21 October 2009


... and without so much as a note from my mum!

For the next couple of weeks, the fat lass will be sporting designer shades and sunning herself on a yacht moored just off the Côte d'Azur.... a tall, cool, pool-side campari and soda in hand and one high-heeled, strappy gold sandal dangling nochalantly from her perfectly manicured toes.

OK, the reality is marginally less 'rock star' and just a tad more prosaic, but I will be away for a well deserved break and having lots of fun... in hiking boots!

I will...

  • be mindful of the food I choose, but not be too restrictive
  • walk as much as possible
  • set aside a little chunk of time each morning for physio exercises
  • relax my mind and think positive thoughts
  • share time, love and happiness with my lovely hubby

If I gain a couple of pounds (or kilos!) I'll sigh, accept it and get busy and focused to take them off again on my return.

19 October 2009

A very positive weekend

Yippee! The fat lass seems to have her house back in order. Long may it last.

Planned and prepared a three course home-cooked celebration meal for lovely hubby on Saturday night (a tad early for our anniversary but I won't be able to do it while we are away). Although it was to be a major treat, I figured out (ahead of time) as many ways as possible to keep the fats, salt, sugar and calories lowish while getting some good healthy fresh stuff in there.

For those of you who'd like all the gory details it was seared scallops with smoked chilli 'cream' to start, home-made seafood paella for the main course, and a nice light raspberry juice and white wine jelly for dessert, again made from scratch. I bought a couple of pretty tall glasses from a charity shop to serve this in and am very, very proud of myself over this bit, which looked beautiful.

Whilst it didn't end up as an entirely non-indulgent meal (seafood = cholesterol, amongst other 'confessions'), what a wonderful boon the 'alternative' products on offer in the supermarket are for us 'health' or 'waistline' minded folks! Never mind a heavy, fat-filled, buttery, cream-based sauce for the scallops or to make the topping for the jelly - I could make something which looked sinfully indulgent but was actually pretty healthy and still tasted great.

All in all, I used just a fraction of the butter/olive oil my recipes suggested (a small rant coming up - who the heck writes those things? You do NOT need 4 fluid ounces of olive oil to cook a paella for heaven's sake!). I made good use of Splenda instead of sugar (adding some rosewater for a really decadent flavour), cut down (or out) as much salt as humanly possible (adding garlic or lime zest where needed for extra flavour), and went for fat-free fromage frais instead of double cream (OK, it's actually only 'virtually' fat-free but you get the point).

Knowing we'd be indulging in larger than normal portions in the evening (and including a bottle of bubbly into the equation!) I ate very sparingly during the day on Saturday and walked as much as possible... going in and out of town four times instead of just once, to do my shopping in little bits. Then, having indulged on Saturday night, I kept things very light yesterday and we walked for about two or three hours again. I had the ubiquitous washing and ironing to do too, so listened to music and danced around while I did it. It becomes, rather surprisingly, quite fun when you do it to a great beat. Just as well the neighbours can't hear me singing though!

All this activity means that there has been no increase in weight over the weekend, depsite the treat, and the scales have settled down happily onto the 65kg mark. That's a nice feeling and seems like a good point to get to before we set off on our holiday. Lovely hubby says I've developed hip-bones and that the belly is looking a bit smaller too (though I can't see a decrease) which is a nice thing to hear. It'll be interesting to see where I am when we get back.

It's Salsacise tonight again, and I plan another walk in my lunch break. I've brought in a nice healthy bean salad and 'light' cottage cheese to munch sometime today, alopng with my usual fruit, and it'll be 'whatever veg is left in the fridge' soup tonight (and tomorrow, probably).

16 October 2009

A bit stronger... and working on it!

Well, I can't quite report a complete mental overhaul... yet, but some progress has been made and there's at least a glimmer of light on the horizon. Phew.

Exercise is still not going fantastically well, but I am making a bit more effort and have hit the road in my lunch breaks to walk, walk, walk away those blues. When no-one is looking I've been practising my salsa moves too [grin]. I am looking forward to doing a lot of walking while we are away on holiday and both lovely hubby and I vow to hit the gym regularly on our return.

I'm beginning to feel more like 'me' again. To be honest, I was quite scared I was losing it again and I'd start putting back the lbs I've worked so hard to shed. I really do not want that to happen - ever again! But, I seem to have got the worst of that awful 'want it - eat it' period under my control, thank heavens, so feel I'm slowly getting back on track. Support from those of you who know firsthand about these periods of struggling has been invaluable. Thanks guys!

Hmmm, I wonder if fighting the bug has been part of my problem. Just in case, I'm working on getting all the vitamins I can from fruit and veggies and going for 'good' oils and sources of protein (especially from fish) where I can. I'm writing this with a bowl of apples, grapes and satsumas by my side.

The little bit of motivation I've managed to muster is having a positive effect and the needle on my scales has dipped below the 66kg and is hovering just a teensy bit above the 65kg mark. This puts me at somewhere around 10 stone 4 lbs and a wee bit closer to breaking my next big barrier. That, of course, is to drop down to 9 stone something and I am quite certain I can do it in time. The key is to get myself moving and keep at it!

Diane (Fit to the Finish) recently wrote about a moment which had her waking her husband early in the morning to celebrate reaching a long dreamed of target. I think breaking this next barrier could just be one of those moments for me.

13 October 2009

Stuck in the doldrums

That goes pretty much equally for mood, attitude, motivation, food choices, exercise and... of course... the weight!

Hmmm, my last post about my experiences at the surgery wasn't all that positive, was it. Funny, you wouldn't think one small episode (and hardly a very important one in the great scheme of things) could shift my attitude to so far down in the dumps that I am fighting a constant uphilll battle to get out again... but it seems to have done just that.

So, about a week on from the last time I wrote anything at all I'm not happy to say I'm still struggling - a lot. Although I have been trying to kick myself in the pants (not easy, I find you need to be a contortionist!) and get back to doing my best, the results have been a bit mixed to say the least.

My mood has vacillated between one stinking swamp and another, with just brief moments of the positive 'me' in there somewhere. Seems like I just about manage to haul myself out of one morass and clean up my act when along comes another thing, usually fairly minor, to tip me back into another patch of muddy, sticky, mental quicksand.

Exercise has been a similarly fluctuating story. I'm loving the salsacise class (last night was a lot of fun), but that gotcha blood-circulating 'high' isn't staying with me and I haven't been anywhere near the gym - no matter how many times I've planned it. Thank goodness I'm still walking, albeit a little reluctantly, but the rowing has completely slipped. I'm doing my 'clams' but not the other physio stuff I should be.

What the heck is wrong with me? Aside from being a real moaning minnie, that is.

It's no excuse but I'm almost always tired lately (really think I need our fast-approaching holiday!) and I seem to be fighting a slight cold. Not enough to say I feel ill, but mildly headachy and a little bit sniffy - enough to describe myself as feeling under the weather. Shame it hasn't put me off my food.

In fact, rather unusually for me, I'm feeling hungry (make that ravenous) an awful lot of the time and my standby of fresh fruit isn't satisfying me like it normally does. Hide those carbs, there's a starving fat lass about! As hard as I work at being good on the food front, along keeps coming another 'little treat' to trip me up. Whoa - where did my willpower go? If anyone has seen it, please send it on home.

07 October 2009

Let's get positive

It's such a relief to be able to vent my feelings here. But a warning - anyone of a delicate disposition, navigate away now. The fat lass is going to rant.

It has been a trying day, up to now. Mother Nature has returned to haunt me (after rather a long absence), bless her, and the grumps have arrived in force along with the cramps. In fact, they showed up yesterday but I didn't cotton on. Little things I usually let sail by I've snapped at. Irritations which normally just, er, irritate me have sent me into a none too pretty temper tantrum. Put it down to the hormones.

Hmmm, as that subject has come up... with the way all things 'female' have been going over the last six to eight months, I went to visit my doctor earlier in the week about planning for the menopause. I'm sorry to say I was decidedly unimpressed.

I asked the doctor what to expect. Huh! I know no more now than I did beforehand. Ifs, buts and maybes were all I managed to walk away with. Seriously, every woman in the world goes through this - is it that woolly a subject?

I asked about HRT. Huh! I endured a semi-lecture about the increased risks of this and that, but concentrating on heart disease, stroke and DVT. I know it's important but c'mon, surely the increased risk of these when I was so overweight should have triggered this pep talk, not the vague prospect of maybe, possibly considering HRT?

So is the start of the menopause what's actually going on with my body? Huh! I still don't know, since the doc couldn't say, and only a blood test will confirm it.

So have I had said blood test? Like hell I have - the doc (and I quote) 'can't' do it and I have to make another appointment for a smidge-idgen of my blood to be sucked out by the 'qualified' nurse/phlebotomist. So doctors aren't qualified, eh? Why do they spend all those years as students?

Oh yes, another thing - I can only have this blood test in the morning (of course, I went to see the doc in the afternoon!), which means taking more time off work. Is it just me, or is this crazy? I've been growling ever since.

You may have noticed that I've been doing exactly the wrong thing and dwelling on all this. A tip to remember - this does not help. Not one bit.

After reacting poorly to a particularly stoopid incident this morning I went out for a bad tempered stomp at lunch. Actually, that was a good move and it served me well. My mood lightened sufficiently to recognise that I was behaving like a spoilt brat. Worse, I was in serious danger of losing my head to a bad food choice (anything at hand... and lots of it!) and then my black dog would have descended on me without a doubt.

"No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself" - Thomas Mann

OK then, time for a shift in today's version of 'reality'. The sky may be grey and tearful, but the fat lass is NOT going to be. There are good things to think about so that's what I'm going to concentrate on.

What's more, snce a good walk in the rain and fresh air helped earlier, learn the lesson and do it again after work. The worst that can happen is I get wet. So what! The best WILL happen and that includes getting a little more exercise, building up some positives and taking a different 'me' home.

06 October 2009


Well, I wasn't wrong - it certainly got the fat lass moving. This morning my shoulders are telling me they've worked and a few other bits are creaky but, amazingly, I'm not hobbling about like a pensioner as I'd half expected. It was FUN!

We were an unpretentious bunch, all ladies of a certain age and none of us (bar our young, fit, and very svelte instructor) could in any way be described as slender. There was a whole lot of flab strutting it's stuff in the dance studio last night and it was wonderful to see. Better still, there wasn't an ounce of dayglo Lycra in sight; we all turned up in ratty old jogging bottoms which had seen better days so I felt right at home.

Like almost everyone else, I left my class a delicate shade of lobster, dripping with sweat and completely exhausted after an hour of complex and exhilarating moves to some fantastic music. I'm still struggling to see the finer points of a forward salsa and a mambo move, even now. After one session I've come to the conclusion that, not only do I have two left feet but I have two left arms as well and neither set of limbs can function if the other is being asked to perform. In other words, co-ordination probably isn't my greatest strength.

Having said that, I probably used up more calories killing myself laughing at my own misadventures than I used for the dance moves. If everyone else went left, somehow I ended up going right! One lady obviously 'got it' so I ended up following her rather than trying to translate what the instructor was doing (while facing me) into which bits of the fat lass should be moving in what direction. I haven't had such a fun-filled, hilarious hour in ages and I'll definitely go back for more next week.

Maybe this is the motivation I need to get the exercise kick-started again in earnest.

05 October 2009


I'm none too impressed and I feel like I've shot myself in the foot again. My last post ended "Get walking, onto the rower, and plan for the gym tomorrow."

So what have I done, exactly? Well, some of it - I have walked. Quite a bit actually, and food over the last few days has been reasonable, but that alone just isn't enough. It's what I haven't done that's made the difference. A lack of motivation and commitment to keeping moving (with no gym visit and no rower - lazy fat lass!) is the reason I faced the dietician at the same weight as I was last week, 66kg (actually her scales reported 65.5kg but let's not split hairs).

Yeah, OK, I know, its not all that bad... and she was still happy, and I don't need to see her again so I should be too. But it isn't good either. I could have tried harder and done better. I'm rather fed up with myself that my brave words didn't translate into action. In my opinion I still have a fair chunk fat to shift (especially around that belly), I still have a variety of bits 'n bobs that are in dire need of toning up and I still need some muscle building in strategic areas. So instead of getting on with it I messed up a perfectly good opportunity. Pooh!

On a positive note, my Salsacise class begins tonight so that'll get the flabby bottom moving - just made myself remember that someone, when I mentioned the class said "oooh, you're going to get buns of steel!" which made me giggle. Then it's off to the Positive Thinking class to try and shift my head and my thinking into a better, more efficient place... then it's down to trying hard again in the couple of weeks before we go on holiday. No pain, no gain.

01 October 2009

Blow-out and fasting

Yesterday was a day of both. Oh? How can that be? I can almost hear some of you guys asking. Well, it was a case of thinking long and hard about 'what can I do to stay on track', knowing we were booked to go out for a three-course celebration lunch which threatened to derail me... again.

The day began with a very small, healthy breakfast. All the rules say don't skip breakfast, so I didn't. But I did keep it to a minimum. Then the fasting started in earnest about 2pm because of the wonderfully expansive meal that lovely hubby and I sat down to at midday. Last night, even though my stomach decided it might like a little something, pretty please, I restrained myself and hit the water instead. Lots of water - cold, hot and sort of warmish. After the fabulous food we'd eaten I definitely needed to steer clear of anything which would add to the calorie load I'd taken on board and give my body a good chance to get on and process the delicious food I'd eaten. I would list the gorgeous details, but I'd only drool over the keyboard!

So far today it's been lots of water and only a very small amount to eat, for similar reasons. All good, fresh foods too - a little oatmeal, fruit and veggies. Maybe I'll relax this rigid stance a bit this evening, but I will not go overboard. No way!

Yes, I've wanted to stay on track, as ever, but this time it is even more important to me than usual. You see, I have a chance to say goodbye to the dietician I've visited for the last two years... but only if I can demonstrate that I've reached a point with my weight loss where my BMI has fallen into the 'normal' bracket.

That was the case on Monday just gone, and it is still hanging in there today (but only just). I see her in a few short days and, although I am just about squeaking in there at the moment, I would really like to shed just one teensy pound more before the start of next week to make the calculations sit nice and neatly in the desired band.

So, I've just said a polite but firm 'no' to an offered hunk of chocolate marble cake and it's jog (not walk) up and down the stairs at every opportunity today. Get walking, onto the rower, and plan for the gym tomorrow.

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