I have been wondering recently about the merits of healthy food. I don’t just mean the food that I am eating on Slimming World – which the ‘clean’ purists would likely shudder at…melted LowLow cheese would see them running for the hills! How healthy could I go though?
My current favourite saying is, “You can’t go from sinner to saint overnight.” What I used to eat, and how I used to behave with food, is a world away from what I do now…but it is still far from perfect. I was reminded of this last night for two reasons. The first was when I poured my melted LowLow over my steak and salad pitta breads – although I knew it was okay from a Slimming World perspective, it didn’t feel quite right somehow. The second was when I saw that one of my friends on Twitter had banned someone.
The person she had banned was criticising her and mocking her for asking if a specific cereal could be classed as a ‘healthy extra’ on the Slimming World plan. I think the person responding tweeted something along the lines of, “Can you not see the irony in that statement?”…actually, I think she misinterpreted the use of the word ‘healthy’ as she feels that no cereal is healthy. In actual fact, the ‘healthy extra’ B is designed to ensure sufficient fibre intake – so the cereal may well contain sugar and other nasties, but if the fibre levels are there then it is okay for Slimming World followers.
I am probably not being clear in my explanation, so I will try and break it down. The lady tweeting was simply checking if a cereal was okay to use on the plan. The lady responding was a ‘clean’ evangelist with a bee in her bonnet who decided that mocking somebody was the right thing to do…a bit of a tittish way of going about things really!
Slimming World isn’t perfect. Many nutritionists, who like to take nutrition to the nth degree, do not like the fact that sweeteners are okay, or that ‘syns’ can be used on things like French Fries crisps…which are the work of the devil if you listen to their argument! We should be eating unprocessed food, no preservatives, nothing containing sweeteners – “for goodness sakes, do you not know what they do to your body?” That last plea was from the mouth of a nutritionist I once spoke with!
Let me provide another viewpoint…
If you are super morbidly obese and in danger of dying, that bit of ‘helpful’ advice from a well-meaning nutritionist – who incidentally has never had a weight problem, has a severe lack of understanding surrounding emotional eating (“food is just fuel”, she told me…as I sat there dreaming of a burger!) and currently weighs 8st 7lbs on a bad day – is not in the least bit helpful. The ‘diet’ they propose is the extreme opposite of what most people eat…which is enough to put anyone off even trying – how on earth do you get from your current state to that one overnight?
The simple fact is that you can’t.
I have mentioned ‘clean eating’ a few times – and I will go into it in more detail one day, but for now, at a basic level, it just means removing processed food from your diet and chemicals – so a lot of cooking from scratch and organic eating.
Given my old proclivity for processed food morning, noon and night – and pretty much each hour inbetween – there was no way on earth that I could have gone from that to clean in one move. What I am trying to do however is gradually move my diet towards a healthier one.
As a super morbidly obese person my focus had to be shifting the weight. If this means some sweetener and packets of French Fries and plastic cheese along the way, then so be it. I have shifted over 15st so far eating this kind of food…it can’t all be bad.
The health benefits that this kind of weight loss bring are likely to be far more than those I would get eliminating sweetener from my diet I would imagine – I am sure some smartarse will argue otherwise…but they can have a chat with my highly qualified dietitian and diabetic consultant who are both thrilled with my progress!
My point is that we have to stop striving for perfection…we just have to be the best we can be at that moment in time. At this moment in time, I am getting better – but I still use processed food…and I don’t feel guilty about it. I couldn’t have gotten this far without it, but I am starting to question things and wondering how I can move things towards clean gradually.
Before I get too wrapped up, I thought that I would have a little reality check for those who criticise Slimming World. I want to take a look at what I used to eat, what I currently eat, and what I could eat within the realms of Slimming World if I wanted to eat clean…
Breakfast – Two double sausage and egg McMuffins with hash browns and hot chocolate – or leftover takeaway eaten cold followed by four thick slices of seeded bread with butter or peanut butter.
Lunch – Couple of sandwiches, a couple of bags of crisps and a couple of chocolate bars – or two McDonalds meals with drinks.
Dinner – Always a takeaway with sides or a prepackaged ready meal for at least two people, if not four…usually something like lasagne with a tray of garlic dough balls to myself!
Snacks – Six packets of McCoys, six sausage rolls, a couple of scotch eggs, a packet of biscuits, maybe some cheese biscuits, and probably a family bag of peanut M&Ms.
Breakfast – Porridge with a banana and berries made with unsweetened almond milk – or a couple of Alpen light bars and a banana.
Lunch – A homemade soup with wholemeal rolls – or leftovers from the night before.
Dinner – Salmon fillet with roast butternut squash and Mediterranean veggies – or sweet potato chips, salad and Quorn lamb grills (so many examples to chose from here now!).
Snacks – A couple of packets of Snack a Jacks or French Fries.
Breakfast – Porridge with banana and berries and maybe some almonds, made with unsweetened almond milk – or fresh fruit and natural yogurt with nuts.
Lunch – Homemade soup – or a salad with avocado and chicken or salmon.
Dinner – Homemade ratatouille with a tuna steak and roast sweet potato.
Snacks – A Nakd bar, a handful of nuts and dried fruit.
Looking at it, I am not that far away from clean eating. Then again, I am not that fussed about it really. I guess I just wanted to prove a point to those clean eaters who are a little evangelistic and turn their noses up at Slimming World. You can eat clean on Slimming World! What I love about the plan is that it offers the flexibility to ease into healthy eating without making people feel guilty. It also offers a way of losing weight that removes the guilt…you can bloody well enjoy your processed food if you want to, and still lose weight – and carrying around excess weight is far worse for your health than eating a packet of French Fries…or being a dickhead that makes other people feel inferior for making changes to their lives!
Add to this the wealth of support you get – the knowledge, the team of people, the group support, the online resources from reputable sources…
Personally, I like to get some joy out of the food I eat…and whilst losing 15st I have done that on plenty of occasions. I like to be sociable (occasionally!)…and have eaten out whilst following the Slimming World plan. I also like to lose weight…and I guess the proof is in the pudding with that one!
My advice – just do what works for you, change it if it stops working, but don’t be swayed by people trying to put you off…unless of course your weight loss method is extremely unhealthy or dangerous…in that case, listen up and take care of your body!
Onto the usuals…today has been busy – I have worked for over nine hours on a project that my other half is working on, and been to the horses, been to the shops and seen the kids for a while…oh, and my treadmill was sorted, with the faulty part replaced, so project, ‘get a bit fitter for Jessie coming’ starts on Wednesday! I have also ordered my Kali sticks for my stick fighting, and made tentative contact with another gym to see how things progress there too. Hopefully this evening will be a little more sedate and I can catch up on some 24…season 4 is good!
Breakfast: Blueberry and banana porridge (6.5 syns).
Exercise: Bramble cutting – I bloody hate gardening – my hands are cut to pieces and I have a massive thorn stuck in my fingers…trying to find my tweezers!
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx