Sunday, February 29, 2004

aaaargh my computer is playing silly buggers. Running slow as a very very slow thing. CPU usage is always between 75% & 100%, even with no applications running, and there's nothing in the processes list that seems to be using a lot of system resources. I panicked in case it was my CPU over-heating but it was exactly the same after the computer had been turned off over night, so I don't think it can be that. I've system restored to days ago before this started happening, I've run spy-bot, ad-aware and norton anti-virus - nada. I am now running on-line virus scan. And if that don't help I don't know what I'm going to do.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

More diet research. The BBC reports that "solo diets are no way to lose weight", and apparantly women who diet with a support group are less stressed than women dieting on their own. They also say that women dieting in groups are less likely to put the weight back on. I'm not entirely convinced - they only studied the women for 8 weeks. And I would quite like to know who funded the research (cynical, moi?). However it does say you don't need to pay for a slimming club and can form a support group with friends or family. And of course there's always the interweb.
Weighed myself this morning. Have lost 0 lb. Booo. Could've been worse, at least I haven't put any one. Must Try Harder. Hmm.

Friday, February 27, 2004

I've had enough of trying to get wiv da kids and their modern popular music. Bored with all that stuff now. I've come over all dub. Dub albums wot are [insert appropriate words here to make me look like I know ghetto speak iration babylon etc] good:
Dubwise and Otherwise from the Blood & Fire Audio Catalogue
Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown - legendary Don Letts' selection of legendary souds from the legendary Roxy Club where legendary punk legends like Joe Strummer used to go. Legendary.
King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown - classic dub album from the King of Dub.

and I expect the Trojan Dub Box Set will be joining the WMP Non-Stop Dub play list before long, soon as I get a copy.

Forgot to weigh myself this morning. There was a tiny bit of snow so O was in mad rush to get up and get dressed and get out in it, so what with that and his attempts to re-create the prevailing weather conditions in the bathroom with talcum powder, getting on the scales slipped my mind. Will try and remember to weigh myself tomorrow. (I try and always weigh myself first thing, before breakfast, for consistency).

Went to belly dancing last night which was fun and hard work. I am finally getting the hang of it, well some of it, and can even manage to co-ordinate arm and leg movements for some steps wooo I'll be getting a jeweled navel next heh.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

forgot to mention that I did do some exercise yesterday. Rather than get the tube, I did some walking round the streets of London (all together now... so how can you tell me you're lo-oh-nley...), probably about 30 mins worth in all. Incidentally popout maps are fab. I use the central London one a lot, to see if things are walkable. Going everywhere by tube does rather distort one's view of London's geography.

not a Good Diet Day yesterday. Had to go to stressful meeting, overslept so no time to make sarnies (note to self: make sarnies night before in future). Bought shop sarnies with lotsa cals - it's really hard to find veggie sarnies that are not calorie ladened, they all egg mayo or cheese etc. That's my excuse. What my excuse is for the snacks I ate too or the egg & chips I had for me tea is, I haven't worked out yet.

But good news, I finished W&P at last, tho I will have to go back and read it again in a few months - I did 'skim' some the war bits, sorry bout that Mr Tolstoy. I have now started on Homer's Iliad . I know this all makes me sound like a bit of a literary ponce but I'm not, honest. It's partly cos I want to plug some holes in my reading and mainly because Books Etc are having a bogof offer on Penguin classics.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Rondette's house of frippery

Rondette found this: PawSense is a software utility that helps protect your computer from cats. It quickly detects and blocks cat typing, and also helps train your cat to stay off the computer keyboard. I need it. Flippin' cats.
Quite a good weekend, both life-wise and diet-wise. Went to Science Museum on Saturday for net meet with the Reds and the Pauls, which was fab. I used to hate the idea of meeting net people in rl, now I love it. Didn't do much on Sunday - tried to go swimming but the pool was shut for a water polo tournament.

Today has not been such a good day. Feeling a bit stressed and low and resorted to comfort eating ie mini cheddars & chocolate buttons. Boo. 350 cals and still feeling stressed. Bah.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Hurrah! I am re-appointed Fat Fighter of the Week, for I have lost 2 lb. Wooo hooo!

I guess it must have been the walking (and the belly dancing last night) plus the avoidance of puddings, that done it.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Marjorie’s Tip For Today: Painless (relatively) ways to save calories

* Cook with heavy, thick-bottomed (preferably non-stick) pans – that way you can use less oil
* Avoid frying if you can – grill instead
* Use less oil for cooking eg if your recipe says use 2 tablespoons of olive oil, try using 1 instead (this usually works well, particularly if you use heavy pan)
* Try using One-Cal spray for frying things like veggie bacon – I don’t usually recommend ‘diet’ products but this one really works, and it means you can have fried eggs wooo hoooo
* Experiment not using butter/marg on sandwiches, toast etc. If you use a ‘moist’ spread/filling eg hummus, you probably won’t miss it. And ‘bulk up’ your sarnies etc with salads & veggies
* Try making sarnies with tortillas. You’ll be less likely to butter them, and they taste like fancy sarnies from the shops, but with less cals (if you leave out the mayo, dressing, etc)
* Don’t put dressings on your salads. If you use stronger tasting salad leaves you might not even miss it. Or try using just balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice, or lime juice.
* Use stronger cheeses (eg parmesan, mature cheddars) that give you more taste for your calories, so you can use less of them
* Promise yourself to never ever drink sugary fizzy drinks again. If you can’t resist them, drink only the ‘diet’ versions
* Don’t automatically put butter on your veggies – try them without, you might even like it! If you can’t resist having butter, at least use less
* If you do sometimes use butter, keep it in the freezer (cut it into small pieces before freezing), so you aren’t tempted to spread it on toast, bread, etc

The BBC reports fairly depressing news that most diets don't work. "Just one in every 100 people who go on a diet succeed in shedding weight permanently." And this is despite the fact that people in Britain paid over £10 billion to the diet industry last year.

"Independent market analysts Datamonitor, who conducted the research, says that the diet industry is guilty of raising expectations unrealistically." Too right. They sell us quick fixes and easy answers, but do they really have an interest in us losing weight long-term? After all, if we do lose weight and keep it off, we won't need to pay for their books, magazines, clubs, diet foods, etc, etc etc any more.

As another BBC report puts it "with research suggesting 95% of slimmers regain the weight, does the diet industry rely on our failure to make its profits?"

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

When I were a lass, my mum used to tell me that women have to suffer for beauty. Usually she said this while I was protesting at her burning my face as she curling-tongued my hair into a Farah Fawcett flick (look, it was the 80s, OK?). Now it turns out she was wrong. It seems that if we have nice wads of money, we can pay for other women to suffer for our beauty for us. According to the gruaniad, Vickie Bekham et al pay up to two grand for 'real hair' hair extensions. The real hair has to come from somewhere. "My extensions come from Russian prisoners, so I've got Russian cell block H on my head" quipped Vickie. Oh how we larfed. As, presumably, did the Russian prisoners and asylum inmates forcibly shaved to provide them. I hope she got her mum to use the curling tongues while the hair was still on another woman, too, saves her any discomfort.
umm. and the alcohol. i forgot to mention the alcohol. oops

Marj has demoted me, I am no longer fatfighter of the week.
oh dear. Last week was so not a good week. I averaged around 2000 cals/day, did no exercise (except one belly dance class) and so put on 1 pound. boo.

This week will not be much better, I suspect. We were away for a long weekend, lots of eating out, not good. I tried to be a bit good. I didn't have cooked breakfast (I have always loved staying in B&Bs and having a fried brekkie in the morning, particularly when they get veggie soz 'n' bacon in for you yummmmmm). The B&B we stayed in was lovely (Wild Cherries) - Sue the Landlady gave us fab breakfasts of cereal, fresh fruit salad, toast, hot x buns, croissants (I declined the buns and croissants but O & R enjoyed them).

We ate out for all our other meals, and I wasn't as good as I could've been about my choices for meals. I did manage to resist having puddings too, tho, which I feel quite smug about. I also managed not to eat lots of choccie and crisps and crap on the long car journey there and back, which is another improvement on my previous behaviour.

Did get some exercise while we were there - walks in the grounds of C's college, in an ancient yew forrest and at the coast, as well as games of footie in the park.

An interesting series has started on BBC 2, Diet Junkies, looking at the diet industry, how big business exploits concerns about obesity to it's own advantage, and how in spite of the millions spent on diets and diet products, the western world keeps on getting fatter. Last night's was about diet gurus like Atkins, Weight Watchers etc. The contrast between them and the NHS "eat less, exercise more" diet approach was interesting. Big name diets promise you miracles if you follow their rules. We don't want to think that losing weight is as simple, and yet as potentially hard, as eating less and doing more. We want miracles and easy answers. But there aren't any, really. Any diet that works comes down to consuming less cals than you expend. Even Atkins, according to Horizon the other week, seems to come down to that, the latest theory being that protein makes you feel fuller so you eat less. Next week's Diet Junkies is about meal replacement products "linked to the deaths of over 50 dieters". BBC2, Tuesdays, 8pm.

Friday, February 13, 2004

whoo read jude's journal read it read it read it for it rocks.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Oh dear, this has not been a good week, diet wise. I have eaten at around my maintenance calories most days, rather than nearer my 1500 a day target. And I haven't done much exercise, either. Didn't go to aquarobics last night, cos I went to see the rather marvelous Eric Schlosser promoting his new book. Must must must make myself go to belly dancing tonight, at least.

We're off for the weekend tomorrow, visiting C in Sussex. Not, I repeat, not, a valentine's day romantic thing omg no. I don't want to buy my emotions prepackaged from Hallmark, thank you very much, nor do I want any over priced red roses, grown on the other side of the world with water stolen from local people. If you love someone, you don't need a special day to tell them. And equally, giving someone a tacky card and a box of chocs doesn't make up for treating them like sh*t for the other 364 days of the year. Valentine's Day Bah Humbug!

Marjorie's Tip For Today: For Valentine's Day

Some cynics like Clazza don't believe in Valentine's Day. She is just bitter and twisted; real romantics like me love it. However a word of advice - if your beloved buys you a big box of chocs for Valentine's Day, poke them very hard with a very sharp stick.

To avoid having to do this, tell them in advance that they had better not buy you big box of chocs or else. The people close to you should be thoughtful and supportive about the fact that you are losing weight, not go waving temptation around.

You will note I say big box. If you want to have some choc, a small box of chocs may be OK, if you fit it into your calorie budget. And if you must have chocs, may we recommend buying fair trade?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

came across another calorie counting site today - Calories per Hour. It looks good and is free (although it is American so concentrates on American foodstuffs and uses American measurements - cups etc). Also useful, you can find out how many calories you use doing different activities. And it's not trying to sell you anything, unlike most calorie and diet sites (tho not the Mighty Marjorie Dawes natch)
oh dear I fear my new jeans are a little too snug. Went to newsagents this morning with a fiver tucked into that little pocket you get inside front pocket (watch pocket I think it's called?). And then I couldn't get the fiver out. Eeep. Luckily nice man let me have my grauniad anyway and pay him next time. How embarrassing. And I haven't been a good girl about my diet this week, either, so not much chance of them being less snug in the next few days. Oh well, onwards and thinwards.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Much excitement, today I re-partitioned my hard drive and re-assigned the drive letters whoooo (thanks BR for telling me the difference between logical drives & primary partitions, and general geeky hand-holding). And all done with only diet cola for comfort, not a choccie bar in sight.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Jude found this fabby site for making your very own fat dolls. Awww.

Marjorie’s Tip For Today: Reward Yourself

Give yourself rewards (NOT FOOD! I REPEAT – NOT FOOD!) as you make progress, perhaps for every stone (or half stone) you lose. Maybe a new book, cd (if you buy them hem), hair-do, clothes, cinema trip – whatever you like (as long as it's NOT FOOD).

And promise yourself a really really good reward for when you hit your target weight. Clazza wants a weekend with Ray Mears. But she is odd. You might prefer something nice instead.

omg. o.m.g. O.M.G.
I needed some new jeans, my old ones have got 'fashunable' *koff* rip in knee. Decided to try some cheapo ones on in Asda - if I can fit into a size smaller than I was when I started this diet, I'll buy a pair, I thought. Tried them on - didn't fit - too big!!!!!!!!! Tried on the next size down, they fit, OMG! OK so they are a little on the snug side right now but I mean like omg I dropped 2 (or is it 4? I get confoosed?) sizes in a month. How kewl is that??

Sunday, February 08, 2004

oh dear. bad cheese. bad bad bad shouting at me from the fridge and making me eat it. hmm. at least I not put butter on the crackers (butter lives in freezer these days). Calorie budget blown again today. And that was before the extra glass of wine to celebrate Lord Brocket getting chucked off IACGMOOH. hah.

Marjorie’s Tip For Today: Write It Down

The only way to keep track of how many calories you eat each day is to write down everything you eat, how much you ate, and the calories in it. Get a little note book (the Paperchase sale is good for getting cute ones cheap like Clazza's) and use it to keep a record of everything you eat. Add up the calories as you go along, so you have a running total for the day and know how many you have left. Also, make a note of any exercise you did that day. This is what a page of Clazza's book looks like.

You could do it on a computer (and there are some websites that let you keep your records there) but that's only any use if you have a pda or laptop. Otherwise, you won't be able to writ everything down straight away, and you'll forget things (accidentally or accidentally on purpose). Trust me, the old fashioned way with pen and paper is better. And the batteries never run out.

Be honest when you write things down. Like your dad always told you, the only person you,re cheating is yourself if you "forget" about that extra slice of toast, mars bar, can of coke, whatever. No-one else has to see your book. It's for you, and it's only any good to you if you're honest.

Meal went well last night, and I don't think I blew my diet too badly (tho I had to guestimate calories eaten and drunk). Sadly all of the applewood smoked cheddar didn't get eaten so I will be forced to eat it all myself shame shame.

Usually we try and go for family walk on Sundays but we're being wimpy about the wind today and just going to the park for a bit instead.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

having people round for a meal tonight, so my calorie budget for the day is gonna go rather over drawn. I'm trying to keep the calories to a reasonable level (eg Delia's low fat white sauce on the lasagne). But it's still gonna be a bit of a blow out, esp with all the wine I plan on drinking. Ooh and there will be pudding, which will make a change from muller rice and/or fruit.

Marjorie's Tip For Today: How Many Calories In …. ?

For packaged foods, look on the back of the pack. You should see calories (and fat, carbohydrates, protein etc) per 100g listed. Often they will also give the calories per ‘serving’. Watch out, cos this can be misleading. What you think of as a serving and what the food manufacturers think are often not the same thing.

You will also need a calorie book, like the Calorie, Carb & Fat Bible. This lists the calories of just about every food there is. You’ll need it to look up the calories of non-packaged foods, and for those times when you throw away the packet before looking. You can often get smaller calorie books free with slimming mags – not as comprehensive, but handy for taking with you when you go out and about. You can also look up the calories of foods online at sites like Weightloss Resources.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Marjories's Tip For Today: Get Some Scales

You Need Scales. You really do. Actually you need two sets.

One for weighing yourself. Some people prefer not to weigh themselves at all, instead checking out how well their clothes fit. I think that might work if you don't have much to lose, but if you have a lot of weight to lose you are going to have to weigh yourself. You can get basic bathroom scales from Argos for about seven quid, or if you want to splash out you can pay more for fancy digital ones that work out your body fat and/or look kewl in your bathroom. Resist the temptation to weigh yourself every day - once a week (or even once a month) is better. If you really don't want to have scales in the house, some people prefer to get weighed at a slimming club or at the gymn.

You need a second set for weighing your food. Cheapo kitchen scales start from three and a half quid in Argos, or again you can pay more for flashier ones to suit your Home Front inspired d├ęcor. Whatever, if poss I suggest you weigh your food in metric – it’s easier to do calculations in metric, and most manufacturers list calories per 100g (as does the Calorie, Carb & Fat Bible).

Oh and you need a set of kitchen measuring spoons too, makes measuring small quanities of stuff way easier.

Weigh in day today. Lost 1 lb this week (average cals for week = 1674/day). I knew that my rate of weight loss would slow down after the first couple of weeks but can't help feeling a little disappointed. Must keep reminding myself that 1 - 2 lb a week is the best rate of loss to aim for. I'm also hoping, with the exercise I've been doing, some of my fat has turned to muscle. Certainly some of my clothes feel looser, and I had to get a belt to hold a couple of pairs of trousers up. So things are moving in the right direction.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

So. Belly Dancing. Not just any old belly dancing mind, this was Tribal Belly Dance with an Edge apparently. A new experience. Very much a free your mind and your ass will follow experience. My mind has a long way to go and my ass further yet.

I saw a poster for it at the leisure centre and decided to give it a try, partly because it looked fun, partly because I know I ought to do more weight bearing exercise (good for the bones) but mainly because when I told my sis I was thinking of trying it she said I must, just think what fun I can have belly dancing on tables when drunk.

For me it was better than a conventional exercise class because you don't need to buy any exercise clothes or trainers, and the music's way better than the usual crap you hear pumping out of 'work out studios'. It was also interesting how mixed the class was, I imagine more diverse than your usual work out crowd. I enjoyed it a lot, tho it's gonna take me a while to get the hang of it. I think I need to put Terry Hall & Mushtaq on and practise in the living room.

Weigh in day tomorrow (Friday). Hmmm.

Marjorie's Tip For Today: Set Your Calorie Budget

To lose weight, you need to consume less calories than you use. That is the basis of any diet. So, you need to work out your calorie budget - how many calories a day you can eat and lose weight.

Ignore anyone who tells you to eat a really low calorie diet (and that includes some of the advice given in 'Vegetarian Slimming' - we love it for the recipes, not the advice). You won't stick to it for very long. The best thing is to find out how many calories a day you need to maintain your current weight, then eat less. There's a table in the 'Calorie, Carb and Fat Bible' (see Fat Fighters Book Club) or you can use the free trial at Weightloss Resources to find out your 'maintenance calories'.

Once you know this, how much less than this should you eat? These figures show the approximate weight loss you can expect by eating less than your maintenance calories ....

250 less = losing 0.5 lb a week
500 less = losing 1lb a week
750 less = 1.5 lb a week
1000 less = 2 lb a week

Don't aim to lose more than 1 - 2 lb a week on average (some weeks you may lose more, some weeks less, but it's the average loss that really matters). Slowly, steadily and healthily are the keys to losing weighsuccessfullyly and keeping it off in the long term.

I wouldn't recommend eating less than 1500 calories a day, either, particularly if you have a lot of weight to lose. Many people find that they can usually eat around 1500 cals a day without feeling hungry, if they eat a sensible and balanced diet.
Ananova reports that a Brazilian fashion show has featured larger models. This is good. Shame about the clothes, tho.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Aquarobics tonight. Nearly didn't go. Had a fun time in a last minute omg I nearly forgot dad's birthday shopping panic, which put me in a reet bad mood. Got home from that, got on bike to go to pool, and found out my brakes weren't working. Arse. R tried to fix it but no joy. I thought of just staying home but went (late) to aquarobics anyway. Glad I did, tho I didn't enjoy it as much as usual after all the mither before hand.

If you do swimming or aquarobics, it's worth getting a proper cozzie. Got an Allen's Swimwear brochure through the post this morning, which was nice. Might get meself a new cozzie when I've lost a bit more weight. It's hard for big girls to get proper cozzies in the high street. Most sports shops only sell them in small sizes, and big girl shops only sell sitting around and occasionally doing a bit of paddling type costumes. So hurrah for mail order and double hurrah for on-line shopping. Allen's stock lots of costumes in bigger sizes. Look for descriptions like 'masters' or 'classic' - that's swim cozzie code for "will fit normal women not just 14 year old olympic hopefuls". Master/classic cozzies come in larger sizes and often have medium or even low cut legs, useful for those of us who don't want to have to have a Brazilian just to go swimming. Several styles also have build in support for the chest area, handy for the top heavy among us.

Wednesday night is ER night, and ER night means popcorn. Fortunately Marjorie has trained me to enjoy plain popcorn ie home popped with a teeny bit of oil and a little salt. Satisfies those salty snack cravings nicely.

Marjorie's Tip For Today: Set a Target

You need to set yourself a target weight to work towards. You might chose a weight you’ve been happy at in the past. Or, if like Clazza you’ve been a bit of a whale your whole adult life, you could chose by working out what weight would give you a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) for your height. Whatever weight you chose, make sure it’s a healthy one for you – anorexic stick insect is so not a good look.

For more on healthy weights and healthy weight loss, (including online BMI calculators) , take a look at the BBC’s health site and the British Diatetic Association’s Weight Wise site.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Went swimming tonight. For some reason only half the pool was roped off into lanes, ie half as much 'proper' swimming space as usual. It was nice to see the Manchester and District Ladies' Slow Breastroking Club (incorporating the The More I Splash The Faster I'll Go Gentlemen's Freestyle Association) out in force and fully demonstrating their motto Lane Discipline Is For Other People. Hats off to them for the nochalant disregard with which they regally swim 3 abreast in each lane, untroubled by the 'please swim anti-clockwise' notices. Why use one lane for swimming slowly in when you can use all 3? I know that Marjorie also admires their dedication to style and beauty, particularly the way the ladies never fail to apply fresh make-up before entering the pool, and the gents annoint themselves with aftershave, giving other pool users the joy of swimming through slicks of Brut. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh.

Actually I'm not a swimming snob, really I'm not. Some people swim slower than me and some people swim faster than me. S'OK. It's thoughtless selfish lane hogging bastards I can't stand. And I'm not just in a bad mood because I can't master lesson one of Total Immersion. Not at all. Grrrrrrrrr.
hurrah, I made it back from Biscuitland without having a biscuit. Being a good fatfighter girl, I took my own sarnies and an apple, and declined the biscuits. Fortunately I already had my coat on when someone arrived with a huge box of Indian sweets. I utterly adore them, but they seem to be made principally of sugar and condensed milk, with extra sugar, and I would not not not have been able to stop at just one. So I listened to Marjorie's voice in my head telling me to be good and ran out the door before I could think for myself.

Marjorie's Tip For Today: First Things First

Before going on a diet, starting an exercise regime or making other major lifestyle changes, speak to your doctor – particularly if you have a lot of weight to lose and/or currently lead a pretty sedentary life. Your doc may also be able to give you support and advice, or refer you to someone who can, such as a dietician or practice nurse.

Monday, February 02, 2004

part of my 'new me' strategy is doing more excercise. Tonight I planned to either go swimming or to aquarobics. But stuff happened and I didn't do either. And I am going somewhere where there will be biscuits tomorrow. Marjorie's gonna kill me.

Marjorie's Tip For Today: Getting Started

calories eaten less than calories used = weight lost
calories eaten more than calories used = weight gain

and there, in a nutshell, is why people like Clazza are such lard arses. They eat too much and sit around on their arses all day long. The only way for these poor souls to become slim and gorgeous like me is to eat less and do more. Simple! well it is for me but the likes of Clazza need more help, so I will be sharing my top tips with her and you.

I started making a serious effort to get fitter and healthier and slimmer on 9th Jan this year. I knew I was a bit overweight (OK very overweight) but I didn't know just how much, till I accidentally stepped on some scales. My weight is in the top right of this blog, I still can't actually say the figures out loud, it's too horrible. What was worst of all was calculating my body mass index and finding out I fell into the 'morbidly obese' category. Waaaaaah. So, in consulation with Marjorie, I set out to tackle this. So far I have lost 1 stone (14 lb) in the first 3 weeks hooray but as Marj keeps reminding me, weight loss can be quick at the start of a diet but slows down as you go on. So I don't expect to keep losing at this rate - 1 to 2 lb a week is the rate I am aiming at.

Inspired by my dear friend, mentor, role model and style icon, FatFighter-in-Chief Marjorie Dawes, I am trying to following her shining example and Get Slim the Fat Fighters Way. Marjorie has kindly agreed to aid me in my fight, and will be giving me the benefit of her years of Fat Fighting experience. She has also graciously agreed that her gems of wisdom may be shared with you, the interweb reading public, so that you too may fight fat the Marjorie way. Look out for Marjorie's tip for today, coming soon to this blog.