Saturday, June 25, 2005

Target Weigh In

So, you'll see the ticker that's been at the top of the blog for a while counting down to today. I have to stay I've astounded myself with this one. I've not only met target (despite having a holiday during the challenge period), but I've gone whizzing way past it. In fact I've lost 50% more than I was planning to, which has made me very happy indeed.

The strange thing is, I still worry. I worry that I'm losing weight too fast, that it will go back on again, that it will cause excess skin problems or that it's not fat I'm losing. But if it's not fat, what is it? It's certainly not muscle, believe me - I keep on finding new muscles, and almost every time I do weights I realise I can lift more and more. And if it's water, exactly how much water did I have originally? I drink loads of water, and although I'm sure I'm not retaining too much, I don't feel at all dehydrated. So, fat then? But at one hell of a speed.

And the thing is, I'm not depriving myself. I eat when I'm hungry, and I eat huge portions. Huge portions of healthy stuff, but still loads of food. If I want chocolate or I want alcohol, I have it. I can't believe how much of it I used to have, and I do have far less, but I don't deprive myself of anything. Nothing is banned.

I think the thing must be the sheer amount of exercise I do. I'm now coming round to seeing 5k as a "short" run, which is something I would never have believed if you'd told me that in March. I constantly amaze myself with my fitness, when I compare what I'm doing at the gym to what the skinny, "fit", people are doing. I can match it with them, despite what people might think when I walk in. And if it's making the weight fly off, then who am I to complain.

Anyway, I'm off to Spain for a break. I won't be too strict on myself, but equally I'll be trying to get some exercise in and making better food choices to limit the gain a bit. Then back in the saddle when I get back, for the final push to 199. After that, who knows? I've never had anyone set a "goal" weight for me, although I've guessed a couple of numbers to give myself a notional target. But I'll see when I get closer how far I want to go. I suppose the thing is that this is my lifestyle now, and if I don't stop (and revert to chocolate and booze) when I get to "goal" it's ultimately up to my body to decide when to stop losing. So we'll see what it tells me.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Excess Baggage

So, I'm heading off on holiday again tomorrow. This time over to the Canaries to see my family and spend some time with them. As usual I have a long list of requests, and packages have been turning up at my door from far and wide to go in my case. (Hmm, has anyone asked you to carry anything for them? I usually lie for that question...)

So unlike Greece, where my bag was relatively light, tomorrow I may well be pushing that 20kg allowance to the limit. And the airline I'm flying on has a tendency to enforce it fairly strictly (they once charged my mother when she was a mere 3kg over). But I'm already imagining my fury. Because today I got past the point where I can say I've lost 20kg. I've lost 20.1kg. Yes, more than the luggage allowance they've given me. So of course, in my head I feel like I should be allowed 40kg to make up for the 20kg that's not on my arse any more. I'm sure they'd rather that I put that weight in my bag in the hold rather than hauling it into the cabin with me and plonking it on my seat. Or the seat of the person next to me…

I can just visualise this rant now. Of course I'm over weight. I had to buy lots of new clothes because all the clothes I usually wear because I leave them out there are from when I was 2 or 3 sizes bigger. And yes, they're in my case, making it heavy, but you should be grateful that my excess weight isn't coming to Spain too. If it was you'd have to redo all your fuel calculations.

But, it does shock me. I pick my case up (in my head at least. Technically I don't because it's not packed yet, but I know what 20kg feels like from years of guessing suitcase weights without the help of scales). I feel that weight. 20kg. And yet again I imagine having to carry it round for every second of every day, for the rest of my life. That's a tiring thought! I don't know how I did it for as long as I did, and then I realise that I'm still carrying round that amount of excess baggage over the weight where my BMI would be considered "normal". It's no wonder I have so much more energy now, really.

Travelling is also a good opportunity to try out the famous seat belt test. I've not flown with this airline since November, when I was about 35lb heavier than I am now. Roughly. The seat belt used to be tight. It fastened, but you could see it wasn't far off the point where it wouldn't. I've flown with other airlines since and noticed more slack, but one of them in particular did seem to have particularly long belts. And I'm a whopping 10lb or so lighter than I was even the last time I flew, to Greece in May. I didn't realise I'd lost so much this month (particularly given that one of the weeks was spent drinking ouzo and eating cheese)! So I'm hoping to see some real difference in that seatbelt, and have much more room in my seat. And be able to put the tray table down without having to wedge my stomach against it. While wearing my size 16* jeans. If I can achieve even some of those victories, I'll be a happy girl.

*Just a quick note on this, it's UK size 16, which is different to US size 16. I think UK size 16 is the same as US size 12 but that just sounds far too small for me to even try to believe! I can only just about fit in my US bought and sized size 14 gap jeans, so yet more evidence that these particular jeans are cut generously. I'm not letting that spoil my enjoyment though!

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Did I buy the jeans? Well, what do you think?

And of course, I didn't just buy the jeans, I bought a size 16 top to go with them. Two bits of size 16 clothing in one day. I could have died and gone to heaven!

It does frustrate me though, the way sizes vary from shop to shop. I bought size 16 in one shop, then tried size 18 in another shop and it was still too tight. Of course, I know which ones I'll be naturally drawn towards, but I'm not getting ahead of myself, I promise.

But I no longer even pick up 20s. I don't go anywhere near Evans. I did promise myself I'd never shop there again, until I realised the flaw in this plan. Evans is still just about the only place I can buy shoes. You see, I'm not just fat, I'm big boned...

Yes, you've heard that excuse before, I know, but seriously. I have huge feet, and Evans are just about the only high street type place I know of that make shoes that actually fit me. This is the one thing that probably annoyed me most when I was "fatter than I am now". I got frustrated shopping for clothes because they didn't fit. I couldn't admit to myself that this was because I was shopping in the wrong shops, in the wrong sizes, and that I wasn't actually an 18, or even a 20. So I'd turn to shoes in despair. And realise that the situation was even worse. I always knew that if I lost weight I could get into smaller clothes. But my feet aren't going to miraculously get smaller, any more than I'm going to get shorter. They might lose a bit of puffiness and become normal size 9s, rather than size 9 wide, but most of the puffiness is broken ankle related anyway. So Evans it was.

But I promise I won't buy clothes in there any more. I have far too much choice to need to do that!

Anyway, here are my new skinny clothes in all their glory (with me inside them!)

Image hosted by

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sweet 16

The day has arrived. I will admit that the jeans in question may be quite generously cut and proportioned. And I will admit that they may be slightly tighter than I would ordinarily wear.

But the indisputable fact remains. I went shopping at lunchtime. And while I was trying on some jeans in the sale that I'd liked the look of for a while, I decided to pick up the size 16 version of some jeans that I have in an 18 and which are getting surprisingly baggy (due to said generous cut). I didn't expect them to fasten, as such, or to fasten without rolls and rolls of fat spilling over the top. But I wanted to see how much further I had to go before hitting the heady heights of size 16.

With a little trepidation I took them off the hanger, and looked at them nervously. I eased my legs into them. Up, past my thighs they went. Towards my hips. Surprisingly easily. Then to try to fasten them. How much of a gap was there between button and hole? How much further to go?

Well, no gap at all, actually. They fit like a glove. A very well fitted glove, mind you, but they definitely fit. Me. In a size 16. In jeans. The last time I bought any jeans in a size 16 I must have been at school. I might have still worn some at university, but no doubt only things I'd had for a while that had stretched with my stomach. Not off the hanger, out of the shop size 16s. Skirts I got away with for longer, as a good flared skirt could skim my non-size 16 hips more easily. But not jeans.

I know this victory doesn't mean that I'm a size 16. It means I'm an 18, but that the jeans were cut generously. I posted earlier about checking out sizing charts online, and I'm sticking with that analysis of being an 18. But it's not so long ago that I couldn't even fit into generously sized size 20s (but convinced myself that I was actually a 20 anyway), so I think it's definitely claimable as a milestone. And I didn't even fit into those very jeans in an 18 until May this year (I know, I tried earlier).

The question is, do I go back to the shop tomorrow and actually buy them and post pictures to prove I fit into them?

More progress

I'm officially past 3 stone now. I was so so close last week, within less than quarter of a pound. Then I slipped, ate, drank and bloated my way to three pounds heavier than I had been. But I'm back down now, and past the latest milestone. Although to be honest, I try to make every pound into a milestone of some sort. That way every pound is important to me, and every pound is something to celebrate. So in the next 3 pounds I have milestones for getting to 15 and a half stone, for losing 20kg and for losing 45lb. All worthy of celebration, and all edging me closer to the next big milestone. There are a few biggies coming up. Getting under 15 stone, losing 50lb, getting under 200lb, and making it out of obesity into the realms of merely being overweight.

But that one, more than the others seems so arbitrary. I'm not going to argue that with a BMI of over 38 when I started this I wasn't obese. Of course I was, and heading towards being grossly so at a shocking rate. But now, at a BMI of under 32 I feel less obese than I ever have done in my life. I'm chunky still, but in a more shapely, well distributed way. I have a belly, but it's now proportionately as flabby as everywhere else, not horribly huge. I can run 10k for heavens sake. All these are things that say to me that I'm overweight, not obese now. I know that denial is how I got to 118kg/260lb in the first place, but I honestly do feel like I'm past obesity and that it's behind me. I just want the scales to agree with me! The other thing I want is the body fat monitor I've ordered to arrive so I can see just how much of that is fat and how much is muscle, so I can start arguing that my muscles have swayed the calculation and I'm far leaner than my BMI suggests!

And speaking of denial and getting to 118kg/260lb, that above anything is the reason I weigh daily. It's not because I obsess about how much I'm losing, but because I know that not weighing myself for well over 5 years helped me to not realise the amount of weight I was putting on and the damage that was doing to my body. I have accountability now, and I want to keep it. To know that if I weigh regularly I will be able to stop myself doing that amount of damage again. I don't plan for it to be a daily occurrence once I'm nearer goal, but I'd far rather be a scale addict than a scale avoider. I've been there, and I know that I'll just buy bigger clothes and ignore the problem until it's too late.

I'm also getting addicted to the tape measure. I really can see the shrinkage, and it constantly amazes me. I also enjoy going to online shops, not for clothes but to check out sizing charts to compare with my measurements. It seems I'm almost a perfect size 18, and the only way from here is down. And off she goes on another tangent, having mentioned the word shop. I shop so differently now. I try so many more things on and reject them. Before I'd try one thing on, and buy it if it fit. That's what happens when you only have about 2 shops to choose from and are simply trying to find the least sack like thing they have. I hated shopping and trying stuff on, the sight of all that flesh in the mirror really was horrible and something to be avoided if at all possible. Now there's just so much choice I can look and look for days trying to find something that's just right. I can try things on because I like to look in the mirror while I'm doing it to see if I can identify any areas of shrinkage. And I can measure my progress down the sizes without having to buy stuff, just by going back in a few weeks to try it on again! I dread to think what will happen if I get even smaller!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Mr Scale God. I'm sorry. I'm sure it wasn't your fault that I overindulged on vodka and then got bloated. I will be less hasty in blaming you in future, I promise.

Back down to 99.2kg today, which is far more respectable than the 100.5kg I saw yesterday. This is what I like.

Not as much as I like three or four other things from today though.

First of all, the biggie. I ran 10km on the treadmill today! With two weeks to go before the Race for Life (and don't forget to click on the links at the side of the page if you want to sponsor me), I was hoping to be able to run a little over 5km by now, to give me a bit to spare on race day. I'd call 5km a bit to spare! The first time I ran 5k I felt like I was about to collapse. I never dreamed that I'd be able to run twice as far as that within two months. I never dreamed I'd be able to do it at my weight. I'm no slim, toned athlete after all. I still weigh well over 200lb, but I can do it. And I'm so proud of that. For the record I managed the first 5k in under 32 minutes, then slowed down a bit to record a time of 67 minutes for the whole thing. To put it into perspective, if I'd run at the pace I did my first 5k it would have taken me 69 minutes, so not only did I run twice as far, I also did it at a faster pace. i didn't even get horrendous blisters, and I'm so happy!

Secondly, I realised that with all that exercise I probably needed to eat a bit more today than normal. But instead of heading to the chocolate machine as a treat (because you'd better believe that I'd earned a treat after that run), I headed to the posh sandwich shop for a very virtuous fruit smoothie. (We will ignore, for now, the fact that it may have been accompanied by just a little chocolate too. I went for the smoothie first, therefore it's the smoothie that counts...).

I went shopping. I'm definitely a size 18 now. I picked up a pile of clothes in size 18 and they all fit. There are still a couple of things in that size that I try on and are a bit tight, but the vast vast majority of things I try do fit, and I can happily leave the size 20 stuff on the rack. I just can't wait to be able to reach for the 16 with a little hope that it might fit!

And veggies. This is possibly the biggest thing I've done for myself since I joined the gym last July. Since the victory over lettuce on Thursday my attitude to vegetables has changed overnight. Before I'd eat the veggies I likes, and avoid everything else. I couldn't make myself try new veg. I'd buy them, but I wouldn't eat them. I don't know whether I was scared or unambitious or what, but they wouldn't pass my lips.

But since the salad I've tried four or five new veggies, and not been ill yet. Aubergine, cabbage, spinach, carrots (yes, I know, it's pathetic I didn't eat it before) and a couple of other things I can't remember. I didn't necessarily like the recipes they were all in, but I coped with them all well enough to believe that I might give them another try in another recipe.

So I'm positive again. I'm back on track, and my blip from last week was just that. A blip. Not a sign of failure, or a sign that I'd end up putting all the weight back on. Just a blip, and I'm over it. I'm still having a relaxed cheat week next week, but I'm far more confident that I'll come back more motivated than ever.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Damn you, scales

Dear Mr Scale God

Why do you keep on going up like this? I know I've not been as good as I can be, but I've not been that bad. And I was really really good yesterday. I ate salad, aubergines, drank water and nothing else, and turned down a potential drinking session. But I was even heavier than I was in the post Saturday's carnage aftermath. Why?

Fluctuate away then, I don't care. I'm going to turn to my new friend the tape measure. The tape measure likes me. The tape measure doesn't tell lies about me putting weight on. It tells me that I'm shrinking, bit by bit. It also backs me up when I tell it that I managed to fit into size 16 shorts earlier. They didn't hang right, but they went on.

I wish I could say that I would give you up, scales. But I don't know that I can. I like the accountability of seeing you every day, of remembering what I'm doing and making sure I stay focussed. But I wish you'd help me out a bit here.



I've been eating salad again. I'm playing around with different combinations, and disovering that it's not actually that bad. Talk about a lightbulb moment. Picking up a salad and realising that I could probably eat it if I tried. So simple, but so revolutionary.

I just can't wait to see my mother's face if I order a salad when I'm over there. It should be priceless!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Feeling pretty

I seem to have found a bit of long overdue self esteem. I'm feeling pretty. I'm taking photos of myself that I actually like. I'm going out for drinks with friends and realising that for the first time ever I'm the thinnest person sitting round the table. That doesn't mean that I'm thin, exactly, but it does mean that I'm thinner and thinner by the day.

I have great collarbones. I have lovely thin wrists and ankles. I can tie my hair back and take a photo of my face without feeling ill. I wear dresses I used to stretch to breaking point, and they're distinctly loose. This isn't necessarily an advantage when they're strapless and relying on your boobs to defy gravity, but never mind!

I need to either work out how to get a photo off my new phone onto my pc or work out how to take a flattering picture of myself with the digital camera (far harder when you don't have a screen facing in the right direction to help with your aim!). I suppose I can hope that by the time I've worked out how to do this I'll have lost another couple of pounds just to make it look even more lovely.

Anyway, with fortuitous timing, I won £50 in a raffle today, so I think it's time to go shopping for holiday clothes before I head off to Spain on Saturday. For this I would like to thank Jonathan who, seeing me buying a mere £1 of tickets pulled the guilt card to make me buy £2. This despite the fact that he didn't buy any, and the £2 bought by his girlfriend Zoe presumably was to cover the two of them... Of course, it was the second strip that won, so I suppose I should thank him!

So, shopping. I'm looking for dresses and skirts, maybe a nice top. Something that looks nice rather than something that just fits. Truthfully, I'd probably have shopped anyway, but now I have a good excuse for a change!

Salad for breakfast

I'm feeling far more positive this morning. Despite the fact that the scales have gone back up again to 100kg when I was 99kg earlier in the week, that's two whole pounds. But I know that I do this every month. The first week it's time of the month. I lose loads. The second week I lose a fair amount. The third week I go back up about 1kg/2lb. The fourth week I get frustrated because I've not lost anything for two weeks, and then it all starts again.

Plus a large amount of alcohol can't have helped the water retention situation. And the cheeseburger I had mid afternoon probably didn't either. You see I had a lot of sorrows to drown. When your team suffers a record defeat it's bad enough. When that record defeat is suffered in your home town, and therefore in the away match you look forward most all season, it's particularly depressing. Not least because of the bus ride home, the pitying looks when you drive anywhere the next morning in your be-stickered car, and the knowledge that it may very well be mentioned on Monday morning. I'd like to say that I didn't have a drink for every one of the many tries we conceded. But I have a horrible feeling that I might be lying. Truth to tell, I lost count after a while. But I was going at a cracking pace. And at one point there were 12 Smirnoff Ice bottles on the table (empty), and over half of them were mine. Not counting the two that had already been collected and the two I drank after the game. Or the beer during the game.

But, let's look at the positives. Yesterday I knew when to stop. It doesn't look like it from the account of the carnage above, but I did, honestly. I got home safely by about 10pm (having started drinking at 2), without the slightest feeling of nausea. And due to the relatively early night I was awake, sober, un-hung-over, and in the gym at 9am. I wasn't in tip top form, but good enough to do 3km on the treadmill and a good weights session. Which considering what I drank last night is some achievement.

Then I came home and had salad for breakfast. Weekends always throw me. During the week I get to the gym by 7, then go into work and have my breakfast at about 9. Which works nicely. But at the weekend because everything is put back by a couple of hours I get home at 11 and it's sort of in between time. It doesn't feel like breakfast but it's too early for lunch. And I know I should eat breakfast, but it seems like a waste of calories when I'm going to have lunch in an hour or so (particularly when I'm going out at about 1.30/2pm, as I am today). So I'm experimenting. There's no rule saying that you have to eat cereal, or toast, or something breakfasty for breakfast, is there? So yesterday I had chicken and rice at about 11.30 as an early lunch. Today I've gone one step further. I bought a salad (yes! another leafy salad! rocket this time), which was huge so I've split it into two bowls, I had half for "breakfast" and I'll finish off the other half before I go out. So I get some food to keep me going until "lunch" while still giving me something to eat just before I go out to stave off the burger cravings at the rugby.

I'm suddenly increasing my repertoire of vegetables. After the salad thing (today's was also surprisingly palatable), I've realised that if I can eat lettuce I can eat anything. So I've bought myself a stuffed aubergine for later. My tactics are to buy vegetable based ready meals or prepared salads to get me used to the tastes before I try to prepare them myself. So often in the past I've bought a new vegetable, realised I don't have a clue how to cook it, and thrown it away. I'm not going to fall into that trap. Even if what I'm eating is higher in fat/calories or salt than something I cooked for myself, if it's getting me to eat new stuff that I can then adapt to be slightly healthier, I figure it will be worth it.

I've decided I'm driving over today. I could get there on the bus, and I have drinking partners lined up (the same drinking partners I was with yesterday). But if I drive I'll drink water through the game and possibly even go for a swim on the way home. If I go on the bus I will find myself in a beer garden in Bramley at about 10pm wondering what time the last bus is, where I live and what my name is. Been there, done that.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Clinging on to the wagon

I can feel myself falling. And I'm scared. Scared of slipping into a yo-yo pattern, of putting the weight I've lost back on, of being fat forever.

It's small things. I buy ready meals instead of cooking. They're still "healthy eating" ready meals, but they're not fresh fruit and veg. I drink for 7 hours. i give into the temptation of burgers and pizza. I eat toast at 11pm because i'm a bit peckish. And deep down I know that, while individually I can get away with this stuff, combined it's "not a good thing".

I've never done this weight loss thing before properly. And the thought going through my head constantly is "what happens when I fall off the wagon. Will I? And how do i get back on it?" I worry that all this is wasted effort because a month or two of junk food will undo all the hard work. And I worry that even if I make it to "goal" (not that i've decided what that is yet), I won't be strong enough to maintain what I've lost.

The thought terrifies me. I don't want to be like this for the rest of my life. But equally I don't want to be thnking about my weight for the rest of my life. I just want to have a healthy lifestyle that doesn't include stuff that will eventually kill me.

I need to stop myself sliding now, but I feel powerless. I know it's up to me, but I can't seem to find that motivation within me that got me through the last couple of months. Maybe I need a couple of weeks to re-find myself when I'm on holiday. But what if I get back and the wagon's left without me?

Definite Shrinkage

After a month it's time to update my measurements. And there's a definite change for the better, I must say! It's nice to see shrinkage confirmed in both weight and girth terms, and it's always nice to get a boost.

Neck: 37cm 36cm (-1cm)
U/Arm: 33cm 32cm (-1cm)
Bust: 109cm 105cm (-4cm)
Waist: 94cm 89cm (-5cm)
Tummy/Hips: 121cm 118cm (-3cm)
Thigh: 63cm 61cm (-2cm)
Calf: 44cm 40cm (-4cm)
Ankle: 25cm 24cm (-1cm)

I do wonder what my measurements were when I started. I suspect I've lost a lot more than just the loss from the last month, although maybe I'd have depressed myself too much with the original figures, so I might be better off not knowing!

I'm still running away like mad. Today I broke 32 minutes for 5k for the first time ever. I'm getting a teensy bit faster each time I run, which is great. Once the Race for Life is out of the way the big target is going to be increasing my distance. I've done a couple of longer runs, but I really do want to start working on that, possibly more than I want to increase my speed much more. It would be nice to break 30 minutes for 5k, but I think I'd be better staying at this speed and going further than going faster but the same distance. Or maybe I'll try both!

I'm amazed how much I do actually like running as a form of exercise. And it works. I know there's diet and other factors at play, but my weight loss has speeded up so much since I started running properly. What more motivation do I need?

I expect the rest of the day to be very much off plan, however. I'm meeting up with some friends for belated birthday drinks at 2. And don't expect to be home particularly early. So that's a lot of drinks. I've bought some little bottles of water which I'm hoping to drink at strategic points in the afternoon to try to mitgate the effects, but it may well not be pretty.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Salad Days

I did it! I finally did it! I ate a whole leafy salad. I've eaten "salads" before. Bean salads, pasta salads, rice salads, cous cous salads.

But never a salad salad. I've bought them and eaten round the leaves. I've nibbled at them. But I've never eaten a whole one. Hold on, chance that I've never to I'd never before today.

It might not seem like a big thing to a lot of people, but for me it's the most radical thing I've done on this journey, three stone down. Sure I've increased the amount of fruit and vegetables I eat, but I've done this by increasing the amount of the same fruit and vegetables, not by increasing the number of different things I eat. Starting to branch out into eating different things is essential in the long run. And I'm starting it.

It might not be the nicest meal I've ever eaten, but I ate it all, and I might come to like it. It probably won't be another 27 years until I try it again at least.


The weight's still dropping off at a decent rate. I'm a mere 100g from hitting my three stone goal. I'm esctatic at that. I realise that I still have a long way to go, but I need to remind myself how well I'm doing sometimes. The compliments keep flooding in. The double takes. The comments about my clothes, my hair, my increasing sense of style. I'm wearing clothes that look good rather than clothes that fit. I have a choice and can choose something that flatters me rather than wearing a shapeless sack that covers my girth.

If I feel this much better at a size 18 imagine if I make it down to "thin person's" sizes!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

So that's why I don't drink

I've felt like crap all day. Really really crap. And all because I had a few drinks last night. With a bloke. Not a date, exactly, but certainly a few drinks. And boy am I paying for it today.

from the throwing up last night (I swear that the 40lb I have lost are the ones that used to save me from drunkenness, I'm still trying to adapt to my lower alcohol tolerance), to the ickiness of this morning, the tiredness caused by the lack of sleep, the general feeling of rubbishness that aspirin couldn't shift, overall I've had a horrible day.

But I'm determined to tell myself that this is a good thin. I am aware of what I am putting into my body and I am learning to recognise what my body likes and what it objects to. Which makes the whole willpower thing a lot easier. It's not about resisting stuff, food, beer, whatever, because I feel like I ought to, but because I know that I'll regret it in the long run. See, I said this was a good thing.

But the general feeling of depression today hasn't been helped by my drinking partner of last night not rearing his head online today. Did I scare him away? Please say I didn't, I had a laugh and I'd like to do it again. With a lot less beer and a lot more water.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Can do you a world of good.

They're flooding in from all angles at the moment. It's amazing what it does for your confidence, your outlook on life and your mood.

It's not just the weight either. I'm sure that's helping and making people notice things they wouldn't ordinarily notice. But it's "nice suit". "Nice haircut" (I had my under 100kg haircut today). "Where did you get that skirt". And so on. I'm sure that if that suit or that skirt had my old body underneath (not that it would have fit) they wouldn't have noticed. And even if they would have, it puts a spring in your step and makes you feel good.

Apparently people are starting to discuss my weight loss at work, sounding out from my secretary how much I've lost. And it feels fantastic. People are talking about me! For good reasons!

And it's making me more confident. I'm vaguely contemplating asking a guy to go to the pub with me. One on one. A guy I've never met, bizarrely, but we chatted on msn for about 4 hours last night, so it might be a possibility. I walk around with my head held higher, looking the world in the face as though I deserve to be part of it, not banished to McDonalds with the fatties of this world.

I love it!

Now I just have to keep this thing up and reap the rewards of the hard work so far.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Cruelty to Donkeys?

So, I've lost 40lb (and more significantly, I've kept Saturday's loss, and am still below 100kg. Maybe there's no regain this month?)

My colleagues are really starting to comment (especially my secretary who I hadn't seen for three weeks as we had consecutive holidays) and to say that I look like I've lost loads of weight. I know that I have, because I can see it in the fit of my clothes. Clothes that didn't used to fasten at all, that I could only get remotely near my arse after losing 2 stone. A stone (nearly) further on even they are feeling a teensy tiny bit loose. I know that I'm losing weight. I can see it on the scales, and from a good angle I can see it in the mirror.

But from a bad angle. Well, it just doesn't seem that I've lost any weight at all. I look at photos of me, and I see the same fat person I've always been. And that's what brings home to me the enormity of the job I need to do. And it also brings home the importance of doing it, once and for all. If I look like this 40lb down, what on earth did I look like before. There isn't a great deal of photographic evidence, but it can't be pretty.

This picture isfrom Greece last month (shockingly 6 or 7lb ago - can you believe that!). In some pictures I don't look too bad. Not thin, but vaguely the right shape, even if I do have a bit of padding.

In this one, however, you really feel for the donkey. I misguidedly thought I'd lost weight until I saw the belly and the arse on this. Mine, not the donkey's, clearly. And I probably have, but how much is still there, lurking round my waistline?

In a way, it's good that I'm not celebrating too soon, and the little compliments keep me going. But it brings it home to me that there's no glory in stopping now. Sure, I'm a bit thinner, but I'm still obese, and I need to carry on with this, not reward myself with cake or chocolate.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Double Figures

I love the week straight after that time of the month. Every month it seems that I lose most of my weight for the month in one week, spending the rest of the month maintaining or edging slowly downwards.

So while it may not seem healthy to have lost about 6lb in the past week, I know that it will average itself out over the month, so I'm not too stressed about "losing too much" (yes, I'm learning there is such a concept!).

But what those 6lb have done is to get me past a big figure for me. Rounded to the nearest kg it may only be showing as 100kg on my tracker, but I know that it's 99.7. Double figures! I track my weight in pounds and kg. All the machines at the gym are in kg so most of my measurements are initially done as kg, then converted so I can work out how many stone I've lost (nearly 3, btw - 40lb now). I started at 118kg and 100 looked a long way away. I'm there now. And I'm never planning to go back.

I know over the next week or so as my weight stabilises (as it does every month) I'll probably sneak back over for a couple of days, but hopefully that will then be it. I will never let myself get over 100kg again. I like double figures, and I'm planning to stay here.

The next big target is another 20lb to get below 200lb for the first time in many many years. And then to stay there.

Two more installments for "how I amaze myself every day". I went for a pub lunch with my sister as a treat for her (and for me for reaching double figures). I looked at the menu, and chose the pasta with vegetables. What happened there? I was doing vegetarian week during the week, but I told myself that it was just Monday 9am - Friday 5pm and that I could eat meat over the weekend. But I chose not to. And secondly, I'm going to La Palma for a couple of days at the end of the month with my parents. They booked the hotel. I looked it up on the website, and the first thing I checked was whether it has a gym. It does, so I then mentally added my gym kit to my packing list.

I'm different now, but in a very very good way!

Changing my terminology

I've decided I'm not going to talk about the "new me" any more. Not that I'm going to stop putting down the ways I keep on surprising myself every day with my changed habits (yesterday I sat in a 4 hour meeting without a glance at the plate of biscuits), but because I don't like the idea that there is "me" and "new me". That makes it sound like new me isn't really me. That it's something that's here now, but may be transient, and may not last.

Well, I want new me to hang around for good. I want new me to be who I think of as just, well, me. As simple as that. Although I do want to celebrate the changes in my lifestyle, I don't want to look on this as something too dramatic in way. I want to look at this as just something I do, not something I need a new me to be able to stick to.

when you buy a new house, at some point it goes from being your new house to just being home. It's part of your life, and there's no strangeness about it. You drive home straight to it and don't take a wrong turning, ending up where you used to live. And that's what I want to do with my lifestyle. I want this to just be natural, part of me, and part of my life. I'm achieving that well at the moment, and to keep up the momentum I'm going to use the power of language.

So from now on, me is me. There may be an old me, but otherwise, there's just me. As I am.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I thought those jeans were loose...

I measured myself less than a month ago and posted the measurements on this blog. I'm not planning to re-post my measurements until a month has passed, but I've just stumbled across my tape measure and couldn't resist a look. I was mighty impressed, let's put it that way. Very impressed indeed.

No-one else gets a sneak preview though, these measurements are in my head and aren't written down anywhere. In the hope that the official month end ones will be even better.


I had a work function tonight, and it struck me how far I'd come. I drank water, turned down the canapes and only visited the chocolate fountain once, to dip some fruit lightly in the chocolate. Fruit redeeming the chocolate, clearly. There have been times where the bowl of profiteroles wouldn't have lasted long undipped with me around. I stayed for a while, did the networking stuff and left. I didn't hang around all night drinking myself stupid.

I was chatting to one of my clients (yes! I actually summoned up the courage to speak to someone for a change) who claimed to be on a diet. Which is clearly why she had 3 glasses of wine in the 20 minutes I was speaking to her and took something off every canape tray that came round. While talking all the time about how she was on a diet. I didn't say a word about losing weight, declined politely, then came home and made some lentil, tomato, mangetout and onion stew.

I'm not whingeing about what she ate, we're all allowed to eat off plan once in a while, but more amazed that I'm not that person who has cheat days any more. I didn't resist just because I want to lose weight. I resisted because I didn't want to eat or drink that stuff. I knew that if I drink not only will I be struggling in my 9am meeting tomorrow, but I'll ruin my chances of getting to the gym in the morning. And I might not have got there this morning either as I'd have had to go to work on the bus. I knew that if I eat the canapes I won't be satisfied and I'll be craving something substantial. And I knew that resisting a few trays of stuff wouldn't kill me. I'd rather indulge myself with a couple of gorgeous chocolate dipped strawberries than nibble after nibble of mini burgers and samosas.

I just mentioned the gym. I'm definitely on the lookout for a 10k race sometime soon. This morning I ran 5 miles (a bit over 8k) in 55 minutes, and I had energy left in my legs (but no time to use it). In my wildest, Race for Life planning days I was hoping to get to 5k by now, not running far past it. I enjoy running. I never thought I'd type those particular words! I then swam for half an hour at lunchtime.

And the best moment of the day. Someone at work (thin) said that she really liked my new suit skirt and asked where I got it from. No more mumbling or avoiding the issue. I got it from Next, I replied. I'm back in the world of the high street, and I'm loving it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The new me

I wrote about the other me last night. And while I don't know the other, permanently thin me, I'm starting to get to know the formerly fat but not any more me. Or what she might be like because of course, I am still fat, not just formerly. But I'm getting there.

I was never unhappy about my weight. And that's possibly what let it get so bad because I never had that point where it made me unhappy and I tried to do something about it. I was happy, so I carried on eating.

But I can see that it did limit what I did, and more and more every day it doesn't any more.

Let's take exercise. Last night I mentioned that I didn't actually mind sport at school, I just wasn't very good at it. I still got picked for school teams that no-one else wanted to be on, but had there been real competition for places I'd have been nowhere near. Let's say I got there on effort not achievement. But what my lack of actual chievement masked for me was the fact that I would improve if I kept at it and got fit. That I could have carried on enjoying exercise after I left school had I not feared the stares of people wondering what on earth I was trying to do at rugby training or whatever.

Let's also take shopping. I've never enjoyed it. For which my bank account is thankful. But now I do. And it can't just be my size. I've been a size 18 before. I was even a size 16 once, briefly, when I moved out of childrens sizes. But my weight seems to be distributed better now, more how clothes manufacturers would like it to be distributed, more toned. And I love trying things on. Maybe it's just because I still get the thrill when they fit, but it's great. Even better than that thrill is when I realise that my new size 18 jeans are actually a tad too big. That really is a thrill.

Let's also take food. One of my friends persuaded me to do a veggie challenge week - go vegetarian for a week. at which point I realised that a lot of the time I actually am, without thinking, and I enjoy it. I like eating fruit, vegetables and salad. I don't have a huge repertoire yet, but I will, surely,, as I try a few more recipes and carry on realising how much better I feel.

I'm feeling really positive at the moment, and I love it. I'm so proud of myself for doing something good for me, and for taking control.

And I promise I'll never let myself go again.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The other me

I've been pondering recently who I would be if I wasn't fat. How much has my size shaped my life, my lifestyle and my choices.

First of all I want to get one thing clear. I don't regret a thing about my life. If being fat meant that I spent my time with my head buried in my schoolwork rather than out with friends shopping, then I'll take that. That's what's given me a great education and the start of a great career. If it meant I wasn't chasing boys then that's what's given me independence, self sufficiency and self reliance. If it meant I wasn't constantly keeping up with the latest fashions, then that's what got me through university without getting into serious debt.

But still I wonder about this other woman, this other me. The one who realised at 11 that she actually liked sport rather than at 26. Actually, this me did like sport at school, I was on the netball, rounders and rugby teams at various points, but I didn't realise I liked sport, and I didn't keep it up. But I digress. Who is the other woman who didn't decide to rely on food for emotional support?

What would she have done, and what choices would she have made? Would she be sitting here now happy with her lot, or would she be wishing that she was, well, more like me?

I'll never know. As I lose weight I see different sides of me emerge, I go shopping and I half enjoy it. I have more confidence in my body as well as in my mind. But whoever I become in the future will always be a "formerly fat" person, rather than an always thin person. Someone who is always aware of her history with food and laziness, and someone who can never get back those lost, thin, teenage years. And someone who always has the benefit of the great times and experiences she had in her teens and twenties that she might have missed out on had she been thin.


In other news, plenty of scale and non scale victories alike. I'm now a smidgen under 16 stone for the first time in years, and within a stone of becoming merely overweight instead of obese. I'm running like a pro. Well, not quite, but I feel myself getting better and better at it every day. I bought a suit from a high street shop and then found myself going back in an attempt to swop the skirt for a smaller size. Not a plus size range or anything like that, I'm just too thin for the biggest size. My clothes get baggier. My mother is finally supporting me. Not that she was discouraging me before, I just don't think she realised how important this is to me. But now she's been congratulating me on my shopping basket, encouraging me to go to the gym (I wanted to go, but didn't know whether I should stay in to spend quality time together), and generally being a star. I guess this says that I'm into this, and I have to stick to it.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Still ticking over

Ah, the ticker's moving again. After a relatively slow May, then a holiday which I thought would undo most of the hard work, it's nice to see it starting to move in the right direction.

I've got a trip over to Spain to see my family in 3 weeks and I'd really love to have lost another 7lb (6.5 really...) by then to take me to 3 stone down in total, but that might be a little unrealistic unless I suddenly start burning it with a vengeance again. Truth to tell, it can come off as slowly as it likes. This is a lifelong thing, and the longer I take to get to goal, the longer I will have to get used to eating healthy stuff and exercising!

Speaking of which, I ran 7k on Friday. I was so proud of myself, it's the furthest I've ever run, and also the longest continuous time for running without walking a step. I'm now starting to feel more confident that I might be able to do the Abbey Dash (10k) in November, although I've still not seen any indication that it's happening this year. I hope so, as that would be a really great achievement.

Startling discovery of the week was that I went for a pub lunch with my grandparents yesterday and there was nothing on the menu I remotely fancied eating. I sat there wondering why they didn't have anything healthier and tastier not because I was trying to stick to my healthy eating, but beacuse I genuinely fancied something with some veg/herbs/delicate flavours rather than slabs of meat smothered in cheese or oil or grease. I keep telling myself this can only be a good thing, but I do keep wondering about who I've turned into!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I'm back

Fantastic holiday. Made far far better by my newly discovered fitness. I was racing up and down hills without a care in the world. And there were a lot of hills and steps, believe me. I really could tell the difference.

Of course, it wasn't all on plan as it were. Not that there is a plan, but there are some things which are definitely off it, if you see what I mean. Things like fried cheese, copious amounts of alcohol, very little water and plenty of cake. And did I mention the fried cheese. Oops.

Still, I like to live a little and the damage wasn't too bad. I ate better stuff than I have traditionally done on holiday, and I probably exercised more. And I know that it was a week off rather than reverting to my old habits.

But, having lost my luggage before I went, I realised where it has gone from. I spent days staring at my thin thighs. Under a short skirt they almost looked like they didn't touch each other. And maybe they didn't. They certainly didn't rub against each other for the first time in about 15 years. Since I was 12ish, if I remember correctly. That's a lot of rubbing, and a lot of soreness. And it seems to be over. So I'm not focussing on what the scale said this morning. I'm focussing on my fit, toned and damned hard working thighs.