Tag Archives: planning

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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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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Cruising Skinny-Girl Style…

It suddenly occurred to me just before the weekend that I’ve got a holiday coming up in a couple of weeks…I’ve been so preoccupied with the trek, and everything related to it like my fitness classes and all the walking, that whilst I hadn’t exactly forgotten about my holiday, I’ve not really given it any thought at all.

The friend who I’m going with has been island-hopping in Greece for the last two weeks so we’ve not been doing our usual giddy countdown, which is probably why it’s only just hit my radar. She’s back now though, and we spent a couple of happy hours on the phone last night planning all the detail. We’re cruising from Southampton up through the Norwegian Fjords, which has been a long-standing feature on my bucket list…the scenery will be absolutely breathtaking.

I can’t help reflecting how different things are compared to last year. My friend and I tend to like a mixture of planned sightseeing and then doing stuff under our own steam. Being herded around and following a guide with a flag held aloft drives me bat shit crazy, but sometimes in order to get to see the things you want to see in the short time the ship is in port you have to bite the bullet and just put up with it. But last year, oh my GOD I was miserable on the tour days.

It didn’t help that having eaten myself to the brink of disability, walking was painful. I needed to sit down for a rest every few minutes and I actually started to dread getting off the ship. Some days I even chose not to, and I stayed in the spa area all day instead and had food and drinks delivered to my sun lounger the banner of relaxation.

As well as a handful of organised trips, we did lots of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours in the places we visited, but if I’m honest there wasn’t an awful lot of hopping off going on. Seat safely bagged, I was happy to sit there all day. My poor friend. I was such a shit companion. Don’t get me wrong, we did have a great time and I loved being away, in fact it was an awesome trip but man, it was hard work.

Last night we established that all four of the places we’re visiting on our week-long cruise are very easy to navigate on foot, unlike some cruises where your ship docks in some grotty port miles away from anything pretty or interesting. So this year, navigating on foot is exactly what we’re planning to do. We’re going to walk. Well, all except one of the days where I’ve booked an excursion on my own, because my friend didn’t fancy it…it’s a hike, up a mountain in the Fjords to go see a waterfall. Three and a half hours, tough going, some steep inclines…I’m all over it, and I can’t wait.

This year, essential packing will include walking boots and socks, gym gear so I can work out and join some of the exercise classes on board, and whilst of course I’ll enjoy the cuisine I am one hundred percent determined to weigh the same when I get off the ship as I do when I get on. No open season, no all-bets-off mentality – lets face it, when I get back on terra firma the trek will be just five weeks away. I can’t afford to slip, not even a little bit.

But you know what, I’m not worried about it, in fact I’m really looking forward to the challenge of making the holiday fit what I need it to be…after all, we’ve already established that I’m in this for the long game. For the rest of my life I need to find a way to stay in the mindset of healthy, vibrant and disciplined so I’d better get used to it, right? I choose to be that person. I don’t want to be that morbidly obese passenger from last year who held court on her sun lounger because getting off it was too much effort. I could weep for that lady.

I’m going to wring every last drop of enjoyment out of this holiday, and of course that includes some relaxation. I’m tired, and I’m ready to chill my boots. I’ll recline on my sun lounger in a shady spot and read two or three books, and I’ll indulge with a cheeky Pimms or two because that’s what holidays are for…but not before I’ve sweated my cahoonies off in the gym, or walked a good few miles around and about wherever we happen to be. Last year’s lazy lady is one hundred percent gone.

And as for the two formal nights…well, bring on the bling. I can’t wear my trusty evening outfit, you know the one I wore to the Blog Awards..? It’s too big now and I flogged it on eBay along with the rest of my fat-girl duds 🙂

But don’t worry…it just so happens that I’ve indulged myself with one or two new things…needs must, eh?

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Don’t Forget The Sausages…

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So I’d obviously given serious thought to the ways in which I could avoid getting sucked into the naughty corner at the spring fair that we’ve been to today. One strategy I flirted with was avoiding the food hall altogether but as I left home yesterday my boy’s parting words were mum don’t forget the sausages…kind of ruled out that option, right? One of the stalls which comes every year sells speciality sausages, and they are heaven on a plate. And trust me when I say my boy knows his way around a sausage…he’s never actually been to this event but he looks forward to it as much as I do and I guarantee he’ll have his nose in my bag of booty faster than a ferret up a trouser leg as soon as I get home on Sunday.

So, my number one strategy for a no samples consumed shopping experience was ruled out before I set a foot out of doors, although as I laid in bed last night and thought about it I decided that was actually a good thing, you know? I wanted to be able to look back and feel proud that I’d faced down the Asshole voice and resisted every single temptation, instead of wimping out altogether. Mind you, at the time I was basking in the afterglow of a big glass of red which always adds a touch of bravado to my thought process.

Let me try and set the scene…did you ever watch that episode of Friends, where Joey tried to make ends meet by taking a job in a big department store, and he was in competition with another bloke to see who could spray the most people with scent in the hope that they’d be the one to sell the most..? Right, well it’s exactly the same as that. Every three steps, someone materialises right in front of you with a bit of cheese on a stick, or a tray of bite-size brownies, and waves them under your nose in the hope that you’ll visit their counter and fill your boots with whatever they’re selling.

It’s what every fat girl imagines heaven would be like.  Times gone by I’m not gonna lie, we’ve probably done two or three circuits. Can you remember where that chilli-infused oil vendor was? No..? Neither can I, we’d best go around again. Oh, you’d like me to try that..? Certainly. They didn’t even make it a challenge, you know…no ‘one sample per customer’ rule in this food hall, we didn’t even have to try and look different second time around. Let’s swap scarves, and I’ll put your glasses on, I’m going in for more Camembert…

So if you’re dieting, it’s carnage. And, all joking aside, it’s hard. It’s hard not to feel resentful that you can’t just face plant into everything and do your best impression of a food hoover which is what you desperately want to do. Well, it’s what I desperately wanted to do.

I guess what helped me get to grips with the Asshole voice today was…well, there were a couple of things actually. Visualising my encounter with the bitch in the bathroom when I get home tomorrow was the first one. Tomorrow’s Sunday…weigh day. No getting away from that, right? No week stretching ahead of me where I can be extra good and unpick any collateral damage before I step on board…today was it, day seven of my dieting week

And also, my friend had checked ahead of time what I could eat, and had gone to a lot of trouble making sure she’d organised food to fit my diet…pushing two of everything into my face as we walked around the food hall would have totally disrespected her thoughtfulness, and I wouldn’t do that. So, Houston it turned out there was no problem here after all.

I had saved half my additional weekly smart points, so I had a bit of naughty in the bank. I know these vendors like the back of my hand, I mean come on, I’ve broken bread (or fudge or cake or cheese or sausages) with all of them over the seven or so years that my friend and I have been going. I was able to select my favourite thing ahead of time. There’s a bloke who makes brownies, and without question his white chocolate and raspberry brownies are the most amazing brownies in the world. They are the rock star of the brownie kingdom, and one of them is sitting on a plate in my friend’s kitchen right now with my name on.

No samples, but one treat, within budget and much anticipated all day…it’s going to taste even better than I remembered because it won’t hit a jaded palate. I haven’t assailed my senses throughout the day with all kinds of wonderful. I’ve sampled everything with my eyes, and nothing with my mouth…I’ve had a lovely day and yes of course I still wish I could have dived headlong into all of it. But I didn’t, and I’m feeling strong. Happy.

Most of all I cannot wait to wrap my chops around that brownie 😜

 

 

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Pressing Pause

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On my commute into work this morning I was kind of half listening to something on the radio in between pondering my ‘to do’ list and trying to ignore the Asshole voice who was busy trying to persuade me that 7.15am would be a good time to eat my lunch, which was on the passenger seat behind me.

My ears were tuning in and out of the radio intermittently, and I caught the tail end of something which sounded interesting enough to prompt me to reach for the remote control so I could rewind it…duh, I immediately realised of course that the car radio doesn’t come with that option. How annoying. I could go on iPlayer at some point I suppose, but the moment has kind of passed and I can’t even remember now what it was I thought I’d heard.

I’m just so used to being able to pause the TV, or rewind and re-listen when my ears have been multi-tasking and I’ve lost the plotline, you know? I don’t know however we used to manage before that sort of technology existed… I love the way that everything can fit around me, rather than the other way around.

A good friend of mine takes that approach to her diet. She knows she needs to lose weight, and she really wants to, but her diet gets paused every time something more interesting comes along. She has the ability to just step in and out of it at will, and I’m beyond envious of her ability to do that. No way could I ever make that work for me, with my default all-or-nothing psyche.

I almost feel like I’ve paused everything else, to focus on this, you know? It just feels more important than anything else I could be doing right now. It’s my time.

My friend and I both have plans this weekend…she’s having a weekend away with a bunch of friends, and then immediately setting off on holiday for a week. Once I’ve finished writing this I’m heading up to spend the weekend with one of my besties. It’s the spring version of the craft and foodie fair that I’ve mentioned before, so I’m going to be bombarded with temptations at every turn.

I’m busy thinking about strategies to stay on the straight and narrow, where my friend can hardly wait to hit stop on her working week and throw caution to the wind so she can dive into the prosecco and hand the flight controls over to her Asshole voice…she knows he’ll probably crack on and do his worst, and she’s kind of okay with that. When she gets back from holiday, she’ll un-pause her food plan and get right back on track.

I wish I could press pause this weekend…I’d sell my granny to be able to sashay around the food hall accepting samples of whatever anyone wanted to give me like I have in the past. There will be cheeses and oils, and artisan breads begging to be dipped. Cupcakes and fudge and a hundred different flavours of cookie, and that’s before we’ve even gotten started with the cookery demonstrations. I’m going to be all kinds of torn.

The thing is, if I were to press pause, it’d be pretty much game over. Fact. Not a cat in hell’s chance of me waking up on Monday with the Asshole willing to relinquish control and move back to the jump seat…I know that. I’m just going to have to say no, and mean it. Not the kind of no which really means yes. The kind where the word no comes out of my mouth and passes a piece of fudge on its way in. Short of having my jaws wired together, willpower is my only option.

I’ve bought sugar-free chewing gum so I can fill my sinuses with peppermint to combat all the awesome smells. I’ve promised myself a really nice piece of jewellery in exchange for not allowing the Asshole to talk me into anything, and I know I’ll have to ‘fess up to you guys if the wheels come off.

I think I’ve got all bases covered, dammit 🙂

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