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.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Weighty issues

It was a dull weekend. I was on call and this meant NO lie-ins (very traumatic) and being flat-bound from first thing Saturday to Sunday morning. But I have been pretty true to my resolutions about diet. I don't diet so hard at weekends but I ate carefully and frugally. I also did arm weights twice. Of course, that's meant I keep thinking "I wonder if I can get in that [insert skirt/jacket of choice] yet" - er, duh! It is (sadly) going to take a bit longer than that. And that's if I get there at all. My mind leaps ahead and so I'm constantly disappointed by my trudging slow progress. I know it's ridiculous. I wish my life away and yet I can't bear to be me at the moment.

On the other hand, I grudgingly bought a version of a skirt I can't get into in the larger size (on ebay). As cheap as it was, this feels defeatist and I feel a bit ashamed. I am just hoping it may cause sod's law to kick in and my weight to therefore plummit. This state of uncertainty about what I will be able to wear on holiday is causing me some anxiety. Just must head off those feelings leading me food-wards.

Well, this weekend should help. We have what my friend calls a weight -loss summit. It's me, friend with PhD in anti-fatter, who's been overweight and is now slim but can't take her eye off the ball (I'm not the ball by the way, no matter my superficial resemblance!) and super positive friend who's in the process of blasting her pounds away with determination and energy. Yep, that would make me the dunce of the class. But! I am hoping I can learn much from these women and turn their tips and experiences into a positive outcome for me.

This week I was hoping - and dreading - to cycle 4 times. Dreading because I'm not sure I'm physically up to 4 days in a row - which it would have been. Anyway, the marvellous British weather has put pay to that with thunderstorms promised on Thursday. So, 3 cycle rides and a tight grip on calories. I'm hoping for a stellar loss on Friday though.

And I'm hungry and about to cycle nearly 9 miles. Do I eat a 70cal cereal bar which would take me to c1320cals for today or do I grit my teeth and try and ride it out? Literally and figuratively... I may succumb because a) it's not for any reason other than hunger, b) I got the shakes cycling home a couple of weeks ago and it was NOT nice and c) I'm not convinced that a corn on the cob is 148 cals which is what it's currently showing as on my Food Focus plan.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Grande Bretagne - nil points

Those scores on the doors - even heavier than I thought. 2lbs more than my worst case scenario. Now, I know I'm quite coy about my weight but there are people who are not friends-in-fat who could read this blog. As it happens, I don't think the 3 close friends I told about this blog who aren't f-i-f read it any more, but still.... It's certainly nothing to be proud of.

Let's set it in context then. Last summer, after another go at Lighter Life I got to my lowest weight. I was starting to feel, if not slim, then normal. I was talking to naughty R last night, henceforth to be known as My Naughty Little Sister in homage to a childhood book (she isn't really related to me - it would be too cruel for her to have got all the gorgeous genes), who called this my 'comfort weight' which is exactly how it feels - the place where although I still want to lose plenty, I don't feel like a tub of lard on chubby legs and can be more emotionally relaxed about it all. Then there is the weight I was when I finished LL the first time. And then there's now - now is 1st2lbs heavier than when I finished LL and 1st12lbs heavier than that comfort weight.

And now I really have to put my back into it before my holiday. As I was cycling in today, I was gloomily thinking that I couldn't even rely on a sudden initial drop from carbs/glycogen. And then I went over what I've eaten the last few days:

Tuesday (business trip day 1)
breakfast - glass of apple juice, cheese and mushroom omlette and a piece of melon eaten at high speed as I ran for the door as we had been going since 6am and were already over-running
mid morning - 3 chocolates, 1 biscuit and an ice cream (all tastings as part of trip)
lunch - most of a small pasty, 3/4 sandwich, piece of banana cake. And I hate bananas but it had a chocolate topping on - a sophisticated bitter chocolate topping (I don't like bitter chocolate but still, it was chocolate...)
mid afternoon - 3 biscuits
dinner - gin and low cal tonic, amuse bouches (v v tiny), goats cheese baked in pastry (part of which was burnt and I discarded) with a small salad, glass of red wine, beef with cabbage and borlotti beans (about 6!), teeny tiny rhubarb and strawberry crumble with clotted cream. All the portions were lilliputian which was good I guess.

Wednesday (business trip day 2)
breakfast - 2 croissants, piece of cheese, glass apple juice, coffee
mid-morning - green tea
lunch - 1 1/2 sandwiches, handful crisps, flapjack, strawberries with clotted cream
mid afternoon- evening - 3 biscuits, small packet nuts, 1/2 pack maltesers
late evening when I got home - 2 slices of crappy white toast with butter and marmite, glass V8, almost 1/2 tub marscapone, nectarine

Thursday (back in office)
breakfast - 40g granola, muller light yoghurt
mid morning - coffee, nectarine, mini twix
lunch - Pret chicken salad, 8 lychees
mid afternoon - cereal bar with cranberries, macadamias and dark chocolate. Then just before I cycled home a light Alpen bar (got shakes last time I cycled and it was very unpleasant)
dinner - corn cob, artichoke, Diet chef meal, some frozen yoghurt a la diet girl, 8 pistachios

So actually, the bread and sugary rubbish of Tuesday and Wednesday (and Monday night's dinner was 2 biscuits and a sachet of hot choc at midnight) might mean that I do have a slightly faster initial loss - here's hoping. I do feel quite bloated - cycling was slightly uncomfortable this morning so maybe that means my system is more upset... Or maybe I'm clutching at (cheese) straws.

Today will be:
breakfast - yoghurt and granola (this is my usual breakfast)
mid morning - nectarine
lunch - salad of c200cals and piece of fruit
mid afternoon - light alpen bar
dinner - diet chef meal, roast courgettes, remaining yoghurt a la DG.
I'll food focus this as sometimes I think I've had next to no calories only to have a nasty shock when I tot them up.

This weekend holds only one pitfall - lunch at Brogdale on Sunday. I can have soup to make up for it in the evening and I intend to plead for a healthy Saturday evening meal with bf. Yes to wine, no to pudding (a skinny cow ice cream for me instead). And plenty of pleas and prayers to the god of diets (a capricious and despotic deity).

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Absolutely flabulous

So, a post is overdue. If someone whose blog I'm following stops posting, I tend to fear the worst. I'm sure that's not always true but that's what I fear - and maybe says more about me than them. It's certainly only partially true for me. I've had a particularly frantic time at work, culminating in a 2 day business trip that I'd organised. This meant too little sleep, erratic eating (one night a 3 course meal, another just a small pack of nuts, 2 biscuits and instant hot chocolate (not nice)). And no cycling but being on my feet and running around all day expending lots of nervous energy. Actually, if nervous energy were at all effective at weight loss I'd have to be eating deep fried mars bars to keep myself filling out my size 0s. Really.

As it is, I feel fat. I feel frumpy, lumpy, dumpy. I haven't dared weigh myself for a while as it feels like just one more thing I can't cope with, haven't got time to give attention to. But - as I emailed to a friend earlier - I have to get a grip. And sadly, there's fistfuls of it (flab) to grip.

Despite a gruelling few days I cycled today and it feels like it could be the beginning of a time of relative calm and control. In fact it has to be - we've booked our holiday to Turkey and we fly on 21 September. I reckon I'll have to lose a stone to be the same as I was when I went there 2 years ago - and I felt fat and lumpen then. I had thought that post Lighter Life, life in a swimsuit would be less painful. Not a bit of it. Or not then - and so therefore not now, now that I'm even heavier. I need to have a good crack at losing as much as possible - I have 5 weeks. Realistically 10lbs would be a good effort (especially with my birthday in this time) but I'm not happy with that. Could I lose 3lbs a week and make it a stone? Knowing my track record, probably not and even the 2lbs is probably ambitious. I guess the weigh in tomorrow is even more of a necessity to know where I am now and what I have to do to either match that (unsatisfactory) weight of 2 years ago - or to get under that (ideally).

In the meantime, this is my action plan:
1) Cycling as often as possible - at least 3 times a week, 4 or even 5 if I can
2) Calorie counting (Lesley - think this is a must for me or I start sneaking stuff in and kidding myself that it doesn't matter. It always adds up to more than I think it will (unlike my pay packet sadly!). 1200-1300 cals Mon-Fri, a nice but restrained dinner with bf on Saturday, a bit of a hybrid on Sunday.
3) Hand weights 3-4 times a week to address the bingo wings. Plus friend-with-PhD-in-weightloss reckons it might help my sluggish tortoise of a metabolism.

Anything I'm missing? Grateful for all thoughts/tips....

A quick post for now and scores on the doors tomorrow. And possibly some time and thought given to Mrs L's question about what living the skinny dream actually means.