Life in the Fast Lane

Occasionally I like to play chicken with my psyche and my body.

I do things do prove a point. Not really for anyone else but myself.

For example the time someone told me that I wouldn’t have enjoyed a boat trip because I would have trouble with the ladder in and out of the water.

Angry and stung, I found one of the few climbing walls in Doha and hauled myself half way up. Hated every second of it, but I proved a point to myself.

Did I ever tell that friend about my triumph? No of course not, they had moved on. I did too, after the climbing wall of course.

Another example is my decision to give up Diet Coke for Lent. I literally went from a four can a day habit to nothing last Wednesday. Why? Because I could.

The result? I’m sleeping better!

My current obsession is with Cross Fit and whether I am too overweight to do it. I will eventually, I just need an impetus and possibly a desire to join a cult.

So this is where I am at with my eating. If I can do theses things for other aspects of my life, why can’t I adapt this stubborn streak to other areas?

I am daring myself to try a juice detox fast for three days. No solids just fresh cold pressed juices from Raw ME, a Qatari raw food company.

I wondered whether I would be able to give up food and do a proper fast for three days. Whether I could find ways to occupy my time other than preparing food, thinking about food, eating food, feeling guilty about food.

And here I am. One day in. Five juices down.

Yes, I have a headache and am feeling more listless post-work than usual. But still alive and still ready to prove it to myself that it can be done.

Two more days left. Counting…


Walking on the Chinese Walls

I really admire those people who can compartmentalize nearly every aspect of their lives.

Separate personal from private, groups of friends, love and loss from their everyday exterior.

I know people who are masters and mistresses of this. Slicing up portions of their lives, erecting Chinese walls around them for protection or just because that’s how they are.

That, I cannot do. I would make a terrible poker player. I wear my feelings on my face and so it seems everywhere else on my body.

I have read many times that people who have weight issues eat to numb pain/emotions/issues. I don’t think I do that people I actually FEEL everything. As i have said recently, I am a crier.

I feel everything said and done to me as well as around me so acutely. From personal slights to even world events.

I know I need to learn to get that in check. In the meantime, anyone know a good builder, I need me some of those Chinese walls.

Girl Meets Wall

Girl Meets Wall

My Dirty Little Junk Food Secret Addiction

We all have our own little foibles. Our dirty little secrets we keep hidden from friends, lovers, family.

I’m not talking about the “big” stuff like affairs, love children, secret pasts as bank robbers. I mean the other type, the behavioral secrets.

Mine is that I have a closet junk food addiction. This is pretty funny given I am a bit of a food snob as well as a food blogger.

But yes, I sometimes get junk food craving. It’s usually for a burger and maybe fries. Once the idea is planted in my mind, I generally can’t shake it.

The thought becomes like a bad 1980s tune on a loop in my brain that can’t be shut down until I indulge. Think Kajagoogoo. All. The. Time.

And then, when I do…it doesn’t give me satisfaction.

Until (very) recently, to satiate this craving, I would head out in my car, go to a drive through far from anywhere I would be recognized. I’d eat it in my car then dispose of the evidence as fast as possible. Then I would continue to my destination.

I would always feel a dirty and wrong, like a morning after the night before walk of shame. My stomach would always be bloated. And yes, there was always a lingering smell of what I had eaten. That heady mix of sugar, fat and E numbers.

I last did this about a month ago. But that isn’t to say I haven’t had the urge or craving since then.

Since then I have been working on strategies to recognize the trigger (stress, boredom, low blood sugar are coming up as chief offenders) and work on ways to overcome it. Believe me, it isn’t as easy as taking up macrame or looking at cute animals on Buzzfeed.

Guess I have to find another dirty little secret. One without a high fat content.

Just Say No, or Maybe Not


I realized recently that my editing skills extend to my own thoughts and words.

My interior dialogue (for want of a better word) is a rich stream of consciousness. But when it comes to articulating, I choose my words very carefully.

This may come from being an only child and spending a lot of time wanting to please my parents, teachers, friends and society as a whole.

Meanwhile, when I do say what I’m thinking outside of a work context, invariably it offends someone. Be that on social media, in person or on the phone.

An extension of this is not being able to say “No”.

That word is hard for me – in relationships, work and social situations and of course, food.

Saying “no” has the ability to upset people. To let them down. To disappoint them.

It often causes me pain, overloads me and basically makes me miserable. Yet I still do it without even thinking.

And when you throw food into the mix, you get an even more emotionally toxic concoction.

*Progress update: Another 1.5kgs lost this week. Have had a couple of great training sessions as well, smashing my previous personal bests. But as for food, will get back to you on that.


Over(eating) The Edge

I have a fascination with weight loss programs and documentaries. Call me a glutton (haha) for punishment (smack), but there is a morbid (haha again) fascination within me.

Fat and Fatter, World’s Fattest Man, Fat v Skinny. I’ve watched them all. Twice.

Youtube is a scary, scary place especially when you need a diversion.

I know why I am fascinated.

It’s because I wonder what the “tipping point” is? What is their breaking point? What happens to push them into that scary place? From eating 2000 calories a day to eating 10,000? What takes them from someone who is overweight and mildly active and spirals them into a housebound recluse, unable to care for themselves?

I have been much bigger than I am now, but I somehow have always managed to pull myself back from the precipice. I don’t know how that happens. Is it inbuilt? There is something in my brain that stops me, brings me back.

I guess that unknown boundary will always be my saving grace.

Scared Skinny

Much has been made about the Biggest Loser Finale this week and the seemingly incredible transformation of the winner from morbidly obese to borderline anorexic.

I’m not going to start on how many types of wrong the show is, nor will I indulge in body shaming of the winner (fat/skinny body shaming works both ways kids). But I will say that I do know people, intelligent, well spoken people, who will think she looks great.

I on the other hand, am not so sure. But she was a contestant in a reality TV show where there was a large cash prize on the line. Think about the lengths people have gone to in winning or just competing in Survivor.

Money, fame in exchange for skipping a few meals? Simple decision.

I have been accused of having no will power or not wanting to lose weight enough to stick to a diet.

In reality, yes it is easier to eat what I want and live a slothfully indolent life. I don’t have hormones or other environmental issues to blame.

I’ve been morbidly obese, obese and at times a little overweight most of my life. It’s not about willpower or motivation, rather when I have been strong enough to keep my demons in check.

Like now.

What I am getting at is, would $250,000 or even $1 million help me do that? Actually no it wouldn’t.

But it could buy me a nice house on a deserted beach somewhere far away so I could hide from the inevitable judgment.

*Weight check – another 1kg down this week and I also crushed my fitness test.

Changing the World One Mouthful at a Time

So I survived the first buffet of 2014 unscathed food wise, though a little tipsy.

No adults were harmed in the making of that afternoon of food and friends but silently I was aware of every mouthful I was eating.

A friend sent me this interesting link to a recent article in The UK Huffington Post:

How A Mindful Eating Class Stopped Me From A Lifetime Of Overeating

What was interesting about yesterday and a meal I had on Friday was that there was, for the first time, a point where I actually felt full.

That’s when I stopped.

It’s not earth shattering but it is a start…and I am saying nothing about the champagne that was doing the rounds!



The Buffet Zone

Be honest, everyone loves a buffet. Even those food snobs out there who only profess to dining in Michelin starred pantheons of gastronomy.

And where I live, the buffet is an art form which is usually enhanced by copious amounts of alcohol and foolishness.

But for someone like me, the buffet is also a war zone (with booze).

Glistening piles of prawns, tables laden with cheeses and meats, swathes of sushi, fatty fois gras and even the odd lobster all add up to a mountain of food I want to eat…now.

I have a BBQ today and there is a buffet involved so already I am thinking of strategies to cope and to look inconspicuous while obsessing.

The Worrier Princess

My parents claim I have never been a good sleeper and the evidence does bear this out. As a baby sometimes the only way they could get me to sleep was to drive me around the streets of Merrylands. The motion of the car (a Datsun) would calm me down.

I am still a light sleeper. The slightest noise will stir me. I fidget. I routinely wake up at 4am, then have a conversation with myself that I still have 90 minutes of time to sleep. Naturally I don’t.

I attribute this to my propensity to worry. I don’t know why I am a natural born worrier. I also can’t remember a time I didn’t worry about something.

Some people call this people neurotic. Or more kindly anxiety. It’s my natural state. I remember when I was in high school, they made us read the truly bleak book Z for Zachariah about a nuclear apocalypse. I was 13, it was the early 1980s at the height of the Cold War and I was convinced this would happen.

Someone suggested my propensity to worry could be attributed to being an only child, bearing the brunt of our parent’s anxieties and overwhelmingly love. This could be true as another only child friend has what she calls “World Sadness”, that is, she occasionally gets sad about things happening in the world, big and small.

My worrying topics range from trivial to the serious to the self indulgent. Currently I am worrying about (in no order):

  • I have a new job and there is a lag in my salary being paid. I am worried I will run out of money before I am paid again;
  • About my job generally (as someone who lost their job twice in 18 months at one stage, justified I think!);
  • I said something stupid and mean and it caused a problem with someone I love. This is my major  source of worry, regret and grief for me at the moment;
  • That I will die poor (recurring see above);
  • What I will wear tomorrow;
  • That my car will break down again (continual);
  • About my aging parents generally;
  • About a friend having a difficult time with his work and of course
  • My weight

Those are just a sample of things that cross my ind every day. I’ve tried all manner of techniques to stop it, from distraction to hypnosis but haven’t managed to come to grips with it. I just live with it.

As my father calls, me, I am the Worrier Princess.

*Weight and food check: I am more than 4kgs down from 10 days ago.

When an apple a day just won’t cut it…

As I write this I am thinking about what I am going to have for my next meal, I have been thinking about that for some time.

All the time in fact. When I will eat next? What I will eat? Will people notice if I eat early? What will I cook for dinner? Should I eat before I go out? Does anyone have any snacks?

Let’s be honest here. I am a food addict. Pure and simple and I probably always have been.

Of all the addictions I wish I could have had (shopping, sex, shoes…hell even substances), I guess I could have chosen something more glamorous…or frankly acceptable.

See, I think one of the main reasons why I haven’t accepted the reality food addiction is frankly, it does seem a bit lame.

Another excuse for gluttony.

Or lack of will power.

Or being someone who just enjoys their food.

Someone who I care about and I have a little schtick where we send each other media links about the new fad diet, the latest in research on healthy living etc.

They know intimately my issues with my weight, with food and generally my struggle to be healthy and have been supportive beyond words.

I sent them a piece earlier this week and the response hit me hard. I was told my problem was that I read all of this but never do anything about my own eating issues.

When the reply email landed I felt as if I had been slapped.


I locked myself in the bathroom and had a cry (I cry a lot, it’s reflexive), but I couldn’t hide from the fact that it was true.

I hated it but knew I had to accept it.

I digested this for a couple of days. Cried some more. Checked out the cost of weight loss surgery and whether that would fit in my holiday schedule. Remembered my fear of needles and promptly dropped this idea.

Then I made a decision.

Yesterday I had a workout with my personal trainer. A workout that had be a sweaty and crumpled mess in my car afterwards. Best workout in ages. He had weighed me and we discovered I was 3kgs down from last week which was more a relief than a cause for celebration.

I showered, went to a media dinner (oh the irony – I am a food blogger!) and when I came home, perhaps fueled by a couple of glasses of red wine and a belly full of Singaporean food (I agonized over every mouthful), I registered this blog.

So here I am. Doing something about my “eating”, about my addiction, ugly and as deeply unsexy as it is.

This is not going to be the prettiest blog and I will confess I am prone to the odd maudlin dramatic turn, but at least it will keep me honest.