Silly Season

This is the time I am supposed to do my Year in Review, but alas I don’t have anything to report in the Weight Loss department. I am basically the same weight I was this time last year. Considering the amount of crazy travelling and subsequent eating I did, I guess I should be grateful I didn’t gain. But there is always going to be that element of crankiness with oneself for not being smaller. It’s the first time in four years that I haven’t shed a couple of sizes.

But I have lost something. I’ve lost the Fat Girl Excuse For Not Doing Stuff. 2004 has been the busiest, most exciting year of my life and I put the flabby thoughts on the backburner:

  • I spent 21 days in Scandanavia and Russia with three dozen strangers – something I’d never have even contemplated when I weighed 350 pounds
  • I backpacked around the Baltics for two weeks without any plans.
  • I took my clothes off in front of man, many many times.
  • I ran in public.
  • I took a dance class that left me beet-faced and breathless three years ago but now I keep up with the skinny chicks.
  • I went on nights out with the lads from my work – I used to cry for a week in advance if I had a work night out, not wanting to go out in public, worrying about what I wear – now I go out and dance and don’t give a crap that I’ll never have the legs and arms for a little black dress.

Yes, there were days and dozens of blog entries in which I bitched about my lard and longed to have smaller jeans, but for the most part this year I was just happy being in my own skin and stop fretting about my size. I just dove headfirst into life and scoffed up new experiences with the enthusiasm I used to reserve for scoffing icecream straight from the tub.

If 2001 was the year of me Obsessing About Fat, 2004 was the year of me Obsessing About Me. It was like the carefree, heady college days that I was too fat and depressed to have at the time. It was unashamedly indulgent and fun and now looking back, I am glad I took the time out to make the most of it.

2005 is going to be a cracker. There won’t be the crazy travelling but there will be some drama. Are you voting for the quickie wedding or the tearful deportation back to Australia? I’m excited as you are to find out what happens.

I do want make some progress with my weight in 2005. I will say it now: I want to be at my target by January 2006. That will make it a neat five years. The Five Year Plan. Evil Stalin had 5 Year Plans to turn the USSR into an economic powerhouse, so I think it’s a nice round number for my weight loss adventure. So I am looking forward to putting in the hard yards for the 5th year. Top of the list: cracking on with the jogging so I can do a 5k in the springtime.

Merry Christmas to you all and thanks for those who kept reading despite me putting the blog second to fun and shenanigans! All your blogs, emails and comments make me cackle and cry and kick my backside. Big cheers to the regular faces like Kimba, Argy, Julia, Erin, Andrew, Jillian, Tree, Jovey, Jude, Clazza, Lynda, Hanna, DeAnn, J, Denise, Rosemary, Leigh, Nessajane, Angel, Miata, Stef, Sandra, Rebeka, Alison, Tracy, Mary, Stephene, Kiri, all the inspiring Tales from the Scale folk and everyone else who’s name I’ve neglected to type but I have to scoot coz I’ll miss my ride but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to hump your leg with gratitude too! I have made some true friends through this silly site and that still rocks my socks every day.

See you all next year!

Cake is Sexy

My greatest runs of weight loss are always when I write down what I eat.  This year I've gone through phases of dilgently filling in my Slimming Magazine 2004 Diet Diary, then getting cranky with it and giving up.  There's columns for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and calories, but no space for exercise.  Or water consumption.  Or random drivel.

I was ferreting around in the Skinny Daily archives, reading all JuJu's entries in the Journal category, and then it hit me.  I didn't need a structured diary, I needed a big sprawling book of blank pages where I could run wild.  My weight loss caper doesn't fit into neat little boxes.  I don't want to write "1 apple, 4 brazil nuts".  I want to write "1 apple, 4 brazil nuts" then wax lyrical about what time it was when I ate, what mood I was in and what colour socks I had on.  This weight loss thing is such an emotional, complex thing for me, and until now I had been attempting to journal in tiny little Weight Watchers trackers or online calorie counters or the Slimming Diet Diary.  It doesn't suit my style at all. 

It didn't occur to me before that I could take a less regimented approach.  For some reason I thought there was some unwritten Sacred Rule that you had to be all official-like.  But thanks to JuJu I've decided to be more organic.  I went to Paper Tiger and bought myself a large Moleskine journal with graph paper inside.  Moleskines are oh so trendy these days, but I've been using them for years – they're the only notebooks that I've ever actually completely filled and didn't toss away halfway through coz I was bored of them.  Best of all, they always open flat, no matter where you are in the book.  They are just so comfy and easy to write in.

Anyway, I've decided to be unstructured yet structured.  On the first page I wrote "This Week" and wrote a few Mini Missions, concerning running and water intake and wearing my pedometer.  On the next page I wrote the date, then:

EXERCISE:
STEPS:
WATER:

Which is pretty self explanatory.  I can fill that in at the end of the day and get an overall picture in a Bridget Jones "units consumed" sort of way. Then underneath I just wrote down what I ate.  Below that is where it gets crazy, I crap on and on about how I felt and what I craved and when.  So far it is working brilliantly, I am getting back into that beautiful mindset where I think about what I eat instead of this mindless grazing I've been doing for months and months.

Last night I stayed at my Lovely Boy's house.  It is his birthday today and I am cooking him dinner.  Last night I was making the birthday cake in advance while he was in the recording studio with his mates – thus leaving me alone with cake batter, the bastard.  Normally if I creamed butter and sugar together I'd be sticking in my finger to taste, same goes for the block of Green & Blacks 70% Dark Chocolate melting on the stove.  Then I'd no doubt lick the bowl afterwards.  But tonight I kept thinking of my journal and didn't want to spoil the page by having to write "6.30PM – Half a cup of butter, sugar and raw eggs".  I made sure I had the sink full of hot water and washed the bowl right away.

The smell of the finished cake was incredible — Dense Chocolate Loaf a la that saucy minx Nigella Lawson.  I was so aching to pick away at the cracked top but thought of my journal and my sister back home.  My sister is on an incredible roll at the moment, losing weight and exercising religiously.  I am happy for her but intensely jealous.  She knocked on my door at 5.55 AM yesterday to see if I was ready for our run.  I said "NO!" and dived under the covers.  "No worries, I'll go on my own," she says.  This of course spurred me into action and I was dressed in 2 minutes.  So last night I thought of her motivation streak as I stood over the chocolate cake.  I went and got my journal and sat on the couch, writing a new heading "Mantra of the Week – Would Your Sister Be Eating That?"

So this journal is all over the place (just like THIS journal), but it is helping.  I've realised where I have been going wrong.  I do well while I am at home with my sister, but as soon as I am on my own or with The Boy I let things slip.  He got home at 10PM and we ended up having a slice of cake, even though the birthday isn't til today.  But when someone comes home and tells you you're gorgeous and a domestic goddess and is generally happy to see you, it is hard to remember you're trying to drop 20 kilos.  Oh fuck it, cake is sexy. Let's eat cake.

But I wrote that down in my journal today.  Just because I feel truly loved by someone for the first time in my life doesn't mean I have a green light to get lardy.  Hopefully by keeping track of all this sprawling information, I can get back to that place where I was making considered decisions about what I ate.  That's the place where I lost some serious weight. 

Barely There

Just another quickie to let you know I am alive. I have managed to screw up my right arm, shoulder and back again. Longtime readers may remember in 2001 I overdid it with the computer on a very, very repetitive job which ended in time off work and months of  physiotherapy. Last week I was typing a shocker of a document and neglected to stretch or rest properly. As a result I have been waking up around 2 every morning when the ibuprofen wore off in so much pain I thought I would vomit. I have sat for hours with my back pressed to the radiator trying to ease the tension.

Finally I went to the doctor this arvo and she cranked my arm like a windmill. You could hear the tendons all gristle and crackly. She says it is quite inflamed. She gave me me a referral to a physio and agreed with my suggested treatment of weights, rowing and stretching at the gym, which is how I fixed it last time round. I am going to try that for a week and see if it helps rather than fork out for physio straight away.

Anyway, I won’t whine any longer. I haven’t been to the gym in a week as I have been too busy laying around moaning and feeling sorry for myself. Ha! But I will book in for Body Pump on Thursday and that should get the muscles singing in a pleasant way.

You want some positive news, yes? Erin of the famous Lose The Buddha blog just received the advance copies of Tales From The Scale, the book she slaved over this year in between getting married and working like a mofo. I am so excited about this that I could spew. Why? Because I am lucky enough to be one of the contributing writers. If you look at her December 5 entry you can see I am in some excellent company, so you can imagine I was chuffed when she asked me would I like to write something for all eight chapters of the book. At the time it was grueling, I had to dig back into my brain (and my archives) to remember how I used to feel and how much has changed. I read over my chapters the other day when I was feeling particularly low and frumpy and it was real kick up the arse. I have come so far, so all I need to do is put in the effort and there’ll be no reason why I can’t go even further.

This book is going to be rockin, so why not go ahead and pre-order yourself a copy on Amazon so you’ll get a nice little surprise come May 2005. I can’t bloody believe I’ll be in a real live freakin BOOK! I have dreamed of that since I was a wee tot. Holy crap. Thanks very much, Miss Erin.

My sister flies out to Australia tomorrow so I better go help her pack. More soon!