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These Facts Need Facing

  1. I lost about 3 stones with WeightWatchers last year.
  2. I stopped going to WW and following the Plan in November.
  3. Since November I’ve gained back about 1 stone.

Over the past few months I’ve had a holiday, no central heating, a birthday and Christmas and all of these are good reasons for not dieting.  But I’ve also deliberately binged, drunk caffeine (it doesn’t agree with me) and avoided exercise.  Looking back, there are no good reasons for any of this.  I’ve allegedly been on another diet, the ‘just eating healthily at home’ and the  ‘s*d it, just pass the chocolate’ plans.  I already know that none of these work for me so why I’m surprised every time I step on the scales is a bit of a mystery.

The problem is complex.  Firstly, I’m blessed with what my Dr describes as ‘an addictive personality’ and food is a useful means of self-medication.  Secondly, I really do enjoy my food.  I enjoy planning and shopping and cooking and … well, yes, eating.  And thirdly, I’m on medication which makes me feel constantly hungry and never full.  Oh, I miss feeling full.  I seem to have two settings – hungry and so stuffed I want to be sick.

Doing WW last year was hard.  But it works – it imposes an external brake on the amount I eat and that’s something I can’t do for myself right now.  If I could I wouldn’t have gained back some of the weight I worked so hard to lose.

It’s time to go back and the meeting I used to go to is tomorrow night.  So tomorrow I’ll start tracking, wear my pedometer and go to my meeting.  I’ll read the literature and buy a magazine.  I’ll plan a menu to take me into next week and walk instead of taking the car.

I know what weighing 15st is like because I’ve been there.  I didn’t like it and I’m not going back.

One, two, skip a few …

Weigh-in was last night and I was actually pleased to have ‘only’ gained 3lbs.  I didn’t go last week because we had some nasty looking weather so that’s a 3lb gain over two weeks of eating rubbish and I’m just relieved it wasn’t more.

I’ve got the cold at the moment and am really craving sugar but I’m going to get back on track as soon as possible.  I’ve plenty of healthy food in the house so it should be easier to eat that than to go to the shop to buy rubbish.  Shouldn’t it?

Weigh In: Fantastic Loss!

I was hoping to lose the 4lbs I gained last week but I’ve gone two pounds better and lost 6lbs!  I’m allowed a little squeeee! for that, I think 🙂  I have achieved this by committing to the food diary (and knowing my Consultant would ask to see it has kept me writing) and walking rather than driving where possible.  The weather’s been atrocious this week so I’ve not walked as much as I’d have liked.

For rewards I’m having some chocolate (Synned, of course!) at the moment and I’ve awarded myself a direct transfer of £1 for each lb lost added to my rewards spreadsheet.  This, added to what was already there, has allowed me to have two books from my wish-list.  They’re both Kindle books so I get some of the instant gratification I crave!

Next week, I’d like to lose 1.5lbs (as this is what I usually lose when I’m working the Plan properly).  I will achieve this by sticking to the Green option and filling in my food diary daily – my Consultant will ask for it next week if I don’t hand it in voluntarily.  For exercise I shall continue to keep the car away from home so that I have a 10 minute walk to collect it if I want to use it.

And the chocolate’s delicious!

Well, I don’t know where it’s been but motivation arrived home last night and, gosh, I’m pleased to see it!

I now have a healthy goal in mind:  I want to learn dressage.  I rode throughout my childhood and have the rosettes to prove it (I wonder where they are?)  Other things got in the way when I was about 14 or 15 and I stopped going but I’ve had an intermittent itch to go back for a while.  I never liked jumping but enjoyed flat-work.  My favourite lessons focussed on changes of gait, precision and correct form – in other words, very basic dressage.

Last night I was thinking about weight-loss and exercise.  The advice is always to choose a form of exercise that you enjoy and it occurred to me last night that riding is really the only one I’ve ever liked.  I was fit, strong and a healthy weight all the time I was riding.  That’s what my body was trained to do – I have large thighs to prove it!  Since I’ve gained weight, all my muscle has turned to flab but surely if I rode again it’d turn back into muscle?

A ‘Learn Dressage’ goal works on lots of levels.  I need to lose weight and get fitter before I contemplate booking a lesson else the pain of unaccustomed activity will outweigh my pleasure.  I also need to save some money (riding’s an expensive hobby) but I worked out last night that if I stop buying rubbish (I spent £4 on Pepsi Max yesterday) I can ride for an hour a week.  I need to ditch the caffeine, stop bringing clutter into the house and have a reason to save money anyway so a whole lot of boxes are being ticked.

The only unknown is my allergies:  Even through I rode for years, I was allergic to something at the stables (whether the horses or the hay and straw I don’t know).  I’m willing to put up with a certain amount of discomfort in the hope that my tolerance would rise but don’t know how bad it will be.

I have a plan.  I have motivation.  And I’m going riding!

For an intelligent woman it’s amazing how stupid I can sometimes be:

  1. I stopped tracking last Tuesday.
  2. I filled my stomach with Diet Coke half an hour before tonight’s weigh in.
  3. Despite #1 and #2 above, I still expected to maintain last week’s weight.
  4. Despite having to be out of the house at 8am tomorrow, I’m continuing to drink Diet Coke and am now feeling decidedly bouncy.  So much for having an early night.

I know why I’ve gained 4lbs – two nights out, failure to track and a very full tummy – but the question is:  What am I going to do about it?  Giving up is not an option.  I found out tonight that I mind this gain a whole lot more than I thought I would.  So in the week ahead I will:

  1. Email my Consultant and commit to doing a food diary for which she will ask next Monday.  I’m telling myself it doesn’t matter if I go over my Syns so long as I track what I’ve had.  The plan can’t possibly work if I don’t use the tools but it’s baby steps.  Sometimes last week I didn’t even know which option I was following.
  2. The Diet Coke (and Pepsi Max) have to go again.  I love my bubbles but the caffeine doesn’t agree with me and, worse, once I start drinking it I can’t control my consumption.  My doctor says I have an addictive personality and he’s right.  So it’s water or diet lemonade from now on.  This means I’ll sleep better, have more energy and save money.
  3. Walk instead of driving wherever possible.  I would have done this last week if I hadn’t had bad cramps and did walk down to the shops earlier on today.  Tomorrow I will take the car up to M&D’s house and leave it there until I need it.

To motivate myself to make these changes I’m going to use a  star-chart.  I wrote a new daily routine/schedule at the weekend which awards a nice big tick for each item I do with the prospects of rewardage if I score enough (haven’t quite worked that out yet but I’m thinking an 80/20 achievement level is reasonable) so I’m going to add my three action points to that and see how I get on.

Going Green

The SlimmingWorld diet has three eating plans:

  • Original (Red)
  • Green
  • Extra Easy

When I first started going – three or four years ago – I always did Red which is a lower-carb, high-protein option.  It worked really well for me but is expensive.  Then I flirted with vegetarianism (I do this from time to time) and went Green.  Extra Easy was introduced a couple of years ago and I loved it food-wise but not milk-wise.  I drink a lot of coffee and missed the extra milk allowance one gets on the first two plans.

This time around I’ve been doing Extra Easy and, as you know, maintaining.  Because my Consultant and I have taken the pressure off with regards to ‘got to lose 3st’ and she’s happy for me to maintain if I’m happy to do so, it’s given me a good chance to think about where I want to go and how I’m going to get there.  And I’ve realised that most of what I eat is Free Food on the Green plan.  If I’m hungry in the middle of the afternoon, I reach for pasta rather than steak.  So I’ve decided to go back to the Green plan.  This means I’ve extra milk for my coffee and am therefore a much happier dieter.  And I can still have two portions of meat/fish a day if that’s how I choose to use my ‘Healthy Extra’s.  I’m feeling relaxed and content about this choice.

Diet-wise, the week is going fine.  I thoroughly enjoyed a pizza night with a friend on Tuesday and am going to my Aunt’s for dinner tonight so I’m not expecting a loss come Monday but that’s OK.  I still have the car here and am using it because I’m in some pain still but it will be living elsewhere from next Tuesday after I’ve done the grocery shop.

This is ‘star’ week (the ladies will know what I mean) so I’m relieved to have a maintain rather than a fluid-retention gain.  I also know that I’ve gained and lost 2lbs over the course of the week following an incident with a loaf of bread and a pack of butter.  There was sugar involved too …  Anyway.  The number on my Consultant’s scale is the only one that counts and I have maintained.  Which is fine because I know why.

I had a chat with the Consultant (E) tonight as I was a little early for the meeting.  As I’ve some difficult personal issues bubbling away just now she’s suggesting that I focus on losing 7lbs and then, if things are still difficult, just set that weight as my PAT so I can go to group free until I’m ready to start losing again.  I’m very tempted and certainly think it’s easier to think about losing 7lbs than 3st which is what I need to achieve a healthy BMI.  But my goal is really to be a size 14 and I’m not sure what weight that would make me.  I liked being a 14.  Not too fat and not too thin.  I like having curves.  I think a compromise might be lot lose 10% of my current weight and then decide what I’d like to do.

My goal for the week ahead isn’t a weight-loss target.  I’ll be happy with a loss or a maintain.  I’ll be a lot less happy with a gain though!  My goal for the week is to follow the plan with no Syn-laden binges.  No binges at all would be good but is unlikely to happen so I want to make sure there’s always plenty of Free food in the house so I can tuck into that to my heart’s content.  I’ve written a menu plan which has me going slightly over my Syn allowance one day (I have a pie in the freezer which needs to be eaten) but below all the other days so it balances out.  The shopping list is printed and ready for me to take to the supermarket tomorrow while my flat’s being cleaned.

As it’s star week I’m refusing to exercise until my body’s done what it needs to do – I get really bad cramps which are not alleviated by the gentle exercise my PE teachers always insisted would help so I’m moving about as little as possible.  This will not last forever and, when it’s done, I’m going to start moving more.  I really want to stop taking the car on journeys I could reasonably make on foot.  I’m going to leave my car at my parents’ house (they live about 10 minutes’ walk away).  I can go and use it any time I like but I’ll have to walk (up two hills!) in order to do so.  This is a trick that’s served me well in the past.  And it saves petrol.  Which saves money.  Which is always good because I have more money for books!  Which I love 🙂

I have two social events this week.  I’m in control of the food for one and will have to eat what’s placed in front of me for the other but that’s real life, chick-a-dee.  I won’t be refusing dessert but I will be counting the Syns as well as I can.  And I won’t be drinking.

This is a strange place to be.  In some ways, I’m all fired up, motivated and raring to go.  In others, I’m feeling very laid back about the whole business.  Maybe between the two attitudes lie balance and health?

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