A list of things

  • I am destined never to see a dietician and have them help me with my diet. I rocked up on Saturday, only to not find the room. Eventually I called them and they told me they’d booked me into the OTHER rooms. That were half an hour’s drive away. Needless to say they hadn’t informed me of this.
  • However, I did get to speak to the dietician who I had an abortive appointment with. She actually sounds sensible–she enquired with trepidation whether I was doing (insert name of fad celebrity diets here). I said confusedly “No, I just made it up myself.” She said “GOOD” emphatically.
  • She asked me to keep a food diary for a couple of days and bring it in to our appoinment. I said I already did. She recommended using CalorieKing. I said I did. She said “Fantastic!”
  • Things I suspect: She will want me to up my calories and tell me to add more good fats. Also she may tell me to take calcium tablets–which the doctor already has.
  • I’m a lot more confident after speaking with her. She sounds sensible.

Off the subject of dieticians and onto more general stuff.

  • I’ve been on a plateau for a week (Well. I say a plateau, but I’ve gained 0.4 of a pound and it’s sticking with me). It’s driving me nuts. All I can do is stick to my calories and keep on eating (I hope) healthily and with any luck I’ll budge off it.
  • I got my blood test results back from the doctor. As suspected, my cholesterol is screwy (it’s not actually that my cholesterol is high–the bad cholesterol is borderline, but my GOOD cholesterol is low. Like I said, more almonds and avocado and we’ll see what the dietician says.)
  • My liver enzymes are raised. And they’re raised in an odd pattern–it’s not the ones that say a disturbance in the cells, or a disturbance outside the cells. It’s one of each. I guess we retest in three to six months time with no drinking and see what they say.
  • My vitamin D is 30. For reference, the normal range is 50-70. No wonder I’ve been feeling like crap. The doctor looked at me and said “Get more sun” and I was all “… HOW?!? I work during the daytime, I don’t wear sunscreen in winter and if I go outside during lunchtime it’s cold so only my hands and face are uncovered.” She looked at me for a second and said “… good point. Get some tablets.”
  • Things I didn’t tell my doctor: that is my vitamin D after three weeks of eating a vitamin D fortified soy yoghurt every day. I wonder what my levels were before that? (I suspect I don’t want to know.)
  • That does explain a lot of what I’ve been feeling lately.
  • Weekends are really hard for me. I have so much to do, and without the ability to weigh things/plan, I don’t feel like I can eat while I’m out. This usually ends in me under-eating. I need to get better at planning. And maybe ditch the weekend sleep-ins.

Things are really hard at the moment and I feel like crap. I’m hoping a good sleep tonight will sort most of it out.





Feeling my way

So, I honestly don’t feel hungry much. Or rather, I feel… english doesn’t have the words.

I feel hungry. What may be low blood sugar. But I can feel that while simultaneously feeling like my stomach is full–like around now (when I’m writing this), two hours after lunch. I had a huge salad with poached chicken breast. I feel physically full, but like I want to eat. It’s odd.

(note: as I type this, I had a soy yoghurt. The effect was immediate, too fast for blood sugar. So, that’s a psychological effect then. Interesting.)

Anyway, I’ve been reading and reading. Every thing I read does suggest that I should be eating more than I am. The thing is, I am eating more now (in terms of volume) than I have for a long time. The fact that I’m no longer eating cheese or bread, both of which are relatively dense in terms of calories to volume, probably accounts for it. (I say no longer, I mean, lunch is a huge amount of salad and a serve of chicken rather than lunch being a large roll with brie, beef and roquette. Volume-wise, they’re about the same. Fibre-wise and calorie-wise–not even close. )

I do have noticeably more energy. Every calculator (and for the record, this one seems really accurate) that I put my weight, age and height into as well as my basic level of activity tells me that my BMR is around 1,585 calories.

Maybe I should eat more and see if I lose weight? I don’t know.

I guess it’s a holding pattern until Saturday, when I talk to the dietician.

I’m not so sanguine now it’s actually happened.

The scales have gone up two days in a row.

I’m trying not to–it’s only half a pound, and I know this could be water or hormones or eating a bit more salt.

Because I’m worried about my calories being too low, I’ve started eating back my exercise calories. Well, mostly. I forgot to eat my apple yesterday, but it’s better than nothing, right?

I’m so sore today that I almost can’t walk. I’m going to do some yoga tonight because I can’t do weights. I figure half an hour of yoga (more stretching than strenuous) will at least fit my criteria of doing at least half an hour’s exercise each day. Does anyone have any good recommendations? Youtube/free for now, but if you want to recommend DVDs for later, I’ll keep it in mind.

The emergence of bone

10.2 pounds lost this month, 4.2 lost in the past week.

My jeans are easier to get on over my thighs, but because I’ve lost a bit of fat around my belly they’re not staying up the best. Because I’m not stuffed into them like a sausage (although they’re still tight) I may need a belt until I lose a few centimeters off my thighs.

The thing is, looking in a mirror–I don’t see any difference. Maybe a SLIGHT reduction in my pot belly. But where I do notice a reduction is in the feel of my body.

I can distinctly feel bones in my fingers. I couldn’t before. My face is getting to be more square than round, and I can feel distinct lines of my jawbone and cheekbones. My collarbones are more distinct and where I could only vaguely have told you that yes, based on anatomical models I almost certainly had a sternum above my breasts, now I can feel it.

It’s hard not to get frustrated. I still have a pair of size 12 jeans in my wardrobe. I’m now a size 16-18. I’m glad I didn’t throw them out, because it’s been four years since I’ve been able to wear them. But I can see myself getting into them again–not now, but possibly by the end of the year.

Notes: I ran but didn’t lift weights last night because I started, then found I was too sore (I think I need to buy lighter dumbbells. On my list, along with another pair of tracksuit pants for exercise). But I’ll do legwork tonight and try to fit upper body in. But I’m really proud of myself for my run. The program I’m doing is Zombies Run 5K. I’m only in week 2, which was 30 second runs/5 heel lifts/a minute’s walk. Then at the end, they give you a 10 minute freeform run.

I started off walking for most of it. Then I managed a minute and a half of running. Then up to three, then four minutes.

Last night, I managed six minutes running, including a 2 minute run that went 30 seconds into cool-down time because I wanted to hit that 2 minutes. I’m improving. I can do this.

On guilt, and adding a little bit at a time.

I’ve got the food pretty much under control. (I think. We’ll see what the dietician says.) So, as I’ve said before, I’m trying to add exercise, in a sustainable way that doesn’t get me injured or so sore that I just give up.

I started following a new blog – Countdown from 50. It’s pretty great for motivation. I’m just starting off and I’m starting from a pretty inactive place. I can’t do the full two reps–for me, it would actually be counter-productive, because I know that if I get too sore, I will just give up. But I’m making a genuine effort, I finished one rep AFTER I went for a run. Tonight I’m going to do another one. And tomorrow I’m going to do yoga and the cardio and lower body work.

I guess, for me, it comes down to judging my own effort. In the past, I have gone all or nothing. I have invariably failed, because that’s what all or nothing does. Then comes the guilt with the failure, which makes me behave worse, and do the “failure” worse. I was raised Catholic, you see, and guilt is counter-productive. Tell me not to do something (or even just try to manipulate me) and I’ll do the opposite while glaring angrily the whole time.

I can’t think like that. I can’t do that and be at all healthy mentally. It’s going to take me a long time to get to my goal weight. A diet calculator I’ve plugged some numbers into projected February of next year–and while my weight loss may appear to be fast at the moment, we all know that it’s going to slow down later on as my body hauls around less weight and requires less fuel. So this time, I’m trying to add a little at a time and be honest with myself. “Today, you tried as hard as you could,” or “Today, you went that little bit further than last time.”

The scales will go up–hormones, salt intake, building muscle, health or just plain having a bad week with sticking with stuff. I will have days where I absolutely cannot do the exercise I’d planned, or where I can’t stick to the diet (or even really don’t want to.) Planning minimises a lot of these instances. Making sure I eat a main meal before going out, carrying my snacks with me. But I’m still going to get stuck places with no healthy choices, or sometimes just plain not have the option of refusing food without starting World War 3.

I’ve been reading about forms of self-kindness. And how there’s been a program that has SUCCESSFULLY got people to maintain a lower weight by giving people permission to be kind to themselves. That people are more motivated by positive feedback than by negative feedback. And I think that’s something that I’m going to try to incorporate.

I’m going to run because it feels good. Because that moment, around 8 minutes in where everything just clicks and it feels like you’re flying. I’m not there yet, but I got there last time and I’m going to work at it and I’ll get there again. I’m going to run because Zombies Couch-to-5K training is really interesting and I want to hear the next bit of the story.

I’m going to lift weights because I like being strong. Because my knees hurt less when I do the exercises the physio set for me. Also, if my stomach only has a bit of a roll when I’m obese, imagine how kickass my flat belly is going to be!

I’m going to stick to these foods because for the first time in FOREVER, I’m eating the RDI of fibre and I feel so much better. I’m not having the blood-sugar highs that I’ve experienced before. And although I’m occasionally hungry, I’m never absolutely starving.

I’ll have bad days, for sure. But I give myself permission to have them, and then permission to stop them. Because a moment of failure doesn’t undo a long time of work. Because I can do this.

And so it goes

I have another appointment with another dietician this weekend. We’ll see how it goes.

I was thinking today about patterns. And how I actually think at the moment I’m in a healthy pattern. You see, I’ve always been bad at being “adult”. It was almost something I was proud of. I ate irregularly, some time between once a day and every two days. I ate huge meals. I ate cheese, which I love but am increasingly allergic to. I drank. A lot.

One of the things that was so hard about this time around is that I’m eating a LOT more. While before I would eat a baguette with roast beef and roquette and cheese for lunch, and then just drink or have leftover bread and cheese for dinner, and maybe just drink coffee the next day with whatever junkfood I scrounged for dinner, now I am eating three meals a day. I’m eating snacks.

Because I was sick yesterday, and also sick on Friday and on Saturday I had fasting bloods taken and so I couldn’t eat for half the day, I really noticed that my patterns were off. Saturday was really obvious–I couldn’t eat until I had my blood taken, so I got home and ate breakfast about 11:45am. Then I wasn’t hungry at lunch-time, a mere hour later, so I went out to do my weekly shopping. The shopping center was insane that week and there were a few special purchases I had to make so I was in there for quite a while.

When I got out at 4pm, I was shaking from low blood sugar. I bought things I didn’t really need because I was hungry. I consider it a major victory that I got out with only having bought smoked salmon and bread extra. (They were actually a really good choice, because I need more omega 3 fatty acids in my diet, and I swear, if I got home and had to make and eat a salad and wait for it to get my blood sugar up, I was going to cry.) Still, now I have most of a loaf of bread sitting on the counter. I may have to freeze it and have a slice or two on weekends.

Anyway, the point is: this diet gives me so much more energy, but it takes a couple of days to take effect. And because I ate all of the sugar yesterday, today is hard. I’m feeling lethargic and want to go for more sugar. It’s not too bad–I have my snacks and I know that tomorrow I’ll be feeling better and the day after I will be FULL of energy.

I just have to get there.

A hard couple of days

Yesterday was my first fail at the pub. I packed my snacks and happily ignored the cheesy evil that is a shared plate of nachos.

Then I went to talk to friends, and they had a SPARE steak dinner. With chips. Welp.

I will be prepared next week. I will either not go to the pub, or if I do I will not stay late. I will pack a mini pita roll to eat–my apple and almonds were just not substantial enough to keep me from eating when it’s past my usual dinner time.

And today I’m sick. I threw up my breakfast and then ate half a packet of biscuits because dammit, that’s what I felt like. Then I had an apple and some candy for lunch–my stomach just churned at the thought of my regular salad and chicken. (It’s weird. It doesn’t feel like gastro, but my stomach hurts and I do feel nauseated. Hopefully some sleep will sort it out.)

I guess I just eat what I’d planned to (if I can stomach it) and have an early night. I’m still within my calories. Just… bleh. I don’t think I can face dinner. I may have chai or something comforting.