Thursday, 22 December 2011

Death by chocolate?

I nearly killed myself yesterday. Or rather, I wished I were dead. I ate too much chocolate. It didn’t seem excessive (by my admittedly warped standards) – about 4 Quality Street, 2 Celebrations – and then in an effort to keep myself off illegal milk chocolatey stuff (which, weirdly, made my teeth hurt) - 2 x 80% pralines (disgusting. 1st one - oh, how odd I don't like this. 2nd - of course I like it, it's chocolate. No, I really, really don't) and 100g of 70% orange chocolate. I felt so ill I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had a coffee, then a tea. Then I went home and had water. But I still felt incredibly sick. I was simultaneously hungry and sick. Bf had a piece of chocolate log (I LOVE chocolate log); I felt intensely nauseous. I looked at some Godiva chocolate inadvertently; I felt sick. I couldn't bear to open my advent calendar for fear of the small chocolates lying behind the doors. I went to bed at 11pm, still feeling really sick.

As Scarlett pointed out, today is another day. I don’t feel sick (I have laryngitis and a chest virus which make me dizzy, hoarse and headachy – as well as having a fetching deadman’s rattle of a cough - but will take it over feeling sick). In fact, I am feeling quite interested in chocolate again. I sincerely hope I’ve learnt my lesson about sugar overload but I wouldn’t place money on it..

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Christmas angel

Up until approximately an hour ago, I have been exemplary in my Christmas eating. Or lack thereof. By now I would usually have fallen headfirst into a vat of canapés, chocolate (Big Purple Quality Street, mmm), chocolate log and booze. To name but a few. This year, despite the devils ‘stress’ and ‘temptation’ – along with their evil genius sibling ‘oh-sod-it’ – I have not had anything that was not diet-compliant. Despite a few meals out, one of which where I had roast beef and left the potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, not a morsel of pudding or carbs have passed my lips. Even my niece proffering a Hotel Chocolat tiddy caramel chocolate penguin was resisted. And she was asking questions that would make a tougher woman than me crack for sugar (“are you going to have babies? Why not? Don’t you like children? But I want to meet your children”). Fortunately a man in a white woolly suit and a small boy whizzed through the air which distracted her (we were at the Snowman ballet, lest this sound just too surreal).

Last night, after the day from hell which concluded with a trip to a chaotically busy Westfield East , I went home and made mince pies for the office (my cunning secret is an orange pate sucree and cointreau and pecans in the mincemeat). Hot out of the oven and smelling enticingly Christmassy and I didn’t even have a bite. I’ve had one today (not a pie, an actual mince pie) though and so much chocolate that I feel sick and my heart is racing. Let that be a lesson to me.

I think it’s because I WI on a Wednesday and I know there will be off-piste eating from now, I mean, Friday to New Year’s Day. I lost 1lb this week – I’m not sure that fully rewards the heroic levels of restraint I’ve practised but it’s better than nowt.

I’m now almost back to what I was before the US. Far short of my goal, made in November, of being Porky.0 by Christmas, I am in fact Porky.4 ½. And when I read back to my entries of the beginning of the year, I was adamant that I wanted to be a size 12 by now. Oh. I am in fact (still) a size 16. I think I’ve spent most of the year yo-yo-ing within the Porky stone bracket. Possibly I was heavier at the beginning of the year (probably in fact as my first entry of the year records me giving in and putting my size 18 jeans on) but the earliest date I’ve recorded my weight is the 20 April when I was Porky.10 ¼ - it’s not a stellar performance is it? Effort 8/10, achievement 1/10.

I can’t tell you how much I hope that 2012 is the year that I crack this. Not least because I got quite tearful out at dinner with one of my best friends on Monday about how scared I am about looking fat and ugly in photos that are there for posterity (my fat posterior captured for posterity, a scary thought) and how traumatic I fear finding a wedding dress is going to be.

With that in mind, whilst I’m going to have treats from Friday night til New Year’s Day, I’m really not going to go into calorie free-fall. I’m already so behind on what I want, no, NEED to achieve, I need to give myself as much of a headstart for 2012 as I can. My friend and I are planning a Bodypump class on a Monday and I may do the Pilates class beforehand which should help build some metabolism-raising muscle. I really need to lose at least half a stone every month from January to April (it won’t take me far enough but I reckon it should take me comfortably into a size 14, even allowing for some Christmas excess baggage). It’s a tall order for snail-metabolism me so I’m going to need a fair wind and a lorra, lorra luck. Please keep your fingers crossed for me, I need all the help I can get.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The bitterness of chocolate

On this diet if you really crave something you’re supposed to not have it. As this is a sign of a food intolerance or candida, apparently. I am surprised that I am coping okay without fruit as I do love it (probably helps that it’s not nectarine season) but chocolate seems to be a different issue.

When I was on SW, during the week I would have one square of Lindt dark with orange, which I would nibble at slowly, and at weekends I’d have a 30g mini bar of Montezumas with butterscotch. On Harcombe I am supposed to only have chocolate for 70% cocoa solids or more (ideally more) and my Lindt was a shockingly paltry 45% (the Montezumas milk was 55%!). I have discovered that Godiva plain 72% is delicious (or even better is their 85% praline – which I suspect is cheating) – none of the bitterness I associate with plain chocolate. And Hotel Chocolate’s plain orange rounds are also really nice (their regular chocolate is not great). But rather than having one piece, I’ve been having 3 – or even more. I don't know how much more on Saturday but it was a lot. And the fact that I didn't have lunch doesn't atone for this. Harcombe would say it was an addiction to the sugar (and I know I have a problem with sugar) but I just can’t bear to give it up completely; I really feel the need for something after my dinner. Yesterday I managed to keep it to just the one advent calendar shape (Hotel Chocolate 70%) but it was an effort. Maybe I just need to come up with a chocolate routine that I stick to and don’t question – like I did on SW.

But given that it’s the season of cute canapés in M&S and Waitrose which I just LOVE even though most of them revolve around pastry which I am indifferent to – and which became our Sunday night supper most weeks last year – I think I’m doing okay. I was surprised by your comments on what I eat as I tend to think it’s masses – I certainly don’t feel deprived. And I feel well on it- no crazy blood sugar see-sawing – I’m even managing the ‘3 meals a day and no snacking unless absolutely essential’ pretty well which I never thought I would. Apart from the last couple of days when I’ve pretty much been starving all the time – I assume this is fleeting and hormonal and it will pass. Soon please. But if it doesn’t make me slimmer, then it’s going to have to go (oh Claire – I read your comment with a sinking heart!). I’ve yet to find anything that does work for me though and I’m prepared to tinker with a more hard-core version of what I’m already doing if I have to (low fat dairy rather than full fat springs to mind).

Tomorrow is our team Christmas lunch (which there are threats of having to cancel). I’ve chosen the best options I can (including cheese for ‘pudding’, sigh) and am planning on 1 potato and a little stuffing and off-loading the rest on to my very keen team-mate. Then I have supper with my niece and nephew on Saturday – should be do-able although I fear we’ll end up in a pasta/pizza place (they must have something non-carby though, right?). That’s all for this week. Lucky I don’t have much of a social life, isn’t it?!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The horror, the horror

I keep having nightmares. On Monday I dreamt that I was being chased by T-Rex (the dinosaur, not the 70s band – although I do, admittedly, fear a poodle perm). I was hiding and hoping it wouldn’t find me whilst I could hear it breathing just above me. I awoke with my heart pounding and feeling very unrested. On Tuesday though, the nightmare was worse. I was in a fitting room in my underwear, trying on wedding dress after wedding dress – they all looked absolutely dreadful. Tears were pouring down my face and I felt wretched, demoralised, inadequate and very fat and ugly. Somehow this was more terrifying- I doubt that I’ll ever be chased by T-Rex (either the band OR the dinosaur) but the second nightmare could all too easily be true. In fact, it could be a prophesy.

I imagine it came from a combination of a constant level of anxiety about just this, the knowledge that in April I will actually have to start looking for a dress and my experience in the Levis shop last week.

Now I am not a girl who has posh jeans. There’s no point – there is no denim, no matter how miraculous, that can disguise the fact that I am dumpy. But my mother wanted some black skinnies. Hilariously she told the assistant she was a size 12 – I gave her A Look, “a 10-12” she amended. The assistant and I looked at each other dubiously; she brought out a 10; it was too big. They had 20% off. “Why don’t you get some jeans?” asked my mother merrily, and against my better judgement, I tried them on. They looked pretty much as jeans do on a dumpy person. And despite their famous curve system, they still gaped at the back – and the next size down cut me in half (I felt like a tube of toothpaste that had been ruthlessly squeezed in the middle). On the plus side, I wasn’t tempted to spend money I can’t afford, but on the minus side, I felt pretty low.

That was before I weighed myself and found I put on 2lbs from my very abstemious and minimal participation in her birthday celebrations. Seriously, I made cocktails all evening and didn’t have one (I like cocktails). I did have a Carluccio’s chocolate meringue which made my heart absolutely race though – and I do not speak metaphorically. Anyway, by WI I’d lost the 2lbs and an additional ½ lb. This is not getting me very far towards escaping my nightmare/prophesy though.

Tonight is our Christmas party – I won’t be eating or drinking anything (other than water). I have a week ahead mercifully empty of any social event with emotional arm-twisting of food/drink consumption to overcome.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Pride comes before a fall

Huh. The aforementioned fall? Emphatically not one on SoD. No, a fall in spirits, morale and crest. I did not lose an ounce, not a sausage, not a ripple of podge. And after that heroism at the weekend too!

It IS dispiriting – I so want to get on with this. I’m so fed up with being fat and the stifling effect that has on my life. I’ve worked out that from where I am now, I will need to lose ideally 4 stone for a size 10/12 wedding dress. I dimly remember being that weight in my teens..... Of course, I also ideally need to be that weight by April when I’m going shopping for a dress. And again I say ‘huh’. Clearly I’m not so delusional that I think that is in any way possible (not even on Lighter Life). But I would like to lose at least 2 stone between now and April with a further stone and a half between then and November. It ought to be possible – half a stone a month from January to April. But experience leads me to doubt this is possible for me.

Apart from the uber-obstacle of Christmas, this next weekend will be the toughest for me. It’s my mum’s birthday (a biggie) and I’ve said we’ll do whatever she likes. We’re apparently going out to breakfast twice (not tricky with Harcombe) and dinner once (possible if I avoid pudding – although it didn’t do me any good this week) but also a tea shop and she’s hosting a cocktails and cake party on Saturday afternoon – with the cocktails made by me and the cakes made by she and me. I’m planning on once piece of cake for each cake-occasion and no cocktails (sob). I’d like to think this will mean virtue translates into a pleasant SoD experience but....

Seren asked what I eat; this is as best as I can make it, a typical day:

Weekend is scrambled egg with bacon, mushroom and tomato or smoked salmon. Occasionally an omelette.
Weekday at my desk is usually 2 hard boiled eggs wrapped in 4 slices parma ham and some Greek yoghurt.
Home-made soup (veg and meat) with a salad or cold meat and a piece of cheese (brie usually)
Fish or meat with veg in some format. Decaff with cream, piece of 72% chocolate.

I need to eat less chocolate- just at weekends I think – which I’ll do post advent calendar (Hotel Chocolate 70%). I can add the odd glass of wine (weekends only for me) and I can see what effect berries have on me – then other (non-tropical) fruit (oh for a pear). I should be able to add milk too but that may be why I didn’t lose this week – I had c 4 decaff lattes which is more than I’d usually have. Hoping it’s that and not the chocolate or cream anyway but they’ll be next to go I guess.

Monday, 28 November 2011


I deserve a gold star. I was SO GOOD when we went out to lunch that in fact I deserve MORE than a flipping gold star – I deserve a serious reading from SoD on Wednesday; I’d settle for a 2lbs loss please. Not that ridiculous, surely? I chose all Harcombe-friendly food and – and this is the big one – rejected dessert in favour of a decaff latte. Reader, it nearly killed me. Of course, there are some who would say I shouldn’t have milk this early but I just cannot be quite that hardcore. It’s not as if I crave milk! (NB craving anything on Harcombe means you shouldn’t have it. I craved pudding, I didn’t have it – I reckon I get an A* for this. So shut up about the milk. Fact.).

I have had perhaps a little too much dark chocolate but nothing like a binge – yesterday I had 4 squares which is at least 2 too many (and again, some say I shouldn’t have any – it seems a bit equivocal though so I'm exploiting that loophole). In the scheme of things, I’m pretty proud of myself – no booze, no chocolate less than 70% (sigh for Montezumas butterscotch), no fruit (god how I miss fruit), no flour, no pasta, no rice, no carbs at all actually, no treats in the office... The list goes on.

Despite probably coming across as a complete control-freak, we had a lovely day with our friends on Saturday. I now have severe lifestyle envy – they’ve moved to a cottage in the country and have bought a puppy. The cottage across the way from them was a) for sale, b) cheap, c) cheap enough that we could afford it, d) had a wood burner AND an ensuite AND a massive kitchen dining room but e) was probably a 2+ hours commute. One day.....

Friday, 25 November 2011

The food obstacle course

It’s an odd thing – whilst I will abandon this diet without hesitation if I don’t lose weight, it seems to make me feel better. I don’t feel as if I’m permanently on some kind of crazy food see-saw. I get less hungry and when I do, it can often wait a bit; I don’t ever seem to get (so far, touch wood) ravenous. And this is on a 3 meals a day, try not to have snacks in between regime! I can’t say I’m loving it (I miss fruit and green tea and I can’t settle on a good breakfast) but at the moment at any rate, it seems to suit me. I’d love to be out of the Chubbys by Christmas but at Chubby.6 it’s very unlikely.

Especially since there are a few hiccups on the horizon. One of the things I really hate about dieting is that it turns what should be a pleasure into a trial. Tomorrow we’re driving across to see friends for lunch. We’re eating out which at least gives me a fighting chance of choosing the right food (except there are no Harcombe compliant puddings (because of the no sugar rule and the no white flour rule!) so I’ll be eating cheese, leaving the bread and possibly feeling slightly hard-done-by, albeit smug, afterwards). But she’s then suggested an afternoon which culminates in “a light afternoon tea” at their place. I felt so mean replying that I wouldn’t be eating at tea - and indeed would bring my own tea (caffeine-free, sigh) – talk about squeezing all the fun out of the afternoon. I don’t like to cause people any trouble at the best of times. I’d really like to relax and enjoy the occasion but I can’t. Instead I’ll be trying to stick to the rules whilst probably not quite managing to through no fault of my own.

So, even if I manage to make the best choices, I could still be eating something I shouldn’t. And then next week is my mum’s 60th – I’m spending Thursday, Friday and Saturday with her. Thursday is her birthday – and it’s her choice what we do. I imagine it will involve at least one meal that will be tricky for me (she was talking about a tea shop she fancied visiting). On Friday we’ll be baking as she’s having a cake and cocktails party on Saturday – so you can see what’s coming, can’t you! I think a realistic limit is 1 cupcake, 1 slither of triple lemon cake and 1 cocktail. All of which are DOOOOOOOM.

Then dinner out with friends one night and lunch/early dinner with my niece and nephew (and sister-in-law) – none of which should be that tricky. Christmas lunch with the team at work - not too bad I think. And even now I am resisting tubs of M&S mini bites behind me, sob.

My intent is not to dive into Christmas until Christmas Eve, when we have a traditional lazy supper of M&S canapés and my (rather good actually) mince pies.

Four weeks this weekend dear Reader. And the girl who works for me already has her tree up. Ho, ho ho.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Sound of Silence

Radio silence is not usually a good sign in blog-land. It seems generally quiet out there – perhaps everyone has entered the Christmas fray already? I am certainly feeling Christmassy although trying to dampen it down as it is only NOVEMBER. It doesn’t help with the ‘la, la, la, Christmas? Really? Who’d have thought?’ approach singing in two choirs – we’ve been carolling since September.

My own silence has been an illness and a general listlessness – and a lack of time. Not great reasons. But not the classic fatblog-silence which means a falling off the wagon in epic style. In fact, although I did have my frisson of hedonism which I embraced with a little too much alacrity, it was a blip and not a trend. Notably, I over drank at our pre-anniversary – I’ve not been that drunk for at least 8 years and although I didn’t have a cracking hangover, I did feel very feeble the next day and indulged in a (medicinal) obscene hot chocolate with maltesers AND marshmallows AND flake AND whipped cream. And then felt thoroughly – and deservedly – sick.

Since then I’ve been doing Phase 1 of the Harcombe Diet which means no sugar (including fruit), no caffeine (including no green tea!), no alcohol and no dairy. You do that for 5 days. The average weight loss is 7lbs and the record is 19lbs; I lost 3.5lbs. Now I’m on Phase 2 where essentially I don’t combine carby meals with fat/protein ones. Still no sugar, siiiigh. I can start adding other things back now though– I’ve added dairy so far. The odd chunk of cheese, a bit of cream in a nightly decaff (I still feel I need a full-stop after a meal) and I had some mascarpone last night and today. Last time I did one of these types of diet, I developed an unhealthy obsession with mascarpone, but now I find it unpleasantly waxy; I won’t be buying a second tub. Next week I’ll add a couple of portions of fruit a day- firstly berries and then maybe some pears. And monitor my weight. Then – oh joy – some very dark chocolate (probably too dark to enjoy).

PS I actually hate Simon and Garfunkel but (or maybe because) my dad was a big fan and played and sung (off-key) their songs a lot when I was growing up.

Friday, 11 November 2011

It's the final countdown

Sitting at my desk with a skinny cappuccino yesterday morning at 9am, weary and bleary eyed from 4 days on the trot without enough sleep, I realised that it was exactly a calendar year to our wedding. I can't say it was a shock exactly, as our treat in a lovely Country Inn/hotel/restaurant tonight was planned as a pre-anniversary treat (and today is 11/11/11!), but I still had a thrill of realisation as I realised that 10/11/11 was only a year away from 10/11/12 (although bf pointed out that the impending leap year means it's a wee bit longer). I felt... excitement and fear. Not fear about committment or marrying bf, despite the fact he's been a bit grouchy recently, but fear of everything I have to do before then - chiefly, getting to a state where buying (and wearing) a wedding dress doesn't cause me major trauma and self-loathing.

I've been stellar on the diet pretty much since coming back from the US 9lbs heavier, and I've lost almost 3lbs of that additional lardage, but the fact is that I am still Porky.10 (and a quarter) and I need to be blasting towards the next stone bracket down (and then down, down, down). I know once I get to the middle of the next stone bracket down, let's call it Chubby, that I start to feel a little better about myself. But I can't kid myself that that will be okay for a wedding dress. I want to be a stone down from there (let's call it Generous for the time being) by April when I start to look at dresses - and I'd like to lose more from there really, at least another stone if it won't bugger up the dress. And I suspect that that will still be a dress size 12/14 which still makes buying second hard hard (how DO they all get to 8-10s??)

So now we will have a blip in service for tonight's meal - and I'm trying not to be too black and white about it. It's one meal. Yes, it won't be anything like what I usually have, not least because there will be booze. And pudding. But that doesn't mean that I 'may as well' eat anything I fancy today or tomorrow or Monday - not even because on Tuesday we're having tea at a hotel in London which is converted from somewhere bf used to work (I bought a Groupon voucher which is about to expire). And tea, as you will have guessed, is not simply a cup of - no, it's sandwiches, cakes and a glass of fizz. (And will have to be both lunch and dinner to try and compensate a bit). The blips must be tonight, breakfast tomorrow and Tuesday AND THAT IS ALL. And ideally I'd like to enjoy these without self-castigation, panic and guilt. Ideally.

Then next Wednesday - because it's stupid to wait for a perfect time which will never come - I start Phase 1 of the Harcombe Diet. It's 5 days of quite hardcore eating (or not eating) - no sugar (argghhh), no dairy, no simple carbs - only vegetables and a bit of brown rice. Apparently I can expect to feel dreadful. I'm not sure I will because my diet is pretty reasonable - yes, not being able to have fruit or my usual daily square of dark chocolate will be miserable, but apart from that, I don't think I'll suffer too much. Although I've found out that I can't have green tea! I was feeling a bit smug that I am not a coffee fiend and I don't drink black tea with milk so I guess it served me right when I found with dismay that there's no green tea either (because caffeine spikes insulin). More of that when I get to Wednesday and those metaphorical sackcloths and ashes - for now it's hedonism, wheeeeee.

Monday, 7 November 2011

The wages of virtue...

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions (something that always seems unfair to me, as you surely ought to get marks for trying...), then the rocky hiking trail to slimdom must be marked by obstacles dodged. Reader, this weekend I had a few. Obstacles that is. After wantonly destroying the bathroom carpet (which I’m pretty sure is how bf is thinking of it) poor bf spent the entire weekend on his knees in a very confined space. And he is not a natural hermit/monk/jailbird (insert anyone else appropriate here). His poor knees were red – and he was hanging on to his temper by the merest thread. I understood it and, in his (cramped) position, I would have been resenting me too. Hell, I was resenting me. But it made for an uncomfortable atmosphere both Saturday and Sunday – until his irritation had worn off each night. This would normally make me anxious – and indeed it did – and the anxiety would lead to treating myself to something sweet. Even though I went to Waitrose on my own AND past a frozen yoghurt shop, chocolate shop and cupcake shop, Reader I didn’t have a thing. I had a glass of wine with bf that night and my usual modest chocolate portion.

Then (can you see my halo?) on Sunday I went to a Christmas fair (Spirit of Christmas @ Olympia). Again, the presence of a food hall would normally encourage me to sample and buy all kinds of fudge, chocolate and cake. I was starving – I had nothing. I had 20.5 syns yesterday (about what I allow for a weekend) which was 2 glasses of champagne (gift from me to bf to thank him for all his hard work), a glass of wine and a square of dark chocolate. I think I did rather well. And SoD had better acknowledge this on Wednesday.

All this virtue will have a temporary deviation next Friday night when, with almost a year to our wedding, we have treated ourselves to a night in an Inn we go to in Suffolk. The food is amazing but I have always driven – how nice would it be, we thought, to go for one pampering indulgent night. And so we are. So I’m stocking up on virtue whilst I can.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Lady Dye

It’s a strange and recent phenomenon that heroines in books are often slightly clumsy (yeah, I’m looking at you Twilight but you’re not the only culprit here) and that their clumsiness is charming, endearing – even slightly attractive. As is so often the case, life does not imitate art. And I don’t mean the whole beautiful-people-are-really-vampires thing (although clearly....). The other day I woke up – slightly later than my alarm had gone off – with a compelling urge to use a box of root cover-up on my hair. I can’t say I really needed it – it was more that it was taking up room in the cupboard. I mixed it up, dunked the brush in the dye and... flipped the entire content of the auburn dye all over the carpet. A lot of it fell in my slipper (a chocolate brown ballet pump, so no big drama) but a large dollop and a fetching series of splatters fell on the gold colour carpet. Now, it may be like hair and it will fade out completely over the next 6 weeks – but somehow I doubt it. Attempts to clear it up seemed to just give a halo effect to the larger, darker splotches.

The carpet is old and needs replacing but this is not the way I would have chosen the time to do this (especially as it’s a carpet that goes throughout the flat). And curiously, bf categorically did not find it charming, endearing or remotely attractive. He did not chuckle and hug me, he did not become protective at my inate whimsicaly girliness - he just wondered why I hadn’t put down an old towel. In retrospect I wondered that too. Our Saturday is going to be spent, stressfully, in a very small en suite attempting to take up carpet and lay floor tiles. And I have very dubious DIY genes and a tendency to panic and bf has a tendency to irritation (although also luckily is super-practical).

Btw, carpet in a bathroom is lunacy. We didn’t put it there, the developers did. I'm directing my hate towards them.

Friday, 28 October 2011


As is so often the case (sigh) WI was not a happy experience. My first week back on the straight and narrow has resulted in a ¾ lb gain. I suspect I am like a supertanker and me hauling frantically on the wheel won’t elicit a swift, smart 3 point turn.

But I am wondering if it’s time to think of another diet. Yes, yet another flipping diet. SW seems to work so well for everyone else but in the last 6 months I have put ON 3lbs. Okay, I’m just back from holiday and that is bound to show an upward blip (blimp?), but if we put that aside, the stats are then I lost 6lbs in 5 months. Not really covering myself in glory there, am I? In fact, there wouldn’t even be enough glory for a nipple cover.

I hate change and I have grown to fear the feeling when you start a new diet, all zealous and hopeful – only to have the hope sucked out by that old leech, SoD. So I'm reluctant but it's clear that I'm getting nowhere fast and with just over a year to the wedding, I have to get going on some results.

Bf heard the Food Programme on the radio on Sunday and it was about the calorie; he came back saying that I really should listen to it as he thought it would interest me. We finally got round to listening to it last night and it was really interesting (I recommend a listen on i-player). As part of the programme, they interviewed Zoe Harcombe who had some insights into how we become fat and guess what, she has her own diet book. Essentially she was agreeing with Gary Taubes’ book The Diet Delusion (and similar) by saying that the problems we face are caused by over-reliance on carbs. I do kind of buy into this – it intuitively makes sense to me, much as I’ve enjoyed pasta and rice whilst on SW.

Of course, the book reviews on Amazon are glowing in the vast majority, but I am stamping down hard on any flickering of hope – it’s too cruel when it doesn’t work out and my fear is that it does sound a bit like the Idiot Proof Diet which I put ON weight with.

Until the book arrives, I’ll carry on with SW and then I think I’ll give Harcombe a whirl. I think about wedding dresses and I'm terrified - it has to be worth a try. No amount of industrial underwear is going to make me look half decent at the moment but I’ll be definitely employing that tactic. What’s the expression? Can’t fit a pint in a quart pot? Quite. Not even with a very grippy pot.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Pancake panic

My metabolism is not the only slow thing about my stomach: it’s clearly a bit thick too (figures when you see it I guess!) It seems to have just realised that its access to pancakes has stopped. And this is particularly slow on the uptake as I last had pancakes for breakfast a fortnight last Sunday (there was no choice of breakfast in Bar Harbor – it was all delicious though – otherwise I’d have continued to have pancakes every day). At least, I assume this is the reason that I am so hungry at the moment.

My breakfast is now a slice of homemade wholemeal toast with a bit of homemade smoked salmon pate (thanks for that idea – I reckon I only use about 30g of Philly Extra Light a day so I’m way under my HEA. Or B - or whatever), a grapefruit and a big fruit salad with Total 0% Greek yoghurt. Okay, I’d rather be having blueberry pancakes but not too shabby all the same! I do use my Healthy Extras all at once but that can’t be too bad. I sometimes have a small skinny cappuccino too as I’m aware I’m way under my calcium Healthy Extra (which is 70g of Light Philly (not Extra Light). Then I have leftovers or soup or a jacket potato with cottage cheese or ratatouille (homemade) or a beanpot – all with naked salad and a fat free yoghurt. And a variety of things for dinner but I think we’re moving towards slow-cooker territory (I fancy venison, mushroom and shallot this weekend). As ever, I eat a lot of fruit and a little chocolate (counted). This is my formula for success up until Christmas – only 9 ½ weeks! I’d like to lose 9lbs by then – the weight I put on in the US and a bonus lb. I really need to make some headway.

But I saw myself side on today and I realise I’ve got a VERY long way to go before I could even contemplate myself in a wedding dress. And – with my metabolism – not a great amount of time to lose enough weight to look halfway decent. Not to mention the whole ‘second hand dresses mostly being 8s or 10s’ problem (not somewhere I think I could EVER get to). If only anxiety caused weight loss in me rather than the urge (stifled – barely) to mainline sugar.

WI tomorrow....

Thursday, 20 October 2011

What ho chums

Yes, I'm back - without causing too much mirth with my odd use of the English (read American) language. Although I did have to explain the word 'niggle' to a very amused and bemused airport official. Apart from that, I was entirely free of mainlining an Enid Blyton plucky heroine. In fact, bf was worse than me as I distinctly heard him say "T'riffic" several times (if I'm Blyton-esque, he was clearly inspired by Dick Van Dyck in Gor-blimey Mary Poppins).

The people - in New England at any rate - were SO lovely. It was an eye opener to see what a service industry can be like - friendly, helpful people! Really! If they eye-rolled, they did so out of sight - impressive self-control. And I was press-ganged in the most friendly way in New Hampshire into to drinking inordinate amounts of coffee (of many wierd and wonderful flavours) as I handled the inevitable question "So, where are you from? London? I LOVE London". Well, London (or at least this speck of it) loves you right back, baby! We oohed and ahhed at the beautiful variety of leaf colour ("Don't they have trees in England?" Well yes, but not flame red ones generally), did several heavy duty hikes and learnt to fear the words "combo platter" (bf was horrified by the size when he ordered it. Really. I think he's still mentally scarred) and learnt to order what was clearly considered to be puny portions (my last breakfast in New Hampshire I was asked sorrowfully if that was "all" I wanted. Twice. Reader, it was a large muffin (delicious - not nearly as cakey as the ones over here and raspberry and walnut, yum). And yes, that was all.)

So, after many a pancake (again, I learnt to order off the 'healthy' menu in New Hampshire which meant one pancake the size of a dinner plate, rather than two which it nearly killed me trying to eat on day 1), 2 whoopie pies, some cupcakes, several burgers (I left at least half the bread), fries - both sweet potato and regular, a couple of lobster rolls and a variety of peanut butter flavoured confectionery, what did SoD have to say about all this hedonism? Well, you can imagine my fear, especially since bf remarked dolefully that he was convinced he'd put on at least a stone. 8lbs on. Not bad, given that I put that much on in a weekend in Devon. Of course, it's going to take me until Christmas to lose that - and that's with a fair wind behind me. But it's done. And it could have been so much worse.

I think what saved me from a greater gain was some restraint on my part (believe it or not!), refusing to eat anything I didn't really like after a bite (often leaving poor bf feeling he had to eat it), not drinking a lot and those hikes. We did 4 and 3 were pretty damn tough. We learnt not to call it walking as it confused our American fellow guests who told us that 'walking' meant half a mile on the flat to the shops. And hey, hiking sounds SO much more impressive. And accurate tbh - the trails were tough - constant climbing over tree roots, scrambling over or around rocks and/or through streams. For our first walk in Acadia, we decided to ease our way in. Then bf got hold of a walk book. "Do you fancy a 4 mile mountain walk?". I did - with some trepidation - before I fell in that it was 4 miles to the flipping top and then I had to come down again! I only got up there by promising myself I'd get the bus down. Or possibly live at the top. Of course, I walked back down but I was shattered. Then the next day we climbed another mountain - and I do mean climbed/scrambled. Then we did a 8 mile circuit of 2 trails the next day where hunters shot alarmingly close to my deer-coloured hair.

We loved New England and will definitely go back. I didn't love New York though - I guess it was just a big city to me and I much prefer the countryside, that's all. We weren't intending to shop (although we did a bit) which seems to be the point of NY and we were staying in a dodgy part of Harlem. I tend to over-dramatise when I'm a bit freaked out but it was bf who wrote down all our card details and passport nos before we went to try and find somewhere to eat on the first night, ignorant of where exactly we were and where we could go. "I think we have to accept we may well get mugged at some point" he said calmly. Seeing my stricken face, he added encouragingly "It will make a great story afterwards"! We didn't get mugged but it was not comfortable after dark - and we live in East London so are not exactly wide-eyed carrot-crunchers. And the B&B, although run by a charming and well meaning woman, was as if we were camped out in someone's spare room - someone who'd never actually been to an hotel. Pretty colour walls though. And it was intriguing to come back each night and see what furniture had been added and taken away.

Now all I've got to do is conquer the jet-lag (staying up 31 hours to get back to London time doesn't seem to have done it) and get back on the wagon and lose that 8lbs - then leave the Porky stone bracket behind me. All I've got to do....

Thursday, 29 September 2011

I like to be in A-mer-ic-a, okay by me in A-mer-ic-a

I have actually sung this – last year. It’s surprisingly difficult as it’s so damn quick. And you kind of want to do the skirt swishing which is really Not The Done Thing in a choir.

Having researched temperatures and prepared and stressed over my packing list, it seems that the US is also experiencing warmer weather. I’m going to have to start from scratch. I don’t know what to pack and I’ve run out of time (although we go to Heathrow on Sunday night, ready to check in early on Monday morning, we’re off to Suffolk tonight until Sunday morning) to buy anything. Good for my bank balance, bad for my panic levels. Already I can’t remember what I wore in the summer and it’s all stuffed in a drawer under my bed! Eeeek.

I had bought a couple of cute spaghetti-strapped chemises to wear to bed – trying to re-style myself as someone more chic than a girl who wears a big t-shirt to bed. Well, that was a big fat failure – I looked like a cross-dressing bouncer. Surprisingly, this didn’t make me feel any more glamorous – rather less if anything. This retail splurge was all kicked off by a post on a wedding website posing a question I’d not even thought of – namely, what do you wear for the getting ready photos on your wedding day. What I’m confident I won’t be wearing is something that makes me look like the lovechild of an anaemic gorilla and a very butch games teacher, that’s for sure. Figleaves can have their frippery back along with my crushed hopes. Why is there nothing in between wisps of nothing, scratchy whore-wear, frumpsville extraordinaire or those ghastly twee things in the likes of M&S with simpering cartoon characters or ickle kittens? Sigh. I don’t think I’d suit a wispy chemise even if I were a size 12, to be honest.

So, crib list for not returning from US so heavy that we have to stop off and refuel the plane on the way home:
1. I don’t have to eat everything – not every choice, not everything on my plate and especially things I’m eating thinking “hmm, this isn’t actually all that”
2. Share wherever possible and certainly any starters or pudding. And make bf eat most of it (poor him)
3. Plenty of exercise (yes, I know it’s not supposed to make much difference but surely it must help)
4. Restraint. My appetite has not yet returned so I might get a booster here.

See you when I’m safely back in Blighty, comrades.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The long and the short of it

It's a hell of a way to go on a diet. Since Sunday I've been unable to stomach eating much at all (3 bowls of homemade chicken soup and some fruit is all I've had for 4 days) which is pretty much a first - I even watched the Great British Bake Off with no interest in gorging myself on their produce. I think it's a gastric flu bug since, after the nausea, dizziness and sweats, came an inability to leave the loo for fear of nastiness of biblical plague proportions. I had to send bf out on an emergency dash for more loo roll. It made Syrian dysentry look like a relatively pedestrian affair (although of much longer duration admittedly). But it meant that I was back to my pre-birthday weight of Porky.4 1/2 this morning. I suspect this is not a real weight since I'm so dehydrated that I barely need to visit the loo (just as well, we were getting rather sick of each other) as nothing is getting as far as my bladder. I keep saying to myself what a mercy it was that I wasn't like this on the plane. Ugh. It's scything through the office but I'm hoping bf will escape. He's convinced he will.

So either it's the lugy, or it's the hair I've lost that have given me the lower SoD reading. I cried when my mum swept it up in a dustpan and brush, filling it to the brim. I'm still not sure whether to keep it bobbed or grow it again. I can't get an opinion out of anyone - EVERYONE annoyingly says that they like it both ways. Bf, bless him, didn't even notice at first! Admittedly it was midnight and he was a bit pissed. He kept asking why I was staring at him - well, I was waiting for him to notice I'd had about 5" of hair off! He recovered well, saying that he only ever sees me when he looks at me. Good answer for a drunken man. Now he says it's pretty -and that he liked it before too. Arrrgghhh. But I did get chatted up on the tube this morning - maybe that's a sign......

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Earning my crust

On SW you get a daily fibre option for ‘free’ (ie synless) – I’ve been using mine by eating two Alpen Light bars to date but recently I’ve dusted down my breadmaker to make my own wholemeal (the only bread allowed). I’m a bit nervous about it as it is, you know, BREAD. But I keep the sugar low and it’s got none of the additives, preservatives etc that you find in shop bread, just yeast, flour, salt, water and a little oil – and I’m sure it’s got to be healthier than Alpen Lights (sorry Alpen).

Although the allowance is for two small slices, I only allow myself one as I suspect I can’t slice it as thinly as factory bread – I’m being careful with this hitherto illicit substance. And I have it as a piece of toast in the morning. Which brings me on to a problem: I have to have butter (1tsp = a scrape which almost covers it = 2 syns) but then I have marmite (mmmmm). And much as I love marmite (and I DO), I’m aware that a carb ought to be balanced by protein – so, any ideas what to have? It has to be something I can eat whilst simultaneously putting on my make-up, getting dressed etc (no poached egg or similar. Not that I eat poached egg). And I fear peanut butter with a healthy and justified fear. All ideas gratefully received.

It’s actually WI today but for the first time ever I chickened out. Yesterday was bf’s birthday and I had probably 2/3 of a bottle of wine (out of 2 bottles, Reader, I didn’t guzzle the (boozer) lion’s share) and some Turkish food and I just was too scared to consult the scales. Next week, I promise. Although we have dinner out on Friday night to negotiate and bf was muttering about fish and chips (might see if he’ll re-think that one).

Thanks for the supportive gingerisms – especially as last week was a hard one in the Red World. I was outraged last week by a story in the Sun on an albino seal pup who had ginger fur – it showed him on a beach all alone and the text suggested that he had no friends because he was ginger! It’s unbelievable that that’s acceptable for a national ‘newspaper’ to publish. Then there was the sperm bank which won’t take ginger sperm. I tell you, if I were to be artificially inseminated, I would be DEMANDING ginger sperm, so there. Grrrr. You’d think they wouldn’t bait us so much, given the famous ginger temper.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Seeing red

I’m feeling a tad drab. Worse, I’m feeling like a second rate ginger. Look at this:

I saw this reflected on about a dozen televisions around John Lewis at the weekend in glorious technicolour (or at least mostly shades of orange). I slunk off feeling inadequate.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Pudding Club

Well there was no pie. As such. But bf’s mother had bought two puddings – a tarte au citron and a trifle. Although I love lemon, neither of these would be things I’d choose on a menu. As it is, I had the tarte and it was so disappointing (WHY if something is supposed to be lemon, does it not taste of lemons? Making it a yellow colour is not enough in my book) that I decided to console myself with some trifle – which was even worse. The only thing that was nice was the rather excessive amount of jersey extra thick cream I had (again, neither of these puddings required cream, I know this). Then I had some jelly babies and a couple of chocolates.

So it was no real surprise that I didn’t lose any weight this week. I was perfect 60% of the time (rough estimate) but I need to be perfect 100% of the time in order to shift any poundage, sadly. So, this week gives me a shiny new chance to do that.

Bf has decided he doesn’t want me to make my meatball lasagne as it will be “too big” – even though I offered to make a mini version. In fact he is resisting all “fuss” for his birthday. Things he has recoiled in horror from:
1) Going out for supper
2) Me making supper, inc pudding (had secret plans for tiramisu which he loves)
3) Me making a cake
4) Me making a cake and bringing it to his office with fizz for him and his colleagues
5) Me making him a picnic lunch extraordinaire and bringing it to his office/nearby park
(NB I secretly saw myself in a 50s dress and cute heels with a wicker basket for options 4 and 5. Which would have been a problem since I don’t actually own a 50s dress. Or any heels I don’t limp in. Which severely reduces the sass factor I was fondly imagining)

Admittedly, 1) is kind of redundant since we’re going out for dinner in Suffolk on 23rd, but he is very resistant to me spoiling him and I love to have an excuse to do so. He’s now agreed to go to the cinema that night (obv, I have plans for that to be a bit more special than vats of popcorn and pop), so I’ll need a few booze credits for that at least, but other than this, this week is looking as if I should be able to cover myself in glory. Assuming there’s not only enough glory to cover a size 10. In which case there may be trouble and metaphorical unattractive and distinctly unglorious nudity ahead.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Bob and peeve

So, I’m thinking of having my shoulder-blade length hair cut into an angled bob. It’s a bit scary – I’m not good with change. The thing is that my hair is so fine – I love long hair but I think if it’s as fine as mine, it just doesn’t look good long. Plus I saw this:
And I just thought she looked amazing. Okay, a simple haircut isn’t going to turn me into this elegant creature (more’s the pity) but it got me thinking about my hair. I have no intention of having it up – bf doesn’t like my hair tied back and to be honest, it’s too fine to have anything elaborate without hair pieces and the like which I just don’t like the idea of. I last had it bobbed about 4 years ago pre LighterLife and started growing it out after that. So last time I had shorter hair I was 3 stone heavier. At the time I worried that I looked:
a) Butch; and/or
b) Mumsy and middle aged
I think I’m less likely to look butch being slimmer (if not, alas, slim) but the mumsy fear is still there. On the flip side I have an OBSESSION with hats - which look much better with a bob than pretty much any other haircut. Will I be brave enough? It's now or never as if I had it done now, I would at least have time to grow it again for the wedding - I think. Watch this space, dear Reader.

If you don’t hear from me for a while, I’ve been arrested. I have borrowed a marker pen from work and tonight I am going to have to alter the signs at a new bridge they’re building where I live because they’re driving me CRAZY. There are at least 4 official signs (not someone’s hastily written note) and they’re all variations on this:
“Hard hats only passed this point”

Friday, 9 September 2011

Rules of engagement

When I got engaged over a year ago, after I’d got over the shock, I thought that this would finally be the secret treasure map leading me to the World of Slim Girls. My plan was this: get slim by November 2011, maintain that weight for a year (allowing for a minor festive blip).

So, how’s that going? Well, it’s going pants. There is NO WAY I will be slim – or even discernibly slimmer damnit – by November. Even without a trip to the Land of the Free (Cookie) coming up, my efforts have been too woeful to allow this. Actually, that’s not strictly true, my efforts have in the main been pretty laudable but the results have been absurdly inadequate. My net loss on 5 months of SW is (drumroll).....2lbs off.

Something has to change but I’m not sure what or how. I don’t know at what point I give up on SW and try something different, although what I’m not sure. I don’t think it will be this year though. I can lose on this diet – as long as nothing derails me, I can lose 2-3lbs a month of intense steady, serious dieting. I just don’t know if that is ever going to be enough. Bf looked at me reading the SW mag the other night “With all the diet magazines you’ve read, you’d think you’d be slim now” he said breezily. If ONLY it were that easy.

Talking of hurdles, we’re going to bf’s parents for Sunday lunch. Now, this isn’t too much of a SW problem except for pudding (I won’t be drinking – as ever). I fear apple pie. I fear it because I know it’s going to be heinous in terms of syns and because I actually don’t like pie so will resent the calories. I can hardly say after 16 years, I don’t like pie! Still, I’ll profess myself stuffed and have a sliver (and leave the crust).

Next week’s topics – wedding invite lists and radical hair thoughts.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Sooo, I'm back. Back on the wagon, back on the blog, back to school. Metaphorically speaking. Back the other side of 40 and after too long a hedonistic time off.

I give myself a B for effort - I tried hard, I had some successes but I ate more than I would have ideally allowed myself. And it's hard to get back on to the diet; I'm back properly on it today but my traitorous alter ego keeps whispering suggestions for naughtiness in my ear and persuading me that I may as well wait until Wednesday (WI day) to get back to it. No, no, NO.

I braved SoD on Friday and today - on Thursday I was Porky.11 (up a terrifying 7lbs from the 24th) and today I was Porky.9. Not because of a virtuous weekend (far from it - I've had a lot more wine than I would usually allow myself) but because of that delightful time of the month I think. That and the fact that on Wednesday I ate bread at all three meals. In fact, all three meals WERE basically bread.

Edible highlights:
1) A bullace fool with an almond macaroon in The Crown and Castle, Orford, on my birthday night. Actually the sole I had as a main course was pretty delicious too.
2) Peggy Porschen cupcakes (SO superior to any others I've had and so light (yet deadly))
3) A Red Poll burger in The Anchor, Walberswick
4) An amazing home-made ham sandwich with artisan sourdough, excellent ham, local chutney and tomatoes from an allotment stall. Mmmm. Ditto cheese on toast one night!

Things I thought I'd enjoy more than I did:
1) Crisps - nice but not worth the diet-grief (I had both pickled onion and prawn cocktail and I have to say I did enjoy the pickled onion. But I can live without it)
2) Other cupcakes from the lady we were thinking of for our wedding cake (may have to re-think this, they were rather disappointing.)
3) Bizarrely, Rococo floral creams - hitherto my favourite chocolate. Not sure why they didn't do it for me. Almost want to have them again as I can't work it out.

Lessons learnt:
1) I miss bread and cheese more than I thought but am satisfied with a small portion if I allow myself (except obviously for Bread-gate detailed above) - I need to work out how to incorporate some into my diet occasionally.
2) I don't have to eat everything I think I have fancied, do fancy or may at some unspecified point in the future fancy. I was mostly successful at this but it was a real struggle. Still, got to get easier.
3) I'd rather have one good cupcake or one lovely glass of wine than loads of indifferent. I guess I already knew this though.
4) Chocolate is not the be-all and end-all. Odd. Can't help but think that I must be eating the wrong chocolate. Trying not to think what the right chocolate might be!

And I've had a lovely long weekend and a lovely shorter one. Our weekend over my birthday was pretty good - a lovely meal out, catching up with friends, and two great walks (and one not-so-great). Bf bought me some antique sapphire and diamond ear-studs. I'd asked for something little to open! They are quite dainty but that's not what I meant! But they're lovely; I just love old jewellery. And he says he's still buying me a bag in NY.

Then staying with bf's friends in Devon this weekend. They're the most lovely couple and they have the most adorable sons - the boys almost made me feel slightly broody, they're so gorgeous. And I'd always thought I'd prefer girls but they were just so much fun to talk to. But as the younger one said, I have him (in lieu of a child of my own!). He also declared love and whispered to me I was pretty. Quite smooth for a 6 year old! Mind you, he also spent 10 minutes telling me about all his memorable poos. Nice. He might want to re-think that as a woo-ing method.

So now I have to buckle down and lose as much lard-age as I can before the great US adventure. I know I will put on weight there too but the more I can get off, the better I'll feel out there and the less I'll have to lose again when I come back. If you see what I mean. Doing, doing (the sound of my yo-yoing energetically). I can only foresee 3 sticky moments between now and Heathrow: 1) Sunday lunch at bf's parents this weekend (tactics: no booze, little pudding, saving all syns), 2) Bf's birthday when he has requested my meatball lasagne (I don't want to scrimp on ingredients for this so a small portion for me and saving up the old syns) and 3) Bf's birthday meal out (choose not what I might like but what seems SW wisest).

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Woulda, coulda, shoulda

The maintaining a steely discipline dissolved at the point at which work became so unbearable that I had to eat my way through it. It sounds worse than it has been (in terms of calorie ingestion – it’s not been a total throwing in of the dieting towel) but at the same time, it’s not what I’d intended. I know, I know, the road to hell is paved in good intentions.

I will not allow myself to collapse entirely though. This week I didn’t lose so much as an ounce (despite coming in under syns) so I really can’t embrace the evils of booze, sugar, flour and fat with anything like the gusto that I’d ideally like. I’m having the rest of the week off (hell, it’s going to be more like the week) but it’s going to be mindful. Apart from the biscuits I ate today in blind panic and misery. But that’s the end of that behaviour. Scout’s honour.

I will actually miss my next WI – or rather it will be delayed a day as we’re not back until Wednesday so WI and next possible computer encounter will be next Thursday. A day of pain for me I foresee. Have a lovely bank holiday weekend (organised in honour of my birthday donchaknow) – when I next write I will be older. All tips for getting rid of crepiness under the eyes most gratefully received.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day (but not until after the bank holiday weekend please)

Given that we are a soggy island, people’s reaction to rain always amazes me. Today on my 10 min walk from the tube to my office I saw a woman in a black pencil skirt, teal top, lipstick pink heels – and an umbrella matched EXACTLY to her shoes. Who would ever have thought of such co-ordination? Still, better than the man who had fashioned himself what looked like a shower cap out of a Sainsbury’s carrier bag. Stylish.

But I was envious of the girl, dressed in work-out gear, with a gorgeous little blood orange sweat-top with ruched sleeves and black leggings. Can you IMAGINE being able to wear leggings with a short top and looking pert-arsed rather than a visual affront? I can’t. I think if I dieted for the rest of my life (which, let’s face it, is entirely probable), I couldn’t pull that off. Sigh.

I have had a very mixed week. On the positive side, I have not thrown caution to the wind – in fact, I have had caution in a desparate stranglehold. I have had 88 syns out of what is allowed – for a normal person – 105. But I haven’t met my rules – I usually allow myself 5 during the week and 15 Fri/Sat/Sun (although if I hit 20 on one or two of those days I don’t castigate myself too much). A weekend with my mother meant a few more treats than I should allow myself – but as SWise One says, sometimes other things are more important than dieting. This was one of those weekends. I did what I could but I’m trying not to beat myself up over a bit more lassitude. Of course, I may not be able to stick to that once I encounter SoD tomorrow (although a sneaky WI BEFORE the weekend – 2 days of utter virtue – lead to me being 1.5lbs up. ???).

I’m also thinking very carefully about the forthcoming weekend. I want to enjoy the birthday treats without throwing – nay hurling – the diet completely out of the window. Not every meal has to be a defiantly anti-diet choice; there are things I really want (cake, wine, heedless and hedonistic restaurant choices) but there are equally things I don’t need to have ‘just because’. I keep thinking about McDonalds! Better to have a really delicious artisanal burger in the pub halfway round one of the 11 mile walks I’m planning – that is worth breaking the diet for (only because it’s my birthday) whereas a Big Mac is not. It’s just headfuckery (if you’ll forgive the graphic phrase) and I’m not giving in to it. I gave bf a run down of what I wanted to do for the whole weekend (Friday to Tuesday (inc)) and he did say “That’s THREE really long walks”. Yep! I’ve given him a pass to reduce one if he’s knackered. I think we’ll be fine though.

In other news, Operation Stiletto is limping along. Literally. I wore heels all day on Thursday and it took until Saturday lunchtime until the balls of my feet stopped hurting. Yesterday and today I have only worn heels in the office – not sure that’s going to be enough to make me a proficient and pain-free high heel wearer, given that I spend most of my time in the office sitting at a desk. When I go to the loo though, the air feels thinner.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Feeling a heel

Despite being short AND short-legged, high heels have never been my friend. It doesn’t help that I have hyper-mobile ankles (so they can’t be relied on to stay steady) and I’m more clumsy than the average klutz so adding any form of instability is risky. But I love them in theory. I even have several pairs – some of which are virgin, lying pristine and unworn in their little boxes. It’s the pain I can’t deal with though. Today in my latest attempt to quit dumpyville, I determinedly strapped on some 3” heels (higher than this I can’t even stand up without falling over as I have proven); I have a 12 minute walk from the tube to my office and after approximately 4 minutes (max) the pain in the ball of my left foot and, to a lesser extent, my right calf. I’ve stuck with them and now have a pain on the top of where my foot meets my ankle and the ball of my other foot is also burning. I would like to wear heels to try and balance out my poor proportions and of course for the wedding – but not if it means constant pain. If I stick with it, it’ll get easier, right?

The pain in my feet probably makes me more likely to be tetchy, but this stupid woman in the Mail has made me even crosser (serves me right for reading the Mail, I suppose):
Some self-important, opinionated woman, wearing a sweet wrapper in lieu of a dress, tells us that rich men do not like redheads. This makes my brain (upholstered as it is in ginger follicles) pulsate with fury – must be my redheaded temper, right? And Lana Turner and that Christina-someone from madmen (don’t watch it), Julianne Moore, Isla Fisher and Emma Stone clearly are lonely spinsters, unappealing to the male race. Grrrrr. Hey, isn’t Isla Fisher’s husband at least rather wealthy? But perhaps I am mistaken.

So, I had an exemplary weekend – I resisted all temptation (and there was a lot) to collapse into an orgy of treat-eating and imposed extreme self-discipline and rigid adherence to syns. We also did a 12 mile walk, an 11 mile walk and a 6.5 mile walk. I lost 1lb. For a normal woman this would be uninspiring, but for my frustrating metabolism, I have to be happy with that (now Porky.4 ½). The weeks ahead mean I’m unlikely to see much if any loss for a while though:
• This weekend I’m at my mum’s – we’re going out to lunch on Saturday and to a teashop on Sunday. Tactics: I reckon as long as those are my only treats AND with careful management of the lunch choices (nothing online to allow me to formulate a plan), I should be able to sneak through unscathed. Fingers crossed.
• Next weekend, bank holiday weekend, is my birthday. There will be cake, some booze and some non-diet choices. I accept that I will put on weight (whilst inwardly railing against it of course) and currently am in intense negotiation with myself about not making every decision a bad one (diet-wise) and still retaining a sense of proportion. And portion. Think I’m going to be able to do this – moderation is not my strongest suit but my attitude does feel different this year – I don’t feel like I’m going to use it as an excuse to stuff myself with anything and everything. Only time will tell, of course.
• Following weekend – we’re staying with friends in Devon so will be eating with them on Friday and Saturday nights (and breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and lunch on Sunday). I think damage limitation is the name of the game here. I don’t want to be a nightmare guest, being picky and freaky about what they give us so I’ll gracefully (tough in my case) to go along with it but I can employ restraint (again I say, tough in my case) and manage as best I can.

As I’ve often said, dieting is tough, dieting whilst having a life, that’s REALLY tough.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Tough love

I will have to be very strict with myself. I have 2 days off work and so we’re going down to Suffolk for a long weekend. I do not want to fall into holiday mode and off the wagon, syns will have to be counted and severely rationed as ever. I’ve done pretty well this week so far – with 2 cinema visits and 2 wistful looks at pick and mix, specifically the fizzy cherry bottles and blue bottles (that sounds disgusting, not the flies but these: mmmm) but no actual sampling.

And let’s face it, after a strict week (I had 67.5 syns out of an allotted 105), I STILL only lost ¾ lb so I really can’t afford to have too much fun! This brings my results up to:

• Current weight - Porky.5 ½
• Number of weeks on SW - 20
• Total weight lost on SW – 7lbs
• Total weight lost in last month – 5lbs
• Number of weeks to holiday – 7 ½ weeks (although expecting bday blip in a fortnight)

I’d like to get down to the next stone bracket before I go away but I suspect that even if I scrape in to Plump (as I think I’ll call it. Was to be Chubby but I think Plump is a fatter term and thus more appropriate), I’ll ping back whilst I’m away. I do think that psychologically it will be easier to restrain myself if I’m a few lbs into Plump than if I’m still Porky or only fractionally into Plump.

See you the other side of the next WI, gulp!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner

This is a blog about weight loss and - to a lesser extent - weddings. It's light-hearted (save the odd SoD induced strop) and pretty focussed but I can't let current events go by without commenting. For a more traditional post see below for the one I prepared earlier!

But... I am so appalled by what is happening that I have to speak out. In London and it's spreading like some sort of canker elsewhere in the country. I watch the footage and I feel ashamed to be British. I do not believe that this is any kind of protest of idealogy - I think these are selfish, venal, evil thugs, bent on self-gratification, theft and mindless destruction. Evil? I don't think it's too strong a word. I've seen fellow Londoners (from all corners of the globe) crying over the devastation of their shops, the businesses that they've built up in an initially foreign country. They're the brave people.

As are the police. Having to run literally towards that kind of trouble, agression and venom. No-one signs up for that but they do it anyway. My heart goes out to every wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend and family member who is glued to 24 hour news coverage for a glimpse of the person they love, hoping that they're not going to swell the number of 111 who have been injured. I saw a shot of police cars driving through Clapham to applause. I hope they know that we - the real Londoners - are behind them when they face that rabid pack of animals. Unfair to animals really. Cockroaches perhaps. I really hope we don't see the media turn on the police, saying that they should have been able to prevent this. Who could have foreseen such devastation on such a scale? We need to pull together not pull each other apart.

And I have no time for the people bleating that these are young people voicing their dissatisfaction with 'the system'; this is not any kind of protest, it's mindless thuggery and should be condemned as such - not have excuses made for it. It makes me despair that there can be so many people like this, prepared to behave in such an appalling way. If it weren't for those people - the polar opposite - who have taken to the streets with brooms in their hundreds to clear up and to voice their opposition to the looting and vandalism I would have lost my faith in human nature altogether. A colleague who lives there and went to join in the clean up said that people were queueing (blissfully British!) to try and play their part in restoring a community. "And if they come again tonight, we'll be here tomorrow" one woman told a camera with determination.

Let them eat steak

Someone, somewhere commissioned research into the weight we put on on holiday and it got quite a bit of pick up in the UK media last week. Guess what the top destination is in terms of piling on the lbs? Yep, the US. Where bf and I are off to in 8 weeks. Bf told me he’d read this last week and, frozen with fear, I asked the dreaded question “how much?”; the average weight gain after a fortnight in the US is....8lbs.

Well, 8lbs doesn’t sound too bad. I reckon I put on that much on a walking weekend away in Devon in May. No, I fear 8lbs would be a good result for me. Which when you consider that it will take me at least 2 ½ months to lose 8lbs, I should be a lot more scared. And 8lbs is the average – I am always in the most extreme quartile of these things – yes, someone is staying slim at my expense. And if I find her, harsh words will be spoken.

What will save me? Well, I probably can’t be saved, given my appalling metabolism, but I don’t drink a great deal (sadly) and that will help. I’m hoping that sharing portions with bf will also help. But at the end of the holiday, I expect to have put on weight and I’m going to have to deal with that. Without using it as an excuse as a free-for-all before, during and after the trip.

I suspect a similar lapse over BH weekend. It’s my birthday so I’ll probably have a little more to drink and allow myself to eat some things I rarely allow myself to have. I will be having 2 cupcakes (not at once and in lieu of a birthday cake), for instance. Bf has nobly agreed to go on a pilgrimage to this place (apologies for evil DM link):

I have wanted to go here for ages and so on Friday mid-late morning he will meet me here for a cupcake of my choice (and one to take away). I was planning on a pancake breakfast on my birthday but the place that did them has changed hands and they don’t do them anymore. But other than that, I will choose what I’d like at dinner on my birthday rather than what seems the lowest calorie/fat choice and not be quite so uptight but I’m not planning on using it as an excuse to eat anything I have fancied, do fancy or conceivably might fancy at some point in the next year. For instance, I’ve asked bf to griddle me a steak for dinner one night – no-one cooks a meaner steak than him and it ticks all the SW boxes too.

Friday, 5 August 2011

What's up doc?

I am fresh out of excuses. Every week I stand on SoD and unless I have lost weight (alas, a rare event) I come up with something: ‘my period’s due’, ‘it’s hot and maybe I’m retaining water’, ‘I’m achy so maybe I’m retaining water’ etc etc. But it can’t always be true. I thought I had had a good week – not as stellar as last week but pretty damn good: I lost ¼ lb. I hoped that it was an anomalous reading but I’ve been on SoD each day since then and been told that I put on ½lb since then (which obv I’m not counting as it is unofficial and therefore not true, la la la).

And I am a carrot girl, through and through. The stick doesn’t work on me; I put a bit of weight on and my natural inclination is to think ‘sod it’. I really need the carrot. I have to give myself a pat on the back here and say I do not give in to it (at work I’ve resisted this week: doughnuts, cocktails and ice cream (and I’m tortured by a Magnum ad I saw at the cinema where the model bit through the chocolate coating with the most seductive thunk of cracking chocolate)) but it makes everything a bit harder.

On those lovely blue moon occasions where I’ve lost a reasonable amount (let’s say somewhere around (or just below) the 2lb mark) my heart lightens as my poundage drops and I am able to skip through the week without the same cares and temptations.

This week I’m plodding.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A (non) blonde moment or two

So, since booking cinema tickets for the wrong day and a hotel in the wrong state, I have left my purse up in Suffolk and left the fridge door at home open. All day. There are better ways of cooling the flat. There are probably other things I’ve done but mercifully I’ve forgotten those already. Bf’s ominously making parallels with people getting early onset dementia but I’m trying to keep a grip on my hypochondria over this. I do have blonde genes and I prefer to blame it on this – just haven’t got the accompanying winsomeness to make it all seem cute. Ever seen a winsome redhead? Exactly.

We had a lovely weekend – two amazing walks, one of which was entirely devised by bf slaving over a hot OS map. They weren’t long walks but we were short on time and they were great. On the Sunday walk we found a tree groaning under the weight of bullaces (wild plums) so harvested a few pocketfuls of those. The weather on Sunday was amazing so we delayed our journey back to London until later on – it felt like a much longer weekend although meant for a late night.

Bf and I went to see Harry Potter last night. Actually, although I’m still not happy about losing £30, I’m really glad that I saw it with him (first) as I have done with all the others. Yes, he’s not a fan but I’m still glad it’s him sitting next to me in the dark as I got choked with emotion before the battle scene (as indeed I did when reading it). And just to add insult to injury, he had to pay for us both to go (see: left purse in Suffolk)! He was amazing about it – even going to the cinema on his way home to ensure we got tickets (he won’t book online), then going home and getting the car so we could drive home afterwards.

I have had another good week with syns – I have plenty in the bank – although I did have bread twice. Once was my healthy extra (wholemeal sliced) and once was synned – a white roll with some butter which I really, really fancied and enjoyed every bite of. I am suspicious that bread has a negative impact on my weight; SoD will soon tell me tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Of settling and silver linings

When I was on LL if I didn't lose the average of 3.5lbs a week, I was unhappy - and when I put on 1/2lb after a week of flavoured dust, I was distraught. On every other diet, when I've done that thing we all do of working out what I might be able to lose by the summer/ Christmas/ insert occasion of your choice, I worked on the basis of the average of 2lbs a week or half a stone a month. Yesterday, after a stringent, disciplined and careful week I was happy with a loss of 1.5lbs. Because I am NOT average (sadly), but in the lowest quartile. Actually probably pretty near the bottom of that quartile!

So, a quick look at the scores: I am now Porky.6 1/2lbs, I have lost 3.5lbs this month and my batt(l)ing average is 6lbs in 18 weeks.

Yesterday was not a good day. It SHOULD have been, it had every appearance of being - and aren't they the worst ones? Work - we're in our quiet period and it's insanely busy. I've spent the last couple of days trying to persuade people that just because they have a gun, they shouldn't necessarily use it to shoot themselves in the foot. We're talking metaphorically, people. And I'm losing this battle. But last night I gave the stern warning that I and two of my colleagues WOULD BE leaving on time as we were off to see the new Harry Potter film.

As it is, we were running slightly late by the time we got to the cinema and it was heaving. We queued to pick up our tickets - the machine did not recognise my card and the film was sold out. We joined a longer queue to try and sort it out - until my antipodean colleague with typical new world chutzpah found the manager and hoiked us off for him to sort it out. (Which redeemed her slightly from her persistently calling Voldemort "Mr V". She's not read any of the books nor seen any of the films and our colleague had given her Potted Potter 101 that lunchtime. She also refers to the Triwizarding Tournament as "Sports Day", sigh.) The manager printed our tickets and we shot into the cinema where the film had started - only to find people in our seats. I went off to summons a member of staff - who pointed out that our tickets were for Monday. Yes, I had tickets for the past. I can only think that the website defaulted back to the day I was on it after a delay in placing our order as I know I had selected the right day. Of course I had to reimburse my colleagues so I was £32 down and STILL hadn't seen the film. This was hot on the heels of a similarly expensive error where I had booked a hotel at the wrong Portland Airport in the States (really, WHY would you have two? Isn't that just asking for trouble? Yes, even if they're on opposite sides of a large country). We have a non-refundable room in Oregon when we need to be in Maine.

Then I had a stupid quarrel with bf because I was so upset that I was playing the doormat-martyer. I didn't want to confess my stupidity to him because he was decidedly not impressed with the hotel mix up, but luckily he found it mildly amusing and has given me half the bill for a lunch I swankily treated him to that day as a contribution to my black hole and volunteered to see HP with me himself (he's strangely indifferent).

Anyway I was so upset at my stupidity and at the quarrel that I didn't have anything to eat last night. Not even when my colleague tried to buy me wine or juice (I stuck to water) and I even rejected a chocolate bar she bought me as a pity-offering! She said I "needed to learn to comfort eat"; I really, really don't!

Today a sneaky unoffical WI (well, wouldn't you?!) said I'd lost 1lb from yesterday - but I know it's not a real reading and am not getting carried away. Promise.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Cause and effect

I have had a week of unparalleled virtue. I am a little precipitous because tomorrow is actually the final day of the week but having resisted very nice French biscuits today (and nice Italian ones last week) I feel I will acquit myself with honour (and syns) well intact.

So I should be looking forward to my encounter with SoD with keen anticipation - if not pleasure. Maybe pleasure's going too far.... But I don't have any faith that effort in will result in scales dropping and ballast melting away. It really ought to but somehow it never seems to be that simple. If it were I think that mentally at least, dieting would be a lot easier than it seems to be.

A couple of sneaky illicit WIs showed my weight rising slightly (WTF?) and then dropping slightly - but nothing under what I weighed as last week. Well, 2 days will have passed until the Official WI so my body needs to hurry up and come up with the goods.

For goodness sake.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

A matter of interpretation

Sooo, last official WI saw me as Porky.10 1/2, up from Porky.8 1/2 the previous week. I wailed, wept and despaired. And then got on with it. Two days later (last Friday) a sneaky encounter with SoD told me I was Porky.8 3/4. Perhaps I hadn't piled on 2lbs after all? I carried on regardless, grim of face and broad of beam (not the kind on your mush).

After a series of best intentions which nonethless saw me eating more syns than I had planned to, I eventually had 83 syns out of the normal allowance of 105. More than I'd planned by a long way but a reasonable shortfall on the total.

This week's official WI made me Porky.8 (after my shower - disturbingly I was Porky.8 1/4 before it. I really wouldn't have said I was so dirty!). So depending on how you look at it, I've either lost a little less than or about 1lb or I've lost 2 1/2lbs. Who knows? It's down and that's all that matters I guess; I'll just carry on and see what the next WI brings.

Of course, this means I've lost 4 1/2lbs in 17 weeks. Now, I'm pretty hopeless at maths but I think that means it would take me a year and two months to lose a stone. Not a joyful statistic but, as ever, what's the alternative? I just hope that something changes at some point - for the better.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Shutting my cakehole

Today is not a good day. If life is throwing me lemons, they’re hitting me hard about the head and squirting juice in my eye to boot. I will not be retrieving those lemons and making sodding lemonade or lemon cake because I can’t have anything that nice. (NB for nice, read calorific/sugary). I can’t even make myself a honey and lemon to soothe my very sore throat – unless I skip the honey...

Today is supposed to be my choir performance. Unusually I love all the music except for one piece and two of the songs I really, really love. It’s all such fun stuff too and quite different for a choir. But I’m not there, I’m at my desk because today has suddenly become a busy day and I was told I couldn’t go. I’m trying to be brave and philosophical but actually I just feel miserable.

And I don’t feel well – I haven’t since the middle of last week when I got a 3 day migraine so bad that it didn’t respond to my nuclear option of very strong prescription drugs which kill the headache but make me feel generally ill in other ways; I take these as a last resort once or twice I year and I had 4 last week. They only took the edge off – my face still drooped and I lost sensation in bits of my face (very odd). By Sunday I felt as though my legs were made of cotton wool, my head ached and my throat was so sore I didn’t want to talk (a rare occurrence indeed). I hauled myself in to work yesterday because of my choir dress rehearsal and because really I’m too busy to be sick. Yesterday a huge mouth ulcer erupted joyfully and malevolently inside my upper lip.

I’ve had a rather dreary weekend food-wise. I knew that I had to ensure I had spare syns for lunch with a friend on Sunday and my gut-twistingly miserable SoD encounter last week made me realise that I simply cannot have syns to enjoy like a normal person; I am not a normal person. As I have so often proven, I have to starve to lose anything. I don’t really want to literally go that far again, so I thought I had better reduce my available syns from the 105 that a normal person gets to 65. I’ve busted that this week already with 82.5 – and that’s if I resist an overwhelming urge to comfort-eat something sweet.

One of the reasons I found out that I’d busted my syn budget was the utterly depressing news SWise One gave me today (with the best intentions) that although SW says a fairy cake is 6 and a slice of cake is either 6 or 8 (can’t remember which), a cupcake is a shocking and depressing 16-22 syns. I had a wonderful cupcake on Saturday – I had no wine, nothing else so that I could enjoy this cupcake. I budgeted a little more than a fairy cake at 8 syns, just to be on the safe side. And it was delicious – I felt that I could bear most things, scrimping and saving my syns to enjoy this sort of thing once a week. But alas, this appears to be another thing I have to give up. Soon there will only be giving up left to give up!

Bf already said sadly the other day how much he approved of a friend who drinks (alcohol); I know how much he hates that I have a mingy and fearful single glass of wine, once a week. But really, what can I do?

And all this would be more bearable if I were actually losing a reasonable amount of weight.

Well, I am making chicken with lemony pearl barley and leek risotto for dinner tonight – that’s one use for all these flipping lemons.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Munter vs Flab

I am fighting the good fight - I'm still here, I'm still on that wagon. And I've been helped in keeping aboard by all your kind comments. It's an odd thing - I would find it incredibly difficult to actually articulate how I'm feeling to a friend, face-to-face, I just wouldn't know how to start and would feel too self-conscious and self-indulgent. But a blog post? It's different somehow - like writing a diary I suppose. But better because I get to feel your solidarity percolating through the ether. So thanks, really thanks.

I am hoping that the 2lb gain was SoD evilly messing with my mind. I've done a sneaky unofficial WI and my weight was down a (very) little on last week. I'm not taking any chances though - it's not as if I've covered myself in glory thus far anyway. Even if we discount last week's WI, it still means that I've lost a pathetic 4lbs in 16 weeks. I know I have the most sluggish metabolism known to man, but there has to be a way to lose more than this without lopping off a limb or stopping eating altogether. Realistically in this time I would expect to have lost a stone and a half. That would make such a difference. It would mean that I would be below my lowest 2nd-time-around LL - the weight where I started to feel as if there was hope that I could look normal. It would definitely make me feel confident that I could buy a second hand wedding dress, come 2012.

It's pointless though to agonise over this. I'm not there; I'm still firmly in Porksville. Desire alone won't help me to escape - I just can't work out an escape plan at the moment. I've kept my syns low (36 in 4 days out of a possible 60), I'm drinking more water and hoping (hard) for the best.

PS Expert friend pointed out that she actually lost 7st and has kept it off for 5 years. Awe-inspiring, huh?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. Again.

This is starting to get seriously depressing. There is only so much bouncing back I can do, despite my cushion of blubber.

I had hoped that last week’s pathetic loss was maybe down to the fact that I was about to have my period. I was a bit worried about using my syns over the weekend, but, well, that’s what they’re for, right? And I weighed myself on Monday and was exactly the same so I was hoping for some magic alchemy to happen before my WI this morning – and as SWise One says, the in-between WIs simply don’t count.

Which is a shame as that alchemy has happened in a way. Reverse alchemy, that is. I have managed to put ON 2lbs in 2 days and since my last official WI. This brings my total loss on SW to 2lbs in 16 weeks. If you are capable of working out my average loss, perhaps don’t tell me. I seem to be single-handedly forging new discoveries into miniscule numbers (sort of sub-atom equivalents).

So, what to do? I can’t go on like this clearly and not least because I’m just feeling a bit punch-drunk. Do I go back to WW? Well, I wasn’t doing too well on that either (a bit better I think with the rosy tint of looking back, but not well) and the thought of cutting carbs out again entirely is not appealing – I do like being able to have fat free risotto and pasta. LighterLife? Well, my metabolic expert literally begged me not to do this, I’m not sure bf would be any too impressed and I want to throw up at the mere sight of a milkshake so it doesn’t sound like a great idea (but not one I’m abandoning just yet – at least I lost 1-2lbs a week on it).

What I can’t do is give up dieting entirely, no matter how much that seems like the easiest option. And the most appealing at least in the short term. So I’ve only lost 2lbs in 4 months, but had I been eating what I want, I am sure I would have put on at least a couple of stone in this period. This really is scraping the bottom of the barrel for positives though. I saw all the ads for fat brides in my wedding mag today on my way in and I wanted to cry. Right there on the tube – in public (and as a good English girl I abhor all displays of emotion in public and especially on grimy public transport). I am sitting at my desk in the midst of the usual unpleasantness and despair of this office and it all seems too much to deal with. I badly want to cry right now but it never looks great at work and I do not have waterproof mascara so I’m trying to get a grip. I’m on my own and on call tonight so there will be plenty of time for wallowing in self-pity and self-flagellation then without inflicting it on others.

Aside from the wallowing, my plan is to write down everything I eat next week (done this before admittedly), to drink more water or equivalent (my expert friend reckons that could be a problem – some days I only have 2 0r 3 mugs of green tea in total) and to cut down my syns. My expert friend (she lost c4st and has successfully kept it off for 5 years- yes, a moment’s silence in respect please) lost her weight on a syn-free version of SW. I’m not sure I can go syn-free without killing someone but I guess I can’t have as many as an average person so maybe I'll have to keep cutting down until I find a point where I can lose weight.

I should have an easy week in keeping the syns down as I’m working a 24 hour shift from Saturday morning and so bf is going down to Suffolk and I am home alone. So no companionable glass of wine will be required, no scaled down version of ‘normal’ food, no ingenious ways of keeping to the SW rules whilst eating with bf at weekends (we abandon all attempts during the week). I can eat very frugally (and possibly carb-light in any case I suppose) and see what impact that has. I did have bread a few times over the weekend (as a HEB) – with a smear of butter - so that had better go for starters. I feel pretty sore about my self-control around booze and pudding though – I stuck to one glass of each, and whilst the others had 2 meringues with cream and fruit, I had one with fat-free yoghurt (and fruit) and I GAVE MY CHOCOLATE TO BF. I do feel that this sort of thing really ought to show up on SoD!

I’m also considering going to a SW class – I finish choir after next week so will have a bit more time to give up another evening. I could try it out for a couple of months and see if the long trek makes a difference. Logically I can’t see how it could but desperate times call for desperate measure I hear.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

From my mouth to SoD's ear

I felt the Readybrek glow of smugness when on Sunday I turned my back resolutely on having a hotdog for supper (made at home I hasten to add) in favour of a rather lacklustre omelette, having discovered that a single hotdog was going to be 17.5 syns – eek! Mentally I pointed out my virtue to SoD in meaningful tones.

Actually I had all my syns this week which made me nervous. And I was right – it seems that SoD is actually deaf in at least one ear. I have lost ½ lb. Now, I wouldn’t mind if I consistently lost ½ lb because that would be 2lbs a month, which whilst pitiful, is progress of a kind. But it doesn’t work that way; sometimes I put a bit on, sometimes I stay the same, sometimes I lose a bit but the net result is not impressive. I have just totted it up and I have lost a grand total of 4lbs in FIFTEEN weeks. Yes, you read that right. I am too depressed- and too mathematically challenged - to work out my weekly average from this but it’s less than ¼ lb. What to do? I just don’t know. I’m hoping that some sort of inspiration – divine or otherwise – will strike – ideally before I reach the point of hysteria, panic and devastation.

To distract me from impending feelings of doom, I have been thinking about our holiday to New England and New York (I thought I better write it in full as I appalled a US friend by referring to 'New Hants' - for speed, people - she was audibly shocked). I’ve booked our flights which scared me rigid as that was the moment of commitment; I am still not sure we should be spending (so much) money on this but I am also excited. I have been pouring over reviews on Trip Advisor and trying not to choose B&Bs on the basis of ones that serve free cookies in the afternoon. Is this what is meant by Land of the Free? God bless America, indeed.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Dr Beat(en)

Another week, another WI, another disappointment. I put on 1/2lb; I realise this isn't exactly earthshattering but the fact is it's moving in the wrong direction - albeit at snail pace. Unfortunately when I DO manage a loss it's at a similarly unspectacular rate so I can't even take comfort there.

It's particularly tough at the moment as work is unrelentingly hellish and machiavellian and the urge to comfort eat is almost overwhelming. Results like this week's WI encourage insidious thoughts of 'oh well, I may as well eat what I like then'. I have kept a grip on this but I have to say it's been the toughest yet.

I'm on call tonight so bf has gone down to Suffolk without me - I'm going when I clock off tomorrow. It means I won't get there until lunchtime so no long walks this weekend. I have to say that, much as I love walking, I'm not convinced that it actually has much bearing on actual weight loss (just as well I love it anyway!).

Which reminds me, I made my trip to the GP to try and get back in the (bike) saddle. He explained that it wasn't anything to do with the bones (no news to me) and that although it was likely to be soft tissue damage they wouldn't give me an MRI scan unless it reached the point I couldn't walk. I managed not to say that that would make getting to my bike quite tricky.
"Cycling, he told me solemnly, "is very good exercise."
"Great" I said patiently "I know, that's why I'm trying to sort out my knee".
"What" he said imploringly "do you want me to DO?"
Reader, it took a great effort of will not to roll my eyes or say anything too sarcastic:
"I'd like you to make it better" I said politely and pleasantly.
We compromised on a physio referral.

Then he said he had to take my blood pressure and weigh me. I could feel my blood pressure soaring as a result. I told him he was welcome to take my blood pressure but he was not weighing me. He asked why. I explained that when I had asked for help with my weight they had been very unhelpful and although they had referred me to a specialist, they had then refused to diagnose the drugs he had recommended. I said that since they weren't prepared to help me I thought it was best that we didn't engage on that issue at all.

I dread to think what what they wrote on my file!

Monday, 27 June 2011

My big fat t'riffically super US holiday

And therein lies the dilemma.

So, I was confined to barracks yesterday as I was on call (missing what seems to have been summer). We took advantage of this enforced captivity to try and scope out a route and cost out a holiday in October in New England.

I’m very excited about hiking and moose (moose! Oooh, I’d love to see a moose). Although I have to say that Lonely Planet describes hiking trails of a mile or thereabouts – that’s not a hike, it's not even a stroll, at best it’s a pootle. But I’m also pretty excited about food – pancakes and lobster primarily but not exclusively. And not together I hasten to add. Although what are home fries? They sound nice. And what is fish fry? That does not.

But I don’t want to come home a stone heavier and this will be my first time in the USA where I hear that portions are gargantuan. I don’t think a mile “hike” will cut it in terms of combating increased calories. I will have to get some tactics in place if we go – even bf is worried about this. At the moment we’re freaking out about the cost – so it’s by no means a certainty. Our plan so far is to fly into and out of JFK, drive up to North Conway, then up to Bar Harbor and then fly back to NY – all in about a fortnight. Anyone who has any advice on this please chip in. Or should that be French fry in.

Actually I’m going to have to guard against my propensity of turning into a Noel Coward character whenever I’m faced with an American accent. When I had to deal with our US office in a previous job I KNOW they had me on speaker phone, agog at my accent (which is very standard home counties, nothing special or ‘posh’) and it made me say things like “Crikey” and “Super”. I had to literally stop myself saying “Top hole” once. These are words that never normally pass my lips.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Tour de Knee

Another week, another WI. Technically I put on 1/4 lb but I'm counting that as a STS. I would have liked to have had a loss to (or below!) Porky-and-a-half but I guess I dodged what could have been a bad 'un last week so should reflect on that and count my blessings.

I am doing rather well on the old diet front - I had cake, wine, chinese and chocolate at the weekend (not at the same time) and counted them in easily. I think I'm making good choices and ticking all the boxes. I have a relatively calm week ahead so maybe I'll get the payoff for this next week.... Living for the Weigh In...

A scupper to potential loss could have been my bike commute yesterday. For reasons that baffle me, this always seems to impact negatively on my weight (I give you 'huh?' and 'but...but...but' at this stage). I don't think I'll be doing it again for a while though - I last cycled a fortnight ago and had a bad pain on the inside of my knee cap on the way home; I thought I wouldn't make it home and if I did that I wouldn't be able to move. But although it really hurt all the way, I was fine and I promptly forgot about it. Yesterday - the same; possibly even worse. It's mystifying - I cycled in and was fine but on the way home (and early on) the same pain. Now it only hurts when I sit or get up (or cycle obviously) but it was such a sharp and prolonged pain I reluctantly have made an appointment with my GP. They're not usually terribly helpful - although better than my mum's who told her that the big yellow absysses coating her throat and tonsils were "the weather" and she just needed to wear a silk scarf! I'd love to see a weathergirl sticking pustules solemnly over the map of the UK: "And from mid-morning we're expecting an outbreak of painful absysses over North Kent so don't forget your silk scarf".

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Just desserts

Life is very strange. As you know, I haven’t done a WI for a fortnight but you won’t know about my dirty little habit. I can’t help it, I try to resist and for days I do but then I hear the siren call and I give in. Yes, I am talking about an unscheduled WI. I snuck an illicit trip to the house of SoD last Tuesday and I’d dropped 1.5lbs. I then tried not to think about it – it wasn’t official and it might have been a blip.

Then came the weekend of sugar debauchery. Things were looking up when my mum forgot the rhubarb crumble cake with white chocolate and macadamias. I had a celebratory mini bar of Montezuma’s butterscotch chocolate instead (8 syns). But my mother is a malign influence – all 7 - 8 stone of her - and from a careful start it all deteriorated with rapid and graceless speed. As well as normal food (which was carefully chosen) were the following naughties:
Cake - 2 ½ slices (one was free...)
Wine - 2 glasses
Honeycomb - 4 pieces (which propelled us both into a hyperglycaemic shaky episode later that day. Nice though (the honeycomb, not the shakes))
Puddings - 1 lemon posset, 1 v small scoop ice cream (pear and dark chocolate)
Blueberry pancakes a la Jamie O – made by mother, 4, with full fat coconut yoghurt (and what IS the point of full fat yoghurt?).

So it was with a heavy heart that I went as a penitent to SoD this morning. I’d have walked on my knees if I thought it would have done any good. So imagine my surprise to find out that I am STILL Porky.8lbs (what I weighed in as last Tuesday) and thus a lb (and a half, technically) down from the last WI. It’s not like me to be so jammy. I can only assume that I had lost a bit more and then put a bit on and it all came out neutral over the 2 weeks. Whatevs, I’ll take it.

I have a week with few pitfalls ahead and I am hoping to get under the Porky and a half by the next WI. Ohhhh, it’s so slow. I think this is now where I was before Devon and before Christmas! Still, I plod on with determination.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The service industry

So, award for worst service – quite possibly for the whole year as I cannot imagine this can be topped – goes to the Victoria branch of House of Fraser. I went in there yesterday to buy a small wheelie suitcase... It went like this:

Me: “Could you please tell me the price of the largest one of these? (proffering case) I’m going to buy this but I need a bigger case too”
Gormless salesman: “It’s on the shelf”
Me, patiently: “You don’t have that size, just the label which says it goes up to a larger size”
GS: “It’s probably a bit more expensive, like £20 or something”
Me: “Do you have a system where you could look it up for me? Maybe if you put the code in for this case, it would help you find the whole range?”
GS: “Nah, it just says we’ve got 4 of these in stock”
Me, giving up: “Okay, never mind, I’ll look it up on the internet. Could I have a fresh one of these rather than the one from the shelf then?”
GS, instantly: “That’s the last one”
Me: “But you just said you have 4....”
GS: “The system sometimes doesn’t update for 24 hours”
Me: “But it’s Monday morning, and you are in an area which doesn’t get much traffic at the weekend, are you really saying you’ve sold 3 of these this morning?”
GS: “Funny, innit?”
Me, to self: Not really.

Do you think there’s a dragon in the stockroom and it’s just too scary to even go in there?

This joins my past favourites:
1) Russell and Bromley when I took back my extremely expensive Superga plimsolls when the rubber edge had perished after only a couple of wears; they told me I had obviously been “scuffing my feet”. I pointed out that I was not, in fact, 7 years old. Nor had I been for some time.
2) L K Bennett where I witnessed a woman taking back her boots from which the high heel had broken off. She was told that the heel was “not an integral part of the boot” but a “fashion item”! I left swiftly, abandoning my intended purchase.

Well, off on this work trip now up north; let’s just hope it doesn’t jeopardise any future US career.