Friday, 10 December 2010

Above and Beyond

Weight Goal: 8st 7lbs
Morning Weight: 8st 6lbs 12oz
Loss: 1lb 8oz
Total Loss: 15lb 4oz
Left to Lose: -4oz!!!

Bum Goal: 34½" - 36"
Bum Circumference: 36"
Total Bum Loss: 3½
Left to Lose: 0" - 1½"

Upper Arm: 9¾" (stayed the same)
Waist: 24" (lost 1")
Hips: 36" (lost 1")
Upper Thigh: 20.5" (stayed the same)

I am so happy to have surpassed my goal just two days after my planned date! I posted this on Tuesday 30th September 2010:

"So with 15lbs to lose, that means I could potentially reach my goal in ten weeks: the 8th December. If I manage to do this, it will be the first winter in my life where the digits on my scales are actually decreasing — I may tear a hole in the space/time continuum."

Well, the universe still appears to be here, so it appears my mission was a lot less painful than I first anticipated. I was finding the process so difficult when it was centred around food, counting calories and killing myself at the gym, but when I relaxed and started to actually listen to my body, it became so much more enjoyable and easier. I also think that this method is something I will be able to maintain, and I don't have that fear that usually comes with me reaching goal on every other diet I've tried — that I'm slowly going to pile all of the weight back on. I truly feel that I've changed the way I think about, and enjoy food, and that this is something I will hopefully be able to maintain for the rest of my life.

Finally here's the photo I took of the scales this morning — I was so happy I actually did a little dance around the bathroom!

...And I guess that's it, and unless any major weight related disasters occur and I feel the need to monitor myself in a blog occur, this will be my last post. I'm hoping after Christmas to start blogging about my sewing, and if so I'll post a link here. Til then.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Weight Goal: 8st 7lbs
Morning Weight: 8st 8lbs 4oz
Loss: 3lbs
Total Loss: 13lbs 12oz
Left to Lose: 1lb 4oz

Bum Goal: 34½" - 36"
Bum Circumference: 37"
Total Bum Loss: 2½"
Left to Lose: 1" - 2½"

What can I say? I am overjoyed that I am only 1lb 4oz away from my 21 year old weight! I feel like I've been dieting, on and off, for the past ten years, and am elated (but equally frustrated) that I only seem to have cracked during the past two months (from October 11th onwards).

I was looking at some of my older blog posts, and when I started this weight loss plan I was counting calories using Livestrong. I can't believe the sheer amount of food I used to eat, purely because a spreadsheet said I was "allowed" to. Despite the fact I was eating such large mounds of food, I would still think I felt hungry (and I say "think" as I believe the word "diet" translates automatically in your brain as "restricted"). The fact that there were a finite number of calories (and it could have been 1500 or 30,000) meant that in my mind I knew I was supposed to eat within a "limit", and therefore I would want more than that limit, and this would lead to me "cheating" and going over my calorie limit for each day. I never for one minute actually listened to my body or what it needed or wanted, and instead put all my trust in a numeric system that I am certain my ancestors would have looked at with suspicion, derision and disbelief.

Using this Paul McKenna system, I never let myself go hungry. I am constantly aware of how my body feels, and therefore how little food it actually takes for me to feel satisfied. I also completely trust what kinds of foods my body is asking for when it's hungry, rather than what I think I "should" be eating. It has saved me so much time and worry, especially in tracking foods and inputting data. It's also wonderful being able to have a cupcake for lunch if my body feels like it, and not feel at all guilty — absolute bliss!

I stumbled across an old notepad in the cupboard from when I was following the Weight Watchers plan earlier in the year, and I thought I would share my stats from then, and compare them to today's...

Monday 21/06/2010
Morning Weight: 9st 7lbs 12oz
Upper Arm: 10½"
Waist: 28"
Hips: 40½"
Upper Thigh: 23"

On this particular day, I also did 55 mins cardio at the gym, plus a set of weights, and all in all spent about 2 hours there — all that for a 3½ inches bigger arse! That day for breakfast I ate two slices of wholemeal bread with Pure and Marmite for 4½ points. For lunch I had an M&S Rice, Lentil and Aubergine Salad with two Nairns Rough Oatcakes for 9 points. At dinner I had 50g wholemeal pasta, 50g Neal's Yard veggie mince, aubergine and tomato for 5 points, and another slice of wholemeal bread with Pure for 2½ points. I can't believe how obsessive I was with weighing and measuring everything I ate, and that I let the weighing and measuring justify my eating it all, regardless of whether I was hungry or not.

I decided to measure the other parts of my body today, to compare with six months ago.

Saturday 04/12/2010
Morning Weight: 8st 8lbs 4oz
Upper Arm: 9¾"
Waist: 25"
Hips: 37"
Upper Thigh: 20.5"

I cannot believe the difference from six months ago, when I was putting SO much time and effort into losing weight and getting back into that gold dress, compared with the past few weeks when I have been relaxed, eaten whatever I fancied and done NO exercise whatsoever. I am really not proud of the fact that I still haven't done any exercise (apart from a little Just Dance session last Saturday, and busting some moves at the indie disco), but I really hope I can find the inspiration to do some soon as I think it is so important to keep your heart and bones fit and healthy. I really don't want to end up like my Dad who  has every ache and pain known to man, and difficulty walking for longer than five minutes at a time (he's only 66).

The best surprise of this week is that I wore my gold dress last Saturday when I went out dancing! I just thought I'd try it on to see how I was progressing and it fit perfectly! My thighs could actually move freely without any knicker flashing. Also some of my other dresses are now really baggy on me, so I'm tempted to take them to the charity shop (so I have no safety net and would have to go naked if I ever dared have a miserable, regrettable binge ever again). Maybe I'll take them in as I'm absolutely brassic at the moment, plus as I'm so near to goal I'm thinking of changing my blog to a sewing one. I made a couple of dresses last weekend so I'd like to keep it up and learn some new skills.

I'll leave you with some pictures of the mammoth soup making session I had today. I'm hoping they will last me for the next two weeks at work, and have made ten portions: five "Garlic and Greens" and five "African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew", both from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's amazing book, "The Vegan Table". I've also made 4 portions of Thai Green Curry with chickpeas, butternut squash, aubergine, carrot and mushrooms. I actually ran out of my take-away containers so have had to freeze them in ceramic bowls (hope they don't crack...) As per usual I forgot to take any pictures when my soups were being prepared, or looked all steamy and satisfying. Instead, what you're getting is a picture of the two batches of frozen rectangles nestled close to each other in the freezer...

Well hopefully the next time I post I'll be at goal! I'm so excited to actually be getting smaller as it Christmas approaches, and to have non of my usual anxiety that "weight gain is inevitable" that I usually have at Christmas. Instead I feel calm, satisfied, and excited at the prospect of starting 2012 happier with my body than I have been in years. Til next time!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Weight Goal: 8st 7lbs (119lbs)
Morning Weight: 8st 11lbs 4oz
Loss: 1lb
Total Loss: 10lbs 12oz
Left to Lose: 5lbs 4oz

Bum Goal: 34½" - 36"
Bum Circumference: 37½"
Total Bum Loss: 1"
Left to Lose: 1½" - 3"

Another pound loss this week. As the amount I lose decreases each week, it feels like I'm starting to plateau, but I still haven't been doing any exercise so I guess it's to be expected. For the first time in ages I actually feel like doing some exercise this weekend, so I might dust off the ol' Kate Lawler video tomorrow and give that a whirl (with more stretches before and afterwards this time, as last time I did it I couldn't walk properly for a week). I've been hearing a lot about P90X as well, and have no clue what it is — just that it's meant to be good, so I'll be researching that on the weekend too.

I've recently been feeling like I need something creative outside of work to keep me sane, and make me feel more of a person and less of a robot at the moment. I've been really inspired by a girl I met on a course at work who wants to be an illustrator. She's always so enthusiastic and encouraging, so last weekend I went out and bought some fabric and have spent the week making a sausage dog shaped draught excluder and an A-line dress. I've loved sewing and making things since I can remember, but got out of the habit when I started my first job, and have slowly forgotten all the things I used to know how to do so easily. I have really enjoyed it, and spent my last bit of money in the week buying some more fabric to make another one this weekend. It feels great to have an activity to look forward to doing each evening, rather than just slumping on the sofa and browsing the Internet until bedtime.

One of the shocking things I've learned whilst embarking on this new hobby is the ridiculous extent to which shops use vanity sizing. I usually buy a British size 8 or 10 in shops, but, according to the measurements on the back of the sewing pattern I purchased, my bust and waist are a size 12, my arse is a size 14 and my back waist length is a size 18, meaning that I am a pear with a very long body and stubby little legs. Ah hobbies, a great way to boost one's self esteem.

I know that thoughts of exercise have been very much on the back burner, but I realise that if I want to fit into that gold dress by Christmas I'm going to have to rev up my metabolism. I'll finish with a picture of said dress to spur me on...

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Weight Goal: 8st 7lbs (119lbs)
Morning Weight: 8st 12lbs 4oz (124lbs 4oz)
Loss: 1lb 8oz
Total Loss: 9lbs 12oz
Left to Lose: 5lbs 4oz

Bum Goal: 34½" - 36"
Bum Circumference: 37¾"
Total Bum Loss: ¾"
Left to Lose: 1¾" - 3¼"

Again, I'm really pleased with the number on the scales continuing to go down. I had another weekend away from home last week as I went to London with some friends. We travelled down by car, so there were a lot of service stations, all of them containing a LOT of unhealthy food. I made sure that I'd listened to the hypnosis the day before the trip and found it really easy to stick to the rules, despite the lack of healthy food. Here's a list of what I ate that weekend:

Saturday Morning: Linda McCartney sausages, mushrooms, beans, toast, tomatoes
Afternoon: pink licorice, cola cubes, pear drops
Evening: chips, onion rings, 2 glasses wine, 6 rum & diet cokes
Late Night: falafel kebab with houmous, chilli sauce, green chillis, red cabbage, chips

Sunday Morning: Burger King veggie wrap, chips
Evening: Thai green curry, onion rings, chips (lots more junk, but can't remember as it was last week)

Despite this onslaught of fat, stodge, and generally terrible food, I was able to listen to my body, only eat when hungry, enjoy each mouthful, and stop when I was full. It was so nice to come back from a weekend away not feeling disgustingly bloated and actually having lost some weight.

My friends have started to noticed my weight loss too, so I told them my little secret and that it seemed to be working really well for me. I lent one of them the book and CD on Monday and she's told me that it's making a lot of sense to her, so hopefully it will work out well for her too.

I still haven't got around to doing any exercise as I can't shake this cold. Everyone at work seems to be suffering with it too, so if it doesn't go by then end of this week I'll have to cart myself off to the doctors. I will attempt some "Just Dance" tomorrow and see how I get on...

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Still Going Strong-ish

Weight Goal: 8st 7lbs (119lbs)
Morning Weight: 8st 13lbs 12oz (125lbs 12oz)
Loss: 1lb 12oz
Total Loss: 8lbs 4oz
Left to Lose: 6lbs 12oz

Bum Goal: 34½" - 36"
Bum Circumference: 38½"
Total Bum Loss: 1"
Left to Lose: 2½" - 4"

I'm still ill after 3 weeks so haven't really felt up to blogging or exercising, but my eating is still going really well. I feel so much more in control and unemotional towards food, and this in turn has made me feel a lot more relaxed.

We were away this weekend so I was presented with a few challenges that I was really proud of myself for handling well. First we took the day off work for a trip to a theme park. Finding healthy, vegan food at the here was impossible, so I settled on a Burger King Veggie Bean Burger with no cheese or mayonnaise (which, according to the website, is vegan). I also had a portion of fries and some water. I removed the bread from my burger as I was trying to follow the Paul McKenna rule, "eat only what you want", and I find the bread to be the most boring part. I finished about half a portion of the fries.

Next we drove South to visit my family which is a never ending question bombardment of "Are you hungry? Have you eaten? There are biscuits in that tin; there's crisps in the cupboard; I've got you some Linda McCartney sausage rolls/Redwood hot dogs/falafel..." and as you can imagine, it's pretty hard to resist, but I did—and didn't even feel like I was missing out, or struggling to say "no thank you".

We usually have a lot of drinks with my sister and her boyfriend, but because I'm eating a lot less food the alcohol is definitely having a quicker and more potent effect—at least I'll be a cheap date I guess. She also bought tons of Pringles, olives and some delectable wasabi peanuts, but after a nibble of each variety my stomach told me I was satisfied and I was able to stop. I really need to work on cutting down my alcohol intake to match though, as I had a wretched hangover all weekend.

I keep forgetting to take photos as I'm a rubbish blogger (especially as all my favourite blogs have lots of pictures), but here are some shots of our newly stocked fridge (the animal parts and secretions are NOT mine!)... omnivorous boyfriend's "appetising" dinner (and he says my food looks disgusting)...

...and guess what, a disgusting looking, but very tasty, Thai Green Curry again...

...and my delicious breakfast this morning—I LOVE it!

I'm away again this weekend but will bring my camera and try to engage my brain to take some foody pictures when my friends aren't looking (they don't know about this blog and I'm not ready to share it until I get much better and more interesting!). Til then...

Monday, 25 October 2010

Morning Weight: 9st 1lbs 8oz (127lbs 8oz)
Loss: 6lb 4oz
Total Loss: 6lbs 8oz

Bum Circumference: 38¾"
Total Bum Loss: ¾"

As you can imagine, I am overjoyed by the results of today's weigh-in. I can't believe I've managed to lose 6lbs 4oz in two weeks without measuring any food, and without eliminating anything from my diet. I have listened to the 25 minute hypnosis session every night for a fortnight, and I truly believe this little ritual helps keep the principles of the "rules" clear and present in my mind. 

I have found myself with so much extra time that I used to spend fantasising about what to eat next, and can actually go for hours without even the mirage of a mere crumb entering my mind. By paying much closer attention to my body's signals I have also realised that I am a lot less hungry than I usually imagine, and it takes a LOT less food to fill me up. 

I'm getting so much more enjoyment and pleasure from actually slowing down and tasting my food. I've realised that previously the pleasure I got from eating was the sheer sensation of shoving it all in my mouth and swallowing it all really fast — as if trying to plug a leaking hole — rather than the actual flavours and textures of the food.

The only slightly disappointing thing today is my bum measurement. I was hoping that the sheer change in my eating habits would be all that was needed to miraculously whittle my bottom down by 5½ inches, but sadly it looks like I'm going to have to hit the gym again. I've only managed to get there once since coming back from our holiday, and today received this guilt-inducing email in my inbox...

No guilt and no pressure eh? I think I'll start trying to go at the weekends again as it's getting very dark in the evenings and I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to walking home alone in the winter months. On weekdays I'm going to have a crack at these two beauties and see if they have any effect...

We treated ourselves to 'Just Dance 2' for the Wii on Sunday. I saw an advert for it on Saturday night and just thought it would be a bit of fun before nights out, but having played it on Sunday I got seriously sweaty. I'd say it's a definite no-no for pre-night out drinkies (unless I'm going for the Alice Cooper look) but it may just serve me well as a fun workout mid-week when I can't face the dark and dismal gym after work. 

The Kate Lawler workout was recommended to me by an exercise DVD aficionado at work (believe me, she's tried all of them), so I managed to get it on Amazon for £2.25. I tried it this evening and it seems okay. I think I may try and get another one with an actual fitness instructor rather than a celebrity as surely they must know slightly more about exercise. Also I imagine I'll quickly get bored of doing it every day, but I might alternate it with the dancing (which is a lot more fun). I also have a Pilates DVD hidden away somewhere, so I'll try and mix them all in whenever I have a spare hour in the evening ('Clueless' style) during the winter, and will save running at the gym for the weekends.

I'm feeling pretty sleepy now after my first workout in months so I'll think I'll head off to bed and listen to my daily dose of McKenna magic. I WILL be in that dress by Christmas!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


I've been ill for the past couple of days so haven't felt like blogging, but have continued listening to the hypnosis each day and have managed to stick to the rules so far. I'm really looking forward to weighing myself on the 25th to see if this is actually working.

It was my sister's birthday on the weekend, which would usually be an excuse for a never ending feast of vegan cupcakes, nachos, dips, curries etc etc. In fact, we did indulge in all of these things (complete with a candle in the cupcake for her to blow out), but thanks to the rules and hypnosis I was able to eat just enough to be satisfied and stop when full. The cupcakes were absolutely delicious and I'm so glad I'm now able to get my vegan sweet fix just around the corner...

I was off work on Monday and yesterday and completely lost my appetite. I still ate a few things here and there, but avoided stuffing myself with my favourite illness comfort food of Smash instant mash with Pure vegan butter and ketchup (it always hits the spot). Instead I had some bruschetta and then a takeaway veggie burger, chips and onion rings. I left half of this but felt slightly better for having eaten something.

Today I went back to work which in hindsight was a terrible idea as I think I've just made myself worse. I went for a walk to the vegan cafe and got some delicious pumpkin and leek soup to warm me up. I think I've been really bad at packing in the fruit and veg lately as this felt really nice and wholesome as I was eating it - as if every cell was feasting on the nutrients.

Tonight I made Thai Red Curry and it was horrible. I made the mistake of using frozen vegetables so it ended up really watery. The worst part was the peas I added. Their flavour was so overwhelming I could only manage a bit of it before gagging at the horrendous combination of pea and Thai spices so I definitely won't be making that mistake again.

I need to remember to take pictures of everything too. My blog's looking very bare and drab with no badly taken, badly lit pictures of my slovenly presented wierd food combinations to brighten it up. I'll try and rectify this starting tomorrow. Til then...