Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Z feels good

My daughter said that I have slim legs now.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Z wishfully thinks

I'm going to spend a few days painting (walls, not pictures) this week and I stupidly, when having a turn-out, chucked away the painty clothes I used last time. So I raided a pile of clothes that got put on one side as being rather too old to give to the charity shop but that seemed too good just to bin. Whatever happened to jumble sales? I remembered a pair of jeans that Weeza passed on to me some 15 or more years ago. Well, more. She was still at school. They fit fine, but while I was rootling I found another pair of jeans. I remembered them, because I kept them out of sentiment. When Al was 13 or 14, I grabbed some jeans from the pile that had been brought in from the washing line, put them on and it was only because the legs felt a bit narrower than usual that I checked, and they were his. Although I was quite small at the time, he was slight and skinny and I was astonished that his jeans fitted me.

So, of course, I put them on. I couldn't do them up, but I could pull them up and they weren't tight around the thighs or anything. But the peculiar thing is that, all those years ago, I weighed about a stone less than I do now, and surely it isn't all around my middle?

Anyway, of course, that will now be my yardstick. When those jeans fit and I can fasten them easily, I'll be the size I was (lower half anyway) that I was 18 years ago.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Me too!

...and I don't appear to have lost more than perhaps four pounds. Hmmmmm.

But then, the exercise has me feeling great and my body shape is changing, albeit subtly...

Oh, and I need a shave, which is another pound.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Okay, so I did weigh myself

At last. It was all that effort on Saturday that made me think I might have started shifting a bit of poundage again. It was, I think, the end of July when I last ventured on the scales and I've lost 1 lb since then. Unimpressive as that sounds, I'm still on track for the 20 lbs I hope to have lost since the end of October last year, and have only two more pounds to lose in the next six weeks to achieve that. The thought at the back of my mind is next May to get to a weight I'm happy to stay at.

I also measured myself, depending on whether I was breathing in or out I fluctuated between 35" and 36" on top with 27" waist and 38" hips. I can't remember what I was when I last measured myself, much the same I suspect! I suppose my legs are getting thinner instead.

Anyway, I'm less than 2 lbs away from 9 1/2 stone. Needless to say, if anyone asks, I say that's 'about' what I weigh now. Well...

Another notch

Not on the bedpost, those days are thankfully gone. My bedpost-notching knife actually went rusty in my 20s, that's how much action I saw. Wow, too much information so soon. I rule.

It appears I'm another notch down on my jeans belt, which is good. Okay, it's not totally comfortable, but I did it up to there by accident – ie without thinking about it – this morning. I think that's mostly a good thing.

Been exercising a fair bit and despite the running and everything going well, I'm not getting up early and running, which is what I really want to do. For some reason my sleep at night is broken and when that happens, getting up early is impossible. No idea why.

Or it might be that the weather's been really wet and my motivation isn't above getting wet. Which is also weird, as I used to love running in the rain. Last week I went out and did a couple of miles in pouring, early morning rain and by the time I got home I was absolutely soaked. Since then I've done all my running and exercise on the treadmill, which I absolutely do not enjoy.

I'll figure it out. In short, the exercise thing is going well, my weight is just a few kilos less than it was, but I feel great. Played indoor football on Friday and knackered my thumb (I was in goal, resting kind of because I had just taken a ball flush in the plums. Next ball I went to save, I bruised my thumb horribly. Gah. Still, it took my mind off my testicles), which means I can't do any weights really, or any exercise involving my hands, so I cried off Trophy Wife's 11-mile hilly, partly off-road bike ride at the weekend, and I'm glad I did.

I'm rambling. In short, it's all good, dawg.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Z is complimented

In the last week I've forgotten how many people have told me how much thinner I'm looking. Lots. I mean, nearly ten I should think. Two of them have said that I shouldn't lose much more as I'll get too thin. This is a bit nonsense of course, because I'm nowhere near that, but it's encouraging all the same.

I still haven't weighed myself. I've been too busy in the mornings - I still use the stand-on scales with a sliding balance and weights which are kept in the porch (no nude weigh-ins for me) and so I don't do the deed until I'm downstairs and dressed and feeling strong enough to take the shock, but before I've had lots to eat and drink, so there's a bit of a narrow time gap to do it in.

I've been reasonably good, anyway. A whole lot of cycling and walking on Saturday, which I confidently believe to have burned off a pound or two (yeah, I know that's not how it works) and although I've eaten a little chocolate, it's mostly been chocolate-covered coffee beans which surely don't involve whole lots of the delicious brown stuff. Anyway, it hasn't been many. About ten in the course of a week. Still having trouble with the cheese cravings though.

Actually, I've been wearing my daughter's trousers, which are really tight at the top - not in an overstretched way (eek, I hope) but fit more snugly than I'm accustomed to wearing them. Also, the new skirt I bought is really quite flattering. I think that's it. The reason for the compliments, I mean. I've been wearing one or other of them each time.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

How Z lost weight 19 years ago Part 3

It was quicker than the 9 months it took me to lose 18 lbs, but it indicates why I had quite moderate expectations this time round.

It took 12 weeks to lose a further 12lbs, having initially lost 5 lbs in 5 days. And this was, as I've described, on a really quite strict diet of mainly bread and vegetables. Very little fat, not much alcohol, small amounts of meat, no cheese. It was, at least, steady - pretty well at 1 lb per week. At the end of it, I was 8 stone 2 pounds, which gave room for a bit of leeway as I was quite happy with 8.4 - 8.7 in the long term.

But it'll explain to you why I keep saying that it can be unrealistic and demoralising to expect a great weight loss all the time, especially if you have relatively little weight to lose. And if you do have habits you want to break, then a diet of (as it feels like) great deprivation may not be one that you can realistically keep up.

During those three months, I was never hungry - the reason behind the mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. I never cheated, I never ate chocolate, cheese, pastry, biscuits (apart from the afternoon Rich Teas) or cake. If I had to transgress, I took the two baddies - fat and sugar - and never ate them both together. Thus, a cheese straw could make it a 'no loss' day, though an accompanying glass of wine would make it a 'weight gain' day, but a piece of cake was not on.

Looking back, it's hard to see why it took so long. I guess it was because I wasn't actually very fat. At the start, I weighed less than I do now. Damn. I blame my mother, of course.

Well, you have to blame someone, and that's what mothers are for (and it's true, but she didn't mean to).

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Cheese, and tomato

I bought some gorgeous cheese at the market last week and I've been finding it very hard indeed not to eat too much of it. I hope Ro has finished it off now. I do have some proper Cheddar (made in Cheddar and matured in the caves) that Al and Dilly brought back for us from their holiday and, having eaten a little, I want the rest. Yesterday, I wandered around craving cheese. This is pathetic. I'm sure I've put on a pound or two in the last month - I haven't weighed myself because that would make it official - or at least stayed the same; the latter doesn't matter at all but I am very anxious not to backslide as I know how hard it is to get a weight loss going again when you have got into the habit of eating a little more.

So, yesterday I ate rice cakes again and had a tomato sandwich - just bread, lovely home-grown Red Brandywine tomato and a little salt - and plain yoghurt for lunch. I wanted more all day but I didn't have it. I felt too discontented to go out so didn't get on the bike - I will today though. In the evening, I made kedgeree, with salmon. I didn't have any celery so used an onion, but added no butter, though I did add a dollop of Greek yoghurt. We also had lots of french beans from the garden and Black Russian tomatoes.

I shall have to be very strict with myself for a few days until the cravings diminish. It makes me very conscious of how hard it will be to maintain a lower weight. Dieting is relatively easy, because I don't eat forbidden foods, or only very occasionally. But when one eats a moderate amount of whatever one wants, it's easy for that amount to creep up. I find it easy to resist the cream and the cakes and the obviously 'bad' foods, but very hard indeed to turn down 'proper' food that happens to be high in fat, but that's not what I like it for.

It's not all bad news though. My daughter, turning out her wardrobe a month ago, passed on a few work clothes to me that she won't have occasion to wear again. One of the pairs of trousers, which she said were close-fitting round the hips, were indeed. Loose at the top, but only just do-up-able at the zip. I'm wearing them easily today, so weight must be redistributing itself in a reasonably good way. The skirt I wore yesterday, which I bought a few weeks ago, is very slimming and I'm pleased with it. It's a 12 in a Petite range, and is rather loose on me. It's a pity that it won't fit me this time next year. Because that next stone must come off. Damn. I want cheese. Maybe if I cut a slice and just lick it?

Friday, 5 September 2008



I had to go to Exeter for work stuff. I conscientiously packed my running shoes, having run outdoors the other day for 20 lovely minutes and felt perfectly fit and strong during the run, too.

So what happens? I get locked out of my fucking hotel by the manager – words were exchanged, but you'll be delighted to know I waited until the next morning, instead of what I had initially had in mind when he opened the door*. It meant I was angry at bedtime, which meant no sleep for a while, which meant I overslept the next morning; I often find unless I run first thing, it doesn't happen. Even for long runs, I don't like eating before I go out. It's not nice.

So that went out of the window.

And because I had such a shite night's sleep, I overslept the next morning, too, and almost missed my train. In the meantime, I had an evening of lager, and another of wine. Nothing excessive, but I had enough to get me drunk. Oh, I suppose that is a bit excessive.

When I got up this morning, I felt a bit foggy, which I put down to still feeling tired. When I blew my nose, I reconsidered. Seems I have a cold, and I can't help but wonder if being stranded outside a locked hotel while it absolutely fucking pissed it down may have contributed to that. I have a cold. Gah.

All this, and I had the most ridiculous dessert while away, as I knew I would be putting in some miles this week and felt like a silly treat. For someone who hardly has a sweet tooth, a toffee fudge sundae still seems an odd choice to me...

*I was tempted to pull him outside and lock the door behind me, to see how he might enjoy it. I had a door key, but he had dropped the latch, I think the expression is, so the key wouldn't work. Fucking idiot.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Tomorrow is a moveable feast. How Z lost weight 19 years ago Part 2

As last year, I knew that there wasn't much wrong with my diet, and I was pretty energetic. I had three children, a 5 year old and 2 teenagers and an Irish Setter and I was always busy. I didn't take extra exercise - I used to walk my son to school and run home again and the same in reverse in the afternoon and I played tennis and walked a fair bit but that was about it. So I thought it all had to be done with a change in diet. And this was it...

Breakfast - 2 slices dry wholemeal toast and a cup of black coffee

Mid-morning - 1 piece of fruit

Lunch - A salad sandwich, comprising two slices of dry bread with any amount of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber and a small tub of plain yoghurt

Tea (this was the daily indulgence) - a cup of black tea and 2 Rich Tea biscuits

Dinner - mostly vegetables. For example, I might do a stir-fry with loads of vegetables and a small amount of meat. I'd give all but one sliver of meat to the family. I would have a small potato or helping of noodles or rice.

That was it. And I reckoned on eating that at least 4 days a week. That, I'd count as a weight-loss day. Any addition, such as Sunday lunch with a roast potato, or a Saturday night glass of wine - that is, a single addition, was a neutral day. Anything more at all, such as a small steak or anything containing sugar made it a weight-gain day. The weight-loss days had to outnumber the others, that is, I followed that for at least 4 days a week and the neutral days had to equal or exceed the weight-gain days. So, 4-2-1 or 5-1-1.

I never touched cheese, chocolate, had no more than two small glasses of wine a week, and never cheated. I wanted to lose 12 lbs on top of the 5 I'd lost in a weekend (which i didn't regain).

I wonder how long you think I took to lose 12 lbs on this regime?

Monday, 1 September 2008

How Z lost weight 19 years ago Part 1

I can't be bothered to search too much and it seems that the Great Badger doesn't remember, so I'll risk telling you, possibly again.

I based it on a diet I found in Good Housekeeping as I remembered - basically it was a points system I suppose; it allowed so many units of each food group, while vegetables were free. So I promptly decided that some of them were far too generous - I weighed 9 stone at the start so to lose weight meant not eating much at all.

It all started - actually, I can pinpoint it exactly, because of the particular circumstances. The Sage and I had a long weekend in London, for my goddaughter's christening at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square. The Sunday was the 21st May, 1989 (I'm good, aren't I? Damn good.) and we stayed with the Sage's nephew in Hackney the night before, went to the christening at the usual morning service at 11, then for a Chinese meal with the other godparents and the family and then to view a sale at Sotheby's. The next day, we returned or the sale and then the Sage left for home, while I went back to spend another night at Simon's flat. He served a lovely trout with salad and white wine for dinner, I remember.

The next day, I visited the Chelsea flower show. It was scorching hot and I took talcum powder to sprinkle in my shoes so I didn't get blisters and I wore a hat I'd bought in John Lewis in Oxford Street the previous day for £2.95. Just a simple straw hat but I loved it and wore it for years. I still have it, much mended. Also, I didn't wear a bra (having a suitable loose top and a modest 34A endowment) so I kept pretty cool. I spent all day at the show and didn't bother to eat, keeping going on just a glass of orange juice.

I went home that night and the Wednesday was our wedding anniversary, which is the reason I know the dates exactly. I weighed myself that day and I'd lost nearly half a stone. So, when I then read about this diet it seemed a good idea to lose the poundage I'd put on since being stick-thin after feeding my last baby for a year.

Sorry, I set the scene for so long I haven't time to tell you about the diet. I'll be back tomorrow.

I ran.

Okay, it was on a treadmill. And it was for a total of 20 minutes. Not a lot, but when you haven't really done any for six months, it's a lot. In the interests of common sense, it wasn't 20 minutes of continuous running; I did one minute walking, then a one-minute warm-up, then 10 minutes continuous, then did some sprints of up to 90 seconds (minimum one minute).

I was shagged out afterwards, but jubilant. Genuinely jubilant. New running shoes seem to be excellent, too.

I'll go to the gym again tonight and do a reasonable workout, then go out for a run on the road in the morning, and see how that goes. Then I'm away on business for a couple of days, so I'll take my running shoes with me and enjoy some running in Exeter, down on the canal path, all being well.

Oh, and I weighed myself, and I'm just under another kilo lighter.

Oh, and did I also mention… When I went to the Czech Republic last week, I accidentally took – and wore – jeans that were, theoretically, a size too small for me?