Friday, 13 April 2012

Day Seventeen

Breakfast: scrambled egg with mushroom and quarter of an onion
Lunch: Chicken in mayo and curry powder with some leftover raisins (6 or 7?)
Tea: lardons and fried mushrooms and steamed broccoli and caulflower in butter, with grilled cheddar on top.

Crap day today. My legs were killing me all day - a muscular hangover from four hours of paintballing and laser tag the other night. And after a week of constipation I had diarrhoea all day today. And I was really depressed about having apparently GAINED weight in the last week.

Here's how I was feeling this morning: "I've heard various claims made of the low-carb way of eating, and none of them have held true for me:
1. Aches and pains
OK, so I probably sustained some kind of back injury right at the start, but I had a lot of back pain and now I'm in agony after playing paintball at work 2 days ago. These things have explanations but I'm in a lot of discomfort and I'm not normally prone to many aches and pains.

2. Digestive system. I've heard people make claims about IBS and indigestion, but I was fine before I started this and now I'm permanently constipated.

3. Energy. I've never had a single one of these surges of energy people talk about. I've actually been knackered ever since I started. At first I put it down to staying up late revising for my exam, then having a busy weekend with workshops and a concert, then my period. Those things are all done and dusted now, but I'm STILL exhausted.

4. Weight loss. I haven't had a drop of sugar or alcohol or white carbs for nearly three weeks. I'm sticking to the regime rigidly - my only transgressions have consisted of drinking coffee, occasionally having milk in said coffee, eating the occasional tomato, eating one packet of crisps and a total of nine grapes. I've lost two pounds. I know people say I should be patient, but two pounds? Really?

Maybe this diet just doesn't work for me.

The worst thing is I have no idea where to go from here. I hate giving up, I can't give up yet. I'm going to try giving up coffee and getting even more strict about all the other aspects, but it's hard when there are no rewards.

I feel like I'm just making myself feel like @*&^!? for no good reason at all.

And to cap it all, I've never been a fan of cooked breakfasts or generally eating savoury food first thing in the morning. I like my morning food to be bland, and I've never liked raw cheese. Eggs are the closest I can get to an acceptable breakfast food, but there are an increasing number of mornings when I look at those eggs with misery, wishing I could just have a bowl of muesli like I did every morning for the last twenty years."

It's been suggested that I've actually managed to eat enough carbs in the last week to cause this to happen.

It's true that once I started listing all my little transgressions they looked slightly more than I'd thought: In the space of a week: 1 packet of plain crisps (10g of carbs according to the packet), 9 grapes, a handful of raisins, one tiny black cracker, about two splooshes of milk a day, the occasional fresh tomato, some red peppers, a small quantity of fried onions.

But really? Is that enough to make me GAIN weight?

Some people have suggested that you only have to go a little way over the amount of carbs required to put you into ketosis, and not only will you go back out of ketosis again, but it will last three days and you might start gaining weight.

I really can't make sense of that though.

I've read in various places that 100g per day is a reasonable amount if you're trying to maintain your current weight. And yet I appear to have put weight on by adding 10g or max 20g to my daily carb intake, when the rest of my diet is carb free. And yes, veg can contain carb, but a lot of that is insoluble fibre and therefore doesn't count.

But anyway... if it's true that it only takes this tiny quantity to take me out of ketosis, then how come the IPD book and various others suggest that the initial extreme induction period can then be replaced by a gentler regime, where the carbs are higher and the weight loss is slower - but you are still losing weight?

This just doesn't fit with the theory that you are either in ketosis or you are not, and if you are not then you are putting on weight.

It doesn't add up.

Not least because the occasional grape here and there brings me NOWHERE NEAR my previous carb intake, and yes I am overweight but it has taken me fifteen years to reach this size, and there have been long periods when I've stayed the same or even lost weight, and throughout that whole time I was having muesli for breakfast every day and white carbs with every other meal. And that's not even mentioning my weekly sugar intake. And beer! And crisps. Etc etc

I don't like giving up though. I gave up caffeine again today (for about the fourth time this year), and I'll stop cheating with grapes, etc (sigh). And maybe it's time I started peeing on sticks to find out just what it does take to put me into ketosis. It's really all rather tedious (sigh again). Oh well. No pain no gain. I can't give up yet.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Day Sixteen

Breakfast: Leftover mushrooms, garlic, walnuts, leftover chicken fried in butter, cream, roule
Lunch: mushroom omelette (2 eggs) + raw spinach
Tea: Ham, fried lardons, cucumber, green pepper, green cabbage, with cheddar, feta, roule grilled on the top.
2 or 3 cups of coffee with milk, 1 or 2 cups of coffee with double cream

Remember those five pounds I lost last week? I put three of them back on again.

None of my circumferences have changed at all, apart from one's 3cm wider and one's 3cm thinner (I forget which), but then it's very hard to get accurate readings - a small change in tape position can make measurements change a lot, and so can a tighter squeeze.

Dispirited, but there you go. Actually I ache all over after four hours of paintballing and laser tag with work yesterday. I don't like paintball! Those bullets HURT.

I'm going to try again at giving up coffee tomorrow.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Day Fifteen

Breakfast: mushroom omelette (2 eggs) + raw spinach
Lunch: minced beef fried in onions and mushrooms and red pepper and one tomato, plus tinned toms, + steamed broccoli & spinach
Snack: packet of plain crisps (eek! 10g of carbs according to the packet) (I was at a works outing: paintball and laser tag - and forgot my carefully-prepared tea, and couldn't face removing the topping from the pizza my employers had provided)
Tea: Mushrooms, garlic, walnuts, leftover chicken fried in butter, cream, roule... + cauli steamed in butter
Snack: handful of roasted salted macadamias
2 or 3 cups of coffee with milk, 1 or 2 cups of coffee with double cream

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Day Fourteen

Breakfast: 2 poached eggs + broccoli
Lunch: chicken, mayo, curry powder, handful of raisins
Snack: 5 salted roasted macadamia nuts
Tea: steamed red cabbage, minced beef fried in onions and mushrooms and red pepper and one tomato, plus tinned toms, with grilled cheddar on top
2 or 3 cups of coffee with milk, 1 or 2 cups of coffee with double cream

I have to say though, I'm getting bored already. The worst parts are having to cook and generally be compos mentis first thing in the morning and make sensible food decisions (for both breakfast and lunch cos I can't afford to buy lunch in shops), and then do food preparation, instead of preparing muesli on automatic pilot. I haven't yet found a suitable breakfast for eating on autopilot every day and not having to think about it. Worst thing was having my parents to stay this weekend and people trying to TALK to me while I was cooking my breakfast. I hate people talking to me first thing in t' morning but I DOUBLY hate people talking to me while I cook. I just burn stuff. Cooking requires my 100% concentration. No distractions.

Apparently at some point I can start eating porridge. I'm looking forward to that.

Feels like I've been doing this forever, and I've only been doing it proper-like for a fortnight. Am not at all convinced I can keep up the sensibleness for the REST OF MY LIFE. I want to eat cake in cafes. [sulk]

Still, at least I've continued to be good. Apart from 4 grapes one day and 5 grapes a few days later. SHOCKING BEHAVIOUR. ;)

Think I'm just having a bit of a whinge cos of time of month. And my back hurts again. And I'm EXHAUSTED after mad swotting followed by mad-busy Easter weekend.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Day Thirteen

Breakfast: bacon, 2 fried eggs, buttered spinach, fried tomato
Lunch: cucumber, celery, red pepper, tomato with cheddar, roquefort and roule grilled on top
Snack: mushrooms fried in butter and cream
Tea: roast chicken, gravy, broccoli, green beans
2 or 3 cups of coffee with milk, 1 or 2 cups of coffee with double cream

Store Your Breasts

A hilarious extract which my mother just read out to me from the Idiot Proof Diet book (p99):

"If you have breasts larger than a 34C, put them in a bin bag. You don't have to throw them away: just store them for the time being. On the other hand, if you're confident with a pair of scissors..."

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Day Twelve

Breakfast: 2 poached eggs, lettuce, broccoli, celery
Lunch: mushroom omelette
Snack: 5 grapes in double cream
Tea: salami, prosciutto, branston pickle, one teeny cracker, olives, blue cheese, yellow cheese: stumbled across a little bar in the northern quarter while looking for somewhere to eat with parents after gospel concert: The only dishes on offer were toasties or "a plate of cheese" or "a plate of meat", LOL!
3 or 4 cups of coffee with double cream

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Day Eleven

Breakfast: fried eggs, sausages, bacon, raw spinach
Lunch: minced beef fried in onions and mushrooms and red pepper and one tomato + butter + cream, plus tinned toms and avocado
Tea: carb-free pizza: salami, red pepper, sliced tomato on bed of buttered spinach, with mozzarella + cheddar grilled on top. Mushrooms in butter and cream on the side.
3 or 4 cups of coffee with double cream

Friday, 6 April 2012

Day Ten

Breakfast: mushrooms fried in cream, 2 rashers bacon, 1 fried egg.
Lunch: one stick celery, roule, two sausages, leftover minced beef fried in onion and mushroom, steamed red cabbage, steamed green leaves
Tea: Tuna salad: Tuna, chopped raw spinach, chopped little gem lettuce, chopped yellow pepper, mayo
Snack: one slice cheap ham
Snack: four grapes (!) chopped into a puddle of double cream
2 or 3 cups of coffee with milk, 1 or 2 cups of coffee with double cream

I have had a rubbish day - been in a crap mood all day. PMT. Hence the grapes in cream. Well, I had to have SOMETHING.

PMT's worse than normal, I don't know if that's the low-carb thing. I just gave my partner a row for chewing nuts too loudly! It was going through me.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Day NIne - other stuff

My wee is still bright yellow and still smells really pungent.

I have many theories about this (none of which I have actually checked or researched - that would be well boring):

It's because I'm drinking so much coffee.

It's because I'm eating so much avocado.

It's because of all the painkillers.

It's because my body is in ketosis (which it's supposed to be - that's how I'm losing weight - my body is eating itself!).


I'm guessing the ketosis thing is the most likely.

ANYWAY. I gave blood this afternoon. Not sure that was such a good idea, but I told them about the diet (sorry, Way of Eating) and they weren't bothered. Felt quite faint and STARVING for a while afterwards. Feel fine now.

I haven't had any painkillers since yesterday morning. My back is almost better. Now that my exam is out of the way, I can try giving up coffee again. Maybe, but at the moment it's my only vice and it deters me from eating sugar.

edit: After a bit of random googling, I have decided the most likely urine culprit is the vitamin supplements. I also seem to remember that this has happened to me before when taking vitamins.

Day Nine

Breakfast: scrambled egg with double cream and fried onion.
Lunch: Cold roast chicken thigh, chopped avodaco, little gem lettuce, one stick celery, some roule (dipped).
Snack: another cold roast chicken thigh, a slice of ham.
Tea: minced beef fried with mushrooms, onions and fresh tomatoes, served on a bed of steamed red cabbage.

Today was a good day. I passed my exam this morning with a score of 92%. Yay!

And also... I measured my circumferences: Neck, wrists, waist, stomach, boobs, rib cage. The last time I measured them was eight days ago, and I have lost about 4cm in all areas. More in some others! Apart from my "waist". To be honest I didn't really understand why the IPD book recommended that you measure waist as well as stomach. Surely all fat people have the same problem as me: My waist IS my stomach. My stomach's fattest part is where my waist is supposed to be. I really do not have a waist. But anyway when I weighed myself last time I somehow managed to get two measurements, with the "waist" being the smaller one. This time I could only get one measurement, which was definitely the fattest part of my midriff, and was 6cm smaller than last week's "stomach", but a few cm fatter than last week's "waist". God knows. From now on I'm only taking one measurement. But aaaanyway...

Even my neck was smaller! The only thing that hadn't changed was my wrists. So I thought, well, why not? And I got the scales out. And...



..... (drum roll) .....



..... (another drum roll) .....


I've lost 5 lb! Hurrah for that, is all I can say.

But tonight, oh dear, I have massive sugar cravings. It's effectively Friday night, and I've had a doozey of a week what with studying every possible hour I could, and my instinct now, and in all circs like this, is to drink beer and eat chocolate.

What can I have as a treat? I'm tempted to scoff some whipped cream. (shame I can't add Baileys, but there you go...)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Day Eight - Cheating

I ate a grape!

My bad.

It did taste ridiculously sweet though.

Day Eight

My wee smells funny and is bright yellow. Has been for days now. Pooed for the first time in days yesterday, but no stomach cramps or bloatedness or adverse symptoms of constipation.

My body must be in a very strange state anyway, because I have been taking masses of painkillers for days for my bad back, and have also gone back to drinking several cups of full strength real coffee a day, because I've been burning the candle at both ends while preparing for my exam. AND my littlest son got ill yesterday and had me up half the night last night, making me doubly sleep-deprived and doubly dosed-up on caffeine. Not ideal I know, but the good news is that today mmy back was much better and I didn't top up after the morning does of painkillers, and even then missed the codeine out. Also my exam is tomorrow and it's bank holiday weekend this weekend, so after tomorrow I can chill out, sleep more and give up caffeine again.

I'm not planning on weighing myself any time soon (see other posts for explanation). I might measure my circumferences tomorrow night. I might weigh myself next week. My trousers have been falling down all day and seem very loose around the waist, but I have a feeling they were already like that.

I have been having the occasional smidgeon of milk in my coffee. At home I have cream, but at work I have milk. And I ate a Ritz cracker tonight. Only one though! Will be good again now, I promise.

Breakfast: avocado + half a chopped fresh tomato + roule (grilled), steamed green leaves

Snack: 2 slices pork tongue

Lunch: egg salad (fresh chives, 2 hard boiled eggs, mayo, half a chopped fresh tomato) + little gem lettuce

Tea: Cod roasted in foil, with parsley and olive oil and sliced tomato and dry dill, served on a bed of green leaves* and parmesan (from a tub), drizzled with olive oil and white wine vinegar. And steamed pak choi.

Didn't fill me up though, so...

Snack: 2 slices ham, 2 slices salami, 2 celery sticks, some roule (for dipping).

*Green leaves freshly harvested from a friend's allotment. I have only a hazy idea of what leaves they are - I just have a plastic bag full of leaves!

Day Seven

Breakfast: poached eggs on bed of buttered spinach

Lunch: chicken thigh, salad (feta, parmesan, tomato, cucumber), raw green leaves

Tea: mushrooms + bacon + walnuts fried in cream + garlic + butter, steamed spinach + broccoli

Day Seven! I think this was supposed to be Measuring Day, but I was too busy swotting for my exam to be thinking about any of that.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Day Six

Breakfast: One sausage, caulimash patties, fried mushrooms, raw leafy green veg (hand picked from friend's allotment yesterday)

Lunch: Leftover chicken pie without the crust, plus leafy green veg (raw) + caulimash

Tea: Mushrooms and ham fried in butter, groundnut oil, double cream, roule, poured on chopped avocado with steamed leafy green veg.

I have an exam on Thursday, have done tons of revision already today, planning on spending the rest of the evening on it. Will basically be filling most of my waking moments this week. Looking forward to getting it out of the way!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Day Five

SUNDAY 1st April 2012 (scroll down for details of what I've eaten today)

Breakfast was yummy but not entirely filling. Am trying to eat lots of fat but it's difficult - there was loads of oil + butter left swimming on my plate when I'd finished eating, but without bread I couldn't mop it up! How come only carby foods are absorbent? Couldn't think of anything to mop it up with, so left it.

Possibly this is Day Five. Depends how you count it. It's Day Five of my most extreme low-carbing, as on Wednesday I'd finally read the IPD book and as a result had cut out milk in redbush tea, cut out coffee altogether, stopped having a small daily pitta bread, and dramatically upped my water intake. Otherwise for the previous two days I was carb free. I was also low carb on the two days before that: no carbs except daily pitta and muesli every morning for breakfast. And had sweet cocktails with friends on Sat night.

Aaaaaaanyway. I don't yet have any Day Five blues or Atkins flu symptoms or feel any different from previous days. Maybe it's because I eased into this gradually. But maybe that is also why I HAVEN'T LOST ANY WEIGHT YET? Didn't weigh myself today. Am going to try really hard to wait til Wed, which will be Day Eight if you count this as Day Five. Part of me has no faith that this diet will ever work though: I've been 12 stone for four months and it feels like I am doomed to stay that way forever and ever and ever. Certainly don't feel any lighter, and it's hard to believe I ever will be when I'm so hard-wired to believe that eating fat = weight gain, and you can't lose weight unless you go hungry. The worst thing about that is that there are daily occasions when I am hungry for up to an hour simply because I can't think of anything I want to eat or I'm too busy to get roudn to eating. Maybe THAT'S why I haven't lost weight? [sigh]

Cooked some chicken thighs in foil and olive oil / lemon juice / garlic / s+p / herbs in the oven yesterday, to be stored in the fridge for general snacking. Forgot about them when in oven though, so were a bit overcooked. Look crispy and smell yummy though, so might be OK. Also hard-boiled a couple of extra eggs yesterday - also in fridge. Also still have leftover caulimash. Need to make sure all this stuff gets eaten! Did as IPD recommends yesterday: sat down and made detailed list of what I will eat this week, then sent Ally to the shops (my back's too sore) with a massive shopping list, and our fridge is now jam-packed to the gills in a way it never normally is - full of meat, dairy and veg. Might have overdone it! Can I really eat that much in a week?? Oh well, I'm sure the family will help - particularly as they'll be at home all week - the kids are on easter hols and Ally is staying at home with them. Which is presumably why he also bought a ton of biscuits, hot cross buns and snacking nuts. I steadfastly averted my eyes from the sweet stuff.

Breakfast: Fry-up: 2 rashers bacon, groundnut oil, butter, one field mushroom, half a tomato, one sausage, 2 leaves pak choi (steamed), 2 handfuls raw spinach with leftover oil + butter poured on top.

Lunch: Half an avocado with the insides scooped out and mixed up with chopped fresh tomato and roule, the put back in again and grilled - with leftover egg salad (hard boiled egg, mayo, mustard and cress) and caulimash patties and leafy green veg (steamed)

Snack: veggie caesar salad at kro bar - didn't eat the croutons

Tea: Homemade chicken pie without the crust, plus leafy green veg (steamed)

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Day Four - Weighing Yourself

(copied from stuff I wrote elsewhere):

"The reason it's a bad idea to weigh yourself any more than once a week (or ideally even less frequently than that), is that there can be odd daily fluctuations, and indeed odd weekly fluctuations. The bigger the gap between weighings, the more likely it is you'll catch a general trend (upwards or downwards), rather than just a localised blip.

The other reason it's a bad idea is that you have such an emotional investment in what you weigh. So if you catch one of those blips, no matter how you try to rationalise it, it will make you miserable.

And that's why I should NOT have weighed myself this morning.


Also, someone dear to me last night was quite derisive about the whole thing (the fact that IPD is bright pink was really not helpful, either): "I reserve the right to point and laugh when it doesn't work."

I need some fvcking proof that this is all worthwhile.

I could try getting out the tape measure (I measured all my circumferences on Wednesday), but what if it agrees with the scales? Also, it involves getting undressed which is really quite difficult with my back the way it is. Maybe the painkillers are stalling progress? Maybe I should just be BE MORE BLOODY PATIENT?

Oh well. I'm not giving up now. At least the nearest-and-dearest's response has made me more stubborn than ever to make this work. And I've been sugar-free for 3 weeks now, which means I no longer get cravings, and it was only ever the sugar that was likely to derail me - I have no particular fondness for the other carbs.

I also might have to splash out on the Taubes book, to counteract the pink thing.

I am spending way too much on this already though. I've justified it so far on the basis that I'm just starting out and need incentives to carry on, but soon I'll have to cut back. Or sell my body or something. But first I will have to make it worth selling... ;)

I'm currently on free prescriptions, cos of the poverty ting. Maybe I could convince the doctor to prescribe butter, walnuts, salmon and cream? :O)"

Day Four

SATURDAY 31st March 2012 (scroll down for food eaten today)

Felt fine, apart from carb cravings late at night and the sudden realisation that I may never be able look forward to weekend carby treats again. NO MORE CAKE!!! FOREVER! I can cope with this as a short term thing, but long term? Hmm. At least I can have dark choc. Realised how much my weekly routine is focused on weekend carby treats, and my mindset on "what lovely thing can I next shove in my gob?" At least that last part is largely satisfied by treats such as mushrooms fried in cream. But maybe this diet is better suited to someone who doesn't have a MASSIVE sweet tooth and has always always preferred foods that were on the sweet side? Even when eating savoury, I've always favoured the sweet stuff. All my favourite veg are sweet (and currently off limits, boo).

Also, lovely things like trips to cafes in order to eat cake and coffee. And I was looking forward to being able to take advantage of Kro bar's cheap coffee-and-cake deal at weekly choir meetings. Oh well. Maybe my habits, and more importantly desires, will change. Certainly I don't crave sugar hardly ever any more.

Weighed myself in the afternoon. Big mistake. I STILL weigh 12 stone. I could try getting out the tape measure (I measured all my circumferences on Wednesday), but what if it agrees with the scales? Also, it involves getting undressed which is really quite difficult with my back the way it is. Got into stupid discussion on BC forum about the mathematics of regular weighings, and whether it was mathematically more sound to weigh yourself frequently rather than as little as possible. Frequent measurings give more accuracy and a better ability to spot trends and ignore fluctuations, but they are emotionally catastrophic and anyway, my contention is that the bigger the gap, the more you will be able to see gross trends and fluctuations will be irrelevant: For instance, if I weigh myself a month from now and I'm a stone lighter, I won't be able to see all the fluctuations along the way, and it won't matter at all that I was 2 lb lighter the day before and 2 lb heavier the day after, because what I will see is a significant net weight loss, and that's what's important.

Was demoralising though: WHEN will I lose weight? Is F right that it's all a waste of time? "I reserve the right to point and laugh when it doesn't work," F said. I have finally caved and bought a copy of Gary Taubes' The Diet Delusion: Hoping I can use it to blind F with science.

But worried the multitude of painkilling medication I'm on because of my back may be stalling the weight loss. Am on valium, paracetamol, prescription-only codeine and some anti-inflammatory whose name I've forgotten. All recommended by doctor! Does make a difference though. Also doesn't help that I'm swotting madly for my SQL Database Development Microsoft Competency exam (70-433) on thurs, which means I have to stay at desk for longer than my back is really happy with, and have also had to go back onto cafetiere coffee to counteract the valium and stay awake late at night - so I can do more swotting.

Also, it's bloody easter next weekend!!! I have no desire to eat lots of choc though. Son Number One has been told that he is only allowed to buy me a small very-dark-choc easter treat, and I will eat it in homeopathic quantities. Ideally I won't eat any of it until the first fortnight of Phase 1 is up.

Got mild gastric reflux this afternoon and again this evening. Booooo, was hoping I would escape that on this diet. May well have been the coffee though. Will knock that on the head again once this exam is out of the way. Until the next thing comes along that means I have to stay awake all hours. Knowing me, it won't be long. It's juat that the only way I can get decent amount of sleep is if ALL I do is go to work and be a mum/housewife. I get so depressed/bored if I don't have other projects on the go too.

Breakfast: scrambled egg with one field mushroom, butter, soured cream, groundnut oil
Lunch: 2 hard boiled eggs, mayo, mustard-and-cress, fried caulimash, watercress + spinach + rocket

Snack: Field mushroom, soured cream, leftover fried onion+mush, roule, butter, groundnut oil, walnuts, almonds, garlic. Nowhere as nice with soured cream instead of cream (we'd run out of cream) - won't be doing that again. Felt slightly sick afterwards, but that may have been the codeine I'm taking for my back.

Tea: beefburger, homemade coleslaw (raw cabbage, raw carrot, almonds, nat yoghurt, mayo), slices cucumber

Snack: Slice ham (medium quality), slice cucmber

Snack: slice ham (medium quality)

Friday, 30 March 2012

Day Three - The Coconut Oil Dilemma

(copied from stuff I wrote elsewhere):

"One of those articles somebody linked to had something about the miraculous qualities of coconut oil.

Well, I'm quite confused about it. I spent ages searching the shelves for it in Asda last weekend, then finally found it... in the cosmetics aisle!

It's actually in quite a foody looking bottle - a bit like lime juice or peri peri, and has nothing on the label about applying it to the skin. According to said label it contains absolutely nothing but pure 100% coconut oil, but it is white and gloopy-looking... rather like moisturiser.

It's from another country (can't remember which), so maybe the Asda staff got confused by its foreignness and put it on the wrong shelf?

So... can I eat it? Or should I smear it on my skin?? Hilarious dilemma to have!"

Day Three

FRIDAY 30th March 2012 (scroll down for details of what I ate today)

(copied from stuff I wrote elsewhere):

[after being advised to chuck out the scales]:
"I know you're right, but for now my goal is to leave the scales alone for 24 hours.

The irony is that I've always frowned on scales, and in the past have done whole diets without using scales at all. I KNOW they're really unhelpful and just encourage unhealthy obsessions and unnecessary mood swings. My theory is that once I can see that I definitely am actually really losing weight, I'll be able to put them away or at least use them in moderation. I need validation that I'm doing the right thing.

Had to take day off work today cos back pain so bad: Getting out of bed was such agony that the second time the alarm clock went off, I had to make Ally turn it off, even though it's only a metre away from the bed.

Doctor took one look at my back and could see that the muscles were in spasm. Gave me a ton of painkillers and valium (!!) (apparently it helps your muscles to relax), and advised me to keep (gently) moving, and not lie down too much. She was in favour of the low-carb diet and said it was irrelevant as far as the back was concerned. Agreed that likely cause of back pain was moving heavy furniture last Sun.

Went on last night, which was a bit annoying: Despite everything I apparently consumed 38g of carbs yesterday. Two fresh tomatoes were the main culprit. I'm on my way out to buy spinach (and get some gentle exercise).

Also I have discovered I like nuts! Roasted / salted macadamia nuts, specifically. Only a small handful though. My tastebuds are changing.

Actually I hope this is something in my favour: I've always told my kids that they should never rule foodstuffs out: there have been so many times that I've retried something I thought I hated, and discovered, or even deliberately cultivated, a taste for it. I like change. I like trying new things. I actively enjoy confounding my own expectations and proving my own assumptions wrong. I'm a great believer in an open mind. Makes life so much more interesting, even if it does make me suspect that nobody knows what they're talking about, no matter how convinced they sound."


"Thing is, it's so EASY (and quick) to just fry some stuff in butter and then add cream and other bits.

I used to be an (untrained, straight outta school) service chef/waitress*, and one of my favourite starters that we cooked was something called "hot mushrooms", which was mushrooms fried in butter and garlic, with added white wine and cream.

It was a vegetarian women-only co-op called Billies (after Billie Holliday), in Chorlton (that combination - vegetarian, lesbian, co-op, Chorlton, is SUCH a leftie Manchester cliche, LOL).
It was my first full time job after leaving home.
It was TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO (bloody hell).
The original premises was half of what is now Iguana bar.
I can still remember my job interview, and how I fell in love with the woman interviewing me.
I was 18.
I can still remember the smell of the storeroom.
We used to make a luscious chocolate mousse out of Ritter dark chocolate bars.
We all used to go clubbing every night after work.
I lived on leftovers.
They paid a pittance.

Breakfast: fry-up: 3 rashers bacon, one field mushroom, quarter of an onion, half a tomato, 2 leaves pak choi (steamed)

Lunch: 2 giant field mushrooms in garlic, cream, butter, blue cheese, nutmeg and walnuts, served on a bed of rocket, watercress and spinach. YUM!

Tea: Tarragon chicken recipe from IPD book, although using rubbish Asda coriander (tastes of nothing!) cos we had no tarragon. Also cauli mash, also from book. Cooked by Ally, bless him.

Everybody goes on about how tasty the mash is, but I didn't like it much. Too bitter. Although it was hard for Ally to get lemon quantities right on the chicken cos we didn't have any fresh lemon, so maybe that was it.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Day Two

THURSDAY 29th March 2012 (scroll down for details of what I ate today)

(copied from stuff I wrote elsewhere):

"One of the things that has surprised me is that I don't know my body as well as I thought I did.

Fat and salty meats have always led to instant heartburn for me - I have a genetic predisposition to gastric reflux - but I haven't had any heartburn at all since I cut down on, and then cut out altogether, carbs.

The one thing that's always been guaranteed to give me heartburn is baked beans, which are pretty carbalicious. When pregnant, bananas were particularly bad - but when pregnant, most things set me off.

I guess this improvement must be something to do with the combination of carbs and other stuff. I have heard a lot of people claim that low-carbing ended any digestion problems they previously had."


"I know I know I really do know that it's utterly pointless to be weighing myself yet, but it is just ever-so-slightly irksome and annoying that I STILL HAVEN'T LOST A SINGLE BLOODY POUND.


On a happier note, I don't believe I've ever eaten such a wide variety of properly tasty food in such a short space of time, and none of it seems to be bothering me at all at the moment. I just realised I haven't even thought about coffee today, and it's only my second day away from caffeine. And no headaches. And although I have occasionaly little flashes of 'ooh, some chocolate would be nice right now', they never last and I have resisted all temptations without having to actively avoid them.

There's no way I'm goign to be able to stop weighing myself though, not until I actually LOSE SOME EFFING WEIGHT.


Tea tonight was yet more nomminess, and prepared in ten mins flat because (sigh again) the dog was spurting from both ends and Ally was having some kind of work crisis so I had to sort kids and dog out single-handed.

*I know, I'm putting it in everything at the mo. I do also have flatleaf parsley and coriander (which I love love love to bits), but for some reason mint seems Just The Thing in all current scenarios. This has the added and not-consciously-intentional-because-it-always-catches-me-by-surprise-when-I-notice-it effect of reminding me of my childhood and my gran, cos she always put fresh mint from the garden into her cooking. And butter. NOM."


"Also also, food and cooking have always been mostly a source of annoyance for me - as irksome a task as cleaning up after spurting-from-both-ends dogs. It's often mightily pissed me off that my body insists on being fed at regular intervals. But at the moment I'm rather enjoying the whole cooking-and-feeding-myself thing. Who'd-a-thunk it?"

Breakfast: fry-up: bacon, one tomato, mushrooms, onions, sweetheart cabbage (steamed).

Lunch: blue-cheese-and-cream sauce, broccoli, fresh chopped mint, pork tongue, salmon-and-cheese nibblies.

Snacks: Slices of pork tongue and a handful of salted roasted macadamia nuts.

Tea: Eggs scrambled with butter, cream, mushrooms, onions, groundnut oil, fresh chopped mint*, steamed Sweetheart cabbage leaves, chopped fresh tomatoes.

Snack: One soft-boiled egg.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Day One

WEDNESDAY 28th March 2012 (scroll down for details of what I ate today)

NB: Although this is entitled "Day One", it's not actually the first post... we also have Day Minus One, Minus Two, etc (sorry - comes of being am mathematician) (although mathematically speaking there really ought to be a Day Nought as well, but that was just confusing).

Don't know if this counts as Day One or not. I've finally read the IPD book and as a result have cut out milk in redbush tea, cut out coffee altogether, stopped having a small daily pitta bread, and dramatically upped my water intake. Otherwise for the previous two days I have been carb free. I was also low carb on Sat and Sun, but was having muesli every morning for breakfast and had sweet cocktails with friends on Sat night.

Copied from stuff I wrote elsewhere on this day:

"Well, I'm still going strong - or rather stronger and stronger.

I started out four months ago cutting down on sugar. Two and a half weeks ago I decided that wasn't enough and cut it out altogether, and started reducing carbs too, to a greater and greater extent... then finally on Monday cut them all out apart from milk in tea, and a small daily pitta... then today I gave up milk in (redbush) tea, gave up caffeine altogether, dramatically increased the water intake and gave up the daily pitta. Minor derailment this evening when Ally promised me a burger and presented me with a breaded turkey burger that had 18g of carbs... but I think maybe today counts as Day One according to IPD. But I suspect the book's timings may have been interfered with by my previous low-carbing... or maybe not, who knows. Anyway I am awaiting the Day Five Crash with baited (and slightly peardrop-like) breath.

Feel fine so far, apart from the backache, but that's beginning to ease (has been pretty bad the last couple of days though, but I think it's unrelated).

It's difficult when you have a family, cos you start looking askance at everything they eat too, but let's do this person by person. Gawd knows whether this will change my eating habits permanently, I'm just taking it one day at a time for now. But in Tesco today, I was mostly oblivious to their tempting carb-fests (although did have a bit of a wobble next to a packet of dolly mixture). Not for the first time, I was boggled by the sheer proportion of the place that's given over to carby badness.

Lovely discovery / invention this evening: Double cream with blue cheese melted in to it, and added fresh-chopped mint, on broccoli. NOM. And v quick to make."

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, double cream, fried mushrooms+onions

Today's lunch (DELISH, and also zero preparation in the morning as I just grabbed a bunch of stuff from the fridge and did minimal prep in work kitchen): Steamed broccoli with leftover blue cheese sauce (double cream, blue cheese, flaked almonds, chopped fresh mint), steamed dark green "Sweetheart" cabbage leaves, a slice of pork tongue (special offer in Tesco last night), and some yummy salmon snacky things from Tesco (OK, they were a treat - only £2 but I couldn't afford to do that every day) (salmon rolled up around various bits of cream cheese).

Tea: 2 sausages, one breaded turkey burger (oops - but only 18g carbs), broccoli, one fresh tomato, homemade blue cheese sauce (blue cheese - Roquefort, double cream, chopped fresh mint).

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Day Minus One

(copied from stuff I wrote elsewhere):

"In response to someone querying the quantity of carbs I ate yesterday: These pita are apparently 15g per piece. And I only had one piece. Small, not large.

Drank water and redbush tea.

Only ate about 10 nuts, if that - just sprinkled in (I don't actually like nuts on their own so I'm never likely to eat too many of them) - the coleslaw made mostly of carrot and cabbage. I know carrot supposed to be carby, but I also know it's a very inexact science and these things vary massively according to who you ask, and is all relative.

Definitely a low carb day, even if not the-absolute-lowest-ever-possible.

The IPD book arrived today and I'm resetting a few things based on what I've read. Have been drinking milk in tea, and tons of coffee, so am going to attempt to give those up, although I know I get nasty headaches and deep fatigue when I give up caffeine, so am not entirely convinced it's a good idea to give both carbs and caffeine up at same time. No way I'm putting cream in my tea (yuck!) so will just drink it black for a bit (have done that before, so I know I can get used to it v quickly). I drink gallons of redbush tea every day already, which is approved of, so at least I'm doing something right-ish."


"What surprises me is that so far I haven't seen anyone say anything about the apparent increase in salt (bacon, deli meats, various cheeses, olives, sausages... a lot of this stuff is super-salty).

And I'm enjoying the IPD book but they don't seem to explain anywhere why they want you to give caffeine up as well as carbs - whether it's in any way related to weight loss, or whether it's just that they were trying to be as healthy as poss... and although they insist that you must take at least 6 (!!) different daily supplements, they don't really explain why, or whether there's any medical backing for the supplements they recommend, or why they're needed at all given that the low-carb thing is supposed to be so good for you? "

[I discovered later that for some people caffeing can stall weight loss - something to do with it encouraging the body ot produce insulin. As for salt, some people believe salt isn't as bad for you as previously stated, but most people on low carb diets do try and watch the amount of salt they consume]

Monday, 26 March 2012

Day Minus Two

(copied from stuff I wrote elsewhere):

"So anyway. Today was my first muesli-free day (scrambled eggs and double cream for breakfast).

I felt pretty crap this morning, then perked up when I ate some home-made coleslaw (grated carrot, finely chopped red cabbage, double cream, natural yoghurt, nuts). But for the past several hours I've had quite strong lower back pain (and occasionally-all-around-the-middle-and-down-the-legs pain). It's hurting to move. And of course, given that I am a hypochondriac, I'm worried it's somehow connected. Kidneys maybe? Doesn't feel muscular - feels menstrual, but the timing's all wrong for that.

Doesn't help that my friend R is worried I'm on some crazy quack diet that's gonna make me ill. And the last time I did any extreme diet-changing (Vordeman's detox), it was indeed crazy quack nonsense and I made myself quite ill.

Not that I'm saying it IS crazy quack nonsense, just that I've found an unfortunate side-effect of ageing is that I've not only become less and less sure of my own knowledge and opinions, but also less and less convinced there's any way of knowing whether anyone else is right about anything (is that just me, or do other people get this??)."


"The muesli was the last thing to go. I've been low-carbing for a fortnight now, gradually decreasing the quantity of carbs. Just that today was the first day without muesli, and I was pretty much carb-free (whoops, apart from the beans!) all weekend apart from the muesli.

I AM a hypochondriac though, and have a stupid tendency to draw extreme conclusions on the flimsiest of evidence.

To anybody not used to it this diet does look extreme, particularly when apparently-healthy things such as beans, complex carbs and fruit are frowned upon.

I know I shouldn't expect instant results. Sadly as well as having hypochondriacal tendencies, I'm also impatient. It doesn't help that I've actually been trying to lose weight for four months now, with no results - and the last fortnight has represented such a massive shift in my eating habits (in comparison with a much more gentle one in the previous four months) that it's been disappointing not to see any apparent effects.

Anyway I helped Ally move a metal bed frame up to the attic yesterday, so even though it felt fine at the time, that may well be the culprit for the back pain! I might not have jumped to the diet-based conclusion if I hadn't had my friend panicking on my behalf yesterday.

Had yummy tea tonight: Fish cooked in cream, with green beans."


"I've more or less reached the point, I think, where my appetite is changing.

At first I was hungry all the time, now I just get occasional spikes, and they either go away on their own or I just have to eat a small quantity of (non-carby) food.

Today I've had...

breakfast: scrambled egg + double cream
lunch: wholemeal pita (carby concession for the day) + home made coleslaw (carrot, cabbage, double cream, nat yoghurt, nuts) + houmous
tea: salmon, prawns, assorted seafood cooked in double cream, + steamed green veg

I haven't actually counted the carbs and prob won't do until the Idiot-Proof book arrives, but I think it's not bad.

And I'm not hungry. Back is still killing though. Suspect I've done it some damage moving stuff."


"Doctors were advising me to lose weight when I was only eleven stone, so I'm pretty sure they'll be saying it now I'm 12. I don't have any other health conditions so there's no reason why not. I'm five foot four inches high - don't actually know my current BMI, but I'm officially overweight and possibly even "obese".

My main reasons for wanting to lose weight are because I'm having trouble with my knees (and it was this, when I was 11 stone, that caused the doctor to advise me to lose weight) and none of my clothes fit and I look crap.

I went out on Sat night, burst into tears, couldn't stop crying and had to come home again. Was a bit unexpected - had been a v low-carb day apart from muesli, so maybe that was an effect of the low-carbiness, who knows?

Anyway I'm a bit stubborn and obsessive about stuff like this, so I'm confident I can stick to it."

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Day Minus Three

(copied from stuff I wrote elsewhere):

"I realised today one hard one for me will be finding sandwich substitutes. I'm heavily reliant on sandwiches because I'm so frequently out and about with kids at mealtimes, and also I like to go for walks in my lunch hour, and sandwiches are so very portable and can be prepared in five mins flat."


"Sadly I don't like nuts or unmelted cheese unless they are a small proportion of a larger dish, but I'm sure I'll find somehitng portable that suits me. Salads, probably. I grabbed a bowl of bean salad when we went to the park yesterday, and just shoved it in a plastic bag. But that had already been prepared earlier. It's those days when I don't have anything already prepared that I need to cater for (with the best will in the world, they're bound to happen). Hmm yes, tins of tuna would be good for that."

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Day Minus Four

(copied from wot I rote elsewhere):

"If I am staaaaaaaaaaaaarving hungry and feeling faint and dizzy, recommendations for tings to eat to make me feel a least a little better? Had muesli for breakfast, then 2 sausages for lunch, then bean salad (pinto beans, tuna, mayo, sweetcorn, chopped fresh mint) couple of hours after that (have been on the go with kids all day so didn't get a chance to be any more organised than that). They're all about to have pizza for tea - I'd rather not.

Sorry, I'll get a bit more on the case (hopefully) when the book arrives. Making it up as I go along at the mo, and having to squeeze research into small gaps that appear."


"Panic over, found some salmon in the fridge. NOM. "

Friday, 23 March 2012

Day Minus Five

(copied from wot I rote elsewhere):

"OK, I've read those articles and I'm beginning to get the hang of it. Still don't know what to eat though.

I'm a big believer in fruit - it might take a bit more to persuade me to cut down on that.

So, Idiot-Proof Diet book then?

I've had salt-free-sugar-free muesli with added sultanas and freshly chopped apple every morning for breakfast for the last squillion years. It's, like, a part of my identity, man. It sets me up for the day.

I have a horrible feeling I'm going to be encouraged to give that up. Would I be right? What shall I eat instead?"

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Day Minus Six

I've written a lot about how I feel about all this stuff elsewhere, so rather than repeating myself I thought I'd just do some copying pasting. Apologies if you've already read all this in its original location.

How it all started:

This was on Thurs March 22nd, so about 12 days ago:

"I've been trying to lose weight for four months simply by cutting back on the sugary stuff, which has worked for me in the past, but it's made no bloody difference at all.

So I decided to go on the offensive, and about ten days ago I started a massive reduction in the amount of carbs I eat. The only sugar I've had in the last ten days was a meringue on Mother's Sunday. I haven't had any alcohol at all, and I've had several meals that consisted of only protein and veg. Apart from that every meal has had a massively-reduced quantity of carbs, and overall I'm eating a lot more protein and a lot less stuff generally.

I'm keeping it healthy - mostly I'm eating fish, chicken, cheese and pulses.

Oh yes, and I'm cycling to Oldham and back (to work) every Friday, which is a 22-mile round trip, up and down some extremely steep hills. It's about 2.5 hours of exercise overall, very aerobic indeed, and I've cycled up every bloody hill, without getting off the bike. And I'm swimming a bit too, and walking a bit.


OK, so it's early days, but I haven't lost a single pound.

Not only that but I feel hungry a lot of the time. This idea that protein fills you up just doesn't seem to work on me. Also on the days I eat no carbs at all, I feel pretty bloody ill.

I'm really sodding depressed about it and I just don't know what to do about it.

I don't actually agree with the kind of dieting that makes you go hungry - I can't see how it's sustainable and it's just a bit too hair-shirty for me. I'm not intentionally going hungry, I just really struggle to eat enough protein to fill me up. I get to a certain level and I just can't face any more, even though I'm still hungry.

I even had a theory that because I'm drinking more caffeine these days, my body is taking energy from the caffeine and therefore not using fat reserves instead? But I'm pretty sure that's bad science - surely caffeine isn't fattening (although using the above logic I'm not sure why it isn't)?

Anyway. Pah. [sulk]"

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


How's that for an optimistic blog title? I haven't proved anything yet. But then again, I am an idiot.

I'm a 42-yr-old mother of two, I weigh 12 stone, by BMI puts me at the high end of overweight, nudging obesity.

I gained most of the weight during pregnancy and breastfeeding, followed by complacency and the belief that as the 42-yr-old mother of a 3-yr-old and 9-yr-old, I was "past it" and nobody would ever find me attractive again so there was no point worrying about it. And I'm not single, so why should it matter? Except it does, because "fat, old, ugly and boring" is my self-hating mantra, and my knees hurt.

Aaaaanyway. I started by cutting down on sugar. No effect. So I cut down on carbs. No effect. Then cut down some more. No effect. Then I bought and read Idiot Proof Diet (India Knight, Nerys Hughes) and realised I'd have to cut carbs out altogether if I wanted to see a difference. That was five days ago, and so far I feel fine.

(I still haven't lost weight though, and I know I know I KNOW that weighing myself at this stage is pointless, but I just can't stop myself).

This post was actually written on 1st April, which was the day I started this blog, but I'm going to date this post as 21st March, just so that it becomes the first oen in the blog (because I've dated all the restrospective posts with their correct dates, so they appear in order).