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!!

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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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How to tame your inner fat girl

Yet again this weekend sees me chained to Ebay, watching as auction after auction ends. Why?? Well those items. they’re all mine you see.

I blame it on my inner fat girl!

Very few of us have accurate body perception and women in particular will obsess about their most hated flaw until it reaches a tragedy of epic proportions. That extra inch on the hips and thighs suddenly becomes 10 and you no longer want to be seen out in public. You fixate and self deprecate until your perception of yourself is distorted beyond all recognition.

My weight loss journey has been shared on here and if i face reality i am a very acceptable 5ft 10 and size 10/12 yet most of the time i cannot see it. Several times lately i have had to return clothing to a store because habit see’s me purchasing size 14’s and L/XL when i am so far removed from this now. Then i find i am greatly annoyed when the coveted dress/jeans hang like a sack on my much smaller frame and i have the hassle of returning and reordering or,as i frequently do., throwing it in the wardrobe to hang forever unworn.

Sometimes. like today, i find myself overloading ebay with my wrongly sized purchases and i vow to buy things in my proper size next time but still often i never do. I still see the curvy girl you see. Only when confronted by a mirror do i actually see and register the transformation and i would be lying if i didn’t say that it comes as a shock every time. I guess the reality is how many of us actually look at ourselves in a full length mirror and actually SEE what we look like??

Not me that’s for sure.

Only recently after a conversation with my trainer did i acknowledge that i am no longer the girl i was and i should be proud of how dramatic a change i have effected in only 3 months. I can run, i’m slim, i weight train and i’m fit and healthy. Sheer hard work has gotten me here and i am not about to let it all slide any time soon. Maybe when i’m 80 i shall relax and eat chicken burgers and chocolate but for now i adore the gym and i love being slim.

”Start looking in a full length mirror every day” my trainer advised wisely ”There are plenty of women at this gym who would love your figure”

Really?? My squirming impulse immediately was to self criticise as i usually do. A fault i developed long ago to run myself down before anyone else could and it became a terrible habit. Any self confidence is well and truly trampled and you are the worst culprit for it, yet you do not see that. So upon his advice i started to look in the mirror and actually LOOK properly for a change. No i am not perfect but i look good especially for my age and i am starting to slowly accept that when my lovely boyfriend calls me beautiful it is because he see’s me as such. I do not believe he would lie but the inner me could never accept it and always brushed his comments aside blaming him as having bad eyesight. You see the instant self criticism??

So my inner fat girl and i we confront each other daily and i try on a pair of jeans that used to fit and chuckle as they instantly fall into a puddle around my feet. Then i stick out my tongue and tell her she isn’t coming out any more. She sighs but she knows she cannot win any more and so she is resigned to it. With tape measure in hand i confront myself with the inches i have lost and then i tell myself 

‘You look great, you have done fantastic and you are almost there keep going’

You can beat your inner fat girl you just need to face the truth. Buy a full length mirror and look, look ,look!! Give yourself the right to be proud of your own achievements and when someone tells you you’re beautiful? Just accept that to them you probably are and simply say thankyou.

Nobody is perfect, even those famous faces have something about them that they do not like. Beauty is after all in the eye of the beholder. My inner fat girl and i are off to the gym and we’re going to run and run, because we can. 

Aside

I want one of these!!

So recently i told you all about unwanted attention i am getting at the gym. Well today this escalated to the point where one guy got so in my face that i actually injured myself and to say i was angry was putting it mildly. I rarely get angry, it actually takes a lot to get that kind of a rise out of me but this guy managed it. To my credit i actually avoided erupting like some long dormant volcano but oh i was angry. I think the worst thing was he persisted even AFTER i had told him quite plainly i have a partner after which he still needed to clarify whether it was a serious relationship or not. Ummmm well i’m not doing it for a joke dumbass!!

Actually i would never actually say that even if my brain let me down and thought it for i am well mannered and ladylike and this is not seemly behaviour. But when relating the tale to friends and fellow  fitness pals one did make me laugh when she sent me a link to the perfect cure to all my problems.

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I WANT this t-shirt!! Were it not for the fact it is from America you could bet your life i would be handing over my card details as we speak and purchasing one of these little gems. Of course i am assuming here that these guys are literate and can actually decipher the less than cryptic message on the front of it. 

Either way it gave me a good chuckle and at least it seems i am not the only one with this problem. Perhaps the only thing that worries me is i am still not at my ideal and i worry what will happen when i have the body i am dreaming of. Perhaps i need to develop more of an attitude, not very me at all but we shall see. 

The art of being subtle

Well another day over at the gym and to say i am pretty annoyed is putting it mildly. My usual workout is between 2-21/2 hours but today i was lucky if i did 80minutes. Yup i feel lazy and oh boy do i feel like i’ve cut half of my weights out which actually yes i have. 

And why??

Well it is simple, i got so annoyed with my latest admirer and his blatant staring that i grabbed my stuff and left. I know what you are all thinking it’s flattering to be eyed up but i really do not feel comfortable with such open appraisal and really wish they would be more subtle about it.If you’re looking at me and i’m not looking back then please just take a hint. A lot of the gym where i go seems to be guys since most of the women stick to the fitness classes and not so frequently weight train as i do. So far i have 3 guys who seem to check me out a lot and sure, i’m a girl, it was a tad flattering at first but trust me it rapidly gets annoying especially since i am very honest that i am taken and am not the remotest bit interested in any of them.

I guess the problem is i go to the gym to work and i mean WORK. I have my ipod and i zone out and really kick up the weights and cardio and to be honest i really do not want someone yakking in my ear while i am doing so. I need to concentrate! If i drop my weight and injure myself because you’re distracting me lets just say i’d be awfully angry. I have to say most of the guys at the gym are pretty great, they’ll chat after workouts but like me they dont want to be bothered while theyre working out so other than a quick smile and hello we dont interact. But for all that there are those who seem to treat it as some kind of pick up joint and spend half their energy looking around.

So the three guys in question??

Number one is pretty okay, he’s kinda subtle and had he not hunted me down online and sent me a very flirty message saying i had a fantastic body i should never really have noticed him looking. I have to admit he has gotten slightly more obvious since then but was fine when i told him i have a partner. He doesn’t invade my space while im training and chats only when he can see i’m not busy which i really am okay with. I dont mind this guy so much at all and am happy to be friends with him.

Number two, lets call him council guy. He has for a very very long time been staring at me since i frequently bump into him in town and he is quite blatant about it. He will stare and put himself in my eyeline catching my eye until i am forced to acknowledge him and say hello. I do not like being forced to say hello to people, i am far from antisocial but i like to choose who i wish to speak to but this guy does not care. At the gym he is very blatant and not content with a hello on first meeting he has to have me acknowledge and say hello to him EVERY time we pass. This guy engineers bumping into me so much (trust me nobody can really need THAT much water from the cooler) that dear daughter commented yesterday that this guy seems to be obsessed with me. She remarked quite loudly that surely one hello was enough then loudly announced that he was staring at my bottom. 

Number three. Now this guy is new having only latched onto me this week and now suddenly his every workout coincides with mine whereas before they did not. Another one who is very blatant about catching my eye the minute i enter the gym and there is no getting past him until i have. This guy has taken to intercepting me on the treadmill and will stand straight infront of it and start talking until out of politeness i am forced to remove my headphones and answer him. Anyone else would get the idea that someone going at a very fast incline pace with headphones on is not likely to be disposed to chatting but this guy does not care.Good manners force me to answer him and despite very terse short responses from me he was not to be deterred, even commenting at one point that his making me chat was leaving me very out of breath. When i replied that yes indeed it was he laughed and carried on. I’m sorry but HELLO???

So today it was guy number three that forced me to leave, having caught my eye the minute he walked in just by his overt here i am body gestures. I replied a quick hello and turned up my music and put my head down and carried on and he made several attempts to catch my eye and get me talking. Shortly after my spidey sense prickled that someone was behind me and a swift glance revealed this guy standing right behind my treadmill doing stretches whilst staring at my behind. Most infuriating was that he did not even have the decency to look away and stayed there despite my turning round twice more. This guy then positions himself on a rowing machine right next to me leaving his head at my crotch level and within touching distance despite the fact there was another further away. At this point i decided to get off the treadmill and head for the weights but again spidey sense prickled that i was being watched and indeed this was the case. Self consciously i put my head further and further down but it made no difference.

Well to be honest that was enough for me and i grabbed my kit and left and have decided that in future i shall be going to the gym rather earlier where i can hopefully workout in peace. Yes it is flattering when people think you are attractive and i daresay i would be very disgruntled if nobody ever looked my way but there is such a thing as being subtle. Whilst i am very receptive to such appreciative looks from my partner i am definitely not so from total strangers and such obvious staring makes me feel decidedly uncomfortable. Perhaps the fault is mine and i should learn to be more flattered but i cannot help but prefer rather a lot more subtlety in an appreciative glance. Perhaps there is something to be said for being fat after all for being called fatty is rather easier to handle.

Invasion of the bodysnatchers

Sooooooooo you’re all expecting a post about the movie right?? Some far out musings of a science fiction nature?? Alas i am afraid you are going to be very disappointed, no aliens (almost) , no sci fi, no mind blowing action. Just a panda who isn’t a panda today.

I have been body snatched. Seriously!!

Its not meant to be obvious, i  look the same and i sound the same but little things will start to give themselves away that i am not really me after all. 6.30am was the start of the clues when the real me would tumble out of bed, stagger in the direction of the scales which would be duly cursed at before heading for morning ablutions. Pretend me opened  one eye, semi registered the time of 8am (see a giveaway, late already) before pulling the covers over my head and burying my face in the pillow. I have no idea what pretend me has been up to for the battery tanks are totally empty and the fuel gauge flashing a warning red. Personally i think they had to replace me in a hurry and didn’t get time to do an overnight charge, everyone knows new electricals need a 16hour charge before use right??

At this point real me would be gaining inspiration from an episode of The Biggest Loser whilst downing breakfast and pre gym coffee but pretend me was still face down in the pillow daydreaming and refusing to move. At least they got one thing right for real me can’t ever go back to sleep once awake and nor it seems can replacement me. Score one on the design front then! Swiftly followed by yet another glaringly obvious mistake since by 10am real me would have transformed into gym ninja and be happily bouncing along the road to the blaring tunes courtesy of Lifehouse, already planning the two hour gym session and humming tunelessly. 

Poor imitation me (i think they shop at Poundland) is slithering from the bed into a heap on the floor and absently noticing a long lost shoe from my unusually floor prone position before crawling in the direction of the smallest room in the house. You’d think they’d have had a little more design etiquette and done away with this tiresome necessity but perhaps there just was no time. Two coffees later (another glaring error) and replacement me is nibbling half heartedly on a rich tea biscuit having skipped breakfast entirely and disinterestedly surveying the prairie outside my back doors and musing the possibility of pretending to be a pioneer for the day. Admittedly the neighbours might stare if i skip outside in a long calico dress and a bonnet and start hitching up a wagon but hey i’m bodysnatched right??

Too much of a giveaway?? Maybe.

So while the real me is killing up in some alien gym somewhere, my other self is floating around on the internet and wondering whether to volunteer to help out my alter ego with a spot of housework. She seems to be pretty tidy this other me so i decide to leave well alone until i am more familiar with the way she works after all if i am to be her i have to act like her right. Still she has quite a few photographs of some good looking guy on her computer which i would rather look at that do her housework if i am honest. Perhaps this bodysnatching thing might be fun after all!! 

I must be very careful and not do anything too out of the ordinary for her since this will be sure to be noticed. Common sense tells me that perhaps hiding out here for reconnaissance purposes will be most adviseable at this point in time so for now i am going to lay low and survey my position. Stay tuned for further installments on the invasion of the bodysnatchers and be alert for we are everywhere. You never know when we might come for YOU!!

But it’s good for you!!

Well dear blog readers the panda has turned into a gym bunny. Note here i said gym BUNNY and not gym BARBIE!! 

My determination to lose weight and tone up has mutated into somewhat of an obsession and despite a minor back injury i have still been stubbornly hauling my butt down to the gym ( frowning is bad for you by the way it gives you wrinkles!). Perhaps this is some quirk in my nature but when i become very determined about anything i develop an almost crazy tenacity that keeps me going no matter what. Incredibly ,annoyingly stubborn, that is me. Imagine a 60lb Rottweiler with a bone and you would not be far wrong. Actually i confess i enjoy it yet had you said this to me three years ago i should have laughed like a hyena at the mental image it presented me.

So obsession in tow i have been hitting the protein bars to help along the weight training and give as much assistance to the gym body ideal i so aspire to. I have often seen the guys ordering protein shakes during and post workout and finding they were lower in calories i decided to give them a go and feeling rather gung ho i ordered one on my way home today. I was a little wary since i do not like milkshake and really was not entirely sure i would find this at all palatable but on assurance it did not contain milk i was rather mollified and decided to try it.

BIG BIG MISTAKE!!!

I guess the nearest way i can describe the taste of this is to imagine buying a banana milkshake from Mcdonalds and drinking all but a large mouthful in the bottom. Fill up the cup with water and shake it hard until you have a watery cloying banana scum and then drink it. Yup thats exactly the taste and consistency, watery with a chemical banana smell yet sickeningly sweet and i found myself gagging on the first swallow. A lot of people seem to like these ‘shakes’ and although i have never had an overly sensitive gag reflex, gag i did. Oh my it was SO gross!!!

Did i throw it away?? Well actually no, as i said i am stubborn and this is actually good for me so there was nothing for it but to hold my nose and tip it down. 

For those of you that do not know a fair portion of taste is not actually down to taste at all but infact is down to smell. Holding your nose while eating or drinking something unpalatable makes it often almost tasteless, try it and see. Unfortunately for me i also am possessed of an excellent imagination and whilst i knew i could not taste it my overactive brain was happily recounting the experience for me and waving a large banner reading  ‘ THIS is what it tastes like’

Memories came of being a small child with my mother holding my nose and shovelling in some disgusting concoction whilst cooing at me to open up because it was good for me. Really? YOU eat it then!!

How ironic that now as a grown up i am more willing to swallow the unpalatable simply because of being told that it will be of benefit. You would think that after childhood experiences i would be possessed of a stubborn refusal to ever consume anything that i had great dislike for again yet consume it i did.

MMMMMMMMMMm banana flavoured dish water!!

Oh trust me this really had better be good for me. Somehow i think i shall develop an intense dislike for that curved yellow fruit but in the meantime bring on the protein shakes!!

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.

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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!!!!

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…

The perils of not paying attention

 Well day three and back to the gym we go, rain drizzling madly as usual as we trudged along the road. The thought of hitting the gym on a saturday was pretty daunting, for my love handles and i were not ready to encounter the guys just yet and they held on firmly to the door frame wailing ‘ pleeeease don’t make me go in!!’  Dear daughter and i had figured that most guys would be there on a saturday afternoon and pre lunch we would be safe….WRONG!! The gym was busy, very busy and apart from some cobweb delicate little waiflet who looked like a puff of wind would blow her away we were the only girls. 

Great, time to pull the stomach in and walk slowly so the wobbly bits dont start shouting ‘LOOK MA I’M A JELLY!!’  Okay so i’m not that bad but it does make you kind of paranoid working out in a gym full of perfect bodies when youre more Bridget Jones than Beyonce, trust me. Just then dear daughter hisses really loudly ‘MUM there’s that guy that stares at you in town’…….. oh goody!! Yes this particular guy always catches my eye in town whenever i see him and i’m nice i say hello but do i want him watching me work out?…erm NO!!

Ten minutes later firmly ensconced upon the treadmill dear daughter was gloomily prodding her lower stomach bewailing its size whilst i pinched the spare wobble under my derriere to keep her company reassuring her she was not the only one. A muffled snort followed as dear daughter stage whispers ‘mum that guys eyebrows just shot up and he smirked like crazy when you did that’ Okay comedy moment followed i blushed furiously, lost my composure and kicked the front of the treadmill causing me to wobble and sail backwards flailing wildly. Just managing to jump onto the sides before i fell off i collapsed into giggles as did the young guy behind me who had clearly thought it a moment worthy of You’ve been framed’  Luckily i am not one to be so easily embarrassed so i had no qualms about getting back on but that will teach me to keep my concentration in future. 

I guess we are lucky where we live for the gym is quite small and everyone very friendly, the guys more than happy to make room for the girls and offer advice if we need it. Still bewailing the less than perfection of her stomach dear daughter enlists the aid of the very helpful trainer to advise on exercise and issue the most golden moment of the day. Eyeing her up and down he glanced at her middle and said ‘oh just had a baby have you?’

SILENCE

Well dear daughter has never had children and the furiously indignant look on her face would be guaranteed to turn any man to stone. Admittedly the only thing he could’ve said that was worse is ‘ARE you pregnant’ Yes and panda brain instantly had images of the trainer shrunk to 3 inches high running around in circles screeching ‘I’M SORRY!!’ in a high pitched voice. Protesting loudly that he was a ‘cheeky sod’ she indignantly enlightened him to the fact she is infact childless, which escalated further when very helpful trainer unabashedly announces that usually only women with children have kangaroo pouches. Oh dear, he would have been most wise to stop talking right about then.

I really shouldn’t laugh but as i said before dear daughter is most funny when in a mood and her disgruntled diatribe continued long after we had reached home. Still going some time later i had to sympathise somewhat with almost son in law as he stood in hesitant confusion wondering what to say and perhaps was wisest of all in remaining quiet. As evening rolled in and my arm muscles screamed in protest i pondered starvation as even the effort of lifting a cup proved difficult then reassured myself it will all be worth it…..eventually.

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!! 

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….

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.

Image

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!! 

Image

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.

Again…..

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