The Contortionist


Weight Loss: +3lb. Total loss: 12.4lb.  ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG….

Eleven years ago, in 2003, I lived in Australia for a year.  I spent the majority of the time in Perth, WA, but I also went to Sydney for a couple of weeks when my Dad came over for a visit, and we spent a lot of time exploring the beautiful city.  One day, when we were wandering along Circular Quay, heading towards the famous Opera House, we came upon a street artist, who was clearly entertaining the crowd.  A lot of people had started to gather, so we joined them to see what was happening.  I can’t remember the guys name, but he was very funny.  Soon, a massive crowd surrounded him as he told lots of jokes whilst performing all manner of precarious tricks.  Finally, he got to the finale: he was going to squeeze his body through a string-less tennis racket.  He wasn’t a big chap by any means, but that racket looked pretty small, and very rigid.  In amongst a lot of ‘ooohs and aaaahs’, and continued encouragement, he finally did it, and stepped out of the racket to rapturous applause.

So, why have I regaled you with this happy story?  Well, at that time, little did I know that a mere 11 years later I too would need to perform such a daring act of contortion having purchased my first ever racerback swimsuit.  A racerback is a type of sports top/swimsuit that looks like a T- or X-shape at the back, so there are no straps that impede movement of the shoulder blades during sport.  Or something like that.  In reality, it looks great when it is on, but getting into such a garment is another story.  Squeezing your entire, heaving body through a space the size of a melon without garrotting yourself, stopping circulation to any one of your limbs or making your elbow bend in a way which would result in a bone-crunchingly horrific snap is time-consuming at best, and nearly heart-attack inducing at worst.  I emerged from this process with a heart-rate of around 200, but all my limbs intact.  Just.  Getting out of it is equally soul-destroying, I hasten to add.  How I managed it without ripping the swimsuit (or myself) to shreds is one of life’s little mysteries.

Anyway, having beaten the swimsuit, I turned up at the pool triumphant.  My racerback suit was sure to make me faster in the pool.  Why else would women put themselves though such trauma?  Well, I can tell you now that the trauma didn’t stop there.  After needing to stop for a rest after ever 50m, for a time almost equivalent to that it took me to swim the bloody 50m sapped my confidence, shall I say.  A fish I am not.  Okay, so I’ve not been doing any regular (read: any) swimming since my IM attempt in 2011, but I didn’t think I’d be that bad.  I managed 500m before giving up in search of some much-needed oxygen, which seemed to be severely lacking during my swim.

I know I’ve got quite a while until the half IM, but my poor performance gave me a bit a of a shock.  That and putting on weight which is the complete opposite of where I want to be, has made me feel a bit rubbish.  However, wallowing in self-pity isn’t going to help one little bit.  So onwards and upwards.  I’m *hoping* the weight gain is in part due to the fact I’m a bit PMT-ish (sorry boys), which always saps my energy too, and may explain some of the horror of the swim.  However, a work night out and a bucketful of vino is probably more to blame, because if I so much as sniff booze I pile on weight these days.

So back to a booze-free life for a good while which is fine, because I don’t really miss it.  I’ve been walking to work lately too, just to get myself back into the habit of doing more regular exercise.  I’ve not been running recently, but I just feel so big and bloated I want to lose a couple of kilos before I start pounding the streets, because my joints just aren’t up to it right now.  I’ll start tracking my food too, as I find that helps a lot, and keeps me on the straight-and-narrow.  I’ve got a training plan in mind now for the Outlaw half, and also another plan to get me to the start of that, but I’ll write about that the next time.  Priority one is getting the weight moving in the right direction again, after all, it may make squeezing into that bloody swimsuit a little bit easier…..

Off to a good start…..





Well after last week’s ‘ARGGGG I’M TOO FAT!!!!’ post, I promised I’d report back on how this first week of ‘trying to be better’ has turned out.  Not too badly, as it happens.

I’ve decided a good day to weigh myself is Thursday.  Monday weigh-ins suck because, well, it’s Monday.  Need I say more?  A midweek weigh-in didn’t feel quite right either, so I plumped for Thursday – beyond hump day (no, not that kind, sadly…) but before the excesses of the weekend kick in.  Okay, so weekend excesses shouldn’t really be part of the plan anymore, and I’ll endeavour that they are not, but I think out of the whole week, weekends are more likely to be days where a treat is allowed.

So, what was the result?  Well, so far I’ve lost 4.4lbs, hurrah!!  To be fair, that is for more than a week, because I think my last official weigh in was last Monday, rather than Thursday, but no matter, I’ll take it.  What pleases me more than anything is that I’ve not been eating ‘perfectly’, and anyway, what does that mean?

Well, I have a few thoughts /I’ve made a few decisions  in terms of my ‘diet’ and here they are, in no particular order:

1. I’m not on a diet, this is a new way of life;

2. No more ‘I’m never eating anything sugary EVER AGAIN’ (to be shouted triumphantly from a rooftop with a smug look upon one’s face).  Yeah, like that ever works.  I’ve only said that about, oh, a million times in the past, and i’m still beach-ball shaped.  Coincidence?  No.  So I’ve had the odd sweet-treat this week (hence the ‘not been eating perfectly’ comment above), but on a vastly reduced scale from my usual diet.  Knowing I can have it, if I REALLY want it, means I’ve not been so fussed about having it;

3. Drink lots of water;

4. Think of food in terms of what will help me achieve my goal, what will delay my goal (thanks for that one Rob!);

5. Plan out my food for the day / week.  I do SO much better if I think about every eventuality in a day – when am I most likely to want to gorge myself on sugary shit (mid-afternoon).  What can I do to avoid that (bring something else to eat);

6. Don’t keep temptations around;

7. Wait for a while after I’ve stopped eating to see if I really am still hungry.  Guess what?  I’m not;

8. Accept help from anywhere and everywhere.  I’ve had so many lovely messages and chats with pals offering support and advice, it makes a massive difference.  I must admit I used to think that it would be more of an achievement if I did this all on my own, but actually, who cares.  As my lovely pal Tracy said ‘you don’t get a medal for doing it on your own’.  Well put, bawbag;

9. Take it one day at a time;

10. Cook everything myself and avoid processed food.  To be honest I generally do this anyway;

11. Look at the positive, not the negative.  In my last post I talked about putting up these hellish pictures of me from the Outlaw as inspiration but again my pal Tracy pointed out that looking at the negative isn’t a good idea.  Why not put up pictures to aspire to?


I guess that list is a bit random, but they’re all things I’ve been thinking of/using this week to try to help me on my plight to anti-beachballness.  I know in the past, I’ve had this idea in my head that I need to eat ‘perfectly’ to shift the weight.  Of course I could never have actually told you what that even meant, so I was unlikely to be able to actually do it.  For me though, what I really want is to eat real, natural food (meat and veg and fruit etc. that I can make into meals myself, not chemically covered processed crap).  I want to be able to have a dessert sometimes, or a bar of chocolate, but knowing that those times are in the minority, and are seen as an occasional treat, not the norm.  I want to  stop the sugar slumps that leave me tired and brain-dead.  I want to feel as though I have the energy to get off the sofa and go do some exercise, which in turn will make me feel even better.

So my first week is over, and I’m happy with how it turned out.  Next week I think will be harder – weight loss is unlikely to be as high, which is fine, but I need to be extra vigilant with my eating to ensure I give myself the best chance of losing more weight.  I’ve also got a busy weekend ahead, so this will be a good test!

I’m also looking into other things such as nutrition plans and NLP which I think could help me in my quest, but I’ll write about that another time, when I know more about them.

Thanks to everyone for all the support and positive input this last week, it has really helped.

Onwards and upwards 🙂