After yule log + cheese + roast potatoes + beef etc.etc. consumed over Christmas it was a shock to my system to return to a sparser diet, but not as unpleasant as it could have been. I have started to make deliberately healthy choices which provide fewer additives and nutrients to fill me up. And I haven't given up the sweet things: a half Twirl and a sliver of Extremely Chocolatey Sponge Roll (henceforth to be known as ECSR) from beloved M&S are on my menu of choice.
I wonder whether what I've always suspected is true, and whether there really are more calories in foods in the USA. While I was there I ate mostly a diet of egg white omelettes from the hotel kitchen (with a low fat oil spray used instead of a ladleful of butter to cook it!) and Chicken noodle soup or a Subway flat bread 6-inch sandwich for lunch. Admittedly I did sometimes eat burgers, or half a burger if I was not that hungry, for dinner. But this wasn't an everyday thing, and yet I gained weight over my two years in the states and found it very easy to shift when back in the UK and on a diet.
I was exceptionally unmotivated last year because my depression was so severe in December and January. By February things had improved by the introduction of medication and regular CBT sessions. And then I made myself go on a boot camp for 4 days. These four days happened to occur after the dreadful floods which deluged the UK, and getting there at all was quite the challenge.
They were also most amusing because of the presence of a task master Russian émigré cracking her whip with her skinny little arms at us fatties to "Move eet" faster on our walks through flooded fields and near-hurricane strength windy beaches in the south of England. We were fed hot water and lemon at 7.30am, followed by our 2 hour walk, then breakfast of an apple, a juice or a carrot. Lavish.
Following this was an aerobics class for 2 hours (which often made me feel a bit light headed, having consumed about 5 calories since the start of the day. No wonder I lost weight!) and then lunch. Of mostly cabbage. I have to say I would recommend this type of thing only for people who are more sedate and don't want to do much exercise. And then a spa treatment or more walking, dinner of hot cabbage, and then more exercise. And then bed. It was essentially a Starvation Stay in a nice hotel, where you didn't eat but got to spend loads of money on the experience anyway, only to spend even more in the afternoon on spa treatments to take your mind off the fact that you've only eaten an 1/8th of an Able and Cole delivery box over the last 2 days.
I've never found dieting at all easy, because I am definitely in my head too much where food is concerned. I have serious and lengthy dialogues with myself saying "If I'm not really fat then I can eat that pasta", but then... "If I am serious about losing weight I can't, even if I don't really need to." And so and so on it goes.
I'm currently enjoying Marks and Spencer spinach and quinoa and its borlotti bean and kale soups, for the most important reason: that I can actually taste the soup! Since my head trauma my sense of smell has almost gone, and this has also somewhat affected my taste buds. However, the prevalence of kale, which I almost spelled with a capital 'K', such is its (attributed) importance in the world of today's dieters and healthy eating, is a bit off-putting after a while. Not least because I don't want to pass wind as often as I draw breath. But it is quite tasty, and combined with other foods it is nice to know one is eating something healthy. And allows me to eat the ECSR. Every day. Thank goodness for small mercies. Even if that's the only small thing in my diet.