Thursday, 30 April 2009

Cheer-up medicine

Just to make myself feel a bit better, I've donned my size 16 jeans, decided that they're now close enough to fitting (i.e. very little muffin top left around the top, although my thighs could do with a mini-slimming programme of their own) and ripped off the size tags.

The jeans are now out of hanging-on-the-wardrobe-as-incentive territory and into full daily use I reckon - I think I shall start by wearing them to work tomorrow.

I also hereby relegate today's pair of work trousers to the bin - the ass is simply too big on them. And the legs. I think it is time to part company with them. Plus to add insult to injury, one of the decorative buttons randomly fell off them today just as I'd sat down. As it rolled into sight, I caught sight of it's glossy back edge and for some reason thought there was a massive black bug gliding eerily across the floor - no trousers should have the right to scare you that much so they're binned!!!

Still plodding along

So far this whole week's been a bit half-hearted. In fact all my efforts feel a bit half-hearted at the moment. The exercise is going ok, but my eating's still a bit off this week, and once again I'm relying on my activity points to get me through the week. The scales still stubbornly refuse to move in the right direction, which is annoying as I so, so wanted to lose this week and preferably get to that elusive 2 stone marker that I've been muttering on about for a couple of weeks now. The chances of me managing to drop 2.5 lbs between now and Monday are, I would say, slim to none right now.

I guess all I can do is keep treating each day as a fresh start and just keep trying to get it right. I wish I could have my head back as it was in those first 3 weeks, when everything seemed so easy and logical and my determination was strong. The losses came steadily and I felt like every little thing I did contributed to them, earnt me a tiny bit more. Now I feel more like I'm just trying to stay in the same place - like the treadmill has sped up so instead of moving forward now I just walk to stay still.

I keep thinking that if I can just break 2 stones then I'll finally feel like I've achieved something, but I wonder if I will. Or will it be like breaking into the 15's and then 14's - instead of feeling elated that I'd achieved something, it was like I just ticked the box and then looked straight to the next thing on the list to achieve, with little or no satisfaction or acknowledgement of what I'd managed so far.

I think maybe I need to spend the rest of this week focusing on what I have achieved, not what I haven't. Give myself a pat on the back, so to speak, and think of someway to reward myself rather than twisting myself in knots trying to get something that's still a little bit out of my reach. So I hereby promise faithfully to stop beating myself up for the rest of the week.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Measurements - Part 2

Sometime shortly after I started this blog, I decided to take some key measurements and compare them as I went along, and I thought it was about time I updated them.

  • Hips - 46" - was 48"
  • Waist (at belly button) - 44" - was 46.5"
  • Waist (at narrowest point) - 39" - was 40.5"
  • Chest - 44" - was 46"
  • Upper Arm - 12.75" - was 13" - I know this is picky, but there is a small difference
  • Upper Thigh - 26.5" - was 27.5"

Which means that despite all my grumbling, something is happening. Hooray!

Having my cake and eating it.

I ate the chocolate cheesecake last night. Actually, ate would be the wrong word. I savoured every tiny, little mouthful of it - the pure rush of sugar, the bitter sweet tang of the chocolate, the smoothness of the cheese top against the rich sugary crumblyness of the base, and the juicy sweetness of the strawberries sliced up on the side. And it was worth it. Every. Damn. Point.

Heaven.

So that was my treat for the week, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also cunningly fed the other slice to Bridget, so that's it; all gone and no temptation left. She was laughing that it took me 20 mins to eat my slice though - now that's stretching out the moment! It's back to the healthy food now, which is fine by me - the fridge is stock with loads of lovely fresh veg, strawberries, meringues, natural yoghurt and fruit compote, good lean meat and fish, and while it may not be cheesecake, it all tastes good in it's own right.

Since Body Pump didn't cripple me on Monday, I just managed to squeeze in a run before Bridget got to me yesterday evening, and I was really pleased with how it went. And I mean really pleased. I ran the first 15 mins straight off the bat!! No stops, no walking, just relentless steady jogging. I can't remember ever running that long before without a break. I just felt good and strong and there didn't seem any point in stopping. Ok, so the little hills were a bugger and hard work, but the blessed relief when you make it to the top and you feel like you're floating on the flat bits makes up for it. I think maybe I see where the running converts are coming from.

I did take a short break at 15 mins - not because I was tired, which I was although not dead, but just because there was another little hill and I thought if I walk part of that and catch my breath, I'm good to go the rest of the way back home without stopping. So I walked, although not as far as I thought I would, then soldiered on home in one go.

I'm undeniably proud of myself, although I suspect that not every run will be that good, and I have to promise myself now that if I break earlier on my next run I won't be upset.

On a separate note - in an effort to keep this blog focused on my weight loss, I'm splitting my blogging - weight loss on here, and general life on t'other one I've just started. So apologies if this one gets boring while the general drama goes on elsewhere!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

So much to say

I'm finding this blogging malarkey a tad addictive. I could seriously write on here about 10 times a day, but don't because I'm guessing no-one seriously wants to read that much self-obsessed twaddle. However, I do find the process of getting all my thoughts out of my head and down on to "paper" so damn cathartic at the moment, that I might have to have a second blog somewhere else that's unlisted so I can naval-gaze to my heart's content.

On a food front, I've somehow managed to mess up this week already - hoorah!!! Give that girl a pat on the head!!! I bought my chocolate cheese-cake and worked out that it was 9 points (oh my god) for one small slice. And ironically, that is not the cause of yesterday's cock-up because both pieces are still sat in the fridge.

Tangent - 9 freaking points?????? Jesus, no wonder my weight inched up over time - it's not like I'd have them often, but how many other things are that heavy in calories and fat and I had not a clue?? Sigh.

Yesterday's cock up was in fact caused by accepting an invitation from the boys next door to go round for chilli after my Body Pump class. First problem - boy-sized portions and I happily ate all of it. Second problem - glass of red wine to accompany aforementioned ginormous plate of food. Third problem - the Dreaded Biscuit Box - 'nough said.

The DBB does not often get taken out, but it requires health hazard warnings, it's so damn dangerous. It resides under the coffee table in the boys' living room - an innocuous-looking but very large Tupperware box. And in that box? Pretty much every biscuit known to man, and none of them even remotely healthy. Jon pulled it out after dinner with a questioning eye-brow raised in my direction - translation "biscuit?" (I'm very good at translating Jon's eyebrows - years of practice). So on the upside - I only had 3. On the downside - I had 3.

Bollocks.

Soooo - I start day 2 of the week with a 5.5 point deficit .... after I'd taken into account Body Pump. I suck.

On an exercise front though - I did my second Body Pump class last night, upped my weights on several tracks, and don't even remotely ache this morning - woooohoooooooo!! How great is muscle memory?? I broke myself doing this class last week, and this week my muscles said "Oh this? Yeah - we know how to do this. No worries - just you let us get on with it". Which means I have no excuse for not putting in a decent workout tonight before Girls Night. And possible cheesecake.

And in case anyone's wondering - the rationale behind having cheesecake tonight, while I'm still slightly behind on points from last night, is that I can feed Bridget the other piece therefore eliminating the siren call from the fridge for the rest of the week - clever, huh?

Monday, 27 April 2009

The internal debate rages on

There's cake on the other side of our office. It's wedding cake - rich fruit cake with about an inch of marzipan and icing coating it. I don't even like fruit cake much, but I am so damn tempted to go and grab a piece because I'm craving the pure sugar hit of the icing.

Bad, bad, bad and totally wrong.

So I'm sat here typing this instead, and in a bit I'll have a cereal bar because I am actually a bit hungry. It won't be nearly as satisfying from a sugar point of view, but neither will it have guilt attached to it, and it will keep me full for longer.

I don't need the cake, so why do I want it so damn much?

I'm sure the answer is partly grumpiness. I lost the half a lb I needed for the Mayday Challenge, but mostly only because of rounding up of numbers last week and rounding down this week. I hate my losses being so blaaaah.

But I read some wisdom last week (and I'm sorry - I can't remember who's blog this was on - I'd attribute it to you, Dear Writer, if I could remember who you were!) that we never really have weight loss plateaus, we have weight loss effort plateaus and I think that exactly hits the nail on the head.

I can sit here and grumble all I like about plateaus, my metabolism, TOTM, water retention in muscles due to new exercise and the universe in general being against me, but if I'm being brutally honest, this is my fault.

Sure, I pick up the activity points, save food points, drink plenty of fluids and all the other things we're meant to do, but in the end I could probably pinpoint half a dozen points through the week where I could have been better.

My food choices during the weekend still leave a lot to be desired. I keep falling into the trap of thinking I've got so many saved points that I can do what I want. I also think that my portion sizes have crept up again. In terms of pointed stuff, I'm still pretty good at weighing and measuring anything I'm not sure about, but I've been bulking my plates out with zero point veg and eating all of it even when I've got to the point that I'm past full and starting to feel uncomfortable. Snacking has also crept back into my diet this past week, and it's so hard to keep track of what you've eaten. I've just remembered that I had 3 shortbread biscuits on Sat night that weren't pointed. So what else have I forgotten? And I've been craving chocolate like there's no tomorrow - I don't know if that's down to getting my period and being hormonal, or just that I really fancy it, but last night I could seriously have eaten a block of the stuff.

So here's the plan for this week:
  • If I'm still wanting the chocolate by tonight I'll get some nice dessert from the supermarket - probably chocolate cheesecake - and I'll have the damn thing. The points will be counted, but I'll be happy.
  • I'm going to point everything like it's week 1.
  • When I go to pile on the veg to bulk out the plate, I'm going to stop and think if I'm really that hungry - if I am, fair enough, but I have somehow regained my fear of the small portion and I need to kick that back into touch.
  • I'm going to attempt to make sure I stick to my individual daily point allowance on Fri, Sat and Sun rather than relying on saved points. And yes, I know I'm going out to lunch on Sat, so that will just have to be a challenge I deal with.

Them's my aims for the week - let's see if I can stick to them (sp - I'm aware of the grammatical error in the sentence - I'm just making my point :o)).

Other than that, I've got my second full exercise week starting today - Body Pump tonight (please God, make it hurt less than last week!), gym tomorrow, or possibly a run, Spinning on Weds, and running on Thurs - although I've now been told that my new running partner is actually sodding off for the next couple of weeks, so I'm on my own.

So here we go with another week.

PS - I haven't said it recently - so thanks so much to the lovely people who comment on this blog - I love seeing your encouragements, commiserations and general points of view, so keep 'em coming! Mwah - big kiss!! xx

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Running, jumping, falling.

So, I'm back from a nice weekend over with Jo, and I've bought home a lovely new collection of bruises too.

Everything's been a bit non-stop since I finished work at lunchtime on Friday. Shot home from work, literally sat down for 10 mins to grab a bowl of soup, before bombing off to the hairdressers. Then legged it back from the hairdressers to get changed and go out running with Sid. We did mostly the same circuit I did on Thursday evening, with a tiny bit extra thrown in. It was a good run, but running with someone else, especially someone who's already been running for a couple of weeks was harder, as he pushed me to run that bit further before stopping, and then to start up again after a shorter recovery period. I made it back in one piece though, jumped in the shower, got dressed up and then drove off to Cheltenham at record pace for my work dinner.

We ate at Ask, the Italian chain, and I was a little bit upset in one way, as I'd budgeted points for a dessert that I never actually got as everyone else wanted starters instead!! Damnit!! Ah well. At least it was less points used.


Saturday saw my legs go into lactic-acid induced shock after being forced to run twice in a 24 hours period, so it was with some trepidation that I dragged my weary self off to Kidderminster to see Jo and tackle Go Ape.

We got really lucky with the weather yesterday as the forecasted rain never materialised, so we did Go Ape under gloriously blue skies. We were also lucky enough that we were the only people on the entire course booked in within an hour and a half of our slot, so we didn't see another soul out in the trees apart from the course instructors on the ground. It was great - no queues or hold-ups, nobody to frown at us messing around and taking goofy photos and nobody racing round behind us rushing us along.

On a personal level, I was also really chuffed that on this, my 3rd Go Ape course, I finally went round and did all the "Extreme" routes, where I've previously copped out and gone the easy alternative. There was one moment of extreme fear when I jumped off the big tarzan swing not realising how far I was going to drop straight down (about 10 feet I think) before the harness caught me and swung me across, and yes, I did scream like a girl for that one particular moment, but it was all a good experience. I have picked up a couple of bruises from the cargo net that you swing across into (at full speed), but aside from that it was all lots of fun.


Afterwards, we grabbed an ice-cream and sat in the sun for a bit, before wandering off into the Wyre Forest (where the Go Ape centre is located) for a nice hour and a walk. Lots of activity points picked up then!

We decided on dinner out in the evening, which was nice as I'd got so many activity points stocked up by now that I could pretty much have what I wanted. But I was still foiled on the pudding front as we were so stuffed by the time we got there that we couldn't face it. So I thought we'd walk back from the pub via the little corner shop and I could at least grab a chocolate bar for later in the evening ..... and it was closed for that one Saturday night!!!!!! The world is against me in a chocolate based conspiracy!!!!!

We've spent this morning being lazy and sorting out hostels and airport transfers for our trip to Oslo in June, so it's a relief to have those sorted. We also went out for another walk this afternoon since the forecast bad weather still hadn't arrived. I got us a little bit lost, but it was a lovely walk anyway lol.

So now, all that's left of this week is to do the washing, try and make a dent on some of the mess in my room, and cross all available fingers, toes and limbs for even a half lb loss tomorrow so I can finish the Mayday Motivation challenge. TOTM finally arrived, and I've still got loads of bonus points I haven't used this week, so maybe there is a small, small chance of this. I hope so!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Insight can be a terrible thing

http://lynnetolean.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_archive.html

Scan down to the post "A Taste of Normal", dated February 7. Possibly the most insightful and frightening post I've read in a while. I'm scared this will be me.

Jinxed!

In saying yesterday that all I had to do this week to complete the Mayday Challenge was lose half a lb, I think I have totally jinxed myself. So much for my really good week that I was planning. The scales have been stubborn in moving this week, but when they have, they've just gone upwards.

WRONG. BLOODY. WAY!!!!

I'm now heavier than I weighed on Monday by a lb. TOTM is being totally tardy in it's arrival, like a bloody great big storm cloud hovering menacingly on the corner of my nice sunshine-filled week, my digestive system seems to have come grinding to a complete halt, and I think my muscles must all have filled themselves with lead as a subtle form of revenge for my abuse of them so far this week.

Not exactly the result I was looking for so far.

I guess all I can do is stick to the eating plan, and keep up with the activity and hope some of it shifts before the end of the week.

Blaaaaaaah.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Feeling a little bit virtuous

After reading all those emails at work earlier re my next-door neighbour's running exploits, I randomly decided on the way home, that it was about time I got my own lardy arse back out pounding the pavements, and given that the weather was good there was no better time than the present.

With a bit of trepidation, since I haven't run since before I knackered my back in Jan, and therefore also since before I started WW's, I set out round my usual route.

No kidding - I ran better than I ever had before. I'm shit at running - I was only just trying to teach myself before the back troubles began, but I ran further round my 1.5 mile circuit than I've managed before, before I decided to walk for a breather - over half-way round in fact. I only had two further little breathers round the whole circuit - both at the end of up-hill sections.

I know that to any seasoned runner that is a rubbish performance, I'm proudly proud of what I managed.

Only trouble is I've now been talked in to going running with my neighbour on a weekly basis, starting tomorrow. I've never run with someone else before, and I'm oddly scared.

With a little bit of luck ...

Next week's weigh in on Monday will see the end of the Mayday Motivational Challenge that I've been participating in on the Weight Watchers Forum. The aim was to lose a stone over the period of the challenge, and as long as I lose half a lb this week, I'll have cracked it. Given that I was aiming to lose 2-3 lbs this week, I'd love to say it's in the bag, but I don't want to jinx myself.

I've really enjoyed doing the challenge, as it keeps me in line having someone I actually have to report into each month, and it's nice having a mini-community of folks aiming at the same specific target as well. With that in mind, I've signed up today (hopefully) for another mini-challenge to take me into July - to lose a stone and drop a dress size this time. This is particularly helpful, as I'm damn-well going to be at least down to a size 16 by the time I go away to Scotland in July! I also like the way the challenge is focusing on both weight and inch-loss, although at the moment, it does appear to be populated by skinny-minnies with not a lot to lose lol.

I had a little bit of insight into how I would look when I'm slim on Monday - the mirrors in the exercise studio at the gym have an odd distorting effect that's slimming if you're standing in front of the centre of the panel. The further away from the mirror you're standing, the more extreme the effect, so for me, standing in the back row, I bizarrely appeared slimmer than the man and woman standing in the two rows in front of me. So that's how I'd look - interesting! :o)

Still doing well food-wise this week. Added to Saturday's Go Ape activity, we're now either going windsurfing on Sunday if the weather's good, or possibly walking with friends over the Malvern Hills, for a distance of about 6 miles or so, plus lots of ups and downs.

Right, off now for the dreaded buffet lunch.


******


Well, I'm back from lunch, and just need to assess the damage. Give me 5 minutes while I work it out. I think I made good decisions, went for slices of the roast joint, and bread (and butter, but we'll gloss over that) and some quiche. I did have a handful of chips, and I literally mean about 5 chips, and 1 mini sausage roll, but when everyone else went for seconds I stayed firmly sat down. I shall go and count it now. I've already decided I'm having homemade soup for dinner though, whatever the damage. Right, time to go and account for it ....


******


Wooooooo - that's not so bad - I reckon my scrumptious plate of food came to 12 points! Which means I still have a reasonable 6 points left for the rest of the day. It also means that I won't have to raid my saved points for the week, so I can now have some dessert tomorrow night at Ask if I choose to - I'm practically salivating over the thought of their smashed honeycomb cheesecake!!!!! I'm really pleased with that - had a nice amount of delicious food, including a few little naughties like a mini sausage roll, the chips and butter, felt just nicely full afterwards and didn't lose the plot at the buffet table!!! Yay!!

Do you remember that on the bank holiday weekend, I said that one of my neighbours, Sid, had actually commented that I had definitely lost weight? An actual bloke. One who had been taking the piss out of our constant point counting and general fannying around from the start.

Well, I get the last laugh, as he's just emailed to ask how the whole point counting malarkey works. Excuse me, while I roll around on the floor howling with laughter and then take 5 to get my breath back ......

HA HA HAAA HAAAA HA HAHA HAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

... that's better.

His doctor told him off a while ago at a general health check that his blood pressure was way too high and he needed to lose weight. So in typical man fashion he just started exercising like a bitch - walking, running, etc - and the weight's started dropping off. Like 10lbs in 2 weeks dropping off. How unfair is that??? And he just takes to running like it's the easiest thing in the world too. I hate men.

Anyway, I digress - he's decided that we might have a point, so he might be interested in doing the whole points thing too.

What kind of monster have I created??? I've literally started an epidemic amongst my friends. Since I started WW's, my flatmate started too. With her boyfriend. Then another friend Emma started. Then my neighbour Jon's girlfriend Hannah started it. Fellow healthy challenger Jo, whilst not doing it, is pointing for a week or two to see how her eating matches up. And now Sid's considering it.

I think WW's should pay me commission. Seriously.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Comments for the day

Firstly, I feel like I'm wearing a full body corset of my own muscles today. It's the only way I can think of to describe how tight all my muscles still feel from Monday's Body Pump session. It eases off when I get up and move around for a bit, but given that I have a desk job, that leaves a lot of time to stiffen up during the day. God knows what the physio will say this evening, since I'm going to be about as flexible as your average plank of wood!

Secondly, I'm wearing a skirt today. This is pretty much a rarified event for me, to the point that people generally make inane comments like "you've got legs!" when they see me in a skirt. But it's summery out, and trousers just didn't seem to cut it this morning. I would have gone for my city shorts but I've got another (thrilling) VAT meeting this afternoon, so they didn't quite seem appropriate somehow. However, the interesting thing about the skirt (see, there was a point to my ramblings) is that it actually fits really well, while it used to be so tight at the waist-band that it was the clothing equivalent of cheese-wire. I love all the little reminders that I'm getting a little bit smaller, and I especially like it when things fit properly as a result rather than just getting annoyingly baggy like my office trousers.

Thirdly, my stomach has not been very happy with me today, and I'm really hoping I haven't picked up a bug, especially as one of my work friends has only just got back after a particularly vicious one, so there's at least one circling somewhere out there. I don't want to be ill!!!! Even if it does mean that I'd probably spontaneously lose about half a stone and have time off whilst the weather's good - I'm just not good at being ill. Although come to think of it those side-benefits do sound quite good ..... but no, wanting to be ill for the benefit of your diet is just sick!!! My stomach is probably just grumbling because TOTM is due soon (which I only just realised when i looked in my diary this morning for something else). Oh goody.

What I would like though is for this week to be really good week, so I can get that little bit closer to those damn jeans fitting. Not that I'm obsessed with them or anything, but it's been nearly 2 stone for crying out loud - I must be getting at least close to dropping a dress size by now. I've only got half a stone plus a couple of lbs to go before I've lost half what I want to lose, and I haven't even dropped one measly dress size yet - I feel like throwing a 5 year-old hissy fit complete with hands and feet drumming on the floor and some screaming thrown in. Come to think of it, that would probably earn me some activity points so maybe I should!!!

Oh well, roll on the weekend. I'm looking forward to getting back in touch with my inner 5 year-old by running round in the tree-tops and jumping off the "Tarzan" swings yelling "yaaaaa-a-aaa-a-aaaaaaa" Tarzan stylee (basically jumping across a gap between the trees suspended from the end of a rope (via your climbing harness) and hammering into a cargo net on the other side), and then settling down to watch girly films with some Ben & Jerries low-fat - not quite sure how that will work out point-wise, but I'm sure it'll be do-able! Unfortunately, I only realised today, that my ultra-good week that I had planned is about to be disrupted as I had forgotten that I've got a buffet lunch out tomorrow and a meal out on Friday night, both with work. BUGGER!!! I suppose I'd better get planning.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Let me count the ways in which I ache

YEEEEE-OUCH!!!!

As my body ominously promised me last night, I have now developed into one full body ache. Nice. That'll teach me to go off and do new things. Or more precisely, that will teach me to give up Body Pump over a year ago and not go back until now. It's like post-personal training ache, but more all-pervasive. Hopefully it will wear off over the next couple of weeks - not sure I want to feel like this every Tuesday!

Although actually, I sneakily feel quite proud of the ache in a masochistic sort of way.

My new jeans in a shiny size 16 are also hanging on the front of the wardrobe now, with their big proud size tag to remind me what I'm trying to achieve at the moment.

In the spirit of having fun whilst keeping the '09 Healthy Challenge™ alive and kicking, Jo and I have decided that we're going to spend Saturday afternoon scampering round in the tree-tops of the Wyre Forest at Go Ape. This will be the third Go Ape course I've done, and it will be quite nice not to have to worry quite so much about the climbing harness's ability to circumnavigate the vast distances of my arse and thighs this time. I've no doubt that, as on previous occasions, we'll end up very muddy and with knickers full of tree-bark (from the zip-line landings), but that's all part of the fun. If there's any good pics, I'll put them up on here.

Finally, I must just express my new-found undying love for Boots. I wandered in at lunch to go and get something to eat as I didn't have anything at home today, and I was gutted to see that there was virtually nothing left in the Shapers range which is my Weight Watchers-safe fall back - arrrrgh - alarm - panic!!! In a whirl of indecision, I picked up a tomato and basil chicken pasta salad from the Delicious range, thinking "well, if I'm going to totally bust the points, at least it will taste good!" I tentatively put the points into the calculator when I got back to the office, and hallelujah!!! It's only 6.5 points for the whole bowl full!! I had to check the numbers to make sure I'd put it in right. And it tasted great. Thank you Boots - you have made me a happy girl.

I officially love Weight Watchers - I've had a bacon sandwich for breakfast, pasta salad for lunch, and I've still got 8 points left for dinner. Mwah!!! Big kiss to WW's :o)

Monday, 20 April 2009

A severe case of jelly-legs

I was good, I went to Body Pump after I'd bought my jeans.

I'm trying to work out what bits of me don't feel like jelly now .... possibly my chin ... yep, I think that's about it.


That was HARD!!! Even with reduced weights. Oh well - I'm sure it was good for me lol.

A little bit disappointed

To be honest, I'm feeling a bit disappointed in myself this morning. I've lost a lb at weigh in, but I know it could have been several if I hadn't started making bad choices on the weekend. When I had a sneaky peek at the scales on Friday morning, and then yesterday, I was down hovering around the 14 and a half stone mark, but weighed in this morning at 14st 9lb.

Now obviously I know that if I've seen that lower weight on the scales once, then it will be back soon enough, but I'm just annoyed with myself for messing around, so it's back to concentrating on this properly.

I was really pleased for my fellow healthy challenger Jo when she texted me yesterday to excitedly tell me that she'd just bought some size 14 jeans, so I think it's time to up my game too. Now that I've been paid (hooray!!!), I'm going to go and get the size 16 jeans tonight and they're going to hang on the front of the wardrobe to remind me what I'm meant to be doing. Then I'm going to book myself into a Body Balance class for later in the week, and a Body Pump class for tonight if there's any space, or tomorrow night if there's not, and in the word's of Dietgirl, I'm going to "bust some lard" this week.

So I hereby declare my intention to do my very best to lose at least 2 lbs this week, which would get my down to the 14 and a half mark, and preferably 3lbs to get me to my 2 stone target.

In your face, Fat - you're not staying here on these hips!!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

A bit of an uphill struggle

I have to admit, I'm struggling a bit this weekend. I think the weekend's are becoming a bit of a danger zone for me. I'm oh so very good during the week, without any problems, but I'm not quite as vigilant with my points when I'm out socialising as I should be. I should definitely keep an eye on that, as I'm out and about most weekends, and that could be a bit of a self-destructive habit if I'm not careful. Either I need to be better during the weekends, or better during the weeks to keep the balance.

This weekend has been pretty booze filled. After the vodka and pizza on Fri night, came a night out in Cheltenham last night - vodka and tonics (that's fine), but then I lost the plot a bit and said "yes" when everyone else wanted cocktails, when I should have said I'd stick with the vodka. Cocktails are all very well, and boy, do I love them, but I knew I didn't have the points for them last night. We wound up doing a lot of dancing at the club, which is good in that once we're dancing we're not drinking, but doesn't quite equal the earlier damage.

The other bad thing with going out is that then you get the morning after. Having staggered in at about quarter to 4 this morning, I got a (rare) phone call from my Dad asking if I'd like to join him for lunch. Walking down the road to pick the car up from the station where I left it last night was a joy as the sun was hot and the streets were quiet and picturesque, and when I got to Dad's I was greeted by the heavenly smell of roast pork. Which had one downside, since I had promised myself last night that I'd have a bit of a detox day to recoup some points from the rest of the weekend. Oh sod that!

We ate our lovely roast sat on the terrace in the garden, watching the paragliders circle lazily overhead (they launch off the hills behind the house) and the rather inept cat who was trying to hunt the mice that live in the flowerbed wall. I also took dad for a half and hour stroll on the common near the house, so it was good to stretch my legs, but not nearly the amount of exercise I had intended to get this weekend.

Still, the weekend is now done, and my lessons are learned on the need to watch my intake when I'm socialising, or do more exercise to offset it. The only problem is that as a result of all the drinking, I've got a proper hunger on today. Even the lovely roast and apple crumble and ice-cream, and then pasta for tea hasn't cured it, and I'm now officially out of points.

Writing on here is keeping me distracted, whilst I decide my tactics. I think I'm going to potter for a bit doing Sunday evening chores, to keep my hands busy, and then curl up and watch a film. Maybe with some fresh pineapple to take the edge of my craving for something sweet. I'd really like to have another loss tomorrow morning at weigh in, but I guess if I don't I'll know what went wrong.

I did briefly consider that I should change my weigh in day to a Thursday or Friday, so that if I fuck it up over the weekend, I've got the week for damage control, but then I think that might just be a bit of a licence for me to let loose on a weekend. And in the end, it won't change the rate at which I lose the weight over all, so I think I should stop making excuses and just get on with it.

Tomorrow's a new day, and the start of a new week. I'm thinking that I'd quite like to add in a new class at the gym this week, from the list of ones that I'd like to do. I don't want to add them all in at once, as I suspect that I wouldn't keep doing them all for very long if I do that, so I'm going to try putting them in one at a time, or just rotating them all round. Can't decide whether to do Body Combat, Pump or Balance at the gym .... hmmmmm.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

*Blushes slightly*

.... Or not .... I've decided to go out dancing tonight instead. :o)

Bored, bored, bored

It turns out that staying at home with nothing to do for a weekend is actually boring, not relaxing as previously thought. Made worse by the fact that I have no money, so can't actually do anything if I wanted to.

As promised, I did start to tackle my wardrobe yesterday. Made it through the wardrobe itself and put a load of stuff aside for either recycling or sending to the charity shop. Still got two chests of drawers and a set of hanging shelves full of knitwear to tackle though. Then going to have to be ruthless with the shoes, and might get round to looking at the jewellery box too. And all the paperwork that's lying in piles on the floor. Ugh.

Went round to the boys house for pizza and geeky games last night. I had promised myself that I would only have 2 - 3 slices of the lush home-made pizza, and leave it at that, but I somehow got tempted into picking up a fourth when they bought through a fresh pizza with an experimental set of toppings. The good thing is that after that I was sooooo stuffed that there was absolutely no way that I could possibly eat anything further. After a few drinks, I somehow ended up falling asleep on the sofa with my neighbour after everyone else had pushed off home, and woke up feeling a bit cranky this morning with the sun in my eyes.

I'm feeling particularly lazy today. I tried to point up the pizza from last night, but how the hell do you point home-made pizza without knowing everything that went into it??? Ended up putting it down as 4 large slices of a Domino's meat pizza - I guess that will be near enough, but now I've got a few points to make up for the week as I'm 3.5 over. To try and combat the laziness, I did the first session from my flatmates Pilates for Inchloss dvd this morning. It was good, if not hugely energetic, but some of the moves are pretty much impossible!!! How are you meant to lift one leg away from the wall and wave it round over your head when you're using both feet to remain propped up in a shoulder-stand / plank manoeuvre against the wall????

Having spent an entirely self-indulgent couple of hours sprawled on my bed watching Twilight and eating nice food for lunch, I'm trying to find the motivation to go for a walk for an hour. Think it would do me good to leave the house for a bit and get some fresh air.

Here's an interesting tidbit for you; after abandoning the Lighten Up book that I was reading a while ago, I picked it up again and read another couple of pages this morning, and apparently the trick to succeeding at something is in phrasing your wish / desire in the correct words! In other words, you have to be positive about what you want, not negative - so people are far more likely to succeed when they don't aim to lose weight (implying they're fat, and they've got something they don't want to have - the weight - and they must lose it - negative word - and it's all baaaad) but rather to be slim (see no negative words - just a desire to be different from how you are now).

It also talks about how people approach what they're going to do - those who say I will try often fail, as trying implies an expectation to fail. Those who just go at it and say I'll have a go are far more likely to succeed. Interesting stuff! The author goes on to talk about how the difference between the person who fails and succeeds is hardly ever to do with their ability, but rather they're attitude to doing it. He says that at the top level of sport there is such a small, minute difference in speed and reflex times and physical condition, that it all comes down to who wants it more, and who will keep trying the longest and hardest to attain the top spot.

So really, all we have to do, is really, really, really want to be slim.

Well, I can do that.

So I'm off for my walk.

Friday, 17 April 2009

My skinny jeans ain't skinny any more

And actually, I'm a bit gutted about it. I mean, it's nice that they're getting baggier, because obviously that means I'm getting smaller, but at the same time, there's nothing more damaging to your self-esteem (well, to my self-esteem anyway) than traipsing round in clothes that don't fit properly. It's like wearing clothes that are too small - I just feel really self-conscious!

I'm honestly going to try and go through my wardrobe this weekend and start to clear it out. Now I know I've been promising this for the last couple of weekends, but I really and truly finally have a quiet weekend in front of me for a change, and even if I get invited places, I'm absolutely flat, stony broke til I get paid on Monday, so I shan't be doing a lot of going out. I mean, literally, my bank will not let me withdraw any more money - ooops!

I do think however, that de-cluttering my wardrobe is going to be a bit traumatic. I am a girl who likes to shop. Every little thing I buy is like a little bit of confidence, a little bit of affirmation of self-worth, and my armour against the world. Which really makes me an emotional shopper I guess, in the way some people are emotional eaters. My point is that I have an emotional attachment to all the lovely things I've collected in my wardrobe, I mean they're so pretty!!!! I have spent a lot of time and energy building up that collection, especially as I'm a girl who likes to dress well, in whichever persona I pull on for the day (smart, chic, surfer chick, preppy - whoever I want to be), and oh boy, it can be tough finding the perfect piece when you're not a size 12.

It feels odd, therefore, to just go through willy-nilly and start flinging things out. I think I have the reverse of that old scenario where things are too small, and you hesitate, thinking "but I might fit into it again sometime if I just lose the weight", knowing you never will. Half of me thinks I might need them again at some point. Which I really don't want to have to, so I'm going to have to find my sense of ruthlessness and exercise it. I'm going to keep back one pair of trousers to remind me where I've come from, and for the rest of it, I think it's just going to be one long trying on session to work out what's still good, and what really isn't going to make me feel good anymore.

EEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!

What scares me is that when I run out clothes completely, I'm going to have to start buying new stuff, and I'm automatically going to want to rebuild an entire wardrobe in the new size, which I can't afford to do because I've got at least 2 or 3 clothes sizes I need to still drop. I'm going to hate not having a big wardrobe for a while. I'll just have to keep reminding myself that as exciting as it may be to be able to buy something from Warehouse or Oasis in a 16, that's not the bigger picture, and I must stay focused on the end goal.

Actually, I went on a sneaky little shopping mission last night. More of a scouting mission really as I knew full well that I had no money to spend. What I wanted to do was see how much further I needed to go to get into a size 16. Since I've lost nearly 2 stone, I keep thinking that I must be getting there sometime soon! And what I've discovered is this:
  • New Look jeans are much smaller than New Look smart trousers. I took in a size 16 and 18 of a pair of each. The size 18 jeans were still a slight squeeze, but the same in the smart trousers was almost falling off and the size 16 wasn't a massive reach away.
  • Dorothy Perkins jeans are bigger than their tailoring. I tried on a skirt (ridiculously small - I mean inches apart on the waistband), some smart trousers (some way to go yet) and a pair of jeans, that I actually own in a 20. I love those jeans - they're the kind of slouch / utility fit ones, and the ones I had used to look great. I bought them in the 20 originally so they'd be a relaxed fit (although they were never actively loose), and loved them so much I went back and bought a second pair. It was weird to be wearing them in a 16 and have them damn nearly fit.

Go figure. Nobody can manage to make sizes that are the same across the board!

I'm actually thinking of going back and getting the jeans from Dorothy Perkins next week after pay day. They're pretty damn close to being a good fit, and would be wearable even now with with a slight looser top, and I think it'll be a good motivator and measuring tool to keep me going.

I have to admit that I'd love to be in a size 16 dress for the wedding at the end of next month, but I shan't hold my breath. Or actually, I suppose if I was in a size 16 dress, I'd have to hold my breath! lol

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Lest we forget - I'm losing weight here!

Good morning boys and girls.


I'm finding it quite funny this morning, how quickly we forget that we have lost weight. Getting changed for the gym last night, I grabbed one of my old polo shirts from my fencing days at uni to go over the top of my gym vest (2 t-shirts might seem a little excessive, but consider the position you're in when you on a spin bike - lent forward and peddling for all your worth and the ladies tend to end up on display and jiggling around in a low cut top - not an attractive look so I put something high-necked over the top), and was quite surprised when it went down smoothly over my hips. This is a top, that for as long as I can remember has usually sat turned under and resting on top of my hips - not round them. What a difference a couple of weeks makes apparently!


Anyhoo, I hoofed it off to the gym, with my shiny new cleated shoes sitting comfortably in my bag. There was then a bit of a performance at the gym while I worked out how you clip the damn things onto the peddle with your feet in them. Luckily, the guy on the bike next to me also has them so was able to tell me what to do - nothing like making a spectacle of yourself, huh? They make quite a difference actually, and I worked extra-hard last night, which felt goooooooood. Never knew I was such a sucker for punishment.


Back at the flat, my flatmate was cooking dinner for myself and 4 others (and WW's friendly too!), so after a quick shower I grabbed some straight-legged black jeans to put on. I wanted to put back on the pretty jumper I'd had on at work (fine-knit, short sleeved with pretty cut out detail), but thought, oh that won't work with those jeans as they're tight round the waist and the muffin-top will be on view to the world. Completely forgetting that I tried on the black jeans last week and they now fit absolutely fine round the waist and need a belt.


Oh, how quickly we forget!! It's strange how I know in my head that the number's have dropped, and therefore logically I have to have gotten smaller, but can't keep in mind that that has an impact on my clothes. Guess, I'm going to be continually pleasantly surprised if I can't keep remembering. That's a shame then.


******



After reading a couple of posts this morning on the forums from people talking about motivational tactics and before and after photos, I though that I'd really like to get some professional photos done when I reach goal. The reasons for this are two-fold:




  • It'll be a great reward experience for me - non-food based, pampering, and me being the centre of attention in a nice way.


  • The photos will be something I can be proud of, a constant reminder of my achievement (in the face of my usual tendency to get bored and wander off leaving things uncompleted), and a great motivator to stay looking that way. I've had professional photos done before, and it was a lovely day - had hair and make-up done for us, and then a private session with a professional photographer in a closed studio. The results were lovely (if pricey), but however much I liked the photos, I was still overweight!!!! It would be really nice to see me at my full potential, for want of a better way of putting it.

So that's one idea. The other one, I just got from Bryher's blog post for the day, where she's talking about a parachute jump she's thinking of doing for charity. I love the idea of going and trying something that I couldn't do before, either because I lacked the confidence, or was literally unable to because of a weight restriction. I'd love to do a parachute jump, or maybe parascending off the mountains in France, or a surfing holiday. Lots of possibilities - it's exciting just thinking about them!!!


What are you guys going to do for rewards?


******


Finally, I've been looking into the idea of starting my own proper website. I've been toying with this idea for a bit, as I want to host all my photos up online somewhere safe in case of accidents, and also to put together photo galleries of my progress on this weight loss mission. I'd also like to set up a gallery of my dad's art on line (he's a semi-professional artist - retired now, but still happily dabbling), and generally just spread my wings to do what I want to do. I'd keep the blog going, but possibly move it over to the site. Or not, depending on whether I think anyone I know would see it lol. My friends and family know I'm losing weight, but they don't know I blog (well, they do, but they don't know where), and I'm not sure I'd want them reading this. Weeeelll - if it ever gets off the ground I'll let you know!


Have a good day!!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

My gripes for the day.

I'm not feeling overly motivated to write today, and to be honest I'm feeling a bit whiny too.

Here's what's on my mind:

  1. Why am I so blinking paranoid? About pretty much everything? The FD at work wandered over while I was on lunch and asked if I could pop into her office when I'd finished so she could "run a couple of things past me". Instantly I assumed I was in trouble for something, my heart started beating really fast, and I couldn't sit there and enjoy the rest of my lunch and my book in peace, so ended up just getting up and going to see her. Turned out all she wanted was to sound me out on whether I had any preference which team I ended up in after the re-organisation we're about to have. It's the same as when I was out at the weekend - out enjoying the sunshine in a short skirt, oh my god - there's a bunch of teenagers up ahead, what if they start yelling abuse at me or laughing at my short skirt? Quick, walk past with your head held high. March, march, march. Phew. They didn't say anything. Let's face it - they probably didn't notice anything. Note to self - please remember, the world does not revolve around me. Nobody cares and nobody's looking.
  2. Why am I never satisfied with what I've got? My neighbour Jon has just texted to say he's got the new job he applied for, and I'm really pleased for him. I also hear the whiny little voice in the back of me head, saying but I want a job like that, mine's not as good. Gaaaaaaah!!! It doesn't matter what I've got - the grass is always greener. Drives me freakin' nuts being like this, but I don't know how to stop!!! When I was 15 stone something, all I could think was how much better it would feel to be in the 14's. Now in the top end of the 14's and all I can think is how I need to be in the 13's because where I am isn't good enough. When will this madness end? Will I get to 11 st 6lb - my current goal, and go "nah - not good enough"? That way lies eating disorders, me thinks! And a lot of misery. And disappointment in life.
  3. Why am I so easily distracted? Blessed with a butterfly mind would be putting it mildly. I'd quite like to do some work today, but I'm buggered if I can concentrate on any of the things I need to do. I think maybe I need blinkers. In fact, I'm amazed I'm still managing to stay focused on WW's as usually I'd have got bored and wandered off to do something more interesting by now ...
  4. And why can't I log into my credit card so I can pay my bill???????

Other than that the day is going just swimmingly. I had a weird-ass dream last night that my teeth were falling out one at a time. Fecking hate that as they're so vivid I had to stop and check in the mirror when I woke up that they were all still there. Haven't had one like that for a while now - I could actually feel that horrible fleshy gap with my tongue where they'd been and couldn't stop pushing the ones that were loose.

*Shudders*

Not been feeling too hungry today as had a nice hearty breakfast of porridge (well, golden syrup Oatso Simple) with chopped banana and some rolls with turkey for lunch. Hopefully, that will keep me going till after spinning this evening. You never know, I might even be able to get the cleats on my new shoes before class so I can actually use them this week - why am I so totally disorganised that having not had the time to do them before last week's class, I leave them a full week so I have to rush before this week's class. I'm a disaster, I'm telling you!

'Nough said.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Losing lb's v losing all the other rubbish

"I don't think this Lard Busting Journey is so much about busting lard as it is about busting insecurities and fears, gaining perspective and learning how to like yourself... and just to like life, really." Extract Dietgirl - 13.07.05

She's really, really right, you know.

I was very impressed yesterday when my next door neighbour said to me "You're definitely thinner. I might take the piss out of this Weight Watchers rubbish, but it does seem to work".

And he's a bloke. An actual bloke noticed a difference!

Except then I felt all uncomfortable because he was actually looking at me - kind of studying me to pinpoint the differences. And I'm very definitely not used to people looking at me. How completely bollocks is that - we lose weight so people will see us, and then curl up in a ball when they look.

We call attention to ourselves, saying "look at me - I've lost weight!!!!", pretty much jumping up and down waving at the world, and then get all embarrassed to talk about it, like it's some shameful secret, because - shhh, whisper it - we're overweight.

We're so bloody full of confused contradictions, and I'm convinced that half the time I don't actually know what I want. Notice me!! No, ignore me! Love me, respect me, admire me .... arrrgh - too much pressure, no expectations please!!!

And as for loving myself - some days I'm so impressed with myself for losing weight and making changes in myself that I can actually see, and the next day I'm sick that it's such a small dent in the mass of imperfection and can't believe I've been so feeble and ineffectual on my mission, because I should have just generally been more. Mostly, I just wish I'd started it all sooner, or never got here in the first place. Why did some kind soul not shake the teenage me by the shoulders, and yell "see what you're doing to yourself" in my ear until I listened.

It's the potentially missed opportunities that kill me. If I'd had more confidence would I have actually saved the money I made in my gap year and gone travelling round the world instead of just spending it all on nothing-in-particular. Told a guy I liked him rather that letting the opportunity go by. Put myself forward for opportunities at work, rather than watching them pass. Where would my life be now?

Hmph.

A couple of years ago, I made a vow with Jo and Lissa that I'd have a year of New Things. Basically, that I'd be more open to invitations to try new stuff, even if it was stuff that scared me. Since that time, I've tried windsurfing (and by default wearing a wetsuit in public), climbing, canyoning, snowboarding, scuba diving and dressing up like an idiot, waving good bye to all sense of decorum and going out in fancy dress.

When I was a teenager I was so shy with new people that I had horrible trouble making eye contact with strangers. One day I just decided I didn't need to be like that and I taught myself to do it.

I think my next challenge should be to learn to feel comfortable when I call attention to myself, and to have confidence in myself, my appearance and my worth. To accept compliments with a smile and believe them.

I've done this before, and I can do it with this - shame we can't automatically channel the lb's we shed straight into our confidence reserves, isn't it?

Monday, 13 April 2009

The scales were kind

I like the scales - despite my misgivings about how much bad stuff has passed my lips this weekend, they've very kindly taken another lb off my weight. I can live with that.

So back to another week of tracking and being good for me. I'm really getting the hang of this now, and funny enough, the only times that I struggle with it are when I think about what I'm trying to achieve, i.e. when I look at the big picture, and not the here and now.


Not that I struggle with the points itself exactly, as I usually don't. It's more that my mind seems to balk at the concept of having to control my food and my habits for so long (well, for ever, really), and at the amount of weight I have to lose. And then I get a sense of blind panic at the size of the endeavour I've undertaken. So I shan't think about it.


Instead I shall concentrate on the 3 lbs I want to lose to get to 14 and a 1/2 stone, then the 1 lb to take me to a 2 stone loss, and the next 6 lbs that will take me to 14 stone, and on into the 13's - much more doable. The rest will then hopefully follow on afterwards, and every little lb lost takes me closer to my eventual target.


In a little non-scales victory today, it was so sunny out that I thought I'd put on a short skirt for a change. Not a knee-length skirt, but an actual above the knees, mid-thigh denim mini-skirt. I've always really liked the look of a denim mini-skirt with dark tights and long UGG boots, but for a long time now, I didn't think my legs would like it too. But today I just thought what the hell and went out exactly like that. It's a long time since I've ventured out to a non-fancy dress event with my legs voluntarily on show (leggings don't count), so I'm feeling upbeat that I've got enough confidence to do it today.


And on that note, I'm taking them back out again as I've just been summoned to the pub to go and sit in the garden - it's a tough life!!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Food for thought - not a lot of thought for food

It's been a busy old weekend, jam-packed with all things social, so there's not been a lot of time to dwell too much on the whole Weight Watcher's thing. Having said that I've not done too badly, as I'm still only 5 points over for the whole week.

Spent yesterday over with Jo and Lissa (old school friends) out walking. We'd been invited on a pub crawl in the afternoon and evening, but the prospect of doing all 11 pubs was a bit daunting, and since we had already planned on going for a walk, we decided to combine the two and walk over to the pub-crawl - about 9 miles away.


It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon out and the countryside was looking beautiful as we set out from Kidderminster to walk over to Stourbridge. The walk was mostly flat, but crossed through woods, fields, down the side of the canal and was generally very scenic. We stopped for lunch at a country pub which was in a gorgeous location, and with the advantage of a pub garden since the sun was still shining. I really fancied a burger and chips (I know - very un-WW's food, but it just appealed and I'd already worked out that the walk would earn me an extra 12 points for the day), but actually I was really disappointed that my gourmet burger was not that nice at all - it came with blue cheese and portobello mushroom - the cheese was too strong, the burger was dried out and the mushroom tasted too oily - either I'm getting fussy in my old age, or I've been eating too much good food recently! The chips were pretty nice though lol.


The only blight on the walk was that my physio has apparently not quite cured all my ills yet. In the last half an hour my hip, which I've been having treatment on, really started to ache. I soldiered on to the end though, just because I wasn't going to let it beat me!


We did a quick change on the drive of a friend's house, where we conveniently already had a car stashed to drive us the rest of the way into town for the pub crawl. Yep - classy birds changing tops on the drive in front of the house, albeit in the car, but the friends in question were already out on the pub crawl. I'm sure no-one saw anyway lol.


The pub crawl was fun, and on my now usual vodka-and-slimline routine, didn't do too much damage, although my alcohol tolerance has definitely dropped since the start of the weight loss campaign. It was kind of nice to have a lazy afternoon / evening with friends and new acquaintances; drinking, gossiping and even a little flirting. We eventually staggered back to the house where we left the car (this time with the owners) where the consensus was that pizza was what was required. Not my ideal food choice, but I just had a little as I wasn't too hungry, and I managed to stop before wanting to hoover up everything in sight. Finally, we taxied home (well, back to the girls' place anyway) and slept like babies.


Today was a late morning and a nice sunny drive home and then family tea with my dad and grandma. I can't explain why, but I got too much out for lunch when I wasn't particularly hungry. None of it was particularly unhealthy, but just really fancied all of it - I blame the hangover. Not that that would have been a problem on its own, but I managed to forget that I would be required to eat again at Dad's. Settled for just having a sandwich and a little sliver of a lemon delice at Dad's so as not to offend, but I really must remember to think ahead a bit better in future!!!


Not sure what the scales will say tomorrow, but either way it's just going to be heaven having yet another day off work!

Pictures

I took these on Friday, as I thought it might help me to have some pictures to compare progress-wise along the way. Not the most elegant but they'll do.




















As you can see - I am in fact Smiley McSmiley in the photos - clearly I was taking it all very seriously at the time! So these are at week 12, with another weigh in due tomorrow morning. Total loss at this point is 23lbs.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Ups and downs

Had a good night out in Bristol last night. Stuck to my drinks decision of vodka and slimline tonic, so didn't crash the points, and felt good in myself. The top I'd taken with me to wear, which has always been a tight top before, was actually loose (well, much looser anyway) so it was nice to have my clothing tell me it's working. I also had a bizarre moment when I caught sight of myself in a full-length mirror in the ladies and thought "ooh - I actually look quite slim". Now bear in mind that this is quite relative, and I was thinking this purely in relation to how I'm used to seeing myself look, but it was a positive thought none the less.

I also noticed I was far more tactile with people last night than I would say I normally am. I don't know whether this is due to the new-found feelings of well-being, or just that I hit that rarely found point of drunkeness where the world is your friend, but it's kind of nice to just feel ... well ... nice really.

Went to catch up with friends in Bristol this morning for coffee and ended up having an early lunch with them. Probably used more points than I should have done on the meal, but I just really fancied some chips so I thought "what the heck" and had them. I did compensate at dinner-time by having a really healthy meal though - test-ran a recipe for tomato and red-pepper soup, which turned out well, and had mushrooms on toast too. Invited my neighbour round to share dinner with me, and considering he's a red-blooded carnivore through and through, even he said it tasted good despite there not being a hint of animal in sight on the plate, so I'll take that as a compliment. Spent the rest of the evening out with the girls at the cinema watching 17 Again, which was quite sweet and funny and light-hearted.

Did have one odd moment today whilst I was driving home from Bristol. I was thinking in the loosest terms about this whole slimming endeavour - think I was debating when to look for a dress for the wedding I'm going to in May and wondering how much I could realistically expect to be smaller by then - and I just had this sudden over-whelming feeling of panic and "I can't do this!!!!"

I thought at first that it was it was the eating plan itself that I was feeling this about, and as I thought about it I wondered why I should suddenly feel like that? After all, ok, there's a bit of work involved, but it's not like I'm denied anything or it's so exceedingly difficult to follow, so why the sudden feelings of imminent derailment. So I started thinking about it a little harder, and I think the panic was more linked to the prospect of changing myself - the end result, so to speak, rather than the process.

I have no idea who that person will be, and what if it doesn't bring everything I expected? What if I'm not happy, and pretty and attractive to the opposite sex (ok - you get the picture that these are ultimate goals, not actually expected - just illustrating my point). I've got being slim so linked up and intertwined with other notions in my head, like being rich, and successful, and happy and popular, that I think I was panicking at the fact that I'm potentially trying to undermine that whole belief system.

Also, I don't think I dare let myself hope that I can succeed in this. I very rarely let myself hope - I'm a creature of cold numbers, and probability and logic, and goddammit but I hate rejection and failure - so I paper over the hope with cynical reality and try not to let myself get hurt. So my brain's natural response is to scream that it can't be done, and to stop the bloody optimism now!

I think too much, especially when I'm driving and don't have too much else to occupy my attention (apart from the obvious business of keeping the car on the road). But it helps to understand even little bits of myself. I want to change, and yet I'm scared of that change - well, I suppose we all have to face our fears sometime.

So if anyone's struggled on this far - welcome to the convoluted and illogical wanderings of my mind. I'm going to have to take this one day at a time, otherwise I think my brain's going to explode!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Let them eat cake!


Mmmmmm - lovely cake!


To cake or not to cake - that is the question! And one I had to ask myself earlier today as this morning's presentation of birthday cake was made to the office.
The stupid thing is I just had to go and look over the partition to see what was on offer even though I didn't actually want any in the slightest - especially as I was at that precise moment in time munching a deliciously sweet satsuma (and no, I'm not being sarcastic, it just happened to be one of those really nice ones that reaffirm your belief in fruit).
But oh no, once I'd looked I got that evil little gleam in my eye that bodes no good - call it cake lust if you will. So there goes my complete virtuousness for the day. I did redeem my moment of weakness though by taking the smallest slice possible, which is the attitude I now take with chocolate. Treat-size cake, if you will.
However, I'm still on track for food for the rest of the day, despite the cake, and as I'm taking dinner with me down to Bristol tonight so we can do a quick change while we eat, before heading out, I've checked out the points values of supermarket pizza's and I've got enough left to cover my half plus some zero point salad on the side. Then after the traditional amount of girly faffing in front of the mirror and prancing up and down asking each other "does this look alright" we'll jump in a cab and head into town.
My drinks will have to come out of my saved points tonight, but since I have over 9 points saved and I only ever drink vodka and slimline tonic these days, I'm likely to be comatose before I run out of points! Note - this probably wouldn't have been the case pre-WW's, but these days I'm somewhat out-of-practice in the art of drinking. No doubt my liver is quietly thanking me for the break.
I'm also counting on the bonus points from the dancing!
On a different note, I'm having some confusion about clothing sizes today. As I think I might have mentioned yesterday my clothes all seem to have got a bit looser again. Which means that the pair of trousers I'm wearing for work today could probably be removed with a bit of a wriggle and no need to open the buttons or zip. In fact, I realised this morning as I pulled my trousers on that I hadn't actually bothered to undo the zip at all - as I was trying to do it up.

Which is all very well, but I can't wrap my head around the fact that I might be ready to drop a clothing size soon. Somehow in my head, my clothes have stretched, or the sizes have got bigger, and there's a great big yawning gulf between the 18's I wear now and what I think a 16 measures. Possibly this is because I don't think I've ever actually needed to go and get a 16 because the 18 was too big. It's all unknown territory from here.
When I was younger I was quite a bit lighter than I am now, but never a small girl - I think the first time I ever remember being weighed I was about 12 stone, and that would have been in 5th form, so when I was about 15 or 16 years old. But, for as long as I can remember, I have always been a size 18. I think I have owned about 2 pairs of 16's in my life, but seem to remember that that was purely because there wasn't an 18 available and I somehow managed to squeeze into the size below.
What I've never done is bought a 16 purely because it was the size I needed (and I think this is why I'm convinced that sizes have got bigger over the last decade, as I've been up to 5 stone heavier and still been wearing 18's, although occasionally interspersed with 20's when I got to the heavier end of the spectrum), so I can honestly say that I've never really been smaller than a small 18 at the most. Therefore, since I'm still a couple of stones off the lightest point I remember being at, I don't see how I can be physically a smaller size.
And I think that's the source of my confusion. Because as much as these trousers now look baggy, I still don't think that a 16 is going to fit me and therefore I don't want to try because I don't want to see how far off I still am.
Suppose I'm going to have to bite the bullet sometime, but I don't think I'm quite ready for it yet.
Does that make any kind of sense at all?
Yeesh - enough of the rambling already! I'm just going to go and burn a few more calories on the dancefloor tonight. This dancing queen will be strutting her stuff!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Today I will mostly be feeling ...

... upbeat apparently!!

So that's a shame ;o)

I overslept this morning and got up late. Well, let's be honest, my alarm went off at it's usual inhuman hour of 6.30am, and I deliberately rolled over and thought "just a few more minutes!" Hah! That old chestnut.

Suddenly realised that it was quarter past 7 and I was late, late, late. Ran round getting ready - jumped on the scales (I know I shouldn't with it not being a weigh in day, but what can I say - strength of will is not known to be my strong point), and what d'ya know - the scales said another lb gone. I was pretty stoked to see that, as I have secretly been really worried that since I lost so much last week, it would somehow all catch up with me this week, so it's good to see it's still going down.

Ran round getting dressed, and then discovered that the hem was coming down on the pair of trousers I'd just pulled on. Which I hate! So grabbed another couple of pairs out the wardrobe - in the plural because the first pair I grabbed were still a bit tight on me, last time I tried them on. Thought "what the heck, I'll try them anyway", and lo and behold - they fit fine!

So with those little bits of joy under my belt, I sped off to work. Which has so far been an absolutely bog standard day. I'll have to work later than usual as I was in later, but I've so far managed to spend perfectly good productive time sorting out my social life for tomorrow night. Whoops.

I'm off to Bristol tomorrow for a night out with my old work-mates. Quite exciting for me as obviously I've not seen most of them since I started losing weight, and in truth, whether or not they notice, or comment on it, I'm just glad that I'll be feeling good in myself.

I'm thinking that after going out glam and girly last weekend, I'll rock a bit of the rock-chick look tomorrow night with pale flares, black top studded with silver, big bangles and oodles of eye-liner. May even break out the red lippie - that's how good I'm feeling!

Despite the point that I've lost from my daily allowance as of Monday, I'm having a good week food-wise - actually a great week so far - have saved a few already and been really enjoying what I've had. I made lovely WW's friendly cottage pie on Monday night which was lush, partly as I haven't had it in ages and partly because in my book that's proper comfort food with it's cheesey mash on top - and only 6 points a decent-sized portion!! So I've been enjoying left overs of that for lunch this week. Tonight, I've got lovely fresh salmon and new potatoes with brocolli and spinach for tea .... mmmmmmmmmmmm (in a Homer Simpson stylee).

Food just tastes so damn good at the moment. I savour every little bit of it. I don't just mindlessly stuff it down my throat anymore. When I'm so hungry that I've got that real hollow ache - when you know that the first bit of sugar on your tongue is going to give you that delightful heady rush - I don't. I wait until I've got something proper to eat, usually something savoury instead. I deny myself that rush, because usually it leads to another mouthful, and another, trying to recapture that first high when the sugar hits your system. Mostly, I try not to let myself get that hungry though. Or I try and drink something first to soothe the gremlins so I can keep control. Because the control is where it's at for me. When I know where I'm at, I can reason my way through anything - even the gains and the STS's and the days when you feel bloated like a helium balloon.

I am (dieting) woman - hear me roar!!!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Meanderings of the mind

I've had one of the mornings when i just feel continuously hungry. These are the times when I struggle with staying on plan, because before Weight Watchers I'd have just eaten until I wasn't hungry any more, and of course now I have to be always thinking about my points.

The problem is that hunger makes me grouchy. Especially at work when it's hard to distract yourself from it. And once I'm grouchy and starting to struggle with it, I start to get depressed about what a long road this is.

I was also musing over the pressure to conform to society's standards this morning. And how these can be applied from the oddest of sources. I love my friends to bits, and they would never dream of judging me for my weight (or at least if they do, they would never dreaming of letting me know that they do), and they are never less than supportive unless I'm being stupid, in which case they tell me so.

But they seem to have it in their heads that because they are all in couples, then I must (want to) be too. I don't know exactly where this stems from, if they think that it's something I really want and just don't mention to them, and most of the time they leave the subject alone, but once in a while it gets bought up, and I find it so ... well, all most demeaning? Belittling? God, I don't even know. It always makes me question all my own values too. While it is something I'd like one day, I'm not in any hurry to jump into a relationship just for the heck of it, but then I start thinking, maybe I'm wrong and I should want to.

Saturday night, sat at a table predominantly filled with couples (8 of the 10 at dinner), and I found myself on the receiving end of relentless (good-natured) teasing about my fitness buddy, Ed. Constant questions about whether he's single, and why haven't I asked him if he is. Whether I like him, and if we flirt. They can't seem to get past the fact that I have a one-on-one relationship with a guy, that's not based on a "relationship".

And what's wrong with me being single? I feel like quoting Bridget Jones, when she's asked at the dinner table what's wrong with her, and she replies that actually she's green and scaly under her clothes. The pressure to be coupled up is overwhelming sometimes. The 10th person at the dinner table on Sat night was my neighbour Sid, who's also currently single, and though they don't say it outright, I swear they can think of no better situation than the two of us getting together (never going to happen incidentally), as that would be a fabulously tidy solution as far as they're concerned.

Ever felt like the spectre at the feast anyone?

It got worse later in the evening when we got to the club, where I had one of those sudden out-of-body perspectives on myself where I saw it as it was - 4 very happy, slightly drunk and smoochy couples ... and me.

This is what happens when you spend too much time around couples!!!

The truth is that if I truly met someone I thought was worth it, I probably would jump in there like a shot. Right after I'd had my usual bout of nerves and commitment-phobia and tried running away first. Or maybe the commitment-phobia is just a symptom of not having met that person yet - my sub-conscious saving me from myself. That's not the point. The point is that I don't see the point in compromising. I also don't see me finding the kind of guy I'd like and him actually liking me back, but we'll gloss over that point, and put it down to appearance-related insecurities. Back to my original point on compromise - I just wish my friends would see that too and accept it,and stop badgering me.

On a different note - I think I've just had the biggest possible motivation for the next few months handed to me on a plate. Bigger even than the wedding and seeing the ex-friend and (shallowly) wanting to rub her nose in it. Some emails arrived this morning proposing a 10 year school reunion in the summer. And god help me, but as much as I accept how I look and can usually make the best of it / appreciate the good bits / put the bad bits in perspective (I've got all my limbs etc), I do NOT want to see people I haven't seen since school looking like this. I wasn't anything amazing at school - I was around the 12 stone mark even then, and I certainly lacked a lot in confidence, and didn't really learn the art of dressing to flatter myself and have fun until uni, but I'd hate for them to think I'd just let myself go.

Stupid, competitive, school full of stupid, beautiful, intelligent, rich girls and boys**. I'm telling you it's enough to give anyone a complex.

** The above rant clearly excludes my friends who I'm still in contact with. Clearly they do still fall into the above category, and frequently give me a complex. But I forgive them. Because I like them.

Most of the time :o)

Monday, 6 April 2009

p.s.

Oh my lord - I've just noticed that you can see something that looks suspiciously like the dip above my collarbone in that photo ....

...WELCOME BACK BABY, I'VE MISSED YOU!!!!!!

*grin*

Fanfare please!!!

*****


Lost notice: Anyone seen a missing 6lbs? Last seen wandering round Sue's waistline. Nope? Oh well.


*****


Yep - read it and don't bother weeping - rejoice instead!! 6 whole, beautiful lbs gone this week. Woo-flippin'-hooooooo!!


So in one week, I've put myself back on track from my gain last week, got my 3rd silver 7, my 10% and slithered neatly back under 15 stone. And I'm smiling again about it as I type (and probably still will be as you read).


Suffice it to say that I'm feeling pretty damn good about myself today.


Cheers to me!



Sunday, 5 April 2009

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike ...

It has truly been a cycling weekend for me - which is just as well as I bloody well needed the activity points to offset all the food!

Got a phone call from Ed (my fitness buddy) yesterday morning telling me to get my arse out of bed so that we could go cycling. He cheerfully informed me that the ride was "only 20 miles", and that it would be fine, since it would all be pretty flat.

"Twenty miles????" I squealed!

So with some trepidation I ventured out and we started off up the Worcester to Birmingham canal.

We blasted along the first section doing a real cardio workout for the first half an hour - averaging a blistering (for me anyway) 15mph average. It was challenging but a good feeling and we kept going with fresh legs. When we hit the bottom of the 30 locks (up) Ed mentioned he'd only usually gone up the first couple before turning back, so we said we'd see how we got on - and then realised we'd actually done all of them and were at the top (and that wrapped up a nice session of interval training on all the little climbs up). It was only then that Ed slyly mentioned that actually we'd already gone 12.something miles out from our starting point and what did we want to do now? Stupidly, I suggested making it a full 15 miles before we turn back, so on we went, having to slog up a hill over a canal tunnel, over some fences (bike-slinging as a new sport anyone?), down steps (and back up) and running over a busy dual-carriageway.

Eventually we hit the 15 miles on the GPS and turned back .... and then it occurred to me how far we'd come, and how far back it was!!! Needless to say, the say the return journey felt a lot harder even though we were now running slightly downhill most of the way, and the last 8 or so miles were a pure test of endurance as our hands, bottoms, backs and finally legs started to tire. I was so glad to see the car!!! A Tour de France rider I will never be!

Just time for a quick drive home, jump in the shower, shove some food down my throat to keep my stomach from eating itself before dinner, and then run for the train to start an evening of birthday celebrations in town (ever tried running in 5 inch wedges? A comical sight, believe me!). Despite having a banging headache for most of the evening, we had a fun night out, and thanks to the efforts on the bike earlier, Pizza Express wasn't a complete calorie killer, although maybe the crazy dancing later helped with that too.

Actually, I was feeling pretty good about myself last night - I just felt that I really looked good (for me) and I felt comfortable about myself. I really need to work on my confidence though, because I then find I feel uncomfortable when I get attention from guys, as I don't quite know how to deal with it! D'oh!! Like being an awkward teenager all over again!

****

Apparently, I am a complete glutton for punishment, as I also arranged to go on another bike ride today, despite being distinctly saddle-sore after yesterday's 30 miles. Today's venue was lovely, sunny Ashton Court and a nice single-track trail with my friend Hannah (my neighbour Jon's girlfriend). Hannah had never done single-track before, and it only being my second attempt we took it at a nice easy pace, stopping to let faster riders past. It was really good fun - sections of twisty, fast, bumpy riding interspersed with lots of gossip breaks - my kind of cycling!!

We rounded off the day with Mexican at the lovely Las Iguanos in Bristol. And even a well-deserved slice of chocolate banoffee pie, at approximately 25,000 calories a mouthful!! Got to love exercise, as those lovely activity points even soaked up that decadence!!!

Be interesting to see what the scales say tomorrow!

Sorry - this turned into a bit of epic post!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Thoughts swirling round in my head

I've had so many thoughts rushing round my head the last couple of days ... but of course now I can't pinpoint any of them to put down for prosperity. Bloody typical!

Firstly: a little promise to myself. I'm going out for dinner tomorrow night, and I want to make sure I decide on my menu choices before I leave the house so that I'm prepared.
Secondly: another little promise - I'd like to do some exercise tomorrow, and preferably some on Sunday as well. I'm feeling really lardy this week, as work has got in the way of exercise, so I want to do a bit of catching up.

Actually, although I say I'm feeling lardy, I had an upbeat day yesterday, a "thin day" if you like, when I really felt like I was making some progress. Never thought I'd be so proud to be slobbing round the flat in a pair of old jogging bottoms - except that these were the bottoms I used to wear to fencing when I was at uni over 6 years ago, and since they're woven ones, rather than stretchy, they can't lie. I must actually be getting smaller.

By comparison, I feel like I'm having a "fat day" today. The jeans I put on this morning, weren't as loose as I thought they would be, and I'm just generally feeling yuck. Most of the yuckness is down to eating Chinese food out last night, I think. I'm sure it's the MSG they put in, but it leaves my stomach feeling really sour the next day - really not good. I was very well behaved at dinner though - had chow mein and some soup, and didn't actually get round to finishing either. I also made sure to stay well away from the bowl of prawn crackers in the middle of the table, until the boys had demolished pretty much all of them. Then just stole the last two out of the bowl, when the temptation had past.

All in all, I'm ahead on points this week, which is good, as I shall need them tomorrow for dinner out. Again. I sometimes find it hard to believe that I can be saving points, when I feel so full. And I really do feel full. I do try very hard to make sure I'm realistic with my pointing, so I don't end up cheating myself, but it's hard to believe that I actually had to take a treat size dairy milk out the cuoboard after dinner, just to make sure I came within 4 points of my daily allowance. Crazy. And back to the insecure feelings that it's too easy and won't work. It's funny how we go so quickly from feeling good about ourselves to bad.

Actually, right now, I'm feeling heinously guilty, and it's not even about food. I'm actually feeling guilty because I ended up back at Cribb's Causeway today, to go and get my new UGG boots, and I can't seem to bloody well stop shopping at the moment. It's like some dreadful compulsion to buy, buy, buy. And then the compulsion to feel guilty afterwards! I shouldn't even feel too guilty about today as the boots were bought with vouchers from work, and I realised afterwards that the amount of money I'm owed from friends for buying various b'day presents pretty much covers the rest, but it's a habit that's so ingrained I can't shake it!

So anyway - I'm now in posession of a gorgeous new pair of tall UGG boots in Chestnut, 3 tops from Gap which will all be suitable for work (all in the sale too) and a bright yellow hoodie from Animal that cheers me up just looking at it! Additionally, I saw a pair of flat, long grey boots in Faith I liked, and in the sale, but they only had 6's. Had a peak online when I got home and eventually found them - reduced by half as much again and only in my size, so I snapped them up. And finally, my new cleated shoes for spinning have arrived. A luxury perhaps, but since I spin at least once a week, I'd really like my feet to be comfortable whilst I do it!

Suppose I'd better do a bit of tidying if I hope to get any of this lot put away!!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Sue@confused.com

I swear to God those scales are trying to scramble my brain. Having weighed in on Monday to a lovely little 2lb gain, I stepped on this morning to see a 4-5lb loss. WTF????

In 2 days? Are you kidding me???

I don't think I will ever truly understand the workings of my body, since I've been quite happily eating like a pig the last couple of days, although all safely in my points, and haven't done a scrap of exercise apart from having a full-blown hissy fit or two at work due to stress. I fully expect the scales to bounce again slightly before the end of the week, but I have to confess it was lovely to see the numbers starting with a 14 this morning instead of a 15 - even if I'm not really there just yet.

In other news - I've rediscovered fish!!!! Or more specifically, the loveliness of fresh salmon. Luckily for me, my friend Bridget is a gem, as I got home from work last night late and in the foulest mood possible, to find her sitting on my drive already waiting for me (we have our regular girly night on a Tues, and stupid work held me up waaaaaay later than expected), and having spotted my less than sunny disposition, she gave me a big hug and packed me off into the living room to chill while she cooked dinner. What an absolute gem!

Have finally got my car back from the garage this morning (after just two weeks - how quick!!! Grrrrr), so I stuck two fingers up to work (metaphorically speak of course) (although actually you should have heard the swearing from my desk yesterday - soooooo undignified lol) and mooched into work about 10.30 once I'd got it all sorted. Today looks like it could still go the way of yesterday - i.e. down the toilet, but at least I'm happily munching on the sweet chilli chicken and salad wraps I actually had time to make this morning. I hearby vow that I will not let anyone get on my nerves enough today to make me start swearing like a Tourettes sufferer again.

Spinning tonight, so can look forward to a good release for pent-up aggression / frustration, plus extremely cheesey music and banter (yep - the banter will be cheesey too).