15 December 2010
For various reasons in recent times things haven't been and aren't going too well. However, despite some struggles I am just about managing to maintain my weight at about 60kg to 61kg. No major weight gain, I'm pleased to say.
Not quite what I'd like to be saying (for this read 'please Santa, can I have a smaller number for Christmas?') but sometimes life just gets in the way, doesn't it.
Still, in the main I remain undefeated and will get back into the full-effort swing of things again as soon as I can manage it. Looking after 'me' and getting back to my prior level of fitness needs to be much more of a priority - and it will be.
So, I want to wish everyone well over the festive season and to say, whatever your struggles are and however hard the journey may seem to be, just never give up on yourself. Nil desperandum, or as L'Oréal's famous advertising slogan says, with much fluttering of eyelashes and coquettish glances... "Because you're worth it". And we are!
17 November 2010
How are things going with looking after 'me'? Well, a bit better... not teriffic, but certainly better.
I'm drinking a lot more water and have switched to lemon tea, which I'm enjoying a lot more than tea with milk during the day. Salt intake, or care with, is firmly on my radar. I've cut the carbs back quite hard, although there is always room for improvement. Also, food choices and portions are more under control (although I did resort to a sizeable brandy when I eventually made it home last night).
I am back to the rower and some abs work first thing in the morning and will build this up bit by bit. I guess it must be doing me some good as just about everywhere feels just a tad achy. That'll ease though and is a good reminder of just how far into the pit of slothfulness I'd managed to descend. The walking is still fine, although I think it may take a back seat to an expected hectic day tomorrow.
In my head, however, things are not so good. I am really having to be hard on myself and 'make' myself do this at the moment. Picture a sulky child dragging her heels over a trip to the dentist. There is no real sense of motivation (I'm trying to fake it but it isn't actually here) and no real joy in 'doing things right' just now. Again, I'm hoping that, as habits become more settled, that'll change for the better.
Looks like I'm not alone in struggles at the moment. Just read Lynn's post and she seems to be in a similar, not so great, place. If you've some spare motivation and inspiration lurking in a dusty drawer, maybe snap a little off and send just a teensy bit to Lynn and me?
I guess the big difference between 'me' now and the old, obese 'me' is that I know what I need to do and am not stumbling around in the dark trying both to figure out what will work and do to actually do it. Keep going - things can only get better.
15 November 2010
Yep, in all sorts of ways (family, work, health, etc.) this statement is true, but...oooh dear.
OK, let's get to it. The scales have jumped up and down a fair bit over the last few weeks. Having only just finished congratulating myself on a minor victory in dropping back to 60kg, the needle leapt up to 62kg overnight! Insert rude word of choice here. The thing is back down a tad this morning, at 61kg, although I'm not altogether happy with this figure still. But, yes, I know it could be worse - a lot worse.
Started writing an 'I'm completely fed up so I'm giving up and taking a break' sort of post a few days ago. I'm sooo glad it didn't make it onto the blog. In a moment of clarity I realised it would have been like a license to gain if I'd really carried it through. And I do not want to go there.
A long hard think revealed that some of this fluctuation and gain would undoubtedly be water retention (need to watch that salt like a hawk). Some of it probably reflects the fact that I haven't been drinking as much water as I should (OK, you know what to do... drink hot water if you can't face it cold). Some of it highlights a recent increased interest in starchy carbohydrates (an autumnal problem, as I think I'm part hedgehog and want to hibernate!). Some of it shows the low dose of exercise I've been taking recently (once again, you know what to do, fat lass). All of these things count.
But, being honest... much of it probably means I haven't quite got my head back to weight-loss portions again and quite simply I'm eating too much. So I have, in another sense too, had a lot on my plate.
So, starting all over again and being mindful of what and how much I eat, today's intake so far has been...
Breakfast - half a small bowl porridge (oatmeal with 1:1 semi-skimmed milk and water), breakfast cup of tea with skimmed milk
Break - the other half bowl of porridge, one clementine and a mug of lemon tea
Lunch - carrot, celery, swede, cauli and broccoli crudites and small pot (c.1-2 tbs) of Greek yoghurt/Marmite dip (eaten half before my walk, and half after). One BIG mug (over a pint) of hot water before walk, another after.
Later will consist of...
Break - small box of pomelo (roughly equivalent to a small orange). One BIG mug of hot water.
Dinner - home-made veggie soup and a restrained approach to the bread! Another BIG mug of hot water.
Then just before bed, maybe a mug of Options hot chocolate drink to get me to sleep.
Not a great night (yet again!) so slept late. Didn't get organised in time for the rower this morning so a long lunchtime walk (c.10,000 steps so far and more to come) and onto the rower tomorrow. Not exactly great but better than nowt!
C'mon, get with it, stick with it and build on it, fatty. Get those calories out > calories in. You know it makes good sense.
10 November 2010
Oh well, I suppose I'd better get this over with. It's confession time. Hmmm, the fact that I haven't been here probably suggested that things were not altogether great in weight loss land, eh?
Currently, I am very unhappy with myself and that is putting it as politely as I can. Somehow I seem to have forgotten about taking care of 'me' and have been back to my old foolish ways. OK, it isn't a complete, unmitigated disaster but it is still not really what I would like to be in a position to report. In the last few weeks (since I disappeared off the radar, I guess), I've let my 'sensible' self be tempted into indolence. I have hopped completely off the steep and rocky uphill road to progress and wandered merrily along the pretty, downhill, easy life lanes (er, actually it's rather more like gain lanes) .
It started on our holiday, which was absolutely lovely, when I was not exactly 'good' in terms of what I ate. Mildly careful, maybe, but not really good and certainly not eating in weight loss mode. I only gained a little weight at that stage though and, foolishly, thought I would easily get that shifted. I can almost hear someone thinking 'yeah, right!'.
Problem is, since we've been home I have been extremely busy (work and community things going on seemingly constantly) and I've also been fairly stressed for various reasons so I haven't focused on eating sensibly or in small portions (quite the opposite!) or on doing any exercise other than walking. I haven't been mindful. A rather poor excuse, all this is, but it's the only one I have.
The stoopidest thing of all is that I 'know' doing this will mean I gain weight and lose tone. I can also, sadly, report that during this period of doing the wrong thing rather than the right I haven't felt fit, or strong, or healthy, or energetic, or good about myself. When I'm doing the right thing, I do!
The result was that my weight drifted it's way all the way back up to 61kg and I look flabbier. So what's the big deal? Much as I hate to admit it, that's exactly where I was at the end of September when I issued myself a challenge to get down to 57kg by 15th November. Whilst I've managed to get about a kilo of that gain shifted, with five days to go I think it is pretty clear that this is not now a realistic goal unless I surgically remove one leg!
There's been a lot of grouching and kicking of posteriors in the last day or two. Why on earth, I kept asking, do I do this to myself time and time again. Then I read something that Diana wrote a few days ago which really made me think. I'm a fair way convinced that what she talks about is part of my problem too. That is my weight loss expectations v. reality. I think I've been struggling to come to terms with the fact that my magic 'weight loss' bullet isn't quite a shiny as I'd hoped it would be and, while there have been lots of positives and benefits (and there truly have), shedding flab doesn't solve everything and transform life into the picture perfect existence I think I'd half hoped for. Life still steamrollers us all sometimes, and I need to look for alternative methods to deal with my stresses and worries, whilst continuing to take care of 'me' properly.
Right now though, I need to get my head on straight and claw my way back down the numbers again... as a start, towards the 59kg I'd just managed to achieve before we went away... and then keep on going and get to that target 57kg. Focus fat lass!
18 October 2010
What's more, I've fallen in love all over again. Truly, madly and very deeply indeed.
The object of my affections is my lovely hubby. There's a general sort of all-encompassing love, as befits somebody with a wonderful wedding anniversary fast approaching... and an additional quite specific love and affection for his uncanny (there's a pun in there, should you wish to giggle) ability to make the tastiest, healthiest soups on the planet from, seemingly, the 'nothing much' that remains in the darker reaches of the fridge!
Most often they are veggie soups, usually a mixture of various different veggies, but sometimes they'll be based on a delicious home-made chicken stock or laced with the odd leftover scrap of meat if we have it lurking in the fridge. A few simple and wholesome ingredients are transformed into steaming bowls of tasty goodness with (apparently) miminal effort on my man's part. That begs the question though - why aren't mine that good?
Sometimes he'll make broth-type soups - like divine bowls of cabbage and bacon soup, or maybe a veggie broth with a few bits 'n bobs of teeny pasta shapes. On other occasions we'll have his thick and warming whizzed veg soups - the velvety ones which include cauliflower are my particular favourites. Just a little bit of cauli makes them soooooo creamy and delicious. Yum!
To be honest, these lovely soups have been my saving grace over the last week or so. I had been suffering from a serious case of the winter 'eat anything' munchies and the scales were beginning to reflect this new-found obsession with food... any food... in a rather disturbing manner.
But, the beautifully warming and satisfying soupy evening meals have (quite literally) tipped the balance and those worrying increases have morphed into decreases once again. Who knows, I may yet hit my interim target of 59kg before our holiday by the end of this week. A bit optimistic, but let's see, eh.
What's also helping is increased walking. Last week I clocked up an absolute minimum of 10,000 steps every day (indeed, today, I'm at around 10,000 steps and it's only just after lunch), with a couple of days topping over 16,000 steps. That's panning out to somewhere between 5 and 7 miles per day, on average, which makes up a little for the continued lack of rowing (I'm still coughing and wheezing too much for it at the moment).
I'll postpone the rower until we are home again - hopefully fully fit - and add in a few more abs exercises at that stage too. Never fear, I haven't forgotten my longer term goal of getting that belly apron cut down to size. Onwards ever...
13 October 2010
Oh dear. With feeling more human again and eating more normally as a result, I seem to have moved completely to the other end of the spectrum and been really rather silly.
What with catching up from the infection (which still hasn't gone completely), worries in family life, travelling at the weekend, good old Mother Nature's monthly surprise, some seriously long/busy work days and a lot of stress (and yes, I do know that is just the way life goes) I've craved... and given into, so eaten... way too heavily from the carbohydrate storecupboard and ingested more sugar and salt than I usually would in a month!
Fresh veggies and fruit seems to have been set aside in favour of warming 'somethings'. Why, for heaven's sake?
It may be too, with the weather turning colder, that I've been unthinkingly switching into a semi-hibernation mindset and 'stocking up' for winter. That really has to stop - I do not need to carry my own insulation around with me. That's why the good Lord gave us sheep... to make woolly sweaters!
Whatever is actually behind this, I can't say I feel great 'cos that would be a lie. I feel tired and heavy and leaden and unenergetic... and pretty sheepish right now! I also feel fatter - something that my waistbands and bathroom scales would agree with! Just a shade UNDER 60kg has become just a shade OVER 60kg, and if I don't stop this in it's tracks...
C'mon fat lass. Get a grip and turn this around. Hop back on the rower, even if it does make you cough, and walk EVERY lunchtime! You can do it.
08 October 2010
...well mostly. I didn't needed the b***! inhaler at all yesterday (hooray!) and it only came out once the day before. Yes, the infection is losing the battle. The fat lass is winning the war.
Went for a lunchtime walk yesterday with something approaching enthusiasm. I was knackered afterwards, mind you. Even after a full night's sleep last night I'm pretty tired today too. OK, so there is some distance to go until I'm properly over this thing. But a corner has been turned.
Eating is more normal now (although the cough sweet taste is still an issue - grrr, spit, wash mouth out) and I have put a pound or so back on. I seem to be hovering around just over 59kg to just a shade under 60kg again. I'm OK with that - it is to be expected. I just wish tea tasted good again. While I like hot water... and am very grateful for it, it just isn't my beloved cuppa.
Anyway, I'm feeling positive again and, if this keeps up, I'll be back on the rower on Monday (crosses fingers while types). Even feeling rubbish I sort of missed it.
05 October 2010
Well, there's somewhat mixed news to report. This bloody chest infection is still with me, despite the inhaler and antibiotics, so I still feel considerably less than 100%... although I am a fair bit better.
Because things are not yet back to normal, for some of the time food still isn't really all that attractive (although I did eat like a horse yesterday) and much of it still doesn't taste anything like 'right' at all. This is probably, in part at least, down to the all-pervasive flavour of various throat sweets, sucked madly in an attempt to shut the damn cough up. Moans to herself... why can't they make something which isn't so flamin' sickly sweet - bleh! This leads me to the treat which I'll 'fess up to later.
The lack of enthusiasm for eating, together with an increased liquid intake (since regular mugs of hot water are keeping me going), has had one positive effect. The scales now put me just a whisker under 59kg (the interim milestone I had hoped to reach by mid-October). Sure, I'll admit I'm happy with the number, but rather less so with the method by which it was reached! Still, never look that gift horse in the mouth, eh?
And, speaking of a lack of enthusiasm, wow, am I ever dog tired. So much so I could sleep for England! Exercise is right off the cards for now and the coughing makes even the thought of it challenging - just the walk getting to work is an effort at the moment, but that'll improve I guess.
Ah yes, that treat. Well since it it is now the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness... and chilly mornings, of course... breakfasts have changed from the summer routine to my much-loved porridge! Since I like it so much*, my new treat is a small pot of cold, semi-set porridge for morning break to eat with my customary apple. I can almost hear the 'yuck' from the doubters amongst you, but if you've never tried cold porridge, trust me, it's delicious. Can't say it looks pretty but...
* we make it with jumbo oats, cooked with half skimmed milk and half water... and absolutely NO sweetening at all! Have tried it all ways but this one is the best to my mind. Never could figure why it still tastes creamy... but it does.
I probably won't keep going with this for too long. After all, an apple really should suffice, shouldn't it. But, for now, I'm relishing my morning treat pot.
01 October 2010
Yep, she's right here, sulking, stamping her feet and whining 'don't want to' loudly and persistently. While the brat isn't winning at the moment, she is still making her presence felt at every opportunity.
This time, what the brat doesn't want to do is be sensible and use her inhaler. She bleats that it 'isn't fair' to have to rely on it after two years without needing it once! Stoopid? Yes, because gasping for breath (periodically) tells the logical bit of 'me' that the assistance is just as much needed as the antibiotics.
This feeling of bitter resentment can be all too familiar, can't it. My brat responds similarly with food and treats - that 'want it now!' moment I'm sure we've all been faced with. She sulks and throws a tantrum if she is denied, despite the sensible part of 'me' knowing that she's out of order. But, I guess it's just one of those things we learn to deal with as best we can, trying to keep the adult part of ourselves firmly in control.
Sometimes it is all too easy for self-doubt to slide in though. For the adult part of us to lose heart, worry that we are wrong, or odd or somehow lacking. I know that has happened to me many times in the past. Times like when I felt that, for all the positive progress I was making, the negatives outweighed it.
An example... I was jubilant when I'd got down to a size 18 (from a 24) and had bought a skirt in this fabulous new size. Then I saw a photo of myself wearing it and my buoyant mood hit the floor. It seemed to me that I looked as fat and bulgy as ever and I felt like quitting. The journey seemed way too hard, the destination too far in the distance.
Another example was finally reaching a 'normal' weight and BMI but being very upset that, when I looked in the mirror, my belly still sagged and bulged and made me feel inadequate. Somehow my progress wasn't 'worth it'.
What saved me, on those occasions and many others like them, was the reassurance I found by reading the highlights and low spots of other people's journeys. I'm talking about you chaps out there in Blogland. Reading about your feelings made me realise that what I felt wasn't unusual, but the low points were just part of the process. You guys kept me going because you did - and you gave me reassurance that I was not alone, or strange, or ungrateful, or just plain crazy.
I guess what I've been trying to say (to myself, as well as to anyone who reads this) is keep going and take strength, support and reassurance from the people who know what you are going through. They know because they are going through it, or have been there, too. Tell each other what's in your head, even if it sometimes seems too negative to talk about. It may just help someone (like me) to see that we are not alone. That the struggle is something we can manage... with a little support from our friends.
29 September 2010
It's had it's chance to leave, but that darned bug just isn't going to give up and go away without some ass-kicking assistance! In the last day or two it's settled in nicely and made itself completely at home in my lungs. Ah, bless it, it has it's feet planted comfortably on the table, slippers on and pipe lit.
Time for a visit to my friendly neighbourhood doc, methinks. She listened to those funny wheezy rattling noises, 'hmmm'd' and 'hah'd' a bit, declared it to be 'not too bad', and set to writing out a prescription for some nice antibiotics. Yet another chest infection, eh? Right then, that could explain why I feel like five-day-old leftovers.
Well, looking on the bright side, things could be worse. At least 'sleeping' sitting upright in the chair means I can listen to the World Service broadcasts in the middle of the night. Amazing what you learn!
Normal stuff will resume as soon as the buggy critter takes note and disappears. The challenge to shift that apron has merely been put on temporary hold.
28 September 2010
Looks like I was riding for a fall... the lords of misrule obviously overheard me being positive so decided to drop a little extra problem into the mix. Thanks guys - I really can't tell you how much I appreciate the stinking cold!
Yep, the fat lass looks like a close relative of that other social outcast, Rudolph, at the moment. Taking out shares in Kleenex would have been a good move, methinks. And, after several days with an attractive sandpaper throat, she is now hacking delightfully - just think Marlboro man.
Suffice it to say that exercise has been put on temporary hold until my chest is capable of drawing in a breath without coughing and that darned head stops pounding. Then again, speaking of things being 'put on hold', so has eating very much as almost everything (including my beloved tea) has tasted like old washing-up water. Mmmm, yummy!
Oh, those scales? I guess they probably have dropped. Frankly my dear, I don't really give a damn right now.
As I said... bleh!
22 September 2010
Phew! I'm feeling more on balance - in part because the exercise and eating have gone well for a few days. There's a lesson in there, somewhere.
As the sun was shining this morning I went for a slightly extended walk, and then got out again midday (hooray!). Fresh air is such a wonderful thing. It makes a huge difference to my frame of mind.
Yes, I'm still stressed and worrying like crazy (and now, on top of everything, my lovely hubby is not well and that throws me too), but thankfully I seem to be stronger and better able to handle it.
Aching abs and a tired bod suggest I might see a teensy drop on the scales by Monday. Hope so. That should motivate me onwards ever...
21 September 2010
The first one is a bad one - it's 'me'. Or rather the picture of 'me' that I'm carrying in my mind at the moment. I know it isn't 'real' but it sure feels that way (gawd, but emotion v. logic can be an epic battle sometimes). It is probably a lot to do with being under stress (frail elderly parent + unexpected problem + caring at a distance = big time guilt + helplessness = stress!) but I'm feeling like that turquiose chappie in the picture at the moment - and it's making me want to hide under a rock and stuff my face. However, I am NOT going to do that!
And the other increase? Well, it's a positive one. Just a little experiment with the rowing, increasing my morning's movement by a couple more minutes (adding an extra fifty strokes). Not a lot, I know, but every little effort will help.
The dreaded abs beast is earning it's keep in earnest again too (I had become a bit of a slacker, methinks) and I may be able to increase the reps there a bit too... if I get organised and make packed lunches in the evenings so I'm not doing the headless chicken dance in the kitchen in the mornings!
Fat Grump said something in her post today about weight struggles and how food can be our "drug of choice". She went on to say that "like addicts we use it to calm ourselves and to make our world right for the few minutes or so that we indulge". Boy, do I ever know what she meant and I'm fighting that addiction really hard at the moment.
How about just trying to replace my 'drug of choice' with one which is not so harmful? Maybe try leaning on the exercise instead.
Getting there... slowly. That's always been my motto and it's as true now as it was when I first started.
20 September 2010
OK, lots of thinking has passed under my bridge - all about where I am, what I like and dislike and what I want. The result? I finally have a plan to work to again.
The decision is made - I do indeed want to shed a few more of those pesky pounds. Ah well now, if I'm being absolutely honest (and that is the only way to be, my dear fat lass), what I actually want isn't so much a lower number on the scale (although that'd be quite nice) or a smaller dress size, but to rid myself of that unpleasing spongy blobbiness which resides just south of the old belly button.
It isn't just loose skin, you see. Somewhere underneath it there is actually some moderately firmish muscley stuff, just yearning to see the light of day. Trouble is, not only is there that flap of leftover skin on top to contend with, but the apron still holds my secret stocks of FAT, or BLUBBER, call it what you like... probably just in case I get stuck in a blizzard or marooned on a desert island for a month or more.
Loose skin is one thing, but the apron-filling is... er, let's just say not my best feature. So yep, I have YOU in my sights, flabby apron - you'd better watch out!
That said, it's a bit of an airy-fairy, woolly sort of goal, isn't it... doing 'something' to diminish the belly. Hmmm, that way lies failure so a 'firm' plan is called for (if you'll pardon the pun). Sorry to lapse into the dreaded management-speak but it needs to be a SMART goal - specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Nothing nebulous about it, so I don't have any excuse to just bimble along where I am any longer.
So, I've set myself a specific and measurable target of reaching 57 kg (that's 126 lbs or 9 stone 0 lbs). I think this should be both attainable and realistic and ought to help with the apron.
OK, so I weigh in at 61 kg this morning or 9 stone 8 lbs (grrr, hiss, spit, dammit - that's gone up and I'm both shocked and none too pleased that it is darned well higher than last week!). But don't despair, fat lass. It's got a lot to do with that stressful week/weekend (long story) and if you keep your head the damage isn't irreparable (sigh... and it was supposed to be a nice neat half-stone loss... ho hum).
Anyhow, that just leaves the timely part to deal with. I'm going to aim for a 1lb loss per week. More would be lovely but just not realistic at all. By my shaky maths, in eight weeks time, say by the end of the second week of November (OK, by the 15th if you want to be picky) if I pull my finger out, I should be able to report that I've hit the 57 kg mark. I'll tell you up front, it's going to be an 'interesting' challenge with two birthdays, an anniversary and a holiday to contend with (week six is going to be a doozy!), but what the heck.
Reading this back, with those events on the horizon it actually seems quite ambitious so I'm going to insert a way-point about halfway through to make it seem an bit less big and scary. Sooo, by the time the holiday rolls around I'm looking to be down to 59 kg. Oh dear. Is that rational thinking or a cop out? Hmmm, not sure yet.
Then the plan is onwards, ever downwards from there to 57 kg.
The next step is the 'how to' and, to remind myself, I've looked back at my original 'rules of engagement' and picked out those critical points that apply to me now as much as they did back then.
These were to:
* think before I eat (OK, I mostly do this but... soooo, fatty, do you really, really want it?)
* watch that stress (remember, upsets should not translate into 'eat me' time)
* eat mindfully (take time to enjoy each mouthful... and no like it = ditch it)
* reduce those portions (sure they are much smaller, but they could be tweaked)
* cut down on the salt intake (it has crept up a bit again!)
* cut down on the alcohol I drink (no, it's never much in a week but...)
And as far as exercise is concerned, and looking back to what has worked for me in the past.... every day I WILL:
* get on the rower (minimum 300 strokes - build up if the early morning rush permits)
* do a full set of abs crunches (oooh yes, every last one of 'em)
* beat 10,000 steps walking (OK, so where did I put that pedometer?)
I'll hunt around for an exercise evening class I like too. I fancy something 'different' and fun - maybe weights related. By the way, I'd welcome suggestions for other ways to target that belly too.
Then we'll see what the apron looks like at the new weight. Yes, I do know it won't disappear altogether, but if I'm happy(ish) with it and there's a chance I can wear those darned Levis I'll ease off, see how things go and whether I can maintain there. If still unhappy with the apron, then I may look at going for shedding a few pounds more. Who knows... the world is my oyster... or maybe a scallop or a cockle? In any case, it's my bivalve :-)
So..., in the epic words of Frankie Laine, "Move 'em out, head 'em up, head 'em up, move 'em on"
17 September 2010
A slim, fit and stunningly beautiful old work-colleague, who I haven't seen for well over two years, came in for a visit today. She sort of waved 'hi' in passing, then stopped dead and came back to my desk. She'd realised that, yes, it actually was 'me' she was speaking to as she'd not really recognised me.
When I stood up to give her a hug, she literally jumped up and down when she saw the difference. Funny, but although losing weight has made me happy (and how!), I can't quite get my head around it making other people happy too. It's great, but somehow a little bit puzzling.
She said some really lovely things and I have to admit I was getting quite blushy and flustered. Then I realised something that really shook me. She and I are not altogether dissimilar in size now. Holy moly!
The fat lass is flabbergasted!
13 September 2010
Oh no... a day out at the seaside and a very posh dinner (er, out, not in) with the family!
Much of last week I was pretty twitchy about the looming weekend. I didn't know how I was going to keep up my new-found motivation and enthusiasm when faced with potential indulgences left, right and centre. Just as I was beginning to get moving in the direction I wanted once again... was the weekend going to de-rail me?
But no, looking back over the last few days I can see a big difference between my fears (that oh so frightening picture in my mind) and the way things actually happened in reality. Aaaargh, those head games we play, huh?
The seaside day started really early so skipped the rowing and just had tea and yoghurt for breakfast, since it was quick. The journey included a morning stop for coffee and a sticky bun on the way. The good news - the 'cake' I picked was a tiny, but beautifully presented, square of oatmeal, cherry and almond flapjack. By far the smallest, healthiest, least gooey item on the cake-stand and it really wasn't a hard choice to make at all - it tasted as good as it looked. Fabulous. I do so love being offered an occasional 'relatively healthy' option as well as all those large wedges of buttery, cream-filled gateaux-type confections on display.
A modest sandwich lunch, and we walked quite a lot (heaven) including trudging ankle-deep over banks of shingle, which has to use up a calorie or two, surely. We rounded off the day with freshly cooked fish and chips, a seaside must-do. Without even thinking, I automatically chose the 'small' portion of cod and chips. No having to argue with myself to do so - wow. I picked off a fair bit of the batter from my fish, mostly just eating the lovely firm white flesh inside. A good half of the chips, delicious as they tasted, were left over too, perfect to feed the marauding seagulls. We didn't have anything else to eat... that day.
The next day saw this fat lass (and lovely hubby) blitzing the car until it gleamed, in readiness for driving to our posh 'do' in the evening, frantically doing the washing and housework and rushing about far too much to be thinking of food. In fact, I'd pretty much forgotten that food existed until mid-afternoon when a strange grumbling noise could be heard above the racket from the hoover! Time for a small snack, methinks, then a rest to cool off and calm down before getting dolled-up in a cocktail dress for the first time in my life.
Oh wow...our meal was absolutely amazing. A creamy artichoke soup with shredded duck breast garnish to start, wonderfully cooked rack of lamb, with braised kale and a (thankfully very small!) finger of Pommes Anna as a main course, then a devilishly decadent dessert selection. Fantastic flavours, gorgeously presented and... nouvelle cuisine-sized portions (grin). Perfect for me, although the men were somewhat less impressed. We didn't stay for the dance afterwards. To be honest, none of us could recognise the music playing (Lordy, but I felt a fuddy-duddy) and my high heels were killing my knee so I was happy to go home. A bottle of sparkling water rather than a brandy ended the evening beautifully and I didn't feel at all stuffed or bloated.
Two things stand out about the weekend.
Firstly, without really thinking too hard about it, I didn't go mad and overeat or choose too much 'bad' stuff. Things really have changed. Even if I do 'slip up' now and again, the weight-loss lessons don't just vanish into the mist at the prospect of an indulgent weekend. That is very good to know.
Secondly, I actually felt like a 'normal' woman. Now I know this might sound odd, but I've never before been in a position to wear anything like the dress I wore this weekend. It is terminally 'girly' - black and lacy and pretty and strappy with a boned bodice! I was very nervous (er, closer to scared witless) about it beforehand and I have to admit I felt old and fat and out of my depth before we left. But, surrounded by other women in similar attire, I didn't feel like a freak or that I stood out like a sore thumb, once we'd arrived. I just felt 'normal' and that was such a fabulous feeling - I can't describe how good. Yep, things really have changed.
Indulgences... I wouldn't recommend them all the time, but sometimes, maybe just sometimes they are a darned good thing.
06 September 2010
An autumn chill, and the prospect of winter, seems to have landed on me with an audibly big thump this morning. The weekend's sun has disappeared (taking all summery thoughts with it), it's dark whan my alarm clock drags me out of bed and onto the rower (grrrr) and I wore a scarf for the first time in ages this morning. I feel distinctly bleh!
While I type, I'm nibbling fresh peas from the pod, but they are much more starchy than they've been of late and I know it won't be long until I won't see them in the market. My gorgeous greengages and plums will also disappear. Not a happy bunny.
I'm still mulling over exactly 'what' I want to do after my last post's rant so I still don't have a plan to work to. I feel rudderless. Sorry to be such a miserable baggage but I'm just not seeing life as 'glass half full' right now.
Yes, I know it could be worse. The logical bit of me gets it. Unfortunately the emotional bit is well off kilter. I need an injection of positive thoughts. In the absence of that, I'll go out and stomp at lunchtime.... probably growling at random passers-by as I do so.
01 September 2010
Ah, the curse of a British Bank Holiday weekend. Being at home with my darling lovely hubby for three whole days was absolutely wonderful and I only wish I could do more of it... but being out of my usual routine means that things can easily slip a bit. So slip they did.
No, it wasn't all bad and the eating was actually pretty sensible, with generally decent choices and portions (well, mostly... if you discount that cheese). But it wasn't all that great either, as... [embarrassed squirm]... aside from some walking, housework and a huge heap of ironing the size of a blue whale to plough through, the weekend's quota of exercise was nowhere near what I'd planned or hoped.
All of this means that, overall, the scales are holding steady at pretty much where I was last week. That's sitting on or near the 60kg mark, having jiggled around the line for some time.
OK, so I haven't gone up. Yippee! Definitely cause to feel pleased. But the status quo also flags up the fact that I've missed a golden opportunity. A chance to get that marker moving down below the figure I've been seeing, off and on, for what seems like quite a looooong time. And that missed opportunity means that I'm not one step closer to actually wearing those teensy-tiny pale blue Levi jeans hanging mockingly in my wardrobe.
Feels really quite ironic that, over the weekend, I had to dispose of a lovely long denim skirt which had apparently grown a bit since I last wanted to wear it in early spring. Now too big in the waist it hung from my hips and dragged on the floor (tall I'm not!). Woah, when did that happen? Dammit, but I liked that skirt! Ho hum, back it went to the charity shop from whence it came.
Ooooh, now wait a minute - I don't suppose that maybe, possibly, those jeans might have...? Nah, no such luck!
OK, I can hear someone think, you aren't losing but surely you are fine where you are? Er, that's actually a pretty good question.
It's time I set aside some quiet 'me' time for reflection, took stock and really looked hard at where I am and whether I'm happy to stay here. Maintenance is all very well... if it's where I've decided I want to be. But, right at this moment, I'm not sure I've truly made the decision to maintain rather than continue to shift more flab... for all I seem to be doing it.
Yes, I'm a lot less fat than I've been in years. Yes, I'm fitter and healthier than I used to be. Yes, I can wear 'girly' things without cringing (usually). Yes, that all makes me pretty happy. But I still could be fitter than I am now (er, probably rather a lot fitter to be blunt) and I could be considerably more toned. My belly could definitely stand to lose some more of the flabby filling in that flappy, leftover 'apron' thingy, even if the apron never goes away.
If I'm absolutely honest I think I've been resting on my laurels for quite some time... and I'm not convinced that those prickly leaves are all that comfortable a bed (have you seen those pointy tips?). C'mon fat lass, don't just bimble and drift along but decide what you really do want and make a plan.
24 August 2010
Well, I've been fairly unmotivated of late and that sleepy old fat lass inside me has been biding her time... but this week she decided to try a take-over bid, making really pathetically lame excuses about eating and exercise, to which 'me' has been paying attention!
Yesterday morning I was 'too tired' after a hectic weekend so didn't get on the rower. Then it poured with rain at lunchtime so I didn't go walkies. In fact I sat on my tush at my desk all day and worked right through lunch and breaks too (stoopid woman!). Things had happened (not a great day with loads of problems) so I worked pretty late, to the point that lovely hubby came to collect me... so no walking again! Then, as it was so late and would be later still by the time we'd got home and cooked, we stopped off for a takeaway. Avert eyes now - I ate a whole portion of special fried rice and a pot of curried sauce even though I didn't really enjoy it. Why, for Pete's sake!
Then this morning we overslept, totally missing the alarm, so no rower once again. Breakfast was extremely rushed so I just spread some 'convenient' peanut butter on a small slice of bread... but thickly. When will I learn? I really should not ever have this deliciously evil stuff in my cupboards - I know I just cannot resist it! There was yoghurt in the fridge, an apple in the fruit bowl - both 'convenient' so why not choose those?
Another problematic morning at work, and then some sad news, saw me wolfing my lovely healthy lunch (blueberries, raspberries and Greek yoghurt) early, but then had me looking around for something to munch. The vending machine isn't all that far away and it contains delicious chocolate and crisps... It's another 'bad' day, so I was giving it some thought. It was showery outside so I decided to stay indoors too. What rubbish excuses, eh?
Then. thankfully, the penny then dropped.
OMG, what was I doing? This could be the start of the slippery slope back to the lazy and fat days. Stop looking for nibbles girl, get that bottom off the chair right now and W-A-L-K. If it rains, get wet. It won't kill you.
So I did, and got wet. It hasn't killed me. In fact I'm really pleased to have seen what I was doing and taken action straight away. It might only be a skirmish, and I may yet to win the war, but one battle down and,for today, the fat lass has lost.
19 August 2010
I've read back over a few things I've writted (both posted and unposted) recently and have spotted a bit of negativity creeping in. Hmmm, time to stop that in its tracks! There is such a lot to be grateful for in life and 'now' would seem like a good point to remind myself of just a few of those important things.
Not just my own (for which I am supremely grateful) but the health of those around me. OK, it may not be peachy-perfect health in a lot of cases... in fact, for many the opposite is true, but I still have most of my family and friends around me and, whilst I would wish better health for them all, I'm truly grateful for the fact that they are still with me. Having lost people really dear to me, the missing never stops, although lovely memories live on.
It is all around me, in nature, in people, and sometimes in the most unexpected places. Even the rainbow pattern of a drop of oil on a roadside puddle has a beauty... if we take just a moment to look for it. I need to open my eyes again to 'see' it and appreciate it.
The little things of everyday life. The simple pleasure of biting into a crisp apple. The caress of a gentle breeze on a hot day. Hearing a forgotten song which triggers a lovely memory. The joy of quietly reading. A cool glass of water. Simple things which mean a lot. For these I'm grateful.
Probably the most important of the many things to be grateful for. The love shown in my darling lovely hubby's eyes, of course. The love of family and friends is up high on my list, but the love and kindness of strangers is a huge thing too. The sincerity and support shown by folk out in blogland is something which can surprise me (nicely) still. I mustn't take any of this for granted. There's a Turkish saying "İki gönül bir olunca samanlık seyran olur" or "If two loves each other even a hay-house is a paradise".
17 August 2010
It's funny. Having expended so much effort and concentration in the last few years on reaching my goals, and bemoaning the status quo which seems to be the case these days, I've been brought up short to realise that much-coveted 'weight loss' is not always such a good thing.
A matter of a few days ago I was shocked rigid to realise that I've lost more in fat than my mother weighs in total. Considerably more. I don't say this in any self-congratulory way at all, but with a sense of utter incredulity. Indeed, most of this disbelief is absolute horror to realise just how little my darling Mum now weighs. Yep, we've been for another hospital visit.
I knew she was tiny. I knew she was frail. I knew she was built like a hummingbird... not even a wren or a sparrow. I also knew she was, because of various health issues, continuing to lose weight. What horrified me most was the realisiation of just how much of this has happened in the last year. The rate of change, unintentional change that is, is scary.
She now weighs a mere 35kg, and that's fully dressed with all the usual garments, a cardigan, outdoor shoes and an outdoor coat! OMG, that's only about five stone five pounds all told, so what does 'she' actually weigh without all that lot!
Less than a year ago we were fighting to keep her above six stone, worried that she'd dropped from six and a half, give or take, in a matter of months. Can't help admit it but I'm really rather worried for her. If you are the praying kind, or even if you aren't, spare her a thought... please.
04 August 2010
Right, time to ponder and take stock of where I am. I'd say that things are going pretty well in many respects, although not quite so fantastically in one.
I am definitely moving that bottom more! The daily rowing is building up nicely again and, while I'm not leaping out of bed with glee at 5 a.m. to hop on, I am at least consistently getting my sleep-mazed behind onto the rower and exercising myself into some semblance of consciousness. The walking is fine and I'm stepping out and taking more pleasure in it once again, both in the morning and at lunchtimes. I already feel more in control, marginally fitter (my knees are a wee bit easier) and a little more energised despite still falling asleep at inconvenient moments way too easily.
The food side of things is also doing pretty well. My peas-in-the-pod snacks seem to be keeping me on the straight and narrow during the day and portion sizes have generally been something to pat myself on the back for. Even a meal out with some (usually quite bibulous) friends at the weekend was a success - sensible choices and not too much of a good thing. Just one small glass of dry cider then switching to sparkling mineral water - pleased with that. The only thing I've truly pigged out on this week has been some fresh, ripe Kentish cherries. Oh well, if they will reduce the price to a pittance at the supermarket when they're near their sell-by date....
My weight has decreased a smidge-idgen but, since it is only very slightly, I don't think it'll get to where I hoped it might by the end of the week. Still, I'm happy that it is headed in the right direction, however slowly. Remind self of Aesop's tortoise and hare.
But, the down side to this tale of progress is that my waist measurement has gone up... and, since the last time I consciously measured, by a whole inch. What! Huh? Scratches head and whines 'noooo...does not compute!'.
Not great timing this, as those lovely sky-blue Levi jeans now seem an awfully loooong way off from being wearable... if ever. OK, I can 'sort of' do them up... but only by laying on my back on the bed and breathing in like a madwoman. Then they are soooo utterly painted-on, skin-tight it's untrue and provide me with a muffin top no-one in their right mind could envy! Not a great look, to be fair.
The increased dimension isn't water retention, apparently, as my rings are still loose so I guess it's real gain. I've noticed that I also seem a bit bigger in the belly, around the hips, but smaller (once again!) in the bust. This doesn't feel at all fair but I'm not going to get too hung up on it.
I think the abs cruncher may be the next thing out of mothballs. Aside from that, it's just keep at it and we'll see what happens over a longer period. Onwards ever.
30 July 2010
Well, praise be. OK, I haven't said a lot here recently, but there's some positive news from the fat lass at last. I am managing to scrape together a little motivation and be a good girl (or, at least, a better one) again. After a little thought and head scratching, I'm using the 'carrot and stick' approach to make sure this happens.
The first part of this 'carrot and stick' is a pair of tight trousers, which I am insisting on wearing to work despite the hot, humid, sticky weather. I'd be much more comfortable in a skirt, but this is not going to happen just yet. The trousers (particularly the waistband) are definitely a very effective stick for me right now as they are not really a summer-weight material or fabric. I can assure you, a slightly soggy (be honest - sweaty), restrictive wodge of material around my fat bit is soooo not what I want to feel all day long. So, the plan is (and it seems to be working) that it reminds me, quite forcibly, that I need to shed those excess lbs... sooner rather than later!
And, to get the loss underway, I've gone back to eating proper weight-loss portions, have cut out those 'little treats' (except for fresh peas from the pod - yum!) and am back to walking with enthusiasm. I've started my morning rowing again and plan to be as active as possible at the weekend.
The other part of the cunning plan is a big, fat, juicy carrot. This orange vegetable is actually something which I'm expecting to arrive in the post in the very near future. It's a pair of long-coveted Levi jeans, in a pale stonewashed blue. I've hummed and hahed over buying a pair for quite a long time as they are silly money. But, as a target to aim for, I think they'll be worth it so I've ordered a pair with the waist size I had when I returned from holiday.
So, how are things going? Well, not desperately quickly, but at least in the right direction. I'm hovering at just a tad above 60kg at the moment (which is a whole lot better than the 62kg point I did keep seeing on the scales!). If I keep going as I am, I may be able to get down to a more satisfactory 59kg by the end of next week... with a little luck and a downwind breeze. That'd put me right back to where I was when I came home from holiday and in a great position to move on towards my next target.... those lovely Levis!
Now I feel more in control again it's affecting all aspects of life. Actually, life feels GOOD again!
22 July 2010
Bottoms, bottoms, bottoms... and big fat wobbly bellies, while I'm thinking about it! Sorry about that - had to get it off my chest. Er, a word of warning... there's some serious moaning coming up. Oh dear, having not written anything for a while, now this. It might be a good point to navigate away from here to some place more cheerful.
On a positive note, those blood test results came back all fine and dandy so my thyroid would appear to be firing on all cylinders. Trouble is... I'm most certainly not. So what's the problem exactly? Well, I can't really put a finger on it and that's part of the problem. I'm just not on top form at the moment. I still have no energy, feel run down (although nothing specific in the way of symptoms apart from the reappearance of cold sores!) and am constantly tired. Falling asleep at the drop of a hat seems an integral part of my life right now. Please don't tell me that it's because I'm fifty - I have no intention of 'retiring' in my head and won't accept that this is reasonable.
But, this lethargy/lack of energy is now getting to the point where it's affecting me both physically and mentally, and making me quite unhappy (OK, for this read grumpy and bloody miserable).
A point where exercise has become rather a trial, not a pleasure. I'm not even finding all that much joy in my walks at the moment. Some of the time even they're almost a chore I do because I 'ought to'. At least I am still walking but... as to anything else exercise related, nah! Firmly onto the back burner and with no foreseeable prospect of raising much enthusiasm, it would seem.
Food-wise things things have gone a bit awry too. A shame, because the weight business had seemed to have settled slightly. A bit more than a week ago I'd got back down to 60kg, which was great. Sadly, this week's weigh-in isn't quite so great. A very hectic week with my eye off the ball, followed by an indulgent weekend away (don't mention fish & chips... please) and I'm seeing 62kg on the scale again.
This is not good. I have to get myself turned around before this turns into a downward spiral. I do know that, honestly. I need to push myself to get moving again and sort out my food intake to get those lbs off.
I'm talking the talk... but I just don't seem to have the energy or enthusiasm to go for it and walk the walk too. Anyone care to give me a smart kick in the pants?
08 July 2010
Yesterday I stumbled across a farm shop selling small punnets of summer soft-fruits for £1 a punnet. Some of the punnets were loganberries - wow! I haven't tasted them since I was a child, when we had loganberries growing in our garden. They were beautifully juicy and ripe and tasted amazing. Eating them brought back lovely memories to make me grin too.
You see, when I was a kid we had to fence off the produce area in our garden to prevent our wee mutt from getting in.
(I don't have a photo but he looked a little like this huggable hairy happening)
Ah, furry little thief that he was! Once he'd found his way in, and he was very adept at finding new ways, he'd happily pull off every scrap of ripe fruit from anything he could, stubby tail going nineteen to the dozen as he enjoyed (quite literally) the fruits of our labours. A dog that started the day white(ish) could quite happily be pinky-purple around the muzzle by the end of it. Yes, we were the proud (?) owners of a wannabe fruitarian mutt!
His particular favourites were the sweeter fruits - strawberries, loganberries and raspberries (and he loved trips to pick blackberries and whimberries), but he'd even have a go at the gooseberry bushes now and again. Most frustrating to see the berries begin to colour nicely, wait just another day or so in anticipation, then get there to find the dog had been at them first! The only thing safe from him was rhubarb and blackcurrants, which he hated, and apples, which were too high off the ground to reach.
He was also a brilliant ratter and an inveterate egg thief. For very good reason we didn't keep our chickens for too long once he'd joined the household. If he'd ever found a way in there... oooh!
Anyway, this time I had a whole punnet of luscious loganberries to myself for lunch. They were heavenly. Hmmm, now if they still have some on sale today...
01 July 2010
Up and down, down and up. Humph! Don't think it's worth going anywhere near my scales at the moment. Either they are going dotty in this heat, or I am (strangely enough, lovely hubby seems to get constant readings so I guess it's me). In the last four days the reading has varied between 60kg and 63kg, showing the two extremes in the space of a single day. Is it these pills? Don't know.
Whatever the reason it looks like my cherished 59kg is definitely off the cards for a while and I'm going to have to fight like hell to get it back. Oh well. Anyway, for now I give up! I will keep on exercising, keep eating sensibly and forget about the scales and weight and stuff until after this blasted wedding. It just isn't worth the jolt of elevated heart rate and increased blood pressure when I see those higher readings.
On a positive note, the heat (and I am NOT complaining about this amazing summery weather, quite the opposite!) and rather oppresive humidity means I'm none too interested in eating anything resembling a 'substantial' evening meal. And I'm going through a LOT of water. Even developed a taste for sparkling water, cold from the fridge with a slice of lemon. Cold? Ooooh - most unlike me.
To be honest, even lunches are not all that appealing so delicious summer fruits and yoghurt seem to feature on my menu most of the time. Last night I cooked up some gorgeous gooseberries (with Splenda, not sugar, to sweeten them) so a lovely low-fat, sugar-free fool made with yoghurt, not cream, is on the cards for tonight.
Today is different though. Today I have a serious treat - a delicious boiled duck egg for my lunch. Not quite hard-boiled (this was a 5-minute egg), so the yolk is buttery soft and a deep, rich yellow. We had it's mate for dinner last night, with seedy-bread 'soldiers' (no, they weren't spread with butter!) and it was amazingly good. OK, I did grind some salt on them, but this isn't a frequent event so I'll let myself off. I have to say that if I was asked to choose one dish for my last ever meal, this would be it. By the way, not all eggs are created equal. Always free-range (ever seen a battery duck?) and often organic - if you've never tried duck eggs, give 'em a go!
29 June 2010
Partly down to me and, I think, partly down to the new medication but my weight has risen quite dramatically. I am back to tipping the scales at 61kg and am none too pleased to be over my 'magic' nine and a half stone barrier just in time for the wedding. Grrr!
OK, I'll hold up my hand and admit that I've not been as careful as I should have been over the last week and that some of that gain will undoubtedly be my own fault. But, and I think this is a valid 'but', I have not gone mad by any stretch of the imagination. Yet a 3kg rise (that's 6.6lbs, or nearly half a stone, fer pete's sake!) in just one short week is considerably more than my minor lapses could account for. This leads me to wonder if those pretty new HRT pills are having an effect... just as it says they might in the side-effects section of the leaflet. Since I started taking them I've felt heavy and bloated, and my rings are not falling off me as they were before... although some of that may be down to the unexpectedly warm weather I guess.
So what's the thing I'm most unhappy about? The blasted mind games!
While the logical part of me realises that I haven't instantly turned into the blob or the monster from the black lagoon, the emotional side is sobbing in horror and telling me I've blown it and failed and am fat and ugly and horrible. Not a nice place to be and I'm struggling to shut out the negative messages and focus on being the sane, rational grown-up woman I thought I'd returned to. Lord! Haven't I learned anything about this business?
Well, I can't lose the lbs in the few short days until the wedding so I just have to suck it up. My dress will still fit me so I need to stop moaning and look on the bright side. Three years ago I was celebrating losing 'some' of my weight prior to my friend's wedding, and dropping a dress size or two. Think it may be time to look back at the photos from that day and then in a mirror. Get real, fat lass!
21 June 2010
Well, a visit to the doc proved interesting. I'd only really gone to review three months of the HRT pills, to renew my prescription and to see if there was anything to be tweaked to make it better. Yep, there was. From tomorrow I start a new set of little pills, this time based on horse not cactus extract for the progesterone phase. Hopefully this'll even out the mood swings, which have still been pretty marked and not awfully constructive for all concerned.
In passing, and mostly because lovely hubby nagged me to do so, I mentioned my lack of energy (which seems just as bad, if not worse), the fact that I'm shaking a lot these days and that I'm almost always unreasonably cold. I'd put the latter down to losing the padding which used to insulate me. But, quick as a flash, the doc booked me in for a blood test to check thyroid function. Oh!
As you do, I Googled thyroid function later. Apparently, about 1 in 50 women develop hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone) at some time in their life, but I'd never even heard of it. More and more interesting though, the list of common symptoms of hypothyroidism describes me to a tee at the moment. Hmmm, could even explain why my weight loss seems to have stalled at the moment (I'd put it down to being tired so doing less exercise, but...). Yes, I'm still sitting at that 59kg mark, despite eating weight loss portions, which is fine if a tad frustrating. So, we'll give our wee drop of blood and see what they reckon. If that's what it is, at least it's easily treated.
The lesson here - it's well worth mentioning seemingly minor 'concerns' to the doc, even if you think it's just one of those things. I really haven't learned this lesson well through life.
16 June 2010
Well, I'm really rather surprised today, to be honest, and I'm really rather delighted too.
We are well into June and, as I had a spare moment, I looked back at the very first post I ever wrote back in June 2007. That initial 'Oh my God! This is why I need to do it' one. Then I thought it'd be fun to read the June posts for each of the years since I started on this marathon 'journey for life'. Call it an anniversary waltz if you like.
As I'd expected, reading the old posts showed that the weight had indeed come off bit by bit as I moved from serious obesity to where I am now. It also flagged up a few of the struggles I've faced with my journey along the way. The difference between 'me' in 2007 and 'me' in 2010 is quite amazing, but we'll come to that later.
The 2007 fat lass was quite despondent about where she'd found herself and pretty scared about the future. But, thankfully, she knew enough to realise that yet another 'diet' was not the answer. She was also quite determind to change. So, she put her thinking cap on and set out a plan. She didn't have a great deal of confidence that she could 'do it' and succeed at the whole weight loss business. The obstacles to overcome seemed too great in many ways. She was even too scared to put down in writing the true highest weight she'd reached, although no-one else read the blog at that stage, and yes she did have a fair idea of what it was. She mentally shaved a good seven or eight pounds off that figure, even to herself. Nil desperandum though, she started the journey and got on with the job.
Note to present self: I reckon she earned her first gold star right then, just by starting that journey.
A year into the journey, by June 2008 she'd made some fair progress, including enlisting the help of a dietician, just to keep her on course (weight loss by name & shame?). Her weight had come down to around 78.5kg (12 stone 5 lbs) but she'd run into some pretty challenging hurdles too. Health problems were the biggest of these and she needed something drastic. That started with admitting the problem to herself and agreeing to take the GPs advice and use the very scary steroid inhaler. That really, really helped. Another gold star for the fat lass.
Note to present self: don't, don't, don't ever hide from health issues out of fear!
Two years on and 2009 saw the fat lass some five stone lighter than when she started, with much improved health and fitness. This was fantastic, although she still struggled at times and found it hard to keep that motivation going. But she never did actually quit - the stubborn old fat lass. The interesting thing is that she has begun to learn a bit more about herself by this point. One post says "I know that I shouldn't be too hard on myself ". Hmmm, these gold stars are beginning to mount up.
Note to present self: physical changes and mental ones too. Yay, that really is progress!
And now to 2010. The fat lass has come a long, long way. She's lost well over six and a half stone since she started on this new life of weight loss and improving health. OK, she still has her struggles and her bad days and still finds the journey difficult sometimes. But she has learned such a lot along the way and is a much happier, healthier fat lass these days. She is well aware that the journey isn't over yet, nor indeed will it ever be. The view may change, but the road goes ever on.
I mentioned something about the difference being amazing. Well, yes it is, so it sounds like time for a review to me.
BMI 37.8 = Obese Class 2 *see note
Weight c.102 kg **see note
Upper arm 14.5"
BMI 22.3 = Normal
Weight 59kg (-43kg)
Bust 38" (-7")
Waist 27" (-12.5")
Hips 38.5" (-16")
Thigh 20.5" (-7.5")
Upper arm 10.5" (-4")
I think the body measurements give a good indication of just where the fat lass stores the excess blubber!
*Obese Class 2 - health guidance says that if you have a BMI of 35-39.99 your risk of weight-related health problems (even death) is severe. Yep, in 2007 it really was time to get serious!
**in Imperial measurements, this equates to c.225 lbs (16 stone 1 lb) at the beginning, down to 130 lbs (9 stone 4 lbs) now. Not a million miles away from a seven stone loss - I'm pretty happy about that.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so...
Wearing my most flattering blouse (I thought those stripes disguised my bulk quite well!), that was back then in 2007....
..and this is a very recent photo (in a similar pose) from the beginning of the month.
11 June 2010
OK, where is the darned stuff hiding? I know I must have left it somewhere around here, but I can't find it at the moment.
I'm talking about my energy... or rather, the lack of it. In the last couple of weeks, ever since we returned from holiday in fact, I've felt dog-tired much of the time. Falling asleep every evening on the bus on my way home is getting a tad embarrassing! I've been putting it down to that bug (which recurred yet again at the start of the week, dammit) but am beginning to wonder if I'm merely being a wimp.
Maybe a restful weekend will give me some time to recover. Only hitch is that we don't really have a restful one on the horizon for a while. Ho hum, maybe I'd better just get on the rower and see if some work to get the blood circulating will do the trick instead.
09 June 2010
This one has been quite a while in the writing. It's been rewritten and revised a dozen times or more. I suppose it may read as kind of cheesy in a way, but it more or less says what I've been thinking about rather a lot just recently.
Wikipedia has this to say about the chrysalis:
"the chrysalis stage in most butterflies is one in which there is little movement"
and then goes on to say...
"the adult butterfly emerges from this and expands its wings"
This sounds a quite lot like where I was for years but also (oooh, so much better) where I find I am these days. It seems to me that I was locked away, pretty much immobile, hiding away inside that chrysalis for far too long a time. My obesity was only one part of that, some pretty damaging relationships, crappy self-esteem and other issues abounded too. No point airing those - water under the bridge and all that jazz. The good news is that the butterfly 'me' finally eased her way out into the sunlight and is stretching her wings. That sure feels good.
As part of this process of emergence I find I've been revisiting my past. Sounds ominous, huh? Well, no. Not at all it isn't... in fact, I'm finding that, rather than the scary, dark terrain I though I'd remembered, it's turning into a rather lovely voyage of rediscovery to a distant half-forgotten land. I suppose it's part and parcel of unearthing the real 'me'.
Recently I've realised that quite a lot of the things which were important to me in some way before my sad and weighty days began in earnest, and which were abandoned during this rather dark period of my life within the chrysalis, are being resurrected.
I'm listening once again to music I used to love, but had 'set aside' for years (sometimes decades) as hearing it opened up a whole host of memories and often made me feel sad or bad in some way. Music from my sun-filled youth, before life took a turn for the cloudy and negative. Music I grew up with and was comfortable with, from people like Joni Mitchell (I recently bought a copy of 'Ladies of the Canyon' on CD and now can't stop myself singing 'The Circle Game'). Music from the Who, Led Zeppelin... and the like (she says, showing every one of her fifty years!). Doesn't mean I'll abandon my new musical loves, but it's nice to listen to my old half-forgotten friends sometimes too.
I've started re-reading some of my old favourites from my younger days too. Books from authors like Jack London and Nevil Shute are ones I've enjoyed again recently. I've been amazed to find that many of them have as much, if not more, to recommend them to my fifty-something mind as they did on first reading them in my teens and twenties. Franz Kafka and Anton Chekhov are back on my list of books to re-read too. I'm not quite back to three volumes of Lord of the Rings yet, but maybe someday... if I ever have a little more time?
I guess what I'm saying is that I feel like I'm appreciating life more widely now than I have done in a long time. Of course it isn't a picture-perfect, rose-spectacled 'ideal' life. No-one truly has that except in fiction, do they? I still have my moans and my struggles sometimes, my successes and the days when I just feel a failure, the sometimes painful legacy of the damage I did to my body because of my obesity and negative mindset. That's to be expected. But it's the life I'm living, it's 'my' life, and it's so much more full and beautiful and precious than I thought possible. My darling Mum has had it right all along when she's told us down the years to "count your blessings". Not sure I truly understood what she meant until now.
So is this just about the weight I've lost? No, I don't think for one moment that it is. But it probably comes from some of the lessons I've learned along the way. Maybe, just maybe I have grown up a little and learned to love the person in this skin... just a wee bit. To count those blessings and to see a little more worth in the person I am. Sure it's taken a while, but that's OK, so did shedding that 'fat' cocoon I hid myself away in.
This journey isn't over, despite my finding myself at a weight I never dreamed I'd see again. My journey will continue for the rest of my life, to keep the healthier body I now have in decent order and, hopefully, to improve it further (she says, glancing down at the loose skin and saggy belly). It will take hard work and dedication and motivation, just like losing the weight has done. I'm sure the journey will have it's high sunny mountain tops and deep dark valleys, like everything in life. But I must remember why I began the journey in the first place, and not hide from the fact that I did damage to myself when I didn't look after the precious thing I have - 'me'.
So, a note to self - remembering ALL of your past, not hiding from it and avoiding it's bad parts to concentrate on only the good, is a positive thing. Being mindfully 'aware' of the good things that 'now' has to offer (like health, life, fun and especially good things like my beloved lovely hubby) is something to take time to notice, reflect on and appreciate each and every day.
There's a quote I stumbled upon recently (don't know who from) which reaffirms this, and says so much more to me.
“One day at a time - this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”
03 June 2010
Am I stoopid, or what?
I knew my tummy wasn't entirely happy with much food or many types of food still. So what did I do yesterday when I got overwhelmed by work?
I ate chocolate! Dear Lord - when will I ever learn?
My tummy is reminding me this morning of just what a dumb idea that was. Serves the old fat lass right! Time to shake off her crazy thinking and remember my 'healthy, sensible and moderate' plan.
On a good note, walking into work this morning was wonderful. Dappled morning sunshine, birds singing and even a guy fly-fishing in the smooth waters of the river. Started the day well - let's try to keep it that way.
01 June 2010
Well, our holiday was fabulous and wonderful and marvellous and... more details later. I would say it's great to be back, but that wouldn't be entirely honest now, would it?
One thing of note. A remarkably effective weight loss method seems to be to pick up a bug while you are away.
Left home weighing 62kg and ate pretty well as normal (trying some lovely new things... in moderation) for the first week. Then, went and caught my friendly neighbourhood bug and instantly stopped having any interest in food at all thank you very much indeed, and came home weighing 59kg. Still sitting there this morning, in fact, I'm now slightly under the mark.
Felt like a very sick puppy indeed for a day or so.
Copious bottles of water (at room temperature - nooooo, not cold, please!) was the only thing which kept me going for several days. Even my beloved tea tasted 'orrible!
A week down the line and my appetite still isn't what it usually is. Is that a good thing, or a bad one? Can't make up my mind right now.
I guess it's progress, but hmmm, it's not a method I'd recommend. Mind you, even being ill couldn't spoil the great break for us.
12 May 2010
OK, so I'm not going to hit my dream number on those scales before we go away. To be honest, with what I've been doing (and, more importantly, not doing) in the last couple of weeks that is no real surprise, although there's been a slight downward trend.
I think I've been more in a maintenance frame of mind and have not really had that 'hey, go mad' and 'let's lose' mindset. Still, I'm quite OK with this and I plan to get firmly seated back in the weight loss saddle on my return.
I can hardly believe we are actually about to go. It seems to have rather snuck up on me and I don't feel remotely prepared. Excited yes, yes, YES - but ready... er, not exactly. Guess I'd best start packing, huh? Oh, what the heck. It's going to be great fun - even if not meticulously planned.
We plan quite an active trip, with a fair amount of walking (some of it carrying rucksacks) and a lot of moving around. I'm going to try some new foods, and probably have some treats too, but definitely in moderation as I'll have no idea what most of them will be made from. Still, a typical Levantine diet tends to focus on seasonal, fresh produce and doesn't usually include too many bad things.
Anti-malaria tablets have improved a bit, haven't they? They seem to have one or two odd but minor side effects (we are taking both Paludrine and Avloclor), but nothing like those bloody Lariam from the last time. Never again with those things.
Right, signing off now for a wee while. Ta ta folks.
08 May 2010
OK, it's raining and cold and dismal outside today, but to hell with it. Went for a great walk anyway and loved every minute of it.
Breakfast was delicious Turkish yoghurt and a small hunk of seedy bread. Lunch a big plate of fresh leafy salad, with loads of tomatoes, cucumber, fresh coriander and spring onions. Delicious. Tonight I've got a yearning for something spicy so I'm on kitchen duty and a low fat mince and pea curry (made from scratch - no sauce mixes please!) it will be. There'll be more yoghurt and I may knock up a nice fresh kachumber too.
Exercise for today consists of blitzing the house in readiness to go away. Time to put some fun music on and boogie down while I have dusted, polished and hoovered until the place could pass a white-glove inspection. Bathroom next. Not my favourite task but it'll look and smell great when I'm done with it!
Tomorrow will be more of the same, and an outing for the Swiss ball. It's about time those abs were reminded of why I have them (grin).
Have a great weekend!
06 May 2010
Unlike yesterday, which wasn't the most fun I've had, today is a very much better day. I'm definitely the dog today!
A beautiful walk in the sunshine helped keep my temper on an even keel. So did a really delicious mixed fruit salad (with Turkish yoghurt) for lunch. It had redcurrants and blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, pineapple and grapes, and some gorgeous ripe melon bits too. Extremely satisfying, fruity-sweet but tart enough to be refreshing and healthy enough to make the fat lass feel virtuous. Should help with my digestive struggles too [wink, wink].
Tonight I have an appointment at the local salon to get this shaggy mop of hair out of my eyes. Can't wait to feel tidy again. Then I can look forward to one of lovely hubby's gorgeous veggie soups.
What a difference a day can make. Hope yours is a good one.
05 May 2010
04 May 2010
It's been a mixed few days. The bad stuff first, then I promise I'll shut up and say something positive but I really do want to get it off my chest.
First, and by far the biggest thing in seriousness, is that just weeks before their wedding my youngest niece's fiance came home to some very sad news on Sunday. He'd just returned from a work trip to the continent when he had a phone call from his sister to tell him his mother had been rushed to hospital as she'd collapsed and wasn't breathing. They went straight to the hospital but his mum never regained consciousness and she died within the space of a couple of hours. That poor, poor lady... and her poor family, who now have to deal with losing a beloved parent so unexpectedly. I've never met his mum, or any of the family apart from my niece's fiance, but it makes me want to weep.
Then there's my older niece. She has a health problem (actually, she's recently had it confirmed that she has ME) which she is dealing with to the best of her ability so she can remain in work for as many hours as is feasible. She's been doing fine, until now. Her boss called her to one side just before the weekend. This boss, despite the involvement of my niece's GP and occupational health, appears to assume that my she is being lazy, or something similar, and used terms like 'reduced pay' and 'dismissal' during a less than pleasant conversation. Really supportive employer, eh? Especially given that my niece works for the NHS, who should know better than any that stress exacerbates the condition. I'm not even going to start on what I'd like to do right now, but it isn't nice.
Then there's that Icelandic volcano. I find I'm fretting that it'll kick off again and ground us before we even get to set off. If it does, so be it, but I can't help but have this niggling concern. Ho hum.
I said I'd say something positive though, didn't I? OK, two things. I spent half an hour or so taking in the waistband on my favourite work trousers at the weekend so the darned things stay on me without resorting to an uncomfortable belt. Am rather pleased with the job I did - and no seamstress me! Then my scales, despite continuing problems on the digestive front which made me assume I'd not lose anything this week, tell me I've dropped to 61kg. I've walked a fair bit but not exercised much beyond that, but I guess I've eaten sensibly enough to make the difference.
28 April 2010
Perhaps it's because I'm back on a more even emotional keel, but I can think straight again. And, I can see that a good bit of progress has been made. I'm feeling more 'focused' and 'with it' and I feel confident for the future - for my future.
Yes of course, while it'll be nice to see the scales responding to the efforts I'm making, this isn't the progress I have in mind. After all, we aren't quite at the finishing line yet. What I actually mean by progress is what's happening inside my head... in the way I'm thinking about this whole weight loss business.
I mean that I've come to appreciate where I am now, to understand where I came from and why that part of my life panned out the way it did and to accept the lifelong journey I must still go on with. This one changing, evolving person, from the past... to the present... and on into the future, really is still 'me'. You see, I finally 'believe' deep inside myself that I can actually do it... not only get rid of those last few pesky pounds but keep this loss maintained once I have shed that last bit. Strange as it may sound, this is a bit of a new concept for the fat lass.
I guess it's kind of odd that during all the trials and tribulations of the last few years (yeah, it's been a long haul, I know), I never had much real faith that I truly 'could' make a long-term success of this journey. Some of that was down to fear that the old 'me' was actually the real one and would, at some point, come out of hiding to take over again to wreck my plans for the future.
Yes, I could see my life and my health had changed for the better. And yes, I sort of knew and could accept that I'd made some progress along the way. However, I didn't really appreciate how much of a fundamental and permanent difference there was between the old me and the new one until more recent times. It's easier for others to see things like that, I guess.
But still, despite all that sort of seeing and sort of knowing, there was that whiny, nagging little voice in my head muttering away. Her comments were always directed at the hatchling new 'me' though and, alongside the thoughts designed to de-rail my efforts were always other negative thoughts. She'd whisper things like "What makes you think you can do it this time, huh? Haven't you always failed in the past?" and "Who do you think you are, eh? Aiming for the weight you were nearly thirty years ago? You can't turn the clock back - stupid or what!".
Well, I'm can't be certain she's gone away completely and for ever. Indeed, she probably hasn't. But I do seem to have found a few ways to tell her to shut the heck up because she's wrong! More importantly, I now 'know' she's way off base.
In just less than a month I go away with my lovely hubby to pastures new for a well-earned break. Sure I'd love to hit that tantalising 60kg target before I go, and that may well be achievable. But I won't fret if I can't or don't do it within this period because I now 'know' that I will get there at the time that's right for me and my HRT beleaguered body.
Similarly, I'd be amazed if I come back from our trip without having gained at least a pound or two. We are after all going to somewhere with lots of new tastes to sample! The difference is that I now truly 'know' I can handle that, not overindulge too badly, and get any gain back off again once I'm back to my everyday routine.
For all my remaining saggy-baggy bits 'n bobs and the still sticky-out belly, I'm not the fat lass I used to be. The 'me' inside has changed at least as much as, if not more than, the outer packaging. And you know what? It's a nice feeling - I rather like this 'me'.
26 April 2010
Amazing what getting it all off one's chest can do, isn't it? My weight may not have decreased all that much, but thankfully I'm back to roughly where I started again. Er, let me clarify that! What I mean is that I'm back under my 'shock horror' over ten stone point and wavering around the 62kg mark again. That is a much better place for the fat lass to be.
Better yet, my decidedly grumpy frame of mind has improved somewhat. I've even calmy coped with quite a large liquid spill (hmmm, half a bucket's worth of the wet stuff goes a looooong way!) without getting cross with the individual who made the mess - a big improvement, particularly as they took some persuading to help in the clear-up.
I've already had a lovely walk in the sunshine and am feeling very much more serene. I'll be out there again later, given half a chance. The plan now is to concentrate on eating healthily, walking as much as possible and building in the gym whenever I can (although, sadly, this can't be very often at the moment). My Chi Kung class restarts tonight and I'm really looking forward to it.
I'm not going to stress over the weight changes, even if the scales say I've gained again. My clothes still fit, despite the remainder of the bloated feeling around the belly (and ankles!), so I'm going to accept the variations for now, carry on taking my pills and see what happens. It is, after all, very early days.
I'm not giving up. I will reach my target and I will stay there! Oooh, I'd got so close and it was horrifying to think that it might all be falling apart - a little over-reaction on my part but I guess that's hormones for you. But, it wasn't all descending into chaos - it's just that getting to where I want to be just might take a little longer than I'd hoped. That's life though.
22 April 2010
Sorry chaps. Rant about to start.
Is it me or is it these bloody HRT pills? Whatever the reason my blasted weight has gone up AGAIN and I'm right back up to a shade OVER ten stone! Growl, hiss, spit! The fat lass is NOT a happy camper at all.
Yes, it's been a hard few weeks at work, with a lot of stress and I know I don't do well under too much stress. But, it seems an amazing coincidence that, my weight having been pretty much OK (give or take) for quite some time and despite still eating sensibly and moving my butt (albeit not as much as I ought), suddenly I'm seeing a weight gain... and not a minor one either.
What's more, with the second type of these pills (they are oestrogen only white pills for day 1-16 then oestrogen and progesterone green ones from day 17-28) my relatively calm frame of mind went right out the window and my mate Alecto the Fury took over once again... in spades! My poor lovely hubby took the brunt of it and it probably took all his courage to 'casually' mention over breakfast one morning that I seemed a bit 'short-tempered'. Poor lamb.
Thankfully, my raging emotions only lasted two or three days before things settled down a bit, but the sudden change is making me think that, as the pills are having a major impact on my character, they are probably having an equally significant effect on my body. My digestive system is still not quite on balance and I can see from my ankles that I'm also retaining a bit of water again too.
Well, if it is the pills - bugger them. They are not going to defeat me! I will shift this bloody weight again, come hell or high water. I WILL get down to my intended weight. Failure is NOT an option.
14 April 2010
Went again last night and loved it. It was pretty quiet as it's still half-term, I guess, and that makes such a difference. Want to go again... now.
Have started to build up the cardio work again and I'll soon be back to what I consider 'acceptable'. Rowing (on lovely new Concepts) was bliss - smooth as silk - and I'm adapting to the new steppers, for all I still think the whizz-bang new kit is overly complicated to use. Having said that, I do like the elliptical (it's the 'spotty dog walker' to me - from The Woodentops when I was a kid) much more than the old ones.
The weights went well - even the chest press and shoulder press (which are my least favourites) weren't too awful.
One grumble (OK then, two). Firstly, I seem to have forgotten the finer points of my warm down and stretch routine. I think I need a little reminder so will ask one of the trainers next time. And the showers, whilst wet and warm(ish), were in complete darkness! Is there an energy saving scheme in place I don't know about?
12 April 2010
OK, having now been taking the HRT tablets the doctor prescribed (Elleste Duet) for a couple of weeks. So... how are things going? Well, I'd say things were a bit up and down to be honest.
My 'hot spots' haven't exactly gone away, but they do seem less frequent (night sweats once or twice a night now, not five or six episodes!) and they are less intense. I should still be hooked up to the National Grid as I produce a lot of excess energy, but the Water Board probably couldn't make much use of me to reduce seasonal shortages now. Likewise, those extremely irritating Beach Boys haven't decided to retire altogether. Still, the buzzing blighters play me up less often and at a significantly reduced, more manageable, volume. My moods seem a bit less volatile too, which is a big plus as I'm a bit more on an even keel. Less intense anger (although I still have my moments) and a reduction in the sudden floods of tears for no real reason.
But... and there always is at least one 'but', isn't there... there are a few things which are causing me some disquiet. First of these is that, even though the night sweats are less of an issue, I'm still not sleeping properly and so I'm almost always feeling tired and mildly run down as a consequence. The overnight disturbances caused by the sweats seem to have been substituted with other wake up calls! I seem to be getting bad dreams (hmmm, nightmares really) quite frequently over the past couple of weeks. Some of them are pretty unsettling too. It reminds me of the time I took Lariam to prevent malaria - but thankfully not as bad! And there are the early hours leg cramps. Not something I suffer from usually, but lately my calf muscles have managed to tie themselves into excruciating knots and wake me.
Then there's early morning indigestion - usually first thing in the morning, or within half an hour or so of breakfast. I don't feel sick exactly, just a bit uncomfortable and mildly 'dodgy'. I feel bloated and bigger around the belly (despite the yoghurt) and my digestive system seems to be just slightly out of kilter.
But the one which is really annoying to a fat lass is the effect on my weight. OK, it wasn't the best of weeks last week, but things shouldn't have been bad enough to see the scales leap back up to 62.5kg again. Needless to say... they did! I can tell from my wedding ring being tighter on my finger that I'm retaining water so that is part of it, but...
Coincidence? Not sure.
It's still very early days so I guess it's 'keep taking the tablets' and see how things go.
09 April 2010
Not a great day. Not that fantastic a week to be honest.
Thankfully, I read a timely quote about the perils of neglecting oneself at Fifty, Fat and Grumpy.
Hmmm, made me think it's time to take a good look at myself and get with the plan again. Not tomorrow.... today!