Sunday, 25 November 2018

The Flab Four

Serious change to my MO here - actually writing from home.  I don't have a proper keyboard so always post from work - but recently work has been getting the way of posting.  The nerve.  And I'm aware that it's been aaaaages since I last posted.

I don't think I actually have an overall loss since that last time.  Hidden within that stark number is the 4lbs that I put on and take off and put on and take off... I didn't do too well at the discipline around a planned cheat.  This is something I need to get better at - especially with the festive scene nudging up against us, and brandishing treats.  And I'd like to make some progress that will stop me bouncing blobbily back up to the stone bracket I worked so long and hard to escape.  I'm still just a few lbs off 3 stone - but never getting any closer to it.  It would be good to get a couple of lbs under that by the Christmas insanity.

As it is, I don't have the sort of social life that all women's magazines seem to think we do - all those articles on glittery evening wear, who do they aim that stuff at?  Reader: do you spend the whole of Christmas shimmying from one black tie do to another?  Maybe it's just me...

But the silver lining here is that I don't have innumerable social functions - and all the attendant food and drinks - to navigate.  We have a cheap and cheerful team lunch - which I may not be able to go to anyway because my workload is increasing and stockpiling up to Christmas week.  I won't be sorry if I don't - I suffer from societal anxiety which means large groups are miserable for me, even if I know them all and I can duck the high quantity, low quality food that this will inevitably involve.  We have a weekend away in Aldeburgh which will be quite foodie and a good opportunity for me to practice the discipline-around-planned-cheats thing.  And dinner the Friday before Christmas with my stepson and his current girlfriend - it's a set meal with small portions so it's just the booze to navigate.  I've foresworn cocktails for gin and diet tonics, which is a small help.  But P and his son (and the gf, to a lesser extent) are absolute booze hounds, when they get together and egg each other on.  By that time, we're deep into festive excesses in any case.  (See also: the discipline-around-planned-cheats thing).

Also on the threats list would be the return of Christmas tapas!  I am calorie counting those so that shouldn't derail me (those mini pies! Ouch.  They are having to be a meal on their own).  But there is definitely an increase in temptation at this time of year - and I am absolutely rubbish at resisting.  I'm trying not to think about the variety of deliciousness suddenly adorning every shop, every ad, every everything, whilst edging around them both literally and figuratively.

And on the opportunities list: I have my third fill on Thursday.  As you know, I haven't had any reaction to the fills so far (although perhaps there's something in Lesley's idea that there has been a slight psychological effect).  I can't help but think that surely, SURELY, it must work this time.  In any case, I have a very hungry, difficult three days ahead of liquids only.  Last time I thought that would cause a jolt down on the scales and it didn't.  And yes, I'm still sulking about that.  But maybe this time...  Fingers crossed. And then we'll see.

Thursday, 8 November 2018


And we’re off.

Or, rather, I’m off.  I am seeing the next few days as hurdles I have to clear.  Thank goodness they’re metaphorical or I’d have no chance.  As it is, I suspect I have little chance but damnit I am going to try.  

Tomorrow we’re going out to dinner with my stepson and to meet his new girlfriend.  The new girlfriend is clearly biding her time before appearing in TOWIE or Love Island.  I am not sure where I will look.  Must be worse for P.  Although hopefully she will consider dinner with her boyfriend’s dad might be an occasion to wear more, um, clothes.  I suppose if you’ve paid a lot for them, you want to get them out as often as possible – return on investment, cost per wear and all that.

Then we’re going out to dinner (just me and P!) for our wedding anniversary on Saturday.  I think it’s the type of place that has small, beautiful courses – which will suit us both actually.  (Roux at the Landau.  Seren: have you been?) We went for dinner with a friend last Saturday – I didn’t think it was a lot of food but I was in actual pain that night.  Neither of us like being over-full, it’s such a horrible feeling – but this was actual physical pain.  I guess there is some effect from the band, even if it’s not fully functional.

I am still doing this dieting malarky by myself – in that the band isn’t helping me yet.  Hopefully at some point my band will be at optimal fill and my hunger will decrease (not my greed of course, that would have to be a very tight band in my brain somewhere and they don’t offer that - yet).  I do have to be careful not to stretch my pouch however (my new stomach – which is above my main stomach).  We paid a lot of money for this and I don’t want to ruin it.  It’s quite tricky when you don’t have the sensation of being full and then bam, it’s painful a few hours later.  It’ll get easier when it kicks in properly and small portions are sufficient to fill me up.   Even then, I think I will calorie count – I won’t fret if I’m under (ha) but I don’t want to inadvertently go over. 

A restaurant may be easier in any case – you don’t worry about offending anyone by leaving any of your food, it doesn’t come with food for ‘seconds’ and there’s rarely a cheese course that just consists of enormous slabs of cheese sitting on the table for an hour or so as people pick away.  I don’t eat a lot of cheese – and I never bother with biscuits or bread – but it’s still an additional course.  I am cheering myself up, thinking about this, perhaps it will be easier than eating at someone’s house.  I can do this!

My very modest plan is just to keep the rest of the two days as dieting – I suddenly get a glimpse of a world of non-dieting and am inclined to joyfully seize the bit and gamble off into a meadow of sinful gluttony.  And of course to get back to normal first thing Sunday.  Normal for me, that is (so c1000 calories a day).  I’m pretty sure I am going to be on some diet or other for the rest of my life – I just have to make it work for me and that will always include the occasional meal out.  I need to learn – and practice – how to manage those occasions within the overall diet without either freaking out or hurling myself out of the wagon.  It has to be possible.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Ghost in the machine

It’s really hard when I can see other people’s blogs but I can’t comment on them!  I lurk, invisible, reading Seren’s and Leslie’s blogs but although I can leave an anonymous comment on Seren’s, Leslie’s will have none of me. But Venice! Wedding dresses! Consternation at a blue Leslie...

I don’t know why exactly, but it makes me feel disengaged from this whole bloggy world – as if I don’t really exist….  Weird….

Anyway, I’m awfully substantial for someone who is invisible!  Although I have finally – FINALLY – dropped into the next stone bracket.  Now I have my sights fixed on getting my third stone gone – that’s only 3lbs away.  And then it will be the half stone in my current stone bracket and then…. And then… Must not get ahead of myself. 

Especially since I have a foodie time coming up.  I’m choosing to see it as a challenge to not relax my discipline around those moments, but not to fret and be unable to enjoy them.  We’re going to a friend of P’s for dinner tomorrow – she’s a good cook but luckily is unlikely to be doing ridiculous portions.  Breakfast the next day might be trickier – it’s usually croissants or cereal.  I don’t drink milk so cereal is out…. I definitely do worse when I can’t plan in advance.  I tend to panic and make a decision which I later decide was the wrong one and then self-flagellate indefinitely.

Next Tuesday I’m meeting my old boss for a drink. I’ll probably be a bit nervous as she’s very polished. Lovely, but I always feel like a mess next to her. She’d be appalled...

Next Friday we’re meeting my step-son and his new girlfriend (who, by the looks of things, is not the sort of woman who has female friends – if you know what I mean).  I’ve already seen a lot more of her than I’d ideally like (courtesy of Instagram) – and I’ve not met her yet.  And then Saturday it’s our wedding anniversary and we’re going for a posh dinner. 

But one thing at a time.  Focus on making as good choices as possible this weekend.  Sometimes I let the enormity of all the ‘problems’ turn me into panicky jelly.  So focus on one step at a time and remember these are not ‘problems’, but should be looked forward to, calmly and dispassionately.
This is a terribly boring post – sorry!

Monday, 22 October 2018


Seriously.  It’s getting ridiculous.  I lost the holiday weight - and another ½ lb would take me into the next stone back and then, booooiiiiing, I’m back up over it by 1.5lbs.  Am I ever going to get there?  I mean, yes, presumably yes, but goodness it’s wearying. 

We were away for the weekend which meant a dinner out and a breakfast out.  I did particularly well with dinner.  I ate very small portions and gave the rest of it away.  I even ate half an ├ęclair and stopped as I wasn’t enjoying it.  I did less well with breakfast.  Not the full English, which I really don’t like, but they wouldn’t substitute scrambled for poached egg in a Benedict and unless I’m prepared, I tend to panic and make a random choice.  In this case, a bacon sandwich – which was okay, the bacon wasn’t great (I dissected the sandwich and removed all the bacon fat – not through virtue, but through preference).  I had two freshly squeezed red grapefruit juices though, which is just liquid calories, and had a mini pain au chocolate.  So, I guess that accounts for my 1.5lbs on in two days.

I don’t have a single social thing until Friday – and that’s a party which I’m assuming has no food, so I should be able to manage that.  I’m hoping to get rid of that 1.5lb and it would be lovely to get out of this stone bracket that I’ve been in since 13 July.  OMG, I wish I hadn’t looked that up, that’s ridiculous.

It doesn’t help that work is pretty stressful at the moment (and not in a good way) AND our acting head of the team brought in a big drum of Hallowe’en sweets.  Sugar is disastrous for me – I seem incapable of eating just one or two.  Then I try and compensate when it comes to dinner.  I must stop this or we’ll get to mid-November and I STILL won’t have reached a new stone bracket.  I’m taking my shock and using it.

As I mentioned, I had a fill a couple of weeks ago and hoped it would exact a jump-start in the weight loss department.  It didn’t.  And I still don’t have any sensation of being fuller – I’m doing this entirely through calorie counting.   I need to cut the sweets and keep my resolve and self-control up, it’ll be Christmas before we know it and that is feasting season.  Even eating less and being careful, I doubt I’ll do any better than STS, so I need to do all I can to get it down before then.

Ho ho ho.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Back to life, back to reality

I’ve been back just over a week – we got back last Thursday.  It was a great holiday (British Columbia, Washington State and Oregon).  We caught up with friends in BC – and made some more friends – at the beginning and end of the 2.5 week holiday and travelled around Washington and Oregon in between – lots of wine tasting.  I was pretty good with food – I just stopped eating when the portions were big and I continually asked myself whether I was enjoying/still enjoying it.  If I wasn’t, I stopped.  Sounds soooo simple, doesn’t it?  Actually, it was quite hard.  And we pretty much drank every night (except a couple of nights when I was driving us back to whichever hotel, whereas usually I only drink one night a week (because of the calories).  Not much sweet stuff though – the desserts were generally not tempting enough and/or I was too full. 

I didn’t take the bigger pair of jeans because I weighed my case and it was WAY overweight (sigh, even my CASE is bloody overweight).  In fact, I couldn’t even pick the case up to weigh it, so I panicked and took stuff out.  The two pairs of jeans I took were absolutely fine.  I was nervous to wash them when we got home in case I then couldn’t get them on, but, well, they needed washing since I pretty much wore jeans the whole time I was there – with just a few of the hotter days in a linen skirt.  But again, it was fine.

Even so, I was dreading getting on the scales.  Well, you would, wouldn’t you.  Gloomily, I predicted 7-10lbs.  So I was VERY pleasantly surprised to have ‘only’ put on 2.5lbs from the day before we went, and a total up of 4lbs from my lightest weight (on this diet), at the beginning of that week.  Of that, I have lost a little (1.5lbs).  BUT.  (And there always is a but, unfortunately).  I have had a second fill.  That means I’ve been on fluids only for three days.  I thought this would give me a sharp loss (I’d really like to get into the next stone bracket down) but I’ve not lost so much as an ounce.  Rude.  Today I’m on soft food (and will be for three days), but will have eaten a bit over my calorie count of 1000.  The last couple of days have been c780-ish.  I’m still under when you count my exercise (which is just walking), so I’m trying not to worry about it.

Another thing I’m trying not to worry about is brunch with friends on Sunday.  We don’t get to see them much so no way was I going to pass up on the opportunity, but a) I’m still on soft food and b) calories.  I don’t like English cooked breakfasts in any case, so easy to resist that.  I have looked at the menu, intending to have yoghurt and granola or porridge.  Well, they don’t have that.  I’m going to go for an omelette with cheese, mushrooms and herbs.  I think that will be okay in terms of getting it down with no drama involved.  Not too sure about calories but I’ll just have to be careful with my other meal.  Fingers crossed I see a (downward) shift on the scales soon.

Have good weekends!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Wrong direction

Okay, I’ve been sulking.  I’m stuck on a plateau, putting on and taking off again the same sodding lb.  This means when it’s off, I’m ½lb off getting in to the next stone down and when it’s on, it’s impossible.  In the last month I’ve lost 2lbs.  Even for a birthday month, that’s pretty poor.  This morning another chubby lb joined it – I am going in the wrong direction.

I’m kind of torn.  On the one hand, my surgeon said I’d lose 3lbs in the first three months (I haven’t).  Then the company say most people lose the most weight in the second year, once the right fill level is established.  Since I’m failing at the first, I’m hoping for the latter – although I’d rather take some more weight off in the next nine months please.  I am not good at waiting at the best of times.

Of course there’s always a risk that you get what you wished for.  My next fill is the Tuesday after we get home from holiday.  I have to go back on liquids and then mush following that in any case.  If the fill suddenly kicks in, I may not be able to eat much. 

Still, as that comes after the holiday, it might be a relief.  I am absolutely determined to not wreck everything in the course of two and a half weeks, but I know I will be eating differently and drinking more.  Incidentally, is it acceptable to share a main course in the US?  It’s just that I reckon if I ate a third of a pasta dish, say, and gave P two thirds, that would be about right for both of us – but if this is considered rude, I will have to accept wasting a lot of food in some of the more everyday places we’ll eat (we’re going to a couple of nice restaurants in Walla Walla, one of which we’ve been to before, and their serving sizes are fine).   I really hate the feeling of being overly full – and I need to remember that when greed kicks in, if something is delicious.  I’m thinking of the amazing diner in Cle Elum where their mac and cheese is delicious but larger than a family size portion from, say, M&S.  And it comes with garlic bread!  P had meatloaf there and it came with the amount of carrots you would give a large family with a roast.  I’ve never seen so many carrots on one plate!  They’re famous for pie (the pudding kind), but does anyone make it that far?  I can’t imagine so!

I’m running on 90% nervous energy.  I have a lot to do before leaving tomorrow.  I absolutely don’t know if it will all fit, as I can’t make my brain stop panicking for long enough to have any sort of coherent thought.  If only I were someone for whom nervous energy and stress translated into a metabolism running at warp speed.  If only…

Assuming I don’t successfully claim asylum in Canada, or am taken down with the whole of the US (although West Coast has to be pretty safe, right) in a Trump-related incident, see you in October.  Fatter, I know, but determined to get on and lose that weight and more.

Friday, 31 August 2018


I lived well – but not too well.  I definitely didn’t eat more than a third of things I wanted to.  I would say I ate like a ‘slim person’ but only if that person was eaten alive by jealousy when looking at her husband’s portion of fish and chips versus her own.  With further thought, I am retracting that plaudit!  I also had one instance where I overate – P had made his carbonara on my actual birthday, and I absolutely love his carbonara.  I told him to give me a small portion – when it arrived, I knew it was too big, really, I could have taken a third out and it would have been about right.  And then I ate three small macarons – really because I didn’t know how to count them MFP the following day.  Obviously not a good reason.  Anyway, I felt really, really ill.  This is a salutary lesson for our trip to US and Canada.  Ideally, I eat roughly half a UK portion – I think it will be closer to a quarter in the US and probably Canada too.  I really don’t want to feel that ill again.  I do hope these are not famous last words and I remember the (hours of) pain…

I steeled myself to get on SoD on Tuesday to start afresh.  I didn’t manage this every day of the weekend, as I should have done, mainly because I didn’t want the feelings of failure and misery which attack me when the scales go up, to spoil the weekend.  I anticipated as much as a half stone, just to prepare myself for the worst.  Reader, it was a single lb on.  Now, clearly I’ve dodged a bullet – or at least I have for now.  Not yet convinced that it won’t come back and bite me on my lardy arse.  So WI this week was still +1lb.  I’m still teetering just above the next stone bracket down.  I’d love to get there before my holiday (in two weeks’ time).  You know, Reader, how gratifying it is to see a stone down on the old SoD.

I have a couple of social things in the next couple of weeks – one should be okay, the other is potentially a tricky one.  The first is dinner with P tonight.  We’re going to a fish restaurant so it will be a modest affair (in terms of calories) – we usually have a seafood platter between us.  I will have a glass of wine though – and we’re meeting in a bar first, but over the course of the week, this is a manageable ‘splurge’ I think,  and I am at least doing quite a bit of walking today.  The other is the Harry Potter afternoon tea (I KNOW!) with one of my best friends.  Cakes and sarnies are not compatible with a diet at all.  It’s just before the next but one WI too, so is likely to skew my result.  As ever though, it means battling my ‘perfect’ versus ‘nothing’ approach: that really, really strong temptation that, since I’m not ‘doing it’ a bit, I may as well not ‘do it’ at all.  It causes me a ridiculous amount of mental anguish – it’s a constant refrain going through my head and it’s exhausting.  Even my fish supper tonight is tempting me to have something naughty today – as I won’t be able to fill out my MFP diary.  It doesn’t help that trying to wrestle a very drunk husband into bed last night, means I have not had anywhere NEAR enough sleep that I need and I’ve not slept well at all this week anyway.  So I want chocolate.  And I so want chocolate.  Deep breaths.  And there are cookies in the office – not ones I like, admittedly, but I so want one.  Or two.  This is why I need to just take deep breaths.  So.  Tired.