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.

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.

It’s all about the head

motivation

Let’s face it, dieting is actually really easy if you’re motivated enough. If someone offered you a million pounds if you lost 4 stones in 6 months you’d do it, wouldn’t you? Well, unless you’re already very rich and slim. I’ve always said this – it’s not the dieting that’s hard, it’s keeping your head in the right place for long enough to make a noticeable difference that’s the problem.

So where’s my motivation been the past few years? Why have I got fatter and fatter and not done anything about it? Well it’s not been for a lack of trying. I do think I’m finding it easier now that my thyroid meds are stable. Before I would cut down and cut down but never lose that much, so I just gave up after a few weeks. And the cycle would continue.

This time, weirdly, I am losing weight, and losing weight fairly consistently. (Though I’ve only been doing this 4 weeks, so not really long enough to tell just how consistently). But I am also definitely more motivated than before.

For a start my beloved partner is really, really overweight. Morbidly obese. He was when I met him and we developed our friendship through walking. He knew I didn’t fancy him so he lost weight because he wanted to be with me. Aaah! However…. a major house renovation, moving to a new town, worries over my son’s health and the both of us have turned to food for comfort. My partner is now back up to the weight he was when I first met him and I am actually a couple of stones heavier than I was then.

It is not wanting my partner to die that has really motivated me this time. He is a bit of a secret eater and struggles with denying his greed far less well than I do. He has no stop button. Like me he doesn’t eat crap food – he doesn’t like puddings or beer for example – but he eats far too much of everything else.

After 8 years together I realised he was never going to lose weight for as long as I remained fat too. Fair enough! And he shocked me a couple of months ago when he revealed that he thought of me as being as fat as him. I was completely shocked because a) I hadn’t realised he saw me as that big, (and crikey maybe I was and was in denial), and b) it showed me that he thought of himself as far slimmer than he actually is. He has body dysmorphia. (For the record my BMI is about 32 and his is about 41 so in my eyes a big difference!)

So to encourage my partner to lose weight I was going to have to lose mine too. So here I am. I lost another 2.4lbs this week, making 11lbs in total and my partner has now lost 12lbs altogether. Yay! He is already asking me if he’s lost enough yet… He has about 6 stones to go…

Walk – sing – walk

 

 

img_1316I am incredibly lucky to live on the best street in the best town in the best country in the world. At one end of my street I have a beach, and ten minutes’ walk in the other direction takes me to a town full of life, restaurants, people. My default walk – the one I always do if I can’t be bothered to think of another one – takes me out of my house, past some lovely buildings, then past the docks, then through some woodland, then past one beach and then another. It’s bloody brilliant.

I love the docks and the view over them towards Flushing. I love the noise, the industry, the reminder that Cornwall is not all tourism. There are old granite multi-storey edifices alongside modern, low-rise but vast pre-fabs. Telescopes dot the wide pavement above them as the view is just stupendous.

Shortly after by-passing the docks a footpath appears that plunges the walker into quite different territory. This is my favourite bit. It is a jumble of trees, shrubs, undergrowth designed to trip you up. The sea can be glimpsed through the branches. Half-way along there is a bench with many, many bunches of flowers on, and a poem. The bench is dedicated to a 17 year old girl who died this time last year at this spot. It is very moving.

Onwards through winding and muddy paths, brightness periodically giving way to gloom as the trees thicken, then to an old blockhouse which is something to do with Henry VIII but I can’t remember what. Then to Pendennis Head where an ice-cream van seems to be permanently open, even on a gloom morning mid-week in January. There are always lots of cars here; people parked up for a lunch break, Sunday drivers taking in the view. I imagine many an affair has been conducted here.

Turning right my walk is now fairly flat and with a fantastic view of the sea directly on my left. I pass Castle Beach and then Gyllyngvase Beach. At the cafe I turn right up the hill and then I’m home. It is almost exactly 3 miles and takes me about an hour if muddy, 50 mins if not.

Today was slightly different however. It was the first day back after Christmas for Rock Choir. And this is held in a hotel along the sea-front. So I decided to wrap my walk around my singing. I walked 2 miles of my usual route, warbled for an hour and half, had a cup of coffee and a natter with my friend Gill then walked the last mile home. It was all quite lovely.

It is 2 days to Weigh Day…

 

 

It would have been very easy…

cliff-road

To have sat at home by the fire today. All day. The rain has been lashing down and the temperature outside has plummeted. We were up late last night as I had my brother on the phone telling me he thought I was having a nervous breakdown (he could be right) and police and sniffer dogs in our garden searching for a missing neighbour. It was midnight when we got to bed and I was overwrought re brother, and worried re nice neighbour. Oh and the boiler had packed up in the midst of all the drama so we were freezing.

Woke up this morning, checked Twitter re neighbour (still missing, could hear helicopter overhead) and lit the fire lest we all freeze to death. Round about mid-morning I noticed that the radiators were red hot. How completely bizarre. So we are now all walking round in our Bermuda shorts.

Anyway… as I said, could happily have stayed ensconced by lovely wood burner all day. However the skies cleared at about 4pm and I took the risk and went out. Did my 3 miles. Felt loads better for it. Also did 3 miles yesterday and the day before that.

Yesterday was Weigh Day. And I have lost…. roll of drums…. 1.7kg or 3.75lbs. Hooray! Only another 51 weeks to go….

 

 

 

 

Too many pies

 

 

fatwoman

 

About twice a year I find myself absolutely determined to lose weight; this time I’m going to do it, I will never eat another piece of bread again, blah, blah, blah. I bore my partner rigid with the latest research into how our bodies gain and lose fat, I implore him to join me in my odyssey (he is even larger than me), and announce, pompously, that I’m never going to be this fat again.

I then embark, with almost religious fervour, on a ‘healthy eating and exercise’ plan avoiding bad carbs and not eating after 7pm, etc, etc. I lose about a stone, feel a lot better and then spend the next few weeks and months putting it all back on again and more.

I’m not saying that this latest moment of Absolute Determination won’t end in the same way but I do have an added bit of armoury up my sleeve. One of motivation.

For a couple of years I’ve thought about getting a breast reduction. My norks are massive. Always have been. Once a great asset they are now a hindrance. I look like Ann Widdecombe.

Every day I stand in front of the bathroom mirror while waiting for the shower to warm up and suck my stomach in. I then usually decide that I wouldn’t look that bad if my breasts were only smaller. In other words I think I look much fatter than I actually am purely because of my mammaries. This is almost certainly rubbish.

Biting the bullet on January 2nd this year I went off to the Duchy Hospital and was greeted by a man I can only describe as some sort of God. He looked like Tom Hiddleston’s better looking younger brother. A nurse was called into the room (lest he molest me, so driven with lust was he bound to be), and I was asked to undress. I stood, naked from the waist up, before this demigod while he stared, wordlessly, at my tits which were hanging down somewhere around knee level. ‘You are overweight’,  he said, ‘breast reduction operations aren’t successful when the patient is as fat as you’. He didn’t actually phrase the last bit like that but that’s what he was trying to say. He did a tremendous job of making me feel I’d eaten far too many pies without ever once using the words ‘fat’ or obese’. Fair play to him.

He did me a favour. It was the kick up the arse I needed. So here we are, a few days in, and I am Absolutely Determined. Again.

I have also realised that if I do actually manage to lose 3 stones I almost certainly wouldn’t need a breast reduction op, thereby saving myself several thousand pounds. Is the prospect of avoiding an operation and saving myself a not inconsiderable sum of money going to be enough for me to actually do it this time? Dear God I hope so.

 

 

Walking myself slim

This year I am going to lose 3 stones. Or 42lbs. Or 19 kilos. Whichever. I’m not going ‘to aim’ to lose 3 stones, or ‘hope to lose’ 3 stones, I am going to lose 3 stones.

Like many people my age (56) I’ve tried approximately 3 million different diets. In my younger days I tried eating only fruit (I lasted an hour), or only cabbage soup (an impressive 3 days) and I have worked my way through low calorie, low fat, low carb, Slimming World, 5:2, cutting out wheat and sugar. In other words I’ve tried everything. And guess what? I’m fatter than ever!

This is not the fault of any one diet – they all work if you stick to them. My problem is I like food too much. I don’t like crap food. I’ve never liked fizzy drinks – diet or full-fat – have never had a sweet tooth, don’t particularly like crisps and definitely don’t like processed food. I like cooking and I like cooking good, healthy food. Protein and veg, salads, yummy stuff. I also like bread, particularly sourdough bread and this is probably my main downfall. I also eat far too much food.

So what’s a (fat) girl to do? Just give up and meander into old age and type 2 diabetes with a resigned shrug of the shoulder? I don’t know, I have no answers.

In attempt to find the answers I wondered if walking – lots – could be the answer. I like walking, I’m quite happy walking along with my own thoughts. I tend to go for a walk when I think about it, when the weather’s nice, when I’ve been feeling cooped up. But what about if I made walking my weapon of choice? Would it work? Can it work?

I started googling ‘blogs about people who have walked themselves slim’. I wanted to see startling results! Confirmation that my idea is indeed the way forward! But… nothing. If there are blogs out there I couldn’t find them and I am a demon googler.

So, on my walk today, I decided that if there were no blogs about walking yourself slim then I would start one. Will it work? Just walking lots? I don’t know. But I aim to find out and this blog will be my record.