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

Agony / Weigh-In Monday

“I won’t fall down
My soul is bound.
This is agony.”

Urgh I feel like such a miserable broken record at this point. Again this is only going to be a quick update because it hurts so much to just sit and type right now. I mean it hurts regardless of what I’m doing (or not doing, as has been the case for the whole of last week) but every key-stroke sends electric-shock like pains up from my fingertips, through my nerves and up into my shoulders. I’m on the highest amount of pain mediation I can take and it still barely takes the edge off of this raw, seething agony. And to add insult to injury, it’s “Shark Week” too, so I’m basically just a weepy, pathetic, pain-ridden mess of person right now. FML.

It’s really annoying because I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to share and talk about on here, but I just can’t sit and type long enough, so I’ve got a list of topics to cover (jotted down in one of my notebooks) once this flare-up recedes enough for me to sit at a computer and type for more than a few minutes. Today’s weigh-in showed a “ghost-gain” of a pound or two (probably one and a half, the way the number kept flickering) but that’s just the usual added bloat that “Aunt ‘Flo” brings along with her. Once that abates in the next few days I should be back at my proper weight of around 197lb. Food choices right now are very lazy and I’m basically just eating almond butter out of the tub, scarfing back protein bars with my meds and eating slices of ham and cheese straight from the packet. Nothing exciting, but you do what you gotta do when life renders you a useless cripple.

Hopefully things will be back to normal soon (please??) and I’ll be back to being my regular sarcastic harridan self in future posts. But rest assured that no matter what life throws at yours truly, I’ll be keeping on keeping on, sticking to the plan and refusing point blank to let any of these little obstacles tempt me from the path of good choices.

Keep making good choices y’all

Blue

Where I’ve Been…And Where I’m At / Weigh-In Day

“Dancing through a dream underneath the stars
Laughing ’til the morning comes
Everyone that leaves has a heavy heart, oh, Wonderland I love.
Welcome to Wonderland, I’ll be your guide
Holding your hand under sapphire skies
Let’s go exploring or we could just go for a walk.
Welcome to Wonderland, where should we go
There’s a tea party along down the road
Make an appearance and maybe they’ll sing us a song”

So…yeah, the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I’ve been AWOL for over a week. I didn’t do a weigh-in last Monday and I’ve been pretty much absent from the comment sections of all my favourite YouTubers. And that was entirely intentional. Because a little something happened about 5 or 6 days ago that caused me to make a conscious decision to play truant for a wee while. And if that all sounds a bit dramatic, well it was just something that sort of made me want to proceed with a little caution; for fear of jinxing things.

Ladies and gentlemen…I have indeed arrived in “Onederland”!

As of today I weigh 14 stone and 2lb – which in total makes 198lbs.

I literally cannot even remember the exact time I last weighed this little. I know, it’s still a really heavy weight for a person of my elf-esque 5ft small stature, but this is a really big deal to me. I haven’t been able to describe my weigh in figures starting with ‘One hundred’ for decades. I initially saw the scales drop to a fluctuating reading between 199 and 200lb last week, so I knew I was on the cusp of breaking through the barrier into the 100’s. But I also knew how likely it was for the scale to go back up before dropping back down underneath 200lb, so I decided to just take a little break from updating, step away from the YT weigh-loss community and allow nature to take its course. Which it did and just as I expected I briefly went back up to 201lb for a day before dropping to 199lb yesterday and 198lb today.

So, that means…um…since I last weighed in, I have lost another 5lb.

And in total, I have lost 72lb…or in Old English money 5 stone 2lb.

I don’t mean to brag, but like…I AM FREAKING KILLING IT, Y’ALL! Your girl here has been at this for 246 DAYS! And I am showing zero signs of battle fatigue yet; in fact things are just starting to get interesting because I’m only 28lb (2 stone) from my initial goal of -100lb and when we smash through that little milestone, we’re gonna have to start setting some brand new goal-weights! I mean, I have absolutely no idea what my UGW is going to end up being; I’m just going to have to play it by ear, see what looks & feels good and take it all under doctor’s advisement obviously, but y’all…IT. IS. ON!

“I’m smokin’ while I’m runnin’
This town, and you better believe it, honey
I’m laughin’ as I’m takin’ no prisoners
And takin’ down names
I’m cryin’ while I’m gunnin’
In the smoke, they can hear me comin’
If you were me, and I was you
I’d get out of my way”

In My Feelings ~ Lana Del Rey

The only downside to all of this weight-loss, is trying to get used to the new sensations, I’m experiencing as certain parts of my body are now in a totally different position and feel completely out of alignment. I can no longer just flop into bed and assume the same old position I’ve been sleeping in for years. Now I have to actually try to figure out the right angle to position my head on the pillows, and then where my hands go – and it’s bizarre! I’m having to learn how to lie down and go to sleep, lol. I’m also now acutely aware of the way my knees feel lying atop one another when I’m on my side. I can’t ever remember noticing that sensation ever before! The bagginess of clothing is still funny but I’ve been getting creative with belts and safety-pins, lol. And once I’ve gotten closer to my UGW I’ll start thinking about actually buying some new clothes. But it’s feeling weird in my own skin, inside my own body, that’s going to take a long time to get used to.

I know I’ve lost weight – and quite a significant amount thus far; but some days I can’t see it or feel it at all. I still manage to smash my hips into doorframes, misjudge spaces that I think I can or cannot fit through, and I don’t really feel as though I’m genuinely occupying any less space. Objectively I know that I’ve lost over 5 stone. I can see the weight tracking downward on the scale and my clothing is hanging off me like something you’d see on a scarecrow. And I feel much healthier…I just can’t put my finger on what the disconnect really is. I guess I’m just going to have to get used to it because it’s only going to get crazier.

But that’s the only downside to all this really. I’m still kicking arse and powering on, ready to hit more targets and leave more milestones in the dust. Because we’re in ‘Onederland’ now guys, there’s no going back…because I’m just not that person anymore.

Here’s to becoming a better person than we all were yesterday, folks. Physically, mentally, socially, spiritually…whatever it is, just get on with being the best version of yourself that you can. Because accepting anything less really is just madness.

See you down the Rabbit Hole, y’all

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

The Incredible Shrinking Woman / Weekly Weigh-In

“So now you’ve made the big shrink
Meanwhile we’ll keep acting big
We well-bred beautiful people”

Happy Monday folks! Look at me all on-time and remembering what day it is like a normal, functioning person! Are you impressed? You should be, because I very nearly just slept through today which would have made for another late weigh-in. But something clicked in my mind earlier, reminding me that I had a weigh-in to do and a blog post to update y’all with…you’re welcome! Lol.

It’s been another of those weeks that meant absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things…days blurring into one big void with very little to distinguish any of them from one another. Except for Saturday, when I had one of those little “moments” that occur every now and then when we’re working on losing some weight. I was in town with the other half doing the shopping and because of this lockdown bullshit, only one of us could go into a particular store – because apparently two people from the same household would be oh-so-MUCH-more dangerous to the general public. (Who makes these rules up? Are they drunk?) So he went in to grab a few items while I waited outside for him.

And as I was standing next to this huge shop window, I turned around casually only to be met with my own reflection:

“OMIGOD! I’M SO MUCH SMALLER THAN I USED TO BE!!”

Catching this glance at myself in this window’s full-length glory, it was like I was actually seeing myself properly for the first time in ages. Of course I know I’m getting smaller. The number on the scale is decreasing and my clothes are becoming unwearable – even with belts now. But I still don’t really take much time to stop and assess my overall appearance beyond my face or head when I’m doing my hair and make-up. And there’s something about the way our reflections are so much more brutal and uncompromised, when seen out in public. It’s as if the very presence of other people around us forces us to see ourselves as we really are; there’s no pretending that the soft lighting and flattering angles we might have at home, are the truest version of ourselves. This is out there in the real world, brightly lit, and able to be seen by all and sundry.

So I knew right then and there that what I was seeing wasn’t just a trick of the light, or some cleverly convex, changing-room mirror designed to lull me into a false sense of security so I’d buy more stuff. I was seeing myself as I truly was…and it really shocked me. I felt unprepared to see myself properly – something again likely rooted in a fear of the unknown, the unpredictable, which has caused me to subconsciously avoid looking at myself in any full-length mirrors at home. To say I had mixed feelings about it, is a huge understatement. On the one hand I was happy because here was undeniable proof that all my efforts thus far had paid off; but there was also a sense of confusion because I didn’t recognise the woman reflected in that shop window. And there was also a creeping discomfort making me feel unsteady and unsure. I can barely remember the last time I was this small and in my mind I’m still the 270lb person I was back in August of last year when I decided to embark upon a weight-loss mission.

I know this cognitive-dissonance is common in those of us who have a significant amount of weight to lose, but it doesn’t make it any less weird and overwhelming when I experienced it for myself. Logically, I understand that I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight, but actually “seeing” it for myself at that moment still took me completely by surprise. When the other half came out of the store I asked him to stand next to me in front of the window, still unsure as to whether or not what I was seeing was completely accurate. But as I looked at the two of us reflected back, I could see that he looked exactly as he does in real life. HIS reflection was accurate; and that meant mine had to be too. I really was that much smaller woman staring back at me.

“Babe, I’m so much smaller than I was!”

He laughed in disbelief:

“Yeah…you are! I’ve been trying to tell you this for ages! You’ve done so well!”

And he has been telling me this. Quite a lot. But I always just brush it off and change the subject. It’s not that I think he’s being dishonest or trying to tell me something just to make me good; but it’s that cognitive dissonance thing I guess, where my brain just hasn’t been ready to accept the fact that this is really happening. Obviously he thinks I’m nuts, which I mean, he’s not wrong, lol. But he’s never had to even think about his weight like this. He’s never experienced a drastic change to his outward appearance that he needed to mentally adjust to. So while he’s always super-supportive and compliments me regularly about my progress, he still can’t even truly understand how or why I have such a massive disconnect between what’s in my head and what’s in front of my eyes.

“I’m not just blowing smoke up your arse when I tell you I can notice it babe!”

Which again, logically I know to be true; but it still doesn’t quite register with me when he says those things. Seeing the two of us, stood side by side in that window though…that was like getting a jolt of electricity behind the eyes, truly opening them for the first time and allowing me to see the reality of my weight-loss. Him tall, slender, over 6ft tall, towering over my 5ft small frame that now seemed so much more feminine and diminutive. I’m not trying to say that I’m some ‘Skinny Legend™’ here, because I’ve still got a huge way to go until I hit my ultimate goal. But it almost felt as though I’d never truly seen myself as being as big as I used to be (I guess that cognitive dissonance thing works both ways, lol) but now that I could see how much weight I’d actually lost, the difference was huge!

So yeah, that was my big “moment” this week where reality jumped up and hit me squarely between the eyes. I won’t pretend that I’m totally used to the knowledge that yes, I really do look that size, but I’m getting there. I think the fact that my body doesn’t just hold all my weight in one place and distributes it really evenly all over my frame, really helped me to carry my weight better when it was at its highest and is now allowing my to see a much smaller person overall, when I see my reflection. I look like a “normal” sized person now, lol. And it’s only going to be better and more impressive, with every pound I lose. I’m both excited and terrified by the prospect of what I’m going to look like once I get to my goal weight; such is the conflicting allure of the great unknown.

But speaking of losing pounds, I think that brings us to the perfect segue into this week’s weigh-in results. Last week I had just maintained my previous week’s weight, so I was 14 stone 12lb (208lb). Today when I stepped onto the scale it said I was 14 stone 9lb (205lb) which is a loss of 3lb! Yay me! And it just occurred to me that this weight brings me to being just 6lb away from getting into ‘onederland’ – eek! I can’t believe I’m almost out of the 200s and that the 100s are just within my grasp! That’s crazy! I think I was about 13 or 14 years old when I last weighed less than 200lb! I’m so ridiculously proud of myself right now and still fired up with the same level of motivation and enthusiasm that I had when I started off on this mission. Sure I get my ‘down’ days when my pain levels are excruciating and I can barely do anything other than mong out on the sofa, but that’s the fibro and the arthritis. I’m always going to have those conditions. But I just feel so much better for having made the effort to lose the weight I have so far…and I’m eager to get the rest of those excess pounds off through good eating and that unerring resolve of mine!

To the 100’s…and beyond!!

Have a lovely week folks

Blue

How I Learned To Properly Read An Ingredients List And Stop Screwing Up My Progress / Weigh-In Monday

“Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
She’s so far gone she feels just like a fool.
My, oh my, you sure know how to arrange things
You set it up so well, so carefully
Ain’t it funny how your new life didn’t change things
You’re still the same old girl you used to be”

I know.

It’s Tuesday, not Monday. I’m a day late. Again. Bite me.

Easter weekend with those two bank-holidays kinda threw me though. Yesterday felt like a Sunday (They were showing Harry Potter on TV for feck’s sake…everyone knows that’s a Sunday afternoon thing!) And to be honest the fact that I was only a day out is a bit of a miracle really, all things considered. I mean, it’s April now apparently, but this morning I had to brush a load of snow off of my window-ledge so I could feed the birds. Yes, snow. And then the sun came out and I had to put sunscreen on in order to leave the house because I’ve been throwing enough acids at my face lately for it to be considered a hate crime. Snow and sun? This ain’t freaking Chamonix, universe. Get your shit together will ya?

Not that I’ve got my own shit even remotely together right now. This whole last week has been a bit of a miserable crap-fest for me. I’ve pretty much been relegated to the sofa for the past 7 days, with some really bloody annoying nerve pain and muscle spasms all down my left leg. Like, it was pretty funny at times when I got up to use the bathroom, my leg muscle would spaz out and I’d just collapse into whatever was next to me (the other half laughed quite a bit when I fell into a bookshelf and knocked all the books off and then headbutted the door – who wouldn’t find that funny?) but the Michael J. Fox routine soon got annoying so I basically just stayed put for the most part, doubled up on the diazepam and tried to sleep for as many hours as I could each day.

As for food, well I just couldn’t be bothered with it. I ate a couple of proper meals, but mostly I just decided to be super lazy and rely on snacky stuff. Handfuls of sliced ham, a bit of cheese, bags of pork puffs, nut butter and protein bars. Yes, I know this isn’t a normal healthy way to eat and no it isn’t my normal eating pattern, but I really had zero fricks to give this week and figured I was still eating ‘on-plan’ foods.

At least, I thought I was.

Yeah, well that didn’t turn out to be exactly right. You see, I’ve been including some protein brownies in my food intake ever since I pretty much started to eat low-carb. The label said that they contained 0.5g of sugar in them and I’d not had any problems with them over the past 7 months so I had no reason to think that they weren’t okay for me. But a few days ago I ate one with a cup of coffee a few hours after I’d gotten up and about 30 minutes afterwards, I started to feel a bit hungry. Knowing this was a bit odd my mind immediately dialled into that and started to get suspicious:

“That’s weird. I shouldn’t be hungry. I’ve eaten. I should be good for another few hours. Hmm…strange!”

At first I just put it down to my having upped some of my medications and grabbed some ham and cheese to stave off the starvo monster. But then later on, being the lazy bish that I was, I decided that instead of a real dinner I’d just have another brownie with coffee. (Yes, a shitty food choice, but you’re not my real dad, you can’t tell me what to do…or what to eat!) But again, not long after eating I felt the same hunger kicking in. And I knew that this wasn’t proper hunger, but those old sugar-craving pangs of old.

“This isn’t right! Have these things been reformulated on the sly? Have they increased the amount of maltitol in them or something?”

I don’t really have any problems with maltitol normally. At least I hadn’t up until now, but the packet didn’t stipulate the amount of sugar alcohols in each brownie, so I logged onto Amazon where I bought them and had a look for the nutritional breakdown on there. And what I actually found, sorta blew my mind:

“Less than 1g of sugar…blah blah blah…20g of protein…blah blah blah…3.3g of fibre…blah blah blah…and there’s only 24g of carbohydrates primarily from low GI oat flour.”

I’m sorry, there’s what in there now?

“24g of carbohydrates primarily from low GI oat flour.”

OAT FLOUR? BROTHERCLUCKING OAT FLOUR? SINCE WHEN HAS THAT SHIT BEEN THERE? I DON’T CARE HOW “LOW-GI” IT IS, I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS EATING 24G OF COCK-A-MAMIE CARBOHYDRATE FROM OAT FLOUR!

So I fished one out from the bottomless sack of protein bars that live under my living room table and looked a little more closely at the ingredients wrapper. Now, I don’t think I’ve told y’all this before, but I have pretty crappy eyesight that both struggles with tiny things up close, as well as not being able to make out most things in the distance. Don’t worry, I don’t drive a car or anything that could truly endanger others via my sensory deficiencies, but I am supposed to wear glasses to improve this little affliction. Only, I don’t. Because there isn’t a single pair of glasses out there that I don’t look a like a total penis in; so my vanity just precludes me from having better vision. It’s no big deal, if I can’t see something far away I either move closer to it (pro tip there folks – you’re welcome) or ask someone else to deal with it. Up close when reading I’m okay usually, but small print often just becomes that cliched blurb of ‘frick-knows-what’, that I’m either signing away the rights to my firstborn to (joke’s on them, because I’ve been sterilised) or overlooking the get-out-clauses that prevent me from suing a manufacturer once their product poisons me or makes all my hair fall out.

And upon closer inspection, I could see that it did indeed say that the product contained oat flour…an ingredient that I’d previously taken to say oat fibre which would have been fine. So yeah, it turns out that for the past 7 months I’ve been eating these things which contain within them “only 24g of carbohydrates primarily from low GI oat flour!” Fricking “only”. Get the frick out of here with your attempt to minimalize your bullshit, brownies. THAT’S MORE THAN MY DAILY CARB ALLOWANCE YOU TINY-PRINTED MISBEGOTTEN SNACKY-CAKE OF SATAN!! Urgh!

I mean sure, it wasn’t their fault that my macular shortcomings had caused me to misread an ingredient, but I’m a hormonally imbalanced harridan who can’t seem to do right, for going wrong, and this whole debacle has kind of brought out the inner Karen in me. Yes I’m to blame, but no, I’m not in the mood to be so magnanimous in my own defeat here. I’ve been eating that crap for months now. (Although I did read one comment about them having recently reformulated the recipe, rendering them no longer filing and satiating, so maybe this is a new thing and I’ve only just detected the extra carbs in my current batch? Possibly. It’d make sense I suppose, but they don’t taste any different to me since the first time I ate one, so I could just be clutching at straws.)

So there you go. That was my rather unsettling ‘moment of truth’ this week that pissed me off to no end. Because I now have to give those brownies up and they were one of my favourite (allegedly…but not really…grr…) low-carb snacks. They were seriously dense and filling, made for a convenient meal replacement when I literally couldn’t be bothered to move my fat arse and find something else to eat, and they tasted really good too. I’ve probably got about 30 of them in my stash because they were on a monthly reorder thing from Amazon, but I guess they’re going to have to go to the other half to consume now instead. FML.

Anyway, enough cathartic caterwauling for now, time to do this week’s weigh-in. Last week I was 14 stone 12lb (208lb) and this week the scale says…well it sort of keeps flashing between 14 stone 11lb and 14 stone 12lb; and if you’ve been around here long enough, you’ll know that we don’t deal in half-measures whatsoever here at Hydrangea Heights. That goes for weigh-ins too, so we’ll just round it up to the higher number and call this last week a flat maintain. Which, when you consider how many of those aforementioned protein brownies I ate over the last 7 days and how many carbs I must have been inadvertently consuming, is actually quite impressive, lol.

Going forward though, we’ll just have to be more careful when studying nutritional panels and not just read what we think sounds good, only for it to turn out to be another comestible nemesis-in-waiting. All jokes aside though, it is what it is and life goes on. I’m not going to be losing any sleep over this…but then I get prescribed plenty of hypnotics, narcotics and whatnot to out-snooze Rip van Winkle, any day, so lack of sleep is never really much of an issue with me. If I got any more ‘beauty sleep’ I’d be a freaking supermodel, and that just wouldn’t be fair to the rest of you. (Never let it be said that I’m anything else than a 24 karat gold humanitarian folks – once again: you’re welcome!)

But that pretty much wraps up this week’s weigh-in update I think. Now that I’ve realised that we’re actually on Tuesday, I’m going to have to go check out the meat and produce in the fridge because some of it might have gone beyond the ‘use-by’ date and will have to get flung out for the sea-gulls to feast upon. (I swear I have cultivated the most spoiled, bougie birdies in my locale; they actually turn their noses up at bread now, fully aware of the bountiful alternatives that lie just beyond my window. Bless!)

So wherever you are in the world, I hope that the gods of weight-loss are smiling down upon y’all, and you’re paying proper attention to your food labels. I’m here making these mistakes for y’all, so you don’t have to.

Stay attentive folks

Blue

Going In Circles / Weigh-In Monday

“I know nothing stays the same
But if you’re willing to play the game
It’s coming around again”

Here we are again. Monday, already. I have no idea where the last week went. I have absolutely nothing to show for it, except for a few books read on my Kindle and some videos watched on YouTube. Of course the dreaded “Shark Week” is upon me again, but I’m hoping (finger crossed) that this month isn’t going to turn into another “Shark Fortnight” as I’ve been taking my Mefenamic Acid every morning without fail. But the usual hormonal bloat is here as expected and I’ll just go ahead and get my weekly weigh-in out of the way, because it too is showing exactly what I expected: a few pounds of “ghost-gain”. Last week I maintained, after a previous week’s loss of 5lbs. Last week I was 14 stone 9lbs (205lbs) and today the scale says I’m at 14 stone 12lbs (208lbs which means I’ve “gained” 3lbs this week. Really?

Urgh. I know it’s just hormones and water weight or whatever, but I’m starting to think I might be in a sort of plateau phase right now. It’s hard to know, because when I look back over my ‘Fat Stats’ for the past few months, I’m still doing the same thing where I:

  • Gain weight during “Shark Week/Fortnight”
  • Lose Weight
  • Maintain
  • Gain weight again because yet again “Shark Week/Fortnight”

Which is totally normal for me, but I’m not sure if my cycle is the thing causing me to have so many problems, or if I’m genuinely in a plateau phase right now. If it is a plateau, then cool, whatever; I knew I was due to hit one sooner or later because I’ve been losing steadily and happily enough for the past 6 months. I just wish I didn’t have to deal with the annoyance of “Aunt Flo” creating havoc for me, for anything up to 2 weeks out of month, because I’m starting to feel like I’m going around in circles. Gain, lose, maintain, gain. Repeat every month, ad – literal – nauseum.

If this is a plateau phase (however cunningly obfuscated by hormonal interferences) then I’ve planned for it. I expected it to happen and would be happy to use the few techniques I have at the ready, should weight loss start to stall for an extended period of time. I’m still not counting any calories in any of the food I eat, so there’s that to consider should the need arise (I was going to start reducing my portion sizes, but things seemed to be going okay without me needing to pay much attention to it, although that might be worth looking at now). I’ve also been reading up on some ways in which I can start to incorporate ‘Intermittent Fasting’ into my diet – which will need a bit of jiggling around with medication and whatnot, but should be ultimately doable if I work it out properly.

Plateaus just happen – especially to those of us with a lot of weight to lose – so there’s no need to get stressed about it. Just stick to your plan and keep doing what you’ve been doing for a few weeks and see how things pan out. Obviously, as we lose more and more weight, the amount of food we actually need to consume also decreases, so if weight loss stalls for more than a few weeks, it’s probably time to take a look at the amount of food you’re eating and maybe try reducing it a bit. I know all this and am fully prepared to start making the necessary adjustments to my diet, should it be the time to do so.

But I’m not entirely sure if I am in a plateau phase or not, because of the weird way that my weight fluctuates so much every month, because of my cycle. And I don’t want to jump the gun and begin tinkering with my food intake too early, because that will only mean I have even less wiggle-room to play with once the real plateau phase kicks in. I swear, the menopause can’t come early enough for me…but if my mother is anything to go by, I’ve got another 20 years of this monthly crap to endure before “Aunt Flo” finally packs up her stuff and moves out for good. Yikes!

Maybe it’s a plateau, maybe it’s just my hormones, maybe it’s Maybelline…frick knows what’s behind it right now, but I’m guessing this whole lockdown bullshit isn’t helping things. I’m definitely sleeping more and moving even less than usual, which is probably playing into how much food I actually need to consume every day. And my joints have been hurting a lot more than usual which means I haven’t been making much of an effort to go out for a walk, but then I never used any additional exercise as a means to increase or aid my weight-loss, so I doubt that’ll be having any impact in and of itself. I guess I just feel pretty ‘meh’ right now. Lockdown blues, hormonal mood, fibromyalgia playing up…I’m probably just being a whiny bitch, lol.

All I can do right now, is just keep on sticking to the plan, try to ride out this latest “visitation” and see where it leaves me at the end of it. I’ll probably give it a couple more months just keeping on with how I’ve been eating and then see if I need to re-evaluate my intake. Sure it’s annoying and frustrating to feel like I’m going in circles, but I knew going into this new way of eating that weight loss is rarely linear and that patience was going to be key to success. One thing I won’t be doing is veering off plan or giving myself any pathetic excuses to eat any carby junk. Sure I’ll probably have the odd bitch and moan on here about “Aunt Flo” and her shenanigans, but even if the scale is going up and down and all over the place, I’m committed to this way of eating for health, for the rest of my life. There are no good reasons or excuses for going off-plan and I’m not about to start trying to invent any, just to acquiesce to the inner sugar-addict who will forever be a monkey on my back.

My kitchen is stocked with plenty of good, nutritious foods, and I have some protein bars, nut butters and shakes on hand for those moments when I can’t countenance the idea of eating anything too substantial, but still need to put something in my stomach to take my meds with. I’ve also got a 12-pack of ‘Nano A Protein Pancakes’ on order from Amazon (because yes, my hormonally addled brain was seriously craving something cake-like and that ‘buy-it-now’ button is literally the devil in disguise, lol) which are allegedly going to be delivered by Thursday 1st April (omigod, we’re almost in April, already!) but the way my Amazon deliveries have been going lately, frick knows when (or if) they’ll actually get here.

I know, I know, I could probably make these myself, but I fricking hate cooking anything and it would have taken just as long for a packet of protein pancake mix to get here, as it would these pre-made ones (no, I don’t have a bunch of baking ingredients on hand to just make stuff…the only thing I have in common with Martha Stewart is our inherent dislike of taxation) and I was feeling very sorry for myself as “The Communists Started Squatting In My Neighbourhood And Began Kicking My Arse From The Inside Out”. The ingredients aren’t what a lot of people would consider “clean” keto, but I’m not actually doing any official keto, just low-carb with a maximum of 20g carbs a day.

Ingredients
Pancake: water, whey protein (milk) (VOLAC Volactive Ultra Whey 80 Instant), egg yolk, humectant (glycerine), wholemeal flour, sunflower oil, fillers (disodium diphosphate, sodium carbonate, calcium carbonate), maize starch, sweetener (sucralose), salt, preservative (potassium sorbate, sodium acetate).

Filling: water, sweetener, flavouring, modified starch, refined vegetable fat, low-fat cocoa powder, thickener (carboxymethylcellulose), flavouring, salt, preservative (potassium sorbate), emulsifier (polysorbate 60).

The nutritional panel says that each one contains 13.1g of carbohydrate with 2.8g of that being sugar. It’s tempting to just go with the amount of sugar in each one, but looking at the ingredients list, I think I’ll be better off counting the 13g total carbs when I eat these. I’m not planning on eating them every day (this month’s “Shark Week” will probably – hopefully! – be done with by the time my order even arrives) and I’ll try to keep most of them back until next month’s “visitation” when the hormonal need for something cake-like, rears its ugly head again.

But for now, I’m just going to settle for a protein-collagen-keto shake and a little squeezy sachet of ‘Pip & Nut Almond Butter’ to keep me going. I think I might even be up for a steak this evening – lord knows I could do with the iron boost! And I’ve got some ‘Green & Black’s 85% Dark Chocolate’ to have with a cup of coffee later in the evening or before I go to bed. The G&B bars are nicely portioned off into rows of 3 squares. 2 rows / 6 squares (18g) comes in at 4.2g of carbohydrate, with 2.6g of sugar. Being really dark and intense, those 2 little rows are just the right amount to give you a nice little hit of chocolatey loveliness, without any added polyols. Perfect for this time of the month.

Anyway, that’s all I have to share with ya’ll this weekly weigh-in. I really must get around to posting some mid-week stuff in here too…I just seem to keep blinking and before I know it, another 7 days have rolled around. Fecking lockdown bollocks! Right now, I’m off to lie down and listen to ‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club’ for a bit and try to get my arse to stop feeling like I’ve dislocated by left buttock. I’m so rock ‘n roll y’all, lol!

Stay sane folks

Blue

Oops / Weigh-In Monday (Except It’s Tuesday, Because…Reasons)

“I guess I’ll never know where your head is at…
…I’ll be forgetting the blue.”

Yes, I know. It’s Tuesday, not Monday, but if I thought I was lost in some weird dreamlike state last week, this week has been even worse. I literally forgot what day it was because who cares anymore, when everyday is lockdown day and somehow we’re almost into April, when it was only just Christmas like, 5 minutes ago. I haven’t even gotten dressed in about 3 days now, and I’m not even remotely exaggerating when I tell y’all that I slept for over 28hrs between Sunday and today. Seriously, I only got up to use the bathroom, take meds and crawl back into bed for another of my epic sleep-a-thons. The only reason I ended up realising what day it was, was when I went to check the date on my phone to see if my turkey-burgers were still okay to eat.

And it turned out that I’d pretty much slept through Monday, forgot all about weighing in and basically just checked out of reality there for a while. Yikes. At this rate it’s going to be Christmas again and I’ll have zero idea where the entire year went. I’m so unbelievably sick of all this lockdown bollocks and just want the government to open everything back up, and let us all decide for ourselves how much we want to isolate or wear those pointless fricking masks (which, spoiler alert: don’t fucking work!) I’ve already had Covid once, I don’t care if I get it again because weirdly enough, I have this in-built thing called an immune system that’s been fighting off coronaviruses since the day I was born. People have been conditioned to think that this Covid-19 thing is a new thing and that it’s a special novel coronavirus that’s gonna kill us all. It’s not. Coronaviruses are nothing new. Most of us will contract this one and either be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, just like we do whenever there’s a seasonal cold or flu going around. The people who are at risk, are always at risk from ALL the viruses (coronaviruses or otherwise) and can choose to protect themselves accordingly. But the majority of people will NOT die from this bullshit. I really wish more people would understand that and free themselves from this pathological fear of contracting something that isn’t going to kill them. Masks don’t prevent the spread of aerosolised virus particles from exhalation, so all we’re doing is engaging in a dumb collective performative act of compliance. And we’re letting governments eradicate our civil liberties whilst we do it. Just fucking enough already!

Grr…this shit makes me so angry. The average person just takes what they’re told at face value and allow themselves to be terrorised into weak, compliant, cowed responses because they aren’t even aware of what powers a government should really have over their personal freedoms. I’m an adult. If I want to expose myself to a multitude of risk factors, that’s on me. If you really believe that masks work, then you should be happy to wear one for yourself, fully content with the protection you believe that it’s giving you. That I do or do not choose to wear one shouldn’t matter to you. If they work, yours is working for you. If yours isn’t protecting you, then you really have to stop and think about why that is, and maybe consider why we’re all continuing to go along with this bullshit charade.

I’m just especially pissed off today because I woke up to find that I’d been sent a letter “inviting” me to get vaccinated, because my priority group were now being called. Yeah, no, not gonna happen bro. Don’t need one, not getting one. If y’all think you need one and you think it’s going to protect you (against a constantly mutating virus, despite having been created from a previous strain) then you do you. If it works, you’ll be golden, right? I’m just going to keep on relying upon the immune system I was born with and expose myself to as many germs as I always have, because that’s what’s kept me alive thus far. I don’t own a hand sanitizer; never have, never will. I only ever wash my hands if I’m preparing food or after I’ve been to the bathroom. Or if they get something icky on them. Drenching ourselves in sanitizer isn’t healthy. Understanding germ theory and implementing a basic level of sanitation is one thing; killing off everything so our immune systems stop working at all is fucking ridiculous. That letter about getting vaccinated went straight in the bin. Fuck that.

Anyway, rant over. I weighed myself earlier and this week I’ve just maintained. Which is pretty predictable if I look back over the past few months. I’ve also got really sore boobs, cramps and kinda want chocolate, which means it’s time for another visit from “Aunt Flo”.

“WTF? Already? Didn’t we just get over the last ‘visitation’?”

Yeah, that’ll be the ‘time-meaning-absolutely-freaking-nothing-anymore’ thing again. Plus, last time went on for about a fortnight, so with my cycle still being 28 days long (ish) there was only 2 weeks off before this month’s was due again. This time around though, I’ve started taking the Mefenamic Acid immediately after getting that first twinge. If I take it every day (and don’t make the mistake of stopping taking it too soon, like last month) then I might be lucky enough to get away with just the regular “Shark Week” instead of the “Shark Fortnight” I’ve been having of late. Either way, I’m still going to probably end up seeing a “ghost-gain” on the scale next week…so there’s that to look forward to. Yippee!

As you can see, I’m in a pretty crappy mood today. I’d like to just chalk it up to the impending hormonal shenanigans, but I’m just generally pissed off with all this lockdown crapola and want my freedom back. So I’m just going to end this post here before I go off on another rant. To cheer y’all up though, here’s a little meme that’ll make everyone laugh, no matter where they sit on the mask-wearing opinion spectrum. Enjoy:

Have a good week 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

Woman Down / Weigh-In Monday

“The man in black
He found a crack
Inside my mind”

Okay, so where did the past 7 days go? Seriously, it only feels like yesterday that I was last getting on the scale and reporting back to y’all, yet here we are again going through the motions once more. And it’s been a really weird week for me. First off there was “Aunt Flo” who totally overstayed her welcome, but then I decided to really overdo things midweek and caused myself a bunch of aches, pains and miseries. Because a/ no I will never learn and b/ I still got things to do, regardless of how crappy I know it’s going to make me feel the following day. But, on the plus side, after what feels like an eternity, “Aunt Flo” has finally fecked back off from whence she came; and boy was the change in my entire physicality so freaking different. Literally overnight I went from only being able to eat the driest, least interesting of protein bars and nearly vomiting at the smell of my other half’s dinner, to waking up starving hungry and really wanting to eat some real food.

And eat I very much did! I had 4 quarter-pound steak burgers, a 200lb bag of broccoli (steamed), 10 brussels sprouts and grated cheddar cheese all over the lot! I was absolutely famished and needed all that protein and iron so badly after a miserably nauseated “Shark Fortnight”, that I devoured the lot in about 15 minutes. Oh and then I had a cup of coffee with cream afterwards and 18g of ‘Green & Black’s 85% Dark Chocolate’ too. It felt so freaking good to be eating a proper meal again (albeit a pretty damn huge one, but I’d been living on mostly protein bars & a bit of nut butter for nearly 2 weeks, so sue me, lol) and it might just have been psychosomatic, but I swear I could feel my strength returning to me almost immediately. Which is fantastic, because feeling like death (not even warmed up) for 2 weeks in a row really sucks balls y’know?

But I did my best throughout that period (pun totally intended) to keep referring back to Marcus Aurelius, for a bit of stoic motivational writing and at least try to see it all as a temporary thing that I would get through. Which of course I knew to be true because “Shark Week/Fortnight” seems to really floor me for a good amount of time, almost every month now. But I’m not gonna lie, there were moments when I just felt like my mood was plummeting to the ground and there was nothing I could do about it. Having fibro & arthritis is pretty miserable anyway. Getting a monthly visit from “Aunt Flo” is always pretty grim. But having a 2 week long “visitation” that in turn triggers off a worsening of the other stuff, really grinds a person down. I didn’t eat off-plan at all during that fortnight which is largely down to my having made the low-carb WOE a normal habit now, but feeling pukey for a lot of the time probably helped, lol. Although, I don’t know that eating nothing but protein bars is really all that good for anyone (it’s not something I plan on doing at any other time of the month) and the jury’s out as to whether we should be counting total carbs or net carbs; but I really didn’t care one way or the other. I needed stuff in my stomach to take my meds, but couldn’t eat much of anything or else I’d throw up. So protein bars it was. And they have a bunch of vitamins and other nutrients in them too, so I was getting some nutrition into me. But man was I ever ready for red meat once it was all over!

So yeah, thank frick that’s all over for this month! But, I hear y’all ask, what is the scale saying this week? Well, if you remember last week and the week before that, I was seeing freaking gains when I weighed in. Which was a bit annoying really because I wasn’t eating off-plan, so I knew it wasn’t a “fat-gain”, just what I like to refer to as a hormonal “ghost gain”. Thankfully the bloating has now gone-away and I’m happy that the number on the scale is a true representation of what I actually weigh now…which is 14 stone 10lbs (206lbs).

To put that all into perspective, 3 weeks ago on 15th February, I weighed 14 stone 12lbs (208lbs). The following week I was 14 stone 13lbs (209lbs) and last week I was 15 stone 1lb (211lbs) but both those weeks’ “gains” were down to the hormonal bloat of “Shark Fortnight”. Now I’ve dropped that 3lb of “ghost-gain” along with another 2lb of regular fat-loss, bringing me right back on track to where I should be. So that’s a relief. Although I’m just altogether more relieved to see the back of “Aunt Flo” and all her evil tricks – especially the sore boobs! – but that whole meshugas was really getting me down there for a bit. My mood today though, was already really good even before I stepped on the scale to see what I weighed this week; getting this reading today has only added to it.

And on that cheerful note folks, I’m going to leave you. Amazon is calling me and I have a bunch of new stationery that I really want to buy myself…maybe some more energy drinks too because I love the convenience of having a crate of them delivered straight to my door (even if the other half ends up pinching half of them – the absolute swine, lol!). I might not be able to buy myself any new clothes just yet, but I have plenty of other stuff on my wish-lists to go splurge on. Because why not?!

Have a lovely week y’all

Blue

Only Women Bleed / Weigh-In

FYI: THIS POST IS ONE GREAT BIG TMI…Y’ALL HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Okay, so let me just start off this post by acknowledging the fact that the song featured here today doesn’t in fact have anything to do with “Shark Week” (or “Shark Fortnight” as it’s become round these parts) and I know it pisses Alice Cooper off that so many people make that incorrect connection between the song and the subject matter but a/ it’s a good song and b/ I’m too crabby to care about actual relevance right now.

I think it was Roy Chubby Brown who first joked about not trusting anyone who bleeds for 5 days and doesn’t die. Well, he’d probably be denouncing me as a witch or something right now, because this month’s little “visitation” is already more than double that. And the predictably depressing corollary of that is a further “gain” on the scale, despite me not only having remained 100% on plan, but also having eaten half as much as I normally would over the past 7 days. I probably jinxed myself in last Monday’s post by saying how grateful I was to only see 1lb of “ghost-gain” when I weighed in, because here I am 7 days later and that “ghost-gain” has increased by another 2 whole fricking pounds!

And that’s a better number than it was saying yesterday, lol. I don’t normally weigh myself on a daily basis, but whenever “Aunt Flo” is in town, I totally hop on the scale to see what damage she’s been wreaking on my poor body every morning, as soon as I get up. Some months are worse than others (previous months that have fallen in such a way as to make it look as though my period has had no effect on my weight, definitely made months like this one feel way more hideous, I know that much) but this month was particularly bad. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but because of my having sporadically really heavy periods, I’m prescribed Mefenamic Acid by my GP. I’m supposed to take them as soon as I start cramping before a period starts, every day until it ends; but I react really badly to Mefenamic Acid and it makes me violently sick. To counter that I’m also prescribed Omeprazole.

Sounds fine right? Well no, not really. I’m also prescribed Co-Codamol and Diazepam for my arthritis and fibromyalgia (among a bunch of other things, lol) and Omeprazole is not only contraindicated with Diazepam (so I have to halve my dose of Diazepam while taking Omeprazole) but it can also cause constipation…which is then exacerbated by the Co-Codamol and the lowering of my Diazepam dose. Which is a really long-winded way of explaining to y’all that not only am I bloated from hormonal water-retention, but I also haven’t been able to take a shit in about 3 days.

Yeah, we’ve been here before and yes I know how to normally prevent or relieve constipation, but right now I’m so nauseated (something that happens every time I get my period) that I simply cannot countenance the idea of eating anything or drinking any more water than the bit I take with my medication. Which in itself is only contributing to the problem, I know, but I have to be careful not to throw up because then I don’t know whether or not any of my regular medications have been absorbed into my system – and I can’t just take another dose in case I end up double-dosing. This month I took the Mefenamic Acid as soon as I started to get those cramps, but I stopped taking it when it looked like this “visitation” was tapering off, because I figured everything was just about done for the month.

Yeah…no…didn’t quite work out like that. Because the very next day “Aunt Flo” came back with a vengeance and has now been FAR outstaying her welcome for the past few days. With that has come all the nausea again, so I just haven’t been eating much at all. I can really only manage a few bites of a really dry protein bar with my meds – which I know is exacerbating the constipation – and because I’m back taking the Omeprazole too, that’s also making that joyful little side effect even worse. My tits are back to feeling like giant throbbing rocks of agony to the point where I can’t even wear an underwired bra and my abdomen is so noticeably swollen, I’m starting to look pregnant. Oh and on top of all that, the fibro is also playing up too, because why the fuck not?

Seriously, the “ghost-gain” is literally the least of my concerns right now, because I know that it’s not real “fat-gain” (yesterday the scale said I was 15 stone 3lb which is 5lb heavier than I was before “The Communists Started Squatting In The Neighbourhood And Kicking My Arse From The Inside Out” and today it’s saying I’m 15 stone 1lb, which is better I guess, but still absolute bullshit, lol). I’m barely eating, I’m certainly not eating “off-plan” and yet “Mother Nature” has decided to just mock me with her hormonal tricks that have just about sucked the life out of me. I can’t take a laxative because they will interfere with the Mefenamic Acid and Omeprazole…and I really need to keep taking those in order to get this goddamn haemorrhaging to stop. And I’m trying to cut down on the amount of pain relief and Diazepam I’m taking in order to help with the constipation, but I’m in so much pain right now I simply can’t not take any of it.

So I’m completely stuck in this weird situation where all I can do is wait it out, because if I stop taking the Mefenamic Acid and Omeproazole, my period will just carry on indefinitely (which will mean perpetual bloat), I can’t eat a load of veg because I’m already backed up and permanently nauseated (I can’t let myself vomit because of all the other meds I take) and I can’t take a laxative because it will affect the absorption of said meds. I am literally and metaphorically stuck in a bind. It’s all I can do to try and laugh, by finding the humour in the whole ridiculous farce and revisit Uncle Marc on the daily, to try and stay sane throughout all this. Not that Aurelius wrote any meditations specifically on being constipated, but a little bit of stoicism does wonders for one’s mental fortitude!

So yeah, I still have my sense of humour folks, so don’t be feeling sorry for me. This is just life with a pre-menopausal woman whose body likes to remind her who’s in charge of this decrepit carcass from time to time. And the fact that I stay so completely “on-plan” 100% of the time means I never need worry that any of these “ghost-gains” on the scale are anything other than hormonal bloat (and being constipated, lol). It might be annoying but it isn’t anything new and I know it’s not the result of me choosing to eat a load of crappy carbs. And who knows what the scale is going to say tomorrow? For all I know it might show an even bigger number! It really wouldn’t surprise me because my engagement ring has become really tight just in the past few hours so I may well be retaining even more water than I was when I woke up and weighed myself. Meh!

I was initially going to wait until tomorrow to report on my weigh-in, because it didn’t feel like a real weight worth recording considering the circumstances. But then I realised that a/ tomorrow might well be worse, lol and b/ this whole hormonal cycle is just another part of the reality of having a body that I’m trying to change. There’s no shame in being held hostage by “Aunt Flo” because none of this is down to bad choices, it’s just the result of my having an annoying cycle and still needing to take a bunch of meds that don’t necessarily help matters. So I’m going to update the ‘Fat Stats’ page to reflect what the scale says today, but I’m not going to alter the figures in the side-bar because that just shows the number of pounds I’ve lost overall. Hopefully this time next week things will be back to normal (fingers crossed!) and until then I’m just going to try and be patient, maybe do some abdominal massage and let nature take its course.

In the mean-time, I hope that y’all are doing well wherever you are in the world and until next time, I shall bid you adieu.

Keep smiling folks

Blue

Baggy Trousers / Weekly Weigh-In

Other Half: “Babe, are you wearing joggers??!”

Me: “What? No. I don’t wear joggers babe.”

OH: “Those are joggers!”

Me: “BABE I DON’T EVEN OWN A PAIR OF JOGGERS RIGHT NOW!”

OH: *Points at my legs* “How are those NOT joggers?!”

Me: “Because….oh…yeah, ha ha…sorry.”

Don’t even pretend like y’all don’t find yourself having the same ridiculous discussions with your other half from time to time, because we all do, lol. And let me just start off by clearing up the fact that I was not, in fact, wearing joggers!

Do people outside of the UK even know what joggers are? I mean of course you do, you probably just call them something else. If I lived in the north of England I’d probably call them ‘trackies’ (short for tracksuit bottoms) but I don’t know what the rest of you call them. Sweat-pants? Just to help elucidate the matter, here is a picture of what I refer to as ‘joggers’:

Joggers, trackies, whatever you call them, I don’t currently own a pair of them. I am not “jogger-averse”, lol, I just tend to prefer wearing jeans or bootcut trousers when I go out and leggings when I’m lounging around the house. I will probably buy a couple of pairs when I start doing a bit more exercise, but right now I own no joggers. So what was the above conversation with my other half all about then? Well, him being the eagle-eyed fashion critic that he is, noticed me wearing some baggy black trousers and felt the need to comment on them because he hadn’t seen me wearing them before. Not because he particularly cares but because when you live with someone for a while, you kind of notice everything about them…and anything new about them. And because couples have as many banal conversations as they do deep ones on a daily basis, lol.

Like most people we’re both in the regular habit of sporting what I like to call “Lockdown Chic” right now: “that almost-but-not-quite-but-still-as-close-as-you-can-get-to-just-wearing-pajamas-whilst-still-attempting-to-make-even-the-teensiest-effort-at-appearing-properly-dressed-should-the-mailman-call” combo of whatever is comfy enough to wear around the house, but not what you’d wear to bed. You know what I mean. The other half refers to his preferred version of this outfit as his “lurking gear” – which always makes me laugh because it makes him sound like some kind of creepy old man. I call mine my “slothing gear”, which probably doesn’t sound any better, lol.

“But what about the joggers, Blue?”

I hear absolutely no one asking – because literally who cares, right? Well I do; because as I’ve already stated: I own no joggers! So what gives? Well, my “slothing gear” as it turns out. Because there’s definitely a lot of “give” in them right now. You see, what my other half had mistakenly thought to be joggers, were in fact leggings. Leggings that are now so big on me that they’re baggy enough to look like a pair of joggers! Yes, really. These leggings are a UK size 20 (US size 18, AUS size 22, EUR size 48) and they fit like regular old leggings when I bought them: stretchy but a perfect fit to the size my legs were a few months ago. I love these leggings. They only cost me about £5 a pair and I bought 5 pairs of them at the same time because I just wanted something cheap and comfy for wearing around the house. I think that was back in October or maybe September, I can’t remember exactly (because time has no meaning in these here plague times) but I know I was really pleasantly surprised at the quality of them for the price – no ‘LuLuLemon’ arse-flashing moments of embarrassment any time I bend over, that’s for sure!

And I’ve just been continuing to wear them throughout pandemic times, not really paying any attention to how well they fit me, because it’s not like I’ve got many people to impress with my fashion choices right now. The thing with losing weight is, you don’t really notice it in yourself when you look in mirror every day. The changes are gradual and it takes something like trying on an outfit that didn’t fit you before, or seeing some new photos of yourself next to old photos, for those changes to really resonate with you. Wearing these leggings every day is a lot like being in my own skin every day. I wasn’t noticing them getting progressively bigger on me because it was happening gradually, along with my weight loss. It took my other half seeing them on me and mistaking them for joggers, for me to really realise that they really don’t fit me anymore. If it wasn’t for them having a good elasticated waist, they’d have fallen off me long ago – and now that I’ve stopped to look at them properly, they’re already slackly, slipping down my much-smaller arse!

It’s just such a weird thing to experience when I’ve previously only ever thought to go UP a size anytime something started to get a bit too tight on me. This is a whole other thing to have to worry about, because not only am I shrinking, but I also have no idea what size I really am. And I can’t just go into a clothes shop and try on a bunch of sizes, because this stupid, bloody lockdown crap has all the clothes shop closed down because they’re deemed “non-essential”. Yeah, okay, but my shrinking (yet still fat) arse would like to beg to differ y’all. MY LEGGINGS LOOK LIKE JOGGERS AND I’M IN DANGER OF BEING ARRESTED FORPUBLIC INDECENCY! Lol.

So yeah…that’s been my little “WTF?” moment this week. How’ve the rest of you been? Losing steadily and making continued good choices I hope. This week’s weigh-in is brought to you by “Aunt Flo”, “Mother Nature” and “The Communists Who Are Currently Squatting In The Neighborhood And Kicking My Arse From The Inside Out”. Yes, it’s that time again folks. Yes, already. Yes it only feels like I was having to deal with all this bollocks only a week ago, but as I mentioned earlier, time has no meaning here anymore. Days are just a reason to reset my diurnal 20g carb allowance, and weeks are how we try to keep track of our regular grocery hauls. Reminds me of that poem ‘Burnt Norton’ by T.S. Eliot now I think about it:

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden…

But anyway, getting back to the weigh-in results this week, “What Are The Scores, George Dawes?” (Props to those of you who know what the heck I’m talking about!)

Okay so last week I had broken through the 15 stone milestone and weighed in a 14 stone 12lb (208lb). This week, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, the scale showed a small gain reading at 14 stone 13lb (209lb). So, “Shark Week” has bestowed me with a 1lb gain of bloat (or “ghost-gain” as I sometimes refer to it) which is really neither here nor there. I never worry at all about the temporary gains that happen during this time of the month because I know it’s not a fat-gain, merely the extra water I’m retaining while my body goes through this week (or sometimes fortnight) of hormonal nonsense. And considering how big and bloated I’m feeling right now, I’m surprised it’s only showing a 1lb gain this week. My boobs are absolutely killing me and my abdomen is so noticeably swollen, I’m really glad that those leggings have got a good bit of give in them, lol!

As always I’ve remained 100% on plan all week, so I know that I’m still completely on track to carry on losing as normal once “Aunt Flo” gets back on the train to wherever that witch hails from, and I actually have to give a shout out to my friend Stephanie aka ‘The Sorest Loser’ who pointed out something to me which I really should have noticed myself. If you look at my sidebar, it shows you how many days it’s been since I switched to the low-carb way of life. Currently it’s at 177 days and when I mentioned it to Steph, she said

“That’s half a year!”

And I swear, before she said that, I hadn’t actually made the connection. Yes, me, the girl who sits and crunches and the numbers around how far she has to go until she hits ‘x’, ‘y’ and ‘z’ milestones, somehow managed to overlook the big one showing how long I’ve really been at this now. And – don’t laugh – I obviously just had a real brain-fart or moment of number blindness with this – because when she said that, my first thought was:

“Nah, it’s only been about a third of year, hasn’t it?”

Because even I have those odd occasions where the math just doesn’t add up in my poor, addled brain. But in my defence (yes I have one, hear me out, lol) it really doesn’t feel like half a year. It still feels as though I’m brand new and just starting out on my little mission. It’s all still weirdly exciting and interesting and I’ve got motivation coming out the wazoo, y’all. I’ve never once thought that this is in any way unworkable, impossible or something I don’t want to keep on doing. Sure I have those moments of ‘Fear’ but as I’ve mentioned before, that’s always tied into my own issues around unknown variables and externalities that are beyond my control. This way of eating is straight-forward, easy to follow every day, and never feels like something I’ve having to force myself to do for some quick-fix or challenge. This is just how I eat now and (pandemic time distortion aside) that’s why half a year has passed by so quickly, without my noticing. I almost pity the crash-dieters and those making the brief temporary pushes to ‘make it all happen right now!’, because they’ll never truly understand how it feels to find a way to be at peace with their approach to eating, and their relationship with food. They’ll always just be chasing those temporary sprints and spurts of “success”, only to have them all fall by the wayside once they try to return to their “normal” way of eating again.

So a big shout out to to Stephanie for highlighting just how long this has been my new “normal”. “Shark Week” blips mean nothing to me in the grand scheme of things anyway, but when I stop and think about how I’ve now been healing my body for a whole straight 6 months / half a year, it just makes me realise how well I’ve really been doing. Life is good y’all. It’s more than good. It’s great. So I’m going to go take my baggy-trousered, slowly-shrinking arse, off into the kitchen to make me and the other half some nice juicy steak-burgers. I’ll make some additional fries for him, but I’ll be having mine with a maHOOsive pile of Caesar salad – my mouth’s watering just thinking about it, lol. So take care, wherever you are in the world and I’ll catch up with y’all in my next post.

We’re in this health business for the long-haul folks.

So stay sensible

Blue

The Sorest Loser / Weigh-In Day

Hey everyone. Today’s video is a little bit different because it’s the channel trailer for one of my favourite YouTube weight-loss peeps. ‘The Sorest Loser’ aka Stephanie is on a mission to lose 150lb – half her body weight – and I’d love it if some of y’all would head over to her channel, check out her videos and give her some support. Stephanie lives in Sweden with her husband, three adorable kids and some fur-babies in a beautiful rural spot which she does an amazing job of filming using both regular cameras and drone footage. It’s really impressive and some of the sweeping aerial shots she gets of the forest and countryside (especially now with all the snow) are just stunning. But it’s been her weekly updates about her weight-loss journey that really made me love her channel.

She started off on her mission doing CICO but has switched to a keto/Swedish low-carb-high-fat plan and has been documenting all the highs and lows of both approaches in a lot of raw, honest detail. And that’s what I love about Steph. She isn’t someone who just filters all her content so it only shows the good parts, she’s brutally honest about the low-parts too and the various difficulties she faces as someone with binge-eating tendencies. I really admire people who keep it real and Steph is very, very real. She’s also very funny and doesn’t take herself at all seriously. (She also has incredibly nice hair which has nothing to do with her channel, but I’m always really envious of people with thick, luxurious tresses, lol.)

As she’s been progressing on her weight-loss mission, she’s been trying out a new fitness routine, testing keto recipes and letting us all have a look into her home life, her struggles, her successes and a whole other selection of things that she’s interested in. She’s also really great with using web graphics and overlays so her content looks incredibly professional, which isn’t essential but definitely adds an extra layer of impressive skill to her videos. Naturally there are the weekly weigh-ins and measurements, but she also vlogs from her incredibly beautiful corner of the world, shares her recipes & shopping hauls and intersperses it all with some ‘shorts’ that last no more than a couple of minutes. These are just really nice ways for the viewers to catch up with her throughout the week and I love how much effort she puts into her channel.

I’d love it if some of y’all would check her videos out and consider giving her a sub because I know she’d really appreciate the support. Weight loss can be a pretty weird experience, especially when you’re the only one in the household eating a certain way, so it’s nice to be able to tell someone that you get it. You know what they’re going through and you understand the ups and downs that they’re experiencing. Plus, it’s just a really great, fun, interesting channel that I think you’ll all love anyway. So if you like watching weight-loss channels and you like your content creators very real, very honest and ever so slightly bonkers (shower scene thumbnail…I’m talking about you!) then go check her out. You won’t be disappointed. (And if you do, drop her a comment and tell her that Blue sent you!)


Now onto my own weigh-in results for this week. The past 7 days have been really slow and sore for me. We had snow a few days ago, coupled with the extra-freezing wind-chill from some severely blustery weather. And I’ve really been feeling it. From my neck, down my back, through my hips and all along my legs into my feet, I’ve been in absolute agony. On a couple of days I’ve been literally counting down the minutes until I can take my next dose of pain-relief – never a good sign. I did go out into town on one day and then up to the doctor’s surgery the next, so that’s probably played a role in my feeling like one great big, gnarled goblin. But the weather is definitely contributing a lot to how I’m feeling too. The cold and damp really aggravates the arthritis and fibromyalgia, but I’m also really noticing the colder temperatures this year.

So aside from those 2 trips out to do all the necessary things, I’ve been largely curled up either in bed or on the sofa with my hot-water-bottle. Making food was impossible on some days, so a lot of what I was eating was just pre-made salads, a handful of cold meat, a cheese-stick and a pickle; or a protein bar and a coffee. I know on one day I literally only ate a protein bar when I got up, a second one for lunch and a third one for dinner. Which isn’t ideal, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. I’m kinda pissed off though because some of my fresh meat and veg have gone past their ‘Best Before’ dates and I’m just not going to eat anything once those dates are exceeded. So a bunch of stuff is going to end up getting chucked out (I’ll probably feed it to the seagulls….the meat anyway, so it’s not a total waste) which always annoys me because I go out of my way to buy the best quality, ethically sourced products and not getting to benefit from any of it triggers the Scottish part of me, lol.

I had absolutely no idea what the scale would say today. On the one hand, yes I’ve been eating less food volume-wise, but in the past I’ve seen a gain or maintain whenever I’ve eaten nothing but protein bars all day long. I’m way past the point of being able to tell whether I’ve lost or gained before I get on the scale; now I always just feel as though nothing has changed and never really expect to see a loss when I weigh-in. It’s so weird, because for the most part (this week notwithstanding) I’m eating exactly what I should be eating whilst slowly trying to reduce certain parts of my meals to gradually shrink my portion sizes, but I still doubt that I’m going to see the scale go down whenever I hop onto it. I know it’s really common for people who are trying to lose weight to not be able to see the actual changes in their own bodies for themselves and I know that logically I’ve already lost quite a bit of weight, but it still doesn’t help bridge that disconnect between the person I am in my own head and the way I am in reality.

Anyway, enough waffling. How did I do? Well, last week I was 15 stone 1lb (211lbs); only a couple of pounds away from getting into the ’14 stone + change category’. Today, the reading on the scale said that I am 14 stone and 12 pounds (208lbs), meaning that I’ve actually lost 3lb in the past 7 days.

Which is fine and everything, but I’m not actually all that happy with having lost 3lb. It’s great to now be in the ’14 stone + change’ category, but I really would have rather it just have been a 2lb loss. Yeah, I know, it’s only another extra pound, but I don’t want to be losing hard and fast any more. I want the sensible, steady 1-2lb a week loss, because that’s more realistic and sustainable. I’m actually kind of infuriated at my body for dropping a whole extra pound on me, lol. Is that weird? Probably. And I know it’s probably all down to this week being a particularly difficult one with pain and whatnot, so it’s not like I’m on a regular downward trajectory at this perpetual rate, but it still irks me. (That’ll be the inner control-freak rising up and getting all snarky ’cause she didn’t get her own way I guess, lol.) I’m pretty sure that next week is going to see the arrival of the next “Shark Week” (or “Shark Fortnight” if last time was anything to go by), although I haven’t checked the calendar so I can’t be sure. But that’ll soon put paid to any extra losses I’ve racked up this week. Probably with another mid-week 5lb “ghost-gain” and a subsequent weigh-in that says I’ve merely maintained. Yay for hormones!

So, that’s this Monday’s weigh-in done and dusted. I wish I could be happier about the 3lb loss, but I really just want a slower, steadier decrease in weight as I get closer to my initial goal. I’m in no hurry. 2lb would have been better, but I’m just going to have to chalk it up to a crappy week and hope that the next 7 days show an evening out of my weight-loss. I’m feeling a bit more mobile today so I think I’ll try and rustle up some turkey burgers with cheese, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts for my first proper meal. And I really need to remember to take my supplements too because that’s something else I’ve been slacking off with this past week. Maybe I’ll write a post about the supplements I take at some point, in case any of y’all are interested. I dunno. My fingers are still a bit frozen-up and I had to type this entire post out using just 2 fingers (instead of my regular touch-typing) which, as you can imagine, has been a complete pain in the tits!

So I shall leave y’all for now. I hope that wherever you are you’re having a good day and that the gods of weight-loss are smiling upon you.

Be good to yourselves folks

Blue

Make You Proud / Weekly Weigh-In

“Now I wanna be strong try to be there just like you
I wanna be the mirror that you’re proud to look into
I wanna be the one who always follows through…”

I’ve never really been one for trying to make people like me or have them be pleased by my actions. In fact this arrogant little madam has almost dickishly, gone through life often doing the very thing that will piss people off – purely because they didn’t want me to do it. Is that a bit moronic? Hell yeah; I got to about 30 years old before I even began to realise that this was just a cringey form of ongoing teenage rebellion…that really ought to have been put away like other childish things at least a decade earlier. But I still, to this day, hate being told what to do by anyone. If you ASK me to do something for you, chances are I’ll bend over backwards to try to accommodate you. But if you just EXPECT something from me? Ha ha…sorry bro, I think you got the wrong person here. And if you TELL me to do something? Well I’m just going to tell you to go fuck yourself. (Because yes, I’m the kind of person who can have both immaculate manners whilst swearing like a sailor, and an attitude that will make you wish we’d never met, should you provoke that side of me.)

The notion of wanting to make other people proud of me, is also something I’ve never much cared for. What’s always mattered the most, is whether I’m proud of myself for accomplishing something. I love and value my family, but I’ve never lived my life in order to please them. Which is probably something I get from my mother who has always encouraged me to do whatever I want. She has literally gone out of her way to tell me that it’s my life and my choices that I alone will have to live with. She’s never been the annoying kind of helicopter parent who tried to push me into doing anything I didn’t want. (Of course as a child she was instructive and instilled discipline during my younger years – as all good parents ought to – but as I got older and became independent, she let me make my own mistakes, choose my own path and never judged me for any of it.) There are many things she’ll tell you she’s proud of me for accomplishing, but I’ve never gone out of my way to impress her or try to earn her approval.

So what’s with the title of this blog post? Well, I’ve recently been doing my best to lose weight, improve my health and try to fight the progressive nature of my various physical ailments. And whilst I’m proud of myself for making the necessary changes to get as far as I have done, what really surprised me was how good it felt to hear my other half tell me that HE was proud of me for doing all this too. Now I have to reiterate the fact that he has never made me feel as though he wanted me to lose any weight. He met me when I was only a fraction less heavy than I was when I started out on this mission and we’ve been together for 12 years. He’s been nothing but loving, complimentary, affectionate and completely supportive of me for those 12 years and when I told him I was going to make a concerted effort to lose weight, he was just as supportive of that. Not because he’d been secretly wanting me to shrink down to a slimmer size for the past 12 years (he’s as outspoken and opinionated as me, so I always trust and take him at his word) but because it was important to me and when I explained the whole health reasons behind it, he obviously wanted me to be as happy and healthy as possible.

But when he first told me how proud he was of me for doing this (he’s since told me again on a couple of occasions) something inside me went a bit “gooey”, lol. Now I’m not the most sentimental person in the world (big surprise there, I know) but it really meant a lot to me. Not because I’ve ever tried to seek his approval, but because I could see that it came from an unprovoked, place of absolute, unmitigated sincerity; and I really appreciated that. I was so happy to have been able to do something that made him proud – and I’m not gonna lie, it really threw me for a loop there, for a moment.

Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but it made me feel like I WANTED to be able to make him proud. It’s not like it made me want to do anything different, or ramp up my efforts to get more recognition from him, but I wanted to at least continue to make him proud of me. And that’s a really big deal for me. Wanting to outsmart him and kick his ass in a general knowledge quiz is one thing (he’s the exact same BTW… we’re super-competitive when it comes to quizzes!) but wanting him to be proud of me is something entirely different. It’s a much more vulnerable place to come from. It means I know that this is something that I could fail at, but so far I’m actually succeeding and I feel good about that – which goes back to what I spoke about in a previous post: Fear.

This wanting him to be proud of me also acknowledges just how much he means to me and how much I value his opinion. He isn’t easily impressed, so my being able to impress him means I must be doing something really good. Of course I already know that he loves me, but I want him to see my ability to do whatever I set my mind to, and be pleased with that. Not because it involves my weighing less, getting smaller or looking differently, but because it allows him to see that his other half keeps to her word and can make shit happen.

So yeah, he’s feeling very proud of my success so far and that just spurs me on to want to keep succeeding. And he’s probably the only person in the universe who I’d want to keep making proud. But enough of that for today – time for the results of the weekly weigh-in! So where were we last week? Well after a particularly long, drawn-out and heinous “Shark Fortnight” (and a mid-week “ghost-gain” of 5lb – which disappeared again a couple of days later) the scale showed no overall loss when I weighed in last Monday. No big deal. I always seem to have a reading like that around that time of the month. I wasn’t worried, because looking back at the Fat Stats page, that’s exactly what I should have been expecting last week. But this week?

Well, food-wise I really haven’t been doing anything different – as always I’ve just stayed 100% ‘on-plan’ every day. The only new thing I’ve been trying to cultivate is a more relaxed, nonchalant approach to food in general as I wrote about last week. The idea being that having a healthy relationship with food means not allowing thoughts of what I’m going to eat for lunch or dinner or whatever, to preoccupy my mind. And whilst it’s only been a few days, I’ve definitely started to make some inroads into that new approach. Not every meal has to be some tantalisingly tasty morsel of gourmet standard. Just grabbing something nutritionally adequate is a perfectly reasonable way to regard the majority of our meals – and that way of thinking will probably stand me in good stead when it comes to having this WOE become a permanent way of life.

But onto the weigh-in results. Hopping on the scale this evening, I got a reading of 15 stone 1lb (211lbs), which means this week I’ve lost another 2lbs! Perfect! That’s exactly the amount I want to be losing each week (“Aunt Flo” and her “visitations” notwithstanding, lol). That means I’m 2lb away from getting under the 15 stone mark and 12 pounds away from getting into “onederland”. So I’m completely on track and ready to see what the upcoming week will bring. I’ve just ordered some new coffee mugs from Amazon, which will allow me to make a single cup of properly brewed fresh coffee without having to fire up the coffee machine. They’re really cool; I used to use them a few years ago in work when me and my buddy would try out various beans and blends for our mid-morning coffee-breaks.

Whilst I’m trying to take my focus off of the food I’m eating, I think that giving myself a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee to look forward to will provide a nice little psychological boost to me during the day. Dr Rob Cywes often talks about eating no more than twice a day and then using coffee as a “bridge” between meals. As a self-confessed “carb-addict” himself, he understands what it’s like to come from being a person who constantly responds to sugar-cravings by eating any time the brain demands it, so this “bridge” technique is his way of dealing with years of entrenched habits surrounding food. Coffee keeps him sane and allows him to feel as though he isn’t depriving himself in between his 2 meals. I tend not to fire up the coffee machine when it’s only myself having a cup and whilst my preferred brand of instant is better than most, I do really love a proper cup of coffee. So here’s hoping that these clever little mugs will allow me to not only enjoy a cup of freshly brewed java, but also reduce my focus on foods. I shall keep y’all posted.

Now though, it’s time for me to go make the other half some dinner and go catch up with my favourite YouTube channels.

Have a great week folks!

Blue

Standing Still

“Am I standing still, beneath the darkened sky?
Or am I standing still, with the scenery flying by?”

Bleugh. What a week. Up and down and all over the show. My body has been on a little adventure of its own over the past 7 days, just making things up as it goes. Last Monday I was surprised to have seen a 2lb loss on the scale because I was just into “Shark Week”. Today…um…well we’re still in “Shark Week” (although it’s looking more like “Shark Fortnight” now) on day 12 of this joyous visit from “Aunt Flo” (who really has long outstayed her fricking welcome this month). I won’t go into gross details or anything but it did feel like “Mother Nature” was messing with me, when after 7 days, it seemed as though this particular “visitation” was over…only for the “Communists To Move Back Into The Neighbourhood And Kick My Arse From The Inside Out” again, the following day. Sometimes it really does just be like that, y’all.

And I broke my rule of only weighing once a week again over the past 7 days because I could just tell that my weight was doing some real weird things with all the bloat and whatnot. At one point (I think it was Saturday, but I can’t remember for sure) I got on the scale and it was saying I’d gained 5lb since my previous Monday weigh-in, despite me having been a/ asleep for about 16hrs a day minimum and b/ not having eaten any proper meals on a handful of days that week, due to my feeling so nauseated. I knew it wasn’t a real gain, but it still shocked me to see a 5lb increase when I saw it on the scale.

Thankfully, as “Shark Fortnight” is now (hopefully) winding down, that weight has disappeared again, and when I got on the scale today to get my Monday weigh-in reading….it said I weighed exactly the same as I did last week, lol. No loss, no gain, just maintained. So I’m still 15 stone 3lb (213lb). No worries, it is what it is (and what it is, is the hormonal bullshit that comes from being a woman, lol) and at least that “ghost-gain” bloat of 5lb fecked back off to wherever the hell it came from before I weighed myself today! If I’m being 100% honest, as I stood on the scale it did keep flickering between 212 and 213lb, so I may well actually be half a pound down from last week, but I don’t measure in half-pound increments, so I’m just going to stick with the higher amount of 213lb and call this week a flat maintain.

So, nothing really worth reporting on today. Looking back over the “Fat Stats” page, you can definitely see a pattern where every 4 weeks or so I always seem to have a 0lb loss or random “ghost gain” whenever the “painters are in”, so I’m nothing if not predictable! These things just happen every month and will continue to do so for as long as I’m still getting these joyful little “visitations”. I know it’s nothing to do with my food intake (still going strong with my 100% commitment to the low-carb WOE) or anything else that I’ve done; it’s just nature being the cruel mistress that it is.

Right now it’s just after 2.15am where I am. I’ve been up and about for an hour or so now (yes, I keep strange hours), so I’ll probably start thinking about having something to eat real soon. Steak burgers and broccoli sounds pretty good – gotta get those iron levels up, right? So I shall leave you all to get on with your own days wherever you are and I’ll have a couple of other posts lined up for y’all later on in the week. Be good to yourselves and keep on, keeping on.

Stay cool 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

Mind Over Matter / Monday Weigh In

It’s just a trip not a way to ease your pain
Self help, tell another shrink the same damn thing
Until you decide to drop again

Today’s comes from one of my favourite bands ever: Blue October. They’re not all that well known over here in the UK (“Hate Me” did pretty well back in the mid 2000’s, but other than that I rarely see them mentioned much on radio stations or anything like that) but they do have a quietly solid, devoted following and rightfully so. The lead singer Justin Furstenfeld writes intensely personal, passionate lyrics that detail every hell and horror his life has thrown up, from drug addiction and being sectioned, to his continued battle with his mental health and sobriety while his wife basically spent all the money he saved from being on tour, and tried to stop him from getting to see his daughter. Whilst that might sound like a pretty miserable lot to want to listen to, the raw honesty portrayed through Justin’s expressive vocals – combined with searingly beautiful music that blends aspects of rock, pop, folk, country, blues, punk, R&B and so many other genres – creates a vast back catalogue of music that really moves the listenter and has a little something different for whatever mood you happen to be in that day.

This song has absolutely nothing to do with losing weight – I just wanted an excuse to include it in a post because it really resonated with me back during a time when I had a psychotic break of my own. I didn’t get sectioned, but I was heavily medicated for some time and suffered from frequent mild hallucinations. The medication came with its own side-effects though and that meant having to decide between seeing stuff that wasn’t there or being utterly obliterated by anti-psychotics and sedatives. Despite being pretty whackadoodle for a while there, I was lucky enough to still also know that what I was experiencing wasn’t real. I mean sure I was a bit crazy, but I knew I was crazy, so that kinda meant that I wasn’t all that crazy in the grand scheme of things, lol. Many people have far worse experiences with mental illness, but thanks to a brilliantly attentive GP who spent months tinkering with various combinations of medication at different doses, I was able to find a way to manage the chemical imbalance in my brain and get back to a state of normalcy after a couple of years.

Unlike a lot of people who go through similar experiences, I never once sought out any talk-therapy from a psychologist, psychotherapist or counsellor. Not because I don’t think that those aren’t helpful or valid – for many people they’re invaluable. But I knew that for me, the way back to being normal was going to largely be a case of finding the right medication and working on myself instead. Again, I was lucky to enough to know something wasn’t right and despite a couple of weeks where I have little to no memory of what took place (I actually got taken by my boss to the doctor’s clinic for an emergency assessment after I totally lost the plot in a meeting, lol) I never felt as though I lost any sense of what it was to be me. I regarded it as an illness that I needed to get well from and once the right medication started to kick in and something “clicked” in my brain, I began the process of self-reflection and interrogated all the weird little subsequent fears like agoraphobia that I’d picked up along the way.

I read up about CBT and used techniques like gradually exposing myself to greater distances away from my front door; constantly asking myself to logically assess the actual risk in any given situation. I wrote a lot in my journal, pushing, questioning and testing myself constantly – because that’s just the way I am. I hate the idea of anything or anyone getting the better of me, which probably motivates me to find ways to problem-solve more than anything else does. It pissed me off that my brain had glitched out on me and thrown my entire life into a tail-spin:

“How very dare you, brain!”

Because I’ve always gone through life feeling invincible. Tackling everything head-on, often bullishly, mostly logically and always defiantly. But when the problem isn’t something external…when the problem is inside your own head…yeah, that shit can be pretty intense. Seeing stuff that I knew wasn’t really there was a bit scary at first, but over time it became more annoyingly frustrating.

“Like, um…I know that ain’t reality dude, so why the feck are you still there?”

It must be so incredibly terrifying for those who suffer from hallucinations and don’t know that they’re not real; I can’t imagine the kind of hell that creates for the sufferer. And I know I had it a lot easier. But I got so mad at myself, not being able to control the fact that I was having these mild hallucinations, knowing they weren’t real, but not knowing how to make them go away. I felt like I was being mentally weak for “allowing” this crap to keep presenting itself and not having the mental fortitude to banish it from my mind entirely. I know that’s a pretty dumb way to think about it, but I really felt like I was failing myself. Of course, the hallucinations didn’t just go away overnight once I was given a prescription, but it helped a lot. What really got them to stop was me taking the time to pick apart every little aspect of the fears I was feeling, searching inside myself for the root causes and eventually getting to a point where I was able to let go of said fears and begin to view every situation in a more neutral and realistic fashion.

Getting myself back to what I felt was “normal” was both exhilarating and a massive relief. It’s exhausting being at war with your own mind. But I got there and I have that amazing doctor and wonderfully supportive other half to thank for that. Without them I’d probably still be zonked out under a ‘chemical cosh’ and seeing really weird black voids where the faces of strangers ought to be. I will never take my mental health for granted ever again and I feel as though I understand the experiences of other sufferers much better as a result. I’m still on a bunch of different meds to keep me on an even keel, and having suffered one breakdown I’m statistically more likely to have another one in future than someone who hasn’t. But I feel confident that should I have any further problems, I’ll hopefully recognise the warning signs earlier on and will seek out medical help sooner than later, instead of just chalking it up to my “working too hard” or being “overtired”.

The real kicker in all of this though, was that just as I was getting myself back on track mentally, my physical health started to decline, as what I thought to be simple aches and pains got worse; with joints seizing up, digits swelling and limbs aching as though I’d been run over by a truck. Being told that I had fibromyalgia and then learning about the arthritis felt like I’d been dealt a really shit hand. Yeah, I know, plenty of other people have it worse, and this IS NOT a cry for sympathy (so don’t you dare feel sorry for me – any of you!) but it’s really demoralizing to go from having felt elated at having fixed one set of issues, only to be told that I now have a couple more to deal with – and these conditions aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact the psychological issues I’d suffered may well actually be a part of the fibromyalgia syndrome itself. Great!

Time passed and I felt pretty miserable. Walking got harder and any trip out the house would leave me almost bedridden the following morning. Was this it? Life now destined to get smaller and smaller as pain and immobility gradually rendered me housebound?

“It’s not fair!”

I’ve lost count of the number of times I said that, usually during a particularly bad flare-up, or when I went to do something and my body refused to comply. Yes it’s childish and yes it solves nothing, but in that moment the words flew out of my mouth in a mixture of anger, fear and frustration and sadness. Anger at my body for betraying me. Fear of becoming a prisoner in that body. Frustration at myself for not being able to get a handle on this thing. And sadness at the realisation that things are never going to be the same again.

But if you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll already know what happened next. It’s the reason this blog exists in the first place. I decided to do whatever I could to improve my health, reduce the impact of these conditions and slow the progressive decline of my mobility. I vowed to lose a bunch of weight. Because whilst I had to spend a little time feeling sorry for myself, that part of me that refuses to back-down, give up or be told what to do, kicked in with freaking bells on!

“What’s that? You got a problem? Well then you got some problem solving to do then, don’t you Blue? You gotta stop wallowing, go do your research and come up with a plan of attack!”

Which is exactly what I did do. I already knew about the benefits of a low-carb WOE and I spent days reading and watching YouTube videos, to prepare myself the fight ahead. I started by cutting out sugary drinks, weighed myself (almost had a heart attack, lol) set up a food diary in my bullet journal and got to stocking my fridge with all the good food I’d need to begin my new low-carb way of life. I set up this blog so I could share my experiences with others and have a record of my progress for posterity and…the rest, as they say, is history.

I decided to share all this today, to give y’all a better insight into they way I think and the reason I do what I do. In all honesty, I don’t know how to be any other way. I’ve been told that I’m a ‘Type A’ Personality and consistently get scored as an INTJ on Myers-Briggs tests. I’m practical, proactive, logical and direct. I like challenges, enjoy problem solving and get legitimately excited at the prospect of succeeding at whatever I set my mind to. I approached my mental health issues in much the same way as I’m now approaching my mission to lose weight and improve my physiological health. And failure just isn’t an option. Not just because I need this to vastly improve my health, but because I really don’t think I could live with myself, if I let myself fail. Yeah…I never did give up on the idea of my being invincible, lol.

But enough of that for now – time to get down down to the order of the day: the weekly weigh-in! I haven’t done much different this week, food-wise; mostly just the same tasty meals and protein bars and lots of plain old water. But I did decide to try adding in a few raspberries to my whey protein & collagen shake mix to see if it would affect my weight-loss at all. Smooshing up 6 berries in a 300ml vanilla shake makes it taste like raspberry-ripple ice-cream (my former favourite flavour) and definitely elevates the taste considerably. This was the first time I’ve tried adding any fruit into my diet and I know raspberries are low-carb, but I wasn’t sure if they’d impact my weight-loss at all. Jumping on the scale today, I think we can safely assume that I’m fine to continue including them in my protein shakes going forward, because with a reading of 15 stone 5lbs (215lbs) that means I’ve lost another 2lbs this week!

So that’s another decent, sensible amount of flab off my frame this week. I’m incredibly happy with that result and as always that just spurs me on to want to continue to do well. Still haven’t eaten ‘off-plan’ (having been on the Atkins induction level of carbs for 4 months now, I’m fine to try and incorporate the odd few berries here and there – but I’m still staying within my 20g max daily allowance) and definitely have no plans to do so anytime soon. Dinner tonight is steak-burgers with mushrooms, and sprouts done with parmesan for me (I’m doing baked potatoes for the other half to have with some curry) but right now I’m going to go drench myself in Tom Ford and make myself a cup of coffee with my ‘Coffee-Mate Caramel Vanilla Sugar-Free Creamer’. It’s become one of my favourite little things to enjoy of an afternoon and I’ve since ordered the ‘French Vanilla’ version too – can’t wait to try that one out!

So wherever you are this January afternoon, I hope you’re doing well and that you’re all smashing your own goals to absolute smithereens!

Be invincible folks!

Blue

The Keto Police / Weigh-In Day

Is it just me or is anyone else also finding that despite being back in lockdown, there still don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done? It feels like a kind of inverse take on Parkinson’s Law. For those not familiar with the term, Parkinson’s Law is the old adage that:

“Work expands to fill the time allotted.”

Put simply, the amount of work required adjusts to the time available for its completion, which means the time it would take someone to complete a task seems to increase when that person has a longer amount of time in which to do so. It’s a humorous commentary on the ever expanding, banal world of bureaucracy and if you’ve ever worked in an large office or in government, you’ll totally recognise the truth in this “law”. But I’m having the opposite problem right now: the more free time I have, the busier I find myself getting as my never-ending to-do list just keeps expanding to fill all that extra time.

One thing that’s actually helping to save time however, is buying a lot of the products I use online and having them delivered directly to my door. I absolutely hate shopping (which seems to be quite unusual for a woman) and not just because I now get really sore and easily tired. I’ve always hated it. So the increasing availability of online shopping over the years has been an absolute boon to me and my other half. Especially when I live in such a small, bucolic area which simply doesn’t have the variety of huge, sprawling shops that the larger towns and cities have. (Which, by the way, I absolutely would never trade; I’ll take the unspoilt, safe, little oasis of calm, over the crime-ridden, dirty, noisy, illegal-migrant-infested shitholes, ANY day!)

I purchase all my fresh groceries from local suppliers, because it’s just so much nicer than mass-produced supermarket crap. I buy ethically farmed, grass-fed beef from a local butcher, dairy products from our small local creamery and chicken & eggs from small farms who only raise free-range / free-to-roam birds and don’t use a bunch of hormones or inject water into them to create artificially huge breast meat. Almost all of my vegetables are grown locally, which just makes it so much easier to ensure freshness – although I do buy bags of frozen Brussel sprouts from Marks & Spencer, because they only take 4 mins to cook and sometimes I just get a mad urge to eat a bowl of buttered sprouts, which makes them a super-quick snack food!

But finding more specialist products that help me to follow my low-carb way of eating, requires access to online suppliers. There are some items available in the health food shop, but ours is very small and simply cannot stock everything I want or need. Outside of lockdown, it’s okay for grabbing the odd protein bar or vitamin / mineral supplement if I run out, but again, I dislike having to faff around in actual shops and they rarely stock exactly what I’m after. So, like most people, I rely on Amazon for the majority of products I need, because you really can buy almost anything, either directly from Amazon themselves or from hundreds of thousands of third-party sellers all over the world. And when you’re following a more specialist WOE that level of choice can really make all the difference.

I know that the low-carb / keto police will say that if you’re doing “clean” keto, you don’t need anything other than the fresh produce I mentioned earlier, but screw those guys, lol. Everyone has their own way of making their particular WOE not only doable right now, but permanently sustainable in the long term; so if what you’re doing works for you and is something you can envision doing for the rest of your life, then you do you, boo. Losing weight and improving your health isn’t supposed to be some competition where y’all need to see who can be the most “perfect”the only person you are ever in competition with is the person you were yesterday. So if you’re getting good results and making gradual changes to your habits, which will give you long-term benefits that you can sustain over time, then keep it up. Read everything you can, get informed and equip yourself with sufficient knowledge to help you to make the choices you need to make your WOE work for you. But find the “sweet spot” of balance between absolute rigidity and capricious abandon, and you’ll find it so much easier to do what you need, to get the results you want.

Obviously I don’t mean that you can adulterate your own plan so much that it contradicts the basic underlying principles as laid out by its creators / proponents (I mean, you can’t call your WOE low-carb if you’re eating 400g of carbs a day!) but if making this a lifestyle that you can adhere to forever means you eat the odd protein bar, drink sugar-free soda or make the occasional keto-friendly dessert, then just freaking do it. It’s entirely possible to overhaul your old bad habits, change your WOE and be successful in your weight-loss attempts, without living a monk-like existence of pious asceticism. I mean, hey, if that’s what you enjoy and that rigidity works for you then cool. Go for it. But if you think that everyone needs to comply with your monastic standards – and the corollary of that means that you become an authoritative douchebag about it – then seriously bro: get over yourself; get another hobby.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off on a rant there, but I saw some insane comments on a site recently which had me rolling my eyes so far back in my head, I could see my own amygdala. A guy who had gone from over 300lb to 170lb over the course of 2 years, who had gone from being morbidly obese, to a little overweight, who had cured his pre-diabetes, stopped taking tablets for blood pressure, had gone from zero exercise to running 5K and going to the gym 4 times a week and just generally improved all of his health markers…he was lambasted for having eaten protein bars (can’t remember the brand) and having made his own keto fat-bombs every weekend, because:

“That’s not doing it properly. It’s not clean keto!”

So fucking what? The dude just spent 2 years getting his body from a sedentary, pre-diabetic blob, to being a healthy, fit example of someone who made consistently better choices, and this sanctimonious prick was trying to discredit the dude’s efforts AND results, because he didn’t follow whatever stringent ideals that said prick had decided were somehow set in stone? Get bent. That dude probably saved his own life, or at least extended it by a good 40 years. He set his mind to making himself fit & healthy, succeeded, and then got told that it doesn’t matter because he didn’t do it the “perfect” way?? Man, the keto police really can be intolerable fuckwits sometimes! Thankfully, there were plenty of other posters who came to this dude’s defence and told the sanctimonious prick to shut the hell up, but I really felt for the guy being dismissed like that.

If someone is posting that they’re not getting the results the want and upon further inquiry it turns out that they’re just making so many incorrect, uninformed choices that there’s no way it’s ever going to work for them, then by all means try to help point them in the right direction. If you’re more experienced and knowledgeable about the plan / WOE that the individual in question is purporting to follow, and they’re distressed because they aren’t getting results, then sure, the decent thing is to offer some advice and share your expertise to help that person get on track and start to see the results they desperately want. But when someone is actually being successful in their efforts and is just sharing their results with who they think will be a group of like-minded folk, don’t be a dick and try to poke holes in their methods just because they didn’t get there using your own preferred methods of absolute rigidity. You aren’t doing it to be helpful; you’re being a pious cockwomble.

Anyway. Enough of that for now. I just had that comment fresh in my mind today and really wanted to vent about it. I was going to share some more of the products I’ve been using myself recently, but I’ll save that for a separate post later on in the week. Now, it’s time to update y’all on my own progress over the past 7 days – although it’s really only the past 6 days, not 7, as I’m trying to get my weigh-in days back to being on a Monday now that the kerfuffle of Christmas festivities has passed. So, where were we last week? Well, if you remember my post Revenge Of The Chia Seeds from last Tuesday, I’d had a bit of a “situation” (lol) which led me to getting very swollen and sore. As a result the scale showed a 1lb gain (which was probably slightly lighter than I would have been a couple of days prior to weighing in) but whatever, shit happens. Or sometimes doesn’t…which was actually kinda the problem, lol.

Today though, I hopped on the scale not long after I woke up and the little screen said that my current weight is: 15 stone 7lb / 217lbs. So that means, that in the past 6 days I’ve lost 2lb! Yay! We are inching closer and closer to “onederland” folks; just 18lbs more and I’m out of the 200’s – hopefully forever! But right now I’m just happy to be losing steadily – save for the odd week when I manage to sabotage my progress by bunging up my digestive tract with bloody chia seeds, lol. I’m really expecting to see my weight-loss slow down a bit in the coming weeks, because I’ve already lost over half my initial target of 100lb. I know I still have a long way to go, but the human body loves to fight against our attempts to shift the flab, so it’s perfectly normal to start seeing smaller incremental losses as time goes by; as well as the inevitable dreaded plateaus that everyone should expect when they’re trying to lose weight.

Today though, I’m another 2lbs down and that’s awesome! Dinner tonight is going to be a massive salad with tuna fish, jalapeno cheese, crumbled pork rinds, a few pecan nuts and a pickled onion. I’ve already eaten a protein brownie cookie today (half with my meds when I got up and the other half with a cup of coffee and cream an hour or so ago) as well as a ‘Rockstar Hardcore Apple’ sugar-free energy drink and a tablespoon of ‘Manilife Deep Roast Crunchy Peanut Butter’ when I took my vitamins and supplements. I’ve got my water bottle next to me as I type this and I’m aiming to get through a couple of those today – more so if I feel the need for it.

And on that note I shall call it a day for now guys. My digestive system seems to be back to normal now (thankfully) and it’s great to see the scale continue to move in a largely downward trend. Have a lovely week, wherever you are and may the gods of weight loss shine down upon you, as you work towards achieving your own goals.

Stay determined 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