Tag Archives: determined

Trying It Without The Carrot

So my conversation with the Shitbird Scale yesterday provoked a miserable reaction from my face, which together with the rest of me had expected more. It gave up nothing, not a single fucking ounce. And I don’t know about you, but that feels really unfair when I’ve worked my cahoonies off to make a dink in the number of pounds I gained when I was busy being a dickhead.

Seriously, I’ve done an hour of swimming just about every day, not to mention all the physio and the walking I’ve managed to fit in. It feels like I’ve done nothing except work and work out over the last week, and I’ve stayed within my calorie limits, so there’s no wonder I feel like that foot-square piece of shitbird glass has stabbed me right in the back. I was actually expecting a fanfare and some sort of trophy for having the best week ever.

It could’ve gone two ways. You know me, setbacks on the scale have been known to send me hurtling straight to the hob-nobs. As recently as the end of July I posted a picture of my weigh-in where the number had gone in the wrong direction, and confidently declared that based on what I’ve eaten I don’t deserve this so I’m choosing to not let it mess with my head…yeah well look how well that worked out. Just about three weeks of anarchy followed because it totally messed with my head.

I’m very happy overall with the regime I’m following. I like the rhythm of counting calories now I’ve wrestled my head back into the game but I reckon I need to tinker around the edges of the numbers a bit because there’s a couple of things I’m not convinced about.

Firstly, I’m not convinced that My Fitness Pal is playing with a straight bat when it tells me I burn one thousand and ninety calories doing sixty minutes of swimming. I mean, that’s a lot, right? When I work out at the Kingdom of Pain, or I walk or get on my bike I know exactly how many calories I’m burning because the technology on my wrist updates MFP without any help from me. It just knows. And in an hour’s circuit training or boxing I generally burn somewhere around five hundred, which leaves me red-faced and half dead at the end of the session.

Swimming is different. It’s not an exact science, mainly because my watch isn’t waterproof, so I have to manually add my swimming activity from the MFP database. And much as it pains me, since I’m not in training for the next olympics I’m not convinced I can burn that many calories doing an hour of gentle breast stroke. I mean, old people overtake me as I’m pootling up and down the swim lanes dreaming about what I might scoff with the one thousand and ninety extra calories I’m racking up. Or not, as the case may be. I get out of the water feeling like I’ve worked, but I’m relaxed and nowhere near half dead.

I pottered about a bit on line yesterday and the consensus seems to be that it’s probably nearer six hundred calories an hour. Which is still awesome, but it’s not one thousand and ninety is it? So I’ve probably eaten a fair few ghost calories this week, which will almost certainly have contributed to my failure to move the needle.

Secondly, whilst I hesitate to go against God of Pain’s counsel, I’m thinking I might be better off setting my daily calorie allowance a little bit higher, but not eating the additional calories I’m earning from exercise. I’m nervous about taking away the carrot if I’m honest…the promise of earning a few thousand extra calories over the course of the week motivates me to put in the work because I know it means more food. I wonder if I’ll be able to maintain the same level of enthusiasm if I know it’s not going to result in extra portions..?

Time will tell I suppose. I’ve reset the numbers and I’m going to give it a go. There’s too much effort going into all this for me to just stand still, right?

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Moving Forward With Belt And Braces

So I went back to see my surgeon on Friday, and he’s delighted with my progress. I’m on target for a 100% successful outcome which is the stuff that dreams are made of, right? Especially when you consider that for the last four years I’ve had a red-hot poker residing inside my knee. He showed me some before and after pictures which were taken during the surgery, and you’d never even know from the inside that it’s a fat knee. It’s a thing of beauty.

And now it’s my turn. My part of the deal is to strengthen my quad muscles by committing to physio and lots of exercise. And I’m all over that, even though when I proudly demonstrated to him how strong my knee was getting as I straightened it out, he looked me in the eye and said do more, like I’d barely even got started. I wonder if he’s related to the God of Pain?

I feel like I have worked really hard, this last week. I can’t manage the usual off-road walk that I do with Charlie dog yet, but I am up to almost three miles on even ground before anything starts feeling sore, and that’s awesome when you think it’s only actually a shade over two weeks since I had the surgery.

One thing he did say, was that my kneecap has been pulled off-centre because the muscles are slightly more well-developed down one side of my leg. Apparently that’s because I’ve been limping for the last four years and favouring a certain way of planting my left leg on the floor. Who knew! I mean, I know I’ve hobbled a bit when it’s been really sore but it must have been subtle but constant and I didn’t even realise.

Which, when you think about it is a lot like living a really fat life. When I look back, there were things I used to have to do to compensate for being fat, like rubbing moisturiser into one foot using the other foot, because I couldn’t reach down that far, or doing my ironing sitting down because it hurt too much to stand up. It became the kind of normal that I adapted to and stopped noticing, even though it wasn’t normal at all, exactly like my wonky walk.

I can go back to the Kingdom of Pain in another two weeks, but in the meantime I’ve taken out a second gym membership which gives me access to a network of leisure centres, where I can swim as often as I like and do aqua-fit classes, as well as a bunch of other stuff. I’ve done loads of water-based activity over the last few days which has really helped my arse to disengage from the armchair.

I can generally only manage three sessions with the God of Pain over the course of a week, because the fixed schedule of his classes and limited weekend opening times together with my long commute to and from work make it difficult to squeeze in more. This way I get the best of both worlds, because there’ll always be something going on somewhere that I can do.

It’s a kind of belt and braces approach, but I’m ready to take the last quarter of 2017 by storm…I am on it. I’ve got five days’ worth of food sobriety under my belt and after snatching victory back from the jaws of defeat I’m feeling great. I’ve evicted four and a half of those re-gained pounds from my pants this week, which was exactly the boost I needed.

I was gently reminded that not having a specific goal to strive for makes me drift a bit, so I’m planning to hit 215lbs by Christmas. I badly wanted to say Onederland by New Year but I think that’s a stretch too far…26lbs by Christmas feels do-able.

So…let’s crack on, there’s work to be done 🙂

Talking of Onederland, if you follow Nic’s Shitbird Page, you’ll see she sashayed into Onederland on Saturday, just before she flew out to Greece for her holidays…that’s 151lbs lost and I am so damn chuffed for her!

And don’t forget, if you’d like your own Shitbird page, all you have to do is tell me…the accountability definitely helps to glue your feet to the sweet spot!!

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Fighting Like An Alley Cat


So it’s too soon to hang out the flags, but I think I’ve managed to claw my way back into the game. My food sobriety is fragile, but after a couple more false starts it’s now seen two sun-downs. I’m feeling better. Calmer. I wish I knew why, I mean I haven’t done anything differently than I did on all those other days where I set off with the same steely determination then crashed and burned. Well, apart from not crashing or burning, obviously.

Somehow, on Wednesday I just held it together. And I managed to do the same again yesterday. It wasn’t without challenge…stocking up in the supermarket, the words just give yourself today and start again on weigh day were chanted at me over and over by the Asshole voice but I fought like an alley cat, and I didn’t give in.

It’s a complete head-fuck of course. I’m almost afraid to breathe, as I wait for the hammer to fall again and shatter my new-found resolve. Life would be much simpler if I could get even the smallest clue as to what it is that tips me in or out without warning, you know?

Wrestling my head back into the game has been harder than ever this time and I really struggled to get under the skin of why. I know I’ve had a tough time over the last few weeks but it feels like a cop-out using that as an excuse…life is always going to get in the way. There’s a difference between cutting myself a bit of slack, and throwing in the towel altogether isn’t there? The thing is, a fair weather recovery is no use to me, because sooner or later life is going to pepper my path with shit. Shit happens.

As I’ve reflected on how badly the wheels came off this time, I replayed some of the conversations I had with the God of Pain towards the end of last year, when he began to appreciate just how deep-rooted my issues with food really were. At the time, I was stepping in and out of my food plan like the flaming hokey cokey, and he nailed me one day in an impromptu counselling session, cleverly disguised as a bollocking.

We talked, not just about my go-to foods and my triggers but about the environment I was in when the binges happened. Where I was, who I was with, what I was doing…all of it.

He helped me to see that if I were to stand any chance at all of breaking the cycle, it was no good removing just one of the elements, you know? They all had to go because it wasn’t just about the food. My head would make associations with places and situations, and those subliminal associations would be powerful enough to undermine my food sobriety. Annihilate it, actually.

So sitting for hours on end in my big fat reclining chair, watching TV on my own was a no-no…it put me squarely in the danger zone, even without a bag of snacks because over the last seven years or so that’s where most of the magic happened.

In the first few months of this year, when I was refined sugar-free and completely in control of my eating, I barely went near the chair or the TV. I made sure that I was too busy.

So, let’s think about that. Where have I spent most of the last two weeks whilst I’ve been recuperating and resting my knee..? Yep…feet up in the chair. On my own, with just the TV for company. That’s a bit like leading a reformed but wobbly crack addict back into the crack den, just without the crack.

I’m all of a sudden inclined to be a bit more forgiving of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s okay…the car crash that greets me when I hop aboard the Shitbird Scale tells it’s own story. But I do begin to see how all the events of the last few weeks came together and created a shit storm that has been really bloody tough to navigate.

But I’m still here, right? I might have fallen down a lot but I never stopped wanting to get back up. And I’m not claiming it as a victory, not yet. My whole focus is on one day at a time. I’m walking better and further. I’m putting in the hard yards with my physio and although my knee was sore yesterday, I’m going to have good days and bad days as I push myself towards a full recovery.

That doesn’t just apply to my knee.

But I’m out of the chair. And watch out day three, I’m coming to get ya 🙂

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Full Of Good Intentions

So the Shitbird scale pulled a mean trick on me yesterday morning by declaring pretty much a 3lb gain. I don’t think I deserved it, and to be honest I’m not even sure I believe it but what I do know is that I’m not obsessing about it. At one point it would have ruined my whole day, but thankfully my fuck you yesterday was directed towards the scale, and not the diet.

As it happens, I didn’t have a textbook week. I set off with the intention of being above reproach after the creative accounting shenanigans of the week before. We’ve all been there, right? Sunday dawned and my intentions were whiter than white but it felt like a proper uphill slog all week. It’s not like I didn’t know trouble was coming…I even stood up and told you how niftily I was going to sidestep The Afters but I guess it’s not the first time that my intentions have been a bit more impressive than my execution.

That said, although I was at the top end of my calorie budget most days – and some days I pinched calories from Peter to pay Paul – at worst I should have maybe stayed the same. I didn’t deserve to get shunted three steps in the wrong direction so I’m writing it off as water retention or hormones or something. Stupid shitbird scale. It hasn’t dinted my determination but back-sliding does make everything feel just a tiny harder, don’t you think?

Life is slowly turning the right way up again after all the upset of the last couple of weeks. My Godmother’s funeral is taking place next Monday, which has felt like an awfully long time to wait. I’m on at least draft number ten of the eulogy that I’ll read on the day but you know what, it’s been very cathartic delving into all the memories I have of her and deciding which ones I’d like to share. It’s helped, but I’ll still be glad when it’s over.

On Friday I got the results from the MRI scan I had to have on my dodgy knee. I don’t even think I mentioned it to you, there’s been so much else going on and seriously, it feels like all I’ve done over the last few weeks is moan about one thing or another. To cut a long story short, after three months of physio I knew my knee still wasn’t right, and the MRI scan confirmed it. I have a complex tear in the cartilage which is going to need surgery, and I think it’ll be scheduled for the end of next week.

What a royal fucking pain in the ass that is. It’s the very last thing I need at the moment, but the problem is I’m not allowed to fly for eight weeks after the surgery and I have a holiday coming up in October, so the surgeon has a bee in his bonnet about it having to be done in the next couple of weeks.

I’m a bit freaked out about it if I’m honest. On Saturday I had the best time, out cycling with friends and I had no pain in my knee at all so I started questioning whether it was even necessary. But then there are so many days where it gives me hell, and there are at least a couple of classes down at the Kingdom of Pain that I’m not allowed to do because my knee isn’t strong enough, so I don’t think I have a choice really. C’est la vie. Better done and out of the way I guess, although I am shitting myself. I admit it, I’m a wuss.

I’m determined to hit this week hard. She says, having woken up this morning with two of yesterday’s nut bars pre-loaded onto today’s food budget…here we go again, with the good intentions.

Whoops 🙂

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The Killer Question

Do you ever shake your head in wonder at the food-related situations you find yourself in?  I do. I found myself in a face-off with a freezer full of ice-cream lollies on Saturday. My feet ground to a halt in the middle of the supermarket in what felt like an act of betrayal, and I probably stood and stared at that freezer for a good ten minutes.

Earlier in the week my friend had included a picture of a raspberry magnum amongst the holiday pictures she’d shared on social media, and I’d made a jokey comment underneath the photo about how I’d once eaten six of them in one sitting. That was true, in fact it happened during my last four day binge and if I close my eyes I can still taste them.

Now, you’ve got to remember that my head was up my arse for a significant chunk of last week, and that perfectly innocuous picture seemed to fire the starting pistol for my tastebuds. Every day since, I’ve been lusting after a raspberry magnum like a dog on heat, and fantasising about beating my personal best by going for seven, or maybe even eight. It was just one in a long line of assaults that the Asshole voice made towards my food sobriety at the back end of last week…it was relentless.

The thing is, when I’m in the grip of an urge to binge, it’s very easy to convince myself that as soon as I’ve eaten whatever it is that I’m fantasising about I’ll be okay, you know? You’re going to cave at some point, so quit with the pathetic attempts at resistance. Just get it out of the way. Fill your boots now and then you can move on…

It never works out like that though, does it? I don’t know about you, but once I’ve got the taste for something, I’m screwed. That’s why I very rarely have a one-incident binge.

How can I even describe what the urge to binge feels like, to a regular person? It’s like a massive build-up of pressure, which in that moment I am utterly convinced can only be relieved by shutting myself away and pushing all the things I shouldn’t be eating into my face. I’ve heard people who self-harm talk about how slicing into their skin with a blade somehow relieves the pressure which is building up inside, and I guess binge-eating is different but the same. It’s certainly followed by all the same emotions…guilt, shame, the whole fucking nine yards. I might not carry self-harm scars on my body per se, but I do have a double arse inside my pants for remarkably similar reasons.

In the ten minutes I stood rooted to the floor in front of that freezer, with the pressure of the last few days threatening to blow like a volcano out of my ears, I literally clung on to food sobriety by my fingertips. I even had hold of the freezer door at one point.

Is this me making a conscious decision then, to choose fat over skinny? That’s the killer question, because if I reach for that box, whether I admit it or not, I’m choosing to wake up heavier tomorrow than I am today. 

That argument swung it, in the end because…well, it’s true isn’t it? Nobody ever ate seven raspberry magnums and woke up skinny the next day. So I didn’t go there. Somehow, I let go of the freezer door. My feet started moving again, and I walked away. Isn’t it evil, the way your mind can manipulate a memory…in the grip of it, I didn’t recall the bilious bloated day-after effect because I was mentally blinkered and could only focus in glorious technicolour on how they tasted.

I did buy a box of peanut bars from the healthy snacks section, and ate every last one of them. But they weren’t raspberry magnums…they weren’t even close to being that naughty. And yesterday I rebooted, and had a textbook day without incident.

One more pound gone this week despite everything, and I can live with that… especially after an obscene amount of healthy peanut bars which, in those numbers probably weren’t that healthy at all.

I’m back at work today, and I’d be really grateful if we could all just keep our fingers crossed that this week passes without incident 🙂

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