Thursday, 31 December 2009

Ooooo, I could crush a grape (except I'm not allowed fruit)

It’s Friday, it’s five to five and it’s CRACKERJACK!

Er no, what I meant was, it’s New Year, it’s January and it must therefore be Diet Time. It’s less fun but just as irritating – but without the lame jokes. Except on this blog of course!

I seriously think I’ve been resolving to lose weight every year since I was about 13. And I didn’t start getting chubby until I was 22 – so go figure, as our US cousins would say. I think the only years I’ve achieved this was when I was 16 and I starved myself into fainting spells and dizziness (and comparative skinniness – let’s not lose sight of the upside) and more recently on LL.

2010 – it’s got to be the Year of the Skinny. Or maybe the Year of the Slender. Hell, I’d settle (happily) for the Year of the Maybe a Bit Over-generously Curvy But Not Too Bad All Things Considered. Which is admittedly a bit of a mouthful. And therefore somewhat ironic...

What 2010 WILL be is the year that I try bloody hard. I need to find out before I seriously consider surgery (or indeed, before it seriously considers me) whether I can somehow, some way, do this without being cut open. Because if I can – and call me a wuss – I’m keener on that.

January will be South Beach month. Basically because I already had the book (although I now discover it’s out of date and I need a new one, sigh) and I know that that way of eating makes me feel perkier. And perking would be a good thing. Scarily though, it’s not that dissimilar to India and Neris’ Idiot Proof Diet which you will recall is not Peridot-proof and which I put weight on on. There are a few things that I’m hoping will make a difference though – low fat dairy (it was full fat all the way on IPD and I did love those coffees with real cream in – mmmmm) and more of a sense of portion control. Well, I’ll give it a month and see what happens anyway. I don’t have a Plan B as yet but I’ve got some time – and doubtless a whole plethora of diet books will burst on to the scene as of, ooooh, tomorrow.

And so, it’s almost the end of 2009. I really don’t like NYE – the pressure to be doing something fun and amazing is just too intense. One of the best NYEs I ever had was when I’d agreed to meet some work friends to go to a club, got home and realised that I hated clubs and it was absurd to travel all that way and spend all that money for something I’d essentially hate. So I put my jim-jams on and watched When Harry Met Sally which happened to be on TV. My family were all going out (I was living in the family home then) and were all terribly sorry for me but I felt liberated and not at all sorry for myself. Although, just so you don’t think I’m a total saddo, my best one was in Cornwall with bf and friends where we lit a real fire, cracked open the champagne and M&S nibbles and played an hilarious board game – going outside to look at the stars at midnight. I’d rather like to organise a big house party for next year but it’s finding friends who are sprogless to come along. Still, I’ve got a while to work on that plan.

Tonight we will be going to bf's sister's house with his other sister and all their families (probably not older children though - under 16s only) and his parents as it's also his dad's 80th birthday. They're all perfectly pleasant but I don't really have anything to talk to them about and understandably they'll all be reminiscing (which will be interesting to hear). I'm also the designated driver. I did volunteer (wrongly as you'll recall) and it only seems fair but I think it will be a long night.

So Happy New Year everyone (for tomorrow) – hope that 2010 is a year you’ll look back on and say “Ah, that was a really good year”. What do you have to do to make that happen?

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

In Between Days

I seem to have entered my January blues early. You wouldn't think that was possible whilst my life still contained chocolate, would you? Actually I have been a right misery-guts for a while now and it has to stop.

I don't know how much of this is due to the weight gain and how much is a mid-life crisis (2010 will see me as a 40 year old spinster of this parish) and how much is something else entirely. They all seem tangled up together. I seem to be frozen motionless in the headlights whilst the juggernaut of misery bears down on me. I need to work out how to leg it to the other side of the road (Q How do you get Peridot to cross the road? A Wave a chocolate bar).

Christmas was - hard work. I can't say I enjoyed it much and that makes me sad because I have always LOVED Christmas. It felt like a slog. And I hate New Year's Eve and that's almost upon us - it's the feeling that you should be doing something fabulous - but, well, aren't.... This year we're spending it with bf's family as it's his father's 80th and I am the designated driver, sigh.

Well, I say that but bf and I had a bad row on Sunday which started off - I think - because I offered to drive but in the wrong way. I used the word 'if' which apparently indicated that I was actually trying to get out of it. It spiralled, escalated and became so unpleasant that I ended up screaming at him to stop (his litany of my many faults) and running to the other end of the flat. Sadly this won't have burnt any calories - it's not a big flat. And I don't know how to stop these arguments - there was then a lull and things improved - but I can't let it alone, I do pick and pick at the scab until it bleeds again. I went off for a walk the next day with my mum and thought and talked (although I probably shouldn't have) and have taken an early NY resolution that I have to change. I have to get some self-esteem - I really despise myself to be brutally honest and I know that's not healthy or normal. How can I expect others to love me if I don't? I have to stop being clingy, cringing and apologetic - I can see that's icky and irritating. I don't suppose I'll ever be anything other than thin-skinned but I have to learn not to allow other people the power to bruise me so badly. I've ordered a couple of confidence in relationships type of books from Amazon - maybe that will be the answer or maybe it will lead me to another answer. It's a start.

And of course the NY resolution I've been making since I was about 12 which is to lose weight. But you knew that, right? More on that later.

Monday, 21 December 2009

A bear-ly adequate post

They say that in blogland, no news is bad news. That’s not strictly the case for me. It’s just that I don’t really have anything to say - no news is, well, no news.

I continue to try to make sensible choices but achieve little or nothing. I would say I’m better on the food side – better than I have been previous Christmases, ie I’m not using it as an excuse to eat every calorie laden thing I can stuff into my gaping maw. Despite the Style section of the Sunday Times saying that calories over the next fortnight don’t count- sadly my ever increasing bulgy bits don’t appear to know this. On the exercise front – not good. I haven’t cycled since my last debacle of extreme shakiness and hunger. Not simply out of fear – or laziness – but mostly because of wholly unsuitable weather with a bit of needing to do Christmas chores in there too. And Circuit of Hell? I have no excuses. I cannot get out of bed in the mornings, I’m just permanently shattered. I clearly have a strong hibernation instinct, which whilst it may explain the blubber, sadly doesn’t mean I emerge into the Spring sunshine all skinny. And with clothes that fit (wouldn't that be nice?).

Talking of which, I saw my bonkers obesity specialist last week. He also compared me to a bear (in my handy-for-famine non-existent metabolism) – I told him that it would explain other things too, especially my occasional temper and that it's a shame it's only bears that looked cute chubby. I would have said to you that I had no hopes or expectations going in there to see him but I came out in tears. Tears mostly caused by his frank admission that there was little hope for me, that despite (mostly) doing the right thing, my weight is on a slow but steady upward trajectory that he's at a loss to control. He’s referring me for surgery. Or to find out about whether I would be eligible anyway. I initially found the prospect too frightening to contemplate – it just seems so unnatural – and I have rejected it before, but he feels there’s nothing on the horizon that will help and astutely remarked that it was not good for my mental health to continue as I am. It’s just I would hate never to be able to enjoy a meal with friends ever again. But I realise that these are things that I would be better talking to the surgeons about, rather than making ill-judged assumptions about. So, I’ll go along and see. It kind of sounds like Lighter Life in that it works by severe calorie restriction but maybe I’m missing the point. The consultant I’m to see is called Mr Coke, my specialist tells me. “Well, I guess that’s another option” I quipped. His student sniggered but he just looked at me over his half moon glasses “It’s spelt differently” he explained “Besides you can’t get that on the NHS”.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Counter productive

After a long absence, I got back on my bike and cycled my commute to and from work yesterday (8.9 miles each way). It was tough on the way there - but manageable - but on the way home, oh my, I barely made it. I got the shakes quite early into the ride and had to have dextrose tablets – 5. If I do get the shakes, 2 usually sorts me right out but I had 2, then cycled some more, and then another 2, and then the last one in the garages, just to try and get the energy to put my bike away. If bf had been there I would have summonsed him to do it for me – I just had nothing left, I could barely lift my panniers. I got the worst shakes around the most dangerous bit of my journey of course. Still, I made it. And I would say that I must have burned a hell of alot of flab to have that extreme a reaction, BUT I was so starving that I ate everything I could find in the flat– probably about a packet and a half of peanut M&Ms, 3 large tsp peanut butter, almost half a jar of caramel sauce – and then I had my planned meal of ratatouille, a piece of fish and added 4 pieces of parsnip too. And a portion of Ben and Jerry’s frozen yoghurt. So I’m guessing that that cancelled out anything good I’d achieved from the cycle ride. And I still felt awful and I’m still hungry – despite having had my porridge, a small, skinny cappuccino and 100g 2% Greek yoghurt with tsp of honey this morning. And my arse hurts. I’m still planning on cycling tomorrow if it’s not too foggy. The chances that I have to cycle will be few and far between between now and Christmas so I have to grab every opportunity for the sake of my waistline. Or, rather waistlessline.

I’ve also been rubbish on the Circuit of Hell. I can’t remember the last time I did that either. Must be 3 weeks ago. I set my alarm for 6am but I just can’t seem to haul myself out of bed until it’s a mad scramble just to make it out of the door on time – without adding in prancing about with weights. Actually, there’s little or no prancing involved. And currently little of anything other than snoozing – and there’s no calorie burning advantage in that.

Weekend was marred again by a nasty quarrel with bf. I wonder if Darcy and Elizabeth had rows about her always having her nose in a book (something I get accused of – it’s true, I just don’t see why it’s a problem), if Knightley and Emma bickered over her messiness (the reason for this particular row) or Edward accused Bella of having thin skin and thus overreacting to everything? No, I’m not really putting Twilight in the same category as Pride and Prejudice or Emma. But maybe fiction gives me an unrealistic idea of what relationships should look like – maybe everyone rows. Personally I avoid it – I’d far rather bottle things up - even seethe quietly - than row. And I am thin-skinned, I feel wounded to be told that I make bf’s life unpleasant by being messy and having “clutter” and that he “doesn’t know if [he] can live like this”. I was brave enough to tell him that he didn’t have to – he didn’t have to live with me at all, but that if he were going to dump me, I’d appreciate if he did it before I had to cater Christmas. I did also tidy up though as a less extreme path! Anyway, it ended okay – in that he felt better, the flat was tidier and we made things up (he actually tried quite hard to be nice and make things up to me in the end). My thin skin still shows the bruises though.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Eight comments!

Eight! I didn’t know there were that many people out there who read my bilge! It gave me a nice warm glow, so thank you guys. Which I really needed today....

Last night I went to an internal awards dinner (we won twice by the way). I was more nervous at the thought of having to have my photo taken than anything else and I asked my middle aged 6’2” colleague if he would kindly stand in front of me for the group photo if we won. His response? “I’m not that big”. Now, I don’t know whether this was knee-jerk (or just plain jerk) or whether he thought it was funny but his meaning was quite clear: F-A-T. He then kept trying to be nice so I guess he knew that he’d overstepped the mark but the damage was done. Firstly, my absurdly thin skin was bruised/flayed raw by this and I couldn’t wait to get away and get home. And secondly, I will never forgive and forget. End of. The photos weren’t fun either. Because I'm short they kept moving me to the front.

All this came at a time when I had been musing on my ambivalent feelings about my invisibility. When I was at my biggest (only unfortunately 1st10lbs away at the moment) I craved invisibility – I mostly saw the derision and disgust that I invoked in people because of my size and I wanted badly to fade into the background and not be seen, not see their reactions. Recently, I’ve felt a bit sad by the fact that I seem to have achieved that invisibility – just shows, be careful what you wish for and also how impossible I am to please! Last night made me realise that invisibility is not so bad after all – yes, it makes me feel even more dull and unattractive but the alternative is a sharper pain.

On the bright side, I managed quite well with the food – I only had a couple of nibbles and 2 glasses of fizz first (nervous drinking, I'm afraid),1 glass of wine, ate only part of the starter (which should have been none of it as it wasn’t nice), did eat the main (it was very small indeed and very atkins!) but didn’t touch the pudding. I did have 2 mini mince pies though. But the scales revealed a loss of precisely zero lbs this week. I thought I’d been pretty reasonable but I guess I ought to know by now that I rarely lose weight even after an exemplary week so “pretty reasonable” just won’t cut it.

What does the weekend have in store? Well, a mixed bag as ever. We’re going to a farmers’ Christmas market first thing tomorrow, then a walk with my mother and the lab-pack, then chores (which really ought to include window cleaning if I’m home and it’s still light – that has to burn a few calories too. And it would be nice to see out of the windows...). Sunday – lunch with friends (probably not too lardy) then my mother (and labs) are coming over for supper (canap├ęs and fizz) and staying the night so that Monday we can all go off for a long walk followed by a Christmas lunch in a pub (in fact, the oldest pub in England, it’s been there since Saxon times apparently – possibly not all of it). Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Twilight musing of the day: Bella says that she has always been distinctly average at everything and how revelatory it is to find something that she’s good at. I don’t want to spoil it for you if you don’t know what this is but suffice it to say that it’s something, er, unusual. Maybe my talents lie in a direction I may never discover? Because like her (or rather, like she claims to be), I am very, very average – I’d probably be a good spy or something because I’m so average and invisible (quite a feat with red hair). Unlike her, I don’t have a drop-dead gorgeous, intense, passionate, worshipping boyfriend. I may have mentioned this before...! Mine is quite sweet though – not really gorgeous (just as well) but pleasing to me, certainly not intense or passionate - or as wrapped up in me - but funny and clever. Oh yeah, Edward’s that too. Damn. Bit young though (I prefer the older man) and maybe all that passionate adoration would grow tired after a while? Am I convincing anyone here?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Fact vs fiction

I moped when I finished the 4 Twilight books on Monday night – even though I didn’t care about one of the main characters in the last book (I was only interested in the Edward-Bella romance to be honest). I couldn’t think what to read next. I had other good books lined up but I didn’t feel they’d consume me in the same way (which might not be a bad thing I suppose). So I started on Twilight again on Tuesday night and have almost finished it; will then read the others again and then move on and get a life! At least for a short time... I’m banning myself from re-reading them this side of Christmas. Lesley – beware, or at least clear your diary! I resented ANY interruption or anything that kept me from reading. Like work, or conversation.

Reading the Twilight books made me feel sad that I could never have that sort of incredibly intense, passionate, all-consuming relationship. Not least because those things remain firmly in the world of fiction. But also because I am Miss Ordinary. Which is part of my problem I think. I think that part of the reason I feel so unhappy at the moment is that I am chafing against being me. If that makes sense. And fiction is partly to blame. I have always read a great deal and my earliest crushes were always for fictional characters (Mr Darcy and Aragorn being chief suspects) rather than film/pop stars. And I think somehow I’ve lost sight of the face that fiction is not real life – which is what makes it interesting after all. Now with the countdown to 40, I can’t help but think ‘is this it?’. But I’m comparing my life with fictional characters, not with real-life people. It’s particularly daft as I already know that if I were in a book, I wouldn’t be the main character anyway – I’d be the bit part to heighten the desirability of the heroine in contrast (as I posted a few posts ago). So there’s no point in feeling as dissatisfied and wistful and just plain sad as I do. I need to accept my lot and be reconciled to it. Embrace it even. As ever, wouldn’t it be easier to be a bloke? Then my mid life crisis would be solved by simply buying a motor bike or having my ear pierced or shagging a junior member of staff half my age. Of course, it’s good news for cyclists and junior members of staff everywhere.

And it’s just as well I’m not a vampire in Twilight or with my self control and willpower, half the population would have been massacred. It would be one way of dealing with over-population I suppose!

Having said that, the eating hasn’t been too bad over the last few days – probably because I’ve not been in the office. Now I’m back I somehow need to keep that vibe going. And then I need to go further – to get more exercise in (or indeed any) and get some blubber off and back into clothes that don’t actually cause me physical pain. Always a benefit I think. I was also pleased to be back with bf last night and felt very snuggly even though he isn’t an intense, passionate, moody, flawed character madly in love with me! He makes an excellent hotwater bottle though – which is more than you can say for Edward*!

* Yet another tedious Twilight reference.... My obsession will wane soon, I promise. Er, I think.... Oh dear, I am such a tragic sucker for an intense, passionate love story. No pun intended.