Why Didn’t I Do This Sooner?

“My mind flies
How did I get here”

I’ve lost 67lbs folks.

67 brother-clucking pounds! That’s 3lbs short of a nice round 70lbs which tots up to whole 5 stone (in UK old money, lol) and 4lbs away from getting into ‘Onederland’. And do you know what? It only feels like I decided to do this a few months ago...how did I get here so quickly? So easily? It doesn’t even feel like I’ve had to put all that much effort into it! Sure things felt a bit weird for the first week or so, but once I’d gotten my head around the idea that this is just how I eat now, it’s actually been a bit of a breeze.

I know, I know, I’m probably jinxing myself and speaking too soon, because I’m far from done and the weight-loss is only going to get slower the closer to goal I get, but aside from the annoying “Shark Week” shenanigans that annoy me every month, this really hasn’t been a big deal to me. In fact, if anything, it’s actually been quite fun; seeing my body shrink and change, eating tons of good food, and getting to experiment with a bunch of low-carb products available on Amazon and other places online.

Why didn’t I do this sooner?

I mean, I know that the real reason is that my health just wasn’t being negatively impacted by my weight and food choices, so I never had anything pushing me to do anything about it. But now that I’m at the point I’m at today, seeing all this progress and knowing that it took so little effort to get here, I just wish I’d had the presence of mind to make all these changes sooner, before the health issues started to compromise my quality of life. That’s just life I guess and these are the lessons we learn along the way, but I’m a bit annoyed at myself that it took an issue with health & mobility to spur me on to decide to lose the weight.

It’s not even that I hit a “rock bottom” but I definitely left it a lot later than I should have. That’s not to say that I’m not seeing and feeling the benefits – because yo, y’all, I’ve never felt better! – but I’m just more annoyed at myself for not doing something sooner. Like, I sort of feel stupid for having put it off for so long. If you’re reading this and you know that you need to lose weight, but keep on procrastinating – JUST DO IT!

If I can do it, anyone can. I’m middle-aged, past 40, have zero history of doing anything fitness related, I have fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis and I’m a stubborn old, stuck-in-my-ways harridan who hates change. Yet this whole weight-loss thing has been so much easier than I imagined. How easy? Well:

  • I eat chocolate almost every day.
  • I eat spoonfuls of peanut butter straight out of the tub.
  • I pile my plate high with lots of meat.
  • I eat loads of cruciferous vegetables or salad most days.
  • I eat cheese every day.
  • I drink loads of coffee.
  • I drink energy drinks every day.
  • I haven’t stopped drinking sugar-free soda.
  • I do barely any exercise (although that’s mostly due to the fibro & arthritis).
  • I don’t have a massive appetite anymore and can skip a meal easily without thinking about it.
  • My brain feels so much clearer again after years of brain-fog.
  • My flare-ups are fewer and shorter lasting.

Yes I know that there are going to be people who find some of those admissions to be a little dubious; energy drinks and diet sodas aren’t exactly the best, most healthful choices one can make, right? Well yeah, that’s very true, but I’m working on making gradual, cumulative changes to my habits over time that I can make work and that don’t fall by the wayside because of overwhelm. Will I always drink an energy drink every day? Maybe, maybe not. Will I cut back on my diet soda intake? Maybe, maybe not. Will I try to do more exercise as I lose more weight? Definitely. But that’s something I really need to go easy with and for now I’m happy just to get in a few 2-3 mile walks a few times a week.

The reason all this has been so easy for me so far, is precisely because I haven’t tried to do too much, too soon. I never went into this thinking I needed to “DO ALL THE THINGS” all at once; what was important for me was getting the basics down pat and steadily making improvements along the way. Now here I am 7 months later and I can’t believe how simple it’s all been. Sure there’s been the odd occasion where a product I’ve been consuming turned out not to be as suitable for me as I’d first thought, but none of that has really caused me any issues. The most annoying problems I see with all this is when “Aunt Flo” comes and wreaks havoc on my weight for a week or so – but I’ve had very heavy, painful periods for years now. If anything, this way of eating has actually made them less painful and not quite as heavy for the full 7-10 days.

There have been zero negative effects from my having switched to a low-carb WOE and a whole boat-load of positives. So if you’re a middle-aged, overweight harridan like me and you’re even considering changing up your diet to lose some fat and improve your health, DO IT! Give it 2 weeks and see how you feel. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be amazed at just how much better you feel for having tried it, the scale will reflect your efforts and you’ll want to carry on a little bit longer to see how well you really can do with it.

I’m not normally one for regrets. I’m always happy to take everything as a lesson I can learn from, but if I regret anything, it’s not starting this weight-loss mission sooner. Who knows how much better I’d be feeling already? I guess I’ll never know. But what I do know is that this has been one of the best decisions I ever decided to make and I’m so happy to be reaping all the benefits, from so little effort.

Here’s to another 7 months of eating well and feeling awesome folks!

Blue

This Is What Makes Us Girls / Weigh-In Day

“Somethin’ that we’d die for it’s our curse
Don’t cry about it, don’t cry about it
This is what makes us girls”

(I love this song so much…it’s literally the anthem to my youth. Good times!)

Yes, it’s Wednesday, yes I’m 2 days late weighing in, but “Aunt Flo” has been wreaking her regular havoc with my weight this week, so I decided to give it a couple of days and get a more realistic figure. If you remember from my last post, I had gotten down to a new low weigh of 14 stone 6lb (202lb) but I didn’t update the ‘Fat Stats’ or make it an official weigh-in because it was mid-week and I was just starting into “Shark Week” I wanted to wait and see what would happen.

Well “Aunt Flo” really didn’t disappoint (and I mean that in the most sarcastic way, because nothing is more disappointing than watching the scale creep up for absolutely no reason – urgh!) because the very next day (yes…really) I weighed myself again and got a somewhat disheartening reading of 14 stone 10lb (206lb) which meant that mother nature had bestowed a whopping 4lb of “ghost-gain” upon me, literally overnight. FML.

Obviously, I knew this was just the usual hormonal bloat, but it’s still an absolute pain in the tits (tits that are already sore as frick right now – thanks nature!) to see the scale going in the wrong direction. On Monday “Aunt Flo” was still here and I was still showing that bullshit weight of 14 stone 10lb (206lb) so I decided to give it another couple of days and see how things panned out. Today however, I could definitely feel that the bloating had receded and “Aunt Flo” was looking like she might be almost ready to feck back off to wherever it is she spends the other 3 weeks out of every month…so I decided to do a proper weigh-in and update the ‘Fat Stats’.

So…what’s the damage? Well today I weighed in at 14 stone 7lb (203lb) which is an official loss of 2lb since my previous proper weigh-in. I’m more than happy with that! And it also means that I’m only 4lb away from slipping into ‘Onederland’ for the first time in decades! I’m so close I can almost taste it! I know I’m losing a lot more slowly than I was at the beginning of this mission and I probably could lose a bit more each week if I were to tighten up my food intake and tweak things a little bit; but to be honest, I’m really not inclined to want to unduly stringent at this stage of the game. I might bitch and moan about the times when “Aunt Flo” causes the scale to go haywire every month, but that’s just me being a girl, whining about what it means to be a girl, because girls are hormonally programmed to be whiny beeshes. I’m perfectly happy with the overall downward trend on the scale and see no reason to start implementing any unnecessary or unsustainable big pushes to lose all the weight super-fast.

I’m seeing a lot of people fall into that trap lately. It’s as if they’re unable to maintain the motivation they started out with, without upping the ante at the wrong time. I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve tried to tell people that they shouldn’t be trying to lose weight using means and methods they’re unwilling or unable to keep up in perpetuity, in order to maintain that weight loss, once they hit goal. People give a lot of lip-service to the notion of this being an actual life-long change in lifestyle, when in reality they’re still stupidly hung-up on making those massive losses week-on-week right now, somehow convincing themselves that they’ll keep this up forever…only to find it too difficult to hold fast to for more than a month or so. If you can’t keep to your stringent, strict and super-charged restriction right now, why do you think you’ll be able to keep it up in the long run? The cognitive dissonance is real y’all!

No, I’m just happily plodding along, doing my own thing, losing steadily and not doing anything I won’t be able to keep up in the long run. Of course as I get closer to my UGW (probably about 55-60lb from where I am now TBH) I’ll probably have to start looking at TDEE etc, but as things stand right now I don’t have a clue how many calories I ingest every day. I don’t know what my TDEE is as of yet and I’m not going to bother even looking into those numbers until the scale stops moving for a considerable amount of time and I need to pay a bit of attention to what I’m consuming. What I’m doing is still working just fine for me right now, so I’m happy to keep on keeping on. Keeping things as simple as possible, to make this all as sustainable as possible. Because anyone can go balls-to-the-wall restrictive for a time and shift a ton of weight all at once…but those same people are unlikely to maintain that loss once they hit goal. And that’s the real challenge for me: making permanent changes in habit and losing the weight in a way that I don’t have to fight to maintain.

Stay realistic folks

Blue

Here I Go Again

“Here I go again
Though I keep searching for an answer
I never seem to find what I’m looking for
Oh, Lord, I pray
You give me strength to carry on”

Oh man, if that isn’t just an absolute banger of a track. Those really were the days: Whitesnake, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Cutting Crew…so many awesome groups making epic track after epic track. I’d give anything to go back in time and live then. I hate the way things are now, it’s like all innocence is lost and like David Foster Wallace said “Irony killed sincerity”. The only music like this that’s being made anymore is by groups who are deemed to be creating “ironic” tributes to the 80’s hair rock legends. Screw irony. These guys made music that was awesome because they freaking loved it and we were able to come along for the ride too. Stop the time-train folks, I wanna get off.

Anyway, today’s post is brought to you by 80’s nostalgia, Green & Blacks 85% Dark Chocolate and Nurofen Plus. Because yep, it’s that time again y’all. Yes already. No I have no idea where the last month went and yes I’m as surprised as you are to find that good old “Aunt Flo” is back in the building again, ready to kick my arse and probably do weird things to my weight that make absolutely zero sense. Yay me.

It’s weird though because when I woke up earlier I felt a little bloated. I haven’t really been taking much notice of the dates (because why would I when every single day is the same as the one before in lockdown limbo) so I didn’t actually make the connection at first. I wondered if maybe I’d eaten a bunch of sugar-alcohol the day before, but I’m not gonna lie, my brain ain’t the greatest at any time of the day, never mind when I first get up, so I didn’t really think too much on it. I did decide to get on the scale though, which I don’t normally do mid-week, just to see what the damage was, but when I looked at the screen it said I weighed 14 stone 6lb. WTF? That’s 2lb less than I did on Monday? That doesn’t even make sense??

And it made even less sense when a couple of hours later I felt that familiar “twang” deep inside my lower abdomen and realised that “Shark Week” was once again upon me. Because shouldn’t I have actually seen some “ghost-gain” on the scale then, when I weighed in earlier? I felt a bit bloated, but I hadn’t had the normal sore boobs or grouchiness that normally hits me shortly before “the communists start squatting in the neighbourhood and kick my arse from the inside out.” Why is the scale showing a loss of 2lb?

I have no idea. I haven’t been doing anything differently and like I said, at this particular time of the month I should be seeing “ghost-gain” not a loss, right? Yeah well your guess is as good an mine. Frick knows what’s going on, but I’m probably going to be seeing the scale go up at some point in the next 7 days, so I’m at least glad I got to see that 14 stone 6lb on the scale today – that’s an all-time low! Well, low since I was about 13 or 14 years old (many, many moons ago). Chances are it’ll be a while before we see that weight again what with the inevitable impending hormonal fluctuations and whatnot, but it was cool to see it, if only for one day. I’m not going to update the ‘Fat-Stats’ with that weight because it’s not an official weigh-in day, but I wanted to record it for posterity in a post at least.

Come next Monday (or knowing me I’ll forget and end up weighing in and updating on Tuesday because I’m a bit crap of keeping track of what day it is) I’ll undoubtedly be frustrated as all hell because the scale is showing a 6lb gain out of absolutely nowhere and I’m back on the hormonal merry-go-round again. Ain’t being female fun?

So yeah, that was just a brief mid-week update because nothing here makes any sense any more and I’ve given up trying to figure out what’s going on at any particular time of the month. Be sure to tune in for my next update where it’s absolutely anybody’s guess what’s going to happen. FML.

Have a lovely weekend folks

Blue

Am I Awake, Or Am I Still Dreaming? / Weigh-In Monday

I don’t know if it’s the whole pandemic thing, or what, but the past few days have passed by in a complete blur, as if I’ve not been entirely present for them or something. I almost feel as though I’ve been absent from my own life. I only realised that today was Monday again and time for another weigh-in, because I had to log my meds in my bullet-journal and it suddenly hit me that here were are, at the beginning of another new week. And as I glanced back over the previous week’s entries I realised that I’d been negligent in my tracking of pretty much everything over the past 7 days. Maybe this is what it feels like to have been abducted by aliens, lol. Seriously though, I know I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music (Dvořák, Debussy, Ravel, Chopin, Sigur Rós and anything “fugue-esque” lol) which probably hasn’t done much to keep me present and tethered to the world around me – and I know my sleep-patterns play into my being even more withdrawn from the rest of society – but I do these things all the time; this past week just feels different somehow. I don’t remember what I was doing 2 days ago. I can’t even remember what I’ve been eating.

Now before you start thinking that I went ‘off-plan’ or ate a bunch of junk that I wasn’t supposed to, stop right there! c’mon folks, y’all know your girl here doesn’t do ‘off-plan’ days. When I say I sort of forgot about what I was eating, I’m referring to how my brain was so busy being either completely vacant or just so preoccupied with other stuff that it just wasn’t spending as much time thinking about something as mundane as food. And it’s not that I wasn’t eating, I just carried on eating ‘on-plan’, completely on autopilot, as if that’s the way I’ve always eaten. Which is actually great because that’s exactly how I want my relationship with food to become over time. But I can’t really remember all the times I ate throughout the week, because I just wasn’t noting it down in my bullet-journal. I know I was definitely eating food regularly because the refrigerator is almost empty, but I just haven’t had much time or energy to dedicate to thinking about, planning and recording every morsel I consumed. (Which is totally not like me, because I’ve been tracking every single thing I’ve been eating in my bullet-journal, from Day 1.)

To be fair, on top of the above mentioned fugue-states I’ve also been madly absorbed in a few new projects that I’m just in the beginning stages of gathering research together for, as well as enjoying getting to spend some time hanging out with the other half (who is right now a very happy bunny because we were able to get him the last Xbox Series X in the store recently and his buddies are a wee bit envious, lol). I get like this quite often whenever an idea pops into my head. I’ll stay awake for days drawing up plans, working out budgets and timetables and whatnot, stopping only when my body crashes and I go from being up, awake & slightly manic for 2-3 days, to zoning out like a zombie and then falling into a 22hr coma to recover. And once I’m in that ‘zone’ I can really get lost in whatever it is that I’m currently brainstorming, so I’m really not entirely surprised that my food intake just sort of went unnoticed. I mean, I know I’ve mindlessly eaten crap in the past, it just seems like some subconscious programming has taken root recently, making my mindless eating more of an automatic reliance on an established habit – does that make sense?

But if that’s how things are gonna play out going forward, then I’m totally down with that! (Although I might have to re-evaluate the frequency with which I need to reorder those ‘Pip & Nut Almond Butter Squeeze’ sachets, because the box is looking hella empty right now, lol!) Obviously I’ve still been somewhat present and thinking about the topic of weight-loss, because I’ve checked in with some of my favourite YouTube creators throughout the week, but it definitely feels as though I’ve been focusing on the subject a lot less over the past 7 days – even my brain can only handle dealing with so many different topics at any given time! Which is both exciting in its own way (because that’s a much healthier way to approach one’s relationship with food) and also a bit scary in a “look ma, no hands!” kind of way. And I must have internalised that slight concern last night, because I can remember dreaming about being out in some unfamiliar town, looking down at my hands and seeing that I’d been eating a bag of chips (British chips…proper chips…the kind you get with fish, not crisps or Doritos or whatever you American weirdos call ‘chips’) without even realising it. It wasn’t a dream about enjoying carbs (I never have that kind of dream) or missing them in any way, it was a fever-dream rooted in my fear and paranoia about accidentally ingesting the wrong kind of food because I wasn’t paying attention.

Even when I find myself completely relaxing into this way of eating and just naturally eating my normal low-carb foods without much thought, I still end up reverting to my hyper-vigilant type and worrying about the potential accidental ingestion of crap in my dreams, the minute I actually stop to think about it! But at least that was one dream that I could easily discern from reality once I woke up. It took a few moments of my semi-consciously being annoyed at myself for eating something like that, before I realised I was in bed and no chips had passed my lips, but I do at least know that it was a dream. The rest of of the week on the other hand, I’m not so sure. The line between wakefulness and dreaming just feels like it’s become incredibly blurred and I’m perpetually floating between both worlds, never quite sure of where I really am. I guess this is what happens to a person when the government steals away their liberties under the guise of “protecting” us all from the super-cooties. Sooner or later we all go mad.

Anyway, I know I’m waffling. I’m still sort of caught in a reverie, unsure as to whether I even ought to be up and about and awake or not. Maybe I’ll go back to bed for a while after I’ve uploaded this post. Maybe I have unfinished business in the dream-world that I need to take care of, lol. But I’ll just get to this week’s fat-stats and let y’all know where I am weight-wise this week. Last week I was…um…I really don’t remember. Oh frick. Hang on, I’ve got it written down somewhere in my bullet-journal, so I don’t have to leave this post mid-edit….Just gimme a minute to go check it out. Here…listen to this while you’re waiting for me to get back. It’s beautiful, awesome, haunting and will probably convey the landscape of the inside of my mind to y’all, better than I ever could:

Okay, found it. Last week I had what looks like a pretty good loss. I’d dropped 5lbs and was showing a weight of 14 stone 10lb (206lb) and this week I’m 14 stone 9lb (205lb), which means that I’ve lost another 1lb! Good stuff! And I managed that without really even paying much attention to what I was eating, lol. That’s really more of the achievement I guess, because I don’t want to be so utterly obsessed with weight-loss that it occupies my every waking thought. The whole point of working on establishing one habit at a time, is so that it truly takes root and becomes something I do automatically, before moving on to establishing another one. And I think I’ve definitely done that, as far as eating low-carb goes. It’s just how I eat now. I eat that way without thinking about it. And that’s exactly how I hoped it would be.

So good news all round this week. Still losing gradually and sustainably and doing it without even having to think about it. Which is just as well, because I have no idea where my brain has been this past week. Yay for habits becoming something we can just do on autopilot! I don’t know what the rest of the week has in store for me yet, but I’m keeping up with doing some gentle walking every couple of days to try and get the body used to movement. Nothing crazy, but then that’s really not my style. I completely live by the phrase:

“Do not do something in order to lose weight, that you aren’t willing to keep doing in order to maintain that loss.”

Because even in my fugue-states I know that it really is the only way to achieve any truly sustainable results. That I’ve already mastered the art of eating the way I need to, completely without thinking about it, gives me great hope for my continued progress and and permanent results. So I’m happy to just keep on doing what I’m doing while I’m still getting the results I want. That’s all I could ever ask for…all I ever could have dreamed of, lol.

Stay dreamy folks

Blue