Before I had children I was considerably smaller about the circumference (this is from 2008, I was 27 – ah youth!). After Kitty arrived and my previously sedentary days were filled with long walks with the pram, a fair amount of housework, and lots of rolling on the floor, the baby weight disappeared, if not without a little effort, at least well in time for her first birthday.
When Elma arrived I think I expected the same thing to happen again; I’d just pop back into shape and then need to loose a few pounds. Except it didn’t. I kept expecting my tummy to start heading back in again and yet everything stayed pretty much where it was, despite expending even more effort in the manner of exercise and eating healthily.
So when Pip arrived, to be honest, I didn’t bother even thinking about getting back into shape; I knew it wouldn’t happen easily and I wasn’t going to sacrifice the time I did have with my teeny tiny baby and my big girls for anything, not the mental space needed to be beating myself up over what I was eating, or the physical distance to do some serious exercise. And so I went back to work a year and a bit ago a little bit larger than when I’d gone back after Elma, but not too much.
The problem is that in the last year and a bit I’ve got larger still; it’s the combination of missing the children desperately, so bribing myself to stay at my desk with the promise of a really nice lunch, and then dipping into the office goodie shelf chocolate stash to keep me awake through the afternoons. It’s a wonderful and irresistable temptation, especially in times like now when I’m in a working every hour I have and not sleeping anywhere near enough kind of phase where I become almost entirely fuelled by sugar.
And I’d got to the heaviest I have ever been while not pregnant, which was never part of the plan. It’s not great. And right now I am not as healthy as I would like to be, or as I need to be to be a good role model to my children.
In the past I’ve had two stints at Weightwatchers, I’ve tried shovelling exercise into my day until I was too tired to eat, and I’ve tried just not eating very much all with varying degrees of success; none of them long term.
The problem is that I simply don’t want to go through food purgatory, with some far off goal of “when I can go back to normal”. If this is going to work, then I need to find a new normal, one that doesn’t feel like I’m missing out, depriving myself, makes me constantly fixated on food, or hungry. The hungry is the worst for me, every time I’d tried to reduce what I eat I’ve just felt starvaciously hungry the whole time, and that is just not how I plan to live the rest of my life. And when all those success stories came up in the leaflets that claims they’d lost the weight of a baby elephant and never felt even the tiniest bit hungry, I’d be deeply suspicious.
I need change, and I need to try something different. And so when I saw a post on Facebook looking for bloggers to try out Slimpod, I thought “why not?” and filled in the form. The idea behind Slimpod is that to make a wholescale long term lifestyle choice that leaves you happy and content and eating in a healthy and sensible way you need to reprogram the bits of your brain that are leading you astray; in my case the comfort eating and a sweet tooth.
There’s no counting of calories or point or syns or carbs or anything else, or weighing yourself, or any of the things that get you fixated on food or failure, but each day you listen to a 10 minute podcast and write down three successes for the day; changes that you’ve noticed, or decisions that you’ve taken that are steps towards the lifestyle that you want. You set yourself goals; a long term visual one, one for the first six weeks, and the ones you need to get yourself through the day, and then you’re off.
The idea is the by focusing on what you want, not what you can’t have, your brain starts to help you work towards that goal, and the podcasts help your brain along.
So does it work? Well yes, I think it might be, and in ways that have surprised me. While the podcast is speaking to your subconscious, you could only proove that it was working entirely subconsciously by playing the podcast to people who were asleep and watching to see whether they lost weight without intending to, but I suspect there may be just a few ethical issues in that one! My consicious brain is of course aware that I’m trying to make changes, and I can only hope that the two working together, are going to get the end result.
I’m two weeks in so far, and I’ve listed to the podcast every night bar two (when I fell asleep before I could even turn it on) and on those days I listened to it first thing in the morning. My long term goal is a visual mashup of my wedding pictures and the Duchess of Cambridge’s style (she does have some gorgeous clothes that I would totally pinch for work!); the six weeks goal is a combination of fitting back into a dress that I bought when I went back to work after Pip, and the short term goals have been avoiding the work goodie shelf, and not grabbing a snack on the way to the train home.
I’ve done well on the goodie shelf (bar one nightmare of a day when biscuits seemed the only answer – and I bought the biscuits), full marks on the train snacks, and the dress that I couldn’t do up now does up; it’s not wearable yet, but it’s progress.
Most importantly, I haven’t starved myself. If I’ve been hungry I’ve had something to eat, but more importantly, if I haven’t been hungry, I haven’t. I’ve left food on my plate for the first time possibly ever (at least when it comes to food I like), I’ve eaten smaller portions of chocolate and ice cream but have still had them, I’ve grabbed fruit for a snack, and I’ve had soup and a roll for lunch and not been climbing the walls for something more to eat at 3pm. Half these ‘successes’ I’d seen mentioned in other people’s reviews and written them off as something that would never actually happen to me, and yet here I am.
I’ve still got a long way to go, and this is only the start, but so far, so good.
Thanks to Slimpod who provided me with a Gold Membership to try out. I’m not being paid and they’ve not told me what to write.