L2M and PC's Battle For "Won't" Power

Tue May 09, 2006

Excuses Time!

Sorry, not posts for ages and you can guess why, can't you?

L2M has been a BBBBAAAAAAAAADDDDD Boy! Look at these numbers and tell me they add up. They add to L2M piggging out and letting his diet regime go to peices!!

This was my weight on April 4th - 118.6kg.


Excuses for that? - just after the Rugby 7s, had been partying all week and weekend, out for dinner, copious beers, you name it!

Here is my weight this morning - 120.2kg.


Wow! Back over the 120 mark!!! Scared straight! For the last few days it has been this high or worse, and it has prompted a restart of the whole thing - back into the diet and exercise pronto! L2M has been swimming each of the last three days, although his tolerance is right down. Managed 12 minutes of laps - about 450m - before retiring exhausted to the sun-lounge! Last week it was 5 minutes - maybe 200m.

I could tell something was going wrong lately as I have been forced into dropping back a hole in my belt, after the great success of going down two early last year in my first big weigt drop period (from 128 to 115).

Excuses abound.

Lots of visitors from Hong Kong - social life, BBQs, wines (lots of wines)...

Lots of travel - they take you out for lunch and dinner and order up big because work is paying. Routine of exercise broken like a twig. I only managed one visit to a gym in the last two months, and that was to use a crappy broken down walking machine in Vietnam. No lap swimming while travelling. Either they have no pools or the social life is too demanding, when they drop you back at the hotel at 10pm, the pool is closed anyway.

While at home in the last week I have been cooking well and drinking a fair bit of wine as well. (The [yellow tail] shiraz at $20 is the best wine bargain in Singapore right now! Grab it at cold Storage - a luscious drop, you'd swear it cost 4 times as much.) As far as food goes, I still am unable to make a serving size that is suitable for less than three people. Squid curry, chicken in black-bean, lamb and bean cassarole, steak spuds and a large salad - all gigantic serves. I am just eating too much.

Plus bread and cheese have been particularly strongly abused in L2M GHQ of late...

OK, I have to call my Herbalife contact man and get some more supplies for my meal replacements. I am thinking of spreading lots of fruit and healthy nibble snacks through the morning and afternoon as well so I don't get home famished. Doing the forager type diet, so long as I limit myself to low calorie things... That worked really last year when The Mouse was at home cooking small servings of low calorie stuff. Maybe I should eat out more, as restaurant meals are generally smaller than what I stuff myself with at home.

Certainly too, I need to up the ante on the exercise. Ever since my slight vaso-vagal scare of last year I have been over-cautious and a bit scared to do too much - to do anything actually.

The Red Queen was right: it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place, if you want do get somewhere else, you have to run faster than that...

Let's knuckle down and get back into this...

A thought: Any gorgeous sporty girls willing to be my personal trainer?


Posted by: expat@large on May 09, 06 | 4:48 pm | Profile

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Wed Mar 01, 2006

Lunch Averted

Swinging on the handrails on the bus this morning, people watching from behind my dark glasses, it dawned on me that I had left my chicken schniztel and avacado in the fridge.

Damn. I hate it when that happens.


and a new person in the office this morning. A golfer! Might be able to get something going as far as a regular game is concerned.

I only do it for the exercise. And the masochism. (Have you seen Robyn Williams golf routine? Hilarious.)

And to turn my incipient Mouse-User's Wanker's Tennis Elbow (pronator tendonitis) into an established Golfer's Elbow (supinator tendonitis).


Posted by: expat@large on Mar 01, 06 | 9:20 am | Profile

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Tue Feb 28, 2006

What More Can Poor Boy Do?

... when the boss orders in pizza for lunch in the office as we have a bunch of Iraqis in for training. And they can't eat them cause of all the ham and shellfish and non-Halal toppings.

You just have to pitch in and help right? Despite 30 seconds before having said: "I am going to be strong and resist this!" Despite that, you just HAVE to help them get rid of all the chicken satay, seafood, Hawaiian and pepperoni pizzas, not to mention the spicy chicken wings.

You just HAVE to, right?


As punishment for my sins, I made sure I went swimming tonight. 600m.

That is as about as much as I can manage. I am getting a sore elbow. Tennis elbow, the pronator tendon insertion site, just under the bulky muscle you see when you look down at your elbow as you type. Not from tennis, but from blogging, I think. Or wanking. I'll scan it tomorrow. Ultrasound is excellent for musculo-skeletal injuries, even better than MRI in quite a few problems.

Dinner tonight was that excellent fat/oil delivery medium, the chicken schnitzel. Bloody beautiful. I used a whole chicken breast, two schnitzels. I didn't eat one and will take it with me to work tomorrow with the leftover half of an avacado from the salad. I'll grab a crusty bread roll from the Dutch Bakery in Harbourfront and make a sandwich for lunch.



An issue in Asia. The only decent bread is in Vietnam, I reckon. And the Dutch bakery in Harbourfront.

This BreadTalk crap is soft, flabby pulp for people with such atrocious teeth they are afraid of chewing as one of their last remaining, smoke-yellowed, black-caried, never-brushed mandibular tombstones might get sucked out in the process. Yes that'd be the majority of Asians who as a rule couldn't give a flying fuck about their dentition.

When negotiating (ha!) my previous role in a VERY LARGE WORLD CORPORATION in Hong Kong, I asked about their Dental Plan. The HR person went: "What? Dental plan? No, we don't have a Dental Plan. Why would you...? Ah, that's right you Western people worry about your teeth." She smiled her smoke-yellowed, black-caried, never-brushed smile at me as if to say, who gives a fuck about teeth?

In contrast to the bland pap in BreadTalk, a decent loaf or bread roll is something that once you get your teeth into, you can't get them out again without an effort. The crust is -- well, crusty, so much so it tear great gashes in your gums. And chewy? After two rolls, your masseters ache from the effort, you can't talk - a perfect workout. Yeah, the bread inside is thick and yet light, airy without being full of holes (it's called yeast, people! Use it with disgression!)

Oh man, what wouldn't I give for a regular supply of that apotheosis of bread, the Continental Rolls from the Hughes St Bakery (not sure how to link the GoogleEarth co-ordinates, can anyone help?) in Manifold Heights, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. The displaced heart of the Croatian bread industry. If there's one thing we do well in Geelong, it's wog food.

I used to work with wife of the baker there, until he died. Then, not long after she died too. A lovely person who was very sympathetic with me and supportive during my marriage break-up. She suffered with severe exophthalmos from over-treatment of her thyroid disfunction [dis- means abnormal, dys- means painful], which unfortunately alienated her from a lot of people. She couldn't wear glasses, her eyes touched the lenses. (Hint: "In the Tibetan philosophy, Sylvia Plath sense of the word, I know we're all, we're all dying, right?") Her hubby made kick-arse hot-cross buns every Easter as well.

But they were good Aussies through and through; from Simpson, Western District of Victoria,near the 12 Apostles, near Colac. And man, for an Aussie, he made a bread rolls like a real wog!

And bigotry, did I mention we we do bigotry well too?

If multiculturalism *doesn't* mean a different ethnic restaurant or grocer or baker on every corner, then what the fuck good is it?


Posted by: expat@large on Feb 28, 06 | 10:22 pm | Profile

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Sun Feb 26, 2006

Same old same-o...

Nobody has commented on the lack of entries in this blog - obviously no-one except PC and myself are reading it! GOOD! This is so embarrassing.

I've been business tripping all the last few eeks, and the inevitable temptations have conquered me. Mainly around breakfast time - I don;t have a fatty or greasy breakfast, but I love a good cereal mix - bran flakes, those crunchy granola ones, and Bircher muesli with nuts and fruits with yoghurt on top and skim milk, plus toast - with butter. Sometimes made into a cheese and ham sandwich if they have Jarlsberg and good ham.

I seriously judge a the quality hotel by its cereals at the breakfast buffett. Well not totally, as the Jakarta Hilton had a nice selection and it still is one VERY SHITE hotel.

Speaking of toast: I did the Gut-Busters program back in Australia several years ago. The coach, not much of a dietitian actually, came up with tip that explains the total lack of understanding skinny people have for those of us who love food.

"Let you toast go cold before you butter it," he said. "That way it will not melt the margarine and so you'll use less of it."

Problems with this:

a) margarine? I can't believe it's not toxic!

b) cold toast? What the fuck are you thinking? The purpose of toast is to be an efficient butter and vegemite delivery device. The more butter melts in, the better. Well up to a point. No-one likes soggy toast - which is why you don't use margarine on toast; it instantly deconstructs into oil and water in the presence of warm crispy oxidated bread. The toast turns to mushy pulp. Gaagg.

Butter however holds itself together as a big buttery dollop for quite some time, and only insinuates its way into the matrix of toast molecules slowly and tastefully, bearing rich warm buttery butteriness into the heart of the matrix, note, without sogginess. Then vegemite! OK or some ginger/orange marmalade on the second slice.

So you can see my trouble with his advice. It ignores the complete sensual experience that toast can and should convey. Dietitians just miss the point of eating.

You can also see why dieting is such a problem for me. I have my preferences in life.


OK breakfast is a problem when I am travelling. Then of course it's the lunch with everybody, followed by the dinner with everybody plus beers to celebrate the inevitable 20 system sale and to thank me for saving their otherwise rapidly sinking arses. It's all I get, seeing as how I am not on commission.

Also last weekend, I had visitors, did I mention? My old flatmeate and her boyfriend stayed at Chez L2M. This resulted in many varied and delicious meals and a few beers as well (they are not serious drinkers, fortunately.) Went to the Old Airport Rd hawker stall and tried, at my cabbies suggestion, the herbal steamed chicken. Fuck that was good. Could have eaten the entire chook by myself. Ah flavour and texture and aroma...

Exercise has been limited by my full social/work life, but when I am home on the weekend, I still get my laps in (except today). I even went to the gym at the hotel in Vietnam and walked uphill for 30 mins - about 180 calories according to the readout.

So the result is that the weight has been going up and down over the last few weeks. This morning I was the same as when I started... Shit.

Weight: 117.1kgs

Waist: measureed last weekend at 135cm - the same.

Back in town for a 2 weeks, so with reduced peer pressure there is a real chance I can restrict the breakfast and lunch to diet smoothies and fruit. 2 weeks of that should make a difference.



Posted by: expat@large on Feb 26, 06 | 9:33 pm | Profile

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Fri Feb 24, 2006

Pulling my weight..

I've been terribly swamped at work.. well, no, that's not technically correct.. it's more like I've been terribly swamped at non work... business overall has been really quiet and have been working doubly and triply hard in order to bring in the numbers.

E@L did a great job in the last post. I must do my part.

My issues?

Basically, it's my relationship with food. I came from family where both of my parents were not around for me, and my care giver was my grand aunty. While she was uneducated, she gave me what she could afford, picked after me, cleaned after me... AND COOKED FOR ME...

The staples? Fatty pork cooked in dark source (accompanied by at least a centimetre thick of oil, no less), bee hoon cooked with Ma-Ling brand fatty pork, luncheon meat, Instant noodles.. and no less than 12 other dishes totally laden with cholesterol and fat.. all of the bad stuff and practically none of the good.

And yet... all these food remind me of the love that one woman had for me that others didn't... Is it really that surprising to see how strong the emotions these foods evoke within me?

I remember telling E@L over laksa the reasons why I wanted to lose weight... my children, I remember telling him, is the main reason...

I've a lively one year old.. while he was at 10 months, he was already walking around and demanding that we do things together... carry him, dance with him, sing to him, tickle him... Judging by things now.. it's likely that he's going to start wanting to do things other kids want to do with their dads.. go running, swimming, blading, play football... I'm afraid that when the time comes, I can't do it. I'm afraid of being less than what I'm expected to be.

I remember once when my elder 5-year-old daughter came up to me and said "Daddy.. you must eat less you know..."... when she was but only 4. She has used the word "fat" on me on numerous occasions. Did she hear it from her friends? Is she ashamed of being seen with me? If not, will the time ever come?

Last of all, I want to be still alive to see my kids graduate. I want to see them get married. I want to see them have children. I want to be a proud parent and grandparent...

These are the reasons why I want to be less of a man... in order to be more of the man I was meant to be....

Meanwhile, my progress report.

After my recent Surabaya trip, I continue to be at the 115kg level. Not bad, considering how one can slide on business trips.

The plan? Next week, I'm going for the Skatesport Unlimited classes which begins 25th February 2006... and I'm targetting 3 times a week.

Anyone want to accompany a big round scardy cat?

Posted by: pc on Feb 24, 06 | 12:59 am | Profile

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Fri Feb 10, 2006

Blog Meeting

Met up with PC in - where else would overweight, slightly unattractive fellas meet up? - Geylang.

Details in the main blog coming soon.

PC's issues are slightly different from L2M's because... well I let him talk about his issues...

L2M issues are to do with advancing age and the inexorable threat of mortality. Some big surprise there. Not.

Also pressing is the possibility (long odds if you ask him) of the close bosom friend of the maturing son having kids eventually - if they stick together - and L2M wanting to be around to enjoy grand-parenthood, and be something more than the "send me a photo" variety.

Also pressing is the fact that E@L hasn't written his novel(s). [Short stories, essays, biographies, reviews, Wikipedia entries, travelogues, letters ot the editor, shopping lists, anything publishable at all other than scientific theses and articles, and precious few of them as well...]

First love is literature, second love is attention-seeking - ergo he should become a famous novelist. Stands to reason.

He has had sufficient shocks to kick-start a Change Of Life into a writing career, even having six-months off in 2004, but there is nothing but the blog to show for any of his high-faluting ambitions.

His current work involves a lot of vascular studies and his machine shows that his arteries are hardening nicely thank you very much - something that can be partially eased or at least slowed down by diet, exercise, aspirin, anti-statins, Vit E, Vit C, arginine, citrulline, fruit, vegetables, sex, waving magic stones and crystals in the general vicinity and virgin sacrifices at midnight under a full moon (see: sex). Not necessarily in that order. And call me in the morning.

Maybe he needs something really big - like Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange, etc. Burgess was teaching in Brunei in 1959 when he collapsed with a supposed brain tumour. (His harrowing account of having an air-encephalogram, a procedure thankfully made obsolete by CAT-scanners, in The Doctor Is Sick explains his life-long detestation of radiographers such as L2M.) He had already written three books, but he published three more that year of the diagnosis, in order to provide for his wife. It turned out to be probably excess alcohol and the "stress of the tropics" which caused him to collapse - "It shnot a tooOOOmah!" - but the feverish writing regimen never let up. He published about 40 more novels and studies in twenty years.

"Writer's block?" he once said famously on Parkinson. "I don't get writer's block. I am a writer, I am paid to write. You don't hear of a cobbler getting cobbler's block!"

So, anyway. (A typical blogger's comment.) Not only does L2M need time to read all his books, he needs time to write some. So he is trying to drop the risk factors... I guess he could also slow down on the blogging and actually write something in the way of stories...

He also needs to do his expenses for the last six months, prepare updated training presentations - he realised this week, giving the basic sound and Doppler physics talks how simplisitc and superficial they are - put some handouts together for the users of the new system, get back to the dentist for root-canal and a cap, AND get a social life.

Which reminds... No exercise or diet last night thanks to PC and he going to Geylang. A back-breaking Thai massage (legit) and a large bowl of definitely non-diet Laksa on Lor 9...

Up 0.5kgs this am! Damn that man! (Laying the blame elsewhere, nota bene.)


Posted by: expat@large on Feb 10, 06 | 3:16 pm | Profile

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Thu Feb 09, 2006

Week2 Update

Been busting with work rather than exercise last few days, and the working a piece or two on the other blog so haven't posted much.

Exercise: Missed Sunday, due to shopping and sleeping, but otherwise still swimming most days. About 500 - 600m. I'll have to up the ante and head ot the gym very soon.

Diet: Breakfast is still smoothie, and lunch, except for the last two days I've had the guys in for training and had to take them to a Halal food court and pay for their meals, so I might as well have a plateful of rice and some curry and veg myself, right?...

However, when I have the meal replacement and fruit for lunch, I tend to get home quite ravenous and have been having sneaking a pre-dinner snack of some cheeses on farmer-style bread as I catch up on the news - nice bread, whole-grain, sultanas, walnuts...YUMMY! Then still have too much for main course - half a chicken or so, plus a potato and a medium corn-cob... In butter with salt. BAD BAD BAD.

Despite this, since last Wednesday when I took the first weigh in with the new scales - it is now next Thursday - the picture this morning does show some decrease in my gravity compliance.

Weight: 115.8kg. That's a saving of 1.7kgs! But wait, there's mooooooorrrrrre..


Also last night I picked up some dress-maker's tape, finally and the result is here for you to be astonished at. That spooky concavity is my belly-button... Scary huh? I am super-duper relaxing here. Not pushing out, but just letting it all hang. There is a strong urge to do the belly-suck-in thing as soon as you put something around your waist, so I had to fight that quite hard.

Waist: 134.5cm (That's about 53in!)


The protocol for these readings is that these numbers are the average of 3 measurements, by the way. Step on, check weight, step off. Repeat x 2. Divide by 3. Measure tummy x 3. Divide by 3. Eat donut.

Anticipated Difficulties Arising: Friends from Hong Kong coming down to stay at Chez E@L for the weekend. Damn. Love 'em to bits, but its gonna be hard not to hit the piss just a little bit more than normal, to say nothing of the fine food and cuisine and, um, cooking.

Next week I am travelling again - but only to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur so the risk of being exposed to irrresistable haute cuisine is pretty remote.

Strategies for Resisting Temptation: Lock myself in the bathroom... Don't know if they have a pool at the Hilton in these towns, pretty 3rd World no doubt. I find the gym more comfortable to use in some hotels rather than the pool, mainly due to hygiene concerns.

And OK, tonight I am going out for dinner to meet up with Blog Partner PC for the first time and bump bellies. Low-carb for him, small serving for me seeing as how I had a big (normal for most people) lunch.

That's the plan anyway.


Posted by: expat@large on Feb 09, 06 | 4:31 pm | Profile

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Tue Feb 07, 2006

... Warning... Disturbing Pictures Follow...

I've finally managed to gain enough testicular fortitude to take what E@L calls the "horrendous side profile"...

Here goes...


And the starting benchmark is...


Weight Loss Strategy

I have taken a look at E@L’s strategy.. which involves exercise, as well as dietary strategies such as meal replacements / calorie restrictions / portion control.

I had done all that… and ended up.. H-U-N-G-R-Y

So I shall take a different approach this time.. and if it works… I’ll continue to do this long term...

1) 20 minutes of daily exercise

I start by taking daily brisk walks of 20 minutes. After I go down a few kilograms to, say, 110 kgs, I’ll start increasing the activity levels…

2) Dietary strategies

I shall be going the low-carb route this time… I just can’t stand feeling hungry. I’ve got friends who’ve gone on the Atkins Diet and they tell me that you feel satiated over longer periods of time… with the longer term implication being that you end up eating much less….

So folks, I’ve bared my body… now I need you guys to support both E@L and myself as well endeavour to become healthier…

Oh dude… I’m still trying to get the hang of posting here… so please bear with the lack of links and formatting for now! :o)

Posted by: pc on Feb 07, 06 | 10:52 pm | Profile

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Mon Feb 06, 2006

Treading Water

Not too much success over the weekend in L2M's battle against his inner demons...

Diet: Still basically sticking with the 2 meals-a-day replacement schema, but seem to be pigging out on the evening meals. Hunger I guess. Saturday was at a friend's place - lasagna extravaganza and extraservanza with even more chicken pasta salad to round it out, and seconds of some sweet creme-caramel type dessert as well. Total carb blowout. Not to mention wine.


Oops, mentioned it. A really nice Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley is available in Tanglin Marketplace. Very drinkable at $38. L2M has had several bottles already this week. Several of which he didn't have to share.

Not tonight though. No, tonight he's on the gin, tonic and bitters. Found the bitters at Tanglin as well. Great stuff! OK, no more alcohol this week. Until drinks with PC on Tuesday or Wednesday...

Foodwise: too much chicken red curry left over from last night - another double serve tonight. It just tastes too fucking good! Truly, L2M can only mete out the ingredients in 2 person sizes otherwise it looks really weird. 15 years habit when Nat was growing up. Something he's gotta work on I guess.

Exercise: except for today - playing with the HiFi all evening - have been continuing the swimming and doing 15 min solid - which is about 600m. Dudes, that's not an insubstantial amount! That's 12 lengths of an Olympic pool... OK, when L2M was surfing he would be paddling against waves and currents for hours on end, but like, that was thirty years ago.

Hang on there, did he say 30? THIRTY YEARS?

Shit, did he when he was 18, L2M was a reasonably passable surfer, doing all the moves that were current at that era - cutbacks, re-entries, tube rides... amazing what we could do on those lumps of balsa...

Waist: Still no measuring tape. Don't think we've dropped many cm in a week. Did drop 2 belt-holes last year, so it can be done.

Weight: 116.4 this morning, but it was a bad weekend.

OK. Let's hear from PC. What's he been up to?


Posted by: expat@large on Feb 06, 06 | 9:50 pm | Profile

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Sun Feb 05, 2006

Virgin Post!

Ooooo... breakthrough! Finally!

Looks like I gotta get into the weight loss thing REALLY quick... had a nasty attack of the "rich-man's disease" (quite the misnomer... too freaking far from being rich... *grimace*) on the right ankle.. still achey despite being on medication for 1 whole day.

As part of the initiation, and taking the lead from the prominent (heh heh) EOL, I'll post a side profile (which I promise will not be a pretty sight) and perhaps go and get a decent weighing scale... Stay tuned folks...

*Let's bring it on!!!!*

Posted by: pc on Feb 05, 06 | 9:01 pm | Profile

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