Friday, June 29, 2012

Reviewing goals


The turn of the month always seems like a good time to review goals, and it is the last day of June 2012. Halfway through the year, and here in Australia that also means the end of a financial year. Tax time. Oh joy. July is the middle month of winter, and also contains my birthday and a two-week school holiday. My last Friday Weight Watchers meeting will be 20 July, then I'll have to switch to Wednesdays.

Looking back for a moment; in five months at Weight Watchers I have lost 2.7 kg. Not a huge amount, and yet so much better than not having lost that 2.7 kg! I have been sick all June so I'm kind-of writing that off in terms of weight loss effort. I know I have said this the previous couple of months as well, but ... that month wasn't great, next month will be much better. Well, it will! Gotta stay positive, even with today's rampant PMS.

So, my goals. I know I wrote a post about mixing up goals with expectations, but bugger that. My weight-loss goal is to lose another 1.3 kg in the coming 3 weeks, so that I lose 5% of my starting weight while still at my old meeting time with my old leader. I want my congratulatory bookmark! And my fancy Pandora charm! 1.3 kg is certainly a reasonable target to aim for, less than half a kg (about a pound) per week.

I have rejoined the gym with a starting day of Monday, the day after tomorrow (my birthday). As I said in a previous post when I decided to rejoin, I am aiming for 3 morning group classes (BodyPump, Zumba, Body Attack, maybe try Spin) plus 3 afternoon sessions where I'll have 30-40 mins to run on the treadmill or use the crosstrainer etc while the kids are doing their Gecko class.

Food is simple. Follow the Weight Watchers guidelines. Track everything -- I managed to track the whole day yesterday which is a good start. Incorporate more fruit, vegetables, and water into the day. Not necessarily easy, but basic stuff I should be doing every day.

I also want to get back on track with the little daily schedules I made a couple of weeks ago. I stuck to them as best I could for a week, although I couldn't exercise in those timeslots, but then got even sicker and all the writing and housework and everything fell by the wayside. I did find the schedules helpful and now that I am nearly well I can start using them again. Of course weekends are pretty relaxed, although I'll have to do a bit of catching up.

I decided against having a party, the thought of organising it and cleaning the house was just too much. I've invited my best friend and her husband & kids over for tomorrow afternoon. We'll have a cake but otherwise it will just be like our usual playdate and chat. Unfortunately she has come down sick so I don't know if they'll even be able to make it. I'll have a nice afternoon tea with Tim & the kids anyway. Then on my actual birthday I'll go out to lunch with Tim. Gecko & gym with the kids in the afternoon and I'll cook a slightly indulgent dinner with dessert. I could see a movie during the day if there is anything on.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

WW weigh-in week 14: 77.5 kg, down 0.1 kg


I find it strange and silly that they still call this my week 14. It is my 14th weigh-in because that is how many meetings I've been to, but I have actually been using Weight Watchers for (I think) 22 weeks. I've just missed quite a few meetings. I missed the past 2 due to being so sick, so this 0.1 kg loss (essentially a STS) is for a 3 week period. It is that TOM, and I'm determined to start exercising on Monday, so I am going for a decent loss this week.

Some big news at the meeting this morning, they are ending the Friday morning timeslot in a few weeks. It only started 6 months ago and they have never got the minimum number of attendees required, which is apparently around 30. Our leader Catherine said we got up to 16 before winter decimated the numbers again, but I have never seen that many there. Today we had 5. It doesn't bother me, now that both kids are at school I can go to the Wednesday lunchtime one. It will be with a different leader, which is a shame, but I'm sure they are all nice. I will be good to have a bigger group. Catherine asked us to keep coming to this one until it finishes.

Today's meeting was about overcoming obstacles. Trying to remember, I certainly don't feel like I came away with any strategies. We talked more about the meeting closing. Now I consider the matter; I think that Catherine is a lovely person, very friendly and helpful, but maybe not a particularly inspiring leader.

She handed out a free sample of a WW chocolate peanut bar and I ate it after the meeting for morning tea. It was like a tiny Snickers but a bit fake tasting. I am really not a fan of pretend sugar. I wish I hadn't wasted 2 PP on it, I would have enjoyed a 0 PP piece of fruit more. While I was walking around the supermarket I was given a free square of Lindt salt chocolate -- I don't regret that one! -- by the same lady who has given me the same sample at least twice before. But I don't mind trying it again.

I am feeling a lot better, a little tired and snotty but generally fairly well. Unfortunately my recovery has coincided with that TOM so I still don't feel at my best. Nevertheless, I am confident of feeling good for my birthday.

I am fully committed to tracking and eating within my ProPoints, so I need to go back to the basic strategy of adding more fruit and vegetables. I will do a little gentle walking over the weekend and then start at the gym on Monday at whatever level I am ready for by then. I will enjoy my birthday without going overboard on food treats.

Club Gecko

Thursday evening:

I decided that I was well enough this afternoon to finally take the kids to Gecko Kids (or Club Gecko, which is what I think they call it at my gym, athough the concept is wider spread). I sat and watched (and played with my iPhone) while they ran and stepped and sat up and various other things. Aiden seemed to enjoy himself but didn't say much -- his face was very pink afterwards and he still has a runny nose so maybe he isn't 100% well yet -- but Jasmine loved it. She is very keen to go regularly and has already made a friend. I signed them both up and also joined the gym myself.

I don't have the excitement about returning to the gym that I had two weeks ago when I first decided to rejoin. But I am determined. My membership will start on Monday. Gecko runs four afternoons a week and also has some sessions in school holidays, which starts in just over a week.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I read quite a few blogs, some right through their archives, so there are some people out there I kind of feel I know well. I have to remind myself that they don't know me at all! Even if I have commented a couple of times, the more popular bloggers have thousands of followers. Sometimes I want to say something that could be taken as a bit negative, a bit critical. Like: those clothes you think are cute really don't suit you and make you look fatter than you really are. It would be coming from a spirit of helpful kindness; but would it come across that way? Probably not.

I am not their best friend. Not even their any-kind-of-friend, really. It is not my place to tell them stuff like that. That is for close friends, if even then.

I've never said anything like that, but I have occasionally made a negative comment. Like someone posted their favourite quote and commentors were agreeing with it and I said it didn't make sense. It was the equivalent of saying you'll give 110% effort, which is a pet peeve of mine. But you know what? I bet I didn't convert anyone to my point of view and I just came across sounding grumpy and annoying. I shall be extra careful in future; not to stifle my own opinion, but to make sure I comment appropriately and not sound like a douche-bag. Whatever that is.

This has been in my mind because of a recent incident on a blog I read. It's a weight loss blog and the author is nearly at her goal weight. She posted some photos, but said in her following post that she was a bit upset because someone said she looked huge in her photos. I thought someone had just been a bit tactless but probably hadn't mean it to sound that way; like maybe they wanted to say she looked better in real life or in other photos or something like that. I went back and read the original comment. It read, in entirety, something like "You look huge in those photos." That was it. And apparently it was a fake name from a fake email address, so they didn't even have the courage to put their real name on it.

Who does that? Who reads weight loss blogs and leaves horrible insults to make the author feel bad?

It bothered me enough that I made up a little story in my head about the commentor; a 14 year old boy who downloads "chubby porn" because he is actually attracted to overweight people but that is so uncool and embarressing that he tries to prove he doesn't really like them by insulting anyone who isn't model-skinny from the anonymous safety of his bedroom. Who knows, I could be right.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012



This morning I refilled the little sugar pot I use for my tea. I never feel like I am having a lot of sugar (I know it is in a lot of processed foods, but I don't drink soda and rarely have sweets); a teaspoon in my tea once or twice a day. But as I poured the white crystals into the pretty container I realised that I empty that little sugar pot on a regular basis. Seen in bulk, like that, it's a lot of sugar!

It is my birthday next Monday. I have made no plans for any kind of party or celebration, mainly because I've been so unwell. I don't think Tim or the kids have done any present shopping yet (although I know they will). Nothing feels birthday-ish. Some people do a birthday week or even a month. I just want a nice day.

I could go out to lunch with Tim. I could invite some people over on Sunday for a casual afternoon tea. I could cook something special for dinner. I think I will do all those. What else can I do next Monday to have a lovely day?

Of course what I want most in the world at the moment is to feel healthy! I'm getting there. I was worse yesterday; with neck glands swollen up like mushrooms, alternate chills and sweats, a hazy feeling almost like delirium. Everything tasted wrong and horrible, even hot chocolate. I thought I was going to sink lower into sickness. But this morning I felt much better. I am blowing my nose a lot and coughing up phlegm (yuck) but it feels like my body is just trying to expell the final germs. I am going to be very careful with myself to avoid a relapse, but I am hopeful.

My weight these past few weeks has gone up and down like a chiuahua on a trampoline as I go between comfort eating and hardly eating at all. I have no idea where it will end up on Friday for my official weigh-in. I need to join the gym this week if I want their special deal. I plan to (finally) take the kids to Club Gecko this afternoon -- I won't exercise today, I'll just watch, but I can join the gym while I'm there. Jasmine has been waiting so long to try this kids' exercise class.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dance all day


I shall do my best to not whine about my health this whole post, for a change. But I feel that I am going to fail.

Over the weekend there was a big dancesport championship here in Canberra, I think probably the biggest in the Australian calendar. You know dancesport -- a mix of ballroom (waltz, quickstep, tango etc), New Vogue (a rather girly twirly Australian group of dances that are based on ballroom but have a set series of steps that can't be varied) and Latin (samba, cha cha, jive etc). Fake tans, stiff hair, glittery costumes, inch-thick makeup, huge eyelashes. And the girls are even worse. It's held at the Australian Institute of Sport where they train the Olympians in lots of sports. We have been to watch a few times before as we love dance, and this year Tim's cousin Dan and his wife Martha were in it. They had one dance on Sat and we also missed one of theirs on Sunday morning as they were first up, but we got there before 11 am and saw them in two heats for a total of four dances. Unfortunately they didn't get through, but we saw lots and lots of dancing from a variety of grades and age groups.

Tim was lovely and took the bored kids home around 4 pm while I stayed. They came back after dinner and saw another hour then we all went home at 8 pm. I saw about nine hours of dancing!

I blew my nose a lot throughout the day but didn't feel too bad until late afternoon after Tim had gone. When we finally left it was freezing outside and I was exhausted and feeling quite awful. Went home and had a decent dinner after horrible sausage rolls etc at the arena. Managed to sleep ok but woke this morning completely blocked up again. Streaming nose, coughing, sneezing. Head stuffed full of snotty used tissues, or so it feels. This is day 14 of my headcold (and I had the flu or something for a couple of weeks before that) -- I thought colds were supposed to last 9 days? You know; 3 days coming, 3 days staying, 3 days going. Mine isn't going away and I feel just miserable and sick. I'm exhausted but lying down just makes it worse.

Aiden still has a runny nose but seemed happy and energetic so I sent him to school today. Hope he is ok.

End of whine.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Much worse, a little better


On Thursday afternoon I was feeling a little better (and I thought Aiden would probably be ok to go to school the next day) but during the night we both suddenly got a lot worse. I have no idea if it is the same illness or an additional one. As well as the continuing cough and runny nose and sore throat, my back and thighs started aching and my stomach became very delicate and painful. Aiden also called for his daddy about five times. We all had a very restless night.

In the morning Aiden crawled into our bed and stayed there. Neither of us really got up all day. We tried to eat a couple of times but weren't really interested. My poor baby also complained of sore legs and sore tummy. We are drowning in an ocean of used tissues and Tim changes his pillowcase every night because Aiden is leaving his germs all over it all day.

I stayed in bed most of this morning as well but am considerably better this afternoon. Aiden is up and about ok. My body is still achy-tired.

I am so over being sick!

On Thursday I was saying to Tim that I would have to start exercising soon even if it was just walking slowly, had to get back into it somehow; and then the Gods of ill-health strike me down so I can barely even get out of bed just to prove I am no match for them.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bad and good


Bad first; still sick, boy child still sick, no exercise, cough feels like I am barking up a lung, pizza, chocolate cupcakes. But, good; I wrote my first short story for about a year! Awesome!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It goes on and on


Another day in which life has got in the way of completing my lovely new schedule. Aiden wanted to go to school but was clearly unwell so I kept him home. I was also feeling pretty bad -- headache and my nose has started running again -- so I didn't get a lot done. A little nap in the afternoon was the best part of the day.

Out in the cold and stood up


Tim was better today and went to work, little Aiden seemed a bit quiet and didn't eat his usual breakfast (said it tasted wrong) but wanted to go to Kindy so I took him. I made sure his teacher knew he might not be quite well and gave her my mobile number. I was feeling mostly better but still with a bit of a sore throat.

While lying awake last night I worked out an idea for my flash fiction and I meant to write it this morning but somehow didn't manage it in the hour I had at home. I unpacked the dishwasher, put on a load of washing, folded last night's washing, took out some garbage, and read some blogs (which last I wasn't supposed to do until evening). Then I had to go out to meet some friends who have been living overseas for years and are just visiting. It was great to see them and also I had a lovely hot chocolate (pretty restrained, I thought, considering we were at a chocolate cafe and that is all I had) but we sat outside and it was freezing! I have no idea why we were outside (they got there first), they have been living in the tropics where it is hot every day so it must have been even colder for them, but Lou said they missed the seasons ... anyway I know being cold doesn't cause a cold but I don't think it helped with my defences. My sore throat is much worse since.

I went from there to the museum where I was meeting the guy who gives me books to review. Was there over an hour, he didn't show. He texted later that he'd had a migrane -- presumably it was too bad to text me at the time? I wouldn't be cranky about it except that is maybe 4 times out of 6 that he has stood me up. And he never contacts me until much later despite having my mobile number. Anyway, I chatted with another woman who was also waiting for him, we hadn't met before but had emailed each other so that was nice. I had some really horrible fish & chips, I felt greasy and a bit ill for a couple of hours afterwards, but the museum cafe location was just beautiful with huge windows overlooking the lake. The warm sun coming through the glass managed to thaw me out.

Mooched around a bit at home, got the kids from school and Aiden was very subdued and said his stomach hurt. He hadn't eaten his lunch for the first time ever -- it too tasted wrong; he didn't eat much dinner tonight and had a runny nose and said he felt very cold. So he is definitely unwell, my poor baby. He will likely stay home tomorrow even though his class is hosting the school assembly. He will be so disappointed.

D&D tonight. Usual junk food. I wasn't really enjoying the food (although I ate it) or the play; just feeling tired and cold and yuck. I should be in bed right now. So off I go. And I'd better be better tomorrow!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The germs spread


Today the husband and the boy child were home sick. I am mostly better except for a fierce sore throat, but hopefully it is nearly over. At least I am no longer blowing my nose every few seconds.

Obviously I didn't take the kids to Club Gecko after all, we'll have to wait until another day. Jasmine was disappointed.

I've been keeping up with the housework still, in the kitchen at least, tidying after every meal instead of leaving it to do all at once when the piles of dirty dishes start to topple. Also folded laundry and reorganised the pantry -- throwing out two bags of out-of-date stuff -- so I am doing well.

I did sit at the computer and try to write today, as my next editing job hasn't come in yet, but no inspiration came to me. I did a couple of starts on a short story but it didn't lead anywhere. I think I am definitely an architect not a gardener -- I need to plan what I am going to write not just expect it to grow from a seed of an idea as I type. So I need to do some serious thinking.

I had really fresh healthy meals today. Pity about all the chocolate biscuits in between.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Planning for when I am well again


I'm still not well enough to exercise and doubt I will be tomorrow either so I am hoping to start at the gym on Wednesday morning (I'm busy Tuesday). I called them (Club Lime at CISAC) this morning and although I haven't found a friend to share the special 2 for 1 joining deal they are still giving me a great price, only a little bit more than the friend one. I have also checked the location of Club Gecko for the kids (it is inside Club Lime, perfect) so I'll take them on Monday and just watch or maybe walk slowly on a treadmill. I haven't waxed my legs for a long long time (it's winter, remember!) so I'll try to get that done before exposing my lily-white legs to the whole gym. I am blonde with very fair hair even on my legs so it isn't that obvious anyway.

I have been doing really well on the housework thing in the past couple of days, tidying the kitchen straight after meals instead of leaving a mess and also working on a big pile of paperwork. That's about as strenuous as I get atm. I was feeling pretty awful yesterday and when Tim took the kids out in the afternoon I went to bed and slept for two hours. Much better after that. Another restless night last night with the runny nose and now a cough, but I'm improving each day.

I'm going to try a couple of WW recipes this week. Usually they don't appeal to me but there were some interesting ones in the last magazine. I just used my frequent flyer points to subscribe to Donna Hay magazine but I don't think those recipes will be quite as healthy!

I've been unwell for at least three weeks straight, but I haven't exercised regularly for a couple of months now and my body is really feeling it. Even aside from the headcold; I don't have as much energy, I'm not sleeping as well, it takes more effort to chose healthy food, my jeans are getting tight, and I think my stomach is sticking out past my breasts again. I am about 2 kg up from my lowest point, which is pretty bad considering I hadn't lost very much to start with. I'm really looking forward to getting fit and healthy again.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Daily scheduling


I would have loved to sleep in this morning but Aiden came in for a cuddle at about 7.15 and once I was awake the nose-faucet got going. I decided being upright was the better option so I took my constant nose-blowing away, letting Tim sleep, and spent an hour writing a detailed daily schedule for myself. It incorporates a lot of exercise, planned times for editing work and housework, and a lot less computer time during the daytime.

I'll join the gym this week and then as soon as I am well I will start group classes and also running on the treadmill while the kids are at their Gecko classes (assuming they like it) and also while they are at gymnastics on Saturday mornings. Theoretically this would give me 5 one-hour classes plus 4 half-hour running sessions. I do not expect to actually achieve this level of exercise -- I am not aiming for that. But various interruptions happen unexpectedly on different days of the week so I am scheduling in a lot of extra exercise to allow for that. For instance this week I am sick today and have a meeting on Tuesday, cutting out 3 sessions already. My goal is 3 one-hour classes and 3 half-hour runs. I have downloaded a c25K app for my runs and will try that as a guide. I also walk the kids to and from school, giving me about 35 minutes of gentle exercise most days. Friday and Sunday are days off from exercise, but Sunday should include being active with the family.

I have always been pretty slack with housework, and having kids to clean up after and then returning to paid work have not improved the appearance of my house. So I am instituting a "room of the day" which I will draw out of a hat each weekday and do 15 mins there. Every room should get some attention each fortnight -- for a neglected room this might be a quick tidy and vaccuum, for a less-neglected room I could do something more advanced like clean out a cupboard. I also plan to be more vigilant with things like tidying the kitchen straight after a meal and folding each basket of clean clothes as they are ready rather than ending with a whole week's worth to do on the weekend. My idea is to avoid the marathon cleaning sessions, but instead do a little bit several times a day.

In regard to my paid work, because I freelance I sometimes have days or weeks with no work. But this will no longer mean extra time playing computer games! If I am not working in those timeslots I will be writing. My novel and some short stories.

See, I am about to become the perfect human being!

But seriously, I used to be a very hard-working and organised person. I seem to have slumped. A lot. My new schedule is not intended to make my life horrible, it is to make my life easier. I have reminders on each page for things like my children's news days or having to take their violin to school. I want to be slender and fit and healthy and live in a reasonably clean house and excell at my work and write a novel. I am giving myself tools to make this happen. The schedule is a sturdy framework, not a prison.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Not a well face


I got a bit of a shock when I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday evening. I went to my husband and pointed to my face. "Have you seen this?"
"That is not a well face," he agreed.

Urg. Pale and blotchy and red eyes and sore nose (although aloe vera tissues help a lot with that). I had a much better night last night, the runny nose dried up a bit letting me sleep, and I got up this morning intending to get on with life but it turns out I am definitely not well yet. I didn't go to my Weight Watchers meeting, after serious consideration; partly because I wasn't really feeling up to it and partly because I think it is really unfair and inconsiderate to infect others. There is an ad on at the moment for a cold & flu treatment that has a sick woman looking much better and then a scene of her teaching little kids at school. Arg! Infecting a whole room of children! Infectious people should stay home as much as possible.

I think today's weigh-in would have given me a stayed-the-same. I have missed so many meetings, generally through illness. It has been a bad autumn/winter.

I go through definite phases with which exercise appeals to me, lasting 3-6 months. Walking, BodyStep, Zumba, BodyPump, running, Kinect games. Luckily I can go back to an old one after a break, and I think it is time for the gym again. I checked out a reburbished local women's gym(Fernwood) but it didn't particularly impress me, so I think it will be back to my old gym (Club Lime at CISAC) which has a half-price annual membership sale throughout June if I can find a friend to join with -- last time I found a random person on the gym's facebook page. You get the full gym and the pool. As an added incentive, my gym has just started after-school kids' supervised gym classes which look really fun. My kids would both be in the same age group (5-9) which is very convenient and the class is 40 mins which would give me an long enough time-slot to get my own workout in. I would also go to classes in the morning (Pump and Zumba again). I'm thinking of trying a couch to 5 K or similar challenge on the treadmill in those afternoons at the gym, getting myself ready for outside running in spring. Now that I have my iPhone I can do that kind of thing!

Obviously I am not going to start today. I will see how I feel on Monday.

Another reason to return to the gym is that I have been feeling very isolated and I want to get out and see people. Or at least, I feel like I should. I plan to start going to my writing groups again too.

Regarding BodyPump, I am hoping I can do a lot better this time around as my shoulder has improved a lot. I still can't do up my bra, but I can touch the small of my back with my thumb (just). I can remember, not so long ago, when just getting my arm high enough to do my hair was a struggle! I might be able to do all the moves this time. I has been two years since I first injured it, a year and a half since it was at its worst and I got appropriate treatment. Healing is a slow road but I am getting there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Zombie brains


I'm afraid the post title only refers to the state of my brains, not the coming zombie apocolypse. Tiresome headcold continues. Who knew the old woman could have so much snot in her?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Colds and flu


Nothing has changed. I thought I was over the flu but started feeling unwell again last night and woke this morning with runny nose and stuffed up head (maybe just a cold this time? Aiden also has the sniffles). Sore throat, but probably from post-nasal drip. Sneezing. Two half-hour walks over the long weekend but no real exercise. Eating big hearty dinners like roast and risotto. Weight up a bit. Went shopping this morning and did pretty well but then fell at the last hurdle and bought some Doritos which I turned into cheesy nachos for morning tea.

We didn't go dancing on Sunday; we've decided to look elsewhere, which is my job this week.

I was worried about some pain in my mouth, dreading another root canal, but it turns out I just have two mouth ulcers. No doubt another symptom of my general current ill health. I've never been so happy to see a mouth lesion! I know they will heal by themselves in a couple of days, especially if I have plenty of vitamin C.

In other news, my cousin Kimberley had her baby on Sunday, a big girl they named Harper. I hope to meet her soon -- also my cousin Jamie's partner had twin boys only a couple of months ago and I haven't seen them yet. It will be nice for those kids to have cousins so close in age; my two don't have any yet.

And my eight year old daughter finally found the courage to ride her bike without training wheels and got the hang of it, which is excellent. She is extremely timid but with daddy running along beside she did very well. Still need to work on steering.

Urg, I feel tired and grumpy and zombie-like.

Friday, June 8, 2012

WW weigh-in 13: 77.6 kg; up 0.8 kg


I managed to get to my WW meeting this morning after missing the last two due to flu and/or laziness and/or fear of a gain. I always enjoy them when I do go so I need to keep that up. I had a gain of 0.8 kg over those three weeks which was totally expected -- of course that doesn't make it ok!

I can't really remember the topic for today's meeting. The weekly magazine cover says "How to get the most from tracking" and we did talk about how important tracking is, but also other things. I guess we did talk about tracking food, exercise, and emotional state. We were given homework of reading through our weigh-in books and doing the little exercises like writing a letter to yourself.

Today at the shops I saw one man so hugely obese he was in a motorised buggy, unable to walk, and one child of around ten whose neck was as wide as her face and whose arms stuck out at angles from her body because of her bodyfat. Try telling me again you can be healthy at any size? That little girl's parents should be up on child abuse charges.

I get regular emails from author Holly Lisle who runs a writing course, today's topic was the difference between goals and expectations. It was an excellent coverage of that topic and I would copy it here except she expressly forbids doing that, she provides a link to her website:
but the email was actually much better, I think, than this formal post. Anyway; she talked about how a goal is saying you will write a book in a year, an expectation is that a publisher will accept your manuscript. The first is under your control, the second isn't. Confusing expectations for goals can cause much heartache.

This can obviously be applied to weight loss as well. My goals are things like to stay within my ProPoints and do a certain amount of exercise each week -- things under my control. My hope/expectation is to lose weight each week and eventually get to my goal weight. Those things will (hopefully) come in time, but I can't set a goal of losing x amount per week because I am not 100% in control of that. Even if I do everything right, bodies have will sometimes retain water, cling to fat, build heavy muscle etc.

A long list of goals can be a bit daunting, but as usual my weight-loss related goals are:
# Drink at least 6 glasses of fluid a day (it is 5.30 pm and so far I have had 2)
# Track everything I eat and also my exercise
# Earn 50 activity PP a week
# Go to my WW meeting every week even if I don't want to
# Keep within my daily + weekly PP but not use my activity PP, meet the food goals of fruit and dairy etc

That seems like plenty to be going on with.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The fat acceptance movement


A couple of days ago I was doing some blog-hopping -- where one blog you follow recommends another and that leads you to another etc -- and I ended up reading some posts (and lots of follow-up comments) about fat acceptance. It started with one woman's experience of being discriminated against because she was too big to fit in the airplane seat.

I will say first of all that at my heaviest weight I was about 25 kg (50 pounds or so) overweight so I have never been big enough to have an issue like this. The only seat I have failed to fit into is the swing at the local park. I have bought things in specialty clothing stores a couple of times because they seemed to fit better (always the smallest size they had) but generally I shop in normal stores. I have certainly felt unattractive at times but I have never felt discriminated against in any way due to being overweight.

What I got from the fat acceptance posts were these points.
1. People shouldn't be discriminated against due to their weight.
2. Don't assume overweight people are unhealthy, you can be healthy at any weight.
3. You should love yourself no matter your size.
4. Dieting doesn't work, so don't even try.

Points 1 and 3 are fine, but I found point 2 a bit dubious and assertion 4 really depressing. It made me want to go and eat a whole packet of chocolate biscuits. Many commenters said that 95% of people regain all the weight they have lost within 5 years (plus extra) so well-meaning doctors, friends, and complete strangers in the street who tell you to diet and exercise are completely misinformed and stupid and counter-productive. They said that being obese does not cause diabetes, cancer or heart disease (and quoted studies) and seemed to be strongly suggesting that we just all stay fat and anyone who tries to lose weight is the product of society's brain-washing and is a moron. And doomed to failure anyway.

It has honestly taken me a couple of days to recover from this onslaught. Of course I have heard lots of times that most people who lose weight put it all back on again, so should I just give up and resign myself to being pudgy for the rest of my life? Today I started tackling this logically.

Regarding point 2; even if it is true that being overweight does not have serious health risks (which goes against everything authorities are saying, I don't claim that "authorities" aren't often proved wrong but that also puts the fat-acceptance scientific studies into just as much doubt as the other ones) -- even if it is true, I personally feel much healthier when I am less fat. When I was thinner I had much more energy, less joint pain, less illness. At my heaviest, a year ago, I was always tired and bloated and uncomfortable. I am currently somewhere in between; but I still often feel lethargic, my thighs rub together if I wear a skirt, and my feet get tired quickly. I get a pain in the muscles under my breasts when I bend over. Even when not taking into account emotional pain (which would presumably be removed by my learning to love myself at any size), I feel much better when thinner.

And of course I don't actually believe this assertion that obesity doesn't contribute to various medical conditions. There is heart disease in my family and I had gestational diabeties, I need to take action to reduce my risk. Not everyone who is overweight is unhealthy, but I believe it is a major contributing factor.

Point 4 was the one that really got to me as I found it more believable based on a lot of anectodal evidence. Lots of peole do put the weight back on. But:
a) "Diets" are restrictive and unsustainable and may indeed cause rebound weight gain; but making changes towards a healthy lifestyle including improved food choices and more exercise is a viable way to gradually lose weight and improve fitness. You have to do it in a way you can live with long term.
b) If I gave up and stopped trying to control my weight; I wouldn't just stay pudgy, I would rapidly expand. "Not dieting" would end up with me much bigger even than a restrictive diet that rebounded on me. So I need to make some changes even if I just want to stay the weight I currently am.
c) I read lots of blogs where people have kept the weight off, or at least most of it; and have gone from morbidly obese to merely overweight. I call that a win.

So I am not telling healthy happy obese people that they have to lose weight if they don't want to. That is entirely up to them. But I don't agree that it isn't possible for them to. I will try not to judge them as lazy and uncooperative as the common perception goes (I know that isn't true -- being overweight does not make you a bad person). I will most likely still see them as fairly unattractive. And I am not healthy or happy when overweight, so I am going to slowly and sustainably lose weight and get fit.

And please don't tell me I can't.

Sunday, June 3, 2012



I had a pretty quiet weekend while I continued to recover from the flu or whatever; I've been feeling much better but with a tendency to dizziness if I bend over or exert myself. This afternoon we had our ballroom dancing lesson, I found it very tiring especially the spins but it was ok. I had to take a break in the middle of the class and was pretty exhusted by the end.

The teacher started the lesson by saying that he had got something wrong in the intermediate lesson last week. We didn't stay for that, but many people do both. We spent most of the class correcting that error, and then the teacher felt we might as well just go on with that dance so we ended up doing a whole lesson of swing rather than the Vieniese waltz originally scheduled. I enjoyed the lesson but there are a few faults with the class and I am considering looking elsewhere.

Firstly, the instructor is quite hesitant and has made a few errors that he's later had to correct. He frequently consults his dance partner and the dynamic between the two of them is very odd. Secondly, it is probably not competitive enough or moving fast enough for us -- we have learned three "moves" each 45 minute lesson. And thirdly there are several single (elderly) women and Tim and the other men are expected to share themselves around. We are there to dance with each other!

Finally, today there was a bit of a weird and unpleasant experience. You remember the lady who was telling us last week that we would argue about steps? By her own admission,  she argues a lot with her husband; now I can see why. She is a total bitch. My children were with us again; they are extremely quiet and well-behaved but I am the first to admit they chowed down on the food that was laid out for afternoon tea (with my permission). There was plenty of food and the kids ate some then settled down to play their Nintendo DSs. At the end of our lesson I was nibbling on some fruit and the kids also took a piece of watermelon each and this ... woman ... spoke extremely harshly to them about it -- saying it was there for the dancers and they had had too much etc. I would have had no problem with her saying something politely to them, or to me -- I was right there -- but she practically slapped Aiden's hand away and made him drop the fruit. She was very rude and agressive out of nowhere. I was too shocked to say anything to her and I just murmured something reassuring to the kids and spoke to them about it later. What a sad life she must have, if she thinks it is normal to argue with your partner about trivial things and treats children like that. I pity hers, if she has any. The teacher has always been extremely friendly and welcoming to the children and has talked about bringing his own along as they are similar ages, I don't think he would be very happy about this woman's behaviour. It really left me with a bad feeling about the whole class.

I guess I live a very sheltered lifestyle, if someone speaking rudely to my gentle children gets me so riled up. And I am grateful for it.