Friday, 24 April 2009

School Days

A copy of my school report from when I was a tender 13 years old fell into my hands the other day. I was almost scared to read it, after all it was addressed to my parents! But read it I did, and it was quite interesting to look back on, knowing how my life went on to turn out. My best subject at 13 was Human Biology. I had no plans at that age to become a nurse but it's nice to see that i was already keen in the subject that would be most useful in my adult life.

I wasn't massively shocked to read that in Games I was "inactive and self concious" Hell yeah, I was horribly self concious! I felt like a big lumbering giant alongside my peers, of course I was self concious! What a shame though. The reality is that if I could have got over my self conciousness and enjoyed running around a tennis court or whatever, then maybe my adult self wouldn't have been writing this blog now....hmmmm, I like writing my blog though, so maybe all things have led to this creative point in my life, who knows!

We went to see 17 Again at the weekend, a film in which a disillusioned father of teens wishes he could go back to relive his High School days and do it differently this time around. And so, with the magic of movies, he does. It was a good film, i enjoyed it greatly. But would I want to go back to my own teen years and put them right? Erm, no. I can honestly say I hated those years. I don't recall them as anything other than miserable and excruciating. I didn't start to find my way in life until I began my nursing career. It would be cool though if I could go and tell my younger self to run around, lose her inhibitions, have fun and don't start dieting because I swear if I had not started dieting at 15, I would never have climbed to nearly 22 st.

Never mind my awful teen years, how about now? Well this is a very good week so far, food wise. I'm happy with my food choices and full of renewed enthusiasm. I look forward to leaping off this plateau very soon!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Thank you all for the lovely comments on my last entry :-) Lots of support and useful tips there for me. Outlaw, I may nip into town later and investigate this smart card to get weighed in Boots. I'm not going to weigh myself weekly though. Maybe monthly. My idea is to remove arbitrary deadlines, free myself to enjoy the odd special occasion without the fear of damaging the weekly weigh in, and therefore lose the "I've blown it now anyway..." mentality. God knows I've worked hard on that for the past 16 months but somehow it has remained entrenched deep within my psyche.

PLUKlurker I like the look of the book you suggest. I'm not offended, I'm not easily offended anyway and I see nothing to be offended by in your suggestion. Have you read the book and benefited from it yourself? I will probably buy it when I've been paid, so will get back to you on how that works.

Lots of comments on the portion control issue, which is interesting. I'm glad I'm not alone in finding that a concern. I'm not here to slag SW off, god knows it's been good for me, I do still weigh 5 1/2st less now than I did in January 2008 so it clearly does work. And there are lots of target members at my class. So maybe it depends on the cause of your weight problem. Maybe if you are someone who eats a fairly normal amount of food but the wrong type of food then SW is going to get you to target. But if you are someone with a big big appetite who can and does eat to the point of gluttony, then SW is going to have it's limitations. The big problem I see is that if my appetite doesn't reduce, then when I do fall off the wagon from time to time, it's a big fall because I can eat a lot. A lot of grapes may not be too damaging but a lot of pizza is a bad bad thing!

So how am I doing so far? Well, I had a couple of days of "relaxation". I didn't go berserk, I didn't want to have to report back here that I am in fact a weak willed bloater! I vowed to myself that I would be eating healthily from Tuesday morning. On Monday evening, while Rebecca was at her dance class, I nipped to Somerfield to get something for tea and because of the rushed nature of the evening I opted for a pizza with salad and garlic bread. I chose the healthier option for the garlic bread. I'm such a saint ;-) I had just drifted into the chocolate aisle and was considering a chocolatey treat when I bumped into the lady who takes the money at my SW class. I felt so embarrassed to be caught in the chocolate aisle with pizza in my basket that I made a hasty exit without any chocolate, so I was saved from myself by SW even though I don't go anymore.

I'm happy with what I ate yesterday. I decided to take a "low fat" approach, so I ate 2 crumpets for breakfast, with a smear of jam. No butter of course. This is much less breakfast than I was eating on SW, but because it was something I truly fancied, it was enough. Lunch was a jacket potato and beans, and for tea I was very lazy. I made chickpea curry using a jar of low fat (<3%) sauce. Snacks were fruit and yoghurt. Oh, and I made an effort to drink more water too. That is something I had let slip before.

Today I have had the yummy crumpets for breakfast again, for lunch I have a lovely salad and jacket spud lined up, and for tea I will be having leftover curry and boiled rice.

I realise my 5 a day was a bit absent yesterday, I've sorted that now by going shopping.

So I hope I'm on track. I'm certain that I am eating physically less with these meals which is a primary target for me. I think I am aiming to eat food that is less than 5% fat, that should keep me out of major danger. But does allow me a little bit of what I fancy which is a very good thing indeed.

Right I think I'll nip to Boots and get a baseline weight before I eat my lunch.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

The Big Decision

You may recall I recently posted that I was considering my options. Well, a decision has been reached, and in a way it has been based on events slightly outside my control.

I am taking a break from Slimming World.

I'm quite scared of being out in the wilderness on my own, but I know the plan off by heart so no excuses for not being able to apply my knowledge. The reason I've come to this momentous decision is that Rebecca has a dance class every Monday at the same time as my SW class, for the forthcoming term. I don't want to Pay & Weigh, I can't see the point in that. So if I can't stay to class, then this seems like the right time for a natural break. Mind you I hovered for ages over the "Send" button when I was emailing Heather to let her I said, it's scary!

It is going to be interesting to see how I deal with food without the spectre of a weigh in hanging over me. What I'm hoping is that less pressure will actually have a positive effect, rather than a negative one. I'm hoping I still make wise choices and don't pile any weight back on. My work uniform is very snug fitting, I can't really take even a few pounds gain and still hope to fit in it, so that will be my monitor. If, god forbid, I find I can't fit in my uniform then I will be back at class faster than you can say "weak willed bloater"! I've thrown my big uniforms out, just to make sure.

I suppose I also need to decide whether to stick to the SW "rules" or try just a bit of common sense eating. What I'd like to try out is learning a little bit of portion control. If SW lacks anything it's portion control. It's a wonderful thing to think that you never have to feel hungry and you can gorge yourself on as much of the right food as you like, but I worry that my appetite has stayed huge and that's the cause of my immense plateau.

So smaller portions, healthy choices, more exercise, no weigh in so no pressure. But lots of blogging to help keep me focussed.

It's a new beginning of sorts.

I'm almost too scared to hit the "publish" button now - once I do that, it's true!

Friday, 17 April 2009

The Good Life

I am afraid I have to confess that I had another gain this week, but only 1lb, and I had actually taken the whole week off dieting! This wasn't intended, I woke up each day with all good intentions but fell by the wayside for one reason or another. So with that in mind, 1lb isn't too bad really.

I'm sitting at work at the moment. It's 5AM (yes, there really are two 5 o'clocks in a day!). I've just read an article in Glamour magazine that tells me that I can lose 10lbs without even changing anything about my diet or exercise. All I have to do is one very simple (and lovely!) thing. And that thing is go to bed at the same time each night and get 7 1/2 hours sleep every night. Hurray!

Oh, wait....!

How I would love that! My god, earlier this week I actually spent 4 hours out of 60 in bed. No wonder then, that I opted to feed us on Macdonalds that day (which day? I don't even know which day it was, I was so bleary!). Even if I'd had the energy to choose a healthy meal, I sure as hell couldn't have summoned up the strength to shop and cook for it. Planning may have helped, in that I would have had ingredients in. But you are talking about the person who forgot that the shops don't open on Easter Sunday....still, can't beat tinned soup for a special Easter dinner ;)

On the subject of planning and ingredients, I'm morphing into Felicity Kendall in The Good Life. I've been doing some gardening and am trying to grow some fruit and veg. I feel stupidly excited at the idea of nipping into the garden when I need some carrots, and I'm gazing adoringly at my lovely little strawberry plants every day. We may have corn growing in the lawn shortly though because the wind blew my little "greenhouse" over the other night and scattered my seedlings wherever they blew. So it will be fun and exciting to see what pops up, and where!

I'm going to a retirement party later tonight - it has a 1970s theme so I will be there in my maxi dress and turquiose eyeshadow - more Margot than Felicity I think. I'm quite excited about it though, it feels like playing dress up when I was little. I used to prance around in my nana's evening gowns and fur coats, how very glamourous she was! My life lacks that glamour. Maybe one day.....

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

If you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got.

Week 65

Weight: 17st 4lb
Gain This Week: 2.5lb
Total lost: 77.5lb

Clearly something has to change. I'm just not sue what yet. I was determined, utterly singlemindedly determined this week to get below 17st. Other than the slight screw up midweek with that once recipe I don't think I put a foot out of line, so no way in hell should I have gained 2.5lbs. 2.5lbs is something like 8000 calories allegedly! This means that either I'm doing something catastrophically wrong and I just don't know what it is, or this is the longest plateau that mankind has ever seen, or maybe, just maybe, there is some other reason why I can't lose it now.

I've never ever tried to blame anything other than eating too much and moving too little for my weight. But now I'm starting to consider all possible options, and maybe there is an underlying problem. I don't know. I doubt it to be honest, but I was driven to Google this morning. I didn't know what search term to try, since overweight, obesity, weight loss would all bring up the obvious diet sites, and no doubt blogs like mine. So I tried "Weight gain" and discovered 310 possible causes. That's a pretty long list! Many of them I can rule straight out for myself. I know I don't have heart failure, I'm not a growing adolescent and I'm not pregnant. I haven't quit smoking (I don't smoke, maybe I should start!) I haven't sustained a brain injury and I don't think I'm depressed, but I could be if this carries on much longer!

So how about things I can't rule out? Well there's a handful of gynaecological conditions in the list which I can't absolutely rule out, since I am actually experiencing some abnormal to say the least cycles at the moment. And then there's hypothyroidism - I don't have all the symptoms, but I have enough to make me think it may be worth a trip back to the doctors.

Truthfully I don't think there's anything much medically wrong with me, but I am searching because I don't want to throw my hands in the air and give it all up. I don't know whether I need to try something other than Slimming World, but I feel slightly weak at the thought of a plan that involves weighing and measuring and counting points! Maybe I should speak to my GP about medication? But I feel weird about even thinking that. It's like I'd be cheating or something if I did that! I wouldn't be able to go to class every week because I wouldn't be on a level playing field. And I wouldn't be able to be in the magazine when I reach target either, and I bloody well plan to be!

Aaaarrgh I'm being driven insane by my body! Where's the weight loss fairy when you need her most?!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Arrabiata Sauce

Following my plea for recipes earlier this week, I was delighted to receive some fab ones! Loth's lentil and chickpea curry sounds divine, and I'd be willing to hop up to Scotland to try it ;) I'm a bit scared of recipes that don't tell me how much of what exact thing to use though. I need to be braver!

One Too Many has given me a very exotic spinach and ricotta pasta recipe which I will definitely be trying. Pasta is one of my favourite ingredients, and as a bonus it's free food on green days. Perfect!

Tat looks to have some most excellent recipe ideas on her blog too, as well as lovely turf. I have major turf envy Tat!

But the recipe I am posting for your pleasure tonight came from my friend Debbie. She got it from a Slimming World recipe book I believe, and it is just gorgeous!

Arrabiata Sauce

1 onion, chopped
1 chilli, chopped and deseeded
Garlic Puree (I used very lazy garlic, it's syn free!)
400mls Passata
200mls stock made with chicken Bovril

Fry off the onion, chilli and garlic for 5 minutes, then add the passata and stock, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Job done.

Debbie suggests adding Chorizo or spicy sausage. I added a chopped red pepper and reduced fat smoked pork sausage which is hefty syn wise, but I didn't know that until I'd eaten it! Also, I chucked a bit of sweetener into the mix, and the result was a wonderful rich sweet and spicy and smoky blend, which I served with penne pasta.

I'm confused about the sausage, I could have sworn it was on the low syn table at class on Monday. If I don't have a loss this week, at least I'll know why!