Monday, 11 October 2010

Still on track

I've been managing one pound each week so far.

Weighed myself this morning: still on track. Six weeks, six pounds exactly.

Not on a diet. Mindful eating.

Start: 171 lb.
Today: 165 lb.


Saturday, 9 October 2010

Two books, one very useful chap

Another strand of notable help I've received during the last few weeks.

In browsing around for more help on plantar fasciitis, I came across this book:

As the reviews point out, the book is quite small in content for something relatively expensive. However, in terms of the simplicity of explanation and scientific backup, it's well worth it. I like Jim Johnson's style: treats you as an intelligent individual, while at the same time assuming you have minimum knowledge about the subject.

I've been doing the prescribed stretches for the last few weeks. While it certainly hasn't cured it, there is no doubt but that it helps considerably with the pain I usually have first thing in the morning, and who knows? - if I continue, it may in the long run ease matters.

I looked further into the books written by this chap. I found this:

Another pretty diddy little book (although less expensive); but it says all that needs to be said. Concise, intelligent, practical and sensible. There's little here I didn't know in some form already, but seeing it so clearly and rationally expressed is reassuring and encouraging. Put simply, it strips away all the nonsense put about by most 'diets' to the very simple matter: calories in and calories out, via controlled eating, sensible nutrition and achievable exercise, are the only possible routes to weight-loss. We might not like the fact that there is no magic wand, but that's the way it is.

Using some of the wise advice in both these little books, coupled with my sessions with Jason and the other related matters in my last post, there is no reason at all why I can't return my weight and shape to the way I would like it to be.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The results so far

And what difference has all this made?

30th August: weight 171 lb (12-3). BP 137/106. 42"-37"-44"*
6th October: weight 166 lb (11-12). BP 117/88. 42"-36.5"-43"*

* (bust-waist-hips)

Five pounds down. One pound each week. Feeling better. Quiet. Managing. Not panicking.

I still miss my running dreadfully. But this hasn't really, in the end, been about that. It's been about unpicking some truly ridiculous behaviours and self-image which have been with me for forty-seven years, and finally addressing them in a way that is appropriate, healthy and right for me.

I always knew the value of NLP and cognitive behavioural therapy. But I haven't experienced it in such a specific and powerful way before.

Thanks to Jason, Clare, my darling husband, Kim, and all the friends and fellow fitness enthusiasts that have continued to put up with me.

Stay with me.


I've been managing an average of two gym sessions each week, usually with Kim. However, I've also been walking, usually with my husband, round the village - we have four different routes. This usually happens about 3-4 times each week; each route is an average of 1.6 to 1.7 miles. Sometimes it's been grim weather, but occasionally we've been treated to some completely wonderful scenes around the Norfolk countryside, which lifts the spirits as well as the heartrate.

My foot still hurts. That's why I'm still not running. It's no more than mildly uncomfortable while I'm walking, but on my return it's generally unpleasant. But frankly, if it's going to hurt anyway (and it usually does), I might just as well get in whatever exercise I can.

... next post ...


So how am I doing? Over the last five weeks:
  • For several evenings in a row, my one glass of wine with my evening meal would be left half-drunk. My husband has now started pouring me a half-glass, and I'm quite happy with this. I can always have some more if I want it.
  • I'm eating much, much more slowly. Most of the time, eating at home, yes, I usually do clear my plate still; but it takes much longer. Sometimes I'll leave some and come back to it ten minutes later.
  • More than once in restaurants recently I have been faced with far more food than I want (or would have served myself) and have left the extra. [Just today, eating in a pub, I decided to treat myself to one of my favourites - an Eton Mess - and managed about three spoonfuls of the creamy concoction before I gave up and left it.]
  • I've attended three different social or networking events where cakes were provided, and I haven't had one. These aren't just ordinary cake, but extremely delicious looking home-baked cupcakes or chocolate brownies. Anyone who knows me will realise that this last, particularly, is enough to prompt the question "Are you quite alright?".
... next post ...


Jason mentioned on his website the technique of a 'virtual gastric band'. I knew instantly that this approach was not for me. I have real trouble coping with the idea of anybody having such an invasive surgical procedure except in cases of really desperate medical emergency; I would never countenance such a thing for somebody like myself, who is in no sense obese (although may psychologically feel that way at times). So to have hypnotherapy to make me think this procedure had been done ran counter to all my requirements for myself. What I wanted was a greater sense of strength and purpose for myself, my health, my lifestyle; a more realistic approach to who I am and who I could be.

Much to my relief, Jason completely understood this, and was perfectly happy to work with my particular view of the universe. We have had three sessions; my final one in the series is booked for this coming Saturday.

During this time, we've used a combination of hypnotherapy and NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) techniques to address some of the unwanted behaviours I've been struggling with for so long. The primary issues we've worked on have been
  • my use of food to represent sharing, giving, community
  • my inability to leave food & drink when I don't want any more
  • my view of my own body
The last one was particularly interesting. I realised, during one conversation, that my view of my physical body was precisely the same now - weighing around twelve stone - as it was when I was eighteen years old, weighing three stone less. Which is perfectly ridiculous. My self image was identical thirty years ago to what it is now: overweight-clown-make-'em-laugh-big-tits. I always wanted to be elegant, poised, glamorous. I wanted to be like Helen Mirren, and I felt more like Barbara Windsor.

... next post ...

I'm still here

I know it's been months since I wrote. That's because I had very little to report. Now; a little. But it is progress.

In that last couple of updates, last spring, I was taking comfort from the support of various friends, and that helped a lot. However, I didn't get any further with getting my head back into the right place; nor my body.

The steroid injection on my foot didn't have any lasting effect; maybe because (as I've read) the Plantar Fasciitis is more to do with damage than with inflammation, so it did no more good than an overdose of painkiller; maybe as a result of the onstage running around that I was doing in the farce I was acting in at the time (up and down stairs, across the stage, round the gallery - dear me. In heels. Not in trainers. Painful). Either way, we're now two years on from when it began, and I'm no better off than when it started.

I much enjoyed a yoga session with the beautiful Barbara Ives - and was planning to attend one of her classes; I then sustained a really nasty strain to my calf during the aforementioned play, and the class didn't happen. The rehearsals took up loads of time. We went on holiday. And so on, and so on.

We had a wonderful holiday in July/August, followed by a brief visit to some friends in the Midlands. Both wonderful experiences. However, the photographs of me on both occasions sent me back into the deepest state of panic.

OK, sitting next to one of my slimmest friends in the first photo wasn't a bright move; and the really short haircut in the second one was a bad mistake. But it wasn't good. I could have done without that many 'before' photos in one hit.

I returned from holiday at my heaviest ever: 12 stone 3. That's 171 lb. As is usually the case, took a few sessions back at the gym; panicked; tried cutting the food down; panicked some more.


I read a posting on FaceBook from a friend and local business colleague, Claire Bunton (who specialises in the appearance: she is an image consultant). Claire mentioned her recent very positive work on weight loss with a hypnotherapist: Jason Edwards. I read his website, including all the commentary about NLP techniques (which I've done some training in myself in the past). I was intrigued.

We had been lucky enough to have a small financial windfall over the summer (which paid for new glasses for my husband, among other things) and said husband was happy for me to invest a little more of it in this possibility. So off I went.

... next post ...