Melanie's Blog -

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Post 1

Christmas is just about upon us and as I sit here typing I am aware of my belly looming up in front of me. Not a good look. A year ago to the day of me writing this I was actually two stone lighter - just thinking about it makes me feel like a disgusting blob of a thing (medical reasons aside as they don’t make me feel any better about how I feel that I look, and what I see in the mirror).

My friends tell me they can’t see that I have actually picked up this much weight - but they’re my FRIENDS!! They're not exactly going to tell me how it is - and if Im honest, I doubt I would be able to hear the truth spoken out of anyone else’s mouth without dissolving into a puddle of tears and face-planting into something sickly sweet, and enough of it to feed a family of twelve with it. As much as I know what the truth is - and I know they know I know… I guess that’s just how I cope with it.

I want to lose three stone. Now I know I can do this…its just actually doing it that seems to be the problem. I find myself to be the kind of person who seems to pick up more weight the more I think about losing it. Its like I have this self destruct button which flicks on the moment the dreaded ‘D’ word is uttered. I have spent an entire year whinging to my friends and my poor long suffering husband about how rubbish I feel, starting diets and giving up almost instantaneously. I have not visited my gym nearly enough, and not done much exercise at home either. Not helping myself am I?

I have toyed with the idea of beginning my weightless journey today, right now!

Some people to whom I have spoken think that it’s silly to wait and start later, especially since there is a chance of picking up even more weight over the festive season, but you see this is the type of thing I would usually do - just dive in NOW - and that really hasn’t worked for me. I took a step back and I had a think. I really don’t think that starting right now would be the best of ideas.

With all the parties, dinners and drinks we are attending. With all the Christmas delicacies there to tempt me, I just don’t think it will be feasible for me to start right now, I really couldn’t resist .

What I have decided to do is just this - I shall enjoy my Christmas. I shall not over indulge too much! I shall pop over to the gym if any spare time crops up between now and the new year (even at my fittest I couldn’t go much around this time of year, but that can get me started).

And when all the celebrations are over, on January the third, when I have enjoyed myself with my friends and family, I shall empty my house of all the junk that’s left over and fill it with fine, healthy and delicious REAL food. And so it shall be.

Post 2

I was pondering exactly how I will be healthily losing the excess poundage I have attached to my hips, thighs, arms and back…my chin, thighs and cheeks…and my belly. I want to say that I am feeling plumptious…but that sounds quite cute - I don’t feel cute at all. I feel like a blobby potato.

Weigh in actually didn’t go too badly - unless of course you take into account how much I weigh (brace yourself…13st1.5 to be exact)! But the part that wasn’t too bad is that I actually didn’t pick up weight over Christmas. That’s really good considering my track-record. I indulged, but not too much - I had far too much trifle - no one in my family really likes it so I think I ate the lot to be fair, over a week or so. Thing is, I know what was in that custard (500ml double cream!). I know what you’re thinking, that sounds like overindulging - and I would have to agree, but that was the only time really - so on the whole - I didn’t really overly overindulge. The problem now is all the left overs - chocolate oranges, milk chocolate and cookies - all of which I resisted over the holidays, but I suddenly just want to devour because now I am on a diet.

Lets not say diet, I think they prefer ‘eating plan’. Now I joined SW two days ago and ‘started’ yesterday. Uh-huh. Already I feel starving and deprived. And I still look exactly the same! This is just the second day - and I was so excited to start but feel that excitement waning at an alarming rate. How do people do it!?

Maybe if I just did it I would lose the weight… . You see, I read what I have just written and it all sounds SO SIMPLE!! Why have I not thought of it before? But I have!! And yet I still haven’t done it! Its almost as if I refuse to allow myself to be happy. Is it possible that I don’t want to be happy? Surely that can’t actually be a thing? Can it?

I am off to the gym in an hour or so. I will be partaking in a bit of ‘Body Pump’ followed hopefully by a short ‘Spin’ session. I know that I will feel better for doing it, but am procrastinating. I have bought new trainers for lifting weights, and new ones for cardio - they haven’t made me any thinner yet. Guess I will have to actually do the work. So I best get off my behind and get going. Chat again soon, will keep you up to date…

Post 3

All that excitement about starting my weight loss journey petered out so quickly that I almost gave myself whiplash. I was convinced that giving myself some time in order to get myself in order was going to be beneficial….I was wrong. Over the past three weeks I have lost an incredible two pounds. I know if I had stuck to it as I wanted to it could have been over half a stone. On the positive side though, I have been doing lots of exercise, but as my trainers say: ‘you cant outexercise a bad diet’.
I have found a page on Facebook called ‘Food Freedom’ where a psychiatrist called Georgie Beams is helping people to work through their food issues. I am currently on day two of the free five day special and I must say it has been very enlightening. My initial scepticism was due mostly to the fact that actually, I DO know that I turn to food rather than face my inner turmoil - I wouldn’t
be in this situation otherwise would I? What has helped me is that she is giving me strategies to learn with how to deal with it when that happens. Usually when I ask myself ‘Am I really hungry or am I just eating this because I want to?’ I answer with ‘I just want it, it tastes good and I want it in my face NOW!’. Today, I asked myself ‘Am I really hungry or am I eating this for some other reason? Boredem? Avoidance (a biggie for me)…?’ and I answered ‘Nope, not hungry, in fact I would rather feel good about myself than eat this and have the immediate good feeling followed by the self loathing that is bound to follow’. What I have found most interesting and beneficial is reading everyone else’s stories and recognising that I am in fact not the only person who feels the way that I do (I know I have always known it but … I don’t know, it’s like a lightbulb came on) and turns to food for reasons other than hunger. So many of the stories resonate so deeply that it’s quite disconcerting at times.
I am still going to my weigh ins (okay honestly, I haven’t been to the last two due to having all sorts of problems sorting out general household things and I am having work done on my house and every time someone needs to see me it coincides with my weigh in. Really!! I know I can go to other meetings at other times, but I guess that since I know how I’ve been eating I really don’t want
to … there you go, I have said it!). I will be going this week though. I am avoiding the avoidance that is my tendency. I want to lose the weight and be a winner!
Although I am still trying to make good choices, I have some difficulties coming up. I am having an extension done on my kitchen. They are breaking though in two weeks, and I will have nearly SIX weeks sans kitchen. I am really fretting (fretting usually = eating) about making good food choices while this is all in progress. There will be lots of eating out and taking out. Oh heavens above!!
Just the thought makes me want to face-plant in chocolate and fried chicken!! But of course I won’t do it - because Georgie is teaching me how to confront my problems rather than eat to suppress them. I have been checking out menus to decipher their nutritional content so that when the time comes, I am fully prepared and can make good choices. Meh.

Post 4

Oh deary me it has been ages since we last caught up hasn’t it? My life has recently been one mishap after another - worthy of some comedic genius type movie. One of those that you watch and think ‘how ridiculous, so many things couldn’t go wrong in one persons life’. OH yes it could!

But I will try not bore you with too much detail, this post would turn into a novella even after I cut out three quarters of it during the editing process.

Now as I mentioned before, my kitchen has been ripped out. Not in the way normal people have a kitchen ripped out and then put back in again, oh no, that would just be far too easy. Since I decided I wanted an extension, and the internal walls were not where I wanted them to be its been all kinds of crazy. Once the kitchen was taken out (this includes the scullery - no way to wash and dry clothes, not even in the brand new bath tub which has just been installed as it has a massive crack through it), so my Saturday mornings are spent at a laundromat. Now you know where I am, the walls were pulled down, the new foundations put in (which can’t have anything put in for a minimum of two weeks - was supposed to be SIX but we found some different concrete stuff, I can’t go into detail since I have not a single clue about the process), new walls were built, doors went in yesterday and the poor plasterer is still here. One more week before anything else can go ahead however. So heres the thing - I have nothing and nowhere for any type of food prep. I have a toaster and a kettle. Oh and there are also cereals so the kids have something for breakfast. ‘You need a microwave’ is what I have been told on numerous occasions but alas, like most people don’t believe in ghosts, or a higher being, my husband doesn’t believe in microwave ovens.

But I digress, lets get onto what we’re really here for. Weight. So in January you will remember I lost a WHOLE TWO pounds following Slimming World. At the beginning of February I was amped and ready to follow Georgie Beam’s ‘Food Freedom’ programme - I can’t remember if the freeness was for three days or five if Im honest. Day One went swimmingly - I had to read something and fill in a questionnaire of sorts. Then came day two (are we seeing a pattern here yet?). I refuse to take the blame for this one however as day two required me to lie on the floor and listen to a ten minute thing where you get in touch with your body and thoughts and feelings. All great if you live somewhere with decent wifi I’m sure, however in a semi-rural location all I got was spurts and spats with the odd word here and there. So I gave up right there and then. I wasn’t going to go to a coffee shop with free wifi and lay myself on the floor with my earplugs in while people trip over me and mothers run over me like a sleeping policeman with their buggies.

When I said I gave up, that’s exactly what I mean. I gave up on everything. I decided to just eat what I want and when I want to. Two weeks later I jumped on the scales and guess what? I had lost another FOUR pounds!! How did this work? Let me explain…

Scenario 1 : Day one of diet - (any diet! Atkins, low fat, high fat, carb free, celery, Cambridge, ANY DIET!). Knowing I am starting today, yesterday I would have shovelled everything which came within my reach into my face, and then some more. Always very unhealthy, high fat, high sugar - you get the picture. Upon waking up I will have dreamed about a burger all night long. I go have my breakfast, healthy and whatever is recommended by whichever diet it is I am currently doing. Leave the house to go to the gym (four to five days a week, I get depressed if I don’t get my endorphin hit and having weened myself off the tablets a few years back when the doctor told me that I would be on them for the rest of my life I couldn't face taking them again). I go do a food shop. I smell a burger. I think I’ve worked hard I deserve a burger. I then proceed to eat the burger, with fries and probably a milkshake thrown in for good measure. Then I am peeved at myself and think ‘well I’ve messed up, might as well start again tomorrow’. So I will have a scone - with jam and clotted cream (no butter though cause you know, that makes it better). I come home, maybe have some cereal. Make dinner - usually very diet unfriendly because well - Im starting again tomorrow. Chuck a bit of dessert in there too. Maybe have some biscuits. Drink my four litres of water - not all at once obviously. The next day….. Day one of diet - same as above…. and so on one so forth…

Scenario 2 : I refuse to diet. Last night dreamed of a burger. I think I will have one. So no breakfast (I don’t eat breakfast usually as it makes me feel sick when I go to the gym, it is usually only something I do while following a diet as they all say that breakfast is so important). After gym, I go shopping - have the burger I wanted. Just a burger because thats all I actually wanted. Do chores. Make dinner - nothing overly calorific, nothing ‘diety’, just something I feel like. Eat it. Might have two cups of tea. Drink a minimum of four litres of water (always do as I have the kidney thing going on). And two weeks later I am four pounds down…. ta da! Lets hope it continues in this vein.

The current issue however is this, no kitchen… So every day (after gym) I go for brunch - generally a cooked breakfast, sometimes a sandwich (I just always feel like I have wasted too many calories on a sandwich though), soup with a roll if they have something I like - particularly partial to creamy mushroom or pea and ham. Every night myself and my family go out for dinner. I must confess that I have had dessert at least twice a week and starters most days. But again, this isn’t the end of the world because I have as of today lost another TWO POUNDS!! I think that by not putting so much pressure on myself, I am actually naturally making better choices - most of the time. And that’s okay. I cannot wait to cook again. I cannot wait to make myself a massive salad the way I like a salad to be made with mixed baby leaves, peppers and tomatoes and olives and feta and chicken, beetroot, radishes, spring onions and avocado…and a blob of full fat mayonnaise. Salads ‘out’ are always so boring (although the Sirloin and Shitake salad at a well known asian inspired chain is nothing short of delicious and under 400 calories - teamed up with some lollipop prawns at under 200 calories when I have that I feel virtuous and fabulous!).

So my plan of action over the next four weeks (after which my kitchen will FINALLY be ready! I wish there were a way for me to express my excitement through the writing but alas my computer has no emoji’s) will be as follows; Gym, four or five days per week. Between 45 minutes and 90 minutes per day (okay only 90 minutes once a week). Walking the dogs at the week ends. Eating what I want because I can actually have it all if I want to - just not all at once. And here’s hoping it carries on working. I will not be weighing again for another month from today, however as I can feel my clothes are fitting better I will be going by that - I think I might actually go measure myself just now too - all the gym builds muscle which is heavy so things might not show on the scales which would motivate me, but seeing my measurements change will help an awful lot. I will update you in two weeks. Obviously there will be no weight updates, but I will share my inch losses, how I am feeling in my skin and how I am feeling in my clothes. The next weight update will be in a month. Hold a thumb for me please. I am feeling so good right now I don’t really want it to stop. I hope your journeys are successful and that you’re feeling better about yourself too.

Life is too short to constantly be worrying about our weight. It’s time to sort this out and get to enjoying what we have. We can do this!! Here’s to all of us. (Cheers!) x

Post 5

How is everybody else getting on? Thought I would do a little update, you know, since I said I would and all that. I think it’s been around two weeks since last I wrote. Still have no kitchen - though I will have a working one two weeks on Monday (that’s two weeks tomorrow!!). I am sick to the back teeth of eating out.
The last five days have been picnics in my living room. Thank heavens for Mark’s and their wonderful collection of ready made salads and cured meats and cooked salmon!! Oh and yesterday we had the left overs with a couple of cooked chickens from yet another store.
Whenever I tell someone how we are eating out just about every day, they say things like; ‘That must be amazing! You can have whatever you want every day of the week and not even have to cook it yourself or do any cleaning!’. Yes, you’d think that would be the case. Well after the first couple of weeks, eating starters, mains and dessert just about every day it was getting pretty boring. Then the conversation between my husband, my children and myself became more like this:
Me: ‘ So where should we go for brunch/dinner?’
Them: ‘Don’t care.’
Me: ‘Well I care even less’
Them: ‘Ugh!’
Me: ‘UGH!!!’ (I always repeat their whinging in capital letters and make sure they can hear them. I’ve been at it longer after all and am therefore much better at it).
Them, eye rolls and so forth…
Me, bigger eye rolls, a massive sigh and probably a little stamp of the foot…
We end up just going somewhere where we can have something plain and simple. I have got into the habit of eating salads now. People who know me may be surprised at this. If I’m honest, I’m pretty surprised by it too. Yes, having the option of chips, boiled potato, baked potato, dauphinois etc sounds exciting but it has bored me to tears - ACTUAL tears sometimes. I seem to remember being an avid potato consumer. Bread too - and yet now, if I am popping out for lunch and I can’t access anything other than a sandwich, I would rather just not eat. I think everyone should eat out every day for all their meals and eat just whatever they want for four to six weeks…its amazing how quickly you get put off your food. I dream about home made mushroom ravioli, not drenched in thick creamy sauce but lightly drizzled with some rapeseed oil and crispy fried sage leaves… .
Actually that’s the only food dream I have had in ages - that too is strange as usually all my waking and sleeping thoughts revolve around food. What am I eating? What will I eat after this? What will I eat tomorrow…? It’s all disappeared.
Now for the reason I am actually writing. As you will remember if you had read my previous post, I said I wasn’t going to weigh for a while - it really is so demoralising! Especially if you’re exercising and building muscle (which as I am sure you know is much heavier than fat - but which gives you that lovely shape most girls (yes, I am almost 40 and I still consider myself a girl!) are after. I have been sticking to my cardio/body conditioning most days of the week, and then yesterday I went and did a session with a beautiful (seriously, my husband suspects I have a girl-crush and I think he might be right - I find myself getting mesmerised while she talks to me and then having to get her to repeat herself. If anyone should be a trainer to the stars its this girl) friend of mine who is into doing all things heavily weighted. I love-hated every minute of it but I cannot express in words how much better I felt in my own skin afterwards. I honestly felt elated. Those endorphins are better than any bottle of tipple.
So I have done my measurements. And this is what has happened. Overall over the past two or so weeks, I have lost (and I use centimetres because you get more of them than inches and that just makes me feel better) dum dum DUH…..20cm! Let me break it down for you:
My calf and arm (left side only - my left is smaller than my right so I only measure that side - insert monkey emoji covering her eyes with embarrassment haha) have stayed the same. The thigh has got 2cm bigger, and that’s okay because I am beginning to see some definition there. Now for the good stuff: Bottom is 5cm smaller (is that a good thing really? Might have to do some more squats), Hips down by 3cm, waist has shrunk by 6cm and the old boobies have gone down by 8cm. Pretty impressed if I say so myself.
So tempted to just jump on those scales but I will refrain. I will be weighing myself in two weeks and remeasuring. I’ll let you know how it goes. Hoping this trend continues. Of course I understand that the big numbers will slow down and get smaller as each week goes by. But at least I know I am getting there. The sense of progress and achievement is a pretty heady mixture let me tell you! Here’s to the next couple of weeks or so. And good luck to you all too!!




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Melanie is an independant blogger, the views and personal opinions expressed in blogs are soley those of the original authors and other contributors.
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