Do you feel any diffrent … ? (Slimming World 10lbs )

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Ten pounds total loss so far!

Chuffed to bits with that… I actually got my 1/2 Stone Award this week at Slimming World (7 pounds to my US buddies). This led to me wining the slimmer of the week award – Yep, I was pleased and yes I ALMOST cried again.

A friend of mine asked me if I noticed any difference yet, and the truthful answer is no. I don’t really notice any difference. Other people have commented that they see a difference in my face shape, or that they can tell I lost some weight but so far all the folk who are commenting are people who know about my Slimming World attempts and therefore know how much weight I have lost. I take these comments with a little grain of salt and while they make me smile I doubt very much that there is much noticeable physical difference.

I feel GREAT!  I am now at a lower weight than I was when I last attempted to lose weight with Weight Watchers. I seem to have a little more energy, maybe, but the difference is very slight and so I’m not quite sure if I’m imagining it.

There are a couple of different signs that things may be changing slowly, like for example at one of my swimming sessions last week I was bothered the whole time by a label from my swim suit poking into me. It felt sharp and annoyed the heck out of me so bad that when I got home I immediately had to find the scissors and cut the stoopid thing out. Now I’ve been using this same bathing suit for a couple of years now it has always fit me and I have never EVER noticed a label in it before…

Label now removed, I was once again comfortable until this one session of Aqua Fit where there may have been a slight wardrobe malfunction. Yep, I flashed my tits to the assembled class (thankfully all female). I can’t believe my top-half changed that much, perhaps after 2 years the elastic has given up the ghost. Either way that costume has been retired as I’m not flashing twice. I don’t want to get a reputation hehe.

The second incident: I had a meeting at a local chocolate shop to arrange a chocolate fountain for our wedding party. Yeah, I know this isn’t on the diet plan but I’m only getting married once and I will NEVER stop loving chocolate. Anyways, I was mid conversation and gesticulating wildly with my hands as I do when I’m over excited… and suddenly my engagement ring few off and skated across the table… Oops.

So to answer the question.. No I don’t really feel any different YET… though I’m sure I will if I can just keep on keeping on.

HOWEVER…

It may be that my body is indeed losing weight… starting with my FINGERS and my BOOBS.

Sigh.

Totally not my area of choice but at this point beggars can’t be choosers. I’ll take it. 🙂

Ali xX

Choices,Choices….

It’s been cold, wet and miserable. I woke up and I didn’t want to get out of bed at all. I had planned to go to Aqua Fit which started at 10 and it was now 9.15. I was lying in bed, looking up through the skylight, while my in my head my conscience had a debate with my body over whether I will really get out of bed and go to the gym as planned. Couldn’t I justify not going this once?? My bed was pretty warm and comfortable, thank you very much.

Gazing up through the skylight I realised I was looking at a blue sky and sunshine. That’s what made me get out of bed. There was no motivation, and I wasn’t “get up and go about the diet” at all really, but it was sunny, so I made it to the gym. Sometimes it’s whatever it takes to get you out of the door.

When I actually got to the gym, I had a really good session and I actually left feeling refreshed, if exhausted. I arrived for my Aqua Fit Class which I thought was at 9.45 only to find out it was actually an hour later. Now, usually I’d use this lapse in diary management as an excuse to leave the gym “sharpish”. On this day, however, perhaps because I didn’t want to feel like I’d abandoned my bed in vain, I stayed and challenged myself to swim for the hour before the class.

Now understand when I say “swim”, I’m using the term in its loosest possible sense. I don’t want you thinking of me gracefully gliding through the water from one end of the pool to the other, feet never touching the floor. Oh no … me: I’m working up to that. Me: I swim ugly.

We’re talking splashing and thrashing and generally trying to move my all too large and definitely not aerodynamic body from one end of the pool to the next in a mish mash of semi coordinated movement that, with a little imagination on the part of the observer, looks somewhat like the precise strokes I once had drummed into me in swim class.

I make no apology for it… because, well, I have as much right to be in the pool as all the lean coordinated swimmers who actually care about style. At this point, moving in any form or fashion is more exercise than I was doing before and its all got to be beneficial. Despite the ugliness, I quite enjoy it and find it somewhat relaxing.

So, that’s what I did: I swam ugly for an hour then had my usual Aqua Fit Class. When I got out of the pool, boy could I feel it!

I rewarded myself for my effort, not with the usual chocolate bar, but instead chose a sugar free date and banana flapjack despite being a little nervous of my selection. I loved it!

I had one of the most enjoyable mornings and felt in a much better place mentally when I went to bed that night.

Sometimes this “get fit” thing is totally overwhelming. I have such a long way to travel that it’s easy to be intimidated and hopeless because of the amount of change I need to make. But, this day was just about making one good decision at a time. It doesn’t really matter what tools I use to help me make the right choice, whether it is the unusual presence of the sunshine, or setting myself a little challenge, choosing a healthy snack. I’m trying to trust in the process, trying to believe that if I can just keep making one good choice at a time it will eventually lead where I want to go…. but it’s not always easy.

Ali xX

Slimming World

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If I started the story of me and my weight issue from the beginning, we would be here all night. Suffice to say that I have struggled with being overweight (lately, seriously obese) all my life. I’ve always been a big girl and usually with a big personality to match. You get kind of defensive when all you hear most of your life is negative comments and pressure surrounding your weight.

My mum batters me about it constantly, and I even recall when I told my family about my PCOS diagnosis; my grandmother piping up “well, I always thought there was something wrong with you, you know because you’re so big”. I can’t say it didn’t hurt or that I wasn’t so embarrassed. I wanted a swift exit out of there. But to be honest, I was also mighty pissed off. As far as I was concerned, there was nothing wrong with me! Other than being the largest of the family…

I’ve been described using various offensive adjectives so many times I couldn’t begin to count…  and I’m here to tell you: I am not: Gross, Disgusting, Sick, Minging, or Lazy. What I am is FAT. I’m not claiming to be big boned or to have some kind of fat genes to excuse it. I’m overweight and largely it’s my fault.

Yes, it’s true I have PCOS and perhaps a bit of an underactive thyroid, which makes losing weight harder than is should be, but the simple facts are I eat too much and I exercise too little.

It’s unhealthy. It affects my life probably in lots of ways I don’t even know yet, but like many other things about me its only one facet of the person that makes Ali, and If you think you have the right to comment or make assumptions about me because of it, then I’m first in the queue to tell you you’re either an insulting A$$ or you’re too stupid to realise the damage your words can cause and in both cases this fat chick feels sorry for you.

It makes me even more angry in the work that I do when I hear women with a “raised BMI” described using all those same offensive adjectives that are partly responsible for my low self esteem. Sadly, I have heard them being used by both professionals and lay people. I have even heard comments that “women that big shouldn’t be having children”. I have news for you: it’s not your call! You are there to provide care, and it seems to me that if you’re caring and compassionate while in the room with a woman and then slating her with your dumb ass judgmental comments behind her back, you’re two faced and untrustworthy.

I would venture that as most women with raised BMI, we could open the whole “BMI is not always a great indicator of a person’s health, anyway” debate… but really, i’m just using the term commonly used by the NHS. As I was saying, women with a raised BMI, myself included: WE KNOW WE’RE FAT. It’s not a revelation.

It’s a bad habit. It’s a lack of information. At worst, it’s an addiction. All in all, it’s a problem with food surrounding food. Unlike other forms of addiction, you can’t really hide this. It’s visible for all to see, but next time you’re harshly judging a fat person. it’s worth thinking about your own faults. What would people think of you if your failings were likewise as visible? Imagine if a smoker’s tumors were growing on the outside of their body, if money visibly constantly poured away from the pockets of those with a gambling problem, or alcoholics began their downward spiral by turning bright yellow from their damaged liver.  It’s amazing the secrets the most judgmental people hide – they could really do with a look in a mirror before they begin throwing stones.

Also, like other forms of addiction, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want your help. Each must decide in their own time when they are ready to confront the issue, but chipping away at someone’s self esteem is going to push them further away from the help your offering. The next time you find yourself commenting on a my weight or what I’m eating, ask yourself first: are you close enough to me, or do you have a duty of care to me which makes my problem your business and second: are you REALLY approaching the issue in a way that encourages me to open up and be honest with you? If you’re the one metaphorically beating me up it’s not going to be you that I ask for help.

Cigarettes, alcohol, gambling… these vices defeat many and are extremely hard to overcome, I grant you, but with each of them your basic strategy is to find a workable way to cut the thing your find yourself addicted to out of your life. You can’t give up food and there’s no patch for it either, it’s all about reeducation and that’s a slow process that takes time.

Going back to my journey, I think I’m finally ready to confront this issue in my life. For a number of reasons:

I feel like a hypocrite at work advising women about healthy eating and the risks of being overweight. I’m not exactly practicing what I preach.

I’m really sick of shopping in the fat girl stores.

I actually would like to avoid diabetes and other nasties in later life.

I have excellent motivation to lose a little weight before my wedding.

About a year ago I actually was on weight watchers for a couple of months and though short and with limited success for the time I was on the program, I actually felt the best I have in a long time and I’d like to get back to feeling that way.

To that end, 2 weeks ago I went along to my first Slimming World meeting. I chose Slimming World over Weight Watchers – a couple of ladies in my class at Uni seem to be doing this program and we have been supporting each other. It really has been helping.

In the last 2 weeks I’ve lost 5lbs. It’s a start, and I know I’m at the beginning of a very long journey, but hopefully this time I will keep walking down this road.

Today, at group, I was given the slimmer of the week award and a sparkly sticker and I was all but speechless. I must have looked kind of silly, but to be honest I was trying very hard not to shed a tear because, well… it was the first time I can remember hearing positive comments and feeling good about my weight issue. Plus, you know you can always win me over with sparkles.

Ali xX

Movie, munchies and motivation.

Feeling re-energized this Monday morning. No idea why, seen as I didn’t sleep last night.  Anyways, I got up and made all my phone calls, one after the other, bam bam bam flying through the To Talk To list. Called the job broker – yeah waiting for a call back. Also made a call to our local Nation Childbirth Trust just to see if they need any volunteers or have any work shadow places.  The organization is run by parents and volunteers so I’m hopeful even though it might take a little while to get things set up. Yeah, I got real pushy after that and called the local NHS Trust.  Remember I sent my volunteer application to them just before Easter and so far I’d heard nothing, so I thought it was time for a chase up call. Turns out they have my application, they have my references and apparently I’ll be invited to an interview some time around the 26th of June. Whoa things move slowly with the NHS… even on the volunteer front. I really hope it didn’t go against me that I bothered them but now at least I have a date by which things should move forward, I feel better about that and I’ll have something to say if asked bout it at my college interview … the interview that’s TWO WEEKS today. Eeepss. Better start actually thinking about it. I want to be well prepared. I need to convince someone that I’ve actually thought about it and despite my shaky health past I have the commitment and stamina for the course.Yeah a tall order I think.  Gotta work on that A game again

The dreaded appointment has been booked. I have a time and place for that awful Pap smear. Ohhh the antics I had on the phone with the receptionist “well really you should wait till after your period. Aherm. PCOS. I have no periods. Well, barely any. But really we need… you should wait.  Soo I had to calmly explain that I was meant to have this thing at 25 – I’ll 27 this August. I’ve been avoiding this thing for 2 years. You really want me to wait the 6- 9 – 12 months or whatever till AF decides to grace me with her presence… really? I have an appointment after I promised to call and cancel if – by some tripped out logic that only AF is aware of she chooses that one day to ruin the plan.  Mmhumm… Sods Law dictates that this is more likely than my cycle stats would have you believe. Oohh ohhh she did tell me it would hurt more if I’m not coming off my cycle. Great… just wonderful… thanks.

So all of this is good, right? Making progress and all… but hers the bad news: I’m having a Fat Monday. Ugggh. Sucks. I’m having a hungry day. I’ve eaten a ton of crap – none of it good for me and I feel so guilty. It all started when I came across a pretzel stand in Liverpool 1’s shopping center. I’ve never seen one this side of the Atlantic and ooo I squealed. Well I had to try one…cinnamon pretzel and it was goood . So excited its there I hope it stays! Well then I was at Star Trek. Yep I went with Kayak Man to celebrate his birthday (a little late admittedly). So there I get waffle and ice cream. A few hours later I came out still feeling starving and grabbed a burrito bowl that I think looked so good. My eyes we so much hungrier than my stomach…and finally after it I was full and EXAUSTED. See seee fat fat FAT … I feel awful. It tasted so good and gawd this pig out one day can’t eat anything the next is doing my head in! GAH!!

Now now now Star Trek. I am not a Star Trek fan. I’m in the Star Trek clueless zone. I just wanted Kayak Man to be happy. I mean the guy is a fan and I would find it real hard to listen to him rip a film apart without having a clue what he’s actually referring to. lol. That worked out ok. He liked it. He wants more. Actually, so do I. I kinda wanna find out more about the original characters.  Yeah it made me wanna watch Star Trek, which I was NOT expecting at all…great job. Only two comments: its a real slap in the face when your suddenly confronted with a pregnant woman in labor and quite a detailed birth thing going on before the opening credits have even started. Left me feeling a tad shocked and a bit like I was intruding.  Weird feeling… and second: Vulcan ears are much cuter on a kid.  Mmhum I would totally go and see it again, so the movie surpassed my expectations. I never even felt like I was just sitting through it to make Kayak Man smile. A-mazing !

Live long and… oh sod it .. aim for the stars people 😛

Ali xX

Smear campaign and cupcakes. (TMI ALERT! )

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Woooo I am a naughty girl. I’ve been craving a chocolate cupcake for a few days now.  I used to eat them quite often but I kind of gave them up as part of that healthy living thing.  Somerfield (my local supermarket) best ever chocolate cupcakes have been on my mind.  I even had a dream about them. This craving was not going away, so tonight I indulged… and it felt good! Totally sucks that they only sell these sins in boxes of 4 …….so so naughty!

I’ve been terrible.  I haven’t even been near the Wii Fit in over a week. That’s terrible. It makes me feel guilty every time I go into the front room and see the thing lying there untouched. It knows… and now I don’t want to switch it on because it’s gonna tell me off and I’ll have put in like a bazillion pounds!  I can see that chart now… the line is gonna be right off the screen and it’s gonna scream at me “You lazy cow!!”

To make matters worse, I SLEPT through my healthy living clinic appointment. I’m scared of the nurse now, too, and I did so well last time I can tell you right now I’ve put those two pounds back on and then some!  I can’t believe I slept through my appointment… the shame. I was joking about it last night because, let’s face it, it’s no fun to go to a healthy living appointment when you have been living anything but healthy.  I wasn’t actually planning on missing the thing… honest judge!  Now I have to call and make a new appointment.  Maybe I can get one in two weeks time and just bust a gut to make things better :S  I hate calling the surgery. There’s another thing I’ve been avoiding. I don’t want to call to make this new appointment. I really don’t… because, you see, there’s another appointment I’ve been putting off. I got the dreaded letter in the post a few weeks ago and stuffed it somewhere conveniently out of sight. I’ve been not quite forgetting about it ever since.

The time has come… I am due for my first EVER smear test… and I DON’T WANNA GO!!! Now, to be fair, I have NO clue why it’s bothering me so much. I mean I’ve had internal… aherm… examinations… internal ultrasound and other such pleasantries that involve several people looking and touching, poking and removing bits of my most intimate areas without one ounce of fun or pleasure. It’s not like the embarrassing undignified legs akimbo position is new to me. Ohh no, how I wish that were so… and I love oh so much how each doctor has tired to make pleasant small talk while… aherm… working… WTF… do what you have to do and let me out of here.  I don’t wanna talk about the weather or what I’m doing at the weekend while you hands are… oh gawd I’m blushing… shhhhhhhh SHUT UP! It REALLY did not help me that the last time I went, said doctor was a young and ohhh so yummy gentleman. You really shouldn’t be thinking about these things while… but I was. I have to laugh about it or I’d cry. Really does not help that the magazine I had had grabbed to read while waiting was Time Out Chicago – the SEX edition. Nice move Ali. D’oh!!  Even after all this though, I’m scared of a routine smear. I don’t wanna do it.

Actually I’ve been dreading this time ever since my first internal examination when the nurse and consultant actually argued right in front of me about what age I should have said test. The nurse had scared me with a huuge lecture about not having been yet when my GP had told me I was still too young. Turns out the doctor was right and I escaped for a couple more years but NO MORE 😦  I’m dreading this.

Before you start thinking how irresponsible I am, I KNOW how important this is and I WILL go… I promise. I just don’t wanna.

I’m drawing a line after the consumption of cupcakes and this week of bad behavior… back to good habits…

Ali xX

Ohhhhh!..so this is what motivation feels like …

OMG I got so much stuff done today I can’t believe it! I totally rocked today like a normal – not depressed no panic attack motivated – individual uh huh!  First I actually got up in time to call the doctor and make an appointment. I had to request to see a different GP after my awful experience last time. This guy was really nice and actually listened to me. There’s a novel idea – paying attention to what your patient is telling you.  He’s changed my Metformin prescription to the Extended Release version which I’m happy about and given me 4 weeks worth. Woohooo for not seeing the doctor for 4 whole weeks!  I also had to have him actually check out my tits because they have still been bothering me. Slightly odd having a discussion with your GP about US medical care while waiting for the female chaperone so he can grope your boobs, but hay I ain’t complaining. Thrilled to report my tits feel normal!  I actually didn’t think I could feel anything odd either, but you know I ain’t taking that chance.  No way. His conclusion: the pain is either hormonal or a result of a strain in my chest muscles. Good news! I’ll just grin and bare it 🙂 I was feeling super organized for actually going round to the pharmacy to organize my pills on the same day after my appointment actually, I arrived home chuffed to bits with myself… UNTIL I open up Google Calendar and realize that I’m meant to be at the healthy living clinic… at the doctor’s surgery… the doctor’s surgery I JUST came in from. I’m meant to be there now!  D’oh… reverse!!! ..I turned right around and rushed back out again WITHOUT my healthy living paperwork. Poof goes any illusion that I’m organized. To make matters worse, the nurse I’m seeing was the very same nurse who was my chaperone. Yeah the same lady who just watched my tit examination. She smiles “you should have said  … I would have fitted you in before …”Uuh huh if I REMEMBERED I WOULD HAVE. Great. Now the nurse thinks I’m fat and dumb :S The good news is my blood tests all came back normal. Can I get a Woot Wooot for not being diabetic or having crippling cholesterol!?? Oh oh oh and another one for having lost 2 lbs since I last stepped on the dreaded scales two weeks ago… YAAAY for smaller numbers!

Leaving the doctors surgery for the SECOND time this morning, the sun was shining so bright and happy like I decided not to get back on the bus and walked into town instead. Yeah, you read that right… I walked 45 minutes into town not because I had to but I actually wanted to!!  I even remembered to stop along the way to find out some costs for shipping I have to do later this month.

I made an appointment to have my hair restyled and colored tomorrow. This is HUGE news for me. I never have a clue what to do with my hair. Its pretty much wave the white flag and surrender. It’s a mess. I always feel intimidated by anyone in a hair salon who assumes I know what they are talking about when they ask me if I want my hair layered or feathered. Mmhumm… who did you learn all this from… because I missed that class!?  And anyways you look like you know what you’re doing. Your hair is perfect so how about you DECIDE? You clearly have better judgment about these things than me.  You can see the tangled mess on my head, yes? I’m actually excited. The lady I spoke with today was much more approachable and I felt like I could actually talk to her. I’m also nervous as all hell because I’ve never had my hair professionally colored before. I did go black… oh oh and purple once… back in midst of my teen days.  There is no photographic evidence!

I got my eyes tested and ordered new glasses too. They should be ready in around a week… so I can check that off my list.

I went makeup shopping. Hurrah for new lippy and even mascara (sheesks this stuff should come with a free crash course on how to apply without making a royal mess)

I even called my job broker to let him know about my interview and arrange a little grant so I can buy a new shirt to wear. Yup, trying to be smart here. Most of the things I had for work have gotten a lot worse for wear since I haven’t had to dress that way for over 2 years.

I even remembered to get my multi-vitamins while I was out. There’s one shop in town I have to go to for them and I always seem to forget and end up making a special trip.. Today I remembered as I was passing… yay!

And and and… I got my nails done today! Uh huh… yeah… I now have shiny new nail extensions that I love… and despite a severe allergy to the color pink, I’m coping with the HOT PINK nail art design the technician painted on the tips quite well. Poll: how long before I can reasonably go back and get it replaced with something else? Me and PINK do not get along. The brighter the shade, the worse my problem, so this fluorescent glow in the dark… HOT PINK… ummm “not very Ali” would be the polite way of putting it.

PINK!

PINK!

Seeeee!

After all this, I came home and collapsed for a little while… but I get bonus points for firmly resisting all junk and fast food while I was out and eating a very healthy lunch!  And the motivation thing did not stop there. I also finally got ‘round to E-mailing a response to my aunt to pass on to my dad. I even sent out a few pictures for him!

Mhummm… today I’m on fire. Blowing through my to do list. You know I like this motivation thing. I hope it hangs around for a while.

Ali   xX

K.S.: Mmmm… Ribs for dinner

Doomsday looming.

I had an appointment at the healthy eating clinic. The 10 minute long session was with a practice nurse again – somebody who didn’t appear to actually register that I’d told her I had PCOS and was looking for some dietary advice related to the condition… nor did she seem concerned at all by the fact that I lurch from struggling to actually eat 3 meals a day and keep them down some days to the opposite extreme where I can pack away a stupid amount without even feeling like I’ve eaten. This happens too frequently. She didn’t seem to have any ideas as to what might be the cause. Frankly, she didn’t really care. I really wish I was able to find somebody – anybody – who could give me specific PCOS advice. The search for this mysterious person goes on, I guess. The nurse did however order blood tests: two of them in fact. The first is a glucose test to check for diabetes – something I requested (YAY for listening to me). I’ve been curious/concerned about this ever since the PCOS diagnosis seen as how women with the condition are at higher risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. I’m so pleased somebody is finally going to check it. Will lay my mind to rest if nothing else and if there is a problem hmm I think I need to know! The second blood test ordered was a cholesterol test – first time I’ve had one of these as well. We’ll see what the results bring. Judgment Day is next Tuesday at 9.20 am. I say Judgment Day but of course the crimson vials still have to be sent to a lab somewhere so judgment won’t actually be passed on Tuesday. Perhaps Doomsday might be more appropriate seen as how it involves a 14 hour fast (you can bet I’ll be feeling ravenous that night sods law) an early start (I am so not a morning person) and an unavoidable date with an object that strikes fear into my heart – so much more successfully than the idea of commitment, or a plague of cicadas… and that’s saying a LOT. Yes you’ve guessed it – NEEDLE and I have been set on a collision path. Its not gonna be pretty. At my last practice I was automatically made to lie down and pushed right up against a wall any time I had blood work simply because the likelihood is I’m gonna pass out and if (when) that happens I can’t fall from that position. Uh huh, I ended up on the floor a few times before they figured this out (I’m such a wus). Oddly though I can watch other people go through the same ordeal without batting an eyelid. It’s not that I derive pleasure from the torture of others or anything. Honest. I just don’t find staying conscious a problem.

Time to step on the scales – something I do with about the same enthusiasm as stepping up on the gallows.  I swear I could hear the faint drum beat signaling impending execution in my ears. Those few second take FOREVER… can I get off yet? OH NO THATS BAD… but it is 5 kg or so less than I thought, so it’s not the end of the world or anything. No falling on my knees, wailing and nashing of teeth, asking for the ground to suddenly eat me etc. I’ve been given a generic diet plan. Meh. Some advice on portion control (hay miss, if you think I’m bad at this, take a trip across the pond. Your brain will explode). Still, useful advice.  Work on portion control. Gotcha.

What’s this? A food diary… hmmm I’m not sure about this. it feels a bit like being on report at school. You know, having to get a teacher to sign a scrap of paper to say you were actually present at each class… not that I have experience of this. I was a good girl… or a skilled BS artist… I’ll let you be the judge 😛 I think the diary is too much for me ..It feels like I’m being told off or punished. Kind of makes me want to REBEL! 😛  but I will give it a chance… I suppose…

Next appointment: 2 weeks from now.

In other news… I got my CV off to the person who needs it today …that would be my Job broker and I picked up a beginners’ yoga DVD today. I felt like trying it, hopefully to help me learn to do that relaxing thing a bit better. Of course buying the thing and actually using it are sooo not the same but the thought was there. I’ll put it on my to do list for tomorrow.

Ali xX

K.S.: delicious weight watchers black current cheesecake = dessert with no guilt