Experiments

 

 

‘Tis the end of summer. I have put on 3 kilos, or half a stone, but I’ve enjoyed every mouthful. It has been a summer of barbecues, steam fairs, festivals, camping fry ups (see photo) cider, bread and more bread. It has not been a summer conducive to becoming a lean, mean, fighting machine. So in an attempt to mitigate the worst effects of having a bloody lovely summer I’ve been experimenting. Having lost 20 kilos the very, very last thing I want to do is to have to do it all over again. That would be horrible.

I have tried various mitigation attempts. This has ranged from eating two meals a day, to doing the 5:2 diet, to only eating one blow out meal a day. And I can report back. They’ve all worked after a fashion, in that if I hadn’t tried them I would have put on far more than half a stone, but what’s been interesting is what I can live with, or not live with.

The 5:2 diet – I followed this properly a few years ago, with some success, but I couldn’t keep it up. Essentially I was miserable for 2 days a week. In fact I was miserable for 4 days a week as I would also be miserable the day before a 500 calorie day, in anticipation. So it just wasn’t sustainable long term.

One blow out meal a day: yes it was lovely to have whatever I wanted. Puddings, wine, sourdough bread – bring it on! And weight wise it worked. I didn’t gain but annoyingly I also didn’t really lose much. And I missed my lunch. I felt hard done by, angry.

Two (fairly sensible) meals a day: this was much better. I could still have my humungous salad at lunchtime and a normal(ish) tea, in that I allowed myself a few carbs such as pasta, rice or potatoes. But I didn’t overdo it. This definitely worked, in that I didn’t feel massively deprived and had I not had too many meals off plan when eating away from home I probably would’ve lost weight.

I have done very little exercise the past 3 months, due largely to my breast operation, but also because of laziness if I’m honest. It’s been too hot to do fast walks and I wasn’t allowed to lift weights so that just left swimming. Now I have absolutely no excuse when it comes to swimming. I am enormously fortunate to live only a 2 minute walk from a lovely beach. We have had the best summer on record. So I’ve been every day, right? Wrong. For some reason I’ve only swum a handful of times. I blame busyness (with work) and partly laziness.

But now! Stand aside! I’ve reacquainted my body with an exercise class. I recorded my highest weight for many months on Monday, which has both depressed and galvanised me. I’ve never been able to get below 75kg for anything other than a couple of days so I would love to get to a new low.  So, after a 3 month hiatus I did a bars, bells and balls class on Tuesday. I was nervous, god knows why, but it was great to be back.

I have also started walking again now the weather has cooled down. Walked 8 miles yesterday. Four of them unintentional. (Got lost).

I need to do this. My daughter is getting married next year and I need to look bloody gorgeous.

A 15kg gain

No, not me (thankfully), but my son. 15kg since Christmas. Since he had the tube fitted. I cannot tell you how unbelievably happy this makes me. 5 months ago I thought I would be saying goodbye to him. He had been going downhill for several months, he had become a walking skeleton. No energy, depressed, ill, ill, ill.

But now – my god now everything is so much better. He has gained a huge amount of weight since starting overnight tube feeds, we have been on holiday to Greece (photo above) and he has a tan, he is doing exercise at the gym. I literally cannot believe the transformation and I thank the universe daily. I know, absolutely, that with cystic fibrosis this too can change in an instant, but for now I am happy and utterly, utterly relieved.

As ever while my son is trying to gain weight I am trying to lose it. A month ago I wrote about the dreaded plateau and how I was hoping to shift things by doing a 48 hour fast. Well… roll of drums…. I actually did it. A 48 hour fast!! This to my mind is absolutely amazing. I felt so proud of myself I did another 36 hour one a few days later. But I found that one much harder for some reason. The upshot is I have lost….. nothing. Aargh! Nothing. Yes I did lost weight initially but even though I carried on with low carb food the weight still went back on and it has made no difference long term.

If I view it that it’s a good way of giving my pancreas a rest and therefore might help with insulin resistance then I might try it again. In terms of weight loss it doesn’t seem to work for me. But probably if I did it regularly it would. I’m just not sure I’m ready, yet, to fast regularly. I like my food too much! But… I can absolutely see that it would be a good way of dealing with stress. I get that. Something to do with the discipline of it all maybe.

My new weight loss MO is to have bits cut off me, by stealth. A week ago I had a lipoma removed. This fatty lump had been growing in my knicker line for 2 or 3 years and it was starting to get irritating. So I’ve paid to have it removed. What felt like a relatively small lump was actually huge in terms of the fat that came out of it!

lipoma

This be the lump!

Next week I am having my breasts reduced. Yep, that time has come. I’m quite looking forward to it. I think. I am looking forward to not having these pendulous things hanging in front of me. I am very grateful to them for being a positive asset when young but they are no longer fit for purpose. They need to go.

By way of preparation I am back to eating low carb, lots of veg, very little alcohol. Sob.

Yesterday’s menu

Br: fried halloumi and eggs

Lunch: huge salad with chicken, ham, olives and French dressing

Dinner: Pork chop and roast pepper traybake with leek and cabbage carbonara and cheesy aubergine bites. Yum.

I am probably mad but…

IMG_0630

…it’s got to be worth a try, right?

My weight has been very much Groundhog Day these past few months. I lost 20 kilos relatively easily in the first 9 months last year once I’d put my mind to it. Far, far more easily than I thought I would, having been on and off diets all my life.

But then the dreaded plateau struck and I’ve been hovering between 74.5 and 77 kilos for the past 6 months. God it’s boring. On the plus side at least I haven’t piled all the weight back on again for which I’m truly grateful. And I have learned what my maintenance diet is. Essentially fairly low carb most of the time with a bit of a bread, wine and cheese blow out when I’m away from home (which is quite often).

I refuse to give up my trips away from home as they keep me sane, surrounded as I am by various family members’ hideous illnesses and diseases which I often think affect me as much as they affect them. And I refuse to not eat delicious bread when I’m away from home. Life is too short for such denial. This attitude is my lardy downfall.

I would really, really like to get down to 70 kilos and then try and hover around that weight for ever more if at all possible. There will be ups and downs I know. I will still technically be overweight even then but that will do for me, being a woman of a certain age. Don’t want to get even more haggard and wrinkly looking.

So – what is a girl to do given that even when I am being ‘good’, like now, the scales still aren’t budging? Well… I have decided to try a 48 hour fast to shake things up a bit. I am probably mad. I have read Jason Fung’s Obesity Code, which is one of the best books about insulin resistance and how we have come to gorge on carbs by default that I have read. Dr Fung recommends fasting and actually if you’re in ketosis from low carbing it isn’t (allegedly) as horrendous as it sounds, as your appetite is already fairly suppressed.

Having started low carbing properly again on Monday I am edging towards ketosis I think and hopefully by tomorrow morning I’ll be in it. I’m planning on eating my last meal tonight and having my next meal on Saturday night. Is this even possible?! I will be recording my progress. Or lack of.

Today’s 3 mile walk was around Pendennis Head and up through Princess Pavilions (of which there is a picture of the grotto, above). Today’s food was a rasher of bacon and 2 eggs for breakfast. Lunch was chicken and salad out with friends. Dinner tonight will be steak and kidney pie without the pie, and veg. No wine. Gah.

That will be my last morsel of food until Saturday, 6.30pm. Gulp.