Thursday, 18 June 2015

The dieting blues

Somehow two WIs have passed since I last put pen to paper (or at least, fingers to keyboard).  I am trying to take from this that the time spent in this period of hard dieting will pass more quickly than it currently feels.  I find dieting to be lonely, relentless and myopic.

Lonely: maybe it’s because I don’t belong to a ‘club’.  Maybe if I were to take my weekly communions with Scales of Doom in public, I’d not feel like this.  But I doubt it.  I’ve been to a couple in the past and found them to be soul-sapping and irritation-raising.  I’m quite sure that one was the model for the Little Britain sketch.  One day the leader – in tones that implied extreme excitement – asked us to name as many different types of lettuce that we could think of.  There was a long, painful silence and the sort of facial expressions that lets you know a small child has just pooed its nappy.  Finally I could stand it no more: “iceburglollorossolamb’slettucefriseecosrocketspinachoakchicorywatercress”.  I did not, dear Reader, say peashoots as there was no such thing then.  And I love peashoots: life’s improved.  Anyway, I never went back – and I dare say they were relieved.  Other clubs I’ve attended have been largely about pushing chemical products and talking to me in the third person as if I were simple.  So loneliness is better, I guess.  The blogging world has stepped into this breach though – to be able to find people going through the same thing is immensely comforting. 

Relentless: it really is as Mad Eyed Moody said in Harry Potter: “Constant Vigilance”.  But it’s exhausting to keep your guard up against food all the time.  There are times when you’re tired, when you’re hungry and haven’t planned ahead, when you want to just see what you ‘feel like’ eating (always a mistake in my case), when you’re up against 10 deadlines at once and want to mainstream sugar, when you just want a day off.  And you can of course do all or any of those things – but you know what the result will be.  It can be depressing – although not as depressing as trying to find things to wear that don’t cause you to look in the mirror and feel the sort of pain and shame that causes your very soul to shrink in horror.  There is no such thing as dieting time out – if you’re not losing, then, chances are (if you’re me) you’re gaining.  And then you’re going to have to get on with losing that.

Myopic: I’ve talked about this before – when your entire world contracts in on you.  The secret relief when social arrangements fall through as you know it will throw you off dieting course.  The way that your mood for the week is dictated by that one encounter with SoD.  The way that you wish the time away from WI to WI because you.  Just.  Want.  Rid.  Of.  It.  The Diet becomes all-consuming.  Somewhat ironically.  Again, the blogging world helps as otherwise my only yardstick is the dieting world portrayed by the media.  And none of THOSE women take 3 months to lose a stone.  Oh no.  THEY lose weight at a dizzying rate.  I am pleased for them and I hate them.  Shameful, I know.  If I could have any super power it would be to eat what I want without putting on any weight.  Yes, above flying, invisibility, super-strength – above ANYTHING.  Okay, radiant beauty would be beguiling, but for me, that’s the same as being slim.  Radiant beauty and a permanent diet or me and able to eat anything?  It’s a toughie.  As it is I strongly suspect I will have to settle for me and a permanent diet.

Last week I lost – as predicted – 1lb.  This week I STS.  I am not unduly surprised as I didn’t have a good week and my period is overdue (nope, not pregnant – in case that’s where your thoughts went).  I panic ate some pretzels and sweets at work during a stressful time and then we went out for dinner on Saturday.  Yes, I tried to rein back apart from that but I’m still not surprised.  This means I have 13 weeks to lose 18lbs.  I know in my heart of hearts I can’t do it (especially as my birthday is in there) but it’s very difficult not to hope and agonise.  Maybe it’s more that my head knows it’s impossible but my stupid heart is too stubborn to believe it.

Fatloss Forecast:
This week (all 2 days so far) has been scrupulously good.  Let’s see what the WI brings (whilst crossing every appendage, obviously).  I may be seeing one of my best friends on Tuesday and next week is looking like a stressful (ie very busy) work week but I’m hanging out for a reasonable loss.  I’ve had a lot of small ones recently – I’d like 2lbs+ please (okay, I’d like 4lbs+ but even I have to be reasonable).  The following week is looking more tricksy with a short work trip to Preston (yes, I know, I live a life of international level glamour) and, more excitingly, a long-booked themed evening at our local restaurant focussing on lobster and scallops.  6 courses.  With wine.  I’m not at all convinced by their wine choices but ready to be converted.  More on this, I suspect, next week – if I get time to write.

May your SoDs be kind.

Friday, 5 June 2015

On a (chin) roll

Well, I suppose a 1lb loss is ‘solid’ but it’s a bit disappointing.  Don’t get me wrong: I’ll take it and I’m only too aware how much worse it could be.  But I guess I’m having a phase where it all just feels like a bit of a slog.  I think it goes in circles – admittedly you only get the novelty factor once but otherwise it swings between acceptance and rebellion.  Acceptance feels like plodding on, not giving it much thought – just doing it, to bastardise the cheesily American slogan.  Rebellion has a whole range of emotions attached: sadness, anxiety (over social occasions and how to minimise their impact and of course, fear of Scales of Doom), resentment (but I want an X and it’s so unfair I can’t).  Guilt pervades all.  I am pretty damn virtuous and on plan, but using syns, thinking about using syns – all this makes me guilty and anxious.  In a nutshell: dieting is not fun. 

I do think it helps a little with the self-loathing though.  I know I’m ‘doing it’.  Ultimately I should look less repulsive; I repeat this in my head when looking in the mirror, when hating what I’m wearing.  P says he can see a difference but I suspect, unless he has some kind of fat-activated x-ray vision, he’s deluding us both.  I can’t.  And I remember on LL it took over a stone before anyone started to notice – and I’m back to just below my starting LL weight.  I reckon it’ll be another stone before it’s remotely impactful or visible.  And given that I’m going so s-l-o-w-l-y that could be another three months.  Sod it, that deserves an emoji: L

We are off to Canada in 15 weeks: I should probably think of that as a 15lb loss.  But really I want to lose a stone and a half (minimum tbh) – now, I’m BAD at maths and BAD at the weird number of (smaller) things to (bigger) things (seriously, the explanation of currency in Harry Potter makes as much sense to me) but I’m reasonably sure that’s, um, 21lbs (it IS 14lbs = 1 stone, right?) and that is quite a difference.  I’ll probably put that ON in the 2 ½ weeks we’re there, no problem.  Ah well, we’ll see – I can only do what I can do (infuriatingly). 

And exercise?  Weirdly it has no effect on my weight loss.  I thought this made me a freak but I have read quite a bit of research which shows that it doesn’t necessarily affect weight.  It clearly DOES in some people.  But even when I was running (and hating it) three times a week AND on LL 600 calories, no difference.  Even when I was cycling in to work most days (9miles), no difference.  I’ll still be hiking at weekends but because I LIKE it, not because I expect it to have any impact (okay, I always hope it does but even when recently we did a mammoth 13 miler of which the last 2 miles were hell and I really don’t know how I made it, no impact on scales).

Fatloss Forecast:
Reader, I did something terrible yesterday: I ate 2 WHITE rolls (tiger rolls if it makes a difference – absolutely zero nutritional merits).  I’ve severely kept the carbs down since I started: brown rice once or twice a week, very occasional pasta, even more occasional homemade wholemeal seeded bread.  But P had bought the enticing tiger rolls and I wanted them SO MUCH.  Anyhow, it’s done and I can’t be weeping over bread now.  No booze for me at the weekend though to try and offset the damage.  I ought to have syns in the bank for the rolls but I can’t quite believe it won’t derail me (see opening para).  The other thing is that I’m meeting a friend for drinks on Tuesday evening – she almost always cancels at the last moment though.  I ought to have a solid loss unless I do something stupid.  That seems to be -1lb.  We’ll see.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Rules of engagement

So how’s this for confusing?  I lost 2lbs.  Which finally – FINALLY – takes me to a stone off.  I do hope the next one is easier.  Yeah, yeah, I know, there’s no way that’s ever going to happen.

But this brings me to what I wanted to write about even before today’s surprise announcement: the Rules.  No, not the one saying you mustn’t show a man you’re interested until you have a ring on your finger.  Because I abjectly failed at that – having been with P for 15 years before he proposed (less ‘popped the question’ than exploded it as I nearly passed out from shock).

No, I am a Rules Girl.  P does not like this about me.  But I like to know that if I do x, then y will happen.  Not f*cking g or q or even ~.  Life rarely co-operates.  In dieting terms, I know that I can have 5-15 “syns” a day.  So I mostly have 4 on Monday - Friday, with the expectation that the chaos theory may well chuck in a few under the radar.  This also means that I can have wine at the weekend (okay, mostly just Saturday) and a G&(skinny)T with impunity, having slaved at the syn-front all week.  It means half a chocolate bar on a Sunday – if there’s been no other synnage.  That’s what I do and I expect, therefore, to have a nice neat loss as a consequence.  The fact that it doesn’t work like that is a constant source of surprise and bitter disappointment.  But more than that, it feels as if Life/Dieting God is reneging on some watertight contract and it really pisses me off.

Okay, I try to tip the tables in my favour by missing out one of my ‘Healthy Eating’ A and/or B at the weekend (this, non SW people, is a bread/crackers allowance and a dairy allowance.  In the week this is my morning coffee and 25g of cereal to sprinkle on my FF yoghurt and fruit).  My theory is that I ‘buy’ myself extra slack in not eating those calories at the weekend.  I do not know whether this is a good theory or even sensible.  It makes sense to me but I have very little science awareness.

I want things to be neat, okay?  Yes, even my wardrobe and there’s no chance of that, having as it does bags of clothes I am waiting to shrink into (it features everything from 14s (from my smallest post LL days) to 22s sufficient to (almost) corral my comedy bosom.  I want though, to look at my week’s consumption, look at my weight loss and be able to tally the two.  To be confident that if I keep my end of the bargain, so too will the Scales of Doom.  I can even deal with the fact that if I had a week when I went off-piste that I would put on.  Because I know why and it’s my fault, I deserved it and I can correct it. 

This week I am confident that I was just about within my weekly synnage so I ought to have lost but was terrified (and pleasantly pleased) but last week?  Who knows what happened?  In fact, the last few weeks are a mystery.  But I can totally see why Amanda L looked at my losses and said (paraphrasing) that I’m losing my mojo; I’d look at that and make that assumption too.  But I’m still sticking to it as carefully as ever – I even weigh my 25g of cereal each day, rather than assuming I know the rough amount.  If I ever have cheese on anything (pretty rare, admittedly) I weigh the 30g.  I eat boringly consistent meals in order not to risk the perilous balance.  Universe: are you listening?

And thanks for the pom-pom waving from Amanda, Gabby, Steph and Tiramisue (great name although it does make me salivate a bit!).  I assure you that I’m sticking with it, even on days when the contract has been ripped up in my face to accompanying virtual gusts of laughter.  But believe me, your comments help me plod on.  PS I had half a glass of wine at the team evening, did not eat and just stuck to fizzy water.

Fatloss Forecast:
Seriously, I’m beginning to think forecasting the weather is easier.  And I have a cardigan, brolly and sunglasses in my bag.  But in terms of obstacles to dodge – just one which I’m pretty confident I can manoeuvre around: supper and drinks to celebrate a colleague’s impending wedding.  I reckon I can choose a very SW friendly dinner and I’ll swerve the wine/cocktails.  It ought to be a solid result on SoD next week (body-slamming wood at this point).

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Tally (ho)

Maybe this is a test of faith.  Or maybe this is my usual thing of diets just grinding to a halt.  I lost 1lb.  Could be worse right?  Well, yes, it could be worse.  A lot worse.  Except.  It’s been 9 weeks and I’ve still not lost a stone.  I was a heartbeat away from it 4 weeks ago so not much has happened since.  To whit:
Wk 1:  -5 lbs
Wk 2: -1 ½ lbs
Wk 3: -1 lb
Wk 4: -3 ½ lbs
Wk 5: - ½ lb
Wk 6: -4 lbs
Wk 7 : +1 ½ lbs
Wk 8: - ½ lb
Wk 9: -1 lb
Grand total = 13 ½ lbs

It’s not great, is it?  I wouldn’t mind if I knew where I was going wrong.  Okay, I’d mind. Obviously.  But I would know what to do – or take it on the chins. 

And just to add insult to injury, I thought I’d weigh myself today in case yesterday’s WI was mucked up by having not properly started my period.  I’d put that 1lb back on.  I’m trying to ignore it.  But truth to tell, dear Reader, it’s playing on my mind.  Or rather, stomping up and down on my mind in hobnail boots, screaming as it does so.  Because I weighed myself at the end of last week and I’d already lost that 1lb: so conceivably I’ve not only not lost anything since last Friday, but I’ve put on too.  And frankly?  I don’t deserve that.  Still, no need to fork out for that bracelet any time soon, eh?!

I’ve been unusually hungry this last 10 days too.  I don’t know why.  Initially I thought it was hormonal but now I have the two types of stomach pain: the monthly type and the hunger type.  If anyone has any ideas why hunger goes in cycles, I’d love to hear it.

Fatloss Forecast:

Not good tbh.  Elongating the weekend is excellent for every reason save dieting.  You know they say misery loves company?  Well, it’s more like dieting loves misery.  Perhaps it’s a complicated virtual love triangle.  I have a four day weekend – hurrah!  But.  I will be drinking wine on 3-4 days.  This doesn’t bode well after a pretty damn virtuous week and what that brought.  I will of course be super-careful elsewhere to compensate.  We are supposed to be having work drinks tonight and I’ve already said I won’t be drinking; this has not been a popular decision.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015


Was it because I mooted the stone bracelet idea?  Was it because I started to hope and anticipate days when I didn’t feel so bad about myself?  I don’t know.  Because after a good week - which included skipping two breakfasts and two dinners – in which I reined back the booze and skipped pudding when we ate out, I lost ½ lb. 

You’ll recall that I put on 1 ½ lb last week.  I’d had a lot of booze and so I accepted it, painful as it was as the previous week I had only ½ lb to go before I hit a stone off.  That milestone seems to be moving further away rather than getting closer at the moment.  I now have 1 ½ lbs to go to hit that target.  It feels like reverse.

I’m trying to be if not sanguine, at least philosophical and stoical.  I’m trying to block it off in my mind and just plod onwards, hoping for better next week.  I’m trying not to have an inward temper tantrum and think ‘sod it’ and eat with abandon.  Because let’s face it dear Reader, whilst it might be short term gratification, it will not mean I can wear my favourite two linen shirts on the Canada trip (FOR WHICH WE’VE BOOKED OUR FLIGHTS!  PREMIUM ECONOMY TOO!  I’M VERY EXCITED!), it will not mean I can get back into my beloved tweed coat in the winter nor my gorgeous waxed jacked (and no, that’s not an oxymoron, it’s amazing – like a frock coat but wax) nor delve into the bags and bags of clothes cluttering up my wardrobe because they’re too small.  So I need to – in what’s become an irksomely hackneyed phrase – keep calm and carry on.

But I wish I knew why.  So that I could make sure I didn’t repeat that behaviour.

Fatloss forecast:

Right, I have a couple of social occasions in the week ahead which, as we know, dear Reader, means that alarms and klaxons are going off like crazy.  Drinks tomorrow with one of my best friends (honorary brother and ex-boss) who is changing jobs and won’t be based in London any more (sob) and a former colleague of ours.  And then supper with another of my best friends (honorary sister – seriously, we’ve been friends for 22 years) on Monday.  She always wants to go to Wahaca (and bless her, she always pays so I figure she has that right) so I’ll have to look at the menu to choose the least damaging option.  Something around salad I expect.  Definitely not tacos with oozy cheesy yumminess in anyway.  Sigh.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Wrong direction

Ah well.  I guess I knew it was coming but that doesn’t mean that I hadn’t had the odd flicker of hope – ruthlessly suppressed of course – that I might have a small loss this week (just ½ lb, just ½ lb to take me to a stone pleeeeeeeeeeeease). 

But it was not to be.  I put on 1 ½ lbs.  That’s what booze, lasagne and tiramisu does, dear Reader.  In a way, it serves me right.  In another, it’s not like I went crazy and joyously careered off-piste and headfirst, jaws open, into a vat of calorific yumminess.  I can’t pretend it doesn’t sting a bit. 

But now what I have to do is get over it and keep a very tight grip.  I accept it’s contrary, but a loss motivates me to keep going, a gain makes me want to give up and self-soothe with chocolate.  So this gain has to be a blip.  Next week I want to have one of my super-losses (yep 2lbs+) to take me to that stone loss (and ideally beyond but shush, don’t risk the wrath of the diet god by tempting fate) and so have to knuckle down, buckle up, plough on -  and every other related idiom - and keep my eye on the prize (I am all about the idiom).

The perilous route to next WI:
I think I dodged going out on Friday night (sad that dieting requires this sort of thing really) but we have Sunday lunch out with the MIL and stepson.  No booze for that so I am anticipating a gold star on that front.  And I ought to be able to manage food choices too – as well as compensate elsewhere over the week.  I’m seeing a friend on Monday and that’s an unknown quantity currently.  I’m trying to persuade her to go and see a film rather than out for supper but it may not work.  Either way, it looks less foody, less boozy and a tad less unpredictable so I’m hoping that will do the trick.

May the odds be forever in your favour. (And, erm, mine.  Obviously (if selfishly))

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The booze news

Usually I only have alcohol once a week.  This week has been, um, well... as follows:

Thu – friend stops by unexpectedly (this almost never happens in London.  In fact it’s the first time: she had flown into the airport we live nearby).  At least half a bottle of wine.  Skipped dinner.
Fri – P’s nephew and fiancĂ©e over for supper.  Almost half a bottle of wine
Sat – just under half a bottle of red plus a large glass of white
Sun – just under half a bottle of wine
Tonight – gin or cocktails with the friend I put off last week


I skipped a couple of meals but I don’t think that’s going to cut the mustard.  Especially as I had a non-SW supper of meatball lasagne (cheese!  The horror!) on Friday and tiramisu (Cheese (a lot)!  Kahlua (a little)!  Sugar (a little)!  Grated chocolate (a little)!).  I had less than I wanted and it was actually too much and I felt quite ill.  Then I had another piece of tiramisu on Saturday. 

I have a nasty feeling I’m going to put on on WI on Thursday, despite the skippage, the shunning of the ‘healthy extras’ over the weekend (which is normal for me) and a syn free day yesterday (and a low syn day planned for tomorrow).  It’s particularly depressing as a mere ½ lb would mean I’d lost a stone.  But there we go.  I need to take it on the chin (chin... hips... belly... wherever) and knuckle down for the following week.  I know that I have a tendency to go a bit awry after a disappointing week so I need to guard against that.  It’s illogical.  It mustn’t happen.

The week ahead: at the moment, we have lunch out for MIL’s birthday on Sunday but I am hoping one meal out, with wise choices, won’t derail me.  And then seeing friends on Monday night next week (not sure what we’re doing) and Tuesday for one of those shopping event nights with fizz.  So limited fizz for me.  It’s not the leanest week but with some fancy footwork, I’m hoping to have a reasonable result (crossing all fingers as I type this).  In any case, I must not let a couple of bad weeks become a trend.

In other news: my jeans – which were on the generous side – have definitely got absurdly big.  I have the next size down.  They just about fit – less comfortably when I sit, admittedly.  But they fit better than the bigger ones which were at the falling down stage.  I’d got used to acres (not quite literally, dear Reader) of material flapping around my legs so when I wore the smaller size, it felt odd, light and quite freeing.  And after painting myself – and to a lesser extent our railings – over the weekend, the larger ones are now liberally splodged with green.  As indeed am I.  It does make for scruffier jeans though, so I need to concentrate on pensioning those ones off and staying in (and staying in more comfortably) the smaller ones.  It’s not easy being green....