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.

Monday, 6 June 2011

There may be trouble ahead..

I have been a very sensible chubster over the weekend. And most importantly I was calm. I made my choices, I counted the syns and I practised moderation and conscious choice. And I had dinner out (and okay, I didn't choose what I would have done and I left bits (like avocado) that were not SW friendly but it was still a lovely evening) and some cake that a work colleague's fiancee made me to thank me for doing some calligraphy for their wedding (bf is now worryingly keen to pimp me out for any tasks they might need doing that would result in payment by cake).

I would like very much to reap my just rewards on SoD on Wednesday but I will be away for work up very, very North. And whilst I'm not claiming they don't have scales north of Watford (because that would clearly lead to the vast proportion of the female race instantly upping sticks and decamping en masse), it's pointless being faithless to SoD - it's just confusing and insincere with a clay idol. And my rewards are by no means certain in any case, let's not delude ourselves.

Being away from home is likely to be tricky I think. I'm reasonably happy that I can find something to eat in my room when I arrive at 9pm tomorrow (surely? Hmm, best check it out I guess) and I'm going to buy fruit and a yoghurt to take for breakfast on Wednesday but after that it may go somewhat awry until I get back to London on Wednesday night. And it's the unpredictability that makes me nervous.

Then on Thursday evening my mum and I are going to the tinhut for a long weekend. We will be going out to dinner on Saturday and she is set on making blueberry pancakes for breakfast one day - but I've negotiated for fruit and yoghurt on the other two days. She's bringing a slice each of rhubarb and white chocolate cake (but I'm going to try and sneak most of mine to the - probably highly co-operative - labradors. I don't like white chocolate - although I do like rhubarb. And cake, obv.). She's seeing this as a weekend away and although she's both minute AND on a diet, is clearly planning a more indulgent time than I'm really comfortable with. Still, I have two 3hours+ train journeys to work out a plan and a strategy.

So really my next WI is not until Wednesday next. It's scary.

And finally: whilst there's music and laughter and love and romance, let's face the music and dance (I won't dance; don't ask me, I won't dance; don't ask me...)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Womanfully tackling the slough of despond

I'm trying to claw my way out of this muddy, murky pit and determinedly setting my face to the sky and heaving myself upwards up and out - I hope. Another WI and I'm still the same weight. It's been 3 weeks STS and the week before that I put on 5lbs (a long weekend in Devon). My fear is that this is a pattern - I lose little and seldom over weeks and weeks and weeks and then something happens like a weekend away or Christmas or my birthday, I put on a scary amount, whilst actually practising restraint, and I can't lose it; my fear is that I'm stuck on an upward trajectory, despite my efforts.

But I have to swallow that fear (calorie free, friends! But not tasty..) and grit my teeth and carry on. So, this week bring renewed determination. My plan is:

1. Cut the meringues. I love them and I can't stop eating them. I don't seem to be able to practice moderation so they - and I'm weeping as I type this - have to go. Sob.
2. Email SWise One everything I eat (god this woman is going to be bored, bless her)
3. 5 syns a day max during the week to save enough for dinner out on Saturday night
4. Clever choices on Saturday night
5. I cycled today and hope to on Friday (although bizarrely my knee is really hurting) and we plan a long walk on Saturday
6. Lots of superfree veg and fruit (not a problem for me)

It's not a brilliant plan as I pretty much do this anyway but I'm hoping more vigour and scrutiny might help. Got to be worth a shot.

I hate that I seem to live from WI to WI, hoping for good news - what a ridiculous way to live. If I can crack it that I can consistently lose weight most weeks (ah, nirvana!) then I think I can relax and enjoy the moments in between. Because life slips by pretty quickly and I don't want to look back and only remember dieting.

In an effort to wrench myself away from this thinking and where it goes (in spirals of descending despair and - I suspect - ultimately to madness and maybe chocolate), I am going to end by thinking about the weekend just gone. We did two walks which we'd not done before - always lovely - and both are likely to become favourites. The first which I'd cavalierly estimated as 6 miles was actually about 11 but really beautiful and with a pub handily just over half way along for a lunch stop next time. (This time I took chicken drumsticks and chicory bulbs - I dropped my chicken whilst de-skinning it, such are the wages of virtue, sigh.) Then another shorter one with Southwold Pier about halfway round where you can get a mean cappuccino (Southwold is very chi-chi) whilst surrounded by sea. We went out to dinner which was lovely, had a terrifying conversation about wedding budgets (seriously, how does anyone ever afford to do this?!) and met up with friends and my god-daughter to chose our favourite Barbies from her staggering collection (there were at least 40 and they were just the A list): bf chose a redhead, that's my boy!