Tag Archives: food budget

You. Cannot. Be. Serious.

So, you already know that this last week wins the award for shittiest week ever. I thought we were past the storm. I didn’t have a bad day on Wednesday, in fact I managed to do a few hours’ work from home and it was comforting to start picking up the pieces. I wasn’t in a great place, but I felt like I was doing okay.

And I was doing okay, except it clearly wasn’t written in the stars for our shit time to be over quite so soon. My mum, who is very wobbly at the best of times, took a tumble yesterday morning, and she’s broken her shoulder in two places. I mean, you just couldn’t fucking write it could you?

She’d been laid in agony on the floor for around an hour before anybody heard her cries for help, and yesterday morning as we sat in the ER, my tiny frail eighty four year old mum sobbed like a child in my arms. On top of the heartache of the last few days, it was just all too much.

Now, I held it together beautifully all day. I wiped her tears, and propped her up. I intercepted doctor-speak and translated it into something she could understand. Most of all I promised her everything would be okay, because that’s exactly what she needed to hear. She’s reached her fill level of bad news, and she coasted through yesterday on a combination of codeine and reassurance. I limped through on adrenaline and focused on her.

Last night though…I didn’t know what to do with myself. The urge to binge was overwhelming. Fortunately, before I could face-plant into the food cupboard, two of my good friends arrived with a big bunch of flowers and a hug, which pretty much saved me from myself.

I did eat eight Ryvita Marmite thins with some soft cheese before I went to bed, which may or may not have found their way onto Saturday’s food budget on the basis that yesterday’s calories had already run out and the dieting day was closed for business.

It’s okay though, I can get away with it. Saturday still belongs to this week, and on Saturday I get more calories to play with. It’s creative accounting at it’s finest and you know what, if I count the calories at some point this week who really gives a fuck? I know I’m not supposed to be propping my battered spirit up with food, but yesterday was just exceptional in it’s shitness and a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Surely, that must be it now…I’m kind of approaching that fill level myself, you know?


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They Didn’t Burn A Hole

I had a major stress head on yesterday morning. I’m doing some self-development sponsored by my work this week, learning how to interpret and administer a psychometric tool, so I’m on a three day course in the city near where I live. I’d left home in plenty of time and it was all going so well, right up to the point that I went to turn into the road leading to the venue, only to discover the road was closed. Beautiful.

So it’s rush hour, twenty minutes before the course was due to start and I’m driving past where I need to be, in a one-way city loop with no idea how to double back and find a different way in. I know, I think to myself, I’ll call the hotel and ask them. And that would’ve been a really good plan if anyone had answered the fucking phone.

Almost exactly twenty minutes later, I figured it out, but not before I’d turned the air blue inside my car. By the time I’d parked up and done a fast hobble across to the hotel, through the lobby and up to the first floor I was utterly frazzled. My hair, which had looked styled and smooth when I left home had gone rogue on me. The more hot and bothered I got, the wilder my hair got, and by the time I arrived I looked like Albert Einstein. I had big sweat patches under my arms and my cheeks were a lovely mottled shade of purple, I mean we’re talking off-the-chart attractive.

As I half skidded in a very lopsided fashion into the middle of a bunch of delegates, my eyes were drawn like magnets to an enormous tray of bacon sandwiches. Then I caught a whiff of them, and it was pretty much game over…all thoughts of how frazzled I was disappeared, and the deal was just about sealed when some random bloke shook me by the hand and passed me a plate.

Now, bearing in mind this is week two of my experiment, and I’ve hit the point in my dieting week I’m supposed to eat all my weekly points. As I stood there salivating with the plate in my hand you bet your sweet ass I was furiously totting up how many points I’d need to knock off my tally. I could have it, one hundred percent guilt-freeGet in!

Except, I’d already had breakfast in the car on the way there. I’d made a coconut and mango breakfast smoothie with a base of unsweetened almond milk, and it’d been really thick and filling. It dawned on me that I wasn’t actually hungry.

Now, you’ve got to bear in mind that a small detail like that has very rarely stopped me from indulging myself in the past. And I don’t know what was so different in that moment, but yesterday, it did stop me. I wanted that bacon bap like you wouldn’t believe, but on the other hand I didn’t want it at all, so I listened to the voice of reason, and I put the plate down. I went into the bathroom and had a stern word with the birds nest on my head instead.

That was a wise decision as it turns out, because those bacon baps were not actually for the delegates of the course I was on. Turns out the bloke who handed me a plate assumed I was with his lot and that’s why he tried to feed me. As if looking like a mad professor wasn’t embarrassing enough, I narrowly avoided getting in bother for the unauthorised consumption of pig flesh.

It wasn’t the only bullet I dodged yesterday…I managed to sidestep a whole host of booby traps, including a bowl of ginger nuts and fruit shortbread biscuits which were staring me down from the coffee area, not to mention several unwise options at the lunch buffet. I had my weekly points in my back pocket, but strangely they didn’t burn a hole. I wasn’t bothered. I’d decided at the top of the week that I was going to treat me and my boy to Chinese food one night, and I was happy enough knowing that treat was coming. Decision made, move on.

That’s another step forward, right?

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It’s Going To Be A Beaut


So it was a great weekend at Foxy Lodge, all things considered. I got there late and proceeded to cough and splutter my way through the weekend with a bit of a dodgy chest, in fact right now I sound like I’ve been smoking forty Capstan full-strength on a daily basis for the last twenty years. One of the gang almost didn’t make it at all due to a whoopsie on the stairs a few days ago which resulted in blue flashing lights and a broken bone, but even though we were a bit battle-scarred we’ve still pretty much laughed our way through the last couple of days. I love my girlies to the moon and back again.

Most importantly, I’m not emerging from the other side of my weekend with any bruises on my conscience as a result of me being really naughty. I had some drinks, I had some nibbles and I didn’t smart-point my meals, but we’ve eaten plenty of healthy stuff and I didn’t go mad. Well, I went mad on grapes actually, but not on anything bad. I walked a bit, and I found a balance that I was happy with and it just felt normal.

And yesterday, well I was right back to counting points and I’m happy to do it. I’ve got a good run at this now, come on lets make a dint in those regained pounds this week. There were six of the unwelcome little fuckers re-glued to my arse by the time I drew a line in the sand last week, did I mention that? No, *coughs* I didn’t think I had. Well there we go then…their ass belongs to me in the month of November, and by the time December gets here they’ll be toast. Six pounds on is what one bad month looks like in my world…now allow me to demonstrate what a good month is all about. November you’re going to be a beaut.

I’ve got a couple of fairly tough days coming up this week…I’m working until mid afternoon tomorrow and then I’ll be on a train for around seven hours followed by an overnight stay, and one meeting the following morning before I have to do the whole thing again in reverse. Two days when my sustenance will need to come from the best that the buffet car can offer…unless.

I need a plan. There’s an M&S Simply Food in the station, so here’s what I’ll do. I’m going to stock up on the snacky things I love to eat and can easily count as part of my food budget. I’ll get some fruit and a table picnic for my journey and that way I know I’ll be able to steer clear of the chocolate muffins and Haribo and ten-fingered kit-lats which usually seduce me as they go past on the catering trolley.

That sounds simple doesn’t it? Plus, I’ll have you lot to keep me company – well, on the way down at least….you’re my secret weapon. On Wednesday as I’m heading home I’ll be working pretty much all the way, but on the way down it’ll be evening all bar a couple of hours so I can chat to you guys and draft Wednesday’s blog post which will keep my hands from feeding my face with anything on the banned substance list, right? Don’t you just love a plan.

Apart from feeling a bit grim with my ropey old chest, I’m happy and optimistic going into this week…it’s the first one in a while where I’ve got a number in mind for my encounter with the bitch in the bathroom next week, and I’m going for it, big time. I’m not allowed to work out until my chest infection has gone, so right now it’s all about managing what goes in my mouth.

Come on, I can do this…let the dog see the rabbit 🙂


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Eating My Efforts


So I’ve got about a week and a half of exercise classes under my belt, and despite continuing to fantasise about my old life in the armchair, the asshole voice in my head hasn’t really made any significant dink in my determination to drag this fat old body to a better place. Between you and me, I reckon we’re both a bit scared of pissing off the God of Pain. Who, by the way critiqued my food diary before the weekend and made it clear I had to do better…it didn’t pass muster.

Which made me think. I’d stayed within points. Sort of. Well I had, it’s just that I’d used up all my exercise points too, of which I’d earned loads because I did loads. So I ate loads. God forbid that all that effort should go unrewarded, right? God forbid that so much as one point to which I’m entitled might sneak by uneaten…not on my watch.

And, dammit, I realised that the asshole voice had sneaked in through the back door and presented a very compelling argument that since I was working so hard, all those extra points I’d earned could be spent on whatever I liked.

Which is how come my food diary was peppered with two sticks of chocolate here, and a handful of Pringles there…looking from the outside in, I can see why I deserved harsh words. It probably didn’t read like the food diary of someone who was determined to lose weight, you know? Viewed from an athlete’s perspective, my fat-girl thinking stuck out like a sore thumb.

And hands up, it’s a fair cop – the needle didn’t move on the scale this week. I ate within points starts to sound a bit hollow when I’m faced with the reality that I’m in exactly the same place that I was in last week – all that effort, and all those sore muscles just to stand still.

Even as I’m writing this, the asshole voice is busy being all outraged and trying to convince me that muscle weighs heavier than fat, and that I’ve actually lost weight and gained muscle…yeah, nice try dickhead, technically that may be the case but after one week and change I’m not buying it. I just ate my efforts, is the long and short of it.

The additional points that all my hard work brought home should’ve been points in the bank, but in exactly the same way that I’m hopeless at saving money, there were available food funds which burned a hole right through my pocket and I pretty much ate them as soon as I’d earned them, on the basis that I was allowed. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Hmm…innocent face my arse, I wasn’t doing it right either.

So, lesson learned… time to regroup. God of Pain gave me a suggested diet plan which is all around clean eating and to be fair, it’s not a million miles away from what I’ve been eating, just without the crap that wormed its way in through the back door. I’m not going to stop counting Weight Watchers Smart Points, even though he doesn’t approve of diets…but, I take his point about when I’m eating and more importantly when I’m not eating. I can do better.

I’m going to go for a turbo-charged week. I’m going to eat well, space it out properly, carbs before a workout, protein after, and no crap…I refuse to tread water for another week because of what I’m putting in my mouth when I’m sweating my cahoonies off on a daily basis to support my journey. This week, I’m going to make every bead of sweat count 🙂

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Autopsy Of A Binge

spring cleaning

When I’m not in the grip of a binge, I find it really hard to get my head around the concept that an Asshole voice inside my head has the ability to take over every thought, and for that brief moment in time completely rule the roost. I mean, I can talk about it, and even report it as fact but the truth is I’m detached when it’s not happening right now. Being in a position where I’m not the one calling the shots seems unlikely, from my current vantage point of control.

On an intellectual level I get it of course – in the same way that I understand that some people feel the need to drink their way into oblivion, and other people are driven to get high…what I can’t do, outside the moment is to call up how it feels as I lose my grip and tumble head first into a binge. I can only feel that in the moment, and I can’t comprehend it when I’m not feeling it.

Last night, it got me. Head on. I’ll tell you about it in a minute but before I do, I want to try and unpick why. I’d had a great sorting out kind of day. In some respects. What I didn’t do, was the walking I’d intended to do, nor did I make the call about joining a gym…I was too busy. I did have a chat with my boy last night as he was cooking dinner, about how I was thinking about not front-loading my blog posts for this weekend and having a couple of days off instead as I kicked back with my girls…he was horrified.

He knows how much this means to me in terms of accountability and support. He also understands that the creative outlet of writing is the anchor which has kept me in the sweet spot over the last nine months, you know? That, and the love that I get from you lot. He was worried that if I didn’t post, I’d go completely off the rails…he’s seen it, and lived through it too many times over the years. Not blogging, obviously, I’ve never done this before but if I’ve ever stepped away just for a second from whatever thing was working for me at the time, I’ve gone under the wheels and it’s pretty much been game over.

To be fair, I worry about that too…when I started this journey I said I would post every single day, and I have. One hundred and eighty thousand words so far, that’s like two whole books’ worth of words in a little less than nine months. I spend at least a couple of hours writing every day, and when I’m time poor that’s a big commitment. If I join a gym and have to find time to fit that in too, something’s going to have to give.

So that scares me anyway and his reaction reinforced my own worries you know? My boy is right…I need this outlet. I also need to join a gym and build up my stamina to honour the commitment I’ve made to do this trek because I’m not getting enough traction on my own. I have to do stuff with my mum, and I have to work a full time job and run a house…I’m a bit freaked out that I’m not going to be able to fit it all in. And after our conversation brought it all to the surface last night I watched the TV and chewed it all over in my mind.

Then I chewed a bunch of other stuff. For fuck’s sake. The extra weekly points that I’d so carefully saved for this coming weekend away…gone. The additional exercise points that I’d built up, also gone. Twenty points that I haven’t even earned yet have gone before they’ve even fucking arrived.

And in that food fug last night, which by the way was entirely sugar-related, the Asshole voice talked me into believing that I couldn’t over-flex my food budget at the weekend anyway since five of my closest friends were going to act like the chuffing diet police so I may as well get all my chocolate in whilst I had the chance, and live on dust until Sunday.

It seemed like a very plausible argument, right up until it didn’t. Then I cried, and washed the kitchen floor. I have no idea why, it wasn’t dirty and in any event my cleaning lady was coming today, but I think I just needed to scrub something, because I felt dirty.

On the up-side, talking about it has at least opened the window on why it happened. I’m not reacting well to the pressure I’m putting on myself to do it all. And I still don’t know how I’m going to pull it off if I’m honest, but in the cold light of day as I sit and survey the damage I’m fed up, but a lot less freaked out. I’m back in control. I’m okay. I’ve still got this.

So, I need to be more careful this weekend than I thought, right? We’re planning healthy food anyway, and I’ll have some fizz, but none of the edible goodies I was saving up for can feature in my weekend. And you know what, I’m okay with that…it is what it is. I’m just happy I’ve made it out of the other side and I still have my eye on the prize.

It’s all good, if a little too close for comfort 🙂

By the way, if the posts are a little sporadic over the next couple of days, bear with me…we are staying in a forest and based on past experience there’s next to no phone signal and no wi-fi!


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