12WBT: Avoiding becoming Cranky Diet Girl

Yesterday I had a bad day. It wasn’t work, although I think I can apportion a small amount of blame there, rather I think it was my food intake. In years past I’ve noticed that I become a bit cranky if I am hungry, and judging by how I felt yesterday I don’t think I ate my sufficient calorie allowance, or if I did, it was unevenly spread.

Early during Warm-up, I pretty much trained myself out of eating a snack in the morning. It was mindless eating, out of habit, and so I stopped. I drank water instead or the majority of the time I was absorbed in my work and didn’t notice I was hungry until 11.30am, when I have lunch at 12 noon. So I wouldn’t bother to eat a snack or I’d just have lunch ten minutes early.

But once the 12WBT meal plan kicks in you are restricted to 1200 calories (300 for each meal, then 300 for drinks and snacks throughout the day) so you must eat your snacks. It’s probably better to go slightly over your calorie allowance than it is to be under it.  The set meals are quite dense but low calorie, so you feel quite full without breaking your diet. I’ve been amazed at some of the meals that we’ve made; they’re all quite easy to make, but the flavours are massive as are the portions.

Yesterday morning I had to run intervals as a part of my half marathon training, so I think my body devoured all my breakfast calories, and couldn’t wait for the lunch ones. Because I forgot to eat my mid morning snack, I slowly evolved into Cranky Diet Girl.

I have met Cranky Diet Girls before, but I hadn’t been one of them. The Cranky Diet Girls I have met eat lettuce leaves whilst looking with smouldering resentment at your sandwich lunch, snarling that “You clearly don’t know that you shouldn’t be eating carbohydrates on days that end in Y!”.Cranky Diet Girl seems to always be on some sort of daft fad diet where every Tuesday you only eat pineapple or it’s french onion soup for three days, or it’s a ‘cleanse’.

If you’re lucky you meet Cranky Diet Girl in her alternate guise of Cheery Sunny Thin Creature. She actually swings from one guise to the other, depending on daily weight and calorie intake. Cheery Sunny Thin Creature warbles delightedly about rice crackers and cucumber. She is equally annoying (while I think that cottage cheese is actually surprisingly tasty, it should not have arias sung about it) but she displays less menace.

When I morphed into Cranky Diet Girl I subconsciously realised what was happening and why, and went and found my pot of yoghurt in the work fridge. I devoured that and a muesli bar but by then the damage was done.  I stayed Cranky Diet Girl for the rest of the day. Thankfully I still retained enough sense to retreat from people and not inflict my Cranky Diet ways upon them.

In the evening we went to the pub in the evening for Trivia and I had the Prawn and Chorizo Fettucine special. Cranky Diet Girl abated somewhat, but vestiges of her remained until bed.

That was the first time I felt like I understood the mindset of packing it all in at the first diet hurdle, but because sense and past experience (knowing how I respond when I’m deep in calorie deficit) saved me, I was fine.


Someone else on the program reported that she’d also had a bad day yesterday.  She had signed up when I did, so I knew that this wasn’t her first week – quite a group of us had used the Warm-up and Preseason time to change our diets and lives for the better.  We had started exercising more and we’ve all lost significant amounts of weight in the eight weeks before the program started proper.

This participant had bought takeaway for dinner and eaten more calories than allowed. She asked for assistance with making her remember that all was not lost. Feeling more sane than yesterday, I posted this (slightly subedited):

I think it was Tracey Dunn (Trad) [fellow 12WBTer] who said “If you go off-course for a meal, it doesn’t mean that every gram of weight that you have lost is going to come back overnight.” 

I think that is actually a quite helpful statement  – I know that I am not going to gain back the 5.9 kilos that I’ve lost already if I go off course for one meal.  However, if I go off course for 280 meals (that’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus two snacks for the 8 weeks so far that I’ve lost weight) then yes, I will gain it back. But one meal?  Fuck it. You haven’t fallen off the horse, you just skidded about in the saddle.

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