29 April 2013

So far, so good...

It's been a roller-coaster weekend.

The upside? Walking on the banks of a beautiful river in the sunshine with my lovely hubby, my niece (who's expecting her first child in a few months time) and her very cute dog.

The downside? A lot of travelling and a real scare so some intense stress when I thought I was going to lose my darling Mum (she was very poorly indeed on Saturday).

By Sunday, as a reduction of panic and sweet relief kicked in, I came close (oooh, so very close!) to falling off the low-carb wagon. I wavered, and almost succumbed to the lure of fresh Welsh cakes, but... was saved at the last moment. Phew!

It's also been my first week on Premique (after the switch away from Tibolone) and I'm pleased to say that, on the menopause front, things do already seem to have settled down a bit. I feel more like 'me' again. However, it's very early days and I wasn't expecting much when I got on the scales this morning (my first chance after the weekend) so I had a pretty nice surprise. I'm down a kilo and it feels great!

Onwards, very definitely upwards!

23 April 2013

Bye bye Tibolone

Well, it looks like the Tibolone and I didn't get on in the docs opinion too. Funny though. She seemed a lot less bothered by the increased occurrence of night sweats (a.k.a. the fat lass is a human waterfall!) and the dramatic change away from my calm, peaceful moods (fat lass morphing into a she-devil) than she was by the little bit of a skin rash (which I'd thought trivial).

Anyhow, today sees Day 1 of a new regime - this time I'm trying out Premique, which is (apparently) a bit more similar to the old Prempak-C I used to take. We'll see how things go. Cross your fingers for me, eh?

And, on a different note... a sad fact, maybe... but not all is lost

It is a much mentioned 'fact' that ninety per cent of people who go on diets regain the weight within a year. I think that's pretty accurate - after all, I used to be regularly join that ninety percent all too often, following one 'diet' after another over decades.

But, stop and think about this for a moment. Sure, regaining is the majority - but that leaves ten percent of us (of which I am finally one and many of you will also be) who DO NOT regain what they worked so hard to lose. That ten percent is not to be sniffed at - we're doing better than the trend and it's worth looking at why this might be.

So what are we doing right?

Well, everyone will have their own story, but the US National Weight Control Registry studied the habits of the ten per cent of people who did keep their weight off.

Their study looked at people who had shed and kept off between 30lbs and 300lbs over a five year period, or longer.

Here’s what they did:
[comments in brackets are mine, and show what out of the list I do]

78 % ate breakfast every day.     [tick]
75 % weighed themselves at least once a week.     [tick]
62 % watched less than ten hours of TV a week.     [tick]
90 % exercised moderately for an hour every day (most chose walking).     [tick]

Hmmm, pretty nice to get confirmation that, for once in life, you are doing something right, eh?

18 April 2013

Black dog in the sunshine and the return of Alecto

Sorry folks, but there are some serious growls and miseries ahead. You may want to go read about someone else who's feeling more cheery and motivational, but I want to get this stuff out of my system in the hope that it'll take the hint and go away.

I know there's a whole lot going on in the world which should me feel grateful to be who I am, and where I am. I feel for those caught up in events, but I'm living in my skin and this ramble is kind of personal to me.

Well, the only polite thing I can think of to say about my life at the moment is... rude words, fuss and bother. It just shouldn't be like this. Now that the sun has shown her face and there are blossoms and flowers about, and there is finally a bit of spring to be seen, my moods should be shifting towards the positive, right?

Er, wrong...

In fact, it seems quite the opposite. After a pleasant weekend with lovely hubby, pleasing ourselves and doing LOADS of walking around London on Saturday (albeit mostly in the peeing rain), and successfully managing to remain low-carb in the face of a sea of cafes and restaurants apparently wanting to stuff us and the rest of humanity with bread and pasta, I should be on a high, shouldn't I.

But, for some reason, instead of the high, the fat lass is struggling with two problems. The first is the return of my very own version of Alecto (go on, look her up in Greek mythology)... er, irritability, that is, she says, putting it very mildly indeed! The other thing is an unexpected 'black dog' period.

The former has been building for a couple of weeks now, and hit a bit of a peak earlier in the week when I actually lost my temper with a colleague. I can't remember the last time I lost control at work, but I'm embarrassed to say I ended up doing my screaming harridan act.

This was triggered when, in mid-discussion (as I was trying to engage quietly, reasonably and calmly to resolve a problem), he first harrangued me and then, when that wasn't getting him anywhere, turned his back and stalked away from me, cutting me off completely. I'm afraid to admit that this sparked off an instant 'light the blue touch-paper and stand well back' reaction!

Thankfully, it was pretty much only the two of us around at the time, but I'm not proud of myself at all. I should have been more adult and professional, even if he wasn't being very reasonable. I'm actually rather worried that I didn't/couldn't stay calm, and also that it took a long while for me to get over it. Oh well, it's over and done, and I must move on and resolve to NOT resort to a similar reaction again.

The blues part of the duo kicked off on Sunday. There've been hints of it popping up in the last few weeks, but it all came to a head with a particularly teary bout on Sunday morning. At first, I put it down to tiredness from our looong day out and from a lot of disturbed nights with the night sweats... again, but there seems to be more to it than that. I'm just 'down' in a rather nebulous and unspecified way, and I don't like it!

Both aspects of this 'may' be to do with switching to these darned tablets. It certainly seems quite a coincidence that they and my mood changes started about the same time. I'll talk to my GP about this later and see what she thinks.

If it isn't the tablets, and I'm blaming them unfairly, what else could be causing it? Well, it could be that I'm a tad under the weather (I have been running on 'hot' over the last few days, in the daytime as well as at night). It may be an overspill from work stuff and the various tensions there. It may be worries about my Mum and her deteriorating condition: she's now skimming her mid-nineties, just had another birthday, and isn't doing all that well to be honest. It may merely have been far too long a winter... or it could be a combination of any or all of these. I just don't know. But I do know that I'm feeling sorry for myself, and I don't care for this at all.

On a marginally more positive front, I'm forcing my sorry self to stay active. Rowing, the abs work and walking continue, and I'm even making a little progress with increasing what I do. I do feel slightly 'stronger', although I can't say I can see too much difference to my body tone as yet, but time should tell, eh?

I'm avoiding the siren call of chocolate (e.g. cling-film wrapped a piece of 'death by chocolate' birthday cake I was presented with, and gave it to another colleague for his little girls) and other comfort foods. I'm making myself comply with and adhere to the low-carb dietary guidelines and sticking with the daily carb limits which I know I'm better for. However, I have to admit that I am finding things really rather hard at the moment.

My weight fluctuations aren't helping to keep me in a positive frame of mind either. Best description of my relationship with the scales would be 'variable' at the moment. The needle is up and down like a lady of the night's undergarments, and my mood (sadly) pretty much follows it.

On Monday morning (even after all that walking at the weekend) it was a kilo higher once again - grrr! Hmmm, not a great start to the week. I was pleased to say it dropped back a bit again... briefly, but this morning saw it back up again. For want of the language I'd really like to use here, I'll just say bottoms, bellies and other wobbly bits!

I know, it isn't a complete disaster but, despite reining in hard and being extra careful with what I'm eating, I'm four or so pounds up from where I 'want' to be. As you'd imagine,I'm not feeling exactly 'happy' with this. In fact, I feel distinctly 'old' and  'stout' and 'matronly' at the moment, nothing at all like the 'lithe' and 'energised' woman I'd wish to be.

Anyway, that has at least got it all off my chest. I guess I just need to grit my teeth, give myself a smart kick in the pants and get on with it. This feeling isn't permanent. It will pass. I just hope it passes soon.

Onwards, ever...

11 April 2013

Oh pooh!

It has been one of life's 'interesting' weeks....

No sooner had I got back in the groove with my rowing, abs work and some more intense walking, I 'did something' to my right calf muscle on my way to work Monday morning. Not cramp - whatever this was sudden onset and felt like someone had driven a spike deep into the back of my calf. It hurt like a bitch and left me hobbling like a ninety year old for three days.

However, whilst it certainly slowed me down (a lot), I didn't let it defeat me completely. Hey, I live in a dead flat county so I can still manage a hobble, can't I. So, I still walked (OK, limped) every day, and I rowed... gently... every day except Tuesday. Even now downhill slopes are a bit of a challenge, and it 'pulls' to remind me, although stairs are a lot easier.

There's a 'but'. And the 'but' is that somehow my weight has gone up. Er, let's make that 'shot up'! Now I'm a bit baffled as I have been 'reasonably' sensible with food choices and portions. Maybe not perfect, but not off the rails either. And I've kept active, even if not as much or as fast as I'd like.

One thing which is different is my HRT medication. A couple of weeks ago my prescription changed, and I started taking Tibolone (Livial). Hmmm, the jury is out here. I am seeing a variety of differences - some manageable, some not so.

OK, OK, I know it's early days and I have to give it time, but... My mood hasn't been as 'serene' as lovely hubby or I (or my work colleagues, bless 'em!) would really like. I'm getting some major night sweats again (hello sleepless nights), some odd skin break-outs and I 'think' it may be having a detrimental effect on my weight. I'm prepared to hang in there, but have a review next week so we'll see what my nice GP has to say.

Stress (mainly at work) has been a bit of a problem this week too, but it really hit me last night, in the form of problems for my poor Mum. Thankfully, she seems OK once again and I 'may' settle down a bit weight-wise before I weigh 'officially' on Saturday.

Whatever happens will happen. I can look forward to a lovely day out in London on Saturday. We'll keep to low carb and will probably walk miles so a healed (or healing) calf is a bonus.

Oh well. Onwards ever...

04 April 2013

It starts with a single step...

Reminder to self. Apart from the obvious - food, that is - one of the ways I help to maintain my weight loss, and not allow the dreaded fat to plop straight back onto me when my back is turned, is to keep active. Well, pretty active anyhow. And it is worth maintaining because losing around seven and a half stone in weight was a fairly long-term project (after all, you didn't gain it all in a day, did you!) and it took a lot of commitment and hard work.

That said, you've been slacking a bit over recent months (er no, let's tell it like it is, eh, fat lass? You've been a seriously lazy mare!) and that less than 'tight' body tone tells the tale clearly enough. That 'might' be just about OK/acceptable/able to be hidden whilst we are all still bundled up in our multiple layers of winter woollies (and we STILL are here in the UK, dammit) but it just won't do for when you can finally get the summer attire out of mothballs. Go out and about in a closely-fitting, short-sleeved tee-shirt? Aaaaaargh!

Time to get on with it, and put your money where your mouth is, if you want a better body shape for summer.

So, just like I've been promising myself... or perhaps that was 'threatening' myself...  Easter saw the return of my rowing (with the help of my old friend Connie the Concept rower) and the abs work first thing each morning. Oh dear. Ouch, ouch, ouch. I'd forgotten that you KNOW that you've done something when various parts of the anatomy start to complain in tandem! Still, no pain...

What I haven't slacked upon, throughout my lazy patch, though, is the walking. In fact, to encourage myself (a.k.a. to plant a foot firmly in my own backside!) to do this, if nothing else, I've been wearing my step counter and aiming for about 12,000 steps a day. Most days I've hit my target, or very nearly so. Hey, that's not too shabby, even if it hasn't really been enough, or the quite right thing for all-over tone. Still, the rowing and abs should help address that.

Yesterday was a particularly good day and I blew my target away. It was a busy one, and I thought I'd done a bit more than usual. Even so, I was pretty surprised when I checked the final figure on the step counter as I undressed for bed. I'd walked 17,253 steps in total yesterday! That comes out to about eight and a half miles. Wow!

So, the moral of this ramble, my dear fat lass, is to remember that every step counts and every step is worth taking. Just because the rowing and abs stuff seems tough at the moment, keep on at it. It will help you, and it WILL get easier as those poor old ignored muscles get a wee bit stronger once again, and more accustomed to being given a job to do. Give it a week or two... or maybe three or four... and you will begin to see results.

And it starts with that single step... or stroke... or sit-up... Onwards ever.

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