Slimming World – 21 & 28 January 2008

On me ‘olidays

This will be my last Slimming World related post for a few weeks. I’m having a break from going to meetings and having a few days off the diet completely. It’s going to be interesting to see how much my tastes have changed since starting the plan back in April and how I cope being ‘off the leash’ for a while.

This is either very sensible or completely mad.

I haven’t decided yet. The whole thing was seriously getting me down a couple of weeks ago, and I only really calmed down when I decided to take some time out. My commitment to the plan was starting to suffer, and of course the weight losses suffered as a result. So tonight, after one last jump on Mr Scale’s feet, I handed in the rest of my tickets (I buy 12-week Countdown Courses – and I’m using my two free weeks as my weeks off) and bid farewell to Frankie and the group until 18th February.

Too moishe! Too moishe!

Deciding to play the “whatever happens on Monday night stays on Monday night” card, I decided to let myself go tonight, and soon discovered that I simply do not have the capacity to consume what I used to. This should bode well for the rest of the break and my actual holiday from plan when Michael’s parents come down for a break in a couple of weeks’ time. In the meantime I intend to carry on Food Optimising and try not to go too crazy. I hope. Well, if it all goes pear-shaped I know I can go back to my group.

Buh-bye for now…

In nine months I have managed to lose over 116lbs. That’s an achievement. And I can repeat it. I just need a bit of time out. So for now, the journey pauses. But when it resumes, I will have company…. more about that soon. :)

Entertaining a Cat

Sweeney and Lucy didn’t really get on very well. When Lucy died, we were very sad, but Sweeney wasn’t so upset. She was head cat now. OK, in a household of one cat, but still. She seemed much happier.

She continued to make occasional use of the doormat as a toilet, so we finally decided to block off the corridor that leads to the front door. The only way we could work out to do that also involved blocking off the spare room, but since that was just a room filled with stuff we really should have sorted out by now, it didn’t seem to matter too much.

After a while, we noticed that she was chasing her tail a lot more than usual. She always had done so occasionally, but now it was a regular hobby. That didn’t seem to be too much a problem – she was hopelessly bad at it, and never won. With practice, though, she got better, and after a while, she started winning. Against her own tail. That hurt. She startled us several times by suddenly howling in pain because she’d managed to catch her tail with teeth or claws.

We also realised that she was over-grooming – washing herself too much, and too often, and scratching to the point of extending her little bald patch (the result of a reaction to an injection when she was very young). She probably thought she was very clean, but actually she was just a bit covered in cat spit.

Google makes a pretty good vet these days, and it looked like there was a good chance that all the symptoms were of her being a bit mental. We always knew she was mental, but not really. It looked like the strange behavior was OCD, as a result of boredom.

Loss of… Well, not a friend as such, but at least a handy nemesis.

Loss of a room and corridor from her already limited territory.

Oh, and since moving to Devon, we’ve spent more time out, so less time at home playing with her.

We opened up her access to the spare room and doorway again, which seemed to help a little. She can sit at the back window, and watch the birds flying past.

More entertainment was called for.

We decided she needed a pet.

We ruled out a hamster in the end. It would be lots of fun for Sweeney, but maybe not quite as much fun for the hamster. I could tell this from the look on the girl’s face in the pet shop when we outlined the plan. So, we bought fish. Apparently, fish have no fear of cats. Either they’re a bit dim, or they really trust clear acrylic. Well, actually, so far, we have bought a fish tank. The tank needs to be set up for a week, and conditioned, before introducing the first fish to it, and then they should be introduced gradually, just one or two at a time.

Once all this was explained to me, there was a high temptation to pop the tank back on the shelf as being far too much like hard work, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to do that once I was holding a fish tank and discussing the best way of preparing it with the assistant. I figured maybe you’d just fill it from the tap, then chuck five or six fish in there. Sprinkle some flakes of food in there once every week or two, and the cat is entertained.

But no, it needs a stable surface, treated water, a permanently running filter, and careful introduction of fish to tank. Unfortunately, this meant we needed to start with somewhere very stable to put a fish tank, which we didn’t have. So, today has mainly been spent rearranging the living room to make space for the fish tank, which was a bit of a mammoth task. I’d have given up and taken the tank straight to a charity shop, but there’s a cat to be entertained here.

The rearrangement has a few more advantages, though – we now sit side-by-side again (Sam and I, that is, not Sweeney), rather than with our backs to each other. We can also see Sam’s monitor from the sofa, which makes it much easier to sit comfortably to watch TV shows we have downloaded. The printer isn’t sitting on the floor behind a desk any more, so we can actually reach it.

There’s an extra advantage for Sweeney now, too – she can now sit on a cushion on the back of the sofa, and see out of the living room window, so she gets a view from the front of the flat that she’s never had before.

Maybe all these things, along with a bit of a change, can help make life a bit more interesting for her again.

If not, it’ll be off to the Blue Cross to find a replacement for the role of Arch Nemesis.


I’m bored. I’m antsy. I’m having one of those who am I and what should I do with my life existential crises that really should have stopped by now. I’m itching for something to do to fully occupy my mind, to absorb me completely the way ol’ Farty McGee gets completely involved with pens, calculators and insanely complex text editors. I need something to take my mind of that muddafuddlin eating plan. Something to put a smile on my face, a song in my heart and PVA glue on my fingers.

I need to get my creative groove back. So what’s it going to take to get me making stuff again other than tidying up and going on a shopping spree at an art and craft store*? Well, last year my friend emberlexi participated in something called The Creative Act – a month long challenge which involved creating something every day for the whole of February. Sounds like a larf. It also sounds like something utterly implausible that I stand no chance of sticking to, but hey, it’s worth a go. It’ll keep me off the scales.

Watch this space, then. And start taking bets as to how long I stick to it… if anyone fancies joining me, leave me a note in the comments.

Slimming World – 14th January 2008


>Unfortunately my daily checks on the home scales (now, strictly speaking you’re not meant to weigh yourself between meetings as it can fool you into a false sense of security/despair) have shown a slight creep in the wrong direction, so I’m going to do exactly the same as I did last week for the next few days in the hope I can turn things around. If I don’t, it’s okay because I know it’ll catch up one way or another, but it’s always worth a go.

I didn’t manage to turn things around. My body had decided to deliver the regular hormonal fluctuation despite my best efforts, and on Monday night Mr Scale announced a gain of a pound and a half. I was really hoping I’d nailed it this time, even though my home scale was telling me otherwise, I was hoping Mr Scale was going to be a bit more compassionate. After all, I had worked the plan that week. I went into damage limitation mode and cut out Syns, healthy extras and anything that would be remotely a) filling or b) nice. It didn’t work, and I really wasn’t pleased about it, but I resolved to make the best of the week ahead in the hope that like before, a bigger loss would be just around the corner, I’d still lose a stone a month, get my stickers, job’s a good ‘un. So off I went.

Unfortunately, my home scale was still not co-operating. I continued with the daily weigh-ins and nope, nothing, not an ounce gone. A couple of pounds on in the middle of the week, but still, nothing. This continued throughout the week until Friday morning, when I spent a good 10-15 minutes pleading with my home scale to show me a loss. When the number went up again, I sunk into my chair and sobbed. That morning, Michael (who at this point was just about ready to look up ‘OCD’ and ‘intervention’ on wikipedia) dropped me off at M&S where I stopped for a coffee before starting work. As I was sitting there sipping my much-needed espresso, I looked around at all the food on display – there was not one thing I felt I could eat.

Now, people who do this Food Optimising thing properly will tell you that no food is banned, and they’re quite right. It’s just obsessive numpties like me who daren’t have their daily allocation of syns or let loose every now and again and see the world outside of group as a big old banquet that they’re not allowed to eat at.

As I sat with my coffee I forced myself to take a good hard look at what’s going on. I’ve had phenomenal success so far, but I keep losing sight of that. There are times when all I can see is that bloody scale telling me that although I might have passed it a while back, I remain on the wrong side of 20 stone, and I’m not worth a dime until I get past that point and closer to my target. I remembered something I said to Michael some months back – “When I get to 20 stone, I’m having a week off.” I looked around again at the food on display in M&S and thought how nice it would be to just throw off the self-imposed shackles for a while, eat whatever I like, and then return to the plan to try again. So that’s what I’m doing. In a few weeks time, I’m taking a week off.

In the meantime, I’m really trying to loosen up on the plan and to stop being so fixated on my weight, because I’ve been forgetting everything else that’s happened while on plan. So, here’s a list to remind myself:

Clothes Size

At my heaviest, I wore big, baggy tops in a size 42. Now, I’m a 24/26. At this exact moment I’m wearing size 28 jogging bottoms and it’s a look that screams:

Yeah. Baggy’s not a good look, I know, but it’s kinda nice to wear stuff that’s too big when I’ve spent years being too big. Hey, maybe I could get some help with this. Does anyone out there know Gok‘s phone number?

Energy and Flexibility

Last year, I was constantly lethargic, depressed, and couldn’t bear the thought of stepping outdoors. Now… well, I can’t exactly say I’m overflowing with energy, it is January after all… but I’m capable of so much more than I used to be. I walk to work every day to a job that isn’t exactly desk-bound. And there are certain other areas of life that have improved immensely, but this is still a family site so I won’t go into that. 😉

Moods and Confidence

Generally speaking, at the right time of month (damn hormones) yes, my moods are better balanced and I’m generally happier. I’ve never been a shrinking violet as such, but I do (most of the time) feel a lot easier in my own skin.

I don’t know what to expect from Mr Scale tomorrow night. I have loosened up a lot more on how I do the plan (in other words I’m trying to do it properly without all this deprivation nonsense) so there may be another gain – but at least this week I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed my food. And my target for next week? To continue enjoying the plan, making the most of the free food, the speed food, the healthy extras and Syns, and let the pounds fall off where they may. It’s tough right now, but the journey continues…

Billy Connolly’s Chain Letter

Found this on Facebook. It’s good for a LOL.

> BILLY CONNOLLY’S CHAIN LETTER Hello, my name is Billy and I suffer from guilt for not forwarding 50 billion fucking chain letters sent to me by people who actually believe if you send them on, a poor six year old girl in Scotland with a breast on her forehead will be able to raise enough money to have it removed before her redneck parents sell her to a travelling freak show. And, do you honestly believe that Bill Gates is going to give you, and everyone to whom you send “his” email, $1000? How stupid are we? Ooooh, looky here! If I scroll down this page and make a wish, I’ll get laid by a model I just happen to run into the next day! What a bunch of bullshit. Maybe the evil chain letter leprechauns will come into my house and sodomize me in my sleep for not continuing a chain letter that was started by St Peter in 5AD and brought to this country by midget pilgrim stowaways on the Endeavour. Fuck ’em!! If you’re going to forward something, at least send me something mildly amusing. I’ve seen all the “send this to 10 of your closest friends, and this poor, wretched excuse for a human being will somehow receive a nickel from some omniscient being” forwards about 90 times. I don’t fucking care. Show a little intelligence and think about what you’re actually contributing to by sending out these forwards. Chances are, it’s our own unpopularity. The point being? If you get some chain letter that’s threatening to leave you shagless or luckless for the rest of your life, delete it. If it’s funny, send it on. Don’t piss people off by making them feel guilty about a leper in Botswana with no teeth who has been tied to the arse of a dead elephant for 27 years and whose only salvation is the 5 cents per letter he’ll receive if you forward this email. Now forward this to everyone you know. Otherwise, tomorrow morning your underwear will turn carnivorous and consume your genitals. Have a nice day. Billy Connolly P.S: Send me 15 quid and then fuck off.

Now forward this link to everyone you’ve ever emailed.