Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Word up

I’ve been thinking about words recently. 

As you may know, I have this ‘thing’ where I feel I’m so repulsive looking that people shouldn’t have to look at me.  Then, for the book club I run at work, we read Wonder by R J Palacio.  It was an endorsement of the very existence of a book club: something I would never have read but really enjoyed.  The main character, August, has a very severe facial disfigurement and the book is about how people react to him as he attends school for the first time.  It made me realise that being fat and ugly is really not so bad, compared to what some people experience.  I wouldn’t say I feel better about myself, but I do feel more humble and as if I should shut up already.  If you’ve not read Wonder, I recommend it.


And then that got me thinking about the words we use to young girls especially.  I have three nieces and I’m aware that I’m always calling them beautiful (which they are) but as if that’s the only thing that matters.  It’s so easy to say ‘hello beautiful’: you wouldn’t say ‘hello nice’ or ‘hello kind’, would you?  I don’t want them to grow up thinking that beauty is the only thing that matters.  In fact, I was a little sharp with my brother the other day when he said to niece no3 ‘don’t go thinking that being so blonde and beautiful will always work getting you through life’ in tones which strongly implied it would.  I said ‘but as she’s sweet natured and kind, that might just do it’.  Niece one is thoughtful, empathetic and hard working, niece two is feisty, clever and strong minded and niece three is sweet natured and generous.  You can’t throw those descriptors around in the same way, can you?  What do you say to young girls you know?  Does anyone have a way around this?

Friday, 21 August 2015

The one step forward week (of two steps back)

It’s very strange.  Normally if I so much as inhale near a pudding, it means no loss – or a gain.  Reader: I had two helpings of Eaton Mess over the course of the weekend.  I was very careful with the booze and had a modest helping of P’s delicious Asian food.  But I also keep getting waves of queasiness which meant that lunch on two occasions was just a small bag of Ritz crackers (small: good, crackers: bad.  Reader, what do you eat when you feel a bit sick and need something to settle your stomach but that’s also diet-friendly?). 

The strangeness is that I appear to have lost 1lb.  I’m certainly not knocking it but I am perplexed, bemused, bewildered.  I’m also wary as I may well pay for it next time.  Not to mention that I’m not entirely certain it’s the case – I’m bad with numbers and I wonder if I put the wrong weight last week.  Hmmm.

This brings my total loss to 1st 11.5lbs in 22 weeks.  S-l-o-w.  I think it’s unlikely now that I’ll make 2st before I go away in 4 weeks, given birthday week (more of which below).  I look at my supposedly motivational trollbeads bracelet with its single bead on and it makes me sad.  It really needs some friends.  It’s going to have to wait – I’m 2.5lbs off my 2st and don’t expect to see it any time soon.  And I certainly won’t make my target for my holiday which would be another 10.5lbs – that’s light years away.  Or more literally, next year.  That was supposed to be a realistic target!  Wow, did I ever fail at that. 

So, the birthday week.  Well, weekend.  Well, couple of days. I was saying ‘week’ as that’s a WI period.  Rather neatly, I next WI next Wednesday.  That is the Night Before Birthday (when all through the house, not a creature was stirring.... oh, wait) when after work P and I will be going for 2-3 cocktails, followed by dim sum for dinner at Yauatcha.  Now, as birthday meals go, it’s not too bad – no rich sauces, no mammoth portions, no pudding.  But cocktails?  Not so good.  Although I’ll have to walk c4 miles in to work due to the tube strike, walk to the hotel bar for cocktails, then walk to the restaurant, then walk back to a station to start a convoluted trip home.  But as we know, exercise has no impact on my weight. 

The following day I’m buying doughnuts from Bread Ahead for the family (salted caramel and honeycomb anyone?  Yes, me too), then my two little nieces are coming over with my mum for lunch (dim sum again – different place, something of a coincidence because they LOVE dim sum and we have a good place near us).  Then down to Suffolk and pizza for supper (and wine) with a doughnut chaser.  I then have afternoon tea the following day with my best friend and god-daughter (in lieu of breakfast and lunch but still).  That’s it.  Although I’m sure we’ll have a bottle of fizz at some point, usual service will then resume.  I know this looks a lot, but actually I’m trying really hard not to turn it into a whole week of hedonistic over-indulgence.  But obviously I’m going to put weight on.  We’ll be hiking – but see above. 


Then I have to put my back back into it to try and lose that birthday present of extra blubber in the next 3 weeks before we fly.  My prediction is that I will lose the weight I put on in birthday week but it will take those 3 weeks – so, in all likelihood, this is my flight weight.  As it were.  I need to start thinking calmly and practically about clothes for holiday on this basis, rather than lying awake in the wee small hours fretting myself into a frenzy over it.  I need to try stuff on (I HATE doing this) and work out what I need to get.  I don’t want to, but I must.  Better now than a last-minute panic, exacerbated by nothing-fits-panic.

Monday, 17 August 2015

A whale of a time

It’s been an interesting weekend.  And I mean that APART from my baking my first ever catastrophic failure of a pavlova, breaking down on the hard shoulder of the M11 in pouring rain and our drain blocking up and emptying into our bath.

We had friends to stay for the weekend down in Suffolk.  She is probably my most beautiful friend (and I am, pretty universally, the ugly one with all my friends).  Typically of her matter-of-fact attitude, she doesn’t exactly shrug off compliments but says it’s just luck and genes – nothing she can actually take credit for.  This is true of course, but also she works very hard at fitness.  When we hadn’t been friends that long, she ran the Marathon, despite hating running.  I massively enjoyed her rejoinder to all the people saying: “Was it amazing?  Did you love it?  Was it the best experience of your life?” to which she’d say “Have you ever run a Marathon?  It’s 26 miles of hell.”  Her latest bout of insanity is something called Tough Mudder which sounds, by even the keenest, fittest point of view, to be utter purgatory, lightly disguised as an obstacle course.  So to her usual work in the gym (and she still does run) and cycling into work, she’s doing a lot of circuits and pull-ups to increase her upper body strength. 

So she can take credit for some of her good looks – she works hard on her fitness.  She’s always looked pretty amazing but I can see the difference in her sculpted shoulders and very tiny waist of all this upper body stuff.  Am I jealous?  Not really.  I’d love to look like her, but I don’t resent her attractiveness.  I had a moment of considering going back to doing weights – which I never minded (no-one could actually enjoy weights but it’s okay) but tbh, I think I’d have to lose a LOT of blubber before you could see any sort of muscle definition or leanness.  It’s something to consider for when I’ve dropped a few stone.  HA!  I’ll have a few years to think it over carefully then! 

When I did weights, I suppose I must have been stronger, logically, but there was no visible difference.  Nor did it make any difference to the scales.  Which didn’t give me much incentive to keep going.  I used to be mystified by the absolute lack of impact of any type of exercise on my weight – but I’ve subsequently discovered that there is a small proportion of people for whom that is the case.  Not running, not cycling, not gym work, not kick boxing (which I did enjoy), not classes, not pilates.  No effect whatsoever.  Nada.  That would be MY lucky genes then.  Sigh.

My friend and her husband have travelled quite a bit – both being outdoorsy, intrepid types.  I was listening to her talking about swimming in gorges in Australia and I cannot imagine – I literally cannot begin to envisage – not being so stressed about what I look like that I could enjoy such a thing.  I haven’t swum for years – and certainly not where people might see me (and yes, the middle of the Australian Bush counts).  I was marvelling at the concept of just stripping off and enjoying the moment.  It’s akin to riding a unicorn bareback in the level of comprehension I can bring to this.  My epiphany didn’t go so far as thinking I could or should do this (the stripping off, not the unicorn riding) – it wouldn’t be fair to mankind generally, quite apart from anything else – but next year we’ll be having a more modest holiday and are talking about hiring a villa/gite in France.  It would be amazing if I could be in a position where I didn’t have to fret about my appearance and only concentrate on enjoying the moment.  It’s a year away.  Surely even I could get to a reasonable size in a year?  It would make SUCH a difference to my enjoyment of a hot holiday if I could wear decent clothes and if I could swim, without feeling (and indeed looking) like a less aesthetic whale, it would be amazing.


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

SoD it

It’s a funny thing: good behaviour can go largely un-noticed by SoD, but the slightest transgression is punished with alacrity.  Reader, I put on ½ lb this week.

I guess I knew that it would happen – there was wine, there was lunch out and there was an un-wise incident with sweets – but, foolish as it may be, I couldn’t help but hope.  Not least since I did quite a bit of walking/hiking and was strict apart from the transgressions outlined in my last post.  I can feel myself sliding – the temptation to say ‘oh sod it’ is strong and beguiling.  Not least since I don’t stand a hope in hell of making any of my goals ahead of my holiday - which makes me panic AND dispirits me.

And that’s another ginger whinge: one of the (many) things I most hate about being fat is the blight it casts on what should be an exciting event.  Every party, every wedding, every social occasion and every holiday are marred by the anxiety caused by my weight.  In this instance, I had in mind a slew of linen/cotton shirts that I wanted to take to Canada to wear with jeans (I imagine I’ll be in jeans around 90% of the time, with the remainder in hiking scruffs).  I’m no longer sure that they’ll fit.  I admit, I don’t know because I’ve not tried them – mindful as I am about the potential there for soul-destroying tailspins – but I suspect, strongly and darkly.  Also, my walking jacket which I need for bear watching (there is a prescriptive packing list – who knew bears had such a rigid dress code?!): I doubt that fits.  Last winter I schlepped about in a manky fleece or a very un-waterproof cotton parka thing.  Neither of these will cut the mustard with those sartorially-precise bears. 

It is perhaps the epitome of joylessness to buy clothes because the perfectly good ones you have are too small.  You feel bad about yourself and you’re disinclined to spend much because you don’t want to be in that predicament – and certainly not for long.  This is, of course, a vicious circle.  And that’s the positive spin (yes, of the circle, stay with me)!  Because that’s assuming you can actually find what you want – a problem for anyone, no matter their size of course, but exacerbated if you’re fat.

I really don’t want to let this spoil my holiday.  And in fact, it won’t – once I’m there, it will be wonderful.  It’s just the next 5 weeks and fretting and/or agonising and/or freaking out about what to wear/pack/buy in the meantime.

And I’m not going to give in to the ‘sod it’ whisper.  There will be treats around my birthday – I don’t need to slide into that 2 weeks early.  I need to get as  much blubber off as possible – even if it won’t be, can’t be, nearly enough (or even my very reasonable goals).

With that in mind...

Fatloss Forecast

Rather gloomy actually, aptly enough (looking out of the window).  We have friends to stay this weekend.  We’ll be hiking (although not hiking them into the ground as we’ve done in the past), but as discussed, this makes sod all difference to my weight loss anyway.  Disappointingly.  We’re having a light lunch at a pub, mid-hike but I think I can choose wisely.  But then P has made his delicious Asian food for supper – beef rendang, Singapore noodles featuring his long-marinated char siu pork, squash and sweet onion curry and coconut rice.  Apparently the rendang has turned out very hot so I might only be able to have a little as I am an utter wuss when it comes to spiciness  – a blessing in disguise here I guess.  I’m making a chocolate and raspberry pavlova.  There will be wine.  All of this is much more than I usually allow myself even at a weekend, even saving my syns up.  I fear another dispiriting encounter with SoD next week.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Be thankful for small mercies

I know it’s in the right direction but ½ lb seems the very definition of being satisfied with small mercies.  It would, in fact, be a whole lot easier to be a whole lot more thankful for bigger mercies.  I would go so far as to say that there is a direct correlation between the thankfulness and the size of the mercy. 

Having said that, I might eat my words after my abasement to SoD (Scales of Doom) this week.  It’s been a trying week – physically and psychologically.  And whilst SoD is very happy to ignore sterling work, it pounces (metaphorically admittedly) on any evidence of transgression.  And I’ve transgressed.

I’ll spell out the evidence of my syn sinning.

·         Exhibit 1: Okay, it was the tube strike.  I was SORELY provoked.  It normally takes me c50 mins to commute to and from work: Reader, it took me 2 hours 45 mins to get in and 3 hours 20 mins to get home.  I live around 12 miles away from the office.  Ask yourself: what would you do?  What would anyone do?  Yes, I stuck a bottle of wine in the freezer and drank just under half a bottle.  And as I’d had to skip lunch due to a very long meeting, I had a Boots Shapers bar and small bag of diet popcorn on my way home.  Which probably stopped my passing out or eating a fellow passenger but is distinctly not SW friendly.
·         Exhibit 2: Saturday.  I was making crab linguine – we had a nice bottle of wine to go with it.  There was a kitchen/ingredient malfunction which meant that the pasta was as tempting and understated as a particularly fishy cat food.  We finished the wine whilst disposing of the evidence and rustling up something else from a dearth of choice.  This required red wine.  I must therefore have drink ¾ of a bottle (husband valiantly taking on the lion’s share).
·         Exhibit 3: Sunday.  We had friends come across for lunch.  I chose really carefully but I had a pudding.  Worse than that, dear Reader, it was a poor pudding.  Is there anything more annoying than calorie consumption that’s not worth it?  It was a chocolate and raspberry pot with two mini macaroons.  The macaroons were stale and I left one (one?  Why not both?  WHY?) and the mousse was not chocolatey enough and the layer of raspberry jelly on top was irrelevant slime.  Reader: I ate it.
·         Exhibit 4: today.  I have had no lunch but instead have eaten chewy sweets which a colleague brought back from Germany and some Toffifee (okay, I love Toffifee).  I now feel ill in two parts: one physical from a surfeit of sugar and the other guilt-induced.


I am feeling fed up with the diet tbh.  It’s bound to happen from time to time – co-incidentally after a miserly result perhaps!  But the important thing – the thing I MUST remember – is not to let this disintegrate into a slow (or rapid) decline into calorie-fests.  Tonight I’m having a chicken breast with green beans and some greengages.  That needs to underline the end of the sugar insanity.  Tomorrow is yoghurt, berries and my HEB of cereal sprinkled on (I really am not keen on fat free yoghurt), with my HEA of a coffee, a cold chicken breast with salad and fruit for lunch and salmon chilli burgers with courgettes for supper and some more fruit.  Then it’s WI on Wednesday morning – if I’m not too chicken.  Cluck, cluck...

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Mirror, mirror

A bit of catharsis.  Bear with.

I think I’ve put a fair amount of effort into this weight loss malarkey.  I’ve retained (thus far) my determination and, largely, my senses of humour and of proportion.  But yesterday I had a wobble and I’ve not got over it yet.

I was meeting my best friend after work – it was her birthday.  I put a little more thought into what I was wearing and this included a skirt which was very slightly tight but that I think it’s unlikely I could have fitted into at all at the start of this process.  I do not look in mirrors but I imagine I must have glanced to ensure it was okay (ie the slight tightness was not perceptible).

Yesterday I was feeling a flicker of self satisfaction – that I was in this skirt.  And then I inadvertently caught sight of myself.  I don’t look in mirrors for a good reason – the same reason I hate shopping – because I cannot face the unpleasant reality of my appearance.  And there I was looking revoltingly fat – and just plain revolting.  Reader, I looked hideous.  That flicker was ruthlessly expunged and replaced with a searing sense of shame.  I wanted to bolt for home, to go somewhere that people couldn’t see me.  I couldn’t of course but it was the triumph of practicality over every instinct. 


It really brought it home to me – doesn’t matter that I’ve worked really hard and that I’ve achieved a (very) small measure of success: I was hideous and I am still hideous and I will still be hideous for many a stone yet.  I wish I could go to sleep and not wake up until I was 3st lighter.  I know it’s going to take forever – and I know I’m prepared to plug away at it and try my utmost to get there – but I also know that every experience like yesterday causes a bit of me to die.  Shame that bit doesn’t show up on the scales as loss.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Bosom buddies

Who knew a t-shirt could be so weighty?  When I removed it, I had lost 2lbs.  Apparently, it weighed 3/4lb so maybe the 2lbs is a bit of a cheat but I could do with a good result to cheer myself up with - so I’m taking it.  Naked supplication to SoD seems to be the weigh way.  Or maybe it’s just that my nakedness terrifies it into submission (which would be understandable).  Either way, it’s my modus operandi from now on.

This means that I’m now 4lbs off having lost 2st since I started this diet 4 months ago.  It’s been slow – far, FAR slower than I would like – but I’m sticking at it whilst the inching downward trend continues.  But I am contemplating combining it with the 5:2 (ie doing both) at least until my holiday.  What do you think?  I saw an ad which says LighterLife do their packs through Superdrug for 5:2 – and if I were to do it, I think not thinking of or preparing food for those 2 days would help me.  It takes the agonising over food out of the equation.  When I did LL (years ago now) there was a very limited range and the bars (which sounded the nicest) were pretty foul, as were the soups, but it looks like things have changed – it would be trial and error I guess as to which ones were palatable.  I could do it Monday and Wednesday and WI on a Thursday.  What do you think?  I’d really like to boost my weight losses to a steady 2-3lbs a week, even just for the next month and a half....

This week has been aided by skipping a couple of meals, being very strict (as ever) and having little in the way of social engagements.  In fact I went to a work leaving do and drank only water – AND shunned the chips provided.  This is positively heroic, I'm sure you'll agree.  Especially as cocktails were on two for one.  

I’ve cautiously gone back to former bras - every now and again.  When I was wearing them a few months ago, they were leaving welts and bruising on my body.  Not to mention discomfort from mid-morning which turned into actual pain by midday.  They left welts so deep that the skin turned blue.  I bought larger bras but now some of them seem a bit baggy (mainly the ones with fuller cups - my cups are NOT runneth over).  Of all the places to lose – well, not inches but probably multiple - millimetres, I’d have chosen my stomach, bum or thighs first.  It’s true that I have a ridiculously comedy bosom but somehow that helps at least distract from the area from the waist downwards (at least, it does for me as I can’t see past them...).  In the same way I have lots of clothes of descending size, I also have lingerie of smaller (well, mostly back size, the cups seem to stay the same) size: at some stage, I decided I was too grotesque to have matching sets so my current bras are coupled with horrid dreary cotton multi packs.  It would be nice to get back to the size where I have matching knickers to go with the bras.  That's a further size down however and I'm not even wholly confident that my smaller-backed ones aren't going to scar me (mentally and physically) all over again.

Fatloss Forecast

I did meet a friend last night.  I was starving but didn’t eat, just had two gin and diet tonics.  But I don’t normally drink in the week so that's syns/calories that are out of the norm.  I’m meeting a friend for dinner on Monday but will choose carefully.  It should be fine – I’ve mitigated against the G&Ts and will have a careful weekend.  I’d like to hit at least the 4lbs off before my birthday at the end of August when there will be abandoned eating for a couple of meals.  I'm keeping that very much at the front of my mind when temptation beckons.