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 canap├ęs 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.