Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Day!

It's Leap Year (day), a day when historically women could throw off the chains of propriety and ask a man for their hand in marriage.  I have a husband, and I don't feel like chasing after another (parrot or no ), but I wonder if it isn't time to take a different sort of plunge -

The Before and After Picture.

I don't like having my picture taken in the best of circumstances (barring for art, like the Spencer Tunick exhibit), but I think it might be worth it to take a pic of myself and post it, giving myself a well needed kick in the ass.

Would you be brave enough to join me?  If you are on a fitness journey, I challenge you to take a pic of yourself.  You don't have to necessarily post it (I know there are safety concerns on the 'Net), but to have a picture of yourself at your most basic.

Not specifically weight loss related, but certainly body image related...

(from geekfamily 2.1)

A buddy of mine on FB was remarking that while she loves her designer diaper bag (the same one that Angelina Jolie has!), while empty it is 19 times heavier than the free one she got at the chemist. As a friend of hers pointed out, Miss Angie has nannies to carry her bags. It got me thinking to the phases of Mummy fashion that every woman seems to go through in post pregnancy. If you are pregnant right now, be on the lookout for these developmental milestones.
Phase One: URGH.
You have just had a baby. The thought of putting on anything more than a nightshirt, undies, and a robe is horrifying. Climbing in and out of the shower is a trial in strength, so doing something as time consuming as fixing your hair seems ridiculous. If people come over, you may put sweatpants on, but that’s it. Fuck shoes. This phase may be as short as 2 weeks, or as long as 12, depending on how evil your birth was.
Phase Two: THE LIGHT.
You gingerly step to the closet one day, and realize that your fat pants now fit! In a surge of energy, you find both a top without a stain on it, pants, and even a pair of shoes that are not fuzzy with cartoon characters on them, and you step outside. A homeless man takes one look at you and slips you a pound. You can’t remember the last time you took a shower that was longer that 3 minutes, but you are sure as hell going to have one, just as soon as you go to the hairdresser. This is a fun phase, enjoy yourself. I got a buzz cut and bought pretty makeup.
Phase Three: YUMMY MUMMY.
You are in your stride now. You’ve figured out burping, colic is probably over, and you can get your kid into a pram and out the door in less than two and half hours. You may or may not be pre-pregnancy weight, but you are at least learning how to work it. Look at you, branded coffee cup in one hand, brochure for Baby and Me Yoga in the other. *two snaps* WORK IT GIRL! This phase will hopefully last a long time.
Phase Four: CODE RED.
Baby decides to change up the game. Your angelic little sleeper now wakes every hour on the hour from teething. The cute little baby that would sit happily in his playcage while you got ready now screams when you leave the room (or his arms!). Forget clean clothes – baby how slaps over bowls, chucks food, and is constantly grabbing at you with sticky hands. You spend most of your time on the floor, retrieving thrown toys from under the couch. Then baby decides to get his first major cold/flu, and you find yourself at the urgent care ward in a pair of dirty yoga pants, a tee shirt sans bra, hair that hasn’t seen soap in 3 days, and flip flops that do not match. The only good thing about this phase is that you *can* get out of it. Eventually the teething fades, they do go to sleep, and you will have a few days/hours of Phase Yummy Mummy before the next Code Red crops up.
Bonus Phase: HONEY BADGER.
I call this the Nirvana of the phases, although some would consider it Hell. You do not give a shit about what you look like. Jean shorts + black socks + tennis shoes + skanky top + hair sticking up = WHATEVER. DEAL WITH IT. I’M A FUCKING MOTHER. I KEPT ALIVE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING TODAY, WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO? THAT’S RIGHT, NOW SHUT YOUR HOLE. HOLLABACK.

(ps, today I am in hardcore Honey Badger mode, due to a very poorly little one)

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's a pain you forget...

When I was pregnant, people used to always assure me that women have some magical hormone that helps them forget about the pain of pregnancy and childbirth (otherwise the human race would have died out years ago!).  Well, if anyone knows me well they know I still deal with the birth trauma every day of my life, so forgetting it isn't going to happen anytime soon, but the concept of "It's the kind of pain you forget" does weirdly apply to my food choices.

I know that if I eat cheap crappy pizza, I will be sick for the rest of the night.
I know that if I drink sweety drinks with fake sugar, I will be sick as well.
I know that if I even taste test Burger King, I am good and well screwed gastro-wise.

And yet, I forget EVERY SINGLE TIME as I reach for my credit card when ordering pizza after a late night of baby wrangling.  Every.  Single.  Time!  Is there some fat based hormone that makes my body forget that 2 hours after eating a box of Cornettos, I'm going to be doing awful things to my own bathroom?   Even now, writing about the Cornettos, I want them.  They are going to make me sick as a dog, but I am salivating thinking about them!  One would have thought that evolution would have shoved this concept out of my head - even rats learn which food can hold poison and stay away.  I am officially dumber than a rat.

Friday, February 24, 2012

For the Mumsnetters - a recipe book recommendation

Some lovely folks on Mumsnet (*waves*!) have been asking about Paleo and recipe books.  Now, to Joe (my personal trainer buddy and Paleo smartypants), this is all going to be way oversimplified, but the premise is this: You eat what the Paleolithic man ate.


Paleo man hadn't yet learned to farm, so the following stuff is a no-no

Anything with grain (bread, pasta, etc)
Potatoes (every once in awhile, you can have sweet potatoes, but no white/jacket potatoes!)
Dairy (sorry, no milk in your tea)
Anything in a box (cereal, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, etc)

Essentially you are getting all your good complex carbs from the fruit and veg, and cutting out most of the simple carbs that usually go straight to your body as fat.  I know it sounds really restrictive, but it's not.  For example, I just had a huge rocket salad with 2 hard boiled eggs and diced onions/cucumber, topped with a quick dressing I made from the bacon fat and a little coconut milk, rendered down.  Name another diet that uses BACON FAT DRESSING as a good food?  ;) Also, your shopping is really easy, as you only go to the produce and meat section, which are usually right in the front of the store.  Aaaaaaand, you can do it on the cheap!  I got a bag of rocket for £1 at the Co-op, 2 eggs are about 50p (I like free range), about 50 worth of bacon, and maybe 50p worth of chopped veggies.  I bet whatever crap you may be eating from the vending machine cost you that much!

Now, I am doing a modified Paleo, as you can have my coffee when you pry it from my cold dead hands, but other than the first few days of sugar/simple carb withdrawal, it's actually pretty nice.  AAAAAAAAAAAND, you get bacon.  And as mentioned above, bacon is just awesome.

As for a recipe book, the one he recommended to me that I really dig is Everyday Paleo. The lady who wrote it is a mum who needed to make food her kids would like, as well as being quick/pre-planned (so you don't have to spend hours over a stove just to make a sad little piece of boiled salmon).  The instructions are super simple, and she has a great index of what foods are in and out.  Easy peasy.

I hope this gave you a great into to the Paleo diet.  As for exercise, I am doing lots of walking with baby (already did my mile today!), and will be starting back up on the Wii this weekend.

I did not cheat yesterday!

...Well,  I did.  Let me explain.

I did great all day, had lovely salads with the BEST dressing (Editor's note:  YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS DRESSING - remove bacon from pan, saute finely chopped onions in bacon fat, add a glug of orange juice (or just juice the orange into the pan) and a teaspoon of English mustard, stir till reduced, pour over salad hot, OM NOM till you are full).  I walked about 2 miles with the kid.  I was at the huge mall, but didn't get anything to eat.  But I knew that the evening was going to be tough, as I had writer's group, which is at a theatre pub, and the ladies always split a bottle of wine.  So, I went.  And I had a glass of wine.  I didn't freak out, I didn't beat myself up over it, I had a glass (and no nibbles!!!), and came home, where hubs had ordered omelette, curry, and rice.  Well, the omelette is perfectly fine, and the curry looked safe enough, so I had that over approximately 1 tablespoon of rice (just enough to give the sauce something to stick to), and that was it.

Technically?  I cheated.  It's supposed to be no alcohol, no rice.  So why don't I call it that?  Because that Puritanical food mindset is one of those things I am trying to break in my head.  Food *doesn't* have to be good or bad, it can just be a carrier of calories, and when I stop vilianizing (and lionizing) certain foods, THAT's when I can begin to feel more in control over my body.

There's a naughty e-card/meme going around that says "Instead of meat, maybe you should give up your contradictory, homophobic religion for Lent.  Just sayin'."  I like that.  Instead of giving something up, I am giving up the mindset that got me into trouble in the first place.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


"I'm starving", I cried.

"No, you're not", says my husband.

"No, no I'm not", I admit.  "I ate 3 hours ago."

He paused.

"You're psychologically starving."


I was, of course.  I wasn't starving in any metaphorical sense.  I certainly wasn't starving in a literal sense.  I was starving in a psychological sense.  My brain, upon only 12 hours lack of processed sugar, was convinced that I was starving, and no amount of real food was going to tell it otherwise.  I had already eaten

a 3 egg omlette with oodles of veggies
a 1/2 cup of coffee
a peach
a large salad with bacon dressing
a bowl of fruit salad
a couple of deviled eggs
another large salad with ground beef and bacon
iced tea

I wasn't even close to being hungry.  Yet, my brain was starving - starving for sugar.

I'd like to finish this, but I literally cannot form a cohesive thought right now.

"They're a drug, we're addicted..."

nsfw language in the video...

I know by tonight, the sugar cravings will have begun.  I will want anything sweet.  I have fruit on hand to combat this, but I know it won't be enough.  I know after awhile, the Thai chilli oil in my fridge will start to look good.  I just have to remember:

Sugar is a drug.

I am an addict.

The cravings have begun...

Oh crap, here come the sugar cravings.  I would kick a puppy for a Mars bar.

DAY 1!

Other than extreme gastro pain from last night, doing good!  Took advantage of the stabbing pain to get up early and make myself a veggie omlette with a peach and coffee and glass of water.  Plan today is to take it easy with exercise - it's supposed to be actually nice out in London (light rain for only a few hours, but high of 48F), so I am going to take the baby for a nice long walk in his stroller. I cannot wait to get fit enough to pop him in the baby carrier again! He's fine, it just adds so much weight to my already massive chest I get too winded!

Okay, 273 lbs.  Let's see what you got.

6.30 in the morning

So I said "Oh, for dinner, I'd fancy some penne carbonara with garlic bread and a tiiiiiny tirimisu!


I've been in agony ever since.  Fucking carbs and sugar.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday, Fat Wednesday, Fat....

I never understood Ash Wednesday.  I mean, I understand it from a religious context (went to Catholic school my whole childhood), but a part of me always wondered *why* giving up things I liked were good.  If they made me happy, why make me sad?

funny pictures of cats with captions

Of course, now I am an adult and understand the religious implications of the Puritanical religious mindset (things that give us joy are evil, things that make us unhappy are good), and yet, I still can't shake the Puritanical weight loss mindset (we exercise not because it can release endorphins to make us feel good, we do it because it's painful, and by feeling the pain we know we are doing our body right).  That seems as backwards as giving up something you love for 40 days, only to gorge on it on Easter Sunday.  Weight loss/fitness/toning/healthy pursuits shouldn't be an absolute that you flagellate yourself with for X amount of days or weeks before promising to 'treat' yourself with fatty foods if you are 'good' enough.  It should be, no, it HAS to be a complete and total about face on the concept of healthy living.  You don't work out really hard in the morning so you can earn an extra glass of wine at night; you don't starve yourself all week so you can really 'pig out' with your friends on the weekend; and certainly don't kill yourself with pills and vomiting and dangerous practices in an effort to reach some nirvana of size and shape.  You know what we call people who used to do crazy shit in an effort to please some Other out there?  Martyrs.  Believe you me, you do not want to be a martyr for a Kit Kat.  Just eat the damn thing, and get on with your day.  I'd rather see myself fat than dead, thank you.

I didn't go insane on the gorging today, Fat Tuesday.  I had a small croissant and a cup of coffee (not even Starbucks!), and ate some leftovers in the fridge that would have gone off otherwise.  I bought a chocolate bar on the way home from baby's booster shots, and that's about it.  Tonight I'll probably have a Jack and Coke before bed, but tomorrow I am pretty prepared for the day.  I have my food all ready, and my exercise will be walking with baby.  No cat of nine tails to flagellate myself with, no sack cloth and ashes, no blood letting for sacrifice to my wicked ways.  With a shift of priorities.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Slightly tangential, but our new composter arrived this weekend - I'm already saving scraps for it to yum yum!  Woot!

I come from the land of competitive eating, you are surprised?

Yesterday our Yummy Mummy group had their group 1st birthday party.  It was *lovely*, even though Alex was being a snark monster half the time.  Wonderful company, food, drink, and lots of hugs and laughs.  We were getting to the cake cutting, and the couple that brought it said it would feed 20.  My husband joked that I could probably polish off a quarter of the cake in a go, and the poor folks were HORRIFIED, thinking he was being an abusive monster husband and worst, and a crass individual at best.  I had to step in and say while normally that would be considered an insult, in my case, it was actually a boast.

(We are the weirdos in our group, why do you ask?)

I come from the land of competitive eating, and never leaving the table without finishing your plate, even when the plate is 40% larger than other countries' dinnerware.  I come from a land where sugar is in everything, including meat preparation foodstuffs (A sandwich is a sandwich, but a Manwich gives you diabetes!).  I come from the land where a competitive eater gets his own show, where we watch him stuff his body cavity full of food every week, cheering him on like a Gladiator.  I come from the land that calls diets like Paleo 'dangerous', while simultaneously holding the highest record of obesity among all the 1st world nations.

I come from a land of madness, BUT...

I will get over both these mental and physical hurdles.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Recommendation!

On the recommendation of two people (one of whom is a highly certified personal trainer!), I've just picked up this book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It. It took everything in me not to order it rush delivery so I can read it in the car on the way to the party this weekend.  Fingers crossed!


Hubby is upstairs at neighbors playing XBox Kinect on their brand new tv.  I just know I am going to hear all about the 'health benefits' of getting yet another console, and a much larger television.  Oy!  ;)

Welcome to Mumsnet readers, and some slight whining about magic pills

First off, welcome to all new Mumsnet readers! I am one half of the family blog Geek Family 2.1 , also on the Mumsnet blogger's network. Glad to have you on board for my weight loss journey. To get you up to speed, read here or just click around. For the rest of you...

SO.  So today I wasted an entire baby's nap looking at pep pills online.  Seriously.  I wasted almost an entire hour reading testimonials that I know are probably bought and paid for talking about how AMAZING these pills are, all in some vain attempt to circumvent the fat-losing process.  I could have spent that hour on the bloody Wii.  Argh.

The plan, as it stands, is to start in earnest on Wednesday, the 22nd.  I'd love to start tomorrow, but I have in the space of the next 5 days:

2 parties, one of which is a group birthday party for my son
1 documentary shooting (can't be mean and going through withdrawal on camera, sorry)
1 sister in law staying for a few days, because...
Hubby is getting wisdom teeth out, and
Baby is getting booster shots.

Screw you to Mars if you think I am going to go through carb withdrawal through THAT.


I may have a bad back, but it works.  
I may have fat legs, but they exist.
I may complain when I have to drag myself out of bed, 
but I can do so without help or instruments.
I may have no time in the day for myself,
but I have time to complain.
I may not like to walk, 
but others only dream of the chance.

I have absolutely no excuse not to put my body in order,
when so many are never afforded the opportunity to do so,
and yet thrive where I would give up.

Any excuse, grouse, complaint, cry, or bitching I have about my station 
is now invalid.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Best Bacon Recipe EVER

If you are on a low-carb diet, you already know the most wonderful thing in the world is yours for the eating -


I love bacon more than life itself, it needs to be said, and so this recipe for properly cooking bacon, courtesy of the fantastic (and certified personal trainer!) Joe, is the greatest thing in the history of great things.

Go.  Read.  Make.  Enjoy.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Great video to get your priorities in order

I've been trying to watch this bloody video for the last 2 days, on recommendation of the lovely Jodi, and always get stuck doing something else (usually baby related). But I finally got to start and finish this video, and I tell you, it is worth a hard look. Enjoy.

Starting Point

You know what I love about metric weight? When the doctor tells you that you weigh 124 kilos, you actually think it's good. After all, it starts with a '1', it must be okay! It's not till you get home and do the math that you realize that you are 273 lbs. WHATTHEFUCK. Based on a height weight chart, I am supposed to be about 147 lbs. That means I am essentially carrying another person on my frame. You know when people joke that "it looks like you ate someone!"? I REALLY DID. My BMI is 42.9. HOLY CRAP. That other person that I ate? Essentially, a giant Adipose. (Note: People might be upset at this point that I am angry at myself for being a weight that may be smaller than them. If I could remind you of my former treatise about how I don't care about you, your weight, or your opinions, that would be just great.) This is way beyond a little junk in the trunk, or "You Go Girl, Be Big and Beautiful!", and veering dangerously into "I wash myself with a rag on a stick" territory. My bones were not made to carry this much weight. GAH.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A vicious circle concerning family and food

I was just talking to my mum on Skype as I was getting baby's food ready.  She was commenting that he seemed very chatty and such, and I said that he woke up STARVING and very happily downed 2 clementine oranges.  (It should be noted that he normally only gets one, but I was peeling for both of us, and he freaked out when he saw mine, and I caved).  A few moments later, she said, and I quote, "It will be so nice in a few months, he can try cereal like Alpha Bits".  I scoffed that I'd like to hold off on him ingesting that much sugar so young (he's 12.5 months), and her answer?

"Ha!  How much sugar does his oranges have?"


Let's do some math, shall we?

Clementine Orange:  9.2 grams (per 100 grams of orange) of naturally occurring sugars.
Alpha Bits:  37 grams  (per 100 grams of Alpha Bits) of unnaturally occurring sugars, including table sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Really?  Way to try and make me feel like a shitty mum.  My kid loves oranges - thank God!  He doesn't crave biscuits, he doesn't like cake, he's not even crazy about those baby rice cakes.  He's never had fruit juice (except for when he was very little an incredibly constipated, he had it very watered down), he doesn't drink anything other than milk and water, and will hopefully never have soda.  He loves melon, and apples, and bananas, and carrots, and sweet parsnips.  Shouldn't I be HAPPY that he loves natural foods, versus handing him sugar coated corn treats and calling it a friggin' day?  I guess not.  I guess I have to get shit for feeding him real food, while in the same breath being told to feed him processed food.

Friday, February 10, 2012

What is Paleo, and why am I trying it?

Looking at food options, my safest bet seems to be a modified Paleo diet.  In the interest of full disclosure, I will say I have done a rather strict Paleo diet for a month, about 6 months ago, and it *did* work - I lost about a stone (14 lbs or so).  So I know it works.  The trick is not wanting to kill everything in sight/get a divorce/etc when you go through the carbs withdrawl.  Let me explain...

My best friend Joe (who is a personal trainer, amazing resource on all things Paleo, and just a good chap) has many many posts concerning the diet/lifestyle, but it boils down to this:  You eat what the Paleolithic man would have eaten.  Nuts, berries, animal flesh, and veggies are all big winners.  Dairy products are out (Paleo man didn't farm yet), and grains (bread, cereals, pasta, and rice, all 'farmed') are also out.  You get your fiber from your veggies, not traditional grains.  Also, you avoid white potatoes and beans (nightshade veggies).  Caffeine is out, as is sugar.

I'll say it.  Fuck.

But I'll also say, once you get past the MASSIVE caffeine/sugar withdrawl headaches in the first week or so, you do feel better.  I had more energy, and was more clear thinking.  It's just really, really difficult to deal with if you aren't super prepared.  So, I am doing a modified Paleo.  I'm down with no dairy (I use coconut milk for my daily coffee cream), and I AM having a cup of coffee a day.  I'll have rice from time to time (my husband is Asian, we eat rice...a lot), but at least my rice is long grain, slow cooking, not that short boil in a bag crap.  I'm okay with no bread or pasta, and it will hurt, but no doughnuts.  I still don't understand the whole beans thing, I will have to ask him about that.  The best part about Paleo, though, has to be bacon.  Let me state this very clearly, because it is so super awesome I can't even stand it:


We have this cookbook, and every other recipe calls for bacon, and that...well, that is just plain awesome.

As with everything, do talk to your doctor first, to make sure whatever you are attempting is safe within your limits. I'm off to get more bacon.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Diet Pills, or Magic Weight Loss, or Life Lessons

I've been reading up articles on exercise, trying to get myself pumped up to the thought of sweating in front of strangers on a semi-regular basis. All of them say the same thing, though: The keys to weight loss are exercise and smaller portions. There is no 'magic pill', don't bother - just put the work in, and you will feel great! Besides, hard work builds character! No magic pill? God Almighty, I wish there was. I wish there was a magic diet pill that could make me skinny tomorrow. I wish I could pay £500, take a red pill, and like Neo, fall down the rabbit hole to hottie-ness. Hell, I wish that red pill was a red cookie, as an extra f*ck you to my soon-to-be former chubbiness. I'll even settle for 84 little pills, like - Alli - if it meant a perfect bod. Because I have to tell you, folks, I've got character. I've done all the character building bullshit - moved halfway across the world for love, gotten married, had a horrific pregnancy and 66 hour labor (with every complication you could think of), have a chronic disease, the list goes on and on. I've BUILT up enough character, I'm OWED this magic cookie. And yet, I'm not. I'm not owed anything in this life. None of us are. We get what we get, and we either choose to make the best of it or not. I've made some bad choices along the way, most of them involving massive amounts of chocolate, and now I have to make good choices to make it better. I don't have to like it (in fact, I can hate it ever step of the way), but I have to do it. Might as well get stuck in.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


I hate everything associated with exercise.

I hate the clothes - tight enough that your body can move without a lot of chafing, loose enough that you don't feel cut off, and always, always in the most hideous fabrics imaginable.

I hate sweating.  GAH DO I HATE SWEATING.  That prickly feeling when liquid is slowly running down your face/arms/back/legs?  HORROR.

I hate pre and post group workout chit chat.  I don't care what your kid is up to, or how much gas/petrol is these days.  Just turn on the music and tell me which way to go.

I hate gyms.  Gyms were created for people who love to exercise.  They have mirrors, and machines that face each other (so I guess you can keep talking about your car's fuel mileage while you work your lats).  Sometimes they have trite shit on the walls, posters like "Sweat is weakness leaving the body!" or "No Pain No Gain!".  For people who love to exercise (and you know who they are - women who were probably born in a Lycra thong with a matching water bottle cozy, or the man who is roughly the size of a Chevy Cavalier), this place is Nirvana with a slight odor of feet.  And that's great, as Billy Joel says, "I believe there is a time for meditation in Cathedrals of our own", all that.   But for a person who is *not* a fan of exercise, it is hell.  I can see myself at all angles thanks to the wall-to-wall mirrors, and worse, I can see what everyone else can see - that I am a stranger in a strange land.  I don't fit in.  I am not one of them.  I don't know what certain machines do, or why the hell I would want to use them in the first place.  My bottle of water doesn't match my sweats and tee shirt from the 1990s, which happens to be the last era that I tried stepping into a gym.  I don't particularly like feeling any kind of burn, thank you, much less the burn that comes from touching a piece of equipment that 40 people before me have sweated on and (I can only assume by the smell) improperly cleaned afterwards.

I hate exercise leaders.  You know the ones - super perky people who have never been fat a day in their lives, with so little body fat percentages that they would sink like a stone if I threw them in the nearest pool (which I very well might at the end of a session).  Women who cheerily count out the doldrum of my hour with them in broken numeric code.

"And five more, ladies!  And four, and three, and two...and ten more!"


Hate.  Hate.  Hate.

So the process then becomes finding a way to get cardio without doing stuff I hate.  I already push my kid nearly everywhere (we don't have a car, and I dislike taking the bus/Tube with a pushchair), so at least I get walking exercise.  But, I really do need to find a class.  I need to have the same people see me every week, and whose reactions I can gauge my process.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Food is Sexy

I can still remember a meal I had 14 years ago.  It was a little upscale place in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.  I wore a black wool cocktail dress, with low heels.  My fellow patrons were my best friend Joe, and my friend Paul.  I started with a martini, and the appetizer of salad with crab cakes.  We moved to a beautiful bottle of cab sav, and I had the salmon with a weird but delicious berry crust.  The dessert was a tiramisu with honey-spun topping.  We were there for about 3 hours.  The bill for the 3 of us was nearly 250.00, no small sum in 1998 (no small sum now!).  I wept at the end of the meal, it was that glorious.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am a foodie.

I love food.  I love making it.  I love eating it.  I love finding new, weird foods.  I love shopping in markets, just browsing and grazing and picking up little handmade things in jars.  I love finding things that gross me out the first time I try it, and that I slowly grow to love (hello, Unagi!).  I love gadgets that make food, make it easier to get the food, make it easier to make the food look sexy.  At some point, I have owned every major foodie gadget out there, from a cheap slap-choppy thing, to an industrial bread maker.  I grow my own veggies, make my own salsas and dips, and lick the plate clean at the end of the day.  I love working around food; I've been everything from a car hop in a 50's themed place, to a dishwasher, to a salad girl at my best friend's mum's eatery, to a bartender at a corporate giant, to management at an high end bistro.  I drool over magazines that show new cake decorating techniques, or how to grill the perfect steak.  I mock cake wrecks.  Even now, with no time and even less room to cook, I still work to make things my family will enjoy - my child's food is all hand prepared by me.  I record my in-laws while they cook, hoping to learn secrets from them, and I try their recipes to more or less failure when they leave.

I love delicious, rich, decadent, delightful, sexy, food.

The trick, then, becomes finding the love in food when it is blander, less exciting, less sexy.  And I know, 'diet' food doesn't have to taste 'diety', but let's all be very very honest with ourselves:  CAROB DOES NOT TASTE LIKE CHOCOLATE.  ICE MILK DOES NOT TASTE LIKE HAGGEN-DAAZ.  AN APPLE DOES NOT TASTE LIKE KRISPY KREME.  Lying and saying, "After awhile, it tastes just the same, even better!" insults my intelligence and your own.  It's going to suck.  But, admitting that salad without dressing won't taste as good as salad with a pound of cheese, bacon bits, croutons, and 1000 Island dressing is a step on the way to accepting that yes, you are going to have to eat it if you want to lose weight.

Wish me luck.  Have a cookie for me.  Send me recipes.  All of the above.

Kate Moss tells lies

Kate Moss once said "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels". And for her, that may be true. Being skinny have made her a household name, and the envy of women everywhere, even those with a bone structure that ensured they could never look like her, no matter how hard they tried. Even now, she makes serious bank on being nothing more than a walking clothes hanger. And yes, I imagine cocaine and cigarettes don't taste all that great, so her quote makes sense for her. But I have to tell you, Kate, I've had some pretty damn fine meals in my time, I don't see skinny topping that any time soon. Just sayin'.

Monday, February 06, 2012

On why I have difficulty saying 'no'. Or rather, all I can say is 'no'.

(In the interest of full disclosure it should be noted that I am writing this while polishing off a large tiramisu from Sainsburys.  You know the one...)

I've always been a bit of a contrarian.  Tell me no, and I'll do it.  Tell me yes, intending to use reverse psychology on me, and I'll punch you in the neck, and then do it.  I like doing things at my pace, and hate being wrangled.  And that's probably why weight loss isn't fun for me - to get from my size, to the size I need to be, I can't work at 'my' pace.  I need to work on a schedule, with some rules laid out. And, I'll need to do it in front of people, something I *hate* doing.

It's weird how one small part of your life can be so intrinsically tied to everything else.  I was mopping the kitchen floor last night, and was stuck by how much I was huffing and puffing.  How much more clean the house could be if I wasn't winded mopping, I thought.  Not that my house is a biohazard, but I could certainly keep a tighter ship.  And my kid - he'll be walking soon.  Will I be a mummy that runs after him in the park, or one that has to sit on the park bench, "to keep an eye on things"?

Tonight I step on the Wii for the unofficial weigh in, so that I don't die of shock when I am at my doctor's office.  I'm looking over meal options, but I think I am going to start with a modified Paleo diet (lots of meat, veggies, no dairy, and no ground grains like bread or pasta, but I will have rice and potatoes).  And yes, it means I'll have to look for a cheap and cheerful exercise class once a week, just so that I am held accountable by other folks around me.

Ugh.  If only taking the weight off was as fun as putting it on.

Friday, February 03, 2012

A Treatise Upon the Word Fatty

I know that some people aren't going to like the fact that this is called 'Fatty Goes to the Olympics', or the web address itself.  I get that.  Fat acceptance is not a progressive issue.  Fat people say that it's the last great thing that everyone can make fun of (and as both a fatty and a mentally ill person, I say no no, the mentally ill are a far greater target of ridicule, but that is neither here nor there).  So why use the word fatty?

Because I am.

I'm pushing at least 250 lbs, maybe more (I won't be weighed till next week), on a 5 foot 7 inch frame.  I huff going up the stairs.  We were coming into England from the US and I had such shortness of breath from the oxygen thin air in the plane that I had to be wheeled out of Heathrow on a stretcher.  No one else on board had any issues.

I.  Am.  Unhealthy.

You may be 400 lbs, and can mountain bike with the best of them.  You may be 350, and have the ticker of a 18 year old gymnast.  You may be 275, and be in better shape than your vegan, yoga loving neighbors.  And good for you if you are.  But I'm not. And while some factors out of my control contributed to this (bipolar meds that killed my metabolism and slapped on 82 lbs in 1.5 years), many did not.  Example?

I know damn well that the crap I put in my face hole paired with my lack of exercise is a pretty damn big problem.

You may have a disease which results in massive weight gain, and I am sorry.  You may have an untreated hormonal imbalance, and I am sorry.  You may have a physical impairment which means you can't exercise, and I am sorry.  You may have a million different things wrong that cause you to gain/not lose weight.  And I am sorry.  Or, you may put a lot of crap in your face hole and then not exercise.  Either way...

I am not speaking for you.  I am speaking for myself.

I am fat.

That is not good.

It is killing me, this entire extra person hanging on my bones.  It makes my joints hurt and my legs swell.  It makes me wheeze and sweat when I walk fast.  It makes the skin on my thighs hurt being rubbed together.

Big may be beautiful, but its beauty is killing me.

So when I say I am a fatty, I mean just that:  I am a fatty.  I don't particularly care if you identify positively or negatively with the word, because this isn't your journal, it's mine.  This isn't your journey, it's mine.  And this isn't your life, it's mine.

How it all began...

January, 2012.  I open my email and find these words staring back at me...

Congratulations! London 2012 Ceremonies are pleased to inform you that you have been successful in your audition to become a Ceremonies Volunteer Performer in the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening or Closing Ceremonies. We hope that you are able to accept this once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a global event that expresses and celebrates the passion and creativity of the United Kingdom in front of the entire world.

My husband had received his acceptance letter weeks ago, and while I was thrilled for him, I was also gutted.  I'm the one who had signed him up, and encouraged him to try out.  I'm the one who had a 'good job no matter what' gift ready for him when he came home.  *I* should have had that place!

My audition had gone well - as a former theatre artist (my degree is in acting), I could jazz hands and 'give face' with the best of them, but on the other side...well, I was big.  Really big.

In junior high I was a cheerleader, and in high school I was on swim team. At 155 pounds (70.5 kilos for the metric among you), I was wide (I have broad shoulders), but the weight hung well on me.  Unfortunately, everything changed in college.  My freshman 15 was a freshman 40 that never left, and by the time I graduated I was consistently hovering around the 210 mark.  However, I was very active, working as an arts educator for my full time job, and I felt while not healthy, at least reasonably okay about my weight.  Unfortunately, when I was 28 my life took a turn for the worse.  I was diagnosed as bipolar, and put on a drug that both saved me and killed me - Symbyax.  A drug that combined the metabolizing destroying properties of Zyprexa with the pound packing punch of Prozac.  In a year and a half, I gained 82 lbs.  I was perilously close to the big 300.  I was...ugh.  Constant pain, shortness of breath, depression, and everything else that comes along with a body that feels like it was dragging me down.  I got off Symbyax, but couldn't shake the weight.  I tried some of the biggest name products out there - Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Power 90, Slim in 6, weight bands, that crappy little wheel thingie you use to do adjusted push ups with.  That doesn't even take into account the myriad of herbal supplements, 'cleansing' kits, and other capsules full of seaweed, cardboard, and cat poop if their flavor on the way down was to be believed.  I took 40 lbs off in a few years, and then promptly found a great guy, moved halfway around the world to marry him, and got knocked up.  Hello, weight gain again.

So here we are.  I don't even know how much I weigh - I have an appt at my doctors, so I can talk to them about healthy options before I start exercise and eating.  I have several things to contend with, including:

  • Bipolar - both the emotional/hormonal changes concerning weight loss, as well as the meds I am currently on
  • Asthma - currently managed with ventolin inhaler
  • Allergies - seasonal, but kill my lung capacity
  • Past back injury - I broke 4 vertebrae in an accident when I was 19, and still have slight mobility issues

BUT, I have a lot going for me, such as

  • Kid and hubby I want to be around in the next few years for
  • Very supportive inferstructure 
  • This blog
  • My doctors, including regular practician, psychiatrist, and therapist
  • The fact that my fat ass is going to be seen by a billion or so people around the world in a few months.  

Next week, we begin.  Because come summer of 2012, whether I am ready or not, the lights of the world will be shining on me.