Tag Archives: willpower

I Didn’t See That One Coming…

So here was I, coasting along under the rather cocky misapprehension that wrestling with the Asshole voice was a pastime well and truly relegated to days gone by. I mean, he’s been silent for so long that surely he must have relocated to someone else’s head, right? Sadly, no. Yesterday I was subjected to four hours of torture over a cheese and pickle sandwich.

I found myself in a catered meeting at work facing my old nemesis, the buffet. I knew it was coming, and I was cool with it, you know? I’ve spent the last 81 days being a rock star with my food choices so I strode confidently into the meeting room, and I even picked my seat before throwing a glance towards the lunch table. Let’s just say it hasn’t always happened in that order…in the past, whilst trying to give the impression that I’m holding back, I’ve been known to cover the area between door and lunch table at warp speed, knocking people over like skittles in my haste to fix a plate.

Yesterday it was a good buffet, I mean it was all seeded wholemeal bread with green stuff, and some wraps with chicken as well as a big bowl of crisps and some cakes.  No sausage rolls or fries or wedges, just a handful of puff-pastry savouries…really, aside from the crisps and cake it was wholesome and healthy. And I made careful choices from the sandwiches, mentally calculating my weight-watcher points as I went. The crisps didn’t worry me, and I barely noticed the cakes. It’s all good, I remember sitting and thinking I’ve so got this…look at me, I’m cured!

Famous last words, right? After we’d finished eating, and there were just the dregs of the buffet table left, well that’s when the fun started. There were two cheese and pickle sandwiches on a tray that nobody had picked. Me, I’d gone for the ham salad ones, and a chicken wrap. I’d scrutinised and rejected the egg mayo and BLT and of course the cheese ones on the basis that they contained stuff from the naughty list and were too point-heavy. I was happy with my choice, right up until I clocked those two leftover cheese butties.

Go on…they won’t kill you. They’re tiny, probably not even an ounce of cheese between ’em… (as I looked at two wedges of cheese clearly cut with a generous hand)…you’ve been so good and besides you’re having chicken for tea and there’s hardly any points in that, so you can afford the cheese. You deserve cheese, you really do. It’s not cake, or crisps, is it? That would be a bad choice but you know cheese is good for your bones. 

On, and on, and on, for four hours. The meeting finished at 4pm, and as I threw a glance back over my shoulder as I left the room and mentally waved farewell to those two cheese sandwiches which were looking a bit curled around the edges by that point, I still wanted them.

I probably could’ve spared the points but you know what, I recognise cheese as a trigger food. It wouldn’t have been the two cheese sandwiches which left collateral damage, it would’ve been the pack of Cathedral City strong cheddar that I might have picked up on the way home which just begged to be grilled until it was bubbly and golden and on my plate. 

Truth is, I can’t allow myself to get the taste. If two curling sandwiches can torture me for four hours, then allowing it over the threshold is never going to end well is it? It was hard not to eat them but on reflection, by the skin of my teeth I escaped unscathed.

Guess I’m still a work in progress after all 🙂


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Mrs Smug From Smugsville

So, I’ve been staring at a blank page for ages trying to think of a way to tell you that I managed to stick to my guns and emerge from holiday with my food sobriety intact, it’s just that every which way I try makes me sound like Mrs Smug from Smugsville. Fact is, I did it! It seems that miracles do happen, and despite the best efforts of an army of chefs I’m still motoring and I’ve managed to come out the other end 59 days food sober.

And, I weigh less than I did when we set off.  I mean don’t get overexcited because we’re only talking one quarter of one pound but hey, any hole’s a goal, right?

When I got home I somehow resisted the temptation to run in the front door and hotfoot it upstairs for an immediate confrontation with the Shitbird Scale, because looking at my puffy post-flight waterlogged ankles I didn’t want to give the Asshole voice any leverage to start fucking with my head…I can pretty much predict the script, you know? Ah look, you’ve gained weight even though you’ve deprived yourself for a whole week…it just wasn’t worth it. Go buy a Daim cake immediately and knickers to the diet…

I managed to hold off stepping on until yesterday, and I can’t even begin to tell you how strong that makes me feel. It means that I’m not reliant on the scale to validate my success, you know? I knew on the inside that I’d pulled it off and really that’s all that mattered. I hoped that Shitbird Scale would acknowledge my hard work but I was happy to wait until my body had gotten over the journey before checking in.

God of Pain invited me to hop on his scale when I went for a double session of torture last night because he insists his is the official number, and his scale declared a two pounds loss. Now, if you remember his scale also said I’d gained a pound just before I went which I really hadn’t. But whatever, all things being equal I’ve still emerged a cock-hair skinnier from a holiday which may well have spelled dieting disaster and I’ll take that thank you very much 🙂

There were moments during the trip where it was really tough. One bar on the ship in particular served tapas-style nibbles whenever you ordered drinks, and I had to ask my friend to move the plate out of sight. She looked at me like I’d lost the plot and I was reminded once again that the way a food addict looks at the world is different to normal people, you know? My friend was happy to sit there and chat with a plate of breaded cheese wheels and bite-size frittata and quiche and meatballs right under her nose, where for me, conversation turned into white noise and the plate became my sole focus. The need to reach out and take one after another until they were gone was overwhelming.

And I get it – anyone who’s lucky enough not to have experienced the sheer power of food cravings in that way could never even hope to understand…there’s little wonder my friend regarded my request to hide the plate as a bit weird. But I’m proud of the way in which I managed it, in the moment. It meant I ate one or two, but I didn’t vaporise them all. And at the end of the day, after years of friendship it probably doesn’t come as breaking news that I’m a bit weird.

Anyway, onwards…it’s good to be home. My food plan is nailed on, and my exercise is on track…the next hurdle to navigate is my bi-annual girly weekend which is happening next week. A long weekend of gossip and laughter fuelled by prosecco and gin.

Bring it on, I can’t wait. I’ve totally got this 🙂

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My Skinny Talisman

I set off for the office yesterday morning with a bit of added spring in my step, it being my last full day in work and all…don’t you just love that feeling when you’re winding down for holidays? I have a few bits to finish off today, before my out of office gets whacked on at lunchtime and I head off to get my spray tan and my holiday toes. Not even the thought of those paper knickers can dampen my mood, I’m too giddy for words 🙂

Yesterday was the ultimate test of my pre-holiday willpower, and as I took my place around the table at work for our full day meeting I did a quick recce to see whether the usual nibbles had been provided…who am I kidding, of course they bloody had. There was a box of flapjacks to my right, a box of marshmallow teacakes to my left, several bowls containing wrapped sweets dotted around, and in the middle of the table was a massive bowl of green bananas.

Flapjacks are my favourite. So are marshmallow teacakes, as it happens. Green bananas are not. They make my teeth squeak and my toes curl, and unless they can be dipped in hot frothy coffee (yes, I know, I’m weird) they’re to be avoided at all costs.

I’m puffing my chest out with pride as I tell you I didn’t put so much as a toe out of line. Well, in the spirit of full disclosure I did risk squeaky teeth by having a crack at a green banana, but as for the rest…not a single naughty morsel passed my lips. I wasn’t bothered, not one little bit.

Now, I’d love to tell you that this masterclass in restraint set off some kind of skinny chain-reaction, but according to God of Pain’s scale this morning I’m a pound up. On Wednesday night the same scale said I was two pounds down. His scale is clearly as barking mad as the Shitbird in my bathroom, however due to the Asshole voice’s continued hiatus I shrugged it off as some kind of normal body fluctuation and it hasn’t even come close to putting a crimp in my mood.

So, the challenge now is keeping it going, right? I am forty seven days food sober and tomorrow I am flying out to meet our ship in a land far far away, where chefs will be lying in wait around every corner with the intention of feeding me. Let’s be honest, it does have the potential for disaster written all over it. I’ve been really excited about the trip whilst harbouring a degree of trepidation about how I’m going to deal with the barrage of food opportunities. ‘Just saying no’ isn’t always that easy for a food addict.

That said, my recent steadfast occupation of the sweet spot has made me feel a lot more relaxed about the whole thing, and I’m also taking a secret weapon in my suitcase. God of Pain introduced a three month clean eating challenge back in the New Year, and various milestones of food sobriety have been rewarded with a magnetic disk. Bronze seven, fourteen and twenty eight days for month one, the same in silver for month two and gold in month three. I’m currently on silver fourteen and I’m due for my upgrade to silver twenty eight in nine days’ time…the day I get back from holiday.

If I fall off the wagon, I have to give up this hard-won badge of honour and start all over again. Over my dead body, right? So it’s coming on holiday with me. My silver fourteen will be liberated from its spot on my cooker hood and will be carried with me right throughout my holiday so it can act as my skinny talisman and help me keep my eye on the prize.

That, along with the thought of having to post a picture in here of my conversation with the Shitbird Scale when I get home, might just help me to get the balance right between eating well, and diving headlong into a week of culinary hedonism. Watch this space… 🙂

I may get chance to post a few pictures on Facebook over the next week or so, wi-fi permitting and I’ll be back a week on Sunday. Lots of love to all in the meantime and I’ll see you on the other side!

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A Perfect St Valentine

So the nearer I get to my holiday, the more I keep expecting the wheels to come off my food plan. There are only four more sleeps to go, and generally by this point – usually way before this point if we’re splitting hairs – the Asshole voice would have kicked the pre-holiday campaign into full swing…you may as well stop now, you’re practically on holiday and you won’t lose any more weight between now and then. You’re going to blow it next week anyway so why don’t you just have a few days without having to worry about dieting and start your blow-out early…you’ve earned it.

This time..? Nothing. The food plan continues in textbook fashion, and not a murmur from the asshole between my ears.

I’m a bit baffled to be honest. Last night would have been a perfect opportunity for him to rattle his chains. I was in a proper strop when I finally got in from work, having left an hour early so I could make a 6pm class at the Kingdom of Pain only to get stuck in shitty traffic. My one hour commute turned into three hours so I missed class altogether…I wasn’t even close.

Then when I finally got home there was nothing in for supper. Well, there was, but it was all food I’m not supposed to be eating, because I rushed out yesterday morning without proper planning. So I cobbled together a fairly random and crappy supper consisting of a couple of crumpets which were past their ‘best before’ date, and a protein shake. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t get an A for effort. I couldn’t help feeling a bit envious at the thought of all those folk enjoying romantic and tasty valentine dinners,  as I sat there with my two stale crumpets and a crappy milkshake.

So the evening’s not going well, right? It was a stinker. Except in so many ways it was perfect. There was food in the fridge that my head just accepted was off-limits, so there was no debate to be had. No standing in front of the fridge whilst I tried to talk myself into it and then out of it again. No fight. Hello? That’s a first.

Then my boy came home later on with a box of seriously good chocolates that he’d been given, and normally I’d be all over those bad boys in a flash…last night, nothing. I wasn’t interested. I didn’t even smell them, that’s how immune I was. It’s not like I was grandstanding, or making a show of being good…I just didn’t want one. And let me be clear, not wanting one has never actually stopped me from having one in the past. If they were there, I could and if I could, I did. Always. But not last night.

Do you think I’m sickening for something?

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The Moose Who Got A Spray Tan

You’ll never believe what I’ve gone and done…I’ve only taken the plunge and booked a spray tan for the day before we go on holiday. I know! I mean, I still have to gear myself up for the humiliation of standing in front of a skinny string bean with my kit off, in a pair of paper knickers which I can guarantee will not have been created with an arse the size of mine in mind, but do you know what, I don’t really care.

I don’t tan these days – I suffer from vitiligo, which means that I’m slowly losing the pigment in my skin, so when the bits of me that do still go brown see the sun, I end up looking like someone flicked tan coloured paint at my milk-bottle white skin, if you can picture what I mean…it’s sort of messy. So I tend to rock the pale and interesting look most of the time and pretty much avoid the sun completely. The thing is, when I see my friend turning a lovely shade of golden brown towards the end of our holidays I always get a tinge of envy…I do love a nice tan. And I’ll tell you what else, don’t you think being tanned makes you feel thinner? I do.

So as I was having my nails done on Saturday, I decided to go for it and I’m all booked in. I realise it’ll all happen the wrong way round, me heading off on holiday in all my bronzed glory to spend a week somewhere hot before returning home as white as a ghost but at least for the first two or three days I’ll feel like I belong in the holiday photos, right? Somewhere around the middle of the holiday, me and my friend might even be the same colour as she develops her tan and mine washes away down the plughole 🙂

Just booking my tanning session made me feel a bit giddy. It’s another example of something I would never have done when I was at my fattest, I mean it’s not just the thought of standing in front of a stranger with all the peaks and valleys of my morbidly obese body on display, although that would be bad enough. It’s the thought of what they might go home and tell their friends afterwards about the moose who got a spray tan, you know?

Every now and again it’s good to remember the way I used to have to navigate my life, avoiding situations where I might become the butt of somebody’s joke. It was exhausting. I used to think two or three steps ahead constantly so I didn’t bump into a situation that I hadn’t planned for, or figured out in advance how to handle. Where I went, what I did, where I sat, what I wore…everything had to be scrutinised through a fat-girl lens to establish its suitability for someone like me. And you don’t need me to tell you that the Asshole voice had a never-ending supply of reasons why I couldn’t do things that normal people could, and what people might think about me if I tried.

Today is day 36 of my new start. I had another strong week last week, and the Shitbird Scale rewarded me with another good loss. The further away I walk from the cycle of behaving myself then spectacularly falling off the wagon, regroup and repeat, the more sure the ground feels under my feet. For the first time in my life, I have been chocolate and salty-snack free for five weeks and one day, resulting in a loss of 13lbs since the beginning of January, which is more than all of last year’s net effort put together.

I’m calm. And trust me when I tell you that calm is the real soul food.

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