Friday, 30 April 2010

Resisting Temptation.

I had a good day yesterday, a really good day and felt very optimistic that I had devised a way of eating which would work for me. It did...all day long, but I spoiled it, right at the end. I gave into temptation late at night. Curses!
So, how do you overcome temptation? How do you resist the charms of a food which smells good, looks good and you know it tastes good? Perhaps we are so fired up by our weight loss that all of a sudden these foods have no power over us? OK - I can understand that, because I think I have weaned myself off quite a few things I used to include in my diet. I can walk away from them and not obsess about being cheated, denied etc.
However - is this forever, or just while we are trying to lose weight?
My downfall last night was a bacon sandwich. Son came home at 10.30pm, and was ravenous, so he found some bacon in the fridge - it had been in there a while, it wasn't a recent buy - and he started grilling it. Oh the smell! Heavenly! Just so wonderful. I might as well have been Pavlov's dog. I salivated.
He shouted to me from the kitchen "Mum, do you want a bacon sandwich?" Now, I should have said no...of course I should. I should have had a big glass of water and gone to bed or distracted myself with something, but...a bacon sandwich was offered, late at night and I ate it. It WAS good. No two ways about it, it was almost divine - it tasted wonderful!  Hah. Day one of the 'plan' and I succumb to a bacon butty. 
I have read enough about dieting to know that it's not the end of the world to eat something you perhaps should have avoided. One little slip up isn't going to derail a person determined to shed the blubber. I know that, but I still felt a sense of weakness as I ate it.
I suppose the end result - a slimmer, fitter body is what we should keep in mind, and we should be armed with the knowledge that if we do give in to temptation too often, that dream scenario moves further away too. What I am telling myself today is, I can still eat things I enjoy, like bacon sandwiches. I can include them in the eating plan, but really I shouldn't be eating them at 11pm - bed time! I must PLAN to have a bacon sandwich - including the two slices of bread, and adjust the food I eat that day around something I'll enjoy and so banish the guilty feelings.
Smells attract us to things. (My favourites are the smell of freshly ground coffee, freshly baked bread, bacon being cooked...creosote and freesias.) It is true that if you start thinking about something and can't get it out of your mind, it suddenly becomes irrisistible. Having that understanding helps us appreciate that we CAN resist it I think. See, another lesson learned last night :)
Richard Bach :

Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and sickness, to riches and poverty, to freedom and to slavery. It is we who control these, and not another.
Son caught me last night. I didn't resist or say no. He delivered a bacon sandwich to me and I accepted it gratefully. Lack of control? Ah well, that is water under the bridge now.

Today I start again, and so far I have had a good morning food wise and I have lifted weights. (I lugged shopping bags from the car to my kitchen...which is upstairs given I have a split level house. My leg muscles are well defined - beneath the fat! ) I have been busy and it's only now that I have stopped to sit at the keyboard that I am thinking "Food. What can I eat?" A lull in my day means food. That is definitely a fat person's thinking, isn't it?

I know what I am eating for lunch - today it is sardines on toast - one slice, with a big salad. I am having salmon glazed with a chili marinade with my man later on (no sauces or potatoes, but - and it will be a small portion - red onion/pepper/mushroom fried rice to go with it) and peas. He's cooking. No wine, just water. So two lots of fish today, but mmmm, I love fish. I have lots of healthy things in the fridge and cupboards if the urge to nibble strikes me later. I don't suppose I'll see a huge weight loss quickly, but already I feel better for having a plan which, apart from the evil bacon sandwich, I am following.

My man's sister and BIL are coming to visit this weekend and I have the trial of the 'all you can eat' Chinese buffet to face on Saturday night. Already I am trying to devise a healthy eating way to attack this. Deep fried anything is out!

Have a good weekend. Face those food enemies and defeat them, says the expert in temptation avoidance, as she hits herself :)

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Nibbles, and learning about myself.

It's an interesting process, this blogging, isn't it? This online diary of mine, concerned with the weight-loss journey is taking shape (unlike me!)  but I have no idea if it's just for my benefit or if others will read and get something from it, or get nothing much from it at all, but just enjoy the read.

I know lots of successful people have blogged about their days on the road to losing weight and shaping up. It's been very helpful for me to read that most people either struggle or find a way to get through their days - the days they feel determined and on track and the days when they feel like going mad, food-wise and eating all before them. I need blogs to be 'human' and to detail thoughts, struggles, successes, determination, and all the other emotions, including misery, anger, frustration, joy, satisfaction etc. I have to say that those who write about their programme at the gym and their 15 hours a day of exercise don't do much for me - mainly because I am not a gym bunny right now, or a particularly 'active' person, one interested in exercise. I maybe in time to come - I don't rule it out - but - I am beginning to know myself really well.

I know that I need to lose weight. I know that I look awful, feel depressed knowing I am a fat blob and looking at my reflection in a mirror brings me no pleasure. I know that I have to look for my good bits too, and I do that. I am not a complete write-off :)

I know I can be very determined one minute and really grumpy the next that I can't stuff my face with cream cakes. I know that despite eating well all day I'll often be growling "What can I eat? I hate this restriction! I need food!" at the end of the day, and feel resentful that my calories are limited.

So, knowing about the way I tick has been interesting when it comes to devising an eating plan which will help me lose weight. I know Weight Watchers and slimming clubs aren't for me right now. I know that I hate rigid routine and sticking to plans devised by other people. I'd rather be my own boss in this. For now, at least.

Yesterday was interesting. I felt down. Really ugly, fat, useless and past-it. I was full of self-loathing after my awful-shock-in-the-mirror episode the night before. I felt that the days ahead were going to be a struggle. I was not full of enthusiasm or self-love, or determination. However, I did feel yesterday that food was my enemy. I hated it for what it had done to me...but not myself for eating it! Food was BAD. I looked at it critically and before I ate anything I thought about whether it was fatty, sweet, bulky, starchy and what it would do for me in terms of filling me up, providing energy and providing nutrition. I don't want my days to be like this. Eating should be a pleasure. Sitting down with friends and food is one of my favourite ways of spending time. So, I picked at food yesterday. I didn't cook anything hot at all, mainly because I was feeling  I couldn't be bothered. It proved interesting. I jotted down all I ate. I'll work out calories later.

I was the fat woman eating, and everything I ate would add to my chubby frame. So, I had a tiny portion of muesli..about a tablespoon, to which I added a few raisins for sweetness and a tiny scattering - about a teaspoonful, of sunflower seeds, because I like the taste and crunch of them. It was good and I had a mug of tea with it. I drank a tall tumbler full of cold water about fifteen minutes later.

About two hours later I was mooching, in between tasks so I made myself a small jug of fresh coffee and thought, as usual "Um...I need food to go with it." (That's a bad habit - tea or coffee accompanied by food - but it's one I don't have to break if I choose foods wisely.) So I had a light yogurt. I checked the cals, fats and carbs.

I busied myself with things and nipped out to the shops, in the car, because I had bulky things to bring back. I came back, needing tea. I thought about food. It was now 1.30pm, so lunchtime. I nibbled on a cherry tomato whilst I thought "What can I eat now?" I drank my tea and pulled two small light BabyBel cheeses from the fridge. I ate them with four more tiny tomatoes. I found a carrot, washed it and nibbled on it. Whole. No preparation. I drank another glass of water, and because I had moved my mouth, exercised my jaws, done the whole chewing and tasting thing, I was satisfied. Isn't it strange? I discovered what I ate wasn't as important as the physical eating process. The tasting, chewing..sticking food in my mouth was the satisfying element. I probably wasn't THAT hungry either, but I felt some satisfaction that all foods so far had been GOOD ones.

I put some washing on, tidied up the kitchen, checked emails, had another glass of water and went out to the garden to hang washing on the line. I talked to the cat, put some more fat balls on the bird table  for my feathered friends and pulled at a dastardly dandelion. No seed heads from them allowed to form in my garden! Oooh..bending and stretching. Exercise! LOL.

I had cheered up considerably by then. I am not a moody person really. I am quite introspective though, but that comes from having time on my hands now I am not working I suspect. Again, I felt the need to punctuate my day with food, but given I had been eating healthily all day, and there were no 'bad' foods in the house I wondered what I'd track down. There was a pot of hummus in the fridge, so I toasted a pitta bread - just one, and ate that. I made the pitta bread into a pouch and stuffed baby spinach leaves inside. I broke it into bits and dipped it into my hummus. very tasty...and one fat woman was satisfied, and hunger was banished. I had about six almonds an hour later when the urge to have food in my mouth was strong again. I made another mug of tea later, and feeling the need for cakes or biscuits - anything that was sweet, I grabbed five raisins and deliberately sucked them slowly. My old bad habit of tea accompanied by a sweet snack of some sort has to be tamed. The urge passed and I enjoyed my tea. Before the man came over I had a small packet of salt and vinegar flavoured rice cakes. That felt like a food indulgence, but it wasn't  really. Good on lots of levels!

That was it for the day...No evening meal. The boys were out and fending for themselves. My man came over and we watched a film on TV. I used to feed him but that entailed eating a big meal at 8.30pm..or 9pm. That's too late for me. I could have eaten the contents of the fridge by the time I'd served it up. I told him this, explaining it would be a problem for me to eat a big meal that late, so he cooked for himself before he came over, and was quite happy to do so. I felt a bit mean cutting out this social event, but it was a habit that wasn't good.  At the end of the evening he said "Thanks for the tea..." and we laughed.

This is my plan. I shall have a decent breakfast - but a small portion of cereal and if I need something with it I'll have fruit. Then, whenever the urge to eat strikes, I shall snack..but snack on GOOD things, and in tiny amounts. I actually didn't feel hungry at any time yesterday...

OK, that's very vague and a plan open to abuse, but if all I have in the house is healthy food and I think about how I am combining bits and pieces there are no "Oh noooo. I have snacked between meals - I am weak and a complete and utter fat failure" episodes. The plan is, I can eat when that urge to eat strikes me...but the eating will be tiny amounts of whatever I can find. No specified times. So, no guilt associated from eating frequently. Not only that, there don't have to be any big meals prepared. I'll have to cook something at around 6pm for the boys, on some days, not all,  but I tend to give them vegetables and lean meat anyway...or beans, jackets potatoes etc. I may have a meal for myself but I'll have the veg and meat..a small portion of meat and fore-go potatoes or rice or aware that I can only have a portion of carbs which is very small. I am OK with that. I don't need HUGE meals..but I do need to eat nibble even. I shall endeavour not to eat after 7pm.

Today, all I have had is a small bowl of bran flakes with semi-skimmed milk. I haven't had anything else because I had a doctor's appointment this morning. I shall have two tangerines now whilst I put the kettle on. Two Ryvita with cottage cheese and chives will be what I eat...followed by my mug of tea. if I feel the need for sweeteness I'll have a few raisins or a banana. There are yogurts in the fridge, fruit in the bowl and chicken portions for dinner tonight. I have green beans and baby sweetcorn to go with it and new potatoes for the boys. I may have one, but that's my limit.

Not scientific, not calorie counted, definitely spontaneous, but a nibbler's eating plan is what I need. I'll see how it goes and weigh myself on Monday. I'll also try to incorporate walking and gardening into my days as well as a turn on the bike in the evenings whilst watching TV. When I want to eat, I will, because I am learning that tiny amounts of food, frequently, satisfy that urge.

The Nibbler has landed.

             A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.  

            ~ George S. Patton

Hmm. Violent raisin-eating. There's a thought.....

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Losers. Reflections on the Grim Reflection.

Does it happen to all overweight people at some point? I think it must. Self disgust. Not liking what you see? Self hatred even. Is that the light-bulb moment, the signal that a change must happen?

My bubble has been burst and I'll tell you why in a minute.

I am usually a fairly upbeat person and as far as weight-loss goes, my mantra has been "Do not obsess about it. You are more than your flabby outer casing."

I am bright enough to understand all the 'eat healthily' messages we have been bombarded with over the years. I know which foods are 'super foods' and which ones are good for us. I can even look up their vitamin and mineral content. I know the foods to avoid. I understand that an exercise programme must accompany a diet. However, I have been scathing regarding gym freaks, people who live on water and lettuce, size zero models and the way we have been lead to believe that our lives are pretty dysfunctional if we carry excess weight. I wonder if we are all being conned - fat people are the ones to demonise. The beautiful people of the world are the thin ones. They are successful. You are nothing if you are fat. Even if you are wealthy you are still fat and wealthy. Your fatness labels you. Photographers delight in finding cellulite on the thighs of celebrities. 'Oh how dreadful, how disgusting, a flaw..she is imperfect!' we are made to think by the mags that print the pictures.

It's all very sad, so to some extent I have fought the subliminal messages. You have to aspire to be thin, and if you are thin, you aren't thin enough. I have no time for it. It's dangerous thinking. All of a sudden, everyone is on a diet and everyone owns walking shoes and lycra work-out clothes. People carry water bottles. Is it an affectation, a signal to others that they are on the programme? Or are they just thirsty and feel they can't be without their water? We never used to carry water with us. It comes out of taps.

All of a sudden people seem to have a monstrous amount of self-obsession. Self-obsession - is it good to be self-obsessed, to want to look good, or is it mentally healthier to accept yourself, warts, blubber and all?

Those trailing in the water-carriers wake - the fat people too ashamed, scared and out of condition to try and compete - are life's losers it would seem. Everywhere you look it's about being slim and healthy. Fat and unfit people are second-class citizens - to be pitied or scorned.

Well, we are to some extent. We do miss out on life if we are fat, for all sorts of reasons...all the reasons you and I KNOW which make us feel like we live on the sidelines and can never be a competitor - at least not a serious one. Being fat brings us down, but I'd like to bet that almost all fat people wear a mask. To the world they are OK, getting on with things, and some fat people (and thin ones too) are larger than life characters, but all of a sudden the world has changed. We have to be the very best person we can be. That's a big responsibility and many of us fall short. Behind closed doors we know we just don't measure up. Literally.  We are the people making up the numbers and perhaps our purpose is to make every person who doesn't carry excess weight feel a whole lot better about themselves.

However- read on. I am one of the fat people who can rise above all this, right? I have a handle on it. Not for me the media hype - oh no. Not for me a sheep-like acknowledgement that to be a winner I must work out and carry water. "Ha ha," I sneer. "Those people have been taken in. How gullible they are and how self-obsessed. Vain people aren't nice. Ugh. They believe image is everything. How shallow. Poor pea-brained fools."

Anyway, I have been able to tell myself I am just fine as I am. Yes, I am fat, but I am a good person, a reasonably successful one when all is taken into consideration and I am happy enough with my life. being fat isn't a crime. There are one or two things I'd like to change, but for the most part I am doing OK.

I had a good day yesterday. For a while. I blogged, had fun, laughed and joked, did a few things in the garden, planted up some things that would bloom in the summer, put some geraniums in pots, hung some washing on the line, and I sat in the sunshine with tea, talking to my cat who lazed in front of me in the sun, like a mini-lion. Life was very good. My fatness wasn't an issue. I looked up at the clear blue sky, listened to bird song, chatted with a cheeky robin who despite my ginger cat, perched on the bench nearby and fluttered in and out. A friend called and it was good to catch up, then I went for a long walk. The house wasn't cleaned yesterday because I was busy with other things, but that was the plan for the evening. The boys came home and I cooked a healthy evening meal...and my man phoned me, as he always does if we are not getting together that day. I had my feet up on the sofa then, and noticed how puffy my lower legs were. So puffy in fact that I had cankles - big tree-trunk-like ends of legs - no ankle bone to be seen. Not nice. OK, so that can happen occasionally, but it's usually when I have had a sedentary day that I notice (and feel it) more.

I also noticed blue veins, red blotches, felt dry skin and noted that I needed to pamper my legs and feet. The fruits of growing old. The skin is bound to age when you hit your half century. "I know," I thought, "I'll get on the bike and work those lower legs." Positive all day, huh? :)

This is where it happened, where my bubble burst despite getting my act together a bit that day.

Son had used the bike, so he'd moved it slightly and adjusted the saddle height. It was OK, My feet still touched the pedals and it felt good stretching my legs to the max.  However...the bike is in the sitting room, in front of the fire. Above the mantelpiece I have a large mirror. Usually when I am pedalling, I see my shoulder tops, my neck and my face. I can live with that. Now I could see myself to my waist. I could see all of my arms. I was sitting at an angle so could see my back slightly, and just under and behind my arms. There was more of me reflected in the mirror.

Oh. My. God.

I wish I could draw for you the shape I saw before me. It was triangular almost...fat face, puffiness in the cheeks, narrow shoulders but a body which spread out below. Round football-like head, short neck, narrow shoulders - all recognisable so far - I see that in the mirror - but  leading to huge top arms, flabby hanging flesh below, elbows with plump dimples when extended to the handle-bars and rounded lower arms, the fat nipped in at the wrist. My back was very thick and  rounded and flesh bulged over the back of my bra. I was wearing a summer t shirt with capped sleeves, which only served to accentuate my enormous arms and bulging back. However, below my bust was my mid-section which was rotund. It was as big as my chest, round, swollen and a loose but enormous tractor tyre around my middle. I bobbed from side to side, short and squat as I pedalled, and was appalled.

The sight was plain hideous.

Don't say "Don't be too hard on yourself" because all my fat life I haven't been hard on myself at all. I have gone with the flow, deliberately. I always try to accentuate the positive, with others at least. I have allowed myself to get to this. It is NOT a pretty sight, no way is it a pretty sight, despite knowing that my face is my best feature.

I cannot tell you how aghast I was...and how I despised what I saw. I look at other fat people and think "Ah well. At least I am not THAT big." Now, all I could see was a very round, noticeably fat, out of condition, chunky woman. I was that BIG woman people notice, that I notice.

I pedalled for half an hour, looking at myself in the mirror, all the time noting my roundness, hugeness, flabbiness and lack of elegance as my upper body bobbed about on that bike. Am I REALLY that big? What a shock!

Wake up call. Today I feel chastened and down. This is going to take a lot of work. I don't mind growing old, I don't mind losing my youth, but I do mind losing me. That fat woman in the mirror last night looked like a slob...and despite the OK face there was one massive stomach and the look of a person who had given up on herself. This body showed neglect. I was disgusted.

Perhaps I need to cultivate a little self-obsession?

When I walk today, I'll carry water. I have succumbed. This isn't about vanity, this is about getting my body back. I look like I ought to be insignificant, and I look like my label....the label I am sure most onlookers give me, the overweight one, when and if they take note of me as we go about my life. I am not me, a worthy person, a bright woman, a person who can laugh at herself.

I am "Oh Hell. Look At Her. She Is So Fat!"

I had a shock when I saw myself in that mirror. No more messing about for me. No more resistance. I don't want to look like I do any more. I am not one of life's losers - very few of us are, but I am going to be a loser for the time being. I have to be.

It's a new day, a new start. I learned a lot last night, reflecting on my grim reflection. I give you this, and I am sure it applies to a fat middle aged woman too :-

"I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
~ Abraham Lincoln. (American 16th US President. 1861-65)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

I have been given a sign - or a shove in the right direction.

I do go on. I have just looked through my blog and blimey - I must make my posts shorter! Brevity is the soul of wit and all that.

I am enjoying this blogging malarkey. I like writing. (You noticed?) If I applied myself to 'dieting' in the way I have embraced blogging I'd be as thin as a stick of celery already!

So, today I have decided to go for it. Now, if my 'going for it' only lasts a day or two, or even a few hours, please be gentle with me. Given I have lost a few pounds without even trying I really ought to move forward. They were my free bonus pounds - no effort required (and I dare say the scales will show me they've gone back on today, because I know that our body weight can fluctuate in the course of 24hrs, even if we have lived on liquidised cucumber all day.)

So. I need a plan for today. One day at a time.

I am going to make this entry short and sweet and go for a walk down to the river. I shall walk along the banks for a while and look out for interesting birds and insects. I also have a letter to post (oh I love writing and receiving snail mail too) so I shall take the long way round to the letter box outside the Post Office.

So far I have had two big mugs of tea, and a bowl of muesli..sugar and salt free. I have half a melon for lunch..and quite a lot of fruit in the fruit bowl which I must endeavour to eat before it spoils. I have some light Baby Bel cheeses in the fridge so I shall go continental and have fruit and cheese for lunch. Ooooh la la!

I REALLY would like a big crusty baguette to go with the cheese, spread thickly with butter, and a glass of dry white wine to wash it all down. That's what the French do. THAT is what I call a proper, civilised lunch. However...who needs bread and wine? I am not Jesus. (Y'see, the Cecil B Demille thoughts in my last reply have got me thinking it will be a miracle if I don't give in to tempting white bread, See, now I am thinking about it, I can't stop. There is a bakers near the Post Office. The thought has lodged in my brain and I can see and smell that bread! Oh yum. And I feel deprived - already! I want crusty white bread! I have only just had my breakfast!)

Distraction. How on earth do you stop thinking about delicious items of food?

Walking, cheese, fruit, perhaps a yogurt mid afternoon..and some soft dried apricots if need something sweet, and a mushroom and crunchy vegetable stir fry for dinner, with only a FEW egg noodles. I'll need an evening nibble though. Hmmm. I'll have a go at looking at portion size and checking calories, and yes, I will keep a food journal. Thanks for that tip. More writing! Can't be bad! :)

Oh and given I am in Cecil's Biblical epic mode, I'll leave you with this :-

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they are sticking to their diets”

Monday, 26 April 2010

When Your Puddings Don't Cooperate....

Another week....and the scales tell me this morning that I weigh 221 lbs. I have somehow managed to lose 2lbs without trying very hard, or even deliberately working at making them disappear. I guess I have been a little more active in the last few days.

I am not complaining but what would happen if I REALLY tried and cut back on food (limited/counted my calories) and made the effort to move more? I don't think that involves signing up at the gym or going to classes or buying in special fitness equipment. (Those thoughts horrify me!) I think it entails gardening as often as possible and keeping busy in the house. I have a spare room full of 'stuff', some of it quite bulky, which needs sorting out. I'd get exercise that way, although it wouldn't be enough to make me sweat or puff and pant. Extra movement might involve walking somewhere every day and being conscious of the time I waste by sitting down doing self-indulgent things, like reading (lots!) watching TV (I don't do this much during the day at all, but will have half an hour here and there if I am tired - an extended tea-break) or being on my computer. I can spend a lot of time online!

Perhaps if I replaced those sedentary activities with things that got me off my fat arse I'd lose weight faster. There is no 'if' about it at all really, is there? The weight-loss equation is a simple one. Eat less, move more - or eat more and never stop moving! Burning the calories is what it's all about.

Anyway, my weekend excursion to the pub with family and friends wasn't too damaging even though I chose stuff on the menu that wasn't good. Get this - there was a steak and kidney suet pudding on the menu and daughter and I drooled. (She is tiny - very petite and slim.) It's something we like but which I don't make these days, (I haven't for years and years) because suet pastry is a big no-no in terms of it's artery-clogging properties! Ha! We both went for the steak and kidney with vegetables and boiled potatoes. I heard myself ask the waiter for it, all the time thinking "No no! You have a plan! Go for the salmon! Go for the ham salad! Stop now!"

Not the choice for weight loss but my "I WANT IT!" voice won. Fortunately I only needed two forkfuls of the pastry to satisfy my yearning. Disappointingly, the pastry was extremely dry and hard and not soft, moist and crumbly like it should be. It did me a favour...I dug the meat out and left most of the suet pastry. I also left two small boiled new potatoes, because I was full up! I seem to be eating less on my plate without much thought...I get tired of chewing, and seem to know when I have had enough. Got to be good!

I have no idea why I went for the suet pudding. That was another act of rebellion. I refuse to be controlled, even though the control is a lesson I have to learn, to benefit myself. The "I deserve nice things" philosophy just shouldn't apply to stodgy, fattening food! Weird.

I spent some time on Saturday shopping, and walking a fair bit. On Sunday morning I did a bit in the garden..mainly moving things around, but rain stopped play. I went to my man's house on the other side of town and he was cooking roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Fortunately he always does lots of vegetables and boiled potatoes as well as roast ones. His Yorkshire pudding failed to rise - it was hard and flat and chewy, so I reckon something in my life is conspiring to ensure baked savoury puddings were extremely bad this weekend! I left that and my roast potatoes so I had lean beef and lots of vegetables and two small new potatoes. I drank two large glasses of water. Afterwards he offered small almond slices to go with our tea. I was I said '"No thanks."

Have you fainted?

I am sure all those who specialise in weight loss strategies would sigh with despair if they read this. I am on the precipice. I could quite easily commit now to a stricter plan, but the 'strict plan' bit fills me with fear and dread.

I have to do this my way, (cue Frank Sinatra) and being conscious of what I am doing is a step in the right direction. Mind you, see below. I have to breathe a sigh of relief that coach Vince Lombardi is not around. He wouldn't tolerate my half-hearted attempts to succeed gradually, without much effort. Something for me to think about.

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.   ~ Vince Lombardi

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Saving Private, Saving Private Fat Grump.

I am not sure what to call this post. I am smiling to myself here, thinking of military analogies.

You know when the troops gain ground over the enemy, then set up camp so they can regroup and think about the next step - that's where I am. I have recognised the enemy and am fighting it, but remain in a trench for the time being. No movement. Not only that...I get comfortable in my trench and decide to stay there for a while.

I weighed myself yesterday. After a fortnight of no real eating or exercise plan and TWO successive weekends of (milestone) birthday celebrations, both with champagne and food in lovely venues - I remain the same weight. I haven't gained, I haven't lost, yet I didn't cut back when celebrating. I didn't pig out either, but again, I am not really a binge-eater.

I am however a person who punctuates her days with food. A snacker..someone who thinks 'What can I eat?" when I move from one sedentary task to another. I am also a woman who has started to resent being active...(as explained in previous posts.) I don't binge-eat, but I do still (occasionally) buy myself food a three pack of ice lollies. Now that is OCCASIONAL behaviour (honestly- there is no point lying to myself or you - a mad craving once in a blue moon) so now that I am thinking about it, that is one occasional behaviour I must stop. The odd urge for something sweet. I recognise I have it - not constantly, but every now and then, and I know I can satisfy it with a few raisins or dried apricots. If the (lovely creamy Magnums) ice lollies aren't in the freezer I won't eat them. I might think about buying them but I can get around that with self-talk and with occupying myself.

Should I try and rid myself of a sweet tooth I ask? On reflection I think that would be stupid. I don't buy cakes any more, or biscuits. I do buy dried apricots and nuts. The boys will scoff cakes and biscuits if I buy them, but why would you feed your kids unhealthy things? Like me, they'll find alternatives to sweet snacks if they are hungry - like toast (we don't have jam or marmalade in the house because we don't like it.) I'll buy wholemeal muffins rather than cakes and my hungry young men can devour them or bananas or a bowl of pasta or something from the fruit bowl..or yogurts or cheese in the fridge. I stopped buying butter just before Christmas and now buy a light spread, which was hard to get used to at first, but has grown on us. No more butter for us...and I am thinking of saturated fats.

I love a bacon sandwich. I buy bacon about twice a month and it's grilled. I don't fry foods except eggs and we have fried eggs about four times a year...I just don't fry or do cooked breakfasts. Not for us a chip pan or deep fat-fryer. I do stir fry though and use olive oil or vegetable oil. I don't buy or use hard fat like lard or dripping. I roast meats on Sunday every now and then, and we have Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes, but again, that's about ten Sundays in a year. My man tends to cook for us me on Sunday and we have a roast dinner but he is a low-fat cook himself for the most part...the only naughty items being his roast potatoes and parsnips, (if I decide to have them) cooked in vegetable oil.

I DO like bread...but buy wholemeal or granary bread as my kids were brought up on it. They like it. Occasionally I'll buy a fresh crusty white loaf. Now that is just MADE for REAL butter, but because I don't do butter any more, I have no reason to buy fresh white bread. I like pitta breads and naan breads, to go with curries. Bread I enjoy...

I think I have a handle on my eating. Today for example I had a bowl of bran flakes with semi-skimmed milk for breakfast, a mug of tea, a banana with a morning coffee (a splash of semi skimmed milk in that - no sugars or sweeteners) and two small white pitta breads with hummus and tomatoes for lunch.. washed down with a big glass of water. It's healthy enough but probably slightly high in carbohydrates and low in bulk...salads and veg to fill me up.

Tonight we are going out to a country pub for a meal (belatedly celebrating my April birthday with my family) and I'll have whatever I fancy on the menu..but I don't really like chips. (I am a fat woman who doesn't like chips and chocolate!) I'll choose either boiled potatoes or a jacket potato, with a pat of butter in it. I like fish, so if there is salmon on the menu I'll probably choose salmon and boiled potatoes with vegetables or salad. THAT is my preferred pub meal of choice and has been for years. I don't like steak much, or burgers or pies. I'll have a glass of dry white wine with it and only be tempted to have a pudding if creme brulee is available. I don't like gateaux or sweet sauces and chocolate sauce makes me squirm. Why do chefs feel the need to squirt it over everything? I don't like apple pies or crumbles..or anything in a pie or crumble and most hot puddings and I hate warm custard. I don't mind cream though. I like fresh cream, but only if I fancy a pudding, and nine times out of ten I don't.

I think I can do damage limitation with my food. So - if I am going to push forward, gain ground (but lose pounds and stones!) I need a plan of action. I have to be my own commander in this. It would seem that if I am to be victorious I have to move on. I have to get out of my mean trench.

It's all about movement or exercise, isn't it? I could tweak the eating a little and have more protein and less carbohydrate..and fill up on fruit..(OK, so carbs in the form of natural sugars, but so high in vitamins, minerals and fibre that I think they SHOULD be eaten.) I also must stop punctuating my days with tea breaks. I love tea and it goes SO well with cakes or biscuits:-) I will find something sweet to go with my tea quite often, especially in the I might make toast and honey. I recognised a while ago that cakes and biscuits just can't be brought into the house. They'd accompany my tea breaks and there is NO WAY I am going to give up on tea.  Again, a slice of toast and honey isn't terribly sinful, given I have cut out butter and the bread is wholemeal.

It all adds up though, especially if I am not burning it off with movement.

My general is telling me I must move. I have to gain ground. What do they call it in the army...a 'push' forward? It's imperative.Yesterday he made me get out of my trench and into the back garden, until the light faded, to clean up. He made me do lots of bending, stretching, sweeping, fetching and carrying and he reckons I'll be on these duties for a while to come yet, although he did say if I win that battle I can eventually sit in my garden and just enjoy it. I actually enjoyed that operation. It was a small victory. He also insisted I turn my computer off when I have been on it for an hour. That is my limit he hour, twice a day. He has spies out, watching me I hope. I think I could sneakily defy my commanding officer though. I might not follow his orders. This is my problem. (I'll face a court martial?)

He has reavealed that the enemy is Sloth. In a secret meeting with him he reminded me that Sloth was intent on marching into my territory and taking over. Sloth will kill me if he gets the chance apparently. My commanding officer instructed that I must go on manoeveres every single day in the fight against Sloth. He is harsh. I am told that my duty is to leave through the front door on a mission. The mission is of my choosing but it has to be on foot and take me away from HQ for at least 45 mins. I have to give Sloth the runaround. If I could go on these missions twice a day he says victory will come earlier, because I'll end up running eventually, Sloth will be weakened, never to return and my efforts will be noticed in dispatches. He promises the uniform will be altered if I lose weight due to my heavy involvement in the war effort. He says it will be a much more flattering uniform too.

So. It looks like I am at war with myself and my natural instincts...which are bringing me down and preventing the victory over fatness. Will I defeat the seduction of sedentary pastimes or will I rot in my trench? Will Sloth be the force to beat me? Tune in for the next exciting installment tomorrow.

Oh..and did you know Winnie said this...

Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Winston Churchill--

Was he talking about war? Don't be silly! He was of course talking about the force of cakes, ice cream and laziness.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Making an Effort.

Well, the sun is shining, the birds are singing - and I am indoors, tapping away on my keyboard. Not good.

NOW is the time I should be out there, doing things and moving this body of mine.

My garden needs looks good because it's full of perennial plants and many are blooming now, and lots of different shades of green are sprouting as the many shrubs are in bud...their leaves just beginning to uncurl. However, over the years (and mainly because of my illnesses) I have become inactive. I did the garden in little short bursts when I was able, but parts were neglected. I enlisted the help of my sons to mow the lawns but the proper maintenance wasn't done, so although it remained a peaceful haven, I'd look at things and wish I had the strength to do them.

When things you normally do remain undone and when your standards slide, many aspects of life suffer. My own personal standards declined along with my garden. A grey fug set in ; a daily 'life is an effort' grumpiness took hold, and with it a lack of self-love, which determined what I'd do with my days, which was very little. An 'I can't be bothered' attitude is a damaging one. I know, because as a  result of enforced inactivity and one health problem following another for much of the last decade, I developed a "So what? I don't care" attitude. I grew fatter, not because of bingeing as such, more because I really didn't plan what I ate and I settled down to 'recovering'. My days lacked effort and movement. I couldn't be bothered to cook (sometimes I was unable to physically stand at the cooker - nor could I lift heavy pots and pans or bend down to the oven to take trays and dishes in and out.)

Not only that, I became ill just when I'd planned a glorious retirement - an early retirement which I felt I deserved, which I had worked for all my life. I knew we'd have very little money, but more than money I wanted time in my fifties and a life with less stress in it. This was going to be MY time after a bad marriage, working and raising the kids alone and money worries because we'd always lived on such a tight budget - and it was blighted. Not fair! I imagined I'd been cursed. I felt that this was unjust, as life had been really hard anyway. Yes - a "Why me?" mentality set in along with illness.

So, illness, inactivity, shortage of money and the inability to move dragged me down and my body and mind deteriorated. I know I am a fighter though but I did feel the fates had conspired against me and it took me a while to bounce back from this latest setback. I believe adversity makes us stronger and often brings out the best in us, but we don't always realise it until we look back.  I play Christina Aguilera's 'Fighter' every now and then.
"So I wanna say thank you
(to past partner who caused pain - or indeed to any one or any event which felled us.)
Cause it makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter

Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
It makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter "

Even though I was laid low I didn't want to remain that way. It's no way to live. At the back of my mind I was The Terminater. I could hear Arnie growling "I'll be back" and I think I am. I am ready to fight again. What choice do we have really? We can sit and wallow or we can make the best of our lives, no matter what our circumstances. That sort of positive thinking is good for me. (I am so glad I was born to my Mum. She was always so positive despite having a really awful start in life and a life which was difficult right up until the day she died. She was such a fighter but such a gentle, lovely, wise woman too.) I have been struggling to commit to dieting because I see it as yet another struggle I guess. However, this is a struggle for me, and it's about self-love.

So, that's enough for now. That sun  is still shining. This is a day made for pottering in the garden. I made myself a hummus sandwich for breakfast after I came home from dropping son off at work. I enjoyed yesterday's sandwich so shunned the cereal and milk this morning. I need to think about what I'll have for lunch...(I deserve something nutritious. I am worth

Blimey, it's almost lunchtime now. I need more tea, then I'll get cracking. I found Rudyard Kipling had aptly summed up my predicament today. I'd like to go and sit in the garden, but that won't shift my rolls of fat or give me a work-out. I've looked at my garden for too long lately, but made no effort to get it looking it's beautiful best. Action is what's needed - in the garden and on myself.

So, here's what Rudyard had to say about making an effort.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing: -- "Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade.
So true. Hope the sun is shining where ever you are. Have a good day.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

I have done it without even trying...

I am going to take this man's saying out of context here, because I am sure (completely sure!) he wasn't talking about dieting and the effort it takes to become a healthy weight, but here goes....

It is only through labour and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.

~Theodore Roosevelt

Well, I haven't laboured much, in fact, I haven't laboured at all.  I haven't made a painful effort, and I didn't need grim energy, nor did I require resolute courage, but today I have reached a goal. I moved more - a whole lot more, and I ate less, a whole lot less. Woohoo me!

However, I feel a bit of a dieting fraud because it wasn't really PLANNED that I'd do these things. Circumstances conspired and I found I'd had a really good weight-losing morning! I had to drive my son to the station very early this morning so he could meet his boss there and travel down to London with him. I was out on the road early and because time was of the essence - they had to catch a particular train which would get them to their London meeting in time - I didn't eat any breakfast before I left home. I dropped him off and given I was in town anyway, I drove across to the hospital to have some blood tests done. (I'd been putting it off for a couple of days, so now was as good a time as any to get this chore out of the way.) When I arrived the phlebotomy clinic hadn't opened and there were about fifty people in the queue in front of me! So I had a long wait for my blood tests to be carried out. There was no food and no drink available. I rushed back to my car - because I had parked it in a one-hour-only parking lane, thinking I'd be in and out of the hospital within minutes, and thankfully I hadn't been given a ticket by a zealous traffic warden. I then drove back to the shops and bought a few bits and pieces for the holiday I'll be taking in May. I scoured the shops for items I needed, looking for good value and I walked lots. I like shopping. Thankfully I had some gift tokens given me for Christmas, so I was able to use those to purchase a new swimming costume and sandals, and a pair of cropped white trousers, as well as a floaty, chiffony sleeved thing - like a very long, semi see-through shirt - to cover up my fat body when I bare all in a swim-suit! I like to swim and my shame regarding my lumpy, blubbery body is not going to prevent me doing that when I am next to an inviting pool in a warm and sunny climate!

I deliberately used the stairs instead of escalators and didn't get home until 1pm, so I'd done quite a bit of walking. I'd moved, and not eaten anything at all! OK, so I know that's not the way to do it, but I had a thoroughly enjoyable morning, and although I was craving a cup of tea whilst I was out, I didn't feel the need to eat at all. I came home and made tea...a huge mug of it..(I ADORE tea) and made myself a wholemeal bread sandwich...filled with lettuce, spring onions and lovely chickpea hummus. I was ready for it..and collapsed to enjoy my lunch.

I am spoiling my day slightly in that I have just remembered I stashed an Easter egg away a few weeks ago...the one my man bought me. It's been in a cupboard in the kitchen since the 4th April...Easter Sunday, and it remains in it's wrapper...or it did, until about half an hour ago. I wanted something sweet, so went looking for it. (Isn't it funny that the minute you remember you have something sweet and rich in the house your brain goes into 'hunt it down' mode? Can someone tell me why an apple doesn't have that same pulling power? ) I broke off a smallish piece, wrapped the rest up in a bag and put it away. I am not a chocoholic....but the thought or mention of it and knowing it's within reach triggers a craving for it's sweet, rich smoothness. If someone told me I couldn't have chocolate ever again I really wouldn't mind. I think it's a bit sickly. As I've said before, if it's in the house, it has to go - straight down my gullet. Best not to bring it in.

I was a tad annoyed (but didn't show it) with my man for buying me a BIG and expensive boxed chocolate egg for Easter. He knows I am not particularly fond of chocolate - I would have preferred flowers or something non-edible. He also knows I don't like being overweight and am struggling to get started on a healthy living regime, and fleetingly I thought "He's a feeder...He wants to keep me BIG...for fear that he might lose me if I become slim  - and gorgeous " :)  I put the egg away, untouched, secretly wondering if I could donate it to someone. Next year my man will be told well in advance that I don't want or need a chocolate egg...nicely of course. I appreciate the gesture.'s been a good food and movement day today. It is good that I have a reason to get out early every morning. I ought to do things and go places once I have dropped my son off. I don't have much disposable income though, so I feel rather miserable if I go to town and the shops. I like galleries and perhaps I ought to fit some early morning exercise in doing a bit of mooching..or window-shopping even. (Yeah...I KNOW I am supposed to get out of breath need to exert myself a bit more than that, but for now I am working on the principle that any movement is better than none at all.) I may have a session on the exercise bike tonight.

It's a beautiful sunny day here and I am guilty of staying indoors and having a lazy afternoon. After my morning out I felt a bit tired so I sat on the sofa with my sandwich and read the paper at lunch-time. I stayed there for a while, made more tea and then for a change of scenery sought out the computer. Time flies by when I am surfing..reading and writing. There is so much to do in the garden. Spring has sprung and it looks fresh and green, and the grass is growing very quickly. Lugging the lawn mower around would make me puff and pant! So would sweeping and a bit of weeding. Perhaps later on...although I have to think about making the dinner soon. Two hungry young men will be home from their labours before long...and they are always 'starving' when they come in.

Anyway.. a hummus salad sandwich, lots of tea and a piece of Easter egg is what I have had so far today. I am sure this isn't a menu any dietician would support, but I haven't had many calories and I really feel fine. Must eat lots of veg for dinner...and some lean meat. I'll have a couple of small tangerines for pudding. I might even get out in the garden before the sun sets. (I said 'might' - don't rush me!)

I can do this.... ;-)

Hope your day has been good too.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Postponing Life But Asking Questions.

'While we are postponing, life speeds by.'
~ Seneca
How true. Every year I have been overweight I have promised myself I will do something about it and be slim before my next birthday comes round. I will live life as a slim person and enjoy wearing lovely clothes and at last feel really good about myself. Does that sound familiar?

Just WHEN does the urge become so strong that we put into place an eating plan, exercise more and stick faithfully to our goal to lose weight? WHAT triggers that urgency, that need, to really do something about our shape? Self-loathing or determination? I started this blog in March, with 80lbs to lose. With effort I could lose 50lbs a year. With stoic determination I could go flat out and lose the lot before next April comes around. Others have done it. I read blogs and I buy books...and all spur me on to become a better me.

Then the enthusiasm fades and I stay just where I am, bemoaning the fact that losing weight takes a mammoth effort and I don't really want to have to make that effort. I am my own worst enemy. I postpone, time and time again.

I am sure that the first step is the most difficult...but I postpone taking it, and life, as Seneca so wisely said, speeds by.

As you get older I think life goes by much faster. Yesterday I was 30 (or so it seems) today I am in my fifties. My youth has passed. I am in the autumn of my life. (To cheer myself up I kid myself that I am having a very long Indian summer.) I became chunky at 40, well rounded at 46, and piled on the weight even quicker when my Mum died in 2001. I also became ill with a variety of ailments, some of which required operations - three big abdominal operations in the last four years. So as a fat woman recovering and unable to move much I became even bigger. Now I am able to move about again without pain I am the biggest version of myself I have ever been.

How about you? Did you let the weight pile on until one day what you saw in the mirror repulsed you? That's not a good way to live is it - being repulsed by your own reflection? How many of us hate having a photograph taken? How many of us shudder when we see that picture later? How many of us won't get up to dance at gatherings because we feel self-conscious? How many of us wear clothes we think will hide our podgy frames? How many of us dread going to special occasions because we can't find anything decent to wear or anything that makes us look and feel good? How many of us feel uncomfortable meeting people we haven't seen for a while because we know they'll be shocked at just how big we have become? How many of us dread the summer because we have to shed our long-sleeved tops and show our flesh? How many of us won't wear swimming costumes or shorts because we daren't expose so much blubbery and ugly flesh? How many of us feel constantly miserable because we don't like our bodies? How many of us spend time every day berating ourselves for not being strong and giving in to food temptation? How many of us know - and feel guilty - that we have spent the day lazily, doing very little?

I can hold my hand up to all of those. Can you?

How many of us pretend fat is a feminist issue (or the male version of that!) and hang on to it as a mark of defiance? How many of us laugh through our tears because we have convinced ourselves we are lovely just as we are? How many of us feign uber-confidence because after all, we are more than just a number on the scales? How many of us have defiantly said "Take me just as I am!" in an effort to convince ourselves that our overweight bodies should NOT be judged? I have tried those 'self-love' approaches too...but it's a form of denial, especially when we are bright enough to know that our fat doesn't look good, doesn't feel good, brings us down, zaps our confidence and even more importantly, that being overweight is unhealthy.

So why the f*ck don't we do something about it? Here I am blogging and I am as big a culprit as anyone. I have postponed taking that first step - but why, when all I want most days is to be slimmer and fitter?

Anyone know the answer?

Why do I feel so hopeless when yet another day goes by and I have yielded to the temptation of ice cream, cakes, biscuits, puddings, savoury snacky things etc...when I promised myself faithfully that today would be the day when I didn't cave in and allow myself  food treats? Why do I see eating bad things as a reward and a way of being 'good to myself'?

I don't binge eat..and I am getting much, much better at cutting unhealthy things like pastry and chips out of my diet. I never buy anything wrapped in pastry, nor do I use fast food joints. I am rarely swayed to go in. I can pass them by with no difficulty. I can't remember when I last ate a McDonald's or visited the fish and chip shop. I don't particularly like chocolate (although I can eat it if it's there.) I don't eat cheese much either. The chocolate and cheese avoidance is a hangover from the days (all of my 20s, 30s and most of my 40s) when I suffered three day long excruciatingly painful migraines and had to lock myself away in the dark as I threw up. I no longer suffer from migraine (what a blessing!) but I don't go mad eating those foods either. All I need to do is to get it right at home and not buy things I don't really want to eat. More importantly I need to push myself to move more. I can sit and sit and sit. I could sit down for England. I could win gold medals if the Olympic games had a 'Sitting Down For The Longest Time' event.

I am contented, sitting at home. That is my problem. I have stopped doing housework like I used to - efficiently and regularly and I have let things slide. I tidy up and clean half-heartedly. I have better things to do - like sitting down and making no effort to do anything much. Bliss! I eat more than I should out of boredom and to punctuate the long periods of sitting down (mainly at my PC.) I go to the kitchen and the fridge. I stick bread in the toaster. I make tea. That is the sum total of my exercise unless you count going up the stairs occasionally and the odd mooch around the shops in town. I have no pressure to perform at all, which is WONDERFUL given my life has been mega-stressful for the most part. (I won't bore you with the details just now, but believe me, I have cried enough tears over the years to cause global warming. It ain't the bloody ice-bergs melting that have caused sea-levels to rise. Oh no. It's been Fat Grump's tears.)

Anyway, I have written too much - again, so if you have read this far, thank you. I hope some of it made you think a little. I'll leave you with another gem from Seneca which is very appropriate. I need to take stock every single night of what I am doing with my life - the life which is passing me by. You too, eh?

"We should every night call ourselves to an account: What infirmity have I mastered today? What passions opposed? What temptation resisted? What virtue acquired? "

Friday, 16 April 2010

There has to be a plan - without slimming clubs.

It's all a bit fudgy, isn't it? My weight loss plan that is. So far I have merely grumbled about getting going. I'll have to stop wavering and jump in.

I know I have to eat less and move more. That's a fairly simple weight-loss equation, but as yet I am not on a 'diet' of any sort.

The word 'diet' has scary connotations for me; it's a land of 'good' foods, 'bad' foods and 'completely forbidden' foods, so I don't go there. You tell me I can't eat something, ever, and I'll go and buy a monster packet of it and scoff it in one serving to prove you wrong. I am likely to stack my cupboards with it too. I am not sure what sort of mentality that is - it's a weird one, but I do know that's the way I am.

I'd rather be on a 'healthy eating plan'. Should I devise that plan myself or should I join Weight-Watchers or Slimming World? Both have clubs running not too far from where I live. However, if I joined them, I'd have to follow a plan of their devising, and count points or have red or green days and count 'syns'. Spare me.

Again, my head rejects that way of doing things. I am not sure I'd turn up if I had a bad week. I am not very good at attending anything that runs too long at a set time on a set day, because life gets in the way. Perhaps joining the online version might be a better option for me? Going to a place where you hang about and wait for everyone to get weighed, applaud each others successes and have a kindly woman tell you about the filling qualities of a new prune yogurt and give you a recipe for a chocolate sauce you can pour over everything, even your cabbage, because it only has seven calories per teaspoonful, just doesn't light my fire. I am sorry. Yawnsville. And, without trying to sound conceited, when I last attended a slimming club, many years ago, the leader seemed to know less than I did about nutrition. It was all very general and pleasant, and she was side-tracked by a member explaining in excruciating detail the recipe she'd used to make a sodding mushroom omelette.

Fat people tend to know an awful lot about the properties of food, don't they? We do the research. There aren't many exciting, new revelations at Fat Club weigh-ins. I wonder if the pep talks are any better? I'd go if the leader was a bruiser with a penchant for grabbing lapels and pinning whiny women like me against the wall to eye-ball us as she growled "Look fat lump. Make a commitment to lose weight or go home and eat cakes. Just f*ck off and stop wasting my time. You either want to do this or you don't, so make your mind up otherwise set foot in one of my meetings again and I'll stick your log book in a place where the sun doesn't shine! Get it? "

I'd have respect for someone like that ;-) Sessions would be interesting and hard hitting. I don't need sympathy and encouragement. I need fear and straight-talking. I'd be scared into succeeding!

Today I give you an old English proverb to think about:
"Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork."

OK. The eating plan for now will be :-

Breakfast: A small bowl of high fibre cereal (I like bran flakes, Weetabix, a decent muesli ) with semi-skimmed milk. A bucketful of tea with a splash of semi-skimmed milk added will wash it down. What would life be without tea?

Snackettes after brekkie: Two soft dried apricot halves, five raisins to suck, and a small banana. All a bit heavy on the carbs so far, but nice sweet healthy fruits which will satisfy any sugar ( I need cake!) cravings. Another mug of weak tea.

Morning coffee: Probably a good instant if I am honest, medium strength with a splash of semi-skimmed milk. Yes, loads of caffeine so far, but that will be my only coffee.

Lunch: Now...will I be able to avoid bread? I have loaded up on carbs. I love baby leaf spinach, cress, cherry tomatoes and red onions. I'll drizzle the tiniest amount of olive oil over it and sprinkle it with black pepper. That'll be the basis of my salad. With it I'll have either a hard boiled egg, half a small can of tuna (in brine, not oil) or a couple of slices of lean ham or chicken. I tend to have one or two boxes of Lean Cuisine in the freezer too, so if I can't be bothered with 'preparation' one of those will suffice. I have light crackers and low-fat cheese in the fridge and low-cal tinned soups and vegetables in the cupboard so I'll attempt to plan lunch and dinner in advance. I know my downfall is not planning, which leads me to eat anything I can get my hands on that is stationary, will fit in the microwave and doesn't have a pulse. The cat isn't allowed to sleep in the kitchen any more.....

Mid afternoon snackettes: I always get the munchies, so I'll have a packet of Snack-a-Jacks - rice and corn cakes - caramel flavour. 101 cals per pack. Almonds or an apple/kiwi fruit or pineapple fingers (ready prepared, from the fridge - cold, sweet and delicious) or a handful of grapes if I am still looking for food to eat.

Dinner: I often see my man in the evenings. He cooks or I do. He is really into low-fat cooking (he had a cholesterol scare a few years ago) so we'll eat well whatever. My low-fat spag bol* is very tomato-ey and full of vegetables. I'll ensure I eat more lean meat and veg than I do potatoes, rice or pasta. I'll have very small portions of those and fill my plate up with vegetables if possible.*See reference to things like pasta sauce. That is no hardship for me. This is the meal where common sense will have to prevail. Neither of us cares whether we eat pudding or not, so we tend not to. He''ll have his glass of red wine and I'll drink I will throughout the day when I can't be bothered to make tea.

Supper: If I am mooching for something to eat late at night, (this happens) I'll allow myself a slice of wholemeal toast, with low fat spread and a drizzle of honey. That or Marmite, depending on whether I fancy something sweet or savoury.

Have I got all the bases covered? I think so. No idea about calories but I'd say I was under 1500 with the above. ('Don't guess - check values!' I hear you scream!)

So far today I am on plan. Now I really have to think about movement, because I think more than gluttony I am guilty of sloth. I like being slothful, sadly. More about that another time. Just take time to notice what's loaded onto your fork today folks...(or what is clasped in your chubby little hands..)

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Plato is my new best friend.

To conquer oneself is the best and noblest victory; to be vanquished by one's own nature is the worst and most ignoble defeat.  ~ Plato
Those ancient Greeks knew a bit, didn't they? I think Plato might be talking about me. I am constantly fighting my own sensible side and yes, seeing defeat and almost preparing for defeat rather than victory as far as creating a slimmer, healthier body is concerned. I seem unable to conquer my base instincts - the ones which encourage me to be hedonistic, lazy, whiny, troubled, greedy and able to make a mountain out of the smallest mole-hill.

We are strange creatures, aren't we? We became fat because of what - an inclination to sit more than move, to eat more than was good for us, and because we became greedy and relied on 'instant' gratification in the form of fast foods, biscuits, sweets, cakes...anything which could be eaten without much preparation and thought? OK, so we can say we were driven to behave in that way by internal troubles, past life events, low self-esteem, which grew and grew as our waistlines expanded. No one really wants to eat themselves so big that their arse has it's own post code. No one WANTS to be that big. We allowed ourselves a pity-party for years...we gorged on fat, we ate as though there was no tomorrow and bemoaned our lack of discipline and getting a handle on our weight issues. The less control we had, the more we despaired, and our self-love diminished. Fat people have hang-ups. People stare at us, people comment. We are embarrassed by the problems our fatness causes us, we shy away from the public gaze or we laugh lots and pretend everything is just fine....

What I want to know is - why on earth do we continue with the destructive behaviour which makes us lardy and unattractive? If anyone tries the 'Oh you are so beautiful just as you are. You are more than a number on the scales. Be big, be proud and accept yourself today.." I think I'll scream.

I don't want people giving me faux boosts. I'd much rather someone said "Hey - you have gained a LOT of weight. It's not good for you. What's this excess baggage doing to your poor old heart? Come on - you need to move more. You know you do. Let's go for a walk. Put your shoes on. And hey...throw out that cake and those biscuits. Get a grip woman! A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. You can do this. You are fat but you don't have to remain fat FFS!"

That works much better for me.

Sadly people don't lecture me much about my weight. Only one, just one Doctor has reminded me my weight needs to drop for the sake of my health. I am also aware that fat people everywhere know they are unhealthy, lardy and unattractive. We don't need reminding - but we DO need to fight our base instincts and the comfort zone which is really a comfort trap. Accepting my fatness and living with it is a cop out. It doesn't look good, it doesn't feel good and my skeleton shouldn't be the coat-hanger for all this blubber. It brings me down. It affects every thing I do.

"To be vanquished by one's own nature is the worst and most ignoble defeat." Well said Plato. That is SO true. Every day I allow my slobby nature to take the comfortable way, the easy way, the way that involves the least amount of effort. My mind grumbles that it's not fair that I have to lose weight. Imagine a child screaming and stamping it's feet. "It's not fair!"

It IS fair though. It IS fair to have a good healthy evening meal. It IS fair on my body to move it more. It IS fair to weigh myself and to resolve to start taking small steps to reduce my weight. It IS fair to imagine I can be more than a blubbery middle aged woman. It IS fair to aim high and selfishly, for my own good.

Perhaps I don't like focusing on ME and this task so much, but to push THIS big, fat worry to the back of my mind and to continue doing as I am IS indeed an ignoble and shameful defeat.

Self-defeated? Are we? We don't have to be. Get up and put your shoes on fatso! We're out of here.

(Hell's teeth! THAT was a bit positive, wasn't it? )

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Mystery Tale: I ATE IT BECAUSE....

it was there!

I don't even like chocolate that much. I am rarely tempted to buy it. But this week I did. There was a 'buy one get one free' offer in the supermarket and the plan was that those individually wrapped bars of chocolate wafers would be a treat for son to take to work. A sweet snack to eat after his sandwiches. One per day. Other son could eat the other five, but just one small bar per day, given he does a physical job and probably needs the energy. He'll burn off the calories very easily. Both will. Both are slim, active and physically fit.
So - five bars per pack, ten bars in all, sitting in my fridge. Each bar contained 115 calories.

One of my sons opened them yesterday evening and this morning a whole pack had gone. My two grown-up boys (21 and 22) had scoffed five small chocolate wafer bars in one evening. This morning the second pack had been opened and I suspect a bar had been eaten for breakfast.

I was cross! There were only four bars left.

It did however make me ask myself why I had bought TEN little bars of chocolate in the first place. I don't want my family to eat this much junk in one sitting and I certainly don't want to eat chocolate.

So, only four out of ten individually wrapped bar of chocolate sat in my fridge at nine o' clock this morning. Six bars of chocolate have vanished, eaten by my boys, and I only bought them yesterday morning! They were meant to last the week!

Now it's four o' clock in the afternoon and as I write, only TWO remain. Who ate the other two?  (This is like an Agatha Christie novel isn't it?)  It IS criminal that so many bars of chocolate have been eaten in such a short space of time! Call in the detectives. Who ate two bars of chocolate today then?

I did of course! It was Mrs Fat Grump, in the kitchen with a sharp set of teeth, in case you prefer Cluedo.

Yes, I made myself a mid-afternoon coffee and ate TWO wafer bars with it, only because I remembered they were there. They called  my name. They lured me to the fridge with their siren call. I was helpless.

Stop it woman! Chocolate bars ain't bloody mermaids!

See how strong my will is? See how dedicated I am to the cause of losing weight?

"I conclude, my dear Holmes that Mrs Grump has no self-discipline whatsoever. She did in fact kill herself by the eating of foods which contained fat, sugar and very little else in terms of nutritional value. The case is closed. Let us repair to Baker Street forthwith to eat a nice healthy salad."

Holmes nodded in agreement.  "No shit for us Sherlock...."


And today's pearl of wisdom?

“Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control - these three alone lead to power"
                                                        ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

They do Alf. They do. I have no power. Sigh.

Self-reverence? Loving yourself. Taking care of yourself? Hmmm. Not sure if I do love myself enough really. If I did, would I scoff chocolate, just because it's there? Wouldn't I have the will-power to resist?

Self-knowledge? Yes, I think I understand myself and what drives me. I know that I am very weak in some parts of my life. Of late I lack the thing that makes me get up and achieve, although for most of my earlier life that was in place and working well. I am not driven any more. I give up easily on myself these days.

Self-control? self-control is fine most of the time. My life is lived with appropriate self-control - except near the fridge and near the bakery section of the supermarket. If I catch myself in time I walk right on by those temptors. If I linger or think too long about decisions regarding food or shut down the bit that says "NO!" (which I seem able to do) I am lost.

Today the chocolate and the fridge won. All is not lost however. Two wafer bars remain in the fridge and I don't want them. I doubt very much if I'll eat them. I have hidden them away - from the boys. I know they'll still be there tomorrow. I had a blip and I must move on.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sitting on the fence.

I am not sure why I resist doing what's good for me.
On every health page on the web the advice is to move more, eat healthily and exercise if you are overweight. Fat people are consumed by guilt because they don't follow that advice. They'd rather eat...and the misery grows with the pounds that are gained. Why is so hard to apply the brakes?

I am reluctant to really commit to this lifestyle change and I am not sure why that is. It's a dilemma. I really have no idea why I just don't go for it, benefit myself by doing my best to lose weight - because I know all the theory. If you have been fat for any length of time you know the all the theory regarding the ways you make that blubber disappear.

I suspect my comfort zone is too comfortable, but not so long ago a hospital doctor kindly reminded me that being overweight could lead to heart attacks and strokes. He was the first Doctor EVER to mention my weight...and although I am now the heaviest I have ever been, the weight has been piling on slowly for most of the last decade. I have lots of chronic complaints and take a concoction of tablets every day now..some of which I am sure are SLIGHTLY responsible for my weight gain. Given I see so many medics, one of them would do me a favour if he or she said, quite bluntly, "Get off your fat arse and move. You need to lose six stones! Get a grip woman! Stop snacking - prepare healthy meals!"

It would be even better if they tied me up and took me away to a boot camp where they devised an exercise programme and diet for me - if my efforts were watched, monitored and recorded. That ain't gonna happen though. It's up to me. I have to be my own boot camp boss.

The good news is, that I still weigh, despite my procrastination, 223lbs. No gain. I haven't been a glutton since I decided to do this.

I know that if I had REALLY tried, I could have lost at least 5lbs since my last weigh-in and now. I have maintained my fatness.

Small steps need to be slightly bigger ones now. I am proud of myself in that I went food shopping this morning first thing and although I was sorely tempted by many foods, I resisted them. I bought the ingredients for a salad I have some cold tuna pasta in the fridge to use up. I bought slices of cardboard to nibble on in between meals. I'll learn to love Ryvita and low-everything dry and tasteless crackers I dare say. I bought very low fat cream cheese with garlic and herbs to spread on them. I bought more soft dried apricots - my cake substitute. I bought a bag of apples - there are bananas, grapes and two mangoes in the house, and I know I'll have to force myself to eat them. I bought carrots, new potatoes, lots of green veg and chicken, but that is something I do anyway. I was guilty of buying some boxes of instant stuff for the boys who are at the stage where mealtime is a microwaved snack eaten on the run between showering after work and going out to spend time with their friends. They are young men now, and they could if they wanted to, snack on/eat wholemeal bread, yogurts, fruit, wholesome cereal, carrots, baked beans etc, etc, etc or defrost something home-made from the freezer, because they WERE brought up to eat healthily. (Both have a serious health problem.) They don't though, not always, although they'll eat heaps of buttered toast - so there are some ready-made chili wraps in the fridge and a couple of bung-em-in-the-microwave boxes containing fish pie and shepherd's pie.

That's one of the reasons I have grown fat. I don't have to do as much for them any more as I used to. We are like ships that pass in the night and we rarely (perhaps twice a week) all sit down to dinner together. I don't have to make 'proper' meals any more, because they eat on the run or eat out now they are working and have their own money.

I have to make the effort for me though. I didn't feed them junk when they were little (although they seem to be making up for lost time now they are independent - they are probably on first name terms with the bloke who owns the fish and chip shop!) I was able to buy myself junk though, not from drive-through places or fast food outlets particularly, but more from the bakery section of the supermarkets. It's time to REALLY care for me now. I have no excuse and the daily pressures and never-ending stress I used to experience, have been removed from my life to a great extent. I have every day in which to focus on ME. But I don't. I wouldn't feed junk to those I love, so why is it OK for me to eat cakes and sweet fattening things, without nutritional value? I wouldn't allow my boys to sit in their room all day staring at a screen or playing computer games. Children should be active and it's criminal if we don't encourage our kids to move, explore, play and burn off the stuff they eat in the fresh air. Why then do I think it's alright for me to stagnate, stay indoors, do less, move less?

My breakfast was healthy this morning..I had a small bowl of sugar and salt-free muesli with semi-skimmed milk and I added five (I counted!) raisins to it and two dried chopped apricots, to make it a little bit fruitier. I know dried fruit is sugary but I need a sugar boost first thing. I also sprinkled a few (a few!) sunflower and pumpkin seeds onto it..and washed it down with two mugs of tea. My bowels will thank me for it! :)

So..there is no diet in place as such. I am just trying really hard to make sure I don't a) eat junk and b) pig-out frequently. Planning is the key but like everything else, I am reluctant to plan. I like to drift and behave spontaneously whenever I can now I don't work any more. I don't put much structure into my days, and I suspect that is one HUGE reason that I resent I hate being hemmed in by 'must do' routine and by anything which exerts some sort of control over me. My lack of daily structure is actually my enemy.

All the motivation for this must come from me, and I have been wondering if I ought to join Weight Watchers so I have to be accountable to somebody for the number showing on the scale each week. There is a group held at my local Scout hut on Tuesday mornings at 9.30am. I could easily walk there. However, I wouldn't be the Fat Grump you know and love (ha!) if I weren't inwardly screaming "I won't go! I will not count bloody points...I won't pay to be weighed! Huh. Clap people because they have lost weight?  HOW BORING! I'll devise my own diet..I am not good at 'showing up at the same place and same time' regularly!"

I am an enigma and I annoy myself! I'll chew over the Weight-Watchers thought processes though! I have two meals sorted...and a lot of plants sitting on my patio waiting to be put into the ground. I have a new outdoor broom and really have to sweep up all the winter debris of leaves and moss on the garden paving out there. My inclination is to sit here and procrastinate all day, but given I have read SO much about getting my act together in terms of dieting I am telling myself "Just do it! Just start! The first step is the hardest but you'll be encouraged when you can see results for your efforts today!"

So, I'll jump down from the fence and 'do something'. No exercise. I don't like that word..but lots of calorie-burning movement. I might even surprise myself by enjoying it! Hope any fence-sitters reading this do the same.

And now for today's wise words (because let's face it - mine aren't exactly going to inspire you!)

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.

~ William James (1842 - 1910)

I'd say that's true BUT I'd also say it's a very hard thing to do, to practice constantly. Attitude adjustment has to be worked on. I assume Mr James was talking about developing a can-do, positive attitude? I need one of those but I am aware that my thoughts will have to be tweaked through-out the day to make them positive ones.

I am however a firm believer in developing an attitude of gratitude. We all have problems, we all have areas of our lives that don't work as well as other parts, and we all have down days. I'd like to bet that most of us have heck of a lot going for us too but we often lose sight of it when faced with other problems. Losing weight is an uphill struggle, but in the great scheme of things, it isn't that big a problem. We need perspective. It means that we have the money and food at our disposal to allow us to become sluggish, fat gluttons. Aren't we lucky? There are many, many malnourished and hungry people in the world who wouldn't mind having similar problems.

See. That was positive. I can do this ;-)

Monday, 12 April 2010

Eat, drink and be merry?

Hmmm..'Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die' is how I remember that saying. I checked it out and it's Biblical.

Ecclesiastes viii. 15 (AV) 'Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry ‥'

Have to say, it does make a lot of sense. A life of restraint isn't exactly a barrel of laughs. Isn't eating and drinking one of life's real pleasures, something we understand as being a necessary and good thing, right from birth? For me, sitting around a table with food and drink is always a great way to socialise. The food and drink add to good company.

I have never been a 'drinker' as such. I like the occasional glass of dry white wine with food, a gin and tonic before Sunday lunch, sometimes, and perhaps a small glass of lager on a hot sunny day. We don't get many of those in the UK so my lager-drinking doesn't happen often! I can go weeks without touching calorific, liver-rotting alcohol, and it doesn't worry me at all. I do however know how to celebrate. Last weekend, that's what I was doing at a birthday party. Before we went out to the restaurant for the surprise party, the birthday girl and a group of about ten friends sat in her house and drank champagne, to toast a milestone birthday. With the champers - several bottles - there were bowls of peanuts, olives, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, bread-sticks and crisps. I didn't go mad. I had two (tiny) cubes of cheese, two pieces of sweet tomato, three (very thin) breadsticks and nothing else. I left the peanuts and crisps. I can resist them. I did have about three glasses of champagne before we set off for the restaurant though.

How often do we get to drink champagne?

Fellow dieters - would you have asked for water or diluted fruit juice instead? There was NO WAY I was going to miss the champagne.

At the restaurant a champagne toast was waiting for us when we walked in and there was white wine on the tables too. I had one glass of each, with my meal. I chose a chicken breast cooked with mushrooms, green beans and sauteed potatoes. I left at least half of the very small portion of potatoes. So, I got most of my calories from alcohol that day.

That was it for the weekend. All others drinks were water or tea and coffee - fresh, strong coffee with a dash of semi-skimmed milk.

OK, so the justification for going without, for restraint, is the slimmer body we eventually get. Few of us really enjoy living as fat people, and eating vitamin and mineral-packed, low fat, low sugar foods is good for us too. Our bodies will thank us for choosing wisely. Being overweight is unhealthy, so there are benefits to be gained from restraint, from commitment, from endeavour.

It's a shame eating is SUCH a pleasurable occupation, isn't it? Inside me a woman lurks who would love to eat three doughnuts in one go, who'd love to open a tube of Pringles and munch the lot, who'd happily buy herself sweet and fatty treats and scoff them all, if the little niggling voice inside my head didn't continually remind me "They are BAD for you."

Successful slimmers say "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" or words to that effect. Do you think that longing for junk/tasty fattening stuff EVER goes away, or do we just get better at resisting foods we used to love?

Part of me says "You only live once" and another part of me says "Yes, but you'll enjoy life much more when you live it as a slimmer version of you. Life will have more possibilities."

I am not sure munching on an apple will ever satisfy me the way sinking my teeth into a jam doughnut does, and I know that I'll never get the same pleasure from drinking water as I do from sipping champagne - holding that long, slim glass of fizz in my hand. It's a real pleasure to do that - occasionally.

That's how my life has to be lived from now on, with occasional (VERY occasional?) rationed food treats.

I enjoy food - that's the long and the short of it. I have to re-educate my palate, I know I do, but there is SUCH resistance to do that. I just think the whole dieting game is really unfair on us fat people. ;-)

Eat lettuce, drink water and be merry. Yeah right. (OK so I exaggerate.)

So...who's making me think today?

“Travellers, it is late. Life's sun is going to set. During these brief days that you have strength, be quick and spare no effort of your wings.”

~ Mevlana Rumi. 13th century sufi poet and mystic
I don't think Mevlana is suggesting I hot-foot it to the supermarket to buy doughnuts either....sadly.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Being in control sucks.

A new day. A day when I have promised myself I'll eat sensibly and go out and do things in the garden. My car wouldn't start this morning, no matter what I tried, so my plans for today, to go into town and buy a couple of birthday presents and perhaps a 'me' small treat - a new scarf, a lipstick or a bottle of nail-varnish to go with my 'party' outfit (in 'slimming' black, naturally) - have been scuppered. Oh well. Another repair bill I can't afford. Sigh.

Last weekend we went away and celebrated Easter, with friends...and we ate and drank lots. This coming weekend I am staying with relatives who live about 60 miles away, because one of them has a 50th birthday party - and it's being held in an Italian restaurant!

Next weekend, one of my OH's relatives turns 60. (Gosh. She is waaaaay too young looking, slim - dammit! - and vibrant to be 60!!) For that party we are staying in a hotel rather than driving back at night, so we can partake of the wine and champagne.  Eat, drink and be merry. Or not. Bah!

The weekend after that, my two sisters are coming to my house for the weekend, as we traditionally celebrate each other's birthdays. Mine fell just after the Easter weekend so we were all doing other things. (We are a close, small birthdays are a time for get togethers, given we all live miles apart now.)

April has been - or will be - one month of constant partying. It will be a food-fest every weekend. OK, so all things in moderation and I'll be able to partake of a few things on the menu which won't cause me too many problems (if I am disciplined enough)  - but, aren't events like this fairly rare occasions when we can and perhaps should throw caution to the wind? Life is short after all. (OK, OK - even shorter if you die from an obesity related heart-attack. I know all these things. Most fat people do.)

It seems to me that in order to lose weight we have to be thinking about being sensible and restricting our intake ALL the while. I am sure once the healthy eating regime is under-way we start to become choosy about the calories we consume, but at the beginning of the journey all I can see before me is misery and a life of denial.

Sorry for moaning...(actually, no, I am not sorry. I am the grumpy woman who says it like it is...) It's not fun, is it? OK, I hear you saying "Yes, but when you love yourself you want the best for yourself and you won't want to eat fattening crap any more". I am sure eating well becomes a habit.

However - what about before you get to that stage? It's about training yourself in denial. "I can't have this...I can't have that. I shall limit myself to one of those. Those are bad for me, and wine? That's just fattening. Drink water."

Bloody hell!

OK, so I either want to be slim or I don't, but don't you agree I should start my healthy eating campaign in MAY? ;-) There is just far too much food and fun temptation in April.

Yeah, yeah. My head tells me May will throw up food/socialising problems too and if I don't start in April I could be at least half a stone heavier in May. I know all this stuff. We all do, deep down. However...that demon which whispers "You enjoy yourself girl. You deserve to have fun!" isn't quietened easily.

It's a laugh a minute here, isn't it?

OK...something to think about. I might have written this one myself.

Opportunity may knock only once, then goes away, but temptation leans on the doorbell.
I know I am not the only one guilty of letting in temptation and allowing it to make itself comfortable. Do I have to bolt my doors in April?

And hey. I DO know I am lucky to have such a fun April to look forward to. I am really grateful for friends, families and social occasions which brighten my life. I cherish the people in my life. This is a rare month. Events are just happening all at once, and I really have to have a plan of action as far as eating and drinking goes. That's the hard bit. On reflection, it's not really a problem at all, or perhaps it's a problem I am really lucky to have when so many hungry people would love the amounts of food we get to choose from in the western world. I am going to beat myself up now for being an ungrateful, moany old cow. A fat, ungrateful moany old cow mind you....

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Self neglect leads to self hatred.

Huge sigh. OK, short post from me. I disgust myself - but no pity-party here.

Yesterday I ate well until about 10pm. I hadn't moved very much at all - three short sessions on the exercise bike was my sum total of 'real' movement, but I'd made sensible food choices. No calorie counting done, but the backs of food packaging were checked so I had a vague idea of how many calories I was eating. I ate lots of veg and lean chicken. I was satisfied that I was on my way, slowly working myself into a pattern of healthy eating and self-love.

I lost the plot completely at 10pm and it seemed almost like I ate to spite myself.

I crammed sweet goodies down - ice cream and chocolate, late at night - and ranted that I just didn't care! I am not even that partial to ice cream and chocolate, so why did they tempt me beyond endurance last night? I don't know what that was about. It was rebellion of a hateful, self-sabotaging sort. It was as though some sort of demon inside me (and I don't favour all that possession nonsense) just took over and decided I would not be bound by restrictions.

Today I feel deflated ( I wish I were..) and sad. I feel destined to be an out-of-control fat lump, and I want to cry. I don't like myself much.

OK, so today is another day, a fresh start,  a clean slate, but how many bloody fresh starts do I need? Why am I clinging to this fat version of me? I feel hopeless. I shall spend the next half-hour reading inspiring stuff online - reading about successes, reading about the power of determination. You don't have to look far to find it.

I will not even think about food. I am having a day off from my head, which seems hell-bent on f*cking me up.

I don't want food to become an issue and I don't want to nurture eating disorders - so is blog-writing counter-productive I ask myself, in that I am thinking about me, my relationship with food, my fat shape and my failure and my uselessness constantly? This focuses on my efforts, but if my efforts are pathetic, am I doing myself more harm than good?

Hope you are doing better than I am. That wouldn't be hard to do.

Today you get a bit of the late Jim Rohn. It 'spoke' to me a couple of years back, and I saved it, but it's a fitting reminder for me today. It isn't about healthy eating particularly, but it is about self-discipline, restraint, doing the right thing etc. Being fat and allowing yourself to remain fat is a form of self-neglect which affects all we do. Overweight people are aware of that. I am sticking it in here as a sort of reflection which might inspire big people like me, or at least help us to stop the rot. Today could be the day we do it?

No wise cracks from me either. Jim made sense.

"Neglect is like an infection. Left unchecked it will spread throughout our entire system of disciplines and eventually lead to a complete breakdown of a potentially joy-filled and prosperous human life.
Not doing the things we know we should do causes us to feel guilty and guilt leads to an erosion of self-confidence.
As our self-confidence diminishes, so does the level of our activity"

~Jim Rohn.