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...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Feeling Better Already

Today is my second day of following the Paul McKenna system. I listened to the hypnosis session before work this morning and have managed to stick to the 'rules' so far. Eating slowly is a real eye-opener to how much I must usually over eat, and how ridiculously fast I can make a meal disappear (only for it to reappear on my arse days later).

For breakfast I had one round of wholemeal toast with Pure and Marmite. I ate this so slowly that by the time I'd got through two thirds of it I was starting to feel satisfied and stopped. By 11:30am my tummy was starting to rumble so I s-l-o-w-l-y ate an oatcake, and then another one at 12:30am when my tummy was rumbling again.

I nipped off to M&S at lunchtime to stock up on lunches for the week. I got my favourite Rice, Lentil & Aubergine Salad, the Super Wholefood Salad and a couple of soups - Butternut Squash and Greens. There were some very tasty sounding soups in there but it was really hard to find ones that were vegan as they'd wedged cow milk into everything. I got back to work and left about a quarter of the Super Wholefood Salad. Usually I can wolf this down in five minutes so this was quite a revelation for me. I was hungry again by 4:45pm, and as I had to go into town straight after work I had another oatcake.

For dinner I had one of my Red Thai Curries that I'd frozen as leftovers a while ago and some Straight-to-Wok noodles, simply because they're fast and I was hungry. Once more I took over half an hour eating this and found I was satisfied two-thirds of the way through. This is another meal I usually wolf down in seconds as it's one of my favourites. The best thing about this system so far is that I haven't had a stomach ache for two days. Usually my poor digestive system is struggling under a barrage of constant bulk and fat, or moaning at the fact that it's starving.

So the verdict today is so far, so good. I think I am really going to need to constantly reinforce the rules in my mind each and every day, but hopefully this is where the hypnosis kicks in and helps to make it easier. I think I am going to stick to listening to it in the mornings before work as my boyfriend keeps laughing at me and elbowing me when I'm trying to disappear into a trance last thing at night.

Well, here's to another day of eating consciously tomorrow...

Monday, 11 October 2010

...And Start Again

Morning weight: 9st 7lbs 12oz (133lbs 12oz)
Gain: 3lb 
Total loss: 4oz

Ugh! Well, that was a pretty unsuccessful week. It started with the "Reel Deal" at the Cornerhouse on Monday when we went to see "Enter the Void". The film was good - very original and visually stunning, but definitely made by a man. I have never seen so many different genitals in such a short space of time. The film was also 2hrs 40mins long, so by the time it had finished we were starving. We went back to the bar to get our deal which was a pizza and a beer or wine, plus our tickets for £12. Stupidly I got a pint of beer and some wine, and we also got a portion of chips between us. I completely demolished the pizza, and the plate was spotless by the time I was through. I left the restaurant feeling stupidly full and slightly too tipsy for a Monday night.

I think this Monday "binge" set the tone for the rest of the week, and by Friday I was indulging in a massive curry as we had friends round and I was too lazy to cook. I easily devoured massive portions of Aubergine Bhajee, Pilau Rice, Garlic Chapati and Poppadoms. I also drank a bottle of wine which left my stomach in turmoil for the whole weekend. I had to take several naps during Saturday and Sunday as my organs were in so much pain. I didn't make it to the gym as I was feeling so ropey, so all in all it was a complete disaster. The whole week left me feeling really depressed and disappointed at my complete lack of willpower, and slightly disgusted by what I'd managed to consume.

I started thinking about why I always seem to sabotage myself whenever I've had a bit of success with a diet, and I think the answer lies in the word "diet". I'm sure I must subconsciously be thinking of all the feelings typically associated with diets - deprivation, hunger, being "good", and it gets to a point where I want to do the complete opposite, and when I do, I do it in style.

On Sunday evening I was rooting through a cupboard and came across the Paul McKenna book, "I Can Make You Thin". I'd only really flicked through it before, but I thought as everything else was failing I might as well give it a try. I read half of it last night and it seemed to make a lot of sense. It involves giving up the concept of a "diet" forever, and instead following four main elements:
  1. Eat when you're hungry.
  2. Eat only what you want, never what you think you 'should'.
  3. Eat consciously and enjoy every mouthful.
  4. Stop when you even think you're full.
The book also has a hypnosis CD which I'm meant to listen to at least once a day for two weeks. I am also not allowed to weigh myself for two weeks which will be a hard habit to break as I usually do this at least once a day. I'm going to try and put the principles into practice and will update over the next couple of weeks with how I'm finding it. I'm actually really looking forward to my fortnightly weigh-in on the 25th October and really hoping that I will actually reconnect with how my body feels, rather than relying on how many calories a computer tells me I should be taking in.

My sister and her boyfriend are visiting next weekend for her birthday, and as a fellow vegan we usually indulge in a lot of our favourite foods whenever we get together. I'm looking forward to putting the elements into practice whilst out for her birthday dinner, and during our usual nachos and guacamole session. The testimonials in the book are all very encouraging, so I just hope I can trust in the system and that it will work for me...

    Sunday, 3 October 2010

    A Quick One Before Bed

    Morning weight: 9st 4lbs 12oz (130lbs 12oz)
    Loss: 1lb
    Total loss: 3lbs 4oz

    So pleased with another pound coming off! I stayed well within my calories today...

    ...a whole 3 remaining - I may just go nuts and have a black coffee with no sugar.

    I'd actually learned from yesterday's calorie overspend in the morning (at long last!), and instead today had one piece of toast with Pure spread and Marmite for breakfast with a coffee and sugar. For lunch I had one piece of toast with half an avocado, and was actually quite satisfied until 4:45pm when my tummy started rumbling and it was time to start cooking dinner. I made a delicious Red Thai Curry using Tesco's own brand Red Thai Paste (which is one of the few that are vegan, and doesn't have any fish juice in it), some Amoy Coconut Milk (I wanted the 'light' version but the stupid, city-centre supermarkets are very limited on choice), and a selection of random vegetables that were in the fridge. I made enough for three meals and was so excited about eating it I forgot to take a photograph, so instead here's a rather unappetising photo of the two leftover meals before they went in the freezer...

    ..they look pretty grim from this angle, but trust me they were delicious. It only took 25 minutes to cook, and came in at a not-too-shabby 354 calories (not including the brown rice). 

    I had enough calories left over for a glass of Alpro Light and Strawberry Nesquik, which was surprisingly dessert like in it's creaminess, and the other half of the avocado from earlier. I ate it with a teaspoon in its skin with a little sprinkling of salt and my boyfriend was equal parts impressed, and slightly disgusted by the fact it had its own 'bowl'.

    Better get off to bed now as I'm clocking back in at the fun factory super early tomorrow so I can leave in time to catch "Enter the Void" at The Cornerhouse. I'm really looking forward to a nice pizza as we're booked in for the "Reel Deal" offer - mmm mmm. I just hope the film doesn't give me too much motion sickness to enjoy it.

    Saturday, 2 October 2010


    Morning weight: 9st 5lbs 12oz (131lbs 12oz)
    Loss: 1lb
    Weekly bum measurement: 39.5"

    I'm pretty pleased to announce a 1lb loss today. Usually the weekend is when my incredible weight gaining superpowers kick in and I can literally eat and drink 7lbs worth of bum fat in two days. I then spend the remaining week trying to lose the 7lbs and generally remain in a state of limbo between "chubby" and "a bit chubbier".

    Friday didn't go too badly food-wise after all. I had my usual porridge, peanut butter and sugar for breakfast, then a Marks and Spenser "Super Wholefood" salad for lunch...

    This is so delicious - the mixture of edamame beans and seeds is really tasty and gives the salad a decent amount of protein (which I always find helps keep me fuller for longer).

    After work my friend picked us up and took us straight back to her house where we kicked off the evening with two glasses of white wine, and this is where the calorific trouble began. I had another glass at the pub before the meal, two more glasses with the meal and three at the pub afterwards. Worryingly I didn't even feel very tipsy after all this and woke up this morning with practically no hangover, just a teeny headache. I'm getting a bit worried about my tolerance to alcohol and what state my organs must be in. It's quite disturbing that 8 glasses slipped down so easily, and with such little effect. I'm also gutted that I wasted 928 precious calories on liquid.

    As far as my meal went, I think I made some very good, sensible choices. I had olives for my starter (instead of the usual doughy feast that is garlic and tomato bread), and a Greek pizza with no cheese for my main. Luckily, dessert wasn't even an option as everything originated from the cow boob.

    When I worked it all out this morning I was 654 calories over my goal. Not as terrible as it must have been all those times in the past, before I was counting the calories of meals out, but it could have been a lot better if I'd had less alcohol and chosen a lighter option like a spirit with diet coke.

    Today I had my usual breakfast, then a really chemical flavoured "Moroccan Cous Cous" salad from Tesco's finest range (grim - I wouldn't eat it again). For dinner it was pasta in tomato and olive sauce with a chopped up Linda McCartney sausage, and some fried aubergine on the side. I'm so easily pleased by comforting, salty, stodgy food!

    Again, due to lack of planning, I ended up eating more calories than I would have liked at lunchtime, and this means I am typing this at 10:46pm - 80 calories over my goal and with a very rumbly tummy - whoops. I think from now on I'm going to eat a lower calorie lunch so I have more calories left over for the evening when I tend to feel most hungry. I plan on whipping up some vegetable soups in the week, so hopefully the mixture of lots of veg and water should keep me satisfied for longer. Anyway, here's my Livestrong page for today...

    Not as shameful as yesterday's alcohol tragedy, but still could do a lot better. I do feel that writing about my experiences each day is definitely helping me realise my weaknesses, and when I've tried to lose weight before it is so easy to keep making the same mistakes as I simply didn't take the time to think about how every action was affecting me. Hopefully I'll start to actually act on these things I've learnt, and soon the evidence will show on the scales (and bum).

    Thursday, 30 September 2010


    Morning weight: 9st 6lbs 12oz (132lbs 12oz) 
    Loss: 1lb 4oz

    I am overjoyed that on my second post I can say I've lost 1lb 4oz. Sticking to my recommended calories for the first day was hard, and my stomach was rumbling as I got in to bed last night, but seeing a teeny-weeny loss has made it a lot easier to cope with and has spurred me on. 

    Today has been a lot tougher. I haven't felt hungry at all, but due to a complete lack of planning and an argument with Northern Cock Rock I found myself with some delectable bottles of Tuborg to cheer myself up with...

    ...which has resulted in me being a HUGE 322 calories over my goal intake of 1226.

    The day started off quite well. I had porridge with peanut butter and sugar for breakfast, followed by a coffee with soya milk and sugar at work which kept me satisfied until midday. At lunch I went with some work people to a bar nearby where they have super-cheap pitta, houmous and olives. We had pre-ordered the food, so it was all laid out, buffet-style, when we arrived. I find situations like this really difficult as I am terrible at judging portion sizes. It seems that everyone around me has that magical sensor inside that tells them they're full, but I think years of dieting, measuring out portion sizes and not trusting my own instinct and judgement has completely killed my little hungry/full gauge. If there is food in front of me I will eat it. I decided to take one pitta bread and a couple of teaspoons of houmous, and ate about twenty green and black olives. Trying to fill this in on my Livestrong page was a nightmare as I had to guess at everything, but my rough estimates meant the meal worked out at 377.5 calories. Good job I had a diet coke instead of a glass of wine.

    I haven't mentioned yet, but I'm vegan, and being vegan in Manchester is a lot more of a pain in the arse than being vegan in nice, liberal places like Brighton or New York. I mention this as it has a lot to do with my day to day anger and frustration at Manchester's lack of choice for vegans, and therefore an impact on my desire for treats in the form of sugar and booze. So to continue the story of my day, after work I went to Marks and Spensers to get some make up as they are one of the few companies that don't test on animals. I needed some really mattifying face powder as the £17 rip-off "Razor Sharp" powder I got conned into buying at Urban Decay does NOTHING to help my freakishly oily T-zone (if only I could return every bit of crap, overpriced make-up I've ever bought - my refund riches would mean I need never argue with Northern Rock again...). I got to the make up counter in M&S and it was a complete shambles. They only had a quarter of the products available on the website, everything was covered in ecoli-riddled finger muck, and, as Manchester is the tanning capital of the UK, there was nothing to suit my minutes-from-death, ghostly complexion. I was fuming by this point, but then the real poopy cherry on the turdy cake was a call to say there was a mix up with a cheque that should have cashed, and we were going to get a late payment charge on our mortgage. I decided to give up on the make-up, just get my groceries and go home. Unfortunately as Manchester is also the proud capital of unrecognisable meat products and peculiarly named baked goods (barm anyone?), Co-Op proffered very little as far as vegan pickings go. Eventually I went for some ready-made tomato and olive pasta sauce, some giant luxury penne and some Linda McCartney sausages to chop up and mix in. When I spied the beers on special offer on the way out I just had to put them in my basket.

    I didn't bother adding up my Livestrong calories until I'd consumed my angry meal and angry beers, and it was then that it struck me how much I must have been overeating and drinking over the past few months as I'd just assumed these items would be well within my calorie budget. 

    So the things I have learned today are as follows...
    1. Have a vague idea of what I plan to eat each day.
    2. Have food in my house ready to make meals with so I don't have to buy ingredients on impulse each day and end up with beer in my basket.
    3. Enter my meals into the Livestrong website before eating mounds of pasta and guzzling said beer.
    4. Don't let emotions, worry and anger be a trigger for eating bad foods. In the long run it's not a treat - rather a burden that will mean me limiting my calories and spending extra time in the gym
    I will try and take all of that into account for the future. I'm dreading stepping on the scales tomorrow morning as I know I've probably put that pound back on, and maybe some more. I have already purchased my lunch for tomorrow so I know what I will be eating. The real test will be Friday evening as we're going to a preview at a gallery which will inevitably mean free drinks. After that we're going for a meal with my friends and one of their dads, and then on to the pub. I will try and have a look at the menu before we go so I can prepare myself to make a sensible choice. I also need to research the calories of various drinks as I'm sure that's what gets me into the most trouble every weekend. I just need to keep remembering the end goal and how comfortable and confident I felt at that weight. Remembering all this after my first glass of wine will be the real test...

    Mission Eliminate Fat Arse

    At the age of 21 I weighed 8½ stone (119 lbs). I felt great at this weight. Clothes fitted me properly, I had loads of energy, and for the first time in my life I felt comfortable in my own skin. At 5'5" and having never weighed over 9½ stone (133 lbs) I have always been in the correct weight range as far as my BMI is concerned, but have always felt a little bit chubby.

    I think there are a few reasons for feeling "fat" when I'm technically in the "normal" weight category. The first reason is that the majority of my family are overweight with the a few exceptions including my sister and one aunt who's not a blood relative. Strangely enough the aunt is worryingly underweight and is constantly fracturing bones, which begs the question, what is wrong with my family and their attitudes to food?. I have always been very conscious of my family's tendency to obsess about food, talk about food emotionally, and pile on the pounds with gusto. I have worried that weight gain might be genetic and inevitable. The second reason, for as far back as I can remember, most of the females in my family have been on a diet. The thought of "being fat = being bad" has been pummeled into my consciousness from birth.

    Of course now as an adult I know that this is all rubbish. The BMI index is a very unreliable measure for ideal weight and health, for example a top athlete with a lot of muscle mass and low body fat percentage could fall into the "obese" category on the scale, simply because muscle weighs more than fat. I also know that many technically "overweight" people can be healthy, attractive, and most importantly full of self confidence.

    I am purely starting this blog because I don't feel comfortable or healthy at my current weight. I recently turned 30 and am the heaviest I have ever been at 9st 8lbs (134 lbs). A lot of my clothes are starting to feel tight, everything wobbles and I have no energy whatsoever. I could happily come in from work at 5pm each day and go straight to sleep (which is often exactly what myself and my boyfriend do). I started thinking back to when I felt at my best weight, and it was during the summer holidays of 2001 when I was 21 and I weighed (a seemingly magical and impossible) 8½ stone.

    Having been on various diets since the age of 14 (which I'm sure I'll write about in the future) I decided to start this blog as a way of being accountable to myself. I feel an online diary that is out there in the ether will keep me in check more than simply writing my weight on a piece of paper that I can easily destroy when I've eaten too many cupcakes. I've signed up with Livestrong and have used their Calorie Calculator to work out now many calories I should be taking in each day. I'm 5'5", currently weigh 134lbs and would classify myself as having an activity level of "Lightly Active". In order to lose 1.5 lbs per week I should be taking in 1226 calories per day.

    So with 15lbs to lose, that means I could potentially reach my goal in ten weeks: the 8th of December. If 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.

    I will also be using a beautiful dress that my boyfriend got me last Christmas as a measure of my (fingers crossed) success.

    The dress was from Coast and is a size 8, and so far I have only been able to wear it comfortably ONCE in May this year. At the time I had managed to get down to 9 stone 3 lbs (129 lbs) and we were living in  a building with a gym where I was able to do a lot of running. My biggest area is my bum and the tops of my thighs, and at the moment the dress is so tight in this area that when I walk along the entire thing rises up til my knickers are showing. I don't think any one's ready for that look.

    So, here is my first weigh in and Livestrong screen grab:

    September 29th 2010: 9st 8lbs

    I'm very pleased I've stayed within my calorie goal for today (despite my boyfriend's attempts to lure me away from the angelic path with strawberry Nesquik and soya milk). As for exercise, I did get as far as the changing room door at the gym, but there was a big notice taped on it saying the showers are out of order til Friday (and I cannot do a workout without the prospect of a shower at the end of it) so I just walked straight back out again. I sweat A LOT to the extent that I worry I have early onset menopause and that my face looks like a buoy - I am THAT sweaty. I see other girls in the gym with glowing faces and bouncy ponytails and just wonder how they do it? The thought of putting my work clothes back onto my "glistening" stinky body, with every fibre sticking to my aching limbs, my beetroot face poking out of my parka and my fringe plastered to my forehead with it's own "gel" frankly filled me with disgust, so old Mr Gymypoos will have to wait until Saturday (I can't go to the gym on a Friday - it's the most sacred and magical day of the week). I haven't thought of a good workout strategy yet so I guess I can spend the next couple of gym-free days researching that. So that's my first post over and done with - let's hope tomorrow's is as angelic (it's take away Friday I really have to worry about...)