5 ways NOT to ‘feed a cold’

I’m going to keep this short and sweet as I have THE mother of all colds and don’t feel good.  Most of us I am sure have heard the saying ‘feed a cold, starve a fever’ and as I don’t have a fever, I thought I’d better ensure that I don’t use the ‘feed a cold’ line as an excuse to stuff my face.

So here is my 5 pronged ‘I am poorly with a cold’ strategy:

  1. Forgive myself for not being able to exercise.

I had planned a couple of sessions on the cross trainer this week, but as I am struggling to breathe I can’t do it and I’m NOT going to dwell on it.  I’ll focus on what I CAN do instead -i.e. control my food intake.

  1. Drink lots of fluid.

And no I’m not talking hot toddies!  I’m drinking lots of hot drinks and I am especially enjoying hot sugar free blackcurrant squash-no calories to speak of but strangely nurturing! (Also better than tea as there isn’t the same link to biscuits and cake….)

  1. Go to bed earlier and if possible stay in bed a bit longer in the morning.

Isn’t that what the doctor orders when you’re under the weather-plenty of rest?  And the positive weight loss side effect is that if I am in bed, I’m not roaming around the kitchen looking for snacks.

  1. Plenty of Soup

How clever was I?  I made a batch of butternut squash and carrot soup when my throat started getting sore-full of nutrients and low on calories.  It’s kind of what I am fancying for lunch anyway, and again a great way to nurture myself and still stay on track.

  1. Visualisation

Instead of moping, I’m using my extra time in bed congratulating myself for not succumbing to extra treats just because I feel ill, and picturing how I want to feel and how I’ll look when I’m wearing the next size down jeans!

So how are you this week? And how are you managing to stay on track? Please feel sorry for me in my sick bed, and leave a comment.

P.S. If you want to take advantage of my reduced rates on 1-2-1 coaching be sure to get in touch with me before the end of February 2015-anna@timetosortit.com

Practicing ‘Mindful’ Eating

I have had an incredibly eventful four days. Day 1 and 2 were away from home days: I met new people, learnt lots and had a thoroughly exciting and adrenalin filled time. On day 3 I made a couple of very important life decisions and acted on them-gulp!  Day 4 was a traumatic, scary and emotional day involving my pet dog-enough said.  Today I feel drained physically, emotionally and mentally, but other than that, everything is fine. (Thank goodness for the natural resilience of our canine friends)

It certainly has been a busy few days. And I wonder Mr Blog, if you can guess where weight loss scored in my list of priorities?  Well as a matter of fact, it was still right up there in terms of being very important to me- the problem was, for a few days I simply forgot how important! Oops!

‘Oh no!’ (I can almost hear the collective ghostly voice of millions of fellow ‘dieters’, echoing from their own kitchen areas, all over the western world and the echo is aimed at me!)

‘She’s lost the plot again! It’s more than likely that she has overeaten, and now she must be feeling awful. It’s so hard to stay on track.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she feels so guilty about it, that she gives up altogether for a bit and has a good old binge. That’s what we do isn’t it? When life gets busy and we lose control for a bit, we figure that we might as well carry on and ‘ruin’ the whole week.  And actually’ (the ghostly echo persists) it’s only a few weeks until Christmas. I wouldn’t blame her if she stopped focussing on her weight loss from now until January-at least she could relax and enjoy the festive period without worrying. She could have a fresh start in January…’

Well let me tell you Ghostly Echo……you are WRONG!

Well you are right about some of it- I haven’t been eating perhaps as healthily as I would normally have done; and I have had a couple of pieces of cake and maybe a little tipple or two. But I am currently practicing changing the way I think, and I no longer accept that just because I have had a couple of pieces of cake that I have ‘ruined’ anything at all (because I haven’t-goodness, all I did was eat a piece of cake! People do it all over the world all of the time and it has no influence on anything that really matters-eating cake does not impact on world peace, finding cures for cancer or anything else that REALLY matters) So if I DID NOT RUIN anything, then I have no need to feel GUILTY (this is the word/feeling that does the MOST damage in our healthy eating crusade).  I think this is a really important sentence (maybe even a breakthrough?) so I am going to repeat it so that it is easier to imprint it onto my brain-

Eating cake DOES NOT equal RUINING something; and if nothing is RUINED by my eating cake, then I don’t have to feel GUILTY! If I don’t feel GUILTY then I don’t need to overeat for the rest of the week (to push down the feeling of guilt, to punish myself or for any other reason)

And in conjunction with understanding the above, I am also practicing eating ‘mindfully’-for me that means if I am going to eat cake, I am also going to ensure that I do it in a conscious state-I am going to focus on the taste and texture. I am going to enjoy it and take time over it. I know people do this all the time (especially slim people) and when I do it, it’s good fun. I really enjoyed the piece of carrot cake I had while I was away at the weekend (and the lemon poppy seed one too). I enjoyed it so much SO much more than if I had greedily, mindlessly and guiltily wolfed it down by the light of the fridge. And at the same time I made a conscious (mindful) decision not to feel guilty.

Mindful eating is definitely the way to go. I used to do it as a child. In those days I could make a 2 fingered Kit Kat last for ages, by nibbling the chocolate from the outside of the wafer in an ordered way. I’d then eat the wafer layer by layer, so that the eating of the Kit Kat was not just a snack, it was an event. I also used to eat my meals much more consciously (no TV dinners or reading at the table in those days). I enjoyed my meals and did not feel guilty if I had an extra roast potato. Yes I need to keep practicing my habits of old habits……….

I don’t believe that eating more mindfully and less guiltily is the whole answer to the weight loss question, but if you are looking for a starting point it might be worth a practice. There is some research that suggests when we focus fully on our eating experiences without any distraction, that we eat 20 percent less…….worth keeping in mind huh?