23 May 2018

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Well, it appears that Christmas, New Year and Easter have all come and gone, but it's still the season to be... er, brutally honest actually.

You know how when someone disappears from the weight blogging world for a while you kind of wonder whether everything is OK? Oh no, you perhaps think, I hope it hasn't all gone pear-shaped.

Well, since I last wrote something here - way back in May last year - it has. I'm feeling decidedly pear-shaped, and not a little disappointed in myself. In fact, re-reading that post and a few earlier ones makes me realise just how badly things have gone wrong.

Hey kids, let's go to to hell in a handcart!

So, to get back to the title, let's focus on the 'good' for a moment, well... 'good' being a bit of a relative term.

I haven't gained back all the weight I lost. Sounds alright, doesn't it? Well I suppose if one looks for silver linings, this is a microscopically paper-thin sliver of one.

You see, then there's the 'bad'.

OK, I'll just get the worst news out of the way. My weight is currently 61 kg = 134 lbs = 9 stone 8 lbs. That's more than a stone higher than my 'happy' weight, and an increase of more than 10% of my bodyweight. Hell, it hurts typing that.

Worse, this is somewhere I have been for a pretty long time. Up a couple of kg, down a couple maybe, but close to this figure for waaaay too long.

Now, technically, this scary figure is apparently still within some mythical 'Normal Weight Range' BMI band so some might say that it isn't quite an unmitigated disaster yet... but it rather feels like it's headed there.

Oh yeah, while I'm at the 'bad' part, I'll confess that the gym and I appear to have broken up. More of this later.

Which sort of leaves the 'ugly' part?

Alright,let's get down to the rest of it. The results of 'bad' mean that I feel and look flabby and unfit, and my clothes (particularly around my tubby, and rather matronly middle) tell me this is very real.

Huh, how did this happen? Why? Well, of course there are some contributory factors at play - yeah, yeah, aren't there always. This has not helped, but the blame is still squarely on me!

Yes, that's right - the real reason is down to me. That's 100%, as I know full well that I have choices, and appear to have consistently made crap ones.

Probably the biggest factor (a.k.a. excuse) is that I came off HRT a while back. Goodness, it's probably about eight or nine months ago now!

That decision was made after several conversations with my GP about the length of time I'd been on it, risk factors and the like. Mind you, it's a bit like guesswork, as no-one seems to be able to tell me very much that's actually the accurate and copper-bottomed truth when it comes to matters menopausal. Anyhow, a consensus was reached using some arcane formula and off HRT I came.

I'd like to say it was a good decision, but it hasn't exactly gone smoothly (oooh boy, that's putting it mildly).

I've generally felt a bit like a pile of c**p ever since. My joints hurt - it's not just the dodgy knee these days. My skin tone has gone to hell in a handcart. I am back to sleeping poorly, with near-nightly disturbances and a welter of bad dreams and night sweats. I seem to have an almost constant mild, off-colour, slightly achy 'heading for a bug', feeling and the black dog is a regular, if slightly distant companion, sniffing around my ankles once again almost as though he wants me to know he's there but has chosen not to take up full-time occupation...yet.

Those delightful, so-called 'night sweats' are not constrained by the hours of darkness either. My dodgy thermostat has retinstated itself so my temperature regulation has gone haywire once more. I'm shivery cold one minute, but blazing hot the next with an unwelcome return of the human waterfall sessions. Oooh, what fun!

The problem is, I can't 'just go back' to my old HRT medication, even if the medical profession would agree, as it simply isn't available any more. This has not helped, but all of this is still an excuse. The blame for where I am right now weight-wise is still firmly on me!

Exercise next. To begin with, in my 'new' job (which I still love) I'm hardly what you'd describe as active. I'm sat on my expanding tush in front of a screen all day, most days. Quite a difference to just about almost everything else I've done in my former life.

I've also been away from the gym since before October. This is a real problem, as it's not just a matter of weight and shape, but also one of keeping osteoporosis at bay so it's a pretty serious omission.

Yeah, sure, there are lots of reasons for this (a.k.a. excuses, such as being crazy busy in the job for a while so spending lots of hours working overtime, a period of illness, a bloody painful minor injury and the growing collection of painful joints). Sure, all contributed to 'some' of the absences. But the sad truth is, when my once-good habit was broken I let it continue. I haven't got back in the groove - despite having 'tried' a few times (albeit in a rather lacklustre manner).

Hell, it's not even as though I'm doing much walking these days. This not helped, but that weight gain blame is still on me!

And then there's the big one. You know the one I'm about to mention - this is all about food choices. Yes, I have fallen right off the wagon here, not only in 'what' I've eaten, but 'how much' I've consumed and 'when' I've chosen to feed myself.

First off, I dove right in and took the opportunity to indulge in 'treats' of scones and Welsh cakes during our holidays last year (dragging poor lovely hubby along with me for goodness sake). Not a good plan! And guess what? We've just returned from another holiday and we'd indulged even more!

Low carb were these 'treats', you ask? Nope! Not even close, and while we're still eating home-cooked fresh food at home a ketogenic diet is right out of the window. Keto? What keto!

It's taken a toll on me too, as I continually seem to be 'fancy hungry' and craving similar c**p.

Then there is the problem of larger portion sizes than I know are wise. Moderation is NOT my middle name, and I've probably consumed more alcohol than I should have too.

When I've been eating has also slipped off a cliff. Sure, we are still only eating a full meal twice a day generally speaking, and these are relatively healthy meals, definitely hitting a lot more than the 5-a-day guidelines. That said I've slipped back into the habit of taking snacks to work, and nuts have been a killer here.

But it's not just the content - also the fact that the intermittent fasting has taken a hit. As my 'fasting period' has shrunk, so the fat lass has grown. For this the blame is squarely on me!

For a little while I almost got away with it to some extent, gaining a bit then 'being sensible' for a week or so and losing the odd pound or two. Mind you, I never quite got back down to my 'happy' weight, never mind stayed there. The lbs crept slowly upwards, so I think I've been hiding my head in the sand for quite a while.

Worse though, there seems to have been a definite sea-change since Christmas, and what was 'just about acceptable' (who am I kidding?) when I'd reached 57kg (9 stone) crept upwards to 59kg, suddenly leapt up to 62kg, then higher again to 64kg. Yes kiddies, that's over 10 stone in old money! At that point I really got scared and tried to begin to turn things around.

So, where am I now? Well, I may be down a few kilos but I'm still sitting, unhappily, at 61kg. I know that I have to change. I'm struggling with the will to be consistent in changing.

There, that's it. That's the awful truth.

All I can do is keep on trying to get my head back in the game. You know my usual sign-out. Onwards, ever...

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