Last night it was raining and as per usual I was worried about the scales.
I was stressing (too much) about a lot of things – last night and I really wanted to go for a walk. Irritatingly many of the things on my mind I can change – so I’m not just focusing silly stuff for the sake of it.
In the not so distant past at this exact point I’d have reached for ‘beige’ comfort food and eaten some fish and chips or ordered a pizza. I’d have probably also purchased cider or wine and focused on getting obliterated as well.
This was how I used to work through times when there was too much worry to deal with. A decade ago I’d have also smoked myself silly and woken up with an empty pouch of Golden Virginia tobacco nearby and a pain in the centre of my chest.
But what can I do now?
I only have coffee left in my list of vices and late at night pounding down stresspresso after stresspresso would have meant it was impossible to sleep.
Honestly the only way I can get through things like this lately is by walking until my feet hurt or playing video games. I do like to talk about stuff like this too – but sometimes (through no-one else’s fault but my own) I’m left sitting alone facing my thoughts and trying to decide how to deal with them in the least destructive way possible.
I try to choose the walking option lately as it makes me feel like less of a waste of space afterwards than video games do.
So – the only alternative is my exercise bike. This (as mentioned in earlier blogs) is a pretty high end item capable of carrying up to 40st on its heavily reinforced frame, although I rarely use it.
I have an unusual relationship with my bike considering how much it cost me. I often joke with a close friend (who is obsessed with perambulating epic distances in figure hugging Lycra) that cycling is the devil’s work and that he is some kind of perverted deviant for engaging in his pastime.
I don’t really think this – but I’d never admit it to his face.
It used to physically hurt to sit on my exercise bike it and it was very difficult to climb onto as it’s quite high. Furthermore in order to pedal I had to bounce up and down a massive stomach with my legs, which was periodically banging up and down on my boy parts with every pedal descent.
But it was raining outside and I couldn’t go for a walk without getting soaked.
I moved a speaker dock into the spare room, plugged in my music, turned up the bass and started pedalling to my exercise playlist on a 30 minute hill climb.
I’d just eaten a small tub of quark low fat cheese with some stevia sweetener and two heaped spoonfuls of light chocolate powder to get rid of a food craving.
I’ve found through trial and error that intensely and sometimes sickly sweet things (made with sweetener rather than sugar) stop me wanting bigger, more fattening items. Since I rarely have things like this in my diet it seems to shock my tastebuds into retreat.
That’s two syns for the chocolate powder – and 19kcal per 30g for the quark. It’s a 250g tub. That’s around 260kcal without the chocolate powder. I’m supposed to assign syns to the sweetener as well but honestly it’s a rule that’s been introduced since I started Slimming World so I choose to ignore that.
I wanted to have actively burned by exercise the same amount and MORE than I’d consumed. Earlier I’d had stir fried veg with two medium microwaved potatoes (topped with choice and herb cottage cheese) and two salmon steaks for lunch – but had also walked six miles in the morning and I was hopeful the two had cancelled eachother out.
Now this is all really boring I’m sure.
There are unfortunately no witty anecdotes about yesterday to share – and no potentially humorous observations of characters I’ve met over the last 24 hours to report.
Yesterday was not a good day for my mood (which one good friend with plenty of patience will attest to) and after starting at a fairly low point with dark clouds gathering overhead (literally and metaphorically) outside the job centre I had to find a way to feel good – to demonstrate once again that I’m making progress, and prove it on paper.
Specifically the paper in the back of my weighing in book.
So I started (as I often do on a Friday) to obsess about ways that I can improve myself. I started (amongst other things) looking up what I need to burn in terms of calories to drop one pound of weight – which is something I’ve never done before.
Quite a lot it seems.
‘Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So, in general, if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).’
I’ve not previously thought too hard about this – but I need to maintain my sense of progress and not lose my impetus, and I want to be more aware of calories going forward.
So I walked and then I pedalled – all the time watching the numbers climb on my watch.
The week has seen me walk roughly 41 miles and (I guesstimate) consume between 1500-2000 kcal a day.
Nevertheless – despite pedalling six miles as fast as I could (which was a LOT more comfortable in the boy parts yesterday evening) I still couldn’t sleep.
I was tired but I couldn’t switch off my mind.
Everything dogged me – even a random conversation earlier in the week with a friend about whether I should wash my washing machine after washing things in it. She uses vinegar and bicarbonate of soda in an effort to extend its operational life.
I honestly thought at the time (a little incredulously) ‘wash… a WASHING machine after washing?!!’ And tittered to myself.
Oh the madness!!!
Life at the time seemed too short for this sort of thing – yet this morning, in the dark at 2am, unable to sleep it was there – front and centre in my mind, robbing me of slumber.
Maybe I should wash my washing machine….
I ended up shooting some deserving aliens in video games and then trying on job interview clothes in the mirror (it’s on Monday) until 7am when my eyes became so tired that I had to try and sleep again.
Consequently when I stepped on the scales today I was worried, exhausted and stressed.
There seems to be a myth in slimming world that boys loose weight easier than girls. Honestly it’s not true. I worry and fret about it all the time and it’s always in my thoughts.
I sometimes wonder how many calories I’ve burned just by stressing the night before weighing in. It’s that bad.
Today I thankfully got the loss I was looking for though – and that makes me happy.
It’s a win – and a good one.
I really needed it after the holiday period to prove to me that the ‘plateau’ that I’ve been worrying about (as people keep telling me) is not real.
It’s in my head.
I just have to keep working at the problem and it will get sorted. Eventually.
It seems to think I won’t meet my goal of getting to the ten stone mark by the end of January – or at least be very close to missing it. I will hopefully prove it wrong.
When I’ve done that I’ll be back where I left off nearly a decade ago and I can REALLY get this party started 🤗.
So Internet – now I’m going to try and forget about job interviews and losing weight for an evening and just enjoy the rest of the day.
I hope you’re having a good weekend!