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...)