Monthly Archives: July 2016

Missing You Already!

So things went from bad to worse in the neck department…after just about four days of agony I couldn’t take any more, and after a complete sense of humour failure this morning I threw myself on the mercy of a good physiotherapist. It seems I have a badly inflamed disc in my neck, and the muscles have locked down in a big fat spasm to try and protect it which is why nothing from the shoulders up is working.

I’ve got to be honest, as I laid there on the couch and she did her thing, I considered the possibility that she was actually trying to kill me. But, now I’m home and over the shock it feels a tiny bit easier.

Upshot is, I’m under orders. No exercise (apart from the ones she has given me for my neck), and complete rest, so no work and especially no laptop…which means no blog 🙁 

That’s like being grounded and having all my toys removed…what on earth will I do?

I have more physio booked in for Thursday, and hopefully towards the end of the week I’ll be back in action…until then I’ll miss you guys like mad. But this really bloody hurts, so much as it pains me I’m following the rules!

Thanks for all your messages…promise I’ll be back soon, and in the meantime lots of love to you all 🙂

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A Hall Pass? No Thanks…

Well, I guess this is what you’d call another bump in the road. I had awesome plans to walk on Saturday with one of my best buddies who’d figured out a great route down in the Derbyshire Peak District. A precious walk, you know? The sort of walk I could never attempt on my own due to being a bit lacking in the sense of direction department. I’d get lost, and someone would find me in a cave after six months with an impressive beard….let’s face it, it’s pretty impressive anyway, or at least it would be in the absence of tweezers.

But my friend is a map hound, so I was excited…we were planning to walk for ten miles or so, my longest yet and I was so up for it. Backpack was all ready, boots de-mudified after last time, water bottles filled and in the fridge…bring it on. My plan was to rise early, do a bit of writing and then spend the rest of the day yomping up hill and down dale, practising for Cuba and also shaking off the unwelcome pounds that materialised after last week’s whoopsie.

Except. I woke up early on Saturday morning and realised that I couldn’t move my head. I tried to move it and let out an involuntary shriek which was loud enough to make Charlie shoot off the bed and growl at the linen basket…clearly he suspected some imminent threat to life and the linen basket must have been the first thing he saw in his just-awake state. The shriek happened because trying to move my head really bloody hurt. It took me twenty minutes to actually lift my head off the pillow, so clearly all was not well.

To cut a long story short, after four hours in the hospital, it transpired that for some reason during the night, all the muscles in the right hand side of my neck had gone into spasm, which meant that every little movement of my head was agony. I came home with three lots of drugs…painkillers, anti-inflammatories and diazepam to relax my muscles so the last 2 days have passed in a bit of a haze, if I’m honest. And it’s not feeling any better yet 🙁

So, like the best laid plans of mice and men, my weekend turned to shit. No walking, no classes. And despite all the pain, which sort of means that moving around isn’t possible, I feel so guilty about the fact that I’ve been so inactive. I don’t sit for hours in the armchair these days, that was the old me, you know? I don’t do that any more. Except this weekend I have.

However, get this – I’ve hated every minute of being in that armchair. I’ve sat there and seethed to myself at the interruption to my training programme. I missed my ten mile walk on Saturday, and my fat furnace class and my box-lite class yesterday, and I sulked to olympic standard at the unfairness of it all.

Do you remember, when I first started moving, that every time I was doing anything which required effort all I wanted to do was scuttle back to my armchair..? Look at me now, I’m handed a genuine bona fide hall pass to the whole fitness thing, and I don’t fucking want it. How did that even happen? The realisation has taken me completely by surprise. Some of you lot told me that would happen and I didn’t believe you. I’ve always hated exercise.  But now it seems that I don’twho knew!

That said, if the Gods of Skinny are listening, thanks for the enlightenment but I can think of easier ways to learn a lesson than being put out of action by something that really hurts…you all know I’m a wuss and I don’t do pain. But if there is a silver lining in this particular cloud, well there it is, right there…I’m actually missing my exercise regime. Dear God, miracles really do happen.

What’s more, there were no cheese balls keeping me company over the weekend at I sat there in the armchair. No comfort food to ease the pain in my neck…that’s also progress, right? Strong drugs, which come with a directive to ‘take with or after food’ would have meant a mental punch of the air and a licence to munch, in times gone by. If anything I’ve eaten less than normal this weekend because I’ve not been moving around very much. HELLO, this must be what being a grown-up feel like? Miracle number two.

In fact, it seems they come in threes…this week, you know those three unwelcome but deserved pounds that showed on the scale last week? Gone. Along with two more…five pounds loss this week. Get in 🙂

So I’m in a lot of pain, but I’m feeling pretty positive. Things will work out, you know? My neck will hopefully feel better in a couple of days and then I can get back to my new normal…which includes grabbing life by the balls and squeezing 🙂

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Marauding Cows And Other Adventures

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I was so busy earlier in the week looking backwards at Disasterville that I forgot to tell you about my adventures at the weekend. On Saturday, I met up with a few of my fellow Kingdom of Pain devotees for an organised walk…they’re all rooting for me and throwing everything they’ve got at this project to get me fit enough to conquer the mountain, which is astonishing when you consider that up until a couple of months ago I’d never met most of them. They are awesome people.

One or two of them walk as a hobby, and what Saturday’s walk did was demonstrate that although I walk quite a bit now, by comparison I’m very obviously a complete novice. I do walk off road most of the time these days on footpaths and bridle ways but I must confess I’m a bit of a fanny…I usually pick as clean a path as possible and it would be fair to say I’ve not gone out of my way to find challenging terrain. I’ve never done like actual fields.

Saturday felt like a whole different ball game. I realised when we all met up that maybe this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, since my new walking boots and socks were immediately eclipsed by the array of equipment everyone else came with. Rucksacks, poles and maps seemed a bit excessive for a cheeky stroll around the local beauty spots, right? Uhuh…that’s the sound of a misguided sense of security, in case you were wondering.

We went off piste. We did actually walk through the park, but then we took a left turn on a path I’d never even noticed before and all of a sudden we were in fields, scrambling over stiles and squeezing through narrow gaps in walls. We met some donkeys, skirted around a field of cows, and passed through at least two farms.

It was fun, and I enjoyed it a lot but I discovered two things. Nettles really fucking sting if you’re wearing Capri pants, and if your dog eats cow pats, cleaning up after him the next day actually makes you hurl. Some of the gang produced snacks and water and even a first aid kit from the depths of their rucksacks, and I realised that perhaps my messenger bag with dog poo sacks, lippy and a pair of sunglasses left me rather under-equipped for this real sort of walking. We only covered around three miles but I was knackered by the time we got back.

However, what Saturday also did, was tee me up nicely for Sunday.

Some of us on the Cuba trek team had decided to get in a cheeky practise walk just to see how we went on, you know? To be fair it’s been in the diary for a few weeks, but the timing was perfect given that I was trying to undo the collateral damage from the back end of last week…it’d be fair to say I was looking for any opportunity to burn a few extra calories. Saturday had helped push me back into the zone, and Sunday was the start of my new dieting week so I was up for the challenge.

And Sunday was a challenge. I mean a whopping great in your face kind of challenge. We walked for seven miles, over really hard terrain. Well, for me it was…the other guys seemed used to it, but you know what, I kept up. I did okay. It was all fields, uneven underfoot, peppered with nettles and thistles and the sort of mud which at times tried to suck my walking boots right off my feet.

We got lost, and at one point we had to climb over a big gate to get into the next field only to be met by a herd of about forty cows, who decided they were a bit pissed off that we’d ventured into their territory, and gave chase. In case you’ve ever wondered, it is possible for three grown-ups and a cocker spaniel to hide behind a tree. And it’s even possible for a fat lass to show an impressive burst of speed when the chips are down.

If Saturday hadn’t happened, Sunday would’ve been a disaster…Saturday prepared me for the fact that not all walking is easy. On Sunday, I had a rucksack. Well, I say that…it’s the one that came with my laptop, so it wasn’t exactly designed with adventure in mind but hey, any hole’s a goal, right? It held water, and healthy snacks, as well as my sunglasses and lippy…

Nobody can say I don’t catch on quick and I’ll tell you what, if those three extra pounds don’t bugger off this week after all that there’ll be hell to pay 😉

 

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Picking Over The Bones

do not feed

I’m feeling more sure-footed as the week goes on, and this is day three of being back to normal and in control of my food budget. The whole episode last week has had quite a profound effect on me, in the way that I imagine a near-death experience might. And before you tell me to get over myself and stop being a drama queen (good luck with that) I’m serious.

I felt myself hurtling towards disaster with the first mouthful of naughty on day two, when I could no longer pretend I was making proper grown-up decisions from a vantage point of control. Pretty much the whole of day one was accompanied by the Asshole voice, doing what he does best. Surely you deserve a treat, you’re working so hard in fact I’m sure you can pretty much eat as much as you like because if you hadn’t ever joined the Kingdom of Pain you’d never have accrued all these exercise points, so even if you ate every extra point you’ve earned over the last two months you’re still only where you would have been otherwise…it’s practically not cheating at all…

I’d fallen asleep after Thursday’s free-for-all muttering it’s just one day to myself in a vain attempt to try and do a bit of damage limitation…my self-esteem had taken a bit of a battering like it always does when you realise that you’re not as good as you think you are. But obviously tomorrow was going to be better, right? Only it wasn’t, and that’s what shocked me the most.

Friday was like groundhog day, you know? Same tables, same set up. I remember looking around and observing with interest how all the edible goodies seemed almost like wallpaper to most of the people in the room. Unnoticed. Not everyone was salivating , or distracted from the agenda by all those individual foil-wrapped pieces of heaven…just me then. I felt like a freak as I tried to wrestle my head out of the goodies and focus on the job in hand.

I’m still not sure what miracle fished me out of the naughty pond at the weekend. In past times, breaking the diet always meant the end of the diet…just another failed attempt lining up with all the others. One bad day always led to two, then to five, then a week and a month…I caught a hold of this one two and a bit days in. Miracles do happen.

Picking over the bones of it all and trying to analyse why it happened has led me to a couple of things. Firstly, I need to accept that my relationship with food is different to that of normal folk. It’s not normal, to be so distracted by the promise of chocolate that you shut out the life that’s going on around you. But it’s my normal. And I will learn how to deal with it…that, or I’ll die trying.

Secondly, you lot were front and centre of my mind as I clawed my way back from the edge. I could almost hear the collective sigh of relief on Saturday when I hooked up with my friends and started walking away from the slippery slope. I imagined Fleury fist-pumping the air, and Susan cheering, and Mimi doing her happy dance…Tracey and Autumn and Jo and Natalie and Margaret high-fiving each other as the fuck-up fairy left town and life returned to normal. It makes more difference to me than I can tell you, knowing that you’re all in my corner. And I’m accountable to you…you’re my support system.

It’s probably three months until the next conference-style meeting…I’m thinking of hanging a sign around my neck like the one at the top of the page. Either that or accessorising my outfit with a little duct tape over my chops…what do you reckon? 🙂

 

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Not Even Close

fall-off-the-wagon

Well…where do I start. I think I mentioned didn’t I that I was anticipating the odd challenge towards the back end of last week, but I had a plan, right? I was working away Thursday and Friday, but I had it all figured out. The hotel I was staying in had a gym, blah blah blah…sadly I was accompanied on my trip by the fuck-up fairy, and it’s safe to say things didn’t go according to plan. Not even close.

But let me rewind. The week was going great, right up until Thursday morning when I left for my two-day trip. I’d completed all my planned sessions in the Kingdom of Pain, and I’d walked pretty much every day…I was on track food wise, in fact it was shaping up to be another textbook week.

The two-day meeting was a big conference-type get-together for a sixty strong team that I support and there were a few things which I knew straight off the bat I was going to struggle with. For example, there was an outdoor hog roast planned for dinner on the Thursday evening, and no word of a lie, I’d dreamed more than once in the early part of the week about that crispy salty pork crackling, and how many kinds of awesome it was going to be.

I knew how much I’d struggle to say no. I thought about how many different ways I could avoid even being within sniffing distance and I couldn’t quite figure it out so I set off knowing it was going to test me. What I hadn’t anticipated was all the other stuff.

I got to the hotel well before nine on the first morning after a couple of hours in the car, to be greeted by a massive tray of hot bacon sandwiches in the coffee area. I went through the motions of saying no, before driving myself bat shit crazy for ten minutes walking around the room chatting to colleagues, all the time furiously calculating and re-calculating the effect a bacon sandwich might have on my daily food budget. I came to the conclusion that it would make a big hole in it, as I caved in and helped myself to a plate. I estimated about twelve points out of my thirty five point daily budget. Ouch.

As soon as I walked into the conference room, my Asshole voice started doing his happy dance. There were goodies on every table…dishes of bite-size chocolate bars, chocolate-covered raisins and even bags of candy-floss to support the seaside theme. Whichever seat I’d taken I would’ve been within touching distance of all things naughty. So, did I sit and ignore it all because I’d just eaten a third of my daily food budget and I shouldn’t be even thinking about chocolate..? No, of course I fucking didn’t. I dived right in.

I started off with the intention of counting the points for everything I ate. I made a deal with the fuck-up fairy, brokered of course by the Asshole voice which meant I could take my foot off a little and have a few treats on the basis that I had some exercise points I could dip into, you know? I even wrote down what I ate so I could tot it up later on. Shall I share the list..? One toffee. Then two malteser chocolates, closely followed by two mini galaxy caramels. Then one more of those, one mini mars bar and a handful of chocolate raisins followed by seven mint humbugs.

At the first coffee break there were giant cookies on offer so of course I had one of those, followed by three mini bounties and a jaffa cake. I’d already run out of my food budget by this point although for some bizarre reason I carried on writing things down. Lunch was a buffet and trust me when I say…well, I don’t need to say it do I..? I was out of control. The hog roast didn’t live up to expectations but to be fair I felt so sick by the time  evening came, even if it had I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. But I ate it anyway. Followed by a dirty great piece of chocolate fudge cake.

I laid in bed on Thursday evening and felt like shit. I’d taken my iPad so I could write Friday’s blog post but you know what, I simply couldn’t summon any words…I was transported right back to those dark dark days of binge/food coma/self-loathing/guilt/remorse and repeat. I’d almost forgotten what it was like but hell’s teeth that was a sharp reminder.

I’d love to say that Friday was better, but it wasn’t. I wasn’t as bad but I was way off track. I ate things I shouldn’t, and I didn’t even write them down. I got home and finished the day off by eating chow mein and prawn toast from the Chinese takeaway. I mean, I’d already blown it, right?

Saturday…Saturday was better. But not brilliant. I still made some dodgy food choices but I exercised. I walked with some friends and it felt good. The Asshole voice was busy screaming start again Monday of course but actually, my weigh day is Sunday. So I picked myself up and started again Sunday.

I’ve written the last three days of my last dieting week off, and the bitch served up a three pound gain with a smile yesterday morning. I could weep, but I did it to myself, and I take responsibility for it. I deserve those three pounds.

So I’m a bit shaken if I’m honest, about how quickly I descended into anarchy. I thought I’d cracked it but clearly not. And it remains as ever incredibly hard to climb back on the wagon when I’ve taken a tumble and gone under the wheels…this morning I feel stronger, with a very good day under my belt yesterday…today it almost feels like the binge never happened. With a headwind behind me and the Gods of Skinny on my side I’ve somehow managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and I’m back on track.

This week, I’m not going to step a toe out of line. I’ve got three pounds to lose, right?

 

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