Wednesday, 28 July 2010

OMG! My Scale Must Have Broken, Surely?

I know. "Don't call me Shirley!" (I love that line.) Why on earth am I larking about with a jokey opening when my scale shows a big increase in my weight???? Slap me somebody! Bloody hell! I have lost 14lbs...and it's taken me forever - at least it's come off - but this morning, when I stupidly stood on my scale after biking for 40 minutes it registered a 5lb gain!!!! FIVE pounds!

I mentioned yesterday that within the space of a week my weight can fluctuate 2 or 3lbs either way..and I have been quite good about only weighing myself once a week because of that. Weigh-day for me is supposed to be Monday...and perhaps next Monday I'll have lost those 5lbs (and 2lbs more besides, which would mean I am properly LOSING weight,) but realistically I can't see that happening given my metabolism seems to be more sluggish than that of a snail on Valium. Wail!

I think I have to set myself a challenge. Obviously what I am doing just isn't working very well.

The good news is that I have changed in many respects...and these are changes that I believe will stay with me. I am not fighting any of them. I see lots of little changes as real success..because I feel I am changing for life and doing it without too much resistance.

I don't buy biscuits or cakes any more. Those temptations aren't in the house.

I don't buy or eat things like Pringles or crisps...bags of fried potato-ey snacks or nuts etc to graze on whilst watching TV.

I have stopped buying pizzas for my boys. They'll scoff a whole one as a 'snack', so without mentioning it, I am cutting out some of their unhealthy snacks too. I never was fond enough of pizza to buy one and heat it up at home for myself. I'll eat one in a restaurant, may be, but it's not a food favourite and I can't remember when I last did that. Last year sometime?

I am buying lots and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and cooking a 'proper' evening meal rather than relying on convenience or processed foods. Again, my boys will eat whatever is there and they'll tuck into a bowl of raspberries quite happily and not moan that they're lacking a stodgy pudding. We were never big pudding eaters really. The fridge is stocked with low fat yogurts and in fact youngest son uses up strawberries and low fat yogurt on his Bran Flakes breakfast.

There hasn't been ice-cream in the freezer for months. I don't buy it.

I only buy wholegrain cereal and breads. I am starting to switch to brown rice and pasta too. long as it's covered in a tasty sauce, the boys tend not to notice.

I have stopped buying red meat..for no reason other than it's pricey and I really do prefer chicken and fish. We rarely have burgers or sausages at home anyway. They tend to be BBQ items and given the English weather....

I am cutting back on carbohydrates. I am aware of portion sizes..but I do love bread. I often substitute it with Ryvita sesame crackers and cottage cheese. (I like easy-to-prepare, snacky foods rather than all my grazing has to be on healthy items. Breakfast and lunch tend to be very small meals, so I can have two snacks either side.. I cook a proper evening meal but have a small portion. I find I get full quicker of late.)

I am not a salad eater I have discovered :(. I'll eat a salad if it's put in front of me, but far too many salad vegetables have gone soggy in the fridge recently. I can't afford to be so I am eating tomatoes (something I love) with lots of dishes. I'll only buy leaves now if I KNOW I'll use them up straight away in pitta breads or wraps. Again..the boys will eat them too and I prefer baby spinach leaves over lettuce.

I have stopped drinking wine. I don't drink alcohol any more. No real reason other than I don't want 'empty' calories. I am hooked on fizzy mineral water! Even if we go out to eat, I'll wash down my meal with water. When I last had a glass of wine I decided I preferred the clean experience of water over the sour, slightly acidic taste of wine. Calories saved. No hardship. OMG...does this mean I am now teetotal??? (My dear old Irish Mum used to be a member of a Temperance Society when she was a young woman. The motto was "Water is the best fluid to drink. Neither man, plant nor animal can live without it." I remember her quoting that...even though she happily indulged in a 'medicinal' tot of Irish whisky most nights up until the day she died in her 80s.)

I have been getting on the exercise bike and pedalling for at least 30 mins five days out of seven.

What I haven't been doing? :(

1) I haven't been walking much, or 'going for walks' for the exercise value of them. I can't seem to make myself go out of the house just to walk. No idea why. It's free exercise yet I seem a bit loathe to do it. Any tips?

2) I haven't been ignoring the late-night call of the munchies. I have always been a night owl and find I am eating at 11pm or later! Last night I had a slice of toast and honey and a mug of tea just before midnight. That's when I prowl the house in "I want to eat!" mode.

3) I am not weaning myself off my sedentary hobbies. I still spend large parts of my day sitting down...reading, computing, drawing, watching TV...which just isn't good.

I have jobs around the house to do and a garden to tend to but my favourite word seems to be mañana. That's my by-word now I have retired. Mañana. I put things off until 'tomorrow'...and I am kicking myself because even though I am aware it's a very bad habit, I can't break it.  I have read so many self-help articles about procrastination, but none seem to help. I am aware I just have to get up and DO IT, but I have become very good at completely ignoring that little voice in my head. I wrote about a Penalty Ogre a few posts back. I really do need to install one in the cupboard under the stairs so he can unleash himself and roar at me and beat me up throughout the day.

Yes, I still have the home-made posters with "Heart Attack", "Stroke", "Blood Clots" written on them, pasted up near my computer. I ignore them. ( my peril, I know.) How do I stop being so bloody blasé?

The kids have grown up and go out to work...and I have retired. (I must mention here that I am not a 'pensioner' in the proper sense of the word. I stopped working at 50...I am a 'youngish' woman still - or so I tell myself. I'd hate to be thought of as an old crone, way past her sell-by date.) I don't have a husband coming home at night, so I don't even try to be a domestic goddess. I do what has to be done. Sinks and loos are spotless, as is the kitchen floor. I have a nice home...but I am not going to wear myself out finding houswork to do even though I am not a complete slob. A once a week purge suffices. (I was brought up being aware of the Shirley - hey I got that name in again!- Conran principle for feminists of the 70s...'Life is Too Short To Stuff a Mushroom' Superwomen everywhere were looking for ways to become more efficient. Huh. Life isn't too short to eat a stuffed mushroom though - is it?

Another of her sayings was "I make no secret of the fact that I'd rather lie on the sofa than sweep beneath it."

Oh I hear you Shirley! :)

So, there we have it. I am OK with food..mostly...I have the odd small indulgence, but I am very geared up for healthy eating...but I am not burning calories very well. I burnt off 187 calories on the bike this morning. I do plan to go for a walk this afternoon. I have to pick up repeat prescriptions from the Doctor's surgery and I don't have a car - it's still being mended. (I have a great chunk of engine in my hall. Son brought it home from work. He is stripping down my car engine in the garage where he works, as it needs a new cam belt...big, big job apparently. I think many people scrap their cars when the cam belt goes..if the car is getting on a bit. I don't have that option. Anyway...I have a big rectangular chunk of metal in the hall. I think it's the 'head'...which has to be 'skimmed.'? I haven't a clue what men are on about when they talk engine talk. I pick up the vocabulary but it means nothing....selective ignorance on my part alas. My man is an engineer so he'll skim it in his workshop to save a bit of money.) Oooops. I digress.

I have to get to the doctors today so I'll walk. That's another thing...some of my prescription drugs cause weight gain. I have an underactive thyroid and both types of anaemia..iron deficiency and Pernicious I have to be injected with Vitamin B12 regularly. My auto-immune system isn't good. I have other chronic complaints too, and I have to take preventative medication as well. I rattle with drugs. I know I am so laid-back I am almost horizontal...and that's personality/character wise, even before I have pilled-up with the medicines I have to take every day. I think I'd have to live on about 600 calories a day to make any difference to my weight :(

Someone soon WILL invent a magic wand, silver bullet and super pill to instantly remove fat. They have to, and I'll be the first guinea-pig to try them out! ;-)

Yes...I must become more active. (How do you MAKE yourself go out and walk?) I may get violently active with my scale if it still registers a 5lb gain next Monday. Here's hoping your scale is being nice to you.


  1. Are you listening to music when you are out walking? For me adding my headphones and some fast, up-beat music completely changed my life. My workouts went from walking on a treadmill watching a tv show at a reasonable pace to walking outside at a pace that actually burns fat. Now I'm incorporating jogging... just a little at a time. And having the right music on my player has made all the difference in the world... please try it. I highly reccomend Lady Gaga - if you can keep up with the beat, you will get a great workout, I promise!!

  2. Although I'm wearing a pedometer I don't go walking to go walking for the most part. I try to add a little extra distance by taking the long way round or parking farther from the train when going to the office.

    I am going to try to incorporate one, just for the excercise stroll, in at lunch, but so far I've added distance just by making things a bit inconvenient for myself, no shortcuts, no escalators...

  3. My scale is neither nice nor mean to me since I so rarely visit it. ;-)

    I'm sorry that you're having some frustration, but I do believe that you are going about things in a good way. If you aren't fighting the changes, then you're well on your way to better health regardless of what the stupid scale says. Also, I've read many times that exercise causes temporary weight gain because it sends water to the muscles. It will pass though. It could be the exercise bike activity causing fluid retention.

    For me, pain has always curtailed exercise, so it's been a gradual progression. I motivate myself by not having a car, and not getting my bike repaired so I can't use it. Biking is good exercise, but not in the city over short distances and fairly flat roads. Walking has been much better for me. For me, as you know, I've just taken to doing more movement in front of the computer while I read or watch documentary videos on-line. It really isn't that much harder to lift weights or walk in place in front of the computer than to sit in a chair in front of it. Even if you have to pause to scroll the screen, it's still movement for the most part while you read.

    I think it's better to work with your default state rather than try and overhaul yourself wholesale. If you like to use the computer, then use it but do what movement you can while you're there. It is a lot easier than making yourself get up and go outside when you don't want to. It's another one of those things that may be easier to sustain in the long run than adding in a bit change. We have to go with what fits our lifestyle.

  4. Weight gains make me grumpy. If you get to be number one, then I get to be guinea pig number two. I called it.