Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Low resistance

I am so tired today. It's like I am half drunk or something.

I rushed around this morning cleaning up and doing bits and bobs, and then made a beef and onion pie from the last of the Sunday beef joint. I minced the beef and onion and added mashed sweet potato to it.

I bunged that in the fridge and then DH has a call from TB's DH about getting a new computer. So we shelve our plans of cinema, day of chilling out etc to traipse to the city and look at PC's. I semi wanted to get a pressure cooker, so decided - what the heck - I'll go too.

So, DH, TB and TB'sDH and I all went of the the city in the big red fun car. DH and TBDH went to PC world, and me and TB went to Argos.

I honestly didn't think that we would be out long, but things take time and we didn't get home until gone 5pm. I hadn't had a single thing to eat all day.

I had been so busy getting things done this morning, I hadn't had time for my protein shake, and I had only managed a coffee and some health pills - the black cohosh tablets I was going on about a few weeks ago remember?. Then of course, we hadn't been around at lunch time, so no shakes there either. We stopped at Aldi and I bought some orange juice, but couldn't drink it. I puked it up when we got back to TB's house.

I sat around there, and had to put into action the 'sip a minute' thing for the first time this week. It works really well. It really makes you think about what you are doing, and slows your processes completely. I managed a coffee before we came home which was good. When I got in I quickly made shake, but I was so tired and stressed even after that.

I made the pie and used the new pressure cooker to do the spuds and carrots, and it was all great. I had lots of gravy too. I managed a 2 finger sized portion of the pie, 1 half potato and about half a carrot with gravy. This was totally enough. Thank goodness my band didn't decide to be fickle this evening.

I am finding that the restriction is really mega in the mornings, and is still there in the evenings, but still nice enough to be able to eat a sensible dinner. I am not starving myself that's for sure!

I never did get to watch atonement, so I am off to watch it now - looking forward to it after the comment, so bye for now.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Good food for tight bands

I have had to create some nice mushy, healthy and nutritious foods to eat whilst very restricted.
The first is an especial favorite of mine - Bubble & Squeak. I used the cabbage from Sunday's Roast dinner and some mashed potato. I fried some garlic in a little olive oil and then mixed it into the plain mashed potato, added black and white pepper for a good 'ole kick, and then chopped the boiled red cabbage into small bits and dry fried it all in a very heavy pan.

Here's the mixture:

Now then, I know that we are to stay clear of mushy foods... but not when you are on a mushy diet on purpose! I am very restricted after infamous fill #13, and am NOT going to work with it. this means that I have liquids most of the day - protein drinks, soup, yogurt, jelly etc. then in the evening, I have a little soup to start my band off and let my tummy know food is on the way, and then a mushy meal cooked low fat, and in a healthy way. This is a lovely tasty dish that gets the taste buds watering, is easy to chew thoroughly and always stays down.
So here is the golden, lovely result:

Another of my favorites at the moment, the ultra healthy, low carb, Ratatouille. everyone makes it differently, but here is my recipe for yumminess:

4 or 5 courgettes, 3 aubergines, 1 red, 1 yellow & 1 green pepper, 20 pitted olives, 1 can of chopped plum tomatoes, 2 large white onions, 3 veg stock cubes, salt and pepper and 1/2tsp chilli flakes. Add 2 litres of water and simmer for about 2 hours. The water reduces, and the onion and aubergine kind of disappear making a thick sauce. This made an absolute vat of ratatouille, prompting my lodger Sue to ask "Did you happen to work in an army kitchen in a former life?". I do tend to be able to produce MASSIVE portions of meals, and my freezer is stocked full of little plastic bags of leftover something or other! It's great if you ask me!

Now, this concoction makes about 20 bandster portions, and i froze them all ready. it defrosts beautifully, and also purees with ease, so if you feel its not going down, then puree away and its gorgeous. It also means you can add a little water and it makes a good soup too!

So there we go, some little things to try. I will update this a bit later and I am off to work now.

Bye for now

Monday, 28 September 2009

A good day

So, even though the weighbridge were totally WRONG, I have had a great day.

2 USN Diet Fuel protein shakes
1 hot smoked salmon fillet with tinned tomatoes
1 McFlurry Mint Aero Bubbles flavour


Had some lovely posts from people, and feeling good. DH was totally shocked at the 1.5lb gain and said it was rubbish before I had even said the same thing. So that has made me feel a lot better. As we were cuddling on the couch last night he was saying "you're feeling slimmer", so feeling very pleased with myself even if HORRIBLE SLIMMINGWORLD SCALES want to kill my enthusiasm.

You didn't - so YAH BOO SHUCKS!

Geoffrey has eaten a bottle of aquapet sludgebuster... wondering if this will cause him any ill effects at all. On the packet it says 'If swallowed seek medical advice and show this container'. Not a lot of point as the rest of the package is unreadable and there doesn't seem to be any sludgebuster anywhere on the floor... guessing he consumed it. Its 10pm however... so a trip to the vet might have to wait until morning to be honest. He's such a dumb dog.

He was actually sitting on the spare dining chair whilst we were eating dinner this evening. None of us noticed until DS gave his head a nuzzle and whispered sweet nothing to him and we were all like "The dog is at the table!" He is so bad. the thing is, with those long ears he looks like he has a bad perm. You kind of forget he is an animal.

We hired another 5 DVD's this evening, hence the McFlurry. so i am off to watch one of them now. Atonement. Hope its good.






Nope... doesn't work. I feel like absolute turn-out.

Went to the weighbridge this morning gleeful and bouncy of step.

I put on 1 and a half sodding pounds this week.

I am sorry, but how is that physically possible????????? Hmmm????

No, so it just cannot be true, so i am just ignoring the fact and i am not even going to register it on my blog weight chart as its a pile of steaming sauteed horse humus.

I was amazed to put on my shorts this morning (for the pointless trip to fat git club) and find that they were loose and flappy at the front and over my bum. These are the same shorts that I wore on holiday and was uncomfortable because they were on the tight side. they are now relatively loose around the waist and definitely the right fit. They are so comfortable that i actually wore them on a mammoth bike ride this afternoon with DS. We set out with no particular place in mind, but ended up riding around the road past the shop, through the cut to the lake, around the lake, down the old railway track and out down the hill, out of the village, along the road for a few miles, watched the farmers harvesting beets for a bit, round the fen tracks and back through a long drove back onto the top of our road. Probably about 6 miles in total. We were out for a good hour and a half and it was great fun.

So I was impressed with my weightloss, or body loss this week and its been a good band day so far again. A nice bowl of home made celery soup, a protein shake and a few coffee's. I have definitely noticed if I get stressed or am in a rush, I cant eat/drink. That's really good to know as it means I have to get up in time on Saturdays in future and eat my breakfast first before I bother with my hair, or emails or whatever. give myself maximum time for eating.

So, as I have obviously lost weight that is tangible, even if it doesn't show on the scales, I am going to carry on in the same vein. It has been a pretty easy week, food wise, band wise and emotional stress wise. I am miffed that the result wasn't visible, but at the end of the day if I weighed 19 stone but was a size 10, I couldn't care less... its what you look like isn't it. I DEFINITELY look smaller in just one week. People have commented, DH has said, TB has said, our lodgers have said and I KNOW I have, so I am going to try and remain positive.

I am thinking that really last weeks weight loss of 6 and a half pounds was due to dehydration from the swine flu and being generally ill, so it probably wasn't a true weight loss.

I am going to consider it as my weekly goal for the moment is - I lost 2 and a half last week, and 2 and a half this week. There we go. That feels better already.


Sunday, 27 September 2009

Getting excited

I am sooooo looking forward to Slimmingworld tomorrow. I can hardly wait. I have been such a virtuous little lap-bandster I am looking forward to hitting my 30lb down goal - so I need 2 and a half pounds to meet that. I reckon I will have done that for sure.

Funnily enough I actually feel thinner in myself. I was lying in bed and thinking how strange it was to have a flat tummy. Its not so puffy or pudgy as it was just a week ago and to have actual noticeable size changes in just a week, means that things must be going well. I know muscle weighs heavier than fat, so the loss might not be great, but things are shifting around underneath my clothes alright! Its wonderful.

Yesterday I had a little treat for being good all week. I get two omnibus editions of my favorite shows - Home and Away and Neighbours. So I sat down with a pint of squash, a coffee, a glass of wine and 2 slices of cheese to last me the mammoth session! Both were serious tear jerkers this week with two main characters dying... talk about emotionally draining for the viewers, but very good. I was crying my eyes out for 4 straight hours!!

It was a great evening and we didn't get to bed until 2:30am. We followed that by a long lay-in this morning until 11am which was just Brill!

Yesterday actually started off not too good on the band front. When I am stressed or rushed it doesn't work. I got up with plenty of time to get ready for work & have a coffee and a shake, but things didn't go right. As I sat down to drink my coffee, I was thinking "gotta get this down and then go... I have 10 minutes bla bla" and the coffee just would not be told! Because I knew I had to drink it quickly, it did not want to perform... my band obviously doesn't like to perform under pressure. So I had half a cup of coffee and it sat there on my band ALL DAY from 11am until I came home at 5pm. When I got in I did the "1 minute sip rescue plan". This is a plan I have devised to get things back on track.

If you cant drink, eat or are a bit sore, then you have a teaspoon of water and wait a full minute and then have another teaspoon. then repeat until you are sure its not building up in on the band and going to come back at you. Then you reduce the time to 50 seconds and 40 seconds and 30 seconds and then take sips from the glass.... bigger and bigger until you are drinking ok. At the first sign of any pressure, you have to stop and wait.

This works every time for me. It just makes sure you are giving yourself time to sit it out and do it properly. I could then drink my protein shake and about an hour later I served the family lasagna and salad and I had a coffee, some soup and followed it with pureed ratatouille.

So yesterdays food was a lot less than other days. I had been hungry most of the day, and it interesting to me to find that I wanted to eat something in the evening that was high in calories for the first time this week. So maybe this is the key to success for me. Keep full during the day, take time out to have meals and then the hunger/cravings don't start in the evenings. well, it's something to think about.

Anyway, off to help DH hang a new door in our porch. Yay!

Friday, 25 September 2009

ka ching... interest ing

Was just thinking about the word ka-ching.

I used this word to describe the veritable clunk of gold pieces in my palm... but think about it a bit more...

Ka = spirit or god.

Ching = beautiful or bright

Hmmm. Ponderous.

Hideously low in ka-ching

Getting a little desperate now. At least I am eating nothing I suppose. All the meals and things I have in the freezer amount to unfriendly band food, so that's a good thing. I can cook it all up and serve to my un-banded family of 4 and leave myself out.

Having not worked for 8 weeks over the summer, starting back to term a week late, having to have a Saturday off from work with swine flu (£150 down the Swanee) and shelling out £100 for the fill means that Bunny has few beans in the warren.

We are currently £337.04 overdrawn. I have about £60 coming in in a few days, so that will bump that up a bit, but it's rubbish. We have absolutely no capacity to go overdrawn. We don't own a single credit card or loan, and we don't have an overdraft facility either because of the temptation of credit. It's like heroin to me.

so £337.04 overdrawn is the current state of play in MY working out, but in reality we are not. We have one of those accounts where you have all your money in one place... mortgage, savings (pfuh!) and current account. The only thing saving us is the fact that my pupils pay for their lesson in 10 week blocks, so I have a kind of buffer thing going on. There is about £700 in my account, but its not mine... yet... It works out quite well. They pay me for 10 lessons, I put it in the bank and then each month I draw off payment for however many lessons they had and that's how we do it.

The only thing is that sometimes I think "that's ok... there's £700 buffer in there" and buy things (like Fills!) when I really should wait. Hence no credit cards or I would be a £Gazillion in debt no worries.

So its a bit squeaky bum time. I don't know if any of you know, but I am wanting to get to a point where I can stop work and just run the house and do DS homeschool full time. It seems like the light might be getting brighter at the end of the tunnel... its just times like this that makes me think hmmmm....

I might make a concerted effort to save all my money I earn over the next year and see if its a possibility to live on DH's money alone. That would be awesome. I assume he will get a pay rise in January anyway, so that will be all grist to the mill. Anyway, its not a big issue, but just something I would really like to do.

So, the band has been good and I have been fantabulous. Yesterday saw me consume under 1000 cals again and not be hungry. WOW. 2 protein shakes, couple of yoghurts, and 2 special things: 1/2 a cup of curry and rice & a diet ice cream pot.

The diet ice cream pot was from Eismann. They come around every 4 weeks of so and ply their wares. They sell loads of frozen food and its all really lovely, especially their puddings. I am not a fan of ice cream, but occasionally its nice to have something. I buy them primarily for DH and DS, but this time I bought Diet Cups. 16 pots of ice cream for £5. They only have between 70 and 80 calories apiece! Brilliant. So I have limited the boys to one each a day as usual, but they are getting a diet one without knowing it as the packaging is nondescript and in German too!

Secondly the 1/2 cup of curry and rice. A loooong time ago I bought some measuring spoons. I bought them because I have a few American cookbooks, but never knew how to measure the stuff in the recipes because it was all in quarts, and cups and stuff like that. Its do-able, but was so annoying converting everything, that I used to leave the book in the cupboard, or guess, or whatever. So I got these metal spoons. They measure liquids or solids, but give ounces and also cups. They have been in the back of my bakery drawer for years and hardly used. I came across the largest one of these spoons which is like a little itty bitty saucepan - like a Dolly's saucepan - and is the equivalent to 1 cup. So I got to thinking - this is perfect for measuring my portions with. So I put some rice in, and curry and then put it on a plate. I only ate half of this. I didn't feel that crummy throwing the rest of my dinner away as it wasn't much to begin with, so I think another little bit of the lap band jigsaw has slotted into place.

I went down to a tea plate quite a while ago, but I am considering a saucer. Its getting ridiculous, but there is something about having a plate in just the size you need it to be. I guess that is why we have tea plates, diner plates and serving plates... if no one cared then you would get a slice of cake on a great big dinner plate wouldn't you. So I am going to look for an extra special Bunny plate just for me.

Have you ever wondered why we write ounces ounCes... so why do we write it in the shortened form do we write oz?

- answer: It comes from the Old Italian word Onza, meaning Ounce. Ounce in Italian is now spelt Oncia.

Or why pounds is shortened to lbs... ?
That comes from the Latin Libra meaning scales. Libra Pondo - Pondo is where we get the word pound from.

Always wondered that myself.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Cookin' on gas!

Hello my lovelies. You will be pleased to know that my new found enthusiasm for my silicone buddy has NOT waned. We are in Luuuurve.

It's a few days since fill #13 now and have discovered more things about things that help things (um... yeah!?!).

You can look at what I have been eating if you are that bothered by clicking on my Today I Ate... page. Its mostly been a liquid diet with a little soft food and mushy food yesterday.

I am impressed with this fill. I am not hungry and I am able to stick to my own regime of eating and being happy with what I am eating. What I have discovered through the beauty of having a blog, is that if I had the money, I could have been here a good 6 months ago.

Let me explain. I have to pay £85 each time I go for a fill or un-fill. It also takes 2 and a half hours to drive to Harley Street where the clinic is. It costs about £30 in petrol. So all in all I am looking at roughly £100 a throw. There are other clinics, but Birmingham and London are the nearest to me, but equidistant. I wish there was one in Cambridge, but there isn't - there seems to be a big gap for the East Anglian Lap Banded Population and I am kind of glad I don't live in Norwich or somewhere because that would mean a 4 and a half hour journey to either of the nearest places. Wow. So, I have to deal with that. I had this operation and I knew I would need follow up... but not quite so much maybe.

So £100 a throw is actually quite difficult for us to find. Especially if it was each month. It usually takes me a good couple to scrape it together, or I put off going until I know I have a flush month coming up. I am self employed so I either have to miss work, or make it on a Sunday. I can't always choose Sunday as the clinic is full, so sometimes I have to miss work.

All this means that I don't go to a follow up with Wendy for weigh in a chat as often as I would like to... I simply can't afford to go every other Sunday to London. I also have a life. So if I HAD had the opportunity this year, I would have gone back and back and back until it was sorted... so any of you considering buying an aftercare package and think its a lot of money... DO IT! I wish I had. It would have saved me not only money, but brain pain. The simplicity that would have come from just hopping into the car and motoring down, getting a check up/fill/un-fill having already paid in advance would have been magic. Get the package.

I didn't - and so I paid the price of being at the same point for a WHOLE YEAR. I can hardly believe it. Thankfully I have this blog so that I can see all the little peculiarities and nuances of life after lap band. Let me explain.

5th October 2008 - 7mls in my band. 16 stone 8lbs (232)

This wasn't quite enough but life and unforeseen occurrence meant that I passed the 2 week "come back and get a squeeze in for free" window. So I went back.

18th January 2009 - 0.5ml fill taking me to 7.5mls... 16stone 9lbs (233)

Wendy gave me a 0.5ml fill taking me to 7.5mls, but as she went to take the needle out the syringe snapped and I lost a teeny bit of fluid from the band. It didn't seem much but I didn't notice any significance after this fill so I went back within the 2 week window and got a top up for free (still cost £30 in petrol though grrr) hence:

2nd February 2009 - find only have 7mls in band (last fill lost down tummy.) 0.5ml in taking me to 7.5mls for real. 16stone 6lbs (230)

The 3 pound loss in 2 weeks was due to general dieting but after this fill I felt quite a dramatic reaction and noticed the difference in restriction. What do I do? I don't work with it, and end up eating something stupid which irritates my stomach so much it wont resolve - can't drink let alone eat - so I find myself going for an emergency un-fill 2 weeks later:

14th February (Ironically my 2 YEAR BAND-IVERSARY) 0.7ml un-fill taking me to 6.8ml. 16stone 4 (228)

So I now had less in my band than I did in October. These 3 trips to London severely damaged the wallet. January was payable, the top up was free, the un-fill was payable and 3 trips to London = £90 too.

So I spent £300 getting to be Less Restricted, less filled with 0.2mls less in my band than I had in October. Why? Because I didn't follow the rules and think about what I was doing.

Anyhow, I simply couldn't afford to go back again for a few months because of these 3 trips and I had to just deal with limited restriction. For me its not just a case of Money, but also time, and pain. Each fill hurts like someone has knifed me, and with 3 weeks on the trot of stabbings - I was in need of a break. A long break. I don't like having fills because of these factors, and put them off because of this.

Then in June I finally scraped both enough money and willpower to go back. Because of having limited restriction and leaving it a few months I had also re-gained all the weight lost meantime and was back to 17 stone 1 (239) - an 11 pound weight hike.

22nd June 2009 - 0.2 ml Fill taking me back to 7mls in my band. Weight 17st 1lb (239).

I rejoined Slimmingworld at this point too and decided I would stop eating when I was full and try a little harder to do this thing. However, the fill still wasn't enough... I still had the same amount as I had back in October when it wasn't enough then. I had lots of things going on, and a summer holiday to get through (8 week cash famine), so again it was a while until I could rake the resources and time to go back:

21st September 2009 - 0.5ml Fill taking me to 7.5mls. Weight 16 st 13lbs (237).

So here I am at the 7.5mls mark again. This is where I hit panic back in February, but this is the time I am going to make it work. In a year I have messed around at the same fill levels, and the same weight... but I am 5 pounds heavier now than I was on October 5th 2008. I am determined to weigh less this October 5th.

I will NOT mess this up again and I am going to play by the rules. Its amazing keeping this blog to see over time how fills react and what is too low, what is going to keep you roughly the same and what is going to help you lose.

For me, anything lower than 7mls means I gain. 7mls means I keep roughly the same, so 7.5mls will be in the region I want to be. If necessary, and I find that I struggle with food, I could have a weeny bit out, but I am going for this now. Next October I want to be significantly less and working this band to kingdom come.

I dug out my post surgery diet and I might give it a go and see what happens. Certainly after I had my initial surgery, I lost a lot of weight before it breaking, and I was following it. So hey, why not give it another crack. Something in me feels like 'this is it' like I have hit the big time and we are cooking on gas.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

When I was a youngster

The top photo was taken when I was 16, the next was my taken 2 years later during my 18th birthday party. I was about 11 stone 4.
I have never thought about this before.
2 years on from the bottom photo, on my 20th Birthday in 1996, I broke my knee cap. I was put in a splint for 7 months. Breaking my knee put my body in shock and brought on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. I was 12 and a half stone when I broke my knee and started to put on weight. I was engaged to DH and we were getting married 11 months later. On crutches the week after the break, I bought my 'to die for' wedding dress - £450 in half price sale - it was a size 24 and I was a 12. I remember the assistant completely assuring me that taking it in and altering it would be absolutely no problem at all.
We got married on 30th August 1997 - I was 20 and he was 26. I weighed 17 stone 11lbs (249lbs). I had put on 5 and a 4lbs(74lbs) in under a year. I remember crash dieting for 4 weeks to get into my size 24 wedding dress. I remember my horror that at the time I bought my dress, I didn't want a veil... now I was getting married without a veil or anything to hide my bulk.
I also remember this photo of me back in May 2007, before the band broke, wearing my wedding dress again for the first time in a few years. I was so happy that it fit again.
I am going to get that dress loose enough to swim in and then I am going to have it altered to the size it should have been altered to back in 1997 (or less!), and then I am going to wear it again on our next wedding anniversary.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Church of the Evangelical Lapbander

I am feeling exceptionally and uncontrolably devout about my lap band. I just feel so exhilarated and pleased, excited and peaceful all at the same time. This all has to do with the band and my perception of it. It's taken me a while to process the last 3 or 4 weeks. I went to Slimmingworld to weigh in after having a massive 12th Wedding Anniversary Party with a Bollywood theme. My wonderful friend Rhuta helped me cook Butter Chicken, Vindaloo, Chole, Dhal and dips, popadums etc for 40 people and we had a blast. Loads of people dressed up in Saree's and it was a colourful event.

I stayed the same weight that week. I didn't know how that was possible, but put it down to one of those things and ran with it.

Then as our Anniversary present to each other we went off on holiday to Crete. On returning I had ONLY put on 2 teeny weeny pounds. I was surprised to be fair, but also very very chuffed because I had tried hard to make healthy choices and eat 'band-wise'. Why did I try to do this? I have thought about it, and I think the reason I chose to eat this way was not actually because I was thinking 'weight loss' but primarily because I didn't want to keep rushing to the toilet to puke. I also didn't want to get a band swell in the heat and not be able to drink. I guess to a lesser degree I didn't really want to come back with too much baggage to lose, but kind of thought I would anyway - I usually do don't I.

So when I found only 2 pounds came back, I was so thrilled - shocked -pleased - proud - inspired - add infinite synonyms

Then to spend this week being pretty darn ill, but managing not only to eat pretty much OK, save the ocasional Ben & Jerry's, get a 0.5ml fill WITHOUT port pain afterwards, keep an eating record AND LOSE 6.5 POUNDS made me also so happy and proud of myself that I am managing to get things together now. I am wondering if maybe this fill #13 is THE ONE. I am wondering - could fill #12 actually have been the teetering edge of the lapband pool of bliss?

So as recommended by my lovely Wendy, 3 days of fluids helps the pouch shrink back down and get ready for the next phase of weight loss. She was confident that I could easily lose 2 stone by Xmas. Well, I have never been able to stick to the liquids after a fill for more than a day. Never. Ever. Ever. I try, but hunger and also inquisitiveness get the better of me. I normally end up being quite sick after a fill just because I am still trying to eat the same quantities or textures prior to that fill, and just do not adjust myself to the new restriction. I guess I want to test it out, then forget I am testing, and get stressed by not being able to eat and end up in the vicious cycle of eating/puking/self hate/eat/puke/loathe etc.

Well, today is my 3rd day on liquids. Its 12pm and I am not hungry. I have had my coffee and a slimfast and am quite content. Yesterday I had 4 slimfast, some gravy from the stew I made for the family and some custard and watery stewed apple. No lumps, bumps and all the consistency of soup. FULL.

Yesterday I spent almost entirely on the computer. Why? because I was researching Protein shakes. It has come to my attention that most bandits use protein shakes in some way. A lot use them as Meal Replacements for breakfast and lunch and I got to wondering. I have never used Protein powder or shakes whilst on the band. I have had slimfast after initial surgery, but not as a regular thing. I would much rather eat something else. Why haven't I done this? I honestly don't know. Could this be the key to success? Obviously in the UK slimfast or Tesco's own version are the most readily available. Everything else looks like Bodybuilding stuff that instantly makes me steer clear because I want to LOSE weight not turn into the Hulk... Well, I didn't realise several things.

Bodybuilders or Fat strippers (people who want to strip fat, not fat stripers!) use protein shakes IN EXCESS of their normal meals.

Slimfast is low fat (1g), high carb (46g) LOW PROTEIN - it has 35g of SUGAR in every 8oz shake and only 7g of protein.

Interesting. So I did a bit of digging. Now, Slimfast is about £5 a tin give or take where you buy it and the offers the store has etc. These other scary pots with muscle men on them are more expensive. But slimfast means ingesting 70g of sugar a day if you only have 2 shakes! I had 4 yesterday thats HORRENDOUS. I don't fancy a dose of diabetes thrown into my mixture thanks.

I think the most expensive I found was MET-RX. Its a bigger shake at 11 ounces, has 170 cals, 2.5g of fat, 20g Carbs of which 8g are sugar, and 20g of protein. The cheapest place to buy this was eBay for about £1 a shake but you have to buy such VAST quantities like 60 sachets for £60. Frankly I am not prepared to do that and find it tastes gross. Also 60 of the same flavour will be hard going man.

But I dug a bit further and came across other varieties. Some were really high in Protein but had no vitamins or minerals and not suitable as MRP's or too low in calories to be equal to a meal so also not suitable.

I came across another generic Protein shake on ebay but I have to say the packaging put me off. It looked a bit cheesy and rubbish - very basic and like a cheap supplement that costs you a fortune, taste crap and doesn't work... It reminded me of the time I bought Crushed Shrimp Shell Tablets or some horror for about £40 "Shed weight or your money back". You read the blurb, get hypnotised (i am sure that's what it does) and hand over your card, wait for 6 months for it to arrive and open it to find a plastic tub with "pills" stamped on it like a home made potion. This protein powder, if it is ever going to get off the ground and be bought, will need a packaging makeover. It also didn't have any nutrition information on the page, so I emailed the person selling it. He obviously doesn't know much as he sent this back:

Per 100g powder: Energy - 348cals, protein - 42g, carbs - 42g, Fat 3g.

That was all. I had explained that I needed an in depth nutritional analysis, but that's all I got. Not even a hello or thanks for asking. Its called MEALtime. So how much of it is sugar, I don't know. How many calories are in each shake I don't know as he's just put the Nutrition info for 100g of powder not how much per serving. Not useful. Usually there is 50g of powder to each shake, but sometimes less. So its impossible to know if this stuff is good or not, but it was tempting as it was only £13.99 a pot. But something I hadn't noticed is that there is no quantity on this listing either. I hadn't noticed that before. So you could be paying £14 for 100g, 500g or 4kg... who knows. So because its a bit too vague and smacks of quack... I didn't go for it.

As a little aside, it just goes to show how we make decisions about things doesn't it. Because the packaging was crud, I didn't like the look of it. I didn't actually think that I was swayed by this sort of thing. But then again, I didn't buy any protein powder before now because the packaging was scary with muscle men/women on all looking fierce. Hmmm interesting.

I went with USN Diet Fuel. Wow, what a title. I looked into this box of tricks and its by far the best nutrient ratio for keeping a bandit 1.) FULL 2.)Vitamin rich 3.) Energised 4.)Low fat/low carb/high protein and also doesn't rob you blind.

Per serving (50g) It has 180 calories, 25g of protein, 15 grams of total carbs and 1.5g of fat and also 5g dietary fibre which a lot of the others are low on. It also has a full spectrum of Vitamins and minerals. Comes in Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla and you can have 2 or 3 servings every day and its £17 for 1kg = 20 meals. That makes it about 85p per shake, or just about double the price of slimfast.

DH is still going to stick with Slimfast as he is completely happy on it, losing weight and able to control himself - the swine! I need something better and that will hopefully keep me topped up with protein as I am not a great meat or fish eater.

So that was yesterday. I am off to Tesco now to get a couple of shakes to see me through until my delivery comes tomorrow. I am really happy with myself and in a great place to have a good go at this. I feel that the window of opportunity has actually opened and I might be on track to finding my weightloss expedition at an end.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Hey hey feeling great!

Well, lots to report. Firstly, over the swine flu... well just about. Feel a bit fuggy around the face area and have intense nose peel from so much snout wiping (pun intended - so you need to laugh now!!), but other than that back to 98% health. Secondly I went to Londinium yesterday to the lovely Wendy and got 0.5ml put in my band. According to the scales there I have lost 5 pounds of muscle since June and gained 8 pounds of fat. Now that ain't good, but the fill has made a difference. For once I am NOT struggling to just keep on fluids. Normally I am ravenous and hope that slimfast will take the strain, but I invariably give out after a few hours and start tucking in. Well it took me about 30 minutes to drink my coffee and have a slimfast yesterday evening. Seeing as I had only had coffee and 1 slimfast ALL DAY yesterday, I did drink another slimfast and berocca just to get something into me before bed. Lastly, this morning was slimmingworld, and TB and I trudged off to the weighbridge. I nearly feel off the scales. I have lost 6 and a half pounds in a week! Thank you swine flu!!! I just hope I don't pile it on this week. I must admit that I am feeling very positive. During 'class' I had a coffee and I was full. I am having lunch now (slimfast) and a coffee and I am not hungry, but I must drink it so that I don't go getting hungry later. I need to make sure my body doesn't go strange on me, especially as have just got over the flu. But, I have restriction. I can tell when I have drunk something, and, although there will be swelling from the fill, I think it will make a significant difference to my portion sizes after coming off fluids. I am going to even give myself a little jolt and half my portion sizes and see how it goes.

So I am feeling hunky dory and positive about my band. If the band can help me control my portions, keep me from hunger and I follow slimmingworld's plan I cant help but shed fat by the bucket load. I am ready for this. BIG TIME.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Swine Flu...

Got it.

Don't I look pretty? Swollen glands have puffed my neck up a treat and my sore weeping eyes look like a 60yr olds, not to mention the flushed manky skin...

If you can possibly imagine, I actually feel worse than I look! I Feel like death. Can only eat mush and Ben & Jerry's Phish food. HEE HEE HEEEE.

No really... I feel like the goo at the bottom of the deepest darkest prehistoric swamp pit.


A.. Ah... Ahhh...CHOOOOOOO!

Sorry, just sneezed.

Ok food consumption NOT good this week. Have ingested vast quantities of ice creams, soup and milk. The scales are suprisingly positive, but lets not jump the gun.

sore throat, cold, headache, body ache, sweating, jaw and chronic ear ache, mouth that tastes of old pants... not great, not to mention I feel sick and have the squits too. YAY

love you all

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Back to Blighty

The holiday was amazing. Very relaxing and very hot. Got exceedingly tanned and did brave a bikini - not because have an awesome beach bod (yet!) but simply because us fatties are never alone on the beach - there is always someone rougher than you... so what the heck. Its much easier to go to the bog in a 2 piece as well. I hate peeling of a cold wet clammy swimsuit and bearing myself - even in a cubicle - but worst is getting the darn thing back on. It rucks up and feels horrible and I am NEVER doing that again.

Also, I am most amazingly proud of myself. I ate well in Crete and I shall give you a little snap shot of the food I ate in a bit. How much do you think I brought back with me from my holiday this year?

2006 12lbs
2007 7lbs
2008 5lbs
2009 ........ JUST 2 TINY POUNDS

That's just so awesome.. and to be honest... I doubt it is that much because I got the painters in on Sunday! So yesterday when I went to the weighbridge, I was feeling bloated and in full hormonal swing and had only gained 2 pounds after a 2 weeks ALL INCLUSIVE holiday in the sun!

How did I do it? Well I did actually kept thinking about what I was eating whilst I was on holiday. I didn't want to be back to 18 stone or anything horrific like that, so although everything was obviously cooked by them and I had no idea what was in the food, I was crafty. MWAHH HAA HAA

For breakfast each day I had 2 coffees, followed by Greek Yoghurt with sliced tinned peaches followed by about 10 olives. Occasionally I had a slice of bread and butter with a slice of cheese.

For lunch I always made myself drink a coffee and a glass of juice and then got myself a large salad with lettuce, olives, onion, cabbage, carrot, tomato, cucumber and Tsatsiki or some other creamy looking yoghurt based dip stuff. I always had french dressing or oil and vinegar. Then I would go back for main course. This was usually vegetarian, although I eat meat, but I just liked the veggie stuff. So could be a stuffed tomato or moussaka or whatever... but because of the large salad, meant I only had a very small portion.

Dinner was exactly the same as lunch, bu instead of having to drink coffee to warm my band up, I had the soup of the day. It was usually a watery clear style soup as opposed to a thick chunky one so this was great for getting things going.

Over the course of the 2 weeks I had puddings 3 times. Each time I had pudding I had Baklava. I only had it three times as they only did it twice in the hotel restaurant, and I chose it on our anniversary meal out too. I didn't fancy the mouse or cakes, and I don't particularly like ice cream so had that once simply to cool off. Had fresh fruit a couple of times I suppose.

Drink wise... they had wine and beer on tap (+spirits but we don't do them) and the wine was Ok, but a bit too 'home brew' for me, so although I did drink while I was away it was mostly beer... a couple of small glasses a day and then soft drinks and water.

TB asked if I had done a lot of swimming to counteract it, and the straight answer is no. I did get in the pool, but the kiddies one so that I could sit on the side and cool down, but read my book. I submerged myself once in the sea and swam about 1km around the point whilst snorkeling, but that was the only time.

So am very proud of myself, and am back on plan. I really want to use this band to help me, and its such a hard thing for me to get my head around. I doesn't seem to work with me as it does with other people. I can eat an awful lot of food, but what happens is that I never get hungry between meals, and I think as long as I make that connection and keep to strict three meals a day I will lose it. It has to be healthy eating too otherwise that doesn't work either.

I have bought some Black Cohosh tablets as these are supposed to help balance hormone shifts, and this is my dangerous patch. I feel really hormonal right now, and had a rash of spots that threw themselves over my lovely tanned face the moment we got back letting me know the curse was imminent. I hate that. When you are in your 30's you think this rubbish should be over by now. They spots have just cleared up by the time the next wave hits which is exceedingly depressing.

So black cohosh... lets hope you work.