Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Feel the festive spirit...

I am sitting in a quiet office, full of cold and sinusitis and fretting about all the things I have to do when they eventually let me go.  I should be home at 3.30pm and although I'm on call until tomorrow morning, I'm not expecting to have to actually do anything bar a short report tomorrow first thing.

This is good as I still have to:
  • Finish decorating the living room
  • Tidy the spare room ready for the canine invasion (with my mother) and make up bed
  • Make amaretto butter and rum butter
  • Make cranberry sauce
  • Make custard, butterscotch sauce and roast pears for trifle.  Then make trifle
  • Then get on with supper for tonight!
All before my mum arrives c5pm.

Some of this is slightly thankless as P does not understand why I bother making custard from scratch rather than buy a tub from Waitrose and says he 'prefers the stuff in the jar' to my lovingly prepared cranberry, orange and port sauce.  Pfftt.

Things I'd like to do that seem extremely unlikely:
  • Finish wrapping presents (currently only done on a need-to basis of actually seeing people)
  • Curl hair with my new hair curling gizmo (thanks Boots points)
I'm also trying to avoid that last minute panic of 'oh no, we don't have a whole cheese - Christmas will be ruined' mentality which involves me buying a ridiculous quantity of food that we will then struggle to get through.  It makes me twitch nervously - 'but what if we suddenly want brie/stichelton/stollen/chocolates/anything else that randomly occurs to me' - and I think I'm going to succumb on the Baileys front and buy a bottle if I can shoot out of the office for half an hour.

It will be hard work until Boxing Day morning when my mum and her pack return to Kent and we head off for Suffolk.  When I may actually collapse until New Year and it's time to get back to work (boo).  The weather looks like we'll have a mixture of hiking and staying in and reading/watching films when it's too wet to walk - pretty perfect.  Also P's version of bubble and squeak is probably as good as Christmas dinner and it'll be relaxed with only ourselves to please.

Actually I am also planning on winning the lottery as I have fallen in love with a sofa.  I know how bizarre that sounds but it's tweed.  TWEED!  I can't tell you how much I love and need it.  And it would be handy not to have to return to work too.  So that's my NY resolution made.

Whatever you're doing and whoever you're doing it with, have a lovely Christmas and see you on the other side.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas? Take a hike!

Although to be honest I could do with delaying Christmas for a fortnight, I am looking forward to a weekend of not really doing very much.  Yes, we’ll try and do the majority of the Christmas shop on Sunday (no lie-in for me) but on Saturday we’ll do our hike to the pub for lunch and home – blissful.  Assuming it’s not tipping it down.  I am not sure how I will fit in some of the chores and I’m kind of in denial about that.
I’m still in full-on self-hatred mode about – primarily – my weight.  It’s feeble, but I know that it could be worse.  Not in the way I look admittedly (or surely not much) but I’m not going in to shops and thinking ‘what can I eat?’, nor am I eating everything ‘just in case’ I’ll fancy it once the diet begins.  I’m trying to at least think about what I want to eat and why.  I am filing that under ‘too little, too late’ but although feeble, it’s at least a sign that I haven’t given up entirely.
I have a cold, sinusitis and a burgeoning mouth ulcer which is definitely a sign that I need to stop for a bit.  I finish for Christmas on Christmas morning at 9am and then I don’t have to do any work until the 2nd January.  Although we have my mum over from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day morning – with her 3 large dogs.  In our quite small flat.  And one of the dogs is a thief.  I sense stress.  But on the 26th we will be off to Suffolk which is when I’ll be able to relax.
And then I’m working the 2nd, 3rd and 4th with the 5th off and back again on the 6th.  The early part of next year is looking pretty grim for work so I’m trying not to think that far ahead. 
I’m hoping to update next week – but just in case, have a wonderful Christmas all/

Monday, 16 December 2013

Bigger, not better

My loyal readership (Hi Seren and Amy!) have pointed out that I haven’t updated for a while.  So, let me explain why.
Work has been ridiculous.  They cancelled our Christmas party the other week (and then asked us to contribute to the cancellation fee!  Er, no).  On one day I had to be in the office by 5am; this meant getting up at 3.30am.  This is something that should never happen without a holiday at the end of it.  I’ve had a couple of weekends where I’ve been working one or other day too.  Tomorrow I have to be up at 5.15am to be in for 7.15am.  I’ve not had much emotional or physical energy for anything other than getting through each day.  Sound like fun?  If so, I’ve explained it wrong.
Also, I am not in the zone.  Unless the zone happens to be a furrow of despair.  If it is, I am SO there.  I swear I’m getting bigger and I feel hideous on too many levels to count.  It’s a veritable skyscraper of levels though.  It’s got to the stage where I buy a couple of skirts in my size (that I am ashamed of) from ebay, they arrive and don’t fit and yet I simply cannot buy up a size.  I have a lot of clothes and I estimate maybe 2% at best actually fit me.  I am very, very afraid that I’m at the pre-LL stage.  I am a mere whisper away from full on panic and depression.
I’ve got to do something, I know.  But I’m not sure what.  I’m just in a holding pattern at the moment where I am trying to eat healthily and not crazily. 

Also, I’ve started seeing a clinical psychologist attached to the hospital where I see the specialist.  I do not honestly think that my fatness is due to any deep seated psychological reason but I am prepared to admit that I am a f*ck up in many other ways.  Not to mention the fact that I’m prepared to try anything – I’d love to have an epiphany where everything clicks into place and weight starts dropping off, but I very much doubt this will be the case.  What it DOES do however, is wipe out all my mental resources.  I went the other week and it was a supposed to be a starve day – I simply could not bully, cajole or summon up the mental energy to do a starve day.  I tried and tried and I could not.  Of course it’s an excuse but it’s a real one. 
Amy - will update on Thanksgiving later this week.   But turkey shaped butter?  REALLY?

Monday, 25 November 2013

America - we are so OVAH!

Well, not quite,  But I’m seriously having to re-think my imminent Americanificiation.  You see, I had an email from my American godmother, saying that they have mashed potato with their Thanksgiving meal.  MASHED POTATO!  When any civilised nation would know that the roast potato far exceeds the mashed with a turkey (or any joint of roasted meat).  This is the 2nd culinary faux-pas I’ve discovered about the USA – after the plastic cheese selection that so appalled me on my honeymoon (including – and the sensitive should look away now – aerosol cheese).
Amy: would you like to defend your nation here please? ;-)  I have to say I’m intrigued by the sweet potato and marshmallow thing.  It sounds vile but everyone I know who’s tried it, loves it.  Seren – next time you’re in London we should find somewhere that does it and go and try it.  I was dubious about blueberry coffee and pumpkin spice coffee in New England but both were amazing.  I didn’t have a decent cup of coffee in my whole time in California but New England knows a thing or two about coffee.  Actually I’d happily live in New England.  Although I’d have to persuade them of the merits of roast potatoes obviously.
Also I’m prepared to throw gingerbread M&Ms in for consideration too - delicious and emphatically not available in Blighty.  Not sure if it’s lucky or not that a colleague has just gone to the US and I’ve told him not to bother coming back without a private stash for me.
We had a pootling weekend.  It’s nice to have one every now and again but the weather was sunny and crisp and I would have liked to be off hiking.  But P was still a bit delicate so we pootled.  Sneakily hitting him when he was weak and vulnerable, I got agreement for an electric blanket in the tinhut.  I bought and installed it before he could recover his health and judgement.  Bliss. 
This week looks like degenerating with speed from Thanksgiving (did I mention the Apple Pie Martini?) into the weekend.  We have my mum and her pack of mutts up to celebrate her birthday and although this means a walk a day, it’s a bit shorter than P and I would do.  And then we’re looking at fish and chips, a pastry from the nearby excellent bakery for one breakfast, Raclette for a supper , a three course birthday lunch at our excellent local pub and another supper of cake and Asti.  Spread over three days I hasten to add. 
So today I am looking sadly at a mini Babybel, an apple and 3 clementines which, together with my “skinny” soup tonight, make up my day’s food intake.  Grits teeth and ignores rumbles of stomach…

Friday, 22 November 2013

A w(h)iner of distinction

Well another week has disappeared.  Whilst I’m in the middle of it, it takes forever but there’s so much work that other stuff – like writing this blog – just gets pushed back and back.  And it’s a shame (for me) as writing, no matter how drivelly, does help me focus on what I want and what my tactics might be.

At the moment my life feels random and without strategy.  And when I say ‘life’, I mean ‘diet’.  The extreme busyness at work is massively detrimental to me dieting: it shouldn’t be but it is.  Having said that, I have been more careful on non-starve days this week but of the three starve days, only one was absolutely perfect.  The other two I have had more than I should without that slipping into a free-for-all.  All in all, they’re probably reasonably low calorie days but I don’t think it works like that – in order to dupe your metabolism, you have to have the proper starve days.  And my metabolism is a wily, wily creature.  It's certainly smarter than me.
We won’t manage a hike this weekend as P has been ill and is still not up to it.  It will be a pootling day.  Oh, and a day (read: evening) for a bottle of fizz as I got a distinction in my intermediate wine exam with 86%.  It was rather subsumed by protracted fighting with BT and Plusnet over the engineer turning up to sort out our phone line which made me furious and stressed and took up most of my energy and time.  But it is worth celebrating – and the weekend is the obvious place for that.  Advanced starts in January!  Just as everyone else gives up drinking….
We did about 7 miles last week – less than we meant to but our walk essentially went through a swamp.  If it hadn’t been so flipping freezing, I would have expected to see alligators.  So a certain amount of slithering, leaping and partial tree swinging was necessary – it all got a bit much and we took the shortest route.
Next weekend we have a long weekend and my mum and her pack of 3 (3!) dogs is coming up for her birthday.  This means a 5 miler, a 4 miler and an 8 miler at least.  But also fizz, cake and birthday lunch.  And next week looks bad for starve days - there's only 1 I can manage so Tuesday and Wednesday need to be pretty lean.  Thursday is Thanksgiving and we've booked the American experience.  If such a thing is possible in London.  With our recent Americanophilia, we had to give it a try.  As I believe is tradition, Thursday daytime will essentially be about starving myself in readiness for the meal.  In between that is an apple pie martini!  Go on, read that again!  An apple pie martini!  Which I am immensely excited by but will probably render me instantly very drunk indeed given the paucity of food planned for up to that point.  It won't stop me.  An apple pie martini!  How ever will I wait that long.....

Friday, 15 November 2013

At a loss to get a loss

It’s been one of those weeks where I only catch my breath for long enough to SCREAM with frustration.  All due to work of course.

So I’m very ready for the weekend.
But first, last weekend: was low-key but lovely.  Thank you everyone for the anniversary wishes.  We did one of our favourite hikes of 8 miles on Saturday with a pub at the halfway point where we had a lovely lunch and they brought us a free glass of fizz each and a decorated mini cake thing to share.  We didn’t even get that when we got engaged!  Then more fizz and blinis that night (too full for dinner).  Another walk on Sunday in the sunshine before going home and cooking Chateaubriand to have with a really nice bottle of wine.  Monday I got a cold and felt dreadful but we were only travelling back to London in any case.
This weekend the weather is allegedly nice on Saturday so we plan a longer walk to make the most of it.
And the diet?  Ah, I feel quite dispirited.  I don’t know what to do really.  I don’t think the starve thing is working and I do find it very hard.  Of course, the non-starve days are really easy.  Maybe too easy.  I don’t know, maybe I try to carry on with the starve thing and be more disciplined on the non-starve days until Christmas and re-evaluate in the New Year?  I can do 3 starve days next week but only 1 the following week.  I’ll see how I get on next week I guess.  It would help if work could be less busy, frustrating and lonely.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Looking for the light

The bad patch continues.  That means that the good stuff is just round the corner, right?
I have sinusitis.  The GP sees no reason to do anything about this as “it will go in a few weeks”.  This is after 12 days of headache.  The pharmacist snorted when I told her and said “By a few weeks, does he mean summer?”.  I really hope not.  I actually think my GP is incentivised on what he doesn’t prescribe; I am all for antibiotics not being over-prescribed but I only go there about every 4 years – and when I go, I really need help as I hate going.  Weirdly, I never do get that help.  I'm simply not going to bother with them any more, they just take up time and energy for nothing.
Although the doctors are not remotely interested in the reason I went to see them, they are keen on testing me for diabetes and heart problems, both of which they seem to have convinced themselves I have.  I assume again this is due to an initiative from the Department of Health.  They took a little blood there which showed ‘borderline’ blood sugar – and now I have to do a 12 hour fast, followed by a blood test, followed by Lucozade, followed by another blood test.  Now doesn’t that sound fun.  Also my cholesterol levels were slightly up – I am of the firm opinion that cholesterol is governed almost entirely by stress which, as I said, a) I was and b) I was even more because of having to be at the surgery.  But because I also finally got round to mentioning my extremely cold feet, they’re now convinced that my arteries are furred and my heart is in danger.  How very cheerful. 
You know where all this will end up, don’t you?  With the sage advice that I should try and lose weight, I imagine, and the instant ensuing sky-rocketing of my blood pressure as I explain forcefully that THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO DO FOR YEARS THANKS VERY MUCH.
I’m still miserable about the lost job.  Intellectually I know this is ridiculous but emotionally I can’t seem to buck up.  I was going to start my three positive things that happen each day list again but I genuinely cannot come up with three for yesterday – it was just an awful, awful day.
I’m looking forward to a slightly longer weekend this week though – we’ve taken an extra day off so we don’t have to spend our wedding anniversary in a car.  We can’t afford to actually do anything other than take a bit of extra time and probably pop a bottle or two but that will be nice.  I had originally wanted to stay in another Hotel du Vin as we stayed in one for our wedding night and another for the first two days of our minimoon but had to scale down to dinner out and then down further to dinner in!  I think a wedding anniversary in November may always be fraught with financial peril somehow!  But we will enjoy it nonetheless.

Monday, 28 October 2013

A tale of woe

Last week was a tough week.  I had a 3rd stage for a job I really wanted and a 2nd stage for a job I didn’t particularly.  There was also a whole host of minor crap to deal with too.

The stage 3 went pretty well so I was devastated to hear I didn’t get the job.  To say it’s been a torturous process is an understatement and I can’t – yet – pick myself up out of my slump of sadness and disappointment.
The stage 2 went less well but confirmed to me that, much as I liked the organisation, I really didn’t want the job.  I didn’t get it either so didn’t have to feel bad about turning it down or agonising about whether I ‘should’ take it.  I had to go along, knowing I’d not got the job I really wanted and feeling utterly miserable and yet pretend to be all perky and enthusiastic.  And the tubes weren’t running properly either so I arrived late and stressed.
My eating has not been great – I only managed one starve day last week because of concentrating on the interviews and then on Friday when perhaps I should have done one, I was just too low.
Since then, I’ve had a 3 day (so far) migraine and a fall and am feeling absolutely lousy.  Life feels like a bit of a slog at the moment.  But when this migraine lifts, that in itself will make me feel better, I’m sure.  It has to go tomorrow as I have my wine exam and have booked a day’s leave to cram a bit.  I don’t know how I’d manage to study – much less do the exam – whilst I’m feeling like this. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Ring a ding ding

I am saying this very cautiously and quietly but I think I can see a difference.  Not exactly see one – I don’t look any different and my clothes aren’t fitting any differently but I’d been having real problems with my engagement ring.  I’d found it increasingly difficult to get it on or off – to the extent I’d caused sores and blisters on my finger from trying to force it on or yank it off.  My finger had got so bad that I decided just to leave my engagement ring on.  Well, on Monday I noticed it was flopping about a bit and very cautiously tried to wiggle it – and it came off!
I suspected this was a one-off so tried not to get too excited but it’s come off (and indeed back on) every day since – if not as smoothly as Monday.  I often wiggle it during the day, convinced that my finger will have swollen back up.  Of course, if I keep fiddling with it it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy!
It’s a teeny tiny thing but for me at least and at last it feels like some sort of progress.  Usually I’m either standing stock still (in terms of progress, keep with the analogy here) or being pulled backwards further into the land of chub.   

There’s no real difference in what I’m doing except that I have stopped having diet drinks – it can’t be that straightforward though I know.  I’ll know if I continue to make progress if I can actually wear all my lingerie again without physical pain after an hour and wheals in the side of my boobs that turn into bruises and leave permanent red-puple marks.  That would be a happy day indeed.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Winter is coming

And so life chugs on.  The whole job application process is emphatically Not Fun.  Although I had the weirdest interview process of my life a couple of weeks ago which circumspection forbids me from discussing but my mind is still comprehensively boggled.  Still, I’m through to erm, stage 3 of it and that looks like a ‘normal’ interview.  And I really quite want the job.  But I have an interview next week, one the week after and then my wine exam the following week so I foresee a long period without being able to relax, you know, with that constant feeling of impending doom hanging over you.  Drama Queen much?  Well maybe but I really, really don’t like either interviews or exams.
Am I stress eating?  No.  There is definitely some room for improvement but on the whole, it’s not too bad.  Am I seeing results?  PA HA HA HA HA HA.  Whaddyouthink?  Of course not.  And it suddenly feels as if winter is hovering in the wings.
I seem to have spent a scary amount of money recently on winter wardrobe essentials and it gives me no pleasure as I don’t want to stay this size, even though past experience says I’m likely to be stuck with it.  I bought a pair of boots, a pair of heeled brogues (admittedly these should fit even if the slimming fairy gets her finger out and notices my existence), a mac and a very expensive jacket (yet to be tried on and justified to myself as an interview talisman).  I bought one of those down coats on the basis that it’s warm – it looked shocking and I sent it back as I looked like a chubster wrapped in a duvet.  Which was accurate but not flattering.  And a parka thing which may or may not yet work out.  I have spent a lot of time lugging stuff to the post office to return.  I really hate buying clothes at this size – I buy with hope in my heart.  The things arrive and I’m afraid to try them on.  I finally screw my courage together and 9/10 times I hate them and most of all, me in them.  I pay to return the items.  Sometimes it feels as if I rent the clothes as a self-flagellation tool.  I am fairly confident that I have no latent masochistic tendencies and yet here I am, emotionally bruised.
Work continues to be crazy, frustrating, short-staffed, over-worked and well, crazy in all senses of the word.  Still, I’ve not had any cockroaches on my desk this week which means it’s a better week than last week.  And perhaps I’ll win the lottery tonight – it wouldn’t make me slim but I think the millions could buy me a fair amount of happiness.  And a cockroach-free environment.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Yorkshire pudding

I’ve not posted for a while.  This is due to a combination of factors:

  • Work has been busy and I’ve been applying for jobs which takes AGES.  And one that is coming up is WAY over the top in what it wants: I keep checking the job description to make sure I haven’t inadvertently applied to be a spy, so rigorous is the process.
  • Illness.  I keep getting an upset stomach (and then I had a nasty bout of food poisoning) which has made me feel really quite rotten.  There’s not even the usual silver lining here of weight loss since I survived Syrian dysentery without losing so much as an oz
  • Torpitude.  I feel like a hamster on a wheel, metaphorically speaking.  I am very unhappy with the way I look, I try to lose weight, I fail to lose weight, I get upset.  It’s dull for me, how much duller must it be for you, dear Reader?  I’m kind of surprised if there’s anyone still there.
So I’m not going to talk about any of this (okay, maybe the food poisoning) but tell you about our weekend in York.
We went to celebrate P’s birthday.  Now, I have always wanted to live in a village or rural environment, cities leave me cold.  Until now.  I really love York.  It’s our third time there and the love shows no sign of abating.  We’d hoped to get out into the countryside and do some hiking but P injured his foot last month, chasing a small child (in a playful way, you understand, the child was not traumatised) and it’s still causing him to limp and experience quite a bit of pain.  Walking was out but we saw some of the countryside as we drove to two castles – one was RUBBISH (essentially life passed it by – useful, I imagine, if you were an inhabitant of the castle but quite dull for subsequent tourism) and one was interesting.  We also went to Harrogate which essentially consisted of P keep saying mournfully “It’s nowhere near as nice as York”.  Yes, he too has the York love.  We visited Bettys A LOT.  Twice for breakfast and once for lunch (all on different days) where extreme cheesiness was consumed.  And I mean that literally, not in its figurative sense.  And I took P for a very sybaritic birthday dinner that resulted in me sweating, shaking and ejecting botulism (or whatever bacteria it is) from all orifices at 3am.  Being me, I woke up at 9am, starving.  And the restaurant was very good about it – I was just unlucky with a dodgy lobster.  It tasted delicious but there was clearly something wrong with it (judging from the violence of my reaction).  We also had a shockingly grim pizza at Zizzis but it was an emergency meal.  And what should have been a very nice lunch on the way up in Rutland except I discovered that I don’t like Grouse and especially not when it still has feathery ankles and claws still intact.  I like pheasant and pigeon so I thought I’d like it but it was just too strong for me.  And my stomach was too weak for the clawy/feathery bits.
So, a bit of fat-chat.  Since I last confessed posted, I’ve also seen my specialist.  We agreed I’ve steadily put on weight over the last 18 months (I can see it but he weighed me.  I didn’t look) and he stuck needles in me to punish me.  Or possibly to test my blood for weird blubber absorbing substances.  We also agreed that the 5:2 (or my fat girl’s version of 4:3) ought to work for me.  He thinks it isn’t and I need to change my diet but I’m still keen to crack it.  And I don’t know what else to do – I could go back to carb-free but I do enjoy a bit of bread or pasta every now and again and it kept my weight steady but didn’t decrease it.  I want reduction.  Preferably in enough time for me to fit in my winter coat before the temperature decides to plummet. 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Ooooh, Devon is a place on earth

I was very sad to come back from our long weekend in Devon; the thought of swapping rolling golden fields and woods for concrete was not a happy one.  I notice the seasons changing in the countryside but in town really the only clue is what is being stocked in the shops.  And since they usually get bikinis in in February and cashmere in August, it’s hardly a reliable guide. 
We did less walking than we’d hoped as P had damaged his tendon chasing a friend’s toddler the previous weekend and made it worse by trekking a lot of hills on the first day.  It was an extraordinary hike which seemed to have no level ground on it at all – and a disproportionate amount of up.  I puffed like a steam engine on the ups and on the final one I thought my head and heart were going to simultaneously explode.  Still, it gave us an appetite for our fish and chip supper – we’d skipped lunch and had a bottle of New World sauvignon blanc cooling in the fridge (the only wine that deals with vinegar!) in readiness and I’d checked the opening hours for the chippy.  Except the internet lied and it was shut.  In fact, nothing, NOTHING was open.  Except for Budgens.  Which, as it turned out, was uch the same thing.  We were in a (lovely) B&B so no cooking facilities which restricts the options.  A cheese and pickle roll was not what I’d envisaged but that was our supper. 
Luckily the view made up for it a bit as the sun set behind the trees and the mewing of a buzzard gave way to the hooting of two very chatty owls.
We also had a lovely lunch out on a floating platform in the middle of an estuary in glorious sunshine and dinner at a beautiful country house hotel.  And a solitary clotted cream scone for lunch on my birthday! 
The concrete jungle and work politics have made for a blue, blue Peridot.  And then a large cockroach decided to have a bit of a fun run around my desk and it was all a bit much. 
I only had two days back at work this week and that felt like far too many!  This, and the fact that you have to be very organised to do a starve day, has meant I’m not back on the diet proper until next week.  I’m trying to ease in by cutting out the large amounts of bread-type products I ate whilst away so that I don’t pass out when I eat nothing after Sunday supper until Monday lunchtime – and then only very sparingly (usually just over 200 calories for lunch and just under 300 calories for supper).  But the seasons are definitely changing and as it is, I am not going to get into my winter coat at this rate.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Love, actually

I’ve been thinking a lot about a comment made by Stephbospoon on my last but one post.  It’s not the first time I’ve been told that I need to love myself a little more: indeed it is such a common refrain from P that it makes me grit my teeth in frustration.  And I can’t remember if it was him or someone else who likened it to the guidance provided in planes which tells you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others – ie, that until you love yourself, you cannot love another.  If it wasn’t P (and admittedly it sounds a little flowery for him) then this is certainly his belief.
I disagree.
Frankly I find it MUCH easier to love my friends and P than myself.  It’s true, I know I’m not supposed to admit it but I don’t much like myself.  It’s not that I think I am without redeeming features – I know that I am a staunchly loyal friend and wife and that I have enormous (if rather old-fashioned (and I am unrepentant about this)) integrity.  I have character traits I don’t like of course - which I won’t be getting into as I don’t want to alienate you!  But really, it’s my appearance which at best makes me unloveable to myself and at worst, makes me feel actual self-hatred. 
I could list all the things I absolutely hate about myself – and in fact have struggled in the past to come up with something I like about my appearance – but that sort of self-flagellation would be a step too far on a day when I’m feeling quite down anyway.  But all of this (unpublished!) list would be bearable if I weren’t fat.  I know it’s not cool, it’s not an attitude that’s anything other than despicable but I hate being fat.  I rarely meet my own eye in the mirror anymore because I just don’t want to see.  When I do see, I feel shame and horror and repulsion.
It’s not very admirable is it?  I should be able to say that I’m a nice person (I am!) and that I do the best I can with what I have (having too much!) but I can’t feel it.  I know I’m supposed to.  It doesn’t make it any easier.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Weak week

I’ve not done very well this week.  I only had two starve days scheduled in because I was going to be meeting friends – then on starve day #1 I felt quite ill.  Here I was, on this blog, smugly writing that although excuses for not doing a starve day regularly popped into my head, I didn’t act on them.  Until I did.  I woke up with a really sore throat and an upset stomach and just couldn’t bear it.  Not good.  As it turns out, I had a horrible day at work (office politics at our place suck majorly) and I’m not sure that wouldn’t have broken me in any case. 
It’s less of a big deal when I have three starve days as I can always come up with the excuse that I do one more than is required anyway.  Firmly putting aside my imperviousness-to-diets skills.  But when it’s two and I botch one, I’m just not doing it.
Today is my second starve day – or rather my first – and it’s also going to pot.  I’ve eaten a nectarine and someone has bought me a latte.  This is enough to throw you out when you only have 500 calories.  I have a salad of leaves, half an avocado and some prawns so I’ll have to have a tot up but I suspect the salmon fillet I had earmarked for dinner is going to be too many calories.  Which means I’ll have to chuck it as I got it out of the freezer on Wednesday – I do hate wasting food.
And in the meantime I have had a whole bag of marshmallows (I read that they’re good for a sore throat; only by making you feel so sick it acts as a destraction), a bottle of wine (shared) after my very bad day, a curry (frugal but still), a Deep South meal (oh how I love a well executed cornbread) which included more wine and a cocktail and 3 walnut whips (see bad day.  Not part of the Deep South cooking).  This is over the course of a week, not on one hideously over-indulgent day.  But in no-one’s language is this a diet.  Unless you were trying to pile on the pounds.  Which I’m not.  Trying, that is – I fear very much that I actually am. 
The outlook isn’t good either.  Next week is looking like a two starve day week and then we’re away for a long weekend for my birthday.  This already includes breakfasts at a B&B which makes the best blueberry pancakes, an Indian (I’m not even mad about Indian food!), a seafood lunch on a barge in the middle of a river, a cream tea, a pub lunch and dinner at a very beautiful country house restaurant.  Amongst others.  It does include at least one, more likely two, very hilly hikes.  But still.
This weekend?  Well, I’m working tomorrow (booooo) but hopefully from the tinhut, technology allowing.  Otherwise it’s a quick turnaround and dash back to London.  Working means no hiking of course.  I am however seeing both my bridesmaids (separately) which will be lovely.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Holy imperviousness Batman

It's my third starve day this week and it's killing me.  Not literally you understand, I have - alas - rather a considerable fat store.  Which is, of course, rather the point.  Each starve day I wake up and think of reasons why I shouldn't do a starve day that day.  By 'reasons' I mean 'excuses'.  I don't act on them and I feel that's rather superhuman of me.

Of course, my actual superpower is imperviousness to all known diets and I can't say I can notice any difference from all this effort.  I need to keep going though - it takes time, thats all.  Right?

I tried on a top that was "neat fitting" when I took it on honeymoon and it's too tight now.  I keep thinking about this as I sit here shuddering with hunger.  It's a really nice top and it's also the tip of the iceburg.  In fact, my entire wardrobe is an iceburg - you can only see the tip of it, most of it is in carrier bags stashed in the bottom of the wardrobe waiting for me to slim into them.

I haven't made it easy for myself today as I have had two coffees: this has meant no lunch and a very light salad planned for supper.  I reckon a flat white is 120 cals and my frozen latte was 150 cals.  This takes more than half my calorie allocation for the day.  I have bought a Pret salad which was 134.  I've got just under 100 calories left and I'm not very confident about the coffees so not sure how much I should use.  I might go mad and buy a packet of Snackajacks - not actually filling but lots of flavour (LOVE strong salt and vinegar and I kind of pretend they're chips!).

Anyway, it's only a day of feeling like this and then it's the weekend.  We have a 12+ mile hike planned tomorrow with a pub lunch half way round and a BBQ for supper.  It's been a long week.  I seem to spend most of my spare time applying for jobs which is really no fun at all (and accounts for yet another poor performance week of blogging updates).  I would say I need a holiday but that's very greedy after our wonderful 3 weeks en route to and around the US.  Still, bank holiday weekend we're off to Devon for fish, hiking and clotted cream - hurrah! 

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Fear and clothing in London

If I were asked to describe my personal style I’d have to plump for ‘damage limitation’.  As a painfully self-conscious fat girl, clothes are a permanent worry.  Lack of clothes would be worse of course but finding things that I like AND fit AND suit me is very, very difficult: I usually only manage one out of three (and it’s never the ‘suit me’ one) and sometimes none at all.
Yesterday I wore jeans and a blouse – an outfit I’d been reasonably happy with in the past – and caught sight of stomach bulge underneath the hem of the top.  I spent the rest of the day tugging at it and feeling self-conscious and ugly.  I doubt I will ever wear it again. 
Every day I dread trying things on: things that had fitted that I’m scared will no longer, things I’ve ordered from ebay which should fit but I’m scared won’t and things that I buy I have that sick feeling as I take them into a changing room.  Sometimes I chicken out.
I’d like to look nice (obv) but I don’t think this is possible.  I look wistfully at other people – every day I mentally pick out outfits on passers-by that I wish I could wear.  Recently I’ve been very drawn to neatly fitted linen trousers with a little top – something that with a large bum and saggy belly, I could never look even halfway decent in.  I did admire a girl in a long jersey maxi with a side split – technically I could wear this but it looks much better on a slender frame (as does pretty much everything of course!) – I also suspect I was influenced by hair envy as she had a sheet of pale red hair hanging half way down her back.  My hair is – alas – the only thin thing about me.  It’s just about the only thing you wouldn’t want to be thin!
Today is starve day two of this week.  It’s well named – I am SO hungry.  Starve #1 was a success but I had a coffee this morning to try and keep me awake after two nights of not being able to sleep.  When you only have 500 calories, this eats into your budget severely.  Just hoping that the hunger will pass – it’s been growing and growing and I’m trying to ignore it.  I fear I have less than 150 calories left for the rest of the day.  It’s just a day, it’s just a day....

Monday, 29 July 2013

The wrong way

I’m not being a good blogger; I’m hot and cross in our fuggy sauna of an office, work is busy but most of all, I feel like a fake.  A big, fat fake.  This is – allegedly – a dieting blog.  Well, no-one report me to trading standards please because I am being just rubbish.  Not especially rubbish in terms of effort put in but totally, totally rubbish in terms of any noticeable shift in lardage.  I don’t know if I am stupid or dogged by continually plugging away at it.  The thing is that I don’t feel I’m doing this 110% brilliantly and until I do, I feel like I could just crack it.  Or I hope this, at any rate.
I did 3 fast days last week but on two of them had minor cheats – on Wednesday the choir I sing with had organised their OAP idea of a party and they were so pleased with themselves I felt that I had to have a small plastic cup of rough red wine.  On Friday I was so hungry that I went all floppy and shaky and had a tsp of peanut butter and a slivver of cheese.  And I still think I have too much on a non-fast day.
I need this week to be stellar – I’m not weighing myself so it’s hard to know what effect I’m having but I fear a very slow upward trend – maybe for my clothes to feel more comfortable at the weekend and next week.  It’s nebulous isn’t it?  I think it needs to come down to feeling as if I’m going in the right direction; I know it’s not the done thing to be so candid but I absolutely hate myself at the moment, I literally repulse myself.  And then there are the practicalities: there is no way my winter coat will fit me at the moment – I know that hopefully I have a bit longer of that not being an issue but I’m living on borrowed time.  And in a limited wardrobe.
The thing is, I don’t really understand why I’m doing so badly: I know I have never been a good loser (in that I rarely lose much weight at a time) but after a holiday where I’ve put on weight, I have usually managed to lose that weight slowly.  At the moment I don’t think that’s happening.
And it clearly does work for a lot of people.  Despite the backlash I’m starting to see, saying that we’re boring or downright violent on the starve days!  All of this is possibly true – although I rarely have the energy to commit violence and that’s despite the heat of my office making me feel as if I am permanently simmering on a short-fuse.
So today is a stave day and I’m doing well so far.  It’s keeping going whilst feeling all wobbly and sorry for myself.  And yes, cross.  I’ve had a green salad of leaves, cucumber and half an avocado with prawns for lunch and tonight I’ll have spray roasted courgettes and a piece of seabass with lemon.  I think I may go wild and have a mini Twister (40 cals)  It would be unbearable if it were for more than one day at a time but the genius is that you feel as if you can just about put up with it for a day.  I’ll do it again on Wednesday and Friday. 
Something needs to give.  Other than my waistbands.

PS Congratulations Badger!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Melt down

I imagine it’s a bit like running: every now and again in dieting, you hit the wall.  I seem to have slammed into it face-first.  I’m not really doing a good job at what I’m doing and I’ve lost my mojo as what I am doing doesn’t seem to be having any effect.  And I can’t seem to find the energy or inspiration to do much about it – I’m drifting along without a sense of purpose, direction or achievement.
I think I’ve wrung every analogy out of this situation now but I am sure that all of you have felt like this before.  I find it so difficult because I don’t have anything I can fall back on that I know works; I’m not sure what to do.
This lassitude is also probably due to the fact that I work in an office with neither windows nor air-con and by mid afternoon, I feel beaten by the heat.  I am not complaining about the external temperature, it’s lovely to have a summer for a change, but the temperature in my office is hitting 30°and I am complaining about that.  From a semi supine position.  I can barely summon up the mental willpower to stay upright, let alone devise fierce new dieting strategies.  I’m actually looking forward to having to be outside all day on Friday as it must surely be cooler than this.  I’m actually not convinced that this isn’t the fires of hell roasting me.
I also have (whisper it) chub-rub, hangs head.  Could there be anything more shameful and painful?  (Well, maybe some venereal diseases I guess...).  I’ve not had it for years but I suspect the combination of a sudden summer and extra weight has landed me back in the territory where every step hurts.  Physically wounded – and sartorially too: I do not think that the heat is a friend to the fat girl.  Maybe some have it sorted but I think I have the sort of body that’s best swathed under layers of wool and flannel (although liberation from opaque tights is wonderful (chub rub aside)).
But if summer doesn’t like me, I’m determined to cosy up to it anyway.  We have hike/BBQ plans again for the weekend which I’m anticipating with joy after last weekend saw me skulking resentfully indoors, working, whilst the sounds of other people enjoying the sunshine floated through my window.  I’ve started the countdown to the weekend early.  All I have to do is get there without melting.  Or becoming too delirious....

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to the semi-stave day.  On Monday for reasons which I will not try your patience with I absolutely knew I could not do a starve day.  Not a fabricated excuse, I just couldn’t do it, I was very, very tired and other than that needed to be a bit kind to myself.  Not so short term kind to myself that I ate anything and everything I fancied though.  So I had a bit less food than a normal day but a bit more than a stave day – this meant that I had a grapefruit and coffee for breakfast, a salad and a small bag of air-popped popcorn and a peach for lunch and steamed fish and veg for dinner and some strawberries.  Anyway, it felt like a good compromise at the time but it’s not something that I can do very often.  In fact, writing this I’ve realised that actually it’s almost a non-starve day except I’d have some yoghurt for breakfast too – so essentially I bamboozled myself into thinking I was being good and really I wasn’t.  Sigh.
Of course, everything is comparative: yesterday a stressful (official) non-starve day was okay except for TWO frappuccinos.  I hang my head in shame.  I couldn’t get out of the office at lunchtime (luckily I’d brought a nicoise in.  Although a nicoise without anchovies is a poor thing indeed.) and we have no ventilation in the office.  Or air con.  The air was almost visible it was such a fug of too many people in too little space and no air.  I went a bit nuts and had to escape outside for 5 minutes – which led me to the coffee shop and a mocha frappuccino.  At least I managed to resist the wonderful sounding, coffee-free Oreo frappuccino.  Oh okay, it was only because it had white chocolate in it and I don’t like white chocolate.  Ahem.  Incidentally, I always feel smug in rejecting the cream on the top – which, of course I would love – but really any ‘beverage’ that comes with cream as standard is quietly telling you that it’s a liquidy pudding.  No more frappuccinos for this glutton this week in any case.
I’m still very tired and feel some caffeine would be welcome but a stave day really doesn’t cater for that.  It’s surprising how quickly 500 calories goes (if anyone says yes on one frappuccino – sans cream – I will have to come and kill you).  I’ve had 2 cups of green tea and a prawn salad and essentially only have another salad, possibly a punnet of raspberries and more green tea to look forward to.  Next week I may have to do two starve days on consecutive days which is not an appealing prospect.  Two is a minimum though so at the moment and looking at my diary, I can’t see I have much choice.  Still, it’s Thursday and Friday and maybe by then my miracle will kick in and I’ll wake up slim and won’t need to starve.  Or even wake up slim-ish – see how ready I am to compromise?

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Making whey-hey while the sun shines

With extreme scepticism I went to see the nutritionist attached to my metabolic specialist yesterday.  I went with such a heavy heart and cynical attitude as the last time I saw one, her sole advice was to remember that vitamins had calories.  Baffled?  Yes, me too.  But when I saw that fill in for my usual Prof, he told me that the “laws of physics” meant that I was lying as I would be slimmer if I simply followed the 'eat less, move about more’ ethos.
One day technology will have got to the point where I can insert an audiofile at this point so you can hear my hollow laughter.  In fact it’s probably there and I just haven’t caught up with with the fast-moving world of technology (still can’t figure out Pinterest and probably won’t until it’s obsolete).
This nutritionist was okay.  We didn’t especially agree on carbs but found some common ground.  That was the good news, the bad news is that she said there’s not a lot she can suggest that is instantly going to transform me into a slim woman.  Or even a slightly podgy one (which I’d totally accept).  At least it ticked the box to go back to that doc to say “MORON”.  Talking of which they’d double booked my appointment – with myself.  You’d think no-one had ever got married and changed their name before!
I’m finding the starve days a bit tough.  Every day I wake up on one I have a sinking feeling.  Or maybe that’s hunger.  Somehow combining it with a Monday is particularly grim.  Friday’s not much better for different reasons (it’s kind of a whey-hey day in my head although it’s often a fraught day at work).  Still, I’m doing it (starving, not whey-heying).  What I’m not doing - and is my challenge for next week - is eating as if I’m on a diet on non-starve days.  I’ve also seen a book called Metabolism for Dummies which I want to buy once I get paid.  It can’t just say ‘give up your job and exercise constantly’ for 400 pages, can it?  Not that I’d be devastated to give up my job but I kind of need the salary.
It’s our first weekend back in Suffolk this weekend; the weather looks good-ish so we’re planning a hike and then a BBQ.  Should be good.  It’s the sort of thing that gets me through the post-holiday blues.  Work looks like it might be so busy over the next 3-4 months that I might not be able to get there for weekends very often – and it’s escaping London that keeps me sane (ish).  It also is likely to mean more evening/early morning working too and a lot of negativity and stress.  Happy days.
We are at least off to Devon for an extended August bank holiday weekend (which is scheduled every year to celebrate my birthday.  No need to thank me).  I am shocked to report that afternoon tea on Cunard had whipped cream rather than clotted with its scones.  I know.  Meant I didn’t eat more than one small scone but I need to lay that ghost to rest.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

I like to be in AmericAH, okay by me in AmericAH (tra la la)

Well I’m back.
Yes, it was AMAZING.  Very quick round up:
1)      Cunard transatlantic liner – I thought I’d find it tiresome dressing for dinner since I essentially live in jeans and stress about any kind of clothes; I really enjoyed it.  We’d loaf about reading during the day or going to the Planetarium or LINE DANCING (to my eternal shame, I loved line dancing) and then dress up, go for cocktails (there was a harpist or string quartet in either of the bars we went to) and then for dinner.  Then often a big band in the evening (me singing (quietly) Chattanooga Choo choo made me very happy) and watch the ballroom dancers or a film or the theatre....  All very civilised.  And I didn’t stress about the way I looked (although I wouldn’t let P buy official photos as they were so awful of me) but really just enjoyed it.

2)     San Francisco – again I loved it.  It’s so much nicer and friendlier and prettier than Noo York.  It does clearly have a bad homeless problem but generally it’s just a lovely city.  We went to a couple of lovely places to eat (Boudin, Tony’s and Colibri especially)and one dire Chinese and a hilarious pitch black ‘secret’ prohibition themed bar where we drank ridiculously strong cocktails to 40s music (thanks Dizzy Girl!).  Our hotel was central and friendly.  We did a movie themed tour of the city and went to Alcatraz and otherwise just walked about or got trams!  Again, P stopped me singing the Trolley song – I bet Judy Garland was quaking in her grave.  And I have never seen so many Starbucks EVER.  Not an endorsement - I prefer independents but it was a really obvious feature of the city.

3)     Sonoma – we loved it.  We did a wine tour which has given me a lot to think about and went to an amazing restaurant (Girl and the Fig) that was our best meal of the holiday.  It was a really laid back, happy place and we’d like to go back.  We also went to possibly the most beautiful winery ever and an amazing deep south style diner.

4)     Lake Tahoe – Beautiful place with a lot more there than we had time to do.  We did a long boat trip to really enjoy the dramatic colours of the lake - emerald, violet and teal.  And we had an hilariously and enthusiastically themed cowboy room - even the loo roll holder was a spurred boot and the curtains were denim, held back with scarlet bandanas.  Most other things featured cowboy hats, boots (even the vase was a pair of boots) or horseshoes.  We had 'Howdy' spelt out in barbed wire above the bed!

5)     Yosemite – again, very beautiful and HOT.  We did some hiking which was very tough at 8,000-9,000 feet as you just can’t get enough oxygen into your lungs.  And my hands and wrists massively swelled up.  I wouldn’t go back just because it’s a really long drive to get anywhere but I’m glad we went.  Although to my sorrow, we never did see a bear.

6)     Big Sur – beautiful coastal scenery (think Cornwall at its best on a BIG scale) and bonkers Hearst Castle.  We had a cabin (shed) in the woods with a fire pit that sent P into frenzies of adolescent pyromania and ate at the v posh Nepenthe where we watched agog the table next to us “interact” by taking it in turns to make a short presentation, a eulogy for the girl whose birthday it was and to explain their choice of gift.  The waiter and P exchanged much eye-rolling and the waiter explained that everyone from Silicon Valley was like that.

The flight home with BA was horrendous – I’ve flown with them twice in the past 6 months and both flights have been my worst two ever.  It’s embarrassing that this is our national airline.  Other than getting that hell over, it’s very sad to be back.  We’re choosing our next holiday as a way of fending off the post-holiday blues and fancy Virginia next year – anyone been there or know it?  It has a national park, vineyards and history – sounds like a winner. 

 I must say, I’m fed up with our horrid wet, cold summers (which are predicted to be the norm) and quite fancy emigrating to the US.  Not sure that’s terribly easy though.  I’d certainly love to work in the wine industry there (although not necessarily in California – I’d rather live in New England.  Where I strongly suspect there are no vineyards, sigh.).

I am sure I put on weight although I did not go mad and the portions were not as crazy as New England.  On the boat it was possible to eat well but moderately as the portions were quite small – which suited me.  And you can always have more if you want to.  I think I only had pancakes for breakfast 4 times in 3 weeks which I think was very restrained!  I did eat quite a lot more carbs than usual though – mostly bread. 
So, back to a concentrated effort at dieting.  My plan is to do ideally 3 starve days a week (occasionally 2), the other week days will be low carb with small portions of healthy food and the weekends will allow for some wine and a little carbiness.  I don’t think I’ll be weighing any time soon since it seems to plunge me into an abyss of misery and despair; I will just do this and see how my clothes feel.  By which I mean I hope that they will get looser!  I have a whole wardrobe of clothes that are too small for me which I’d really like to be wearing.  And I have to lose some weight to get into my winter coat comfortably before winter starts.  Which I hear will be the weekend so is possibly a bit ambitious.
I had a largely successful starve day yesterday (first day back at work) which wasn’t as painful as I’d feared and tomorrow will be a starve day too.  Then the weekend at last which looks a bit dull – personally as well as weather-wise.  Hmm, time to check out that emigration dream!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Au revoir

I have not been a good blogger recently; I think I have become disenchanted with myself, wearied by what I have to say, bored by continually treading the same well-worn path.  Jade is a lovely colour, a pretty stone, a very 90s name - but not a good state of mind.  A break will do me good!

Because, dear Reader, I am off on the much-anticipated honeymoon on Saturday.  Fatter than I'd like, fatter than I'd intended but determined to make the most of it.  And by making the most of it, I don't mean 24 hour gorging on the boat.  Sorry, that's liner!  Instead I mean not allowing how I feel about myself, especially in unaccustomed cocktail and ball wear (I know, shocking isn't it, I bet you imagined me graciously living in posh frocks most of the time!) to spoil the moment. Chances are, since I seem to be not very good at winning the lottery, this IS a one-off and I do not want to look back and regret anything.

I need a break.  I was very upset this week by someone being mean to me on Twitter.  It really wasn't the end of the world in the whole scheme of Twitter-meaness, but I really allowed it to distress me.  And then 3 good things happened:  1) someone showed me that social media can be a good thing by sending me lots of California tips, 2) One of my friends was fierce in my defence (to me, not to the mean girl) and 3) Another of my friends met up with me, cheered me up and was so sweet and so determined for me to enjoy myself that I was quite taken aback although she's been a friend for 19 years.  And I went from feeling like the girl who's always on the outside of the clique (which still remains true) to not caring because the friends I DO have, both 'real' and virtual are wonderful.  When I come back, all-refreshed, I'm going to be a better blogger.  This online community is important to me.  I won't let the odd bitchy comment deter me - I've had more support than I've had unkindness.

And inevitably I'll be back on the diet wagon.  I recently had a massive clear out and I have SUCH a lot of clothes that are too small for me cluttering up my wardrobe, my heart and my esteem.  I need to get into them and clear out the emotional and physical baggage they represent.

Tomorrow is for ironing, painting toenails and other such vital pre-holiday prep and then Saturday we're off to Southampton to board the Queen Mary 2.  Then California here we come.

Have a good few weeks; I intend to.