Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Of picking up and dusting down. And cookies

I can’t even do rebellion properly. I decided that damnit, I was going to have a calorific treat after yesterday’s disappointment. Initially I couldn’t think what to have – I really wanted a Ben’s Cookie (just amazing cookies, soft and squidgy: but their outlets are few and far between. My PhD friend offered herself as personal courier to bring me one but I knew this would delay me getting home via the supermarket which I absolutely had to do (having got stuck in the office until too late the previous night). Then I thought of rose and violet creams – but could only work out how to buy a dozen (all of which I would have eaten). Finally I came up with a Creme Egg. But I was still in two minds about it. Had I had free and unfettered access to a Ben’s cookie I might well have gone for it but I was a bit equivocal about anything else. I wandered around Waitrose – having had an horrendous journey there – and eventually bought a small bag (60g) of wasabi flavoured almonds. They’d run out of Creme Eggs. I ate all the almonds on my long and frustrating journey 2 miles home with delays at every point. I think they were c360cals. And then at home I ate 4 Baci chocolates. I did enjoy the almonds but they didn’t hit the spot – especially since eating them on various platforms was not a pleasurable experience. And the Baci were disappointing. As La PhD said, basically anything other than the cookie was not going to do it for me. So I ate quite a few calories without really enjoying them, sigh.

But life goes on and I’m not about to give up and eat myself into gross-dom just yet, however much the eating bit of that sounds fun. I’m going to plough on this week (aberrations aside – see above and below) and hope for better news next week. Considerably better news I might add.

Today an Aussie colleague brought in home-baked Anzac biscuits. I’m not a big biscuit fan but these were so delicious that I had two. They’re sweet, sticky, chewy, oaty and coconutty. I wish I’d been able to just stick at one but I don’t regret having that one; they were wonderful. Resistance is still not something I do easily or gracefully.

Menu for yesterday:
B – ½ cup porridge made with half LF soya milk and half water with dsp flaked almonds (too much porridge). V8
S – LF cottage cheese with head chicory
L – homemade Spanish chicken soup, SF jelly
S – Rhubarb stewed with sweetener and 3 tbsp FF yoghurt, 5 haribo, 2 mini eggs, 60g wasabi almonds
D – Roasted ratatouille and chicken breast stuffed with tbsp v LF cream cheese, wrapped in slice parma ham. Ate the other 2 bits of parma ham.
P – blueberries with 3 tsp FF yoghurt, SB hot choc, 4 Baci

For obvious reasons, pretty short on gratitude. So forget that section of the post.

PS Very nice of you Ish, but I don’t so much light up the room as block the light if I stand between you and the light source

PPS Photo – no, really. Showed bf last night who looked at it in horror and said “WHY did you do that to your hair?”. It was just in a ponytail but obviously it didn’t show in the photo. “Yes” he continued, with, I swear, a slight curl of lip “It doesn’t show you at your best – how long are you stuck with it?”! All of which is better than someone saying ‘Oh NO, it’s really nice’ where you then realise you look even worse in real life.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Weigh to go (not)

I was right to be scared, I was right to be pessimistic. Scales of Doom said I’d put ON 1lb. I don’t understand and I know it doesn’t reflect my efforts this week and so I don’t understand even more. It’s odd to feel betrayed by your own body. And I don’t know how often my poor wounded psyche can take this – the hope, the work, the fear and then the crushing disappointment. The nights spent counting up possible loss – by Easter could I be X? By the summer... by that wedding... by a holiday..... The answer seems to be a big, fat NO.

This is what I ate yesterday – does that tally with the gain? I THINK NOT

B – 1/3 cup porridge oats with half LF soya milk and half water and dsp flaked almonds. V8. Not sure it was enough porridge but I had ½ cup today and that was too much.
S – Rhubarb stewed with sweeteners and 3tbsp FF yoghurt
L – Home made trout pout soup (minus the lip irritant), SF jelly
S – 3 tbsp LF cottage cheese with head of chicory
D – homemade burgers with 1 slice LF cheese, mushrooms, tomato and 1tbsp LF mayo with green salad and ¼ avocado, dressing.
P – LF ricotta with cocoa and sweetener and small portion raspberries.

And I had a long and stressful day.

The gratitude thing can go to hell, the way I’m feeling now and I don’t think I’ll be able to post tomorrow on today’s things but, making an effort for yesterday:

1. Managed to miss the sports news on Today by drying my hair at this optimum time. This doesn’t sound much but I HATE their sports guy, Gary Richardson. He takes inane to a whole new low. For example, after Wimbledon last year:
Gary to winner: I bet you’re pleased you won then [note: not actually a question]
Winner: Er yes [or similar]
Gary: But don’t you also feel a bit sorry for [loser] – I mean he must have really wanted to win...
Winner: ????
Yep, incisive journalism all right. He must either be related to someone OR be blackmailing them – there’s no way he got or keeps that job through merit.
2. Resisted whole box of amazing smelling cookies. POINTLESSLY as it turns out. And on a stressful day (yes, I know I already mentioned that)
3. No idea

In fact THIS is the way that today is shaping up, an ungratitude trio:

1. GAIN of 1lb. I think I’ve conveyed my anger and upset and disappointment with this.
2. I had to have a surprise photo for a pass – I look like an elderly convict. Who hasn’t slept for a week and has been on the run. Disguised as a bag lady.
3. I hate the skirt I’m wearing and my bra is stabbing me in the side of my boob if I shift posture.
4. And...and.... +1lb.

Things are really going to have to turn around for me to be able to say anything nice tomorrow.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Boxing clever

I have reached new highs in the plastic stakes – or maybe new lows, depends how you look at it. I have to take a separate bag into work every day as it is to house all my Tupperware type boxes (heavy on the outward journey, rattly on the inward), but today I had 5 – FIVE – boxes. Forget bag-lady - I am box-lady, hear me rattle.

I have been pretty good all weekend. Enough that I am impressed with myself. But I don’t believe it will be enough for Scales of Doom to give me the thumbs up tomorrow, in its despotic Roman emperor way.

Our friend came over for supper and I was SB compliant all the way through! I ignored the crisps, I was frugal on the wine (3 glasses plus a very small flute of champagne – and I accept this isn’t perfect but I really had considerably less than I wanted), I had a merest slither of cheese and the pudding was not nice but was SB (it was a mousse made with high cocoa solids plain chocolate, crushed hazelnuts and egg, made in minute portions – it was too dark and bitter for my personal taste). Our friend passed out before pudding actually (literally) so perhaps I needn’t have agonised over it quite as much! He and bf got through 5 ½ bottles of wine excepting what I had above. Neither of them was particularly perky on Sunday but they managed a big breakfast and then our guest had his pudding that he’d missed out on!

The trouble is, is that – as PhD friend says, as soon as I turn down something I wanted to eat and didn’t, I expect payback. Turn down a cupcake? Ker-ching, lose 2lbs. Deny yourself chocolate? Pass go and lose another 2lbs. Pass up a glass of wine from a new bottle that you’ve not tried before? Surely another lb? If there were any justice in life, weight loss would work like this and I would be a size 10 (UK size 10). Even though I’m not bothered to actually be a 10 (I’d rather have the cupcake and be a 12!).

Today, with some trepidation, I added a – gasp – carbohydrate to my menu today. So far I have been going for almost a week just with one portion of berries added in, today I had porridge for breakfast. I think the portion was too small and yet I was okay to have lunch at 1pm with my snack in between (more of this tomorrow).

B – 1 sausage, 2 pieces of lean bacon, 2 eggs scrambled, mushrooms, roast tomatoes
No real discipline after this in terms of meals/snacks but a random assortment of things: 6 quails eggs with celery salt, 30 pistachios (the designated portion), a taste of the soup I’d made for this week (about 3 tbsps), SB hot chocolate
D – home made burger with slice LF cheese, mushroom and tomato and LF mayo with cornichons and capers with a large green salad and ¼ avocado.
P – ricotta flavoured with cocoa and sweetener, raspberries with 2tbsp FF greek yoghurt. 1 Baci chocolate (plain and with nut – technically allowed and very delicious but guilt inducing)

The gratitude trio:
1. A nice, lazy day without feeling too cooped up
2. Mah-jong!
3. Baci! SB has not cured me of chocolate.

Friday, 22 January 2010

The yoghurt may be fat free but I certainly ain't

Last night I felt fat. Of course, I AM fat but I felt as if I had suddenly stacked on half a stone in an hour or so. This was because I slightly over-ate at dinner. All within the SB rules but I still felt mentally uncomfortable about it. I had my pudding of ¾ cup of blueberries with 3tsp FF yoghurt but the yoghurt was about to go off and so I added a sachet of LF jelly powder to c100g of yoghurt (I had read this was a way to flavour FF yoghurt) to use it up. GAAAAHHHHH! I must read the small print. Apparently you should sprinkle a little bit on and mix it to taste, not whack the whole damn sachet in. It was not nice (weirdly salty) and eye-wateringly strong. So I had to mix new yoghurt into it and ultimately ended up with a lot of not-very-nice, lurid pink yoghurt. I ate half of it (and the other half this morning). It was strangely compelling in the end. I think it could work if I hadn’t gone a bit bonkers on the jelly powder. Anyway, the upshot is that I ate probably c150g yoghurt that I hadn’t planned to and this made me feel instantly fat. I physically felt it I mean. I didn’t weigh myself – too afraid to prove myself right.

Very a-feared of the WI on Tuesday after last week’s pathetic total and given that we’ve got a friend over for dinner on Saturday night. I have planned a very sneakily SB compliant menu:

Starter – probably a scallop salad – or parma ham and pear
Main – Sausages cooked in red wine with bacon and shallots (proper decent sausages not full of fillers and eyelids, testicles etc etc) with mash and celeriac mash (only the latter for me)
Cheese (again, only a mere nibble for me and I don’t eat it with biscuits anyway)
Pudding – mousse made with dark chocolate, egg and ground hazelnuts (no sugar)
I’ll have a glass of wine – maybe two.

So, I’ve put the effort into trying not to let this derail me but I’m still very, very anxious. After a stellar eating week and a loss of a measly ¾ lb it’s pretty scary to think what Scales of Doom might have to snarl at me (via its evil moutpiece, the dial of doom) on Tuesday.

So, yesterday’s food consumption:

B – egg ‘muffins’ and V8
S – 6 walnuts
L – home-made courgette soup, SF jelly
S – LF cottage cheese and chicory
D – prawns and stir fried vegetables
P – blueberries and yoghurt. Then c150g of yoghurt with half a sachet of jelly powder. And a hot choc, SB style. I hope that the very meagreness of the stir fry (just beansprouts, mushrooms, pak choi, a pepper, sugar snap peas and garlic, ginger and chilli and soy sauce) make up for all this.

Three things to feel grateful for from yesterday:
1. Choir – we’re singing Faure’s Requiem and it’s just beautiful
2. Resisted sweets again in the office
3. A colleague told me that the top I was wearing (purple angora v-neck jumper) was a colour that really suited me.

Weekend – I have a night home alone tonight as bf is over at a friend’s. My night will be an orgy of chick-flicks. Well, hopefully I’ll squeeze two in anyway - this still counts as absolute square eyededness. Then shopping and cooking tomorrow and not much on Sunday (making soup for the following week will feature as will reading the papers). Hope everyone has a good weekend, despite the grey skies and rain. Spring must be on the way by now...

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Small and round

No! Not me! Well, actually, yes, me. But really I was talking about blueberries. As a self-confessed fructose-addict, two weeks without fruit have not been fun. Okay, perhaps it’s part of a bigger sugar addiction but that’s more than I can tackle here. However, last night, as part of SB2, I got to have some fruit – I chose blueberries since we were advised to try either berries or apples and blueberries were there on the shelf. I had them with some FF greek yoghurt as protein is supposed to help balance the sugar. It was very nice to have fruit back in my life. Tomorrow I’m going to go wild and have Frozen Yoghurt a la Dietgirl but with Splenda instead of icing sugar ( It’s delicious and I commend it to you – hope it still is with the artificial stuff.

But of course, I am terrified that this diet is not going to work for me. If it’s 6lbs one week and 3/4lb the next, well, I can live with that! But if the average is 3/4lb OR EVEN LESS (because of going into phase 2) that would be wretched. Not because it’s difficult/miserable to eat this way – it takes some planning and I mourn the loss of the evil sweet stuff, but it’s not too bad (as one who has existed solely on packets of chemical dust on LL). But because I don’t want to be this way, to feel this way, to look this way. Any longer.

I’m still struggling with the hibernation instinct – I am just SO tired. Every day I set my alarm for 6am to get up and do some exercise and every day I hit snooze 9 times and get up at 6.45am. I drag myself about (with a crushing headache) and it’s not fun. I am hoping that as the days are now getting longer (a bit, anyway!) that I’ll get some zest and pep back.

Yesterday’s menu:

B – V8, egg ‘muffins’
S – 6 walnuts
L – courgette soup and LF cottage cheese and chicory. This was lunch and snack at the same time far too early as I was out of the office for the majority of the afternoon (where I resisted chocolate cake, sob)
D – Ham and roasted ratatouille. I was starving as I was caught in the office late and didn’t get home until 8pm
P – SF jelly and blueberries with 3tsp FF greek yoghurt

Three things to be grateful for:
1. Blueberries!
2. Loaded some new books on my Reader
3. Bf was very sweet and cuddly and said nice things

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Feel the fear...

Today is day 16 of SB. I couldn’t weigh myself after a fortnight as you may recall because I was separated from the Scales of Doom. It’s never a joyous experience, my encounters with SoD – usually I’ve put on or lost a paltry amount and even last week’s loss of a satisfying 6lbs made me nervous that it was a blip, not a trend. Such pessimism! But I’ve been proved right. I lost just under 1lb this week (not a good reward for all my cake avoidance in my book); I have a dial type of reading on my SoD so in small amounts, it’s more difficult to tell but I reckon it’s about 3/4lb. I am disappointed but my overall feeling is fear – weight loss is supposed to slow on Phase 2 which is what I’m supposed to be doing now but if I lose less than 1lb on the rapid weight loss phase, well, eeek. I still have mostly Phase 1 food to eat up so won’t be introducing oats (the first carb I’m intending to add) until next week so my first real deviation from Phase 1 is either likely to be some fruit this week or we have a friend over for dinner on Saturday, which is almost wholly SB compliant except for a couple of spoonfuls of redcurrant jelly in the sauce (for 3 of us), a glass of wine (SB2 okay) but pudding....well, the closest I can get is little (and I mean little) chocolate mousses made without sugar – just dark chocolate, eggs and nuts. I’m not giving up, I am sticking with it but the Fear is now greater than ever and its friend Despair is lurking round the corner.

Yesterday I got a full blown migraine and had to go home. Today I’ve got to dash out (for work purposes) from lunchtime until late afternoon. All this plays havoc with structuring my food. Nevertheless, here’s my food consumption for yesterday:

B – egg ‘muffins’ and V8
S – nothing
L – homemade courgette and quark soup (not a triumph), slice LF cheese
S – 6 walnuts, SF jelly, SB hot choc
D – LF cheese and ham omelette with green salad
P – LF ricotta (imported via PhD friend from US) flavoured with cocoa and sweetener, SB hot choc

I probably did eat too much – what do you think?

And my three things to feel grateful for (pretty tough when you have a migraine):
1. My boss seemed okay that I had to go home
2. Migraine did eventually lift
3. Did have a book at home – feared I’d run out.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Resistance is futile, Mr Bond (or Ms Munter)

Sooo, Friday night at work I resisted Krispy Kremes - now, I don't actually like KKs (even the name - or rather, the spelling - sets my teeth on edge) because I actually find them too sweet but the mere act of not having a cake, especially one with chocolate icing and colour sprinkles, was an effort.

Still, it was a dress rehearsal for the weekend when bf took it upon himself to go and buy cake from a v far off bakery that PhD friend introduced us to. She probably thought it was relatively safe as it's about an hour and a half's journey to the other side of London, but their cakes are AMAZING and the two guys that run it are adorable. And very, very (camp) American so hilarious to boot. Bf pretty much chooses their cakes based on their alcohol content and came back with brownies (relatively easy to resist since - frankly and immodestly - my brownies can't actually be surpassed (they have marshmallows, Werther's Originals and Crunchie bar/honeycomb in)) and something so oozy that it squished through the paper bag I daren't look in that had macadamias in. Argh! Bf put one in the freezer for me for some as yet unidentified time when I can have it (scheduling that for 2012, sniff!). And then, after working for 24 hours on Saturday (not solidly) we went to my mother's where he ate loads of biscuits in front of me when I was starving (so was he to be fair). The lure of sugar is as strong as ever, sigh. Even though 2 weeks (nearly) of SB should have "cured" my cravings. A piece of ham or LF cheese is not a worthy substitute. Except it is worthy but not pleasurable in the same way. I guess it's more psychological cravings than physical. Mind over mattter - it's just there's rather a lot of matter to get my mind over!

It's quite hard to structure my food at weekends too. At work there's a clear breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, home for dinner timetable going on. At weekends it all sort of flies out of the window and I tend to have 3 snacks rather than a lunch. Well, we'll see what the Scales of Doom have to say on Wednesday I guess. I don't enjoy our encounters and even after such a positive result last week, dread and worry over the WI.

Yesterday we managed to get outside for a 6 mile hilly walk (not your sort of hills Lesley but no mere inclines anyway!) in the sunshine with my mum and the Lab pack. It was really nice to get some fresh air - even though it came with a side order of a great deal of mud!

I also binned one of my cheap M&S bras - it was £5 in the sale and although fairly ugly, I thought I'd got a bargain. I have a - ahem - substantial bosom and the cups were supported (or not) by a 3mm max wide strap that cut into my shoulders so badly that I've bruised them. I tried tightening the band but it was just badly constructed. I couldn't wait to rip it off when I got in on Friday (I waited til I got home, I do have some class!) and had it been remotely practical would happily have burnt it. I tell you, if they'd put women in these bras in the 1960s then everyone over a B cup would have been burning their bras and embracing feminism with alacrity!

Yesterday's mixed up menu

B - Smoked salmon and scrambled egg, V8
S - nothing
L - nothing
S - 2 egg cups (baked egg with cheese and spring onion), a slice LF mozzerella, 30 pistachios
D - Sliced smoked ham (delicious), cold chicken, salad (leaves, tomatoes and 1/4 avocado) and pickled onions
P - SF jelly. Actually jello since it was American - strawberry and banana, a flavour you can't get here and really yummy. Then a hot chocolate SB style (LF soy milk, cocoa, sweetener)

Three things to be grateful for from yesterday:
1. Lovely walk in the winter sunshine
2. Resisted brownie, biscuits and red wine
3. Bf found mah jong on computer - love this!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Mr Darcy, I presume?

Last night I went country dancing – I know, it’s odd, I accept it's borderline nerdy. PhD in anti-fatter friend said she fancied some sort of dancing. I fancied a type which wouldn’t require me to wear a leotard (which frankly is also an act of mercy to anyone in the class). This course said charmingly “You’ve seen the Jane Austen films on TV, now come and learn some of the dances from the Ball scenes...”. I teased my friend that we might find her a Darcy (since I already have more of a Knightley - you know, grumpier and more inclined to pass judgement!). We went in to class to find.... alot of very stout, bewhiskered, elderly ladies”. My dance partner was a woman too stout to skip (she plodded in a very solemn way) with an impressive bosom resting gently on her belly - shown off to startling effect by her white polo neck. We were the youngest and most glamorous members of the class, bar one. My friend is well used to being the most glamorous woman in the room on any given occasion, I am not. We both concealed our surprise well I think (unlike Darcy’s party in P&P) and it was enjoyable if not energetic. In my head I was in those ball scenes and in Elizabeth I’s court – although that particular dance, my friend later kindly informed me, was in fact a hundred years later (we got a potted history of each dance before we learnt it which was nice). Ah well.

Soooo, Ish ‘tagged’ me to write my 10 things that make me happy. Do you know, it was harder to think of those than 10 things that enfuriated me? Isn’t that shocking? And maybe partly due to my commute in on the Jubilee line this morning. Their definition of a “good service” and mine seem to be worlds apart....

1. Friends – I am so lucky, I have wonderful friends. I’d count my mum in here too as ‘Family’ certainly won’t make this list
2. Bf – he can be amazing and he’s funny and clever and interesting. And quite cute.
3. Food! Sorry, but it’s true. Not everything of course! But lovely food in the right setting – a wonderful dinner with wine and friends, cake and tea in some little rural teahouse somewhere, that sort of thing. And chocolate: any time, any place, anywhere.
4. Walking – I love walking in the countryside, it’s when I feel calmest and happiest, especially if it’s along the coast or in woods.
5. Dogs – gun dogs or big dogs really. Couldn’t be less keen on those little rat-dogs, ugh.
6. Singing – just joined a choir again and I really love it. I would hate to sing on my own but hidden in the anonymity of the group, I just love it.
7. Fire – not in a scary pyromaniac way but I love a real fire (admittedly ideally accompanied by hot chocolate and marshmallows!) and I like candles too
8. Sense of smell – I have a nose like a bloodhound (fortunately not in appearance) and am very sensitive to scent. I love the smell of leather, coffee and citrus especially (not all together)
9. Reading – I love escaping into a good book (or my version of a good book anyway (the game's up, you've read me on Twilight) – mostly chick-lit and thrillers) and getting totally miss-your-stop immersed so you look up dazed from another world
10. Variety of odd animals – ducks, camels, seals, puffins, Highland cows, otters, tigers, leopards – love all these. Bit of a weak one I know (although true) - reserve right to edit this one.

I tag Beth ( and Lesley ( You’re supposed to tag 10 people but rules, schmules. Ladies, I await your lists with great interest....

No time for menus (for which you are probably devoutly thankful) but must do my 3 things to be thankful for (since I’ve started a trend. Get me! First time that’s ever happened):

1. Lots of US SF goodies from PhD friend
2. Dancing – fun in a weird sort of way
3. Choir – started on singing Faure’s Requiem, just lovely

Do you know, I had loads of thoughts yesterday as to what these might be but they have fallen out of my head and I’ve still struggled.

I’m on call over the weekend but I hope the rest of you have a good one.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

The cream strikes back

Mea culpa. I succumbed to the cream last night. Three mouthfuls – and I do mean mouthFULLS (squirted direct into gaping maw) - any more and it would have squirted out of my ears and nose! And I’ll leave you with that mental image, nice!

I think it was because of disappointment over my dinner – it was a cheese and mushroom omelette but bf went AWOL with the cheese (eventually arrived home 12.30am, drunk and cheeseless) so it had a pathetically minute amount of cheese and it stuck to the pan so it was more like (2 medium) scrambled eggs with a sprinkling of cheese and some mushrooms. And I was irritated that bf had forgotten to call me – I now know that more than likely he’s boozing not dead/injured, so don’t panic as I used to, but it does prey on my mind. If I know he’s going to be late, I enjoy my evening, watch a chick-flick or similar, but if I think he might be home at any time, I don’t want to get stuck into a film. 3 squirts isn’t too bad for me – I could easily have had much, much more. But that’s not supposed to be self-justification or an excuse, I shouldn’t have had it and that’s that. And I knew that one squirt would not be enough. There are Haribo on the desk behind me right now but I know that I couldn’t eat just one so, as hard as it seems to resist them, eating one would be harder than not eating them at all. But I am screaming inside that I’m not eating them (and they’re not even my favourite sour ones).

None of which seems to be doing me any good. Even though I wasn’t wearing my ‘pregnancy’ cropped jacket today, a man leant across the tube carriage to touch my arm sympathetically and offer me his seat. Sigh. And I'm sure he must be a very nice man but I hated him for it! On the other hand, I bought 'Now Celebrity Diet' trashy mag the other day (yes, shameful but true) and the man in the shop saw fit to tell me three times that it was “The diet one, you know – the other one’s over there”, gesturing wildly. I was simultaneously flattered at his incredulity over me buying a diet mag (although perhaps he was thinking ‘Crikey, look at the heifer, she’s clearly never dieted in her life’) and insulted that he thought I might read 'Now' anyway – shouldn’t he be directing me to, ooooh, not Vogue (unless dumpy frump is suddenly the new geek chic without me noticing, which I guess is entirely possible) but certainly, well, Marie Claire at least or ideally New Statesman, say or Literary Review (neither of which I’ve never so much as opened in my life) or something cerebral?! I guess it could be worse, could be Woman’s Own or – even worse – Best or Chat. I don't think I could handle that level of shame.

I have a dilemma next week. I will be staying overnight at my mum’s on Monday (delayed haircut) and so will not be able to weigh in on Tuesday. Now, do I WI on Monday morning or Wednesday morning? I suppose Wednesday would be more sensible but I know I’ll be worrying about it and would rather get it over. Waddya think?

I am still hoping that SB is working for me though (whilst fearing it won’t!) – one very odd thing I’ve noticed is that I’m not famished and counting down the minutes (or hours!) to the next snack or meal. I do get hungry from time to time but then it seems to subside. This is very curious indeed (but welcome).

So menu for yesterday:

B – V8 and then ‘mock oatmeal’ which is in the last chance saloon tomorrow
S – forgot and ran out of time
L – M&S tuna nicoise (not the ice pop version) with the olives, onion and potatoes chucked out. 6 walnuts I forgot at snack time
S – LF cottage cheese and a head of chicory
D –scrambled omelette (as above) with spinach and green beans
P – SF jelly

And my three things for yesterday will be tough:
1. Quick and smooth journey home
2. Plenty of opportunity to read in the evening
3. Didn’t fall over in the snow despite some slithering and uncool wild flailing

Yes, yes, they’re pathetic. Tomorrow’s will be better – I know this already!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Planet of the canapes

Despite EXTREME provocation, I stuck to the diet yesterday. At the work event not a single canapé or glass of booze touched my lips – in fact I didn’t get a drink at all as they only had juice or tap water, one of which was forbidden and the other unpalatable. And I was hungry. I rang bf on the way home to get him to put my pre-prepared roast ratatouille and a piece of fish in the oven so I could eat as soon as I walked in the door (at 9.15pm) only to arrive home and find that he’d forgotten. I ate at 9.50pm, in a martyred but swift fashion. For some reason I woke up today still hungry.

The weather doesn’t help. The further snow and bitter cold make me want to mainline hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and grated chocolate. And that’s just as an in-between meals snack! And some kind soul in the office turned the fridge down to sub-zero temperatures and has thus frozen my salad for lunch today – I like salad, more than the next person I reckon, but iced lettuce is not nice in anyone’s book. I’m insanely irritated by this as it was an expensive salad (nicoise which I was going to remove the potato from (and red onion – raw onion, bleurgh) and now I’m going to have to go and buy ANOTHER expensive salad, grrr. In the cold and snow in utterly unsuitable footwear. Not Louboutains, I hasten to add but riding style boots with a treacherously smooth sole.

I had lugged loads of stuff in to work today as I was supposed to be having my hair done at my mum’s tonight. Unsurprisingly the hairdresser has cancelled as she’s snowed in but I had heroically heave in an even greater gaggle of Tupperware to compensate for staying at my mum's tonight (breakfast today, breakfast tomorrow, snacks today, snacks tomorrow). I suppose if the weather worsens I can lash all the little plastic boxes together to make a handy toboggan...

Wot I ate yesterday:
B – V8 and then mock ‘oatmeal’. Still not feeling the love. It gets one more try tomorrow and if it doesn’t shape up, it’s out.
S – 8 walnuts
L – Jagger-lips soup. Edamame beans
S – LF cottage cheese with chicory. 100g prawns, small bag (30g) of sugarsnaps (to get me through the canapé obstacle course ahead)
D – Roast ratatouille and baked salmon with capers. Late. Did I mention that?
P – Naked jelly (no fig leaf of spray cream, sigh. Or – more likely – fig canopy)

Three things to be grateful for from yesterday. Hmmm, let me think, what could I say? Hmmmm, oh I know:
1. Survived canapé hell with dignity, honour and integrity intact. And did the small talk when I had to with reasonably good grace – managed to avoid actually talking about work alot of the time too, ha!
2. Managed to actually leave my desk at lunchtime


Help me out.......

There must be something else......

Oh yeah!
3. Didn’t I lose 6lbs?!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A heavy heart

I didn’t want to weigh myself this morning. I didn’t feel any different and I was afraid that a derisory loss – or, worse, no loss at all – would not help with my mood, morale or willpower. But knowledge is power and all that and I knew I had to do it. I told myself that I shouldn’t expect much, I know how resistant my body is to losing weight and I didn’t feel any slimmer so not to be too disappointed. It was with a heavy heart though that I dragged my scales out and took them into the kitchen (not for any other reason than that it has a hard floor). I blinked at the dial – 5.5lbs off! I got off, I fiddled with the wheel that controls the dial. And I got back on. 6lbs lost. So now you know, the difference between a heavy heart and a light one is ½ lb!

I’m very pleased. Confused and cautious but pleased. I don’t think I lost much more than this on my first week of LL (actually 7.5lbs but even so I was on chemical dust then!). I know last week I was pre-period and this week I’m just coming to the end AND that it was the first week after Christmas eating but, but, but.... I have to say I have been exemplary – if rather sulky – in resisting a plethora of office goodies: those cookies, homemade cupcakes (with a BIG buttercream swirl, yummy), Haribo and today Ferrero Rocher. But, but, but....

Well, long may this continue, that’s for sure. Maybe, when I’m cycling, I could hope to lose ½ stone a month? Like, I don’t know, a normal person, maybe? That would be wonderful.

So I reckon my coat (which is admittedly not very warm) is only ½ stone away from fitting and my lingerie about a stone. Actually that’s still some way off I guess (get a grip woman!). But M&S bras do not fit well – they dig painfully in to my shoulders which should not be carrying all the boob-weight. A properly engineered bra does not do this. I got a coat from ebay yesterday. It’s a bit tatty but was only just over £10 and it nearly fits. The last button is pulling slightly and it doesn’t look good (or consequently feel good) but it almost fits and it’s warmer than my cropped jacket. And who knows, by next week, maybe it will fit a little better? Ooh I hope I’m not jinxing myself!

I thought I’d post my meals for yesterday – then it’s actually what I ate rather than what the shops dictate I can eat despite any carefully laid plan I may have to the contrary.

B – thing called ‘mock oatmeal’ which is quark, an egg and flavouring, nuked. Not very nice but I may have over-nuked – will persevere before I dismiss. V8 at home before I left.
S – skinny cappuccino
L – Trout pout soup (see yesterday) and edamame beans
S – 2-3oz LF cottage cheese with a head of chicory
D – homemade chilli (lean mince, onion, tomatoes, refried beans, kidney beans) with a green salad (with oil and balsamic dressing), small portion home-made guacamole, tsp salsa, tbsp FF yoghurt, tbsp LF cheese.
P – SF jelly (cream-less)

Btw Badger, I have read we can have sugar free hot drinks and people do say they have hot chocolate. So I’ve had the odd low cal instant hot chocolate. But I have the fear now... Hmm, indecision, paralysis – eek!

Three good things for yesterday (guess what no1 of tomorrow’s will be?!):
1. Resisted cupcakes though it nearly killed me
2. Resisted squirty cream though it nearly killed me (don’t care it’s chemical, Lesley, it’s YUM)
3. Got a new book to read and my email(and real-life) buddy back (I’m already annoying her with 100 emails a day – I’ll drive her back to another continent at this rate!)

I have a painful work 'do' tonight that will be (as I said to aforementioned friend) hell on a stick. Actually usually hell on a spit roasted stick. I will have to do this without alcohol or (admittedly crappy) canapés. I’m praying for a sudden blizzard in SW1. Failing that I will try and focus on my 6lbs and not on the inane smalltalk I’ll be forced to engage in. Gaaaaah.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Miss Whipped-lash aka the sugar-crack whore

Yes, I’m back at the (LF) squirty cream! I decided that it counted as LF dairy and must be the same thing as Cool Whip, referred to in the SB book (the main criticism of the book is that it’s written entirely for a US audience and a UK version needs to be sold over here as we don’t have many of the products they talk about and others are , frankly, a mystery). I put some (LF) squirty cream on my SF jelly and it was sooooooo yummy. Then I wanted more. I squirted some on my low cal hot chocolate and burnt my tongue trying to drink it before the cream disintegrated. Yesterday I squirted it directly (and generously) into my gob – several times. Once I have a bit, I find it impossible to stop and leave it alone. Out of curiosity, I checked the ingredients – it has 4% sugar in it. Now, these 2 weeks of Phase 1 SB are supposed to break our sugar and carb cravings. It’s not working yet, btw, as I have been craving chocolate like a mad woman (I blame January + mild depression + period). But I do wonder if this squirty whipped cream – LF though it is – is setting my cravings off again. And if it is, should I re-start Phase 1 again as I’ve inadvertently fallen off the no-sugar wagon? I do know that I shouldn’t touch it again – at least for Phase 1. Or so I assume. Pleeeeease tell me if you know otherwise – I WANT it, I NEED it, whimper, whimper. If it were anywhere near me now, I would have to have a shot. Or two. Or three, four....

I had a dull but peaceful weekend. It’s too cold/snowy/icy to go out so my sole excursion (apart from a trip to Waitrose where people were going MAD buying food like the end of the world was nigh) was a half hour slide around our park. It wasn’t snowy enough to be fun but I’m sure the fresh air did me good. I had a major attack of the glums/January blues on Saturday but it’s since subsided to minor miserableness (situation normal!). What I did do was make a huge roasted ratatouille (a portion for the fridge for later in the week and two for the freezer) and a Spanish chicken soup of a recipe of my own devising where an injudicious use of smoked paprika has the side effect of giving me a temporary trout pout. That also made 3 portions so I will still be Mick Jaggered of mouth right up until the end of tomorrow. My lips are actually pulsating as I type....

The soup also has chickpeas in. And last night I had a chilli with refried beans and kidney beans – SB encourages beans. But an interesting article I linked to from Claire’s blog,, talked about people with sluggish metabolisms and, well, people like ME: I’ve only skim read it as it’s a bit obvious to read in the office, but it seems to say no dairy and no beans. Whereas SB says a big yes to both (LF dairy). Hmm, what to do? Any thoughts? I could really do with some advice.

Three things to be grateful for from yesterday (btw I only do this if I know I’m going to blog on it – naughty!):
1. Good work on getting some cooking done for the week
2. Nice slither round the park with bf
3. Enjoyed book (The Virgin’s Lover by Phlilppa Gregory – dreadful Mills and Boons-esque title but interesting read about Elizabeth I)

Note for Alice if you're still lurking – lovely to hear from you the other day (NYE - hmm, not exactly the other day) but what about YOU? I check your blog every week to see how you’re doing.... News please!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Rattle and hmmmmm

I noticed this morning that I not only rattle on the way home with my empty Tupperwares (I fear even the word ages me), I rattle on the way in too with my walnuts (in their shells) bouncing about.

I’m tired. Very tired. I’ve not slept well all week and last night I was on call. I finally went to bed at 11.10pm, taking some herbal sleep remedy as I did so. 10 mins later my phone started going. So there I was, at midnight, shivering in a t-shirt in our living room, having a row with someone whilst trying to not wake bf. I failed not to wake bf but did succeed in the row. I got to bed at gone midnight but had to be up to work again just before 6am. And now I’m in the office, very tired (and with a spot that’s making a takeover bid for my entire jawline and both chins that reside there). The spot heralds my period next week and that and the tiredness are really making me want to mainline sugar. Preferably chocolate. In industrial quantities. As it is:

B – strange SB recipe called mock oatmeal which is quark, an egg and sweetener, microwaved – to which I added vanilla essence and cinnamon. It was quite nice and better than plain LF cottage cheese. I’m supposed to have vegetables or a glass of V8 but was too busy with the work stuff.
S – LF cottage cheese and chicory bulb (or endive in US)
L – salad of leaves, celery and red pepper with olive oil and balsamic and parma ham. And edamame beans
S – 75g of fat free yoghurt with cocoa and sweetener, walnuts
D – Huh, just realised I forgot to get a piece of salmon out of the freezer. So chicken stir fry I guess.
P – SF jelly and a low cal instant hot chocolate

So with the weekend forecast, I’m planning on hibernating. A trip to Waitrose to buy supplies and then holing up against the elements. I think I’m going to have to do a certain amount of cooking for next week – which means being organised for next week – since, much as I love salad, I think soup might be more appropriate (brrrrr). When I eventually get back to cycling (assuming it doesn’t kill me) I will have to be far more organised as at the moment I seem to have to trail round the supermarket in ever decreasing circles of despair every night, trying to work out what to buy to eat.

Three things from yesterday:
1. Stuck to diet even in the face of delightfully iced cookies in the shapes of parcels and – apparently – candles (they actually looked like willies) and Haribo and a strong evening chocolate craving
2. Nice new magazine to read
3. SB new book arrived

Thanks for the compliment Fionna! But that Lesley, when she says “funny”, she doesn’t mean witty....! (she might be right, she's met me!)

Have a warm weekend.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Instant gratification

I am an impatient person. I know I’m being ridiculous but it feels as though I’ve been dieting forever – rather than 2 ½ days. I find myself wondering “Will x fit me now?”. Er, no. With the thinking about, the agonising about and the short burst of actually doing, it feels like forever. Forever not really describing 2 ½ days adequately in anyone's interpretation...

So yesterday was another good day in the bag (yep, only 2/2 but still...). I don’t feel madly hungry – or not often anyway – but I do feel strangely hollow. I can’t really describe it and I don’t know whether it’s physical or psychological but it’s very odd. I also had a fit of the glums in Waitrose yesterday as I wandered around, trying to work out what I could eat and only coming up with things I couldn’t eat. Or that were out of stock. It shows how vital planning is. Although how I could have planned for Waitrose not to have courgettes to make a roasted ratatouille, I don’t know.

I can’t quite fathom out breakfasts as yet. On the plus side, it does suit me better to eat when I get into the office rather than at home – it doesn’t seem to make me any more hungry and means I am more able to get through the morning. I have a glass of V8 and a cup of green tea when I get up and then breakfast when I get to work. I’ve been having cottage cheese but it’s not really working for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do really like cottage cheese but not plain, low fat cottage cheese for breakfast (4oz). I may start having my yoghurt (flavoured with cocoa and sweetener) for breakfast and then the cottage cheese with crudités as an afternoon snack. Yes, I will be Queen of Tupperware (I already rattle on my way home from all the empty boxes in my bag – a bag I have to carry especially for all the boxes!). At weekends it will be easy – scrambled eggs with smoked salmon or mushrooms and roast tomatoes or even an omelette – but weekdays are a whole other kettle of fish. At least for the next 11 days until I can start adding some approved carbs back in. Not sure oats (for porridge) will be first anyway – more likely fruit so this conundrum needs to be worked on.

Today’s menu:

B – V8, cottage cheese with Worcester sauce.
S – walnuts and skinny cappuccino
L – chicken salad (with leaves, ¼ avocado, celery and red pepper). Edamame beans.
S – Yoghurt
D – Prawn stir fry (beanspouts, bok choy, mushrooms, ½ red pepper, spring onion). Doubt I’m allowed any sauce so just soy and some ginger, garlic, lemongrass, 5 spice and chilli.
P – SF jelly

I was tempted to weigh myself half way through the week but as I know in my heart that I am a snail in the world of weight loss, it might just dispirit me. So I’m waiting for a week to pass before I weigh in. Which may STILL dispirit me but is reasonable.

And I would secretly – or even not so secretly – love to lose a chunk of weight asap. I can only fit into one coat and it’s a cropped jacket with cropped sleeves - and is the one that makes me look so pregnant that people offer me a seat on the tube. It’s not good for morale and it’s not warm. I suspect it looks odd with my bobble hat too. Or maybe it’s just my bobble hat!..... (It’s cream with a furry bobble (which people can’t seem to keep their hands off) and is loose enough not to totally destroy my hair.) So, no dreams of skinny jeans and slinky dresses for me – just matching lingerie and warm coats. My goals are modest.

3 things to be thankful for yesterday:
1. Stuck to diet
2. Got to leave work a little early (4pm)
3. Good programme on dogs on BBC2
They’re still not exactly effervescing with joy, are they? And I have to think about it quite hard. Ho hum, a work in progress.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Hungry Humpty

So I now have one day of South Beach (SB) under my belt. If I could wear a belt without looking like Humpty Dumpty. Or worse. Despite the provocation of home-made chocolate orange marble cake, I did not weaken. No-one is more surprised than me. And I’m now half way through day 2. You have to do 14 days on Phase 1 which is supposed to break your carb addiction and then you can add certain fruits and grains a bit at a time.

Today my menu is planned as:

B – glass of V8, portion of cottage cheese with ham
S – 4 walnuts and a medium skinny cappuccino
L – Large green salad with leaves (inc pea tops, mmmm), celery, ¼ avocado, ½ red pepper and a pack of sliced chicken breast. And some edamame beans.
S – Muller lite yoghurt
D – chicken breast stuffed with LF Laughing Cow cheese and wrapped in slice of parma ham with Brussels sprouts and possibly chestnuts
P – SF jelly

Bit anxious that I might get hungry this afternoon though but the weather’s so foul that I didn’t make it out to buy more walnuts. Or ham, or, or whatever. Got to go home via Waitrose though – all the planning is exhausting! Absolutely no idea about what I’ll eat tomorrow night and too tired to think about it at the moment. Sigh.

Did anyone see My Big Fat Diet last night? I am a sucker for these types of programmes – for obvious reasons – but it wasn’t actually that great. I didn’t think that the presenter – Anna Richardson – was at all overweight despite the stagey squeezing her into a too small dress. In fact she was pretty gorgeous – as was clear from the scenes of her in a black mini skirt and long boots – and I’d be very happy to be her! All the women they had dieting were slimmer than me which was sad (for me!), but I really felt for the one woman who hadn’t lost weight when all the others had. Her face as she stood there, trying to be pleased for the others and crying.... That would be me, it has been me. They didn’t go into it or explain at all, other than AR saying “Oh this can happen sometimes”. Er, why? WHY? The bit that was interesting was the “store” where everything was in 100cal pouches so you could see how much food you can ‘buy’ for your calorie allowance. I’ll be watching it on Thursday anyway.

Three things to be grateful for from yesterday:

1) Bit complicated but I thought bf had put the phone down on me and was steeling myself for a confrontation but it was faulty mobile reception – phew!
2) Managed to fix my ipod – all by myself!
3) Stuck to diet

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Lousy lingerie and other tales of woe from the chubster

As preparation for the New Diet, I weighed myself this morning. It was a shock. I had to steel myself to do it, so you would think that I was ready for the worst but oh, I’m only a stone off my pre-LL weight. I know I’m fat – I saw photos from Christmas Day where I clearly sported two chins and I have practically nothing to wear (including a coat) as nothing fits me – but to be faced with that evidence is pretty miserable. I need to do a Lesley and not implode with shame, grief and despair but use it to fuel my determination that it won’t go any higher – and indeed that by the end of January I’ll be feeling much better about myself. The thing is..... the thing is.... is that I’ve been here so often thatI no longer have any faith that I can make much of a difference. I seem to fail every time. But! I shan’t let that deter me – I will go into this 100% focussed, I assure you (and me).

I am finding the clothes thing more and more of a struggle. I know I’ve ‘talked’ about this before but it is worse than ever. Understandable really as I’m fatter than ever. I always used to be a matching lingerie sort of girl – both knickers and bra matching (of course!) and also toned in to what I was wearing. My mother always laughs at my poorly disguised horror when she buys a bra and not the knickers to go with it – she will happily wear a pink bra and – shudder – black or white sloggis. Well, I have turned into an underwear slob. Today I have a chocolate bra on (cheap M&S one and my only ‘decent’ bra. And it’s uncomfortable) and pale turquoise cotton multipack knickers. I hate it! All my sets are at the very least 1st, 10lbs away. I just have to accept the punishment, put my head down and get on with it.

I also possibly have a wedding to go to at the end of May. I ought to be able to lose 2 ½ stone by then. If I had an anywhere near normal metabolism that is. That would take me to half a stone off that magic weight where I become less frantic about it all (but still need to lose a chunk). So I’d still feel fat but less fat. I am not fit to be seen in public at the moment and I don’t want to be buying a fat outfit. The bride is gorgeous (and young) so I need to feel as good about myself as I can. I wonder if that is an achievable goal? I can't bear to think otherwise.

So today my plan for food is:

B – glass V8 (at home) and 4oz LF cottage cheese (at work) with sweetener, cinnamon and a few flaked almonds. Think I just prefer ordinary cottage cheese actually
S – 6 walnuts and a small skinny cappuccino
L – LF chicken Caesar salad (no croutons) and some edamame beans
S – a Muller Lite yoghurt (not strictly South Beach friendly as it’s a flavoured one but I have 2 to use up)
D – a ham, cheese and tomato omelette with a green salad
P – probably just jelly (see below)

It’s a bit disappointing actually, there’s a plethora of dessert type ideas in the original SB book (am still waiting for the updated version) but they all rely on LF ricotta – which you can’t get in the UK. Bah. Someone has suggested Quark instead so I might tentatively try some Quark with cocoa powder and Splenda. Hmmm. I'll let you know how that goes.

I had ideally wanted to get off the tube three stops early and walk in today but I really don’t feel well and haven’t since NYE. Just a cold/flu type thing – and better now than over Christmas – but I just feel lousy. As soon as I can get rid of these cotton wool legs though (and cottage cheese legs, sigh) and if it’s too cold and snowy for cycling, I’ll be back on that river path. I’m a bit of a Luddite but managed to download Diet Girl’s podcast to my ipod to listen to which is a good motivator. I just can’t work out how to download previous podcasts.... If anyone knows how, can they please let me know?

And – a new feature – I am trying to note 3 things to be grateful for every day. Apparently this gets easier (I am wracking my brain) and also works wonders for morale, so yesterday:
1) Took Christmas decorations down – a horrid job but done now.
2) Bf made a lovely linguine carbonara (likely to be last pasta for quite some time)
3) Bought two magazines which I enjoyed reading
Bit feeble, aren’t they? Hey-ho, practise makes perfect...