My body the fat sponge

I’m taking a quick break from novel writing (it’s going terribly, by the way) to update you on this year’s sugar-free Lent challenge.

I’m 1.5 weeks in and I’ve hit a plateau. This week was my ‘time of month’ (I don’t know why we call it this. It sounds like it should be the highlight of the month, like when we say ‘I’ve had the time of my life’. It’s not a highlight. It’s disgusting, every second of it. Disgusting, painful, draining and just…WHY??? WHY NOT THE MEN?)

Typically I would turn to chocolate for a pick-me-up during the hormonal lull of my period but obviously this month I couldn’t. I definitely noticed a spike in cravings for sweet stuff, which is  probably due to low levels of serotonin (a feel-good chemical) and a need for a quick stimulant like sugar. I managed to resist all temptation.

As my abdomen swelled up with fluid and anger, I expected to put on a little bit of weight. I did – about 3lbs. I expected to lose this again once the exorcism was complete. I haven’t. It’s still clinging on and the most devastating thing is that it’s not water weight. I’ve regained the inch around my waist.

I’ve GAINED weight, despite entirely removing sugar from my diet, eating less all round, and exercising for over an hour every day.

Yes, I feel disappointed. It’s a difficult challenge and so far there’s been no reward. But I’m not doing this primarily for weight loss: I’m doing it because it’s Lent. That’s basically the only thing keeping me going now.

I’ve been recommended a book called The Obesity Code which I’m going to start  dipping in and out of when I have a moment. The basic idea is that, contrary to popular opinion, the key to weight loss is not ‘eat less, move more’ (I’ve never believed this). The key lies in our hormones – specifically insulin. Insulin regulates the amount of glucose in our blood, either converting it into energy, or storing it as fat.

When you eat a lot of sugar over your life (including carbs), you build up insulin resistance which means your body stops using energy properly. Result? Easy weight gain.

I was an extremely fussy child for many years. In fact I subsisted on a diet predominantly made up of pasta, ketchup, grated cheese and chocolate mousse (the chocolate mousse was for pudding). This is not an exaggeration. Put simply what I may have done is totally ruined my chances of ever having a body like Elle McPherson long before I even knew Elle McPherson was a thing.

Silly Zoe.

Now I’m paying the price with a body like a fat sponge that clings to anything I eat. I’m going to have to read the book to find out how to reverse this travesty. I have a feeling it involves fasting.

Anyway, I’m all blogged-out, going to go back to my mess of a novel now.

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