Friday, August 10, 2012

Update on diet

Today is a 500 calorie day on the alternate day fasting diet. So far, so good. I have been managing to stick to the limit. I miss not being able to have cups of coffee, and having to plan out everything I eat is a bit of a pain because I am not used to it yet. I think it will get easier over time. I had fresh fruit for breakfast - melon, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. For lunch I had stir fried chicken and vegetables - leek, carrot, courgette, aparagus, spring onion - with a chicken broth. This evening I am planning a big salad and will splash out the remaining calories on a yoghurt and vinegar dressing. I feel a lot more positive about this diet than any of the diets I have been on before, for a number of reasons. First, because I only have to manage a day of dieting before I can eat normally again. So even though I expect to be on this diet for a long time, I don't have to see months and months of sticking to diet plans before me... it's one day at a time. Secondly, the "fast" days have such a low calorie limit that it isn't really possible to agonize over what to have. A little lean meat, some vegetables and fruit is all there is. Despite this, I don't feel deprived, because I know it is doing me good AND I can eat what I want tomorrow. It's genius. Thirdly, I feel it must be not only good for me, but good for the planet. Not only am I doing myself good, but I am also reducing my demand for food on the planet by about a third. at least. And that means I can afford to eat better on those days I am allowed to eat whatever I like. It changes your attitude to the food... you don't want to waste any when you have such a low calorie allowance. I am a bit hungry though.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Alternate day fasting

All through my school life, I was called fat and made fun of. Which is strange, because I don't think I was fat. There were children who were a lot fatter than I was, who weren't bullied for it. Which I found confusing.

By the time I was sixteen, I was a size sixteen, which I thought of then as enormous, even though I think it was probably my natural size. I still don't think I was particularly fat.

It must be said that in the 1970s there weren't a lot of clothes that went above a 14, and so I found it difficult to find the sort of clothes my friends were wearing. Eventually, I went on a diet. I lost a bit of weight. I felt better about myself and stopped dieting. I not only put back on all the weight I had lost, I put on more.

This started a cycle which continued for about ten years... I would lose weight by dieting. As soon as I stopped dieting I would put the weight back on. I decided it was probably worse for me to yo-yo diet all the time, and I stopped dieting. By then I had tried a lot of different diets... low fat, low calorie, low carbohydrate, using milk shakes, using grapefruit etc etc.

I started to get free lunches at work, moved in with my future husband, who was a very good cook, and gave up smoking, and put on more weight. I had three children and put on more weight I began doing a mostly sedentary job from home... and put on more weight.

I've always said that I wouldn't diet until I found a plan that I could see myself maintaining for the rest of my life. And last weekend I think I discovered it. Horizon was about to broadcast a programme in which they talk about the alternate day fast, where you have 500 calories one day and a normal diet the following day.

I read the article on the BBC website, and then started researching for myself. This diet apparently has health benefits. People who follow it properly will not only lose weight, but also reduce their level for many of the markers of the diseases which our culture suffers from - heart disease, cancer etc.

So, I'm doing it. This week is my first week. And I really think I can do this for the rest of my life. The genius part of it is that you only have to diet for one day... and then you can eat normally for a day. And then you do it again.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Can't wait

I'm going on holiday in September for the first time in several years, and I can't wait. I love the sea... and though I have never been someone who likes to lie on the beach acquiring sandy crevices, I love beachcombing, and I love the sounds and smells of the sea.~

I remember being stopped by customs on the way back from a holiday in France, and the look of disbelief on their faces when they saw the shells and stones I had collected. Nearly every seaside holiday I've had has been spent this way.

I haven't been to the coast for a while, and so I am looking forward to it all. I don't care if it is raining, hailing or force 9 galing, I shall be walking along the beach, bags in hand, collecting shells, glass, driftwood and stuff.

The last time we went to Devon, my daughter was only about five or so, and I remember we walked along the beach at Westward Ho! and it was literally heavenly... it was sunny but very windy, and there was hardly anyone else on the long beach. The colours were muted and there was a very peaceful energy there, despite the wind.

This time we're renting a house in Teignmouth, which is somewhere I used to come with my grandparents. It's going to be *wonderful*. I've been living apart from my sons for more than a year, and so the prospect of seeing them every day is also very exciting for me.

I have started to make lists of things to take with me, and things we need to buy, lists of meals to make and stuff to have. But at the moment, I can only think about being close to the sea.