Saturday, 30 July 2011

Easy as 123...

Down to 123 this morning, so as long as I don't gain between now and Monday I'm on target for my 2lb per week loss. Breaking it up into little chunks like this feels more managable, and gives better results than when I think "omg I need to lose 20lbs immediately!!", have a big freak-out restriction for a few days then feel overwhelmed by the whole process and binge for the next week...

Aside from the diet, things are a little stressful. A's parents are staying with us for a couple weeks, and don't get me wrong, they're really nice people. I hear other people talking about their in-laws and am so grateful for the ones I've got! They're letting us stay in their house for a very low rent while they're abroad for a year or so, but are just back for the summer at the moment. It's kind of difficult for me when we're all here though, just because A's family is completely different to mine. And when it's just A and me that feels ok, but when there's 3 or 4 of them and only 1 of me I start to feel overwhelmed by a sense of being different, and not really belonging.

BUT on an infinitely more positive note, A has a job! He starts on Monday at an architecture firm in London. He's been looking for work for the last month or so, and received 3 offers that he turned down for various reasons. One of them was with a really good firm (for those in London, it's the firm behind the Gherkin, the new Wembley stadium and the atrium at the British Museum), and I think it was difficult for him to say no to them. But he'd heard that they tend to work their staff really hard (as in, 70 hours a week kind of hard), and I was really worried about the impact that that would have on our marriage. I know there are lots of couples who operate like that and find ways to deal with it, but our marriage just doesn't feel like it's in a strong enough place right now to stand up under the strain of never seeing each other. So I was really proud of him for making that sacrifice for us. And the company he did end up accepting specializes in ecological architecture and the use of algorithms to generate designs, which are two of his big interests, so it ended up being a good fit for him.

Related to that, our other big decision recently has been to move to London. My job will come to an end in October, and a move would cut A's commute down from about 75 minutes to about 20. We may not actually move until December, as his parents would like us to stay in the house until then, but we've started looking at what areas we might like to live in and things, so that's exciting :) We both studied in London and really enjoyed living there so we're looking forward to going back.

Alright, we're going to my parents' for dinner tonight so I better go get ready. I just need not to let my guard down and go on a big old binge while I'm there...

Thanks for all the comments on that dress! I'm looking forward to wearing it :) Cinnamon, the table unfortunately fell by the wayside. It was just too impractical for the time, tools and materials we had available, and the functions we needed it to fulfil. I've filed it away in my mental to-do list though. A and I are hoping to set up a new blog soon, though, with a more "creative" premise, so we'll post some other projects on there. Watch this space..!

Here's to a good weekend for all of you <3

Friday, 22 July 2011

The week so far

I don't have a great deal to say today (you'll be pleased to hear - hehe) but I wanted to write a post purely because I'm feeling so upbeat and I'm conscious of how easy it is only to blog when you're feeling miserable and need some support. And hey, who wants to listen to me whining all day? Didn't think so.

So here's a happy post to counteract some of the negativity I throw at you all sometimes!

I've lost 2lbs since I started my "wager on weight loss". This is just because I drop weight really fast for the first couple weeks of a new program (presumably a lot of it's just water weight though). After a couple of weeks it's hell to shift. But I'm just going to enjoy this easy part while it lasts :)

Tonight we're throwing a surprise birthday party for my best friend, at her favourite Italian restaurant. This was actually A's idea, and I'm really glad he thought of it. They do some really good salads there, and post their menus online (why doesn't everyone do this?!) so that those of us who are watching our intake can research their choices beforehand. 

In unrelated news, I've found a couple of silhouette cutters on ebay for under £100. These normally retail at about £250 in the UK, so this is a steal. This would hugely expand the potential for making home decor projects - you can use it to cut wall stencils, fabric patches for applique, vinyl transfers, and about a thousand other things. All that remains is to persuade A of what an asset this would be to our home... heh. £100 may well be a relative steal, but it's still more than we would normally spend on something we don't really need.


If I get one, I'll post my first project here :) I've been wanting to alter a dress I have, to make it look like this (which also costs more than I can justify spending on something I don't need!):



But I don't want black fabric for the belt/sash. Even though the black and cream does look really classy I think I'd like something a little lighter and more playful. Or maybe I'll make it so the belt and bow can be changed to suit the occasion. Anyway, I'm struggling to find a fabric I really love, but with this machine I could cut some stencils and screen print my own...

For now, though, I'd better get back to work. I'm researching Cameroonian languages at the moment - pretty interesting if you're a linguistics geek :)

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, filled with things that make you smile.

Monday, 18 July 2011

A wager on weight loss

Does anyone remember the New Zealander James Hurman, who in 2008 sold his smoking addiction in an auction?  The deal was that whoever bought his "right to smoke" would be on the receiving end of a legal contract, drawn up by Hurman's lawyer, obligating Hurman to pay them NZ$1,000 every time he smoked a cigarette. The auction was successful - his "right to smoke" sold for a couple hundred NZ$, which he donated to a cancer charity, and, after trying for years to kick the smoking habit, he finally managed it.

Today I came across a website that runs along a similar premise, called stickk.com. When you register to the site, you commit to a certain goal, such as losing a certain amount of weight, and a time limit in which to achieve that goal. You then nominate a referee to verify your progress, and you make a wager on your success. You have to provide your credit card details up front, and then every week your referee determines whether you've succeeded or failed. So, if you commit to losing 15 lbs in 5 weeks, the site will calculate that you need to lost 3 lbs per week, and every week that you fail, the amount of money you wagered will be deducted from your credit card and donated to the charity of your choice.

Genius, n'est ce pas?

When I mentioned to A that I was thinking of signing up, he was concerned that rather than motivating me in a healthy way, it would encourage me to compete with myself so much that I'd get sucked back into a full-blown ED. For about half a second I felt irritated, and the thought flashed through my mind, "you can't control what I eat". But almost immediately, I realised that was wrong, and that I'm so fortunate to have someone who takes that possibility, however remote, seriously and helps me steer clear of that path. We decided it might be best if I sign up initially for a small, short challenge and see how it goes. So I start tomorrow, with the aim of losing 2lbs a week for 2 weeks. Each week that I fail, £20 (about US$30) will be deducted from my bank account. If I succeed - by that I mean lose the weight but without it negatively affecting my work or home life, I'll sign up for another 5 weeks.

My start weight this morning was 127.2. The aim is to lose 15lbs, slowly and healthily, over the next 7 weeks. Wish me luck! Or, if you want to, join me :)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Brittany and Back

Aw, this is the best thing to come home to - 100 followers! You guys are wonderful. Thank you so much for reading and supporting me :)

France was close to perfect. A and I are good at holidays. We were good friends for, oh, ten years before we started dating but sometimes it's all too easy to get so wrapped up in bickering about the minutiae of day-to-day married life and forget that we do actually really like hanging out together. It's kind of sad :| But on holiday, far away from the dishwasher and the cat and whose turn it is to take out the trash, we relax, and revert quite naturally to acting like friends as well as spouses. So during the day we lay on the beach and read, or planned ridiculous, far-fetched names to give our hundreds of future children. We drank cold Breton cider, went on long walks, cooked our meals outside on the camp stove, and hunted for interesting life forms in the tide pools. In the evenings we had lazy, amicable conversations about God and politics and the future, over brie and red wine. The sun shone from 5 in the morning until 11 at night. It wasn't perfect - we did have a big argument one evening, and there were times when I worried too much about having to wear a bikini - and things haven't been perfect since we came home, but I feel like it's getting better. We've started talking through some of our old resentments, and I think we're both really trying to hear what the other one's saying. One thing that's definitely becoming more apparent is that our communication styles are... discordant, at best. A is very reflective, and needs to process things mentally before he verbalizes things, but the things that he does say are generally well thought-out and accurate. I'm more impulsive and either flit through conversations in an excited, absent-minded daydream, or bulldoze through them loudly and with tears. So we still need to figure out a way to reconcile those two approaches.

Anyway. In other news, I came back from France half a pound heavier than I went, at 125.5. Which was better than I'd expected, given that we spent half our time eating, but we also did a lot of walking, so I guess that minimised the damage.

I now need to get serious about losing this, though. I've been too lenient for too long and I need to come up with a strategy for keeping this off. 120lbs, although higher than I'd like to be, is about the highest that I can be at without feeling completely hideous. So, to be safely below that with a few lbs of "buffer", I need to lose about 10 lbs.

We have 2 weddings to go to at the middle/end of August, and I'm going to try really hard to be no higher than 115 by then. Please help me be harsh with myself! I'm too good already at making excuses for slipping up, but I'd really like to stick with this and if you guys could hold me accountable to that I would be eternally grateful.

Am even considering posting pictures just to embarrass myself into action, but not sure yet whether I can face it...

Love to you all,
Sophie