Thursday, 17 April 2014

Vitamix defeat

The Vitamix arrived and now the Vitamix is all wrapped up and ready to go back to whence it came!
I tried, I really did - well as much as I could within the allotted 30 day money back guarantee allowed anyway. I had such high hopes for my relationship with this machine and even now as I wait for the courier to collect it (3rd week of waiting) I'm tempted to get it back out the box and keep it regardless. But it's an expensive ornament for the kitchen!
So what went wrong? Absolutely nothing to do with the Vitamix itself, it's capable of everything they claim and more but it's limited to the users ability/perserverance/patience and unfortunately I'm lacking in all 3 areas.
I was so looking forward to making the Banana icecream from just frozen Bananas and the first attempt was foul due to my eagerness and using barely ripe Bananas (just for the record - yuk!) so I bought more Bananas and left them (guarded them) for days and days while they over ripened, at which point I chopped them up and froze them. I was literally drooling by the time it came to make the next batch of Banana ice cream - I did everything right (well as suggested by youtube users anyway) and while the ice cream was a lovely texture the taste was still awful, though nowhere near as bad as before. So I added some peanut butter (again as suggested on youtube) but the result was even more awful. That was the extent of my ice cream making.
Next I tried a lovely soup recipe, followed it to the letter (though I added some pepper) and the result was .......different. I could get past the smoothie texture but blinkin heck it burnt my mouth from the pepper.
So I tried some smoothie recipes. It's strange how all the veggies and fruit you usually like just do not taste very nice when they're blitzed. For example I could eat Cucumber whole - I love it - but blitz it in a smoothie and it really isn't so nice.
I tried various smoothies but none of us could hand on heart say that we would finish even one glass of it let alone try it again.
The final test was virgin Pina Colada. The problem here was that by the time I'd gotten the Coconut milk/Pineapple juice and ice ratio perfect I'd made so much of it that it could never all be used.
By this point my family were bemused that I was even going any further with it and I admitted defeat. I am never going to be a lover of smooth soup (I prefer chunky soup) and by the time I'd bought various products experimenting with the machine I'd spent an awful lot of money.

So the Vitamix is going back and I'll continue to experiment with smoothies using my hand held mixer.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Dr Phil

I've been watching Dr Phil for the first time today, I just happened across one of his shows on Youtube and I was hooked.
Obviously the weight loss ones are of most interest to me as I can relate to what people are saying in response to Dr Phils questioning. Like when he asked a guy on episode 'Fat, furious and fedup' why he was so overweight, the guy really didn't know the answer to the question but it got me asking myself the same thing.
I've often heard the idea that the key to understanding the destructive habit of overeating is to understand what started the habit in the first place and that, for me is an even harder question to answer. I've always had food issues and a negative relationship with food but also with my body so maybe that is part of the equation with me.
I was a slim child and stayed that way into young adulthood but I do remember 2 particular instances that stick in my mind and probably effected me in ways I didn't realise. One time a friend and I were walking to the shops all dressed up and feeling pretty good and a group of lads laughed and pointed at my ankles claiming they looked like "they're gonna snap", another time I was standing on tiptoe putting a poster on my bedroom wall (again dressed up ready to go out) and my sister quite innocently claimed that my calves made me look like "Rambo in a dress" (I was extremely slim and toned from exercise and having a horse). Both those statements have stayed with me to this day so I think I can assume they play a negative role in how I think now.
Anyway back to Dr Phil.
Dr Phil went on to question this guy about his reasons (excuses) he hadn't managed to lose weight yet despite claiming he'd made numerous attempts - his excuses astounded even me and included allergy to exercise, not sure footed enought to walk in the dark, the gym smelt funny and the one we've all used at some point - it's genetic!
But then Dr Phil made a statement that really hit home for me, he was referencing this guys battle with weightloss and was acknowledging that we all get to the point where we think we've gained too much now and that the journey to lose it is just too long. When the guy agreed, Dr Phil said to him "You think the journey is too long but whether you lose weight or not, you will still be here this time next year".
I've been trying to lose weight for about 22 years now though for the first 10 or so I only had pounds to lose though I believed I had stones to lose - this was a very warped view of my bodyweight on my part.
But Dr Phils statement made me realise something - I always view weightloss, diets, failures etc by looking at the past - what I was doing this time last year or where I was weightwise 5 years ago. I can see the destructive patterns of the last 22 years and I'm constantly focusing on past attempts thinking 'what's the point in trying, I've gone too far now?'. But I've never thought to look ahead of time, what I will be or could be this time next year and suddenly Dr Phils statement made so much sense - If I don't lose weight because I feel it takes too long to do it then this time next year I'll still be in this exact same situation and I'll have given up another whole year of my life to this battle.

Thursday, 10 April 2014


I came across a particular website many years ago when I was once again fighting depression, until now I had forgotten all about it but it appeared in my recent google searches while looking for mind/thought help to combat all these negative feelings I have.
The site is called 'Moodgym'

"MoodGYM is an interactive program designed to help you:
  • Identify whether you are having problems with emotions like anxiety and depression,
  • Learn skills that can help you cope with these emotions.
MoodGYM is based on two programs which are successful in preventing and treating depression and anxiety. These are: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy."

It's a free to use interactive site where you complete various assessments to assess your current state of thinking and helps you to understand the destructive impact it has on your day to day life, it then helps to teach you how to re-programme the brain into looking at situations differently and thinking differently thereby increasing positive thought while banishing the negative.
Again it's a slow process but I'm already enlightened after only a couple of exercises. I know that depression is a strong force in me and I'm usually able to recognise when the Black dog (depression) is snarling and when he's just assertively watching. To be honest I didn't think I was particularly depressed of late, that is until I started answering the interactive questions on Moodgym and now I can see that while I may not feel particularly weepy or sad right now, the feeling of nothing is another symptom of the Black dog and my interactive results really opened my eys to this.

My Moodgym result for the "Depression test"  was in the "High to very high range" and my results for the "Anxiety test" were in "The middle range" (basically no different to the average person).

Like I said I was surprised at the depression result, I didn't realise that some of the things I think were depressive symptoms though I can now see how negative they are.
I'm certainly looking forward to learning to cope with these thoughts and hopefully they will eventually help me to lose weight.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Feeding the positive

It's been a whole month since I posted and I have to admit that its not because I'm enjoying life as a new super slim svelte goddess - quite the opposite actually.
I've actually been ready to give up the whole dieting malarky, convinced myself that I obviously deep down do not want to lose weight because if I did then I would just do it already - that's how it works isn't it? Yup, that is seriously where my head has been at - it's too hard to keep torturing myself over the same old weightloss issues so I'll just convince myself I'm happy as I am! We've all been there I'm guessing!

So what changed? Well, although I was telling myself those things I didn't truly believe it. I am sick and tired of this bloody vicious circle of diet, lose weight, feel great, binge, gain weight, hate myself. It really has become tedious and exhausting - 22 bloody years later.
I realised that I dwell way too much on the past and admit that maybe I use past experiences as excuses as to why I am the way I am - while I accept that my past is part of who I am it shouldn't really have such a hold on my future should it?
I cannot change the past but I can sure as hell change my future.
I've been checking out CBT self help sites on the tinterweb as I can be a very negative, cup half empty kind of person that needs constant validation from those I love. I've become very 'what's the point?' or 'it won't be good enough anyway' in my attitude toward things I used to enjoy doing such as gardening and crafting. I've now got a humongous list of things I would like to make or do or achieve but know that I will never do them because either a) I've made them totally unrealistic (but still berate myself for not being able to do them) or b) I prefer to know I could do them and leave it at that than to attempt them and get it wrong or be rubbish at it.
So I found a good CBT site that helped me to understand negative thought and learn how to turn those thoughts around to positive ones. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suddenly cured, in fact it's going to take a long time but it's already changing my way of thinking.
I also found a site called 'Healthy weight centre' which gives you questionnaires to fill in and then help you to understand your answers and see where your train of thought is going.
I am new to both those sites so I haven't made full use of them yet and I suspect it needs to be a daily drip feed of visiting them to start with but I'm now feeling hopeful and positive.
I am not going to lose weight overnight - I have to accept that, I'm not going to lose weight just by exercise alone either - I have to learn to eat mindfully, but it suddenly doesn't seem so daunting.

"Within each person there are two dogs fighting; one that is positive and one that is negative. which one wins? The one that you feed"