Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The great white hope

So, a WI post weekend showed that all those hated lbs had gone back on - and brought a chubby little 1/2 lb friend with them.  I'm hoping that this was a false start and that this is still a plan that will pull my diet plan from the smouldering ruins of despair and I had some cake over the weekend so maybe that has bitten me on my wobbly bum and if I stick to the (admittedly joyless) plan, I will make some progress.  I have an official WI tomorrow, having just done 2 intermittent VLCD days so we'll see where I am then.

A lurking trap just waiting to bite me with fanged jaws is, as ever, disguised as fun.  I have my 9 year old niece coming to stay with us in Suffolk with my mum and her dogs.  We'll be pretty cosy in our little hut.  Anyway, the hastily conceived entertainment plans end in fish and chips on Saturday night.  I am hoping that one lapse will not derail me but I am not optimistic.  I can't see a way round it though.  We're getting off an evening boat trip and heading back hutwards and need to pick up something hasty, child-friendly and treaty but not expensive en route.  Anyway, it will be lovely to see my niece - I don't see her often as she lives well and truly oop north (okay, Manchester) and she's very sweet and funny.  And she has a strong accent which amuses me although she pronounces 'bath' the way I do - because, as she says, she is "half southern"!

Work is dreadful.  I won't try your patience but sometimes it feels as if I'm teetering on the edge of insanity.  Or some kind of abyss anyway, I try not to look down into the depths.  I've put one job application in so keep your fingers crossed for me.  I just have to scrape enough confidence together to get through the interview; I'd be very unlucky not to get an interview but getting the job is a whole other ball game.  And I am notoriously butter fingered.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Holy cow (juice)

After two hungry days I lost 2 3/4 lbs.  Pretty damn amazing.  That's up there with Lighterlife.  I will need to see how the other 5 days impact on this - ie whether my weight just shoots straight back up - but if it doesn't, then this is very good news.  Okay, the 2 days were unpleasant but if I can lose 2lbs (+!) a week, I can put up with that. 

Of course, as much as I try to resist the temptation to, it's impossible not to do frantic sums and work out on this trajectory what this could mean.  Essentially if I could lose 1/2 a stone a month (so I'm not maxing out my optimism here), I could be a stone and a half lighter by the wedding.  This would be enough for me to retrieve my sense of self-esteem.  This would be, well, wonderful.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up to dashable heights but it's pretty tough.

So potential diet busting events between now and the wedding:
- my birthday (end of August) when a meal out, a slice of cake and a glass of fizz would be nice
- P's birthday (end of September) when I'm taking him to this amazing hotel in Devon for a long weekend - partially there and partially at our usual (lovely) B&B
- my hen do (more of that later)
- my family hen do.

My hen do is being sorted out by my lovely bridesmaids.  I have never thought of myself as deficient in the friend department until now.  Because there are only a very small handful of women I could invite and several of them can't make it.  Quality over quantitity is usually my watchword but I do actually feel a bit vulnerable about this.  And realistically, since there are only likely to be about 5 of us, we're limited in what we can do.  Not that I wanted the whole raucous L-plate wearing, sex toy brandishing, ritual humiliation, drunken clubbing night (fine if that's your thing, it is emphatically not mine), but even so, we're limited.  And yet, I know I'll enjoy whatever E and R come up with (no, they're not the queen) but I feel a bit embarrassed and ashamed for some of the others - that they'll think I'm a tad tragic.  I'm not well versed in hen dos - I've only ever been to one in my life; I've only ever been invited to two!

My other hen do is easier - less expectation maybe - and bizarrely bigger.  I wanted to do something for family - my weeny literal family (my mum), my metaphorical family (E and R and my godmother who will be over from the US and who I haven't seen since I wept bitterly as she returned to the States when I was 9 years old), and P's mother and two sisters.  And his three neices if they want to come - I suspect the 20 year old isn't happy with us for not asking her boyfriend.  Who we've met once.  He seemed nice but.... Anyway, he can come in the evening.  The middle one essentially only eats sweet stuff and fish fingers so it might not be her thing.  Heaven knows how she's made it to 17 without passing out.  And the youngest is 12.  A young 12.  So, we're all going out for afternoon tea the Sunday before the wedding.  Those of us who want to.  It will be nice for all of them to know who the others are.  And I felt as if there was no role for me when my brothers got married.  One previous sister-in-law invited me to spend the day before her wedding with her, her sisters and bridesmaids and have my nails done and drink fizz.  It was lovely and I was so thrilled to be included.  But that was it (out of their three weddings so far).  I guess the Chav-bride's equivalent was when the whole of her family went, en masse, for a spray tan (at the end of October); not sorry to have missed that experience at least.

Monday, 23 July 2012

The milky jar kid

So, after a weekend of on-track eating and a cycle ride.... I have put on 1 ¼ lbs. How can this be? I really don’t understand what is going on. I’m hurtling in the wrong direction despite my best efforts.

Today is the first day of my 2 day v reduced calorie milk diet (that Genesis Intermittent thingy I mentioned). My menu for today looks like this:
Breakfast – Flat White, small plum yoghurt
Lunch – pot cottage cheese, chicory bulb and a peach
Dinner – vegetable stir fry and maybe another half yoghurt

Then I eat ‘normally’ for the other 5 days. I would just revert to my usual complex-carb-free diet. IF this works, I might be tempted to do this for 5 days and eat normally for 2 whenever possible – kind of invert the concept. I am feeling something approaching frantic about my weight and at the moment am scratching around for a Plan B so I really have my fingers crossed.

I’m a bit worried as to exactly how hungry I’m likely to be later but I guess that’s kind of the point (the point is that you’re supposed to come in under 650 cals). I have to grit my teeth and hope it’s worth the effort. And that I don’t get the shakes.

I spent a lot of time writing a job application yesterday. This is not fun. It’s such an investment of time and hope (breaks off to check lottery numbers. Damn.) and in my field, the application processes are a flipping nightmare. Still, I’ve got to try to escape; I can’t go on in such a toxic atmosphere.

The combined stress of work and diet seem to have made me even more clumsy than usual. And not in a ‘aren’t I just so cute and adorable’ Twilight/Bella way either. I managed to flip cream over the carpet and myself on Saturday night and I STILL don’t know how I caused the pot to do a full somersault in mid air. And then I tipped red wine over the table and carpet yesterday. I think I need to be kept away from any liquids for the duration.

PS Am hungry. Gaaahhhh, this had better work.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Weighing heavy

I KNEW knowledge wasn’t power (sorry Lesley). After a whole week in which all I’ve done is picked at fruit and plain yoghurt, had some bread and coffee and had just one meal (veg and noodle soup) I thought I’d approach Scales of Doom. After all, we’d not spent any time together for a month and it might feel insecure and needy – and therefore appeasing. Apparently not. I’ve put on 1lb.
Obviously I want to rail at the unfairness of it all but I’ll spare you that. Sadly my appetite seems to slowly be returning and I had my first proper meal last night, despite still feeling wretched and desperate about work. I’m not eating much but am starting to feel hungry. I’m actually pretty disappointed – screwy huh? I thought that at least if I got a decent weight loss out of all this misery, it would at least have achieved something positive. I was even wondering how long I could go without properly eating and how much I could lose. Not sane or sensible – I can see how you could really go astray here. If I’d had a good loss, maybe I would be trying to starve myself to achieve more. But with no loss I just feel even more fed up.

• 3lbs heavier than last year ( a year of solid, conscientious dieting),
• ¾ lb less than I started the year, post Christmas eating
• 1 stone 4lbs heavier than my lightest – about 3-4 years ago
• 4lbs heavier than my lightest this year so far
• So much over my target for the wedding that I dare not think about it but certainly at least a stone and a half heavier than my ‘surely I can lose this pitiful amount and this will make me feel a bit better’ weight
• 3lbs heavier than when I went wedding dress shopping

I’m never going to crack this, am I? If you looked on one side at the effort I’ve put in and the minutes, days, months and years that I’ve spent on this and on the other, at my ‘achievement’ it’s laughable. It’s laughable and lamentable and completely bloody inexplicable. I’m so tired and fed up and depressed by it that I don’t know where to turn or what to do. I commented on a post about weight loss for weddings the other day and I wrote, determinedly bright and positively, ‘but I can honestly say, hand on heart that I have done my best’. And then I found myself adding ‘but my best just isn’t good enough’. And it’s true.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Silver linings

I'm clinging to them.  I am lucky to have a happy home life with P who I love and who loves me, some amazing friends and my mother who is more like a friend than a mum.

Because work is very, very bad.  I got back from a week's leave to an atmosphere you could cut with a knife.  And given that I am more or less used to working in a toxic environment (actually... kinda literally too) it takes something extra 'special' to notice a deterioration.  By lunchtime I was shaking.  I had already had to cancel my dress rehearsal of my choir performance - thus foregoing the performance which I've worked on for many weeks and was looking forward to and the half day's leave I'd planned so that when my mother came to see me, I could take her out to lunch and not get stuck in the office.  I was - rather feebly - close to tears with the disappointment in any case.  But I pushed the issue to find out what was happening.

It transpires that my head of section thinks that I am no good and that my boss is carrying me.  I do not have a high opinion of myself and I KNOW that's not true.  But unfortunately he gets an idea in his head and it's hard to shift - logic alone will not prevail.  And of course Queen Dementor is there, thrilling at the misery and drama of it all, ready to stir and stick the knife in.  So, although my boss is supportive, the next two levels have got it in for me.  I know that sounds paranoid but I work in a huge blame culture and I've seen it happen before with people being forced out through bullying and ill treatment.  I just never thought it would happen to me.

So, although I love the subjects which I deal with, I'm going to have to find something less interesting and less personally appealling in order to escape the toxicity and bullying.  It's not a good time to look - summer is notoriously quiet even without the Olympics and the economy is not as rosy as our politicians would have us believe.  And I have built up enough leave for the wedding and honeymoon too which will be a problem. 

Another silver lining is that I can't eat.  This has only happened to me once before.  I feel hungry but I just.  Can't.  Eat.  If I were more like a normal girl, this would surely involve impressive weight loss  But.... 

More on hiking in the monsoons some other time when I'm feeling less bruised and wretched.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Fleeing SoD

Knowledge may be power – but it also may be quite depressing. I’ve missed two WIs and I’m away next week. I’ve been 90% good in that time but as we know, 100% vigilance doesn’t achieve much so I’m pretty scared of what Scales of Doom might say. My 10% in the last 2 ½ weeks has included:

• 2 slices of bread and scrape of butter
• 2 bags of crisps
• 2 cookies (including a Bens. I’ve not had one for 2 years and I really shouldn’t have started now. Not that I’ve started as that implies continuing. This was a one off. A delicious, semi-cooked one off)
• ¼ of a Peking duck with pancakes
• 2 Magnums
• Extra 2 glasses of wine
• Cake tasting
• 4 Flat Whites. On 4 different days
• 2 flirtations with the smack table at work and a piece of cake
• A chicken miso soup with wholemeal glass noodles

It’s not a disaster. At least, it’s not a disaster for a normal person but for me...well, I fear the worst. Not quite sure why there is two of so many things either.

Next week I’m supposed to be spending a week hiking with my mother in Suffolk. The weather may curtail this but the dogs will insist on going out – it’s just whether it’s an enjoyable full day’s hiking or a quick and dirty (literally) whizz round. I am going to try and get back wholly on track in the week - with maybe one cheat on the night we go out to dinner. Then P and I have a birthday party to go to the following weekend – it’s in the garden (possibly) and it’s an unknown quantity. I don’t tend to drink during the day but who knows what the food will be. And what my powers of resistance will be up to.

Then once I’m back at work I think I’m going to try intermittent dieting. Breast Cancer UK have a diet whereby you spend 2 days a week on a VLCD diet and then the others eating sensibly (they recommend the Mediterranean . It involves a lot of dairy and very little else and you eat around 650 cals. Then I’ll do my usual no refined carbs the other days. My fear is sugar – I can have fruit yoghurt which is exciting but slightly worrying. Still, worth a try I reckon. I don’t like milk so I’ll be eating yoghurt, cottage cheese and having the odd Flat White. It actually sounds more indulgent than my usual diet....

Please keep your fingers crossed for me that I don’t develop trench foot over the next week and that much walking helps me achieve a positive result with SoD when I finally pluck up the courage to consult with it in 10 days time.

Monday, 2 July 2012

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Well, whoever chirped that little idiom originally had clearly not read the small text: namely, that there is a state in between in which you are not dead but feeling worse than if you were.  I refer of course, dear Reader, to Bodypump.  No-one could accuse me of slacking even though my weights were pitiful compared to everyone else and I couldn't do the tricep lifts off the back of the step, my legs were physically shaking by the time I left.  And the following day and the one after - well, everything became very difficult.  The main problem was that my legs wouldn't allow the range of motion to sit.  Which made going to the loo tricky - I thought I was going to have to learn to pee like a boy, standing up.  It wasn't just stiffness (I have that now, 4 days after the class), it was real pain - I begun to think I'd sprained both front thighs.  I couldn't go down steps - up was painful, down was agonising - and even the merest slope made me gasp.  I managed a hike with P on Saturday but every step was uncomfortable and the slight hill down at the end nearly made me cry.  Getting in to the car was exceptionally painful.  Am I stronger?  Not sure.  I'm just grateful I've stopped limping.

Not sure the idiom applies to cake-eating either.  We had our delayed tasting tonight.  I knew it would be worth it - this lady makes the moistest sponge I've ever had.  We tried 7 flavours (P tried 8 as I wouldn't touch the banana and custard flavour!) and although I only ate a maximum of 1/4 of a muffin sized cake, I feel very ill indeed.  They were delicious though - clearly quality would have been better than quantity but I'm sure I'll want a taste of each (except the fruit - bleurgh) on the night.  My colleagues are hoping I'll be taking a cake goody-bag in tomorrow but all I have are random 1/4 cakes.  At the moment I sincerely never want to eat cake again but I know this will pass.

The most exciting thing is that we sent our wedding invites out and as a result, have had our first 3 wedding presents.  Somehow it feels as if the wedding has stopped being just about me and P and is now about all our friends too.  It's so lovely to imagine our friends selecting from our honeymoon experiences list.  P's best man wrote a really touching message all about their friendship - it was witty but sufficiently moving that I almost cried.  And how lovely that people have bothered so far in advance of the actual day; friends are so great, I can't wait to share the day with them.  Yes, even the cake.