Category Archives: Health

Food As A Security Blanket

I’ve talked about using food to comfort before, but I’ve really been thinking about this week as it is something I need to change in order to live how I want to live and have a healthy relationship with food.

I use food as more than just food. This would not be a problem if it was a once in a blue moon occurrence, but it is more like everyday.

I’ve been asking myself these questions after seeing a post by Ashley over at Coffee, Cake and Cardio:

  • Why am I overweight?
  • Why haven’t lost weight?
  • Why aren’t I able to keep the weight off?
  • Why do I use food for comfort
  • What is missing from my life?

It’s been hard to be totally honest with myself, but I know it is for the best. I’m not going to put my answers on here, as I am still trying to get my head around the answers.

Part of my plan is eat healthier and stick to my budget. Part of why they link is because I spend money on food I do not need. I fund binges on money that could go towards other things or from money I do not really have.

Therefore this changing my realtionship with food is extra important to me. My strategy is to meal plan and then make a shopping list based on that. I will include things I enjoy, but should only do so in moderation as to not deprive myself. I also want to reduce the amount of trips to the food shops that I currently do.

So I’m going back to ordering an organic vegetable box from a local farm. I have gone for a weekly fruit and veg box and plan to base my meals around what I get each week. I am also ordering milk and eggs from the farm too. My plan is to then do one or two other shops a month to avoid having to pop to the shop on my way home from work or at the weekends.

I know I’m making a lot of changes in a short amount of time, but this feels right. It’s also not all new changes. It is bring together things I know work for me and focusing my effort into them in order to change my relationship with food and live how I want to.

I have my fitbook and now I have to subscribe back to the Ki Fit. I’ve lost my display in the move so will be searching for it tomorrow in order to sign up for Monday.

I’m feeling good about all this :)

Preparing for a Healthy Commute

With my new job I will be travelling 45 miles each way. This will be on the motorway in rush house traffic. Towards London in the morning and away in the afternoon. It could take anywhere from 50 minutes to 2 hours! I wasn’t looking forward to it..

…until I saw this article on Greatist – How to Commute the Healthy Way - and was so happy I did!

I have picked out a few things I will definitely be doing to make my journeys pleasant (enjoyable would be very optimistic!).

Audio Books  - I have tried a few times in the past to get in to one, but I think I always wanted to stop and just listen and that is actually quite boring. So having one on while in the car will mix up what I’m listening to and allow me to ‘read’ books when otherwise I would not be able to to. I’ve heard from other people that listening to these can make journey’s fly by and you can’t wait to get back in the car to carry on the story.

Buddy Up – I am hoping to car share a bit so I can have some social interaction and also so I don’t have to drive everyday. This will also save money on fuel – extra bonus. This isn’t set in stone as although I have friends who already work there, they might not want to, so it may not be until I’ve been there a little while and get to know other people who also want to car share.

Snack Smart – When I have commuted to work before I got into bad habits. I would go for the sugar or quick processed foods as I would be extremely tired after a long day. This time I plan to prepare a snack bag each week to keep in the car. This will mean I won’t be as tempted to buy things I don’t need on my journeys as I’ll have prepared for being delayed and energy boosts. This will be helpful if I get stuck in traffic or want to go straight to something after work.

Sniff Serenely – This one was more for people who travel on public transport, but I think keeping essential oils in the car could help. Having nice and different smells available could help the journey be more pleasant.

Changing Clothes/Shoes – I really like this idea. Rather than jumping in the car in the clothes you’ve been in all day, change into something more comfortable. This makes the journey home more relaxing and breaks up the day. I like the idea of preparing to get comfy and turn on my audio book for my journey home.

Relax and Posture – relaxing through the day and during the commute as well as working on your overall posture can help the body and the mind. My days away from home will be longer and so this will be extremely important for my overall health to stop myself getting back problems.

Overall it is not going to be easy, but I am going to do everything I can to make it as comfortable and straight forward as possible. The commute is taking away time I would otherwise use for more enjoyable things, so I need to make sure they can be enjoyable as possible and not time wasted sat in the car. Finding alternative ways to do things, such as reading books, will mean I won’t miss out on the things I love. At home I will look for ways to become more efficient so I can have my downtime.

The Importance of Sleep

 

Sleep is one of the most important things in my life – I don’t function at all without it. I need at least 8 hours a night and it usually takes an hour or so to unwind before that. So for me bedtime is between 9pm and 10pm and later than that impacts on the next day.

It’s annoying sometimes as it does impact on my decisions to go out at night; I would chose an early night over going out! But I know it’s best for my mental well being and physical self.

Why is it so important to me?

☆ I have struggle focusing and concentrating on anything without adequate sleep and feel extremely unproductive.

☆ I’m a grumpy person when I don’t have enough sleep and hate being around people – so basically not good company at all!

☆ I have little energy without a good amount of sleep, which impacts on my decisions with food and exercise.

☆ I get anxious when I don’t think I will get enough sleep, which makes me not enjoy what I’m doing.

☆ I crave caffeine and sugar and it can be a trigger for binge episodes.

☆ Self-doubt and negative thoughts increase exponentially, which leads to feeling extremely low and useless.

When I get enough sleep I feel good and ready to take on anything. I feel calm and collected and in control of my decisions and thoughts. I enjoy being healthy and being around people. I enjoy everything I do a lot more when I am aware enough to live in the moment.

I’m still on medication for my depression, but the focus of it is to improve my sleep. I take at bedtime and it really does make a difference. I am now getting off to sleep within an hour after taking it, which never used to happen. Occasionally it’s longer, but that is if I’m feeling anxious about something. I get caught in anxiety episodes when I am in bed. I think this is because y body is shutting down, but my mind does not want to and I am not being distracted by anything or keeping my mind occupied and that lets the thoughts I’ve been avoiding in. At these times the best thing for me to do is journal and get the thoughts out, but the medication helps take the edge off and settle down after.

It is also helping me sleep through the night and get better quality sleep which I can see form my Ki Fit. I used to get 65-75% sleep efficiency and now I am getting 75-85% sleep efficiency. I would love to see a 90% sleep efficiency one day!

I find it hard sometimes to miss out on doing things with my friends at night, but I know I would be stressed and anxious if I know I’m going to miss sleep and after for missing the sleep. It’s hard to explain to friends, but I hope that now I am accepting of it that when I do explain it to others they will respect it.

How important is sleep to you? Would you chose sleep over something else? I’d love to hear your thoughts as this is something where I feel I’m the only one.

The Big D Update

Yesterday I had a check up about my depression with my doctor and it went really well.

I feel so much better and knowing that I make progress every couple of months is great. I no longer feel nervous about going in. I know I have been working hard in a variety of ways and feel better for it. I also know it is okay to admit when things weren’t great.

I was honest about how overwhelmed I felt in July. I then talked about the last 3-4 weeks and how much better I have felt. Exercise is important for me. Sleep is also extremely important to me as it can affect everything! But mainly in the last few weeks how my eating has improved.

I asked him not to take my blood pressure as I had just come from a job interview and knew it would be high and I was feeling stressed and anxious but was coping with it. He agreed and made a note to take it next time. He did get me to get on the scales. The doctor’s scales are different from my home ones, but since I last got weighed there are the end of June I have lost about 6kg he said. Almost a stone in weight! I was surprised and happy. It was like proof that what I was saying was true. I know I shouldn’t need that, but with depression it’s hard to feel I am making progress as I am with myself everyday. I am not recording this as a weight personally, but am happy to know it’s on my file.

I still struggle with sleeping. Mainly getting off to sleep. I can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours trying to get to sleep. I’ve been on a different medication since returning from my trip and it’s helping as I am definitely sleeping through the night better than I was. I can tell this from my Ki Fit data. I was averaging 65% sleep efficiency a night when I first got it, now I am up to 75% to 85%, which is a great improvement. My doctor has upped my dose slightly to help getting to sleep, but I have to see him again in a month to make sure it is working as it should.

I am okay with still being on medication as I know it is helping. I don’t want to be on it forever, but I don’t want to come off of it before I’m ready. I like that the medication I am on is specifically designed to help with sleep problems and anxiety, these are the areas I feel I need to work on and am happy to have help with these areas.

Depression sucks, but I finally feel I’m working my way towards the daylight at the end of the tunnel :)

 

 

I Want/Have To Lose Weight

I want to lose weight to feel better about myself – whether that is looking good in clothes or fitting in a chair!

I have to lose weight to be healthy!

I’ve been in denial about my weight for a while and now it is time to come clean and own up and take responsibility for it.

I do not want to blame myself though. That leads to beating myself up and then binge eating to comfort myself and therefore not actually taking care of myself!

I want to accept I am the weight I am and that I got myself here, but that I can also do something about it in a sensible and life long way.

A few things recently have lead to this post:

  • High blood pressure at the doctors
  • Feeling squished in a seat at a restaurant while in the Lakes
  • Shoulder issue starting to return
  • Ankle issue when running

There are some other things too, but I’ve got to keep a few things to myself ;)

So I am here. It’s a Monday – for some reason this is a good day for me to make changes. I suppose it gives lots of days before the weekend, where I tend to be tempted – I wrote weak, but I know I am not!

I’ve got my exercise down. With all the swimming I actually do and now the running I’m starting, I am good on this. I also know that exercise is therapeutic for me. It helps clean my mind or distract myself. It helps me work out stress. It helps me feel good about myself!

Eating on the other hand is all out of whack!

So I am going to concentrate on this side of things. I am not going back to Weightwatchers or joining a slimming club. I want to do this for me, my way. I want to develop a life long plan that will allow me to lose weight, have enough energy to do all my exercise and not feel like I’m on a diet.

If I’m honest I’m not sure how I am going to go about this yet, but know I need to do something. I need to take what I have learnt from all my trials and errors, reading, previous diets and exercise and mould it into an eating lifestyle I can sustain.

Unfortunately I am the type of person who likes rules or guidelines. I think that is what people like about diets – you don’t have to think for yourself! And in today’s busy lives that is something people need. However I need to think for myself and develop a lifestyle that is not one size fits all.

I am currently taking a Mindfulness course through my local psychology service and really feel like this is the way to go. I need to slow things down that relate to food.

So first up SCHEDULE MEAL TIMES in my diary – maybe not permanently, but for the next few weeks at least – 30 minutes.

Secondly EAT AT A TABLE – not at my desk or in from of the TV/Laptop at home!

I know these don’t actually relate to what I am eating, but in a way they do. When I don’t notice what I am eating or when I binge I am normally in front of the TV. Therefore changing my habits to eat at meal times and away from distractions will hopefully help with what I eat. I also plan on incorporating some of the mindfulness techniques into these times.

I am not going to make lots of changes at once. I am going to work on changing habits at the moment and see where I get to. Then I will look at what areas I struggle with from there and work on guidelines to help.

I’m still going to track my food using my Ki Fit as that has become a habit already :)

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