Ginger and blueberries with yogurt

I had a very relaxed day at home with my two year old today, who was in a lovely mood, so I had a bit of energy left over when we got to dinner. I get my shopping in on Thursday night, so the fridge was full of delicious things. Instead of snack on sugar things in front of the TV, I made myself a proper dessert of blueberries, honey, ginger and yogurt.

It was delicious and really satisfying. The ginger really gave the yogurt some kick and the honey made it feel like a treat. I felt happy and full afterwards.

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1-2 tablespoons 0% fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon honey, level
1 teaspoon ginger
blueberries

Combine blueberries, yogurt, honey and ginger.

2 Weight Watchers smart points
1 Slimming World syn

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Joy in good tasty food

One of the things I really struggle with when trying to lose weight is the feeling of being deprived. I love food and cooking and hate the idea of eating the same boring, bland things day after day.

Weight loss becomes about what I can’t eat, rather than what I can which just drains all the joy out of eating and makes the whole thing feel like a complete chore.

This is really silly because fresh, well-prepared food can be delicious without being full of calories. There are many things like fresh vegetables, spices, lean meats and low-fat dairy options that can make your meals interesting and special while still helping you lose weight.

There’s been plenty written about preparing food that will help with weight loss, but I’ve found the recipes are pretty hit and miss. I want to explore what’s flavours are available in my healthy-eating arsenal and experiment with I can do with them to feed myself and my family.

Motivation has been something that I’ve really struggled with since I had the kids, probably a lot because my life is quite full on at the moment as I juggle home and work. I’m hoping by invoking my inner geek I can make learning to cook new healthy recipes a  project I can get excited about. I want to discover the joy of healthy eating, take my cooking to another level and rewire my expectations about good, tasty food.

The little choices matter

Something I really struggle with when it comes to managing my weight is no single cake or curry is responsible for being over weight. Any of those actions by themselves do not make any difference to the big picture, it’s only making that same decision over and over again which causes a problem. When I’m faced with one of these little decisions, it can be really easy to tell myself that this one choice won’t make any difference to the big picture of my health.

And many of those choices feel really good in the short term! Delicious cake can provide a distraction from an upsetting meeting. I really enjoy a sneaky Friday night curry while my husband is out. I sometimes can really feel like I’m missing out when everyone else is having dessert, but I’m just having a cup of mint tea.

I  don’t think I’m alone, I think this is something humans are generally quite bad at. Personal debt, most of the problems with the environment and reputation are all examples of similar problems. It can take a bit of effort to make our human software see the long term cost over the short term benefit.

It’s difficult, but being aware of this is really the core of weight loss for me. When I start I always want to believe I can lose weight without having to change my life, but once I get going I always realise that these little changes are fine and don’t make my life any less enjoyable.

The good news is that the opposite is true too. All those little positive choices that I make towards weight loss really do matter too. Whether it’s using semi-skimmed in my milk, missing my morning coffee or saying no to a particular cake, all of these little decisions make a difference and are worth a tiny little celebration. Once I’ve made a few of these decisions, it can make me want to avoid making a bigger decision that would wipe the progress out too.

Being a reluctant slimmer

Here I am again. Two kids and twenty-five extra kilos, quickly heading towards my late thirties, which seem much closer to scary things that happen to other people like diabetes and having to give up butter. I’m desperately wanting to believe that I can lose weight without actually changing my eating.

Because I do love food! The taste! The textures! It makes me so happy to make a meal that other people enjoy, particularly my own discerning young gourmands.  The way it can transport you back to a happy memory. The satisfying feeling of a sugar hit or just being contentedly full.

But I don’t love my old favourite clothes that don’t fit, trying to find an attractive webcam angle when I skype my family, sitting in aeroplane seats or not being able to keep up with my two year when she makes a run for it.

Giving up is of course an option, but I know that I need to do something sooner or later. There’s no reason it’ll be any easier after Christmas or Easter or in 2020. What I need is a plan.

What are our liabilities?

  • comfort eating – stupid feelings
  • the temptation to snack when I pass by the fridge
  • feeling like I should say yes to offered food to be social, and also because it’s yummy
  • eating out with friends
  • being desperate for a sugar hit at the very end of an hour and a half of small children making screaming noises at a birthday part

And our assets?

  • I like to cook and am quite decent at it
  • I like to learn new things. I think I could get geek-excited about making nice food with waist-reducing ingredients
  • I tend to feel better when I write about things
  • I’ve found quite a decent weight loss group with a leader who doesn’t hate fat people
  • I have a couple of friends on the same journey
  • I like wearing nice clothes

That’s it? Impossible. If I had a month to plan, maybe I could come up with something, but this…

So my plan for this week is:

  • come up with a meal plan
  • get sensible things in the shopping
  • cook one new thing
  • stay on plan