30 September 2011

Goals and progress

On September 6th I set myself a target. It was, first of all, to get down to 58kg and set my 'no higher' line-in-the-sand there. There are some follow-on goals to get below that and, finally, to stay there, but that's for slightly later on.

So, here we are a little more than halfway through... how are things going?

Well, I'm sort of halfway there, although my weight remains stubbornly at 59kg this morning, having ambled back up to that from my not-eating, sickbed low of 58kg.

I had hoped I could get a bit further along the way, with the scales needle moving downwards this week again, but looks like it isn't to be. In fact, it went up a bit higher for a couple of days when I first finished my antibiotics. My eating has been good this week (healthy and good portion control) and I've worked up to doing some exercise so I guess that's probably my body adapting to whatever changes are going on.

I'm pleased to say that I've managed a fair amount of walking this week, albeit interspersed with breaks to use my inhaler. I'm not feeling quite up to the rower yet but hope that won't be too long. All in all, I feel like I'm making progress though, and I like the thought that I haven't lost the motivation to reach my goal.

One thing does cast a minor pale shadow though...
While I was unwell and at my lightest, I looked in the mirror but could see no real difference in the appearance of that darned belly flap. It seemed just as noticeable to me as ever, suggesting that I'd need to lose a lot more weight to make much difference to it.

Given that weight is lost from everywhere, not just the belly, I'm not sure how I feel about this. It doesn't affect my motivation to attain my stated goal, but what comes after is going to take some more thinking about. Ho hum.

27 September 2011

Get out!

And yes... I mean you!

It's been a beautiful day today. Quite the Indian summer, with a gorgeous blue sky and sunshine, and it's rather unseasonably warm - perfect, in fact.

Why, then, did I have to force my posterior away from my desk to go for a walk at lunchtime? Hmm, don't know, but I'm guessing I still feel a bit under par from the bug and allowed myself to wallow in the 'poor me' zone until sense returned and I realised I'd regret it if I let an opportunity like today's sunshine get by me.

It was lovely in the fresh air (OK, some fresh air and some traffic fumes) and I am really glad I walked. Sure, by the end of my hour I did need my inhaler, but that's why I carry it for heaven's sake!

And I do need the exercise. Having been bug-flattened for a week, I feel quite out of shape and I don't like it at all.

C'mon fat lass. Time to tell yourself you are well and get on with life again. If you get tired, so what. You'll sleep better at night.

26 September 2011

A fairly poorly bunny

Oooh boy, what a decidedly unpleasant week or so it's been. I won't bore you with the gruesome details. Suffice it to say it wasn't 'just a cold' like I'd hoped it was, so off to the GP for the fat lass!

However, just take a moment to consider what a boon to fighting infections antibiotics are. I had both time and opportunity to ponder this fact at leisure last week, and I'm so, so grateful for their discovery. From feeling like death warmed over with 'the bug' to merely feeling slightly 'bleh' now is all down to the assistance of these lovely little wonder drugs.

If I must stop moaning for as moment and look for a positive slant, the good news is that food ('specially anything dry, crispy or scratchy) hasn't been much of an issue. Eating has not seemed all that appealing, not least because whatever I've looked at hasn't tasted of anything much, even chilli! Mind you, I've wanted to drink for England and have managed to do just that! The herbal teas, hot Marmite and hot chocolate (bless those good folks at Options!) have taken a real hammering over the last week, along with my usual buckets of hot water.

I hopped on the scales at some point last week and had dropped down to slightly delirious and astonishing 58kg. Nice to see, but I was all too aware that it wasn't a 'real world' result.

Now that the period when I just didn't want to eat is over, and I have a bit more of an appetite, this morning sees me at a rather more realistic, but still quite welcome 59kg. With about three weeks until mid-October, I reckon I should be able to lose the last kilo to achieve the first stage of my goal. Then, a bit more of an effort and we'll see about getting below that mark.

As to the rest of life... well I can't say I've cared too much over the last week, but oh dear. I  made the bad mistake of looking in the mirror this morning. I look pretty colourful, even if not at my most attractive! A pale, pasty background (OK with you if I call it 'interesting'?), with dark circles under the eyes, dry lips and a reddish, shiny nose with flaky bits where tissues have rubbed it raw. Very fetching, I must say. Sort of matches the way I still feel. Ho hum.

Never mind. As Yazz would have it, "The Only Way Is Up".... apart, that is, from some of my way being downwards!

16 September 2011

Static... but OK with it

Well, the weight isn't moving down any more at the moment, but that isn't a problem. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and the old body will figure it out at some point.

Eating is going well (it's nice right now as autumn = veggie soups). Exercise, or additional ecercise that is, still not going well (although I've walked quite a lot this week). Feeling pretty positive and better in myself for doing what I need to do.

Onwards, ever downwards!

09 September 2011

A nice direction to be moving in

Almost imperceptibly as yet, but the scales are being kind to me and moving downwards. They currently read just a shade below 60kg and that makes me a very happy bunny indeed. My trousers are feeling and looking looser too.

It actually feels like I'm winning a small victory with myself (or at least a minor skirmish) as this is the time of month when I usually struggle most to stay on track. Even with the help of HRT, in many ways, when the testosterone part kicks in from those tiny tablets I get the munchies. What I usually crave is a nice dose of carbs or better yet, chocolate (though, thankfully, I don't give in to that too often). For whatever reason it just isn't happening at the moment and that's keeping my motivation going. Hallelujah!

I've made a small change to my usual food intake, which might be helping. One of my regular bloggie reads mentioned quite a while ago about adding a small amount of protein to a fruit snack for mid-morning break, and this popped back into mind at the start of last week. So this is what I'm now doing and I think it's helping keep me satisfied for longer.

At the moment, added to my morning apple is a wedge or two of Laughing Cow extra light cheese (at just 22 cals per triangular wedge!). However, I think I'll exchange this for cottage cheese next week as I prefer it and it's a better source of protein for the calories - added to which is the fact that there's something a tiny bit 'unnatural' about the texture of the wedges. Whatever, the protein fix certainly seems to keep those 'is it time for lunch' rumbling tummy noises at bay!

My next improvement is to get my exercise mojo back. Yes, I'm still doing the walking but it isn't really sufficient on it's own. Awkward as it will be, whilst still arranging time around lovely hubby's meds, I really have to make time to fit in some rowing and abs exercises.... even if only a little.

Anyway, there's some progress being made and I'm delighted.

06 September 2011

A line in the sand...

I said I'd been doing a lot of thinking lately. Well, OK, that's done it. I've set myself some new targets and re-drawn my very own 'do not cross' line.

What's prompted this, you may ask. Well, before I explain, I want to reiterate that I'm really pleased to be (and remain) a whole lot slimmer and healthier than I used to be, with all the fringe benefits which come along with this. However, for a while now I've been less than ecstatic with the finer details of the way I look.

Ungrateful? Probably, and I'm a tiny bit ashamed to be looking at 'vanity' issues here, but it is part of who I am and I can't push it to the back of my mind any longer.

Over the last year or so I have sort of roughly 'maintained' my current level of weight loss, albeit whilst not actually intending to. I've been fairly happy, but fooled myself that I was still in weight loss mode. I certainly became much less focused and can see now that I wasn't truly serious about it.

My weight has cycled up and down between 60kg and 62kg or thereabouts for quite a long time. But, even at the lower end of the range and when I'm being far more diligent about the abs exercises than I've been recently, I've still got a noticeable belly. I may have mentioned it once or twice before... it's not too obvious most of the time (in clothes, anyhow) but I can't say I love it.

This is my delightful flappy extra bit where the excess skin flap from being obese for years is left behind. It's the place where much of the remainder of my fat hangs out (and, oh yes, I do mean 'hang'). What's more, when I gain weight, it hits here first.

To be frank, no matter how diligent I do get with the abs work, this flab-filled flap resides on top of whatever muscle I develop. It just ain't going to go away by exercise alone, even if the underlying structure is held in a teensy bit more. The fat lass has been gently deluding herself over this, methinks. It will only actually be diminished by my losing, shedding, shrinking, call it what you will, further amounts of the fat inside it. Don't worry, I'm under no illusions here - I do know that I'll always have the skin flap, unless I resort to surgery. I would just like it to bother me less.

Add to this that I've recently been looking into a number of models for calculating the 'ideal' weight range for a woman of my age, frame and height. Oooh dear - that was a bit of a stopper!

Even though I'm sitting somewhere near the middle of the 'normal' BMI banding, feeling fairly virtuous that this was a pretty darned 'good' place to be, the general consensus from these models (including Devine's and Robinson's) seems to be that I should actually weigh somewhere between 55kg and 58kg. In case the penny hasn't dropped, that is a whole big chunk less than I weigh right now. Kind of knocks the wind out of one's sails. It's certainly made me sit back and think.

Trouble is, I kind of thought I'd already gone far enough. Having lost around six and a half stone since I first started my lifestyle changes (not diet!), I haven't felt that I really want (or 'ought') to lose a significant amount more. But where does this (rather unscientific) decision stem from and why should I have thought this way?

I wonder if, subconsciously, I've been worried in case it makes me look old(er!) and haggard, maybe, or if I'm scared to get obsessive about the numbers on the scale and head towards 'too skinny' territory. I really don't want to end up being bony and emaciated or (worse!) unhealthy. By this, I mean like some (or do I mean many?) female 'celebrities' - women like Mrs Beckham who, slender as she undoubtedly is, looks drawn, permanently ill-nourished and dissatisfied. Sorry, but she and her ilk are no role models for me. I'm certainly not driven to get into the next clothes size down either as I'm fairly content where I am. I like the clothes I wear these days, and it's a very big thing for me to be able to say that. You heard it here - the fat lass likes dresses!

But maybe I could do with losing a bit more? If that weight loss includes at least some of the belly fat and I get my scales to move downwards, say to around the 57kg mark (c.9 stone), as opposed to where I am now, maybe the belly would be significantly less noticeable or perhaps I would just feel more comfortable with it.

OK, deep breath time. Is this realistic? Or, even if it's possible, is it sustainable? Hmmm, do you know, I'm not really sure yet.

Worth a shot though? Yes, I guess it might be.

So it looks as though my old get on the scales 'do something!' line may have been set a bit too high. It's been at 62kg (er, actually 63kg was the absolute screaming horrors mark), but perhaps it's about time it was re-drawn a bit further down.

By adjusting food and portions I'm already starting to see some pounds come off. Increasing the exercise should help too, so I'm going to mentally reset my line to 58kg... and see
a) what I can do about getting there  (I'm currently at 60kg)
b) what I can do about getting my weight a kilo or so below that line
c) what I can do about keeping it there

So I now have a clearly measurable target. I want to lose around 3kg from where I am now - that's c.6-7 pounds. Let's set myself a time-scale to work to. Going sure but steady I think that sort of loss 'should' be achieveable over about a six week period and that would take me to mid-October.

Right, roll up those sleeves. It's time for the fat lass to step up to the plate! ... or should that be step 'away' from the plate?

02 September 2011


Having read Diane's post yesterday with the image of the disability scooter, I thought long and hard about where I might be today had I not taken the first step to (permanent) weight loss back in 2007. It was scary.

I'm no longer quite in the first flush of youth! Certain bits of me, notably knees and lower back, no longer function quite as freely as they did when I was a teenager. However, they still work pretty darned well and generally give me only minimal discomfort. What's more, that level of discomfort is directly proportional to the exercise I take. Little exercise = more pain, regular exercise = little to no pain.

These days, I cannot begin to imagine what my life would be like now if I still carried something over 90 extra pounds of weight. Hell, but that disability scooter sounds like a real possibility.

Today's 'me' loves to walk every day, not only for the fresh air and exercise but for the space it gives me to think about things that happen in life. I'd go as far as to say it keeps me sane, sometimes. With the extra weight, I couldn't do much walking, let alone enjoy it.

Today's 'me' loves not being breathless, gasping at the slightest exertion. My asthma, even given a slight (stress related) recurrence recently, is pretty much under control. I'm not sure just how bad it would be by now if I still carried the excess weight, but I do know it would have been a serious issue.

Today's 'me' wouldn't be the person I am now - with the additional weight I'd probably be the pale, depressed, anti-social, embarrassed individual I used to be, lacking in confidence and hiding in dull, baggy clothes, trying to blend into the wallpaper and avoid cameras at all costs! I hated her and she hated me just as much.

I've seen a few women recently (some really quite young, as well as older), carrying excess weight and struggling badly, sometimes using crutches to help them walk. Even lovely hubby has noticed and commented on the increased numbers of people, mostly female, we see who fit this model. There but for the grace of God... that could so easily have been me.

I can hardly express how grateful I am to be where I am today, not where I was a few short years ago. I'm living life and enjoying life and feel like I'm the true 'me' once again. On my journey, I had a lot of support from you good folks out in Blogland along the way and for that I'm grateful too.

Diane asked "Are you ever tempted to give up, and what keeps you going?"
I think this pretty much answers why I will never truly give up, even when I am tempted to do so. I may have my down times and struggles, but I cannot go back, so I'll NEVER give up.

01 September 2011

On track... up to a point

I'm delighted to say that, even with life's odd little stresses, controlling my portion sizes and being sensible about what I choose to eat are both going well. It feels really good to be doing something positive once again, and wonderful to see some progress (even if only a little) from both the scale and through the waistbands in my work clothes.

I'm not counting my chickens though. I am all too aware that this is a sort of honeymoon period as it's still very early days after my fresh start. I'm also mindful that food alone is not a long-term answer to shedding fat and keeping it off. I need to increase my exercise (in range and amount) before I'll feel like I'm properly back on track. Although walking is going well, and is very helpful especially when I've little time to factor in much else, I am aware that I do need to do more. I'm missing the rower!

On the food front, I had a small senior moment in the supermarket and picked up the wrong variety of apple (my usual is Pink Lady, which I love). What a good mistake to make though - I have Royal Gala this week and, far from being disappointed, they are great! Wonderfully tasty, juicy and crunchy - obviously right in season. Hmmm, maybe I need to start being a bit more adventurous and not just stick to what I 'know' I like.

Dinner last night was quite a culinary adventure. We had some leftover boiled new potatoes in the fridge, with some odd bits of veg, which lovely hubby popped in the oven with some herbs and a little oil to roast. This was topped off with some smoked mackerel which has been lurking in the freezer for quite a time. It sounds strange and I don't know what you'd call it, but it looked amazing and tasted even better.

Feeling positive and strong and cheerful today. Long may it continue.

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