One of the great pleasures of being married or otherwise in a long term relationship is the food. There’s an exchange that takes place over your life together – you each develop your own specialities, you start to share fondness for new ingredients or cuisines, you teach each other techniques. It is a wonderful thing and something that I am genuinely grateful for.
In my house there’s an assumption that everyone can and should cook. Both my parents could cook as could all four of my grandparents. Both of my brothers and all my siblings-in-law cook. I cook, my spouse cooks, our friends cook, my children are developing the basic skills.
I love my spouse. I love that they cook. I love the curries. But the mess. Not so much the mess. How can any human generate so much mess while cooking without having a seizure of some kind? It happens every single time. There’s uncooked rice all over the floor, cooked rice all over the hob and never less than three mysterious pools of bright orange oil that I will find over the next week.
In my previous post I talked about my writing plans. This is a post about my real life plans.
I don’t do a lot of planning. I’m very bad at it and my experience of life has led me to conclude that it’s mostly pointless and will only make me miserable. It doesn’t matter what I want, what I plan, or what I work for because I’m not going to get it no matter what I do. It hurts less to just accept whatever hellish hand life is going to deal you and work from there.
And since we’re on the subject of hellish hands it’s time to talk about Brexit. Britain is getting closer to crashing out of the EU with no deal. I know that some people say that wiser heads will prevail and it won’t happen or that it will somehow all be fine. I don’t believe in either of those.
I believe in preparing for the worst. Scotland will be dragged out of the EU along with the rest of the UK. There will be no deal. International trade will slow to a crawl. There will be food shortages. There will probably be some sort of rationing but the people organising that rationing are going to be the people who got us into this mess so I don’t expect it to be competent or organised. At the very least I expect shop shelves to look pretty bare for a couple of months.
I can’t afford to wait until the new year to start my food stockpile. As we get closer to the deadline the prices of canned and dried foods are going to rise. I need to start putting aside food now. I need to work out which foods my other half is prepared to eat, what we can afford and where we’re going to keep it all.
I’ve chosen to begin with noodles. Dried noodles keep for ages and can easily be combined with stock and frozen, canned or dried ingredients to make something filling and tasty. Noodles can also work well with pickled foods and home pickling is something I also plan to look into.
I’m open to suggestions so if anyone has any ideas for recipies feel free to share them in the comments.
I have decided that the regular diet updates were as boring as hell. I don’t want to ditch them entirely but I want to change the focus. I think my overall health is more important than my weight. And I’m sick of this blog getting followed by diet and weight-loss blogs.
Some of you will be thinking ‘I bet that means she’s put on weight again’ but no. Actually I’ve lost half a kilo which is just over a pound so my total weight loss is now just over 15kg (33 pounds). I don’t know how. I’ve not been sticking to the strict eating plan and I’ve hardly been wearing my compression tights so I don’t think it’s all fluid. All I can say is that my body continues to be a mystery.
No news on the replacement compression hosiery. I hope they’re going to arrive soon but it’s possible that they’ve been doubly delayed by the weather. Either that or the manufacturer has lost the order again. Not much going on with exercise because of the fibromyalgia flare up that caused the horrible back spasms. My back pain might be easing off but it’s too early to be sure. It could just be lulling me into a false sense of security.
In mental health news I’m doing an excellent job of seeming ok but I’m having serious executive function problems so I know that something is not right. Or maybe it’s just the same thing that’s never been right and I’m just less tolerant of it than usual.
In creative news I’ve got some excellent ideas for the sequels to the completed novel that I was querying and to the novel I’m finishing off. Sequels are great in theory but if I don’t get those novels published then they’re just more wasted effort.
Gentle readers I beg your patience while I rant for a bit. The last few days have not gone well and the next few aren’t looking great either.
I’m having a major Fibromyalgia flare up. For the last three days I’ve had a muscle spasm in my back so bad that the pain has gone through excruciating and into exquisite. I’m taking Tramadol, Paracetamol and vaping CBD and I still can’t bend without screaming. There is no comfortable way for me to sit, stand or lie. Part of the spasm is over my left kidney and if I started pissing blood it would be a relief because a kidney infection can be treated, kidney stones pass, even kidney failure can be managed.
Fortunately that’s distracting me from the sudden appearance of a hole in one of my back teeth. I think a filling might have fallen out. Or maybe a bit of the tooth has cracked off. I already had a dental appointment this week so that’s lucky. I’m trying really hard to believe that it’s lucky but it’s hard to think straight over the screaming pain from my back.
I’m still not back on my usual eating plan because of difficulty getting the shopping sorted. Between trouble with deliveries and the problem with my back and my spouse’s anxiety being too bad to do the shopping for me I’m having difficulty sorting out a coherent meal plan.
I’m having trouble getting anything done. I started this weekend with a book I’m wanted to read, a film I wanted to watch on Netflix, a film I’m trying to see in the cinema before it leaves a podcast I’m trying to catch up with and a novel that I’m trying to finish writing. In all I managed 15 pages of the book, neither of the films, 3 episodes of the podcast and about 2,000 re-written words of my novel. That’s pathetic.
And the worst of it is this feeling that my life is slipping away from me. Time is passing and I’m not doing anything with it. Precious seconds of my life are ticking by and I am variously paralyzed by pain, or depression, or indecision, or just lack of basic organisational skills.
This week I lost the same 200g that I gained last week and lost the week before. I’m not complaining because I’ve had to step back from the diet plan I was following due to the ‘Beast from the East’ disrupting food deliveries.*
That’s not what I’m going to focus on today. I’m feeling a lot more thoughtful about how being a Spoonie ( a person with a chronic health problem, see here for an explanation of Spoon Theory) affects attempts to eat healthily.
You’d think that having a chronic health problem would make it more important that I stick to some kind of healthy eating plan and you’d be right. But you’d also be wrong because for us Spoonies everything has to be balanced. Any spoons I spend on meal planning are spoons I won’t have later should I need to pay some bills. Any spoons I spend on preparing a nutritious meal are spoons I can’t spend on cleaning up afterwards.
Often the Spoonie life means half assing a bunch of things because if you spend the spoons to do any of them properly it’ll be the only thing you do that day. All those partially solved problems become a cascade of further problems. So instead of doing the laundry OR cleaning the kitchen OR working on my novel I end up putting some stuff in the tumble dryer, wiping down one kitchen surface and fixing exactly one scene. So the next day I have laundry that’s not put away, a hob and a sink that still need cleaned and one slightly less shitty scene that mainly succeeds in making the rest of the novel looking bad.
Not that any of this means I’m giving up on my diet. I’ve got a doctor to prove wrong.
*For people outside the UK the ‘Beast from the East’ was a polar vortex weather system that plunged the whole country into arctic temperatures for a week. It wasn’t just that the temperatures were very low it’s that the temperatures were that low pretty much everywhere so the road clearing services were stretched very thin. It also didn’t help that so much snow fell that our usual tactic of gritting the roads so that the snow melts faster and vehicles can maintain grip was rendered useless.
I have gained 200g. That’s the same less than statistically insignificant 200g that I lost last week. This week I’m menstruating so it could easily be that.
I am thoroughly pissed off with this diet. It’s partly because I’m not happy with my attitude to food right now and partly because the “Beast from the East” is making it impossible to properly plan my shopping.
I’m disabled so I rely on food deliveries to get the bulk of my groceries. I get a few things locally but my condition is variable so I can’t rely on being able to get out to the shops. So I can get a bit intense when Sainsbury decide to cancel deliveries with no notice or warning. Not even an email to say “No food for you. Soz,” with a handy ‘reschedule for a day when the weather isn’t trying to kill us all’ link to click on.
My options now are to come off the diet and eat all the store cupboard stuff that doesn’t really fit it until I can get a delivery or to go on the ‘I can’t eat anything because Sainsbury is run by bastards’ diet. Or find out how many of the local takeaway delivery drivers are nuts enough to be driving in this weather.
Wish me luck.
This week I lost 1.3kg (just over 2 and a half pounds). My total weight loss is now 14.4 kg (31.6 pounds or 2 stone, 3.6 lbs). After experimenting with the positioning of my scales I can be fairly sure this is genuine weight loss but of course much of this week’s total will be down to fluid being forced out of my legs by my compression tights.
Wearing my compression tights continues to be a massive pain in the arse. And everywhere else. Just getting them on uses most of my spoons meaning that I don’t have much left over for chores or writing or working on the thing I’m crocheting for my daughter’s birthday. Or even for reading the book I’m reviewing.
More and more I’m questioning why I’m even on this fucking diet. Let us not forget that calorie restriction is not a treatment for lipoedema, that my value is not inversely proportional to my size, and that no level of weight loss is going to magically render me decorative enough to be societally acceptable. I only got on this damn treadmill because weight loss is a hoop that I have to jump through in order to access the treatments that actually do work.
I am trying to commit to more exercise. Not to lose weight but because I want to be stronger. I’m thinking of taking on a 100 squat 30 day challenge. The idea is to work up to 100 squats a day (any kind of squat counts) and then keep it up for 30 days. I have no idea if this is a good idea but I do think it’s important to have goals.
This week I have either lost 2kg, gained 2 kg or stayed the same depending on exactly where I put the scales and how I stand on them. Clearly I’m going to have to pay much more attention to their exact position on the floor in order to get any idea of the actual trend.
I’m not happy with my eating this week but it was better than the last week. Hopefully next week will be better.
This week has been one long round of the period from hell, struggling with compression tights and attempting to schedule my days so that I get anything done. It’s been two steps forward and three steps back. I still can’t wear my compression tights out anywhere because I can’t get them on properly and that means they just slide down the moment I try to walk anywhere.
Putting the tights on is so exhausting that I’ve only managed one workout this week. I can’t exercise with them on, I have to prioritise wearing them and when I have to take them off I’ve got nothing left for lifting weights. I really hope I get better at this.
I have lost 1.3kg ( just over 2 and a half pounds). I’m sure some of that is fluid because I had one day of wearing compression tights before the weigh-in.
I haven’t been paying that much attention to the calories but I have been careful about my food choices, particularly around the proportion of carbohydrates. I’m not happy with my eating yet. I’m not tracking my food carefully enough and I doubt that I’ll be able to keep on losing weight like this.
I’ve talked before about how important preparation is to sticking to a food plan. If you don’t get the shopping right then you’re setting yourself up to fail. This week we did get the shopping right but having the right food in the house is not enough on its own. My head isn’t in quite the right place for sticking to this diet and I’m not sure what’s wrong.
Maybe the problem is that I’ve been so angry for the last few weeks. Women are often socialised to eat our feelings and anger is probably the least acceptable emotion for women to express. Or maybe the problem is that everything just feels futile at the moment.
Still not back on the diet but I do have a food delivery planned so by the time you read this I should be thoroughly miserable and craving bread. I did weigh myself this week and I’d lost 0.6kg which is just over a pound. It’s bound to be fluid rather than fat though.
Still no sign of the NHS compression garments but I’ve been using the compression leggings that I bought for exercising in. They’re more comfortable than I was expecting. I went for a walk today and it was a lot easier than I was expecting. I think the leggings might be helping to stabilize my knee joints.
I have been strength training but I’m so out of shape that I’m still concentrating on form rather than adding resistance. I think it’s a bad idea to lift heavy with poor form. I’m also trying to build a habit of exercise. If exercising feels natural to me then I’m more likely to do it. I think at this stage that’s more important than pushing myself.