Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fat Bridesmaid

Well not the Fat Bridesmaid, blogger extraordinaire, but I have been asked to be a bridesmaid in 2012. My younger brother proposed to his girlfriend while they were on holidays in Peru over Christmas and yesterday she asked me to be a bridesmaid. They aren't getting married until March next year, but I am still very excited.

I have only been a bridesmaid one other time and it was for my step-mum. She said for me to just find a dress in brown that matched their river-front wedding theme. I was at close to my biggest at the time (about 120 kilos) and couldn't find a dress anywhere. About a month before the wedding I completely panicked and ended up asking my mum for help in getting a dress made. She found a tailor in her area who made me a dress but the whole experience was pretty bad. The dress-maker didn't seem to think someone my size should have a tight bodice and she made it way too big. She also added straps when it was supposed to be strapless and she used the wrong side of the fabric and I ended up with this awful shiny satin dress. I couldn't really complain because while this was happening the dress-maker had a family tragedy and I obviously didn't want to make things worse for her. I was struggling with confidence as it was and that dress did not help the situation. Not an experience I want to repeat.

A few of my bigger girlfriends have told me some horror stories (that are much worse than mine) about being a bridesmaid. It can be a pretty traumatic experience for those of us that are bigger, from weight gain, unflattering dresses, catty bridal parties, cruel photographers and downright nasty brides. The great thing is that I know for sure that my (almost) sister-in-law would have asked me to be in her wedding party if I still weighed 130 kilos. Even though she is a petite little thing herself, she is completely oblivious to size and wouldn't care either way if I was a size 10 or a size 26.

So I don't feel like I have to panic and furiously diet so that I'm not the 'fat bridesmaid'. Though, having seen the other bridesmaids, even if I lost 20 kilos I would still be the fat bridesmaid... If the wedding was tomorrow, I would feel comfortable being a bridesmaid at the size I am now. That is not to say that I won't use the wedding as a little motivation to keep my weight loss efforts up of course!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Business As Usual

I’m feeling a little uninspiring as late on the whole dieting and exercising thing. It’s not that I’m not doing well with it all, but I feel a little dull and boring. I am just ticking along the same way I have for the past 18 months or so, doing my exercise and eating my small lap band meals with the occasional splurge.

It seems like everyone I know and love in blog land and in real life* are all filled with the spirit of the New Year Resolution and are seriously kicking arse. Everywhere I look people are training for half-marathons, eliminating carbs and counting points-- and having pretty spectacular results too I might add. Sometimes it makes me feel unsure about myself and what I am doing and I wonder if I should be doing more?

I have tried almost every diet and training plan that is on the market and I have found that they don’t work for me. Or is it that I don’t work them? I am not good at following rules or plans because I am pig-headed and I don’t like being told what to do. As soon as it is suggested to me to do something, I want to do the opposite. I need to know that something is completely my choice before I’ll do it. Similarly, if something is restricted, then it's all I want. If I tell myself that I'm not going to eat ice cream for a week, well within 24 hours I'll be on the couch with a tub of ice cream feeling like a failure.

Case in point: I had been hating on my gym membership for the past month and AJ was sick of hearing about it. One afternoon he told me that he called the gym and cancelled my membership seeing as I didn’t want to go back. I stood dumbfounded for a second and was furious at him for doing that without consulting me. Then a minute later I realised he was making it up and I promptly went upstairs put my gym clothes on and went to the gym for the first time in a month. His response: ‘I knew that would work’.

I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to lose weight. I don’t think that you must join a gym or drink 8 glasses of water a day or count calories or eat breakfast or eliminate diet soft drinks to lose weight. I am a firm believer in finding what works for you and sticking to it. In my opinion, it is consistency that brings long term success. So if having a lap band or doing Atkins or eating only snickers bars works with your lifestyle and it is an approach you can happily maintain for the rest of your life, then I seriously applaud you for finding what works for you.

I can’t lie and pretend I don’t get frustrated by the scales (B can testify to that!) or wish that cute dress would fit me right now, but for the most part I am happy going along as I am. I still have times of doubt, but I know that the way I am living now will get me to my goal weight eventually and is a lifestyle I can maintain. Now, if only the snickers diet would work for me…

*I hate that term; it seems to denote that internet friends/life is not real…

Friday, January 21, 2011

Here I Go Again

Until this week I hadn't been to the gym since before Christmas. I just needed a break from it because I was seriously hating it. I even considered quitting the gym altogether, but those pesky contracts you sign really lock you in tight. I wouldn't mind keeping my membership and going occasionally, but for $90 a month, it just seemed like way too much money when I am on a tight budget. I also discovered there is a bigger, better, cheaper gym with a pool that is closer to my house. Fuck it.

Oh well, I am stuck with the gym I have, so I decided I better god damn use it because it pains me to think of that money going down the drain. So I went back and it was OK and I felt better after my workout. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I enjoyed it because I also feel better after I vacuum and do the dishes, it doesn't mean I enjoy those those tasks either.

My gym workouts usually consist of the treadmill, elliptical, bike and weights, so you can see how that would get boring after 18 months. I have tried a few classes but I think I am the only person in the world not motivated by them. I actually find most of the instructors really annoying  because I don't care to hear about their love-life, what they are having for dinner or watching on TV and please stop bloody singing in the microphone while I am trying to workout! Also, the last class I tried was a boxing circuit and the trainer wouldn't let me leave the class until I could do a proper push-up. Thanks for that humiliation, just what I needed in my first class.

So I will keep going to the gym, at least until my membership expires in August, but I'll just do my own workouts with my own music. I won't go quite as often as I used to, I'll be realistic and just go about twice a week and continue to do my walks by the river as well (approx 5 km 2-3 times a week). I am focusing on balance this year and I think that is a good mix for health, happiness and weight loss.

Also, just a weird observation about the gym... I have noticed that nearly all my overweight friends have gym memberships but my skinny friends don't. In contrast to that, when I am at the gym I am (more often than not) the fattest one there. Confusing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Accentuate The Positive

I am still really not feeling 2011, it is just not exciting me right now. It doesn’t help that January is one of my most hated months, it just feels so weird. So many of my favourite little shops and cafes stay closed for the holidays until the middle of January, a lot of people are off work for most of the month (especially when you work at a university), it can be disgustingly hot and all that’s on TV is freaking cricket and tennis. All these things make me grumpy.

While I am being gloomy, guess what else pisses me off about this year so far? Feeling fat because none of my clothes fit me after gaining a stack of Christmas weight, having a miserable, boring job and being on a strict budget. It’s funny how when you’re feeling a bit down, it’s so easy for everything to look bleak. I am really trying to focus on the small things that make me happy right now…

I have never been a breakfast person, but I decided to try incorporating it into my day to help give me more energy. I tried muesli for the first time ever last week and I am now a devoted convert. I don’t drink milk, hence why I don’t eat cereal, but I had it with natural yoghurt and a sliced banana and it is amazing. I make it at work and eat it with a cup of tea while reading blogs and it is blissful.

Going on long walks around the Maribyrnong river near my apartment. It’s so much nicer to be outside and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air than in a boring gym on the treadmill.

Spending my lunch breaks reading in the park across from my office. It makes such a difference to my day to walk away from my computer for half an hour.

Every Sunday I try to make a couple of dishes to get me through the start of the week. This week is was a prosciutto, spinach and caramelised onion quiche and a roasted vegetable and chickpea salad. I also HIGHLY recommend that you try this fruit ‘soft serve’. I made it last night and it was amazing and zero points for you Weight Watchers! I added some natural yoghurt for extra protein, I also plan to try adding things like caramel, chocolate, nuts, peanut butter and different kinds of yoghurt. I am hooked!

Job Applications
OK, so those key selection criteria are tedious to write, but the promise of a new shiny job is just so exciting.

Quiet Time
I am spending less time and energy with people that I don’t like so much, so that I can spend more quiet time at home and more time with my friends and family I do love. It’s so hard to say no to people, but so worth it. I feel so much calmer already.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reverse Resolution?

I only ended up staying on the Optifast for two days before I realised there was more to life than being EXTREMELY hungry. A while back I wrote a post about how, for me, this whole diet and exercise caper is easier at my current lower weight, than when I was at my biggest. One major thing I neglected to consider was mentioned by Erin in the comments…

“When I was 101kg (seven years ago - I lost 25kg and have since regained up to 92kg), I was so very desperate to lose the weight. I hated everything about my body, and I knew that I was really putting myself in danger by carrying on with my binge-eating, non-exercising ways.

Now, though? I don't hate my body. I look in the mirror and think that I don't look too bad (though I hate how I look in clothes, strangely). I can't help but wonder if the fact that I don't hate the way I look is making it harder for me to lose this 15kg.

I'm not saying that someone should have to wait until the point of pure and utter self loathing before they do something about their weight problems, but I do have to wonder whether there is a correlation between my opinion of self and my desperation to lose.”

Smart girl. Why didn’t I think of that?

I have now lost 50 kilos (do I sound like a broken record always going on about that?) and I have lost the desperation I once had to lose weight. When I was at my biggest I would drag my arse to the gym because I was filled with self-loathing and wanted to change. Now, it is very easy to say "meh, I’m not that bad. I’m going to stay home and watch TV."

The thing is, I’m not sure I want to change that attitude. Yes, I still need to lose anywhere between 10-20 kilos, but there is no hurry. If I lose 1 kilo a month this year, and keep it off, I would consider that a massive success.

The last 18 months where I have been trying to lose weight with my lap band, I have been constantly disappointed in my results. I would work really hard and only lose 3 kilos a month. It wasn’t the numbers that disappointed me so much, it was the fact that I felt deprived all month and that 9/10 out when I exercised I really didn’t want to. I felt that I should have had better results considering how depressing I found the process.

I am now at the point where I would much rather lose 1 kilo a month and feel fulfilled by food, life and exercise, than lose 3 kilos and be miserable. I have spent my whole life pushing myself to lose weight and now I think it’s time to begin a life of balance. A life where healthy eating and exercise is combined with a good dose of chocolate and laziness. Without guilt.

I must be the only weight loss blogger right now to be pledging that I will be eating more and exercising less in 2011!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

A Fond Farewell to 2010

I have to confess that I am struggling to get on board with being excited for 2011. I had such a great 2010 that I find it hard to believe that 2011 will compare.

Please indulge me while I go over just a few of my favourite moments from each month of 2010...

In Januaryquit the job I hated.

In February I finally got my drivers licence and a little car.

In March I left for a 3 month holiday around Canada, USA and Mexico.

In April we celebrated AJ's 30th birthday by flying to the Grand Canyon and then partying in Las Vegas.

In May I celebrated my 1 year anniversary of my lap band in the Napa Valley sipping champagne and watching my favourite singer, Lisa Loeb, perform.

In June I spent a week in a luxurious resort in Mexico, followed by a week with all my family in Tofino (Canada) before returning home to Melbourne.

In July I spent 2 weeks in New Zealand doing a freelance job and then a relaxing few days with some blogger friends in Canberra eating, drinking, talking and having fun.

In August I returned to the real world and got a new apartment and a job in Melbourne. Sigh.

In September I headed to Bali for a week for a friend's wedding

In October I was very sick and I have no photos because I was too sick to do anything but sleep.

In November I finally celebrated losing 50 kilos, getting into the 70's and fitting into 'normal' shops clothing.

In December I turned 30 and spent a blissful couple of weeks celebrating my birthday, Christmas and New Years.

I honestly wish I could do it all again. 2010 was the best year of my life!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Plan Is This...

Well, as predicted, I haven’t done too well with the optifast. I am sure everyone is just shocked as I am! I did the first day OK and then went out for dinner that night for chinese food and drank a bottle of wine. Then yesterday I had a big extended family lunch at a winery and obviously drank quite a lot of wine and then came home and ate macaroni and cheese and potato gems. Best meal ever I must say!

I am back on board today, even though it is my first day back at work, which is excruciatingly painful. I’ll probably try and do a shake for breakfast, bar for lunch and then low carb (protein and salad) for dinner. That seems realistic for me at the moment, but let’s be honest, it could all come crashing down at any moment…

In other diet related news, I have to confess that AJ and I both have a nasty fast food habit and so we have set ourselves a challenge to cut back drastically for 2011. Aside from the health issues, we just spend way too much money on eating out and my finances are a disaster. So the challenge is this:

1. No fast food- but we get 3 free passes. This is mostly just for the inevitable time that I really need a cheeseburger to fix my hangover, so that I don’t give up completely because I have stuffed up.
(Fast food includes: McDonalds, KFC, Hungry Jacks and Red Rooster)

2. Eat take away food only once per month- hopefully getting a Thai takeaway and a bottle of wine will become more a treat and not just a typical Monday evening.

3. Go out for dinner only once per month- this means just AJ and I alone, we can still go out with family and friends aside from this, or else we would have no social life.

That is going to be really difficult for me because currently we would go to a restaurant and get a take away and eat fast food at least once a week each. I find that with my lap band it doesn’t have to be a problem for the waistline, but meanwhile my wallet is crying out for help.

Wish me luck, I am going to need it.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Summer Holidays

I'm back at work tomorrow after two and a half weeks off work and oh god it hurts. I had such a fabulous time with family and friends. Eating all my favourite foods, drinking my favourite wines, sleeping late, going on adventures. I wish every day could be so lovely...

Getting outrageously drunk with a friend where we lamented how old and boring we are by getting so drunk I woke up on a tram in Brunswick and had no idea where I was or how I got there. I also lost my gorgeous new jacket and had a 4 day hang over. Ouch.

Beautiful birthday flowers from AJ's family.

 My gran with my brother and his girlfriend, did I tell you they moved back from Canada a few months ago?

Birthday presents!

My Victoria's Secret present, very luxurious!

Gorgeous birthday flowers from a dear blogging friend, Kenz.

Me having a picnic at the zoo, I think I was happier than I look here...

The picnic spread, all my favourite foods, cheese, olives and salami.

AJ snoozing in the sun at the zoo.

Me posing at the zoo.

My favourite animals, the echindas, love them.

Lovely birthday flowers from my dad and step mum.

Me on the way to dinner for my birthday.

AJ posing while walking to dinner.

Me drinking cocktails for my birthday dinner at Cutler & Co.

Dessert, decadent, delicious.

Yay for being skinny enough to pinch AJ's jacket when it's cold!

Christmas Day feast at my mum's, with a photo of my little brother and his girlfriend who are still living in Canada.

My older brother's girlfriend by the Christmas tree at my mum's.

Boxing day with my dad and step mum at their place in the country.

The fire where my dad cooked the turkey, love the inukshuk's they built after inspiration from their Canada trip!

Love having my band loose enough to be able to eat a steak sandwich from Grill'd! OK, so I still only ate a third of it, but it's great being able to get it down.

Every night we weren't out, me and AJ ordered take away and drank wine and watch Judd Apatow movies at home. This is my happy place!

The delicious peanut butter chocolate ripple cake I made. Orgasmic.

AJ bought me an iphone for my birthday and I am loving playing with the apps!

Here's AJ's new look!

Having a picnic at Daylesford.

Walking the picnic food off after lunch.

Fish and chips at the beach in Torquay.

It was 43 degrees C (110 F) in Torquay, so of course we went swimming, the water was so refreshing.

Opening up the champers for a glamourous NYE in my pyjamas at home with a Jason Priestly movie.

AJ kicking back on the couch on NYE.

Happy New Year!

New Years Day walk around the river, I was hung over and feeling sick from eating cake for breakfast, so it wasn't as healthy as it seems.