Thursday, 28 April 2011

Establishing radio silence

Just to let you know that I won't be posting for a week - I've not fallen off the wagon (hopefully) or gone into a decline (ditto). I'll be in Devon until Tuesday and then at a funeral on Wednesday. I'll catch up with everyone on Thursday.

I'm hoping that Claire's theory that I lose most weight when I eat most is proven this weekend. Four days of blueberry pancakes for breakfast, sharing a bottle of champagne, a table d'hote of 3 courses plus canapes and possibly a cream tea will really put that theory to the test. Perhaps I'll come home a stone lighter! It would then be my solemn duty to become a human pac-(wo)man. It would be tough, but I think I could gobble for the good of my figure. Although pac-man was entirely round....

In reality, I'll be happy if I don't put on more than 1lb. To that end, I'll be maintaining constant vigilence whilst enjoying my weekend away. And if the weather co-operates, there will be coastal walking with some impressive gradients.

I'm not intending to watch the Royal Wedding but am looking forward to seeing pics of the dress, flowers etc in the press the next day. Although not so much that I'd buy the Mail, obviously. I'm hoping she doesn't use my proposed colour scheme though or I'll have to jettison it - I already get comments about the similarity of our engagement rings (mine is MUCH nicer, for the record) - I don't want people thinking I'm slavishly trying to copy Miss M. I'd take her budget and shiny hair but the rest, meh. Prefer my venue, groom, guest list, honeymoon etc

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A benign SoD

I really had to screw my courage up to get on SoD today - the unfortunate butter incident and a little too much laxness (not actually sure that's a word, but still) over the weekend made me fear the worst after an exemplary week which saw me put ON 1lb. But SoD moves in mysterious ways and this week I actually lost 3 1/2lbs. All very curious but I'm enthusiastically staring this particular gift horse in the mouth. Maybe it works a week in arrears? Ah, it's beyond me. But this takes me to Porky.6 - so 2lbs below my pre-Christmas weight, hallelujah! Dear god, but it's been a slog. Now I'm focussed on getting down to Porky.0 and then into the Chubbys. Or Plumps - not sure which it will be yet.

I am trying to be very zen about not losing in the next WI. A weekend of indulgence - however restrained - is unlikely to see me losing any weight. In fact I'd just be thrilled not to gain any. But it's a treat and a special occasion and whilst I intend to be sensible, I know that I'll be eating above my syn quota. I'm trying to bank quite a bit now to at least minimise the damage. And there will be walking - hilly walking too which we're not used to after Suffolk. That should help a little with those blueberry pancakes the B&B offers for breakfast!

Thanks to the Claires and Fionna for your comments. I know I'm being a wuss and despite my pathological hatred of confrontation, we're going to have to have a talk about dieting etc. Whatever bee was in his bonnet seems to have buzzed off, he apologised this morning and again over the phone at lunchtime. He does flare up and cool down - whereas I am a long simmerer and passive-agressive. In many ways we are so much the same and in other ways so very different - largely about how we handle conflict and aggravation and then we do not understand one another at all. He is very critical and I am a feeble people-pleaser with a perfectionist tendency - and that does not make for an easy relationship all the time. But it is a snapshot - most of the time we're very happy together and I have learnt to let his tetchiness wash over me. I suspect I am very irritating which is the part I play in all this - that and the conflict avoidness and wussiness. So, I'm not looking forward to tonight's 'talk' and only hope we can keep it civil whilst we work out why he got in such a strop yesterday and why it led to name-calling - and he has to understand the consequences of his bursts of temper, I did not sleep until gone 3am and I don't shrug it all off with the new day, it leaves me bruised emotionally for some time.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A big fat nothing

The sun shone and I made merry. A little too merry. I carefully weighed out 28g of Easter egg chocolate - then the next day I ate the rest of the shell. And I ate some of bf's peanuts. I don't think I was disasterously over but I am pretty sure I was conclusively over. We did 2 long walks - one of c12 miles and one of c9 miles. But it wasn't that - the excuse for being a bit lax. I just had one of those phases of being really weary with dieting all the time - and not getting the results. WI is tomorrow and will reveal all - including the fall out from my butter-rage I should think.

So, despite a weekend coming up away from the diet, I must not collapse into freefall calorie consumption.

But this evening bf has told me that he's fed up of me dieting - that we don't go out anymore because of it and I won't even share a bottle of wine with him (true - I only ever have 1 glass although I take issue with the going out bit). I can see that dieting does not make you fun company; I really do appreciate that. But then he tells me that I'm fat. Also true. But how to reconcile these two things - it beats me. There were other home truths (I'm messy and a hoarder (true) and meek (also true - can't imagine this is ever going to mean me inheriting the earth as I'd be too diffident to actually take it -"No, really, I couldn't, you have it")). I'm steeling myself to throw alot of stuff away (which makes me sad but there we go), but I cannot for the life of me see how I can be slim (a knotty, frustrating and constant problem at the best of times) and also drink and eat to the tune of his lifestyle.

I'm accepting that I'm going to have to bid a permanent farewell to chocolate (my personal choice of treat) in order to be more 'fun' with alcohol. But as a friend has warned me, it's a tightrope over the abyss of drunken 'sod-it' where I'll eat all the things I want whilst under the influence. Maybe he'd be a bit more tolerant if I were actually slim but it's not for want of trying.

More than ever (and he'd HATE this) I want to feel that he thinks he's getting a good deal in marrying me. Maybe I've read too many cheesy case studies where the man expresses awe and feelings of luck in bagging their bride. I'm pretty sure that he thinks I've got the better end of the bargain. I also want - oh how I want - him to look at me on our wedding day (assuming we get there at this rate as I feel pretty insecure about this at the moment) and think I'm, well, if not beautiful, at least attractive. At the moment he just sees fat. This doesn't make him a bad person, I think it's what most people see. I'd like to think there was more to me than this. But perhaps none of that matters.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Giving you the skinny

Ssshhh, don’t tell Trading Standards but today I am wearing skinny jeans. This is only the 2nd time I have done so. Despite buying a pair about 3 months ago, I have been too chicken to actually wear them, feeling that the fact that they’re called skinny jeans might be a clue as to why a short-legged, big-bummed fattie really has no business to be wearing them. But last weekend, as we were about to go down to Suffolk, I noticed my usual bootlegs were too grubby to wear. The skinnies were my only non-tights option. I put them on and stood in front of bf. His honesty can be brutal, but you can rely on him to tell you how it is. “Do these look okay?” I fretted. He took a long, careful look “Yes, they’re fine. Quite nice actually” (I may not be actually quoting here but it was something like this). Phew. I felt self conscious but kept them on. (Beth – no need to mention it to the fashion mavens as I wore them with Converse plimsolls last weekend and I have Birkos on now.)

I wore them again today – to work! – because I’ve got a loose shirt/blouse thing on and I think the more voluminous top might be better with a slimmer leg jean. Gulp. Even on me. I rarely wear jeans to work because I feel too chubby for them but I’m meeting bf at my mum’s and then we’re driving straight to Suffolk for the long weekend which although predicted to be sunny is still a little chilly in the East. I do have the bootlegs packed just in case.

I saw a kerfuffle in the media that Anna Wintour is now in bootlegs so it would be just typical if I’ve only just plucked up the courage to wear skinnies as the rest of the world (or the fashionable ones) seamlessly swop to bootlegs just as I vacate them. Hmm, maybe there’s a link....

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A basted butterball

I have spent the week feeling cautiously optimistic - I'm a firm believer that not all diets work for all people, but maybe, just maybe, this one would work for me. I know that a 3lb loss was never going to be a weekly event but a steady 1-2lbs would do me - I'm not uniformly greedy! And it made it a little easier to say no to things that would slow or stop weight loss this past week. I even started dreaming about buying a new dress for a family party next month - although when I realised what I was doing, I tried to stop. I didn't even have a sneaky peak at the SoD this week but I did what I did last week to good effect and I kept the faith.

But I won't be renaming those scales any time soon. Today they sneered at me that I'd put ON a lb. I couldn't quite believe it. I tried again several times - it was consistent up until it decided to say I'd put on 2lbs when I shot off like a scalded Easter bunny and shoved them back under the bed. Where they lie malevolently, out of sight but not out of mind.

I know I have to keep going but it's made harder by inexplicable disappointments like this. Hand on heart, I do not deserve this. So, with a feeling of weariness I set my face to another week - a week with Easter and a lunch out. What else can I do? Of course there comes a point when I have to stop if it seems like I'm flogging a dead fat horse but I need to give it a good bash first.

The next WI will also include an episode which almost drove me to tears of rage and frustration. In all virtuousness I arranged to meet a friend at Tower Hill and walk along the Thames path to Canary Wharf for supper. I'm still having problems with the side of my thigh which, sure enough, started to ache after about a mile and left me hobbling by the evening and gave me a restless night. We went to Carluccio's as I knew I could have their very plain but tasty pasta with mushrooms for little or no syns. Except when it came it was - literally - swimming in butter. I shook as much off as I could and then, when I'd finished my side salad, I poured the butter away and into the bowl. It was a good inch of butter. I felt panic, rage and impotence bubble up in me. I'd done the best I could and I was hungry so I ate it but it didn't give me any pleasure and afterwards my throat felt slimy with its liberal coating of butter. I took some good advice which amounted to 'forget it and move on - life will throw these curveballs at you from time to time' but, before my disasterous encounter with SoD this week, I was already worrying about the ramifications for next week's WI. It's one thing to carefully chose a treat and count it in and enjoy it - it's utterly different to have something like this foisted on you by an idiot chef with butterfingers.

My challenge for the next few days is not to allow this disappointment and setback drive me headfirst into a clutch of chocolate Easter eggs. Severely tempting though that is.

Monday, 18 April 2011

A truly tragic tale

Do you know what the definition of tragedy is? I will tell you, gentle Reader but would warn you that you may be distressed. I bought myself a fairy cake from the Waitrose cafe as a super-special treat on Saturday – this was as a result of being a VERY good girl all week and also because I’d bought a cake in the National Trust canteen on our walk and it was so disappointing I’d had one bite, tried to palm it off on to a disgusted bf and then managed to leave it. I don’t find it easy to leave sweet stuff even if I don’t like it. It was with a sense of pride and achievement therefore (and okay, a bit of greed) that I chose my lemon and lavender fairycake. I carried it home as carefully as if it were a baby bird and I waited for as long as I could bear after dinner. And then I tried it. Reader, there had been a mix up and they’d iced a banana cake with lavender icing. I absolutely detest bananas but even had I liked them, I would not have combined banana and lavender – even Heston Blumenthal would surely shy away from that mixture. I ate it and felt miserable that a) I’d eaten it and b) that it was awful. Isn’t that utterly tragic?

The weekend was otherwise lovely – a long walk on Saturday which could have been a disaster as we forgot our walking boots. I had to walk in Converse and bf in boat shoes (he has a large blister as a result). We also had to moon-leap across deep, recently ploughed furrows, some 2ft deep. We sunk to our knees. We had got half way across the field on a track and the track just ran out. It was like a comedy – we just looked at one another and with one bound we were off, grimly accepting of our mucky, red lot. The farmer in his tractor paused to watch the spectacle – grrr. Thankfully all the orange has come off the white rim of my Converse but bf swears he’s still shaking the dirt out of his shoes.

Sunday was glorious and a little pootle around a lovely nearby wood – bf optimistically reckoning the bluebells would be out (they weren’t). We also did what bf called an Easter egg hunt – a cute as fluffy tailed, twitchy nosed bunny term for actually going to Waitrose and buying an Easter egg apiece. Actually he had two because of the offer on his egg of choice!

I’m hoping (but not expecting) another good result on SoD (which will have to prove itself over more than one week to be be re-christened! Am prepared to reconsider after a month of steady spectacular losses) as I’ve been ultra strict again. Will let you know.

Next week will be a tricky balancing of syns. I want to eat my egg (Ferrero Rocher if you’re interested, with the shell having shards of hazelnut in) and am okay that it will be a little at a time (maybe 7-8 syns a pop). But I also want a hot cross bun – a gobstoppingly shocking 10 syns without butter! – and probably the odd glass of wine (6). But I only get 15 a day – arghhh. The maths just doesn’t work whichever way you play it. I bought some wholemeal hot X buns (my bun of choice) and carefully separated them into single bags and popped them in the freezer. Where I sadly suspect they will have to stay in perpetuity.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Chocolate is for life, not just for Easter

I had a virtuous weekend with walking and a low-syn and more-or-less sin-free life. I have pulled a muscle in my thigh with over vigorous cycling last week which played me up a bit on the walks but it'll be rested all this week as I won't be cycling at all. This is because I have had a Brazilian hair treatment - which is not what my colleague thought I was announcing to the whole office (!) but a protein thingy, otherwise known as the permanent blow dry, to make your hair frizz free and shiny for 3 months. And for several days I can't wash it or tie it back or even tuck it behind my ears; wearing a cycle helmet is out. My thigh had better hurry up and heal because I have walking plans for it this weekend.

SoD decided to reward my virtue with a staggering 3lbs off. Technically it was a shade under that because my scales show increments of 1/4 lb which I can never quite work out but as last week I was Porky.12 (up, cruelly, from Porky.11) and now I'm Porky.9 (yeah, yeah, and 3/4) I'm claiming that as a 3lber. I'm very, very happy with that of course - only 1lb off my pre-Christmas weight - but am trying not to let my thoughts gambol off delightedly and over-enthusiastically. I will not lose that on a regular basis; I know this. I will be utterly thrilled if I can usually lose 2lbs a week but suspect I may have to content myself with 1lb. And that's fine.

Coming up fast as hurdles to consider is Easter - always a trial for a chocoholic. I think I'm going to have an egg but have to measure it out a very little at a time. It's better than either of the other extremes - having none and feeling very sorry for myself or stuffing myself silly, blissful in ignorance until the wrath of SoD hits.

And then we have something lovely to look forward to: we are going back to the B&B in Devon where bf proposed. B&B rather undersells it: it's a place with 3 rooms in the middle of nowhere. The rooms are lovely and each have their own private terrace with views across a valley. The owner makes THE most amazing blueberry pancakes for breakfast. SW will not like that - flour, sugar and fat are the Axis of Evil as far as SW is concerned. But I'll be having them anyway. And we'll eat out probably 3 times, once is booked in an amazing highly plaudited nearby Elizabethan manor hotel. But I'll try and practise moderation apart from the pancakes and the one treat meal - the others will be SW friendly choices only. And I've devised a romantic and very SW friendly picnic for the night we arrive - on the terrace with seafood and wine (a mere glass for me) and Eaton mess (mine with yoghurt), all made in advance and making use of my lovely wicker picnic hamper bf bought me for my birthday years ago but which is very impractical if you have to lug it anywhere. You really need staff for this hamper - it has the same misty-eyed illusions that I can fall prey to. I love it although I expect I am not what it considers a good choice for heroine of its story!

It does make me think though: I would say I've been more than usually unlucky with shedding the Christmas weight that 4 1/2 months post the big day, I've still not got rid of it. But you only need that, a similar catastrophe over a summer holiday and a couple of blips in order to end up with a net loss of nothing very much over the year. Or even a gain. I have to buck this trend - next Christmas will NOT find me back in this vicious circle.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Of elephant trap soup

I’m going through one of those little sticky patches that crop up in life from time to time – where everything feels too hard and I just want to find a quiet place to sleep the next few months/years away. Work is pretty awful – I like what I do and I love the area I work in but the atmosphere is appalling, morale is rock-bottom and I work for a psycho (joking apart, I actually DO think she’s a sociopath) who shows all the signs of preparing to knife me in the back at my appraisal next week. I don’t deserve this but I am ridiculously thin-skinned and take all criticism very much to heart so I think I’ll struggle to shrug it off. And I’m worried I’ll cry. She’s actually forced out 3 people in the past who’ve left to get away from her and although I don’t want to take that route anyway, there isn’t that option in today’s fearful and depressed climate.

I could do with my weight playing ball then. I could do with the pound that I put ON last week disappearing and taking a couple of lardy pals with it. I could do with feeling optimistic that I will have things to wear over the summer and that the winter’s start of looking for a wedding dress will be a joyous occasion rather than a time of bitter self-recrimination and self-hatred.

Every year I get my summer wardrobe out and pack up my winter wardrobe and I carefully fold up stuff that I’ve not worn because it’s been a little too tight and think to myself, what a shame, this will probably be too big next year and I won’t get to wear it because this will be the year that I lose the weight, I can feel it, I can taste it. What’s different about this year? Well, I think that if it’s not this year, it’s never going to happen. I want this year to be the year I leave Porky behind me, that I leave my size 16s behind and shoot through the 14s to the other side (where the perfect wedding dress lies in wait for me, ready to reduce bf to admiration and adoration).

This is why I get disproportionately upset when I think I’m doing everything right, only to find out that an innocent fresh Itsu soup with noodles, chicken and veg turns out to be somewhere between 8-9.5 syns. Even the discrepancy upsets me. But that’s the same as a quarter bottle of wine. If I drank wine I’d know I was doing something dicey but to be tripped up by a so-called healthy soup when I didn’t even especially want it but thought it was a virtuous choice – well, if I hadn’t run out of breath, I would be very indignant indeed.

This weekend – chilly but sunny Suffolk and at least one walk. And fretting about the sensation of a knife sliding in my back for Monday. And trying not to find any false foodie friends LIKE CHICKEN VEGETABLE NOODLE BROTH. Humph.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The mercy of SoD

I should have known better than to trust optimistically in the mercy of SoD – this week’s WI saw me 1lb heavier than last week. SoD is not full of the milk of human (scaley?) kindness, even when that milk is a SW Healthy Extra choice.

Now, I know I had the tiny tea but I had saved syns for this and felt that my behaviour otherwise had been exemplary (2 cycle commutes, some brisk walking and stair climbing (the latter nearly kills me) as well as studiously sticking to the SW eating plan). And what was even more heartbreaking was that on Sunday I weighed Porky.9 – this morning I was Porky.12 (and last week I was Porky.11). I’ve been pretty phlegmatic about no weight loss for ooooh, at least a couple of months but I’m starting to get rather upset about it all.

This is possibly partly also because work is a nightmare at the moment. Yesterday was so insanely busy that I wanted to cry and panic eat biscuits. I managed to do neither of these things but I feel worn down by work too - and resisting biscuits THAT I DON'T EVEN FLIPPING LIKE MUCH. Perhaps my overall resilience is sapped and therefore the constant battle with my weight is just too overwhelming right now.

It seems very unlikely that I will get to what was a very modest goal back in January – to have lost a stone and a half by mid May. I’ve actually only lost 8lbs in all those long weeks (13 I think). I don’t think I’ll be wearing the dress I’d hoped to to bf’s mother’s party – and buying a dress because you’re too fat for the one you have is pretty soul-destroying.

So, I’m going to grit my teeth and fight on another week and hope that this week was a blip which will be resolved next week. Something has to give – just hope it’s not me.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

TERRR- oh.

Not so much of a Cream Tea of Terror though, more of a polite, somewhat diffident 'boo'. I had a very small egg mayo roll and 3 fairy size bits of sarnie (1 smoked salmon and 2 ham and mustard) then the teeniest piece of Vicky sponge ever (no cream, just sponge and jam) and two ickle scones slightly smaller in circumference than a golf ball with a very modest pre-applied bit of cream and jam. Oh. I'd planned a grimly determined breakfast and supper around this - which I stuck to regardless - and didn't eat my calcium and fibre allowances as I thought they'd be a bit offset by the cream and bread/scone.

It was the sort of tea that assumes you've had a big lunch and will be going on to dinner in a few hours. I was a little disappointed really. But I should at least have a less scary encounter with SoD this week as a result. Right? RIGHT? (Are you listening SoD?)

In other food news - I made an amazing crab linguine on Saturday night. It had 'syns' but only a couple (she says nonchalently to try and cover that she can't remember what Claire told her...). Anyway, thought you might like the recipe:

For 2 people of reasonable appetite:
200g dried linguine (for some reason the fresh stuff is evil on SW. No idea why)
150g+ -ish cherry toms/baby plum toms
Red chilli (up to you for quantities)
200ml white wine
Leek or some spring onions (I had a leek knocking about but will probably use onion next time)
200-300g crab meat (I used brown and white)
handful rocket
a lemon

Fry (in spray oil folks) the leek (or onion) until softened a bit, quarter the tomatoes and chuck in pan with chilli. Then whack the pasta on, cook, drain. By then the tomato mix is sort of mulchy, pour in the wine and let it bubble for a few mins. Then turn down the heat, add the crab and zest and juice of half a lemon. Tip the pasta and rocket in and mix well. Serve with a lemon quarter each and a bit of basil. Yum.

Friday, 1 April 2011

SWeating in fear

Well fa(c)t fans, in my first week on SW I lost 1lb. On the one hand that’s not a stellar loss for the first week on a diet where the sneaky change of tactics is supposed to through your body into a panic in which it jettisons ballast. On the other hand, I ate out (albeit in carefully selected places and choosing with the SW ethos in mind) three times and we had a takeaway. And I’m bound to have made mistakes as some of it is very confusing to the uninitiated – despite careful tutelage from Claire.

SW is a curious mixture of the liberal and the strict: there is a lot of lassitude with the long list of things that are fine to eat but anything that isn’t ‘free’ you pay a heavy price for. I’m feeling my way round it and am curious to see what a stellar week will produce but it won’t be this week. Oh no. Because this week I have Cream Tea of Terror. We are taking our mothers to the place we’ve booked for our wedding as a mothering Sunday treat. It seemed like a great idea back when we booked it. As it gets closer, we view this with trepidation. I am worried because SW takes a very dim view of anything with flour and sugar. I am going to enjoy it because I’d be stupid not to but I have been stockpiling syns and am anxious as to what the effect on SoD will be on Wednesday. Because I still haven’t lost all my Christmas weight – a month to put on 10lbs and three months later I still haven’t lost it all. What a depressing statistic.

Bf is worried because he fears this will be the point when his mother starts insisting we invite 3rd cousins, 8 times removed and ex-next door neighbours from decades past. Of course we won't be inviting these people but he's not relishing the emotional blackmail that is likely to ensue.

And is it just me? I bet it is. Everytime I look at a chair cover, I think Klu Klux Klan. Yes, even with the sashes (KKK beauty queens?!). I don't think I want chair covers. I don't think they fool anyone anyway - I bet people know there are chairs under there.

I have cycled twice this week and today (the second occasion) I really didn’t enjoy it. There was a stiff headwind and my legs felt weary only 5 mins in. But I told myself that I must be burning more calories because it WAS so hard. And there were rewards – 2 lovely magnolia trees, a cycle path on Southwark Bridge which has been shut for 2 years was finally open and I was transported to extreme levels of bliss when I witnessed a police officer reprimanding (and hopefully fining) a motorcyclist who’d been pelting down the bicycle lane on Upper Thames Street – HA!