Think Thin!

I’m getting out the measuring cups, folks. I have officially declared this Watch Your Portions Week. I don’t have a problem eating the right kinds of foods, just a problem with eating too much of them. I am sure my brown rice portion is more suited to a family of four. A family of four gorillas. If gorilla families ate brown rice, that is.

Today I bought a small loaf of rye bread, a chunky doorstop of a thing. If you threw it at somebody’s head it might be fatal. I’ve always wanted to try the stuff, it looks so wholesome in a potential-deadly-weapon sort of way. But I toasted a thin slice and it was actually alright, although a little chewy. It went down nicely with an egg and spinach and grilled tomatoes and mushies. Hubba hubba.

In Scale news: there is no news. But I shall keep on keeping on! The exercise is alright and if I can get a handle on these portion sizes something will happen soon. I am feeling less flabby in the belly region so right now that’s good enough for me.

. . .

Thursday nights are sacred at Chez Dietgirl, well at least the precious minutes between 7.10 and 8 PM. The classic 60s series The Avengers is on BBC Four and we always tune in. It’s kitschy and hilarious and Gareth gets to perve on Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in her shiny leather trousers.

Last week’s episode was intriguingly titled, "How to Succeed… At Murder!" and featured a gang of Killer Secretaries that would bump off their bosses and take over their businesses. They would all meet up at HQ for briefings and fitness classes. You need more than shorthand to be a good killer secretary. There’s ballet and Strangulation 101 too.

Anyway, there was this fantastic sign in the classroom with the Killer Secretaries motto:

Sign

THINK THIN
TO BE SLIM IS TO BE SUCCESSFUL
NUBILITY = PROSPERITY

I thought of all the good folks in Fatblog Land and our constant search for words of motivation, so here are some more grainy screenshots.

Blondie

Blondie Secretary here strangled one guy with her stocking and shot another with a gun-shaped charm on her charm bracelet that was actually a REAL gun! All while thinking THIN!

Emma

Meanwhile our heroine Emma Peel doesn’t seem convinced by the sloganeering. She may be nubile, but working top secret for the British government hasn’t made her particularly prosperous.

Thin4

Here our hero John Steed is surrounded by leotard-wearing weapon-weilding Killer Secretaries. What is the collective noun for a bunch of Killer Secretaries? A tippex of Killer Secretaries? A memo? A staple? A shredder of Killer Secretaries? Anyway, power in slender numbers, gals!

Now even if you harbour no ambition to become a Killer Secretary, I’m sure you’ll agree these are words of wisdom and inspiration that can help you on your own lard-busting journey. A motto for life!

Rest In Pieces

How did this happen again? I had approximately seventeen different things to write about this week but didn't finish any of them. What I DID finish this week was all my scheduled exercise, woohoo! I am pleasantly knackered. Now that the exercise is more under control I need to be more watchful of the eating this coming week.

But first, today I get to rest. HURRAH! I'm meeting up with Andrea and we're heading deep underground in ancient Edinburgh. Spooky.

Ooh ooh! Highlight of the week! I bought a proper sticky yoga mat. No more skanky old towel for me! And Mothership, I even got it in my Colours! I feel more flexy and sexy already.

More soon… bon weekend, comrades!

Goals Goals Goals!

Apologies for the silence, folks! It was a busy and bittersweet ol' week but now I'm back to blogland. Albeit very gingerly as my arms so sore from last night's weights session that it even hurts to type. Exxxxcellent!

It's bordering on February so it's high time I posted my lard bustin' New Years Resolutions. I'm happy with how the 2006 list panned out but they were far too vague and open-ended:

  1. Reduce paranoia, increase confidence!
  2. Write like a mofo.
  3. Eat well
  4. Keep moving my butt.

So this year I shall be more specific. And my goals are mostly about the sporty stuff, because that is what keeps me motivated and interested. Also, I've got Goal 1 and 2 from last year well under control and Goal 3 doesn't need to be re-resolved because my eating takes care of itself so long as I am committed to moving my lardy arse as per Goal 4.

That's where I fell down last year. I exercised and lost weight consistently until May, when my knee problems got severe and I had to halt all exercise for awhile. I didn't reduce my food intake to compensate; in fact I ate more because my moods plummeted without the smug and happy feelings I get from moving my butt. In hindsight I should have come up with a new programme with all the things I could do, but instead my efforts were sporadic and I never really got any momentum going. I lost and regained the same few kilos for the last half of the year. I'd lose for awhile, then start pushing the exercise, then get hurt again and the cycle would start again.

But towards the end of 2006 I finally accepted that this knee thing is a long term issue, and so my 2007 goals are all about working within my limits. Hurrah.

So here we go! A lot of these goals might seem a little small or just really bloody dorky, but I've learned from the likes of Maggie and Kek that you need to be specific with your goals, otherwise I will have another year of bumbling along without significant results.

1. Reach goal weight of 75kg
It will happen this year. I'm not setting a date but it WILL BLOODY HAPPEN IN 2007! I've got the plan and the tools, I just have to actually apply myself consistently… and believe that I can do it.

2. Track food DAILY
Looking through my food journal last year there is a direct correlation between blank pages and weight gain. I need to write down what I eat. I'm sticking with my old friend WLR for this.

3. Do physio knee-hab exercises DAILY
At times I was sooo inconsistent last year and then wondered why it wasn't getting any better.

4.  Do three cardio sessions per week
At the moment this is limited to the recumbent or upright bike, usually intervals. My aim is to do this steadily for January and February with a view to building up to switching one of these sessions to a Spinning class by March. Fingers crossed!

5. Weight train 2-3 times per week
I've got an upper and lower body split mapped out for the next couple of months, a mixture of Cathe DVDs and gym stuff. The lower body work is not weighted at all coz of the knee – so lots of little floor exercises that are based on what the physio recommended.

6. Flexy/Stretchy/Relaxy stuff twice a week
Whether it's an hour of Pilates or a yoga class or just a 20-minute Cathe stretch DVD, I'm going to be more consistent with that stuff this year, coz I like that floaty feeling.

7. Learn to ride my bike down a hill!
Without crapping my pants. And also release death grip on the handlebars. And learn to turn a bloody corner! I can't go in a straight, flat line forever. Baby steps, people 😉

8. Try three new sporty activities in 2007
I'm excited about this one. I've been inspired by Mary organising all sorts of groovy activities for the Sydney bloggers to try, like archery and hooping. I like the idea of trying new things and taking exercise beyond the gym.

I'd have to say my proudest achievement last year was overcoming my ancient and irrational fear of swimming. Ever since I've wondered what else I can try. I've always told myself I was crap at all sports; that I was a book learnin' type and that was that. I have memories of being told the same by various teachers too. Here is a montage of my finest sporting moments:

  • scoring an own goal in hockey
  • passing ball to the opposing team in netball
  • swinging and missing and spinning round 360 degrees at golf balls, baseballs and cricket balls
  • finishing a one-mile running race eight minutes later than the rest of my class
  • getting stuck halfway through a backwards roll and having to be unraveled by the gymnastics teacher
  • instead of hitting tennis ball to person on other side of net, hitting ball over their head and over the fence and onto a bridge and hitting a truck
  • scoring another own goal in the same hockey match

So I've never been blessed with sporting prowess. But how much worse was it because of crap self-esteem and lack of confidence? Maybe it's not as dire as I thought. I didn't drown in the swimming pool, so that's somewhat encouraging! And I don't care about being any good – I'm at a point where failure is funny instead of humiliating. I just want to have a go.

And that's about it! It's all going well thus far and I'm feeling organised and focused. I am ticking boxes and filling in spreadsheets and feeling the pleasant ache of tired muscles. Rock on.

Six Pack

Tomorrow Dietgirl turns six years old. Well, technically Dietgirl has turned six already, as it’s already today in Australia, which is the wide brown land where it all began one stinky summer Monday in 2001.

It was strange reading back over the early entries the other day. Usually if I plunder the archives I feel awed by how much has changed, or I struggle to relate to my old mindset. This time round I was actually… a wee bit jealous. In 2001 I was so single-minded and determined. Losing weight was Priority One and all my mental and physical energy was poured into the enormous task at hand.

 That’d come in handy right now, I thought. It seemed so much less complicated back then.

But then I realised that in 2001 losing weight was Priority One quite simply because it my only Priority. I didn’t have any competing interests. I had non-demanding job I could do in my sleep, a comfortable life in the suburbs of Canberra, no hobbies, minimal dramas and very few relationships. I’d retreated from all of my friends and was quite the hermit. And in some ways I think it needed to be like that, to allow the time and space to tackle such an overwhelming task.

In the years that followed it’s been one bloody obstacle after another.  Family dramas, moving overseas, travel, work dramas, wedding and visa shenanigans, knee dramas, bah blah blah. Sure enough the lard has come off a helluva lot slower. When I’m in a bad mood I sometimes wonder if I deliberately make things harder for myself.

But then again they’ve not really been obstacles so much as they were just… life happening. And that’s something that I didn’t have when I started this blog six years ago. It was just me and my dog and a bag of chips and a block of Cadbury’s. Weight loss may have been "easier" back then, but I’m glad that these days there’s a lot more going on.

And now for some thrilling statistics…

  • I weighed in today at 81.3 kg, meaning I lost an incredible 5.4 kilos in Year 6… that’s a whopping ONE POUND PER MONTH!

(I know, I know, my jaw is still on the floor too! But at least my Xmas Blubber is coming off.)

  • In the past six years of blogging I have used the word CHOCOLATE approximately 192 times.
  • And the word ARSE has been used 152 times. No wonder the Minneapolis Star-Tribune warned last week that this blog contains "frank language".
  • I first used the phrase "onward and downward" on 12 April 2001 and I still mutter it to myself in the mirror when feeling flabby.

And now onward and downward into Year 7 of the World’s Slowest Weight Loss Adventure. Thank you all for sticking around for so long!

Next entry I will finally post my goals for the next twelve months because dudes, I am finishing the job this year. I am channeling the Determined Dietgirl of 2001 and I’m feeling mighty positive about the way things are going. 

Besides, even if I lose one measly pound a month like in 2006, I can still get there.

Great Veggie Box Mysteries

So… what to do with the celeriac, the orange pumpkin thingy and the fennel? Not all at once, mind; but if anyone has any ideas that'd be tops!

Update: Whoa! Thanks a bazillion comrades! After much deliberation and examination of wot's in our pantry I've finally narrowed it down. Since the celeriac is so huge I think I will use half for this mustardy mash and half in Kathryn's celeriac, leek and white bean soup. Then methinks the pumpkin cauldron looks good, and Cal's suggestion of braised fennel a la Orangette looks like a winner. I've made Molly's braised cabbage many times and it changed the way I looked at the humble green lump forever. Ooh yeah.

Update Update:  16/01 Sorry to keep adding to this post, long-suffering Bloglines subscribers; but I'm in LURVE with celeriac! I ended up roasting half of it along with a bit of that amazing pumpkin. The pumpkin had a strong, nutty flavour and the celeriac was gorgeously sweet.

The next night I made celeriac mash with the rest of it, with vegie sausages. On the side was some curly kale and Molly's braised fennel. I was a bit worried because when raw the aniseed pong was overwhelming, but the braising really mellowed it out.

Last night I roasted to the last of the pumpkin and a chunk of butternut and chucked it in a risotto, phwoar! Thanks again for all your ideas. I hope we get another pumpkin next week!

2006: Where Did It All Go Right?

Thanks very much for all your comments on the last entry! You’re all legends, I tells ya.

And thanks so much for no one writing to tell me to Get Over It. It’s great to vent and not get a lecture in my Inbox on the perils of Being Negative. If you don’t address the negatives now and then, how else do you see where you can improve? I felt disappointed by aspects of my “performance” and it felt good to acknowledge that by whinging, moving on… and using it for motivational fuel this year.

So let’s talk about the good bits today. I started 2007 smaller, fitter and marginally lighter than I was twelve months ago. Woohoo to that. I’ve been thinking about all the things that helped me along and came up with a list – my Top Ten Flab-Fighting Tools of 2006!

  1. Blogging – Well, DERR! It’s still my most essential tool. Where would I be without reading and writing blogs? On a couch eating chocolates. Seriously, there were times last year when I wanted to torch this blog, namely when everyone at work found out about it again. But once I realised that while people may think it’s dorky to write about your flab on the internet, it’s not like people didn’t already know that I was a dork. So CARRY ON BLOGGING, I say!
  2. Keeping a Food Diary – an oldie but a goldie. The minute I stop writing down what I eat, extra food starts creeping in. In 2006 I tried tracking on paper as well as a number of online tracking tools, but in the end came back to my old favourite Weight Loss Resources.
  3. Veggie Box Delivery – And to think a year ago I was living in a world without kohlrabi. Every two weeks a box of fruit and veggies is abandoned on our doorstep and it’s been a hoot trying to figure out what to do with it. The box forces you to be more imaginative with your cooking and vegetables become the focus of your meals. And you may also experience feelings of smug wholesomeness.
  4. Cathe Strength Training DVDs – I chucked a tantrum when my dodgy knee ruled out my much-loved Body Pump classes. There was no point paying for the class when I couldn’t do half the moves. But I missed the structure and being told what to do, so it was Cathe Friedrich to the rescue.  I was skeptical that I would get any results from a dusty collection of weights at home, but my upper body strength and tone improved so much in 2006.
  5. Lemons and Limes – They just make food more interesting. They can jazz up a can of tuna or avocado on toast, breathe life into salads or rice or lentils and make a panful of wilted greens and garlic droolworthy. I always make sure we’ve got half a dozen of each laying round, and carry a few spares in my pockets in case of flavour emergencies.
  6. Pilates – I still don’t know if I am doing the breathing right, but in one class last year I remember laying on my back, abdominals screaming with my legs in a vaguely gynecological position, feeling incredibly peaceful and remembering how cool it is to make your body do stuff instead of stuffing it with food.
  7. Physiotherapy – Eight months of physio and my knee is still dodgy. But eight months of physio taught me to be patient. That your body deserves to be listened to. That ignoring pain gets you nowhere. That doing too much to soon means you’re an idiot. And that your physio can’t perform miracles if you don’t bloody do your exercises between visits!
  8. Frozen Edamame – Wee baby soya beans are my Snack of the Year! I’ve mentioned these a bazillion times before but I hate to think of all the toast I would have scoffed if I hadn’t had these little babies to scoff into when I get home from work. I zap a handful in the microwave then eat em plain or with some black pepper and lemon. And three cheers for frozen mixed vegetables for lazy dinners and frozen berries for easy smoothies. Hail Freezer!
  9. Weight Watchers cookbooks – I went mental buying WW cookbooks on eBay this year, because the recipes are so bloody easy and the ingredients are always basic. My favourites are two Aussies – Contented Tummy and Everyday, and two UK ones – How To Eat and How To Cook the WW Way. 
  10. THE SCALES – After years of vowing otherwise, I have decided once and for all that the scales actually ARE my friend. I’ve been in denial, because to say you like to weigh daily always sounds like you’re obsessed. So for December 2006 I conducted a scale-free experiment and it was a disaster. I gained four kilos. As soon as I stopped checking in on the number I became thoughtless about my food choices. We all know the number wildly fluctuates according to what you ate the night before, fluid retention, whatever. But I know the difference between temporary bloat and a genuine upward trend, it’s just a matter of being honest with myself about which one it is. Keeping an eye on the number is different than becoming a slave to the number. A quick hop on the scale each day gives me a general indication of how things are progressing. It’s not an obsession; it’s just another tool that keeps me on track.

So what worked for you guys in 2006?