Tag Archives: trying

My Balls Are Under The Wrong Cup

It’s that time of year again isn’t it, where every other article you read and every other programme on the telly box is talking about diets and losing weight. Some of them are okay, but most of them are written or presented by folk who look like they wouldn’t know one end of a doner kebab from the other, and that raises serious credibility issues in my eyes. I caught the tail end of a programme tonight, and as the camera panned out and the credits rolled, the words of the presenter were left hanging in the air…

“It’s simple really. You just need to eat less and exercise more.”

No shit, Sherlock. It’s that fucking easy is it love? Right then. Praise the Lord! Let’s all eat less and exercise more and we’ll be skinny in no time. World obesity obliterated, because we’re all just going to eat less and exercise more. I might have been a bit more forgiving if she hadn’t prefaced the bleeding obvious with the words it’s simple really…

The science might be simple, but the execution relies far more on the human factor than a scientific equation, and that’s a buggeration factor that we just can’t overlook.

It’s like that old sleight of hand trick with the cups and balls. You can keep your eye on that ball ’til you’re blue in the face, but it’s never under the cup you think it’s going to be under when the cups stop moving. My balls are never under the right cup. And what I mean by that, is no matter how hard I try to keep a watching brief on everything that’s going on, something always ends up in the wrong place.

Just think for a second about all the component parts of being successful in the business of losing weight. You need a balanced diet, with representation from all your food groups. Plenty of protein to help stave off the hunger pangs. Not too many carbs if you can help it…easy on the fat, plenty of green stuff and some fruit thrown in for good measure.

Sleep. That’s important too…not too much but enough to replenish your energy levels. And plenty of exercise to get your heart rate up several times a week. Water, drink plenty of that but go easy on the salt, or your body will cling to the water like a fucking camel.

Stay away from trigger foods, you know those things where one means one packet, or one tub instead of the one bite that skinny people refer to. And don’t substitute one trigger for another, right? Eating fifteen bananas instead of fifteen hob-nobs is still fourteen bananas too many.

It’s exhausting, keeping your eye on so many cups and balls. No matter how hard I try, when I get to the end of my day and I do a quick recce, there’s usually at least one ball missing, or it’s under the wrong cup. So when some skinny fuckwit looks down a camera into my living room and tees up her pearl of skinny wisdom by saying it’s simple really…well, forgive me for wanting to punch her bloody lights out.

On the surface, it’s not rocket science. But for every one of us who gets to the end of the day with at least half of our balls in the right place, and a mental note to do better tomorrow, it’s cool. We’re doing fine. We’ve got this. It’s not about perfection, remember?

It’s about getting up again tomorrow and doing it all over again 🙂

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Wading Through Treacle

I appear to have sparked a mini panic by failing to pop up in your news feed with my usual Friday words. Sorry about that, and I love the fact that you noticed, but I’m fine, I promise. It was just one of those weeks where work was off-the-scale demanding of both my time and my head-space, and there were a couple of nights out that I wouldn’t normally have in my diary. There just wasn’t time to fit everything in.

By the end of the week I was banjaxed, and a last-minute cobbling together of anything worth reading didn’t feel do-able. I hardly ever miss a post, but I think by Thursday I’d had every last drop of creative juice wrung out of me, and then some.

I had a really mixed week from an eating perspective. Sunday to Tuesday went really well. I was completely sure-footed, you know? Wednesday was a little bit wobbly, although I can’t pinpoint what it was that threw me off my game. Thursday and Friday went completely to shit. Saturday I played at being good until I went shopping, and then I had to sit on the naughty step until bedtime. By some fucking miracle, the Shitbird Scale awarded me a one pound loss yesterday morning. I have no idea how, I mean genuinely no idea.

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it so hard to stay focused with Christmas just around the corner. Every single step feels like I’m wading through treacle. I don’t have a choice but to focus…if I take my eye off the ball I know full well that I’ll hit the holidays fifteen pounds heavier than I am now, and by New Year I’ll look like a fucking Buddha. So I have to keep my head in the game, but it seems like everywhere I turn there’s food just taunting me.

Mince pies and Baileys almost got me yesterday in the supermarket. I saw them out of the corner of my eye as they lit up a gondola end with their special offer tags. I ran around the aisles refusing to make eye contact with anything tasty, in fact I probably looked like I was on some kind of special ops mission. Milk, chicken, veggies and OUT…BAM BAM BAM. Do not engage with any special offers and if it’s in a shiny Christmas wrapper it’s bad…step away.

Yesterday was a good day. My unexpected one pound loss provided the impetus that I needed to keep my feet in the sweet spot. I swam, and I ate within calories and I did it willingly because my head played nicely. I’m hoping for more of the same today, but there’s a danger-zone between twelve and two, with a Christmas lunch to be navigated.

Tuesday and Wednesday should be uneventful and I’m determined they’ll go without a hitch but Thursday through Saturday will be the real test of willpower because it’s our bi-annual girly weekend away in Foxy Lodge, and you know what temptations are on offer there, right?  Worst case scenario, it’s two days out of seven, so even if the prosecco gets me and I dive headlong into food fuckery, providing I bring my A-game between now and then it’ll be fine.

I’m trying to plan, but I may well end up treading water this week and to be fair, as long as the needle doesn’t go up, I’m kind of okay with that. I’m living my life.

Step by sticky treacle-ridden step…


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No Sausage Rolls Welcome Here

In the last hour of yesterday, when I was kicking back and relaxing in my armchair, glued to the final part of a TV drama I’ve been looking forward to since last week’s episode, I didn’t eat anything, so I’ve officially declared it as a victory. It’s the first time in four days where I ended the day without incident.

It wasn’t a bad dieting day all things considered…I ate a sensible breakfast, a questionable mid-morning snack from the sandwich van, followed by a sensible lunch, a dodgy afternoon snack from the ice-cream van and very sensible light supper followed by an hour’s swim after I got back from the hospital. I tried, you know? And more importantly, I counted.

I didn’t want to. I mean, I wanted to want to, almost as much as I wanted not to have to but in the end I just bloody behaved myself and sulked about it like a petulant child. But you know what, as I was drafting some words for this blog post, for the first time since the weekend I felt like I could look myself in the eye and report that on the dieting front at least, my day had been okay. Even though it’d been a shit day in every other respect.

Mum’s poorly. I got quite choked at the hospital yesterday…I was telling her who was coming for a visit today, and she didn’t recognise the name of my best friend in the whole world, even though for the last thirty odd years she’s affectionately referred to her as daughter number two. That was a first. The doctors can’t tell me if this sudden mental decline is due to the infection, or whether the last pieces of mum are slipping away from me. I cried like a baby on the way home.

In between all that she still made me laugh. For some reason, she’d pulled the cannula out of the back of her hand, twice, and when I asked her why, she put on her very best innocent face and pointed at the old lady in the opposite bed… it wasn’t me, it was her, she did it. We both got a fit of the giggles when I caught her eye and she knew she’d been rumbled. It was the one bright spot in what was otherwise a difficult visit.

So let’s see what today brings. Between you and me, I’m hoping it doesn’t bring anything resembling a sausage roll. I’m working from home today and there’s only wholesome food in the house, plus neither the sandwich van or the ice-cream van will be calling to tempt me, so I’m in with a fighting chance.

I’m not expecting miracles…I just want to keep the wheels on, that’s all.

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Back From The Land Of Sunshine And Guessing

Is it just me, or does the last week seem to have disappeared at warp speed? Time flies I guess, but anyway here I am, back from holiday and making the most of my last few days off work. I always miss you lot like mad whenever I take a break, but it does me a world of good to really switch off from time to time, and have nothing at all on the ‘to do’ pile. My batteries are completely recharged and I feel better for it, you know?

We had a fabulous holiday in possibly one of the most magical locations I’ve ever had the good fortune to visit. Did you see the photos? If not, and you’d like to look you can find them here. (Don’t let my Sunday name fool you, it’s me I promise!) I love Italy anyway, but oh my days the Umbrian region is really spectacular.

We managed to get a bit of walking in, way across the valley so we could look back at the castle we were staying in from a neighbouring hill. I rediscovered my love of swimming, which is very easy to do when you pretty much have the pool to yourself and can cut through the water with the sun on your back and the sound of bird song and cicadas as a backing track. I managed at least a hundred lengths of the pool every day and earned a few more food tokens for dinner.

I was so sad to leave, although I know I’ll go back and to be fair it’s always great to get home and see my boys. And guess what…despite all the food temptations, I never stepped a toe out of line all week. I know! I pulled it off and chose skinny, all day, every day. I’m not sure I can find the words to tell you how great that makes me feel now I’m out the other side.

Having no means to weigh or measure anything took me right out of my comfort zone, I’ve got to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, My Fitness Pal tries to make it easy by giving you the option of choosing a cup’s worth of something instead of a weight in grams, but that sets my OCD off all on it’s own.  I mean, how big is a cup? An espresso cup? A Starbucks size cup? I’ve got cups at home which are the size of a bucket and my fat eyes would try and default to those ones every time. Whaddya mean that’s too big?? It’s a CUP Your Honour!

I’ve had to pretty much guess my way through every menu I’ve looked at in the last week and that has twisted my melon big time. The irony isn’t lost on me, given that I’ve pretty much guessed and estimated my way through the last two years. It was easier somehow, when I was counting points instead of calories…there was so much free stuff that you could usually ignore half your plate for the purposes of food logging.

It’s different now. I feel like MFP is making me take accountable to a whole new level, you know? I finished splitting out a punnet of grapes yesterday afternoon into separate little carefully weighed zippy bags. There were six grapes left over at the end, and I didn’t even shove them in my mouth as a freebie…that’s how on it I am.

I’m relieved that after a few days of having to feel my way through the food minefield with one hand tied behind my back, I’ve reignited my relationship with the kitchen weighing scales without a fight and I’m right back on track with my food prep and planning…I was half expecting the Asshole voice to jump on the freestyle bandwagon and propose we continue with this guessing malarkey but he remains reassuringly quiet.

So, the acid test will be Sunday when I go toe to toe with the Shitbird scale. God of Pain’s scales confirmed last night that I’d stayed exactly the same as I was the day before I left, which is great and I suppose it shows that my guessing was pretty bob-on, but I’m not settling for that. I’m pitching for a loss…better watch this space 🙂

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Friends With Benefits

You know how sometimes, you listen to someone wittering on about something, and you want to shake them and turn the mirror round so they can have a good look, and see what you see? Usually that they’re talking shite and the problem is closer to home than they’re prepared to acknowledge, am I right?  Yeah, well that was me on Monday.

I don’t know what’s changed between Monday and now, but I re-read the post yesterday when I was catching up with all your messages, and all I could hear was one big whinge. Poor me, I’m such a victim, I’m trying so hard and it’s not my fault…holy moly what did I sound like. I never play the victim role, but I was definitely trying it on for size wasn’t I? Sorry about that, I feel suitably sheepish. In fact, I feel like a dick.

I’m haven’t really hit a plateau, have I? My recent inertia stems more from the two steps forward and four steps back school of muppetry. I had an email from a lady who suggested I was probably not being honest with myself about what I was eating, and after I’d swallowed my initial response – which may or may not have included a bit of salty language even by my standards – my indignation prompted me to hold the mirror up to myself and take a good long look.

Fuck’s sake. She wasn’t wrong. Looking objectively, I had to acknowledge a bunch of stuff.

There are some things I’m doing really well. I tip out all my thoughts and feelings, and pick the bones of them with those of you who are kind enough to listen three times every week, and that’s what’s helped me achieve longevity on this journey. No way would I still have skin in the game after six hundred and fifty eight days on a diet if you lot hadn’t lent me your ears. I feel supported, and I’d hope those of you on your own journey to Skinny Town feel supported in these pages too. So we got that down, right?

I’m broadly happy with my food plan. Well, as much as I’m ever going to be. Between you and me, I am bored to the back bollocks of counting points, but last week’s switch to No Count has given me a shiny new toy to play with and I’m doing okay. So I can tick that box too.

So, the basics then..? All those things that I know I should do to supplement both of the above, like drinking two or three litres of water every day, and counting points for the dressing I put on my salad, or the honey that I drizzle on my breakfast…huh, so about that… do I really use one level teaspoon’s worth…? I have no idea. I’ve never drizzled it onto a teaspoon, I mean who does that? I guess it’s probably about a teaspoon’s worth, and I count the points on that basis. That’s near enough, isn’t it?

Actually, it’s probably not enough. Not if it’s several times per week’s worth of guess work. As for water…huh. I don’t do that either. I forget, I don’t like the taste, it makes me wee a lot…blah blah blah. I rarely get even half a litre down my neck. I know I should, but I don’t. I have no excuse.

And don’t even get me started on gravy. Come on, I’m a Yorkshire girl, and gravy runs through my veins, in fact most of my meals revolve around it. It’s only since I’ve started following the No Count plan, and my points budget is much smaller,  that I’ve properly read the values again and realised that one point buys me only four tablespoons’ worth of gravy. You’re shitting me, right? I thought it meant four tablespoons’ worth of granules, so I’ve happily been sailing my food through a lake of gravy with every meal, for more than eighteen months. I want to bang my head on the table and wail.

That’s the sound of a penny dropping, right there. I feel like wearing a black armband today, since me and gravy won’t be seeing each other any more. Well, maybe from time to time, sort of like friends with benefits.

I was a bit rattled at the suggestion that I wasn’t being honest with myself, but once again I’m more grateful than I can tell you at the way you lot help me keep it real.

I’d better try harder to read the small print in future, eh 🙂



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