Ballooning weight …. alarming waist line …. and a fat arse!

I have never had a good self-image.

Even when I weighed 50 kilograms, I hated my body because it was too skinny.  I am 1.75 metres tall – so I was pretty damn skinny.

My nose is too pointy, my knees are too knock kneed. I used to hate/loath the large birthmark on my left hand side.  There is very little about me physically that I like.  Funny (not so much) how we are our own worst enemies.

I have always been an erratic eater, and eat when food passes me rather than have planned set meal times. I seldom eat breakfast.  I gorge on Chuckles, and Pasta, and can easily quell the dreams of a bottle of wine.

I will go a day without eating anything, other than drinking tea, then at 19h00 realise “Hey I am hungry” – open a packet of Plain Lays and eat that whilst I sip two or four glasses of wine.

Not a great meal plan by any one’s standards.

I don’t really eat vegetables, but I eat salad, so I don’t get too worked up about it.  I love pasta in almost any shape or form.  I get wildly excited by NUSSFIT spread thickly on top of white bread. I can do 4 slices of that for breakfast, lunch and supper with a thick chocolaty smile.

Any the who, I have been adding kilograms slowly to my frame.

When I had Connor (2001) I weighed around 55 – 58kilograms.  When I had Georgia (2005) I weighed around 65kilograms.  When I had Isabelle(2009) I did not even bother getting on the scale, it was close to 69kilograms and I felt like a heffalump.

I can honestly say that my weight has little to do with the pregnancies, but all to do with the way my eating habits changed when I was breastfeeding.  Before I had Connor I ate small meals, after Connor I started tucking in to starters, main and dessert.  Breastfeeding meant I could eat almost what ever I liked and did not add weight.  But then I stopped breastfeeding, and continued to eat the same calorie intake.

This year has been the worst, and I have ballooned past 70 kilograms, and nearly shat myself when I realised my weight was sitting at 77 kilograms, which means 80 kilograms was not that far off.

I hate seeing myself in photographs. I despise seeing my reflections (our bathroom has a full wall of a mirror, so it is tricky to take a crap without having it in full living colour reflected back at you).  I know I am on route (already there) of being fat, and I can’t seem to maintain the will power not to eat 4 slices of white bread with NUSSFIT.

I am very reluctant to stand up and say, so I am on a diet, or I am on this exercise plan, as I like to fail quietly, not in the full glare of public scrutiny.  I have realised the sooner I accept that I am making some changes, and incorporate them into my life, my blog, what I do, the better it is for me to keep going with the,

I need a life style change, and not just a ‘flash in the pan’ diet.  I think I am past where a diet can help me – the idea of a gastric bypass is looking more and more attractive.

I have been reading several books (at once) on the Atkins Diet.   I am finding little in the way to fault it right now. I do appreciate if I googled “what’s wrong with Atkins” I will be killed in the flood, but for now I am focussing on what works about it.

I decided to start and not stall any longer.

I started on Tuesday, 6 November – and I am following what they recommend as the Induction Plan which is meant to last two weeks.  My feeling is that I will see how I am faring in two weeks, and make a decision whether to remain on the Induction Phase or move to the next phase.

The food I am eating is a totally brain shift – it is food I eat, but food I would not naturally consume without a side of potatoes, pasta or rice – in short the Atkins Diet is a bit prohibitive (understatement) of Starch.  It is pretty freaky about Sugar too, but I would say it has quite a focus on eating a particular level of protein and fat – and moving your diet dramatically away from Refined Starch and Sugar.

I don’t feel bad in any way.  I am not quite skipping around saying I feel great, but my usual diet does not include sugar, full cream milk or loads of junk food, so it is not really a huge reach shift – but it is still early days.

I have my food diary, and I am still busy reading through three Atkins Diet Books to get my head around how it works.  My water intake has increased, and unfortunately alcohol is prohibited during the Induction Phase, so I am missing my glasses of wine rather acutely right now.

A lifestyle shift does require me to move my arse off the couch.  I decided to quietly join Walk for Life.  So me and a few dozen ladies whose mean age is probably 65 head out for a bit of a walkabout on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.

I do want to get up to runing – I just need to get there again – and I like the way the programme takes it really s — l — o — w.  I figure that I will just stick with what they prescribe, and walk until they say I am ready to run.

I weighed myself this morning, and the scale did show an improvement — I am fine with slow progress, as long as it leads to permanent weight loss. What ever happens I seriously cannot remain in the condition and the weight that I am.

So if you are looking for me I will be the one in the corner eating copious amounts of meat with a side order of rocket, olives and sprouts and sipping my water as I eye your wine!

Some days are a marathon …. or just a half marathon …

So I get this email yesterday, and the persons responsible is Kennith.

Clearly he read the blog post and decided if I showed any glimmer of running a half marathon he probably felt he was going to do the “strike while the iron is hot” thing.

So I get this email:-


From: []
Sent: 09 November 2010 13:43
Subject: Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon : Entry Accepted[AntiVir checked]

Dear CELESTE *****

Your entry in the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon 2011 21 km Half Marathon has been CONFIRMED on 09/11/2010 at 13:43:04.

Your final race details are as follows:

Name            : CELESTE *****

ID Number       : 7205090******

Passport Number :

Date of Birth   : Tuesday 09 May 1972

Gender          : Female

Nationality     : South Africa (RSA)

Club            : Temp (Western Province)

Category        : Age 20-39  (Gasp, I clearly made it into the young one’s group, but only just.  i think it might be better if I was with the older crowd though, because I think I am going to look pretty tragic next to a 25 year old runner in her prime.)

Race            : 21 km Half Marathon (What the hell!!  Is a half marathon really twenty flipping one kilometers, that seems a tad long to me. I take snacks if I am going to drive more than 10 kilometers in my car.)

Race Number     : 52454

T-Shirt(s)      : 1 (Large) (And here is the part where I went “What the fek!” A LARGE T-shirt.  Now I am offended that Kennith did not think he could or should order me a medium!  I might just be offended enough to boycott this stupid run.)

Seeding         : E (Is that good – are are there F and G seeds behind me?)

RaceTec Chip    : Will be in your race pack at Registration (Whoop, whoop a goodie bag – a girl loves a bit of swag.  Though I am suspicious it will be crammed with healthy things rather than wine and chuckles.)

Race Date       : Saturday 23 April 2011

Start Time      : 06:00 (Sheez, that is going to mean I will have to get up frightfully early on that morning, right there is a huge concern. Good grief 6am to be there, that will mean I am probably up around 4am!)

Start Venue     : Main Road, Newlands

Finish          : Upper Campus Rugby Fields, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch

Payment Type    : Credit Card (Internet)

Payment Ref     : 116390

Total Cost      : R 394.00 (Seems like a lot of money just so I can run on a public road.)

Runners must register before the race to receive their race packs (numbers and related items including a goody bag). Registration will take place as follows:

Good Hope Centre, corner of Sir Lowry Road and Oswald Pirow Street, Cape Town

Wednesday 20 April 2011, 10:00 – 19:00

Thursday  21 April 2011, 10:00 – 19:00

Friday    22 April 2011, 09:00 – 19:00 (Expo only closes at 17:00)


Please bring the following with you to Registration:

– A printed entry confirmation

– Your ID document, passport or drivers licence

– Your RaceTec timing chip (if you already own one)


All the best with your preparation towards the race.


– Two Oceans Marathon Administration

+27 21 657 5140/1/2


So, there we are, it is now done!

I must confess that my running buddy Alice has been so quiet, I can hear the crickets chirping in the distance.

Do they still sell those satin type running shorts with the slip up the side of the leg?

I’m Spelling as Fast as I Can….

I really hate exercise, not just a little, but a whole lot.

There is NOTHING I would rather be doing than lying on my bed, drinking a large glass of wine, eating a bag of Chuckles and reading my book.  NOTHING!

At school I was sporty.  It was because I enjoyed the sport or the achievement, not because I enjoyed being active.

I enjoyed high jump, long jump and a lot of other athletic things that involved running and jumping.  Some I was good at, some not so much, but I was happy to do it.  I sort of fell over hurdles, but I did it anyway.  I played badminton and, tennis (not well).  I even played cricket (I really did).  I really loved netball – I really loved netball like a lot!

It is actually a great sport for tall girls with a bit of aggression, especially if you like to wear shorts under your skirts.

I pretty much had a sport  activity each day after school, and most Saturday.  I was not even the sporty one in my family – I was considered the brainy one.

My brother Bruce was super sporty.  He played every possible sport there was.  If it had a ball, if it did not have a balll, what ever he had a go at it, and was generally really good.

Any the way, back to me.

I have always been a tall thin girl – yes, I know how jealous you are.  But if it makes you feel any better, I USED to be a tall thin girl.  Now I am a tall, not-so-thin girl.  Karma has a great way of coming back, to just give you a kick in the pants to level out the playing field doesn’t it?

My stomach appears to have got a bit more wobbly that it really needs to be.  And my thighs make that sound that your thighs make, when you are wearing corduroys – even when I am not wearing corduroys.

I am not likely to give up my chenin-blanc-and-chuckles diet, so I have had to make the very sad realization that I am going to need to exercise.

I did do a bit of Adventure Boot Camp, and for all my bitching and moaning I did, I will confess that it is probably the best work-out/exercise routine I have ever done.

If you have an hour in your day, and just want to put your head down and have someone beat you with a stick until you weep, then it is the place to go.  It really is a great way to get a workout if time is short and builds up your fitness level.

So I did that.  Though I did not lose much weight, it was not ABC’s fault.  I would need to lay that at the door of my chenin-blanc-and-chuckles diet.

But none the less, just doing ABC I recalled how much I have always wanted to run.

I have never run – and I have always convinced myself that I cannot run.

Long story, but the short of it is, that every step when I ran was excruciating, and I figured how much could I be doing wrong short of putting one foot in front of the other?

If it is painful, then odds are your body is telling you that you should not be doing it, well that is what I figured at any rate.

Went to a podiatrist, and he also told me that “not everyone is designed to run” which I took to be a clear message that I should not run.

Back to the present day.

A lot of ABC’s work out is running – it is great cardio and it really takes your work out to a whole new level.

So though you are not running for miles and miles, you are doing push-ups, then running around a field, then doing jumping jacks and then running around a field.  So there is no rest between the weight work outs, you are permanently gasping for breath, and hoping you will just die and then it will all be over.

While doing the running at ABC  I realized I was actually running.

Granted, not terribly fast, and I did sound like I was suffering from emphysema, but I was still running and my feet/ankles/knees did not feel like they were coming apart at the joints.

I spoke to ABC coach, and she recommended a running guy, as I said I wanted to learn to run, and felt a bit of one-on-one is what I needed to gain confidence.

I worked with running guy for a month.

First session – we walked for 20 minutes, then we ran for 3 minutes.  I seriously nearly threw up on the sidewalk.  Not the polite vomit, but the one where you are leaning over and vomitting so much you are just dry heaving and your eyes are watering – that kind of throwing up.

I then spent the next 37 minutes trying to get my breath back.

I figured he would call the next day, and suggest we stop at session one, as I clearly had shown that I could not run.

He didn’t call.

We did session two, and he said to me in response to my question of “have you ever met anyone you could not teach to run?” and he said “I have met many people who think they can’t run, but I have NEVER met anyone who can’t run.”

The dude was a legend.

We did three sessions a week, and though he never beat me with a stick, he knew what he had to do to get me do push myself.  He never asked me to do more than I thought I could do.

In a month he had me running two x 20 minute sessions in an hour.  I would have been less amazed if he had turned water into wine!

I am not running really fast, but I am running, and that for me is HUGE.

I can also hold a basic conversation and run.  I am not gasping and wheezing – it is all quite fabulous (if you are into that sort of thing.)

So at the moment, my mate Alice and I are setting our alarms for 5am three times a week.  We both wish/pray that the other will sms to cancel.

The alarm goes off at 5am, we get our clothes on, attempt to brush our teeth, then I drive to her house and we both schlep out at 5:30am for an hour of running/walking.

We walk for 20 minutes to warm up.  Then we start running.

This morning we ran for 20 minutes – and we both felt like Rocky who ran up the step of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  I really would love to say that there is a monumental soundtrack in my brain at the time, but in reality all that is going though my head is “motherf*cker.”

After our 20 minute run/stumble/crawl, we walk for 10 minutes, then we do a 5 minute run-as-fast-as-you-can-without-throwing-up-on-the-sidewalk, and then we end with a 5 minute limp home.

I really really hate exercise, but for an hour two or three times a week, Alice and I go out and run, and we feel like super-heros when we are finished.

It is pretty heady stuff, we are like the kings of the world there!

<We have also committed to do a half-marathon soon, so we are all ambitious and stuff.>

<sidebar: the title of the post makes reference to a scene from the Simpsons where Lisa Simpson acted out a scene from Rocky>