Tuesday, 23 October 2012

My crazy plan worked...

...well, mostly.

My plan was always to exercise more and manage my diet. I've always found that with IBS, or IBS-alike, I couldn't eat the healthy foods I have always enjoyed. For example, I haven't eaten spinach in almost seven years; I adore the stuff, can't touch it any more. I just don't digest it any my body works very hard to get rid of it as fast as possible... Yeah, you get the idea with that.

So anyway, I'm still injury free. And on average, over the last two years, I have lost over a pound a month, which is ideal, especially considering the currency's relatively strong presence on international markets. Converted to, say, rupees or the US dollar, I'm actually quite slim.

In real money, I'm still around 220lbs, but so much more of it is muscle and I'm in arguably the best shape of my life. Most of my clothing no longer features an 'X' in its sizing, for example. T-shirts are a 'large'; undercrackers are generally between the two, but they have to accommodate my thighs, so I don't mind and XL in them.

So, it's mostly worked. I feel great and look much better, without really altering my diet, though I am currently experimenting with probiotic supplements to see if they'll help. I've actually eaten my first iron-rich greens in years recently (samphire - I'm assuming it's iron-rich because of its sexy, sexy colour) with no ill effects.

I've also been coaching other people, which is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. My charges recently completed their first organised race, the Ludlow 12k, which left me filled to burst with pride.

Good times.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

If the skirt fits....

It was about twenty years ago, when my mother and I were staying with Wink.  I used to drive her down in her car, then come home by train and my sister would drive her back up and go back by train in her turn.  She didn't like to make the journey alone - alone apart from her dog, that is.

Sometimes I'd stay for a few days, and on this occasion we went shopping.  I saw a skirt I rather liked, longish, silky, black with cream and golden brownish (I'm rubbish with colours) flowers, a size 10 and quite unforgiving, being straight and sleek.  But my mother saw it too and pounced first (she had no idea I was interested myself).  She bought it, which was fine ... but she never wore it.  When she died, ten years later, it still had its label on.  I have no idea why she didn't wear it, or give it to me or Wink instead, but maybe she thought it was a bit young for her? - I don't know.  Anyway, within a few years I'd expanded, so wouldn't have been able to wear it.

We used to exchange clothes sometimes - that is, I don't suppose I passed anything much on to her, but she did to me, she bought rather a lot of clothes.  So Wink and I didn't have any scruples when she died about keeping any of her clothes that we liked, before passing the rest on to the charity shop.  One coat, she's only bought three months earlier for £250, which was a sort of bravado to prove she wasn't really ill and would live long enough to get full wear out of it.  It's lovely, I still wear it and get lots of compliments.

But this skirt has hung in the wardrobe.  And when I lost weight and could wear a size 10 again, it was still too small.  Then, I could do it up but it looked too tight.

Last Thursday, I was going out to dinner.  And I tried on the skirt.  Darlings, it went on easily, did up, I wore a close-fitting top and it looked fine.

Still half a stone to go, though.  But that was pretty damn satisfying.  Makes me feel I'm on the right track.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Following doctor's orders

I'm just about hovering on the 9 stone mark, as long as I weigh myself first thing in the morning, naked and breakfastless.  But I've got to go under that, so I still haven't got down to where the doctor advised, nearly 4 years ago (3 years and nearly 10 months).  But, since I was perilously close to 11 stone then, I've done reasonably well, because I lost weight, gained a bit, lost it again and kept on losing.

I can't help having goals, one seems to need something to aim at.  And I'd like to have reached the weight I want to be by my birthday next year.  I'm not quite sure what that is, truth to tell, but I'm guessing about 8 1/2.  It is the maintenance that's the difficulty of course, over a period of time.  I'm having to eat less and less to lose anything at all and the temptation to relax is ever-present.

Today - one of those small yoghurt drinks for breakfast.  I bought a pack of them for Zerlina as the antibiotics she's on wipe out the 'good bacteria' as well as the nasty ones.  Then, after she'd had the first, I forgot to take them back to her house.  75 calories

For lunch, a rollmop herring, 92 calories and some cherries, about 15.  Don't know how many calories are in a cherry.

An hour ago, a slice of bread from a small loaf, lightly buttered.  Happy to say I don't know how many calories in that either.

Now, a small piece of cheese and a glass of white wine.

Later, a small piece of plaice, some potato and runner beans, tomatoes and carrots.  I do not rule out ice cream, or possibly a couple of squares of chocolate.  There will certainly be another glass of wine.

Oh, and I've remembered the diet breaker.  I bought some fresh Kent cobnuts today.  I can't resist them.  The question will be, in eating the cobs, can I not eat chocolate or ice cream?

Can I, punk?  Do I feel lucky?

I feel a bit hungry, actually.

Saturday, 25 August 2012


They say a good breakfast sets you up for the day.  Well, I find that a good breakfast sets me up for lunch.  I don't eat any less for the rest of the day if I've had a good breakfast.  If I'm on a serious kick-start to some weight loss, then skipping breakfast altogether is the quickest way.  I'm not saying that this is a good thing, just that it works.  It isn't something I normally do, though sometimes I do wait an hour or two before having breakfast and then have a very modest lunch as it's not long since I've eaten.

The thing about cereals, and muesli in particular, is that it's easy to eat more than you realise.  Read the side of the muesli packet and it says how many calories are in a helping, but it's only if you weigh it out that you discover what a small helping that is.  And then there are the surprising number of calories in fruit juice, especially if you pour out a full glass.  If you squeeze your own orange you find out what a small amount of juice it actually gives.

At the moment, I'm plugging on with my small amount of plain yoghurt and some fruit.  If I want more, I have an egg instead, poached, on half a slice of toast.  

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Z weighs in

To my relief, I've lost two pounds.  I say relief because I've been so very careful, eating so little that if I'd not lost anything at all in the past month I'd have been quite despairing.  All the same, two pounds.  Jesus.  It isn't much, not for all the abstinence.

Today, I ate a small amount of yoghurt for breakfast, a couple of peaches later, some leftover kedgeree for lunch (a small helping) and during the afternoon a slice of bread and Marmite (no butter) and a small square of cheese.  1 cm, perhaps.  Oh, and a couple of glasses of wine; that is, I'm on the second glass.  Tonight, we're having steak and the Sage is cooking.  This won't be a weight loss day.  Oh, I had a couple of cherry tomatoes, do they count?  I might have had some orange juice for breakfast too.

Anyway, size 10 jeans are roomy.  Appreciably roomier than when I bought them a couple of months ago.

It's hard, you know.  I don't want to eat much at a time, my appetite has diminished a lot.  But I seem to be denying myself several times a day.  Still, getting there.  I could be trying this much and not losing anything at all.


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Eating little, losing nothing

It does take a long time of not eating much for me to lose weight.  Today for example, I had two tablespoons, probably less than 100g (or possibly millilitres) of plain yoghurt plus a peach and a small glass of orange juice for breakfast.  A crab salad, not a whole crabsworth, for lunch and a glass of wine.  For dinner, a small helping of salmon, a spoonful of pasta and some french beans, followed by a couple of greengages.  Oh, and a couple more glasses of wine.  I really don't think that's much, and it's fairly typical of the quantities and types of food I've been eating recently.  Yesterday, for example, we went out for lunch and I had a BLT baguette.  The Sage had a steak and offered me his mushroom, a nice open one.  Once I'd accepted it, he said hopefully that he'd swap it for some bacon.  Since he had an 8 oz steak already, I was surprised that he wanted any more - still, I gave him half my bacon, 1 1/2 rasher's worth.  I ate the salad, the slice and a half of bacon, the mushroom (which was grilled, not fried) and drank a half pint of cider and left all the bread.  I hadn't had anything at all for breakfast.  For dinner, I had most of a fillet of fish, grilled, some baked potato and some sautéed courgettes and tomatoes.  Then I had some ice cream, a small helping.

Really, I'm not eating much.  I'm not losing an ounce though.  Unless I'm saving it all up and will suddenly drop half a stone.  But how is it that some people lose several pounds per week?  I really can't eat less, it wouldn't be healthy.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Resistance is not in the least futile

Thinking about it, I'm eating a lot less bread than I usually do.  It's not that I normally eat so much of it, but it's a convenient thing to eat when one feels peckish and doesn't want to give in to the temptation to eat sweet things, and it's very easy for that to happen, particularly if it's been a long time since the last meal and blood sugar levels are low - not that one needs sugar of course, but that sometimes a quick boost is craved.  But anyway, I'm just resisting temptation.  On the whole, bread is not delicious enough to bother with eating for its own sake.  I love good bread actually, but there's little enough of that about - it's when I go abroad that I'm reminded of what bread should be.

So today's lunch was more protein than I've had recently - a slice of ham and a couple of leftover chipolatas, a few olives, some cucumber and tomato and a nectarine.  A little yoghurt and some fruit for breakfast.  And I could eat more, easily, but I won't.  And now I'm going out, so there will be no temptation.  

Friday, 10 August 2012

Z doesn't eat for the sake of it

I'm working on only eating when really hungry and only eating enough not to be so.  If you think about it, it's likely that you often feel like eating, feel a bit peckish, but we eat too regularly to be genuinely hungry very often.

Yesterday, I put a couple of dessertspoonfuls of plain yoghurt into a bowl and took a nectarine to eat while the kettle boiled.  I ate the nectarine but I'm not sure what happened after that - suffice it to say that I never got around to making the tea and, this morning, the Sage asked me what was in the bowl.  But a nectarine for breakfast and a couple of plums and an apricot seems to have been quite enough.  Dilly and I went out for lunch with Hay and I ordered a salmon and cucumber sandwich.  A while later the waitress came back to say they were out of salmon, would smoked salmon be okay, and would I like it with cream cheese or cucumber.  So I had smoked salmon and cucumber, ditched one slice of bread and made a single sandwich with a nice thick filling, ate the crisps and salad that came with it and drank a can of lemonade.

Much later, getting ready to go out for supper, I realised that lemonade was all I'd drunk that day and had some water.  That's a bit of a downside, once one starts to not eat much it's only too easy not to drink much either.  I had a vegetarian salad and summer pudding with a glass of wine for supper and a chocolate with coffee.  I'm not going to keep up this light food and not much of it forever, but it's easy not to eat too much in the summer and my 'delicious and/or nutritious' rule still applies.

I gave the Sage the yoghurt to offer to the chickens and had today's two dessertspoonfuls and a glass of orange juice.  I'm still a bit hungry actually, but I've had enough to eat for now.  Some fruit later or maybe, since Weeza and Zerlina are heading over here, I might dig out some ice cream.  

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Z weighs in

Actually, this is a bit me, me, me, isn't it?  Still, that's its purpose I suppose.  I weighed myself and I haven't lost any more weight even though I've lost an inch from my hips.  That's all right, shows it's getting established.

I'm really not eating all that much, so I have to be particularly careful that what I do eat is very good.  That is, both good for me and delicious - delicious in particular.  My preference has always been mostly for healthy food anyway so that's no problem.  I do need to be sure I eat enough calcium because I don't have milk in tea or coffee, nor do I eat cereal.

At the moment, I'm eating a lot of fruit because fruit is so gorgeous at this time of the year.  I was slightly downed by seeing English plums at Tim's shop yesterday because plums mean autumn, but I bought them anyway, as well as nectarines, apricots, peaches, greengages and a melon.  The melon isn't quite ripe so I haven't started it yet, but I've rather overindulged in the rest.  Today, a couple of dessertspoonsful of plain yoghurt for breakfast with fruit.  For lunch, a slice of ham, some tomato and cucumber, 6 black olives and half a slice of lightly buttered bread, and fruit.  Later the Sage and I shared a slice of chocolate cake, then two chipolatas and some french beans for dinner.  I cooked potatoes but I didn't eat any myself.  I like early potatoes and I like them when cooked interestingly, but plain boiled potatoes are quite dull and just there as a filler as far as I'm concerned, so I left them.  Oh, I had a few more olives, three or four, with a glass of wine before dinner.

Tomorrow I'm out for dinner with friends, a regular monthly thing. We have two courses, so I'll either have a starter and a pudding or eat part of the main course and not all.  Unless it's a fruit-based dessert, I won't eat it all.  

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Zzipping up

I've mislaid some clothes.  I wanted to wear a pink jacket the other day - I'd been to a funeral so wore a black jacket with my grey and white dress, and thought I'd brighten up a bit for the afternoon.  It's a bright pink, unmissable ... only it isn't.  I can't find it anywhere.  This morning I was going to do some scything so I wanted to wear my old jeans.  No idea where they are.  Last I saw of them they were in the washing machine.  That is, I haven't worn them since I washed them, but they aren't there now.

Anyway, while I was looking this morning I picked up a pair of jeans that I keep for old times' sake.  Shall I tell you the story?  Oh, okay - well, it dates back to when Al was in his early teens and I had recently lost weight.  It was 23 years ago in fact, and I weighed under 8 1/2 stone when I stopped dieting, and I kept that weight or close to it for several years - my forties were difficult years and that was when I piled on too many pounds.

One day I went to the pile of clothes I'd brought in from the washing line the day before, took a pair of jeans and put them on, did them up and realised something was wrong.  Hard to identify, they fitted but they didn't feel right.  I looked in the mirror and they were narrower than I expected.  I took them off - of course, they were Al's jeans.  Marks and Spencer, age 13, height 63 inches, waist 27 inches.  Al was a skinny lad (he still is, turn sideways and he almost vanishes, just a thin line) and I was quite gratified that I could zip up his jeans *just like that*.

Well, when he grew out of them I kept them and they're my yardstick.  Of course in my fatter days I never tried to put them on at all, and a few months ago I could put them on and not do them up.  The last time I tried, I could do up the waist button but not the zip.

You know what's coming, don't you?  Yes, I drew in the vast tum, pulled on the zip and up it went.  I examined myself critically.  Still something to come off the thighs and if I didn't hold the flab in by sheer willpower it had a tendency to spill over a bit (not outrageously, mind you).  But I bent over and could touch my toes in them and, more importantly, I couldn't do them up a few weeks ago.

Later, I measured my hips.  37 inches.  

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Z waists away

And so today, I measured myself.  And I see where those pounds have gone from - my waist.  So that's good.

I did so because my skirt keeps swivelling round so I thought a bit might have gone, and it so happens that I measured my waist only about a fortnight ago.  Then, it was an okay but slightly depressing 29".

I think that's considered pretty normal nowadays, but when I was young, it was 24" that was the norm, and that was more or less what I had.  In those days, I had a smaller bust - probably I varied from 33"-34", 24" waist, hips 35" to 38" depending on my weight at the time.

So today ... 36" up top, 27.5" waist,  38" hips.  Which is in proportion, anyway.  Can I keep the top and lose a bit more down below?  Hmmm.

Of course, my shape is nothing like it used to be.  Generous love handles, for a start (when waistlines all sit firmly on the waist so it's all contained within cloth, no one will be happier) and an alarming amount of flab.  And shall we not mention upper arms?

The diet continues, darlings.  But it includes cheese and chocolate.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Nearly 130, but not quite

I weighed myself this morning.  9 stone 3 pounds.  My initial aim is to be below 9 stone, so this is well on the way.

I managed it by a week of hardly eating, however, which isn't really a sensible way ahead, and wasn't planned.  It was a bit of a worry thing.  I didn't drink much, even.

In my younger (but fully adult) days, my lowest weight was 7 1/2 stone.  I didn't diet down to that, I was breastfeeding Al.  I always lost a lot of weight when feeding my babies, I ate like a horse and couldn't keep the weight on, but got thinnest of all with Al.  I've looked up my BMI and 7 1/2 stone is the lowest weight categorised as 'normal' - under that would be underweight.  Sad to say, it's the only time in my adult life that I actually felt slender - that is, I've got a pretty healthy body image now and I've never been one for self-loathing or anything like that, but I always felt fat.  I don't now, actually, despite rather a lot of wobbly bits.

My normal fit weight was about 8 stone 4 lbs and as long as I was under 8 1/2, I reckoned that was okay, if not slim.  It would be on the thin side now, I think that a few extra pounds are not a bad thing - they help to hide the wrinkles a bit for one thing when you're my age and the subcutaneous fat diminishes.  But 120 lbs is a nice round number.  8 stone anything will suit me just fine though.  No timescale, I'm not setting myself up for failure.

Though it's just occurred to me, I weigh 131 lbs.  So it seems I have my first target right in front of me.  One more pound.  

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Not wisely but rather well

Well, that wasn't the best example of determination.  I got back from Corfu a week ago, having made a snap decision to go there with friends.  For the first day I was careful what I ate and then I started to feel like such a party pooper that I gave up watching.

It wasn't the meals that were the problem mind you, nor was it breakfast, where I ate yoghurt and dry toast as I might at home (Greek yoghurt, of course, in this case), but the snacks.  Pam produced crisps, nuts and so on with drinks and often we finished the evening with halva or chocolate.  When I arrived home and weighed myself, I'd put on four pounds.

I weighed myself again this morning and I've lost two of them and that's without trying very hard.  Once you get used to grazing, you don't want to stop.  But if I have had any nibbles, they have been olives or cheese - and that's interesting, because they're high in fat and so are crisps.  But I gained weight on crisps and lost it on cheese (not that I was eating it daily).  And I've been unable to resist my Indian Soan Papdi.

A couple more weeks at most and I hope that I'll be back on track again.  

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Less of Z to love

I've been aware of my hip a few times recently.  This is spurring me into increased action, or at any rate determination, and I'm going to get shot of the excess once and for all.  I'm going down, under 9 1/2 stone now, but it's not good enough.  I am in the 'normal' range all right, a size 10 too, but I need to be 8 stone something to feel right and to slow down the deterioration in my hip joint.

It's quite a difficult thing to face and I've been managing to keep it out of my mind until now, but the thought of the gradual lameness and increase in pain isn't easy.  I shouldn't fuss I know, I'm being self-indulgent (comes with blogging territory though, surely) when there are so many people in a much worse situation, but if I say it here I won't feel the need to whinge in the real world.

Anyway.  I don't feel like eating at all today, so that'll kick start the weight loss.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Going down...

This non-diet diet seems to be working so far, although it's a very slow way to lose weight.  Still, if it's for the long-term, that's all right.

I am now nearly back to 9 1/2 stone, which is just putting me back to the situation I was in at the time I had my new hip, so is nothing to be proud of - except that I stopped and reversed the gain, which isn't all that easy to do, so does indicate a degree of determination.  And I haven't done it by dieting.  I still eat cheese, I occasionally butter my bread, I have not cut anything out of my diet at all.  I'm just trying to be aware of how much I eat, and stop when I've had enough, even if I could eat more.

That's the theory at any rate, in fact it depends on how delicious the food is.  But it is evidently the key for me.

As I said a few weeks ago on my other blog, I spent a fortnight in India eating like a horse - though again, it was not a greedy horse.  Still, I enjoyed the food far too much to leave much of it.  Looking back though, it was all healthy apart from those delicious snacks, such as home-made, newly-fried potato crisps and so on, which were irresistible, although I tried (so hard, darlings, and didn't always succeed) to limit the quantity.  That I only put on half a kilo was quite a relief.  Since I got home, that and a couple more pounds have come off and my jeans not only fit again but are quite roomy.  I only wear jeans if I'm a size 10.

Since this way of eating is the way forward, I don't have a target weight to aim for.  I'd love to be below 9 stone, which I haven't been for about 15 years, but I'm not going to worry about it.

Sunday, 22 January 2012


And the thing is, I'm not going to 'go on a diet' - that is, alter what I eat.  It's bound to fail in the long run.  You can lose the weight all right, but it's sure to go on again sooner or later.  Not if your weakness is for several packets of crisps and a couple of Mars bars every day, the thing to do there is just stop eating them.  But if you've got a healthy and sensible diet, there's very little to give up.

So I'm going to eat anything I want, but a lot less of it.  Small portions, never clear my plate unless I'm the one who's chosen the amount of food in the first place.  And if I'm still a bit hungry, that's no bad thing.  Think of being hungry as the body using fat.

I'm not giving up cheese again.  Life without cheese isn't worth living.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Z's back

I haven't weighed myself for months.  Too lowering to the morale, and I wasn't about to do anything about it, so better not to know.  However, yesterday I pulled myself together and clambered awkwardly on to the bathroom scales.

I rarely use these in any case, actually.  I normally put my contact lens in (and take it out) downstairs, so I don't find it that easy to read the dial.  And we've got these fabulous balance scales which we keep in the porch, where you stand on a platform and then add the weights and slide a bar until the balance tips.  But I just wanted an indication yesterday, so bathroom it was.

I'm pretty sure I've lost a pound or two in the past week, because I haven't been eating all that much.  But I was gratified, all the same.  I'd only put on 5 pounds.  Sadly, not all my clothes fit any longer, but if I get going again, I should lose that in a few months.  Yes, when I was young and keen I might have said a few weeks too, but it takes me ages and I hate becoming discouraged through over-optimism.

So it seems that I'll be posting again here.  And this time, I'm not stopping until I weigh under 9 stone.  Not the least likelihood of ever getting to my old (when young) weight of 8 stone 4 pounds, but that's all right.  Under 9 will be fine.