏

  1. So sorry to hear you’ve had a rough go. I love your honesty and that you write about the struggles, because it helps reinforce how difficult the process can be. It seems people lose that initial weight, and then each pound beyond that is like pulling teeth. It’s that body’s resistance to weight loss we were talking about last week. But like with everything, setbacks are inevitable, and I suspect you’ll cruise past this one well. And for the record, I think the haircut looks great. 🙂

    1. With 50 or more pounds to go, I know it’s a long slow process, but this is the first time in 8 months where I’ve felt I really let myself down. It’s a salutary reminder that just because most days are good, doesn’t mean it will ever be easy. Thanks re the haircut. I’m not so sure myself but at least I know it will grow back!

        1. I know… I’ve had an amazing run so far. I was mentally in a very good place for all this when I started. But you have to be able to cope with fails and blips, so it’s probably not a bad thing that it got me today.

  2. I think the haircut looks good too, but if you’re really unconvinced, remember the two week rule… And before you flagellate yourself too deeply, remind yourself how many days you have had like this since last September… You never know, this may be the shock your body needs to get burning again and part of any lifestyle change is learning how to cope with the odd blip that might sneak past. You’re doing great and it’s the 364 other days that matter most, not an errant day or two.

    1. Thanks re the haircut – but the pic really does hide the worst of it! You know me better than most, and you know how positive an experience this healthy/weight loss journey has been so far. I guess one blip in eight months isn’t so bad going. The key is to recover fast – hence the blog post. It’s a bit like phoning your sponsor. 😏

  3. First of all, your haircut is awesome and you look beautiful. Secondly, your binge at least had a modicum of healthiness to it as opposed to eating a container of ice cream. I find what you have done so far truly admirable and inspiring! The good news is the binge has passed and now you can get back on track! Go Julie! Go Julie!

    1. Thank you Cynthia… I’m not convinced about the haircut. But hair grows, doesn’t it?! As for my ‘fail’, I didn’t set out to binge. I was just going to have a little humous with cucumber. But I had the corn chips as Ocado (food delivery service) had sent them as a free sample. I started with a small bowl and just kept going back. It was exactly what the book, Salt Sugar Fat was saying about the taste being compulsive. I have thrown the rest away (and I’m taking a positive from the fact that I didn’t finish the whole packet!) and climbed back on to the wagon. 😏

  4. First, I think your hair looks great, and you could even have some of those longer bangs on top cut shorter for more choppiness and use some product in it for a slightly spikier look. But just as it is, it’s very flattering and trendy. Own it when you’re out and about and you’ll get loads of compliments.

    Don’t punish yourself today and all of Monday. Maybe avoid giving yourself the extra challenge and stress of holding to a one day fast, especially when you’re so down on yourself. Eat! Get back on track.
    Just forget about this and continue on.

    1. Thanks Perry 😊 You and so many others have said such nice things about my haircut, I’m quite taken aback. I still think I’ve taken a ‘careful’ photo though! I have product and am plastering it on – strange that the shorter the style, the greater the need of it. I’m resolved to get straight back on track, I can’t let a ‘fail’ take hold. And apart from anything else, I don’t want the heavy, bloaty feeling in my gut to linger. 😉

      1. After putting on the product, do you know you should be using your hands/fingers, from the scalp up or to the side – lift it from the roots and move it around in pieces to give it some more dimension and volume if that’s what you want.. It looks like a good cut.
        Who hasn’t eaten a tub of hummus with chips? I like the chipotle flavor. Blame it on Turkey.

        1. I think it is a good cut – and I’ve always been happy with the way my stylist cuts my hair – it just seemed more… extreme… than I’m used to. Good advice re product, thanks, and I know to be careful and not use too much (been there, been slathered!). You know… I’ve eaten plenty of chips of all kinds, but I’ve never eaten a whole tub of humous before! Going to bed feeling a little blobby as a result 😱

          1. I’ve always used John Frieda Sheer Blonde wax (in an over-excess of marketing madness, they call it Spun Gold Balm). It comes in a small tin – but I don’t believe they make it any more and I’m eking out my last tin very judiciously. Another one that works ok on my fine hair is Fudge Hair Shaper which you can get at Boots. The trick with any of these products is to use a lot less than you think you need. Just a little dab on your fingers, then rub it into your palms to get it warm, then tease it into the roots of your hair, finishing off stray ends too. Remember it’s always easier to add more, than than extract it when you’ve glopped on too much!

          2. LOL I’m a lawyer not a hairdresser I have no clue because I don’t know what’s available where you are, but you can use anything right from drugstore stuff to products sold at places like Sephora. You need to experiment to tell what works best for your hair. If it’s fine, I would try a mouse before a gel. But that’s what your looking for – a mouse or gel that you work through damp hair. I break all rules and use it on damp AND dry hair, but I have a lot of hair. Some stuff gets very hard when you out it in, so you need to try a few. For thriftiness and good result, Garnier Nutresse ( made by Loreal) has some good products. If you don’t want curls, make sure not to get anything that says it’s a curl enhancer.

          3. LOL, well, I’m a lawyer, not a hairdresser, but I wore short hair for years and had at least one experience like yours, if not more. But I have different hair – lots of it, so it takes a stronger product. I used to use Sebastian Mud in a jar. You want something lighter weight for fine hair, but with enough hold to move it around where you want it.Mouse is lighter than Gel, but a light Gel would work. And you need to be willing to put up with a little unseen, but definitely felt, stiffness.

    1. Thank you 😊 I actually don’t regard this as a diet, but a change to a healthier lifestyle and habits. In reality, once I get to a weight I’m happy with, the adjustments needed to maintain rather than continue losing weight are very, very small. I realise what I do must be sustainable for ever – so I have to learn to enjoy a half-dozen corn chips, here and there, without the compulsion to consume the whole packet.

  5. So you’re human. And also on an extraordinary journey. You checked into a dodgy motel fir the day. We all do it but you’ll soon be back at the quality hotels and all will be rosy.

    1. Going well so far today anyway – and I’m determined to overcome the blip. As for dodgy motels, you reminded me, I have a great actual ‘dodgy motel’ story, might make a good blog post one day!

  6. when I slide, (and it happens often) my first thought is always, maybe I’m not meant to be thin. Doesn’t really help the guilt trip at all, but then I’m a mass of contradictions. Before my brush with the cancer, I managed to lose two stone, almost effortlessly. At least that’s what it seemed like. Wish I could remember exactly what I did, for I could use it now as I’ve been comfort eating for several people!

    1. It’s a mark of modern society, I think, that we have such different attitudes to thinness than in the past. Days gone by, almost everyone was thin/slim, mainly because they ate home-prepared foods and had much more active lifestyles. People alive before the advent of processed foods and desk-jobs would not have understood the battles some of us face with our weight.

      The goal is always that ‘effortless’ loss of weight. It’s that sublime confluence of energy, attitude and time that somehow makes the whole process easier than it has ever been before. I think I’m there right now (barring the odd blip), as I know this time is different from my many, many previous attempts. I hope you can recapture whatever magic-dust it was which made your weight-loss effortless before.

      Comfort eating is a misnomer, I fear. Instant comfort maybe, but endless discomfort follows. Nobody ever does ‘comfort exercise’, do they?!

    1. Wow, thank you, Wendy! It’s grown a bit now, due for another scissor-attack next week. I must admit, it was a shock at first, but it… um… grew on me!

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