Tag Archives: weight watchers

Taking The MFP Plunge

So there was a chorus of voices following my last post, all chirruping about My Fitness Pal. I mean I’d heard of it, but I’d never really considered using it myself. I was a bit confused and thought it was something to do with a fitbit, and in any event I was comfortable doing my own thing, you know? Logging stuff in the weight watchers app, and using their barcode scanner which is the best invention ever for folk like me with lazy bones.

Everything was connected. My watch spoke to my phone and sent smoke signals about my activity to the weight watchers app and when you’re a technical muppet like I am, the thought of having to set up a different carry-on from scratch is a bit daunting. It was all very comfortable, except for the fact that I’ve been treading water on the whole evicting pounds from my pants project. Which is a drawback quite frankly, when that’s the very reason all this counting and logging is happening in the first place.

The same counting and logging that I’m at the end of my rope with, right? I’ve spent the last couple of weeks locking horns with the Asshole voice over that very issue. When I don’t have his insidious voice in my ear, I log stuff as I go through the day.

On days when I’m bombarded with you don’t need to log every little thing, it’ll save time logging it all at once later on, of course you’ll remember and by the way get a life saddo I’m more likely to do a dodgy calculation on the back of a fag packet at the end of the day which, with a strong wind behind me might be somewhere near accurate. Or not. Depending on how effectively the Asshole has wiped my memory in the meantime.

So, when I was showered with suggestions that I give MFP a try, I couldn’t think of anything less appealing. I mean seriously there was no way I was having anything to do with that. I couldn’t be parted from my Weight Watchers app, and no way was I going to do both. No way at all.

Except, what if? What if this was the kick up the backside I needed? They say a change is as good as a rest don’t they, and although Weight Watchers has been good to me, if I never count another fucking smart point as long as I live it’ll still be too soon…I’m  bored. But maybe I’m bored with the diet rather than bored with dieting per se? I’m desperate to keep the momentum going.

I think I mentioned that I switched to the No Count plan and I’ve been enjoying it actually, but I’m wary of the lack of boundaries. I’ve filled my boots with brown rice and wholewheat pasta this week because it’s free, but I can almost see those carbs jostling for position inside my pants as they weld themselves to my arse.

Besides that, I’m a food addict, and addicts don’t cope well without boundaries. It’s one thing eating a whole cauliflower because it’s free of points, but it’s something else entirely necking a massive bowl of pasta whilst wearing an innocent expression and claiming quite rightly that it’s free…it is. But it’s not, Not really.

So, change is a comin’. I’ve taken the plunge and signed up with My Fitness Pal, and I’m on board starting today. I feel excited, and although I’m not cancelling my weight watchers membership quite yet, I’ve kicked it into the long grass and I’m going to try counting calories in conjunction with MFP. Ta daaah!!

I’m still keeping my weigh-day as Sunday, so this dieting week will be a mixture of two diets but happily, I have no Asshole voice pitching to make today and tomorrow the stuff that fat-girl dreams are made of by taking my foot off the gas ‘because I’m starting again on Sunday’.

And you know he would have been all over that at one point, right? That’s head progress right there whether its reflected on the scale or not. It’s all good. No blip, no drama. Go to bed Thursday on Weight Watchers, wake up Friday counting calories.

Seamless. I’m excited to see how this works out.

And I wonder how many calories there are in gravy… 🙂


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Nothing In A Crackly Wrapper

Forty days. Four zero. Forty.

That’s how long it is since I ate something that I shouldn’t…I have to keep pinching myself, you know? It’s a milestone I can’t quite get my head around, when you consider how much my arse was dragging in the last few months of last year. And I’ll tell you what else…I haven’t really found it hard.

I know, right? I don’t understand it either. It’s like the Asshole voice has fallen off a cliff, because he hasn’t rattled his chains in well over a month. And I’m convinced it’s down to the fact that I’m giving refined sugar a really wide berth. I haven’t gone completely sugar-free…I’m not quite ready to go the whole hog and cut it out of my diet altogether, but to be honest I’m pretty close.

For forty days I’ve eaten no processed foods at all. No chocolate. No crisps or snacks. And that means that as I’ve been watching TV in the evenings, my viewing experience has been completely binge-free. Just me, on my own and flying solo without any treats which lead to more treats which lead me directly to hell in a hand cart. I’ve eaten grapes, or melon or a handful of nuts, but nothing which comes in a crackly wrapper.

It’s a weird thing you know…I feel like I’ve been set free. Right now, in this moment and all the moments over the last forty days I haven’t had to fight with myself over every food decision. I haven’t eaten a treat within my food budget and then taken that same budget down to the wire by having one more, then one more, all the time furiously recalculating what I might be able to eat for the rest of the week so I can eat still one more in this moment.

Those mid-afternoon cravings in the office have gone. That’s traditionally where my day took a wobble – everything up to lunchtime would be measured and planned, but whatever I put into my mouth with my afternoon cuppa would pretty much dictate how the rest of the day went, you know? Skidding home in the evening with only a sparse food budget left then spending what was left of the day driving myself mad with thoughts of all the things I wanted but couldn’t have.

Sometimes I’d cave and have them anyway, paying my Weight Watchers points forward with promises that I’d have a lean day tomorrow. Sometimes I’d just think fuck it and blow the budget then spend the rest of the week feeling guilty about the fact that I had no control, and pissed off that I’d left myself no further snacking opportunities. Whichever way, there was no respite from the food thoughts playing on a loop in my head, constantly stirred by my Asshole voice.

Imagine living that way, all the time. It’s like being stalked by some malevolent food beast that you just can’t get away from. The liberation that comes from that all of a sudden not being there is hard to describe. I remember being bullied when I was quite young and feeling like it was never going to end. My meek and gentle mum found out and raised all kinds of hell at the school, and it stopped immediately. What I’m feeling now reminds me of how I felt then, when I realised I could walk through the playground without having to worry about who was hiding in wait for me around the next corner.

Now, all that said, I’m not perfect…I am eating mountains of vegetables, and my portion sizes aren’t getting smaller…I know I need to focus on that, but at the end of the day nobody ever got fat by eating too much broccoli, right? One step at a time.

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Packing Away The Attitude

Well first of all, let’s have a resounding cheer for those amongst us who hit the new year feeling blissfully happy and proud at how well they coped with all the excesses of the festive season…yeee…what?

Ah. Not just me then.

If you did it, if you pulled it out of the bag then you’re my hero. Personally, I’ve been on the ropes a bit, in fact I’m not going to lie, sometimes I wasn’t even in the fucking ring. I was doing so well too. Even I can see that the timing was shit…after my major-league wobble I managed eleven straight days of clean eating, right up until the day before Christmas  Eve but then the wheels fell off my very fragile food sobriety once again and it’s been open season in the space between then and now.

I can only liken my Christmas to the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan, where some poor bloke is elbow deep in mud with bullets whizzing perilously close to his tin hat as he tried to navigate the battlefield and claw his way to the other side. Except in my case they weren’t bullets, they were chocolates and cookies and salty snacks. No cheese balls, in case you were wondering…I didn’t cross that line. Yey me. However, it was the single piece of restraint I managed to show, and it was more symbolic than waistline-friendly.

Well, I say fuck it…that was last year, right?

I’ve packed away my Christmas decorations this morning, and I’ve stuffed my Christmas Eating Attitude right down to the bottom of the box, next to the really shit baubles, you know the old tatty ones that get strung at the back of the tree where nobody sees? As I taped up the box for another year, it felt a bit like that Biggest Loser episode, you know the one where they climb a big hill wearing backpacks containing the equivalent amount of weight that they’ve lost and then they lob it off the top of the hill? They all cry and congratulate each other and then go home and hit the gym for last chance workout.

I had a false start yesterday. It was the first of January and it was a Sunday, so two new starts for the price of one…a new year and brand new Weight Watchers week. I made it ’till about 4pm and then I blew it. I was feeling really sad after a visit to my Godmother who is terminally ill. When she was first diagnosed the doctors said that they couldn’t cure her, but she’d probably be able to rub along for a good few years yet. Now they’re not telling her that any more. And I know it’s part of the circle of life, but it seemed like a good reason to eat everything that was left in my Christmas cupboard when I got home and then sit and cry about how unfair life is.

So today is my actual day one. I haven’t changed my weigh-day, and I’m not about to take the piss by insisting that I wait until next Sunday because otherwise it’s not a full week…today is it.

I know I have to make some changes. I need to get more accountable, you know? I mean sure, I already share with you my losses and my gains, but the overall pattern gets lost in the mix and I can hide from it too easily by cracking a joke here and there, so here’s the thing…I’ve been tidying the blog up over the last few days, getting ready for the new year and archiving stuff properly and as part of that I’ve made a new page – the Shitbird Scale now has a voice. And there, every Sunday, I will post a picture of our weekly conversation.

Shit the bed, did I actually say that out loud?

Well, it seems I did. And look at what the fucking hokey cokey diet has done to my weight loss…my regain was 15lbs prior to stuffing the Asshole back in his box before Christmas, and now it’s morphed into a 22lbs regain. I’m 22lbs heavier than my pre-Cuba weight. That means I’m 22lbs further away from my goal weight of 147lbs. All because I’m a muppet.

So the box is taped shut, my Christmas Eating Attitude is packed away and today, so far, feels like a new start. One minute at a time. I have 120lbs to lose and I’m going after it.

Who’s with me?

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Slowly Slowly Catchee Monkey…


So I had a bulging mailbag on Friday following my post about getting stuck on the same number, and as with all things diet-related there’s safety in numbers. It was a massive comfort to know it’s not just me, you know? Although I’ve got to say, some of the posse are blessed with far more patience than me. For two weeks now my number hasn’t moved, and I think that’s bad…one of our lot has just four pounds left to lose after shedding almost a hundred, and her number hasn’t budged for five weeks. Christ on a bike, I’d be a basket case if the needle hadn’t moved after five weeks.

Nobody mentions the patience needed in this game do they? Determination, yes…willpower, yes…motivation, yes that too. All those qualities get bandied about as the cornerstone of dieting success and when I’m in the sweet spot I have all of those in abundance. Patience, not so much so. Impatience is one of my things in fact. I honestly think it came free with my vagina in sort of a buy one get one free kind of deal…I’m just not very good at waiting. For anything.

And the thing is, it’s when impatience turns to frustration that my Asshole voice sits up and starts rattling his chains. I’m dangerously close to the edge, so I spent a chunk of time this weekend scouring the world wide web for as many perspectives on weight-loss plateaus as possible. I figured if I can at least understand why my needle isn’t moving, it might help.

According to her website, Jillian Michaels (who I’ve often observed from the comfort of my big fat leather recliner whooping ass on The Biggest Loser as I vaporised a family bag of cheese balls) reckons that a weight loss plateau will typically last for around three weeks. Which made me feel a bit better, I mean she’s da man, right? Professor of making fat folk fit strong and skinny. Except then she went on to say that in her experience, a plateau usually means that you’re not paying enough attention to what you’re doing.

Which pissed me off a bit, I’m not going to lie. It kind of feels like she’s saying I’m not trying hard enough, but I shit you not I am consumed with trying. I have never worked this hard in my entire life. Mainly down to the fact that Cuba and its mountain range is now less than four months away and I’ve still got the equivalent of two arses inside my pants.

I’ll give you yesterday morning as an example…I went for the double whammy again, circuit training followed by boxing. Three quarters of the way through the circuit training as I got to the second set of one of the kettle bell exercises that nearly wipes me out, I was so tempted to feign some kind of cardiac arrest to get out of doing it. My shoulder was hurting, my chest felt like it was going to explode and it took every bit of backbone I could summon to keep going. But I did keep going. I turn up and work hard every day…trust me, even if I wasn’t a fully-paid-up wuss I couldn’t work any harder than I am.

But I did take a long hard look at what I’m eating, just in case. And looking back over three weeks’ worth of food plans, although I’m following the principles that God of Pain outlined and I’m eating within points, I have to admit it’s a bit samey. I’m sticking to the same things, at roughly the same time of day. There’s a definite order, which is something I’ve worked really hard to achieve because it goes against my nature, but it seems that routine in what you eat is a no-no.

Loads of you told me about switching up my food budget for a couple days and then reducing my points back down – apparently it’s a thing, and Jillian Michaels offers the same advice. So I’m going to give that a whirl this week. I’m also going to drink more water…yeah, that old chestnut. I know I always say that, but in practice I seem to run out of steam after a day or two, and I find myself back in the place where I really only actually drink water whilst I’m in the fitness studio sweating my cahoonies off. Outside of that, I don’t touch it, even though I know I should.

So this week I’m going to drink like a camel, and fool my body with an eating plan that is less predictable. Whatever not takes, right? I refuse to be passive whilst the bitch in the bathroom decides whether she’ll grant me a lower number. I hold the power, not her and I’ve so got this 🙂

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Getting The Upper Hand

battle of wills

I should tell you about what happened on Friday evening…there was a monumental battle of wills between me and the Asshole voice, who was demanding chicken chow mien and prawn toast from the Chinese takeaway.

It’d definitely been a game of two halves on Friday where my eating was concerned – someone brought donuts into the office, and I’m not just talking about regular donuts, I mean these were seriously impressive donuts. I’m not a massive donut fan under normal circumstances but one look in the box and I was a convert…my fat-girl food radar went off the scale. I’d been all over my food choices up to that point, eating fruit mid-morning followed by quite a light lunch, so by the mid-afternoon snack stop there was a fairly respectable amount of food budget left to go after.

However, much as I fancied one of those bad boys, I had no way of pointing them and I worried that my best guess might be way under…they were big and sticky and chocolatey, and the only safe way to indulge would’ve been to sacrifice the next three years’ worth of points, you know? I decided they just weren’t worth it.

So instead, I opened a packet of biscuits that someone from the trading team had brought into the office, because they were only six points each. I say only six points, that’s about one sixth of my daily food budget. It’s high, for a biscuit, but I rationalised it to myself in the same way I do when I spot a handbag I can’t afford in the sales, you know? But it’s only this much, really I’m saving on what it would’ve cost me at full price, look it’s a bargain…compared to the donuts, they were a bargain.

The thing is, once I’d got the taste for them I couldn’t leave the damned things alone. I ate four, one after the other in that way where even as I was eating one I was thinking about unwrapping the next. They got me. Which didn’t leave me with a whole lot of options come suppertime.

When I got in from work, I had a poke about in the fridge and decided that my best option for dinner would be a bunch of grapes…right then. Awesome. My own fault, but I’d kind of squared it away with myself, and I was resigned to having an early night to compensate for having too much day left at the end of my points.

I wish I could’ve captured the next couple of hours on a time-lapse video to show you…it sort of went something like this:

Me, around 8pm, peckish because of a mis-spent points day with nothing left in the coffers, and not feeling the grapes at all. Boy walks in with chips and Chinese curry sauce. Smell pervades house. Boy eats up, then goes out. Smell lingers. Forced out of chair by onset of starvation to check discarded wrappers for stray chips. Find none. Need chips. Sit back down in chair, mentally run through Chinese takeaway menu, and fantasise.

Decide on chicken chow mien and prawn toast. Get out of chair and put shoes on, to go order. Take shoes off again and sit back down. Watch TV but see nothing. Prawntoastprawntoastprawntoast. Get back up and walk three times round kitchen, whilst pondering how many times around it would take to earn enough points for chicken chow mien and prawn toast. Remember exercise points are now off limits. Sit back down and sulk for five minutes.

Go back through takeaway menu in my head to find low point alternative. Don’t find one. Chicken chow mien and prawn toast it is then. No, it isn’t. Yes it is… NO! IT’S NOT.

Go back into kitchen and systematically examine contents of every cupboard looking for filling tasty alternative, containing no points. Epic fail, no such thing exists. Bite the corner off a dry Ryvita. Spit it out again. Put shoes back on and grab purse. Dog gets excited and thinks we’re going out. Dog looks confused then pissed off as shoes come off again….rinse, and repeat. 

I went to bed in the end, at about half past nine, still chuntering to myself but without a morsel of chow mien or prawn toast having passing my lips. It was a close-run battle, but you know what…the craving eventually passed as they always do.

In the moment, it feels impossible, but cravings always pass, if I can just bite down and hold the line. I woke up the next day ready to grab my food plan by the balls, and I was in control all day without a peep out of the asshole voice…just goes to show, right?

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