Tag Archive | Diet

It’s not being good and I’m not on a diet

I have hardly had any sweet biscuits in the last two months. Less than a dozen. I used to eat half a dozen or more a day.

I haven’t eaten any lollies. Some chocolate, an icecream and a bit of rocky road, but no lollies. And I used to eat red frogs, and snakes and teeth and … Who am I kidding? I used to eat lollies galore.

No sausage rolls in the last two months.

Hardly any cake either. Unless I count banana bread!

Sweet dessert on the odd occasion but not a regular addition to my day.

I haven’t eaten chips when I get home from work. No Twisties either.

There have been a couple of bad days. The day I ate 3 Ferrara Rocher in quick succession and then ate 3 chocolates from Cadbury assorted. Mindless eating at its best. And last night’s dinner was lacking in all nutrition and gave me a tummy ache. (I’m embarrassed to write. Please read this quickly: 4 slices of white bread toasted with honey.)

But I am not “on a diet”. Nor am I being good or bad.

I am trying to change my eating habits and eat more healthily for my body’s sake.

It does get easier. Cravings have lessened. I don’t “need” some salt when I get home. Or some lollies to keep me going during the day.

That I have made small changes for the long term seems hard for many to understand. “When are you going back to eating X?”, “Are you still not eating X?” Or “I thought you were on a diet,” are common comments.

I think this is the new me.

More whole foods, fewer processed, sweet and salty foods.

Blood test next year will hopefully show that the changes have had an impact on my inner health. In the meantime, my waist is happier, as is my stomach. I am no longer feeling bloated and suffering indigestion (except after last night’s dinner).

If you’re dieting, why are you eating that?

You know the rolled eyes? The one that means, “Thought you were dieting?”

I’ve also been directly asked, “Why are you eating that? I thought you were dieting?” Or, “But that’s high fat.”

See, I’m not depriving myself. I’m not changing my whole eating plan. I am not making wholesale changes.

What I am doing is making one small change – to my snacks.

(And no getting around it by saying I will have the slice of cake for lunch. Cakes and bikkies are not lunch food.)

I still have oven fries occasionally with my steak for dinner. And BBQ sauce, which is high in sugar.

I still have pasta. With grated cheese on top.

I still go out for Indian or Thai.

I still have the occasional toasted white bread with jam for breakfast.

Diets, where you have to follow a menu of foods you wouldn’t normally eat, don’t work. You cannot sustain it. No one can. You won’t eat what you don’t like or don’t normally eat. You come off “The Diet” and put the weight back on.

But a small change, a change to my snacks, a return to 1970s view of treats, has had a big impact on my diet, diet in the broader sense of what we eat daily.

There is scope to make more small changes should I feel the need or feel I am up to it. Portion size, alcohol reduction, more protein, more fish. I might look at those. But for now, I can definitely see the principles of Droptober continuing, even if more “special” foods slipped in while on No no no November.

I don’t feel deprived. If the cake is delish, and it is a special occasion, and I have not had it every day in the past week, I can treat myself.

Now, all this might fly out the window if my cholesterol continues to rise. But as my waist is shrinking and my weight is decreasing, I hope there is a commensurate decrease in my cholesterol.

And while I went nearly totally cold turkey in October Droptober, I allowed myself the occasional treat. A treat in Droptober that had some eyes rolling at work…. A gluten free mango cake. My God it is the most delicious thing you have ever tasted. It is worth whatever its calorie content. I had two small pieces. It is such a rare treat as it has to be especially ordered in with 24 hours notice; this one was because we had an international delegation visiting our workplace. I haven’t asked where I can get it from. I don’t want to be tempted to get it too frequently.


Good but bad but good but …

With my feminist sensibilities I shouldn’t even care.


But I can’t help it. I am contradictory. Although that places me in good company.

So, it’s good that I’ve lost weight.

But it’s bad that I haven’t lost as much as I thought and it’s bad that it takes so much “giving up” to lose the little weight that I did.

But it’s good I’m being healthier and still losing the fat.

But it’s bad I even care. And it is bad that I care that I haven’t lost much weight.

And it’s good that, considering I went to the exercise physiologist for recurring back pain not for weight loss, that I haven’t had any pain for 5 weeks. (Only a niggling hip for a few days.)

Anyway, enough with the dilemmas.

I am 68 kilos. (But 67 on my home scales?)

Dropping half a kilo a fortnight. So bloody slow!

Still at least I am in the healthy weight range again.

But …

Opps. Enough with the dilemmas!

[Applaud now!]

My exercise physiologist says 67 kilos is doable on my current eating and exercise but any lower will either mean a much bigger change to my eating or stepping up my exercise to something I have no time or inclination to do.

Another self?


OK, maybe thinking about your future self isn’t working?

You still want to eat those biscuits with your cup of tea. And as you’re an adult and you want the bikkies, you will eat those bikkies. Godddamit. Why not? You deserve it! Hard day at work an’ all.

(Even though you’ve had a gazillion biscuits in your life and these are nothing out of the ordinary, But, hey, that’s besides the point.)

So, think about someone important to you. Your child. Your parent. Your partner.

What would your advice or direction be to them?

“Darling, you’ve had enough junk today. Wait for dinner. Don’t eat that. You’ll spoil dinner.”

“Muuuum. Why don’t you just stop eating that shit and then you mightn’t need to take all that medication with those side effects you complain about.” (OK, maybe it’s just in my family we use such abrupt language between mother and daughter.)

“Man. Why are you eating that? I need you healthy enough to work for at least another 10 years so we can pay off the mortgage.”

So give the same advice to yourself!!!


My future self

Here’s a thought to maybe help you resist that piece of cake or that Mars bar:

Think about your future self!

Right now you want gratification, you want to satisfy that craving. Or you forget that you are eating healthily and, out of habit, you reach for that chocolate bar.

But how will your future self view your consumption of that gooey chocolate bar?

Will your five-minute-from-now self feel guilty that you ate it?

Will your one-week-from-now self regret the message on the scales?

Will your one-year-from-now self fear what the doctor revels about the cholesterol and blood glucose tests?

For your future self, say no to the sugar and bad fat!

This thinking has helped me resist the left-over chocolates from Halloween. Happy to report I haven’t eaten one of these.

Happy to report the packet is empty but not from my efforts.

Unhappy to report that my sons have left the empty packet in the pantry for the house elves to drop in the bin.

No no no November

Droptober is morphing into No no no November.

I know, I can’t believe my wit and verbal prowess either.

The aim is to turn my not eating fatty, sugary snacks into a habit. So I will continue to say no to eating junk foods as a regular thing. Sweet and fatty non-nutritious food-stuffs will be an occasional treat. (OK, with occasional satisfying of cravings.)

I toyed with the idea if saying no to alcohol, beyond the no drinking on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but decided I really didn’t want to. So I said no to saying no.

I will say no to being a lazy sloth and will make sure I maintain my exercise routine – one hour of Pilates, set exercises twice a week, and four walks a week.

Why is it easier to gain weight than it is to lose it?

And why is it so hard to regain a basic level of fitness but so easy and quick to lose it once you stop?

Those two unfair factoids are another reason I don’t want to stop my new regime; couldn’t bear going back to square one again.

But I am, as always, saying no to dieting. Diets that require you to buy, eat and prepare food you wouldn’t normally eat don’t work. You can last on a restrictive or different diet for a short while but you will go straight back to your normal eating patterns. Phewee to diets, I say. Can’t remember where I found this diagram, but it is so true.


I am continuing saying no to clutter. I know I haven’t posted lately on clutter and my journey to get ride of it but I have been making headway. So much so that my kids call me the Queen of Decluttering and my husband, oh, hang on, this bit needs a new paragraph on its own…

My husband who has angrily and repeatedly rebuffed any attempt to thin his wardrobe, today actually said that he needed to get rid of some shirts that he no longer wears! Shocked? I know I was. He never actually made the next step of removing any shirts but the mere change in his thought patterns is cause for celebration. Of course, I didn’t react too much. Don’t want to startle the natives nor make him think he hadn’t come to the realisation on his own. Seems osmosis does work.

But here’s a bit of unwanted decluttering. It was a dark and stormy night. A loud crash was heard. Investigation found this on the floor.


OK, it wasn’t a dark and stormy night, it was Halloween. But no one had walked past the table, there was no wind, no animals. Frightened? I was. And then the smoke detector beeped. No smoke, no fire. Spooooky.

10 Things I Learnt from Droptober.


A month of dropping the non-nutrient, not-real foodstuff I have learnt:

1. Don’t have the tempting foods in the house. If they are readily to hand, when you are feeling hungry or tired or emotionally weak, you will eat them.

2. If you have to buy junk for other members of your family, as mothers often have to do, buy things you don’t like. Then you won’t be tempted.

3. Have healthy alternatives ready. Some fruit cut up or fruit that is easily eaten. Some yoghurt. Some nuts.

4. Plan for when you are at work. Being busy and hitting the blood sugar lows makes you more likely to reach for a quick sugar burst.

5. Don’t beat yourself up. We are all surrounded by so much junk food and advertising of junk food that it is easy to be influenced without even being aware. And old habits are hard to break. And, sometimes it is just nice to have some of the sweet and creamy foods you like. That is why cake has always been used at birthdays!

6. Allow yourself some treats. But plan for them! Eating a slice of cake for a birthday or dessert on your wedding anniversary is not an act that should cause you to feel guilty.

7. Small changes work. Putting yourself on a diet that requires a restrictive menu of food you wouldn’t normally buy doesn’t work.

8. Don’t feel bad saying no to requests to buy fundraising junk. I found saying my doctor says I can’t because of cholesterol a quick way to stop possible pestering. No one wants to be responsible for causing your ill-health.

9. Have a good breakfast.

10. Make sure you drink plenty of water.

Oh, and an extra one for nothing. I lost weight. I didn’t address portion size of lunch and dinner; or cut my alcohol consumption; or eliminate cheese and I lost weight. If you are a regular consumer of junk, you will lose weight too. Make sure you are eating healthy foods and doing some exercise. Then your weight loss will be fat, not muscles or water.

I won’t post my weight loss until next week as I will use the digital scales at my next appointment at the exercise physiologist.

Hallowe’en, not dropping it

I thought I’d be strong. I thought I’d resist the lollies. But there’s something about an open bowl of lollies.

Teeth lollies. Who doesn’t love them? Full of memories of childhood and pretending you had false teeth.

And gob stoppers! Those mouth full of gum that parents banned.

Still, I think I have been somewhat restrained. Only one teeth lolly and four gob stoppers. Ending Droptober with some sugar. Oh well! Remember the no recriminations rule! It could have been worse. I could have eaten chocolates and biscuits today.

Most of the lollies have been given out. And I know my sons will save me from the rest.

Yes, I’m one of those. An Australian who loves Hallowe’en. As I don’t believe in supernatural beings, I don’t care about religious objections. And as I love a bit of fun, I don’t care about the objection that it is “American”.

I decorate my house in a modest way. As do some of my neighbours. I give out lollies. I used to dress up my sons. Now they are too old for it but one still loves seeing all the kids come and loves giving out lollies. He even rang me at work earlier today to ask where the lollies where so he could get ready for the kids.

After dark, we don’t get many knocks. Australian trick-or-treaters mainly come in the day light. Well, it is daylight savings. (And the kids here don’t really get the concept of trick or treat; some simply smile and ask for lollies, but they do dress up. Who doesn’t like an opportunity for fancy dress or playing dress-ups?) Householders who welcome kids hang out decorations or in the very least, black and orange balloons.

I actually wasn’t going to put up any decorations this year. I was exhausted from work and I thought my youngest son was past it. But a neighbour said I just had to. So in between exercises yesterday I popped up these:






Last year’s effort:

Mmmmm. The front shrubs need a pruning. Looked much neater last year.

When’s diiinnner?

In the main I have been careful to make sure I have food to eat at times I know I will be hungry. There has been one slip up – last Friday, when I ate the scones with cream and jam for morning tea.

One slip up, that is, until today.

Tonight was my husband’s turn to cook. I was starving. It was late. He was exercising. I ate a slice of bread with marg and honey and two handfuls of Nutrigrain. I could not stop. He would not cook dinner to my schedule. (I am channelling Hemingway with the short sentences and no adjectives or adverbs. Too hungry for superfluous words. See, I am really not myself; my verbose, loquacious self.)

My first real fail at a home in a time I know I normally get the hunger cravings.

Normally my darling husband likes to eat early and complains when I serve dinner after 7pm. I had to leave to go back to work at 7.10 and dinner wasn’t ready and it was after 6.30. If I had known it wouldn’t be ready in time, I would have cooked. Instead I tried to fill my stomach with things and whinge. Loudly. Repeatedly.

Getting shitty didn’t help me but I wasn’t going to let reason stop my ranting and raving and blaming my husband for my bad food choices. His hobbies taking precedence over my hunger was reason enough.

Lesson learnt. I need to have some food ready to nibble, like carrots and hommous. I have been ending to make my own hommous for weeks. I will really have to get a move on.

Actually, I must have been suffering from male pattern blindness. There was some tzatziki in the fridge. And leb bread. Now that would have been a better choice than honey on bread and Nutrigrain.

So real lesson learnt. Don’t grab and run when you are hungry.


Quitting time

“I’s the boss. I say when it quitting time.”


“Quitting time.”

I realise that it has been over a week since giving you an update on Droptober. That’s because I have been rather successful at it. And, as I have written before, success makes for rather a boring blog. There’s no drama, no need for readers to commiserate, no heightened emotions.

So why have I been able to drop the junk?

There has been the occasional chocolate. (Allowed under my sub-rules, so no breaking the Drop.) This month is not about total deprivation. It is about dropping the unhealthy snacks. One little daily treat is allowed. The treat is savoured rather than shoved down the gullet in the handfuls. Knowing I can have the chocolate is often enough; there have been days when I just didn’t even feel like one.

It may be my mind is like that when I did Dry July? It is only a month, we can cope. Possibly. But I think my internal thinking really is more along the lines, “Treats are for sometimes. Your health and weight loss are more important that eating junk every day.”

But those who can’t stand to hear that others are successful where you are not in battling the reaching for fatty junk food, fear not. I succumbed yesterday. At a meeting off-site, so no access to my office or work fridge. Meeting started at 8.30, and by morning tea time I was famished. My tummy was grumbling. I ate two small scones with jam and cream. Didn’t feel bad about it, just wished there was a more healthy choice. I couldn’t not eat because I would have been making earth shattering grumbling noises by lunch, (which was a Thai beef salad and fruit, quite healthy).

I didn’t eat the chocolate last night as I had already eaten a treat with the scones. Remember the concept of treats? They are for sometimes, for special occasions, not for being the major source of calorie consumption or eaten throughout the day, everyday.

Earlier in the week I explained to a colleague that I had eaten enough biscuits in my life and really didn’t need another Arnotts assorted to feel like I had something good in my life. Much better to be healthy and look forward to the treats that will come at Christmas.

My husband is doing his best to support. No negative comments, no saying “You shouldn’t eat that.” Yesterday evening he was siting outside. I went to talk with him. “Don’t come out here!” he called with a sense of urgency or warning.

“Why? Did you fart?”

“No, I’m eating liquorice.” Bless him. He didn’t want to tempt me, knowing I don’t want to weaken and break my Droptober.

But you see, it is the same as the Great Wardrobe Diet. Get over the initial addiction, and it becomes much easier.