Monday, 30 November 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 27 November 2009

Genie in a bottle or fairy godmother required: apply within

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Going nowhere fast

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

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

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

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Mince pies are the new miracle

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Progress report

That should read lack of progress report...

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


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

Monday, 9 November 2009

3 go mad in the Peaks

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 2 November 2009

One step forward, six back

So, to update those stats:

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

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

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

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

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