Tag Archive: healthy eating

Planned indulgence

Before I started cooking dinner tonight, I made my lunch for tomorrow. I packed it neatly away in various little containers, ready to pop into a cool-bag and take with me on the hour and a half’s drive to my first aid course in the morning.

Why do it before dinner?

Because tonight I took a calculated risk to do with food. I planned a ‘treat’ night.

It took me a while and a few clarifying conversations with various members of my family, to work out what to have. It had to feel sumptuous, indulgent, luscious….so it couldn’t be takeaway, bought in mass manufactured cardboard or plasticky boxes. It had to be full of taste and enough that there was the possibility of more if we wanted it.

I toyed with the idea of creamy salmon pasta, or fish with a caper butter sauce. Perhaps something with masses of garlicky mashed potato, or what about something stuffed, crumbed, then shallow-fried?

I took Sam shopping with me and wandered through the aisles with him. He was tired after a week’s school and sports but he almost uncomplainingly pushed the trolley behind me as I meandered up and down the shelves, taking things down, examining them, putting them into the trolley or back onto the shelves.

We travelled that way through the supermarket. Him talking, me answering over my shoulder, sometimes stopping to laugh with him or share a hug, his tall frame bending to drape over my shoulders. Strange thing, my child being so tall now. He’ll be a man in the blink of an eye.

Finally I settled on a piece of pork for roasting, baby red potatoes, peas, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, gravy and apple sauce. To be followed by apple pie and ice-cream. Andy had specifically asked for Magnum ice creams, so in they went too.

Things for lunch were being added too. Dark, soft, sweet figs. Honey scented peaches, a very ripe paw paw, a bunch of black grapes. So many lovely fruits in season now. Things for a salad…rocket, a couple of paper thin slices of procsciutto, a few olives, tomatoes, a small block of parmesan for shaving with a vegetable slicer.

I find supermarkets and outdoor markets strangely therapeutic. There’s something about switching off and just moving slowly through produce that feels irresistible to me.

For before dinner, there were dips and corn chips. A Greek Taramosalata, Salmon and dill and Feta and bacon.

A planned night of over indulgence. Planned, as opposed to the other night when I just wanted to inhale calories. I’ve thought about it for a while. A friend of mine has takeaway Fridays and recommends it. It’s how she keeps herself on track for the rest of the week but I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea for me. Until now.

For anyone quietly scoffing about first world problems, you’re right. In some ways, this is ridiculous. I know it. But I made a decision to peel away 13 years of weight caused by over indulgence and self pity. I followed that decision with a promise to give it my best. This is my current best.

Dinner was just as delicious as I’d hoped it would be and I was full much sooner than I ever have been before. I’d include a photo but they’re not wanting to upload for some reason.

There was something so good about letting it all go just for one meal, knowing that tomorrow was already taken care of, prepared for. I feel quieted, calmed, satisfied. Ready to get back to work.

I read an article today, about a woman called Dr Helena Popovic, author of a book called “In Search of My Father-Dementia is No Match For A Daughter’s Determination” She said something that resonated with me,

“If we keep chipping away at something patiently, lovingly, daily- even if we don’t see progress for a long time- one morning we wake up and find the world has changed”

Oh and today was a yoga day, just to add to the general bliss 🙂

The Reminder

I’m half way through this round of the 12 Week Body Transformation and today I was tired.

Tired and craving chocolate. Which is pretty weird because chocolate isn’t usually my ‘go to’ craving food. For breakfast I ate porridge and drank coffee, then water. Lunch was leftover beef stew from last night, reheated and delicious.

So far so good. Then a minor disagreement in the house, followed by a pretty minor obstacle in my day, and suddenly I wanted chocolate. Like, right now! With Zac in the car, I stopped at a corner shop, on the way to collect Sam, ostensibly to buy us all a drink. In my mind I was all the while rationalising my firm decision to buy a bar of chocolate and, like Charlie when he discovered the golden ticket, scoff the lot. Wolfing it down, rather than nibbling at it.

It was fine, I told myself. It’s not like I do it all the time. What harm could one bar of chocolate do? One large, soft, creamy, sweet, melting bar of deliciously decadent chocolate…. My every day decisions around food have been good, so this one aberration means nothing. In fact, maybe it’s a good thing! Maybe getting the craving out of the way will prevent me from having a melt down and devouring everything in my vicinity!

Feeling very clever and sensible, I chose the drinks and walked over to the counter, to where the sweet things lay, ready to be picked up and paid for.

It took me exactly three seconds to realise I wasn’t going to buy any of them. None of them were quite ‘right’, quite what I wanted and I didn’t want to waste a perfectly good blow-out on something sub-standard. I’d save it for later, when I could find something perfect.

So later came. I took Zac to rugby, knowing it was just going to be the two of us for dinner and trying not to want take-away the night before weigh in. It’s not that I don’t know that a planned treat night is sometimes appropriate, or that one meal doesn’t need to make a difference to the rest of my eating choices. It’s that I mistrust this urgency, this near-desperation, not for the food but for what it represents. The thin edge of the wedge…..

I’ll happily have a treat night when I’m in control of choosing and planning it, not when I’m being driven by cravings.

Still…..I was tired and takeaway is easy…maybe fish and chips, with its padded, greasy, pillowy batter, cut with sharp lemon and salt? There’d be no argument from Zac. He loves chips.

Walking back to the car, I mentioned it to Zac and he nodded “Sure, let’s have that. it sounds nice”.

Then my last-ditch attempt at saving myself with a hesitant “I really like the idea of it but I was thinking it’s not really what I promised. You know, to “honestly and courageously do my best” Before I’d even finished, he was shaking his head with decision.

“It’s not. We’re not having takeaway. What else can we have?”

In Aldi, he followed me, asking about the healthiness of everything I picked up, making suggestions, making me laugh with his impression of a small General. Taking charge.

For dinner we had crumbed fish and a crispy, crunchy salad, accompanied with a tall glass of apple juice and mineral water, followed by a small tub each of Greek fruit yoghurt. It was filling and lemony, salty, sweet and fizzy. He loved it, I loved it. It was an easy, satisfying meal and I felt good about it later.

Obviously I still have a way to go with myself as regards food but with the supporters and champions I have, Success is Inevitable 🙂

Almost raining, grey day, waves reaching the shore and almost wetting our feet (again). The sand shifting under my feet so that I puff and pant, trying to keep talking. The way back is easier this time and our laughter comes in short bursts, whipped away to sea almost as soon as it leaves our mouths.

Home then, buying grapes on the way and picking, washing, bagging.



Then, exercise done, lunch and a visit with my awesome friend….Yay 🙂


Wow. What a day..

Today felt great. Really great, like ‘I’ve got this’ great. After that last post, I met my friends, Dawn and Ray at the beach and we walked. Dawn has already done this journey, not with 12wbt but I know she knows exactly where I’m coming from. I’d already walked our youngest son to school, so I had a kilometre under my belt before we started and then, together, talking and laughing, we did another 4km. The walk up the beach was fine, it was the way back where I started to struggle.

I thought about stopping, I did, but they were walking and showing no signs of discomfort, which is logical, since they’re very much fitter than I am, but something in me just wouldn’t let me stop. Also we were going to look at a house, so there was a time constraint…

Today was really hot, which I didn’t really notice until much later, when I was walking back to the school to collect my boy…and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I slowed right down and progress up the hill was painful.My feet hurt! I did it though and back again. What about the after-workout shower?! I’d forgotten how amazing it is! I lay around for the rest of the afternoon, feeling wrecked, until it was time to make dinner.

A total 7k walk probably doesn’t seem like much when you’re fit (and I look forward to that) but for a large woman who’s been sedentary for years, it represents a challenge smashed, a thing to look at in triumph and I do.

I ate really well today too and felt satisfied. Porridge for breakfast, lots of water. Walk, almonds, apple, water. Two little bags of frozen grapes (thank you earlier me) Then later, a truly delicious and awesome meal of garlic and chilli, lemon juice, mushrooms and zucchini noodles, with 120g sliced halloumi, fried with a tsp of butter. Lots of mushrooms….like….lots….it was fabulous!

Calories for the day still came in at under the 1200 that I have every day, at 1064 but I know I’ll get the balance right soon.

Something else that occurred to me today is how grateful I am to be surrounded by encouragement and people who are honestly, from the bottom of their hearts, hoping that I’ll stick at this and reach my goal. It’s not just my family, my husband and kids…it’s my friends, my Mum and Dad and most recently, the community at 12wbt.

When I wrote on my personal facebook page that I was starting this program, comments tumbled in, offering support “you can do this” “go hard girlfriend” “I know you can do this” “good for you, let me know how it goes” “congrats and good luck”.

Given that I haven’t given them any reason to suppose that I can do it, I was completely touched by their faith and encouragement . Then today, after reading my blog for the first time, after we’d finished our walk, I got a text from Dawn “you are truly amazing and I am very proud of you” I smiled all the way home.

Tomorrow I walk with my darling, laughing friend Natalie, who didn’t blink an eye when I asked her to walk with me instead of sitting drinking coffee as we normally would. So, today felt great. Really great, like ‘I’ve got this’ great. And tomorrow will be even better.

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