She cannae take much more gym!!

Okay excuse the terrible pun, what can i say i’m a trekkie of the worst kind. So today a very kind friend sent a donation of a cross trainer in my direction, probably an affectionate kick up my ample derriere to help with my never ending weight loss see saw. You’d never believe that only two years ago i used to nigh on live in the gym, getting screamed at by a sadistic personal trainer friend was very much part of the routine 7 days a week. Actually having a personal trainer who is a friend is probably the worst thing because they tend to take great delight in being mean and pushing you even harder than a normal trainer would. 

I admit i loved the weight training and trained with a couple of body building guys, loved the treadmill although despite my trainers best efforts he never could turn me into a runner. I seem to have some short circuit between legs and lungs which leaves it impossible for both to work at the same time. Trust me you could put a 90% sale on at monsoon and i still wouldn’t manage a run!! 

But as is always the case in any gym i had my nemesis, the cross trainer!!

My trainer knew this and would paste on evil grin, clap me on the back and say ”Right then Amanda time for the cross trainer i think, twenty minutes to start”

To start?! Oh yes he meant it too, setting the timer for twenty minutes and barking out a speed. Even trying to distract myself with the huge screen tv did little to help and as my legs turned to jelly my lungs waved a white flag and grabbed frantically at my inner ribcage trying to reach daylight and more air. Just when i thought my lungs would explode the ritual slap on the back would come and crazy non stop yells to kick up the speed and hold it for a minute. WHAT??? are you trying to kill me?? Hello..barely breathing here!! Oh there was no getting out of it because you werent getting off that machine until you’d done your twenty minutes and kicked your heartrate up to a level that satisfied the demon trainer. 

Actually i confess i expected to see the heart rate monitor dialling 999 and paramedics coming to my rescue for i really did think i was going out of there in a box and ohhhh seriously its hard to remind yourself that this grinning torturer is your friend and i dreaded every minute of that torture chamber.

So it really seemed the perfect thing to do when a friend offered me a cross trainer. Of course i said yes…. in the three seconds before my brain connected to my mouth! So some time later determination set in, i switched on the latest episode of The Biggest Loser and hopped on thinking thin thoughts. 15 minutes later my thighs are singing their way through a song and dance routine chirping burn baby burn and the rest of me is hallucinating it’s in the Sahara desert, gasping out croaks of water…i need water!!

Well i guess this all just goes to prove im really not that fit any more despite how much i walk and perhaps its just as well i accepted this after all. But i’m determined to do it even if i do have to stop every 10 minutes, i’ll just get right back on again. But if sometime this week you dont hear from me it’ll be because i’m mid crawl halfway up the stairs since my legs gave out and the desert came and swallowed me up. Roll on when i’m 70 and it wont matter any more, i can just eat chocolate to my hearts content and be as unfit as i like. In the meantime i just need to get my butt moving to make sure i actually make 70 but just incase i’m putting emergency services on speed dial….

The shake rattle and roll of a diet queen

I never used to be health conscious, i guess like most people i sailed through my teens and twenties without a single thought of what i was eating, i just ate it and that was that. Health and fitness wasn’t exactly big business in the 80s, at least if it was i really didnt notice, not until the last few years when this whole healthy business really started to boom. Only when having to tackle a weight problem myself in the early noughties did i actually sit back and look at my horrendous diet.


I have done something about it, radically changing the way i eat and choosing a much healthier option, ditching junk and red meat and loading up on the veg, fruit, white meat and fish. But i’m a carb junkie, i cant help it and would happily live on sandwiches forever ( admittedly i did swap to wholegrain bread) and my downfall the biscuit tin. A whole day of wonderfully healthy eating ruined by furtive biscuit snatching and guilty justification means perhaps i’m not QUITE as healthy as i’d like to be. 

Tv i find does little to help being flooded with shows on health and obesity and i confess i do record shows like Biggest Loser and Fat Surgeons and things like that so i can watch them and scare myself into being good. A little bit of a case of ‘therefore but for the grace of god’ if you will. It works!! For me this works and i will avoid the biscuit tin for a while, i guess my fear of getting fat again is enough of a deterrent in that quarter although i realise i should just have enough willpower to resist on my own. So lately i have made a real decision to put some effort into my health and i am sticking to my healthy diet, no biscuits (yay go me!!) and trying to be more conscious of only eating when i actually AM hungry and not through some awful ingrained habit.


Healthy yes, and so i trotted off to the health food store determined to help myself as much as i could (maybe a slight tv show brainwashing in force here) and loaded up on vitamins and things. A-Z vitamins and minerals?? Oh yes we need those we have to be deficient in SOMETHING ( yes talking about oneself in the plural is a bad habit of mine) Evening primrose?? Oh yes that too, not sure why exactly but its good for women right?? Cod liver oil?? oh yes extra strength i dont want to be getting arthritis when i’m old do i??  Kelp tablets?? Boost your metabolism? Oh well we DEFINITELY need those then!! My hand hovered over the Adios, i’ve seen this on tv and its meant to help with weight loss right?? Okay so we threw that in too along with a bumper pack of vitamin c and zinc and some herbal tea stuff.

Funnily enough they gave me a reward points card when i went to pay ( i wonder why??) and i trotted off home with all this stuff merrily rattling in my bag. I swear the people on the bus must’ve thought i was an addict or something as i rattled my way up the aisle. Super healthy me here i come….Right??

Well i’ve been taking this stuff for about a month now and i’m not sure if i’m supposed to feel any different. Energy levels..pretty much the same, i still crawl out of bed in a morning yawning like crazy and feeling like i got run over by the sandmans truck as he left my room. Hair and skin i must confess look loads better!! Hair is growing like crazy and skin is clearer and less dull so i guess something is going right. I dont feel so achey so i guess perhaps again there is something in this cod liver oil thing but as for the rest well hmmmmm i dont know. 

Adios, i must touch on this. Its meant to be a herbal kind of diet pill but for me i cant say that this has any effect at all. One thing i will warn you is it makes you feel very VERY sick. Perhaps this is the intention and if you feel queasy enough you won’t want to eat and ultimately will lose weight but after a month i cant say that this has done anything for me at all. One other thing, it is a diurectic too so it makes you pee…a lot!! 

So early morning and i’m lining up the pills with my morning coffee and coming to the conclusion that i must rattle like a tube of smarties when i walk. ~perhaps i’ll have to wait until i’m an old gal before i notice if any of it was worth it and if all my friends start dropping like flies and i’m still standing i’ll know it was. Darn the tv for making me feel guilty perhaps i should go and start watching reruns of Bonanza or something and avoid all these super healthy programmes altogether. Still at least as i dance around my lounge with the duster i’ve got a little added percussion to join me. Who needs maracas!!

A week in the life of the obsessively obsessive

“The cure for an obsession is to get another one” Mason Cooley

I never wanted to admit that i’m obsessive. To me obsession smacks of ‘Fatal Attraction’ or ‘Single white Female’ you know the stalker kind of thing and i’m not like that. But this week i’ve had to face the fact i do get rather obsessive about things and although this invariably gets things done i sometimes wish i could be a little more lackadaisical about things instead. So take this week….

Obsession 1) The Painting

This was meant to be just freshening up the paint on the woodwork in my small downstairs hallway and in the beginning this was all i intended it to be BUT the little mad demon took over as soon as the paintbrush touched my hand and every bit of woodwork apart from inside of the bedrooms got painted. ALL of it, every spindle of the staircase, every door frame and every skirting board. 11pm and i’m still there painting away (and yes i obsessively did it properly undercoat and all) Two days later sitting cross legged on the top landing at 7am sanding away when the door flings open and a bleary eyed son growls ”MUM!!! what the hell are you doing you woke me up!!”  Okay so he’s a dormouse at the best of times but even i had to look sheepish and slink off downstairs. Admittedly i did give it a rest yesterday but sitting here now i can here the unpainted bits calling me from upstairs……paint me, paint meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Obsession 2) The diet

Okay so i’m back on the diet wagon again, back on the groundhog day roller coaster and yet again vowing that once i reach my goal I’ll stay there and not let it slide. And the odd thing is i actually do MEAN it. But then i meant it every other time too, i’m nothing if not sincere. I just happen to have all the willpower of a bunny in mating season most of the time. That coupled with the fact that biscuits personally call my name means i’m pretty much on my way down the slide as soon as i get to the top. What i DO get obsessive about is the diet itself, admittedly this takes me a few days to get my head around but then it just clicks and i get obsessive. Thats where i’m at right now, weighing myself every morning, beating myself up if i dont lose any weight and rigidly sticking to my calorie intake with all the dedication of an olympic athlete. Sure its paying off, stepping on the scales this morning and seeing the total flick round to 6lbs down for the week made me shriek with joy, already picturing myself wearing my favourite but too small pair of jeans. Still having another 10lbs to go means the obsession merry go round is still spinning and i havent figured out what i’m going to do when i get to my goal. Hmmmmmmmm……..

Obsession 3) Ally Mcbeal

I love this show!! I think it appeals so much because in a lot of ways she is ME!! okay so im not a 27 year old lawyer who is far from having a single excess pound but the rest i can SO relate. Now admittedly i dont dance around my lounge with a dancing baby but yes i do dance around my lounge(with a cushion) i DO own those kinds of pyjamas and i do lament about my love life, meet lots of Mr Wrongs and have a serious case of foot in mouth. I love this show and come 10pm sees me tucked up in bed chuckling away at her antics and sighing wistfully at her long lost love affair with childhood sweetheart Billy. If only my life were so interesting right? Hey i could even live with the dancing baby thing if i had to. But for now Ally and i are keeping each other company and mourning our less than perfect romantic lives…..maybe one day right?

Obsession 4)  Making coffee

I’m scatty, i confess it freely yet strangely i have a fantastically good memory. I just get distracted or obsessed with some things and forget about others. This week its coffee!! I’ve pretty much lost count of how many cups of coffee i have made this week but the thing is im not even drinking half of them!! I’m weird i rarely drink a whole cup of coffee anyway and DD1 used to complain when she lived at home that there were always third full cups lying around and i’d be off making another. Lately however due to obsessions and latent scattiness i seem to be accumulating rather more leftover coffee than usual, i just keep forgetting i’ve made one and then i’ll glance down and exclaim ‘oh where did that come from?’  Of course waste not want not i tried microwaving them instead of making fresh but anyone who’s done that will know how gross it is so that stopped pretty quickly. My daughter suggested i only make half a cup if i wasnt going to drink it all but the thing is i would STILL leave some…i have no ideal why?? Its a foible of mine. So i’m trying to wean myself away from the coffee ritual and trying to go for the diet coke instead, sure i know its bad for me but i haven’t drunk soda in years so i dont think a little bit will hurt. And as i type this the kettle suddenly comes to a boil and pings off…………….oh dear!

Obsession 5) Pineapple

I never used to like pineapple, i went 42 whole years hating the stuff and picking it from out of evey meal it was ever served up in. I totally adore fruits like mango, nectarines and my particular favourite the persimmon but i couldnt abide pineapple. Actually the truth was i’d never eaten fresh pineapple and one day not so long ago encountering fresh pineapple in my grocery delivery instead of my beloved mango  i was horrifed but loathe to waste it so decided to eat it anyway. Boy was i in for a surprise!! A most of you know fresh pineapple is totally different to the gross canned variety and i was so surprised i ate the lot then went right out and bough some more. And so began my addiction, i easily eat up to 1.5kg a day (yes a lot i know) and i admit i gave myself a huge tummy ache last week sitting and eating half a kilo in one go but i totally adore the stuff and would quite happily live on just that if it wasnt so unhealthy. Of course there are down sides and the worst thing is it makes you pee, like forever!! Its mostly water so what goes in has to come back out, usually at 3am which is pretty inconvenient and is driving my son crazy as i clatter into a dozen things on my way to the bathroom for the third time that night. Maybe i’ll get bored eventually. And maybe not….


So as it goes i figure i’m pretty obsessive yes? Oh well next obsession please….

weightloss war of a 40 something carthorse

You’d never believe i once weighed 2lbs would you? Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand looking for all the world like a skinny little rat.

But i was.

Hitting my teens i was  still pretty skinny as it goes, tall but with the slightest hint of disproportionate thighs that hinted at the cursed pear shape to come. ‘Thunder- Thighs’ my brothers called me…oh i so hated that name back then but now it makes me laugh. ”Nowt wrong wi er” my mother would say” built like a pit pony arent you ducks”  yes thanks mother!!Even come early twenty something and the mother of two i pretty quickly lost all my ‘baby weight’  and was admittedly on the slender side for my height but of course those accursed thighs were STILL haunting me and i knew then i should never lose them. Actually i was pretty happy with my weight at that time although it most definitely would not suit me now.

And so along came mid 20s and this is where my war with weight began. I think this ranks on up there with the most unhappy i have been in my life and i began that fatal cycle of eating to make myself feel better. Anyone who battles with weight will know yes it DOES make you feel better..for that few moments you’re eating it but that high quickly fades and you crave that feeling again.Somewhere in the depths of ignored reality you know you are gaining weight but you refuse to acknowledge it, making every excuse under the sun for the reason your clothes don’t fit and determinedly avoiding those mirrors that show more than just head and shoulders. If you are like me cameras were avoided and any photographs that did sneak through were swiftly torn to shreds and disposed of.


And so my obese frame and i waved goodbye to my 20s and sailed on into my 30s, every wobbling inch growing larger by the day. I guess i was rather more fortunate than most in that i am rather tall for a girl and thus could carry this off better than most but it did not hide the fact i was almost twice the size i should be. And then came the shock. Most of those who embark on the diet roller coaster will do so as the result of a sharp slap around the face by reality and the realisation finally dawns of what you have become. This is the point where you have to concede that eating did not make the problems go away and you are not infact any happier than you were when you were your much smaller self. On one fateful day myself and i came face to face with the bane of every obese persons life..the full length mirror. Oh it took rather a while for the hysterical crying to stop and then i marched my stout frame right along to the nearest diet club and never looked back.

And then i found ME!  One year later and early 30s i was half my previous size and twirling around ecstatically in my first pair of jeans in a decade. Trust me thats some feeling and one i wont forget in a very long time. I looked slim and healthy and yes i felt attractive for the first time and oh i admit i flaunted it. And with it came true love the kind that lifts you up and carries you along and makes you feel that no matter what youre perfect the way you are. 

Then i was happy, diet was shelved and i really did not worry and if i was not a size zero well it didnt worry me at all i was happy with my size 12 figure and had no desire to change the way i was. But inevitably as things often are the case this did not last and on finding myself single again i comitted the ultimate sin and turned to my very best friend….food. And as always it did not let me down and every time i needed to feel better it was there to pick me up. I guess i was lucky because i could so easily have carried on and ended up right back where i had started but having had the forethought to dispose of those tent like garments as i had worn before i was faced with the choice. Diet or go around naked!! 


Yes here we go again all aboard!! So back on the roller coaster i go, hitting the gym and working furiously to rid myself of that hated stone that had so stubbornly attached itself to my frame and yet again i did it. Twirling again in my favourite jeans i vowed never to let myself slide again.

But i did. Of course i did.

So with every crisis comes the eating and for a while i feel better. And then i look in the mirror and feel ashamed for being so weak and yet again make the vow..i WILL stick to it this time. But of course i do not and this stone and i have met and parted so many times that we are now old friends. And i hate what i become when this dependant me comes along. I confess i have many times stood infront of the mirror exclaiming ”god you fat cow” before turning away in disgust.

And as it and i look in the mirror this morning i wave it goodbye yet again and hop back onto that never ending ride solemnly promising that i will not fail this time and i must learn to find another way to deal with my problems. Eating solves nothing i know that and i really am determined to try.