Thursday, 31 December 2009

Ooooo, I could crush a grape (except I'm not allowed fruit)

It’s Friday, it’s five to five and it’s CRACKERJACK!

Er no, what I meant was, it’s New Year, it’s January and it must therefore be Diet Time. It’s less fun but just as irritating – but without the lame jokes. Except on this blog of course!

I seriously think I’ve been resolving to lose weight every year since I was about 13. And I didn’t start getting chubby until I was 22 – so go figure, as our US cousins would say. I think the only years I’ve achieved this was when I was 16 and I starved myself into fainting spells and dizziness (and comparative skinniness – let’s not lose sight of the upside) and more recently on LL.

2010 – it’s got to be the Year of the Skinny. Or maybe the Year of the Slender. Hell, I’d settle (happily) for the Year of the Maybe a Bit Over-generously Curvy But Not Too Bad All Things Considered. Which is admittedly a bit of a mouthful. And therefore somewhat ironic...

What 2010 WILL be is the year that I try bloody hard. I need to find out before I seriously consider surgery (or indeed, before it seriously considers me) whether I can somehow, some way, do this without being cut open. Because if I can – and call me a wuss – I’m keener on that.

January will be South Beach month. Basically because I already had the book (although I now discover it’s out of date and I need a new one, sigh) and I know that that way of eating makes me feel perkier. And perking would be a good thing. Scarily though, it’s not that dissimilar to India and Neris’ Idiot Proof Diet which you will recall is not Peridot-proof and which I put weight on on. There are a few things that I’m hoping will make a difference though – low fat dairy (it was full fat all the way on IPD and I did love those coffees with real cream in – mmmmm) and more of a sense of portion control. Well, I’ll give it a month and see what happens anyway. I don’t have a Plan B as yet but I’ve got some time – and doubtless a whole plethora of diet books will burst on to the scene as of, ooooh, tomorrow.

And so, it’s almost the end of 2009. I really don’t like NYE – the pressure to be doing something fun and amazing is just too intense. One of the best NYEs I ever had was when I’d agreed to meet some work friends to go to a club, got home and realised that I hated clubs and it was absurd to travel all that way and spend all that money for something I’d essentially hate. So I put my jim-jams on and watched When Harry Met Sally which happened to be on TV. My family were all going out (I was living in the family home then) and were all terribly sorry for me but I felt liberated and not at all sorry for myself. Although, just so you don’t think I’m a total saddo, my best one was in Cornwall with bf and friends where we lit a real fire, cracked open the champagne and M&S nibbles and played an hilarious board game – going outside to look at the stars at midnight. I’d rather like to organise a big house party for next year but it’s finding friends who are sprogless to come along. Still, I’ve got a while to work on that plan.

Tonight we will be going to bf's sister's house with his other sister and all their families (probably not older children though - under 16s only) and his parents as it's also his dad's 80th birthday. They're all perfectly pleasant but I don't really have anything to talk to them about and understandably they'll all be reminiscing (which will be interesting to hear). I'm also the designated driver. I did volunteer (wrongly as you'll recall) and it only seems fair but I think it will be a long night.

So Happy New Year everyone (for tomorrow) – hope that 2010 is a year you’ll look back on and say “Ah, that was a really good year”. What do you have to do to make that happen?

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

In Between Days

I seem to have entered my January blues early. You wouldn't think that was possible whilst my life still contained chocolate, would you? Actually I have been a right misery-guts for a while now and it has to stop.

I don't know how much of this is due to the weight gain and how much is a mid-life crisis (2010 will see me as a 40 year old spinster of this parish) and how much is something else entirely. They all seem tangled up together. I seem to be frozen motionless in the headlights whilst the juggernaut of misery bears down on me. I need to work out how to leg it to the other side of the road (Q How do you get Peridot to cross the road? A Wave a chocolate bar).

Christmas was - hard work. I can't say I enjoyed it much and that makes me sad because I have always LOVED Christmas. It felt like a slog. And I hate New Year's Eve and that's almost upon us - it's the feeling that you should be doing something fabulous - but, well, aren't.... This year we're spending it with bf's family as it's his father's 80th and I am the designated driver, sigh.

Well, I say that but bf and I had a bad row on Sunday which started off - I think - because I offered to drive but in the wrong way. I used the word 'if' which apparently indicated that I was actually trying to get out of it. It spiralled, escalated and became so unpleasant that I ended up screaming at him to stop (his litany of my many faults) and running to the other end of the flat. Sadly this won't have burnt any calories - it's not a big flat. And I don't know how to stop these arguments - there was then a lull and things improved - but I can't let it alone, I do pick and pick at the scab until it bleeds again. I went off for a walk the next day with my mum and thought and talked (although I probably shouldn't have) and have taken an early NY resolution that I have to change. I have to get some self-esteem - I really despise myself to be brutally honest and I know that's not healthy or normal. How can I expect others to love me if I don't? I have to stop being clingy, cringing and apologetic - I can see that's icky and irritating. I don't suppose I'll ever be anything other than thin-skinned but I have to learn not to allow other people the power to bruise me so badly. I've ordered a couple of confidence in relationships type of books from Amazon - maybe that will be the answer or maybe it will lead me to another answer. It's a start.

And of course the NY resolution I've been making since I was about 12 which is to lose weight. But you knew that, right? More on that later.

Monday, 21 December 2009

A bear-ly adequate post

They say that in blogland, no news is bad news. That’s not strictly the case for me. It’s just that I don’t really have anything to say - no news is, well, no news.

I continue to try to make sensible choices but achieve little or nothing. I would say I’m better on the food side – better than I have been previous Christmases, ie I’m not using it as an excuse to eat every calorie laden thing I can stuff into my gaping maw. Despite the Style section of the Sunday Times saying that calories over the next fortnight don’t count- sadly my ever increasing bulgy bits don’t appear to know this. On the exercise front – not good. I haven’t cycled since my last debacle of extreme shakiness and hunger. Not simply out of fear – or laziness – but mostly because of wholly unsuitable weather with a bit of needing to do Christmas chores in there too. And Circuit of Hell? I have no excuses. I cannot get out of bed in the mornings, I’m just permanently shattered. I clearly have a strong hibernation instinct, which whilst it may explain the blubber, sadly doesn’t mean I emerge into the Spring sunshine all skinny. And with clothes that fit (wouldn't that be nice?).

Talking of which, I saw my bonkers obesity specialist last week. He also compared me to a bear (in my handy-for-famine non-existent metabolism) – I told him that it would explain other things too, especially my occasional temper and that it's a shame it's only bears that looked cute chubby. I would have said to you that I had no hopes or expectations going in there to see him but I came out in tears. Tears mostly caused by his frank admission that there was little hope for me, that despite (mostly) doing the right thing, my weight is on a slow but steady upward trajectory that he's at a loss to control. He’s referring me for surgery. Or to find out about whether I would be eligible anyway. I initially found the prospect too frightening to contemplate – it just seems so unnatural – and I have rejected it before, but he feels there’s nothing on the horizon that will help and astutely remarked that it was not good for my mental health to continue as I am. It’s just I would hate never to be able to enjoy a meal with friends ever again. But I realise that these are things that I would be better talking to the surgeons about, rather than making ill-judged assumptions about. So, I’ll go along and see. It kind of sounds like Lighter Life in that it works by severe calorie restriction but maybe I’m missing the point. The consultant I’m to see is called Mr Coke, my specialist tells me. “Well, I guess that’s another option” I quipped. His student sniggered but he just looked at me over his half moon glasses “It’s spelt differently” he explained “Besides you can’t get that on the NHS”.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Counter productive

After a long absence, I got back on my bike and cycled my commute to and from work yesterday (8.9 miles each way). It was tough on the way there - but manageable - but on the way home, oh my, I barely made it. I got the shakes quite early into the ride and had to have dextrose tablets – 5. If I do get the shakes, 2 usually sorts me right out but I had 2, then cycled some more, and then another 2, and then the last one in the garages, just to try and get the energy to put my bike away. If bf had been there I would have summonsed him to do it for me – I just had nothing left, I could barely lift my panniers. I got the worst shakes around the most dangerous bit of my journey of course. Still, I made it. And I would say that I must have burned a hell of alot of flab to have that extreme a reaction, BUT I was so starving that I ate everything I could find in the flat– probably about a packet and a half of peanut M&Ms, 3 large tsp peanut butter, almost half a jar of caramel sauce – and then I had my planned meal of ratatouille, a piece of fish and added 4 pieces of parsnip too. And a portion of Ben and Jerry’s frozen yoghurt. So I’m guessing that that cancelled out anything good I’d achieved from the cycle ride. And I still felt awful and I’m still hungry – despite having had my porridge, a small, skinny cappuccino and 100g 2% Greek yoghurt with tsp of honey this morning. And my arse hurts. I’m still planning on cycling tomorrow if it’s not too foggy. The chances that I have to cycle will be few and far between between now and Christmas so I have to grab every opportunity for the sake of my waistline. Or, rather waistlessline.

I’ve also been rubbish on the Circuit of Hell. I can’t remember the last time I did that either. Must be 3 weeks ago. I set my alarm for 6am but I just can’t seem to haul myself out of bed until it’s a mad scramble just to make it out of the door on time – without adding in prancing about with weights. Actually, there’s little or no prancing involved. And currently little of anything other than snoozing – and there’s no calorie burning advantage in that.

Weekend was marred again by a nasty quarrel with bf. I wonder if Darcy and Elizabeth had rows about her always having her nose in a book (something I get accused of – it’s true, I just don’t see why it’s a problem), if Knightley and Emma bickered over her messiness (the reason for this particular row) or Edward accused Bella of having thin skin and thus overreacting to everything? No, I’m not really putting Twilight in the same category as Pride and Prejudice or Emma. But maybe fiction gives me an unrealistic idea of what relationships should look like – maybe everyone rows. Personally I avoid it – I’d far rather bottle things up - even seethe quietly - than row. And I am thin-skinned, I feel wounded to be told that I make bf’s life unpleasant by being messy and having “clutter” and that he “doesn’t know if [he] can live like this”. I was brave enough to tell him that he didn’t have to – he didn’t have to live with me at all, but that if he were going to dump me, I’d appreciate if he did it before I had to cater Christmas. I did also tidy up though as a less extreme path! Anyway, it ended okay – in that he felt better, the flat was tidier and we made things up (he actually tried quite hard to be nice and make things up to me in the end). My thin skin still shows the bruises though.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Eight comments!

Eight! I didn’t know there were that many people out there who read my bilge! It gave me a nice warm glow, so thank you guys. Which I really needed today....

Last night I went to an internal awards dinner (we won twice by the way). I was more nervous at the thought of having to have my photo taken than anything else and I asked my middle aged 6’2” colleague if he would kindly stand in front of me for the group photo if we won. His response? “I’m not that big”. Now, I don’t know whether this was knee-jerk (or just plain jerk) or whether he thought it was funny but his meaning was quite clear: F-A-T. He then kept trying to be nice so I guess he knew that he’d overstepped the mark but the damage was done. Firstly, my absurdly thin skin was bruised/flayed raw by this and I couldn’t wait to get away and get home. And secondly, I will never forgive and forget. End of. The photos weren’t fun either. Because I'm short they kept moving me to the front.

All this came at a time when I had been musing on my ambivalent feelings about my invisibility. When I was at my biggest (only unfortunately 1st10lbs away at the moment) I craved invisibility – I mostly saw the derision and disgust that I invoked in people because of my size and I wanted badly to fade into the background and not be seen, not see their reactions. Recently, I’ve felt a bit sad by the fact that I seem to have achieved that invisibility – just shows, be careful what you wish for and also how impossible I am to please! Last night made me realise that invisibility is not so bad after all – yes, it makes me feel even more dull and unattractive but the alternative is a sharper pain.

On the bright side, I managed quite well with the food – I only had a couple of nibbles and 2 glasses of fizz first (nervous drinking, I'm afraid),1 glass of wine, ate only part of the starter (which should have been none of it as it wasn’t nice), did eat the main (it was very small indeed and very atkins!) but didn’t touch the pudding. I did have 2 mini mince pies though. But the scales revealed a loss of precisely zero lbs this week. I thought I’d been pretty reasonable but I guess I ought to know by now that I rarely lose weight even after an exemplary week so “pretty reasonable” just won’t cut it.

What does the weekend have in store? Well, a mixed bag as ever. We’re going to a farmers’ Christmas market first thing tomorrow, then a walk with my mother and the lab-pack, then chores (which really ought to include window cleaning if I’m home and it’s still light – that has to burn a few calories too. And it would be nice to see out of the windows...). Sunday – lunch with friends (probably not too lardy) then my mother (and labs) are coming over for supper (canap├ęs and fizz) and staying the night so that Monday we can all go off for a long walk followed by a Christmas lunch in a pub (in fact, the oldest pub in England, it’s been there since Saxon times apparently – possibly not all of it). Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Twilight musing of the day: Bella says that she has always been distinctly average at everything and how revelatory it is to find something that she’s good at. I don’t want to spoil it for you if you don’t know what this is but suffice it to say that it’s something, er, unusual. Maybe my talents lie in a direction I may never discover? Because like her (or rather, like she claims to be), I am very, very average – I’d probably be a good spy or something because I’m so average and invisible (quite a feat with red hair). Unlike her, I don’t have a drop-dead gorgeous, intense, passionate, worshipping boyfriend. I may have mentioned this before...! Mine is quite sweet though – not really gorgeous (just as well) but pleasing to me, certainly not intense or passionate - or as wrapped up in me - but funny and clever. Oh yeah, Edward’s that too. Damn. Bit young though (I prefer the older man) and maybe all that passionate adoration would grow tired after a while? Am I convincing anyone here?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Fact vs fiction

I moped when I finished the 4 Twilight books on Monday night – even though I didn’t care about one of the main characters in the last book (I was only interested in the Edward-Bella romance to be honest). I couldn’t think what to read next. I had other good books lined up but I didn’t feel they’d consume me in the same way (which might not be a bad thing I suppose). So I started on Twilight again on Tuesday night and have almost finished it; will then read the others again and then move on and get a life! At least for a short time... I’m banning myself from re-reading them this side of Christmas. Lesley – beware, or at least clear your diary! I resented ANY interruption or anything that kept me from reading. Like work, or conversation.

Reading the Twilight books made me feel sad that I could never have that sort of incredibly intense, passionate, all-consuming relationship. Not least because those things remain firmly in the world of fiction. But also because I am Miss Ordinary. Which is part of my problem I think. I think that part of the reason I feel so unhappy at the moment is that I am chafing against being me. If that makes sense. And fiction is partly to blame. I have always read a great deal and my earliest crushes were always for fictional characters (Mr Darcy and Aragorn being chief suspects) rather than film/pop stars. And I think somehow I’ve lost sight of the face that fiction is not real life – which is what makes it interesting after all. Now with the countdown to 40, I can’t help but think ‘is this it?’. But I’m comparing my life with fictional characters, not with real-life people. It’s particularly daft as I already know that if I were in a book, I wouldn’t be the main character anyway – I’d be the bit part to heighten the desirability of the heroine in contrast (as I posted a few posts ago). So there’s no point in feeling as dissatisfied and wistful and just plain sad as I do. I need to accept my lot and be reconciled to it. Embrace it even. As ever, wouldn’t it be easier to be a bloke? Then my mid life crisis would be solved by simply buying a motor bike or having my ear pierced or shagging a junior member of staff half my age. Of course, it’s good news for cyclists and junior members of staff everywhere.

And it’s just as well I’m not a vampire in Twilight or with my self control and willpower, half the population would have been massacred. It would be one way of dealing with over-population I suppose!

Having said that, the eating hasn’t been too bad over the last few days – probably because I’ve not been in the office. Now I’m back I somehow need to keep that vibe going. And then I need to go further – to get more exercise in (or indeed any) and get some blubber off and back into clothes that don’t actually cause me physical pain. Always a benefit I think. I was also pleased to be back with bf last night and felt very snuggly even though he isn’t an intense, passionate, moody, flawed character madly in love with me! He makes an excellent hotwater bottle though – which is more than you can say for Edward*!


* Yet another tedious Twilight reference.... My obsession will wane soon, I promise. Er, I think.... Oh dear, I am such a tragic sucker for an intense, passionate love story. No pun intended.

Monday, 30 November 2009

It's official. I'm a 13 year old trapped in a 39 year old body.

Okay, let’s get this Twilight stuff out of the way. Having curled my lip in derision at the idea of the series, I am well and truly hooked. I resent any time away from the books. I’m 2/3 of the way through the last one now (there are four). I feel like a silly 13 year old – Lesley beware! And thanks Debbie for making me feel relatively sane.... (yep, I checked that link (I’m Team Edward by the way)). I am terribly drawn to intensity in men – which is ironic for two reasons, 1) Bf is the least intense person ever, he’s very normal, dispassionate (almost to the point of being unemotional mostly (unless drunk. Or angry (see below))), cool-headed and intellectual and 2) I’m not the sort of girl that provokes feeling of intensity in men. To be kind to myself, I would describe myself as the girl-next-door type. Read between those lines, people. Passion and intenstity for me are always going to be things only found in a book (and sometimes that book is Pride and Prejudice – so there, not a total teen-bimbo!). I’ve bought the film now. (Twilight that is, I already have P&P. ) Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I think they must put some sort of brain-cocaine in between the words – when I stop reading after a while, I feel kind of spaced out and dazed! Yep, thoroughly embarrassed....

Food – had an okay-ish weekend. Actually, a nasty quarrel with bf on Saturday night, which carried over to Sunday, left me feeling too ill to eat anything on Sunday. The first thing I ate was a slice of the triple lemon cake I made for my mother for her birthday at 4pm; it actually hurt the roof of my mouth. I’ve had that feeling before when I’ve not eaten because I’m so upset – weird. I did have dinner but it was meagre. I feel less hungry than usual today too so let’s hope my stomach has shrunk a bit – at least some good would have come out of the quarrel that way.

This week’s not looking good though. I’m staying at my mum’s until Wednesday night, with shopping trips tomorrow and Wednesday and lunch and dinner out tomorrow for my mum’s birthday and then I’m out on Thursday night (work – inc a dinner) and Friday (not work – inc cake) so there will be no cycling this week. I should have got up and done the Circuit of Hell this morning but no sleep on Saturday night had left me so tired that I just couldn’t get up. I’ll do it on Thursday and Friday though. Then out Sunday lunchtime, mum over Sunday night, out for walk and Christmas lunch on Monday with bf, mum, the lab-pack and bf’s friend in a nice pub, miles from us!

Definitely going to think of my inner toddler lisping “haribo” meaning ‘horrible’ when I see those jelly fiends next....

Friday, 27 November 2009

Genie in a bottle or fairy godmother required: apply within

If I had one wish, it would be to be able to eat what I wanted and not put on weight. Hell, yes, if I got three I’d wish for beauty and wealth. But not to have to constantly think about or beat myself up about food would transform my life.

As it is, I plucked up the courage to weigh myself today and I’m back to just post-holiday weight – I put on 10lbs when I went away, lost 5lbs and have now put them back on.

I tried very hard to be upbeat about it – this morning I told myself that this was good, that it was a wake-up call, that if I hadn’t changed much or (HA, HA!) lost anything with the amount of sugary crap that I’ve been eaten, it wouldn’t be good for me mentally. I kind of ultimately caught myself out at my own bluff though and am feeling sort of kicked and defeated. Which is absurd as it’s me who’s been doing the kicking! With a boot made of Haribo. Haribo, Ishmael – they’re chewy jelly sweets and the type I go crazy for are covered in what looks like sugar but is actually a sort of sour/sweet stuff. And what could I imagine them to be, Debbie, that’s worse than they actually are? Which is boiled up horse bones and hooves and chemicals – I mean, seriously, yuck! And yet... Thanks for the idea though – I need all the help I can get and am always very grateful for ideas/tips/whatever.

So I need to pare back my menu, how does this sound?

Breakfast – kind of do this in 2 halves, first is a small bowl of porridge oats made with 2/3 low fat soya milk and 1/3 water, dsp toasted flaked almonds and tsp honey at home. Then when I get to work (I’m always starving then) 100g 2% fat Greek yoghurt with tsp honey.
Mid morning – 4 walnuts, portion of fruit
Lunch – half a carton of soup, one small homemade seedy bread roll (satsuma size) and 1 triangle low fat Laughing Cow cheese, curly wurly (110cals)
Mid afternoon – 11 peanut M&Ms, (110cals) portion of fruit
Dinner – salad or fish and veg or an Innocent veg pot or M&S low cal ready meal, portion of fruit and square dark choc

What do you think? I've done Circuit of Hell three times this week but haven't cycled - I won't be able to at all next week either. It doesn't help.

On other matters, having half-heartedly watched Twilight and found it to be compelling (I think it was all the repressed passion – it’s a killer. And possibly floppy hair.) I’m now reading the books from the anonymity of my Sony Reader. If I were a teenage girl, I would be obsessed. As it is, I’m riveted. Absurdly so. I share Bella’s pallor and clumsiness but I do by no means identify with her. And not just for obvious reasons. Had I had so many boys interested in me I would have been pathetically grateful and said yes to the first one. Which would make me a poor heroine for a story. Which made me realise, with some sadness, that I would never be the heroine anyway; I am definitely ‘the friend’. You know, the one who’s not pretty, not brave, not clever, not anything other than the perfect foil to show up the superior beauty/nature /character of the heroine. I know we’re essential to the plot - we’re the bread in the smoked salmon sandwich - but oh, to be the one that things happen to rather than the one who listens to the one who things happen to.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Going nowhere fast

I feel I ought to update - but there's not much to say. My eating still includes too much chocolate and I still beat myself up about it - but that doesn't stop me. Unsurprisingly I still look and feel fat and my clothes still don't fit. It looks unlikely that I'll be cycling much this week - I don't like cycling in the rain (or the wind although I will reluctantly do that); I've done Circuit of Hell once and plan to do it tomorrow morning too.

We had a nice weekend in Aldeburgh - I probably ate too much but I wasn't out of all control, I didn't sneak in extra sugar, furtively and in between meals as I often do when we go away. I didn't weigh myself before I went and I haven't for a while now - I'm too scared - which means I probably should do this Friday. Weirdly I forget to do it but I suspect this is some sort of subconsious ploy to protect myself from full on freak-out (I know it won't be good news).

Despite too much chocolate over the last two days (and a Haribo hit today - provided at work) I have had salads in the evening that I have positively salivated over the prospect of (and soup for lunch, porridge for breakfast). Thank goodness I like salad. We bought an amazing lean slipper ham that had been marinated in treacle and then smoked - last night and tonight I had a salad of chicory, leaves, ham, apple and a bit of Sussex gold cheese, SO delicious. On Sunday we had a ham and chutney sandwich which was one of the best I've ever had (with local cider). We might have to go back and buy another ham! I enjoy this sort of natural, wholesome eating but it's got to be the polar opposite of Haribo which are essentially chemicals bound together with horse bone gluey stuff. How can something so intrinsically awful taste so nice and act on me like some sort of drug so that I can't stop at one or two? I know there will be more Haribo tomorrow. My goal is to take 5 pieces and not keep going back for more. It's a real challenge.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Mince pies are the new miracle

I couldn’t cycle today – I just couldn’t. My gears have stuck so I can only manage in my middle cog (makes hills harder), I have my period with a vengeance (late and ferocious), the weather, although dry here, is very windy and I wasn’t sure how long I’d be stuck in the office tonight. Enough with the excuses already! I dragged myself up to do the Circuit of Hell though – so I’ve done that three times this week and cycled once. Not impressive. Bf said encouragingly as I lifted dumbbells that he was sure I looked slimmer. But he’s delayed our trip a little and I think may be being ingratiating. It's a good way to get in my good books!

The weather means I won’t be getting my two or three long walks that I’d looked forward to this weekend either. Might manage one medium one if the weather is better by Sunday – but I’m not counting on it at this (soggy) stage.

Eating is – better. Not good, let alone perfect, but not crazy, off-the-rails like it has been. No progress on fitting into stuff – but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s as if the very action of lifting weights makes me feel that I must be slimmer. I think the scales tomorrow may beg to disagree.

And tis the season for miracles (see last post (not the trumpet tune))? Er no, that’s SO last millennia schweetie. The season this millennia means mince pies, chocolate, chocolate advent calendars, chocolate, chocolate log, chocolate and all manner of festive goodies. And chocolate. Most of my hibernation stash is still in situ – although my M&Ms bag that I carefully count out 11 of into a small box every day is severely depleted. I appear to have given bf a severe M&M habit. And one of my best friends too – although when I last saw her, poured into the teeniest-tiniest, leggiest, skinniest of skinny jeans, it didn’t seem to be doing her any harm. If I could fit an arm into her jean legs I’d be a happy – and much smaller – woman.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Hibernating

The urge to hibernate is very strong in the dark mornings – I push snooze on my alarm clock at least three times before I get up, reluctantly. Today looks like being the only dry day this week so I force myself to cycle. My gears won’t work properly and it turns out I forgot my towel – a slightly sweaty t-shirt does not make a good substitute. And I’m not looking forward to putting it back on to cycle home.

When I had the energy to be on the doctors’ backs (not literally, it might kill them) about WHY I have so many bloody headaches, the best they could come up with was a scan which showed that one set of my sinuses were “partially occluded” – the set behind my eyes and next to the blood supply to my brain. This meant there was nothing they could do as it’s too dangerous to operate – not something I was sorry to hear! But it could be right because I notice in the cold how my head literally pulsates with pain and my eyes water with it. Anyway, that’s a long way round of saying it’s tougher to cycle in the cold! I’m still doing it when it’s dry and I’m still doing Circuit of Hell 2-3 times a week (I aim for 3, I don’t always make it). This week so far I’ll have cycled one day and done Circuit of Hell once – I’m planning on CoH tomorrow and either cycling or CoH on Thursday, depending on the weather. On Friday we are going to Aldeburgh for the weekend – we wanted to do a couple of long walks but the weather forecast is dire.

It’s an odd one. Years ago, we all talked about ‘anniversaries’ and they meant we’d been with a boyfriend (I think this is exclusively a girl thing!) for weeks/months/years – the younger you were the shorter the time that seemed worthy of mention. As we all grew up (at least in theory!) my friends started to have proper anniversaries – ie the date on which they’d got married. So it seems sort of silly to confess that this weekend is for bf and my ‘anniversary’ – it’s not the real deal but we did meet 15 years ago this weekend.

The food thing is still difficult for me. Maybe that’s because of my wanting to hibernate too – not that I’m burying chocolate around the place, you understand. Actually I do keep buying it and putting around the place! Which in itself is not a problem – only when I then eat a load of it. I’m a little better than I was, but not enough to make me feel less gloomy and fatalistic about it all.

The recent reports saying that, ooops, scientists got it wrong and actually we can have 400 cals more, fill me with deep suspicion. Firstly, I think that may be men. Secondly, why are we all so fat if we’re undereating? Okay, not all of us but I’m speaking from the chubby-side here. It’s all very confusing. I also saw this thing on the Mail website (okay, not a source known for incisive factual reporting) but quoting the WHO which supposedly gives a range of calories we need. If you’re a woman, aged 30 – 60 you take your weight in kilos and multiply it by 8.7, add 829 and multiply the total by 1.5 for a sedentary lifestyle or 1.8 for an active one. This came out for me as from almost 2500 – 3000 cals. I think not! Sadly. Here’s the link to the article if you want to see:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1226258/Cant-lose-weight-Dont-blame-metabolism.html

But that’s not if you’re losing weight anyway so I’m not sure how you adjust that. Another source today told me that to maintain my weight (like anyone my weight would want to!) I should eat 2176cals or to lose weight I should eat 1624 – 1852, depending on level of exercise:

http://www.diet-blog.com/archives/2005/12/26/how_to_calculate_your_daily_calorie_needs.php

Whether it’s 1624 or 2949 – I don’t believe any of it. I suspect that I really need to eat very little if I actually want to lose weight – so little that I’m very hungry. I’ve only succeeded with LL and that’s less than 600 cals – and I still lost very slowly on that. I do want to lose weight but I can’t go back to the dust sachets. I’m just going to try and eat 1200-1400 cals a day, cycle 3-4x a week, CoH 2-3x a week and hope that at some point my body stops fighting me and a miracle occurs. Tis the season for miracles after all, right?

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Progress report

That should read lack of progress report...

Days cycling - 2/3-4 (blame the weather - as it was I cycled home practically underwater on Thursday)
Number of Circuit of Hell - 2/3
Days happy with eating - 0
Number of skirts fitting - 4 (just)
Number I look good in - 0
Weight lost this week - 0
Number of readers surprised by this - 0

I am still mojo-less. Every day I think it's going to be different but every day it isn't. Every day I plan out my menu and every day I eat too much (chocolate). Every day I go to bed loathing myself and swearing that tomorrow will be different. It isn't.

I seem to be able to count out 12 peanut M&Ms (c100cals) into a plastic box from home to take to work, to break a dark chocolate bar into squares (c50 cals) and wrap each into cling film to put in the fridge and nibble at one a night. What I absolutely cannot do is have any sense of perspective or discipline at work. I buy a multi pack of curly wurlys for my desk drawer (110 cals) and eat two. I think I may have even eaten three on one occasion. I KNOW I can't buy M&Ms at work or I'm incapable of eating half a bag. And if anyone brings in cakes/flapjacks/mince pies/sweets (almost every day at the moment) I'm the first one there. I know I should be ashamed and embarrassed - and I am, but it doesn't stop me. And I'm constantly thinking of what's left, whether I can have more. Even how long I have to wait until the next snack and what I could have in the interim (a cappuccino? Surely that would be okay? I am tired, I need the caffeine etc etc).

It all seems so futile at the moment and I know that even if I managed to lose some weight before Christmas (and that would be s-l-o-w as ever), I'd simply pile on even more over Christmas. My weight is slowly edging up, not down - I lose a bit, go away or there's Christmas or something and I put on more than I lose and so I start the whole process at a higher weight than before. It's depressing, it's exhausting just thinking about it and it's very, very scary.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Mortification

Admittedly I was wearing my cropped trapeze style jacket this morning (not very flattering), but I hadn’t realised that I looked so bad (read: fat) until a girl on the tube lent over to tap me on the arm and offer me her seat. I smiled, thanked her and refused whilst curling up with mortification inside. She clearly thought I was pregnant.

Monday, 9 November 2009

3 go mad in the Peaks

It’s been a while. And as you know, no news is not good news. I’m struggling – I am cycling when I can and doing my circuit (and no, Ish, I’m not fit – but sub in another vowel (‘a’) and you’re there!) but finding it very difficult still not to seek solace in chocolate. And being hungry doesn’t help.

But I had a nice weekend. Me, Beth and bf went up to Lesley-country to celebrate her 40th birthday with her. I have to say at this point that Lesley is clearly a big, fat fraud. Except she’s not big or fat! But I suspect her of fraudulence. She was positively glowing in a racy little halter-neck number and looked 34 if she was a day. The pub was heaving with her friends – this is one popular lady. Beth also looked sensational in the longest, skinniest, teeny black jeans, a flamenco style shirt and very saucy ankle boots. I looked dull in a cotton skirt and jumper. Sigh. I must learn that eating chocolate leads to nothing to wear to special occasions. And I have Naughty R’s wedding in May.

Beth, bf and I did a long walk on Saturday as an off-setting mitigation exercise for our intended cake-fest thereafter. And, okay, because we all like walking – and Lesley lives in the middle of the most gorgeous countryside.

It was coldish but sunny as we set out. But after a very fierce climb to the top of a ridge, the cloud gathered, the wind whipped up and Beth turned blue. Through 6 layers of clothing. You see? There are advantages to being fat and unfit – I was so hot I had to take my scarf off after the climb and gladly passed it over to Beth, along with my hood. She may have been a mountain-goat in her sprints up the hills but this tortoise won the race. Well, that’s not true but had Beth actually died of hypothermia, I’d have been able to nip past her. Although possibly not uphill as my legs were like jelly. As it was, by the time we’d found the car again in the gathering gloom and increasing rain, the tea shops were long since closed. We made up for it by detouring to one in a village in Nottinghamshire on our way home... I do reckon that me and my uber-ugly fleece trousers burnt a shed-load of calories – but I bet I was still in deficit.

I cycled in today in a further attempt to battle my many bulges. The wind was so sharp it made my ears and neck sting. It’s still a slog. It seems to work like fat – you have a small win, then time off where you slide back dramatically and then it takes ages and ages to get back to where you were. I have lost 3 of the 10lbs I put on on holiday 5 weeks ago. And my cycle rides still seem tougher and longer (ie I’m slower) than I was before I went. In fact, I seem to be back to where I was when I started six months ago – or maybe even slower. The only other days I can cycle this week are Thursday and Friday – and torrential rain is forecast for Friday (although they may yet change their minds). Circuit of hell is planned for tomorrow, Thursday and Friday – Beth lent me new (heavier) weights so I ought to be more effective. Still trying to eat my porridge (made with low fat soya milk and water, a tsp of honey and a dsp of toasted almond flakes) before I leave in the morning – which does mean having to have a second breakfast, hobbit-style, around 10am of some 2% Greek yoghurt with a tsp of honey. But I reduced my porridge from ½ cup of oats to 1/3 cup to compensate a bit. Then a 2 finger kitkat mid-morning, half a carton of soup with a small home-made roll spread with low fat Laughing Cow triangle, a piece of fruit and 4 walnuts for lunch, 12 peanut M&Ms and 2 satsumas mid afternoon and something like fish/meat with veg, a piece of fruit and a square of dark chocolate for dinner. I know there’s a lot of chocolate but I’m trying to convince myself I can have small quantities as long as it’s part of the calorie count, and that I don’t have to go mad and binge; it’s not an all or nothing thing. And I had been eating cereal bars which are the same calorie count but not as enjoyable – the Kitkat, M&Ms and square of chocolate all add up to 260 cals.

Monday, 2 November 2009

One step forward, six back

So, to update those stats:

Number of days I cycled last week = 4/3-4 (weekly goal)
Number of Circuit of Hell = 2/3 (that's two out of a planned three, not two thirds!) last week and 1/3 this week
Number of perfect dieting days = 0
Number of days without unscheduled chocolate = 1
Number of puddings declined = 1!
Number of work skirts I fit into (just) = 4 (because I bought a new one, not because I'm slimmer)
Number I look good in = 0

And having had a reasonable weekend on the food front, today I have simply gone mad on sugar. There was a massive pile of sweets and chocolates behind me today and I ate them all day. ALL DAY. Tomorrow I will have the shakes, I know this. And I dread to think about the quantity of calories I have consumed. Why? Well, greed and opportunity first and foremost. But I think there is this lurking sense of fatalism that whatever I do, I am sliding back towards obesity. I know this behaviour makes it more of a free-fall. This is a blip, I'm going to try and find that mojo. And they are chewy sweets, as well as the more earnest meaning! (My tongue was firmly in my cheek, Claire - it's always best to assume I'm being flippant!) Actually, I'm not sure I've ever met my mojo before; I may not recognise it even if I were to find it stuffed behind the sofa.

Today I was supposed to be meeting a friend after work so didn't cycle in. As it is, she was ill and had to cancel. This week looks impossible for cycling - tomorrow and Thursday are rainy and Wednesday I have the gas man coming and so have to get into the office as quickly as possible afterwards which does not include an hour's cycle ride and then a shower. I did manage to walk the 2-3 miles in today though, as well as my circuit chez nous. It's not looking like a good dieting week.

Circuit of Hell - it's my name for my little circuit, with an oblique reference to Dante, Ish. And indeed, Dante-ish. Mine consists of 15 box push ups, 20 secs of plank, 15 2 stage sit ups, 20 twisting sit ups (10 each side), 20 lunges (ditto), 20 tricep exercises with a stretchy band, then 4 sets of arm weights - not sure what they're all called, 15 palms down from by legs straight out to side, 15 bicep curls, 15 shoulder presses, 15 chest presses and 15 hammers (think that's what they're called). The weights are too light for the hammers and bicep curls but PhD Anti-fatter friend is lending me her heavier ones. I do this circuit twice and I try and do the two circuits three times a week. Last week I managed twice only. This week I must do better - especially with the paucity of cycling.

Wish I could lift the weight of my heart and get on with de-fatting. Not to mention the weight off my arse, belly, thighs etc etc etc

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Vital stats

Number of days of cycling - 1 (with 3 being the aim if I manage tomorrow and Friday)
Number of Circuits of Hell - 1 (hoping to do it again tomorrow. Should do it 3x....)
Number of days of 'good' eating (aka dieting properly) - 0
Number of unplanned chocolate incidents yesterday - 4
Number of work skirts I can squeeze into - 3.5
Number I look good in - 0

It's not good. What's my mojo, Claire? Is it a chewy sweet? Because I'm up for that, sadly. And Ish, I'm so chubby that I probably would bounce - if I fell down.

Which is reassuring for cycling I guess. It was SO hard last night. My neck ached, my shoulders ached, my thighs ached, my lower back ached so badly I thought my period had decided to make its presence a weekly event. But I didn't mind the fact that it was dark - I'm so cautious anyway. I had today off but I'm back in the saddle tomorrow (assuming that it's not raining) and I'm going to try for Friday too. I guess I was fitter than I thought just before my holiday too(although not, as you'll note, slimmer).

I did have a sulky look on ebay for some size 'cough' 18s but there wasn't much and what was there was going for quite a bit. So I'm stuck with (and possibly stuck in) the larger end of my current wardrobe. I kind of feel that any cutting in of waistbands is a punishment I deserve - I know that sounds a bit self-flagellating but it's true. And there's also the issue that I can't bear to think that I need a larger size - I have to get down, not settle for going up or where does that trend end? Admittedly, this tactic doesn't seem to be working too well at the moment. I actually ate three bits of my chocolate orgy yesterday to 'clear it up' so I wouldn't be tempted now and would have a clean sheet (from today). Errrr, total calorie intake the same, chocolate doesn't increase in calories like interest on your credit card statement the longer you leave it.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Normal service will resume shortly

I cycled today. I couldn’t see from our flat’s windows that it was drizzling – we overlook a park and grass looks the same whether it’s dry or wet. I found out when I actually cycled out of the garages. Had I known, I don’t think I would have cycled – I don’t like the way that the rain makes the roads more skiddy, especially with all the fallen leaves at this time of the year. And I don’t like the way the drops cling to my cycle glasses, making the world dangerously blurry. The whole way in I was chuntering in my mind about this. And it was tough – I’ve not properly cycled for about 5-6 weeks what with the holiday and the being ill. But you just can’t knock the 1200+cals that it apparently burns.

Thank you everyone who commented – I still feel a bit sheepish and guilty that I dumped all that down. I’m very much of the ‘bottle it all up’ school. But I do appreciate your support; I think it makes me a very little stronger as I try to do the things that will make me less fat and resist the short term satisfaction of eating the ‘wrong’ thing. (Btw, I had been having The Big Purple One (giant Quality Street filled with caramel and hazelnuts) as my chocolate ‘treat’ as I love them – yesterday I found out that one has 189cals so that’s the end of that). I may even reluctantly look at a few size 18 clothes on ebay. But oh, I don’t want to go back there. Except I’m already there, in 18-land, just in 16 clothes, aren't I? And to think my 14s were all getting quite roomy last summer (as in 2008, not the one just gone). I could cry. I have cried. But now I have to get on my bike and DO something about it. And no, eating chocolate doesn’t count. If only my head could rule on this – always the feeling that it will make me feel better, that I deserve it wins. Even though I know that in the long run it will make me feel much, much worse.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Whirling blog (aka the whiny post)

I met up with my PhD friend on Thursday and we discussed blogging. I told her I hadn't blogged for a bit because - yes, I'd been busy - but mainly because I felt so down and didn't want to sound negative and miserable in case I annoyed people. "Why don't you give it a whirl anyway?" she said, reminding me that this is supposed primarily to be for me. And so I am.

Every day I get up feeling fat, and I squeeze into clothes that despite being the biggest in my wardrobe, don't really fit. I am wearing a knackered old bra because my usual lingerie is so tight that I have got scars where the sores formed at the sides of my breasts - and even this one occasionally stabs me uncomfortably. I worry about what to wear - all the time. I feel like a scruff - all the time. I am, in all truth, pretty scruffy anyway, but being dumpy and frumpy seems to exacerbate it. I feel like apologising for taking up space (in the world) - I try and remain inconspicuous in the background but that's harder when you're bigger. And the only thing that makes me feel better is eating something sweet or chocolatey. Just while I'm eating it of course, and then the guilt and the panic sets in that I'm not losing weight. And I'm trapped in this vicious circle and I feel too miserable, too low, too tired and too weak to fight my way out. And I don't know what to do to make myself feel better that doesn't have a calorie implication attached.

I did Circuit of Hell twice last week - and that's the most I managed to do to escape this state. I am still not well enough to cycle - this is not an excuse. I had 2 days of reasonable eating and then the stress cranked up at work and I mainlined sugar for 3 days. I've not been good this weekend either. The good choices I've made are heavily in the minority.

Last Wednesday I put on 4 things in a frantic rush to get out and two were missing buttons, the skirt had a badly ripped lining and the third top looked beyond awful. I went in a missing buttoned top which I safety pinned on - of course by the time I got to work, the button had gone. As had my gold and pearl necklace that I shoved into my bag to put on when I got there to try and look a bit more elegant. Bf bought me that necklace. I wanted to crawl under my desk and cry and cry. Instead I had to go to a function where I - honestly - looked like a bag lady and everyone else was dressed up. Then I shot back into the office to try and squish a day's work into 20 mins during which time I steadily ate Love hearts from the bucket on the desk behind me.

What do I do? Give in and buy bigger clothes? Or carry on squeezing into, looking awful and actually breaking my current wardrobe. Okay, pretty much everything I own is from ebay so wrecking it shouldn't be a disaster fianancially but it feels wretched. But then buying bigger stuff would feel like defeat.

And I can't talk about this - I can't articulate this even to people who I know would be sympathetic. I can't find the words and I'm afraid that if I said this aloud, I might start crying and never stop. I say a few things to my closest friends and pathetically I sort of hope that they might guess the rest - fill in the huge blanks I've left unsaid. And it's not fair to look for someone else to make this better, that's not their job.

The fear that grips me is that I can - very slowly and very painfully - lose a little weight, probably. Then I go away and it piles back on - worse then where I started. This means that the trajectory is up. Say I manage to lose weight now; at the rate I manage this, if I'm lucky, I will be back to where I was when I went on holiday by Christmas. This, you may remember, was half a stone heavier than Easter, a stone heavier than the end of LL and a stone and 10lbs heavier than my lightest ever. And just over a stone from that weight where I felt less panicky, less desparate about my weight and appearence. I was still overweight but I felt I could take my time, do it right, do it healthily - and if it were slow, I could live with that. But that's two stone away from here. Here is desparate and here is really miserable.

So sorry for quite probably being annoying, for definitely being negative and for definitely being whiny. I know there's a way out but I can't see that glimmer of light and hope from down here. Not yet. Soon, please.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Still lurgified

I am at home again today. I felt shivery, spaced out and hot and cold all of yesterday. It's annoying that the only time you have to do stuff is when you have a day off like this - but when you have a day off like this you can only listlessly move from sofa to bed and back again. I guess that's why I'm not at work! Otherwise it's called skiving....

On the food front I did well in the end yesterday. I had porridge with 4 walnut halves for breakfast, then I had some sweet sesame peanuts I brought back from Turkey (bad) and to make up for that, had no snacks all day (I'd usually have a cereal bar and some yoghurt)! I had half a carton of onion soup for lunch with a small homebaked wholemeal roll (about the size of a satsuma) with low fat cream cheese and 2 satsumas, then I had 2 figs drizzled with a tsp olive oil and a little more pomegranate sauce (again something I brought back from Turkey - it's like balsamic really) and 4 slices of parma ham and a mango. Another day like that (which is what I've planned) and I'm hoping that when I'm back in clothes that my bras at least won't cut in so much - it also gives the sores there a chance to heal up. But of course I'm not actually burning any calories as I'm not moving at all. I kind of feel I should do Circuit of Hell today but I'm not sure I'm up to it - we'll see.

Thanks for your well wishes!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Sick

Sick in mind and body, that's me at the moment!

I feel really rough - my boss took one look at me as I came back from my lunchtime wander yesterday and said I should go home immediately, that I had no colour (I don't often but she knows this so I'm guessing I was even paler than normal). My legs were like cotton wool and I felt shaky and spaced out and altogether odd.

Sod's law of course meant that I was supposed to be seeing Fame last night with a group of friends - I was really looking forward to it and it was a mark of how rough I felt that I cancelled it and went home. And I was supposed to be out tonight with a friend - I was really looking forward to that too and needed words of wisdom from her. Grrrr.

It's only a cold and I know you feel worse at the start of one so I'm sure I'll be feeling better soon - but too late for my nice social things. Today I still have a very sore throat and feel dazed and tired but am starting to get snotty which will mean I can start getting better (I think!).

Sadly, I am one of those people who feels the need to eat anything and everything when I'm ill. I think in some sort of twisted way, I see this as indulgence, kindness, as looking after myself. I'm trying to fight this impulse too (as well as the lurg) as I know I don't want to be even fatter at the end of this. But I do wish I was the sort of person that stopped eating entirely when they felt ill.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Ups and downs

Some good advice from Beth and Ishmael. Which I will try and follow.

I guess I had mixed success (failure) over the weekend. I had a sensible breakfast on Saturday morning - and then I ate some cookies. Lunch at the pub was nigh on impossible - I tell you, there were NO healthy choices. I dithered over roast partridge or a steak baguette and went for the latter. Which came with chips. And it wasn't really what I wanted - I wanted a ploughmans but figured all the cheese would be too calorific. I turned down pudding but later that day had a chocolate biscuit cake at teatime - but I cut it in half and gave the other half away. Then I had a frugal supper. I was worrying about the fact that bf had bought sticky toffee pudding for dessert and wondering if I could get away with eating a third rather than a half - and then he got stomach ache and didn't want any supper at all so that answered that. I didn't eat any of the pudding - I'd felt morally obliged to join in with it but was fretting about the calories. I know, I know, I can say 'no'. In theory. In reality I'm hopeless at this.

I just had some yoghurt and granola for breakfast on Sunday and then didn't drink with lunch as I'm not keen on alcohol during the day (it always gives me a headache) and thought it would off-set the blackberry and apple crumble cake (which was gorgeous). Then I just had half a melon and some chestnuts for supper.

I feel that I ought to have done better. I actually have sores on the sides of my breasts where my bras are cutting in so deeply, post weight-gain. And I'm not convinced that I have enough outfits I can fit into for work this week. And I'm frightened to try stuff on and see.

Today I managed to get up in enough time to have breakfast and do the Circuit of Hell. I didn't leave in enough time to do the full walk in to work so - gasp - compromised and did a shorter walk! This was not an all or nothing action! Perhaps there's hope for me yet....

Friday, 9 October 2009

The road to hell is paved with good intentions apparently...

Which seems sort of mean to me, I mean, at least you were trying, right? And I have good intentions in spades.

It seems to me that dieting has a few key underlying 'musts' without which it's impossible. Or impossible to me, anyway:

1) You have to plan ahead - you have to know what you're going to eat/choose. Spontaneity leads to poor choices for me.

2) You have to be organised - you have to set time aside to make those plans, to consider when you can exercise and to have a plan B. I find Plan B has to be employed with bewildering frequency

3) You have to be disciplined - just to put those plans into action. Making the plans is the easy part....

And it all went wrong for me this morning. I'd checked the weather last night and it's supposed to rain this afternoon/evening. I hate cycling in the rain anyway but with the addition of slimy leaves - well, no, not a chance, not for a scaredy cat like me. So I thought I'd walk c2.75 miles along the Thames path on my way in to work to compensate. That was my plan - together with Circuit of Hell and breakfast (porridge) at home. Thinking about this now, it was not a well-thought out plan - I would have had to have got up at 5.40am - 5.50am I think in order to fit all that in which seems inhuman, but I also had at the back of my head that I could do Circuit of Hell tonight. And, as you have guessed, my plans went awry. Firstly I got up too late (6.30am) for Circuit of Hell and/or breakfast but was still in time to walk in. Except. I'd not factored in the utter uselessness of the London transport system and all that extra time I'd allowed for was swallowed up waiting for - and being unable to get on - tubes. I barely made it to work on time in any case, let alone with the 50 mins minimum walk in.

That is the random factor - the unforeseen, the unpredictable, the random that can kick your best laid plans into oblivion.

And as Lesley astutely pointed out in her comment on yesterday's post, I have an unfortunate tendency to be all or nothing. Once a plan fails I tend to crumple and give up generally. I definitely find that with one failure a mindset kicks in that leads with "oh well, you've ruined today you might as well...". And the 'might as well' is inevitably eating something fattening. And that compounds the feeling of despair so it spirals. I really have to fight this. The problem is that I feel defeated and fed up at that point which is where fighting is difficult and feebly giving in is much easier. But I have to, have to fight this.

I can practise this weekend. We have friends coming for lunch on Sunday (menu if you're interested: field mushrooms stuffed with leeks, bacon and blue cheese followed by chicken and chorizo roasted in sherry with stuffed squash and then apple and blackberry crumble cake with clotted cream - all pleasingly seasonal) and I'm going out for lunch with bf and his friend on Saturday at a pub from their youth. That is enough to make me feel that I've "spoilt" the weekend and, blow it, may as well have exactly what I please. What I please being large quantities of fattening stuff of course (the three Cs - cakes, cookies and chocolate). But I'm going to try my darnedest (a word I've never written before!) to use my remaining meal choices to make healthy choices. To make choices to make up for those decidedly off-diet meals even. In fact, I bet I can find a relatively healthy choice for lunch at the pub. And then it's only Sunday lunch and I can balance that with a healthy breakfast and a small supper that day. Can't I? I'm certainly going to try.

But how to tackle the Random Factor? I guess not to let it affect the rest of that day's choices - to accept that there will be times when you cannot do the right thing but to put those times behind you and move swiftly on. I don't think that's easy - not for me in any case. Practise makes perfect I guess...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

A human experiment

Fired up by Mrs Lard's progress with Potatoes not Prozac, I thought I would buck the habit of a lifetime and have breakfast before I left home this morning. I had a half cup of porridge oats (50g) with a half cup of semi skimmed milk and one of water with a large tsp of honey, loads of cinnamon and 6 half-walnuts - does that sound a reasonable breakfast? I guess that the problem with being on LL, Diet Chef etc is that when I'm not following a specified plan, I'm a bit in the dark about what constitutes a good choice. And I know that this is a healthy breakfast - but is it a good calorie choice? Anyone know?

It was a much nicer breakfast than I could have at my desk, despite having to get up even earlier to have it, but my concerns about doing this were:
a) I have heard that exercising on an empty stomach forces you to burn fat reserves and that always sounds like a good thing
b) I was worried that I would still be hungry when I got into work.
Well, I don't know about a) so if anyone has any inkling, please do let me know. As for b), well, yes, I was hungry. I don't think it was just habit either. I had to have my mid-morning snack of 100g of 2% Greek yoghurt with 2 dsp of compote by 10.15am as I was so hungry. So I'll try it for a bit longer but will have to see how I go.

And then I cycled in. It has been almost 3 weeks and I certainly felt it. I don't know whether it was the colder air, the length of time that's elapsed or the extra weight I've packed on but my lungs were sore (if you know what I mean). I hope to cycle tomorrow too (and do the Circuit of Hell) and carry on like this so that when I next weigh myself (next Friday) I can be perked up by some loss. I squeezed into my next largest skirt today but I'm not sure I have 4 outfits for work (we can dress down on a Friday) at this weight. Even my bras are uncomfortably tight.

And I didn't do well yesterday. A combination of circumstance (also known as sod's law) and weak willedness. Breakfast was a small pot of instant porridge and a very small skinny cappuccino. Mid morning I had 6 Haribo, 2 Turkish Delight and a low cal cereal bar. At lunch I met bf for a coffee (semi skimmed cappuccino) at which point I was so hungry I started getting sweaty, dizzy and faint. He had a wodge of granary bread in his bag and I ate that. Then I went off in search of soup for lunch. Then I got very shaky and faint - I know this is a blood sugar problem, I've had it before. Reader, I ate a packet of peanut M&Ms. They did the trick but I couldn't enjoy them as I was despairing of the calories even as I rammed them - shakily - into my gob. Then I couldn't find any soup. It was ridiculous - I'd looked at the Eat website to choose the best calorie choice and they'd run out. So had the next 3 places I went to. I ended up with a Moroccan Chicken soup from Pret (eek! 309 cals I just checked) with a mini Artisan baguette (with proscuitto, basil and pecorino - 318 cals! It was tiny!) and about 8 Haribo. I had 100g 2% Greek yoghurt with 2 dsp of compote late afternoon and then went home to homemade squash soup (large butternut squash, soup and a little chorizo). Then a slice of helva and a pear - and then in a rage because I couldn't find my cycle lights, 4 Roses chocolates. It wasn't a good start.

But as Yazz and the Plastic Population wisely say - "the only way is up". Today is another day. so far I've had my porridge and my yoghurt mid-morning snack. Lunch will be soup - not sure whether I dare include a hunk of bread with it (probably not) and 200g plums. Mid afternoon - a low cal cereal bar. Tonight - a prawn stir fry with noodles and a few cashews, a slice of helva and a pear. And I'll have cycled for 2 hours and walked for half an hour. That has to be good, right?

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Merhaba!

That's Turkish for 'hello'! Kurdish is Hroj Bosch (phonetically)! We added to our Turkish vocab whilst we were away and now have a few words of Kurdish too. It was a lovely holiday - the place was a bit brash so it was a shock at first, but once you can ignore the restaurants serving 'chicken luggets', fishfingers, egg on toast, English breakfast (in a Muslim country!) and 'lorry driver's menu' (I'm not kidding), there were some lovely places to eat. And the scenery was gorgeous and the people friendly, thrilled we spoke a little of their language and keen to debate politics with us. I even have a faint tan... Bf has a convincing tan. And he was lovely all holiday - it was all very loved-up which was particularly nice after his crotchetiness of late.

I didn't do much shopping (there was alot of tat but not much else) but brought back a 'little' something in the form of 10lb of unwanted extra blubber. Usually in that time I'd put on over a stone so I guess I have to be thankful for small mercies but it still makes me heavier than I've been for a long time - nearly 2st heavier than the end of LL and 2st7lbs heavier than my lightest weight last summer. And critically, 2st heavier than my freak-out weight (the weight above which I can no longer be rational about weight loss and my appearance generally). So, now I have to address this. I tell you this tough, I am not going on another holiday that is spoilt for me because of fretting about my weight. As it was, you'll remember the swimsuit trauma before I left and I can say I actively avoided wearing it whilst I was there - only swimming twice because of feeling so dumpy and frumpy. That would make it c£20 a wear. That's not good sense on any level.

I did have baklava (oh god I love baklava) or an ice cream every day I suppose, but the actual food out there is pretty healthy - no creamy sauces, no mountains of chips - and they'll tell you if you are ordering too much. In fact, if you get chips you get about a dozen which I think is really good - it's enough to enjoy but not an absurd amount. Of course you often get this with mash (which I always left) or rice (which I always ate) AND bread (sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't - it depended on the bread).

So, I did my Circuit of Hell today (before I weighed in actually), having checked the weather forecast and decided that cycling would not be a good idea (and I can't work out how to put my light on at the back). And I'm starving! Part of me is thinking that I'll try to diet without the calorie counting but I don't know if that's really a good idea as it does make me sneak in extra stuff, 'subliminally'. But this is my plan and please, any advice is SO SO welcome.

Food -
During the week:
breakfast = porridge,
lunch = soup mainly and fruit,
dinner = pick 5 low cal evening meals and rotate (I'm thinking: prawn stir fry, omlette and salad (one whole egg, one egg white), fish and veg, soup (again) and one ready meal). Piece of fruit and square of chocolate
snacks = cereal bar mid afternoon, 100g 2% Greek yoghurt with 2 dessert spoons compote mid-morning (during the week)
Weekend (will have to be a bit more fluid):
breakfast/brunch = scrambled egg, baked mushroom, baked tomato, slice seedy bread OR peanut butter and wholemeal muffin for breakfast and salad/soup/cottage cheese for lunch
evening meal = healthy but more relaxed with a couple of glasses of wine. Probably stewed fruit for pudding (I love this, weirdly) or Skinny Cow ice cream bar

Exercise - well, cycle as much as I can, walk where I can otherwise (including fitting something in at the weekend wherever possible and weather allowing) and Circuit of Hell 3x.

What do you think?

Of course, I came home with helva and Turkish Delight so my weekday pudding will be a slivver of helva until that's used and then 2 cubes of Turkish Delight - all instead of the chocolate square.

My loosest winter work skirt is decidedly tight - it was a struggle to get it on today.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Biased reporting

Okay, I'm feeling a bit guilty that I am maybe too mean about bf in my posts after A's comment on my last blog posting. Thanks for the comment A, and it's nice of you to be so concerned for me but I think I ought to try and be more balanced. I guess I only ever 'talk' about him when things are going badly. He is a strong character and can be a bit of a bully but I am a wuss and ought to get a spine (he has said this actually - but not sure if he'd really like it!). I'm also ridiculously thin-skinned and things that other people wouldn't notice, bruise and wound me and I agonise over things that don't even register with 'normal' people. And - as someone clever once said - you can't change other people, you can only change your behaviour so you shift the dynamic that way. I have had some success with this actually but it's quite tiring to keep up a mode of behaviour that isn't really you. A bit like dieting in fact. I guess it's a question of 'fake it til you make it'.

On swimwear: the stuff finally came from Figleaves. I tried it on. It looked awful. I sent it back. I seem to pay some sort of overnight rental for these things - I pay the postage but have nothing to show for it at the end of the day. Actually bf came in whilst I was mid-tankini and said I looked good (as I cowered away, hoping he might not spot me at my worst - ha!). I really, really didn't look good and I think this was what he thought was a subtle attempt to get back in my good books after compter-rage #2. The tankini was brown and he hates brown too! As a redhead, brown is my black (ie I wear it alot) but I have to confess it's not an inspiring colour for swimwear. I have bought a rather fuddy-duddy swimsuit (given up on tankinis, the lines are definitely even less flattering) from Bravissimo -in (you've guessed it) brown! With a turquoise band around the waist (http://www.bravissimo.com/products/swimwear/swimsuits/ballet/swimsuits/bw05-details.aspx?colour=Choc+Blue). Unsurprisingly it looks a lot better on her! Then I cunningly went online and found the exact same swimsuit in turquoise with a navy band (http://www.curvesandgoddess.com/ballet-acapulco-swimsuit-p-244.html) which is more summer-y I think. Unsurprisingly it will look a lot better on her! Of course, now I have to bite my nails and hope it arrives by Friday (paid extra for next day delivery so it ought to - and ordered a couple of other options too so will have to squeeze in a trip to the post office again before we go to return the others).

Diet - things are not good. I keep eating sugary crap. And I've not been able to cycle nor have I done the Circuit of Hell. That +2lbs really stuffed me in all senses of the phrase. I am freaking out that I will not even be able to fit into my fatter wardrobe by the time I return from Turkey. Already the few things I've tried on in shops don't fit. And freaking = sugar in the mad world of Peridot. I am not going to let myself do this. Today has been a little better and tomorrow is going to be better yet. I will not have that giving-up slump. This is not the beginning of the end but the end of the er, lapse.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Caught by the fuzz

I'm not having a happy time at the moment so it's just as well my holiday beckons. Regardless of swimwear trauma (which has now gone missing en route!).

We are having real problems with our computer at home which makes bf furious with me - I'm afraid that his default position seems to be to take out any anger/frustration on me. That's how it feels to me although I'm sure he'd have a different perspective. Then I make matters worse by trying to help and usually failing spectacularly. We've only just got a computer so it's all a bit new.

On Saturday he told me I was becoming self-centred and selfish (although he now denies the selfish bit) because I had an appointment at the hairdressers (of which more later) which I - essentially - hadn't okayed with him and he fancied doing something else as it transpired. Which is kind of unfair as I recently had a lecture on how I need to be more independent and less reliant on him. Then computer rage #1 yesterday (white hot - he lost his document which was my fault for talking to him about the self-centred comment whilst he was working on it). Tonight I was out with my friend E for supper and came home to more of the same. I loaded some free security software yesterday in response to some criticisms but today the pre-loaded stuff (which it wants us to pay for) is prompting for renewal and preventing him using Word. I've downloaded the trial office package and I hope it sorts it - but (as has been pointed out to me) I'm no expert.

So I'm feeling a bit emotionally fragile, what with one thing and another. I feel bruised by bf's anger, I've got a few health problems (nothing serious but not pleasant and could be quite impactful) and of course I have the elephant in the room. Oh no, that's me! Or rather my weight....

I ate several pieces of cake on Friday, post scales and today I've had what - for me - is a binge: a white bread roll, a chocolate bar, 3 walnut whips, some fizzy sweets and a half dozen plums (as well as my planned salad for lunch and a frugal choice in Wagamama for dinner). If I'd had anything else I would have eaten that too. As it is, I bought a chocolate bar home with me and intend to eat it next, even though I have a big lump in my throat to force it past. Will it make me feel better? Probably not but I'm not sure what else to do. Pretty pathetic, huh? I need to get a grip. And I will. I really will. But the verbal bashings on top of me just mentioning to E tonight a teeny bit of what I'm feeling, have made me feel both tearful and horribly self-indulgent and feeble. And ashamed for being like this.

So, the hairdresser's. I'm afraid I paid for an absurdly expensive hair treatment on Saturday which is currently making my hair look dank and greasy but when I'm allowed to wash off (tomorrow night - hurrah!) the product sealed into my hair, will make me shiny and sleek with little or no work by moi. It should remove hair-frizz holiday hair trauma and thus (hopefully) go some way to offsetting my swimwear trauma - perhaps people will be so blinded by the gleam of my luscious tresses that they won't be able to see my spare tyres and fat suit! It might just be worth the bashing I gave my credit card if that's the case.

Friday, 11 September 2009

At a loss (for words)

So, after a week where I've determinedly not been thrown off course by the scale, where I've cycled c45 miles, where I've done 2 long walks, where I've done the Circuit of Hell (only twice), where I've kept a grip on what I've eaten and substituted to cover any mistakes, in that week I've...... put on 2lbs.

I don't know what to say.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

When good money goes bad

Activity tally: I walked 7 miles on Saturday, 7.5 miles on Sunday. I cycled Monday (nearly 18 miles - my standard commute), today (Tuesday - again, nearly 18 miles) and will be cycling Friday (weather permitting). I will have done my circuit of pain 3 times by Friday (only once so far though - next session planned for 6.15am tomorrow).

Food tally: a bit more lax at the weekend but nothing too awful (an ice cream, a couple of cookies and a couple of pieces of cake (non butter-cream variety) all of which I'd subbed stuff out to compensate for). Today however I had an almond Magnum - which was almost the same calorie content as my dinner will be. That's why I have to calorie count, I convinced myself that a Magnum was c200 cals and I was almost 100 cals out. I will be just over 1400 cals today and I try to keep it around 1250-1350 cals when I cycle. This allows me to eat more at the weekend. A Magnum rather throws that balance out and I really regret having eaten it now.

So it's with a heavy heart that I approach the penultimate weigh in before holiday to Turkey. Perhaps that's the reason that the scales never give me a happy reading? It's not my blubber that's heavy, it's my heart! Hmmmmm, sure thing porker!

And I am going to have to face the Swimwear Trauma very soon. I chickened out and ordered two tankinis and a swimsuit from Lands End but I have yet to summon up the courage to actually try them on. I need to pick the least awful option and send the others back - and in time to have a panic buy on Figleaves if necessary... They were expensive but not really attractive (all underwired though - that was a non-negotiable - although not in bra sizes curiously but dress sizes (not quite sure how that works)) so I do rather resent the money I'm spending just to make myself look bad. After all, I could do that quite cheaply!

Friday, 4 September 2009

An exercise in futility

So, since my freak-out about my impending holiday I have lost (drum roll) - precisely 0lbs. That's right, a big, fat zero. And since late June, I am half a stone heavier. That would be a stone heavier than last time I went abroad on holiday (2 years ago) and 1 stone 10lbs heavier than my lightest weight (last summer). I seem to be going in the wrong direction. Fast. I know I've had my birthday in the middle of pre-holiday freak-out but I've also done lots of exercise to try and compensate and kept the 'treats' down. I feel hard done by, fed up, and, oh yeah, fat.

I'd be depressed by this even if I weren't going away to a land of swimsuits and skimpy summer clothes, but would focus on hiding under jumpers and boots and beavering away, hoping for a pay back by the time Spring came around and I had to emerge from this cocoon (hmm, not sure about the spelling of that). But my current situation rather ramps up the anxiety. A holiday really shouldn't cause this much angst! It ought to be purely anticipated with excitement and pleasure. I do think that this is one of the (many) miseries of fat-dom: that nice things (holidays, parties, weddings etc) become the focus of anxiety and pressure. Not that I'd want to forego them, I have to say but afterwards I always find myself vowing not to be in the same situation (fat) next time so that picking an outfit becomes a pleasure, not an exercise in damage-limitation, and that photos hold no fear and self-consiousness has no place.

Frankly I think I was only just a bit short of heroic that, after that wretched weigh, I still did my Circuit of Pain (weight, sit ups, push ups etc) that the experts at the fat loss summit agreed might help give me some sort of metabolism. All I really wanted to do was scoff those truffles (yes, even at 6.20am). Especially since a little voice has been whispering that I might as well eat the lot in one sitting and then I'd be 'free of them' and have got it all out of the way. Luckily, I recognise this as the voice of madness, as pleasant as it would be to give in to it. Last night - a personal best - only 3 truffles (they're a bit smaller than a 10p coin).

I found myself wondering about a quick dose of Slim Fast on my cycle ride in. Maybe if I did that for a fortnight I could shift half a stone? I haven't discounted it but I suspect that the total calorie consumption would be much the same as I am having anyway - just in the format of powder and artifice, rather than food. And I am still afraid of slowing my metabolism down yet further - my specialist thinks part of my struggles date from a hangover effect from Lighter Life which has depressed my already barely existent metabolism into something approaching nothing-ness. It is, apparently, normal for a VLCD to depress the metabolism but the effects usually last 8-10 months (in which time, cruelly, many of the people who have slogged away at a VLCD put most, if not all - or more - of their weight back on). I'm up to just over a year now - he hopes suddenly my metabolism will return to 'normal'. Which for me is turgid at the best of times. Still, I could do with that increase in speed right about now. Or possibly yesterday.

Outlook for the weekend - fair to moderate in terms of effort. I am doing a walk tomorrow of c4-5 miles and one on Sunday of c7-8 miles. We're going to a farmers' market tomorrow morning before the walk and it has a great fish stall, so my off plan meal on Saturday will be fish and vegetables chiefly (samphire if I can get it) - with some wine - which is pretty good on the old calorie count. And we're going to an oyster festival at a pub down there for lunch - so half a dozen oysters and either a sandwich or ploughman's (whichever PhD friend recommends as least damaging - suspect sandwich because of the cheese effect of a ploughman's).

Thought for the day (a less smug and pious version than R4 Today's): as I was being menaced by motorbikes in the cycle lane, I was thinking how I could explain to them simply the difference between a motorbike and a push-bike. My latest reason was how all they exercise is their wrists on their commute - and then I thought this is probably true of them in other activities too....

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Windswept and dissolute

It took me ages to cycle in today: cross-wind, head-wind - it all came at me this morning. It was a real battle. People cycling the other way were literally pinging past me. They had the mythical tail-wind which propels you along like ET - I have never experienced this but it looked impressive with me going one way v-e-r-y slowly and them whisking past at high speed the other way. I grimly consoled myself that I must be burning more calories than normal - and my arse and thighs were certainly screaming by the time I got to work.

Which is just as well. I had another encounter with the truffles last night. I had 3 of the larger rectangular ones (they're now gone) and 3 of the smaller, round ones. I dread to think what that did to my calorie count. I'm aiming for 2 small ones tonight and NO MORE. I don't think I possess even a shred of will power. Do you think I could buy it on ebay? Or pretty much anywhere really!

I was supposed to go to M&S last night to look at the dreaded swimwear - I couldn't cycle so it made sense to go. But it was cold, rainy and I couldn't face the ensuing freak-out. So I went home and ate cottage cheese instead. And, er, truffles.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Three - it's the magic number

The weather is not on my side. Rain this morning and promised torrential rain this afternoon meant no cycling. I did manage to dash out of the flat in time to walk in though - and I did my anti-fatter approved circuit too. It's not leading to a happy encounter with the evil scales of doom on Friday though.

Last night I had half a tub of cottage cheese (with pineapple) and a corn on the cob (to use my glut up) for dinner - is this a balanced diet? I shall be having the same tonight to use it up but it kind of feels a bit nuts. No actual nuts included. Dinner (if you can call it that) had to be that restricted to kick in at under 1250 cals. As it is, I entered my calorie counts including one square of my usual chocolate to sub in for the (birthday gift) truffle I intended to have which was coy about calories. Reader, I ate three.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Fair, fat and forty

That will not be me! Despite evidence to the contrary thus far....

I have to say, that despite feeling occasionally (or, okay, quite often) feeling depressed and/or desparate and/or thoroughly fed up and/or just plain knackered about my weight, I have never, not for one moment, considered giving up. I have a year to get slim. It sounds beguilingly easy when you say it like that, doesn't it? I know it won't be. My conundrum is that the saying "if you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you've always got" or something like that. I genuinely think that - short of wiring my jaws shut and joining a permanent boot camp - there's little more that I can do differently. To encapsulate my plan:
1) Cycle to and from work as often as possible (a minimum of 3x a week)
2) Have initiated a circuit of sit ups, lunges, arm weights etc of c20mins in the morning on the advice of friend with PhD in anti-fatter. She reckons more muscle will kick start my metabolism. It's got to be worth a try.
3) Calorie counting 1200-1350 cals Mon-Fri (depending on cycling etc). Evening meal on Saturday with bf - more relaxed. Sunday evening meal - something off plan like steak and salad but still low cal. Rest of weekend ultra cautious but no counting.

Am I missing something?

And Mrs Lard asked me what a slim life would look like. Well, I am under no delusion that life will suddenly become easy - I know that the struggle to stay slim is just as great as to get there. I know that every time I go away or go off plan that I'll put weight on and will then need to concentrate on getting it off again. But I do think it will be easier to start from that level - to know that you can get there, to know what you did that worked to enable you to get there. I would anticipate that special occasions like holidays, weddings, parties etc would no longer hold the same sort of terror/horror over what to wear, how to fade into the background, how to avoid photos etc. I know that if I were to get to this mythical state of slim-dom I'd still be dieting (although hopefully I could eat a little more) and still need to exercise - I can live with that. But I would hope that my whole life could stop being about food (or lack of), weight and flab. That would be good.

So, this weekend. I have eaten, but I have to say there's a contrast to last year where I got in my favourite toffee and fudge (by mail order!) and bought my favourite chocolate bars in anticipation. This year I have had treats but they've been part of meals. And I've done a reasonable amount of walking (Thu - 8 miles, Fri - 3 miles, Sat - 3 miles, Sun - 4.5 miles, Mon 6.8 miles) which I hope will go some way to balance everything out. I deliberately chose to build in as much walking as I could - weather permitting - for this reason. But I know I've put on weight and I'm too chicken to weigh myelf before Friday (when I hope to have cycled 4 times and done my little weights and floor work circuit 4 times too). I know that this holiday is going to be another one where I am constantly embarrassed by my size and I know that I'm not going to be fitting into last year's summer clothes for it so I'm just going to do the best I can and focus on not feeling like this next year.

Thanks for all your comments, I think it's a record number! It really does make a difference knowing there are people out there who understand how hard this can be - because they're living it too.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Nearly a year older and/or wiser?

On Thursday I will be 39. When is it that a birthday stops being something you get excited at the prospect of and instead becomes something that highlights the gulf between where you are and where you wanted to be? I've decided that the best I can do is accept that many of the things that I want are not available to me and just to concentrate on the small things and make the most of any opportunities which come my way.

It's a bit like the (my) perennial weight problem. I'm so unhappy with how I look at the moment (having had a bit of an extra shock here by seeing photos of me in my full blobby glory) that I feel desparate, despairing and I'm slightly freaking out. I had the sudden and unpleasant realisation that despite all the work and the anguish and the pain, I am now where most people START to lose weight. You know, where they say they suddenly realised how bad they looked. And - as PhD anti-fatter friend said, it's not as if I can carry a photo around with me to show that actually I have achieved something, that I'm not oblivious to my blubber, that I am a work (very much) in progress. I think that all I can do is to wear metaphorical blinkers and concentrate on the baby steps until hopefully one day I can look around me and find that the scenery has changed (for the better).

It's all tougher than it sounds...

The fat summit was great though. I was - as I had expected - the utter dunce of the group but I am so full of admiration and respect for the other two who are so much further down the line than I am. I took alot of food for thought away (the only kind of food with no calories!) and I'm going to try hard to use them as my inspiration (and possibly my personal gurus) to help me achieve even a little of what they have.

Last night I went to see The Ugly Truth. There is no chick flick that I would not enjoy I suspect. The more scathing the review, the more I know it's going to be good. It was of course, twaddle in a lot of ways but I have the deep suspicion that all it said about the shallowness of men was right on the button. My friend agreed. We also agreed that it would be very nice to look like Katherine Heigl - mainly the figure, hair (with the extensions she has put in to be more man-pleasing!) and teeth (and mouth generally). I wonder if life would be easier and more pleasant if you looked like that or whether it would just bring its own problems?

Friday, 21 August 2009

Scores on the doors

So, let's review the week. Exercise - three cycling days (at just under 18 miles a day), one 5.5 mile walk, one 3 mile walk, five sessions of arm weights. Food - VERY hungry but stuck to it pretty much, quite respectable.

As you know, I was hoping for a stellar weight loss to kick start me after some carby indulgence last week. It's always a bit more at the beginning, right? So I was hoping for 3-4lbs. And the result? 2lbs. I know, 2lbs is a reasonable loss but not as a week 1 weigh in. And, more to the point, it's not taking me anywhere near what I need to achieve before my holiday. To actually be the same weight as I was last time I went to Turkey (when I felt too fat) I will have to lose 3.5lbs a week from here on in. I know that's a tall order, even with my 1200-1300 cals and cycling regime. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that's impossible. And next week will not be an exemplary week - one cycle commute max (depending on weather - not looking good at the moment), one walk in of 3 miles (ditto) and a long all-day walk in Wiltshire where we're going for 2 nights to celebrate my birthday. Then the BH weekend on which we will also be celebrating my birthday. And I'm meeting a friend for a chick flick and sushi on Monday (not a disaster but harder to keep a grip on).

I'm not going to go mad over my birthday but we will be eating out a few times so it will be more akin to weekend eating but over 5-6 days. Gulp. I'll have to work on a plan for this. I do want some nice meals and I do want some sweet stuff but I don't want to pile weight on so there must be some balance there. I'm already formulating a plan as I type - eat frugally where possible, both when making choices in restaurants/pubs and also to eat very carefully and cautiously the rest of the time to try and balance out those few meals out.

I am simply not going to let the disappointment of the weight loss and the fear of the holiday de-rail me. The temptation to eat, to just say 'sod it' is enormous. Both temporarily as 'a treat to cheer myself up' and going forwards right through my birthday and up to the holiday. But I'm not giving in to it. I'm going to carry on determinedly and do the best I can. I know it's not going to be good enough, but I won't have anything to reproach myself with (or - realistically - not as much) when I'm packing and trying to work out what I can wear on holiday. I can kiss goodbye to my clamdigger plans and my nice size 14 skirts from last year though. Which is good in a way. Well, it's not, but at least I can now focus on what I can take to make sure I've got enough tops which actually go with the skirts I have got etc, and that is clarity anyway.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Meanwhile, back in the real world...

In anticipation of today's predicted thunder storms (inc torrential rain) I managed to score an appointment with a GP tonight to beg them for more migraine drugs (apparently this has to be done in person because a repeat prescription is too easy - and making an appointment to see a GP is actually migraine-inducing ironically, it's taken me c3 weeks). If I know I can't cycle, I try to schedule other things too so as not to miss too many opportunities to down-size myself. As it is, when I checked the forecast last night they seemed to have changed their mind about rain - grrr. But with the doc appointment there was going to be no return to cycling today. So I hauled myself out of bed early (did I mention how tired I am?) so that I could get off the tube early and walked 3 miles in carrying a very heavy bag - I'm hoping that will help. Hear the faint desparation?!

Thinking on the walk in, I came to the sad conclusion that I'm deluding myself in hoping I can drop the best part of a stone in 5 weeks. You all knew that already, didn't you? Especially given that my birthday and bf's birthday occurs in that time. I reckon that half a stone is probably the best I can do (and that's without factoring in my decidedly sluggish metabolism) - and that ain't gonna get me in clamdiggers or last year's skirts. Sigh. I need to start planning on the basis of my current meagre wardrobe.

I also need to set some ground rules for myself for on holiday. I seem to have got into this pattern where I painstakingly lose 1/2 stone s-l-o-w-l-y, only to have a holiday and put on 10lbs - 1 stone. I'm never going to get back to my size 14s at this rate. We do want to do a walk and there are bikes at the hotel which we'll have a go on and I'll try and swim too (I am a rubbish swimmer of the head out of water brigade). I don't tend to drink much in Turkey so that helps on the calorie front - I don't want to feel miserable and deprived out there but I don't want to come back a blimp (or, more accurately, more of a blimp). Food out there is pretty healthy - I'm a sucker for a chicken kebab - so even with a bit of baklava (not with ice cream, bleurgh, WHY mask the nutty, syrupy loveliness with bland dairy goo?) and the odd piece of Turkish delight, it should be possible to not re-chub too much. That's the theory...

Having not cycled today I really need to watch my calories. And I'm still really hungry pretty much all of the time so that's going to be hard. I've stuck it all in Food Focus and it tallies at 1233 for today - if I don't get so hungry/shaky that I resort to another snack. I wanted 1200 cals max but I can't get too fussed about 33 cals (she tells self firmly). I've already downscaled my evening meal to get it down to 1233 so it's not as if I'm being blase. I guess I had better have a plan B to cater to emergency snacking. Why is this so hard at the moment? I suppose I know the answer - holiday fear + tiredness + sudden freaky hunger = slightly overwhelmed and dispirited Peridot. I'm hanging in there though.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Eat it, eat it, no-one wants to be defeated...

Tra la la la la.

WHY am I so hungry? I can't work it out. Together with the tiredness it's making life tricky and not fun.

Today it's looking like I'm going to hit 1428 cals. I try for c1350 on cycling days. This is not good. I know what I've got to do - ditch the corn on the cobs. They're 150 cals and that's a killer. I should have known there was a reason they were so nice!

And I'm hungry inbetween snacks/meals too. I have gone and bought some dextrose tablets for emergency cycle shakes today anyway.

Despite my tiredness I did do the weights last night and I've cycled in today (it's 30 oC here at the moment so getting back might be interesting... Better than a tube rammed full of people with stonking BO (of which there are many)). Tomorrow though, the weather seems determined to stop me exercising at all - I have to go to the Post Office so will walk there (c15-20 mins) and back and no doubt seethe in a very long queue. Calories expended seething anyone?

I am still focussing hard on the trauma of holiday wear and especially swimwear. Fionna advises to get a size up to prevent muffin escapage. I fear this is true. I have a strong image of myself squidged into tankini and then I do something crazy, like, oh I don't know, breathe, and FLUMPFTH out blubbers my belly. It's not a pretty picture. And as you have to order for your bra size it makes a purchase even more problematic. Think I'll go for current bra size and hope that I will be smaller in stomach at least in 4 1/2 weeks time. I have a strong feeling I'll order it and then be back in that Post Office queue to return it (feeling, if not alas looking, small)...

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

When the going gets tough

Well bully for the tough who get going - I am not in their gang.

I'm so tired. Really, really tired. I barely managed to turn the pedals going home last night. And although I did have the 2nd Alpen bar (which only took me to 1320 cals so not really worth the agonising) I still felt weak and shaky going home. Today I had an Alpen bar an hour before I set off for home tonight and got very bad shakes - so bad that I had to stop and get something. I can only get to one shop with my bike - it has a counter right by the door so I can keep my eye on my bike - and they didn't have dextrose tablets. They had seemed like the best idea as they're certainly not a treat so I wouldn't eat them willy-nilly. I had thought of jelly babies - which is what runners use - but I knew full well I'd eat the entire bag. After some internal debate I bought peanut M&Ms - they're easy to eat and the protein in the peanut helps balance the sugar rush from the chocolate. I still found it very hard to get home and now have had to ditch my planned evening meal, replacing the beef chilli with a veggie chilli and ditching my corn on the cob completely to keep calories down. I was really looking forward to that corn on the cob.... (absurdly high in calories though they are)

And why am I so tired? I know that I get tired before my period - but that's c10 days away and although it's suddenly become erratic, it can't reasonably be that. I'm still going to cycle tomorrow but I'm certainly going to buy some dextrose tablets to keep in my panniers. I did chase the results of my blood tests from the hospital last month, but I suspect that if they'd shown anything up I would have been told. And as the specialist said at the time, it's just too easy for that to be an answer to my weight loss difficulties. Not sure about the tiredness though.

Anyway, I still did my arm weights last night (3 times in 3 days now!) and I forgot to mention that I also did a 5.5 mile walk on Sunday. Question for anyone who knows - is it worth incorporating sit ups into my routine or would I just (at best) be building muscle undetectable underneath my blubber? I am hoping for a motivating loss on Friday - I am feeling very unappealling and lumpen at the moment.

I'm still having almost constant internal debates though about what to take (clothes) to Turkey - will I be able to fit into that skirt? Or those denim clam diggers ? Sure, I know short legged girls shouldn't wear cut off trousers but they're just so damn holiday-ish - even though I suspect the vision I have of them is more Audrey Hepburn than chubster-Peridot! Perhaps I had better have 2 packing lists - a fat list and a less fat list. And it adds to the whole trauma of swimwear buying too - do I buy a swimsuit (although I hanker after a tankini - only one without the muffin top gap though) that is technically my size now? Or one that would fit me now - which would probably be a size up? Or one that anticipates some weight loss? I'm leaning towards one that's technically my size now that would probably (hopefully) be a bit roomier by the time I go. But as I want an underwired tankini, it's incredibly expensive - both the top and knickers are the price of a whole swimsuit and then some. But give that I'll be wearing it on a walk that we hope to do, I need the support - and the easy loo access! These are not life or death questions I know, but they preoccupy me and make me anxious anyway.