As talked about in my previous post, I have self-diagnosed myself with a Binge Eating Disorder and am in the process of learning more about what this means for me and how I can work with it.
I’ve decided to stop getting in my own way when it comes to my health, and on 6th March this year I drew the line for the last time…
Since then I have stuck religiously to the Slimming World plan, which I have followed already for a number of years. I have kept a daily food diary so I can log everything I eat, but this hasn’t always been the biggest struggle for me.
I seem to struggle more with my emotional eating and find myself often craving or turning to food I do not want or need. In the past I have convinced myself I need junk food as either a comfort blanket or because I have thought about it, craved it, and therefore eaten it. As I’m trying to steer away from that negative thinking, I have been keeping a journal of when I crave bad food and have noticed the afternoons at work seem to be difficult and I struggle when I am feeling down.
This time, I have done nothing more than write about my feelings & cravings and am pretty proud to say I have not given in to my addiction. Instead I have stuck to my plan and have filled up on healthy options when I think I may be tempted. I have also kept myself distracted by reading and running; see below.
It’s not enough to just avoid eating bad food for me, I need something to keep my busy and out of the kitchen (except when I am cooking, of course).
A couple of years ago, my dad recommended a book which teaches basic simple yet effective mind management and can help you overcome physical boundaries, emotional eating and even lack of confidence. I’ve only now started reading and although I’m part way through this book, I have already found it so helpful and it has even helped me make changes to my outlook and attitude. I would honestly recommend this book for really anyone – click here to check it out.
I also mentioned above I have been running. Now I have always wanted to be a runner, but found it hard to stick with because of how unfit I am and how much extra weight I carry around. You don’t need to tell me that running will help me lose weight which will then help me run further/faster; I know it’s a vicious cycle but I could never get the knack for it. Until now.
I got myself an Apple Watch with my birthday money, which comes with the Nike+ Run Club app already installed. When I launched the app on my phone to set up my account, it tells me I had previously run with them, but back in 2013 (probably 3/4 stone lighter). I decided to delete my history and start fresh.
This app not only tracks your time, distance and pace for a free run, but also comes with a selection of guided runs with people like Coach Cory (the head coach of Nike+ Run Club), Mo Farrah, Simone Biles and Kevin Hart. I won’t lie, the app is next level – initially I was put off as a lot of the challenges and guided runs appear to be designed for people who can actually run, but I decided to give it a go.
I selected the ‘First Run’ guided session and off I went…
To my surprise, I found it easier than anticipated as it really is down to you to run at a comfortable speed. The idea of the first run is to do just that – run – and being able to just keep running. Thankfully only for 20 minutes.
I found I was able run way more than before as I wasn’t racing against myself. I ran slower than probably anyone in the history of ever, but I still ran. And even though I had to slow to a walk a few times, I ended up running further and for longer than ever. My paced was rubbish but it didn’t matter – I was now a runner and I would get a better pace when I was ready.
The next time I ran I decided to do the same session again. This time, despite the pouring rain, I ran continuously for the entire session except when I stopped to cross a road. I also smashed a better pace – 10 seconds per Km is something!! And the next time I beat my pace again!!!
Ultimately at this stage, my pace is not important to me. I’m focused on building it up gradually and making a habit of chucking on my trainers even when I do not feel like it. The endurance will come but only when I run, so for now that’s what I’ll do.
Although it’s only been little more than 10 days I have been fully in the zone, I feel more in control of my life than I have in years. I am fully aware that the changes I am making will take time to implement and I am totally ok with the figurative marathon I have ahead of me (definitely not running a marathon any time soon).
For now I will simply just take it step by step, one day at a time.