Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Z wishes she wasn't a shortarse

I've relaxed far more than I should have. I've just finished my lunch, which was a substantial sandwich. Wholemeal bread, lightly spread with mayonnaise, topped with roast beef, horseradish, tomato, cucumber, Stilton cheese and more mayo-spread bread. This would have been fine without the mayo and cheese, but that tipped it into badness. It went right over to unacceptable territory when I added a handful of Twiglets and a glass of wine.

I'd really quite like it if someone said 'pfft darling, that's nothing, I just ate a whole chocolate orange and three packets of crisps washed down with full-fat Coke'. But I suspect that won't happen. Well, it may, because there are kind people out there. But it won't be true.

I have been overeating, I can't deny it. I was so good last Christmas and didn't put on an ounce. Yesterday, however, things really went haywire. I ate a whole lot of Twiglets, two satsumas and an apple, quite a few marshmallows and a slice of Christmas cake. This is over and above meals, obviously. No, I know, none of it was awful and I didn't even eat any chocolate (not that I wasn't tempted, but I'd eaten two squares the day before) but I'm not taking any exercise at all and it's not the way to shed the rest of the weight I need to.

Thing is, of course, I'm older and shorter than you are. I need fewer calories and I'm less likely to burn 'em off. I haven't weighed myself since my triumphant nine and a half stone of a couple of months ago, which has gone beyond self-protective and into the territory of denial.

If only I were six inches taller, I could eat an extra apple with impunity. D'you know, the whole thing has made me so depressed that I've poured myself a second glass of wine? And eaten a jelly baby.

Oh really, pah. And gah. Not to mention bah.


The craving for stodge has been explained by the onset of a migraine. Huh.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Z prepares for an Afternoon Nap

Mind you, I biked in today and I could hardly get the sodding pedals round. I'm weakening, physically, by the day and I don't understand it. I still feel fine, I just have no strength. And the more I do, the less I have.


Monday, 22 December 2008

A fortnight to go before Z Toughens Up

In January, Al and his family will go away for a week and I'll look after the shop. I'm looking forward to it in a masochistic, what-doesn't-kill-you-makes-you-stronger sort of way. Unless the weather is truly filthy (this is not unlikely) I'll cycle in by 8 o'clock every morning, work for 10 hours and cycle back home again, on a bowl of porridge, a ham and salad roll and whatever raw fruit and vegetables I want to eat.

I need this to get myself back on track. Feeble though I've been for the last few months, I know I can pull myself up to the challenge. Two years ago, I was so stiff and aching that I couldn't get up unaided and, when I'd been on my knees stacking shelves, I had to crawl to the counter to haul myself to my feet again. That year, there was a strong cold wind every day and setting up the shop was frankly miserable, especially when it was wet. The outside display has to go up, because there's nowhere near enough room in the shop for everything and nowhere to put the shelving.

Last year, I wasn't so bad and had already started cycling, so I know I can do it. It doesn't matter if it's tiring, because it's not so over-taxing that it's bad for me in any way. I hope that, by the time it's over, I'll be so used to the exercise and the cold that I'll just carry on and not skulk indoors like I am at the moment.

Having said that, I've no excuse at all not to cycle into town today. The time has finally come for me to finish off the Christmas shopping. I've done all I would otherwise have to go to Norwich for online and the rest will be bought locally.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Z falls off the wagon

Big time. I made sticky toffee pudding for lunch, as a friend was coming over and well, blokes like a proper pudding, don't they? And I was going to be pushed for time in the morning, then out and not home until noon. So I made it the day before and as I was serving up the main course, I poured the sauce over, put it in the top oven and left it until we'd eaten our salmon with pea risotto (yes, containing butter and Parmesan).

I ate a pretty generous slice, but it was okay, it was factored in, as in I'll live on rice cakes for the rest of the week, so the wagon was keeping rolling along because I'd allowed for it.

This evening, every time I've been into the kitchen, I've eaten a bit. It's the toasted walnuts on top and the general sticky deliciousness. I think I've been doing quite well recently, I haven't been actually dieting but I've been eating very sensibly and moderately without needing to think about it.

I stopped myself eating pudding in the end, though. I cut a slice of Stilton and ate that instead.

Hey, maybe it's the Christmas whisky we broached this evening, but I feel perfectly okay about it. I may have fallen off the wagon, and I know I'll crave sugar for the next few days, but as long as I don't give in and eat any, it won't take long to get over it.

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of Stilton left. And it was a very good one. That, of course, was the Christmas cheese. I seem to be jumping the gun. As well as off the wagon. Hm. Is there another metaphor to do to death, I wonder?

Monday, 15 December 2008

Z wants to be alone

The rather miserable ending to the post I wrote the other day brought constructive advice from Badgerdaddy:- There's no point making yourself unhappy. Even going for a nice walk can be impossible in this kind of weather. Maybe on those days you could go up to the gym and either spend a bit of time on the treadmill (walking and playing about with the incline) or on the cross trainer, which is non-impact and great on the hips. Just a thought - there's alternatives out there for when the weather sucks or you just want to take the car!

It's good advice, and it can help to think about a different way of getting the same or a better result, and indeed I've spent several days trying to gee myself up to thinking I might try it. But I know in my heart it ain't going to happen. I think the only way I manage to get on the bike is to get somewhere. Once I'm halfway to Yagnub, I've got to keep going. I can see the possibility of my going to the gym if I felt all energetic and positive, but not if I'm fed-up in the first place. I really and honestly don't like 'exercise'. I find it boring.

I can enjoy playing a game - I used to love playing tennis. I could enjoy running, in a frolicsome, playing with the dog sort of way, for the exuberance of it - but just as the mood took me. I said some time ago that I used to really enjoy rowing, but that was proper rowing on a lake or river. I just don't see using a machine as the same thing.

I can see, at a pinch, using some sort of a machine if I had one right here. I can even see myself in a gym, once in a while. I might quite like it as a novelty. But i am the very antithesis of a joiner-in. I would not, under any circumstances, join a slimming club. If I did go along to try it out, I would disengage. This is not an attractive trait and I'm making no boast. If I'm not 'one of you' it's not because I see myself as better, worse, even different from you. Just private.

A blogger who writes really quite personal blogs says she's private. Ah, but *ahem, ahem* one can talk the talk without walking the walk (sorry. Really, really sorry. Put it down to verbal shorthand).

The first step is to want to want to. I'm almost there, possibly. But it may never happen that I will join a gym.

On the other hand, a whim may strike.

Possibly, not twice.

Oh, and does anyone know what a cross trainer is? I've sort of heard of it, but I haven't the faintest idea. I could google, sure, but where's the fun in that?

Sunday, 14 December 2008

badgerdaddy WILL be a puff'd and reckless libertine

...and I'll tell you why, and how this is possible.

One kind soul - well, a kind company - sent me a crate of assorted Belgian beers for Christmas. They usually send champagne, but I'm not complaining. We sampled six bottles last night, oone of which sadly went down the sink as it had both chocolate and coffee in it. It's hard to tell though, as not one bottle has any English on it. But I think chocolate is basically the same in Belgian (Flemish?), and 'gourmetkaffe' is probably 'posh coffee'. It smelled amazing, rich and dark, and would no doubt have sent my heart rate through the ceiling.

Anyway, it was all drunk in a gentle way, tasting each other's beers (myself and Trophy Wife) and having a nice evening. I had a little bit of cheese on oatcakes too. Not a lot, but enough. Cheese is a very rare thing for me to have – it just never occurs to me to buy it, but as TW had been out selling bags on an outdoor market yesterday, I bought her some very nice goaty cheese as a treat.

I digress. I am going to eat a lot over Christmas, but as the usual treats don't really appeal to me I'm going to have the things I do love – roasted parsnips, for example. A beer now and again. Very little wine, though. Too acidic for me to enjoy at the moment. Lots and lots of roasted vegetables, basically. I'm not enjoying fruit at all, and something in salad is disagreeing with me massively, so that's out momentarily.

I'm really rambling here, but I'm on a roll...

Ooooh, interestingly, I think the thing that disagrees with me the most is spinach. I adore spinach, really love it – though TW's herbalist/homeopathic/ dietary lady person reckons that you often crave the thing that is worst for you, or that affects you adversely. Which would make sense in this case, as it's honestly probably the only food I really crave.

Anyway, this year, I have decided I will take some time off over Christmas and new year. I never do normally – there's always a deadline. Well, my deadlines will largely be finished by December 23rd, and my next deadline is not until January 17th ish. I had thought it was the 5th, so I got everything kind of together for that deadline, but it's two weeks later which means I'm going to enjoy time off from the 23rd to January 2nd.

I can't remember the last time I had that much time off without being unemployed. And how shall I use it? Cycling, playing tennis, walking and working out. Oh, and running. Because I'll have the time to do that, and do housework, and do things with the ladies in my life, and have fun. hence I'm going to eat a lot, and I'm going to get as much exercise as I want without worrying about when I have to stop, or how much work I have waiting for me when I finish. All I have to do is my tax return online in the gap between Christmas and new year, and that's it.

I'm absurdly excited about this.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Z will NOT be a puff'd and reckless libertine

I've just poured myself a glass of wine. Well, half a glass. Guiltily, I looked over at Ro, who is presently talking to a friend on Skype or something similar. I'm immensely pleased to see that he's got a glass of Guinness balanced on the arm of his chair, so I need not feel guilty at all.

I'm back on track, but with difficulty. I ate another small piece of Christmas cake the day after the first, but fortunately the Sage and Ro had scarfed all the mince pies. On Thursday, I went to yet another Christmas dinner and ate pretty well all my helping of Christmas pud, but not the mince pie that followed, and I've been virtue personified since then. It's not easy at this time of year, because you eat out so much in a party-type atmosphere. it's easier in restaurants in fact, because there's no feeling of being a bad guest if you don't clear your plate and if there's a menu rather than a set meal, you can try to choose lighter dishes. Sometimes there just aren't any, though. Something that sounds light is loaded with cream.

I don't mind the thought of relaxing a bit over Christmas, but I know how discouraged I'll feel if I put on weight, so best not. So I must still follow the steep and thorny path, with the additional hazard of trying to look carefree about it and not harping on about being careful because I don't want to spoil other people's enjoyment.

The thing is, I know only too well that one can diet strenuously and successfully, but then get bored. And that's when you're vulnerable, because you have succeeded in losing weight, so you think that it doesn't matter if you put on a pound or two because you know how to lose it again, but it's not that easy a second time. And, because you're temporarily off the diet, you don't weigh yourself, so when you do you find you've added a good half stone and you are so filled with self-hate that you give up.

That is bloody well not going to happen.

The other difficulty is that my hips hurt and my right knee hurts and cycling is a complete bitch. I hate it, I'm miserable and I'm tired, and breathless after the gentlest hill. This is really taking all my self-motivation. I'm just about managing ten or so miles a week, which I know is rubbish but it really is the best I can do in this miserable weather.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Saved by the Sage

The Christmas lecture I went to today, there was coffee and mince pies beforehand and mulled wine and Celebration Anniversary Fruit Cake (Iced) afterwards. I had a cup of coffee and a glass of wine and, since there was food left at the end, several of us took it rather than it be thrown out. I ate my piece of cake on the way home - it was a small piece, but enough indulgence to stop right there.

As I was cooking dinner, I nibbled a dropping-off bit of pastry and it was very good indeed. I said as much to Ro, who agreed - he'd eaten one of the mince pies and said it tasted as if the pastry was made with butter and the mincemeat with brandy. Later, he said he'd put one in the oven. I asked him to put one in the oven for me to share with someone. "A quarter would be fine," I said earnestly. "A third, even half. But I mustn't eat a whole one."

I was on the phone when he decided they were ready, so he came back in with mine. As I was chatting to Dilly, I used my blood donor card (just in case it wiped a credit card) to cut it in quarters and then, when I'd finished the conversation, I hoicked a piece out and ate it. It was very good. Ro was drowsing. I ate another quarter. I spoke to him. He grunted, nearer sleep than wake. I looked at the rest of the mince pie. I picked up a few odd crumbs.

The Sage came in. "Would you share my mince pie?" I asked, passing over the remaining half.

I'll want another one tomorrow, of course. It's better not to succumb at all. But a small victory is better than none.

I am lighter. A bit, anyway.

And it feels rather nice.

I'm weighing in at a still substantial 102.2 kilos, but that's more than 6lbs (3 kilos) lighter than I was a few months back. I think I was... 106 kilos at my heaviest this year, which is about 16 and a half stone (233lbs, US Fat Fans); the new weight puts me at about 224lbs, or just a gnat's cock over 16 stone.

Last week I got in three days of lovely exercise, quite out of the blue, as well – tennis on Thursday followed by the gym two hours afterward, then a gym workout on Friday, and more gym on Saturday. All workouts were varied, all left me feeling fucked and pleasantly hungry, too.

Food hasn't changed much - still eating about half a ton of veg a week, hardly any red meat, and it's mostly good. Will be making a few changes soon – will swap pasta for wholemeal pasta, that kind of thing. But that's because running is going rather well, and myself and Trophy Wife have possibly identified a race we'd like to do next year, and it's only four months away, which means getting arses well and truly in gear. We can both run half an hour now, but we'd need to be running just shy of two hours before this one. Not impossible by a long chalk, but there's a lot to be done between now and then with work, living and the like.

Anyway, that's my news, which is pretty good. Am quite pleased; it's good to reach a target, even though hitting the next target will take longer (15 stone, or 210lbs, or 95 kilos) and will probably mean actually being quite committed to exercise... Mind you, last time I trained for this half marathon, I was heavier than this, had recently quit smoking and ended up weighing 206lbs after the race (about 14 stone 10lbs, or 93 kilos). And then I didn't have a great partner to help motivate me and kick my arse, so who knows what might happen this time?

Sunday, 7 December 2008

A chip on both shoulders. mm, chips.

I'm still not dieting and still mostly eating fairly abstemiously, but it's harder than dieting. It's not that I mind not having the biscuits and stuff, but that expectations are different when someone is dieting. If a group of us are out for a meal I could pass on pudding, saying I'm on a diet, but if I'm not then it looks as if I'm making a point of being virtuous. Agh. You know what I mean. There is a difference.

Also, the weather has been so cold and either it's frosty or wet, so I've only been on the bike a couple of times a week. The less I do, the less motivated I am.

There is good news. I mentioned a while ago a pink wool dress I have from when I was in my teens. It's a size 12, but in those days that meant 34-24-36/37. I put it on today and I could get it over my hips and zip it up easily. I won't say it fits flatteringly - not very forgiving to my unwasp-like waist - but I can get it on, fastened. I won't be wearing it, even if I do fine down a bit, because it's a bit moth-eaten!

It still surprises me that my hips measure 37" and yet I still weigh in the region of 9 1/2 stone because I'd expect to be a whole lot less than that. I know the reason of course - it's the overall distribution of fat; that is, my upper arms and back are more covered, my waist (as I said) is thicker and I'm a C/D cup instead of an A, but having grown up a pear-shape, it seems odd to be more balanced.