What a perfectly normal post. feels odd really. Even a little dirty, like I’m role playing being an adult…
Right so there’s just about time to do another month of whole30 before Christmas give or take a day. The last few months have been a bit on off for all manner of reasons but I am feeling motivated to have another round and get things back on track.
Looking back I feel so much better that I did when I started in July with my energy noticeably improved, I am sleeping better and obviously weight wise it has been a winner too. I have discovered all sorts of things I enjoy to eat (I’m looking at you here guacamole) and my family are enjoying some of the benefits too but I do think I could have done better.
So for the next 30 days I am going to do my damnedest to give it one big push and I shall share the experience more often that just weekly…Might be tricky in the run up to Christmas but if I can do it until the 24th then I know I can do it any time.
So how has today gone? Well I missed breakfast as was on the school run and straight after I popped to do some grocery shopping. I decided to stay away from red meat but did stock up on fish and a little chicken too. I bought a ton of vegetables and already had lots of fruit in too.
For lunch I made a salad with mackerel, tomoatoes, onion, salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and you know what, it was bloody gorgeous. For those that like to count calories the fish was about 330 and the other bits take it to maybe 500 in total. I also had an apple, a pink lady, which is my favourite. The mackerel is just the sort that is vacuum packed so probably not perfectly whole30 but meh, I was shopping at LIDL it’s hardly the easiest place to shop…
Anyway, taste wise it was fabulous and as I have half a pack of the fish left I am going to have it for my tea tonight too.
The biggest challenge today has been resisting the rice pudding sat in the fridge that I made yesterday. I did it with paella rice and oh god it is so delivious, especially this time of year when its so chilly out, but resist I did 🙂
When temptation rears it’s cheese covered head
Okay so it’s going to be a challenging day. I am afraid to head downstairs right now…
Last night I had a few friends over to play poker and have a few drinks. I was mostly restrained and had a small pizza, thin crust, and just two beers and a couple of rum and ginger ales. Oh, and a few snacky things, but nothing major and whilst not Whole30 I was kind of finished with the last 30 days so for the most part I felt good that I hadn’t gone crazy.
Alas though there is a ton of pizza leftovers in the fridge right now and I do not know if I am strong enough to resist it. It doesn’t help that there is little else in the fridge as I need to go shopping. If I go downstairs right now I think it will all go to shit and I will be eating cold baked bean pizza (yes that’s really a thing at our local place) and making dirty groaning sex noises before you know it.
I dont think I can even take a photograph to show you it’s that tempting…
Perhaps I can get dressed and just head out the back door and avoid the kitchen completely as I need to go into town. Oh bugger no I cant, the keys are in the kitchen.
I think I shall ask the kids to fetch them for me. That might work…
So after confessing to having a bad month I girded my loins, did a healthy shop, planned my meals meticulously and then prompty ate most of a bloody cake again.
This was no accidental cake though, no slip of the tongue, no unintentional mountain of chocolate goodness, this was a cake of my own making. One minute I am wondering what ingrediants I have in the pantry and the next minute its an avalance of eggs, sugar, butter and a ton of chocolate and caramel which is filling the house with a heady and intoxicating cocoa scent.
I told myself I wouldn’t eat it, just make it, but I am a damned chocolate mouthed liar and the sweet batter was barely mixed before I was shovelling it into my my mouth like a crack whore desperate for a fix. The whole time I convince myself that this is just for the enjoyment of others but deep down I knew I would end up eating it by the damning light of the fridge in the middle of the night.
By the time the butter cream had been smothered all over it was just too difficult to resist and any slim resistance I might have been holding onto was gone and I succumbed.
God it was good…
Lets try have a better week eh. I have bought a ton of prunes and seeds and stuff which I am certain cannot be baked into anything pleasant at all.
Well October was a bit of a loss really. I didn’t do terribly I just kind of lost focus with everything that was going on and found it hard to stick to things as I had been for the Previous few months.
I travelled a fair bit with work to Cardiff and London and Chester so that is always a bit of a problem when trying to find something healthy and yes, there was that time I had 3 pints of Guinness at three in the afternoon and by the time I got to the station I was ‘drunk hungry’.
Drunk hungry is the type of hungry that causes you to burn your mouth on a Cornish pasty that has a filling as hot as molten lava as you gorge on it near a train station toilet before it is safe to consume and to then wash that down with a sausage roll and a rather large Bounty.
Maybe I should call it ‘Dr-ungry’.
Actually, there was the incident with the salted caramel cheese cake which needed ice cream to make it less sweet. And that sticky toffee pudding that I ordered when I forgot that I am still rather fat. Oh and that time I ate most of a cake. Hey, it was a small one before you get all judgy. Only fed 6 I reckon. 6…pfft.
So, those things aside it was just a case of a bit of this here and a smidgen of that there and before you know it Ive put on maybe 2 pounds (which ain’t much given I have lost over 30 in the preceding 3 months) but I should have done better.
It is November now though and what better than to reboot things on the first of a month right? I’ll let you know how it goes…
This week there was curry.
I haven’t posted about this for a while have I. To be fair I haven’t really posted much for the last three weeks on my blog generally.
Work and life and just general stuff got in the way of writing so I put writing on hold and with that it seems I did the same with my diet. This is not to say that I blew it, I didn’t, but I did not have the same rigour I had had previously. Where I may have had a salad before I now had a salad sandwich. Where I would have had a diet coke I had a couple of Guinness and oh, there was that day when I ate all the kids pepperami’s and told each of them the other had eaten them and then berated them both for lying. Little buggers.
I did discover that I really like Guinness too though I don’t know why I never tried it before. Perhaps it’s because I prefer my drinks brightly coloured with umbrellas and Guinness seems such a manly drink to me. If you were going to get into a fight and had the choice of having a Guinness or a strawberry daquiri as back up it would be Guinness every time. Guinness probably did karate when it was younger and is a bit lively in a scrap outside of a kebab shop at 2 in the morning. Not that daquiri doesn’t have it’s place, but it’s more of a bitchy cat fight and a good hair pull.
Anyway, whilst I do love the whole 30 thing it does require you to shop and cook properly and if you let things slip and the fridge runs low it is pretty hard to stay on track. I’ve started shopping twice a week to prevent that happening and am now just about back on track.
Oh apart from yesterday when I went to this little place that sells South African stuff an ended up stuffing my face with Tomato Fritos which you cannot get over here. Actually, England has a real dearth of tomato flavoured things in general.
Let’s see how the next week goes shall we. I am still about 33 pounds down on where I started three months ago so still happy with that.
This week there was curry.
This week seems to have passed me by and I am not sure where it went. I was off work with the boys as it is the last week of the summer holidays. Early on in the week we headed to Wales for a few days and headed up Mount Snowden and had a mooch around Wales. Back end its been back to school shopping and getting all of those things done I wanted to do these 6 weeks.
With everything we had on I’ll admit I haven’t given much thought to food really. We stopped off at a place next to the motorway on the way there and faced with eating something I would likely kick myself for or nothing at all I went for nothing. When we got to the top of the mountain there was mostly pies on offer so I had a bite of each of the boys and that was enough. They had ice cream and I didn’t.
Now in the past this would have felt like a victory, and perhaps it is , but I was actually quite happy waiting until I could get something I really wanted.
There is certainly something of a change in my thinking and whilst there is a long way to go I am happy that for the most part I keep trying to make the right choices.
Oh and then I ate a gigantic gummy worm. I mean freaking huge.
This week there was curry.
As weeks go this was considerably better than last and I found myself generally not thinking about food much after I ensured I did the shop and made sure there was plenty in to prevent myself feeling peckish.
And then a friend of mine brought around the curry.
He worked for me a couple of years ago and I supported him through some pretty tough times when he had cancer and thankfully he is in remission. His mum was always grateful of how I supported him too and has often expressed that gratitude through the most delicious medium of food.
Given that it was Eid this week she sent what I can only describe as a box of pure bliss. There was no way that I was saying no to any of it and I will happily have my life shortened for the goodness that was inside.
In the first box were the most delightful pieces of chicken, samosas, kebabs, mushroom rice, lamb chops and chicken pasta. The second held a quite fragrant and spicy Thai green curry and in the third was one of the most delicious things (that I had never had before) in sweet rice.
He was barely out of the door before I had the kids downstairs and we were tucking in. We had already had dinner but like hobbits we were most keen on the idea of second dinner and tucked in. All thoughts of calories and points and whole food went out the window and instead I simply enjoyed a meal as delicious as any I have had in a long time and you know what? I am most glad I did.
It would be rude not to right!
You gonna eat that or can I have it?
Well I am nearing the end of another month of Whole30 and whilst the weight loss has not been as good as the first I continue to enjoy it immensely. Well apart from last week at least.
I neglected to go shopping on Sunday for reasons I cannot recall but before I knew it I was running short of all sorts of stuff and time seemed to get away from me. I also started a new job on the Monday so things were just pretty hectic. I wasn’t eating badly, just cobbling things together or compromising here and there and I quite suddenly found myself thinking about food more than I had been.
Well, by Friday I was like a man possessed. By the time I got home from work I could think of nothing but eating. Everything. I didn’t care what it was, I was ready to eat it.
Salsa from the belly button of a syphilitic tramp? Yeah count me in. Horse scrotum hot dogs in week old buns? Yes freaking please. Flame grilled just-about-anything from a sexual deviant’s food truck smothered in his extra sticky ‘special sauce’. I’ll take two with some of those really really dirty fries.
Anyway I think you get the picture.
Fortunately the fridge was empty apart from some past its best garlic bread, a bottle of champagne and some Tiramasu, Now I may have been desperate enough to wolf down a milkshake made with Bridgette Nielsen’s 54 year old breast milk but I have to draw a line somewhere – I’m not a bloody animal and that stuff I cannot abide.
Anyway, by the time I had eaten 6 chicken thighs cooked with chorizo and a packet of Mr Ben’s quite delicious spicy rice the red mist faded and as I licked the last pickings from my fingers a sense of sanity returned.
I have since been shopping and have some fabulously yummy and healthy stuff in and all planned out for the week and feel it was a valuable lesson learned about myself and what triggers me.
Archaeologists recently confirmed my fatness outdates the internet mostly.
I have been fat for as long as I can remember. Or at least I believed I was. There has been the odd occasion where I definitely wasn’t but for the most part I have been.
I have always loved food, and still do, and I am going to assume that had something to do with it. I believe my nick name was officially ‘Fat Kid for a few years amongst a certain crowd when I was younger but if I recall correctly they were actually my closer friends and it didn’t last that long and whilst I would say it never bothered me it has stuck with me.
Thinking back before that I was broad shouldered and pretty handy at rugby growing up and through my teen years, and whilst not massive I always carried extra weight which helped on the pitch. I do remember joining a club after school and hearing one of the players comment in Afrikaans that it was good to have “another nice fat front rower’. Looking back at photos though, I don’t think I was that big. Certainly nowhere near where I am now.
I guess it is something I have always lived with, though I don’t quite recall my first diet. I t must have been quite some time ago because I found this when I was going through stuff in the cellar this week.
The oldies amongst you will recognise a 3.5 Inch drive and it seems that probably 18 years ago I was attempting to do something about things. Made me really question myself because 18 years is a bloody long time to get progressively fatter and fatter. I mean what was the world like in 2000?
Well there was the shenanigans over the Y2K bug – so I must have had that to worry about on top of having hefty man boobs, and I was likely sobbing into my breakfast cake as the final ‘Peanuts’ was published following the death of Charles M Schulz. Oh lordy, Bob The Builder was top of the charts here in the UK. I was likely comfort eating for sure.
I tried to remember making it but cant so am looking forward to firing up an old PC I still have to see what is on it. I do wonder what goal weight I set for myself. I’ll let you know
Now here’s a curious thing. The longer I remain focussed on what I put into my body (no – this is a diet post not one of the weird posts I am prone to do so stay with me) the less interested I become on food in general.
Food for me was a comfort, a reward, a treat but five or six weeks in and I find myself not only considerably less hungry than I have ever been but also less fixated on the deliciousness of it. Perhaps foolishly I watch quite a lot of cooking shows, and mostly ones that focus on desserts, and in the past these would have inspired me to chocolate and cream filled monstrosities of pure delight but now I am mostly filled with something of a sense of indifference. Perhaps at the time I think I might whip up a triple layered mousse cake or a dozen scones to be savoured in the bath or in the middle of the night but it soon passes.
That said, I have been making some ice cream, but that’s just because I am not getting through the milk and don’t have the heart to tell the milk man to deliver less. Oh and there were those cup cakes with the vanilla frosting. But those aside, I do feel generally less compelled to feed my face.
When I set out on this journey I wanted to love better, lose weight, teach my kids to eat better and to sort out my relationship with food. I don’t think I am there yet and would probably still rub Nutella all over myself when the cravings strike but things certainly do seem to be changing.
So the kids are enjoying their summer holiday and I am at home with them and am fast realising that that eating properly when at home all day is going to be quite the challenge. Whilst I have been able to be particularly disciplined when at work those same boundries melt away at home.
I feed the boys pretty healthy stuff for the most part and they are enjoying what I make but I know my youngest rather fancies learning to bake and I am actually pretty good at it. Thing is, fingers and spoons and bowls need to be licked and when I baked cup cakes a few weeks ago I was up to my elbows in butter cream and before I know it I was fingering my own mouth with frosted digits without even realising.
I will do my utmost to resist but there is a lifetime of habits to undo and you’d be surprised how often I have found myself eating cake in bed when all I meant to do was put the cat out.
Should be interesting.
I am continuing with the whole30 business because I am so enjoying it bit I think I have run into a bot of a problem.
Guacamole and Salsa.
Until recently I had only ever had the stuff you get from the store in small tubs, and it was only when I made it myself did I realise just what it could taste like. I was completely blown away and I actually feel a bit obsessed. For the last fortnight I have been making the stuff non stop and I find myself thinking about it rather more than I ought to. The minute I see a tomato or an avocado it sets me off and I feel qholly out of control for the stuff.
Even right now I am tempted to head downstairs and have a quick finger full.
I guess it’s better than standing in front of the fridge eating cake and stuffing biscuits in my mouth in the wee hours.
How can it be wrong when it feels so right. Right?
So, thirty days in let’s see what the scale has to say shall we.
So that’s it. Thirty days of whole30 done and dusted. It certainly has flown by and was nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be. Once I cracked the shopping bit and realised I might not meet absolutely every strict criteria on the organic front it was much easier.
Now there is so much I cold write about, and I will week by week, but for this post I think there are some high level goals that I would reflect on.
I wanted to generally feel better physically because I was feeling a bit rough and rather old and achy and you know what I do. My knees don’t ache like they did, the walk up the hill to walk no longer leaves me out of breath and overall I just feel far more comfortable in my body. Oh and my blood pressure seems to be improving so that’s a huge plus.
I wanted my family to eat better and they have. They are also more aware of the effects of food and are making their own decisions about what is good for them and which isn’t. They have both also lost a bit of weight whilst eating more than they ever did and seem happier and healthier for it. That isn’t to say they didn’t gobble down the cup cakes I made for them yesterday.
I wanted to lose some weight and I did. I need to lose lots more, and I now have some realistic targets, but losing weight was something I needed to do. I am not getting any younger and fall into the morbidly obese category I think – I probably don’t quite look it but I am. So how much I hear you ask? Well as if this morning I have lost 11.1kg in 30 days. That is just short of 25lbs I believe.
I know losing more wont go as quickly as this has gone and I am happy with that. I am more concerned with changing my lifestyle and my families and losing weight for the last time. I hope to lose another 45KG by the end of the year. I know that seems a lot but I can afford to lose it.
I am going to do another 30 days of this because I have enjoyed it so much and at the end of that I plan to do it again but this time I am going to start introducing things back into my diet. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Did I mention I am addicted to Salsa? Its been a revelation for me. That and Guacamole. I had only ever had stuff from the store and never made it myself. Oh god how good is it and why did no one ever tell me its that amazing!
Oh that bottom photo…I made a kind of coconut milk Ice Cream. Not particularly sweet but just cold enough to give me a bit of a desert when combined with pecans, banana and cinnamon.
The impact on my wallet has been noticeable.
Okay so four weeks in and just a couple of days to go until my 30 days is up. This week’s been pretty easy for the most part and things are starting to feel very much habitual and as the cupboards and shelves have been emptied of the things I should not be eating and I have been shopping regularly for the right stuff it has become progressively easier.
I know I am not quite buying all the proper organic stuff and whilst I do so where I can I don’t intend to beat myself up over it. I have eaten well and eaten lots and am starting to feel some real benefits.
I feel less bloated, which I noticed within days, but my energy levels seem to be much improved this last week and my knees are feeling much less painful than they were. The wright loss is starting to show which is always encouraging.
On the downside I am noticing a change in my breath so having to keep an eye on that and I seem to have developed an addiction to homemade salsa which whilst not the end of the world feels rather foreign.
Today was actually probably the only day where I wilfully decided to not be overly strict. We went to a food fair (bad Idea I know) and I ended up eating a slice of wood fired pizza an having a bite of our Toms burger and one of our Sam’s chicken wrap. I rather enjoyed it though I was super chuffed with myself that I didn’t indulge any more and for the rest of the day was back on it (with the exception of I think 4 nacho crisps).
Ill give you the numbers when I do my final weigh in on Tuesday morning…
The impact on my wallet has been noticeable.
Okay so three weeks in and still on track. Clothes fit better, my cravings seem to have gone and I am for the most part into the new routines of having to cook and wash up considerably more and go shopping far more than I ever did before.
I did find myself somewhat weary last week and I think my body has been getting used to not eating all the delicious stuff I used to put into it and is adjusting to something just wholly different.
One of the unexpected side effects has been how much I spend on food. I had expected to spend more but because I am now shopping more carefully and throwing very little away I am actually spending less for the family than ever before. I stopped shopping at Tesco (which I had been threatening to do for a while) and started going to Lidl and Aldi. That alone reduced the bill by about 40% and I’m probably another 20% better off because I am far more focussed on what we all eat and planning meals more carefully.
I do find I am not quite able to get all of the grass fed or organic stuff I would like but I am not going to beat myself up over that – I think it is going well regardless.
You’re probably wondering how much weight I have lost right? I will tell you I promise, just not today. 🙂
The dreaded social situation…
Well it’s a week and a half and still going well. I accidentally ate a couple of chips off of my wife’s plate (fries for you Americans) which was just habit and I tell you they were awful.
Actually they weren’t they were bloody lovely. They were all coated in salt and vinegar but I resisted shovelling them all into my gaping cake hole and pretending to Mrs Michael that they’d accidentally fell on the floor and needed to be binned whilst wiping salt from my lips.
As a family we’ve been a lot better about not buying things on the sweeter side of the spectrum though Mrs Michael was bought a huge bar of peanut and caramel chocolate by her sister and I went as far as opening the packaging (already opened) and taking a deep inhalation of the heady cocoa aromas.
I felt a bit dirty but again did not succumb orally. Hmmm. That sounds a bit Bill Clinton doesn’t it.
I also figured a way of battling the temptation at work as there is a tuck shop about 4 metres from my desk and I could often be found buying a mars bar and a packet of crisps mid morning. To give myself a fighting chance I have stopped taking money to work with me and also purchased a load of fruit (enough for the whole team) which I have to walk past should I want some sweet chocolatey goodness.
So mostly a few days of resisting temptation but apart from that I am rather enjoying it.
The dreaded social situation…
You can read my first part here.
So, a week in on the Whole30 thing and it seems to be going rather well. As far as weight loss it’s been successful but it’s not really about that. This is about my attitudes to food and trying to make a sustainable change.
I knew at some point I would have to face temptation and this a week in and there it was. England vs Belgium and invited round to friends to watch the game, have a few cheeky beers and a quick BBQ for half time. I said yes without thinking and before I knew it I am sat in front of the TV with an array of crisps and nuts before me and the offer of Beer, cider, wine or GnT.
Let’s just say that you know you’re fat when you politely decline explaining that you are on a diet and nobody tells you it’ll be ok, it’s just the one it won’t hurt. Mostly I can see them thinking “Phew, that’ll save on the catering.”
Anyway I survived that and had a little meat and some sparkling water and enjoyed a thoroughly awful England performance but the sun was shining so happy days.
Friday was a far more challenging ask. It was the annual charity golf day and our team was entered many months ago so there was no getting out of it. If I did then it was likely an orphan or an animal would suffer some awful fate so I dusted off my clubs and turned up. Now the thing about the day is that your ticket includes a free bar and as much food as you can eat. There are burgers and sausages available all day long and the savage 29c temperatures were not to be worried about because the bar was fully stocked with more beer and cider than you could wish for.
I had 2 plain burger patties, which I was most pleased with because I think I had 6 burgers last year. That’s over the course of a 10 hour day drinking but still a lot I realise. I took 3 apples and just ate those and despite sweating like a pig in the baking sun and wanting nothing more than the sweet fruity nectar of an apple cider – I resisted the booze too.
I realise it’s only a week or so in but feels like a significant step because I am pretty certain that normally I would have buckled.
Onwards and upwards I guess
So it’s been about four days since I embarked on the Whole30 eating plan thingy and so far so good.
I am not weighing myself or taking any sort of measurements just concentrating on trying to eat properly and I will see what happens. Her are a few observations from my first few days.
Turns out my kids do not like asparagus, so not wanting to waste it I ate an entire bloody bundle which I had grilled with garlic and lemon. It was rather lovely and it had the side effect of making my pee smell most fragrant. I didn’t know about the effects but it is scientifically proven apparently. Who knew eh.
I am spending a lot of time cooking. Oh goodness like non stop. I made ratatouille last night because I accidentally ordered about a dozen courgettes and as delicious as it was the mere sight of it made the family gag so I ended up doing broccoli and fish for the boys with a dill sauce and later on my wife made herself something that was neither full of courgette of smelled like fish.
I do feel less bloated. I noticed that pretty quickly and I also think I have more energy. Maybe I am just imagining it but I have found myself more keen to do things I might not have previously.
Almond milk is unpleasant though I will persist and am slowly acquiring the taste for it. Slowly mind, it’s a work in progress. You might as well make spinach milk or sprouts milk if you’re going to make milk from weird stuff.
Family quote of the week so far: “You smell like eggs and garlic get away from me!”
I have written previously on such matters as dieting and being fat, and as anyone who is overweight knows there is always the desire to do something about it but that desire is seldom more powerful than the lure of eating a pizza in bed or shovelling doughnuts into ones face in the middle of the night. That’s just the way it is, and anyone who tells you different is wrong.
Apparently, from what I have read, it’s pretty easy to lose weight really and one’s motivation simply needs to be more compelling than the deliciousness of chocolate ice cream.
For me I am hoping that I now have that motivation. I am not getting any younger but I am getting progressively larger and it doesn’t seem to take the effort it used to either. I am 47 this year and probably at my heaviest ever and whilst I always felt pretty indestructible regardless of my weight this year I am starting to think that maybe I am human after all.
Bits of me ache that didn’t used to ache before, my knees particularly, and quite recently I did something to my back which persists still which I attribute to having a core mostly made of fudge and treacle.
So what am I doing about it? Well I did some reading and am going to start whith this Whole30 thing. Google it there are loads of sites about it. I think I need to change the way I think about food and understand more about what I am shovelling into my face and to understand the impacts of it beyond it just tasting delicious and giving me a rather full bottom.
I bought some books, did a monstrous £200 online shopping order and it seems it is now underway. I will write more about it I am sure, but tonight I took the first steps and made turkey filled cucumber thingumabob’s which you can see below. I even made some sort of dressing too. Surprisingly the boys really enjoyed them (as did I) and that’s important because I fear I have passed my own food issues onto them so want to change it.
I will let you know how it goes over the next month.