Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Chaos theory

I am the living proof of the chaos theory. No, I'm not talking about my hair or even my sentence construction (although perhaps I should be..) but numbers. Maths . And worse, calories.

On Monday I was off sick with a migraine. Despite feeling pretty grim, I was rather pleased when I woke from my drug induced sleep to find it was 1pm and I'd not eaten. I then had breakfast (yoghurt and granola) and some fruit and generally picked (at healthy stuff). Then I had to go to the dentists (dentist AND migraine -what a Monday!) and when I came back I thought I'd enter my food consumption in the ever severe Food Focus to check how many calories I had left for the day. I was umm-ing and uhh-ing about whether I'd even bother to eat my full 1200 cals - maybe I'd leave it at c900 cals (which is what FF tells me I must have if I am to lose 2lbs a week and have not exercised). Except! When I added in what I had eaten and what I intended to eat it added up to 1216 cals! Bah! Boo! Grr! I thought that as I'd skipped a meal I'd be quids (read cals) in but a cereal bar and some fruit meant otherwise. It's a salutory lesson. Sigh.

And I'm feeling rather down about the whole weight-loss marathon. It's feeling like a slog with no reward (which of course, is tempting me sugar-wards). I'm a maximum of 1lb down since my holiday of 3 weeks ago. Okay, my period is due at any moment but I can't believe it's going to make 5lbs difference. I cycled yesterday despite my usual pre-period exhaustion, telling myself grimly that I must be working all the harder to get in, feeling so tired and I would reap the rewards. I was c0.5lbs heavier today. I've even irked my mum by telling her I'm cycling to and from work on Friday before I go over to her house that night to get some extra exercise in. Feels a bit pointless at the moment...

I am seeing a friend tonight who is wise in the ways of weight loss - she's a double bonus because not only has she successfully lost her weight but she has a real interest in the subject. She still has to work at it and has my affliction of piling on weight when living in normals-ville. So she is wise but not smug and is really living the skinny dream (although she may not think so!), give or take the odd holiday - she's my role model. I'm hoping she has the answer but I think that might be putting on too much pressure!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Truth is stranger than fiction

Oh! AND another thing - grrrr.

I'm reading a book called East of the Sun ( And I guess I was overly identifying with a charactor called Tor who is a bit overweight and a bit over-eager and clumsy and knows all this and agonises about it. And then there's a section where she loses weight and becomes more popular - I let that pass - and then she piles on the weight until she's fatter than she's ever been. So much so when she eventually plucks up the courage to climb on the scales, she's absolutely devastated and horrified to find out the awful truth ....... she weighs 11 stone. Yes, that's right, a shocking 11 stone. And she's tall. It's so annoying I could scream.





I forgot to add in a point about health in my 'count your blessings' post yesterday:
8) Health - yes, I have a headache almost every day BUT it rarely stops me doing what I want to do and I'm kind of used to it

I had to go to the walk in centre today to have my dressing on my helter-skelter wound (a large friction burn). I was explaining that I had developed an allergy to the sticky stuff on the wound pads when I'd fallen off my bike. Then I paused and thought about how that sounded - I was there because I'd hurt myself going down a helter-skelter and had recently fallen off my bike. Despite this, I was not actually 6 years old. Hmmmm.

I'm still not back in the diet groove. I did cycle in today - and am likely to be drowned going home - but after a good day eating yesterday I blew it when I had a spat with bf and ate a whole bag of Haribo strawberries that I'd bought to decorate my god-daughter's birthday cake. And today I've had a 180cal bag of crisps, a lb of greengages and 4 boiled sweets. It's not good, it's not clever and it has to stop.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Reasons to be cheerful

I've been such a ginger whinger recently I thought I'd do a little 'count your blessings' post:

1) Bf - yes, he can be hyper-critical, sharp and tetchy BUT he is also clever, funny, interesting and can be very sweet and considerate (he drove an hour (and another back) to mow my mum's lawn whilst she and I were in Wales as he knew she'd be fretting about it AND he bought her flowers as well as me when we got back)
2) Home - yes, we appear to have a crack den upstairs (no, really!) and a stink of untrained and uncleared-up-after puppy from our neighbours BUT we overlook the river and the park which is as good as it gets in London
3) Work - yes, it can be stultifyingly dull BUT I also get to do some fun stuff too. And the people in my office are mostly really nice
4) Money - er, well, I'm broke BUT it won't always be like this (when I've paid some debts off hopefully) and I earn more than alot of people. And my job is reasonably secure. And money isn't everything, right?!
5) Appearance - hmm, it's getting harder... Well, I am undeniably both dumpy and frumpy BUT I have not given up - either with the weight or the clothes (which are, when I think about it, very connected). Yes, I get things wrong more often than I get them right BUT I do try and I haven't decended into elastic waists and drip-dry synthetics yet.
6) Friends - ahhhh, my friends are lovely. I don't see them as much as I'd like but I still feel very lucky here.
7) Family - errrr! My mum and I are very close, I'm quite fond of one of my brothers (the other is an alien species I'm afraid), two out of three of my neices are adorable and my nephew is adorable too. One sister in law is pretty nice (and pretty!), the other is the evil chav-in-law BUT she won't be part of our lives for ever. Oh no, I don't think she'll stick around. I lost my very beloved grandma (as in she died, not I misplaced her) a few years ago and I still miss her but I feel lucky to have had her as such a big part of my life. The other side are mad and bad and I'm better off without them.

On other matters, yesterday I turned into invisible girl on my cycle ride home and not one but two white vans reversed into me during the journey. It's only because I'm so cautious that I was some distance behind and managed to get out of the way. One actually hit me - only a bit - and he was very apologetic. I was stern but gracious. If I'd known I would be briefly invisible, I'd have done something more fun with my super powers.

So, that brings me to my action plan to deal with potential impending diet doom (yes, another set of numbers I'm afraid):
1) Cycle tomorrow unless it really is monsooning and just be careful. And not wussy/girly about getting wet.
2) If I can't cycle but I am going into the office for first thing, and it's not pouring, walk in the c3miles along the Thames path in my MBTs. I did this this morning even though I hate carrying them home because they are HUGE. I could feel it in my arse slightly though. What with the significant arse pain from cycling and now this, I ought to have an arse like a peach. Whereas currently it more closely resembles a peach cobbler. Sigh.
3) If I'm out at events, I will be on the go and dashing about and on my feet all day. This ought to help with the calorie burn but I mustn't get complacent. I've kind of got some of my county show treats out of my system which helps (not the skewer of strawberries and marshmallows passed though a chocolate fountain though - mmmmm - still very much in my system!)
4) Not use intervening days where I've been out and off diet and am about to be out and off diet as an excuse to eat off diet on 'normal' days. Days when I'm in my 'normal' life must be diet days - it must make a bit of a difference physically and it certainly will psychologically
5) Keep in mind at all times that we're likely to be going on holiday in late September and I don't want to look too much of a blimp.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Backpedalling to fatdom

I've just realised that my cycling will be severely curtailed over the next couple of weeks - this spells doom and disaster for weight loss. I can cycle either tomorrow or the next day but I have got some chores I have to do on one evening. I ought to do them (the chores) tomorrow and cycle on Friday to make best use of my time as I have to make part of a birthday cake on Friday night. Sadly this would not make best use of the weather.

Next week - can't cycle Monday, possibly not Tuesday, not Wednesday and not Thursday. Week after - can't cycle any day that week. And the following week I can't cycle Monday to Wednesday and may be too exhausted to on Thurday. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Unfortunately in some respects, the reason I can't cycle is that I'm out of the office at county shows and the like. They're fun but they're long days and it's very difficult to make reasonable food choices. This combined with a lack of cycling is not going to get me back in my clothes. Today my knickers are a tad too tight and I fear I may have slight double boobage going on - it's not a nice feeling. Or a good look.

Today I thought firmly that I was back on the wagon. I bought some sliced chicken breast from M&S to go with my green salad at lunch and ate it - only then did I look (schoolgirl error) and see that it was 200cals and thus made my lunch 396 cals (with some watermelon and SF jelly)! And what's worse, it was on buy 3 for £5 and I did! So I have a 200 cal addition to my lunch tomorrow and the next day - argghhhh. And then I ate half a scone with cream and jam which really won't have helped a whole lot with the calorie count thing. Tonight I have planned an Innocent veg pot which at 356 cals is a little higher than my usual meal. I think today is the last day I can eat it though - I'd bought it to eat when I got home last night as I knew I'd be late after a work function. Trouble is, I was too late for that. So I ate a packet of Quavers and a packet of Aero bubble chocolate things on the tube on the way home instead (probably guaranteeing a dose of swine flu (although I didn't touch anything in the tube, people!)). I have to say it was more fun than the 300 cals I'd usually have for dinner but I think it was rather low on actual nutritional content. And it made me feel bad afterwards. I need to spend my cycle home tonight working on an action plan for surviving the next few weeks I think.

Thanks for your comment Lesley - it's nice to know you're out there, sympathetic and understanding.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Sugar elastoplast

A girl in my office got engaged last week. I don't know why I want this so badly - I don't like being the centre of attention, I look awful in photographs (trying not to think that this is because I look awful in real life too!) and white doesn't suit me at all (it matches my skin too closely). I think it's to do with being 'chosen' - as it is I feel a bit like the last person to be picked (reluctantly) for a team at school. And I have plenty of experience of that feeling. And to do with someone sort of saying 'you know what, I think you're so amazing that I want to - and I truly believe I will - be with you forever. And I want everyone I care about to know and celebrate my good fortune at having snagged you'. And whilst I know that this is never going to happen for me and most of me has accepted that fact, it still stings. In fact, that's bilge, I haven't accepted it all, I just pretend I have because I know there's nothing I can do - it's like my head knows it but my heart refuses to hear sense. It was beautifully encapsulated in the conversation with bf about this when I told him:
Bf: "Who'd marry her?" [NB she is a bit of a cow] "when are they getting married?"
Me: October next year I think
Bf: "That gives him plenty of time to leave her then"
Me: "I don't think so - they've been together for a while and live together"
Bf: "Why are they bothering getting married then?"
Me: "Er, love? Romance? Commitment?"

I find I can only have the mental strength to diet when I'm not agonising about other things. It's as if there's only room in my head for one thing. Then bf was quite tetchy and irritable with me most of the weekend. It turns out it was about my messiness and hoarding habit but to be fair I had agreed to do something about this - and I did. It's a big trigger for us; I would say he doesn't notice dirt but is quite anal about clutter. And I do hoard things terribly, it's true. And then I feel as if he's trying to clear me out of his life when he wants to get rid of my stuff. All very silly I'm sure.

But the upshot is that I have been rubbish with the diet and am now afraid to get on the scales, despite 4 days of cycling since holiday. I know that after 3 of those days AND eating properly, I had not shifted so much as a measly lb and I had a county fair at the weekend where actually I didn't go mad - partly because I was running around after my neices and nephew. And I lost so much skin - it was flayed off going down the helter-skelter with them, ouch - that I ought to have lost weight there alone! Then I had a curry for dinner with wine, then a baguette and cheese the next day and tacos for dinner with wine and ice cream because I felt short changed by the miserableness of the curry dinner where bf was in such a bad mood.

I feel depressed about my life at the moment - I'm heading for fat, fair and forty. Although I'm okay with the fairness (as a redhead you kind of get used to ghostly pallor). Less okay with the 40 and fat. In fact very not-okay. This can lead to a vicious and ridiculous and utterly pointless cycle of eating and fatness and depression. I can't let that happen, I won't. I have 2 more days when I can cycle in this week (weather permitting) and I cannot - will not - allow myself to try and use sugar as an emotional sticking plaster.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Soggy cycling shorts - euuwww

That raincloud was waiting for me yesterday, just where I left it on the edge of the City, like a faithful dog. Except not as cute. Or furry. Or - well, it's a rubbish analogy, forget it! Suffice it to say, having put on wet cycling clothes which hadn't dried out from the morning, I got them even wetter getting home again. But did it stop me cycling in today? No! Of course, it was sunny this morning and I know I won't be able to cycle tomorrow as I'm going to my mother's after work. Rain is forecast but it's sunny now and I'd like to get home in the dry (or even in the sunshine, ideally - if that's not asking too much).

I think I could do with a rest day from cycling anyway - wuss that I am - my arse was aching on the ride in this morning. Now don't get me wrong, this is a good thing as I think (hope) that it means my arse is becoming a hostile place for fat. But my thighs were burning on the slopes (can't in all conscience say hills) too and I felt quite weary. And there's a certain part of the cycle path I use that apparently defies the laws of physics (or gravity. Or both - I really sucked at science at school) by being uphill both ways; spooky. I would cycle tomorrow if I weren't off to Kent in the interests of calorie burning but am quite glad of an excuse.

My cycle route takes me past the Monument to an Unknown Artist. This looks like a bronze statue but it moves. It's horrible! It's not only ugly but really eerie too. My mother's chocolate lab would hate it - she's a laid back kind of dog generally but she takes great exception to those giant inflatable Christmas figures people put outside their houses and barks ferociously at them. Well, this statue would be considered very wrong indeed! Mind you, she once took a strong dislike to the light fitting in the kitchen of my mum's old house. I was there when she saw it and her reaction was extreme - hackles up, lots of noise, the lot! I think her dignity was hurt by my mother and I falling about with laughter.

Life is getting in the way of my diet again. We had an 'optional' team lunch today for charity. It was bread, cheese, pate, pork pie and quiche then strawberries and cream. I didn't have any pork pie as I don't like it and had just one small bit of quiche and left the crust. But I did have brie and stilton with bread and a wodge of pate too. I left most of my cream as it was sweetened which I don't like. Nonetheless, I suspect that it's alot of empty calories I've just consumed. What really annoyed me was that most people - including the big boss who organised it - ducked out at the last minute. Ah well. I think I'll have soup for supper to try and make up for it a bit.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Here comes the rain again

Firstly, a pic of my much admired pannier....

As I set off on my cycle commute to work this morning my stomach was growling. I'm normally a bit hungry when I set off as I have breakfast when I get into the office but I can usually ignore it. Last night I was hungry when I went to bed and still hungry when I got up. I really don't like the sensation of being hungry - although I actually got the shakes cycling home on Monday and still made it home (was nearly there to be fair) for a glass of V8 (delicious and very low cal) before hopping in the shower. So I just tried to ignore the hollow feelings on the basis that it was just hunger, I didn't feel as if I were going to get the shakes.

And luckily the weather conspired to help me, as within 5 mins of leaving home, the rain started. The forecast was for sunny intervals otherwise I wouldn't have cycled - grrr. I stopped and put my raincoat on. And then I cycled with the rain - I could see blue sky ahead but it seemed to be moving at the same rate I was. I kept my sunglasses on which must have looked odd but it's easier than having rain blowing in your eyes. We travelled west together, the raincloud and I, until we got to the City when it headed north whilst I continued west. I was trying to think of all the positives:
1) I was burning calories (a winner, this one!)
2) The rain might wash my bike off a bit (hmmm)
3) It's a well known fact that taxis don't come out in the rain for some reason - and they are bastards to cyclists (only surpassed by motorbikes. Then white vans (after taxis) and then cars, notably BMWs and Mercedes)
But I still hope it's not raining when I cycle home tonight. I was slightly soggy when I got in and I am wary about skiddy surfaces - although I appear to be the only person regulating their speed because of the wet.

Foodwise - I did eat my Wagamama menu as planned (raw salad, asparagus and grilled chicken skewers - all starters/sides) plus I shared some edamame beans with my friend and did succumb to a strawberry juice lolly afterwards. But I was hungry last night and this morning (as I said above). Maybe it's me biorhythms and I'm going through a hungry phase (greedy? Well, possibly but definitely hungry too). I have entered all my food for today in Food Focus and I think I'll have to cut the half an avocado I'm having with my salad for lunch. Today I'm having green salad, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, 1/2 avocado and some parma ham which comes to a startling 356 cals with a bit of dressing - 182 cals of that is the avocado. It's a bummer because I love them, they're really healthy and my salad will be a bit duller and less substantial without them. Hmmm.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Life's a bowl of cherries - til you break your teeth on the stones

Yesterday I brought in a super healthy lunch - a green salad and leftover tricolore salad with very good mozzarella and olive oil. I'd just dressed my green salad when people started dashing about the office, whispering urgently. I was summonsed to our small, smelly, freezing meeting room. Apparently a colleague was sufficiently ill that she needed to go to A&E and they wanted me to take her. I don't even ask why to this sort of thing any more as I find the words "sensible" and "reliable" a tad too depressing - it makes me feel like the worst sort of Clark's shoe. So I put my salad back in the fridge, spent the entire afternoon in A&E with a drama-queen of a colleague and had a Muller light rice (blueberry flavour which was a horrid waste of 220 cals) and a pack of M&Ms for lunch. I still came in on calorie count - or thereabouts but it's hardly a healthy choice. Today I got my salads out - to find that the fridge had died and my salads had committed salad-icide out of solidarity. No lunch but a 'fun' time washing out small smelly plastic boxes - and then spending £11 on lunch in M&S (including yet more cherries!).

I didn't cycle today because I'm out with a friend tonight. This guarantees beautiful weather - how annoying! I did walk in but it's not an impressive calorie burn. I have c250 cals left today in my Food Focus account which is not enough! We're going to Wagamama and I intend to have all starters/sides - a salad, asparagus and grilled chicken skewers. That ought to squeak in, don't you think? Just about? Got to be better than any noodle or rice dish, surely - and even the soups have noodles in.

I've been cycling with slightly askew handle bars since my accident. I had hoped to get my bike fixed yesterday but the hospital visit rather put a stop to that. I'll be cycling wonkily for a few days yet as the soonest I can get to the bike shop is Thursday after work. (Panniers, by the way Lainey, - they're a luggage holding bag thing that clips on the back of your bike. Get me, knowing biking lingo - who'd have thought it!). Latest musing from 2 wheels - cycling men are quite odd; there's a new breed I've been noticing, apart from the pillock peloton. They usually wear baggy shorts but invariably wear their work socks (pulled up) with trainers - as if taking another pair of socks to change into would take up too much space. Or maybe they think it's the male equivalent of the Britney-Spears-in-saucy-schoolgirl-kneesocks-look. Ugh! No, no no! Unless every other woman is salivating at the thought?

The Cherry Festival was good - we ate a cherry themed meal in the cafe and then wandered through the orchards eating the odd cherry off the trees, lots of pretty colours from orange to red to purple. We then bought a punnet of delicious cherries (from the orchards) and watched a gun dog demonstration (2 black labs, 2 cocker spaniels including a very pretty chocolate roan - I wanted to take them all home). They also have a great deli/butchers so we bought some of their amazingly delicious steaks and some cheese. Food and dogs - what could be better?! Roll on the Plum Festival next month where I aim to eat greengages until my stomach groans - mmmmmm.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Complimentary Therapy

On my cycle ride in today, whilst I was stopping at a red light, a Proper Cyclist (you know, clad in lots of skin-tight lycra) went past me, stopped and called back over his shoulder "Nice panniers"! Now, I'd rather like to think this was a euphemism, but given that I do have nice panniers but sadly don't have a nice arse, I suspect he really was complimenting me on my panniers!

I was at a county show yesterday for work. It was fun even if work kept getting in the way of me doing fun stuff like stroking baby Highland coos and the like and getting compliments on my mauve wellies, but my diet was reprehensible and deteriorating - I had yoghurt, fruit and nuts for breakfast (so far so good), a cappuccino (not skinny, not so good), a Muller lite rice pudding (free - but not free of calories sadly), a real lemonade (I asked for less sugar in mine which suprised them), a ostrich burger (aparently lower fat than skinless chicken but the stilton mayo on it may have remedied that), a skewer of marshmallows and strawberries coated in chocolate from a chocolate fountain, a low fat frozen yoghurt (pineapple flavour - not great but I still finished it), 2 small Pimms, two scones with cream and jam in them, a quarter of a smoked salmon sandwich, about 8 crisps and a slab of fudge. Then I went home and ate 3 Welsh cakes with butter on. I shudder to think what that little lot added up to on the calorie scale but I'm pretty sure my 1200 cals I burn off on day's cycling commute will have had little effect but I still shoe-horned myself out of my weary bed today in any case.

This is not the beginning of the rot, this is a blip. I am a blimp and so it must be a blip - ho ho! No, really, next week will see me cycling and recording on Food Focus (and, crucially, eating) no more than 1300cals a day. Like Lesley ( I really do feel that this is now a way of life, not a diet (er, not the menu above for the 'way of life' thing by the way) - and in a way it will be a relief to get back to some discipline and normality.

We are having a curry tonight though - which will be nice as I usually cycle home through the East End, smelling all the lovely curry smells and feeling hungry and wistful. Tonight I will be having curry! So to balance it, I'll be having steak and salad for dinner tomorrow. And alot of cherries as we're going to a cherry festival. Not sure what this entails but I'm pretty confident it will involve eating cherries so how can it be a bad thing?!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Back to fat

Okay, in the interests of a punning title I may be being misleading. I have never been anything but fat. Fat, fatter, fattest. Only last year (at a stone lighter than I went off to Wales) was I getting towards merely chubby - the rest of the time it's been gradations of fat. Anyway, where I'm going with this (in a roundabout way) is that I've put on 7lbs. Over a fortnight. I've done worse but that is with alot of walking and since I was eating boiled sweets coming back in the car on the way home with my mum yesterday, I may not have settled to a top weight yet. Oh joy.

Thus I cycled in today despite the threatening rain and my elbow not being quite recovered yet. But I'm still in a halfway house with food - mostly back on the wagon but with a few extra pieces of fruit (cherries! Who'd have thought they could have so many calories?!) and finishing up some naughty goodies (Welsh cakes and a chocolate cake that we had made for my nephew's birthday and which my brother spurned - 2 more pieces to go (for me - same for bf)). I've been brave though and entered it all on Food Focus so I know where I am - it's a type of discipline I guess since my preferred option is ostrich-like head in sand ignorance. I'm off overnight tomorrow on a work thingy so I think food choices will be chaotic and not sensible but I'm trying not to use this as an excuse to just eat anything in site, pac-(wo)man style.

Wales was great - we had lovely sunny weather in the main, so much so that the chocolate lab found it rather too hot and we had to keep ensuring there was shade/water to submerse herself in (or both preferably but she's water mad). We also had to carry an extra litre of water each for her to drink along the way (and another litre and a half in the car). The dogs had a wonderful time and even the somewhat wussy yellow lab got into swimming whilst the chocolate one swam as often and as much as she was allowed to - left to her own devices I suspect she'd keep going until she collapsed. In fact I had to go into the sea to my armpits on a non-sunny day and prise her jaws off a buoy she was determined to have and yank her into shore! I also spoilt them horribly with banana milk, pork scratchings and the odd ice cream (probably giving them my own hang ups about food as treats in the process!) as well as silly games and cuddles. I feel bereft now without a dog, sigh. And I felt very sad for my mum as she enjoyed the time so much that she was choked when she went home - she lives on her own and I know it feels lonely for her at times, especially when she's had a contrast to that. But I found it too long to be without bf and got quite homesick after about a week - which I had to disguise from my mum so she wouldn't feel guilty that I was there at all. He's bitten my head off twice in the few hours I've been back though - a perfect cure for too much sentimentality!