Today is really, really hard

I’ve been sticking to my calorie allowance. I’ve actually been losing weight slightly too fast, and think I may need to up my calories slightly, but I’ll speak to the dietician on Thursday.

But today is really hard. I ran (for a given value of running that is the second week of Zombies 5K training) last night and felt great. Then today, I felt like I was running on empty when I woke up. This resulted in me getting up late, which resulted in me not having time to eat my full breakfast. I had a protein shake and coffee (cereal alone doesn’t fill me up enough.) Luckily, I keep cereal at work for such an occurrence.

I felt better once I ate, but then I was hungry again. I ate my morning snacks, and then half my afternoon snacks. I was ok, but I was starving at lunch even though I’m generally not.

I’m trying to give my lunch time to expand/settle and fill me up before I start on the last of the snacks. I’m just–hungry, and while I’m a little hungry, I’m never usually ravenous. (My theory is that because I’ve gone away from one HUGE meal every day and a half/two days to three smaller meals of less calorie dense food + snacks, my hunger never reaches EAT ALL THE THINGS levels.)

I’m ravenous right now.

I’m going to try and get through it. I have an apple, I can have tea and try and fill myself up. I cannot expect it to be as easy as it has been. It would be great if my body knew what it wanted, but obviously becoming obese felt great for my body so I’m going to have to take that with a grain of salt. I’m trying to rationalise it with “You’re hungry because you’re having to dip into fuel reserves. You’ve had a decent amount of food, you’re just losing weight.” It’s sort of working, but… still. Hungry.

Just–today is really hard.


Starting off slowly

I’m almost into the third week, and thus far I’m down 4.19 pounds. That’s good–it’s slow, but a definite decrease.

When I started, I was EXHAUSTED. I have to say, if you decide to start on this? Prep your food beforehand. Plan your menus, make sure you have all meals for most of the week. If you have to go shopping for fresh produce mid-week, make sure it’s stuff that’s on a defined list, don’t go shopping when you’re hungry. If you can go to a standalone green-grocer rather than a big supermarket, that’s better, because green-grocers generally don’t stock the sugary treats that you may be tempted to snack on while your body adjusts.

The other thing is soup. Soup is a LIFESAVER. If you have a slow-cooker, even better because you won’t need to use oil. A soup made with broth and no cream is incredibly filling and incredibly tasty. As a note, I weigh the ingredients when I put them in, then I weigh the total dish when it’s finished cooking and divide it up into portions. That enables me to work out the calories of every single serve. Anyway, my first week I basically ate the one soup. I had no energy. If I had to prepare another meal, I would have failed. But having that soup in the freezer meant that I could MAKE myself eat healthily and within my calories for less effort than it would take to get a pizza.

So the first week, my challenge was to change my diet to be balanced, nutritious and calorie controlled. I managed it. And once I adjusted, I found because I was eating fruit and vegetables, I actually had more energy.

The second week, my challenge was to add in some exercise. And I managed it. I’ve run twice this week and I’m going to go for a third run this evening.

(An additional challenge has been to prepare for going out on the weekend and bring my snacks/water. I managed it. I ate lunch before I left, even though I wasn’t hungry, and I packed my snacks and I even went to the pub afterwards and stuck to my water, which is huge for me.)

This week, I’m adding two more dishes to my repertoire. Chicken meat loaf, and shredded pork. I’ve already cooked the pork and it’s delicious. About to go and cook the chicken meat loaf now.

In addition, I have one more sustained challenge. I can’t add too many things at once because I will just fail and give up. But a single change at a time is sustainable. My change this week is going to be to pick an ab workout video from… somewhere and do it every second day.

I have one additional challenge. On Wednesdays, that’s my official weigh in day.

I’m going to take a picture of myself. And I’m going to take my measurements.



I just incepted my mother into enforcing my sobriety.

There is a family history of alcohol addiction/abuse. My mother drinks to levels that… well. They are above recommended levels for daily intake. That’s her choice–she’s an adult. So long as she doesn’t get behind the wheel of a car, I don’t care.

(I do, however, think she’s in denial of this fact. And I hate that I cannot refuse a drink without it being a BIG FREAKING DEAL.)

Anyway, we were on the phone last night, so I thought I’d strike pre-emptively.

Me: Oh hey, I’m not drinking for three months.

Mother: Good for you!

Me: Yeah, I was drinking too much, so I decided to give up for three months and then only drink when I’m out/with friends afterwards.

Mother: Well, you know you can have two glasses of wine healthily, right?

Me: Yes, but the size of a “glass” is not the size of a standard drink. There are 7.5 to 8.4 drinks in a bottle of wine.

Mother: So about 150 mls.

Me (internally): No, that’s around 90 mls.

Me (out loud): Anyrate, it’s amazing how this sorts out the people who are uncomfortable with other people being sober.

Mother: Oh, I’m sure that’s not it.

Me: No, seriously. You refuse a drink, you shouldn’t have to keep refusing because they keep asking. It should be your choice. Personally, I like being a probationary driver, because it means I have an iron-clad excuse for not drinking alcohol.

Mother: Well, I would NEVER insist after someone said no.

Me (cheering internally while trying not to die of irony): Of course not.

(The other note here is that my mother LOVES being able to tell me to suck it up and just do stuff.)

Me: So, it’s a bit depressing, I won’t be able to drink on my birthday.

Mother (sternly): Well, if you can’t enjoy yourself without drinking then you should look at your relationship with alcohol. You can just have a lemon squash!

So. I may have just incepted my mother into enforcing my sobriety. Yay me? Now, if I can just get her to accept me leaving food on my plate, I’ll be golden.


I am using two sources to track my weight/calorie intake.

I use CalorieKing (US/Australian version) to track my calories. Yes, I do weigh all my food. My internal “This is enough” monitor is clearly not accurate, otherwise I wouldn’t have ended up obese. It’s just something that is, and something I have to be aware of. Maybe it will change over time.

The other thing I use is the Hacker’s Diet. I like the fact that it doesn’t judge about the kind of food you eat. Personally, I don’t use their calorie tracker, but their monthly log of weight is AMAZING. It provides you with a smoothed moving average line. It filters out the “noise” that water, salt intake, stress and hormones can create around your weight and then you can focus on the “trend”.

I have to remember that the trend is what’s important. Mine is still down, even though I bounced up 300g and have only just taken it off. That is INSIGNIFICANT.  The trend line is still moving down.

God, I hope my weight continues to go down. I want to break this barrier.

I did that

When I started this diet, I looked at what I was eating. I have a sensitivity/allergy to dairy, which meant that I permanently felt like I had a low-grade fever. Muscle aches, joint aches, lethargy. The trouble is, I LOVE cheese, and the effect creeps up on you.

Now that I’ve been strictly dairy-free for a week, I’m really really noticing the difference.

The same with alcohol. When I started, I honestly looked at the level at which I drank. Three glasses of wine or three beers a night. The trouble is–those weren’t standard drinks. A bottle of beer contains 1.4 standard drinks. A “glass” of wine is also more than one standard drink.

It officially met the [country I live in]’s criteria for binge drinking.

It was only at home. I never got a hangover. I didn’t HAVE to have a drink–if I was out, or busy, I just wouldn’t and I wouldn’t notice.

I stopped drinking purely because of the calories. I missed it for two nights, but not anymore. I miss the taste of wine or good beer, but not the calories, not the effects (I’m sleeping better).

I think when the three months is up, I will drink again. But I will limit myself to one glass/beer, and only when I’m out in public/with friends.

My friends are respectful of me not drinking. My family is not going to be. Every single occasion is celebrated with alcohol. My birthday is in a month’s time, and I’m going away to [another city] with my mother.

This is going to be… difficult.

Things that tick me off

Food does not have a moral value. It isn’t good or bad, it just is. I need to eat it to live, and yes, it’s tasty.

For me, the question comes down to: Does this help my overall goal. My overall goals are:

  1. Be healthy. At the moment, this involves getting my cholesterol down, getting my blood pressure down, stopping my knees from hurting.
  2. Be happy. Exercise will help me with this.

At the moment, cake does not fit into my overall goal. It’s very calorie dense and while I COULD fit it into my calories for the day, I can’t do so and not feel ravenous a couple of hours later.

Then there’s carb crash. The thing you need to know is: I am a scientist. I observe causes and effects and sometimes treat my own body as if it’s part of a scientific experiment. What I have observed is:

If I eat a huge meal comprising mostly of high GI foods, even if I don’t under- or over-eat my allotted calories, the next day I will feel ravenously hungry, weepy and moody.

I can eat the cake. But it doesn’t help me with where I want to be, and I eat it in the knowledge that the next day, I’m going to feel horrible. Cake’s not bad. Neither am I if I decide to eat it. I just don’t want to at the moment, thank you.

I refuse to feel guilt connected to food. I have knowledge. I am in control. Sometimes, hunger or cravings will lead me to make decisions that don’t support my overall goal. That’s fine, it hasn’t wrecked my chances forever, it’ll just take a little longer to get there.

The main thing is not how many times you fail, but how many times you keep trying until you succeed.

I am obese.

I know this.

Every single thing in our culture is geared to telling me that, being female, my obesity impacts my beauty and therefore my worth.

This is bullshit. It may impact my beauty/attractiveness. That’s largely subjective and not really something I’m responsible for (the argument that women should be beautiful is something I have problems with.) It does not, in any way, impact my worth.

I’m still the person I am. I’m as intelligent, cranky, kind. I still have the job I have. The family and friends I love. These are the things my worth is based on, not on my weight.

I actually have a hard time as a feminist justifying why I should lose weight. Then we come to the following:

My weight does impact my health. I have high blood pressure. High cholesterol. My knees hurt. All of these things will improve by losing weight. Also, trivially, I would just LIKE TO BE ABLE TO GO INTO STORES AND BUY ATTRACTIVE CLOTHES.

So my journey begins. I’m doing this mostly by diet and calorie restriction. I’ll try to add a little bit of exercise and gradually ramp it up.

I’ve got vague, inchoate feelings of what I want this blog to be. I want to update at least once a week. I want to remain more or less focussed on weight–not my job, not any other personal stuff.

I may provide weekly photos, I may not. I haven’t decided.