27 April 2009


I've been doing some thinking over the weekend and have realised I've been guilty of letting stress overcome me and make me feel powerless again. Focusing on the 'I can't' rather than the 'I can'. 'Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid!

That has to change.

The various family health worries are not going to go away just because I want them to, and it's about time I started dealing with them as a grown up, not letting the frightened child in me run scared. I can't affect others, but what about me?

Let's take a long look at why I started this whole process, way back in June 2007. Yes, I wanted to be less fat. But the biggest driver was doing something to make me healthier - to avoid the prospects of worsening arthritis, and developing diabetes or heart disease. Hopefully, I've come a long way towards making that happen. As a bonus my asthma (which had deteriorated quite a lot) has improved more than I would have believed possible. I cannot remember the last time my inhaler was unearthed from the nether regions of my handbag. I have an asthma review tomorrow and it will be interesting to see if my clinician agrees with my own assessment.

I'm pretty happy with what I'm eating these days. I feel like my 'normal' patterns of eating have shifted to a much healthier diet overall, albeit with occasional lapses. But that's OK and I can't see me ever going back to the way I used to eat. I could still use a little work on reducing portion sizes, and I need to do that in co-operation with lovely hubby.

More recently, in December 2008, I set myself a couple of goals. The first was to reach 70kg. OK, we nailed that one, although I've hung about and shuffled a wee bit over and under it for rather too long. As an aside, today's scales reading is 69kg. Progress, but could do better still.

The second goal was to attain a BMI of 25. That would make me officially 'normal' or, to put it another way, no longer in the 'overweight' class. That'll be reached when I hit 10 stone 5 lbs, around the 65.5kg mark. We are talking eight or nine pounds away from where I am right now. Notice that I say 'when' not 'if'. That's a real surprise to find that I just automatically write (and think) in those terms - I now 'know' I can do it now, you see.

But the thing which will break the current stalemate (with me hovering around 70kg) is to increase the exercise I do - to use up more calories than I'm using at the moment. I need to get back on the rower, and gradually build up my time and speed. I'm at the stage where my knee and back should let me do it. Didn't manage it today, sadly, so guess what I plan to do in the morning.

In the longer term I want to get back to the gym, and I think I can do that too. Maybe not doing the exact routine I used to do, maybe with a couple of modifications so the knee and back won't flare up and ruin my fun, but there's got to be some sort of work-around.

I'm going to add another goal. I currently have a 31" waist (or maybe just a shade under that). But dangling below my waist is that soft blobby (pure fat!) belly which I hate, even though there are some firm-ish muscles underlying the fat. OK, it isn't realistic to think the flubber will magically vanish, even as the weight reduces, but there are things I can do to help. Arrrrgh, a return to the abs exercises!

And my new goal is...? What I want to see is that waist measurement below 30" (below 29" would be even better) and a marked reduction in the flubber. For both, exercise looks like the way to go.

21 April 2009

Not the best start to a week

Well, before I start moaning I'll get the good bit of news off my chest. The scales reported 69.5kg yesterday morning. That's back down under the 11 stone milestone again, at last. I can't quite understand how the lbs have dropped off as I haven't been particularly careful over food and exercise has been minimal to say the least. Still, I'll gratefully accept the outcome.

Have to say that I'm a bit concerned over the exercise part at the moment. Because of the Bartholin episode (which is still ongoing) I haven't been able to do my morning physio exercises. Walking too far has been a no-no as well. I am still so dog-tired (the antibiotic effect?) that any form of exercise seems an unachievable aim at the moment. Just making it through a work day is enough. I feel like a complete slug. But, what really bothers me is that unless I can get back to doing the physio exercises my other problems may return. Catch 22 indeed.

I'm a bit peeved that I had to go back to my GP because this Bartholin thing isn't going away. That means taking round two of the high-dosage flucloxacillin tablets... with a repeat of the various side-effects! Let's hope this lot will sort out this bug, or whatever it is that has decided to take up residence. I don't want it any longer and definitely don't want it to get the upper hand again. If that does happen, I'm told it's off to the emergency gynaecologist for a 'minor operation'. Sounds fun, eh?

Add to this that I'm worrying more and more about my poor lovely hubby. He is also on another round of antibiotics (different ones this time) for another ten days, as his post-op infection doesn't want to do the decent thing and go away either - what a pair we are! Things had seemed to be going so well, and we are now left wondering what the long-term outcome is likely to be. I know I can't do anything to help, and I'm trying to keep calm and logical (for both of us) but I am not able to stop the worries descending, usually in the early hours.

Then there's the worries over my Mum. She went for a CT scan on Friday (she's still losing weight and has a 'lump' in her abdomen) and we are now on tenterhooks for the next two weeks until we find out more about what is going on. It was really lovely to see her at Easter, but awful in a way too, as it made me realised just how frail she is becoming. She's in pain much of the time too, although she does her utmost to hide that. She's such a fighter, my Mum, but age and time is taking it's toll and she's getting less and less able to cope.

And it's been a rough few days at work. I feel overwhelmed and less able to handle the everyday hassles than usual. OK, that may be partly down to the fact that I still feel pretty ropey and have minimal patience at the moment. It may also be due to the seeming lack of common sense exhibited by the supposedly intelligent and highly educated bunch I work with. Which part of 'taking personal responsibility' for your surroundings isn't getting through? Oh boy!

All of this stuff is so depressing. I need to snap out of it before I start hitting the chocolate and get out the Leonard Cohen records! So, positive things to think about...

  • It's spring and the flowers are lovely.
  • The sun is shining and the sky is blue.
  • I weigh a lot less than I used to.
  • I enjoy my daily fruit and fresh raw vegetables.
  • I have a wonderful family and some great friends.
  • My family are getting great medical care.
  • I still have a job.
Er... Come on, that can't be everything! Help me out here...

15 April 2009

What a way to spend Easter!

Hmmm, no posts for a while as there's been quite a lot going on, one way and another. After the supangle, at the start of last week I wrote, and then completely forgot to post, the following.

"I bow to the inevitable consequences of my actions over the last week and find myself back up to 71.5kg again. Picture a hangdog expression.

Yes, I am pretty disappointed with myself for falling off the wagon. To be honest, things really don't seem to be going all that well in 2009. I started the New Year at 75kg and the needle on my scales has wandered up and down ever since. The best result was 69kg and that was such a thrill. Unfortunately a short-lived one and it has been a hard slog even to just keep below 72kg ever since.

To be fair, and not kick myself too hard or for too long, I have been moderately sensible recently. No cream cakes or anything like that, so things could be worse than they are now."

Well, happy to say that things got a bit better... for a while... and the lbs began to drop away. Then, whooooeeee - what a rollercoaster ride Easter has been!

It's now Wednesday and I'm back at work. Mostly OK now (although that's still a bit under review), but it all started last Tuesday with a very slight spotty rash (which disappeared quite fast), a headache & stiff neck and feeling generally grotty. Had a couple of days in bed, then saw the doc on Thursday who said 'it's just a virus - keep taking painkillers'. In retrospect, I wonder if it was more likely connected to what was to follow.

So I did as the doc said and, feeling a good deal better, on Good Friday I drove (a five hour journey) to see my Mum for the Easter weekend, which coincided with her birthday. The only down side was that I went minus lovely hubby, who I left at home in bed as by then he'd come down with a cold/flu bug.

By Saturday, I wasn't feeling quite so great but didn't think too much more about it (just thought it was tiredness/driving). Then drove home a day earlier than planned, in Sunday's heavier than expected traffic, and by now in a bit of pain. So far so good, but it got lots worse overnight and lovely hubby took me to A&E at our local hospital on the bank holiday Monday as I couldn't get to see a GP.

Just as well he did - I had a Bartholin abscess (won't go into graphic details, look it up if you want - but be warned, it's not pleasant!) and was put onto a hefty dose of flucloxacillin antibiotics. The rest of Monday turned into a complete nightmare and the pain was excruciating. This you don't wish on your worst enemy. By now I could barely walk or move. I was NOT a happy bunny and had visions of being bundled off to hospital again.

Then, thankfully, that damned abscess burst on Tuesday morning. Messy and unpleasant that might be but a HUGE relief from the pain. Unfortunately, by then I had developed another (and not attractive) rash and other symptoms - thought it might be an allergic reaction to the antibiotics! Off we go to see the emergency GP after talking to NHS Direct for their advice at some ungodly hour in the morning.

The rash etc. may just be a reaction to the fluclox, but could well be part of the infection - just can't tell. But, and I think it's quite a big but, I've never reacted, even slightly, to penicillin-family antibiotics before. Still, who knows.

Today I'm still covered in a rash (not pretty), and now on antihistamines as well as the fluclox. I may have to switch antibiotics if things don't improve... but, the alternative (erythromycin) isn't as effective as fluclox! Catch 22, eh?

I feel mostly OK, but a bit tender in places, and slightly wobbly. Going to take it easy-ish at work and see how the day goes.

Weight and the eating? No idea. It's been quite some experience over the last week or so and, frankly, I don't really care right now.

Hopefully, from here on the only way is up (and, of course, down).

03 April 2009

April Fool

Oh boy, I really am one. I fell for a crazy notion on the 1st (just don't ask), the tail end of March was equally stoopid and as for the last few days....

Why? Well, the good news is that those delightful Turkish chocolatey 'supangle' puddings I extolled have all gone... but the bad news is that a good half of them have doubtless ended up as new flab for the fat lass. So, all my hard work has gone to pot again - quite literally!

Putting Monday aside, it wasn't a good week, in all sorts of ways (including getting pretty - no, very - stressed again). The prospects for the weekend are looking pretty shaky too.

On Tuesday, my lovely hubby was working late (albeit at home) so we had a very unhealthy evening meal of sandwiches and crisps, having eaten more food during the day than I'd normally eat, even though it was healthy stuff, since we were 'skipping dinner'. Dear Lord!

A small, light cold supper had sounded like a good plan as we'd be eating very late but reality was different and wasn't a wise decision, particularly when it ended up beings heavily carbohydrate rich and we finished with a glass of something alcoholic and a choccy pud!

I ate out, with friends, at lunchtime on Wednesday (a hot meal) then proceeded to eat a proper meal at home in the evening! Then there was a friend's leaving lunch on Thursday. So, my midday meals, even when I made 'good' choices, have not been as sensible as they would have been if I'd just brought in my usual box of fruit & veg. What's more, it also means I haven't been walking.

Several evenings I've had a glass of wine then eaten portions (some of the wrong stuff) which I've known are too big... but kept on eating. And... almost every night this week I've eaten one of those blasted puds. I was at a meeting last night so hubby and I ate out again. Thank heavens there were no more puds left.

To paraphrase Heinlein 'you can take the fat lass out of temptation, but you can never quite take temptation out of the fat lass'!

Then we arrive at today. Let's just not go there, eh? Not a great start to the day (and you really do not want to hear about it - work stuff), then worse - a call from lovely hubby and a probable post-operative infection. He had called the hospital, and then, on their advice, our local surgery and was told to go see our GP just ten minutes after his phone call. This news completely sent me into a tailspin, the panic won and I inhaled chocolate.

This weekend? Er, probably a journey into the danger zone again as we are meeting a friend (hopefully, at least) for a leisurely lunch out on Saturday...

So, too much food, indulgent desserts and minimal exercise. The scales had alread marked my foolishness with a rise mid-week and I dread to think where I'll be come Monday morning.

based on a design by suckmylolly.com