Our Mojomum of the Month for January, Simone Cohn, is our Hot Topic guest panellist. She says she’s become more chilled about her weight as she’s got older and thinks there are more important things to worry about in life than what the scales say… Check out her blog too!
Name: Simone Cohn
Weight now: 60Kg
Height: 5ft 4inches
What is your opinion on diets?
I have a frustrated view on diets. Maybe it’s because I have always had body image issues which have bothered me more or less throughout my whole life! Maybe it’s because I haven’t truly been over-weight, or maybe it’s because I feel from my knowledge and background reading on food, diet and nutrition, that what I think is best for the body, is not what most people seem to appreciate.
My secret is 70% dark chocolate, 2 squares sucked on slowly – totally satisfying!
I dieted seriously a few times in my life – once was about a year after my first child, my husband and I did the old Weight Watchers system, which worked for us both and we both looked and felt great. We did it online and never went to a class, we helped each other, but it was easier for him and I’m the one who prepared the meals every day.
The second time was to see if food could reduce my postnatal symptoms. We part followed The Good Mood diet which I have to say made us feel MUCH better, healthier and happier. It follows a similar belief to the GI which I am a HUGE fan of and regularly stick to that ethos.
The third and final time I dieted was recently; after having my Gall Bladder removed in March 2012 I was still feeling nauseous after certain foods. I thought it was chocolate (my 3rd love after my husband and iPhone!). At the time I rented a therapy room in a health food shop and the owner did a food sensitivity test on me. Thank goodness it didn’t come up with chocolate, but it did show that YEAST was my problem. So I did an elimination diet and cut out bread, fruit, sugars and obviously yeast. I did this for 3 months from May-July and I have to say I lost a bit of weight but MOST of all I was not at all bloated. I stay off bread as much as I can and I don’t eat that much fruit now. I do lapse – often – and in my time I have given up many things – Chocolate will NEVER be one of them!!
What is your relationship with food?
I love food now. When I met my husband I was – what he tells people – a smoking vegetarian – go figure!
He asked two things of me for our relationship to work: to stop smoking and to start eating meat. I was young and in love…I did both! It wasn’t about ethics that I stopped eating meat, at the time and for 5 or so years before meeting him I disliked the thought of cutting into it. I got over that very quickly though.
I seem to be influenced by other dieting people around me. I either feel pressured to watch what I eat or I just think, I’m not overweight so I should enjoy food and life and not restrict myself. I do think life is too short to stress over your weight, but I also think if you are overweight you should find a way to change your lifestyle and not do silly fad diets. THAT is my biggest gripe! All you have to see is the amazing programme “The Food Hospital” to see that our bad eating habits are literally making us ill!
I have NEVER been a binge eater. I have too much self-control and self-respect to do that. In 2011 I did over indulge but never binge, I just celebrated Christmas from about the beginning of November hence my gall bladder attacks!
As I’ve got older and older I realise there are more important things in life than constantly worrying about what you look like and what the scales say.
Lightest weight – when?
Before I got married I was probably at my lightest, more because I was working out like a lunatic. I do think state of mind plays a huge roll in my eating habits, I’m unfortunate that stress, depression, PMT all equal food: high calorie sugary food. But I do feel rubbish after, not emotionally, but physically.
After yet another indulgent Christmas, I can honestly say that my liver is struggling. I am taking Milk Thistle to help restore it and I am going back to eating better.
We did discuss going back to Weight Watchers, or Slimming World, but the fact is both my husband and I know what we need to do, we just need to do it. I am the chef of the house, so it’s my responsibility to control what we eat during an evening and portion control. I will still eat chocolate, but my secret is 70% dark chocolate, 2 squares sucked on slowly – totally satisfying!
My heaviest was after my first child. I think I was about a size 14, I don’t know how much I actually weighed. I think with exhaustion, shock and early onset of Post Natal Depression I just saw food as my friend. I didn’t care so much what I looked like, until about 5 months after having my child I went to a wedding and bought a beautiful top which I had to be squeeeeezed into. My mum a few weeks later saw a photo from the wedding which I hadn’t seen, and said she had never seen me look so large and how unflattering that outfit was! (Thanks mum!). To be fair to her, she was right and I needed to hear that. I started to control myself and have from then on fluctuated between 57-60kg.
I now think that with my job being so active, my children keeping me active, my two dogs keeping me active I am lucky that the odd bit of chocolate, biscuit, or piece of cake is not the end of the world. I was shocked that my gall bladder became diseased especially as they said it affects the 3 Fs: Female (I am that!), Fat and 40 of which I am neither!
My husband and I get fat together, and get thin together. I will not allow myself to “let myself go”. That could be social pressure, but it is also health. It doesn’t look good being in a health profession and being either extremes!
I think along with many other issues in this world, the media plays a huge part in people’s body image. I know that when I was younger I was very affected by the media and magazines. As I’ve got older and more chilled I’ve accepted myself more and each year I realise there are more important things in life than constantly worrying about what you look like and what the scales say! The son of a woman in my neighbourhood got knocked down by a car and killed just before Christmas; I think life is too short and you just don’t know what is around the corner, so put your weight into perspective! Enjoy life – in moderation – too much of any extreme is never going to be good for you!