Month: September 2011

Weekly weigh-in.

I’ve put two pounds back on, if these scales can be believed, which I am not sure they can. I am astonished it is not more than that. I am 158 lbs again.

Okay, well that is a lot better than I expected. It’s only set me back about a week and not a month. Sensible eating from now on. If I work at it I might be able to lose those two pounds this coming week.

A week of food.

Well, it has been a peculiar week. Temperatures in Britain have suddenly gone through the roof and it is hotter than it ever was during the summer. I have been off work sick a lot this week; I’m ploughing through my second course of industrial-strength antibiotics in three weeks and it is making me headachey and barely able to stay awake. Needless to say, I’ve done no exercise at all again this week. I can’t tell you how much I’ve wanted a cup of tea – I think about tea approximately four times a minute – but the kettle stands idle because I have just had my teeth whitened and the dentist strictly warned me off tea (and a bunch of other things) for as long as I can hold out, because my teeth are absorbent.

So what have I done this week? It sounds lot like I’ve spent the week feeling ill, napping and abstaining from tea, doesn’t it. And that has been the major theme. However. I have had some enjoyable aspects to the week and these have mainly involved food, oh yes. I have gained weight for sure, I don’t give a damn and I am not going to beat myself up about it. We’ll do the stupid Friday weigh-in in a minute (I know I have put some on, because my waistband feels tight again) but first here are some of the things that have made every single day this week a bit more happy than they otherwise would have been.

Exhibit A: Chilli flavoured crisps. Big family size bags. Two of them – there’s about 4,000 calories right there. OMG. So yummy and delicious. I had to run and brush my teeth after each scoffing session because I was afraid of my teeth turning orange.

Fried breakfast from the local caff. So delicious. Baked beans. Piles of bacon. Sausages. I resisted the toast but ate a slice of fried bread with glee. It had fried egg on it and it was gorgeous. Fresh orange juice made me feel like there was at least some nutritional value to the event.

Scones. Oh yes I did. I tried out a Thunder and Lightning scone which, surprisingly, caused me to conclude that I don’t like black treacle very much. Undeterred, I then ate three more scones piled with cream and maple-flavoured golden syrup. Good heavens. I was ecstatic. The weight I’ve inevitably gained this week is worth it just for the scones.

Big fat lemon cupcake from Costa Coffee. Look at that big greasy motherfucker. Costa really do know how to make a lemon cupcake, I have to hand it to them. There is real, delicious butter in the generously daubed-on butter icing and they slosh in the lemon juice like there’s no tomorrow. The sponge cake is always fresh but it’s the butter icing I’m really there for, I could eat that stuff on its own. It is right about now that I am glad I don’t cook much because I would make these cakes by the batch and scoff them all the time. The sparkly sprinkles and flowers that you always find on these cakes make me feel happy too. You really feel like you’re having a treat. Love.

What else? Large bar of Green & Black’s vanilla chocolate. Another trip to the caff where there was toast with the scrambled eggs. Whole packet of biscuits at work yesterday. And probably a few more things as well that my memory has suppressed. Also I drank a lot of hot milk because I’m taking antibiotics four times a day and there were so many times when I just wanted a comforting hot drink of some sort.

So that’s been my week. An orgy of delicious treats. I’m not gonna lie, it was fabulous.

I wonder how much damage I’ve done. Think I’ve put those ten pounds back on? Let’s find out – join us after this break.

Thunder and Lightning

I’m not following my diet very seriously this week. Apparently I am compensating myself for recent woes by eating whatever the hell I like, including crisps and such.

Can it be a coincidence that this week an extraordinary dish called Thunder & Lightning has shown up on my radar?

The basic ingredient is a scone. US readers: when we Brits say ‘scone’ we mean something like this:

A scone is a bit heavier than cake; crumbly; semi-sweet; usually containing sultanas. Most Brits think that the best way to serve a fruit scone is with clotted cream (that’s very thick, almost solid, fresh, unsweetened cream) and strawberry jam. Make a pot of tea to go with, and you have a traditional British ‘cream tea’ as shown here.

So here’s this Thunder & Lightning thing I heard about. It is a regional variation on the cream tea. Here, you replace the strawberry jam with thick, black treacle, which I think is what US people call molasses. Imagine! Black treacle! On a scone!

Good gracious. I should think you can gain about four pounds just looking at the picture.

Ever since hearing of Thunder & Lightning I have not stopped thinking about it. Dear oh dear. Do you know how easy it would be to nip over to the supermarket and get the ingredients? Really quite easy.

Want to make your own?  Here’s a scone recipe.

A clotted cream recipe is here. It is basically heating up heavy whipping cream. If you can’t obtain any clotted cream and don’t want to try making it,  heavy whipped cream is an acceptable alternative. It must be fresh, pure, unsweetened dairy cream, though, not some nonsense out of a can.

Being positive, 51 weeks in

I’m glad it’s not 52 weeks in. I am glad we’re not celebrating the first birthday of TLYW this weekend because I am struggling to keep my spirits up. Perhaps by next week I’ll feel a bit better about everything, less tearful and headachey would be good.

In fact this weekend is an anniversary of sorts, it is exactly one year since I broke up with my partner. We have communicated from time to time over the past  year and his life has not changed very much. Although I sometimes feel lonely and I miss the bits when we first met and were happy, here is a short list of reasons why I have to be glad we are not together.

  • He is not working again.
  • While I have to find money for mortgage payments and putting my kid through college, not to mention dental bills and giant business tax bills, my ex cannot raise enough money to keep his mobile phone switched on.
  • Last time he said anything about our relationship, it was something about ‘we aren’t good for each other’. The cheek. I supported him for a long time.

Okay, so there is thing number 1. I am glad I left my partner because it was a very unhappy and economically unsustainable situation and my life has improved a lot since we broke up. Now let’s think of some other things to be pleased about regarding the present situation.

I am not going to be dating for at least another 15 months and this is good because:

  • There is still a long way to go with TLYW. I aspire to be completely self sufficient and able to meet my own needs and that means I have to be single, otherwise I will fall back into letting other people have rent free space in my life and drain all my resources just because it feels nice to have someone to kiss. That has never worked out well for me in the past, see above.
  • New relationships cost a lot of money, I had already compiled an unnecessary shopping list full of new underwear and trips to the hairdresser but I don’t have to spend that money now and that’s good because it is needed elsewhere. I still need to organise my finances and start making a proper dent in my mortgage and that’s much easier when I’m not frivously wasting my money because I think I have to have a new outfit whenever there’s a date.
  • The French man, although sexy, was not going to be the next big love of my life. He would have been a very exciting casual boyfriend for a while but he was not going to be the next main event. The first person you meet after a break up is not usually a big serious relationship. The reality is, had I started dating again, I would have dated several people, with a lot of effort, expense and periodic disappointment before eventually meeting someone who had the ability to fuck up my life in a really spectacular way, as above. I should look at the next 15 months as a period of welcome calm, same as the last 12 months have been. Okay, the last year has been a sexual desert but on the other hand it has been free from emotional turbulence and I have finally felt that my life is my own, at long last.
  • I have another 15 months ahead of me where I don’t have to worry about contraception or sexual health, I don’t have to have stupid conversations in which you try to persuade someone to wear a condom when they really don’t want to.
  • I can lose weight at my own pace. I don’t have to panic and wonder if it’s possible to drop 10 lbs in a week, which is the sort of idiotic idea that I was entertaining only a few days ago.
  • I don’t need to worry so much about my hair. It looks fine for work purposes. I can take my time restoring its health, I don’t need to worry about making it look like beauty queen hair at short notice.
  • Dating uses up a hell of a lot of time as well as money. When I was in my previous relationship my time was not fully my own and my activities were very constricted, by virtue of having to share my space with someone else. I am trying to learn Chinese which takes up a lot of time and also causes you to make funny noises when practising out loud at home, which would have driven my ex (even more) mad. I have a sewing machine and a sewing table and lots of room for my craft stuff because my ex and his PC and the 8 tons of rubbish he used to surround it with are no longer here. Do I have room for a xylophone? Yes, I think I do. Am I free to play it for as long as I want, at any hour of the day or night? Yes, I am.

This is the life I wanted. A single life. A life where I get to fulfil my dreams. So let’s do some more work on that because there is still quite a way to go.

Other things to be happy about:

  • Cysts are not life threatening. This one I have right now isn’t a permanent problem. It will soon be gone and the scar won’t be very big.
  • Dental work. Although I am daunted by the extensive amount of work I have to have done, the fact is, I am a good candidate for it. I have got enough good quality bone in my face that there is something to build on. I am viable for bone regeneration surgery. I don’t have to have dentures, which would be the alternative, if things were any worse. I am going to be okay. In 15 months I will have fully restored teeth and they will last me a long time.

Phew. Okay, I feel a bit better now. This is TLYW. You don’t get it by crying and falling into the arms of the first person you meet. You get it by being brave and resourceful and doing things for yourself. Tenacity. Strength.


It’s been a horrible day. First I had my hopes of dating crushed and then I went to two different hospitals and had my face crushed. I would like to have a little cry but I daren’t get tears in the hole that had to be cut in my face.


This morning I had a meeting with my periodontist and the implantologist.  So yeah, I have been kidding myself about just quickly plugging that one gap with a new tooth and worrying about my deteriorated jaw-bones at some vague time in the future. We aren’t going to worry about disintegrating bones in the future, we are going to start working on them right away. Here is the plan:

– Take away the molar that is next to the gap because it is only hastening my jaw bone erosion. Take away two more molars on the upper jaw on the same side, that have not got enough bone to support them. That’s right folks, they are not going to replace my missing tooth just yet, instead they are going to take out three more teeth leaving me with nothing on one side of my mouth.

– Wait until January ‘for everything to settle down’.

– January 7th. Sinus-lift surgery on the upper jaw, this is a bone-regeneration procedure where they surgically rebuild your jaw bone. On the same day, do implants to replace the now two missing teeth on the lower jaw.

– Wait several more months for the surgically reconstructed bone to establish itself.

– Two implants into the hopefully-regenerated bone on the upper jaw.

– Start work on the left hand side of my mouth.

Apparently I can look forward to a full set of teeth with no gaps around Xmas 2012.

So that’s that, then. No dating for me, for another 15 months. I had fond hopes of kissing the Frenchman but that won’t be happening now. It was a nice fantasy while it lasted. I did have a bit of a cry about this on the tube on the way home. Then I went to accident and emergency to get my cyst looked at.


Bigger and bigger it grew. I awoke this morning with a face so full of fluid that I could barely see out of my left eye. The dentists were mildly horrified at our meeting this morning.

I went to the A&E department of the hospital where I am scheduled to have this thing removed from my face and they said ‘oh no, we don’t do facial surgery here, you’ll have to go to this other hospital’. So I went to the other hospital and sat in A&E there, feeling rather ill and trying not to think about my teeth. Eventually I was seen by a very sympathetic face doctor. He razored a hole in my face and then he manipulated and pressed and squeezed my face with all the strength he could muster while blood and fluid ran everywhere.

I have a large purple bruise there now as well as a lump. Despite this, a lot of the swelling has gone out of my face and I can see properly now so that is a bonus. He gave me more antibiotics. I have to go back there in two weeks for more surgery. They will either reopen that hole or make a new one and this time they will take the actual cyst out because all they have done today is emergency drainage.

Now I am home, feeling battered and trying hard not to cry. I am a bit desperate for a cup of tea but I can’t have one because of having my teeth whitened yesterday. My teeth will absorb the colour of anything like that so I’m drinking milk.

I think I will go for a nap. The best thing I can say about today is that it is nearly over.

ow ow ow ow ow white teeth


Bloody hell. Two hours in the dentist’s chair, having my teeth whitened. Very uncomfortable. The procedure itself was bearable, although very l…o…n…g but now I am out my teeth are super-sensitive. You know when you get tinfoil on your fillings? It’s that sensation, on all my teeth. ow ow ow ow ow ow ow. I hope it wears off soon. The dentist said it could be a couple of days.

My teeth do look the whitest they’ve ever been, they are not comic-book white but they are the white teeth of someone who has never smoked or drunk coffee and who could wear red lipstick without shame, so that is great.

That is stage 1 of Whitening and I am totally having a health point for it, because it hurts. Stage 2 begins in two weeks, that is where I go back to the dentist and he starts to improve the appearance of my receded gum line by doing some matching white fillings. Fine. I take it that in two weeks my teeth will have stopped hurting.

Before that rolls around, the next stop is the implantologist to see about getting my missing molar replaced and some sort of repair work done on its next door neighbour which is over-filled and might need replacing as well. I hope he can take action swiftly because I’ve been missing that molar for months now and I hate having a gap.



I was not going to mention this but it is getting beyond a joke. I have a large infected cyst at the side of my nose. Two weeks ago my GP gave me antibiotics for it and they have not worked. It is aggressively infected and getting bigger. My face is sore and it looks hideous. I have a date booked in at the local hospital to have it removed but that is two weeks away and I am afraid it will be the size of a grapefruit if I wait that long so I am going to seek more medical help tomorrow. This infection needs to be brought under control, it hurts and it is distressing. I hope I can get it sorted quickly.


Weekly Weigh In

I can’t be bothered with suspense this week because my face and teeth hurt, so let’s just find out what the score is. Last Friday I weighed 158 lbs, that’s 11 stone and four pounds. Today I weigh … 11 stone and two pounds. Awesome. That’ll do nicely. I’ve had a horrible week in which I over-worked, had a migraine all of Wednesday and didn’t exercise but at least I didn’t eat much so I bloody deserve to have lost a bit.

Feeble cheers! I have white teeth and I have lost two pounds. I can’t wait until my face and teeth hurt less and I can enjoy it.