Daniel Fast: A washup

Doing the Daniel Fast didn’t work for me. I’m not good with moderation.

I need to find another strategy. OA does work, I’m just struggling with it at the moment. I don’t even know why. But I’m back in the saddle, and working towards being healed of my food issues.

That’s about all for today.

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Daniel Fast: Day Two

This doesn’t feel like fasting.

I’m eating lots of fruit and plain veggies, and drinking water and tea, sometimes with a little lemon juice in the water.

Plain oats are good too: I just put boiling water on them and have them like that. They’re quite delicious, once you get past expecting there to be sugar and milk.

I’m also having miso soup. I don’t know if that’s “fast acceptable” or not, but it works for me. This is, after all, about weaning myself off the sweet stuff and the greasy stuff. Miso is neither.

Tea-wise, I’m very much enjoying Moroccan mint tea. It’s nice and refreshing. It’s my staple at work at the moment.

So that’s where I’m at. Day Two.

See you on Day Three 🙂

Daniel Fast: Day 1

I’ve started the Daniel Fast.

Today’s breakfast was just a glass of metamucil, to clean my system out a bit.

I then had an apple and a banana for morning tea, plus a cup of Moroccan mint tea (black).

Now I’m on lunch, which is: oats made with water, a mandarin, and a cup of miso soup.

I’m actually enjoying the simplicity of it…so far! I can’t say I’ll feel the same way in 10 days time, let alone 21 days if I go through with it that long. But for now, it’s good.

Tonight’s dinner will be some salad (cruciferous vegetables) with some Japanese sesame dressing. And maybe another miso soup.

I’m not sure if the sesame dressing is strictly to the Rules, but it’s not sweet so I’ll assume it’s okay.

For a long time I’ve wanted to improve my diet, get off all the crap, and start treating my body better. OA is helping with that, but so long as I keep eating processed foods, I keep craving them. The goal of the Daniel Fast – for me – is to simplify and de-junkify (is that a word?) my diet, and just start looking after myself a whole lot better.

I’m just feeling happy doing this. I don’t know how long it will work for, but hopefully a while.

Daniel Fast: Starting tomorrow

I’ve decided to do a Daniel Fast, starting tomorrow.

What is a Daniel Fast? It’s refraining from all meat, dairy, sugars, alcohol and processed foods. Traditional lengths are 10 days and 21 days.

I’m going to aim at 10 days, and then possibly extend to 21 days depending on how I feel.

As I’m one of those people who enjoys routine in my diet, I’m going to base my eating on the following food plan:

Breakfast: oats made with boiling water, banana

Lunch: oats made with boiling water, apple, nuts

Dinner: salad with sesame dressing, miso soup, fruit for dessert.

I’m doing this to get more settled in my eating, and to get closer to God. I’m hoping it will help me understand my trigger foods and what makes me eat.

Once I’ve done the fast (with 10 or 21 days, depending on how I go) I’ll add back in meat, fish and eggs, and possibly a little alcohol (sake maybe).

I hope to straighten out my food and eating, getting back to basics again.

So: here’s to tomorrow, day one!

Minimalism, OA and me

I’m a minimalist, which I love.

Minimalism looks different for different people. Some focus on a particular style of minimalism (e.g. Marie Kondo) while others do their own thing.

I’ve been doing a capsule wardrobe for about ten years now, and haven’t looked back.

I also minimalised my makeup and skin care routine, as well as the items I own.

I find owning less – and buying less – helps me manage my budget and my free time. I have less to clean and maintain, and when I do but things, they’re good quality and will last.

Minimalism ties in quite well with OA, because both are about restraint. They’re about learning to use (or eat) what we need and nothing more. They’re about finding a sensible life, where we don’t depend on buying or eating to be happy and fulfilled.

I think restraint is vastly undervalued and underutilized in our society. We’re all about more, bigger, flashier than we are about moderation. Minimalism and OA are both teaching me about finding balance in my life. I’m thankful for that.

Still working the steps at OA…

I’m still attending meetings twice a week, still following the steps.

My miracle has started too. I was addicted to pepsi max, drinking up to 4 litres a day of the stuff.

Now I don’t drink it at all. But that’s not the miracle. The miracle is I don’t even want to drink it.

Not one bit.

That’s one miracle. Another is my addiction to chocolate. I was eating several family sized blocks of chocolate every week. I’d eat it so fast I barely tasted it, or remembered eating it afterwards.

I don’t do that any more. I still feel like chocolate would be a problem if I bought it and brought it into the house, but now I don’t want to buy it. And I’m able to walk past it in the supermarket and not buy it.

Then there’s the junk food drive throughs. I made a rule for myself that I could have junk food any time I wanted it but I had to dine in.

Now I’m no longer a regular at the drive throughs.

I know these all seem like tiny, baby steps. But I’m feeling happier and healthier because of them.

I’ve just worked on these addictions a step at a time and now they’re gone.

The next thing I’m working on is no snacking. I want to get to the point where I have 3 sensible meals a day…and nothing in between.

I’m not there yet. But I know I will achieve this goal. I have faith. It’s only a matter of time.

OA is working for me! 😃

Life isn’t perfect

Life isn’t perfect, and neither is my eating.

That’s okay.

Overeaters Anonymous is about “progress, not perfection” and while I’m nowhere near perfect, I definitely am progressing.

Overeating is becoming less common, and binging is very unusual these days. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but it is happening less and less.

I’m doing okay. I’m continuing working the steps (I’m on Step 4) and I’m attending two meetings every week. They help a lot.

When I look at how I am these days versus how I used to act around food, I can see things are getting so much better.

🙂

Am I still a minimalist? 6 years on…

Short answer? Yes!

I own very little. Definitely more than that guy who travels the world with 43 things. And definitely much, much less than the average Kiwi.

I’m still refining everything. So from time to time I’ll audit my possessions and sell or give away stuff I don’t need or use.

Minimalism has taught me there’s no point in hanging onto our mistakes. We need to learn from them instead.

I don’t know how many items I own (but I’m tempted to count!).

I also still have “problem areas”. For example, I think my overeating is related to my desire to own and consume. Stationery is also a problem – I struggle getting rid of pens and pencils and notebooks, even if I’ve never used them and am unlikely to use them. Cosmetics are “another problem” area, but one that I’m rapidly getting under control.

Things I have learned from minimalism:

  • If I haven’t used something in a year, I’m unlikely to use it. Ever. It can be thought accepting I made a mistake on a purchase, but honestly, if I were going to use it, I would. Believing anything else is just delusional.
  • There’s no point in keeping cosmetics you don’t like. That lipstick that looks a bit off? That body wash you just don’t like the feel of? If I realize something doesn’t work, I let it go.
  • I look awful in black. All those black and white capsule wardrobes you see online? They don’t work for me. My colours are khaki, navy, brown, maroon. I don’t try for someone else’s perfection. I just try being me.
  • Flat surfaces will always be clutter-catchers. So I attend to flat surfaces in my home first. If they’re clear, my home feels good.
  • If it doesn’t have a place, it goes. Over time I’ve learned to put things in their own particular spot. It’s the things that don’t have a home that cause mess. If it doesn’t have a home, I probably don’t need it.
  • Making my bed every day helps keep me on track. If the bed is made, the bedroom always looks presentable.
  • Life isn’t perfect. Neither am I. I have three teenagers at home, as well as my husband. I have better things to do than expect perfection from them. Especially when I’m far from perfect myself. Compromise is just fine.

Do I still use a capsule wardrobe? Six years on…

I started down the path to minimalism about 6-7 years ago. I was going through a divorce, selling a home, and – to be frank – it felt great to clear the clutter and start fresh.

I was doing #project333 which is a 33 item capsule wardrobe.

Now it’s a few years on, and yes, I still keep a capsule wardrobe several years on, although I’m not as strict about it as I used to be. My guess is I probably own about 50 items of clothing now. I wear pretty much everything I own regularly.

The benefits of a capsule wardrobe?

  • I spend much less on clothing. I spend about $400 a year. Which sounds a lot but isn’t. Most of my spending goes on replacing items that have worn out or are not in good condition any more.
  • I wear better quality clothing. Everything I wear fits me well and is good quality. Most of my tops are merino, and my shoes are leather. I don’t wear fake anything. And I feel more genuine as a result.
  • Getting dressed in the morning is quick and easy. I wear one of the 10 or so tops I own, pair it with jeans, and sling on a jacket if I need to. I own one belt and two handbags, so that part is easy as well.

Running a capsule wardrobe has helped me with every aspect of my clothing.

There are some areas I break the “rules”:

  • I don’t rotate my wardrobe seasonally. I find mostly wearing the same clothes year round – with the addition of extra base layers and jackets in winter – gives me more flexibility. The office I work in is very well heated, so my clothing tends to lightweight items, and big thick jackets for outdoors.
  • I wear “lounge wear” outside my house. But it’s good quality, well-fitting lounge wear.
  • I don’t count my glasses and jewelry as items. I found this aspect of capsuling too hard. So I don’t do it.
  • I don’t actively count how many items I wear. I gave up doing this, and now just eyeball my clothes rack instead. It’s just easier.

I’m going to stick with capsuling. It works, it makes me happy, and it keeps my wardrobe and spending sane.

Still an anonymous overeater…

I’ve been at Overeaters Anonymous for just on a year now. It’s been a good decision.

Benefits:

  • I no longer drink pepsi max. At all. I don’t even want to drink the stuff. I’ve replaced it with sparkling water (sometimes with a twist of lemon), black tea and tap water.
  • I no longer eat chocolate by the family block. I occasionally have a candy bar, but that’s it. My chocolate addiction has decreased by about 90%.
  • I no longer frequent drive throughs. I still occasionally eat junk food, but nowhere as often, and usually more restrained.
  • I’ve lost weight and am getting fitter. Even thinking about starting to walk to and from work!
  • I’m becoming more balanced and calm. I think I’m a nicer person as well!

It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve had plenty of slip ups. But it’s working for me.

I’m looking forward to my next year at OA, and I wonder what new benefits it will bring 😊

Update

It’s been a while since I updated, so here I am.

I’m still doing OA, and have lost close to 10 kgs since I started. I’m probably down a dress size, but I’ll keep wearing my current clothes until they are too lose rather than buying new stuff right away. When I need to buy new, I’ll buy new.

OA is really working for me, mainly due to the accountability. I go to two face-to-face meetings a week (one on Tuesday night and one at Saturday lunchtime) and they really help me.

I also do occasional long fasts. They help too.

I’ve still got a long way to go until I reach my goal weight, but at the speed I’m going I should be there within a year.

More to the point, I’m starting to genuinely believe that I can do it.

The mind games of weight loss

“It’s all in your head, it was never about the weight” – quote from successful OA member.

That’s so true. When I first joined OA, I was desperate to lose weight. I thought OA might provide an easy answer.

But the longer I’ve been in OA, the more I’ve learned there are no easy answers. You can’t just sign up to something and magically, suddenly lose heaps of weight.

Life doesn’t work like that.

What I have learned is success follows action. You won’t lose weight until you perform the actions that result in weight loss.

Those actions are different for everyone, but for me that’s 2-3 meals and no snacks. Sometimes I have breakfast, sometimes I don’t. I also incorporate regular fasting and exercise into my plan. But the big thing is no snacking.

When I think back to how things were when I was a kid in the 1970s and pretty much everyone was lean, I remember how snacking was frowned upon.

We’ve got fatter as a society because 3 regular meals have become 6, or 8, or just one long meal that lasts all day.

The other difference is people eating out a lot more. These days it’s a regular hobby for many.

I was nine years old before I went to my first restaurant for dinner. I remember it clearly. And my experience was typical of our generation.

These days there are many people who don’t ever eat at home! I know some of them, and being overweight is the norm.

I don’t eat out very often, so that hasn’t been a huge problem for me. My problem is snacking. But for many people, the eating out incessantly is a huge part of their weight problem.

But yes, I’ve learned that my biggest mind game has been recognising that snacking causes weight gain. And some of the so-called ” healthy” snacks – often found in the “health food” section of the supermarket – are the worst offenders. The advertising is so slick they convince you a 500 calorie snack is “healthy”. It’s not, not for me.

When I stick to a regular plan of 3 meals a day, nothing in between, a daily walk and occasional fasting, I lose weight. When I don’t, I gain.

The mind game of this simple realisation is accepting the truth that restraint in my life – a balance with commonsense – is getting me closer to my goal.