Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Food substitutes

Mercifully this will be a short post.

What do you do to cheer yourself up when you're not eating? If I had the blues BLL (before LL) I would buy a box of 2 eclairs or some chocolate or a nice dinner (or sometimes all of the above) and would nest down at home and feel as if I were spoiling myself a bit. Did it make me feel better? To be honest, it did. I wasn't such a greedy guts that this was a regular occurence and so it felt like a self-indulgent treat. But now, I don't know what to do to cheer myself up. I know that some people would say that I'm showing myself more love by NOT indulging but denial/deprivation doesn't give me the warmth and pleasure that indulgence does. All I can think of is chanting in my head that well-worn quote "this too shall pass". It's not helping. I'm a creature of impulse and impatience - tomorrow always seems at least a day away, and a day too far away at that.

It's the official WI tonight. On my scales I have lost 1lb. Pitiful but definitely deserved. There was the choc snack-attack on Friday, on Saturday night we were at my mum's and I ate a small, carb-free meal (not beating myself up about that, I'm cool with it, just prawns and veggies) and yesterday I nibbled biscuits, cheese and even a few crisps. I'm trying to be grown up, sensible and practical about this - this week is a write-off and next week (as in from tomorrow but I'm starting today) will be starting afresh. I've noticed in myself a tendency to think that once I've had something then I've blown it and might as well continue. I don't want that to translate from one week to the next.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Once upon a time.....

A long time ago, there was a little girl who, every year was given the role of narrator in her school play. Wistfully she watched all the other children getting dressed up in fun costumes (narrators wore a boring frock) and interacting, speaking their lines, but she stayed on the outside (or on the far right corner of the stage) feeling separate and uninvolved. And that girl was me! Like you hadn't guessed.....

Anyway, I think this might have been quite an influential theme for me. I often do feel as if things happen to everyone else whilst I just get to watch. This mini revelation came to light when a friend of ours confided to me at the end of last week that he was planning to propose to his girlfriend. I was and am very excited and thrilled for him but there was a little shard of ice in my heart that it wasn't me (again). No, I don't want to marry N, but I've been with b/f for 13 years and am now in my late 30s (37) and although I know in my heart that he doesn't want to marry me there is still a little flicker of hope that I can't quite extinguish. Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to get married - or more likely, have a wedding - even before I met anyone I actually wanted to marry. But I think this is another thing that I get to watch happen to other people.

And I can't help wondering what is wrong with me that b/f doesn't want to marry me. I think that I am too girl-next-door; I don't make him insecure about my feelings for him, he knows I am loving and loyal. He says he fully intends to spend the rest of his life with me and he's been married before and that didn't work out (obviously). But I feel as if, subconsiously or not, he's got an eye over my shoulder for something better. Because people who are really in love get married, right? Okay, after the first flush of romance it's probably to 'secure' the object of their affection and b/f is secure without the ring and party. He said in the past that no-one else would have me (in a bitter row I hasten to add), he said he wouldn't marry me overweight. But here I am, 4st down and I have to accept that being thinner does not automatically bring the fulfilment of every dream.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Choc horror

I was feeling slightly pious that having been ill all week, I had managed to resist comfort eating. Then I bought my team some chocolate to apologise for not being about much - and ate an obscene amount of M&Ms. And now I feel ill - physically and pretty rotten emotionally too. I think I let my guard down and got complacent and wham! Chocolate hit me in the kisser. Literally.

And you know what's even crazier? Having made myself feel ill on chocolate, there's some crazy bit of my brain that thinks I can self-medicate my way out of this - WITH CHOCOLATE. Yes, there's a bit of me that thinks if I eat more chocolate I'll feel better.

At times like this I despair of myself. And I wonder why I'm doing this diet if I just chuck it all away so quickly.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Hunger - physical, emotional whaddever

Ketosis is an odd thing. I read how it makes people hyper-energetic and immune to physical hunger. Not me. I know I'm in it (and have the puce pee stick to prove it - actually it's in the bin but you know what I mean) but I'm still hungry. I'm not sure what I find hardest - the physical or emotional hunger because I have both.

I've got flu - or what I assume is (genuine) flu - not snotty, but shivery and achy and exhausted. And although part of me doesn't want to eat (not like a cold) the other part really wants something to 'make me feel better'. Nothing I can eat is going to make me feel better but it does feel as if toast and marmite (comfort food - and probably because I've been making b/f yummy seeded white bread, proper bread, not shop pap) and chocolate would! I mope about wanting something, not sure what but knowing I can't have it anyway! It's an odd feeling, especially the not having it bit, but I reckon even skinnies self-medicate with chocolate at times like this. Perhaps it's just that their times are fewer and further between and involve less of a chocolate hit when they DO give in.

I lost 4lbs in my WI. I think my CDC doesn't deal in fractions of lbs and makes them in my favour but hey. That means 12lbs in official WIs and 3lbs in my first few days. I'm close to getting my Christmas weight back off and if all goes well, that should be done in the next week. If I had the energy I'd be (grimly) pleased!

I've been thinking more on the thorny issue of exercise too. At the moment I have that VLCD light headed thing and even if I did have a burning desire to hit the gym, I don't think it would be wise - I'm pretty sure I don't faint like a period drama heroine. I suspect I'd crash to the floor rather than waft, I'd probably go a funny colour, flash my undies (perfectly nice ones I assure you but not so pretty on moi) and probably dribble. At least. So I'm avoiding that. I will have to start trying to walk the 2.5 miles in from an earlier tube stop to the office again though - IF IT EVER STOPS RAINING. And ultimately, I have accepted that I am never likely to have the funds to join a glossy gym and do kick-boxing (used to love it - disturbingly so - made b/f cower with a cushion so I could show him the kicks I learnt!), body pump (god knows why I liked it but I did), pilates and the odd dance based exercise class. So I have to move on from this. We have a "gym" in the flats where I live. Pros - it's free (or within our astronomical service charge) and it has a couple of bikes, treadmills and rowers as well as range of weight machines. Cons - everything else. It's in a small unventilated basement room. As you can imagine, with no air con or windows it gets hot and smelly in the summer and just smelly in the winter. There's nothing to distract you from the unutterable tedium of the treadmill - there's a cheap portable TV but in order to hear it above the machines, you have to have it on at a volume that drives the flats above it insane (understandably - would you want to wake up to Fiona Phillips at the volume of a jet fighter? Although a jet fighter probably has more interesting and incisive things to say). I may have to bite the bullet and get down there once I'm back on food though. I have managed to get into that numb, unquestioning, routine, not-quite-there state that you have to use on the commute with gym-going so I could do it again. It's painful to get there though - like ketosis! And I don't get the endorphin rush thing either damnit, just a vaguely smug feeling which kicks in when the scarlet sweaty feeling wears off.

The other thing my obesity specialist said - apart from the thing that exercise was key to keeping weight off (bless him, he suggested dancing the tango for me!) was that people who are diet tarts have some success. He didn't use this phrase - it wouldn't occur to him. And diet tarts aren't like pop tarts, oh no. What I mean by that is people who do a diet - say, South Beach and then when they get bored of that they do Weight Watchers and when they get bored of that they do Slimming World etc etc ad lib to fade (away). I guess he's saying that boredom is the enemy of success and strictness and however you restrict your intake it doesn't matter, as long as you don't take your eye off the ball. Food for thought (only bleeding food I'm getting!)

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Health - one way or another

Just to get this off my chest first, I went to see my GP this morning about these problems I've been having with my vision. Basically, I'm pretty confident that it's a new evolution of my migraines - although that in itself is worrying, from one every couple of months with no vision problems to have 3 in a week with deteriorating and dramatic loss of vision is a sign I need to get it checked out anyway.

My GP first started talking about opticians - I said I'd seen one (ho ho). She then said she needed to make those sort of checks because of my "obesity". I sat there looking at her in shock, then I said "Obesity? I've lost loads of weight" or something similar, probably in a small wounded voice. She hadn't even looked at me! She said that I'd been weighed in June. I said I knew that, but since then I'd lost 3 1/2 stone. Then she weighed me: "Oh you've lost loads of weight". Me: "Yes, I know, that's what I said" (through gritted teeth). I can't believe that they are STILL trying to blame every single medical hiccup on my weight, it's just laziness on their part. I then said I felt the vision loss was related to migraine and got her to refer me to a GP with a special interest in headache and migraine - I clearly wasn't going to get any sense out of her. Then, just to send my blood pressure sky high (and it was higher than normal but less than last time I'd had it done there - surprisingly I avoid going. I told her that I'd had it done monthly when on LL and it was of concern therefore if it was higher - but she won't count that.) she looked at my medication record. A couple of years ago, my weight specialist recommended me for rimonabant (appetite supressent basically) but my GP would only prescribe if I went there every week. Needless to say, they only open 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon so that wasn't possible unless I gave up work. So, she says brightly "Are you still taking rimonabant?" Me: "No you wouldn't prescribe it for me. In fact, when I asked for help to lose weight you wouldn't help me at all and when I went to do it on my own you charged me for completing a tick box form". Her: "Oh well, you seem to be doing fine on your own". Gee, thanks. It makes me furious all over again just thinking of it. Grrrrr.

Yesterday I saw my weight specialist. He's lovely but quite mad. He's NHS but a professor in weight issues. I always find out something useful and interesting from him. He was talking about a US website where people who have successfully lost alot of weight discuss tactics (as I understand it - He said that exercise was key. No great surprise but we discussed how hard it is to find both the money and the time. I had thought you had to do something at least 3 times a week but apparently it really depends what it is - he said if you played squash (and he eyed me and said he didn't imagine I would be - he was right) you'd only need to play 2 x 40 mins games a week to get plenty of exercise. Then he started talking about bowls (as the other extreme) but I pointed out that you'd get a better work out shopping. This confused him as he started to debate whether I would be able to do that every week! Bless! He seemed to think tango dancing would be a good thing for me to do. Quite mad. He does make me laugh though, when he was getting carried away with being thrilled about my weight loss I felt the need to point out that I was only half way through and said "People who don't know what I've done will still look at me and see a fat girl". He said "No, I don't think so, people will look at you and think you have pretty hair. That is, you've always had pretty hair but people will notice it first. That is...." He always manages to trip himself up but he's so sweet and I find it so funny that I don't mind a bit. We had a couple of times where he clearly thought he'd been tactless, tried to correct himself and made it worse!

And I'm reading Dietgirl's book (on Mrs L's recommendation). I'm less than halfway through - although I did have to read it on the tube this morning as I'd run out of anything else; I camoflaged the title with a large postcard I used as a bookmark especially! - but she (Dietgirl) went to the gym at 18st. In theory, I'd like to belong to a nice gym - I used to belong to a Holmes Place and I enjoyed some of the classes, I'd like to do Bodypump, kickboxing and dance type classes. But my local gym is £90+ a month and I really, really can't afford it or even half of that - and even if I could, I'd be quite shy going on my own. I don't want to feel that I'll never keep the weight off unless I exercise when I can't figure out how to do just that. Yes, I can hear you Lesley but believe me, running around East London is a grim prospect - even if it didn't kill me one way I think it would another!

Anyway, the bad news is that I was so fed up(and felt so squelched) after my infuriating GP visit, that, mid stressful day I ate a small (very small) bag of Iced Gems (98 cals but 'pure' sugar I'd guess) and a dozen jelly babies. Both were lovely but not calculated to get me back into the next stone bracket down (1lb less and I'll be in the next bracket down). I had lost 8lbs at my WI this week - and had lost 3lbs before that so have lost 11lbs in a week and a half (although I can't quite believe it and keep counting it on my fingers). And although it's been a really hard, hungry week and a half that's a pretty good result. Don't want to scupper that with my arch nemesis, sugar. My head knows it's a false friend but my heart is yet to catch up.

Monday, 14 January 2008

January - month of doom and gloom

I hate January. Everyone is fed up, fat and broke. At least I'm not bucking the trend I suppose! We need to hang in there and think of Spring (nicer weather and us in nicer clothes!). It ought to be an easy time to diet in some ways - everyone is on a diet after all - but for those of us who comfort eat, it's a tough ride as the general doom and gloom prod us towards the cookie jar (or chocolate seller in my case - I had to grit my teeth to walk past Hotel Chocolate this morning).

I am doing this and my weight is going down (gratifyingly I seem to have lost 9lbs of the 1st 4lbs of pure flab I put on over Christmas) but I'm finding it really tough. Both physically and psychologically. Physically I STILL don't seem to be in ketosis as I'm still really, really hungry. Looking back, when I did LL I never had a sudden moment when I realised I was in ketosis - I was still hungry but that happened more and more infrequently. But I did produce a rosy pink pee stick way back then. I know I'm not in ketosis now as my pee stick on Sunday was resolutely beige. Sigh. I have been having bits and pieces of protein (not ideal but in an attempt to stop me going majorly mad) but I don't think that would keep me out of ketosis. It's only because I'm feeling so pulled down by being hungry that I care! I'm losing weight, it's kind of irrelevant what colour my week turns a little pad on a cardboard stick!

What I am doing well, is that I've been ill (stick with it, obviously that is not something I'm congratulating myself on). Well, I've now had 3 episodes where my vision has gone all funny - blurry and with absent spots like Swiss cheese (yum). I have migraines but not ever had a problem with vision. It's more scary than anything and the urge to self-medicate with food is immense but I have resisted! Hurrah for me. I have an appointment with my GP for later in the week. I'm not going to mention the diet as it's just something for them to seize upon and blame (curiously, just as they did with overweightedness (yes I know there's no such word)) and the first episode happened before I went back on CD.

From reading other blogs (hello Mrs L and Lesley) we're all grimly battling on. Good for us. I'm rooting for you all.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

See boundary, will push

I have learnt something about myself - not sure quite what to do with it, mind.

When I was mostly off the diet in December, I intended to eat as closely as possible to CD but allow a few treats - what actually happened was that I ate my (former) body weight in chocolate. Now I'm back on the diet, I want to have something little to supplement horrid old packs. And I have, I had a slivver of cheese and a dozen peanuts yesterday and some cold sliced chicken today. I don't think these little things will hurt the diet overall and through colossal willpower I refused a Jaffa Cake and didn't buy an apple or fruit pack in M&S when I bought the chicken (minor victories - in fact I said yes to the Jaffa Cake and managed to stop myself in time and say no).

So what I've discovered is that wherever my boundaries are, I push them slightly. I don't go into full-blown rebellion mode like my LL/CD buddy, naughty R, but I can't seem to help but sneak a little lassitude in. Why? And how can I overcome this?

I do feel bad about the peanuts - and even the slivver of cheese. The peanuts I was offered last night in the office and I was SOOO hungry. They did temporarily stop the hunger too and so I justified it to myself that way. But the cheese was about feeling sorry for myself to be honest. And the chicken I ate at lunchtime today - again as I'm so very very hungry. I don't think it will hurt the diet (or stop me getting into ketosis) but I do feel as if I'm cheating - I AM cheating.

I didn't dare have anything sweet, not even an apple as I think that would tip me over the edge but I feel as if I'm grimly holding on by my fingertips. I know it will get easier but I can't feel it at the moment and I feel pretty miserable. I bought myself a tea-ball (to put tealeaves in) for work so I can buy green tea from Crussh (without the water in so I just buy a paper cup with leaves in) and have it at work - tragic. This isn't really a treat but it's the best I could come up with.

And as an incentive (definitely stick rather than carrot), my clothes are definitely too tight. I put on a skirt I've not worn since a couple of weeks before Christmas and it's too tight. I have to lose this weight to fit back into my clothes properly - and then go beyond that and lose more. I want to be slim (or slimmer); I was at the cusp of fitting into a 14 before December and now 16 is too tight. I can't imagine being slimmer than a 14, I was at the upper range of a 12 at school and I was slim and - I think- about 9st8lbs; I'm only aiming to be 9st13lbs at least (to psychologically get under 10st).

I think I'm just in a miserable kind of low-grade rebellion at my lot. What is a low grade rebellion? A quiet sulky hissy fit?! I don't want to diet, I especially don't want nasty packs (stamps foot) - but I DO want to be slimmer. I need to look at the big picture whilst at the moment I'm stuck in the here and now and can't see the wood for the trees.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Feeling fruity

No, not that! I LOVE fruit (yes, and chocolate but let's think about fruit) and it's something I've really missed on this diet. I am trying to motivate myself by telling myself that if I really knuckle down now, I will be back in the world of food by the time all the delicious soft fruit is in the shops for the summer (nectarines, mmmmm, white nectarines, droool). The fruits I'm missing now that I really like are lychees, mango and rhubarb but they'll all still be there next year, gulp. And actually mango is available pretty much all year round. Other than that, fruit is pretty hopeless at this time of the year - if, like me, you try to go seasonal - so that's one less trap to be lured into.

This is me looking at the bright side which given my grumpy and very hungry state is a bit of an effort. Day 2 is bound to be bad but I'm hanging on to my (negligable) willpower by a thread. I keep thinking, "what can I have as a treat? I need a treat". Then I remember, no treats, nothing. Cup of tea is the best I can do. Of course, reading this I realise that to me, treat=food. Which isn't as true in "normal life" as when I'm on a diet. Forbidden fruit?!

I met my CDC today. I feel quite positive about her. She seems very organised, very enthusiastic and capable. I'm going to go weekly - just for the discipline of getting weighed every week.

I feel freezing - my hands are literally painful - but I can't be in ketosis already can I? Not after only (nearly) 2 days. And not feeling this hungry. Ketosis has never been the magic wand for me that it is for some - I had times of genuine physical hunger on LL (and plenty of emotional!) - but it definitely dulls the hunger and makes it less frequent. Roll on ketosis then (I'll put up with emanating chilly air at my colleagues - I'm like a human air con unit). Must not weaken, must not weaken, must not weaken (repeat to fade.........)

Monday, 7 January 2008

A list is a noble thing

I love lists. Yes, I'm a Virgo but that's by the by. Clearly. When I started LL I wrote a list of what I hoped to achieve on the diet and thought it would be good to put it on here:

1) To be able to buy clothes from Hobbs, LK Bennett, Coast, Kew etc
2) Not to always be 'the fat one'
3) Not to dread weddings, black tie functions etc
4) To wear high heels comfortably and not look like a hot air balloon balanced on a very small basket
5) To enjoy holidays more
6) Not to feel like I've wasted my life - or have missed out
7) To wear a dress
8) To achieve something
9) Not to flinch when there's an obesity headline in the newspaper
10) To feel less self conscious
11) If someone offers me a seat on the tube, not to worry that they think I'm pregnant
12) One word - chafing
13) To be able to wear trousers to work, especially in winter
14) And jeans (not to work)
15) And belts (without looking like a pillow with a cord around it)
16) And maybe even shorts (strictly on holiday only)
17) Not to have to do the shameful and sly sarong-pool-towel-sarong dash on holiday
18) Not to feel so frumpy at work. Or out of it!

Well, I don't look at these and think I'm a different person - I still want alot of them and they're still away off. I have worn the dress and trousers and jeans but currently feel I'm too fat for them - so they still stand as goals. Some are possibly too ambitious - is there a woman in the world (apart from models) who feel comfortable in swimwear? My positively willowy friend R says she finds it a nightmare (she's a leggy size 10 - but I still love her!!). And I'm not sure that losing any amount of weight will dispel occasional thoughts of wasted opportunities or dissatisfaction with my lot.

So this is Day One (again). It's odd. I was on duty last night (hence not starting the diet yesterday as I knew I'd have a very long day and would feel the lack of calories all the more) so was asleep until lunchtime (bonus is that today I have half a day and should therefore have less time to be hungry!). In a semi conscious state, my mind kept coming up with things I could eat and wondering what I could eat - before my consciousness kicked in and reminded me that the answer was nothing! This is so clear but my mind still keeps trying to find ways round it (there are none! I know this!).

B/f helpfully slapped me on the bum last night and said I could do with losing half a stone there. Yes, and several stone all over but I was still pretty irked (I told him that I was going to put this on my blog and that people would be outraged!)! After I weighed myself yesterday, he was popping to the shops for a paper and asked if I wanted any chocolate, I said no as I'd just seen the damage I'd done myself. He came back with a toblerone for me. Of course I ate it, even though I was very full - because today I can't, right? Skewed thinking from both of us I think (he didn't buy himself any chocolate and is on a diet himself!). And I felt quite ill yesterday evening - my vision went all odd and distorted. I get migraines but without the aura - yesterday I seemed to get the aura but not the full blown horrendous headache. I took a super-strong prescription migraine drug and it went. But not before I'd felt the need to self-medicate with half a bag of Kettle's Chips. There's a definite 'feel bad, have food' switch in my stupid brain. Then I wasn't really hungry for dinner so only had a bit and then wasn't hungry for my toblerone but ate it anyway. Sigh.

I worry about the end of the diet (basically pointless since it's some way off but I never like to put off a good (or bad) reason to have a good worry!). My mother tells me I'm an all or nothing girl but I don't want to be either on abstinence or eating like a force fed foie gras goose. It's that M word again - how do I find it? Where do I find it?

Sunday, 6 January 2008

My name is Peridot and I am a chocoholic

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. If a VLCD is the straight and narrow I have been happily wandering along the wide and meandering for too too long. Yes, I weighed myself. In about a month of increasingly off-piste eating I have put on a1st4lbs. That's phenomenal - and cruelly true that I can't lose it that fast. I am shocked but when I think about the amount of chocolate I have scoffed it seems less incredible. I have a current obsession with Starbucks Rocky Roads which is way out of all sanity and moderation. Moderation. There's a word. I know what it means in theory but its wisdom is not exactly carved on my soul. I don't seem to do moderation at all and it really bothers me. For instance, yesterday, knowing that in true dieting tradition Monday would be D day, I ate (just the chocolately bit you understand) 2 x large Waitrose belgian chocolate eclairs, a Starbucks Rocky Road, a tube of Rolos and half a bar of Green and Black's Butterscotch chocolate (no, I didn't leave the other half, the b/f ate it!). That is clearly obscene and is in part due to a panic about going back on the diet and not having anything nice to eat ever again. Spot the hysterical exaggeration there.

My prospective CDC never came back to me, despite me almost stalking her (well, I emailed her 3 times) but I have found a new one - new to me and new to the role - who operates in an office 15 mins walk (as the fat person waddles) from my office. She's very keen, I'm like a Labrador digging all 4 legs in in an attempt to evade a bath. But although I hate the mechanics of the diet and the social deprivation it causes me, I hate feeling fat too. Obviously there's gradations of fat - I am not and have never been 10 Tonne Mom as the dear media have christened her - and even at my lowest (so far) weight I'd probably still have been described (at a size 16 teetering on a size 14) as fat, but I had lost 4st and that was unequivocally good. Now my total loss is less than 3st - back to before the end of LL in early October. One of my 2 best friends had taken me to a personal shopper in early December and bought me a very slinky wraparound dress for Christmas and I bought a 2nd dress and trousers (none worn by me for 14 years) and I did feel good. Now I feel too fat to wear them - who am I kidding, I AM too fat to wear them. So it's back to SS for me (I KNOW it stands for sole source but it can't be any coincidence that it's also the acronym for a cruel brand of Nazi police too!). I love chocolate - far too much - but I don't love its effect on me.

In fact I am a bit worried about my obsession with chocolate - it's not healthy any way you look at it. I am making an assumption that I have some kind of chemical reaction to it (as well as a psychological one) which is why I go so embarrassingly and ridiculously over the top with it. But I don't want to give it up (post CD) permanently - I'd like to be able to enjoy it in moderation (it's that m word again) like a normal, slim person. I just don't know if that's ever going to be possible for me. I do think I've been obsessed with gulping down every chocolatey thing that flickers across my consiousness before I go back to CD (and alot of it has been rather disappointing when I eat it to be honest, the thought was more enticing (and calorie free diet pals) although there are still some things I'll seriously mourn the loss of). When CD is just a memory there won't be some timescale I'm operating against - I can eek out the treats in theory. But I'm not confident that I won't become a sugar fiend again even if I'm exemplary on the old diet up until then.

So tomorrow (not always a day away, Annie, but galloping towards me scarily fast) I am back on packs. I'm not looking forward to it but as a process to get me slimmer - well, that's a teeny bit more carrot than stick. I'll reassess at Easter where I am but I really have to do this again. I think on my side will be the fear of the damage I've done over a month this Christmas and my new CDC who's keen as mustard and who will be able to weigh me every week (at least at first) to get me back on track. I'll be back in that dress for Valentines Evening (when I'm anticipating eating - frugally and I think I had better avoid the addictive brown stuff). Wish me luck - but even more, wish me willpower and resistance to the seductive siren call of chocolate.