Tag Archives: society

A Word About: Triggers

As the title of this post suggests, I want to talk about ‘triggers’. I was thinking about this last night, trying to figure out what sort of things lead me off the LC highway and up the garden path to the gingerbread house – so to speak. I’ve been falling off the wagon a lot since my birthday in September, and there’s a few reasons for that sure, but there’s also specific things that make me go ‘Oh, I want that and I can’t be f*****  fighting off the craving so I’m just going to have the damn thing’ or just make me crave sugar so badly I feel miserable. I’ve come a long way, so my random indulgences these last four months haven’t made too much of a difference – I’m not at my target weight yet, but, as everyone keeps reminding me (myself included!) I don’t need to be there tomorrow, just some time before May (yay, goal set!) – but obviously identifying pitfalls is a good place to start when it comes to avoiding them.

So, obstacles in no real order:

1. CHOCOLATE. It’s taken me a few weeks to realise (and then admit) that. I notice that when I indulge and have those 2 squares of 80%+ chocolate I start to want ‘real’ sweets, with real sugary goodness to them. Tactic? Avoidance when at all possible.

2. CAFFEINE. I don’t drink anything but black decaf coffee when I do drink it, but it happens without fail that whenever I do have it, I want chocolate, or ice cream, or milk. Tactic? Stop drinking the stuff completely.

3. MENSTRUATION. Okay, this one I can’t really do anything about except combat cravings with more regular savoury treats that are higher in fat and thus, in theory, provide more satisfaction. I was reading a blog entry a few weeks ago in which the author had a separate ‘diet’ menu trageting her time of the month just so she could stay on the wagon, it might be something I need to implement.

4. STRESS/ANXIETY/EXHAUSTION. All of these things take a toll on your psyche, and when I’m feeling down and out I’m more likely to just lose control and stuff my face with ice cream or chocolate or both. Tactic? Try to return to a steady sleeping habit and avoid the other issues – not always possible, and often there are elements that are beyond our control, but we do what we can.

5. MIGRAINES/PAIN IN GENERAL. So I used to get really bad migraines. Luckily since I’ve started LCing, I no longer suffer from them much at all. Great! The trouble is, I do sometimes get them – usually if I’ve had caffeine or artificial sweeteners – and the pain can be so bad that it’s a ‘what the hell, I don’t care’ situation. Tactic? Avoid migraine/headache/pain triggers when at all possible, eat clean and you’ll feel clean! Er…better.

6. ‘SAFE’ SWEETS. Artificial sweeteners, or even natural ones like Stevia, make me want sweet things. It’s like I suddenly realise what I’m missing and thus, I want them. Tactic? Avoidance.

7. SOCIAL OUTINGS. I live in a very outgoing family, we often go out for dinner or coffee or whatnot, and it’s not always possible to avoid carbs while we’re out, especially not since I’m the only fool doing this to myself… Kidding, the family is extremely supportive and even intrigued. Tactic? Do the best I can, there’s no point ruining what little social life I have by curtailing outings just because I can’t eat certain things.

8. LAZINESS & SELF SABOTAGE. Not really a thing, per se, but still relevant. I tend to forget to enter things into my My Fitness app at the time of my meals, so I add them later, and that’s fine, except that something I ‘tweak’ the numbers because I ‘can’t have remembered that correctly’. This leads to carb creep. Tactic? BE HONEST WITH MYSELF FFS. >.<

9. CLIMATE. I eat a lot when it’s hot. I want cakes, cookies, and cream. I crave ice cream. I mean, it’s summer, it goes with the bloody season, right? Winter makes me want warm bread, oozing with butter, custards, and chocolate… I also do less in summer physically because I get tired faster in the heat don’t we all? Tactic? Don’t give in so easily; cool yourself down, or warm yourself up.

And I’m going to have to leave it at 9 I think, since I can’t think of any other things at the moment. Unless you guys have any triggers you want to share? I’m sure I’ve got a heap more that haven’t even occurred to me. Food for thought.

Clear skies,

Vee

What’s in a name?

Someone asked me the other day why I called my blog an ‘odyssey’. There’s a straightforward answer and a slightly more roundabout one to that question.

So let’s start with the straightforward one and save those of us with lives the much mumbling of the longer version. Short answer: I called it an ‘odyssey’ because it’s a journey, a fairly long journey, with plenty of ups and downs. As most of us know, weight loss is not – and should never be! – an overnight thing; healthy weight loss takes time, patience and perseverance. I knew that going in, and thus the ‘odyssey’ name.

The second, longer-winded answer goes back to my love for classical mythology. Some of us may know what I mean when I refer to the great poetic saga ‘The Odyssey‘ by Homer; others may be frowning and wondering why I think that Homer Simpson is capable of writing anything, let alone poetry; I’ll forgive you, mostly. For those of you not in the know, the Odyssey tracks Odysseus on his journey home from war-torn Troy to Ithaca, a journey which takes many years – even though it really shouldn’t – and throws countless obstacles at him and his crew – sirens, rough seas/winds, sorceresses with a tendency to turn people into animals, that sort of thing.

This is why I call weight loss an odyssey: because it’s a journey, often long, and there’s always unexpected things along the way some of which try to drive you from your path and others which reinforce why you’re on it in the first place. The most important thing in Homer’s poem, however, is the theme of perseverance and courage; when any of us embark on a weight loss journey, we’ve got to be prepared to face ourselves and all our fears, so basically we’ve got to stand up, swallow the panic, and deal with whatever gets swung our way.

It’s never as easy as it sounds, but guess what, the point is that we fight for it right?

Clear Skies,

Vee

Then that happened…

I’ve had a weird week, well, fortnight really filled with my birthday, money stress, and many nights with little to no sleep. I blame my birthday indulgences and make a variety of excuses for my inability to deal with the minor bout of carb flu. And while I’m sill low carbing, I know I’m not in keto; also not the end of the world, and wholly my own doing. The trouble when any of us get into this sort of state, is that we end up fighting temptation while also combating exhaustion and stress. Truth is, something has got to give and some days are better than others. I’m not writing a self winging my life sucks entry, I don’t do those. But everyone goes through tough times, it’s all part of life, especially in this day and age with shifting economies and global chaos. So you just roll with the punches and redo your personal budget accordingly; so what if your clothes don’t git anymore because you’ve lost heaps of weight…that’s kind of the point! And if we can’t stick with our program every day of every week, fine, we can work through that.

The important this is to persevere, and not just write off your healthy future because your present isn’t where you want it to be. And yes I may just have eaten an entire block of chocolate, but guilt isn’t going to get me anywhere. Sticking to your guns day in and out can get tiring, sure, exhausting even; but at the end of that rough day – or week – you’ll remember that the guns are in your holsters for a reason and you’ll cowboy up and get back on your horse because guess what? You’re an awesome, strong person and you’re not about to let yourself down.

You’re number one. Don’t ever forget it.

Clear skies,
Vee

Weigh Your Words

I envy people who can eat whatever they want and not bear any consequences. You lot are extremely lucky! I think we are all aware that most of us don’t have that luxury. Whether it’s because of PCOS, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cancer or whatever other reason, some of us really need to watch what we eat.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I sometimes get really annoyed by naturally skinny people – and not to be sexist, but yes, its primarily other women – waving a dismissive hand and saying something like ‘Oh, surely it isn’t as bad as all that, I don’t have to keep track of what I eat no reason you should.’ I respect that people who say things like that aren’t concerned with their own weight or size, and in all honesty that’s super for them, but the reality of this all is: you simply cannot compare one person to another. Especially not when it comes to weight, health and/or necessity.

This doesn’t just go for people not trying to lose weight mind you. This also goes for the lot of us who do watch what we eat. I may lose 2kg this fortnight while you only lose 0.5kg even if we are doing the exact same thing. Why? Because our bodies are different. My metabolism might be a little quicker than yours, I might be less further along in the weight loss than you at a point where I dot have to inrease my kj deficit yet. There are a whole range of reasons why two people may not lose weight the same way.

This is why I always get so worried when a friend tells me they’re on the latest celebrity diet because such and such lost 20kg in 6 weeks. Not only is that unhealthy and puts you at risk, it’s probably unattainable unless you’re a celebrity with time and money on hand to fix your diet. It’s also stupid. The quicker you lose weight the faster it’ll come back, which is really why you need to set yourself reasonable targets. Me, for example, I need to lose 30kg in total and I originally aimed for the steep 1 year timeframe. I’ve amended that to 1.5 years because while the initial burst of weight loss was awesome, I do nit just want to gain it all right back again and that means slowing down a little and adding in more exercise. By May next year at the latest I aim to weigh 52kg, so I’ve still got a little ways to go, but I’m nearly through.

The other type of person I have trouble with is the obese person who excuses their weight by saying ‘It’s okay, I’m healthy’ or that they’ve tried dieting and exercising but ‘it’s just too hard’ or ‘it didn’t do anything for me’. Now, its really none of my business, your weight and health don’t really affect me, but when I hear that I just want to throttle them. When I hear that I feel like my battle against obesity – and let’s be honest here, it is a battle – is being dismissed as some sort of vain attempt to conform to society. I’m being trendy, clearly. I find it rather upsetting and lately it’s been getting under my skin; I know, not very professional of me.

The truth is that Western society does seem to promote skinniness as being ultra healthy, thus the rise in eating disorders and fad diets, but on the flip side we are also plagued with obesity to such a degree that people do get dismissive about their weight. The truth is, if you are obese, you are not healthy. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Forget how much you weigh, studies are showing that increase in waist size along can lead to diabetes and other problems. I’m sick and tired of people saying ‘I can’t’, the answer may not be Low-Carb for them in particular, but there’s something out there so grow a spine and lose the extra kgs before you keel over and die. Seriously, people, your health is important! If you’re thinking about losing weight but doubt whether you can, your first step is always to say:

Yes, I can!

Clear skies (with apologies for the slight rant),
Vee

A Word About: Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are a sad reality of our modern world.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were setting up the Cafe and overheard two young teenage girls, probably around 14/15, talking about ‘bambi legs’ and how to get them. We shared a confused look and went back inside. A quick Google later had us both kind of shocked. Apparently ‘bambi legs’, apart from referring to legs after amazing sex, refers to bony thin legs – apparently it’s a ‘thing’ to signify how ‘beautifully’ skinny you are. These were young girls I’m talking about, girls who haven’t finished growing and aren’t even out of puberty yet! Now I know full well that I can be old fashioned when it comes to certain things – I can’t abide fully made up 12 year olds, or young teens wearing ‘adult’ clothing, some things just shouldn’t be messed with: when you’re a kid, be a kid, don’t pretend to be 19 when you’re 11, that’s just asking for trouble.

Okay, let’s move on. After overhearing yet another conversation about ‘being fat’ today, and again, coming from young teenage girls, this time about how to be a ‘better bulimic’ – because the grammar there isn’t enough to drive you crazy – I decided I had better address these issues a little bit. So I hopped online and did some research and came across this website. This site clearly defines the most common eating disorders – eg. anorexia, bulimia – and talks about signs, symptoms and potential treatments.

I think it’s important to have a good understanding of eating disorders when you’re dieting. Not only because it’s important to have a full understanding of the things people go through to conform to a certain ‘norm’. I’d like you to have a look at this video by Cherry Dollface and think about what she’s getting at. If you’re changing your lifestyle to look more like the model on the cover of a magazine – male or female! – you might want to reassess your goals: you’re never going to look like someone else. That’s just the way it works; I know we would all love to have supermodel looks, but that’s just not possible for most of us. Don’t set a goal that you’re never going to be able to achieve: it’ll just make you miserable. Society puts enough pressure on all of us – men and women, girls and boys – to look and act a certain way without us adding to the pressure by trying to be someone we’re not. We certainly don’t want to be saying “I’m on this diet so I can look like … ”; that just sets a bad example for anyone, especially the young and impressionable teens who are already confused about who they are!

Teens are probably the most pressurised of all humanity; not only do we expect them to get some sort of sensibility and education, we also want them to grow up, not hang around with the wrong crowds, stay safe, and in some cases – we don’t want them to grow up at all! They’re busy planning not planning for their future: they’re in the now and that might mean study for some, partying for others, or both. It also means figuring out who you are, trying to work out what you’re into: do you like rock music? Classical? Do you go with fashion trends or do your own thing? Are you going to get that tattoo or not? Your friends smoke, do you? Your friends drink, will you? All of these things and more make up the hazardous environment of growing up as a teen. And then, bang! Kids get swamped with images from movies, magazines, social media, the rest of the internet telling them they’re ugly, fat or have the wrong eyebrows. All of this when you’re swamped with hormones and trying to work out how you fit in the world.

Admittedly, a lot of teens cope quite well. Others don’t and turn to things to help them buff up or slim down are things like eating disorders or protein shakes. None of which their bodies are prepared to cope with. And it’s not just teens that are at risk here, adults are just as much in danger of become victims of social pressures. The only thing I can say is that if you feel pressured and you’re suffering, remember that you’re stronger than you think and this will pass! You’re your own person and the only one you have to be is yourself. You can choose that, by the way; you can choose who you want to be. And if you can’t cope with the pressure there are elements in place to help you out: talk to your GP, or at least to someone you trust – a family member, a friend – you’re never really alone.

Clear skies,

Vee