Thursday, 29 October 2009

Week 7 Day 53

Well, I haven't posted here, but not because I've been busy doing lots of things I don't want to do. Nor have I been wallowing in the bath, doing my nails for three days.

I've been laying the groundwork.

Firstly, I realised that October is coming to an end, which means it's almost time for NaNoWriMo! That's National Novel Writing Month for the uninitiated, in which you join an online (and often local) community of frenzied writers trying to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I know it sounds like an insane task, especially for someone with no time, but once you get past the insanity of the endeavour and realise that your only objective is to complete 2,000 words - any 2,000 words - per day, you start to stop monitoring yourself and it just becomes a pure creative rush. Which, for someone like me, who's been stifled by various things (of my own making) is extremely attractive.  I did it last year - and I was already doing about 15 other things that November - and loved it, and really want to do it again. For no other reason than I like it, which seems a very flimsy reason for doing something.

So anyway. How was I supposed to do all this when I could barely move now for extracurricular activities? Well the obvious answer was to ditch the stuff I didn't enjoy for the things I do enjoy.

So I did.

I told the people I freelance for that I needed some time off. I was very uncomfortable doing this - I wanted to lie, to say I had family problems, or that I was ill. To make people pity or excuse me - anything to avoid saying just that "I want this" - even thoguh I'm perfectly entitled to. I'm still not comfortable with it - I still think that someone else would be perfectly entitled to it, but for me to do it seems like an incredibly selfish thing.

I know that makes me sound like a complete doormat.

But I asked for it. I said I wanted a break because there was some other stuff I wanted to do. I didn't make out that I was a poor old thing, or that something was wrong in any way. I just said I wanted a month or so off so I had time to do something else I wanted.

And you know what? I got it. My freelance employers weere more than helpful. "Go and do your thing," they said basically. "We love you so come back when you're ready."

So I didn't quit entirely - after some wise words from my ex-LL friend I realised that LL is huge. So huge. So much is happening to me right now, inside and out. So I shouldn't make any rash decisions right now. She also cautioned me against doing NaNoWriMo because it is so gruelling, but when she said that I felt really sad! Like someone was taking away a toy I was really looking forward to playing with! That's what made it clear to me that I really wanted to do it, and I should make time and prioritise what I really want to do. I just won't push myself if I don't make the 50,000 word mark. It is the taking part, after all.

So that's positive.

Also, a couple of things have happened that I haven't yet dealt with on LL. Somebody in my personal life did something that I found upsetting, and on the same day I had a disagreement with someone at work.

The personal upset really got to me, and it was interesting how I dealt with it. I got angry, I got hurt and eventually I turned all that inward, and a horrid voice told me "they wouldn't have done this unless you were a really crap person". But I knew it was just a voice, it wasn't the truth. And it was patly through my own working out, and through the validation of my friends' reactions to what happened that made me realise that it wasn't me, it really was a hurtful action from the other person. I was still upset about it, and about the very fact that there was a voice in my head telling me it was my fault - and I didn't really know what to do about it - but, I dunno, it was a different sort of upset. I felt one step removed from it somehow.

With the disagreement at work - essentially I communicated something in a certain way, and another person took it rather badly, and reacted badly. Normally in this situation I would apologise. Then I'd apologise again. Then a third time just to be sure. I wouldn't examine the situation to gauge whether it was really my fault: partly because I just don't like conflict and I want it to be over as soon as possible, and the quickest way to end it is to accept the blame for everything! And also partly because I just assume it's my fault because, you know, everything is my fault. Later I would examine the situation and realise, perhaps, that it wasn't all my fault after all, and that the other person was also to blame, and I would become resentful. Even then, the next time I saw that person I'd cringe a bit and be meek, all the time feeling angry and self-loathing inside.

This time I didn't allow myself to do this. I still felt like apologising my bum off, but I just kept it to apologising for my tone, and made it clear that it hadn't been my attention to upset this person, and I left it at that. I felt awful. I blushed all afternoon and found it difficult to concentrate, but I knew that I was upset over the personal thing, and I somehow knew that it wasn't my fault. I think in these situations I've always known that it wasn't my fault - I just never let myself listen to that voice. So I sat on my urge to throw myself at this colleague's feet and offer up my firstborn, and nominally at least, kept my dignity.

Being on LL strips away more than your fat. Fat can be a shield - it certainly is for me - and you start to learn to live without it. My shield kept me a shrinking violet - stopped me being a force to be reckoned with, and stopped me having to "reckon" with the world. And being without it is opening my eyes to how I deal with the world based on my beliefs about the world - and that those beliefs might be wrong.

However, on that day I really felt the lack of a nice stodgy pizza and couple of bottles of beer when I got home! Normally I would curl up with my byofriend, in my nice warm house, and bury myself in these and use them to hide away from my problems. But it never really works. Your problems are still there the next day when you're feeling bloated and rubbish, and to be honest they never really went away. They were there, niggling at you at the back of your mind the whole time, and rather than being a nice food you enjoy, it's something that makes you more guilty - not only has an unpleasant thing happened, and perhaps you haven't dealt with it effectivelly or you've done something to betray yourself somehow - but now you're trying to solve your problems with a pizza, like a loser. So you become filled with self-loathing, and you eat more to try and push that feeling down, as well as all the stuff about your problems.

But I didn't do that. Instead I went on the Minimins forums and posted about my week. I always feel guilty posting about negative stuff because they're always so upbeat, but I just had a vent. And I got such brilliant responses. Which is when I realised how I was supposed to making this feel better: admitting to it. Saying it, expressing it, not internalising it.

Obviously it's not as simple as that. But it's another strategy. One that doesn't involve blaming myself for everything and punishing/rewarding myself with food.

Today I made a boo-boo. Another thing happened at work, not a massive thing, but it made me uncomfortable. And I wound up having 2 peanut bars in one day! I did it nominally because I was going out tonight and i had loads of meetings today, but I could really have fitted in my two porridges. It was a tiny self-sabotage. But I see what I did. And it's not like I had a cheeseburger!

Tonight I went on a ghost walk around London towne. We must have walked 3 miles, and I really enjoyed it. We walked past so many restaurants, I felt like a ghost myself, I was so removed from that world. Not that I would have dived into every eatery before LL. It was just odd. Here in week 7 I seem to have become more susceptible to food smells! I want to eat everything. For about a second. Just smelling food makes me almost unbearably hungry for a second, where it was much easier to handle before. All quite odd.

Going to pop into Minimins so will wrap this up now.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Week 6 Day 49

Only a short post today, because it has come to my attention that I don't take enough time for myself. Me-time is crucial on this diet - you need time to work through your green book, put into practice the stuff you're learning, and treat yourself with long languid baths and hair treatments etc.

I bought loads of bath stuff and hair stuff, but I've been just nipping in and out of the shower and the rest of the time it's been work, work, work. My job, freelance work (which I volunteered for!), friendships, household chores, everything - I've been running myself ragged over it all, and I've had no time for me. I've just taken on too much. So from now on, everything else is going to get the bare minimum and Bea Time is going to be the order of the day.

Which isn't self-sabotage, I don't think. I think it's just prioritising everything over my own wellbeing - purely through habit. And I wonder why I keep getting stress headaches and feel run-down. Posting on here, writing down my thoughts and discoveries, is part of this. I meant to post every day and now I will, even when there's nothing newsworthy to say. Beware!

So anyway.

Today's weigh-in said I lost 2.5lbs this week (making it a total loss of 20lbs), despite my having drunk 6 50cl bottles of water a day. I didn't feel that discouraged, though, because my scales say different - I've been weighing myself every morning, and according to my scales I've lost over 22lbs in total.

But even taking into account LL's version, I've lost 20lbs in 7 weeks - if I lose another 20lbs I'll be close enough to my goal weight to quit. And it's an average of 2.4lbs per week. I am hoping that drinking more water will make more of a difference. And I am due my period, so perhaps that's skewed things.

Today we looked at challenging core beliefs, and where they come from. I was very happy to learn that most of my core beliefs are already being challenged - they were before I started LL. I've always been very black-and-white about my own crapness, so it was a shock to realise - ACTUALLY REALISE - that those thoughts are just opinions! They're not based in fact. In fact everything that I held to be true now feels very shaky. I don't think I would have been able to get this far on LL if I *really* thought I was crap anymore.

I have been very hungry this week, though. I was fine until now - could handle being around food, no problem, but now I want to EAT. I want to eat cheese and toast and potatoes and all sorts. This may be the week-7 itch: I'm much closer to the end than I was at the beginning (obviously!) so that's challenging me. I've also been unwell and it's FRICKING COLD, which may have a bearing on things.

However last night I cooked for the first time - a friend came over and I cooked her and my boyfriend a bolognese (proper Italian family recipe Bolognese, this is) and I LOVED IT. It was a bit weird to make it, serve it up, then sit down with a hot chocolate for myself, but I didn't mind at all. I just loved the whole process - adding the ingredients, smelling the lovely smells, adding spices and so on.

I can't wait to cook more. When I've finished LL I'm going to be cooking all the time, and I'm really looking forward to it.

All right, in the interests of looking after my own wellbeing, I'm going to retire to the sofa to put my feet up and work on my green book.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Week 6 Day 42: catchup

You're getting a bumper pack of posts today because I've been so lax lately.

This week I've been really busy and quite stressed at work. I did do 3 notable things though...

1. I spent a night at my best friend's
I really miss my friend; she used to live near me and work at the same company, so we saw each other almost constantly and put the world to rights on a daily basis. Now she lives on the other side of London and I've a new job, so it's very different and I have all the attendant fears that she'll lose interest etc. I'm a bit calmer about this now, but I still miss her, so it's nice to spend the evening together and find out what's going on in each other's heads. She's been really supportive about LL, and each time she came back into the room she was marvelling at my weight loss ("you really are a skinny minnie!" she kept saying). We talked about various things; when I told her about all the worries I had about people reacting badly to my weight loss she pointed out, "yes, but don't forget you used to hang out with dickheads and you don't anymore" which was a very good point. What's interesting is the next day I travelled into town with her for work and was so convinced I'd get lost navigating the journey that I almost stayed with her, even though her eventual destination would be further away! We also, as I mentioned, have been junk food enablers for each other but we both stuck to our diets and didn't use our being together to push us into bad habits.

2. I went to a restaurant
It was with my team for lunch. Everyone seemed very guilty about eating while I sat there with my sparkling water and my black coffee. The food smelled amazing, but I wasn't really tempted. I've just got to a point where I think "It's just not worth it". I mean, I was sitting there in my size 12 skinny jeans, for god's sake! I contented myself with holding onto the menu and wondering what I would have had if I wasn't on LL - and what's odd is that I picked very different foods from the ones I would have had before. Before I would have thought PIE AND CHIPS (it was that sort of restaurant...) without a second thought, but perusing the menu I found myself picking things for the taste of them, not just the bulk and comfort food connotations.

I have also been receiving lots of compliments from people at work, including:
  • "I'm amazed at your stamina, well done!"
  • "Not everyone can decide to change their lives and actually do it. It takes a special sort of strength."
  • "Check you out in your skinny jeans!"
  • "You've lost weight all over, you look totally different - well done!"
  • "I'm so impressed by you. I don't think I could do it."
They also suggested getting me a "finished my diet" cake at the end of LL! I told them that was very sweet, but sort of missing the point....

3. I saw my friend who inspired me to do LL
I myself am partly impressed by this, as I was so stressed at work (and privately freaking out about all this crooked thinking stuff) that I really just wanted to go home and curl up on the sofa at the end of the day, so being social was actually a bit of a trial (seeing my best friend was different though - that IS a bit like curling up on the sofa!). This friend hasn't seen me since I started and was very impressed. We talked about all sorts of stuff - LL, self-image, our shared hobbies, people we know, etc etc. It wasn't all dietdietdiet, and I think I may have helped her with some stuff too.

I've been feeling headachey for a lot of the week - haven't had much sleep and have obviously had emotional stuff going on (even if I didn't realise it) and on Friday a migraine struck. It was so severe and nothing seemed to work - on Saturday I was curled up in a ball, crying. I think it might have been a sinus headache rather than a migraine, but it's so hard to tell. Today I'm better - have been in bed all weekend with it - but still very delicate and not even sure I'll be able to go to work tomorrow. I'll see how I am this evening.

The odd thing is I've been craving crisps the entire time my head's been bad! I don't eat crisps that often generally, but I think it does highlight that when I feel ill, I eat. It's all part of the hiding away thing. And really what I need when I have a migraine is darkness, quiet and sleep (and pills!). However this has been a doozy, I have been lying in the darkness for hours on end but it didn't really help.

Best get off the computer then!

Week 6 Day 42: LL wizardry - more crooked thinking and lifelines

Today only two of us made it into group, so we had our LLC to ourselves. We talked about our weeks, and any crooked thoughts we may have had.

Again, the stuff about male attention really stood out for me - in fact, it's not male attention so much as my appearance is changing, other people are reacting to that, and it's freaking me out. But, although I posted about it on here and seem to have reached a conclusion, I'm still reacting emotionally to that. And when this sort of stuff comes up, I just want to hide from it all - so I have done. I haven't done any of my exercises, haven't posted on here, I've just tried not to think about it.

The truth is that since I've put on weight I've sort of enjoyed being invisible. As an overweight person I could look back on my youth - when I was slim and attractive but thought I was hideous and fat - and think yes, I was attractive. I could do it because I was "safe" now hiding behind my weight.

But you see now I'm approaching being slim and attractive again, all the old fears are being stirred up. When I was slim I had a lot of trouble with jealousy from female friends, male friends suddenly "trying it on", etc. etc. And now I'm returning to the way I looked then I'm worried it's going to happen again. So rather than feel flattered by cute guys in the street giving me the eye, I get all worried. Or I worry that the female friends I love will suddenly drop me when I'm skinny.

But back then I had some really shonky friends! Friends who used me, who always indulged in one-upmanship, and male friends who were, well, male. I've managed to put all that behind me, and it's down to me making the right choices about who I let into my life, not down to me putting on weight.

My situation is very different now; I have really supportive people in my life, and friends who love me for me, whether I'm fat or thin. Some people have got a bit stiff now that I'm approaching attractiveness again, but to be honest they're not people I rate or remember.

But rather than face all this I've squirrelled it away and tried to not think about it at all this week. Also my LLC said "there's nothing wrong with being pretty, why do you keep apologising for it?" which struck a nerve. In the past, my prettiness has made other people feel bad (and I honestly don't know how, because I'M NOT THAT  PRETTY! We're not talking Angelina Jolie here!). But I suppose if people feel like that it's their problem and their insecurity, not mine. I'm not a threat, but if people treat me like one I suppose there's nothing I can do about it.

And in case I was getting carried away with my own prettiness, I was brought sharply down to earth on the way out of my LL meeting by a gaggle of GORGEOUS SUPERMODELS gathered outside for a photoshoot. These women were a million feet tall with figures slimmer than my little finger and cheekbones like razor blades. It's all a question of perception.

The other topic we covered was lifelines. This is where you get a piece of A4 paper, turn it so it's landscape and make a chart:
  • On the left axis you list your ages from 0 to now, ascending (0, 5, 10, etc.)
  • The next column you split into 3, for underweight, normal weight and overweight
  • You mark a cross next to each age for each weight
  • The final column is for 'events' - here you list every significant thing that happened to per age range when you strayed from normal weight
I've been normal weight for most of my life.  My weight fluctuations were, loosely:
  1. 14 - 15: Overweight
  2. 21 - 24: Underweight(!)
  3. 30+: Overweight
Which is really interesting because if I leave it at that, I can look back at those ages and think yeah, I was having a bad time. But actually listing what happened during those years is eye-opening:
  1. 14 - 15: Overweight - crucial family bereavement; problems at school (socially/academically)
  2. 21 - 24: Underweight(!) - family health problems; money problems; anxiety disorder; unsure about future
  3. 30+: Overweight - moving to London, launching career, v v stressful job, another bereavement; moving/buying house, realising I was overweight (which in itself is a trigger!)
This helps in two ways.
  1. I think I've been carrying around guilt all these years because comfort eating is a "weak" thing to do. But actually looking back and auditing what was happening (which obviously I've outlined very vaguely here) has given me a newfound respect for myself. Loads of rubbish things happened (as I'm sure they happen to everyone) - all in quick succession. Taking it all into account now I'm proud that I just overate and didn't do anything more destructive.
  2. In all of these circumstances, I just didn't know what to do. In some cases I was forced into a corner, in others I only perceived that I was in a corner. Either way, I was dealing with a lot of stress and didn't know which way to go. And apparently, when I don't know which way to go, I go in. I retreat to the comfortable and familiar. And I eat. I was dealing with a lot of conflict and stressful people, and I hadn't worked out how to deal with that in the moment. So instead, I hid away. And ate.
So really, I need to work on dealing with people and events in the moment. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to deal with it, but the truth is it's not going to go away just because I pretend it's going away.

And to be honest I like food so much that I'd rather eat for taste than for padding!

Obviously, when I was underweight I didn't eat that much. I wasn't anorexic at all, I just was so anxious all the time I literally couldn't get food down my throat. But I did do the rest - avoidance, retreat, all of that. And I firmly believe that if I could have eaten, I'd have overeaten.

Week 6 Day 42: 6th LL meeting and weigh-in

Just got back from my LL meeting and weigh-in: according to them I've lost 2.4lbs, which is a marked improvement from my 1.4lbs losses of the last couple of weeks.

I'm firmly convinced this is down to increased water consumption. For the first two weeks I was guzzling 3 litres a day, and lost 4lbs and 3lbs respectively. Since then - I don't know what's happened - I've had "good" days where I remember and drink at least two litres, and bad days where I just forget and hardly drink any (ie on the 70 mile round trip by train to see my mother last Saturday).

All of this is, I think, a symptom of self-sabotage. I forget to drink water - not just because I'm busy at work and rushing around - because I don't prioritise it. I've been quite disheartened with my small weekly losses lately, and it's almost as though my inner saboteur is playing the long game; waiting for me to get so disheartened that I quit the programme altogether. For the same reason I've neglected this blog, haven't done my "three things that I've done well today" lists or any of the homework I've been set. The pretext is "I'm busy" but the subtext is, basically, "losing weight and everyone's reactions to it is scary and new, and I'm not really worth it anyway, so I'll just stay overweight because it's more comfortable".

I only had this realisation towards the end of the working week, so I've really made an effort to drink more water - and I think this has shown up at my weigh-in. If I'd drunk more water all week I think I'd have seen a bigger loss. I'm also finding it demotivating to see the weight loss on myself, then go and get weighed only to find out that I've only lost a pound or so, so I'm weighing myself at home day and night (it's not recommended on the programme). I'm actually finding it quite motivating as I can see the numbers going down and don't just have to rely on my weigh-in.

Anyway, this is how I'm drinking enough water: I carry my little 50cl Evian bottle everywhere with me and sip from it constantly (or try to). Because I'm small I don't need 4 litres, just 3 (minus tea and coffee). So that's 6 bottles a day.

And I have 6 cheapo plastic neon bangles on my left arm. For every bottle I drink, I move one to my right arm. So by the end of the day I should have 6 bangles on my right arm - otherwise I sit around wondering how many I've drunk.
  1. I down one as soon as I get up. Before I have my coffee or anything. I'm normally thirsty first thing anyway, and this way I'm down one bottle before I even brush my teeth!
  2. I start drinking my second bottle when I'm halfway to work (to avoid being caught out).
  3. After that I try to have my third and fourth bottles while at work.
  4. I start drinking my fifth when I'm halfway home.
  5. Instead of my sixth bottle, I pour 50cl of fizzy water along with my water flavouring into a glass, and sip it through the evening. I try to finish it by 8.30pm to save getting up to go to the loo repeatedly during the night.
Et voila.

I've found a rhythm to my packs now, too. No soups at all here, just:

  • Banana latte in the morning before I leave the house (hot banana pack, two sweeteners, instant coffee blended together). I had to work up the courage to try the banana pack alone with coffee, but it's really nice - I make it in an extra big mug so it's not gloopy. The banana is, surprisingly, not so sweet so it helps give that milky consistency.
  • Porridge for lunch. When I first started having it, I rushed it so people at work didn't ask about the diet, but I'm less concerned with that now - having unlumpy porridge is more important than what people think of me! I put the powder in a bowl, smush it down with the back of a spoon, add small amounts of cold water and just stir all the lumps away. Then I zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir again, and zap for a final 30 seconds. Unlumpy porridge all round!
  • Peanut bar at around 3 or 4. By then I'm usually knee-deep in work and the thought of getting up and preparing something is a bit beyond me.
  • Hot chocolate pack at dinner time. Again, it's surprisingly nice hot (especially if you whack 2 sweeteners in) and tastes just like hot chocolate!
At the weekend I have my bars in the evening - the peanut one is lovely toasted for a minute then crumbled into a bowl and sprinkled with salt.


I shall do that tonight.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Week 6 Day 37

So. Size 12 skinny jeans.

Yesterday I was feeling very self-conscious wandering around the office in some size 14 skinny jeans that I was literally lost in. I had them bunched and hoisted around my waist with a tightly done-up belt, but I really looked as though I was wearing my big sister's clothes (and I don't have a big sister). The weird thing is this was one pair of 3 jeans I'd bought a while ago but not worn, because they were too small for me. And now they were unflatteringly big for me! Which was both a cloud and a silver lining.

So on the way home yesterday I popped into New Look and picked up a pair of size 12 jeans (£10! And really nice! get ye down there!) so I'd have "something to aim for". Of course as soon as I got home I rushed upstairs and tried them on. AND THEY FITTED.



Just to clarify:
  • I'm about 5'. So size 12 for me is like size 16 for a normal sized person.
  • I've been having small losses week on week, and have only just crossed the FIRST STONE mark.
  • I haven't fitted into a size 12 for about FIVE YEARS. Before I started LL I was challenging the borders of size 14, and about to make the unhappy jump up to a 16.
  • They not only fitted, they looked NICE! NICE! I didn't look like a pair of sausages stuffed into doll's clothes.
  • I also have these boots - long boots I've been saving. I have felt the size of a big stuffed sausage for some time now, but I suppose I was (theoretically) determined to lose weight by Christmas, because I've been coveting these boots for ages - but didn't want to wear them while "fat" (also wasn't entirely sure I could squeeze my calves into 'em). 
ANYWAY. I asked Boyfriend to buy them for me for Christmas, but to KEEP THEM FROM ME until I'd lost weight.

So last night, in my skinny size 12 jeans, I dug them out and put them on (they look great! And fitted!) then pranced around in a selection of jumpers for Boyfriend to pass judgement. He was very amused and really impressed (he is famously, er, conservative with compliments). He used words like "dramatically slimmer" and "don't look overweight at all", which was really great.

Today I wore my skinny jeans and long boots to work. Being skinny, they are constricting and I think I mistook this for "tight" and panicked. So my size 14s came along in a bag with me!  But I didn't need them - the jeans fit fine, but it did throw up a new thing I've been noticing, which has been doing my head in....

Male attention.

I'm quite pretty. I feel very squirmy and want to hide under the sofa saying this, but it's true. I'm not boasting - and I'm not hugely pretty - I see plenty of women every day who outstrip me in physical beauty on an almost hourly basis! But I am quite pretty, and since I've put on weight I really haven't missed the male attention I used to get.

Now I'm skinnifying it's sort of started again (particularly noticeable today while I've been slinking around in my boots and skinny jeans) and I'm not sure how to respond to it. One the one hand I panic, because I just assume I'm walking around with snot on my face, a boob hanging out, or my fly undone. But (I don't think!) that's the case. Yesterday I got a wolf whistle. Today I noticed boys (cute boys! And not just scary middle-aged sleazes, who always gave me unwanted attention when I was very overweight with a rack to match) checking me out in the street. Several builders gave me the once-over when I popped out for a cigarette at lunchtime. And on the way home I popped into Boots and the young man at the pharmacy section flirted with me!

I can't say it's not pleasant. It is. What's not to like about cute boys thinking you're hot?! But the truth is I miss my invisibility. Being overweight made people's eyes slip over me in the street. Now I feel watched. I feel conspicuous.

I think I'm worried about being "attractive" again - when I was skinny I could never accept that I was attractive (I thought I was hideous) but over the years, as an overweight person, I have been able to look at my appearance more objectively. Anyway, that sort of made all the negative things that come with prettiness even harder to bear - people judging you by your appearance, male attention (don't get me wrong - when cute boys and people I'm attracted to find me attractive, it's great! It's just very perturbing otherwise), other girls' wariness and competitiveness, etc. etc. etc.

So far, so "don't hate me because I'm beautiful". But the fact is there are benefits to being overweight if you have a tendency to avoidance. Going from overweight and invisible to male-attracty in a few weeks is a bit of a mind-bender. And I'm not sure how to deal with it.

In other news, I went home to see my mother at the weekend - she made me promise to email her the week-on-week allowed-foods list when I start RTM, so she can cook me yummy allowed food when I see her! I'm also pilfering some family recipes of my favourite foods from her, too.

To celebrate my stone's loss I've treated myself to a pot of Creme de la Mer and am going to pick up some guitar strings for my favourite guitar on Friday, so that I can play some music over the weekend.

Tomorrow I'm sleeping over at my bezzie mate's, and on Thursday I'm having a coffee with the friend who inspired me to do LL - she seems really curious to see what I look like now! So I won't update until Thursday or Friday.

Have a good few days :)


I think the thing is, *I* don't place much value on prettiness. I mean, sometimes you'll be just walking around and you'll see someone who's stunning - and that's always nice to see. But I don't really give a crap about who's pretty and who's not. Especially with those people - you know the ones - who are really attractive, then you start talking to them and within seconds you've forgotten how attractive they look because they're so boring/horrible/narcissistic etc. But that's what really important - yes, I look okay, but I'm also a nice and interesting person. That's what's important to me, and that's what I look for in other people. So I'll just take the pretty-attention stuff as a compliment, but I'll try not to let it colour how I deal with people (in particular running away from people/situations for fear of being looked at!).

Monday, 12 October 2009

Week 6 Day 36

Today I only have this to say:


Thank you.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Week 5 Day 35: 5th LL meeting; crooked thinking; scale inconsistencies

Just got back from LL group.

According to their scales, I've lost 1.4lbs this week, which mean I've now lost a stone. But according to my scales, this morning I'm 17lbs down from the morning before I started LL - and even the jeans I had trouble getting into before are now at serious risk of falling down.

But I've not been doing very well with water consumption - yesterday I was travelling and barely drank any because I didn't want to be caught out on the train. However, this week I'm really going to make a project of drinking water - and aim to drink and refill my 75cl bottle twice in the morning, twice in the afternoon and once after I'm home. That'll be my project and I'll see if it makes a difference to next Sunday's weigh in.

I'll fill you in on my week later, but I wanted to note what we talked about in group today. Crooked thinking - we looked at this in more depth, according to this template:
  1. The event
  2. The crooked thought you might have / the balanced thought you could have
  3. How you feel given either option
  4. Action you might take in either option
  5. How you feel once you've completed either action
We were asked to think of something that had happened this week, and apply these rules to it to see what we thought/felt/did, and how we could (or actually did) make it more balanced.

I thought I was doing pretty well in isolating my black/white thinking, but actually something else happened this week that made me feel severely emotional (which I then buried and forgot about, but which influenced my mood for the rest of the week).

So. This isn't at all food related, but as you may or may not know, I do some freelance work on top of my regular job....

I learned that a friend of mine - another freelancer - landed a really cool freelance gig.

"But how! I'm so much better than her!" / "That's really mean and bigheaded of me to think, I'm supposed to be her friend! Why can't I just be happy for her?" / "I'm a rubbish friend and she's always nice to me."/ "I'm so disorganised that I probably wouldn't have landed it anyway" / "She deserves it more than me." / "I'M RUBBISH.' (I have that one a lot)

Jealousy / anger / self-loathing / despair.
Congratulate her in the most sincere way possible then crawl away feeling awful about myself.
Sad / self-loathing / lack of confidence.

But what we talked about in group is that this was actually about my own lack of confidence when pitching for freelance work. This particular friend is an amazing self-publicist, whereas I try to let my work speak for itself - which, luckily, works quite well at the moment, but I am dreading the day that I have to pitch to someone as I expect I'll get tongue-tied and lose my nerve.

But with all that in mind, my thought process could have gone like this...

I learn that my friend has landed a really cool freelance gig.

Gosh, that's impressive. I wonder how she does it. I'm a bit jealous, and this is an area I don't really feel comfortable in. Maybe I should follow up on the freelance stuff I've yet to do (BECAUSE **ALERT ALERT** I HAVE SOME FREELANCE STUFF I'M ALREADY DOING, WHICH I CONVENIENTLY FORGOT ABOUT WHEN I WAS FEELING ALL SELF-LOATHINGY). Maybe I can get some tips on pitching and confidence from my friend.


I look at my own schedule to see what can be improved, and get some useful advice from my successful friend.

Accomplished / hopeful.

This really opened my eyes.

My LLC said "Bea, your default setting is 'I'm rubbish'. All roads lead there - and it's where you're comfortable. But that's not the logical conclusion of every situation. You have a small crooked thought, then it snowballs into bigger and bigger ones so that by the time you're finished you're upset about something to do with yourself (being a rubbish friend) rather than facing and dealing with the thing you were already upset about (being nervous about pitching). It's a clever sabotage trick - but that's all it is. It's not THE TRUTH, and the way to deal with it is to realise when you're having that LITTLE crooked thought and question that before it becomes the big thought."

See? They're all wizards. Wizards, I tell you!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Week 5 Day 32: the doors of perception

Now, the first thing I wanted to type here was "I've had a crap couple of days" but the LL wizards teach you about "catastrophising" and "black and white thinking", so the truth is I've had some crap elements to the last couple of days, and I'm tired and crotchety.

Yesterday I had a sinus headache all day (crap) but completed a day's work (good). Then I met my best friend for a trip to the cinema (good), but it was *weeing* down outside and I had loads of transport problems getting to the cinema (crap), but I did get there in the end and really enjoyed the film (good). I also managed to drink the requisite amount of water yesterday (good) by taking my water flavours to work and adding them to my bottle (genius!). I tried to get enough sleep last night (good) but was still tired and headachey this morning (crap). But I struggled into work (good) late (crap) but my manager was very understanding (good). In fact it was all I could do to stop myself coming straight home as per her suggestion and going back to bed! But I went in because I had an important meeting to chair today; I chaired it and it went well (good); I managed to have all my packs so far (good), I got lots of work done - and done well (good); I was a little afraid I'd have to leave early because I wasn't feeling well (cra- actually, not crap: just taking care of myself), but I stayed all day (good) and came home at an appropriate time (good). I was tired and crotchety (crap) and pissed-off (crap) and had a mild go at my boyfriend (crap, well, understandable). Normally at this time I'd retreat into a big bowl of pasta or something, but instead I'm watching a favourite DVD and planning an early night.

All of which is too detailed BUT actually shines a different light on the last two days' events rather than how I would have felt about it - and portrayed it - if I'd said "I've had a crap couple of days". Thinking like that colours how you feel about everything. I only wore a light top and a cord jacket to work today - but it was colder than I thought - so I was freezing (and grumpy) for most of the day, and annoyed with myself for choosing the wrong clothes. It was only on the way home that I realised that I couldn't fit into this top or that jacket three weeks ago, and felt entirely different about my clothes choices!

Actually, the thing I was sniping at the boyfriend about was my DVD - being on crutches and working from home anyway, he's home a lot. He was supposed to go out tonight and I was planning on watching my DVD. But he's not going out tonight and didn't want to watch my DVD with me. I got into a "You always watch what you want to - why can't I watch my stuff for a change?" type argument.

This is perhaps typical of black-and-white thinking. He doesn't always watch what he wants to - it's just that I'm tired and crotchety toniht and wanted to watch my thing. But the thing about DVDs is that you don't have to watch the entire thing in one go. So I watched my DVD until he finished work (he finishes about 1.5hrs after I come home normally). Now I've stopped watching it, he's having his dinner, then we'll watch something we both enjoy, I'll have an early night, then watch the rest of my DVD tomorrow.

So not as black and white as all that.

Another thing I've been feeling slightly snippy about are the attitudes of my workmates - a couple of them have been a bit dismissive of my diet, and I've been annoyed that they've "all" been unsupportive. But the truth is that most of them have been really complimentary (including my manager) and supoportive - and - one of them has told me she's thinking of doing LL after seeing how I'm dealing with it, plus another told me how much she admired me as she's been battling with her weight all her life. So a very different picture to the grumpy one I was building.

And while I was feeling grumpy I also got annoyed with myself, thinknig "I should never have told my workmates about this diet - if I was really strong and had any self-respect I would have kept it to myself - this is just like me- I always need validation." Which is all tosh - I told them because I thought they'd notice my weight loss and strange space food, and because... wel, I'm trying to be more open about things, not hide them away. And maybe if I had had more self-respect I could have kept itto myself, but baby steps. I did the best in the circumstances (besides which I think we'll have to accept the fact that I haven't been really strong - if I was really strong I wouldn't have overeaten in the first place! Or maybe, even more honestly, I have been really strong, but I've been pouring my strength into other things - like my career, and stuff - and I'm only now applying that to my weight loss).

I really need to give myself a fucking break.

So today I've
  1. Braved a headache to go into work
  2. Done some really good and useful work
  3. Had a few insights about my behaviour and (to some degree) changed my outlook to a slightly more objective view.
Which isn't too bad. Now I'm off to enjoy my relaxing evening.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Thoughts on weight loss, group dynamics, self-esteem and expectations

It just occurred to me that I always shied away from group weight loss programmes like Weight Watchers largely because they were, well, group endeavours. I just didn't want to talk about my weight issues - certainly not in a group of people.

And of course in Weight Watchers there isn't that counselling aspect, there's just the getting weight (as far as I understand) in front of everybody, and then the inevitable talking about it. I don't like groups. I don't like being overweight. I don't like mixing the two. I always thought that

  • I would feel left out
  • I wouldn't connect with anyone
  • They would think I was weird
  • I wouldn't lose as much as everyone else
  • They would all bond and I'd be left out

Basically I thought they'd all be grouped in a cosy corner losing weight and coming up with strategies supporting each other, and that I'd be failing of my own.

But you know what? I joined my Lighter Life group late - so they'd bonded for 2 weeks before I got there. I have little in common with them. And they are all losing much more weight per week than I have so far.

But one lady took my number and called me one day when she was having a difficult time of it. A couple of the other ladies and I seem to get on well. And none of these things have affected the way I feel about my weight loss. I didn't think oh I'd better stop now at any point.

At any point.

It's been really difficult, I've had a few slip-ups (the sucrose tablets, the cinnamon), I haven't lost as much per week as I expected to per week, and I've been tempted to eat, but it's never actually crossed my mind to quit.

And that's something.

Historically I haven't been brilliant about prioritising my own wellbeing, but it did get to the point, when my ankles were hurting every time I took a couple of steps, and I was gazing wistfully at young women, as I've mentioned, that I thought I deserve to feel better than this.

I deserve. To feel better. Than this.

Week 5 Day 30

So tonight I had a quick coffee with that friend I've not seen in a while; I was a bit worried about what to say if she mentioned the weight loss.

Only a handful of people know I'm doing LL (including you good people) because I just don't want to get into a conversation about it. I don't think I want people to know that I'm even uncomfortable with my weight, never mind that I've committed to a drastic weight loss programme to deal with it.

A lot of this is undoubtedly low self-esteem and a desire to be seen as perfect, etc., etc., at work, but some of it is just the plain fact that it's no one else's business. And, with lots of people telling me how different I look even after losing only 11lbs, I didn't know that well how I'd react to someone I didn't know commenting on it (the friend in question is more of a friendly acquaintance than a true true friend - not because she's horrible, but because we haven't had enough of those trials and tribulations that form and solidify friendships).

And we all know that, especially if you're a woman, the conversation doesn't end at a simple declaration of "I'm on a diet." It's all "ooh, which one?" and "how are you finding it?" and the ubiquitous "but you don't even need to diet" (that's been said to me and I'm not at all sure how it was meant, but I wanted to punch the person that said it. When you're three stone or more overweight, you do need to diet. So shut up. I'm sure this is an extreme reaction to something that was meant to be kind, but to me it just feels patronising.

Clearly I'm touchy about this subject.

So all through my work day I wondered what to say, and tried to come up with strategies. These ranged from complete denial ("What weight?") to the vague ("Oh I suppose I've been so busy lately that I've forgotten to eat here and there") and back to denial ("I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT").

But I needn't have worried.

She didn't notice.

I could have been stark naked and she wouldn't have noticed.

We hadn't scheduled much time to meet (literally a quick coffee); I was late, and she had a lot of her own stuff going on, which was the main topic of conversation. I know, I worked hard to keep it that way; every time there was a nanosecond's lull in the conversation and I'd notice her gaze drifting over my diminished chest and so forth, I just asked another question about her situation and off she'd launch, and then it was time to go.

So there you go. If you don't want to talk about it, be late and ensure that the other person has a lot to fill you in on. Easy peasy.

So what three things have I done well today?

1. I attended another meeting, this one was about something I did which apparently pissed some other people off initially (but it was the right thing to do). Essentially some people weren't happy with some action I'd taken. Normally I'd approach these in a dragging-my-heels, oh-crap-I'm-going-to-get-a-bollocking sort of way (even if, as in this instance, I was in the right). But for some reason I decided no, I was in the right, so I didn't attend the meeting as subserviantly as I might have done before. I was assertive and relaxed and made my points, and it was all very amicable and adult and reasonable. I moved it along to some positive actions for the future (rather than harping on about the thing I did), and wasn't afraid to argue my points when the others attempted to push me in another direction. Essentially I was assertive. Not because I'm skinnier than I was so it's time to be assertive. It just felt right. But I'm not sure I would have had the confidence to follow it through before I started LL. Hm. Is confidence a side effect of LL?

2. I didn't cancel on my friend. There's a large part of me that wanted to, that wants to hide away from every social interaction until I've lost all the weight, but that would raise even MORE questions and I refuse to just become a hermit, so I saw my friend and it wasn't that bad at all.

3. I owned up to some of my talents, and pimped myself a bit at work today. Without putting myself down or anything. I accepted that I'm good at some stuff and I actually told some people about it.

All of which is rather healthy and positive and KNACKERING, so I'm off to the sofa for a well-earned evening in front of the TV.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Week 5 Day 29

Today was a very blah sort of day: Monday, raining, lots of work to do.

But I'm going to take my LLC's advice and list 3 things I did well today (apologies if that's very boring for you).

  1. I chaired an important meeting first thing this morning (before breakfast and - more impressively - before coffee) and got everyone to a consensus.

  2. I made my porridge and had my bar at work, even though I felt self-conscious as I was sitting at a really crowded bank of desks (we hot-desk at my office) and everyone around me was clearly fascinated by what I was eating.

  3. Even though I was frazzled at the end of the day I remembered to get some cash out for my poor hobbled boyfriend, AND I got him a Double Decker too (I have to not eat chocolate; no one said anything about not buying any).

I did notice a funny brain thing though. This morning I had a physio appointment before work and was late leaving the house. I just made the train I needed to get.... and then the train was delayed, making me slightly late for my appointment.

And you know what I thought?

I thought, "There, you see? That wouldn't have happened if you'd been more organised and left the house on time."

What an odd thing to think. I mean, the train wasn't delayed because I was late. It's not like I clung onto the side of a carriage as it was leaving the platform, waving my knickers at the driver to get his attention.

The train being late had nothing to do with my being late for the train. But it was delayed and I sort of stood, shoulders hunched and a bit guilty and miserable, throughout the long (looooong, frequently stopping for no discernible reason) journey, until I realised that was ridiculous.

I wonder how many other things I blame myself for. When I comfort eat, it's sort of a reaction to a long chain of mixed miseries that have been building up over a number of days (or hours) - things I feel guilty about, things I feel hard done by, things that frighten me, things I just can't think about because they're too big, and the ever-present knowledge that I'm just not being the best that I can be.


Anyway. As I have mentioned, 1.4lbs doesn't seem like a lot. But I had a play around with one of those online weight loss simulator thingies, and this is a (shiny, Hollywood) version of me before I started LL:

And this is me now:

Neither of them look "fat" enough to be honest, but I'll keep recording them every 4 weeks or so so you can see the difference.

Off for my second instant-coffee-with-half-a-hot-banana-shake-and-half-a-hot-chocolate shake of the evening. Again, I feel a bit guilty and naughty for having a nice hot drink that I like rather than a horrid soup I can barely gag down.

Why are our brains so stupid?

Tomorrow will be a challenge: I'll be seeing a friend I haven't seen in a while; someone who doesn't know I'm on a diet, and someone I don't really want to tell about LL. It's too personal (she writes, on her public INTERNET WEBLOG). I'm not very good at keeping things under wraps. When I try to keep a secret I always seem to talk about it in a way that suggests "ASK ME ASK ME ASK ME". I'm not sure why. I guess I figure my wanting to keep a lid on things isn't as important as their wanting to know.

Maybe it's a self-sabotage thing, too. Or a test. I just don't want to tell people about LL. It takes a very strong person to smile enigmatically and just say "I'm eating healthily" (and an even stronger one to deal with all those "but didn't that woman die on this diet? this is insanity! Stop it immediately!" type comments.

Maybe the point is NOT to smile enigmatically, and just to move the conversation along. Or just not mention it. I'm allowed to have secrets, but I don't have to tell anyone else it's a secret. Or even that I have one. It's about bloody time I did something for myself and didn't "give up my goods" for the sake of other people's gossip.

Ooh I'm angry now. Angry with my friend! And I haven't even talked to her yet.

Well. We'll see how I do. I'll report back.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Week 4 Day 28: 4th LL meeting

Today was my 4th LL meeting - it would have been my fifth, but I was away last weekend.

Everyone in my group is looking slimmer. I was quite optimistic about my weight loss - half of my clothes are falling off me and Boyfriend has been pinching various bits of me this week and commenting on my svelteness - I can see the difference - my boobs have disappeared and one of my chins has emerged victorious from the pile! Actually I have the face of a skinny person now.

But according to the LL scales I've only lost 1.4lbs.

BUT I suspect I've not been drinking enough water, my TOTM is with me, and I had that adventure in more-bars-per-day-than-strictly-allowed last weekend. And I'm small so my losses will be small, too.

Still. Bit disappointed.

Group was good though. We explored "crooked thinking" a bit more - and how you can't control what happens, but you can control how you react to it. The trick is to catch yourself when you think an automatic thought like "oh I'm rubbish" and examine the evidence for it. I found it really useful and I think just opening my eyes to it now will help me become more aware of it.

I am very prone to this sort of thinking. So my LLC has set me a task: every day, at the end of the day, I have to write down 3 things I've done well during the day. After a while I suppose you build up enough evidence to convince you that you're not rubbish after all.

I also talked to my LLC about RTM, after asking innocuously in group about when everyone was planning to start RTM (they're all two weeks ahead of me). And I got some very vague shifty-eyed responses which, I think, mean "I'm not doing RTM but I'm not bloody telling you that."

Anyway, I talked to my LLC and explained that I really didn't see myself doing the full 12 weeks, not least because I'm going on holiday in February and am buggered if I'll diet while I'm away. She said this was totally fine.

My group finish Foundation at the end of November: if I've lost the remaining 2.5+ stone by then I can either go onto LLL to lose the rest, or go straight onto RTM and do a condensed version with the goal of reaching my goal weight by the end of December. Which means I may be able to have some Christmas food.

She also said that if I complete RTM I can pop back after my holiday to pick up a few packs if I've put on some weight, and that once I'm finished I can always come back for sessions. I didn't realise Management was actually a thing, but it's a whole programme. And it's free for all ex-LLers!

I'm really relieved as I was worried that I'd be pushed into the full 12 weeks of RTM, or tossed out into the cold. I didn't realise it was flexible enough to fit around my plans (and I was worried that my "plans" were actually self-sabotage. That said, I really don't want to do the 12 weeks - I don't, my various adult selves and child selves don't either).

So I got some new packs - no soups, but lots of bars, hot shakes and porridges. I tried the lemon bar during the meeting - palatable but now my stomach is extremely windy and quite uncomfortable. Hope this doesn't go on for too much longer as I have a very early start tomorrow. Also feeling a bit coldy and rubbish so will close and head off to bed. Or the loo. Whichever comes first.

So in essence, hurrah! But bleh.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Things I'm going to miss about being overweight

  1. Boobs. I never really had 'em before I put on weight and they're slowly deflating. Ah well, looking like a 12 year old boy (and not a Curvy Lady) is a small price to pay for your health and happiness.

  2. My capacity for alcohol. Again, never really had it before I gained weight! I think it's all that room in your stretched belly that has allowed me to neck bottle after bottle of Corona on nights out. Ah well, can always switch to shorts.

  3. Those long acres of time where you don't depilate or wax because you're not planning to show your legs to anyone.

  4. People thinking I'm nice and jolly. I don't know why people think fat folk are all sunbeams and cake recipes. Santa Claus complex, I call it. However, I feel quite awkward and prickly on the inside so it sort of smooths relations when people assume I'm all cuddly and don't see me as a threat. A new challenge in the great adventure of being a friend to myself. Oh god I sound like the green LL book!

  5. Um...

  6. Er...
Yep, that's pretty much it.

Things I won't miss.
  1. Those intense waves of self-loathing that sweep over me every time I catch sight of my reflection.

  2. Being so bloody hungry all the time.

  3. Not wearing the clothes I like - just the ones that hide me.

  4. Going swimming or joining a yoga class without being worried that everyone will think "oh look, fattie's trying to get fit" when I walk in.

  5. Heavy, cover-up clothes in summer.

  6. The almost incapacitating summer sweats. You know the ones I mean.

  7. Not worrying that people think I'm useless and have no self-control when they meet me.

  8. Avoiding photographs.

  9. Hurty ankles.

  10. Long flights of stairs being The Enemy.

  11. Avoiding going out to pretty-dress type events because I'm worried about looking like an auntie.

  12. Bad asthma.

  13. Bad back.

  14. Joint pain.

  15. Sugar crashes.

  16. Feeling miserable every time I meet a slim girl with the same height and colouring.

Week 4 day 27

So it turns out that all I felt like doing today (honestly, I checked) was curl up on the sofa in my slipper-boots, watch rubbish TV and mess around on the internet.

I often do this when I'm stressed - avoid phonecalls, keep myself to myself... comfort eat. What I realised today is - on a day like today, when I'm tired and have period pains - it's the perfect antidote. Obviously I didn't comfort eat though. The point is I'm not terribly good at relaxing: today there has been a little too much messing around on the internet over lounging in itself, but I'm learning.

However I don't think it's always healing, although it's always the behaviour I revert to. Today, yes. Tomorrow I will also take it easy but will get some stuff done too, not just admin/housework but, as I said yesterday, something I really want to do.

Apart from half a chocolate shake and half a banana shake, all I have left are soups. I really am not feeling the soups anymore - had to gag two down this afternoon. And yet I found myself working out my list of packs for tomorrow (LL meeting day), and included soups! Even though I hate them at the moment! So I've amended my order to include porridge, chocolate and banana shakes, and one of my favourite bars every day - and I found I still felt guilty!

Why should I feel guilty for having the things I like? It just feels selfish and greedy. And yet if someone else had the same problem I'd advise them to get their favourite packs without thinking. This diet is hard enough without having to choke down things that make you want to vomit.

I'm sure this is part of the behaviour that leads me to overeat - I spend 99% of my time thinking I need to give myself a hard time over everything, and at some point I crack and aggressively give myself treats! 99% punishment, 1% treats.

Now - and this is quite exciting - I'm going to turn off the computer and change position (by a full 45 degrees!) to spend the rest of the evening reclining, reading, and perhaps a little dozing. Again, even this is making me feel guilty.

Silly brain.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Week 4 Day 26

Today I started my period and my emotions have been running up and down the negative end of the spectrum all day.

I had my blood pressure checked this morning - you have to get checked every 28 days on LL. I got mine done at the pharmacy - they take 3 readings and count the average. My pharmacist scared the crap out of me by saying my pulse rate had "varied wildly" between very fast and very slow, and that it could indicate a "problem" with my heart, and that some medication that I've been taking for 5 years could damage my heart.

Basically she almost convinced me that I was about to drop dead due to a heart arrythmia.

And of course I got scared because

1) I tend towards hypochondria
2) That lady who died after losing 3 stone on LL had a heart murmur.

So I called the doctor and made an appointment for next week.

Which is when I realised I'd had a really strong espresso that morning before leaving the house - my banana mochaccino.

Which may go some way to explaining it.

It was really strong, too, I think I'm still feeling palpitatey from it. 

I'm keeping the appointment; it's probably best to get this stuff checked, but I feel like I'm moving somewhere positive in my head now, and I really don't want to go back to becoming slightly obsessed with health worries like I was a few weeks ago.

Plus, I've had my pulse checked at the doctor's numerous times before and nothing's been abnormal.

Anyway. I also noticed another thing: I've been feeling a bit wan and tired the last few days, and I've been getting hungry quicklier than normal. For a while I've been "cooking" my evening packs - you're allowed to "cook" one pack a day, and there are loads of recipes floating around on the Minimins forums. So far I've made

  • A poppadom
  • Veggie burgers
  • Crisps
Of course they don't taste anything really like poppadoms, veggie burgers or crisps.  I've made each a few times. The problem with cooking the packs is that you lose some of the nutritional value. Could that be why I'm feeling a bit rubbish? I do feel so exceedingly well when I don't cook them.

I am so sick of soup though.

I think I might cut down on the old soup packs at Sunday's meeting. I'll get some porridge to have at work instead. I won't cook anything for a week and see if that has a difference. It is so great when you feel full of energy.

I was sort of dreading this weekend, because it was going to be incredibly busy and I'm so tired and emotionally rubbish. But my diary for tomorrow has cleared (Sunday is LL meeting day) and it's like the sun has come out!  I am tired, and some lolling on the sofa (lolling on the sofa, this is, not wanting to but doing 20 other things as well) will feature. I want to watch a DVD.

I also don't want to feel crappy and as though I haven't achieved anything by the end of the day. So I'm going to do some stuff for *me*. Not for others - not tell myself I'm having a "spa day" for "me time" when in reality I'm just softening my skin, shinyfiing my hair so that I'm "acceptable to others".  Indulge a couple of my hobbies, that sort of thing.

Basically, I'm going to ask myself what I feel like doing. And then I'm going to do it. Which is actually harder than it sounds.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Week 4 Day 25

Just wanted to quickly report a little victory.

I was home alone tonight - boyfriend went to the pub. I hadn't been home long when my doorbell rang. It was my downstairs neighbour - he'd locked himself out, and his girlfriend was out for the evening. So I (obviously) invited him in for a cuppa while he waited for her to return.

I don't know him very well so I was worried it might be awkward, but we ended up comfortably chatting and watching a DVD. He admitted he was planning to order a pizza, so I suggested that he get one sent here.

It was the biggest, fattest, juiciest pizza you've ever seen.

He asked me to share it, but I explained that I was on a diet. And of course he invited me again - it was huge - saying "I don't mean to tempt you, but you're welcome to share it - I won't tell anyone."

"No, it's okay," I replied. "I've been doing this for a month now so I'm living vicariously through other people's eating."

And it's only when I said that that I realised I wasn't tempted. I mean it smelled delicious and truthfully I was tempted for a millisecond - for a millisecond my brain reminded me that I'd had a super-busy stressful work day, and that I had a really busy weekend coming up, and that my boyfriend was out and that no one would know.

Before I did LL, I would use all of these reasons to (consciously) talk myself into Secret Pizza Night.

But by the time I had that thought I was already mixing up my chicken soup pack, and although it was an attractive thought, it was only that - a thought.

I remember a few months before starting LL I was ordering my pizza for Secret Pizza Night and I realised, as I was walking to pick up the phone, that I was dreading it. I really didn't want to do Secret Pizza Night - I never enjoyed it, I felt lousy (physically and about myself) the next day. I knew it was self-destructive.

But I couldn't stop it.

And tonight I had every opportunity to do it again. And I didn't.

See? Little victory.