Monday, 29 March 2010

Lost in the sugar maze

I am so tired and so stressed at the moment (work) that I feel constantly as if I might burst into tears. It's only the thought of conceivably not being able to stop that prevents me. And what does stress make? It makes Peridot gorge on sugar, that's what. It's like a panic reaction - I don't even think, my heart is pounding and my head is screeching and to dim it all and soothe it away, I eat the sugar that's around the office. Of course, this makes me anxious about putting on weight - and the best cure for anxiety? Why, sugar of course.

Certify me now.

It's like being in a mirror maze - not pretty if you're me and avoid mirrors. You think you see a way out until WHAM! (NB not the pop group - although that would be quite scary too) you walk smack into a barrier you can't get through. You know how the smug self-help people say sanctimoniously that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect a different result? Well, colour me certifiable all over again. But part of that repetitive behaviour is knowing that I want to be slimmer, continuing to try, gritting my teeth and getting it right 20% of the time. And looking for clues to push that 20% up. Clues gratefully received, cluesters.

I have escaped work relatively early for a change to buy stuff for my week's walking in Dorset. Even I know that walking in jeans is not a good idea - given the rain, showers and monsoons which describe a British spring (and summer, and, and...). In fact, I got caught in heavy rain walking in Suffolk on Saturday, and an unpleasantly clammy and soggy experience it was too. But I look particularly awful in trousers (the accursed belly hang) - jeans are bad but not actually terrifying to the mentally vulnerable, but my only other trousers are fleece joggers (practical, warm, comfy and quite unfeasibly visually vile) or cheapo cotton ones which are a) too tight and b) kicked off this last year of utterly loathing of the way I look when I saw myself in them in photos in Derbyshire. What to do? I wandered around fingering variations on jeans (see above for practical reasons not to), joggers (stretchy is good as I can fool myself on size - but not flattering) and cotton trousers (not buying them in a size up, not, not, not). I could not bring myself to try any of them on. I knew how much it would hurt and I just could not do it. Vaguely I remembered a time - maybe 2 years ago - when shopping metamorphosized into something almost exciting, a world of unseen possibilities. I was 2 stone lighter. Today I was back to my pre-LL thinking - not having the luxury of chosing colours I like or flattering styles but having the single feature of damage limitation. Or camoflage - difficult to do at my size, alas! And it's not camoflage to blend unseen into the background as much as to blend into 'normal'. For under £50. A tough ask you say? Well, you may be right! I tugged on some tops, considering if I broke the hem by stretching whether it would conceal that which should not be revealed. It was a singularly joyless experience. But I walked past a Ben's Cookies with my head high, my mouth watering and my heart rebelling; Reader, I did not cave in. (Although I ate a peice of fudge over the last two days which is about 2/3 the size of an A5 sheet of paper - even though it made my heart pound with the sugar rush until I hurt)

I accept now that I am going to be a lump of lard for the Naughty Wedding. Well, so be it. It's not about me but about seeing Naughty R, beautiful, radiant and happy, moving into the next phase of her life. I can celebrate that. It will be another occasion where I could look at the photos with guilt and regret, so I will look at the ones of R instead of me hiding in the background, hoping to be partically obscured. Maybe, just maybe I could lose a stone before then. I doubt it, but anything off will help (just having had a view of an incipient double chin I didn't realise existed bouncing merrily around the various mirrors in the cubicle in Debenhams).

What I am setting my sights on is my birthday. It's at the end of August and I'm (probably) having my first party since I was c9 years old, either mid August or the beginning of September. This time I'll be 40 (although I mourn the lack of party bags this time around!). I want to be able to wear a dress - a dress! - and feel good. If I were to lose half a stone a month (I know, a big ask for this tubster) I would be under that magic weight, where still fat though I undeniably am, I feel better: my curves are (over-generous) curves, not blubber rings, I can hold my head up and meet peoples' eyes, I think, 'well, I could be worse' (I have been worse. I AM worse). I think I need to be at this point at my 40th for my sanity and my self-respect; I do not want to be frumpy, fat and forty. I have no choice on the last - and little ability on the first - but the middle, ah, that's the key.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Computer says no.

In fact, more accurately, Scales of Doom say “F*** off”. They don’t care that I’ve cycled some 35 miles this week, they don’t care about my restraint at the weekend (although they do seem to have picked up on my stress-induced Haribo binge yesterday). With no thought of my morale or sanity, they say I’ve put on another 2lbs. So that’s now almost 11lbs to lose in a week and a half to keep to my disappointing but (formerly) realistic goal for Naughty R’s wedding. I don’t need to say any more on that, do I?

I thought I had better cycle today after that. I was unbelievably tired and with a sore throat but cycle I did. Now it’s raining and I’m likely to get soaked going home. It brings fresh perspective to that old idiom “it never rains but it pours”!

I have noticed that it’s currently mostly women cycling. The pillock peloton, I suspect, see no reason to cycle if they can’t be doing so in cutaway lycra without catching their deaths (looking ridiculous obviously not a big deal for them at any point). I suspect that if they didn’t cycle, they’d all be extras in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. They may be that too of course!

My cycling plans for the next few weeks don’t look impressive – I can only cycle next Wednesday of next week (weather permitting) and that’s not ideal as I have to get back for being on call that night. And the following week only Monday. I will be doing a long walk next weekend and then it’s our walking week in Dorset (5 go mad in Dorset) so at least some exercise. I think I can be reasonably careful in Dorset on the food front.... But none of this sounds sufficiently hardcore enough to enable me to lose my half stone a month (and, as discussed, I’m way behind my trajectory already). Is dieting only possible if you’re exclusively doing that and nothing else? I fear so.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Fat bottomed girls will be riding today

I was very peeved when I first started cycling, when I saw other tubsters on bikes. I wanted to believe that a bit of cycling would transform me into into a lissom young thing (yes, time was going to reverse too), pert of buttock and svelte of thigh. If I saw fellow cycling chubsters, I told myself that they’d just started – like me – and in a couple of months they (and me) would be transformed. Reader, it never happened.

I am not the only one to believe in this fairy story – it appears that the manufacturers of cycling wear also believe that only the slender cycle. I tugged on a new pair of cycling knickers today (basically cycling shorts to wear under less gruesome clothing) – I had to wrench them over my arse whereupon they formed tourniquets around my thighs. Which might be useful if I spontaneously developed serious wounds in my legs, I suppose, but are otherwise rather uncomfortable. At an XL, they’re the largest. You’d think they’d want to encourage the stout to get on their bikes, wouldn’t you?

I will say that I was pretty damn good over the weekend. My gremlins in my head were going bonkers, trying to get me to eat all sorts of illicit goodies on the basis that I “may as well” since I was going to be eating some things off-diet. I didn’t give in to them except for some bread in the restaurant on Sunday lunchtime when I was starving (only carbs apart from a pudding chosen for relative purity). I don’t think I did too badly. Scales of Doom may choose to differ...

Friday, 12 March 2010

Temptation is everywhere

So everyone in my office had fish and chips today. Except me. I had chicken chilli soup from Crussh which was very nice but the smell of the vinegar drove me mad and made me feel rather sulky and deprived. Bf said that after my “tough week” we should have an Indian takeaway tonight; I’ve said thanks but no thanks (which makes me feel a bit mean). He even started on the ‘well, if you just have plain chicken then...’ but I couldn’t resist a nan so I don’t want to give myself the illusion of choice. And since we’re going out for tea tomorrow and lunch on Sunday (the latter of which I have chosen my options for in advance and – pudding excepted – can have an utterly virtuous meal), I need to be careful at all other times. I’m 2lbs up on where I was 2 weeks ago and this means to hit my goal, I have to lose 9lbs in 3 weeks. Yes, well.

I think it’s age but my body seems keen to try to get knocked up. For about a week every month, my most senior of bosses seems almost irresistible. It’s one of those times when I’m thankful that I’m not attractive: if he showed the slightest interest, I’m sure my hormones would be screeching “Go on! Shag him! No-one will know!”, trying to drown out my good sense, strong moral code and loyalty to a v beloved bf. Which I'm - thankfully - sure would actually win out. The other three weeks he’s just a pleasant, middle aged man. - but for one week a month, he's a love god! Ha ha ha! All very odd because I have absolutely no desire to have children, but my hormones clearly are trying to over-ride this in a last ditch attempt.

It shows how strong very primitive instincts can be though; I’m not sure exactly what instinct is coming to the fore when I want to eat myself through times of panic or stress, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of those deep-buried, knee-jerk things that make it all the more difficult to control. And I’m at a loss to know how to do that. Debbie - you seem to have a good handle on this so I'll keep reading your words of wisdom and hope they rub off on me.

As for the Naughty Wedding – Alice is of course right that every globule of fat lost can only be a good thing (and of course the only other option is unacceptable), but I would like to be less self-conscious and better dressed than it is currently possible to be.

(PS Ish – I have no idea what a McWheatie is (nor does Beth who is usually my lexicon on all things American). It sounds rather dull and dry – like a digestive or something - but am happy to be educated! Especially if I can’t actually sample one and thus take on the calories)

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Don't panic!

I'm doing all the panicking around here, I've got it covered, you don't need to worry.

I am having a particularly stressful time at work at the moment and am on the edge of panic all the time. Whilst I can kind of talk myself out of misery-eating (some of the time), panic pushes all my buttons until they flash red and scream 'whoooop, whooooop'! Yesterday was great - apart from 2 large cookies. Not Bens Cookies, just regular, somewhat disappointing cookies. One of them was from the M&S bakery and tasted of soap (it was milk choc chip so no direct link that I could see) which will prevent me trying another but is still several hundred calories I really don't need. And although I'd wanted to cycle I couldn't as I had a meeting off-site first thing. As it was, it was just as well that I didn't as I was stuck in the office until 7.30pm. Today I had 3 scones with cream and jam. And am still here at almost 7pm.

The stress and panic about the absurd volume of work is now added to with stress and panic about my weight, size and what to wear to Naughty R's wedding that isn't a miserable polyester tent. Nice work, Peridot.

And this very intense period will last for all of next week AT LEAST and then I need to learn my new job and that's just stress of a different flavour.

And it's going to rain tomorrow so no cycling then either.


Monday, 8 March 2010


Or just plain flaccid?

I got back on my bike for the first time this year. In fact, I think I only cycled once in November so otherwise it would be October when I last cycled regularly. My tyres were almost flat and I had no pump – or, shamefully, any idea of how to use one anyway. Still, I guess it was distraction as I worried about it all the way in to work (panniers bulging with birthday brownies for my boss – an irony which was not lost on me).

If worrying was an Olympic sport, I’d be a world champion. Such a shame it doesn’t make me slim. Or slimmer – I’d happily settle for that. But it was the brownies that tipped the balance; I’ve had 3 and I really needed to burn that 1200+cals that a cycle to and from work would give me towards my brownie deficit. And Spring appeared to have sprung. As it was, it was apparently somewhere just the chillier side of freezing and my neck smarted as I trundled along. A bonus of being not very fit though is that you get awfully warm awfully quickly. I’ve did find someone to pump my tyres up at work (and bought a pump which I’m dubious I have the practical skills to use) so my ride home required my pelvis to act less as a shock absorber. I was more worried about the ride home as this is typically harder for me (I guess my body suddenly goes into shock at the sudden influx of exercise) and I often get the shakes - fortunately I was okay, if a bit slow. And quite cold. And my nether regions seem to have softened up a bit - unfortunately - so I'm a bit sore and stiff today. Still, I plan to try and do it again this week to build up to cycling most days by after Easter. And I hope for hardier nether regions soon!

I seem to have been really busy - that's the reason I didn't post. I was out of the office from Monday afternoon to Thursday morning (a great work trip albeit one where I wasn't actually warm at all for pretty much the entire duration - I kept hoping that meant I was burning calories like mad) and then trying to get through the backlog of work. The trip meant disorganised eating - I can honestly say that there was no way I could be mistress of my own diet. I have to say I was mostly hungry and there were no huge binges but there were - unavoidably - carbs. And I ate a twix (not a chocolate bar of choice but one made out of cold, necessity and availability) and a creme egg.

Then the weekend was carby too - a trip to a tea shop on Saturday (caused by bf's hangover) and a meal out that evening with my mum to celebrate my grandmother's birthday (she's now dead but I miss her every day and we always go out for her birthday) at Wahaca. And those brownies of course.

This weekend is also looking problematic - a trip to a tea shop with bf's parents (mothers day treat) and then lunch with my mother the following day. At least I can mostly make sensible choices for the lunch - and I don't drink at lunchtime which saves a few calories.

But it's Naughty R's wedding at the end of May and I want to minimise my outfit traumas. It's depressing to work out that the very best I can hope for is to be about the weight I finished LL. And that was half a stone heavier than the point where I started to feel - well, not slim but not the sort of fat that I feel needs constant apologies (yep, where I am now). It's almost enough to stop you trying - that knowledge that your best is will definitely fall far short of your goal. I know, I know, it means my goal is too ambitious. And any slimmer is better. And brownies will not help me get to goal. But... I am unhappy as I am. I am impatient for a change (probably because the only time I've lost weight was on LL - and that was only 2.5lbs a week) and I am -as ever - frustrated by my sluggish metabolism that is at polar opposites to my natural impatience.

To give myself some credit though, I have not used any off-schedule eating as an excuse to dive headlong into a vat of sugar, and have tried to make sensible choices all the rest of the time. Is that a feeble justification? I think it sounds it, but actually I am such an all or nothing girl that this sort of moderation is pretty tricky for me.

As well as my 17 mile cycle ride yesterday, we did a 6 mile walk in Essex on Sunday. It was a typical Essex walk - fairly dull in terms of lack of variety (just field after field after field) but I felt an actual burst of joy at being outside in the sunshine (even though it was cold) again. "I'm so happy" I trilled in a probably irritating fashion as I kissed bf (we have a twee habit - instigated by me - of kissing at kissing gates. (Not in public)). Being outside on a walk makes me happy though, it really does. So a planned trip to Dorset for a week's walking with bf, Beth and my mum's labradors (while she visits horrid brother in Singapore) is good news for my perkiness levels. Although if we walk with my mum, she picks up the poo and I fear this will fall to me. Chocolate lab is particularly prolific - ick.