Honorably Discharged

Well that was a slightly longer break than expected! The Mothership ended up staying an extra day, then last night I was too busy moping around watching Wimbledon to do much bloggin’.

It was great to see Mum again. It had only been eight months since I was in Australia, and she never feels that far away with the phone and emails, but it’s always nice to get face time. It’s also kind of weird, seeing a body attached to all that voice and text. She did her usual disconcerting thing of just STARING at times, as if she couldn’t quite believe we were in the same room.

She also insisted that I was much slimmer than October, and her fella chimed in too and said I must have lost a stack more weight.

"Not really," I replied. "Maybe five more kilos if I’m lucky".

It’s probably closer to eight or nine kilos, but the visible difference is most likely due to how bloated I was the last time they saw me, when I’d been eating my way around Australia for three weeks straight.

But still. It was lovely of them to say so. Even though it reminded me that my loss since then averages out to like, one kilo per month. Good lord, it’s taking eons!

. . .

I’m pretty happy with my eating while Mum was here, a few too many chocolate biscuits but och well. I have reserved three fun size Cherry Ripes from the bag she’d brought over, which I will only allow myself to ration out once I’m in the 70s! And (un)fortunately she couldn’t find any small bars of Cadbury’s Triple Decker (milk/white/mint) so I haven’t had to try and stay away from that.

I’m back on track now, so woohoo!

. . .

Dudes! I made my book writin’ deadline this month. 2002 is done! Well, the very shitey first draft of it, anyway. So it’s onto 2003 for July. Baby steps…

. . .

I’ve been discharged by the Neck Physio. I’m a little sad because he’s a nice bloke and I enjoyed the painful manipulations on a perverse level! Yesterday he did some bizarre maneuvers on my back to banish a mighty muscle spasm and it was excruciating! But it’s all feeling so much better now. He says my posture has improved and I am no longer bobbing around like an emu. So now it’s up to me to keep managing things. Rest, exercises, stretches, heat, etc etc.

Meanwhile the knee WAS feeling so much better, until I stupidly did my Cathe Gym Style Chest & Triceps DVD last week. You start off with a drop set of push-ups, a set of 16 then a short break, then 14, 12, 10, 8… etc etc, until you’re down to one excruciating 4-count push up. 72 in total.

I could only do the first two on my toes before flopping to the floor like a theatrical footballer, so I did the rest on my knees. Didn’t even occur to me until I’d finished the set that perhaps that wasn’t the best idea. The Knee Physio had told me right at the start to avoid kneeling but with the other 457 things I have to remember to do or not to do with all my stupid various hurty body bits, I FORGOT. Then walking round the cobbled, hilly streets of Edinburgh’s old town on Tuesday didn’t seem to help either. ARRRGH. So I’ve been resting and icing to calm it all down again. Methinks I will do the pushups by rolling out on my Swiss ball, or skip them altogether for a wee while.

. . .

Trousers! Pants! Slacks, if you’re an old fuddy duddy! Whatever you call them, they’re those things you put on your legs so the world doesn’t have to see what you look like in your undies. I sent Mum a last-minute text asking could she look for some pants for me in Oz since the ones I bought in October are getting too big. Why pay £20 ($50 AU) at H&M in Scotland if she can pay $20 (£8) at Katies or Sussan or similar in Oz?

The Mothership came up with the goods. Three pairs, each on sale for $15. They are far too tight to be worn in public but with a few more kilos off I’ll be in business…. SIZE TWELVE, baby! (US 10) When was the last time I could get into a size 12? When I bloody was twelve!

Bon weekend, lovelies.

Old Gold Chocolate

Ten days! Ten days of good behaviour in a row!

Woohoo!

I’ve been muttering to myself so often during these ten days that people must be wondering if I am a deranged serial killer. But don’t lock up your children and pets, folks! It’s just harmless dialogue between me and my brain so we prevent each other from eating anything stupid.

No official weigh-in this week coz the results would be skewed by my extreme bloatedness. But if I keep this up there could be a positive result next Wednesday. The Mothership arrives this weekend but that shouldn’t be too bad as she’s healthy eater herself, althought she’s bringing me a stash of Aussie chocolates! I will have to lock them up until further notice. I am still in that fragile state where I feel I could be undone by just one mini Cherry Ripe, so methinks I should steer clear for now.

Other news in brief!

Neck News: Responding well to better posture, exercises and a groovy little wheat bag that you heat up in the microwave then slap onto your hurty bits.

Knee News: Seems to be improving *touch wood* and physio says one more week of rest and boring quad exercises *touch wood* then I should get on my bike and pedal *touch wood* in a low gear sans-hills for ten minutes and see how it feels. Since I’ve had this injury over a year he says it’s very important to take things very slowly, so I don’t end up back where I started yet again.

Writing News: Warning! Only read on if you’re interested in the boring and laborious writing process.

ARRRRRRRRRGH! I still have 2.5 months of 2002 to finish by tomorrow night. ARRRGH! Too much World Cup watchin’, I tells ya. And 2002 has proved such a dirty bitch to write about. Six months of the 2002 Dietgirl archives are missing due to a database failure so I have to write so much of it from scratch. You may be gasping, she’s not writing the whole thing from scratch? Well no, of course I’m not. I have tens of thousands of words already written that capture the moments so much more vividly and accurately than my shitty memory could. It’s a great starting point. Some of it is useable as is, but soooo much of it is messy, disjointed, and poorly-written so it is a stinkingly mammoth task to give it structure and continuity. Plus there’s bazillions of gaps and inconsistencies in the story, so there’s bazillions of words to write and re-write.

I decided to stick with a diary format. But not in choppy "10st, 3 gins, 45 cigarettes" Bridget Jones sort of way. Proper prose but keeping the diaryness. I tried to do it all "novel-like" but got so mixed up with my tenses I nearly threw my iBook out the window. I think the diary format is the way to go for a long, rambling weight loss journey because it keeps things immediate and personal and allows for dramatic mood mood changes every five paragraphs, which is how it is when you’re trying to lose blubber. I know there’s a few writerly/edity types out there so if you have any better ideas let me know. But gently, coz I am 34K words (of shite) into this and fairly committed to the format, hehe.

HOLY SHIT I better go and get on with it. Another sub-par entry but I will be back when the Mothership departs on Wednesday. Take care, groovers!

Medium Rare

Well helloooo, dear comrades. It looks like I’ve developed a once-a-week blogging pattern lately. Consequently this is going to be long. If you want, you could just read a paragraph each day, and pretend I’m a proper, dilligent blogger!

. . .

Oh the joy of lifting heavy objects! These week I’ve started upper body weights again, hurrah! I went a bit lighter, just to be on the safe side. But it felt brilliant to be sweaty and exhausted. And I’d missed the delicious smugness that comes after a good workout.

I’ve been wearing my pedometer too. What a wake-up call that was! I’d been overestimating how much I trot around. I assumed my work walks would easily take me up to the hallowed 10,000 but it’s more like 7000. D’oh! So I’ve been squeezing in some lunchtime and evening walks. I reckon I need more like 20,000 steps if it’s going to make up for the lack of Proper Cardio.

I’m still avoiding the scales, at least official weigh-ins. I hop on most mornings just to suss things out, and it’s been hovering around the same number, give or take a pound, for a few weeks now. My eating was swinging from angelic to diabolical for awhile there, but I’ve reformed now.

. . .

In other news, I bought a bunch of new tops from H&M last week… size Medium! After years of seeing multiple X’s on my labels, I was happy enough to graduate down to a solitary L. But an M! From a Normal Shoppe! That rules.

. . .

So… my injuries. I am sort of resigned to the fact that things may never be 100%. It’s not like you can pop a pill and be cured. Backs and knees and shoulders are tricky buggers. You can never completely rest them. You can stop your high impact sports, but there’s still all those other hours in the day where you still have to sit in chairs or sleep in a bed or walk to the shops. The body never stops working. All I can do is manage these injuries and do my best to work around them and not make things worse.

Knee Report: Cutting out all cardio seemed to help the pain and it’s a little less tender. The sports physio seemed to think this is progress, and wants to give it another week of rest, aside from the knee exercises. He says realistically, the grinding sound won’t go away. It’s just getting the knee to a point where I can exercise without pain. I am beginning to wonder if I’ll ever get to that point.

Shoulder Report: As I mentioned in the last entry, I had an assessment by an NHS Physio (NHS = National Health Service, ie long waiting lists but free). The NHS Physio seemed to think the problem orginates in my neck, not my shoulder. He actually said I had a neck DEFORMITY.

“Dude!” I squeaked, “Isn’t that a rather strong word?”

But the neck is weak, grasshopper. I can’t turn my head to the right half as far I can turn the left. He pointed out how crap my posture was; how I seemed to cock my head to the right when I talked to him. On reflection, this is something I have done for a long time. Like a TV journalist does when they are pretending to be in deeply interested in their interviewees. The Hmmmmm position.

I admit I tend to favour that side, like scrunching the cordless phone on my right shoulder or leaning on that side if I snooze on the train or writing with old fashioned pen and paper. The dude had a scientific name for it that I can’t recall, but basically it was something about some nerve being sort of squished on the right side of my neck, and this explained all the numbness and tingling in my neck, arm and hand. Not to mention the horrible headaches on that side of my noggin’.

He did a lot of tests, and my yelps of pan at various intervals convinced him this was indeed the cause. But why did it get suddenly worse? More hours at the computer, more shithouse posture. He didn’t use the word shithouse, just the word terrible. Which sounded more terrible than shithouse, methinks.

I had my second appointment yesterday and he performed some serious manipulations. I had been working diligently on my posture since the last visit, but he still noted my tendency to tilt my head forward and round my shoulders. What can I say? It’s the legacy of being obese, I’m always trying to take up less space!

So my posture is an ongoing project. I’ve found a weekly yoga class just ten minutes walk from my house! Once my knee is up to the bending, I’ll be cracking on with that. In the meantime I have oodles of neck exercises to do. And when I do my upper body weights, I’ve been watching my posture in the glass reflection of a painting in the living room, for lack of a mirror. It was a shock to see my rounded shoulders and lazy stomach! I haven’t exercised with mirrors since I left my Fancy Gym in February 2005 and it’s evident I’ve been slacking.

But the main mission is to improve my everyday posture. Which means careful use of computers! To balance work computering, blogging and frantic book writing with the need for REST! And sunlight and fresh air! It’s a challenge, I tells ya!

ARRGH the book. I am so behind schedule for this month. I will have to clear the calendar for this weekend and write like the clappers in between madly cleaning the house in readiness for the Mothership Visit on July 2! Woohoo!

Hope you are well and excuse the Dear Diaryness of this entry.

How To Let Go

Sometimes I wonder if I am a positive person, or if I am just faking the lifestyle of a positive person. Can you consider yourself a positive person if you have to constantly remind yourself to be positive?

I’ve been hiding from this website because I feel like a fraud. People sometimes write to say I am honest and inspirational and determined and positive, and I feel guilty as I’ve not felt like any of those for a wee while.

Over the past month I tried to dilute how bad this injury crap has made me feel, so not to come across as a self-pitying whiner. But last week it all boiled over and I was not a nice person to live with. I stomped around, mentally composing entries full of anger and frustration and general woe. I stopped short of actually writing them, because after a few hours and perhaps some perspective from the Scottish Companion, I’d simmer down. I’d sniff out the positives like a truffle pig, then go back and edit out all the venom.

Then on Saturday around 3AM, I finally sat down at the keyboard and exploded! In the textual sense. About 800 words of pure rantage.

I knew I was being irrational and I knew other people had terrible diseases and all manner of proper tragedies. I knew that I had lost perspective on a trifling sporting injury. So I ranted to imaginary readers, begging them not to write and tell me to get over it or I would just cry. And as much as I’d appreciated everyone’s medical advice and exercise tips of late, I wasn’t looking for that today. I just needed the world to let me vent. RAH!

I’ll go through the rubble of the entry and give you a quick summary.

First I wrote about how the lack of exercise was making me feel down. I’d been off "full schedule" for over a month. I missed the structure it gave to my days, I missed the sense of purpose, the sweat, the spreadsheets. Most of all I missed the happy chemicals in the brain.

Then came a dozen paragraphs re my frustration at not being able to take advantage of the good weather and ride my brand-new bike.

And how it’s all my fault because I neglected the knee for almost a year.

And how I’ve been consumed by anger at myself for not listening to my body or my head for so long.

How I valued the opinion of others above my own my brain and pain, because I assumed they knew what was best for my body more than I did, since they were skinnier/smaller.

How I therefore started exercising again too soon and caused further damage.

How didn’t take myself or the pain seriously.

Like how I never went back to the physio I saw last June, because in my fat girl paranoia I felt like I was wasting his time. After all I was just a fat chick flirting with exercise, not a legitimate sporty person. How could a big lump like me possibly have a real injury?

Hmm, what else?

How I was frustrated because I’d gained a pound. Only A Pound but that meant yet another month had ended with no progress, making three months with no significant loss.

How these last 6 kilos are proving the most difficult and stressful than any of the other 70-something already gone.

I almost edited out that sentence, as I don’t want to insult people who have far more left to lose. Five years ago I would have killed to be where I am now. But as someone who has filled the shoes of Staggeringly Obese, Obese, Still Pretty Fat and Almost Healthy Weight all for extended periods of time, I can honestly say this stage is somehow the most overwhelming and frustrating of all.

Thankfully for anyone still reading, I ran out of steam after that. I hit Save Draft and headed for bed, not before seething with bitterness until about 4AM.

Saturday morning I got up and forgot about the computer. I ate banana on toast, watched the MotoGP qualifying, kissed the Scottish Companion goodbye, then hopped on a plane for London.

A ridiculous seven hours later (thanks to the joys of public transport delays), I was walking through Hyde Park. Previously I’d only been to London in the winter, so I lapped up the grassy breeze, the trees, the rollerbladers and roses; the kamikaze insects splattered on my sunglasses.

Quite simply, I could feel my body and brain finally begin to chill the fuck out.

There’s something about being in the Big Bad City that always brings perspective. All those people from all over the planet, so busy busy busy getting on with all kinds of lives.

I caught the train back home yesterday, for variety. It was the most blissful four hours I’ve spent in ages. No computer, no phone and a quiet, near-empty carriage. Just me and the sandwiches, grapes, trashy magazines, Gareth’s iPod and a tiny wee bar of Green and Blacks chocolate.

Looking out the window at the English countryside in its green and glorious Englishness, I decided it was time to give the boot to all the crazy anger and anxiety I’ve been dragging round for weeks.

I even sniffed out a few positives from this injury debacle:

1.  It’s a learning experience. I sure as hell won’t ignore my body again.

2.  It makes for a small, albeit tedious sub-plot in the Dietgirl story.

And speaking of which!

3.  The enforced rest has given me more time to write! I met my self-imposed deadline for May of completing the first draft of 2001. I cut it a wee bit fine by finishing at 11.45 PM on May 31, but I did it! Baby steps actually work!

I’ve also dragged out my old pedometer. Walking shall be my main exercise until the knee improves and I will obsessively count my steps, cannily satisfying my need to be obsessive about numbers.

Maybe this is what being a positive person is – the ongoing management of the way you react to life’s little challenges. You can shit your pants for awhile, but then you try to sift through the shit and salvage the good stuff. I mean, surely no one is positive about everything straight away? Don’t you have to mull it over awhile and then decide how you’ll deal with it? Or maybe there are genuine 100% cheery optimists out there, always on duty. If so, I’d like to punch them all in the face.

Pep Talkin’

It’s been a week of ups and downs. The first down was weighing in and finding out I’d gained four pounds over the previous two weeks. If you don’t mind I won’t be updating the weight on the sidebar because it’s too bloody depressing, and I am determined to reverse it as soon as possible.

Admittedly my eating hadn’t been perfect, but the real killer has been the drastic reduction in my exercise. I’m just not burning the same amount of calories. My cardio is restricted to bike and elliptical trainer on doctors orders, which can get mighty tedious no matter how funky the tunes are on your iPod.

And I miss my weight training so badly. I’m strictly forbidden to do lower body weights, and looks like upper body weights are out for now too – I did Cathe’s Pyramid Upper Body last weekend and was in agony afterwards – screaming shoulders and back – and not in that pleasant, smug muscle singing way. It seemed to exacerbate the problems I’ve been having. After a week on holiday I thought I was mended again, but as soon as I got back to work and computering again, things started to hurt. Despite being extra vigilant about posture.

Even Pilates is a bitch. Between the knee and the shoulder, the simplest moves feel awkward or painful, like the all-fours box position (kneeling hurts), or the most basic face-down "swimming" move where you simply lift your arm off the floor (poor mobility in that bloody shoulder). I’m so busy trying to arrange my body in the least painful configuration that I forget to do my breathing and stomach contractions properly, which is the whole bloody point of Pilates.

So I definitely need to speak to the physio, yes indeedy. But can I just vent for a minute?

ARRRGH! ARrrghhhh! AaaarrrghHHH!

So that’s why I haven’t written here all week. Have just felt too bloody demoralised and didn’t want to come here just to whinge.

I am sick of the sound of myself! I missing feeling sporty and strong. Instead I feel flabby and paranoid. I’m convinced my biceps are deflating and my stomach is one jiggling, untamed tsunami of flesh.

But I did say there were Up moments this week! It’s been raining all week, which hasn’t helped my mood, but there was a brief chink of dry yesterday in which I was out on my bike. I felt so much more comfortable with that machine, I wobbled less and I even went down a hill and enjoyed it! Okay, it was hardly Everest. But it was slope in the park that I used to whinge about when I had to run up it, so I will count that as progress. I had such a great time. This could be my saviour!

I need to stay positive, instead of moping about wishing I could get a transplant for the entire right side of my body. I need to get through this. I need to find ways to burn calories without causing further injury. I might need to eat less to compensate. But I can’t keep letting things overwhelm me and let even more pounds sneak back on. It may take longer and I may have to do it differently than I’d planned, but I’m too close to the end to screw it up now.

RAH!

Don’t Like Hills

The shoulder is much improved! Thanks to rest and ibuprofen and stretching and paying attention to my posture, I’m no longer in agony. I even cranked out 1300 words of Book yesterday with no major problems. As I said in the comments of the last entry, it’s no good me doing all these bloody Pilates classes and yoga tapes if I’m not going to put it into practice in everyday life.

Today at the physio we focused more on my Dodgy Knee. What Dodgy Knee, you may ask. Well it’s the same ol knee I injured during my running training last year. It’s still giving me trouble almost a year on, I just haven’t been boring you with the tedious details. It seems ridiculous that I could still be having problems from such a brief flirtation with running, but it’s true. While the pain eased the general grinding and sporadic aches never really improved. And because I’m a bloody idiot, and got used to the sensation, I never got round to doing anything about it til now.

I don’t want to go into too many details, because it’s impossible to accurately describe almost a year of various pains and attempts at healing and medical advice in just a few paragraphs, and it’s always open to misunderstandings and assumptions and that can be frustrating. But in summary, it turns out the knee is still in very bad shape. The exercises my last physio prescribed were apparently doing more harm than good, and my attempted Running Comebacks were premature. And some of the things I did thinking they were Low Impact were actually too much impact.

Arrgh. Arrgh. So. It’s going to take some fixin’. I’ve got 4-6 weeks of therapy coming up. No lower body weights, no squatting, no kneeling, no rowing and running is totally out. I’ve only to do the most teeny tiny exercises, like tensing my quad and releasing. Six sets of ten. Exciting. And after this time if it doesn’t respond I may have to be referred to the dude that has the camera thingies they stick in your knee to clean out all the debris that may be floating around in there.

Which of course freaking terrifies me. I don’t want anyone digging around inside my knees! I will do these exercises and rest and make every attempt to avoid the digging.

You have no idea how angry and frustrated I am with myself right now! I am so crap at listening to my body. All this past year I have been so obsessed with getting fitter and smaller that I just neglected to properly treat this knee. Since the crippling pain had gone, I thought it was okay to have the freakishly loud grinding. I didn’t do this out of misplaced martyrdom, I just stupidly got used to it and got busy with my weights and kickboxing and lord knows what, all the while making it worse.

Anyway, I’ll stop my whinging. The upside is, I’m in truly excellent hands. And I am determined to be a good, responsible patient this time. I’ve learned my lesson.

. . .

At least I have full blessing to cycle. I got my bike on Saturday and it RULES. We rode seven miles that afternoon and I had a ball, when I wasn’t crapping my pants with terror. I had my fingers poised over the brakes the whole way, just in case, and when we got back my hands ached from gripping the handlebars so hard. Nearly fell off coming back into our driveway, upon realising too late that I lacked the balancing skillz to do a hand signal.

On Sunday we went to the park where I was humiliatingly overtaken by a swarm of six-year-olds. Then I discovered my fear of descents most definitely applies to bikes as well. Anytime there was even a hint of a downward slope – say, the distance between the top of a Mars Bar to the bottom – I would freeze and dismount and whimper, "I don’t like hills! I don’t like hills!".

It’s a learning curve, I tells ya.

. . .

So Gareth and I are away tomorrow for a couple of days to see my beloved Radiohead and have our first non-wedding-related break together! Huzzah. I promise to return refreshed and ungrumpy. Take care, dear comrades!

Sporty Spice

Yesterday my GP said I was, "obviously a very sporty person". I almost snorted, but mostly I wanted to drop to my creaky knees and kiss his feet. He made my day.

He also agreed that my shoulder is screwy. I got a physio referral but the appointment isn’t for a couple of weeks and I don’t think I can wait much longer. Been calling round today, trying to get a private appointment but having no freaking luck at all. The back of my hand and under my collarbone are all tingly/burny and it feels freaky I tell you.

(Update: Just got an appointment for Monday. Huzzah!)

He also gently pointed out that my posture was appalling and that was certainly not helping. Even sitting there in the surgery, I was slumped in the chair, my shoulders bunched up around my ears and my back curled. You know what it is? I sit like I still weigh 350 pounds. I sit like my chins blend into my boobs with no defined neck, like there’s still that giant wall of flesh between my spine and the back of a chair, like my arse and stomach is a vast moat surrounding me. I looked in the mirror and you could just see it in my posture, me in the middle of the chair with all the space around me filled with invisible fat.

I might try walking round with a book on my head.

. . .

Another 0.7 kg (1.5 lb) surrended before the scales yesterday. Hurrah!

The Scottish Companion and I are heading off for a couple days next week, so there’ll be a fortnight before the next weigh-in. I must be strong, grasshoppers! I do not want a repeat of the Portugese Pounds.

. . .

A huge thanks for the comments on the last entry. Lots of great cycling anecdotes and ideas. And a particularly cheers to Nic who has provided me with something new to obsess about: online rowing. And then Anna emailled with some excellent tips on rowing technique. Cool. How dull would life be without the internet?

. . .

So it’s May. A third of the year is gone. OH DEAR. A third of 2006, people! What a slap to the chops that is.

One nice thing is I’ve now successfully and religiously tracked my food for four straight months, something I’ve not done for years. And I am detailed, man. My spreadsheet gives me the horn.

Here are some fascinating statistics for you! In the first four months of this year, I have consumed, among other things:

  • 23 cans of tuna
  • 96 apples
  • 57 almonds
  • 54 bowls of porridge
  • 9 chocolate digestive biscuits
  • 205 cups of tea
  • 5.5 glasses of wine
  • 1 serve vegetarian haggis
  • 53 pieces of sushi
  • 480g of chocolate

I don’t know why I get such immense satisfaction from knowing this information, but I do.

Stickability

Wednesday Weigh-In: 0.7kg (1.5lb) gone.

So I’ve now finally lost my Portugal Pounds. 6 weeks to lose 6.5 pounds. So much for the idea that Holiday Gains are temporary! That said, I’ve only been working really hard for half of those weeks. I still want to take it up a notch this week, and get both exercise and eating right in the same week. I want this loss to stick. I want Virgin Territory next week! Woohoo!

. . .

I cannae type no more, cap’n. My shoulder is killing me. In fact, the pain starts in the side of my neck then shoots down the side of my forearm, through my wrist down to my freakin’ thumb. My good ol dodgy right shoulder again. Not sure why. Maybe too much furious writing/typing? Maybe I pulled a wrong move with the weights. Och well. I have a date with some ice and ibuprofen. Rest, rest, rest.

In the meantime, please chat amongst yourselves. How’s life treating you today? What’s been happening?

Stacks On!

My motivations have subtly changed. In the aftermath of the Shitty Twix Incident, I was reassessing my reasons for wanting to bust the last of this lard. It slowly dawned on me that Busting Lard in itself is not enough motivation anymore. Fluctuating numbers on the scale no longer scare me shitless. The threat of not fitting into my wedding frock won't keep me away from the vending machine. The lure of a smaller clothing size isn't that strong.

These days, the above motivations are more likely to trigger internal dialogue like, "Who cares what the numbers say?" or "I can just buy more squishy-in undergarments" or "There's nothing wrong with being a size 16 anyway". Those motivations have sent me to the Hot Roll Man for a scone or to Marks and Spencer for some cakes. Those motivations had me thinking I can get away with being this size, and got me wondering how much crap I can get away with eating before I started stacking the weight back on.

(Incidentally, the Scottish Companion loves the Australian phrase "stacked it on". We were watching an old episode of Kath and Kim recently and Kath was telling someone that Kim has "really stacked the weight on". Now if I ask him should I have a chocolate bar or a bacon roll he'll say, "I dunno, you'll stack the weight on!". Hehe.)

This past week I have eaten absolutely beautifully and there was no stress or fuss about it. Why? Because I started looking at food in terms of how it would affect my health and fitness. I've been struggling with this Stupid Knee and I am desperate to maintain my fitness and eventually get back to running. So if faced with a plate of cakes at work, as I was FOUR TIMES this week, I thought, "Will this shit make me feel good?". And I'd think, well no. I'd end up with one of those awful post-sugar binge headaches then slink home and sit on the couch instead of going to the gym. THAT stopped me from eating rubbish, instead of thinking about the scale or my wedding dress. This was inspired a lot from something Julia wrote this week, incidentally.

I went to the physio last night and it's a confirmed case of worn-out overused runners knee. Plus my quads and glutes are quite weak so I will need to make them stronger. It is going to take time, patience and dedication. If I want to get back into the running I will need to be consistent and take care of myself, not just some half-assed stretches before bed. So this is my goal! To strengthen my bod! And eating well is a part of that. If the weight comes off, that's a bonus.

The closer I get to a healthy weight the more important I think it is to look beyond the scale. When I was pushing 160 kilos I had to look at the scale, because measurements didn't change that quickly and fitness was a non-event. That cursed contraption was the only guage I had of my progress. But now I have to think beyond that and decide how I want my life to be. What's going to work in the long term? Training for the 5k taught me that having a specifc non-scale goal helps me feel balanced and motivated to be healthy. And I think a lot of the commenters were right, the Shitty Twix Incident was about post-race I Deserve It-ness. But I quickly moved on and now I am focused on my goal of getting a stronger and run-worthy body.

I know this approach works for me, because while I've only lost a few kilos since I got married, I have shrunk. I went jeans shopping on Monday and got into size 16s in five different Skinny Person's Shoppes. I almost died from shock that I actually had choice and didn't have to grab whatever fitted. In the end I went for the ones that weren't so low cut that my arse crack showed when I sat down. Mwahaha.

Now after saying I'm not concerned about the scales, I will post my Weigh-In Wednesday results, just in case anyone's been following along at home!

Wednesday Weigh-In – Week Twenty-Two

last update: 15 June 2005

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: 84.5 kg (186.3 lb)
current bmi: 28.3

result this week: -2.2 kg (4.8 lb)

loss in 2005: -11.4 kg (25 lb)
total loss since 2001: -74.7 kg (164.6 lb)

initial goal weight: 75 kg (165 lb)
distance to goal: 9.5 kg  (21 lb)

I'm now below 85kg which is when I told myself I'd take a new progress photo. My mum recently emailed me some really bad Before Pics so I'll post them too so you can compare and contrast! As soon as I get round to doing the pics. Stay tuned, groovers!

Snap Crackle Pop

I have met some bloody brilliant people via this blog, and Argy is no exception. Ever since she first emailed me a year or so ago, I have always been besotted with her lush, sensual descriptions of her cooking, salads and fresh herbs. Every time she’d write about her dinner I’d ask her for a recipe. She recently sent the most killer wedding gift — a handmade recipe book. She also sent this kickass Tupperware container/salad spinner thingy that keeps your salads fresh for days and days. Then she bundled up some herbs that she’d dried herself – oregano, basil, sage, thyme, mint, dandelion – as well as homemade sundried tomatoes. Oooh delicious, I tells ya. The dried herbs you buy in the supermarket cannot compare to the ones dried by Argy on her balcony in Athens. And the tomatoes are so full of flavour, the Scottish Companion and I were just eating them straight out of the box. Thank you, foxy lady!

. . .

My wonky knee now issues a creaking, grinding sound and plain old walking is sometimes painful, so I’m going to see a physio tomorrow. It sounds like a textbook case of Runner’s Knee and a need for new shoes but I still want to get it checked out. Consequently I’ve not run since the 5k and have become antsy and worried my new muscles will dissolve overnight. For a non-impact workout I’m using the stationery bike at the gym which bores me shitless. I’d go swimming except I don’t have any swimming gear and OH YEAH, the small obstacle that I can’t bloody swim. I am thinking of trying an RPM class, the Les Mills answer to Spinning. I’ve heard it gets you truly sweaty. Can anyone vouch for RPM?
. . .

Dear Dieters of the World,

It has come to our attention that carbohydrates are getting all your attention lately. For example, if you fall into a bag of Doritos after work; or binge on a tub of ice cream or a family-size pizza, you have been referring to these incidents as a "bad carb binge" or "carb blowout" or similar. Sure, refined carbs are bad news but where there’s refined carbs there usually lurks US GUYS as well. It’s a team effort! Nine times out of ten we have had our finger in the pie and we want recognition for our role in keeping your ass fat!

Sincerely,
Saturated Fat

. . .

Thank you for brilliant your comments on the last ranty ravey entry. And don’t be apologetic for any hints or tips, they are welcome! Deep down we all know that we know what to do to lose weight. Lord knows I should know that I know after four and bit gruelling years! But there are just some days when it goes tits up. For example, I know that I should stick to High Quality Chocolate, but sometimes I crave that sneaky interaction with the vending machine. I had the most brilliant, funny email from a girl named Rachel, who said on the subject of the sub-par Cadbury Twirl:

"By the time any of us has had the internal debate in our heads, no matter how good the chocolate, in those kind of circumstances it’s never going to live up to the ridiculous level of hype we have attached to it by that point. A Twirl will always be just a Twirl – not the route to world peace."

Damn straight. So what can I take from that experience?

  1. Accept that there is just going to be crazy days like that now and then.
  2. Vent about it on blog immediately afterwards. Demons begone!
  3. Get back on the wagon as quickly as possible

(I am pretty sure I have come to these very same startling conclusions on this site at least a dozen times now.)

So I am back on the wagon now. I have tied myself onto it with rope and stapled my mouth shut. I don’t know how I worked the stapler with my hands bound up like that, I guess I am more flexible than I thought. It feels good to be eating healthily. It’s this endless cycle of:

  1. Eat healthily
  2. Brief moment of eating rubbish, temporarily forgetting/ignoring how good eating healthy feels
  3. Remember how crap the rubbish eating feels
  4. Resume healthy eating.

But the upshot is the Unhealthy Eating phase get shorter and less damaging each time.

. . .

SC is in Libya til Wednesday for work. Libya! How crazy is that? I am surprised by how fiercely I miss him. Last year between his travels and mine, we were apart for about three months, but now we’re married and I’m mopey with him only away for just ten hours thus far.

I told him I was going to eat heaps of meat while he was away, all the lamb and mince and steak I’ve been craving during the past three months. Maybe I would just put a whole pig on a spit in the backyard. But now the Meaty Moment has arrived I’ve found I’m really not that fussed. I have enjoyed the vegetarian diet, it’s much less messy to cook and I am really, really lazy, don’t you know. Plus we eat fish at least once a week so it’s not proper vegie anyway.

Still, I often think of lamb. I saw a sheep in a field yesterday, snoozing in the sun, and I thought, "Mmm, roast lamb." Perhaps it’s time for some flesh after all.