Monday, March 18, 2013


My apologies, I got so flat out getting ready to go away that I forgot to post that I was going away (giving priority to my non-virtual existence, how could I?). So here we are in Osaka, shortly to pack up and move to Kyoto. Having a great time, wish you were here etc etc. No, really, I do wish you were here. You'd love it.
mata aimasho, ne?

(see you soon, eh?)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

LBTEPA how-to #296

Welcome to the latest in the fanstastic series of LBTEPA how-to tips, sworn by by the fabulous and at by grammarians!
LBTEPA how-to #296: how to be bad-arse at the gym when you're overweight and middle-aged.
1. Don't be friendly. At our gym anyway, this is a rookie mistake. Make the minimum eye-contact for politeness (ditto smiling). Don't take this personally. It's becuase this is a Serious Gym - and you're Serious too. Oh yes you are. So it's all good.
2. Cover the elliptical machine readout, plug in your music and just run (ellipt? I dunno what it's called). You are bad-arse - you don't clock-watch, you just sweat until the job's done. Hold your form. Look as though you're enjoying yourself, in a purposeful way even though on the inside your legs are jelly and your determination-muscle is weak and sooky. You know what you're doing: you've been here before. Often. Wipe the machine after you've used it, becuase a) you've sweated up a monsoon and it'd be disgusting to do otherwise and b) good manners are bad-arse.Trust me.
3. Stretch. Gumby is bad-arse.

4. Cut the sleeves off your el-cheapo dri-fit shirt. For my darlings, you must wear dri-fit or coolmax or some kind of technical fabric when you exercise. Especially if, like LBTEPA, you glow like an absolute racehorse at the slightest exertion. But I digress. Cut off the sleeves of your ill-fitting, baggy this-thing-is-hideous-but-I'm-not-spending-lots-of-money-on-new-exercise-gear v-neck and you are instantly bad-arse. You wear a muscle shirt. You don't care what you look like becuase you have come to the gym to work out, thankyou very much, but it's also hot and you're jolly well going sleeveless (exposing your overweight middle-aged upper arms, quelle horreur!) and you're not apologising to anyone.
Bonus points if you cut the sleeves off one of your marathon finisher shirts; clearly you have so many that you don't care about them that much, and are obviously only on the elliptical becuase you're injured.
Any more to add?

More anon, hissy-fitters!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Watch this space

This post is about our heroine's well-documented predilection for a few too many sherbies a bit too often, and the latest plan to Smarten LBTEPA Up.
I have come to terms with the fact that there are those who will curl their lips contemptuously when they read of an otherwise quite functional 46-year-old who struggles with the siren call of the stress relief, anger management, personal space, comfort, celebration and ritual that is a nice chardy. You know what? They are more than entitled to do so: they have their reasons, I expect. I own my shame and guilt but I don't own other peoples' judgements. Their putative thoughts about me are not a reason to avoid stuff I need to explore. Part of me hopes that my story of I'm not perfect, and I'm sorry about that, but I'll never give up trying to live a better life might be helpful to someone else. You never know.
So. What's the Plan? Relying on self-restraint, shoulds, focussing on my weight or future health hasn't worked very well. Training for Very Slow Marathons worked, but it's clear I need something for when I can't, and quicksticks, too since my ankle  surgery is in a month ewwwwwwww.  Abstaining For Charity last July was ok, but I was very aware that it was short-term, and re-embraced my old habits afterward with unbecoming gusto.  So what to do?
I'm trying to be more realistic this time. Let's face it, I'm not giving up the demon drink altogether any time soon and I'm not going to pretend otherwise. This may cause another round of lip-curling, but again, that's not my stuff. The trouble with being a functional drinker is that it's easy to keep kidding yourself. I stopped that quite a while ago, but it's been hard to work out what I need to drink in a different way means.
I still don't know, but I do have A Plan. It involves watches.
If knowing oneself is a sign of maturity, then I'm all grown up now and happy to admit that it is all about the extrinsic rewards for me. Gimme bling or I'm not interested, but make the bling nice enough and I'll give it my all.  The Plan Is This: once I have recorded fifty alcohol-free days on the kitchen calendar (with star stickers!) I will buy myself one of the lovely watches pictured below, which I have coveted for some time. The Plan also takes into account the ol' LBTEPA tendency toward 'bugger it I've had one that's blown it I might as well have another couple' with the One Glass Rule: stopping at one glass and only one earns a dot on the calendar. Three dots equals a star sticker. Moderation is good!
I'm pretty excited about this. It feels like a good thing to do. I'm not going to make it a big part of the continuing story of LBTEPA or keep a tally in my sidebar or anything - just one day I'll post a photo of me in a brand new watch. You'll see.

In obligatory exercise news, I am working very hard at getting to love the elliptical machine at the gym. It's as much fun as it sounds. But in a good way.
More anon, tickers-off!