Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Therapy or Torture?


I'm writing this entry while waiting for my brother to finish making a mess in the kitchen; he's making risotto, I think, but I want to get in there to make a couple of things myself. This is because I decided before Christmas that I was going to indulge in some baking experimentation. But was that really such a good idea...?

I'm a lousy cook. I generally avoid doing anything much cooking-wise because frankly, I suck at it. My baking is generally more palatable, but it's not really saying much. However, I go through phases of wanting to bake things. Generally it's just to assure myself that I can, which isn't always the case (obviously). But between Gordon Ramsay, certain friends and a blog entry about brioche-pastry quail sausage rolls, I ended up with some recipes I really wanted to try. And the fact that a couple of them were leavened bread was just the icing on the dare; I've never made leavened bread in my life. I've exploded yeast in high school chemistry experiments, sure, but bread? Seemed a bit practical for my airhead mind.

So, yesterday I got up early and started on a long learning curve of making brioche. That probably strikes most people as an odd first choice for bread-making, but what can I say, I like French bread and I'm an idiot. My main problem was the yeast, in that it's supposedly summer here but it's freezing. So, the three rises of the dough proved a fascinating experiment in finding conditions the yeast liked enough to grow in (in the end, they got stuck in a vaguely warmed oven before we were all happy about the situation). But I baked the brioche -- Lazy Man's Brioche, if you're wondering; I think you could also cheerfully refer to it as Brioche For Dummies, because I am a really dummy at this -- and...well. I think the fact that the failboat sailed on the first rise meant it was a bit denser than intended, but it smelled wonderful. In fact, it reminded me of buying pain au chocolat early on my first morning in Paris, and eating it down by the Seine. So, I count it as a victory? Ha. My brother was forced to try some for me, and he pronounced it "Good." As he's a man of few words, I suppose I ought to assume this was some sort of compliment.

So, with semi-successful brioche under my belt, I set about preparing the cinnamon rolls. With only one rise of the dough to contend with, I ended up with some very happy rolls proving in the oven by early evening. And then I bunged them in the fridge overnight and got up ridiculously early this morning to bake them. I then glazed then and proudly took them to work, which...was a bit of a disappointment in that the drama of opening with a major computer problem meant no-one was much interested in them while they were warm and fresh out of the oven. However, I was told they were delicious, and after some dubious looks the brioche also ended up mostly eaten. So...victory?

It's just odd. I have some idea of what they tasted like; I ate a tiny sliver of brioche from what stuck to the pan (mostly as I was concerned about my salt accident), and I also tried a tiny sliver of cinnamon roll. And I mean tiny. Still, deviation, I know. It wasn't that I wanted to eat them, mind you; I was testing them to make sure they didn't taste bullshit. But it's interesting because while I was musing aloud about going to Briscoes in the weekend sales to look for some interesting cake or bread pans, she said: "God, it's like you're torturing yourself!" And I looked at her and protested: "No, it's my therapy!" But then...is it?

I just don't know, really. I mean, this all got started because of my bullshit excuse for self-esteem; I dare myself to do things just to prove I can. Obviously this was me getting wound up about making leavened bread. I made pavlova for the first time about ten years ago for a similar reason; I just wanted to prove that I could. (Side note: I am planning on making another one to prove that I still can; if that's not messed up, I don't know what is!) But then...I can't eat this stuff. And aside from having to make sure it's not bitter, I don't really want to eat these things. I mean, it would be nice. But I don't have to shove them in my gob just because I made them. So, in a way, it's teaching myself to be more responsible around food. I mean, in the second or third week of this diet I got so angry about my mother and brother leaving a huge amount of cake on the bench for five days and then leaving town for the weekend without disposing of it, that I took it all outside and threw it at the birds in a fit of pique. I did something similar this morning when I threw the leftover trifle my brother was too lazy to get rid of down the garbage disposal. I just...I don't need to eat these things.

But for some reason I want other people to.

I don't know. In a way it is torturous because much as I don't need to eat these things, there is always that vague yearning. It's an emotional thing, though. And I think it's something I need to become accustomed to. Wanting something, and not getting it. I am a creature accustomed to instant gratification -- but if I am ever going to get thin and stay that way, I need to learn to say no. And in that way, my baking experiments are my therapy. And on that note, I am going to now go downstairs and make coconut chocolate slice as it has no flour and I feel guilty because my gluten-intolerant workmate couldn't eat the brioche or rolls today. I also seem to have decided that making scones would be a laugh. Again, it's because I've never made them and I've convinced myself that I need to.

...yes, I am going through some weird things right now. But I have been back on the diet since Boxing Day and although there have been these tiny slip-ups, I am muddling along. I suppose the truth will out on Sunday's scales, but in the end...I deviated on Christmas Day because I wanted to. And I am tired of feeling guilty about food. I want to learn to live with it. So, watch me learn.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Battered and Bruised?


Ha ha, not really -- although I am always intrigued by the fact that after I eat "normal" food, I end up with stomach pains and a massive pseudo-hangover effect. The two times I've had cake in the evenings, I've had stomach pains all night for my trouble. The night I went out for dinner with my workmates, I spent the entire next day feeling headachy and nauseated and blah. And last night I went to bed mostly because I thought I was going to be sick. Honestly, it's like a hangover. It's ridiculous. And it's also very nice to be back on the diet! You'd think it wouldn't be, but in all honesty I'm already over the rich food. Although it's also obvious to me how much your tastebuds adjust to whatever you're eating, because my first chocolate the other day tasted horrible, but by the end of last night I was enjoying it again. And Diet Coke had already started tasting rubbish again, and this morning my yoghurt had gone back to the blander taste I remember from the early days of the diet. It's really quite fascinating. It'll be fine again, probably by tomorrow, but...yeah. Interesting.

Still, I blew out the diet for the day and even though I know it will be an unpopular opinion amongst many die-hard adherants of the diet I am doing...I am glad I did it. Definitely not something to be done often, but I am glad. I was chatting to my mother between dinner and dessert yesterday, and as I was describing my adventures in French toast (my breakfast cooking attempt), she observed that I had completely blown my diet. I think she was more surprised than anything else, as when she had been talking to my aunt earlier, my aunt had been assuring her that I was actually eating normal food, but I rolled my eyes a bit and said: "Look, it's one day." I then went on to explain something that I have been concerned about, which is Life After The Diet, AKA Maintenance.

This is a funny diet. Obviously. My understanding is that it was actually designed to cope with obesity and its resultant fertility issues, as it was designed for women who wanted to get pregant. Being that PCOS both causes and maintains an obese state in some sufferers, I think -- it's actually why it appealed to me, because although I have never been diagnosed with PCOS my doctor's fairly certain I have enough of the symptoms to make it likely. Now, the curious thing about this diet is the fact you're told to weigh yourself monthly. Because your body, whether male or female, looses weight on a cycle that's roughly four-weekly. Almost no-one obeys this rule; I myself weigh weekly to keep an eye on things, although at this stage it's fairly unnecessary because I know my own particular food-water-sleep combination, when followed, allows me to loose at least a kilogram a week, if not more. But I like to see it go down week by week. Some people weigh daily, but I find it counter-productive as there's too much room for variation on a daily weigh basis.

So, what does this have to do with the diet blow out? Well, I notice that despite the fact the weight-loss phase asks for monthly weighing, there seems to be a maintenance attitude of daily weighing. Or even post-prandial weighing. And this? Terrifies the hell out of me. I explained to my mother that I really do not want to finish this diet and live my life in constant fear of a decent meal. I mean, I know now that carbohydrates? Are not my friend. I simply can't eat a plate full of rice or spuds or bread and expect not to be roughly the size of a barge. I do, however, want to be able to have tuna, avocado and pasta for lunch once a week and not immediately jump on the scales and say OMFG I GAINED A KILOGRAM I AM SUCH A FAT COW I AM NOT EATING CARBOHYDRATES FOR A WEEK!!!11!!!1!!1! I just...well, look. I am halfway through this diet. I am learning about myself, and about food, and about what I can and can't do. I accepted I had a weight problem, and that is what allowed me to do this. But now I am looking ahead to the future and I just...don't want to switch one weight problem for another.

My mother rarely speaks to me about her own weight problems. She's yo-yoed up and down all her life, and is currently in an up phase. But when I mentioned the post-pradial weighing, she sighed, and said: "I used to do that." And it wore her down, obviously. You can't live like that. You can be fat and miserable, but you can also be skinny and miserable. It's just that our culture says the latter is better. That lean is better. And I just...I don't know. I'd rather weigh sixty kilograms and be happy with a mostly-kosher healthy diet than fifty kilograms eating lettuce and steak and crying every time a carb passes my lips. This diet is about being healthy. And a food obsession of any kind is not healthy. They have that silly mantra, don't they? "Eat to live, don't live to eat." I think it's missing something, though. Maybe it ought to be "eat to live, don't live to eat -- but remember, above all? Just live."

However, I am about to go and brave the Boxing Day Sales, so I may not live very much longer anyway. <g> Here comes the REAL battering and bruising, for sure! ^_~

Thursday, December 23, 2010

First Impressions


...you know, I had never intended in any way for this to be a daily blog, but the last few days...ha. I suppose it's the run-up to Christmas doing it, as I am just needing to vent things. Work's been stressful, of course, but the whole Food Orgy of Christmas doesn't make things much less stressful.

Still, there were two first impressions today that link back to the diet that I thought were worth mentioning. First of all, today was the birthday of one of my workmates, so naturally there was a shout at work from her. Now, the other day we were given at work by someone (a customer, maybe?) a box of Cadbury Continentals. Now, in New Zealand, as a thankyou you're apt to get either a box of Roses or Continentals. The latter are infinitely better, as the Roses' recipes have been altered beyond recognition over the last couple of years. So, while resisting Roses is easy enough, Continentals...well. Thing is, one of my workmates and I always used to compete for the little strawberry Continentals. And when one of my other workmates was digging in the box, I noticed a strawberry one, and shouted to my erstwhile rival: "Quick, quick, eat it before I do!" She then suggested to me that they save me one for Christmas Eve. I said "Oh, go on, then!" assuming nothing would come of it. We fight to the death over these things, after all. Still, the next day, I came in to work to find a strawberry Continental in a skillet with a prescription label declaring it as mine. So, I popped it in the fridge.

Because of this, the workmate whose birthday it was assumed my favourite Rose is the strawberry. It's my second favourite; I prefer the peppermint, even though the fondant is different enough now that it's not as nice (give me an After Dinner Mint any day!). But she bought me three strawberry Roses from the supermarket Pick n' Mix and gave them to me in lieu of being able to share in the shout. So, I popped them in the fridge, fairly undecided about what to do with them. Around two-thirty, exhaustion kicked in, and my brain was swimming. I decided to risk a sugar hit, and got one of the Roses. First impression of a chocolate in more than twelve weeks?

...wow. Not missing much, am I?

Quite seriously, I wasn't particularly impressed. Actually, for the first time in my life, not only did I eat a chocolate and not automatically reach for another, I debated even finishing the first one. I did, but...yeah. Either Cadbury's Roses have got even worse, or my tastes have really gone la-la. Ha. I debated trying the Continental as a comparison -- it's dark rather than milk chocolate -- but you know what? I wasn't hungry. And I didn't want it. So...that's very interesting. It will be equally interesting to see what I make of a baby Moro bar on Christmas Day. So...yes. I have learned something very intriguing about my tastes and my impulses, here. Eating for the sake of eating, and all that. Definitely something to mark down for future reference.

The other weight-loss first impression of the day came from an after-work drink. I've been messing around on an online dating site at my mother's insistence since some time late last year, though I never got to the point of meeting anyone. I was always too ashamed of my appearance. I've never had the same problem as such with other people I've met online through writing and anime groups, mostly because I already knew what I looked like? Wasn't what they were primarily interested in. It was my mind, and my thoughts. Whereas dating...yeah. More of an emphasis on first appearances, I guess. But tonight I bit the bullet and met up with a bloke after work, and...he was really nice. Not sure if anything is going to come of it -- we had a drink, talked for a bit, and then he had to go to his dance class -- but it was...nice. I wasn't at all nervous, either before meeting up or during. It's not confidence, exactly, more just...a sense of peace, with both myself and the way I look. It's nice. Probably also worth noting that we were in theory meeting for coffee, but while he had a latte I was a good girl and just had a Diet Coke. So, that has to count as a victory -- because while I am swiftly approaching a deviation, I am not treating it as an excuse to give up early and just stuff myself. I didn't really want a milky fatty sugar-laden coffee thing. I was happy with my kosher Diet Coke. And that...is where the learning starts.

And there's only one more day of work until Christmas. <3

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stuffing


There is an absolutely ridiculous amount of food in this house right now, considering the fact that only two people (and two cats!) live here. But being Wednesday, two days before Christmas, I decided to this evening scoot into the supermarket for my last-ditch shopping errands. Basically my main concern was laying my hands on some cream -- I have a long-held paranoia relating to being without cream on Christmas Day -- but I wanted to get everything else I needed for the day, and also for the days afterward. Those days, you see, are going to be the difficult ones -- because I will get up on Boxing Day and go straight back to Life On The Diet. No excuses, just back on the bus. And that will be a lot easier to do if I have everything I need to do so, which I now do.

Still, my boss decided tonight as we were leaving to give us the traditional hamper of Christmas goodies. So, I came home with a hundred and fifty dollars worth of groceries AND a hamper. I put the groceries away, but hauled the hamper into the lounge where my elder brother was watching the cricket and in the end gave him basically everything that was in it. The only things I kept aside? The chocolates and some fudge. I haven't entirely decided what to do with those. I can't eat all of it, nor do I plan to. But I think I'll take the Roses to my aunt's on Christmas Day, eat some Scorched Almonds on Christmas Eve while watching Bernard and the Genie, and then give the rest to my brother. And I might have a few Favourites on Christmas morning and then give him the rest. We'll see how well THAT works out. Ha. But yeah, it's such a relief to have everything in hand now. I just need to make the trifle on Christmas Eve, before I get to movie-watching.

I was also pleased because I found some venison medallions at the supermarket, which I am planning to have some of on Christmas Eve. Whack 'em in the George Foreman grill, maybe? By God, though, Bambi was expensive...but it was four meals' worth, though I may be nice and give a portion to my brother. (We don't cook together, given the complications of my diet.) I'm quite looking forward to it! I haven't eaten deer in a long time, and in a strange way being on such a restricted diet makes me want to be more adventurous. I need to email my mother and tell her to be prepared to make some interesting experimental food the week I'm in Bunbury...

Otherwise, I'm muddling on. I'm terrified of completely losing control on Christmas Day, but I have laid some ground rules -- the most important being that I am not to drink any alcohol. I don't miss it. There's no need to add that to the calorie count. Also, I am to eat as much good food as I can, as in meat and green veg; I want to go easy on the potato and sweet treats. No snacking on chips and peanuts and chocolates. Because this is how I need to live once I am beyond this phase of the diet. I need to make the sensible choice, not the emotional one. Which isn't easy because Christmas is a hugely emotional time for my maternal family. So...we'll see how it goes. By God, though, I am having an After Dinner Mint. ^_~

I also acquired the necessary elements for LEAVENED BREAD BAKING EXPERIMENTS, so Tuesday? Baking Day. I'm going to take photographs of the disaster it is sure to be. Perhaps it's fortunate, that I won't be able to eat the results. Ha!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Perception Filters


I am still having this obsession with brioche today, and I also have the urge to make cinnamon rolls. Huh. I'm tempted to just go ahead and give it a go on Tuesday, as I have to go back to work on Wednesday...I could make the brioche on Tuesday, and then make most of the rolls Tuesday night and cook them before work on Wednesday. Quite what the purpose of all this is, I don't really know, but if I can't eat something myself...might as well try and do it for other people? Besides, then they get the dodgy experiments and I can have the perfected stuff. Later. Ha.

But yeah, there was something else about my television watching the other night -- I ended up watching the Christmas episode of the second series of Lois and Clark. This was one of my favourite shows when I was a kid. Watching it back now...well, to be frank, it's fairly painful. But it's still nostalgia? Thing is, though, when I was twelve or thirteen, watching this show, I used to long to be like Lois. Just...that independence, I think. And she always wore such professional yet individual clothing. It's all so very nineties now, of course, but watching it the other day reminded me of that. And even though I haven't exactly got to the end point, I am now starting to wear clothes that I used to look at with a sense of longing. "I would look grown-up for once!" I would think. And then I would realise I was too fat to fit any of them. That's probably half the reason why I shop so much at Max nowadays. They've always had the clothes I wanted but could never dream of wearing.

In other news, I had two further odd things happen to me at work. I was handing out a script to a customer who was this middle-aged lady who got all excited about how much weight I'd lost. I don't even remember who she was. And then I had a guy, around about my age, do the same thing. I just...yeah. Weird. I think I said yesterday I'm bad with placing people, but now that people are starting to notice me, it's getting really awkward. I suppose I need to pull my head out of the clouds? Uh-oh...

Monday, December 20, 2010

End Week Twelve (More or Less)


I don't typically watch a lot of television. I sort of got out of the habit when I first went to university, which was (OH GOD) more than ten years ago. Basically if I don't have easy access to something, I do without it. Unless I really want to make the effort. Ha. Actually, that was one reason why I lost weight when I first moved to the UK (it was too much effort to get into the kitchen, given it was tiny and one of my flatmates in particular was so childishly selfish that you could be in the middle of cooking for yourself and she'd just come in and shove you out of the way because if she didn't get to eat the moment she wanted to, she threw a fit). But yes, watching television? I just don't do it much. I currently live in my parents' house and because they always watched them, I never got to...right now I am house-sitting with my brother, and you'd think that would mean I would get a chance to now. Well, it's summer and therefore cricket season, so the only cable-enabled television is always on the sports channels, whether or not he's actively watching it or not. So, basically, I continue not to watch television.

What has this got to do with anything? Well, on Friday night I was knackered after a bastard of a day at work and decided that I wasn't going to spend the evening writing. Instead, I flicked on the television, intending to watch something vaguely Christmassy on DVD. I however instantly ran into Gordon Ramsay making food and being a prick, as he is wont to be. And I was enchanted. Bastard. My sister and I used to watch him a bit when we lived in Oxfordshire, but I never really had any particular urge to make anything. I'm not a cook by nature; I can bake, but that's because I'm a pharmacist and baking is basically just (usually) edible chemistry. But now I'm cross, because I am collecting recipes and wanting desperately to make so many things. My current obsession is a brioche recipe; quite why I think I'd be able to make it, I don't know, considering I haven't made leavened bread once in my entire life. But there you go.

...the brioche is sort of the fault of one Diana Gabaldon, mind you; a fan of her books decided to make one of the odd recipes in there for herself, and her take on the pigeon and truffle rolls came out as some rather delicious looking quail and morel mushroom sausage rolls, though the pastry was actually a form of brioche. Now, of course I can't eat these things because of the carbohydrate content, though how I want to try to make it. Hmph. It doesn't help that a wonderful member of the Diana Gabaldon folder on the CompuServe forums has offered to send me some Lord John Grey blend tea, which...I also probably shouldn't be drinking, but dammit, I want some. <g> It's an Earl Grey blend, but I believe it has orange blossom or something in it, and technically fruit teas? Are currently off the menu. But I'm being a brat. It's likely better than brioche, anyway.

But yeah, I have seemingly started a recipe collection of "Things To Make" when I am officially off this diet. But I must shame-facedly admit that at least two of them are likely to be attempted while I am on "holiday" in February. I don't want to go overboard while I am in Australia, but I just...want to try living with food again, instead of against it. I know complete abstinence is the only way this works for some people, but I don't think it works for me. I can maintain it for weeks, but months? I don't think it will work, I think it will ultimately lead me to failure. But I am having to be very careful this week, as I have planned to spend Christmas as a "norm." Which isn't to say I'm allowed to stuff my piggy wee face -- it means I am back in the real world and will have to make sensible choices about what I am putting in my mouth. But because I know this is going to happen, the temptation to start early? Is definitely there. So...no. It's not going to happen. I can be strong until Friday night, dammit.

Still, when that tea arrives, I am going to have to fight the urge to make brioche to go with it. Ha. Actually, I might take a trip out to Bella Kai sometime over the Christmas/New Year period to see what sort of gamebird they actually have. I really shouldn't make these rolls, and I likely won't, but I have been meaning to go out there. Maybe they have venison -- I'm actually allowed venison, and some different red meat would be nice. I'm actually allowed ostrich too, come to think of it...and kangaroo? Ha. Not that these are easy to get around here! Frankly I doubt you could even get pigeon, because while we have kereru -- in fact, they live outside my house -- they're protected to the point there are road signs warning you not to hit them. Although I tell people they read CAUTION: KERERU more because they're the nearest thing we have these days to the Haast's Eagle. Ha ha ha. Keep your windows closed, kids. For god's sake, just keep them closed!

Otherwise, the end of week twelve was yesterday. I only lost 0.6kg over the week, but considering I ate cake and a pikelet on Wednesday night to stave off fainting at a meeting and I also had extra crackers and fruit Thursday for the same reasons, it was a miracle I lost anything at all. I seem to have come right this week, at least, and my blood test this morning was an interesting experience. The phlebotomist recognised me -- I'm not sure entirely how, as I have a terrible memory for people and often struggle to place where I've met someone before. But she could see how much weight I'd lost and was impressed and happy for me. And one of the other pharmacists at work, who'd been away last week, arrived to see me in Saturday's new dress -- a size small, would you believe -- and announced I was fading away. Score? I think so. But I have been struggling the last few days to accept that I've lost this weight, but on Saturday when I got the dress and then the medium Blue Banana t-shirt and then...on Sunday I took some pictures in my underwear and flicked back and forth between them and the beginning ones, and...yeah. Wow. It's just...quite an experience, I think. I honestly cannot believe it's been twelve weeks. And I suppose that is what is going to keep my sticky fingers out of the brioche -- the fact that I got this far.

I also bought a bracelet for my twelve-week jewellery reward. It's very lovely, and another reminder of the fact that I am getting somewhere. So...here's to another twelve weeks on-target? Mostly? Ha. We'll see...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

End Week Eleven


I think I can safely assume that I have found my secret squirrel when it comes to this diet; I need to keep drinking plenty of water. It really does keep the numbers coming down, which makes me feel wonderful. I'm about 12kg down now -- 3kg off halfway! As there are two weeks until Christmas, I may just make it to halfway by then. I did have a moment of concern last night, though; I have decided to go off the actual diet for the week in Februrary that I am in Western Australia, but I just realised that going back on may not be so easy as my mother, at least, will be returning with me. So...hmm. I don't know. I'll take it as it comes. Hopefully by that stage anyway I'll be down to the last ten kilograms?

The Christmas temptation thing is otherwise not going too terribly. I was augmenting gifts the other day with chocolate Santas, and when I opened the bag I was hit with an absolutely incredible scent of chocolate. I hadn't had that with the other chocolates I'd been using, and by God I wanted to eat the chocolate. I didn't, but...oooh. Dammit. It reminded me of when I used to live in Dunedin; being a mad student in my final year who finally had a car, I used to occasionally drive to Countdown at midnight for groceries. This is the time when the factory across the street from the supermarket used to open its louvres. This factory was the Cadbury factory. ...whenever this happened, I bought a lot of chocolate, let me assure you.

Thinking of that, though, reminds me that I am really starting to realise how badly I ate before, and why my body was the way it was. But...yeah. Because Christmas is coming and I am trying to be more cheerful about the whole thing (it's not an easy time for my family for various reasons, and this year I am without all but one member of my immediate family), I decided to buy a pretty dress for Christmas Day. In a size twelve. And I succeeded in finding one yesterday, so...yay! It's nothing like a Nanami-dress, of course, but never mind.

Speaking of Nanami, I was directed to a website with the Ohtori uniform for sale. Ooh. There's something to think about once the cash haemorrhage that is Christmas has clotted over at last! <3

Friday, December 10, 2010

Far From The Crowd


I've never been a very social person. I think it's just my personality, as even though I remember having friends as a child, I was always perfectly happy to play on my own, too. It really only became noticeable when I was in intermediate and then in high school. I mean, I always had friends, but I didn't go out as often as my friends did, I rarely went to parties, and I just...wasn't very social except when I needed to be. This has led into my being fairly anti-social as an adult, and also has something to do with my reluctance to be involved in relationships (it's twofold; one, I don't feel like I'm good enough, and two, I'm too selfish). But I am finding that this diet makes me feel more isolated.

It's not a huge thing, but I just felt like mentioning it because I need to work through these things in order to get through the diet and to come to terms with the new person emerging from underneath the insulating layers of blubber. I noticed it at work today particularly, though it's been around for a while; it's the oncoming Christmas season that really emphasises things. Because people share candy and sweets and talk about how delicious it is, and they don't include me. Obviously they know I can't have these things and so think it's better just not to mention it to me, but...it's a small staffroom. And it's like being talked about like you're not even there. And I can't stand that. I do try and work through it by getting involved in conversations even if they're food-centric because talking about food doesn't generally make me want to eat it, and certainly it doesn't make me fat. But...yeah. It's awkward. And is just another thing that I need to think about, as I continue on this bumpy road to success.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On Display


I've been having the odd experience the last few days of feeling on display. I think I mentioned in my last entry that I've already had people start to talk to me about the mythical END OF THE DIET phase, and...well, it's really strange to me. Probably it's because I still feel like a heifer, not to mention I am not even halfway through the actual weight to be lost. But then my view of my body is skewered anyway; after years of looking in the mirror and telling myself "You're not THAT fat!" I have turned around and started thinking "You haven't lost that much weight!" It's even got to the point where I can half-convince myself that wearing size 12 jeans doesn't matter, that I'd have fit into them before if only I'd tried (bearing in mind I wore size eighteen jeans in September, yes?). So...yeah. I'm not a good judge of these things, that much is obvious.

So, it would logically follow that I should be relying more on others for that information. But...I don't know who to believe. I actually had a meltdown back in September when I received my diet plan, as the projected final weight range was 49-52kg. Even now, I don't like it -- I don't want to be that little. The mid to high fifties would do me just fine. But already I have had people telling me that the sixties are fine, that I shouldn't get too skinny, and I keep thinking that...well, I'm technically overweight until I'm about 63kg. And I don't have anything particularly odd in my make-up, and having 35% bodyfat is not a good thing. I have a long way to go yet. But my sister has already informed me that I'll catch shit at Christmas from the extended family for my weight loss (she got something similar, though to be honest she's never been fat anyway). I just...I don't know. I'm already so confused about what I should look like and what I should weigh, so it gets to the point where I don't really want to discuss it with people. Because there's nothing worse than being unsure about something and then having your resolve undermined by well-meaning advice.

That's not to say I don't want to talk about this in general, because I wouldn't keep the blog if I didn't, but...yeah. This week, I'm just so confused, about a lot of things. I suppose I just have to keep on going and see how things pan out. I just remember one of my workmates saying to me that one of the customers had said to him "Wow, she got skinny!" So...it really is becoming noticeable, even to people who only see me in passing. And I'm not even halfway there. It's kind of scary, being that I've always tried to fly below the radar. This...is going to take some getting used to.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

End Week Ten


So, it's the end of Week Ten -- how time does fly? I keep trying to work through the disappointment, that things aren't happening as fast as I thought they would, but then...it's so easy to get past that first initial motivation and then flag. And I do know that my personality tends towards that sort of fatalism; my other blog is about my writing, and I've never struggled with starting a thing. I could start things all day. Finishing them, however...ah, well, that's another story altogether.

So, here I am, keeping on keeping on. I was a bit disappointed with my weigh-in last week, which from memory was a decrease of 0.6kg. I had to admit I had sabotaged myself to some degree, as on the Saturday night I ate a piece of cake. Again, it wasn't a spur of the moment decision, but I know it was the wrong decision. At my writing group meetings the last couple of months we've had cake; I'd decided long before that I would do it on Halloween, but I decided I wouldn't this time. But I felt guilty about having a cake made for us, and I gave in. So...I need to work on saying no. It's not the end of the world if I don't eat cake, is it? And while it was delicious, I am finding more and more that the craving is entirely mental. Taste-wise, I'm going off sweet things. So...yeah. There's a harsh little lesson learned.

With that said, the slow weight-loss despite my continued high water intake could be related to that time of the month, because this week I kept the water uptake up and lost 1.4kg. Now, this may be TMI, but I was a little weirded out by my period this month. It was the second since starting, and it was light. Which for me, is wonderful; before I would generally bleed like a stuck pig for three or four days and then it would taper and disappear completely after six or seven days. This time it was fairly light throughout, but lasted ten days. Which was annoying in a whole new way. But I've always been concerned that I have PCOS, so this at least tells me that my body is responding to the weight-loss, so...it's all good.

The exciting thing about this week's loss, though, is that it brings me to 69.4kg. I haven't been in the sixties for a very long time, I suspect. Probably not since I was fifteen or so. So...welcome back? I also got my jeans back from being altered on Friday, so I am snug in a size twelve. In the next couple of weeks I will brave town at lunchtime and go and find a size twelve dress from Max to wear on Christmas Day. Something floral and light and lovely and feminine, I think. ...although speaking of Christmas, was slightly amused by this email from my mother the other day; I'm going to Christmas dinner at my aunt's and she was in at work on Friday, and as the initial call was to my brother, I was checking logistics of guests and food with her (as I'll need to get some small gifts and make some sort of food offering; current suspect? CHOCOLATE TRIFLE). My mother then wrote me yesterday:

Rang Rae & Dave yesterday and they said you got skinny!!!  Won't recognise you when you come in Feb. 

Combined with what I mentioned the other day -- one of my workmates saying that I can't have much more to lose, I mean -- it's really a weird sensation. On the forums I hang out on sometimes people mention how odd it is, when people start saying how skinny you are/how you'll be able to stop soon when you're nowhere near your goal. I never thought it would happen to me, but there it is. I did write back that I could hardly be considered "skinny" considering by everyone's standards I am still overweight, but never mind. She was talking about being smaller in February, too, so I just concentrated on encouraging that. It will be good for her health, and I'm all for having my Mummy as long as possible. <3

In the meantime, I should go do the dishes and then go into town to hunt out some bits and pieces for my crafty Secret Santa for work. I'm in a good headspace this morning; here's hoping it lasts through the week!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Against The Rain


More than anything, I suppose this is just an entry to say that I am still alive, still dieting, and still going up and down like the proverbial yo-yo. NaNoWriMo is now over, so that's one less stressor, but it's also a loss of a distraction. I've been so hungry this week, it's quite bizarre. It's of course that Time of the Month, although...I don't know. I'm desperate to get into the sixties, and it's tantalisingly close. I think this morning I was about 70.5kg, so...yeah. Not that I would usually weigh during the week, but I was being naughty. My weight was about 71.5kg a couple hours ago, but I only know that because I was stressing over the weight of a box and that was the handiest way to check. Huh.

But yeah, Christmas is coming, and with it the usual downpour of sweet things. I've already decided to break on Christmas Day, but otherwise? I am going to be saying no to any and all offerings of seasonal joy in edible form. It already seems to be pissing off at least one person at work, who got very snotty today. We were planning Secret Santa, and I said: "Look, much as I'd appreciate the thought, any food I'm given? Will be eaten by my brother." It wasn't as if I was being snarky when I said it, nor is it that no-one I work with isn't aware already that I am on a very restrictive diet. But yeah, one person was being quite vocal about how it's "all for fun" and we should "like what we get" so...I don't know. But my brother's always hungry anyway, so there's that.

Otherwise, I wore a medium dress to work today; bright red for the first day of December, and a couple of my workmates were saying that if I lost much more weight, there'd be nothing left of me. Which is a bit hilarious, as I still have twenty kilograms to go. My mother was also chatting to me on the phone and asked me what I wanted for Christmas; she said "There are a lot of pretty things here, but I have no idea what size you are now." "Oh, twelve." "Twelve?" Then she asked how much I'd lost, I replied only ten kilograms, and got "Only?" back. Huh. But yeah, to be honest, I am baffled by my drop from an eighteen to a twelve while only losing ten kilograms in between. Weird, if you ask me, but I guess from here on in the size drop will be less rapid?

I am looking forward to getting my jeans back from being altered on Friday, though. I bought some size twelves in my favourite style on Saturday in what I thought was advance of need, knowing that I would need the legs shortened and that it takes the dry cleaner four days to do it, but...they fit already. And my size fourteen ones are bothering me right now because they're too loose around even my monster ass, so...go figure? I just wish the actual weight wasn't being so slow about shifting, as it's going to take at least three or four months longer than I'd thought. And already the lack of chocolate is driving me to distraction, although that could just be Christmas. Seriously, I bought a box of Favourites for packing with my parcels in the weekend and I could have murdered one of those baby Moro bars. Fortunately I didn't, but...yeah. Temptation sucks.

Right now, though, I best go do some writing, have a shower, and then read some Japanese before bed. I'll still be hungry, but at least I won't be able to dwell on it...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

End Week Eight


I've been really slack with this blog, mostly because November is the month of the infamous NaNoWriMo writing challenge, and most of my energy has gone into that. I also had an exam in Japanese towards the start of the month, and since then have acquired a shiny new electronic Japanese dictionary...so, inbetween writing and working, I've been studying Japanese with slightly renewed gusto.

The diet, however, is continuing. I've had a couple of "slips," although I hesitate slightly to name them that because I would consider a slip more to be something unplanned. I have never eaten something I shouldn't have on the fly because I couldn't say no. Which considering days like Friday, is amazing (at work I was offered my favourite Cookie Time cookies, Jaffas, and an ice-cream, all within four hours...and I was having a Hungry Day just to top it off. I ate none of these things). Basically I had a slice of cake at a writer's group meeting -- which I'd known about since about a month beforehand -- and then I had dinner at my work do. I wasn't going to do Christmas, but as we're now apparently going to a relative's house, I may end up having Christmas lunch after all. I don't know. While this diet works better if you stick at it one hundred percent all the time, I find that if I don't allow the odd exception -- not weekly, monthly at worst -- my motivation hits rock bottom. So...yeah. We'll see. I do know that when I go to Perth I won't be able to keep the diet up, although what is important to me is that I have learned that eating healthy isn't a burden. Not being able to have the odd treat sucks, but even when I go to Perth I'm going to keep making healthy choices. It's not a week to be a pig. It's a week in the real world, that's all.

I weighed myself this morning, of course. 71.4kg. How much I've lost depends on where you start from -- my official start weight was 83kg, I was closer to 80kg when I went on plan, and my worst known weight was about 87kg in April or thereabouts -- but it's still pretty amazing when I consider it. I've gone from a size 18 to a size 14, and my size 12 skirt from Blue Banana arrived the other day; it's too small to wear, but I can get it on. So...I'm having little victories. The other day I was in town and Pascoes had a one-day sale, so I bought my eight-week gift a little early. It's an unusual setting of amethyst and a tiny diamond, a ring to wear and remind me of what I am working towards.

I had a fairly significant loss this week, and I assume it's because I made a real effort to drink more water this week. I'll keep it up next week and see what happens. I also bought body analysis scales the other day and am apparently 45% water, 6.6% bone, and 35% fat. Wow, I'm like a fucking tub of jelly. So, from that perspective...don't stop me now? <g>

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chewing the Cud


When I was twelve years old, I went on my first big trip overseas with about twenty other kids from my intermediate. We spent roughly three and a half weeks in Tacoma on a school exchange, and then went to Los Angeles for fun and games. It was all very strange and wonderful and will always be an experience I am so glad my parents worked for me to have, but there were a few odd things I noticed about the States while I was there. And one of them was chewing gum.

I've never been a chewer of gum. Which is odd, because one reason I can eat a lot of food in one sitting is because I don't suck sweets or lick ice-creams or whatever. I just chomp my way through them. (Probably one reason why I never really took to humbugs, actually; they're far too hard to do that with. My flatmates in Sheffield couldn't understand why I'd bought a huge jar of them when we went to Scarborough for a daytrip to the seaside, because I was never seen to eat them. Partially it was because they just reminded me of my English nana, but it was also because I simply couldn't eat them without breaking my teeth!) But while I was in the States at the age of twelve, I was constantly offered gum. I rarely took it. But now...there are probably six packets of gum on my desk. At least. Two of them are open -- I have two flavours on the go -- but...it's a bit odd. I can have up to five pieces a day, and I find them great after meals or inbetween to just...have something to do with my mouth, now that I'm not filling it full of crap at every given opportunity. Go figure.

I'm in a surprisingly upbeat mood today, although I keep thinking I haven't lost any weight this week. Tomorrow will tell, I suppose. But speaking of trips, I think I'm showing my privilege by having realised yesterday that I am just not happy unless I have an overseas trip in the pipeline. It's not that I travelled much as a kid -- as I said, my first real overseas trip (not counting the fact I lived in Queensland for about a year when I was an infant) was at the age of twelve, and then I didn't go overseas again until I went to Melbourne for a university trip at twenty-one. But then, after graduating, I started averaging maybe two trips a year? At least. Living in the UK skews it incredibly. But I've been unsure of my plans for next year because of both this diet and my parents' having moved to Australia and leaving the house in the care of me and my brother, so...I decided to take the week of my birthday off. And I figure I might take that and go to Western Australia to see my parents. It's related to the diet, mind you, in that this is early/mid February I'm talking here and surely by then I should be approaching Bikini Babe status. Not that I ever expect to actually be a babe, but...Australian heat and a town where no-one has a fucking clue who I am or where I'm from? Holy shit, that's probably the best time EVER to wear a bikini for the first time in my life.

In the meantime, I did the happy dance in a supermarket today because I found turkey breast. Finally! It's not a common meat in New Zealand outside of Christmas time, so...a change from chicken! I also felt pleased because I was wearing my size sixteen jeans and my ZOMBIE: EAT FLESH t-shirt, which was always a little too tight before but is now definitely loose. It was also appropriate, it being Halloween tomorrow. It tends to cause people to double-take, too, but for once I was happy to have people looking at me. I caught sight of myself a few times in shop windows, and...yeah. I'm changing. It's incredible.

I must stop spending money, mind you. I bought some DKNY Be Delicious perfume, because it's bright and summery and so New York. It's also rather expensive. But...I want to spend money being pretty. This is progress. So...I might allow it. Just a bit longer, anyway. <3

Sunday, October 24, 2010

End Week Four


...well, that's the end of the first month on the programme. I weighed in this morning and recorded a loss of 1.2kg, bringing my current weight to 75.2kg. It's very slightly irritating in that I was really hoping to get under seventy-five before the end of this week as that would take me out of the "obese" category on my Wii, but the fact that I got that much...is fantastic.

Overall, I just need to be more positive. The end of the second week was completely insane for me, as this programme generally has people losing an average of eight to ten kilograms their first month, and I've not quite managed five. I think I need to remember that I actually lost four or five kilograms before I even started, and my body's been doing some odd things because of it. I'm not sure what I was at my heaviest, but my Wii records it as just under eighty-six kilograms, so this? Is amazing. I need to really realise that, I think, but between the responses I've had on this blog and at the local forums, it's becoming so much easier to just calm down and run with it.

Yesterday, being Saturday, was my shopping day -- and already I am beginning to enjoy it a lot more than I ever have. It's also a stat holiday weekend, meaning: sales! I got vouchers from three of the four places I hit up with my credit card, and am particularly looking forward to spending my $50 Max voucher when I drop another size. But I was at Max for more workclothes; I got a kimono-styled blouse, a groovy skirt, and another pair of tights as the ones I bought last week already are too big. Awesome. I've also officially dropped a size in my favourite jeans; I bought the old pair before Mexico and they fit perfectly. Now I have a size down and they fit perfectly. I have the feeling I'm going to buy a pair every time I drop. It's kind of wasteful, I guess, but it's a strange little way of reminding myself of how far I've come.

I also bought myself a tangible reminder. I wanted a ring, but I bought a butterfly pendant instead. I rarely buy jewellery for myself, at least not expensive jewellery, because I don't think I'm worth it. Well, here I am, thinking I'm worth it. I chose it because it's beautiful, but also because I am tired of the cocoon of fat I've been living in all these years. It's time to grow my wings. It's time to get out. It's time to fly. And like the touchstone of my emerging collarbones, I now have a little butterfly at the base of my throat to remind me of what I am doing, and why. It's for me. Nothing more, and certainly never ever nothing less.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lucky Charms


I seem to have developed something of a touchstone, or a lucky charm when it comes to my weightloss. As anyone who has lost weight can tell you, as the kilograms start to come off you start discovering things about your body that you'd forgotten or else simply never noticed before. When I first moved to England a few years back, I lost a few kilograms through stress and depression (I have no idea even now how much; I gained it all back, but that was back in the days when I was in complete denial about my weight problem anyway). During that time I found my hipbones again. Just...yeah. This time around my hipbones haven't really made an appearance yet -- though they are coming -- but I have been distracted by my emerging collar bones.

They're certainly not prominent. I doubt anyone can see them but me. But...I keep finding that during the day, I will rub the tips of the three fingers of my left hand over my right collarbone. I'm not sure why. It's not like it's really obvious or anything. But it just...feels different. More real. Less hazy. It really is like a touchstone, something to remind myself that yes the weight is coming off, that no it isn't my imagination. Because I often look in the mirror in the morning and think "You haven't lost anything at all, you liar." Even though my clothes say otherwise. So...yes. It's an odd little feeling, but not an unpleasant one. It's like the return journey of an old friend, who is sending letters on a regular basis to say "Here I am! I am coming! I will be with you again soon!"

...yeah, so, I'm cracking up on this diet. How are you? <g>

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rewards


It's been a bit of an odd day -- I didn't have to go to work as I had chosen to stay home for my oral Japanese exam. In theory I could have gone to work and ducked out for a couple of hours, or stayed home until it was over at three and gone in for a couple of hours, but work has stressed me out so much recently that I decided there was no point in doing it half-arsed. So, I stayed home and studied and then I did my test; I then went for a trip to the supermarket where I bought more asparagus -- which I actually intend to eat this time -- and then my mother and I went to see that stupid Eat Pray Love movie.

Two things about this whole scenario were a bit of a test, really. First of all, the exam: generally while I am doing exams, my already terrible eating habits will get invariably worse. Particularly this last year, because even while just studying on the weekends I would buy a bag of barbeque chips and eat the whole damn thing. Also, my Lift Plus consumption was at least a bottle a day. By some reserves of willpower I didn't even know I had I touched neither of these things during my long weekend of cramming, but it was actually worse when I went to the supermarket afterward. I'm of course accustomed to "rewarding" myself with food, though how I ever considered it a reward when I often had chocolate, chips, Lift Plus or whatever every day anyway, I'm not sure. I haven't really thought too much about how I am going to work these things back into my life afterwards, because...I will never avoid them completely. That's just unnecessary. But associating them with "rewards" seems a little dodgy, because the second I am down or depressed or upset I "reward" myself with food because I "deserve" it and want to feel better. But it never ever works. So...yeah. Walked out of that supermarket with nothing I shouldn't have.

The movie kind of sucked too because of the long lingering shots of pasta in Italy, though fortunately I am neither a fan of pasta nor Italy. And she hardly ate any gelato, which is fortunate because during my one weekend in Milan my sister and I lived on gelato. I'd say I'd love to try some of that Napoli pizza, but that would involve going to Naples. Ha ha ha. But even though I've never been a huge fan of popcorn at the movies, for some reason the last couple of times I'd had it (most memorably with my nephew, who divided our box into "his" and "mine" and then when he was sure I understood the concept promptly stuck his hand into MY side...four year olds, sheesh). Usually I'd just eat m&ms or something. Which my mother then bought. Fortunately I never really noticed her eating them, though the damn icecream she ate through the credits was distracting. It was probably worse on the way home, though, because she decided to get McDonald's for herself and my brother. She asked me if I wanted some. "No." "Oh, once won't hurt!"

...yeah. It will. It messes up the biochemistry I've got going for starters, but even then that's not really it. It's more...I have so very little willpower. And even though I sat there with their damned McDonald's in my lap the whole way home I knew I didn't really want to eat it. That's probably never really been the problem. The problem is that I am a lazy cow. I don't like to cook, I don't like to clean, I don't like to take some damned responsibility for what does and doesn't go into my body. So, taking the easy road, even for a detour? Will not be a detour. It'll be a derailment. I'm not strong. I'm not focused. I'm just fucking terrified.

Otherwise, the last few days I've made the discovery that I really don't much care for feta cheese, and that maybe I should have my "pizza" once a week or so. It's basically just tomato and mushroom and green pepper and courgette and garlic all stir-fried together with some Italian herbs and dumped on a Salada before having mozzarella cheese melted all over it. I'm not actually a cheese fan so I can't eat it often -- the cheese being my protein is just too much cheese for me -- but as something different, it was lovely. Definitely will do again. Sometime this week I also want to give the mango smoothie and the ricotta coffee "cheesecake" a go, too, but...I'm not the adventurous sort, food-wise. That's probably the real reason I've managed to stick at this for so long. But...yeah. Into week four, now, and that's so much further than I ever thought I'd come.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

End Week Three


So, finally I get around to returning to the blog. It's been a rough week all around, and not just because I was feeling down about the diet. There's just a lot of stuff going on at the moment, between work, family and exams, so...the temptation to stray is strong, though fortunately I haven't. I did go against what I had said earlier last week, where I wasn't going to weigh again until the end of week four, which is a week from now. I weighed today just because I had to know. My weight was about 76.4kg, which is a decrease of 800g. It doesn't feel like a lot, but my waist went from 85-86cm of last week to a very definite 83cm this week, so that is a victory. I've also discovered most of my workclothes are becoming unsuitable, in that they are too loose and therefore I can't wear them. So...yes. Progress, even if it's not as fast as I would like.

I do wonder if I am doing anything wrong on this diet, as most people continue losing large amounts of weight in the first few weeks. Not everyone, mind you, but then I suspect a lot of it is because they've got forty or fifty kg to lose, and I've only got thirty. So, I don't know. I'd like to average at least a kilogram a week, but I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. I can almost hope it's my cycle throwing things out here because my abdomen is aching in a horribly familiar way, ha ha ha. I don't know. But either way, it's going to be a long week and I should go do something about it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

All in all, not a good day.


Basically, I've been holding out for today. After my freakout on Tuesday I sternly told myself that there was to be no more weighing until Sunday, by which point things were more likely to have averaged out and be a more accurate representation of what was going on. So, I did not weigh until this morning. And this morning I got up, weighed, and...nothing. Absolutely nothing. Meaning that after week two, I've gained two hundred grams. And any measurement loss is negliglible, as in about two centimetres and that's probably just because I'm shite at measuring. So...I don't know what to make of this. I really don't. I'm humiliated to admit I was practically in tears last night because there were fish and chips, cakes, pies and bread all over the bench as I tried to make my chicken and salad, and my apple tasted awful, and now...I didn't deviate all week. Despite there being food everywhere for three days out of five, I didn't goddamn deviate. But if this is my reward, it makes me wish I had.

I just haven't got a clue how I am going to get through another week like this. I haven't got willpower. I haven't got stamina. I'm just tired. And sad. So very, very sad.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Temptation


THERE IS SO MUCH CAKE DOWNSTAIRS WHAT THE HELL I DON'T EVEN.

...not that I am eating said cake. I'm in fact hiding in my room. I possibly had a bit more chewing gum than I'm actually allowed, but hell IT'S BETTER THAN CAKE, AMIRITE.

D:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Twist


I thought I better update to say that while things aren't perfect -- although when are they? -- I am in a much better mood today. One of the reasons why is that I did do a little bit of "yoga" on my Wii, and figured out what the categorisation for "overweight" is on their system for me. My first real goal right now is to get out of that damn "obese" region, which means dropping below 75kg. With any luck I will hit that on Sunday, though any continued weightloss is really for the good.

Still, the reason why I was more cheerful is because the trousers I wore today felt ridiculously loose. Like, bordering on the needing new trousers loose. Which has to be a good thing. So...despite my hysterics, it looks like the weight is still dropping the way it should be. I need to relax more, dammit. No more knot-tying.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Second Week Doldrums


Looks like I spoke too soon about the glories of the first week -- this second week, I am struggling like fuck. I can't even quite articulate why. I'm tired, for starters; on the advice of some of the forumites, I'm going to see what we have in the way of B vitamins at work tomorrow and toss them in on top of the multi I've already been taking religiously since the beginning. It's not like it's possible to take too many B vitamins anyway, though naturally if your body doesn't want them it's a waste of money, but...I'm willing to give anything a go right now.

I think this week had been hard because it's Wednesday night, and every day at work so far there's been food scattered around. Monday was a shout, Tuesday was a shout, and today we had some dude from AstraZeneca give us food because that's what drug companies do. They can't give you drugs -- well, not usually -- so they give you food. He didn't even have any pens, so I made him feel bad by declaring I'd use the one I got from the Baxter rep last I saw him. Whoops. But yeah. I don't feel a hunger for these foods, but as I am feeling so tired and down and just so damn scared that despite not deviating I am gaining what little I've lost right back again, I just...want to give up. It's sort of "What's the point, you're a fatty now, you'll be a fatty tomorrow, just accept it and EAT FOOD." And when I came home my mother was snarky about the meat I was carrying in my shopping bags and then...hell, where do I begin? I want to make my dinner because I am hungry, but from one end of the kitchen to the other there's a loaf of bread, half a chicken pie, coconut ice...there was more than that, I'm trying not to think about it. And when I open the cupboards looking for things there's chocolate and chip bags fall out and...it's terrible, in that I almost look forward to my mother leaving for Australia. I am going to miss her and I don't want her to go, but...I can't take much more of this food. At least when it's just me and my brother he can't afford to buy piles of crap, though actually things may get worse as I suspect I'll be expected to buy his groceries as well as my own. And I really don't think my fragile psyche is up to putting that kind of thing in my trolley. I mean, the best feeling I had this evening was going through the checkout with meat, vegetables, and fruit. Oh, and some crackers. Just...yeah.

It's not all bad, despite my wanting to just curl up into a ball and cry. My workmates tend to be very supportive; I was wearing my tunic this morning and they were all "We can see your weightloss already!" And one of the techs is in particular fantastic as she's just come off a harsh regimen for a recent body sculpting competition. She's still eating healthy despite having competed a couple weeks back, and she's a real inspiration. It's just...I don't know. I'm tired. And I really need to go and cook some chicken and weigh some vegetables for lunch tomorrow, as I am stranded at work due to my car having to go back to an auto electrician. Same problem as earlier this year. I'm terrified they still can't fix it. Just...yeah. One more stress I don't need right now.

I did, however, receive in the post a new camera with a timer, so I can start taking pictures of myself. Jesus. I also had confirmation from Blue Banana last night that my new dress is on its way, so...can't give up now. I have to fit that dress in exactly one month's time. I can do it, I know it. I just...have to get out of these doldrums. I'm waiting for my second wind. Surely, it must be turning soon...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Dangers of Obsession


I think I've just realised why I was planning on weighing weekly at most, monthly if I could stand it -- because this evening I started feeling F-A-T in my jeans, because they didn't feel "loose" like they did yesterday. So in a panic I weighed myself on the Wii board and got a two hundred gram increase. CUE THE FREAKOUT. And it's all a bit...um, yeah. Stop it. Stop it now. I'm in the second week doldrums where it looks like FOREVER until I can go back to a more normal eating regimen, and psyching myself out like this? Is totally indulging in my penchant for self-fulfilling prophecy and self-sabotage.

So? No more weighing, no more measuring until Sunday morning when it's due. Then if there's a problem, then I'll sort it. For now...head down, bum up, and stop jumping at shadows. Christ.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

End Week One


So, here is my moment of truth -- I woke up a little late this morning and in the interests of not having to have lunch and dinner late too, I skipped the mozarella experiment and decided to have yoghurt as usual. However, first I needed to talk to my Wii board. Rather hysterically, the first thing it said to me was "Have you been leaning me against the wall? That's not good for my circuitry!" God, even when I'm being good the damn thing beats me to the punch and finds something to whine about, ffs.

At any rate, I got on the board and wanted to close my eyes. But...there it was. 77kg. I lost three kilograms! <is still goggling> I mean, I knew I had lost, because I can feel it. My clothes are shifting in the way they fit me, and despite another bout of dizziness about an hour ago -- unlikely to be food related, as I'd just eaten chicken, vegetables and two kiwifruit -- I am feeling pretty much okay. I also did some measurements, and although they're somewhat off because I did the first lot on Wednesday, they make me happy. The only two that didn't change much are my upper arms (not the end of the world) and my bust (thank Christ). The most impressive was my waist, which went down from 89.5cm to 85cm. I think that says a lot about my water retention when I'm gorging on my beloved carbs, that's for damn sure. Overall, I lost 11.5cm and 3kg. So...well. I certainly can't complain, can I? Not that I want to. Although today there's been a loaf of fresh bread on the sideboard all bloody day and...it looked so tasty, goddammit. Didn't touch it, of course, but...even once I'm on the other side of the programme I can't just hack into things like that willy-nilly. It's a little depressing.

Still, this is how I am, and in the next day or so I'm going to purchase this dress from Blue Banana in the UK. It's going to be size fourteen, and I hover between eighteen and sixteen now. I am hoping to fit into it by the time of our staff do on the sixth of November. Although I know I am going to break the diet somewhat there, I am hoping that I'll do it just by having a chicken salad that I haven't weighed and cooked myself. That's not a complete wagon fall. And if I am sitting there, snug in my new gothic princess dress, I think that should be incentive enough to ignore the wine, the tequila and the chocolate pudding. <3 Thinking ahead, that's me!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Need Some Sleep

 
I hadn't ever actually intended to make this a daily diary, but I really did feel the need to confide a wee bit in the blog today...and I suppose that's what it's here for. It's just that today I've been feeling a bit down. I've had the impression from the forums that most people in the first week have felt lousy the first three or four days and then they kind of slide into the Zone; I seem to be having something of a backward experience, in that I was largely better during the week than I have been today. Dammit.

I think some of it can be explained by the fact it's a Saturday and I haven't got work to distract me from wanting to eat -- I did do most of my binge eating while reading on the weekends, after all. In fact, I bought a new book this morning and while I was reading this afternoon the need for something to chew on was overwhelming. I should have tried some gum, come to think of it, but in the end I just went back to trying to write (I can't eat when I'm typing!). It's also because I'm in serious denial about how behind I am in Japanese, and am actively avoiding studying. I now have to do all that tomorrow, which means I can't really do any advance cooking for the week like I'd planned. I was just so tired today, although like anything that's just an excuse.

I think I'm both looking forward to and terrified of tomorrow morning. There's the mozarella cracker experiment, for starters, but it's also the first weigh-in I've allowed myself. We're supposed to weigh monthly, but I gather from the board people often weigh themselves when they know they need to. I myself know I'm not a daily weigher, but every week is probably what I need because I seriously need motivation. I haven't lost it, exactly, but I am just tired. And when I am tired, I am grumpy. But I'm so scared of getting on that Wii board tomorrow and having it tell me I've gained -- this is basically what happened every time I tried to do an exercise regimen. I seriously doubt it will happen tomorrow, but if it does...it's going to give my confidence a serious hit.

...so...stayed tuned?

On the positive side, I finally found some courgettes -- yay, a new vege for my stir-fry experiments! -- and I am rediscovering the delights of cooking with fresh herbs. The only other time I've done that is when I did a ten day detox in 2005, which...didn't go fantastically, actually. I think I started it on a Saturday and it basically fell to pieces the following Saturday when I just couldn't bear life without chocolate any longer. I tried to get carob, but all the carob at the supermarket had marshmallow and candy sticks and...you can see where this is going. My experience between that and this, mind you, has been very different. I remember being ravenous the entire time I was on the detox, and cooking took so bloody long. This diet...it's a lot simpler. Just far more restrictive. Yet here I am on Day Seven and I haven't fallen off the wagon yet, despite having been offered all sorts of disallowed foods over that time. I was somewhat concerned this morning in that while walking down the street I was struck with a massive bout of dizziness, but as I'm prone to vertigo anyway it may have nothing to do with the diet. Otherwise...yeah. I also went shopping at the local recently-opened fruit and veg store and finally found some bok choy and got a bag of Braeburn apples for a dollar fifty. I felt like such a little farmgirl. ...which is really for the best, because even after this is done, I'm going to have to keep eating all this fruit. C'est la vie, I guess...!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Taste Of Thin

 
While I've had more than one challenge so far this week, tonight was by far the greatest -- I went to a restaurant. I'm not even one week in! Fortunately, it was just for coffee and dessert as one of my workmates is finishing next Thursday. I just ordered a pot of Earl Grey and happily sipped away while the dozen people around me ate delicious desserts. Again, I felt that tug...but not a hunger tug. More that emotional "I wouldn't mind some of that..." thing. Yet my body was not really interested. There was no craving, just a vague sense of wanting to have what a week ago could have been mine. So, that's all for the win.

I am really pleased with that lack of craving, though with that said I've spent the week having to move stuff around. It's a bit stink to come home from a bad day at work and find the remnants of fish and chips on the bench. While I certainly don't begrudge people eating what they want, it's a bit hard to have the stuff lying around when you're cooking. I don't particularly want to eat it, but as a habitual grazer...I've found myself idly reaching for things. It's just something to do, nine times out of ten, but still. It's a bit of a pain.

I feel a bit bad, actually, admitting that I have quietly adopted that mantra at the back of my mind -- "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!" I know pro-ana groups have latched onto it, certainly, but I'm not applying it to all foods. Just the foods that got me into this situation in the first place. So, we're on a break right now. And thankfully so far even when we pass each other out there in the real world, we can make eye-contact...but I don't have to rush over and beg forgiveness and plead: "Can't we please start over?" No, right now I'm strolling down the parkway with the taste of thin at my side, and...we're getting acquainted. Maybe by Sunday morning we'll even be hand in hand. We'll see....we'll see.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Feel Good Inc.


When I was about six or seven, I started reading The Baby-Sitter's Club books. I read them until I was about twelve or so, from memory, and the first one I read involved Claudia breaking her leg. ...and what does that have to do with my diet? Well, reading those books was what first introduced me to the condition of diabetes mellitus. I'm more than passingly familiar with it now, of course, but even though I was a skinny kid I was aware to some degree that my mother was unhappy with her own weight and I feared in a vague way that one day I would be fat, too. So, as I read about Stacey having to not eat sweets and be careful with her diet, I actually began to hope that one day I too would be a type one diabetic and therefore my eating habits would be out of my control -- or at least, under a control that was not at all voluntary.

In an odd way, child!me understood the way my mind worked better than does adult!me. Scary stuff.

Still, this came to me a couple days ago as I was walking back to work after lunch, frantically calculating times in order to work out when I could eat another cracker and my apple. This diet I'm on involves careful timing of my different "streams" of food. While I can cross the streams (Egon would be disgusted -- and Venkman does not thank us for the helpful safety tip), I have to get the timings right within them. I also have to weigh out my portions and make decisions about what I want, and...I realised suddenly that this is what life for a diabetic is like. And...while I certainly no longer wish to be a diabetic, I think Mini-Me had a point. I need to have real structure in order to get anywhere, and...now I have that structure.

I haven't done any weighing yet -- I am leaving it until Sunday morning at the earliest -- but I can feel something different in my body. It's hard to articulate, which is frankly a little humiliating for someone who writes as much as I do. I mean, my clothes are already starting to feel looser. I wouldn't say it's noticeable to anyone but me, but I...slide inside of them, just a little. And I am more aware of myself in space. My muscles are aching somewhat, but it's nothing odd. They just feel like they're...tightening. It's not uncomfortable. It's like I've felt a couple weeks into an excessive exercise routine. I focus so much on thought and imagination that I often forget I have a real live body. I think this is just me fitting back into it.

Otherwise, I've had hunger pretty much every day, but again it's not a normal hunger. I don't crave anything the way I did before. I've looked past chocolates and chips and wine the last couple of days with only an emotional feeling of loss. Even then it's only been thankfully mild. My body doesn't actually want me to eat these things. My mind is just remembering. It won't forget, not ever, but...it's nice to know that I don't need these things. I'll have to hang on to that thought in the days ahead.

In the meantime, I really need to start drinking more water. I have a headache today, though that's probably partially because I had a hellish day at work. So...end of day five? Things are going fine. Here's to all the days being as good.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life On The Outside


...fair warning, this entry's bound to be somewhat EMO. But I was thinking about this at work today, because of something that had happened there. Basically I've only just begun explaining to people what I am doing. I've known about it for a while, obviously, and to be honest? I was frightened of explaining it to my mother. I'd actually have waited until she went to Australia before beginning, if not for the fact I had to start within four weeks of my initial blood test. It's just...a sense of shame, I suppose. Because I am ashamed of how I look. I've been ashamed of how I look since I was...about fourteen, I think. That would be when things went downhill. And even though I've always known people have looked at me and judged me no matter what I've thought, we all know the only way you can solve a problem is by admitting you have one in the first place. Annd admitting that I'm fat, for all I've known that for years, has been very hard for me.

So. I explained a bit to a couple of my workmates yesterday and whatnot, but by no means have I told everyone. There's certainly a couple of people at work I would never feel comfortable talking to, about this. One of those people was talking to another of those people, and I wasn't part of the conversation; I was doing my own work. And the first person started talking about diets and things, and then actually started complaining about how stupid the diet I've chosen is. I believe she had no idea I'm on it, but it made me...well, angry, I suppose. Partially it's because I didn't choose it on a whim, I thought it was sensible both for my needs and on a more global sense. Certainly it's not something that would work for everyone, but as far as I'm concerned it will do what I need from it without half-killing me in the process. Admittedly the first time I heard about it my knee-jerk reaction was "You can't lose that much weight that fast and call it healthy!" Some research later, I came to the conclusion that while it may be too fast, in some respects that's what people like me need...I'm into instant gratification. And this isn't instant, of course, but thirty kilograms in about four months is very rapid. But it's not as if you go on a restrictive diet and then bounce back to normal. It's a lifestyle change, because of what they call the "refeeding programme," which lasts two to four weeks. So...yeah.

Still, what bothered me more about it, I think, was the fact that both the women in this conversation are both naturally slim. I won't deny that they do work for it, in that they'll eat better than I ever did and probably exercise, but...there's a big difference between losing three or four kilograms for a special event, and losing thirty kilograms as a permanent lifestyle choice. These women have never been fat. They've always been attractive. Men have always looked at them. And while I am not in this precisely to get male attention -- I wouldn't know what to do with it even if I had it -- I am very used to being invisible. The invisible elephant in the corner, as it were.

When I was in Mexico, I remember being at Teotihuacan and sitting with Rose very close to the Pyramid of the Moon. These sorts of areas in Mexico are teeming with roaming hawkers, and we had one approach us and hassle Rose about buying silver. The guy zeroed in and focused solely on her, and after a bit Rose tried to turn him onto me (not in a nasty way, it's just what you do when you're in Mexico). He wouldn't have a bar of it, though I was literally right next to her. She eventually turned to me while he was still standing there and said helplessly: "Why not you?" The guy admittedly had little English, but even then he didn't acknowledge my existence. And to Rose's defense, she didn't really know what was going on. But I didn't have the heart to explain to her that I've seen this before -- foreign guys look right through me. Actually, all guys do, but I've noticed it especially while travelling. I just about burst into tears several times in Paris while travelling with my sister because she's both prettier and skinnier than I am, and while the French fawned over her I was...invisible. I might as well have not existed.

Thing is, mind you, is that I haven't a clue what I will do when I get on the inside, when I become visible. I'm not exactly the most social of creatures, after all. Still...I guess when it comes down to it, all of us want to be seen. Else, why would we ever walk out of our front doors?

Monday, September 27, 2010

One Small Step For Cows


So, after much arsing about, I have managed to actually start this little journey. The arsing about wasn't fully intentional, mind you; I decided to wait until my father left the country, and then begin the following weekend. EPIC SNOWFALL later, I was trapped in my house while one supermarket's roof fell in and the others all closed in solidarity. As this was combined with my getting stranded in the 'burbs while getting my hair straightened, I really think I could be forgiven for thinking God does not want me to be pretty.

Still, here we are on DAY TWO. ...yes, I was too lazy to write anything yesterday, although that was at least partially because shopping, study and a writing group meeting basically ate up the day. Have to admit, though, it was a nice distraction from the entire thing. So far I am finding that I am often hungry, and am really hoping that's going to pass. I also am already finding that I have to mentally roundhouse myself whenever I open a cupboard, as the instinct is just to graze. I've always been a grazer, me, so curbing that urge is probably going to be the hard thing. Also knowing my limits and sticking to them...I was eating an orange earlier, and the damn thing was delicious. I wanted another. But I'm at my two fruit limit of the day, so...no. No more orange for you, missy. But I'm still hungry. I suppose this is where I need to get back to drinking water or green tea, ha ha ha.

But yeah, already my attitude towards food is changing somewhat. Like I said, it's become something that I can't have, which is somewhat distressing as I never realised before how much I really did graze. I'm also a more than mildly fussy eater, and if I don't want to finish something I just won't. I don't get that excuse with this, as I have to eat everything I've made. I struggled this morning with my yoghurt, actually; yesterday, oddly, it was fine. This morning I was in a rush, being that daylight savings changed over the clocks and I felt like I was up an hour earlier. I don't eat breakfast as it is, so having to shovel in that much yoghurt and an apple...yeah. Not a happy bunny. With that said, the damn recipe book keeps describing food as my "medicine," so being a pharmacist...does and doesn't help on that front. Ha ha ha. Actually, a pharmacist I worked with in the UK went on and became a spokesperson for a diet where they treated the whole thing like substance addiction. They essentially took food off you until you were at a decent weight and then gave it back. With counselling. Fortunately this isn't as drastic, but...still.

The weigh-in yesterday was odd. I haven't done the measurements, which I should get to tonight, really, but I jumped on the Wii first thing to check my beginning weight. I think the last time it told me I was about 82.2kg, which I rounded up to 83kg as the Wii board isn't that accurate. Yesterday, though...79.9kg. That's the first time I've ever seen it below 80kg in the two years I've owned it, and I hadn't even started yet. Honestly, I have no idea. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. Either way, I should start doing the "yoga" they have on WiiFit, I need to stretch myself a bit.

At any rate, I'm on the upward climb now. I'm hoping to be out of the woods by the end of December. Let's see how that works out...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Paranoid Android


To my surprise, the package arrived in the post this afternoon. So, inbetween my Japanese lesson, watching old AMVs and attempting to find old pictures on one of my external harddrives, I actually got around to reading the information about the actual diet itself.

It's...daunting, and then it's not. Like any diet, I guess, one tends to first focus on the things one CAN'T have, rather than what one can. But flicking through it, there are some things that make me happy. Like, crispbreads. I thought all starchy things were off the menu, so being able to have up to five crispbreads a day makes me ridiculously happy. I love crispbreads. I'm banned from fruit juice and milk, which aside from Lift Plus are about all I drink, but oddly enough diet soft drinks are allowable (in moderation). I'm not a huge fan of fizzy drinks, but at least it's an option? I think I'm going to have to start drinking green tea again. Which isn't really a hardship, but it IS a change. Still, I guess that's really the point? Of course I have to drink a lot of water, too, but then we all saw that one coming a mile away...

So, while the meal plan is a bit daunting, more than anything else it's probably just the effort. I don't actually make my own meals as it is, so having to get my shit together and look after myself is going to be massive anyway. Thing is, this is the root of my problem -- I just eat whatever's going. I never really consider what it is that I am eating. So, this is my learning curve.

Oddly enough, I have some strange little fears about all this. Primarily my concern right now is that I am feeling really tired all the time as it is, without even having changed my diet yet. I suppose I could put it down to Misadventures In Mexico, as my stomach hasn't been quite right since I came home. I never actually had any major issues while there, but I was getting cramps off and on from about the second week on, and the week after I got home my stomach was quite upset. Probiotics seem to have settled it, but with that said I've been feeling like I've lost weight already. I'm pretty sure I dropped a couple of kilos in Mexico/NOLA due to dehydration and a general lack of appetite, but I should probably have piled them back on by now. Odd. My trousers feel looser. Which brings me to my second concern:

TROUSERS.

Losing weight means new clothes. And while my credit card is not looking forward to the Loli-Goth clothes that are going to appear on those statements soon enough, my work clothes are another matter entirely. I am a short-ass, and this country? Doesn't deal in short-asses. Unlike the UK, where I delighted in my short-leg purchases at Marks and Sparks, in NZ one has to have someone take up one's too-long trousers. My mother usually does this for me -- god bless mummies everywhere -- but she's about to move to Australia. Uh-uh. ...I could learn to sew, I suppose, but there you go.

Actually, I am a bit bewildered by my goal weight as written in the booklet. It's...about 49 to 51 kilograms, or something. While that's amusing from a Nanami-standpoint -- she bitches at one stage about weighing 49 kilograms -- I...don't think I want to weigh that much. There'd be nothing left of me! Although then again, the very thought of it makes me dizzy and/or delirious with happiness, so I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Huh.

Haven't set a startdate yet, by the by. I am thinking Monday, but...we'll see how the weekend goes, first. I have some planning and organisation to do. I also have to resolve to start liking yoghurt. Dammit.