Letting The Lard Go

A measly loss of 100 grams this week. It’s too tiny to bother with the statistics! I had a great week, exercise wise. But the eating came undone on Saturday (lunch AND dinner out on the town) and then I made Anzac biscuits on Sunday. I looove baking so bloody much and it felt so nice to be melting and stirring and dropping blobs of dough onto a tray, but unless I can give away ALL of the goods I am bound to end up eating a lot of it. Sigh.

Still, onward and downward. I will focus on the positives. Some of my clothes are swimming on me! My H&M pants that were so tight at Xmas you could see the outlines of the front pockets now require constant hitching up. And a size 16 cord jacket I bought before the wedding now actually fits properly. Huzzah!

As I mentioned before the Scottish Companion now knows about this site. But he has vowed not to read it. I didn’t ask him to stay away; he just said that it’s my private space and he’s not going to intrude.

If the situation was reversed I’m not sure I would have been so polite and respectful. If he’d told me he used to be really fat and depressed and it was all online to read about, I’d HAVE to snoop around. I mean, to see photos of your spouse 70 kilos heavier? I would be consumed with morbid curiosity! Does that make me evil? I’ve checked the SC’s browser history to see if he’s wandered by, but he still hasn’t. Bloody hell.

There’s part of me that desperately wanted him visit and slog his way through the archives. I wanted him to see the hard evidence of how different I used to be. Not because I’m so proud and tra la la la happy about it and want to share the success, but so he had proper context. I’ve only made vague references to my lardy past, so if he visited here he would see how HARD it was, the dramatic changes that I had to make, to get the backstory about the Food Issues I still grapple with today.

A few weeks ago we were out running. Or more like he was running, and I was gasping for air and turning redder than my hair. I had that blind, white hot irration pre-menstrual RAGE coursing through my veins, sulking with every step. It was just so freaking hard, and we still had another 25 minutes to go (I need to write a whole other entry about how this running is really screwing with my mind, but I will just stick to this particular day for now). I was so cranky that we had to keep going for so freaking long; I was cranky that he was barely breaking a sweat while my own heart clobbered against my ribs. Cranky cranky cranky.

You know how twisted up a PMS-y mind can be. SC was jogging along sweet and supportive as ever, yet I was simmering. How rude to "make me" run AGAIN when we’d only run two days earlier! Didn’t he realise how hard this was for me? Did he realise how much of a beginner I really was? Did he realise how hard it is to build up fitness when you started out so unfit you may as well have been comatose?

Suddenly I spluttered out of nowhere, "Did you know, I used to weigh twice as much as you do now. Puff puff puff. TWICE as much! I couldn’t walk around the block! Puff puff puff. Just try and imagine that, two of YOU stapled together! Puff puff puff. That was me! So that’s why this is really hard! And making me cranky!"

Well, I thought, That’s him told!

I thought he would be stunned by the long-awaited revelation of Before statistic (and even then I undertold it by about 10 kilos – he weighs 75 kg; my highest weight was just shy of 160 kg). But he just said, "It doesn’t matter what you used to weigh. The important thing is that you worked hard to change things and now you’re just taking that to the next level!"

Bah! He was supposed to say, "Well that’s huge! Good for you! So it must be a big deal for you to have even run this far today. So why don’t we quit right now and go home and I’ll make you a cup of tea and toast!"

Menstrual psychosis aside, can you see the underlying problem here? My perception of my body and physical abilities has still not caught up with the reality. I still see myself as this enormous chick who should be applauded for making the effort to waddle to work or stand up the back at a gym class.

But the reality is that I am no longer a Special Case. My husband sees me exactly as I am right now – just a chick who’s taken up a new fitness challenge. But sometimes I am denial of this new reality. I know I am capable of pushing my body much further, exercise-wise – but part of me resents that I can/should/need to work so much harder now.

I can’t keep clinging to this fat chick persona. I know deep down that my body has changed and it is capable of so much more these days. But even as I push myself hard with this 5k training, I still have these days where I feel like I am still The Fat Chick. The other day I was having coffee with the girlfriends of two of SC’s friends, who are now becoming my friends. We’re all madly into health and whole foods etc etc so we got together to drink herbal teas talked about quinoa and yoga and brazil nuts. Every time I’d pipe up with some healthy tip or idea I had this dark thought lurking that they were thinking, "Who is this big lump, thinking she knows all about health and fitness?".

I have this strange insecurity about my new friends. It’s been so long since I’ve (non-online) female friends, aside from my sister; I’ve not really made any new female friends since I started losing weight. So when we’re sitting around talking I feel shy and awkward and worry whether or not they like me. Which is ridiculous, since they are warm, intelligent women who would never be judgemental, and must think I am alright since they want to meet up every week. But sometimes I feel so strange, talking to women about women’s things. I feel like I’m gatecrashing a slumer party. I’ve always been so private and closed up about this stuff, because it was all tied up with my weight. In the Fat Days I would sit there silent and smiling as my friends talked about boys and cute clothes, coz I felt like I didn’t belong. But now I am fit and happy and I actually have a boy, yet I still feel like the fraudulent Fat Chick.

Eventually curiosity got better of SC and he asked me about the Before Statistic as we snuggled up that PMSy evening. "Did you really used to weigh 150 kilos?" he said, incredulous. He asked what life was like for me back then. He was really nice about things, his usual calm and sweet self, saying how proud he was of me. But I found myself feeling defensive and not wanting to talk about it at all. I just started crying there in the dark. I suddenly felt ashamed, like every one of those 70 kilos has reattached to my body. I imagined I was looking down at us the bed and there was this huge blubbery pile of me and a ridiculously tiny SC curled up behind.

Please don’t write to say I should stop whining and appreciate what a gem of a man I have. I do realise this, and I let him know it. I love him so ferociously I can’t even express it. Please remember this entry is about what was going through my PMSy head that day and how losing a stack of weight really mucks with your head sometimes. Crazy days.

Be Like The Mormons

Can I get a WOOHOO for the power of human endeavour? I had a good weigh-in this morning and I am deliriously happy to see some progress. The six weeks of post-honeymoon slob-out is over, I’m back on track! Sometimes I just look at the statistics and can’t believe the difference in those numbers. It seems so long ago I used sit there on the couch surrounded by chocolate bars trying to summon the energy to walk to the end of the driveway to check the mailbox.

I get emails from people asking how do you do it, what’s your secret? There’s no bloody secret, except just concerted effort over time. Being persistent and determined. It’s like most things in life. Take Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, they go knocking on doors every weekend trying to spread the good word. They must get told to piss off a dozen times a day! But they give up? Nooo. So be like that about your fat. It may tell you to go away, I’m sleeping in, but just keep nagging and annoying it until it finally screams, "Fine! Alright!" and surrenders to your will.

Anyway, on to this week’s statistics.

Wednesday Weigh-In – Week Fourteen

last update: 20 April 2005

age: 27
height: 173cm (5’8")

original start weight: 159.2 kg (351 lb) on 17 Jan 2001
original start bmi: 53.4

fresh start weight: 95.9 kg (211.4 lb) on 12 Jan 2005
fresh start bmi: 32.2

current weight: 87.8 kg (191.4 lb)
current bmi: 29.4

result this week: -1.3 kg (2.2 lb)

loss in 2005: –8.1 kg (17.6 lb)
total loss since 2001: -71.4 kg (156.2 lb)

initial goal weight: 75 kg (165 lb)
distance to goal: 12.8 kg  (26.4 lb)

. . .

There seems to be an air of Let’s Get This Bloody Over And Done With amongst a few of my favourite bloggers. Tree and Ms Ralph are busting for the finish line so they can enter the Weight Watchers Slimmer of the Year contest. And Kimba kicking ass on her new 22 Week Challenge, shooting for her WW goal by her 2 year WW anniversary date.

I’ve been looking at my own calendar and doing some obsessive calculations. We’re looking to fly to Australia for Wedding Part III around 23 September, so my last Wednesday Weigh-In before that shall be 21 September. That’s 22 weeks! So I’ll be on a 22 Week Challenge of sorts too. I’m aiming for 75 kilos which is the very top of my healthy weight range. That means I need to average a 0.6kg loss per week, 0.58181818181 to be precise!

Can it be done? I reckon I can get pretty close, especially if I keep up the good eatin’ and ass shakin’ of the past couple weeks. Onward and downward, comrades.

Husband Training

The Scottish Companion is shaping up. It’s quite attractive but incredibly infuriating. He was always moaning about his "Thesis Handles", the apparent spare tyres he’d accumulated around his waist and hips while finishing off his PhD last year. Too many Hula Hoops and not enough exercise. But in the month since I’ve moved in he’s really trimmed up, thanks to me imposing my healthy habits on his former bachelor paradise.

Not only has he been accompanying me on my walk/runs, he’s dusted off his mountain bike and feeling fitter. His diet has changed too. He used to cook healthy meals a couple times a week and generally eat a fair amount of fruit. But often when he got busy he’d just have toast or cereal or and biscuits and cheese, and often succumbed to greasy takeaways. But now he’s eating salads and loads of vegies and grilled fish (he’s largely veggie but still eats fish). He’s hooked on my ye olde Weight Watchers spinach pie and now loves berries and yogurt for dessert. And he’s cooking too! He made a mean broad bean and feta tortilla for dinner last week.

I’ve also introduced him to the joys of the Misto Oil Spray. I don’t really like using Spray n Cook or Pam or whatever it’s called in your respective countries, it just seems a bit chemical-y to me. So I just pour some olive oil into this contraption then after some wild pumping action, it sprays just the teeniest hint of oil onto your food. A teeny tablespoon of oil has about 90 calories and 10g fat so it’s incredible how quick that can gobble up your daily allowance. So SC was amazed that you can "fry" an egg with the tiniest spritz of oil in a teflon pan, rather than drown it an inch of bubbling oil.

He also used the Misto to make THE BEST fries/chips you’ve ever had in your life! He did what I usually do – peel and chop some spuds, drop into a pot of boiling water for about ten minutes then drain. Shooggle spuds in the colander to get their edges roughed up, then dump onto an oven tray. Spray with some oil then sprinkle with loads of cracked black pepper and a shake of Herbamare before chucking into a hot oven for 30-40 minutes. He added the extra step of re-rinsing the drained parboiled spuds with boiling water, then draining them again. That seemed to make them just extra cripsy on the outside, fluffy inside and generally just gobsmackingly delicious and not at all greasy. We had that with grilled tuna and salad.

Anyway, he’s totally losing those Thesis Handles. It is so bloody infuriating! I guess the sudden healthy eating shocked his system into action. It is just so annoying coz he’s not really TRYING, he’s not thinking about food and exercise day or night or writing things down or counting calories. He is just cutting back and moving his butt and living like a healthy person. Which is what we’re all SUPPOSED to do.

I dunno about you but that just seems too freakin’ easy! Where’s the guilt and torment and exertion and struggle and obsessive planning? Surely for every kilo you lose there has to be at least two kilos worth of stress and conscious effort to go with it? Ha ha ha.

Wednesday Weigh-In – Week 13

Thirteen! Unlucky for some! I weighed in at 89.1 kilos today, which means I have recovered from most of that ungodly 3.5kg "gain" fromlast week but I am still 0.4 above my lowest weight. I was perusing the calendar today and realised it’s been two months since I hit that lowest weight. Sure there was that whole wedding and sampling the delights of the American Buffet thing, but I think it’s high time I saw some significant losses again. I’ve been on track this past week but I need to remember that just coz it’s Weigh In Wednesday, I don’t have licence to eat like a pork once I’ve hit the scales. Because the slackness invariably lasts til the weekend.

I’ve got 24 weeks until we go to Australia. Eek! That’s 24 weeks in which I could continue fartarsing around OR 24 weeks in which I could blast away a significant amount of lard. So this week I have been trying to remember my goals, to stop and think before I eat! I wrote a wee list of REASONS on a Post-It and stuck it beside the mirror so it’s the first thing I see every morning. The Post-It fell off two hours later but I have managed to look at this list from where it landed on the floor every morning since. And the reasons?

  1. Finish the Five Year Plan!
  2. Oz in October!
  3. Erin’s Book!
  4. New Foxy Clothes!
  5. To feel fit, healthy and attractive!

Ahh the Five Year Plan, remember that? I vowed to be at goal by 15 January 2006, which will mark five years of lardbusting. Cool, I’m still shooting for that. Stalin delivered on time, so can I.

Oz in October is of course the wedding party thingy, where there’s folk who haven’t seen me from anywhere between 2.5 and 5 years, so I want to be dazzling especially because photos are going to be taken by a tops photographer! I am forking out a pretty penny for this so every time I reach for a chocolate I must say, "THINK OF THE PHOTOS!". I want one chin, tops.

Erin’s book – unleashed upon the world this May! Pre-order your copy now! As I said before, my bio says I’ve lost 150lbs, and be darned if I want to have a whopping LIE in print!

Foxy new clothes – Aside from my wedding dress, everything I own slightly saggy and baggy, but not big enough to justify spending dosh. My bras are doing a half-hearted job of holding up the girls, but until the cups totally gape I will just persist. My jeans are seriously baggy in the crotch area – whenever I eat a sandwich I end up with half of it there. It’s like a little feeding trough or something. But until I can get into my jeans WITHOUT needing to unbutton or unzip them, I still have to wear them. This may sound ridiculous but it’s the scheme that’s taken me from size 28 jeans down to the crotch-catching 18s of today without declaring bankruptcy.

As for the last reason, you know it’s mostly about vanity goals, but I do worry about the diabetes that gallops through my Mum’s family. It can’t help to remind myself each day that dropping blubber will help my health.

The idea behind the list is to just keep these motivations fresh in my head. I am someone who responds best to constant badgering and bullying, so why not nag myself into submission? Ha ha ha! Whatever works for ya.

Evacuate!

This is how you know you think about food far too much.

Recently I was lugging my hefty arse homeward up the hill, when I caught sight of a sign above a shop on the high street. Half the sign was obscured as I went around the corner, so I could only see:

N T A L
E R Y

Ooh wow! My heart skipped with excitement. Continental Bakery! There’s a bakery in this wee town! Happy days. But then I got closer and saw the whole thing.

D E N T A L
S U R G E R Y

How bloody sad am I?

. . .

Apologies for the lack of updates, work has been hellish. As for the Wednesday Weigh-In, I decided not to last week. I got on the scales last Monday night to find I was 3.5 kilos heavier than the previous weigh in. 3.5 kilos gained in 5 days? What the bloody hell!?

I can’t believe I am going to write about this, but I have always vowed to be honest about my weight loss adventures. And my adventures this past week just so happen to revolve around the complete TURMOIL in my digestive system.

I have never, ever had any problems with this sort of thing in my life but last week was crazy! Who knows why it happened? SC and I speculated at great length. Perhaps it’s the move to a mostly vegetarian diet, or the raging PMS, or the two under-ripe pears I ate (schoolgirl error, by the way – eating ONE under ripe pear is forgivable but to reach straight back into the fruit basket and scoff another?!).

Anyway, I was alarmed that after just five weeks of marriage our conversations had already degenerated into bodily function analysis. SC has no problems with this; he could talk for hours about the tonal variations of farts, how different foods prompt different pitches. Myself on the other hand had to admit to being somewhat of a bodily functions prude.

It took almost a year before I even so much as farted in front of SC. He was restrained at first, until Christmas Eve 2003 when I made a lentil curry for dinner. I was walking back to my room having taken our dirty plates to the kitchen, and there he was with his butt poised over the open window ledge and a guilty look on his face. What a gentleman, directing his farts out into the cold night air! These days he lets them rip any time and any place, quite often offering me a finger to pull.

Anyway, I can fart in front of him now but once we moved in I was rather self conscious about the toilet, as we’re only in a small flat and the walls are thin. So I tend to wait til the music is up loud before I go. Or wait til I’m at work. I confessed this to him last Monday night right after I’d confessed that I was having "problems".

"You wait til you’re AT WORK? Wouldn’t you be even more afraid of making noise?"

"Oh I’m pretty stealth, but as a precaution I go around 9.30 – 10 AM when everyone’s still at their desks drinking their coffee."

"Why don’t you just go here? I won’t hear anything! I won’t make fun of you!"

"But you DO already! Whenever I’m in the bath and I shift around and the bath makes that creaky squeaky noise I can hear you in the next room going, ‘AAHHAHAHA!’, even though it’s just THE BATH!"

"Well why don’t you just say to me, ‘Turn the music up, I’m going in!’"

Then he went on to say I shouldn’t be self conscious especially now we’re married and stuck with each other – I should just get in there and LET IT ALL OUT! What a sweetheart. But the next evening there had still been no movement at the station, I was in total agony – nauseous, crampy and almost crying because my stomach was so rock-hard bloated. Plus I’d "gained" another half-kilo. He was so sweet, I could see a million off-colour jokes running through his head but he managed to hold back!

Then next day I got home from work and instead of Hello Darling I got a gleeful, "I’ve been reading about constipation on the Internet!". He’d trekked to the chemist and got me some horrid little green pills. I took one as directed and now we just had to wait 10 to 12 hours for the "predictive relief" to kick in. That night as we drifted off to sleep he said, "All this anticipation, it’s worse than Christmas Eve. What a week – the new MotoGP season starting and waiting for your pills to work – I cannae stand the excitment!"

He called me at lunchtime the next day, "Soooo… how are… things?"

"Things are FINE, thank you! The building has been safely evacuated! Crisis averted!"

"Phew!"

Anyway, like I said, I dunno why this happened but I hope I never have to go through that excruciating pain again. Sorry to share that with you but I wanted you to know why I could not face the scale on Wednesday. Things are fine now and those 3.5 kilos are disappearing. I am back on track with my exercise; this running program is HELL but I know it is good for me but that’s another entry altogether! I think that’s quite enough for one day, eh?

Humph!

So I have been arguing with SC for the past hour why we SHOULDN’T go out running but it looks like I’ve lost. I tried to explain that I’ve got cramps, I need to cook dinner, I need to do some laundry and some writing. He just rolled his eyes. So I said WELL OKAY THEN, FINE! IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE ALL BOSSY ABOUT IT! So we’re going out in ten minutes.

Why does exercise have to suck so much? Why can’t I ever look forward to it! BAH!

. . .

8pm

Okay I’m back after completing the walk/run and still somehow we managed to cook some dinner. People often say, "Wow, you sure have gotten into the exercise. I’d love to be like that but I just don’t have the time!" Can you really, truly look at all the minutes in your week and not even find twenty spare for a wee walk? It’s more like, I don’t wanna make time for exercise! I could be napping or reading a magazine or scratching my arse! I tell you, when I am in this pissy PMSy mood, I could list you ten thousand things I’d like to do before I chose to exercise.

I was speaking to my mother yesterday and she was late calling me coz she was out walking. This is my workaholic, ultimate martyr mother who always cried dramatically, "I don’t even have time to bless myself!". Well she made a decision to get up half an hour earlier five days a week and walk with a friend. She’s been doing it since November! Well I refuse to let her have one over me, so looks like I will just have to keep bloody exercising then. Bah.

(Sometimes I quite like exercise. Just not today. Hehe.)

Feel Our Power

Would you cop a look at all those ideas for workout DVDs in the last entry? Thank you SO much to the groovy groovers who posted their favourites. Feel free to keep adding your comments, other people seem to be finding it handy too. I had no idea there were so many out there.

. . .

You may remember me mentioning the lovely Julia, who has in the past sent me sporty clothes and helped me get started with running. She has just started a blog herself, as she's aiming to blast away 5 stray post-baby kilos in the next 5 weeks. She's also training for a marathon! 5 days a week! She needs a cheer squad so why not head on to Five in Five. I give it 5 stars. Hehe.

. . .

Speaking of fabulous people you meet via the internets, I have to talk about Jillian again, San Francisco hostess-extraordinaire. You may recall me mentioning how Scottish Companion, my then-fiancee, did not know that I knew Jillian through Dietgirl. I just told him we'd be staying with This Chick I Know From The Internet. As the big day loomed I just couldn't seem to bring myself to tell him the truth, still feeling strangely embarrassed about the site and the fact I'd kept it from him for so long. Jillian told me she'd go along with whatever I decided, she and her hubby were even training each other to call me by my real name and not Dietgirl, ha ha!

Finally when we were sitting in Amsterdam airport waiting on our connection, I decided to 'fess up. We were tired, disheveled and barely coherent, so the timing was perfect!

"Hey Scottish Companion," I said nervously, "I have to come clean about something."

He turned paler than his already pale Scottish Complexion. "Oh?"

"I didn't meet Jillian through my blog. I met her through this other blog I have. It's about losing weight and stuff. And I've had it just as long as the other one. And I put in about the same amount of time on it. And people read it just as much."

"You are kidding me?"

I babbled on about being sorry for not telling him and blah blah blah, but he just said, "Jeez you had me worried! I thought it would be 'Wedding's off'. The last time a girlfriend said she had to come clean about something it was REALLY BAD! This is totally cool!"

So I told him a wee bit more about it and how there's all these groovy diet blogs and it's really motivating and blah blah blah. He couldn't believe I'd managed to keep it quiet for so long but he thought it all sounded very cool.

Anyway 12 hours later we sat in Jillian's SF kitchen and I told her that it was okay, HE KNEW THE SCORE! She seemed relieved, hehe. And as she prepared some verrry delicious salad plus soup with teeny tiny alphabet pasta in it, she told SC how she'd been reading Dietgirl for ages after someone at her Weight Watchers meeting mentioned it, and that it had been a fun and inspiring read. Well I tell you what, it was SO freaky to hear a real live person talking about this site, a person you'd only just met knowing all this stuff about you. It was like it finally dawned on me that the website was a real thing about a real person that people actually read while sitting down in front of their computers with a coffee. Until then I think I'd naively thought I was just tapping out my rants and raves and they just sort of floated around in the ether and some otherworldly beings left comments now and then.

And she talked about how she'd witnessed Dietgirl slowly transform from being very large and lonely and struggling with depression to someone significantly smaller and happier and about to be hitched. And I sat there thinking, "Holy shit! She's talking about me! I did all that stuff that she read about it! So that's who I've been writing about all this time! And now I am on the other side of the world about to eat her soup with teeny tiny alphabet pasta in it. How freaky cool is that!?"

Later as SC and I were drifting off to sleep at the jetlagged time of 7.30 PM, he snuggled up behind me and told me he was so proud of me and just amazed and awed that I was doing something that was helping and inspiring a lot of people. I squirmed and was too mortified to speak for awhile. But here's what I said to him and what I want you to all know.

"Well, hold on there tiger," is what I said, "I'm not like Oprah or anything. I am but one drop of oil in the large, vast deep fryer of inspirational bloggers out there."

I read a helluva lot of diet, health, fitness blogs, whatever you want to call them. It's the first thing I do when I get to work every morning (what a dedicated employee). Every day, without fail, there will be something there to make me think or smile or cry or giggle. Some  of you inspire me to run, some inspire me to cook some aduki beans, some inspire me to like myself more, some make me stop my whining and get on with it. No matter what mood I'm in, there'll be someone feeling the same way or someone who'll say the write the perfect thing to snap me out of it. This blog palaver has been the most important tool I've had while busting this lard. Not those bloody Slimming magazine stories where they say, "I walked the dog and ate fun-size Mars Bars and lost a steady 1 kilo a week!".

No, us bloggers are all in it for the long haul and share our ups and downs. We share information and inspiration and understanding. Think of your non-blog circle of friends out there in the Real World. How many of them are on Lard Busting Missions? How many of them understand your freaky struggles with Whole Pints of Ice Cream and love/hate relationship with the scale? How many of them are interested in talking about squats and omega-3s and calories burned?

So I just thought we should all stop and think for a wee moment about how cool this stuff is. It's only since I met Jillian and confessed to SC that I think I really fully appreciated just how important it is. So lets all gather in a big circle, group hug then hump each others legs like overexcited terriers and thank your chosen deity for bringing us the technology. RAWK!