Monday, 28 March 2011

Cold comfort

Such a keenly anticipated weekend was surely doomed to failure! The weather was dank and dismal, we were prevented from walking properly by quirks of fate and, to top it off, we managed to leave all the cold stuff we bought from Waitrose in the middle of the living room. Where it will now have to stay (frozen edamames, yoghurts, black pudding, milk etc etc (black pudding is not mine - as a colleague said, surely the recipe for this starts: take 3lbs of scab...UGH)). With the heating on (admittedly on low). I fear maggots and exploding sour goo (fat free goo though! And Mullerlights may be too chemical to decompose - on the bright side) - bf is bravely going up on Friday to tackle any toxic waste, returning Saturday. Otherwise it would have to fester for a fortnight. This, directly after spider eviction is the glamorous side of our rural existence - and he's getting all these delightful little chores at the moment. I will be here, at home, working and sulking. And fretting about the mothers' day treat of an afternoon tea at our wedding venue (nibbling at my inner lip and fingernails must be calorie-free, right? Unlike clotted cream scones...) We did 2 walks of about 3 miles over the weekend - hardly worth lacing my boots for. We did them at a fairly brisk trot and I guess it's better than lying on the sofa eating floral cream chocolates (in one sense only, you understand). I also cycled today - back against a stiffish headwind too and with thighs of concrete. Can you hear me busily totting up brownie points? (Brownies, mmmmm) Just as I think I get to a glimmer of understanding about SW, I realise my folly. My mind is boggling from trying to absorb all the information and my inner swot is trying hard to do it perfectly - and failing unwittingly. Funnily enough, I feel fatter. Not that that's funny, but it is odd. Usually any days of diet perseverence makes me feel that I must be ooooh, at least a size 10 by now. SoD is winking at me from under the bed (its cunning knows no obstacles. Not even an inch of dust) but I am not weighing until Wednesday. Oh okay, I weighed on Friday (because that was my old weighing day) and I'd lost 1lb, I weighed this morning and it had gone back on. It's not looking like the magic panacea that I was secretly hoping for. But an imperfect week does not a diet make. I may not be very good at losing weight but for sheer dogged determination (admittedly probably of the lugborious bloodhound variety) I take the (dog) biscuit.

Friday, 25 March 2011


I’ve been meaning and meaning to post all week and haven’t found the time. I really need to win the lottery and give up work to concentrate on life. So if you could please sort that for me...

I spent last weekend in the uncharted territory between SW and WW where I tried to do either or both. My surprising 2lb loss last week unsurprisingly had evaporated by Monday and I was back up 2lbs. I had had a weeny lapse into the ‘between diets’ badlands (here be dragons) where I ate a couple of things I shouldn’t have because I wasn’t on a diet but on the whole I kept a tight grip on this (despite my alter ego egging me on wildly).

I am not good with change. I am struggling to get to grips with the new rules and had a freak out yesterday which Claire @ Cakes and Bunting had to talk me down from. I went to a group to get my rule books but Claire has been much better at explaining it and I would have been at a loss if that were all I had had to rely on. In a way it’s a relief – had it been a good group, I would have wanted to go every week and since it necessitated hanging about at work, eating inhumanely close to a weigh in and walking through a scary council estate in the dark, it’s a good thing that I have my books so I can swot up and will join online. I have to join for 3 months online so I guess I’ll give it that long and see how it goes. I do think that the new WW propoints system didn’t work for me (er, 6 weeks STS anyone?!) but no one diet will work for everyone – it’s a matter of having the tenacity and energy to keep going til you hit diet gold. (My turn, my turn, my turn)

This weekend is our first back at the tinhut – I can’t wait. Although I note with sadness that tomorrow – when we’d scheduled a 14 mile walk – is now showing rain. Bah.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Too little, too late

I don’t really understand it: SoD sprung it on me today – I’ve lost 2lbs. 3lbs if you take my weight from Monday when it had inexplicably sprung up a lb. So this means over the last six weeks:

Week 1 - -2lbs
Week 2 – STS
Week 3 – STS
Week 4 – STS
Week 5 – STS
Week 6 - - 2lbs

Does anyone see a pattern there? I mean short of the chaos theory. If it were a 4 week pattern I could see it but...

In any case, it’s just too little, too late. 4lbs over 6 weeks is not really very satisfying. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to have lost 2lbs this week but the overall picture is not good. And I don't understand why so I can't remedy it.

So, thanks to lots of painstaking advice from Claire (, (and I WAS a pain ), I think I’m going to try Slimming World. It can’t hurt and it might help. There are bits about it that scare me silly and I really don't like change, but I think I’m going to take a deep breath and give it a shot. What have I got to lose? Hopefully only a pile of lard.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Four f*ck's sake!

It’s getting a bit difficult to keep the faith and not implode in a sticky mess of sugar, tears and despair. It’s the 4th week where I’ve stayed the same. I would add that I have been within points – I have used some of my flexi points but rarely use all of them. I never dip into exercise points (not that there were many this week when I haven’t cycled).

I’m still:
• 4lbs heavier than before Christmas
• 12lbs heavier than when I finished Lighter Life
• 1st 2lbs (roughly) heavier than my lightest weight (in memory)
• About 4st heavier than my goal weight

Oh yeah, and
• Fed up
• Demotivated
• Depressed

Moving along very slowly is frustrating enough, but this is a total stalling and it sucks big time. I’m trying to keep a stiff upper lip but it’s starting to wobble a bit. And it’s making me feel a bit sloppy about counting – I know this doesn’t make sense logically but it makes me feel very half-hearted about the whole thing – why bother if continually resisting doesn’t get me anywhere? It’s okay, that’s a rhetorical question.

It’s as if I’m doing my bit but not being met half way by SoD (or, er, at all!) and it saps my energy for keeping it up. And dieting does require quite a bit of mental energy I think. Shame really that mental energy doesn’t burn calories.

Sooo, this weekend: I am meeting a long-lost friend tonight (please see losing motivation – I feel like drinking (which I rarely allow myself to do because of the calories) and going somewhere indulgent for dinner, sigh), nothing tomorrow and to see the potential wedding venue at the crack of dawn on Sunday.

I thought we’d sorted the wedding venue but the contract threw up a host of problems and they’ve not been terribly helpful in sorting things out (including one email that made me so angry I had to go and breathe. For about 4 hours. And then bf vetoed my response! It was probably just as well). I have at least come to the conclusion that the woman I’ve been dealing with is a bit incompetent and socially inept rather than actually deliberately obtuse and rude. Fortunately the caterers run the actual day and they seem very efficient and simpatico.

And last - but not least - thanks all for your lovely comments about my Grandma.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Never forgotten

Today would have been my grandmother’s birthday. She died 5 years ago and I think I still miss her almost every day. I have a ring on that she gave me today and tonight I’m going to my mum’s so we can be together on a tricky day. I have taken tomorrow off to spend the day with my mum. We don’t live anywhere near where my grandma’s grave is – it’s about 2-3 hours drive from me. I last went there last Easter and it took me some time to stop crying, driving away. But we don’t need to be there to remember her.

She taught me to cook – and she always let me choose what. Even when it was patently going to be disgusting. She taught me to embroider, read music, play the recorder. She read to me and with me. She embarrassed me and my brothers by singing loudly in her trained voice at school events. She listened to me, whatever I had to say – even when I was being stroppy and provocative. She told me that I looked good in hats – and that I got that from her. She offered to knit me a jumper and didn’t betray so much as a flicker of disappointment when I wanted a plain stitched v neck. She laughed when she could not teach me to knit and carefully scalpelled off the wool knitted so tightly on to the needles. She told me I as a "good kid" at 34. She said I was her only grandchild (of 4) who spoke properly; she had a beautiful voice and was severe about sloppy diction.

She took me on the train from Plymouth to London and persuaded the staff to grate carrot for me – the only vegetable I would eat, aged 8. She cut articles out of the Telegraph for me right the way through my life. She sent me homemade shortbread at university. She even took me shopping as a teenager when she understood how vital it was to have the right outfit (advised by the Telegraph that Warehouse was the place). She worried about everything and everyone – from people she knew to people featured on the News at 10 and saw the best in everyone. She did the Telegraph crossword every day – and mostly completed it. She thought that a cup of tea mid-afternoon was a cure for all weariness. Every gift was exclaimed over with delight, every tale listened to with interest. I never heard her cross and she rarely had a mean thought about anything; in fact the worst thing I ever heard her say was on the subject of disabled parking spaces – “I sometimes have very unchristian thoughts about people who park here and aren’t disabled”.

She defied her parents when she was young to marry my grandfather and lived quite alone through the blitz in London. She danced with Clark Gable. She swam in the sea off Scotland, hiked up hills, practised yoga from the 1960s and started each day with stretching exercises - and she travelled before people really did that. She learnt to drive as an adult and bought a bright orange mini – with her black dog taking up the entire back seat (and us kids squashed into the space reluctantly conceded to us).

She laughed when bf ran with her in her wheelchair when she got too old to walk through gardens with us. She had such a joyful laugh. She let me use her as a human shopping trolley, wheeling her around Bluewater shopping centre and piling her with bags as I persuaded her into buying herself pretty things (“I could knit this myself you know”, “I know Grandma”). She was game to try anything unusual with food – in a Chinese she told the charmed waitress “I last had Chinese food in 1943 in Chinatown” and only the escalator alarmed her at Wagamama. She was introduced to body butter in her 80s by my mother and she loved it – carefully washing out the tubs when she finished them and using them to store things in. She had an eye operation with only a local anaesthetic and some hypnotherapy and sheer willpower. When I went down to spend a week with her after my grandfather died, I took the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and she was transfixed: “Bother” she would exclaim when the phone rang. Strong words for her.

She was singing for “old folks”, practising yoga, painting, gardening, hosting tea partied – and even had a role as principal boy in panto (tunic and boots and all!) – right up until she died. I was with her when she died. Me and my mum. We went down there for her birthday and she had a massive stroke which she didn’t survive – luckily I suppose as she would have hated losing any independence. Even as I was calling her GP – and then the ambulance – she was telling me off for ‘bothering’ people.

I miss her every day. And when I get married next year, it will be with her wedding ring.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Weighed down

With a heavy heart - and apparently a heavy everything else too - I bring you the word of SoD. I put ON 1/2lb. WW doesn't deal in such small quantities so for those purposes I stayed the same.

I know I had a foody weekend but I confess that I was hoping for some scaley action - I think I've lost 2lbs in the last 4 weeks. And that's comprised of one week losing 2lbs and the last 3 weeks I've stayed the same. It's so frustrating I want to scream, cry and eat chocolate. I also did a very unpleasant cycle commute - usually even if I don't feel like it to begin with, once I get whizzing along* I pretty much always enjoy it. Not on Tuesday. I was cycling into an absolutely icy stiff headwind all the way home and then (mercifully) about 20 mins from home, very cold, fine rain started to fall that felt like little needles going through me. And I was stiff from a concerted stair climbing exertion the previous day. It was all pretty wretched. And where's my flipping pay-off SoD? Huh?

This weekend we met colleagues from my work in the pub last night to celebrate someone's birthday. I had a very unpleasant own-brand diet coke. We were supposed to be going to some foul sounding poncey bar but the girl whose party it was was late! Then - furthering the catalogue of unforeseen events - the fish restaurant we'd booked (as being point-friendly) was so awful we walked out. They kept us waiting for 15 mins for our table with no apology or word of excuse. In the end, bf went into the restaurant where he found 4 empty tables. The manager was summonsed and was thoroughly rude and dismissive. So we left. I declined Indian food (unbeliveably pointy - even dry veg) and we went for a Thai where, even though I chose the most low point things I thought I could spot (with the exception of a third of a Pad Thai), I still 'spent' 17 pps. And thats without the 2 small glasses of wine. Still, that's what flexi points are supposed to be there for, right?

And on a VERY positive note, pancakes (if the batter is made with skimmed milk and I use Splenda instead of sugar) are a mere 1pps. Hurrah! I'm having TWO pancake days - one with my mum and one with the bf - so this is good news indeed. I'm making 0 point - but utterly delicious - roast squash soup before pancakes #1 tomorrow. With 2 parma ham crisps for 1 pps. Plenty of scope for a decent serving of pancake - even if I were to indulge in a little real sugar! Flipping marvellous.

* 'Whizzing' is a relative term. Compared to say, a snail. Or a tortoise.