Tag Archives: shitbird scale

Switching To Autopilot

So life’s all still a bit shit. I’d love to deliver you a positive and motivational Monday morning blog post, but the truth is I’m up one minute and down the next, and I haven’t really been overly focused on what’s going in my mouth. I’m desperately worried about my mum, who is home but still very unwell, so most of my energy has been directed towards her and her needs…assessments, risk assessments, care plans…you name it, I’ve been all over it and I’m doing everything I can to make sure she has enough support around her to give her a fighting chance of getting well.

We couldn’t even go visit her this weekend, because on top of everything else there’s a sickness bug doing the rounds in her residential home, so they’re locked down in quarantine, which hasn’t helped.

I left it until the last possible minute yesterday to step aboard HMS Shitbird. I was scared of what the damned thing was going to tell me so I did the whole ostrich thing and buried my head in the sand. I have a routine on a Sunday morning, you know? Get up, pee, weigh. Not yesterday. I got up, had a pee, ignored the Shitbird Scale and went to make coffee. Then I went for a swim without giving it a second thought.

I came home, did some shopping…walked past it twice as I was dotting washing around the house to dry, visited the bathroom several times through the course of the day and still refused to make eye contact. When I finally climbed the stairs to bed last night I couldn’t avoid it any longer…after all, I promised I would post my weight every week and it’s a cornerstone of my accountability. I was expecting a beasting to be honest, so just one quarter pound on was a relief.

I’m not even sure why I was expecting it to be so bad. I haven’t been really bad. I mean, I’ve had bad moments, for example on Saturday evening I won a big bag of chocolate orange segments in a pig-racing competition (not real pigs!) and let’s just say they didn’t go unappreciated. But, I opened them for everyone to enjoy whilst we were there, which was a much safer bet than me taking them home, right? I had my fair share but I didn’t have them all, in the chair on my own after I got home when nobody could see. And I enjoyed every last one of the ones I ate, along side my pie and pea supper.

I refused to feel guilty…it was just one night, and I needed to blow off steam with a bunch of friends. The week overall had been one big fucking trauma, so I wasn’t holding out hope that my conversation with the scale would buck the trend. But actually, if I really think about it, my eating wasn’t so bad.

I’d sort of kept a watching brief on what went in my mouth, even if it didn’t always make it into the food diary on MyFitnessPal. I made it to the pool five days out of seven. I wasn’t perfect but I kept control, after a fashion. All things considered, I’m claiming it as a victory. It’s fairly heartening to realise that I flicked the controls to autopilot because there was so much else going on, and the Asshole between my ears didn’t screw things up completely.

I’m not sure what this week will bring. I’m hoping mum will really turn the corner and I’ll get a decent night’s sleep without waking up every hour and wondering if she’s okay. I’m supposed to be going on holiday the weekend after next and I’d love to think she’ll be well enough by then for me to go ahead with the trip. It’s been a rough few months and I’m trying hard not to feel bad about saying I’m ready for the break, but I can’t remember the last time I needed one quite so much.

We’ll see. In the meantime, I graduated Sunday with a decent chunk of calories still on the table, so I’ve started the brand new shiny week as I mean to go on. I want to be back in the sixteen stones something next week…watch this space  🙂

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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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Just A Bit Too Cocky

I’ve had some lovely notes and messages relating to my knee surgery, which were much appreciated, thank you. It all went well, and I was home by mid-afternoon on the same day. It’s sore, but it’s not unbearable. I think I’ve been battered by the anaesthetic as much as anything, because in between all the knee exercises that the physiotherapist has given me to do I’m sleeping more than a middle-aged moggy. I guess that’ll wear off in a few days.

My friend came over yesterday evening and we decided to go see a movie – that was the point that I realised that perhaps I’d overestimated my ability to bounce back. Pottering around the house is one thing, but the car journey to the cinema was uncomfortable and although we parked right outside and didn’t really walk very far at all, by the time I got home last night I was exhausted. And my knee hurt. A lot. So no matter how bad the cabin fever gets, I won’t be doing that again any time soon.

The doctor raised an eyebrow at me on Friday when I said I was planning to go back to work in a couple of days…sometimes I can be a bit too cocky for my own good, you know? Lesson learned. I’ve assumed the position again with my leg elevated, where it will remain until the swelling goes down, and I guess I’ll be sending in that sick note after all.

I’ll tell you what though, just cast your mind back a couple of years. I couldn’t wait to lay back every weekend with my feet up in my big fat leather armchair and do nothing at all. Well, except feed my face. It’s almost worth being driven crazy with cabin fever as a reminder of how far I’ve come. That life doesn’t belong to me any more, which is why I reckon I’m finding the inactivity so hard.

These days, weekends are about getting out in the fresh air and walking with Charlie dog or setting off with a bunch of friends on my bike, not hunkering down with an armful of snacks and a steady stream of crappy TV. Hopefully it’ll only be a couple of weeks until I’m properly mobile again. I’m not sure how much more of the doggy death-stare I can take, for one thing.

My encounter with the Shitbird didn’t go too well yesterday. Again. I was in two minds whether to bother hopping aboard at all given that I’m wrapped from thigh to ankle in a massive padded bandage, but on the basis that I didn’t properly climb out of the sink hole until Friday, I figured bandage or no bandage I had to face the number. It wasn’t pretty, but I’m happy to report that the anarchy is over and I’m properly back up and running with my food plan.

Not before time. That twelve day fuck-up has put me back to what I weighed on 19th March. For fuck’s sake. Five months’ worth of effort wiped out in less than two weeks. Next time I’m in the mood to rebel I’m going to remind myself about that 🙂

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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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Buckled In And Ready For The Ride

So we’re officially in the second half of 2017. I mean really, how is that even possible? It doesn’t seem two minutes since I kicked off the year with a renewed determination to get back on track and stop throwing the door wide open for the fuck-up fairy to waltz right in and make herself at home. I’m happy to say that with the exception of one four-day visit, her open invitation remains suspended and I’m doing fine.

It’s good to take stock. I’m 29lbs down so far this year, which averages out at a cock-hair over 1lb a week. I’m not gonna lie, I’d prefer the average to be a bit more impressive, but the momentum from switching up my food plan to calorie counting through My Fitness Pal is going to carry me forward a bit faster, I can already see that. I’ve had another cracking loss this week which I’m  so excited about especially after our holiday, and the Shitbird scale is definitely losing the upper hand.

I would never diss Weight Watchers, right? It’s been my travelling companion for a good 18 months and it’s served me well. That said, it was the right time for me to move away from counting points, which I suspect is built around normal people who don’t have a tendency to eat their own bodyweight in anything positioned as ‘free’. I mean come on, some folk just take liberties, and I’d be the first to admit I’m one of them.

Hooking up the technology on my wrist with the MFP app means I’ve been forced to compare the exact number of calories in whatever I’m eating versus the exact number of calories that I’m burning, and shit, there’s no wonder some weeks I’ve lost the equivalent of a gnat’s ass. I know I’m fairly active these days but on the other hand so are my jaws, right? Most weeks I’ve felt a bit aggrieved at my snail’s pace progress because to all intents and purposes I’ve been sticking to the plan, but the reality is the plan I was following was probably just giving me too much rope.

Now, I feel like I have insight and complete control, and it’s a game-changer. I’m excited to see what I can do with this over the next few months, you know? It took me the first five months of this year to lose twenty two pounds, but I’ve lost another seven in the last three weeks, which says it all really. Honeymoon period..? Possibly, but I’m happy to see where it takes me. I’m buckled in and ready for the ride.

How weird is it, that I’m embracing this level of discipline? I don’t ever do too well with rules and rigidity in fact I’ve made it my life’s work to push back against anything that feels like it’s tying my hands, and yet right now I appear to be living in an Asshole voice-free zone. I suspect that at the deepest level I recognise this as the silver bullet that could free me from this fucking fat suit once and for all 🙂


On another note altogether, may I ask for five minutes of your time to answer a couple of questions for me? I’d be so grateful for your help. When I started this blog as a way of supporting my own weight-loss journey, I discovered a love of writing that I never knew I had, and as we’ve walked this path together over the last couple of years, many of you have reached out and suggested that I should think about writing a book.

Now, I’m not daft enough to let a few bits of nice feedback turn my head, but you know what, I get the biggest kick out of knowing that what goes on in these pages helps  some of you guys too, and I’ve got almost three hundred thousand words’ worth of blog posts in the bag…imagine if I could turn them into something resembling a book?

I feel a tiny bit dizzy at the thought of it…I’m not a writer, I’m just a fat girl who loves to write but if this journey has taught me anything, it’s that dreams are worth chasing, so I’m doing a little bit of market research to test the water and I’d really value your thoughts. You can help by clicking HERE and it’s completely anonymous so please be honest!

Before I go, I just want to wish Nicola well with her goal this week…if you follow her Shitbird page you’ll see that she’s incredibly close to kissing the hallowed turf of one-derland and I’m excited for her weigh-in on Thursday!


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