the return of old friends


My wardrobe's starting to open up to me again. The return of all my old favourites is just starting to feel within reach.

I tried on a dress this morning, a black summer frock with white polka dots. I always loved this dress, I remember how fantastic it felt the day I bought it in a *normal*, non-fat, high street store. It's smart enough for work but flowy enough to let me feel girly on a summer's eve. It's also the dress I wore for our wedding pre-shoot some time around October or November 2007. This summer however, it has hung abandoned on a hanger completely unwearable. But from this morning's trial, I'd say it's only about a kilo or two away from me once more.

A few of my clothes have been very forgiving. They came with me on the full re-gain journey, stretching and covering where needed, tolerating the fact they no longer looked their finest. Other garments accommodated only a few kilos before giving up the ghost. And then there were the hopeful clothes - the ones that only borderline fitted at my lowest but would have been fabulous to shrink into. Many of these items are sizes I really only ever wore in the last couple of years. The only other time I was that weight was when I was a teenager and I went straight from the fitted clothes of my childhood to the excessively baggy, cover-up, black monstrosities more befitted of a moody youth.

Next stop after my polka-dot frock is the pink floral dress I bought in Seattle last July. It's a great one to wear over jeans, again girly but very casual and relaxed. I was about 100kg when I bought it, one of only a couple of mid-gain clothes purchases, having sworn to myself I wouldn't ever buy big again, it was a size 12 or 14 US and a wee bit tight but made me feel great. At 95kg, my two black pants, size 18 UK/Aus (I'm the original pear-shaped gal, at my lowest I managed UK/Aus size 12 tops, size 14-16 flared skirts but size 18 pants to cater for my hips, bum and thighs ) will hopefully join the party and I'll finally be able to wear trousers to work again. There's another frock, dresses were a hugely exciting new discovery as part of my weight loss journey, previously not worn since my age was in single figures, bought somewhere around 87kg. You'll be the first to know when that one fits again. Now that will be a day to celebrate. It might even be the moment I stop hiding and show my face, eyes n'all, around these parts.

The chance of a second shot at all of these clothes is exhilarating. Only recently the sight of them all in my wardrobe had been so depressing but now they're starting to excite me in anticipation. Even more exhilarating is the prospect of even smaller sizes, the fresh, un-trodden pastures of fantastic shopping trips ahead. One day every one of these target pieces will go the same path as my size 28 and 30 jeans and find their way to the charity shops, only to be remembered in photographs once more.

I don't know if it's the surrounds I find myself today or the thrill of my long awaited lunch hour magazine fest to catch up on the Oscar fashions - I missed everything Oscar related on Monday and hadn't even had a moment to surf so hadn't seen a single picture until lunch time today when I dropped everything to insure an hour to myself just me, Who and OK - but I feel quite giddy in my excitement.

I'm on-site at a client's again today. At a place where the security guards have guns and secretaries still call their bosses "Sir". One such boss, a grey bearded chap with a look somewhere between batty old uncle and public school headmaster, is just the other side of the room from me pom-pom-pom-ing a barely recognisable rendition of Mozart's Magic Flute. It's a very different world to where I'm used to working.

Anyways, I really should get back to thinking about work instead of clothes, it sure is nice to be excited about them once more though. Oh and before I forget, the wee devil got safely banished yesterday - no overeating whatsoever and a fab cycle ride with my hubby in the evening to boot.

caffeine ani

I'm very stressed at work, I've also got a heap of blogs to catch up on and I've got the strongest feeling there's something I've forgotten to do.

I've no idea what it is.

There's a little voice inside my head inviting me to consider the possibility I've forgotten to eat. Or, tempting me with the alternative suggestion that eating will help me to relax my mind not to worry about the stress, the quick way to forget my worries about whatever it is I've forgotten.

This little devil's smart, it has an answer for everything and it's somehow always in the shape of food.

Well, I haven't forgotten to eat. I just had my breakfast and my skinny cap (do you spot a coffee theme, I really should have called myself "Caffeine Ani"). And for once I'm in a place of calmness and control. I'm able to watch this little devil up to it's little tricks, to see it for what it is and chose not to play along.

So little devil, you quick witted cheeky little scamp you, get back into your cave. I'm running the show today and I've got everything under control. OK well not *everything*, work is still all over the place but the catering is definitely all in hand.

checking in: hyc week 8

I'm back, HYC check in time.

today's weight: 106.2kg / 234lb / 16st 10lbs
loss of: 1.8kg / 4lb
total loss this year: 9.8kg / 21.5lbs


No waiting to see if it's a dehydration blip this time, I'm claiming it right away ;-)

Time to be careful and not get complacent though. It's been a few weeks since I got myself back on track and I'm just hitting the giddy heights of my diet honeymoon. I know it's when you relax you lose focus. Accidents mostly happen in the final part of the journey home... you just have to look how close I got to the finish line last time.

But for now - I celebrate - very happy with this.

Good luck to all the other HYCers out there.

an experiment

I’ve been undertaking a wee experiment in very low calorie diets for the last couple of days. It was sparked by something my doctor said to me last week when we’d gotten talking about weight loss during my scheduled biennial indignity (*pap smear).

I’ve never been a fad dieter, never jumped on all the different diets-of-the-day bandwagons, never even south beached, atkinsed or cabbage souped. And I don’t intend to change that.

These days my eating is based on good healthy nutritious foods. It features well rounded portions from each of the major food groups, low fat, low sugar, high fibre, low GI, lots of water, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and nothing extreme. My old dietician back in Perth gave me the best balanced advice I’ve ever received. Unlike my old personal trainer (a fantastic lady I miss very much) my dietician didn’t prohibit carbs, scoff at my honey on toast breakfast or my daily cappuccinos (in fact she was happy I was getting a good source of calcium that way). She loved her food and she cared not just for my weight loss but for my all round current and future health.

So this is just an experiment - nothing more - a strict regime for a few days only. I’d intended to do it for the whole of this working week but today is Day 2 and I’m not sure if I’m likely to bother with Day 3, we’ll see. In the long term I have no intention of abandoning my healthy eating lifestyle changes in favour of extreme dieting. I know that would be neither healthy nor advantageous. I wanted the boost but most of all I wanted to see if I could do it.

It has surfaced some rather interesting learnings.

Absolute Deprivation Panic.

I only intended to do this for a few days but I spent far longer than that considering very seriously whether to or not. There was a time in the past when I had bowel issues and bought a recommended detox plan. Despite all the health benefits, which would have left me a darn site more comfortable, it sat on the shelf and was never opened. Even after all my years of dieting, I couldn't get my head around giving up coffee for 5 days. Plus I was so worried that the deprivation of foods I love would trigger a binge.

Now that I'm in a good place again I wanted to know if I could do it (not the detox, that unopened box was lost in the interstate move). My biggest concern, then and now, was about the food I’d be missing out on. I thought of the Skinny Cow English Toffee ice creams we bought at the weekend and how my hubby would get to eat them and I wouldn’t. It didn’t even occur to me there might still be one left by the time I allow myself to eat them again, or logic be-damned, that there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t just buy more next week. No. All I could focus on was the fact I’d be missing out. OHMYGOD-EVERYBODY-PANIC!!! The food might run out while I’m not looking!!!


Yesterday morning I had my regular skinny cap but didn’t have my usual second coffee in the afternoon - and you know what - I survived.

Last night hubby had an ice cream, I didn’t - and you know what - the world’s still turning.

The food will still be there and I don’t have to eat it all at once.

I say that losing weight and getting healthy is my highest priority, but how much am I willing to sacrifice for it? I’m putting in the extra time and effort at the gym and I’m watching my food intake, but I’m not *really* putting myself out. I’m in this for the long haul so it’s always been my intention to be reasonably relaxed about it. As a rule, no food is completely off limits – of course if I’m feeling a little fragile and know it’s a potential binge trigger then it’s probably still best I leave it alone.

I'm not saying I need to change those principals or do it tough, but these last couple of days have taught me that I've got more to give. If this is my top priority I need to treat it as such. That means making time for exercise however I'm feeling, pushing myself to work harder when I do, and most of all remembering the bigger picture over the immediate desire for gratification.

I'd typed this during my lunch hour but didn't finish it when work got back in the way (how rude!). I haven't forgotten it's weigh-in day... I'll be back in a bit when I've done the deed to report my numbers.

feeling good

The weekend had been panning out to be a re-run of last weekend's apathy and motivation lull, but it all came good in the end.

Saturday was once more completely exercise-free, although quite a loverly and indulgent day - meals out, a movie and a successful shopping trip to purchase a tripod. I'm a right proper bona fide photographer now, however badly the pics turn out, I'll certainly look the part.

Today, I woke with the greatest of intentions to make up for yesterday's laziness, but the hours went by and I couldn't get my butt into gear. I did, however, have a very strong desire for a decent coffee but hubby had the car. Unlike last weekend, the timing was perfect, I got my bike out and cycled to the nearest coffee shop. It was only 3km away so after I'd fuelled up I took the opportunity to explore the neighbourhood a bit - totalling a ride of about 13km. Not exactly a marathon but not to be sniffed at either.

It just felt good to have overcome my lethargy. It's funny how exercise feels so much better when it's been undertaken reluctantly, somehow the smug-afterglow is that much greater.

Next weekend I need to break this exercise-free weekend habit I've gotten into completely.

dinky doo


Do you ever have a moment when you suddenly stop and take a real good look at yourself? And I'm not talking flab roll-count in the mirror here.

My husband had such a moment yesterday.

"I've become a f*&$ing yuppy" he exclaimed in horror.

Let me paint you the picture: We'd arisen at 6am, fed our two cats and left our rental house in the burbs dressed in our workout clothes. We slid our work laptops and gym bags into whatever available space we could find in the back of our 4WD car, the back seats removed to allow us to carry around our new bikes down to the riverside cycle path. We hit the freeway and thankfully arrived in the city early enough to be able to sit down in a Southbank cafe for a latte and toasted banana bread for breakfast, before finally heading upstairs to meet our personal trainers at the gym.

This wasn't the man my husband thought he'd become.

I had to laugh.

After my shower I booted up my laptop to see his messenger status read "OMG I'm a DINK FYS" (Double Income No Kids.. the F you can guess Yuppy Scum)

This was even worse than the day he'd found himself in Gap three-quarter-length pants at Ikea.

I reassured him his fears were quite unfounded, he's unlikely to be the object of a yuppy mistaken identity. After all, the gym bag in question is a beat up old Army Surplus green duffel and when not in the car, his bike is stored safely in the garage next to the ultimate bogan king chariot ride - his '71 HG Monaro - the most fantastic old Aussie muscle car you ever did see. His wedding vows were spoken while standing proud footed in his freshly polished Doc Martin boots. An AC/DC t-shirt is often to be found hanging majestically on the washing line and his headwear of choice is a crumpled old beat up kangaroo leather akubra.

So while my beloved bogan husband is horrified to see the effect this new active lifestyle is having on his reputation, me, on the other hand, I'm rather delighted to be transforming into an active city gal about town. Charlotte and Miranda eat your hearts out, Ani's in town (I'd have said Carrie, but we never did see her in the gym did we?)

ani nae mates

I got stood up at lunch today.

I waited for over 15 minutes before finally going to hunt for my lunch date. She was rather confused and then apologetic. It hadn’t been deliberate or personal of course. The appointment just wasn’t appearing in her Outlook diary for some reason. I’d blame Microsofŧ. We made another date, I reassured her these things happen, no worries and then left to go pick up a subway and a trashy magazine, not a care in the world.

Or at least I hope that’s how it looked.

In reality I’d raced to the lift to ensure I was out of the building in time before my face cracked into a flood of tears. This from the same girl who’d spent the morning in a client meeting being strong and assertive, one stupid lunch mix-up and here I am like a fragile flower completely crumbling.

Of course my unsuspecting lunch date wasn’t to know this was actually the first time I’d arranged to meet a friend for lunch for nearly nine months. This was just a casual lunch between a couple of girls who’ve chatted at the gym and happen to work in the same place. No big deal or so you’d think.

I used to have a great social life back in Edinburgh, lots of beautiful friends from all walks of life and backgrounds. People I’d been roommates with, folk I’d met at the pub, university buddies, former colleagues, book club folk and random pick-ups I can barely remember how our paths first crossed. When I moved to Australia I expected over time for the same to happen. It didn’t.

In Perth I made a few friends from work, but all of them “schedule” friends. People with whom a social plan would involve detailed synchronising of diaries in the hope to make a formal plan to meet for dinner or a movie in approximately four and a half weeks’ time. Not really the kind of casual friend you’d just ring up for a chat or go for coffee. I really only had one friend I’d meet for coffee and she was lovely. Lovely but just the one person.

In Edinburgh all aspects of my personality were being enriched and enlivened. I had folks I’d re-live my arts degree by engaging in deep philosophical debates with, at other times and places the height of conversation would be shopping, TV and celebrities, on some occasions I might be the listener and shoulder and on others I would be the one needing a sympathetic ear. I’d go clubbing with my gay friends, have Sunday brunch at the pub to watch the rugby with my uni friends, get dragged to off-the-wall concerts and art exhibitions by my artsy social working friends and most of all drink lots and lots of coffee and wine, with each and all of my friends.

Since moving to Melbourne last May I've had no one, my poor husband's had to fill all those rolls. The poor fella does his best but he's bottom of the class in the nuances of celebrity relationships and don't even bother trying to get his opinion on which pair of shoes to buy, he still can't figure out why a girl needs more than one pair for all occasions. My social skills are on the wane. I don’t know if it’s my age or just my screwed up mind but I just can’t seem to make friends any more. I think I’ve forgotten how.

It’s all just a little pathetic.*

In good news though, there was a bright side. While I was eating my subway and crying into my OK magazine, I only briefly considered overeating. It was just that, nothing more, a fleeting thought not an overwhelming binge urge and it passed as quickly as it came. That's got to be good right.

*I'm also just a tad embarrassed to be telling you all this. But I figured that the reason I'm in this blubber-ridden mess in the first place is that I eat my emotions, I numb them rather than process them. So however embarrassing it might be, I need to let this out and go forward. You watch, in six months time I'm sure I'll have moved on and will be laughing about all this with my fabulous new friends.

occupying appropriately sized public space


I got the train home last night. Well *nearly* home, I actually got on the wrong train which took me to the middle of nowhere and left me standing on the platform phoning my husband in high state of distress to be picked up. But anyways, my complete doolalliness wasn’t the point of this story and I digress. Last week was the first time in some months I'd taken the train. It was reasonably full with only a number of individual seats left, but instead of trying to squeeze myself into one of them I chose to stand the entire way. I didn't want to encroach. Didn’t want to feel like a blob.

Last night, to my relief, the train was half empty. I saw two free seats next to the aisle and was very pleased I’d be able to let my weary bones sit down and relax for the entire journey without risk of sitting on someone’s lap. Right enough I had heaps of space either side of me, but I hadn’t accounted for my rather ample backside pushing me so far forward my knees embarrassingly wedged right into the knees of the perfect blonde sitting opposite me. I spent the entire journey tensing every muscle in my lower body trying to lift my backside and my knees away from her personal space. Ani the blob.

I hate that feeling. Of just wanting to shrivel up to nothing. Ashamed my excess flesh is so out of control it infringes on other people. I pine for a time when I will be within ‘appropriate public space’ size limits again. 2007 was the first time in my entire adult life that I could fit comfortably within a “standard” seat on a train or bus. For just a brief few months of my life my thighs didn’t spread over the seat edge or even worse crush up against some poor uncomfortable bystander’s own thighs.

During that time I remember catching a bus from a client’s back to my office and down near the front was a young woman about the size I would have been at my largest. Watching her was like watching my former self. Perth bus seats are all doubles but no one would sit next to her. I could see her awkwardness. I remembered how that felt, wishing you weren’t such a repugnant prospect as a bus buddy, knowing that no-one wants to sit next to you because you’re so fat. Irony is, as soon as I was small enough for people not to be offended at the idea of being my neighbour, I’d also relaxed enough to realise I’d actually really rather no one sat next to me after all. Eventually, after half the aisle standing room had filled up, someone sat down next to her. For the next 15 minutes I watched as she tensed every single muscle in a fruitless attempt to make herself occupy less space. I felt such empathy and affection for her. I wanted to catch her eye but I feared my caring glance would probably be misconstrued as pity, I didn’t want to patronise.

It got me thinking, now that I’m back to being where she was, I wonder how I would have felt towards her. Would I have seen her and her discomfort as clearly now that my vision is again clouded with my own feelings of inadequacy and discomfort? It’s funny how the way we view other people can vary in reflection to how we view ourselves at the time. As I lost weight and got to near ‘normal’ sizes, one of the big differences I noticed was that I stopped seeing the world through fat goggles. I stopped internalising everything and assuming the worst on the basis of my self-perceived defectiveness. I’d accept social invitations because they’d be fun, not just because I thought I *should* go or because the person was clearly feeling sorry for me. I stopped double thinking everything OK not “totally” stopped, once an over-analyser always an over-analyser I started seeing life closer to how it really is.

There are many genuine health and logistical benefits to losing weight but we’re generally persuaded against believing that being slim will be the answer to our other problems. From my brief glimmer into slimishness I know that it IS the answer - for me. Take away the fat and I take away my justification for not living and for not being the best version of me I can possibly be. I’m sure there will be those who'd tell me I should learn to adjust my mind, not just my body, but I don’t know how else to remove the self-doubt and self-disgust without removing the very object of that disgust. That's one of the biggest reasons I'm doing this, as well as being able to relax on public transport of course.

checking in: hyc week 7

HYC check in day. It's another weigh and run I'm sorry to say. 10:20pm already, I just finished my work for the night and really need to go to bed. Tomorrow it's up at 6am for the gym, then week two of my photography course straight after work, home on the train somewhere about 10pm.

today's weight: 108kg / 238lb / 17st
loss of: 1.8kg / 4lb
total loss this year: 8kg / 17.5lbs

Fab! I'm a tad curious to see if it's not just a dehydrated downward blip, as it's nearly a kilo less than the scales told me yesterday. I'll give them a second chance tomorrow and then that's it, I'm claiming it ;-)

Hope everyone's having a great week. I'm all behind on my blog reading again, I like to catch up in my lunch hour but when I'm at a client's site it's not so easy to be seen to surf on the clock. Hope to have a wee sneak around to visit you all tomorrow.

getting down from the ledge

I'm not sure what to do with myself. I'm at a loss. I should go out and buy the cats a new bed, I donated their old one to the RSPCA bushfire appeal, they'd mysteriously stopped using it, I suspected perhaps a neighbourhood cat had been in and tainted it. I should also go out and find somewhere interesting to take photos for my course assignment this week. Instead though I find myself fighting a binge. First time I've been this close for weeks. I got as far as justifying it in my head - considering to myself whether I'd purge or not and whether I'd fess up or keep it quiet in my blog.

So far I've chosen neither, no binge to purge, nor to confess.

I got as far as snacking - a packet of low fat chips and a mini meringue nest - no damage done so far. I know I should distract myself and go do something else but nothing else is motivating me and there's a part of me rather stubbornly refusing to let myself get distracted. Instead I thought I'd try and short circuit it all by writing here. If I post this for all to see, I hope it'll be enough to jolt me back into straight thinking.

I do know food isn't the answer, but then I also knew that in the past, even while consuming a dozen profiteroles, 2 frozen cheesecakes, a couple of packets of biscuits dunked in coffee, caramel shortbread and a litre of ice cream, yes indeed, that's a medium sized, real single sitting binge of my yesterdays. While I knew it wasn't the answer, it sure did numb everything out so I could forget what the question was.

I could clean the house, it badly needs it. I made a start on clearing up, in fact I just finished hanging up the last of 4 loads of washing. While everything else should be shrinking, exercise sure is doing the opposite to our laundry pile. Double the socks, double the knickers, boxers and t-shirts and how on earth are we getting through this many towels? So now what?

I could go out on my bike, the husband's riding with someone else today so I'm on my own. Thing is, where would I ride? To the food store? Thinking about, I actually don't think so. The more I type, the more I realise I'm not so far down this slippery slope that there's no hanging on. In fact I'm still standing sure-footed at the top of the slope, merely considering letting myself slide.

Enough with the "could do's" I'm going to go do something and I'm going to do my damnedest for that not to include food. I'll be sure to update later.

[update - 8:15pm]

I didn't binge.

That's the good news and the thing I should hang on to. The not so good news, and thing I need to work at, is that I didn't do anything active either.

I considered cycling to the coffee shop purely for my caffeine habit not the food one, but by the time I got my act together I realised it would have been closing. Rather than making the wise decision to cycle somewhere else, instead I made myself a coffee at home yes we have an espresso maker and yet I'll still pay $3 for the privilege of someone else making me one... bad big-spender Ani and I sat back down in front of the computer. Not *entirely* wasted time though, I had an explore around SparkPeople and logged all my food. I then marinaded the steak for dinner, pulled down all the washing, took yet more photos of the blessed cats and by that time my hubby had returned. No exercise whatsoever.

just another day

Not been the best of days - lots of shopping stress and nonsense as well as some premature trying-on of clothes I mistakenly thought might fit me already - but my eating's not been too terrible (well in fact it's been just fine, only questionable late night carbs to worry about) and we managed to get out on the bikes for a 15km road cycle - two positives.

Hope everyone's having a lovely Valentines Day

x x x

happy snapping


Just when I really started to take to this healthy eating and active lifestyle again, I've taken my eye off the ball and found a new hobby to focus all my attention on. I went to my first photography class last night and as a result my eagerness to get home from work and go out on my bike was replaced instead with an overwhelming desire to paparazzi my cats.

I haven't done any exercise whatsoever. Second time this week without any. The furthest I walked today is approximately half the length of the car park from the lift. It's not a habit I want to let myself get into, so I need to find some balance. I'm sure there's plenty of space in my life for two obsessions.

The photography course is going to be fantastic. I must admit though, I thought I'd turn up each week, fanny about a bit with a camera and as-if-by-magic become a master photographer. Turns out it might be a little bit more difficult, and certainly more technical, than that. It's going to be great to meet and get to know a few more people too. Moving to a new city in the midst of a downward spiral has done nothing for my social life. I've been here coming up to nine months and it's a shocking admission, but I haven't made a single friend yet. All my self-confidence left me at about the same rate as obesity re-found me.

Part of the course will include portrait photography. I haven't checked out the timetable but I'm hoping it's towards the end, I could do with a few more weeks of healthy eating and healthy thinking before I face the prospect of having my photo taken and my image scrutinised. I know it'll be the quality of the photograph we're supposed to be looking at but you can bet you're backside it's not what I'll be focusing on if I'm not careful.

Tomorrow morning I have my regular personal training session in the gym with or without ex-soap stars. Craig mysteriously disappeared, something to do with a mad, sweaty lunatic woman stalking him perhaps? and then I can continue my new found photography mission, guilt-free in my lunch hour. This week is going to be all about balance.

checking in: hyc week 6

What a week. The bushfires are still burning, 181 are known to have died with more expected. Thankfully we're safe and sound and though we can see the smoke in the distance, we're still a good way away from the fires. It was a sobering realisation that the beauty in the crimson red sunsets we had admired was down to all the ash in the air.

Everyone seems to be pulling together to do all that they can. Many employers (including mine) are matching all staff donations to the Red Cross Appeal dollar for dollar as well as hosting mobile blood donation units. People are so eager to help out, in amidst all the horror stories are equally amazing stories of heroism and generosity.

Thank you for your comments to my post on Sunday. The unfolding tragedy certainly put many things into proportion but you're right, it doesn't remove from the importance of looking after my own health.

I continued to count calories for the next couple of days - 1511 on Monday, 1470 today - I'm still surprised how low the numbers have been but we didn't eat out once or have any big meals or treats in this time. I'm happy though that counting for a few days has given me the reassurance that my instincts are pretty good so I'm not going to bother, it'll be there for me the days when I need a bit of an accountability check. Exercise-wise has been a little down on last week, 3 personal training sessions and an hour's bike ride on Saturday but I didn't do a thing on Sunday and today all I managed was once around the hilly block on the bike. It's only about 4km but left me wheezing with lungs full of cold air - haven't conquered it yet but I'll get there.

Bit of a highlight at the gym yesterday. Any Aussies and Brits out there who remember Henry from Neighbours or the sing it once and it gets stuck in your brain f-o-r-e-v-e-r tune "Hey Mona" will know who I'm talking about when I tell you I got all hot and sweaty with a minor celebrity. Well not exactly *with* but I did stare at the poor guy like a loon as I worked out at the next bench along from him.

Anyways, to business, HYC check in day:

today's weight: 109.8kg / 242lb / 17st 4lbs
loss of: 0.5kg / 1lb
total loss this year: 6.2kg / 14lbs

I have to admit I'm pretty disappointed, but that's most likely just my impatience talking. A loss is a loss, I reassure as much to others, would appear I need to learn it for myself.

As a parting thought, I'm getting increasingly irked by FatBlaster's sponsorship of The Biggest Loser and watching previous contestant Marty hail the meal replacement products as "the easy way to lose weight". After all the effort learning to do it the healthy OK perhaps a little faster than healthy way, it seems so wrong to hear him say that.

the count - day two

Turns out there's another side effect of counting calories and portions I'd completely forgotten about.

I want a slice of bread.

It's bed time, I'm still totally satisfied with my dinner and I'm not in the slightest bit hungry. But my calories are pretty low and I'm 3 portions short of my carbs limit for the day so the idea of having another slice of bread to up the numbers is totally stuck in my head.

I'm not going to have more bread - carbs before bed n'all. But is that a good thing? If I'm low, should I have topped up? Or is it a bad thing that it's counting that's controlling my intake and not my appetite? It's just as bad and detrimental to weight loss to eat too little as it is too much.

I must admit I'm rather surprised my calories are this low. I counted so carefully, even to the point of weighing my fruit salad as I cut it up (banana 31g, strawberries 36g, melon 45g, pineapple 41g, grapes 47g). My steak was on the small side and we didn't have pasta or rice with dinner again, but the rest of the day was completely standard for a Sunday. I'm curious to know what a week day will look like. If anything this is showing me I'm borderline to actually not eating enough at times and there I was thinking I was having too much.

3 x small wholemeal pancakes 226
strawberries 30
skinny cap 50

medium banana 100
small handful sultry sally chips 40

cheese, mushroom & avocado toastie 379

diet ginger beer 28

90g marinaded lean fillet steak 200
stir fry mushrooms & peppers 60
steamed mix frozen veg (corn, peas & carrots) 40
meringue nest 40
fresh fruit salad 107

Edit - added: TOTAL 1300

none :-(
every time I was about to go for a ride it started to drizzle, crazy weather 46C yesterday, 23C today

OMG!! I'm just watching the news. 84 confirmed dead and 750 homes destroyed in the bushfires here in Victoria this weekend. So horrific, it's unimaginable. My thoughts are with all those who have been affected.

I'm here typing nonsense about calories and all around Victoria people are losing everything.

the count


Thanks for your comments and suggestions. Out of interest I decided I would take a look at what my calorie intake is actually like. I figured if I was close enough to approximately 1600 then my casual method is probably good enough and I won't bother with the religious calculations again.

toast (2 x large slice seeded bread) 273
tspn honey 30

small skinny cap 50

2 x large slice seeded bread 273
avocado (30g) 50
lite ham (40g) 50
tomato 15
2 x lite jarlsberg slices 64
diet sarsaparilla 28

medium banana 100
small skinny cap (with yummy real dark choc flakes on top) 70

grilled lemon & black pepper crumb fish 154
steamed frozen veg mix (corn, peas & carrots) 83
steamed fresh veg (broccoli, cauli, courgette) 54
1 tsp pesto 40
sprinkle fresh parmesan 20

grapes 35
skinny cow chocolate sundae 105

TOTAL 1494
calculated from food labels and Calorie King thanks for the tip Losing Waist

1 hour road cycling

Today was a pretty average day. My veg-fest dinner was probably less calories than normal, without some sort of grain style carbs (pasta or rice) as well as the starchy veg like potato or corn. I was also quite low on fruit, we've been tucking into lots of scrummy fresh fruit salad lately but none today.

So most likely the lower end, but it's certainly a good indication of my calorie intake. I think I'm going to count a couple more days and if my usual routine is close to target I'll leave it there.

I prefer the casual nature of not counting. I've had various experiences with calorie counting in the past. When I first started dieting at the age of 12, a school health visitor put me on a calorie controlled diet. It wasn't long before I began to obsess. My old school books were always covered in the sums. I remember frustratingly pushing myself to lower and lower daily totals, 500, 600 calories even, and wondering naively why I was no longer losing.

Then later, with Weight Watchers, I was very good at keeping to my points but I paid absolutely no attention to how they were made up. My day could have been full of nothing but carbs and sugar but so long as I was within my points I was happy. Wasn't long before my body got faint and weak, it craved the nutrition it was lacking. My mind couldn't cope with cravings of any kind and bingeing was inevitable.

This weight loss game is a simple sum, it is just calories in and calories out - the balance of what we eat and the energy we burn. The body as a whole is a great deal more complex though, as Hanlie commented to my post yesterday, it cares less about the calorie and more about the content. I might be older and wiser now, unlikely to fall into either of my previous traps, but just in case, I'll tot up another couple of days and then I think I'm best to leave the number crunching well alone.

when to weigh & when to count


I've always weighed myself last thing at night.

I prefer to weigh myself at the very heaviest time of the day. I don't want any false positives. I also weigh myself fully clothed in a t-shirt and jeans, even to the point of holding my jeans in my hand if I’d already started getting undressed or was wearing a flimsy skirt that day.

Tis a habit that's worked well for me, though not always ideal I must admit. My hubby can find this rather trying, if the scales aren't giving good news he has to deal with a disappointed Ani right when he’s wanting to go to sleep - not the best sleep routine. I think he'd rather I change to the morning... no biggie, might think about it.

The other thing I'm pondering is whether I should be counting? Counting calories is such a drag. I lost the original 65kg without counting calories but by counting portions of different food types (7 portions of carbs, 4 fruits, 2 protein etc) as recommended by my then dietitian. I'd gotten into such a great routine with it I didn't need to count religiously for long and would just have it at the back of my mind. This last month I just clicked back into that thinking and kept with it at the back of my mind, no strict counting. I was just listening to Jillian Michael's radio show podcast and she's all about counting - calories in, calories out. So I'm pondering. If I'm going to take this really seriously, bearing in mind this time around I really care about timeframe, maybe I should be counting calories.

working out

I got up with the dawn and fought my way along the freeway, lots of yukky traffic as usual, to get to the gym for my 7:30am personal training session, only to find my booking had mysteriously disappeared. I'm not very pushy when it comes to customer service so it was half way through my session time before I even ventured to the desk to ask why no one was coming to train me. Thankfully a very nice chap had a spare 20 minutes before his next victim so he fitted me in.

Previously when I've had a trainer for the very first, time they've gone pretty easy on me, not knowing my abilities or how much to push me. This mild mannered guy had all the appearance of being easy on me, but the various pulleys and weights were barely moving under my attempt at strength. I felt fat and feeble. I really should pay more attention to the weights I do with my regular trainer so that I can recognise when I'm doing more than normal and be proud of myself for pushing, rather than feeling totally weak and useless like I did this morning.

I have been struggling with being hard on myself lately, it's a really fine line between pushing myself and feeling good for it and pushing myself and feeling useless. The other night my hubby and I took a different cycle route than usual. This time there were hills. In fact I'm not even sure if you'd call them hills. The incline in some of them was barely visible, a ballbearing would have had trouble rolling back down them. I struggled big time. I went from feeling fantastic about my new found cycling prowess and instead found myself stopping dead at the tiniest sign of a slope, ready to burst into tears and give up. It was mortifying.

The good news is I didn't give up though the number of times I stopped that might be questionable, we even went again around the same roads yesterday. I reckon I took twice as long the second time, this time I knew there was worse to come so I didn't push as much as I had the first time, back when I naively kept thinking I only had to get around that next corner to be home free. I'm quite determined to keep doing the same route until I've mastered it though despite not being very in tune with that determination while I'm crying at the kerb I'll be sure to keep you posted.

I am starting to feel good about working out though and I'm starting to think I can feel the benefits - when I walk my arms feel like they swing just a little more vertically straight down, rather than straight out over my hips; my jeans aren't so camel toe tight (sooooo not a good look!) and I feel my posture may have improved.

I just can't wait for the scales to get with the programme. I really thought naively or arrogantly that the weight would just fly off. I've been exercising every day (3 x personal training, 4 x bike or boxing) and my eating's been under control. I know it's wrong to fixate on the numbers but my clothes aren't showing as willing as I'd like either. Dresses, jeans and skirts that fit as recently as October are still very much out of reach. Now I just need to turn all this impatience and frustration into motivation.

inner fears

Much better day today.

Funny thing is, the constituent parts were very much the same as the blah days:
  • first off my trainer gave me the pleasure of one hell of a gruelling 30 minutes - wooo - way pumped
  • then me, my skirt and my rubbing thighs made their sweaty wee way to the client's office
  • I treated myself to a toasted banana bread for breakkie and the bad lass put unasked butter on it
  • spilt juice from my mid morning kiwi fruit all down my dry clean only skirt, and
  • sat at my desk feeling out of my depth with work stress
Yup, all pretty much the same.

But today, nothing phased me. I felt good. I wasn't tempted by the cookie jar, I made a simple choice of sushi for lunch and all was fine with the world. Isn't life strange?

I haven't written much about my goals yet. I know I can be pretty tough on myself in my expectations, and so partly I suppose, I've chosen to keep them quiet. I'm also very scared I'll fail again, so best not to let on what success might have looked like. My first weight goal is very clear though. It's to get to under 100kg. 11 kilos away is the magic two figured number that will bring with it access to 70% more of my wardrobe; the chance to get back on the back of my husband's Harley (I only went on a bike for the first time two years ago and I've REALLY missed it) and most important of all, it's the Dr.'s orders weight for trying for a baby. It's a HUUUUGE deal.

I'm so scared about that one. There are of course the regular fears about fertility and being ready. More than that though, I'm just so scared to get pregnant while I'm still trying to lose weight, is that a screwed up thing to say, how twisted are my priorities but being the age I am we just can't risk putting it off any longer, there's no space left for chancing it. I know there are ways to continue the exercise and weight loss journey during a pregnancy but I'm just so scared about all the triggers it might spark for me. Cravings and eating disorders don't mix well. I want to look pregnant not just lardy. I want the joy and pleasure of a big pregnant belly but how will I cope with that?

There's so much more to all this, so many more fears, concerns and confused thinking. I never thought I'd be writing about this subject in my blog, but lately I've come to realise I need to. I can't put this much pressure on myself and expect not to implode if I don't unload it somewhere.

Has anyone out there been through this? Carried on with a weight loss programme during a pregnancy? Tried for a baby while intensively exercising? Or even before all that, had a goal so huge its very pressure impacts the chances of its success?

checking in: hyc week 5

Quickly popping by to post my weigh-in numbers, will write more tomorrow:

today's weight: 110.3kg / 243lb / 17st 5lbs
loss of: 0.7kg / 1.5lbs
total loss this year: 5.7kg / 12.5lbs

Good luck HYCers. Have a great week :-)

blah blahdy blah

Yesterday I was feeling really “blah”. I wrote a whole post about my blah-ness but it was so full of blah, I edited and re-edited then chose not to post it.

I feel so bad about being negative in my blog, yet that’s exactly what it’s here for. As well as for sharing triumphs, it’s the place where I should be free to offload in safety. All you beautiful likeminded blogland peeps probably understand this side of me better than anyone I know in real life, and quite possibly better than I know myself. I’m fat because I suppress my emotions under a mountain of food, so I sure shouldn’t be suppressing them from my blog. I think I worry too much about crying wolf. That if I keep being negative now, when things have just started to go right, folk will get sick of my whinging and no one will be out there to support me when I really need it.

Well so far, in the “blah” stakes, today’s not been all that much better. I’m feeling pretty flat, so I’m typing again but this time I’m just going to post it whatever comes out.

The day started with a great personal trainer workout - warm up with weights then a really full on boxing cardio session. I know when I’ve had a good workout because I feel so pumped and have such a glow about me when I hit the shower, this was a good one. However, after I got out of the shower and my red sweaty glow still hadn’t lifted I stopped feeling so great. I’m on-site at a client today so instead of just popping upstairs in the lift, I had to walk to the office. It was only a 15 minute trip but I struggled. I couldn’t stop sweating – wearing tights didn’t help in this humidity, but as we’ve spoken about already, skirts without some sort of rub-protection just aren’t an option at the moment and skirts are the only thing in my wardrobe that’s client-worthy and still fits. By the time I got here I felt so self-conscious about my sweatiness my glow was only heightened as I blushed with embarrassment.

To give me a 5 minute breather to cool down I went and bought breakfast. A bad breakfast. I mean it wasn’t terrible, we’re not talking a fry-up here but it was a bad choice and didn’t make me feel good. I then made it to my desk to face PC, phone and network frustration. These were all water off a duck’s back compared to how totally crappy I felt as I found myself standing in the kitchen, overhearing the conversation at the next desks about how totally car-crash-horror-enthralling it is to watch the HUUUUUUUGE FATTIES on the Biggest Loser (new series started in Oz last night). That’s me they were talking about!

I walked away from the conversation, kept my head up, drank copious water and successfully avoided the staff cookie jar all morning (last time I was at this client’s office their order had probably mysteriously doubled to cope with my bingeing) then a couple of hours later I headed out for lunch. I went from cafe to cafe, searching for something healthy and tasty. I won’t bore you with all the inner conversations I had in each eatery, eventually though, I found a great looking health food cafe and ordered a pumpkin wrap. Bad choice #2. What I got was a giant wrap, filled with nothing but pumpkin and creamy ricotta, full to the brim – carbs on carbs on cheese – no greenery, no salad and no small portions. It might have been fresh food but it wasn’t healthy, the pumpkin was fried and the rest was so rich, cheesy and creamy. My reaction? Well to eat it all of course, every last crumb till I felt completely full and bloated.

I know there’s a big picture view where none of this even matters. Two less than perfect meal choices don’t undo anything. I know better than this. I just can’t seem to step back far enough to see that bigger picture just yet.

I'm hoping that by typing all this nonsense I might get it out of my system and let it go. The other day when I told my hubby the multiple layers of conflict I’d experienced in my choice of lunch sandwich he was aghast at just how much my head has to go through, I think his exact words were “you’re thinking is f&%ked, how on earth do you manage to function?”