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The Power of Self Talk

As far as I can tell, the fitness/lifting community is a motley bunch in terms of both consistency and results. There’s the ‘no pain no gain’ crew that seem to have an insatiable appetite for work – these folks will get in and crush it whether it’s 4am or 9pm and somehow seem to always have a smile on their face while doing it. There’s the casual lifters who go through phases of consistent training, and then fall off the wagon for months or years. There’s people who seem to enjoy training whenever they get the chance, and have no guilt about missing a few sessions, just so long as they’re getting in there and doing it. And don’t even get me started on all the different training methods there are – everyone has an opinion.

Personally I feel like I’m probably closer to the first group but I’m definitely not putting myself out there as an example of how to do it right. At this point I’ve been lifting consistently for over 5 years, and aside from a couple of 2ish week breaks after some minor surgeries last year, I don’t think I’ve ever had a break longer than 3 days from lifting – that includes holidays both interstate and overseas. My desire to train consistently no matter what doesn’t necessarily always come from a healthy place – I’ve written before about how I started lifting during the Great Diet of 2016 where I decided that I was going to change my life and never be obese again. I hated my body back then, and although I now look in the mirror and see a completely different physique, those scars are deep. Even though there’s been massive positive changes, I probably won’t ever be satisfied and will always be trying to improve. Another factor driving me on is that deep down in my core I still fear that if I take a break it’ll become permanent and I’ll balloon into the fat guy I used to be. Having taken forced breaks and come back to lifting, my rational mind knows that this is unlikely, but the subconscious mind is a powerful thing.

From day one I’ve trained alone in a home gym, because it’s convenient and provides more flexibility with scheduling – I have a wife, a child, a full time job and a mortgage, and all the duties and responsibilities that come along with them. Fitting in sessions isn’t always super easy, and over the years I’ve tried various schedules and frequencies but what seems to be most sustainable is 2 early morning weekday sessions a week and 2 daytime sessions on the weekend. On those weekday sessions I’m normally getting out of bed at 4:30am so I can do the normal morning stuff, imbibe the magical wake up juice and train before walking the dog and eating a proper breakfast. I’m mindful of getting enough sleep, but at that time of the morning I often don’t really feel like going to my gym and lifting heavy things, especially if there are other life stressors going on. The weekend sessions are usually easier since I can wake up and fuel properly beforehand, but even then sometimes my mind will make up all sorts of excuses why I should put it off or even skip it altogether, especially if it’s a heavy squat or deadlift day.

The idea of this post was to reflect on the stuff I say to myself that gets me through those difficult days. Maybe it helps someone, maybe it just shows I’m nuts, but I like to write, so eh… I’m putting it out there.

Getting Started

When I roll out of bed at 4:30am, unless it’s some kind of red letter day, the last thing I want to do is a heavy squat or deadlift. The first thing I usually do is go to the bathroom, weigh myself and get dressed. That gives me a few minutes to think about the session ahead and whether I really want to do it or not – and even when things are going well, I probably flirt with skipping or postponing it 20% of the time, and when I’m feeling very sore and tired that number would be much higher!

There’s a few different techniques I can use to make it happen, but the most common self talk is an old faithful: “you can always go out and start warming up, and if it feels really bad, call it off”. To date, I can’t remember ever stopping once I’ve started (short of an actual injury)1.

I’ve felt like this even during deloads and periods where the training’s been relatively light, and at those times it’s a pretty easy sell to internally say “it’s only going to be light, let’s just get it done”.

The third thing that I fall back on is a focus on the outcome. I definitely think about the progress my lifts have made, the improvements in my physique over the years, and my “why” for doing this (that’s a whole ‘nother topic in itself). But all those things pale in comparison to the acute outcome – I’ve never, ever felt worse after lifting than I have beforehand. It’s hard to describe the feeling I get after training – some people call it euphoric, but I wouldn’t go quite that far. It’s pleasantly tired, sore, and satisfied that I’ve pushed myself to do something I didn’t really want to do, but that I know is good for me and my goals. So some easy self talk to get going is ‘think how much better you’ll feel afterwards’.

Being Data Driven 2

I was always taught ‘what gets measured gets managed’. Unfortunately, I’m also someone who gets obsessive about things, and if you’re like that (maybe even if you’re not) collecting too much data can add more complication to life than it’s worth, especially if you’re not actually doing anything with it. So make sure you’re not just tracking things because they’re nice to look at – if you’re not using the information for something tangible, maybe it’s worth assessing whether the juice is worth the squeeze.

But all that said – having good solid data on my training is a fundamental tool in my toolbox that helps me push myself each session.

If I’m anxious about a heavy squat, and I look at my training log and know that I squatted that same weight (or even a little less, or a little more) at RPE 7 a week ago, then I can be absolutely sure that this week it’s not going to be a grind. My performance doesn’t fluctuate that much from week to week, and under normal circumstances I doubt most people’s would. And under abnormal circumstances (malnourishment, sleep deprivation, illness, etc) you’re gonna feel it in the warmups and can make adjustments.

My self talk then is something like “you’ve got this, it’s nothing you haven’t squatted before”.

What if it’s something I haven’t squatted before? Then it becomes a matter of faith.

Having Faith

If you’re getting programming from a coach, do you think they’d program you something beyond your capabilities?

If you’re using a program or template written by someone else, do you believe that it makes sense for your situation, and that other people have successfully made progress running it?

Can you honestly say to yourself that you’ve given the program your absolute best efforts, without regularly skipping or half arsing sessions?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then the simple answer is that if you’ve put in the work, the rewards will come – and the worst that can happen is you’ll miss the lift and get on with your session. my self talk in this situation is usually “you CAN do this, just focus on executing the lift”. If I’ve got a favourite cue for that lift then I might remind myself of it – but it really helps not to think about it too much and just get on with the job.

If the answer to these questions is no, then maybe it’s time for some honest evaluation of whether your coaching and/or programming are appropriate.


1. Ironically, or something – between starting this article and finishing it, it actually did happen – I walked out of a training session while warming up because it felt so crap and something in my brain said nope. No guilt really – some disappointment, but tomorrow is another day.

2. This post originally started as a thought bubble from Josh Pelland’s great article How Hard Are We Training? Additional Considerations for RIR Accuracy (and the podcast that went along with it).

In the article, Josh has collated some evidence that perceived effort in the gym (in the form of RIR) is influenced by a bunch of external factors including (but not limited to) stuff like music, the presence of spotters and mental stress. He goes on to provide some practical suggestions to try and use that information to make training more effective – things like standardising your training environment where possible, and biasing training towards lower rep ranges. It’s well worth a read.

My immediate reaction to this was “yes, but…” – because while the evidence clearly supports outside influences having an effect, I feel like maybe the magnitude of those effects are probably pretty variable from individual to individual. Some people seem to train alone and use RPE accurately enough to make great progress, so I don’t think they’re consistently undershooting RPE because they don’t have spotters or training partners to push them. Likewise some people can barely manage a regular gym habit unless they have a fun environment to train in and people around them to encourage effort. Neither of these mean the effects aren’t real, but perhaps there are different phenotypes of people and we gravitate towards the training style that suits our personality – and perhaps we can also develop techniques to mitigate the negative effects of those outside influences when they can’t be avoided.

Ultimately this ended up being a bit of self reflection about how I personally keep myself on track, and it probably only tangentially relates to the article, but it’s well worth considering the points Josh makes if you want to get the most out of your training sessions.


Has it really been that long since I posted anything here?

I haven’t had a binge since mid January. Been going quite well. Life is OK.

Signs of Progress

Phew – another overdue update. A few things have happened in the past little while, so I figured it might be time to share some stuff.

First – about six weeks or so, I decided to try and lose some weight. My binging hadn’t stopped (although the episodes had become even less frequent and severe) so I’m not fully healed and I know it probably wasn’t the best idea. But honestly… I had let my body fat get a bit out of control, I was struggling with my clothes fitting and didn’t like how I looked in the mirror. Not only that, but I really wasn’t paying enough attention to what I was eating – it’s great to have unconditional permission to eat, but there needs to be some balance and variety and I’d tipped the scales way too far towards sugary treats whenever I wanted them, and it had become a habit that I needed to break.

So six weeks ago I stepped on the scales for the first time in over 3 months. The number I saw didn’t scare me, but it certainly confirmed that I was way past where I felt healthy and happy, so I cut calories pretty aggressively with the aim of dropping a fair bit of fat in 4 weeks or so prior to my birthday. My intention was to then do another fat loss phase a bit closer to summer so I can look decent for the warmer months – who doesn’t want that beach body, huh?

Now I’ve got to say, I spent a lot of time very hungry in those first few weeks, but I was never tempted to binge – I think it was nice to have a goal again, instead of just drifting. The diet has gone pretty well, and I dropped enough weight that I am now reasonably comfortable with my physique (and am a very similar weight to what I was exactly 12 months ago at my last birthday).

What was even more pleasant was how generally stable my moods have stayed, despite dealing with work and kids and all the usual life stresses that come our way. And here I am now, starting to increase calories again, knowing that this is the danger zone for me in that the more I tend to eat, the more I tend to WANT to eat – but so far, things are tracking OK. And this week, there’s been some huge signs of progress:

  • On the weekend, my wife took me out to dinner to one of our favourite restaurants for my birthday. I was still dieting at this point, but was planning on just having a couple of courses and skipping dessert. In the end, I did share a dessert with my wife and not only was it bloody delicious, it was absolutely no big deal. No guilt, no problem, no dramas. Life went on.
  • The vinyl wrap is peeling off our kitchen pantry doors and we’ve had to remove them to get them fixed or replaced. This means our our pantry is open to the world – all the chocolate, biscuits and cereals are staring me in the face. Our kitchen/dining/lounge is open plan, so I can’t really avoid it unless I stay out of the living area, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to be bothering me so far and I haven’t had any major urges to go carb crazy. Maybe I’m well fed enough?
  • I’ve been back on the skim milk since I started the diet, but in my wife’s Monday shopping trip she accidentally bought me a bottle of full cream. I shrugged my shoulders and went with it, where before I may have freaked out a little. The worst thing? In my next trip to the shops I intended to grab another bottle of skim myself, but did exactly the same thing and grabbed the wrong bottle. We had four and a half bottles of full cream milk in the fridge last night, but you know what? I’m drinking it anyway – hell, it tastes better, I was only back on the skim temporarily anyway, but it just forced me to go back to full cream earlier.
  • Probably the biggest one of all was yesterday. As I mentioned, it was my birthday on the weekend, and at my workplace (like many others) we usually bring morning tea for our work colleagues to celebrate the day. I said to a few of my workmates that since I was dieting I’d do my morning tea in a couple of weeks so that I could enjoy it with everyone, but god bless ’em, a few of them banded together and put on a joint morning tea anyway for myself and another colleague who’d also just had a birthday. My first instinct was to be pissed off, but for once I realised that it was a really nice gesture (they even made a ‘healthy’ option with me in mind) and decided that I’d try and be grateful for it. So I did indeed eat some cake and sweet treats and enjoyed the moment, and for the first time in a loooong time I walked away without feeling the urgent desire to go and eat several more helpings of super rich dessert food. I ate my normal lunch and dinner, and didn’t feel guilty, and it felt like a real step in the right direction.

So that’s a little bit of what’s been happening recently. I feel as if maybe, just maybe, all that time I spent eating and getting my body fat up did definitely help to regulate my feelings around food and that I’m getting much better at dealing with negative emotions without heading to the fridge. Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel…..



Overdue Updates

Has it really been that long since I posted? I’ve been meaning to post an update for anyone in internetland who still reads this. Obviously lots has happened since my last post – I’ll attempt to be succinct.

I started lifting again a couple of weeks after my throat surgery. Sadly, the weeks of nothing but soft food didn’t cure my binging. I lasted about a week before my first episode of manic eating, and a day later I got smashed by some unknown ailment that caused debilitating joint pain for multiple days. Cause still unknown – the doctor thought it may’ve been a virus but nothing showed up in my bloodwork and some strong anti-inflammatories sorted it. So after another week off, I got back into the gym and I’ve been training pretty much continuously ever since.

Not long after that, the pandemic really started to get taken seriously here in Australia. Work got crazy, things got stressful, and I’ve been up and down like a yo-yo ever since – it was really difficult to control my stress with everything going on, and of course I feel back into old habits of using food to cope. Spending more time at home with a cupboard full of food didn’t help either. But at least I still have a job.

Now, it seems like life is normalising a little and although the fallout from this pandemic is gonna be with us for a long time yet I definitely don’t feel as on edge as I was a month or two ago.  Food wise, I’ve had two or three high anxiety moments in the past six weeks where my inner Cookie Monster has taken over, but they’ve been pretty well spread out. And there have certainly been times where I’ve managed to beat the urge in various ways, where before I would’ve just given in.

I still feel pretty fat, but with a shirt on I (apparently) look like I lift. So I got that goin’ for me. I have no idea what I weigh, and haven’t stepped on the scale in a couple of months. I’ve certainly had a nagging desire to start cutting, but it’s just coming into winter here so I figure why not just keep enjoying all the food, and if I still feel like this once the cooler weather ends, I’ll still have time to lean out a bit before summer. IF I feel ready for it.

It does feel rather strange, after all the fasting and black coffees I used to drink, to now. I haven’t skipped a meal in months, I’m putting brown sugar or honey on my porridge at breakfast, and not being scared to eat cake or a biscuit if I want it. We’ve been eating takeaway at least once a week to try and support local restaurants to stay open during this pandemic, and in probably my biggest breakthrough this year, I’ve actually stopped buying skim milk. I realised how bloody unsatisfying it was both in my coffees and on my breakfast – so it’s full cream all the way right now – occasionally I even buy non-homogenised to get that extra creamy goodness.

So yeah… that’s me. I’m still alive (although there have been times I’ve wondered what value I offer). Still fighting the good fight. Let’s hope things continue to improve.

Surgery Recovery

So my last post might’ve sounded like it was all rainbows and butterflies but now it’s 9 days post-surgery and my perspective has changed a bit.

The main challenge (and the one I was expecting) was the direct consequences of the surgery – I’ve been in constant pain, was off my head on opioids for the first week, struggling to get any quality sleep, and as a result of the throat pain I’ve had to modify my diet significantly and eat mainly soft foods. None of this was really unexpected, although I probably underestimated the extent and the duration of impact. It’s been a challenging ten days or so for sure, and it’s not finished yet.

There’s a secondary problem though. Eating/swallowing genuinely hurts – so it’s been a struggle to force meals down. I’ve actually burst into tears a couple of times during dinner (soup!) if that gives any indication. So I have a genuine physiological reason for undereating right now. But while I’m not really having any difficulty eating zooper doopers or custard or ice cream from a mental standpoint, I still am finding myself having fairly small serves and stopping a long way from the point of satisfaction. Sometimes it’s because I am just sick of my throat hurting, but there have definitely been times when it’s from a fear of eating ‘too much’ -because I’m far less active than usual (and not lifting) and secretly hope to drop fat during this period, and also the (maybe legitimate) fear that if I overeat and make myself sick that would probably be disastrous for the stitches in my throat…

But restriction is restriction. I actually felt woozy and weak this afternoon after walking the dog, as if I’d been dieting for weeks. I managed to eat a tiny bit of ice cream and have a nap but still feel like it wasn’t enough.

This really does suck and I can’t wait to be able to eat normally again. It’s just too much for my poor brain to deal with right now.

Blessings in disguise

Well, I’ve managed 2 weeks without a skipped meal or a binge, and got into a pretty good routine.

Then yesterday I went to hospital for some surgery. This was the second time I’d been in to have the operation (I mentioned it in this post) and this time it went more to plan. I had a UPPP done, which should help (or hopefully cure) my snoring and mild sleep apnea. It meant an overnight stay in hospital, and I came home this morning with a very sore throat and scripts for strong pain killers and anti-bleeding medication.

I’ll document my recovery on my less private blog, but wanted to post here about how it’s impacting on my relationship with food.

On the negative side, there is a part of my brain that is quietly hopeful I’ll lose a little weight during the recovery process. A combination of extremely painful swallowing and opioids means my appetite is genuinely very low. I’m having to force myself to eat because I know that I need calories to heal – and I’m also scared I’ll lose muscle mass since I can’t lift weights for a week or two either. I don’t want to feel like I’m restricting/dieting because I’m scared of the consequences later but it’s not easy when every swallow is painful.

On the positive side, I’m really limited to soft foods for the next week or so until the pain subsides a bit, so a lot of the foods I normally eat are out of the question. This means I’m forced to step out of my comfort zone and try some stuff I wouldn’t normally eat – so I’ve bought chocolate custard (which was YUM) and rice puddings and soups and some very special looking ice cream and will probably go out hunting for other treats once I get through that lot. And also… it’s a couple of weeks where I can totally switch off from work, catch up on some Netflix and truly relax a bit. I need to avoid lifting weights too, and although I mentioned it in the negative column, a break from the gym is scary but very much overdue. I’ve been training pretty hard for a lot of years without any extended break and the little injury niggles have built up over time, so hopefully I’ll come back a lot fresher and pain free.

So I guess I’ve got mixed feelings right now, I can’t wait to feel better but will enjoy the time out anyway. And hopefully, the end result will improve my quality of life (and prevent a snoring related divorce!) which would be a win for the whole household, really.

Be kind to yourselves!

I am blessed.

So I was thinking about something last night….

I’ve been listening to a lot of Christy Harrison’s podcast lately (and reading her book) and hearing a lot of talk about how families and medical professionals and even eating disorder treatment centres inadvertently feed eating disorders by making fat phobic comments, encouraging people to diet, and just generally being unsupportive or misunderstanding how to deal with someone who’s trying to recover from a restrictive eating disorder, particularly if they’re not showing obvious signs of poor health (ie they’re not the stereotypically emaciated anorexia sufferer).

It got me thinking – there have been times in the last few years when I have lamented (to myself) what I’ve felt was a lack of support from my wife. At no point that I recall has she ever really said that she appreciates my efforts to be healthier and set an example for our daughter, at no point has she ever expressed any feelings one way or the other about the changes to my body, nor has she ever encouraged me in any way that I can think of. At times this has felt like a bit of a kick in the guts, because my wife and daughter are a big part of the reason that I started and continue to go through this process of getting stronger and healthier.

But over the past year or so since I have really started to focus more on dealing with my relationship with food and finding a greater sense of balance between weight training sessions and family life, I’ve begun to realise that actually, she’s probably been more supportive than I think. I mean, there’s the obvious, big financial thing that she allowed us to refinance so I could build my home gym. But in more subtle ways, she’s actually been extremely supportive without actually making a big deal of it.

When I was at my worst, she (almost) never complained about my compulsively weighing and measuring foods, my making ‘special’ low calorie meals for myself, my fasting, my lack of desire to go out and eat at restaurants. The only thing we ever had conflict about was my moods and constant anger, which to be fair, was well deserved.

Conversely, at no point in any of my episodes of extreme hunger has she ever got in my way and attempted to make me stop. She has sat there quietly on the couch watching me eat multiple desserts without so much as a raised eyebrow.

At no point in any of this has she made any comments about my body – positive or negative. It’s clear to me that my body is not the reason she married me – and even after gaining a lot of weight back I’m still not as big as I was back when we first met.

The reason this hit home last night is I suggested we go out for dinner, I’d been keen to go to a cafe that does a special burger night on Friday nights. Now in all honesty, she said that she didn’t feel like a burger, and we did spend an hour or so discussing whether we’d go there or somewhere else, but in the end we couldn’t come up with an option that pleased everyone so I got my way. I’ve expressed in the past that I think it’s really important for me to eat the things I feel like eating and not restrict in any way so perhaps this was her way of humouring me. So despite her wish to eat something else, she took one for the team without complaining. We ate burgers (which were mediocre, but that’s OK!) and then went somewhere else for ice cream afterwards and she let me indulge my wish for some less than ‘clean’ food.

I had some minor voices in the back of my head afterwards encouraging me to go off the deep end and eat a ton more, but honestly, they were pretty easy to ignore because I ate plenty. Some hot chocolate when we got home and I was as full as a goog.

It got me thinking, if that was me and I didn’t feel like a burger, how would I react? I think I’d probably put my foot down and refuse to go unless there was an option I’d eat. At least that would’ve been the case a while ago, I’m not sure now.

Anyway, my point being that she does support me in these ways and I am very lucky to be married to someone who doesn’t have her own issues with food or body image and is willing to let me eat and drink whatever I like (within reason) and let my body be whatever size it needs to be. And I’m grateful for that. And on a related note, I really do need to be more disciplined about incorporating some sort of ‘gratefulness’ practice in my life.

In other news – I’m almost 2 weeks since my last episode of uncontrolled eating – I haven’t skipped a single meal in that time, I’ve enjoyed quite a few treats (even some unplanned, like a couple of work morning teas) and feel like I’ve been as close to fully unrestricted in my eating as I’ve ever been. Long may it continue.






Who do you want to be?

I might’ve said this elsewhere, but my struggles with disordered eating started after a bit of a mid-life course change in early 2016, where I decided I wanted to stop being obese and get fit and healthy. It wasn’t just for my own benefit (although let’s be honest, what guy doesn’t want to look good with his shirt off?) but also to set an example for my young child and be the best parent I can for as long as I can.

On reflection, over the past couple of years especially, there have been times where I’ve thought that life was so much easier before all this started, where I didn’t particularly care about my size and weight (indeed, I was oblivious) and ate whatever I felt like in a carefree way. Has all the pain and effort been worth it? What would I do differently?

The answer I came up with was that unequivocally, yes, it’s been worth it, even though I still have issues to work through. The only thing I would probably do differently is to take a more moderate approach and not immerse myself so deeply in the fitness and diet culture that I forget the real reason why I started doing this.

Having said that, I still want to change my body and have a decent physique, although I think my expectations are more realistic now than when I started. And unlike many in the HAES/anti-diet movement, I still believe that this is an attainable goal that’s worth striving for, so long as it’s done the right way, with the right attitude.

The trouble is, becoming the best physical version of yourself is no different than becoming the best intellectual and emotional version of yourself – it requires hard work, sacrifice and trade offs, and those trade offs need to be worth the effort. It’s also very easy to forget, as I did, that our physical selves are not a reflection of the person we are inside – and if we want to leave a legacy for our families and friends to remember us by, we’ll do that by the actions we take, not by the way we look.

This caused me to ponder – who DO I want to be? What sort of man, what sort of parent, and how do I want people to remember me? In many ways, it’s the direct opposite of the person I am when I’m restricting.

During periods of restriction I have been:

  • Tired and sore all the darn time
  • Very grumpy and quick to anger – regularly arguing and being short with people
  • Unfocussed at work, and not very productive – not good for my career prospects!
  • Unable to eat out with family without great anxiety
  • Avoidant of any social occasion that might involve food, or even disrupt my meal schedule a little bit
  • Generally not a very nice person to be around, and not a particularly good husband or parent

It’s only over the past six months or so as I’ve become more and more well-fed that I’ve started to realise I’d far prefer to be:

  • Someone who is fit and strong and cares about their health
  • A good provider for my family, who is supportive of our shared goals
  • The strong, silent type – calm in a crisis. Firm, without needing to raise my voice
  • Competent, analytical; not in a rush
  • Empathetic and always capable of showing love, but serious when needed
  • An example for my daughter of how a man should live and treat others

Notice that ‘having visible abs’ isn’t on that list? That doesn’t mean I don’t want it. It just means that I’ve shuffled it down the priority list to where if I can achieve it without turning into a monster then perhaps I’ll try one day. But right now, I’ll settle for just being strong and healthy and a decent guy. Because my family and my own wellness are far more important – and because I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I am enough.

I ate the pizza

It must have been two or three years since I’ve eaten proper takeaway pizza, and at that point I was only able to eat a couple of slices, skipped the garlic bread, ate a heap of green salad with it, and was thoroughly anxious about the amount of calories and fat involved. Ever since then when the family’s had pizza I’ve either made my own low calorie version or dodged it altogether.

But I broke the drought on Friday night, because that’s what I felt like. Ate pizza and sides til I was satisfied (but not stuffed… there were slices left) and didn’t feel guilt.

Did some grocery shopping on Saturday and felt like taking home something sweet, kinda tossing up between a danish or a donut. I think most donuts are overrated, honestly – but I  ended up buying a Black Forest donut because there was a Donut King nearby. I ate it with my post lunch coffee, and once again, it felt like a letdown – it was ok, but it didn’t have me moaning in ecstasy or anything.

In the past, when I’ve eaten really high calorie food like this it’s often triggered the ‘more, more, more!!!!’ urge – especially if the food itself is a bit less of a treat than I’ve built it up to be like the donut was. But I’m taking it as a good sign that this time round, it was fine. Don’t get me wrong – I was tempted to reach for the nearest chocolate bar, but I was able to check in with my body and think about how I actually felt and honestly – I was satisfied. There will be more opportunities to eat.

I’ve stolen so many phrases from others lately. But stuff I’m using a lot is

  • Food is just food
  • Food doesn’t have to be perfect
  • This isn’t your last opportunity to eat!
  • Once it’s in, it’s in
  • Opposite actions

The last one is really powerful. I often struggle with indecision around what to eat, and based on a question on Facebook the other day, I’m not the only one. What I’m trying to do now when I get this way, is to choose the option that is the highest calorie, or that I’m the most scared of. The other day, I was tempted to and could’ve easily chosen a small cinnamon or iced donut to save calories but I said no, get the gourmet filled one because that’s what was most scary. It really wasn’t so bad, and next time it will be even easier.


I forgot to mention in my prior post – the book that I happened to be reading in the park for a bit of self soothing yesterday? It was Christy Harrison’s book – Anti-Diet 

I’m not a long way in – but I am really enjoying it so far. I’m not sure if this is helping to rid myself of the obsession with food! But it’s a good read nonetheless.

Been a long time

I haven’t posted for a while, basically because it’s just been the same old struggles. There’s been a few short runs of what feels like ‘normality’, but mostly it just feels like I’m making the same mistakes over and over again. I get depressed, and I binge. I tell myself I need to just eat normally and get into a routine for a while and not worry about weight loss. Then one of two things happens – I get depressed and I binge again, or I get cocky and start trying to do stupid shit and restrict food because I feel fat, and ultimately I end up giving up and binging anyway. As an example – I decided to do a bit of an aggressive diet leading up to Christmas, and for about 3 weeks I restricted calories heavily and lost a few kilos. The intention was always to eat at maintenance through Christmas, what with family meals and stuff it is not really practical to diet then and besides, those are times for enjoying ourselves, right? And even with the obligatory work BBQ and family lunch on Christmas Day, I seemed to be tracking pretty well until just after Christmas I absolutely lost the plot and had some fairly severe episodes of uncontrolled binging. I think that was about as low as I have ever felt since this whole thing started, and at times I was seriously considering my future in this world – not good.

The other day I went through my training log to try and figure out exactly when these episodes started. It looks like it was as early as July 2018. That means I’ve been going through this crap for 18 months now. When I’m in the middle of an episode that timeframe makes me feel absolutely despondent and hopeless, like there’s no end in sight. Right now, I am on my 5th day binge free and while I’m able to look at the situation objectively I feel pretty positive about the progress I’ve made and the fact that there is a future for me that doesn’t involve obsessions with food. So that’s something.

So anyway, much has happened, but I’d like to talk about my latest episode. I was scheduled to go into hospital for some minor surgery last Friday. This meant fasting from the night before – unambiguously not my choice, but medically necessary before going under general anaesthesia. I was originally supposed to be in hospital at 7am, but they pushed it back to 11 so by the time I got there I’d already been fasting for 14 hours and wasn’t even allowed to drink water from 10am.

Well, they admitted me and (an hour or so later) put me in a hospital bed with a drip in my arm, and kept me there for the rest of the day, constantly telling me my turn for surgery would be coming soon, until at 4pm they pulled the rug out from under me and said sorry – we’ve run out of time to perform your procedure today, you’ll have to go home and wait to be rescheduled for another date.

Although I had always known this was a possibility, I didn’t think it would happen at this late stage and it threw all our plans into disarray. My wife had another commitment so couldn’t take me home, I ended up walking a couple of kilometres to meet her and pickup house keys before I could Uber home and find something to eat. Of course, I felt like I deserved a decent meal after that, so I made some burgers and chips, and that kicked off an epic weekend of eating everything in sight that didn’t end til Sunday night. Sure – I let this happen. This was a lapse in willpower on my part. But that willpower wouldn’t have been required if I hadn’t been forced to go without food for so long, I don’t think – and then the added disappointment of losing the 2 weeks off work to recuperate, which I’d been really, really looking forward to just compounded things. But that’s life.

Anyway – I came back to work this week and have had a reasonable week. I’ve aimed for three meals and three snacks a day, haven’t skipped any meals, have partaken in two work morning teas when they were unexpectedly offered, and been moderate without restricting – I think. So once again, we try to keep the ‘sensible’ eating going and learn how ‘normal’ people eat and think about food.

Some random thoughts and things that have happened in the past few days that seem to me like more progress:

  • I am getting better at recognising thoughts and moods that trigger these destructive behaviours – and remembering the mantra that MegsyRecovery often cites – ‘opposite actions’! Yesterday, there was cake at work for morning tea but I was tempted to just ignore it – I decided that it was there and I wanted some, but only had a couple of small pieces with my coffee and left some for everyone else!
  • Despite that, I was really feeling quite delicate by lunchtime – absolutely jonesing for food, wanting to eat everything in sight, and very stressed – for no good reason, really. I had only packed quite a small lunch (a salad and a wrap with some meat, and some strawberries) and didn’t think it had enough protein. But instead of going ballistic at the bakery or the takeaway, I bought a tub of cottage cheese and added that, plus a couple of leftover sausage rolls from the fridge. That was a decent lunch, and I felt pretty full afterwards but my brain was still going haywire for something else to eat. So I went for a walk, sat in the park and read a book on my phone for 10 minutes. That was pretty effective in terms of self-soothing.
  • Last night was chicken schnitzel night at home. I usually turn my wife’s into a parmagiana but sometimes don’t do mine, and if they’re unequal sizes I’ll often give myself the smaller one even if I’m ravenous. Well last night one was significantly bigger than the other, and my brain was screaming at me to take the small one and eat it plain, especially after cake and sausage rolls during the day! But no… ‘opposite actions’! I parma’d them both and ate the big one. Heck I even ate one of my daughter’s chicken nuggets to try and encourage her to eat her dinner without fuss. No guilt.
  • We’re having pizza for tea tonight. That would have filled me with fear once, and even as recently as a few months ago I would have just made my own low calorie substitute, on a wrap, with limited cheese. But screw that. The women of the house are having frozen pizza singles but honestly, and it’s not just my fear of processed foods talking, they are just not that nice. I’m either going to buy a decent fresh pizza, or make my own (on a proper pizza base, with proper toppings) and make sure I enjoy the freaking thing. No low calorie substitutes – just food that tastes good but hopefully is also somewhat nutritious. I’m worth it.
  • This last thought brings me to something that I battle with – planning my next item of food before even finishing the one I’m eating. Like I’ll be in the middle of a meal, and I’ll be thinking ‘after this I’m gonna have x… and after that maybe even x….’ and just continuing to think about food like that all day. So not only am I thinking about meals in the times I’m not eating, I’m thinking about food in the middle of my meal! It’s just insane. But I am definitely getting better at recognising when this happens, and using CBT (well actually, ACT therapy is where I read about it) techniques to defuse them and move on. Typically my go-to thought here is the ‘thanks, mind’ technique. So during meals I’ll say to myself ‘thanks, mind, for trying to make sure that I’m not going to starve, but there is plenty of food and I can see how I feel after this and decide if I actually do want something else’. Between meals, it’ll be more like ‘thanks, mind, for trying to make sure I don’t go hungry, but there is plenty of food and I can eat whatever I feel like having when the time comes, so there is no need to worry about that right now’. It does seem to be working in terms of letting those thoughts dissipate and not become totally all consuming to the point where they’re distracting me from stuff that does actually require my attention.

So that’s the story of my week. I hope anyone reading this is having a good one and being kind to themselves. You too, are worth it.

Boring life update, but little wins

Well, last week was pretty torrid, to say the least. I let work and family stress get the better of me, didn’t eat enough, and had 4 days of totally out of control gluttony, including the two I mentioned in my most recent post.

On a more positive note, I had a good weekend. Saturday I was on parental duties by myself all day, which is often a major source of stress and triggers, but I managed to hold it together even with our five year old having an absolute meltdown during dinner. Sunday was also a good day, including dinner at the in laws (where I didn’t skip dessert, despite Dmitri’s anxiety over pikelets with Nutella and ice cream). To cap it off, there was an F1 Grand Prix that night at the rather inconvenient start time of 12:10am. Being the last race of the season I wanted to stay up and watch it live but being alone in the lounge room late at night can be a really dangerous place for my appetite to be, so I almost took the weak option and recorded it to watch in the morning. However I decided to stay up and watch it live anyway, on the basis that I can’t avoid being alone in the kitchen for the rest of my life! So that’s what happened… and while I did enjoy my normal pre-bed snack and a couple of decaf coffees, there was no urge to raid the pantry, so that was alright. Shame it was an utterly boring race.

Speaking of decaf, I’ve been off caffeine almost completely for over two weeks now. I say ‘almost’ because I’ve enjoyed the odd kombucha and have just reintroduced Pepsi Max, but I’m still off the caffeinated coffee and energy drinks. Honestly, I don’t think my sleep is any better but it is possible my moods have been a little more stable, though it’s hard to be sure. Anyway, I never intended it to be permanent but I’m not sure when I’ll reintroduce coffee, although I miss it especially at 5am before a lifting session.

I’m trying to celebrate all of the above as little wins.

Now that my boring life update is done, the real thing that prompted me to write this is that my wife has a family photo on her bedside table that we had taken professionally just over 12 months ago. Looking at it now, I’m struck by how slim I was and how drawn my face looks (even though by then I’d gained some weight from my lowest point). I remember the day well – it was a Sunday afternoon, and I’d trained legs that morning, so when I discovered that the venue for the photo shoot involved a bit of a walk out into a piece of quiet bushland I was not well pleased! I was tired and sore and couldn’t wait to get it over with, so the fact that we all look so happy is a credit to the photographer’s skills. We got some nice photos from that day.

This Sunday just gone, we took our annual family Christmas photo – my daughter, wife, dog and me in front of the Christmas tree. I’m a lot bigger now, obviously, and not overly happy with my body composition (again). But I look healthier and the photo looks much more natural and it wasn’t that much of a chore (I guess being taken in our lounge room also helps). Yes, last week was shit, but life is generally easier; I’m more productive at work, I’m eating a much wider variety of foods with less anxiety and indecision (though a lot still exists). Although I’m still often snappish and cranky I think I’m generally easier to be around and a better husband and parent than I was.

So I guess that’s progress, although it’s nowhere near as fast as I’d like it. And it reminds me so clearly that it’s so important to focus on all those other things in life that matter. My self worth is not determined by how my body looks or how perfect my diet is or how much I can lift. It’s far more important that I’m a good parent and husband and provider and employee. When I die, nobody is gonna remember me for how thin or fat I was. They’ll remember me for the way I treated people and the things that I did.


Back on the recovery train

So, seems I still haven’t learnt. I had a fairly big binge and was feeling pretty down after my last post. Had a decent week or two, then two solid days of eating my face off last week. I guess after 6 or 8 weeks of no issues, I got complacent.

Back on the wagon again now, trying to stamp out restriction wherever I see it and eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. Back to basics.

Living, not surviving.

I’ve been quiet because, well, I haven’t had much to report.

No binges since my last post. That makes more than 5 weeks now, and I was feeling confident enough to actually attempt a conservative diet. I’ve been making an actual effort to drop a little body fat over the past couple of weeks, and things seem to have been going well. I’ve stayed off the scales, but judging by the fit of my clothes and appearances in the mirror, I’ve leaned out a little bit.

This past week was interesting, because it was my daughter’s 5th birthday. This meant I had to contend with a restaurant meal one evening, and an extended family barbecue last night which included birthday cake. I won’t lie and say there was no anxiety about these, but whereas in the past those feelings might’ve taken over my mind for many hours, I just tried to accept that what happened happened, and enjoy the time together.

The restaurant meal was kinda fun, although I did actually compensate by skipping lunch. Bad, maybe, but I was cooped up in a meeting all day struggling to stay awake and not that hungry anyway. I made up for it by filling up on loaded potato skins, panookie and chocolate ice cream. The barbecue was fine – not my favourite meal, since there were no lean protein sources, but I had a burger and a small piece of chocolate cake and loaded up on the salad.

This is where I’m at right now. Food is just food. I can control my body weight and appearance by eating mindfully, but no foods are off the table and flexibility is key. I don’t expect to eat this way for more than another couple of weeks, as I’m not trying to get shredded, just take off a little fluff – but I’m not unhappy with how I look or how things are going right now.

On Updates, and Tracking, And Relapses

Three quick thoughts.

As I write this, it’s Friday afternoon, and this Sunday (2 days away) will make 3 whole weeks since my last episode of binge eating, or extreme hunger, or whatever terminology you use.

Considering I had a 2 week break before the last one, that’d be one binge in 5 weeks, which would be far and away the best period I’ve ever had since this whole shenanigans started. I am getting really, really confident in my routine and my progress, BUT….

Old habits are creeping in. I am still scared of gaining weight, so in trying to ‘not binge’ I’m tending to fill myself up on salads and other calorie sparse foods, eat low calorie desserts, and generally restrict – just a little bit. And I’m beginning to think about throwing in a day a week (maybe just one.. maybe two) of skipping breakfast to try and get a little weight loss happening and take off some fat. I don’t ever want to get as lean as I was, mind you – I just feel like coming into summer it’d be nice to drop four or five kilos so my belly isn’t quite so big. I’m definitely not planning anything too aggressive but I’m also not sure if this is too early – which is why I thought maybe one day a week might be a good place to start.

Finally, I just finished listening to a podcast from 3D Muscle Journey about transitioning away from tracking macros – I highly recommend it, if you are in a similar situation to me. There’s lots of fantastic takeaways in there. Oh, and (spoiler alert) – they’re working on a course to help people transition away from tracking macros and getting back in tune with their hunger and satiety signals, which will be released in the 3DMJ Vault later this year. And… it’ll be free to access! So that’s super good – I did pay for a similar course from Sustainable Self Development, which was also useful, but knowing the 3DMJ guys this will be well worth checking out.

That’s it for me. I’m off to drink a milky coffee (decaf) and wind down my work week.

And for tonight’s meal, we have….

I had some daddy daughter time tonight and we got takeaway.

My meal was a schnitzel on a bun, specifically this: 

With seasoned potato chips, sweet potato fries and a big salad. Plus some of my daughters schnitzel bites since she is an incredibly fussy eater and didn’t like them much. Afterwards I had a decent hot chocolate with whipped cream and some biscuits, guilt free. It was a big meal, and I’m still pretty damn full a few hours later.

This would have been utterly unthinkable six months ago.

Unfortunately, I had a rather unpleasant encounter with my next door neighbour afterwards, when I confronted them about the loud music they were playing. It left me feeling pretty irritated and could’ve easily triggered a binge but I managed to drink a cup of tea, calm myself down and move on.

I’d call tonight a double win. Just hope I sleep ok and don’t dwell on it – it’s likely there’ll be fallout / continuance of the issue tomorrow and beyond.

Do I really need to track macros?

This post was inspired by a discussion I had in a Facebook group on the weekend. It started with someone sharing this Instagram post from Dr Spencer Nadolsky about the dichotomy between HAES advocates and Fitpros attitudes towards obesity, and the lack of nuance that often exists in these conversations. It’s something I’ve noticed myself – on one hand there seem to be the militant macro trackers who tell everyone to track all their food and get shredded that way, and on the other are the militant HAES advocates who tell everyone to eat whatever they want (with little regard for food quality) and let your body weight fall where it may, without regard or mention of the risk factors that obesity brings. The grey area in between is massive, and in a world that’s dominated by infographics and physique shots, most don’t expend much effort to individualise their advice or caution people about the downsides of extremes in either direction.

Thankfully I think things are slowly changing in the fitness world. There seem to be more and more people in the industry like Eric Helms, Emilia Thompson, Abel Csabai, Stephanie Buttermore, Jordan Syatt and others who are aware of the potential pitfalls of macro tracking particularly with regards to food anxieties and disordered eating. These folks generally encourage their followers to seek out body composition goals and nutritional approaches that are sustainable for that individual – even if it means they carry a little more weight than they’d ideally like, without ignoring the fact that obesity is a risk factor for many diseases and is something we want to avoid. And that, to me, is the kind of message that I want to support.

So I’m going to put down some opinions here, and then share my experiences and thoughts on how I came to them.

Should I track my macros?

  • Do you have ambitious body composition goals, either to get to extremely low levels of body fat (say sub 8-10% for men)?
  • Do you have a fairly tight deadline to lose a significant amount of fat – for example for a photo shoot or a bodybuilding/physique show?
  • Are you an athlete competing at a high level, who needs to ensure their body is optimally fuelled for all training sessions and competitions?

If you answered yes to at least one of these, then tracking macros is probably the best approach to meet your goals, providing you don’t have any contraindications listed below. If you didn’t, then I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t track, but I think you can probably smash your goals out of the park without needing to track anything, it might just take a bit of setting up and experimentation to begin with.

Is there any reason why I shouldn’t track?

  • Does tracking your food add additional stress and burden to your daily life?
  • Do you suffer anxiety about social events or eating food prepared by others due to the impact on your nutritional plan? Do you sometimes avoid these altogether because it’s easier than trying to estimate macros and fit them in to your daily targets?
  • Are you fearful that you’ll be unable to hold back at buffets and parties where there is lots of food available?
  • Do you tend to avoid entire food groups that you’d otherwise enjoy eating simply because it’s too hard to fit them into your daily macros?
  • Do you have a history of disordered eating – whether that’s restrictive eating, binge/purge behaviour, or something else?
  • Is your life hectic and busy, such that you’re quite often under stress, eating on the fly, and have difficulty planning your meals most of the time?

If any of these apply to you, then I’d really question whether tracking macros is a sensible idea. At the very least, if you’re going to do so, at least take the time to consider whether tracking is actually adding anything worthwhile to your life or whether it’s making things more complicated. And on that last point, I would argue that ‘keeping my weight under control’ doesn’t really ‘add’ anything; if you absolutely need to track in order to keep your weight under control then in my opinion you’re either trying to maintain a weight that’s too low for your body to healthily sustain, and/or you’re probably quite capable of maintaining that weight without tracking, simply by learning good habits and eating mindfully. However it does take a leap of faith to let go of the MyFitnessPal safety net and go it alone.

Why do I think this?

Firstly let me say, I don’t hate tracking – at all. I think it can be a fantastic tool and I don’t really regret my time doing it, despite the mess I got myself into with it. As someone who used to be obese and didn’t have any idea or care for what I crammed in my mouth so long as it tasted good, it taught me a lot of important lessons that I’ll continue to use for the rest of my life. For example:

  • What’s a sensible portion size – for me – both in terms of what will satisfy my hunger, but also make me feel good
  • What’s an appropriate amount of protein to be eating at each meal and throughout the day
  • What sort of macro breakdown most foods contain, and how calorically dense they generally are

However, as another commenter on the thread stated: ‘I have no “off” when it comes to food. Can eat and eat and eat and eat‘ – and I totally relate to that. For me, when I was tracking, I always felt like I was restricting and eating less than I needed. The longer I did it, the more food became the central focus of my life, the more tired and grumpy I became, and the more food anxiety I experienced. The problem with tracking is that the more you ‘eat by the numbers’ the further and further you get away from your own hunger and satiety signals, and the more your forget where your ‘off switch’ should be! So while the lessons I learned were important, in the long term, for me it was really just putting a bandaid on the problem.

Another commenter suggested that perhaps I was just not eating enough carbs – but no, that wasn’t the problem. Now I’m a fair bit heavier, it’s clear that I was simply trying to maintain a body weight that was too low for my individual body. I dieted to such a lean state that I had barely any muscle mass and was a starving, tired mess – but yet I was still shit scared of gaining weight. Many people who were once obese and go through a weight loss journey will relate to this – I’ve heard it called adiposephobia, Former Fat Boy Syndrome, and other such names.

Now I’ve come out the other side and I’m in a bigger body, I’m also carrying a lot more muscle and feel like I’m maintaining my body weight without depriving myself much at all – and I’m in a far better position to get a little leaner when I decide that I’m ready. Could I track food now without anxiety now though? I don’t think so – not for very long, anyway – now I know I’m predisposed to these issues, I don’t want to risk going down that rabbit hole again. And anyway, I feel like I’m so much more in tune with my body and so much better at eating mindfully (not without slipups, though… yet) that I strongly believe I could diet down to an acceptable body composition without needing to track anything, just by manipulating the portion sizes and composition of my meals.

This brings me to the point I wanted to make, which is that saying ‘I have no “off” when it comes to food’ perhaps creates a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy. In my professional life, I have no time for people who don’t want to learn to help themselves, and I guess I feel like this attitude might be similar. If being out of touch with your body’s nutritional needs is a problem, then is tracking the answer? Maybe, maybe not. I had one person say that tracking is ‘The complete opposite of anxiety for me. I just do the math then eat guilt free or whatever’. If someone has this attitude to tracking and it genuinely causes no issues, then I say, track away.

But on the other hand, if tracking causes issues (and I can’t see how it won’t, at least occasionally) then in my limited experience, eating mindfully and intuitively is a skill that can be learned like any other. I’d be willing to bet that most of us could figure out where that off switch is and how to utilise it with some practice and experimentation. The problem is, it does take more time and effort than tracking – it’s not as simple as ‘eat X calories to maintain my weight’ – there are lots more factors at play. But the more I learn and the more I practice, the more confident I feel that this is the most sustainable approach for me to achieve my training and body composition goals while still finding joy in all types of food.

A long overdue update

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a month since my last post here. I’ve been meaning to bang out some thoughts for a while but life kept getting in the way. Anyway, I’ve found a quiet moment, so here goes.

On the eating front, I’m quietly optimistic things have turned a corner. After my last post, I did end up having a feast a day or two later. Went another week or so without one, then went away to Queensland for an extended weekend to visit family. I was apprehensive about this, for a few reasons. But I had a good time catching up with my siblings, found a cool gym to train at and had a couple of solid lifting sessions, and things were mostly ok until some family stress brought me undone on the Sunday night and I hit the food hard; including a couple of late night walks for Cold Rock, hot chocolate, more ice cream and chips and cereal.

When I got home, I struggled with the adjustment back to family life – after 4 days of mostly adult company, puppies and kids and life stuff felt like a real shock and we had a few major blowups, and I ate like an asshole for a couple of days solid.

But since then, I’ve somehow managed to stay in control of both my moods and my eating. 10 days without an episode. Let’s hope it continues.

In semi related news, the dietician I’ve been seeing has referred me on to counsellors / psychologists as some of these issues are outside her wheelhouse. Fair enough. It does feel like these episodes have moved on a bit from frantic, insatiable episodes of extreme hunger to lately more like ‘I feel stressed/sad/lonely so let’s eat til I feel better’. It’s more of a habit than a compulsion. So now I need to work on stress management and mindfulness as much as anything. I’m trying to decide whether to see a local counsellor or a local psychologist or see someone remotely who might specialise more in my particular issues.

There’s plenty of neural rewiring to do on the food front – I’m eating almost anything I feel like, and never going hungry for too long, but still have a few fear foods. And another thing I discovered – when I was in Queensland we ate out a lot and unlike here, there were soooo many menus that had the kilojoules listed right next to the name of each dish. I found this awfully triggering…. and I NEVER chose the high calorie option. We had Vietnamese one day and I had the no noodle salad (unlike my brothers) because it was lighter. At one point I walked into a Chinese bakery and looked at all these amazing pastries but couldn’t bring myself to buy one because they were so calorie dense. It’s bizarre…. if I don’t know; or don’t look at the macros, I can trick myself into eating this stuff but once I’ve seen it, it can’t be unseen.

Anyway things are not awful right now. I hope things keep trending in the right direction.


Hangin’ In!

So my last post might’ve seemed a little bit negative, and it was. At that point, I was feeling very down about things. But I’m posting again to say that since then, things have got a lot better. Somehow, I’m now on day 5 without a feast. Which is the longest I’ve gone in quite a while. What’s changed? I don’t know. Maybe that crash the other day caused me to reassess and resteel my resolve to beat this motherf***er once and for all.

I’ve definitely been doing everything I can to ensure I don’t go hungry for too long – no skipping meals, no compensating, just eating.

Last night my wife decided we’d have a packet mix risotto for dinner, which is a bit of a deviation from our normal Tuesday night meal. Six months ago this probably would have freaked me out, but now? I couldn’t care less. I covered up the macros with my thumb when I looked at the cooking instructions, and managed to completely avoid reading them. The last step was to stir in a teaspoon of margarine – and I didn’t skip it.

I’ve had dessert every night (last night it was warm chocolate brownie and ice cream; on Sunday night it was cheesecake!). Lately, eating one dessert has often triggered the desire to eat many more, but somehow in recent days the Dmitry voice has been fairly quiet.

I’ve also been doing my best to let his thoughts pass through my head without reaction too. For example, I often find myself preplanning meals way before they happen (like I’ll be about to have breakfast, and will start thinking about morning tea, or some other subsequent meal, and how the day’s gonna snap together) and I’ll simply tell myself to forget about that, and worry about it when the time comes. Of course, I bring food to work to make sure I do have those snacks available, but as I said, there are plenty of shops nearby to work too, and often people bring food to work; today I didn’t bring sweet stuff, but fortuitously a colleague bought chocolate cake. And yes, I ate a slice 🙂

I think that doing this is helping to ease the food focus, which is helping to ease the scarcity mentality, which is helping to limit the desire to eat the entire contents of our pantry. But still – it’s only been 5 days. I’ve gone this long before, and relapsed into old habits, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself. However, I am cautiously optimistic.

My Fitbit is on eBay, and will sell in the coming days.

I am getting better, slowly but surely.

On a related note, a timely post from Tabitha this morning:

Getting your weird little OCD traits to work for you in recovery

Lots of this stuff rang true for me. I started writing a bit about it, but time is short right now, and I decided I couldn’t do it justice at the moment, and I want a coffee. A milky, frothy one, from the bakery. Because that’s how I roll now.