Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The road to weight loss is a rocky one...

So this week I knew I was going to be in the vicinity of a certain gourmet deli that sells certain yummy goodies. I don't often go to said place but I dream of their cakes. You know me and cake... :-)

SO I planned to go and buy one of their heavenly baked offerings, pre planned the PPs allocated it as a weekly treat, in place of a couple of glasses of wine. All good. Moderation is the key, denial is a river in Egypt and so on.

Um... what I didn't plan on, was spotting the rocky road they also sell and have been dreaming about for about 2 years since I moved away from there and haven't found a match for anywhere else. And I have tried. Believe me.

So... I placed my preplanned, PP accounted for cake in the basket and walked past the rocky road, looking longingly over my shoulder. I reached the cashier feeling very smug and proud of myself.
"Maybe next time," I told me. Took a deep breath and fished about in my handbag for my purse. And then it happened....
"But there may not be a next time" said inner fatty boombah Rachel. "And it is oh so yummy"
"NO! I am supposed to be being good" I replied
"You can get it today and save it for next week's treat," IFBR pipes up.
"No wahey!!" says I.

By now I was getting some rather stange looks from the cashier and a skinny lady wearing too much gold was tutting in the queue behind.
It wasn't as if I was having the conversation with myself out loud... I don't think..

Anyway, to cut a long and a bit mental story short, I removed myself from the queue, picked up a pack of RR and bought it.

GAH! What was I thinking?

Actually I know exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking,
"Mmm, rocky road,scoff, gobble gobble, slurp, nom nom nom"

And who in their right mind can argue with that?

But that is not the end of the story. Oh no. That would be plain boring.

When I got home, I decided to look up the PPs of said rocky road.



Have a guess.....




(If you aren't familiar with Weight Watcher's ProPoints, my daily allocation is 26. Yes 26 FOR THE WHOLE DAY. And I would have to run for about 63 years to earn that many PPs.

Anyway, that works out as 6PPs per serving... which is actually only about an inch cubed.

There aint NO fecking wahey that sucker is passing my lips.

A) because I don't want to use 6PPs for a measly inch of delectable yumminess no matter how good and B) there would be no way on God's earth I would stop at one inch.

So now I am stuck with the packet of temptation in my cupboard.

And it is approaching the MOST dangerous of all times..... PMS time.....

I absolutely REFUSE to throw it away, being from the place it was, it cost about $100. I don't like anyone enough around here to give it to. My husband and children don't like it.

So my question to you dear friends is

What the feck am I going to do with it????

a) Bury it in the garden?
b) Tape it to my @rse as a permanent reminder of what will happen if I actually eat it?
c) Post it to Tatum Channing or Channing Tatum or whatever his name is as a token of my affection?
d) Scoff the lot and rollaround on the floor in agony as punishment for being such a weak willed numpty?

Actually please don't say d) because that will be all the excuse I need.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Oh go on... you deserve it!

How many times have you justified eating something you know you shouldn't "because you deserve it"?

I used to do it a lot. I used to have the thought that there wasn't much else good in my life, not much else to enjoy and so I deserved to treat myself with food.

It is completely ingrained in our culture, well probably just about every culture to celebrate (or commiserate) with food. Feasts and goodies to eat for anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, deaths, passing exams, behaving ourselves and so on. So when you feel like cheering yourself up, you eat something yummy, after all you deserve it.

It is a habit truly hard to shake.

Trouble is, anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, deaths, passing exams, are all very well, but they don't occur every day.

If you become in the habit of eating something just to make yourself happy on a daily basis, it is time to look elsewhere. It may be time to look into why you rely on food to make you happy, and why you think you deserve copious amounts of 'treats'.

If you are choosing to justify eating large quantities of unhealthy food on a regular basis, because you 'deserve it', it is perhaps time to think about what you are actually doing to yourself.

Well that is the conclusion I came to anyway. Treats and fine foods and alcohol are wonderful in moderation. But on a regular basis they weren't doing me any good. They were making me fat. And being fat is unhealthy. I didn't want to be unhealthy. I wanted to wake up in the morning and feel physically fantastic. I decided that I deserved that. And as I started to achieve that, you know what, it started to make me feel happier than any chocolate bar or packet of crisps ever did (Maybe not a glass of wine though..haha!).

Recently I lost sight of this goal for absolute health. I was feeling so good and healthy. I wasn't rewarding myself with food. But I stopped a little short of the goal posts. I am still in an "unhealthy" weight range. So although I feel so much better, I am not at the 'peak' yet. I now can't wait to get there. Because if I feel this good now, who knows how much better it will get?

Another thing, I no longer reward my children with junk food either. It has gotten to the point where I feel guilty if they consume large amounts of sugar and fat. Such foods have caused my father to develop type 2 diabetes and I don't want them to end up the same way. He didn't deserve that and they deserve better.

And so do we all.

What we deserve are healthy bodies that work efficiently, that move without effort and look good. What those bodies deserve is clean, nourishing, healthy food.

So, if you are teetering on the brink of eating something you shouldn't, and wishing to 'treat' yourself, perhaps think about what your body actually needs. What your body truly wants.

Fruit, vegetables, lean protein, wholegrains, healthy oil, water.

Oh go on...

You deserve it!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Don't think about a giant willy!

I said DON'T think about a giant willy!

Seriously do as you are told. Get that giant willy out of your brain.

STOP thinking about a giant willy!!

I told you NOT to think about a giant willy. Why are you insisting on doing it anyway?

Saucy minx. (Or whatever the male equivalent is...don't know if I have any male readers anyway...)

OK. I'm trying to make a point. One of the first rules of behaviour management I learnt as a trainee teacher was to tell children what you wanted them to do, not what you didn't want them to do.

As in:

"Sit quietly at your desks"

Rather than

"Stop talking"

And whaddaya know... it works.... to some extent anyway.

The theory is that children don't hear the 'don't'. The end of the instruction sticks in their brain. And so they want to do it more. I think it is a real psychological phenomeneonenemon, but I can't be bovered to look it up...soz.

It is the same as the giant willy (you're thinking about it again aren't you.... tsk tsk).

By mentioning something, it makes a mental image and it sticks in your brain. Never mind the 'don't'.

Likewise if you keep thinking of something and talking about it, it becomes more important, because you are giving it so much brain time. So if you obsess about something, it becomes a bigger issue and because it is a bigger issue it becomes more important and you can't stop thinking about it and before you know it you can't think of anything else.... Aaaaaaarrrggghhhhh!

So lets apply this to weight loss.

You wake up in the morning and you think, today I am going to be a good little WWer and I am not going to eat that cake that is sitting in the cupboard. No I am not.......

mmmmmmm cake.........

And you try and take your mind off it, and tell yourself "NO! No cake!" but all your stomach hears is "Cake....Cake"

Before you know it you have eaten the cake. (Stop thinking about cake!)

And if you keep thinking I don't want to be fat. I wish I wasn't so fat. All you can concentrate on is how fat you are.

Same with feeling miserable. You think "Oh I am so miserable" and you look at yourself in the mirror and you look miserable and that makes you feel miserable and focus on everything that is miserable.

It's just miserable I tells ya.

So, I reckon we can turn this around.

Instead of thinking of cake and misery and fat.... try and think of what you WANT. As in in the positive:

"This morning I am going to be a good little WWer and I am going to eat filling and healthy food. Gee I can't wait for my morning snack of I mean ryvita. (You don't necessarily have to believe what you are saying). I am going to be so healthy.

I am such a good WWer that soon I will be slim. I can't wait to be svelte! I can't wait to be healthy!
Well I am going to try it to see if it works, all those positive weight loss words in my mind has got to do something hasn't it?

So instead of thinking about what I DON"T want to be and do, think about my weight loss in the positive, affirmative, what I DO WANT to achieve.

But you can still think about giant willies if you want.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Little pickers wear big knickers

As I sit here and type, there are two pieces of leftover pizza on the table, staring up at me. They have got those cute Puss in Boots eyes and they keep raising their eyebrows seductively at me. Well actually of course they don't really have eyes. That would be gross. But metaphorically, I mean. They keep glancing at me, holding my gaze for just a second too long and then looking away. The floozies.

Why I didn't just chuck them in the bin as soon as my sensible 3 year old decided he was full and wasn't just going to eat them just because they were on his plate, I don't know.

I have a thing about leaving food on plates. Or rather NOT leaving food on plates. I have a thing about feeling it is being wasted if it is thrown away. Mind you, I am very careful not to force my children to finish their plates, except veg. I don't want them to get clean-plate-syndrome. But myself. I have long since been conditioned.

I can't get past the "Can't throw it away, it's wasting it. Perfectly good food," mentality.

May as well eat it.


Terrible. I do it all the time. A few chips here. Half a fish finger there. The end of a sausage here. A piece of garlic bread there.

Funny how I don't quite feel the same about the soggy, cold broccolli. Actually that is never left on the plates because my children gobble up all the veggies first....


Actually I think it is to get them over and done with, so they can get on with enjoying the rest of the food.

But whatever gets them their 5 a day.

Anyway. My Paul McKenna "I can make you slim" book had something interesting to say about it. (Turns out he couldn't but that is a whole nother blog.) He said something along the lines of, once it is cooked, it is wasted anyway. Whether you eat it or not. It is already wasted. What is the point in eating it just to stop it being wasted, if you don't need it? Where is the logic in making yourself fatter just to prevent waste?

Same thing goes for the whole starving kids in Africa thing they used to say.....

Um yeah... there are starving kids in Africa so we in the western world should be fat to compensate????

My mother never actually said that though.  Don't recall having to ever be made to clean my plate either. I did that all by myself, no prompting required! Don't know where I caught clean plate syndrome from.

But still... pretty pointless isn't it? Your stomach is not a rubbish bin.

Part of my new regime is to try and remember that. Both from the leftovers point of view and the processed convenience cr@p. And sorry WW, but I include some of the WW food in that bracket. Their ready meals are pretty dire it has to be said. And the cakey bite things...eugh... would rather only eat one yummy scrummy full fat cake a year than one of those every day.

Anyway, I am rambling .....

Back to the REALLY profound thing I was rabbiting on about...

Oh yeah, don't use your tummy as a bin. Remember... little pickers wear big knickers.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Please note: The use fo the word 'fat' here is not supposed to be emotive.

Me at my thinnest (yesterday) and fattest (2005)
It is widely accepted that if you have an eating disorder, your actions are somewhat beyond your conscious control. If you have an eating disorder you have psychological problems. It may be that you have other problems in life which are generally manifesting themselves through your eating patterns.

It may be that you are attempting to exercise some control in an environment where otherwise you feel you have none. You may be punishing yourself for something you feel you have done. Or something that was done to you.

You may feel worthless.

You may feel that you do not deserve to be healthy or vibrant or loved. You may be so full of self hatred that you push everyone around you to their limits to test their love for you.

You may be so warped in your thinking that you have an exaggerated impression of what your body looks like. It is likely that no matter how many people say nice things about the way you look or how loved you are for you, you struggle to accept what they say as the truth.

Your eating patterns may follow some vicious, self sabotaging cycle which if continued will ulitmately lead to severe health problems or even death.

Now, does any of this sound familiar to you? It certainly does to me and I have never been anorexic or bulimic. I have been overweight though. I have been obese.

Does anybody else find it strange that if you are desperately underweight, society and the medical profession reaches out to you, pities you, supports you.

However if you are desperately overweight you are deemed a self indulgent, lazy failure who lacks any self control over their eating behaviour. And unless you have some further complication such as diabetes, you are pretty much left to your own devices.

Hmmmm, it makes me pretty sad really. The number of blogs I have read on WW tell me that there is much more going on than simply the sins of greed and sloth.

I have been brought to tears by people's stories, I have certainly been brought to tears by my own. Some of the problems preceeded the weight gain. Others are a consequence of it. Many people are living a constant battle between themselves and within themselves and this serves to make them fatter.

Yet from society there is no empathy. There is no attempt to gain insight as to why some of these people are overweight due to their messed up psyches. In fact there is often the complete opposite. People thinking they are entitled to comment, advise or insult a person regarding their largeness. As if that is going to help.

It doesn't really cross people's minds that overeating can be an eating disorder too.

Now I am not saying everyone has "issues" and that is why they are fat. Nor am I saying that it should absolve them of responsibility for making healthy choices. I just wish there was a bit more understanding and help available, as there is for other eating disorders.

Everyone is searching for the answer, the magic bullet, the cure for the epidemic that is becoming obesity. Perhaps if there were more attempts at getting to the root of the psychological causes of somebody's overeating, more individuals would actually succeed in becoming the best, healthiest version of themselves they could be.

Just sayin'

Monday, 18 June 2012

If you change nothing, nothing will change.

Last week I went over my pointage allowance somewhat… We went away for the weekend and one of the evenings I gorged on Maltesers and wine. I woke up with a sugar and booze hangover, felt physically bleurgh and rather annoyed with myself. Do you know what my first thought was?

Was it, “Oh well, I really enjoyed that, but I will move on and eat healthily for the rest of the week and it shouldn’t be too bad come weigh in”?

Oh –ho-ho-ho-ho-nooooooo it wasn’t. That would be the thinking of a logical, rational, level headed person……..

Was it “Aaaggghhhhh I am so wracked with guilt, I have totally learned my lesson and will be a perfect little weight watcher from here on in”?

Nope that is also a little too sensible.

SO what were my twisted, emotionally charged thoughts that morning?

Well, you may know what I was thinking….you may have been there too….

I thought,

“Ahhhhh sod it. I’ve blown it now, may as well go down to the hotel buffet breakfast and gorge myself silly. After all I have spoiled it for his week anyway…..


Is that all about????

Yeah because when I drop my phone on the floor, instead of picking it up and checking it is OK and trying not to drop it again, I stamp on it and throw it against the wall, just to make sure it is REALLY broken…

When I spill a drop of milk on the countertop at breakfast time, I go back and get the whole 3 litre bottle and pour it all over the entire kitchen.

When I trip and stumble on a stair, I throw myself head first down the rest, I have given myself a little bruise... I may as well GO AND BREAK EVERY DARN BONE IN MY BODY….

Ummm..... no.

SO why the whole “I have gone over on my points and eaten too much, therefore I may as well binge myself into oblivion” mentality with a weight loss slip up? I don’t get it AT ALL!

Luckily (for me but not her) I was met at the brekkie buffet with the sight of a VERY large lady helping herself to a VERY large plate of fried food and it brought me to my senses. No! I thought. I am not going to stuff myself just because I stuffed myself yesterday. That makes no sense what soever. It is now all about damage limitation. So instead of a big plate of fried brekkie, 2 croissants and a huge muffin (which is what I really wanted) I ate a big bowl of fresh fruit salad and one croissant. Yep, aren't I good? And it was yum.

What is that quote?… uh….

If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got

Yeah, that's the one. I don’t want that anymore. I don’t want the messed up thinking. I don’t want the guilt. I don’t want the all or nothing mentality. I don’t want the self-sabotage. I don’t want the completely mindless eating for the sake of eating. I don’t want to just keep gorging and gorging.

I don’t want to be fat.

I want to be healthy. Physically and mentally.

Damage limitation.

There is no way I can go through life depriving myself of cake and chocolate and bread and cheese... No way. But just because I have the odd slip up here and there, doesn't mean I need to throw in the towel.  Instead, I just need to hoik my big fat bottom back onto the wagon and carry on carrying on.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf

Ok so it was inevitable really.....
After all my hard work for weeks and weeks, the cracks start to appear...

Yep I gained weight this week. I was expecting it. I am not going to say all that stuff about how I accept it, how I am moving on, how I own it blah blah blah....

But I did deserve it.

And actually it seems to be a part of my pattern. I will show you my graph one of these days.... more spikes than a punk rocker in a cactus patch. But the general trend is downwards.

And that is what counts.

So why the gain? I hear you ask.


It all began on a cold windy Sunday last week. I just could not stop munching. It was seriously bad. Everytime I passed the cupboard I grabbed something. In the words of the great Mick Jagger, I could not "get no satisfaction".

It was then that I realised I had "Very Hungry Caterpillar" syndrome (VHCS). Yes this is a true, medical scientific phenomenenmeonenon.

As in...

On Monday I ate through one bag of rice crackers, but I was still hungry.
On Tuesday I ate through two packets of Belvita biscuits but I was still hungry.
On Wednesday I ate through three muesli bars but I was still hungry.
On Thursday I ate through four bananas but I was still hungry.
On Friday I ate through five squares of chocolate but I was still hungry.

The next morning was Saturday....

You know what's coming don't you,

The next morning was Saturday... and in addition to having VHCS I also had manflu.... and MEGA PMT....

So yes the next morning was Saturday and I ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake and one slice of water melon...

And that night I had a stomach ache.....

Turns out it was actually period pains, but is very fitting for my story...

The next day was Sunday again

And then we went away on a road trip....


Let's just say, I tried VERY VERY hard and I think I limited the damage somewhat. So instead of a Big Mac Meal with a shake at the obligatory McD's road trip stop.... the only time I will let my children eat it.... I had a Cheeseburger and a garden salad.

I packed LOADS of fruit and ate that instead of bags of sweets. I ate rice cakes instead of chips and so on.

But I didn't track my food and I did overeat.

Plus I have gone 3 days without exercise..... aaaaaggghhhhh...... about to go for a run as I have the shakes....

So yes I gained. I gained 2lbs of porkiness. But that was not all I gained, I gained a deeper understanding of myself. I now know that I cannot BEAR the taste of McD's and have conditioned myself to automatically vomit if I have to step foot in the place. I now understand that Hogsbreath cafes (akin to Harvesters I guess) are incapable of serving anything that isn't deep fried unless it is steak... next time I will have the steak.... um.... next time may be a long time....
I have learned that if I spend the evening drinking wine and eating maltesers in bed with my hubby while watching TV (total hotel luxury) I will wake up feeling like UTTER sh!te the next morning. So not worth it, plus I felt too rough to go for a run even though I packed my gear.... tut tut shame on me.

I almost needed that 'weak'end to remind me how different I feel when I don't eat healthily. It is actually quite amazing the difference.

Anyway, back home and back on track... with a vengeance.

I have 3 and a half weeks until we go to Vanuatu. I want to lose 6lbs by then. To do that I am aiming for 2lbs a week for the next 3 weeks. Rather a big aim for me and my track record but not impossible.

So 6lbs in 3 weeks. Filling and healthy, tracking and exercising all the way.

And in case you were wondering about my health, the manflu only lasted a day, so obviously wasn't that after all, must've just been a woman snuffle. And re: the VHCS... seems to be better and I have eaten through one nice big green leaf (plus the rest of the salad) and I do indeed feel much better.

(PS: Credit to Eric Carle for discovering VHCS)

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Spiderman, spiderman, does whatever a spider can...and a bit of phwoar!

So today I went to my new gym. It seems quite funky, and is pretty cheap for gym memberships and the best bit is you aren't tied in for a year. They have loads of machines and all the latest stuff like kettlebells, punchbags, eliptical machines... (Do I sound like I know what I am talking about?...... Good because I don't.)

I mainly want to go for classes and am considering getting a personal trainer on a monthly basis to set me a programme. I feel very fit and important saying that.

It seems very much a 'beautiful people' type of place so I fit in very well....haha. Normally I would be quite intimidated by a place like this as I am a) not very brave and b) very self conscious. But you know what? I think I am past caring. I am at an age where I feel like, you know what, I have as much right to be there as anyone and who actually cares about insignificant me anyway?...

SO I decided to do this class called "TRX Bodyweb". Sounded about as scarey as I could imagine, here is the blurb:

"Hang from the durable RIP:60™ ropes to push, pull, lift and lower your body through Spiderman like moves for a total body suspension workout that also super-strengthens your core."


Yes, in for a penny in for a pound I say.

So I timidly tiptoe in five minutes before the class begins. Trying to look both very small and insignificant, while also very fit and muscular, neither of which I can pull off, but nevermind, I try to look like I belong there.. ahem...

Let me just say at this point, this is a pretty BIG deal for me as I am a) not very brave and b) very self conscious.. oh yeah, I already said that...

Ok anyway. So I am standing there waiting for the class to start and a few people trickle in and this guy standing next to me asks me if I have done this class before. I look up and notice he is rather easy on the eye. I am a little taken aback as easy-on-the-eye guys don't usually speak to me (other than my husband of course ;-)).  Aaaaanyway... I smile and stammer...I mean say, "No, and actually I'm a little terrified" at which point he laughs and says him too...and I think wistfully that this NEVER used to happen when I was young and single. Turns out he is the class instructer and so has to talk to me as part of his job anyway haha.

Anyway the class starts and it appears we are to use these rope things on pulleys hanging from the ceiling to use our own body weight to do all these moves.




Is all I can say. B*gger me it was hard. Five minutes in and I am red as a beetroot, thinking, thank god I am not single and on the pull. But I give it my all.

Ten minutes in I am starting to wonder why I decided this was a good idea and fifteen minutes in I am about to die.

Just when I think I will pass out we have to flip over, putting our feet in the pulleys. Um... yeah. So I am on hands and knees with my feet hanging into these rope things and we have to do this move where we bring our knees into our chest and back again. Sort of like a plank suspended in mid air combined with stomach crunches upside down..

And all I can think is, I feel like I am in some kind of sex contraption... ahem... and because I am oh so mature, I get the giggles. Just for the record, it is impossible to concentrate on doing upsidedown stomach crunch plank moves with your legs tied up and giggle at the same time so I ended up in a bit of a tangle.

Anyway the torture, I mean class ended after half an hour and I tried to walk out with grace and dignity but they didn't want to walk with me as my legs were like jelly. I mean literally, I could barely walk. So I manage to get myself out of the room, find the stretching area and flop I mean sit down on a mat and pretend to stretch (so that I can recover enough to get myself to the changing room).

Next thing I know, hot instructor comes over and asks me whether I enjoyed the class. I am beyond red, puce in the face, more than a little 'glowing' with sweat and all I can manage is a grin and a sort of nod.

Needless to say

I will DEFINITELY be going again next week as it was fan bl00dy tastic.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Aspirations and expectations

Q. Which of these ladies is most attractive?

We all have our 'ideal' body that we are aspiring to be. For many people it is a version of their former self, perhaps pre-baby or as teenager. For some it may be a strong athletic Amazonian warrior woman. Others aspire to be like supermodels. Fantastic. It is great to have a goal, an end point on which to focus your efforts. The thing is, I think you have to be realistic. Otherwise you will never be happy. There is no point wishing you had legs up to your armpits or a 60cm waist if you are simply not built that way.

I had unrealistic expectations. I was wishing to be like the lady on the far left. In my head I was daydreaming about a concave midriff and long, slender thighs. Wearing certain clothes where a bra is not required. Errr yeah right....It is unlikely that I will ever be able to go bra-less. Not unless I decide to move to a nudist colony and develop the best pair of spaniels ears I could ever desire. It just isn't going to happen. I have spoken about my walrus on a previous blog. I don't think that will EVER totally disappear so bye bye concave midriff. I am 5 foot 4 (162 cm) so even if my legs were up to my armpits they would still only be as long as a normal person's legs..... Lets be realistic here. I actually think the lady on the right is more attractive ans I'm thinking I should be aiming more for a figure like hers, or the lady in the middle. It's difficult because we are all different shapes and sizes, we shouldn't compare ourselves to others.

Trouble is, I don't have a version of my former self to aspire to either, as this is it. This is pretty much as slim as I have ever been since I was a young teenager (except for my flabby midriff). My clothing size is 14-16 (UK) and I distinctly lack a waist. I deperately want a waist. My chest (as in ribcage not boobs) and my waist measurement are pretty much the same and then my hips go out a bit. My fat is pretty much concentrated between my ribs and half way up my thighs. And yes I know this is the most dangerous shape to be.

I know I will never look like one of the teenagers in my ballet class. I am not built like Ms Left up there. I know I will never be tall with long thin legs. SO there is no point wishing for it anymore.

I can't ever quite believe I will fit into anything less than a size 12 and I can't quite imagine how I will lose the required cm from my waist. I am dying to find out what I will look like when I weigh what I am healthily supposed to and there is only one way that I will find that out. I am going to try bl**dy hard. I am going to WW for all I'm worth, I am going to exercise as much as I can.

That way I will become the best version of me that I can be.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

I need to learn to speak salad

I am like Dr Doolittle...except that animals don't talk to me, food does. It is a really great skill to have....


Funnily enough, vegetables are pretty quiet on the talking front. They don't have much to say at all. Fruit not so much either. Actually it seems I can only speak lardy fat junk food language. Oh yes, sweet talking junk food. Calling to me.... enticing me..... trying to seduce me....

Chocolate mousse in the fridge:

"Ooohhhhhh Rachelle *think sexy french accent here* petit over ere and open ze freej......
Are you hongrey? Hmmmmmmmm??? You know you want a leetle nibble....don't you??? Jusssst one leetle bite?"

Biscuits in the cupboard:

"You hoo *posh English accent* sweetie dahling!....fancy a tincy wincy little bikkie? Over the pantry....come on lovie....just a itsy bit?"
Left over BBQ'd sausages in fridge:

"Awright darlin' *cockeney geezer* ow's about a larvly sausage or two? Goworn ya know ya wannoo"....
And so on....

It gets very difficult to ignore. And those are just the polite ones. The big bar of chocolate that remains unopened since February is beginning to scream my name, the leftover chocolate easter eggs are noisier than my children (and they are LOUD) and the bags of nuts...... well you can imagine....filthy language....All screaming at me and yelling:

"Eat me....Eeeaattt Meeeeee....EAT ME!"

Just downright rude.

Time for a cupboard/fridge/pantry clear out methinks. And NOT directly into my gob. Perhaps it is time to line the shelves with wholesome good for me food that will whisper healthy sweet nothings in my ear instead.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

I am the walrus

You know that flabby bit of stomach below the bellybutton that sort of hangs down when someone is overweight? I call it the Walrus because that is what it reminds me of.  (If you have no idea what I am talking about then you must be svelte and walrus free...long may it last for you my friend).

Anyway...I have one of these monstrosities. My walrus is the same age as my eldest son (nearly 7) and when I was pregnant it started to droop below my nice, tight, round bun-in-the-oven belly. Luckily as my belly got bigger I couldn't see it anymore, but to my horror, it was still there after my son was born. In fact it had grown through my pregnancy and the bit above had turned into a sort of deflated bouncy castle, complete with tripey, groovy (although not in the cool 60's sense of the word) stretchmarks.

Pregnancy and childbirth and raising children are wonderful things and I am truly blessed....but stomach will never be the same. The trouble is I have been using pregnancy, and all that follows as an excuse to be overweight. My youngest is now nearly 4, and really it is high time I stopped playing the "recently gave birth" card.

Yes I am the only one falling for it.

So, fair enough, I piled on the kilos when pregnant, and yes I piled on some more just surviving endless months of sleep deprivation. But the reason for that was because I ate too much and exercised too little. I have nobody or nothing else to blame. I can't really do much about the stretchmarks or even the excess skin but I can stop using it as an excuse to justify why diets don't work. The walrus must go. And that is it.

Coo coo ca choo.

Friday, 6 April 2012

I have a problem with my weight

I have a problem with my weight. Not in a 12 step programme "My name is Rachel and I have a problem with my weight" kind of problem with my weight.... Well actually that too, but I mean I have a problem with weighing myself. I have an old (analogue? -non digital anyway) bathroom scales. Now I am getting old, it is really difficult to see the dial and I have to bend forward to try and read the number (optician anyone....?) and if I bend forward to try and read where the line is, it wobbles and then I wobble and then it wobbles more and ...well you get the picture, it isn't very accurate.

I also weigh myself on the Wii Fit, which btw I hate and every time it talks to me I want to punch it in the face. The Wii Fit thinks I am 5lbs heavier (#%**&!) than my trusty old bathroom scales that I am too blind to read, so naturally I have been logging my weight and weight loss on WW according to the bathroom scales.

Yesterday I decided to buy myself a new scales, digital with nice big numbers, and because I am a glutton for punishment it also tells me how fat I am and how muscular (or rather unmuscular) and whether I have drunk enough water ...etc. (How in the world it can actually tell all of this, I will never know but at least it doesn't say "ouch" when I step on it....little @#*&*!).

So I was really quite excited to get my brand spanking new scales home and weigh myself and see the enormous blue digital numbers plain and clear. Yes I know I need to get a life, but anyway. According to the instructions, the scales need to be placed on a flat, level floor. Well, do you think I can find one of those in my house? The answer is a big frustrating NO.

The bathrooms (yes plural, because I am posh) tilt towards a drain (and btw why can't the sinks and baths just have overflows and the floors just be flat?....just sayin'). Whoever did the tiling (Bodge It and Fix it & co) obviously didn't feel like using a spirit level either. The lounge and dining room have wooden floors that again haven't seen a spirit level a day in their life. The kitchen has these stone block things that are all over the place in terms of heights and the rest of the house is carpeted.

Anyway it turns out because of this wibbly wobbly floor problem the scales can't make up their mind from one minute to the next. So I did about 10 weighs in different locations of the house and finally found a place where they were consistent and guess what? Yes...the new scales agree with the Wii Fit. (Shusshn frusshn russhn rick rastadly) I think it is a conspiracy between electronic goods. But anyway, as I am going for consistency I want to keep using the new scales for my WW weigh in but my dilemma is: Do I enter my weight higher this week which would be the honest thing and be starting afresh, but completely soul destroying to see the graph go up, or do I just enter it the same until I lose enough to catch up with what is on there at the moment, and have a flat line for a couple of weeks?

Answers on a postcard please x

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Inky pinky ponky..

Wouldn't it be fun to exercise like you did when you were a child? I have been watching how effortlessly my children round around, jump, climb, kick balls and so on and have so much fun while they do it. They aren't exercising, they are playing.

I am wondering why, as adults, we lose this ability to just have fun and do physical activity simply for the pleasure of the activity we are doing. I know actually a lot of people do do just that. If you play a sport, or you dance or actually...cough...splutter....ENJOY running....then you are lucky, because I am pretty sure there are a lot of adults who see exercise as a chore or a method of torture.

It's got me thinking. What if you could do a class where you had to leave your inhibitions at the door and release your inner child? Perhaps the class might get you to run around playing tag or bullrush. Perhaps you would play hopscotch. Maybe you would jump elastics (anyone else remember doing that? -jumping over elastic tied around ankles, while chanting a rhyme?) or skip rope, not by yourself like a boxer, in order to exercise, but while two others turned it, in order to have fun.

What if the next time you went to the class it was 'sports day' and you had to do sack races, obstacle courses and egg and spoons. And the next time was 'school disco' and you just were able to dance your heart out (or if you were a boy run around the room and slide on the floor). The next time you might play rounders or t-ball. Oh it would be so much fun and so liberating.

When my boys were little and I took them to those indoor playcentres, I always secretly enjoyed going in with them with the excuse that they were too small to go round themselves. I would always come out feeling puffed out and like I had used every muscle in my body. Now I can't quite get away with that, nor keep up with them. So I end up going down the slide alone, looking like a saddo grown up having a play by themselves.

When we bought our boys a trampoline for the garden I was gutted to discover that I was over the weight limit for it... but now...guess what? I am light enough to bounce away to my heart's content. And quite often if the neighbours were to look out of their windows they would see me jumping away while my boys are at school/preschool.

Perhaps it is that I don't want to grow up or get old. I don't know, but what I do know running around and playing with my boys is helping my heart in more ways than one.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

If I didn't laugh, I'd cry

Being inspired by my previous thoughts on eating junk only when I allow my children to eat junk I have come up with a few new diet ideas following the behaviours of my children....

Watch out WW you might have a bit of competition here ;-)

The too busy to come to the table diet.
-Get engrossed in some form of playing, be it lego, playmobil or whatever and totally ignore any calls to come to the table for food.
-Take so long to come to the table that food has gone cold, complain that it is so and refuse to eat more than a couple of bites.

The can't sit still diet.
-When at the table be so fidgety and distracted that you have to keep getting up and leaving the room to go to the toilet, get a tissue, change your fork/knife/spoon, get a drink of water
-Do this so frequently that food goes cold, complain that it is so and refuse to eat more than a couple of bites.

The be naughty at the table diet.

-When sat at the table for food shout your head off, say as many toilet related words, make as many obnoxious loud noises as you can so that you get repeatedly sent for time out.
-Do this so frequently that food goes cold, complain that it is so and refuse to eat more than a couple of bites.

The refuse to try anything new diet.
-When faced with a food you have never seen before, refuse point blank to let it go anywhere near your lips.
-After being presented with said food about 20 times and plucking up the courage to try it, make yourself gag on the first mouthful and refuse to eat any more of the meal.

The fill up on fruit diet.
-Just before a meal is due, nag and nag and nag for food.
-When your parent has had enough and says "eat some fruit then", repeatedly help yourself to the contents of the fruit bowl.
-When meal is ready announce that you are not hungry and refuse to eat any of it.

The snot diet

-This one needs nor deserves no explanation

The eat oh so very slowly diet
-When food is presented on your plate announce that you would like to cut it up yourself with a grown up knife and fork.
-Proceed to take 3 and a half hours to do so, oh so very precisely, until everyone else around you has lost the will to live.

The multi-tasking diet-On the odd occasion that you are allowed to eat infront of the TV become so engrossed in what you are watching that you sit with food in your hand, mouth open but never quite putting it in.

The food fight diet
-Instead of eating the food that has been lovingly prepared for you, throw it about a bit.

The cover it with sauce diet

-When a perfectly tasty meal is placed infront of you insist on plastering it with so much sauce that it becomes inedible.

The one bite diet
-Exactly as it says on the tin: Take one bite and only one bite out of every bit of food that you are presented with.

Exercise plan to compliment any of the above diets.

-Run around the house like a lunatic ensuring you bump into every piece of furniture, jump onto every chair head first and then roll around on the ground wrestling. Be sure to exercise those lungs by shouting as loud as you can while you do it.

Ahhhh good luck with those, mealtimes are a laugh a minute in our household.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter

I have been deeply affected by the Biggest Loser (Australia).... I have never watched it before but I am addicted to this series and there is something one of the trainers said a while ago that I have been mulling over in my mind.

I have already blogged about needing to feel some discomfort...that to get results it has to get tough....yada yada yada I accept I well and truly grab that one by the big, fat horns....

What has affected me this week is the need to let go of needing other people's affirmations and approval. You have to stop caring what other people think. The red poppy-eye woman trainer...Michelle? was saying that to one of the over 30's women.

To quote somebody obviously more gifted with words than my title says: "Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter"

Sometimes I feel so self conscious I may as well be a painfully shy teenager again. I have days where I go over and over and over a throw away comment that someone has made, analysing "what they really meant by that". I sit here and wonder why I only have 3 followers on my blog....FOLLOW ME why don't you?....(please?? and don't hate me for shouting....)

Whenever I have attempted to lose weight in the past, I have had in my mind and as my goal, what other people will think of me when I have done it...

Age 13: "If I lose five pounds then Sally and Catherine will want to be my friend" (beeotches)

Age 16: "If I lose half a stone then Nicholas will ask me out" (ooohhh Nick, you heartbreaker)

Age 19: "If I lose ten pounds then I will be able to wear a size 12 dress to the summer ball and snog loads of blokes" (turns out drunk students aren't that fussy anyway...ew).

Age 22: "If I lose a stone I will actually look like I belong on this course (Yes I have a Masters' degree in exercise and health science but that is a whole nother blog's worth of embarrassment to be covered in the future)

Age 26: "If I lose twenty pounds I will be a beautiful bride and everyone will turn and gasp at my gorgeousness as I walk down the aisle" (there were a few gasps...possibly because my boob fell out of my strapless dress....actually it didn't but that would have been funny)

And so it goes on....UNTIL NOW...I am coming round to the thinking that it actually doesn't matter what other people think. I am my harshest critic and even I need to be kinder to myself. I am trying not to worry so much about the perceptions of others. I am not there yet but am certainly better than I was. So right now this is what I am thinking:

Age 36: "If I lose two stone I will feel fit, healthy and be able to do ballet properly because my legs will not be too fat."

Any other compliments, affirmations, approvals will be welcome but not necessary.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Double scoops or double standards?

This is the conversation you might have overheard in my kitchen this morning:

"Can I have some chocolate?"
"Please? I really want some chocolate"
"No not now, maybe later"
"No stop asking, it is not chocolate time"
"I really WANT some chocolate"
"I'm not discussing it anymore, it is breakfast time, not chocolate time"
"I hate you, you won't let me have chocolate"

This is a typical conversation (if you want to be so civilised to call it that) that often occurs in our household. It's not just between myself and my husband either... Just substitute the word 'chocolate' for 'biscuit', 'crisps', 'muesli bar', or whatever you fancy. It is like groundhog day.

But it has got me thinking. Children have very little control over what they eat. (Well in this house anyway). I allow mine choices between healthy options or try to make healthy versions of 'junk' foods. We do eat rubbish like McD's once in a while and I do bake the odd cake but generally I try to ensure they have a healthy balanced diet. If there is any junk to be had it is usually on a Friday, on the weekend or on a special occasion. And even then they have to eat something healthy first to counterbalance it!!

I am pleased to say that they like to eat their vegies and don't really eat much rubbish. Consequently they are fit and healthy. However there seems to be a BIG double standard going on. They aren't allowed junk everyday, yet it seems that I can have it whenever I fancy it. I control pretty much every morsel that passes their lips, but I can't control myself.

At the playgroup we go to, the children sit and have fruit for morning tea. The adults have biscuits or a slice of cake. The children see this, they are fully aware and they protest at the injustice of it...even those who are a mere age of 1 or 2. Something about that doesn't sit so well with me. (I have been known to either forgo the biscuit or sneak one to my son, but sometimes I just wait until his back is turned and gobble it up. Some mums are happy to just eat it infront of their children and explain "it is just for mummies"....fair enough, that is their choice).

After pondering this issue I have realised that this sort of thing occurs quite often. For example, when we go on a long car journey, my husband and I sneakily eat sweets to pass the time while the boys munch on fruit, breadsticks and raisins.... When we go out for icecream, they are allowed a small, child's scoop while we have a massive double scoop. The more I think about it the more instances I can see it occurring.

Now I know that is what we are supposed to do, to guide our children into healthy habits as well as maintaining our responsibility for keeping them safe and healthy. But what about ourselves? What has happened to the responsbility and control to maintain our own levels of health and safety?

So I am going to try an experiment. From now on, I am only going to eat non-healthy food when my children do (and only then if I have the points available and if I really want it). If I am not comfortable or happy to let them have a biscuit, chocolate, or whatever, I will not have it either. If I want to eat a sneaky bite of cake or handful of sweets or spoonful of ice-cream, I will have to call them into the kitchen and give it to them too.

I am hoping this will make me think before I snack as well as make healthy choices for myself in the same way that I do for them. (Rather than completely dissolve my standards and turn the kitchen cupboard into a free for all..)

Of course there are going to be exceptions such as evening meals out or the odd glass of wine, and some of that is the pleasure and freedom of being an adult. But I am going to try it as a general principle and see what happens.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Who was I trying to kid?

I have had an amazing realisation.....

To some it may sound like stating the completely obvious, but for me it has been life changing....

Are you ready for this astounding, catalystic (is that a word?) epiphany?

Well it is this: in order to lose weight you have to suffer some discomfort.

Yes that is it...Not really that gobsmacking is it? But accepting this, embracing this, has really changed the way I see weight loss. You have to feel a bit hungry. (Wow!) For exercise to really work you have to break a sweat. (You are kidding!) Have you seen The Biggest Loser? They work them into the ground and starve them. That is why they get such great results. It is agony. Now I neither wish nor need to lose 6 kg in a week although it would be fantastic but I have actually learned something from this somewhat addictive programme.

I used to whinge and moan and feel hard done by that poor little me had to go on a diet and couldn't eat whatever I wanted to eat. I saw exercise as a chore and didn't really put much effort in. Of course my efforts saw little results. You get back what you put in. Why was I so afraid of being hungry? Its wasn't even like absolutely starving, haven't had a meal for 3 days hungry. Just a little peckish. Yet I couldn't bear the thought of it.

Why did I think exercise was really easy for thin, fit people but tormentuously difficult for me? Marathon runners are fit and thin but it hurts when they train. They get tired and out of breath too. It's about time I face up to the fact that if I want results I have to EARN them. No one is going to hand me weight loss on a plate, there is no easy simple quick solution, no matter how much it costs. Now that my mindset has clicked into this I am wondering what all the fuss and tantrums were about. I was kidding myself and making it so much harder, expecting it to be easy.

So this is truly IT once and for all. I will never do this again...because I won't have to. This time it is (I am) going to work.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Run run as fast as you can...

…you can’t catch me, I'm the gingerbread man. Well actually I’m not ( really?) but I did bake some today. And two accidentally fell into my mouth. Oops. Damn that baking. They smelled soooo good. Before I knew it….chomp chomp…mmmmm.

I counted them though. They took the place of the two glasses of wine that I didn’t drink last night. But now I have no more extra points left for the week and barely any exercise points either.

For those of you whom have never done Weight Watchers, basically you have an amount of points for the day. A weekly bank of points to use as you wish (booze, choccies, cake, extra daily points) and you can earn extra points through exercise. Just calorie counting really. Oh and if you have never done weight watchers, go ahead, take a drink ;-)

Anyway, I hurt my knee on Thursday when I was out for a run/walk/run. That meant I didn’t want to push it so I didn’t do any exercise yesterday. Apart from chasing the gingerbread men down the street before they came to a grisly but oh so tasty end.

I have 2 days till weighing day. I am not very good at sticking to my daily ration of 26 points. I need a bit of a buffer and I really don’t like using my exercise points unless I am desperate. I guess I am desperate. I don't know if I can use all my exercise points and still lose weight.

I NEVER thought I would say this but I was really annoyed that I couldn't exercise. I also NEVER thought I would be gutted that I couldn't go for a run...(walk/run). I have always said, "I don't do running." and "I am not built for running." Whatever. I am not built for ballet either and I still do that. I am not built for running because I am too fat. If I run more I will get less fat and then be built for running. And yes I do have to wear 2 bras to run in but so what?

On Thursday, before I hurt my knee (by slipping on wet pavement) I was really enjoying myself. I was alternating running with walking and I was plugged into my ipod. I have some fantastic motivating choons that really get me going. It was pouring with rain and I was really really loving it. Wierd. Anyway. My plan is to phase out the walking bits and in a few weeks/months/years time be able to run the whole time. I never thought I would sit in my house and be gagging to go for a run... (walk/run).

So rather than eating the gingerbread man perhaps I need to preserve him. Stick him up where I can see him. My role model. I can be the running gingerbread man. Also, that way, maybe then I will also become a bit of a fox.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

I have never...

Have you ever played that drinking game "I have never"? Well if you haven't, basically someone says "I have never..." and states something they have never done. If you have done said thing you are supposed to take a drink. Pretty stupid game, but then isn't that a prerequisite for a drinking game? Anyway let's play now only without the drink because it is only 7.50 in the morning and I have to drive the kids to school.
Ok....lets start..... I have never...... starved myself all day so that I can use all my WW points (or carbs or calories) for booze that evening.... Ok I have actually done that.
Um...I have never....stood in the kitchen/bathroom/laundry room, secretly stuffing food into my mouth, so no one else can see me.... yep done that too.
I have never...eaten 4 chocolate bars in one day..ahem...
.........oh ok maybe 3 and 3 quarters.
I have never...weighed myself more than 5 times in one day....
........ok I am going to be hypothetically drunk in a minute so need to stop...
Just one one more. I have never...eaten tissues or toilet paper to fill my stomach instead of WHAT??
No I can honestly say I have never tried that low calorie option. Anyone else drinking? I cannot get my head around anyone actually doing this, but supposedly it happens. And actually I am sure there are a lot of other eating related behaviours that I am completely ignorant of. For those of you that don't read those high quality gossip magazines, this is apparently what supermodels do to keep their weight down. To me that is eating disordered behaviour and comes as no surprise in that industry. But where do you draw the line at what constitutes an eating disorder?
Most people are aware of anorexia and bulimia but what about obesity? For the most part being overweight is treated as if it is a life choice. You are lazy and eat too much, therefore you are fat. Simple as that. However, I know from reading through some heartbreakingly honest blogs, talking to other WW members and looking at my own behaviours, overeating and being overweight could also be classed as disordered eating.
I would say that not eating food so that you could spend the calories on alcohol is a bit disordered...but probably not a disorder if you have only done it once or twice. Hiding your eating habits from those around you perhaps more shame and pride than a disorder? Eating excessive amounts of a particular food...greedy or needy? Obsessive weighing, well we are probably all guilty of doing that...
But really, if you are stuffing down emotions such as loneliness or anger with unlimited amounts of food, if you aren't dealing with past hurt or trauma and instead self medicating with junk, if you are protecting yourself from the outside world with a layer of fat then perhaps there are some issues to be dealt with. If you aren't loving yourself or your body enough to treat it with respect by not filling it with cr@p, by feeding yourself the best quality fuel that you can afford, regularly exercising and taking time to stop and think what is really good for you, just you, nobody else...then to me that is a bit disordered.
So that is what I am going to work on myself. To stop all the messed up thinking, empty promises, quick fixes and just love myself enough to take care of myself. It might take a while because "I have never" really done that before.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Gettin jiggly with it....

Last year I joined some dancing classes. I love them. It is the best thing I ever did. (Well maybe after getting married, having children and a few other things). I used to do dancing when I was little, like a lot of little girls. Then like a lot of teenagers, I decided I was too busy pretending to kiss boys and talking on the phone so I gave it up... silly me.
As an adult I really missed dancing and got my fix whenever I went clubbing. Then I got too old and tired for clubbing. Every once in a while I would google "adult dance classes" and then get completely scared and intimidated (and not just because of some of the 'adult' content that would result from such a search) and decide I would lose weight first so that I could burst into lessons and wow everyone with my svelte physique and hot dance yes...Anyway of course I never lost much weight and still I yearned for the dance classes...
So last year I took a deep breath and phoned a local dance school. I bit the bullet and went along to try all three...ballet (yes hippo in a tutu), tap (no falling in the sink jokes please) and hip hop funky jazz (if you think its a mouthful to say, you should see some of the moves...) So the classes were great and I wasn't even the oldest or chunkiest there...yes that is the kind of supportive, friendly gal I am...checking out the competition in the elderly and large stakes...everyone was
so friendly, supportive and normal!
Like I said... best thing I ever did ish. Anyway there I was step ball changing away to my heart's content when they mentioned...The SHOW...All the pretty little girls and long legged teenagers get a chance at the end of the year to showcase their so do the grown-ups...sigh...So we practiced and practiced and practiced and I did it...and yes I probably did look like an extra from Fantasia, (I am yet to see the DVD.. oh yes there is cinematographic evidence) and yes I had to have the largest available costume....but I did it... and it was soo much fun!! But I
decided one thing. By this year's concert I am going to be 3 dress sizes smaller. So that I can wear the medium costumes and won't need to sew in an extra panel of material to fit the skirt around my waist (I will have a waist!)

What's more I want to go into one of those dancewear shops and buy those cool floaty funky dance outfits to wear to classes and pretend I am on the set of Fame and right now there wouldn't be much extra material to float if you get my meaning... So here I am...I am doing Weight Watchers, (again!) counting my points, but this time it is different. I feel different to any other time I have tried to lose weight (about every year for the last 20 years). I am into it. I am motivated and I have a goal.

Sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone and just get stuck in. Also there is nothing more motivating than lumbering behind graceful skinny young women facing a wall full of mirrors and watching your stomach jiggling with every move. Oh yes aaaand those three classes each week earn me 12-15 extra points and it doesn't feel like exercise! So if there is something you are thinking of trying, I would say GO for it!
My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.