Thursday, 26 March 2015

Pizza good news

Yesterday was a stressful day.  It really shouldn’t have been as I had an unexpected day off.  Having not slept well the night before, I laid in and then was dashing about to go shoe shopping.  As shopping goes, shoe shopping is relatively pain free but not without its perils.  A peril I had entirely overlooked though was forgetting my purse.  I had to go all the way home again and then go back.  I was already feeling a bit wretched about myself and this nearly broke me.  Back I went however.

What this meant was that I was in a shopping centre having just had berries and FF yoghurt to sustain me and with no idea what I could have for lunch.  I was so hungry I felt sick and dizzy but with a WI this morning, dared not eat anything.  What I really wanted was a Franco Manca pizza.  These are amazing if you’ve not had them – proper sourdough crust with a smear of topping so relatively healthy for pizza I’d assume.  But assuming was too dangerous to risk.  I’d not had my calcium extra so I had a skinny Starbucks frappuccino.  At 3pm.  And because I was about to collapse at that point, forgot to get a decaff – which of course meant I didn’t sleep well last night either.  Still, it kept me conscious for the journey home which, whilst a mixed blessing, is probably the safer course of action in my ‘hood (it’s East London so I’m totally allowed to say that).

I still mourn that pizza but.... well, SoD granted me an extraordinary 5lb loss.  Now, I did cheat a little in that I weighed myself post-dinner in the evening last week a few days before I had my period, whereas this was first thing and empty.  But given that I’d had to negotiate two lunches out and a party AND my recalcitrant blubber-hoarding body, this is in itself a little miracle.  AND I’d been fretting over spending some of my syns (*pause to shudder*) on a much anticipated chocolate bar yesterday.  At 10, it was only 2/3 of my allocation but I keep as many of them as I can to guard against wine (and gin) consumption at the weekend.  Not together, it’s not some cocktail.  I had 3 glasses of wine and a G&T over the course of the weekend – this is, in truth, slightly under a normal weekend’s consumption.  We’ll see.

I’m not enjoying the diet at all.  I do not like fat free stuff (the yoghurt that Linz likes is, to me, the consistency of gelatinous phlegmmy, sticky gobbing (not mine: I don’t gob)) and because the ‘all you can eat’ element of SW is carbs, I’m not getting that bonus side to it.  But you can’t argue with results like that.  I’m gritting my teeth and carrying on.

Perils ahead for this week: the wedding (all the usual concerns about food/drink, exacerbated with the temptation to drink out of nerves) and dinner at a friend’s house.  I think we can all see which one of these could scare the horses.  It certainly scares me. 

Long term forecast: Easter.  Season of chocolate and hot cross buns.  I have one small egg, will get one from P and one from the Secret Bunny at work.  It is also season of hiking which is not a reason to think I deserve chocolate.  It will have to be eeked out and synned (*shudder*).

Friday, 20 March 2015

Of SoD and SW

I was hungry yesterday and I am panicking a little bit.  I can sort of accept the low fat element of SW (except for butter: margarine is just yellow slime-filth and I have it on so little) but I still want to keep my carbs down.  I note that avocados are still the devil, at the same “syn” (*winces*) value as my favourite chocolate bar (Fry’s Chocolate Cream if you’re asking).  I’m not convinced they are nutritionally on a par but I’m setting that aside with just a sceptical hard stare.

I’ve been trying to think my way through a weekly menu (and like Seren’s mum, may end up on a slightly monotonous treadmill here) and I think I’ll do:

Breakfast – LF yoghurt with berries and nuts as my “HEA”.  Or B, can’t remember...  Glad to see that I can have nuts as my carb choice actually.  Thanks Linz for the yoghurt advice.  I would have omelette at the weekend but an omelette without cheese is a travesty.
Lunch – will have to be salad but I will need to sort myself out as it’s impossible to buy non-carby salad, they’re all pasta, rice or quinoa (as the grain a la mode).  Also I need not to have the same salad every day or I’ll get bored with it – once a week on rotation is okay.  So cobb salad with chicken and bacon, seafood salad with celery, cucumber, prawns and crab sticks (yes, I know they’re filth but I love them), ploughwoman’s with ham, egg and coleslaw, celeriac remoulade with mackerel or prosciutto and tomato salad and.... I need one more.
Dinner – easier somehow.  Fish and veg (I had celeriac chips and a corn cob last night), bolognaise with courgette, chilli stuffed in peppers.  I’ll need to come up with some more but this is not as hard as lunch for me.

Any tips/bright ideas/recipes most gratefully received.  Got to dash now but must tell you about an infuriating and disempowering trip to the GP.

And PS I DID email Orchard Corsets after so many of you urged me to do so.  They haven’t replied. Says everything.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Feel the fear.... and then run like hell

Have I started SW, gentle Reader?  Have I heck.  I wanted to use this weekend to swot up on it and to buy the necessary things.  Because it somehow always does involve necessary things that are never in your cupboard.  What I actually did was buy rugs, make two ‘oh-but-it-will-taste-nice’ cakes for mother’s day – and then ferry said cakes around South London and Kent in mother’s day traffic (aka queues and gridlock).  In fact, because of ferrying and visiting on Sunday, I pretty much only ate cake all day and it made me feel absolutely lousy.  Not because of the cakes, I hasten to add: they DID taste nice.  And no-one would ever have mistaken them for anything shop bought, looking at them.  P looked at them and said “you don’t like our mothers much, do you?” which made me laugh.  His mum got the weirdly shaped cake and mine got the rather burnt version.  Anyway, nice as they tasted, too much cake is definitely a thing and a thing that makes me feel unpleasantly ill.

What the weekend did not include was any sort of supermarket shopping at all.  Which will also make this week somewhat challenging – notwithstanding diet aspirations.

There’s also the fear factor in approaching SoD who slumbers on under the bed, undisturbed and probably powerless (since his batteries are in all likelihood dead).  Awakening that sort of malevolence is a fearsome thing.  And I am a coward.

Random thoughts/concerns re SW (any answers gratefully received from Linz/Lesley/anyone who knows their SW stuff):

  1. 1.    Do they push artificial sweetener?  I really hate it.  I can’t drink so much as a diet coke these days.  The only exception is Fevertree ‘naturally light’ tonic in a healthy whack of gin.  Muller lights – seemingly the bedrock of SW – NO!  Which leads me on to...
  2. 2.    Fats.  This concerns me.  Not, in this case, my own.  Are SW anti fat?  I’m guessing so.  I have dialled down my morning yoghurt from full fat to 2% but don’t relish going fat free.  Mainly taste but also because every bit of modern research I’ve seen says that full-fat is actually much better for you – in terms of satiety and health.
  3. 3.    Badger: re groups.  Bizarrely the only one in Central London which is after work and not a drop-in (because seriously, who pays to get weighed?) is one that I went to a few years ago when I was influenced to try SW by the frankly inspirational cakesandbunting.blogspot (alas, now no longer blogging I think).  It was like the Little Britain sketch and I got severe jaw ache from tightly clenching my teeth so as not to shriek at them demonically.  It even had a ‘good table’ and a ‘naughty table’.  The good table was every kind of chemical abomination known to womankind btw – nothing natural at all.  It was mostly the widest variety of Mullerlights and rice cakes I have ever seen in my life (and all their own stuff)
  4. 4.    Linz: do you have a recipe for the cottage cheese muffin thingys?  Do you eat them hot or cold?  I eat breakfast at my desk (during the week) but I do have access to a microwave.... Can you cook them then heat them up?

And bra stuff:
  1. 1.    Stephbospoon: you were right about it being too tight.  They’ve increased the band size and they are a lot more comfortable.  They were actually very good in sorting this out. Blods: worth trying Bravissimo but really persevering if the bras are uncomfortable/painful.  No shimmying required Badger – although some manoeuvring and heavy duty haulage on my part.
  2. 2.    Slummy Mummy: will definitely have a look at Elomi, thanks for the tip.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Orchard Corsets - whittle your confidence, not your waistline

I bought a corset with a few aims in mind.  The obvious one being to try and get a better shape – but also I was interested in waist training to achieve a permanently smaller waist, in improving my posture and in the alleged side effect of reducing appetite.  All these aims had one thing in common: to boost my self esteem and make me feel a bit better about myself.

Those aims engendered enough hope that I put aside qualms about ordering from the US.  I’d researched carefully online and Orchard Corsets seemed to be the best – there was loads of help online for instance.  Recognising that I knew next to nothing about corsets, I opted for what seemed like an excellent service and submitted all my measurements for them to recommend a style and advise on size. 

I got it surprisingly quickly – 3 weeks – which was good as I wanted to wear it in sufficiently that I could wear it to this party (next weekend) and the wedding (weekend after). 

When I had the great try-on of 27 dresses, I thought I’d put it on to get the full effect.  I watched the youtube clip carefully and tried to follow the instructions but I could not fasten the clips down the front (or only the top or top and bottom), even with the laces almost fully apart.  I emailed them, getting the lady who’d advised on fitting in the first place. 

Now, given that this was about trying to boost my self-esteem, can you imagine the damage she caused when she advised me to “lose a few inches”?  Or sell on ebay and buy a bigger one.  The latter is crass and grasping but the first piece of official advice has just made me want to shrink further into my shell and made me quite literally scarlet with embarrassment and humiliation. 

So much for US customer service being better than that in the UK.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The resurrection of SoD

Reader, I bought three more dresses.  One is yet to be tried but all the rest were an emphatic no.  So that was 7 dresses for the wedding, 1 of which I'm yet to try.  For the party which is NEXT WEEK I kept one dress (of, um, 5 I think) which was... meh.  Less awful than the others.  That's probably as warm as I can be about it.

Maybe not everyone can wear dresses.  But I look at instagram accounts etc of women roughly my size and they look GOOD in a dress.  Why don't I?  Yes, that's largely (ho, ho) rhetorical, but if you DO have insight, then please do, as they say, spill.  Because I like dresses and they're easy (or should be).

I'm probably wearing a skirt I already have for the wedding.  I have yet to sort a top to go with it.  Fine-knit, smart knitwear anyone?  I mean, where can I purchase such a thing?  Probably navy.  The only thing that has made my heart sing is the hat.  I don't have it yet, but it looked lovely and I do love hats.  The hat will make it look smart, right?  I only wish I could feel the same about buying other stuff which, without wanting to sound overly hysterical, scars my psyche.

Tenuous link coming up....

I saw my mad professor today.  The fat specialist.  He's suggested that I "diet-cycle" and see if that works as my weight is currently creeping further up.  We've agreed that I'll start with 6 months of SW as the least bonkers 'eat all this sugar and carbs as long as you don't touch evil fat' option - which is necessary for my blood sugar levels.  I need to do some research for SW and will probably start - as is tradition - on Monday (giving me a chance to buy the designated stuff at the supermarket at the weekend).  I'll be doing their low carb, high protein option (Red?) and any tips anyone has for breakfasts and lunches especially would be very gratefully received.

The worst part of this is that I will have to get intimate with Scales of Doom again.  I do not think that languishing under the bed, unused and despised for several years will have altered their inherent evilness.  Truth to say, I don't want to know what I weigh as I know it will send me into a real frenzy of self-loathing and an increased reluctance to leave the flat and face anyone.  Equally, I know that the number on SoD will set my mood for the week: I will fear it and fret and get anxious before each WI and then either feel relief (and fear that it won't last) if the numbers are down, or misery and self-loathing if they are up.  It's no weigh to live.

But neither is this.

My heart is beating faster - physically - with the thought of all this.  Not in a good way - it's fear, pure and simple.  I am DREADING the wedding and the party.  I feel like I want to scuttle home and stay there as much as possible.  I am trying to cajole myself into thinking I could lose a bit before these events but a) the party will be a mere 5 days after I start The Diet (the wedding 12 days) and b) I think we all know where that madness ends up.

I'm going to need you.  I'll be reading your blogs and writing more frequently (insane work period permitting).  Please let me have your blog addresses as I think I only have Seren's, Lesley's and Linz's at the moment.

Friday, 20 February 2015

27 dresses

Well, you were so good on the advice on the whole bra thing (which I must update you on another time) that I'm going to push you into the Gok corner again.  No need for whacky glasses or camp prancing, just some good fashion advice.  And yes, control underwear is an obvious must (any recommendations?).

So, I’ve ordered 3 dresses for the party and 2 for the wedding.  Plus I have 2 dresses under consideration already.  How many of these do you think I’ll have to choose from?  I strongly suspect 0.

Dresses to wear to the party: I’ve ordered 3.  One of them is a lovely teal colour (one of my favourite colours) but it has the potential to make me look like a pillow with a belt round (not, dear Reader, a look I’m in a hurry to embrace), one is red (I love red but blue-reds do not suit me so it depends on colour as well as everything else) and the other it’s not clear whether it’s to wear as a long tunic or a dress.  If it’s the former then we have the whole what to wear it over issue but if I got some decent jeggings, it might work.

Dresses to wear to the wedding: of the two I have, I think the one I really like (navy with a cherry print and for which I have a fabulous hat) I’m sure will be too small and I’m too chicken to try it on as it will be too upsetting if this is the case.  The other I think will fit but won’t look nice (I’m not at all sure I can do dresses at all tbh – too much stomach).  Of the two I’ve bought (online so who knows what the translation into reality will be), one is going to be too fitted I think – and possibly a bit OTT.  The other is a lovely colour (teal again) but was suspiciously cheap, is strapless (not insurmountable but would have to wear it with a cover up, bra notwithstanding) and may be empire line (makes most people look pregnant) or may not.

The emergency fall back is a skirt I bought and have only worn once.  But then I have the whole find-a-top business.  It’s kind of a 50’s style – A line with a slight net underneath to make it stick out, white with blue cabbage style roses on (so looks mostly blue).  Would I get away with a thin-knit sweater/cardigan top do you think?  I could do with something that made it seem smarter – a bit of embroidery for example.  And I’d need to source a hat.  At least hats fit, no matter what your dress size!  [Goes off, checks hats, finds several BEAUTIFUL hats].  For hats, if nothing else, I am confident I’ll find something that suits me and that I love.  Perhaps I could just go as a head, a la Max Headroom?

I don't mind trying 27 dresses - even if I have to pay p+p out to me and returns - if only I could be sure that one would ultimately work.  For each occasion.  Greedy?  Well, isn't that just the story of my life!

Friday, 13 February 2015

What lies beneath

On Tuesday I bit a bullet (bra) and went to consult Bravissimo on whether it was even possible for me to have bras that didn’t cause pain.  This is not yet another tribute to 50 Shades of..., there is nothing remotely sexy about wheals, however warped unusual your preference.  I have actual scarring from the previous but one haul of bras, the last lot was bought to escape scarring on my (deeply buried) upper ribcage.  This lot didn’t hurt there but did cause an actual open wound beneath and between my boobs – when I went to Bravissimo it was just a wheal so deep that it had gone from red to blue.  And some chafing from the straps.

I don’t really enjoy the process of buying bras – I’d count it as a necessary evil.  It’s mainly the stripping off that bothers me.  And I always feel very sorry for anyone who has to touch me (see also: massages).  The girl was very sweet but disconcertingly young, pretty and perky.  I have three new bras – the jury is still out on whether they’re just going to cause damage in a different area.  I no longer buy matching knickers as I kind of feel I don’t deserve nice lingerie.  But my anal Virgo side finds it deeply traumatic to mis-match cotton knickers from M&S with different bras.  I try and tone the colours but it’s really deeply unsatisfactory.

I think we’ll save diets for the next post and stick with the underwear theme.

So.  With enormous trepidation I have ordered a corset. A proper one with steel girders (or whatever they call them – they’ll need to be kryptonite to achieve anything like the wasp waist on me that the more normally proportioned girls achieve).  The site is called Orchard Corsetry and my corset has already started its journey from Wenatchee somewhere in the USA.  I bought it after seeing some amazing results on admittedly far more slender and more beautiful women than me (see the quite spectacular George @ but have since found out about waist training.  Yes, it sounds gruesome if you give it any deep thought but you essentially wear a corset until your organs shift about and you get a more defined waist.  I bet that’s overly simplistic but...  Excitingly, as well as improving your posture, it acts as an external lap band.  Got to be worth a try if I can woman-up enough to get used to it and stick to it.  (Not to mention getting the flipping thing on.)  I had an integral one in my wedding dress and actually found it okay.  Fingers crossed.