Friday, 24 April 2015

Error message: brain disengaged

I lost a measly 1/2lb this week.  I took a deep breath and reasoned it out: I had an excellent loss last week, it’s bound to happen sometimes, it’s still a loss which is better than a gain, it’s okay that I can’t work out why (as panic started slipping its tendrils throughout my brain).  Reader, I was quite proud of myself for not being a drama queen and flinging myself about.

And then.

On Wednesday I had two big pieces of cake at our charity bake sale and some sweets.  Yesterday I had a small plastic beaker of (indifferent) wine and a large handful of some sort of crisp things at book club.  And whilst these are quite modest in the whole arena of binging, neither will do anything to ensure I see a better result on Scales of Doom (SoD) next week.

I wouldn’t say I made these choices in an attitude of despair – more that somehow my subconscious seemed to be making an effort to bring me down.  Metaphorically.  It’s surprising that for me, a poor result tends to erode what little willpower I have, whilst a good one bolsters it.  Which doesn’t exactly explain this week’s result but still.  It’s a vicious spiral that I really have to resist getting sucked into. 

Before next week I have to navigate drinks out with a friend too.  It consistently saddens me that any social occasion is fraught with dieting anxiety which spoils the pleasure that there ought to be in it.  We have P’s nephew and fiancĂ©e over for supper the following week and whilst that’s in a whole different dieting week, it’s already making me anxious.  I’ve said I’ll make a meatball lasagne which defies both the rules around diabetes (containing as it does, pasta) and SW due to excessive cheesiness.  Ditto the tiramisu I’m making for pudding.  My only contingency plan is for small portions (for me) and stringent under synning (*cringe*) throughout the rest of the week.

Friday, 17 April 2015

In SoD we trust (ish)

Hold on to your hat, dear Reader, I lost 3lbs!  On the down side, I don’t know quite what I did to warrant this.  But the plus side... well, I think you can work that out!  This is a Lighterlife rate of loss – and in fact, I did not lose as much as 3lbs most weeks,

And it means I’ve lost 9lbs overall (when you take into account the 1lb I put on) which has taken me into a different stone bracket.  Still a goodyear-blimp stone bracket, but the psychological effect of going down a bracket is not to be sneezed at.  In fact, I keep having anxiety twitches that I misread the stone bit and have in fact put ON 11lbs.  Logically I know that cannot be the case but I still have to keep talking myself down from that point.

My tracking data is still disappointing though.  How can statistical tools have it in for you?!  It’s accepted that I’m going down but refuses to accept I’m ever going to get below a further stone down!  I’d find it really motivational if it showed the projected progress to target.

Anyway, I’m taking a 3lb loss as definite honeymoon material – and I would stress in response to people saying that a loss of 1.5lbs was good, that I completely agree, it’s just that the first couple of weeks I always hope for slightly better results.  I’d certainly be happy with 1.5lb as a steady weekly loss.  I’d like to (if it’s possible and I feel like I’m tempting fate just saying this) lose a stone every three months.  Now, I believe the received wisdom is that a stone every two months is very achievable – so I’m taking into account my historic sluggish losses.  I know, it’s only been 4 weeks so I’ll have to see how I go since I absolutely accept that the first month of a diet is not a template for how it will go thereon in. 

I saw rather a nice idea in the SW mag – someone had bought one of those Pandora bracelets and put a bead charm on for every stone she lost.  I don’t wear silver but if I can find an equivalent in some other material (copper, gold plated, whatever) I may copy this.  I can’t think of a more significant way of reminding yourself a lot of what you’ve achieved to date.  After a quick and furtive look, I may be able to get a leather bracelet and beads from Trollbeads (what a name!) and although the clasps and ends of the beads are silver, it wouldn’t really show too much.  Now all I have to do is lose another 5lbs.  On. It.

Monday, 13 April 2015

WI woes

Dear Reader, feel my pain: I put on 1lb last week.  I know, I know, it was Easter week but I had been really careful in moderating my consumption so I confess I was disappointed.  In the spirit of a glass half full (albeit of syn-free water) here’s what I learnt and will try to do:
  • Exercise makes no difference.  Never think it does.  Killing yourself is laudable I suppose, just don’t expect that SoD will be remotely impressed. 
  • Measure the impact drinking has on weight loss.  I’ve kind of stopped drinking water/green tea.  I have 2 cups of green tea a day and a coffee and that’s pretty much it.  I’ll try upping my water consumption and seeing what impact it has.
  • The other drinking.  I love wine.  I got my exams which qualify me as a sommelier – that’s the extent of my dedication.  But even drinking just at the weekend uses all my syns (*cringe*) for the day.  Not quite sure what to do here.  I don’t think I can give up wine – and sharing a good bottle is part of my relationship with P.  I can limit it to 2 bottles a week – and make sure he has more than half of each of those bottles.  A bottle of fizz followed by a bottle of wine (shared, dear Reader, shared) is going to have to be very infrequent.  Which is a shame as that’s a favourite Saturday night – fizz and the FT links quiz (try it: it’s amazing), then a bottle with dinner.  You have carte blanche to roll your eyes at my very small life!  The quiz may have to be accompanied by a gin and low cal tonic.  Not exactly a hardship but I LOVE fizz.  And we have 3 good bottles currently...  And that STILL tips me over the syn edge.

The SW site has a kind of predictor line – it’s a good tactic to motivate me.  Except at the moment it’s predicting I never get anywhere!  I’m like a flatline of death – stretching as far as the eye can see at full on blimp mode.  I’m hoping it’s a statistical blip and as I put more data in, it will revise its harsh opinion.  I’m hoping it’s not an omen or a tool gifted with foresight.  We shall see. 

Where the SW site is pretty ancient is in adding new syns (*cringe*) against food.  I seem to recall that with WW you could scan barcodes in which was very impressive.  I typed Lindt Creations lemon chocolate into the SW site and it wondered if I meant lemon sole.  Or a variety of absolutely non-allied food stuffs. 

In other SW news: I’ve caved to evil sweeteners.  I really think they’re bad news but there we go.  What broke me was having quark with a tsp of cocoa and a 1/3 tsp of sweetener as a ‘something sweet’ after dinner.  A single syn (*cringe*) in total and as I’m trying to keep the syns (*cringe*) really low during the week, it seemed like a necessary evil. 

At the weekend, I often skip one or both of my ‘healthy eating’ allowances to offset syn-nage – what is milk, after all, when compared with lovely wine?!

And my final bit of SW news: if you’re on SW too, have a look at this lady’s site –  - there are many, many good sounding recipes on there.  The Hunters’ Chicken is another reason I decided to cave on the evil sweetener front.  I’ve not had it yet but it’s definitely pencilled in – as are many of the others.

This week I’m going to have to have a WI after less than a week as I’m not at home Thursday morning.  I feel a bit panicky as I feel like I need every hour of the full week.  I could really do with a better result this week.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015


Well.  It’s been a while.  Easter caught up with me.  Hope yours were all full of chicks, bunnies and lambs – chocolate ones, live fluffy ones, dead meaty ones, according to your preference, dear Reader.

I have been extremely cautious in my chocolate – and all else – consumption.  I suspect that even with this caution, I won’t get a loss this week.  I can’t quite reconcile myself to it but I know I had chocolate and wine – and a 12 miler and 6 miler hikes in Suffolk and a 45 min urban yomp yesterday aren’t going to make any difference.  Even though I found pretty much every step of the 12 miler hard (just was too sluggish) and the last couple of miles were the triumph of dogged determination over ability to continue.  Actually, I never find that exercise has much impact on my weight, sadly. 

It’s a shame that I’m unlikely to get ‘positive endorsement’ from SoD as I’m stuck in one of my spirals of self-loathing at the moment and I could do with something to pick me up a bit.  Not to sound overly dramatic as I know I’ll bump along rock bottom for a bit and then slowly pick myself up again.  The downward plummet is always hard and fast – the recovery is stultifyingly gradual.  I try to distract myself with things like sunshine and spring flowers (the tulips on my balcony have flowered!  I usually have the black gardening thumb of death) but it all only goes so far tbh.

Last week I lost 1.5lbs.  I had hoped the honeymoon period would last longer.  And then I was hit with the horrifying thought: what if this IS the honeymoon period?  What if my losses trickle to the barely perceptible?  This is, after all, my modus operandi.  I’m trying not to play the numbers game (you know: if I lose at xlbs per week, I’ll be y by z) and accept this is going to take a long time whilst it’s happening – but that I’ll look back on it and it won’t feel so long and just keep plodding away.  But even if they’re baby steps, they do need to be in the right direction overall.  Trying not to think about this (or indeed hyper-ventilate thinking about this) until I’ve got a bit more data to work with.  And breathe.

Truth to tell: it IS a positive thing to fix your eyes on the horizon.  We hope to go to Canada in September and it would be SO GOOD to be more comfortable in the plane seats than I would now – space is at such a premium on flights even for the short of leg like myself.  And I think (oh god, here I am DOING THAT VERY (x=y=z) THING) that I could be the same sort of size and weight that I was on my honeymoon and I know I have some nice shirts that would fit then that I could wear with jeans.  That sort of thing helps a bit.  There is no way I could be slim – or even plump – by then, but I could be less fat.  And less fat = more happy for sure.  For me, anyway.

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.