So, it’s definitely time for an update on my Slimpod journey and how I’m doing on losing weight and finding my new status quo with food. Back in January, I told you that I was trying a revolutionary new way of losing weight. With a Slimpod, rather than primarily focus on diet, you listen to a relaxing 9 minute recording on your phone or on a CD player each day (most people do it at bedtime), briefly record 3 positives you have noted about your eating and behaviour around food that day and read the short e-mails which are sent out each day by Slimpod’s founder, Sandra Roycrift-Davies. It’s not exactly onerous! In fact, it’s downright pleasant.
With Slimpod, you are encouraged to stay off the scales for the first 3 weeks and just to notice how your clothes fit. I’m going to give you a spoiler to encourage you to read on….my cynicism is certainly waning! Given Slimpod is recommended by NHS consultants, I didn’t think it would be snake oil but I’m a WHY girl and a HOW girl. I need answers and reasons!
Some of the other bloggers taking part in the 12 week review programme I’m on are using the Slimpod as they do Slimming World or another ‘diet’ and are using their pods as a boost to their will power. It certainly seems to be working well for them.
I’m not currently doing that. Because of my complete despair at how out of control my hunger levels were, how ineffective dieting had become once I hit my late thirties and how I’d ended up oscillating between either being on a diet or eating in a way that I knew could not healthily be sustained (i.e. no cake was safe near me!), I wanted two things before attempting any major changes to what I ate.
Firstly, I wanted to find a ‘safe’ place, a new status quo with eating that I could return to after (or if) I tried another healthy eating plan. I knew my underlying habits needed to change long-term, that I needed to know how to leave food if I wasn’t hungry and not to eat for emotional reasons. I just wanted to feel in control around food, around all food. I wanted to find some self-control.
Some of you reading this won’t get this at all because you have a healthy relationship with food and that’s great. You’re probably not overweight . If you get this, you most likely are, at least some of the time overweight, during those times when you’re not “on a diet”. Not fun, is it?
I also knew I had a sugar addiction to break and that hormone balance was playing a factor in that. The last four years with our insomniac son have been sooooo tiring. I have often come to depend on sugar or other carbs for energy. I’ve also had a lot of coffee which plays havoc with your insulin levels, leading to even more dependence on sugar. I really wanted to understand what was going on inside my body and what I could do to stop those vicious cycles of hunger and exhaustion.
As part of my need to understand my body and habits rather than just blindly follow yet another regimen, I’ve been reading two books which I can highly recommend if you’re interested in this kind of thing. The first is not a diet book in any way but is called Better Than Before – Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives. If that sounds boring, it’s not. The author, Gretchen Rubin, also wrote the best-seller The Happiness Project (which I loved!) and has a really engaging, story-driven style. Rubin doesn’t talk about which habits to keep, leaving that up to the reader to decide but does talk about how habits are formed or broken, how to ensure good habits are easier to stick to and looks at how different personalities find different things helpful as they set up habits. It’s a fascinating read anyway but I have found it very intriguing as I think about eating habits.
The second book I have had a love-hate relationship with because the content is very useful and interesting but the writing style drives me up the wall. It’s called Master your Metabolism by Gillian Michaels but is really about all aspects of how hormones affect our body, not just metabolism, and how food and lifestyle affect them. I’ve found it extremely informative, I’ve heard from those in the know that the science is legit and the tips she gives on how to manage food to optimise your chances of not running permanently from one sugar high to another certainly work. The dietary tweaks she suggests are not even extreme. However, if you’ve ever done a Gilliam Michaels exercise DVD (such as The Shred) and disliked her way of talking, you’ll dislike it even more in written form because she writes exactly how she talks. Excruciating yet effective. Just like her DVDs.
Anyway, back to the pods! I initially listened faithfully to the Slimpod for 2 weeks. I didn’t consciously change anything about my eating habits but I lost 2 lbs (and the second weigh in was at the time of the month when I’d expect to weigh most). Slimpod encourage you to wait 3 weeks before weighing but I was too curious! I didn’t lose any inches. I was however really happy with that outcome. I hadn’t consciously made any effort. Even better, I wasn’t on a diet and wasn’t gaining weight. I’d have been happy with even a stable weight, quite frankly.
Even better was the success log where you note down things you noticed. I wouldn’t have noticed half of these things if I hadn’t written them down but I realised I was drinking less coffee, eating a lot more veg, steering away from sugar, taking smaller portions of everything, completely forgetting to eat until my tummy told me I was hungry and not feeling hungry so much of the time.
It was a particularly hard 2 weeks because we’d seen a dietician at the beginning of it. This was for my daughter who has some health issues and we found out to our horror that her growth was faltering as a result of her health condition so I needed to focus on getting a lot more protein and calcium into her. Rethinking my own diet was not top of the list of priorities at that point. I went full into recipe testing mode and it would have been easy to binge on some of the calorific treats I was giving her.
I then got horribly ill for a week. My darling brother who’s a doctor suggested milk chocolate as an effective cough suppressant. You can guess how that went! I can eat a small amount of dark chocolate and then stop but milk chocolate, although I like it less, is much harder to eat in small quantities. It is my kryptonite. I ate it till it ran out then sensibly went and got some cough linctus instead. I also stopped podding at night for a few days through sheer exhaustion so it hasn’t been an entirely fair test of the pods so far.
I’ve restarted the process over the past few days and am resolved to keep going because I feel so much better on it. Something clicked at the weekend as I read more of the materials on the Slimpod site about how sugar and your hormones interact and I’m back in the ‘safe place’ I found with food in those first two weeks but with no more effort than just listening to the pods.
I’m sleeping much better, I’m making smart decisions about food, even when choices are limited due to time or choices available and life feels good. I’m even exercising for the first time in several months having lost the habit around Christmas. I haven’t been on the scales for now because I want to work to the guidelines of seeing how my clothes feel but trust me, I will once I’ve done 3 weeks from restarting.
On the Slimpod Gold programme, you also get 2 bonus pods. One is the Chillpod which helps you relax and deal with stress in a healthier way. I’ve listened a couple of times and it’s blissfully relaxing. The male voice on all these pods is so soothing! There is also a Fitpod which I’ll be trying once I get to Phase 3 in a few weeks time.
Meanwhile, I’m just getting on with normal life. Which is where I’m headed now. Another update soon…