Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Go Figure

I am not good at numbers – I took my GCSE twice to get my C grade and maths never made sense to me.  I actually failed my maths entrance exam for secondary school and it was only because my English and VR were so good that I was offered a place.  There was no concept of dyscalculia then – but I find I can’t look at a list of numbers greater than three digits or they all dance about on the page and the order of them can become twisted.

Numbers have become even more my enemy since they are bound up in my weight and thus my self esteem. 

The weekend before last, P was away with a friend and so I pulled everything out of my cupboards and wardrobe to sort.  I know that the ‘I have nothing to wear’ bleat is a common one (especially in bulging wardrobe) – but I really don’t.  The bedroom turned into a battlefield as I was quickly knee-deep in clothes.  It took me seven hours on the Saturday and three on Sunday so sort through everything.  Reader, I have FIVE sizes worth of clothes.  They range from my current size (at the largest end of the spectrum, sob) to those that just about fit or were a little small at my lowest, post LL, days.  And that’s not even taking into account the massive disparity within a single size.  Most of the clothes are from ebay but even so, they must represent a scary sum of money. 

I sorted all my clothes into (tagged) size and bagged them up with the largest two sizes hung and then the smallest the furthest away.  I chucked a lot out (it seems I went through a period where I was mad for appliqué and beads – no longer, shudder) – I had three big bin sacks of stuff to chuck and the world’s largest holdall stuffed to the gunnels with stuff I won’t wear (even taking account the sizing) that was so heavy I couldn’t lift it properly (and I’m pretty strong).  My wardrobe still doesn’t shut properly but it should be more coherent.  I badly want to be getting smaller and chucking as I go, streamlining both myself and my wardrobe in the process.  There are some nice things in the bagged sizes which I'd like to be able to wear, too.

And now we come to the other ‘numbers are the enemy’ aspect of my post: we’ve booked another holiday.  Well, I say we have, we’ve actually booked the hotel (as it can be cancelled) whilst we wait for my boss to come back from holiday to sign the leave off.  I’m 99.9% sure it will be fine but I don’t want to tempt fate with booking flights.  You remember how I shun beachy holidays because of the whole swimwear issue?  Yes, you guessed it, it’s beachy.  Northern Cyprus to be exact (dusting down my 70 words of Turkish even now).  There will be some trailing around archaeological sites (the photos of which from Jordan my boss said were “samey”!) because I love a pile of old stones – and I will go insane sitting around doing nothing for a fortnight.  That would be the case even if I had the sort of figure that meant I could wear a white crochet bikini (not that I’d want to – especially as a lingerie salesperson once told me that to get skin-toned underwear I had to look at white, rather than nudes or blushes.  She had a point).  

So here we are again, back in that loop where my number-befuddled brain has no problem in coming up with a number I want to see on the scales.  It’s 15 weeks exactly today; I want to say I can lose two stone (I’d settle for a stone and a half).  Even if it’s starting from the elevated post-Jordan place I am on the Scales of Doom now.  I want to believe it and I will certainly crack on with it with determination – and then I think about dinner with P tomorrow with all-you-can-drink champagne, my birthday, his birthday – and I fear how badly this could go wrong.  It’s that age-old teeter along the no-mans land brink of diets and life which I find hard.  And my progress for the last year or so has been 0.5-1lb a month.  Yes, a month.  It doesn’t bear thinking about.  But I don't want it to wreck my pleasure in anticipating the holiday - or from fully enjoying it once there.  I have a plan - not necessarily a winning plan - but a plan.  More of which later (any ideas you'd like to contribute to The Plan will be most welcome.  As long as they don't involve running - because did that and I hated it and it didn't work).

Friday, 2 June 2017

The holiday in numbers


Holiday – 12 days
Miles walked -  54
Rough hewn steps/rocks climbed – 1,600 in two hits, plus ad hoc ‘normal’ stairs of course, in temperatures ranging from low to upper 30s°C
Lunches skipped - 8
Puddings eaten – 1 (a bit of one, at that)
Days when food was, erm, going straight through me – 3
Weight change - +7lbs

That was the quant, now for the qual.

It was a good holiday.  I like to do a lot on holiday and it certainly ticked that box!  We never got more than a couple of hours off during the day and Petra alone nearly broke me physically but I don’t regret a bit of it.  Our first day there we walked 11 miles, including a scramble up a mixture of steps and rocky surfaces to the tune of 950 (I didn’t count but this is what they say).  By the time we got back to the hotel we were absolutely exhausted.  It was 36° too.  We drank a LOT of water – and it was probably too much for either of us (including P who has always demonstrated some kind of mountain goat genes), but you couldn’t really not do that climb.  The next day we did a 750 ‘step’ climb.  I thought it would be easier because I knew I could do it from the longer climb the previous day.  It was not.  My preparation of walking up escalators was laughably inadequate – although I still find that tough, damnit.  Petra was the highlight (and I’d like to go back) but a close second would be Jerash – a Roman site.  My boss said my photos were “samey”, but this is a small desert country and I am sure they reflected my love of old stones and camels.  It made me pretty happy, anyway.  After a lot of last minute traumas with reordering various size of top for the tankini (great service by Poinsettia in Glasgow – I’d recommend them), wrestling myself into them, and finally having to pick up the last one 20 mins after we should have left for the airport, I did wear it and I did go in the Dead Sea, Lana and Lesley.  It was bizarre and a little painful but I’m glad I did it.  Getting out was surprisingly difficult!  I also went in the Red Sea briefly – before remembering (having jumped off a boat) that my right arm wasn’t working properly and having to haul myself back up the ladder.  Still, I did it.  P was immensely reassuring about my swimsuit angst – and had to do the bra fastening of the tankini up as I couldn’t twist my right arm behind me.

So on to the elephant in the room....

I genuinely thought I would be coming home roughly the same weight as I went out there.  It was a great holiday but it was very full on and it was tiring.  I even thought that what with the exercise (and the digestive problems) I might come home slightly lighter.  I suppose this was stupid, given that exercise has never made any difference to my weight.  But to have put that much weight on was... well, more than disappointing really, more exhausting.  I feel like I’m constantly trying to wade through mud up to my neck and not getting anywhere – but I daren’t stop in case I sink.  I’m so, SO tired of it, but I know I can’t stop.  We are hoping to go away for a week in late September or early October so I need to get my dieting energy back.  I know I’m idiotic to do it, but I can’t help but allow the ‘oh, maybe I could lose a couple of stone by then’ to intrude, despite the years and years of bitter experience telling me I won’t do anything of the kind.  Based on the last couple of years, I lose about 0.5 - 1lb a month. I don't even need to qualify that with expletives, do I.