Friday, 27 February 2009

Fresh out of flippancy

Warning - I'm writing this because I have to get this out of my head and down. It's probably going to be horribly self-indugent and not about diets etc so not appropriate for this blog. But I need to talk to someone and I don't know who - my friends are wonderful but we don't have that sort of relationship and I don't want to lay my melodrama on them, their lives are so far from this that it would feel odd - this is the only thing I can think of.

Where to start? I met with a friend on Wednesday and we were talking about He's Just Not That Into You and she said that on leaving the cinema she'd said to the friend she was with something along the lines of 'You know you're in a bad way when a chick flick seems profound'. Oh yes. It was a depressing film for me because there was a couple in almost my scenario - they'd been together for ages and she really wanted to get married but feared it was never going to happen, he didn't want to. Well, because it was a chick flick it all turned out all right in the end - maybe because she was Jennifer Aniston with perfect hair (and I am a scruffy frump with kinky hair, sadly)! And this is kind of my problem with fiction - be it book or film - have I read/watched so much that I have a wholly unrealistic view of life? That I expect relationships in real life to be like they are in books and films? I'm sure that Darcy would have been extremely difficult to live with, moody, withdrawn and sulky and Aragorn would have been distant and preoccupied -my childhood crushes there (rather than pop stars like a normal girl).

I'm 38. I've been with bf for 14 years. For about the last 10 years he's said we'll get married 'one day' - although this has varied a bit as he had said he didn't want to marry me whilst I was fat (I'm less fat now) or in debt (I keep buying the lottery tickets), now he says he'd 'like to marry me one day'. I know in my heart of hearts that this day will never come - and I've probably passed my sell by date on a white wedding in any case. And, on a practical note, we could never afford it anyway. But I'd love a wedding - a curious thing for a girl who doesn't really like being centre of attention, finds dress shopping traumatic and is very unphotogenic - but I'd also like to be married. Mainly for the security I imagine it would give me and also because of my weirdness that I feel that at my advanced age not having a ring on that finger badges me as unwantable - it does actually do that to me, but I fear it also does to others. I think, if I am brutally honest, I'm simply not the sort of girl men would marry - I don't have that special unattainability that would make a man feel they had to hold on to me, I'm very girl-next-door. If I were in a film I wouldn't be the heroine, I wouldn't even be the supporting cast, I'd be peripheral (if I were unlucky, and it was a thriller, I'd be marked out for death early on in the plot!)

But I'd like to feel that bf wanted me. I think in his way - an abstracted, slightly disinterested sort of way - he does love me but I always feel he has one foot out of the door. He'd argue vehemently against this and point out we have a joint mortgage (oh the romance) which he also points out I insisted on (he wanted to go for an 'in common' one) - I so wish I hadn't insisted now and then I might feel that that was some indicator of feeling, freely given.

So what's prompted all this? Well he came home last night, slightly pissed, having had a bad day at work. He's got a rotten situation at work at the moment but he loves his work - I would say (and I think he would agree) that it's one of the most important things in his life, maybe even the most important. He got very angry with me because he said I wasn't sympathetic, I have no empathy or even the ability to be interested. I was very tired and slightly wrung out from a difficult day myself. I was wary because he was a bit drunk and because I couldn't read him and he's been very criticial of my 'abilities' in this department before (it's something we have in common - criticism of me). In the past he's got annoyed when he thinks I'm trying to solve things - I was very careful therefore to ask neutral questions last night (he says I'm so self-absorbed I never ask questions). But what I didn't do was express sympathy. It was wrong of me, it was, I know. And he was annoyed that I didn't go and sit at the table with him (he was eating during this conversation) but remained on the sofa. He told me - in an angry raised voice - I was no use to him, was "f-ing sh*t" and he'd know never to try and talk to me again. I tried to apologise and he was almost in tears but he shook me off angrily. He then went to bed. I finished my cup of tea and went to bed too - and spent most of the night awake, miserable. I apologised again this morning (at 6am - he got up about 4.30am) but there wasn't much softening - he just repeated that he knew not to speak to me about anything again, I was useless at this, but that he appreciated the fact that I apologised for failing him - which I clearly did. I then went to the gym and did a run - I'm not even sure why other than the alternative of doing nothing in the flat, waiting for the time to go to work. I couldn't summon up the energy to walk up the escalator on the tube commute though.

I don't think I can ever be good enough for him - to meet his approval, I mean. I take on board his criticisms and try and change my behaviour accordingly but I never seem to get it right. It also irritates him that I 'try too hard' but presumably because I get it wrong - if I tried hard and got it right I guess it wouldn't be such an issue. I can't imagine this relationship is ultimately going to last - maybe because I'm overtired and feeling unhappy, maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow. Or whenever. He says I stay because I don't want to be on my own - I'm not actually bothered by that and would prefer that to another relationship (never again - I don't think I'd actually get the chance to but even if I did). I do love being with him when he's not like this - he's funny and clever and we have alot in common.

I accept in a slightly bewildered way that my future is likely to be pretty lonely and, frankly, impoverished - I won't be able to afford to buy a place, I have looked to see in the past when I thought we were at breaking point and I'd have to rent a bedsit somewhere a bit dodgy (if I'm lucky) or go and live with my mum (which I really don't want to do - as well as we get on). I'm just not sure where I made the turn in my life that took me to this place - was there something I could have done/should have done that would give me a better chance of a happy future? I just don't know and I don't suppose it's helpful to try and work it out really. The best I can hope for is that I can get it right more often and we stay together - and then I have to accept the feelings of sadness, inadequacy and emptiness that intermittently come with that. There will be no Jennifer Aniston 'suprise diamond' ending for me.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Flippin' 'eck

That's a pancake reference!

I woke up feeling very tired and very hungry today. I should enjoy Wednesday - it's the only weekday I don't run but have an extra hour in bed - but already I was running through excuses in my mind for not running tomorrow. It's a bit like when I have a piece of chocolate but don't enjoy it because I'm already wanting and thinking about the next piece. I have to stop this behaviour - it's a horrible trait. I wonder if the tiredness and hunger were caused by my over-indulgence in pancakes last night (sugar and white flour). It all went wrong. I decided to have 3 pancakes instead of an evening meal. What actually happened was that I got home absolutely starving and had to wait for bf. So I had a DC snack. And then a tsp peanut butter. And then 2 cheese biscuits (without cheese) and then 8 almonds. And then 5 pancakes - with lemon and sugar (heavy on the lemon). Which I rather gulped down instead of enjoying and savouring - I felt that now familiar feeling of it not quite being as satisfying as I'd hoped, a kind of emptiness/hollowness I suppose, and a bewildered resentment that the experience fell short of my anticipation for some reason. Could be because I was eating and cooking at the same time - whilst bf was on the phone. A friend of ours called with the news that he's going to be a dad. He had a long term girlfriend we used to see (them as a couple) alot - we went on holidays with them even. Then he ended it with her and 4 years later has met, moved in, married and impregnated a new girl. It doesn't quite gel as it used to but I'm glad he's happy and we're still trying hard with his new wife - when we see them which is seldom.

I saw He's Just Not That Into You on Monday. I found it really depressing and haven't quite recovered from that. It was quite true to life for most of the film (in a depressing way - the relationships that the women had with the men) and then, just before the end, it was as if they suddenly realised that they had to sugarcoat it to make it more of a Hollywood chickflick and hastily resolved most of the relationships into happy endings (except for the lady who was married to the orange Barry Manilow lookalike but she was never going to have a happy ever after with him). Don't get me wrong - I love sugarcoated fluff, in fact I think there should be legislation to force this into real life - but it has to be there up front as a fantasy from the start. Otherwise it just highlights the gulf between reality and froth too painfully. AND Jennifer Aniston's hair was so perfect and so straight and glossy and swingy - that was painful too (speaking as one who suffers with kinks and intermittent frizz - can you tell!). Although maybe her hair was there as a visual clue that the film wasn't supposed to actually be true to life...

Monday, 23 February 2009

The badlands of blubber

I'm still struggling - with everything dietwise! Really hating and resenting the running - if I could be sure that it was making a difference to me I would just shut up and accept it, but with losses this small it's quite hard to feel reconciled to dragging myself up at 6am and slogging on a treadmill four times a week. Over the last 10 days I have lost a very unimpressive 2lbs. I know the Beck way would tell me it's just a number, a snapshot, blah, blah, blah, but actually it's one of those 'snapshots' where you cringe at the photo which clearly shows that I'm still too fat. And that's nothing that's changing terribly fast. I think in a month I've lost 4lbs! Which when you factor in the bloody running is really not acceptable and is making me feel very resentful.

I think I'm chiefly resentful about the running (could you tell?!) - and the exhausting discipline of never letting your guard down about food. I've been pretty good over the last week but I went to my mum's on Tuesday and got quite panicky about food which I can see is not a good way to be. She just did fish and veg but the fish had some sort of dressing and was baked in cherry tomatoes and mustard and the beans were also dressed and had flaked almonds on (alot) and then we had kiwi, strawberries and blueberries for pudding. I got quite anxious about not knowing how many calories I'd had - and I do know that kiwis are surprisingly high in calories (for fruit, admittedly). Then I feel as if I've blown it for a week and feel quite stressed. It's tiring living this way. I think the only thing keeping me going is that there is no other option - other than going back to what I was before this (or larger) and I cannot, cannot, cannot do that. But I seem to be stuck in the badlands of half a stone heavier than when I finished LL, 1st 10lbs heavier than my lightest and about 10lbs heavier than the point I could accept a slower weight loss as I could fit into most of my clothes. At this rate it will take me two and a half months to get to that point (and an unfeasible 6 months to get back to my lightest weight) - I find this soul-destroying and exhausting.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Negative equity of weight

I am really having to force myself to do my runs in the mornings at the moment. I don't feel that I'm getting the payback for the effort involved - physically and psychologically. On the one hand, I feel it must be doing something (apart from making me bad tempered) but on the other, I don't really see that effort translating into a slimmer me. Of course, what I really fear is that if I stopped I'd just get larger - it's probably only that that's making me keep going - but I'd rather focus on a carrot than the stick.

I'm feeling generally rather discouraged to be honest. It seems that if I can stick to the plan 100% AND run I can lose a negligable amount of weight (certainly not more than 2lbs a week max) but if I deviate AT ALL I don't lose or I put on. And life does rather get in the way of 100% adherence to the rules. Take last night for instance, I was meeting up with friends to go to the cinema and then to Yo Sushi. I'd looked up their calorie content which was perturbingly high and realised that I couldn't have what I wanted - in either quantity or choice - so 'allowed' myself 3-4 dishes. I had 4 in the end but one was not one of the allotted 4 but probably a higher calorie option. So I blew yesterday - even though sushi's apparently a comparatively healthy option. And on Valentine's night, even though I had in mind that I was going to break the diet, despondance that I knew it would mean no weight loss that week pushed me into eating more than I should. Yep, no logic there. I was intending to have a 3 course meal, chez nous, with champagne (half a bottle) and wine (I had a glass and a half so not bad) but not the creme egg, bag of 6 mini creme eggs or 2 squares of dark chocolate. Or the clotted cream with pudding really either.

So it's hard to know how I can win at this. I think I could deal with very slow weight loss if I were about a stone lighter than I am now (and assuming it is a loss) but it feels like it could take a very long time to get there - and that's the starting point, not the goalpost.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Fat chance

I saw my metabolic/obesity specialist yesterday. I've been feeling pretty desparate about the slow or non-existent results I'm getting and wondering with some anxiety how my life will be long term. The upshot is that there's very little he can do for me. He said I had 4 options, none ideal he confessed:
1) Go back on Reductil, an appetite supressent (GP wouldn't prescribe but he could work round that)
2) Try a medicine that's only used for diabetics so far that you have to inject twice a day
3) Have a stomach reduction op
4) Wait for more drugs to come on to the market
My issue is less about hunger (although that's very real) and more about metabolism, sadly. His only solution is to reduce my hunger levels so that I only want c800 calories a day and hope that this will reduce my weight. I've gone for options 1 and 4 for now - I feel that's the least harmful way until I can ascertain whether that helps or not and before I consider more drastic options. I'm not keen on the op as it would basically guarantee I couldn't live anything approaching a normal life. But I've not found Reductil that great in the past - will have to monitor to see if it really does kill hunger. Of course, it's not just the issue of stopping hunger but also of resisting the impulse to snack (especially on sugary stuff) which has nothing to do with being hungry.

I tried to discuss this with bf last night but a combination of me being over-sensitive and him being unempathetic led to a huge row. I just can't look to him to go over nuances with me or be supportive on an emotional level (he's more practical) and I was foolish to try. We did make it up but it wasn't nice and meant I didn't get to sleep until gone 1am - but still got up to run this morning at 6am.

I've slightly altered my running programme to include one run a week where I go faster for shorter time (overall it's still 40 mins but I run fast for 2 mins and walk for 2 mins) in an effort to shock my body into ditching more fat. I found it really tough but it burnt even less calories than my usual programme which is disappointing. I just hope that it has a long term effect that I'm not aware of and can't measure.

I was also disprortionately panicky when I found out that the granola I have for breakfast has more calories (by c50) than I was aware - well, there seems to be conflicting information on this. I've been adding up calories each night and it meant that I was over 1200 last night. They really should be more careful.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The numbers game

So, Beck tells us that a weigh in is just a number, a snapshot and shouldn't hold any power over us. But I lost nothing, nada, nil, rien, zip this week. Okay, DC isn't as painful as LL - the food is nice and, let's face it, food - and I know I had a pizza, an ice cream and some cake this week but I went running 4 times (grrrr) and I certainly didn't eat what I wanted. I did a calorie count of the last couple of days too and found I was easily coming in under 1200 calories (the DC recommendation) - yesterday I squeaked in at 40cals under (due to extra Nakd bar due to extreme starving feelings - genuinely not psychological) but the day before I had a couple of hundred spare. I expect some pay back, people! Hello? God of diets are you listening? At all?

My darkest fear is that I only lose weight on LL and so spend my life being on chemical dust packs and resenting it bitterly OR stacking weight back on and feeling miserable. I can't live like that and keep my sanity - let alone remain cheerful.

I know, I know, it's just a week. I have to press ahead and see what randomness the god of diets throws my way next week (is it wrong to just wish that time away until I can weigh again in the hope that some good news will set my mood for the next week?).

And pesky life events to throw me off course this week - only a trip to a chick flick with the girls from my old work (I miss them) and then Yo Sushi! Should be manageable. And Valentines - we'll eat at home(rather than being ripped off with substandard lazy food in a restaurant) and it will major on seafood (low cal and yummy) but I guess it will be more than 500 cals - when you factor champagne in anyway! I had been going to suggest we ate out on friday night and then had a quiet dinner at home on Saturday but sadly I'm not going to as a way of conserving calories. Surely that can't be too bad? I need to see those scales shifting (downwards).

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

When good maths goes bad

Have I ever mentioned that I hate running? Hate it, hate it, hate it. And after feeling rather proud of myself for upping my running segments yesterday I realised that in terms of calories burnt (and that's all we're counting folks) it was much the same as I was doing with less effort before. That's illogical! I thought maths was supposed to be logical? Clearly calories have some kind of opt-out clause in the whole maths-is-science-is logic thing. So today I upped the speed a little and I watched how many calories I burnt on each 4 min running segment. An extremely paltry 56. That's an apple! A measly comparatively joyless apple! Overall it was about 460-ish for the whole work out, but I'm still outraged by the exertion required just to burn off an apple's worth of calories - rubbish! Grrrrr.

Monday, 9 February 2009


It was a weekend of two halves (football analogy for Lesley there!) - I chose salad options with my brother and neices (sadly the chav-in-law insisted on coming too) but then ate an ice cream with the children. I compensated by having the lowest cal soup option instead of an evening meal but had a handful of peanuts too. So Saturday was not a good day despite about an hour's walk with the labradors in our park (including jumping up at a tree to try and retrieve a dog toy!). Yesterday was exemplary though and although I've had too many plums today (4 - and a small portion of melon) I have otherwise been good so far - including upping my running this morning to 41 mins of 4 mins run, 2 mins walk (4 mins is the longest I've ever run). No more fruit for me today though. I sooo love M&S king plums....

But I weighed myself on Sunday and had put back on the 2lbs I lost last week. I was very sad about it but am hanging on in there and hoping that it's a reaction to the carby stuff of Thursday and Friday (and that ice cream on Saturday) and that I will still see a net loss on Wednesday (weigh in day). Full blown self-flagellation will be delayed until then.

I partially panic ate the plums at my new desk - I had to suddenly do a piece of work that made me feel under pressure to come up with something tip-top (it was more in the adequate bracket). I sped-ate (like speed-dating but more calories - if less humiliation I would guess!). I know that plums are not the worst things to gorge on but it's still dodgy behaviour that I need to be wary of. I've often been accused of speaking with plums in my mouth - this afternoon I did it literally.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Cleanliness is next to gluttony

I only lost 2lbs this week. I was very mature and calm and thought of my Beck book and tried to see it as just a number, a snapshot of a specific time and possibly an opportunity to make some improvements in my diet - that's all. I decided I was eating too much fruit - it was sneaking in -and I'd had a few blips. That was the mature side; underneath was a little tickertape of fury and resentment chuntering away 'but I ran 12 miles. 12 MILES. I should have lost more, I deserved to lose more..."

But, despite this, I was doing okay on my baking day (same day). I knew I'd have a brownie so I made sure to not have my snack and to have a soup at the lower calorie end of the scale for lunch. The brownie recipe said it made 10 and they were 687 calories each! I cut them smaller because they are very rich and made 16. I ate 6 maltesers left over from decorating the chocolate cake. Then, after supper, I had my brownie - it was lovely but I felt a bit guilty. Then I went to pack them into plastic boxes ready to take into work, leaving 2 aside for bf. There was one over. It wouldn't fit in the box. I didn't know what to do. And so I ate it. And almost instantly the wave of self-revulsion and panic swept over me - I didn't know what to do with myself. I wanted to punish myself, I wanted to get rid of the brownie. I don't have it in me to make myself throw up and I am well aware that that is a rocky road that I do not want to start down. My mind whirred around like a butterfly in a euthanasing box. I went to bed, hating myself. And as I ran on the treadmill the next day I was bitterly aware of the futility of it - I couldn't make those calories back even in a run and I was trying not to do the maths of exactly how many calories were in those 2 brownies. I do know but I don't want to think about it so don't tell me please.

I took the cakes to work. I had another brownie and a slivver of lemon cake and a slivver of chocolate cake. I'd planned to only have the lemon cake. Today I had my leaving lunch - we went to Zizzi's and I allowed myself to be persuaded that salads in these places are not necessarily the healthiest option (there were no calorie content info on their website). So I had a pizza. Now, again I'm not having my snack and I won't have my evening meal but a soup (as a lower calorie option) but I'm going for lunch tomorrow with my brother and nieces at Pizza Express (also no calorie info - I asked for it once and was told it was "too difficult as dishes are freshly made." Yeah, right). It feels as though everything is slipping through my fingers.

I won't let this turn into the beginning of the end. I so need to lose another half a stone just for things to fit me - and I don't want to stop there, it's just that that's my first focus before I move on.

How do you fit a diet into life? There must be a way.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Smack my cakes up

I didn't have to sleep in the office with the mice yesterday - which can only be a good thing. But I did feel bitter and resentful this morning when John Humphries announced on the Today programme what a lovely day people had had yesterday with "work and school cancelled". Humph. I got an extra hour off to get home but that's it. I really need to move to the country...

Good behaviour over the last couple of days - mostly very good on the food (ie not eating too much of what I'm not supposed to), ran yesterday and today and pushed the speed up a little today too, climbed the escalator, didn't succumb to cold weather treats yesterday (see hot chocolate, whipped cream and marshmallows) and managed to battle inner demon calling for a 2nd square of chocolate again last night.

Bad behaviour - a couple of treaty morsels snuck in and I ate in front of my computer last night - as I had it at home in case of more snow today - so mindlessly.

It's odd how managing to stay largely (and I choose my word with care) on the side of the virtuous makes me feel somehow clean inside. Either you'll understand what I mean or you'll think I'm bonkers. Or possibly both.

Tomorrow I have the day off work to bake for my swansong smack table. I'm making a triple lemon cake, a chocolate cake and probably brownies (with mini dime bars, marshmallows and crushed crunchie bar in) if I can get all the bits. I bought mini Dime bars in Ikea (the only place that seems to sell Dime bars) and for my own sanity (and "waist"line) I think I need to get rid of them - and I'm only likely to do that by baking them into brownie form. I won't be running tomorrow, but aside from some inevitable bowl licking (and I have a super efficient spatula so there shouldn't be much left to scrape off), I should be able to have a day of calm away from the perils of the smack table. And then only 2 days until I leave its evil seduction behind me forever.

Monday, 2 February 2009

The more it snows (tiddly pom), the more it goes (tiddly pom), the more it goes on snowing. And no-body knows (tiddly pom), how cold my toes...

(tiddly pom) how cold my toes (tiddly pom) are growing.

Well I struggled in in the snow today to find the office almost empty (my useless boss said he wasn't going to even try to get in and no-one senior has bothered either). Now I'm rather anxious about getting home. And it's cold in here and the roof is leaking and so the carpet smells. Even the mice aren't here - probably wisely snuggled up in their homes. I am not staying the night here. No way! Even if I have to walk the c8 miles home.

There is something about battling in through snow(or, let's face it, anytime the temperature dips below ooooh, about 5 degrees) that makes me feel downright ENTITLED to hot chocolate - you know, with marshmallows and whipped cream. But actually tea is just as hot and calorie free. Sigh. I'm feeling a bit martyered (sp) . But I recognise that it's just another in my litany of excuses why I should shovel sugar and calories down my greedy gullet.

I read the whole of Beth's blog at the weekend ( - if you haven't read it, it's a great read from someone who appears to be winning the daily battle and despite some provocation from life's general spanners in the works.

And I went for a run at 6.15am this morning (on the treadmill). And am still reading my two CBT books. So some positive stuff to help me keep focussed on the path of righteousness.

Still enjoying the DC packs - just had a very satisfyingly meaty beef and tomato soup for lunch. All the packs I've had have been very good - and I'm very fussy about meat. The portions are small but I guess this is what I need to re-hardwire my brain to.

DC info for Mrs - all the CD packs are in pouches which you can microwave or heat conventionally and don't need to be refrigerated. Despite this inauspicious packaging, they taste very good and of good quality. Breakfast is granola (weeny bags) in chocolate, treacle and pecan, pink apple and cinnamon or plain to have with skimmed milk or low fat yoghurt (I have that 0% fat and sugar Total greek yoghurt), lunch is soup (chorizo and bean was probably my favourite but the chicken and thyme was very good too as was honeyed parsnip) then a snack of nairns flavoured biscuits or dried fruit and nut bars (Nakd) and mostly stew type things for dinner. I've not had anything I don't like so far. And you can add in 2 portions of fruit and veg with your evening meal (ideally at the lower carb end of the spectrum although this diet goes with low GI rather than low carb - so salad, leeks, cabbage, asparagus, mange touts, courgettes etc (and I love veg luckily)) and this should make it around 1200 calories. As of this weekend I've also added in a square of dark chocolate (Lindt with raspberries - lowest GI I can deal with as my preference is for very milky chocolate) to try and stop me obsessing and then overeating chocolate/sweet stuff. I've broken it up into squares and wrapped each one and piled them in the fridge (there are 10 in total). I've told myself that if I succumb to 2 (or more!) then this experiment has to stop. Last night I really wanted a second square but gritted my teeth and found that the (almost overwhelming) urge passed in about 10mins.

Even though there's only about 8 of us in today, there are about 15 kitkats on the smack table. Arghhhhh! If I get stuck here tonight I may well eat them all. (Actually food goes v quickly here so that may not be a dinner option after all and nothing else is open so I may have to fight the mice for any scraps I can find). I can't trust myself to take the sage advice of keeping a mars bar in case of emergencies/getting stuck in the snow as I suspect I'd kid myself that the definition of emergency could be very, very loose! I'm demanding a St Bernard to take me home instead.