It’s Been A While / Weigh-In Day

“It just wasn’t like the old days anymore
No, it wasn’t like those days, am I still ill?
Oh
Am I still ill?
Oh”

Hey folks, how the hell are y’all? Things round these parts have been pretty grim for a few weeks. That most recent bout of fibro flare-up really knocked me for six and I’ve basically been curled up like the corpse of Voldemort at the end of The Deathly Hallows when Harry briefly dies and meets up with the dead wizard headmaster dude (can’t remember his name right now, because brain-fog, lol) and asks what that thing is that looks like a dead foetus lying under a bench? Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ve been looking like lately. Super hot! It just started out the way these flare-ups usually do, but this time it started to spread all down my spine and into my legs and I’ve just been completely wiped out. There have been tears and plenty of feeling sorry for myself, but I’ve been doing my best to listen to some Stoicism on audiobook to try and pull myself out of it. Which isn’t all that easy when you’re completely off your face on pain meds and sleeping a much as possible under a chemical cosh, but it is what it is.

And I’m still not great. Better than I was, but still struggling with getting out and about. I then had a bit of a shock death of a family member come out of nowhere, which was actually really upsetting, but I pulled myself together to make the funeral (having to take off my shoes and walk barefoot to the graveside to sprinkle in the earth was a minor comedy moment, as my leg was in spasm and if I’d tried to make it there and back in my shoes I probably would’ve done an ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ and toppled in onto the coffin – which in hindsight would have amused the deceased family member in question no end, because of my well-known klutziness, lol). The service was beautiful and the wake just a perfectly jubilant celebration of the life of our departed relative. She would definitely have approved!

My hands are still a bit of a mess though. My fingers are swollen and wretched. It’s hurting like hell to type this, but I really wanted to swing by and give y’all an update on Project Arse Shrink! I bet y’all thought my absence from this blog denoted some underlying shame at having wandered off-plan or given up the low-carb WOE? Well I have only one thing to say to that:

Y’all really don’t know your girl by now if that’s what you thought. I’ve been eating low-carb every single day since 31st August 2020 and there hasn’t been ANYTHING that made me deviate from that commitment. Lockdown? Big deal, I got Amazon to deliver me whatever I need to my door. Sick? No excuse. Either you’re too sick to eat or you’re well enough to eat properly. Family bereavement and subsequent wake of buffet foods? I just brought a protein bar along with me and nibbled that with a black coffee while everyone else dug in. I’m not saying that I’ve been eating the perfect, whole-food, super-clean keto way every day…because on more than a couple of days it was all I could do to dip a protein bar in some almond butter and eat some sliced ham straight outta the packet like a straight savage.

But this is just how I eat now. I said I was going to commit to a thing…and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. It really got me to thinking about all those people who come up with a multitude of excuses as to why they had to go off-plan for one reason or another. Because that’s all they are – excuses. Self-validating lies that people come up with so they can abandon their plan and not get any disapproving comments from all the people whose approval they crave. If you want to have an excuse to give you a free-pass to giving up, you’ll find one. But if you’re determined to stick to something, you’ll find a way to do that too. I’ve gone over a week without showering, been unable to walk or cook anything for myself and not been physically able to go out and do any grocery shopping. And I still managed to stay on-plan and keep on losing weight. If I was able to stick to it, anyone can. You just have to want to.

And so, as I bring today’s brief update to a close, I’ll let y’all know what my new weight is. I am 13 stone 12lb (194lb). That means in the past 4 weeks I have lost another 4lb, which is an average of 1lb a week – and that’s goddamn near perfect at this stage of the game. (Especially when “Aunt Flo” week saw me incur a 5lb “ghost-gain” literally overnight! Only to be gone a few day later when the “Crimson Tide” receded, lol!) So yeah, things are plodding along exactly as I wanted and expected them to – only now my weight is down into the 13 stone bracket, which sounds insane! I’m not far off having lost 6 stone in weight since I began this little mission…and it’s become really noticeable to all my family who I saw at the funeral recently. Obviously I now want to shock the shit out of them even more when I see them again at Christmas, so we’re just going to carry on “dropping like it’s hot” because your girl is still on a mission here!

So on that note I shall bid y’all adieu and take this moment to remind you that the only thing standing in the way of getting where you want, is you. If losing weight and improving your health is important to you, you’ll find a way to make it work…and if you don’t? Well that’s entirely on you dawg.

Stay committed folks

Blue

“It Ain’t What You Do It’s The Way That You Do It (That’s What Get’s Results)”

“It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it
And that’s what gets results”

Props to those of you who got the reference in this blog title, before seeing the video – y’all are obviously as old and haggard as I am, lol. Well, maybe older but still in the same ball-park. I was 8 years old when my aunt (who was young and cool and really into pop-music) gave me ‘Bananarama’s Greatest Hits Collection’ on cassette for Christmas. I was totally psyched and played that album to death, either on the radio-cassette-player I had in my bedroom, or the ‘Sony Walkman’ I had practically glued to my hip wherever I went. I remember my mum telling me that this track was actually a cover of a much older song from back when she was a kid, but I didn’t care because this was new and cool and nothing like the music she and my dad listened to. It’s only as you get older that you realise how sooner or later everything comes back into fashion and what we think of as new and exciting trends really just wind up being updated versions of things gone by. My musical tastes have definitely changed since those days, but whenever I hear this song I’m back standing in front of my mirror, hairbrush in hand, singing along with all the effortlessly cool demeanour that 8 year old me could muster.

Anyway, what are we here to talk about today folks? Well, it’s something that I’ve touched on a few times before, but seems to be absolutely everywhere I look right now (always the case once you notice something, right?) and it’s people who seem hell-bent on staying in that yo-yo dieting mentality…despite trying to convince anyone who will listen to them that they’re:

Totally about the lifestyle change – for realsies!”

Uh-huh?

Do people even bother to check that the shit coming out of their mouths is even remotely consistent with their previously spouted crap, anymore? Or are we all just hoping that in this internet era of stunted attention spans that no one’s gonna even remember anything a week or so down the line? Because there are SO MANY hypocrites, liars and self-contradicting BS-merchants out there right now, it’s a wonder any of us can keep track with reality at all.

First there are the “Flip-Floppers” who start off telling us how they could never give up sugar, then once they realise how much weight other people are able to lose by curbing the carbs make a sudden change to keto because it’s

“really so much healthier, once you realise how it all works”

…only to fail at it once they realise that it still takes quite a bit of dedication, before renouncing the entire low-carb ethos as something

“Completely unhealthy, actually!”

and declaring their return to CICO

“Because it’s the only thing that works scientifically, innit?”

Okay Karen, but excuse me if I don’t take any dietary advice from someone who changes their plan more often than they change their undercrackers. Call me old-fashioned but I like my advice to come from those with a little more experience than your average halfwit with a BTEC in ‘Home Ec’. If what you’re looking for is a “diet” then literally go pick any one of the myriad ones out there on the internet and if you follow it to the letter, it’ll work. They ALL “work” if what you’re looking for is a quick-fix; but if it’s life-long sustainable change that you’re after, then you’re gonna have to start looking to something you can actually implement for life. There are no short-cuts to sustainable weight-loss and life-long health – and flip-flopping certainly ain’t where it’s at bro.

Then there are the “All Or Nothing Over-Haulers”. These guys are always good for a laugh because you can see the inevitable car-crash coming from a mile off, but you still can’t help but stick around to witness the carnage. You know the type. Often seen making huge commitments around New Year (or after a milestone birthday or divorce) when they decide that they’re going to make the switch from being hugely overweight, eating nothing but junk-food, never exercising, drinking a bit too much booze, smoking, staying up late / not getting enough sleep, never taking their make-up off before bed, hoarding clutter, being glued to their phones for 6+ hours a day and always going overdrawn with their bank balance to…BEING ALL THE SUPER-HEALTHY, WHOLE-FOOD EATING, YOGA PRACTICING, REGULAR GYM ATTENDING, VEGAN, MEDITATING, NON-SMOKING, TEE-TOTAL, MARIE KONDO ORGANIZING, SKINCARE GURU FOLLOWING, 8-HOURS-OF-SLEEP GETTING THINGS!

Yeah, strap in baby ’cause these guys are going from 0-60 quicker than a Mitsubishi Evo with go-faster stripes. Day 1, they’re out of the starting blocks telling everyone how they’re so glad they made all these changes. Never again will junk-food pass their lips…in fact they’re never eating any animal products again and are gonna be plant based forever. Alcohol is just so bad for their skin – which they’re now looking after with a recently procured expensive and expansive range of balm cleansers, acids, serums and moisturisers (all totally vegan, naturally) – and they’re just sleeping so much better now that they knocked the evening glass of vino and all that screen-time on the head.

It’s like, they’ve become a whole new person overnight. Only they haven’t. Because whilst they’re starting out with the best of intentions, all the changes they’ve made are really just superficial and they haven’t done any work on addressing why they had accumulated all those bad habits in the first place. So little by little, the enthusiasm starts to wane as the enormity of all these readjustments to their lifestyle really hits home. First they might admit to maybe letting one or two of these changes fall by the wayside because “just so busy with work and kids and life” and maybe they’ll get a little less frequent with the status updates about how “green tea really is tons better than a venti hazelnut latte” until eventually they just sort of drop off the radar. Their “life journey” channels suddenly go dead and their Instagram has been relegated to the odd photo of the kids, the dog or some re-blogged vague quote about how “you have to find inner peace before you can bring peace to the rest of the world”.

Yep, they crash. Crash and burn. And why? Because despite them having all the best intentions regarding a complete overhaul of their lifestyle, they jumped in the deep-end before they’d even figured out how to swim. Change is hard. Making changes that last a long time is even harder; it requires a lot of self-awareness, an understanding of why you need to change a thing and a realistic plan for how you intend to implement said change. Trying to do this for more than one area of your life at a time is even harder. It involves twice the amount of inner work, twice the amount of planning and twice the amount of commitment and accountability. Suddenly attempting to change MULTIPLE areas of your life and going from a fat, lazy, junk-food eating, messy, disorganised nightmare to a 100% zen, plant-based yogi, is virtually impossible. None of us got to being hugely overweight, replete with a multitude of bad habits, overnight; we picked them up and allowed them to get worse over time. So it’s going to take a lot of time to undo all those learned behaviours and fix all the areas of our life that we’re desperate to change.

I’m not saying you can’t overhaul your life completely and become a better, fitter, healthier version of yourself. But when you try to “do all the things” at once, you’re setting yourself up for failure. And that failure will not only weigh heavy on you – either making you feel desolate and unmotivated to try again, or doomed to return to that hamster-wheel of craziness, time and again, because you “ain’t no quitter” but you also never fricking learn. It’s dull and it’s unsexy and it’s not what anyone wants to hear, but you have to be willing to take the time to address each change you want to implement on its own, and get to a point where it becomes second-nature to you, before you move onto the next issue.

Thirdly, we have “The Ratcheters”. These specimens are also real impatient, but unlike the “All Or Nothing Overhaulers” they tend to take just the one aspect that they’re hoping to change and slowly but surely, they ramp up the intensity with which they approach it. They’ll tell you

“It’s absofrickinglutely a lifestyle change!”

but what starts out looking like a sensible, long-term plan soon morphs into some hyper-wargamed need to cross the finishing-line, FAST! Of course, they’ll be saying all the right things about how much they “love this new WOE!” and that they “really do want to” do this new thing for the rest of their lives. But if you pay enough attention to them you’ll notice a bit of ‘mission creep’ start to emerge. Maybe they’ll start off by upping the frequency or intensity of their exercise regimen. Of course this alone isn’t a bad thing – progressive overload is the most popular strategy for those who want to attain continued fitness goals – but unless this new uptick is a permanently implemented change that someone intends to stick with going forward, all they’re doing is making a big push for faster results; results that won’t necessarily be something that they can expect to last once they hit goal.

Or perhaps they’ll start to shave off extra calories or carbs from their intake, not because of any natural reduction in hunger, but because they know it will help them reach their goal quicker. Maybe they’ll suddenly declare that they’re going to go zero-carb / carnivore; but not for the actual lifelong health benefits – no they just want those faster results on the scale. Sure, eating less will probably lead to faster weight-loss, but at what cost? First there’s the problem with prolonged restriction and its propensity to lead to moments of weakness and subsequent bingeing. Newsflash! Your body doesn’t like being starved and if you try to do so, it’s gonna do everything in its power to thwart even the most strong-willed dieter. And even if you DO manage to stick to your heavily restricted plan, your body will respond by lowering your metabolism so it can get by on whatever meagre rations you allow it to consume. That metabolic change isn’t just a temporary glitch either; those maladapted biological responses can stick around long after you decide to ditch the diet, potentially leading to a permanent tendency to gain weight easily and a life-long struggle to lose weight. Talk about a literal prescription for a lifetime spent yo-yo dieting.

And then there’s the “challenges”. Oof, lol. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently wrong with a little gentle, supportive motivation from fellow travellers. But I don’t think that taking your own personal decision to implement permanent life changes, and making it competitive is a particularly good idea. Whether it’s something you publicly declare that you’re going to undertake by yourself, or a group-centric approach to doing better than others, by changing the focus from internal to external, you’re altering the way you view your goal. Whether you realise it or not, this shift in focus can actually cause a fragmenting of any solid mental framework you had previously worked so hard at developing. It’s no longer about you making gradual changes towards a better, healthier self for the long-term. Now it’s about making sure that you show up and provide some results (good or bad) for your audience or fellow competitors.

Whether you’re immediately aware of it or not, this level of performative success inevitably takes its toll on you, bringing about anxiety, stress, fluctuation in moods and an often subconscious adjustment to one’s eating habits in order to be seen to be doing the thing that you said you would.

“But Blue, this is what keeps me accountable, duh!”

Okay I get that you think that, but the actual evidence based studies surrounding the act of publicly declaring our goal intentions really doesn’t bear that out. In fact the research at NYU, led by Peter Gollwitzer, shows the opposite. In a research articled titled ‘When intentions go public: Does social reality widen the intention-behavior gap?’ (Psychological Science, 20, 612-618) Gollwitzer surmised that the simple act of sharing your goal publicly can make you less likely to do the work to achieve it. I know most of y’all aren’t going to want to read an entire research paper so here’s the abstract:

“Based on Lewinian goal theory in general and self-completion theory in particular, four experiments examined the implications of other people taking notice of one’s identity-related behavioral intentions (e.g., the intention to read law periodicals regularly to reach the identity goal of becoming a lawyer). Identity-related behavioral intentions that had been noticed by other people were translated into action less intensively than those that had been ignored (Studies 1–3). This effect was evident in the field (persistent striving over 1 week’s time; Study 1)and in the laboratory (jumping on opportunities to act; Studies 2 and 3), and it held among participants with strong but not weak commitment to the identity goal (Study 3). Study 4 showed, in addition, that when other people take notice of an individual’s identity-related behavioral intention, this gives the individual a premature sense of possessing the aspired-to identity.”

 When intentions go public: Does social reality widen the intention-behavior gap? Psychological Science, 20, 612-618.

In the results of this study and subsequent studies performed on other students, the experimenters found that the participants whose intentions were known tended to act less on their intentions than those whose intentions were unknown. The researchers concluded that telling people what you want to achieve creates a premature sense of completeness. While you feel a sense of pride in letting people know what you intend to do, that pride doesn’t motivate you and can in fact hurt you later on.

When you write down or think about your intentions, there’s a gap between where you are and where you want to be. The compelling need to close this gap helps you to act on your intentions. But when you let others know about it, the gap closes because you (artificially) feel the same way you should after completing your intentions. And we see this borne out time and again by those around us who exclaim year upon year that THIS time, THIS year, they’re totally going to get on that diet and lose all the weight…only to falter a week, month or 6 months down the line. So whilst you might think that by embarking upon a little group-challenge, you’re going to give yourself that extra push to meet your goals, chances are you’re really only going to a/ load yourself up with extra anxiety, b/ develop a sort of co-dependent relationship with your fellow contenders as the guaranteed commiseration and geeing up from them floods in any time you choose to go off-plan / fail to see a downward movement on the scale, or c/ really not get the success you want because of reasons outlined above.

“Yeah but Blue, isn’t all this ‘Intention Declaration’ thing exactly what you’re dong with THIS blog?”

Well I can see why you’d think that, but just take a minute to think over what exactly y’all know about me? Do you know my real name? Do you know what I look like? Do you know anything other than the carefully selected chosen fragments of information I’ve chosen to share with y’all on here? Yeah, there’s a reason for that. I’m actually a really private person. When I decided to lose some weight, the only 2 people I told were my doctor and my other half. Not even my family knew. Which is where the whole lockdown thing really played to my strengths, because when it comes to goal setting I’m very much a lone wolf. I set a target, figure out how to get there and then just do it. And I succeed at it. I’m not a team-player by any strength of the imagination, but if you want a task carried out to completion, then just give me a quiet corner I can sequester myself off in and I’ll do it. So being cooped up in the house and ‘socially distanced’ from everyone else was great. I could just get on with losing weight to the knowledge of virtually nobody. Which made it all the funnier come Christmas when I went to stay with my family for a few days and they were gobsmacked. The girl who had forever eschewed the idea of weight-loss suddenly turned up 40+ pounds lighter – and looking younger too, according to a couple of family members.

But yeah, I keep myself to myself for the most part. This blog isn’t a big public tell-all. It’s anonymous. It’s not connected in any way to any of the rest of my life or any of my other online activity. And that was entirely intentional. This blog is for me. It’s my way of recording my efforts and progress as I work my way towards my goal. Yes it’s out there on the internet for anyone to read – and I’m real happy if any of you find it interesting or entertaining – but I’m not remotely beholden to it. Yes I’ve “met” some really lovely other people and enjoyed the interaction, but I could walk away from this blog tomorrow, never even visiting it again, and it wouldn’t have the slightest impact on my life or my weight-loss. This blog is and always will be, primarily a place for me to record my progress and let off some steam with the odd rant ‘n ramble about whatever is currently grinding my gears. It’s not a place for me to report to anyone on how I’m doing, or somewhere I can use to compete with anyone else’s efforts. The only competition I’m in, is with myself – which is exactly how it should be when you’re undertaking a personal goal.

What appear to be very public ‘Declarations Of Intent’ are really just anonymous writings that anyone can stumble upon, without ever knowing who wrote them – or even if any of it is even true (psyche!). I have made zero public declarations regarding my weight or health in my real life and I think (for me anyway) it makes the whole thing much easier. I don’t owe anyone any updates, I don’t have to care about what anyone thinks about the reading on the scale from one day to another…plus the idea of just turning up to meet a friend once lockdown is over and blowing their goddamn minds with my how much I’ve changed, really appeals to my mischievous side, lol. So…no, I don’t have any of the baggage attached to making a public declaration of intent. Whether I blog all the way to my goal (and succeeding at that is a ‘when’ not an ‘if’) or if I just decide that I’m bored with the whole idea, it will have zero impact on the rest of my life or the way in which I achieve my goals.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a bit side-tracked there and this post is getting pretty long, but I guess I just wanted to have a little rant about the ways in which so many people seem to be hell-bent on pretending that they’re making a lifestyle change, when the reality is they’re only looking for a quick-fix. Cause that shit annoys the bejeezus out of me. I hate fakery and BS merchants and people who think that they can pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, while they try to do the exact thing they claim not to be doing. And the 3 forms of BS merchants I talked about today (‘Flip-Floppers’, ‘All-Or-Nothing-Overhaulters’, and The ‘Ratcheters’) are the ones I’m seeing the most all over the various weight-loss community. They love trying to up the ante in a desperate attempt to get faster results, which is in direct contradiction to a fundamental principle of obesity management: you do not do things to lose weight that you are unlikely to continue doing to keep the weight off.

Too many people seem to think that if only they could lose some weight now, they will somehow be able maintain that lower body weight in the long-term with less effort. “If I could just get thin I could totally then be and stay thin forever!”

Sure, Jan. That’s why it’s worked so far for you up until now, right?

If you take anything away from this post let it be this: dishonesty is a pretty shitty way to interact with other people and will inevitably, eventually lead to people losing interest in what you’ve got to say or what you’re claiming to achieve. But the person you absolutely NEED to be truly honest with, is yourself. People see whatever you show them, but you can’t lie to yourself. Not if you want to have any chance of succeeding with ANY of your goals.

Keep it real folks

Blue

Newsflash! Weight-Loss Is Boring! And It Should Be!

Okay, let’s be real folks. Losing weight isn’t all that interesting. I mean, it’s exciting and new when you first begin out on a new regime, fuelled by all the promises of what the end result will be, and it’s cool to see the progress pics and update videos by other people trying to lose weight, but the everyday process itself? Yeah it’s pretty bloody dull. But you know what? That’s exactly what you should be aiming for. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but lemme explain.

Everyone starts out on their weigh-loss mission pretty psyched – and that’s completely normal. We prep ourselves by reading as much as we can about our chosen plan, immerse ourselves in weight-loss communities where we can share stories, pick up tips and get support, and it’s so cool because it’s new and different and exciting. We’ve gotten to a point where we’re able to accept that we have a problem and then realise that fixing that problem is completely within our grasp. We feel empowered with all this new knowledge and as we start making the necessary dietary changes, we feel amazing because we’re getting results. We’re fricking doing this, y’all!

And it’s great. As long as we’re sticking to our plan and doing all the things we’re supposed to, the weight continues to come off, albeit a little more slowly than it did in the first few weeks. But the scale is still moving down and everything’s working and yet…suddenly it doesn’t feel that exciting any more. We’re no longer feeling the newfound excitement we felt right at the beginning, and the end is still quite a way off. So it’s only natural when some of us start looking for other ways to get that feeling of excitement back. Maybe we’ll add in a fitness challenge – those always seem really popular – or maybe we’ll consider changing up our plan – eating challenges are also all over YouTube. What we’re looking for is a return to that high we felt way back when we first started out on our weight-loss regimes…but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

The phrase “This is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle” has become a bit of a cliché, with many people repeating it verbatim, without really living by it. But the reality is, that for weight loss to not only be successful but sustainable, this really does have to be a complete lifestyle adjustment – not just a quick fix to get us to our goal weight. And like it or not, for this to BE a lifestyle change and not just a fad, we’re really going to have to expect the whole thing to become a bit boring. Is cleaning your teeth every day a blog-worthy event? I doubt it. Do you get ripples of adrenaline coursing through your veins every time you wash the dishes? I hope not. (I mean, you do you boo, but if that’s what really gets you going every day, you might want to look into trying a new hobby…just saying.)

What I’m trying to say is that whilst eating can be a part of how we celebrate or socialise, it really shouldn’t be the focal point of our entire day. I’ve mentioned this before, but my other half is a tall, athletic guy who has never really had to worry about his weight (except for one time when a course of medication for an injury caused him to lose his appetite a drop a little too much weight – but that was soon remedied by reducing his meds). He turned to me earlier while we were watching ‘My 600lb Life’ and said:

“You know, I’ll never really understand what all this is about.”

And thinking that he meant the severely super-morbidly obese people on the show, I told him that I didn’t fully understand their mindset either; that their pathological relationship with food is far more dangerous and damaged than mine has ever been. But he shook his head:

“No…I mean, I’ll never understand ANY of this weight-loss stuff. I can’t imagine having to think about everything I eat, all the time, every day. It’s completely alien to me.”

And he truly meant it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s incredibly supportive and frequently reminds me that if there’s anything he can do to help me with this, then just say the word; but it’s a whole other country to him, this world of weight-loss, fitness and food-plans. Which is exactly how it should be for someone with a totally normal relationship with food. Sure, it pays to be at least somewhat informed with regards to nutrition and activity levels, but for those who have never experienced any weight issues or food allergies / intolerances, food really isn’t that big of a deal. They enjoy a nice meal out, or a special celebratory dinner, but for the most part, food is a fuel that they need to consume in order to not die. If it tastes nice, that’s great, but they don’t feel the need to make every morsel some hyper-palatable gourmet offering that Heston Blumenthal would be proud of. And that’s one of the huge differences between those of us who have good relationships with food, and those of us who don’t.

A lot has been said recently about the notion of ‘Intuitive Eating’ and the twisted way that the ‘Fat Acceptance’ have chosen to bastardise it for their own ends. But the ideas at the core of ‘Intuitive Eating’ do make sense…for those don’t have a screwed-up relationship with food. It’s exactly how my other half eats every day. Sometimes he wakes up wanting a fried breakfast; other days he gets up and doesn’t want anything to eat for a few hours. Some days he’s happy to have a few smaller snack-like meals throughout the day, and on others he prefers a big roast dinner with all the trimmings. Aside from my obsession with wanting him to up his protein intake a bit, he normally gets enough of a wide range of food in his diet to keep him strong, lean and healthy – and he doesn’t ever stop to second-guess any of the food choices he makes.

(Yeah, I know…I really should hate the dude for that, but he’s pretty to look at and I can’t reach up to change the lightbulbs, so I like to keep him around, lol.) My point is that his relationship with food is the kind that we all should aspire to having ourselves. And part of that relationship will involve our having to find a way to stop food from having such an intense hold on us that we think about it from dawn ’til dusk. I hate to piss on everyone’s Cheerios, but not every meal needs to be interesting or exciting. What’s important is that we figure out how to get sufficient nutrition from our diet, find a plan that allows us to lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived, and then just go about the rest of our lives, like normal people do.

I’m not saying we can’t enjoy our food or that y’all should be suffering on some foul diet made up of foods you actually hate (because that shit ain’t sustainable for anyone in the long term) but if a lot of our food choices end up being pretty boring, that’s not the end of the world. That’s normal. Going out of your way to try and imbue every meal you consume on your weight-loss regime, with amazing flavours, textures, colours and fragrances, isn’t how most people eat. The very fact that we treat going out to dinner or having a celebratory birthday meal with such reverence, is precisely because they’re supposed to be special experiences that elevate the humble meal to an altogether different level. And I think we as a society have forgotten that.

“By the end of the 19th Century, fine dining restaurants had become part of the landscape for the wealthy aristocratic Europeans and upper-class Americans. These groups transformed eating out into an art form. Through the 20th century, restaurants continued to evolve through two world wars and the Great Depression. The 1950s saw the rapid growth of fast food, while the 1960s marked the beginning of casual family dining and chain restaurants. By 2000, more and more families were dining out on a weekly basis.”

History of American Restaurants in the 20th Century

Eating out regularly is still a relatively new concept for the working & middle classes as a whole. And it’s no coincidence that our ever-expanding waistlines have gotten bigger at exactly the same rate as the explosion in choices with regards eating out. It has become so much easier and cheaper for the average person to eat out, that dining culture is no longer the preserve of the upper classes. Everywhere we go there are myriad options to cater to our taste and wallets, offering intentionally hyper-palatable food combinations that we can choose to eat on the premises, take home or even have delivered to our doors. And we’ve gotten so that we almost feel as though we’re entitled to all this choice and convenience. We work hard, raise families, keep households, attend schools and at the end of the day we’re exhausted. So of course we feel like we deserve to ‘treat’ ourselves and our families to something quick, easy and tasty. But all we’ve really done is condition our taste-buds and our dopamine circuits to associate food with always being something that should taste epic and provide a massive bang for our buck.

So when we finally realise that we’re fat and out of shape, we naturally start to try and make our new food-plans really tasty and interesting and exciting, because we’re still trapped in the mindset of a person with a fucked up relationship with food. We look for recipes that will provide satisfying alternatives to the foods that we over-consumed to get fat in the first place, because we’re still obsessed with making food the focal point of our daily lives. And we really need to stop doing that.

Hey, I’m not claiming to be free of this way of thinking folks. I say all this as someone who realised a while ago that my own relationship with food was completely skewed, because of the type of ‘stimulant seeking’ mentality I have. I wrote a blog post about that very realisation which ya’ll can read here: Stimulus Chick. I know that I have a very active mind that loves to be stimulated and hates to be inactive (I have never been able to ’empty my mind’ and meditate and probably never will, lol) and that ‘stimulant seeking’ mentality plays out in the way I have approached food. Y’all, I’m as bad as everyone else with this, but it’s something I’m working on fixing because I don’t want food to be the controlling aspect of my day-to-day life; I’ve got way too many other things I could be focusing my attention on. And that’s why I’ve come to a second realisation about food, weight-loss and why it’s actually completely normal and healthy, for it to all be incredibly mundane.

When I look back at my previous posts on here I can see that I have yet to shed that obsession with having amazingly tasty food all the time. I’m not altering my behaviour, merely finding an alternative conduit through which I can continue to satisfy that ‘food-centric’ mentality. And I see it in so many other people who are trying to overhaul their diets and implement permanent “lifestyle” changes too. Letting go of the idea that all food has to be hyper-palatable and exciting is difficult. It’s scary and that fear is rooted in our aversion to the unknown, and filtered down through these comestible crutches we develop over time. It’s hard enough to cut out something like sugar from our diets; taking the next step towards a relaxed – almost nonchalant – form of ‘Intuitive Eating’, where food is no longer a perpetually intense, sensory experience is something else. But it’s what I truly believe is at the core of a successful lifestyle overhaul and a healthy relationship with food and eating.

Does that mean I’m suddenly going to become the most clean-eating, nutrition-focused, A+ example of how to eat? Um…no, I’m a work in progress folks; always have been, always will be. But I do want to try and take a mental step back from having an obsessive preoccupation with the food I eat. It’s going to be difficult, because I’ve a/ got a whole 40 years worth of habits to try and undo, and b/ also need to make sure that I’m sticking to my low-carb WOE by always having enough of the right food on hand to tide me over. But I’ve been eating this way for just over 5 months now. I know what I can and cannot eat and going forward, just grabbing something simple to eat because it meets my nutritional needs, is how I’d like to start regarding most of my food choices. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to be eating foods that I enjoy or not enjoying the food that I eat, because I will never get sick of eating steak! But not every meal has to be a sensory adventure. Food is and should be primarily, a source of fuel. And I need to remember that.

So, if you take anything away from this post, let it be this: weight loss is going to get boring over time AND THAT’S A GOOD THING! If you’ve been plodding along for a while and you’re no longer excited by your food choices, don’t immediately rush to try and inject a sense of excitement back into your life. At least not for the reasons I’ve been talking about today. Most of us got to where we are – being overweight, addicted to sugar and having a dysgenic relationship with food – largely in part through us abusing our pleasure / reward pathways with a constant stream of sensory overload from hyper-palatable food sources. Simply put, we’ve gotten addicted to the pleasure gained from eating. And it’s hard for us to let that go.

But if we’re ever to find our way back to having a normal relationship with food, we need to work on breaking that association between food and being constantly, pleasurably stimulated. It sounds trite, but finding other avenues from which to get our kicks, really is the best alternative. Cultivating interests outside of weight loss and food is a healthy route to living and eating like a “normal” person. I know it’s really tempting to want to ‘shake things up’ and find new, exciting ways to lose weight, but by always seeking that new injection of stimulation, we’re only feeding into that same cycle of ‘stimulant seeking’ behaviour. Deciding to do an egg fast for a week might get you some great results on the scale, but is that how you’re going to eat for the rest of your life? And how do you think your body is going to react once you return to how you were eating previously? By all means, consider things like intermittent fasting as a permanent way of eating that will become boringly second-nature over time; but if all you’re after is that initial ‘high’ you get from doing something new and different with your food, then you’re never going to find your way out of this ‘stimulant seeking’ behaviour around eating.

Like I said, right now I’m as guilty of this as the next person, but I’d like to think that by coming to this realisation, I will be better equipped to do something about it. Because I hate the idea of something as mundane as food having such a powerful hold over me. I want to eat to live, not live to eat.

Stay boring, y’all!

Bue

Best Laid Plans

“Tell me why all the best laid plans
Fall apart in your hands”

It’s already happening folks. The inevitable, annual dieting drop-off that happens every February, a few weeks after new year. So many people who swore up and down that THIS was going to be their year…who started a new “diet” (again), embarked upon a new fitness regime, vowed to drink a gallon of water every day and purchased a whole heap of supplements and new products that they were totally going to use every day without fail…yeah, a lot of them really aren’t doing so well. A lot of them have hit the wall and many have already given up. Of course, a lot of us knew this would be the case, because virtually every study tells us that around 80% of New Year’s resolutions will be abandoned by February. So why do so many people still carve out this arbitrary date on the calendar, as the day they’re going to make it all happen?

Well, a lot of it is just down to herd mentality and the desire to do the “good” thing on the “correct” date, like so many of our fellow friends, family and co-workers have elected to. It’s the “done thing” to commit oneself to a righteous sacrifice in the New Year, after a period of festive indulgence – and we don’t want to miss out on being a part of this mass declaration of pure intent, on what we see as a magically symbolic date. And it just feels so right to draw a line under the previous year doesn’t it, so we can start anew with a clean slate, free from who we were “last year”. New Year, New You. Amirite?

Yeah, I’ve never been one for making New Year’s Resolutions. It always seemed a bit odd to me that this one day – during the coldest, darkest time of the year – would be the exact date and time when everyone (regardless of their personal situations) went and overhauled their lives for the better. Any time I want to embark upon something new, I do a bit of research and then get on with doing it at the time most convenient to me. That could be tomorrow, next week, next month, or something I’m planning on doing a year from now, once I’ve got everything I need in place. But I sure as shit don’t pick a date that has no real bearing on my own life, just because everyone else is doing it. That just seems weird and doomed to fail.

And failing is what we’re seeing a lot of right now. We’re not even a whole month in and folk are dropping like flies, getting as creative as possible with the excuses as to why they’ve had to abandon their goals:

  • It’s too cold to go out for a run
  • I just need to eat some real, satisfying food when the weather’s like this
  • It’s so busy as work this time of year…I don’t have time to eat properly
  • I’m going to wait until the mornings start getting lighter so I can start going to the gym before work
  • I’ve still got so much Christmas food / snacks in the house. I don’t want to waste money throwing it out
  • My S.A.D. is really bad at this time of year so it’s really hard to get motivated
  • I think I might need to change plans and restart in a month or so

And that’s just a few of the reasons I’ve seen people give for quitting their diet / fitness plans for 2021. I’m not saying that those aren’t true or that they’re not valid reasons for feeling like throwing in the towel. But I think in a lot of cases there’s a much bigger underlying problem:

Overwhelm.

We humans are a curious breed. Blessed with these fabulously big, beautifully complex brains of ours, you’d think that we would have the act of goal-accomplishment down to a fine art. Yet more often than not, we over-complicate matters to the point where we no longer know how to get anything done. We like to draw up hugely complicated plans, taking solace in the notion that the more detailed and structured we make them, the less likely we are to fail. That way of thinking is often rooted in fear: we lack confidence in our own ability to do the thing we want to do, so we try to create a failsafe plan that we can have confidence in instead. And if that plan is based on something that we’ve seen other people doing, even better right?

Birds don’t stress out about all the things they need to do to build a nest. They just go out and get twig after twig, leaf after leaf, and build it bit by bit. But us? The super-intelligent, evolved species? We’re not happy unless we’ve wargamed the bejeezus out of EVERYTHING. And then, THEN we hang all of our hopes on us being able to maintain our focus and commitment to doing ALL THE THINGS…only to become demoralised and dejected when we fail to get it 100% right, 100% of the time. That’s when so many of us quit. If just one thing goes awry, that’s it. Fuck it. Might as well just jack the whole thing in and go sit in the mud and eat a cake or nine. It’s like we’re hardwired to never be able to see any of the good we have accomplished, whenever we make a single mistake.

Managed to overhaul your diet, cut out all the extra sugar and started drinking more water? Yeah but you only went to the gym twice last week, instead of three times, so you’re obviously just a big fat failure and might as well give up, right?

And y’all know I’m not even being remotely hyperbolic here. Because that mad shit is exactly the kind of bonkers garbage that goes through so many people’s heads whenever they hit a bump in the road. It’s that ‘All Or Nothing’ mentality, that again comes from having a lack of self-confidence. When we don’t have any faith in our own ability to succeed, we put all our faith in ‘The Plan’ instead. But if we can’t succeed at ‘The Plan’, then nothing is ever going to work, we were stupid for ever thinking it would, so we might as well just give up and never try to do anything else, ever ever again.

Or, there are the obstinately ridiculous ones doing the exact opposite.

Trying to cut carbs AND calories, starting a crazy new gym routine, drinking a gallon of water every day AND trying to go vegan / carnivore / whatever, all at the same time was way too much to attempt all at once and they failed…so…let’s try and do it all again starting on Feb 1st! Because THIS time, THIS month will magically and miraculously be different, right? Sigh. Some of y’all will never learn, will you? I swear some people are just so monumentally invested in the idea of “dieting” and being perpetually ON a diet, that they’re doomed to subconsciously self-sabotage any small successes they achieve, by staying in the diet / binge cycle:

I see it every day in the various weight-loss communities online and I just wish I could grab each and every one of these people, shake them and tell them to just chill the feck out. Pick one thing that you want to change. Just one to begin with – because most people are simply unable to work on changing multiple habits at the same time – and then sit down and make a realistic plan that will allow you to make small, cumulative improvements over time and then do it. I know people want all the results right now and hate the idea of having to make slow, steady progress towards a goal, but that’s the only way you’ll ever be able to make permanent, sustainable changes that will actually last. If fast-fixes and short-cuts to sustained weight-loss actually worked, we’d all be thin and never have to worry about our weight ever again.

One of the biggest hurdles that so many people face when trying to lose weight, get fit and be healthy, seems to be impatience. Never mind the fact that so many of us have been overweight, inactive and unhealthy for so long, for some reason we think that a lifetime of poor choices, ingrained habits and health problems can – and should – be fixed right now. I mean, we’ve made the decision to change, to improve, so that should be enough to make this shit happen, right? Wrong. Undoing a lifetime of shitty decisions doesn’t happen overnight. Even if you were a superhuman goal-getter who was able to implement all the right choices going forward, the effects are still going to take a long time to emerge. And most of us ain’t superhuman, y’all (not even me, lol!).

This post is getting kinda long and I was going to talk a little bit about how heuristics play a huge part in keeping us from being able to make long-term, sustained changes, but I think I’ll save that for another time, because I know it’ll take a bit of explaining for me to get my point across. But the main thing I wanted to convey today was that change is hard. It takes a lot of effort to focus our attention on improving just one aspect of our habits and behaviours, so trying to do all the things, all at once will inevitably doom you to failure, with all the added despondency and demotivation that brings along with it. So be honest with yourself when you’re trying to create change in your life. Be realistic with your goals and always remember that small, cumulative changes over time, WILL add up to greater improvements in the long run. There are no short-cuts, so stop looking for one.

Stay realistic folks.

Blue

Feeling Good

“It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life…for me
And I’m feeling good”

Today (Thursday 28th January 2021) is 150 days since I switched over to the low-carb way of life.

150 days.

That’s pretty fricking cool, y’all. Not one single day off-plan, not a single cheat. Just 150 days of eating well, losing weight and feeling hella better for it. I can’t believe I didn’t think of doing this sooner. Time always passes, whether you decide to make changes or not. And now, I can’t believe I’m sat here and I’ve been doing this for 150 days! Where has the time gone? It only feels like a month or so ago I was deciding to change my diet and yet, it’s been (lemme just say it again, lol) ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DAYS!

Every day that passes with me eating lo-carb, just makes me want to keep on eating this way for ever. The better I do, the better I want to do. It’s a brilliantly self-reinforcing cycle of success and motivation. And I am SO here for it! I mean, I always knew that if I just set my mind to it, that I’d be able to shift some flab, but that doesn’t take away from the immense feelings of pride and satisfaction that I’m experiencing right now. I’m just past the halfway point and this way of eating has become so incredibly normal, it isn’t even an effort to stick to it. Surely losing weight isn’t supposed to be this easy?

I feel like I just want to take everyone who’s struggling with their weight, move them into my house and feed them everything I’ve been eating to show them just how effective a low-carb WOE can be. I want everyone to understand the science behind this WOE and then find health, happiness and success with it too! I know, I know, I’m ranting like the newly converted – a “ketoevangelist” if you will – but this approach really works and I just wish I could get more people to take the leap for themselves and feel the incredible benefits that I have!

Don’t get me wrong, eating this way hasn’t cured everything that ails me; I’m always going to have fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis and this past week has been a bit of a nightmare with my hands seizing up. But the way my body feels as a whole is just so much better than it was back in August last year. A lot of that will be due to my now carrying less weight on my frame, but my flare-ups are much less intense now. They don’t last as long as they used to and I know that’s down to getting rid of the sugar. My brain feels more focused, sharper and better able to process information. I’m finding it easier to read books again and remember what I’ve just taken in. I’m even going to speak to my doctor about reducing some of my medication, when I’m actually able to get an appointment. I’m feeling that good!

Sure, I know that I’ve still got a long way to go and things are definitely going to harder, the closer I get to my goal – never mind the real test, in maintaining my weight loss which will be a lifelong commitment – but right now I’m really happy with the way things are going. As I should be! I alone decided to make these changes and I alone am responsible for sticking to this WOE. So I have every right to feel good about myself. And if that sounds like I’m bragging, or being arrogant…well suck on it, lol. Anyone who commits to a plan to improve themselves and sticks to it, deserves to feel really bloody good about themselves. So to all my fellow fat-fighters out there, kicking arse and taking names, y’all better be feeling real proud of yourselves right now. Because you’re fucking awesome!

And while I’m on the topic of celebrating milestones (did I mention I’ve been successfully at this for 150 days now? I did? Oh, sorry, I didn’t realise, lol!) I thought I’d run through a few more little steps on my journey to success. This week I weighed in at 15 stone 3lbs (213lbs) which means:

  • I have lost 57lb – that’s 3lbs away from having lost 60lb.
  • Converting that 57lb into old money, I have passed the 4 stone loss mark – 4 stone and 1lb to be exact.
  • I am 4lb away from getting under the 15 stone mark and into the 14 stone range for the first time since I was in 9th grade.
  • I am 14lb (1 stone) away from being 199lb – that’s “onederland”, baby!
  • I am 43lb away from hitting my initial goal of losing 100lb.

I’m so unbelievably happy with my progress right now! I could jump for joy…if my arthritic knees weren’t so goddamn knackered, lol! And I haven’t had to start tinkering around with calorie amounts, intermittent fasting or even incorporating exercise yet – I still have all those tools at my disposal, when (or if) I feel I need to use them. For now though, I’m just going to keep on eating the same way I have been from Day 1, for as long as I keep on seeing the results I want. I seem to be losing around 1-2lb a week right now, which is absolutely perfect. If that slows to just 1lb a week I’ll still be happy, because that’s completely sustainable and feels totally doable.

I often see people getting down or discouraged because they “only” lost a single pound in a week, and that’s ridiculous. None of us got overweight overnight and we’re not going to lose it overnight either. This has to be something we can be successful at for life, not just one great week where we hit the elliptical like mad and manage to get a big loss in a 7 day period. I’m still hugely overweight and losing a larger amount by really restricting my intake one week would be pretty easy, if I were so inclined. But that’s not going to make this a realistic, lifelong achievement. That would just tell me that in order to maintain that big loss, I’m going to have to continue to push myself that hard forever, to keep it off. And I’m really not about that way of life. I want this to be something I can easily continue to follow and sustain in the long term, without having to commit to some crazy exercise regime that I’ve never followed before and won’t want to carry on with in perpetuity. Sure I want to get to being more active in time, but that’ll be because my body is in a position to want to enjoy being more active; not because I’m trying to make a quick gain – or loss, rather – in the short term.

So yeah, I don’t plan on being a yo-yoing “dieter” who just throws everything they have at their weight problem, slacking off once I hit goal, only to have to ramp up my efforts all over again, once the pounds start to creep back on. That way of existing just sounds miserable and I know it won’t do my underlying health problems any favours either. I’m going to turn 41 this year FFS. Time really isn’t on my side, when it comes to getting my health in order.

So if the weight loss starts slowing (which it will do) and the pounds no longer come off as quickly as they did to begin with, that’s fine with me. I’d rather a slower, steadier trip to the finish line than a sprint that I have to keep pushing myself to complete, every bloody year. And if any of you guys out there are feeling discouraged because your own weight loss is slowing down the closer you get to your goal – don’t feel bad about it. That’s how it’s supposed to happen. Obviously, if you’re still quite a way from your target weight and you know you’ve been getting a bit slack (either with your carb count or your calorie deficit) then by all means re-evaluate your food intake, making sure to accurately track everything you’re eating etc, but don’t go overboard and start imposing a load of unsustainable bollocks on yourself. You might have a good week or fortnight and feel elated at seeing the scale drop down really quickly; but if you aren’t prepared to continue to do what you had to do to make that big drop happen in the first place, the minute you back off on your efforts, you’ll start to see less favourable results on that scale.

Be realistic with your weight loss goals folks. As tempting as it is to try and get all the weight off ASAP, in the long run that just isn’t going to be sustainable. And that’s what we all want right? Long term success that we can maintain in the long run. So I’m going to keep on feeling great about the progress I’ve made so far and just keep on doing what I’ve been doing from Day 1, letting nature take its course. As trite, cheesy and hackneyed as the saying is, this really is about cultivating a lifestyle, not just going on a diet.

And I for one am more than happy to accept that.

Keep it real folks

Blue

Everybody Hurts / Weekly Weigh-In

“Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts, sometimes”

Just having one of those days today. The arthritis is making my arms hurt like hell and my fingers are so stiff, swollen and gnarled I can barely type this post out. But, I couldn’t not do my weekly update, pain or not. So here I am for what will be a very short post today. I know…must be something REALLY wrong for me to not waffle on for a good 1000+ words, but it’s nothing new or exciting. Just the usual aches and pains flaring up the way they do from time to time – it’s probably got something to do with me currently being in “Shark Week”. But it is what it is and I just gotta keep on doing my thing: gonna stick to my plan as usual and mong out on the sofa till the pain subsides a bit.

This being “Shark Week” I wasn’t really expecting anything weight-loss wise. I hadn’t eaten off-plan at all, but you know how it is with the hormonal bloat making you feel like the back-end of a bus. Hopping on the scale first thing today though, the little screen said my current weight is 15 stone 3lb (213lb) which means that in the past 7 days I’ve dropped another 2lb! Good stuff! Still on track and plodding along at a decent pace. Can’t ask for more than that, can I?

So yeah, nothing particularly exciting to report back on. I haven’t been eating anything different or trying anything new, just sticking to what I know and letting the process continue to deliver progress. Sorry for not being able to share more with y’all today – just one of those days, meh. Hopefully I’ll feel more up to writing some more in a few days or so; I’ve got plenty of ideas for new posts in the pipeline, I just gotta wait until I feel a bit better.

Anyways, I hope you’re all doing well wherever you are and are keeping on, keeping on.

Stay dedicated y’all.

Blue

Something A Little Different

Okay, so for those of y’all who have been living under a rock for the past 6 months, the young lady in the video clip above is of Laura Lynn, who has created a You Tube channel where she is documenting her progress along the way to losing 200lb. I adore her content and she’s one of a handful of You Tube creators who I follow religiously (I’m probably going to do a post featuring all my fave guys & girls in the near future in case any of you are looking for some extra inspiration and motivation during your own weight loss escapades!) because she’s just one of the realest, most honest, straight-talking, sweet, funny, intelligent, insightful chicks making content in the online ‘Weight Loss Community’.

And she’s really been through the ringer lately as various underlying health problems have conspired against her, throwing every possible spanner into the works. But she’s worked her way through them all, maturely and honestly using the skill sets she developed in her career as a mental health therapist, to help navigate her way through the really difficult and low times. I have a huge amount of respect for her; not just because of her unwavering self-awareness, but because she puts it all out there – warts and all – to share with others who may (or may not) be going through some similar issues. She’s immensely likeable and tuning in to one of her videos is like settling down for a chat with an old friend. Her determination really inspires me and her smile is utterly infectious. So if you haven’t watched any of her content before now, y’all really need to go check her out because she isn’t just entertaining, she really helps to get her viewers to approach their own weight-loss goals from a mental-health perspective too, by sharing the tools she uses both at work and in her own life; as well as her recent little series of ‘journal prompts, quotes and challenges’ to help get us all thinking about the deep-rooted reasons behind why we a/ got too overweight and b/ decided to do something about it.

And today I thought I’d respond to the prompts, quotes and challenges from this week’s video, here in a blog post for y’all to read for yourselves. I do keep my own personal, handwritten journal, but I thought it might be fun to put some more of my own thoughts and responses out there and maybe try to convince some of you to check out her channel and perhaps get involved in doing some of this introspective home-work for yourselves. So without further ado, let me start by addressing the quote of the day. (You should probably watch the video first so you can get a better idea of what it’s all about – the video is only about 7 minutes log, so I’m sure y’all can manage that, right?) Anyway today’s quote is:

“It’s time to create a body I enjoy living in.” So what does that mean to me? Well, as I’ve shared on here multiple times before, I have two conditions – fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis – which have gotten progressively worse over time, affecting my flexibility, my mobility and overall health. I’m only 40 years old and my weight had never caused any noticeable health problems for me before last year. I went from being ‘Little Miss Always On-The-Go’, to a stiff, slow, shuffling crone, wracked with daily pain throughout my body. That was not okay. I could feel how much harder it was getting to just move my limbs about with all the extra weight they were having to deal with, so I decided right then and there to do something about it. Being fat had never stopped me from enjoying living in my body up until then, so I’d never been bothered about losing any weight. But as soon as I realised that I was no longer enjoying living in my body, I knew I had a choice: do nothing and carry on letting my mobility decrease and my quality of life along with it, or, get my fat ass into gear and make the necessary changes in order to mitigate what will be permanent health problems that I will always have to work to deal with.

Yeah, that wasn’t a difficult decision. I know I’ll always have these conditions and they will always flare up for one reason or another, but there is no reason whatsoever for me to just allow the extra weight to continue to exacerbate my symptoms and further incapacitate my already exhausted body. With any luck (especially if my family’s longevity is anything to go by) I’ve got another half a century left on this mortal coil, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend it miserable and feeling like a prisoner in my own body. Thankfully, I think I implemented the necessary changes just in time, allowing me to make great inroads into the goals I need to achieve, in order to get to live that happy life.

Creating a body that I can begin to enjoy living in again, starts and ends with food. Yes, there will be exercise and fitness goals to work into my life somewhere down the line (right now I’m still just about coping with a few bursts of walking a week, which always leaves me incredibly sore and stiff the next day) but – most importantly – I have to eat in a way that not only allows me to lose weight, but also reduces the effects of insulin resistance and the subsequent inflammation, on both my arthritis and fibromyalgia. A low-carb / ketogenic WOE is the most therapeutic nutritional approach to dealing with my particular health problems, which is one of the reasons why this is “not just a diet” to me, but a lifelong approach to food & nutrition. Knowing that every time I eat, I’m making choices that are cumulatively contributing to that healthier, happier body is incredibly empowering. I get a real kick out of feeling so completely in control of what I put into my body, while also enjoying the food that I’m eating. This whole experience feels exciting. I make a decision to do the things, follow through with it and then see the results of my efforts. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle of determination —> achievement —> motivation —> further achievement. I freaking love it!

Of course I’m currently only 53lbs into my initial goal of losing 100lb, so I know I’ve still got a long way to go. My health problems haven’t magically evaporated overnight, but the improvements are already oh-so-very noticeable. I’m lighter on my feet; I have fewer pains in certain parts of my body and my knees are definitely feeling a lot better. And it’s only going to get better as I continue to move down the scale and free myself up more and more. To know that I’m the one making this happen – all through my own good choices and efforts – is awesome. Understanding that I get to own my own shit, take responsibility and create that body that I will feel happier and healthier in for many years to come? That shit just inspires me to want to do more, lose more and do better. I’ve become my own fricking role model, y’all! THAT is what it means to know that I’m creating a body that I will get to enjoy living in again.

“How Will My Life Be Different Or Change For The Better When I’ve Lost Weight? – Be Specific!” Well, I probably already covered that for the most part in my previous answer, but I’ve sat and had a think about what else I have to look forward to, aside from the improvements to my mobility. It’s a bit of a strange one really, because I have no idea what life will really be like as a much smaller person. I’ve always been overweight and the flab just kept piling on incrementally over time, without me really noticing it. I mean, obviously I knew I was getting bigger because I had to keep buying larger clothes. But when I had youth on my side (oof, that really made me feel like a wizened old harridan, lol) it didn’t impact my life at all. I worked a lot of very demanding jobs, both physically and mentally, and partied just as hard on my downtime. I did all the things I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to, and never once found it difficult to navigate the world of dating and relationships. I know I say time and again that “nobody gets fat behind their own back” but when there are no tangible negative side-effects to getting progressively larger, it’s very easy not to think or worry about it at all. I’ve had a bunch of illnesses and injuries and whatnot over the years, like any other person does; but I’ve pretty much been able to just take my health for granted up until now. And that’s something that really had to change once the fibro & arthritis started to impact on my ability to live normally.

So of course, losing all the weight I need to will also mean being more intentional with my own body. I now have to take responsibility and realise that I’m the captain of my ship – not a passenger. And so on top of the continued commitment to a low-carb WOE, I want to also work on building on my strength and flexibility with regular exercise. I want to be as active as my body will allow me, with the help of some supervised instruction from someone who knows how to help a person with my underlying health problems. I’d love to take a boxing class if at all possible. I have no idea if that will be something suitable for my body and I’ll have to start from the bottom and work my way up through the basics of strength training and some aerobic activity; but if it IS something I can do, then yeah, I wanna take up some boxing classes. Because there’s something incredibly primal and exciting about the idea getting into a (completely legal, lol) fight and using a mixture of skill, discipline & tenacity, be able to not only defend myself, but kick the other person’s arse! I used to be able to handle myself in a scrap, but these days I don’t even win the fights I get into with my damned duvet cover! I want to feel strong and capable again. And maybe, just maybe, that’s something I can achieve somewhere down the line.

But it’s just so hard to imagine myself at 170lb, 160lb or even less. I don’t know what that even looks like on my body. I saw my own reflection in a shop window recently and was really taken aback by how much smaller I look. It’s so weird. I can feel myself getting lighter and see the clothes as they get so big they fall off me, but I never truly see it when I look in the mirror. I know a lot of people have this mental block too when they’re losing weight and it will just take time for my brain to catch up with my body. But for some reason, when I was out in public, I could see my reflection for what it actually was. And I was very pleasantly surprised. This never began as a vanity project for me – not that there’s anything wrong with anyone wanting to lose weight to look good; y’all do what you gotta do, for whatever reasons you want. But there is an aspect of vanity starting to creep in to my consciousness as I move further down the scales. My cheekbones are even more defined. My face is thinning down to it’s natural heart-shape and my eyes look even bigger and prettier than they already did. I’m actually kinda cute, lol!

So again I have to ask myself, how will the weight loss affect how I feel about the way I look, once I get to my goal? And I just don’t know. I have no frame of reference to work from that can give me an idea of exactly how I’ll look at 170lb. For all I know, I could end up being one of those people who look hella ugly once they shift the flab! Maybe my “cuteness” is entirely attributable to being an absolute chunkster and with every pound I lose, I get increasingly less attractive! (That would actually be weirdly funny, in a horrible kind of way, lol!) Will I dress differently? Well, I like the style I already have, so I don’t think I’m going to suddenly go from ’emo-scene-girl’ to ‘prom queen’ or ‘sporty-spice’…and I’m never going to go the route of ‘crass-cougar hag-beast-about-the-town’. But who knows what’ll look good on a much smaller frame 6-12 months down the line. Not me; not yet.

There aren’t many things I think will change as I lose this weight. Like I said earlier, I’m already half-way there and Victoria’s Secret have yet to send out a scout to see if I’m going to be runway-ready for the 2021 Summer Swimwear Collection. I’m so focused on the health benefits from all this that I don’t really have much else to consider. Improvements in health, will mean retaining my independence, having a huge improvement in mobility and hopefully adopting a more active lifestyle that I can pursue going forward. It won’t affect my career choices which are investment related and involve sitting down for 8 hours a day. Nor will it affect my relationship with my other half, because I’m not one of those super-morbidly-obese folk on ‘My 600lb Life’ who literally become an entirely different person to the one their partners married. I never even hit 300lb. My level of fatness was a much more socially acceptable, normal level of obesity that never really raised any eyebrows or garnered me much in way of negative attention. Plus I carried my weight well, inasmuch as it was quite equally distributed all over my body, still allowing me to have a decent waist / hip / boob ratio! I wasn’t unusual enough for anyone to pay any attention to me – unless, of course I wanted them to, but that’s another story altogether, lol.

Aside from feeling healthier with every passing week and getting more fit and active as I get closer to my goal, there are no other things I actually anticipate being particularly different at 170 or 160lb. The increase in mobility will hopefully see me get to attend some more live music gigs (if we finally get let out of this lockdown bullshit and any of the bands I like are still even touring by then – ‘Iron Maiden’ I’m banking on y’all to still be selling out stadiums where I can get to the front row, after hours of standing and queueing to get in, while Bruce defies all logic and runs about the stage set like a man half his age, belting out classics and just being an absolute legend. That’d be fun.) I do miss live music shows. I’ll also be able to get out to watch some live motorcycle racing too, which always involves a lot of walking to find a good spot, then trying to get comfortable on a grotty embankment for a few hours. Haven’t been able to do that for a few years now. But aside from that? I have no plans to take up any adrenaline sports or do the utterly cliché thing of jumping out of a plane with a parachute on, like every other unimaginative ex-whopper seems to feel compelled to do, the minute they hit goal-weight.

I’ve always been confident in my abilities and assertive in all social settings, so that’s not something I have to consider. Nor do I have any desire to become more social once I hit goal; because both the other half and I became intentionally reclusive home-bodies, long before the fibro & arthritis started to slow me down. We’re pretty simple folk with our wants and needs. We don’t like banal, beach holidays where all you do is drink, swim and sunbathe – that kind of crap bores us. But we have a few little holiday breaks we’d like to take once things get back to normal: a week-long canal-boat break, with just the 2 of us stopping off at towns and villages with interesting museums / galleries, is something we’ve been looking into since before the whole palaver with the pandemic kicked off. And none of that is dependent on my being thin, merely my being more mobile, fit and healthy.

So…no, I can’t really see my life changing all that much at all when I eventually hit goal. I’ll just be in a better place health-wise and in the perfect position to ensure that I use all the knowledge and experience gained along the way, to keep on making better choices and take good care of both myself and my other half. Not the most exciting of life “transformations”, but then I haven’t had as much weigh to lose as many other people do, so the resulting impact is bound to be quite minimal. Which is exactly what I wanted and expected from this whole experience in the first place. Nothing earth-shattering, just some pretty mundane improvements to my health that will improve my life and longevity.

Is that a pretty dull answer? Probably. I’m a pretty dull, set in my ways kinda person. My ambitions have largely been intellectual pursuits and my ability to achieve them is not dependent on my being 270lb or 170lb, or any weight for that matter. But I will at the very least, hopefully be able do all the things I want to, with a slightly more sprightly spring in my step. Both physically and metaphorically. And “Woah…I’m (already over) halfway there to that (wo-oah, living on a prayer!” I’ll make it. I SWEAR! Lol

“Write A Letter To Yourself To Read On A Day You Feel Unmotivated Or Like Giving Up – Include Non-Scale Goals You Are Most Dedicated To!”

Dear Blue,

Do you remember when you wrote this? Is it all coming back to you now? Because if you thought for one minute that this was going to be some cheesy, load of old crap designed to try and make you feel good about yourself right now…well honey, you’re one damned delusional fuckwit, you know? I mean, you’re the one who wrote this freaking thing in the first place, so you know exactly what you got coming to you, boo. And it ain’t any of that ridiculous ‘rainbows & unicorns’, pat-you-on-the-hand-and-tell-you-that-you’ve-been-a-good-girl, bullshit, that’s for sure.

So why are you here, huh? Things starting to get a little more difficult for ya and you thought you deserved some magical intervention of reassurance from “Past You” because your current ass is too lazy and pathetic to figure out a way to get yourself out of that funk you’re in? HA! That is NOT the way we do things around here Blue – as well you know! And the shitty or miserable way you’re feeling right now, is nothing more than a mixture of laziness and fear; 2 things you aren’t prone to letting get the better of you. So why now? Why today?

Because if you’re just going through one of those moments of self-doubt, then bitch you better pick your chin up and shake yourself out of that funk RIGHT FREAKING NOW, ’cause there ain’t NOBODY coming to make this better for you. Only you can save yourself – and you have all the tools you need to do so. So quit acting like some poor, put-upon little victim, get your motherducking head back in the game and lets start smashing some more goals. Resting on your laurels is just wasting time – time you really don’t have. I get it though, every so often even you can fall prone to the occasional moment of self-doubt (I mean you’re only human…I think) but you’ve had your little moment of self-indulgent wallowing, okay? So quit acting like any of this is outside of your control, pick yourself up and get back to the task in hand.

Have you hit a “stall”…well, so what? You either caused that yourself with some carb-creep (and it better hadn’t be carb-creep you absolute moron, because there really is NO excuse for that kind of carelessness) or you’re at an actual plateau and just like everyone else, you’re going to have to go back over your food diary, make sure you aren’t eating ‘off-plan’ and if you still can’t see where you might have been going wrong, then it’s time to accept that plateaus happen to the best of us. All you can do is try to wait it out for a bit, allow your body some time to recalibrate itself and have a little patience. Yes I know that isn’t your strongest suit, but tough shit. This is just what happens to someone when they try to lose a significant amount of weight. Yes, even you Blue.

Just chill the frick out will you? I know you’re not used to not getting your own way, but you need to remember that you’re not superwoman (I mean you almost are, but even you have your off-days), you can’t control everything and sometimes you just gotta go with the flow. Let nature take its course for a while. But don’t think that that absolves you of any responsibility ok? You can’t just throw caution to the wind and start eating a bunch of junk, getting slack and sloth-like, just because your body is taking a break from losing fat for a while. You DO NOT get to take days off from taking good care of yourself Blue! Do you hear me? The days of taking your health for granted are long gone. Every single day counts, so you damn-well better make them count, by continuing to make good decisions, eating healthily and keeping your head in the freaking game.

You know that if you choose to veer ‘off-plan’ and start to disregard your health again, you will regret it for the rest of your life, right? You’ve hit 40, girl. Your younger days are in the rear-view mirror now. There are no second-chances or re-runs. You have to get your shit together RIGHT NOW and stop pissing your life away in a self-absorbed, cry-baby moment of weakness. Because that is NOT how we do things around here Blue. We don’t DO wallowing. You’re fucking better than that. You’re fucking indomitable, ya hear? Giving up might be an option for some people, but you ain’t “some people” Blue. You’re a cut above. When you decide to put your mind to something, you damn well follow through with it. No matter how difficult, frustrating or exhausting it gets, you keep on pushing through, because that’s how you were raised, Blue. You don’t come from a family of quitters and you sure as shit don’t come from a family of failures. You come from strong stock and if anyone is going to succeed at a challenge, then it’s gonna be you. So get that stubborn head of yours back on again and pull your fricking finger out.

Okay. Pep-talk over. You know what you got to do, so go do it. It’s how you act when times are their most difficult which test and reveal your true character. So embrace your inner INTJ, make a plan for how you’re going to move forward and then get your freaking shit together.

You’ve got this. Always have, always will.

Yours candidly,

Blue.


Okay, so I’m guessing my ‘letter to myself’ probably looks a lot different to how yours or anyone else’s might do, but then I really don’t benefit from anything other than a stern talking to. Commiseration ain’t my style and I’m never going to go easy on myself when I know I can and should do better. Of course life can throw up all manner of curve-balls and it’s real easy to use those occasions as an excuse to slack off. But that’s really not me. And unless something really serious rears its ugly head, literally preventing me from continuing to stick to my plan, then I’m going to continue to use all the tools I already have at my disposal to keep on keeping on. That’s kind of the point of these tools and strategies. They’re consistently applied methods that over time become habits, so that during the inevitable struggles that we’re bound to encounter at various points throughout our lives, we can continue to rely upon them without having to think twice about them. Because when life gets tricky, the last thing I want to be having to think about is how or what I’m going to eat. Having that stuff already taken care of frees up my mind to be able to focus on whatever else it is that I need to worry about. So I’m glad I have that part of my life nailed down and good to go.

Anyway, that little exercise posed by Laura was pretty fun. It’s nice to have someone else provide a prompt or question for me to have to think about and I’ll definitely give it another go in the future. I already checked with Laura to see if it was okay to include this exercise here on the blog and she graciously gave me the go-ahead; so again, if you’re not familiar with her channel, please go check it out because she’s a brilliant creator and she’s consistently putting out great content. You won’t be disappointed.

And on that note, I shall bid y’all adieu. Tomorrow is weigh-in day, so I’ll see you back here for an update, real soon.

Stay fierce y’all!

Blue

Things That Make Me Go “Mmm…”

Hi folks. Today as promised is focusing on some of the newer products I’ve been incorporating into my diet lately. Amazon is both a fantastic way to source pretty much everything you want, AND a dangerous site that will have you discovering more and more things you never realised you wanted before today…but totally NEED now that you’ve seen them, lol. Seriously, my ‘Wish Lists’ are categorised into every different type of product, yet still have over 100 items in each of them. The ones for stationery, books, perfume and foodstuffs are the biggest, as y’all can probably imagine; but I’ve definitely been working my way through the new items on the foodstuffs list a lot faster. What can I say? Your girl loves her a good protein bar, y’all!

Anyway, for those of you who are at all interested in the kind of stuff that gets me through the day, here are a few of my new favourite items – all available from Amazon at time of posting. And strap yourself in, because this is gonna be a long one folks!

Pip & Nut Almond Butter Squeeze – Box of 20 x 30g

I love these little squeezy sachets! Nut butters are something that I’ve been starting to consume more and more of lately, because they’re just such a tasty and simple way to get some protein and fat into my diet. I’ve been trying a bunch of them out recently, but this brand definitely emerged as a strong favourite for a number of reasons:

  • It. Tastes. Great.
  • It contains only 2 ingredients: almonds and a touch of sea-salt. No added sugar or palm oil. Awesome.
  • It’s a small British company set up by the founder Pip in her own kitchen as she was initially making her own nut butters for consuming after running the marathon. It went from being something she did for herself, to a small hobby that saw her selling them at London’s Maltby Street Market every weekend, and then with the help of an entrepreneur’s grant, became the successful business it is today.
  • Being pre-portioned it’s very easy to know just how many calories, carbs & protein I’m getting every time.
  • They’re conveniently portable. Nut butters are notoriously sticky and messy, so I’ve never felt inclined to carry a jar of the stuff around in my handbag with a spoon, for on-the-go consumption. But these little sachets can be taken and eaten anywhere; any time you find yourself stuck having to work late or unable to eat the convenience foods provided for everyone else, one of these will help fight off the hunger pangs and provide just enough sustenance to spur you on through the remainder of your workload.
  • Great for kids. Again they’re convenient so you can always have one in your bag or glovebox, plus they’re free from artificial additives so you know what you’re putting into your children’s bodies too. A healthy snack, the packaging also has enough bright colours on it to entice the eyes of the most discerning little one, having a hangry strop.

Almond butter is pretty new to me (until recently I’d only ever eaten peanut butter) but seeing the lower amount of carbs it contains, I was keen to try it out. Initially, I bought a box of 20 sachets thinking that if I didn’t like the taste I could easily give the rest of them away to someone else, without having contaminated the remaining ones. But that totally wasn’t the case; in fact it was love at first slurp! Being all-natural the oils can sometimes separate from the solids while stored, so you do have to give them a good squeeze to mix it up before consumption and there’s a handy reminder to do so printed just above the serrated opening area, in case you forget; but the sachets hold up perfectly to a little manual manipulation. Overall the packaging just feels incredibly well thought out and definitely contributes to my desire to repurchase.

Like I said, this was the first almond butter I’d ever tried, so I don’t have anything to compare it to taste-wise. But I’m pretty hooked on this stuff for all the reasons already mentioned. I bought my box for £18.99 on Amazon, but you can also buy them directly from the company’s own website, for £20 – with free p&p for orders over £30. (Their sachets are also available in their ‘Peanut Butter Squeeze’ and ‘Coconut Almond Butter Squeeze’ varieties – both of which can also be purchased either from Amazon or Pip & Nut’s online store. NB: The ‘Coconut Almond Butter’ version isn’t strictly low-carb as it contains agave syrup.)

I know some people have mentioned that these sachets are a bit costly, for what is essentially just 600g of almond butter; but you’re really just paying extra for the convenience factor and I for one am more than happy to fork out a little more for something I can a/ take with me anywhere and b/ know exactly what the pre-portioned sachets are providing me macro-wise. If the convenience of portability isn’t important to you however, you can just buy a regular jar or big old tub of the stuff instead. A 1kg tub is £15.51 from Amazon, or £15.80 directly from Pip & Nut – and for those of you who develop a real taste for this stuff (which is highly likely if you’re anything like me, lol) there are ‘Subscribe & Save’ options on both sites, as well as discounted bundles to help save you a few pounds each month.

ManiLife Deep Roast Crunchy Peanut Butter – 1kg tub

Yes, its another nut butter, but WHAT a nut butter! Seriously, this stuff is the best tasting peanut butter I’ve ever tried! It combines a deep dark flavour, with a thick and creamy texture and BIG crunchy pieces. Nom! To explain how this comestible work of art came about, let me quote directly from the ManiLife website:

“The deep roast crunchy was born out of a miraculous mistake in the Mani-kitchen. We thought we’d burnt the nuts. Then we tasted it… A deep, delicious flavour that our fans tell us is a life-changing experience!”

Talk about a fortuitous mistake! I am so glad that they decided to go ahead and market this unintentional creation, because it really does take peanut butter to a whole other level. Here are some of the reasons I really like both the product and the company:

  • It. Tastes. Great.
  • It contains only 2 ingredients: almonds and a touch of sea-salt. No added sugar or palm oil. Awesome.
  • It’s a small British company who thanks to their consistently great product have grown to become one of, if not the only majorly distributed peanut butter brand in the UK that produces in small batches.
  • They source all their peanuts from one farm in Córdoba, Argentina, thus guaranteeing the same level of quality every single time.
  • The peanuts they use are not only naturally sweeter but as they’re hi-oleic, they’re better for you too. They only use whole peanuts – high grade 38/42s – and never use splits (these are like the off cuts that a lot of brands use – they’re cheaper and less consistent).
  • The deep roast along with the hi-oleic peanuts actually brings down the amount of carbs per serving. Regular peanut butters would be around 12g carbs per 100g; this stuff is 10g per 100g and still packs a rich amazing flavour.
  • As the original creator of the deep roast they were the first peanut butter brand on earth to start thinking about roasting peanuts the same way master roasters think about coffee. ManiLife prides itself on creating flavour through craft rather than ingredients, which is something I really dig.
  • The 1kg tub comes with a little handle which makes it look like a little bucket. Who doesn’t want a bucket of yummy peanut butter, lol?

Before I switched over to a low-carb WOE, I used to eat a lot of peanut butter on toast with Marmite. Some people still eat Marmite on a keto diet, but at just over 3g of carbs per 20g (about 4 teaspoons) I’ve been holding off reintroducing it until a later date. But, the deep roast flavour of this particular peanut butter actually reminds me a lot of that PB&M combo I used to eat so much of. It’s not exactly the same (and if you hate Marmite, please don’t think you should avoid trying this product, because it is not the same thing) but it definitely evokes a rich umami taste like Marmite does. Being so intense in flavour, a little goes a long way when it comes to satisfaction. (Although, it does take a bit of self-restraint to not just nip back into the kitchen for another yummy spoonful!)

I was completely unaware of this company or of the existence of deep roast peanut butters at all, until Amazon suggested it in my ‘Recommended For You’ section. Of course that means I have no other deep roast peanut butter to compare it to, but I absolutely love it. And seeing that other companies have since started to include their own version of this product in their ranges, I’m guessing it’s become very popular with the nut butter loving masses as a whole. It’s even won an award, being the only Peanut Butter on Earth ever to win the highest level of 3* at the Great Taste Awards – high praise indeed! – as well as having been rated 10/10 by The Sun, The Metro and The Daily Mail.

This 1kg tub cost me £9.99 from Amazon, but you can also purchase it directly from ManiLife’s own website for £10.95. They don’t just make this deep roast crunchy version though, they also make it smooth and also offer regular roast in both the smooth and crunchy variety as well. I haven’t tried any of those yet myself, but if this one is anything to go by, I’m sure they’ll all taste great. They all come in smaller jars too and can be purchased in various bundles (on both Amazon and their own site), but one option that is only available from ManiLife directly, is their Mini Taster Pack. This looks like such a brilliant little idea, because it gives you the option to try all 4 versions of their nut butters, without committing to any larger jars or tubs that you might end up not liking. The taster pack contains 4 little 15g pots and costs just £2. Perfect. So if you’re curious about the ManiLife brand and fancy trying them out, why not head over to their site and get yourself a wee Taster Pack to see what all the fuss is about.

Coffee-Mate Sugar-Free Creamer – Vanilla Caramel

Holy moly folks; this stuff is THE BOMB DOT COM! Yes really. I’ve been a big-time coffee drinker ever since I was 10 years old and wanted to know what the deal was with the funny gurgling machine on the kitchen counter and the great smelling pot of liquid it produced each morning. Over the years I’ve experimented with various beans and blends from all around the globe, finding firm favourites in some lovely Ethiopian varieties such as the darker Yirgacheffe Kochere and subtler Sidamo beans. But it’s not always practical to fire up the coffee machine when it’s only me at home and I’m not going to be drinking more than a single cup. So, of course I also have a tub of instant on hand for those time when I’m slumming it, lol. The one I usually buy is the ‘Nescafé Gold Blend Barista Instant Coffee – 180g Tin’ which sounds a bit more expensive at around £8.50 a go, but the 180g tin is almost twice the size of a regular 100g jar of coffee and it really does taste remarkably good for a peasant brew, lol.

But enough about the coffee, this is about the creamer right? I take my coffee both black or with milk/cream – it just depends on my mood. But the almond milk I use for my protein shakes doesn’t taste particularly nice in coffee and whilst full fat heavy cream is perfectly acceptable in moderation on my personal WOE, I always end up throwing most of it away. It only keeps for a couple of days before it starts to go off and even if I buy the smallest pot in the shop, I never get more than 2-3 cups of coffee out of it before I have to tip the rest down the toilet. That kind of waste really irks me, but I never have more than one creamy coffee a day and the other half doesn’t like putting it in his own coffee. So up until now I’ve been using no more than a third of a pot before having to dispose of the rest. But this product here has changed all that for the better! Now I just have to add a couple of teaspoons of this creamer to my coffee and I get a lovely, rich, indulgent tasting hot beverage. But what’s so good about it?

  • It contains 0g of carbohydrate per teaspoon. Knowing how companies can round any carb amount under 0.5g per serving, down to 0g on their nutritional panels, to err on the side of caution I can consider each teaspoon to contain a maximum of 0.5g of carbs, bringing the total potential amount for 2 teaspoons up to a very manageable 1g of carbohydrate. (Do check the label though as older formulations show a different nutritional composition.)
  • It’s already sweetened with sucralose and erythritol which means I don’t need to add any subsequent sweetener to my coffee. (Normally I use 1 Splenda pressed mini-tablet in a fairly large cup of coffee.)
  • Because of that added sweetener, it’s also a nice thing to have on hand for those moments (cough*TOM*cough) when the odd sweet craving starts to rear its ugly head.
  • Now this might sound a bit weird, but it also makes the whole thing taste ever so slightly like an Irish coffee! This may or may not be to your liking, but I very much enjoy it. It makes my coffee taste very decadent – especially on a cold, wet, winter afternoon.
  • It’s just stored in the cupboard and unlike cream, won’t go off in a couple of days. This reduces waste and means I never have to worry about making sure I nip to the shop before it closes if I’m going to have anything other than black coffee the following morning. (No 24hr stores round these parts folks!)

I can’t remember where I first heard about this stuff, but when I found it on Amazon I just HAD to buy it. (The sugar-free version also comes in ‘French Vanilla’, ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Hazelnut’ flavours – all of which I fully intend to try – but the ‘Vanilla Caramel’ had the best Amazon reviews so I figured I’d start off with that one.) If I’m honest, I really wasn’t expecting much from it. I figured it might end up being a weirdly mix-resistant powder that left a grainy layer of silt in the bottom of my mug; rather similar to the disappointing result I got from adding a collagen powder to my coffee a few months ago. But I still had to try it out for myself and man, was I ever glad I did! This is one of those products that has been a real game-changer for me after I switched over to the low-carb WOE. It might sound like something trivial to some people, but a good cup of coffee can really help get you through the day. Whether it’s a strong cup to get you going in the morning, a milder one to help you to relax of an evening, or a mid-afternoon “hug-in-a-mug” that helps to tide you over until dinnertime, good coffee is one of life’s essential luxuries. And this sugar-free creamer just makes it much easier for me to enjoy my coffee at any time of day.

Pricewise, it cost me £7.30 from Amazon, for a 289.1g tub. The other half though that sounded a bit much for some Coffee-Mate, because he uses the regular one which costs around £1.50 for a 180g tub. This one contains 100g more than his does, but aside from being a completely different product (as opposed to the same stuff just with sweetener instead of sugar) it’s also an American import. I don’t know if they’re available for sale in the UK (the closest thing I could find online is ‘Coffee-Mate Light’ for sale in Asda and that’s a reduced-fat product that has glucose syrup at the very top of its ingredients list) but they’re sold by various small businesses / Amazon 3rd Party Sellers who deal in US grocery imports. I don’t know why this isn’t sold in regular UK supermarkets – especially now that keto has become so popular, normal and accepted by the general public. It’s certainly not weird to find a non-diabetic customer looking for a sugar-free version of various products. But alas, I was only able to procure mine from a US Grocery 3rd Party Amazon Seller and shall continue to do so for as long as I’m able. This stuff really adds a special something to my regular cup of joe. And if you consider the cost of a fancy-schmancy cup of flavoured sugar-water from the likes of Starbucks (about £2-£4 depending on your preferred concoction), it’s worth its weight in gold. Or a decent cup of coffee at the very least.

Caramel Pretzel Battle Bites Protein Bars – 12 x 62g

I couldn’t do a product review without including at least one protein bar, could I? Whilst the rest of the weight-loss community online all seem to be singing the praises of the new ‘Built Bars’ (I’ve yet to try them out myself because they contain sugar and seem to average about 4g of carbs / sugars per bar – but their flavour range does looks pretty impressive) I’ve been enjoying the odd ‘Caramel Pretzel Battle Bites Protein Bar’. And they really are quite scrumptious. Here’s what’s so good about them:

  • They. Taste. Good.
  • Despite being described as “A” bar (singular) each packet actually contains 2 smaller bars. I especially like this because I regularly eat only half a regular protein bar in one sitting (just enough to put something in my stomach before I take my meds, or a sufficient little sweet-hit at the end of a meal) thus causing me to leave half-eaten bars lying all around the house. Sometimes a bar can be sticky or crumbly, which means mess; but having a 64g bar already divided up into 2 separate half-bars prevents that. I also think it might be helpful to those wanting to limit their own intake, because it’s probably a lot easier to put an entirely separate bar away for later, than it is to stop yourself from continuing to eat the whole bar you’re already holding in your hand.
  • They are made by a small family run bakery in the UK.
  • The texture is a lot different to most other protein bars. A lot of the time bars are made with extruded protein, but ‘Battle Bites’ are baked for a much softer, fluffier, cake-like texture.
  • I haven’t tried any of their ‘Battle Oats Flapjacks’ as they don’t fit in with my very low-carb eating plan (although the ‘Cherry Bakewell’ flavour sounds pretty freaking awesome to this very-cherry-bomb chick!) but the ‘Battle Bites’ bars currently come in 11 different flavour options – all of which sound very yummy!
  • Two of the flavours (‘Chocolate Caramel’ and ‘White Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow’) also come in boxes of what they call ‘Minis’ which comprise just a single piece from the regular 2-piece bars. Again these are great for those of us who like to eat just a half at a time; that they are individually wrapped may also help some people avoid the temptation to eat both pieces in one sitting.
  • They just taste like a nice candy bar. My other half isn’t a huge fan of protein bars in general because he doesn’t like the way a lot of them taste. But he will happily eat one of these as a snack, so if he’s having one of his epic gaming marathons and refuses to stop for dinner, I can at least get him to scarf down one of these to tide him over until he finally logs off and realises he needs to have a proper meal. (Yes, he’s one of those infuriating people who can consume all the junk, maintain a great physique and regularly “forgets” to eat – weirdo!)

So, I first tried this brand back when I first switched to the low-carb WOE. I went with the ‘White Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow’ version which tasted great, but having so many other brands out there to road-test, I almost forgot about these guys and took another 4 months before I came back to try another of their flavours. Again, they turned up in my Amazon ‘Recommended For You’ section and as soon as I saw what the flavour was I immediately hit that ‘Buy Now’ button! Yeah, I’m kind of a fiend for all things caramel and love that I can still have the odd sugar-free option in a variety of products. I also want to try their ‘Carrot Cake’, ‘Red Velvet’ and ‘Winter Wonderland Irish Cream’ flavours too – the WWIC one might make a really nice accompaniment to my coffee with Coffee-Mate Vanilla Caramel creamer…whaddaya think?

This ‘Caramel Pretzel’ one though has a taste reminiscent of ‘Caramac Bars’ or ‘McVitie’s Gold Biscuit Bars‘, so if you like either of those and you’re interested in a low-carb alternative, you’ll probably really like these ‘Caramel Pretzel’ bars too. If you’re looking for a low-sugar (2g) high-protein (20g) snack that won’t put a huge dent in your calorie allowance (220 calories per 62g bar), and you want it to actually taste good, definitely give them a try. I bought my box of 12 x 62g bars from Amazon for £18.95. But you can also buy them directly from their ‘Battle Bites’ website for £20 a box. Right now they’re currently running their own promotion where you can buy 2 boxes of ‘Battle Bites’ for £35, or 3 boxes for £48, so if you’re already a fan and fancy stocking up, now is definitely the time. There are also ‘Subscribe & Save’ options available on both Amazon and the ‘Battle Bites’ company website, if you’re likely to want to purchase these on the regular and save yourself a few pounds each month.

I think these are really good value for money. A box of 12 x 64g bars will set you back anything from £18 – £20 (prices seem to fluctuate a fair bit on Amazon, depending on demand) and that works out at around £1.50 – £1.67 per bar. That’s quite a bit cheaper than a lot of other protein bars out there, yet their taste and texture beats a lot of the opposition, hands down. They’re not the most serious protein bar out there, but they have great macros, are suitable for those of us with keto / low-carb lifestyles, and with a whole host of fun flavours available, they’re the perfect little treat to have on-hand any time you start to feel hungry, need an energy boost or just want all the taste of a truly decadent candy bar without any of the sugary, high-carb guilt. And what’s life without having the occasional hit of caramel to bring a wee smile to your face?

Perlege: No Added Sugar Milk Chocolate with Stevia 3 x 42g Bars

I know I’ve mentioned these briefly before, but they’ve really become a firm favourite of mine ever since I discovered them. I last spoke about them in my ‘Post Christmas Weigh-In’ post, where I talked about how they were one of the products that helped me to stay 100% ‘on-plan’ and continue to lose weight over the Christmas period. Not that I’ve ever eaten at all ‘off-plan’ since the switch to a low-carb way of life – or really even felt tempted to – but I knew that there would be a lot of desserts and chocolate about over Christmas and I wanted to go prepared to my parents’ house with my own sugar-free alternatives. And to be honest, I didn’t eat a lot of this Perlege chocolate during those days, but it was nice to have it with me as a small, readily available, ‘on-plan’ treat.

Now onto the things I really like about this stuff:

  • It. Tastes. Great.
  • On their website they state that the brand was born out of desire to “innovate on the chocolate market, with an exceptional recipe that would make people with diabetes or other sugar related disorders, forget that they cannot consume regular chocolate.” And they’ve definitely achieved that. This stuff tastes like regular, rich, decadent Belgian chocolate.
  • Their website also details how their recipes evolved over time to include a mixture of Stevia and fewer sugar alcohols, which makes the chocolate less likely to provoke gastrointestinal problems. I can absolutely attest to this. I’ve never sat and munched my way through multiple bars of this product in one sitting – I tend to have no more than 3 chunks (half a 42g bar) at a time with a good cup of coffee – but I’ve never experienced any negative side-effects from it.
  • This chocolate contains a really nice amount of cocoa, which makes each little chunk very flavourful and satisfying: their dark chocolate contains 85% cocoa and their milk chocolate contains 57% cocoa. I have yet to try the dark chocolate version, but in my opinion their milk chocolate strikes the perfect balance between deep chocolatey richness, sweetness and creaminess. (Perlege also offer a whole range of other bars that contain different flavours and ingredients – Pear, Mango, Orange, Blueberry, Hazelnut, Wafer – and even nice little boxes of pralines that would make a lovely gift option. Those of y’all who want to peruse and even download their product range can access the catalogue here. Not gonna lie, the dark chocolate with mango ganache sounds pretty fricking epic, lol!)
  • Perlege’s chocolate also comes in different sized bars and tablet slabs. I especially like these smaller 42g bars though because despite being dinky, the attention to detail is still immaculate, with the gold foil offsetting the paper wrapper in a way that makes the product look luxurious rather than tacky. It’s maybe only a small thing, but when you’re looking to treat yourself with something nice, the presentation definitely adds to the overall experience. Picking up, holding and then opening one of these bars feels a lot more special than just cracking open any regular candy bar. It’s more deluxe looking and that helps make eating this chocolate feel like a moment to be savoured, rather than a quick, mindless snack.
  • Being individually portioned into a smaller 42g bar also removes the temptation to eat more than you ought to. I mean, each 42g bar still contains 10g of carbohydrate, so they’re not something you can just munch on with abandon. It’s much easier to moderate my own consumption with these smaller bars because if I eat half of one a/ that’s not dissimilar to the way in which I regularly only consume half a protein bar and b/ the three pieces that make up half a bar are decently chunky; so when I pop a piece into my mouth the shape and size alone feels more substantive and satisfying than a piece of a flatter tablet of chocolate. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else, but since changing up my eating habits I’ve started to look at the different ways in which certain foods are not only nutritionally made up, but the ways in which they are also presented, structured and divided up. A lot of this is mind-games; a way of not necessarily fooling myself (’cause mama didn’t raise no fool, y’all!) but tapping into the different aspects of sensory perception that can mean the difference between feeling deprived and feeling satisfied. Yeah I probably sound like a crazy lady right now, but maybe I’ll try to go into it a little more and explain myself better in a separate post.

I purchased these bars in a pack of 3 for £6.99, from a 3rd Party Seller on Amazon, which works out at £2.33 per bar. That might sound like a lot for something quite a bit smaller than many regular candy bars on the market. But sugar-free products are always more expensive – the demand for them is far smaller to begin with. But the price-point also seems to reinforce the idea that this isn’t something to be scarfed back without thinking. We’re not talking bank-breakingly expensive here, just something that should perhaps be regarded as a slightly more considered purchase, treat-wise. By choosing Perlege over Hershey’s or Cadbury’s chocolate bars, you’re acknowledging that whilst you feel you deserve to have something decadent and tasty, you also deserve to spend a little more money on a healthier alternative to the aforementioned sugary bars. You’re choosing to prioritise better quality products consumed less frequently, over poorer quality ones consumed regularly.

So, obviously this chocolate is not something I eat every day; or every week even. However, since discovering the brand, it’s definitely become a “Shark Week” staple and I’ve always got a few bars tucked away in my ‘snack stash’. But as I mentioned above, it still contains 10g of carbohydrate per 42g bar. And I don’t doubt for one minute that the Keto Police would have a lot to say about how it’s not “clean keto”. To them I shall of course give the standard response of:

“Screw you; you’re not my real dad. You can’t tell me what to do!”

But more importantly, I’m in this for the long haul. I’m not “doing a diet” for some short-term gains and as I continue to lose weight, I’m also working on creating a more balanced, sensible and sustainable approach to eating that will hopefully last a lifetime. I’ve mentioned in a previous post how I used to eat chocolate every day with capricious abandon; caring not about the calories, carbohydrates or nutrition it was providing me. But that’s one of the habits I need to change in order to not only lose weight, but improve and maintain my health in the long term. Working on seeing something like this chocolate, not as an item for everyday, casual consumption, but as an occasional treat to be savoured every so often, is just one method I’m employing in order to become somewhat more intentional with my eating. Maybe I could be more stringent and strict with my food intake – and maybe I’ll look into taking that approach at some point in the future – but maybe, just maybe I should focus on trying to employ a little more moderation than total abstinence with regards to ‘treats’ – all whilst continuing to stick to my 20g max of carbohydrate per day.

Who knows. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe having the odd bit of sugar-free chocolate, a few protein bars and some diet sodas will be my undoing and I’ll have to look into omitting them from my diet sometime in the future. If that’s the case then sure, I’ll hold my hands up and admit that these products just aren’t suitable for me after all and I’ll adjust my consumption accordingly. But for now I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing while it’s still working for me; taking care to ensure that it also remains workable as a long term strategy.

And that ladies and gentlemen, brings us to the end of our little product review today. As with the previous one, let me just reiterate that I am in no way affiliated with any of the brands featured. All products were consumed with my own money and I have received no reimbursement for these reviews. The only way a company can persuade me to give their product a glowing review, is by creating and selling something I will feel naturally inclined to want to purchase and heap subsequent praise upon. Not that any company could care less what this tiny blog has to say about anything, but it’s important for y’all to know that everything you read on here is completely genuine.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these 5 “must have” items; let me know if you’ve tried any of them yourselves, and whether or not you share my unbridled enthusiasm for them.

Make tasty choices folks!

Blue

Lightbulb Moment – I Was Wrong!

The video clip here is a trailer for a British TV show about the vast number of people employed to work around the clock, attending to the everyday needs, health concerns and emergency situations that face the morbidly obese. There are quite a few shows about hugely fat people on TV now, but most of them are focused on the individuals themselves – with many programmes covering subjects like extreme weight-loss surgery and skin removal. But this show is a little different, in that the focus is on the people who have to be brought in to deal with this growing number of morbidly & super-morbidly obese in Britain today – aka -The Big Body Squad.

And even though I only caught the second half of the programme, I watched enough to be thoroughly shocked by what I saw. Not by the massively fat bodies (it’s a sad indictment of our time that seeing super-morbidly obese bodies on TV or in the real world, is no longer anything new or shocking) but by the amount of time, effort and money being forked out by the NHS to cater for these hugely fat people: £5000 hoists being installed into the (already adapted for the supersized) home of a 40 stone (560lb) man; 70 foot amputations being performed every week at a cost of £6000 a procedure, on overweight patients with Type II Diabetes; specialist shoes being made to fit the massive, deformed feet of obese people costing anywhere from £200-£600 per pair.

And that’s all on top of the extra costs incurred for the 800 specially constructed ambulances designed to carry the super-morbidly obese, the supersized hospital beds / medical equipment and extra staff all needed to transport and treat these huge patients. Just listening to all the costs racking up for people who have essentially chosen to eat themselves to the point of invalidity shocked and appalled me. In a country with socialised healthcare, these services are all taxpayer funded. Obesity isn’t something that just happens to a person, it’s something that some of us choose to allow to develop through bad habits. In Britain you can choose to eat yourself almost to the point of death, safe in the knowledge that the taxpayer will always be there to foot the bill for any and all treatment you require. And realising that actually disgusted me.

Because I am one of those selfish fat people who up until recently, was on a clear-cut path to requiring medical intervention for a problem that was almost entirely of my own making. And I’m ashamed of that. I’ve been an accident prone klutz all my life and have broken bones in every part of my body. I’ve had casts, crutches, sutures, x-rays and so many trips to the ER that it’s a wonder my parents were never flagged up as potential child abusers, lol. As an adult I’ve had kidney stones, a sterilisation procedure and been treated for a mental health breakdown – all thanks to the NHS. Of course, I’ve been paying into the system ever since I was 18 years old and first went out to work, so it’s not as though I’ve simply been taking but not contributing to the pot. But 4 months ago I weighed 270lb (19 stone 4lb) and was in danger of seriously impeding my own mobility due to a mixture of fibromyalgia, arthritis and the vast amount of weight I’d allowed myself to put on over the years. If I had allowed that to happen, I would’ve been completely housebound and continually taking from the pot of socialised healthcare, without ever paying into it again.

But it gets worse. On that television show they showed a fire department in Essex as they carried out an emergency evacuation drill on a simulated plane crash. One of the people they were practicing the treatment and evacuation of, was a 25 stone (350lb) man who needed to be taken out on a stretcher. Because of his size, he not only required more firemen to get him out, but they also had to take into consideration the escape route available. His size meant that they would have needed to use axes and hammers to make the exit larger in order to get him out on the stretcher. They also had to evacuate all the other passengers first to make way for his extra bulk, so he was in extra danger himself the whole time. When I watched that drill all I could think about was:

“That could have been me.”

Think about it. Let’s pretend that I’m still 270lbs and my house catches fire. Smoke inhalation renders me unconscious, but still alive. Firemen then have to rescue me from the burning building, but I’m not your average-weighted woman. I’m 270lbs! I know those guys are strong, but in a burning building where they’re already weighed down by their heavy protective clothing and breathing apparatus, to then have to pick up and carry my disgustingly vast frame out to safety would probably take at least 2 of them. That’s 2 or more men when there would also be other people in need of rescuing, but my fat arse is taking extra resources away from saving other lives. How utterly fucking selfish of me!

Throughout my life I’ve always made sure to know exactly how I’d get out of a building should it catch fire. I’m hyper-vigilant with regards to knowing where the fire-exits are in places I go to like hotels, bars, restaurants and music venues and I’ve always had escape routes fully planned out in every place I’ve ever lived. But I’ve never previously taken the time to consider how I would get out if I were injured or rendered unconscious. We all just tend to assume that the emergency services will be able to get us out in those instances. But what about those of us who weigh a lot more than the average citizen? How easy would it be for firemen and ambulance crews to rescue us, when we’re morbidly or super-morbidly obese?

Just thinking about these scenarios made me realise what an inconsiderate fat bitch I’ve been all my life. I’ve never once given a thought to all the extra effort, time and money that I would require, just because I was too greedy, fat and lazy to get my own weight under control. And this isn’t me pushing for some extra government intervention to force fat people to lose weight – I’m actually very much against the ever-growing bureaucratic tyranny in the west – but if we’re going to live under a system of socialised healthcare then there really needs to be some kind of cut-off point where we simply refuse to help those who refuse to help themselves. Because the amount of tax-payer money being spent to enable super-morbidly obese people to continue to wallow in their bad decisions is insane. Socialised healthcare and the welfare state are supposed to be social safety nets designed to enable those who simply cannot – through no fault of their own – provide for their own food, lodgings and medical treatment. Yet the abuse of these systems is so rife now, I’m surprised that anyone wants to actually go to work and pay any damned taxes.

Yes, I know that it’s not just the mega-fat people placing an extra, unnecessary burden on public resources, but it’s a (literally) vastly expanding demographic made up of those who actually have the power to change their own lives and become less of a drain on the system. And I say that as someone who is personally disgusted with myself for having chosen to get to a weight of 270lb with no regard for how that might actually impact both the lives of others and the amount of public spending required to keep me alive. There are so many people with illnesses and conditions that are not the result of poor choices, who need the everyday services of the NHS and special attention in emergency situations. What right do I have to take from a public purse, just because I chose to eat myself to the point of immobility? It’s disgraceful and I’m really ashamed of myself for ever having gotten to that point.

It’s just one more reason to never allow myself to get so fat and out of shape ever again. I will NOT be that morbidly obese woman who requires a team of paramedics to evacuate me from my home because I’m just too fat for a 2 man team to deal with. I will NOT eat myself to the point of immobility and cost the NHS thousands of pounds just to have me fed, cleaned and kept alive with CPAP machines and the like. It is incumbent upon me as a member of society to employ a sufficient amount of personal responsibility, so as not to be an unnecessary burden on my fellow citizens, due to my own bad choices. Because to live any other way is selfish, greedy and indicative of nothing more than a childish level of expectation that someone else will always be there to save my pathetic arse. I just wish I’d had this moment of realisation sooner.

Because I am by no means out of the water just yet. I’m only 50% of the way towards my initial goal and I still weigh about 220lb (15 stone 9), which is far more than I ought to be for a woman of my height (5ft) and build. I am still going to be more difficult to evacuate and treat than a normal sized woman, should an emergency situation arise and I am still putting myself at a further risk of cancer or heart disease – things that would be another unnecessary drain on the NHS – and I’m just not okay with that. Watching this show really was a “lightbulb moment” for me, making me realise for the first time in my life, just how selfishly irresponsible I’d been behaving. I do not want to be that selfish person anymore. I want to be personally responsible for my health and wellbeing, and own my shit!

It’s funny, because we’re currently in lockdown over this global pandemic, which has led to a lot of militancy regarding mask-wearing; because we’re supposed to be doing our bit to protect other people and reduce the strain on the healthcare system. In Britain for example, the government have created and disseminated slogans like:

“Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives!”

as non-essential businesses such as bars, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs, theatres, gyms and leisure centres as well as places of worship were instructed to shut. I’m not about to get into the realities of the efficacy regarding mask wearing (or the various arguments regarding civil liberties) right now, but it’s amazing to see just how many people are out there parroting these slogans and demanding that we all wear our masks to “Save The NHS!” whilst continuing to engage in habits and behaviours that over time will impact their own health and therefore put an avoidable extra strain on the NHS. (I’m looking at you, “fat acceptance” morons!) Funny how that expected level of civic duty only seems to extend to the kind of action that involves absolutely no effort whatsoever, huh?

And this isn’t something that only affects the UK because of our socialised healthcare system. In the States, there is no NHS. If someone gets ill, it’s likely they will have to pay for their treatment themselves. The US government does fund two kinds of health plans though: Medicare and Medicaid. They are especially designed for the elderly, disabled, poor, and young. However, many Americans have their healthcare paid for by their employer. It’s often included as a fringe benefit in job packages. If a person is in receipt of Medicare or Medicaid, they are still going to be taking more from that ‘pot’, if they are creating more health problems for themselves via unhealthy habits and behaviours. Those who pay insurance premiums aren’t really off the hook either though, because an increase in morbid and super-morbid obesity only leads to insurance companies increasing the cost of those premiums to deal with an ever expanding population of fat, unhealthy citizens. Plus, the other emergency services like the police and fire department receive funding from a variety of revenue streams, including local public funds, federal grants, fines and fees, forfeitures, and private donations. So any time a massively fat person requires extra rescuers, a larger stretcher or other supersized rescue equipment, that’s still coming out of a central ‘pot’.

Like it or not, massively obese people are an unnecessarily selfish drain of resources that could be better apportioned to those who haven’t gotten disgustingly immobile because they just really like eating doughnuts. And I know that there will be people reading this who think I’m being a total hypocrite for calling out other fat people when I’m still hugely overweight myself. But I’m willing to stand up and say that I HAVE been a disgustingly selfish, potential extra drain on resources over the years and I fully own that. I was wrong to let myself get this fat, thinking it was fine because there was no immediate noticeable effect on my quality of life – and I need to keep on working hard to make that right.

Personal responsibility isn’t a particularly sexy or popular idea these days, but we as a society really need to change that and have individuals start making it a priority. Systems put in place to help the most desperately unfortunate have now given way to becoming an easy resource for people to take advantage of, and all this does is beget a population who through laziness and expectation allow the tyranny of bureaucracy to creep further into every aspect of our lives. The more we come to rely and depend on the assistance of others, the less self-reliant and independent we become as a result. And that in turn makes us apathetic, easily controlled sheep, ripe for control and domination.

Screw that. I don’t want to be lazy, fat sheep. I’m going to do everything I can to take care of myself, continue to lose weight, improve my fitness and embrace my inner cat: sleek, smart and unpredictable, with the ability to take other people or leave them, depending on my mood. I want to be as self-reliant and responsible as possible – for as many years as possible. Because the upcoming Chinese zodiac sign might be an Ox, but for me 2021 is going to be ‘The Year Of The Cat’.

Meow y’all

(Russian) Blue

Revenge Of The Chia Seeds / Weigh-In Day

I feel like Mr Blobby so much right now. Bloated, swollen and unsteady on my feet (not that my being clumsy is anything new, but it certainly adds to my current miserable state). Before I go any further, I just want to warn y’all that today is going to be another great big, fat TMI filled post where I talk about going to the bathroom. Not in an unnecessarily graphic way or anything like that, but I figured I’d just give y’all a heads-up so you can at least say you had fair warning.

Okay, so let’s begin this little recap with some details about the kind of medication I take on a regular basis. For years now, I’ve been prescribed Venlafaxine, Sertraline, Diazepam, Propranolol, and Zopiclone which I take on a daily basis. None of these cause me any problems, but I’m also prescribed soluble co-codamol (Solpadol: 30/500) to help with the chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia and arthritis (I also take ibuprofen regularly too, but I just buy those myself OTC). The co-codamol is to be taken a maximum of 4 times a day – which comprises 2 of those soluble tablets per dose – but for the most part I try not to take the maximum daily dose unless I really need it.

This past month however has been an absolute nightmare for the arthritis. Despite my having lost 50lb over the past 4 months, the colder weather has been causing my knees to swell and seize up, worse than usual, making it really difficult to get out of the house, up & down the stairs or into town. They hurt when I wake up, they hurt when I go to bed and they have me shuffling around like The Tin Man from The Wizard Of Oz all day long. So, I’ve been taking the maximum dose every day for the past week or so…which has had a rather unpleasant side-effect: namely constipation.

I wanted to try and counter this side-effect without having to resort to more medication, so I looked into finding a more natural source of relief and discovered a wealth of online information touting chia seeds as the perfect solution. Almost entirely made up of dietary fibre, they’re deemed fine for people on a low-carb or keto diet, so I bought myself a big old bag of the little blighters and went ham adding them to every salad and shake I consumed. The texture they added to my protein shake didn’t bother me and when sprinkled (liberally) on my salads, they added a nice bit of texture and a taste similar to that of poppy seeds. Great, I thought. Let nature take its course.

Only it didn’t. In fact things only got worse as I ended up going 3 whole days without pooping – something that never really happens to me, what with my always having a diet rich in lots of vegetables. By day 4 I was hideously uncomfortable and starting to have really awful premonition about my having to go see a doctor and end up being given some horrendous suppositories, so the day after New Year I shuffled into town (still walking like The Tin Man with my arthritic knees) to buy some ‘Max Strength Senakot’ laxatives. Part of me thought however that they might not be strong enough to do the trick, so drawing on previous experience with sugar-alcohol filled candies, I also picked up a bag of sugar-free gummy bears, sweetened with maltitol – just in case. (For anyone unfamiliar with the powerful side-effects associated with this kind of product, please check out the hilarious product reviews left on Amazon, by some rather surprised customers, lol.)

When I got home, I took one of the Senakot tablets with a pint of water and tried to wait it out. But 3 hours later, nothing was happening. I was so full and bloated and uncomfortable with no relief in site, so I just thought:

“Fuck it, time for plan B!”

And proceeded to eat the entire bag of sugar-free gummy bears. I mean, that had to work, right? Trust me, I was desperate. I just needed something, ANYTHING to work, so despite knowing how powerful these innocent looking jelly sweets could be, I just chowed down on every single last one. And I waited.

And waited.

And while I waited, I decided to do a bit more Googling on those chia seed things. This time I entered:

“Can chia seeds cause constipation?”

into my browser and, lo and behold it turns out that while chia seeds can indeed be consumed as a source of dietary fibre in order to prevent or alleviate constipation…they can also have the opposite effect in someone who is a/ not used to consuming them b/ intolerant to them, or c/ taking too many of them at once, or in their dry format. Okay but, WHERE WAS ALL THIS INFORMATION BACK WHEN I WAS LOOKING INTO THEM ORIGINALLY?? MIGHT HAVE BEEN A REAL HELP BACK THEN, INTERNET!

So yeah, these chia seed demons, have a specific property that causes them to swell up and create a gel-like blob around them (mucilage), when they’re soaked in a liquid for over 20 mins. Lot of people use them to make chia-pudding, which creates a kind of tapioca-esque consistency when added to coconut, cashew or almond milk. But that little property they have also means that if you consume them dry, you’re sending these little moisture-absorbing bastards into your digestive system, where they will proceed to draw water out of any available source as they make their way through your intestinal tract. And what subsequent effect does that dehydration have on one’s body? Yup, constipation. So I was basically trying to alleviate the constipation I already had…by adding another ingredient that was only going to make the situation worse.

Yay me!

I swear sometimes, if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. It’s nothing new for me to make a situation worse, by trying to make it better. I shouldn’t even be left in possession of a human body without adult supervision FFS. But that thing with the chia seeds really is something that everyone should really be aware of, if they’re ever considering adding them to their diet. They absolutely can be added to salads the way I was doing, but I think you really need to ease yourself in to the amount you consume, as well as making sure that you drink plenty of water at the same time. I tend not to drink water with my meal because I don’t like to get a fake sense of satiety by filling up on liquids that will only wear off quickly after – making me feel hungrier again, sooner. That was definitely where I went wrong with my own approach.

But anyway, back to the sofa on the day after New Year. I’d taken the Senokot which hadn’t provided any results and then scarfed down an entire bag of sugar-free gummy bears to try and get things moving again. About a half hour an our after eating the gummy bears, things were definitely starting to “happen” in my gut. Gurgling, bubbling noises and an increased sense of bloating had me feeling like I was actually going to explode. It was all going on in my stomach and what felt like the very top part of my duodenum; nothing further down. But it was fizzing and growling and really starting to freak me out. Had anyone ever died because they blew out their intestines with sugar-free candies? Oh god, was I going to be the first one? Visions of my name forever being associated with it, any time anyone ever googled it, filled me with pre-emptive embarrassment.

“You always knew you’d end up famous for something terrible, Blue!”

Seriously, I was really starting to freak out. I couldn’t remember when I’d last cleaned the bathroom. If I was going to be found dead in there with an exploded colon, I at least wanted to know that no one was going to find fault with my housekeeping standards.

“Why is nothing happening??!”

Always being a stickler for priorities, my brain then started to think about when I’d last shaved my legs.

“Oh frick…if this shit doesn’t kill you, you cannot be seen in the ER with fuzzy legs Blue. Screw it, tell the other half not to call for an ambulance until you’ve given them a once over with a razor!”

It’s amazing the kind of thing that go through your mind when you think something really bad is going to happen to you. I could just imagine people talking about me after I’d died:

“Exploded her colon apparently…first time it’s ever happened a a result of eating too many gummy bears.”

“Uh-huh, they named the condition after her. Blue’s disorder.”

“Yeah, but did you hear what else they found when they did her post-mortem?”

“What?”

“Scruffy mare hadn’t shaved her legs in over 4 days!”

“Really? Mind you, the paramedic did say they’d found 2 empty toilet roll tubes on her bathroom floor, so…”

I was halfway through imagining all the awful things that would written about my little gastrointestinal incident in my obituary, when the sugar-alcohols REALLY kicked in.

Yikes. I won’t go into any unnecessarily gross detail here, but you know that scene from ‘Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory’ where Augustus Gloop falls into the choco-river, gets sucked up into a pipe and stuck…only to get shot out of it again like a bullet, once sufficient pressure had built up behind him?

Yeah. That’s all that really needs to be said about that. But suffice it to say, I was in and out of my bathroom almost a dozen times over the course of the evening/night, as the gummy bears worked their magic on 4 days worth of “backlog” (juvenile pun, totally freaking intended).

Of course, me being me, I obviously wasn’t happy with the amount of physiological torment I had already wrought upon my poor, bedraggled carcass; so deciding that green tea would be potentially calming and soothing on my stomach, I made and drank a cup of matcha…and proceeded to then throw it all back up again immediately after. Because, why the fuck not? I swear, every single muscle from my alimentary canal to my arse was in agony. When I finally thought it safe to go to bed, I couldn’t even bear to let the other half drape his arm around my waist – the way he always does when we go to sleep. And when I woke up I felt like I’d been in a fight. It was all I could do sip warm water and slump on the sofa the whole day and even now, it still hurts like hell. I didn’t eat for nearly 2 whole days to give my body a chance to recover because it felt like I’d pulled internal muscles and they probably needed a bit of a rest after their little ordeal.

So why…oh WHY when I got on the scale today, did it have the absolute audacity to tell me that I have apparently GAINED A FREAKING POUND in weight, since last week? Are you kidding me? I haven’t consumed enough food for that to even be POSSIBLE! Gah! But, my abdomen is still bloated and sore and whilst the initial “problem” has been taken care of, the subsequent stress on my body has obviously left me inflamed and swollen. Hence the alleged 1lb gain.

I can’t even.

But yeah, that’s what’s been happening here at “Maison Bleue” this week. Just another example of how sometimes I really can’t do right, for doing wrong. As usual, when I was eating it was all 100% on-plan and despite both that and those 2 days of not eating at all, I still managed to wreak enough havoc on my body to make it show a 1lb gain when I weighed myself today. Meh. But it is what is folks. I’m not really that bothered by what the scale says right now because I know it’s not a real number I need be too concerned about. I’m just going to carry on as normal, eating the way I’m supposed to and let things get back to normal in good time.

So I hope I’ve at least managed to make some of y’all giggle at my latest dietary escapades, but if nothing else please consider this a cautionary tale as to the potential bad side of chia seeds. Consume them appropriately, ya hear?

Stay hydrated folks

Blue

Cold Feet

This is probably the most literal blog post title I’ve created so far.

I. Have. Cold. Feet.

Not metaphorically, in the sense that one can have second-thoughts about pursuing something, no my feet are literally like blocks of ice. Why am I telling you all this? Why have I written a blog post all about my frozen toes? Well, because this has never happened to me before. Seriously. I cannot remember a time when I ever had cold feet before. In my life. And it’s weird. I mean sure, it’s snowing outside and it’s the beginning of January, but this isn’t something that’s ever happened to me in all my years of icy cold winters.

So what’s going on?

Well, I’ve lost a bunch of weight haven’t I?

Yeah, turns out that when us fatties shed some flab, we start to experience the joys of cold weather just like everyone else. Except maybe even more so, because when we’ve spent 365 days a year for over 30 years, cosily ensconced in our whopping layers of sub-cutaneous insulation, we’re used to always having that fat on our bodies throughout all 4 seasons. Bodies are smart and they work around the clock to maintain a level of homeostasis that stops us from overheating in the summer and freezing to death in the colder months. But when you suddenly change up your bodily composition (and while 50lbs isn’t the hugest amount of weight-loss, it’s still pretty substantial) so it’s carrying less of that insulation around with it, you’re definitely gonna notice it.

I’ve never liked the summer months. I hate the feeling of the sun on my skin and the shorter nights / longer days that are filled with way too much intrusive daylight; but I also hate the warmer temperature and smothering levels of humidity. I’ve often thought it largely to do with my being so overweight for all my life, but I also come from a Scottish family (who hail from the North-East of Scotland which regularly sees temperatures of -10°C / 14°F and lower in winter) and many of them who are of normal weight, also dislike the heat, so it’s probably a mixture of both. But having always loved the winter and colder months up until now, I’m beginning to wonder if the increasingly lower amounts of fat on my body will make me change my mind.

I implemented the changes to my eating habits back on 31st August last year, which was right at the end of the summer. Maybe I didn’t pick the right time to choose to try and lose all this weight, because as the temperatures outside started dropping with the change in season, I began to use up some of my fat-stores, thus exacerbating the way those changes in temperature felt to me and my shrinking carcass. Of course I’ve always noticed the change in the weather (I look forward to being able to wear my super-snug winter coats in winter, every year!) but this year…I’m really noticing it. I wore gloves for the first time in years when I went into town a couple of day ago – something else that felt bizarrely foreign to me – so it’s not just my feet that are feeling it. To paraphrase a bit of La bohème: My (Not So) Tiny Hand Was Frozen!

And I’m not sure what to think about this. I mean, obviously I’m not going to suddenly decide that life was more pleasantly toasty and warm before I lost weight, ergo I should just intentionally gain it all back again. But it’s one of those things I never even considered before deciding to lose weight. It’s not something I’ve heard people talk about when discussing their own weight loss experiences. But it must be pretty common right? It can’t just be me.

So I did a bit of Googling and it turns out that feeing cold after losing weight is actually a pretty common phenomenon and there are a ton of forums out there where people are complaining about this exact thing. I found an article on Insider called “8 unexpected — and negative — things that could happen when you lose weight” in which Caroline Apovian, Director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Centre at Boston Medical Centre says:

“Your body is going to lower your metabolic rate when you lose weight to try to conserve energy. And in conserving energy, it doesn’t have a lot of extra calories to keep you warm. Another reason you might feel colder is because you no longer have fat acting as an insulator.”

Caroline Apovian, Insider.com – Jan 10, 2018

Both of those explanations make total sense but in my case I’m not as worried about it being as a result of my reducing my caloric intake. I don’t count calories right now, but I know I eat quite a lot of the little blighters just seeing the of the size of my meals. 2 porterhouse steaks and asparagus, mushrooms fried in beef dripping with broccoli and cheese is my favourite meal right now and I’ve gone from eating it 1 to 2-3 times a week. That’s a typical evening meal for me and it comes in at over 1000 calories alone. Add to that a protein shake with added collagen powder & almond milk for lunch, a protein brownie cookie for breakfast, coffee with cream a couple of times a day (with the occasional couple of pieces of Perlege chocolate to accompany it – yum!) an energy drink and pieces of ham and cheese and some nuts or nut butter throughout the day…and all that probably comes in at just under 2000 calories in 24hrs. Which is allegedly around about what a “normal” woman is supposed to eat every day. Sure, that’s still less that what I was previously eating, but it’s certainly not the kind of caloric deficit that one would expect to have a particularly negative effect on their metabolism.

So, I’m not completely writing off the possibility of this new “feeling cold” phenomenon as being something to do with a decrease in my metabolism, but I’m inclined to think that it is as much – if not more so – to do with there just being less insulation on my body. And my levels of sub-cutaneous fat have been decreasing at the same time as the seasonal temperatures, making the effect feel so much more noticeable. But whatever the reason, I guess it’s just another one of those new things for me to have to get used to. It does have me wondering though, just how much more “noticeable” the whole temperature thing is going to get. There are some accounts on a reddit weight-loss board where users claim that since losing 100lb+ (and maintaining for a few years) that they now always feel the cold; no matter what time of year it is.

Yikes! Life as a much slimmer person sure is going to be different, huh? But I’ve always wished that I could wear more cosy seasonal stuff like hats, scarves, gloves and lots of layers (stuff I’ve always just been too warm to wear previously) so there are definitely some positives to being more sensitive to the cooler weather. The other half has absolutely zero sympathy for me though, lol. It’s almost a meme to hear about guys who complain that their wives and girlfriends have freezing cold hands and feet, but up until recently, me and himself were the exact opposite. At well over 6ft tall and with a slim, athletic frame, he was always the one with the deathly cold feet and I’d always laugh at him for needing to find gloves to wear outside during the winter. Now though, the joke’s on me I guess.

I still can’t imagine me ever coming around to the notion of loving – or even liking – the longer days and shorter nights of summer (I will always be a princess of darkness and a lover of the night in my jet-black heart) but maybe I’ll at least find the previously inescapable heat somewhat more tolerable as I continue to shed this weight. One reason I’ve always given about why winter is so much better, is because it’s a lot easier to find ways to wrap up and escape the cold; whereas escaping the heat of summer is a lot harder. (You can only take so many items of clothing off in public before the police come along to arrest you for public indecency.) So if one of the side-effect of losing weight is that I don’t feel as suffocatingly hot during the summer months, that’s not all bad. Especially if I then get to wrap up in multiple layers of really cosy other stuff during the winter. I may even have to invest in a pair of slippers to wear around the house (I’m so rock ‘n roll, lol). But as with all things this weight-loss process continues to throw at me, I’m just going to have to learn to roll with it and take the rough with the smooth.

Stay cosy folks

Blue

Post Christmas Weigh-In

Well I don’t know about you guys, but I just had an awesome few days of Christmas. Spent them with the fam, had an absolutely hilarious time and ate some thoroughly good on-plan food. The other half and I stayed down at my parents house where I saw some of my cousins again and got to meet my brother’s girlfriend – who is absolutely adorable. She’s the kind of person who upon meeting her for the first time, made us feel as though we’d known her for ages and was just so lovely to hang out with. And whilst my little brother certainly doesn’t need my approval, his girlfriend definitely passes the ‘big sister test’, lol.

My parents are an absolute hoot and put on a proper spread of food, drink and warm welcome for everyone who descended upon their home over Christmas, so lots of fun was had by all. Not being someone who drinks, I got to laugh at everyone else’s hangovers, but still ended up absolutely worn out by the end of it. Staying on-plan was easy as there was just so much stuff I could still eat and not feel as though I was going without (although my mum did tell me she could have made a keto cake especially for me if I’d told her in advance, so I need to remember that for next year!) We even came home with a massive doggie-bag filled with meats, cheeses, nuts and some mince pies & cake (for the other half). I definitely ate more than I would normally, but nothing that wasn’t low-carb.

It’s always weird when Christmas is over and a couple of days later you suddenly realise that it’s all done with for another year. There’s this huge, extended period of festive-feelings leading up to it, then suddenly, it’s all over and we’re back to a semi-normal way of life again, waiting for New Year to happen. After that, it feels like we’re back at the bottom of the calendar again, ready to work our way back up the next Christmas period. At least that’s how I’ve always looked at it. Winter and autumn are the times of the year I enjoy and it feels like spring and summer are just two annoying seasons that I have to endure every year, in between the blissfully cooler months. Once the winter solstice passes and the days start to get longer again, I can’t help but feel a little sad, knowing that shorter nights, hotter days and increasingly intrusive daylight, are all on the way.

But now is not the time to dwell on the inevitable annoyance of the coming warmer months. Today is a good day. It’s cold and dark and lends itself perfectly to the ideal afternoon, spent cosily curled up on the sofa with a hot cup of coffee and a good book – which is how I intend to spend the rest of the day once I’ve finished up writing this post. But first, I need to update y’all with this week’s weigh-in.

So how do you think I did?

To be fair, this week was “Shark Week” for me, so staying on-plan wasn’t ever going to be any guarantee of my losing any weight. I knew that before I hopped onto the scale; hormonal bloat being the unmitigated pain in the arse that it always is. I was hoping to maintain at the very least, but in all honesty, seeing a brief “ghost gain” of a couple of pounds wasn’t going to upset me or leave me feeling disappointed. If these past 4 months have taught me anything, it’s that the human body is a weird and wonderful machine that really loves to hold onto its fat stores and rarely likes to do what we want it to.

But…we only went and dropped another 3lb this week, didn’t we?

Like, wut? I’m as surprised as the rest of you, trust me. I really wasn’t expecting anything more than a potential maintenance week, but a 3lb loss? Hell, I’ll happily take that result ANY day, lol. I have no idea why my body decided that this week was going to be a weight-loss week (like I said, it was “Shark Week” and I definitely ate more than usual) but I’m more than happy to be able to say that I managed to stay completely on-plan and lose weight during the week of Christmas festivities, whilst never having felt as though I was depriving myself of anything worth eating. I enjoyed my Christmas, ate A LOT and even had some nice Perlege sugar free chocolate which allowed me to feel like I was having a lovely little indulgence while everyone else was eating regular chocolate.

Seriously guys, if you’re looking for a sugar-free alternative to regular chocolate you really should try this brand out. I just found them on Amazon where they were £6.99 for 3 x 42g bars – and they’re worth EVERY penny! There’s no ‘artificial sweetener taste’ to them and they melt beautifully in the mouth like a nice Belgian chocolate. Each bar is divided into 6 chunks and I kept to having 3 pieces at a time with a cup of coffee. Of course, they’re not carb-free (3 chunks – half a bar – works out at about 5g carbohydrate) so depending on your own daily allowance, you will probably have to exercise a little self-control so as not to go off-plan, but they’re absolutely perfect to have as a little treat, consumed in moderation.

But yeah, back to the update: I’m extremely happy to have lost 3lb this past week and have had a really lovely Christmas spent enjoying the company of my family. Oh…and because I have now officially moved past the halfway point (-50lb) I also got my bottle of Tom Ford from the other half! So I’m now sat here in my pyjamas, with my hair looking like a bird’s nest, but smelling exquisitely expensive, lol. It feels great to be able to say that I’ve hit my halfway point and that I’m feeling so much lighter and healthier as a result of my efforts this year. I even had 2 family members tell me that I look a lot younger and livelier as a result of my weight-loss so far.

So while millions of people the world over will be making new year’s resolutions to “go on a diet”, change their eating habits and attempt to lose weight, I will simply be carrying on eating the same way I have been doing since August 31st and enjoying the continued benefits that come from doing so. I don’t like new year’s resolutions; they’re almost always doomed to failure. But anyone can make positive changes to their life at any time of year. You’ve just got to want it enough and be prepared to put in the hard work. Understand your “why”, formulate a plan, make it something you can adhere to for the long run and never lose sight of your goal. If I can do it, anyone can.

Until next time folks

Blue

Another Little NSV…And A Message To The Chattering Karens

“Gossip girls they always seem to
Talk the talk about you
Gossip girls they always seem to
Talk the talk but never say the truth…”

Last night me and the other half did something we hadn’t done few a few months – we went out and had dinner in a restaurant. It was actually a Christmas present from his mother because we’d mentioned wanting to try it out sometime and she remembered hearing us talk about it. (It was especially convenient because it’s on the road where we live, so it was a 5 minute walk there and back, max.) I’d been a little worried that there might not be much on the menu that I could have and remain on-plan, but a quick check online showed that they were doing a Christmas menu in which most of the meals were meat based with plenty of vegetables, and they included a note at the bottom of the page which said that anyone with any special dietary requirements should just ask a member of staff who will be more than happy to accommodate. Awesome.

I can’t remember what all the different items on the menu were, but I eventually settled on the “Roast Sirloin” with vegetables, but no potatoes or gravy. (I almost went with the “Venison Medallions”, but I’m pretty sure that they were finished in the pan with some mixture of wine & berries in a jus – and I haven’t started to include those things into my diet yet). For my starter I opted for the “Duck Confit Rillette” – but instead of having the “Toasted Sourdough & Orange, Juniper & Brandy Jam” accompaniments with it, I had mine on a bed of salad leaves. (The desserts all sounded great but I didn’t have any.)

And you know what? The food was lovely, the service was wonderfully helpful and choosing not to eat off-plan, wasn’t actually that big of a deal! (I actually feel kinda silly even referring to it as a NSV) When I told our server that I couldn’t eat anything with sugars / grains, she completely understood, went out of her way to make sure that on the ticket for the kitchen, it stipulated what I couldn’t have – very clearly – and the chef made sure to compensate for the items I wasn’t eating by adding extra meat to my plate (and the meat really was cooked exactly the way I like it too, so this was very much appreciated). Nobody made me feel like a pariah, I wasn’t given a measly, half-empty plate that had simply removed the unwanted items and left it at that; the food was lovely, we both had a nice evening and we left the server a big tip before we left, to thank her for being so attentive.

I’m not sure why, but I thought it was going to be a much more difficult situation than it turned out to be. I thought I might have to keep explaining myself to various members of staff; or that getting food the way I wanted it might be too complicated. I also wondered how I’d feel with everyone else around me eating all the potatoes, sauces, desserts etc, but none of it ended up bothering me whatsoever. Maybe it’s because I’ve still been preparing and making regular meals with carbohydrates in them for my other half, throughout my time eating low-carb; or maybe it’s because the food was just really lovely, well cooked and was able to shine on its own without any of the extras I had declined.

But either way, there really wasn’t much temptation for me to eat off-plan. I might have eyed the “Chocolate Yule Log” on the menu, with a hint of wistfulness, but even as the other half enjoyed his “Pear Belle Hélène” I simply sat back in my chair, sipped my black coffee and relaxed after my own 2 courses. To hear people say that it’s too difficult to stay on-plan when out at a restaurant, or that they shouldn’t be expected to “deny” themselves “treats” on special occasions, just makes me laugh. If people want to find an excuse to eat sugar then they will; their weakness is their business. But I decided a month or so ago that I wasn’t going to use the Christmas festivities as an excuse to go off-plan when I still have so far to go and so much to achieve. And last night showed me just how easy it was to keep to that decision, thus racking up another mini-NSV.

When I think about how I’d be feeling right now if I’d just decided to give into old habits and eaten ALL the carbs last night…well, I’d be a real bad tempered, headachy grump, whose sugar-cravings were back up to maximum levels of annoyance, as I tried desperately to assuage them by chowing down on fistfuls of ham, loads of cheese and a gallon of Pepsi Max to try and fool myself into believing that I’d consumed something sugary. I’d be bad company for the other half, I’d feel like shit and the symptoms of withdrawal would be overshadowing any of the positive experiences I’d had from eating out in the first place. Totally not worth it. But I didn’t and it feels pretty damn good.

Some people have remarked (in places that aren’t quite as private as they like to believe, lol) that I’m headed for an inevitable crash, as I keep on being so strict with myself. Conversations murmured in the allegedly sacred corners of DMs & PMs, genuinely believe that by not having “cheat days” or “days off”, I’m definitely setting myself up to fail, because that level of commitment is apparently completely unsustainable. Well, for those people I have a few things to say:

  1. That you “care” so much about me and what I do, is hilarious. I know I’m far more interesting than the majority of people you find discussing their weight-loss methods online, but let’s be honest: this says more about how you feel about yourself and your own inability to stay on-plan, than it does about me. I know you want me to fail, but again, that’s just so you can feel better about yourself too isn’t it? Yeah, schadenfreude is a terrible thing to have, Karen.
  2. Unlike many people, it was my health that ultimately spurred me on to do something about my weight, not vanity or how much I disliked how my body looked. Health problems can be very motivating (if you’re not a complete moron, who’d rather stick their head in the sand and just have another cake) and they motivate me to not just do well, but to do the best I can, every single day. And to those who say “but this is supposed to be a WOE for life…there HAS to be SOME allowance for days-off or else, what kind of a life is that?” I say, stop making excuses. Yes, this is supposed to be something I can do for the rest of my life and yes I will inevitably have days in the future when I do choose to eat a load of carbs. But I have no idea what could happen to me today, tomorrow or at any point in my life. What if I have an accident next week? A stroke? A heart attack? How would I be supposed to continue to put all my efforts into losing the extra weight, when I had other health issues to deal with too?

    Y’all love saying “life happens” or “life gets in the way” but I don’t think you really realise what that actually means. If you think that shit is always going to happen – so you might as well eat crap and fail to lose any weight – then whatever; you do you, boo. But don’t expect anyone else to truly care whenever you do your next annual “Back again” or “Ready to make a fresh start” post in the new year…because sooner or later people realise that you’re nothing more than the boy / girl who cried wolf.

    The reality is that yes, life DOES happen whilst you’re busy making plans. Things WILL come out of left-field and try to derail you, at various points in your life. But that is exactly why you SHOULD be making more of an effort RIGHT NOW, whilst you’re still able to do so, by using every good, healthy day you have to eat better, make the right choices and reduce that excess weight, whilst you’re still in a position to do so. None of us have any idea what will happen next week / fortnight / month. So why waste all these days right now (where you DO have control over what you eat) when god only knows what could happen in the future to take that decision and agency away from you? How are you doing to feel when 6 months down the line, you’ve still not bothered to make any real effort to lose the extra weight and then you end up breaking a leg and have to spend weeks in hospital, having surgery, recovering with physiotherapy and basically losing your independence? Are you suddenly going to be focusing all your efforts on losing weight THEN, when you weren’t able to do so back when you didn’t have any extra injuries or health problems to deal with?

    Like shite, you will. The time to take action is NOW. Stop making excuses about how “festive treats are just too tempting”, or how you shouldn’t be expected to stay on-plan when everyone else is eating your mum’s delicious Christmas spread. It’s just food, for fuck’s sake. It really shouldn’t be the focal point of your life – and if it is, then you really need to get yourself a hobby, because spending your life vacillating between gormandising without restraint, or pining for the foods you’ve decided you can’t eat, is a depressing way to live. Get a life. Seriously. And actually do your best to live it as healthily as possible, for as long as possible. By all means have Christmas off, have Thanksgiving off, have your birthday off – it’s your body, your life – but just remember that every day you choose to eat off-plan, is another 24hr opportunity to improve your health, utterly wasted.

    THAT is why I work so hard at staying on-plan and don’t allow myself to get caught up in the never-ending cycle of “cheat days”, “days off” and the resulting 3-5 day periods of adjustment as I have to work hard to get back into ketosis. It’s not because I’m trying to appear saint-like in my approach to losing weight & improving my health, it’s because I know just how quickly and easily “life happens” so I’m going to make the most of every day I have, and work hard while I’m still able to. Because if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should all be prepared for the worst. Don’t be one of those people who suddenly find themselves in a crisis situation, wishing they’d made more of a prior effort to be in the best physical condition possible. Do it now, while you still can.

  3. And finally, don’t ever think that the things you say about me in “private”, won’t ever get back to me. You’d be amazed at just how many people are willing to spill the tea AND provide me with the receipts. So yeah, be careful what you share online and with whom you’re sharing it. You never know who’s at the end of that username! #WelcomeToTheInternet

But yeah, eating out was a total breeze, the food was lovely and nobody died. I made the choice to stay on-plan and it turned out not to be at all difficult. I enjoyed my evening with the other half (who very much enjoyed all his food too) and I woke up today without so much as shred of concern as to how I might otherwise have derailed my progress, and I’m still happily in ketosis. Tonight I’m going to have some steak (because ya girl really can’t get enough red meat) with asparagus & mushrooms, but right now I think I’ll make myself a coffee with some cream and check in with my favourite YT channels.

It’s only 6 days until Christmas Day, when me and the other half will be spending 2 days at my parents house and I’m super excited to be seeing my little brother again (for the first time in a year) as well as getting to meet his girlfriend for the first time too. I spoke to my mum a couple of days ago to let her know what my eating habits now comprise (so as not to leave it until last minute when she’s already laying a plate of food in front of me) and she completely understands my need to eat this way. There will be plenty of other people there on both Christmas and Boxing Day, who will all be more than happy to eat all the goodies she’ll have rustled up; so none of it will go to waste. And I’ll be more than happy to stuff myself with an assortment of meats, vegetables and cheeses and nuts throughout the days. Food might be a cultural staple which we use to gather around, but there really is no need to indulge in food that isn’t going to do you any favours health-wise, just so you can get together with friends and family.

Naturally, everyone will make their own choices about how they’re going to eat over the festive period and I’ve already made my choice. Just be sure that when you’re making your choices, you know what the corollary of those decisions will actually be. Don’t just make excuses for your choices. Own them and enjoy them.

And let me carry on being me.

Keep it real folks,

Blue

Non-Scale Victories

Today I decided to put together a list of a few of the other benefits I’ve gained from switching over to my low-carb WOE and losing a bunch of weight. Aside from getting to see those numbers go down week-by-week, this whole new way of life has brought about a tonne of other awesome changes that I wanted to share with y’all. So here goes:

  • I’m not plagued with sugar-cravings that would previously see me chow down 3 bars of chocolate, an entire packet of biscuits or a whole bag of dairy cream fudge in one sitting.
  • I no longer eat maHOOsive plates of junk from the take-away, piled high, scarfed down and then followed up with a second plateful. I now feel completely in control of what I’m eating to the point where it’s just not an issue anymore.
  • I’m LOVING what I’m eating, feeing truly nourished by home-cooked meals made from high-quality, locally sourced, fresh produce. And the thought of eating this way for life is great! I’ve truly found my foodie groove!
  • I have befriended my local butcher! I grew up eating very high quality food (especially the best cuts of meat and the freshest fish) but when I made my own way out into the adult world, I would just hit the supermarket for everything. And when the supermarket I frequent stopped stocking all-locally-sourced meats, I found myself becoming more and more disappointed with the meats on sale there; so I found myself consuming less and less meat over time. But when I went low-carb I knew I’d have to incorporate some good quality proteins and I wandered into butcher’s shop, not really knowing what I was doing. But thankfully, the butcher himself really took the time to find out what I was after, to the point where I told him about my dietary restrictions and he now always knows what things he can safely recommend to me (sausages and burger patties with no hidden carbs – yay!) and he also reserves anything I want (like my regular 4 porterhouse steaks!) to ensure I don’t have to go without; which is pretty important when meat plays such a large part in my diet. He’s just a really lovely, friendly, helpful guy who makes obtaining high quality, locally sourced, ethically raised/slaughtered meats so much easier. And I love that I’m actually getting to support a local small business.
  • I’ve found some really good protein bars & shakes that I can incorporate into my plan, without kicking me out of ketosis. Both are great for my diminished appetite and really help me out when I’m too tired or sore to cook anything substantial. I fully anticipate this being the way I eat for the rest of my life and knowing that I can have a choc-chip protein brownie cookie every day, as well as a shake that tastes like vanilla ice-cream…yeah that sounds MORE than okay with me! These products will help to keep my WOE sustainable and enjoyable.
  • My sleeping is still crazy (I can still pull a good 22hr sleep a couple of times a week) BUT my terrible snoring is no more! My other half is especially pleased with this as some of those snorting sounds would wake him up from time to time. I am now however, talking loads more in my sleep now, lol. It’s not bad enough to wake him up, but he’s heard me babbling a load of excitable nonsense when he’s in the bathroom or kitchen. (I keep meaning to record myself overnight so I can listen to myself, because I bet it’s really funny!)
  • I can walk up the flights of stairs to our apartment no problem now (unless the fibro is flaring up…THEN I hobble everywhere like some haggard old hunchbacked crone…but that’s just how fibro is and I’ve accepted that). But the stairs are no longer my enemy, lol.
  • I have more mental clarity too! (Again, this is during times when the fibro isn’t causing me ‘Fibro Brain Fog’ which is always annoying AF). Getting rid of sugar has made me feel more alert, improved my long-term memory recall and helped to make understanding my more heavy-going books, much quicker and easier. I feel much more “in the moment” and less dumb.
  • My skin looks brighter, clearer and as though it were glowing from within. I know I’ve always taken good care of my skin, but only so much an be achieved with expensive skin-care products. Getting rid of sugar has SO many benefits!
  • My engagement ring fits again! (This is a bit of a running joke between me & the other half, because I have never really been particularly into the idea of marriage (if we’re not having kids then the state has no business in “validating” our relationship, and I absolutely detest weddings!) but being “engaged” adds a level of seriousness to things, whilst getting around the weirdness of us having to call each other “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” when we’re in our 40’s!
  • I’ve dropped down from a UK size 26 to a UK size 20 and can fit into a really cute fur-trimmed, fitted, denim jacket that I last wore (literally once before it got too tight, small and restrictive) 18 years ago!
  • I can walk into town much more easily and whereas I would always have previously opted to take the bus, now I actually enjoy the walk (fibro flare days notwithstanding, naturally.) Just going out for a walk by myself has become a pleasant way to burn off some excess energy, get some fresh sea air and clear my head. I stick on my headphones and just take in the beautiful scenery. I even started to pay attention to some of the people out jogging with a voice in my head telling me “I could do that. Maybe not today, but soon.” I can’t believe that little old me is now looking at going for a run as something I a/ want to try out and b/ really think I’ll be able to do. I’m getting there, slowly but surely; but for now I’m just happy to be able to get in a good walk. UPHILL too, lol!
  • Shoes! My feet and my legs have shrunk a good bit already! The upshot of this is that I can once more fit into my New Rock Boots:

As well as my Iron Fist platform ‘n heels combo:

And I’ve also bought a new pair of DC Skate Shoes in a smaller size to celebrate:

(As you can see, my style is a hot-mess mixture of tough, scruff and slightly slutty, lol. #aesthetic )

So, I doubt that many of these are things that anyone else would find particularly exciting or interesting, but they’re nice little noticeable NSV’s that have brought a wee smile to MY face anyway.

I hope y’all are noticing a bunch of NSV’s of your own on your mission to shed some of those extra pounds. Got any good ones? Leave me a comment below and lets celebrate our little ‘wins’ together!

Stay victorious y’all,

Blue

Weigh-In Day / Down, Down, Down

It’s that time of the week again folks…WEIGH IN DAY! Technically it’s only been 6 days since the last one, but last week I weighed in a day late because I wanted to sync up the results with my 100 days milestone. I’m kinda wedded to the idea of Monday being the official weigh-in day each week on here though, so this week we’re just going to go with whatever I’ve lost in the last 6 days and get these weigh-in Monday’s back on track.

It’s been a good week for me overall. No fibro flare-ups, just a little bit of joint stiffness along with the usual pain levels (I’m always in pain…but some days / weeks / months are worse than others.) I’ve had 2 epic snooze-a-thons this week that both came in at just under 24hrs a piece, but that’s just the norm for me. I get real exhausted real easily and I probably got a little too cocky strolling around town listening to all the Christmas music.

I absolutely love the Christmas season because (tacky lights and music included) things feel a bit…magical! Not in the vile Disney way that seems to permeate a lot of sentiments, but just in the way that everyone is looking for things to bring joy to other people. Be it food, presents, office parties, arranging transport for Christmas Day, or just meeting up with a friend they rarely see for a quick cup of cocoa in a cute little café, there is a definite sense of Christmas spirit in the air as we all get closer to the 25th. Add to that the gorgeous frostiness in the air and I’m completely in my element. I just have to remind myself sometimes that the extra spring in my step will actually come at a price if I don’t reign it in a little bit, lol.

So anyway, the weigh-in. Well, I’m more than happy to announce that today’s scale reading showed me currently weighing in at 15 stone 12lbs (222lbs). Which is….*insert drum roll*… a 4lb loss! Whoop! I’m now in the 15 stone and some change bracket! That’s ANOTHER milestone! In my last weigh-in-day post which can be found here, I mentioned that I was 3lb away from getting under the 16 stone mark; a weight I hadn’t seen or even been anywhere near, since my early 20’s. Well, this week I’ve smashed through that milestone with a 4lb loss, which now also means that I am 2lb away from hitting the half-way point of 50lb (100lb loss being my first goal weight – subsequent further targets may be added at a later date; watch this space!)

I have to admit: as much as I have always had faith in my ability to do this, I’m still pleasantly surprised every time the scale moves down closer to my goal; every time I hit a milestone it makes me feel incredibly proud of myself. I’m really doing this. Of course, things are going to slow down a lot more, the closer I get to my goal, but I’m still hugely motivated. And I plan to keep on topping up those reserves of motivation, through dedication, focus, intent, self discipline and with the help of all the positive elements of good food, healthy snacks, motivational reading material and the kind of good feeling that only comes from continuous improvements to ones health.

(This quote was actually shared with me by my friend Jeff who has his own blog where he cooks up some amazing low-carb meals that are perfect to serve to everyone, regardless of whether or not they’re following a low-carb WOE. Check out ‘Dinner Time With Jeff’ get some awesome recipe ideas and leave him a comment if you try any of them out. I thought it was just the perfect motivational quote to include here today.)

Next week we’ll probably see me maintain again, which is fine by me. The 4lb loss of this week will even out to a 2lb loss each week for the fortnight, meaning I’m exactly here I should be at this point in time. The week after that is possibly “Shark Week” again? I’m not sure, I gotta go check the dates for that, but if it is then I won’t be at all surprised to see a brief “ghost-gain” as “Aunt Flo” does her worst. But that’s just the way the female body works. Success at weight loss is never linear, with pauses, fits, starts, ups and downs along the way. But as long as the trend tends to be downwards overall, I am a happy woman.

So have a wonderful week y’all.

May the scales be forever in your favour.

Blue

Nobody Just “Falls Off The Wagon”

I don’t know what it is about the process of attempting to lose weight, but it sure does bring out some really annoying attitudes, pathetic excuses and dumb ways of phrasing shit in a lot of folk. Otherwise rational, reasonable people start to talk about this pretty straight-forward process like they suddenly lost their inner BS-detector. One phrase in particular that really annoys me is:

“I fell off the wagon!”

AAARRRGGGHHH! Even just typing it out sets my teeth on edge! It’s a phrase borrowed from other addiction recovery programs, but all it really means is:

“I chose to fuck up.”

Saying you “fell off the wagon” is nothing more than a cutesy attempt to shift the onus of blame away from yourself and make it sound like you’re just a passive victim of an unfortunate accident. Which is bullshit. You didn’t just slip, trip, land face-first into that Big Mac & French Fries, you made the choice to purposely go purchase, procure and proceed to eat that stuff. And unless you have a legitimate medical condition that causes you to get up and do weird shit in your sleep, that pint of Ben & Jerry’s you inhaled at 3am wasn’t accidental; you WANTED to eat it and you DID eat it. #NoSuchThingAsSnaccidents

It’s infuriating, listening to people who would otherwise be totally candid about their goal-oriented behaviours, suddenly go all coy and refuse to own their shit. People who would normally be perfectly okay at admitting to their not having made a deadline on a project, or having to confess to not learning a new language or skill as soon as they’d hoped, go completely bat-shit crazy when it comes to being honest about what they’ve been eating. It’s as if there’s some extra-special kid gloves we’re all supposed to handle each other with, just because we’re trying to shift a bit of flab. Why is that? Why are people who are trying to lose weight, so terminally reluctant to just fess up and tell it like it really is?

I sat and tried to figure it out earlier today and the closest I could get to what felt like a real reason, has its roots in the notion of sin. In the Christian tradition, the seven deadly sins refer to seven vices relating to our core human passions or desires. These vices speak to our most instinctive drives, hence their relevance to understanding human behaviour and motivation. Regardless of whether or not one considers themselves to be Christian in the religious sense, those of us who grew up in western nations are still what you’d call “culturally Christian”, having been exposed to multiple Christian traditions, celebrations, teachings and ways of thinking throughout our lives. Sin might not be something that you necessarily think holds any sway with you, but if you grew up in a society that still recognisess ‘Gluttony’ as one of the ‘7 Deadly Sins’, there’s a chance you may have internalised both the concept itself, and the way in which said ‘sin’ is played out in all media.

Gluttony (Latin: gula, derived from the Latin gluttire meaning “to gulp down or swallow”) means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth items, particularly as status symbols. In Christianity, it is considered a sin if the excessive desire for food causes it to be withheld from the needy.

And make no mistake, gluttony is very much considered to be seriously sinful behaviour in the bible:

Gluttony in the Bible:

  • Gluttony plunged the whole human race into a state of sin and misery with the first transgression (Genesis 3:6).
  • Gluttony, or “excess of food,” led to a curse of utter destruction upon Sodom, the standard example of God’s wrath and judgment (Ezekiel 16:49).
  • In Moses’ day, when Israel craved meat in the wilderness, the Lord sent quail. “While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck down the people with a very great plague” Interestingly, the name of the place was called “Kibroth-hattaavah” which means “Graves of Craving” (Number 11:18-34Psalm 78:26-31).

(The above bullet points were taken from Christianity.com)

Now without getting into the ecumenical differences between the Roman Catholic interpretation of Mortal or Venial sins, and the Protestant way of grading certain degrees of sin, it’s still obvious that gluttony has been viewed as a very ‘sinful’ behavioural trait throughout all of Christendom. Which probably goes some way to explaining why we view fat people as being disgusting. It’s not just that obesity is unhealthy and can make the overweight individual appear noticeably short of breath, sweaty and uncomfortable; it’s also something that goes to the very core of what we as a civilised society, believe to be in direct opposition of that which is good and honourable and righteous. And unlike other sinners, who commit various other moral transgressions, fat people wear their sins on the outside for all the world to see. There is no hiding the evidence of gluttony – from God OR anyone else.

It goes without saying then that to embark upon a concerted effort to lose weight – to renounce gluttony – is therefore a righteous act of contrition. It shows that the individual in question has sufficient moral rectitude to make themselves right with their maker…or at least begin to respect their mortal selves. (There is also a wealth of studies which found anorectics – mostly women suffering from self-induced anorexia nervosa – often associate their abstaining from food, to be considered by the sufferer as making them ‘pure’ and ‘clean’ and unsullied by the giving in to mortal temptation. There’s actually a really good book that those of you who are interested in the history of disordered eating and religion, should definitely check out. It’s called “Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa” (Vintage) by Joan Jacobs Brumberg and it’s a fascinating read. The overlap between religious practices and eating habits goes far deeper than many of us actually realise; but it sure does explain a lot of the stuff I’d tried to summarise here, in my sinfully, heretical, atheistic way!)

Perhaps that’s why the successful seem so full of zeal as they claw their way back to salvation…and in turn, why those who fail feel so utterly condemned to damnation. At least on a somewhat subconscious level. I’m not suggesting that everyone who tries to lose a bit of weight is literally enduring the agonies and the ecstasies of a religious transformation. But there is a lot to be said for the notable parallels we can draw from the origins of gluttony as a sin, and they ways in which we regard fatness, obesity and weight-loss as a society.

Those who claim to have “fallen off the wagon” are actually internalising the notion of having “fallen from grace” (which makes sense when you bear in mind that the phrase gained popularity by members of Alcoholics Anonymous – an organisation structured upon its roots in Christian fellowship and the concept of giving oneself over to a “higher power”.) But to have “fallen from God’s grace” doesn’t mean that you accidentally sinned, it is very much because of your intended actions that you have “fallen from his grace”. Your sinful ways have caused you to lose your seat with Christ at the right-hand of the throne of God. So too then must you accept, that when you choose to “stray from the path of righteousness” when following a weight-loss plan, you are not accidentally “falling off the wagon”, but choosing to jump off it, of your own (God given) free will.

Because (to labour the biblical reference a little more – bear with me!) the Roman Catholic church instituted the sacrament of reconciliation (penance, confession) precisely for the possibility of the forgiveness of our sins. (It is vitally important that Roman Catholics’ confess sins on a regular basis, especially if one is in “a state of Mortal sin”. A person who dies in Mortal sin cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, and is doomed to eternal suffering in hell. So, what happens if you do not complete all the penance, or don’t confess all the Venial sins – the not hell-worthy ones – in your life before you die ? You go to purgatory. The Final Penance. The penance you do at the end of your life on the way up to heaven, if you even make it after a million years of purging.)

Now recent uses of the term “purging” aside (yeah, I ain’t touching THAT issue with a barge-pole right now – even if there’s lot to be said for the emotive associations that can also be found within both the sacred and the profane) the basic idea is that only by the truth can you truly be set free. And I think that’s a very real, idea that we could – and should – try to take on board when talking about how we’ve been doing on our current weight-loss journey or new way of eating.

Basically, if you fuck up, just admit that you fucked up. Take ownership for both the conscious decision you make to abandon your plan AND the subsequent actions that you CHOSE to carry out. Couching your behaviour in terminology designed entirely to modify their impact is dishonest. You are doing both yourself and the person you are relaying this to, a disservice as you treat them like someone too stupid to know what you really got up to. Do not insult the intelligence of someone by playing down your choices or making them sound like the inevitable yet unintended consequences of your utterly innocent actions. We know what you did; please don’t patronise us.

Just own your shit. Stop wrapping it all up in some cutesy aphorism that you hope will absolve you of your sins. Confessing what’s in your heart is what will bring you the absolution you really need.

So the next time you make the choice to eat a bunch of crap, don’t just try to play it down as a minor “slip-up”. Be honest, to yourself and anyone else you share your weight-loss journey with. Confess, take responsibility and start to think a little on why exactly you felt the need to make the choice you did. Because it was a choice and if you want to stop making that same choice, then you need to figure out what it is that keeps making it so easy for you to make those bad choices. What you DON’T need is a bunch of molly-coddling enablers, rushing to smother you with their own empty platitudes…which are really just their way of justifying their own bad choices, without having to take any personal responsibility either.

The more you lie to yourself, or to others, the less likely you are to truly get a handle on your weight, or other issues with food. And the more you try to couch your actions in cutesy little terms like “I fell off the wagon”, the longer it’s gonna take you to conquer your demons.

We owe it to ourselves to be as brutally honest with ourselves as we can. As painful and uncomfortable as it may be to have to admit that our “flesh is weak“, in the long run it will benefit us so much more. We are only ever as sick as our secrets, so learn to walk with honesty & integrity and the truth will inevitably set you free.

Choose life. Choose whether to eat that cake or eat the whole buffet. But own your choices and grow to understand what prompts you to make those choices. And choose the words you use to talk about those choices too. Allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to show why you chose to act the way you did in that moment. When you do all of this, there are no deep dark corners anymore for which you need feel ashamed.

Stay honest folks – especially with yourselves,

Blue

Weekly Weigh In / Crunching Numbers

I’m fucking awesome.

I mean I’ll explain in a minute (not that my awesomeness really ever needs explaining) but first lets just get the weekly weigh-in out of the way first. This week has been utterly uneventful and as a result I have lost precisely nothing, merely maintained. This seems to be a kind of pattern for me now: I lose nothing one week, then do really well the week after. So I’m losing something everything every fortnight and I’m perfectly happy with that; long may it continue!

BUT!!!! Today, is a pretty special day for me, because I have been following my new low-carb way of eating for 100 DAYS! Yes, you read that correctly, I have been sugar-free and loving it, for 100 days! How awesome is that? I haven’t had a single cheat day or eaten anything off-plan that entire time and I’m so insanely happy to have to made that decision to change, 100 days ago. It just sounds like such a big number – because it IS! and I’m really proud of myself; as I should be. Eating this way has made me feel good, lose weight and improve my overall health, so I have absolutely no intention of changing ANYTHING right now.

But hitting this awesome milestone got me to thinking about other numbers and milestones I can look forward to hitting in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

Let’s crunch some more numbers so I can see where I am right now.

  • I have lost 44lb so far. That means that I have only 6lbs to go until I reach the halfway point of my 100lbs goal.
  • I am 3lb away from being under the 16 stone mark (15 stone 13lb) which I think I last saw in my very early 20’s.
  • I am 17lbs away from being under the 15 stone mark (14 stone 13lb = 209lb) which isn’t a weight I can remember being since I was about 14/15 years old.
  • I am 27lbs away from weighing 199lb and getting into the magical world called ‘onederland’.
  • Being 5ft small, I will move from the description of being ‘very obese’ (according to the NHS BMI chart below) to being just ‘obese’ when I get to 14 stone 7lb (203lb). I am now just 23lb from hitting that new BMI marker.
  • And, according to that chart I will be merely ‘overweight’ once I hit 11 stone (151lb), which means I’ll need to go beyond my initial goal of just losing 100lb, to losing 119lb (that’s only a further 19lb which I can totally do if I decide to extend my goal after hitting the 100lb loss). In order to reach THAT marker, I need to lose another 75lbs. Will I decide to go down that far? Maybe? Possibly. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves yet, lol! (As for the ‘healthy weight’ BMI category…yeah, naw…that ain’t gonna happen!)
  • I have just tried on some older clothes (items that never really fitted me, but were too nice to give away – I guess I must’ve just known on a subconscious level that I was going to eventually lose the weight at some point in the not-too-distant future!) that are a UK size 20…and they fit! When I started out on this new WOE I was a UK size 26. So I’ve dropped 3 dress sizes! WTF? I’ve also gone down a shoe size from a UK 7-8, to a UK 6-7. Thanks to my dad (from whom I also inherited my sexy monobrow – yay genetics!) I will never have small, dainty feet. But I’ve just bought some new DC’s in a smaller size to celebrate, because I LOVE a nice, chunky, skate shoe as much as I adore a fierce high heel/platform combo (short chicks: y’all know where I’m coming from here!) It’s just really cool to see the weight coming off from my feet as well.
  • And I’m a few months away from turning 41, so I’d really like to get to that 14 stone 7lb (203lb) milestone and into the ‘obese’ category (YAY FOR BEING ‘JUST’ OBESE! Ha ha…) and maybe into ‘onederland’ by then? That would be a pretty awesome present to give myself. By that point I should also have been over 150 days “on-plan”…and that just sounds like even more of a big frickin’ amazing achievement!

So yeah, that’s a few numbers I’ve been playing around with because, why the feck not? I don’t care if it sounds egotistical or overly self-congratulatory…I’m doing brilliantly and I’m real proud of myself. As well I should be! Effort + consistency = results.

So let the results speak for themselves!

Blue

Lovely Stuff

Today I thought I’d share some of the products I’ve started using and have been loving lately. In order for me to be sure that this WOE is going to be sustainable, it has to be enjoyable; and to be honest, I’m really loving getting to eat so much meat and big portions of cruciferous vegetables, I’m really not missing the potatoes, rice, pizza, pasta, bread, cereals and grains and it’s really satisfying to just open the fridge and see a whole array of locally sourced, healthy, fresh produce stacked up in there. But, whilst I really only eat one proper meal a day, I also like to have smaller things on hand that I can take my meds with or get some extra nutritional benefits from, whilst still tasting nice.

I’ve really been enjoying having a shake instead of lunch. I’m rarely hungry enough to want an actual meal around that time, so a quick protein shake keeps me going from morning to my evening meal. I posted a picture of the shake I had been using when I first switched over to low-carb (you can find that post here) but I’ve since change up the entire combo. I now use this totally different shake mix, which is a vanilla flavour and tastes so much nicer (I don’t know what it is about ‘chocolate’ flavoured shakes – and other stuff – rarely tasting anything like chocolate…but whatever!). Anyway, the new one is Premium Body Nutrition’s Whey Protein Powder:

Each 30g serving (1 scoop) comes in at 2g of carbs and it’s sweetened with sucralose. It cost me £15 for 1kg and you can find it on Amazon here. But I don’t drink it on its own; I add another shake mix thing to it, which is a keto collagen powder from GoKeto:

Also vanilla flavoured, it has 0g of carbs per 20g serving (1 scoop) and I got it for £27 from Amazon. You can find it here.

So I put a scoop of each powder into my BULK POWDERS Large, 600 ml Shaker Bottle:

And I love the little wire ball that these come with now; it really helps to mix up protein powders so they don’t don’t have any lumps in them. I got mine from Amazon for £3 (total bargain!) and you can find them here.

With my previous shake mix I was just blending it with water, but I’ve changed over to using a completely sugar-free almond milk now instead and it just makes the whole thing taste richer and more palatable. My current favourite is this one:

It’s by Alpro and is specifically their ‘Almond NO Sugars’ version (their regular one and their unsweetened one both have carbs in them) and this one has 0g of carbs per 100ml. Looking at the ingredients, I’m pretty happy to multiply that up by 3 and assume that 300ml also has 0g of carbs (which is the amount I add to the mixture of PBN Protein Whey Powder and GoKeto Collagen Protein Powder.) I just get mine from the local Sainsbury’s supermarket and I don’t actually know how much it costs (because yeah, I’m that bougie person who could never tell you how much a pint of milk costs, lol) but if you want to check it out there’s a bunch of info about it, along with all their other products on Alpro’s website here.

So that’s my shake mix combo which I probably have one of, every other day. Ideally I’d really like to be having one every day (to get the benefits from the collagen) but I don’t always feel like it. Some days my appetite is way lower than others and I can’t face eating until late in the evening; at which point I’m probably more inclined to go for something hot – during the winter months anyway. But that shake-mix combo tastes REALLY nice! It tastes like vanilla ice-cream or milkshake…it actually reminds me of the McDonalds thick shake flavour and the way I make it is nicely rich and not insipidly thin. It’s a great combo and really helps to assuage the odd craving for sweet stuff that still rear their ugly little head, from time to time. If you’re eating low-carb and you crave ice-cream, you should totally try this out.

And speaking of sweet stuff, we’re now onto the protein bars! I’ve probably tried about a dozen different brands since I moved over to low-carb – some are far better than others (some of them are pure minging, lol) and I currently have 2 different brands that I’ve incorporated into my WOE. This first one is my ‘everyday’ go-to snack. I’ll eat a piece of it with my meds after I wake up and if I don’t eat the remainder of it along with other doses of my meds throughout the day (which is usually what happens during the first day or so of ‘Shark Week’ when I’m completely wiped out with nausea) then I eat the other two-thirds of it in the evening with a cup of coffee. It’s a nice little sweet treat to look forward to and really feels like I’m eating a brownie. The product in question? It’s this little beauty!

They are the SCI-MX Nutrition Choc-Chip High Protein Brownies. I buy these in a box of 12 from Amazon, for £12 (that’s £1 per brownie-cookie – great price-point!) and you can find them here. So, what do I like about them? Well, everything lol. First off, they taste great. A rich, deep chocolate flavour that really satisfies choco-cravings. Second, they’re really dense and substantial, so you really feel satisfied after eating one. Third, the pricing is great. Protein bars and protein cookie products can be a bit costly and whilst I’m more than willing to pay for a good product that I can incorporate nicely into my low-carb WOE, I’m also always really happy to find a bargain (that’ll be the Scottish part of my heritage!). These brownie-cookies are 65g each (about the average weight for a protein bar / cookie / product) and any time I eat one I feel really satiated. In fact, I’m no longer really that bothered about trying to make any of my own keto-brownies to help with the old desire to revisit something reminiscent of a chocolate cake, because these brownie-cookies meet that need and I can eat one, safe in the knowledge that I have the nutritional value already calculated and individually wrapped – which removes the temptation to eat ‘just one more’ from a multipack. I love them, what else can I say?

Another bar that I’ve been enjoying is this one:

These are the FULFIL Vitamin and Protein Bars in Chocolate Salted Caramel Flavour. I buy the 55g bars in a box of 15 for £21 (they’re also available in a smaller 30g size, so be sure to check what you’re buying) from Amazon and you can find them here.

These bars aren’t for everyday consumption – not for me anyway – I like to keep these on hand for ‘Shark Week’, or the couple of days prior to it, when the desire to eat something sweet & chocolatey reaches another level of intense. The bars are very squishy/chewy and have a sort of a fudgy taste to them. They’re sweet, but the salt-caramel flavour cuts through that to stop it from being too sickly and they have a load of soy-crispies on the outside, to break up the overall squishy texture. And boy do they taste good! Too good in a way, because whilst they’re packed with 20g of protein and a bunch of vitamins, I don’t find that they physically fill me up like other bars do and it’s very easy to eat more than one of them in one sitting (something I did once, a couple of months ago during ‘Shark Week’). I think it’s might be because the ingredients state that they contain oligosaccharide which is a source of glucose. The overall carb amount is still under 2g per bar, but I do wonder if they still manage to cause a bit too much of a spike to blood glucose, to be something you’d want to consume regularly on a very low-carb WOE. I keep to under 20g of carbs a day and whilst – numbers wise – I could legitimately incorporate one of these yummy bars into my daily allowance, I still feel that they’re better off being kept for those moments when you really want to eat something that tastes a lot more sinful than it really is.

And that’s it for my little product update today. Being such a tiny blog it’s probably completely obvious that none of these reviews were sponsored in any way, but I figured I should just take a moment to state on the record that I am in no way affiliated with any of the products feature here and everything mentioned was purchased by me, for me. All reviews are my own, and I include them here as honest opinions of products I enjoy.

And on that note I shall bid y’all adieu.

Have a lovely weekend folks,

Blue

Stimulus Chick

And you want to call your mother and say
“Mother, I can never come home again
‘Cause I seem to have left an important part of my brain somewhere
Somewhere in a field in Hampshire.”

I have never been one of those people who can just “be”. I’ve never been able to meditate, or just empty my mind, and I cannot just sit and do nothing for extended periods of time. Sitting is fine, but unless I’m occupying my mind with something, I get incredibly bored, very easily. Now I don’t bore easily – yes that might sound like an immediate contradiction, but bear with me – because I always have something I can be doing, reading, watching, learning about…even if I can’t get up and about to go anywhere. I’m incredibly good at keeping myself occupied and even as a child I could often be found just sat reading as I devoured everything I could get my proto-bibliophile little hands on. So yeah, I never struggle to find things to occupy myself with, but I simply cannot just sit and do nothing.

My mind races all the time, jumping from one project to another as soon as I’ve finished, constantly making notes about the next 100 things to research or the next 10 books I “have” to buy. I read 2-3 different books at any one time, watch university lectures from around the world in order to learn more about…well…everything, and I have to check out/aggregate numerous news sources every day, to find out what the “bullshit du jour” is. (I’ve had it suggested on multiple occasions that I might have undiagnosed ADHD or even Asperger’s, because of the way my brain is always looking to keep itself stimulated, in a very logical, fact-oriented way. I have no idea if that’s true and I’ve never been tested for it, because what we be the point? I’m hardly suffering as a result of it and I certainly don’t require any more medication to add to my already vast prescription.)

But I know that whatever it is that causes me to be perpetually in need of stimulation is probably something that ties into my issues with sugar addiction, or food in general. When I think about what it was that really made me overconsume so many carbs, I’m perfectly ready to admit that it was an addiction. However, I also think that one of the reasons I did eat so much, was because of the experience of having different flavours in my mouth. Being so cued into stimulation at every level, I believe that food was also a way of doing something that felt interesting at the time. I love really sour things, spicy things, herbs, regional cuisines, different textures, different temperatures and of course…all things sweet. Food it seems, has been as much about the fun way flavours hit my taste receptors as it was a response to craving another hit of sugar. Addiction being the multi-layered disorder that it is, can have more than one contributory factor. Maybe I’ve been addicted to the sensory experiences involved in eating, almost as much a I’ve been addicted to the actual sugars involved? I mean, they’re probably two sides of the same coin, but it makes perfect sense when I think about it.

The weird thing is, throughout my life I’ve tried just about everything a person can become addicted to. And I don’t just mean “tried it once, didn’t inhale (I did not have sexual relations with that woman)”, lol. No, I’ve imbibed, indulged and partaken in just about every substance out there on the streets…and have done so on many, many, occasions. During my 20’s I was a complete party animal. I believed that you should work hard and then reward yourself by partying equally as hard on your time off. And I really went for it. I could list the things I’ve done, but it’s quicker and easier to just list the stuff I’ve never done. I’ve never done crystal meth (c’mon we all have to have SOME standards!), I’ve never done PCP and I’ve never used that weird khat stuff that people from Africa like to chew (that shit makes your teeth really gross and TBH you get far more bang for your buck with regular speed). Oh and I’ve never injected anything. But other than that, if it could be snorted, swallowed, smoked or absorbed through a ‘tab’, I’ve done it. A lot of it.

And I’m not saying any of that to try and make myself sound wildly interesting (trust me, most people who are completely off their face on drugs aren’t even interesting to other people currently off their face on drugs) I’m just trying to reveal a pattern in my past behaviours that I believe still exist within me today, despite me being far too old to party anymore. (I don’t even drink alcohol!). The reason I took so many drugs was partly curiosity, but mostly just because I loved the way in which different substances stimulated my mind and body in so many different ways. Up, down, sideways (thanks, Ketamine!) or completely tripping my tits off…whatever it was that I wanted to feel, I knew I could get just by ordering up whatever substance I wanted at that specific moment in time.

And I LOVED taking drugs. I’m not ashamed of that fact…I had so much fun with them and got to experience so many different sensations and levels of excitement / euphoria / relaxation / fascination / introspection, every weekend. I mixed them up, experimented with combining acid & ecstasy, ketamine & ecstasy, ketamine & heroin…all kinds of mad combinations. And looking back, yeah, I probably was pushing my luck and sailing a little too close to the wind with some of my more extreme weekends. At one point I got the nickname “munch” because when it came to taking ecstasy tablets (and this was many years ago when ecstasy tablets actually had a decent amount of MDMA in them) I would start of with just 1, then double drop a couple an hour later, then triple drop later still and by the end of the session had probably forked out about £150 for 20 pills and subsequently “munched” my way through them (and I use the term “munched” there in inverted commas, because ain’t no one in their right mind gonna chance a whitey by chewing one of those bad boys up in their mouth….bleugh!)

But you know what? No matter how many drugs I took or how often, I never became addicted to any of them. Maybe it was because I only ever did them on weekends because of the weekday work ethic. Maybe it’s because I was doing so many different things all the time, that I never became actually addicted to any one recreational drug in particular. I don’t know. But it’s the same with alcohol. When I was younger (15+) I would drink enormous amounts on the weekend. Binge drinking. But it never became something that I got addicted to. I never felt the urge to drink on weekdays, or drink alone. It was something I was able to walk away from as easily as I did the drug-fuelled party life. I did it while it was fun and then when I’d had enough, I just stopped. Inevitably, my reasons for giving up those crazy days of drug-taking were just the usual mundane reasons: 1/ the comedowns get a lot harder to get over (like hangovers) the older you get and 2/ I ended up working a job that required me to work a lot of overtime on the weekends, so it just wasn’t feasible anymore.

Do I miss it? Kind of. But not enough to want to go back to it. I’m now content with getting my stimulation from a vast array of intellectual pursuits….along with getting to enjoy the company of my other half. But it was all the talk of sugar-addiction recently that just got me to thinking about addiction in general and whether or not I’ve got what you’d call an “addictive personality”. And I don’t think that I do. As I’ve just explained, I’ve put myself in the path of potential substance addiction, just by the sheer amount of things that I’ve taken over the years. Why does one person become a disease ridden crack-whore, when the next person merely dabbles and walks away completely unscathed? What makes person ‘A’ become an intravenous smack addict, when person ‘B’ just finds it something they can enjoy here and there and not become dependent upon?

And the only reason I can think of, as to why I might have never gotten addicted to any drugs I’ve ever used…yet still somehow became a sugar-addict, is because everyone knows about the dangers of drug addiction. I grew up bombarded with the “Just Say No” campaigns of the 80s/90s (not that they stopped this curious little miscreant from wanting to find out for herself what these drug things were all about, lol) and there was no shortage of films or television shows that charted the terrible demise of some wretched junkie. The potential dangers of drugs were embedded in our consciousness from a very early age. So even though I was having fun taking everything from A-Z, I think there still must have been some part of my subconscious keeping an eye on me and stopping me from stepping over the threshold from user to addict.

But sugar? It’s in pretty much every kind of processed food on the planet. And grain based carbohydrates have been touted as “good” and “healthful” for as long as I can remember. Sure, we were warned that if we didn’t clean our teeth properly then the sugar would give us cavities; but no one was going around thinking:

“I really ought to be careful dabbling in these Mars Bars and cans of Coca Cola…I don’t want to get addicted and have to go turn tricks on the streets of crime to pay for my dirty, candy habit.”

There just hasn’t been the intensive campaigning out there in schools, youth groups, churches an from within the police, telling us to “Just Say No… To Sugar”. It’s really only in the past 15 years that we’ve seen the notion of carbs being the problem with triggering metabolic disorders (Gary Taubes has really done wonders for getting this message out there to the general public, but Dr Atkins had been waxing lyrical about the low-carb diets for years, before he very sadly passed away. Taubes just really refocused energy and attention on a low-carb WOE, and continues to publish books on the subject to this day) but not many of us grew up in the knowledge that carrots & sweetcorn, or cornflakes and crusty bread could be more problems than they’re worth.

I just say all this because I think our sugar-addictions crept us on us when we weren’t necessarily clued up about the effect carbs were having us. I’m not trying to pass the buck here…none of us got fat behind our own back; but it definitely helps to make sense of how I never became addicted to the various classes of “controlled substances” consumed over the years, but I definitely became addicted to sugar from an early age. And when it’s injected into everything from dressings, to freshly baked 100% chicken breasts in the supermarket, which have also been “fortified” with HFCS…well, what chance did we really stand? *GAH*!

I never wanted to admit that I was a ‘sugar addict’ (I mean, it sounds pretty fucking lame, right?) but going through those first 3 days of withdrawal taught me what it meant to feel infuriatingly dependent on a substance for pleasure, satiety and sanity. I’ve committed those 72hrs to memory, because I, in no way ever, want to have to go back to that place, admit to a relapse and put myself through the sugar withdrawal process again. That shit sucked.

But when I also think back to the withdrawal process and how amazing I felt afterwards, I was a little surprised to see how easy it was to just get on with my new low-carb WOE. Maybe I’m just lucky because I’m not a particularly addictive personality. Hence why I also never became a recreational drug addict, no matter how many substances I used. Do I have an especially good brain that doesn’t “catch” onto addictions all that easily? Am I just mentally stronger and better able to discipline myself, or is it a genetic predisposition to avoiding addiction?

Well, in full disclosure, I’ve actually been surrounded by addicts at various points in my life. My dad (now passed) was an alcoholic, my older half-brother was a heroin addict for over a decade, my step-brother was a heroin & crack addict, one ex-boyfriend was a paranoid schizophrenic heroin addict, another boyfriend was a gambling addict and a couple of friends ended up with one of them in jail and the other dying in the apartment downstairs after a heroin/cocaine speedball overdose. One would think me more likely to develop addictions myself with all those associations & relationships, but I think if anything those people all acted more as real-life examples of what not to end up like. I’ve had front row seats to the very real fuck-ups and failures of all those individuals. There was simply no way I was going to end up going to let myself end up like them.

But nobody was skulking around with a diagnosis of sugar-addiction, for me to use as an example of what not to do. Even if many of them were as addicted to the sweet stuff as me, it simply wasn’t a thing that anyone had really heard of or talked about, 25 years ago; at least it wasn’t in my social circle and I wasn’t clued into any nutritional concepts surrounding it online for a long time in the future. So yes, I WAS a sugar addict, but I wasn’t aware of it…ergo I wasn’t in a position to do much about it. Sure I was fat, but I’m really glad I never joined WW with all their low-fat/high-carb, sugary “points system” foods that would’ve merely been allowing me to stoke those inner fires with MORE unnecessary carbohydrates.

But today is a different story. I have that information, that knowledge, that power. And it has allowed me to re-evaluate my life choices, my diet, and all the behaviours I’ve needed to change in order to get a handle on it. My mind is focused, my goals are set in stone and I have multiple tools at my disposal to assist me in getting to where I really want to be. Some might think that it’s a lot harder to deal with a sugar addiction, when we live in a world that constantly surrounds us with sweet stuff, sugar fortified foods and no way of simply abstaining from all food, forever. We still need to eat and the temptations are all around us.

But I think it’s the opposite. Once you decide “oh I just don’t eat that stuff anymore” and don’t go down the slippery-slope of “just one cheat day won’t hurt!” then it’s a very simple WOE to follow. No complicated systems of sins/points/rewards, no wrecking one’s metabolism by massively restricting calories, no going hungry and no negotiating with oneself any time you’re presented with the opportunity to binge on something, telling yourself that you can make up for it with better behaviour, tomorrow. Just stick to the plan and work it – until it stops working for you. Then you can look at alterations, tinkering, eliminations, rethinking goal weight in relation to muscle mass etc…but don’t worry about any of that in the short term.

Sugar addiction is a real thing, but it also comes with a very simple solution. It just takes the individual to want to make the decision to “get clean” and stay that way. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy…some days will suck more than others. But it’s up to each of us, and us alone, whether we want to continue behaving like junkies, or get our shit together and work toward a happier, healthier future.

Because I’ve seen what that kind of addicted lifestyle has done to way too many people.

And I refuse point blank to end up like them.

Stay sensibly stimulated, y’all

Blue

Lose Yourself / Weigh In Day

“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go (go)
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime”

I know a lot of people would probably disagree with the sentiment that “this opportunity comes once in a lifetime” but that’s exactly how I’m viewing my new way of eating and the subsequent weight loss & health benefits. That doesn’t mean that should I have occasion to choose to eat “off-plan”, that I’ll throw in the towel, because I won’t (If I do choose to eat carbs, I’ll simply get back to eating “on-plan” again as soon as possible). What it does mean is that this is the only way for me to become healthier and happier, so I’d better not give up and go back to the way I used to eat. Because if I do, then I’m basically just saying that I’m okay with spending the rest of my life housebound, bedbound and a prisoner in my own body. And I’m not. Not at all.

So yes, this is my opportunity of a lifetime to lose the excess weight, improve my mobility and stop the conditions I have from being unmanageably detrimental to my quality of life. THAT is the primary motivating force that I keep at the forefront of my mind at all times. THAT is what makes me feel so confident in my ability to do this and succeed in the long run. And that’s what makes weeks like last week where the scale actually went UP (like…um…really?) easy to just take in my stride, because I can already feel how much better this WOE is making me feel. I refuse to choose to mistreat my body any longer. I’m choosing to be healthy. And it’s working!

But getting on to this week’s results on the scale, it’s definitely been a better 7 days than the previous ones were. And that’s largely down to it no longer being ‘Shark Week’ (thankfully) which was obviously the reason behind that 3 POUND GAIN!! (Sorry, I will stop going on about it soon, but it was just such an annoying extra downside to an already miserable week of hormonal grossness). It’s literally only just ticked over into Monday, but I’ve got a bunch of other stuff to do today so I figured I’d get my weigh-in out of the way and get to updating my stats on here.

So, how did I do? Well I managed to shift those 3lb of “ghost-gain”…AND another 3lb for good measure! So technically 6lb shifted, but in reality it’s a 3lb loss, which is absolutely perfect! I weighed in at 16 stone 2lbs (226lbs) and that brings my total weight lost so far to 3 stone 2lbs (44lbs) which is great because I’ve smashed through the “I lost 3 stone!” milestone and I’m just 3lb away from getting into the “15 stone +” weight bracket. I don’t even know when I last weighed “15 stone +”, probably my late teens? And if we’re talking about mini-goals and other imminent milestones, I’m only 27lbs away from being in the magical world of “onederland” – something that I have absolutely zero recollection of ever having previously experienced. I mean, I must have been there once…obviously I had to go up through the 100’s to get into the 200’s, but I went years without weighing myself; so I really can’t think back to a time when my weight was that low, lol.

But there’s no need to get ahead of ourselves just yet. Things are moving along at just the right pace and I’m feeling more and comfortable with this WOE with every passing week. A lifetime spent eating steaks, brisket, burgers, roast chicken, ham, cheeses salads and my favourite protein shakes and brownies sounds just fine to me. There’s absolutely zero deprivation in a diet like that – and by “diet” I don’t mean method of weight-loss, but the way in which people eat every day for the rest of their lives. I know I’ll probably have to start tinkering around with macros as I lose more weight and get closer to my goal, but right now I’m just happily munching my way to a healthier me, without a whole lot of effort.

So that’s how this week’s weigh-in played out folks. Lord only knows what the scale will have to say for itself next week; but, no matter what, y’all can rest assured that I will continue to stay “on-plan”, plodding along contentedly as I work my way back to health.

Have a wonderful week!

Blue