Tuesday, September 27, 2005
First of all, big news! Weigh in on Monday revealed that I am now officially in the 80's - a weigh in of 88! Whoo hoo! A loss of 2.8 over three weeks, which equates to nearly a kilo a week, which I'm thrilled with. When I think of all the naughty stuff I've eaten over the past three weeks - croissants, pizza, Indian, peanut butter gelato, a three course meal at The Point Revolving Restaurant (in Hobart) - I think I've come out of this move very well.
I'm proud of myself for the way I've handled the food situation. I haven't overeaten to the point where I'm stuffed like a Christmas turkey; when we've had takeaways I've tried to make healthy choices; I've gone for walks nearly every day or done my WW Exercise Success DVD; I haven't had unhealthy foods in the house. It just goes to show that a little what you fancy does you no harm as long as you exercise to compensate, and just keep going with the plan.
This weigh in has made me realise how close I am to goal now, and how much I really want to keep going. I have no intention of ever going back to where I was. This is my life now. I want to keep doing it, and I will keep doing it. By the same token, I have accepted that I can't be 100% perfect all the time. There will be times when I want to indulge, but I know that I can do that every now and then because I am in control of what I do, what I put in my mouth. It's all up to me. The move is over - it's time to get serious again.
Thank you for all your good wishes with the move. It went well, though the unpacking is far from over! We've moved into a lovely neighbourhood in Taylors Lakes. Our house has four bedrooms, a large modern black and white kitchen, polished floorboards, ducted heating, and a lovely flat backyard. There are still boxes everywhere but we've got the main rooms set up, and we feel comfortable and at home there. It's so peaceful and quiet - apart from when the neighbourhood hoons get their trail bikes out! A few days ago when David was at work, I was just sitting on the couch reading and realised all I could hear was the birds singing. You wouldn't think we were half an hour or so from the CBD.
We have also met some lovely neighbours who introduced themselves over the weekend. It may be my naivety talking here, but I was under the impression that Melbourne was a very cold, hostile kind of place. I could not have been more wrong. Our neighbours are so nice and made us feel so welcome. It is just the sort of neighbourhood I was hoping to move to. The last place we lived in in Hobart was a very unfriendly neighbourhood where people just kept to themselves. We barely made eye contact with our neighbours, let alone spoke to them. What a difference it makes to be in a place where you feel accepted and welcome. (Kind of like Blogland!!)
Tonight, David and I are doing our first big grocery shop since moving to Victoria. I love grocery shopping! I'm one of these people who likes to go up every aisle, just to see what's new! I've drawn up a proper meal planner, which I always used to do. It feels so nice to be doing that again. On the menu this week:
Tonight: Chicken Tacos (Paulene's recipe!)
Thursday: Burmese Chicken Curry (A Belinda Jeffrey recipe that I'm trying for the first time) [I'm fiddling with it a bit to make it low point]
Friday: Lean steak with Diane sauce (my favourite) and steamed vegetables
Saturday: Roast Turkey or Chicken (depends what's cheaper) with lots of vegetables
Sunday: Chicken and Pumpkin Pie (Emily's recipe!)
Monday: Thai Red Curry Beef with jasmine rice
Tuesday: Chicken Parmagiana (WW Recipe, I think from Week 2 or 3's book?!)
That's all I've come up with so far. I don't know if you've all read my profile or not, but I think I mentioned in there that I LOVE cooking! I'm always keen to try new recipes, especially WW ones, so if you've got any that you love, send them my way. I'm planning to share recipes on my blog regularly once I get my internet connection!
The other highlight of my weekend, apart from moving, was obviously the fact that the Swans won!!! David and I watched the whole thing from start to finish, surrounded by boxes and other moving debris. We were hypnotised by it all - the intensity, the comraderie, the desperation. Each team wanted to win so badly, you could see it. For those of you who watched it, you'll know what a nail biter the last quarter was! I was curled up in a ball on the couch and in some parts couldn't bear to look. With only a four point lead, West Coast just had to kick one goal and it was all over. But then the siren finally sounded, and David and I jumped around the lounge room, screaming and cheering. I could only imagine the scene in my family's living room back in Hobart. We sms'ed them and rang them several times during the game, and when I spoke to Mum at 9pm that evening, Dad was asleep on the couch - the result of too much alcohol and merriment! We were all so happy. Even though they aren't really my team, they're my family's team, and that's why I wanted them to win - and mostly for my Dad. He's been through a lot over the past three years and I didn't even want to think about how sad he would be if they lost - heartbroken would be an understatement. And now, after 72 years of waiting, they have the flag. And although they can hardly know it, I am so grateful to Paul Roos and the Sydney Swans for, because of them, there is a huge smile on my Dad's face.
And by the way, my sister's boyfriend, the West Coast supporter, was most gallant in defeat!
Off to Shanghai Dumpling House again for lunch today- my love of steamed dim sims knows no bounds!
Hope you're all happy and well and enjoying your journeys. Thank you to everyone who is leaving comments on my blog - you don't know how much this means to me. I'm trying to get round all of yours as well! Have a great day everyone - I'll be back again soon!
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Tomorrow, we move into our own place, having spent two weeks at our friends place. I won't have the internet there straight away, so I may not be able to post as often until it gets up and running. I'll try and sneak back to Mark's as often as possible, or go into the city and use the library (which is where I am right now!) [I love the library!]
Today I've been in the city, having a wander around. Melbourne is intoxicating, I just love it. There is so much to do and see. I love that I'm getting more confident and know my way around a lot more. I'm getting over my fear of crowds (well, I'm never going to survive here if I don't!!) I had a wonderful lunch at the Shanghai Dumpling and Noodle House in Tattersalls Lane. A colleague back in Tassie (who used to live in Melbourne), Lisa, told me about it. I wasn't sure what to order, being there on my own and having not been there before. I looked around at what everyone else was having, and they all seemed to be eating dumpling and noodle soup, so I ordered that. A huge steaming bowl was placed in front of me, packed full of fresh rice noodles and at least eight bulging wontons. I'm not sure what I looked like, negotiating my way through it, balancing the wriggly noodles on my soup spoon! It must have been quite amusing for my fellow diners. While I didn't think I'd get kicked out for slurping the noodles, I have my pride, so picked up the noodles with my chopsticks and tried to place them delicately on the spoon and eat them that way!
In the end, I couldn't quite finish my soup - I think that is the first time I've left food on my plate in a restaurant for a long time. I'm learning to stop when I'm full, rather than just keep eating because the food is there. Another thing I've also learned is not to treat eating out as a night off points - particularly in these circumstances where we've been living out of a suitcase and eating out nearly every night. Just because fish and chips is on the menu, and I like it, doesn't mean I should have it. I've been having a lot of Thai beef salads and Tunisian vegetables with couscous, which are every bit as delicious. And I feel far better for making a healthy choice.
I'm keen to check out all the culinary delights that Melbourne has to offer. I'd be pleased to hear from any fellow bloggers about anything that is worth checking out. My colleague Lisa also told me about the to-die-for Italian hot chocolate at Brunetti's. How many points do you reckon that would be?!
It's been a bit tricky trying to manage the food situation over here for the past few weeks, as we've been staying with our friends who aren't doing WW and have a far more relaxed attitude than we do when it comes to preparing meals and keeping the cupboard stocked, which I'm not saying is a bad thing. And I can't complain because they've been very generous in letting us stay with them. It's just that I am used to planning my meals in advance, so it's taken a lot for me to relinquish control and just try to make the best choices that I can. Luckily, Mark bought a barbecue the weekend before we arrived, so we've been having lots of food cooked on that - kebabs, steak, etc. and I make sure I have lots of salad with it.
I've also been walking a lot. Mark and Bel live near Cherry Lake, which has a track all around it. We did that walk a few days ago. I've also been walking to and from the train station each time I catch a train into the city. I love that Melbourne is so flat! Where we used to live, in West Moonah (a suburb north of Hobart), everything was so hilly. The thing is though,with the ground being flat, I have to walk harder or longer than I used to. There's always a trade-off!
I haven't weighed in since we left Tassie. Our scales were packed up by the removalists, but I'll have them back tomorrow. The last weigh in was a bit weird. My naked weight was 89, but my doctor's scale (fully dressed and having had a late breakfast) said 90.8, so I'm going with 90.8. I feel like I've lost a bit since we arrived here, (the clothes feel looser) so I'm keen to do my Monday weigh-in next week. I'm desperate to get into the 80's. I've been hovering around 90-91kg since July.
Thank you everyone for all the lovely comments about my before and now photos. As embarrassing as it was to see them at the time, I am glad I kept the before photos. They really have been the catalyst for all this change in my life. I knew things had to change when I saw them. I don't think of myself as vain, but I don't think twice about ripping up or deleting unflattering photos. But by looking back at these photos, I can see how far I've come. Even though I'm not at goal, I'm looking ok at the moment and, more importantly, I feel fantastic! The most important thing is to keep going.
Jonny wrote an excellent post the other day which got me thinking about complacency. The only way to get to a goal is to keep challenging yourself and continually reassess and review how you're going.
And now, the reason behind the title for today's post. Not only am I heading towards my goal weight (my own victory), but I probably won't be posting again before Saturday, so I just want to say GO SWANS in the AFL Grand Final on Saturday! ("Onwards to victory" is the last line Sydney's song). My family are all mad Sydney supporters, Dad in particular. He will be so happy if the Swans win. There's a fly in the ointment though - my youngest sister's boyfriend is a West Coast supporter! He'll be banned from the house on Saturday I think!
Till next time, take care everyone. Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
From the beginning of my journey, these photos have served as a focal point for me. They remind me of where I was six months ago, of where I never want to be ever again. I have a journal that I've kept from day one, and in it I pasted these photos with the following comments written in bright pink texta:
"I am not happy with the way I look at the moment. I feel fat, disgusting and dread getting pictures developed for fear of what I'll look like in them. I feel so embarrassed that this is me. I have to realise that my actions have consequences. If I do not control my eating and exercise regularly then this is what I look like. I have to take control."
I look back at these words and remember how desperate I was when I wrote them. I was so embarrassed that I'd let myself go, so badly that I was heavier than what I had been when I couldn't fit into my new school uniform back in 1997. I wanted so badly to just wake up and find myself with a slender figure, where I could wear clothes like a normal 24 year old, where I felt fit and healthy, where I could walk into any clothes shop and know that they would have my size. I knew my health was suffering - I was having problems that a girl my age shouldn't have.But, more importantly, I had a feeling deep inside that it was going to be different this time. I wasn't just going to stick to this for a few weeks and then go back to eating whatever I liked. This time, reaching goal would not be the end of the journey. This time, I wanted a solution to my problems, and I was prepared to do whatever it took to get out of the rut I was in.
So, here I am, nearly six months later:
My friend Mark took this picture of me today. No makeup, no hair straightener, just me. It's not perfect, and I'm not entirely where I want to be yet, but I'm happy that this is me, and that I'm heading in the right direction.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Welcome and if you're going back all the way to my very first post, thank you, and I hope you'll be inspired by the journey I had and what I learned along the way. It's been amusing for me to reread some of these posts. Perhaps I should write a little timeline of the journey, because life certainly took lots of twists and turns, both while I got to goal and after it, which I never could have forseen. But one thing's for sure, right now I've never been happier or healthier in my life. There's room for improvement on some things, but overall I think I do ok most of the time.
I hope you enjoy reading, and please do let me know if you have any questions - my email is in the sidebar.
Hello everyone! My name is Philippa and I've decided to start my own blog, having been inspired by so many of you over the past few months. This is my first attempt at blogging, so it might take me a while to learn the ropes, so please be patient with me!
I am 24 years old. At present, I live in Melbourne, where my husband David has recently been transferred. Prior to that, I had lived in Tasmania all my life. Moving to the big city has been a huge change for me, but it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. I'm slowly learning my way around and we're moving into our own place this week, after spending nearly two weeks with friends. It will be great to have all our own things again, and will make me feel much more at home. The hardest part about leaving Tasmania was leaving my family - I have three younger sisters whom I love dearly and am very close to. I have never lived more than five minutes away from my family, so this is a huge change, but it was one we had to make. I'll fill you in a bit more on that later.
I chose the name "Skinny Latte" for my blog to represent my (hopefully) new Melburnian physique and persona - slim and sophisticated! I'll let you be the judge of that as time goes on. I'd like to tell you about my journey so far, but I'll warn you, this will take a while!
I've had issues with my weight for a long time. I was a skinny and active child, I played lots of sport and I have always loved my food, but things changed around the time I turned 12. I reached my full adult height (175cm) and was very well developed for my age - I looked 16 or 17 rather than the naive pre-teen that I was. As a result, I got a lot of attention that I wasn't comfortable with. It also didn't help that I wasn't into all the other things that girls my age were into (boys, makeup, etc) - I was always most happy in the library or in the computer lab, typing away at my latest story. As a result, I ate a lot to compensate for my feelings of inadequacy and discomfort. By the time I was 15, I weighed 91kg.
As I said, I was tall, so I hid it well for a while, but when you're 15 you want to wear the latest fashions, not your mum's clothes! So I dieted, in the way that many teenage girls do. I would survive on concentration-camp rations during the day, but would binge the second I walked in the door from school. Sometimes I might last a couple of days on a strict regime, but would blow it sooner or later. I'd forget about diets for a few days or weeks, but then go back to the starve-binge pattern. And all this did was make me even bigger. But, of course, I didn't know that then.
I finally left the stifling, bitchy atmosphere of my all girls school at the end of Year 10 and commenced my HSC at a co-ed school in 1997. My mother had bought my new school uniform the previous winter. I tried it on in the summer school holidays and it didn't fit. Mum hit the roof, saying there was no way she was going to fork out more money for another uniform. I would have to lose weight. So, on 13th January 1997, I started a weight loss regime. It worked - I lost 25kg in seven months. The once tight school uniform now fell off me and needed to be taken in. People started noticing me - and in a good way this time! I got more attention and made more friends. I finally didn't have to search my mother's wardrobe looking for things to wear, I could borrow off my skinny younger sisters instead! I was addicted to that feeling, to the attention that I got. Unfortunately, I took things a bit too far and battled anorexia for most of Year 12. I don't know what my lowest ever weight was, but I would guess it was somewhere in the 50-59kg range. For someone of my height, that is just too skinny - it isn't attractive at all. I looked sick. Size 10 clothes were loose on me, for the first and only time in my life. I look at photos of myself from that time and feel repulsed - I look like a walking skeleton. Yet I recall looking at those same photos just after they were developed and thinking about how fat I looked in them. I was obsessed with double chins and would throw away any photos of me where I had one. I was miserable with myself and felt angry about a lot of things that had happened to me. I was living proof that being thin does not mean being happy. Far from it.
Once I realised the effect my eating disorder was having on the people who cared about me - my sisters, my close friends - I snapped out of it. I put on a bit of weight and started to look healthy again. In 1999, I started university and loved it. I also met my husband that year, and you know what they say about love - my clothes were hanging off me! That was when I let go of all my insecurities and issues with food - I was happy, really happy, so I didn't care what I ate or what size I was. For the next few years, I ate what I liked, in whatever quantities I liked - I denied myself nothing. David and I got engaged when I was 19, and moved in together when I was 20. I was working part-time, studying full time and preparing for a wedding, so made very little time for exercise. I was a size 14-16 around that time. I had to diet and exercise like a mad woman to fit into my size 12 wedding dress when David and I got married in January 2002 (I'll save the finer details that story for another time!). I floated through 2002 and completed my Honours year at university. Diet and exercise were occasionally a focus, but very rarely. I was too busy to notice the tightness of my size 16 jeans.
But about half way through 2003, I was horrified to realise I was wearing 18-20 clothes. I thought the problem was my lack of exercise (I thought I was a very healthy eater) and so decided to join a gym, and really enjoyed going there - but I didn't do anything about my eating habits, so I didn't drop in size much. I got a lot fitter, but at the time I was working in a corporate job that I absolutely hated, so I would often tuck into a block of chocolate or a tub of icecream at the end of the day after an invariably stressful time at work. I was also the Queen of large helpings. A stirfry that was meant to serve four people would be demolished by David and I, with no leftovers! Going to the gym five days a week kept my weight/size steady, but it was a miracle that I didn't get any bigger than what I did.
I left my job in December 2004 in search of new opportunities and fulfillment, which meant quitting the gym, as I could no longer afford it. I didn't curtail my eating at all, so my size steadily increased in the early months of 2005. I wasn't thrilled with my appearance, but had kind of given up on myself. I had been doing this for eight friggin' years - up down, up down - from obesity to anorexia and back again. There seemed to be no end in sight.
The 'end' finally did come in April 2005. My best friend announced to me that she had joined Weight Watchers. She was at least 10kg lighter than me, so this was a bit of a blow to my pride. I thought to myself, "well, she's going to be looking fantastic in six months time. And where are you going to be? You're wearing size 18 clothes and your mens size 40 jeans are getting tight. What are you going to do about it?"
Well, nothing at first. It's true what they say about weight-loss saboteurs - when someone decides to do something about their weight and their health, those closest to them are forced to do an inventory of their own situation, and sometimes they don't like it! I didn't want to be a saboteur. I knew how important it was to my friend that she had my support.
A few days later, we got some photos developed from a recent weekend interstate. The photos were appalling. I looked enormous. The West-Co t-shirt I'd recently bought that I thought made me look skinny actually made me look like an elephant! My arms were the size of tree-trunks! I was so ashamed. To think that after everything I'd been through with my weight over the past eight years, I was back where I started. That is a painful feeling indeed.
So I decided - yes, I'll do this with her. I'll follow Weight Watchers as well. But there was one other thing - David. He'd also put on a lot of weight since we'd been together. Like me, he'd relaxed a lot, knowing that he wasn't "on the market" any more! He was always very appreciative of my cooking, perhaps too much so. I wanted him to do WW with me. I knew that if he didn't do it too my resolve would crumble inside a few weeks. At first, he was very resistant and told me to stop nagging. This was really hard - there was nothing I could say to make him understand that I needed him to help me, and truth be told, I was concerned about his health. He has a family history of obesity and diabetes, and he was certainly on that path. In his defence though, he probably thought "here we go again", this was another one of my crazy ideas that I'd abandon once I got tired of it. The break-through came when I sent him the Weight Watchers for Men (WWFM) Gut Test via email one day. He was in the Danger Zone!! He decided he would at least give it a go.
So, on ANZAC Day this year, 25th April, we stepped on the scales. I was not prepared for what I saw - 103.5kg. It was so upsetting, but it was the kick in the pants that I sorely needed to get this journey started. I had all the evidence in front of me - the unflattering photos, the tight jeans, the figure on the scales. If I didn't start now, when was I going to start?
From that day on we have been following the WW eating plan and exercising regularly. To date, I have lost 13kg and David has lost 16kg. It has been hard - there have been times where I've wanted to give it up because it's all too difficult, but I've kept going because I never again want to be where I was five months ago, or seven years ago.
I've finally learned balance in my eating - I've learned portion control, I've learned about emotional eating, I've learned about the joys of exercise for its own sake, not just for weight loss. I wake up in the morning feeling excited. I don't dread going clothes shopping, or getting photos developed any more. Life is so much better this way.
So, why am I starting a blog of my own now? The main reason is that I am half way to my goal and I've plateaued a bit - the weight loss is a bit slower, the motivation is waning a little. I have also just moved interstate and am aware of the dangers of boredom and comfort eating that may befall me, considering I'm not working at the moment and don't know anyone here apart from our two friends that we're currently living with!
I have been reading a lot of blogs since I started this journey, and they have been so inspiring and interesting. I guess it appeals to the voyeur in me - I love learning about other people and the small details of their lives. And from what I've read, my story seems to be a common one. I feel a sense of kinship and belonging when I read blogs, reading things that seem to be about my own life, reading about things I have felt, seen or done. I'm hoping that starting this blog will enable me to become a part of the online WW community and make some new friends (do any of you live in Melbourne?!), and I'm also hoping that I can provide some inspiration and motivation given what I've already achieved so far.
Thanks for reading!