Friday, 24 August 2018

Hi there! 

I know it's been a few days since my last update-I haven't slipped off the wagon or anything. I was out of town, having a mini holiday! It was really just what I needed and I'm so glad we were able to get out and about for a while!

Here is a picture of my "therapy unicorn" enjoying the road trip! I found it amusing to take pictures of random stuff with this little unicorn. It's amazing how something so pink and fluffy can look so artistic! 

I stuck with my food plan and tracked my food every day I was away- and boy was it hard! There was birthday cake at a party, homemade butter tarts, pies...etc. But I was very careful with what I ate! I am weighing in tomorrow, it's the 10th day of a 10 day challenge I signed up to on MFP. I shouldn't really focus on just the number on the scales, but jeeze, especially for the first few weeks, it would be nice to see a change in my weight!

So when I was talking to my friend last week about actually doing this weight loss thing again, one thing I decided to do was to buy a dress. Not one I can fit into yet, but a few sizes down so I can aim towards it! I don't have a date to wear it, but I really wanted something to look forward to.

Anyway- It's crinkly, with a photo taken in bad lighting- but here it is!

I still love my rockabilly dresses! I did this when I did SW and first lost weight, and it really motivated me! So I hope to be wearing this at a special event in a few months time! Maybe Christmas, maybe at the big AA conference in March. I really don't know. But I'm determined to keep plugging along and not give up!

Today has been a good day. I am still finding it hard to not eat and drink just anything at work. Working at Starbucks is haaaaaaard when you are trying to lose weight! But my water intake is really high so at least I'm hydrated!

Another challenge I started last night on MFP was just called "one day at a time" where you set yourself challenges for the day ahead. Today, one of them was to do this blog post. Since it's before my bedtime, technically it is still a Friday thing! 

The list I have for myself tomorrow is:

* Get off the bus 1 stop earlier after work and walk a bit more
* Write a shopping list for the wife so she can get groceries while I'm at work
*Not get freaked out by the number on the scales when I do my weekly weigh in
*Write a gratitude list
*Track food 100%

They are all very doable, so I feel like I am setting myself up for success!

I'm looking forward to Gael going food shopping tomorrow! I have some recipes lined up and have a new cookbook to crack open! I really want to get back into cooking and enjoying my mealtimes rather than dread them! 

Alright, that's it from me tonight. Need to get myself to bed!

Much love,
Tanya x

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Tracking, planning and enjoying some treats!

Hi guys!

Today was a pretty amazing day. For the first time ever, I was a speaker at an AA round-up, which is a smaller 1-day convention. My talk was taped and I was able to hear myself back for the first time. God, I talk funny! 

Anyway, I made some really good choices today, considering there weren't many choices at all! My lunch was a Mr Sub sandwich and dinner was provided at the round-up. I packed my plate with salad and went from there.

I am remembering my old Slimming World days- packing my plate with super-free food first. I even had enough calories to have a small piece of pie for pudding!

I am finishing off my 5th day and I feel bloated, and a little bit like the results aren't going to show. It seems those "weigh in" nerves never go away! I think I need to start looking at the fact that it's less about the number on the scales and more about being healthy...but boy it's hard to change my thinking like that!

The tracking tool on My Fitness Pal is great. It has most things in the database so i don't even need to think about it!

My focus over the next few days is to keep planning my food. Tomorrow I can work on that- I'm working and eating is hard there. I either don't want to eat a thing or I want to eat EVERYthing. Also, cutting out all of the sugary drinks is so damn hard! So I'll take some food with me, plan my stuff and hopefully it will go smoothly.

I have to remember- it took me a while to get into it when I lost weight the first time, there is an adjustment period of sorts. I'll try and keep it in the day, one meal at a time if need be!

That's it from me. I'm thankful of people who are still interested in keeping up with me. The support and encouragement is very much appreciated. I know I can't do this alone! And the fact that I am doing it alone (AKA without a weight loss group), the online support is doubly appreciated!

Much Love,
Tanya x

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Day 3, and a "remember when"

Hi guys! 2 posts in a week! See? I'm committed!

Today marked day 3 of mindful eating. I am really feeling positive about it even though the anxiety is still there. I am using MyFitnessPal to track my food. They also have a pretty decent community/forum to check in. I love challenges and stuff, so I hope this helps spur me on!

I had a situation today that reminded me of a time I really struggled when I was originally on Slimming World- when I got too obsessed about my food intake.

This morning, I went to a meeting and a friend of mine brought me an iced coffee from McDonald's (it's hot as hell here right now and a cold drink was appreciated). I spent over half of the meeting looking at this iced coffee, deciding whether or not I was going to drink it. It had sugar in it, and MyFitnessPal told me that it was 170 calories. Never mind the fact that I had a good breakfast and most of my food was accounted for, and had the calories left over to enjoy it, in the back of my head all I heard was "you can't have that, it's bad!"

Well, I snapped out of it and enjoyed it. Tracked it, appreciated the caffeine and moved on. 

When I did Slimming World, I became extremely obsessed with my weight loss. It was everything to me. After about 6 months, I joined MFP and noticed I could track my food online. Which was great! However, I started eating less and less to "help" with my weight loss. I was eating about 800 calories a day, mostly salads etc and my weight loss plateaued. Not just that, but I was making myself ill. I talked to my consultant and she really helped me realise that under-eating was bad for many reasons- including a decrease in weight loss. As soon as I went back to eating a healthy amount, I lost more weight. Funny, that!

However, remembering my addictive behaviours and how it manifests- it was a real eye-opener for me. One of my sources of support is the woman I spoke to on Monday. I shared the thoughts I had today and she gave me a warning to be careful. She is right. If I am going to do this, I need to do it properly. Not obsessively, not like an addict, but in a way that is not just good for my body, but my mind too!

My action plan for the next few days is to make sure I am prepared for when I work. I'm working tomorrow and Sunday, both 8 1/2 hour shifts. Lately, I have literally been eating nothing at work all day. Maybe a sandwich before I start work but that's it. And when I finish, I am STARVING! Yesterday I took some chilli to work with me. I barely managed half of it (I guess I have no appetite at work some days) but I tried. Tomorrow I'll take chicken salad sandwiches and fruit. That should keep me going!

I really am feeling positive about this. Especially after I got a wonderfully supportive message off my mum this morning. I know that no matter where I am, I have friends and family who love me and who will help me with any struggles I have in my life. And for that, I am extremely grateful!

Much love,
Tanya x

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Rebirth! (Or something along those lines)

I know I said this 2 years ago but I think I really, really mean it this time! haha

Hello strangers, did you miss me? I can't believe where the time has gone!

So because it's 2am and I really should be tucked up in bed, I will keep this reasonably short....maybe...possibly.

I was speaking to a friend of mine on Monday about my struggles with life and everything. I am slowly coming out of what is probably the biggest depressive episode of my life. For a month, I was constantly in a state of anxiety, my depression was beating me down really bad and I was suicidal. I didn't do anything stupid, but the despair I felt was not something I will forget in a hurry.

One thing I talked to this friend about was my issues around my weight. How I was once skinny, attractive, happy. However, I know, too, that I wasn't happy with my weight when I was healthy. I only focused on the negatives- my loose skin, my hairy chin, my bushy eyebrows, the way that my boobs weren't as perky as the average 20-something. But I know too, that being the size that I am now is not the place I want to be at.

I remember where I was when I first joined Slimming World back in 2011. Antisocial, anxious, depressed. The only difference between then and now is the fact that I go out of my way to be sociable. Being in recovery in Toronto.... there really isn't anywhere to hide. People don't let me. However, I don't really show everyone my true self. I have hidden my depression well. I have hidden my insecurities well. Not many people know what is truly going on in my head. The friend I spoke to on Monday pointed that out to me. She really, really put things into perspective for me. It gave me a motivation and a drive. A hope that maybe, just maybe, I can make some positive changes and become a healthier, happier person. 

To have the realisation that being a healthy weight won't guarantee me happiness is a really good thing. It means that now, rather than JUST focus on losing weight, I need to focus on my head and chase out all of those voices of negativity. The ones that tell me that I'm stupid, worthless, unlovable, disliked by the whole world. I have a good circle of people who can help with that, thank goodness.

So here I am, the heaviest I've ever been. Worried about failure but going to do it anyway. But in spite of the nervousness, I'm excited and ready to conquer my demons one step, one meal, one moment at a time.

It's good to be back!

Much love,

Tanya x

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Sneaking back (not so) quietly

Well hello there, remember me?

So I was debating whether or not to write a blog post. I've been thinking about it often, lots of pros and cons. Most of the pros are things like motivation, accountability, support. Basically the only cons consist of fear and pride. So here I am!

Let me give you the world's quickest recap of what's happened since my last blog update.

I am in a relationship. My lovely partner, Gael and I met about 3 years ago. She's from Toronto, lives in Toronto and speaks fluent Torontonian. She and I met in person for the first time in March 2 years ago, and after a few visits to each other (I flew to Canada 3 times and Gael came to visit my lot once) we decided that long-distance relationships are I moved to Canada! I got myself  2 year working visa and I am just over half way through that.

I got a job at Starbucks. A major change of career path, but after 13 applications for jobs (over half of which for supermarkets) I only landed one interview- and was offered the job. It's a great place to work. I love my team, The pay is ok (not as good as in the UK but I will take it!) and I am even have an interview for a promotion next week!

Nothing else really to mention

Oh- except that I got fat.

I'm not just talking about putting another stone on or so... I am literally the heaviest I have ever been.

Now, you Slimming World peeps, don't judge ok? 

I joined Weight Watchers

"Oh my god, the die-hard slimming worlder has moved to the darkside??" I hear you cry. "Kinda" is my response- but for good reason.

There isn't SW in Canada. And even though there are some differences between SW and WW there is one major similarity- the group setting. I missed the support and accountability of a group. I may be reasonably self reliant, but that extra kick up the bum helps sometimes

I joined a local group, about a mile away from our apartment. Originally it was a monday night group but after a couple of weeks I moved to a Wednesday morning group. The leader on a Wednesday was someone I really could relate to and she made me laugh, so I had to move!

My first weigh in, I was 347.6lb. In real, British money that's 24st 9.6lb. I started SW in 2011 at 22st 7lb so in the space of just a couple of years I literally doubled my body weight.

Well, in my first week I lost, like, 11lb, which was crazy. Sadly that did not keep me motivated and I just kept fluctuating. So between mid feb and now, I have lost a total of 19.8lb. Better than a kick in the teeth, but I know I can, and will, do better.

Gael got me a cute little fitbit for my birthday. It has made me uber competitive. There are competitions between friends during the week and that has motivated me to walk more. I walked home from work for the first time last week (2 miles, I nearly died!) and now I am finding walking easier. I lost 2.4lb this week  and I really felt like I did a great job.

So anyway, I didn't want to do a long post tonight. Just a start. There's a lot to catch up on, and a lot to focus on in the near future.

I hope some of you are still on this journey with me. I definitely need some support. I missed my blogees!!

So until next time (maybe tomorrow)

Much love,
Tanya x

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Enough is enough

Ok so I am crawling out from under the woodwork.... I haven't actually been anywhere- I just haven't been blogging. I just got lazy, story of my life.

Anyway- still going to group every week- throwing my fiver into the black hole and gaining for 2 weeks, losing then gaining more... just a spiral of eating uncontrollably, moving less and wallowing in self pity because of the weight i've put I eat more, move less and then wallow a bit more.

The long and short of it is this- I am now the heaviest i have been in over 2 years. I weigh 14st 9lb. No shame, no embarrassment- I have always advertised my weight- it's just a number. A rather large number compared to what I have been accustomed to- but still just a number.

I am 1st 13.5lb away from my target range- or 30.5lb away from my target weight- again just numbers.

It's how I feel that bothers me more... my clothes are either too tight or don't fit at all. My physical health is bad- my neck has been bad for over a year and showing no signs of improvement and my back has been giving me grief for a few months- but my joints have started to feel the strain again. Not to mention the chillblains and sores on my hands (ok not weight related but still- having a bad effect on me)

My mental health is worsening- I am starting to regularly take anxiety meds, even though for a month or so I went without completely- maybe the odd one or 2 beta blockers when I was under extreme pressure in work. I have completely stopped looking in mirrors again. I also chair and speak in online video recovery meetings and I have started to cover my camera when I am able to just so I don't have to see myself. I have avoided going out to some social gatherings because of how I think I look. My work is being affected due to my heightened anxiety and I am just generally miserable.

Not to mention the fear of being the fat bridesmaid at my Mum's wedding in less than 4 months time. I have a very pretty bridesmaid dress that at the moment is 2 dress sizes too small. at least. I am just grateful my mum has a massive hatred for cameras- which means no embarrassing wedding photographs. I would hate to have my photo taken at this moment in time- with my skinny mum and a younger, prettier step sister. 

I read something tonight in an Overeaters recovery facebook group. Some woman said to a guy "I have a weight problem" he replied "No, you have an eating problem- cause and effect- fix the cause". Very strong words but something I can identify with. My effect of my eating is weight gain and the things that come with that. My cause- my eating. My compulsive overeating due to emotion, stress and just because I am addicted to food. I go 2-3 days then that thought of "eff it have this" creeps in.

Anyway- there are a few things I can do.....this is what I am going to do:

1) Take it one day at a time. Simple- an hour at a time if I have to.

2) Plan my food. Actually- I have done. I have planned my meals for tomorrow and my dinners for every day this week. Mum, Arty and I sat down and decided on what to have (Arty wants to lose some more weight too) we have also decided to make a pan of Speedy Soup for some meals....and my friend Niki is making me a curry loaf!

3) Stick to plan. I have an SAS log....Julie gave me them, I am going to write everything be more in control.

4) Move more. Not overdo it but even if I walk for an extra 10-15 mins...that might just help.

5) Sleep more. Easier said than done- and since I am up in 5 hours for work....maybe not tonight. But I am going to set my bedtimes and sleep more...I have to...I was told in early recovery about HALT- don't be Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired....the less tired I am the easier it is! Also the longer i sleep the less time I have to think about food!!

6) Journal More. Maybe blog here daily....or just write at home in a book or SOMETHING. Take time out to journal- it always helped me to blog.....I need to be more discipline.

7) Knit more. I am doing a rainbow something or other....can't way in case the recipient happens to be reading this- and it is a surprise. But knitting distracts more of that!

8) Think positive. Possibly the hardest thing- considering how much of a pessimist I am. But I am going to try and keep positive about myself and others.

I have been hyper sensitive lately- and to people this has affected I am sorry. I don't realise I am doing it most of the time, my own self pity becomes a bit like a bubble around me. But hopefully when I get back to my routine of positive action, I can become more positive mentally.

So stick with me....please....I need my friends and family more than anything right now....I don't want to be where I was 3 years ago...and at the rate I have been gaining, it wouldn't take long to get back to 23 stone...that scares me.

Bed now, more tomorrow maybe!

Much Love,

Tanya x

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Why We Need To Stick Up For The Becky Adlingtons Out There!

I am a regular, normal person. I am not a beauty queen, hot shot lawyer or olympian. Nor do I hold some kind of world record. 

I am a 25 year old woman who works in a supermarket. I have loose skin, my body hair is dark and grows WAY too fast and my IQ is a little above average. 

In the last 25 years I have been bullied for many different things- for wearing glasses, for being fat, for being tall, for being gay, for being left handed, for having reasonably bushy eyebrows and for having an anxiety disorder. I have had it pointed out for 25 years that I do not fit the "norm" of what the media portrays what I should be like. I do not look like a model, I have not got a "perfect" body (whatever one of those are!) and I have been ridiculed over something because of that!

I have started to accept my body a bit more- it has been through a lot in the last 2 1/2 years- losing 10 stone then yo-yoing with the odd 10-15lb. Trying to curb an eating disorder and trying to actually like myself. I am getting there- one day at a time- but I still get comments from people who don't know any better- I still get called "fat" even though I am a healthy weight for my height. 

This is something that has bothering me for a while, why people insist on portraying the "perfect" person and why we have to somehow fit that ideal or where are labelled as freaks. But also the people who allow that ideal to grow, the people who bully others for being different.

The reason why I am writing this is because I read the story about olympic swimmer, Rebecca Adlington- a tally of gold medals, world records and an all round awesome person. Someone who is respected by many for her athleticism, tenacity and ability to inspire generations into getting into the pool. As an ex-competitive swimmer I look up to her, I know how much effort goes into training and preparing for competitions.

Yet, this amazing, beautiful young woman is plagued by the demon that is low self-esteem- fuelled by horrible, judgemental comments on social media- or just media in general. They leave out her extraordinary talent as a sportswoman and focus on her weak point- the main weak point for all women- her looks!

I feel extremely inadequate when I am standing next to a skinny blonde with legs up to her armpits and who is covered in make up. I have learned from others that I should look less like me and more like them. Ironically I am sure that woman would look at me and want something that I have that they don't.

So I understand exactly why Becky is covering herself up- she is surrounded by people who are famous for no other reason other than for looking pretty. For being the "media model" of the perfect woman. I just hope to god that she realises that even though she looks nothing like them- she is still beautiful.

I know that there are children out there that watched her swim and are inspired to take up sport. In turn they are focusing on bettering themselves in an area rather than obsessing about how they look. That in itself is such an achievement and something that really should be applauded.

Being judgemental and being self conscious is a NURTURE thing- we are not born judgemental, nor are we born hating ourselves. We are taught that from society, from other kids in school and sometimes the adults around us. 

We need to show the kids of today that is is okay to be different! It is ok to not have a chiselled body. It is ok to have crooked teeth, poor eyesight or a bit of extra hair. It is ok to not be good at sport and it is ok if you are not good at a certain subject at school.

We need to show the kids of today that what they need to do is like themselves. Accept themselves. If they can do that then they can help others do the same. Rather than point out the flaws, point out what is good about them.

The people who need to read this probably won't care- the bullies, the comedians who think it's ok to make fun of others, the newspapers and media who constantly judge for a bit more money in the executives bonus at the end of the year. But there is one thing that we can do....

We can stand up against them!

If you see someone being made fun of- challenge them. Tell them that it is NOT ok to judge others for being different.

If you see a newspaper headline that ridicules someone because they are different- be it their gender, their looks, their intelligence, disability, sexuality, nationality- WHATEVER- don't buy the paper! Boycott it. The 50p you don't spend is 50p less revenue.

If you see a nasty comment on twitter, facebook or any other social networking site- especially if it is a celebrity- point out your disgust- tell them it is not acceptable. Then block them. The less people they have following them then they might just change their ways.

But most of all- love yourself- and others around you. Embrace your weirdness. Appreciate what makes you, you! Yes you might have a few extra pounds on you, you might be too short or too tall. You might have thinning hair or your teeth might be crooked. But that is ok. You are the only you this world has- please remember that.

Find something you are good at, that you enjoy and do it. If you want to be a writer, write! If you want to go into sport then do it. Just try your best and have fun!

Becky Adlington is the voice of many people out there- she is for me! She is not perfect but she is special, loved and is living life doing something that she enjoys to do.

I for one am standing beside her- are you?

Much Love,
Tanya x