Thursday, 29 April 2010

And the moral of the story is...

Gold star for me. I got home and did Wk 1, Run 2 last night. In a way, it’s easier to run in the morning first thing, before my brain wakes up to what I’m actually doing – by which time it’s too late. I was fully conscious yesterday evening and not exactly raring to go. And I had another excuse – I got home to find that bf had helpfully stuck a wash in the machine which I assumed contained my sports bra since I pulled the flat apart to find it and couldn’t (“Great big white thing? Hideously ugly?” I interrogated the bf, to his complete incomprehension). It would have been SO easy to use the absence of suitable bosom containment to not go. But, I reasoned, it’s not as if I had much pertness to endanger, so I just pulled on an underwired t-shirt bra and set off.

In the mornings the park isn’t open, but it’s open until 8pm at the moment so I ran there. It’s a small park so I had to run past a snickering couple - girl on boyfriend’s lap - three times. How she had the gall to laugh, I don’t know – she had a huge white fake daisy pinned over her ear that made it look like she had a one-eared earmuff on.

It was in the washing machine btw.

Today I have cycled in. I am pretty sure I am due a soaking on the way home which I’m not looking forward to. But on the upside, I feared that W1, R3 would be rainy at 6am tomorrow, but it looks like the rain should have cleared up by then. Cycling in the rain is bad enough, but running? Ugh. And all this whilst mid-period (another excuse I could use to stop doing any form of exercise).

I will WI tomorrow. It’s been c10 days since I did that last. It represents 7 days of great virtue and 3 days of, er, not. I could really do with seeing some movement on Scales of Doom to perk me up and get me motivated since I’m not seeing benefits in my clothes. The jeans that were a size smaller that I put on last week and fit, last night were about 1” away from doing up and a skirt I bought on ebay (an M&S 16 for goodness sake) is far too small. I have jeans on today and feel more than usually dumpy. This is depressing stuff and I’d like a pick-me-up to help me feel cheerful and motivated – I’m not going to stop, either way, but it just makes my life easier.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: always have a spare sports bra (especially when you have a big hole near the fastening of your only one which makes doing it perilous each time you put it on to know whether it will hold. I know, I know but spending the best part of £30 on such an ugly thing is not a joyous thing. Twice. Still, I’d get a hell of a lot of material for my £60)

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


How is it possible that my waist aches? Not quite as much as my inner thighs but surely more inexplicably.

I thought – clearly naively and perhaps arrogantly – that starting off running again wouldn’t be too bad to start with. I thought I might even have to hold myself back a bit and pace myself for the first couple of weeks. I thought the cycling might mean that I was fitter and stronger than when I first did this running ‘lark’. If you can hear hollow laughter at this point, it’s me. Ha, ha, ha. Oh, and ow, ow and ow. However, if it means that bits of flab are whittling away though, bring it on.

Having said that, I’m typing this when I should have left to go home and do Week 2, Run 2. Prevaricating, moi?

In other news, bf asked me if I had a specific outfit in mind for our new static caravan in Suffolk (he knew about the clam diggers and gingham shirt dreams). I told him I wasn’t quite ready to embrace Trailer Park Trash just yet as it tends to be a) short, b) tight, c) snow-wash denim. I told him he should definitely buy a wife beater t-shirt though. He looked puzzled.

I advised Beth not to wear beige however as she'd blend to invisibility. All caravans are basically beige (ugh). We'll be perking it up though - somehow. And it seems to be roomier than our flat! And 50 yards from the sea!

PS I was genuinely surprised by the comments to my last post from you, my lovely readers (inc Dietgirl, a genuine celeb, blush). If anything I thought I was a bit weaselly in not admitting, in a proper self-flagellation, that I had royally screwed up and thrust more calories down my greedy gullet than I had any right to, given my all too frequent whinging about my size, weight and impending wedding clothing dilemmas. Don’t know quite what to say (rather rare!).....

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A Rude Awakening

I didn’t sleep at all well last night. It was probably because some internal part of me was screaming objections to the fact I’d laid out my stuff to go ‘running’ this morning. Yes, I started the Couch to 5k with the podcast this morning at 6am. It’s harder than my last programme which was the Zest How to Run one. First run with Zest – 1 min run, 3 mins walk for 20 mins (plus presumably warming up and cooling down – not that I ever did much of either of those); first run with C 2 5k – 1 min run, 1 ½ mins walk for 20 mins plus 5 mins warming up and 5 mins cooling down (walking). It was not fun, I did not love it and I did not find it easy but I did it. At 6am (did I mention that already?). Our park was not open so I trailed up the road (actually on the pavement, safety fans). It’s not supposed to open until 7am but when I last did this (at least 2 years ago!), someone used to open it around 6am. Week 1, Run 2 will be tomorrow evening and will be round the park. Early morning runs will be up to the dock and back. I’m going to give it a good go and at the end of 8-9 weeks, if I don’t love it and/or it doesn’t seriously help with the weight loss, I’m jacking it in for good.

It’s useful to feel I’ve done something on the days – like today – when I can’t cycle. I cycled yesterday. Gold star for me.

But now we come to Mission Impossible. It did indeed prove to be impossible. For a weak willed fatty like me, anyway. I reckon I was 70% bad and 30% good. It ought to be the other way round at least:

Day 1:
· Hauled self out of bed and walked 2.6miles in MBTs (good) √
· Ate v frugally during day inc no snacks on train (good) √
· Did not choose what I wanted in restaurant: not prawn tempura but smoked prawns with smudge of mayo (good), no aperitif (good), v restrained wine (good), venison with mash and left most of mash (good), sorbet for pudding (felt like good but probably wasn’t). √√√?
· Then allowed myself to be talked into buying some of restaurant’s fudge (bad) and ate probably 2/3 of it over the next 2 days (there was 1lb – bad, bad, BAD) ×

Day 2:
· Had planned bad breakfast of French toast and then felt sick for most of day until... ×
· On 8 mile walk (√), started feeling v faint indeed and was at NT property at that point (3pm) and had scone with small amount cream and jam (bad) and elderflower presse (bad) × ×
· Fish and chips for supper – had checked and allegedly burnt calories – and frugal with wine √ (a tentative tick that one - hmmm)
· Had cornetto for pudding (better than bf’s crème brulee but still bad) ×

Day 3:
· Good breakfast √
· Good lunch √
· Creme egg ×
· Aperitif ×
· Good starter, good main (but did eat half of mash as so yummy), pudding (bad) and reasonable wine consumption (a bit drunk from aperitif actually) √√-×. Bf went a bit crazy on the booze so I was able to feel very superior.

Day 4:
· Tried to have a good breakfast but not sure it actually was that great (yoghurt (said was low fat but looked pretty high cal to me), granola and a fruit scone of elephantine proportions) –
· No lunch and so went a bit mad and ate loads of Twiglets ×. Cue bf remarking disapprovingly how much I ate compared to him!
· Frugal supper (no wine) √

Ticks = 12, Crosses = 9, Neutral/don’t know = 3.

I’m a bit disappointed with myself to be honest.

But what I didn’t do was let this de-rail me. Back in London on Sunday night I firmly rebuffed bf’s idea of curry for supper and had a smoked trout salad. Then cycled in yesterday and had a good day’s eating. And then – as you know – I got up today and ran.

Planning to run tomorrow evening and Friday morning and to cycle to and from work on Thursday. And alot of salads (although I’m at my mum’s tonight and she’s cooking haddock).

But I feel fat. I’m not happy with the way things look on. Am rather squeezed into a slightly too small jacket today – which is still the largest one I own. Technically, it just fits, but that makes it look bad done up and looks as if it won’t do up when it’s undone. But – feebleness at the weekend aside – if I look awful at the wedding, it won’t be through lack of trying.

Btw, we remain landlubbers - we're not buying the boat which was like the opposite of the Tardis – it looked quite big on the outside but was teeny-weeny inside. Seriously small – and would involve roughing it. And frankly? Found drifting up rivers somewhat dull (paroxysms of delight over fluffy ducklings aside). I’d much rather walk or cycle. I am Action Girl. But, er, podgier and puffier.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Mission Impossible?

Yesterday was a fat day. Yesterday, despite all my efforts to the contrary, I felt like a big, fat, blob – and therefore unhappy and really self-consious. Members of the jury, allow me to make my case by taking you through the day:

· I did get up early and got off the tube and walked in the c2.5 miles in my MBTs (by dint of not washing my hair – probably didn’t help with feeling such a mess)
· I also walked – extremely fast (arriving revoltingly sweaty) – to meet Beth for pilates. A little over 4 miles, again in MBTs
· Went for a walk at lunchtime (not MBTs – c 35 mins)
· Pilates. More of which later.
· Salad for lunch, salad for dinner, no naughties, no treats

· I wore jeans to work (we don’t have to wear office wear at the moment). I don’t usually wear jeans (or trousers) because my legs are too short and fat for them to look good and finding a top that covers my stomach is problematic. I felt I looked awful all day having caught a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror in the loos looking, er, awful. And fat. And dumpy.
· I was hopeless at Pilates and everyone else was pretty effortless (or that’s how it looked). This was highlighted by the instructor keep saying pityingly to me (and me alone) “Are you okay with that?” and “How did you find that?” during and after each exercise. I was also concentrating on not throwing up since I had arrived so hot and early that I’d quaffed down a skinny frappuccino to try and cool down. Not wise as it turns out.

Let’s examine a few key points in more detail:

Jeans - Beth diagnosed (I asked her) that the problem was that the top I had on with jeans had a kangaroo pocket which made me look even fatter across the midriff. Really useful advice which did make me feel better (although curse it, I’ve only worn the top twice!). I also went home and tried on my jeans which are a size smaller and got them on – they’re tight but they sort of fit (there’s almost no muffin - more of a polite fairy cake). Not sure I’m going to be wearing them just yet, but it did explain a bit why the legs of my jeans felt so unpleasantly loose and baggy in the legs (which added to the dumpy/frumpy feeling).

Pilates – Ow, ow, ow. This morning only my back, shoulders and backs of knees hurt (none of these make my top ten of places to de-fat) but other parts of my body are slowly starting to register protest (my upper arms – yay!) so I hope that despite the humiliation, it did some good. I don’t think I’ll be rushing to do this again – I’d rather do weights, lunges etc at home (of course I don’t, but I would still rather). I did Pilates many years ago with a genius teacher who took us through exercises that didn’t especially hurt at the time, but the next day you felt like you’d been mown down by a fleet of juggernauts; I’ve never been able to replicate that experience since but would like a shot if I could.

Of course, the final verdict should have been delivered by Scales of Doom today, but I was so tired and rushed this morning that I forgot to get on them, damn it.

Today is another day. It’s day one of my commando plan (mission: avoid SoD disaster) for minimal damage over the weekend in Suffolk/Norfolk. Despite a hysteria-inducing lack of sleep, I tore myself out of bed this morning to do that 2.5 mile walk again in my MBTs. Armed just with a rucksack containing vital provisions (boots and an assortment of plastic boxes of food) I wobbled my way along the Thames (wobble not (just) caused by flab but by rocking motion of MBTs), trying to ignore the ache in my shoulders and lower back. Other tactics for the weekend include saying NO to fish and chips tonight (I have to have done a big walk to earn F&Cs) – we are having them on Friday and I’m planning a c10 mile to pay for a small portion. Saying NO to pudding in the restaurants tonight and Saturday unless there’s something I really, really want (and looking at their menus online, there isn’t – I’m picky which is dead useful sometimes), saying NO to any soft drink that isn’t zero calories (sadly no Suffolk apple juice for me), keeping the wine down to minimal levels (ie let bf drink most of bottle and no aperitif for me) and saying YES to lots of exercise. It’s not perfect (when am I ever?!) but that combined with pretty much a solid week of salads (before (tick) and after) will hopefully squeeze me through, if not unscathed then at least not missing in action.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The long and windy road

So, how is this fair? Last night it was a struggle cycling home because of a brisk headwind I was cycling against; today coming in (so the opposite direction, fact fans) it was even brisker! I told myself firmly that it was a good thing – more effort means more calories burnt and the wind was, er, refreshing and cooling! Ummm, did I convince anyone there? It’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

I’m still doing sterling diet work. It’s all well and good, but I have to be careful that when I break my run of exemplary behaviour (which will be this weekend), that I don’t allow my all or nothing attitude to let that be the end. Already I feel wobbly contemplating it. In fact, last night, I felt ill but the thought that I might not be able to cycle today (thus unable to continue my good streak (not the naked variety, you’ll be pleased to know)) made me feel quite panicky – as if all the good behaviour was coming to an end. As it is, I found out today that I can’t cycle on Thursday as planned (I’m going by train straight after work to meet bf in Suffolk for a last minute weekend away – more of this later) and that’s making me edgy. My Plan B involves me getting up super early which I am not good at AT ALL. Tomorrow I have a freebie pilates class after work and I could (should) also get off the tube early to walk the c2.5 miles in in the morning - and I could do the same on Thursday morning. In MBTs. I’d have to get up at 6am. At the latest. One or both days. Arghhh. Gotta find that resolve somewhere (esp as bf has the rest of the week off and will be peacefully slumbering – grrr!)

Then the weekend away will mean meals out – definitely dinner and quite probably breakfast too. I want to have fun (and eat (which often = fun!)) but I really want to lose weight – it’s so tough. I need to come up with a strategy that’s at least a compromise. Excitingly, we’re going to have a look at a reconditioned 1950s oak boat – for pottering down the Broads. I was initially resistant to this as I thought it would be too dull just to sit about (get me, Action Girl) but bf assures me we can moor up and go walking/cycling – and I’ve conceded that some floating will also be pleasant. From resistance – typically – I’ve gone to break-neck enthusiasm. We’ve not seen the boat yet, far less paid for it, but I’m already planning cute 1950s outfits to wear on it (based on gingham shirts and denim capris. I seem to subconsciously think I’m Audrey Hepburn – which is as far from the truth as is possible. I think you need long, willowy legs for this look, not my stumpy tree trunks!).

A(nother!) real problem for me at the moment is hunger. I’m trying to be careful and moderate but I’m so damn hungry. Sample menu (today’s):
B – ½ cup porridge oats (back to larger quantity to try and stave off hunger pangs) made up with mix of LF soy milk and water, 75g blueberries, tsp sweetener and a generous tsp coconut butter
S – Muller Light yoghurt and Bear granola nibbles
L – Innocent veg pot. SF jelly.
S – 2 Ryvitae with 1 extra LF Laughing Cow cheese, Fruit leather sweets
D – Huge salad of spinach, rocket, watercress, red cabbage, carrot, pepper, cucumber, beanspouts, ½ avocado, dressed with 2 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp balsamic and 1 tbsp each of lemon and lime juices with a tuna steak. 83g ricotta (1/3 tub – not as crazy as it sounds!) with tsp each of sweetener and cocoa. Strawberries (c100g). 2 pieces of plain chocolate.

Except that I’ll get in from cycling SO starving that I’ll have a tsp of peanut butter. 2 if I’m feeling particularly weak of either mind or body. This is a pretty typical meal – except sometimes I have a salad at lunch instead (yes, I’m wild, me) and an omelette in the evening (with salad) or some other combination of protein and salad/veg.

Why am I so hungry? And how do I make it stop?

And I’m still thinking about running. More on that tomorrow.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Ooooh, shaky, shaky

Cycling home on Thursday night I started to feel very shaky. I’ve learnt to always have dextrose tablets with me, so I popped 2 which got me home – just. It was a struggle getting home though and I guess I have to accept that I need to build the cycling up a bit and pace myself rather than over-doing it in a fit of enthusiasm. So I didn’t cycle in on Friday (despite gorgeous weather) and I confess it was nice to have my hair looking decent for a change, not just bunged back in a ponytail.

I probably should have walked the last c3 miles in to work that day but I am SO tired. I just couldn’t get out of bed on Friday and had to dash about to get to work on time. I’m especially not good at dashing first thing in the morning.

I still squeezed in a visit to the oracle, SoD, on Friday who told me I'd lost 2lbs - not quite the carb jettisoning I'd hoped for, but a start I guess. I feel focussed and determined (and, er, fat) so I am ploughing on with steely determination. My problem will come if I don’t see results this week – at the moment I’m flying along but I am easily tripped up and cast down (face down in the mud actually)

So, I cycled twice last week (at 17 miles a day) and walked once (probably only 3 miles). And on Saturday I did a walk of almost 10.5 miles in Suffolk (v flat it has to be said) which, although I could have walked for a bit longer, also had me almost dropping off into my curry that night. At which I did not choose what I wanted, but the least lardy choices (and no booze). On Sunday I reckon we walked another c5miles along the Thames Path (me in my MBTs). It was so lovely to make the most of the sunshine and great to feel that I've enjoyed my time and (hopefully) burnt some pesky calories too. I've chosen well with food - despite a treat of a Magnum yesterday which I regret (regret sadly doesn’t negate the calories) and which probably consumed all the calories I’d burnt on the walk.

I cycled today too though and am hoping to cycle three times this week and get some walking in at the weekend too.

I’m still battling hunger though – it’s really annoying. I want to keep the calories down, but my pesky body is still seeming to want more food than it should. I don’t quite know what to do to sort this out except try to last as long as possible before eating.

I’m even idly considering taking up running again. Anyone who has read this blog for any period of time (possibly just Lesley) will know that I built up running over a year from zero to 5k (never elimating the walking intervals though) and I HATED it. I didn’t enjoy it for its own sake and I didn’t find it made a difference to shedding the bulgy bits either. But Beth does all these 10k runs which actually sound.... fun. I’ve seen some organised runs in mags too which look like a lovely way to see some countryside. I have an ipod now so I could upload the podcasts which tell you when to run and when to walk and play music at you. I’m not sure, but I may give it another try....

Or maybe I’m just sleep deprived and raving.

Anyway, I’m reinstating the 3 things to feel grateful for but on a weekly basis (apparently that is the most effective time period). So, for last week:

1. Lovely weather – just makes everything so much more pleasant and hopeful
2. Two great walks, one urban, one rural. Burning calories whilst having fun – a winner!
3. Beth said my thighs looked slimmer – hurrah! (Okay it’s very relative but it was still lovely to hear that I’m going the right way). PS I was wearing jeans, not just idly flashing my thighs about willy-nilly (ugh)
4. A bonus one – currently feel I have the weight loss mojo back (Magnum aside). Long may that continue.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Zoned out

You think you’re in the zone, you’ve pedalled your heart out and it’s all gone rather well, you arrive at work warm, weary and rather pleased with yourself. And then you’re told that it’s because there was a tailwind, blowing you in. Pah. I thought I was back on form (although 'back' does rather hint that I’ve ever been on form at some point – which I’m not sure is technically true. Or even untechnically!).

I am however getting my head down and getting on with the old sensible eating and exercise malarkey. It’s never easy, but despite my setbacks, despite moments of despair, disappointment and even rage, I am not ready to give up on being slimmer. Really, I’m going to do this if it kills me. At least my corpse won’t be so hard to lift! Not planning on dying either though (despite attempts by black cabs, white vans and red buses!).

I have walked once this week and cycled twice. I am not sure whether I’ll cycle tomorrow or not – largely because my pelvis/arse was causing me some pain on the way in today and I have yet to get home. I may just take some ibuprofen and hope for the best! I could certainly do with the calorie burn, particularly as I’m very hungry (because of the cycling? Or the come-down after the week of fooooood? Who knows? Either way, it has to go). We also have a plan to walk at the weekend to make the most of promised good weather. Burn, baby, burn (calories, not a disco inferno – although be my guest)

And I walked past Ben's Cookies yesterday and resisted for the 3rd time. It's a miracle! It makes me feel sad actually, that I'm missing out I guess. I am trying to tell myself that the only thing I'm actually missing out on is continuing being fat. I'm not entirely convinced but I'm going to keep saying it anyway.

I’m ever so slightly obsessed with coconut butter in my porridge since Beth introduced us in Dorset (In Dorset? Yes, I would! (You see what I did there?!)). It’s an expensive habit but not one I could break now. At a tsp a day, a 454g jar has to last ages, right? So the £15 could be seen as a bargain. Or maybe not. But it is now a necessity. I have reverted to 1/3 cup of porridge oats again now - with half LF soya milk and half water, a sachet of Splenda, 100g of blueberries and a tsp of the tropical taste sensation that is coconut butter, mmmm. Then I’ve been having trout pout soup again (WHEN will I learn to be a bit more wary with my addition of chilli?) and SF jelly for lunch and a salad or stir fry for supper with flavoured, sweetened ricotta for pudding. And a couple of pieces of fruit a day and snacks of yoghurt, nuts, Ryvitas (Ryvitae?) with extra LF Laughing cow cheese. And I’ve discovered these things called Fruitus which are basically fruit leather pieces and make me feel I’m having sweets – for c70 cals! I don’t want to have them every day but I’m happy to know they’re there for treats.

My first encounter with Scales of Doom is tomorrow. Gulp. It’s only been 3 days since our last bitter encounter but I want to be weighing in on Fridays. And of course, I’m hoping to see some sort of downward shift to acknowledge the change of diet from last week. Half a stone would be nice. Kidding! Sort of....

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

In Dorset?

I most certainly would! (In Dorset – endorse it, geddit? Oh never mind, it's a favourite joke of 2 (male) friends of mine!)

So, back in the smog after a week in the rolling hills of Dorset with bf, Beth and the Lab pack. The Lab pack immediately set about endearing themselves to Beth with much soulful brown eyes and waggy tails – but they couldn’t keep up with her on the hills! Seriously, I sometimes call bf a mountain goat, so nimbly does he trip up hills but Beth is a frigging ibex. We did some serious hills – they nearly killed me, I couldn’t even talk as I puffed through gritted teeth, feeling the burn in my arse and thighs, the pounding of my head and the, er, absence of feeling at all in my little fingers (apparently a sign that my body had bigger things to concentrate on). Even bf found some of them tough. We’d arrive at the top to find Beth calmly sipping water, having not even broken into a sweat. Usually with a panting Labrador leaning heavily against her. Then, at the end of the day, when I collapsed on the sofa with a cup of tea, she was out on an hour’s run. And that’s after some yoga and press ups first thing. At one point I wailed, “Is THIS what you have to do to lose weight?”, thinking that I simply never could. Beth reckoned that it was what you had to do to stay super-slim, when you get to that point. I don’t think I’ll ever hit that level of slim-dom so hopefully I won’t have to work quite as hard and I'm fine with that - happy to be a small size 14 to be honest (Beth would need to invite a friend to fill a size 14). But even with walking every day (initially through mud which was challenging, and then up some big hills. And then down, and then up etc, etc, etc Curiously more up than down..) and really feeling it, I put on ½ stone. Which tends to make me think that losing weight isn’t really about exercise, it’s about food control. Because I wasn’t controlled about food. I have been a lot, LOT worse in my time, but we had wine every night and some sort of pudding and a good meal. So the hard work physically did NOT make up for the extra calories, which was what I’d been telling myself as I heaved up the hills.

I was back on my bike today – hopefully my climbing hills should have kept my cycling muscles going at any rate. After my depressing encounter with Scales of Doom this morning, it was particularly appropriate that I’d already decided to cycle. Even with cycling 3+ times a week though, it seems unlikely that I’ll be anything other than an utter fatty for Naughty R’s wedding. To wear the outfit I wore to a wedding last year, I would have to be a stone and a half lighter in a month and a half and that’s LL territory, not ‘normal’ life. I fear this means buying an outfit I’m not happy with – a particularly stinging experience. Still bullets don’t have calories, right? So biting that one at least shouldn’t impact on calorie consumption!

I had a pretty good day diet-wise yesterday and although I’ve upped my porridge quota from 1/3 cup of oats to ½ cup for the time being (which I feel guilty about but think I need to transition back to diet portions), I have a virtuous day planned again today. It’s all I can do. Dieting, one day at a time and cycling as often as I can plus maybe a walk at the weekend when we can and when I'm not working. It’s not exactly a foolproof plan but it’s the only one I’ve got.