Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Future perfect

Oh dear, it’s all a bit heavy weather at the moment.  And of course, heavy me.  I looked back at my numbers and essentially I’ve been faffing about in this stone bracket for about a year I think.  I need to get down another stone bracket (and another and another .... repeat ad lib to fade).  And I feel better if I’m on course and not mucking about – Monday evening, at the end of a long starve day, I felt... I don’t know, powerful?  In control?  Determined?  Yes, all of those.

But as we know, dear Reader, it’s the non-starve days where I mess up.  Yesterday was a challenge; today has been a challenge.  Yesterday as a strict-diet-but-not-starve day added an additional potential spanner in that I had to travel for work (nowhere exciting or exotic) and stay in a Travelodge.  This posed two problems: one, the only food nearby was a Toby Carvery (*shudder*) or a Burger King.  Now, I’ve not been to a Burger King for years, but onion rings and a fat burger issued something of a siren song (yes, I’m totally thinking of singing burgers now...  Surreal.).  Two: being away from home overnight somehow is a trigger to ‘treat’ myself to chocolate and/or cake.  Reader: I bought a low calorie chicken salad and some fruit from M&S before getting the train (almost missing the train in the process and only finding out later that I was on a breakaway half of the train which was suddenly going elsewhere.  But that’s by the by). I even had to go to a petrol station right by the Travelodge (remember what I said about not exciting or exotic?!) and only bought a bottle of water.  If there was any justice in the world, I would have a spectacular loss just for this.

But there’s more.

Today would ordinarily be a starve day.  But with an early start and a work thing away from the office – a work thing with much pressure and many snacks – I knew my usual routine would be hard to stick to.  And then a friend happens to be in London and we’re meeting for a couple of cocktails.  Well, there it is, right there, I might as well eat freely (and plentifully) and starve tomorrow, right?  Wrong.  I’ve eaten frugally – if somewhat randomly – in a kind of semi-starve day and will still do a starve day tomorrow.  I’ll probably be steaming drunk on a couple of cocktails but there we go.

I suspect though that I’m not going to have a good result on the WI tomorrow – only one proper starve day plus evening cocktails tonight is likely to lead to a mean and vicious Scales of Doom tomorrow.  But I feel kind of proud of myself – I just can’t sustain that if my weight doesn’t go down.  We’re likely to be going to Canada in late September and I’d really like to be out of this stone bracket, through the next and into the one below that.  I know.  But I can’t help but hope for this just the same.

PS Canada- we may be going to Nova Scotia for some of it AND (if there are any other Anne Shirley fans out there – she’s the patron saint of all ginger girls with overactive imaginations) we may even go to PEI!  I am actually ‘squeeee-ing’, if only on the inside.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The numbers game

Yesterday: cups of green tea = 1 (down from 6), temperature in office = 32 °C (measured but climbing), number of umbrellas in bag = 0, number of torrential showers caught in = 1, number of loose paving stones that sent a tsunami of dirty water over me from above the knee downwards = 2, number of expensive haircuts ruined by rain = 1.

It was not a good day.  It was a Monday. Nuff said.

Oh.  Those numbers.  Well, I’m still gently ricocheting between 2lbs over the half stone mark to 1lb under it.  I really need to make progress down into the next stone bracket – I’ve been in this one since February.  I’m still finding it hard but trying to rein in.  Today for example is a Dieting B day (not starve but not weekend) I’ve just eaten some pickled onion Burton’s Daily Fish n Chips (123 calories) and I really want to eat another bag.  I’m telling myself that I must wait for 20 mins and then see if I still want them.  Ssssh though – I’m not going to have them then either.  I’m also eating out tonight with a friend in Wahaca and I’ve researched the lowest calorie options.  And the colleague – and friend – who buys a steady stream of snacks for the team is on leave for 2 weeks so I don’t have to resist/succumb to those. 

On the negative side, I had booze twice at the weekend.  I usually have 1 aperitif and share a bottle of wine (making sure I have the lesser share) just once a week.  On Sunday we had (extremely delicious) English fizz.  This was a kind of reward for making it through a family lunch – in-laws.  And that’s not fair as they’re mostly very nice but my MIL picks the worst places to eat so we knew what to expect.  The waiter was like a cross between Basil Fawlty and Manuel.  He kept leaning on my shoulder as I was seated, or punctuating his exclamations by swatting my arm.  He even managed to spit on me.  We had a tussle over the right way to lay a table (he was wrong) and he brought serving plates of food from which he – quite literally lobbed – food on to our plates in a jumbled mess.  And it tasted as good as it looked -  Seren would have been appalled.  I left a lot of mine and palmed my pudding off on to P.  The best thing was the After Eight at the end.

Let’s see where all this takes me to on Thursday WI.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Not waving but drowning

Yes, okay.  I said I’d write twice a week.  I said a lot of things.  And, as we know, the way to hell is paved with good intentions.  Although I’ve never quite understood why you don’t get points for at least trying.  Harsh.

Overall I’m holding steady.  But underneath that top layer is a whole mess.  I’m doing well at the stave days, am wildly erratic on the other weekdays and putting on too much at the weekends.  I have got to get a grip.  I’ve not achieved anything since the beginning of the year and I am not at a weight where a bit of faffery would not be a disaster.  I’m at a loss to know how to hold myself to account – the blogging twice a week was supposed to do that and look how well that went! 

It is the time of year where we do extra long hikes but frankly, this has never made an iota of difference to my weight and I don’t see why this would suddenly change.

Every night I tell myself firmly that there will be no deviation – but I’m not achieving this sufficiently often to have any result.  What to do?  I’m fresh out of fresh ideas – other than digging deep and sustaining the period of resolve into waking hours.

Wish me luck, determination and godspeed (I typed this wrongly as dogspeed – which I like the sound of other than that my mother’s dogs are Labradors and not therefore a good example in terms of greed).

Friday, 22 April 2016

Love is....

Remember those saccharine sweet cartoons? I'm not sure whether they created the phrase or whether they illustrated an existing phrase, but I'm pretty sure that there's an almost infinite number of answers to 'love is...'

Fat is...? Maybe there are as many answers but to me 'fat is..' always wondering whether life would be less difficult if I weren't - and whether if I weren't, I would attract more forgiveness and less condemnation.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Seeing red

Something happened on the tube the other night that gave me pause to think.  Often I try not to think on my commute in case I run screaming into the open air, shouting that it’s unbearable.  I was standing on the tube (obvs) by two girls in their early 20s.  Despite being immersed in my kindle, it became obvious that they were talking about me as one would look at me, turn to the other and say something, then they’d both look at me, then the other would say something... It went on for a bit and my heart sunk.  I started to feel really uncomfortable, unhappy and defensive.  In true passive-aggressive British style, I gave them a hard stare.  Then one said “We were talking about you – about your hair, saying what a lovely colour it was and how much it would suit a friend of mine”.  I guess they must have been hairdressers as they were then saying something like “oh yes, an 897 – maybe with a dash of 278”. 

I have a bit of an ‘issue’ with my appearance at the best of times.  At the worst of times it causes me quite a lot of distress and anxiety.  I guess it’s bubbling up to the surface recently – partly because there’s a lot of pressure to have my photo on my work’s website and partly just because.  I really hate photos btw – I think I look even worse in them that in real life.  But this incident on the tube reminded me that actually, just because I think the worse, it’s not necessarily the case.  If that girl hadn’t said anything, I would have got off that tube, beating myself up mentally for my ugliness and feeling very upset.  It would have ruined at the least my evening, if not my week.  I’d have spent countless future moments obsessing over it again and again (I know this as I’ve had certified bad moments dating back quite some time and I still think about them occasionally).  I can’t, hand on heart, say that it will cure my paranoia, but I will try to remember this.

Still not getting back into a successful chub-reducing mode.  I’m seeing small dips on SoD but my overall stats for the week were 2lbs on.  I had a jump up over the weekend and it’s been steadily – if not very quickly – dipping down but, as I say, overall up.  I’m not letting it derail me though.  At least not yet.  And actually, overall, although I haven’t done very well, I don’t give up, I do just adjust my approach and relentlessly carry on. 

So, outlook for the next week is good – up to official WI day.  No pesky social life to interfere with dieting.  And the following week is looking less good so I really need to make hay this week.  Metaphorically speaking.  Next week I have a pizza evening planned with office pals, and cocktails and dinner (a posh Italian. Restaurant not person) for my stepson’s birthday.  But there’s a whole other WI before then so I won’t fret about that just yet.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Straightening out the spiral

I admit it, I’m struggling at the moment.  Even when I feel like I’m doing the right thing, it’s not translating into progress.  I find it hard to break out of one of these cycles – usually I spin downwards like a spider down the plug hole, despite struggling.  Not this time.  Somehow I need to break out of this. 

So first: the story so far.  I lost 1lb last week and I put on 2lbs the week before.  Maths is not my forte but I’m going in the wrong direction.  And since then, the unofficial WI has shown a tear-stinging 4lbs on.  Despite a wedding where I drank mineral water.  For 9 hours.  Which is WAY longer than a non-sober 9 hours FYI.  And didn’t eat all my main or pudding – and spurned the sweetie table (sobs quietly to self) and evening buffet.  I totally deserve a big loss after that, right?

So instead of going down below the half stone mark and towards the next bracket down, I’m heading, terrifyingly, back up to the one above.  This makes me feel dreadful – physically, but emotionally even more.  So it needs to stop.  I need to break out of the pattern before I drown (yeah, I’m totally flogging the analogy – but it works for me at this point).

This is my action plan:

1. The only thing I haven’t abandoned is the almost daily weighing so continue with that.
2. Oh and the 2 x starve days.  Still doing them, still hate them, still get some result from them.  So keep those.
2. Blog more.  I think I don’t because the apathy has got me – and I don’t like saying the same thing when the same thing is the ‘oh I’m not getting anywhere’ thing (I’d doubtless be delighted to continuously drone one about losing steadily).  So twice a week I think (you’ll be sick of me).
3. Be really strict about things creeping in.  Yes, even mini, low cal things.  It all adds up to chubbsville.
4. Delineate the 3 phases of my diet – Mon and Wed = starve days (or 2 convenient non-sequential days).  Other weekdays = dieting but only semi-starving and weekend is not a licence to go mad but to allow for one night with an aperitif and wine – and to eat healthy evening meals with P.
5. Find a replacement for Jane Plan (for semi-starve days) when I finish those packs (still got quite a lot – and not just because I’m avoiding eating the soup.  I am now throwing those away).  Maybe simple, boring calorie counting (although will have to decide what the calorie limit is).

Today has been a normal dieting day: I’ve done okay.  Not brilliantly because I had half a Millie’s cookie.  Which is better than a whole one but not as good as no cookie.  I had an inordinately long internal dialogue, trying to justify eating the other half though – oh how I wanted to – and managed not to, so that is positive.  I definitely think that sort of restraint ought to be rewarded with an instant lb off (see also: sweetie table, wedding cake (nope, none of that either) and evening buffet).  That should take me to 4lbs off for good behaviour.   Hmmm. Tomorrow is a starve day.  Let’s see where that takes me to on Thursday (official WI day)

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Eggstreme behaviour

Obviously I had to get a seasonal pun in there.  But now that crack is out of the way, let’s just get straight to the numbers, shall we?  Like ripping off a plaster: quick, decisive and painful.

Post-holiday WI said I’d put on 5lbs – it’s never good to put on, I was dreading weighing myself but this was for 3 weeks and I firmly told myself to suck it up and get working. First week back on the diet I lost 2lbs.  This is sounding like a happy story, right?  Then came Easter.  I put on a staggering 4lbs.  Yep, in a weekend.  A long weekend but essentially it’s 1lb a day.  Since I am currently comprised of 40% mini eggs, 30% other chocolate egg, 20% hot cross bun (slathered in butter) and 10% wine, this ought not to be the shock it was.  I don’t even like Cadbury’s chocolate but I swear they put crack in mini-eggs, I just cannot stop at a couple.  The only thing that makes me stop is running out.  So, it’s cold turkey for me on mini-eggs.  I can eek out the rest of my eggs in a normal, moderate and rationed (not to mention rational) way.  I am firmly back on the wagon, nose to the grindstone – and every other hackneyed phrase you can think of.

It’s not easy.  Even in 4 days, I got used to having something to eat when I was peckish – but no longer.  Today I’m on a Dieting Day Type 2 (Jane Plan packs) as I thought going straight into a starve day would be just too brutal.  So that, dear Reader, is something to look forward to tomorrow L.

I won’t be doing Jane Plan again – the dinners and the breakfasts suit me very well, but the lunches!  Ugh.  Seren asked how you could make soup unpalatable – well, it’s a good question.  I think they bung a load of starch in them to fill you up – but the taste!  Oh dear.  I’m still feeling intermittently queasy from the flu (or possibly mini-egg overdose) and just couldn’t face the soup today.  This happens quite a lot with their packs – kind of works as I end up just skipping them, but this is not the idea at all.

I do want to get back to proper, focused dieting.  We have a family wedding in a couple of weeks and I know what I want to wear.  No, OF COURSE I’ve not tried it on – I’m far too chicken for that.  Equally, I know I need to so I can make plans.  Luckily I think we’re not close enough family to be in the pics (it’s P’s nephew) so that’s one bullet avoided, but I find these things traumatic.  At least I’m around 2st lighter than I was at my cousin’s wedding a year ago.  The photos from that still haunt me.  Not that I look a whole lot better but at least it’s something.

After the wedding, the next thing to focus on as a goal to have shed more blubber is our holiday in October.  That’s our probable holiday at the moment – a few financial question marks before we can say with confidence that we’re going back to Canada, but we’re hopeful.  I’d definitely like for less of me to go away: the question is, what can I realistically achieve in 6 months.  I’d like to say 3 stone but my history would cast doubt on this: maybe another 2 stone?  I’d still not be into the zone where I’m not constantly self-conscious and only a social occasion away from a full freak-out, but any progress would help.  If I could lose 3 stone, I would be into the less-freaked-out zone – I’d still need to lose, but I wouldn’t be quite so distressed about myself.  Well, let’s see what I can do now I’ve stepped away from the mini-eggs.

So, Easter – did you have a good one?  Four days off work, chocolate and hot cross buns make for a pretty damn amazing public holiday in my opinion.  Until you hit up SoD that is and pay for your transgressions.  We had one fairly feeble hike – about 6 miles – since we’re still suffering post-flu fatigue and this was the only opportunity to get out without being soaked, pelted by hail or blown over (possibly the extra egg/bun ballast would have prevented the latter). 

P seems to be getting a 2nd dose of the flu – or at least the tiredness and a nasty, dry cough.  I’m hoping I don’t copycat him this time around, the flu was ridiculously debilitating and led to flopping about exerting no energy and eating toast and marmite.  Not a way to get to that 3 stone goal.