I had a shock when I weighed myself this morning. The numbers on the scale that had been hovering teasingly a little above 10st 7lbs (my target is 10st 5lbs) had crept alarmingly up to 10st 11lbs.
I know I have been working out a lot and there is that thing that muscle weighs more than fat but I don't think I can use that as an excuse for the weight gain. There is a more obvious explanation - I eat too much.
So many of us beat ourselves up for overeating but I think it is completely natural.
Human animals would always have feasted in times of excess to prepare themselves for survival through times of scarcity. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on which way you want to look at it) we no longer have times of scarcity. Food is always readily available. Every single day is a potential feast day. No wonder there is an obesity epidemic.
So once we stop beating ourselves up for doing what comes naturally, how can we adapt to the environmental bounty? How do we turn the plentiful excess that we have available to our advantage?
I suppose it all comes down to making healthy choices. If we can turn our eyes away from the cream cakes and pringles and allow ourselves to actually see and delight in the amazing variety of fruit and vegetables available, we are well on our way.
The key to making healthy choices lies in learning to really enjoy the things that are good for us. A diet that focuses on denial is doomed to failure. I always know I am on the right track when I stop fancying a doughnut and long for the fresh, crisp taste of a juicy apple.
Of course there will always be times when a chocolate cake calls to you so loudly that you can't ignore it. And why should you ignore it? Healthy choices for me must satisfy my mind as well as my body. There is no reason why indulgent treats can't be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.
I have managed to achieve this ideal in the past and lose a lot of weight. I have long left behind the size 18 figure of my late teens/early twenties and am now comfortably back into my pre-pregnancy size 10 clothes.
However, I have not yet worked out how to stop the slow slippage back to bad habits - an extra slice of toast (or two) for breakfast because you ate the first two so fast that it didn't register, a whole packet of biscuits with your morning coffee because one after another you just keep shovelling them in, finishing up leftovers just because they are there, eating things you don't particulary want or need simply for the sensation of having food in your mouth. It is scary how quickly these things can sneak up on you with the consequent weight gain and negative feelings that have you turning once more to food for comfort.
I am dangerously close to spiralling out of control with my eating.
Instead of cursing my scales this morning for not showing me what I wanted to see, I am grateful for the early warning.
I am feeling motivated and ready to take back control.
I am going to kick start my action plan with a fruit only day today. Hopefully, this will remind me what I've been missing out on when I grab a greasy, salty bag of crisps for a snack in preference to a bowl of delicious, vitamin packed strawberries. It might also give my body a much needed de-tox and it will certainly set a good example to the children.
Fueled by my banana breakfast, I will be heading off to Morrisons shortly to stock my fridge up with enough tastes, textures and colours to keep me interested (and not forgetting the all important water).
Diets start on Monday and life is good.