29 April 2008

Wobble avoidance

Well, this morning's 'pint & ryvita' tactics seem to have worked. Was taken out for a coffee (well, tea) to discuss business and offered cake. The cake is still in the shop. This is pretty good.

I was also given a mini Toblerone by someone who noticed I looked stressed.... oh dear, now that's a temptation and a half. Can the fat lass resist?

Well, as I write at least, it is safely tucked away in my desk drawer until after gym tonight, so I'll class this as a major success!

A bit of a wobble

It's not started at all well today. My attitude is a bit off beam and I'm having to fight hard with myself to not buy chocolate.

It's down to work stress again - I was OK before my meeting with the boss. This seems to be a repeating trigger for falling off the wagon and today is H*A*R*D. I'm trying the 'pint of water and a couple of ryvitas' trick at the moment, in the hope that actually filling my belly with something (albeit not with the thing I'm craving) will pacify my brain.

I also ache still from Sunday's gym session (the leg press was still broken so I tried out a couple of alternative leg stations which use other muscle groups - don't I know it!) and from last night's Chi Kung. This stiffness and aching isn't helping as I'm not sleeping terribly comfortably. Doesn't fill me with enthusiasm for the morning exercises either!

There's too much going on right now and prioritising is not easy - everything is important! I guess I'm just feeling overwhelmed and rather down. It's back to the gym tonight for a gentle (ish) session. I can at least take my frustrations out on the machines.

24 April 2008

Maths was never my strong point

I've been doing some thinking, and some sums. Not an easy task for a bear of very little brain, but I just felt it had to be done.

On Monday the dietician told me I'd lost more than 10% of my body weight.That was fantastic news, absolutely brilliant in fact, but then I started thinking I'd like to know exactly how much more than 10%. Hence the sums.

I was first weighed at the GP's some 5 weeks after starting to be seriously careful what I ate and beginning to increase my practically non-existent exercise levels. At that point I weighed in at 96kg. I guess I'd already lost something as my bust, waist, hip etc. measurements had reduced but I didn't own a bathroom scales (at that size ? No way!). So, I can't really calculate the loss over that period.

Hmmm, OK, lets call my starting weight 96kg then. 10% of that would be 9.6kg (basic maths but hey, I can do this one). So once I'd got to 86.4kg I'd lost my 10%. On Monday I was down to 79kg so I've lost 17kg in total. Now, looking this up (with thanks to FatFrank's Weblog) that means 79 kg = 174 lbs = 12 stone 6 lbs. Great, but what is that in percentage terms?

Struggle with calculator and figure it to be a loss of 17.7%. Does that sound right to you? This is getting better.

Better yet, when I get down to 76.8kg I'll be down to 80% of my starting weight - a 20% loss sounds twice as good to me and it's not that far to go. If this isn't motivation then I don't know what would be - that'd be a fifth of my flabby body gone! Disappeared. Left the building. And, never coming back.

Wish me luck.


It isn't much, but it makes me happy.

Ever since I started my job (about 18 months ago) I've been using my predecessor's lab coat. She was also a large lady. Not a problem. The coat went round me and who cares what you look like when you are a fat lass.

I happened to glance at my reflection in a glass door panel yesterday and realised that this lab coat was now completely swamping me. I don't mean 'a bit big', but it was like a little head and a couple of hands had been stuck on a white barn door.

So I have a new one. It's ten inches smaller than the old one. It fits me. I feel good about it.

The little things in life sometimes mean the most, don't you think?

23 April 2008

Good last night?

Yes, it was. I wasn't really expecting it to be but I really enjoyed the gym and afterwards was nice too.

The gym was very, very crowded and hot as hell. Smelly too, but you get used to that (and start to whiff a bit yourself quite soon). There were queues for all the CV machines but I got lucky and just as I finished on the cross-trainer someone finished with the stepper. I would have liked a short break between but...

It started to thin out a little bit by around 7pm and the weights were less of a problem. The leg-press is still broken, but all else was good - even the core stuff. The best bit was that I didn't need to use my inhaler. It got a bit close at times, but I got through without it in the end. A real bonus after the morning.

Afterwards we went around the corner to a very basic, no-frills pub. I was desperately thirsty even though I'd drunk a lot in the gym, and demolished a glass of tonic water then ordered another straight away - hubby hadn't even sat down!

I wasn't very hungry (are you surprised after the bread pud?) so asked for the vegetable and tomato soup. Good choice? Oh yes. When it arrived it looked amazing. Thick with broccoli, carrots, corn, onions, mushrooms and the odd bean, in a lovely tomato sauce. Served with a hunk of granary and a hunk of white loaf. Delicious!

Hubby's veg curry with udong noodles was apparently very nice too. It certainly disappeared fast and looked great - full of veg. He helped me out with the bread, so the only waste was a pot of butter.

22 April 2008

Plus and minus

On the heels of last night's positive thinking the morning began well. Onto the rower (albeit not up to full strength yet) and wheezing or not got the abs stuff done. A brisk walk to work from the far end of town - so far so good.

Most of the morning was OK, until just before lunch when everything went pear-shaped. Call it too much to do in too short a time - other people's emergencies, dumped on yours truly to sort out. Spent a lot of time on the phone and emailing suppliers - mostly to no avail. The asthma set off something alarming - stressed out I guess - and I needed to use my inhaler twice in an hour so I then shook like a jelly (a side-effect I could well do without!).

Ate my lunchtime salad (a rather boring ham one this time) and my apple, but neither were satisfying so I then cast around for the dreaded 'something nice'. I found it. It came in a foil packet and had too much salt in it - yep, bag of crisps. OK, drink a pint of water to compensate. Promise to drink another pint during the afternoon. One foot off the wagon but, hell, it's not too bad. Is it?

This afternoon has been manic too. I think to myself "I'd better avoid the canteen" (they serve home-made cake every day!) and I plan to stay away. Then I decided I really wanted a cup of tea - you guessed, I didn't get time for my second pint of water. Fine, I go to the canteen. Yes, I came back with a cuppa... but it was accompanied by a slice of bread pudding. Stodgy bread pudding. Delicious bread pudding. Unnecessary bread pudding. It's disappeared and, worse, I know where it went.

OK, let's not get completely carried away here. I had brought in a ham roll and some fruit to eat at tea-break before going to the gym tonight. I'll keep that for lunch tomorrow, so in effect I'm just replacing it with the bread pudding for a dose of carbohydrates and some dried fruit. Yes, there's some empty calories too, but it's not a complete disaster - unlike the crisps which really had no fringe benefits.

But, it's back onto the wagon as of this moment, my gal. My fat ass is going to the gym tonight and I'm damn well going to work off those empty calories! What's more, I WILL drink that second pint of water right now... glug, glug, glug.

21 April 2008

A BIG milestone!

Well, this evening has turned out to be rather a fine one.

Starting with a visit to the GP for my three-monthly check - the good news is that I've lost another 6kg. This means I've now lost more than 10% of my body-weight (from my starting point) and the dietician assures me that losing this amount correlates with significant long-term health benefits. Still fighting the leftovers from a chest infection and, sadly, a resurgence of my asthma, this is very welcome news indeed.

But the better news to my mind is that when we calculated my body mass index figure I'm now out of the 'obese' category! Only just, as I now have a BMI of 30 so I'm right on the borderline, but I'm no longer obese - that sounds soooo good. Yes, I'm still a fatty - officially 'overweight', that is - but I'm so pleased I could belly-dance for joy!

I'm really, really delighted with the progress I've made - it's hard to express how happy it makes me. In less than a year, I've gone from a BMI of over 36 down to 30. This makes up for all my recent black dog days and the struggles to keep my motivation intact.

The evening got even better. The new term started tonight for my Chi Kung class and it was great! The 'old hands' amongst us have really missed the classes and everyone said how good it was to be back. There were a few new faces tonight too, and we all really enjoyed tonight's session... even if the calf muscles were trembling by the end of it.

Could the evening get better still? Yes, it certainly could!

Hubby came to meet me from class and took me for a picnic by the river. Crisp, crunchy chilli chicken salad with lots of shredded carrot and sweet red pepper, birds to watch and to listen to, some beautiful shaggy brown sheep grazing on the opposite bank and then the best bit of all. Once we'd finished our salads we walked along the river - heaven! I've only just finished picking the midges out of my teeth.

What a great end to today. Picture me grinning... a lot.

16 April 2008

Bad, bad, bad!

Back to work today. Why do I ever go away? Didn't feel on top of the world anyway and it's been a day of disasters.

Started at 06.50, in the fog, with my bank card being swallowed up, giving me no cash to buy a bus ticket - this deserves a BIG grrrrr!

On to a conversation with said bank - who assure me there's no reason for it to happen, probably 'a fault'. Oooh, you're kidding, right?

Then, to cap it all, the fool banker (yep, that first letter is a 'b') tried to sell me home insurance! Let's just say it wasn't a good time to be mentioning something like that.

And, on to grumble no. 2, I can't get to see my doctor about this disgustingly bubbling, raspy chest until Friday afternoon - late afternoon!

Work has also been a bit of a trial - the expected 'lots of stuff' to sort out after two days leave - and my temper isn't improved by the individual who, when I've gone out of my way to chase up an 'urgent' outstanding order, grumpily tells me just how much of a problem the thing not arriving until tomorrow will make his life! And this when he was looking at the item not arriving until the end of the month before I chased it. Oh dear. I'm utterly heartbroken.

The upshot? I ate cake!

Did I care? Hell, no.

Did I enjoy it? Sadly, no. Not that it wasn't nice, but it wasn't really what I needed - namely to reduce a severely tested temper to a mere murmur and to cheer up a rather trying day. I'd have been much better off going for a wheezy walk - inhaler and all.

To cut a long story short, I think I'd better get my attitude back on track before tomorrow and haul my ass firmly back onto the wagon. Otherwise, I'll start getting fatter and even less healthy again, and certain other folk in my vicinity may find their life isn't worth living.

15 April 2008

Stealth bug

Oh pooh! Just when I thought I'd managed to fight off the lurgy. The sneaky little buggy beggar was in hiding - good timing? Not!

Drove down to Mum's on Saturday morning - felt exhausted when I got there but not actually ill. Unfortunately, at this point my friendly, neighbourhood bug decided now would be a good time to stage a takeover bid.

By early evening this translated into an almost constant series of coughing fits, apparently designed to scrape off the top layer of cells from my lungs (back to the inhaler, I'm afraid). Add in the sweats 'n shakes and a jack-hammer headache which extended from my temples to the back of my neck. Exercise? Who are you kidding? Food? Yuck!

The birthday dawned with me still hacking and coughing - off to church for everyone but me. Blast it - really wanted to go with them. Got myself together (well, to 'approximately' human) to go out for a celebratory meal but it wasn't awfully appealing. The two big jugs of water were calling more strongly than food. Just about hung in there for the birthday cake then off to another uncomfortable, cough-disturbed night.

Drove home early, with frequent cough, inhaler and drink stops. Boy, does feeling this rough make me worryingly aggressive on the road. Sincere apologies to the lorry driver and to the IAM - guess I should have hidden the badge!

Home at last and straight into bed by 3 p.m. Didn't emerge until the next morning... oh yeah, that's today. What a waste of two days annual leave and all my plans for an extended visit to my lovely Mum. Still, there'll be a bank holiday soon - try again, I guess.

I can't help thinking the rower and the gym is out of the question for a few days as breathing is a bit of an issue, but hey, lets look at the silver lining. Got on the scales this morning and the lack of interest in food translates to a 2.5kg weight loss.

I know, I know, it won't stay that way, but let me have something to cheer up my miserable morning.

11 April 2008

Walkies, anyone?

The rowing, abs exercise and gym has really gone to pot over the last few days, with this coldy, coughy, headachy thing making me feel like a bit of a zombie. I've really not felt like exercising, particularly when the alarm gets me out of bed at 5.15 a.m., but I've also missed it in a funny way. It's been a source of some frustration to me - sort of half wanting to, but feeling that I can't.

But, just to try it out and see how things went, I got off the bus as early as I could tonight and walked home. The wind was blowing an absolute hooley, needless to say straight into my face, and it had a real bite to it (apparently it snowed again earlier!). But what the hell, I stepped out and, even though I got out of puff, it did me a huge amount of good. I didn't quite need the inhaler either.

Yes, I'm now feeling tired (bodily, at least), but I also feel much more mentally alert and much less 'poor me'.

So, I think there's a lesson here for me. Even when I feel like a whimpering wimp, maybe I should force this fat butt into action, even if it is only half an hour's walking. It might make me feel better, not worse - what do you reckon?

Guilt-minimising comfort food

My lovely hubby is such a star! He never ceases to surprise me - he must have seen yesterday's entry and last night, when I got home, he'd come up with a great compromise.

A big pile of red cabbage (a firm favourite of mine), with a layer of bubble & squeak on top. So, I had my potato, just mixed with broccoli and onion to make it even tastier without having to resort to adding high-fat cheese.

Add two poached eggs with a little smoked ham mixed in and that was dinner. Loads of flavour, felt like comfort food but kept the fats and calories to a pretty reasonable level.

The PC help went well (and quickly - phew!) and an early night was possible after all.

Still feeling less than 100% today, with a rather unattractive growly voice and a something that sounds like the worst smoker's cough, but in a better frame of mind for having been pampered and provided with some serious comfort. I may need the asthma inhaler at some point today (it's come close a few times) - but, if I do, this is NOT a failure!

10 April 2008

Not a good day.

This blasted headache is still driving me mad, three days now - think I'm fighting/starting a cold, and paracetamol are not helping worth a damn. Just in time for Mum's birthday weekend too. I feel really miserable.

And, oh boy, it seems to have affected my common sense. At a meeting this morning, someone put a plate of biscuits in front of me and I'd eaten four before I realised what I was doing and pushed them out of reach (though it was a particularly boring meeting, I have to say).

I wolfed my lunchtime sandwiches and orange, demolished a yoghurt which was supposed to be for tomorrow's lunch and I almost succumbed to a slice of cake a few minutes ago. What is happening to my self-control?

What's more, I didn't do my rowing or abs stuff yesterday or today and I'm like a bear with a sore head - OK, more like a fat lass with a sore head. Well, exactly like a fat lass... etc.

What I'm craving at the moment is some serious comfort - a big mug of hot chocolate, a heaped plate of garlic-laced, cheese-topped mashed potato and then my bed... preferably cuddled up, wrapped in the duvet with my own pet nuclear reactor - hubby.

Instead, what I have in store tonight is another bloody salad, a 'computer support' slot for a neighbour and the joys of being back to more work hassle tomorrow. At least the salad will be nice... if not the mash I crave.

06 April 2008

Groaning, but content

Hubby has risen to the occasion again. To hell with a photo of the real thing this time - it wasn't going to last long enough. One sniff and I just fell on it like a starving wolf!

Picture a stuffed chicken breast parcel from the butchery counter at Origin 8 in Cambridge. Before cooking, they look very similar to this but maybe a tad smaller and without the cherry!

This is meat as it should be. Free-range and reared withing clucking distance of Cambridge! As they would put it:

fresh, seasonal and based on local agricultural and culinary traditions
Roasted until a beautiful golden brown, it sat on a bed of pureed broad beans mixed with a teaspoonful of home-made basil and mint pesto. The beans were wonderful! A healthy helping of steamed carrots and sweetheart cabbage served in bowls on the side and Sunday dinner never looked so good. Who needs the fat-laden roast tatties, eh?

OK, it wasn't all goody two-shoes stuff - we really ate far too much. We could easily have shared the meat from a single breast, not had a whole one each, but next time we'll know better. I have to say that I think the bean puree and veg would almost be enough, without the chicken, although hubby doesn't agree.

The devilish side of me ate the lot! Better hit the gym tomorrow - work off some of these calories!

Menu alert!

We always look at the menu whenever we pass anywhere that serves food - a new cafe, restaurant, pub, whatever. Always have and always will. I guess it's a bit of a hobby. Can't say it's a harmless one as all too often we've just had to try something out. Over the years, well, let's just say you know the result!

But, I've realised that things have obviously changed - and for the better. My eyes now head straight for the 'Salads' section. And, what's more, they are what I want to try, and usually do.

Yes, I still look at the pies, I still peruse the pilafs and puddings, but soups and salads really get me salivating!

05 April 2008

Jeans. At last!

I wore jeans today... and felt good. I can't quite believe it, but it's true.

I've been looking for some that fit me 'properly' for an age now - by this I mean they should hold my flab in check without making me (and my bloated belly) look and feel like a beached whale, but equally are not so tight they cut off all circulation to my lower extremities.

They should comfortably fit across the broad expanse of hips (oh yes, I do indeed define the term 'broad') but without the waistband gaping at the back as they are too big at the waist. The stretch-denim options sometimes do this, but then are too tight at the top of my thighs, thus accentuating the flabby belly all over again. I've been close to giving up as nothing I tried in any of the clothes shops seemed to cover all bases.

I'd already tried on a variety of sizes of just about every range my local (very large) Marks & Spencer store had to offer, but to no avail. Off topic a bit, but I struggle to understand how a size 18 in one range can be so tight that, if I can pull the blasted things up, I can barely breathe, yet a size 16 in another range is too big on the waist. A size 20 in yet another is OK, except for the legs - way too tight at the calf. And all these in the same store? I thought 'sizes' were supposed to be universal!

Then a chance encounter with a second-hand pair from M&S in a charity shop (obviously from an old range of theirs) was a moment of pure bliss. They just fitted right - and they are pristine - it doesn't look like they've ever been worn. They are a size 18, but already I can see that they will soon be too big for me. OK, one small problem - the legs were too long, but half an hour with needle and thread sorts that out.

The best part was walking around in public feeling 'normal' wearing denim again. There were a lot of people in jeans who were bigger than me, so I felt almost average. Well done to the exercise (especially the abs crunches) for helping me along the way.

04 April 2008

Fishy business

Yum, yum. Hubby is really getting into this 'healthy option' cooking.

Yes indeed, I am one very lucky 'fat lass'. And with my darling helping me all the way by keep me interested in good, tasty, low-fat choices, I'm slowly getting to be less of a fatty.

This time it was a bed of roasted root vegetables and a warm mixed bean salad with a mint vinaigrette, topped with fillets of pan-fried tilapia (using just a smidgen of oil).

This was pretty darned good on it's own, but decorated with what is rapidly becoming one of my favourite treats - roasted cherry tomatoes - it was fantastic!

As you can see, it looked amazing. Even better, it tasted great and ticked off loads of the 'healthy' boxes.

Now, if only some clever person would develop a 'taste-o-vision' plug-in for Blogger ...

01 April 2008

Size 16 skirt!

I've just bought a skirt from Jaeger - beautiful it is too. But best of all, it's a size 16! And it isn't tight!

I think that should kick my Black Dog where it hurts. We are off to the gym tonight so re-motivating seems to be going well. Wish me luck.

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