Monthly Archives: January 2018

My Leaky Toolbox

I can’t believe the reaction that Monday’s post drew from you lot – it’s a while since my mailbox has groaned under so many ‘me too’ emails. And although it made me feel less isolated, it also forced me to really reflect on how flimsy our toolboxes are when it comes to keeping a hold of the things that could really help us along the route to Skinny Town.

If I’d bought a toolbox like this from home depot, I’d be standing in front of the customer service desk right now, complaining about how fucking useless it was, and how easily holes opened up and allowed stuff to fall out of the bottom. 

I’ve been writing this blog for almost two and a half years, right? And we’ve talked about all sorts of stuff. We’ve laughed a fair bit, we’ve celebrated successes and we’ve commiserated with each other when the wheels have come off, but mostly we’ve picked over the bones of stuff and pulled some proper golden nuggets of learning out of the shit we’ve waded through. The plan has always been to keep hold of those lessons and use them to drive us forward until we look for all the world like we’ve never met a single doughnut in the whole of our skinny lives.

What I’d really like to know, is where have all those lessons gone? It’s like we unwrapped them, exclaimed over them, wondered why it had taken a lifetime to switch the light bulb on, and then we tucked them away in the toolbox for future reference, safe in the knowledge that we’d never forget that new thing that was going to help us forever, now we knew about it. I can only speak for myself, but in an un guarded moment when my back was turned most of the things I’ve learned have fallen out of the bottom of my fucking useless leaky toolbox and nobody’s seen them since.

One of you even suggested to me a couple of weeks ago that I go back and read some of my early blog posts where I seemed to be switching on light bulbs all over the place, I mean my life was floodlit for months. I was flying, with the strong wind of all this learning behind me. I can’t really pinpoint the moment where my progress stalled and then started going backwards, but somehow I’ve ended up scrabbling around in the dark again, hoping against hope that I’ll find my way back. On reflection, I think I probably should re-trace my steps, I mean it’s the sensible thing to do isn’t it when you’re trying to find something precious that you’ve lost.

Shit. There’s more than five hundred blog posts and close to half a million words to trawl through, I mean that’s a bit daunting, right? It might take a while. And what if I forget them all over again?

I’ll tell you what – why don’t I make a new page, where I can call out the blog posts which have helped me the most as I rediscover them? I could call it the Skinny Lessons page, and as I’m working my way through my back-catalogue looking for inspiration, I could pull out some links to the ones which have switched on the brightest floodlights in my head. Y’all could do the same if you like, and signpost the ones that’ve helped you…having a go to page when we need propping up might at least solve the problem of that leaky toolbox if nothing else, right?

I’ll get on it this weekend when I have a little more time.

And yes, in case you’re wondering…I’m still on the naughty step 🙁


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The Queen Of Empty Promises

I actually contemplated taking a picture of the Shitbird scale yesterday morning without me standing on it, sort of like a shitbird selfie. In the end, Wednesday’s fall from grace turned into a five day free-for-all, and yesterday was going to be the day it all came good, except it didn’t.

The last thing I wanted to see was a shitty number staring back at me as I struggled with everything else, so I ignored the Shitbird and refused to make eye contact. It was after 11pm before I finally accepted that you lot would likely pelt me with rotten fruit if I tried to wriggle out of being accountable so there we are then, over five pounds in the wrong direction when I finally hopped aboard. Fuck.

I deserve it, to be fair. I’ve been ridiculous. Again. And I don’t know what to tell you. It’s weird you know, more than once since I started writing the blog, some of you have mentioned that other weight-related blogs you’ve followed have disappeared like a fart on a breeze as soon as the person writing it fell off the wagon and when their diet fell by the wayside, so did their writing. I’ve even noticed it myself, you know? There have been two or three people whose journey I’d become invested in, whose posts have become so infrequent as to be virtually non existent. And that’s a real shame, I mean personally speaking – and from a purely selfish perspective – I need you lot more than ever when I’m under the wheels.

It is more than a little bit embarrassing though. I mean, here am I writing a weight loss blog and not losing any fucking weight. More than that, I keep writing about how determined I am and how it’s all going to be great from here on in because this time I’m going to do it except I never fucking get it done. I’m the Queen of empty promises, and that sucks.

For the first time this weekend I kind of understood the reluctance to put words down on the page, but I don’t think it was because I didn’t have anything to say…you know me, I always have words even if I’m just talking shite. The only way I can describe it is it’s like I was rebelling against talking to you lot because you’re all part of my journey, and since me and the diet weren’t even on fucking speaking terms I didn’t want to engage at all. I didn’t log into the blog after I posted on Friday until I was forced to record the shitbird number last night. And that never happens.

I come in here every day, even if it’s not a day where I’m writing. I check out who’s passed through, I respond to my messages, I approve and reply to comments and weed out the trolls and the spam. It’s my safe and happy place and it’s become a big part of my life. But this weekend I just dissed it completely. Messages went unanswered, which is just rude, and if you’ve taken the time to write to me and I haven’t answered you yet I’m really sorry…I will eventually, of course I will. But I’ve been a weird version of myself just because…well, it all feels very fucked up at the moment and I don’t know why.

Answers on a postcard please..? I’m not in control.

However. Today’s a new day, right? Deep breath and start again 🙂


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My Own Worst Enemy

I need to manage your expectations ahead of Sunday’s weigh-in, because I had a major wobble on Wednesday where the whole sugar free living thing is concerned. I think, think, I might have just about stayed within points but since I was too busy diving into a bag of chocolate covered peanuts swiftly followed by a piece of lemon flapjack to scan the barcode and enter the correct points value into my app, I can only guess at the collateral damage that my snaccident and the chaos that followed may have inflicted on my week.

Shit, shit, SHIT. That wasn’t supposed to happen. I only popped my head around the door of our reception desk in the office to pass the time of day with the lady who juggles all our visitors, but I found her setting up the freshly delivered charity sweets box, and thoughts of a pleasant five minutes chat were swiftly overtaken by the need to rugby-tackle her out of the way so I could have a good root through the box to see what was in there. I was only going to look

I arrived back at my desk with the offending bag of chocolate-covered peanuts and set off a tsunami of colleagues who also wanted in on the action. My desk buddy, who is on a perpetual diet like me disappeared and came back with chocolate-covered honeycomb, and the next thing I knew I was halfway down a cup of tea, accessorised with the lemon flapjack, which had come a close second to the chocolate covered peanuts when my hand had been hovering over the box.

So, like a fucking ejit, I’ve gone and unleashed the beast haven’t I..? Since the incident on Wednesday the Asshole voice is excelling himself at trying to lead me into temptation. You’ve spoiled the week now. Just have a few days off and re-set on Sunday. You’re going out for dinner  with friends on Saturday night and you don’t want to be fretting about the fact that you’ve got no points saved up so you’re fucked anyway, and they probably don’t have dust on the menu…

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not moaning, right? I’m not making excuses or trying to absolve myself of any responsibility for the fuck-up, I’m just providing the commentary to the way shit goes down in my head. On Wednesday, I got up from my desk and walked down the corridor to the bathroom and my day was solid. I’d eaten a carefully pointed breakfast, a carefully prepared lunch, and all was well. Five minutes later I had my nose in the chocolate peanuts. It’s like some fucking primal instinct ripped everything out of the well-oiled circuit board in my head and hotwired a snack attack.

I  often think that dealing with an enemy would be so much easier if it wasn’t myself. I’m my own worst enemy because this shit comes from inside, you know? I’ve got the logical thought processes and the food planning down pat. I know what I’m doing and I make good choices based on all the things I know and understand, but then randomly, out of nowhere…well, shit happens.

Work in progress…we just keep plodding on 🙂


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One Person, Two Mindsets

So I’m two days post-stair machine and I’m pleased to say my bum cheeks are recovering nicely. I even managed to get up from my desk yesterday and walk across the office without looking like I’d just got off a horse. I wouldn’t have believed that five minutes on that thing could’ve had such an effect but clearly it worked something.

My plan was to go back last night for another session in the gym followed by a swim, but it took me almost two hours to get home from work because it was snowing a blizzard, and by the time I got in my motivation had waned a little. My boy had cooked supper, so I thought you know, maybe I’ll just have a light bite and sit down for half an hour before I go back out…hmm. Big mistake, right?

Two hours later (by this time in PJs) I acknowledged that it wasn’t going to happen. I’m not convinced I would’ve got my car off the drive anyway to be fair, the snow was still coming down, in fact I may well end up working from home today. If that happens, I’ll walk up to the pool at lunchtime and have my swim then instead. I much prefer that to turning out in the evening after a long day at work, especially in this shitty weather.

I’m struggling a bit this week, I’ve got to be honest. I’m good, I mean I haven’t over-eaten and I’m doing okay on the no sugar front, but I just want to fucking eat till my eyes pop out. I took lunch to work with me yesterday, along with a big bag of cherries, but the cherries didn’t even make it past the morning commute. I was clock-watching from around ten thirty and counting the minutes until I could reasonably eat lunch and then all afternoon I was preoccupied with what I might eat for supper.

It’ll pass, I know it will but it’s different to last week when it was all effortless. This week it’s anything but.

Don’t you think it’s really bloody annoying the way that happens? I’m the same person, in the same body as last week with the same ambition to climb out of this fat suit, except last week I breezed through the week without dwelling once on the things I couldn’t have. It was a textbook week. Yet here I am now, feeling pissed off because I’ve got to count points when all I really want to do is rip up the rule book and eat whatever the fuck I want until the end of time.

One person, two mindsets, depending on which way the wind is blowing. I can’t think of a single other example where my thinking is so fickle. Why is that? I’m fine one minute and I’m struggling the next. Then I’m fine again. Then I’m not. I often meet myself coming back and there’s no wonder I sometimes feel like a borderline basket case.

It’ll pass. Keep the faith, and just hang tough. We can do this together 🙂


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Something To Aim For

I’ve been a bit non-specific of late in terms of my goals, and that probably hasn’t helped my cause, you know? It’s good to have something to aim for, I mean something tangible. I seem to remember the last time I mentioned any kind of goal I was planning to hit 215lbs by Christmas and clearly that didn’t work out too well. I went in the opposite direction and behaved like a right bloody ejit. But that was then, and this is now.

The Shitbird Scale rained on my parade a bit yesterday but as far as I’m concerned I’ve had a great week. With the exception of a close encounter on Saturday evening with a handful of Ferrero Rocher – which I don’t even like that much but they were there – I’ve closed out my first week off the white stuff and it’s gone well, so I was more than a bit pissed off when the number nudged up by almost a pound.

However, I reacted like a grown-up and wrote it off as a load of bollocks. I’ve had a good week therefore whatever weird shit is going on with the number, it’s not fat weight gain. Let it ride, see what it says next week and don’t sweat the small stuff. Granted, it was said with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp, but it was still said. And that’s progress.

Anyway, speaking of goals…my first holiday of the year is now booked, for the middle of May. You know me, my feet were getting distinctly itchy and already I feel better knowing there’s a piece of the world just waiting to be explored. That gives me four months to get back to my lowest weight from last year, which also happens to be my lowest weight in years. That’s the challenge I’ve set myself, and it’s about 35lbs lighter than I am now so it’s going to take some doing but you know what, bring it on. The holiday’s my incentive to work hard.

That hard work started yesterday morning with a session in the gym. My friend Nic was there and egging me on…try the stair machine she said. Try the battle ropes. Try the TRX straps…it’s all good fun. And you know what, it actually was good fun at the time. It’s good to try new stuff. Well, all except the stair machine which was just undiluted torture after the first thirty seconds…I lasted five whole minutes, and I thought that was damn impressive.

It was later in the day when it stopped being fun and started being ‘I can’t fucking move‘. My bum cheeks felt like bowling balls and my arms felt like lead. On the upside, it stopped me from snacking my way though the evening because my arms refused to  follow the instructions coming down the pipe and my hand to mouth dexterity would’ve been a little shaky. I’d bought a kilo of cherries earlier in the day but I couldn’t even face the thought of lifting up the cherry pitter so they stayed in the fridge and I stayed in my armchair.

I tried to shake the duvet down when I went to bed last night but my attempt was so utterly feeble that I chose instead to sleep the night covered by a handkerchief-sized bit of duvet cover while 90% of my duvet lay bunched up in the opposite corner. To be fair, those battle ropes have probably put me out of any duvet-shaking activity for the next month at least.

However. It hurt, but it was supposed to hurt. My fitness has gone backwards in the last six months, and nobody said clawing it back was going to be easy, did they? Apparently though, my muscles have memory so they should in theory be able to get their shit together fairly quickly providing I turn up to workout and try hard. So I’m going to turn up at least three times a week, and I know once I’m in there I’ll be grand. Between that, and the swimming I reckon my goal is do-able.

Those fucking stairs though…

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