Saturday, January 31, 2009

End of the month

Okay, so I weighed in this morning at 109.8kg again. That means that after one week on South Beach I have lost 3.4kg or 7.48lbs, which is a really good number. It also means that for January as a whole I didn't lose anything, but I did (by the skin of my teeth) manage to maintain.

It's been a very up and down month for me, but I think I have it under control now. I got back from my holiday having only gained a kilo, but couldn't quite get my head back into the mental space it needed to be when I returned to Japan. This led to me binging, a lot, and the inevitable weight gain that follows. I got up to 113.2 before facing the scale and giving myself a good talking to.

Now things are on much more of an even keel. The weight loss has dropped off the last few days (but with a big loss just before it I can understand that) so for the next week (month) I want to try and stay the course, and not let my frustrations at not seeing the number on the scale derail me. We'll see how that goes. I also want to continue tracking my food, I'm finding that really useful.

Hope everybody else had a good month, and if you've been finding hard, or struggling to get your resolutions started, this is a chance for a fresh start.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Get ready to throw

I'm hungry (though it's not related to not being allowed to eat food, just not having enough with me).

I have lunch, I packed it last night and managed not to eat it. I find if I pack up dinner leftovers for lunch immediately (before eating dinner itself) I'm much more successful with it. However, I overslept and so didn't have time to make my eggs for breakfast. I woke up and my stomach was growling (I'm not usually that hungry) so I took the last yogurt out of the fridge to eat at school. I didn't think I'd make it to lunch without hitting the store otherwise, but yogurt is a poor substitute to eggs in terms of keeping the hunger pangs at bay, and so here I sit. Also, I managed to get a blob of it on my top, but didn't realize for a few minutes, so now I have a stain. It's attractive, really.

I don't want to break out my lunch yet because if I have it early I'll have this exact same problem come mid-afternoon, so I'm marking books in the hope that it will make the time pass faster until 12 o'clock hits.

The scale moved ever so slightly back down to 109.8 today. I'm choosing to look at it positively as a precursor to greater things.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


How is it possible that I've eaten three full meals and a snack and have still not quite hit 1100 calories? It's not like I'm living on lettuce over here, so how?!?

I'm meant to have just under 1900 a day. I hate it when people complain 'oh it's just soooo hard to eat so much' (it's feels kind of smug and braggy to me), but seriously? The carbohydrates take up calorie space that I'm having trouble filling because the upped protein is making me feel not hungry.

And it uses so much food to make three meals properly! I went shopping the other day and I've got enough for tomorrow's meals left. I'm OK for proteins but I need to go get more veg. I envy people who have no trouble doing the weekly big shop (not that I'd have anywhere to store it even if I did that), I seem to go through stuff so fast.

Feel free to throw this back at me next time I mention I'm starving.

Now is the early autumn of our discontent

The scale hasn't moved the last few days, a fact I shrugged off yesterday and the day before, but for some reason it stuck in my craw a little today. I've been eating to plan, so I know it will move eventually, but it' a little frustrating to wait. I seem to vaguely remember (did I block this out for the sake of my sanity?) going through something like this during my last stint on South Beach, I had some loss and then nothing for days and days while my body freaked out a little(I'll have to check my archives to see if the timing matches up).

That being said, I've only been on this diet, what? Five days? I've just realised that as I was typing this, so I really should give myself a break. I've lost a lot for that time frame (I was 113.2kg when I first stepped on the scale to see what the damage was on Saturday), but it's not the amount that's grating me. I'm thrilled will the numbers, just not the distribution. I like to see the difference every day, even if it's only tiny amounts that will lead to the same number, it keeps me motivated to eat right that day.

I know some of you will want to say 'stop weighing in every day, it will drive you crazy' but that's the way I work, I'm a need to know kind of girl. I completely understand that there are natural fluctuations in weight - and I think I could deal with those better - but that's not what's happening. It's just stuck in place, not going up or down.

Bah *shakes self* never mind. It will move when it moves. I need to make sure I up my calories some today, as they've been lower than I would like some days (I started tracking my food again). It was my own fault, yesterday I was making dinner and thinking about what I had to track, and realised that I had forgotten to eat breakfast. I remembered today, so I think the numbers should be more even today. For lunch I have leftover mabodofu and a little broccoli, remnants of last night's dinner, and a smoked string cheese pack. I'm not sure what dinner will be yet, but there is plenty of food in the kitchen so I'll decide at home. Hamburger maybe.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shopping triumph

I got home and was hungry. Thank God I had nothing snack-y in the house else things could have gotten ugly. Complete abstinence is the only way I can deal with a lot of things, especially at the beginning. It plays hell with me when I'm taken out of my own environment, but if it helps me stay on plan the other 95% of the time then I'll keep doing it.

I got home and only had broccoli left in the fridge, so had to nip to Okuwa (my local supermarket) before I could cook. This was not a good thing, I've long since realised I have to be full before going into a Japanese supermarket. I have to go in through the self service bakery section, which in turn leads to the self service fried food section. It has been my downfall many a day, as long term readers of this blog will know.

But luckily not today. I was practically holding my breath as I hurried through the entrance and legged it to the produce section, but it was worth it to come out with a clean basket of food. They seem to have quite a few proteins at a good price so I got some lean pork, beef, and hamburger, and then some minced (ground) beef for tonight's dinner. I got a good deal on a big bag of onions (I eat them with so many things!), some more aubergine, and some broccoli off the reduced counter. I'm off fruit for the next couple of weeks so I didn't buy any of the nice looking bananas, but I'm hoping the price stays down until I can. The only processed thing I bought was a little packet of mabodofu sauce for my dinner. As soon as I got back home I threw the beef into a hot pan, then drained the fat off and added some green pepper. A quick cubing of my soft tofu and the sauce makes a perfect dinner with broccoli on the side. Bliss!

A possible answer

After a bit of searching I stumbled across a recumbent bike on a Japanese site that allows me to pay at the convenience store. I was looking on Amazon before and found the same model, but it's by a marketplace seller so I couldn't use the cash-on-delivery or convenience store option. It's more expensive than the upright bike I was looking at before, but the weight limit is 110kg (which just happens to be my exact weight du jour), and I think it will be a lot more comfortable to use. And less likely to collapse out from under me. I hope.

It's still 20,000 cheaper than the other other bike, which puts it right at the top of what I was willing to spend so I feel much better about it.

It's here if anyone is interested. Nothing fancy, but it will get the job done.

How many days until payday? Here I was thinking I was through with counting down @(^_^)@....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A question

How big of a margin of error do you think they factor in to the 'maximum user weight' levels for exercise machines?

I mean, if you're going to be flailing about I assume there must be a little right? I can't ask in the store, my crappy Japanese and my pride do not allow it.

Here's the deal: I want to buy an exercise bike. To get one that goes up to a maximum of 120kg is going to cost a lot (the average cheap bike goes up to 90kg), but to get one that goes up to 100kg is about half the price. I'm 110kg right now, and I have a month until I buy it. Assuming the worst (but hoping for better) and I stay at my current weight, does anyone think it's worth the risk?

I don't want to break it. One, the waste of money would be terrible, and two, the shame. Oh God the shame. "What happened to your bike?" "I sat on it". I would hope that once I started using it I would get lighter, so fingers crossed this won't be an issue for long, thoughts? Should I go for it or not, I'm waiting to hear your opinions!

I've decided to re-join the Healthy You challenge for 2009. I wasn't going to because I didn't do so well last year, but I think that was down to me, rather than finding the challenge detrimental in any way. Any one who isn't taking part check it out via the badge on the right.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Planning FAIL

I cooked some chicken last night, intending to bring it to school with me for lunch, but then it smelt so good that I scarfed it all before I went to bed, D'oh! I could have made some more but at that point I didn't trust myself not to eat it again.

It was my own fault really. I was under on calories, which would have been fine if I'd gone to bed when I planned, but I remembered a lesson plan I needed to do at the last minute and was awake until early in the AM. It was meat so it was completely on plan, and I was fine on calories for the day overall, but if I'm honest it's probably not good to eat anything at 2AM, on plan or not.

It means I'm hungry now because I'm lunch-less. I managed to scramble an egg and an egg white really quickly this morning and eat it with a few cherry tomatoes, so things could be worse, Once the students have finished cleaning the staffroom (I always feel so awkward sitting here as they clean around us!) I will grab some water and eat the string cheese I stuck in my bag before I left.

I'm looking forward to my dinner tonight! I'm on such an aubergine kick at the minute. I love the little Japanese aubergine because they're not bitter the way the western varieties are, so you don't have to salt them first to remove it.

ETA: Dinner! (click for full size)

It's roughly diced chicken breast, aubergine, and green pepper, with some different herbs. Broccoli and green beans on the side. Take note of the final fantasy soda cans in the background (I bought them only for the cans, I don't drink soda).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 1 (don't screw it up)

Had some pretty bad cravings late last night, but there was absolutely nothing sweet in the house that I could binge on. Dinner had gone well (chicken drumsticks in an onion and green pepper gravy, served with broccoli), and I had posted on here about how I was starting again so I didn't want to screw the first day up with a visit to the supermarket for junk. After my false start a coupe of weeks ago I'm really trying to stick to it, and I know the cravings are the worst now. In the end I ate a couple of cherry tomatoes and went to bed.

Today I got up at 11:30 so my breakfast of a cheese and onion omelet with cherry tomatoes became lunch. Usually I use whole eggs but someone was telling me that most the protein is in the whites anyhow, so I decided to avoid the fat and use two egg whites and a whole egg instead. I couldn't even tell the difference in what I was eating, so I think I'm going to keep doing that. Dinner tonight is going to be chicken, half an onion, aubergine (eggplant), possibly cooked in canned tomatoes because that is what I have in the house. Or I may forget the tomatoes and serve it with green beans as I have some frozen.

I need to go the supermarket but I'll do it tonight straight after dinner. That way I'll have time to make an list, and will be full form the food so may even stick to it!

Scale says I lost some water weight this morning. I was relieved, but it's still higher than it should be.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Okay, I've had enough of this bullshit.

And you know I'm serious this time because I cleaned the clutter in my apartment so that it no longer feels like it's closing in on me.

Since I've gotten back things have been bad in the food/exercise department. In a way that surprised me because when I got back from the holiday I was feeling good. But days have turned to weeks and I don't want it to turn to months. I'm just at the point where I've got a choice to give up and keep going the way I am until I get so heavy and sick of myself I'm forced to try again, or to get up, skip any further period of self hatred for the time being, and try it now.

I weighed myself this morning. It's high (of course) but not insanely considering how I've been eating. I'm back on South Beach as of right now, bananas I had for breakfast be dammed, I don't want to give myself a chance to pig out again tonight because 'it's the last time'.

I'm thinking of buying an exercise bike. I actually want a treadmill, but buying one will be too expensive because I can't take it home, and they take up more space than a bike. The bike will also be expensive because most exercise machines I've looked at have a maximum user weight of 90kg (damn those tiny Japanese people!) so I'm having to pay more for a model that goes up to 120 and there aren't many options.

I was going to wait and get the treadmill when I got home, but I'm here for at least another 18 months and I just don't think I can wait that long. I won't be able to buy the bike until I get paid on Feb 21st anyhow because my last pay-cheque just went into my bank back in the UK so I don't have the money. I can't use an international credit card (it's a good thing in the long run, believe me) on so I have to pay cash on delivery. I'll still be able to send some money home to save, but not as much as I was going to.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Excuse my blatant and unchecked use of capitals in recent posts, but exciting news!

FREE FROM DEBT! I'm also currently pretty much penniless in terms of savings, but FREEDOM! Without debt! Debt-less!

I can remember sitting in my hotel room in Bangkok, making a list of how I was going to pay everything off as my resolution last year. The list didn't go to plan (I should have been finished in, um, May 2008), and I just missed the 08 deadline, but the card is empty and it feels goooood. I'm going to class that as a 2008 resolution achieved (given that I was so close), and look forward to 2009 being a year of saving.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my blog last time, my food still isn't good but I'm feeling better. They say the first step is to admit you have a problem...

Monday, January 19, 2009



Sunday, January 11, 2009

Keeping my bearings

I can always tell when I've started a new mental cycle of this old weight loss head game because I feel so good. It's the moment when everything seems fairly easy and I find myself wondering why I ever stopped doing this. Exercise has such a huge affect on this. Without exercise I know that no matter how perfect my food is, there is more I could (should!) be doing if I'm really serious about all this. With exercise I feel like things will be fine, even if food isn't perfect. Even though it's only been a couple of days (I did my 2 mile again today) and it usually takes longer than that for the rush to hit.

Food hasn't been great. It goes OK (not good, but fine) during the day and then I feel like I have to eat eat eat at night. I don't think it's hunger eating for the most part, but I'm not sure what's causing it. Today I decided to go back to The Daily Plate and start tracking my food again, something I haven't done for a while. I'm hoping the fact that I will be writing it down will make me think over whether I really need/want what I was about to put in my mouth, the way my budget helped me with asking if I really needed/wanted what I was about to charge on my card.

I've got a chicken breast defrosting on the side, a little head of broccoli and a small Japanese aubergine in the fridge, so I think that's going to be my dinner. I've also got half an onion cut in the fridge so I may saute that with the aubergine to use it up. I had oatmeal for breakfast (well, I got up late so it was lunch really) this morning, and a handful of cherry tomatoes as a post-workout snack. so things are feeling good for not. If I get really hungry later I may scramble some eggs, but the trick in that is being honest about whether I'm really hungry or if I just want 'something'.

The cupboards are pretty bare right now, so I'll have to go shopping tomorrow. There are times I love having a 24 hour supermarket 2 minutes away, and there are times (specifically, 11 at night which sugar cravings riding me) when it's a real bitch.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I did my first piece of organised exercise of 2009 today. Hurray! I intended to get right into it the moment I go home on the 6th, but somehow it didn't quite happen. Instead it became 'Well, I'm tired from the plane ride, I'll eat what I want tonight and start fresh tomorrow', which in turn became 'wow the house is a mess, I'll clean everything and then my environment will put me in the perfect head space for my 2009 weight loss extravaganza'. But then I didn't clean, or rather I did, but it didn't stay clean. And then I didn't have and groceries, but my trip to the supermarket led me to just buying binge food instead (as my 'Last (no really this time) Supper') and I woke up with a serious food hangover yesterday.

I have a routine with these things, you've heard it before. I like my apartment to be clean so that it's not making me feel bad, which leads to that feeling of a lack of control to spill into my food. Sometimes I even do the big clean and it feels great, but then it's taken long enough that I don't feel like exercising anymore, or I'm tired, or I let myself get distracted with something like a book I unearthed from under my laundry pile.

This morning I realised I was mentally bargaining with myself again ('It's the weekend, it would be better to start on Monday so that my weigh in next week will reflect a full weeks eating right') and I was finally honest enough with myself to just put my foot down and say no. So, my apartment is a bit of a state and I have dirty dishes in my sink, but I did my 2 mile WATP first anyway so I wouldn't wriggle out of it again, and took a nice shower after.

It's still a mess in here, I started blogging while I dry off, but it's OK. I know I can't stand the mess for long periods of time, so no matter what excuses come up, I will get it cleaned. The same can definitely not be said for getting up and doing my walking. I've marked the distance on my calendar and we'll see how many of the boxes can fill in this month. I think a lot of it is going to be trying to keep up the willpower and saying 'no, the chores will still be there, walk first' for as long as I can.

So yeah, 2 miles and hello 2009 weight loss effort. I didn't do so well with your brother 2008, so cut me a little slack would you?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I went to Malaysia very excited about the food. I basically planned to eat KL, and anything else that was unfortunately enough to cross my path that didn't contain obvious metal spikes. Luckily, I also took my camera to a few of these meals, so you get some drool worthy pictures for this post!

We took a trip to Crab Island while we were there. It was about an hour on the train to get to Port Klang (every time I here the name I think the Klingons are coming!), and half and hour on the ferry to get to the Island. Total cost: 11.5 MYR (£2.15/$3.25). It was a small fishing community on a tiny Island, the majority of the population were Hokkien Chinese, and the whole village was built on stilts:

It being Crab Island, obviously we knew what we were having for lunch!



We also ordered prawns steamed with ginger:

It was so good! I'm definitely going to try making the steamed ginger prawn dish at home sometime.

Other food included yellow chicken curry laksa, with a coconut milkshake:

Cendol (a new favourite! Palm sugar, sweetcorn, red beans, grass jelly, starch noodles with pink and green food colouring, coconut milk and ice):

Thai Pineapple Rice:

and Peanut Pancakes from the street hawker in Petalang Street:

Not to worry, I did actually visit sites and do things other than eat, but so many pictures and so little time means that you will have to wait for another post to see them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm Back!

I made it back to Japan safe and sound, so no worries. I got home and my water had been switched off though, which wasn't exactly the welcome I'd been looking for. There was a note in Japanese on my door dated Dec 27th that said something about the apartment below me and water, so after summoning one of the English teachers to translate we got it sorted. Hee, he said to me 'we will have to call and see what day and time they come to turn the water on', to which I (having been traveling since 7:30pm the previous day and unable to shower, wash my clothes or have a drink of water) answered 'Err, no. No no. Not days: Today. If they can tun in off without my permission they can come and turn it on when I tell them to. They arrived within the hour and the repair guy also fixed the leaky pipe in my bathroom.

I weighed in this morning with a New Year weight of 109.8kg. It's a gain but it surprises me that it's not higher as I went on this trip with the decision to eat whatever the hell I wanted. And oh, how delicious it was, I have pictures friends.

My daily roti canai breakfast:

The roti bread was made up of very thin layers of dough, folded over each other and then griddled, served with a lentil dahl. The above picture was the plain version, we also had egg, and my favourite banana (small sliced of banana in each layer):

Man, I wish I had a banana roti right now. We walked up and down the city exploring, and traveled a few other places too, so I'm sure the exercise is what helped keep the weight down.

I have other food pics I'll post later, but fir now they're making me hungry!

I'm glad I didn't gain enough to go back over 110kg. My new goal event for now in the Valentine's day ball on Feb the 14th. I'm not sure how much I want to lose for it right now because I can't decide if a goal number would help or hinder me, but I do know that I want to get back to exercising. It helps so much, and I stop hating it as much once I get into a routine.