It’s all about control

The Shrinking Man - regaining control over my eatingHi all,

Time for an update, as I’m having interesting times ūüôā

I’m still hovering between about 17.5 and 18 stone, which is obviously too heavy, but I’m surprised to find that¬†I feel a huge amount better at 17.5 stone than I do at 18. ¬†That seven pounds makes an enormous difference to how I feel mentally and physically, and how confident and relaxed I feel generally.

I’m not sure how much of an exact science this is, but once I hit about 17st 12, my breathing become a little more laboured during the day, and much more so at night. ¬†I can’t really describe it much better than this, but I those few extra pounds make me feel much more than a few pounds heavier. ¬†My clothes are tighter, and I just feel heavier.

Now to a person of more ‘traditional’ weight, that might seem obvious – a few pounds is a lot of weight, and seven of them is loads, but when you’re a lot bigger, the differences are often harder to spot. ¬†They have been for me anyway. ¬†I’m happy to be noticing some of the more subtle differences, so I’m not complaining about it, I’m just interested in it I guess.

I’ve been dipping in and out of low-carb eating over the last few weeks, and I’m learning a lot about how my body reacts to certain things. ¬†I’ve always believed that it had to be an all or nothing decision – I was either eating low-carb or I wasn’t, and if I slipped off the wagon even once, that would be it, and I’d lose control. ¬†In the past, I’ve certainly found that to be the case – once I dipped back into the high-carb world, that’s been it, and I’ve lost the control that I’d been enjoying.

I might be being rather naive here, and I may look back on this in months to come and establish that this was the point that I lost control altogether, but I don’t believe that it has to be that way. ¬†I think that a better understanding of what’s happening when I eat certain foods gives me the power to exercise a whole lot more control than I feel I’ve been able to in the past.

If I’ve been eating low-carb and I step outside it even once, it has a number of effects on me. ¬†First of all, I’ll put on about 3-4 pounds overnight. ¬†That seems to be a clear pattern, and I did read something a while ago that explained what caused that, but I can’t remember what it was, so for now, we’ll just have to consider that it’s the Sugar Fairies moving in. ¬†Secondly, I will crave other high-carb foods almost immediately, but I won’t notice that I’m craving them at first. ¬†If I notice that I’m craving, and don’t give in, then within a couple of days of low-carb eating, the 3-4 pounds will drop off and I’ll be back to normal. ¬†If I don’t notice that I’m craving, and I eat more high-carb foods, then before I know it, I’m back into the familiar craving-led cycle where I’ve lost all control of what I’m eating.

Let me just pull that apart a bit, because I’m not sure it makes sense when I say it out loud, even though¬†it feels totally sensible to me. ¬†If I notice that I’m craving high-carb foods, then I have decisions to make about what I eat. ¬†Those decisions aren’t easy to make, but they’re consciously made. ¬†If I don’t notice that I’m craving high-carb foods, then those decisions are made for me. ¬†If I don’t notice that I’m craving high-carb foods, then eating them is as natural and automatic as breathing. ¬†I just feel compelled to do it, but it’s not a conscious compulsion. ¬†Does that make any sense to you?

Anyway, at some point, I realise that I’ve lost control, and I become conscious of the cravings. ¬†By this point, it’s much more difficult to resist them, but there’s a really important point that makes it easier to work with. ¬†If I resist the cravings to eat high-carb foods, then those cravings begin to subside within hours, and disappear within a day or two. ¬†If I give in, then they embed themselves back into my life and they remain in control of what I’m eating.

So what does all that mean? ¬†Let me sum it up as best as I can. ¬†It means that while it’s a whole lot better and easier for me if I remain in a low-carb world, as the cravings that have previously dominated my life are kept at bay, stepping outside for a while isn’t the end of the world. ¬†I’m starting to understand how my body and mind react to changes in my eating, and that means I don’t need to be surprised by it. ¬†I can prepare myself for it, and regain control before it has a chance to bed itself in.

That’ll do for now – happy shrinking.

The Shrinking Man.