I ate a whole packet of lollies today! In the space of the 3 minutes from the shop to my house, I had ripped open the packet and devoured half of the sweet, soft snakes. (Yes snakes even though I have a snake phobia – these are the good guys 🙂 )They were delicious and I literally couldn’t stop myself from continually reaching back into the packet. When I pulled into my garage and turned my car off, I gave myself a talking to, folded the packet up and “hid” them in the console. I’m my defense these lollies are “all natural flavours & colours”, made locally in Adelaide and proceeds support a fantastic local charity. That makes it ok, right?!
3.10pm came around far too quickly and I was back in the car again to do the school run. It takes me 15 minutes to get from home to school and the packet was calling my name. I’d not thought about the lollies all day, I wasn’t craving them at all. I couldn’t see them while I was sitting inside working and they were hiding in my car. Out of sight, out of mind). But, when I opened the console to put my phone in, there peeking out from behind the headphones for the DVD player, was the corner of the lolly bag. I have no self control, instead of leaving them there until tomorrow or even the next day; I opened them and ate the rest on the way to school. I have a problem with opening packets and not finishing them. Lollies are my vice.
I have had a love/hate relationship with food and my body pretty much since I was old enough to know about body shape and body image. I am your typical pear shape, smaller shoulders and waist and large “thunder thighs” as I would call them. I thought that I looked like I had tennis balls in my thighs.
I remember as I transitioned into adolescence that I would stand in front of the mirror and punch these “tennis balls” to try and flatten them. I would rub them in the hope that the fat would re-distribute somewhere else into my legs. I would exfoliate to the point that my legs were red raw in the hope the tennis balls would go away. I even remember “strapping” my thighs with glad wrap to smooth them out so I would look flat and smooth in my jeans and school pants. I would wear anything that covered my bum basically.
Nothing worked, so next I focused on the food. I went through a stage that all I took to school in my lunch box was 2 apples, and then by the time I got home I would devour what goodies mum had been baking. I often blamed mum as she had the same shaped body as me. Occasionally I would then go and make myself vomit. Then the cycle started again. I spent a lot of time comparing myself with the other girls in my class at school; the ones that were academic, sport and popular. I wasn’t really any of these.
Moving through my 20’s and 30’s I was never really happy with my weight; or in hindsight, my “tennis balls”. I could never get clothes to fit properly, so would always wear long cardigans or “suck me in’s” if I was wearing a skirt. Damn they are uncomfortable.
These decades I went through the “Try most weight loss program stage”. These included:
- Weight Watchers – counting points. The only program that I was able to lose weight for some period of time without starving myself. I got down to my goal weight a few times, but was I happy – no. I looked gaunt and my “tennis balls” were still there.
- I’ve done shakes, a few different brands; one for breakfast, one for lunch and then gorge at dinner as I was so hungry.
- Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation – completed it once, started it 2 other times.
- Shannon Ponton’s 10 Week program – started and didn’t finish
- Paleo – stopped and started so many times it’s not funny
- Plain old counting calories
- Slimming tablets and teas
- Any diet that was listed in New Idea or any magazine really – Drop a Dress size in a week etc.
- Numerous gym challenges, walking races, half marathon training.
- Cleanses, detoxes – anything for a quick fix, only to realise after a few days that it wasn’t going to work.
- Magic lotions and potions.
It wasn’t until I hit my 40’s where I really discovered that I needed to ease up on myself, mentally. The turning point in my thinking was when I attended a workshop called “Body Image Movement“. It was founded by Taryn Brumfitt, whom I’d heard about through my photography networks and I started following her page. I related to her straight away. You see, she was in a similar situation to me, not loving her body; putting it through the extremes to get what she thought was going to make her happy (she entered a natural body building competition); only to find that it was not making her happy and it was not a realistic ongoing lifestyle. At this workshop there was also a nutritionist and a Psychologist. It was eye opening. They spoke about eating mindfully, wellness, and the psyche behind poor body image. Something clicked for me. I had a light bulb moment.
From that day, I wasn’t getting as hung up on my body. I had grown 2 children in it. It was fit and strong. No longer was I in the mindset that I needed to starve it or work it to the bone at the gym or pound the pavement for an hour a day 6 days of the week. I had to nourish it and look after it. I wasn’t fueling it properly, and that is why I was feeling crappy. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m still up and down like a yoyo (they are delicious too!) and all over the place. Some days I’m in the “I just want to loose a few KG’s” stage. And other days I feel on top of the world; full of confidence and loving myself sick!
There is so much “information” out there about what we should or shouldn’t eat and I do still occasionally get caught up in the latest fad. But generally, I am kinder to myself. I rarely weigh myself as I know the number fluctuates week in week out depending on what time of the month it is and how the hormones are travelling. Instead I choose to live. If my favorite jeans are feeling squishy, or I look at a photo and think “gee that is unflattering”, then I pull back on the treats and snacks and wine. I know this what causes the “blah” feeling. I choose to not forgo cheese and wine on a Sunday night; enjoy my take away or eating out at a restaurant with the family. I choose to have pizza if that is what is for tea. I choose to be mindful with my other meals. It might be green smoothies or clean eating. It’s like a 80/20 – 80% of the time I’m good; 20% I let loose.
For me it’s about moderation, mindfulness (yes I know that word is a bit wanky, but it works!!), setting a good example for my kids and living life. I have other things that I want to consume my time with, and worrying about my body isn’t one of them.
What are your favorite lollies?