26 August 2009

Sister act

This is the story of sisters, a family affair which isn't particularly important, but I find it interesting and a wee bit perplexing.

It starts a few generations back with my grandmother and her sister, my great aunt. There may be a similar story going back further. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the case but I just don't know. As with many siblings, my grandma and her sister were alike in many, many ways, but that wasn't the first thing you might have noticed about them. You see, like Jack Spratt and his wife, they differed quite noticably in appearance. I can only guess that they differed in the types and the amount of food they liked to eat, but I don't know that for a fact as I wasn't really close to my great aunt. My grandma was a loving, smiling, cuddly lady. A great cook (oooh, just remembering her shortcrust pastry makes my mouth water!), who always had a fig biscuit nearby. She was warm and wonderful to snuggle up against but not resembling anything you might call skinny. My great aunt, from what I remember of her, was built like a sparrow.

Then came the next generation, with two girls - my lovely Mum and her younger sister. A few rare photos of them in their teens show two sisters of not too dissimilar size, although my mother was always the smaller one. But as the years went on, my mother remained small (in fact she's got very much smaller, and worryingly so, in the last few years!) but my aunt grew rounder and heavier. Again, a lovely person to cuddle up against, she hated being the fat one and was often quite upset about her appearance. She would pick similar clothes to my mother's then detest the way she looked in them. But she was a wonderful, kind lady and, as she worked in a sweet shop for many years, she always had a treat in her handbag for a little niece.

A few years on and we get to my sister, who is a few years older than I am, and me. As kids, again not too dissimilar. Both active, as kids naturally are, and eating the good wholesome food our mother made for us. But in later years, the differences began to emerge. In my teens I had a decidedly obvious roll of belly flab, which everyone decreed was just 'puppy fat' and would disapper 'in time', but my sister was always skinny - all bones and angles. As adults, I turned into the fat lass, while my sister had to make her own wedding dress as dress patterns didn't go down to the tiny size she needed! Over the years she's put on a bit of weight and become oh so slightly more rounded... she's still very, very slim though, and is even now only a UK size 8 to 10! Me? Well, you already know that tale.

There are a couple more sisters - my two nieces. Until recently, they were quite similar in appearance. Both slim, trendy and neither carrying any significant excess weight to speak of. But I've seen a slightly worrying trend. Yet again, the younger of the two is getting concerned about the weight which she has begun to put on, and she's started on the diet trail (not a great plan as I know to my cost). Meanwhile, her older sister is, apparently, quite unchanged and unchanging.

So, can anyone tell me what's going on here? Is there a genetic element to the skinny and fat sisters story?

I guess what I want to know is whether there was more to my weight gain than just lifestyle choices. I know I can't sidestep all the guilt (mea maxima culpa), but it'd be nice to know if just a little of the blame wasn't mine to shoulder. Were the cards truly stacked against me and was I 'destined' to get fat easily, as I believed for so long?

Whether that's the case or not, I now know that I can choose to do something to make sure I don't get fat again. But, as many folks will understand, putting this into practice comes at a price. Plenty of hard work and constant vigilance. My call to make!

24 August 2009


The bathroom scales is my friend this morning. It tells me that, after a week of trying hard, being dedicated to the exercise and careful with food, my weight has dropped to 68 kg (that's 10 stone 10 lbs). I am pretty happy about that. No, let's be completely honest here - I'm absolutely delighted!

This good news means that I am that little bit closer to my next mini goal, which is to weigh in at 66kg. Once I hit that weight (maybe by mid September, with luck, if I continue to be diligent) I will just squeeze myself into the 'normal' BMI band. For the first time in as long as I can recall, I won't be 'overweight' according to the charts.

Er, having pondered this for a while, I can't actually remember when that was! I just know it's been a long, long time. It probably held for just an all too brief interval too. Maybe immediately after the sheer hell of the dreaded Cambridge Diet Plan (do not get me started on that!) and shortly before I put all the weight back on again... plus a substantial chunk more. The really weird part to me, when I think about it, is that my darling lovely hubby has never seen me at this size/weight before, never mind 'normal'.

Of course, even hitting the 66kg mark doesn't mean that I'll be a skinny minny - I'll still be a fat lass. I still have a way to go, but this time I also have a realistic, workable plan to get me there. The final goal is to get to a place well within that 'normal' band, say somewhere in the region of 60 to 62kg, to be healthy and to damned well stay there!

Along the way, I want to reduce the blobby belly and flabby thighs - the part that still reminds me most visibly of the cumulative effects of all my past errors of judgement. Even if the fat bits never truly disappear, and I think it's too much to expect that they will, I can at least make them a little smaller and tone them up a bit.

There are other reminders of all those years I spent damaging myself with my obsessions with food - they mostly can't be seen, but I know they are there. Things like my wee problem, the damaged knees (one of which is playing up and swollen again after only one damn gym visit!) and a somewhat dodgy back! Every morning when I wake up the various joints conspire against me until I get moving and ease out the creaks. Lovely hubby listens with amazement and calls me 'crunchy bones'! A few stretches and a stint on the rower usually reduces their tantrums to a whisper though.

On a serious note, I've spent too much of my life doing myself and my health no favours at all. I really didn't see (or maybe want to see), at the time, what a huge impact the weight problems had on my physical and mental health. I wasted so many years deluding myself - seeing my weight as a temporary problem to be 'quick-fixed' and running around the almost constant dieter's cycle of loss and gain, with the occasional binge thrown in for good measure. I wish I could turn back the clock and undo the poor decisions I've made (both weight related and otherwise) but I can't.

What I can do is commit to eating nutritious, healthy food, not crap, and to using the body God gave me, however flawed, more wisely in the years to come. Having fought the good fight to change my ways, and adopt new healthier habits (aha! old dog + new trick = woof, woof "got it", woof), I never want to turn back into the depressed and unhappy fat lass I was when started this blog. I've said it before - I'll never be a supermodel, I'll never be eighteen again and I won't have the 'perfect' body. But I can, and will, try my best to appreciate the one I do have and work at treating it properly to keep it in some sort of decent shape.

21 August 2009


Yep, we sweated like hogs at the gym.

It was absolutely great though - we both really enjoyed it. I'm very pleased that I managed to do all my old weights stuff (and a tiny bit of extra), a little core work and the stretches in around 40 minutes and it wasn't the slightest struggle (she lies a bit, but it wasn't too hard). I had a cunning plan though. I've gone back to my 'absolute beginner' weights and I'll work up slowly to do more reps before I even think about increasing them.

The cardio was another story. That was a bit mixed to be honest. Rowing was fine (well, it should be really), the stepper was fine too and I soon got back into the swing of it... but that blasted cross-trainer reminded me of why it and I used to have a love/hate relationship. Lord, that is one tough cookie! Can hardly believe I used to do 20 mins at a higher resistance AND using the incline - last night, all I managed was 7 minutes on the flat and that was sheer hell! Oh well, it'll improve.

I'm not too stiff... yet. My thighs know I've worked, but it isn't an unpleasant ache. More a reminder that I'm actually doing something to shift the rest of this stubborn flubber. The excess flab really ought to start to diminish soon, with luck. In addition to the gym last night, I did my usual morning rowing (plus the pelvic floor exercises I'm going to have to do for the rest of my life) and clocked up around 13,000 steps through the day.

Come on you 'orrible fat cells, start waving those little white flags!

20 August 2009

Gym tonight!

Who would have ever thought the fat lass could say that with a gleam in her eye and a spring in her step? But I'm really, really looking forward to it and the fact that lovely hubby will be there with me makes it even better. It's very warm and humid again, so we are going to sweat like hogs. What the hell, who cares!

Speaking of sweating, the rower this morning was a soggier than usual experience. I always get a bit sweaty but this morning it was pouring off me. A good thing my tee-shirt soaks it up or there'd have been a puddle on the carpet!

That's triggered a lovely memory. When my darling dad was alive, he always used to pull me up when I said that I sweated. He'd say "horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow" then remind me that I was supposed to be a lady. It always made me giggle and tell him that, in that case, I was glowing like a horse! He was such a lovely man. Oh, how I still miss him, even after all these years.

It was so sticky last night that neither of us felt interested in a hot meal... and actually standing at a hot stove cooking seemed like a seriously bad idea. I decided that the lovely cool fruit in the fridge could be put to use in a fruit salad so that's what we did. Melon, strawberries, grapes and a mango - delicious. The few bits of grilled chicken from my doggy bag got salvaged too, but all the fattier lamb meat was binned, along with the rice and some limp pitta! That's quite a relief to be honest. Whilst I hate wasting food I really shouldn't even consider recycling my 'mistakes' into another meal.

I feel a lot better today than I did yesterday. A positive mental outlook, a day of fresh, healthy fruit and vegetables, plenty of water and a decent dollop of exercise all contributes, I guess. I need to remind myself of that... frequently. Hmmm, I wonder if I could get it printed on a tee-shirt?

19 August 2009

Battling 'down day' head games

Ooh, poor fat lass. It's only early and already it isn't shaping up to be a great day. Whatever the cause, I'm feeling tired, fat and old.

There's no real reason why this should be the case. After all, it's a beautiful summer's morning and several people have mentioned that I look nice today - I put on a girly dress for once as it's predicted to be a very, very hot day. It certainly seems like it will be one!

But somehow 'nice' isn't what I am seeing or feeling. I'm a wee bit bloated and uncomfortable (despite hitting the peppermint tea and then resorting to Rennies) and my head says I closely resemble a beached whale. I'm embarassed by myself today. Hmmm, not good - a 'black dog' attack is not what I need right now.

Right, time for a spot of analysis and self-criticism. Let's see if we can head this one off at the pass! I may be being a bit silly but it feels as though there is a direct link to what I ate yesterday in this. I think I probably ate too much in total and, all in all, yesterday's eating didn't measure up wonderfully well against the 'healthy plate' shown here.

Breakfast was fine. Natural yoghurt and a slice of bread, with a good old Yorkshire cuppa. A nectarine at break was fine too. So far so good.

But, instead of my lovely veggie bits and fruit for lunch (which I stupidly forgot and which languished in the fridge until this morning) I bought a wedge of salmon(ish) and spinach(ish) pie for lunch while I was out walking. At least, I think that's what it was supposed to be. It tasted OK (it had some dill in it) but a) I couldn't be certain what was actually in it and b) the carbohydrate-rich pastry wasn't the best idea I've ever had. It didn't really satisfy me like my veggies do, so I ate a bit of fruit from my work 'snack attack' bowl too. Probably not an altogether unhealthy choice, but it didn't hit the spot.

Then our evening meal, after a looong and lovely walk, was several glasses of Turkish tea and a mixed Turkish kebab of chicken shish and lamb doner. This came with rice, some lovely salad and pitta bread. A delicious treat, but a huge plateful.

Way, way too much in fact, so a doggy bag was needed for the excess meat and rice (managed all the salad though). The remainder now resides in the fridge awaiting a salad on the side... or possibly throwing out. Again, it was probably not desperately unhealthy as take-out food goes, and having it at all is a fairly rare event. The meat was grilled, although there's more fat in doner meat than I'd usually go for. It was quite heavy on the carbs. As to the salt content? Ah, probably best not to enquire - it definitely made both me and lovely hubby hunt for a glass of water.

It ended up being a hectic day, all told, and quite a stressful one as yesterday's post flags up. However, what I didn't do yesterday was eat chocolate, crisps, chips, biscuits or any of the things I would have considered in the past.

I drank a lot of water - it was a rather warm August day. I walked a lot yesterday, both at work and for pleasure. My pedometer reported almost 15,000 steps by the time I took it off at bedtime. Could be why I feel a bit tired (that and not sleeping too well again), but that's all well and good - any exercise is a positive, n'est pas?

OK, being objective, that last paragraph covers the feeling 'tired and old' part, but what about 'fat'? Well, I still am a chunky lass, albeit not as chunky as I was. I've no supermodel body and heartily doubt I could ever have one. My belly does indeed stick out and my BMI is not yet down below 25 - yes, I guess that's a reasonable definition of 'fat'. However, I am still on my (epic!) journey to the new streamlined me. I'm doing something about it and it ain't over yet. It isn't reasonable to beat myself to death over one less than sensible day.

There is a need to learn some lessons from yesterday's choices... like be a bit less forgetful of a morning as lunch in my fridge at home is not a good plan! Choosing more wisely if and when I do forget would be useful too.

I also need to stop with the paranoia - if someone looks at me I shouldn't immediately assume it's a critical look, like they can't believe I have the gall to walk around looking the way I do. My first reaction is still to do the 'fat lass' slide... out of sight, out of mind and right into invisibility as soon as I can manage it. C'mon fat lass, they could just be looking because they like the pretty blue dress.

So do I feel better for thinking things through? Yes, I guess so. Even though there were some things about the day I'd change, there were good things too. It wasn't a total disaster.

Today is going a lot better on the food front. Less (and healthier) is the name of the game. I am still being active and hopped onto the rower like a good girl. I'm pushing life's stresses into a corner - into a box labelled 'not to be worried over'. Hold onto that motivation and keep at it. I still intend to have 'more love per square inch'!

18 August 2009

Let's get philosophical

What's prompted this? Well, a none too great 'day at the office, dear' means that I'm feeling stressed and unhappy. A problem not of my making, but I've ended up dealing with the fallout! What? But it isn't even Monday! Ho hum, some days it just feels like overload 'r us here.

For the philosophy part, let's take good old Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his rainy day blues poem, with that oft-quoted line "Into each life a little rain must fall". I'm sure you know the one.

It's not really a quote about how miserable life is though. No, it has more of a 'c'mon old son, get a grip' sentiment. Somewhere in the poem Longfellow reminds us that although there may be dark clouds above us, the sun is still shining just behind them. It's up to us to remember that.

So, illegitimi non carborundum! I'm not going to let this temporary feeling of anger/misery/irritation or whatever it is lead me down the slippery path to comfort food. No siree! I may be thinking 'chocolate' right now, but I'm going to nibble healthy fruit and go out into the beautiful sunshine and walk away those blues.

Keep that motivation going, fat lass!

17 August 2009

Great weekend

Well, maybe 'great' is not exactly the right word, but it was certainly busy and constructive. We decorated the bathroom (woodwork, ceiling and all) and it looks soooo much better you almost need your sunglasses. Only the new flooring to go (which happens on Wednesday) and it will be nice and fresh and new. I'd love to get rid of the horrid ceramic blue tiles, which are really not my taste at all, but...

Also a great weekend as lovely hubby and I got up early to make the most of our decorating days and went for several fabulous walks together - not hugely far, but nice time for just the two of us to talk and relax. We worked hard, ate healthily (although we had a couple of little treats, like a beer or two - yum!) and just generally enjoyed our own company. Feels absolutely marvellous.

And the scales rewarded this good behaviour with... er, nothing actually. No shift at all so I'm still just where I was when I weighed sneakily mid-week, 69.5kg. Oh well, I guess it was a bit too much to ask.

Never mind. Back to some more exercise and sensible food choices - that should get things moving, eh? Back on the rower this morning and looking forward to the gym tomorrow. Started this week with a good lunchtime walk, am eating healthily and am fairly happy with the way things are right now - I feel pretty motivated. All in all, not a bad place to be.

14 August 2009

Limping along - a fat lass moans

Oh bottoms. Big fat wobbly bottoms. Yesterday I was on quite a high to find my weight was less than I had expected. So, I didn't want to ruin the moment by mentioning the not quite so good stuff. Today, however...

While I was away I'd bought a new pair of much-needed work shoes. Nice, sensible, comfy, round-toed black leather flatties. Quite pretty (in an industrial sort of a way) with decorative 'flower' cutouts and Mary Jane style straps, perfectly suited to this fat lass and her walking... or so I thought.

And the one minor problem? A severe case of over-enthusiasm on my part. They were great, fitting snugly but comfortably when I tried them on and bought them. But, having worn them for precisely one walk to work and one whole morning, I got a wee bit hot (yep, we've got a little bit of summer again). My feet swelled, only slightly but quite enough thanks very much, and... bingo! They cut my poor feet to shreds.

Did I carry a spare pair to change into, 'just in case'? Did I hell, stooopid girl! Plasters to the rescue, then could hardly wait to get home to take the damned things off and write a very large note to self to wear new shoes in G R A D U A L L Y in future. Oh well, back to the comfy but mangy old faithfuls today, and try again (in small doses) next week. But what the heck. A couple of blisters is not going to stop me hitting the gym!

In the meantime... limp, ouch... limp, ouch... limp, ouch... It's exercise Jim, but not as we know it!

13 August 2009

Away, but not absent

Just back from a few days away with my mum, which was absolutely wonderful. I wouldn't have wanted to come home at all except that lovely hubby awaited me (you can now imagine me with a big cheesy grin).

I tried to be 'careful' and eat as sensibly as possible while I was with her. That was a case of small portions, loading up on the veg, and just having a wee bit of the buttery, creamy stuff I was cooking for her. In fact, I found I actually don't like roux-based sauces any longer, especially cheese sauce, and it used to be a firm favourite too.

The old body had a fair bit of exertion too... sometimes even by honest to goodness exercise not just housework. I had some lovely brisk early morning walks before mum was awake - blissful! But, by this morning, I've found that with everything (including the travelling) I have to admit I'm pretty knackered!

I sneakily got on the scales this morning as I was a little concerned that in feeding up my mum (with lots of healthy but high calorie goodness), I was also feeding up the fat lass. I didn't really expect a very good result. I even thought there might be a small rise, but got quite a surprise instead. My weight is back down to the magic 'less than 11 stone' figure of 69.5kg so I am one happy bunny.

It'll be a busy and active weekend with little time to go too far off the rails so I'm hoping this 'may' drop a teensy little bit further by next Monday (my next weigh day). My next mini-goal is to get my weight below 69kg for the first time in years. That'd be really nice. So, it's back to the gym too. I'm really looking forward to doing something positive once again to make the change happen.

What's more, if I can get it down to 66kg in a reasonable length of time I'll be extra-extra-extra-happy. Why? Because, wait for it, I'd then be at a 'normal' BMI... that is, NOT 'overweight'!

Can you believe I'm even contemplating that? I still see myself as the fat lass so strongly (especially when I tried on a swimming cozzie yesterday... and shuddered) that I'm struggling to think I could really be or feel normal again. I know I'm never going to be a skinny bird. Way too much water under my bridge for that to ever happen. But, it would be very nice to think of myself as being a 'normal' woman, and actually believe the evidence I see in the mirror.

06 August 2009

Free food!

Go on, admit it. When you see those words your heart leaps and your first thought is 'let me at it'. Then sense returns and you think 'no, no, really I mustn't!... I'm trying to lose weight for goodness sake'.

But this is free food with a difference - no deep-fried bitsa stuff or curling sandwiches here. The benefits of a rather soggy British spring and summer, interspersed with the odd period of glorious sunshine, means this is a bumper year for soft fruits. Fresh and delicious, straight from the tree and available in the strangest of places. Places like the bus stop I stand at every morning... and what's more, it's free.

For the last week or so the fruits have been coming to perfect ripeness and I've picked the odd one or two. At first people seemed to think I was odd (nothing unusual there then!), and I received a fair few looks askance. But the passion has gradually spread until, this morning, there were four of us picking. Each taking just a handful of the beautiful ripe fruits. Don't get greedy, fat lass.

I've been calling them cherries - they are small and red and look a lot like cherries. But one of the others thought they were plums, albeit very, very tiny plums, as the stone looked a bit more plum-like. There are two trees, each bearing a different variety with a quite distinct flavour, one bright red, the other deep purple, both lovely. One of each perhaps? No matter, they're both of the prunus genus and they taste gorgeous.

This is hedgerow harvest at it's best! And the whimberries will be out...and the blackberries will soon be ready, then there'll be sloes... and hazel nuts... and maybe a mulberry or walnut or two if I'm really lucky. What a lovely thought.

Oh yes, and those prunus fruits? I looked them up on good old wikipedia... and found they are 'cherry plums'! Right now I have my eye on a pear tree and several varieties of apple tree in a local car park. Let's make that an outing for later this month!

05 August 2009

Hot and grumpy

It's far too hot and far too humid here today. Even the odd glimpses of blue bits in the sky can't lighten a very bad mood. I'm not in the slightest bit interested in going walking for 'pleasure' today. I've been back and forth to our other building way too often already and my tee-shirt is sticking to me.

To add to the fun, Mother Nature is giving me a damned good kicking - this is now the third day and I'm really, really fed up!

At least I'm not interested in food either :-)

04 August 2009

Reasons to be cheerful

My lovely little lunch boxes of fresh crunchy vegetables, juicy fruit and delicious natural yoghurt are so much more enjoyable than the rather poorer habits I had got back into. A treat for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. So why did I stop eating sensibly when I actually like it? I can't figure that out at all.

All of a sudden I'm enjoying my rowing again, and have added some abs exercises to the morning's slot too. The walk to work is much more fun these days. There's a bounce to my step and there would appear to be blood circulating in my veins again - in a way I feel more alive. Hmm, I wonder if this means I 'may' be getting back on track.

It's funny but, at the moment, I'm less concerned about the weight aspects of this whole thing (until the next time I hop on the scales I suppose) and much more enthusiastic about the way it's making me feel. Of course, I'd like to see the flabby bits firming up, and the odd measurement decreasing too. That'd be a definite bonus.

We went to the gym and both renewed our memberships last night. Now I'm really itching to go and use it, but I may have to restrain myself until next week as this one is so busy in the evenings and I'll be away from Thursday. Yes, yes, I know! It would have made sense to leave it until next week... but I wanted it done.

The new-found enthusiasm stretches yet further. I've decided to hold off from enrolling in the more gentle and measured Chi Kung class I used to attend, and give 'salsacise' a try. The fat lass going to a dance class? Voluntarily? What a turn around that is!

I hope the knee holds up, so I have a 'plan B' just in case it objects. I may eventually end up going back to Chi Kung. I could even do it as well, as they've changed the night the class is held so there's no clash. What I must do is take things steadily. Don't let it go to your head, girl - no mad rush to do everything at once, then give up after week three!

And, putting a learning point from my recent management course into practice, I've set myself a SMART goal (that's Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-specific). The target is this - by the end of October, when lovely hubby and I celebrate our wedding anniversary and two significant birthdays in Istanbul, my grey walking trousers will be loose on my waist and hips, and not leave a broad reddened mark from the elastic at the waist when I take them off.

That means aiming to get down a clothing size or so, probably to a size 10-12 from where I am now, by:

  • sticking to a sensible, healthy eating plan (but not going 'weight loss' mad)
  • keeping a food diary (I have been very lax with this recently)
  • increasing my activity levels (with the plans above and topping-up the exercise in any little ways I can think of)
  • keeping an exercise log (what, how much, etc.)
  • measuring and weighing myself regularly (and trying on those trousers!)
Do-able? I think so.

03 August 2009

We are not alone...

Nah, don't run away! Keep reading, there's no mumbo jumbo 'aliens from outer space' rubbish, just a fat lass who has figured out, having hidden from the world for a wee bit too long, that she's not the only one struggling with the ongoing battle of the bulge.

It's been a while since I posted... again! I've spent quite a lot of the intervening weeks pondering, questioning, doubting, dwelling and generally thinking. Most of this has revolved around my tricky question from the last post, which is "what do I really want?".

Hmmm, I've decided that, even though I am somewhere in the region of seventy pounds lighter than when this odyssey began, what I want is to do is lose a bit more weight. Whoa, that must be the revelation of the decade, I can almost hear you say! But seriously, I wasn't really sure whether that was part of my grand plan or not.

Now I am sure and am heading to the gym tonight, with my lovely hubby, and we are both renewing our membership! Lunch is back to crudites, fruit and a brisk walk around the block... if not further.

I think I mentioned that, being down to a size 12/14 and holding steady, I've already exceeded where I ever dreamed I could get to. That's a good thing. I think I also mentioned that I've struggled with well meant but somehow unhelpful comments from several people who think I've "lost enough weight". After all, I "wouldn't want to look skinny now, would I?".

Er, what? Let's have a reality check here please. OK, I'll admit that I do look a whole hell of a lot better than I did when I carted that extra 5 stone of blubber about with me. But... at c. eleven stone I am still officially at an 'overweight' BMI for my, not very tall, five foot four inches. That is clearly NOT a 'normal' BMI, wouldn't you agree?

I still have a 31" waist (that's not exactly a wasp waist in my book) and I definitely posess a broad behind. I have fat legs and a flabby belly of which I am not proud and would love to be rid! Sure, I look 'better', but why, for heavens sake, would I not want to look 'skinny'? Or even 'normal'.

When I sat and thought about it, several of those comments came from people who say, usually with a sad sigh, that they 'ought to lose a few pounds' too. Then we usually have the 'how have you done it' conversation. I'm sure you'll know the one I mean.

That's the one that comes with the expectation of my secret being a 'green tea and a happy smile' or 'never eating carbs on a Thursday'. A neat solution that made me lose all this weight with no effort whatsoever on my part. Somehow, nearly two years of eating significantly less and moving this flabby carcass substantially more doesn't cut the mustard at all, and the conversation soon veers off in another direction.

Another thing I noticed was that I'd stopped reading the blogs other ladies so eloquently write about their weight loss journeys. Inspirational ladies like Lyn (Escape From Obesity) and Sara (Sara Gets Skinny) and Lynn (Hungry Little Caterpillar). You can see their sites by clicking on the links on the right. I think this was to do with feeling really unsure of myself and my aims, and somehow feeling a failure for 'giving up the fight'.

But, I've been back to their sites today and guess what. They too have or have had their struggles and are not ashamed to admit it to the world. So, looks like I'm in good company then.

I just want to say to those ladies (even though it's unlikely that any of them will see this), and anyone else out there who gives a damn, thanks for sharing the imperfect times as well as the successes. I hope your wishes turn into reality. Somehow, knowing that we share similar worries, setbacks and so on is just as inspirational as hearing about the good times - we truly are not alone.

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