Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Still here, still going

So how have things gone since last I posted?

Not too bad actually. I've been to the gym twice, which may not seem like much but has pleased me greatly. Food has been a mixed bag. I had a few goodbye things for people at work so that dinner was big, but when I went out with friends yesterday to Blue Frog, a place known for it's big burgers, and managed to order something reasonable (even after they came back to me and told me they didn't have the soup I wanted at first for my soup and salad idea, I chose a curry and rice instead of the burger I nearly went for). My idea of having discernible vegetables in meals is serving me well, and I've managed to stay away from any fast food (McDonald's or otherwise). On the whole I'd call this week successful, and when I weighed myself today I was down over 3kg despite this being the first day of my period so I was really happy.

It wasn't a perfect week, but I think it was more good than bad and I'm glad to see the results of that. Tomorrow I might have to go see the doctor as my persistent friend Hacking Cough is back (a result of the cold I came down with last week), but I haaaaate going so I may talk myself out of it between now and then. Things have taken a real cold turn here in Nanjing so I'm mostly wanting to huddle in front of my heater and not move. I have chicken soup on the stove, cauliflower cheese in the oven, a friend coming over to help me eat it, and Christmas music on the TV :).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Let's try this again

So, in a classic case of honeymoon syndrome I was Super! Excited! And! Serious! about being healthy for all of three days and then lost it. Fast forward to now and a week ago I got on the scale to see I'd hit a milestone in completely the wrong way, and now weigh something I was hoping never to see again. Cue the familiar heart pounding fear and flurry of action, which has led to a few things emerging from the dust.

1)Things that worked before won't necessarily work now

I have been on this weight loss kick most my life, using different approaches, and while I've been successful at different points in my past I really need to find something that fits in with what the current me is doing, rather than try and shoehorn in something that doesn't fit me now.

2) I may not be ready for hardcore tracking.

I usually love tracking food and using numbers and all that stuff, but after trying it last time I think it's no good for me right now. I work as a teacher in an English school in China, I work until 9 pm most nights and when I come home the last thing I want to do it sit down and try and figure out the calories in what I ate today (especially as they don;t list calories on most foods here!). It overwhelms me, which in turn makes me think 'well, if not I'm not tracking I may as well not do these things either' and the whole thing falls apart.

3)Make better choices

Given that I'm not tracking, using common sense is going to be a big part of this. I've banned myself from McDonald's for now as it's just too much of an easy option at work. I've found a couple of cafeteria style places near work where there are a lot of choices so I can choose more vegetables when I go out. Given that it's hard to know what goes into these dishes it's hard to say if calorifically they're better for me or not, but they are at the very least more nutritionally diverse. An extension of this is that I'm trying to eat more Chinese food as most the western stuff around work is bad for you.

4) Eat dinner out less

I don't want to  give up my social life as it's easy to become very isolated here, but on work nights I'm trying not to take the easier (usually less healthy) option of just going to restaurant with workmates because we're all tired and don't want to cook. Monday nights are my Fridays, so I can go out for dinner then with everyone, and will try and make decent choices wherever we are. This means if the place we go doesn't have any 'good' (for want of a better word) options, I will not use it as an opportunity to EAT ALL THE THINGS, rather choose the least damaging and be mindful of portions.

5) Go the gym!

Christ, even once a week at this point would be OK, then anything else is good, but choose something and keep it up regularly. Even a little is better than nothing.

So that's where I am right now. I've been doing the above things for about a week and feeling a little better for it. I know my numbers but I'm going to wait until I'm in a definite routine this time before I go all out about posting them. At this point I'm trying to do things better without too much pressure or negative talk to myself.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

House Day

Today was a house day for a variety of reasons.

First: The Laundry. Oh God, The Laundry. So massive it needs those capital letters. I have a washer here but not a dryer, so it's a balancing act of making sure you have what you need drying in time while getting the right loads in. Generally I've never been a separator of clothing in the wash, too much faffing around for me. If whatever piece of clothing I have can't survive being washed with my trousers on a general wash I probably shouldn't own it. However, my washer here has decided to leave big purple marks on my whites (despite using the washing machine drum cleaner thing) any time I mix them, so now I have to juggle doing my lights/darks/coloured and still getting the right amounts dry in time for me to wear outfits.

Second: Still having coughing issues. God I'm sick of it. I now have something new where my throat feels kind of like I'm going to cry any minute? You know when you're tearing up and you have a lump in your throat that aches a bit that you have to swallow past? Exactly that feeling, with no emotional trigger. Drinking hot water today and coughing stuff up has helped, but surely there should be a limit on how much mucus a body can produce?

Third: Laaaazzzzyyy Day. Yesterday we had rain! Oh rain, how I've missed you. It rained and was quite cool all day (I finally got a chance to wear my new dressing gown against the slight chill, though I still haven't put my blanket back on my bed, the covers are still enough. It meant that all I wanted to do when I woke up today was be domestic. I made carrot and coriander soup (I put the recipe here on Sparkrecipes, but I don't use the Bottomless username any more lest you think I haven't been tracking my food, it's simple and quick recipe good for lunch) and watched the final of The Great British Bake Off.

I have to clean my apartment some more, the floors especially need going over, and I need to make lunch for tomorrow. I need to pack my gym bag so I have no excuses before work tomorrow, but that may have to wait until tomorrow morning as my stuff is still wet. I've been eating my soup through the day and while that's very good it's not enough calories, am going to have to see what else I want for dinner.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weigh In

Time for the weigh in already? Wow, that went fast. Here are the numbers!

Start Weight: 117kg
Current Weigh: 115.6kg
Weight lost: 1.4 kg (3#)

A good loss for the weeks, especially considering I wasn't as vigilant as I could have been. My food was fine for a few days, but the moment I didn't make lunch for work things became much much harder. The only thing to eat in the time I have is McDonald's, so I ended up going and having a fish sandwich meal not once but twice. Lesson learned from the experience is that making my own lunch is important and has a huge bearing on how I view the day from a healthy eating perspective. I was very close to saying 'oh well, too late now, I'll just eat what I want for the day and get back to it tomorrow' on both those days and only just managed to keep myself under control.

Other telling things from the week include the fact that it's really easy for me to stop tracking my food when I feel like I'm eating the wrong things. I realised today I hadn't tracked those McDonald's days so I went back and tracked them now when I was putting in today's food. Funny thing was that while the calories were technically over, on the worst of the 2 days the number was 1775 (145 over range goal) and on the other it was 1648 (a mere 18 over). While over is still over, they're not really the fall of the wagon and disappear into a pit of despair kind of numbers that I can build up in my head sometimes. If I were to track when I'm supposed to I think it would stop me from making worse decisions later.

The gym and blogging goals I fell a little short on. I was tempted to count today as it would put me on goal for both, but today (Tuesday China time, and the first day of my weekend) is my weigh in so it counts as a new week. I was planning for three of each this week and ended up with two on both counts. The gym was out on hold while I was struck down with a cold and the blogging I just forgot about (hey, I'm a little rusty!), but two is better then none and I'm happy I at least made an attempt. Hopefully this week I'll be able to actually do both three times.

Speaking of the gym, I did 20 minutes on the elliptical today! I know it doesn't sound very long, but I wheezed out 7 my first go round, so it was a bit of a victory for me. I feel kind of like I want to join a weight loss challenge while I'm feeling motivated, but don;t know where to start looking, and there any running right now? I'd like something going up to Christmas if possible.

Friday, October 12, 2012


I woke up this morning to a message from my dad saying my new little brother and sister had been born! It's so exciting but it makes me wish I was home to welcome the twins properly. I have just sent them some flowers via an online delivery site: thank you Internet!

So, things have been going OK here. I'm eating a very cleanly, though I'm still having trouble at the end of the day. I tend to stay up very late as most days my work schedule is 1:30-9pm, but it's meaning I do perfectly during the day but get the munchies around 3 am. I'm not binging or anything, but when I've eaten my range of calories in the day, I don't want to be adding that extra bowl of cereal, or extra bread and jam at night.

Focus on the positives though!

I've made my lunch both yesterday and ready for today to take into work.
When my friend texted me and asked if I wanted to go to the all you can eat teppanyaki place on my day off I took serious stock of myself and told her 'not today thanks', because I didn't feel hungry enough and didn't want to gorge myself (as I undoubtedly would have! It's expensive and there is always a sense with 'all you can eat' that you want to get your money's worth) .
Yesterday I had a nice (expensive ><) piece of salmon waiting for me for when I finished work, and despite begin tired and catching myself trying to rationalise going out and buying something instead, I went home and cooked it with some broccoli and corn on the cob.
I went the gym yesterday and Tuesday (Tuesday with the hangover from hell, but I was there because it was the first 'healthy' day in the plan and I didn't want to miss it)

So there we go. It may not be perfect but I think the positive outweighed the negative. Unfortunately I'm now fighting off a wretched cold of some kind so I'm not feeling great, but I'll try to make sure it doesn't lead to me making lazy choices. If anything, eating clean now is more important to make sure I'm getting enough good stuff to fight off the sickness (though I find it ironic that only after I start eating helthily do I get sick in the first place...).

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I moved on from this blog a few years ago to pastures new, but decided recently I want to get back in to this whole weight loss thing. I was going to go with the fresh start fresh blog idea, but I've always liked the name of this one, and after quite a few tries with other titles I can safely say that there are a hell of a lot of names already in use over blogger! I have another blog that I'm still using to keep people updated back home, but with things like weight loss I don;t want my whole family knowing the darkest corners of my mind on this topic, it makes me feel kind of over-exposed.

So here I am. I'm in a new country since last we met (goodbye Japan, hello China!) having done a brief stop back home in the UK between. So what's happening now? I'm fat and I'd like not to be. That ones a no-brainer I suppose. I'm currently barrelling through my 29th year and given that 30 is a big birthday, I would like to have made some positive changes before I hit it (my 30th birthday is May 18th 2013). A friend of mine in Canada recently got a gastric band put in, and when I heard about it I realised it was making me contemplate doing the same, which in turn made me think I should give the old fashioned way another try first  as the idea of surgery scares me a whole lot, and where I am geographically makes it a no-go for a while at least.

Most of all, the reason I'm back to it is that I've had a sense over the last 6 months that my body has starting tallying up all the shit I've given it over my life and is finally starting to give me the bill. Before now I've been fat in varying degrees of health, but nothing that really stopped me doing anything. Since I've been working my current job though I've been having major trouble with what I believe is Plantar Fasciitis , which has been making simple things like walking around very painful. Weight loss will help with this and I'd be far less cranky if I weren't limping around. I went to my doctor because I had a virus and the nurses there do basic checks before you see the main guy. I was asked if I usually have high blood pressure. I said no because I never have before (and given that I'd had a stressful time trying to find the place before my appointment it could have been that) but the overlying message seems to be that I have reached the point where cracks are starting to show in terms of what my body can handle.

So: Goals! I has them!

Weight: Loss: 0.9kgs a week (2lbs, I work in metric here)
Exercise: Minimum 3 times a week at the gym I joined yesterday, more is great but I'm trying not to trip on my usual hurdle of 'you didn't go today so there is no point going EVER AGAIN'
Blogging: Again, I'm trying for 3 times a week as if I have a bad week I tend not to update and that's not helpful, also I made it a goal on Sparkpeople. Speaking of sparkpeople...
Food: Log food on sparkpeople every day. It's a pain in the ass but it works for me. China is hard with tracking food because most of it either doesn't have nutritional info, or I can read it.

I currently weigh 117kg. My big goal is to get down to 75kg. My middling goal is to finally break 100kg, and my for now goal is to get back under 110kg.

Here we go.