I feel like I’ve been on a journey with food all of my life. At Primary school, if you didn’t clear your plate at lunch time you were not allowed out to play. I spent many many playtimes sitting on the stage with cold congealed food that would make me retch. I dreaded meal times at school and anywhere else. From this also comes my need to eat quickly, I think this is linked to my ’empty plate’ syndrome.
I got scared when my parents would say we were going to a cafe or round someones house. So much so i pretended to be ill to avoid it as often as i could get away with it. I would only eat my mums food, and that was limited. Sausage, chips and peas, Roast dinner (chicken, peas and potatoes) Heinz tomato soup and fish fingers with beans and chips. I wouldn’t eat any veg, any meat with the slightest trace of fat (because of the texture) or anything that was classed as salad.
Luckily I was quite sporty and kept trim until I was around 19 or 20. I was working in a children’s home and the house mother was a tyrant with food, making the kids eat everything. It was usually a buffet style meal so i could just take what i wanted but often she would come round with a saucepan with leftovers and just chuck it on my plate. I would cringe. She once tried to humiliate me at the dining table by saying i should eat more vegetables and told me to finish my food. For the first time I stood up for myself and told her I had had enough, thank you.
My journey with food continued in a negative way until i got married and then it got even worse. I was now doing the cooking and buying of food so my trolley was often filled with ‘goodies’. We ate fried food often for quickness.
When it came to weaning I made baby food for my daughter, lots of veggies and chicken. I tried it myself and loved it. I began to try a few different veggies and found that I liked them.
I began to buy cook books and I tried different recipes, I loved cooking by this time, but I loved eating even more. I was always on a diet!! Cabbage diet, banana diet, Weight watchers, calorie counting, points counting, juicing, you name it i done it. I could even get slimming tablets from my doctor which suppressed my appetite often until 5pm. I lost some of the weight but nothing was sustainable.
I was always quite good when I started a diet, very focused and keen to keep to it, which I did for about 4 weeks. Then old habits crept in. I was looking better now so surely ‘i deserve’ a biscuit. I used every excuse to eat what i know was not good for my body, “i had my period” “it’s my birthday” “I’ve worked hard at work” I always found a reason to be entitled.
As the years have gone past I have had around 8 months a year of being overweight and then 4 month of trying to diet.
When I saw Anna’s ad, I thought “yes I’m ready for another diet lets try this one”. I had put on a lot of weight during lockdown. We were drinking most of the sunny summer days, eating lots of potato based snacks, lots of cheese, fizzy drinks etc etc.
I was so happy when I began to read what sort of plan you were advocating. After years of yoyo dieting and food deprivation I could finally eat nutritionally, feel full and speak to a whole host of women battling the same anxieties. I stuck to the plans, ensured I was prepared with the food that I needed, did my shopping and got rid of the scales. Freedom at last, my whole persona has changed, I have a new relationship with food that I never thought possible.
There is no ‘giving up’ because there is no need to. I am eating much more than I think I ever have and yet I’m losing inches. I know this is working for me, I feel more energised, younger, my skin is better than ever, my hair has got thicker again, I’m excited by exercise whereas I used to avoid it.
Im sharing photos of myself because I’m so proud of what I have achieved. I don’t mean just the weight loss but the new mindset, the realisation that I CAN leave food on my plate, the realisation that if i overdo the eating one day or have an indulgence I can get right back on it and nothing changes.
Some weeks I’ve stayed with the same measurements, but that’s ok. When I look back to where I started with the WLA I was very overweight. Did I expect to lose weight? Yes i did, I usually do, but this plan has enabled me to continue with it, to eat well as a way of life, to move more and be able to accept compliments more readily.
I’ll be 67 in around 8 weeks, so many people have asked me what the hell I have been doing as I look so different. This will continue to work for me because I have the tools to keep it going. I can do my own plans now, adapt my own recipe favourites and ensure I always keep within the boundaries of nutrition.
I thank Anna so much for introducing this to me, it’s enabled me to answer a lot of questions about myself and my relationship with food. I feel strong and enabled, so thank you.