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Help! I feel trapped and hopeless.

(10 Posts)
AssassinatedBeauty Mon 23-Jan-17 11:13:05

I know there are probably thousands of posts like this, so apologies in advance, but I was hoping that someone might have advice or give me a stern talking to. (Apologies for the length of this post)

I am very overweight, obese actually, and I need to lose about 7 stone to be in the normal BMI category. The only time I have ever been a normal weight was when I was at university, and I had very bad eating patterns. I would pretty much only eat a couple of things and drank a lot of black coffee and cup-a-soups. I also did a lot of walking and sports. It's not a way of eating that I would try and replicate now. I've had some success with calorie counting in the past, I've lost 3 stone or so, but it never stays off for very long.

Since I've had my children, I find it almost impossible to calorie count or diet. I have no time to myself without the children to exercise, I can do walking with the pushchair but that's it really, if it fits in around the other stuff I need to get done.

I have a 7 month old that I'm breastfeeding who doesn't sleep well, and so I am often exhausted but I still have to sort out my older one and do the school run etc. When I'm tired, which is all the time at the moment, I usually use food & caffeine to keep me going and to alleviate the stress. So I reach for high sugar things, any kind of quick hit to get me up and awake. I also use food to alleviate boredom, frustration, anger etc, basically any negative emotion. I just can't face the idea of being tired, stressed and then also hungry/feeling like I'm depriving myself all day everyday for the length of time it will take to lose 7 stone. I'm on maternity leave at the moment and that definitely increases the boredom aspect which isn't helping.

I also struggle with eating with my children. So the main evening meal I eat with the children at about 5.15 ish. I meal plan, cook from scratch and make balanced meals for them. I know my issue is with portion control for myself, I need to only have a small portion of what I cook for them but I find that hard to do. Then, I am hungry again in the later evening, and find it hard to resist snacking - on anything, often toast with butter and jam, or if I'm having a bad day, on crap I've bought specially to binge on when my eldest has gone to bed. Unfortunately I have a bad day a lot.

I know I need to just grit my teeth and push through it, but it's such a struggle when I've had very little sleep and I just want to vegetate on the sofa mindlessly eating ice cream.

My current plan is to tackle the evening meal situation, and to serve myself a small portion of whatever I've made for the children, and bulk it out with either salad (no dressing) or green veg. I'm hoping that will help me feel less hungry later on in the evening. Does that sound like a good place to start? Does anyone have any other advice or suggestions? I feel at the moment like I'm in a trap that I can't get out of, and I'm worried about the impact on my health.

Not2bObvious Mon 23-Jan-17 11:45:03

You poor thing, sounds like you have an awful lot on your plate (no pun intended!) and are overwhelmed by the task at hand.
First of all, you need to get enough nutrition on board to keep your milk supply up. I would imagine part of the problem is your diet now isn't fuelling you but giving you highs/lows. Do you have any dietary restrictions to consider? Would you be willing to use something like mfp to keep track of what you're consuming? It sounds like you don't have a problem cooking and that's a great advantage. If I were you, I'd tackle it half a stone at a time. 7lbs at a time is easier to do than thinking of 7 stone. I wouldn't get too hung up on exercise right now, weightloss is 80/20 diet/exercise. Exercise at this point would be most beneficial for your mental health. If you could carve 30 minutes a day for a walk (not sure of your personal circumstances, if you've a partner to hand over to or if older kids at school so you could take baby out for a walk each day)
Foodwise, calculate your TDEE, you can find online calculators to tell you this. So for example I'm 5.4 tall, I class myself as sedentary to allow wriggle room and I fluctuate between 11-12 stone. So my tdee is 1700 or so, in your case you would be allowed more if you're heavier & taking the bf into account also. Taking a figure out of my head that I "think" is doable & enough to lose 1-2lb a week, maybe you'd be able to have 1600-1800 calories a day. Or possibly more, do check out the calculators
Breakfast - allow 400 cals, maybe eggs, scrambled or poached or omelette. Or big bowl of porridge with fruit
Lunch - 500, something with protein?
Dinner - 600, again protein, plenty of veg, some carbs
Leaving you maybe 100-300 to play with. Drink plenty of water, you should do that when bf anyway. Eating too little at meals is leaving you hungry. Try reducing what you spend on binge foods but a little of what you like won't harm too much. I don't know if the above makes sense to you, but you have to do something as your weight seems to be dragging you down. Best of luck and i hope you get good suggestions that help you get started

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 23-Jan-17 13:22:09

Thank you for your kind reply.

I'm vegetarian, which I don't think of as a dietary restriction as such as it's normal for me. I have used MFP for calorie counting, but I do find it a faff with home-cooking. It takes ages to input a recipe! I should probably get back into doing it properly as it does help I think.

I will try to think about smaller interim targets. It's hard though when the end goal is so far away, but I guess it's better than doing nothing about it and the situation getting worse.

I am currently trying to walk the afternoon school pick up, which is 25 mins at my pace and then longer walking at my 4 yr olds pace.

Not2bObvious Mon 23-Jan-17 16:35:11

Tackle a couple of things at a time. Calorie counting would be key to seeing what's going on. I know mfp can be a faff but needs must - get yourself weighed & make a start on getting through a day with better eating, less sugary snacks, 1 good day can really drive you on. Or maybe you could try something like Slimming world or WW if you just can't get on board with mfp. Wishing you the best of luck & hope you find the oomph to get started

SageYourResoluteOracle Mon 23-Jan-17 16:43:53

You've been given some great advice here and I sympathise: I managed to lose almost 3 stone last year and you'd be surprised how much I can eat, within reason.

I've got a stone to go and it's bloody stubborn, I tell you, but it's coming off slowly and steadily. I use MFP but also cook almost everything from
Scratch using the Hairy Dieters recipes: many of them are meat-based BUT there are a fair few vegetarian recipes across their books. Everything is easily portioned and calorie counter AND everything is listed on MFP making it super-easy to log your intake.

Good luck OP. It takes a lot of organisation but change one thing at a time and don't expect instant results.

greatpumpkin Mon 23-Jan-17 16:46:53

For me, eating at 5.15 with the children would be too early - I would definitely be hungry later and the snacks you have in the evening will be a lot less healthy. So I'd suggest keeping a portion back for yourself and eating it later (and make it a reasonable size that will fill you up). Maybe have a smal snack of veggie sticks with the kids if you want to keep them company.

Then brush your teeth after eating dinner, i find it helps to send my subconscious the message that I'm done eating for the day.

Calorie counting on mfp is a real hassle, but I think it's helpful to do once in a while so you get an understanding of what you're eating. I don't think you necessarily have to do it every day.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 23-Jan-17 16:48:53

Can I ask people who diet using SW/WW or something like the Hairy Dieters how do you cook for your children? I really don't want to have to cook separate meals for them and me.

walkinginto2017 Mon 23-Jan-17 17:05:54

Have you thought about doing slimming world? No measuring, logging, weighing required and unlimited food. Obviously it's not that simple but I'm similar to you and small portions, weighing/logging and restriction just don't work for me, I'm always hungry!

I've done SW for 2 weeks and lost 9lbs so far. I'm always eating but it's different stuff which really helps. I cook family meals - curry, chilli, spag bol, casseroles etc - just with the same principles applied and I can have a big portion.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 23-Jan-17 17:07:44

Are there vegetarian suggestions and can I use recipes that I already cook with Slimming World?

tommyspud Mon 23-Jan-17 21:23:26

I've recently started slimming world and although I am a meat eater I do like a lot of vegetarian dishes. There's loads of recipes eg butternut squash and lentil curry, risottos etc all meat free. You have certain free foods so a lot of the recipes I'd already cook can easily be adapted to slimming world. I have 2 dc too and haven't needed to cook separately for them

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