Saturday, 7 July 2012

Hang Over

I've had a bit of a "low" spell recently, as I think I may have mentioned in my post on quitting sugar. This week has been a terrible week for trying to get over said low spell, involving various different people in various different areas of my life getting ill or stressy or whatever. I've been tossing and turning all night and it's been difficult to drag any kind of motivation out of the depths of my...motivational storing device. Whatever/wherever that is.

Still, despite feeling so blue and lacking in motivation, I've managed to lose 8 pounds since I decided to give up sugar. 8 pounds! That kind of weight only ever comes off me after long and arduous ammounts of dieting and workouts. Yet here I am, just over a week of no sugar and 8 pounds lighter! Perhaps there's something to be said about the effects of sugar on women with PCOS.

Still, I'm a little dubious as to whether I'll be able to record such a loss come official weigh in on Monday. My lovely doctor and a psychiatrist from the crisis team have had a head to head with the lovely therapists I'm going to see in 3 months time (or however long the waiting list is...) and the crazy people nurse I saw and decided to change up my meds. I can't tell you how excited I was about this, I've been told it can be a great starting point when you hit a brick wall. Mirtazapine was prescribed and went skipping away happy. Almost.

I read the long list of side effects. Drowsiness...increased appetite and with it weight be brutally honest with you, nothing unusual from an anti depressant. I can officially say, however, that after one pill (taken over 24 hours ago) I'm only just starting to feel hung over. After a relatively restless (but better than normal) sleep last night I've spent the entire day tell you the if I've just smoked a big, fat, juicy spliff. Complete with the munchies. Oh the munchies.

I've decimated our supply of snack a jacks, demolished a weeks worth of cream cheese, shovelled down a chinese takeout (normally, I cannot finish them) polished off the ryvita, and then I made Ben take me to Bargain Booze (or rather, I was going  and he couldn't stop me but he didn't want me going on my own in case I passed out in the street) for pepsi, chocolate and wine gums (I must have looked like a stoner on a munchies run, but that's ok, I pretty much blended in to the local populace). At one point I even tried to eat a coconut, which I got in the shopping to try out later this week as part of my sugar free food experiment, and ended up losing the half I was trying to prepare after my mum called. I still haven't found it. I hope I don't stumble upon a half rotten half a coconut later this week...

I've decided not to take any more Mirtazapine. I think a combination of some wierd reaction and sugar starvation turned me into some kind of crazy stoned munchy beast. That aside, I was so out of it I couldn't go on my scheduled run, start my 30 day shred or go to a party I was really looking forward to (and since, hunting trip for choccy aside I spent most of the evening passed out accross Ben's lap, that was probably for the best) which has bummed me out and pissed me off severely, however funny the effects might be if seen from a certain angle. I'm only just feeling like I'm "coming round" and it feels like a hangover. I'll discuss what's gone on with the doctor when I see her on Thursday. Until then, I really hope I haven't scuppered my efforts too much, and back to sugar free as!


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Pleasantly surprised

In the past, whenever I've opted for a Ryvita based lunch, I've not done so well. I get hungry, I get cravings, I get bored.

Whether or not it's to do with the being sugar free over the weekend (presumably I've had no huge spikes in my blood sugar levels) or just clicking onto an amount and type of food that suits me, who knows, but I've not been a hungry hungry hippo.

Yesterday I ate my usual spiced porridge for breakfast, ryvita with full fat cream cheese and cucumber, a large portion of veggie full pasta bolognaise and I snacked through the day on the activated chilli nuts I made at the weekend, some snack a jacks, and fresh fruit (boy is it going to be hard to pass up the fruit when the time comes!). Over the past few weeks I've found it difficult to stay within my calorific allowance, but yesterday was no problem at all and I was really fulfilled. I cannot remember the last time I felt fulfilled with this kind of food.

Today I'm dining on veggie and cream cheese omelette for lunch, half an avocado for after my run later on, and tofu (yes, you heard me right, I convinced Ben to allow tofu into our house) stir fry, with the same portion of nuts and fruits as yesterday for snackage through the day. I shall certainly let you know how that particular recipe goes.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sugar free day 4

So today is day 4 sans sugar. I'm taking it in baby steps so I haven't had desserts or sweets or candy or (shock horror) chocolate (a huge deal for me, truth be told) since Thursday. I've skipped the sugar in my tea and started mixing my porridge with cinnamon, a little stevia and some extra milk instead of Nutella.

Three days without added sugar in the form of sweeties and the such isn't such a huge deal, even to me, but I'm proud of myself anyhow as I've chosen a killer time to start this (that is, my husbands birthday weekend). But in a way it's good that I started at such a difficult time, because I'll know it'll make it easier later on. I had to sit through mister Ben eating one of my favourite desserts (Pizza Hut cookie dough with ice cream...gosh!) and I resisted! And then the same day my best friend ordered another of my favourite desserts...chocolate fudge cake and ice cream. And the best thing is I was mildly tipsy at this point too, usually the time when all of my resolve goes flying out of the window and I say "oh hell whatever, pass the cake, she loves the cake!"

So far I've found that having put up the "sweeties and desserts and added sugar are absoloutely not allowed!" rule has made it much easier to resist temptation. I still drink diet pop, and this does mean I get a sweet taste. Perhaps one day I'll give this up too, but for now, when I'm doing so well, I think it's more of a help than a hinderence!

Things will not be all plain sailing though. As of tomorrow I give up refined carbs (in other words, anything not wholegrain) which I usually only eat occasionally anyhow. It will make eating out interesting, but it should also encourage the eating of more wholesome foods at lunch time.

I would normally bulk lunch out to be more healthy on fresh fruit but in a couple of weeks time, fruit is also disallowed (I know, shock horror, but it's not permanent, it's just to try and get all the sugar out of the system, it's only for a few weeks). So I'm really scratching my head about this. I've settle on rye bread topped with cream cheese and veggies, and a boiled egg thrown in for good measure. I even found a little lunch box with a tub in it so I can plop in my portion of cream cheese before I go to work and not worry about eating too much. I hope that the protein and fats in the egg and cream cheese will help to fill me up, and it'll be great to increase my veggie consumption - I know we're told by the powers that be to get most of our five a day from veggies rather than fruits (because of the sugar issue).

And if this isn't filling enough I've stumbled accross a little invention called the activated nut. We're always encouraged to eat raw nuts because they're full of healthy oils and packed with minerals. But, frankly, raw nuts just make me go "meh" in the mouth. They've a bitter after taste. I think it's the Phytic acid in them. Obviously I can't really eat them sugar or chocolate coated.

I read about fellow sugar quitters snacking on activated nuts, in which nuts are soaked to begin the germination process (thus breaking down the phytic acid) and then dehydrated in a very low temperature oven ready for consumption. I've no idea why activated nuts are particularly good for the sugar quitters, or if sugar quitters are into health food trends and have just latched onto them (it is thought the phytic acid prevents the absorption of many of the great minerals in the nuts). But anyhow, one thing that everyone agreed upon was that they taste so much nicer than raw nuts, so I decided to give them a go and found a great recipe for them on Scandi Foodie.

Or rather, I saw that and put my own twist and just soaked a bag of mixed nuts (including peanuts, though I've never seen anyone talk of activating peanuts so I hope I haven't poisoned myself) and tossed them in a bucket load of paprika, some hot chilli poweder and a little salt. Next time I think more chilli powder is required, but on the whole they are delicious, warming, and not at all bitter. I have a new favourite home made snack!

Till next time folks,

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sugar and diabetes and PCOS, oh my!

Well hello there! Yes I still exist! Yes I am still here!

The past few months have been hectic and I've had little to no time for blogging or reading blogs, but I've been (mostly) enjoying myself. I'm working in a new shop (same company, they like to move us around) and whilst I've settled in quite nicely the new routine leaves little time for a bit of a contemplation or rant on a blog on an evening.

Why suddenly start blogging again then? Well I've decided I'm going to give quitting sugar a go. Not earth shattering, but I figure that when I'm pulling out my hair from sugar withdrawl I may find a little weep and a rant on my blog somewhat therapeutic.

A little up to date on the situation. No progress on the weight loss. Not that I've been paying it much attention to be honest. I've been focussing on getting fitter and healthier, and I am seeing progress in these areas, little by little. I can now jog for 5 whole minutes straight (hooray for C25K!)...I remember when I tried to jog for a minute back in April when I first started jogging properly in the park (That is, not on a treadmill!) and I was almost in tears from the pain of it, and had to stop during the walking intervals. No longer do I require to douse my poor shins in deep heat, no longer am I plagued by chronic soreness and cramping in bed after my runs! And whilst I've not lost any weight (not a pound) I've been buying clothes a size smaller and my workmate has noted that she thinks I look more toned and slim. Score!

Quitting sugar is the next step in my get healthy kick. I understand it's been a big thing, a bit of a health bandwagon to jump on recently, with blogs and ebooks and tv programmes and all kinds popping up every where. When I first heard about people doing this last year, I laughed myself senseless. There was no freaking way I could ever live without it. Well maybe there isn't, but I'm going to give it a go. The obvious health benefits aside there are a couple of reasons I've decided to do this despite having my reservations at first.

1) Honestly, the most influential and important, impacting influence of my decision? A close relative (who's identity shall be anonymous for their confidentiality...if you're a member of my family you'll know who it is) has just been told their diabetes will require them to take insulin, and they are having the appropriate analysis etc to be put onto it. Another close relative has been heading that way and has only been able to avoid it by taking 10 mile runs every day and eating nothing but porridge in the morning and leafy green salad in the evening to control their blood sugar levels. Oh yes, this was as well as medication. The medication, from what I've been told, simply wasn't enough

You don't go from zero to doing ten mile runs. Said relative was, and always has been, very very fit. Their job requires it. So what does that tell you? It tells you how strong the diabetes gene is in my family. I have all the physical hallmarks of someone predisposed to diabetes. My apple shaped body, the PCOS, various other mildly embarrasing and shall not be talked about here symptoms. I've been sent for many, many diabetes tests over the years because, frankly, my doctors just cannot believe that I'm not diabetic. Yet the results say not.

Seeing my relations go through what they're going through has, frankly, scared the willies out of me. I feel like there is a time bomb in my pancreas just waiting to explode. These relatives are middle aged, and I'm just'm worse than they were at my age...I have to get a hold on this now.

2) Friends are getting knocked up, people are having babies. When I lost a bit of weight last year I noticed some of my PCOS symptoms getting milder. Recently they've been getting worse again. Cutting down on the sugar is one of the best things you can do for PCOS (as well as losing weight, but I'm feeling that will be a welcome side effect of the sugar quittage).

I think I've spoken before about one PCOS handbook. I kept saying "oh yes, this time I'm going to follow the plan, I'll stick to it!" and I never do. Why? I get stuck on step 3 - cut back on the sugar. I'm ignoring the rest of the plan for now. I'm going straight to sugar. I'm quitting it. It shall no longer be a factor.

3) I keep sabotaging myself with binges. Now, I'm not saying I'm not going to want to binge but if I'm not allowed to eat sugar I'm thinking it might help. Something that I didn't particularly look into but that keeps coming up is how eating sugar can provoke the feelings of wanting to have a binge; the feeling of not being able to have just one biscuit from the packet. I can put my hand on my heart and tell you truly that many of my binges recently have been sparked by just having one little piece and then descending into a slobbering pile of sugar shoveling gloop. I don't know how true these claims are, but I'm willing to give it a try to see if it works for me.

4) I theorize that if I'm just point blank not allowed sugar it will be easier to say no to treats...there's no "oh I have the calories for one little piece of chocolate" (see above as to what happens next). Perhaps this will be a help too.

5) I recently had a bit of a relapse into a depressive phase, and it wasn't pleasant. I'm not blaming sugar on that, but I have heard that people who have quit sugar have felt a general improvement in their mood and quality and quantity of sleep, higher energy levels, greater concentration etc. Once again, I don't know how true these claims are or if it will help me the same way, but given the way I've been feeling recently, I'm willing to try it out just to see.

So I have my "programme" ready...or rather, I really jumped a bandwagon and invested in a little ebook about it. It's 8 weeks long. Maybe I won't have any benefit and I'll be tearing my hair out for a bar of chocolate by the end...but for now I'm gonna give it a go. As of now and for the next 8 weeks, consider me refined sugar free.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Hey guys!

I know it's hard to believe, but I am indeed still alive! I thought it's about time I dropped a line since I have been a truly terrible blogger recently.

I've been very busy, though not necissarily with anything "blog worthy". Things are still getting set up in the house, though we're mostly there. I really need to get a few extra picture hooks, but the place is already feeling more like a home than "the new house".

And what home would be complete without a family pet? Ben has pledged that I can finally get my pet Cockatiel ^_^ I'm so happy! I can't wait to bring him/her home and train them and play with them...I may even feature them in my very first Vlog. Perhaps if I'm totally overwhelmed with pet-ernal love for it, I'll vlog it often with all the tricks I'm so obviously going to teach it...

In other news, I started C25K on Wednesday. It was something I was always very cautious about doing as I'm sure any obese wannabe runner would be (both self concious about my appearence and worried about my health), but I started in the gym on the treadmill on Wednesday and today I completed week one in our local park. Sadly I have the flimsiest pair or trainers in the world, bought out of sheer necessity when I was skint and my old pair were bust and they offer no support whatsoever. As a result my ankles are aching and I'm getting worrisome shin pain (not a huge ammount but it's there) at the end of my runs. I'm concerned about progressing whilst I'm still getting this, so for now I'm going to repeat week one, in and out of the gym, and go for week two when I get my running shoes (my birthday present from my lovely mummy).

All that said, I'm not going to be blogging about it here. I've got a lot to say and journal and complain about regarding fitness and diet and what not, so I've started a new blog dedicated to it (finally!) and Adventures can go back to journaling my day to day adventures in life for posterity and family and whoever else may be interested.

Between falling in love with my local park (I'm a huge bird fan and it has lakes full of ducks and geese) preparing for my birthday party and getting excited over my upcoming addition to the family, I have quite a bit to blog about in the next month or so. I can't wait to give my new camera a spin and share all the fun I'm going to be having, so do stick around!

Monday, 12 March 2012


Sometimes, what you really need to find motivation, is girl talk and a few too many glasses of wine.

On Saturday night I swapped my Ben for a Becky. Whilst Ben took some time out with Becky's now fiancee Steve (yay for love!) and the other boys in our life to eat pizza, watch Star Wars, and generally be big manly nerds, Becky and I shared wine, talked weddings (did I mention yay for love?) and, well, you know how it is, discuss the finer, deeper, psychologically deep seated issues in our lives. But mostly wine and weddings.

And football.

And pizza too.

But I digress. Such girl time is often self exploratory and always therapeutic, and of course talking about weddings, the future, love and health and all that, really re focused my mind on what really matters, especially now that we're living in a home which could easily accommodate a mini Myatt...

I've been coasting along, health wise (and by that of course I mean weight loss wise), since Christmas. Granted we weren't expecting to be chucked headfirst into moving house, and I still have to pinch myself to remind myself that yes, we are here and here is indeed ours, not that mouldy little flat we used to call home. Trips to visit my family and the stress of new duties at work...despite my doctors great two pronged plan for me, it's been way too much. Way, way too much.

However, as good excuses as all of these are, Becky and I got to the topic of making choices towards the very end of the night, and I think I realised that actually, excuses or no, I really need to make the choice for myself. Do I make the choice to continue as I am and hope life becomes just "perfect" to start getting healthy and loosing weight again, or do I make the choice to grasp at every tool available to me, and all my past experience, and just go for it in earnest again, however ideal or not the situation may be? I think we all know what the winning choice is most likely to be.

And, as simple and obvious as that may sound, I think coming to such a realisation and deciding to make the choice has added a peppering of another key ingredient that makes weight loss a little big more obtainable. I feel brimming with motivation, and raring to go.

Of course, the proof is usually in the pudding, in our deeds and actions, not just in empty, rambling blog posts like this. So I went ahead and gathered said tools and have, I think, made a good start.

This morning I held my breath and braved the scales, knowing that I have to know how I'm doing in order to push myself. I was't looking forward to it, and I've been avoiding it. Oddly enough, having the scales packed away thanks to the move and enabled my avoidance perfectly, but I got up early for work and unpacked them (yes, I knew exactly where they were).

To my pleasant surprise, I'm not as bad as I thought I was. At my lowest weight since the summer I was 318 I'm 327 pounds...I was 346 pounds when I started, in earnest, to try and loose weight. Basically, yes, I've been bad since Christmas...but boy oh boy am I thrilled with the fact that I've gained less than a stone, less than half the weight I lost in the first place...I haven't gone back to square one at all, and I am leaping on that to get me going!

I've also really focused on taking back good habits that helped me last time. I took my lunch in to work with me, a tomato and basil pasta pot, an apple and a banana, I've chewed compulsively on sugar free gum, and I didn't even look at the sweets when I went to get the racing post from the newsagents this morning when I had to open shop (the newsagents we get the post from has a special deal on chocolate bars - three for a pound - and I have no choice but to go in there when I open shop!). I walked just short of a mile after work, and I've logged every morsel of food to pass my lips today. All in all, a lot of little victories, and not only do I feel good in myself for having achieved them and not made excuses to back out of them, but I feel good physically for treating my body so kindly. I knew today would have to be a good one to start this thing off again, and I think I've laid great foundations to begin getting healthy.

The one thing that's missing this time that's different from the last time I was successful in losing weight is having a challenge. I decided not to wait or look for an upcoming blog challenge. This is for me, not anyone or anything else. Taking inspiration from a challenge I saw ages ago on (I think) either the MFP or weight watchers forums, I'm challenging myself to walk a marathon between now and this time next month. It seems fitting; the walk to work is much gentler on me now (no steep hill to claw away at my asthma riddled lungage) and we have a huge park a stones throw away from our house. Because I need to encourage myself back out to the gym (because I will never be comfortable running around in public enough to achieve a comparable level of fitness to that which I know I can achieve in the gym) I'm counting treadmill miles too. I started yesterday, and have walked 1.73 miles so far...which may not sound a lot, but for me that is a big deal, I don't do walking and will get a bus to go just two stops down the road.

But lazy or not...only 24.49 miles to go!

I really think I can do it :)

So glad to feel that my mojo is well and truly back, and here's me lifting a virtual glass of (low calorie) wine to it staying for a goodly time yet...I have my best friends wedding to slim down for, after all!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Winding back to reality

Feeling positive and happy today!
As of today, I am attempting to return to "real life". We're pretty comfortably settled into the new house now, with only little bits and bobs, and our pretty decorative things like pictures for the wall to be unpacked. Ben and I both start back at work on Monday, so we will be back to reality in that sense then.

This past week has been more of a new year than new years.... I went up to stay with family on Tuesday, saw my favourite ever band on Wednesday with my little sister and returned to Liverpool with a swanky new hairstyle and, I think, a much more positive outlook on life. It's amazing what a new do can do! But it's more than that. I feel like the little trip up north just ended the old Bex of the old flat and began the new Bex of the new house.

And new Bex has a whole lot of go get em power. Sadly the funk I found myself in throughout the latter part of February has set me way back on my weightloss efforts. I know I wasn't doing so well after Christmas, but with our sudden moving house, my diet has been atrocious. I confided in my doctor that I'd been binging almost every day, but I don't feel the need to do so right now. I feel so at ease in my new place, and more relaxed than I have been for a long time. We also don't have a sweet shop right next door to us either, so that may also explain my good behaviour this week! Anyhow, I've decided to re rev up the Beck diet book (I only got two and a half weeks into it last time) and work on my resolve and will power. I'm feeling very chilled and happy about where I go from here, and I've scheduled myself in for two trips to the gym this week...the first in a month...I'm looking forward to it so much!

And I need it. I bought myself a band t-shirt at the concert on Wednesday...I saw a few beefy older men wearing them so I figured if I got myself the biggest size I'd be ok. Well as you can see it's a little's not restrictive in any way, but I couldn't just wear it without feeling very self concious about it drawing attention to my tummy! My current diet goal therefore is to slim down to feel comfortable in my new tshirt...I will consider it a win when I feel comfortable enough to wear it out...not just to the gym (which I probably will wear it to because I need tshirts for the gym!) but actually out and about in public.

I know I still haven't posted any pictures of the new house (although that there piccy of me in my shirt is my bedroom!) but thats because it isn't quite finished soon as I am totally unpacked, I shall show you all!