Plateau #frustration

cape-town-456754_1920I’m stuck.  For the last 2 weeks, I haven’t shifted a single pound. I appear to have arrived at a plateau and the frustration is immense.

However carefully you manage your consumption of food and drink, however diligently you exercise, it happens eventually.  The plateau.  The damned, excruciating, bloody-well-not-fair, I-must-have-a-sluggish-colon, oh-not-again-come-on-you-can’t-be-serious, my-scales-must-be-broken… plateau.

The unfairness of it all.

I’ve given up added/refined sugar – totally. I’ve had no potatoes and no bread so far this year, and only a few teaspoons of rice – the wild, brown stuff. I’ve had one tiny weeny alcoholic drink since Christmas. I eat seaweed instead of potato chips. I munch my way through a forest of greenery every week, with no mayonnaise. And I never, ever snack between meals. And yet… And yet…

Okay, so maybe I’ve become a bit lax on one or two little things.  Are my tiny slivers of cheese still a maximum of 20g? Has my little knob of butter in a scrambled egg lunch got a little knobblier than it should?   Was it really very naughty to put a tablespoon of half-fat crème fraiche in a home-made, pure and clean tomato soup? Guilty, m’lud. If that’s all it takes, mea culpa.

But then there’s the exercise. I’ve been building this up and now, instead of a lunchtime 30 minutes, I’m getting an early morning 45-60 minutes (temperatures close to zero) under my belt before I start work, almost every day. I know that’s not a massive amount, but it’s more than ‘Government recommendations’ and it’s about as much as my still ample frame and overworked joints can regularly tolerate. To that, I add Pilates and an occasional half-hour swim. When I weigh a little less – when I can push past this persistent pesky plateau – I will up my game again.  I will… I will…

But in the meantime, it’s a real punch-in-the-gut that this amount of pavement pounding on chilly mornings, and the seismic changes I’ve made to my diet, aren’t proving sufficient to nudge my weight down a notch or two past that horrible horizontal line.

I know. Sooner or later my constitution will reawaken. I might kick-start it with a fast-day. Or perhaps it will be one of those days (a little more frequent at the moment than usual) when emotional disturbance intrudes – the kind of thing that puts your gut through the wringer – but, oh, you know, every cloud and all that.

Eventually… it will pass. Meantime, readers, avert your eyes whilst I throw sugar-free yogurt at the wall and curse my weighing scales.

Fat Girl Slim (eventually)

Breakfast at Denny's, January 2015. I know... I know...
Breakfast at Denny’s, January 2015. I know… I know…

These are my achievements in 2015:

  • I published my first novel
  • I kicked a lifelong sugar habit into touch
  • I have lost 35 surplus pounds (so far…)

The novel, Singled Out, came out in February and has sold modestly, as self-published novels are wont to do, but received some amazing reviews. Thank you, hugely, to all those readers who took the time and trouble to give their feedback so positively this year on Amazon and Goodreads.

Kicking the sugar habit began in September and was a gradual thing, no ‘cold turkey’ for me. But I’m confident I’ve now succeeded in eliminating all but the very occasional appearance of added sugar in one or two sneaky little places.  I’m going to blog on this in coming days because whether you’re overweight like I am or not, you should probably be consuming less sugar.

The serious attack on my surplus poundage also began in September, and at an average of just over 2lbs a week, I’m deliriously happy, quite beside myself, at this initial, steady and sustainable success. I’d chosen to believe for so long that as a middle-aged and largely sedentary woman, I was stuck with my wraparound flab for life. No so, it seems. But there is some distance yet to be travelled.

Regular readers will know I’ve been blogging for a while about the experience of writing fiction and navigating today’s publishing landscape. Then I started slipping in a few posts relating to Singled Out – the ups and downs of being single, Turkey, foodie matters and the psycho-side of life.

Now with my sights set on maintaining my new healthier lifestyle into 2016 and continuing to offload unwanted pounds, I’ll be blogging about my experience of turning around a lethargic, sugar-laden, poke-and-ping mindset and offering a few thoughts on the way the world at large is chewing over what it has branded “The Obesity Epidemic”.

When I sat down to think up a few topics, it took me about five minutes to get to 40. That surprised even me, especially since I’ve been struggling for months to think of what to write… about writing.

So this is not a blog about writing any more – at least for now. But I do hope you’ll stick with me through 2016 though, as it turns out I have a bit to say about the experience of developing positive addictions to healthy lifestyle habits, being overweight and losing it, and the whole horrible obesity debate.

I can’t be too triumphalist about it, because take a glance at the picture above (on holiday in Florida, a year ago and several months before the fun-and-games began) and you’ll realise that even 35lbs down, I still have a tonnage to deal with. But I’ve learnt some valuable lessons and changed some important things in the last four months; which means I can with reasonable confidence say that whilst this is neither the end, nor the beginning of the end, it is perhaps the end of the beginning.