Ok I seriously need to vent today.
Firstly, my apologies. Life got in the way yet again, and I’ve been lax once more in my blogging. It’s silly really as I have 5 blogs, all mostly written in the draft folder of my dashboard for this blog and awaiting proof reading and pictures (well, it needs some colour otherwise it’s boring old text on a page). This is the first, I will roll them all out over the next week or two as I have some free time back. HURRAH! But the shake up has worked and I’m now down to 12 Stone 4lbs (172lbs) and I’m aiming for another 4lbs off by Christmas 🙂
Secondly, this is going to have a rant section, it’ll be early on and marked. I always think it’s best to forewarn people if you are going to have a bit of a rant, so here’s your advanced notice. You can skip past it if you want to, to the bit that I’ll talk about where people think you’re mad if you keep a food diary! I used to be one of those people but now I don’t go a day without logging my food – how else can I keep myself accountable?
So, thirdly, there is a purpose to the blog, not just me going off on one about something that is frustrating the heck out of me at the moment.
There is nothing more infuriating that people who join food diary sites and ask the most basic questions that are 1, in the information on the sites front page. 2, reiterated everywhere on the same said site. 3, the answer is readily available on about 33,500,000 different web pages (Source: Google search using the question which I’ll get on to in a moment) if you put the question into a search engine. And 4, has been asked a million times on the sites forum if you made the effort to look and research about the question you are wanting the answer to.
Dear great gods of Olympus people, RESEARCH! As my great mentor Ted used to say ‘read, mark, learn and inwardly digest’.
The question? How many calories can I safetly reduce my intake to, to lose weight? Or its multitude of variations. Everywhere on weightloss sites, in bold in most cases, the site will tell you that 1200 Kcals is the lowest you should ever take your calorie intake if you are dieting. If you type that question into Google you get 33 milllion pages that tell you the same thing over and over. So why are you filling up space with the same question over and over? ARGH!
The frustrating part is that the people who ask this question, are the people who you know will not succeed at their weightloss journey and will blame the site they’ve joined for not working the miracle they want it to work. Why? Because the whole thing about losing weight is having to educate yourself about how you put the weight on in the first place. Whether it was through illness, genetic disposition, over eating and inactivity, or just a lack of understanding about the impact of the bad foods you were eating, it’s all down to re-education. And to re-educate yourself you have to research what you are eating, how food affects your diet, mood, metabolism etc. EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE.
Please, even if it’s a book from the library, research how cutting calories etc will affect everything you do. You wouldn’t try fixing your car yourself without a Hayes Manual or at least researching what mechanic is going to be your best help! Yes I know that people ask questions in forums to get peer advice, but the answers are already there, and that means the person asking the question can’t be bothered to put a search in on the forum to see if the question has been asked already. That means they don’t really want the honest answer as it’s not going to fit in with the miracle cure they want. I’ve done it myself and I got a short sharp response along the lines of ‘come back when you’ve done more research as you aren’t ready to lose weight seriously’. They were so very right!
It’s so frustrating. And breathe! Ok so rant over. The basic idea of this blog, and why the rant fits in so nicely with it, is that as a society, somewhere along the way, we got bogged down in the fast fix mentality. We don’t have time to cook any longer, we grab the nearest thing and eat on the run, or we binge on sweets and chocolate whilst sat in front of the goggle box mindlessly allowing our hand to dip in the jar and push the food in our mouths without a conscious thought. We’ve forgotten to ensure that we understand what our body needs to function, that we have sole control over what we put in our mouths to get this bag of bones to cart our behinds about on a daily basis. We bury our heads so far in the sand that we mindlessly chomp away on anything and everything because ‘it tastes soooo goood’. That’s where food diaries are so handy, as they force us to confront what it is we’re doing, how we see our food and to reassess to achieve our goals.
Now many people I know use MyFitnessPal as their food diary, I do too, and there are many friends that I know who think us MFP lot are all barking mad and OCD about counting calories. But the utilisation of a food diary is so much more than just counting calories in and out. It’s a guide to how we are doing nutritionally. I have no idea one minute to the next if I’m getting enough in the way of vitamins and minerals/fibre etc in my meals and snacks (yes I snack, there is nothing wrong with snacking if you’re mindful of what it is you are eating). Most food diaries have sections where you can write your fat, salt, carb, sugar etc content and so you can see how your totals balance throughout the day/week. And that’s so important because it’s no good cutting your calorie intake to lose weight if you are still eating a lot of old rubbish that isn’t going to work for you. It’s all about keeping yourself accountable and keeping yourself educated.
Ah there’s my favourite word of this blog ;). Somewhere in the quick fix we forgot to maintain our education on what is nutrition and what it does for us. We got caught up in faddy diets where fat was the big evil, then carbs were one step away from Beelzebub. Modern science has afforded us a far better understanding of what our bodies can do, but by the same token it’s made us lazy. We are now expecting our food to be the miracle cure for our ignorance of what that same said food is actually doing for us. For example, if I use this spread it will reduce my LDL cholesterol…. yes that may well be the case but what about those 15 biscuits you just munched full of sugar and starchy processed wheat that you ‘don’t mind’ because they are ‘low fat’? Many of us hope that by cutting a few calories here and there or by joining that weight loss group, we’ll be able to shed the unwanted weight with relative ease. Sorry, wrong! It’s time to re-educate yourselves, learn about your food and what it does to your system.
It’s all very well and good getting on the weight loss wagon but you can’t let others do the work for you. Read your labels, learn what the nutritional guides mean, get a better understanding of what helps promote a healthy body, what foods will actually help with weight loss better than others. And damn it, get back in the kitchen and make time to prepare your meals. Find a time that’s best for you to prepare things for the week, snacks, lunches, etc. Klick Fresh tubs are a godsend. And I know many will say, ‘But Krissie, you don’t have children to contend with,’ no you are very right I don’t, so I do appreciate that it can be a real juggling act, but why not include the kids in preparing food? It will aid their education in the process and hopefully stop them becoming one of the statistics that fuel the obesity epidemic that we appear to be facing.
There is always time for you, because believe me no one else is going to make time for you and you are SO worth the effort. Take the time to learn about your food. Find out what you are putting into this amazing thing called your body. Your body is possible the most amazing piece of evolutionary engineering that has ever existed. Learn to love it, and feed it with love by feeding it right. Don’t get me wrong have treats. I work on the 80 – 20% rule. I’m not going to give myself a telling off for having a bag of chips once in a while, or a bar of Fry’s chocolate now and then. Why would I deprive myself like that? You have to find what works for you, and you have to learn what is a healthy balanced diet. Changing the way you eat should be an education, because somewhere we’ve forgotten what it was that gave us the right energy. And more importantly we forgot how eating too much of those lovely yummy high calorie un-nutritious foods have contributed to the extra tyre that we’ve suddenly found on our mid drift.
And that’s why no matter how much I get ribbed by those around me who think I’m bonkers for my fastidious food logging, it’s never going to bother me and I’m not going to stop. I owe it to this fleshy bone machine that carts my rather random brain about the place to feed it properly and to give it exercise regularly because I want it to last as long as humanly possible.
I promise not to get too ranty on the next blog, and thank you for bearing with me while I get stuff off my chest. It’s always good to vent. Remember, you can do it, you can achieve your goals but you do need to research your path to get there. And if you have a question to ask on a forum spend a few minutes utilising the search function, because chances are 100 people have already asked it and 100s others have replied.
As always, be kind to yourself.
Until the next blog, much love