Monday, May 23, 2005

Losing my luggage

Not emotional baggage or anything like that, but literal, genuine luggage. You see, I'm off to Greece for a week tomorrow and my bag weighs about 15kg.

Coincidentally, I've now lost 15.5kg of body weight.

So I'm standing here, picking up my bag, marvelling at how heavy it actually is, and feeling so happy that I don't have to wear that weight on my body and drag it round in the summer heat of Greece all week. Let alone imagining running with it, or climbing stairs. Or doing anything really.

So my luggage is gone, and there's more to follow. Hopefully the seat belt on the plane will be nice and loose tomorrow too.

I'm having a week where I can eat and drink what I want, and where I'm not going to go to the gym. I guess I'll see how much my habits have changed, and how much I can trust myself. And if I can't trust myself, well, I know I can get it back off when I get home, so I'm not going to worry too much.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Going the Distance

Today's challenge was to increase the distance I can run. Well, I did that successfully! My previous best was a little over 5k. I got to 6.75k today before stopping, and could probably have carried on a little longer.

OK, I jogged it very slowly. But I did jog it. I did the first 10 minutes at a decent pace for me, then dropped down to a gentle jog for the other 5.25k, but today distance was the important thing, not time. I'm trying to mix up what I do when I'm running, even if it seems like it's constant treadmill work, it does vary.

I'm down another pound now. My big hope is to be down one more by Tuesday when I go on holiday, but to be honest I'm happy with this weight if that's a little unrealistic. 7 weeks ago I wanted to lose a stone before the holiday. With 2 days to go I'm a pound off a stone and a half. That's good going so I'm not going to let missing the extra half get me down too much.

I've spent the day struggling with my jeans. They just keep on riding down and down and down my arse. I think they may have to be retired shortly. They're probably one of the biggest pairs I have, and I'm just trying to get some wear out of them before I can't do it any more!

Yet another day off the booze - I've not had a drop of alcohol since last Saturday, and I won't in what's left of today. I have to drive over to Manchester to pick my mother up from a midnight flight arrival, so stone cold sober is the order of the day. Booze is probably a bigger weakness for me than chocolate is, and certainly worse than burgers and soft drinks. So it's a notable achievement.

I'm tired though. I was going to go back to the gym at about 8 to keep myself awake for the drive over (and to give me something to do) but after having about 4 hours sleep last night I might have to have a nap instead.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Measuring Up

I know diets always tell you to do this at the start, but I've not dared brave the tape measure up til now. Partly because I didn't know where it was, but never mind.

Anyway, today I hit over 33.3lb lost. Yes, that means I'm 1/3 of the way to losing 100lb. That's not quite what the tracker on this site shows as a target, as this is what I'm trying to lose before December 31, and I don't think I'll get to 100lb by then (and the tracker is in kg, but I'm clever like that!). But I think ultimately that's the target I want, or to at least try for it and see where it takes me. I might want to lose more. I might decide to stop short. But it's a target.

Anyway, I decided to take some measurements now while I at least bear some resemblance to the fat person I'm hopefully leaving behind. I was trying clothes on again, and there's definitely more room than the last time I tried some of them, so I must try to capture my measurements now. I don't want to think about what they used to be over 30lb ago, but judging by the fit of some of my clothes, they were a fair bit more than this.

And here they are in all their "glory".

Neck: 37cm
U/Arm: 33cm
Bust: 109cm
Waist: 94cm
Tummy: 121cm
Thigh: 63cm
Calf: 44cm
Ankle: 25cm

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Lots of random thoughts

Ah, it's all just spewing out today.

First, the tracker has been updated for the first time in what seems like ages (but is actually only a week). After a huge drop, then fluctuating up and down around that figure, I've started to lose again. I'm hoping for another 2lb by next week (to take it to 2.5 stones by the time I go on holiday), but I'm not overly concerned if I don't make it. I'm still the thinnest I've been in ages.

Second, I kicked ass at the gym today. Before work I ran for 15 minutes then did the hardest weights session I've ever done. I increased the weights on most of the machines and did 3 sets of 15 reps instead of 2. I could definitely feel it more. Then I finished off my pre-work workout with a 40 minute swim.

After work I'd signed up for a Pilates class starting at 6.30. As I finished work on time I decided to head over to the gym early. I'm not quite sure what I planned to do, but I ended up running over 5k before having a bit of a rest before Pilates. I enjoyed Pilates. It wasn't too strenuous (which was a good job after the run), but did get me moving and working muscles. I just need to decide whether to carry on with it. The problem is that although that session was free, it's a 6 week course which you have to pay for. It's cheap, so I wouldn't mind apart from the fact that I might only be able to make 3 or 4 of the sessions. I'll see what the deal is tomorrow when they've had time to decide whether it's definitely happening.

Third, I'm not following a plan, but I've found the one I would be following if I was. If that makes sense. It's the "Food Doctor" diet, and it's pretty much (a) common sense and (b) what I'm doing. I'm not following it exactly, and I don't intend to, but I did buy the book for the recipes as they fit well with my focus on veggies instead of carbs for dinner etc. It's basically a low GI type plan, with a focus on changing the way you eat for life rather than for 6 months or a year, and there seem to be few strict rules and little counting. So I'm being guided by it in a way, but not in an inflexible way. The recipes are gorgeous though!

Fourth (I said I had lots of random thoughts), I'm getting worried about the next three weeks or so. My mum and sister are both coming over (back to back) as well as the week in Greece next week. Now, I don't want to apportion blame, but my mother is pretty much the same size as I am and never really instilled healthy eating in either myself or my sister. To put it simply, when she cooks I eat huge portions of crap.

Hell, even her cat's got fat living with her. It used to be my sister's cat until my sister went travelling round Thailand for three months. The cat moved in while she was away as someone had to look after it, and never moved out. It's now huge and very fat. Just from the portions. If she overfeeds the cat, then she'll sure as hell overfeed me.

I take my own share of the blame because for many years that was what I was accustomed to, so even when I cooked for myself, that's what I ate. But the difference is that I now recognise what my body needs, but don't know how to tell her that I don't want to eat the sort of food she will undoubtedly cook without hurting her feelings (and yes, she will cook. Because she's home all day and I tend to get back fairly late, she cooks because she doesn't want to wait for me to get in and then start cooking). So added to the holiday when I will almost certainly indulge myself, some time with her, and then my sister (who may well want me to cook for her, but is unlikely to want to eat huge portions of veg), I'm worried about going off track. This happened to me last year, and it took me ages to get back on the wagon. Plus when they're here they steal my car from me, making it much harder for me to get my early morning gym session in.

Difficult times ahead...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Get running!

I'm really getting the hang of this running thing. 5k doesn't actually seem that far any more, and I've even started adding in hills. For 20 minutes. 20 minutes flat used to kill me and only be achievable on good days. Now 20 minutes is a short run.

10k, here I come!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Fighting those cravings, and winning...

I'm normally fine with eating healthy stuff, but today I went back into the danger zone, a rugby match. A place where it's nigh on impossible to find anything healthy to eat or drink. Hell, at some grounds they don't even sell bottled water so you have to drink beer, soft drinks or tea/coffee. Of those beer is my drink of choice, accompanied by a nice succulent meat and potato pie. Mmm. It has been for 10 years, and it's comfort food for me. And sometimes, the way we've been playing, I need comforting.

Anyway, while I do still treat myself to a pie from time to time at a game, and a pint slightly less often, today I decided I wasn't going to do it. I made up some lunch, put some fruit in my bag, got a huge bottle of water, and set off. But oh, how good those pies smelled. Burgers don't have the same effect, hot dogs completely repulse me. But pies. Oh yes. I could smell it, and I could almost taste it.

But I fought it, and I won. I'd have had a pie and not felt too bad about it had it not been for the fact that I'd already eaten the food I took with me. But I had, so I had to resist, and it took every piece of willpower I could muster, but I did it.

I even managed to resist the cravings for chocolate on the way back and ate a nice balanced meal of leek and quinoa risotto with a roast pepper salad. I'm still thinking about chocolate though, and wondering whether a walk to the shop would go some way to negating the effect of the chocolate I'd buy once I get there. But I will be strong. I'm worth more than a bar of chocolate.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I think we have a plan...

5km in July. 10km in November (assuming that the Abbey Dash is on this year, I can't find any information about it).

And then (and this is the point I start to worry). Tomorrow is the Leeds half marathon. Imagine, just imagine, if this time next year I was lining up at the start. Well, not at 10 at night obviously, but this weekend next year. Hmm.

That's definitely a plan. Not a definite plan, and a very optimistic plan. But a plan all the same.

Good day

I ran 5k again. I'm finding it easier and easier each time, and as well as getting quicker I'm also far less ready to die at the end of it. It's looking good.

My weight has headed back down towards my low from the beginning of the week too, I'm off my mini gaining phase. So if I only weighed myself once a week I'd have been none the wiser as I'm over 3lb down from last Saturday, but I still like to do it so I can keep control of myself. I don't post them all here though, and I do allow for fluctuations. But I kist like to keep a handle on where I am all the time.

I'm planning to try to make a new tomato, bean and chicken thing tonight with some quinoa, which I've never tried before. The recipe doesn't exist as such, other than in my head, so I'm going to have a play around and see what happens. Often the best way!

Friday, May 13, 2005


Yay, I'm back to running/jogging the whole 5km on the treadmill. Not as fast as I did before I did my foot, but nevertheless I did run every last step of it, so I'm really pleased. Now I just want to get used to doing the distance and trying to increase my speed a bit, and possibly the incline.

Then I'd love to try to increase my distance. Probably hand in hand with speed. If I can do 5km in 35 minutes now then if I get a bit faster maybe I can do 5.5km in the same time given time. And then take it from there.

What I would really love to do is increase my distance a lot. It's strange, but even when I was horribly sedentary and not at all bothered about being fit, I always used to dream of doing a marathon one day. I'm not under any illusions that I could do it at the moment, but one day, who knows? What I'm planning to do is my 5km race in July and then hopefully a 10km in November (if it's happening, I can't seem to find any mention of the 2005 race although I know it's taken place the past couple of years). And then for next year I'll have a look what I think I can do. Possibly a half marathon, or just trying to get accustomed to running 10km. Twice what I can do now, but not impossible. Not long ago I could only run 500 metres so it's not completely impossible that I could get up to 10km.

I need something to aim at after all!

My weight's been fairly stable all week. After Sunday's surprising low, it popped back up to more where I expected it to be by the end of this week, about 104.2kg. I always do seem to drop down at the weekend though (no idea why) so maybe by tomorrow morning I'll be losing again. But then I keep on thinking that I'm losing too fast, so when I do lose 2lb in a week (losing 3 then putting 1 back on) I shouldn't be downhearted, but I just remember what it was like to see that figure on the scales early last week, and I want to see it again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I'm not on a diet...

I've changed the way I think.

I didn't realise it, but two things struck me today.

The first is that we were meant to have end of financial year target meeting celebration drinks after work tonight. In the past I'd have given myself a morning off the gym and gone into work on the bus. Or at the very least gone to the gym on the early bus but then proceeded to get well and truly plastered. I had driven half way to the gym this morning before I even remembered that I was meant to be going out drinking. So I just decided to not drink rather than going home, dumping the car and missing the gym. In the end they moved it to tomorrow night instead of tonight, but I suspect I'll make the same choice in the morning.

The second is that two people at work have had birthdays in the past two days so there have been free cakes available for munching. I didn't touch them, either day. Now, if this was because I have willpower I'd be amazed enough, but what was possibly even more astonishing was the fact that I didn't eat them because I didn't want to eat them. I looked at them and they held no appeal whatsoever.

For me, and harking back to a post I made the other week, that's the difference between what I'm trying to do and going on a diet. I'm trying to change my eating habits by eating healthy stuff I like and gradually edging the non-healthy stuff out of my diet by choice. The way I always see a diet is a list of someone else's rules that make you give up stuff you like without necessarily satisfying you with food that you do like. I guess it's not like that for everyone, but that's how it would feel to me, and why I'm far happier doing this.

And I managed 5km again this morning for the first time since I hurt my foot. I didn't run all of it as I wanted to take it easy, but I ran a fair bit of it and was quietly pleased with my time. Not the fastest I've ever gone, but at least I'm running again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Feel those muscles..

Ouch. That circuit training session certainly worked muscles that my normal workout doesn't reach. I can definitely feel it. Not that that's a bad thing, in fact I might go back for more punishment next week, as well as going to the pilates taster session for good measure. I'm getting quite into the idea of doing some classes as I'm in a bit of a rut on the machines, and even if I get them to do me a new programme, I'll probably just end up doing pretty much what I'm doing at the moment anyway.

Good news, I went shopping today for a new sports bra as the old one just doesn't hold anything in place any more as I'm shrinking out of it. I also picked up a pair of size 18 shorts, just because I could. They were cheap, to be fair, and I did want some shorts, but I'm still in that stage of disbelief - "Must buy. They're a vaguely normal size and they fit. Must buy." I'm back wearing a suit I've not work for a couple of years, and it's a bit baggy (whereas before the reason I didn't wear it was because I couldn't).

And I went to the supermarket after work and bought nothing, I repeat nothing, but fresh fruit, vegetables and mineral water. So if anyone knows any decent recipes for leeks or mange tout, let me know!

Monday, May 09, 2005


Something new for me to try today - I did a session of circuit training.

And I survived.

Seriously, I was getting worried. They've been running it on Monday nights for a month or so at the gym (there aren't normally any classes, just the machines/weights and a pool), and I've never dared go. This morning for some reason I decided to sign up for tonight's class. Went into work, mentioned it and everyone I spoke to or emailed replied "that's REALLY hard...".

Sell it to me, guys.

Anyway, other than feeling like the fat new girl in class, I did fairly well. There were a couple of exercises where I just couldn't get the movements right on the toning bit - when we moved onto cardio circuits I was laughing. Well, panting, but at least I could do it. I suppose the test is how sore I am in the morning.

Anyway, I've worked out why I go through these spells of losing pound after pound after pound in a short space of time. Potential too much information alert, but it all seems to be due to that time of the month. I lose relatively slowly for most of the month, then straight after my period I shoot down. When you look at it averaged out it probably gives a better idea of how much I'm losing, still impressive, but not like the half a stone in a week that I tend to get around this time. And even if it is water, I must have already lost the fat that the water replaced because I don't tend to shoot back up again, I continue losing, just slower. Famous last words!

I am proud to say that I am now a role model to a skinny gym bunny. She left the place where I work when I weighed about 10kg more than I do now, and can't believe what I'm telling her about how much I've lost. The sad thing is that if she lost that amount she'd be non-existent, whereas I can lose it and still be well above my ideal weight. Still, she's been badgering me all day to know how I'm doing it, so I'll bathe in the glory for a while.

And another good thing. I'm off on holiday soon (2 weeks tomorrow!) to sun myself in Greece for a week. I was looking for shorts at lunchtime, and I'm definitely more size 18 like every day. Which is good because it opens the door back to "normal" shops. Even if they don't do every style in an 18, they do a fair few, and they don't look at me with that "that will never fit" look when I try something on.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

I weigh how much???

I know I shouldn't weigh myself every day, but I can't help it. And after finally hitting 2 stone weight loss yesterday I wasn't expecting my weight to go down today. It usually drops one day then hovers at about that weight for a couple of days, then drops again.

Not today. After dropping 2lb between Friday and yesterday, it dropped another 3lb today. I couldn't believe my eyes and had to step on and off the scales, again and again til I could force myself to believe it. how on earth did that happen? I'm not complaining, merely astonished.

I do like weighing myself every day in a way. I know not to expect any more drops until the middle of next week, and possibly to put a bit on before then to make up for the huge drop today, but it keeps me on track, and thinking about the choices I'm going to make each day.

And sometimes there are bonuses like that which set me up for the rest of the day.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

How I'm doing it

I thought that now would be a good time, as I've got a day to myself, and I've lost 2 whole stone to write a post setting out what I actually am doing. Or, more precisely what I'm not doing.

I'm not doing weightwatchers. I'm not doing Atkins. I'm not doing South Beach. I'm not counting calories. I'm not counting carbs. I'm not following any plan at all, and I'm not subscribing to any particular theory of how to lose weight.

That's not to say that I'm ignoring all the theories, I'm not. But I'm not a slave to them. I've read a couple of books and websites and I've picked up some common sense themes (fewer calories and more fruit and veg are good, for example). But I'm not letting someone else's rules run my life. The way I see it, that is the way to fail. Not immediately, the initial weight loss might be fantastic. But long term, is it possible to follow someone else's rules and to constantly watch what you eat?

So I'm being sensible. I'm focussing on eating at least 5 portions of fruit and veg per day, and whereas before I might have a piece of meat with potatoes/rice/pasta, now I have it with a huge portion of veg/salad (and increasingly often, just the huge portion of veg/salad without the meat or the potatoes!). If that doesn't look like it will fill me I'll add something else too, but it usually does. Although I'm not counting calories, I know that I'm eating fewer of them. Just looking at my food choices makes that clear, but I'm not getting hung up on exactly how many fewer calories I'm eating.

If I'm hungry, I'll eat. If I have chocolate cravings, I'll eat chocolate. I've eaten chocolate every day this week (except today, but there's time yet...) But the way I work it is that my first pang of "between meals" hunger sends me scurrying for a bit of fruit. Possibly the second one too. If I'm still hungry, I'll then eat whatever I want, on the basis that I've had loads of healthy stuff already. And the more I snack on fruit, the more I want to snack on fruit and not on chocolate.

But what has really made the difference is exercise. Well, it's a combination of the two. When I first started going to the gym I started losing weight almost straight away. Something just clicked with me. I woke up one morning and I decided to join the gym. 10 months later I'm still going, shockingly actually more than I did in the early days when it was new and I was motivated. There was a blip last autumn which meant that I put on nearly all of the stone I had lost to that date, when I stopped going to the gym. So I realised that exercise was the key. What made my exercise weight loss accelerate though seemed to be two factors. The first is that as I got fitter I could do more, burn more calories, and lose weight faster. The second is that at first I was so excited that I could exercise and lose weight no matter what I ate, so I did exactly that. It was only when I restarted that I realised that if I exercise and eat healthy stuff I'll lose weight quicker than exercising and not eating healthy stuff.

Not rocket science, but I'm glad I've worked it out for myself, trying to find what works for my body, rather than following someone else's rules. I worry that if I did someone else's plan I'd worry about sticking to the plan, not sticking to making the most healthy choices I can. And even though a well written plan would help you make healthy choices, if you've worked out how to do it, there's no substitute for making them for yourself. This way I can form habits that work for me and that are based round things I like doing and eating, and I can hopefully keep them up.

Super saturday

I might have to make Saturday official weigh in day. Last Saturday I hit my 10% target, today I've got rid of the extra 2lb that mean I've lost my second stone, and hit my 23 May target with a couple of weeks to spare. Trying to ecide what to treat myself with to celebrate. For my first stone I bought myself an iPod, which I love to bits and adore. I don't want to spend so much money this time, as I don't have it at the moment, but I o want to treat myself for reaching this milestone. Maybe some new clothes for my holiday, as at this rate I'm going to need them.

Trouser update. I bought some new trousers a couple of weeks ago. At the time they fastened, but there was a distinct bulge around the top. Well, there certainly isn't now. There's a distinct bagginess evident, and plenty of room round the waistband to fit hands, arms, and god knows what else down. This is good. Well, apart from the fact that at this rate I'll be getting a couple of months wear out of them at the most, which isn't quite so good. This losing could get to be an expensive habit.

Anyway, I'm currently looking at my historic weight loss and deciding what an appropriate target for 25 June will be. It will be something in the region of another 8 - 10lb I think (I've got a holiday in that period, so I'm guessing I'll lose slower than I have done in the past month). For now though, I'm leaving my completed ticker up so that I can remind myself that I've met this mini-target before moving on to the next one.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Well, half the Budapest weight is off already. I said I was confident it wouldn't hang around for long. This is the thing. I know I can be good. So I don't get too hung up about the days or weekends or even weeks when I'm not, as I know that as long as I keep control I can get it back off again. So I'm chilled at the moment, which is good.

It struck me the other day, I seem to have turned almost veggie. I do still eat meat when I feel like it, but I seem to feel like it less and less. I'm quite happy to eat meals consisting solely of vegetables and fruit, and it doesn't bother me one little bit.

My foot started to hurt a bit again after my run last night, so I took it relatively easy in the gym this morning (although not easy easy, but easy in comparison to what I did before I hurt my foot). Hopefully it's getting back to normal now though, so I can get back to kick ass workouts before too long.

The other thing I want to do soon is to get rid of my fat clothes. In particular, now I can fit into my smaller (older) jeans I don't see the need to keep my baggy, fat jeans hanging around. The question is, do I keep them. Not so much in case I put the weight back on, because I've promised myself I won't do that, but because it's useful for measuring my progress. And then my suits. I really need to get some new work clothes, but I want to wait until I can get size 16 so I have more choice and hopefully more wear out of them.

So hopefully that won't be long!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Ah well

I put a couple of pounds on over the weekend, I knew I would, and in a way I'm glad. What I don't want this journey to be is denying myself everything that's fun and getting into a regimented, overly restrictive way of life. I want to be able to enjoy myself from time to time, and have some time off. So, I did what I wanted in Budapest. I ate cake. Boy, did I eat cake. And ice cream. And I drank beer. Oh yes, wouldn't you, at 60p a pint?

And I feel good. I know I can get it off again, so why stress about it. I'm going to enjoy life as it passes me by, and not get too hung up on some little figures. My new trousers still fit great, there was so much slack in the seatbelt on the plane compared to normal, and I had a great weekend.

And I'll get back down to business tomorrow.

Edit. When I say tomorrow, I do of course mean today. I had a lovely roast pepper salad and then went out for a bit of a jog. I was quite pleased with myself, I've not tried to run since I hurt my foot a couple of weeks back, and didn't know whether I'd be able to do it. I also usually run on the treadmill at the gym rather than outside in the open air. The last time I tried to run outside was probably last July, shortly before I joined the gym. Anyway, today I managed to run all the way to the park, and I walked back. before, I'd get a third or half the way there at the most. I have run further than that in the gym before now, but I wanted to take it relatively easy on my foot until I see how it reacts to it. But I'm back, and I'm in the mood for losing.