Thursday, 30 June 2011

30-Day Challenge: Hiding

I have to confess, I've deliberately avoided blogger the last few days. I vacillate between being embarrassed and furious about the last week or so. I won't go into detail, as it's the end result that matters. And the end result is that today, the last day of the 30-day challenge, I weigh 125 lbs. Exactly the weight that I started at.

Ok, I hadn't been doing spectacularly; every other post had some reference to a big food-related screw-up. But at least I was losing, albeit slowly. Then in the last week I just turned around and undid it all.

So discouraged, but I know I've only myself to blame. I just want to hide from the world.

Tomorrow we go on holiday. I've been so excited about it, but A and I had a big argument last night about how to organize things. Turns out that in my family my dad's always figured out the logistics of holidays, and in his family his mom's always done it. So we both had this unspoken assumption that it was the other one's responsibility, and the result was that everything got left to the last minute, which was stressful. As is so often the case, the argument snowballed until I don't think we could even remember what we were fighting about; we both just ended up pulling out the last year's worth of grievances and hurling them at each other.

I know that "love keeps no record of wrongs", but what the hell do other people do with all their hurt and resentment? We're both so angry about some things, y'know? And I think we're both justified in our anger, we just don't know what to do with the destructive aspect of it.

I did have an appointment with the chaplain this morning and asked for his thoughts on the matter. He pointed out that the phrase "to take offence" implies some active participation on the part of the offended. The situation may be forced upon you, but the feeling of offence isn't; you take that. He also reminded me of the phrase "innocent until proven guilty", and suggested that it might be helpful to assume that things which I find hurtful weren't said or done in order to hurt me, but that they were just borne of carelessness or absent-mindedness. He said a bunch of other stuff too, which I won't post here (what is this, a marriage blog?), but I will say that I value his opinions largely because he's not on my side. That might sound strange, but I think there's more value in the opinion of someone who looks at you objectively than in the opinion of someone who has an agenda as your collaborator. And he always points out things that I can do to change my reactions to a situation. Granted, I'm making excruciatingly slow progress in that regard, but it's more empowering to believe that your contentment is within your control than to believe that you're a victim of circumstance. And that's applicable to all of us.

Ok, sermon over, folks ;)

I'm going to keep trying to shift this weight. Back to square one... *sigh*
But first I'm going to go on holiday :)

I think you all are fabulous, and will catch up on your blogs just as soon as I get back.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

30-Day Challenge: Days 20-22

Ok, I'm going to stop apologising for not keeping up with a daily post - I think we've all figured out by now that that's never going to happen..!

The last couple of days I've been laid up in bed with some kind of stomach bug. The upside of this is that my appetite was more or less shot. The downside was that, in the absence of hunger, I ate out of boredom, entirely negating the upside. In addition, I could barely stand up without feeling nauseous (Morning sickness, anyone?! Please. God. No.) so even mild exercise was out of the question. As a result I skipped yesterday's weigh-in on Wednesday, entirely out of cowardice! I'll try and suck it up on Saturday... :|

In the interests of starting out accurately I'm going to work backwards. Yesterday started well, with a cup of fat-free yogurt for breakfast, then throughout the course of the day - apparently just for poops and giggles - I consumed a further 1,080 calories, bringing the total to 1,130... FAIL!

Day 21 was much better (though technically still a fail in terms of ticking the 500-1,000 box. But I'm definitely ok with that. More fat-free yogurt in the morning (50), three rich tea biscuits in the afternoon (3x30 = 90), then homemade tomato soup (250?) for dinner. So a total of 390.

And of day 20 I oddly have no recollection whatsoever. For all anyone knows I may have consumed an entire living, breathing cow, horns and all *sigh*.

Now, in much more exciting news, A and I have booked a mini-break yay! It's kind of spontaneous and last minute - well, this is the couple who chose to "just drive somewhere and wing it" rather than book a hotel on their wedding night - we're leaving a week tomorrow for 4 days in Brittany, France! I'm super-excited :D We're on a budget, so are going to road- / ferry-trip down there, then camp by the beach. It's going to be sunny and romantic and I'm going to wear a bikini and not care about my tummy. Well, two out of three ain't bad... :)

I'll just answer these couple questions, then I'd better get back to work. I'm learning about Cyrillic type design today - any creative types out there who are looking for a little unconventional inspiration, I'd highly recommend looking at some of the recent Cyrillic fonts out there . I'd totally decorate my house in typography if I could :) Anyway, tangent.

What's your favourite diet?
Oh I'm awful at diets. They're so structured and I'm so awful at following all the rules... :/ I just try to keep my calories / fat relatively low and hope for the best!

What's your clothing size?
I'm a UK 8-10, depending on the shop. I think that's a US 4-6.

What was your lowest weight? How and why did you gain?
My lowest weight was 96lbs. Some of the (numerous) reasons for the gain are in this post from a couple days ago, under the question 'Do you have an eating disorder?' 

Before I go, thank you so much for the encouraging comments on my last post. I'm so touched that people read this blog and take an interest in it (especially the super-long posts I've been writing lately - sorry about that, verbal diarrhea!). You guys are fabulous :) Love to you all,

Sohie xox

Monday, 20 June 2011

30-Day Challenge: Days 16 - 19

Oh gosh, I'm so behind :| Ok, to summarise, I've been slacking a little the past few days. We had a couple of celebrations and to be honest I just wasn't in the mood to be stressing about calorie counts.  So the following amounts have been roughly estimated rather than religiously calculated.

Day 16 was just below 1,000 so not fabulous, but given that we went out for dinner it was ok.
Day 17 was A's graduation. More on this later; in intake terms it was pretty darn good for a day of celebrating! I was so busy rushing around in the morning I ate about 1 tbsp fat-free yogurt for breakfast, then nothing until dinner, which was 5 or 6 baby octopi (almost too cute to eat!) and a big bunch of steamed green veg. Add to that a couple glasses of champagne, a handful of strawberries, a couple sips of some kind of milky flavoured coffee, and half a chocolate chip cookie during the course of the evening and I'm pretty sure I stayed below 1,000, though I don't know by how much.
Day 18 I'd put between 1,300 and 1,600. Realistically it was probably closer to 1,600 though I'm pretty sure I didn't go over that (touch wood!)
Day 19 (yesterday) was Father's Day and my parents and brother came to our house for lunch. We cooked shish kebabs and rice-stuffed red peppers on the fire pit, and my mom brought her broccoli salad (so far, so healthy) but she also brought a cheesecake. I didn't really have dinner, but A and I sat in bed watching 'How I met my mother' (we've just discovered this show, so are still on Season 1, but totally hooked already!) and eating (air-popped) popcorn.

All in all, it was pretty mediocre, intake-wise. I got in one run and a couple walks, and most of graduation day was spent on our feet, so, again, neither good nor bad exercise-wise, either.

A's graduation on Friday was a lot of fun! He looked super-hot in his new suit, and the tailor did an excellent job lining my dress. I think we made quite a handsome pair if I do say so myself ;) I felt confident enough not to have to wear ugly slimming panties, which is always useful for things like, oh, breathing.

A unfortunately didn't win the award he'd been nominated for, but he did have two people from that firm express an interest in his work (which is more useful in some ways). So he has one interview on Friday, and another in the pipeline. Wish him luck!

We had a big argument on the way home from his graduation. I don't know if it was the release of so many months (or years, for him) of pressure, or general cumulative tiredness, or apprehension about this new stage in our lives, or what. But it was pretty horrible, and spilled over into Saturday. So we spent the rest of the weekend relaxing together and remembering the things we love about one another. It ended up being one of the best weekends I've had in a while :)

Ok, to the last few days' worth of questions:

When did you first decide to lost weight?
Wow... I have no idea. My mom has always trimmed the fat off our meat before cooking it, with a pair of scissors. I remember once being about 6 years old, evidently not understanding much about human anatomy, looking down at my little round tummy, and trying to do the same. For years I had two little scars about an inch above and below my belly button. But I first started thinking about diet and exercise when I was about 14. Actually, my close friendship with A and some of our mutual friends at that age probably helped stave off my developing an eating disorder any earlier than I did - I wanted to be "one of the guys", not some sullen girl pushing a salad leaf around my plate while they hung out over a bowl of nachos!

Do you have an eating disorder?
No. My BMI is currently 20.1, so at the low end of 'normal', and I don't fulfil any of the diagnostic criteria for either anorexia or bulimia. (For those who are curious, these are available here.) I also don't think I'm consistent enough in my weight obsession to qualify for an EDNOS, as I'm able to eat what others perceive as a normal amount of food without punishing myself, particularly when it benefits a relationship.  A couple of years ago I did fulfil the diagnostic criteria for anorexia. Disappointingly, the sense of achievement that came from reaching this "holy grail" lasted about three days before I set myself a new, thinner, target. This cycle went on for about a year, and one of the things that eventually pulled me out of it (I know, this isn't part of the question...) was reading a journal article which listed the potential effects of anorexia on pregnancy, even years after recovery, including an increased risk of premature birth or miscarriage, higher rates of "cot-deaths", higher rates of postnatal depression, decreased neural tube development in the foetus, and a host of things I can no longer call to mind. In fact, all post-ED pregnancies are automatically classed as high-risk, in the UK at least. Sometimes I'm tempted to fall back into that cycle of intensely hard work and briefly exhilarating rewards, then I think of my as-yet-unborn children and turn away.

What food is your weakness?
Regular readers, take a guess :) Ice cream, obviously!

When is the last time you ate fast food?
It depends what counts as 'fast food' - is it any restaurant food? In that case, those baby octopi on Friday. Or is it anything unhealthy? In that case, that slice of cheesecake on Sunday. Or is it specifically pizza or McDonalds etc.? In that case... I'm not sure. I think we ordered in a pizza a few weeks ago. For the most part I don't have a problem with occasional small portions of 'junk' food. If you want a slice of pizza once in a while, no harm done. If you binge nightly on a KFC bargain bucket, everyone loses, from the poor battery-farmed chickens to your arteries.

Well, I hope you all are happy and healthy and losing weight in a sensible way (all together now, "yes Mom...") I'm going to get my nose back to the grindstone for this last week-and-a-half of the challenge. At Saturday's weigh-in was another pound down, bringing my total loss to 4 1/2 pounds. Not exactly what I'd hoped for at the start of the challenge, but it's something. And hey, I'm having a blast along the way :)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

30-Day Challenge: Day 15

I was glad I kept my intake pretty low during the day today, as A's mom texted me in the afternoon to ask if she could take me for dinner tonight. So that was really nice. I haven't had a chance to hang out with her very much; even though we all lived in the same house for 3 months after A and I were married, his parents travel a lot, so they were often away. Which was really nice in terms of he and I having time to ourselves, but means I didn't get to know his parents as well as I might have otherwise. So it was fun to spend some time with her tonight. It did put my intake up a little, and then I fell into the "oh screw it, I've already ruined today, why not have a massive bowl of full-fat ice cream instead of the small bowl of low-fat I was planning?" trap.
  • Breakfast: 1/2 cup peas, 3 wedges melon (40+75 = 115)
  • Mid-morning: Apple (80)
  • Lunch: 1 cup green beans (35)
  • Mid-afternoon: slim-a-soup (40)
  • Dinner: (surprise pub meal with A's mom) 6 oz lean steak, 1/2 cup peas, 1 grilled tomato, 1 grilled mushroom, 5 french fries (320+40+20+5+100 = 485) 
  • Evening: Maltesers hot chocolate (100)
  • Ice cream Wednesday! 2 scoops chocolate ice cream (200)
Total: 1055
So pissed off to have gone over :(
Exercise: nil :( But, I spent my lunch break when I'd planned to go for a run taking that black dress to the tailor to put a lining in. A pointed out that when the light's behind you it's just a little too see-through to be classy. So it wasn't a completely wasted time.

Today's question:
Are you vegan or vegetarian? If so, has this helped you lose weight? If not, would you ever consider turning vegan or vegetarian?
I'm afraid I'm a carnivore through and through! A and I are trying to eat less meat, but for purely financial reasons. In the summer (that is, when it's warm. I live in the UK - despite being halfway through June right now it's about 15 celcius and raining every other day. Boo.) I feel like I could live on fruits and salad, but come winter (that is, approximately 11.5 months of the year) I want my meat!

Ok, sorry for the super-short post (or maybe that's a welcome relief to you regular readers haha) - it's been a pretty boring day!

I'll leave you with some pictures...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

30-Day Challenge: Days 13 and 14

Day 13's intake: about a zillion *sigh*
No, maybe not quite, but definitely over 1,000. Possibly over 1,500. I don't remember exactly what I ate so can't go and look it up retrospectively. Probably for the best... :|

Day 14 (yesterday - I'm so behind!) was better:

  • Breakfast: 60g low fat smoked sausage, 2 wedges of melon (120+50 = 170)
  • Lunch: Slim-a-soup, Apple, Nectarine (40+80+40 = 160)
  • Afternoon: 3 bites rhubarb crumble (100?)
  • Dinner: 1/2 brown tortilla, 1 piece liver, 1/2 cup onions/bell peppers, 1/4 cup rice, 1 Tbsp grated cheese (100+30+50+80+40 = 300)
  • Evening: 1 rich tea biscuit (35)
Total: 765

Exercise: 1 hour power-walk, down and up a very steep hill. I was super-proud of this, not because it was a massive amount of exercise compared to what some of you guys do, but because this hill is huge, and steep, and feels interminable, but I kept a fast pace all the way up it. I was also proud because I was feeling really needy and wanting to spend some time with A, but he was working on something; I could feel myself getting really indignant about this, but instead of throwing a hissy fit I put my agitation to productive use. I know, big deal, right? Good job Sophie, you acted like every other normal human being. Well that may be, but there's something to be said for baby steps...

So. Questions, then the results of this morning's weigh-in.

Are you losing weight in a healthy or an unhealthy way?
I think in a fairly healthy way. Technically I should probably up my calories a little and up my exercise to compensate, but I just abhor every kind of exercise I've ever tried, except for walking (which I love) and dancing (which I also love, but sadly no-one else I know does, and it's less fun on your own!), but overall I don't think the current plan is so bad.

What's your UGW? When do you hope to reach it?
This is a tough one. My lowest was 96lbs, so the competitive part of me wants to beat that. The rational part, though, knows that the corresponding BMI of 16 is unhealthy and requires a slavish devotion to maintain. I suppose my goal is to get down to 110 and be happy with that. I'd said at the start of this challenge, kind of without thinking, that I'd like to be 110 by the end of June, but losertown tells me that it's more realistic to aim for mid to late August. (How's that for a miscalculation?!)

Today's weigh-in wasn't as bad as I'd hoped. I was sure I'd have gained since Saturday, but in fact I'd lost half a pound :) I know, it's a tiny amount. But it's not a gain! Between now and next Wednesday I'd love to get down to 118 / 119. That shouldn't be difficult as long as I don't binge.

Tomorrow and Friday we're eating out, so I just need to be super-careful with that, and stop making excuses not to exercise (!!), then I think this week should go okay.

I've loved catching up on your blogs the last few days; keep writing :)

Monday, 13 June 2011

A big freak-out about olanzapine

This morning I had an appointment with the consultant psychiatrist and her trainee to follow up from the appointment I had a few weeks ago with the trainee alone. By the end of the hour they still weren't sure whether to diagnose me as bipolar or borderline personality (bit of an awkward misunderstanding about this; I was offended at their implication that I was only on the border of having a personality, that I didn't have a "real" one, and told them as much. They looked uncomfortable and told me that, no, it means your personality is borderline psychotic. Right. Thanks. Actually I preferred my interpretation, insulting or not.) so they want A to come with me to the next appointment so they can get a more rounded impression of things. I'm not sure how he's going to react to this - he has been unbelievably supportive about all of this, but I think his patience is (understandably) starting to wear thin. He says it's starting to look like an elaborate ruse, and I don't know how to explain to him that it feels like something else is living in my brain.

In any case, in the meantime they've prescribed me a course of olanzapine, a mood stabiliser and anti-psychotic. I balked a little at the word 'psychotic' (again) but ultimately I'm glad to accept any help I can get. So fine, not a problem. But when I got back to work and googled it, one of the first results was an article from the American Journal of Psychiatry associating this drug with a 58% BMI increase! 58%??! How is that even possible? Apparently the average gain is about 25 lbs. I have to get my moods under control in order to keep my marriage, and given the choice between keeping my marriage but gaining 25 lbs, or losing my marriage and staying this size or thinner, of course I'd keep my marriage. That's not even a decision; I wouldn't contemplate the other. But oh lord... that's 147 lbs.  Suddenly the weight I am now doesn't seem like the disgusting mass I thought it was. This is such a bad deal for him; he married someone relatively pretty and relatively sane, and he'll end up either with someone relatively pretty but a total basket case, or relatively sane but 147lbs. Would he still love me if I was fat but sane?

30-Day Challenge: Day 12

Well, I ended up not being at home alone today; A had been going to meet some friends for lunch but decided to stay home. Which was nice; we spent the afternoon drinking hot chocolate and watching Father Ted in bed. But had the mother of all arguments in the evening, which sucks.

Today's intake:

  • Breakfast: nothing (0)
  • Lunch: 1/2 tortilla, 1/2 tin tuna w/ 1 tsp light mayo, 1 bell pepper (110+75+12+30 = 227)
  • Afternoon: Maltesers hot chocolate (100)
  • Dinner: 1/2 cup rice, 1 cup homemade veg curry w/ 1/2 boiled egg (170 + 80 + 40 = 290)
  • Evening: handful of maltesers (190?)
Total: 807
Exercise: (clutching at straws) can I count the weekly grocery shop? Those shopping carts are heavy..! Urgh I'm so lazy :(

So it was within the 500-1,000 range, but not fantastic. It's this sweet tooth bugering me up! Or rather, I'm allowing it to bugger me up. I know that I'm in control of these things, I'm just not acting like it at the moment.

Not looking forward to Wednesday's weigh-in (I'm doing bi-weekly weigh-ins as I can't go a whole week without knowing, haha!); I'm pretty sure I'll have gained back everything that I lost recently. Gianni, I do drop weight fairly quickly, but the downside is that I gain quickly, too. Every silver lining has its cloud...!

Ok enough of this moping. Here are some pretty ladies to inspire you this week! Mondays may suck for a lot of people, but they're a chance to start again and make this week better than the last.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

30-Day Challenge: Days 10 and 11

Aw, thanks for all the lovely messages of congratulation :) And for the dress comments! I'd been in two minds about wearing it, but you ladies have swayed me. Obviously A's graduation is about him, not about me and my dress (!) but it's just nice at such events to be able to relax and feel confident in how you look. Today we went shopping for a suit for A, and found him a hot one :) He's going to look amazing.

Actually I'm a day behind in my updates (how did that happen in spite of all my dual posting?!) and waaay behind in my questions, but just so I can write it down and keep a record for myself, yesterday's intake was 1,075

I'm gutted to have gone over my 1,000 limit :( I did get in a half-hour run, which makes me feel a tiny bit better... but ate a bloody slice of pie! There was considerable drama, tears etc over whether or not I would eat it, so I do feel a little vindicated in that it went in against my will. But that's not going to make a difference to the calories slowly turning to fat around my waist as we speak.  

Today was a little better, with a total of 735, so still not spectacular.

A's parents are staying with us at the moment (we're renting their house while they're teaching abroad for a year or two, but they've come back for the summer) and they're doing most of the cooking. Which is really kind of them, and they're good cooks, but they're normal people who think it's okay to eat 2,000 calories a day, so they cook accordingly. Which is fine, and normal, for most people. Just not for us. I'm trying to strike a balance between keeping my calories low and not making a scene at mealtimes; sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail miserably. In terms of exercise, nothing real strenuous, just lots and lots of walking.

On the plus side, this morning I was 3 1/2 lbs down from Wednesday, so that was encouraging :) Let's hope the last couple days haven't undone my good work... Tomorrow I'm home alone most of the day so should be able to restrict heavily to compensate.

Ok, to quickly answer the questions:
What's your workout routine?
 Erm, I don't know if I can even call this a "workout routine"; it's just whatever I can fit in :| Hey, I never claimed to be any kind of role model. I do a lot of walking just for pleasure / to clear my mind, and try to fit in a couple runs a week, though that feels like more of a chore. I'm ashamed to admit I do almost no strength training, just sit-ups / crunches. Should really invest in some weights...

Did people ever make comments about your weight in a negative way?
Yes, both for being too fat and for being too skinny. There's no pleasing people..!

What was the hardest thing you gave up during this weight loss?
Actually (despite what you might think from reading my current intakes!), if left to my own devices I quite enjoy restricting. People who've followed this blog since the start will know that I used to restrict much more severely and averaged around 300 per day for a few months. The hardest thing at that time was that I never wanted to socialise (a.k.a eat), so lost a lot of friends. Now I don't restrict to that extent because I feel like I have a responsibility to keep our home more stable and less stressful than it would be on 300 per day. So I don't really feel like I can claim to have given up a great deal. That's not really a good thing... and may explain why I'm losing so unbelievably slowly!!!

Your favourite thinspo blog and why
Oh gosh, I don't think I could choose. So many of you are such beautiful writers, others are great at finding really motivating thinspo, others know how to put a page together in a beautiful way... I couldn't possibly pick just one. Also, different blogs have really spoken to me on different days; sometimes you just stumble upon the right words to lift you out of a slump, or make you feel less alone, or fill a little gap in your soul; all of you ladies have done that at one time or another.

And if you're still reading, well done! Sorry to be so verbose. Tomorrow I'll find you some lovely pictures to look at and you won't have to listen to me droning on incessantly :)

    Friday, 10 June 2011

    30-Day Challenge: Days 8 and 9

    Sorry, another dual post, and it's likely to be a fairly short one as I'm at work. The gist of it is positive; I'm back on track and, in more exciting (for me, anyway) news, A had his final presentation yesterday... he not only passed, but got nominated for an award sponsored by Foster + Partners, one of a handful of top architectural firms in the world *cries tears of pride*. I don't think I've ever been happier for someone. He'll need to present again next year to compete for that award, but for now he's taking a well-deserved break, and doing some job-hunting.

    Finally, everything from the last year has been worth it. Yes, even the weight gain.

    Days 8 and 9 were pretty good, considering that A and I were super-stressed about his presentation and food issues had to take a backseat. Day 8 I had 3 small slices of pizza in the evening (fail!) but apart from that had only eaten raw vegetables the rest of the day, so even though they were mostly junk calories I think I wouldn't have gone much over 1,000 if at all. Day 9's intake was:

    • Breakfast - 1 Tbsp scrambled egg made with 1% milk (40?)
    • Morning snack - 1 Jacobs cracker (35)
    • Lunch - nothing
    • Afternoon snack - Apple (80)
    • Dinner - small white wine (120), 1/2 a burrito (350) (I used Chipotle's calorie counter for this as the place we went to doesn't have one, so it might not be exact)
    Total: 625

    Exercsise: 4 mile power walk (50mins)

    Now that A is done and less stressed I don't have any excuse not to get this sorted. My mini-motivation at the moment is this dress:

    which I'm considering wearing to his graduation a week today. It's backless, and at the moment it shows just a bit too much tummy-roundness and not quite enough back-ribs, so this week is for fixing that.

    Love to you all, thank you for your wonderful support and for following this blog :) I wish you a fun, relaxing and healthy weekend!

    Sophie  <3

    Wednesday, 8 June 2011

    30-Day Challenge: Day 7 and the round-up of the week

    Well, I think I probably deserve an award of some kind for being (as far as I know) the only blogger to have gained weight since starting this challenge! That's right, ladies and gents, Sophie is half a pound up on last Wednesday's weight. Let's hear a round of applause for... what's that? We were supposed to be losing weight?? That's what this challenge is about?! Dash it all! Foiled again...


    I'm thinking of extending this to make it a 40-day challenge, as I screwed up this first week so royally. I know it's a cop-out to blame it on things that have been going on at home; I guess I just didn't do well at balancing everything. A's presentation is tomorrow and then we can get back to some degree of normalcy, and a little more structure to the days. Thank you for your kind comments after my big panic/sulk yesterday. It's not a very endearing combination; thanks for responding so graciously..!

    I started today feeling horrible. I'm super-tired from all the late nights working on A's project, plus my weekly weigh-in was a little disheartening. But later in the day I read this post by Cinnamon Brown and it put me in decidedly better spirits. Any of you who don't follow her blog, I'd strongly encourage you to go take a peek today - her optimism is contagious :)

    Today's question:
    Do your parents know you're trying to lose weight? Do they care?
    They know that in general I struggle with my weight, and that sometimes the struggle gets sort of violent, but I don't live with them, so assume they don't know how I'm doing at the moment. When I was at home it was a big concern to them, but presumably after your child moves away you accept that you can't monitor everything they do and don't do.

    On a different note, I came across an interesting picture online yesterday. I looked at it for a long time and was left with kind of a strange mixture of sad recognition and jealousy (just to clarify, the former in regard to feeling like I weigh more than a baby elephant, and the latter in regard to thoughts of "Good grief, who is that girl?! And how is she so teeny-tiny?!?") I thought some of you might relate to it:

    Ok, today starts week 2. A fresh start, and a chance to try again. Here's to better success than last week, and for those of you who are doing really well, to continued success!

    Tuesday, 7 June 2011

    30-Day Challenge: Days 5 and 6

    Sorry for the dual post. Every spare waking moment right now is taken up with getting A's project ready, so I haven't had much time for blogger. I'm pleased that I can support him in his work, but it means that all my breaks during my own work day, and all my evenings, are spent inside either working on the computer or constructing a model for him. I don't resent that, I'm just a little discouraged that it means I'm eating junk that's easy to prepare quickly, and not exercising. I'm staying under 1,000 a day - just - but my output is low, and unless I fast today and tomorrow (which I can't - that stresses A out more than anything else I do) I'll definitely go over my 5,000 limit for the week. I'm trying not to go on a big "oh screw it, you've totally failed now anyway" binge, and concentrate my energies into as much damage control as possible, but part of me thinks there's no point.

    I'm afraid that I'll always be like this. That I'll never be little and pretty and thin again. I'm torn between doing what I want and doing what's least stressful for my husband. Even things that wouldn't stress him out because he wouldn't need to know about them, like skipping lunch or purging, feel deceitful, and then I feel more guilty about being dishonest with him than I do about eating.

    He said to me once when we were dating that architects tend to marry other architects, and every so often I think of that and think how much easier it would be for him if he had. I don't have any value to him outside of whether or not I'm helping him in his work - if I clean the house, it's a good thing only because it helps him focus on his work; it doesn't count as an act of love in itself. If I'm good at carrying out and writing up research, that's admirable only in as far as it enables me to help him research his project; it's not an intrinsically admirable skill. But he doesn't understand that there's no security for me in that, because I'll never be an architect - there'll always be someone else who can be more useful to him than I'll ever be.

    I guess that brings me to day 5's question:

    Why do you really want to lose this weight? Are you doing it for you?
    I've always wanted to lose weight. I've struggled with my weight since I was about 5, and the reasons for that have changed over time. At the moment I just want to be something else other than an architect's helper. I want to have something that I can be proud of, and I want to feel feminine. Also, if I'm honest, I'm just bored. I want a challenge, a risk, a project, something to occupy my mind all day.
    Day 6:
    Do you binge? If so, explain why you think you do.
    Yes. Usually when I'm frustrated. Also sometimes when I'm just tired of thinking about food and weight and numbers, and I try to have a relaxed, normal approach to it all, but forget that I can't have a normal approach to anything because my brain doesn't work, so go overboard and eat everything in sight. 

    I'm sorry for the big marital whine, things are just stressful at the moment, and I can't talk to A because he needs to focus on his work. So you get the brunt of it instead ;)

    Other challengers, I've been following your progress and am impressed (and a little jealous!) of how well you all are doing! Keep it up :) And for everyone else, thanks for reading. I hope the week is treating you all well.

    Sunday, 5 June 2011

    30-Day Challenge: Day 4

    Ok, I'm a little embarrassed about what exactly I ate on day 4, so, even though it's not really in keeping with the spirit of the thing, I'm not going to post the details here! I did stay just under 900 which ticks the 500-1000 box. In terms of exercise, I'm doing pretty badly. A couple hours of gardening left me *feeling* as though I'd done a workout but I know it's didn't burn half as many calories.

    I have two days of questions to answer, but you get some pictures with one, so don't fall asleep while I talk ;)

    A picture of your thinspiration. What features do you like about this person?

    Actually the person who probably best fits here is a real girl that A and I both know, and I don't think either he or she would appreciate her photo being used here for that purpose. In general, though, I find real girls more thinspiring than professional models / actresses. I'm not denying the hard work that those ladies put into looking good, but I honestly think that given a personal trainer, personal nutritionist, stylist, and the pressure of the whole world looking at us, we'd all have a pretty good shot at looking like that. Add to that the heavy photoshopping that's done to magazine photos etc, and it's not surprising that we think they roll out of bed every morning looking tiny and perfect.

    But when I see 'normal' girls walking down the street who look like that, that seems amazing to me. Girls who've achieved this thing we're all looking for, all by themselves, as if it's a totally effortless, normal thing to do.

    What are your greatest fears about weight loss? 

    That I'll miss it. That I'll weigh 100lbs and still just see fat. Or, that it won't make me like myself any more than I do now. What if thin Sophie isn't any better a person than fat Sophie?

    Ok, must try and tackle today's to-do list.

    Here's to the second half of week one! Best of luck to you all <3

    Friday, 3 June 2011

    30-Day Challenge: Day 3

    As is so often the case, the day after a really shit one was a welcome relief. Today was full of blessings. A couple of things which had threatened to scupper A's final presentation next week, on which hangs his last seven years of university, suddenly fell beautifully into place. The sun came out after a few weeks' absence. Despite currently only getting about 6 hours of sleep a night and having being exhausted for the last 4 or 5 days, today I felt fine.

    Well, I realise I'm behind in my challenge questions; these are from day 2:
    What's your height?
    I have to confess that I measured myself for the first time in about 3 years yesterday and discovered, to my horror, that I'm not 5'6" at all; I'm 5'5"!! Now, there's nothing wrong with being 5'5" and I know some perfectly lovely people online and off who are that height. But it's a bit of a game changer when it comes to your BMI to suddenly "lose" an inch off your height.
    Do you like your height?
    Most of the time, yes. Occasionally I see these tiny, tiny, perfectly proportioned girls who just look like little dolls, and wish I was shorter. But for the most part I'm happy this way, a little taller than most of my girl friends but not too tall for high heels :)

    Ok, so today's intake was higher than I'd intended, but certainly better than it would have been if I hadn't been thinking about it at all. If nothing else, this challenge is helping me become more aware of how much I just been picking at things recently; a cracker here, an apple there...! It all adds up:/

    Today's intake:
    • Breakfast - nothing (I know, I know, most important meal etc. And I did eat more later as a result - boo)
    • Morning snack - Weight Watchers Fromage Frais (50)
    • Lunch - Apple (80), 150g Sugarsnap peas (50)
    • Afternoon snack - 1/2 Jacobs cracker (15)  (doing well so far, but...)
    • Dinner - 1 1/2 chapatis (250), 2 cups veg curry (250), 2 Tbsp yogurt (20), 1/2 glass rose wine (70), 1 square dark chocolate (30)

    I was a little surprised to find that chapatis were so high calorie - they're literally made from flour and water! Everywhere I looked online they were listed as about 45-80 cal each, but when I looked at the calorie content on the back of the (normal, brown) flour I used and did the math they came out way higher! Not sure how that work as there's only one ingredient, and the ones I made were the same size you'd get in the grocery store / an Indian restaurant.  All those calorie-counting websites can't be wrong, surely? Anyway, I assumed the higher number was correct to be on the safe side.

    I'm pretty sure the veg curry was lower than 250 too; it's mostly vegetables, a tiny bit of curry paste and some spices, and 1/2 a boiled egg. But better to err on the side of caution I guess.

    Exercise: Failed again :( Just a half-hour walk to the grocery store.

    Really really want to weigh myself tomorrow and see if any of this is having any effect (even though I'm not doing specatcularly well with my targets!) but must restrain myself...

    This has been such a rambling post! Definitely time to get some sleep.

    I hope you all have a wonderful start to the weekend and that it brings you all kinds of happiness :)

    Thursday, 2 June 2011

    30-Day Challenge: Day 2

    Shittest day ever.

    Intake 640 though, so it wasn't a total loss.

    Exercise - nil, unless you count a 40-minute walk during lunch break, which I don't.

    Sorry for the horrible mood, maybe tomorrow I'll be a nicer person.

    Wednesday, 1 June 2011

    30-Day Challenge: Day 1

    Hey, Hana, when did you get back online? Good to hear from you! I've been catching up on your posts this evening :)

    Oops, I accidentally answered today's challenge question this morning so I'll head straight onto...'s intake. I'm just googling these caloric values then rounding up - don't take them as gospel truth!
    • Breakfast - 1 apple (80), Options hot chocolate (40)
    • Morning snack - Weight Watchers fromage frais (50) - these are amazing; so creamy... 
    • Lunch - 150g sugar snap peas (50), 100g blueberries (60)
    • Afternoon snack - 100g cherry tomatoes (70)
    • Dinner - 1 cup homemade vegetarian chili (300?), 1 Tbsp yogurt (10), 1 scoop Walls light ice cream (60) (The box says 60 calories per 2 scoops but that just doesn't ring true...) And hey now, don't judge; Wednesday is ice-cream day in our house - it's sacred :)
    Total: 720

    Exercise: 20 minutes running, 40 situps

    I feel like this is a fine start to the challenge. I know, I know, my idea of 'exercise' is kind of lame, but I've been a total whuss lately and need to get back into it. Give me these 30 days and I'll be killing it ;)

    With regard to food, I know I'm really low on protein. A and I are buying very little meat these days as it's so expensive, but I'm a habitual carnivore so having a bit of a mental block about vegetarian protein sources. We do eat quite a lot of legumes - particularly kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils - and eggs... but that's about where my imagination runs out! I'd be very grateful for any other suggestions from some of you creative cooks :)

    Not able to comment tonight as I'm doing some research for A. One week til his final presentation, then he's done with his course! It's been seven years coming - crazy times... Cue lots of pressure on him, so I'm helping as much as I can. I'll take more time to comment tomorrow, but as promised, here are today's pictures in the meantime:

    Anyone else find bony backs really pretty? Like that scene in 'The Time Traveller's Wife' where Rachel McAdams gets up from the bed, and just pauses at the edge of the bed for a minute, and you can see all the bones in her back... Ok maybe it's a little stalky to remember that so clearly...

    30-Day Challenge: Stats and the Plan

    Thanks to Gianni for joining us on the challenge; welcome aboard :)

    So I had a little think yesterday about how I should structure my challenge. What I came up with actually wasn't very 'structured' at all, but in order to actually stick with this for 30 days it needs to be flexible enough that I can still cook for and eat with my husband, and have his parents come visit for two weeks near the end of the month without them having to live on spinach and tofu the whole time!

    The plan is to eat no fewer than 600 but no more than 1,000 calories a day, with a weekly total of no more than 5,000. I included a minimum parameter because my metabolism's just getting back to a workable state after last time I screwed it up, and I don't want to wreck it again. The plan also includes no fewer than 4 but preferably 5 workouts a week. I know this doesn't sound very hardcore and is probably normal life for some of you, heh! But I've really backslidden recently so this isn't normal for me; trust me, it's a challenge (!), but hopefully one I can realistically stick to.

    Now... stats... *cringe*
    Height: 5'6
    CW (oh lord, do I have to put this here?): 125
    Measurements: 36-28-37

    I'm hoping to be under 110 by the end of the challenge and lose at least an inch off my middle, but will need to check on losertown to see how realistic this is in a month.

    Wish us luck ;)