Tag Archives: blowing the budget

Two Things Have Happened…

There’s something distinctly weird happening in my head at the moment. This probably won’t come as a big surprise to those of you who’ve raised an eyebrow here and there over the last 18 months at some of the titter and shit that has tumbled onto this very page…lets be honest, weird stuff happening in my head is not unusual in itself. But when I say weird, I mean different.

I’m used to feeling like I have to dodge bullets on a regular basis. You all know that I regard myself as a food addict, right? Dieting is a challenge for anyone, but if you have a food addiction and you’re trying to lose weight, you are locked into a constant battle. It’s a never-ending negotiation with your own head over what you’re allowed to have, when you’re allowed to have it, and most importantly how much of it is the right amount to have.

And it’s relentless because even after the decision is made I find my asshole voice coming in hard with a rear-guard action trying to re-negotiate. Let’s be honest, what is generally considered amongst normal folk to be the right amount looks to me like it wouldn’t feed a sparrow and the injustice of not having a plate that would feed a small army leaves me seething with resentment. It’s exhausting.

Of late however, it’s felt different. Calmer somehow. And I don’t know that it’s got anything to do with being in the sweet spot, I mean I was fully locked and loaded into the sweet spot when I started this diet eighteen months ago,  for the first few months I didn’t put a foot wrong in terms of eating more than my allocated food budget but the Asshole voice was in constant communication with my willpower and it was tested on an hourly basis. Now, not so much so.

The difference? I’ve more or less excluded sugar from my diet. It’s the only thing I can put my finger on, you know? And before you worry that I’m going to turn into one of these evangelistic preachy teachy kind of bloggers who tells you what to do and how to do it, I’m not, I swear. This blog hasn’t ever been about that, it’s always been more about sharing what’s going on in my head as I try and navigate the path to Skinny Town. But it makes you think, doesn’t it?

I’ve always said that for me, I can stick to my food plan providing I can have the odd treat so I don’t feel deprived. Except my odd treat was way way out of balance with the rest of my diet. I could stick to a daily points allowance, but let’s say I had 35 points to go at, I’d start with the crap and work my way back, you know?

If I count two Mars Bars at 24 points, that means I have 11 points to spend on proper food…fruit for breakfast which is free, salad for lunch which is free and then maybe chicken for supper with a mountain of vegetables which are also free, so I get that stuffed fit to bust feeling but I can still ‘relax’ and eat two Mars Bars because technically I’m not doing anything wrong, right? I stayed within points and look at this innocent face…

Except, having eaten two Mars Bars – or hob-nobs or Daim cake or whatever, it could have been anything – I’d still feel deprived, because two wasn’t three and there were more in the fridge which I wasn’t allowed to have. And having got the taste for them, often the ones in the fridge for another day wouldn’t survive the night because I’d pay forward my food budget then wake up the next day and sulk because I was going to have to live on dust for the rest of the week.

That’s all gone. I’m 61 days food sober, and I haven’t eaten chocolate, or cookies, or crisps, or anything with refined sugar in it except things like maybe low-fat salad cream which has a trace element. Nothing processed that has added sugar, just lots of fresh food. And two things have happened.

The cravings have stopped dead. I’m no longer tortured by the relentless need to eat something sweet. If I haven’t eaten one of something, I don’t crave a second or a third, and I’m no longer even bothered by the thought of it. I mean…this is me we’re talking about. The other thing is I’ve stopped seething with resentment at the fact that I’m on on this journey to begin with.

You can’t help wondering, can you? I started this whole clean eating thing as a bit of an experiment, but actually I have a feeling it’s morphed into a bit of a game changer for me…I’m just going with it, I mean why wouldn’t I? The prospect of not living the rest of my life as a slave to my drug of choice is blowing my mind 🙂

 

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Popping My Own Balloon

It’s funny you know, the vastly different perspectives you gain as you look at your weight-loss journey from a number of different viewpoints along the way. Having emerged from the sugar haze otherwise known as Christmas, I can clearly see that’s exactly what I was surrounded by over the holidays…a sugar haze. If I have to give it my best guess, I reckon a good half of the food in my house over the festive season contained a small mountain of all the wrong things.

Now, I’ve got to take accountability for putting that food in my cupboards in the first place, I know that. I was accompanied on my Christmas food shop by the Asshole voice, like some  naughty child running amok and threatening tantrums left and right unless the trolley filled up with naughties.

The scale of my muppetry was significant…bear in mind that my boy was only off work on Christmas day, my mum is the size of a sparrow with an appetite to match and I’m on a diet. The supermarkets were only closed for one day and yet despite all the above, by the time I’d unpacked my booty I struggled to close my floor-to-ceiling fridge and my cupboards were bursting. All because I lost control on that one shopping expedition.

It wasn’t even bad planning. I’d intended to write a list and stick to it, somewhere around 3am on the night before Christmas eve. I always do that given that our supermarket opens 24 hours a day and at that time it’s usually just me and the people who work there filling up the shelves ready for the last-minute onslaught. There are no crowds and checkout is painless…it’s a stroke of genius and I’ve done it for at least the last 10 years.

Except this year, I called in at a different supermarket the day before my planned trip, on the way from taking mum to a hospital appointment. I hadn’t even written my list, and I’d intended to pick up one specific item. The aisles were surprisingly free of people, the shelves were full and they were playing Christmas music…before I knew it me and my mum were in full swing, ooo’ing and ahh’ing over anything that looked tasty and gleefully lobbing it in the trolley. And it was all downhill from there.

I don’t want to re-hash the food disasters all over again, we’ve shut the door on Christmas 2016 now and it’s a shiny new year…I’m using the example only to illustrate how looking back now, from my New-Year-new-start perspective I can clearly see where the wheels came off. And on some level, whilst I must have known it spelled D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R, not to mention disrespecting all the effort I’d spent losing pounds over the preceding months, I didn’t care. In the moment my perspective was very different.

I’m going to pick at the concept of self-sabotage in a bit more detail as I make my way through January. I remember way back in the early days of my diet writing a blog post called Part Woman, Part Ostrich which resonated with such a lot of you when you read it. I don’t think it would hurt me to look back on some of the posts from around that time…I was doing a lot of writing – and reflecting – and it helped. I have form, in terms of getting so far down the road then popping the balloon of my success with a fucking big pin and watching it blow away in the wind.

Not this time…this is day 10 folks, and it’s all good 🙂

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It Was The Mince Pie That Did It

You know, don’t you, when you wake up brimming with determination that today’s the day you’re going to tip your world the right way up again, but then you go downstairs and eat a mince pie for breakfast that the day is going to be one of those days, where the diet turns to shit before you’ve even left the house.

That mince pie totally set me off on the wrong path this morning. Thirty seconds of heaven, followed by an hour in the car on my morning commute where I sat and sulked at my stupidity, and sang along to no songs on the radio. Not even the Mariah Carey All I Want For Christmas song, during which I normally am Mariah Carey for that brief moment in time, usually at the very top of my lungs.

To add insult to injury, I lifted said mince pie out of its foil jacket on the kitchen counter, right next to my new bathroom scales which are sitting on the counter top impassively – we haven’t eyeballed each other yet – waiting to be programmed. Oh yes that’s right, programmed. User one, name ‘fat knacker’. When I figure out which buttons to press I have to enter my height and my age so it can ruin my day in a bells and whistles kind of way by reporting not only my weight but also my BMI and my water content, although how it knows that is anybody’s guess. I already know we’re not going to see eye to eye.

For the first time today, the Asshole voice tested the water by suggesting that I start again on the first Monday in the New Year. I closed him down immediately of course, good grief if it becomes open season between now and then, I’ll be lumbering into January with some serious regained poundage clinging to my arse. No doubt about it. So I’ll just carry on having these exhausting daily negotiations inside my own head about whether I should/shouldn’t/can/can’t/will/won’t eat whatever the fuck I want.

I know I’ve put more weight on. I can feel it on my body. I just don’t know how much because although my new scales arrived last Wednesday they remain in virgin un-stood-on condition. I tried to programme my details in but it didn’t do what the booklet said it would do when I pressed whatever I was supposed to press, so I gave up immediately and decided to try again later. It’s now eight days later and I’ve just not quite worked my way around to having another go.

Avoidance tactics…self-sabotage…mince pies for breakfast. I’m being a pillock.

But I’m still trying. I’m not giving up, and I’m definitely not starting over on the first Monday after New Year. I’m starting again today.

 

Have a great weekend folks…before you go, I’m delighted to share a new guest post on my Thoughts From The Posse page…thank you Jamie for sharing your story, and I’m sure you guys will pitch in with your support like you always do… 🙂

 

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Oh, Do The Hokey Cokey…

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So. Excuse the brief hiatus, it’s been a busy few days and the asshole voice has scored a couple more direct hits since that confident proclamation that I’ve got this now because I’m back in the zone. Back in the zone my arse. I’m in the zone in a very Hokey Cokey kind of fashion since I’m in, out and then I’m fucking shaking it all about.

Four good days followed by two bad, followed by two good and three bad…that’s kind of how it’s panning out. I’m shitting my pants about having to stand on the scales and look God of Pain in the eye next time I’m summoned into the back room for a chat, because I know I’m going to get the bollocking I deserve. What’s wrong with me??

How can I be so solid in my resolve one minute and then throw it all away the next? Thursday last week was a classic example of fucked-upness. I’d had a good day, then I’d been to the gym and done an hour’s circuit training yet all the way home in the car I was wrestling with myself over whether I should, or should not eat a Mars Bar. I was desperate for one, and annoyingly I had to pass the corner shop on the way to my house.

I’d convinced myself I was going to pull over right up until the moment I approached the bend in the road where the shop is, and somehow I managed to keep the pedal to the metal and drive past. Victory, right? Yeah, you’d think. I can’t have been in the house ten minutes before I texted my boy and asked him to pick me up a Mars Bar on his way home. Like an ejit.

Friday was a really bad day, Saturday was less so but not perfect and yesterday was also not perfect…that was a blow given that Sunday’s are my reboot day. I did avoid a lot of temptation – I’ve been away this weekend staying with my friend and it was the Living North Christmas fair which I’ve talked about with you guys before.

I managed not to eat my own body weight in samples from the food hall, and I found these awesome treats which were a bit like skinny walnut whips just without the walnuts. The lady on the stall made a big fuss about the fact there was only seventy calories in each one, and that’s great you know, except I ate six of them. So, not that great then.

Today I’ve woken up feeling cross with myself and frustrated at being a week beyond my ‘it’s all okay now’ post and clearly still very much not okay but I do have renewed determination that it will be. Again. I’ve been trying to write the blog post about crossing the finish line in Cuba but my words are getting stuck and I can’t seem to do the moment justice.

So you guys lucked out eh? Instead of getting the last instalment of my epic story you’ve ended up listening to me banging on about what a shit few days I’ve had…sorry about that. I’m standing in the naughty corner, thinking about what I’ve done.

I haven’t given up. I’m totally hanging in here. Stick with me, I need you lot more than ever right now 😖

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This Wasn’t Part Of The Plan

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Well, yesterday’s post really struck a chord with you lot, and I’ll tell you what else, it reconfirmed to me that I’m not alone in this journey. I’m not the only one who has an asshole living inside my head and just because I argue with myself about whether I should or shouldn’t go/do/eat/work out it doesn’t make me a freak of nature. I’m normal. It’s irritating but it doesn’t mean the men in white coats need to come and cart me off.

Back in the early days when I first started writing, I remember feeling a bit guilty because my growing band of subscribers weren’t getting much drama out of my journey. I was locked and loaded into that sweet spot, and temptation crumbled to dust once it hit my orbit…it barely even registered in the early days. I ignored naughties of all descriptions whilst I was busy tipping out the contents of my head for examination. Life was easy, you know?

Now it feels like all you get is drama. I’m walking a tightrope and to say I’m wobbling all over the place is an understatement. I felt less isolated and a lot less scared once I’d talked about my post-trek struggle to stay focused because so many of you reached out to say it’s okay…it’s a thing. I felt reassured, but to be honest that’s starting to wear a bit thin now…I’m still wobbling and it’s pissing me right off.

Take yesterday for example – I’d arranged to meet a colleague at the motorway services so I could leave my car there and travel with him to a team meeting. I nipped in to pay for my parking and the lady behind the counter offered me a big bar of chocolate for a pound. As I was shaking my head and saying no, I noticed it was Daim chocolate and my pound was in her till before my head even had time to process the fact that I’d walked out with my parking receipt in one hand and a bar of chocolate in the other.

All the way down to the meeting I convinced myself that I’d offer the chocolate to everyone else and by the time I’d gone around the table there wouldn’t be enough left for it to put a significant dint in my diet. So boys and girls, let’s have a pop quiz.

How many squares of chocolate did my team eat? No Squares. And how many squares of chocolate did I eat? All the fucking squares. I know. That wasn’t in the plan. Neither was the posh fish finger sandwich at the local pub at lunchtime, accompanied by my second lot of cheesy chips in a week. I did have the good grace to go to bed without supper last night but I’m very sure that I weighed more when I went to bed than I did when I woke up yesterday morning. Two steps forward and two steps back again.

The thing is, this time last year, you couldn’t have paid me enough money to make me take a square of chocolate, and I would have faced a firing squad before considering a cheesy chip. I would have happily sat there and watched all my team eat cheesy chips without batting an eyelid, because I was on the road to Skinny Town and nothing was knocking me into the ditch, right? My resolve was cast-iron, rock-solid, and at least ten times more watertight than a duck’s backside. Now..? Now I’m a pushover in the battle for supremacy between me and the asshole in my head…I feel like I’m on the ropes.

And I’m terrified. What if I’ve lost it? I mean I know I’ve lost it momentarily, but what if I can’t find it again? This wasn’t supposed to happen. I can live with the odd bit of drama but for fucks sake there are limits…it’s turning into an almost daily occurrence.

I get lots of mail from people who’ve hit the skids and don’t know how to claw their way back into that sweet spot. I hear you sistahs…I’m right there in a heap with you. We’ll just have to help each other figure this shit out.

I’m not giving up…not in this lifetime. Today’s a new day and anyone who tries to wave a cheesy chip under my nose is going down. That is all 🙂

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