Friday, 30 October 2009

Payday: A blessing and a curse

So payday has now happened (finally!), which means I am here with both good news and bad news! The good news? I can afford to eat! The bad news? I can afford to eat. :-/

I'm afraid I've already been naughty (and we're not even in the attack of the British yet!), by attending a team meal last night at a local Indian restaurant. Mind you, I wasn't too bad, I didn't have a starter or a desert/coffee after, while most did. I had a Chicken Korma, some Basmati rice and a Cheese nan - Not the end of the world.

(Warning: Skip this paragraph if you don't like reading about vile bodily functions!)
This would all have been well and good, had I not have then continued with the team to a local bar and drank far too much (well, not as much as I've been known to drink, but 2 large wines and 3 pints of beer is hardly acceptable diet drinking!) - Luckily, after such a long period of barely eating whilst waiting to be paid, my body didn't appreciate the drink and forced most of it, along with half my Indian, back up a little later. Don't get me wrong, I hate being sick (and would certainly never use it as a weight-loss method), however if my body's making me involuntarily then who am I to complain!

After last nights episode (which I appreciate you probably have a little too much information about now so apologies for any vile mental imagery!), I weighed in this morning at a pleasant 116kg (256lbs / 18st, 3lbs) - This brings my total loss to 9kg (20lbs / 1st, 6lbs)!!!

How good is that? I totally don't deserve it after yesterday however my body appears to be in a forgiving mood! Step 3, here we come!

During Step 2 by the way I've been walking to work everyday and I've decided not to renew my bus pass for November, forcing me to continue walking everyday (prior to Step 2 I was getting the bus every day so this is an extra 50 minutes or so exercise 5 times a week) - Still don't feel quite up to the gym yet, I'm thinking that's going to start around Step 4, however the walking is certainly a good start! The lift is also broke in my apartment building until the end of December apparently so that forces me to walk up 5 flights of stairs every time I come home.

I'm going to try to stick to the baguette diet thing whilst at work this month, regardless of having money, because the cash I do have is already disappearing rapidly and baguettes seemed to be quite an effective way of losing weight (well, 20lbs in 2 weeks, 2 days, so I should probably say a very effective way of losing weight ^_^) - This is also how I'm going to try to survive the attack of the British (a little naughty at weekends, baguettes in the week).

Moving on to something completely different (how bad is the flow of this post?), it's Halloween tomorrow! There's a costume contest on at work which I intend to win - I'll tell you a little secret - In England, whilst I was a bank manager by day, I was a professional drag queen by night, so I know a thing or two about dressing up.

This year I'm going as the same thing I did last year, "Sister Twitch" - I'll get a photo taken and upload it but I'll give you a sneaky peak now with a picture taken of me in a club last year.

*points to the left* Forgive the sweaty Betty appearance, unfortunately that was about 14 hours after putting on my face and the club was extremely hot!

Half expecting to scare off half of my new blog followers by whipping this one out of the bag so early, but I did say I'd start being less anonymous and share some of my life with you guys so I might as well throw you in the deep end!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

10 Steps to Success

In my last post I mentioned that I'm now on Step 2 and realised that I haven't even explained what my steps are about! Basically, I was thinking about weight loss, how far I've got to go, where I want to be, how much I need to lose, etc, and decided it would be much more achievable with mini-targets.

So, I have broken down the weight I need to lose into 10 steps, each 5kg (approximately 11lbs) apart. Each of my 10 steps is going to be it's own 'diet' so that I don't get bored of doing the same thing. Step 1 for example was a bit of an ice-breaker, I didn't really re-introduce exercise, was still cheating here and there, but got the ball rolling.

5kg lost, on to step 2. In step 2 I'm trying to cheat less and get into a better habit of watching the calories and staying on track. That's where we are right now, with another 4kg (8.5lbs'ish) til we hit Step 3.

Now when Step 3 hits it's going to be a difficult time because it's going to be right at the start of November, which is when the British attack. Every weekend I have either guests coming over to visit me that want to to be wined and dined in a nice French restaurant followed by copious amounts of alcohol on the tiles of Paris, or I'm going going off visiting someone/something - One weekend I'm staying in a Disney hotel, another weekend I'm going back to England and am going to desperately want to eat the hundreds of foods that you can't get in France which I've craved tremendously over the past year (and we aren't talking apples and oranges, I mean amazing exploding-with-calorie food like Fish'n'Chips, a decent Indian meal, sausage rolls, cornish pasties, etc) and if we're honest, I'm not sure I'll be able to turn it all away. So basically Step 3 will be a long step where I work hard in the week while working to stick to the diet religiously, however may let my hair down a little at weekends to adjust accordingly with my calendar. If I manage to simply maintain my weight through such a busy social calendar and then get back on track with losing when it ends, that will be a success.

Anyway, that was the attack of the British which hasn't happened yet so let's move on to the steps!

Starting Weight - 125kg (276lbs / 19st, 10lbs)

Step 1 - from 125kg (276lbs / 19st, 10lbs)
Step 2 - from 120kg (265lbs / 18st, 13lbs) - Current Weight: 119kg
Step 3 - from 115kg (254lbs / 18st, 2lbs)
Step 4 - from 110kg (243lbs / 17st, 5lbs)
Step 5 - from 105kg (232lbs / 16st, 8lbs)
Step 6 - from 100kg (221lbs / 15st, 11lbs)
Step 7 - from 95kg (209lbs / 14st, 13lbs)
Step 8 - from 90kg (198lbs / 14st, 2lbs)
Step 9 - from 85kg (187lbs / 13st, 5lbs)
Step 10 - from 80kg (176lbs / 12st, 8lbs)

Target Weight - 75kg (165lbs / 11st, 11lbs)
Total loss - 50kg (111lbs / 7st, 13lbs)

You'll notice I haven't set dates or deadlines - This is quite deliberate. I might do this later but right now I'm happy just going in the right direction.

Yesterday I had a baguette and water. That's it, all day. Not exactly nutritious, but hell, it shrunk the belly without shrinking the already-shrunk bank account!

Today, as it's Sunday and for some reason in France they genuinely believe no-one will need to eat on Sunday and as such it's acceptable to close everything, I have made some pasta with pesto at home and eaten that. I'm already hungry after eating it and have to go to work and survive and entire shift so I'm not sure how well I'll survive this one.. I have a horrible feeling someone will lend me money to go to McDonalds (the only establishment that opens on Sunday and that happens to be next door to work).. let's hope they don't, I'm not sure if I'm strong enough to resist!

*edit* Just a quick addition - I've just walked to work (it's about a 45 minute walk) and every time I always have to have a rest about two thirds of the way through because there is this huge, steep, long hill with a bench at the top. Today is the first day in months that I've ignored the bench and kept walking - Smells like progress!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Step 2

So, we've now entered Step 2. I haven't actually explained my steps yet but there's 10 of them, I'll go into the idea in my next post but right now I'm late for work so it's just a quicky for my weigh-in!

24/10/09 - 119kg
19/10/09 - 121kg
16/10/09 - 122kg
14/10/09 - 125kg

10 days already? That flew by! So it's 10 days, 6kg (13lbs) lost, not a bad start considering I've been cheating here and there >_< Luckily, I only have 2 euros & 50 cents to survive the next 7 days, so whereas before it was baguettes & water, plus a naughty kebab, cigarettes, etc - For the next 7 days it really will only be baguettes & water, because there is simply no budget to cheat!

So, Step 3 should arrive quite quickly hopefully! Coming Soon: My 10 Steps to Success!


Monday, 19 October 2009

A rocky start

Well, it's been a rocky start with a few successful sabotage attempts I'm afraid however while I've lost a few battles, I'm still winning the war.

19/10/09 - 121kg
16/10/09 - 122kg
14/10/09 - 125kg

So in total I've lost 4kg in 5 days, now that's really quite good, however I will admit that over the past 5 days I caved to both a kebab and a big mac meal, not ideal, I know - The Ticket Restaurant curse hasn't helped matters either. Let me explain; in France, there is a company that arrange a scheme called "Ticket Restaurant" and almost every food business and employer is in on it, here is a picture of our enemy:

Basically, for every day you work your company gives you a Ticket Restaurant, you get them with your pay slip every month so you generally get a book of about 22. The amount is set by your company and is generally linked to how much you earn, my tickets are 7€. Half of that 7€ per day is taken from my salary and the other half is matched by my employer.

These tickets can then be used almost anywhere that serves food. Fast food places (McDonalds, etc), all restaurants, some supermarkets (only very few and unfortunately none local, this is also generally limited to a 2 ticket spend to stop you doing your months shopping with them) all fall into the list of establishments that will accept these tickets as payment. However (and this is why they're the enemy), most places will not give you change for them because half of their value was paid by your employer and is technically not your money.

This means you feel obliged to spend the entirety of the 7€ and even if you don't feel this obligation, the person serving you will point out the amount you have left to spend on your ticket and point out everything in the shop that falls into that value as you might as well have it because you're going to lose that money anyway.

It's quite a clever scheme and works out very well if you're going for a meal in a restaurant, but not ideal when you're on a diet - I go for a baguette, I walk away with 2 baguettes and a pain au chocolat because the woman on the til can't cope with seeing me not make full use of a ticket. As you can imagine, this brings temptation to a new level.

As a result, generally my daily diet has been 2 baguettes + some sort of extra treat that they've forced on me, like a pain au chocolat, though I'm not complaining as clearly up to now this has been working with my weight loss and it's nice to not deny yourself the treat.

Unfortunately giving up smoking isn't going very well, I end up being offered cigarettes by a work colleague quite regularly who now has told me I owe him a box >_< In fairness, I do owe him a box by now, so I've had to cut into my only 20€ to buy a box of cigarettes to give him today in order to not look like a cigarette stealing tramp. This left me with 14€, however I need to go to the laundrette as I basically have no clothes. Guess how much that costs? You guessed it, the wash and drying will cost me the entirety of that 14€.

This means, ladies, gentlemen & diva's, I have 0€. Not a penny. All I have is 5 Restaurant Tickets, however as you can't get change with them this can't be split over more then 5 days, so I effectively have 5 days left of being able to eat. I get paid in 9 days. Funny, isn't it?

It's ok though. I have 2 small bags of emergency pasta and some pesto. I've got a feeling I might end up losing more weight then intended!


Friday, 16 October 2009

Testing the water

Now you might hate me for this, but I'm one of those awful people who, when on a diet, will weigh themselves every day. I know there is advice against it because your weight fluctuates and you could see that after a really good day you've gained weight and get demotivated, etc, therefore it's better to do it weekly - But I really can't. As soon as I wake up and think about my weight, the scales start to stare at me blankly until I've done it.

I do however think it's a good idea to have a weigh-in one or two days into a new diet to see whether it agrees with you - If you start a new diet and after two days your weight has gone up, then that would be a warning sign to me that there could be an issue as it's practically impossible to go up in those first few days in my experience.

So I've had a little weigh in to test the water and can confirm that the Water & Baguette diet looks like it could be a good one;

14/10/09 - 125kg
16/10/09 - 122kg

Now I know, it's only been 2 days so this is hardly accurate and will indeed change, however 3kg in 2 days certainly shows that it's at least going to move in the right direction - woot!

I am however really quite hungry, so we'll just take that as it comes and try to drink more water I guess.

I'm now going to work for my lunch by walking to a supermarket that's an hour away to buy my baguette(s) for today and then walking all the way back again. Today is also day one of not smoking so this could be an interesting walk!


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The French method

So, I have a new hurdle (a rather large one at that) called money.

For those of you that haven't visited France - everything is extremely expensive, particularly in and around Paris. It's actually the 9th most expensive city in the world.

Now, combined with the cost of living, a series of unfortunate events have left me with pretty much no money this month, including things like having to pay an extortionate amount to have my birth certificate translated (as a translated copy is required to register for social security, which gives you the right to health care, something I should clearly have sorted out earlier then 7 months into my living here) and I also purchased my fabulous fancy dress outfit earlier this month through what appears to be a con website, where the owner has neither sent my outfit (2 weeks after ordering), nor claimed my payment on Paypal and isn't responding to my e-mails.

This leaves me looking blankly at my emergency bag of coins. It's the bag that you build up when you do actually have money, which you eventually intend to cash up and deposit into your bank account.

My bank account is dry (and over the overdraft), my emergency UK credit card has been closed because I live in France, as such I truely do only have coins to get me through the next 2 weeks!

This means I have only one diet option, the option whereby I take advantage of what is abundant in France; the Water & Baguettes diet.

Granted, I agree this isn't a great basis for a healthy diet! However without the luxury of finances this is the best we can do for 2 weeks (which is when I get paid), so we're going along a no protein/calorie counting line, with focus on the calories as bread is obviously a nightmare when it comes to that. Luckily, I respond very well to no protein diets (have lost 4 stone in 3 months living off potatoes previously).

And if it keeps the French thin there must be something in it that works!


Monday, 12 October 2009

Time for change

Good news!

In view of the fact that night shift is slowly destroying my soul, work have agreed I can end it early and I am now back on evening shift! This is by far the shift where I am generally most productive and feel the most comfortable, so I now have time to collect myself and make some changes.

The first is of course going to be healthy eating, which is starting with immediate effect. The second is to put more effort into learning French and I intend to do this by doing an at least an hour per day of Rosetta Stone learning before work.

The third is with regards to my blog! I think the anonymity of my blog is making it far too easy for me to cheat on my diet, because it allows me to basically take no responsibility - Although arguably this would still be the case if I put a face to my blog, I think I would feel like the blog is more a part of my life if it detailed more about me and this in turn would encourage me to update it more regularly.

The fourth change is regarding blog content. Whilst this blog will still diary all of my weight-loss and french-learning efforts, as these are major parts of my life and areas where I seriously do need to keep a diary to keep track of how I'm doing, I think the blog would be more interesting for both me and readers if I threw in the occasional extract from my day. If something really cool has happened or really not cool that I would like to vent about, it seems silly not to do so while I'm regularly maintaining a blog, so expect more drama!

The fifth change is the aesthetics of the blog - it's ugly. It does the job right now however it really is just a black and white template with no effort at all, so if I want a blog I can call home I think it should be considerably prettier!

So, I have made a second blog (testing for the fat bitch), where I will be testing my severely under practiced web design skills to make changes which will then be implemented on this blog once they work correctly. Time to teach myself Photoshop I guess!


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Rain Check

Excuses time again!

This night shift is destroying my soul and consuming all of my energy I'm afraid people - I messed up my sleep cycle on the first day of my weekend which has lead to me getting 5 hours sleep over the past 55 hours and consuming whatever sugar and caffeine necessary to stop myself from sleeping at work!

I've only got 2 and a half weeks left of the night shift and after this I'll be on evenings, my preferred shift, until further notice - So, given my continuous attempts and failures since the creation of this blog at losing weight, I'm going to wait it out until the end of night shift before making a fresh attempt.

When back on evenings I start work at 4pm, have more energy, am able to walk to and/or go to the gym before work, am able to eat and prepare lunch at home, as well as breakfast, etc - It's much easier and I don't need to focus on staying awake.

So, disappointing I agree, but I just haven't been able to get enthusiastic about sticking to a diet plan while I've not even been able to think straight through sleep deprivation and I'd rather put 100% in to it and do it properly.

SO - Roll on evening shift, I'll be back! x


Saturday, 3 October 2009


RIGHT! This is WAR!

I haven't had to buy any new clothes for about 6 months (and haven't wanted to either through the hopes of getting thinner and buying smaller clothes) - However I'm afraid I recently got to the point that all fat people get to relatively regularly, where the majority of your trousers have worn at the crotch through horrendous amounts of rubbing to the point that should you wear them again your trousers could split in half in public, a risk not worth taking.

This, naturally, sent me to the mall to buy a few pairs of Jeans. Ladies, gentlemen and divas, I remember when I thought a 36 inch waist (on a man) was far too fat, then at 38 I knew something needed to be done and when that broke to 40 I was thoroughly upset. Today I have come home with my 2 new pairs or jeans, both a 40 waist, and neither fit. I am a 42.

This was perfectly timed considering yesterdays post was titled "All of the will, none of the power" as believe me, I just found the power.

I'm setting myself an unhealthy target of losing 4kg in 4 days. Yes, yes, yes, we all know that drastic drops like that usually turn into binges when they go wrong and it's dangerous to lose weight too quickly - but this is an emergency, I have no trousers!

I'm going to wake up in 10 hours or so and nothing*, not a kebab, not a coke when I'm almost sleeping on my keyboard, not even a McDonalds breakfast is going to stop me from shrinking these thighs.

Current weight: 123kg

*except a 4 course of meal with Zachary Quinto should he visit Paris and offer, but even then I'll be on the water.


Friday, 2 October 2009

All of the will, none of the power

Forgive me bloggers, for I have sinned.

I'm really struggling with getting my engine started and the ball rolling with this one - I think it has a lot to do with adjusting to night shift, as I've found these crazy hours have required all of my attention and everything else in my life seems to have become secondary for now.

This unfortunately led to another slip this evening in the form of a pita grek with chips (which is basically a kebab but healthier and less fat-drippy then UK kebabs). I feel really guilty about it now as I don't think I'm taking this whole diet thing seriously enough, I keep thinking about it and being motivated to lose weight without actually making a connection between those thoughts and what I'm putting in my mouth! Seriously, imagine a person preaching about weight loss to a crowd and how nothing's going to stop them achieving their targets, whilst they're biting into a donut between sentences and not actually realising this donut will stop them achieving their targets until after they've eaten it - well that preacher right now is me!

I actually feel really quite guilty for posting at all, because I've made a blog about losing weight and then made no effort with it to date, wasting the time of anyone that bothers reading entirely, so for that please accept my apologies!

On the other hand, I think that the fact I am even here posting an update says that I obviously have not lost sight of my goal to lose weight and I don't think I'm in (much) denial as I'm identifying and accepting my struggle to get started, etc, so it can't be all bad and says that good things will happen... eventually.

I've clearly ruined it today however definitely, for certain, I promise, the diet starts tomorrow. *nods*


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Night Shift

Well, night shift is doing it's very best to sabotage me by not giving me the motivation to think about anything other than sleep, however I have arrived at work with my tuna sandwiches freshly packed and I sit here typing while sipping a glass of water. So, in conclusion, it has begun!

I was having issues with continuing to learn French at home because my microphone was broken, which in turn prevented Rosetta Stone from understanding anything I was saying during our lessons, however that's also been resolved with a new headset so I will be able to start my lessons again and that ball will soon start rolling too.

Oh yes, all is well, time to stick to the plan and turn it into a habit. The great thing about Night Shift is you appear to not get hungry. There's something about it being the middle of the night that prevents my body from realising that it should eat at some stage - dangerous but beneficial!