This week I was asked to take part in a photo shoot for Food Standards Scotland (FSS) as part of their Change Our Future healthy eating campaign. Someone let them down at the last minute and I stepped in to help a friend in desperate need of a ‘real, normal woman’ (i.e. not a skinny model). I wasn’t sure really whether to be pleased or gutted. I agreed anyway, as the campaign is helping raise awareness of the dangers of unhealthy snacking and how this can lead to type 2 diabetes and even cancer. I figured it was worth it even if it motivates just one person to change their habits and consequently improve their life.
Treat Free Tuesdays
The campaign is calling on people to pledge to give up unhealthy snacks and treats, such as chocolate, sweets, cakes, crisps, biscuits and sugary drinks every Tuesday to help reduce their ‘unnecessary’ calorie intake and improve their well-being.
The average person in Scotland could reduce their calorie intake by around 16,000 calories each year just by dropping two chocolate biscuits and a can of sugary drink one day per week. Taking a first step to changing our diet, such as cutting down the number of unhealthy snacks we eat and drink, can help to reduce the risk of becoming overweight or obese and diet-related illnesses.
The campaign will feature on TV, online and on social media, using the hashtag #treatfreetuesday.
“Too many people treat themselves with unhealthy snacks they just don’t need. The fact is, all those little extras can add up to health problems for ourselves and our children in the longer term. Around one-third of children and around two-thirds of adults in Scotland are currently overweight or obese. It’s forecast that, unless things change, 40% of adults in Scotland could be obese by 2030.
“A treat should be just that – something we enjoy which we have occasionally – but as a nation we have got into the habit of frequently having unhealthy snacks. Making changes to your diet might be easier than you think, so we’re calling on people in Scotland to commit to dropping unhealthy snacks and treats every Tuesday as a simple, achievable way to start cutting out unnecessary snacking.”
Dr.Gillian Purdon, FSS Senior Dietary Advisor
You can find out more about the campaign and get advice on the website www.foodstandards.gov.scot
My personal weight struggle
Seeing these photo’s has made me realise just how much weight I have put on since I had my daughter Elodie. In comparison to just a few years ago it is horrifying just how easy it is for 6 months and another stone to creep on.
I used to be one of those annoying slim people who used to say “there is no excuse to be fat, just eat less and exercise”. Then after having Elodie my body was not the same. I suddenly couldn’t eat what I wanted, when I wanted without repercussion.
I also take comfort in food and really appreciate being able to eat what I want after suffering hyperemesis gravidarum during my whole pregnancy when I couldn’t eat anything and even water made me sick (a whole other blog post).
Foodie or Fatty?
My happy times in life mostly revolve around eating – dinners with my family, catching up with friends for lunch. And I always order what I really want, instead of what I should for my waistline, saying “sod it…I am a foodie”.
I do consider myself a foodie. I love all kinds of good food and really enjoy cooking. I just can’t help but wonder though what the term ‘foodie’ really means? It is just an excuse to over-indulge and throw in some cream instead of low fat crème fraîche? Am I really just a fatty wrapped up in a ‘foodie’ cloak who should just be more disciplined?
The answer is yes! I am, because I know when I start to get motivated and I cut back I notice a difference. It is just a hell of a lot harder than it used to be with a slightly older body and too many temptations round every corner.
One small step at a time
At the end of November last year I took part in a User Vision workshop called Creating Habits that Stick, which encouraged people to make one small change in their life to create a positive impact. I chose to stop having sugar in my tea and I haven’t since. This one small change has reduced my sugar intake by 20 grams per day. This is 2060 grams so far in total (4.5 pounds). Wow.
The problem with weight gain and loss is looking at that huge mountain you need to climb and wondering if you’ll ever get there. It is the same old story and why so many people fail. This is why I think the #treatfreetuesday campaign is great. Small steps to make big changes is good for long term success and so I will definately be taking part from tomorrow.
Will you join in? Please feel free to share your thoughts below.