Thursday, 28 June 2012

Let them eat cake

So.  It's all fallen as flat as a Victoria Sponge removed from the oven unjudiciously early.  I raced to Victoria Station to meet P ready for our tasting.  I had - I'm afraid - fallen ill of that common dieters' foible, the 'oh sod it' mentality which meant I had had a piece of a colleague's homemade chocolate cake AND a small frappuccino light that day already.  Well, I was going to be eating at least 6 flavours of cake, it was pretty pointless, right? 

And then it all started unravelling.  P had been at Victoria for almost an hour and we were about to jump on a train to Sarf London when we discovered that the couple booked in before us still hadn't arrived and weren't contactable.  They couldn't be told that they'd missed their slot through their own inefficiency, oh no, we had to miss OUR slot because of their selfishness.  Added to my feelings of guilt came a pounding headache and the realisation of P's (quite jusified) irritation.  We decided to skip the rush hour and go for something to eat where we calmed down over a glass of wine.  I resisted pudding with some effort - knowing that I'd rather bodged WI for no good reason I wanted to go beserk - and then had a small frozen yoghurt from a van outside.  The final nail in the coffin?

I certainly didn't WI on Wednesday - and now our re-scheduled tasting is Monday so I can't see the point of doing it next Wednesday either.  I'm trying not to let it all slide as a result - but today was another day when someone was leaving and brought in home-made cake.  I had a piece but have paid the price as I got the sugar withdrawal shakes on the way home and had to buy a mini bag of jelly babies to get me home.  All this is looking pretty dismal.  I'm pleased that I haven't used it as an excuse to eat anything I want - apart from 2 pieces of cake and 6 jelly babies, I've not gone off-diet - but that's not enough to bring me results on the Scales of Doom.  In fact I am frightened that my weight is continuing to go up whilst I stand by, feeling helpless (and scoffing of course).

But I did Bodypump today.  It was very hard.  I couldn't do the tricep dips off the step at all really, my knees really hurt in the squats section and by the end my legs were like jelly and my arms were unable to support themselves even hanging by my sides.  Getting up or down from seated or on stairs hurts already - I fear tomorrow.  I felt dismal in the class and am not sure if I'm going back yet.  £20 a month for one weekly 45 min class - when I am able to go - which I'm pathetically useless at, feel inadequate, self-conscious and awkward and which causes me pain, I'm just not sure. 

Friday, 22 June 2012

Road to nowhere?

I know it’s the definition of stupidity: doing the same thing and expecting a different result. But that’s pretty much the story of me and dieting anyway; I keep on plugging away, hoping for some miraculous sudden change that will allow me to lose a steady 1-2lbs a week. I’ve pretty much tried everything – the only diet that allowed me to lose decent amounts was Lighter Life. Even there I lost under the average and my expert prof reckons I buggered my already sluggish metabolism in the process. So although I’m tempted to do it again before the wedding, I kind of know this isn’t sensible. And the expert doc literally begged me not to. And it’s wretchedly miserable of course.

But I think I need to do something even to give myself the small illusion of being in control. I was thinking of trying the nuclear option and trying running again.

I’ve tried it twice before. Once I did the Zest running programme for the best part of a year. Whilst doing Lighter Life. It made no difference to my weight. Then I tried again with a similar programme (Couch to 5k – much harder than the Zest one) but only stuck it a couple of weeks. I hated it. I SO wanted to enjoy running – to ‘get the bug’. But I hated it. The only thing I enjoyed was the feeling when it was over, knowing I wouldn’t have to go again for 48 hours.

Some people seem to have success running though. I don’t just mean that they enjoy it, but that it makes the weight drop off them too. I’d take either one of those things (although from preference I’d go for the weight dropping off option) but neither happened. And the low-carb brigade have a dim view of vigorous exercise – they’re okay with it from a health perspective but think that it doesn’t aid weight loss and may even hinder it by forcing your body to conserve fat as a reaction for one thing. Also see:
http://www.drbriffa.com/2012/06/15/exercise-boosts-the-metabolism-it-seems-the-reverse-might-be-true/

So do I try it? Again? I’ve signed up to do a Bodypump style class on a Thursday lunchtime with a willing colleague and may investigate a lunchtime zumba class (although I hated the one I went to before, but my mother reckons it varies wildly, depending on the instructor). Might this help? Am I clutching at straws?

Diet-wise I have to kick the Flat Whites which had snuck up to 2-3 a week. Not sure that milk helps me. Although caffeine is currently a necessity as I’m not sleeping very well. I also need to watch my dark chocolate consumption which is creeping up with stress, greed and general weak-will-edness. I’m doing well and keeping my fruit consumption to 2 pieces a day (only occasionally 3) – very hard with white nectarines, tulameen raspberries, cherries etc in the shops. And we’re steadily tasting wines for our reception: I only have a glass but I had one last night, and I bet we’ll try another on Sunday night – and maybe on Saturday too.

I’m working on Sunday and have a dress rehearsal and a performance on Saturday (singing). This is not a fun weekend. But on Tuesday there will be CAKE TASTING. Which I long for and fear in roughly equal proportions.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The bog of blubber

I’m a bit fed up. I try – with admittedly varying success – to stay cheerful on the diet progress front and just keep ploughing on with my eyes fixed on the horizon. The ‘horizon’ in this little trite simile is, of course, slimdom. In my case, I’m really only hanging out for a small size (UK) 14 (very modest desires here!) – although clearly I wouldn’t be displeased with a 12. But whereas I’ve been telling myself that I am making baby steps in that direction all the time – and not to get despondent – I seem to be currently bogged down in despondency. And that horizon is moving further away. These last two things may be linked. Okay, they’re linked.

The story so far (this year): I put on 8lbs over Christmas. I was not happy with where I was before Christmas so I needed to lose that and more. I had lost a distinctly unimpressive 5lbs before going to Devon a month ago. Then a couple of days off piste (off piste but not actually joyfully careering through the snow on a sledge pulled by unicorns) meant that I put 2lbs on. A couple of strict weeks would, I hoped, see off that 2lbs, given that most of it was as a result of carbs entering my diet. And my stomach. I was wrong. SoD tells me that I have in fact put ON 1lb since then. So that means that THIS YEAR I have lost 3lbs. In nearly 7 months.

Now, I have known for some time that I was not as other mortals when it came to losing weight. That it takes me much longer than the vast (but more rapidly decreasing in size) majority of people who diet. I don’t find that fact as easy to swallow as, say, a chocolate ├ęclair (it’s been years since I had one of those, sob), but in the interests of sanity and because, frankly, there’s bog all I can about it, I’ve accepted that doing my best and accepting the meagre results were all the reward I could hope for.

And the diet I’m on, I’m happy with. The see-saw I seemed to spend my life ricocheting on is no more – the see-saw of sugar that could leave me shaking, confused and tetchy. No, now when I’m tetchy, it’s nothing to do with sugar-withdrawal! Seriously though, me stopping eating complex carbs has not been easy and there’s a lot I miss - but I feel much healthier. Sure, I get hungry but not desperate and il; my blood sugar levels are reasonably stable and it helps. Emotionally it’s hard but physically it’s much easier.

But I’m still not losing weight. I would really, really like to be a stone and a half lighter by the wedding. But it’s not going to happen (not in 4 ½ months – and possibly not ever). And that’s tough. Not just because of the wedding although of course that rather shines a searchlight on the whole issue. But because I work very hard at this and I need to feel that I’m achieving something. I am roughly the weight I was last year (actually 2lbs heavier, even more depressingly) – and I haven’t stopped dieting except for brief periods over Christmas, my birthday and holiday. And even then I’ve not gone mad.

Now, there may be reasons why I’ve not lost weight for 3 weeks post-Devon that I’m unaware of. Certainly I felt bloated on WI day this week – I had to ram my engagement ring on whereas usually it’s an easy fit. My period started that day – and it’s been a shocker. And I had a small bit of homemade cake on Tuesday (most office treats I now turn down with barely a flinch but my team-mate’s homemade lemon drizzle I could not turn down). And I’ve not been drinking much water – or anything. Maybe all these are reasons, temporary reasons, and all will be well next week. I hope so because I’m finding it tough, dear Reader.

But I’m not confident. And not just because I have our wedding cake tasting the night before next WI. And actually, I really want to be able to look forward to things like that, not dread them for their impact on SoD.

I’m gritting my teeth and I’m keeping on going, but it’s tough. That’s all.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Work's a yoke

Gaahhhh. I have reached the end of my tether and indeed, gone beyond it. Work is all shades of hell at the moment: Queen Dementor is sucking any happiness from the office in the manner of a voracious hoover, replacing it with a permanent miasma of acrimony and suspicion. And she’s come up with a set of objectives that would essentially mean cloning myself as it’s a whole new job – and nothing to do with what we actually do. My boss is so demoralised and unsupported that I had to talk him out of walking out the other day; then he went sick. I had to go on a visit yesterday that required me to get up at 4.30am and then get thoroughly cold, wet and bored. Then come back to the office which was almost as cold – if not as wet and do my day job. I think I need a new job. Or, ideally, to win the lottery.

It doesn’t help with the comfort eating. I’ve eaten a little too much dark chocolate this week – and I’ve wanted a whole lot more. And I’ve had a few coffees (I usually shun milk – not through desire but I think I put on weight when I have it) in an attempt to keep myself from zombie-dom. Yesterday, the visit people gave us lunch which, in hunger and tiredness, I ate- 2 white baps (1 ham, 1 cheese) and a packet of crisps. And before that I noted that I have not lost any of the poundage I put on in Devon (despite an alcohol-free, salad-rich weekend). Heaven only knows how bad it is now. If only stress and anxiety boosted my metabolism, I’d be a mere sylph.

At the weekend I spend a few hours going though the bags and bags of too-small clothes I have in the base of my wardrobe. On the bright side, if I were ever to get to a size 14 I would have plenty to wear without spending a penny. And by the time I get there, it will all be genuinely vintage. If it hasn’t crumbled to dust.

I’m off work tomorrow, nursing a Labrador who goes to pieces as a result of a pre-med. She’s a toughie normally (ripped her ear almost off and clearly thought we were making a fuss) but becomes a clingy whimpering wreck after an op. She won’t let my mother leave her for a second and cries all night so I’m going to try and be back-up. Let no-one say that I don’t lead a life of glamour and excitement.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Whining wino

I haven’t managed to lose so much of an ounce of the 2 ½ lbs I put on in Devon. Now, on a normal weekend I would only allow myself one glass of wine (whimper) but on the long, cold weekend that was, I had 3 (on 3 days) and 2 flutes of champagne. And 1/3 of a bread roll, a mini fairy cake and a rhubarb syllabub. So I guess I have my answer there. Although I was hoping that a general jettison of carbs would have had some result. You’d think I’d have given up on hope by now!

But although the above is not a tribute to purity of the mind and body, it represents 3x social occasions with friends (1 lunch, 1 dinner and 1 tea) and 2 lovely dinners huddled together to fend off the cold with P. So not too bad. And this weekend I think I can manage (sulkily) to have an alcohol free weekend as P is away whilst I have to work. That also means more salad than average! And my average amount of salad is quite high – we’re talking going from one meal of salad to two a day. So I’m trying not to hope too hard for a good result on Wednesday but reserve the right to be quite stroppy if I don’t get it.

Resisting comfort eating is a challenge at the moment. Not only do I have Queen Dementor to contend with at work, but my long-distance brother has been having another in his series of email rants at me. I’ve turned the other cheek so many times I suspect whiplash, but he’s just spoiling for a fight. How it’s possible to rant at someone being determinedly cheerful and friendly, I don’t know, but he’s been vile and vile and vile. I’ve rather reached the end of my tether with him; I’ve ranted privately but not blurted vitriol online like him and now every time I get another email from him my heart speeds into a canter and I find myself shaking. Can I please get a new, nice family? Even just on loan for the wedding?

I was planning on sorting my wardrobe out this weekend – packing away my winter clothes and getting out my summer stuff but .... brrrr. I am stubbornly refusing to go back to opaques and my legs are looking distinctly mottled and feeling distinctly frozen. Today – dress down Friday – I’m in jeans. They were somewhat damp from the wash when I put them on but still a cosier option than a cotton skirt. But I wish I had a jumper on. So much for summer!





Thursday, 7 June 2012

Well heeled

I am not extravagent - I just don't have the ego for a start.  As I've said previously, most of my clothes come from ebay and I rarely, if ever, think I look good.  This is not a sob-story - I'm used to it!  Situation normal in fact.  Which doesn't explain how I came to find myself in a VERY expensive shoe studio last night.  I say studio because it was too posh to have a mere shop - you have to make an appointment and then you're ushered up through another shop as if it's contraband. 

Needless to say, this was about wedding shoes.  I'm not good with shoes - the shoes I like inevitably cripple me within mere minutes.  But I'd had a good look around and not found anything even approaching anything I liked for the wedding.  Until I found Emmy shoes online.  I usually spend c£60-80 on a pair of shoes.  I'd go to £120 but I tut over L K Bennett prices.  These are considerably more.  And I know enough to disregard all rhapsodies about comfort as it's such a personal thing - but there are many concerning Emmy shoes and I can't help but be beguiled and hopeful.  Although, comfort is not the primary consideration here - these shoes are SERIOUSLY beautiful. 

I tried different styles, different heel heights (the girl had to catch me when I tried on 9cm heels and hurriedly sat me back down and said she thought we'd better stay away from those.  They go up to 11cm!) and different trims.  I lost my heart many times.  And of course, the pair I finally selected had to be bespoke (an additional charge) to de-silver them - I am the only woman in the world for a strong inclination for gold over silver.  Reader, they are beautiful.  And, they are beautiful now at conception when they are ivory suede but will, I think, be even more beautiful when they are dyed after the wedding; I'm thinking dark green.  They are very 20s/30s t-bars with pearl and bead embellishment, gold heels, a gold buckle and trim - they are as yet just a twinkle in my eye, I won't see the actual shoe until October.  I hope my composition will work - I think so, I love it already.

They are also very high; I swore I wouldn't go over 3" and these are 3.1" and I am precarious in them to say the least.  But I tried the smaller heel on (5cm) and they were, frankly, frumpy.  I don't need any help in that department.  These make my calves and ankles extremely elegant.  And okay, no-one will see that, but I'll know.

So, I need to develop the appropriate musculature for heels.  I've started today and mean to wear heels in the office until I'm sufficiently de-wobbled to make short sorties outside in them.  I've always wanted to be one of those women who can effortlessly wear heels but have always caved at the first onset of pain; now I have to stick with it.  All tips and reassurances on how it's possible to get used to and indeed, comfortable in, heels most gratefully received.

Tomorrow: diet news.