30 January 2012

Good news, and a 'but'

I'm eating healthily enough and not going mad with portions. My weight is still OK and is still hanging in there at a pretty comfortable level, currently 55kg. The early morning exercise regime is going well and both lovely hubby and I got all excited about being back at the gym on Sunday. I even think I'm possibly beginning to see a small difference to my belly. Slightly, almost imperceptibly, it's maybe getting a bit firmer. All good stuff, no?


The 'but' is that, mentally, I'm really not in a positive frame of mind and I think it's these darned kooky hormones. My confidence has taken quite a back seat and I just don't feel like 'me'. I know this is going to sound completely irrational but half the time I feel as though nothing much has changed and that still I'm buried under my old fat suit, just as I used to be four or so years ago. Sure, my clothes clearly demonstrate that things have got better, but my mental picture of 'me' has become a bit on the warped side at the moment.

Even when I force the issue and apply straight up logic or look back at old photos, the grown-up part of me can see reality but, for the rest... well it's almost that I'm expecting to get up one morning, hop onto the scales and see a horrendous number which puts me right back to square one and confirms I am indeed the fat lass my head is telling me I am.

I'm also seriously cranky and lacking in patience. Janey Mac! but we have to get these blasted hormones sorted out. New tablets start tomorrow so let's cross my fingers they kick in soonest. Right now, female and fifties isn't my idea of fun! Ho hum.

23 January 2012

Steady as she goes?

Yep, that sort of sums up the story of where I am at the moment and, in the main, I'm quite happy about that.

Let's go for the pluses first...

My weight is staying pretty steady, although it seems to cycle up and down between 55kg (which is my 'happy' number) and 56kg. I'm not going mad to lose any more weight so am just being careful (and mindful) with what I eat, making sure it's good healthy stuff (a.k.a. veggies aplenty). However, I am allowing myself to eat slightly more than when I've been in full weight-loss mode. So far, this seems to be working out fairly well, although I'm weighing daily to keep an eye on how I'm doing and am primed and ready to jigger with things if they do begin to go awry.

The exercise side of things is going quite well too. I'm rowing and doing a decent set of abs floor exercises six mornings out of seven, and walking near enough every day in addition. Lovely hubby and I have firm plans to re-join our gym at the weekend and I'm thinking positive thoughts about going once again... even though I know it's probably going to make me feel stiff as a board for a few days. As it stands right now though, I'm certainly feeling physically fitter than I have for a wee while. This is good because the menopause seems to have taken a turn for the negative. Bleh!

Mentally... I'm not exactly on an even keel. In recent weeks I've been mopey, tearful, down, irritable, snappy and dog-tired, and I'm guessing that a fair bit of this is hormonal. Oh Lordy, this is beginning to look like the return of Alecto!

I've also been worrying (to extremes!) about all sorts of 'stuff', some of which is made up of valid concerns and some of it is just plain silly things. Unfortunately, my head won't let me differentiate between the two types at dark o' hundred when I'm waking up in a muck sweat yet again and losing precious sleep. This is having a not unexpected knock-on effect on my days and I don't feel like I'm coping well with life in general at the moment.

However, hope is in sight. I've seen my GP and she seemed to think the changes that have happened recently were not much of a surprise (hmmm, just wish she'd warned me so I didn't think I was going doolally again!). Ho hum. Still, I now have a brand new, higher dose version of my HRT pills to start at the end of this cycle. Cross fingers, toes, and whatever else that they'll help, although I know it'll take a little while before things settle down.

In the meanwhile I've just got to try to hang on to my shredded temper and not let it get the better of me, and hang on to the motivation to keep the exercise up and this weight off and not descend into a chocolate flavoured pit of despair. Onwards ever.

11 January 2012

No chips!

Well, that's done it. The fat lass now cannot put any weight back on. It's official!

Why not? I've just come back from picking up my wedding and engagement rings. I've had them re-sized so that I cannot lose them (they fell off a couple of times before Christmas and that scared me rigid). This means I have to stay at the size I am now.

No bigger than this... ever.. so from now on, no chips!

I guess this may seem like it's only a fairly little thing, having a couple of rings altered. No big deal at all, I can almost hear you thinking. But hey, just wait a minute... the implications of this are way, way more far-reaching than a couple of pieces of jewellery, however precious, lovely or valuable they may be.

Just like my original hugely important decision as to whether I would get married again (this time to my darling lovely hubby and it's a decision I've never regretted for a nanosecond), this is a very serious undertaking indeed to me. In my mind it is another deeply thought-through and unbreakable lifetime commitment... this time to myself.

Actually going ahead and having my rings made permanently smaller (as this cannot be undone) acts a tangible and visible sign of my dedication to keep this weight off. I truly cannot go back to my old ways, and I'm finally ready to commit to that.

I'd guess you could say this is quite some milestone!

And, as to those chips, well I'm only half serious. I've always said that I'd never actually outright ban any food. After all, it'd likely make me want it more. So they're still on the menu, just in small and infrequent portions, with a bit of mindfulness and thought before I go ahead and choose them.

10 January 2012

Get it on!

No, I'm not banging gongs and turning into a female Marc Bolan, that's just my little reminder message to me.

But it seems like a great time to set myself a new goal. Not a New Year's resolution, but a nice target to aspire to. I'm talking about a certain pair of pale blue, stonewashed jeans which I bought a looooong time ago as a 'target' garment. These are jeans that are almost... but still not quite... wearable in public. It's these I'd really rather like to 'get on'.

They are a pair of Levi 529 Women's Curvy Boot Cut Jeans which, supposedly, were designed to fit 'curvier' ladies, i.e. those without that boyish look, but with larger hips than waist. They are a size 27" waist which, in theory,should now be too big for me (as my 'waist' is smaller than that), but... er, aren't!

Too big for me, huh? These teensy, tiny things? C'mon, I'm nearly laughing my socks off here. Hmmm, you see, that 'waistband' doesn't actually sit anywhere near 'my' waist but a fair way further south. Sort of neatly over the podgy bits, hence the reason I haven't been able to wear them... yet.

Sure, I can get them around the old carcase relatively easily (e.g. with little to no swearing, and without laying back on the bed and tugging madly). The zip does up, all the way, without too much effort. But... and this is a pretty significant 'but', I'm going to need to reduce the general flubberiness (is that a real word?) around belly rather more before I'll venture out of the privacy of my boudoir with them on.

Better tone is definitely needed as, right now, my carefully cultivated collection of loose skin and remaining fat sort of bunches up above the waistband in a none too attractive fashion. Under a loose sweatshirt or heavy-weight top the jeans'd be just about acceptable, but with a tee-shirt? Er, nope! I'm really not a fan of the distinct (if somewhat poorly-baked) muffin top!

My plan though, as they are quite a thinnish denim, is to wear them in the late spring/early summer. This means shedding a bit more of the fat lass stuffing, and toning up the muscles which are there (truly!) underneath. So, how is this going to happen?

I've already mentioned weight targets (and heading in the right direction) and the rowing this year, and that's building up nicely. I also flagged up an intent to 'do something' about those abs and I'm pleased to report that work started on that yesterday morning. An easy 'in' so far, but with a plan to build up to bigger and better as soon as I can.

Yesterday, when I intended to post this, I was going to say "I feel OK at the moment, but have a sneaky feeling that I may be a tad sore later". I can happily report this morning that I was right. I am a wee bit sore. Must be doing something right then!

I've made a start and am happy to say it wasn't too much of a shock to the system. Onwards ever.

05 January 2012

A 'hey, what?' sort of day

I had an interesting afternoon yesterday, all told. An ex-colleague, who I haven't seen for a couple of years, came in to visit and her reaction as she walked into the office came as quite a shock to me.

To cut a long story down a bit, her jaw dropped and she couldn't stop looking at me. Call me stoopid, but this was just after lunch so my first thought wasn't anything to do with weight at all, but whether I had a seed or spinach or something stuck in my teeth.

However, the last time she saw me, although I'd already lost a considerable amount of weight, I was probably somewhere near two stone heavier than I am today. I guess that makes quite a noticeable difference, or it certainly seemed that way.

It's funny, but unless I look back at old photos I kind of forget how I used to look. I don't really 'see' what I look like and very often still think of myself as not much different. On some days I still see 'me' as a fairly chunky sort of fat lass. Strange how we perceive ourselves, eh?

Then later on, another colleague popped in to say a quick a 'Happy New Year' and the subject of weight gain and loss came up again. Oh dear, it didn't go well. He was decidedly unhappy about starting the year with a noticeably larger mid-section than he liked (having enjoyed the Christmas break to the full) and turned to me, almost aggressively, demanding to know why I hadn't gained too. He seemed to think it just wasn't fair.

I bit my tongue a wee bit, but did (gently) mention that, to some extent, I had taken reasonable care with what I ate. I also mentioned that I hadn't come away completely unscathed by Christmas but had done something about it a.s.a.p. on seeing the small rise... before it could get worse. Apparently, this was the wrong thing to say and I probably should have kept my big mouth shut altogether.

He proceeded to inform me that 'I didn't understand' and that 'of course' he couldn't lose weight because his wife cooked so beautifully and so he 'had to' eat her meals. Obviously her fault then, poor love. Hmmm, this is a gentleman I see with cake or biscuits most mornings.

Ho hum, sometimes it just isn't worth extending the conversation though... taking horses to water comes to mind. I'm afraid I took the coward's way out and left it there.

03 January 2012

Ch.. ch.. ch.. changes

Well, here we are, beginning another year, and ringing in those changes. Boy, but they do seem to shoot past ever more rapidly these days, don't they? Hmmm, I guess this means my grey hairs are showing and reminding me of my own advancing years, which is no bad thing. In the same way, policemen have begun look ever so young to me these days... wink!

This Christmas hasn't been a bad one at all though, and I'm really pleased that both lovely hubby and I were fairly careful and have emerged at the far end relatively unscathed in the avoirdupois department. So, to start 2012, I thought it might be useful to take a wander through a personal 'New Year review', looking at my past, my present (and maybe sneak a peek at hopes/plans for the future).

Being the fat lass in Jan 2007 (before starting weight loss) was not a happy place to be following the Christmas festivities. Whilst I couldn't have told you my exact weight (or maybe just didn't want to recognise or admit to it) I knew I'd indulged with a passion and gained again, and I was really very obese, weighing in at near enough 16 stone. Near as I can tell, I think I weighed somewhere in the region of 100 kg or 220-ish lbs at that stage, probably a little more. But, as part of my general 'denial', I refused flatly to have a scales in the house. Needless to say, this weight didn't do a lot for my health and was also not a great look when you are, like me, a fairly small-boned five feet four inches!

Mostly because of various health fears, I started getting serious about turning my life around in the summer of 2007. It was a big (for this read huge!) effort, but I had made considerable progress by the time Christmas rolled around. Still a pretty large lady (OK, if I'm honest I was still obese), by Jan 2008 I'd managed to shed a fair chunk of my fat suit and was down to 85kg or 187 lbs (13 stone 5 lbs).

By Jan 2009 I was no longer obese, merely 'overweight' on the BMI charts, and that was a very much better place to be. By then I'd lost a lot more weight and was down to 75kg or 165 lbs (11 stone 11 lbs). I was still learning lessons the hard way, and taking my eye off the ball had given me an unwanted gain over the season of jollities so I was none to happy about that at the time.

And then by the time Jan 2010 came around, I was a 'normal' BMI for the start of a new year for the first time in a loooong while. I started the year weighing 64kg or 141 lbs (10 stone 1 lb). It's safe to say that my life had changed dramatically by this point, although I still had to do battle with myself on a regular basis and had a lot of struggles. Things had improved a lot, but temptations still tripped me up pretty darned easily.

Jan 2011 saw me safely within that 'normal' BMI band at 60kg or 132.27 lbs (9 st 6 lbs), and having managed to lose a little weight over the festive period. A very nice present that was too. However, I wasn't in top form and still didn't feel I was making the progress I wanted to or that I was quite where I wanted to be. You see, I was still learning new lessons.

And now we come to the present. I've already mentioned that I did put a pound or so on over the Christmas break. Grrr, but I've hit Jan 2012 in the way I intend to continue. As soon as I realised that I'd gained I got back to being serious and have managed to shake it off. As of this morning I'm safely back under my nine stone 'aaaaargh!' line by a couple of pounds and headed back towards where I've decided I would like the scales needle to sit as a general rule, at 55kg or 121.25 lbs (8 st 9 lbs). It's less than lovely hubby thinks reasonable, but this seems a good weight to be for the fat lass.

But even now, after four and a half years of weight loss committment, is my journey over? Er, nope! Am I still learning? You betcha!

As planned, I'm back on the rower in the mornings (and will build up gradually), and I'm definitely walking whenever I can grab a moment, but it's high time those flabby abs had some attention again. As the weight loss part of my journey takes more of a back seat, and I've a bit of spare grey matter to concentrate my attentions on other things, 2012 is to be the year things get a wee bit better toned.

So, have a great 2012, and onwards ever...

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