Thursday, 29 January 2009

Ups and downs

Yesterday I was at home so yesterday was a good day food-wise. I didn't run because I try and run Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri and allow myself a day off in the middle, but despite having lots of chores to do, it was easier to stick to the plan because there was no smack table groaning under food calling to me in their sugary siren voices.

I have to say all the DC food I've had has been very nice - I've had three types of granola for breakfasts (treacle and pecan, pink apple and cinnamon and chocolate) all with 0% Total Greek Yoghurt (3tbsp) as I don't like milk, soups (roast tomato and pesto, red pepper and goats cheese, chicken and lemon thyme and honeyed parsnip) and only one evening meal so far (beef in black porter) and the nairn biscuits or nakd bars as snacks (1 a day). It's great training about portion sizes - the granola looks minute but actually does last you until lunch.

This morning I upped the running (good) but had 4 chocolates from a colleague's box (bad). My coat now fits me again (good) but my skirts still don't (bad). I lost 2lbs this week - not great given that I was mostly on LL packs and that it's realistically a 10 day loss but at least the scales are going down.

No creme egg for me tomorrow as a result of the fondant fancy abuse on Tuesday - it was to have been my weekly chocolate snack of choice (forgoing the c100 cal designated snack - so an extra 47cals). I'll have to do better next week and really earn that egg. Although it's my last week here next week which means me doing a smack table (homemade triple lemon cake and chocolate cake) and a leaving lunch (which I think I can do sensibly). Still, the cake means no egg again I fear! It makes me eggstremely wistful....

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

It's that 'one step back' day

Not a good day. It started well with my hauling myself out of bed and to the gym for a 40 mins run (no 2 of the week - still aiming for 4). Then I had my granola and yoghurt with some blueberries and nibbled some blueberries through the morning. Then the stress ramped up. The piece of work that I came in to do with a migraine last week that got delayed because of you-know-who suddenly became urgent and drafts and amends started flying about. And a colleague wanted to offload her problems (she's a work-friend and she's welcome) but she kept delaying and delaying when we could go out and walk and talk. And I was starving so I had my snack. Then we went out so she could have a rant and I came back at 3pm starving to find a Galaxy egg and some wine gums on my desk. I ate the egg and c12 wine gums and an apple in a frenzy of stress and starving - instead of being sensible and going to heat up my soup. she says, sitting there in her far too tight skirt.

Lesson learnt - don't get too hungry. Not sure what I can do about the stress thing - other than move jobs which I will be doing in a week and a half! Not to say that it will definitely be less stressful as it does so depend on your work colleagues, but it certainly can't be any worse.

I'm going to skip dinner and have my soup then instead in a bid to claw back some calories. It's necessary. No run tomorrow but I do have to weigh myself. Not looking forward to that.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Farewell chemical dust

I had a relatively virtuous weekend. And that included painting the spare room - I still ache! - which must have burnt some calories, surely. And I went for my first run of the week this morning, despite having had a bad night's sleep (and then dreaming about an amazing ice cream!). There's been nothing on the smack table today to tempt me but I'm feeling itchy and dissatisfied and wanting to eat - I'm not hungry, I just want (unsuitable) food. And I'm tired and bored and fed up - none of which helps!

But today is kind of my first day on DC packs. 'Kind of' because I am meeting a friend for dinner tonight so won't experience a full day of their packs. I am going to keep a food and exercise diary but not on here because it would be too dull. However, given that it's day 1, it might be worth telling you what I have had:

Breakfast - toffee and pecan granola with 0% fat/sugar Greek yoghurt
Lunch - tomato and pesto soup, blueberries
Afternoon - 2 x nairn's fruit and spice biscuits

And tonight I will be meeting a friend at Wagamama so won't get to try one of the evening packs. It's supposed to be low GI so no rice/noodles for me but I'll have all side dishes - a salad, asparagus, chicken teryaki skewers and edamame beans which should be okay.

I'm just impressed that I stuck with LL packs until I'd used them up - it was incredibly tempting just to forget them and start on the DC food. I just hope that I can still lose weight AND eat food - I have no experience of that being the case but it has to be possible somehow.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

It stops here

It's early on Saturday morning. Too early - I should be in bed but I'm on call. And I'm hungry. But I'm not eating - I'm going back to bed when I hand over in an hour so I don't want to 'eat' before I get up again. I am determined that the rot stops here....

Yesterday I had a disasterous day gorging on sugar. Why? Well, all the reasons were still there from the previous day but that's not an excuse. Did I want more than I had? Yes- there were things I consciously turned down (with reluctance) but not enough. Do I still want more now? Yes - if those M&S fondant fancies were here right now I don't know if I'd have the strength to resist. But they're not and it stops here and now. I cannot have days like that and lose weight. I know this and I am now afraid to get on the scales (I was afraid to blog my failure which is why I'm making myself). And I really want to lose weight - I know I am miserable not being able to fit into most of my clothes (and those that I can are too tight). I can't let sugar derail me. Being away from the office for 2 days will help me get back on the wagon and then on Monday I will be on DC packs so maybe actually eating will also help me resist my old bete noir.

I am seriously thinking of allowing myself one small chocolate treat once a week IF I have stuck to the plan for the rest of the week. Maybe that will help me control and get in perspective the whole desire to eat chocolate/cake all the time. I'll need to review how this makes me feel but at the moment I can't conceive of a life without chocolate - I just want to get it into perspective.

And Mrs - thanks but I only managed to run 3x last week. I had wanted (and needed) to do it 4x but I was hobbling on my blister-gone-bad and couldn't really walk on Friday, let alone run. I hope that by looking after it this weekend I'll be back on the treadmill on Monday.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Pain in the....head (and possibly ass - figuratively speaking)

Yesterday was not a good day. I intend to keep a food diary when I start on DC (not on here, don't worry) but if I had kept one for yesterday this is how it would have looked:
  • 2 LL packs
  • 2 slimfast bars
  • ham
  • melon
  • probably close to a whole packet of Haribo Tangfastics
  • 2 biscuits (chocolate shortbread type)
  • 2 caramel M&S mini bites
  • 4 kir royales
  • bread and dips (c 2 slices)
  • cold meats
  • piece of brie

Not a good day. Mrs is right that there aren't really any excuses for this, just an undertaking to move on and not repeat such bad behaviour.

But it meant that I was determined to do another run this morning to try and negate some of the damage. I woke up with a headache but ran regardless. I got back and showered and by this stage I knew I had to take something hardcore for my head. I had a LL bar so I could take my uber-paracetamol (prescription) but by the time I'd had a bar, I realised that the headache was developing into a migraine. I took a hardcore migraine drug and went to work. By 10am I had to take another migraine drug and at midday I took a third (I've never taken more than 2). It's now 5pm and it's not gone.

I had to come in and get a piece of work done and meet up with a former colleague or I'd have called in sick. My new line manager was supposed to complete a part of the document which pushed me into coming in and I thought I'd leave after that. He's just told me that he's not going to do it until tomorrow. He knows I'm ill but hasn't commented. His sick record is not illustrious so you'd think he'd be a bit sympathetic.

At least I was here when the former colleague came in to show off her baby - she's up from the countryside where she's relocated. Thank goodness I was able to honestly say that the baby was beautiful! She wanted to go for lunch so I went to Pizza Express with her as being the most baby friendly option and had a salad. I don't feel too bad about this as I (obviously) wanted a pizza but had the virtuous option (I didn't eat all the bread sticks that came (unannounced) with the salad - but I did eat 2 which was 2 more than I meant to). I'll just have some chicken and chicory tonight as lower in calories than my double pack (although that in turn means delaying my DC start until Monday as I have to use my LL packs first). And I need to run tomorrow if I can shake off this migraine, even though I definitely felt creaky after my run today - that will make it 4 times this week. It's got to help. It's got to burn some fat stores - hopefully more than I'm laying down.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

No exercise, no restraint!

Today is not a good day. I got slightly more sleep than I usually manage (almost 8 hours! Hurrah! Because I had a day off the dreaded running) but I feel very tired anyway. And then I ate 2 slimfast bars and now about 20 Haribo. Why? Well these are all the reasons I can think of but they sound more like flimsy excuses to me:
  • I was starving and I'd forgotten my chicken and chicory
  • I'd had a painfully dull meeting
  • I'm feeling quite down
  • I'm due 'on'
  • I know I'm going to a work event this evening with "finger food"
  • I'd weighed myself and not lost anything since Friday - although I firmly told myself that I'm doing the right things so it will show up eventually

So my 'resistance muscle' in Beck parlance is atrophying.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Life vs chickflicks

It's particularly pertinent that Mrs' comment to yesterday's post has bought up what I was thinking about today - namely giving yourself credit (although Mrs, you really wouldn't want to hug me after a run!). It's something else that I've got from the Beck book - you should think about what you've achieved every day. So in that vein, yesterday I:
  • did a 40 mins run
  • resisted eating a second Slimfast chocolate bar
  • didn't go beserk with smack table treats (I wanted to quite badly)
  • only had 4 dishes at Yo Sushi for dinner, 3 of which were healthy (I really wanted more)
  • drank lots of water
  • didn't have sweets or popcorn at the cinema (again really wanted to)

But you have to balance that against my sins (hinted at above), which is not something advocated by the Beck book but I can't delude myself that I had a virtuous day:

  • I ate 3 mini chocolate treat things from the bird table (1 mini chocolate swiss roll, 2 mini (50p size) mini rocky roads)
  • I went out to supper at Yo Sushi with friends before the cinema and one of the dishes I had was katsu which is chicken, a prawn and a slice of pumpkin fried in some sort of bread/batter. As well as 3 LL packs.
  • I had a Slimfast chocolate bar - which I'm kind of allowing myself but still feel is naughty and reprehensible.
  • I had a really tough time mentally and wanted to eat and eat and eat

Maybe it's 2 steps forward and one back.

We went to see Bride Wars last night. I positively won't see anything that is described as "gritty" or sounds miserable or has subtitles - and I love a chickflick with fun, froth and frocks. I don't see these much either at the cinema or on DVD (the latter because I tend to watch these with bf who is emphatically not a chickflick chap) but have discovered a few colleagues amongst the ones I'd be happy to actually have a relationship outside of work with, who are keen on them too. So 3 of us went last night for sushi and Bride Wars. I commented that it could only be girlier if we had incorporated cocktails in there somewhere too!

It was enjoyable twaddle but it had one good outcome which was forcing me to do another run this morning - partly because the 2 girls in the film did a couple of scenes running round Central Park (with much more elegance and style than I ever could!) and partly because it highlighted in an utterly unrealistic way what I'd like to look like. Not like Anna Hathaway or Kate Hudson particularly (and unattainably) - but slim and attractive with nice clothes!

I had a few sad thoughts on the way home which are still lingering as it's all about weddings (obviously!) and I'd love to get married but have to face that it's unlikely to ever happen and even if it did, I'm getting a bit long in the tooth now at 38 for the full bridal dream of frothy white dress (although not quite that frothy - Kate looked a bit like a loo roll dolly). And I wondered how hard it was on both the actresses too - Kate's recently divorced and Anne's long term boyfriend was sent to prison for something like fraud and they split up.

The other interesting thing was that one character (Liv - the Kate Hudson character) was supposed to be a 'former fatty'. As laughably implausible as that is, it was interesting that they showed as dirty tactics the other girl sending her chocolates and cookies to ensure she'd be too big for her wedding dress. And of course, under stress, she ate them with gusto. But seemed to shed the 5lbs (apparently) with comparative ease in a week or so to get back into her Vera Wang in good time (if you ask me, it was actually a bit big as in the fight scene her bodice twisted round, revealing some very dull flesh coloured undies!) - that's Hollywood for you, folks! If only life could be like the movies...

Monday, 19 January 2009

Do or die(t)

I think it's finally starting to sink in that I will be on a diet for the rest of my life. Diet, from the latin diem, meaning daily. Okay, I made that bit up but it sounds plausible! It's kind of hard to accept this but I do begin to realise that actually everyone is on a diet - sometimes it's not conscious or expresses itself in the form of vigorous regular exercise - so why would I be any different? If and when I reach a weight I can live with and looks good (oh okay, and is healthy too - boooorrrring) then my diet might include things I can't eat now, but this (dieting) is for life. The best I can expect is that eating healthily and frugally becomes an engrained habit and I notice it less. And resent it less. I think the resentment is fading with the realisation that no-one can eat exactly what they want, when they want and have the body they want.

So on that note, I read quite a bit of the Beck Diet Solution this weekend. I started stressing because I can't actually do it by the letter (I'm a rules girl) as you are supposed to read it daily for 2 weeks before dieting (I'm already past day 14 in that case!) and then carry on from there. Oh, and it stresses the importance of a healthy, nourishing and sustainable diet which I don't think chemical dust (aka LL packs) really qualifies as!

So I've read up to day 14 and then I'll start in daily from there when I start on Diet Chef (currently scheduled for Sunday or Monday - yay only a week to go!). Some of it is useful and some of it less so - I'm determinedly being philosophical about this rather than dismissing it all just because some of it doesn't work for me. For example, I am not going to ask my office to get rid of the smack table (although I do try not to walk past it too often (although I have to to go to the loo!) and I am ultimately leaving it when I leave this job next month) and imposing on someone to be a diet coach by looking at and commenting on my behaviour would be impractical and too much of an imposition too (but I guess comments on this blog are a bit like that).

Things I do like though - reminding myself that every time I give into an urge to eat, I am making it more difficult not to do that again whereas every time I resist I'm making it easier for next time. That a craving disguises another problem - and although chocolate (or whatever) is wonderful whilst I'm having it as a reaction to that problem, when I've finished it I still have that problem AND I've compounded it by adding feelings of guilt and self-loathing for giving in. None of this is going to startle people as brand new thoughts but I suppose they sink in at a different rate. And she advises that we read our list of reasons why we want to lose weight daily and whenever we have a strong urge to eat something off-plan which I am trying to do.

It's tricky putting it into practise - especially intellectualising why I shouldn't eat that chocolate bar when my heart is trying to over-rule my head. I tried this morning by telling myself that getting up at 6am to go for a run was a good thing because it would get me slimmer. But really, inside, I was growling that I didn't want to, that I wanted to stay in bed and that I hated running. All true but I did it anyway. Already dreading running tomorrow though!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Clarification (or justification!)

When I say I am hungry, I don't mean a bit peckish or got the munchies (although both of these are true) but properly wobbly legged hungry.

Looking forward to reading The Beck Diet Solution this weekend - which will apparently "train [my] brain to think like a thin person". I'll let you know!

Keep calm and carry on!

Yesterday I went to visit Naughty R who's living in Birmingham at the moment. I was at uni there and it has really changed since then but I still don't like it (apologies to any Brummie lovers out there). We went to Yo Sushi for lunch though as we were both starving and it seemed like the healthiest choice - she knew of an 'all you can eat' sushi place but we thought that might be a bad idea. I am pleased to report that I went mostly for salad/edamame/teriyaki healthy choices, with just a bit of rice roll thingys (the ones that are much smaller than California rolls - about 1p size) and some of R's breaded chicken (typically delicious damnit - although the squid salad was wonderful too to be fair). We wandered around the shops, had a mint tea and then I headed back to London on the s-l-o-w (but cheapest) train. It was lovely to see her and she'd put together a bag of her old LL and CD stuff (and I do mean old! I had a banana pack this morning that was best before last summer! I'm sure it's just the vitamins that deteriorate since it is basically chemical dust) and some new DC stuff to try out - bless her. It means that the LL packs will now last until next weekend which is good in that I'm sure it's the quickest way to lose weight but bad because I'm dying to finish on them for good.

I'm still really hungry and not managing pure packs. I'm having mostly 3 a day and some pure protein and a head of chicory. That's my aim anyway (obviously not one for LL purists), but sometimes I'm adding in a bit more protein and/or a slimfast chocolate bar (99 calories and DELICIOUS). The Sf bars are stopping me having 'proper' chocolate but I am battling not having more than one a day as they're SO yummy (who'd have thought it?!). I feel uncomfortable not sticking to the rules on the one hand, but on the other I'm aware that on DC I'll be on 1000-1200 calories which is alot more. And the runs burn off c500 calories, 3x a week (trying for 4x!). Are these excuses? And if so, are they legitmate or am I deluding myself? I just know that I would find it impossible just to do 3-4 LL packs at the moment - I'm just too hungry and fear I'd go spectacularly off-piste if I didn't build in this planned cheating.

I think I'm remaining in the zone mentally though. I'm still calm about this and maintaining a positive attitude which is helping me avoid scuppering myself. Even when I start feeling resentful that the deprivation has not yet resulted in my clothes fitting me again - which would ordinarily spin me sugar-wards (ridiculously), I'm hanging on in there with grim determination. I try hard not to panic when I consider that I probably still need to lose just over a stone for things to fit again. This year has to bring about a new calmer, more rational, more balanced (and thinner!) Peridot. I'll drink (water/green tea) to that!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

WI update

Just a quick note to update the post below of last night. I weighed myself this morning and I've lost 8lbs this week. It's an expected loss for week 1 on packs but I am the teensiest bit disappointed as I'd lost 7lbs by the weekend! But I'm not going to let these sort of things upset me or knock me off course - I am going to stick with it, safe in the knowledge that very limited calories plus exercise will be doing its stuff, no matter how it looks at any one time on the scales. And let's face it, it will NEVER be enough - especially now when I've put on so much weight and need to lose a stone and a half just to be comfortable in my clothes.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Steely determination!

I watched the Claire Sweeney programme again last night - I'd taped it in the first place - trying to recreate that feeling of realisation from the first time I watched it. It was called My Big Fat Diet. I didn't have that lightening bolt feeling again - and I skipped quite a bit of it - but it was very clear that if you eat what you want and you don't exercise you will put on weight. And if you're like Ms Sweeney and me, you won't just put on a little but it will pile on (even with her access to personal trainers, lots of time and by the look of it, some sort of meal service). One thing that I found really repellent was the glee with which her female friends talked about her weight - they couldn't actually contain their pleasure that she was putting on weight and it was showing. They weren't as attractive as her, nor with similar careers so maybe they felt as if they were in her shadow alot - and I know editing can exaggerate someone's viewpoint - but if I were her and I'd watched that programme, I'd be looking for more friends.

The running continues. I've done two this week and intend another on Thursday before work. I sort of feel I should be doing this 5x a week but it does feel unbearable. Maybe I could up it to 4x most weeks and walk on any other days I'm in the office. I think it is becoming minutely easier than my re-start after Christmas but it's still tough. I grimly tell myself that it's having a real impact. And I really think that come the Spring I'll start cycling to and from work - I would guess it's about 7-8 miles. I'm very nervous about the traffic but to build so much exercise into my day AND to save almost £90 a month on travel seems very tempting. And it's got to be more fun than running (juggernauts and white van man aside)!

I'll weigh myself tomorrow as that will have been a week on LL. I know I've lost some weight as I weigh myself often but want to total up a week's worth of lbs. I've been pretty good but today there was some snacking (jaffa cakes) and a strong desire to go mad and eat everything and anything. I kept it to a minimum and didn't have my 2 packs this evening as there was no need to do so which felt like regaining some control. Today's been the first really tough day psychologically though. Other than that, I've been much calmer and more positive than I usually am. I remind myself often of why I am doing this - and I attribute at least some of my improved mental strength to a book '100 days of weight loss: the secret to being successful on any diet plan'. You read an entry each day - some resonate more than others - but it helps focus me and keep me focussed. I've also sent off for a CBT book from an article on Mrs' blog ( from the Times. I should have it and be reading it by the weekend.

I have decided to try the Diet Chef diet. It's a bit like LL/CD packs but with slightly higher calories (bit worried about that) and their packs are actual food (cheaper than LL too!). Naughty R recommends it highly. I've ordered a week's worth to try and then will have to wait to be paid to order a month's worth. I ought to be able to simulate this pattern of eating by myself (max 1200 cals a day and low GI) but I hope that this will get me adjusted to portion size (apparently looks minute but is fine) and get me disciplined, ready to go it alone. The only thing is that I am such an all or nothing girl that having made that mental commitment, I want to ditch LL packs and go straight for it. I cannot afford this - primarily financially but also psychologically too - so I am gritting my teeth and using up the rest of the packs (c6 days worth). Then the week I've got of DC and then a bit of a hotchpotch until I get the month's supply, based on what DC packs I can get (you can buy some of them in Holland and Barrett and supermarkets) and following the general ethos.

I'll have to watch it though as I've sneakily been reading a forum on DC and so many people seem to decide to bend the rules to breaking point and add in all sorts of things with all sorts of justifications. That sounds like me but it's not going to be. Not this time. This is a new more calmly determined Peridot. Let's hope I can hold on to that feeling.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Booiiiinnnnngggg (sniffle,sob)

That is the noise of a yoyo dieter. I am now almost 3st over my lightest weight (albeit that I only flickered there briefly - possibly days, possibly just minutes) and almost a stone and a half above my finishing weight with LL. This is very bad. I hadn't dared try the scales for a while but I suspect most of it piled on over Christmas. My clothes don't fit - at my lightest I was still a hefty girl and a size 14 mostly (I'm 5'4") but now I reckon I'm probably an 18. I have sore spots on the sides of my breasts where my bras dig in, my jeans practically cut me in half and create not so much of a muffin top as a wedding cake, my skirts don't fit and my tops can't disguise the tyre across my midriff. These are all things that were too big for me a few stone ago. I do of course feel very sorry for myself, very stupid and my confidence has plummeted.

Interestingly I saw the programme on ITV with Claire Sweeney and food - did anyone else see it? She stopped exercising (and although she exercised alot she hated it) and ate exactly what she wanted for 6 weeks as an experiment - and put on 2st. It was almost a lightbulb moment - it ISN'T just me. And you can't eat what you want and expect not to put on weight - it's a constant trade off. I know I have proven that to myself time and time again, but somehow I felt that it was just me that was somehow genetically disadvantaged and the rest of the world happily ate what they wanted and stayed slim. I know I am genetically disadvantaged a bit - my specialist tells me so (rather than this being a convenient fiction) - but clearly that's not the whole story and I'm still mulling over about the programme and hope it will help me go forward. Poor girl, she was so unhappy and humiliated when she put the weight on - I could really identify with those feelings. Even though she went from a 10 to a 14 which isn't a pitiable level of overweight but you could see the physical and mental impact it had on her.

So I'm back on packs (day 3 today) - just to use them up and try and at least squeeze back into some clothes. I have a fortnight's worth. But I need a strategy for after that. Naughty R is doing Diet Chef which is sort of a VLCD but with food (wow, what a concept). And a marginally higher calorie count. Her sister lost 2st in 2 months on it. I'm seriously considering it. I was thinking of the South Beach diet since low carb does suit me but I think unrestricted cream/nuts/cheese was causing me to put weight on on the Idiot Proof Diet. But the need to lose more weight, more quickly is pushing me back to a more extreme diet - but I don't think I could bear packs for long. So Diet Chef seems a good idea - I'm dreading bringing it up with bf though.

After about 3 weeks off (due to Christmas and illness) I went back to running this week. My first run was horrendous - I had to scale it down (in speed) and I could feel myself stiffening up over the course of the next day. Then I went this morning too - I pushed myself hard again but I'm not back to where I was and I'm stiff and achey as a result. It had better have burnt some calories, that's all I can say. I had better see some serious impact on the scales for this (packs and running combined) as it feels pretty hellish at the moment.

But drastic action has to be taken. By me. It's not just the practical implications of being fat (and yes, I am properly fat again) which are bad enough but also the impact on my self-confidence (never a robust thing) and self-esteem. Things have been a bit touchy with bf over the Christmas period - partly because he's been ill and grouchy but also I think because I'm fatter. Whether it's him seeing that and not liking it (it was a big problem pre LL) or whether it's a shift in myself, I'm sure it's a factor. As Naughty R said "When you think you're not looking your best, you think you're not worthy of any love so the people that love you stop bothering". Wise words.