I think it is possible that I am turning into a grumpy old woman. Its seems my tolerance for other people is greatly reduced and only seems to be getting worse. When I chat about it with my mum she roars with laughter because I am so grumpy. Meet me in person and I can be an absolute delight however my patience for people in cyber land has greatly diminished.
So it’s the end of January and I am 15lbs down, what a surprise its a new year so dieting is back with a bang. After messing about all last year with my weight constantly yo-yoing, I decided to give this issue my full attention, which lead to me joining an online group for support. It has helped seeing other people’s before and after pictures, getting hints and tips but on more than one occasion it has raised my blood pressure to the point of “normal” – quite a good side effect but it can leave me ranting for hours.
The diet I am on is a strict meal replacement plan, nothing other than the meals and fluids mainly black tea or coffee can pass my lips. I have used these for many years, it’s not the diet I find hard, it’s not stuffing my face afterwards that I have the issue with. So I know it works and whilst I am on the diet I actually feel an awful lot better than when I am eating conventional food so another bonus. The diet which I shan’t be naming – as I don’t do advertising, is high in protein and low in carbs, it is a combination of meals, bars, soups or shakes. For anyone embarking on this kind of diet it is imperative that you get your doctor’s approval.
This is a hard-core diet that is not for the faint hearted, no pun intended. I like the diet because it takes all the choice away from me, there are no calories, points or syns to count because when I am on those kinds of diets I use all my syns / points to eat rubbish. It gives me a sense of control, when faced with conventional food I exhibit no control. This is something I am working on to change.
I have invested in a book called “The Beck Diet Solution” – I am not advertising the book and I am not being paid to mention it, has been incredibly helpful and it has been like having my own diet coach and cognitive behavioural therapy sessions. Like anything in life it only works if a) you believe it will and b) you are prepared to put the effort in. A lot of CBT is home work rather than making huge discoveries whilst talking to your therapist. Some people find this highly effective and others don’t. I have found this book invaluable and since reading it has helped me stick to this diet in a way I have been unable to in the last 2 years.
I originally used this diet because I had been experiencing bowel adhesion pain and intermittent gastroparesis. For days on end I was limited to fluids only and was getting in no proper nutrition. Due to being a big lass, no one was taking my weight loss seriously or offering anything productive other than admittance to hospital. Those of you who know me or have read my blog for a while are aware of the fact hospital is a last resort for me and I will do everything I can to avoid it. If I can manage at home without causing a decline in my health then that is what I will do. By using the shakes from this diet I was able to get in more calories than just drinking water or other fluids. When my adhesions are painful I can still be ravenously hungry but eating solid food will cause me immense amounts of pain. So the shakes helped me by giving me something that was nutritionally balanced and had calories but did not cause me pain. I did lose weight as well which was a good thing as my BMI at this point was in the obese class one range. It seems rather shocking that my first goal was to get a BMI under 30 so I was overweight rather than obese but there you have it.
I am not asking anyones approval for using this diet. Many of you may be shocked that I would use such a hardcore approach to weight loss, that a nutritionally balanced diet would be better etc etc. Believe me I have tried every diet under the sun and would love to have the willpower not to cheat when using conventional food. I just can’t do it and I have found something that works for me. As I stated previously it is vitally important that anyone with a chronic health condition should see a doctor before embarking on any weight loss plan. I have the support of my doctors and I think they know my issues better than anyone reading my blog.
The diet that I am using has an internet forum which I use for support and to post my weekly losses. I have found it more supportive than the other conventional food plan diet forums who you can slim with online. However you have to be very careful with the diet police that tend to pop up and criticise unwary dieters who don’t follow the “rules”. They aren’t company affiliated but they seem to think it is their job to chastise and bully people. New forum members quite often fall into the trap of posting something that will enrage them, quite often the Diet Police response to these members enrages me.
For instance should you post that you are a daily weigher you will be reminded about the rules of weighing, as in once a week at the same time of day. I always post if I see such a response that “we are all adults and if someone chooses to weigh themselves daily they are “allowed” to do so”. I weigh daily, I have to if I don’t I end up cheating food wise that day. Sometimes the numbers go up, sometimes down. I am not obsessive with the scales I weigh once, not multiple occasions throughout the day. Mainly because I don’t have the energy to be running up and down the stairs, stripping off and jumping on the scales. The diet police do not like anyone standing up to them or questioning their rules. I find it hilarious and terribly sad at the same time.
If you post that you have fallen off the wagon or have had a planned weekend off, one of the diet police will post another thread bemoaning the fact that others are talking about their cheating and they don’t find it very inspirational. So far I have managed to resist the urge to tell them to F%%k off and get a life. I do not know how much longer I will be able to do so but the threat of being barred from the forum seems to be working. These people seem to think we should all act like drones and never waver from the diet. I think we are all human and sometimes it does us good to break the rules as long as we accept there are consequences for our actions.
Anyone who finds themselves doing a diet this extreme obviously has body issues, food addiction problems and probably low self-esteem. To then be castigated for falling off the diet wagon or for weighing themselves daily seems to be deliberately aggressive and destructive. People will cheat on this diet as they do on all other diets. My belief is that we should acknowledge it, arm them with the cheats that will do the least damage. Do not create an environment where people are afraid to speak out, some of the people on this diet are doing so in secret the online forum is the only place they can talk about their struggles. Instead of treating them like naughty children and scolding them for breaking the rules ask them to look at why it happened. What was the trigger? What can they do to prevent it from happening in the future? The only way you can change your behaviour towards food is to identify the unhelpful behaviours. By refusing to acknowledge they exist you end up giving support to no one. When people cheat they will cheat using the wrong foods doing much more damage than they would have done had they been provided with the information.
You may think that providing people with the information on how to cheat on the diet would be counter productive. My answer to that is we are all adults, we make our own decisions. If you decide to cheat every day for a week you will not see the scales move downwards they will stay the same or creep up. If you cheat once a week, for one meal only you will still get a loss. Life sometimes gets in the way of dieting, a diet needs to be flexible to suit the person doing it.
I don’t know what annoys me more the diet police that seem to dominate the forum or the grown adults who allow themselves to be talked to in such a condescending manner? Weight is not just a physical issue but a psychological one as well, which destroys self-esteem. Some of the people on the forum are at their lowest ebb yet there are people who seem to go out of their way to bring them down lower. I wish some of them would gain the courage to stand up for themselves. However if you have ever been overweight you know that the very last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself because by doing that you draw attention to your weight. Sitting in a corner not speaking up is easier than having to confront the jibes about your weight, I know I have been there.
My weight will be a constant battle, it will not end when I reach my goal.
So maybe I am not so grumpy after all maybe I just get fed up with the bullying I see on internet forums / social media. I can’t fight every battle but I will put a spanner in the works at every available opportunity because everyone deserves to be heard.