Tuesday, 15 November 2016

I kind of understand why the Catholics have confessional- it's someone who'll listen to you. I don't have that. Nor do I have the sorts of friends that I can go to - dearly though I love them. And in any case, I wouldn't know where to start or even how to voice it. But things are tough at the moment - and yes, that includes my weight and the feelings of loathing and failure that that brings. It's not 'just' that, it feels like life is just too tough at the moment. All my energy is used to keep putting one foot in front of the other and to keep a bright, normal facade. Sometimes it gets too tiring to keep the mask there.

Anyway, what this means is that I don't have the energy to write attempted entertaingly from the coal face of weight loss. I don't know when I'll be back. But sure as sure, whatever life chucks at me I'll be fat and trying (unsuccessfully) not to be. So maybe. I still think that a lot of my problems would be lessened by being slimmer. I've lost my way though.

If any of you are left, I wish you joy and success in every aspect of your lives. Thank you for listening

Friday, 2 September 2016

Still here - more so, in fact

I know.  Radio silence for – well, ages.  So what’s up?  Well, the first thing that’s sodding up is my weight.  I have been going nowhere for ages and then a week’s hiking (in which I walked almost 50 miles) combined with my birthday and the stress-eating caused by being in a smallish tin box with my mother for a week.  Reader, I put on 4lbs.

My initial goal was to get in not the next stone bracket down but the one below that before we flew off on holiday; it didn’t seem too ambitious but more realistic.  Then when it became clear that I had absolutely no chance of meeting that goal, I revised it to a half stone heavier.  Then when it became clear I wouldn’t reach that, I amended it to just tipping down into the next stone bracket down.  I have no chance of meeting that.

I feel as if I have to pick myself up and carry on regardless too many times.  But what else is there to do?  I certainly shouldn’t be surprised about the exercise not making any difference – I have proven this again and again.  Why do I do the same things and hope for a different result?  Because – and that question was largely rhetorical dear Reader (if there are any of you left! (and I wouldn’t blame you)) – what else can I do?  And yes, because I’m stupid. 

But I can’t think what else to do.  All my plans now are versions of things I’ve already failed at.  So I’m doing the 5:2 (still) and trying to cut my carbs right down because I know I felt better on that and hey, I’ve not done that one for a while.  And I’ve also noticed when I’ve had quite a bit of sugary carbs I get a emphatically dodgy stomach (as in function – obviously form is and has been dodgy since, well, time immemorial).  This is something that has recently clonked me on the head, revelation-wise. 

Of course, my latest incident could also be exacerbated by an unpleasant evening with my mother.  She’d obviously saved up quite a bit of resentment and anger about P and decided to hit me with it.  I wasn’t expecting it – I’d gone over for a birthday meal as she’d not bothered to buy me a present (she couldn’t think what to get, apparently).  Then she was indignant that I was so upset: “Well, I hope you’re not going to let it spoil the evening.  We’ll have to draw a line and get on with it”.  Um.... my evening WAS spoilt – I didn’t even want to eat (I KNOW!) but had to because she’d made a stir fry thing and lemon meringue pie.  P does needle her, but he is also generous with both his time and money and support and she doesn’t deal with it very well.  Either way, I didn’t want to bear the brunt of it.  And I can’t see how we can move on from it – I don’t want to put P in that situation or myself.  And since we’re the only ones who host her for Christmas, I’m not sure what we can do.  I’m trying not to think about it.  Which is always a great tactic for dealing with anything.

Anyway, that was a VERY long winded way of saying that I’m down.  I’m really struggling in fact, humiliating as it is to admit it.  And although I’m looking forward to our holiday in a fortnight’s time, I can’t help but think of all the things that last time caused me to swear that I would be thinner this year – and I think I’m fatter (a few lbs but in the wrong direction).  Okay I won’t be mountain hiking or white water rafting this time (as far as I know!) but there will be plenty of opportunities for me to feel like I look wrong – as there is in everyday life already.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Unhappy anniversary

Oh dear.  You know how my modus operandi is slogging away at the diet and seeing little result or no result?  I went off-piste last weekend.  As in spectacularly off-piste: Reader, I went berserk.  I knew I was going out for dinner on Friday – a deal for three courses and a glass of champagne – and I knew that we were going to meet for a couple of cocktails first in our favourite bar (this was inevitable given that by some twist of happy fate, both places were in the same hotel).  But. 
  • ·         4 cocktails
  • ·         Glass champagne
  • ·         Flight of champagne (three small glasses)
  • ·         Shared a bottle of wine with P (I definitely had well under half)

Eek!  I don’t drink a lot – mainly because of being calorific – so this is a LOT of booze for me.  P went on to have dessert wine and a large whisky – and he’d had two gins before I got there.  Suffice it to say though that when I got up on Saturday I am pretty sure I was still drunk.  This – combined with a dress rehearsal and performance that day (choir) – led to random and reckless eating on Saturday.   And you know that I beaver away and get a fractional loss?  SO doesn’t work the other way around: I put on 4lbs. 

Overall – WI was today – I’m 2lbs up.  And I looked back across my stats and I can see that I’ve been in this stone bracket for a year.  I cannot believe I’ve been slogging all this time and have only got to x.4 – currently I’m x.7.  I had really wanted to be down in the next stone bracket by now.  Hell, by months ago.  Still, I’m not allowing it to de-rail me into another weekend like last weekend.  You may start talking about stable doors and bolting horses.  You may even be right.  But given that I can do that much damage in two days, if I went free-style, it’s possibly for the best. 

Monday, 4 July 2016


We’re coming up to an anniversary for me and SoD.  Yes, it’s been a year that I’ve been in this stone bracket.  A whole sodding year.  So in essence, I’ve done a lovely job of maintaining but not actual losing.  And I’m far too fat for maintaining – it should be coming off me at a far more rapid rate. 

And we had a weekend away with friends so my weight has shot up to the wrong side of the half stone bracket.  Why is this so hard?  Don’t worry dear Reader, it’s a rhetorical question.  I keep plugging on.  I’m hoping that the 4lbs I put on in 3 days comes off as quickly.  But it doesn’t seem to work like that, sadly.  Fast on, slow off.  Would that it was the other way around.

I bore myself with my lack of anything to say.  That’s why I haven’t blogged much recently – it’s bad enough that I’m bored with this, I don’t want to bore you too.

New goals (surely a triumph of optimism over experience): Into the next stone bracket (down, DOWN) by the end of this month and then it should be c6 weeks until our holiday (I say ‘should’ because we’ve not booked anything yet).  I’d really like to have made significant progress towards the next stone bracket by then.  Potential obstacles include: my birthday (end of August), week in Suffolk with my mother (late August – plenty of walking but I can’t imagine doing starve days then), P’s birthday in late September and an afternoon tea in two and a half weeks’ time.

Today is the first starve day of this week; the next will be Wednesday.  I have one sociable thing – dinner with my best friend on Thursday.  This is not a blow-out occasion or even close.  No booze, no pudding, just a main dish and I can chose a (relatively) safe dish – either chicken salad or chicken, side salad and rice.  And that’s a WI away yet.

Head down for weight down.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 9 June 2016


I am being cautious as I say this – and maintaining full body contact with wood – but I’ve had a reasonably good week.  By this I mean I’ve been really conscientious on starve days, diet days and weekend.  I was disappointed to see the scales rise after the weekend when I’d been so good, but the total loss for the week is -3lbs, which for me is pretty damn stellar.

I may also have achieved this by dint of buttering Scales of Doom (SoD) up by cleaning it.  Either that or the dust and talc on it weighed quite a bit. 

Either way I’ll take it.  I definitely improve my mood if I’m sticking to it.  If I can skip a meal relatively painlessly I’m positively glowing with satisfaction.  Not quite sure that’s great psychologically but at this point, I don’t think that matters too much.

Today is not one of those days of denial and satisfaction.  It’s our monthly cake bake for charity, and although I’ve foregone both breakfast and lunch to compensate, I have had several small pieces.  But I also threw away (surreptiously) two pieces where I’d had a bite or two and decided it wasn’t worth the calories.  I am also having dinner with P tonight on a deal at Yauatcha (it’s one of those deal things).  I love dim sum and I’m hoping it’s not too disastrous – it’s not burger and chips for instance!  I have to be brave and weigh tomorrow even though I know it’s going to be up – and then focus on getting it back down.  I don’t think there are any other trip hazards before next WI.

I haven’t been at this weight since the end of February.  Which is simultaneously depressing and good.  I stand a faint chance of meeting my goal of getting into the next stone bracket by the end of the month.  You know, dear Reader, that I feel scared thinking that, let alone typing it: I’ve been here too often where even with a concerted effort I fail every single goal.  I don’t want to set myself up for that stomach dropping fall if I don’t make it, but.... but.... I really want to get cracking on with this, I know I’d be happier.  It’s an ambitious goal tbh – means losing 5-6lbs – but I’m hoping that over the next 3 weeks this might be possible.  If it means polishing SoD, so be it.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The bog of despond

It’s not going well.  I should qualify: SoD is being a git.  I am managing to do the starve days (I always did) and to be stricter on the diet days and the weekend days.  I see a drop after the 1st starve day, usually STS on the 1st diet day, lose a little or nothing on the 2nd starve day and go up slightly on the 2nd and 3rd diet days and over the weekend.  Is your mind boggling at all this?  Mine is.  I come out marginally up, marginally down or STS but overall I’m making little progress.  I can’t believe I’ve been faffing about in this stone bracket since mid July of last year.  That is not progress.  I want to be down to the next bracket by the end of this month.  It ought to be possible – if stretching – but looking at my progress so far (or lack thereof) I’m not sure that all the determination in the world will help me. 

I also want to be down another stone bracket by the time we go to Canada at the end of September (see above for possible/stretching/impossible blah blah). 

Eleven months at the same stone bracket (and not one which would be anyone’s natural weight.  Unless one is a hippo I suppose) is really shocking.  I’ve got to break this deadlock and make some progress.  I do have days when I’m really pleased with my effort – this is usually when I’ve managed to skip a meal if I’ve had a glass or two of wine for example.  I did this the other week: we’d arranged to meet a friend for a cocktail or two and then she and P wanted to have something to eat.  I went, hungry, and whilst they had a cheeseboard apiece, I ate nothing!  Okay, I tried a tiny corner of one of P’s cheeses but practically nothing.  For this heroism alone, I should have shot straight up a ladder down a stone bracket.  That’s the most convoluted metaphors ever – but you get my point.  I guess that two cocktails probably equate to a meal but it still felt pretty damn noble and at least I didn’t do the classic sod SoD and think that whilst I was having something forbidden, I might as well go the whole hog.  Or cow in this case.

Starve days this week are today and Friday (yuck) but I doubt I’ll eat tomorrow night.  The main difference between starve days and diet days tends to be breakfast: I have a coffee on a starve day and fruit and FF yoghurt with a sprinkle of granola on a diet day.  Lunch  tends to be equally light – or near enough – on a starve day and a diet day.  I eat a lot of crudités.

I think I probably need to go back to cutting my carbs right back.  I am going to finish my granola which at 25g three times a week could take some time.  I also often have a packet of low cal crisps as my lunch which I love but which I probably need to cut.  All calories are not created equally, sadly.  Nor are all metabolisms, even more sadly.

The lack of progress is begetting inertia: I feel stodgy and stuck.  I can't summon up enthusiasm  - or even write much - because I feel bogged down in a wearying routine that I am not seeing achieving much.  It's no point in thinking 'well, this week will be different' because it's not.  At least, not so far.  Seems a bit early (and heavy) to be plateauing.  And a bit flipping long.  Renewed determination and focus this new (freezing, wet) month and then regroup to suck oranges and think of my tactics for the rest of the 'summer'.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Future perfect

Oh dear, it’s all a bit heavy weather at the moment.  And of course, heavy me.  I looked back at my numbers and essentially I’ve been faffing about in this stone bracket for about a year I think.  I need to get down another stone bracket (and another and another .... repeat ad lib to fade).  And I feel better if I’m on course and not mucking about – Monday evening, at the end of a long starve day, I felt... I don’t know, powerful?  In control?  Determined?  Yes, all of those.

But as we know, dear Reader, it’s the non-starve days where I mess up.  Yesterday was a challenge; today has been a challenge.  Yesterday as a strict-diet-but-not-starve day added an additional potential spanner in that I had to travel for work (nowhere exciting or exotic) and stay in a Travelodge.  This posed two problems: one, the only food nearby was a Toby Carvery (*shudder*) or a Burger King.  Now, I’ve not been to a Burger King for years, but onion rings and a fat burger issued something of a siren song (yes, I’m totally thinking of singing burgers now...  Surreal.).  Two: being away from home overnight somehow is a trigger to ‘treat’ myself to chocolate and/or cake.  Reader: I bought a low calorie chicken salad and some fruit from M&S before getting the train (almost missing the train in the process and only finding out later that I was on a breakaway half of the train which was suddenly going elsewhere.  But that’s by the by). I even had to go to a petrol station right by the Travelodge (remember what I said about not exciting or exotic?!) and only bought a bottle of water.  If there was any justice in the world, I would have a spectacular loss just for this.

But there’s more.

Today would ordinarily be a starve day.  But with an early start and a work thing away from the office – a work thing with much pressure and many snacks – I knew my usual routine would be hard to stick to.  And then a friend happens to be in London and we’re meeting for a couple of cocktails.  Well, there it is, right there, I might as well eat freely (and plentifully) and starve tomorrow, right?  Wrong.  I’ve eaten frugally – if somewhat randomly – in a kind of semi-starve day and will still do a starve day tomorrow.  I’ll probably be steaming drunk on a couple of cocktails but there we go.

I suspect though that I’m not going to have a good result on the WI tomorrow – only one proper starve day plus evening cocktails tonight is likely to lead to a mean and vicious Scales of Doom tomorrow.  But I feel kind of proud of myself – I just can’t sustain that if my weight doesn’t go down.  We’re likely to be going to Canada in late September and I’d really like to be out of this stone bracket, through the next and into the one below that.  I know.  But I can’t help but hope for this just the same.

PS Canada- we may be going to Nova Scotia for some of it AND (if there are any other Anne Shirley fans out there – she’s the patron saint of all ginger girls with overactive imaginations) we may even go to PEI!  I am actually ‘squeeee-ing’, if only on the inside.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The numbers game

Yesterday: cups of green tea = 1 (down from 6), temperature in office = 32 °C (measured but climbing), number of umbrellas in bag = 0, number of torrential showers caught in = 1, number of loose paving stones that sent a tsunami of dirty water over me from above the knee downwards = 2, number of expensive haircuts ruined by rain = 1.

It was not a good day.  It was a Monday. Nuff said.

Oh.  Those numbers.  Well, I’m still gently ricocheting between 2lbs over the half stone mark to 1lb under it.  I really need to make progress down into the next stone bracket – I’ve been in this one since February.  I’m still finding it hard but trying to rein in.  Today for example is a Dieting B day (not starve but not weekend) I’ve just eaten some pickled onion Burton’s Daily Fish n Chips (123 calories) and I really want to eat another bag.  I’m telling myself that I must wait for 20 mins and then see if I still want them.  Ssssh though – I’m not going to have them then either.  I’m also eating out tonight with a friend in Wahaca and I’ve researched the lowest calorie options.  And the colleague – and friend – who buys a steady stream of snacks for the team is on leave for 2 weeks so I don’t have to resist/succumb to those. 

On the negative side, I had booze twice at the weekend.  I usually have 1 aperitif and share a bottle of wine (making sure I have the lesser share) just once a week.  On Sunday we had (extremely delicious) English fizz.  This was a kind of reward for making it through a family lunch – in-laws.  And that’s not fair as they’re mostly very nice but my MIL picks the worst places to eat so we knew what to expect.  The waiter was like a cross between Basil Fawlty and Manuel.  He kept leaning on my shoulder as I was seated, or punctuating his exclamations by swatting my arm.  He even managed to spit on me.  We had a tussle over the right way to lay a table (he was wrong) and he brought serving plates of food from which he – quite literally lobbed – food on to our plates in a jumbled mess.  And it tasted as good as it looked -  Seren would have been appalled.  I left a lot of mine and palmed my pudding off on to P.  The best thing was the After Eight at the end.

Let’s see where all this takes me to on Thursday WI.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Not waving but drowning

Yes, okay.  I said I’d write twice a week.  I said a lot of things.  And, as we know, the way to hell is paved with good intentions.  Although I’ve never quite understood why you don’t get points for at least trying.  Harsh.

Overall I’m holding steady.  But underneath that top layer is a whole mess.  I’m doing well at the stave days, am wildly erratic on the other weekdays and putting on too much at the weekends.  I have got to get a grip.  I’ve not achieved anything since the beginning of the year and I am not at a weight where a bit of faffery would not be a disaster.  I’m at a loss to know how to hold myself to account – the blogging twice a week was supposed to do that and look how well that went! 

It is the time of year where we do extra long hikes but frankly, this has never made an iota of difference to my weight and I don’t see why this would suddenly change.

Every night I tell myself firmly that there will be no deviation – but I’m not achieving this sufficiently often to have any result.  What to do?  I’m fresh out of fresh ideas – other than digging deep and sustaining the period of resolve into waking hours.

Wish me luck, determination and godspeed (I typed this wrongly as dogspeed – which I like the sound of other than that my mother’s dogs are Labradors and not therefore a good example in terms of greed).

Friday, 22 April 2016

Love is....

Remember those saccharine sweet cartoons? I'm not sure whether they created the phrase or whether they illustrated an existing phrase, but I'm pretty sure that there's an almost infinite number of answers to 'love is...'

Fat is...? Maybe there are as many answers but to me 'fat is..' always wondering whether life would be less difficult if I weren't - and whether if I weren't, I would attract more forgiveness and less condemnation.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Seeing red

Something happened on the tube the other night that gave me pause to think.  Often I try not to think on my commute in case I run screaming into the open air, shouting that it’s unbearable.  I was standing on the tube (obvs) by two girls in their early 20s.  Despite being immersed in my kindle, it became obvious that they were talking about me as one would look at me, turn to the other and say something, then they’d both look at me, then the other would say something... It went on for a bit and my heart sunk.  I started to feel really uncomfortable, unhappy and defensive.  In true passive-aggressive British style, I gave them a hard stare.  Then one said “We were talking about you – about your hair, saying what a lovely colour it was and how much it would suit a friend of mine”.  I guess they must have been hairdressers as they were then saying something like “oh yes, an 897 – maybe with a dash of 278”. 

I have a bit of an ‘issue’ with my appearance at the best of times.  At the worst of times it causes me quite a lot of distress and anxiety.  I guess it’s bubbling up to the surface recently – partly because there’s a lot of pressure to have my photo on my work’s website and partly just because.  I really hate photos btw – I think I look even worse in them that in real life.  But this incident on the tube reminded me that actually, just because I think the worse, it’s not necessarily the case.  If that girl hadn’t said anything, I would have got off that tube, beating myself up mentally for my ugliness and feeling very upset.  It would have ruined at the least my evening, if not my week.  I’d have spent countless future moments obsessing over it again and again (I know this as I’ve had certified bad moments dating back quite some time and I still think about them occasionally).  I can’t, hand on heart, say that it will cure my paranoia, but I will try to remember this.

Still not getting back into a successful chub-reducing mode.  I’m seeing small dips on SoD but my overall stats for the week were 2lbs on.  I had a jump up over the weekend and it’s been steadily – if not very quickly – dipping down but, as I say, overall up.  I’m not letting it derail me though.  At least not yet.  And actually, overall, although I haven’t done very well, I don’t give up, I do just adjust my approach and relentlessly carry on. 

So, outlook for the next week is good – up to official WI day.  No pesky social life to interfere with dieting.  And the following week is looking less good so I really need to make hay this week.  Metaphorically speaking.  Next week I have a pizza evening planned with office pals, and cocktails and dinner (a posh Italian. Restaurant not person) for my stepson’s birthday.  But there’s a whole other WI before then so I won’t fret about that just yet.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Straightening out the spiral

I admit it, I’m struggling at the moment.  Even when I feel like I’m doing the right thing, it’s not translating into progress.  I find it hard to break out of one of these cycles – usually I spin downwards like a spider down the plug hole, despite struggling.  Not this time.  Somehow I need to break out of this. 

So first: the story so far.  I lost 1lb last week and I put on 2lbs the week before.  Maths is not my forte but I’m going in the wrong direction.  And since then, the unofficial WI has shown a tear-stinging 4lbs on.  Despite a wedding where I drank mineral water.  For 9 hours.  Which is WAY longer than a non-sober 9 hours FYI.  And didn’t eat all my main or pudding – and spurned the sweetie table (sobs quietly to self) and evening buffet.  I totally deserve a big loss after that, right?

So instead of going down below the half stone mark and towards the next bracket down, I’m heading, terrifyingly, back up to the one above.  This makes me feel dreadful – physically, but emotionally even more.  So it needs to stop.  I need to break out of the pattern before I drown (yeah, I’m totally flogging the analogy – but it works for me at this point).

This is my action plan:

1. The only thing I haven’t abandoned is the almost daily weighing so continue with that.
2. Oh and the 2 x starve days.  Still doing them, still hate them, still get some result from them.  So keep those.
2. Blog more.  I think I don’t because the apathy has got me – and I don’t like saying the same thing when the same thing is the ‘oh I’m not getting anywhere’ thing (I’d doubtless be delighted to continuously drone one about losing steadily).  So twice a week I think (you’ll be sick of me).
3. Be really strict about things creeping in.  Yes, even mini, low cal things.  It all adds up to chubbsville.
4. Delineate the 3 phases of my diet – Mon and Wed = starve days (or 2 convenient non-sequential days).  Other weekdays = dieting but only semi-starving and weekend is not a licence to go mad but to allow for one night with an aperitif and wine – and to eat healthy evening meals with P.
5. Find a replacement for Jane Plan (for semi-starve days) when I finish those packs (still got quite a lot – and not just because I’m avoiding eating the soup.  I am now throwing those away).  Maybe simple, boring calorie counting (although will have to decide what the calorie limit is).

Today has been a normal dieting day: I’ve done okay.  Not brilliantly because I had half a Millie’s cookie.  Which is better than a whole one but not as good as no cookie.  I had an inordinately long internal dialogue, trying to justify eating the other half though – oh how I wanted to – and managed not to, so that is positive.  I definitely think that sort of restraint ought to be rewarded with an instant lb off (see also: sweetie table, wedding cake (nope, none of that either) and evening buffet).  That should take me to 4lbs off for good behaviour.   Hmmm. Tomorrow is a starve day.  Let’s see where that takes me to on Thursday (official WI day)

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Eggstreme behaviour

Obviously I had to get a seasonal pun in there.  But now that crack is out of the way, let’s just get straight to the numbers, shall we?  Like ripping off a plaster: quick, decisive and painful.

Post-holiday WI said I’d put on 5lbs – it’s never good to put on, I was dreading weighing myself but this was for 3 weeks and I firmly told myself to suck it up and get working. First week back on the diet I lost 2lbs.  This is sounding like a happy story, right?  Then came Easter.  I put on a staggering 4lbs.  Yep, in a weekend.  A long weekend but essentially it’s 1lb a day.  Since I am currently comprised of 40% mini eggs, 30% other chocolate egg, 20% hot cross bun (slathered in butter) and 10% wine, this ought not to be the shock it was.  I don’t even like Cadbury’s chocolate but I swear they put crack in mini-eggs, I just cannot stop at a couple.  The only thing that makes me stop is running out.  So, it’s cold turkey for me on mini-eggs.  I can eek out the rest of my eggs in a normal, moderate and rationed (not to mention rational) way.  I am firmly back on the wagon, nose to the grindstone – and every other hackneyed phrase you can think of.

It’s not easy.  Even in 4 days, I got used to having something to eat when I was peckish – but no longer.  Today I’m on a Dieting Day Type 2 (Jane Plan packs) as I thought going straight into a starve day would be just too brutal.  So that, dear Reader, is something to look forward to tomorrow L.

I won’t be doing Jane Plan again – the dinners and the breakfasts suit me very well, but the lunches!  Ugh.  Seren asked how you could make soup unpalatable – well, it’s a good question.  I think they bung a load of starch in them to fill you up – but the taste!  Oh dear.  I’m still feeling intermittently queasy from the flu (or possibly mini-egg overdose) and just couldn’t face the soup today.  This happens quite a lot with their packs – kind of works as I end up just skipping them, but this is not the idea at all.

I do want to get back to proper, focused dieting.  We have a family wedding in a couple of weeks and I know what I want to wear.  No, OF COURSE I’ve not tried it on – I’m far too chicken for that.  Equally, I know I need to so I can make plans.  Luckily I think we’re not close enough family to be in the pics (it’s P’s nephew) so that’s one bullet avoided, but I find these things traumatic.  At least I’m around 2st lighter than I was at my cousin’s wedding a year ago.  The photos from that still haunt me.  Not that I look a whole lot better but at least it’s something.

After the wedding, the next thing to focus on as a goal to have shed more blubber is our holiday in October.  That’s our probable holiday at the moment – a few financial question marks before we can say with confidence that we’re going back to Canada, but we’re hopeful.  I’d definitely like for less of me to go away: the question is, what can I realistically achieve in 6 months.  I’d like to say 3 stone but my history would cast doubt on this: maybe another 2 stone?  I’d still not be into the zone where I’m not constantly self-conscious and only a social occasion away from a full freak-out, but any progress would help.  If I could lose 3 stone, I would be into the less-freaked-out zone – I’d still need to lose, but I wouldn’t be quite so distressed about myself.  Well, let’s see what I can do now I’ve stepped away from the mini-eggs.

So, Easter – did you have a good one?  Four days off work, chocolate and hot cross buns make for a pretty damn amazing public holiday in my opinion.  Until you hit up SoD that is and pay for your transgressions.  We had one fairly feeble hike – about 6 miles – since we’re still suffering post-flu fatigue and this was the only opportunity to get out without being soaked, pelted by hail or blown over (possibly the extra egg/bun ballast would have prevented the latter). 

P seems to be getting a 2nd dose of the flu – or at least the tiredness and a nasty, dry cough.  I’m hoping I don’t copycat him this time around, the flu was ridiculously debilitating and led to flopping about exerting no energy and eating toast and marmite.  Not a way to get to that 3 stone goal.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Le grand return

So, here I am back from a fortnight's holiday which included a week in sunny Cape Verde.  And I feel awful.  Holiday is clearly not good for me..... Reader, I caught a flu bug on the plane (P is also struck down) and it really was flu, not a bad cold.  Every inch of my skin is super-sensitive, I ache everywhere and have no energy.  Now I'b getting the coldy bit too.  Sniffle.  So I'm not at work - something that looks highly dubious after leave - and feeling very guilty.  Possibly only fractionally less guilty than I'd feel if someone caught this bug.  It's clearly very easy to catch as I got it from P and I think this is only the 2nd time in 20 years that we've caught something from the other (for the inquiring reader, the other time was Norovirus.  Ah yes, what a Christmas that was...)

Still.  A shot of summer in dreary winter comes highly recommended - and we seem to have come back to spring so I'm hoping that my winter blues have been sent well and truly packing.  The sea out there looked like I'd taken an amazing photo - and then put an utterly unrealistic filter on it.  But it really WAS that beautiful.  Obviously I only paddled because, dear Reader, I did not take a swimsuit. Yes to that sharp inhalation of breath.  I started trying them on, my anxiety and self-loathing rocketed and I decided to just shove them back in the drawer.  It's not ideal but it was the most sensible way - for me - to deal with the whole issue.

I haven't weighed yet.  I ate very well in CV - not a lesson in restraint but rather that the food was not great.  It was okay but not great.  Not a single pudding passed my lips.  But then, a lot of pina coladas did I'm afraid.  And since the great flu woe (AND I had the flu jab this year, grrr), I have eaten mainly bread and chocolate.  Not together.  Clearly toast should only ever have marmite on.  But that's a whole other culinary story.  My jeans still fit and I can get my engagement ring off but I fear that there's no way I can escape extra lard.  So, as soon as I can shed this lurgy, I need to clamber back on that wagon and knuckle down again.  I still have quite a lot of Jane Plan packs so will use those up and then consider.  I reckon I can duplicate her plan with more palatable food - it's just the discipline of keeping rigidly to that and not letting extras creep in.  Ha, you can spot the tricksiness in this plan, can't you?

Back to CV - would I recommend it?  Yes, with some small print: the weather, sea and beaches are spectacular.  The food isn't great (excepting breakfasts, weirdly, as normally I don't like breakfast).  There is NOTHING to see and do apart from walking on the beach, swimming and sunning.  It's all big all-inclusive package breaks,  so the flight is horrendous (thanks Thomson) and there are plenty of Brits letting the side down - you know, the sort that moan that the tea and bacon in their daily fry up is `not like home` (yeah, well nor is the weather mate), who see the all-inclusive as a challenge to eat ridiculous quantities of food, all the time (god knows what the locals think - who generally have very little), all with chips, and who are generally a bit yobby.  I think we were pretty much the only people who made the effort to learn a bit of Creole to chat to the extremely nice staff - and the only ones without huge tattoos.  Admittedly I am a bit biased against tattoos and I suspect that is is entirely possible to have something artistic and tasteful.  These were not those tattoos.  Think huge EDL style knights carrying St George's flag or the sort that look like they were done by an amateur whilst in prison.   Or both.  We also saw people starting on the lager at breakfast and those who got so drunk they were falling over - yelling profanities.  Anyway, you should all definitely go there to redress the Brit balance.  Just be warned that the bacon and baked beans are not 'proper'.  Apparently.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Skirting the issue

Sorry it’s been a while – work’s been long and crazy and I’ve had little time for anything else.  I knew it would be like this so it’s not a surprise.  And it’s coming to an end.  This week is likely to be the last high-pressure, high volume week (for a while) and then of course I’m off for a fortnight. 

Dieting is particularly tricky when work is like this – a shortage of time to do all the prep required for the discipline of dieting and more sugary snacks about to derail me.  And very long days too.

With that as a backdrop I’m doing okay – but it’s a bit wobbly (not the only thing about me that that is true of!).  The first week I lost 2lbs.  Then last week on WI I had put on 1lb which was upsetting.  But the next day I’d lost that.  Even so it’s somewhere in the realms of 0-1lb+.  And I had bread and wine over the weekend which has sent me soaring up 3lbs.  This WI is the last one before my holiday – I will fail to reach my target (again) but I’d like to have a solid loss behind me to keep me going.

Not least as I’m in that tricky ‘in between’ stage with dress sizes.  My usual skirts are way too big but the next size down is just a tad too snug.  I had the horrific task of going through summer stuff over the weekend to try and find stuff to wear on holiday.  There is nothing good for the ego about going through bags and bags of clothes that are too small.  Most of it has been bought from ebay but even so, it represents quite a sum.  The good news is that if I continue to lose weight, I have plenty of stuff to wear.  The bad news is that it varies from ‘almost/just about’ to ‘you must be joking’ in terms of fit.  At the rate I lose weight I have enough to wear for years – once I get into the larger end of my clothes mountain.  There are some very nice things – most of which I have never worn or only worn briefly.  It makes me sad.

Two of the three skirts I dragged out to take on holiday are of the ‘just about’ variety.  They’re tight but I can get them on.  I’m pretty scared that they won’t fit by the end of the holiday though and I’m not sure how good they look.  I have got very good at not looking at myself in mirrors – or looking just to do make up, but managing not to see myself.  I don’t scrutinise myself in the way that I was doing yesterday – for the good of my mental health.  As I seem to have next to nothing in the next size up the two snug skirts are coming.  But you can see why I’d like to lose as much lard in advance.

In my head, I intend to be pretty good on holiday – I think salads, fish and fruit are perfect in hot weather.  Albeit not for breakfast.  It’s the booze that worries me – especially on an all-inclusive.  Mind you, I read on a review that the wine is pretty awful and since I don’t drink beer and would never drink a cocktail with food, it’s only aperitif time I need to worry about.  After all, it would be handy if things still fit when I got home, obviously!

Quick update on Jane Plan: the evening meals are fine, the breakfasts are fine, the lunches are vile.  Who knew that soup could be so unpleasant?  I’ve heated up two different flavours (leek and potato and vegetable and bean) that were so nasty I ended up chucking them away after a wary mouthful (the smell was grim).  Possibly good for weight loss as I try not to buy a second lunch, but not ideal.  The mushroom one is fine.  I recall that tomato and butternut squash were bearable if not actually tasty.  The only other option are salads in boxes – remember these are ‘ambient’ – I’ve tried the bean one and would rather not do so again, I’m yet to try the tuna one and salmon one.  Unless I can find 3 lunches I can bear, it’s a deal breaker for me.  They are good at swopping meals you don’t want – apparently: I’m yet to put this into practise – but I need to find something to swop for.  

Monday, 8 February 2016

Just a girl, standing in front of SoD....

At least that’s January out of the way.  February is grim but at least there’s pancake day.  Admittedly, not good for weight but very good for cheering up purposes. 

Which brings us on to....

Yeah, I did okay last week – I lost 2.5lbs.  The reason I’m not jumping in the air, punching it in the manner of an 80’s rawk god, or indeed a grey politician (yes, Mr Duncan-Smith, I’m looking at you.  Although trying not to.) is that SoD is busily informing me that ever since that point (and indeed slightly before it), my weight is going in the wrong direction.

As of today, I’ve put 2lbs of that back on.  Sigh.  I hope that by Thursday (next WI) I can turn that around as I have two starve days in between now and then (today and Wednesday) but sandwiched beautifully in between those two days, in a somewhat ironic juxtaposition, is pancake day.  I had thought we’d be having Shrove, er, Friday as I was due to meet a friend, but work is such that I’ve had to pretty much cancel all social occasions for the month. 

Of course, I could skip pancakes entirely (whimper) but you know what?  I don’t want to.  I hate this time of year and this is pretty much the only bright spot in a desert of grimness.  A dessert in the desert, if you will...  I am a pancake purist so it’s only heavy on the lemon, light on the sugar rather than drifts of cream, buckets of nutella or the like, but we all know that there are no diets which feature pancakes.  Or do we – if you know of one PLEASE tell me stat.

The thing is, I need to accept – ideally not begrudgingly – that it’s not what you don’t eat that counts when you stand before (or indeed on) SoD.  As is reflected in my stats so far this week.   Intuitively I feel that every time I don't eat something that I want to, that there should be a small commensurate downward movement on the scales as a reward. Thursday was a charity cake sale at work.  Now, this is, in some respects a tale of virtue: I had two v small slices and chucked a 3rd away after one bite as not worth the calories (it was a wrench even so).  For this I forewent breakfast and lunch.  But clearly that is not enough.  Again, we were away for the weekend so I was v cautious in other meals and tried to minimise damage but dinner with friends at their house was the most difficult to negotiate. 

All this caution is against the backdrop of a tricky time at work with a ready supply of chocolate – it’s not easy.  I do keep reminding myself of the holiday though.  At the WI I thought I was in with a chance of hitting my target pre-hols; now, not so much.  Anyway, let’s see where 2 starve days, pancakes-by-exception and discipline takes me.  It’s got to be better than where I am now, in any case.  Pancakes notwithstanding. 

I’m still finding the Jane Plan lunches hard.  The breakfasts are more than I’m used to and tasty too, dinners are quite meagre but mainly palatable (I’ve had meatballs – really nice, and tuna pasta – okay but rather tasteless) but the lunches are small and at best tasteless (broccoli and cheese soup – smelly, and bean salad – not pleasant).  But they’re not horrible like Lighter Life bars were so it could be a lot worse.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman

I am still suffering hormonal bloat (now a fortnight overdue (if not TMI)) and feel much like Violet Beauregard – or Aunt Marge in Harry Potter.  I may yet explode.  In fact, I did over the weekend and yet I am still puffed up.

I had either very violent food poisoning or some vicious stomach bug.  This was initially good on the weight loss side – always the silver lining – but the recovering stage means I really only want toast and marmite which is not so good.  There really isn’t a low-carb equivalent to that kind of comfort, easy-eating food.  I did have scrambled eggs (P makes excellent eggs – and an excellent nurse) but again, on toast.  So I put weight on again – 1.5lbs from post- erm – ejection to today (although still down overall on the week).  And today is a starve day so let’s see what that does.  My stomach is still not happy – which is unfortunate since I have Covent Garden Soup Co Peri Peri chicken soup planned for supper (and trying to tell myself that I will NOT have toast).  I’m in the office but shooting off as soon as I’ve got an urgent outstanding issue sorted to languish on the sofa and feel sorry for myself.

I had a rotten night too – I’ve not had one for a bit, but I went to bed anxious and unhappy and it spiralled down from that point.  No-one talks about the menopause but I think I’m in perimenopause – not something I’m relishing being precocious about, my mum was about 10 years older.  But she didn’t have these symptoms.  I really think the depression, anxiety and sleeplessness I’ve had over the last couple of years is linked to my hormones; not least because the last time I felt this bad was when I was 12-13 years old.  Seems too much of a coincidence.  Apparently these symptoms can last 10 years.  I wanted to cry when I found this out.  Actually I was crying but you know what I mean.  So please, please anyone reading who’s not hit the perimenopause be aware of these symptoms so that you don’t think, like I did, that I was going mad.  It does make it a bit better.  All I knew about was hot flushes – at least I don’t have those – but there are a myriad of unpleasant health problems, including anxiety, depression, insomnia and migraine (all of which I have).  Something to look forward to, eh?  Or you may be like my mother and sail through without really noticing, fingers crossed.

Anyway, enough of this second-bout-of-teenage-angst.  Dieting is going well – post-ejection toast aside.  Last week at WI day on Thursday I lost 2lbs which is pretty stellar for me.  The first couple of Jane Plan days showed a good drop too but I won’t pre-empt the official WI.  Jane Plan? It’s okay.  It’s more breakfast than I’m used to – I had 25g granola and they give me 40g – but lunches are very small (a half cup of soup) and dinners are small too although bearable.  You also get a snack – either a small bar of quite nice dark chocolate or a very sad, small, lonely biscuit. 

Their granola is tasty, the soup (tomato) was fine but pretty tasteless and the two evening meals I had were vegetarian lasagne (really quite nice) and beef in ale casserole with root mash (okay).  I only had the lasagne first as one of the ambient packs had exploded – in the manner of an ambient and faulty breast implant – and I had to eat the contents of the pack with the most fall-out.  Shows though, as I wouldn’t have greeted vegetable lasagne with any enthusiasm whilst beef casserole sounded great – in fact, it was the other way around.

I’m still planning to do 3 x days of Jane Plan, 2 x days of starve days and 2 careful weekend days.  The starve days are to balance the weekend days.  Otherwise I take your point Mrs Spoon that it would b worth giving JP a full go – but eating with husband in the evening at the weekend is really important to us both.  Especially given that dieting is such a long haul slog for me – otherwise it could be years with us basically not eating together!  

Friday, 22 January 2016


When I got on the Scales of Doom to find that my weight had gone up, I managed to get a grip before (admittedly only fractions of a second before) I went into full freak out.  Breathing through the panic, I told myself that there was NO WAY that I could do a starve day and lose precisely zip.  It was SoD messing with my mind.  Yes, it was upsetting; yes, it was annoying as it was official WI for the week and showed me up 1lb – but it wasn’t factually accurate.  Clearly.

I therefore confronted SoD today with grim determination – and the confidence that I could move into the weekend with a more realistic idea of what I’d achieved.  Except my weight had gone up again.  Almost 2lbs. 

Now, I know I had a good day yesterday and I know I’d had a good week (bar those two slabs – and I don’t think they can totally explain this.  Yes the initial rise but not the two subsequent ones).  This defies logic.  Equally, I was aware I felt very bloated – I can’t get my engagement ring off and my stomach feels painfully swollen.  I think my period is now officially overdue.  So again, I’m trying to keep a grip and tell myself that I’m doing the right thing and all I can do is keep calm and carry on (oh, how hackneyed has that phrase become!  But opportune in this instance).  Neither keeping calm nor carrying on is easy at this point.  But I just have to do it.

In other dieting news: I’ve signed up to Jane Plan.  They – by default – sign you up for 3 months and put a financial arrangement in for each month which I think is naughty, but I’ve just cancelled the two subsequent payments.  I’ll decide after a month whether I want to continue or not, thanks very much.  I’m a little worried by ‘ambient’ (remember: not (necessarily) ambivalent) food pouches, but as I have proven over the years, I’ll try pretty much anything in my endless, fruitless drive to ditch the lard.  It looks as if it will be here for me to start – tidily – on Thursday the day I have my WI (and, 9 times out of 10, the day after my second starve day of the week incidentally). 

As far as I can see, it’s a calorie counted diet – the three meals and a snack add up to c1200 calories.  I am not sure whether this includes the fruit and vegetables you’re supposed to add in or not.  There is a nod to low-carb – fruit is restricted to a few berries with breakfast and two other portions and the fruit they recommend is a the lower carb end of the scale (cool-climate fruit instead of hot-climate fruit – at least lychees are going out of season now or I’d miss them).  But there is quite a lot of pasta in the evening meal choices – and it seems to be in the evenings that they advocate cutting the carbs.  Hmmm.

Breakfast is granola or porridge (porridge makes me starving so I’ve gone entirely for granola) with LF yoghurt (0% Total for me) and a few berries. Lunch is soup or some bean/couscous-or-similar based salads which I am highly dubious about, and dinner has quite a wide choice so difficult to summarise.  You also get a mid afternoon snack – I’ve gone mainly for dark chocolate since I’m not a biscuit fan – and are encouraged to have a crudite style mid-morning snack as well as being told to add salad or veg at lunch and dinner.  You can have fruit with lunch too – and I think another piece as a snack – but not after dinner.  I’ll find that hard.

I’ll let you know – interested or not! – what the various pouches are like because, selfishly, this will remind me if I decide to order more.  There are a lot of joyous exclamations on the site that you can lose 12lbs in the first month, but much as I’d like to believe that, I, well... don’t.  Not for me, I mean with my track record.  But if I could lose 2lbs a week, I’d be very well satisfied.  If I lost the average 3lbs pw that make up that 12lbs I’d be deliriously happy!

I’m tinkering with it a bit by doing 3 x JP days, 2 x starve days and then eating with P for the evening meal on Saturday and Sunday (nothing outrageous, just normal food).  Saturday will also include sharing a bottle of wine.  Hopefully those two days will be offset by the starve days.  And by mixing it up I hope not to get stuck in a rut – mental or physical.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

To B- or not to B-

It’s not going too well.  I’d give me a B-.  To be fair, this is based entirely on an ill-advised consumption of not one but two chocolate chip shortbread ‘slabs’ yesterday.  Not as large as a Starbucks one but my colleague enters everything he eats on some app and it severely said these were ‘slabs’ not biscuits.

Just to plead a little something to be taken into consideration: I did not get my pizza on Friday night.  The exhibition was teeny and we were done much more quickly than I’d thought – and P wasn’t hungry enough.  It’s swings and roundabouts: I was really looking forward to it but it wouldn’t have helped with Operation Drop & Flop  – which is showing me the other meaning of this, namely that my spirits drop as my flab flops about.  Le sob.

So quite WHY it seemed like a good idea to have two ‘slabs’ yesterday (that’s not one, but two) I.  Do.  Not.  Know.  Other than, obviously, idiocy.  It was a stressful day but no more than 7/10, I have no let up in my chronic migraine pain yet, despite the new drugs that make me feel jet lagged and the office heating is broken at the temperature of the surface of the sun which meant I almost passed out.  Nope.  None of these explain it.   They’re just feeble, flimsy excuses.

Today is no2 Starve Day of the week but I’m not sure even that is going to bring me to a satisfactory WI total tomorrow.  I should be so dehydrated and desiccated from the extreme heat in the office that I ought to weigh lighter but I suspect that will not be the case as, as of this morning, I was up 1lb.  Wrong way, lady!

And I let P take a photo of me at the weekend.  Actually, I asked him to as I was wearing a hat that a friend in Canada gave me and I wanted to show him.  I am quite extraordinarily un-photogenic.  And whereas I’ve always looked at myself and said ‘ugly’ to myself, suddenly I’m at the point of adding words like ‘old’ and ‘haggard’.  I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve had three people think I was 8, 10 and 10 years younger than I am recently so it really can’t be that bad.  Not entirely sure how much of this is due to my childish attitude of course.....!

In summary: I’m finding it tough.  I’m finding life tough.  I think it’s just the January blues (so called but mine certainly last up until at least March).  Buckle down, knuckle down and get on with it (can’t promise that this will be without whinging though...)

Friday, 15 January 2016

I am not a number (but certainly not a free woman either!)

I’m not good with numbers.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say I’m mildly dyscalculate – long strings of numbers (well, anything over 4) are very difficult for me to read and numbers don’t stick in my head easily – it feels as if they literally slide off the surface of my mind.  I’m not good at maths either – or as a result of, who knows.

So working out all the stats around weight is doubly traumatic.  Especially as, for me, everything is so emotionally charged.  I sometimes find it hard to work out how much I’ve lost, even.  But one thing I know: it’s never enough!  I’m trying to keep a weekly tally as well as a daily one as it gives me a better sense of scale and perspective.  I think.  This week I’ve either lost 2lbs or 3lbs.  I say ‘either’ as I did my WI on Thursday which is directly after a starve day – this isn’t a real loss as it does a lurch down and then comes up a bit on a regular day.  That’s why I’m hoping that from hereon in a weekly tally will be a better indicator.  So, it was 3lbs off last week, after a starve day, 2lbs as of this morning.  Either of these results would normally make me very happy – but I blipped (blimped?) up a sudden 2lbs last week and if you discount that as a cruel and unusual anomaly, it would mean I’ve either lost 1lb or nothing.  Which, sadly, would tie in with my usual stellar rate of weight loss.  Ah well, by next week, things should be clearer.

I’m actually considering another diet tweak: has anyone heard of Jane Plan?  Essentially it’s ‘ambient’ food packages, delivered to you, to form a day’s meals, once you include vegetables (and possibly fruit, I’m not sure) and milk/yoghurt to have with granola.  I love the concept of ‘ambient’ food as I always think of it as ‘ambivalent’ food – food pouch: ‘yeah, well you could eat me but I’m not sure it’s the right move’.  I once did Diet Chef and it does sound similar.  I don’t recall great things from the Diet Chef experience (other than discovering that a) trying to store a month’s worth of food is nigh on impossible and b) I do actually like butter beans), which is one reason I dither, but I thought I could incorporate into my own possibly weird diet plan. 

Each day’s Jane Plan menu equates to 1200 calories.  So I could do two starve days, 3 Jane Plan days and my slightly more relaxed weekend dieting days – so I could have some wine on a Saturday and eat the same thing as P.  It appeals for three reasons: 1) I would absolutely know with confidence that on those 3 days I was eating 1200 calories, 2) I’m about to have a very busy time at work and having something to eat three times a day which requires very little effort is appealing and 3) I’m hoping it might help in dropping some weight for Operation Flop and Drop (my sun, sea, sand and stress holiday coming up).  If it were very successful, I’d even consider doing it 5 days a week and skipping starve days – but let’s not get too carried away at this point.  Although I’m still unsure that starve days plus massive workload is going to be realistic in any case.

Seren: you asked what I eat on a starve day.  I think I am a poor role model for this (and, thinking about it, for many things) as I want to think as little about food as possible when I’m that hungry and so go for easy stuff.  There are many sites online and books that show lovely things you can cook, should you be of that persuasion (and I think you are....!).  Gabby recommended someone to me actually so do ask her.  But me?  This is what I have:
·         A cappuccino – a reasonably sized one, not a US style bucket of hot milk in the morning
·         2 x Alpen Light cereal bars usually mid day and mid afternoon.  These are not delicious – just palatable.
·         An apple to be deployed as required
·         One of the ‘skinny’ cartons of fresh soup: I tend to have Glorious Malaysian Tomato  or Covent Garden Piri Piri Chicken with extra Worcester sauce.  Both of these are very nice so I have one on one starve day and the other on the second. 
As I say, very basic and not at all the sort of thing that a foodies like you and your husband might want to emulate.

But the next starve day is Monday and in the meantime I have a plethora of loveliness lined up.  Tonight I am going to the Tintin exhibition – and dragging long-suffering husband along – and then to Franco Manca for one of their very excellent cheese-light, sourdough pizzas (for which I am currently starving myself).  Tomorrow we’re going to the Celts exhibition at the British Museum – after we’ve gone for a nan bread bacon sarnie at Dishooms for breakfast and then a long walk back through the eerily empty City.  That represents my food relaxation for the weekend – well, the entire week – so frugality will be employed for the rest of the weekend and I’m very much looking forward to my weekend.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Carrot stick or metaphorical stick?

Reader: we’re doing it.  Yes, I read all your very empathetic and sensible advice and squirmed a bit and agonised -  and suddenly it was booked.  P doesn’t prevaricate (that particular responsibility was shared out to me) and I’d said I was going to leave the break to him when he first mooted it,  back when I thought it would be a long weekend in, maybe, Dorset.

So my first drop and flop holiday looms menacingly on the horizon.

Except it doesn’t really.  There’s too much work between now and then for that horizon to even feature.  I would stress however (entirely subconscious choice of words) that it’s volume of work rather than other unpleasantness.  Having put up with a toxic work environment for years in my last job, I’ll happily take volume over sniping, back-biting and a blame culture.  Yes, it’s likely to get tense and possibly ill-tempered at times, but it is nothing like what I had to endure there.  I know I’m valued and I know I’ll do a good job – and I know I’ll come out the other side.  If slightly frazzled.

Of course, work stress – especially when experienced en masse – does tend to lead to bad eating.  The treats go up in quantity but not quality and the propensity to just grab some, mindlessly, increases exponentially.  I need to dig deep and find some willpower.  It’s not like crazy amounts of sugar actually help with stress after all.

In fact, with a sun, sand, sea and stress holiday coming hot on the heels of the work intensity, succumbing will actually lead to more stress.  Maybe that is the factor that will deliver that much needed willpower.

I didn’t ever talk to P – despite your good advice – not only because he’d pretty much done the deed by the time I’d posted, but also because I don’t want him to ever have to suffer because of my hang-ups.  He loves a bit of sun and never really gets it – our holidays tend to be yomping round historical sites and/or hiking and whilst he likes that too, he misses out on sunshine (actually we did get some in Syria in 2010 but only whilst marching round sites – now sadly mostly gone of course).  I have asked him if he’s intending to swim in CV and he said probably not – this somehow lessens the feeling that I’m missing out on that and the pressure.  Then again, we’re doing a day’s trip which encompasses good beaches so.....  I shall take a cozzie..... probably.  I doubt it will emerge from my suitcase but I’ll probably take one.  I’ll take an existing one – I’m certainly not getting into that hideous cycle of trying to find, with increasing anxiety, frustration and mounting self-loathing, something which looks half decent.  Hell, I’d settle for fractionally decent.  But I think I’ll have to go with ‘covers me decently’.

Appropriately, today is my first starve day in, oooh, 3 weeks?  Four?  I stopped when I got ill before Christmas and last week it seemed too brutal a transition.  It’s uncomfortable and unpleasant but I’m hoping I will be rewarded on SoD tomorrow and see a decent lump off.  Next starve day is set for Wednesday so I get a ‘normal’ dieting day before knuckling down again.  Perhaps I need to put a pic of a beach or swimming pool on my desk to remind me of why I must stick grimly and religiously to this, despite stomach rumblings.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Sun, sea and stress

Oh January, how I hate you.  Okay, we won’t go there again but let me just say, January is not making much effort to change my mind.

Of all the months when you could really do with perking yourself up with some sneaky chocolate, January is probably up there as the top month – and the one where you really can’t.  Not that it makes much sodding difference, after two days sulkily back on the wagon, I’ve put on 2lbs. 

I’m weighing every day at the moment so I knew I’d not lost anything after the first day – I am a dirty great tanker, I thought to myself, it will take a little while for the losses to register.  But after two days and putting ON 2lbs, I am most seriously displeased.  At pretty much any given time this would be a kicker in the puss (please note: puss means face in this instance.  Lest some of you get graphically if metaphorically carried away.  Um, south...) but when you add in January, denial and a strong need for affirmation, this sucks big time.

I have not yet started the starve days – that joy is before me.  As in next week.  I thought that festive to starve might actually be too much of a shock.  But as it turns out, festive to diet is a shock – an unpleasant one at that.  And the results are even worse. 

And as it happens, there is additional pressure.  Not that it should be pressure at all.  But in the world of the fatty – or this fatty at any rate – things that should cause excitement and pleasure, have all kinds of other stings.  I am going to have a pretty hideously full on month at work next month – from the volume of work rather than anything worse, I hasten to add.  It’s looking like a shocker though.  And so, sweetly, P said we’d go away in early March as something to look forward to and for relaxation.  I was thinking a long weekend, probably somewhere in the West Country.  It turns out his horizons were rather more expansive.  He’s currently on the brink of booking a week in Cape Verde. 

Now, this is not – to be utterly frank – my sort of holiday: I care nothing for sun, but I do like history and/or good hiking and eating out.  This is very much a flopping around in the sun, all-inclusive, never leave the resort sort of holiday.  I have never experienced this type of holiday but I see that it ticks the ‘relax’ box – I could probably drain my kindle dry in that time.  The thing that is causing me unintended stress is the 'sun + fat = sad' formula which I have running through me like a stick of rock.  I will not be going in the pools, the sea and possibly not even in a private Jacuzzi – the very idea causes my anxiety levels to sky rocket.  Yes, I can sit by said sea/pool in a skirt and t-shirt but it will be pretty clear that I’m hiding.  People will, no doubt, be grateful, but I feel like I’ll be calling attention to myself whether I bared or not, and that is abhorrent to me. 

There is no way I can lose sufficient weight to feel better about having lightweight clothing on, let alone swimwear, but it does rather pile on the pressure to lose as much as possible.  And that, whilst good from an incentive perspective, means that sessions with Scales of Doom are likely to be even more highly charged than they already are.  I need to lose 12lbs to get into the next stone bracket (still an unacceptably high and blubbery one) which would at least have the bonus of feeling like a milestone: Reader, I have probably 7 weeks to get there.  And as we know, my losses are so slow as to be invisible to the naked eye – and on top of that, I’m currently moving in the wrong direction.  You’re reading this knowing I’m hyperventilating, right?  Right.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

New year, old me

Oh January – I really hate you. 

Today is my first day back at work – I chickened out of the first Monday of the new year and it’s as well I did as I had a migraine.  Always fun for a day off.  It was notable that there were not too many new year’s resolutions around cleanliness in my tube carriage this morning.

But of course, one of the reasons I hate January is the whole resolution business.  It feels like having my nose firmly rubbed in my own imperfections.  And that’s a lot of rubbing.  Of course, I know the elephant in the room is, well, me.  And tbh after a period of indulgence, dieting was always going to be back on the, er, menu.  It just seems more loaded this way.  Not in the way of a potato skin, you understand.

Still, I bit the bullet and dragged a skulking Scales of Doom from the dusty dimness of under the bed.  I can’t be sure exactly, but I think I put on 3 ½ lbs.  I can’t remember the last time I weighed and what with being ill for most of December, had stopped with the dieting and daily weighing some time before Christmas (a week or two I think).  Still, that 3 ½ lbs is kind of false, given that I’d put on 3lbs before that – so I guess over the festive period I put on about half a stone – and catapulted myself back out of the 2st loss.  It’s at this point I feel hopeful that it will come off equally as fast – hope which has never actually come to fruition yet.

I was actually more temperate than normal over Christmas.  I didn’t feel that desperation to eat anything I might conceivably want to eat over the next 6 months but not allow myself.  But I drank wine every day and, I think, had pudding every day so it’s none too surprising I guess.  Unsurprising but inevitably disappointing.

And the January plus re-dieting effect was exacerbated today when I put on an old coat which is really too tight.  Nothing calculated to make you feel as miserable as too-tight clothing.  I’m wearing my mac tomorrow, regardless of temperature.  What’s really annoying, coat-wise, is that I have a beautiful (tweed!) coat that P bought me in c2010 which I strongly suspect is still too small.  I daren’t try it on for the misery it will cause me once this is confirmed.  I keep telling myself that once I tip under the next stone bracket I’ll woman up and try it on.  Unfortunately that is now 11.5lbs away, rather than 5lbs away.  It could be summer by then.....  And I’m not even sure I mean summer this year.

How was your Christmas dear Reader?  I used to love Christmas – until quite recently in fact – but over the last few years, much as I’ve tried to hold on to that magical feeling, it’s ebbed away.  This year I pretty much had a panic attack over the whole thing.  It was sparked by a silly row with P (over nothing, obvs) but I realise that the pressure to have a perfect day is just too intense for me – it makes me feel really low.  It was less bad than I’d feared though – we went to my mother’s for the day.  She is the least motherly mother in the world and I had envisaged a day where I did all the work and did not even get to be in my own home, whilst having to prop her up and arbitrate spats between her and P.  But it was all fine and she actually offered and made me a sandwich, a real rarity (the offer of and provision of food, not the actual consumption of sandwiches) – and we were late and she was okay about that and didn’t start going on about the impact of the dogs of us not being there to take them out first thing (she is herself Queen of Late but somehow this gets overlooked).  I am still marvelling over that sandwich.

The fact remains that the combination of all the sadness and anxiety about Christmas, the dieting and weight thing and the (for me) inevitable January blues means I’m struggling a bit with life at the moment.  I suppose it’s lucky that life doesn’t do much in January and I can lick my wounds from my sofa and wait (or is it ‘weight’?!) for better days.