Weight loss tracker

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Re-inventing the wheel?

I'm a sucker for breakfast programmes. I just cannot start my day, do my hair, dress up without the BBC Breakfast droning in the background. Do you talk back to the telly too? Especially when they force silly issues on screen just to fill the time up? There is really nothing more important happening in the whole wide world? Hmm...

This morning I had a – I felt – very justified reason to talk back at the little screen, thus robbing hubby of his last minute snoozing. There was a piece on a new research going on about what makes people obese. If you feel  inclined, here is the link – but be warned: you’re not going learn much... 

Ok, my issue: someone please tell me how is this a new research? I mean we (the general population) already know since Horace Fletcher (1849–1919), that chewing your food more thoroughly and taking smaller bites makes you eat less. That – in a very basic level – makes you take in less calories, therefore lose weight. And I’m all for educating the public, but this university is taking in big grants for reinventing the wheel! That money could possibly be much better spend like – I don’t know – giving free training courses to kids or overweight people who cannot afford the gym, etc.

But that was just one little point. What made me shout a bit louder at the telly, is when they report that at the end of the scientific trial the woman comes out of the pod and they gauge her appetite by offering her all kinds of foods to eat and watching her choice. Now you tell me: how are they going to get any useful information out of that? Because I can guarantee you that no one will go for the Snickers bar or the cake on offer when watched by researchers! They are going to go for the salad. Or lean meat.

So that was my point this morning: you will not get reliable results, as the fact that you are watching your subjects will change how they decide. THAT’S fact! Even subatomic particles behave differently under the scrutinising eyes of the scientists, never mind human beings! ((Stick a candid camera in our homes and watch us filling up on Hob-Nobs after we get home or ordering a curry on Friday night: that’s how people get obese.))

Oops, have I been too hard on them?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Venting furstration - and doggies

Just a pre-script, so you all know: I’m not generally a wimp or a whinger. But I feel the need to vent now.

I had the night from hell... My back is getting worse by the day – now I cannot pick things up comfortably and there are places I cannot properly wash in the shower (too much information?). But I decided earlier this week that will not hold me back from a good week.
However, I had an awful migraine creeping up on me during the night. And the irritating thing is, that around 1am I knew I should bloody go and get my headache pill and that would be the end of it; but every single time I tell myself – half asleep – that it’s not so bad and if I could just go back to sleep it will go away. Well, it did not go away. It never does. Why don’t I learn? Maybe because bed is still far too comfy to get out of in the middle of the night... Lazy b**ch.
Fast forward to 5am and my head is ready to explode with every single movement. Add that to the other issue, namely that I cannot really move because now my back hurts so much. You get the picture... I wished I could curl up and die between 5am and 7am. And although at 5am I actually went down to the kitchen and took my pill (which need to be cut up as it’s far too big for me to swallow), now it doesn’t make a dent in my headache. It also did not help that the scale was 0.6lbs up this morning... I suspect TOM, because I honestly did not have anything naughty in last couple of days. To eat I mean. All this in a neatly packaged in a rainy Wednesday morning, and I did not feel chipper much.

So there. Emailed my boss, told her I’m coming in a little late due to being dead. I dragged myself to the office, via a pharmacy where I loaded up with all kinds of things to put me back on track.
I must have looked so bad that my boss said I should have just stayed at home... That woman is always right.

Now I’m sitting at my desk, looking at a handful of chopped up pills (Ginseng, Q10, water retention tablets, calcium, multi vit...) and trying to keep my head off the desk.

But you know what: I still packed and carried my gym bag with me this morning. It is workout Wednesday, and I convinced myself that I might feel better by 5pm, so I can do some working out bad back and all. VERY ambitious! Old me would have avoided that gym stuff altogether and only concentrate on getting home and curl up on the sofa. So that’s a good thing I learnt about myself today. Yey!

About food: I made my first ever butternut squash soup yesterday. I don’t think I will ever make it again... Hubby put on a brave face and finished his portion. But the dog seemed to enjoy my leftovers immensely. I love my dog! Here it is... can you make him out from all the fur?

He used to look like this:

But then I got fed up with all the hair around the house, so took him for his first haircut:

Yeah, I know it was a bit too severe..., so ever since we have him “medium” long. His name is Archibald, and he’s a Tibetan terrier.

Well, in the very bottom of my heart he’s still not half as great as my Athos was – the Irish setter I got myself when I was 20 years old. He sadly passed away two years ago suffering from babesiosis (a parasitic infection spread by ticks). I still cry every time I see an Irish setter on telly or on the street.... Here is a close up of the greatest dog ever walked the face of Earth:

I digressed... It's probably because of the Solpadeine - it's say on the box: can cause addiction... My headache's nearly gone, though.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Going public

I’m in hiding. I mean I’ve not come out regarding my surgery – yet.
Of course my nearest and dearest all know it, but that’s a very limited circle of people I know or converse with on a daily basis.

I do not have a lot of friends, but only the closest ones know I had surgery. My family – well, my immediate family – also aware. Not my father... I haven’t talked to them since February and anyway, that’s a long story. None of my co-workers know it, nor people I’m in touch with on Facebook.

I kept this info from work colleagues because first I thought I would not be allowed sick leave if they know what kind of surgery I’m having. So I went with “abdominal surgery”, which my GP graciously replicated on my sick note. I always told everyone prior to the op that I just don’t want to talk about it. And they respected that. But then how can you come clear from such a “web of lies” (half truths)? I just cannot see the way. So it must remain private. But because some of my colleagues are also contacts on Facebook, I cannot really out myself there, now can I? You see how the plot thickens...

I wish I could make a general announcement telling everyone, but I just couldn’t master the courage so far. Apart from the work bit, prior to the surgery I did not tell people because I did not want to counter their disagreement or negative opinions. Now I simply scared that they will call me a liar... I know there are people out there who’d be interested in my experiences or just simply like to hear my stories, but I cannot unfortunately separate them from those who I feel should not know about it.

So I’m playing it safe. Until someone outs me incidentally. Or until I change jobs. Whichever comes first.

Have you been in these kind of predicaments? How did you solve it? Did you solve it?

Monday, 24 October 2011

At work...

Contrary to my earlier post today - I managed to concentrate on something at work.
((Work is being pretty slow lately. Which is good news if you are a facilities manager... it means things are working just fine...))
The facts that I did some effective research and learnt completely transferable skills in the process might make up for the other fact that my overall drive was not the slightest work related... Ho-humm...
I wanted to create a weight-loss forecasting spreadsheet.

This is how the chart looks (the picture quality does not do justice to the great work!):

Ohhh.. I do love my spreadsheets!!!

Now, according to the tireless elves working behind the scenes and crunching my numbers, I might not meet my Christmas target (it's showing slightly above 180 for that date - if you click on the picture it might open it up in bigger version), however, my ultimate target of getting down to 150lbs by 29/05/12 is completely do-able. That's great news!

Also, because I used a forecasting formula, if my pattern of weight loss changes with time, the forecasted weight will also re-calculate accordingly. Don't you just love it?!

If you are interested in the spreadsheet behind all this, just drop a comment or email me and I send you the original file.

Only 3 more hours to kill...

Happy Monday!

Scattered brain, scattered thoughts, scattered results

I am a bit frustrated. I've been swinging back and forth between 198 and 202 lbs in the last month. Fair enough, there was over 2 week long hiatus in my focused efforts called holiday, but even since I'm back and doing the same things I did before my weight is just toying between these two figures. Like it cannot made its mind up. Or it just feels it’s to difficult for it to focus its efforts on going in the right direction. As I'm eating the usual 1029 (hahh, that’s a nice round number...) kcal food each day, I think I have to dial the exercise up a notch. At least until I start properly losing again.

This scatteredness (is that a word?) effects other areas in my life too: prime example is my reading. I’ve hoarded around two dozen books in the last two months I seriously intend to read, but every time I pick one up it just doesn’t do the usual trick of swallowing me whole so I can get lost between the pages. And I tried all sorts of topics (I am an omnivore when it comes to reading).

Even my old, reliable friend, TV has lost its appeal. There are weeks and weeks worth of Carnivale, Spooks, Six Feet Under, etc. to go through, but I just cannot face concentrating on any given topic. I cannot even sit still on my sofa for more than 10 minutes.

Is this winter setting in? The dreaded “hibernation” period coming closer? I only know that there is permanent fog around my thoughts, nothing is really clear, and it feels like I cannot make an effort in any shape or form (I haven’t even cooked a nice meal in ages, so not even that form). And what most annoying of all is that I feel like I cannot shrug this off... I believe that one of my strongest traits is that I born with the uncanny ability to pick myself up and work myself through any situation – especially when it comes to mental struggles. It seems to lost its efficiency for the time being. I’m just milling through the days, waiting for the inner shrug so I can start properly functioning again.

I’m going out to Boots this lunch break and get myself some ginseng. That might do the trick (I was very-very lax with my vitamins and supplements lately...) – and a pill cutter if I’m at it: I still cannot swallow any pills in one. I also need a good stash of Ibuprofen: yesterday I did my first run outside (as opposed to the treadmill) and my back hurts like hell...

Until next, I remain you permanently fogged 200lbs virtual friend – have a great week everyone!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Thank you Momma!

Amazing the resourcefulness of bloggers...

I've been following Bandster Momma and through her blog I discovered the TCBOTB.
If you are a newby blogger and haven't heard of them, please do yourself a favour and click the link above.

I immediately decided to autumn-ise my page. I hope you like it.

I love to learn new things! Thanks Brenda!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Food choices on holiday - and what did I learn about my husband

(Sorry about the length.. got carried away...)
I mentioned earlier that I used to live and work in Sharm El Sheikh couple of years ago, and therefore I do know where you can get good food: I have my favourite seafood place, my favourite Italian, Lebanese, Egyptian, sandwich, etc. places. And every time I go back I make sure I schedule a visit to each of these - they are like tiny little time-capsules for me, bringing up the nostalgic "good old times". And they make good grab too! Furthermore, although it was nearly ten years ago I frequented these establishments on a regular basis, the waiting staff and managers still remember me (not like I'm so unforgettable, but because that's what they do with returning customers). And it feels good to be remembered! Hell, in "my" Italian place the waiter even remembered what I used to order! (fresh mango juice, seafood spaghetti, Om Ali for dessert). It also helped that when I was back in Sharm I was always with my sister - and she absolutely digs the same food as I do. No disagreement, no compromises!
However, hubby hates - absolutely abhors - middle eastern cuisine. How can he, that's still a mystery for me that being one of my favourite type of food, but he does. And he does not let me forget that he does. So this time, first time ever, I had to compromise on my SSH dinner choices - taking into account what His Majesty is willing to eat. We had arguments about this topic, over and over again. It's kind of futile, because he's saying the same things, I'm saying the same things and we never get any closer to compromise. But, because now food should not - SHOULD NOT - be my primary concern, it was much easier for me to let go of the decision of picking our dinner. Which decisions then he reluctantly made each night - still very much relying on my local knowledge.
HSo first night we went to my absolute favourite seafood place: Fares. The original one, in Old Market, not the newly sprung up ones all around town. And of course they remembered me, we got the "managerial treatment", having the boss picking out our catch of the day. The prawns... oh dear heavens! I could live on them forever! Grilled or battered, or fried or in a soup... they are absolutely divine - and HUGE! So we had 10 of them grilled and some battered, and a little lemon sole grilled. We did not order rice or fries or pasta - just the fish, which comes with a selection from their salad bar including tahini, babaganouch, fried spicy aubergines (I love them!) and mix salads - none of these hubby eats. So that all sound very healthy, and it is, don't take me wrong. But being caught up in the nostalgia of my "good old days", I somehow completely forgot that now I have a little band around my upper stomach... you can guess the result: after about 2 bites from the grilled (and juicy) prawns, I was stuck. Cutlery put down, eyes wide open, deep breathing commences... Hubby already knows the signs and panics every time he sees them... Anyway, I was fine after about 5-10 minutes, did not throw up, carried on eating. The secret was, as I learned on that first night: eating REALLY slow, tiny-tiny bites and chewing for England! (I was stuck nearly every night, but haven’t PB’d at all!)
Now that I learned that, there was no stopping me: I cleared off 4 prawns, half the sole and most of the side dishes. We went back to Fares 2 more times during the 2 weeks.
Next day, hubby grudgingly acquiesced to frequent a middle eastern restaurant – all lovely grilled meat, dips, bits of pastry filled with cheese and fragrant herbs or mince. I just love it!!!! But that was David’s downfall... He ate some rice on the side, which I did not. Everything else we shared from the same plates. 90 minutes later he was in pain, running for the first washroom we could find... He got proper food poisoning. Not the usual “tourist-tummy” which so many visitors to Egypt experience, but proper, fully blown food poisoning with all night suffering from pain and constant, non-ending diarrhoea. And that was despite the great medication I’ve got him as soon as he started to feel funny. (The pharmacists in Egypt are great – they can diagnose and prescribe on the spot, they can even give you shots if needed.) So I was happy with the medicines he was given, but he was still tortured by pain all night – he was remarkably better by next morning. I wonder about the irony of the whole episode, though: he hated the idea of having dinner in that restaurant (one of my top 5 favourites), and we have a little domestic before we entered. I wanted to find another place which he’s happy with, he wanted to get this place “out of the way”, so we do not need to think about it again during the next two weeks.
By the way, the fact that he’s got so violently ill after having dinner there gives him a really strong trump card for the rest of our lives every time I’ll suggest eating in a middle eastern place... I know he will keep mentioning this, even when we are going to be frail and old and living on Malta (our retirement plan).

That put an end to any further attempt from me to try suggesting other good middle eastern restaurants during our holiday... Anyway, we both learnt a lot during these first two nights. I learnt (again and more deeply ingrained into my being) to eat SLOWLY and small bites, learnt to let him decide about where we’re going to have dinner, and he learnt not to eat cold rice or fries anymore and to trust me when I say he should take some medication or see a doctor. Major improvements on marriage front! :)

But from this night onwards, I sort of lost interest in what I’m eating. I just eat whatever I picked from whatever restaurants we ended up each night. I still avoided rice and pasta, but nothing else was off limits. I even had massive amounts of Pringles... One night we had dinner at TGI Fridays - everything was either covered or laid on cheese, or both. But the loaded potato skins and battered mushrooms were nice! I just made a point of chewing very well every little bit. But doing that I could nearly polish off the same portions as hubby did. He kept commenting on that: “hmm, it seems you had a lot tonight? How you’re feeling?” or “I’m surprised you finished that much of the pizza...” and other spiteful helpful comments. He insisted he’s doing this for my benefit, and I kept insisting that “I’m on holiday so I eat what I want”. We kept this conversation ongoing throughout the two weeks...
On the last night, after dinner he fancied a “proper” coffee, so we went to a Costa (where else? He’s English, for God’s sake! Duhh...) where I ordered a raspberry ice tea. I’m not an ice tea fan, but did not want coffee as I was very thirsty from a long walk. The tea was sooooo nice, that I decided to order another one to go – where commenced our biggest domestic of the holiday. It started with his comment on me not being in control of my eating again, consuming far too much calories, even more than him, and that’s why I had to have this wretched band put in me which keeps freaking him out even after 4 months and if I just can exercise some willpower I shouldn’t have had it done in the first place because all my problems with overeating come from my compulsion to “have more” which could be easily stumped out by said willpower and it definitely runs in my family (lack of willpower)...

Did you follow? Because I did try and did not believe what I was hearing...!! I was shocked and upset and sad and disappointed in the same time. I hadn’t felt that bad regarding my weight problems and food since months before my surgery! I was devastated that after all I’ve gone through and all the patient explanations and books and pillow talks my beloved husband still thinks what he does. Hell, it still upsets me now, just remembering it! How dare he?! And WTF??? I was so deeply disturbed by his argument, that I decided I’ll never going to convince him and make him a pro-band person (I was even convinced for 10 minutes that our marriage is over...). 
He’s always going to be someone who firmly believe that being overweight is SOLELY down to lack of willpower. I know I will have to pitch my future battles differently, because I have “passive supportive” husband. I made that up, based on “passive aggressive”. But that’s what he is. He’s proud of me that I made this decision, he’s even prouder seeing me losing all the weight. He’s incredibly pleased with the outcome so far and looking forward to more. He’s worried when sees I’m struggling with food and kindly reminds me to chew-chew-chew every single time we eat. But he firmly believes all this is because I could not/want not to push myself away from the table in time, like it would be “ladylike” and expectable from a nice girl. (one more point to put on my “Unlimited – work it out” sheets regarding harmful dynamics...)

What an enlightening two weeks we had...

Do you have someone similar in your closest circle? How do you deal with them? I would really love to know what's the best way, because I'm pretty sure he's not going to change... Any advice? I don't want to be angry at him any more because what he thinks, but it hurts that the person closest to me doesn't want to understand.
That was my opinion about his choice of dinner place that night...

Monday, 17 October 2011

Back to reality

I'm back in the office today.
I'm already missing the beach, the heat and the sunshine... And reading and swimming all day... ahhhhhhhhh

Anyway, this is just a quick check-in to let you know I'm still alive (barely, taking the quick set in of post-holiday depression...).

Even better news is that I've only put on 4 lbs in the last 2,5 weeks. Which is bordering miraculous as there was constant intake of fresh lemon juices made with real sugar syrup (no sugar-free option at the beach bar...), Pringles and some questionable food choices - but more about this in the next post.

Now I need to put my head down and get back to working mode, seriously. My desk is piled high with documents, my inbox is chock-a-block with unread problems of everyone at the charity, and fellow colleagues are moaning and whining since I stepped in this morning. Welcome in the life of a facilities manger!

By the way, hubby took his first ever flight to the USA yesterday! Somewhere around North Carolina (of all places) - he's being interviewed for a new position within his company by some big head at their client. I hope it goes well - I cannot wait to accompany him on future trips. I've never been over the big pond!

Tata everyone! More from me tomorrow.