The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days 535 to 569 – What’s 26 miles, anyway? 12 August 2009

I’VE GOT A MARATHON PLACE!  The lovely people at Barnardo’s have kindly given me a place on the proviso that I raise at least £1600 on their behalf.  Oh, that will be a breeze … *gulp*.

When I got the news I was literally bouncing up and down with joy.  Running that race, in whatever time I achieve, will represent the final milestone (no pun intended) in the journey from ‘old me’ to ‘new me’.  To go from an obese couch potato to a marathon runner in two years is such an incredible thing that I find it quite staggering.  I know that I’ll need to hold on to that thought when I’m splashing through muddy puddles on Clapham Common in freezing rain some time in February … just keep visualising the finish line, that’s what I say!

So my training has begun.  My intention is to follow a training plan that will take me to half marathon distance this side of Christmas (I may actually run one if I can find one that suits) and then begin the serious training after that.  I’ve been advised by pretty much everybody who knows anything about running marathons that the sooner I start, the better.  To be honest, I need the focus as my training has been a little haphazard since returning from the US at the end of June.

My lighter life progress has been a bit up and down too.  I’m losing weight consistently (over a stone in three weeks) but I’ve found it very difficult to be as disciplined this time as I was previously.  I’m trying my damnedest to keep on track … I know that if I keep falling off the wagon then I’m simply shooting myself in the foot by slowing down the loss.  To be honest, if I don’t manage to keep myself in check, then I’ll need to think very seriously about whether to continue.  I’m going to give it another week and see how I go … as we all know the speedy weight loss becomes very seductive the longer you go on, so maybe that will help!

So … here’s to the second biggest challenge of my life (the first being the weight loss).  I have only three words, and three which I overuse quite a bit … BRING IT ON! 🙂


Days 527 to 534 – Back In The Swing 28 July 2009

I went to my group last night and was delighted to find that I’ve lost 3kg/6lb since last Monday.  That’s a very satisfying 4kg/8lb since starting this ten days ago.  Hooray!

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t need the boost.  While there’s a sense of familiarity with the diet that’s standing me in good stead, it’s definitely harder the second time around.  That’s completely understandable, really.  Nobody gets to the end of this diet the first time and thinks ‘ooh, I’ll definitely be doing THAT again’ … unless they’re crackers, that is.  So I’m pleased on all counts … pleased that it’s working, pleased that I’ve managed to slip back into it relatively painlessly and pleased that my jeans feel baggier already.

Last week was quite tough in terms of the situations I found myself in.  I sat through one of the world’s most boring all day meetings on Friday … usually (as I’ve said in this blog before) carte blanche to tuck into the biscuits and goodies to alleviate the dullness and stay awake.  Not for me, obviously.  I was the one skating the fine line between drinking sufficient fluid and taking so much caffeine on board that I resembled a zombie on a cakewalk.  They even served Ben & Jerry’s mid-afternoon, but I stuck to my guns while cookie dough was devoured all around me.

Then on Saturday we went to visit friends in Cirencester.  Despite assurances to the contrary, I pretty much sat and watched people eat and drink from lunchtime on Saturday until breakfast on Sunday.  Pub lunch … great idea!  Evening barbecue … even better!  But I busied myself with washing up, instigating the ‘name that cider’ challenge (because I was the only one not drinking and therefore impartial) and accidentally creating explosive drinks with sparkling mineral water and Sunrise Orange drink mix.

The thing is, it’s not really a hardship.  Anyone can look at their social diary and think ‘well, I can’t be in abstinence that week because x is happening, or on that day because of y’ … it’s a cliche but there’s never a good time to be doing this.  When I found myself feeling hard done by, I cast my mind back to last year and tried to think of any significant events that I’d missed out on through dieting.  I couldn’t think of one, and that’s the honest truth.  It might be frustrating at the time, but I doubt very much that I’ll look back in years to come and think ‘if onlyI’d been able to have that scotch egg at Fred’s summer picnic in July 2008 then I could die a happy woman’.  Well, I hope not, anyway.

One thing I’ve got to be careful about is picking at food.  When I did this before I was religious about it.  Not a morsel of illegal food passed my lips during foundation and, with a couple of key exceptions, most of development.  I’m currently finding myself tempted to ‘sample’ scraps of meat from the Boy’s plate.  It’s a bad habit and I need to break it.  I’ll kick myself if I knock myself out of ketosis for the sake of a pea-sized sliver of something forbidden.  What’s the point?

I’m also back in training.  I had my first session with my new trainer yesterday and it was great to be back in the saddle (as it were).  I’m still wondering whether or not to tell him about the diet, mainly because I’m reasonably certain that he wouldn’t be keen on it.  I’m going to mull that one over before I see him again.  I’m also embarking on a half marathon training programme with a view to running 13 miles (in a race or on my own) in the autumn.  That will stand me in good stead for the proper marathon training from January … if I finally manage to secure a place, that is.

So I’m feeling good and very positive.  Let’s hope that frame of mind carries me through the weeks to come.


Day 526 – To Tell Or Not To Tell? 20 July 2009

Well, I survived the first 24 hours and I’m halfway through day 2.  So far, so good.  I’m hoping that it becomes second nature … I ought to know the ins and outs of this diet by now!

The one thing I’m wrestling with is whether to tell people or not.  Last time I opted for absolute openness and received phenomenal support from everyone around me.  That was great.  However, this time I’m tempted to act on a ‘need to know’ basis.  The first reason for this is, frankly, my own ego.  Despite how I rationalise it to myself, there is a sense of failure associated with the fact that I’m doing this again.  Crooked thinking, I know, but there you have it.  Secondly, and more importantly, I’m worried about sabotage (it’s funny to slip back into the vocabulary of Lighter Life!).  When I was at my biggest, it was unarguable that I needed to lose weight.  It’s very different when you’re only a few stone in the wrong direction.  I’m worried that people will say ‘don’t be silly … you lost all the weight … now you’re being stupid and don’t need to lose more’.  I don’t want to do a disservice to my nearest and dearest, but that’s what I’m worried about.  Even worse, there may be those who go one step further into the ‘told you so!’ territory around LL being a bad diet per se.  I don’t want or need that, frankly.

Maybe I’ll test the water with a few people and see how it goes.  If I don’t, I’ll only have to fend off the barrage of ‘are you pregnant?’ questions that will hit me because I’m not drinking!

Secretly or not, I’ve got off to a good start.  I didn’t go through days of detox hell last time, so I’m hoping that this time will be no different.  I’m two litres into my water allowance, armed with minty mouth spray, about to go and buy extra reserves of tabasco … in short, I’m prepared.  Bring it on (again)!


Days 503 to 525 – Big Decisions 19 July 2009

After a lot of soul searching, I’m back on Lighter Life.  Today is my first day.

I thought about it for a long time.  I had to get over the feeling that I’d somehow failed which, given how far I’ve come since the beginning of last year, is quite ridiculous.  The conclusion I’ve come to is that I finished too early before.  I got to the top end of my target weight zone and stopped dieting … at the time I’d had enough of abstinence and part of the reason for moving into management was so that I didn’t fall off the wagon completely.  With hindsight, I should’ve stuck at it for a few weeks more to give myself that crucial comfort zone of half a stone or so.  But, as they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing!

On a positive note, I’ve got the benefit of everything I’ve learnt since starting this before.  Importantly, I’ve got a clearer idea about what ‘normal’ means to me and what I want to achieve.  Last time I was simply running in the dark.  I’m hoping that this time around I’ll succeed once and for all … I don’t want to be one of those people who relies on the diet on an ongoing basis.  That’s not a healthy way to be.

So wish me luck!  I need to regain the focus that I had last time and stick at it.  In a weird way, there’s something quite comforting about going back to the routine, but I’m sure I’ll be over that within a day or so.  Here goes nothing!