checking in: hyc week 13

HYC weigh-in as promised.

today's weight: 102.8kg / 226.5lb / 16st 2.5lbs
loss of: 1.3kg / 3lb
total loss this year: 13.2kg / 29lbs

Very happy with that.

...and I'd have been even more unquestionably stoked if the doc's scales hadn't gawn and said 101.3kg this arvo gah! An extremely pleasant surprise that turned out to be a bit of a false promise. Silly isn't it, how the glimmer of something even better takes the teeniest edge off of something already great. So let's forget what her silly scales said and be happy with mine.

Have a great week everyone.

donuts and buttons

I survived the food stalls.

They gave it their best shot and sang their best siren songs. At one point the lure of a freshly baked cookies & cream donut even had me standing in a queue, but I was mercifully saved by a well-timed “out of cookies & cream” sign going up - plain old fashioned jam donuts just weren’t worth breaking a healthy mojo for.

I did have a fantastic pizza though, a lovely fresh thin stonebaked base with roasted veg (zucchini, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower... the works) and just the right size - not too big, not too small. Not at all bad for an events van, you really didn't want to see the state of poor hubby's chicken schnitzel (not particularly appetizing to look at or eat by all accounts).

It was a really great day overall – even better for a Brit like me – Go Button Go!! I’ll hold on to my nationality with my support, if not my voice: despite 31 years in England and Scotland, already I’ve had Aussies tell me I’ve no discernible accent after being here for only 5 years [sigh].

We couldn’t get ourselves much of a view but the noise was phenomenal and just being there and getting to walk on the track and see pit lane afterwards made it all worthwhile.

In food and exercise news I’ve been pretty pleased with progress. Monday morning I scored myself another personal gym class, who knows how long that situation can last but I’ll not ask and not rock the boat, it’s one heck of a workout. Tuesday night I had a drink with a friend over from Perth for the weekend. It was only the second (!) time I’ve had alcohol since getting my eating in order again. I counted it into my daily allowance and didn’t drunkenly pig out afterwards. A BIG tick for me. And with such a long abstinence came the bonus that I’ve become a very cheap date. I only had a couple of glasses of wine and I was totally tipsy. hehe giggle hic.

Today is weigh-in day for me, I'm going straight to photo class from work so I'll be along after that to check in. And with all this hiatus of activity I'm totally behind on my blogs *again*, sorry all. I hope every one is having a great week, I'll be over soon to catch up on all your news.

vrooom vrooom


Got my earplugs and camera packed. We're off to Albert Park for the Grand Prix tomorrow - wooohoooo!

I'm super excited, I've never been to a Grand Prix before. We've been able to hear the cars from the office for the last couple of days, the anticipation is rising.

Funny really. Growing up I was the reluctant kid sister in a family full of F1 fans. Every Sunday meant a family roast in our household, very traditional, the same every week -except- when the Grand Prix was on. Family table traditions got thrown right out the window and we'd all sit in front of the telly with trays on our laps. It was quite the relief not to have to suffer the endless noise and commentary when I left. Fast forward 18 years and here I am jumping up and down with excitement to experience it all in person.

It does mean food stall temptation and no formal exercise, but I got a spin class in this morning and I'm sure there's going to be plenty of walking around the track.


all worked out

You know you've had a good tough workout when you're body and brain are such mush that you step into the shower, pour conditioner onto your hand then remember your hair isn't even wet yet, let alone shampooed - as if I could have lifted my hands high enough to reach my hair anyways.

This morning's personal training was a right good one. My trainer had a circuit all set up, weights, machines, medicine balls and a spin bike. Felt bloody good.

Speaking of which, I'm glad to report I made it to spin last night. It was good but I'd kept too much in reserve though. The leader had us all stretching which I thought was a recovery stretch before the big push into the final couple of tracks - but then we got off the bikes. Don't you just hate that? When you haven't timed your effort well enough, it's every bit as bad if you hit too hard too soon and leave nothing left.

I hope to get another spin in on the weekend. Might balance out the delicious dinner we just had out tonight - a yummy Moroccan veggie tagine which I just couldn't stop eating, long after I'd had plenty enough. For desserts hubby picked up an upside-down banana caramel cake to take home - yurrrmmmm - only to find when we got here that he hadn't been given caramel or banana at all, but sticky ginger. He hates ginger... I on the other hand LOVE it.

No surprises then that right now the giant cake in question is sitting in the bin, covered in washing detergent, with more than just a couple of mouthfuls missing. Hrmmm. Believe me it took strength to pass that one down.

a new norm

I haven’t done any exercise since Tuesday morning and already, 48 hours later, I’m feeling stiff and sedentary. It’s fantastic how quickly my body has adapted to the increased levels of activity. So much so that it tells me when it’s missing out. It’s a whole lot easier to get into the right mindset to pick up the bike or find time to go to a class when it’s my body telling my brain to get with the program, rather than the other way around.

I’ve brought my gym clothes to work and will do everything I can (barring personally controlling the freeway traffic – grrrrr!) to get to a spin class on the way home. My body will thank me for it.

It’s been a busy couple of days. On Tuesday night hubby and went to the pictures to see “Love the Beast”. It’s a movie-length documentary about the love affair Eric Bana has with his car.... no, come back, don’t run away – it’s actually really good – honestly! If you’ve ever had to put up with a loved one’s obsession for some crazy hobby that consumes all their time and makes very little sense to anyone but him/her and their similarly crazy-minded friends, then this movie may just make sense of it all for you. I think I’ve always had a pretty good understanding of my Mister’s all-consuming engine adoration, what I hadn’t fully appreciated was just how emotionally attached I’ve also become to his car (pictured here) too.

And not forgetting his motorbike either. I’m certainly not forgetting it for one minute. It’s a race against time for me to get under 100kg (our self-set safety limit for pillion riding) before the summer weather has completely abandoned us and the bike remains garaged for another winter. Can’t wait to feel that buzz again.

Last night was photo school, another location practical - Melbourne at night – I’m getting the hang of this but it’s slow progress. My best shots are always the ones where teacher’s told me the exact settings to put the camera on, it’s going to take a while before I master it for myself. Practice practice practice.

Righto - back to work. Why can’t work ever be as fun as writing or reading blogs? How do I get a job like that?

pics from last night

checking in: hyc week 12

HYC check in. Another weigh and run. I don't know what it is about Tuesdays, I always seem to be in a rush.

today's weight: 104.1kg / 229.5lb / 16st 5.5lbs
loss of: 0.9kg / 2lb
total loss this year: 11.9kg / 26lbs

Fab :-)

Have a great week everyone.


I realised I haven't fed back on my March S.M.A.R.T.s for a while. Mainly because I also realised they weren't so smart after all.

I'd set myself some daily goals that left no wriggle room. If I missed more than a day or two's hour long training, the chances of catching up got less and less. Anything other than 100% success would be failure. D'oh! I'm a bit new at this goal setting thang.

I'm going to have a good think about some better April goals. Prolly on a similar theme, but with a tad more balance. Perhaps a target number of hours exercising for the whole month - at around 80% of a month's worth of an hour a day... ooh I could get right mathematical about this. Much better to set goals that will continually stretch me, and might stretch me even further to actually surpass. After all, the intentions behind my goals were great and as a result I have increased my exercise considerably.

Not only have I started spinning again (kilos heavier than I ever thought I would dare and loving it) but this morning I got an extra bonus. My trainer has been trying to persuade me to forsake my regular monday lie-in to get to the gym for his 7:15am boxercise class. So this morning, we got up super crazy early, got on the freeway before our eyes were barely open and made it to the gym with time enough to spare for a wake-up pre-workout skinny cap even. When I walked into the aerobics studio, I was the only one there. Result! Instead of paying a mini fortune for 30 minutes of personal training, I got 45 minutes one-on-one personal training for no extra cost on top of my regular gym membership fee.

Fingers crossed they don't cancel the class, I could be on to a winner here.

wedding dinner: a blow by blow

The setting was stunning, the bride simply gorgeous and as predicted, there was *a lot* of food.

After the ceremony we were directed towards a bar where bottomless glasses of bubbly awaited consumption and an endless stream of waiters played tag team with trays of oysters, bruschetta, beef wellington, arancini balls and plenty more. I'm so glad all I took was one mini mushroom and tomato bruschetta because it just wouldn't stop coming and wasn't even the starter.

When we were seated I stared for a good long time at my side plate and the turkish bread roll I'd fully intended to ignore. In the end I caved, but only had a small piece and was protected from further temptation by hubby helping me out with the rest. For the real starters we were presented with either beef or salmon. I had the smoked salmon which was served on a small fried potato and corn fritter with a small salad garnish.

Main course was either steak or chicken. I was served a steak bigger than my whole hand, perhaps a hand and a half even, but thankfully hubby came to the rescue again and I swapped for his chicken. The chicken was beautifully tender and served with asparagus and dauphinoise potatoes. The chicken skin was stuffed with something green, which I thought might be spinach or perhaps herbs but didn't taste like either and had the texture of meat... very odd I must see if we can find out what it was.

I left the skin and ate only half the chicken. It wasn't a big plate of food but the proportions of food groups were vastly out. At home my plate is normally over half full with vegetables (generally steamed) and whatever's remaining is halved between lean protein and carbs (beans, rice, pasta or more veg such as corn or green beans). Here the chicken made up about 80%, maybe even more, of the plate. There were three very thin stalks of asparagus drizzled in oil and the half dozen small slices of potato were deliciously covered in cream. The calories per bite ratio would have made an alarming number.

Dessert was a chocolate mousse, beautifully presented with white chocolate pieces, dark chocolate shavings and yet more chocolate pieces around the sides. yuuuuurmmmumumMMUMMUMMUMMM!!

I got through about a third of it before the calorie police stepped in,

"ANI!! put that fork down this instant. Keep your hands where I can see them and walk away from the table!"


A good meal. I felt happy with my choices and was able to enjoy it.

I'm not even going to attempt to count how many calories I consumed, think of a number then double it for the amount of oil involved.

As it turned out the food was in fact the least of my worries - the demise of my social skills was of far more concern. The groom was a work buddy of mr. pesto's and so I barely knew anyone. I felt way out of my depth and far from my comfort zone. I sure am looking forward to re-discovering my confidence. I know it's in here somewhere. I suspect I just need to peel off a few more layers of fat before it's revealed to the world once more.

being prepared

Another glorious summer's day. I'll say one thing for the ever changeable Melbourne weather, it is giving me a true appreciation for the perfect summer's days I began to take for granted in Perth.

Hubby and I got out for a bike ride this morning. After my spin classes I was expecting it to be a breeze but the headwind sure put pay to that. Really hard work! The way back was fun though and I really did feel like I kept up with the Mr's pace a lot better.

We're off to a wedding this afternoon - certainly a good day for it. I'm a little apprehensive about the catering. I've found a pretty good groove with my eating but (as recent events have attested) I wouldn't say it's quite sticky enough to get me through every eventuality. I can still get that panicky feeling when I've eaten something more than I'd planned and my brain clocks into binge mode. Like yesterday after work, we were at the pub for a colleague's leaving drinks and the table was overflowing with hot chips (the joys or working in a male environment). I knew if I ate one there'd inevitably be more to follow - you can't just stop at one chip. I held off until the second bowl was placed in front of me and then sure enough I ate one, which soon became two, then three and before long I'd lost count. I really didn't have many but enough that I felt uneasy and just a little out of control, no choice but to walk away and go home to the safety of a healthy pre-planned dinner.

There's no walking away from a wedding reception and no alternative home cooked meal to find solace in. Instead I need to do all I can to keep my head in a healthy place.

First thing I'm doing is volunteering to drive - alcohol-free thinking is much easier to balance. Secondly I'm planning the rest of my day's food accordingly, having a filling but calorie-light, late lunch to last me through the afternoon.

The next is just to think it though, have a mental picture of what is about to happen and what my chosen reactions will be, just like athletes do before a race. If I just dismiss my concerns "she'll be right" style, I will have failed to prepare myself for the inevitable fact that there is going to be A LOT of food and it is most likely going to be rich and delicious and I may indeed find it a little difficult.

And most of all I'm just going to keep reminding myself how well I'm doing and how worth the extra effort this will be. Just because there's going to be nice food, doesn't mean I have to eat it all. There'll be nice food again tomorrow and the next day and for many years to come. It's not going to run out.

I'll be sure to report back whatever happens.

The best part about this afternoon is that the dress code is smart casual and guess what I'll be wearing? My favourite polka dot dress! It's still a little snug, keep your fingers crossed the buttons hold out, but it fits and got the OK from hubby that it doesn't look too tight.

are we nearly there yet?

The fabness yesterday promised was fully delivered and lasted all day long. I even skipped off work an hour early to get to the gym for an evening Spin class.

After dinner I logged the last of my day's food into my spreadsheet and flicked over to my weight chart to daydream about all the numbers, and the dates I will eventually claim them. I'm such a sucker for a good spreadsheet. This one's originally taken from Dietgirl's Amazing Weight Loss Spreadsheet and altered just a wee bit with extra calculations galore - sometimes I think I can actually find the spreadsheet more satisfying than the loss itself, but that's a different story.

Staring at all those numbers I had the patience of a small child.

I've been aiming for a loss of about a kilo a week (2.2lbs). Even with the slowdown of the last few weeks I'm very pleased - and proud - that I've still managed meet my target average. 11 kilos in 10 weeks so far. In the past I only used to aim and reach about 1-1.5lb so this is fast, in fact this is flippin' great.....or so my sensible head thinks. My childish brat of an impatient head is instead jumping up and down in the back seat of the car, eager only to get to her destination.

If part of me's going to behave like a whining child on a road trip, I figure another part of me needs to step up to be the Mum. I think my chain of thoughts here were most likely inspired by the fabulous Diet Girl - I just loved her analogy of the handbag of anticipation.

So which is it to be - distract me with something so interesting I forget how bored I am (if only they'd invented back-of-seat dvd players when I was a kid) or make the journey so fascinating I start to relish it? (did anyone else play "pub cricket" or "knock knock ring ring" in the car or were they the crazy inventions of my Mum?)

Some days distraction is definitely the way to go - work, a photo assignment, good teev or the movies - anything to ensure weight loss and diet isn't so firmly fixed at front of brain that I'm setting myself for a burnout, read: floor thumping childish tanty.

But on the other hand, if I start to race by without appreciating the scenery and looking at the turns in the road, how will I know where I've been, recognise the journey and find my way again?

In all honesty I'm still hitting the same bumps in the road and stumbling over the very same potholes. The difference now though is they're all recorded here for posterity, this blog is my travel log. It's all here and can be used in evidence against me should I commit the same offences again. Reading over my relatively small archives I see the repetitive nature of my ups and downs; my excited squeals followed by the bruises when I land back on the ground with a bump; I see how the correlation between obsessing with food or weight and stress is a lot closer than the correlation between obsessing about weight and my actual weight. There's already a lot to learn from. If I only listened to my child-like impatience and drove blindly to the finish I'd miss all this.

Losing Waist had short but very inspirational post on a similar theme a little while ago. Reading it I realised just how often I let the loudest voice steer the ship. My child-like impatience has a very important part to play in this journey, it helps increase my enthusiasm and motivate me, but it's not the voice who will ensure I actually get there.

pip pip

It's a gorgeous late summer's day here in Melbourne and my new-found fab coffee shop ($8.50 for coffee and organic toast with honey - thank cripes it was worth it... hubby, you didn't read that. I would *never* waste that much money on coffee and toast darling) was handing out free apples this morning.

It's going to be a grand day.

To top it off, the infuriating chap whose been causing me so much stress on this latest project, is conspicuously absent today. Happy happy day.

checking in: hyc week 11

Time to HYC check in. This was the week the binge bit back and I sure am glad it's over.

today's weight: 105kg / 231.5lb / 16st 7.5lbs
loss of: 1kg / 2.2lb
total loss this year: 11kg / 24lbs

After three weeks of not moving, this really wasn't the week I expected to show any loss so this is fantastic.

Usual small print of course, you'll have realised by now I don't trust my losses until I can own them for a wee while. So finger's crossed this one's staying.

Have a great week everyone.

when skinny's not skinny

Caffeine Ani's got a new pet peeve.

As most of you will know by now I'm a skinny cap girl.

Figure 1: a fine example of a Melbourne Skinny Cap
Chapel Street, circa January 2008

I love my milk smooth and creamy, I never take sugar, but I sure do like that little touch of chocolatey sweetness on the top, hence why I've always had a preference for cappuccino over a latte.

Exceptions to this rule occurred in Seattle where I discovered cappuccino means half a cup of over-boiled milk with washing-up foam on top. Thankfully due to the obliging self-service nature of the chocolate sprinkles in most establishments, I found I could ask for a latte for the perfect milk consistency and self-serve my own chocolatey goodness. Result!

You can't imagine the relief of this discovery, visiting Seattle was practically a pilgrimage for little ol' Anibucks. In my former years, many an hour had been wiled away sitting in the cosy armchairs of that famous Seattle-born coffee house overlooking Edinburgh castle. Four years in Perth having to sit on the flimsy Parisian style cafe chairs of Dome cafes - the closest thing Perth had to a 'bucks - had left me reminiscing and glassy eyed at the prospect of visiting the motherland.

Anyhoo, the one thing that never changes about my cap is the "skinny" part.

Non-negotiable non-fat.

So just now, when I got my skinny cap and the chap before me got a regular latte. Why was the milk poured from the same jug?

I even asked the lady what milk she used and she replied "you asked for skinny, yeah?". Very clever answer Mrs Politician Lady. Clarify what I asked for not what you gave me. I see your game.

It's all in the ordering.

Ask the right questions, use the right phrase and you'll land the magic word that gets you what you're after. "Skinny" might work in most places, "non-fat" might in others, or it might just get you a quizzical look.

The coffee shop downstairs from my old work in Perth even had it's very own codes. After months of asking for my usual skinny cap, I was served by a new guy who unwittingly asked me "is that hi-lo or blue-cap?"

Uh. Wha??

See in that particular cafe, "skinny" meant Hi-Lo - otherwise known as "semi-skimmed" for the Brits, what would that be for the Americans - 1%/2%? - and if you wanted actual skinny, non-fat, milk you needed to ask for "blue cap" because that's the colour of the lids on the bottles their non-fat milk used to come in.

Which incidentally is a whole other thing. In the UK red meant skimmed... eek I can't even remember what semi-skimmed and full fat were... were they blue and green? Anyways, in Oz it's not as standardised so to add to the confusion the "blue cap" milk this cafe now used was actually poured out of a bottle with a YELLOW lid. Go figure.

I'd been ordering the wrong thing all those months but I sure did feel very daft when I upgraded to ask for a "blue cap cap".

It wasn't all Dome and blue cap caps in Perth, there were some fabulous gems of coffee shops, and of course Melbourne too sure knows how to make a decent cup of coffee - in fact, they're famous for their laneways and cafe culture don't doubt it's half the reason we moved here. But despite the fantasticness of the coffee and the creativity of the latte art, Ani wants some standards. I need to know what to ask for and what I'm going to get.

I'm a simple minded lass and don't forget most of these transactions occur before I've had my coffee, the brain's not in gear yet.


baby steps babycakes

The days after a binge can be such a mine field. Even when there are no anxiety or emotional triggers, the fact is, I've made a reconnection with old habitual behaviour and some habits die hard. My brain will often be in "binge mode" without reason so it can take a few days just to reconnect again with my new way of thinking.

So far so good.

Yesterday's food was relatively plain sailing. Mashed banana on toast for breakkie followed by a good dose of exercise in spin class. It was the first chap again, not the crazy french dude, but still a great workout. For lunch I had an avocado, mushroom and jarlsberg toastie and then for dinner a small lean steak with heaps of steamed veg. Some fruit and a skinny cap snacks in between for good measure. Total food goodness.

This morning I had my photography class practical. If you'd been anywhere in the Melbourne CBD you would have spotted us. We were the folk walking around en masse with cameras, tripods and puzzled looks on our faces. We really did look like tools and attracted a lot of quizzical looks and curious questions from passers by. A great morning though, it makes such a difference to have the teacher there on hand to help tell you straight away why things did or didn't work with your pictures. I'll include some of the snaps at the end for you to see.

It wasn't such a fantastic morning to be in control of my eating but I happily came out of it largely unscathed. We had coffee stops at cafes where muffins and paninis only came in XXXL sizes and wholegrains had never been seen on the premises. I stuck to just coffee. Also I hadn't thought to take any water. This meant I fell into a common trap where my brain just knows I'm craving something but hasn't quite figured out it's only water I need. Instead it sends me all sorts of "go buy food NOW" signals. We happened to be on St Kilda road right next to all the amazing smells of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival stalls in Federation Square at the time and, despite the enticing sights and aromas of Chocolate Playground and the Cheese Market, all I purchased was a single babycake and another one to take home for the Mr. (surprisingly it actually made it the whole 33km journey home to him or else I might have had to very quickly gloss over the babycakes subject). Mine was a rhubarb and sour cream mini cup cake. Very cute and very very yummy. To compensate I then only had one cooked tuna sushi roll for lunch instead of my usual two, followed by a banana for dessert.

All under control.

photography classlesson 1: metering
lesson 2: portraiture
lesson 3: showing movement
contd.we looked so conspicuous. lol
lesson 4: panning

diversion ahead


I've woken up to a new day. I'm feeling fragile but a lot better. I've been doing a lot of thinking. Hold tight, I think this is going to be a long one.

I recognise I have two sets of diversions going on.

1. Food not feelings

This may be just a little obvious, but it's not about food it's about feelings. In this regard my brain is extremely confused. I have a picture in my mind of my brain being like a game of mousetrap or a marble maze. There are emotions I needed to process and work through, but as my brain tries its best to route these through the maze to the feelings and emotions department, it hits a blockage, road closed - department not equipped to deal - so instead it diverts direct to the food section for alternative processing.

The binges over the last few days were nothing to do with dieting, food cravings or weight loss. They were triggered by feelings of inadequacy and frustration. I don't know if it's a control thing or what, but I know I haven't developed very healthy ways of facing up to life's little troubles. I need to learn how to process these feelings more effectively.

If my coping vice of choice were alcohol it would be a lot clearer to see the difference between the role of food in my weight loss efforts and it's role as the object of my addiction or compulsion. If I numbed out the world by getting high or getting drunk, rather than by stuffing my stomach, the line would be more obvious. One might impact the other but they're only loosely related.

I've never ever binged and purged as a means to weight loss. I binge as a response to emotions I don't know how to process, it's a learned behaviour I've acquired since childhood. I purge because I want to regain control over what I've just done. At times when I feel I've lost all control, the purging subsides.

I know how to eat healthily and how to exercise. In that respect I have good days and bad days just like every one else. Winning the binge battle is not going to be done by focusing on healthy foods. That's how to win the weight and health battle; something I can, will and do focus on when the binges are under control.

Winning the binge battle is about emotions and learning how to let myself feel them - an area in which I need a lot more work.

2. Fatness

I hide behind my weight. This is a tricky one. It's so ingrained I don't see I'm using my weight as an excuse, I see it as a genuine inhibitor. In many aspects the size I ballooned to *was* a physical inhibitor - airplane seats, fun parks, all sorts of places and activities - but my weight should never have stopped me living.

Growing up I was rarely the lead actor in my own life, I took on the role as sidekick. My close friends were the prettiest and most popular girls in school, they had all the boys flocking to them. I was fat, I knew that world wasn't open to me. I never ever put myself out there, I never even tried. I was probably twenty before I even admitted to finding any one attractive. I believed my attention would be nothing short of offensive to the poor subjects of that affection.

I've grown accustomed to using my weight as an excuse not to put myself out there where I might be rejected or might fail. Relationships, friendships, jobs, it's all been the same.

When I'm down and stressed the reflection I see confirms all my negativity. In reality it's the very same body I saw in the mirror on the day when I was jubilating about my clothes starting to get back in sight. I know I've been eating healthily and exercising right so the plateau was most likely due to stress and lack of sleep, my body was under strain. In my inability to handle the stress though, I diverted the focus back to my weight as the issue.

If life gets tough I've a ready made excuse for why it just wasn't meant to be. Why try to advance my career, why try to be a good friend, I'm nothing but a worthless heffalump, who's going to take me seriously - pass me that bucket of cookies.

When I'm strong enough to face up to life, I'll be strong enough to stay slim.

So what now?

I've known long enough what needs to change. Somewhere in amidst all the nonsense I've found ways through both diversions. I've overcome bingeing for long periods of time, I've gotten through trials and tribulations without resorting to food for long enough to now be 50 kilos lower than my heaviest weight. I've overcome my fear of putting myself and my feelings out there enough to fall in love, move to the other side of the world, marry my gorgeous husband and take a job that others have described as their "dream job".

So I know I can do it. I just don't know how.

That's what I need to work out so that I can harness it enough to switch it on when needed - occasions just like yesterday.

no prizes...

...for guessing what happened next.

This time it was a binge of old: from 5 different cafes, thousands of calories, eating until my stomach folds over with discomfort and I can’t stand upright.

I can’t believe I’M doing this to MYSELF again.

I wasn’t going to tell. Bingeing isn’t a public activity. But I want to be healthy, I want to stop and I want to learn. I can’t keep hiding each time it goes bad. This is about accountability which means owning up. Perhaps when I read this back, the reality of what I’ve just done and what I’ve undone will start to set in enough to force me to face up to my life.


“Have a nice day” the smiley postal clerk said.

“Unlikely” my inner voice spontaneously replied.

To say I’m not in a very positive frame of mind right now is an understatement. I’m a total moody grouchbag (husband – usual rules apply here, I can call me names... you still can’t).

I went to bed last night with a scowl on my face, having weighed in at 106.5kg. I awoke to the very same scowl, after not enough sleep and having just received a very short email from someone I want to think of as one of my dearest friends. She was reminding me to send her things I’d promised to post months and months ago, no chat no nothing just a subject of “Request!”. We’ve really drifted lately and I hate myself for that. I was a nightmare to be around in the run-up to my wedding, then followed by the depressive self-obsessed mess I got myself in last year, I haven’t managed to recover the friendship very successfully. I haven’t even done the simple little things I said I’d do, what kind of a friend is that?

I then had a personal training session and I really felt for the poor guy as I scowled my way through every instruction instead of having my usual cheeky smile as he’s telling me “just 2 more...” for the second time. Now, half way through the day and my disposition hasn’t improved any. I had an infuriating meeting this morning and I can’t see it getting any better.

The only tactical response my brain has to all this is “give me food”.

I don’t know if I’m scared to face the emotions I’m feeling or if I’m just not equipped to do so, but I do know food isn’t the answer.

One bright thing to report though, I met Miss Milo last night and she is every bit as lovely in real life as she is on her blog. I had a really great evening and felt like I’d known her for ages. Thank you Miss M – only sorry I’ve overshadowed the fabness with my present negativity.

situation difused

Thank you so much for your support, it’s so valuable to me to know there are people who care and might even understand.

I find myself back on the wagon but with the loosest of grips on the reigns. My head keeps flitting between new and old thinking. I'm skating on such thin ice it scares me. I just walked out of work and straight into a cafe, I bought a large icing covered cake and ate it hurriedly, I then went to the ATM withdrew $60 and started to strategise just how this binge was going to run.

In the lift down just 2 minutes beforehand a binge didn’t feature anywhere on my agenda, I have no idea how I got from control to chaos in the blink of an unconscious eye.

I can't use enough cliches to illustrate just how much of a tightrope I'm walking. At lunch I looked at all the cafe’s cakes while I waited for my toastie to toast and I thought to myself how lucky I was that, even after last night's slip-up, I wasn't in the least bit tempted. Not 10 minutes later, I’d finished eating my toastie and was questioning myself for why I’d let myself eat something so big, why did I add cheese? My mind instantly followed old ways of thinking as it took me straight to bingeworld again. I’d ruined everything already I may as well do it in style and binge. I could just get a bucket of icecream and a variety of cakes, get the desire out of my system and then literally get both them and the toastie out of my system.

I dodged that bullet at lunch by consuming a large quantity of sugar-free gum and I *think* I’ve gotten through this current situation but I’ll have to wait to see how it plays out. After the ATM I walked into another cafe and stared at the cakes and pies with tears brimming in my eyes. I then miraculously ordered nothing more than a skinny cap and then sat down and opened up my laptop.

This is just what’s happened each time I’ve lost weight, the only difference is how long until I catch it.

A couple of years ago my newfound healthy lifestyle change felt so deeply ingrained, I couldn’t possibly imagine binging and losing control ever again. I’d given away all my fat clothes, I’d rockclimbed, I’d done a 12km city to surf, I was shopping in “normal” clothes shops for the first time in my life. I’d changed my life forever. But even then, I lost control just as quickly and as easily as I did yesterday. It started as bulimic behaviour, I’d purge afterwards meaning I wasn’t gaining any weight so no one noticed. Everyone called me an inspiration, they marvelled at how fantastic I was looking. Only I could see the calluses on the back of my knuckles in my wedding photos. It stayed that way for months before the purges began to subside and the weight flew back on. I’m sure I’ve told you all this before, I have a feeling I’ll keep telling it until something in it starts to make sense to me.

Nothing about this does makes sense though, I know that. My logical right mind isn’t finding anything to grasp in all this, it’s not about logic it’s about emotion, anxiety and things I can’t put into words.

Whether it’s been 2 months since my last binge or 2 years, the ice is just as thin.

So for now all that’s happened is I’ve had cake and coffee for dinner and that's all. It isn’t great, but it’s not thousands of calories and a trip to a disgusting public bathroom.

Crisis over for now. I have my photography class in 20 minutes so I’m going to pack up my laptop walk across the road to the station and get on a train. One step at a time.

breaking down

I just binged.


I've got my mid year career review tomorrow and I was struggling to fill in all the forms. I'm supposed to say where I want my career to progress and I don't even know what career I want any more. I tried filling in some self assessments to help me decide but I guess I may have just gotten more anxious.

I then realised it was Tuesday night and went and weighed myself - 106kg AGAIN!!!!


I've been working fecking hard at this and having lost a total of 75kg from my heaviest weight in the past (which is just a fraction of the weight I've lost in total in my yo-yo dieting life time) I know how to do this and yet it's not happening. I know I should be able to consistently lose up to a kilo a week with the amount of exercise I've been doing. I've worked my guts out lately, I've been doing my exercise, writing down all my food intake and doing it all right. I reassure others when they don't lose and don't know why that it'll all come good in the end but I'm not convincing myself.

Instead, the first thing I did after I weighed myself was to walk to the larder and eat a meringue nest. Went back shortly after and ate another one... followed by a cereal bar, a 2nd, 3rd, 4th... lost count then the rest of the meringue nests. I probably doubled my calorie intake for the day and I did it all while my husband was in the room with his headphones on playing on the computer. Just to add to my shame I also have the guilt of sneaking around to cope with, he'll feel like I lied to him.

I know better than this. I know better than to let all or nothing thinking sabotage my successes. I should also know better than to let my stupid job get in the way of my weight loss efforts.

I did other things too, things I do when I know I'm going to purge. I'm not sure whether I will or not yet. I'm just plain disgusted with myself, I want to get control again and that means getting the food back out again.

I'm guessing this isn't the post most people thought I'd be writing after all my exercise smugness. Back down to earth with a thud!

avoidance tactics

My photography school homework.

Two day's effort for a couple of pictures of a glass of water and some redhead matches, but oh do I feel proud of myself. So easily pleased :-)

The assignment was to recreate these pictures, using manual settings, lining up each of the items in the exact right place, some bits in focus and some bits out of focus, one picture showing movement and one picture stopping it. Not hard for many people, but I'm a bit of a slow learner at this photography lark. The bloopers reel for this exercise contains a hundred and one pictures of water going everywhere and wind blown matchboxes, creatively rearranged by the cats who wanted to add their own artistic input before then drinking the photo subject.

The perfectionist in me is looking up at my versions then looking down at the homework sheet and seeing that teacher's matchboxes had less variance in height so were probably closer together. Thankfully the realist in me knows better. She's smart enough to figure that persuading my husband to come back outside in order to patiently pour the water *again* after I've moved the matchboxes a few millimetres, is perhaps asking a wee bit too much.

It's a public holiday today and while I've clearly got hours of spare time to waste setting up these pictures for my photo assignment, unfortunately I've been less concerned to spend even a fraction of that time exercising.

The gym was only open for a short time today and not doing classes, which is a right shame because I feel like I haven't got enough motivation without a class or PT session to whip me into shape. My alternative options are to use the weights in the back garden or go for a cycle (the weather is just gorgeous today). I just don't feel in the mood to do either. After the triumph that was yesterday's workout, I'm feeling rather lethargic. I need that french man and his crazy tunes to make me do it.

Of course I know that's not really true, yesterday he didn't "make" me get changed into my sweats, drive to the gym, pay $20 (extortion if you ask me) and push myself to the limits any more than he could today. I did it, and I'm just as capable of doing so today.

So there, I've told you. Even blogging about how I should be exercising, rather than just going outside and actually exercising is really just another avoidance tactic. But at least now it means there's no hiding it if I don't do it, I'll have to fess up. Watch this space.


After writing all that I then sat on my backside in front of the teev and continued to procrastinate for a good hour or more but my choice of viewing made it rather hard to stay inactive for very long - Biggest Loser followed by So You Think You Can Dance - talk about guilt trip. So I'm very pleased (and sorry) to say I missed most of Dance and went out the back to do weights.

My prize for leaving it till 8pm? Polka dot mozzie bite covered skin.

That'll learn me ;-)

oh . my . god

I have just worked my ass off.

I went back to the cycle class. This morning's instructor was a French bloke, that alone should have set the alarm bells ringing. He was muscly but in an ultra toned not bulky way, extremely lean with not an ounce of fat on him.

Yesterday's class had been very similar to the Les Mills RPM sessions I'm used to. A mixture of pace tracks, hill climbs and interval training with plenty of seated and standing recovery all performed to high intensity, often doof doof, music. It's a fantastic workout. I'd highly recommend it to anyone out there who hasn't tried it. You go at your own rate, you control the resistance. The music and instructor keep you going to a level I've never managed to push myself to under my own steam alone.

Today's instructor innocently told us would be a little different - a hill climb.

Oh My God did we climb:
  • Track One: seated hill climb
  • Track Two: seated and standing hill climb; soundtrack: Guns N'Roses ballad with a slow, heavy beat
  • Track ...I lost count, my brain started to phase out: seated, standing and paced hill climb
  • Track Is-this-nearly-over-yet?: mountain hill climb; soundtrack: French Rock which felt strangely appropriate for such physical torture, after all most the world's angriest death metal bands are European
  • Track I-can't-believe-I'm-still-moving: hard and heavy hill climbing; soundtrack: Abba! Yes ABBA!!! How can anyone inflict physical pain to Abba? It's like having your puppy, your reassuring and faithful childhood best friend, come towards you with his cute little puppydog face wielding an axe.
And so it continued.

By the end of it, even the fittest people in the class were glowing with sweat all down their arms. Me? Well I wasn't glowing so much as drowning in sweat. My face was beetroot. I was the biggest person in that room but I walked down those cycle studio stairs (yes the cycle studio is upstairs... after you've worked your leg muscles to the point of jellification you have to keep yourself together long enough to get your sorry ass down a whole flight of stairs - too cruel to have been an accident me thinks) with my head held high. I just cycled up a bleedin' mountain. Yay for the smug afterglow!

I feel absolutely bloody fantastic!!

spinning and shaking

I weighed in the last couple of nights at 106.2kg again, not only is that up, but it's where I was over a week and a half ago. This won't do at all. I've got things to do, clothes to fit into and goodness to feel.

Yesterday I was practically apologetic about how small those goals were. But already, at goals+1 day, I started the morning with complex head-gymnastics talking myself out of into exercising. Lots of umm-ing and ahh-ing, bargaining with myself that it wouldn't matter if I didn't get to that 9:30am spin class as I could just get a ride on my bike later - in full sight of the dark grey clouds overhead - kidding myself.

In the middle of my to-ing and fro-ing my Mum called from England to find out about the cryptic earthquake message I'd left her last night. Seriously! We had an earthquake here in Melbourne last night. Graded 4.7 - the whole house shook and everything rattled - scary but in hindsight way exciting, I'd never experienced an earthquake before. Anyways, I'd forgotten I'd made the mistake wise choice to mention in my message when not to call because I'd be out at the gym. So there it was, no choice but to go, with my conscience on the other end of the phone I had to zip it, get into my trackies and trot off to the gym....

Way to go post-gym smugness ;-)

I tried out the local branch of the gym I go to at work. It's located at a footy stadium, the treadmills overlook the ground, huge cycle studio, right fresh and fancy. I was a tad apprehensive, this was my first spin class for over a year, but it all came good. I worked my little heart out and streamed with sweat. Felt like nothing had changed, I'm back baby!

The bikes were different so I couldn't compare whether the resistance was that much lower than it used to be (probably a good thing), the only difference and slight downside was when we had to hold on to the back of our saddles for a chest stretch at the end. I put my hands down around my butt but needed a search party to locate the saddle under all my blubber, couldn't even get my fingertips near it. Hey ho, I'll get there soon enough.

Picked up a skinny cap treat on the way home and felt fantastic. I'm even considering going again tomorrow.

exercise: ü
water: ü
sleep: ü

March S.M.A.R.T.s

I swear the change in weather round these parts has been ordered by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ marketing department. I work near their office in Southbank and the minute the rain appears, the pavements become awash with PwC umbrellas. A plague of them. Unfortunately my exercise efforts aren’t capitalising on the cold change quite so effectively. Along with my recent emotional climate change, I’ve been letting my exercise slip badly. It’s been cold, grey, miserable and wet. Hardly conducive to cycling.

I figured, therefore, it was high time I set myself some goals.

Because of my tendency to be hard on myself – I expect way too much then beat myself up for failing - my goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Gotta love those business cliche’s, you can tell it’s mid-year review time for me.

So – by the end of March I will:
  • drink 2 litres of water daily
  • exercise for 1 hour daily (all forms count, so today I had a 30 minute personal trainer session followed by a 15-20 minute walk to my client’s office and there’ll be another 15-20 minute walk back to my own office this arvo)
  • get 7-8 hours sleep every night
  • lose 3 kilos (1kg per week is attainable. I had a mind to get below 100kg by the end of March, but while that *might* be possible with super human effort, it’s not strictly in the realms of realistic and attainable goals and would have provided me with a spectacular excuse to feel like a failure)
It’s a start, there really isn’t anything too crazy or different in there. It’s essentially what I’m trying to do anyways but spelling it out should give me a new level of accountability.

You have my permission to pull me up on it if I don’t report back regularly with my results.

where to now?

I haven’t posted much this week. I also haven’t weighed myself much this week, especially not since the disappointment of a 200 gram loss just two days after the scales had triumphantly told me I was down over a kilo. 200 grams! As my husband wittily cruelly pointed out the other day (before the weigh-in I should add) I could have shaved my legs to achieve a similar result. He’ll kill me for posting that, especially after I’d built him up as such a picture of sensitivity.

I’m in the doldrums again. My eating and exercise attitude is pretty bad, I’m fighting binge urges and I’m seeing my food in a negative light again. I don’t doubt this is all as a result of stress and being so tired. I'm finding work very stressful at the moment. We’ve got political project nonsense going on that I’ve been dragged into the middle of, plus I’ve been trying to work evenings to catch up on stuff I’m behind on. Worst part of all this, is that I’ve never yet been convinced this is even the right job for me. It’s one thing to tolerate stressful work conditions if you can see it leading somewhere, but I’ve no idea where I want to go.

I work for a hugely respected company, the pay is good and on paper the opportunities are fantastic. They even relocated us from Perth to Melbourne, and that’s an interstate move not to be sniffed at. I just don’t think I want to do this work anymore, it’s not me and it’s not bringing out the best in me.

So how do I work out what is me?

checking in: hyc week 9

It's midnight, I'm still up working, still busy and still stressed but it's HYC check in time and I'm present and correct but not entirely happy with this week's effort:

today's weight: 106kg / 234lb / 16st 10lbs
loss of: 0.2kg / 0.5lb (almost... grasping at straws here, many scales wouldn't even spot the change)
total loss this year: 10kg / 22lbs

Tiredness and lack of sleep can't be helping... 5 and a half hours till I need to get up to go to the gym...

night night


Bit of a busy and anxious day at work today and I'm not expecting it to get better any time soon unfortunately.

I even woke up this morning right in the middle of a really anxious dream. Dreams are such funny things. If they really are your brain's way of working out the day's issues, then my subconscious mind is no more inventive or better at problem solving than my waking one.

In my dream I had started to eat big and was planning to turn it into a full-on binge. So I'd found a way to leave whatever it was I was doing and go to the store. I'd planned my binge out fully in my head but when I got to the supermarket I bumped into my husband. At the point where the alarm woke me, I was lying to him to cover what I was about to do and planning how I was going to get away with the deception of buying my binge food. It was such a horrible feeling, really distressing to wake up with all those emotions so fresh in my head.

As a teenager, any time I had a good dream all I cared about was trying to remember whether x-y-z good thing had happened to a skinny version of me or the real, blobby one. It was a rare hope, the answer was always the blobby one. At the time I believed my mind just wasn't creative enough to imagine a slim version of me.

It's something that has stuck ever since. I'd always had trouble visualising my goals. I couldn't picture where I wanted to go, I just couldn't picture a healthier slimmer me, it felt too cruel and unreal to let my mind go there.

After all I went from being a tinsy-bit chubby kid (not even chubby judging by some photos) to being an overweight teenager and a severely obese grown-up. My adult mind never developed a concept of what it might feel like to be healthy and slim.

Well that's all changed now. I've got that picture there in the right hand column.

There I am in my wedding lingerie and hoop, pressing my tummy trying to contain my excitement as I wait to have my dress lifted up over my head. I was only 15kg away from my goal, my lowest ever adult weight. I felt good for all the weight I'd lost but at the time (the general time, not the *actual* day, there was nothing could shift the smile from my face on that day) I was equally disgusted with myself for not reaching goal. Oh to be able to take that back and slap that girl, because instead of becoming yet another photo on my way down, that photo and that weight there has become my target.

For the first time though it's a target I can picture, I can imagine and I can actually remember.


Eeek I've babbled for pages yet again and it's not what I meant to write about, it just sprung from thinking about that dream. Over the last few days I kept thinking of things to blog about but couldn't catch a moment to get them out. I'm back eating my normal eating plan but after my week off I'm having to watch myself like a hawk. Now that I'm letting myself have that skinny cow ice cream, low fat chips and afternoon cappuccino, I'm having to curb my desire to have them all at once.

So far so good though. It was a big weekend food-wise. My mother-in-law came to stay, I made a banana cake - VERY yummy! - hubby made a Jamie Oliver bolognaise - with bacon, beef mince AND pork mince... VERY VERY yummy - all served with a beautiful glass of wine and at the end of a day that had started with pancakes for breakfast. I did good with my portions though, filled my plate up with veg and kept it under control so I could enjoy it all without feeling bad. We'll see whether the scale agrees with me tomorrow.

Oooh and other fab news of the last few days was that I had coffee with the lovely Kathryn of iDiet. So great to be able to put a real person behind the blog, thank you Kathryn.

Righto - I should be working so as to lessen the stress of tomorrow...