Thursday, August 17, 2006

Food glorious food

I seem to have put on a few pounds recently. I haven't weighed myself but my jeans are tighter and some trousers just won't do up at all. How did this happen? I haven't changed my diet and apart from a bit of a pig out for my birthday, I haven't been consuming much booze. But I haven't been burning up as much energy either. The horses are out 24/7 through the summer so my usual exercise routine of mucking out and hoicking around haynets and buckets of water isn't happening. I'm also spending more time at the computer, sitting on my bum so I guess while I'm eating no more than usual, I'm not burning it all up either.
I also find I eat more when I am working at the computer. Everytime I get stuck on a thought, I go make a cuppa, which invariably means a biscuit or two as well. And if I'm not in my flow, that can mean a lot of tea and biscuits! It has got me thinking about my relationship with food, not just what I eat but when I eat it and why.
Living on my own, I don't have a routine pattern to meal times - I eat when I'm hungry (which is good) but I also pick when I feel mentally challenged (which is not good as that can be quite often). I often can't be bothered to eat a proper meal so end up feeling hungry more often through the day and snacking on foods like biscuits and cake which are full of empty calories, but also full of comfort. I don't tend to cook or bake these days so most of my food intake is processed and shop bought - ranging from nutritionally deficient to just tasteless.
So I have decided to have a go at self discipline. And this what I going to do.
Firstly I am not going to deny myself anything, but I am going to make cake rather than buy it. This means that if I can't be bothered to bake, then I have no cake to eat. It also means I can control the ingredients. I made a superb carrot cake for my birthday last weekend which I will try again with half the sugar and only organic ingredients. Is it a faff? Probably but I actually really enjoy baking and being creative in the kitchen so giving myself time to play at baking once a week will be good for me in all sorts of ways and not just nutrition.
Secondly I am going to discipline myself to take a walk or to groom my horses for 5 minutes when I feel mentally challenged rather than constantly make tea. This will give me some exercise and time with the horses that isn't just about riding, so they will benefit too.
Thirdly I am going to give myself 5 balanced meals a day at regular intervals, breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with smaller portions which fill me up but don't overfill, and I'll give thought to my meals in advance rather than in the moment of 'what's in the fridge that I fancy'.
I'll let you know how it works. It's interesting that our self esteem and self worth so often can be precariously balanced on our weight and self image around body shape. My mission is always to inspire women to love themselves as they are right now, to celebrate being gorgeous and unique (because we all are) regardless of shape, size or weight. Some of the most gorgeous women in the world are curvy and rounded. Sticks are only attractive to the media and that distorted image of beauty has become all too prevalent and leaves us feeling inadequate if we don't 'fit' the cardboard cut out image.
I'm a curvy 16 with a 34FF chest, and apart from the fact that big boobs bounce a bit when I'm riding, which can be somewhat uncomfortable, I am proud of my body. It's generally fit, healthy and it's mine. My resolve to change my eating habits is about feeling comfortable in the clothes I already possess and in making sure that I give my body the energy it needs to enable me to stay energetic and healthy too, so my poor horses don't have a stiff, unfit rider to contend with.
I like being curvy - down with sticks!!! Marilyn Monroe and Nigella Lawson are my icons. Bring back Rubens!

If you are struggling with your relationship with food and are fed up with diets that don't work, go visit my friends Audrey and Sophie Boss on their website: They have a new book coming out on 21st September which will blow the diet industry out of the water and revolutionise the life of every woman. They are fab!

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