Monday, 30 June 2008

Out with the Old!

Week 25

Weight: 18st 4.5lb.
Loss this week: 2.5lb
Total lost: 63lb

Yay! That's 4 1/2 stone, a nice shiny sticker, and I'm back!!

I decided to have a fresh new look on my blog, and a fresh new look in my wardrobe! So I had a massive sort out of my wardrobe at the weekend. Here are all my fat clothes, and my wardrobe now. The bag of fat clothes is full to bursting point - fat clothes take up a lot of space! My smaller clothes look almost non existant only because they are so small that they just disappear!

If I gain a pound, I'll have nothing at all to wear! (Obviously I have kept 1 pair of fat pants - I'm aware of my obligation to be photographed in one leg of them when I reach target!)

Let me know if you like the blog's new look - I'm not 100% decided yet.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Elephant in the Room

I suppose I ought to talk about the elephant in the room - what an unfortunate choice of phrase to use on a fat blog ;-) The elephant to which I refer is of course my gain of 2lbs this week. My first gain in fact, and a slight blow to the smooth run through the 18s that I had hoped for.

OK first let me get my feeble excuse out of the way. On Friday, before I did anything "wrong" at all, I felt fat and bloated. I told my friend I felt fat and bloated and we pondered the probability of it being a hormonal issue. 6 days later I'm thinking I might have to rule that out though.

I suppose the real problem is that after my victorious race on Saturday morning, I "deserved" treats and I "deserved" to celebrate with my friends by eating my body weight in pizza. I also "deserved" to wash that pizza down with a hefty dose of alcohol. I forgot in the heat of the moment that what I really deserved was to see a loss on the scales on Monday, and so blew my chances of that happening.

Was it worth it? Well, I had a good time, I enjoyed my treats and it was good to cut loose and not think about what I was doing too much so yes in that respect it was worth it. Just as long as I don't look back on this episode sometime in the future and recognise it as the beginning of the end. If that happens, then no, it wasn't worth it.

Let the record show that I *am* currently back on track, but that I am feeling more hungry than usual, which is where my fear comes from. I think I have it under control but my next trip to the scales will be the acid test. I'm aiming to lose those 2 horrible fatty pounds plus an extra half - I feel I need a sticker and 2 1/2lbs will get me a nice shiny 4 1/2stone one!

Monday, 23 June 2008

New Personal Trainer

Week 24

Weight: 18st 7lb.
Gain this week: 2lb (Celebratory pizza!)
Total lost: 60.5lb

My new personal trainer goes by the name of Barney. Barney is a 5 1/2 year old ex racing greyhound who came to us on Saturday afternoon, via

Now I know he looks like a lazy lump not even capable of quite getting quite as far as walking through the door, but the reality is he makes me get up in the morning and take him for a nice walk, and a second one later in the day. And he wouldn't say no if I took him to the park inbetween. Fresh air and exercise - much more fun than going on the treadmill 3 times a week I can promise you!

I really have to big up the work of Greyhound Gap here. Not only do they rescue these beautiful dogs, but they work tirelessly to make sure they find a happy forever home. Foster carers home the dogs until the right home comes along, and consequently they have fantastic knowledge of how the dog behaves around kids, other animals, alone in the house, out on walks, etc etc. Barney has come to us neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, deflead, dewormed, housetrained and just divine! Special thanks to Mike and Judy who were his foster parents - what amazing work they do,before handing the dogs over to their forever home. If you ever feel you could give a good home to a dog, consider Greyhound Gap.

Now I've done the Race for Life, I have to keep a promise to complete a new challenge. Dietgirl invited her readers to join her in doing the One Hundred Push Ups challenge, which takes you from zero to 100 in 6 weeks allegedly. That's good because zero is the exact amount of pushups I can officially do as of this morning. So why the hell not - I'm in. I start today. Anyone else going to join in?

Sunday, 22 June 2008

My Race.

I wish I could bottle the way I felt yesterday. I tried to absorb every detail, to store it in my memory so I would never forget (and of course so I could blog it!) but lack of oxygen to my brain probably killed off a few brain cells dealing with memory.

I had seriously considered backing out. On Friday I felt really unfit, even the walk to and from school left me coughing and wheezing. I couldn't see how I could possibly do 5k. But I was wearing Ted Drummond's name on my back. Ted is a baby with leukaemia, his mum posts on a parenting forum I've been knocking about on since about 2001. On Friday after my moan, I read about Ted's latest ordeal having his Hickman line reinserted, and then I read that he had another 2 years and 9 months of this treatment to go. This was the arse kick I needed - how pathetic would I be not to go for a walk in the park compared to what Ted and his family deal with on a daily basis!!

So Saturday dawned, in a wet sort of a way. I was highly strung to say the least! I didn't know what to expect and I'm the sort of person who likes to be in control so I got a bit stressy. We arrived at Tatton Park just before 10am as instructed. There were already a lot of women in pink there! Some were wearing tutus and legwarmer, others had fairy wings. There was a good atmosphere building up, aided and abetted by Jane on the microphone, who I swear I know from somewhere! We were treated (in the loosest sense of the word!) to The Nivea Boys doing a little dancing and cheerleading...all good fun but they shouldn't be giving up their day jobs. Then we were led in a good fun warm up, and I may be singing "500 Miles" for the next week or so! Then it was time to head to the start line!!

I had decided to go with the walkers, since the likelihood of me running anywhere seemed low. But by the time I'd shuffled past the start line at 11:12am, I was feeling hemmed in, and so totally in the "zone" that I wanted to break out and run! Eventually enough space opened up for me to get into a jog/walk routine and adrenaline and endorphins all kicked in to make me feel like I was soaring. This is where my iPod was a godsend. I had been planing on changing the tunes on my playlist, but at the last minute decided to keep them as they were, the same as I had been training with. This meant that when certain music came on, I automatically went into jog mode (it would be a gross exaggeration to say I ran!)

After about 20 mins or so going up and down hill on uneven ground, my jog ran out of steam somewhat so I focussed on walking at a steady pace, and set mini goals such as overtaking a certain group of people so that I knew I was progressing. I got to 3K in about 30 minutes - this was good since I'd decided I'd be happy to complete the race within an hour. As I passed the 3K marker I may have inadvertently laughed out loud because I had Bon Jovi singing "Whoah, we're halfway there....." in my ears and I was thinking "No Jon, I'm more than halfway, ha!" Yes, I may have been delirious!

Shortly after this the 10K runners started lapping us, and Bruce Springstein rocked on about being Born to Run. So much apt music.

Passing the 4K marker, I realised I was going to do this! Then end was nigh and I was still walking and breathing and concious! I even dared wonder when the next 5K race would be. I had another little go at jogging at this point but my legs were so so heavy and I really wanted to save enough to run across the finish line.

Have I mentioned the rain by the way? It was torrential. I was soaked through to my skin, absolutely dripping wet. But I kind of think that it may have been easier that way than trying to do it in blazing sunshine.

Just enough time to listen to Duffy singing for Mercy, and then the 500metres to go marker appeared, we rounded a corner and the finish line was in sight! The Scissor Sister's didn't Feel Like Dancing at that point, and I didn't feel like listening, so I removed my ear phones and instead listened to the applause and cheers up ahead. This was my final chance to kick up my heels and run, and run I did! I lifted my arms as I ran over the finish line and even smiled, just before crying!

I only bloody did it! And I have a medal to prove it.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

This Is The Day!!

This is it. I've barely slept. I'm still wheezy from my recent cold. I can't find the safety pins that have been in my handbag for well over a year. The weather forecast is for rain, rain and more rain. Yep, it's my Race for Life today! Just checked. Yes it is raining. The forecasters couldn't manage to be wrong could they! Ah well, I've always wanted to enter a Miss Wet TShirt contest. Not sure I'll win in my sports bra but it's not the winning, it's the taking part that's important!

So here I am, before 8am, up, bathed, dressed in suitable racing attire, had my breakfast and am now chugging down water like there's about to be a drought. My race number is in front of me waiting to be pinned on with the missing safety pins. My iPod is having a final charge. I'm all set!

Here's a preview of the exciting event coming up after my race :-)

Monday, 16 June 2008

Week 23

Weight: 18st 5lb.
Loss this week: 2lb.
Total lost: 62.5lb

Ooooh half a pound away from my 4.5st award! So near yet so very far! I'm also starting to get a bit excited at the idea of weighing 17 something. Last time I knew I weighed 17 something I was about 8 months pregnant but we'll overlook that and treat it as something aspirational instead ;-) My last foray into Slimming World saw me get utterly totally and fatally stuck in the 18s, so a smooth run through this stone is a big psychological boost.

You know when you start a diet, it becomes all consuming? Every waking moment is filled with planning what you can eat, whether you have had all your allowance for the day, whether you have enough syns left for some dry crackers, that sort of thing? Well it occurred to me the other day that I'm not in that place anymore. I seem to have transitioned to a stage where it's just normal. I eat what I can eat, I don't worry about what I can't eat. If I'm out and about and need to grab food, I know what to look for to fit in with my day. It's just - normal is the only word I can find for it! It's nice. It means there's room in my brain for other stuff!

So. Big big week this week. It's my Race for Life on Saturday. How prepared am I? Well I'm currently coughing and sneezing into my Olbas Oil Tissues, and gasping for breath on the walk to the kitchen....eeeeeeeek! But I refuse to get stressed about this. No matter how I do, it's better than I would have dreamed of doing 12 months ago, or even 6 months ago. I'm going to go along, have a lovely walk, maybe jog a bit, and enjoy myself! And so far I have been sponsored to the tune of £70 so that feels a worthy enough sum to haul myself out of bed for!

And on Saturday afternoon, after the race, we are doing something really really exciting. I'll tell you about that another day :-))

Friday, 13 June 2008

At Last!!

Finally, after 22 weeks, 3 or 4 dress sizes, and over 60lb lost, someone has said "have you lost some weight?"!!

I know from my progress pics that I looks as though I've lost weight, so it isn't a case of me needing people to say it to make me feel good, luckily! But I'm just astonished that it took losing so very much to get any kind of reaction at all! I suppose the odd few stones on or off isn't so noticable when you are starting from a very heavy point. So presumably the next 4 stone off will provoke a bit more of a reaction.

If I feel this good now, imagine how I'm going to feel when the next 4 stones are gone!!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Drink more Water

One of the changes I have made in my life is I drink more water. Lots and lots of water.

Now I could lecture you on why it's good for you and post lots of supporting scientific links. But I won't because I think this advert is more fun!

Drench ad

What more convincing can anyone need!

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Food, glorious food!

Week 22

Weight: 18st 7lb.
Loss this week: 3.5lb.
Total lost: 60.5lb

If the purpose of food is merely to fuel our body, how do we end up in a situation where we use it to celebrate, to commiserate, to party, to grieve, to show love, to mourn lost love, to accompany a film and to break up the bordeom of a long car journey?

Oh, just me? Oops!

No, I know it isn't just me because I've shared all the above food moments with friends and family.

On my travels around the blogosphere, I've seen a few comments that relate to the "Eat less calories, exercise more" school of thought and I've wondered how I can explain to such people why it just isn't that simple. OK yes, the actual equation is that simple, no question. But the cold mathematics of it all ignores the sheer overwhelming fact that in our society food is most certainly not merely fuel. Who hasn't eaten Ben & Jerry's straight from the tub when they've been dumped, or even done the dumping? (No, it is NOT just me, stop it!) My nana used to insist on feeding us a cheese sandwich, piece of cake and cup of tea in a china cup whenever we went round, regardless of the time of day, and whether or not we were hungry. Bless her, she made every single visit an occasion - and we only lived round the corner, so we visited a lot! So visiting my nana taught me to associate food with socialising, and comfort. My grandad was a wine buff and gourmet, and he taught me to love fine food and fine wine. It might be best if I don't tell you at what age my education began..... ;-)

My point, so laboriously made, is that to lose weight can never just be about eating less calories and exercising more because we are conditioned to see food in certain ways. Breaking associations and bad habits is what takes the hard work. And doing it without making ourselves and everyone around us utterly bloody miserable is a daily challenge that we should celebrate achieving.

But not by eating cake. Obviously.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Seven Deadly Sins

Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath Envy and Pride.

I'm guilty of 3 of them this week. Well, 3 I'll admit to anyway ;-)

I would love to be able to come here and say that losing our gorgeous dog earlier this week has had no effect on my healthy eating, but unfortunately I can't. It has affected me because I have been unable to be bothered cooking, then getting hungry and resorting to snacking. And my exercise routine has slipped too, which this close to my Race for Life is very very bad!

On the bright side, even though I've snacked instead of eating healthy meals, I do think it's been relatively controlled snacking - Weight Watchers crisps instead of Walkers, low syn crackers with legitimate cheese allowance, and I have had *some* fruit and veg! There was one day when I was greedy and gluttinous and ate for the sake of eating (I never should have bought those crumpets!) but if you subscribe to the idea that being "good" 80% of the time is enough, then I may still hope to see a loss on the scales on Monday. But the less healthy diet and the lack of exercise is affecting me badly because now I feel sluggish and sloth-like. The very idea of hopping on the treadmill this afternoon is filling me with horror! But I will do it because I really really need to!

On the subject of my Race, I am pretty much decided that I am going to walk most of it. I think I am trying to do too much too soon if I go beserk with the running. 60 seconds jogging pushes my heart rate into the "too fast" zone and it takes a good couple of minutes to recover. I'm still hauling the equivalent of an extra adult round in fat, so I do need to be a bit sensible about it! So my general plan is to jog for short bursts as and when I feel comfortable doing so, and try to keep enough energy in reserve to jog in the approach to, and across, the finish line.

Reading what amazing feats other people achieve, I feel like I'm making a big deal out of a mere 5K, but it's my first so I'm going to allow it!

Right, those other 4 deadly sins - Lust, wrath, envy, pride...well actually apart from one, they don't sound all that much fun!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

RIP Georgia

Since this is my blog to use and abuse as I please, I'm posting an obituary to my dopey dog Georgia who was put to sleep this morning, age 16 1/2 years.

We got Georgia from a rescue centre when she was 8 weeks old so she's been part of our lives for a very long time. If we had visions of long walks with her we would have been disappointed - she has always been the laziest slowest dog in the world, too interested in sniffing the ground to be hassled with hurrying anywhere!

After a small blip in her health as a puppy, she has lived a very healthy life, up until 3 years ago when we thought she had suffered a stroke. It turned out not to be a stroke and she recovered somewhat after a course of steroids, but she was never really the same again. But she remained the most placid and licky dog in the universe.

We will miss her, even if I don't miss having to vacuum clumps of fur up several times a day!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Bakewell v Eat well!

Week 21

Weight: 18st 10.5lb.
Loss this week: 0.5lb.
Total lost: 57lb

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my progress pics. I should have mentioned on that post how many inches I have lost. I'll do it now instead!

In 20 weeks I lost 4st, 8 inches from my waist, 5 inches from my bust and 4.5 inches from my hips. Back in the Curves days I could have told you about arms and thighs and more. But I'm not tracking those measurements myself, it's not so easy to tell where to put the tape measure for accuracy!

I look as though I was a lazy blogger last week - it was just that we went away so no access to the WWW. We went camping with friends and stayed near Bakewell in Derbyshire, famous for it's tarts. Plus they have a shop that sells the best pasties in the universe - the only ones I have ever found that could hold a candle to my grandad's! So is it possible to eat well in Bakewell? Not unless you are going to be feeling a bit miserable I'd say. I freely admit to having 1 tart, 1 pasty, a fair bit of wine, "some" vodka and probably a few other bits I can't even remember! But I was conscious of not wanting to gain weight if I could help it so I didn't go stupid and I'm happy to see that pay off at the scales tonight. Only half a pound off, but a loss is a loss :-)

In other news, now Rebecca can ride her bike without stabilisers, I've hauled my bike out of the darkest recesses of the shed. I used to have her on the back of it but once she got too big for the seat I put it away and haven't seen it since! The poor bike has suffered for it's incarceration, but it's rideable and we have been out for a spin. Looking to the future, maybe we will tackle the Bikeathon next year - why not!