I leave home on Wednesday at midnight, John takes me to Heathrow for a 6 a.m. flight to Madrid and onwards to Buenos Aires, landing at 10 p.m. local time on Thursday, (1 a.m. bodyclock time), with a further hour and a half drive to where I'm going, a friend's house, then an early start on Friday to get several things done before my first presentation (see previous posts for explanation). I'm tired just thinking about it!
I'm not complaining though - it's the most exciting thing I've done in years, and I've thrown myself into the preparation of the PowerPoint presentation which I'll be giving three or four times, practising it over and over (it's still 23 minutes though...). I've also done a narrative to put on CD complete with pretty picture burned in with a machine we have at work, to make it look professional - and I've got a dozen copies to hand out. If I don't find a publisher, it won't be for lack of trying - and not just by me, but the brilliant people at the other end who have helped me to organise it and put my best foot forward.
My bandit friends have helped me too. It's the most wonderful form of therapy to pour out one's miseries and insecurities in cyber space; there's such a potentially massive audience out there, that there's always someone with whom it strikes a chord and who is willing to tell you so. It's so appreciated when they do.
Back in August I wanted to lose at least 10 kg before I went to Argentina - and perhaps it was too ambitious, I've managed 6 - this morning I weighed 91, a total of 23 kg down from before banding. The exercise has helped me feel fitter, and I feel well able to do a great deal more walking than I could a year ago, but it hasn't speeded up the weight loss. I'm not whingeing, I realize this is not a bad result - it's back to the old torment of the slimmer: patience, lack of.
We shouldn't weigh ourselves every day, but we can't resist, because sometimes our wellbeing for the rest of the day is set by the reading on those scales - and negatively too. I'm despondent for hours when I've gone up because I dined late the night before, and on carbs, however modestly. Wailing "it's not fair!" is childish, but it's so hard to keep it to yourself. Those around you are sympathetic but too accustomed to hearing you say it... You're having to live through yet another day of postponing your weightloss...
But you live through it, mostly by throwing yourself into an activity that isn't as self-centred as obsessing about weight loss, and the days pass, and eventually the scales relent. It's a day to day struggle, and I read it over and over in other blogs - Bunny, Shaggs, Dawn, Tina, Roo, Carla, Bridget, Breanne and my bandit friend Cherith, who doesn't have a blog but communicates by e-mail. All expressed differently (all interesting) but all trying to live with the screaming impatience caused by the incredible hope that the band brings to our lives.
In addition to all those mentioned above, the non-bandits are just as supportive and wonderful, in my case Helen and Simone who I know would make lifelong friends if I met them (all these blogs are listed on the right).
On Wednesday I'm going to Taunton to have an unfill, perhaps 1 or 1.5 ml. This is deliberate, and I admit I feel uneasy about it. I don't need it, but the next few weeks are going to see me eating as a guest at other people's houses or in restaurants with all the kind people who have helped me, or in restaurants on the road travelling around - in all these situations, where I'm going to need all my confidence anyway, I just can't risk food getting stuck, feeling ill and disappearing to the loo, returning with (in my case) a blotchy face and red rings under my eyes, which take up to 2 days to disappear (so Claudia Schiffer can relax).
I admit that for a little while I would also quite like to be able to eat Argentine steak, breaded schnitzels, known as milanesas, and empanadas (a garlicky, spicy minced beef pasty, often deep fried, and to die for). I'm not planning to pig out on these things, I just want to be able to have a modest portion, and at the moment all these foods are totally out of the question. But we don't learn good habits with the band - and if I'm too wide open I probably will eat too much, then wail about it when I get back...
This is the first slide of my presentation -
If I find cyber cafes I'll try and blog occasionally to say what I'm up to. I return Sunday 22nd November.