29 September 2010

A little help needed

OK, time to stop the wishful thinking.

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

Just a quickie

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


No, no! Not the weight again, thank goodness, although it hasn't begun to drop at all noticeably, at least not just yet - though why would it as I've only just got my bottom back into the saddle. But, there are a couple of things that seem to have increased.

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

Restart?... Reinvention?... Whatever!

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

Smiley happy people

Ooooh yeah, that's me today! Non-scale victories are such lovely surprises sometimes.

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

Indulgences and other stories

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

Just found what I need

OK, so where can I buy some?

End of summer blues

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

Steady as she goes?

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.

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