Into Temptation

So this is Christmas, and what have you scoffed? I am doing well so far, from a combination of talking to myself (Do you need that chocolate? Do you really want it? Will you regret it once you’ve swallowed?) and/or chaining myself to furniture so I’ll stay out of the kitchen.

I’m all psyched for the culinary challenges ahead. Christmas Lunch with the In-Laws should be okay tomorrow, then it’s off to London for four days to celebrate with my sister. We’re cooking up a big feast that includes two desserts, and I plan to enjoy the whole thing. But it’s the leftovers and in-betweens that are always my downfall, turning Christmas Indulgence into a binge that lasts well into New Year. But I am determined to keep talking to myself and keep up the Home Gym exercisin’ to limit the damage. And not drink a whole bottle of port on my own this time. I gained over six kilos last year! I am not going there again, darnit.

Happy holidays to all you kids out there in fatblogland. Thanks for your inspiration and support.

Finally, check out this post from Denise that bought a wee tear to my eye.

See ya’s next year!

Lady In Brown

Mo of the rockin Big Fat Deal blog posted a link to Daily Mail article that says, "skinny people are more likely to be unhappy and commit suicide than those who are overweight".

This reminded me of a wintery day in 1999 where I went to see my GP for a check-up and she soon started rattling through a list of depression symptoms.

"Constant fatigue?"
"Yes."
"Feelings of hopelessness?"
"Yes."
"Loss of appetite?"
"Ha!"
"Suicidal thoughts?"
"Never."

And then I got the giggles. I knew that now matter how bleak and lost I felt, I’d never kill myself. Why? Because I was utterly mortified at the thought of a mortician looking my naked 350lb corpse.

That seems so wrong now but it still cracks me up to this day. Sorry. Sorry!

Well kids, last night I spent three hours traipsing up and down the streets of Edinburgh looking for something to wear for this goddamn work Christmas Party. It’s anything goes in terms of wardrobe, so it shouldn’t have been too traumatic. But after three stores I was on the verge of a major freakout and vowed, "If I don’t find something in the next fifteen minutes I am going to devise a violent stomach bug and call in sick tomorrow." Yes! I was fully prepared to waste the money I’d paid for my lunch, stay home and sulk in front of the telly.

I can comfortably wear a UK size 16, which on paper should open up a whole world of new clothes to me. But that doesn’t take into consideration my:

  • fear of colour
  • fear of fabrics that aren’t forgiving cotton/lycra
  • upper arm paranoia
  • reluctance to stray from my "Uniform" of 3/4 sleeve tops and flattering trousers
  • complete TIGHTARSEDNESS – ie. strong reluctance to fork out for nice new clothes when I am losing weight…and it’s not like I am trying to pick up a hot man at the party, is it?

I thought of What Not To Wear and tried to channel Trinny and Susannah. They are not afraid of fabrics and colour. But they always swan serenely round the stores, they’re not stupid enough to shop the night before a big party, one week before Christmas. They also don’t mind riffling through racks, whereas I stand at the entrance of the store, muttering and moaning, expecting the Ideal Garments to just float towards me like snakes to the snake charmer.

So last night I actually riffled. God it was depressing. There is still too much flimsy gypsy shit out there. I am afraid of floaty fabrics. But I got adventurous in Monsoon and tried a gorgeous floaty-yet-fitted teale-green skirt with lovely swirls. I felt rather sexy, and happy that the size 16 was a little loose around the waist. But I couldn’t justify the price, and then I realised even if I did fork out I’d have to spend another eleven bazillion hours looking for suitably strappy shoes to wear with it.

Oh yeah. My shoe situation is another example of my profound wardrobe neglect. I haven’t bought any new winter shoes for over two years, relying on a pair of crappy black ankle boots, that I keep reviving with heavy layers of boot polish. Shoe shopping is a nightmare for my broad size 8 (size 10 US/AU) hoofs, so last night I decided I must find something that wouldn’t require new shoes. Which ruled out skirts.

Next stop was H&M, my trusty standby. I thought of the time I had my Colours Done, and they told me I was a Warm Autumn, which basically means I look good in poo colours. So I tried on this chocolate brown top, which had a flattering v-neck, and a crossover thingy – which T&S say is great for big-boobed chicks as it divides the Boob Loaf thus avoids the dreaded monoboob. It was also made from cotton-lycra which skimmed over lumpy bits, AND it has that ruching on the stomach which T&S say disguises your rolls. It was quite flattering.

And only ten pounds! That’s even cheap in Australian dollars. Call off the search.

So I decided I’d wear that with some nice wide-leg trousers I’d got at H&M a few weeks ago, then just chuck on some jewellery to make it look more dressy. I spent twenty minutes looking for a new necklace before I got crowd-o-phobic, (what’s the proper word for that?!) ran screaming to the train station and went home.

Now here I am, all dressed up ready for the party in what basically is my Standard Issue Uniform in Brown. But I do feel reasonably attractive! Except for my mascara, which for some reason decided to dry up THIS MORNING so my eyelashes all clumped and twiggy. Oh and my lack of right-ear earring because the hole for some reason decided to completely close up THIS MORNING and no amount of stabbing is helping.

Next year, I will get my shit together. A skirt, a dress, some colour. I will be the belle of the ball. Next year!

UPDATE: It’s now Saturday. The party was good fun, and no one said I looked like a turd. Huzzah!

Clementines

Why do I always leave finding something to wear to the Christmas Party until two days before the freaking Christmas Party?!

UPDATE: Why does the BIG FAT FREAKING GIANT ZIT always start emerging on my chin two days before the freaking Christmas Party!?

I can’t seem to log in to NotifyList.com at the moment, so none of the subscribers will even bloody know I’ve updated, unless your psychic powers lead you to manually check for an update. Does anyone know of a good alternative?

Don’t forget you can subscribe to my RSS feed if you use Google Reader or Bloglines, which really are the bees knees way to read bazillions of blogs very quickly.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t like food so much. I get flamingly jealous of successful losers in slimming magazines who say they don’t really have a problem with food. The fat just sort of sneaked up on them, almost by accident; the cumulative effect of too many ready meals or takeaways or pregnancies or extra glasses of wine. Crikey. They just didn’t put the same enthusiasm into getting fat that I did! Ha!

I remember some folk in my Weight Watchers meetings who said they hated fooling around with food, and were more than happy to stick to the suggested meal plans. Some ate the same cereal for brekkie, made the same sandwich for lunch, boiled and grilled the same meat and veggies for dinner every day. They’d puzzle over the WW food lists and ask, "What the hell is this vegetable? What do I with it?". I’d be wriggling in my seat, fighting the urge to spew out fifteen different ways to slice and dice it.

But I’d stay silent, not wanting to reveal my true identity of Obsessive Glutton Girl. I was envious of these so-called Boring Eaters as they tended to be successful at busting the lard. Probably because they could just consistently stick to The Plan like a machine, and not be so easily distracted by every shiny fatty thing that went by.

Variety is the spice of life but a love of variety often leads to trouble, I tells ya. I gorge on food blogs, magazines and cooking programs. I get excited about new ingredients and recipes. I love the sights, smells and goddamn sexiness of it all. I love creaming butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until my arm aches. I love sitting in front of the oven and watching a cake rise. I love bludgeoning soups with my stab blender.  I love chopping herbs, hearing their little spines break beneath my knife.

I love wandering through markets, food courts and grocery stores. I love standing in front of bakery windows, slurping whipped cream from hot chocolates, reading online menus of restaurants I could never afford to eat in. Not at the same time, obviously.

I recently spent a whole ten minutes staring at a photograph of a broken-up block of chocolate.

Oddly enough I’m more interested in food living in Scotland, home of the deep-fried pizza, than I ever was back in Australia. Being so far away from home has made me more appreciative of (and nostalgic for) the wholesome fare of my childhood. Which is hilarious because at the time I hated eating meat that had once roamed our farm. I hated the weird, nobbly vegetables from our garden. I hated picking apricots and almonds. I remember sitting in the car absolutely mortified as my mother climbed a fence to raid the fig trees on the old Prisoner of War camp site in our town. I used to long for sausages in styrofoam trays, tinned fruit, and Heinz tomato ketchup instead of homemade relish.

So. I am trying to reconcile this ridiculous love of food with the need to be moderate and lose weight. I know it’s possible – just look at Argy, the Greek goddess of the kitchen. She loves food even more than I do, but her archives are littered with wholesome recipes that she has adapted from the original, less healthy versions. That lady can work wonders with a squeeze of lemon, olive oil and "loadsa herbs".

I’m training myself to be as excited by wholesome food as I am cakes or pies. I cannot make cookies without eating half the raw dough, thus I need to curb the baking until I get to my goal weight. So I’ve found some healthy things to get jazzed about. I have bought all the bits and pieces to make sushi, for example. And the other day I ordered a box of organic fruit and vegetables from a local delivery scheme, for the cheap thrill of not knowing what would be inside it, then having to figure out what to do with it.

The box arrived yesterday and it was hella cool. Clementines with the leaves still intact, sweet potatoes caked with dirt, perfectly imperfect carrots, tiny local apples, etc etc. I stared at it for ages, so overwhelmed by indecision then finally said, "Och, fuck it. I’ll just make soup."

Be Prepared

Well, bugger. I put on that 0.4kg I lost that week. I was nearly in tears as I stood on the scale at 6.20 this morning. How dare those scales show a gain! After all my efforts! My shoulders were still stinging from Body Pump, my thighs were still aching from RPM, my hips and waist felt narrower… so what gives?

I brooded the whole twenty minute walk to the train station. I just felt exhausted by all this effort to bust my lard. It just seemed uphill and somewhat futile. But then I remembered what I’d written in last week’s entry – it takes hard work and consistency. I may have exercised like a mofo last week, but along came the bag of hot chips I scoffed on Friday midnight, the extra toast with avocado, a wayward Marks and Spencer mini roll. It just goes to show that I cannot afford calorific indiscretions at this stage. You can get away with it when you’re 80 kilos overweight but not 11.7 kilos. It’s a whole new level of hard work and consistency now.

That’s why this whole concept of "plateauing" really irks me. I think people use it too freely. If I gain or stay the same, I am not going to put it down to a plateau. More times than not, your weight loss has not plateaued – your weight loss EFFORTS have plateaued. Let’s be honest with ourselves and cut the cotton-wool bullshit. If you look hard at your eating efforts (quality of calories, not just quantity) and exercise efforts (quality, frequency and intensity) it’s a rare day that you could find no room for improvement.

So there!

Pilates! Woo! I’ve just finished session four of a 6-week beginners class. I did a beginners course back in 2002 and absolutely loathed it. Just could not understand the concepts at all, and the convoluted breathing did my head in. But this time round I seem to be getting it, and can actually feel my abs working this time. It’s helping with my lifting too, just being more aware of my posture and using my abs for support.

For the first three weeks I was so paranoid that I was doing it all wrong. I hid up the back of the room, as always. The instructor didn’t come over and correct my form very often. I started to sulk, thinking she wasn’t bothering to help me because I was That Fat Chick Up The Back Of The Class Who Is Beyond Help. I was not worth her instructional while.

But this week when only five people were in the class she was quite chatty, and said how we were making amazing progress. We were up to like Week 10 status rather than Week 4. Well! Huzzah! And then I realised maybe she had not been correcting me because I did not need correction. I assumed that I was so weak and inflexible that she was just going to let me be in my freaky corner, but if I set aside the fat girl paranoia I really think I am getting the hang of this Pilates pilaver. See, it’s never too late to teach a fat dog new tricks!

Had a minor freakout earlier in the week about how to get all my exercise in over the xmas period. First there are all the social occasions to consider, and then my gym’s hours. I go to a Council gym with a very public service approach to opening hours. They are completely closed down between December 23 – January 5, and the cardio suite is closed down from NOW untl January 5 because they are replacing the floors (there goes my treadmill running idea). Plus most of my instructors have said next week is their last week of teaching for the year. Arrgh!

So I made a wee calendar in my trusty notebook for the next month. Filled in all the social/travel stuff. Filled in what classes I can do before the shut-down, then scheduled in home workouts for the other days. I got my weights and some DVDs – Tae-Bo, fitball and some wacky aerobic crap. So even we get eleventy million feet of snow I will have no excuse not to exercise, huzzah! I used to be a Brownie you know, our motto was BE PREPARED.

Oh hang on, that’s the Scouts. The Brownie motto was LEND A HAND. Well I supposed I am technically lending myself a hand, which is rather selfish and not in keeping with the Brownie spirit. But it’s a hand, nonetheless.