Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Eve

So, just a quick post to say...

Goodbye, 2011! We've had our ups and downs, let's be honest. We started off pretty damn shittily, and it took us a while to get over that, but then some amazing things started to happen, and then we got off our arse and started to make amazing things happen. So all in all, 2011, you've taught me a hell of a lot about myself and what I can do, and I just wanted to say... thanks.

Give my regards to 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, and every other year that I've spent still overweight, still pessimistic, still hating myself. Tell them you'll be the last one joining them.

2012 is the year in which I become healthy.

But more about that tomorrow. Right now I'm off to see the new year in with one of my beat school-friends. Life is good.

Happy New Year to you all! If you bother to read my posts, I love you dearly, I really do. :)

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Positivity and Porridge

I fucking love porridge. It's warm and soft and creamy, and you can whack whatever you want into it to make it taste awesome, and it's got masses of fibre to keep you full. Porridge is fantastic. I intend to eat more porridge, and also to make more random, experimental flavours. My breakfasts will be phenomenal porridgy wonders.

In less happy news, my thoughts have been pretty negative lately. This is due to a couple of reasons, which I am stepping on right now, because I'd rather be happy, thank you very much. So, from now on, positive thoughts only, please brain. Life's too short to spend worrying and beating yourself up. So you make mistakes; you're only human. Get up, forgive yourself, and move on. Be better today.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A list of feeling listless

Assorted thoughts from my brain:

1. I feel sick, physically sick, from my complete lack of self control at the moment. Therefore, I am not touching one single crumb of chocolate today.

2. This house is depressing me. It's far too filled with food I shouldn't eat, and I don't fucking trust the scales.

3. My parents. Have issues. I hate the way they treat each other.

4. I hope I won't be alone for New Year. This time last year was a serious low for me, and I am terrified of feeling the same way again.

5. I wish my friends would let me know when we can meet up. There are three of them I want to see, before I go back to uni in a week, and I worry I won't be able to. Long-standing anxieties about 'what if they don't want to see me?', 'what if our friendship is slowly ebbing away?' are also rearing their ugly little heads. Yes, I have abandonment issues.

6. Today I am not allowed to eat more than 1000 calories. I've already managed to burn half my breakfast onto the pan, so we're off to a good start.

7. Last night I had a mini break-down, curled up in my room, quietly crying to myself. I still haven't learned to bloody reach out to people when I'm upset. But who would I tell? And what would I tell them? When even I don't know why I'm suddenly miserable.

8. I'd think I was hormonal, if not for the fact that I haven't had a period in months. Maybe the hormones run around causing havoc anyway?

9. I just want to smash things. Last night I had a vivid vision of smashing a picture on my wall and setting the broken glass to the skin on my arm. Fuck. It's been almost five years since I last cut... am I going to get these triggers forever?

10. I want to be happy again. I desperately want to go back to uni now and get my control back, but I desperately want to stay here and see my friends. I want to get rid of all my fucking anxieties and fears, I want to be that confident person who doesn't dissolve into self doubt as soon as her friends take a while to text back. I hate being the way I am.

11. There is no thought number 11.

12. I'm going for a run now. I will run for 20 minutes without stopping. I will.

ETA: Ran for 25 minutes. Fuck you, self-doubt.

Monday, 26 December 2011

On the feast of Stephen...

When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even?

Maybe not, given that it's 13 degrees outside and I'm lounging about in pj bottoms and a shirt. Hurray for not being freezing at Christmas!

In other news - warning, smugness ahead - I had a brilliant run this morning. The new plan for running over the holidays was going to be to do a big circuit around where I live, following a pattern of 5 minutes brisk walking and 5 minutes jogging, for as long as I wanted. This morning, I walked for 5 mins, then jogged for 10, then walked for 5, then jogged for 15. Because I'm a boss.

This may not sound like much (and, objectively, it isn't), but this time last year, hell, even last summer, I was struggling to run for 5 minutes straight. Now I'm within striking distance of running for 30 minutes non-stop. That is my new goal.

And if you'd told me last year that I would purposefully wake up early on Boxing Day, go for a run, and feel fantastic about it... I'd have told you to jog on.

Admittedly, I've been being a bit naughty with food the past few days. I don't really care. I'm not binge-ing insanely, I'm just relaxing a bit. And I know full well that once I head back to uni in a week's time, I'll be right back on the straight and narrow. I'm still calorie counting and exercising and all, but it's nice for a little while to just relax.

The other factor in my slightly relaxed attitude is that coming back to my parents' house has sort of woken me up to how much weight I've lost. Not just because my family have noticed (which I was actually pretty surprised by... oh hello, body dysmorphia, nice to see you're hanging around...), but because I'm looking at myself in different mirrors, wearing old clothes I haven't fitted into in years, and just remembering that the last time I was here, in September, I was a good two and half stone heavier. Now I'm lighter than I've ever been in my life (excepting childhood), and I'm only a stone away from being a 'normal BMI'. This takes some getting-my-head-around.

Moreover (this is a weirdly structured post, sorry!), the bathroom scales here seem to think I'm a good number of pounds lighter than my ones at uni. I don't believe them about this, but it's rather put pay to my fear that as soon as I weighed in on different scales it would transpire that I hadn't lost weight at all and my uni scales were just lying to me. Yes this was something that preyed on my mind. Rather a lot. But no more!

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas and, though the weather is hardly being appropriate, I thought I'd share my favourite Christmas carol:

"In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron
Water like a stone
Snow had fallen
Snow on snow
Snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter
Long ago."

Christina Rossetti

Saturday, 17 December 2011

If only for one day, let me try...

My absolute favourite Christmas song of all time is:

I think we all reach that stage in life when Christmas... just doesn't feel like Christmas anymore. It ceases to be that amazing, out-of-this-world, go-mad-with-excitement, best day of the year... and becomes more about praying all your relatives will be nice to each other and hoping to get the festivities done with the minimal amount of stress, tension and argument.

Nevertheless, I love Christmas. I love seeing my family, and the traditions, and, of course, the food.

Christmas food. Well, it's been weighing a lot on my mind since I discovered the calorie count of a mince pie. I think Christmas is a bit of a worry for anyone trying to lose weight, and I know a common fear is that one you 'fall off the wagon' over Christmas and New Year, you'll never get back on.

Bollocks to that.

Here are my Christmas plans:

1. Enjoy being with my family. This is the most important thing. No one will enjoy spending Christmas with the person who constantly refuses food and obsessively attempts to calculate calorie counts in their head. Family takes priority over weight-loss, any day.

2. Treat myself. This doesn't mean eat mince pies and brandy butter for a week. This doesn't mean eat a box of chocolates in an afternoon. This means, quite simply, if I fancy a mince pie, I can have one. If I'm offered a chocolate, I can have one. One. What I notice about treating myself is that after the first few bites of a food, you aren't really tasting it anymore, you're just eating it. So, treats! But, small treats.

3. Relax. Do not obsess or feel guilty about calories. I've already pre-logged what I'm likely to eat in my family's turkey dinner tomorrow (our biggest Christmas fest with all the family is a week early), and it's already come to about 1300 calories (blame the Christmas pudding!). Now, this is more than I would aim to eat on a normal day, and this is one meal. I also anticipate perhaps eating some fruit in the morning, and probably a couple of canapes (though I'm making them so I can control exactly what goes into them, as well as not feel obligated to eat them to be polite to the chef), and perhaps a chocolate or two and a drink in the evening. I will end up over my calorie goal. This is a fact. This is not something I am going to stress about.

4. Remember the maths. A pound of fat is 3500 calories. My BMR is 1500 calories. From daily activity, I probably burn no less than 1800 calories. I plan on brisk walking/jogging in the morning to burn at least 200 calories. So, any way I look at it, I can eat about 2000 calories and maintain. Hell, most people do that every day! 2000 calories is not masses. On the other hand, to gain even one pound of fat tomorrow, I would have to eat 5500 calories. I'm not sure I could do that even if I ate the whole damn Christmas pudding. I need to remember this. I'd be the first to admit that my thoughts about eating, food, and calories are not entirely without disorder. And to be honest, after aiming for and 99% of the time sticking to a goal of 1200 for three months... I've sort of got used to it. Anything more feels like over-eating. But it isn't. In fact, my body would probably quite like me to eat a bit over for one day. My body needs a break just as much as my mind does. I need to reassure my body that I'm not going to deny it food forever, and I need to reassure myself that I haven't got myself into such a mental state that I freak out about simply enjoying a special meal with my family.

So, that's it.

I read a lot of people saying things like "my goals don't take a break at Christmas, so neither does my diet", and "it's just a day like any other", and "I'm not going to undo all my work by eating like a pig for one day."

I say again, bollocks to that.

My goal is 'happy and healthy', and that includes enjoying Christmas with my family.

I hope you all enjoy your holidays, however you celebrate them. And remember that they're not something to be feared or dreaded or painstakingly overcome... they're something to be enjoyed, and celebrated, and spent having fun with the people you love.

"Give me one more chance to dream again,
One more chance to feel again
Through your young heart.
If only for one day, let me try...
I want to see Christmas through your eyes
I want everything to be
The way it used to be
Back to being a child again
Thinking the world was mine
I want to see Christmas
Christmas through your eyes."

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

And time will make fools of us all

Like ships in the night
You keep passing me by

There's you and me
And all other people
And I don't know why
I can't keep my eyes off of you.

I have done it again
I have been here so many times, before.
Myself again, today
And the worst part is
There's no one else to blame
Be my friend.
Hold me.
Wrap me up.
Unfold me.
I am small, and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me.

I'm out on the edge and I'm screaming your name
Like a fool
At the top of my lungs

You'll try to hit me
Just to hurt me
So you leave me feeling dirty
'Cause you can't understand.

How I need to hear you
Hear you so softly
Hear you say anything...
Every single tear you shed
Well it kills me.

I've said it so many times
I would change my ways
No, never mind
God knows I've tried.

I'm not perfect
But I keep trying
'Cause that's what I said I would do
From the start
I'm not alive if I'm lonely
So please tell me
Was it something I said
Or just my personality?

And I can't find my breath
Can we just say the rest with no sound?

The tears are coming down
They're mixing with the rain
I know I love you
If that's all we can take.

May I hold you
As you fall asleep
When the world is closing in
And you can't breathe.
May I love you?

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?

Why are you looking for love?
Why are you still searching
As if I'm not enough?

What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away

When the tears fall away
And there's no conversation.
There's nothing left to break
That's not already broken.

Call me a sinner
Call me a saint
Tell me it's over
I'll still love you the same.

This is life without you
Learning how to miss you
I guess I'll need to know
How it feels like
This is life without you

I told myself I won't miss you
But I remember
What it feels like beside you.

I've looked at love
From both sides now
From up and down
But still somehow
Love's illusions
I recall
I really don't know love at all

I thought I saw a sign, somewhere between the lines
But maybe it's me,
Maybe I only see what I want
Well I still have your letter
Just got caught between
Someone I just invented, who I really am, and who I've become

So lately
Been wondering
Who will be there to take my place?

I heard that your dreams came true
Guess she gave you things
I couldn't give to you.

Now they're going to bed
And my stomach is sick
And it's all in my head but she's touching his chest now
He takes off her dress
Let me go.

It's just a drop in the ocean
A change in the weather
I was
Praying that you and me might
End up together
It's like wishing for rain as I stand in the desert.

And I think you should know this:
You deserve much better than me.

It's a quarter after one
I'm all alone
And I need you now.

If I could find the years that went away
I must believe that love will find a way
Lonely, finds me, one day
You will come.
And I'll wait, for love's sake
One day
To be

Please, please, please
Let me
Let me
Let me
Get what I want

I find peace when I'm confused
And I find hope when I'm let down
Not in me
In you
It's in you.

I meant what I said when I said "till my dying day"
I'm holding onto you
Holding onto me
Maybe it's all gone black but you're all I see.

And I'll be at your side
Wherever you're falling
Dead of night
Whenever you're calling
So please don't fight these hands that are holding you.

I do want you to know
I hold you up above everyone
And I do want you to know
I think
You'd be good to me
I'd be so good to you.

Time won't ever steal my soul
We're not broken
So please come home.
If the world has
Worn you down
I'll be waiting
So please come home.

Yeah, all the things that you are
Beautifully broken
Alive in my heart
Know that you are everything
Let your heart sing and
Tonight, we'll light up the stars.

I hate to turn up out of the blue
Uninvited, but I
Couldn't stay away
I couldn't fight it, I
Hoped you'd see my face
And that you'd be reminded that for me
It isn't over.

It's easier to be broken
It's easier to hide.
Looking at you
Holding my breath, for
Once in my life
I'm scared to death
I'm taking a chance
Letting you inside.

If I could
Then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high
Or down low
I'll go wherever you will go.
If I could
I'll go wherever you will go.

My dear,
Slow dancing
In a burning room
It is you I have loved
All along.

It was five years ago today.
A lot has changed since then.
But what I realised then, how I feel about you... that hasn't.
I know you'll never see me that way.
I know you're happy.
I know one day I will watch you get married, and live and love and treasure your life.
And I want that for you will all my heart.
But for now just let me say:
I love you.
And, I'm yours.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Plato, eat your heart out!

So the mind-body problem has provided philosophers with fodder for rambling since... well, they began to ramble. Plato (with whom I have a somewhat difficult relationship) favoured the elevation of the rational mind over the sensory body, very roughly speaking. Most philosophers, with the exception of hedonists (who are fun, if you're in that sort of mood), tend to take a similar line. Listen to the mind, not the body.

However, this tends to create issues when your mind is as fucked up a place as mine happens to be. Hence the new strategy: listen to the body, because the mind has no idea what it's on about.

Take this afternoon, for instance.

Body: I'm hungry. Feed me.
Mind: What? You've had breakfast and lunch and a snack and even a naughty sweet. I can't feed you now, we need to save calories for later or we'll go over!
Body: But I'm hungry!
Mind: You just ate!
Body: But you only gave me a hundred and fifty calories. Zoom, it's gone.
Mind: Where? Why has it gone? Get a grip. If I feed you now, you'll be starving later when I'm trying to sleep and then neither of us will be happy. You don't need more calories, you've had plenty.
Body: I've had seven hundred. And you took me swimming for an hour this morning. And then walked me for three miles. And you want to take me dancing all this evening. I. Need. More. Food.
Mind: Why??
Body: Because you're starving me with your stubborn numerical obsession. Now shut up.
Mind: But-
Body: No. Really. Shut up. Go and buy me a sandwich.

So it turns out I should listen to my body more often. It talks more sense than I give it credit for.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

I'll keep you my dirty little secret.

My thighs seriously hurt. I started doing some deeper lunges and stuff as part of my circuit training workout a couple of days ago, and man... You probably know what I mean.

In addition, I'm seriously ready for it to be Christmas already, forget all this still having to work business. I want to curl up in front of a fire and drink gallons of hot chocolate. Not helped by the house being full of bad bad foods at the moment since my housemate had a Christmas party last night. I'm trying to summon the will power to leave her to eat the way through the half chocolate cake, mini stollens, cupcakes, and plate of mince pies that are lying so temptingly in our kitchen. We'll see.

So to sum up, my thighs hurt and I'm feeling guilty over the two mini stollen I stole (Christmas puns ftw) today. My blog is so interesting, innit? Full of crap that no one needs to know! Oh well.

In the spirit of being more interesting, and perhaps entertaining you all, dear internet people, let me present you with ten facts you don't need to know that absolutely no one else knows about me.

You excited yet? I know.  Here goes...

1. I will sing along loudly and enthusiastically to Disney songs if left in the house alone.

2. I am extremely skittish, to the point that if my phone beeps in my pocket, I noticeably jump and let out a small yelp, and I unconsciously tense up when people I don't know come near me.

3. I was spanked in a fetish club by a lovely domme named Fiona. I felt gorgeous and had bruises for two weeks.

4. I talk to myself, often, and when I do I refer to myself as 'kid'. Or occasionally, 'lass'.

5. I think rats are beautiful.

6. I was once offered a job as a prostitute.

7. I'm desperately in love with someone who will never see me in the same way.

8. I'm afraid of jellyfish, anger, taxis, and hares.

9. When I have seriously bad spells of nightmares, I set alarms for every hour and a half during the night so I wake up before I get deep enough asleep for dreaming. I perfected this technique when I was thirteen.

10. There are seven people in the world for whom I would glady give my life. Without a second's hesitation. In absolute, honest sincerity.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Wherein I tell the history of matters most weighty

This past week has been full of (very enjoyable) potential pitfalls, such as lunch with friends and my flatmate cooking me dinner, but I either circumvented them more adeptly than I thought or else massively overcompensated, because the scales this morning told me I'd lost 3 pounds. Who am I to argue? (In actual fact, I got on and off the scales several times, because I didn't quite believe it.)

So I'm now officially more than two stones down since September. Somewhat in a daze, I went for my run this morning, and the sky was completely clear and blue and it was lovely and cold (yes, I'm odd, I love running in the cold), and I saw a heron, two pheasants, three rabbits, a squirrel, and a robin, and everything was just so peaceful and calm. The world is beautiful, sometimes. And it always takes me by surprise.

So Tempest was lovely enough to leave a comment on my last post about my positive attitude. This really touched me, since it brought home just how positive my attitude has actually been since I've been losing. And actually, being so positive is pretty damn unusual for me.

I've been overweight for as long as I remember. Up until I was about 12, I never thought I could change it, 'fat' was just part of what I was. But with teenage-ery came, as you might expect, experiments in dieting, along with a fair dosage of angst-taken-to-extremes. The time between when I was 13 and 16 was mostly made up of yo-yo weight loss and gain between around 180-210 lb, self-injury (although this stopped shortly before I turned 15), rock-bottom self-esteem, and a lack of interest in caring for myself that I would do things like go over a week without showering, not brush my teeth in months, and miscellaneous other seemingly-random ways I subconsciously found to sabotage my own health and happiness.

When I lost weight back then, it was because I restricted as much as I could force myself to. I didn't count calories actually, though. Never really been sure why. But anyway, when I was severely restricting, I ate maybe half a cheese or tuna sandwich and a couple of pieces of fruit in a day. Now, with my newly-acquired and increasingly-encyclopedic calorie counting knowledge, I guess I must have been eating about 300 cals. So it's no wonder I lost weight. And it's no bloody wonder I could never keep it up for very long! But when I was motivated, I was pretty darn motivated (well, you have to be), but my motivation was overwhelmingly negative. When I was hungry, I'd tell myself: "You deserve this. You deserve for it to hurt." and "You don't need to eat. Look at all the fat on you!". And when I ate, I'd tell myself: "You're pathetic. You're weak. You can't even control what you shove into your face." and "You're a failure." And when the weight began to creep back on again, I'd tell myself: "You're always going to be fat. Fat and ugly. You'd better get used to it." and "You were an idiot for thinking you could change."

Working against those kinds of thoughts is an up-hill struggle, and I doubt that I'll ever quite reach the top of the hill. Or maybe I will. I can hope. I'm certainly a lot higher up the slope than ever before. I've heard it said often than losing weight doesn't solve your emotional issues, and, no, it doesn't. I still have those thoughts, and I still have moments that make me feel like I haven't progressed at all from the girl I was six years ago.

But I'm learning to tell those thoughts to fuck right off. Because hating yourself isn't fun, and it's cast such a pall over what could have been even more amazing years of my life, and it's seriously screwed up the way I think and the way I approach other people, and it's made me miss so many opportunities.

So when I decided I was going to sort my life out, following a number of happenstances this past year that I might write about at some point but now is not the time, I actually sat down and swore to myself that if, at any point, for any reason, or in any way, attempting to lose weight began to negatively impact my physical, mental, or emotional health, I would stop, or at least alter what I was doing. Because I want to be healthy here and I want to be happy, and, furthermore, I'm trying to study for a degree- which I'm not going to be able to do with any measure of success if I'm exhausted, run-down, ill, irritable, unable to concentrate, self-harmful or depressed.

So I've practically built it into a contract with myself that I'm going to have a positive attitude. And actually, it's been working! I mean, most of the time, at least! And obviously it's helped by the fact that I've been pretty successful at losing weight: almost 30 pounds since the end of September isn't bad, after all! And it's helped by me keeping busy and making myself be more social and outgoing. And it's helped by just eating more healthily, actually keeping hydrated, and trying to get outside to exercise every day.

But the really central thing to it, I know, is just this: whenever my negative attitudes rear their ugly heads, I beat them with metaphorical sticks.

I have hope.

I can change my life, and I can change my appearance, and one day I will look at myself in the mirror and smile, not only because I like the way I look, but because I will be just damn happy to be me.

And in the words of poet, Derek Walcott:

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life,
whom you ignored for another,
who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.