Monday, 3 November 2014

Snowbusiness (maybe)

I don’t think I’m losing weight – so am too scared to weigh.  The sickness has gone as a side effect but I also seem to have lost the positive side effect of just not being hungry very often.  It may all be academic anyway as I have to see my GP tomorrow to see if they’ll continue the treatment recommended by the specialist and they almost always won’t if it involves prescriptions.  It’s a shame as, weight aside, it’s had a dramatic effect on my blood sugar readings.

I’m still finding life hard.  I still feel like the booby prize in life’s raffle – the one that people constantly give back. 

And really, I should not whinge or whine or feel sorry for myself.  Work is – generally – good.  P is occasionally sideswiped by a tsunami of grief but is coping pretty well.  I have friends going through hard times and I should be counting my blessings.  Pretty hard to climb out of that rut though.  Or maybe I’m just the biggest wuss ever.

We’re talking about going away for a week in January.  We’ve not had a holiday and if I’m tired, I think P is exhausted.  Originally we planned to find some sun but this is harder than you might think if you want decent weather but don’t want to fly long haul anywhere.  As wonderful as it all sounded – and P wanted somewhere sunny he could flop by the pool for most of the holiday – I was starting to full scale panic about being too fat for this type of holiday.  I didn’t let on of course.  But I could see me being the only one in a skirt and t-shirt, huddled miserably on a sun lounger. 

As it is, we can’t find anywhere where it is a) sunny, b) not windy, c) not rainy and d) around 4 hours flying time.  Oman was the closest at 7-8 hours.  So we’re now thinking of holing up somewhere cold and snowy, seeing the Northern lights and short outdoorsy bursts of fun interspersed with hot chocolate and fires and books.  This doesn’t hold the same level of painfully self-aware trauma.  Let’s see if we can pull it off with a late deal before I start getting overly excited!*

* Except.  Reindeer!  Huskies!  Snow!  Fires!  Stars!  Snowy trees!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Back to black

So whilst the sickness has not abated yet, the impressive weight loss has ceased: 1.5lb off last week, 1lb this week.  This is unimpressive given the level of general vomminess I’ve experience (yes, that’s a word.  Look, the language evolves all the time, alright?).  So in summary: huge amounts of weight to lose, high level of vomminess, trickle of weight loss.  Sigh.  It doesn’t help that pretty much all I can stomach at peak vom is bread.  Or toast.  Or a pretzel.  Maybe when I feel a little better, I can ditch all the carbs again and that will have an effect.

In the meantime, we had my father-in-law’s funeral.  It was grim.  My husband’s niece was sobbing before we got in and continued throughout the eulogy she delivered.  In general it was a particularly tearful event.  As is tradition really.  The ‘wake’ bit afterwards was much jollier and P has an enormous family of many cousins who it was nice to see.  I looked like a bag-lady/Duracell battery.  I do not wear black except for at funerals and choir performances and it does not suit me.  I look a mess in general but when you factor in a colour which drains me and scrabbling round for an outfit which ‘will do’ on ebay, I felt like an absolute mess. 

I’m not sure if it was this that has pushed me into my ‘I’m so hideous I shouldn’t be allowed out in public’ phases.  I’m pretty shallow if that’s what I take away from a funeral. 

And in fact that’s not what I’ve taken away:
a)     Get as much out of life as you can, you never know when it’s taken away
b)     Extreme love and anxiety for P
c)      Remembering how much I like some of his family (who mostly clearly think I’m absurdly posh (I’m not) but are generously friendly anyway)
d)     Chose songs people know
e)     And okay, get something better if you have to wear black if you don’t want to feel more like a bag-lady than normal

We had an hilarious moment when the first hymn which my MIL insists on telling me is in the Top 10 of hymns (yes, just think on that for a moment) was clearly known by no-one so everyone just sang at different speeds and to varying tunes.  I could see people trying very hard not to laugh.  P later compared it to the ‘Lovely Horse’ sketch on Father Ted but in fairness, it was less tuneful.  My FIL would have been beside himself with mirth.

It’s my choir’s performance on Saturday and although the music is lovely, we’re woefully under-rehearsed: I’m hoping it’s not going to be Lovely Horse II.

Friday, 3 October 2014


A colleague told me that I was “looking thin” the other day.  I think we all know that’s not true.  I think she meant that she noticed I’d not been eating – and that therefore I must be thinner.  And I haven’t much.  I assume it’s a reaction to this drug, but I’ve continued to feel sick for most of the day and haven’t eaten lunch at all until yesterday and have skipped some evening meals too. 

I’m not sure whether I’m disappointed or not that I seem to be getting used to the drug now and the side effects are lessening.  Admittedly today I couldn’t stomach my breakfast but yesterday I was hungry for lunch AND dinner for the first time in about 10 days.  Weirdly, it must be psychosomatic as I’m having a half dose at the moment and the nurse said I wouldn’t get the effect of the drug until I’m on the proper dose – that will be either this Monday or next, depending if I’ve got over the side effects by then.  And yet the nausea feels pretty real.  This is not how the drug works btw, this is a common side effect – but it achieves the same end!

This week I’ve lost 4lbs.  That’s double what I lost on LL so is pretty startling.  I’m sure it’s affected by the gain from the previous week but it’s still almost shocking.  I know I can’t maintain that rate of loss  (not eating much isn’t really the healthy thing to do for a start – and I certainly hate feeling sick all the time) and I’m trying not to play the ‘if I lose X every week I could by Y by...’ game. 

But we do have a family wedding in March where I will see my brother and the chav in law for the first time in about 5 years (they were too busy to come to my wedding) and I’d rather give her as little to sneer about as possible.  Equally I’d like to feel as confident as possible.  She will be bright orange, in a tiny dress and bare legged of course.

And we’re hoping to go away in the Spring and it would be lovely to feel a fraction less self-conscious.  The formula for self-consciousness vs weight loss seems very unequal – I have to lose a LOT of weight for a very fractional shift in my self consciousness.  Actually this is largely hypothetical since I haven’t hit enough of a weight loss to make any impact into my self-consciousness yet.  But I’m pretty confident that that’s the case.

Thank you all for your comments about my last rather death-themed post.  My father-in-law died early on Tuesday morning.  The funeral is the week after next.  Characteristically, P is being an absolute rock for his mother – but of course the funeral will be hard.  We’ve cancelled a meal out to celebrate a friend’s birthday with loads of people and although we’ll go along for a quick drink to wish her well, we’ll spend the weekend quietly together.  I wish I knew the best way to help him through this.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Food for thought

 I’m always wary of referring to anything as ‘ironic’ after poor Alanis Morrisette had scorn heaped upon her for not understanding exactly what irony is.  Which is apparently not raaaaiiiiinnnn on your wedding day.  Tsk.

Having said that, there’s some mischievous entity at work in my life at present.  I have started on the injections.  Good news: really not painful.  Bad news: make me feel sick as a dog.  Well, we’ll come to that unfortunate analogy later.  But pretty much nauseous all day.  These are, I hope, side effects that should last no longer than 2-3 weeks but on day 4 that seems a long way off.  As my mother said brightly ‘well, it’s not so bad if it makes you lose weight’.  You can see where I get a twisted view of food from, right?  But no, this is not how it’s supposed to achieve that aim.  I really don’t want to feel so sick I can barely eat until I’m a size 12 (or whatever).  Even if that were possible.  And here comes the irony bit (or whatevs): the only food I can eat is plain and carby.  The advice is even to eat plain carbs if you feel sick.  Carbs are not a great choice for a diabetic (and this is first and foremost a drug for diabetes).  Last night I ate 6 skinny fries from my colleague’s plate for dinner; lunch today is looking like Ritz crackers.  Hmm.  What is a carb-free alternative?  Nausea and chicken breast do not work well together.

Still, after a weekend away, it’s good to have ricocheted to the other end of the spectrum.  Actually it wasn’t too bad in terms of outright gluttony but did cause a 2lb weight gain.  I think.  Having made the momentous move to get back onto Scales of Doom, I really do need to record it somewhere.  The previous week I lost 2.5lbs.  I would hope the weekend gain is long gone after several days of barely eating.  Not very sustainable in the long term, I continue to avow.

The weekend was nice.  It’s just...  Well, we’re going through a rough patch.  Not with each other but with family stuff.  The most serious of which is that my FIL is, to put it bluntly, dying.  The cancer he fought off 4 years ago is back and brought a mate this time.  They’d started treatment for the first tumour (or second I suppose) before they found the other.  The treatment made him feel absolutely terrible and he didn’t want any more; the second tumour made that academic in any case.  He’s at home now and it won’t be long.  He’s a lovely and sweet man and I will be very sorry to lose him which is slightly subsumed by my concern for my husband and how he must be feeling.  He’s been characteristically stoic and brave but has moments where the grief just erupts, understandably.  I hurt to see him so hurt.

And to ice that particular cake, we come back to the ‘sick as a dog ‘analogy.  One of my mother’s Labs has just had to be put down (yes, whilst we were away).  From nowhere SHE got tumours and within 2 days there was nothing else to do.  My mother is distraught and I’m very upset – both from hearing her sobbing and from missing our very sweetest dog myself.

Finally, I visited my grandparents’ grave on the way back from Devon and put some flowers down.  I still miss my grandmother terribly and that was yet another unpleasant reminder of loss.

P and I are agreed that the only thing you can do is wring every moment of pleasure from life.  Balancing hedonism with dieting is not an easy task – well, factoring in 24 hour nausea does balance it a bit, the food and drink part of hedonism seeming unattractive at the moment.  But it’s something to think on.  We’re planning holidays.  Next year.  At the moment we're living from moment to moment, waiting for bad news.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Feeling needled

My extremely sterotypical mad prof has prescribed me a diabetic drug which should/could help me lose weight.  The fact that I AM diabetic is incidental as they think I'm too thin to fit the criteria for it on the NHS.  I bet I'm not actually......  Yep, totally not too thin.  Anyway, I have to pay for it privately - the idea is to try it for a few months and then if it makes a difference, use that as ammunition with my GP.  Not sure it will work since this is the practice that wouldn't give me antibiotics after I'd had sinusitis for 2 months and was weeping with the pain.  They seem to get off on saying 'no'.  But there's no point in worrying about that until I find out if it works.

One immediate flaw with this is that I have to, gulp, inject.  Into my stomach (or thighs).  I don't think they've come up with a needle long enough to penetrate the flab but I had my lesson today (no actual stomach was bared) and I start after a long weekend the weekend after next.  On the basis that it can make you feel sick initially and I don't want to waste that time feeling sick.

And of course, my body's stubborn refusal to drop any weight.

Actually I have just gone to weigh myself for the first time in - oh, some time.  I saw what she wrote in kilos on my form and in trying to work out my BMI (this is the criteria), I thought I must have seen it wrongly.  Or worked it out wrongly.  Or something where it was wrong.  But it's not.  Admittedly this is at the end of the day but I am a stone over my heaviest pre Lighter Life weight.  I can't quite believe it.  That's almost 5 stone heavier than my lightest weight, 2-3 stone heavier then when I got married and heavier than I've ever been.  I'm so shocked and upset I'm actually shaking.  If I'd eaten junk for the last year - and lots of it - I'd understand it.  I haven't.  My usual daily diet is yoghurt and fruit with 2tsp of nuts for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and soup or fish and veg for dinner.  Fruit for snacking and a coffee a day.  Where am I going wrong?

No wonder I can't climb stairs any more without gasping for breath.  I guess the self-loathing will help me to jab the needle in.

The teeny-tiny silver lining is that she thought my BMI wasn't high enough: "I can see from looking at you".  It's way, way high enough.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Checking in

Okay, hands up, I used to run a sneaky blog post off at work.  Believe me they got more than their lb of flesh (regrettably not literally).  But since the new job, I haven't been doing this and blogging has got a lot harder.

The new job btw is going well.  I'd forgotten what it felt like to have people want my advice, listen to it, follow it and appreciate it (professionally speaking) - and it's so liberating!  My work confidence is returning and I cannot work out why I stayed in that awful place for so long.  People continue to leave there in droves btw...

Also, I feel like I'm not achieving anything with the dieting.  I'm sorely tempted to try SW as Linz is doing so AMAZINGLY, brilliantly well.  But... well, it's all the 'eat 5 Muller lites a day' thing.  I don't want to eat chemical rubbish (although I DO want to be slim.  Or slimmer).  I guess I'd try the 'Red Days' as I don't want to be eating a lot of carbs (I save those for booze or cake).

Speaking of which....

Booze: I passed my Advanced Wine Course with a Merit.  I thought I'd failed so was extremely relieved.  I THINK this means I'm now of sommelier status but I may have mis-read. I will probably go on and do the diploma but it's a massive commitment an I need to think carefully about a couple of issues.

Cake: I had a birthday free cake.  Yes, that is a birthday sans cake.  You may take a moment and mourn with me.  We'd ordered some but they were wrongly delivered before we went off for a week away in Suffolk.  And there are no cupcakes to be had in Suffolk.  Not even for ready money.  Instead we went to ITV's Britain's Best Bakery and had an extremely indifferent iced bun.  Not.  The.  Same.  I'm still not over this - can you tell?  The cakes we'd ordered were from our wedding cake maker and sounded delicious.  I can't even re-order as she makes specific flavours each month.  September's (P's birthday month) do not sound nearly as delicious.

We did some long hikes too and I did have birthday blinis and (of course) champage.  But the Asti I got to go with those cakes languishes sadly in the fridge.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Salad Days

Because of trying to eat low-carb, my work lunchtimes are stultifying similar: essentially salad in the summer and soup in the winter.  I don't know why a sandwich seems more interesting and should seem to have more variables but it does.

I tend to eat the same thing until I can stand it no more and I am lacking inspiration to think of new combinations - so I thought I'd ask you.

At the moment I'm eating chicken and avocado - leaves, marinaded chicken, half an avocado and a couple of baby tomatoes with balsamic dressing

Previous choices I'm now sick of:

1) Smoked salmon and prawn with Marie Rose sauce, half an avocado, cucumber and leaves

2) Proscuitto, dolcelatte and fig with leaves and balsamic dressing

Any bright non-carb ideas?  Any soup ideas also welcome!

Today I have a day's leave and am meeting my mum, niece and nephew to do a treasure hunt in the City and a trip on the river bus and cable car.  Should be active and as my brother lives in Cheshire, I don't see them much.

Tomorrow we have an epic hike with friends - including pub lunch.  I had to check with them whether they'd be okay for a 10 miler as last time we took friends hiking, they were so exhausted they fell asleep in their dinner!  Oops.