MONTHLY SUMMARY: March 2009 aka Diet Frenzy

Thursday, 16 April 2009, 23:51 | Category : Life & Stuff, Loaves, Monthly Summaries
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I started writing this ages ago, but due to the internet problem I haven’t been able to post this until now :] So sorry for this being rather belated!
It’s my attempt at starting another series of posts on this blog. The concept is to sum up what’s been happening in my life at the end of each month - I thought it would be interesting to try doing that. We’ll see how it goes!


My Month in Brief
March was a month of recuperation for me. I had a very intense winter semester at school and I really needed to get it out of my system. It’s also been a month of getting freaked out by how many things I have to do that I’ve been postponing because of all the schoolwork and stress. And no, by the end of the month I still hadn’t done most of those things ;) And then, of course, there’s the dieting *grin*

Fixations of the Month
The biggest one is probably my diet. This made me pretty boring to talk for most of March I think, but the good news is that being this obsessed with it is effective ;)
The beginning of the month still had me obsessing quite seriously about the Harry Potter franchise and particularly Tom Felton. But it eased off as the month progressed.
Dostana (which I enjoyed immensely) and to a lesser extent Water has made me develop a bit of a soft spot for John Abraham, but his blandness is a serious obstacle to it developing into a proper obsession, which I think is a shame *sigh*
Thanks to Equus I’ve become completely fixated with a web application called ToDoIst. I’m making To Do Lists on it all the time and then not doing them ;) Well ok, that’s not entirely true. I have gotten quite a lot of things done since I started using it (you can actually see the moment I started using it on this blog - it’s when the amount of posts increased all of a sudden ;)). The problem is I keep overbooking myself cause there’s a freakishly huge amount of things to do, so I’ll end up with anything between 15 and 30 tasks per day which is of course completely unrealistic (though I have had days when I’ve completed around 15, which I think is bloody good actually ;) ).
The World Figure Skating Championships took place and so I was watching parts of it on a live feed on-line (it’s the first time I’ve managed to do so - somehow I never got the feed working on linux before). I’m still in the process of downloading what I haven’t watched though and there’s a lot of it *blush* What I’m absolutely thrilled about is that Przemek managed to qualify for the Free Program AND earn a place at the Winter Olympics next year *grin* It is quite some feat (Poland hasn’t had anybody in the Men’s Free Program at Worlds for about 10 years) - I’m really happy for him :)
One of the many large tasks I’ve been putting off for months has been reinstalling everything on my laptop and I finally did that mid-March *grin* I’m still obsessively tweaking loads of stuff and I imagine I will be for weeks or months to come, but my current configuration is already working better than what I had before (managing to watch the live feed from the World Championships is proof I think ;))

It’s been a pretty good month for films :) Eleven films watched in all and two new additions to my favourite films list.
My DVD-watching was mainly fixated on Harry Potter actors. I saw Daniel Radcliffe in December Boys and Tom Felton (who I was particularly fixated on because of my ?I can’t wait to see Draco Malfoy in the upcoming Harry Potter movie? phase ;) ) in The Borrowers and Anna and the King (sadly, I ended up being more excited about Chow Yun-Fat than about Tom Felton in Anna and the King though ;) ). The only other DVD I watched was Dhoom and that was the aftermath of Dostana - I wanted to see more of John and Abhishek together ;)
There was quite a bit of cinema-going too. I saw one film off my February film-spotting list (Doubt) and two off my March film-spotting list (Watchmen and Coraline), of which it was Watchmen that evoked the strongest feelings (after all, how often do you get to see a blue penis? ;) ). I’m still not sure I liked Watchmen that much, but in some ways it was the most intriguing film of the month.
The other half of my cinema-going was the Bollywood week. I saw four of the seven films they showed - Water, Dostana, Taare Zameen Par and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Water and Dostana have made my favourite films list. Dostana in particular is something I just can’t wait to see again. It’s going to be one of my top films to put into the DVD player whenever I need a laugh. And it’s sexy too *grin* Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, which has featured on this blog a lot owing to Shahrukh’s presence in it was a big disappointment unfortunately ? probably the most disappointing film this month *sigh*

It’s been a very bad month for books though. In fact it’s the worst month for books since I started this blog - I didn’t finish even one :] (btw, I reaaally ought to update my book diary for January and February *blush*) Mainly I was re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but it was going slower and slower as I read on ;)
I think it has a lot to do with me not going to school regularly anymore (a lot of my schoolwork can be done long-distance this semester). Most of my reading happens in public transport and I just haven’t been on it much in March.

I’m on a diet!
I don’t know when I last tried dieting or if I ever did seriously (I don’t think so actually), but I’ve firmly decided that I *really* need to do something about my weight. I’ve been at 80kg (occasionally even a little over that) for years now and I’m only 162cm. That gives me a BMI of 30.5, which means obesity - as in so overweight that it may cause various health complications.
I’m pleased to announce that by the beginning of April I weighed around 77kg :) That gives me a BMI of 29.3 - just below obesity level, though I’m still far from being a healthy weight of course. My target weight is 58kg, which I’d like to achieve in a year or so (2kg per month seems like a healthy tempo). We’ll see how that goes. I’ll be updating you on my progress and setbacks :)
I’m not going on any conventional diets or anything like that. Mostly I’m sort of inventing my diet myself. If someone just gave me a menu to follow I probably wouldn’t - too difficult and more importantly too boring. My diet has to be intellectually stimulating ;) And thinking about what’s wrong in my current diet is far more interesting than doing what somebody prescribes for me. Also observing how changes I make effect me and even observing how difficult mentally/organizationally certain changes are is a source of amusement. And yes, I know how totally insane that must have sounded to a lot of people, but that really is how I feel lol Anyway - I’ve decided to do 30-day trials, I thought that would be both interesting and effective :)
For March, I challenged myself to completely cut dairy products out of my diet. I decided to cut out red meat as well because I didn’t want to rely on it instead (that’s what usually happened if I tried to cut down on dairy stuff for a few days and a diet heavy on red meat makes me feel ill). My logic for this was as follows… I have long suspected myself of having a dairy intolerance, so I figured that even if I didn’t lose weight at least I’d finally find out how much dairy products were effecting me. The reason I thought this was likely to help me lose weight is that most of the sweets and desserts I like have some sort of dairy content. Also, I wasn’t too worried about excluding a food group out of my diet cause quite frankly my diet is currently so unhealthy that I doubt I could do more damage to myself than I already am :]
I had some pretty interesting results. My assumption about sweets and desserts was most certainly correct. I had to give up pretty much all sweet stuff that I would normally eat (except for fresh fruit that is which isn’t exactly bad for me :]), though I did end up introducing some things. Chocolate in particular was very hard to give up. In about the 2nd week of March I was craving it like crazy. I don’t like dark chocolate much at all, but I think I started craving it cause that was the most chocolatey taste my brain could come up with. I figured there might be something in it my body really did need (it wasn’t a craving for sugar - I could have had sugar in many other forms), so I started eating chocolate soya desserts and drinking chocolate soya drinks and that helped. The other thing that got introduced instead of desserts was large quantities of fruit - in fresh form and in baby food form (I like baby food sometimes ;-P).
Another serious craving was cheese. Not so much the hard sort, but the softer types of it. I never realized how often I used to go into the kitchen because I was bored and eat a cheese sandwich. I would find myself going to the kitchen and not know what to eat because I couldn’t have cheese ;) A lot of the time I would go back to my room without having eaten anything (the other option - chocolate - was not available either ;)). I did have to find some sort of substitute for cheese on my sandwiches though (I don’t cook at all, so sandwiches are the staple of my diet :]) and the substitute couldn’t be red meat, so I experimented with chicken and turkey ham (it was ok for a change, but not in large quantities), smoked salmon (that worked somewhat), surimi (it worked when there was no longer any salmon at home ;) ) and eggs. Eggs became by far the most popular choice - worryingly so actually. I mean I was eating about 3 eggs a day in March, which didn’t sound too healthy. On the other hand, I didn’t noticed anything that would indicate I’m doing myself damage by eating so many eggs. On the contrary - I felt much better for most of March than I usually do, so it would seem my body prefers huge amounts of eggs to dairy products :]
The changes in the way I felt occurred very gradually, so I hardly noticed them… until I got back to eating dairy products on the 31st of March that is, when most of my previous symptoms suddenly came back in full force ;) The bloating, the gases, the constipation and even the respiratory problems (I’ve had catarrh pretty much all my life and for the last year I’ve had a cough that the doctor didn’t seem to be able to get rid of) all came back after eating one portion of pierogi ruskie :] Mind you, the respiratory problems are what improved the least under the diet and the most gradually (perhaps if I had continued this diet for a few months they would have eased off completely - I am considering trying this out, but I want to take a break from it first), but they did improve - and that even though I had a reoccurring cold for most of the month. Another thing that improved was my skin - I’m the kind of person who gets a lot of pimples. I only got about one on my face during the last month. And that was right before my period when usually I’d be getting way more ;)
All in all, this has been a very positive experience and by the end of the month keeping the diet was no longer as difficult as it was at the beginning. It was quite fascinating to find out how many products did contain some sort of milk content (did you know Nestle Cornflakes have “may contain traces of milk” on their packaging? :] I actually slipped up on the first day with that).
My challenge for April has to do with eating more raw vegetables and so far I’m failing miserably *sigh* I would have though increasing the amount of raw vegetables in my diet would come easier (I actually like vegetables!), but apparently not… I’ll write more about that in my April summary.
I really should take up some exercise to help me with my weight loss and general health, but so far walking the dog is all I’ve managed to get myself doing. Again this is something I thought would be much easier than cutting dairy products out of my diet and yet it’s clearly not ;)

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