This is quite a scary one for me.
I've known for ages that I've been putting on weight (of course) - and ... I've been putting my head in the sand about it. Thinking that somehow it'll just stop and somehow I'll 'lose weight' and somehow just drop those pounds and be back to my happy weight.
Well, guess what? Sticking your head in the sand doesn't work ... and last weekend, after a weekend of eating huge bowls of pasta in some sort of pasta trance, I woke up on the Monday morning incredibly bloated and uncomfortable and downright unhappy.
But it seems, that was the point that enough was enough.
I did it. I got the scales out and stood on them and found I was back to the heaviest weight I have ever been.
It was soul-destroying. Crushing. I was tearful and scared that it was out of my control and full of self-loathing.
And I also decided to do something about it.
It's ridiculous! I KNOW about food! And about nutrition. I talk about it and help people with it. I KNOW what to do, which makes it even harder to understand why I'm sabotaging myself like this.
So, I weighed myself and I decided to there and then start using my knowledge of food and nutrition and especially Thai food to develop my own weight loss diet.
I mean, when you think of Thai people you don't exactly think of overweight people. You think of beautiful, healthy people with clear skin and shiny hair - of sunshine, beaches, fruit and smiles.
I cook Thai food to share recipes here and for my supperclub - it's just that I haven't worked on a healthy, happy way of eating for weight loss. But it lends itself so naturally towards that too as I've written previously.
Week 1 then. I made it up as I went along.
I lost 4 lbs (mainly because I started from a starting point of totally bloated from the Weekend of Pasta).
Here's 5 key things I learnt from Week 1
1. It's all about your mindset.
When I woke up to what was happening to my body and was upset about it, I finally admitted to myself how it was making me feel. It was making me scared and upset. The first point is to take action. Be honest with yourself and vow to take action.
When you're ready to do this, you're ready. No point forcing yourself if the mindset isn't there - you'll only be fighting with - and lying to - yourself.
2. Action, any action.
Yep, any action, no matter how small. I started noting down (just on Google Keep on my phone) every single thing I ate and drank.
And I noticed where I was guessing or cheating - for instance on top of his biscuits I always give my dog a very little roast chicken (from a pack I buy for him from the supermarket) and I realised that every single day I was eating a slice of roast chicken too.
I was having a sugar in my morning tea, when I'm very happy to have tea without sugar.
I was choosing a banana a day from the fruit at work rather than having an apple.
Make every single tiny change - yes, they do matter, yes they do add up (even when you think they wont').
3. Pay attention.
I was upset with myself for having put the weight on and letting it get to this point without catching it before and earlier. Well, this is a mindset one for me for sure - I'm great in a crisis, in fact I LOVE a crisis, but just sort of normal life discipline, less good. It's going to be one for me to work on when I'm back to my happy weight to make sure it doesn't go on again.
I know all the general diet advice is not to weigh yourself every day but to do it once a week but hey, this is MY diet plan and having seen what happens when I DON'T pay frequent attention, then right now for a few weeks I am going to micro-manage the hell out of this.
I am weighing myself every single morning and making a note of it. And yes I know that some days I might go up a pound and I KNOW that I'm really only measuring once a week BUT the discipline of every day is working for me.
I'm also keeping a note of everything I eat and drink. You know, it's just a fact, you're recording facts, this stuff doesn't come with any intrinsic WORTH attached to it.
What's the phrase? 'Where attention goes, energy flows'.
And I WANT that attention and energy on my weight and my food and my diet right now.
4. Don't hide from the emotions.
I admit it, I felt horrible that first day. Honestly, sick of myself, full of self-loathing and disbelief that I could be so stupid. Why I seemingly had no will power. Why I was doing this to myself.
Ok, don't hide from the emotions - and of course the emotions around our self-image and weight can be intense. Feel them, yes, but then we have to find a way to release them.
It's not good, it's not kind to talk to yourself like that - I know I wouldn't speak to a friend feeling the same like this.
So let it go however that works for you. You could journal about it. Meditate on it.
I also use EFT - emotional freedom technique - 'tapping'. I tapped a lot that first day and I've been tapping on these feelings ever since. It's another odd one, because I tap frequently, but I've never done it on my feelings about my weight before.
(At the end of the 12 weeks developing this eating plan, I'll be adding more information and videos to tap to, but in the meantime, just look on YouTube as there are lots of fab EFT people with videos there).
5. Measure it out
I don't mean weigh everything, I just mean be mindful.
I used to slosh oil in the pan to stir fry in a very cavalier way - somehow thinking it wouldn't make a difference. In fact it made about 200 calories every meal a difference. I'd eat a huge portion of rice without thinking, but cutting it down to a smaller one - well, I am more than as satisfied, in fact more so as I'm comfortably fed rather than uncomfortably full.
Try having a little less.
I've been having half a chicken breast for instance rather than a whole one, and again, like the rice portion, it's fine. More than fine. It's enough.
And 'enough' is that elusive amount that when shovelling quantities of food in mindlessly, you don't hear the whisper of 'enough'.
Here's some of my favourite things I made this week
Well, I made a really good kao tom (rice soup) for brunch - it will also make an excellent lunch or dinner. I made sure I used just a tablespoon of cooked rice and a very small piece of chicken (perhaps 1/3 of a breast). And I measured out 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes at the end for the flavour.
Sticking with eggs, I've also been boiling eggs in the evening to take two hard boiled eggs with me in the morning for breakfast when I get to work. They're really good with some salt and pepper or a little soy sauce (or a teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce) and really keep you filled up until lunch.
And my favourite steak salad. I've had it with griddled chicken too which was very good.
Oh and snacks-wise?
I've been making an effort to have interesting fruit in the house! And I take the time to peel the kiwi fruit, slice the fresh pineapple, core and chop the apple ... and have them with a very little of a delicious sugar/salt/chilli dip.
There's something about taking the time to prepare the food and enjoy it that's just luxurious, and it sends a great big message to your subconscious that you are WORTH this gorgeous fruit and to have it beautifully prepared for you to enjoy.
I know there'll be ups and downs along the way over the next 12 weeks, but I'm feeling really happy to have started - and actually enjoying it too!
When I've finished the 12 weeks, I'll be creating The Tiniest Thai diet as a 12-week programme to share.
UPDATE: 1 JAN 2017. I'm now on Week 37!! I've lost 40 pounds and am feeling like ME again - and happy in my skin.
And The Tiniest Thai diet IS now an 8-week programme - here's all the info if you'd like to join the Thai Diet Revolution!