I’ve been living on WW2 rations for nearly 6 months.

**Trigger warning – Eating disorder** With my 6 month health/weight and challenge update coming up in a couple of WEEKS, I won’t go too in depth right now BUT I just wanted to let you know that I TRULY believe living on wartime rations is literally saving my life when I think back to my emotional and physical state 6 months ago.

Life has been super tough, especially the last few months and if it hadn’t been for the focus of this challenge and the early physical benefits of weight loss that came with it, I’d be in a very miserable place right now. Is it too dramatic to say I may well have not been able to cope? I will never know that (thank goodness) and every day I wake up to a bowl full of porridge and a large cup of tea, I’m feeling happier and stronger and feel there is so much hope on the horizon to be cured of my obesity, once and for all.

It’s also been nearly 6 months since I have binged or ate all day to fill a bottomless pit of a stomach. I’m not sure whether that was an insatiable physical hunger, or was it filling an emotional void? When overeating throughout the day causes you to expel your stomach contents during the night (often nausea, occasional vomiting) you know this is not good and so in January this year I really felt undertaking a year living on WW2 rations would help me focus on not only something that I find really interesting, it would help me get back to a NORMAL pattern of eating. For me this is the traditional “Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and small evening snack with NO eating between meals.”

Had this been easy? Now it is, to begin with, for that first month or so it was difficult as I was so used to eating all day and eating large amounts of junk food in addition to huge meal portions. But I’ve learned that if you eat three generous meals a day that contain wholefoods and plenty of veg so you feel satiated, this soon becomes a habit. I’ve kept that habit for nearly 6 months now, I’m so very proud of that achievement.

With the 40+ lbs weight-loss to date, I’m now able to enjoy long walks again and although my joints still ache at times (I am 57 and menopausal), this is improving and I’m working hard on ensuring nutritionally I am eating foods that will hopefully help. I am also taking daily Omega 3 supplements (Algae oil) and a Vit D3. I don’t take any other supplements and luckily I am not on any prescribed medications.

Thank you so much for all your support through the blog, on our Facebook group and through YouTube and other social channels. I appreciate EVERY SINGLE MESSAGE.

Much love, C xxxxxx

31 thoughts on “I’ve been living on WW2 rations for nearly 6 months.

  1. Well done to you for conquering your demons by distracting yourself with something else that is so good for your physical and mental health. I love reading your stuff even though I am not eating it as you are. It is amazing how people lived in that terrible time on so little and yet I think it probably did wonders for their longevity. My grandparents lived through both wars and my grandmother was a wonderful cook but cooked simply and deliciously. I still don’t eat processed foods really and stick to butter etc rather than the alternatives. Let’s hope I do ok on it. Thank you for your time and efforts and keep on keeping on.

    • Thank you for your comment Linda xxx I think that is what I love about it all, the simplicity and being able to thrive on little. In many ways the abundance we have today (which is amazing and we are very lucky) I find really difficult to navigate. Sending much love C xxxx

  2. Dear Carolyn,
    You are doing so very well.
    I believe the research is proving you right, the WW2 ration diet was healthy, children grew taller and thrived on it. People remained fit even though they were doing hard physical work, and enduring years of separation and stress.
    The Ministry of Food worked hard to ensure that everyone had access to the essential foods, and it ran huge campaigns to educate people on growing food, and economical and healthy eating.

    Home cooking from basic ingredients has got Ultra Processed Food out of your diet. No wonder you feel better physically and mentally, even though times are tough.
    How can the food industry have been allowed to produce such poor quality stuff that many children are failing to grow, yet gain too much weight, and their mental illness is at unprecedented levels?

    You are turning your life round, Carolyn, now and for the future.
    I wish you joy,

    • 100% 100% 100% agree! – I cannot repeat this enough especially regarding the “Ultra Processed Foods” which have become our NORM. Sending much love, take care, C xxxxx

      • Ditto ditto ditto! I find UPFs quite disgusting, and much prefer home cooked meals. I have been inspired by your blog to make home made veg and potato cakes. I told my mother about them, and how delicious and cheap to make they are and she replied she liked potato cakes but they gave her indigestion. I told her that was because she had shop bought ones full of additives; that mine made with steamed veg, pease pudding (yes it’s in a tin but it is minimally processed with no additives!) , steamed potatoes, dried mixed herbs, one beaten egg and gluten free flour would not give her indigestion! I do see a lot of comments in The Guardian that people today are too busy to cook, so they have to eat that frozen pizza or take out. What rot! Did they think people in the 20th century didn’t work long hours? And they had no microwave ovens, which allows someone to steam some mixed frozen veg in 10 mins, and even make an omelette in it in 5 mins.

    • Love this post! I wholeheartedly agree. Home cooked fresh, minimally processed meals/cooking is the way forward. I will venture to even state that the health of the Western world would greatly be improved if folks ate this way again. And with the wider range of veg and fruit available that we have today, there’s the potential to have even more vitamins in the diet than people did in the 1940s. The Ministry of Food was an inspiration- how we need another one!

  3. Hi Carolyn,
    You are doing an incredible and amazing job. Please do keep it up!! I’m learning so much from your success. I’m getting closer to a WW2 rations diet (within the limits of my chronic illness) and you give me so much hope. All that veg, adequate but not too much protein, and whole grain bread is the key.
    Thank you.

    • Thank you so much Maggie, and yes during WW2 people on average got around 75 g of Protein per day and thrived, those doing heavy, manual work got a larger cheese ration so they got a little more. I don’t think we need “loads” of protein, we just need enough … and yes all that lovely veg!! Thanks for your support and hope you have a lovely day! C xxxx

  4. In every race, one focusses on the finishing point, not on the starting blocks, even if you’re the only competitor.

    Moving forwards is now the only direction you need to focus on, regardless of the hurdles one may encounter along the route.

    Break that ‘winner’s tape’ at the end of the year, and be an outrageous champion for what you’ll have achieved.

  5. Carolyn, A big Hello from Ann lee s on Vancouver island, bc. Glad to be following your journey, and find you doing so well. Keep rolling with it, working for you! I too wake to a bowl of oatmeal, but I do add blueberries to that, and milk on top. I now think you when having breakfast! Chores waiting, all the best, ann

    • Thank you so much Ann! We are the same as I love some berries on top of my porridge too and I usually add a spoonful of milled flaxseed for my Omega 3’s too xxxx Have a wonderful day, C xxx

      • I love flaxseed! I get the milled ones with seeds and dried berries in from the Lidl and add them to plain soya yogurt and in the oat flapjacks I bake.

  6. I’m so happy to see you get back to normal at 57 and not have to struggle when you are 70.
    I hope you never get lured into prescribed medications. They do more damage than good. Your body was designed to heal itself when given the right nutrition.
    You’ve gone to far to back up now. You can do this. ‘;D

  7. I’m in awe of you Carolyn. I’m so happy that you have managed to lose weight and feel so much better for it. Good luck. We’re all rooting for you.

  8. Largely the result of adverse childhood experience trauma, I exist with chronic anxiety and clinical depression, both of which are only partly treatable via medication.

    It’s an emotionally tumultuous daily existence; a continuous discomforting anticipation of ‘the other shoe dropping’ and simultaneously being scared of how badly I will deal with the upsetting event, which usually never transpires.

    The lasting emotional/psychological pain from such trauma is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside the head. It is solitarily suffered, unlike an openly visible physical disability or condition, which tends to elicit sympathy/empathy from others.

    It can make every day a mental ordeal, unless the turmoil is treated with some form of self-medicating, which for me is prescription or alcohol.

    Many, if not most, obese people self-medicate through over-eating. I utilized that method during most of my pre-teen years, and even later in life [for a couple decades] after quitting my (ab)use of cannabis and alcohol.

    I hope not, but someday I might return to over-eating as means of no longer self-medicating via two glasses of wine every night.

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