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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Coca Cola - I salute you!

Okay, I know I haven't been around much, thank you all for your well wishes. I'm going to Bangkok for Christmas and New Year, so this week has been a little hectic trying to get everything sorted. I will be back and (hopefully) in full force after the new year though.

I was chatting to a friend the other day about things I missed from home that signified the holidays for me, and one of the things that came up was the Coca Cola Christmas Jingle (holidaysarecomingholidaysarecoming - 'tis the season it's always the real thing!). That, in turn, got me thinking about some of their other adverts and how much I've enjoyed them. So, by the power invested in me by YouTube and the talented Coke marketing people, here they are:

The Christmas Advert:


The Magical Vending Machine Land:


I just love the little parade they give it at the end!

And finally, the GTA ad:
(If you don't know GTA, it's game in which you're trying to commit as many crimes, steal as many cars, pick up as many hookers, and run down as many people as possible. The main character of the ad is the one who usually does it all)



So how about you? What TV things do you love? remember that youtube is your friend. Give me things to procrastinate to at school tomorrow!

Just in case I don't get to update again, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Back in the Saddle

A couple of months ago I bought a little digital scale with the intention of doing something vaguely productive when it comes to my portion sizes. Turns out they don't work by osmosis. Come to think of it that may be why I'm not learning Japanese, despite the number of books on the subject I have in my apartment.

So today I finally cracked them open and started, you know, weighing stuff. I recently added a 'food of the day' tab to my sidebar to help keep me going, so I think I will start adding my measurements to that and see if it makes a difference. You see, I work on the somewhat flawed theory that portion size doesn't matter if I'm 'filling up on vegetables', and to give myself credit, for a while it didn't. It was better to eat more vegetables and not be hungry. Now though, I think it does. I think it might be making the difference between maintaining and losing.

Of course, I could just start exercising, but damn if you think I'm going to break my hatred for it that easily. I have some enforced exercise during the week (I walk 20 minutes to school and 20 minutes back with my laptop and textbooks on my back) and that's the way I intend to keep it until I get to a point where I have no other choice.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Burnout

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley


The mojo, it is gone.

It went a few weeks ago, but I didn't want to admit it, so I tried to distract you all with pictures. That could have gone on for some time (there is plenty of blog picture fodder here, believe me), but it would have done nothing to stop the growth of my ever-increasing ass.

Things are not good.

I got to the point where I was so sick of thinking about food. Not in a good or bad way, just having to think about it, period. Having it be such a big issue in my life. I rebelled completely, not only not eating healthily, but pushing myself to eat as much as possible of the worst things. I got stuck somewhere along the way, like part of me wanted to stop but I just couldn't face going back to analysing everything. I stopped checking blogs, fed up with filling my head with tidbits of other peoples plans and ways and means and I can't even manage my own eating in here - I don't want other people's too.

Somebody stop the carousel turning turning turning I want to get off.

I once said that sometimes I need time in the hole to appreciate things outside of it, and that's true. Every now and again a brief stint helps me to centre myself, to realise where I am and where I want to be. This time it's been less productive, I've gone past the hole and am walking a very fine precipice, and all that most of me wants to do is hurl myself over the edge, go home, lock the door, and be left to eat myself into oblivion for the rest of eternity.

Three weeks in and the tiniest shred of sanity still lurking in the back of my skull coaxed me a few steps from the ledge. So I sit here typing this, thinking of mice and men, and schemes agley, and mixing my metaphors trying to tell you something that I think is important, but I'm not sure what to say.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A viable alternative

I suppose I could just admit that this whole food malarky isn't working and just take up smoking instead:


I'd never know the difference, right?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My supermarket, an endless source of delight!

I've had a few pictures on my phone that I've been meaning to post so I figured I'd get them all up now.

Have I mentioned the giant fruit? Like, size-of-a-small-child's-head giant fruit? It seems to be the fresh produce of choice here. It's difficult for you to fully appreciate the scope of these gargantuan growths from my crappy cell phone pictures, but I'll try anyhow.



I have quite small hands and a fair size laptop.

This little baby is a sweet potato thing that was brought to a private lesson I teach by one of the students.


It was insanely purple, but tasted like potato and was a little bit... bacon-y? It had kind of a smokey-ness to it anyhow. It confused me a little at first because apparently it's called satsuma, which in England is a small orange/tangerine (called mikan in Japan). Delicious, but disconcerting due to my brain screaming at me that it should taste totally different every time I put a spoon of it in my mouth.

Next up, nothing says Christmas like フライドチキン (fried chicken)!


Actually, some one told me that people tend to eat fried chicken at Christmas here. New Year is the traditional family time, but Christmas was just sort of imported by companies here. KFC make a big deal of it I think? It's become a time to eat order cake and eat chicken with friends/significant others. There's Christmas music in stores and a little section of decorations and things, but I don't think many people really celebrate it though. I don't get time of work for it (well, I do because I booked it off for Thailand, but technically).

Hope every one's Thanksgiving went well (oh you Americans and your practice Christmas!).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ranting, oh the ranting.

I got a lovely comment from Megan on my last entry that left me wracked with guilt that I hadn't 'come clean' with you all a week ago.

Things have been very, very bad, and I'm a little depressed. Possibly (now I look at it) not in that order.

If any of you have lived abroad for an extended period of time, you'll know exactly where I am. That point where the honeymoon is over, and everything that seemed exciting and new and wonderful seems is just hard. Usually I try and keep non-food related Japan things in my other blog, but given where my head's at, it's all related.

Little things set me off. I walked to the store to get groceries and I couldn't get money out of the ATM even though it was open (Japanese ATMs are a rant I will save for my other blog but God...). Annoying, but no problem because I have my credit card. Half way through my shopping I remember that Japan, arguable the most technologically advanced country in the world today, seems to have some sort of objection to anything that isn't cash, which means that I'm going to have to ask if they accept cards. The store was really busy and I was going to have to ask one of the people at the cash register, which was painfully embarrassing because it meant I couldn't find a quiet corner to spit out my pseudo-pig-Japanese (and accompanying mime act). The closest I could manage to the sentence I needed to say was karedito karedo... ii desu ka? (credit card, is it ok?), which made me feel even worse because I've been in Japan almost 4 months and I can't string together a basic sentence? How fucking stupid must I be?

So I interrupt the woman at the cash register and it's worse than I imagine because she starts babbling at me and the only word I understand is genki (cash), and I'm hearing ka a lot which means she's asking me questions but I can't answer them, and eventually I have to be rude and just walk away from her else I'll burst into tears in front of the people waiting for her to get back to her job.

Eventually I call my friend, have a meltdown over the phone, get the proper sentence (Karedito karedo de haruii imasu ka Can I pay by credit card?) and manage to catch a kind loking older employee who is returning the baskets. After a smile and a karedito karedo ja nai from him, I abandon my cart in the corner and leave the store. Because of course, the large, chain-store, 24 hour supermarket doesn't accept cards. Of course, what was I thinking? AARRGH!

Food has been ridiculous. I have eaten myself to the point of sickness almost every night this week. A few days ago I was feeling especially bad because it was the first day of my period so feeling sick and over full felt even worse, and I actually had to stop talking to a friend on IM because the slightest mention of food was going to send me crawling to the bathroom.

On top of that the temperature dropped really quickly and I was completely unprepared in terms of clothes. Which led to me having to order things online because I'm too fat for Japan. I do realise that this is true for pretty much every westerner, but it's not good for my poor, already bruised ego.

This morning I woke up and the world had settled into a strange and uncertain calm, the same as you get after you've had a huge fight with someone and now that it's over you're left sort of circling each other warily, unsure of your reception.

I bought a nice cleansing face wash to help my recent (but given the circumstances not entirely unexpected) terrible skin. Bad skin always makes me feel so ugly, especially as I have trouble finding the right shades of make up here so I can't cover it. I am going to make special efforts to use it, and remember to take of my make up and moisturise before bed. My new coat arrived today so hopefully the walk to school won't be so miserable from now on. The Japanese also don't believe in insulating their houses, so it's been bitter cold in my apartment too. The walls shake a little when the wind blows hard, it's not reassuring. I've decided to focus on just heating one room of my apartment and then running very quickly to bed at night. The heater is dehydrating me so I'm going to try and drink more water. I need to clean the house again today, I always feel worse when I let it go to seed.

I have no idea what's going on in your blogs because I stopped checking them when I stopped updating. I'll check them after finish this novel/post.

I'm OK I suppose. I don't want to leave, and having lived abroad before I know this will pass. I'm just so tired of every little thing being so difficult.

So tired.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Que?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stomach says: MWAARRGH

Oh, things have not been good at Chez Me.

The scale was banished to the naughty corner last Thursday and hasn't seen the light of day since. This may be a sign that I'm not yet ready for children. I haven't weighed myself since, and I toying with the idea of just not weighing in tomorrow and abandoning the challenge. I'm not sure if that way lies madness or salvation. Yes I know that people swear by throwing out the devil's metal and glass plaything, but I've never been one of them. Ever.

On one hand I want to know what I weigh (and what damage I've wreaked, why is it that it takes weeks and weeks to lose a certain amount of weight but only a week to gain it? I'm calling bullshit right now), and on the other I do not at all.

It's a conundrum. I'm working on it.

Damn I want me some bakery. I am thisclose to just walking to the supermarket already.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A day in pictures

I have been meaning to clean out my junk/spare room and figure out something to do with it for a while. It just seemed like such a waste of space in a small apartment you know?

It was a daunting prospect; my predecessor had used it for storing suitcases/boxes and drying laundry, just as I have been since I got here. I got restless Friday night and decided to actually do something about it instead of just picturing it.

Before:


This is actually the picture my pred sent me before I got here, but trust me when I say that their isn't much difference between that and what I started with. I just swapped his junk for mine.

So I cleared everything out. Wow there was a lot of crap stuffed in that small space. Then I took the sofa out of my TV room and put it in there, I never use it anyway (I'm always in the chair at my computer table) and it was too heavy for the tatami flooring so it was leaving marks, along with the bookshelf out of my bedroom.

After:



I also set up my kotatsu in my (now empty) TV room! A kotatsu is a type of low table with a heater attached to the underside, and a blanket to keep the heat in. In cold weather you sit in it (and try not to fall asleep!). This is extremely useful as Japanese apartments seem to be make of paper and wood, which means there is no insulation.

The Kotatsu:


In continuing with the picture theme today, here is a clue as to how my eating has been since Thursday:

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dear Scale,

My hatred for you burns with the fire of a thousand suns

No Love

Me

(I was under 215 on saturday! UNDER 215! The bastard).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dear Scale,

I think you and I need to have a little chat. How are you?

I ask because you seem to be having a few mood swings recently and they're beginning to worry me a little bit. Is it your job? Are you bored of the tedium of day to day life? Is the abuse you're forced to endure getting you down? It's just that we were doing so well earlier this week, the days running hand in hand through a field of wildflowers, the nights nestled under a blanket watching old movies together, do you remember that Scale? Do you?

I'm trying to be here for you, but you have to remember that your actions can hurt people too. The inexplicable gaining of a pound yesterday morning, for example, surprised me. You can't just act out like that and not expect there to be consequences, those outbursts of yours can be hard to forget. I ate a few things I shouldn't have yesterday, but it's really difficult to explain to a classroom of teenagers why you won't join in the English club trick or treating with them without embarrassing yourself, and with your scathing retort still stinging my ears I may have gone further than I should. Still, we could have been grown ups about it. We could have accepted that things happened, apologized to each other, and let things rest there.

What was absolutely unnecessary was that number you spat out at me this morning. It was obscene - there could have been children present! I am aware that I didn't drink my water yesterday, did you really need to throw it back in my face? Does that make you feel big? No, seeing an explainable gain this time does not make it better.

It's obvious to me that we've both made some mistakes, and I'm going to give you today to think about what you've done. In return I agree to drink my water, and eat salad and fruits at some point during work. I'll weigh in tomorrow for the challenge, at which point I hope you will have come to your senses and gone back to the number we agreed on this weekend so that we can put this whole ugly episode behind us.

Love and kisses,

Me

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Panky o tabemasen!

I understand chocolate flavoured bread. Not all chocolate bread, the white sliced loaves with chocolate swirls that seem readily available here don't really appeal to me, but I get it as a concept. A chocolate croissant is delicious, a thing of beauty, and (did it not contain enough calories to make my gut explode) I would include them in my daily diet accompanied with a smug sense of self satisfaction.

In which case I'm not sure why the latest item on my 'Japan eats what?!?' list disturbs me so much, but it does. Because come on Japan:


Bread flavoured chocolate. Really Japan? Really?

It's not a new thing either I don't think, or rather, it's been here since I have (which admittedly isn't the longest time ever). For some reason switching it around like that unsettles me just a little. Enough that not even the advert with the lovely Mao Inoue and the scary monkey can completely sell me on it.


For those of you who are curious,'tabe' is the stem of the Japanese verb 'to eat', and 'masen' is the present/future negative form, basically meaning 'I will not eat'. I may go back through my posts and label the delicious things 'tabemasu' (I will eat). I have a feeling that if I look closely there will be a few too many things I have eaten. Hehe.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Baaa

I woke up to a rather indifferent scale this morning. Given how nice it was to me over the weekend I can only assume the poor dear needs a rest and a cup of cocoa to stop it's head spinning with the new numbers. I'm totally making it sound like I've lost more than I have, but they were new numbers, all.

A question to the sodium minded, how much is enough? A quick perusal of Google came up with some wildly different answers so I was wondering if you would all like to weigh in? I don't know if it makes a difference but I'm a 24 year old female.

I feel a bit of a sheep even being concerned about it. Providing I get my water in then I don't tend to bloat, and I don't add salt to anything. My good friends the stir fry sauces contain some, but not as much as I was assuming during the Great Bloat Fest '07 (I came to the conclusion that lack of water was to blame), and aside from that most my food tends to be fresh so there's very little prepackaged sodium worries. Everyone else seems terribly concerned though so I think it will be interesting to see how much I take in a day.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bobbing along

The scale showed me something nice this morning so now I've just got to focus and try and build on that. I'm not going to give a set number until next Wednesday's weigh in

I've said it a few times now but it's nice to finally see some movement. No, not movement, progress. I had so much time where I just went up and down the same few pounds, and then those months during The Big Move when I stayed constant or up a little. It's coming off slowly right now, but it's actually coming off instead of fluctuating. I was beginning to think this was it, despite everything, and I would just maintain forever.

Bangkok is quickly approaching, Ye Gods the excitement! I'm sorting out money right now, and how much I should save for spending/living versus how much I can send home to my English account for saving/credit card payment. Things are supposedly very cheap in Thailand so I don't think I'll need anywhere close to what I was going to take, which will mean I can send an extra $400 home.

I don't want to jinx it (turns around three times and spits) but I want to be close to 200 by the time I go. Under 200 would be amazing, but close would be fine. However, on the same note I want my clothes to fit because I don't have the time, money, or inclination to order new ones before I leave (oh noes! my wallet's too small for my fifties and my diamond heeled shoes are too tight!). Maybe I should just stop worrying about it and cross that bridge when I come to it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A hypothetical for you

or: Reasons I don't miss America

I get Hungry Girl alerts sent to my inbox, a throwback to when I lived in Florida. I quite enjoy reading them so I never bothered to cancel when I moved away. In my newsletter today were some nutritional info details from Chili's.

So, say you split an order of the new 'Texas Cheese Fries with Jalapeño-Ranch Dressing' with a friend. The starter was a little heavy so you follow it with a Chicken Cesar Salad, and then because you've gone out to eat, you treat yourself by sharing a piece of pie for dessert.

Easy to do right?

So you go home knowing that you haven't eaten perfectly but hey, you went to the gym this morning, and you made a pretty good entree choice, and you didn't have a dessert to yourself, so it can't be that bad.

Easy to do right?

So you toddle off to count up your points and are dumbfounded when the total comes up as 2845. Seriously you guys. 2845. You know why?

Because the nutritional stats for the new Texas Fries sharing appetizer (appetizer!) are dire. This is a direct quote from the newslatter:

PER SERVING (1 skillet): 2,070 calories, 160g fat, 3,730mg sodium, 73g carbs, 8g fiber, 85g protein -- POINTS® value 54.

If you follow the rest of my little scene then you add 1010 calories (76g of fat) for the salad, and an stonking 800 calories (39g fat) for just half a piece of chocolate chip pie.

Madness.

Imagine if you'd just gone for it and shared the appetizer, followed the Cajun Chicken Pasta, and had a Chocolate Molten Cake to yourself? 3805. On one meal. And darlings? There are worse places to eat than Chili's (*coughhackRubyTuesdayscough*).

It's times like this I'm glad we don't have those brands here. And that the family chain restaurants here put calorie counts next to the pictures. It's just so easy to do, you'd never think how many calories could be in these things.

Oh, and if you haven't signed up for the Hungry Girl alerts, do it. They regularly have 'swap-out' recipes to replace the massive calories of those fatty favourites we all know and love.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Challenge Weigh In

So it's November 1st and Challenge WI day, don't you just love it when things arrange themselves conveniently like that?

After some thought I have decided to label last week 'TOM' as I bounced up and... well, up, a lot that week so have no idea how much I actually weighed.

The final result this morning was 99kg. This isn't huge loss but I'll take it and run thankyouverymuch. A nice little treat for me is that finally get one of these snazzy graphics:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

With this being a new month my total loss for October was 5.28lbs (I've just realised I never put my month by month listing back up after I changed my layout. Hmmm, maybe I'll put that back up later).

So the good news is it's coming off. The bad news is it's coming off so slowly you may expect me to be under 200 sometime in 2009! Can't complain though, at least it's moving, which is more than it's done for many a moon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Things that break my brain: #3854275628

I didn't realise until I got to work, but in my rush to leave the house this morning (I woke up late again - bad teacher, no treat) I stupidly left my laptop power cable still plugged into the wall at home. It left me no recourse but to ration my computer time to conserve battery life, and (somewhat begrudgingly) embrace productivity and mark my books. Thankfully it's now lunch time, so I've allowed myself a shot of sweet, sweet cyberspace to return the sanity that abandoned me 40 essays in.

Lunch today consists of ham and cream cheese sandwiches on wholemeal bread, accompanied by a tuna salad (no mayo) and a strawberry yogurt, with a bottle of water. As far as konbini selections go (oh the tempting chocolate cream puffs and deep fried gyoza!) it could have been far worse.

Continuing with the 'let's break the authors will to live' theme, I just went upstairs to get something from the Language Lab, and saw a cockroach so big it should have been wearing a uniform and taking it's exams. I crept away, not wanting to make any sudden moves lest it panic and start flying.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shimmy 'n' shake

You know, it's impossible to stay sad with a good day of eating behind you, a non-inflated scale number, and The Fratellis queued up in iTunes. It just doesn't happen.

I'm a huge advocate of letting my iTunes help to dictate my mood. I put in an upbeat track or some good shout-y lyrics then nothing can stop me dancing around the living room with a smile. Thankfully my single status means I have no witnesses to this. In a similar vein if you ever just need a good cry there are some soul-rendering lyrics just a click away. I'm a huge lyrics person, reading the words can make me love a song even if I didn't care for the sound when I first heard it.

I've been going through my music files recently, re-listening to some of my old favourites that haven't seen the light of day for a while and remembering why I love them.

Some recommendations for you all: Duende, the afore-mentioned Fratellis, Ani Difranco's entire discography (I heart her lyrics), and my cheesy self indulgence for the moment - The Hairspray OST.

Go on, press the shuffle button and dance. No one's watching.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sometimes you've got to let the house fall

This a post I was hoping I wouldn't have to write.

'I did it. I'm not proud, and a little sick, but I did it'

I've been eating myself to near sickness for the last few days. I had a lot of fragments of posts floating around my head, wanting to write something invigorating and poignant to show that I get the Big Picture.

But no. Instead I'm looking through my posts from the last few days about how it's all just a moment, just a moment and that's all, and I feel a bit of a fraud.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Challenge

Ok, it's not a real weigh in this week because TOM has come to visit, so I'm going with 99.2, which is what I saw before my period gain. That means I've only lost about half a pound, but I will amend that as soon as I have the real number.

The final result

My ovaries and I, we compromised.

I bought a 100 calorie bag of Oreo mini bites instead of a full sized, double row pack, and they stop trying to kill me. At dinner I chose a beef/onion/peppers/rice bowl instead of my chicken/shrimp rice bowl, it was more calories but delicious. It only occurred to me as I was eating it that it's only the second time I've had red meat since coming to Japan.

So there you have it, not the best of days in terms of choices, but not the 6-7000 calories binge I had been planning last night.

Ugh, weigh in tomorrow for the challenge and TOM's still here so it's going to be up. I'm getting sick of posting gains, even if they're not 'real ones'.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A convoluted though process

I have an English thing at another school over in Watari tomorrow. They've arranged for a load of ALTs from all over Mie to come to this school for a day of special English activities. It sounds fun.

I am a tad concerned as to where my brain wanders when I think about it though. I have to pack a lunch and take it with me, which means I have to go to the supermarket tonight to get some stuff as I usually buy my lunch.

'Oooh, we could get some of those pastry things while we're there, they would make a good breakfast. Something quick to grab on the way out. They haven't been there the last few times we've gone grocery shopping but maybe they'd just sold out before we got there? Oh! Oh! and we could get some Oreos! You remember how good they tasted last time don't you? We ate the whole pack with some nice, cold, milk. You've been really good lately and your period must be due soon' - if only, I've been expecting it for the last 3 days and I'm getting antsy with it not showing up - 'so you have an excuse to binge. Everyone would understand'.

I'm going to dinner in Ise afterwards with my friend, so I'll be eating later than I usually would again, meaning I have to be careful. But I keep catching myself planning it; the how, the where, the clean up and what excuses I'll give. The feeling that I'm suspended in the air, frozen in the act of falling, and not sure whether I want to make a grab for the ledge or just go ahead and fall for a bit, and then pick myself back up again tomorrow.

And I would pick myself up tomorrow. Whether that's a reassurance or an excuse I'm not sure. I've got a craving for Oreos riding me so hard right now I can practically feel the crunch of the biscuit in my teeth. But maybe this is just a moment?

Writing that made me feel a little better. When I started writing this post I felt like it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. That by putting it into words I had committed it into being, but by not doing so I would have the added shame of trying to hide it. I was picturing myself writing my next entry, 'I did it. I'm not proud, and a little sick, but I did it', and remembering how nearly 3 weeks ago I did exactly what I'm planning on now. How it made me so sick afterwards.

I'm was feeling the guilt as if I've already done it, rationalising and self-flagellating in equal turns. It took me a good 10 minutes of sitting here, staring at this half finished post, to realise that I haven't actually done anything yet. That I don't actually have to do it. That the thought, even the intention, isn't enough to damn me. Thinking isn't the same as doing. Too often I trick myself with 'It's going to happen anyway so I may as well'.

Odd. The craving's gone.

It seems this blogging thing works. Maybe I just needed to wait the craving out, or maybe I needed to really define why I was reacting the way I was, but that scrabbling for grip panic seems to have abated. I've been writing this post for the best part of an hour but the ground feels a little more solid. Even if it meant taking a rabbit hole journey through my own meandering mental pathways.

I kind of want to delete this post so I don't have to think too much. I'll post it anyway, usually it's the less comfortable stuff that ends up being the most useful.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pictures!

I have yet to decide if this addition is a good or bad thing, but when I get closer to my goal I will probably be happy that I have photographic evidence.

In which the author probabaly jinxes herself.

Back down again today, obviously it was just a random fluctuation. It's funny because I always tell people not to worry about them, but when they happen to me I just can't follow my own advice. While I fluctuate a lot during the day, my mornings tend to be fairly stable, I stay the same or go down. I think the change may have been because I ate my main meal slightly later than I usually do (I'm trying to eat my biggest meal at lunch instead of dinner now, but I went to a restaurant with my friend the night before that). If I've binged then obviously I'll see a difference, but the day to day stuff doesn't tend to make such a noticeable jump. Luckily I haven't had to work 'the binge effect' into my daily calculations recently. I'm knocking every piece of wood I can find right now.

It's been a fairly good day, last weekend I just wanted to curl up in a ball on my bed. This weekend I am still sick but have managed to get a fair portion of the cleaning and grocery shopping done.

Speaking of groceries, my foray into the supermarket went quite well. I have huge problems with the last aisle of my grocery store because it smells divine. It contains the freshly fried section (chicken, fish, and a number of Japanese ingredients that I would probably find a lot less appetizing if I knew what they were), and my old nemesis the bakery. Luckily I had made a list before I left because I needed to buy so much (I was a step away from being Old Mother Hubbard) and I stuck to it. The only slight deviation was a pack of hot chocolate mix, but that was the half calorie stuff. For 35 cal a cup I think I'm fine.

So there you have it, a little look into my daily routine. And how has your day been?

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's all just a little bit of history repeating

I stepped on the scale this morning to see 100.4.

Huh?

My first thoughts were one of moderate self-loathing for going out to dinner last night, but I was very restrained and kept an eye on how many calories everything was. The thing I ordered was 564, which coupled with the other stuff I had eaten that day was totally fine. Then I saw that I also have a bit of a breakout on my chin, so after indulging in a quick but of mental arithmetic I realised I am on day 23 (I think?) so it may be my little red friend coming for a visit. Again. Bastard.

Anyway, I am going to try not to freak out for another couple of days in case he comes knocking.

I do, however, completely reserve the right to freak if he doesn't appear.

New Layout

or: I Never Want to Cut and Paste Again!

My gift to you Mir; I hope this is easier to read.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mikan, my love

Edit: Just need to add my Challenge WI. I finally saw a good result and am down to 99.5KG (218.9 lbs).

I is still sick, and have now added a hacking cough to my symptoms (nice huh?). It keeps me awake at night. That annoys me because I don't get an accurate scale reading in the morning when I haven't slept well, which is actually kind of pitiful because what should be annoying me is my being unable to stay awake at my desk in the staffroom, leading to a lot of students laughing at me as they try to return their composition books. Good to see where my priorities lie.

The over the counter medicines here aren't really up to much so I am going back to basics and fortifying my internal rebel alliance with concentrated shots of vitamin C. This makes the beginning of the Mikan season absolutely perfect timing!

I am so in love with these little satsumas right now. I just can't say enough good things about them. They're delicious, healthy, easy to peel, even easier to eat, due to the season now starting they are cheap and plentiful (well, relative to other fresh fruit here), and Doctor Who once saved the world with one!

My supermarket is filled with these gorgeous little beasts right now and I am taking advantage.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Where are you guys?

Seriously, my link list is sadly bereft of new posts, and has been for what I consider to be an unreasonable amount of time. If this goes on any longer I may have to do something drastic like.. you know.. actually mark the students English compositions or something, and that's just not going to lead anywhere good for anyone involved.

Okay. Aside from Lauren and Tully (who have passes for updating and being Japan, respectively) I say UPDATE DAMN YOU! The lack of fresh news on the smallest details of your life is leading me to consider studying Japanese in my spare time. THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN REDUCED TO.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

By the skin of my teeth

I saw 99.9.

It was a close close close thing. I weighed in at the lightest possible time of day and it changed to 100.0 several times before finally settling on 99.9. And I haven't been able to replicate it since I had my breakfast.

But still! I am of the happy!

I am going to use the next few days to strengthen my somewhat fragile grip on the 90s so that I can be sure of it for the next challenge WI.

Man, it's been so long since I saw a new number I was beginning to despair of ever seeing one. Do you know the last time I weighed below 220 was in... June? I think? Even then I only just made it under. That's a long ass time to be stuck in one decade of poundage. Long enough to send me running for the Oreos (and in fact, did send me running for them several times. Mmmm... Oreos...).

Don't freak out about this Zan. Don't spoil it for yourself.

Also, my scale now weighs me in increments of .1 kg so I get a more accurate reading Over 100 it can only weigh at every .2.

I'm a bit of a scale geek so that made me smile.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

At the risk of jinxing myself...

The scale showed 100.6 again this morning. It improved my mood slightly.

I am so ready to get under 100kg/220lbs already! I managed it very briefly before I got to Japan but it didn't stick and I've been moving up and down the same 5lbs for ages now. I just have to not screw it up for myself again, I've been here before.

I went to the supermarket and managed to come out with tuna, mussels, and cold medicine, instead of raiding the bakery and chocolate aisle. It was a close thing, I wandered said section of the supermarket for quite some time before tearing myself away.

It's not much, but you've got to take the good where you can find it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Grrr... *coughsniffhack*

I is sick.

And asthmatic. And insanely busy this week.

And I've gained weight.

The combination has made me cranky.

Also, gaining weight on the challenge? Not the way this is supposed to work.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Decisions

Now is the moment you decide to lose weight.

When you look back, you'll think of the time you went above 200 (250, 300, whatever number broke your brain), or of the time you couldn't fit into your favourite clothes, or your aeroplane seat. The time you stopped being able to ignore the white elephant in the corner. That was important, it was the moment you realised, but the decision is more than that. As a person I exist only in this moment. I breath, I live, I think, I choose. You choose.

The past cannot be changed; if your past included french fries then so be it.

The future is unset; in the oven does not mean in the mouth. In the mouth does not mean in the stomach.

There are moments when I've chosen the wrong path. I've turned to it and regretted it even before I took a step, but my mind shouts 'too late, too late', but it's not, it's not I promise. Don't let the weak moment become the weak day. Don't start again tomorrow. There's another moment right here, right now. It's never ever too late. If you've eaten the whole box of cookies, let this be the moment you don't open the ice-cream. If you're reading this having eaten nearly a whole pizza, let this be the moment you throw out the last slice. Guilt is so utterly pointless, the past cannot be changed.

But the future is unset. As a person I exist only in this moment. I breath, I live, I think, I choose.

There will be other moments, other me. The person I was in January, the person who had that moment of realisation, is not the person I am now. The person I am now is not the person who will read this post back to herself in five minutes time. Is not the person who will decide to have an orange before bed, or choose a fried egg sandwich instead. Is not the person making dinner tomorrow.

For this moment, the person I am is making the right decision. It is hard, but I only have to do it for this moment. The next me only has to do it for their moment. If one of us falls, it only has to be a moment.

Keep going. It only has to be for a moment.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Some excuses for you

I feel like I've been neglecting this blog a little, but it's been a busy week.

I didn't end up doing an official weigh in for the last challenge check in. I've been a little sick and it's making it really difficult to sleep, which is having all sorts of knock on effects. Either I'm so rushed because I've overslept I've had to run straight out the door to get to work on time, or I've slept so little that the scale won't give me an accurate reading anyhow. I was planning on just weighing in late, but it's gotten to the point where it's close enough to next WI day that I'll just leave it be. I'll post my weight next week whatever it may be, so don't take this as me quitting!

I don't know what is wrong with me at the moment, whether it's allergies or an actual cold type thing, but this is the first time I've had to use my inhaler for about 3 years so it's a bit strange. I'm leaning towards allergy because of the wheezy chest/never-ending sneezing combination, but medicating here is so terrible that even if I could find the right product it probably wouldn't be strong enough to make a difference. When I go to Bangkok I'm going to try and stock up.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A realisation

I was going to write 'a brainwave' but that implies intelligence rather than the extremely stupid thing I may have done.

So, everyone remember that recipe I posted with my last Challenge WI? It's a great dish and very healthy, but mine turned out badly because of (what I thought was) mad-salty, store-bought broth that gave it a weird (almost burning?) flavour.

I bought some kimich from the konbini at lunch today and it had exactly the same burn/fermented taste to it. In a flash I realised that the 'broth' I though I was buying was in actual fact kimchi pickling juice.

Yeah, I rock.

Whoops

Argh, where did the time go?

I overslept this morning so forgot to get my weigh in. Lest anyone get too excited, I'm fairly certain that I've gained (but I'm hoping not to go over my start weight). I'll weigh myself tomorrow morning regardless and find out.

Monday, October 01, 2007

No news is good news?

Sadly no, because when I start avoiding my blog it's a sure sign that things aren't going well.

There have been several cookie/chocolate incidents in the last few days. One full out binge night before last, one lesser one last night. During the day I've been absolutely fine and have eaten really well, but the night... the cruel, cruel night.

The upshot of this is that I now weigh 101.4 again. This is good and bad points because it means that even though I've gained I haven't gone above my challenge start weight, so maybe if I manage to be careful this weekend I'll be able to get back to 100.6? It would be nice not to post a gain on Wednesday. On the other hand, with September now being over (-4 lbs), it makes 5 months I've been swanning back and forth through the 220's. 5 months! It's fairly depressing to see how little I've achieved.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thank Goodness for that

When I ran into my house a few minutes ago to grab my laptop power cable, I quickly nipped to the loo. After all, never pass up the chance to use a western toilet here, the chance may not present itself again. Upon the discovery that the universe had decided that this was to be my 'special time', my first instinct was to praise whatever holy being is currently controlling said universe.

Long time readers of this blog will know that this is not the normal reaction to a monthly visit from my little red friend.

See, the thing is, this whole losing weight deal? Not so much at the moment. The days since weigh in have not been kind and I couldn't figure out why I couldn't just put down the cookie dough*. When I saw 103.something kilos on the scale this morning I may have shed a little tear.

But oh! Fate has smiled down upon me, and granted me the boon of this logical, temporary reason for gaining

I wish my body would just make a plan and stick to it so I wouldn't get caught unaware by this crap every time. "But then"-I hear it's tiny voice shouting-"You don't so why should we?"

Touché




*If you're wondering what the cookie dough was doing there to start with: A student and I exchange an English notebook so she can practice. She writes me a letter and I write one back. It's just started, and she was telling me about Japanese sweets. As a thank you for agreeing to help she made me some. In return I surprised her with some tiny people shaped cookies. It made her happy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Challenge WI 2 - 100.6 kg

Thankfully I got the scale moving on the weekend so I saw a small change. I was hoping to start the challenge with a big loss, but I'll take what I can.

It turns out the lack of movement was either too much sodium or not enough drinking. I'm actually leaning towards the latter as I didn't drink very much after my WI yesterday (I take my Tuesday morning reading as the 'official' one) and sadly my scale reflected that this morning. It's good in a way though because it means I have a reason, so I can stop beating myself up and take steps to prevent it.

Something went wrong with my washer yesterday, and my clothes came out with huge brown splodges all over them. Splodges being the technical term. Quite a few of tops were ruined, leaving me to swear and cry hysterically in alternating parts. You see, I'm screwed. I don't fit into anything in this country so I can't replace them. I've ordered some things online but they're going to take a few weeks to get here so until then I'm stuck in the my one remaining work top.

People are going to think I never wash.

Okay Zan, pull yourself together. I want to break 100kg so bad right now, I'm going to put my less than stellar day of eating behind me and really work for it.

Last thing, I'm challenging you all to give me nice things to eat! Write down your favourite recipe, than tag 3-5 (I know, some peoples links list aren't as long) people on your links list to do the same! Here's mine:

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 large carrot, in strips or chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped

Saute 5-6 mins.

Add Seasoning:

1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Saute 2-3 mins.

Add:

1-1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 can chopped tomatoes

Simmer 10-15mins.

Add:

1 can red kidney beans
1 medium chopped zucchini

Simmer 10-15 mins.

Really good with crusty bread or brown rice, or anything really. The spices make it go from kind of blah-but-ok veg to 'holy crap! I made this?!?'. It's also really easy to customise any way you like.

Longest post in the world. Sorry.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Such a beautiful disaster

I didn't occur to me until after I'd eaten 2 (well, OK, 3) snack-size milky way bars and 6 gourmet cheese and onion pringles that perhaps the trip to Ise foreign food store wasn't the smartest move I made today. Yeah, I'm a little slow on the uptake, and my brain was fogged with images of all the good stuff I was going to eat before I 'started again' tomorrow. My God I bought a lot of junk. Luckily I stubbed my toe on the scale as I walked past with the shopping bags and it let out an angry beep to let me know it was awake, bringing me back to my right mind.

The 2 (2! One white, one milk chocolate) toblerone bars have gone into the freezer, along with the rest of the bag of the milky ways. If I want them I will have the time it takes to defrost them to consider. The pringles have been hidden behind the top shelf cans in my kitchen. I shouldn't even buy pringles, when I eat too many they give me heartburn, and the salt will have me swelling Violet Beauregarde style.

I considered just throwing the whole lot out. But then I thought, what would that actually teach me? Usually I have to have a completely clear environment, no snack anywhere because I just can't resist. The problem is, how does that teach me control? It doesn't, it just removed my ability to indulge. This is no small thing, sometimes that's exactly what I need, but eventually I have to learn to be around these foods without losing my mind. To know that they're always going to be available so not to freak out, else every time I step outside my door I'll go into complete free-fall. I can't always control my environment but I can try and control myself despite it.

It may not work, but as long as I stay in the mentality of 'I can only stop when it's not there to start' isn't really going to let me progress.

It's not all doom and gloom, I bought some healthy stuff too. I bought some Weetabix (breakfast of champions!), and I finally found some red beans! I'm not sure if they're red kidney beans as the label is in Spanish, and they're dried so I have to soak them overnight, but I can start making chili and other vegetable dishes. I also found some light coconut milk to use in my Indian curries, and some make at home naan bread mix.

Nice.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I've obviously been slipped some happy pills

I've just had a great day. No, seriously, great. Considering how the day went I probably shouldn't be so happy about it, but I just had a fun time. I woke up this morning to see a loss (finally!), and then went and ruined it by eating a burger, fries, and chocolate cake for lunch.

Except I didn't ruin it. The burger/fries/cake combo was definitely not on the agenda when I woke up, but my friend wanted to take me to a Japanese burger place (Mos Burger) so off we went. The great thing about going to Mos instead of an American chain? Japanese food portions. Speaking realistically I had what the US would consider a kids portion. Also, they don't automatically salt their fries so I didn't take a huge step back after yesterday. I didn't compound the problem by deciding to just eat whatever today and start again tomorrow, and when I got home I wasn't hungry so I've had no dinner. I'm drinking water. So yeah, ate something bad for me. Jeans didn't automatically pop its buttons, world didn't stop spinning on it's axis, The End is not nigh.

We went to an amusement arcade after we had visited Futami shrine and got some pictures from a super advanced Japanese picture booth. You know the kind, go in with a friend and they'll put your picture on stickers with different backgrounds? Except this one let us choose 6 pictures and then go to another booth to graffiti them on a computer screen. If I get my hands on a scanner at any point I'll put them up. I usually hate all pictures of me, but today was like I could do no wrong. My friend got a nice one of us both but she hasn't had a chance to email it to me yet so I can't put it up for you just yet.

It's absurd, I just feel so... buoyant. It may not last, but it's just so good for now to look at me and think, even though I'm technically not at my low weight, even though I've got a long way to go, even though this feeling may not last past today, I love just being me.

I don't want to jinx this but...

Movement! Glorious, glorious movement!

Though I'm not sure if it was salt or not. It was definitely me retaining water, but now that I think of it I haven't been drinking much water at all. It's been really hot here so my water intake should have been higher than usual, but it's been lower. I'll have to experiment with my mystery sauce, see what it does to the scale reading.

I woke up this morning and the little dry patch by my nose was loads better, after one day! Obviously my body was crying out for a drink.

I feel cute today. Logically I know that the odd kilo or two will not effect how I look (at least, not at this weight), but I'm glad I stuck to eating right even when I was frustrated and seeing no change. It makes me feel good now.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Worth a try

Thank you to the commenter's on my last post. After considering your insight I am going to be really careful this weekend in terms of salt intake. I suspect that Mir may be right in blaming my beloved Mystery Sauce as a possible Trojan salt horse in my current eating. I really, really hope that it's not the culprit and I'm actually salt-licking in my sleep, because it's such an easy dish. That being said, I can't disprove it as I can't read the label, so we shall see.

And hey, if it works at least I'll have a reason at long last.

So, goals for the week are not to use the mystery sauces and to really up my water intake. I'm already working on the water and I plan to have chicken breast, sweet potato and cabbage for dinner.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Scale, you utter bastard

Scale remains unmoved, in any sense of the word, by my valiant efforts and perfect eating. I am baffled (aside from that old standby - Sod's Law) as to why number changes (in any direction!) have suddenly stopped.

I want to up my water intake. I drink a reasonable amount but with how hot it is here (compared with England) I'm thinking I may need more. The problem is (and this may be a little TMI for some of you, consider yourself warned) that my school doesn't have any western style toilets, they're all squatters.

I hate squatters. Oh the hate.

If I drink more then my trips to the bathroom increase, and I don't like that at all. I'm trying to drink more in the evening at home, but there's only so much you can get through in a limited time you know?

I also made a conscious effort to eat a yogurt for breakfast this morning. I don't usually have time (I make do with a mid-morning snack or an early lunch) and sometimes when I'm tired I feel a little sick when I first wake up, but everyone goes on about how important it is so I'm trying to have something little just to get my metabolism going.

Every school-day I am walking 15-20 minutes to school (and back again) carrying about 7 or 8 kg on my back (laptop, textbooks, and assorted junk).

I'm perfectly willing to accept no change if I know in my heart of hearts I haven't been sticking to the diet, but when I have been it just pisses me off. My body better be gearing up for nothing-nothing-BIG LOSS because if Scale doesn't start moving soon I'm going to punch him in the neck.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

To answer my own question...

Why isn't the scale moving? Because of the stupid, delicious Japanese food, that's why! Tonight I plan to make this:


This is マボドフ (mabodofu), it's a kind of spicy tofu dish with minced pork. Recipezaar has a listing for it here, though I will be taking the lazy route and making it from a packet sauce as I have flower arranging club tonight.

I am looking forward to it.

Edit: OMFG, it was nice. Like a party in my mouth. I'm happy because I've been trying to find ways to enjoy tofu as I find I don't like the taste as much plain, this will definitely be made again

Being stubborn is not an attractive trait

(I'm talking to you Scale!)

Scale is steadfast refusing to budge. I was like it said 'ohhhhh, you're on a challenge are you? A weekly weigh in you say? Right'.

*nails feet to the floor*

'Yeah, these numbers aren't going anywhere'

Logically speaking I know if I keep going and keep eating right then the scale will have to move eventually, I know that. I also know that I lost about a kilo right before I posted my first challenge weight, so that might be it for the week. But damn it I wanted to have a really nice number for the first weigh in.

I'm overreacting kids, don't worry. I keep thinking I've only got the weekend left when in fact today is Thursday not Friday, and I don't have to weigh in until Tuesday/Wednesday. I also tend to see results on the scale quite quickly when I'm doing everything right, so it's frustrating to see the same number on the scale three days in a row.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This is Bangkok calling

I'm going to Bangkok for New Year! Originally I wanted to go home, but prices will be quite high and I just can't face the 14 hour flight coupled with the inevitable bitch of a jet lag. My friend wanted to try Thailand and hotels.com had some really cheap rooms available. It's only a short flight so the prices aren't too high (even though they spike a little that close to holidays) and I get to try a new country! I want to visit more of Asia while I'm here, it's too expensive to do from the UK but really cheap from Japan! With the public holidays around that time it means that if we leave the 23rd then I only have to take 4 days of my nenkyuu (vacation time - I get 20 a year) and then fly back on the 1st.

Start the year as you intend to continue I suppose, remembering that all a good life requires is a passport and a corkscrew.

I'm hoping the new challenge will mean that I have managed to either get close to or under 200 before I go. I have a new digital camera and would love some pictures of me that I actually like to surprise my family with. I flirted briefly with 205 a couple of years ago but his divorce didn't come through, so we parted ways. I'm hoping this new thing will work out better...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Challenge WI 1 - The Beginning

It's Tuesday here in oh so (damned) sunny Matsusaka, which means that it's time for my first Challenge weigh in! Survey says: 101.4 kg (223.08lbs).

So. You all signed up for the challenge right? Right?

Today being Tuesday also means that I eat out for lunch and dinner. Lunch is no problem, a sandwich and a yogurt, but dinner will be had in a restaurant before class so wish me luck in making good choices.

(Edited to add goals)

I didn't realise I was supposed to add my goals for this challenge into my first post. Hmm, I had originally just seen this as a way to keep myself on track so I hadn't considered any solid outcome. The problem with having a set goal is the possibility of failing, but then if I never do anything because I'm scared to fail...

Okay, let's call my goal getting under 200lbs. I think that's completely doable in 4 months and not only would it make me tremendously happy, I would also be at the lowest weight of my adult life. Come to think of it I would be the lowest weight of quite a portion of my teenage life too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Looking Great Challenge 2008

Look what's going on over at Tales from the Scales! Excitement. I think I'm going to participate; I'm feeling a lot more in control of myself and it seems like a good way to keep on track. Although, with the time difference I have a feeling I will always be posting slightly early!

For those of you who can't be bothered to do the clicky clicky, here is the basic breakdown (further details on site):

What's the challenge?
Look Great in 2008 Challenge.
Don't wait for New Year's Resolutions, start the year out looking and feeling great!

When does it begin and end? Wednesday, September 19 - Tuesday, January 11th

Can I join at anytime? ABSOLUTELY.

What do I need to do? Every Tuesday - weigh yourself. If you have a blog, write about your losses, gains, successes, frustrations. Then come back to Tales from the Scales and sign Mr. Linky, linking back to your weekly blog post. We all need a little accountability, this is a great way to have it.

Do I have to weigh in every Tuesday? Weigh-in on whatever day works best for you. Just report to Tales from the Scales on Tuesday.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fighting tooth and claw

I've had a couple of good days (a rarity for me nowadays), but I've had to work damn hard to keep them that way. I've had to go back to basics and just clear the house of anything I shouldn't eat because it seems the force is not with me when it comes to resisting cravings. Let's focus on the good though.

That feeling that I'm falling, that I'm failing, is starting to dissipate. This weekend not only did I eat well, I averted the Jehovah's Witnesses (nicely, no goats were sacrificed in my bid to escape) which means I don't have to spend the next 2 years thinking of excuses to refuse their invitations, I cleaned my apartment properly (I don't care if I didn't want them here, if people are coming to my place it's going to be clean), I started making kanji flashcards to help me learn more Japanese, and I found the listings for upcoming Japanese dramas in English so I can start planning for the next TV season.

I stepped on the scale briefly today and it was down to 102.4. I have come to the conclusion that I hate working in kilos. It doesn't feel like I'm achieving as much even when I am and adding kilos to my weigh-in sidebar has screwed up the layout. I suppose I could just convert it to pounds but it doesn't give the same buzz you know? I think I'm going to take the kilo measurement off the stats but I have this faint suspicion that I will lose (or rather gain) something in the conversion.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dinner

I've just finished eating a lovely dinner. I buy a stir fry sauce from my supermarket, as I can't read the kanji I have no idea what it is, but I live off the stuff. So here you go (because pictures are always fun).

Cabbage, asparagus, thinly sliced pork, broccoli, spring onion:


Mystery sauce:


Chop up the asparagus and cook with a little olive oil in a hot pan until then soften. Add a little water to the bottom of the pan (it will begin to hiss/boil as soon as it touches the pan). Add the pieces of thinly sliced pork (the pork should be bacon thickness or thinner), you can either brown off the pork if you are using thicker pieces, or leave it and add the chopped cabbage straight away. After you've added the cabbage add a tiny bit more water and put the lid on the pan, the steam from the water will be trapped inside and help cook the veg through:


Once the veg is cooked to your likeness, add the mystery sauce. Before serving stir in the chopped spring onion. I've been trying to cut down on the white rice so I boiled the broccoli and served it on the side.

Tadaa:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'm being followed by a Jehovah’s witness

She came up and introduced herself when I was packing my bag in Okuwa the other day. A first I thought I had either met her before or she was a friend of my pred, as I couldn't account for her being so happy to see me. Turns out that no, she's a Jehovah’s witness and wants to visit. Religion not really being my bag I smile, give a vague answer when she asks if I live close, and say my goodbyes.

Today I'm walking home from school and she's walking with a friend and flags me down. I don't really want to talk to her so I smile, say hello and keep walking. They start to walk with me. We chat until I get home and I say 'sorry I have to go' and she says 'We want to visit you, Wednesday OK?'. I tell her I'm busy Wednesday night with English club (lie). At this point she's already asked me 'what god I have' and I've told her I don't believe in God. It seems to have made her and her friend more determined and they gave me some literature to read. The long and short of this is that they have refused to get the hint and are now coming to my house Saturday afternoon. Gah! I can't get rid of them! It seems the first one is local enough that I'm pretty much guaranteed to bump into her again (let's face it, I don't exactly blend in with the crowd) and they now know where I live.

This day sucks so hard.

Monday, September 10, 2007

It'll be all white on the night

September 10th and my scale still isn't budging. Last night I finally said 'fuck it' and hit the pastry counter of my supermarket. An hour later I was not feeling good. Also, my focus on the delicious pastry treat caused me to forget the toilet paper that I actually made the trip to the supermarket for, so now I'm on rationed peeing until I can go again tonight.

I am justly punished.

I have my suspicions that the lack of movement may be caused by the fact that (binge non withstanding) a large portion of my daily food now consists of white rice. They have it with pretty much every meal here, and it's so easy that I just stick it in the rice cooker when I get in and I'm sorted.

It's not technically bad for me I suppose, but I'll be interested to see if I notice any difference in the numbers if I cut it down a bit. I think the switch to a very carb heavy intake has screwed me around a bit.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Worker Bees

The school is abuzz with preparations for the school festival; predictions of a typhoon be dammed! There are a small army of students painting enormous banners and shoving food tickets for me to buy at every corner. They've got quite a racket going. Of course, all this excitement means no classes for me! It will change next week I think, but until then I will enjoy the freedom.

I went to the flower arranging club for the first time and they told me I should put a little display in with them at their stall. I was all 'Seriously? Did you see my arrangement?' but they remained determined so I am coming in early to make one with them.

I may have an IP phone waiting to be picked up. I will run home and negotiate with my post office vocab to see if we can hep each other out. If we come to an arrangement I will be Skype bound.

Monday, September 03, 2007

In which the author DOES repent.

I don't know how I get blindsided by this every time, but my little monthly visitor has come back to see me.

Maybe that's the reason one of the reasons I weighed in so heavy yesterday? Or is my wishful thinking progressing into full out delusions?

I couldn't stop eating yesterday. Given my little friend has come to stay I can now understand why, but seriously, if I ever eat anything fried ever again you have my permission to find a humane way to kill me. I was feeling sick you guys, no joke.

When I ran out of food and caught myself eyeing up the rice-like styrofoam packaging on my table I knew it was well past time to drink some water and go to bed.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

August WI

I lost a piffling amount this month, but that wasn't entirely unexpected. I actually got down to 100.8kg at one point after I arrived but it didn't stick. Given all the stuff I've been eating I'm not surprised. Let's call this month a new beginning shall we?

My clothes are fitting a little better, I think the walk to/from school everyday had definitely helped in that department.

I am currently hanging new curtains and trying to redecorate a little bit to try and make the hovel look a little less 'student flat'. Must dash!

Friday, August 31, 2007

In which the author does not repent

I am continuing my torrid affair with Japanese food.


This first one is me eating okanomiyaki. It's a kind of pancake thing where you order what you want in it (in this case pork and cabbage) and you get a bowl with the ingredients and batter mix in. You then cook it on the hot table in front of you. It's extremely good!


It never fails to impress me how beautifully the traditional food is presented here. You just look at it and think 'wow'. I'll try and go through what I remember. Going from the near right the white bowl was a dip, the red/black covered bowl is miso soup, a bowl of rice with dried fish seasoning, the whitish blue bowl with tiny wooden spoon is a smokey flavoured egg mixture (weird, but really nice), the blue bowl next to it a seaweed salad and next to that a glass of tea. The box behind had the main goodies. The bottom left compartment holds shrimp and vegetable tempura, the bowl was a kind of tofu in sauce I think? The top right (which sadly isn't very visible due to my crappy photo skillz) were pieces of really fresh raw fish with dipping sauce (I only recognised the tuna) and the top left had a cherry tomato, mushrooms and a little bit of octopus.

It was awesome.

Forget teaching, I'm just going to eat my way through Japan.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh Japan, you delicious terrifying country

Yesterday I ate a bag of crisps (chips) the size of my torso. And then felt (deservedly) sick. Usually I'm not a savoury snack kind of person, but there's a weird thing here that makes you buy anything western you see, as if it were coated in gold leaf and contained your salvation. I went to Nagoya to get a reentry permit put on my passport and bought a big bag's worth of western food from the foreign food store there. Nagoya is about an hour and a half away by train so given that I won't be making the trip very often I thought I'd stock up on a few days.

I then spent the last three days demolishing it. And the last two days paying the gastronomical price for my gluttony.

The thing is, food is good here. Or rather, generally speaking, the food I eat here tends to be quite good for me. I don't really like the chocolate here and the Japanese pallet doesn't run to the over sweet (curry doughnut* anyone? How about hot shrimp*?) which cuts out a lot of the big 'craving' foods for me. Though I've formed a new attachment to Hagen Daaz green tea flavoured ice-cream, they only sell it (and most other ice-cream) in single serving tubs. The fact that I don't ride a bike also means I do 40 minutes walking a day here (20 minutes to work, 20 back, with books and a laptop on my back in blistering heat) and I'm telling you nothing fells better afterwards than some chilled (though sadly, horribly expensive) fresh fruit out of the fridge, and an icy bottle of green tea.

Speaking of green tea, the Japanese people have yet to find a food they couldn't put green tea into. I'm trying to compile a list of everything I see to then find the strangest item. Current participants:

Green tea pocky
Green tea kitkat (really gross)
Green tea doughnut
Green tea belgium waffle
Green tea yoghurt
Green tea ice-cream

I will add to the list with latest sightings as and when is necessary.




*Oh, I only wish I was joking, Mister Donut you make me sad.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reconnected at long last

Hurray! I'm back. Internet has been installed in my apartment as of about half an hour ago so expect much more regular updates from now on. Speaking of being connected, have a look at the picture below and tell me if you notice anything absolutely awesome...

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm here!

Though my Internet is limited to school only at the moment.

I figured I'd give you all a quick run through of what's going on now, else I'll have to do a post with too much in it and end up not saying anything at all.

I feel very stupid here. Without any Japanese I don't seem to be able to function by myself for the most basic of things, but it's different because I can't just guess, or even look it up in the dictionary easily. It's quite a bit of money but I think I'm going to invest in an electronic dictionary, one that will let me write in the kanji and just have it spit the word back at me.

Japan has never met a food they couldn't add green tea to. Green tea flavoured pocky? Surprisingly delicious! Green tea flavoured kitkat? Not so much.



I was thisclose to buying green tea flavoured hagan daaz, but restrained myself at the last moment.

Other Japanese foods I have tried include mizu manju (水万寿) (a type of ball made of a sweet red filling, wrapped in a clear [and I'll admit somewhat suspicious looking] jelly goo type of mixture), and tako-yaki (たこ焼)(a piece of octopus wrapped in some type of white sauce with onion, then breaded into a ball and deep fried). Both were magically good (I know! It shocked me too!).


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Ack!

I'm leaving in less than 24 hours, have just got back from my mum's (who lives 3 hours away), haven't finished packing (well, I have, but I haven't finished the weigh-cry-unpack-repack-repeat portion of my evening), my baggage is overweight and so am I.

Oh, and I didn't weight in. Tough cookies kids - I could do it right now but I'm not. When I get a new scale sorted in Japan I'll get back to it, although my weights will be in kilo's which will screw up my table, sigh.

Doh, I wish I could just cut out the crap of the travel, baggage, flight, orientation thing and just be at my new apartment right now.

I'm not sure when I'll have Internet access again though folks. It depends how fast I can sort it at my new place, possibly a month or more.

I'll be back, I promise.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I don't understand....

I feel a bit of a fraud, writing in a diet blog when I haven't actually been dieting. I finish work tomorrow and fly next week and there are so many things I want to eat before I go because rather than just thinking I won't be able to eat them again (oh the mental pitfall of so many a diet!), I actually won't be able to, so I've pretty much been eating whatever looked good and was chocolate coated.

The other day I was really worried about what my weight must be. Having gained so much after London and finally being able to scrape the last of the regain away, the thought of being back to it - or worse, more! had me feeling sick and making deals with myself, God, and the devil.

The scale taunted me. It knew, it knew and I didn't, and I didn't want to but I really did and so no matter how many times I told myself 'right, that's it! I'm not weighing in. What if I'm back to 230? I would be crushed! Distraught! I would slip into a depression guaranteed to send all hope of getting back on track out the window and balloon me back up to 252 and beyond!' I just couldn't stay away. So I finally crept into the bathroom yesterday morning, just as the morning sky was lighting up, hoping to step on and off quickly enough that the scale didn't have a chance to fully wake up and realise what I was doing.

220.4.

... What?

I didn't realise the ninja-like stealth approach actually worked.

I look again, staying to the shadows while it's red numbers blink sleepily. No, I definitely read that right. Really?

It glances balefully into my corner as I sneak away, it's sleep clogged mind not alert enough to add any extra pounds.

I didn't tempt fate by checking again.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Just finished Harry Potter

Go buy it.

Right now.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

And the beat goes on

Sorry children, time seems to have run away with me again. I'm still here, still going, still not really seeing much of a difference on the scale. I really think it might be just because I'm stressing so much about it (with me leaving in two weeks) that it's just not coming off. I'm just going to keep going and try to not gain anything, even if it means I don't really lose much.

Sadly, that leaves me with not much to say. It's July 21st and I have no Harry Potter book, this makes me sad (please don't tell me what happens in the comments, I am going to try and get it tomorrow).

And how are you?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wheel of Death 2: Revenge of the WOD

The WOD is getting desperate, it knows I've just started my last fortnight at work and can smell the scent of my victory perfuming the air. After several close calls I've been forced to adapt my strategy and stop taking money to work. No change = no food, zero willpower necessary. My brain doesn't thank me for it but I think the rest of me will in the long run.

Other than that things are going alright I guess. I saw a customer walk past with a Taste the Difference Chocolate Gateaux (it deserves every one of those capital letters) today, and had to be physically restrained from doing a swan dive off the counter-top into it's general vicinity, but other than that I'm fine. I'm still hovering around 220 though. It seems to have been recruited by 242.2 without my knowing, the Gestapo of my war on food.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Oh Joy...

221 this morning and complete break out all over my face. I'm hoping this is a sign that TOM is coming to visit rather than anything else. (edit: yep, Aunty Flo turned up on my door-step about an hour ago)

I was sorting through a load of junk we got down from the attic and found a pair of my old jeans. They're a UK size 20 (US 18) and are a little tight, but do up and zip with no problems. I'm quite happy as the jeans I have now were getting big and I didn't want to spend money on a new pair.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Horror!

Wow, so, a little bit of an absence there, most due to the fact that I came back from London weighing in on Friday at 228.4! AGH!

Luckily after a few days of being back on track hardcore I am now at 222.6, but still, what a waste of the first third of the month.

I was kind of planning on just not blogging until I had gotten to back down to where I started, but then that seemed a little counter-productive. No one except me is expecting me to be perfect.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

And off I go again...

I'm getting the train to London at 6:27am (argh! that's in 4 hours!) for my pre-departure orientation so I won't be updating for a couple of days.

I'm not going to be watching my food intake too much while I'm there, but I'll be back to it when I return.

Talk (well, kinda) to everyone soon!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

June Weigh In

The final count was 220.0 exactly.

I should be happy with that but I find it quite disappointing. I saw 218 on the scale a few days ago and was hoping to scrape it down to 217 before today really. I did make my minimum goal that I had in my head last week, but only by the skin of my teeth.

I know, 8lbs is still 8lbs less then I had, but still. It didn't seem to give me that satisfying rush of achievement that I got with previous month's. Sigh.

I guess the answer is doing better next month so I've got more to be happy about. July will be my last weigh in in England so it's an important. I'm hoping to at least break 210.

Friday, June 29, 2007

If only life could be a paint by numbers

Storms and driving rain in Food Land today. I ate some chicken drumsticks that I got cheap from our hot food counter (257 cals according to fitday), a 'taste the difference' spaghetti bolognese (428) with added cheese (100), two double-takes (sort of a kit-kat rip off) (228).

I usually wouldn't do the obsessive count 'n' post, but it's just one of those days you know?

By numbers this is not a bad day; it's low even! But it's more than just numbers. It's this feeling of slipping slipping slipping, and scrabbling for an edge to hold yourself up by. It's not the calories, but the wasted calories. The chocolate and the cheese and the extra fat of the microwave spaghetti meal. The knowledge that the day could have been much better (fruit! veg! Where for art thou?).

The one saving grace was that I managed to avoid the bakery sweets and cookies that I wanted to buy when I was shopping earlier. I could feel the cravings starting and knew if I bought them I would be eating the whole box, not just one. Dad left this morning and I always have hard days when he's gone.

I got up this morning and the scale had gone up by 0.4 which is nothing. Everybody fluctuates, I know this, but it was the first time this week I have not woken up a lighter weight then when I went to sleep and it didn't feel good even though I knew it would go down tomorrow. Well, it would have, but given the quality of food today I doubt it now.

It's knowing that weigh in is the day after tomorrow and I was going to make a final push to see if I could get another pound down before then and have now probably stalled it.

It's having that gnawing, sinking feeling in your stomach that isn't hunger but is making you eat, and knowing that I will eat more before bed (though I will try to make it a bowl of shredded wheat and nothing else). It's not knowing what changed overnight to make me go from my last post to this so quickly.

It's trying to positive but just having one of those days, one of those days you know?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Universe's little gift to me

When I went for my medical a few weeks ago the doctor was checking all my basic details and it turns out I'm 5'5 not 5'4 as I previously thought. I intended to blog about this at the time but got distracted by shiny things. Now, while this may not seem particularly worthy of note, it means that according to the height/weight ratio chart of broken dreams I'm automatically that little bit less obese.

Awe. Some.

Obviously I have been going about this weight loss malarkey in completely the wrong way. I don't need to eat healthily and make the occasional attempt to exercise, I just need to find a way to become 6'6.

Monday, June 25, 2007

15:00 and all's well...

Hmm, so what have I been up to the last few days. The answer is 'not a lot' which is the reason for my lack of updates. My life seems to be quite lather/rinse/repeat at the moment.

Not that that's a bad thing. I have work later and as it's Monday it should be too busy (knock wood), the weight is moving in the right direction so I'm hoping I can keep it going to leave me in good stead for my rapidly approaching weigh in, and I spent my day off yesterday sitting in bed with my laptop and Animal Crossing on my DS.

There are worse ways to spend the weekend.

I should go downstairs and tidy a little as I haven't really left my room that much in the last couple of days.

*Looks at her Animal Crossing game*

I should.

Friday, June 22, 2007

And I'm feeling good.

There are always doubts creeping in and out. The mental tally of every calorie, carb, fat that works in the back of your mind, a gentle hum of white noise that I focus in and out on.

The scale hasn't moved for a few days, which logically I know is nothing strange, haven't been eating terribly, but I haven't been 100% super great either, and it didn't look like I was going to make my mental goal of under 220 by my June weigh in.

But you know what? Screw all that. I had fun shopping the other day and got some pretty stuff that I couldn't have fit into a couple of months ago, resisted the urge for leftover lasagna last night, and weighed in at a new low of 222.4 this morning. I'm 24, about to fulfil a dream of going to Japan, have complete control over what I'm going to eat next, and am getting healthier every day.

Life? Not all that bad right now.

I turned on my radio a few minutes ago to find that Fleetwood Mac would like me to know they agree with me. It's nice to stop wallowing in the mistakes and just focus on the good sometimes.

Yesterday's gone, Yesterday's gone.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I am so penniless right now.

I've just come back from Tesco of all places, and bought some really nice clothes. I need a load of teaching clothes (casual-business rather than full dress suit) for Japan but I'm really poor at the moment (WHY DID I BUY A NINTENDO DS YESTERDAY? My lack of self control extends to more than just food). I spent far too much money, about £80 I think, but for that I got two pairs of trousers, two tops, a cardigan, and a gorgeous dress (another one!). I wasn't going to get the dress but the sales girl was far too good at her job! We had a conversation at the checkout where she happened to mention that today was the last day in the dress promotion so it was 20% off, and that for every £30 I spent I got £6 off so the £40 dress actually ended up costing me £26.

Shopping seems exciting again. Not just shopping, but going into a regular store and having choice. Okay, I'm not a size 16 or anything, but it was nice not to just have 3 frumpy black, red or white tops hanging sad and neglected in the corner. If I get a chance I'll do a picture post for the tops. I'm tempted to try on my pink dress again, but I don't think it's going to fit yet so I'll just end up making myself feel bad after a nice night.

I was in a pasta mood today when I cooked dinner. The lasagna I made for dad was tempting but I restrained myself. I made a much healthier version of a pasta bake, and it was really tasty and very easy:

Boil some wholewheat pasta.
In a pan, mix a can of Campbell's condensed mushroom soup (undiluted), half a can of sweetcorn, a can of drained tuna, and some water (how thick you have the sauce is up to you, so water amounts differ). You can add any other veg in you like. Mix in the pasta, put it in a tray, top it with a little cheese and bake it in the oven until crunchy on top.

Niiice. I wish I'd got batteries for my camera so I could take a picture. I ate it with salad.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Aaaaaand breathe

Eating was much more restrained today, making me feel much better. This is due in part to the fact that I took one of my Ephedra pills (yes, I know, ephedra - boo, hiss, I'm going to the deepest ring of dieter hell). I started taking them a few months ago and they helped reign in my appetite, but then I kept my eating under control for a while and started cutting back on them, finally stopping completely.

With the wobbles I've had the last few days I thought I'd try and use them again to stop my snacky snacky impulses, but weirdly it made me get a bit shaky at work. Not 'feeling sick' shaky, or cold shivery, but that sort of nervous energy in the pit of your stomach that just seemed to come out as the shakes. It was odd because it never did that to me before.

The only reason I can think of is maybe that my caffeine intake is usually so low as I don't drink tea, coffee or soda, that a sudden burst was a bit of a shock to the poor old body (they're ephedra and caffeine pills). Hmm, something to ponder. I may see how I am without them tomorrow and make a decision from there.

The scale tonight showed me at just a smidgen (0.2 lbs) above my low weight last week, and as I generally weigh lighter int he morning I'm hoping this will translate to a new low tomorrow. With only 10 days of June left I was really hoping to punch a sizable hole through 220 before my WI at the end of the month (but shhhh! I don't want to jinx myself).

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bad kitty - no treat!

Not the best of weekends when it came to my food. Saturday saw me having an argument with a co-worker that had been a long time coming, and it made me angry. Even as I went upstairs and fed my money to the WOD (curses! it's gentle lulling away of all my suspicions have led me to an unexpected ambush!) I knew I was just doing it because I was just letting my anger control me. A voice in my head was telling me exactly that even as I stood there but I chose to drown it out with lemon meringue pie. I don't even have the satisfaction of blaming the WOD for it's cunning and generally underhand tactics, as I'm fairly convinced that with the way I was feeling it could have been full of dust and cat hair and I probably would have got a hoover and sucked it up.

It's been a while since I let that happen. The minor doughnut incident aside, anything I've had that hasn't been completely (I totally wrote com-PLATE-ly then, Freudian slip anyone?)on plan has been a conscious decision and I have enjoyed it, but this was just stuffing food in my mouth and hating it after. The rest of the weekend was tainted with a strong scent of 'well, if I've screwed up anyway I might as well eat this too', and Father's Day didn't help because it meant there were treats around I wouldn't usually eat for when temptation got the better of me. Left to my own devices I try to keep the house clear so if I have got massive cravings I'm only left with the choice of porridge, apple or banana for when I just can't resist.

Oh well, what's done is done. I don't (or at least, try not to) beat myself up for things like this because doing so has yet to turn back time or make me feel better. I haven't stepped on the scale as today is the last day of my period and I was going to wait until tomorrow, now I'm just going to hope that I didn't do too much damage to the progress I was making before.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just a quickie

My body continues it's quest to throw me off balance so I started my period yesterday. I thought I might be about to when I stepped onto he scale and saw a pound and a half gain overnight, thank goodness that was the reason. I'm staying off the sale until I finish so not to screw with my head. Two months ago TOM used to interfere with my monthly WI, then last month it was on the 18th and this month the 14th. I'm not sure what Body us thinking, but it's a big calendar jump.

This post was bought to you by the TMI foundation.

Quick question to all you brainiacs: What causes us to loose weight overnight? It must be something to do with sleep because on the nights I haven't slept, or only slept badly I don't really see a difference, but what actually causes it? Inquiring minds want to know!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tag (you're it!)

I was tagged by The Grumpy Chair Dieter in the Thinking Blogger's Tag Game! I'll run through the rules so I can count it as my exercise for the day.

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

So, here are my five finalists:

nOt Alone in this world. Lauren in an English teacher in Asia, which given my future plans gave us a link straight away. Her healthy eating journey as a member of OA allows me to see things from a different perspective, and she is a wonderful woman!

Chronicles of a Late Bloomer. This is one of those blogs I find myself nodding my head to almost every post because I can realte to so many things she writes.

Pride and Poundage. It's been quiet on this blog recently but I'm hoping Megan comes back into the fold soon, she's another teacher and a fellow Austen fan. Based on that sentence, if it weren't for the pesky fact that we were born on different continents to different mothers we could be twins.

Half of Me. Even though I'm sure lots of people have tagged her in this I just have to mention PQ. Laugh out loud funny, she recently crossed the threshold of losing half her bodyweight, is now only 20lbs from goal, and even has a book deal going!

The Adventures of Shrinking Girl. This is actually as really old link of mine from way back in 2003 when I last attempted to lose weight 'for real' (that I've just realised I didn't have on this site! Bad Zan!). She is also one of the very few from that time that still blog, and her dedication, the fact that she was willing to do the work even if it meant taking the slow road, is one of the things I love about her.