The road to hell

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It’s official, im doomed. I’m going straight to hell on the back of Chris Rea’s motorbike, one way no stops, no collecting £200 as i pass go but going full speed down to hell.

It all began with a cheese sandwich you see. Now i know youre chuckling or thinking i’m mad but this really is serious stuff here.  Hunting frantically through the fridge for something for lunch i had happily decided  on tuna, you know that nice healthy fishy thing i eat a ton of. The trouble was i only get a very short lunch break and glancing at the tuna and then at the clock i concluded, after wondering just how fast i could chew, that there was no way i was going to be able to make the darned stuff and eat it too.  Typically this just had to coincide with the day the supermarket was all out of my favourite roast ham so there was nothing else around.

”EAT ME”

Erm excuse me?

”I said…EAT ME”

Okay nobody believes me here but food really does talk to me, i mean do i look like a skinny person?  But really it does and right about now a bag of grated cheese was flexing in my direction and urging me in a rather sexy drawl to eat him. I wavered..really i did and loyally glanced back at the tuna i know i should eat. I’m on a diet you see and i really do have to be good since i have had a few extra pounds donated my way of late.

”EAT ME”

ohhhhh really?? okay i crumpled..i was hungry and time was ticking by so i crumbled and gave in much to the smug delight of mr cheddar himself. Believe it or not i am usually quite resolute once i am on a diet and can lose the excess quite quickly and easily but i have this awful no mans land where i waver.  If i am not in the zone it only takes a very small nudge at my resolve and i crumple to indulgent abandon. 

I’m a typical Taurean what can i say? We love to eat, alas eating does not always love us back. Many a battle with the scales will follow although in definitely much more on the winning side than i used to be. Still i did feel rather terrible giving in to the lure of the cheese and hastily smothered the urge to turn into Britney Spears and skip around the kitchen singing Oops i did it again. Of course i shall now feel terribly guilty for the rest of the day, never eat again and eventually die of total shame.

So there you have it. One minute i think im safe in my nice little kitchen and then one random act sends me hurtling to the underworld on a cheese coated road to hell.  They say you are what you eat and i dont know how true that is but if it is so then the next thing i eat will be a skinny person. 

Ah well nice lettuce, lovely lettuce….come to mama!

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The weight of desperation…

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As you go about your daily life it is highly unlikely that you will fail to see the obesity crisis rocking the western world in more recent times. Whether it be the huge increase of overweight people in general  or simply the ever increasing adverts screaming ‘LOSE WEIGHT FAST’ you would have to be blinkered indeed not to notice. We are a self indulgent society, there is no escaping from it and sadly it seems we only consider the consequences after the fact. Very far after the fact it seems for many and i myself have been no exception.

I am not one to take much stock of some aspects of social media yet i am amazed at how many people, my friends included, live their whole lives on facebook or its like. There is nothing too personal nor too private that they do not feel ready to announce to the world and i am ceaselessly amazed at some of the things i see and read. As a blogger i am happy to share certain opinions and amusing anecdotes relating to my life but i like the option of privacy and am selective about whom i share my intimacies of life with. Still i am not above browsing interestedly at the public announcements of my friends cringing or chuckling as the status may warrant. Today however, as i idly browsed i was struck by the number of weight loss adverts peppering many of the pages i viewed. Although all different brands and methods they all nonetheless screamed out the same message ‘LOSE WEIGHT FAST’  Perhaps the most alarming thing of all was not the presence of the adverts themselves but the sheer number of people flocking to them wanting that quick fix to their excess weight.

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For me it was a definite trip down memory lane and an almost Christmas Carol like visit to my former unhappy self. To say i was overweight would definitely be no understatement for the disgrace that i had become was almost double the person i am now. Yet it was all of my own doing and to a certain extent a deliberate attempt to obliterate the unhappy shadow that i had become. Never in truth did i consider the consequences of my actions nor did i have the foresightedness to realise that being big would not change the problems that had forced me there, it would only serve to be lessened slightly by the momentary comfort of some sugary treat. It is hard for anyone who has not experienced it to understand the comfort and solace that can be found in the arms of a bar of chocolate. If only the feeling lasted as long as the unhappiness but alas it does not and with it comes the crashing low of reality.

IM FAT!! 

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There may be those rare few who genuinely are happy being bigger and who do not feel the need to conform to a society ideal in order to feel attractive and loved. Sadly i like many was not once of those and longed to undo the damage that i had inflicted upon myself and be once again the slim person i had been before. But again like many i was daunted by the long road ahead and i failed to see the reality of the situation, it had taken years to become this large and it was going to take equally as long to take it away.

I wanted it now! 

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Therein we find the problem of many a dieter, once the decision has been made and the excess weight confronted we want suddenly to be slim overnight. This does not happen and even when the weight loss is rapid the effects upon the body cosmetically are not appealing as the skin fails to keep up with the speed of the weight lost. I have seen many a person embark upon some extreme weight loss programme only to be devastated by the resulting swathes of excess flesh where they had imagined some bikini body. Yet still they flock to these adverts willing to part with hard earned money for the illusion that this will be an overnight fix. I did it the hard way. I dieted, i failed, i cried, i sweated at the gym and i got right back on the wagon after every cheat and tried again. I threw many a tantrum and hurled many an abusive name at my reflection in the mirror but i kept on trying until i finally saw the results. In hindsight i think the stuggle in itself taught me more of a lesson than any quick fix ever could and even today i still carry on fighting the battle to keep from obesity. 

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I cannot help but feel a sadness for those who clamour around the quick fix for i was them once and i remember well the hopelessness and the desperation. The need to conform and the desire to be accepted and loved. Once you have been overweight you are never free from a diet for it is your curse to be susceptible to temptation and weaknesses that led you to where you were in the first place.Yet you learn in a way you never have before and you find a way to ignore the little voice reverberating in your brain urging you to give in and indulge.

I am quite sure i drive my boyfriend mad with my constant self criticism and shattering insecurities and that is my cross to bear. Yet thankfully he understands me and knows from whence it comes. He listens without complaint yet sometimes will reprimand me for slamming down any comforting compliment he may make. Perhaps the latter rather frustratedly for he knows at times that no matter what he says i shall not hear it.  But hear it i do although it maybe sometime later when it penetrates the sometimes self loathing i feel. It is a battle i shall continue to fight maybe forever but i’m winning…at least i am winning. Still i cannot help but feel sad when i see the girls i used to be, cannot help a wave of memories crash in, followed by the relief that i made it. Almost.

There simply is no quick fix. It is something you come to learn as you make the journey yourself, for the battle is as much inside as it is out. I made it on the outside, i was lucky and i do look good i grudgingly can admit this but it took someone else to open my eyes. The inside is something else and i shall carry on along the road with a supporting hand in mine.

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The weight of desperation.  

New Year Dread-olutions

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Yes its that old January time again and just the same as every year i ponder the resolutions i’m going to make. They rarely vary much and whilst i don’t exactly break them i couldn’t say i exactly keep them either. As usual on the top of the list is the inevitable post christmas diet which, were i to stick to my pre christmas vow, would not really be necessary. But as usual i ate too much,  wolfed down more chocolate than a cadburys taste tester and generally overindulged on a grand scale. After so many months of restriction it is rather reminiscent of offering water to a man in a desert and so rapidly the pounds piled on. Fortunately i know when to stop and as january rolls around i was once again haunting the aisles of the local supermarket avidly scouring labels. 

I am actually quite resolute once i actually set my mind to something and since i like being slim more than i like my beloved chocolate i wasn’t too unhappy about the diet at all. Until……

Sitting in the mall later that day i had forgone the greasy pasties my companions had favoured and instead had opted for a lower calorie salad sandwich. I had just taken a bite when a blur appeared infront of me and thrust a small plastic bag at me saying ”Here have a freebie” before rushing away. Rather startled i lowered my sandwich and peered inside, wondering what on earth she had given me. My expression changed somewhat as i pulled out a notebook, pen and shopping bag all emblazoned with the words ‘WEIGHT WATCHERS’

Now whilst i may mention dieting i am not infact obese, being 5ft 10 and a healthy size 10. I had certainly not considered myself as looking in need of Weight Watchers and to say i was rather offended was putting it somewhat mildly. Truth be told i seethed about it for rather some time afterwards muttering crossly to myself in the mirror as i tried to breathe in hard and look like a size 8. Eventually i had to breathe out and pondered for some time the positives and negatives of wearing corsets in the modern day world. Bridget knickers perhaps??

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So the New Year diet is in full swing and i sat today dolefully prodding at my cottage cheese wishing it were something a sight more interesting. I do not dislike Cottage cheese but it is one of those foods one would definitely not rush to get in line for. The kitten twitches its nose in the direction of my lunch trying to decide if i am eating anything tasty and i wave a forkful in her direction. ”Help yourself” i tell her generously, but she twitches her nose again and decides i am not eating anything palatable and stares balefully at me before settling back to sleep.

”No” i tell her prodding it again ”I wouldn’t eat it if i had a choice either”

Perhaps the cat has the right idea and next year i should bypass the chocolate, ditch the cottage cheese and make an altogether more exciting resolution.

Skydiving anyone??

A little bit of Thin-spiration

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Ask any woman in todays modern society exactly what they consider to be the perfect body and you can pretty much guarantee that the word ‘thin’ will be in there somewhere. Average statistics show that at any one time 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will be on a diet or weight loss program of some form or other. In an increasingly media driven society models of perfection are paraded as examples to aspire to and aspire to it we do. 

Despite an ever expanding population the diet and fitness industry continues its popularity explosion with companies like Weight Watchers pulling in a hefty $1.452bn (1) in annual revenue. Definitely no slim sum by any means and a clear indicator that the diet industry, in the western world at least, is definitely big business. As the media continues its glamorous promotion of those body beautifuls, we in turn fuel the trend and flock in our millions to buy into the illusion that they sell.

So much of a change from a small few decades past when icons and idols sported more ‘womanly’ curves. Glamour oozed from such well rounded starlets as Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and the timelessly sexy Bettie Page. Yet it is a true indicator of todays media influence when many questioned nowadays truly consider those afore mentioned sex symbols to be overweight. Indeed on more than one occasion this writer has seen the beautiful Marilyn described as ‘Fat’.

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But how accurate is this media bandwagon and are those ideals of perfection really so perfect after all? Well on camera it seems so. Glossy celebrities smile those perfect smiles and flaunt those flaw free bodies across magazine covers the world over. Enviously we admire everything about them and hurl ourselves desperately in the direction of anything we believe will make us like our idols. Billions each year are spent on diet, cosmetics and now on an increasing trend of cosmetic surgery as industry cashes in on our need to be perfect. The ‘quick fix’ surgery solution has rocketed in the last few years with millions of us opting for an invasive procedure as a way to give us that which we desire so badly. There is no doubt that this growing trend will not be seeing a decline anytime soon and the industry sees set to boom to massive proportions. 

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Sadly many recent media revelations reveal that perhaps the perfection we yearn for so badly may not be such a reality after all. Articles galore adorn the internet screaming the reality of an illusion we are all to ready to buy into. It seems there is a route to perfection after all but it does not lie at the end of a surgeons scalpel, nor indeed as the result of any super hyped diet program. To achieve the body of your dreams it seems all you need to do today is get yourself airbrushed. Stars have been no doubt cringing in shame as the internet buzzes with before and after photographs showing the reality of alleged perfection. With a few clicks of a computer mouse the pounds are shed, cellulite banished and perfect wrinkle free skin glows with health. Not such hard work after all then and certainly a look we can all manage with ease. Amusing then that men are among those most easily taken in by the images fed to us. I have encountered shock and surprise from more than one gentleman when i explained the wonders of airbrushing to them for they really did believe such flawless beauty existed. There is no doubt that there are indeed many beautiful people out there but nobody is perfect. So as we embark upon yet another diet in our efforts to be thin and spend billions on anything we are led to believe will get us there, perhaps we need to be a little more realistic in our efforts. Maybe one day the media will step up to the mark and take responsibility for the monster that it has created. But in the meantime we will all try just that little bit harder and spend just that little bit more. 

Because you can be perfect……can’t you?

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(1) source – google finance

Who wants to live forever

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It has been a long standing joke in my house that i am going to live to be a very aged cantankerous recluse, with a spooky house full of cats that children dare each other to knock upon the door. Quite blase i would airily announce that i was going to live to the ripe old age of 103. I have no idea where this number came from or why i settled upon it, but 103 has always been my mantra. 

I cannot for one minute imagine what quality of life i should have at this age and being in my early 40s, which i consider very young in the scheme of things, i do not ponder it too much as to me it is a terribly long way away. Imagine the things i will have seen if i reach such a ripe old age!! Croakily announcing to the younger generation that i remember a time before computers were invented will no doubt make me seem incredibly old indeed. Much in the way that i regard with awe those older persons who were around in those historical times and witnessed the birth of monumental discoveries we nowadays take for granted. So i tell myself i shall be regarded for those changes having taken place in my own lifetime.

Perhaps, like many, i have been guilty of thinking too little about my own mortality and just taking for granted that i should be here for quite some considerable time….until recently. Being a member of an online fitness group brings me into contact with a diverse range of people and within this community i have made many likeminded friends. All of us dedicated to fitness and trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Gradually as you converse you learn the stories behind the people and those things that motivate them and in turn relate your own. 

Meeting a new friend recently of a similar age we happily swapped tales and when she declared herself impressed and inspired by my own success i volunteered to help her in any way i could. As she related her tale to me i was horrified and catapulted into a reality that, i for one, had not even thought of considering. This particular lady, although a year younger than myself, had suffered a heart attack only a year before. Granted her size had much to do with this but, as i reminded myself, i had also been considerably overweight myself and only luck and perhaps good genes had prevented me from being in her place. To say i was shocked was an understatement for i had not for one moment considered the fact that people at so young an age can, and indeed do, suffer from such devastating health scares. Thankfully this lovely lady did recover and is very dedicated to redressing all those factors that led her to suffer as she did. For myself i sat and thought for a while, for this really had made me think quite seriously about my life. one cannot deny that it is all too easy just to sail along complacently, imagining that we shall always be here and putting off until tomorrow those things which we should do today.

Life is a gift and we really should treat it as such. I have long realised that, were we to waste the time we are given ,you do not get sent back to have another try. We none of us know when our time will come and for some of us it may be far sooner than for others. I guess all in all its a case of living every day like it could be your last. No regrets and no what ifs. Reach out and grab those things you can while you can, and do not waste time being afraid or complacent. 

So easily i could have been her, but thankfully i changed my life in time to save myself….this time.

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Adventures with a Bionic Fatty

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Well you guessed it i’m still here. Like some homeless inebriate clinging to the last vestiges of warmth at the local AA meeting i’m still lingering on the fringes of diet land with nowhere else to go. Clocking in at the 150s (pounds not kilos!!) before christmas provided a small whoop of joy before my treat starved body latched itself firmly to a much anticipated tin of Quality Street. Welding with all the tenacity of a rock growing barnacle, i firmly ensconced myself upon twiglet boyfriends sofa and began a long denied trip to chocolate heaven. Whilst this definitely delighted me the squeals of dismay from my skinny self were  muffled into oblivion by the sounds of my determined chomping. No doubt a familiar scene as many of us indulged way beyond the sensible in true Christmas abandon and worried about the regrets as the chimes of New Year rang in. 

So 2013 blows in and i guiltily step onto the scales, peeking through my fingers to hide the inevitable weight gain. I confess with the amount i ate i was easily expecting 5 or 6 pounds but my gleeful shriek at 1.8lbs startled the cat and awoke my nemesis. I have an overdeveloped sense of hearing you see, much in the way that animals can hear sounds on a level that humans cannot, so can i. But it is not whistles and supersonic bat calls that reach my level of hearing, oh no! My bionic hearing is tuned to a pitch that perfectly picks up the tantalising cries of……the cookie!! Just when i think i am safe its sirens call will hypnotize me into the kitchen, force cookies into my resisting paws and lure me into eating them against my will. I am sure that were it not for my bionic hearing i should by now be the super slim size 8 i wish to be instead of languishing as a paltry size 10. 

I confess i should have been much more impressed had my super powers been more awe inspiring. I’m not sure they will ever write a book about the adventures of Panda and her talking cookie but you have to admit it would prove rather interesting. So as i hop up and down on the scales and will them to go lower i stick my fingers in my ears and loudly chant ”LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!” Fortunate for me that my neighbours are not passing by as i am not sure what they should make of a semi naked woman hopping up and down with her fingers in her ears talking to herself!!

Chewing doggedly on a plate of lettuce some time later i am mentally telling myself ”pretend its chocolate, pretend it’s chocolate” whilst dreaming of a lovely pair of new boots. Of course lettuce doesn’t taste anything like chocolate and in reality all it does is make you pee since it is mostly water after all. Good for you right?? 

One day they will start an addicts club and i shall stand up in all my shame and say ”Hi there, my name is Amanda, im a Bionic Fatty and a cookieaholic!!

How to have a happy New Year……….or not!

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So Christmas time has come and gone and with it all the hustle bustle and weeks of planning. January settles into somewhat of an anti-climax that leaves you sitting amongst piles of discarded wrappings gloomily wondering ‘Now What?’  Dismally we prod our post christmas weight gain and vow resolutely to sign up for the gym and turn ourselves into body beautifuls, quit drinking and therefore become wonderful people. Right?? 

Pretty much! Prodding my own post christmas tum, i have happily christened it my food baby and only the expected January diet has prevented it from growing into a full blown toddler complete with requisite tantrums. Actually in all honesty i’m exaggerating just a teensy bit here since Christmas weight gain was less than 2lbs despite eating enough for a family of 5. Someone up there must like me just a tad and i sent up a silent thankyou to those in the know as i wriggled into my size 10 dress. Partner in crime (twiglet boyfriend) is still bemoaning non existent stomach on the slimmest mans frame i’ve ever seen thus making us the most typical examples of New Years Resoluters going. Out of the window went any thoughts of portion control and to my shame i really did go on a see-food diet!! 

Lack of sunlight has robbed me of my lovely summer glow and my customary winter milk bottle skin blends me in to the bleak winter landscape, saved only by a splash of scarlet lipstick in total defiance at conformity. As is traditionally expected i sat, pen poised, ready to make my new years resolutions and winced as i automatically trotted out the age old ones written down by the population en masse. 

1) Lose weight (ah the old classic)….hmmmm i’ve been doing that most of 2012 and have very little left to go so we can pretty much scrap that one after march!!

2) Go to the gym ( but of course!)…. but ditto here too since i went most of last year, i just need to go back post christmas so lets scrap that one too!

3) Become best selling author and churn out books like post it notes. Okay maybe a little optimistic here but i have vowed to actually finish my book this year…..honest!! I just need a title, a plot, some characters and a beginning! Easy!!

4) Become total genius in 6 short months and make multiple appearances on Mastermind thus leading me to be invited to a dinner party with Stephen Hawking and other intelligent beings of note…

5) Become multi- lingual and annoy people by pretending to be from Sweden. 

6) Ride my bike without holding on to the nearest passing lorry, abiltity to turn corners would also be an advantage here so vow to work on that. Might consider removing stabilizers by Easter if progressing well.

7) Stop giving my wrinkles names and marking their progress off on height charts!

8) Learn the calorie content of every food on the planet thus saving large amounts of time in the supermarket. On the subject of supermarkets i will only slide down the aisles on my trolley when grouchy shop assistants aren’t looking

9) Will resolve to improve my aim when throwing stuffed missiles at rival team aka gorgeous boyfriend. Will also learn to duck faster thus scoring more points.

10) I will stop buying shoes since i have over 50 pairs and chances of ever leaving my room are being greatly diminished weekly. Maybe we’ll just tactfully ignore the 4 pairs i’ve bought since christmas *cough*

11) Buy new pyjamas and throw away ‘big enough for three people’ sized ones currently being sported by yours truly. Remind self constantly that having to hang on to your rapidly descending trousers as you walk is not a sexy look. Bum does definitely not look big in this!!

12) Be nicer to my ‘love me, love me’ cat. Will resolve not to miaow back at him from upstairs windows when he is frantically yowling to come in. Will also remind myself that comically surprised expression on his face when i do so is not actually funny.

13) Will resolve to have very uncharacteristic minor crisis at some point within the year, just to buck the trend. It just doesnt do to get stuck into a rut these days…

14) Stop annoying myself singing random songs that pop into my head especially when i dont know the words and have to hum half of it..

15) Be happy….just because life is too short and im too far along the path to go back and start again.

Happy New Year Everyone!!

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Happy New Year everyone!!

Who ate all the pies?

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Yes girls its christmas, a dieters dread and guilty delight. Usually by now i’ve stocked up on so much food that the local barracks are considering me as a siege base should we ever get invaded. This year i’ve been a little more restrained although there are plenty of goodies still in store, i’ll just be shoving more of it in the direction of super slim boyfriend and mentally wiring my own jaws shut. 

But its christmas right? You cant not indulge to some extent and after 7 months of dieting and a 42lb weight loss im more than due something nicer to eat than lettuce! So as i’m happily dreaming of mince pies and chocolates eaten watching a movie, my bubble is firmly burst with the advent of todays email.

Oh look, a diet email from Jenny Craig telling me i can lose lots of weight *twinge of guilt*

Oh look another lose 7lbs by christmas email! *bigger prod of guilt*

Oh and another on how to survive the christmas holidays without gaining weight AARRGGHHH!! Okay okay i feel guilty i’ll have lettuce with my turkey and i’ll only sniff the chocolate tin once or twice!! PLEASE don’t send the ghost of January diet future after me i promise i’ll be good!!

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Actually theyre getting earlier this time. Usually they at least wait until the 2nd of January! I’ll be sitting with mince pie in hand, happily ensconced infront of the tv when the letter box will rattle. Heaving up my christmas tummy i’ll waddle off into the hallway to retrieve the Slimming world leaflet from the floor. This is shortly followed by Weight Watchers, Shapes and a leaflet from the gym. By now im hiding under the stairs trying to furtively eat my mince pie whilst sucking in my stomach and clenching my buttocks, mentally muttering ”i’ll go next week ,really i will”.

This year oh no! This year its different they’ve clearly decided i’m going to gain weight before i’ve even eaten anything!! So this week despite being pretty much at  goal weight and a much slimmer size 10/12 i’m munching faithfully on a lettuce mountain trying to take off a few pounds to use as a buffer. Okay take me away guv i confess i done it, it was me *holding hands out for handcuffs* 

So post christmas whilst twiglet of a boyfriend bewails his non existant stomach i shall be firmly holding mine in, giving him doleful looks and envying his super metabolism whilst malevolently cursing my own. Don’t worry Jenny i will be back on a diet in January i promise…now where are those mince pies??

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A better sense of achievement

So for those of you who follow my blog and more specifically my weight loss journey today is a little bit of an update. Cue a drumroll as i announce that today i reached my initial weight loss goal that i set right at the beginning of this little sojourn of mine yet strangely having reached here it felt like somewhat of an anticlimax. I should be shrieking with delight and turning somersaults up and down the street but instead all this is replaced with a rather flat sense of ‘oh okay, now what’

I guess i could describe it rather like thinking you are going to New York for a holiday and suddenly finding yourself in a B&B in Clacton clutching a soggy egg sandwich and a bucket with a hole in it. Yes you have it exactly and i’d be most disappointed too, deflating faster than a well holed balloon. Perhaps though it is all just down to a sense of perspective and it was only when talking to a newly adopted young friend of mine that i actually realised how far i have come. Like many my young friend struggles with weight issues and self esteem and from the first i felt such sympathy that i took her under my wing and try to help her where i can.

Being the character she is she will listen often but also ignore advice i give then come to me with tears when she finds that she has failed but i do not mind this for she needs to make mistakes in order to learn. She is at this time where i once was a long time ago and i understand so well the mountain set before her and the feeling you will never get over it no matter how you try. Frequently she exclaims to me about the weight i have lost and the work i have had to put in to get here and it is only then that i actually realise just how changed a person i am.

How comical to think that at 43 i look younger now than i did 10 years ago at 33 and just over half the woman i was back then. Yet for all i reached my goal and am now slim and perfectly in the middle of my ideal weight range for my height i decided to reset my goals and aim for more.Yes i look good, i know this for i have worked so hard for it believe me, but i know i can look better and this spurs me on.  A gym addiction that i never could have believed leaves me with a fierce determination for an athletes body and the sleek definition of a weight lifter and i know i can have it. So 10 more pounds and lifting with renewed vigor and yet again i have a goal to aim for.

I have my eye on the ultimate dress for christmas, i know it will fit and look good already but i want amazing. Watch this space!!

Shopping With a Difference

Whilst in most ways i am very unusual i think in some ways i am a very typical girl, i love to look nice and have far more clothes than even the average shopaholic needs. What can i say i adore dressing up and looking pretty! I do not own barely a single item of slob clothing and would die rather than be seen in sweat pants and/or a hoodie. It is all down to personal choice i truly believe people should dress as they feel comfortable and this for me is what does. 

So having lost almost 2st recently i was pretty sure i was going to have to clear out most of my clothing or drastically alter as much of it as i could. Replacing so much clothing really isn’t an option right now and although i am really loving being slimmer than i have in decades i had visions of overly belted in clothing and a ‘sack’ effect that really wasnt a look to aspire to. I was actually not looking forward to parting with my clothes for i really do have some beautiful things that really suit me and a lot of favourites that i am very reluctant to part with. Reality tells me it is no good keeping things that swamp me but this does not make it any easier. I have never considered myself materialistic by any shape of the word but still i cling tenaciously to my pretties. 

Heading upstairs last evening i decided it was time to try on absolutely EVERYTHING and salvage what i could and donate or ebay the remainder. No small task since trust me i seriously am not exaggerating the amount of clothing i have. The first thing that struck me was the amount of clothing either still with tags on or things that i knew i had never worn and so this rather large pile went on one side(a very large pile too). Old favourites in another and long forgotten items in another. Jeans were the first to go, i have dropped from a 16 to a 12 so i pretty much knew there was no hope of salvaging any of those without looking like i was wearing my fathers clothes. Saggy crotches and baggy bums are really not a good look and not one i wish to sport whilst i still have a say in it. Tailored trousers i knew i could alter within reason so the more fitted ones have been sorted for resizing and the rest joined the ‘out you go pile’ About now i was thanking my optimistic streak for i have quite a few size 12 jeans and trousers that had accumulated over the years as i told myself i would slim into them but never had until now. Chances of having to walk around in pyjamas greatly diminished by the discovery of this stash as the back of one wardrobe.

So then it was down to the tops, dresses and jackets and i rather longingly smoothed the front of a beautiful fitted cream lace dress with a stunning beaded neckline. I bought this from YUMI quite some time ago and typical me picked up a medium since it was the only size left and i had fallen so in love with it. Clearly too small it had hung in my wardrobe still with tags on for me to aspire to one day. I was pretty sure i still wouldn’t be able to get into it but decided to try anyway and my shock when it slid easily on was visible. I really couldn’t help the screech of delight as i dashed off towards the mirror for a bit of a reality check. It fit!! Not only that but it was if anything a little roomy round the waist but being slightly stretchy it didnt show and even if i say so myself it looked amazing. I am intending to post pictures of my weight loss journey on here when i reach my goal and will take a picture of this dress to show you all.

Item after item followed and shock and consternation as each fit as perfectly as the last and i finally realised why i had only ever worn such a small portion of my wardrobe. They simply never fit!! I had refused to acknowledge the fact that i buy clothing that is obviously too small or tight for me simply because i did not wish to address the fact i had put on weight. Where earlier i had imagined having to discard most of my items i was infact drastically expanding the amount of things i have to wear. The icing on the cake was definitely the little black dress!! For a very long time i would only go out in trousers and wear dresses over the top to hide my very ample bottom and never would i dare actually wear just the dress itself. Not any more!! My beautiful little black dress looks amazing with just it and a pair of tights like anyone else would wear and i really am in unknown territory here but oh do i love it!! 

 

I am still a way from my goal, at least another 10lbs i think since i am still far curvier on my hips and thighs than i want to be but i have come this far and have no intention of stopping. All those early mornings in the gym have paid off and i thank my determined nature for making me go even on those days when i was so tired i just wanted to crawl under my duvet. Watch this space dear readers for a transformation timeline will be coming sometime soon and i should like you all to meet my beautiful little cream dress in person. 

Last night i went shopping and it didnt cost me a penny since it was all in my own wardrobe!! 

The downside of weight loss

Yes its all been totally amazing, the pounds are melting off and i’m heading towards the body i always wanted. Whilst this is all so positive and the urge to hop up and down with delight there are however one or two downsides to getting slim…

1) You occupy less space in the bath therefore needing more water for a long soak. All well and good but in the end this costs more. I find i am somewhat of a mermaid, i love my bath and am not good at doing a quick paddle so i guess i shall have to live with the penalties.

2) You get to eat less and i mean a WHOLE lot less!! For someone with a raging sweet tooth like me this was pretty hard at first and the smaller you get the less you need to consume. Tragedy in itself when the purchase of a much loved Krispy Kreme Donut requires considerable deliberation and more often than not lands on the NO side of the argument. If ever you pass a Krispy Kreme and you see some woman with her nose pressed firmly against the glass then this will be me.

                      Image

3) You know the calorie content of almost everything in the supermarket and could quite happily win a series of Mastermind experting on the subject. Supermarket trips take twice as long as you scour the labels and manage a three minute mile past the bakery section. 

4)You suddenly find yourself looking like you are wearing someone elses clothes and feel a sudden need to run out and purchase vast amounts of belts while silently praying the sack look is in this season. You awkwardly become aware your trousers are too big right in the middle of a fast paced gym class as they begin merrily creeping down your hips. The rest of the class passes with you mentally praying ‘please dont fall down’ in time to the music.

5) You occupy less room on a bus seat and when that ‘oh no’ person boards he quite happily shoves himself on the seat next to you. Desperately praying please dont sit here does little to help and you suddenly wish you were not so slim after all. 

6) Cosy nights infornt of the tv and early morning lie ins are replaced with killer gym sessions and a mad desire to take off on very long walks whilst humming along tunelessly to your ipod. Missed gym sessions are accompanied by feelings of intense guilt and increased activity the next day. 

7) Chocolate becomes an alien concept

8) You suddenly find your vocabulary consists of far more utterances of the word NO than of the word YES.

9) You encounter strange lumps on your body and panic that you may be a member of an alien species.Only after much googling do you realise they are called ribs and hips and you spend considerable time prodding them in fascination. 

                           

10) You suddenly start feeling the cold and wonder if some arctic front has swept over the country without anyone telling you. Sitting down on hard surfaces becomes considerably less comfortable as your inbuilt seat cushion slowly dissipates. 

11) You find yourself looking at chicken fillets and push up bras and hold a remembrance service for your dearly departed bosom

12) You eat your vegetables without someone standing over you and telling you that you’ll grow big and strong if you do. Lettuce far from being something you feed to your pet bunny becomes a frequent visitor to your plate and you horror stuck hear your own voice uttering the word YUMMY as you eat it.

13) You find an odd desire to watch the adverts mostly because they are mostly calorie laden forbidden foods and then feel guilty for the mental ten pounds you put on whilst watching

14)  You stop biting your nails because you cant find anywhere on the internet that tells you how many calories are in them.

They say there is a flip side to everything and as the positive moments stack up so do the negatives. Perhaps it is only my own quirky take on life that leads me to see these things or perhaps i just need to peel my nose away from Krispy Kreme and go and eat one. Maybe a treat then when i reach my final destination but for now pass me the pineapple…..

Finally!!

If you’re a reader of my blog you will without doubt know of my weight loss and gym body journey. Most of you do not know that i started out 10 years ago weighing in at a hefty 284lbs which placed me firmly in the middle of the obese category as regards to BMI and wearing massive uk size 26 clothing.

I make no excuses for this, events i wish to keep private led me to need to be this way at that point in time. That is not to say i liked it, far from it but it served a purpose at the time. In hindsight i wish i had not abused my body so badly, it has taken a lot of hard work to return from that place and an older wiser me would have found a better way to achieve the effect. The plus side is i am so far from that person now as to totally appear to be someone else. These days i am a bit of a gym bunny and i do not care if i work until i throw up (and yes i have done this) but i fully intend to have that gym body and will do whatever it takes to get there. 

I guess the biggest change of all is being able to look in a mirror and not want to cry at the reflection looking back at me. Where once i would need to hide under oversized clothing now i know i am looking pretty good and can only get better and i find i can like the person looking back at me for the first time in my life. Today i weighed in and almost shrieked the house down when the scales settled at my lowest weight since i was 23 years old and more importantly i am now back into the NORMAL category for BMI. Yes me!! I am a normal weight for my 5ft10 height at at last. It seems hard work does pay off (thank-you weight training) and i really did want to scream like crazy and turn cartwheels on the front lawn. It might be a little helpful if i were actually ABLE to perform a cartwheel but you get the idea. Although i”m not sure what the neighbours would make of some crazy woman screeching and turning cartwheels in her pyjamas!!

114lb down since that fat girl 10 years ago and 7 dress sizes down!!

My journey is not over, i have a little way to go and am stepping up the weights and training to get there for i have a vision in my mind of how i want to look( Yes Jessica Ennis i want to look like you) and i WILL get there. But for now i can hop up and down with glee for at last i can shout out I AM HEALTHY!!!!

Reaching past the goal post

We all have goals, however big or small they may be we all have something in our lives that we want. Perhaps for some these are merely dreams, some seemingly far off aspiration or longing that deep down we long for but simply believe we will never achieve.

I am a dreamer.

It really is that simple. I have always been the whimsical sort with my head in the clouds and my head full of things i wish were reality, like some giant story book where wonderful things happen and everything turns out exactly how it was meant to. But I’ve never really turned these things into goals. Why? Again it is simple, i do not like failure and always have preferred to live with the illusion that i COULD have, if i had but tried rather than face the cold stark truth of failing. Perhaps the reality is true and not so much of an illusion at all but the flip side of this is far less palatable and not something i aspire to.

Recently though i find i have changed somewhat, Some new found glint of confidence prompts me to try the smallest of things just to see if i can get there and i hug my silent glee to myself when i find i have. More monumental of late the weight loss journey now far beyond the small goal i set for myself originally. Lose half a stone i told myself, mentally setting the goal post at a distance i had always set it at before, believing that this was as far as i was capable of going without failing. How wrong was i as the scales tipped 19lb down this week and still going, no sign of failure in sight and a distant dream creeping tentatively from my disbelieving head. Confidence then to buy a pair of much smaller jeans and hang them in full view as a never before believed goal to reach. 

I think often when you have always had nothing of consequence in your life you believe you are nothing and therefore you seek nothing more than to be what you have always been. Not for you the wild dreams of becoming someone that many people have and i put myself firmly into this category, lulled by the belief that this was my lot and i accepted it as such. But unexpectedly events so unlikely bring about a change and suddenly i find i am more than i ever dreamed i could be and with hopes of becoming more. Admittedly it took someone else to bring about this change and i find anothers confidence in me greatly compensates for the lack of my own.

I will always be a dreamer this will never change, for without them life would give me nothing at all to hope for. But the fact of the matter is life is just too short and we only have one chance at it. I should be desolate indeed were my end to come and my time be spent mourning the many things i wished i had done or said, the opportunities i had wasted because i was too afraid or self doubting to reach for them. I find i am not so loathe to fail as i once was for i know i can take comfort in the fact that i DID try and it just was not meant to be. 

But if at first i do not succeed, i will never regret that i tried. Suddenly those goal posts have widened and still i find i am willing to reach outside of them. 

Just reaching past the goal post 

Just because i can’t

Well today i decided to go into the next town and do some grocery shopping which is pretty rare for me. Usually i shop online for i detest supermarkets with a passion especially in the school holidays. Then the whole place will be packed with children running around and throwing the usual tantrum to persuade some harassed parent to purchase some greedily coveted item that they had no intention of buying until this moment. I am sure there are well behaved children out and about with mindful parents but never on the occasions when i venture into the vicinity. 

However today being no gym day i felt the need to get ample bottom moving and so opted to forgo the usual online saving grace and hop on the train and forage for myself. Yes, as i had predicted, the place was packed. Tearful wails from some departing child greeted my arrival as he was hauled roughly away by some potty mouthed parent who really should know better but clearly did not care. Standing patiently waiting for a congregation to move from the doorway so that i could collect a basket didn’t quite set my eyes rolling but i was a little annoyed that people are so unconcerned with their surroundings as to appear rude to those others around. Clearly most did not care that they were blocking the entrance and showed little sign of moving along until urged to do so by a hovering shop assistant.

So to my mission, now dieting so far has been reasonably easy since mostly i have stuck to online and only ordered what i knew i could have.Temptation limited to only colourful images on screen that are so much more easily dismissed.  Standing in a brightly lit colourful store full of goodies was another matter as the piped smell of donuts drifted past my nose and my stomach gave a most obliging growl. I adore donuts, hell who am i kidding i have a terrible sweet tooth and adore most any kind of sweet treat! Had i been naturally slim i would have at this moment been in heaven and gleefully planning what to buy but whilst mouth and stomach collaborated on a yes please vote, head emphatically vetoed this and refused. 

Oh trust me it just wasn’t the same marching determinedly towards the fresh fruit when honestly i just wanted to sit on the floor in the bakery and scoff jam donuts and pecan plaits. DROOL!! Just leave me here and come back for me later. i’ll be fine honestly!! 

I really do deserve a medal for being so stoic in the face of such adversity and even now am debating contacting The Queen and asking for special consideration. Marching around the rest of the store was little better as peanut butter and digestive biscuits both called my name and waved. Things i would never normally buy when not on a diet started hurling themselves from on the shelves in my direction chortling maniacally and daring me to resist. But i battled on with a fortitude worthy of Alexander The Great, bravely scattering all before me and defeating every foe.

Sausage roll was almost my undoing for this week i have been ruthlessly stalked by one wherever i went. Now pre diet were i to enter a bakery i should never buy a sausage roll, instead opting for a sandwich for my biggest weakness is definitely bread. This week however i have been stalked and fixated with a giant sausage roll that barely stopped short of wrestling me to the ground and wiping out any remaining will power. This phenomenon even took over my dreams and nocturnal adventures being chased by the giant pastry were abound.

BUT WHY???

Simple, because i cant have it!! How ironic is it that you never want something until you are told you can’t and then it turns into the most coveted thing in the world!! And so it was for me,for i would never dream of eating half of these things yet today i could have quite happily consumed the lot. Even those things as i am not so fond like chocolate cake would have quite happily been deemed edible by me at this point. 

Thankfully at this point willpower is still pretty strong but it was rather enlightening comparing my basket of saintly healthy food with the shoppers at the next checkout who clearly knew the meaning of the word indulgence! Still this has hardened my resolve to avoid supermarkets in future and hide behind my very safe from temptation laptop and the convenient world of online shopping. In the meantime i am seriously hoping this sausage roll will cease its amorous advances and leave me in peace. Oh to be slim!! 

A weighty issue

So as you all know, if you have been following my blog, i’m currently being a typical woman fighting the weightloss war. Whilst by most peoples standards i am definitely not obese, by societies standards i am definitely bigger than i should be although i am very lucky that i am such a tall girl. Actually the only time i curse my height is when trying to purchase jeans and finding them flapping merrily around my ankles being far too short. 

So yet again morning finds me at the gym stepping up the effort as much as i can since to date all dieting and exercising has produced no results. I do not mind being proud that i work very hard at the gym doing both weight training (real hard training not pink barbie weights) and doing hard cardio to help with the burn. But all to no avail as the pounds cling grimly to my curves stubbornly refusing to move. Curse you darned pear shape!! 

Now i have to add into this a moment that made me giggle. Imagine the scene, myself and another woman both training hard plus half a dozen serious body building guys putting in some super effort when in sashays another woman. Sashays is definitely the right word as she wiggled in walking primarily on her toes with perfectly curled pony tail bouncing as she went. Wearing designer Sweaty Betty gym trousers and matching crop top with sweat bands around her pretty little head and wrists to keep the sweat from her perfectly made up face. This doll like creature proceeded to lie on the floor and wave her legs in the air two or three times before sitting up to ‘rest’ then wiggled her way over to the nearest machine. Setting it at the lowest weight she pulled delicately at it whilst admiring herself in the mirror no more than five times before skipping back to the mat and repeating the leg waving. 

This pretty little barbie was in the gym no more than twenty minutes and did not break into so much as a sheen let alone a sweat and i did have to grin for the guys gave her barely a cursory glance before turning their attentions to their training. I think my face must have betrayed me for as one guy observed my amused grin he caught my eye and shook his head, raising his eyebrows in her direction. 

Lack of effort is definitely not my problem so i felt a change of approach was much needed. After speaking to a fellow dieter i learned about Intermittent Fasting and i admit this really interested me. Basically intermittent fasting means you only eat within a certain window of time per day and then fast, drinking only fluids for the rest. Most women usually do 14/10 (14 hours fasting/ 10 hour eating window) but since i weight train like the guys i figured the 16/8 would be better for me. Since we are sleeping for on average 8 hours per day this covers a fair portion of the fasting period.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??

Well essentially it means that in my case i do not eat before 12pm and never after 8pm which actually suits me very well. I’ve never been a breakfast fan and pretty much only ever eat breakfast when i’m on a diet so this really was no hardship.(Yes i can hear people gasping in horror up and down the country, how can she not eat breakfast!! )Allotted calories for the day are then eaten between the hours of 12 and 8. Exercise is always done in a fasting state and must be done when the stomach has been empty for at least 5 hours. I admit i was a little worried about this figuring i would have zero energy but i was amazed when my body responded and i actually had loads. Afterwards i felt fantastic which really did surprise me!

WHY MUST I TRAIN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH??

Well the reasoning behind this is simple, if you train having eaten then your muscles will first use up the Glycogen stored within them and then your body will begin to use the food as a source of fuel to maintain your workout. Training on an empty stomach forces the body to use its own fat reserves in the absence of any food to fuel itself therefore essentially increasing weight loss. Nothing is to be eaten for a minimum of an hour after training to allow the body to carry on burning fat instead of latching onto post workout snacks.

Yes it probably sounds like you are going to starve but this is not true for you are still getting your daily calorific needs but within a shorter fixed period of time rather than grazing and eating throughout the whole day. How effective this will be remains to be seen and i shall update my progress.

We shall see…

On gaining a little motivation

Well it just had to be done, i finally got frustrated enough to get my behind back down to the gym and sign on the dotted line. After yet another day of dieting yesterday i hopped onto the scales this morning and they hadn’t moved, not one single gram!! I actually got off, reset them, took off my pyjama top and climbed back on but no, still the same. I then got off again and got back on standing nearer the front but still no change and then resorted to jumping up and down on the darned things which resulted in a 1lb gain followed by a 1lb loss. Definitely not impressed i jumped off, scowled at the scale and growled ‘stupid bloody things’ at them before tossing them into a corner. 

It was all so much easier when i was younger but now the love handles are definitely in there for the long haul, aptly named they hug my hips tightly crooning ‘i love you’ Yes well i dont love you, pack your bags and leave!!  Well there was nothing for it but to head back to the gym and become a gym bunny again, so trainers donned, grown up daughter in tow we headed down for a torture session designed to shift even the most stubborn of inches.  I was actually relieved to see the guy on duty wasn’t some buff tanned pretty boy guaranteed to make me feel like a 90 year old nellie the elephant but instead a guy of around my own age who certainly seems to know what he was talking about. 

It seems much has changed in my absence and emphasis for girls is on reps rather than weight as it was when i was there before. I was slightly disappointed by this for i confess i did take a rather gleeful delight in sitting next to guys on the benches and easily pressing more than them and watching them slope off to pick up something heavier to struggle with and retain manly pride. Aren’t i terrible??

So as we launched into new training programme i was pretty pleased that i didnt struggle too much and hadn’t had to drop weights too far although trust me i’m pretty sure i’ll suffer for it tomorrow and will be walking like a 90 year old. Two hours flew by and although i emerged half dead it was with that strange kind of exhilaration you get when you’ve been training. I’d actually forgotten how much i love the gym although i think i’ll tone up a bit before i resume training with the guys. Biggest surprise of all was surveying myself in the full length changing room mirror and realising i wasnt quite as big as i had been mentally picturing myself although there was plenty of room for improvement. 

So once again i am a gym bunny panda and hopefully middle age spread will be well and truly banished. Watch this space!! 

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