Sunday, 31 August 2008

Z wears old clothes

I haven't weighed myself this month. I see no reason at all to have lost weight, so why depress myself? I haven't been particularly bad, just not tried very hard. I did wear the size 10 skirt that I think I remember mentioning a little while ago (can't be bothered to open a new window to check, sorry) and I did write about it, but absent-mindedly wrote it for the wrong blog. There wasn't any point in taking it off and putting it here instead as it would still show in the RSS feed - how do people manage two or three blogs under completely different identities? I'd never know what I'd written as who) which at least has done my morale some good.

What did surprise me, when I clambered into a sari the other week, was how much I must have lost from my arms. When you buy a sari the blouse is usually tailor made for you, and you are measured in every way. Not just the bust and midriff, but the circumference of our arms, the width of your shoulders, and all sots of quite personal dimensions. The sari itself fits you, of course (being an 8 foot or so length of cloth) but the blouse is a bit unforgiving if you put on more than a few pounds. However, from having tightly-fitting sleeves, they are now appreciably loose. And there's another little jacket that I bought years ago which I didn't get rid of because I liked it; not only could I not do it up but the time came when my arms got stuck in the sleeves (yes, why did I even try to put it on?). Again, I can wear it easily now. All those things I didn't chuck away from the back of the wardrobe can be hauled out and brought into use again, to replace the stuff that now is far too big.

Mind you, after a good July, I will have done well to stay still in Aiugust. I can't remember if I've ever told you how I lost weight some 17 years ago. I'll have a look back and if not I'll tell you and we can all gaze, bemused, at the relatively young and steely-willed Z.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

How to put on two and a half stone in ten years

What I think is not going to do you any good is skipping meals. I have a friend who tries to lose weight by going as long as possible without food - it doesn't work, needless to say. He might get through the day eating hardly anything, but he's not going to feel well while he's doing it and sooner or later he will be so hungry that he will overeat vastly, usually in the evening which plays havoc with one's digestion.

Badgerdaddy says his downfall is crisps and alcohol - the worst thing there is that they go together and while one is imbibing the latter one loses track of how much one is eating of the former. And they are so awfully moreish. I think my downfall was eating for the sake of it, because I wanted to not because I needed to.

So, I'd have quite a light breakfast, often dry toast, but sometimes (once or twice a week) with butter and marmalade. I'd probably not eat during the morning, but if I had coffee with a friend and biscuits were passed round, I'd eat one, even though I didn't need it. At lunchtime, I would often have much what I do now, such as home-made soup, salad or leftovers, but too often I would eat cheese, possibly toasted or have the bacon and eggs I didn't eat at breakfast. I was reasonably sensible - for example, if I had scrambled eggs, I'd use a little butter in the cooking but I wouldn't butter the toast too.

Then came mid afternoon. I think that this was the biggest problem, because I had gradually developed something of a biscuit habit. Two or three chocolate digestives were not a rare treat but a frequent one. And I might, if I fancied it, have a few crisps, olives or nuts with the first glass of wine of the evening. Dinner was pretty okay, all I've done there is moderate the fat I use in cooking. More wine, a total of 2-3 glasses in an evening. I might occasionally scoff a whole (small) packet of crisps or eat a Kit-kat or something during the day. And if there was chocolate around, I might have one after dinner. Never more than two, I don't have an urge to finish a boxful or a bar and I prefer a small amount of good chocolate to a lot of cheap. I hardly ever ate puddings.

The thing is, this isn't that bad. But it was enough to put on 3 or 4 pounds in a year. Do that for a few years and you hardly notice the creep until it's damn difficult to shift. Which is why I must not lapse, ever again. That is, if I want a crisp I'll have one, but I think about it first, made the decision that I really want it and then just have one or two. I won't eat the packet and if I'm alone I won't even bother to open it.

Eating more is good, kind of.

I wouldn't describe what I'm doing as a diet, mainly because it's really not. My diet is good, I eat lots of fruit and veg, no added sugar, no caffeine at all, no chocolate, very rarely eat sweets...

My downfall has always been crisps and alcohol. So the main thing I've done, basically, is to drink a hell of a lot less. In the (recent) past, it wouldn't be unusual to drink a couple of bottles of wine in an evening, for example. On rare occasions, perhaps even three. If she was lucky, Trophy Wife might even be able to have a glass.

But no more, I'm delighted to say, and I've not really been missing it. I had a bottle the other night and was completely shitfaced, and I've been doing acid burps since; if anything can out you off wine, I think it's that.

Anyway, the reason I wanted to post is that I just read Z's post, below. For me, eating more means eating less. If I eat regularly – every three hours, give or take – I eat far, far less. No blood sugar spikes or troughs, I feel pretty fine all day long, and because I generally feel grand, there's more inclination to do sport and the things I love.

Works for me. I'm getting there far more slowly than Z, but I think I had a bit more to learn before I could make the right changes to help this along…

Two belt notches down though, can't be bad!

Z indulges in self-delusion, but if one knows one is deluding oneself, is one deluded?

I do cheat like anything, you know. I weigh myself on a good day and then that is my weight until another good day. If I weighed myself weekly on the same day, then the fluctuation would not please me at all. I AM losing weight, there my weight goes down and I only want the good news.

But, and I may be a bit unpopular in saying this, I can sort of afford to play this sort of game because my weight really is going down. I don't see the point in saying I'm dieting, really wanting to diet, taking the exercise and then eating a packet of biscuits or a pork pie. If I do that I won't lose weight or will put back what I lost and my hard work will be wasted. I don't diet all week to blow it all at the weekend. And I don't eat what I am not supposed to just for the sake of eating. For example, when looking for something for lunch, if there is only cheddar in the fridge I'll just have ricecakes or a slice of bread rather than eat it. I will use cheddar in cooking, but a chunk for a meal isn't something I have. And because it's something I don't eat, the thought of breaking the diet just because it's a mealtime is not an option.

Having said that, I'm a lot more relaxed than I was at the start, but only if social circumstances indicate. So if I'm out for a meal with friends and everyone else is having pudding, I will too. I'll refuse extra cream and I won't choose the evillest thing on the menu, and indeed I'll probably leave a bit anyway, but I'll join in and enjoy it. But I wouldn't eat it at home on my own.

Today I haven't eaten much, actually. And forget fruit and veg. I had a slice of dry toast for breakfast, a couple of oatcakes with a couple of teaspoonfuls of cottage cheese for lunch and that was it until dinner out, when I had a not-huge portion of roast beef and salad, which included coleslaw admittedly but at least it was home-made and so had a moderate quantity of dressing, unlike the bought ones which have vast quantities of cheap and fatty mayo. I threw caution to the winds later and had a nice honey and ginger ice cream, but I could afford to really. Last week, when kind friends took me out for tea and a scone, I skipped the ice cream when out later (which I'd rather have had than the scone really, but politeness prevails).

After several months of scoffing rice cakes when hungry between meals, I am now rarely hungry between meals. However, the rest of the family has discovered that they, and corn cakes, are nicer than they look and now my supply is often raided.

I ate a lot the other day, at the wedding I went to. But I skipped breakfast, ate a vegetarian Indian lunch, then had nothing more until about 9 o'clock when I had a vegetarian Indian dinner. Even if it was quite high in fat, which it might have been, I can't think it mattered.

I think not eating in between meals is a Good Thing. At the moment anyway. I may change my mind in a while.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

I'm the second mouse.

Well, woke up this morning feeling pretty dandy, as today is my first day off antibiotics, which can only be a good thing.

Means I can exercise again, which is great. Probably not today though, as for all my dandiness, I am a bit tired. And tomorrow, I'm off to a meeting at lunchtime in Stroud, then back here for wifeliness, and then off out for a friend's birthday in the evening. Then Friday, I'm off to London for another bloody meeting (and posh lunch), and back in the evening. Gah. If my hamstrings don't hurt after that (from lack of use and being scrunched up on a train) it will be a miracle.

In other news, this morning when I put my belt on, it didn't feel right at all. Turns out I had to tighten it to another hole down, son that makes two down from my original hole. I believe that is progress, folks – and it also means I must dig out those old jeans I dared not throw away, because I knew I'd fit in them again... More on that later, if the news is good. If it's not, I'll simply hide it.

Trophy Wife tells me the jeans I'm wearing look like bloody jodhpurs at the moment, so some investment in ones that fit might be a good idea. But not before a couple of weeks of really good quality exercise. Yay!

PS: Post title comes from my favourite saying: 'The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese'.

Friday, 15 August 2008

It's not good.

No exercise for me. Went to the doctor's on Wednesday because my trunk has been giving me real grief – horrible, painful crustiness for the last few weeks, it's really been shite. Doctor reveals I have/had an infection so needed a nasal inhaler and a course of antibiotics.

Well, the antibiotics have left me feeling like absolute shite, so no gym, no running, no nothing for me until this fucking course is over. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I'd just started dipping 100 kilos as well, going to have to go back down to 85 now, and start running again from scratch on the treadmill. And it was all going so damn well...


Thursday, 14 August 2008

Z checks back

25th July, 9 stone 11. Yesterday, 13th August, 9 stone 9 3/4. Considering how much I've eaten out and not fussed about the amount I ate, I'm vastly pleased with that. I'm even more pleased that, having said on the 14th July that I hoped to lose another 6 lbs by the start of November, I've already lost nearly 4 of them. Now things are going well I'm even more determined, and yet also more relaxed. I know that I can get away with eating something fattening, as long as I don't do it too often. But generally speaking, if I haven't got anything in the fridge that I choose to eat, then rather than eat a hunk of cheese or a piece of pie, I'll chomp on a carrot and not bother with the fatty stuff. I make sure that I eat enough and that most of what I have is nutritious, but that's the sort of food I prefer anyway, so it's no hardship.

it's still cheese that I miss most though. Sharp, tangy, salty foods, like olives, too. I have spicy food instead, with chillies, but it's not the same. I can ignore the cheddar most of the time, but I don't risk buying strong blue cheese like Stilton or Roquefort. I wonder if gherkins would fill the hole left by olives? I'll have to try.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Z is D C Pointed

And if you find a worse pun than that this week, then you'll have been reading Murph's blog.

Yes, I went to buy a new bra. I bought a dress for a wedding next week and none of mine will quite do. Those that are the right style are not the right colour. So I toddled off to Jarrolds in Norwich. I chose that shop because the last time I was fitted, the assistant eyed me, declared 34D, put her hands at my sides and confirmed it, and she was right. Today there were two much younger women and I was simply asked my size. However, the one I was brought was a bit large in the cup. We agreed that I'd diminished a bit. I now have a C cup.

Probably be back to an A by the time I've finished. *sigh* That was the other consolation for the larger size Z. I had a mighty fine cleavage for a few years.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Beer returns with consequences

Well, I nearly made it to three weeks without beer, but myself and Tropy Wife had to attend a wedding this weekend, and I ended up having some beer. Not loads, but enough. I think I had about six bottles at the do, so that's about four pints (330ml bottles), and a couple of larger bottles at home, so about six pints in total.

I was a little drunk, but fine. Didn't feel especially bad for doing it either. But that night and the next day, the bloating and general ill-feeling – not to mention farting like a rhino – told me that not drinking is, for the moment at least – far more fun for me.

Also, I am lighter than I was, and this can only be down to two and a half weeks of not drinking. I haven't even had much exercise, but I am at least two kilos lighter than I was... This is good. But I was weighing myself in the evening, so my loss could be even greater, as I'd have eaten a couple of meals and drunk loads of water prior to weighage.

In short, I am lighter, and this is good. Beer bad.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Z stands up and has to lie down again

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I have a bit of a concern that I will be a feeble little thing once I'm not overweight. This morning, I was reading in bed when the phone rang. The Sage, who had been peacefully slumbering - well, it is Sunday and we go to bed late - answered. It was for me, so I got out and trotted round and conversed for a few minutes. By the time I put the phone down I felt light-headed and had to lie on the bed until I felt well enough to get up.

And yes, I'd had plenty to eat last night. And I often don't have breakfast straight away when I get up, so 9 o'clock was not particularly late.

Not a problem, just something to be aware of. I know what the matter was, it was getting up too quickly. Not good for me.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Sorry for the double blogging

but I'm so pleased with myself that I've mentioned it on both blogs - not too many people read this one and I don't greatly publicise it. I have kicked the light on and my foot went a good inch above the light switch housing. 56 inches, I can go to. 6 inches lower than the top of my head. I have no ambition to try higher. Or to do it with my left leg, which is rubbish.

Actually, I hear the Sage coming in. I'm going to show him. He will be bemused.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Biscuits? Not even tempted.

It has been a bit hard to get back to not wanting to eat more. I had a reasonably substantial and not even low fat lunch of five water biscuits, Boursin cheese and three almond-stuffed olives and was hungry again by 3 o'clock. A packet of biscuits was open.

I've eaten three plain rice cakes. I am not going down the biscuit route. I don't feel satisfied, but at least I'm not hungry.

I saw friends yesterday and someone asked how the hip was doing. I said it was doing very well indeed and demonstrated how easily I could drop onto one knee, tie a shoelace and rise again. I wasn't actually wearing laced shoes, the point was that at this time last year (I know because I was at a particular annual event; it was the Sandringham Flower Show) I couldn't. I had once to sit on the ground and awkwardly reach as far as I could and another time, because I hadn't done it well, find a low wall that I could just lift my foot to and just bend to.

All my friends yesterday have arthritis. One had a hip replacement this Spring, one has had, following an accident in her thirties, several operations and now has a pinned hip and a disabled badge on her car and the third has knee problems. They asked what has made the difference. I said that the weight loss is the only possible reason. And I'm not stopping until I'm below eight and a half stone.

The last time I weighed that I was in my early forties. If I'd never put on the weight, I suspect I'd not have had hip trouble for years to come.

Please let this encourage you in your efforts if you're dieting too and don't have joint problems yet or if they're just starting. A little over a stone lost has made a real difference to my health - not my general health, I feel fine now as I did a year ago, but to my wellbeing and mobility. I didn't expect it to be so much better already. In fact, using the light switch on the wall as something to aim at, I just lifted my leg as high as possible. I could only do it for an instant and not long enough to turn the light on (call me odd, but I often used to turn on the light with my foot) but I could get my leg that high. Before I started dieting I'd have been nowhere near it (I have extremely short legs, by the way).

Oh go on, I'll do this properly.
*patters off to get a tape measure*
*patters back, having measured*

The inside leg of my trousers, which are full-length and fit, is 30 inches. The light switch is 52 inches off the floor. I should think I kicked a foot higher than last time I tried, about 6 months ago.

In short, it's worth it. Don't wait for the embarrassment of your doctor advising you to lose weight when you aren't even that fat. The speed of the weight loss isn't important. Just get used to eating what you need, not what you fancy. And leave what you aren't really hungry for on your plate.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Two weeks.

It's been two weeks since my last beer, and I feel pretty good, though the number is weighing on my mind a bit. Two weeks! I can't remember the last time I went two weeks without any alcohol at all!

As for thinking I had lost half a kilo – aka one pound – it's more like a kilo, but I'll confirm that or otherwise at the gym later. Was due to go early this morning, but sleep was more attractive as I hurt my ankle playing tennis in stupidly unsuitable trainers on Thursday. Since then I have only managed a quick half-hour in the gym, as my foot's been a bit sore. Been resting it, see, and this has also put off my running debut.

Been eating a lot of cheese – a rare thing for me, and actually a sign that my body's craving lardy stuff, which is a very good sign. Does that make any sense? As soon as my body shifts any weight at all, I start to crave things that will put it back, even if I'm not aware I've lost any weight. So I bought a bit of brie. Well, two bits. One, I ate with oat cakes a few days ago, and the other I put on sandwiches with cranberry sauce kinda stuff for our picnic yesterday which we took to the West Midlands Safari Park.

I didn't even eat all of my sandwiches. Ooooh, something virtuous is going on… And where we would have got back and had beer before, we had a small pot of tea each instead... Yay us.

Need more exercise though, so going to the gym late afternoon today, as the rest of the day will be taken up with working very hard indeed.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Z does not weigh herself and does not care

i've been rather overindulging in the last week. No need, I think, to itemise all the naughtiness, though it did involve cheesecake and chocolate cake, as well as several marshmallows and just general overeating. It will not get better in the next day or two, as I'm visiting London and intend to go to a nice restaurant and not count the cash or the calories.

There is a simple remedy. I won't weigh myself until I'm back on track.

I realise that this is my cop-out. I only weigh myself when there's a reasonable chance that I've lost weight. So if I've had a virtuous couple of weeks, I check my weight and wouldn't dream of looking for fluctuations until I've been good again. This might be a fortnight later or not for six weeks or more. This positive frame of mind works for me as I don't want to hear bad news. I know when I've eaten unwisely (this is marginal, honestly, I never pig out) so I make up for it.

Having said that, the more one eats, the more one wants to eat. You can get away with a biscuit or a chocolate or some cheese once, but if you have it for more than two days you crave it hopelessly. I see why celebs who diet get carried away to the point of skeletal - it's easier to deny indulgences entirely than to have just a little once a week. And when you receive praise for losing weight, you want to lose more. It was only at the last time I weighed myself that I thought I was half-way there; until then, I kept moving the goal post.