10 days in…

Today’s entry is about a couple of things. First we have my strange craving for fruit – it’s only just begun.
However, once we’ve talked about that I have a few thoughts on the new Cancer Research UK Obesity Campaign…it’s probably not for everyone!

It’s been a few days since I last wrote about my current experience on the South Beach Diet, but I felt that it was about time for an update, because I’m all about transparency when it comes to this diet and how I am coping…

Okay, well, apart from my one transgression last week with evaporated milk (I mean seriously! I cheated and it was with evaporated milk), I have been really good. I haven’t touched a single carb, no sugar and even though they have been in plentiful supply at the office, I haven’t given into any desire for chocolate.

I know, I know…it’s been 10 days, but for someone who could happily live on chocolate and carbs, it’s a long time.

I have 4 more days, during which I am not allowed to touch carbs or sugar in any form, but after that point I can start slowly adding in healthy carbs and sugar in the form of fruit (though only 1 piece a day). I am also allowed a total of two alcoholic drinks a week (so hello glass of wine next Friday).

Hopefully this Friday will show that the diet is working, we have our weekly weigh-in. However, if the scale doesn’t show any loss then I am not sure what I have been doing in denying myself everything that tastes good and smells divine.

Last week I was walking past Tescos and the local bakery and all I could focus on was the smell of freshly baked pastries and bread. This week all I can think of is sitting down to a bowl of pasta, or biting into a crisp Granny Smith apple? I guess I should be thankful that the cravings have turned relatively healthy, right?

Anyway, in four days I should hit my stride AND I start Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, which is a little bit easier (well, possibly). Of course, I am going to change up a few things so that I don’t fall back into bad habits. This time around I even avoided the 100kcals of treats you are allowed a day, purely so I didn’t get trapped in the damaging cycle of eating sweet…

Right now, I have my fingers firmly crossed that the weight will be going in the right direction…I’m even drinking water (and anyone who knows me will know that this is something I find really hard).

Oh, also, today Cancer Research UK launched a huge campaign about obesity and how it is one of the biggest causes of cancer. Their intent – so they say – was to make the government take responsibility and ban advertising of fast and processed foods before 9pm, though I am not quite sure what the reason behind this is.

The charity claims that more needs to be done, and they are putting it on the same level as smoking. Looking at the fallout from this I would love to talk about my experience with the so-called care that is offered to those who struggle (for whatever reason) to lose weight. There are a lot of reasons why people gain weight, and it’s not all about ‘eating less and moving more’, there are psychological reasons, medical reasons and so many other causes for weight gain.

This campaign is not wrong, however the way it has been launched and marketed, it is only opening up channels for bullying and torment for those it is apparently intended to help.

Obesity is a sign of the times; longer work hours, high cost of living, worry about pretty much everything, more expensive healthy food (in comparison with processed convenience foods and fast food which are cheaper), expensive gym memberships…all of these things contribute towards a nation lacking in motivation, and in need of the comfort that sweets, carbs, alcohol and nights in front of the TV afford.

Until the core causes of obesity (in many cases depression, anxiety and stress) are battled effectively (please stop cutting mental health budgets and making mental health care pretty much inaccessible unless you have incredible private health insurance – we are in the UK) it’s going to take a long time to sort out the problems.

I say this as someone who was on a weight loss programme that pretty much wiped their hands of anyone who had mental health issues associated with food because (and I quote) “We can’t sort out your ‘issues’ associated with food…”

What’s worse is the fact that they essentially threw me out into an abyss, because there is no one else in the diet arena (at least on the NHS) who DOES deal with weight and mental health as an issue…

I guess what I’m saying is that while I admire Cancer Research UK for trying to raise awareness, I don’t think that they’ve exactly gone the right way about it. Massive posters with ‘Obesity causes cancer’ on them are doing nothing to help the people who are (in many cases) struggling on a daily basis to lose weight, get help, fight the stigma that they are already battling. Fat Shaming is a thing…and while it was probably NOT the intent of the campaign to do it, it has given people who have issues with self-image, confidence and (at least in my case) suicidal tendencies, an additional thing to fear. Aren’t we already judged enough?

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