Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Day 64 - back to basics

Well, I'm now a year older. Something that's really only good if you're 9. I had planned to have chicken for lunch and steak and green salad for supper on my birthday. Then I realised I'd be out all day on Monday (Kew Gardens - very lovely) so it would be better to have the chicken the night before instead (and I could skip more packs that way - 4 over 2 days rather than 3 on 1 day). Then I'm afraid I thought I might as well add in Saturday.

So I had prawns and green salad on Saturday, chicken and cold salad on Sunday and steak (small) and green salad on Monday. I am pleased that I didn't go over the top - these meals should have kept me in ketosis (impossible to say for sure since I have no sticks and get hungry anyway whilst allegedly being in the big K) and I replaced 2 of the shakes with my small meal each night (so 6 in total). I didn't have any wine or anything sweet, not even fruit which I was really, really wanting (and had originally intended to have one perfect white nectarine). And my home scales have continued to show a downward (if painfully slow) trend so I think I managed the whole situation pretty well considering. Food tasted amazing! I didn't even want any dressing on my rocket, chard, chicory and celery as I wanted to taste every zingy green mouthful. I felt full but not in any discomfort or pain and although I did then want a pudding I was content that I had had a treat of some sort.

It felt sad not to go out to dinner, or have birthday cake or champagne or wine but I got through it (next year however.....!). It did make my birthday more flat than usual though - but there were other factors: no cards from my family, no presents as b/f is paying for holiday (except for 2 pretty necklaces from one of my two best friends and her daughter - thanks E and T), no special occasion to be treated to etc. I know, I should be too old to care. B/f wrote a lovely message in my card though saying I look better now than 10 years ago (we've been together coming up for 13 years). Sweet but I really must look at photos of my 20-something self to see if it's true. If it's not I'm not going to tell him though! He's not a prolific complimenter so I'm not giving any back!

So today it's back to packs. Separation has not made my heart grow fonder I'm afraid! But I'm gathering my determination to get through this end of the beginning stage. I'm trying to focus on the 100 days and finishing that the best way I can. Then it's holiday! Then I need to have sorted a CD counsellor for when I get back but other than that I shan't think about phase 2 yet. I'm an inveterate planner but I think I need to take this in chunks (bit like those chocolate shakes if you don't blend them enough!). I have a day off on Friday and am seriously thinking of going to the gym in our development. Well, it's not a gym, just a small, smelly, hot unventilated and un-airconditioned underground room with equipment. I'm anxious about all these horror stories of saggy skin (baggyness only being cute on Bagpuss - and even then apparently only Emily loved him and she's not my target market).

Friday, 24 August 2007

Day 60 - LL is everywhere!

I met a neighbour in the lift yesterday (we live in a flat). Dialogue:

Neighbour: Have you lost weight? Your face looks slimmer.....
Me (uncharateristically honest): I have a bit. Most people don't notice though
Her: Oh no, I can see it. Your face looks thin. Well, not thin but..... My sister has put me to shame, she's lost 4 stone
Me: Oh goodness, how did she do that?
Her: She's doing this thing called Lighter Life...
Me (interrupting AND being honest): Yes, that's what I'm doing
Her: Well, she's lost 4 stone in 16 weeks. But it just sounds so tough
Me: It IS tough! I'm only on week 9 but it's been pretty slow for me. Good for her though

And the other day I saw someone upstairs in our office vigorously shaking her LL shaker. Now, I've never known anyone do anything like this before (and I would have loved to have talked to someone when I was starting) but perhaps there are more secret squirrels like me. Not that waving your shaker about is exactly secretive - I suppose I wouldn't have known what it was before though. I am, needless to say, very jealous about the 4stone!

I'm sadly excited by news of new flavours. Two soups - broccoli and cheese and tomato and vague rumours of a new bar. They don't seem to be due until September and my 100 days is up in the beginning of October so I may only get a brief go at them. And I'm not that keen on the current menu of bars either.

After I come back from Turkey I am definitely going to go to CD. I just can't justify the money. It won't make much difference to me but b/f is paying £30 a week towards LL and it would free up that money. Not fair to keep him paying since at my snail pace god only knows how long this could take. Suspect I will lose the impetus if it goes on too long after Christmas though. To be in the middle of my BMI I need to lose another 4st 6lbs (by my scales). And I'm eating in Turkey (sensibly) so can expect to put on there. And over Christmas (going to allow myself that day off the diet). It feels like a prison sentence sometimes. Of course, by LL standards I should lose at least a stone by the end of Foundation (5 weeks) which should mean 3st something to lose afterwards, but given my current progress that seems unlikely.

I think that the new flavours for CD should give me a boost though when it will be hard to go back to it after holiday. But I like the LL bit of Minis! I've looked at the CD bit and I don't like it as much! Who says familiarity breeds contempt?! Still, this is not as important as getting through this as best and as long as I can.

Allegedly the weekend is supposed to be sunny (although I notice that the BBC weather site is already rowing back from more optimistic forecasts from yesterday). We're pootling tomorrow, walking on Sunday and going to Kew on Monday (hopefully). And there's the birthday eating experience to look forward to too! And the obligatory cakes for the snack table to think of for next Tuesday! Think I'll mostly be buying things I don't personally like (evil chortle)!

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Day 58 - heroic self control

As you know, after my measly loss this week my LL buddy and my mum both thought it might be an idea to add a small amount of protein to my diet this week in an attempt to kick-start my plodding metabolism (a la Cambridge Diet). As lovely as that sounds, I decided that a) I was too scared to try it in case I suddenly put on half a stone (knowing my luck) and b) was intending to have 2 chicken drumsticks and a small steak and green salad on Monday as it's my birthday so I'd pretty much find out then the effect on me then.

But last night in M&S Marble Arch I kept thinking about it. I went down to the food hall, thinking that if some chicken was less in calories than the 2 packs I was intending to have when I got in (I have a double shake in the evening) then where was the harm? I looked at a pack of 2 chicken drumsticks and the calories in ONE (large one) was I think 265 and I wasn't wholly certain that I'd be able not to eat the other one too. Nor was I certain that this was a sensible course of action (although a desirable one!) - what if I started mucking about with it regularly? After all, once I did this I can see how much more tempting it would be to continue - who wouldn't rather have a chicken drumstick than a pack? Well, okay veggies maybe. Even then though..... (joking). But then I trailed about, looking wistfully at cold hams and prawns (you can eat ALOT of yummy, juicy prawns for the same calories as 2 packs). But with heroic self control I left M&S empty handed. I felt quite sad about it but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I had better be given my just rewards for this....

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Day 57 - Theory blown, sigh

Well, so much for the 'my body's finally got with the plan' theory - yep, we're back to measly weight loss. 2.8lbs. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. And I'm worried about a possible pattern - I had 2.8lbs, then +0.7lbs, then 6lbs and now back to 2.8lbs. The 6lbs was good, the 2lbs bad and the + was atrocious. WHY can't I get this? I am more active, I drink loads of water, nettle tea, and am a very good girl. It's very, very depressing.

My LL group buddy had smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and a tiny piece of cake - and lost 5lbs! I'm pleased for her but it makes it even more gutting for me. She reckons I need to have a bit of protein to kick start my metabolism (and apparently CD add this in every 4 weeks for this purpose) and even my diet-nazi mother agrees. I'm reluctant to take the gamble in case it backfires on me but of course next Monday is my birthday and I've planned to have some cold chicken for lunch and a small steak with green salad for dinner - so we'll see what effect that has.

Thanks for all your comments guys, you are all both wise and motivating. Not decided what to do about the Wolsey. B/f reckons there's no way I could go and have the willpower not to eat - especially if people are saying 'oh look, you've not had a clotted cream scone yet, have one' -and I do tend to agree. I have a little time to decide - it's either go along and try and push food around my plate (and probably claim a nasty stomach bug or similar if anyone notices) or pull a sickie (I feel guilt even typing that!).

Lesley was asking why I'm so resistant to telling people. I know it sounds silly but I'd hate the attention and people looking at me and seeing if I look like I've lost weight, what I'm eating (or not - more precisely) and talking about me. I know this sounds paranoid but I work in a largely female office - most of them are young, fashionable and slim (well, all of them are slim). I can see them making approving comments to each other along the lines of 'about time' but not understanding where I've come from or how hard the journey is for me. So I hope you understand now. Either that or you'll think I'm mad!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Day 56 - Tea for 16 or so.

My office poses alot of problems! Firstly there's the daily struggle against the lure of the snack table (today: flapjacks, rocky road, chocolate cornflake cakes and chocolate - so far!) and then today the girls in my office are organising a baby shower for one (heavily pregnant) colleague. It's tea at the Wolsley. By which I don't just mean tea, I mean scones with clotted cream etc and finger sandwiches. Now as you know, no-one here knows about LL and I am now feeling very anxious about what to do about this. I like the mum-to-be and I'm all too often unsociable (I had to turn down a team meal out on a flimsy excuse recently which I could see didn't go down well) which isn't really on. But clearly I don't want to eat a clotted cream tea and sandwiches (well I do, but I know I mustn't), nor do I want to confess the real reason why I can't. I can only think of calling in sick that day - which is pretty shabby behaviour - or making some pathetic excuse along food poisoning lines or similar. Oh dear, what to do? Any help would be gratefully received!

And the b/f's lovely parents are taking us out to lunch on the 21st September. I've accepted that I will have to eat and will make wise choices and not eat much of that either. They also don't know about LL and I don't want to tell them, or hurt them by making some excuse. But I don't want to keep having to make exceptions - this is it, my lapse but a planned and controlled one and I'll pay for it by not doing Milk Week (no great sacrifice I admit). So what about the Wolsey? Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. It's looking more like pulling a sickie - and I have such an over-developed sense of guilt I will inevitably make myself actually physically ill (migraine I expect)! And still feel guilty!

According to my admittedly eccentric scales I've lost 4-5lbs this week. I hope this is confirmed by WI tonight. If it is, I am hoping this is because my body has finally given up the fight to cling on to the fat and is now making up for lost time. This doesn't sound terribly scientific but who cares why as long as I actually am starting to get going on this diet (as I enter week 9!).

I am now fitting into smaller clothes and finding clothes a bit of a problem in finding stuff that isn't too big on me. The sizing thing still mystifies me though - I can fit into 3 sizes (although the one skirt that's smallest is fractionally snug and probably a generous size to boot). I assume I'm the middle size but what cruel trick of fate means that some larger sizes fit well too?!

We went out on Saturday and I actually felt slimmer and slightly pleased with myself - until I realised that to the outside world I am still a fat girl. Did deflate me a little but obviously increases the determination to plod on.

I am warily thinking about clothes for my holiday in early October. What size will I be? Will I have anything to wear? How will I get summer clothes, given that the UK shops have had winter stuff in since July? Which is not for the sensible reason that it feels like winter out there but just part of their bonkers cycle. I don't want to be over-optimistic and then disappoint myself if I don't achieve what I hope. But I do think this is going to be an issue. I suppose I'll have to wait until mid September then trawl the internet for sale items from the summer on the likes of Boden (and erm, can't think of any other mail order places). Better to have that as a problem than staying the same as I am now, or worse, putting weight on though! Which brings us back to the Wolsey....

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Day 52 - thoughts

As I have commented on Mrs L's most excellent blog (http://thelardarms.typepad.com/the_lard_arms/), I'm re-reading The Perfect 10 by Louise Kean. It's chick-lit but it's fascinating because it's about a girl who has lost 8st (or thereabouts) and how the world treats her differently. It's clearly semi-autobiographical as the author went from a size 24 to a 12 in a year (mostly through exercise as far as I can work out). Now (very) clearly I'm nowhere near at the slim end of my journey but I can identify with the mixture of hostility and contempt that Sunny (the heroine) refers to in her 'fat life' - and the fact that as she says, (and annoyingly I can't find the bit to quote from) that she suddenly becomes visible when slim, despite taking up half the space she did when fat (and seemingly invisible). She talks about strangers hissing insults at her ("fat bitch"). I wouldn't be surprised if every person on LL has experienced some of that malice. And then it sounds like people are also experiencing another sort of hostility from 'friends' who clearly have alot invested in them being overweight and can't help a few bitchy comments and snide digs. Why do we work so hard to make other people feel bad? Does that make anyone feel good? It shouldn't. When my friend lost weight on the divorce diet, despite the fact that it made me feel uncomfortable about my own weight problem, I congratulated her, complimented her and buried my jealousy really deep inside so that it never made her suffer. God knows I'm no paragon but surely you'd be pleased for your friends' triumphs? Surely you wouldn't try and boost your own self-esteem at the expense of another's?

A few weeks ago there was some spurious medical research widely publicised in the media, saying you should avoid having overweight friends as it somehow 'rubbed off'. What rubbish. And what nasty, malicious, narrow-mindedness. Fat-bashing seems to be one of the few prejudices that's still socially acceptable (apart from ginger-bashing - and yes, I am a redhead too!). You'd never say to someone that you weren't prepared to be their friend because they were too poor, too badly dressed or from the wrong social/ethinic background to be aspirational for you.

And some poor girl on Minis was actually told by a so-called friend in an oh-so-humourous way that she couldn't be her friend any more as she didn't want to get fat too, referring to these reports.

I think - like any prejudice - that it's all about fear. Almost every person has the capacity to be fat and they know it. But you don't catch it like herpes, people. Perhaps people should put their effort into being the best person they can be (on the INSIDE too - we're so obsessed with appearances over everything else) and not looking to criticise others.

Okay, that turned into a rant and now I need to go and calm down lest I do some rude person an injury on the rush-hour tube! See you all on Monday (I'm having a fun-packed day cleaning the flat tomorrow!).

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Day 50 - half time

Alas, if only I were allowed to suck orange quarters (do they still do that? Probably not, they're on on vile Sunny D nowadays) as even that would be rather exciting at present. I may go wild and have a celebratory orange water flavouring. I know how to live, oh yes, hedonism-r-me.

I've had a tempestuous 50 days - not a roller coaster as I've mostly been down. But I have high hopes for the next 50! At WI yesterday I had a good loss - 6lbs. Okay, it's not enough to clear the deficit I've built up so far in terms of not losing the 3 1/2lbs a week I should be, but after the previous week where I put on almost a lb, it's a whole other place to be and I like this place so much more! I'm cautiously pleased without wanting to set myself up for a fall again if next week reverts to pathetic trend. If however, I have another 6lbs loss next week (or near enough) I will officially be ecstatic. You've never seen me like that - so be warned!

I had such a rotten Friday too. It was my lowest ebb since starting LL - and we're talking looooooooooooooooow. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself after missing out on all the cheese (and bread, biscuits and other enticing nibbly bits) in the office on Friday, then went to my mum's where she'd cooked some amazing smelling garlicky, chilli prawn pasta dish for herself and b/f. I sat at the table and it was all I could do not to sob. B/f offered to do me a soup but it actually felt more of an insult than having nothing. They had to coax me into having a pack which I finally did very sulkily at 10pm. I am so sorry for them as each mouthful must have stuck in their throats with me being so pitiful and pathetic. Was back there the next day though and watched them eat homemade quiche and salad with apparent equanimity (inwardly it was a seething mass of jealous flavoured emotions) for lunch. I think it was the 2 things so close together - resisting cheese and all his cheese-related friends all afternoon and then going back to watch a gorgeous meal being eaten under my (hyper sensitive) nose.

The meeting was still pretty frustrating though - the counselling really is inadequate. The discussion is the best bit but the LLC tries to minimise that - to get back to her script, delivered in a bright sing-song voice, as though we're sub-normal toddlers. I've been thinking a bit about post-100 days and what I'll do when I get back from holiday. I find the expense quite difficult and I don't feel I'm getting value for money to make this more palatable (this experience seems to be exacerbated in Development from what I hear) so I think I might go and do CD until I'm at target (if that's even possible - I'm not sure) as it's cheaper and apparently their packs taste better but then I'd like to go back to LL for Management. Not sure it's possible but they want my money so they may take me back. Only thinking about it vaguely at the moment - I have a long time to decide - but one of the girls from my group would be up for doing the same with me. She has less to lose than me and has better success in dropping more significant amounts of weight - but keeps cheating big time (we're talking McDonalds and Haagan Daz ice cream parlours amongst others!) so we may be more evenly matched as we go forward unless she really knuckles down. I hope she does for her sake. It's not an easy ride so why prolong that longer than you have to?

Friday, 10 August 2007

And there's more angst where that came from

Can I just say that I really don't like the person I've turned into on this diet. I want to be one of those people who feel bursting with health, that the weight is dropping off and consequently they feel happy, energised, motivated and excited about their future. There seem to be many of those people on Minis and I envy them - I'm happy for them but I really do envy them too. I don't want to be grumpy and unhappy and anxious and envious. I want to feel that every time I miss out on some delicious food opportunity it's worth it because I can see such an improvement in the way I look (and feel too but to be honest (and shallow) I'm principally doing this because I want to look good).

I'm hanging in there though, I still have a flicker of hope (that I'm almost afraid to acknowledge) that at some point - hopefully soon - it will all click into place and the magic will work for me too and I won't be that child with her nose pressed against the window, watching the others on the inside and hoping to be allowed in to be with them and to be like them, one of them.

Day 46 - Frantic bid for weight loss

I can honestly say I've done everything I can to help myself to a good WI on Monday. But still I have no faith (which according to wise LLC is the sole reason the weight isn't just dropping off - v scientific that). I have walked in every day, I have an active weekend planned, I have drunk 6l of water every day, I have drunk 2 cups of nettle tea every day (bleurgh!), I have taken lots of water flavourings and added in psyllium husks. Given my poor results over the last 3 weeks though I am looking at 9 1/2lb loss needed to get back on track for the 1st a month promised. I didn't lose that in my first week so it seems very unlikely. And with the exception of the tea and husks - none of this is new.

I have to say that my rings are tight today though. They have been slightly loose so possibly there's something in the theory that I'm retaining water - but this is with the extra water and the pond-water tea. I'm so anxious about all of this that it's seeping into my whole life. I have heard anxiety makes you slim but in that case I should be having to eat cream cakes to keep weight on! And that would be dreadful. Ahem.

Today in my super-greedy office we are having a cheese and wine afternoon. Cheese is something that I've really missed - although not something I was fixated on before LL. I bought some Colston Bassett stilton from Neals Yard Dairy (the best Stilton from the best cheese shop ever!) as my contribution and could weep at the prospect that I can't taste it. I've told them that my mum is cooking dinner for me and the b/f tonight so I mustn't go there full up. Of course, she is cooking dinner - but for b/f, not me. And she's made him one of her amazing homemade quiches for lunch since he's over there slaving on her garden on a day's leave today (bless him). I don't like shop-bought quiche (or anything pastry-y) but my mum's quiche is sublime. But I have mushroom soup - wanna swop?! Will be worth it if I can actually lose the f**ing 9 1/2lbs - that's what I keep telling myself. Will next get a chance to update this blog after the next WI, week 7, halfway through. Think of me.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

And ANOTHER thing

Aka another moan!

WHY do I have all the rubbish side effects of this diet - weary, weak, headachy, constipation, possible bloating now too, but not the good ones - energy, clear skin and weight loss?

Day 43 - Bad to worse

I can't even post on Minis as I don't want to discourage people who are doing well - at WI last night I had PUT ON 0.66lb. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Typically my LLC was no use whatsoever - she said perhaps it was TOTM, I told her that was last week, so she said "oh well, perhaps it still is, it can really mess up your cycle". Then she said it wasn't much - hello? What part of not 3.5lbs off but 0.66lbs on do you not understand? That makes it a deficit of nearly 4.5lbs in my book. Then she said it was down to negative thinking. I don't know how I didn't rip her head off. I follow the diet (I drink the water and I take the packs and I don't eat) and I expect it to yield results - it's a question of science not mysticism. And actually I expected to lose 5-6lbs minimum to make up for my previous poor results in the last 3 weeks.

A friend in the group rang her aunt who has done LL and is a source of much wisdom and she can only think I'm retaining water. I don't feel as if I am - clothes not tighter, ankles not puffier - but will try ANYTHING. I've bought nettle and fennel teas and psyllium husks to try and address any water retention and I know I'm still, er, bunged up. I was trying to get Mrs L's recommendation of Solgar p husks but nowhere sells them and now drastic measures are called for and so I've had to buy Holland and Barrett (I know their stuff is not supposed to be very good but it's the best I can do in terms of immediacy). I don't think this could equal 6lbs+ though so I don't think it's an explanation - and I cannot think of an explanation. I am perplexed and very very upset. I find this diet hard but I do it - but what is my motivation now?

Yesterday I was at a briefing where there was a mound of soft, chewy double chocolate chip cookies. I had to resist them for about 3 hours. I actually wish I hadn't - at least if I had eaten one and put on the weight I would know why and knuckle down with increased vigour. As it is I feel bewildered, cheated and miserable.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Day 38 - not imploded in a mess of tears and self-pity

Firstly, thanks so much to Lesley and Mrs L - I know you really understand and that means alot.

Yes, still here, still LL-ing. I am just going to go for it and hope for the best. B/f was very sympathetic when I arrived home so upset (and subsequently) but wondered if I've set my goals too high. I don't think I did, I tried to be realistic but realistically I guess I know that I'm unlikely to achieve them - in the time frames I set (and maybe not at all). I am trying not to think too far ahead now but just deal with each day as it comes. If I don't lose 3st minimum in Foundation I know I will be disappointed but I'll see what happens and not let this fear dissuade me from doing my best.