Monday, September 29, 2008


Lost this week: 0.8KG/1.76LBS
Total lost: 15LBS

I have mixed feelings about my weigh in today. I had a slightly lower number on Friday (I had lost a kilo instead of 0.8) and that was before the weekend, so if I'm honest with myself I probably could have been stricter and seen better numbers this week. I ate out Friday night, Saturday evening and Sunday lunch though, so the reduced result isn't wholly unexpected. I've already been through what I ate on Friday, and Sat/Sun I ate completely on plan at the restaurant, but there's no way to know how much sodium is in the food (whereas I don't add it to my own cooking). On the plus side I still managed to scrape through hitting a 15LB loss overall, meaning I was still able to change my Christmas Challenge button, which is helping me not get too down in the dumps about it. For next week I want the losses to continue but for me to have a completely clean week with lots of sleep so I can lose a full kilo (2.2LBS) next time.

The weather has finally turned - hurray! Today I actually wore a light coat for my walk to school. It was kind of bizarre though, I never expected the seasons to be so punctual. We had the typhoon, then some hot days (though without the crippling humidity), then came the Autumn public holiday and BAM! Much cooler weather/rain/grey skies (I'm not complaining, I love it). In Japan even the weather is more efficient.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

(Not entirely unexpected) Disaster

I got on the scale this morning to see a gain; Tragedy!

I thought I would have, I only hope that I can reverse the damage before WI. The things I ate were not healthy in the slightest, but oh so good! I had a few skinny fires, two pieces of fried cheese pieces, two nuggets of fried chicken, and half of a creamy spaghetti with bacon and mushrooms dish. Out of the lot I'd actually say only the white pasta wasn't 'allowed' as such (oh, and the breading on the cheese) but I enjoyed it. I didn't eat my starch before I went, which I'm happy about, and I stuck to iced tea instead of alcohol. When we were at karaoke I had a glass of orange juice (I'll count that as my fruit) and a cafe latte. I'm not delusional, I know that my meal wasn't good for me not matter what I rationalise, but I think it could have been much worse.

I really want the scale to go back down though.

I think it will. Even with all the fried food, I didn't eat a lot of anything, so calorie-wise I didn't take in enough to warrant a 'real' gain of the amount I saw today, so it's just my body reacting to the types of food I ate.

Plan for today: lots of water, on plan meals, and just generally back to the grindstone.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's me!

I needed a bit of a change and my hair was the victim. I've gone back to a fringe (excuse the major shininess of the picture! It was taken on my cell phone)

I'll be keeping my old wig to use with my costume, but other than that it really needed replacing.


A friend invited me to come out with a few people for a post-payday izakaya visit. Given that I didn't go to the last one and STILL haven't met the new people, I'm going to this one.

Argh. I'm a little nervous. I don't drink really, so not having alcohol isn't a problem, but there will be lots of food and (if I know my izakayas) none of it allowed. My game plan is basically just to do as well as I can. I haven't had my oatmeal today because I'm saving my starch for use there. I will probably be white rice from the sushi, or I'll count the batter/breading as my starch for the night, but I'll probably be holding water from the salt/soy that will be in the recipes. I hope the weekend will be enough to clear that salt out my system because I saw a nice number this morning. I'm going to eat before I go in the hopes that not being hungry will help me.

Bah, BAH. I can't just avoid people, that's not realistic, I have to learn to deal with these situations sooner or later. I just wish it was later, when the loss was bigger and feels less fragile.

Please don't let the cravings come back. Please don't let the cravings come back.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mental Health Day

Utterly sick of sitting useless in my staffroom, and even less excited at the prospect of having to sit useless outside my staffroom for the next two days, I took vacation. I woke up late in a much better mood and had a relaxed oatmeal brunch.

I was going to stay in for the day, and then head to the mall tomorrow to find some red shoes and a toy basket and dog to complete my Dorothy Halloween costume, but I decided mid-afternoon that I would walk to the bank and transfer some money home. I'm trying to pay off a chunk of my credit card before I go to KL, the funds I sent today should cover about a third of it. I'm guessing the walk was just under a mile each way? I'm not sure, but it was nice to get out and though the sky was overcast, the temperature was perfect.

The scale isn't showing dramatic change, little fluctuations mainly, but for the moment I'm a kilo down thus far so I'm hoping I can keep a handle on that at the very least, as it will mean I make this week's goal to get a new badge from the Christmas Challenge.

I think I'm going to have chicken with sauteed green beans and onions for dinner.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Folly of Youth

I just amazed a student by eating lunch. I have a student that wants to come and eat lunch with me some days to help improve her English, so she came to the staffroom for the first time today.

For my first trick I ate a hot lunch of bolignaise sauce and broccoli (I had heated it in the staff room microwave). "Hot-to?" she said in confusion. I then finished my lunch and then pulled an apple put of my bag. She was shocked because Japanese people usually have their lunch box and that's it (the apple wouldn't have fit in my bento box). Finally I had to explain a few times that I was definitely eating an apple because she thought all apples were red. To be confronted with a Golden Delicious type variety broke her brain, so I must be eating a pear (pears are apple shaped here).

I should clarify that she is an absolutely lovely student, I had fun, and I'm not berating or otherwise making fun of her. I kind of love discovering these pre-conceived notions people have here, and how something so normal to me can seem so bizarre.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Day off

(School, not plan)

It's a public holiday here in Japan today (秋分の日- Autumnal Equinox Day) so no school for me!

My plan to stay off the scale lasted all of a week, so now I'm just reminding myself to not freak out at the fluctuations. That being said I saw a nice number that I'm hoping I can just scrape down a little to meet my goal for the week. Given the number I can't decide if I would have seen it last WI because I had a really good nights sleep first. I suppose it's kind of a moot point now, and so long as I count it with my next WI it won't make a difference.

I had porridge again for breakfast today (I remembered to pick up milk at the supermarket so it was perfect this time) and didn't feel ill at all, so I'm taking yesterday as a fluke brought on by the hot room, or an adjustment that my body has now made.

Way to go everyone on the Healthy You Challenge and Chubby Chick's Christmas Challenge! It has a been a really good week for some (I especially salute those of you still cleaning up from Ike who are on plan, I can only imagine how tough it's been!). If you didn't have the best week don't let that stop you, and try not to let it make you lose control. Remember, if you keep going it will come off eventually!

Someone (sorry I can't remember who right now) posted this picture on their blog and I love it. I've been trying to keep in my head as I go about my life.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I am down 1kg/2.2lbs this week. I think if I had gotten a good night sleep (ironically, considering the effect it had on the scale, I stayed up late watching Biggest Loser) then it would have showed as a little lower, but then if that's true it will still be gone next week so I can count it then. Even the 1kg was more than I was expecting to lose after my results last week, so I'm pleased overall.

I had porridge (oatmeal) for breakfast this morning and it's sad how happy it made me. I have an apple for a snack to go with my packed lunch.

Sometimes you have to appreciate the little things.

Next week I want to make it up to 15lbs lost so that I can change my Christmas Challenge badge.

I went home at lunch today because I was feeling oddly sick. I don't know if it was just how warm the staffroom was or what, but I was feeling decidedly 'off'. I'm better now but I'd like to know what caused it. I hope it's just something simple like the room rather than something I'm eating.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Wow, almost no one has updated their blogs this weekend, where are you all?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lazy Day

Tomorrow is the last day of my induction phase! Though still a little nervous of my ability to keep things in check, I am excited at the prospect of moving on to the next step. Monday is going to be awesome, and I don't often feel that way about Mondays.

I went shopping the other day for groceries because we were told a typhoon would hit and the cupboards were bare. I got excited when I realised I could add some of my 'new' foods to my list and found some Quaker porridge oats. I was getting frustrated because I was sure I'd seen them in my supermarket before and hadn't been able to locate them since. Turns out the box I passed over in the 'healthy' section (meal replacement bars and water) because of the picture of what looked like mushroom pudding was precisely what I was looking for. Had I paused to actually read the cover instead of turning away in disgust I would have realised it said OOTOMIIRU (oatmeal) quite clearly, so I have no one to blame for myself. I also bought some apples as my fruit serving.

I had a large late lunch today. A big (by Japanese standards, and by mine too now I think, but probably not Western eaters) steak, with broccoli and onions. I ate it at about 3pm though, because I didn't wake up until about 2pm (shh! it's Saturday) and was hungry for a bigger meal than breakfast. It meant that at dinner time I wasn't hungry though, so I ended up just eating a little pack of cherry tomatoes to see me through the rest of the evening so that I don't get the 11pm munchies.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thanks Princess

First off thank you to The Princess for this encouraging blogger award!

I'm glad you like my comments and thank you for yours! You would be first on my list to give this award to, but others have already beat me to it! You always comment no matter how long I disappear for and believe me, I'm grateful for it.

Today I had a cake/tart thing (imagine a bakewell tart-esque construction without the icing on top, and flavoured differently). I was at my private lesson and they always bring little snacks to have at tea break. This lady had brought them to class as souvenirs of a trip she took this month and I really couldn't refuse. They get so excited giving me things and to refuse would really hurt their feelings (they wouldn't tell me that, but I know it would, it's just the culture here).

I freaked out a little bit about it when I got home, but then I stopped and thought about it rationally. The SB is low-carb, but not so low that it sends your body into ketosis (ketosis? Is that the right term? something like that) so it won't cause me to gain pounds the way sneaky carbs used to when I was on Atkins. It may kick start cravings as it's pretty much the first sugar and flour I've had since the beginning of this, but if that happens I'll have to deal with it.

I've got to stop thinking of this as 'cheating'. I think it's because I want to lose weight this week but don't think I will because of last week's loss. But if I step on the scale Monday and there's no change (or it fluctuates up)even tough it's irrational I know I'm going to think of this moment right now and the cake I ate.

I have to learn get myself to actually believe that these things can be in my day occasionally and not throw me off the ravine edge into disaster. I don't quite believe it yet because I lose control so easily when I keep those things in the house, it's never one from a pack, it's the whole pack or nothing (hence the reason why I don't keep things like that in my apartment). One day I want to get myself to a point (whatever I weigh) when my relationship with things I consider 'treats' is normal. No, not normal, meaningless. I want to be able to keep things you should enjoy in moderation around and not break down or spend the day obsessing over the fact that they're there.

SB is helping. I'm a little nervous about moving into the next, more flexible phase, because I don't want the cravings to come back, and I don't want to plateau.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I need to go shopping...

... but I don't want to take any money out of my account until I get paid tomorrow, so that I can send a chunk of it home. Today I just shoved some spoonfuls of chicken pieces that I cooked last night into a bag for my lunch (balanced huh?). I have spinach in my fridge but that's not really something you can precook for lunch.

I precooked a pack of chicken breast the other night because I forgot to separate them before freezing, so I had to thaw them all to get one for dinner. I've come to the conclusion that I just don't like it when I have meat ready made for my lunches. I like the convenience of it, but the chicken itself doesn't taste as good and can be quite tough. I'm gong to use up what I've got left but after that I'll just have to make time in the morning to make lunch.

I have my private class tomorrow so I'll get some cash for that. I can go shopping after the lesson but I hate doing it because the lady who drops me there after the lesson insists on waiting for me, which is lovely of her but means I don't get the chance to wander round the way I like. It always feels a little pressured

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Christmas Challenge

I've decided to join Chubby Chick's Christmas Challenge. My fly date for KL is Dec 24th, and at that point I'd like to be back down to 220 if possible, so it makes the challenge kind of perfect for me. Making 220 will have me at 40lbs down total, which would make a huge difference to me both mentally and physically. It would also mean that I wouldn't be struggling with the plane seating the way I did before. As I'm traveling with someone this time that is a huge motivator, believe me!

29lbs to go!

Long day ahead

I experienced a slight bump up with my weight, it may have something to do with the fact that I haven't been sleeping as much as I'd like so I'm not getting an accurate reading. It doesn't surprise me considering the numbers I pulled last week so I'm not exactly worried about it, but it's something I want to keep an eye on. Even if I don't lose anything this week, I don't want to gain.

I was completely organised last night and cooked myself a delicious lunch of stir fried broccoli and chicken, topped with a little cheese. Sadly, pride comes before a fall and this morning (having woken up VERY late) I dashed out the door but left the bag on the table. Sadness and hunger will be my work companions today.

I have no lessons today and am sitting here bored out of my skull. I have some photocopying to do for tomorrow but that's it. I wish I'd thought to tell my student to come see me a different day because then I could take the day off.

Monday, September 15, 2008

WI Day

After one week on phase 1 of the South beach diet I am officially down:

5kg/11lbs. Which is nuts.

Whenever I'd sneak a look on the scale I'd think 'ok, don't get your hopes up to high', and then 'oooh, 4lbs, I hope I can keep that until Monday', and then '7lbs, that must be because I was on my period to start with so my original weigh it was a kilo or two higher than usual'. By the time I hit double figures I was just thinking 'Wow, this has to stop some time!'.

So there you have it. SB says that in the first two weeks you can expect to loose between 8-13lbs and I have now done that. I'm going to do my second week of induction (and hopefully *fingers crossed* ride this weight loss wave a little longer) and then I have to switch to phase 2 and start adding fruit/starch back in.

I made a few mistakes this last week. One was the corn snack incident mentioned in this blog a few days ago. The other was misunderstanding what I could eat, and so eating yogurt as my evening snack/dessert a few times this week before I realised I couldn't. On three (separate) days, I've eaten a digestive biscuit for a snack when the cravings got to me. I chose digestive because they're 70% whole-grain/wholewheat and I'd say fairly low in sugar, so by controlling myself and only having one I managed to get a little carb hit that didn't trigger bigger cravings and didn't kick my body out of it's low carb status.

It's been a good week. The cravings weren't bad (and when I had them I think they were more emotional responses than actual cravings) and they faded as the week continued.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Interwebs comes through for me again

Searching for a South Beach phase one recipe for dinner brought me to this Shrimp, broccoli and red pepper stir-fry that I am currently sat eating for dinner. On the whole it's very nice, though I've added a little too much lemon, I'll remember that next time. I've been careful to get my veggies in while on induction, but I'll admit I was getting a little bored of my dinners being 'portion of meat, veg on the side'. Trying something like this means it's injected a little life into things, and has also got me eating some seafood as my protein for a change.

Weigh in tomorrow! Excitement! Also a little nervous, If I have a big loss I don't want to plateau for the next few weeks, I find that so frustrating.

My friend is coming over tomorrow to hang out. We'll probably end up going out to eat but I'm going to do what I did last time and order hamburger steak (like a really thick hamburger patty, served with a sauce (like a steak) rather than on a sandwich) with a side of spinach.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Keep on Truckin'

I woke up really thirsty this morning and have been guzzling water since. I have found that I've been feeling thirsty a lot since I started this. Maybe I was always feeling this and can just recognise it now? Before now I would probably just eat something instead.

Yesterday I was supposed to meet some people at an izakaya (kind of a Japanese pub) for drinks and food, but I chickened out and faked illness. I just knew if I went I would go completely off plan, and I feel like things are going so well now I just don't want to ruin it. When I get to phase two I can work in things like nights out, but for these 14 days I just want to stay on the straight and narrow. I'm trying to stay off the scale at the moment because a bad result puts me in a bad place mentally and tends to lead to me either cheating or having huge cravings for off-plan things (ahh, emotional eating). I stepped on the scale this morning for motivation to stay on plan for the three-day weekend (official WI on Monday); the SB book says that you can expect to lose 8-13lbs in the 14 day induction phase because of water weight, and I'm going in the right direction.

I was reading through a SB log on and it was interesting to see how another person is doing, eating, and what to expect when I make the switch to phase two (I'm a little nervous about it). She weighed in every day for the sake of the article and it seemed to really frustrate her because of the fluctuations, so I think my idea to cut down scale time is a good one.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don't Worry

If you've left me a comment the reason I haven't replied is because work have blocked blogger again. Moe specifically, they've blocked anything with the word 'blogspot' in the address, so I can get on to blogger to update, and I can read your blogs through my feed reader, but I can't get to the pages to comment on them. The Board of Education seem to go through fits of this, blocking and unblocking periodically.

I'm a little ate to read it buy Marshy has an interesting post about her thought process while travelling and eating. I found it particularly relevant as I tend to travel quite regularly and (as regular readers know) am heading to Malaysia for Christmas/New Year. I tend to see holidays as a bit of a free-fall, new place, new foods, experiences that I may not get elsewhere. I only hope that when I'm there I can stay as level-headed about the whole thing as she has.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My hands are faintly sterilised

I got home from work and blitzed three rooms of my apartment. The bedroom and spare room still need work but everywhere else is spotless, right down to all the pieces of the cooker that I took apart and scrubbed (and WOW did it need it). The apartment now has that faint bleach smell that should be off-putting but if you sniff really hard it actually carries a scent of satisfaction.

My cleaning spree finished later than I would usually have dinner and I was starving. The fridge yielded some fish and asparagus but on closer inspection they weren't looking so good, which meant I had to go to the store.

Somehow I managed to get out with my planned groceries and nothing else. Not a usual occurrence in recent weeks (that damn ready to eat section gets me every time), so I'm happy about it.

I can't tell if I'm hungry or if I'm just not full. I'm going to wait for 20 minutes and see how I feel.

So far I'm on plan today.

I win.

It's 00:46 and I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brain not engaged

Some corn snacks slipped under the wire and into my belly yesterday, not because I was craving, not because I was hungry, but because I was just on auto-pilot.

I had been doing really well and then went in to supervise English club. We always bring snacks in for the students and while referring the boys v girls game of chain words we all started eating our snacks as usual. About 4 snacks in I look down and think 'What am I doing?' but alas, it was too late.

So there we have it, I just wasn't thinking and that was the routine I usually go by. I was justly punished with massive carb cravings late that night, made worse by the fact that unbeknown to me Aunt Flo was preparing for her visit in the wee hours of this morning.

I overslept so I couldn't make lunch. I had nothing snackable in my fridge and it's been a long, hungry day. I had plans to go out to lunch now that know I'd be able to find something suitable, but an unexpected student visit put the stoppers on that plan. It led to a worrying moment in the convenience store (I had to go pay for my order so I couldn't just avoid the place) when I picked up and sandwich and my brain went 'You're not technically on plan now anyway NOM NOM NOM'. It took me a few circles of the shop floor with the item in hand to convince myself to exchange it for the string cheese and plain yogurt and then do a runner from the shop, possibly scaring the attendants off foreigners for life with my (not entirely) internal argument.

I will finish today on plan if it kills me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Horror

I forgot to weigh myself yesterday so that I would know where my starting point was for low-carbing. Then I had a back and forth argument with myself for the rest of the day over the fact that I didn't want to weight because the results were going to be unpleasant and I would hate it, but I needed a reference point. After deciding to be sensible and measure myself instead of weighing I realised this morning that I had forgotten and just got on the scale.

My mellow, it is harshed.

I knew it was high, I knew, but it's not the same as seeing it and realising exactly how much weight I've packed on since this time last year. And it was a new number, but not in a good way.

The number stuck with me for the rest of the day like a lump in my throat. Before anyone comments I know that if I stick to what I'm doing the number will be lower soon, but still, it was a bit of a blow.

But speaking of sticking to what I'm doing, I just went out to lunch and stuck completely to plan. My friend chose an Italian place for lunch which sent me into a bit of a frenzy, but then I calmed down a little because this is Japan and it's a chain restaurant, which means it will be serving Japanese style Italian dishes. I ended up getting the 'hamburger-steak' set menu (it's like a thick burger patty, but they don't serve it as a sandwich) that came with a piece of chicken, and a sauteed spinach salad with a little bacon in it. For drinks I stuck to water even though I had a bit of a moment at the machine where I wanted orange juice (not allowed in my first two weeks). I passed the order of rice they brought me over to my friend and am feeling good.

I was surprised and happy that it was so easy.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Be proud of me my eBrethren, though I awoke with only 20 minutes to go before I had to leave I managed to get up and dressed, saute a chicken breast so I could throw together a bento of chicken, cherry tomatoes and string cheese, and both make and scoff a quick breakfast omelet while simultaneously packing my laptop bad and wielding my mascara and toothbrush (thankfully in approximately the right areas of my face). MULTI-TASKING: I HAS IT.

The result of which means that I started my venture into low-carbing as planned, if at a slightly more frantic pace than first hoped for. I'm using the string cheese for a morning and afternoon snack and the chicken/tomatoes for lunch. I'm not sure what I'm having for dinner yet, but it will probably be some kind of protein with either spinach or cabbage.

In other news I just booked my hotel for Malaysia (you are going to be sooo sick of hearing about Kuala Lumpur by the time I go). We ended up spending slightly more ($18-24/night rather than $11-14/night) so that we could have a budget hotel rather than a hostel with shared facilities. We had a lovely looking hotel in mind but after some hard digging on the interwebs I uncovered a veritable plague of bad reviews for the place, so we decided to spend a little more and get somewhere that had excellent reviews across the board.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Christmas/New Year plans!

I'm going to Malaysia for Christmas! A friend and I have booked flights to Kuala Lumpur and we're looking at hostels/hotels now. I've seen a beautiful looking one on the edge on the historical district (link). It's a budget hotel so I don't think the rooms will be anything special, but at the very least we should have our own bathroom rather than sharing one and it's very well located (there is a train station very near) and has a very picturesque style. I got a really good deal on flights considering how much some of the prices were ($2000+ with some day combinations! ARGH! I ended up getting it for $610 though).

I'm so excited! I'm slightly nervous as the last trip I went on with a friend (the same time last year as it happens) was rather a disaster. But then Bangkok on the whole didn't impress me as much as I thought it would (don't get me wrong, there were a few highlights, but it was so much dirtier and broken down than I was picturing) so the fact that I didn't end up getting along with the girl I went with was about on par with things.

The girl I'm going with now is absolutely lovely though, and we're both like little kids on Christmas Eve. We want to go everywhere and try everything.

Crap, time for pre-vacation diet (heh). I'm going to try that low carb thing after all. I went shopping yesterday and got some supplies, so I'll see how things go tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

.... Okay.

Having had my tantrum, thrown my toys out the pram and declared that I won't play nice with the other kids, let's get back to business.

Low-carb: thoughts?

Some of my big problems are wanting to stuff myself with tonkatsu and copious amounts of white rice at any given opportunity, and the complete lack of an alternative to white carbs, and a not so minor chocolate/bread addiction. I've read that once you get through the induction you find your cravings for carbs lessen? That would be great.

So to anyone currently rocking the low-carb lifestyle, which program do you recommend? I was thinking South Beach but am worried that I won't be able to find the foods I need to stay on it. Reading labels in Japanese has proven to be more miss than hit on my very best days, so I'm going to have to stay away from packages where-ever possible because I won't be able to tell how many carbs are in it, where as a piece of meat or an egg will be pretty much the same regardless of where I am.

Monday, September 1, 2008


For anyone who has been wondering how I've been doing: Instead of meals for the past three days, I have been working my way through two batches of brownies. I think that pretty much sums things up.

I'm so sick of this whole deal at the moment. I'm tired of being on or off plan - I'm tired of pretending I have a plan when really all I have is the knowledge that even though I know what I could do, I'm not doing it. I'm back up to my heavy-weight and it hasn't been doing me any favours. One of my once a month adult class students asked me what the best food I'd eaten at home was, and I was talking about my mum's cooking and how there are memories attached to the food there that I can't recreate when I cook here, and describing some other British food I'd eaten, when the teacher breaks in with 'Yes, but I think you get fat when you are away' (I replied with "I think you got rude while I was away" and the class laughed, but still: EPIC FAIL TEACHER-MAN!).

I'm fed up of starting again, and I don't know if I'm going to. I always seem to end up back here in the end anyway.