The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Ups and Downs 23 February 2011

I was slightly coy about posting last week after my group.  I didn’t lose any weight!  I stayed absolutely the same.  I genuinely couldn’t believe that it was anything to do with just a couple of glasses of wine on my ‘off the wagon’ weekend.

And it wasn’t.  Without putting too fine a point on it, it was about the c-word.  Constipation!  Now this is not something that I’ve ever suffered from before (apart from a nasty incident after a gall bladder operation, but that’s another story) and it simply hadn’t occured to me.  My counsellor suggested it, and after a couple of days of monitoring and some remedial action (lighter life drink mix and senokot, if you’re curious) all returned to normal.  The result?  Almost 3.5 kilos shifted at this Monday’s weigh-in.  Now that’s a result.

So I’m almost two stone down after six weeks on the plan, and I’m delighted.  I’m at the point now where I can really see the difference, and other people are noticing too.  I’m down a size in my jeans, and the ones that I had been wearing are so loose that they sit pleasantly round my hips, ‘boyfriend’ style.  It feels good.

Group bonding seems to be going well, too.  There are a lot of us in the group now, although a couple are about to head off into management in the next couple of weeks.  To be honest, I think that can only be a good thing (not least for them!).  There’s a risk that there are so many of us that the whole session is taken up with weighing, and also the debate can be a bit skewed towards their hopes/fears for the management phase.  I think it will even itself out, though.

In terms of exercise I’ve turned a corner too.  Not only did I run 3 miles at the weekend, but I ran almost 5 miles home last night for the first time since I was marathon training last year.  That’s bloody ages ago!  I say ‘ran’, but I was easing myself into the distance by doing 3 minutes running, 1 minute walking.  It really helped.  I also forgot to bring my running watch to work so ended up downloading a brilliant free app called Jog Log for my iPhone.  Not only does it track you via GPS, let you play music and keep a training log, but it enables you to programme interval training into it.  So a handy beep told me when I had to change my speed.  Admittedly I’ve only used it the once but I was pretty impressed.

The next few weeks are going to be tricky.  I’m at the beginning of a succession of hen weekends and weddings, which are possibly the worst events for someone on this plan.  And then, after that, the wedding dresses loom!  So I need to muster all of my willpower, that’s for sure.


Five weeks have flown! 14 February 2011

I keep a chart of my weight changes and I actually checked twice to see that tonight will be my fifth weigh-in.  I just can’t believe how quickly it’s going … that’s a good thing in a lighter life sense, but not in a ‘wishing my life away’ sense!

I’m a little nervous about tonight.  I have to confess that I fell off the wagon at the weekend, on Saturday in particular, and succumbed to the temptations of the demon drink.  It’s that red wine weakness rearing its ugly head again!  And I didn’t just have one glass, I had a lot (I spent Sunday with the black lips to prove it).  So of course that meant that the devil on my shoulder said ‘oh, what the hell, you’ve blown it now …’ and I had some wine last night too.  I’m not best pleased with myself, not least because I can really feel it in my body.  I feel all sluggish and my legs are aching (that may partly be to do with the fact that I spent the entire weekend decorating, mind you).  It’s amazing how, when you cut out alcohol for a period of time, you realise how much of a mental and physical effect it has on you.  It’s not good … I actually feel poisoned.

On a positive note, we’re managing to celebrate Valentine’s in a way that doesn’t involve temptation crossing my path.  We’re going on a spooky walk around London … yes, all very cheesy, but better than sitting in a bar/restaurant surrounded by arguing/smooching couples, frankly.  Despite the fact that we’re meeting in a pub, I’m going to be virtuous and stick to the mineral water.  It’s only 7 weeks until I go for my first wedding dress shopping expedition, and that should be incentive enough!

Here’s hoping that the scales don’t punish me too much tonight for my misdemeanours …


Those tricky old weekends 4 February 2011

Morning! I can’t tell you how glad I am that it’s Friday.  This week has been one of those that just seems to drag on and on and on … one day I’ll be a multi-millionaire and can enjoy a life of luxury instead!

I find weekends particulary tricky on this diet.  My usual weekend would begin with a couple of drinks after work, possibly ending in a takeaway or a quick pizza at the end of our road.  And then, being the age that I am, much of our social life revolves around lunches with friends who have kids, or just good old fashioned nights in the pub.  None of these things are any fun when you have to be the party pooper sticking to mineral water and refusing food.  And a hermit approach doesn’t work either.  If I hide myself behind closed doors then I just find myself getting bored and thinking about food, which really isn’t very helpful.

Thankfully, this weekend I have a bona fide distraction.  We are about to commence on a large building project at home, and are moving out so that the contractors can move in.  Pretty much everything we have is either in storage or boxed for the move, but there is an alarming amount of day-to-day debris in the house which must finally be shipped out or chucked out.  There’s also the small matter of clearing five years’ worth of crap out of the place we’re moving into (it’s had long term tenants).  So on the one hand I’m slightly peeved that my precious weekend will be very chore-heavy, and on the other hand I’m delighted that I’ll be busy and occupied for all of it.

And I wonder how many calories you can burn by shifting boxes? 🙂

I’m also fully intending to go for another run on Saturday morning.  After weeks of laziness, I went out for the first time last weekend and managed 3 miles at a steady run-some-walk-some pace.  It’s a start and I hope to be back up to doing decent distances very soon.  I think that a second marathon in 2012 beckons.  So here’s hoping that the weather stays nice and clear (cold I can cope with, cold rain isn’t much fun).

Now … just a few more hours of work to go …


Coming out of hiding 2 February 2011

Well it’s been almost six months since my enthusiastic last post.  I was buoyed up by post-marathon, post-engagement enthusiasm.  And then what happened?  Well (and I’m going to be very honest here) life got in the way, and I got lazy.  As Christmas approached my weight kept creeping steadily in the wrong direction, an abortive attempt to follow the Jenny Craig diet was abandoned (more on that later), my running efforts dwindled as my waistline expanded and so, in desperation, I found myself biting the bullet and emailing my local Lighter Life counsellor in December.

It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, an easy decision.  It’s not following the regime that’s an issue for me, it’s the emotional feeling of having failed.  I promised myself that this would not happen: that I would never be ‘a fat person’ again, that I wouldn’t rely on the programme as a way of compensating for my own weight mis-management.  And then clearly it all began to unravel.  I didn’t regain all of the weight – not even close – but I was sitting at the top of a very slippery slope.  I’ve been on the programme for three weeks now (8kg/18lb down and counting) and it’s taken me this long to go public about it.  I wanted to be sure that I was going to stick at it and that I was serious.  Now I know that I am.  I’ve put my pride to one side and admitted that one of the key things that kept me going last time was writing this blog.  So, here I am again.

I mentioned that I tried Jenny Craig, and failed.  It’s clear to me why that is.  Not only did it work out to be fiercely expensive (what they don’t explain is just how much food you have to buy in addition to what they provide you) but, for me, the level of flexibility meant that I simply didn’t take it seriously enough.  It was too easy to bend the rules and cheat.  I’ve learnt that I’m only successful if I do one of two things: a) stick to a rigid regime or b) follow a healthy lifestyle.  Anything in between those two things just feels faddy, unrealistic and, ultimately, pointless.  Clearly I don’t want to put anyone off if they’re thinking of trying that particular diet, I’m just saying that it wasn’t right for me.

On a more positive note, being back on lighter life has enabled me to do several things.  My ‘clear up and clear out’ fixation has come back at a particularly useful time (we’re moving out of our house to renovate it); my self-confidence is rising and I feel very positive indeed; I’ve summoned the courage to book an appointment to try on wedding dresses (early April and I can’t wait); I’m no longer dreading looking pudgy on the Big Day and, last but not least, I went running on Saturday for the first time in weeks.  Everything in my world, as they say, is looking rosy (and I simply refuse to attribute it all to ketosis euphoria).

One thing I’ve been a bit more hesitant about this time around is broadcasting the fact that I’m on the diet to all and sundry.  I was open about it the first time, to the point of evangelism, but I’ve been a bit more circumspect this time.  It’s not that I’m embarrassed, it’s just that I genuinely can’t face any ‘oh, do you really need to do that again?’ discussions.  Not at the moment, anyway.  Perhaps I’ll feel differently when I’m happily clambering back into my thin girl clothes that are currently taunting me from the back of the wardrobe.

All that remains to be said is that it’s good to be back.