Shrinking breasts

One of my motivating factors for wanting to lose weight was my consultation with Mr Breast-Reduction Man a year and a bit ago. He stared at my nakedness and told me I was too fat to have my breasts reduced. He did me the most massive, massive favour. He was right, god damn him, I could no longer pretend that if I had smaller breasts I would look thinner. I would still be fat but with perkier breasts. Perkier breasts deserved a better body to go with them than I was able to offer at that time.

He sent me away and told me to lose a stone. I lost three. Yes! I was really looking forward to presenting my new lighter self in his consulting rooms and being lavished with praise and a date for reducing my (still huge) breasts.

But something happened on the day of the consultation. Roads were blocked, the venue was changed last minute and I was also told that in any case the consultant didn’t do his operations in the Duchy Hospital any more. It was just before Christmas, I was worried sick about my son, irritated with the consultant’s secretary for being so incompetent so I just gave up on it and cancelled. The consultant, mortified at his secretary potentially costing him a lucrative operation, offered to see me in January instead, for free.

I was going to go. But then something happened in my brain. I realised I just wasn’t so bothered about it any more. Yes my breasts are still huge but they’re not quite as huge as they were. I’ve discovered Curvy Kate bras which repackage my breasts very well into something almost verging on perky. In short, I think I have reached peak boob job obsession and come out the other side. And saved myself several thousand pounds and recovery time when I’ve got enough on my plate as it is.

Today’s walk involved my friend Eve which was the best news as, due to illnesses, holidays and generally shit weather I haven’t seen her since before Christmas. We had a lot of catching up to do. A LOT. We covered every topic, as we generally do and she revealed that she’s thinking about moving back to the South-East. No!!!! She lives in Carbis Bay and this is the problem I told her. People move to Carbis Bay to live out their final years before they die. She is far too young for this. I am on a mission to persuade her to move to Falmouth, which, as everyone who lives here knows, is the best place on earth. She is unconvinced.

Yesterday I walked 12,000 steps. For breakfast I had bircher, for lunch I had tuna salad and for supper I had 2 pork steaks, sweet and sour peppers, creamed leeks and cabbage. This morning I weighed 75.1kg. It would seem I simply cannot get down to my previous lowest weight of 74.1kg. And I’m getting bloody fed up of it!

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Tumultuous Times

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…And……..breathe…..  It’s been a difficult few months. My son has been in and out of hospital, culminating early on Boxing Day by his needing to be rushed to A&E, having difficulty breathing. I kind of knew we were building up to it, but when it happened, and because it happened so suddenly, it was horrible. He had been hiding how ill he was.

I spent the next few days utterly terrified that he was on his way out. If not right then then in a few months’ time. Angus had a gastrostomy tube fitted in December and this had not gone well. He’d been in pain and without access to the painkillers he really needed (as it turned out), so he stayed in bed a lot. Staying in bed a lot when you have cystic fibrosis is wrong, wrong, wrong. You simply cannot do that. You have to keep moving. So that your lungs keep moving. If the alveoli in your lungs are constantly moving it is much harder for a bacteria to take hold and unleash micro bacterial havoc.

I visited my son every day, sometimes twice a day. We watched the stats. How much oxygen was he taking in? Too little, he needed extra O2. What about heart rate? Far too high; signs of infection (and also lung damage). I cried when I wasn’t with him. He was so thin it was impossible to see how he could still be alive. I have watched one of my children get thinner and thinner, and then die, I railed at the universe that I might have to do it again. It seemed impossibly cruel.

And then. A miracle. Angus turned a corner. The antibiotics started working. The gastrostomy tube stopped being so painful. Food was being absorbed through it overnight. This in turn led to his appetite starting to return. I could see – physically see – in his face, that he was putting on weight.

Another miracle: Angus somehow (and I have no idea how this happened) managed to improve enough so that we could go on our pre-booked family holiday to Lanzarote. Medical supplies and permissions from airports were hastily arranged. We needed to take seven huge feeding bottles in our hand luggage; way, way over the normal liquid allowance but it was all ok because Angus had a note!

As a result of us all expecting not to be going and then going we had the best holiday ever. The sun shone, Angus ate, Sorcha and Matt played pool by the pool, Ian and I swam in the sea. My mother though – aargh – managed to fall over at the airport before we’d even picked up our hire car and spent the rest of the week looking like a victim of domestic abuse.

This tale of woe has meant that my weight has been up and down and all around the houses. But some interesting stats: I started this #walkingmyselfslim campaign at 94kgs. Exactly one year later on 4th January 2018 I was 76kgs. I’m bloody proud of that! I have now been 76kg for about 3 months though…

I am still in the overweight area of the BMI chart though so I really, really need to lose some more. So… I AM BACK! Let the walking re-commence!

Today’s walk was round Mylor and Pandora. We even woke up to a little bit of snow, unheard of in Cornwall. ‘Twas lovely.

Doing it properly actually does work

As I spent most of September at the same weight, despite sticking to low carb (mostly), I decided to do a bit of analysis. I have been quite anal about this weight loss project and I have Google Drive spreadsheets for all sorts: my daily weight, my once a week ‘official’ weigh in, my daily diary of what I’m eating. It means I can access these spreadsheets on all my devices. God that makes me sound boring.

But weight loss is rather boring and the way that works for me is to treat it like a scientific experiment (I took much the same approach when I at last managed to give up smoking). Record, record, record seems to be my motto, and then I am accountable. I also like being able to look back on what I was eating when and the rate of weight loss. It is a jolly useful tool.

So I looked back on September and yes, while I was sticking to my more or less usual low carb diet what did happen was that I noticeably relaxed more at weekends. Roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, regular puddings, more wine…. all eaten under the guise of it ‘being the weekend’. I was making a lot of cakes for my son at this time too, in an attempt to get some weight on him, and that would inevitably involve licking the bowl out and trying a piece of the finished cake if it was a new recipe. This all resulted in a rather static weight line on my graph from the beginning to end of September.

Since Portugal at the beginning of October I’ve been as good as gold. Ish. I’ve cut out the HP sauce with my morning eggs (high sugar), I’ve cut out cranberry sauce with my halloumi salad (this has been quite difficult, I love the salty sweet combo), and I’ve had no Yorkshire puddings at the weekend. Wah! But – it has made a huge difference. The numbers on the scales are dropping again. So now I know. A properly stuck to ketogenic diet does burn fat even in post-menopausal women like me.

News from the hospital: my son is still in and now waiting for a gastrostomy tube to be fitted so that he can hopefully gain some weight. Oh the irony. Every time I see him he looks like he might break at any moment, he is that thin. It all seemed to happen so quickly in the end, going from worryingly thin to dangerously thin within two or three weeks. There is no absolute guarantee that overnight feeding him will work. It doesn’t with some people. If that’s the case the future doesn’t bear thinking about. But it WILL work. It will, it will, it will.

Gains… and desperately worrying losses

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Life is a bitch and this is why: while I am trying, very hard, and with painfully slow success to lose weight, my son is also losing weight. Except that he’s not trying. He’s trying to do the opposite in fact. His weight is now so low that I wonder if he can come back from this.

I lie awake at night worrying, worrying, worrying. It all started with the hideous bug Mycobacterium Abscessus which he started growing about 4 years ago. At first he kept on top of it – ish. Then, as more and more drugs have been tried to get rid of it my son has become more and more nauseous. The side effects of these very powerful antibiotics are bloody awful. The jury is still out as to which is worse – the symptoms of the illness or the side-effects of the medication. And worse still, there is no guarantee the medication will work and it often doesn’t. In my son’s case it hasn’t.

But still we try. Meanwhile A gets thinner and thinner and now just looks so ill and is a bag of bones. I literally cannot bear to look at him. He is in hospital now. Partly routine, he has to go in for IV antibiotics about every 4 or 5 months, but partly because I actually can’t cope with his being at home. I cannot watch him not eat. He won’t be here in 6 months’ time if he doesn’t put on weight.

There is hope. He has agreed to have a gastrostomy tube fitted so that he can be fed overnight straight into his stomach. But even that’s not straightforward. The operation itself, although a very simple one, could cause an infection which in turn could lead to sepsis because A has exhausted every single antibiotic there is. Once the peg is fitted he could still feel very sick and be unable to tolerate overnight feeds.

If someone had told me when I was younger that of the three children I would give birth to two of them would end up being tube fed for entirely different reasons I would a) never have believed them, and b) made sure contraception going forward was ultra robust. Almost worse than your child dying is watching your child suffer I think. I still have nightmares about the suffering my eldest child endured before his death.

But, this blog is supposed to be about my dietary successes or failures so, moving on: I am doing pretty well! In fact, I think trying to lose weight and doing exercise are a distraction from the pain going on around me in the rest of my life. I dread to think what I would be like now if I was going through this but still very fat and miserable about that too. Hideous.

I have now lost 18 kilos. Yes! 39.6lbs! I am two-thirds of the way there. My breasts are still massive unfortunately. I veer on a daily basis between deciding I definitely am going to have them reduced in size by a kindly surgeon to deciding that they’re not actually that bad (I have now discovered I am a 36GG not a 42DD so yes they are that bad) and it would be a complete waste of £6000 plus the recovery time, the scars etc, etc. Currently I’m thinking not to have it done.

They do really get in the way when I exercise though and being the age I am they are more like large Spaniel’s ears when I’m not wearing a bra rather than buoyant and sexy orbs. It’s not a good look. My breasts alone in a way are what incentivises me to keep going. If you are genetically pre-disposed to store a lot of fat in your breasts, which I clearly am, then the body will hold on to that fat until it has no choice. So in other words if you have large breasts then that area will be the first to get bigger if you gain weight and the last area to get smaller if you lose weight. If you have small breasts then the opposite is true. So… if I lost more weight would my breasts then get smaller? Properly smaller? It would be fantastic if they did so I’m going to give it my best shot. Though as I’m losing about a pound a month by the time I’ve lost the requisite amount of weight to make a difference I will probably be 87 and past caring.

Still (slightly) on a downward curve

 

 

I’ve had a bit of a summer off, as in diet wise. I’ve still been walking, still been eating humungous salads at lunchtime but there have been the inevitable meals out, days on the beach, ripening figs (still full of sugar despite sounding healthy) and time away from home. So actually, when I think about it, the girl done good, considering.

I’m a couple of kilos down on what I was at the end of June. In total now I have lost 16 kilos, or 35 lbs in old money. Hooray! I am noticeably slimmer and I feel miles better. The more I lose however the more I realise I need to lose. Ideally I would like to lose another 10 kilos, which at this rate will take me another 10 months. That’s ok!

I am still walking, though some days now I go to an exercise class instead. Clubbercise is my new passion. I even – whisper – did Day One of C25K, but I didn’t get any further. The problem is not that I can’t do it, it’s more that I need the crack of a whip from a fitness instructor and/or the motivation of loving what I’m doing. I love walking, I can’t say I love running. But I will try again. My daughter is wanting me to try spinning with her. Not tempted, but I suppose I could give it a try.

In the last two months I’ve been to El Cortijo Romero in Spain, which is a kind of alternative retreat type place. The course I did was ‘Finding the joy within’. I didn’t find a lot of joy because the course itself was rubbish but I did love the place itself and made some lovely friends. I’ve also been to Port Eliot Festival which is an annual fixture in my diary and probably my favourite weekend of the whole year. The setting is just gorgeous and there are so many people to listen to, things to do, delicious food to eat. This year unfortunately it rained incessantly so I didn’t enjoy it nearly so much as usual but that won’t stop me buying a ticket for next year.

I have had the most stressful August however, due in no small part to a Mr Fuckface (possibly not his real name) who has done his best to make my life a misery. I let out a holiday cottage and mostly because of the incessant rain this summer (I suspect) he did not enjoy his holiday. The cottage wasn’t ‘fit for purpose’, was ‘filthy’, wants his money back blah, blah, blah. Oh and apparently it was too noisy to even think! The fact that other reviews have said how tranquil it is and that everyone else has been perfectly happy with their stay doesn’t seem to bother him. I have been threatened with credit card chargebacks, lawyers, Trade Description Act, etc, etc. The man hasn’t a leg to stand on but it’s still stressful.

The second stress factor I’ve been dealing with is my son, who has been put on a new regime of antibiotics. Now if you’re about to put someone who is already thin and ill on 3 new very strong antibiotics wouldn’t you phase them in? Try one first, then after a couple of weeks if no adverse reaction introduce another one? No. It appears that would be far too sensible.

One of the antibiotics is licensed to only treat leprosy (my son does not have leprosy…) and is known for causing skin discolouration and a lack of appetite, amongst many other things. My son has lost his appetite, massively. He looks like a cadaver. I literally cannot bear to look at him.

So that is my summer. Lovely stuff and not so lovely stuff. But I have still lost 2 kilos!

Swimming not walking

The weather has been so utterly glorious this past week or so that I have swum in the sea more than I’ve walked. It is bliss. The water temperature is apparently only 15 degrees but it feels warmer than that. I have never seen Gylly Beach so packed with people actually in the sea as I have this week. There is normally a stiff Cornish breeze deterring people, if not actual rain and less than clement temperatures. It is amazing how quickly people get used to being able to get home from school or work and head straight down to the beach. Alas, I think this heatwave is expected to end tomorrow.

Dietwise I have been on a holiday since I last posted (Lindos in Rhodes) and I’ve been to a festival. I have eaten whatever I’ve fancied for the duration. Both times I have got straight back to my normal food regime once I got home. It is interesting to see how much weight I put on on holiday, eating carbs etc, and how quickly it comes off afterwards.

I put on about 2 kilos in Lindos, which is roughly the same as the amount I put on after a week in Portugal. So that’s not actually too bad I don’t think! It takes about a week to 10 days to lose it. Again, not actually that bad I don’t think, and it goes to show I can have a week eating bread etc now and again and it won’t have a lasting effect so long as I immediately get back to my normal routine.

Something I’ve bought recently which has had an impact is a blood glucose monitor. About £10 from Amazon and I wish I’d bought one years ago. To my horror I have confirmed that I am pre-diabetic. My fasting glucose is 6.5 mmol/l. It is one thing to suspect it it is another thing to know.

So. This has galvanised me even more. I do not want to become a full blown type 2 diabetic. No wonder I am fat – I have far too much insulin swilling round my body all the time. The only way I am going to solve my weight problem permanently is to sort my pancreas out. The only way I can do that is to give it a bit of a rest. Which means seriously few carbs for a time. I am now exploring the murky world of low carb bread etc. By the way I can thoroughly recommend Jason Fung’s ‘The Obesity Code’. It is brilliant and utterly fascinating.

Today is my weigh day and I am now 80.4 kilos. Yay!! I am so pleased. So I have now lost 30lbs. I look at photos from Lindos, when I was about 25lbs lighter than I was in January and I look enormous. I am only now realising how awful I must have looked at 94 kilos. I would love to say ‘never again’ but I feel that is tempting fate so I won’t. But… I do feel something has, at least for now, switched in my head. I just don’t want to be huge any more.

Yesterday’s meals:

Br: 2 fried eggs

Lunch: humungous salad with halloumi, cranberry sauce and french dressing.

Supper: Tom Kerridge’s porky bolognese with courgetti (delicious)

9pm: a few strawberries

OMG I went for a run!!!!!

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I am in shock. I don’t do running, on account of my arthritic knees, my dodgy hips, my unstable back and my massive norks. Haven’t run for years. When I say run, I really mean shuffle. As in slightly more than a walk, but it would be a stretch to call it a run. Even a mere shuffle results in my tits swinging wildly about, despite being practically bandaged to my rib cage.

What brought this about? Well… by chance I watched a programme called Mind Over Marathon last night, which is about a group of people suffering from mental health problems, grief, depression etc, etc. And it’s about them training, as a group, for the London Marathon, which is this weekend. I was so moved by their stories. These are people who in some cases haven’t set foot outside their house for years, or who suffer such crippling depression that to walk, never mind run, is a major feat. I cried throughout the programme, as I suspect most people who watched it did. I suddenly found myself wanting to join them, but thought no more about it. I am 56 FFS! My running days are definitely over, although I think I could count the number of times I’ve been running in my life on the fingers of two hands so you could argue they’d never actually begun.

In an effort to communicate with my 23 year old (going on 15) son I agreed to play racquetball with him this afternoon. I haven’t played for ages. I enjoyed it. (He needs the exercise, he has cystic fibrosis). We drove home and I thought, I have my trainers on, I have my joggers on, my tits are already hoisted into a highly engineered steel structure (I might be joking about the steel bit) so if I’m ever going to try a bit of a run again before I die THIS IS MY MOMENT.

So, slightly in shock at my own daring, I grabbed my iPod and started jogging! I bloody did it! Ok it was mostly a walk, but I really did jog a little bit too. And it was bloody brilliant. Will I ever go again? Maybe. Who knows, it might encourage the scales to shift a bit.

I can but dream…

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Of the good old days, back in January, when I was losing consistently 1.1kgs a week. This week I have actually put ON 0.1kg and I have been eating more or less the same as I was a couple of months ago.

Or have I? Have the portions sizes been creeping up? The wine consumption become more regular? The walking slightly less frequent and more slowly maybe? Or is it just that I am 56 and basically fucked when it comes to trying to lose weight and keep it off because of pesky fat storing hormones?

One of the things I really wanted out of this trying-to-slim-down lark was smaller tits. Surely, surely they will reduce in size as the rest of me does? Well, no. My bra size is still massive and hasn’t changed at all. Maybe I fill the cups slightly less pneumatically but what I really want is noticeable difference. Not too much to ask when you’ve lost a stone and a half is it? Apparently yes.

I’ve been walking 3 or 4 miles a day, as usual, though I did have a couple of days off this week because I was feeling poorly.

Things I have eaten in the past week:

Thursday

Br: 2 fried eggs on one slice rye toast and butter

Lunch: 3 slices belly pork fried in magic dust, salad

Supper: Pork chop in M&S cheddar sauce, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli

Friday

Br: muesli mix

Lunch: carrot and bean chilli on some leftover veg

Supper: sausages, baked beans and chips (parboiled then oven roasted with Frylight)

Saturday

Br: 2 poached eggs on rye toast

Lunch: salad with half a quiche (pastry removed)

Supper: steak, mushroom, salad, onion rings, peas, pepper sauce

Sunday

Br: muesli mix

Lunch: (Easter Sunday, lunch out) roast beef, Yorkshire pud, 2 potatoes, veg, gravy, most of a bread and butter pudding (divine). Much wine.

Supper: salad with half a quiche, pastry removed

Monday

Br: 2 poached eggs on rye toast

Lunch:salad with halloumi cheese and cranberry sauce, turkey slice

Supper: roast lamb in orange and ginger sauce, veg, parsnips, wine.

Tuesday

Br: muesli mix

Lunch: salad with halloumi, cranberry sauce and turkey slice

Supper: courgetti bolognese

Wednesday

Br: 2 poached eggs on rye

Lunch: salad with turkey and corned beef

Supper: balsamic pork, pesto cauli mash and salad

Walked round the Trelowarren Estate today with Eve. Absolutely gorgeous. The thatched cottage above is just one of many we saw on our walk. Cornwall in Spring is so beautiful.

 

 

A little hiatus

I have just been on a lovely holiday to Tavira, Portugal. We stayed in a fantastic, but cheap, hotel and ate lots and lots of gorgeous food. And wine. A LOT of wine. Prawns seemed to figure a lot too.

Came home, weighed myself and I’ve put on over 4lbs. Wah! I did enjoy every ounce though. The problem is I’m away again in six weeks’ time. (It’s that time of year). And there will be more eating of food and drinking of wine. Probably not so many prawns though.

As of today I am 85.0kgs. Which means I have crept back into obese territory. Sob. Last night my brother came round with his family and also my mother and we had an Indian take-away.  I had determined to be good but somehow the best part of a peshwari nan and a few onion bhajis slipped down my throat along with the champagne my brother had brought with him. Not good. I really need to buckle down now.

One thing I have missed the past ten days has been my walk round Pendennis Head. I miss it hugely. Today I will actually have time and I can’t wait. The sun is shining and Falmouth is looking gorgeous.

I suppose a loss is a loss

…Even if it’s only 0.4 of a kilo. Huh. I was honestly expecting a little more encouragement from the scales than that! Maybe the wine has started to creep in a bit… I have now lost nearly 19lbs which actually is pretty good now I think about it. I’ve just googled what this amount of fat looks like and 20lbs looks like this.

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Ugh! It’s good to know that is gone from my lardy middle. Plenty more where that came from though, unfortunately.

Yesterday I had..

Br: muesli mix

Lunch: crunchy salad with chorizo, bacon, french dressing.

Supper: pork steak in lemon and rosemary, salad, french dressing.

 

I walked very hastily around Pendennis Head yesterday as my son was cooking and I was running late. I cut through Princess Pavilions to get home a bit quicker and the daffodils and the blue sea lifted my spirits and I didn’t care anymore that I’d ‘only’ lost 0.4kg this week. I live in a fantastic place, my son was cooking tea (and I never ever take his health and ability to do that for granted) AND we’d just booked a holiday to Vietnam for the autumn. Another reason to be slimmer and I seriously hope my partner loses some weight beforehand because otherwise it’ll be a bit of a squash sitting next to him on the plane. And it’s a loooooong flight.

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