Sunday, 23 September 2007

Going against the grain

Wow. My new job has kept me crazy busy and the longer hours have had a huge impact on my free time. Really, a big adjustment but I love it! I'm actually learning again and it's wonderful. This has meant two things for my CR though:

1. I have had *no* time to weigh and measure everything I eat so have been DTBIC for the last week.
2. I've hardly had time to think about food. This means I eat less but have also been eating more quickly and perhaps not getting the best nutrition (steamed frozen veg vs fresh for dinner etc).

I've also been getting way too little sleep and I've found this makes me 'hungrier' during the day. Tiredness is a big stressor for me so I look to food for comfort. Nothing horribly bad mind you, but I've found myself eating grains, namely bread, which is so available when eating on the run.

Every so often I re-read April's post How to Start CR for girls and each time I agree a little bit more. I'm fine with my protein intake and regularly get over 70g per day, with over 30g at breakfast. This mostly comes from whey protein, low fat yogurt and prawns (shrimp). I've had issues with cutting out grains though. It's just so friggin difficult (wah wah wah)... but I know I can do it and I know it will be totally worth it. I just don't like how I feel after eating grains - bloated, sluggish and craving MORE, no matter how low GI or whatever they are. This weekend I ate rye bread on Saturday and whole grain cereal (all bran) today. Both supposedly "healthy" options but both kicked off huge carb cravings which I detest. So, I'm going off them. I find it much easier to go cold turkey than to have a little every now and again, so it's bye bye bread and cereal. I won't be missing how wretched you make me feel!

I'm also going to try to lower my saturated and up my non saturated fat. Balancing omega 3s and 6s however, may take a little more time...

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Too busy to CRON?

No way! I've had a super busy week since last Wednesday. I left my old job, spent the weekend in scotland, started a new job on Monday and had major boyfriend issues all week. The weekend wasn't great as I visited my parents and I can never resist my mum's cooking but otherwise it's been pretty good. I've been too busy to put everything into CoM but I can tell I'm on track: my weight's dropping and my skin is clear and I feel energetic. One of the good things about my new job is that I'll be working hard all day, not having to think about food or nutrition and I'll need to prepare lunches in advance. The office has a microwave, which is a novelty for me after 2 years of working where they were considered a threat to health and safety. I doubt the weather in London is going to get much better in the coming months so does anyone have any good recipes for reheatable food I can make in a batch on the weekend, freeze and eat all week?

I've given myself a new rule of not eating junk (free or otherwise) at the new office. I think I'll be pretty successful as the staff there are so busy they just don't have time to think about buying treats to offer other people. The cafeteria has a cheap but meagre salad selection, though they do have oil roasted vegetables which I love. I've been eating salads there since I started and probably will do again tomorrow. Today a had a couple of spoonfuls of rice and peas and a couple of spoons of tuna pasta with my veg. For dinner I had some canned sardines, canned vegetable soup, and steamed frozen soya beans with wasabi. I'm on a semi-vegetarian-craving-beans kick at the moment.

Also going to navigate the route to work tomorrow on my bike. The shower facilities there are nice - they even have a steam room!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Storing avocado

Does anyone have any tips on how to store an avocado without it turning brown? I'd like to eat one over the course of a few days. Is this even possible?

Monday, 3 September 2007

Cat eats corn

Camo Peach

Camouflage Peach
Originally uploaded by cronuk
So I calmed the hell down a little over the weekend and stopped worrying so much about food, calories, hunger and meal timings. I ate when I was hungry and I ate things that perhaps weren't optimal (dark rye bread and brie!) but I feel much better about myself.

Still I'm 2lbs over the weight I need to be for my competition on Saturday so I need to be quite careful with my intake this week.

I re-realised that I too often concentrate on my failures with cr and forget my achievements. This afternoon for example, I chose not to have lunch but joined my colleagues in the canteen. I won't lie, it is near torture to sit and watch people eat my favourite foods (of course the one day I go to the canteen they have burritos) but I keep reminding myself it's *my* choice and not giving in to each and every food desire, both mine and other's, makes me feel so much better in the long run. I think about my camo peach sitting at home waiting for me after taekwondo tonight and how much more satisfying it will be to eat it knowing I triumphed over my learned reactions to the sight and smell of gak. Unlike Mary's healthy canteen, ours serves its fair share of gak along with adulterated healthy options (fish and veg slathered with butter; salad with dressings).

I've also noticed that eating a high-protein breakfast and not having lunch actually helps manage my hunger better than eating a big salad at work. The experimentation continues...

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Weight up again

Well I've had a completely ad-lib long weekend of eating at my parent's house. I don't know what it is about going there that makes me eat so much. I suspect it's linked to emotional eating and how going back home makes me mentally slip back into childhood where I could eat anything and everything it wouldn't matter. My mother is also a complete binge-enabler: "you're allowed just a little treat once in a while". Nooo mother! I had to beg her not to have her usual hoard of chocolates in the house before I came down so instead she had a heap of dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruit, cheeses... need I go on?

I brought my little scales with me (which I have yet to blog about, but needless to say they're awesome) but I did I use them? No! I think I was too embarrassed because we had a cousin from far away staying with us. I'm so paranoid that people will think I have an eating disorder if they see me weigh my food. Well, I'm actually worried I do have an eating disorder anyway. I gained 8 lbs in four days! That's not healthy. I feel really bloated and fat around my face. It's the most I've weighed all year and to be honest it's left me quite depressed. I had to drag myself out of bed this morning and had no appetite all day. I have a martial arts competition in two week's time and I know I won't make the weight category, my body just won't give up the weight that quickly. I guess I have to face up to the fact that right now I'm not doing CRON - I'm basically just binging and fasting. I can't give up though, I want to be fit and slim and live a long and healthy life so I'll continue to update this journal and do my best at calorie restriction with optimal nutrition.

I want to not crave carbs so much. I want to re-learn how to respond to my body's hunger signals instead of just feeding it at regular intervals. I want to reduce my portion sizes and not crave more when I'm finished. I want to learn how to make more delicious, healthy food. I want to be able to deal with hunger better - it's really not the end of the world if I'm hungry for half an hour. I want to be able to turn down unhealthy food without feeling deprived.

I have to list some positive things because otherwise I'll just sit here and cry and think about how I've ruined my body and fitness in the past month.

* Still cycling to and from work every day. I raised my seat a few inches and it made all the difference to my speed.
* Started jogging/running/stumbling in the early morning - at an embarrassingly slow pace.
* Bought iron supplements for days when I'm low.
* Bought a bag of brazil nuts for days when I'm low on selenium. Hopefully I won't eat these by the handful!

Well, as I said before, I can't give up. I am truly dedicated to CRON and I hope that will make all the difference.

Friday, 24 August 2007

“tottering between the worlds of crap and health”

A nice quote from the CR society mailing list archives. It's how I feel about my CR at the moment. I know enough about nutrition to make good choices but I don't know enough about myself yet to make those choices consistently.

Therefore, some lists:

Things I’ve learned about myself from doing CR
• Prior to CRON I was eating fairly nutritious food but way too many calories. When I wanted to lose weight I would eat less but my nutrition would suffer.
• I gain weight and store fat very easily. This sucks right now but will be good for my CRON in the long term. :-)
• I need very few calories to maintain my current weight (between 1300-1400kcal per day).
• I lose weight best and have the best fitness when I am in the midst of a running and light weight lifting regime.
• My muscle mass goes away within a matter of weeks when I stop weight lifting.
• I feel best when I’m doing 'hardcore' CRON (weighing and measuring everything) and exercising a lot.
• Exercise is my best appetite suppressant.
• Unless I make a conscious effort, I don’t drink enough fluids during the day.
• I am addicted to carbs such as bread and pasta, cakes, sweets and chocolate. I also find strong/flavourful cheese very addictive. These foods are major binge triggers for me.
• I can overeat legumes and grains very easily.
• I can eat a lot of food, be full, and still want to eat more.
• When I’m out I sometimes buy single servings of trigger foods (such as a small cake) which on its own would be acceptable CR but almost always triggers an extremely strong desire for more.
• I love trying new foods and eating out at restaurants, particularly fine dining or unusual places. However, most restaurant meals are a huge binge trigger for me.
• I find food waste abhorrent and get angry when I see others wasting food.
• I therefore find it very difficult not to clean my plate.
• I find it very difficult to turn down free/freely available food.
• My appetite is stimulated by the sight, smell and even description of food.
• My hunger peaks between 10 and 12 am regardless of whether I’ve had breakfast or not. Similarly I also get very hungry between 4pm and 6pm.
• Sometimes I am hungry in the morning, sometimes I’m not.
• I have become way more interested in food and nutrition since I started CRON.

Changes I’ve made
• I no longer keep pasta or bread in the house. I don’t buy large packets of any kind of trigger food.
• I keep any carby trigger foods I still have from the bad old days (rice & beans) out of sight.
• I rarely eat meat at home but I sometimes have salmon sashimi on a Saturday.
• I eat bigger quantities and a wider range of vegetables.
• I no longer eat cereal at home.
• I no longer drink milk at home.
• I buy my vegetables either frozen for convenience or fresh from the farmer’s market every Saturday.
• I accurately measure my breakfast and lunch every week day.

Things I still need to do
• Eat more calories during the day and fewer in the evening.
• Fill up on vegetables before I go out.
• Weigh food where I can (e.g. at parent’s house, secretly at boyfriend's house) until I learn what 100g of a food looks like so I can estimate properly.
• Cut back on eating out or eat fewer calories in the week to make up for a weekend meal.
• When eating out choose the most nutritious option on the menu or attempt to fill nutrient deficiencies.
• Forgive myself when I eat calorie dense foods.
• Identify the calorie dense food as a treat, enjoy it and stop there.
• Distract myself/chew gum to prevent eating more.
• Brush my teeth straight after dinner or as soon as I get home if previously eaten.
• Avoid going to places where my motivation will be tested.
• Just because it’s free doesn’t mean I have to eat it.