18 December 2008

Today the sane day

Since starting this blogging venture I have lost a total of 2 kgs. Up until today I have been disappointed with this number. Despite many many clinical trials showing that a loss of 12kgs per year is considered the healthy norm, those figures first burnt into my brain as a teen have prevailed. I remember getting a fabulous Nutrimetics meal replacement program as a young lass and being very pleased to note that weight loss should be experienced at a rate of 1-1.5kgs per week. Damn those shakes were nasty, who's brilliant idea was that crap anyway? Not that the repulsiveness stopped me, I went on to try Herbalife, yurck, twice, blerch.

1-1.5kgs per week, I thought to myself, "I'm a good girl, I try really hard at everything I do, I can like totally do this, I might even lose more weight, cos like, I'm above average at school and stuff". Surprise, surprise, it didn't work out that way, and I was left feeling a little like a failure. This malarkey has stuck with me for a long time, much to my surprise today, this very lucid sane day.

When I first read the 12kg/year statistics, I was majorly pissed off, not unlike the time The Ninja showed me how much an image of a model is Photoshopped to try and make me feel better. I was pissed because I felt let down, "What do you meeeean?? I can't ever look like that/lose that much weight? Am I doomed to a life of mediocrity and normalness just like everyone else???" It was akin to being told Santa didn't exist, my world crumbled down around my ears and I clutched onto my inspiration pic of Jessica Alba in a bikini sobbing like a toddler in the corner.

Today I don't feel quite so deluded, it may have something to do with my recent visit to the Norman Lindsay Gallery, seeing all those round, erotic, sexy, ladies getting their fancy on in the paintings left me feeling, well, happily, voluptuously, normal.

Today, this wonderfully sane day, I noticed something about weighing myself. Weigh day is fraught with anxiety and anticipation. I've been weighing myself with the Wii. In order to do so you must create a character, a Mii, and the little dudette grows to fit your measurements, needless to say my Mii is a little on the portly side. Each week I am greeted with an "oh no too high", my Mii hangs her head in shame, and the words OBESE flash up on the screen. WTF? How could I have not realised how sick that is? Step away from the scales lady, step away from the scales.

Now in comes the almighty tape measurements. An activity that may well have been introduced to me during the delightful meal replacement drink days. Since starting this blog I've lost a total of 21cms. That's double figures, a much more pleasing concept. I have oft toyed with idea of only doing measurements and that has now officially become January's challenge. No more scales. Even as I type this I feel my heartbeat quicken and my palms become clammy. Doesn't weighing myself equal control? How on earth will I know what's going on if I don't know how much I weigh? Will I fall off the wagon and stop caring if I'm not confronted with that scary number each week? Why even invent such a ridiculous challenge?

Have no fear, I say, the tape measure has been a much kinder friend for all these years and I never realised, kind of like that quiet guy at school who is really nice and funny and turns out to be the greatest thing that ever happens to you. Let's just hope good ole tape measure and I can stay buddies over Christmas :)

"Any measurement must take into account the position of the observer. There is no such thing as measurement absolute, there is only measurement relative"
Jeanette Winterson

17 December 2008

Reporting Back

I'm amazed, all went well. I substituted the cake for a few Dorritos and forgave myself for half a glass of champagne. You heard it here folks, I can show restraint and moderation, even if I had to sit on my hands at times to do so. Now there's just the small matter of the next two weeks in The Bush with The Posse, The Folks and no doubt some holiday cheer, I guess I will just take each day as it comes.

"It matters if you just don't give up"
Stephen Hawking

13 December 2008


It's all too easy, especially after a few Christmas beverages, to think, stuff the weight loss, I've got a good life, great friends a sexy husband type person. I'm just going to enjoy it. Then I went to see Priscilla, and all those lithe bodies dancing around made me think.... hmmm while I may not have the chance to ever look like a shockingly buff 20 year old gay man in chaps, I do have the chance to look like a fit healthy 30 something year old woman, and I really shouldn't give up on that so soon.

So today's challenge is a BBQ to celebrate the Luscious L's birthday, and my mission is to avoid the beverages (loss of inhibition and eating three bags of chips is a real issue for me), only have enough food to feed one person, avoid the snacks and if there's a birthday cake, to enjoy a sample size slice and not go back and sneakily sneak a sliver each time I walk past.

So there you have it, today's challenge. Be sure to watch this space for a report on the results.

"Accept the challenges so that you may enjoy the exhilaration of victory"

General George S. Patton

07 December 2008

Over it.....

Now that I'm over my little "The world is against fat people, let's unite, sit on them skinny biatches and suffocate them" insecurity. I mean, I really can be a tad over sensitive at times. I have devised another rule for riding the Diet Express. After a night of red wine, the most amazing banana bread (big ups to the Alpaca and his culinary expertise), roast potatoes, butter, cheese, chocolate, did I mention butter, great company and the most intense board game known to man, I have decided that events such as these cannot be missed.

Yeah sure I can eat my diet sized portions, avoid all the good stuff, not let a drop of the calorie laden, liver impairing alcohol pass my lips and go home feeling "in control" and righteous, or I can enjoy my life, share some food with friends, drink a little too much wine, fall into a deep satisfied slumber and wake up smiling and thinking these are the memories I'm going to have when I'm old and crusty.

Dieting is all good and well and I think that for 6 of the 7 days I will show some restraint and reign in the indulgences. But one day, of every week, I want to feel normal, I want to feel that I too can enjoy food without being wracked with guilt for days after the event. So damn naggit, that's what I'm going to do.

No more, Forgive me Father for I have sinned and my penance will be to deprive myself for as long as I can, oh yeah this time will be different, this time I will have the perseverance of a self flagellation loving worshiper and before sun down I will be basking in a self denying glow. And if I don't, which I won't, I will lie on a bed of nails and smack myself round the head while SM verbally abuses me until the cows come home. No more.

So my loves, at this time of year, enjoy your cake, your chocolate, your wine and roasts, but remember to get that booty shakin and oh yeah, be nice to yourself :)

"Food is an important part of a balanced diet"
Fran Lebowitz

04 December 2008

Beware, bitter rant ahead......

This is a picture of The Ninja and fellow travelers jumping off a boat into Halong Bay in Vietnam. I love jumping off things into water, it's one of my all time favorite things to do. I didn't jump off this boat, and every time I see these pictures I regret it. Why didn't I jump off the boat? Because I was embarrassed to be seen in my swimmers. I missed out on this magical experience not because I was fat, but because I felt like other people would judge me because of this. *Cue sad violin music*

The delightful SM does have a lot to do with this, but I am slowly realising other people around me that contribute to this feeling, it's mainly because Fat is the new Black. No longer is it tolerated to publicly deride people of other races as it once was, we can't talk crap about the Japs or the Chinks and definitely not the Niggers, and well we shouldn't. Some people still need a group to belittle in order to make themselves feel worthwhile and there is something out there that defines a group of people that's constantly in hunting season, the overweight, the obese, The Fatties.

Now you'd think I'd be a bit tougher when it comes to these remarks, having first been told I was a Fatty at the ripe young age of 9, but over the years I have become more and more sensitive. I no longer come home and cry and feel rejected, nowadays I get downright pissed off. What gives people the right to comment on someone else's weight? And what, pray tell, does someone's dress size have to do with their intelligence, ability in the workplace or their sexiness? And why do people think it's OK to talk like that in front of me? A fellow Fatty.

The comments aren't usually directed at the fat person in the room, they are discussions about "other people" that apparently aren't like you. Not unlike the talks had around one of the gorgeous Koori girls I went to school with, who wasn't like the "others" because her family didn't live on The Mission.

I have to say, after doing a retrospective observational study using my own experience as data (highly rigorous), that the majority of perpetrators of this socially permissible act are women. You do get men playing along like the incredible Endocrinologist I went to see, full of hope that he would have some answers for me about weight loss as a hypothyroid person, who told me I was just lazy, no questions, no proper assessment, you're fat that means you're lazy, that will be $300 please.

Women are increasingly insecure, we are bombarded with images of the perfect woman, who not only represents about 3% of the population in physical attributes but is airbrushed into a cartoon character that no human being could ever look like. Girls as young as 5 years old are reported to have body image issues and starting to diet, 5 years old people! There is something very wrong with this picture.

The magazines, movies and graphic artists are not all to blame, this problem starts in your own backyard. I've listened to may criticisms of the "fat people". Friends that giggle about how so-and-so has put on so much weight and looks so bad, a group of friends delighted in stripping down a teacher of ours who had put on a few kilos, proceeded to say they could never take anyone seriously giving out health advice that didn't look "the part", right there next to me, a rather zaftig lass who works in the healthcare industry.

It's not just the average Jo either, I was recently at a seminar for health professionals about weight loss techniques and the presenter herself kept making comments and rolling her eyes about the "fat clients" and how they are just lazy or have an excuse for everything. During a lecture on obesity the lecturer commented on how she hated fat clients because they just never did anything about it.

Don't even get me started on the mass emails sent around with a group of fat women in bikinis and some fat-est remark that's supposed to be funny, let's not forget that great bumper sticker that was so popular a while back "fat chicks go home".

What a state we are in when health professionals that are meant to help and support people to lose weight, have the opinion that every overweight person that walks through their door is stupid, lazy and a lost cause. What a state we are in when women are judged so harshly by our own, held down by the very people that should be holding us up and helping us along.

"People in glass houses have to answer the bell"
Bruce Patterson

02 December 2008

5 Things I'm Proud of Today #1

As I went through the motions on my Wonderfully Fandangled Exercise Machine this morning, I thought I must have put in 3 hours rather than 30 mins because each second seemed to drag on like a Celine Dion concert. How does this happen I ask you, why does 30mins spent exercising seem so much longer than 30mins spent doing something else, like eating or napping, or watching an episode of Flight of the Conchords?

Despite the complaining, I am proud that I did some exercise and on that note, I thought I'd introduce my new technique of mind altering, self styled, behavior modification. I am told, by the beautiful Ms Netherlands, who also happens to be a psychologist, that this style of mind bending is named Cognitive Behavior Therapy, for all those interested. Anyway, this thing that I thought up is called 5 Things I'm Proud of Today (not to be confused with the insightful and hilarious 5 Things That Piss Me Off Today as authored by The Fabulous A).

I started doing this when Sabotaging Me was keeping me up at night with her ranting. To keep her quiet I forced myself to think of 5 things I'd done that day that I was proud of, they can be absolutely anything, but the rules are that they have to be positive, they have to be written down or spoken aloud, and if I start on the self flagellation routine I have to think of an extra thing to be proud of.

Some examples include:
  • I'm proud of myself for starting and sharing this blog
  • I'm proud of myself for doing the washing
  • I'm proud of myself for walking to the shops instead of driving

A variation that developed over time was taking an instance that I would have normally chastised myself for and finding something in that situation that I was proud of, for example, I'm proud that I exercised portion control when I went out to eat tantalising curries with The Soul Sister and The Bodacious Bro-inlaw, instead of how SM would've put it, "you fat loser, you ate Indian, there's so much oil and grease, you over did the carbs and that garlic cheese naan is going to mark your body for an eternity".

It's a funny thing, when I do this I can actually feel SM squirm in her cage, at the beginning I feel self-conscious and awkward, but by number 5 I'm thinking "woo-hoo I'm alright" and at times, if you listen really carefully, you might even hear me think "Yippeee, I'm fricken awesome!"

"I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity"
Diana Vreeland

28 November 2008

Coming down......

There's the initial rush of conformity, the high of a decent loss and then the concept of the road that lies ahead sets in, and you really do come down from that feeling of being able to change your world. Sabotaging Me trots out in her high heels and reminds me that I've been here before, this feeling of potential achievement has crashed down before and she glowingly reminds me how that went.

My dearest J Rose, who is such an inspiration in the weight loss stakes, recently emailed me her support and said there isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't struggle with this battle, and she's right. There are ALWAYS temptations, opportunities to slip up or not bother, whether it's the sweets The Patron Saint of My Current Existence brings back from Japan, or the fact that The Folks are visiting for the weekend, I am always going to have to make choices, and at times, those choices seem hard to make.

The Ninja is always reminding me I'm too hard on myself, that SM comes out way to often to drag me down into a pit of apathy and resignation. Why is it that we hold on to our SM's? Why can't we all just let them run free together in some land inside our heads, beating each other up until all that is left is a few blobs of subconsciousness, wibble wobbling on the floor like jelly on a plate. Why do we love them so?

As I sit here with SM rattling her cage desperate to get out, I remember all the other times I have let her at me, all the times I've made a choice that has meant that I haven't got what I wanted, and I think maybe it's time to let her go. Not lock her up so that she can find a way to escape later and catch me by surprise, but really let her go. I'm not sure how to do it yet so for now I'm just going to keep on keeping on, go through the motions and see where that takes me.

"We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit

24 November 2008

The Secret......

Where does that feeling come from? That feeling of restlessness that won't quit until you've fed it enough to put yourself into a coma. It's a hard feeling to fight, you drink water, you do exercise, you watch mind numbingly stupid movies, but it persists like a telemarketer with a death wish. I fed it tonight, cheese on toast, washed down with cups of tea to try and blunt the gnawing emptiness that just goes on and on.

Now the self appointed new-age emotional healers out there would say that I must have some deep psychological need that's not being met, that I should nurture my inner child, perhaps I need to get some aura cleansing or attend a re-birthing workshop so I can rid myself of my Mother's issues. Yeah well after some naval gazing I stopped myself from watching a performance from the You're Broken and Can't Be Fixed Choir featuring Sabotaging Me as the guest soprano, and realised the error in my ways.

Ladies and Gentlemen I'm about to reveal the big secret, no you don't have to buy my E-Book to find out, nor do you have to subscribe to my wonderfully regular emails claiming you will lose 25kgs in 2 weeks if you purchase said E-Book. My secret is simple, boring and something we've all heard before *drum-roll*
Eat Breakfast. Wow, earth shattering, ground breaking stuff going on here.

To other, more sensible people, this may seem rather simple, but for a long time resident of Crazy Town, this is a revelation of biblical proportions, you can't imagine my relief when I realised my totally suppressed deep psychic damage was really just a simple need for some porridge.

"There is nothing as deceptive as an obvious fact"
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

22 November 2008

Making friends with The Exercise

While the Patron Saint of My Current Existence is off in Japan tending to Obaachan, I've had the pleasure of looking after The Beasts. Let me tell you, dogs take effort, don't go getting a puppy for your kids at Christmas thinking it's going to be easy, they need to be walked EVERY day, rain, hail or shine, not to mention the unmentionables you need to deal with. Believe it or not they do get picky about where they are walking too, no going down the same road day after day to the sad looking park at the end of the street, these Beasts demand quality. So to mix things up a bit, I've been getting up and taking them to The Big Exciting Park every morning.

At first I was just strolling around, avoiding the hills and thinking to myself, look at you out every morning in the fresh air getting your daily exercise. After a week I thought to myself, this is good but maybe it's time to pick up the pace. So after some consideration I stared to walk a bit faster and even went up the hills. Wowser, talk about a shock. I think I must have developed asthma during The Year of The Zombie, because I sounded like a life time smoker in desperate need of a tracheotomy. The most depressing part was I used to actually run around this park, well jog may be a more appropriate term. Here I was lugging my thunderous thighs up the hills getting overtaken by The Little Beast, who is at least 60 in dog years and not too svelte himself.

Sabotaging Me came out in full force "Look at you, you lazy arse, you've been so lazy that you've actually got asthma, now you'll never ever be able to exercise ever again, you'll be a fat loser forever!" I gathered up all my strength and did my best Bush listening to the public impression I could muster, and ignored SM.

I'm still going to the park every morning, I'm even jogging up one of the hills, and doing some step ups on a low wall. Surprise surprise, I've stopped wheezing so much and it's only been a few weeks :)

"For the loser now will be later to win, for the times they are a-changin"
Bob Dylan

20 November 2008

But it's too hard......

This is often my battle cry when I'm losing the fight, it's rather lacking in it's Braveheart type inspiration. I'll say this over and over again at many junctures until I convince myself that it really is too hard and lay back down on the couch and read some trashy magazine to lift my spirits.

This is how some of those scenarios go:

Hopeful me: So I guess I should get up and do some exercise now, it's a beautiful day and The Beasts would love to go for a walk in the park.
Sabotaging me: The park is so far away, I'm sure I should check Facebook again and you know, it's just too hard.......

HM: There's plenty of food in the fridge to whip up a tasty lunch to take to work tomorrow that way I'm not led astray by the smell of the deep fryer
SM: It will take soooo long to make lunch and it will be so easy to just buy something, that next show on TV will be really good, I guess it's too hard really.

HM: Today is a new day, I'm going to look after myself and be happy.
SM: Who are you kidding, be happy? That's way too hard, besides there's left over cake in the fridge for breakfast.

You see the pattern? The thing is I've tried and tried to stop using the hardness factor as an excuse, I even wore an elastic band around my wrist and flicked it every time I said it was too hard, to try the pain with association thing, all I got out of that were welts. I mean, really, it's just too hard (ha!). So I've devised a new plan, based on absolutely no amount of research on any kind of psychological behavior modification techniques, just me, my brilliant brain and too much time on my hands. The Plan: remember something I've done that was actually hard and think of that when I start to chant my "it's too hard" mantra.

This is how it went......

HM: Wow, it's so warm let's pick The Ninja up from work and go for a swim at the beach.
SM: But it's too hard, I have to put my swimmers on and get in the car and drive there.
HM: That's not hard, working night shift for a year and studying full-time, that was hard, this is nothing.
SM: Oh yeah

HM: I've got all those veges in the fridge I'll make a stir fry for dinner and steam some fish just the way I like it.
SM: Awww but that's way too hard, I have to chop the veges and put them in the wok and peel the garlic and slice the ginger for the fish.
HM: That's not hard, diving into a freezing cold river in the middle of winter when all your instincts are telling you not to, that was hard, this is a piece of cake (wholemeal, fat and taste free of course!).
SM: Damn, you got me.

HM: I'm going to keep a food diary because I know it keeps me on track and it's a great way to assess what's really going on.
SM: That is way way too hard, I have to write down everything I eat everyday, there's no way I can keep that up, it's so hard I shouldn't even bother starting.
HM: No way, that's not hard, trekking across an island with an 17kg pack in the 38 degree heat, that was hard, this is, well, a piece of piss.
SM: Geez, I give up, but this isn't the last you'll hear of me *evil laugh*

Surprisingly simple yet powerfully effective, I really have no excuse now. Let's see how that goes.

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity"
Albert Einstein

By the way I lost 1.4kg this week :)

13 November 2008

We'll start with the truth.....

I'm just going to come out and say it, I want to be skinny. I don't mean knee knocking, bones poking through your skin supermodel skinny, I mean, I still eat sometimes skinny. I want to look like those girls who appear fabulous, effortless, gorgeous, you know the ones. Now don't think me a fool, I'm more than aware of the fact that your happiness isn't necessarily related to your dress size, but this whole blogging thing is an exercise in being honest, so let's get real here, most of us out there want to be thinner, me included.

After re-gaining a hard lost 20kgs, pushing my BMI well into the obese category and my self esteem into the underworld, I've decided it's time for a change. I had this crazy idea that if I studied nutrition I would get all the answers, lose weight and be happy *dah-dah*. Well I couldn't be further from the truth. Geez folks who wouldda thought?! You have to get up off your hail damaged arse and actually DO something before the fat-free fairy comes along and magics away your self-loathing and rather large thighs.

So here I am, armed with some knowledge and 20 years of fat thinking and living. My goal? To lose about 40kgs and re-gain nothing more than my self-esteem and a sense that I am much more than that number on the scales.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
Lao-Tzu, Chinese Taoist Philosopher .