Day 21 (PP)

Today has felt much better all around; I haven’t been hungry at all, so I suspect that ketosis has kicked back in. I’m so glad that I received good advice from Kirsty at South African Dukan and also that I followed it! She suggested that I try a PP day to right myself after overeating on Day 17. It was brilliant advice, and I feel much more centred and focused now.

It’s been a good day. I had an excellent night the evening before, and had a nice fun day catching up with my husband. We spent the day walking and shopping, picking up new foods for lunch. I’m going to find it even harder to remember to eat lunch now as of tomorrow, as he won’t be around to remind me that he’s hungry. If I’m not feeling hungry, I just don’t think about it at all.

The plus side of my husband going back to work and me staying at home is that I’ll have more time to myself, and maybe I’ll have more opportunity to experiment in the kitchen, finding more exciting and interesting ways to eat the foods I’m allowed. It would  be nice to expand my repertoire a little; eating the same thing over and over is beginning to get old.

  • Breakfast: Oat bran porridge.
  • Lunch: Chicken tikka slices with fat free cream cheese.
  • Dinner: Baked chicken with cream cheese and dry-fried lamb leg steak with pepper and herbs.

My weight this morning was 257.5lbs, a nice step in the right direction and a total loss of 22.5lbs.

Day 20 (PP)

Further to my commitment to “buck my ideas up” I decided to spoil my PV/PP pattern and have a second PP day. I am so cross at myself for allowing my weight to jump back up that little bit that I want to refocus myself. I always find PP days the easiest, so I’m hoping that a mini-Attack Phase will set me back on the right track. I think I’ll do it for three or five days, however long it takes me to get right again.

Imagine my frustration to see another rise on the scales this morning. I believe that I ate well yesterday, although I didn’t get any exercise in (other than unpacking; I mean, I didn’t leave the apartment all day). I can’t think of another reason for the gain, so that is something I’m going to make a conscious effort to rectify now too – a definitive daily attempt at some form of exercise, even if it is just walking for half an hour.

I had a completely restless night last night, all due to our car breaking down while my husband was out with his friends. He was on his way home when the temperature gauge went off the scale, so he pulled over to let the car cool. It wouldn’t start again, and he had to call the AA to come and look at it. Ultimately the mechanic decided that the cooling tank (or something, I don’t know, I was supremely tired when hearing about it) was broken and needed replacing. He towed my husband home for which I’m very grateful – I was going a little bit nuts with worry about him after I had received his first phone call at 2am.

The extra sad part of the tale is that this car part needs replacing, and it needs doing quickly as my husband uses his car to visit clients, and he starts back on work on Monday. It’s just another bill which is unwanted and unwelcome when we’re haemorrhaging money at the moment. It’s about to get more painful for me as I have previously taken great pride in ‘earning my keep’ so to speak, and as of Monday, my husband will be earning whereas I won’t. I don’t like it.

I am trying very hard to find work, but it seems that in this market, work doesn’t want to find me. I’ve yet to receive one invitation to interview but I’ve received two outright rejections. Painful for the pride. And I suspect there will be more where they came from by the end.

My evening was spent very pleasurably in the company of new but good friends. I don’t get to see them very often which I something I intend to remedy, so it was lovely to be able to sit down and catch up. I walked there and back which was a total of about two and a quarter miles, so I think that covers my minimum exercise for the day.

I am in awe of the lady that I visited – she has five children, the youngest is still under a year old, and she has committed to running a local half-marathon in September. She trains daily, and although she hasn’t made it up to running yet she does (speed)walk a minimum of eight miles every single day. It’s incredible. I genuinely don’t know where she finds the time.

  • Breakfast: Oat bran porridge.
  • Lunch: Missed. (Obviously that protein-only lack of hunger is coming back…)
  • Dinner: Baked chicken breast with fat free cream cheese and two boiled eggs.

My weight this morning was 260lbs which is yet another increase (0.25lb) and a massive alarm bell to me. I do not want my weight to raise any more – not only did I not want to be back in the 260s ever again, but I definitely do not want to lose my 20lbs milestone.

My total weight loss so far is 20lbs.

Day 19 (PP)

Imagine my surprise to see a gain on the scales this morning! It did not come as a shock. I earned that, sadly.

My entire day was a frustration. I spent most of it fighting my way through what I thought were the last few boxes to be unpacked from our move (although I’ve discovered more boxes, so it’s still not done) and being continually thwarted by the size of our apartment. Our last rental property was significantly larger than this one – not only did we have an extra room, a dining room, but the other rooms were larger too. I’m struggling to get all of our belongings into it and set out nicely. In the old place, the dining room held not only our table and chairs but my husband’s office desk, my bookcases and our rocking horse.* Now the desk and horse are in our bedroom but all the rest have had to fit into our living room. It just doesn’t work.

* Yes, I know it’s strange for two grown ups with no children to have a rocking horse. It was my husband’s as a child, and we were given it by his grandmother for our future children. It was a not-so-subtle hint to get cracking that still hasn’t taken root, much to her disappointment.

I’ve tried everything I can think of to set this apartment out well, but it’s just not happening. I wish the rooms were just a couple of feet wider each, it would make such a difference.

I also spent part of the afternoon springtime planting. We have a small juliette balcony on the apartment, and I’ve filled and seeded two window boxes which are sitting on it soaking up the sunshine and the spring rain. Hopefully in a couple of months I’ll have a nice little crop of home grown veggies – carrots, little gem lettuce, spring onions, cress, thyme, sweet basil… yum! I’m mostly looking forward to having the basil and carrots. I’ve always wanted to grow my own carrots, I can’t explain why though.

My husband spent the evening out with friends, so I spent the evening in with Netflix, catching up on all of the TV that I’ve earned myself through achieving various goals so far.

  • Breakfast: Oat bran porridge.
  • Lunch: Chicken omelette.
  • Dinner: Chicken omelette.

My weight this morning, surprise surprise, was a second increase. I weighed 259.75lbs which means I was perrilously close to erasing my 20lb milestone and it was a clear signal to buck my ideas up. To date, my total weight loss is 20.25lbs.

Day 18 (PV)

I was right about the weight gain, but it was relatively small. I was dreading putting on a few pounds, but it was half a pound. I didn’t think that too awful or too difficult to rectify, but I will admit to being a little bit disappointed in myself for allowing it to happen. Still – I’ve had two and a half weeks of solid weight loss, losing a significant amount in total, and I was bound to have a blip at some point – at least it was a mini-blip and even though I had my worm day and couldn’t stop eating yesterday, I ate the right things.

For my own mental health I decided to write yesterday off as a mini-backwards step day, and chill out and just focus on working towards the future.

Maybe I chilled out a little bit too much though! My husband and I as a rule are not big drinkers. We both will have a glass now and again (probably not even once a month) when in a social situation and we will both occasionally (probably not twice a year) have a bigger night out where one or both of us gets roiling drunk with friends. We don’t tend to drink at home at all, but this night was different. We have two boxes of booze completely rammed with bottles that we’ve been given as gifts. Some of them are spirits – whisky, vodka, the standards – but most of them are champagne bottles that descended on us as weddings gifts.

For some reason I can’t explain this night we drank our way through five of them, between the two of us. My husband had the lion’s share but I still drank around two bottles entirely on my own. It was totally bizarre, because although we kept topping each other’s glasses up, we didn’t feel particularly drunk. Five bottles! I know it’s a lot but it was spectacularly unusual (and even more unusual because there was no sense of occasion to it, and we’re not frequent drinkers so there would normally be) and I know it’s not a regular thing.

We laughed about it at the time, and still laugh about it now. Five bottles of champagne between two people who ended the night still walking in straight lines. (And neither of us woke up ill either; how about that!)

Regardless of the lack of a poorly head, I knew that I would see another gain on the scales in the morning. It’s not possible to drink that many calories and not store a good whack of them. I realise that champagne is a relatively low-calorie drink though, so perhaps that’s the way forward for other times when I fancy a glass of something. I’ll just have to make sure it’s just a glass.

  • Breakfast: Oat bran porridge.
  • Lunch: ½ omelette with onions, mushrooms, peppers, chicken and bacon.
  • Dinner: ½ omelette with onions, mushrooms, peppers, chicken and bacon, and a fat free yoghurt.
  • Snacks: Cold, sliced chicken, fat free yoghurt.

My weight this morning, punishment for a day overeating, was 259.25lbs, a gain of half a pound and a total loss of 20.75lbs.

Day 17 (PP)

Today has been a terrible diet day. I’ve really over eaten, and the only solace for me is that I’ve at least stuck to the rules of the diet as far as possible. I have snacked all day long.

I have always been like this – some days it’s like I’ve got a worm and I just can’t eat enough. I don’t know what the reason behind it is, but it’s soul destroying to find that I still have to fight myself – and yesterday, I gave in two thirds of the way. I am pleased that I stayed on the protein train and didn’t sink my teeth into a fresh roll the way I was dying to, but I think that might have been the crux of the problem: I couldn’t eat what I wanted, so I ate everything else that I could.

Now I know that the diet has the theory that you can eat as much of the allowed foods as you want but I don’t think that’s a healthy attitude to have. I have been trying to manage portion control as well as restricting the foods I’m allowed. I’m not by any measure starving myself – my servings are generous, but not ridiculous. Today, they were ridiculous. Between my lunch and snacking I ate an entire 200g packet of chicken tikka.

At least it wasn’t cake. In the past it would’ve been.

I did manage to get a nice bit of exercise in through a nice 2.4mile walk to my local town where I had to visit the Jobcentre. Being unemployed is great fun.

  • Breakfast: Missed.
  • Lunch: Chicken tikka with two fat free yoghurts.
  • Dinner: Two lamb leg steaks with fat free cream cheese.
  • Snacks: Chicken tikka, two fat free yoghurts, chicken breast slices, thick slice of low fat cheese.

My weight this morning was 258.75lbs, which is a total loss of 21.25lbs since returning to England. I am fully expecting a weight gain tomorrow after stuffing myself today.

Day 16 (PV)

If only real life didn’t keep getting in the way, I would feel pretty successful at following the Dukan Diet so far. It’s not like all I want to do is sit still and muse on my eating habits, but it would be nice if I could make a decision to eat well (i.e., eat all three meals in a day, exactly as I had planned to) and stick to it without something annoying getting in the way.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then I had another all-over-the-place day, and didn’t get breakfast at all. My lunch was very late at around 3pm although my dinner went to plan.

I’m beginning to feel a little frustrated at the lack of variety in what I’m eating. I’m actually impressed that it’s taken so long. I’m eating the same meats over and over in the same ways, and the same vegetables too. I need to break out my recipe hunting skills soon and reinvent my menu to stop myself from eating outside of the plan just because of boredom. I have ever been a bored-so-I’ll-eat kind of girl; I wish I could crack it.

  • Breakfast: Missed.
  • Lunch: Salad leaves, cucumber, tomatoes and green pepper.
  • Chicken with fajita spice, onions, peppers and mushrooms. A dollop of fat free Greek yoghurt on the side.

My weight this morning was 260lbs on the nose, which means I’ve made it to a 20lb loss – and that’s something to celebrate! 20lbs is 7.14% of my entire body weight lost, and 20% of my Dukan Diet goal loss. In just over two weeks! Now that’s an achievement.

Day 15 (PP)

Honestly, finding myself on a Pure Protein day is a relief. It’s like coming home in the strangest of ways. I find it relaxing to know how limited I am. I know what my boundaries are and I don’t find it too difficult to stay within them. It’s peaceful.

I know that a lot of people complain about a lack of variety on the Dukan Diet, but truthfully I’m not sure why. I feel like there’s plenty to eat. I eat like a king, when I remember to.

  • Breakfast: Oat bran porridge.
  • Lunch: Scrambled egg, chicken breast slices and cream cheese.
  • Dinner: Bacon and tofu omelette.

My weight this morning was 260.25lbs, which is a 19.5lb loss in total. 20lbs down is so close I can smell it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow…

Day 14 (PV)

Well, in traditional style for me now, breakfast was a write-off. We didn’t wake up until gone 11am so there was little point in eating. Instead I had a massive, massive lunch at about two o’clock. We were planning on earlier but had some unexpected guests, so our day was off kilter quickly.

Although there was no running today (husband prescribed rest day between run days), there has been some other progress. I purchased a second hand bicycle, which I’m looking forward to using. I haven’t had a bike for years and I wish I could play on it immediately but it needs a little work. It needs some WD40 on the chain and brakes because they squeak like mad, the saddle needs lifting up a few inches and I need to get a helmet before I can ride it about. I get irate at people who ride bicycles on the pavement, so I will be a road rider – which means I need a skid lid. Safety first, and all of that. I should also get a bike lock, I suppose.

Depending on how tomorrow goes, I’d like to remedy all of that as soon as possible and get riding!

Otherwise, today has been a rather pointless day. I experimented with an old slow cooker that I salvaged from the depths of my father’s stores and made a lamb stew, but it definitely needs work – I have to find a way to thicken up the sauce as it was very, very watery tonight. Still. It was tasty!

  • Breakfast: Missed.
  • Lunch: Sliced chicken breast, two boiled eggs, spoon of soft cheese, salad leaves, cucumber, red pepper and tomatoes.
  • Dinner: Lamb stew with carrots, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes.

My weight this morning was 161.25lbs, demonstrating not only a 18.75lb loss from returning to England but also a slow down in my weight loss – these vegetables are taking an effect now.

Day 13 (PP)

Today has been a milestone day. If you haven’t read my Mission Statement, one of the tasks I’ve set myself – beyond just commiting to the Dukan diet – is to learn how to run. This is the only aspect of my personal challenge that my husband was initially happy with, and he very kindly (and perhaps short sightedly) agreed to help me pull a mile out of the bag.

The plan has been from the start that he would run with me, giving me guidance on what and how to do better as we go, providing support, enthusiasm and motivation. Well he hit the target today!

Last night, he set out all of his running gear and asked me if I wanted to join him. There was no pressure, just a simple question. I was frazzled at first because although he helped me to buy certain pieces of kit (running shoes, running socks, jogging pants to wear), with the drama of moving house and trying to settle in, I didn’t know where most of these things were, and I knew I had to take the pants up or risk breaking my neck by tripping on the overlong legs.

He went to bed while I scrabbled around trying to find my things, and I set to taking up the leg length. It took me about half an hour to do them by hand (would have been so much faster if I’d been able to use my sewing machine) and by the time I went back to tell him I would come with him, he was asleep. I was so disappointed.

He was only faking though and as I got back into bed, he prompted me with “Well?”

And so we made our arrangements. The alarm was set for 5.30am as he likes to get his run in early, and I am trying to use him to help me but not in a way that would inconvenience him. When the bell rang, we got straight up and ready for our run. It’s blisteringly cold out here at the moment, and he insisted I wear gloves – something I was very grateful for later.

We’d mapped out a 1 mile (actually 1.15mile) route before we moved here and as that is my initial goal – to complete a mile without having to slow to a walk to catch my breath – that is what we ran.

Our start was slow and easy and I managed to run at a steady pace for what felt like a long stint. It was almost half a mile (actually 0.4mile) which will seem so paltry to some people but is a real achievement for me. I worked hard to get that far in one go! I hope that one day I can look back on that statement and snort with derision at myself, but for now I’m proud of that. I walked for a short distance (0.05mile) and then started running again, and it was harder than before as I’d not quite recovered my breath completely.

I covered the whole 1.15mile having four short “rest” stops where I slowed to a walk and tried to catch my breath. As soon as I was able to have enough control over my breathing to answer one of my husband’s questions, he encouraged me to start running again. I would have something in my mind like “I’ll just walk to the next lamppost and run from there” but he always encouraged me to run before we got to the point I’d picked for myself – and I’m really grateful. I want to be pushed.

My husband was very kind and supportive, he would tell me that I was doing well and to calm down my breathing when we passed people walking dogs or cars driving past (I felt very self conscious about being seen in such an out of breath state) and everything he said was just on the nail and perfect. He made me feel like I achieved something when at the time I didn’t initially feel like that. I will admit that I never thought I would be able to just step out and run a mile in one go – of course not, I’m ridiculously unfit – but I had given myself a false sense of hope after having that 0.4mile start section that maybe I’d be able to do it with just two rest breaks and I was disappointed that I needed four.

Now with a little readjustment from him, I see it as just another opportunity for improvement. Maybe next time we run I can either make it in less rest stops, or I can get further between them all. We didn’t time today (well I certainly didn’t) as for the moment I want to focus just on distance and getting it done without having to slow down, I don’t want to start worrying about my pace too. At a guess I would say we were out for around twenty minutes, maybe a bit less. I don’t know.

The final thing he asked of me was to sprint home from the end of our block to our apartment. I told him I couldn’t do it, and he accepted that and shortened the distance to from the last car before our door to our door (about 15 meters). So I stretched my legs out and ran as fast as I could for that tiny distance and it felt really good. I felt more natural running with long strides than with a short jog, but I know I couldn’t do that for much longer than I did.

Next time we go out, I’m going to do it for him as he asked me to – from the end of the block. It’s about 100 meters all in, and I’ll give it every last drop I’ve got even if it means I fail and I walk in the last little bit – I’m going to try my hardest. I wish I had done it today, but that’s just something else for me to work on improving now.

When we got to the door, he told me that he was proud of me and that I’d done really well. I didn’t feel that way at the time, but I’m so happy that he said those words now as it gives me encouragement to keep trying. Not just for me, but for him too. I want him to be proud of me. He then went off and did the little circuit again at his own speed to bring his run to 2 miles.

I know it was my first go and that there’s a long way on this running journey until I’m in a position where I can just step out and run, but I feel like a success already. I’m rather proud of myself, too. I’m going to claim my prize for my first effort very quickly.

Food wise today has been fine-ish. I skipped breakfast deliberately. After the massive dinner I was served yesterday, I just wasn’t interested in food. I felt bloated and not at all hungry. I couldn’t face eating even a little yoghurt pot. The rest of the day has gone swimmingly, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve bought new bathroom scales now so can continue to monitor my weight loss as it comes.

  • Breakfast: Missed.
  • Lunch: Dry-fried bacon with all of the fat cut off, boiled egg, chicken slices and mint flavoured cottage cheese.
  • Dinner: Dry-fried lean pork loin with a herby fat free Greek yoghurt dressing, and then a flavoured fat free yoghurt as dessert.

My weight just before lunch time today was 161.5lbs, showing an 18.5lb loss since returning to England.

Day 12 (PV)

Today began successfully enough with the good choice of oat bran porridge for breakfast. I’m still not a big fan, and I find that I’m not always getting my daily allotted amount. I don’t feel too bad about that now that vegetables have been reintroduced to my diet.

Lunch was blown away on the breeze as yet again thanks to the absence of hunger pangs and my constant state of busyness, I forgot to eat. Today was a job hunting day. While I should’ve been tucking in to something lovely for lunch, I was waiting impatiently in a recruitment agent’s office for a meeting she was twenty-five minutes late for. The appointment ran much longer than anticipated and by the time I got out of the city and home I had barely enough time to change into more casual attire for our evening plans.

This evening we spent with friends we hadn’t seen since leaving England nine months ago. They’re a great family and we missed them dearly.

The lady of the family invited us to dinner and warned us that she had a surprise planned. I felt it was only fair to warn her of my diet changes and offer to eat before coming. She would hear nothing of it and planned around my needs which was truly wonderful of her.

They’d planned a surprise Christmas reenactment for us. We spent our Christmas in Bangkok in Thailand, thousands of miles away from our families, friends and home and our Christmas dinner came from McDonalds. Really.

They’d put up a Christmas tree and decorated the table with Christmas crackers along with the lady preparing a full Christmas dinner for us and her family. She’d made allowances for me and conscientiously only served me meat and vegetables and didn’t make a big deal of it at the table or try to suggest that I could try just a little of the roast potatoes, gravy or Yorkshire puddings. She was fantastic.

She’d even gone to the effort of making me a carb and fruit free desert that I never got around to eating as I was so stuffed. I’m a little curious to know what it would have been!

I made a little slip up however, and it was out of ignorance rather than choice. The man of the family offered me a drink, fruit juice, and I assumed he meant flavoured cordial which is what we’d drink at home. He brought out fresh orange juice complete with pulp and the lady commented that she thought I wasn’t eating fruit and that’s why she’d homemade me something special for desert. I felt guilty for potentially upsetting her but couldn’t ask the man to take the drink away because it wasn’t what I thought, could I. They’d already made so many adjustments for me.

All in all it was an amazing meal, surprisingly full of festive feel. Their two children and their excitement to give us Christmas presents, help us unwrap them and receive gifts of their own from our travels was really infectious, and we all had a great night. So glad we went.

– Breakfast: Oat bran porridge.
– Lunch: Missed.
– Dinner: Roast turkey with turnip, sprouts, parsnip, pigs in blankets, mint sauce (weird but nice), carrots, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage.

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I am still without the use of a means to weigh myself and have no idea what my current status is.