Hello!  I am finally back after being absent from this blog for months!  Or that’s how long it feels anyway.  From what I remember, I was about to tackle the Taste of London Event! 

Well, to put a long story short – the event was entertaining enough but surprisingly dull in comparison to what I was expecting.  For half a year we were under the impression that it would be spectacular, and far better than the Taste of Christmas Event – which in my opinion was pretty damned spectacular.  There were countless stalls selling interesting and novel goods, and the food was spot-on, pretty much as I would expect for award-winning chefs and restaurants.  However the same could not be said of the London Event this summer.  The food was probably 50/50 – out of every 10 stalls we tried, at least half were not up to expectation, which is a shame because the dishes were not cheap!  When it comes to food, I am the kind of person who would happily pay extra for quality – and it was a disappointment to see so much mediocre food being served for such expensive prices.  There were also less gift stalls, and a lot of it was centred around beer and alcohol.  This probably appealed to many visitors there, but as a non-alcohol drinker, it was less of an attraction and more of a nuisance. 

I wanted to post up some photos of the day, but it has been so long since the event (sorrryyy  >_<; ) that it’s barely relevant now.  We were blessed with reasonably good weather on the day so it was overall an enjoyable experience.  However we are now looking forward to revisiting the Taste of Christmas this year!

So back to the present – we already know my detox went completely tits-up.  But over the last few weeks I’ve been continually struggling with my determination and lack of will-power.  I’m usually quite a disciplined person but it’s these long, random periods of loss of control I get into that causes me to gain weight again.

Recently I noticed that the WWDiary application for Android had been updated to calculate points for Weight Watchers the UK way.  This was exciting for me as it would make my life a lot easier if I can track my points on my phone, rather than the PC – which was what I used to have to do when I was subscribed to WW online.  There are still many updates needed for this program before it will be optimized for us UK users, but it’s a huge leap forward all the same.  At the very least I can start calculating my food points on the fly, and the rest just requires some diligent leg work using the net!  I think I mentioned this app already in a previous post – so please do go and have a look – it’s free and fabulous. 

So yesterday, I started back on WW.  My life seems like an endless cycle of diets, a feeling which I’m sure a lot of readers will be able to relate to.  But I feel like I have to make this last stand against Piggy, I just refuse to have him ruin anymore summers for me.  I noticed that I am never slim when it matters the most, like holidays, birthdays and summer, something I find frustrating to no end.  So, whilst there are still a few more summery months to go, I’m going to make one last attempt to ditch the extra lbs and finally get down and STAY down at my goal weight.

I will be updating my progress as I go, I weigh myself once a week on a Monday – currently I am 134lbs (9 stone, 8lbs) and will be aiming for between 105-112lbs (7.5-8 stones).  Day one was successful, having eaten a good 14 of my 17 pts for the day so I have 3 pts banked for a rainy day.  My sister and I did a WW-friendly shop today at the supermarket, so we are armed and ready for the next few months of weight loss. 

Wish me luck for Day Two!   

 

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Hello everyone!  I don’t know how many of you have got a chance to read my last post (so boring and so long, yes I know), but it is one day before The Taste of London and I thought I should give you a blow by blow account of my week-long detox so far.

It’s been an interesting experience; you might remember that I was due to go to my nephew’s birthday party last weekend just as I started my detox.  Well in brief, that was an utter disaster!  I hadn’t mentally prepared myself enough, I didn’t feel determined enough and the food on offer was far too tempting.  I ended up having a beef burger AND a pork sausage (both were scrummy by the way), and a spare rib.  So much for no red meat!  I was completely weak and had no resolve to stay away from the BBQ.  I then ended the day by generally gorging on too much of everything else.  It was in every way a complete FAIL.

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Later on in the week, I went to celebrate another birthday at an Indian Tapas restaurant.  It was delicious, my vice being the coconut and almond sweet naan bread.  I had 2 in total, and a whole bunch of other things.  Suffice it to say I was overly full, again.

After that, I finally got a rest from the special occasions and managed a reasonably healthy day at home and got the courage to step onto the scales again after a nice, pick-me-up mini spa I did at home (don’t be fooled by the sound of that, I just exfoliated and did a face mask in the bathroom LOL) and I found I had somehow lost 2lbs!  I was elated nonetheless, I didn’t really care how.

So, by this time it became Friday and I was back at work and out of boredom I started looking online at the equations for working out the correct calorie intake for weight loss again, and checking out useful weight loss apps for my brand spanky new phone.  Turns out, a developer has made a BRILLIANT app that supports the Weight Watchers programme called the WWdiary.  He is not affiliated with WW themselves, but the app is the perfect WW portable aid.  Like the PC version, it has a tracker, points calculator and various bits and bobs that emulates what you would have at home and it is just fabulous.  He is constantly making updates and patches for it as well, and it’s available FREE on the Android Market.  Currently his app is for the US version of WW, which I can confirm is slightly different to here in the UK.  Those of you who are on WW or have been in the past, will know we measure our food by saturated fat and calories – the US version however does it by Calories, Fat and Fibre.  Their daily points allowance also is worked out differently to us, so I am waiting patiently for him to implement the UK version, which I have confirmation will be coming soon!  For those of you in the US who are interested and have Android phones, you can find the link to his programme here, or you can scan this barcode to go straight to install from your phone.

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Please try it out and if you like it, consider donating to the developer for his dedicated and thoughtful efforts.  There is no minimum amount for donation so every little helps!  And for us UK users, we will have to anxiously await the relevant version.

ANYHOW, back to the subject – my research into these various things has re-ignited my drive to lose weight, and I managed a really healthy day yesterday. Also, I managed my pledge to go a week without milk tea!  Well, almost a week – but it’s close enough.  The first few days were simply awful, it was so depressing when I couldn’t have my cup of tea, but after a few more days the urge for it became weaker and my disappointment when I realised I couldn’t have one lessened.  I did have one sneaky, diluted cup last night with my dinner – but it barely registered as I drank it down cold (I got very busy helping out the family business and didn’t get to it in time) and I haven’t awoken with an urge for a fresh cup, so I count that as a small success! (Low standards, I know).

So, tomorrow is The Taste of London.  I am excited and anxious in equal measure, because I know there is going to be so much lovely food, and also because I know there is going to be…so much lovely food.  Oh dear.  I will let you all know how that goes…wish me strength!

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Weight A Minute…

12/06/2010

074  Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!  It’s so nice to be back!!!

As promised, I am back on here too!  Many apologies to anyone who was waiting for an update, I really have been such a disappointment!  But, fret not – I return! In fact, there are so many things to talk about that this might end up being an overly long post, which I’m not keen on…Anyway let’s see how it goes.

The post will have to be split up into topics because there’s really THAT many things to cover – and I don’t want to end up rambling about everything in one endless ream. So, here goes nothing:

  • My Weight So Far
  • The Low GI (South Beach) Diet
  • My Renewed Action Plan – DETOX

My Weight So Far

Looking back at my last post here, all I can do is cringe in shame.  Why? Because I’ve gone and repeated the same pattern all over again.  Granted my slow and gradual descent back onto the heavy side of the scales was slower and more gradual than in the past, but undoubtedly I am feeling my trousers tighten again as I lose control of what and how much I eat.  I have managed to stop myself before going overboard like last time, but the dreaded muffin-top is back with a vengeance.  It has been a couple months since I cancelled my Weight Watcher’s subscription and the results are quite obviously showing.  I hadn’t quite reached my goal when this happened, but I became quite disgruntled by their recent update, which caused their online database to become inconsistent and inaccurate.  I emailed several complaints only to get fobbed off by totally moronic customer service reps, so in the end I decided I wouldn’t be paying £10.00 a month for an incomplete service.

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Despite berating myself for my lack of discipline and weakness, I have been able to look back and identify the cause this time, which previously I hadn’t been able to do so clearly.  And thankfully, this time I know it wasn’t linked to any emotional event/period or situation, and more to do with my greed and lax control.  I must admit that for a brief while it did feel futile, I felt like throwing in the towel and just admitting defeat.  This destructive cycle of fat, thin, fat again is enough to drive me crazy and I was really ready to just surrender.  Luckily that moment passed and although it took a while to feel confident again, I am pleased to report I am back.

I have weighed myself this morning for the first time in months, and the numbers are scary but not as bad as they could be.  Of course this probably means that my goal of reaching my ideal weight by July is unlikely, but I am pleased to have found the strength to curb it before it got out of hand.  Without a doubt, with age and experience I AM getting stronger.  At 9 stone 9 pounds, I have at least 9 pounds to lose to get back into my perfect size 10, and then another 7 pounds before I reach my healthy weight.  I believe for American and Canadian readers that would be a size…8? So just over a whole stone (6.3kgs) to lose then! (T_T;).

The Low GI Diet

So I did promise that I would touch on this topic in my last post, not that anyone will remember because it’s been that long, but I thought it might actually be relevant and informative nonetheless.

A long time ago (we’re talking years here) when I was living away from home, I embarked on the Low GI Diet, aka the South Beach Diet.  The aim of this diet focuses on the impact of food on your blood sugar levels, which is measured by the Glycemic Index.  Eating low GI foods will cause sugar to release more slowly as energy, and not to be stored as fat.  This in turn means you will feel more satisfied and in theory, eat less and more healthily.  It was a pretty straight forward regime, I bought a book (I love buying books for things!) that detailed foods naturally low in GI which also had a barrage of recipes at the back and marched bravely along.

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The diet in theory (check this page out for more in-depth detail) is pretty sound and is one of those more geared towards changing your lifestyle rather than a quick-fix diet that you do for a few months.  However, back then I had little insight into my eating habits and flaws and therefore very little control over my quantities.  Couple that with long late shifts, bad sleeping patterns and a student budget, I was shovelling all manners of crap into my system.

My Renewed Action Plan – DETOX

So, armed with determination and the protesting fat kid in my head screaming his brains out – let’s call him Piggy for short (it’s definitely a he – that wasn’t a mistake), I am ready to get back on track and start by detoxing.  This isn’t a traditional detox, where I would drink only water and eat dust to clean out my system – unfortunately that just isn’t practical for me and I would be setting myself up for failure from the start.  I will however, draw on those low GI sermons and cut out red meat for a week and drink only water. There is a reason for this, trust me.

The Taste of London Event

In one week’s time, we are going to a London food exhibition – The Taste of London Event, which is run annually in Regent’s Park.  We attended The Taste of Christmas Event in 2009 and loved it, and so plan to go to the summer event which runs between 17th June to the 20th June.  At the exhibition, award-winning restaurants and chefs set up stalls and offer a selection of new and signature dishes for attendees to try.

So.  I will give a full run-down on how that unfolds next week.  Back to the point at hand, because of this upcoming event and in light of how much I’ve been over indulging lately, I have decided that it would make sense to fine tune my detox so that I can feel better by the time I have to next over indulge, and to give me some confidence to get back on track.  Because despite my most earnest efforts and intentions, I know that I will not be holding back at the event and considering that rare occasion that it is, I do not wish to anyhow – after all you only live once, and these occasions are there to be savoured.  It’s my everyday life that I need to be tightening the reigns on.

Initially I thought I might only eat vegetables for a week, cut out all meat and only drink water as I know meat and quantity are my biggest downfall.  But – and here’s another new fact you will learn about me, I am a big, big, big (elephant), BIG meat lover.  Yes; I am very, unashamedly fond of meat.  I respect the opinions and beliefs of vegetarians, vegans, fruitarians and all the other –ians.  But I love meat and there’s no changing that so I hope any vegetarian readers out there do not cringe too much when I go on about delicious meat.

Considering all this then – I would probably not fare well with no meat at all.  I do know however, that in these last few weeks where Piggy has taken full, frontal-lobe control that I have been over consuming the red meat, which is responsible for the majority of the fat content that I consume.  Therefore, it would make sense to cut the red out for a week to ease me back onto the right path.  The water as I’m sure most people will know, will help to flush all the salt and toxins I’ve built up so hopefully I will feel less bloated by the end of the week as well. I’ve also been shamelessly downing cup after cup of milk tea, which is another of my vices.  I am not a big coffee person, but tea I find irresistible.  This probably has something to do with the fact that my mum used to bottle-feed me the stuff as a baby.  It’s in my blood!

So.  Water only then. 31101407-2-1c324

I will try and update a short(!) day-by-day report on what I have eaten starting from tomorrow and hopefully I will see some positive change in the way I feel, if not the scales by the end of the week.  I have to battle through my nephew’s birthday party tomorrow as well, so I really hope there’s a white meat alternative, as I hear they’re planning on duck and pork…

And lastly, I’ve decided that I probably really do need to do exercise to change my weight for good.  I’ve avoided it like the plague for years since quitting martial arts, which I used to be completely engaged in.  But as a rule, I am not a sporty person, I don’t enjoy the gym and have no drive for sports.  All my dieting life I have tried to change and control my weight by controlling what I eat, because despite having its own set of difficulties, it still seems like less effort than breaking out in a sweat.  Sounds like Piggy talking, right?  Probably is.  At the peak of my fitness I was training 6 days a week, aching and bruised everyday (martial arts, remember?) and loving it.  But after moving far away for university, I reluctantly had to quit and haven’t picked it back up since returning.  Consequently I have become unfit and lethargic, and my muscles have all degraded.

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I suppose my main drive is that I want to be able to enjoy my body at its fittest again, to be able to wear clothes I look good in and to not worry about baring some arms and legs when it gets warm.  I want to feel confident when out, and not constantly fretting about how fat my face looks in photos.  Where I am in life now, it will not be long before I plan to start a family and we all know that bar a lucky few and celebrities, a woman never quite regains her shape after pregnancy X_X…

With that in mind, I’ve decided that whilst I’ve got some free time in the week, I will take my pedometer and mp3 player and go walking.  I will try and walk my recommended 10,000 steps if I can, on as many days as I can manage.  I don’t know how well that will go, but for this week it will be an experiment, to see how far I actually have to walk before I achieve my 10,000 steps a day.  That will hopefully put into perspective how much walking I should really be doing on a daily basis.

Right.  Many thanks and well done if you got all the way to the end, I really appreciate it and hope it was a reasonably worthwhile read.  Bed time!

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Stay tuned to see what I ended up eating at my nephew’s birthday party! 

Bear with me, I have been jumping back and editing posts because I have been really pushed for time this week; bizarre eye-candy on previous post for you to gawk at!

Ok… aaaaand continue!

Shortly after the shocking revelation that I looked more hippo than human, I embarked on a punishing and expensive diet.  But throughout the years, I had probably done them all without much success.  Low GI diets, juice diets, Slim Fast, Kellogg’s, the Japanese diet, the French diet, the Complete-And-Utter-Nonsense diet – by now I should have been a dieting expert.

After reading an article about a scientifically-backed diet called SureSlim (a full review of this diet later), I was desperate enough to part with £300+ to get my life and my body back in shape.  For about five months I lived a strict and miserable existence, weighing every gram of food and eating smaller portions than my baby nephew.  Undoubtedly it was the fastest I have ever lost weight; within the first month I was already a stone (14lbs) lighter. 

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By the time it ended I came back from holiday with the first set of photos ever where I wasn’t spoiling the scenery, but the intense regime took its toll.  I was exhausted from always having to cook three meals in advance and making sure the fridge was always stocked with the correct ingredients for the stringent menu we followed.  My allowance was so restricted that I stopped going out to eat completely for fear that I could not control what went into my food, and I began obsessing constantly about what I could eat, what I couldn’t eat and what I wished I was allowed to eat.  I descended into what can only be described as mild insanity, as I would find myself randomly reeling off list of foods that I wanted to eat to anyone who would listen.  Mostly people found it amusing, but inside I was frantic – every waking moment was consumed with thoughts of delicious food that I couldn’t have. I even dreamt about food…

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Despite this, the diet opened my eyes to concepts and principles that I had not previously understood and the vegetable-heavy menu radically changed my palette.  As well as shrinking my appetite, I began wanting vegetables and fruit in my meals regularly, whereas before I would have readily accepted meat and potatoes for the rest of my life.  There are many important things I have taken from SureSlim that I attribute to my current and continuing improvement, so definitely the diet is not without merit.  I only wish it could have been a little cheaper!  As things turned out, the diet came to an abrupt end when in my sensitive and often volatile state, I experienced a few rude phone calls from one of their reps, and then later a humiliating weigh-in where I had gained a couple pounds and was made to feel two inches tall.  My mind snapped and I decided that I was not going to pay £300 to be ridiculed by ill-mannered staff, and so I quit.  I had already lost enough to be an almost ‘normal’ weight for my height, and somehow convinced myself I would be able to go it alone.

In the year that followed, I regained half of what I lost without noticing.  My clothes got suspiciously tighter and I began disliking my photos again, but just like before I became deluded by my skewed sense of self-perception.  Some days I saw what I really looked like in the mirror and would feel horribly depressed, instantly launching into some half-arsed attempt at calorie counting, but other days I didn’t feel so bad and convinced myself I hadn’t really gained much; but not once did I have the courage to step on the scales and meet the truth head-on.

Unsurprisingly it was another bad photo that brought me back to reality.  The feeling of déjà vu was overwhelming – how had I let myself get like this again?

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Reflecting on the perpetual battle I always seemed to be engaged in, I knew I had to put an end to it; at 25 I had little excuse to continue beating my body up this way, after wasting so many years abusing myself with food I realised I had to change – not just what I was eating, but my mentality as well.

When you have spent this many years dieting, you learn the pitfalls and common mistakes you make in each process.  I know for a fact after flushing thousands of pounds down the toilet that I am NOT a gym person. That kind of workout bores me to tears and I find it difficult to engage in such monotonous exertion.  I felt that if I had to change something it would first be my relationship with food, and how I perceived it.  Around this time I discovered Weight Watchers (a review of this to follow also), and having heard such good things about it I decided it was worth looking at.  I must say I approached this commitment with a sense of caution and anxiety after my last run-in with a diet that wanted my money, but within weeks I realised that I had finally found something that worked for me, and with any luck it will keep on working until I reach my goal.  I plan to reach it by July this year, which will be my birthday; trust me when I say I have my fingers AND toes crossed.

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In a nutshell, that is my journey so far. It would be impossible to condense twenty five years into two pages, so I will have to fill in the gaps as I go in later posts. Thanks for reading!

Next post: My Encounter with The Low GI (South Beach) Diet!

 

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So it would probably be appropriate to begin by digging back through the years gone by, and showing you where the problem with my weight started.

Age 7-12

I LOVE food.  Delicious, yummy food of all varying types, shapes and sizes.  Asian food, western food, hot food (delicious), cold food (not so much) just mostly anything edible is fair game at this point.  I have not yet become an emotional-eater, my weight is starting to seriously destabilise from overindulgence and I am completely oblivious to it.  I am an anxious child who hears too much, doesn’t understand enough and have a tendency to ruminate, but otherwise am reasonably happy. 

Age 13-16

Teenage angst and hormones have taken full control and I am an overweight, spotty and emotionally-erratic nightmare.  My temper is short and I am pent-up and aggressive towards my siblings, my parents and myself.  Unlike some people who eat to make themselves feel better, I lose my appetite because I associate eating with happy situations, and finding myself regularly in unhappy situations, I find it impossible to eat.  When my mood inevitably lifts I am overcome by ravenous hunger and I stuff my face like a big, bad pig.  This destructive pattern repeats itself for three years, meanwhile my hormones do a good job of convincing me I would be better off dead. 

Age 17-19

By chance I discover martial arts.  The cocktail of endorphins and serotonin that I inevitably get from the physical exertion has a miraculous, lifting effect on my emotional wellbeing and my outlook in life.  I become incredibly addicted and consequently find myself training four or five times a week, hours at a time.  All the while the excess weight is falling off, but I barely notice it.  I am too busy training to even care.

Age 20-24

I make an impulse decision to study three hundred miles from home, and reluctantly leave my passion behind to begin university.  I fail to take up an alternative form of exercise and due to a combination of ready-meals, a volatile relationship and sheer laziness the weight starts to creep back on.  Before I know it, I begin to resemble that big, bad pig again.  Despite this, I continue to shovel plate after plate full of rubbish into my body and take taxis to the corner shop.

Even as student life ends and I return home, my poor eating habits follow me.  I have a calmer, more stable relationship but now I struggle to contend with a big, greedy gut that has become far too accustomed to large amounts of food to feel satisfied.  I find myself unable to resist any offers to eat out, and take every opportunity I have to feed my face.  On several holidays in this period, I eat so much and so frequently that hunger becomes a completely alien concept.  I am humongous, but I don’t know this.

Present Day

The turning point was when I looked at the holiday photos.  The huge, repulsive moose that stared back at me was a truly horrifying sight.  As absurd as it sounds, I didn’t realise I looked like that.  Even though I was buying larger and larger sizes in my clothes and growing more and more avoidant of cameras, I did not once look in the mirror and see what I saw in those photos that day. 

BEHOLD!  The BEAST!

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There were some even more horrific ones of me eating… But I’ll spare you because I am merciful. 

Alas it is 1am already and I have work tomorrow, the rest of the story will have to wait.  More to come!

 

 

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Ok so maybe that title is a bit dramatic.  But let me explain…

I have been on a diet for as long as I can remember.  Not just one diet, but many, many, many, many diets.  Too many diets to count on two hands and maybe then some.  I was raised to love food by people who loved food, and when I say ‘loved’, I mean in more ways than just the standard.

Genetics probably has something to do with it; my father is overweight and my mother has never been naturally slim, and with them both being comparatively short in stature I guess the odds were stacked against me from the beginning.

I started this Blog to share my experiences in weight-loss and my journey towards inner and outer happiness from past to present; from faddy dieting to methods that have really worked, and the reasons why they did.  My ongoing journey will be documented here without reservation; if something made me smile, I will let you know – and if they made me cry, I will let you know that too.  Above all, I hope that in chronicling my obstacles, failures and successes I will be able to help someone else who, like me, wants to stop dieting…and start LIVING.

So, what ARE you weighting for?  Let’s go.  

 

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