Saturday, February 18, 2006

Apologies and a lesson.

For the benefit of my regular reader, who has steadfastly returned to this page almost everyday to see whether it's been updated (thank you Mia) , here's an update.

There is no update weight loss wise - I haven't given up, the project has been put on hold. While I was away in France t'other half suffered an illness, a minor bloodclot. It wasn't particularly serious but for her it could have had serious ramifications because unlike the majority of us she doesn't feed orally, she's an intravenous feeder due to an illness a few years back wiping her intestines out. Consequently her liquid nutrition wasn't able to pass round her body effectively so she's had to go into hospital to have it sorted.

So this has been a pretty stressful time. Not that I've been worrying particularly about Sharon (although I have, naturally) because I know she's now in good hands. Rather it's been difficult with arranging visits (hospital is 40 miles away), sorting out Sharon's affairs (her unfinished work and ebay winnings!) and doing the house thing with a teenager who is constantly requiring ferrying around. There has been the odd long period for me without food and this has been balanced by a goodly helping of curry now and again. That's not strictly true, there haven't been many but there has been the odd occasion when I've been near a restaurant or takeaway and it's been too convenient. I have started to stock up on rabbit food though and that will be consumed soon. Moreover, I'm bored and lonely without her here so there is probably a small amount of comfort eating going on.

I was good in France though. I didn't over-indulge once even though I could so easily have done. Only once did I give into temptation and consume a whole bottle of red wine in an evening. I weighed myself when I got back and although I hadn't lost any weight, I hadn't put any on either. The same a couple of days ago. It seems I have reached my top weight. Unless I dine on lard and don't move I can't see myself actually getting any heavier, it's just so damn uncomfortable. My diet won't get any worse either because I do have that little check inside me that tells me I can't eat that or I'll suffer.

Now the lesson. Sharon's illness was caused largely because she was a smoker. I think she'd agree to that she didn't have a particularly healthy diet at the time either. There couldn't be a more graphic warning about the dangers of smoking and bad diet than what happened to Sharon so I would implore any of you smokers out there to seriously contemplate the very real damage you're doing to yourselves. If you're overweight, you're just doubling the risk of permanent damage and there's no more permament damage than having to feed through a tube for 14 hours a day. Well, apart from death, obviously. Great way to lose weight though. She's quite literally half the woman she was in that respect but the threat of liver failure, diabetes, osteoporosis and more clots is the downside for that.

Giving up smoking doesn't mean you have to put on weight. You may, in fact you probably will, put on a few pounds straight away; I certainly did. The payback though is that you very soon begin to feel healthier and much more confident about undertaking exercise so it's easier to shed those pounds as well. You'll be saving loads of money too so maybe that gym membership is a reality after all. Don't believe all the stories about it being difficult. It's not always as difficult to stop as you may think; it's been built up to be difficult because there's financial interest in it for the patch manufacturers and hypnotherapists. It's also fashionable to struggle. It is though quite easy to start again so that's where you need the willpower. I gave up twice with no huge problems at all. Once after an illness gave me the necessary imperative to stop and the second time I set a date, the day Sharon came out of hospital after losing her bowel. I've hardly ever been tempted (only once, a year after I first gave up - smoked again for 15 months after making the mistake that I thought I could be a social smoker) but what's great is I've never given in to even those since. I learned my lesson well. It really hasn't been difficult and I was a 20-30 a day person who did (and still does) all those smoking related things like angling and going to pubs . I realise that I may well have had an easy ride but I really do wish people would listen to those of us who found it dead easy (and I know I'm not alone) rather than the scaremongers. I was just as addicted, after all!

Yes, I've earned the right to be smug and self-righteous!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Progress? What progress?

I've jumped on the scales a couple of times this week at unusual times and there's no great movement either way. I've resisted for the past couple of days though because I had a "bit of a bug" a couple of days ago meaning I moved around with a great deal of caution. Because of that I popped a couple of Immodium (loperamide) so now food's going in one end...and staying there. Maybe I'll do all the weighing and measuring tomorrow.

Slight problem on Friday because I'm off to France for a week. On my own. As I'll be stuck in front of this keyboard for most of the time working, there is a huge temptation to hit the local supermarket and stock up on some of the local produce. As I'm in Normandy, this means dairy products. The butter is the best on earth and on fresh warm bread it's...well let's not dwell on it. I'll do a before and after, eh?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oh dear - minor disaster!

Complete lack of discipline again yesterday (Wednesday). I had to visit a client and as he lives in central London, nearly 200 miles away and because we invariably have a very nice wine to go with our lunch, I always go by train. I always book well in advance too as I can save £100 by doing that. Trouble is, the cheapest ticket I could buy for the down trip to get me to London for a sensible time when I booked back in December, was in First Class. It was only about £16 more and I wasn't paying, so I got it. I've never travelled first class before because usually the cost is extremely prohibitive. What's more, a friend of ours who knows about these things told me "Oh, you'll get a free breakfast. Nice." Nice.

Now, British railway companies have traditionally had a bit of a bad press when it comes to their food offerings. The Pullmans don't exist anymore and my line is operated by Virgin, who the media have been out to get at every opportunity. All I can say is that as soon as I tasted the wholemeal toast and had a bite out of the sausage in my "Full English" I was sold, and for a day at least, any pretensions toward a healthy day's eating went straight out of the window. "Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper" is the saying and I was quite happy to do this until my client suggested we went for lunch . He dines well and usually at either of one or two restaurants locally. Yesterday was one I hadn't been to before and I was good, I didn't have a starter. That would have been whitebait, which I love, but I resisted. But I did have duck with apple sauce, green beans, petits pois, spinach and sautéd potatoes. And a very large Irish whiskey and half a bottle of splendid wine and an absolutely divine creme caramel (served by the campest waiter in London and real laugh!).

Too much fun. Salad tomorrow. Grrr!!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I'm so good...

I had a sudden urge to weigh myself this evening. Not sure why as I usually try and do it at the same time each day, in the morning after my bath and all that mullarky. Anyway I was pleasantly surprised because I'm down to 14 st 6 which means I've lost 5lb in total so far.

What's really good is that this has been achieved solely through healthier eating and not a special diet or much extra exercise. I take the dog for a long walk 4 or 5 times a week and we both have a little jog along the way but that's about the only concession I've made to strenuous exercise so far. If I have a snack I try and have something not too fattening like fruit or a slice of Ryvita. I think I've had two packs of crisps in two weeks and only two sausages in all that time and believe me, that's pretty good for me.

It's because of this steady approach that I think it's working. I don't feel the craving for snacks like I used to and any I do get are minor and usually easily overcome. Still not feeling self-righteous though. How can I when this is only what I should be doing?

And...guess what? It's not hard. I know that's an old cliché but I'm pretty certain that most of the problems people have with trying to lose weight are psychological. They're convinced they're not going to do it so it never happens. Go with the flow. If it doesn't start to come off straight away, don't worry. Stick at it. If you're just eating less or healthier then expect to have to wait a few days before you notice anything because you'll probably compensate by drinking the odd extra cup of tea or overdoing the healthy snacks.

Moreover - be honest and don't lie to yourself. Did you really not snack earlier? I used to know somebody who claimed he ate good healthy food but was nearly 30 stones. He used to drink a large can of evaporated milk a day though and somehow it had become so much of a habit that he didn't notice it or account for it in his daily intake. We knew this because we found his stash of Carnation in the office one day. Another friend is very overweight yet can't see that the bottle of cream liqueur she gets through every week in her coffee and her almost total lack of exercise is a contributing factor. Admitting you've not been as honest with yourself as you'd hitherto believed can be just as big a victory as losing that first pound.

Here's to next week!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Slimming, Norwegian style.

Inger Lise (Lise or Inglesia - it depends), Sharon's eldest daughter, moved back to the land of her birth, Norway, a couple of months ago to be with her beau, Ivan.

Love is obviously affecting her eating habits as she's noticed bits getting larger here and there. She's now joining in the slimming blog thing at this place. There's also a link in my sidebar. Go and say hello but for heaven's sake don't give her your phone number :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Climbed back on again...

I just thought I'd let you know that I'm back on the salads and all snacks are healthy ones. I'm feeling better for it too. I'm not hugely active as I work from home, so I can forego breakfast unless I'm doing something strenuous in the morning. I don't feel quite so bloated and that will eventually help with the acid reflux I suffer from (I've got a hiatus hernia - possibly a side effect of smoking for 25 years. Glad I gave up). I really do need to do this!

What's more, my system seems to have got used to the extra fibre. (Cover your eyes, disgusting fact alert) Did you know that if you "wipe" more than five times you've got a potential problem? (Heard that one on the radio the other day). Let's just say I'm doing much better on that front than I used to be so even if I'm not losing much weight yet I'm doing well elsewhere.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Oops. It's Fat Sunday

Shame to say, I fell off the wagon a bit today. Made a large stew and ate most of it. Dumplings as well. Bugger. Oh well, it happens. Still got next week.