Tag: diet

Pink lilies.

The flowers are surviving well. The lilies have opened and they are pink.

pink lilies

I can’t believe it’s been a whole week since I last blogged. Let’s try and catch up. I will give you the news in brief.

I’ve been really busy with work. This is good because it keeps me awake and makes me travel around and meet new people.It uses up all my time, of course, so that the days rush past. This in turn alters how I use my time outside work. I have to choose between doing a lot of things in very short bursts, or doing one thing consistently.

Gaming. I haven’t touched my Xbox since work reopened following Christmas, it is tragic. I was starting to get into Alien Isolation and would love to do some more on it. I’ve played a little Bioshock and a little Secret World, maybe the weekend before last. I played a surprisingly enjoyable session of Sims 3 last weekend. I’m logging into my World of Warcraft garrison for about 30 seconds a day, just to send my garrison followers out doing quests in my absence.

Crafts. I have a large number of unfinished projects and set some objectives for 2015 with regard to completing some of them, so I am sewing up a sweater that has been hanging around for 2-3 years.

Diet and Fitness. We’ve had about 9 months of fail in this area of TLYW, I seem to remember giving up on exercise and turning to rich restaurant lunches and large glasses of wine right when I arrived in Chile. Right now I’m about 25 pounds heavier than I was last February. This isn’t a world crisis but it’s also not really what we are aiming for. I don’t mind having bigger boobs and a bigger bum, at all, but also I carry weight on the front of my body, on my abdomen, and on my face. In particular, I can see that my face is puffy and doesn’t look like the self-portraits that I use for online dating purposes. I’ve also been on a couple of dates where I noted that the person I was with didn’t fancy me that much, which is normally a rare turn of events. The fact is, I’ve gained weight, esp in my face, to a certain point where my market value has noticeably gone down. This means that even though dating and meeting new people is a very enjoyable hobby, I need to stop dating now and return to the gym and cut out sugar and unnecessary carbs right away, which means meal planning and thoughtful shopping and cooking. I could just come to terms with being heavier and a bit less popular and take some new, more accurate photos, but I actually would prefer to go back to the gym and lose weight and get back to where I was 9-12 months ago. I can take new photos and start dating again when I have a leaner, more muscular body to show off. So that’s why my dating career is over for the time being. I don’t have a lot of free time, I have to choose between gym OR dating, and the only sensible choice is gym.

Home Improvements. This is going to have to wait for a while. The windows have been replaced so we will survive the winter.

Brownie Achievement Badges. Almost miraculously, I am squeezing in some reading in support of the Classic Literature badge. I will write about this when I’ve reached the end of the book I’m currently on.

Dating. OK well, when we have to get serious about time management, dating takes a hit. It is not the Christmas holidays any more. I do not have unlimited amounts of free time on my hands to spend on boys. Gym needs to come first until I’ve shed this excess weight, so several weeks. That is why I’ve reluctantly suspended my online dating profile even though the actual dating situation over here is a bit shabby. Leroy is being flaky and unreliable. He is good at making excuses and being charming but my patience for that has run out now. I don’t see this situation improving and I am losing interest in him, even though I would prefer to have some sort of regular sex life, and when we do have sex, it is great. I am building up to a confession here, readers. In light of the fact that Leroy and I are coming apart at the seams, I don’t have any other romantic interest going on, and that I need to spend the next 3 months in the gym instead of going out to restaurants in high heels, I disturbed the Honcho, explained the situation and asked him to take me back for a while. Because he can’t see what I look like, and with a bit of luck he will keep me company while I am in the gym for the next 100 days. He is not a man for turning me away, so he didn’t turn me away.

And that’s all the news. Time to stop being a buffalo. I need to clean my house this evening because (a) it is filthy and chaotic after a week of heavy workload, and (b) I have a pack of new ear plugs around here somewhere, and when I find them, I can start swimming again.

I lost three pounds this week.

So that’s pretty amazing, isn’t it. I mostly stuck to the diet. There were a couple of lapses involving chocolate buttons when I was desperate. I worked some very long hours. I was out of London all day yesterday and didn’t get home until nearly midnight. I’m finding wheat and dairy a lot easier to abstain from than sugar, but in general I am sticking with the programme. I am boiling a couple of eggs for breakfast right now, which I will eat with spinach again.

When I took my special grocery list shopping last week, I couldn’t believe the amount of vegetables I came home with. I wondered if I was seriously going to eat them all. But I have eaten nearly all of them. I have some left over lettuce because apparently I prefer spinach, one left over courgette and I have spare green beans and broccoli in the freezer but I only because I bought two family-size bags.

It’s been an interesting experience so far, this diet. There’s more meat and fish on the menu than I would normally consume, usually I would favour cheese and get through quite a lot of it. But hey, I am not complaining, if I am going to lose weight this way, then fine, I will forego cheese and eat slices of cold chicken and turkey instead.

I’m almost out of fresh vegetables now so I will have to go the supermarket today and stock up for the week. I think I can succeed at this diet. A couple of times during the week I was starving hungry so I went in the kitchen and cooked a huge plate of green vegetables which I ate with no dressing and that seems not to have done my waistline any harm. So yay, I guess. It’s not the most exciting diet in the whole world but it seems to be doing the trick. We will see what next week brings.

Lamb Chop

That was actually quite nice. I grilled it for too long and eventually the fat caught fire, filling the kitchen with smoke. So I should think about trimming the fat off next time and not grilling it to death because 10 minutes would have been okay. Despite this it was quite tasty.

I went crazily off-menu with the vegetables. The diet says no butter but it allows olive oil, so I fried a mix of courgette, red pepper and tomato, even though tomato isn’t even on the list of vegetables that are allowed in the first 2 weeks (I expect they count as a fruit).

lamb chop

I will be more confident about cooking lamb next time. My only problem now is that I seem to be quite hungry, still. I’m not sure what to do about that. Not Christmas cake, that’s for sure.

Chef.

A terrible cold is going around London. I know a few people who have had it. Charlie succumbed to it just before I set off for Brussels. I am so, so glad that it didn’t get a grip on me while I was away doing that trade show. I thought maybe I was going to escape it altogether, but no, here it is. It broke out today in full force and now my nose is like a large red turnip and I am streaming with snot. I tried to go to bed three hours ago, at 9.30, mainly because I was no longer capable of doing anything else, but the snot factory that I call my face woke me up again.

So, while I am awake and pumping myself full of Sudafed, let’s talk about food. It seems like the right time. As you know (and can see from recent photos) my diet has been way out of control in recent months. No wonder I’ve been putting weight on. The happy pills, both while I was on them and while I was withdrawing from them, gave me crushing fatigue and I’ve been using huge doses of sugar and caffeine to try and keep myself awake. Added to that, I’ve been eating all sorts of comfort food, like pastry and pasta and fried cheese, Satan help me, and then I act surprised when my weight keeps climbing and climbing.

It needs to stop now. I am acutely aware of that, not just because my weight is rising so frighteningly fast but because my clothes are uncomfortable on me. All my bras hurt me. I can only wear them for a few hours at a time because they cut into my flesh. It’s time for emergency action, so it’s handy that the new cooker has arrived.

Because I don’t do things by halves, and because we are having the Brownie Points themed season, which emphasises developing new skills and doing new things, I have decided to take the opportunity to go for the Chef badge. I have arbitarily decided I can win this badge by preparing my own breakfast, lunch and dinner, in-house for five days. That’s 15 meals. You should bear in mind that I normally do zero food preparation unless you count breakfast cereal and occasionally microwaving ready meals. So five days of home cooking is a lot. It is even more of an achievement when you consider what I am going to make and where my cooking skills are. If you forgot, I made quite a decent chilli in 2012 and even a Christmas dinner in 2013, but also it took me exactly two and a half hours to make lemon cupcakes when the recipe said ‘ten minutes’ so there you go. And that accounts for most of the cooking I’ve done in the four years that I’ve had this blog so there’s that. As you can see, then, preparing all of my food in my own kitchen for five days, using a cooker that I don’t know how to operate, is going to be more of a challenge than it first appears. But at least it will be good practice for Christmas.

Earlier today I did meal planning and grocery shopping, so I have food and I know what I am going to be eating every day, I just don’t know whether I can cook it. I knew that meal planning would be essential because if I am left to my own devices I will eat the above-mentioned breakfast cereal and ready meals and when I am not doing that I will eat melted cheese paninis from the nearby cafe. None of this is good for my waistline. I knew that I needed to plan a whole week of meals and to save time and avoidable fuck-ups, I wanted someone else to tell me what I should eat.

That’s when I went to my bookshelf and pulled out James Duigan’s Clean and Lean Diet, not because it isn’t a great steaming pile of crap, but because it is the only diet book and one of the few recipe books that I own. I bought it as a result of peer pressure when I used to go running with my friend. She, like James Duigan, was not notable for her critical thinking skills, on the other hand she lost two stone on this diet and as it mostly tells you to eat fish and lean meat and fresh vegetables instead of cheesecake, I could see why it would work.

I don’t recommend this book to anyone, okay, I just want to say that. Here are some things you should know about it before you rush out and buy it.

  • James Duigan has no relevant education or qualifications to be talking to people about food. He is a self-styled ‘nutritionist’, this is a totally meaningless and unregulated title and I could call myself a nutritionist if I wanted to. He is in fact a personal trainer who has over-reached himself, no surprises there.
  • The one person who is willing to endorse him and his book is Elle Macpherson, the model, also not known for being overburdened with intellect or relevant qualifications. I would no more ask Elle Macpherson for medical advice than I would ask Jenny McCarthy.
  • The book itself, where there is actual text, and not just colourful pictures, is full of the most laughable, superstitious twaddle about ‘toxins’ and the need to ‘detox’. No-one should be taking this seriously. It is the 21st-century equivalent of blaming your fat on witchcraft.
  • There is a lot of padding in this book in the form of lists of foods that James has decided are okay, bad or terrifyingly bad, based on his need to fill up more pages.
  • The final section of this book is like a magazine feature about exercises, like lunges and squats. It mainly relies on photos, to fill up more pages. All I can say is, if you haven’t found your way into exercise yet, it doesn’t matter what you are eating because diets won’t help you, and if you really know so little about exercise that you need James Duigan to show you photos, then you are screwed. Buy a pair of trainers and go for a walk. Jesus Christ.

Having said all of that, the recipe section in the middle is good. I say that, I haven’t made any of the recipes yet. But it looks good if, like me, you are searching for a lot of ideas for meals that are mainly about fresh produce and not so much Pot Noodles and Red Bull. Also, he will totally tell you what to eat at every single meal (no more breakfast cereal for me – wheat and dairy are right out of the picture, along with refined sugar) and I value that right now. I just wanted someone to do a whole week, if not a month, of meal planning for me, taking every single meal into account.

Here are some of the very portion-controlled meals that I will be eating over the next few days. With my cooking skills, or lack thereof, I expect to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, also a lot of time looking up how to cook on the internet.

Lunch, Day 1. Grilled Sea Bass. I have no idea how to make grilled sea bass, despite this, there is now a sea bass in my fridge. That is the very first time I have ever shopped at the fish counter at my supermarket and I am a bit scared to open the package. I have olive oil and I bought a roll of foil and a brush because those things seemed like they might be useful. I am pretty sure the new oven has a grill. Also note ‘beef fillet’ for dinner. I assume I can lightly fry this because otherwise I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it. I bought some strips of stir-fry beef because they were relatively cheaper and seemed like they would be easy to cook.

lunch day 1

Dinner, Day 3. Grilled lamb chops, 100g. When I went shopping for lamb chops, something else I’ve never purchased before, I laughed when I found out how much 100g is. 100g is not lamb chops, plural, okay. It is one, very tiny, lamb chop. I bought a pack of four of these miniature lamb chops, one is in a tupperware box in the fridge waiting to be cooked on Wednesday evening and the others are in the freezer so that I can have the same meal again another day.

dinner day 3

I feel so proud of myself and I haven’t even cooked anything yet. It surely cannot fail to lead to new culinary skills and if I stick with the programme and keep going to the gym, I feel sure that I will lose weight. There are 14 fully-planned days of the very austere diet that you see above, then after that fruit is reintroduced and later on, after the 14-day introductory regime, you have more freedom of choice from a small selection of creative-looking recipes. You are allowed to have 1 cup of tea or coffee each day, and I think I will need it.

I will of course furnish you with photos as we go along, and when I’ve eaten my 15th home-made, Duigan-approved meal, I am claiming the Chef badge. In the meantime I am starving and I am going to eat a large bowl of delicious breakfast cereal because tonight is my last chance to eat wheat, sugar and dairy this side of Christmas. I am totally squirrelling away sugary treats for Christmas, which I am unusually excited about this year, for reasons that I will explain another time.

I think the Sudafed are starting to work. I just noticed that I’m not blowing my nose quite as much.

Let’s quickly update the to-do list.

  1. Laundry. Priority. Done.
  2. File receipts.
  3. File all my photos, a lot are for work purposes and they need careful sorting, tagging and filing. Pretty much done. Good enough. Uploading now.
  4. Finish cleaning my house, I did a pretty good job just before going to China but there are still some areas in need of attention. Also good enough. Bathroom and kitchen are clean. I should give myself a Home point, considering I did laundry as well.
  5. Urgent financial paperwork on my desk. A colossal bill that I need to dispute. Shit like that. Nasty.
  6. Must see my hairdresser first thing tomorrow if possible because grey bits. Done. Looking foxy.
  7. Socialise with boys. Doubtless there will be dating news of some description before I leave town again. There had better be. I am actually a bit desperate for some sex. If you don’t count that one disappointing encounter with Xiaoyun then The Hills Are Alive season of celibacy has at this point overrun by three weeks already, and now I have to go away again. It’s really getting beyond a joke. Right, okay. I actually did manage to get what I was looking for, and I shall go into no more detail than that. Also there is a date tomorrow with a very tall and fit German.
  8. Go to the gym. I had one more swim before leaving Hong Kong, scoring 1 Health point. I have been for one swim here in London at my familiar gym. I think there may not be another before gettig on the next plane. So that’s 2 Health points that I need to add now, as well as 2 Art points.
  9. Resume sensible eating. Oh, this is just going terribly and I don’t even care. I am trying to stay off bread but then all I do is eat cheese. And right now I am craving chocolate cake so badly, I might just have to go and get some, even though I know I will regret it when I am getting ready to meet the hunky German guy tomorrow.

New items:

  1. Pack suitcase and travel documents for upcoming trip.
  2. Finish reading all my work books about China so that I have headspace to think about the next thing when I’m away travelling again.

We are getting there, aren’t we. I really need to go and get chocolate cake right now and I’m not even going to feel bad about that. Then I am going to make one final post about Hong Kong and then TLYW is all up to date.

Hanging on in there.

  • Trying not to eat crap. Last night I gave some Swiss chocolates to Little G, to get them out of my sight, so I wouldn’t have to eat (more than four of) them.
  • Trying to eat smaller portions. I am getting into the habit of eating no more than two-thirds of anything that’s put in front of me when eating out.
  • I should cut back on the amount of milk that I consume, I use it as a food substitute but I should eat more vegetables instead.
  • Gym last night. 1 hour on the treadmill, then 60 lengths of swimming (very good). 2 Health points.
  • I still weigh 136 pounds, but the number after the decimal point is getting smaller and that’s really exciting. Wish me luck, folks. I think we can do this. Goal weight is only three pounds away.

I will have to squeeze in a gym visit right after work this evening. I need to be home by 9, for a reason that isn’t talking to the goddamn Honcho. I have a World of Warcraft date with my ex-boyfriend, the one I used to live with before I started this blog. So the Honcho can wait until tomorrow. So there.

Pounds

Uh yeah, so I got on the Magic Scales of Flattery this morning and apparently I’ve lost two more pounds since yesterday, making me 138 lbs. I couldn’t believe it. I had to weigh myself three times. I don’t know what is going on, readers.

– Yes, I am dieting. Not really in a calorie counting way but most definitely in a eat less food type of way.

– I just tried on my Karrimore lime shorts, these being the tiniest shorts I own and there is a slight muffin top over the waistband but it’s not like I can only get them over one leg or something. In contrast, I had to bring my blue Lonsdale shorts home from the gym as there was no point keeping them there as they are too big for me.

– I am convinced that I look much fatter than last time I weighed 138 lbs, at the end of October. I am sure of it! I have photos that show me with a thinner face, and my waist was the narrowest I’ve seen it for a long time, definitely narrower than now.

I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t like my natural proportions. I seem to remember weighing about 100 lbs as a teenager, with ribs that showed through my clothing, and even then I had a round tummy.

Anyway, I’m not going to complain. It could be worse, the numbers could be going in the opposite direction. 138 lbs is five pounds off my goal weight, so I will try my hardest to drop another five pounds and then we will see what the Speedo bikini has to say.