Tag Archives: blowing the budget

Has Anyone Seen My Spear?

I’m still in the hole.

On Sunday I managed to reset, and I went to bed feeling like a food survivor. I was pre-occupied with the thought of food all day but although I succumbed to the trifle, I trod carefully and acted like I had mud stripes on my forehead and a spear in my hand…I was a warrior, digging in and ready to fight one food battle at a time.

Monday was going to be my sugar-free ground zero, remember? It was a great plan, only I accepted a piece of apple cake at my Godmother’s wake, which had been baked by one of her good friends. Her friend’s need to find comfort through feeding people fitted hand-in-glove with my need to seek comfort in eating what she’d baked. The scones were good too, in case you’re wondering.

At that point I dropped my spear, and it was all downhill from there. As if the apple cake and the scone hadn’t done enough damage, my boy and I had promised to take mum out for lunch afterwards, and although I’d deliberately suggested eating at a great restaurant which has one of my favourite healthy menus, I went and ordered a dirty great gourmet burger with sweet potato fries, which wasn’t helpful.

I had a word with myself, and agreed to forgive the false start on the basis that Monday had been a particularly emotional and difficult day, and maybe I’d expected too much of myself under the circumstances. I made a new plan to start over on Tuesday.

Which I did. And it was all going really well until I hit lunchtime, when the wheels came off again. I allowed myself to be seduced by the idea of eating the same as the girls in the office who were visiting a local deli to pick up something good, and I almost broke my neck to join in. That, together with the five cookies I ate mid-afternoon meant I hit suppertime with barely any calories left in the bank, and bang on cue another fuck it moment happened when I went all out and cooked a calorie-laden supper for me and my boy.

Followed by ice-cream.

I’m going through the motions of saying I’ll reset again today. Except already I can hear the Asshole in my head pissing himself laughing at my intention to win back the upper hand. Whatever, whatever, whateverlet’s see you try, bitch.

I know where the booby traps are. I have to travel up to Scotland this afternoon on business. Three hours each way on a train with a trolly service and a buffet car, and I’m overnighting in a hotel with a room service menu. It’s got fucking disaster written all over it and I feel massively, helplessly out of control.

I’m home late tomorrow and then…then I’ll have a golden window of opportunity to reset the dial properly, since I’m going to be forced down the road of nil-by-mouth from twelve o’clock midnight.

My knee surgery happens on Friday morning. I imagine when I wake up afterwards I’ll feel as rough as toast due to the anaesthetic, which usually knocks me sick and I won’t feel much like eating. Nor will I be able to drive, so hobbling to the shops to buy Haagen Dazs isn’t going to be one of my options. So, here’s the plan.

When I get back tomorrow evening I’ll do a healthy food shop, which I’ll be stuck with until I’m mobile again. And that might take a while. There’s no point in asking my boy to bring me naughties since I have already formally appointed him as the fun police and no matter what tactics I might wheel out he’ll point blank refuse to help me wrap my chops around anything I shouldn’t be eating.

This isn’t me giving myself licence to throw caution to the wind for the next forty eight hours by the way…if I can find my spear, I’ll crack on with the business of being a warrior. All I’m saying is, if I can’t there’s a plan B.

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Coming Home To Roost.

I had to take my mum to the fracture clinic at the hospital on Monday. I swear, her right arm looks like it belongs to a six foot tall navy blue body builder, it’s so swollen and bruised. My mum is tiny, I mean she can’t weigh more than about eighty pounds, so right now it probably outweighs all her other limbs put together. The doctor was fairly happy with her progress though, so I feel a bit more able to breathe, and a bit less strung out.

By the time we’d done the rounds of doctor/more x-rays/doctor/made-to-measure-sling lady, almost four hours had passed, and we were starving. Actually, that’s not strictly true… I was starving. Mum doesn’t have much of an appetite these days, and she’s so fed up at the moment she probably wouldn’t have even noticed if we’d skipped a meal. Like that would ever happen on my watch, right?

We agreed it would be nice to eat lunch together in the hospital canteen, which has a fabulous salad bar. I parked mum up at a table in her borrowed wheelchair and went back to join the line. Boxed salad for me, tuna sandwich for mum. Oh, and the puddings…sugar free jelly for me, and an off-the-chart awesome hand-made coconut slice with jam and pastry for mum. Oh my god, that coconut slice looked so moist I could’ve wrung it out, no doubt about it. There were about ten slices on the cake stand, and I wanted to lick every single one of them as I walked past.

Now, picture the scene. Mum, after half a tuna sandwich, was feeling quite full, and she didn’t want the coconut slice. She wanted the jelly. I may or may not have been able to predict that scenario in advance on account of the fact that 1) mum really loves jelly and 2) she’s not really that big on coconut.

Buying it was okay though, right? Look at this innocent face…it wasn’t for me. It was a treat for my mum. Except if I’d paid attention to what was really going on as I handed over eleven pounds thirty for my tray full of booty, I would have known immediately that the jelly was for mum and the coconut slice was for me. Of course it fucking was.

I tried to sigh and look disappointed, as I agreed mum could have my sugar-free jelly. I was prepared to let it go and take one for the team, or at least that’s what I was desperately trying to make my face say as my insides started breakdancing behind the scenes at the thought of all the coconut and pastry and jam that was coming my way.

I ate it. I ate every last moist coconutty crumb, and I’m here to tell you I was transported to heaven and back again right there in the canteen. It was the most awesome thing I’ve ever tasted. What I wanted to do was go buy the rest of them. Every last succulent slice. But I didn’t…I stopped at just the one.

And you know what, stopping at one is fine, I mean yey…go me.  Except one is all it took to tip me into dieting quicksand. Let’s face it, it was always going to, wasn’t it? That generous slice of heaven was loaded with sugar, and now I’m loaded with sugar, which means my inner sat-nav is trying to steer me towards disasterville. Again.

Sunday was so-so. Monday’s coconut slice was compounded by an un-calorie-counted chilli for supper, and yesterday there was an incident with an unplanned frittata at lunchtime, not to mention delaying tactics at the office engineered by yours truly which pretty much guaranteed I’d miss the exercise class I’d been planning to go to.

That’s the sound of wobbly wheels right there…looks like my anxiety is coming home to roost in the form of self-sabotage. Just for a change.

Today is a new day. It was just a blip. I’m not putting pressure on myself to be perfect.

Yes, you are…

No. I’m really not.

It happened, get over it and move on, right?


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On Guard Against The Afters

So, I’m reliably informed that The Afters are coming for me, which is what Vickie calls it when you’re past the crisis and the urge to go rogue sneaks up on you without warning. I’m taking no chances. I might not have expected it, but that four pound loss on Sunday was hard-won, especially  when you consider it in the context of what was happening in my life last week, right? I’m doubly determined that the fuck-up fairy is not going to creep up behind me and make off with those four pounds like a thief in the night. So I’m on guard, 24/7 against myself.

I can feel her lurking. I had a bad day on Monday when the reality of life without one of my special people started to bite, and by mid afternoon I’d eaten breakfast lunch and dinner, with a handful of snacks thrown in for good measure. I was at least six hundred calories over my daily budget. I managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by forcing myself to cycle down to the Kingdom of Pain and back – a very hilly eight mile round trip – and doing an hours’ worth of boxing whilst I was there. I brought it home on the nose, but only just…it was a close call.

I did a similar thing yesterday. By late afternoon I was in deficit, having eaten a big lunch and grazed through the afternoon. It was another tough day and seeing my mum so broken and missing her friend sent me hurtling towards Snacksville at warp speed. I pulled it back by going to an unplanned circuit training session last night, which meant that I ended the day with a few calories in the bank but again it felt like I was teetering on the edge.

Today, I’m determined that I’m not going to dance to the tune of that same upside-down fuckery. I’m done with the white knuckle ride. I am working out tonight, but I’m determined to walk through the doors of the Kingdom of Pain with a dinner’s worth of calories ring-fenced in the bank for afterwards. That means dinner and any additional healthy treats can come when I’ve earned them rather than spending my food budget up ahead on tick, and having to sweat my way back from the cliff edge.

I’m exhausted. For the last few nights, any hope of sleep has disappeared as soon as my head hits the pillow. I’m worried about my mum, who’s elderly and very fragile, and not in the best of health herself. I’m trying to sort out a funeral and I’m worried about holding it together long enough on that day so I can deliver a eulogy which is worthy of my Godmother. Most of all I’m grieving. It’s a killer combination and it’s fucking grim trying to hold it all together full stop, you know?

When food has always been your person, or the blanket that you wrap yourself up in whenever life takes a pot shot, finding a new way of processing stuff which doesn’t involve medicating with food sucks till the end of time. Despite logic telling me that five family bags of cheese balls and a Daim cake wouldn’t actually make me feel any better, it doesn’t stop me from wanting to give it my best shot. I won’t go there, but for the love of God I want to.

I just keep telling myself that this too will pass.

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Friends With Benefits

You know how sometimes, you listen to someone wittering on about something, and you want to shake them and turn the mirror round so they can have a good look, and see what you see? Usually that they’re talking shite and the problem is closer to home than they’re prepared to acknowledge, am I right?  Yeah, well that was me on Monday.

I don’t know what’s changed between Monday and now, but I re-read the post yesterday when I was catching up with all your messages, and all I could hear was one big whinge. Poor me, I’m such a victim, I’m trying so hard and it’s not my fault…holy moly what did I sound like. I never play the victim role, but I was definitely trying it on for size wasn’t I? Sorry about that, I feel suitably sheepish. In fact, I feel like a dick.

I’m haven’t really hit a plateau, have I? My recent inertia stems more from the two steps forward and four steps back school of muppetry. I had an email from a lady who suggested I was probably not being honest with myself about what I was eating, and after I’d swallowed my initial response – which may or may not have included a bit of salty language even by my standards – my indignation prompted me to hold the mirror up to myself and take a good long look.

Fuck’s sake. She wasn’t wrong. Looking objectively, I had to acknowledge a bunch of stuff.

There are some things I’m doing really well. I tip out all my thoughts and feelings, and pick the bones of them with those of you who are kind enough to listen three times every week, and that’s what’s helped me achieve longevity on this journey. No way would I still have skin in the game after six hundred and fifty eight days on a diet if you lot hadn’t lent me your ears. I feel supported, and I’d hope those of you on your own journey to Skinny Town feel supported in these pages too. So we got that down, right?

I’m broadly happy with my food plan. Well, as much as I’m ever going to be. Between you and me, I am bored to the back bollocks of counting points, but last week’s switch to No Count has given me a shiny new toy to play with and I’m doing okay. So I can tick that box too.

So, the basics then..? All those things that I know I should do to supplement both of the above, like drinking two or three litres of water every day, and counting points for the dressing I put on my salad, or the honey that I drizzle on my breakfast…huh, so about that… do I really use one level teaspoon’s worth…? I have no idea. I’ve never drizzled it onto a teaspoon, I mean who does that? I guess it’s probably about a teaspoon’s worth, and I count the points on that basis. That’s near enough, isn’t it?

Actually, it’s probably not enough. Not if it’s several times per week’s worth of guess work. As for water…huh. I don’t do that either. I forget, I don’t like the taste, it makes me wee a lot…blah blah blah. I rarely get even half a litre down my neck. I know I should, but I don’t. I have no excuse.

And don’t even get me started on gravy. Come on, I’m a Yorkshire girl, and gravy runs through my veins, in fact most of my meals revolve around it. It’s only since I’ve started following the No Count plan, and my points budget is much smaller,  that I’ve properly read the values again and realised that one point buys me only four tablespoons’ worth of gravy. You’re shitting me, right? I thought it meant four tablespoons’ worth of granules, so I’ve happily been sailing my food through a lake of gravy with every meal, for more than eighteen months. I want to bang my head on the table and wail.

That’s the sound of a penny dropping, right there. I feel like wearing a black armband today, since me and gravy won’t be seeing each other any more. Well, maybe from time to time, sort of like friends with benefits.

I was a bit rattled at the suggestion that I wasn’t being honest with myself, but once again I’m more grateful than I can tell you at the way you lot help me keep it real.

I’d better try harder to read the small print in future, eh 🙂



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Poking My Fat Muscle Memory

I’ll tell you what, I had a bit of a flashback on Wednesday. At the point that I wrote my last blog post I couldn’t wait to get up and at my day, given that I was starting my experiment…it felt like Christmas day and my birthday all rolled into one.

Let me rewind…for those of you not following the weight watchers diet, you probably wonder what I’m banging on about when I mention points…it’s just the way weight watchers carves up a food budget. Every food has a points value in the same way stuff has a calorie value, right? I get 34 points every day, which is a number worked out based on my weight/height/age (and that’s quite a lot because I’m still fat…the nearer I get to Skinny Town the fewer points I’ll get). In addition to that I get 42 more points to spend as and when I like throughout the week.

I don’t always use my weeklies but this experiment I’m doing to try and turbo-charge my weight loss says I should, and what’s more it says I should squash them all in mid-week. So on Wednesday when I get out of bed I was rubbing my hands together in anticipation of scoffing 76 points’ worth of food.

Imagine that. I’m a fat girl on a diet and everything I’ve done over the last 18 months has been about restricting my portion sizes. Not allowing myself to over-indulge. And yet here I am, staring down the barrel of a day where the gloves are off and it’s open season on points…I was so fucking excited I can’t even tell you.

Breakfast was all kinds of awesome. I had two slices of seeded wholemeal toast (3 points per slice) with a teaspoon of butter (2 points) and three scrambled eggs (6 points). Fourteen points for breakfast…I’ve never done that. I was working from home, and mid morning I made myself a coffee with all milk…another 4 points. Lunchtime came and went, and I wasn’t hungry but I made myself have some more toast and a bunch of grapes. 8 points including the butter.

I was seriously full. I’m up to 26 points by now, and normally I’d be panicking a bit at the prospect of only having 8 left for supper. I’d be studying my food plan intently from every angle to try and squeeze maximum mileage out of those last 8 points.

Not on Wednesday…on Wednesday I still had 50 points left in play. So I made moussaka, which is my absolute favourite thing. All fresh ingredients so it still qualified as healthy eating, except there was a fucking mountain of it. 42 points’ worth to be exact. It was a moussaka mountain.

Thing is, as I sat down in the chair, flicked on the TV and started eating, I got this flashback to a life where my world revolved around sitting in a chair with a plate piled high with moussaka, or lasagne, or whatever. It didn’t really matter back then what the hell it was, because simply eating for a long time until I was fit to burst was the attraction. A self-induced food coma, night after night.

On Wednesday, I found myself having to force myself to eat it all. It wasn’t a pleasurable experience, you know? I was uncomfortably full, and I had to keep reminding myself that I was doing it for a reason. It was an experiment. At the same time, I was equally terrified that my Asshole voice would grab a hold of this thing I was doing like some kind of fat muscle memory and start demanding a return to the life I used to live. Yes Dee! That’s IT!! Welcome back to your old life, holy CRAP how we’ve missed this!!!

I couldn’t manage 76 points…wtf is that all about? I scraped 68 and I was done. I finished the rest of my weekly points yesterday, and now I’m back to two days of basic daily points only, before weigh day on Sunday…in many more ways than I have words to describe, it’s a relief.

If I was scoffing cheese balls and Haagen Dazs, 76 points would be a breeze. I could probably do it in ten minutes based on past form. But 76 points’ worth of healthy food felt like it was going to go on until the end of time. Next week, I’ll divvy my weeklies out over three days and make sure I enjoy them. And, honestly? Right now, the fact that my old life looks less and less appealing with every step I take in the direction of Skinny Town makes me much happier than a moussaka mountain ever could 🙂

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