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Friday, 28 September 2012

confession #000013

... or, the issue with perfect timing

just when all your cells are geared into achieving a goal, everything seems to happen to ensure that you do not manage or even have the will to try.  

this week was a case in point: a case of perfect timing, in its worse possible manner.  

as i mentioned a few times on this blog, this month (less than 3 weeks now actually), are meant to be completely geared towards my shedding at least a couple of kilos before i go to visit my mr. darcy.  and in all truth and fairness, i did somewhat try to 'go healthy' for a couple of days at least. 

the thing is this.  this week has been a whirlwind week full of events or post-work commitments that had to be seen to during the last week of the so-called half days.  i'm not complaining about anything i did willingly or not so willingly.  it is simply a means of justifying my being where i am now - stuck at my same weight and suffering the (potential) consequences of something i'll explain later on.  

saturday saw a birthday party which carried on to sunday dinner.  i was pretty well behaved there, at least on saturday as i stuck to sushi; but i could not say no to some middle eastern dips and a good portion of king prawn curry with naan bread on sunday.  on the plus side, i managed to resist the cake / dessert temptation on both nights.  hurrah!

twice this week i decided to bake like there's no tomorrow so i first tried my hands at a vegetarian baked rice, which, wasn't half bad if i can say so myself.  next i tried a caramelised onion and mushroom tart.  on the whole both sound relatively healthy but when one considers the amount of lard in the tart pastry ... any points for effort are immediately withdrawn!

mid-week i had a garden tea-party (no food photos here) but all the dips, sandwiches and mini pastizzi were just exquisite!  was not the only one who feasted there since mosquitoes seemed to have taken a shine to my legs, which are by now, bumpier than the worst road on the island.  

and then yesterday i decided to 'treat' myself to something that was meant to be a vegetable lasagna ... 

i realised at this point that i could not carry on like this.  so desperate times called for desperate measures.  i invested in some herbal diet pills.  i know i know i know ... that is not the way to go.  but frankly enough, even if they act as a placebo and make me think that i do not need to finish off all that's on my plate or that i don't need to have that 'something sweet' after a meal, then i'm happy to take them. 

the issue with perfect timing is that tonight i was meant to attend an important work-related event.  instead, i am here writing about my week of failed dieting and my last resort solution.  funnily enough, whenever we say that something is happening with 'perfect timing', it is never actually perfectly timed now is it?  the reason behind my being stuck indoors tonight is one of two options: either my body is reacting to this week of gastronomic debauchery or my body is reacting to the first couple of doses of these herbal diet aids.  

whichever the case, this is, i suppose, another reality check that my habits need to change, and change fast if i want to achieve what i set out to do.  

Friday, 21 September 2012

confession #000012

...or, polish pleasures

it's now been almost two days since my darling left for krakow and they've been quite hard, i must admit.  i don't know how the rest of the time without him will pan out but i'm trying to remain positive by counting down the days until i'm next to him, albeit for a week.  there's even a ticker bar to krakow on the side to the right of this blog. 

yes, i am that much in earnest of being with him.  (haha! i've actually used the expression "in earnest" ... must be the return of downton abbey and my feeling somewhat like jane austen narrating about my life on this blog.  next thing you know, i'll be referring to my darling as my mr. darcy!)

i realise that i've been sidetracking a bit from the actual subject of this blog, but in reality my eating patterns as well as my success or otherwise in losing weight are all linked to what goes on in my life.  like yesterday, for instance.  i had all the right intentions and spent most of the day being rather careful on what i ingested ... until right after my hour workout (yes! i actually went to the gym!) i was absolutely famished and ate a whole m&s gruyere and red onion focaccia.  i wasn't happy with just that.  i had to gobble down a good handful of toasted, salted beans for 'dessert'.  kudos to me at least for not reaching out for the jar of nutella, but i think the calorific value of the beans is just as dubious.  

bring on the dowager for some confidence boosting!

food is something that i just can't live without.  especially good food.  and i'm not referring to michelin-approved restaurant quality food.  i actually can't spend more than a couple of days having restaurant grub without having digestive problems.  good food, for me is home cooked, genuine food.  it doesn't necessarily have to be traditional food - as a vegetarian, i actually don't eat half of the traditional maltese dishes.  it just has to be something wholesome and cooked with love and genuine, fresh ingredients. 

i couldn't have said it better myself!
and besides being with my mr.darcy (there, i did it, i referred to him as mr.darcy!), one thing i'm really looking forward to in krakow is having a plateful (or four) of pierogi.  i just love these eastern european ravioli in an onion gravy.  my favourites by far are the cabbage and mushroom stuffed ones, but the ones stuffed with red lentils are equally smaku (that's tasty in polish for you).  the beetroot and sour cream soup is something that is on my mind as well.  last may i had the cold version, courtesy of a heatwave that had taken over warsaw, much to my pleasure as it meant i just had to buy a couple of sleeveless tops since i had packed only clothes for a colder temperature.  i'm really looking forward to having the warm version of this barszcz czerwony, maybe accompanied by some warm honey and wine liqueur, or why not, a shot of zubrowka (bison grass vodka).  

anti-clockwise from top: pierogi ruskie, barszcz cserwony, zapiekanka, obwarzanki ... i'm so hungry right now!
as far as 'street food' goes, my complete adoration of pretzels is well known, so when i had come across   obwarzanki (a cross between pretzels and bagels) in kazimierz, the jewish quarter of krakow, i was in absolute heaven.  i could live on them ... but i'm sure if i ever did, my waistline would be a much larger concern than it is right now.  there's another 'street food' which i'm yet to try - the zapiekanka - which is like a pizza on a baguette.  sounds simple enough, but definitely on my 'to try' list.  

being a vegetarian in poland is somewhat difficult given that the majority of dishes are meat based.  but since the country has ample countryside and a huge agricultural industry (of the 18,727,000 hectares of agricultural land (about 60 percent of poland's total area), 14,413,000 hectares were used for crop cultivation, 265,000 for orchards, and about 4,048,500 for meadows and pastures in 1989 - info courtesy of wikipedia), there are enough dishes which a vegetarian can enjoy.  and i can't wait to savour them again. 

krakow can't come too soon. 

st. mary's church in krakow's old town square ... can't wait to be there again. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

confession #000011

... or, of tears and countdowns

a few days ago i let you in on something that is somewhat marking my life at the moment.  today, my dearest one left the rock to further his studies in krakow.  needless to say, it was a most heart-breaking parting, but deep down, i could never force him to stay on against his will.  supporting your loved one in following and ultimately achieving their dream is one way of showing just how much you care, i figure.  tears flowed on and off throughout the rest of the day, and the customary migraine ensued ... 

having said that, our being miles away from each other does not mean anything.  a good, strong relationship can outlive any form of distance or obstacle.  

and besides, in 4 weeks' time exactly, i'll be spending a week of blissful catching up with my beloved.   and it definitely won't be my first and last visit.  4 weeks seem far away right now, but a countdown to them is what will keep me going.  

in 4 weeks' time, i want to land in krakow looking my best and feeling my best for my loved one.  in the last weeks (if not months), i've tortured him with constant complaints about how i've put on weight, how my face is a zit field, how my clothes don't fit as they once used to (as in, when we started dating) and how i just couldn't look at myself in the mirror (read: oven door, as i actually don't own a full length mirror at home!) any more.  in the most loyal, supportive and caring manner, he kept telling me that i looked great.  

much as i appreciate his support and positive remarks, i keep feeling like i let myself go.  sometimes, it is inevitable and no one can dissuade me from finding sharing a tub of haagen-dazs or ben & jerry's in bed at 3am a most intimate and loving moment.  fair enough, there has, at this point been one tub too many, considering that my former "fitting comfortably into a zara size 36" has been converted to "suffering to get into a size 38" ... 

and so, the countdown begins.  given the emotional roller-coaster that today was, i allowed myself to indulge in a few "bad feel-good foods" but not any more.  tomorrow, i shall eat sensibly, hit the gym and start re-applying all the creams and lotions to make my problem skin a thing of the past.  tomorrow, i shall start counting down the days to when i land in krakow and the grammes off my weight and inches off my waistline.  tomorrow is a new beginning.  and this time, it is definite.  

and of course, getting something from the lana del rey / h&m collection is an added incentive ... 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

confession #000010

... or, online shopper extraordinaire

those who know me, and know me well, are aware of my complete and utter obsession - dependence almost - on online shopping.  colleagues are no longer surprised when an asos / river island / any other online seller parcel is delivered to my desk.  the post masters/mistresses at the local bureau have started recognising me, and i'm expecting them to address me on a first name basis in no time ... 

some people are surprised about my sheer confidence in buying online.  the thing is i would so much rather have 'unique' things and spend a wee bit extra for them than own the run of the mill that everyone else in this claustrophobic island has.  having said that, i do a fair bit of local, old-school, 'go into shop - try on item - pay for item' kind of shopping ... 

but this post tonight is not about clothes or shoe shopping online.  no, my dear reader, i have taken my online shopping to a whole new level courtesy of a tip given to yours truly by a couple of colleagues yesterday morning.  EC and DG, aka Gracie, i owe you this one! 

round about this time last night, when the mister had already counted the sheep and made his way to dream land (bless him!) i was doing my grocery shopping online.  and i loved it so much here i am blogging away about it! i've even come up with the list of pro's online supermarket shopping with: 

  • you can seriously do it any time and anywhere and in whatever disastrous state you are (me being super vain, even a quick hop to the confectioner/grocer round the corner requires a full face of make up ...)

  • i actually got to know the prices of things before i saw the bill at the end, hence, avoiding myself the usual shock and embarrassment at suddenly going pale and not wanting to hand over my credit card ...
  • i could take my time in choosing exactly what i want, not worrying that the supermarket is about to close and the cashiers will be mishandling my bits and bobs as ive kept them 5 minutes overtime ...
avoiding the checkout counter - legally - is also another plus point
  • i do not need to carry bottles or multipacks of toilet paper down valletta's republic street in full view of each and every passer by ... things are discretely delivered in big bags, which can double up as bin-liners (see, a green initiative there as well! re-use, recycle, etc etc ...)
  • i do not have to hear celine dion / eurovision / tacky euro-pop-trash compilations while trying to decide which frozen pizza i should buy ... 
  • i managed to resist temptation.  there's a saying somewhere (i think it's more of a dieting tip really) that you should never enter a supermarket when hungry as you will inevitably fall for anything on display.  this is a pretty regular occurrence for me, be it whether i'm hungry or not.  recently we bought a packet of cereal mostly because we found the cartoon character on it mooning its buyers pretty hilarious ... 

there is one downside to it all though ... the whole supermarket experience itself.  not going through the aisles, picking up things and seeing them up close or smelling the freshly baked bread, tasting the cheeses at the deli counter, getting rammed into by other shoppers' trolleys while trying to keep a composed face ... and not doing the shopping with your meaningful someone, planning the meals together, writing silly things like 'help!' on the freezer door condensation and vowing together not to buy a tub of ben&jerry's only to sneak in a family-sized bar of dairy milk or jar of nutella is something i wouldn't replace for the world.  well, save for the trolley-ramming of course. 

our footwear comparing stripes while in a supermarket lift ...

i guess even a supermarket makes me sentimental.  i'm just a big old softie inside! 

 i'll keep going to supermarkets for the off-chance of meeting panda!

Monday, 10 September 2012

confession #000009

... or, there's a time and place for everything

yes, including dieting.  and it seems that this is neither the place, nor the time for it.  

i'm not making excuses, but this week, of all weeks, i want to put this whole dieting / gymming business on hold - more than it has already been put on hold.  and i'm putting it on hold because i am putting things in order of priority.  and right now, spending each and every possible moment with my loved one before he embarks on his studies, let's say, 'a few miles' away is much more important than calorie counting or sweating the evenings away at the gym.  there will be ample time to fill up with that in between visits here or there.  

now, you tell me, should i regret the last few ice-creams shared? the last cup-cakes baked and iced together? the last pizza take-out or the last gummy bears fought over while at the movies? fair enough, you may tell me that when choosing to eat out rather than cooking something at home (which is equally pleasant when done together) i could always opt for the healthy option ... but why ruin such marvellous moments with a food-phobia? 

i just love those silly moments together
as i said, there will be ample time in between the visits to and fro, and the first month of physical distance is already planned out with regular workouts - i'm banking on those endorphins to keep me sane during that time ... (the fact that i plan a massive shopping spree once i'm in a land which has always brought me clothing luck is a secondary reason, promise!) 

so for now, matters of the heart are much more important than matters of clothing size. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

confession #000008

... or, salad days

despite being a vegetarian for about 6 or 7 years now, i must confess that i spend very little of my time eating salads - evidence of such is the feeble attempt at keeping a food diary on this blog.  

the fact that salads seem to have to comprise lettuce, in its various forms, colours and flavours (what flavours?!) is somewhat beyond my comprehension.  salad leaves are not a fair substitute for rice or pasta.  i wouldn't mind the salad nicoise ingredients with a portion of pasta or rice or couscous ... but not with salad leaves.

(sorry, i actually dozed off while i was writing this last night ... i guess that's the price one pays for a full life!)

anyway, as i was saying ... i really am not fond of salads. ordering a salad from a restaurant or buying a pre-packed one from a sanwich bar, tends to be a sure fire way of getting ripped off. not only is the bowl or plate full to the brim with what seems like a forest of lettuce, but you sometimes even get random fauna which should not be there.  i certainly don't see these as being freebies ... i'd much rather get a proper amount of everything else that should be in the salad!

oh, and what about salad leaves being all limp or having that horrible rusty coloured trim where they would have been cut? huh? is it just me who finds these things totally disgusting and far from appetising?

i'm sorry for your having to read this rant ... but every time i try to embark on a diet of sorts, the salad days are always the most daunting.  and is it much to ask to have real fresh, clean salad leaves - and only just a handful?!

no matter how fancy you are, i still hate you ... 

Saturday, 8 September 2012

confession #000007

...or, pulp fiction any time

the 9 hour days during the so called 'half days' at work don't seem to want to end - but i won't bore you with all that stuff tonight.  neither do i want to relive the day's stress just before bedtime.  i want to have a relaxed, rested sleep though that might be a tad difficult considering the night's developments ... 

not that anything major happened, but in the life of a wannabe dieter, having a badass burger is a major event.  yes, by jove, i did it.  i went and had a badass burger, dammit.  i had been craving all day long for this blessed burger and i bloody well went to have it tonight.  i keep calling it a badass burger, because, well, i dined at badass burgers.  i curse the day i ever tasted their burgers as i'm now pretty well hooked.  mind you, i won't have them every day as then it would stop being the much craved for treat.  and, being a vegetarian, there's actually only one burger i've ever tried there, "the veggie" (surprise, surprise!). 

i shudder to think of its calorific value ... and of the mojito that accompanied it or the averna which helped digest it.  but i tried to keep the rest of the day relatively light (though somewhat still unhealthy, for which i blame the stress i am under at the moment).  

the badass veggie ... as it started
yes, i know, i might not have been a 'good girl' at all by going for this humungous thing for supper ... and those who preach about not eating after 19:30 or 20:00 might be tut-tutting away at the thought of having had this at the impossibly late hour of 22:00! 

the one thing i am proud of is that whereas there have been days where i would have eaten the whole lot, today i did not manage to finish it.  well, yes, i did finish the fries, since, they're my second guilty pleasure after bread and cheese.  but i just couldn't go through with it.  i opted to leave most of the bread in the box (no plate today as there was an event happening so i'm guessing they wanted to minimise the washing).  i figured since the patty is made of cauliflower and mushrooms, it would be a much wiser to have that since anyway i was getting my carb-fix through the fries. maybe this is a good sign after all ... 
the badass veggie ... 30 minutes after the first bite
in the meantime ... he had a burger fit for a president

Thursday, 6 September 2012

confession #000006

... or, 50 shades of 'office white'

today has been 'one of those days' at the office.  well, most days are like that really and truly, and any of my colleagues reading this would certainly concur.  it was just an endless 9 hours of emails, telephone calls, stressful discussions ... and junk food. 

much as i did feel empowered by certain positions i had to take today where i almost surprised myself, i now feel utterly exhausted.  i was, once again, planning on going to the gym this afternoon.  but i didn't.  had i gone, it'd have probably done me the world of good, but i didn't even have the energy to shop.  i actually walked into one of my favourite outlets, dragged my feet along the aisles but didn't even lift my hand to browse through the wares on sale or my eyes to even look at them.  it was that bad.  i could not recognise myself.  

i could not recognise myself in the mirror either this afternoon.  just before i left the office, i popped in for my customary bathroom visit and when i looked up in the mirror i saw a wan face looking at me.  i have turned 'office white'. 

i have been noticing this change in me over the last weeks and months.  not having clocked more than 10 hours at the beach this summer must have certainly contributed to that.  

but 'office white' is not just your regular paleness.  it's that greyish blue whiteness which computer monitors emit, and which, according to my theory, is absorbed by the skin, turning one into the shade i like to call 'office white'. spending my non-working hours blogging away here, on my other blog and for, keeping myself up-to-date with everyone's ins and outs on social media, or watching series online and youtube videos damn sure does not help.  

of all the shades in the world, i'm lumped with 'office white'.  actually, follow the humanae project on ... it's just awesome
days like these, the diet is completely forgotten.  

today's menu 

  • special k with light soy milk
  • special k bar
  • 3 ryvita
  • cheese toast
  • m&s smoked salmon & broccoli quiche
i don't wish to be mean with myself - i did start the day relatively well and the cheese toast was ordered from the cafe opposite the office and almost forgotten.  i could have actually skipped lunch (which is not exactly exemplary, but maybe it means my stomach has finally started feeling less hungry!) and neither do i wish to be mean with my beloved who went out of his way to get supper sorted and got me a wholesome m&s meal, which according to their adverts, is close to a sensual - if not sexual - experience! 

still, i should have eaten fruit if i wasn't that hungry for lunch at least. but let's face it, after having read my post from yesterday, it's a foregone conclusion that apples wouldn't have stood a chance against a cheese toast! 

fingers crossed for tomorrow ... and the rest of my time! 

(well, i might actually allow myself a couple of spoonfuls of ice cream after all ... i do deserve it after today, and it might do wonders for my complexion)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

confession #000005

... or, my perfect pair

no.  it's nowhere close to what you're thinking, you dirty minded reader! 

my perfect pair is bread and cheese.  indeed, simple, wholesome, bread and cheese.  well, really and truly, any form of carbohydrate and cheese.  sometimes butter pops in for an even more delightful threesome.  but the pair on their own are good enough.  

i was always very much addicted to both staple foods mentioned.  i remember buying fresh maltese bread as a child and by the time i crossed the road from the grocer's to my parents' house, the bread would have been nicely caved in, courtesy of my nibbling away at the fluffy white interior (i was never a big fan of crusts, especially when they are a bit "well done").  likewise, i used to nibble away at freshly cut cheddar cheese, to my mother's chagrin.  whenever my lunch consisted of bread and cheese or, cream crackers and cheese, my face used to light up at its sight upon opening my barbie lunch-box.

could be that i found an explanation for my persistent 'puppy fat'? 

"look mum, the bread has a hole in it!"

when i grew up, my addiction probably just grew with me.  i recall my five minute breaks from writing my first thesis used to consist of my heading over to the kitchen to make myself a cheese toast.  jesus, i could go through a whole loaf of jesper's multigrain in a day.  i used to kid myself that having the multigrain option would somewhat be healthier.  certainly not if one ate a whole loaf a day! no wonder that as soon as i finished my thesis and finals i had to head straight to MM's slimming salon for some much needed damage repair! 

i must have been a mouse in a past life ...

i was then told (or made to believe?) i was (am?) lactose intolerant.  this was somewhat traumatic for me.  my eating patterns revolved around cheese in any form, shape or taste! i've spent a good 9 years or so not having cheese, practically ever.  in all fairness, this lack of cheese - or any dairy for that matter - did come in handy every time i dieted since i was in any case avoiding these full-fat foods.  

but then, someone told me that i can take the enzyme lactase just before i eat anything dairy and i'm in the clear.  no belly aches, no bloating (i'll stop here as it can get somewhat graphic ...) and i tried these 'miracle' pills and they seemed to work.  at first i used to take them only on occasions when i couldn't control what i would be eating - like being a dinner guest or when i'm abroad.  then i started having them more often as i started craving cheesy stuff more and more.  now i find myself back to square one, having lactase before almost each and every meal, because, lo and behold, almost each and every meal (even those i cook myself!) have some dairy.  today was a case in point. 

today's menu (back to square one)

  • special k with soy milk
  • special k bar
  • a handful of wasabi peas
  • 1 slice pizza by luca margherita
  • wholemeal baguette with mozzarella
it might not look like i've eaten much but i'm sure if i were to count the calories in this batch it would add up to way over a 1000 calories!  over and above that, i didn't hit the gym as i was planning since i needed to prioritise heart matters over body matters (body matters didn't stand a chance in the first place!) and i doubt how much walking from mosta to the trade fair grounds in naxxar compensated for all this.  

anyway, i think i should better stop beating myself about it and resenting what i ate today.  i'll just take the scarlett o'hara approach and say, "after all ... tomorrow is another day!"

"now seriously boys, does my bum look big in this?"

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

confession #000004

... or, where in doubt, blame it on the widescreen

one thing i forgot to mention yesterday, was that while i was trying to keep a somewhat composed appearance while holding on for dear life on the threadmill's handles at the gym, i got a crash-course in r'n'b / hip hop videos courtesy of trace urban (or whatever that channel is called).  

not much seems to have changed since last i intentionally listened to anything r'n'b / hip hop some 1 million years ago.  guys with dubious dress sense were still showing off their bling bling and wagging wads of 'benjamins' in front of cars straight from the set of the fast and furious flicks.  in the meantime, barely clad women still shook their booties to the fellas' pleasure.  

luckily for me, the sound was on mute so i couldn't listen to the highly intellectually challenging lyrics.  unluckily for me, the gym was pumping to the sound of some electro / techno / whatever (i never really knew the difference) and the thunderbolts from the storm raging outside.  

at one point, jennifer lopez' collaboration with flo'rida came up and right after that, nicki minaj's starships followed.  for someone who's not much into that kind of music, it comes as a surprise - even to myself - how i still remember this.  one reason could be the excess neon colours used in both videos which together with the thunderbolt flashes, blinded me for a few minutes.  one other reason, which i think is more plausible, is that i saw it as a bit of a 'battle of the bums'.  


both female singers are well known for having a rather rotund backside.  now, way back when i was somewhere close to being a size 6, i used to keep j-lo (as she was known at the time), as a body role model.  i could have probably been cast in the only way is essex at the time as i used to keep myself perma-tanned and my hair was a brassy shade of honey.  i dreamt of being like j-lo.  i was all about the love don't cost a thing video back then!!! lord, how things have changed and how thankful i am for that!

anyway, the thing is that both bums looked incredibly huge and giggly.  i wondered whether it was because since last i had watched any of her videos, jennifer lopez became a mummy.  but what about nicki minaj? i mean, i don't want to sound shallow or rude but her thighs were rumbling just as much as the thunder outside! isn't some form of photoshop used on videos as well? while i do have a lot of admiration for their audacity, i'd have never chosen any of the outfits / swimwear either of the two sport in the two videos.  but then again, maybe they were chosen intentionally to milk the money making bottoms ...

on the other hand, i might keep re-watching these two videos over and over again (preferably on a widescreen format to see these 'defects' more clearly, and more expansively) to finally re-convince myself that hips and bums are good.  it does not mean i'll let go of any effort i'm doing to lose weight, it's just a means of accepting looking like a toned pear (read bambinella) shape rather than hopelessly aiming to look like a runner bean! 

all hail the pear bambinella shape

confession #000003

... or, when all else fails, grab a packet of twistees

i hate days like these.  i barely slept for the soreness i was feeling in my legs - evidence of just how unfit i am - and then the few hours i spent at the office were riddled with ad hoc issues.  add to that a 30 minute drive for a journey which should take 10 (a passenger still gets road rage, you know) and a six hour long meeting.  thankfully, the meeting was fruitful and provided a lot of food for thought (which we all know, makes you burn calories rather than ingest them!)

the point is, a day like today always screws up my somewhat more careful eating patterns whenever i'm on a diet as i always end up reaching for comfort food.  i just hope i get at least an early night, despite all the coffee i drank, so i can rest and hopefully start tomorrow on a more positive - and less sore - note.  

today's menu (the workaholic's solution)
  • special k with light soya milk
  • special k bar 
(now this is where it all starts going bad ...)
  • meeting grub: 1 slice ftira with tuna + 2 slices baguette with cheese & coleslaw (a very messy concoction i must say)
  • portion spinach & ricotta tortellini with mozzarella flavoured tofu (this sounds yukkie, but it's not as bad as you might think!)
  • packet twistees
twistees, putting malta on the snack-map for the last 40 years ...

i was starved by the time i got home and i opted for easy solutions.  my body was craving salts, i suppose, so that's why the twistees were reached for and gobbled within 30 seconds of the packet being opened.  given half a chance, i would have probably done a full ricky stunt and gone all 'american beauty' with the beloved twistees ... 

i don't even know where to start to caption this photo ... 
... well, maybe not this time ... 

Monday, 3 September 2012

confession #000002

... or, apple versus cupcake

last night, i had quite a restless night.  i could easily attribute it to the thunderstorms raging outside and making a complete and utter urban wasteland of the maltese islands.  but i've decided i shall attribute my restlessness on the fact that i was plotting my revenge on myself, in terms of diets, of course. 

i decided it was time to get back on track yesterday morning actually.  going through almost each and every single item in my wardrobe, tut-tutting at it while still on the hanger, tut-tutting even more while trying it on, i decided that tomorrow (i.e, today) won't be another 'failed diet monday'.  and so while yesterday i allowed myself a few final binges, this morning i woke up very (tired but) resolute to start the week well and see the diet and exercise combo through.  

so this morning, i weighed myself and found that i have gone back up to 52kgs (if this is going to be a set of confessions, i might as well just come clean about it all!) this might not sound like much to many out there, but when taking into consideration my short stature, it becomes rather heavy.  according to this body-mass index calculator, i'm at a normal weight with a 23.7 score, albeit at the high end of the range.  

pretty much what i looked like this morning, panda-eyes and all!

full of good intentions and well-made plans, i packed my workout gear, and trudged off to work with the objective of not nibbling at junk food and heading straight to the gym after office hours.  

and by gosh! i managed to accomplish it all ... and i've got my sore legs to prove it! 50 minutes of cardio is not too, too bad as a start ... though this needs to increase and intensify very, very soon if i want to accomplish the goals i've set for myself (i might let you in on those in another post ...)

i must confess that i did have a bit of 'pit fall' towards the day's end as you'll see further down, but i managed to resist the left-over cupcakes sitting snugly in the tupperware on the kitchen counter.  allow me to pat myself on the back for a few minutes.  

today's menu (the lazy busy girl's deal):
  • special k with light soy milk
  • special k bar 
  • apple
  • vegetable biryani microwave rice (not so good, i know, but i left all my other tupperware at the office so i couldn't prepare anything!)
  • tinned mexican tuna salad + some of the left over home-made bread (this is my pitfall - i should have had some greens with the tuna, or at least some tomatoes, but i was so damn tired after my workout, even opening the fridge was an ordeal!)
my homemade bread at the weekend - the photo is cleverly hiding the chunks of brie in between the bread slices ... 
i am aware of the fact that i need to increase my intake of fruit and actual fresh food, rather than pre-packed/cooked bull-poop.  that's something i'm working on ... i promise, to myself, and to you dear reader.  

confession #000001

... or, a personal history of dieting

just because i don't have enough on my plate already, here i am writing another blog.  this time, this blog is going to be focused - very focused actually. 

as the blog title might already suggest, once upon a time, i was a (uk) size 6.  it was a very long time ago and it was, alas, for a very short time.  but what a glorious time that was! buying clothes straight off the rack knowing they definitely would fit, buying children's clothes even (being short, the trouser length was always perfect! no hemlines to take up!)

as shallow as it may sound, i believe that was the time when i loved my body the most.  

as a child, grown ups used to derive immense pleasure in pinching my globular cheeks, while cooing and telling my mother how cute i looked with my 'puppy fat.' puppy fat, my ass. whenever my mum used to express concern about my 'puppy fat', fellow adults would tell her i'd shed it as i grew up ... 

me, aged 3, about to enter the 'puppy fat' stage...

the fact is, it took a lot of dieting and dragging myself to the gym or other exercise-friendly inducing places in order to shed that so-called 'puppy fat'. 

i was the first in my primary class to get tits.  i'm not sure till this day if they were actual tits or just a very strategic accumulation of 'puppy fat'. but nonetheless, it was definitely not a welcome development.  having 10 year old boys pointing at the trainer-bra showing underneath my white, abanderado p.e. t-shirt is something that i have, unfortunately, harboured in my memory, even 20+ years on ... 

abanderado were all the rage in the 80s, so no pointing fingers at that please!

once i started attending a 'girls-only' junior lyceum, i started to realise that there were others who were 'blessed by mother nature' like me.  fast forward a couple of years and the interest in boys and in taking care of myself kicked in, courtesy of magazines like smash hits, cioe and the clandestinely bought more and bravo.  the latter two were always bought with a sense of anxiety and embarrassment, lest i get caught, for more used to feature the 'sex position of the month' (illustrated, obviously - "no sex we're british" kind of thing) while bravo used to carry photo-stories which were sometimes a little more explicit (german teens always came across to me as being a little more knowledgeable in the bedroom department ...)

the thing is, i guess, just like any other teenager, i was impressed by images of perfectly formed models, flawless skins, glistening hair, perfectly-fitting outfits and all the rest ... while i was in my 'grunge' phase, wearing oversized flannel tartan shirts, baggy jeans and doc marten's in the hope of hiding my residual 'puppy fat'.  the 'puppy fat' had by that time hit the 65 kilos, which for a 4'11'' is verging on the obese.  

it was somewhere around this time that i attempted my first diet.  i remember slimfast shakes were all the rage at the time and with my mum's concern about my ever-growing waistline, and my realising that i would soon be entering the great big world 'out there', i gave it a shot. 

all i remember from that time is the result of what felt like days on end drinking slimfast  shakes: incredible gas.  i know this is sounding rather crude, but boy oh boy did that hurt! needless to say, the 'diet' was ditched after a week or so.  

some time round my 16th birthday, i recall having a really bad toothache - all those cadbury twirls and crunchies eaten during the school break were not helping.  so unconsciously, driven mostly by my fear of dentists, i embarked on my second diet ever, which i shall term as the no-sweets diet.  weight actually started shedding little by little ... and it started feeling good being in my body! 

this, together with 2 ricotta pastizzi, over and above my home-made lunch, were my undoing, ages 11-16

still, i was always on the 'plump' side (i had grown out of the 'puppy fat' term by now ...). 

why am i telling you all this?  at least half of my life has been characterised by one diet or other.  i'm going to try list them here, in chronological order, just to show you what i've tried ... 

  1. the slimfast diet (shakes only)
  2. the no-sweets diet
  3. diet & slendertone at the local diet guru par excellence MM
  4. food combining
  5. calorie & fat counting (yep, journal keeping took on a whole new dimension)
  6. gym / thai boxing classes in conjunction with no. 5
  7. brisk walking, in conjunction with 'careful' eating
  8. no. 3 again - this time sticking solely to the 'one kilo vegetable soup' for both lunch and dinner - this was when i hit the size 6!
  9. gym 
  10. the gillian mc keith diet
  11. food combining, again
  12. box-fit classes - this together with a somewhat careful eating plan, got me quite close to a size 6!
  13. no. 3, yet again, with no visible results due to my consistent flouting of her diet rules ... 
  14. sessions with nutritionist who created a 'tailor made diet' (this required me to have fish first thing in the morning ... no wonder i gave it up!)
  15. brisk walking and minor attempts at running
  16. and today, a year and a half after the last time i ran, i hit the gym again. 
i might have missed a couple of diets i've attempted at some point or other, and i'm not counting all the times i resumed calorie counting for a couple of days, three at the most.  

once again, you may be questioning, why is she telling us all this? over the last 16 years or so, i've realised that i've only really accomplished my diets when i had something to prove to someone.  just like when i had a bet running with a colleague who said i wouldn't lose weight and out of spite i did (no.15).  

me and a dear friend reaping the benefits of having won the weight-loss bet with a colleague ... i can still recall that heavenly chocolate massage!

this time, the someone i want to prove something to is myself.  by committing all these thoughts to a blog, i might be unwittingly trying to prove something to the world as well.  after writing all of this, i'm still having second thoughts as to whether i should be so candid and make my body dysmorphia such public knowledge.  it's possibly a way of reaching out while looking deeply into myself.  i don't know.  i just feel i need to do it. 

at this point, and by way of concluding this very lengthy first confession, i want to make a disclaimer.  anything that you'll be reading in this blog is a narration of my own tricks or methods in dealing with body-weight issues.  i am not academically trained to give any nutritional, exercise or dieting advice - i only have 16 years of experimenting and following others' guidance.  so please, take hints if you so wish to, but do not take this as a gospel.  if and when, i'll be quoting medical, nutritional or any other advice, the sources will be quoted or hyperlinked accordingly.  

welcome to my blog!