If there are two things that have kept me on track through this (apart from the things that I say are important in every other post), it's planning and routine. Every morning my alarm goes off, I put my gym stuff on, I put enough food to get me through the day in my bag, I go to the gym, and I go to work. I eat pretty much the same every day, it's all packed up with fruit to spare for those snacking urges, and it's a habit. It keeps me doing it without having to think.
So I was worried about today. At 10.30 last night the phone rang. I dreaded being summoned back into my work after I'd had my running home to eat salad moment (this is me? really?). But no, Neil remembered that he was meant to be on competition law training in London today, and that given that he expected to be working on the deal for some hours he really didn't fancy the 6.40 train in the morning. So I got to go.
Normally I'd have jumped at it, CPD points to avoid me having to do presentations next October like I did this year, and a chance to piss Neil off. He's already annoyed that I know far more about competition law than he does, and I think that the course was intended to help him redress the balance so he doesn't always need to ask me for help. Hah! But I was vaguely annoyed with it being Thursday, meaning I'd miss Spanish again. And there wasn't exactly much notice. But I could imagine the reaction if I turned it down, so gave into the pressure to go.
So I drove back into work, picked up the train tickets and came back home again. I then started worrying about how I'd get through the day without my normal routine. As the day's gone on I've kind of been making notes, and I thought I'd share it because it's taught me a lot about how far I've come.
5.30am. Get up. Why is it that the mornings you have to get up early you wake up every 20 minutes or so through the night worrying that you've slept in. Cranky and irritable. Never mind, I can doze on the train.
Shower, get dressed. I never use the shower at home normally, it's quite a novel experience. I usually go to the gym then shower. I'll miss not exercising, I'll do weights tomorrow instead of the swim I had planned to mae up for missing weights today. Getting dressed was interesting. I couldn't be bothered with a suit, so I went for smart casual, and pulled it off far better than I ever have before. My sister's (size 14) smart grey trousers, with a big black knee length jumper dress over it (size 12). It looked pretty good, I have to say. I can finally pull smart casual off!
Breakfast. This is unusually early. I usually eat breakfast at 9am and lunch at about 12.30. I'll be starving by the time I get to London! One portion of fruit and veg down, four to go.
6.40. On the train. The seat next to me is reserved but not taken. Before I'd have been grateful for this, not spilling over onto someone else. But now, it doesn't make much difference. I was floating around in the seat. Fantastic. The trolley came down and I got a water and a coffee. The start of an amazing caffeine intake for the day, far more than normal.
8.50. The underground. I've not been to London since about March or April, and definitely not since July. I have to admit I was a little nervous going down to the tube at pretty much the same time of day, and on the same tube line, as the bombs (which is what comes of watching a tv programme about them shortly before the call comes to go down to London...)
On the way from the tube to the hotel where the conference is I pop into Boots and get a shapers cloudy lemonade and two bags of grapes. I eat one bag of grapes there and then to avoid me diving into a pile of biscuits mid morning. 2 portions of fruit down, 3 to go.
9.30. The conference. To start there is coffee and a tray of croissants. Very grateful for those grapes. I get some water and go through. There is a plate of sweets on the table in front of me. Why do they do that at these training sessions? Is it not enough to feed you at every break without holding you captive in a room with sugar? Also a bottle of water on the table.
11am. Where has my bladder control gone? I've noticed this since I started losing weight, I really do drink so much water that I'm constantly peeing. Not too bad when I'm in the office, but that doesn't help much in meetings or training sessions. At the break there is a tray of biscuits. I get some more water (like I need any) and eat another bag of grapes. 3 portions of fruit down, 2 to go.
Lunch. No sweets eaten, a gallon of water drunk, and no rubbish. I'm planning to take it easy at the buffet. I walk into the room and realise it's not a buffet. It's a three course sit down meal (makes a change from the standard of training I usually get to go to - I need to stand in for people more senior than me more often!). OK, steel yourself. I take a bread roll (ooh, the barefaced refined carb eating cheek of it!). The starter comes, good news. It's a fish cake. I leave it on the plate untouched. There are times when I'd try to eat a little to be polite, but I don't like fish and I don't need the calories, so why bother.
Main course isn't bad at all. A piece of chicken and some veg. Even better than that, veg that I will eat (even though they're not my first choice). I reckon that's a portion of veg taking me to four portions of fruit and veg so far, with only one more to go. Fantastic considering the lack of advance preparation.
Then dessert. There are some things (fish cake) a girl can resist and some things (tarte au citron) that she can't. Ah well, I was considering getting myself a yummy London cake treat before coming home anyway, so I'll have to forego that and eat this instead. It was very nice.
The problem with the sit down lunch is that there was no time to go for a walk. Bad.
3.30pm. The afternoon is dragging. I'm downing coffees and also using caffeine strips. I don't know whether it's the lack of sleep or the big lunch, but I'm seriously drowsy. I've still not had any sweets though. Cakes for this break. I'm still full from lunch so pass on them again. I consider skiving the last session and getting an early train back to Leeds to go to Spanish, but then I come up with another plan and stay.
5.15pm. It's over. I've not touched a single sweet or any of the croissants, biscuits or cakes. Not bad, not bad at all. And I'm still full so in no danger of grabbing takeaway just yet.
Now, what would involve walking, and taking advantage of being in London... Oh yes, that's it. I have an open return, I can get any train I want, I can go shopping! What I'm really looking for is something to wear for the work christmas party. To be honest I don't really want to spend much money onanything as I'm only really going to the one party, but equally I want to look fab. And even if I only try things on, I can assess how fab I can look. The other problem is that the party is themed "Wild West" so I don't want to go too glam as I'll stand out too much (although equally, I'm not doing fancy dress). I wander round a couple of shops getting ideas, and then hit Top Shop. Oh. My. God. I'm definitely a size 14 then. I find a fab dress, it is tight in the right places (and frilly over the boob area to give an impression there's something there), and skimmy in the right places (stomach). I nearly buy it. But then I realise, it's probably not actually the dress that makes my body look fab. Maybe (and this is a revolutionary thought), it's my body that makes my body look fab. OK, some things will look better than others, but I shouldn't be surprised it looks better than it did last Christmas. Maybe the dress is nothing special, and anyway there's a Top Shop in Leeds if I crack.
I head back to Kings Cross, getting the tube for a bit of the trip but also doing some walking, for a couple more stops than I need to. I'm still not hungry and there's a train about to leave so I don't head for a takeaway. There's no buffet trolley on the train, which is heaving, and I can't be bothered to walk up to the buffet car either, so I don't eat anything til I get back to Leeds. I still have some water in my bag though, which keeps me going.
9.30pm. Back in Leeds. I'm hungry now. The choices are Burger King, McDonalds and M&S. Thank god for M&S. I look at ready meals, but they're a bit substantial really for this time of night, particularly by the time I get home and heat it up. So I get a mixed bean salad and a carton of blueberry juice. That's got to give me that last portion of fruit and veg for the day, hasn't it? I eat it in the station concourse to give it a tiny bit more time to digest before I head to bed.
How things change. An unplanned day before might have been breakfast, bacon roll on the train, grazing from the trays of cakes and sweets all day, something rubbish to eat on the train home, maybe even a drink. I always think that I didn't eat too badly before, and a lot of the time I didn't. But there would be days like that where I'd just be unable to turn down food that was there, and that looked nice. It's what you do when you can't plan ahead, when you have to make decisions and choices as you go along that really shows off what you've learned. It's one thing being all mechanical and methodical about it, but another being able to make the right choices without help, and I think today showed me that I'm definitely getting there.
And while I remember, comments on comments. No, there's not too much loose skin at the moment (although there may yet be some to come, you never know), but I'll talk about it properly over the weekend or sometime, hopefully.
And yes, I keep on meaning to do some new photos, maybe I will when I get my super sexy christmas party outfit sorted out!