Tag Archives: determined

A Pinch Of Common Sense

Monday was a really fun day. My work colleagues and I escaped from the office and spent the day hanging out together doing non work-related team building stuff, and as luck would have it, our day out fell on one of the hottest days of the year. I couldn’t help thinking, as we sat in under the shade of a big tree next to York Minster, just how lucky I was.

We landed in one of the local restaurants for lunch, and as I looked at the menu I could feel myself starting to get a bit anxious. I mean don’t get me wrong, it was a fabulous menu but there was no calorie details to be found anywhere. I even googled the name of the restaurant but despite scrolling through website after website promising nutritional details of every menu in the western hemisphere, I turned up a complete blank.

You know what I’m like…stuff has to be perfect. I’m either all in or all out and there’s no middle ground, so the thought of not being able to play by the rules of My Fitness Pal by logging the exact number of calories in my lunch freaked me out more than a little bit. I had to get over myself and navigate my food choices with a pinch of common sense, you know?

Garlic mushrooms for an appetiser, and don’t eat the bread or the sauce. Chicken for main, hold the fancy potatoes cooked in cheese and cream, and just give me green beans instead. I still had to estimate calories because I couldn’t weigh anything, but it was an educated guess based on the best food choices I could make out of what was on offer. And that’s just life, right? It can’t always be perfect.

I’m going to have to get used to it in any event, because I’m going on holiday tomorrow and I’ll be nowhere near a set of kitchen scales for the next week. My friend and I are going to Umbria in Italy, otherwise known as the land of pizza, pasta and ice-cream…I mean really, shoot me now.

As I explained to a very dubious looking God of Pain before my boxing session this morning, I am going to stick to some broad principles. There’s a gym, and my exercise gear will be coming with me so I can fit an hour in every day. We’re staying on a half board basis, and I don’t know whether it’s a buffet (in which case that’s fine I can make grown-up choices) or whether we get served whatever they’ve cooked (which might be a bit more of a challenge) but either way I am planning to remain refined-sugar free and go easy on the carbs.

I’m assuming there will be Wi-Fi…if not, since the hotel is an old restored castle perched on top of a hill there should be a decent phone signal, so I can continue to log my exercise and my food in MFP based on my best guess. It won’t be perfect, but I’ll work with what I’ve got.

I can’t wait. I’m going with my oldest friend, whose company is effortless. I’ve lined up a hundred books on my kindle, and I can’t wait for the views from our terrace, or the shady spot we’ll tuck ourselves into as we people watch and drink unbelievably good Italian coffee.

I’ll be back at the end of next week but as usual when I’m away, keep your eye on the Facebook page…I may get chance to share a few pictures. Have a great week everyone and see you on the other side…

Wahoooooooooooo….holidaaaaaayyyyyy!!!  🙂 🙂 🙂

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These Are OUR People!

You know when you find yourself doing something that you thought people like you just didn’t do? Well that was me at the weekend. I’m really living this life, and I have to keep pinching myself. My friend Nic and I set off on Saturday with our bikes slung in the back of her car, looking for an adventure. Yes, you heard that right.

There’s a vast network of forest cycling trails about ninety minutes north of where we live, and since our recent gentle bike rides have helped to acclimatise our respective backsides to the prolonged use of a saddle, it seemed like a great idea to take it to the next level and try something different.

Apparently, loads of folk had woken up on Saturday with the same idea because the car park was bursting at the seams with athletic-looking people on bikes. One barbie-esque girl who climbed out of a van opposite our car had it all going on in a tiny crop top and painted on leggings, although to be fair she seemed more interested in checking herself out in the wing mirror and posing for selfies than she did in her bike. Mind you, as we sat in the car watching her, we were equally pre-occupied with eating our packed lunch before we’d even unloaded the bikes, so we were hardly in a position to judge.

Despite the fact that our jaws were moving at the time, as we sat there, two reformed couch potatoes surveying all these fit families and middle-aged men in lycra, Nic made a sweeping gesture with her hand and said Dee these are our people…cue a fit of the giggles but what she was trying to say in between snorts of laughter was that we were like them, you know? We’d driven for miles to partake of stuff requiring effort, of our own free will, and we shared a moment of satisfaction about our own lycra, even though it didn’t look quite like it did on Toothpickarella across the way.

The forest had a colour coded system to mark out the various forest trails…green for easy, blue for intermediate and red for difficult. We studied the map carefully and tried to fit in by pretending we knew what we were doing. It seemed sensible to  start on a green route, and then maybe have a crack at blue, so we followed the signs out of the car park and set off on what we thought was the green route.

I think we must have cycled a bit of the green route when we first set off but after we’d been climbing for around a mile on a road that seemed to get steeper by the minute we started to wonder whether we might have gone just a tiny bit wrong. I mean, I know we weren’t experienced map readers and all, but the gentle green route which followed the river at the base of the forest hasn’t seemed to suggest you had to climb a killer hill first. We weren’t actually in the forest for one thing, which might have given us a big fat clue. However, on the off chance that this was the easy route, neither of us were going to admit defeat so we carried on going. And going.

So how were we to know that the little green tree on every signpost was fuck-all to do with the green route? It wasn’t our fault that the Forestry Commission’s logo happens to be a little green tree, right? An easy mistake to make m’lud. Anyway, those nice people from mountain rescue happened to pass us after seven miles and pointed us in the right direction and then happily, finally, we made it into the forest. And it was awesome.

Awesome, and hard. It was twisty and uneven and bumpy. Really narrow paths with sharp bends where the effort of controlling a bike on top of loose sandy stones makes your shoulders scream and arms numb and your wrists tingle. Going down was hard but climbing was even harder. Trying to get enough traction to keep going whilst dropping down multiple gears and holding the bike steady was really bloody tough. I’m sure it must be easier if you’re skinny. Roll on that day.

At one point going up and round a bend, I slowed almost to a stop, realised that I couldn’t get the right gear in time then toppled sideways in slow motion onto a log, which was fine until my handlebars jabbed me in the chest and the pedal attacked my leg. Mind you, I came off a lot better than Nic, who fell off spectacularly, twice on a couple of hairpin bends…we were well into the blue route by this point having bypassed green altogether whilst we were scaling the perimeter road. Duh

Despite all that, we were having such a great time we forgot we were exercising. It was hairy at times and really hard work but it was beyond fun and we barely stopped laughing all afternoon. We did about fifteen miles in the end, at least half of that off-road. That’s not bad going for a fat lass, eh?

To top off a brilliant weekend, yesterday, the Shitbird scale finally woke up and accepted that I mean business, awarding me 3lbs off this week. I worked bloody hard for that 3lbs, and I couldn’t be happier. This new regime is working for me and I’m more motivated than I’ve ever been.

Come on, let’s see what we can squeeze out of this week 🙂

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Having A Moan

I don’t imagine that any of you will have lost sleep worrying about the bruises on my nether regions following Sunday’s adventures with the saddle, but just in case you did, you can rest easy…it’s feeling much better. I mean, if I could be bothered to contort myself near the mirror and get a good look I suspect it’d still be a lovely mottled shade of purple but at least now I can sit down without wincing and I’m even starting to fancy another go.

At the risk of having a moan, I’m really struggling this week to stay upbeat and I think I’ve bumped headlong into a great big wall of dieting boredom. Progress is painfully slow and at this rate by the time I earn my skinny stripes I’ll be too fucking old and addled to enjoy that shiny new life. In the grand scheme of things I’d planned to rock skinny whilst I’ve still got some powder in me puff, but the clock’s ticking, you know?

I suppose when you’ve been on a diet for nearly eighteen months it’s only natural that boredom will set in at some point, and it has. It’s arrived with a vengeance. And you know as well as I do, my Asshole voice is going to be all over that like a rash.

I’m bored…I know, let’s eat something. Just have one. Or ten. 

It’s funny isn’t it, when I started this journey eighteen months ago I was reluctant to let my mind wander into the territory of how long it was going to take to undo the damage caused by years of food abuse. I didn’t want to run the risk of my Asshole voice screeching FUCK YOU and forcing me to dive headfirst into a big vat of cheese balls at the prospect of years of depravation.

Not thinking about it has served me well…I can’t remember a time where I spent this long following any kind of food plan. I’ve lost big amounts of weight before, but I never had this much to lose. I’m a stereotypical fat-girl…every time I’ve lost weight, I’ve found it again and then some.

By the time I arrived in Skinny Town last time I’d lost around 100lbs. This time, 100lbs will only get me a little over halfway there and I the reality of that is starting to bite. I’ve also woken up to the fact that even when I get there I’m going to have to carry on counting and measuring ’till the end of time because if I don’t, I’ll do exactly what I’ve always done and bounce right back up the scale without even pausing to admire the view.

I guess I’m just having a moment, right? I’ve done well to stick at it but my progress has slowed and the Asshole voice is trying to lead me into the is it really worth it? school of thinking. It’s a good job know it’s him, and not me.

I’m buckling in…things might get a little bumpy for a while 🙂


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Me? Fussy??

You would have laughed at me on Wednesday night if you’d seen me at dinner. I was working away, and it was the end of a long day which had seen me making my usual fifty mile commute in the morning, before doubling back for a quick pit-stop at home then driving another hundred and forty odd miles in the opposite direction to get to a working dinner with one of the teams I support.

Bear in mind also that I was trying really hard to step away from the edge after the Shitbird shocker on Wednesday morning, and I was beyond determined that two days out of control wasn’t going to turn into three, or four or the rest of 2017. Yeah, I see you nodding…you know me.

Throughout the day, I’d dodged all manner of food bombs, with my shiny new resolve. I’d managed to get lost on the way to my first meeting, which was at a hotel in the city, and when I eventually got there with one minute to spare, having been stuck in traffic (which is doubly stressful when your bit is first on the bloody agenda) it was not easy saying no to breakfast pastries. There was a massive tray of pain au chocolat plonked right next to the coffee and they’d been largely ignored by everyone in the room, which my fat-girl brain still struggles to comprehend. Same again with the freshly baked cookies at coffee time.

Anyway, I resisted. Despite the best efforts of my Asshole voice, I might add, who was lobbying hard that Wednesday to Saturday this week should be classed as off-limits to all things diet-related because after all I was starting again on Sunday so technically these four days shouldn’t count.

When I got back home and packed my overnight bag I grabbed a very light lunch before heading south, and it’s fair to say that by the time I’d met up with a bunch of colleagues in the bar that night I was ravenous and looking forward to the meal. I was confident, you know? I had plenty of points in the bank and I was feeling strong.

When they brought the plates out, my fat-girl eyes were practically out on stalks. It was roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and I shit you not, the Yorkshires were the size of tyres. There was plenty of beef on the plate and a pile of vegetables…man, I was in heaven.

Until I tasted it. Meh. It was lukewarm. And I don’t think the chef had fully engaged with the concept of seasoning, I mean it took bland to a whole new level. And the vegetables were a bit soft, you know? The beef was just sort of okay…a bit well done for my taste. Actually I’m being kind, I could have soled my fucking boots with it, but the biggest letdown of all was the Yorkshire pudding…it was all style and no substance. It looked big and fluffy and amazing but it tasted of nothing. All fur coat and no knickers, as my Grandma would have said.

That said, since I usually think like a fat girl, disappointed tastebuds wouldn’t generally disrupt my ability to clear a plate, you know? But they did on Wednesday. I decided that the sides of the Yorkshire pudding reminded me of burned toast and the base was swimming in fat, so that got pushed to one side, followed by the mushy vegetables and the tough-as-old-boots beef. The mashed potato had a tinge of grey and the roast potatoes were soggy. So I nibbled at a bit here and a bit there but I mainly pushed it around my plate.

The bloke sitting beside me noticed that I wasn’t overly impressed and confided in me that his wife was a picky eater too. I just stared at him in astonishment, I mean do I look like a picky eater? I weigh two hundred and forty one fucking pounds so I can’t be that picky, can I? It proper amused me.

Eff why eye, I turned down dessert too, which was chocolate brownie with walnuts and clotted cream, and by the way it looked amazing, so I think it’s fair to say my wobble is over, and I’m back in the game. I’m feeling strong 🙂

I have two treats in store for you today…first of all, we have a brand new guest post on our Thoughts From The Posse page. It’s written by a very special lady who has taken her courage in both hands and shared her story, which I have to say is pretty amazing. It made me laugh, and it made me cry. She’s a bit nervous about putting herself out there, and I know she’d love to hear from you if you can relate to her journey.

The second thing I want to share with you is a brand new feature. It’s been a while since I tinkered with the format hasn’t it?  I figured it was time to mix it up a bit.

Lots of people have written to me and talked about the fact that I post my Shitbird picture every weigh day. Mainly folk think I’m slightly bonkers to even think about going public with what I weigh, but I’ll tell you what, it’s a really effective accountability tool and a handful of people have said they wished they had something like that to keep them playing with a straight bat…well, be careful what you wish for!

If you’d like your very own weight-tracking page, consider it done.  Nicola, who shared her story today is my guinea pig, and she’s taken the plunge with her very own Shitbird page…check it out, and if you’d like one of your own just let me know…I’ll happily build one for you. After all, we’re all in this together, right?


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It Could’ve Been Worse

So I’m not going to win any prizes for slimmer of the week am I, but all things considered it could have been worse. One quarter pound on isn’t the biggest disaster in the world, right? I get it. More than that, I probably deserved it to be fair. I don’t think there’s been a week in the last twelve months where I missed my exercise goal every single day, but I did last week. In my defence, for at least four of those days I felt like crap, although it didn’t stop me from eating my weeklies from the cocoon I created under my poorly blanket. I probably shouldn’t have done that, but I felt entitled.

It’s easier to accept a crap output when you understand the reasons why, don’t you think? I never seethe with resentment and fantasise about taking a hammer to the Shitbird Scale when I know I’ve had a bad week, because it sort of feels fair. When I accept responsibility for putting on a shit show, I have no axe to grind with a shit number. No, I reserve those fantasies for weeks where I’ve brought my A game and the Shitbird’s just being spiteful. Anyway, last week was shit, so let’s move on. I’m going for two pounds this week. Are you in?

I had a dabble with some fake tan last night, and you know what, it looks pretty good. I thought I’d better point it out in case you looked at the Shitbird’s page and thought I had dirty feet. I don’t look as dark as I did when I had the spray tan, but I definitely look like I’ve been toasted. It’s a product called Skinny Tan, I don’t know if you’ve seen it but they reckon it hides cellulite too. Which is awesome, but I can’t confirm or deny those rumours because I only rubbed it in to just above the knee. No point wasting it on no-man’s land, right? It doesn’t seem to have done much for the lumpy bits on my upper arms if I’m brutally honest, but then nothing coming out of a tube is going to fix that particular war zone.

The thing is, I feel nice with a bit of colour, and isn’t that all that matters? When I opened my eyes this morning I saw one of my new shirts hanging outside the wardrobe, with the necklace I’m going to accessorise it with strung over the hanger. I had my shoes picked out, and my pants…it’s so hard to explain to a skinny string bean that the privilege of feeling good in your clothes isn’t simply a given…I don’t think I’ll ever take that feeling for granted, you know? Eighty four pounds ago, I didn’t even notice which shapeless monstrosity I was pulling over my head on any given day, much less enjoy wearing it. Put me in front of a mirror these days and I preen like a fucking budgie.

That’s just one of the dozens of ways in which it’s nicer being me now, as opposed to then. I’m starting to feel like my life is fitting me better, and not just my clothes.  It’s what keeps me going forward. That, and you lot, who never fail to lift my mood when you reach out and tell me about your own journey, and struggles and triumphs.  I can’t even find the words to tell you how awesome it is when one of you takes the time to let me know that what happens in these pages helps you too.

Come on…let’s smash it this week 🙂

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