Missed a week last week. A combination of having my head in “stuff I can’t put off any longer”, and having a sore back, and there’s only so much upside-down-typing a girl can do before she starts getting reverse vertigo.
Food-wise, I’ve been really smug. The first six days of the past fortnight, it was straight sweet chilli CSFs, fruit, yoghurt and salads. Taking into account the Jupiter-sized Domino pizza I’d wolfed down the week previous, and which had now caught up to my hips, I was more than happy to lose just under another 2lbs by the morning of Saturday 19th Jan. The evening of Saturday 19th Jan, however, was where it went a little pear-shaped, but that was only because Liverpool went and thrashed Norwich 5-0, which couldn’t go uncelebrated.
After watching the game with The Olds @ The Picturehouse on London Road, I waltzed happily off to ASDA Anfield, fully intending to just pick up the few groceries I needed, then amble back home. Somehow, the ASDA morphed into the King Charles, where the gang were wassailing our victory with foaming steins and hearty cheer, and before anybody could utter the words “you’re going to regret this tomorrow…”, it was 2am and I was telling the taxi driver how much I loved him.
True, Sunday was nasty, and Monday I had to do it all again at the Moving On wrap party @ The Bridewell (the new series looks fabulous – catch it all next week on BBC1 @ 2.15pm). Ending up in The Grapes at 1am on a school night, though, at my age, is not good, and it’s only now I feel anywhere near normal again. Tuesday, I was in a lot of pain, not all of it self-inflicted. Alcohol is a great anaesthetic. Hangovers…not so much. Thankfully, a food parcel just happened to arrive, thanks to my gorgeous friend, Kirsty, who somehow telepathically knew that that day, I’d be f**ked. She really did save my life, as there was no way I’d have been able to make it to the shops, and my cupboards really were bare. Behind my bed, I had about 7 Finnish chocolates that I could just about reach, and I’d had visions of having to ration them out, one an hour, until Wednesday, when hopefully I’d be able to move further than the bathroom. So when ASDA Man arrived for no apparent reason, with a box full of goodies, it was like Christmas, my birthday, and Istanbul all rolled into one. Kirsty – thank you so much…Curly Wurlys have never tasted so good.
My back pain has been on and off for a couple of weeks. It hurts like hell when I try and walk, but soon eases off once I’m up and ‘running’. Once I stop, however, to do stuff like, oh I don’t know, work…then it seizes up again. So I’m stuck in this kind of limbo whereby I have to keep moving, which means I can’t work, and if I work, then I can’t move afterwards. As for sleeping, the Co-Co just doesn’t work anymore, so I’m trying Nytol instead. Or vodka. But not together, obviously.
I tried to get the doctor to refer me for a scan, but she wasn’t having it. Just keep taking the drugs, do your exercises, and it will sort itself, she told me. I did realise something weird the other day though. In Kirsty’s magic box, were 12 bananas. And because bananas didn’t require any cooking or preparing, I ate all of them in one day. The next day, I didn’t have any pain at all. Had I hit on something? Was my back pain caused by, in part, just very low potassium levels? I’ve no idea, I’m just throwing it out there in case anybody currently writing a dissertation on The Relationship Between Low Potassium Levels And Back Pain, is reading this.
Anyway, I am now 21 weeks into my 44-week plan, the goal of which, of course, is to lose 3 stone (42 lbs) by my 41st birthday on July 16th. Current loss stands at 18.5lbs, so more or less on target. I would have lost more the last 7 days, but alcohol really does make a significant difference. Two nights on the piss, and that can be equal to around 7lbs. With food, I don’t have a problem, as I’ve never been a big eater, so altering my diet and maintaining portion size, has been relatively simple. But staying away from alcohol when I’m out (I never keep it in the house), is a problem, even staying on ‘low-cal’ spirits.
And next week I’m going to hypnotherapy to un-learn how to order Domino Pizza.
Things I’ve Learned This Fortnight
1. My liver won’t regenerate no matter how many times I wish it
It’s taking me longer and longer to get over hangovers these days. Not just the physical ‘feeling like shit’ stuff, but the mental drain, too. I got drunk on Monday, and it took until Thursday for me to even be able to type properly. That’s not normal.
Things I’m Dreading This Week
1. Putting my back out again
It only seems to take one twist or turn too many, and I’m done for. I now do everything very, very slowly. Except drinking. Even something as banal as putting on jeans, I can take five minutes over. Simple stuff like lifting a leg, or turning to speak to someone behind me, can send the pain shooting down my back. Nothing hurts when I’m pissed, though. That, I’m figuring out quite quickly…
2. The FA Cup
Yep, that old “oh this should be a simple enough game…watch us get beat” feeling. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…I’d rather play United every week, than the so-called ‘smaller’ clubs. Because ‘smaller’ clubs are fantastic at taking millions of points off us, and knocking us out of cups. And Oldham are going to be well up for this one…
This Fortnight I’ve Mostly Been Watching…
Ooh, loads and loads…
1. The Amazing Race Season 17, 18 & 20
Following on from before, Nick & Vicki kind of grew on me. Well, Vicki did. She turned out to be a really sweet, kind girl who would do anything for anyone. As for Nick, he turned out to be a childish bully who would scream at Vicki whenever something didn’t go their way. As the series wore on, his tantrums grew increasingly unhinged and bordering on violent. And poor old Vicki would just sit there and take it from him, cowering in a corner. I don’t know what it is about the show’s producers, and I understand that they need to pick couples who viewers will want to watch, but they seem to be obsessed with selecting psychopaths who spend the entire race abusing their partners in full view of a TV camera that they know will be beaming their actions across the nation. The number of times Nick would literally scream at Vicki “You’re useless! You are SUCH an idiot! You have zero intelligence inside your brain! You are of NO USE TO ANYBODY IN THIS WORLD!!” …. was truly staggering. Then, five minutes later “Oh I love you, Vicks, I love you sooo much….”.
Personally, I would have buried an axe in his head, be done with it.
They didn’t win, thank goodness (the doctors, Nat & Kat did), but the thing that stuck in my throat was hearing Vicki say, after they’d been eliminated, that the experience had brought her and Nick “closer together”. Yeah, closer to the emergency room, love, when he starts using his fists instead of his tongue.
Season 18 was a double joy, because all the teams were made up of viewer favourites who didn’t win last time. This meant I got a second chance to see cowboys, Jet & Cord, who should have won a few seasons ago, but slipped up on the final leg. Hearing them exclaim “oh my gravy!” each time they encountered a challenge, or saw something amazing, was just priceless. Unfortunately, they failed to win again, but if they don’t get their own game show, called “Oh My Gravy!”, in the very near future, I’ll be writing to Obama.
Season 20 had possibly the most annoying person, ever, in the history of The Amazing Race. Worse than Flo the Self-Obsessive, worse than Jonathan-the Psycho, worse even than Dan-the-W**ker.
Her name was Rachel, and apparently she won Big Brother USA at some point, which obviously meant nothing to me. Rachel’s teammate was Brendon, who was also on Big Brother, and the two had become engaged. They were nicknamed ‘the green team’, because, yes, Rachel’s favourite colour was green, and she insisted on wearing green all the time, mostly in the form of sparkly tops and spangly headbands. She cried at the drop of a hat, and was very horrible to Brendon, 100% of the time. She was not mature enough to walk to school on her own, never mind be engaged to somebody, and she treated her relationship like it was something she could just take back to the shop if it didn’t ‘fit’ her. A typical ‘conversation’ would go something like this:
Brendon: Do you think we should do task A or task B?
Rachel: Task A. No, wait, task B. Oh Brendon! Why do you have to ask me stuff like that!! What did I DO? Tell me what I DID!??
Brendon: I’m just asking which task you like to do, that’s all.
Rachel: Stop being so mean to me!!! Why are you being so horrible!!!
Rachel: Stop it!! What did I DO to you!!?? I’M NOT MARRYING YOU, I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE TREATING ME LIKE THIS!!
[starts crying at the top of her voice]
She was clearly insane, and I spent most of season 20 with my jaw on the floor, just wishing for Jet or Cord to pass in front of the camera and shout “OH MY GRAVY!!” at the stupid girl. Season 21 is the one that’s “live” now in the States, so I have to wait at least a month before I can download the whole series and bask in more nonsense. And then…..then there’s no more! What am I going to DO without Phil and his Amazing Race Eyebrows??
OH MY GRAVY!!
I’d never heard about this before the Golden Globes, but that Lena Dunham woman seemed to be everywhere for no apparent reason, so I thought I’d check this out. It’s a cross between Sex & The City and Gossip Girl, so it’s essentially about the adventures of a group of 20-something girls living in New York City. Where it differs from the other two shows, is that it’s very sharply observed and realistic – to a point. It’s explicit, in parts, but it’s never gratuitous, just painfully truthful and very bravely acted, because there really is no hiding place. Created, written and directed by Ms Dunham, the best thing about this comedy-drama, is that not everybody is drop dead gorgeous, which adds to its authenticity. It’s going to appeal to women more than men, but it’s not exclusive. It basically draws on every awkward twentysomething experience you’ve ever had, and recreates them in raw, acute detail, without feeling cliched. Very difficult to do. If I saw this show summarised in that three-sentence block of text in the Radio Times, I’d avoid it like the plague. So glad I didn’t.
3. 30 Rock
I stalled on this for a while because I couldn’t find a torrent. Thankfully, I’m back on track with Season 2, and once again I’m in tears most of the time. The highlights so far – Jack Donaghy giving absent-parent therapy to Tracy Jordan, and the peerless Ludi-Christmas episode. Pure genius.
4. Sons of Anarchy
This has been on my radar for a while, just never got chance to look at it. It’s about a biker gang in the Californian town of “Charming” (which instantly annoyed me…), to which our young hero, Jackson Teller (Charlie Hunnam), belongs. The gang is run by the guy who used to be the beast in 1980s telly show “Beauty & The Beast”, who takes over the leadership of the gang, from Jackson’s dad (his best mate), who was offed in a car ‘accident’. But there are enough furtive looks going around every time the accident is mentioned, to make it clear it was no accident. ‘Beast’ has also made himself comfortable in Jackson’s evil mam’s bed, so he’s essentially taken the dad’s place, in every way, which makes me think it’s not really worth watching the rest of the series, as it’s a bit obvious where all this is going. Anyway, Jackson is obviously ‘a good boy’ deep down, and struggles with the horrible things he has to do as part of the nasty gang. He also has a newborn son, a crackhead ex-wife, and a massive dose of sexual tension with his impossibly beautiful high school sweetheart, who just happens to be a surgeon at the local hospital, with very improbable eyebrows.
The best thing about this show, so far, is Kim Coates, who I’ve loved in just about everything he’s ever done. So underrated, understated, and a pure joy to watch. This is one of the biggest shows in the US, and I have about 6 seasons to catch up on, so I’m going to try and stick with it, and hope that the massively obvious upcoming plot points, aren’t as obvious as I think they are…
4. The Following
Now this is more up my alley, so to speak. Dave got me onto this, and as soon as I saw that it starred a seasoned, yet obviously handsome, Brit actor, playing a sophisticated serial killer, chased by a maverick, washed-up alcoholic former FBI agent/headfucker as played by an 80s teeen movie icon…, well, it’s got ‘Emmy’ written all over it. James Purefoy will become Stateside’s new Damien Lewis, and Kevin Bacon will be, well, Kevin Bacon. So, it’s staple serial killer fare, packed with as many slasher cliches as you can shake a 6-inch kitchen knife at. But therein lies the joy, because it doesn’t try and be anything else.
Purefoy is gloriously Ted Bundy-esque, as the plummy-voiced English professor-turned-killer, who seems to have turned psycho simply because nobody liked the book that he wrote. Kevin Bacon is more Bacon-ish than he’s ever been, and I can’t believe he’s never done ‘tortured FBI agent with lots of secrets and a vodka problem’ before, unless I missed it. And yes, they have the drop-dead gorgeous female agent, and the puppy dog learner-agent, who’ll finish the series as a freshly-blooded veteran, if he hasn’t been killed by Episode 5. The Following promises much, and looks certain to deliver at least as many twisty-turny things to fill the Homeland void, and keep me satiated until September.
5. American Horror Story: Asylum
Only a couple of eps from the end now, and it’s either going to dazzle me with one of the best endings to a show ever, or let me down like a soggy souffle. Do I have a clue what’s going on? Of course not, but I don’t care. I adore this show, and there’s no way Ryan Murphy wrote it without the help of lots and lots of drugs. Or maybe the drugs were used for Glee, and Asylum is him, sober. Whatever. This show has the same effect on me today, as Twin Peaks did in 1990. It makes no sense at all, but at the same time is so easy (and gorgeous) to watch, that I just never want it to end. I’m still waiting for the “Bob in the bathroom mirror” moment, but there’s still time…
The Stats Bit:
Month 1: 8.75lbs
Month 2: 5.25lbs
Month 3: 1lb
Month 4: 0.5lbs
Weeks 17-18 (Christmas & NY!) – plus 3.5lbs
Week 19: 6lbs
Week 20-21: 0.5lbs
Total after 147 days: 18.5lbs