Monthly Archives: November 2017

When Minnows Become Monsters

So yesterday was a bit turbulent. I ended up scraping through on a wing and a prayer, and only by paying two hundred calories forward onto today did I manage to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Having said that, in and amongst the stresses of an incredibly challenging day I scored the biggest non scale victory ever, by walking past the pasty shop in Kings Cross station and ignoring the big fat stack of cheese and onion pasties which were shouting my name.

I reckon the girls behind the counter clocked the width of my arse and thought they had a guaranteed sale in the bag, especially since I locked eyes with every single pasty in their display. I’ve rarely made it past this particular pasty shop unscathed, and I wanted to stick my tongue out and lick them all as I walked past, but yesterday there was no sale.

At that point I was already sailing close to the wind, to be honest. I’d meant to buy a coffee at 5.45am before I boarded my train to London, but instead I’d bought coffee and a bacon roll. I’d meant to have coffee at coffee break but I’d actually had coffee and three cookies. All logged and counted but not the stuff healthy diets are made of that’s for damn sure.

We had a major crisis at work yesterday and I had to abandon my meeting a couple of hours in, heading three hours north back into the office. There were lots of colleagues pulling together to keep the wheels on in a superb display of teamwork until quite late last night, so we brought in fast food as a thank you to keep them going. I was starving, so of course I joined in.

That’s when the minnow-sized errors of food-plan judgment began to flirt around the edges of becoming a monster error, you know? Having access to fast food when I was tired and stressed could have gone horribly wrong. Thankfully despite the unplanned but welcome supper, I reckon I just about scraped through.

If I’d eaten sparingly until the point at which the emergency take-out arrived, I might have had a little bit more wriggle room. The fact that I’d allowed myself to have treats when treats weren’t really needed is a mistake I’m often too quick to make. The treats weren’t even that special, you know?

I didn’t need a bacon roll first thing in the morning, it just felt easier to grab it at the station than faff around making porridge before I left home at stupid o’clock. And there was certainly wasn’t much thought given to whether or not I should have cookies with my coffee. They were there, on a plate in front of me and I just ate them because I could.

I’m still fat enough to get away with a decent chunk of calories every day, even when I’m eating in calorie deficit and the temptation to play fast and loose with how I spend them is constant. I need to get back to that place where I’m eating as cleanly as possible, and staying away from sugar. I’m not quite there but I’m working on it.

Day by day, choice by choice, right?

Before you go, we have a brand new guest post today! My good friend Kayleigh has not only shared her story, she’s also taken the massive step of baring her numbers on her very own Shitbird page. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing her all the luck in the world as we watch her journey unfold 🙂

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There’s Safety In Numbers

So I’m looking ahead to this week with a bit of trepidation, I’ve got to be honest. It’s full of lovely things to look forward to, but most of them involve food. I’m trying not to feel inconvenienced by being on a diet, you know? That’s the wrong kind of thinking and I don’t want to start feeling pissed off all over again.

Monday we’re having a lunch for the seven of us from work who did the trek to Cuba last year…we won some recognition at last December’s company bash for raising the most money for charity, and we’ve just never got around to spending the voucher. It’s well overdue and it’ll be fun to reminisce. Tuesday I’m working in London all day and we’ll be catered at lunchtime, and home late with dinner on the fly. Wednesday evening we have a meal out with the team at work, and then Thursday we’re away overnight at a sort of team spa night which also involves a meal, and more than likely a tipple or two.

My food sobriety has held quite well this week and I don’t know about you lot, but for me it’s always a bit more fragile in the early days of a reboot, you know? That said, I have a whole week under my belt now. I just need to stay focused on dodging the food bullets which will be coming thick and fast from every direction over the next few days.

It’s been a bit noisy in my head over the weekend with the Asshole voice being petulant and demanding. I took Charlie dog for a walk yesterday and it was just a constant barrage of head-spam.

It’s far too cold to be out, turn around and go home immediately. You don’t have any gloves, you might get chilblains. (I’ve never had a chilblain in my life.) Besides it’s muddy up here on the bridleway and Charlie-dog had a bath and a haircut yesterday, you’d better turn around and go home before he gets dirty otherwise you’ve wasted your money.

And your ankles are aching. That must be a sign of something, so don’t overdo it. You’d both be much better curled up in front of the telly with the fire on. You’ve had a busy week, and you deserve to relax instead of walking around in this cold. Even the dog looks miserable, go on and turn around, you know you want to…

On and on, all day. I just couldn’t quite manage to tune it out, but I did manage not to act on anything. I stayed solid. I’ve got no reason to suppose that the Asshole voice will be any less intrusive this week with all the food-fuckery opportunities that are coming my way. I’m also going to be time-poor in terms of opportunities to work out or swim.

I am planning to drink lots of water and plenty of coffee to try and keep myself feeling full. It might only help a little bit, but at the very least it’ll diffuse some of the temptations, right? I’m really lucky to have the support of some good friends who I can message and lean on if I’m feeling wobbly. I’m going to pay particular attention to the way I look because  if I look nice, I feel nice and that helps me stay in control.

I’m doing what I can. The bullets will fly and I’m really hoping none of ’em get me, because I know they’re coming, and I have a plan. It’s silly season and I’m guessing a fair few of you will also be staring the run up to Christmas straight in the eye and wondering just how the actual fuck you’re going to navigate it all.

Together, that’s how. Come on, link arms…there’s safety in numbers and we’ve got this 🙂


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It’s A Sign!

I have to admit to having a bit of a spring in my step. I’ve completed five straight days without a single unplanned eating incident and given that I’ve struggled to deliver a full five minutes of good behaviour just recently, I’m feeling accomplished. I’ve got skin in the game again, and the first hurdle is already in my rear-view mirror. Halle-fucking-lujah.

Yesterday had the potential to go pear-shaped when I left home without my carefully prepared lunch, which I’d taken out of the fridge and placed right next to my bag on the kitchen table as I was getting ready to leave.  It was right there, but I still walked out of the house without it, I mean come on, seriously. I left at 6am with a three hour drive in front of me and I was too far away from home to turn around by the time I realised.

The first indication that my head has landed back in the game came as I went into the motorway services on the way to my meeting, having left too early to eat breakfast, and bought coffee. No muffins, or croissants or pain-au-chocolate. Just coffee.

The biggest indicator came mid afternoon as I called back into the same motorway services, having not had chance prior to that to grab lunch. I was eat-my-own-arm starving as I walked in and considered my options. Greggs, Burger King, and a full on selection of confectionary. Fat girl heaven.

With the Asshole behind the wheel, it would have been BK. Or maybe a cheese and onion pasty or steak bake from Greggs, and large bag of crisps and at least one item of chocolate but probably two. Hell yeah, let me hear you say ay-MEN!

I didn’t do that, and what’s more it didn’t even occur to me to do that, you know? I walked into M&S Simply Food, picked up a turkey wrap and a small tub of fresh fruit and walked out again without giving it a single thought. No strop because there was all this stuff I couldn’t have, and no inner turmoil. I was hungry, and I fancied a turkey wrap and some fruit. That my friends, is a sign. I’m back 🙂

I half expected that Charlie-dog might have helped himself to my forgotten sandwich by the time I got home again, but in a show of solidarity he hadn’t. How’s that for willpower, right? He was clearly on the verge of bursting though, having sat and supervised it all day, in between playing out with all his doggy-day-care friends.

I’d fixed chicken, avocado and sweet pepper with a little light mayo and black pepper on a seeded flatbread, and it looked all kinds of awesome. Having bought and eaten something else in its place, I reluctantly rewarded his patience by allowing him to eat it, given that it’d been out of the fridge all day.

I figured his furry constitution was robust enough to deal with it, on the basis that unless I manage to grab him in time he eats cow pats and horse shit when we’re out walking. I soon realised it wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had…overnight he has single-handedly done his bit to obliterate the ozone layer by filling the room with enough gas to blow the roof off.

Come on day six…show me what you’ve got 🙂

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Sticks And Stones

Isn’t it funny, how the view you have of yourself can be disproportionately influenced by the view that other people have of you? I’ve always wanted to be one of those uber-confident people who don’t give a rat’s ass about what other people think. To be fair, advancing years and the accompanying descent into eccentricity is quite liberating in a lot of respects, although it’s less about an injection of confidence and more about feeling like fewer people notice if you wear purple and green together, or nip to Tesco in your slippers.

Someone whose opinion I’ve always respected threw some shade at my less-than-straightforward weight-loss journey this week and it’s made me turn myself inside out to try and see what they see when they look at me.  You know the old saying – feedback is a gift and all that, even when it feels like someone’s just hand-delivered a dog turd through your letterbox.

I was prepared to consider this piece of feedback from all angles, you know? The gist of it was that me putting weight back on proved I’d learned nothing at all over the last two years and therefore I was never going to achieve my goals.

I know, right? This wasn’t an internet troll, it was a proper one.

My first thought was Have you been colluding with my Asshole Voice? I mean it sounded remarkably similar to the kind of thing my inner Asshole would say on a day where shredding my confidence was the primary objective. Actually, I’m lying. My first thought was Fuck off, who the hell are you to pass judgement on me??

Come to think of it, that was my second and third thought too.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I’m human, and I’m flawed. We don’t all shit rainbows.

Am I a failure in the Skinny Town stakes? I suppose it depends on which way you look at it. Have I successfully lost weight? Yes I have. Have I found some of it again? Also yes. Have I beaten my demons and cracked this weight-loss malarkey? No, have I fuck. I’m a work in progress, but I’m still here aren’t I? I’m still in the game. I get back up every time I fall down and I haven’t quit because it appears that for the first time in my life, I’m not a quitter. Who knew that would happen?

August. August is when the wheels came off my life. I lost one of the people I was closest to in the whole world and it knocked me for six, in fact I’m still processing it. I miss her like you wouldn’t believe. I’m here to tell you, in any other year, my grief would’ve weighed every pound of the eighty that I’ve lost, and then some. I’d have brought the diet to an end on the basis that I couldn’t focus on that right now, and I’d still be not focusing, all the way back to north of three hundred and twenty fucking pounds.

I haven’t done that. Yes, I’ve bounced around a lot. I’ve been up and down again and I’ve lost and gained the same thirty pounds on a loop over the last few months. I’ve frustrated the hell out of you guys I’m sure. Me too, as it happens. But I’m still here. I learned that getting up and pushing on with skinned knees is better than staying down.

I’ll tell you what else. Through it all, I’ve never retreated to my armchair. I’ve carried on exercising, and when I couldn’t work out after my surgery I headed for the pool. Even when my food fuckery was at its absolute worst, I stayed away from the all or nothing school of thinking and I carried on swimming for an hour every day. I still am. So that’s something else I appear to have learned.

That’s two things I’ve learned right there. Two things. Not nothing.

It’s amazing how getting angry can focus the mind. Having reflected on what was said, I’ve consigned it to the box labelled “insignificant one-dimensional perspective” and it’s no longer registering as being worthy of me giving a single fuck.

I can’t argue with the fact that if you look at net weight loss over the year I’ve averaged about half a pound per month, which is frankly pathetic. I accept that. But whilst being on it and off it again has been hell to navigate and frustrating to watch from the sidelines – sorry about that folks – I’m still here, and I’m still going.

Funnily enough, with renewed determination. After all, every day’s a lesson, right? 🙂



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Something Of An Epiphany

I can’t go on like I have been, right? I know, and you all know that something had to change. I’d lost it. That precious terra firma in the sweet spot that I was so attached to all of a sudden felt like shifting sand under my feet. I was struggling to even stand up straight, never mind pushing ahead with my plans to get skinny. And I’ve been battling with myself every day to the point where I’m just pissed off with it all.

That’s not right, is it? I mean, I’m used to a bit of internal dialogue with the Asshole voice, after all both of us have co-habited inside my head for years. But there have been long periods of time over the course of this journey where I’ve been properly in control, with just an occasional spat. I saw a steady weight loss and I was broadly okay because I can do it when my head falls in line with the rhythm of losing weight.

Towards the end of last year after I came home from the trek I lost the plot completely, and had a wild food-fest over the run up to Christmas. I pulled it back in January and this year was going pretty well, right up until August when I lost my God mum. Since then it’s been rocky to say the least. But I realised something over the weekend.

Somehow, all the shit I’ve waded through this year has tilted my thinking, and my focus has shifted away from all the possibilities of a skinny life and become fixated on the wrong thing. I’ve been spending way too much time feeling resentful about all the things I can’t have instead of feeling excited about what’s within touching distance. There’s no fucking wonder I’m struggling is there? I’m just one big ball of resentment and the more my head says you can’t have [whatever it is], the more I dig my heels in and cheat my way to having it anyway.

That’s how come I’ve managed to welcome thirty or so pounds back into my pants.

What I should be doing is focusing my energy on achieving my goals, which haven’t changed. I want that skinny life, filled with all those lovely clothes and just the one chin. I want my square knees back, and an arse that doesn’t feel like a tsunami going off in my pants whenever I take a step. Thinking about the possibilities of that life is what glued my feet to the sweet spot in the early days, but I’ve lost my way of late.

I’ve also lost sight of how me being positive and believing I can do it can help and inspire the people around me to do it too. My friend Nic is a case in point…if you follow her Shitbird page you’ll see she’s been ping-ponging all over the place just like I have. We sat and discussed it on Saturday over a coffee. And a dirty great cream scone. We didn’t have our eyes on the delights of a skinny life, we were too distracted by the contents of the cake cabinet. The thing is, we can inspire each other to great things one minute, and willingly, gleefully dive headlong into food fuckery the next.

Well, no more. We made a pact, even as we were wiping the crumbs from our respective chops…I promised not to lead her astray any more and she did the same. Yesterday was day one reboot for both of us and as we checked in with each other last night, it was holding. She’s relying on me, and I’m relying on her. It’s a big responsibility, right? If I don’t cheat, she can’t either. And vice versa. It’s a full on pinky promise.

That, combined with my shift of focus away from all the things I can’t have and back to the size of the prize was something of an epiphany…it’s a conscious step and let’s hope it’s the game-changer we both need.

Who else is in?



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