The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days 129 and 130 – Big Decisions 20 June 2008

I’ve done a lot of thinking this week and have come to some decisions.  I’m going to start management on Monday.  I was going to stay in developers for another two weeks, but have cut that short.  The reason for doing this is that I have about another stone to lose (tops) and I think I can do this in management.  Having spent some time looking at my body I don’t want to keep up the rapid losses … I’ve done OK on the loose skin front so far, but think that if I carry on in abstinence then I’m going to end up with that delightful deflated balloon look.  And if I still want to shift a few pounds at the end of managment, then so be it.  It’s very odd not to know what your ‘normal’ body is supposed to look like.  I have no idea what a comfortable, stable weight for thin me is … but I’m getting close to it, I think.

So … I’m going to my class on Monday to collect packs and say goodbye to the group (who I’ve only had one full session with!) and then I’ll join the management class the following Thursday.  This means I’ll effectively be doing week 1 of management for 10 days, which I think is actually a good thing as I’ll get back into the rhythm of real food slowly without the temptation to go bananas.  I had a chat to my counsellor about it, not least because my BMI is still fractionally over 25, but she feels that I’m ready and is confident that it’s the right thing for me to do.  I know that some people get scared about going back to the world of food, but I’m more excited than scared.  It will be a bit odd to eat food without thinking that I’m breaking some sort of rule!

Other than a bit of navel gazing, the last couple of days have been fairly uneventful.  In my ongoing pursuit of vanity I did something I’ve never done before and went for a spray fake tan.  Now, before you think that this diet has turned me from a level-headed kind of a chick into some self-obsessed, high-maintenance, WAG-alike nightmare, it’s not true!  The simple fact is that I’m going to a wedding in three weeks, will be forced to bare my arms and parts of my legs (yikes!), and my poor old skin was so absurdly pale that I think you could actually see me from space.  That’s what happens when you cover up your squidgy self for years on end (I’m also not supposed to go in the sun for medical reasons, but that’s a different story).  I’m not enough of a maniac to try fake tanning for the very first time the day before the wedding, so this was a test run.  It seemed to work and I’m currently a pleasant golden colour (except for my bloody legs which seem to have rejected the tan … grrr) with slightly orange feet 🙂  Of course I’m fully anticipating that I will be orange, streaky and blotchy before the weekend is out when the stuff starts to wear off … happy days.

So this is my last weekend in abstinence.  I have a trip to the pub, lunch with the Boy’s family, a birthday party, housewarming drinks and a potential trip out for a curry to contend with, then I’m home and dry.  Oh, sounds like a stroll in the park …


Day 128 – More Milestones 18 June 2008

I was down in sunny Slough again today and on the way back I got a little, er, distracted by the branch of Monsoon at Paddington station.  I should say that I adore Monsoon … I know that their clothes are fearsomely expensive, but I love them.  Many years ago, I used to work opposite a branch and I told myself that if I was ever thin I would shop there.  Then, in recent years, they started selling larger sizes (up to 22) and I almost wept with happiness.  They are genuinely the only retailer on the high street that offers nice, stylish clothing above a size 18.  So they have a special place in my heart.

Well, after that long-winded intro I’ll get to the point.  I spotted a beautiful dress in the window on the way back to work and decided to try it.  I discovered two things.  Firstly, in their sizes (which aren’t generous) I am now a 14 on my top half and a 12 on my bottom half (hooray!).  That is a fantastic achievement for me.  Secondly, I can actually carry off a dark pink floor-length halter neck dress with aplomb 🙂  So my credit card is feeling the pain at the moment, but I’m so so so happy with my shrinking achievements that I could skip with joy.  Monsoon Size 12?  Bloody hell that feels good.

So as you may have gathered I’m much more chipper than I have been over recent days.  I survived the colossal food fest which was yesterday’s meeting … I had a blackly comic moment when the client sitting next to me observed me opening my third bottle of mineral water and asked me if I was diabetic.  He looked really serious (and diabetes is serious) but it was hard not to giggle.  I simply said that lots of water was part of my regime, and he swallowed that (no pun intended).

I’m cooking tonight for my Dad and the Boy (spag bol, I think) and I’m really looking forward to it.  I’ve used cooking as therapy throughout this diet, but with all the kerfuffle around moving out of the house I’ve not cooked for ages and I really miss it.  So I’m excited about getting stuck in (I make a mean bolognese sauce).  Hopefully it will be a success … I’m a little nervous about my ability to cook in my Dad’s bachelor kitchen.  The Boy was complaining the other night that he couldn’t find something as basic as a spatula.  Oh well, bolognese is easy as long as I can find a pan!

I’ve been invited to a 30th birthday cocktail party in July, at quite a swanky venue.  It will be peopled with lots of my ex-colleagues that I’ve not seen for a good while.  Time for a big reveal of the new me in my gorgeous new pink dress, don’t you think?


Day 127 – Yippee! 17 June 2008

I’ve finally broken the curse.  I’ve lost another 6 lbs bringing my total to date to a respectable 87 lbs or 39 kilos.  That’s 4 bags of coal.  How the hell did I carry that around with me?  My poor old bones.  The good news is that I now have renewed vigour to attack my final three weeks of abstinence.  Bring it on!

I met my new group last night, and what a lively bunch they are.  We’ve been a bit fragmented over the last couple of weeks with the merger of a few foundation groups that were finishing around the same time.  It’s weird, but I’d got so used to my old group that it was actually a bit daunting to find myself in a room full of strangers again (none of my original group went into development, for various reasons).  It was also a bit scary when two of the women said to me ‘we’ve heard about you, are you the one who’s really focused?’.  It’s flattering, obviously, to think that I’ve had praise from my counsellor, but it did make me feel a bit like some kind of lighter life robocop.  Oh well, if the cap fits!

This is just a quick post today … I’m in an all day meeting with various global bigwigs (all clients) which necessitated a 6.30 departure from London this morning.  Much as I love vanilla shakes for breakfast, they’re a little hard to stomach at that ungodly hour, but I did it.  This is a quarterly meeting, and the last time I was here (11th March, I think) I wrote a post about the unbelievable amount of food that was consumed during the day.  I’m currently sitting adjacent to a generous plate of pastries that would keep an entire primary school of children fed for a day or two, so it looks like today will be no different.  So, for everyone else in the room, let the munching commence … 🙂


Days 124 to 126 – Optimistic 16 June 2008

Now I’m not a religious woman but I’m praying that my loss this week is an improvement on the last two.  If not, then I’ll have to resort to desperate measures and try a week without bars (it doesn’t bear thinking about).  It occurred to me that I might as well have moved into management a fortnight ago, but I guess that’s not the way to think.  So hopefully tonight will go well.

The weekend was great.  We achieved lots on the house … and I kept thinking how good for my upper arms all the vigorous sanding of walls and cupboards must be!  So even though it knackered me out completely, hopefully I’ll see the results when I go on holiday in August and won’t be too flabby by the pool.  I was even consciously changing hands every once in a while so that both arms got exercised … is that a bit sad?

We also went to a barbecue on Saturday afternoon.  It was lovely to see everyone and sit in the garden in the sun, but if you’re not eating anything then it becomes a bit of a chore.  There were also people there that I don’t know and they were curious as to why I wasn’t racing for a plate of meat along with everyone else.  I really couldn’t be bothered to get into the whole discussion so I (rather rudely) skirted around the question.  The thing is, once you tell people about lighter life it normally results in at least half an hour of discussion … which for the people I do know well is getting a bit boring after all this time!  On a positive note, I received lots of flattering comments from people that know me well, and you can’t beat those.

The decorator officially started in my house today, which I’m ludicrously excited about (despite having to get up at the crack of dawn to meet him at 7am … ugh).  It should all be done in about 4 weeks, around the time that I go into management.  New house, new me, new food adventures.  I don’t mean to wish away June, but I can’t wait for the beginning of July.  In the meantime we’re still at my Dad’s flat … he’s home tonight for a few days so it should be interesting for him to be living with me, the Boy and the cat when he’s used to his own space.  Hopefully we’ll manage not to kill each other before the weekend …

The cost of the house refurbishment has also put a halt to my retail binges … in particular my hours spend idly on!  It’s just so painfully tempting when you have as few clothes as I do … but I’m trying to be restrained.  Lighter life has taught me that I have no boundaries, and the worst thing I could do would be replace food with shopping!  Then I would have learnt no self control whatsoever.

So … another trepidant Monday before the weigh-in.  Here’s hoping that it’s a good one.


Day 123 – Knobbly Knees 13 June 2008

I’ve braved it.  I’ve got my legs out today … in the office!  I sincerely can’t remember the last time that I wore a skirt to work.  It’s making me feel bizarrely naked (despite the tights and boots that go with it) but I’m glad that I bit the bullet.  I had a momentary hover by the front door this morning and almost went running for the jeans, but decided not to.  I may be many things but hopefully I’m not a coward!

I’m so relieved it’s Friday.  This week has dragged like all hell.  And unbelievably it’s my seventeenth weekend on the diet.  Seventeen sober Friday nights!  That is definitely a record.  I think it’s on a Friday that I’m conscious about being on the diet the most … I don’t get to participate in that ‘end of week’ celebratory feeling as much as I used to.  You know how it is … people start to drift off late in the afternoon and, given that I work in Soho, sunny evenings outside pubs are normally on the cards.  Of course I can still go, but I do miss that ‘first pint of the weekend’ wind down.  Oh well, not much longer to go!  I have to say, though, that getting up earlier on a Saturday (minus hangover) and getting stuff done has been a big perk … much as I love a good lie-in it’s also great to make the most of my precious days off.

This weekend means more DIY, which I have to say that I enjoy, and another barbecue.  I’m finding barbecues a real struggle, I have to be honest.  I really love the whole sociable eating aspect of them, and I do feel like an outsider standing there with just my mineral water for company.  The good news is that I’ll be able to participate quite early on in management … grilled chicken for me!

I’m sounding very moany today, aren’t I?  Well, I shouldn’t be.  It’s the weekend, the weather’s cheered up, I feel great and all is good with the world.  Bring on the summer!


Days 121 to 122 – Ups & Downs 12 June 2008

Ha!  I said in my last post I might not manage to stay off the bars for a week … well, I didn’t manage for a day.  To be fair, I was on auto pilot and had unwrapped one (raspberry and cranberry, if you’re interested) before I remembered my intention.  Well, let’s see how I do at the weigh-in on Monday.  There’s always next week.

The last couple of days have been a bit odd.  I think I’ve picked up some sort of bug because my insides have been all over the place since Monday night.  I had to skulk at home yesterday because I didn’t trust myself to be too far away from a bathroom (sorry if that’s too much information).  But I seem to be a bit better now … and at least I didn’t have to have the should I / shouldn’t I eat anything debate.  I just carried on with the packs as normal.

On the plus side, I feel as if I’m back in the weight loss zone now.  I said that I felt I wasn’t shifting anything over the past couple of weeks, like I’d hit some kind of dietary roadblock, but that feeling has gone away and I’ve got that ‘lightness’ back that I’ve had throughout the diet.  I also put on a pair of smart trousers this morning that were on the tight side when I bought them three weeks ago (I needed at least one pair that weren’t jeans!) and now, if anything, they’re verging on loose.  And here’s a query … how come in all other trousers I’m nudging a size 12, whereas these are from Gap and they’re a 16?  That doesn’t make any sense to me … do they punish their customers with misleadingly large sizing?

I went to visit my client this morning (hence the smart trousers).  When I arrived I was chatting to the receptionist who, for various reasons, hasn’t seen me for a few weeks.  Her first comment was ‘there’s something very different about you, what is it?’.  I suggested it might be my (shorter, blonder) hair, but she said it wasn’t and came round from behind the desk to look at me.  After a couple of minutes of being scrutinised, I suggested that it might be weight loss.  She gasped and laughed and said ‘that’s what it is … you’ve lost loads, you look great’.  So that brought a smile to my chops!  And then, five minutes later, one of my clients walked into the meeting room and was about to introduce himself formally because he thought I was someone he’d not met before.  Not bad for a morning’s work, eh?

I need that sort of encouragement.  I was pondering idly in the shower this morning that I’ve been doing this for a bloody long time now.  I’m over the four month mark … for the amount of weight I’ve lost (almost 6 stone) that’s not very long, but in terms of daily eating, drinking and socialising it’s starting to feel like a lifetime.  But if the day comes when I get into Gap trousers that claim to be a size 12, it will all have been worth it.


Day 120 – Quick Weight Loss Update 10 June 2008

Another weigh-in, another 2 lb loss.  Well, at least I was prepared for it!  My counsellor says that I may well have slowed down because I’m getting so close to my target, so I have to bite the bullet and keep going.  The good news is that my BMI is now just over 26, so I’m almost there.

I think I may try an experiment and cut out the bars this week.  It will be a pain in the neck in terms of convenience, because they’re great for that, but it might just give my weight loss a bit of a kick.  Although I’ll probably cave in before the week is out 🙂