I always thought all that life begins at 40 was a load of old claptrap, but as that day where I tune into a new decade rapidly approaches I am starting to think there could be some truth in the saying.
It has taken almost 40 years to figure out who I am.
Physically and mentally.
I have written a lot lately about weight, self sabotaging, emotional eating. I have always known that my size and food dominate a large part of my existence. That I rebel when someone says ‘you can’t eat that’ means I will respond by having six portions. I know when I am bored I eat, I know that I justify long hard days by having a glass of wine, and likewise I reward great days with cake and Prosecco.
I have presumed for many years that my happiness is dictated by my waistline, and my likeability is determined by my dress size. This came to a head last year when I started dating again and found before even meeting people I was telling them that I wasn’t slim, that I carried weight, that I had breastfed for four years, that I had carried twins.
That is messed up.
You have to love yourself first.
Likeability does not come from a dress size.
Likewise, happiness is not found at the bottom of a bottle and in a giant bag of Malteasers.
As forty looks to grab me by the ass and pull me into her clutches, I know what makes me happy.
My health is also pretty important too.
And in the obsession about my dress size and waistline I lost track of that.
Some days I ate dust just to be smaller, and on others I ate the entire of the crap cupboard just because I was angry at myself for thinking I should be slimmer.
My poor body has yo-yo’ed, and been the victim of an unhealthy mind.
I need to keep writing these posts to remind myself that.
I am not dieting – ever again. That word is poison, it is the result of a million pound turnover industry whose success relies on people failing. Because if it really worked – surely the diet clubs would have faded into the background….
The scales were thrown away before my holidays, why enforce that post holiday come down by stepping on the scales the first day back to see what damage has been done.
The ideology of that statement connotes a poor relationship with food. I no longer want nor need that.
I am trying to look after myself more, without striving to be a size I was when I ran marathons for fun. I do want to be stronger so I can lift bigger weights, I like to have less body fat so I can run that bit faster.
But it isn’t dominating my day.
My main focus is bringing up these three small people well, earning a living, and getting outside and eating up life (rather than cake.)
I’ve been on holiday (for most of the summer), I have not damaged myself. Quite the contrary, I had an amazing time, I soaked my toes in the sea most days, climbed mountains, surfed (sort of), rode horses, dove into lakes, and so much more. I ate a lot of BBQ, tried to minimise carbs on days when I wasn’t out exercising, I did drink a fair bit – knowing this needed to be dealt with sooner rather than later.
My sugar intake is probably up a fair bit.
So I came home, didn’t worry about the scales, but planned a focus that didn’t involve saying feck it – lets keep the holiday mode going and eat pizza.
I have started a detox, I was contacted by a company called So Shape, they have asked me to review their 14 day challenge, which simply means I eat two of their pre packed powdered meals a day and a meal of my choosing, plus snacking on protein whenever I want.
I was dubious at first, powdered meals remind me of the Cambridge Diet – which is all about extreme calorie reduction – not for me. Healthy means calories, just being more observant of the right ones.
What struck me from reading So Shape’s website was this comment:
We focus a lot more on reducing the waist line that on weight since our formulas have been made to really get thinner. The goal is to lose fat while keeping our muscles!
That works for me.
But the main goal – feel as amazing inside as I do on the outside!
Four days in and I can feel happiness starting to bloom in my belly as I wake. The sugar cravings have gone, and cooked chicken has the appeal of cake (almost). I don’t feel hungry, and I managed to get a personal best on my back squat last night. I am sleeping well (outside of Type 1 and her trickery). With So Shape you could run the risk of going very low calorie, but I am ensuring I get in decent levels of protein and carbs to avoid this.
Simple, basic, but it works.
I didn’t weigh myself at the start, but I did take measurements, I repeated them this morning, and can happily report back an 8 inch total loss so far.
More importantly my favourite jeans didn’t hurt when I popped them on.
The inch loss is cool, but more importantly is the fact that I feel even better, and I felt great before.
It is important to note that I don’t feel amazing because there are a few less inches of me. The phrase ‘nothing tastes as good as feeling slim’ can do one.
I feel amazing as I have more energy, more ‘oomph’ and I am stupidly excited about the months ahead.
I think being 40 will be the making of me
(If you fancy trying So Shape you can use the promotional code: CUSTOMNORTHERNMUM and enjoy twice as many flavours with the custom option included on the 14 and 28-day challenge.