The Milestone

pexels-photo-227908

Hey, bloggosphereans!

I’ve been junk-food free for five weeks now (yay!) and I’ve only had a few small hiccups along the way. 

My weight loss is becoming noticeable, now — I’ve dropped a whole size and think I’m close to dropping another. I’ve been feeling so good about myself that I’ve gone and bought lots of new clothes and shoes (with all that cash I’ve saved from not buying junk!). 

I’m waking up clearer and more easily than before. I’m feeling the cravings less and less and have found tea to be a great distraction (my fave is chai with a tiny bit of honey). The only issue I’m having lately is energy levels. I’ve cut out the junk, but haven’t increased the good stuff which keeps me powered up throughout the day. So, that’s my next challenge: stock the fridge full of yummy veggies and meat then actually COOK. 

I’m thinking salads are gonna be a go. They are so versatile and can be warm and filling or nice and light. 

Love and hugs,

Ash

 

The Celebration

pexels-photo-27433

Good evening, bloggosphereans!

Friday night became an exception to my no junk rule. I went out to celebrate completing uni and getting an awesome job. Cocktails ensued — five to be exact, I think — and Zambreros happened (but I only had a chikito and it’s not actually junk food, just not super healthy).

I was about three cocktails in before I realised that these delicious drinks contain a whole lot of sugar and are technically classified as junk. So, in an effort to have a good time, I allowed myself a belated free pass for the night. However, I made sure I didn’t stretch that allowance too far, and only let the cocktails through on the free pass. Any other drinks would have to be sugar-free. So, I drank water and mineral water when I was pacing myself.  

I even managed not to order pancakes when the party inevitably rounded the corner into Gilbert Place.

The next morning became an extension of the celebration allowance as, in my weakened hungover state, I bought fish and chips for lunch. 

Nevertheless, I am proud to report that I am back on track and am not dwelling on the sugary, fatty foods past. I am currently sitting in my second favourite writing nook (the first one was commandeered by an opportunistic woman when I got up for the bathroom) at a local pub with a chai tea, mineral water and Thai Beef Salad. 

I’m feeling good again, and am confident the junk food isn’t creeping back into my life.

Love and hugs,

Ash

The Craving Repeater

Morning, bloggosphereans!

Last night, I had some mad chocolate cravings again. I found that Pepsi Max was an adequate substitute (though, not a permanent one for it is made with artificial sweetener which I think is giving me headaches). By a happy accident where Coke Zero was unavailable, leaving Pepsi Max as the only sugar-free option, I discovered that Pepsi Max actually tastes OK. So, I’ve got that as a last resort, at least.

Also, you’ll be pleased to note that I broke my four-day pasta streak for a salad (twice!). I’m planning to skip the pasta option again, today.

Anywho, we’re fast approaching my three week anniversary of being junk food-free — only two days to go! I read somewhere that it takes three weeks to break a habit and something like six or seven weeks to create a new one (don’t quote me on any of that). So, I’m going to research this a little to find some dates on which to set goals. I think this will keep me motivated. 

So far, I haven’t done anything about the structure thing we talked about the other day. But, that’s ok. I can feel myself moving towards it — as demonstrated by my being out of bed right now!

‘Til next time!

Love and hugs,

Ash

The Need for Structure

Afternoon, bloggosphereans!

So, I’ve completed my undergrad and now have three weeks of free time to do whatever I want, whenever I want. This worries me a little because the lack of structure may make me complacent and vulnerable to cravings.

I have been offered an amazing job which will begin in July. It’ll be my first full-time position. I’m hoping that focusing on preparation for that (i.e. Creating some kind of human sleeping pattern, and ensuring my energy levels last until at least 5pm!) will give me the motivation to continue eating well.

startup-photos.jpg
(Hopefully, my schedule won’t be this messy!)

I’ve been good about food for two weeks now, so, I think I may soon be able to start adding in some focused exercising. I might give myself a few days to relax and enjoy the lack of looming deadlines, and being able to read for pleasure instead of uni, and then get stuck into creating some kind of life structure which will include healthy eating habits (also when to eat), some kind of regular exercise which I can build on in time, a stretching a sleeping pattern, and some time to do things I enjoy. Basically, some kind of schedule to remind me how to adult.

The structure will be good as long as it’s not too strict because prohibition leads to excess — at least, it has every time I’ve tried it! I’ll keep you posted on how it’s working out.

Love and hugs,

Ash

The Carb Cravings

Hey, bloggosphereans!

I’ve been having some intense carb cravings lately and it’s particularly difficult because carby foods like pasta and bread are among my favourite things. 

I ran out of fruit a couple days ago which has been hard because those were my go-to snacks. So, I think I’ve been undereating a bit and that’s probably contributed to the carb cravings. Thankfully, I’ve just restocked the pantry and fridge with fruit, veggies and other non-junk foods. 

Hopefully, now the healthy food reserves are replenished, I’ll be feeling stronger, more awake and less likely to give in to cravings — and I’m proud to say, I haven’t given in to a craving yet!

According to my Food Addiction Calendar app, it’s been 12 days! Woo! I think having this app count the days for me is helpful because I don’t have to actively remember how much time has passed and, therefore, don’t have food hanging around my brain all the time.

Anywho, better get back to my final assignment!

Love and hugs,

Ash

P.S. Here’s a link to the app I mentioned:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/food-addiction-calendar-join-no-binge-eating-movement/id1112385170?mt=8

screen696x696

(It shows you puppies when you tap ‘PANIC!’ to fight cravings.)

The Ice Cream Substitute

Hey, bloggosphereans!

I’ve recently been craving ice cream quite often in the evenings. A few nights ago I tried to distract myself by eating some watermelon instead and, to my surprise, it quelled the craving!

pexels-photo-67483
(Cue: angels singing)

Since then, I’ve had some watermelon every time I’ve craved ice cream and it’s been great. I just cube up a watermelon ahead of time and then grab a small bowlful when I want ice cream. I think it works for a few reasons:

  1. Eating watermelon with a fork out of a bowl is the same action as eating ice cream with a spoon out of a bowl.
  2. The watermelon has come out of the fridge, so is really cold.
  3. The watermelon is super juicy, so that kind of simulates the liquid form ice cream takes on when it hits your mouth.
  4. Watermelon is sweet! 

I definitely recommend giving the watermelon swap a try if you’re craving a bowl of ice cream. I’m not sure how well it would work if you have your heart set on a particular kind of ice cream, though. 

Love and hugs,

Ash

The Useful Article

pexels-photo-28997
(Love, love, love almonds!)

Hey, bloggosphereans!

A late post, today. I’ve been busy studying hard for my final assignments.

I stumbled across a really useful article on the My Fitness Pal blog. Usually, articles I read about health offer advice which is too general, boring, or just doesn’t work. However, this article seems to be written by someone who has actually been through the weight-loss experience and, as such, offers some genuinely useful tips.

The article is entitled, ‘6 Appetite-Control Strategies that Helped Me Stop Overeating’ by John Fawkes, and, as you can guess, provides strategies to prevent overeating.

I’ll let you read the article yourself, and just mention my favourite tip here:

Tip 5. Have a small, flavourless snack between meals. Fawkes briefly explains the science behind how a simple handful of almonds between meals can dramatically reduce your appetite.

Check it out!

http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/6-appetite-control-strategies-that-helped-me-stop-overeating/

It’s definitely worth a couple minutes of your time. I know I’ll be implementing many of the changes suggested.

Love and hugs,

Ash

The Doughnuts of Doom

Hey, bloggosphereans!

Last night, I was feeling all good and proud for eating well UNTIL my partner came home from work with chocolate doughnuts (cue: me, rocking in a corner, driven mad with temptation).

So, I looked at my list of distractions and chose to watch a movie FAR AWAY FROM THE FOOD ZONE (as stipulated by the list) and it actually worked pretty well. My partner was quite confused because when she asked if I wanted one my answer was something like this: yes, no, YES OMG, but no, I can’t, maybe just one, no, no, no, WHY DID YOU BRING THEM HOME, WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TO ME, yes, please, NO.

I didn’t eat one. 

 (My brain after overcoming that unexpected hurdle.)

Today, I was up early, freezing cold (only 2 degrees this morning!), and getting ready to head to uni for my final big test of the semester. I flicked the kettle on and there, sitting beside it, was one last doughnut. Oh, no. I’ve come this far. I can’t break now. There will be more doughnuts in life. This isn’t the last doughnut on Earth. You can let this one go to someone else.

And I did. I turned right around and grabbed a banana instead. And I chased that with some watermelon (Yes, on a 2-degree morning. I’m just crazy like that.). Then I left for uni and the doughnut stayed home.

Hopefully, I can continue building this strength of will to make each seemingly insurmountable battle smaller.

Love and hugs,

Ash

The Distractions

pexels-photo-203218
(Oh, hello, beautiful.)

Afternoon, bloggosphereans!

I’m feeling pretty under the weather, today: a mix of hormones, fatigue and my body adjusting to this new way of eating. This means I am having a hard time not reaching for the comfort food.

So, as mentioned yesterday, I’ve created a list of distractions I find useful when the cravings hit. I’ll probably come back and add to this list as I discover new diversions.

Distractions

  • Studying (I know. I’m a nerd.)
  • Reading (This one depends on what I’m reading, as some books make me hungry… no idea why!)
  • Watching a really good movie or TV show FAR AWAY from the food zone (I’m too lazy to get up once I’m comfy and engrossed.)
  • Walking around in nature (Not too near shops which sell food.)
  • Learning something (This is different to studying because it’s not uni-related.)
  • Adult colouring books (They’re awesome! And so soothing.)
  • Writing/Blogging (Hence, why I created this site.)
  • Observing the night sky (Especially if I can recognise constellations, etc.)
  • Observing the day sky (Finding shapes in the clouds, considering how odd weather events occur, etc.)
  • Facebook (Gotta be careful with this one ’cause I can easily fall into a Facebook hole.)
  • Wikipedia (Same caution as Facebook — Seriously, don’t look at the page ‘Lists’ unless you have about three years to spare.)
  • Cuddling Zuli (My dog is the most adorable creature to ever walk the planet.)
  • Making tea (Something about the act of making tea is very soothing and pleasing.)
  • Using the Crave Master app (I need to do this one more to get into a good habit.)
  • Learning another language (This one is a double-edged sword because, after a while, your brain gets tired and wants food to keep going.)
  • Browsing bookshops and libraries (because you can’t take food in there!)
  • Reorganising the house/tidying/cleaning/unpacking boxes (1. You get so caught up in the organising that you forget about food; and 2. Once you’ve remembered food, your recent encounter with gross things that needed cleaning puts you off eating.)

That’s all for now!

Love and hugs,

Ash

The Hormones!

pexels-photo-26517
(If you look closely, you can see me in the distance striking down someone’s house)

Hey, bloggosphereans!

I woke up last night to the good fortune of excruciating cramps: my period’s pleasant way of announcing itself.

Dealing with that for a week won’t be fun, but even worse are the hormonal cravings that come with my period (comfort food, unite!). At random moments, I will find myself teary and in a heap because there’s no chocolate and I NEED CHOCOLATE NOW. Or, there are no cruskits and I NEED CRUSKITS NOW. 

So, the difficulty is going to be not having one of these moments as I’m in a shop, perfectly in reach of one of these delectable delights. 

To add to the stress, my final assignments and tests are dotted across the calendar for the next two weeks. So, mental stress + period hormones = major binge on the horizon.

I must stay strong!

I think, to help myself during these especially tricky moments, I’ll make a post with a list of distractions (because no amount of inspiration will out-shine this atomic combination). 

Love and hugs,

Ash