Thursday, 29 December 2011

The week before Christmas 17-23 Dec

I had a plan - to bring some christmas cheer to my mum, who lives on the other side of the world. Well, it sort of came off, next year hopefully I'll either be there in person or we'll all have practiced... :D the plan was to have a Christmas carol singalong on Skype. Unfortunately it was mostly me singing, 'cos mum forgot to print out her song sheets - oops! Impediments aside though, we sang/mumbled Good King Wencelas, Hark, the Herald Angels, Silent Night, O little town of Bethlehem and the Holly & the Ivy. I'm going to expand my repertoire for next year :) AND get the piano tuned!

Been quite a busy week - last minute work stuff, and tackling the housekeeping mountain that is my abode. Sometimes I just cannot believe how much messiness one person and a cat can produce - of course much of this is a chronic dislike of disturbing dust because it makes me sneeze, and an ingrained habit of not bothering to put things away so I'm forever hunting for stuff and creating more mess by doing so. Heh - just with that last sentence I can see easy solutions to my domestic drama - keep place dust-free by regular small applications of dusting & vacuuming (no big clouds & dust bunnies to provoke my nasal passages) and by returning things to their proper place, no more tottering piles & calamitous chaos. I am reminded here, yet again of the efficacy of small steps. The canyon can be carved, the stalactite formed, the greatest journey made by small actions done repetitively and often.

Food & Scale News
I weighed myself on the 23rd - 23 st 10 lbs was my best number.

This I can certainly put down to scarfing pizza twice this week, having cheese & biscuits, croissants, butter, chocolates, and eating full-fat creme fraiche. In a doofus moment I picked up the purple pot instead of the half-fat green one... 

I also did an analysis of my foodstuffs - way too much of processed foods creeping back into my menus, and a decided fall in the variety and amount of veg - eek! However I am pleased to report that my chocolate intake was 25% than last week, and I kept away from the mince pies (saving that treat for Christmas week!) Fruit was sufficiently high - I had 2 avocados as well as bananas & clementines. I love clementines, they're just so Christmassy! Heh - AND good for me ;)

Still getting through Christmas week itself, will post next weekend. Amazingly I don't feel like I've over-indulged to excess. I have had a good time and had plenty of festive treats and enjoyed my time with friends and family.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Christmas countdown

Still tracking all food. This week has been rather full of indulgences. Since I discovered that lump of butter residing in my fridge I seem to have become obsessed with using it up! Part of this is also the feeling that one should not waste good food. Perhaps this is another of my habitual 'rules' for eating that I will learn to unlearn. That even if food is good, it is okay to leave it on the plate IF I am not hungry! :) Getting to that point might take a while yet, so in the meantime keeping tabs by weighing and measuring is getting me to a place I want to be.

I have indulged in 
butter, mince pies, Roses chocolates

On the other hand
I have had 6/7 days of feeling happy with my tummy, my knees and my general well-being. :D
and all that butter comes to less than 100g, the sweets - around 24 individually wrapped chocolates, and 6 mince pies. Over the week. Not a gluttonous binge by any means.

I am finding that eating less or rather putting a smaller amount initially on my plate has resulted in my eating smaller platefuls and still feeling satisfied. Yes, I am down to eating 75g of paste and finding it a perfect amount! Hooray for altering ingrained habits!

I am still prone to giving in to the impulse to cook more than I need: for example this weekend I made rice, and cooked a whole cupful instead of half. Half is enough for 2 meals. I am pleased to report however that so far I have made two meals out of this quantity, and there are still leftovers... :)

Every little victory of this sort is such good news, I have to record it, so when I do look back I can see how I did it.

Over a year ago, I started this journal. At one point, I talked about how little steps done consistently will bring me to a different position in my life. And I am here now. I may not have lost much weight, but I have gained so much in understanding my reasons and habits that led me to gaining the weight in the first place. All this insight is helping me amend my behaviour so I can achieve this goal of being a healthier, fitter and ultimately happier person living a life I enjoy, and without the constraints I currently impose on it because of my weight.

I see all the weeks of 2012 in front of me, and I see lots of tiny steps getting me to where I want to be. And that is so good.

Scale news
Hovering between 23st 7lbs and 23st 11 lbs. So it may be a gain this week. Healthwise knees are feeling great, only a few aches and loose joint feelings elsewhere.

Happy Christmas to everyone, may your holidays be wonderful.

Monday, 12 December 2011

First Frost

Saturday morning I woke up to a beautiful frost, all the ugly old flat roofs were covered in a gorgeous rime of crispy white. Darn, should have taken a photo.

Food news
Tracked every thing I ate again this week 3-9 Dec, good and bad. Overindulged in processed meats this week - note to self: chorizo is meant to be eaten in small tasty additions! However I can attest that Revilla chorizo is okay, but I am sure I can make my own homemade chorizo (a la River Cottage's Hugh Fearnley-W's inspirational show) where I can be absolutely sure what is in it. My Revilla chorizo had a few inedible chunks of cartilage in it! Black pudding & bacon all fried in just a teaspoon of oil, on top of sliced seasoned tomatoes on a pita made for fast delicious protein packed satisfying breakfasts. Pork sausages, the best kind, hit the comfort spot to ward off the frosty weather - good bangers & mash with cabbage and a couple of sausage & pasta meals.

I also made some of my own oven dried tomatoes - had a pile of cherry tomatoes rapidly rushing to overripe. These were absolutely delicious, and I am making them again.

I've found that I really am okay now, not eating so much butter. A 250g pack has lasted me over two weeks now! Still about 50g left... Previously I'd get through at least 500g in a week if not more. I do eat a little more olive oil - it was in my sardines that I mashed on my rolls this week, and flavoured the oven dried tomato notes in my Wiltshire ham rolls. Good food, responsibly portioned. Heh - I'm still a foodie, just a better behaved and less gluttonous one!

Good bread, I have found is just as nice without butter, as long as the topping I've chosen is squidgy and flavoured enough. Mashed avocado with lemon, salt & pepper. Mashed cannelini beans, with french dressing. Mashed sardines in olive oil (lots of calcium & omega 3 - yay) I'm not so keen on almond butter, or peanut butter on their own - those just are better with a little blob of jam or honey to counteract the clagginess.

My body is feeling much better. Creakiness is lessening, yay! I'm not at the gambolling and leaping unconcernedly stage yet, but here will come a point where I won't have to think about safeguarding my knees as I rush down the stairs to answer the door.

I'm also finding that my grocery shop bills are getting smaller. Wallet is getting a slim down too!

Didn't get my walks in this week - however did do quite a lot of going up and down stairs, and a good long walk around the supermarket. And I wrote almost all my Xmas cards this week.

Scale news
It is now showing between 23st 5lbs and 23st 9lbs. The trend is definitely down. And I am wearing a big cheesy grin!

When I look at my daily consumption, I am finding I do still eat quite a lot, but it is considerably less than my previous norm. So even at this level, I am still losing weight, and the plus side is as I am retraining my taste-buds, and down-sizing my average portion sizes, the process is slow enough that my body isn't  feeling too deprived, and the panic famine mode where I go berserk and eat everything in sight are getting less and less. Beached whale days are definitely on the decrease :)

Monday, 5 December 2011

Cold weather is here

Today it is 3ºC brrrr! I'll have to start wrapping up warm for those little walks :) Only got one in this week, but also did a 2 hour wander around the supermarket. I'm finding being on my feet is less onerous than before, and the joints are definitely less creaky. Still the odd inexplicable annoying and persistent twinge in one or two, but those seem to wear off after 24 hours.

Food news
Indulged in pastries and cheese this week. I did think, when I impulsively picked up that chunk of Edam, that that could possibly be a dam bad idea... Getting the pastries though, was educational for me: next time, I buy just one pastry, and not a box of two or a packet of four. Life lessons come at all times of one's life! Also had some chocolate this week, but actually I think I am really going off very sweet things. They're not as delicious on the tongue as they are in my imagination.

Other good things of this week - I tracked every morsel past my lips, and even counted calories for a few days. The pastry scoffing days were of course quite humungously high. It did give me a realistic view of dealing with portion sizes and where all those 2000 cal recommended quotas ought to go. I can see, that when I eat normally with a little care, I can have quite a satisfying food intake and space for a treat if I remember to watch my portion sizes and measure the high cal stuff. At the moment I am training myself to eat less pasta - am down from 100g dried pasta as my standard measure to 85g now. Next step is to get me down to accepting 75g.

Heh. I feel a bit like a whittler. Whittle this little bit down, have a look, turn it, and whittle another bit down. I'm going to get my food habits all re-worked by the time I'm done whittling myself into my new shape!

Scale news
Swinging between 23 st 7lbs and 23 stone 10 lbs. So perhaps I've lost a pound. Or maybe not. The good thing is, it isn't going straight to ERR! Knees feel good, mostly - still getting the odd dislocatory twinge, I expect that will go eventually as I get lighter, and my knee & leg muscles get stronger.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

The road is long...

Yep, this road is long, and wearying, but I am getting better at it as I go along. Soon, perhaps I might be able to see successes instead of just feeling them.

Tracked food intake every day this week again. Made some less than good eating choices, but what is great is that they are all down there, along with the better ones. My new learned behaviour: I am eating with my eyes open. Yay for me!

Scale news

Still hovering between 23 st 8 and 23 st 11. The good news about this - it is a hold :)

Moving more

I got in 2 teeny tiny short walks this week - 5 minutes is all I can manage before back pain & creaking knees start. Both walks were done on sunny days. I'm taking it slow and easy into this mostly because I want to keep mobile. After each of these, my knees hurt terribly, but the upside is, there seem to be less of the wierd knee dislocatory pains. I think my muscles are now doing their job better and saving those brave joints! Also spent a couple of hours wandering around a supermarket. Gold stars to me! Doing stairs is still a bit of a gingerly effort, both coming up and down, but I am doing this at least 3-4 times a day - all good.

I am looking forward to the day I can walk a whole 30 mins again with ease, and walk up or even run up the stairs again. And a swim session can't be far off now that I'm feeling less tired after exertions, yay.

I love it - incremental improvements :) It is making me smile.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

...I'm still trackin'...

and that's the truth :)

Between 12-18 November I counted syns most days this week too, even when it reached into the 3 digits! I am pleased to say that despite all the trials & tribulations of last week - urgent work stress, the electricity mysteriously vanishing for a whole day, creaky painful knees, I am still plugging away. Butter, oil & processed foods consumption still low, but have been eating chocolates, a lot. Guess I must be needing the phenlyamines!

Scale news
Still hovering around 23 st 8 - 23st 11. I'm going to count this week as a no gain no loss.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Fireworks week

Everything on here makes me happy
This week started off with Guy Fawkes Night, an excuse to let off fireworks and general pretty explody things! I dealt with my own explosion, a bout of emotional eating that evening from dinnertime on. Classic woe-is-me-I'm-on-a-diet-and-I-feel-deprived scenario! Gosh I just have to laugh at this. But yay for me, I tracked. I tracked every single day this week, every single morsel that went into my mouth. :)

I'm still not happy about certain aspects of this eating plan. The use of Fry Light for instance. I know it is supposed to be low cal and save me calories & SYNS, but euwww, it looks gross when I spray it in the pan, food doesn't taste good, and frankly, I'd rather expend the calories and SYNS and feel happy that I'm not ingesting something I'm uncomfortable about. However, since I am now quite happy about eating very low fat fromage frais perhaps I should give this product a go, so this morning I am trying out garlic & rosemary oven roasted potatoes with it.

So, the jury is out on Fry Light for now. It's good to experiment. I may find that eating real oil is my preference and that is okay. Some fat in the daily intake is needed by my body. And if it is healthy unprocessed unadulterated fat, all the better.

Week 5-11 Nov
Success rate 71%. Yay me!

Saturday: SYNS not counting them today
But am very glad I tracked the food :)
Gosh - I ate lots of extra chocolate, a couple of wholemeal rolls & butter and two dinners - ouch! Had a revolt from Slimming World ideas at dinnertime, and made dinner as I used to before starting to measure my fats & food intake. Pork tenderloin roasted in honey olive oil & herbs, yorkshire puddings, gravy...all as much as I liked. Probably feeling sad because I could hear the fireworks outside but I wasn't out there enjoying them!

Sunday: SYNS 27.5 (not inc croissants - 13 syns or almonds - 8.5 syns per oz)
Gave myself foodie treats today - part of why I go scoffing everything is feeling deprived, so this morning I had a couple of small croissants, naked, and just as delicious as they would have been with butter & jam, and an ounce of almonds - posh Marcona ones. I think my subconscious was pleased.

Monday: SYNS 27. HEA 2. HEB 2
Had cheese! Cheese, today! An ounce of grated cheddar is quite a lot really. I never realised that before. Yummy with an ounce of half fat creme fraiche on my quorn bolognaise, which was stuffed with veggies, yum. And I had hummos, reduced fat, which I prefer anyway. Happy for me foods. Head happy, tummy happy. :) High syn count is for a tablespoon of olive oil (healthy), cheese + creme fraiche (yummy) and Ryvita (good for me fibre and lovely crunchy stuff) Heh - I also had olives, yum.

Tuesday: SYNS 17.5.  HEB 2. HEA 1
Wow - bacon & eggs and BUTTER for breakfast. Half an ounce is worth every fat globule. Fabulous celery soup, home made for lunch and chicken, left over bolognaise & veggies for dinner. RESULT! Another tummy happy, head happy day.

Wednesday: SYNS 98.5. HEA 2. HEB 1.
Oh dear. Carb meltdown. Definitely to do with the idea of 'not having'. Run out of milk, so no porridge this morning, or tea...but did have baked beans and polenta with cheese. So much of it that had half at lunch. However since fridge contents were looking very uninspiring, and in a can't be bothered mood, I ended up eating a very strange & unsatisfactory dinner. Ryvita, curried parsnip soup (found in the freezer) and a forgotten package of cold cooked beetroot, with no dressing...gosh. Now I look at it, no wonder my foodie soul revolted. Comfort food attack - heaps of white bread toast, scrambled eggs made with butter... chocolate... felt better emotionally after that. And learned a new thing about myself - feed self properly, and in such a way that I feel like I am getting a good deal food wise, and I'm happy to keep to the spirit of eating more healthily.

Thursday: SYNS 18. HEA 0. HEB 2.
I was so stuffed from yesterday's carbfest, and so occupied with work that I missed out breakfast. Had yummy Batchelor's savory Rice for lunch with broccoli & a couple of boiled baby potatoes - a big, filling, plate. Next time I will put more Worcester sauce in it, or try one of the other varieties. Yes, I know this is going away from my principles of unadulterated food, but sometimes principles can be bent for convenience. Give and take, flexibility, plus, unlike Fry Light, packet savory rice doesn't offend my sensibilities!

Am also trying out very low fat flavoured yoghurts, MullerLight. So far am not impressed. But as a snacky filling option it makes a change from fruit or ryvita & low fat cheese spread.

Happy head & happy tummy today because I am allowing myself 2 1/2 ounces of taramasalata and reduced fat hummous plus a pita with my crudites at dinnertime. My reward? feeling good about self, and resisting the urge to blow out on something, anything. Yay! Only had two meals today. Passed on having third meal, because...I WASN'T HUNGRY! Gosh. All I had was a fresh fig and a cup of tea...

Friday: SYNS 26. HEA 1 1/2. HEB 2.
End of the week!
Another cooked breakfast - lots of boiled potatoes, chopped and fried in Fry Light with mushrooms and tomatoes. Flavoured with worcester sauce. Taste was a bit suspect, so will test with real oil next time. Happy lunch too, I made the most delicious carrot soup (recipe below), and had taramasalata (16 SYNS for 70g or 4 level tablespooons - yes I did measure it!), hummous and wholemeal pita bread. I have decided to interpret the bread HEB to my likes. I don't like ordinary sliced bread that much, plus whenever I eat it, I have the urge to eat more of it with loads of butter, so best to keep away from it. Pita on the other hand, with all those greek/med dips, feels good, and has happy associations for me. And I'm finding with all the veggies, that one is fine. So, I figure win for me.

Pasta for dinner with quorn bolognaise, this time with more olive oil and mushrooms. I think less olive oil will work fine for next time. I found it a little too greasy! Goodness! Also, I had leftovers...of both pasta and parmesan. Wow.

Today's Mullerlight: Toffee. Finally! One I like :) Still think the texture is too runny. I remember it as a much creamier, thicker yoghurt. Maybe that is the ordinary version. I miss fat in my food :(  However I do think eating so much less of it than I normally do is doing my body heaps of good.

I'm happier eating a controlled and measured portion of exactly what I fancy. It helps fend off raids into less healthy for me foodstuffs!


Carrot, ginger + orange soup

1/3 portion is 2 syns

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large white onion, chopped small
1 garlic clove, sliced not crushed
2 sticks celery, chopped small
1 inch grated ginger
1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
approx 1 pint boiling water
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Cornish Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Tesco's Fines Herbs ( a mix of parsley, chives, chervil & tarragon)
Zest and juice of 1 orange

Put oil in a pan, then on a medium heat, add onion, then garlic, celery, ginger and black pepper. Sweat until vegetables are soft, and onion transparent - about 8 mins. It will smell lovely and fragrant.
Now add chopped carrots and boiling water
Bring to boil, turn down heat, and semi-cover pan. Simmer on low heat for 30 mins, until carrots are very tender.
Take off heat.
Add salt, fines herbs, zest and juice 1 orange.
Blitz until smooth. If too thick, add a little water. Aim for a runny cream texture.
Check seasoning, add more salt if liked.

This soup is so good on so many levels - it looks gorgeous, a beautiful orange, smells heavenly, and tastes so good, sharp, sweet, savoury.

Scale news

Those lovely bathroom scales didn't leap to ERR! I hopped on and off a few times, and the range was from 23st 8 - 23 st 12. I'm going with the higher one for now, which is a pound down from last week I think.
Physical self - knees are improving. I feel much less 'draggy' this week. Have spent some time today also writing out a walking plan for myself. Lets see how I do, will record this as well.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Go me!!

SW seems to be getting better. Have been tracking food intakes for over 5 weeks now. This is my 2nd week of Slimming World principles and 5 days out of 7 ate well within my version of this eating approach.

Here's my syn count. I'm interpreting the SW approach to be a little more liberal for me - 20-25 syns at the top end. Most days I have 2 HEA (calcium healthy Extras) and 2 HEB (fibre Healthy Extras) for optimum nutrition, and I get to eat I'm taking supplements -
Evening Primrose Oil
Glucosamine sulphate (for my creaky joints)
cod liver oil
a multi-vitamin with iron
co-enzyme for energy boost.

My water drinking is still low, averaging 3/4 a litre, but it is getting better. I drink 2-4 mugs of tea a day too.

29 Oct - 4 Nov
SAT - 20.5
SUN - 18
MON - TUES  hmm - scads of emotional eating going on here, plus I went food shopping and bought lots of nice things which I 'HAD' to eat immediately. Must look into this phenomenon and find think about the 'WHY' of it, to LEARN from it and make better choices in future. I am really pleased with myself that I documented every thing I ate all the same. Yay me!
WEDS - 15
THUR - 9.5
FRI - 10.5

Success rate this week 71% !!!

I am SO PROUD OF MYSELF. Way to go, ME!!! I am doing SO WELL!!

Still creaky, and slow, but am feeling lots better. I made it into the garden this week, it is being taken over by triffid nasturtiums. They are such cheerful flowers. Hope they self-seed for next year.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

weighty variables

I got weighed at the doctor's on Friday and that was an unpleasant surprise initially - 24 st 8 lbs!! - until I realised I was comparing a weight with all my outer clothes and shoes on with one I'd done without them. Phew! For a serious minute there I thought all my hard work at keeping to the SW plan was not working :o

So I measured the weight of all my clothes I'd worn and they came to just under 6 lbs. So doc's machine has a plus bias of about 2 lbs to the one I have at home. I am chortling at myself for all this - how obsessive can one get??!!

Bathroom scales today - 23 st 13 lb.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Happy hop!

Hopped onto the bathroom scales this morning, and bless its little cotton socks, the little darlin' blinked out 24st 1 lb! I do hope this is a truthful figure. Will find out for sure next week. In the meantime I'm going to use this to keep me motivated on enjoying low-fat dairy and keeping my fats intake low low low.

Yesterday I went out to lunch and ordered an antipasto platter. It arrived on a plank of wood! All meat except for a bundle of rocket (arugula as Barefoot Contessa calls it) with some very light dressing on it. The meats were a couple of slices of Parma ham, thin salami & a blob of mackerel pate with a palm size piece of crunchy flatbread, plus a couple of olives, garlic cloves, pickled onions & a little pickled hot pepper, the kind that's usually sold stuffed with cheese in Greek delis, but this one was empty - all very yummy. I also had a Peroni beer, not quite all of the 330 ml bottle, and I think the coffee came with full-fat milk, but hey, it was just one meal, and I had a lovely time catching up with girlfriends I hadn't seen in quite a while. :)

Today's lunch is definitely within the Slimming World guidelines. I had a baked potato, not too large, about 250g/9 oz. Opened & seasoned with salt & pepper, then topped with about 85g/3 oz king prawns, 3 heaped tablespoons cottage cheese and a handful of chopped watercress with a few very ripe cherry tomatoes. It was tasty & filing, and honestly? I didn't miss the butter, grated cheddar or full fat creme fraiche I might normally have slathered it in. And my tummy is full. FULL. That's the signal I am getting from it right now. And to think that when I was preparing it I thought shall I have the second baked potato as well. It would have been far too much.

I do believe the key here to me is to make sure the plate is filled with lots of low cal foods. That way I can have more, my eye is appeased, and if I eat it slowly enough, my stomach has time to send me its 'I'm full' signal. Yesterday's dinner was just this. A bowl of veg soup, followed by half a 3 egg, spinach, mushroom & ham frittata plus a heap of sliced radishes, red pepper & cherry tomatoes with a blob of red pepper reduced fat hommos. A banana. And I also got to have chocolate - a couple of treat size cadbury's caramel. Plus because the frittata is 'free' on SW original days, I got to eat the second half too. No hunger pangs for me!

And I've been shopping for the low cal fromage frais. There's a tub of it in my fridge. On the one hand my head is saying well done for making this healthy choice, but the spoilt teenager inside is saying, urgh, yukky - I want my tasty fat imbued creme fraiche! Looks like the battle of the tastebuds will need convincing this week! Well, I think there is hope - I found the 0% fat Total Greek Yoghurt really nice last week. I had it in my mashed potatoes, with fruit, and on its own with a dab of honey. Yum.

It is so important I re-educate my tastebuds and my eating habit inclinations. I've come another few steps from where I was in my eating habits that were piling on the pounds, hurray :) And now I know I can go out and socialize and still feel that I am treating my body well. Next time I post a weight, I want it to say 23st something!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A little less creaky!

It's been three weeks since I started being more watchful about what I was putting in my mouth. Keeping the food diary has been really helpful. I did have a rather nosh-tastic day yesterday, but I figure, well, today is another day, and today I have eaten well, and kept more or less to Slimming World principles, so I'm very happy.

Another positive thing I noticed is that my knees feel much less creaky. I feel much less like I'm about to explode out of my skin too. Yay! And now my poor bathroom scales are attempting to figure out my weight instead of going instantly to 'ERR' !! Heh. I'm so looking forward to the day it tells me it can read how heavy I really am.

My doc is on holiday this week (school half term) so I'm not seeing him till the end of the month. Hopefully by then I will finally have a handle on this eating better & wiser, and have figured out some of the whys of my emotional eating. I am also considering joining a Slimming World Group - there is one near me. In the meantime I am studying all my old SW magazines and getting myself accustomed to the thinking.

I'm still loathe to go their recommended fat-free dairy products route - ff fromage frais & quark are really yukky tasting. So for now I'm teaching my palate to prefer half fat creme fraiche instead, and using much much less oil & butter in my cooking. I'm seeing this as retraining my taste-buds and laying a foundation for my future healthy eating self for the rest of my life. Perhaps later on I will find ff fromage frais delicious...!

One drawback to all this veg, quorn & fibre is windy tummy. Eeek! Must find a solution to that.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Autumn Good Habits

Since the beginning of this month, I've been tracking my food again. I've also been keeping snacking in between meals down. The quantities of fat consumed has also been noted, and I am very pleased to say that I now scrape butter on my toast & sandwiches rather than slather it on! The same for vegetable oils that I use to cook my food - I use just a splash, rather than cover the bottom of the pan with it.

It has also helped that I now keep frozen veg to hand, and whenever I buy meat, it is bagged into single portions into the freezer, so I only ever take out enough for one or two meals at the most. This strategy is paying off - and I am getting used to only eating one pork chop, one chicken breast etc. I try and keep my doctor's advice in my head when I am allotting my portions - meat/protein to be around the size of my palm, carbohydrates to a handful, vegetables to a double handful, fat around a tablespoon. In practice however perhaps I am still being a tad overgenerous with the carbs, but at least the fat content of my meals is way down. 8 oz potato, 100g pasta, cup of cooked beans/lentils/rice should be my standard. I think getting the battery changed in the electric kitchen scales sorted will certainly help!

This summer I have spent mostly feeling sorry for myself, and rather down. And that has translated in minimal activity, and comfort eating of carbohydrates. Bread has been an especial downfall. The result? I have not only gained pounds over what my scales can record, but I am also finding it hard to walk anywhere without experiencing severe back pain after a few minutes. Standing upright for more than 10 minutes has the same effect, so washing up is now conducted in batches! My knees are finding it hard to carry my bulk around, and getting up from my low sofa is now quite an effort. I feel breathless after performing only minor activity, eg walking up the stairs, and having a shower, necessitates a few minutes sit down. I have been taking hypertension medication now for 3 years.

I know these are all red flags to my ill health. I have only myself to blame for allowing this state of affairs to continue. I know the key is to be a little more active, every day. To build in this exercise gradually until I am again able to walk a mile or two and enjoy it. To watch the portion sizes and the fat/processed food intake so I lose some weight, and keep the salt/sugar ingestion low to help my circulation, heart and kidney function. To see all this in small, achievable steps.

Here are my current goals
A loss of half a stone, a 30 minute walk everyday, 20 laps in the pool twice a week, feeling full enough during a proper portioned meal that I leave a few bites on the plate!

Knowledge and information is always good. Even better is when it is implemented! I keep watching Supersize Superskinny programs on TV to reinforce to myself that other people have been in my predicament, and it is possible to change.

I am still having down days, when hiding on the sofa with a book is the only thing I want to do, but they are getting less. I am hopeful. I am hopeful that I can establish a routine again, and get my life back in a happy swing of proper scheduled work hours, good eating habits, good activity habits, enjoyable pleasures scheduled in my week's timetable.

One recent change this month. I have been drinking coffee again. I wonder if having big amounts of caffeine has been helping my brain chemistry. Other things I've noticed - I find that after ingesting large amounts of processed carbohydrates like bread products, rice, mashed potatoes, I feel very very sleepy. I can conclude then that maybe eating those foods is best left for the evening. I feel most alert when I have eaten something like chicken or pork with heaps of broccoli, green beans, peas, cauliflower, courgette, tomatoes, asparagus, salad. Perhaps a low carb lifestyle for a week to test this out.

Last week I made a great soup. I'd cooked some butter beans (excellent food - soak 250g dried beans overnight and boil for 35 minutes, makes tonnes!). First I sweated off one chopped white onion until translucent in a splash of olive oil. Then I threw in the fridge veg remains - half a carrot, a quarter red pepper, one baking potato, all cubed. A pint or so of boiling water, a chicken stock cube (proper jellied stock of course is an aspiration, but I don't have freezer space), a pinch of Cornish seasalt, fresh ground black pepper, some dried herbs, left to simmer for 10 minutes. Two big florets of frozen cauliflower, then simmer again for 5 minutes. Finally I stirred in a tablespoon of tomato ketchup, a few drops worcester sauce and lemon juice, a cup of cooked butter beans, and half a cup of frozen peas, brought to boil for 2 minutes. I broke up the cauliflower into smaller florets before serving. It was delicious, hearty, satisfying, and best of all, full of great healthy stuff - all of it good for me. I made 3 good portions out of that pan of soup.

Porridge is back on the menu. As are omelets. I'm going to try and keep to foodstuffs that are as un-messed with as possible. So fruit & veg - frozen or fresh. Meat and fish without additional salts, preservatives etc (bacon, sausage, ham, sliced & pre-cooked meat as a rare treat) - portioned and frozen until needed. I'm still going to have tinned sardines and mackerel in oil, as these are oily fish, and I do need some fishy fats in my diet. What I do when I eat these is mash them on toast without butter. Yummy with a few drops of lemon juice and a sliced tomato. Tinned tuna - I'm now eating half a tin instead of a whole one, and making sandwich filling with a tablespoon of half-fat creme fraiche. Mayonnaise is very fatty, and actually gives me indigestion! I'm building in treats - individual ice lollies, fruit yoghurts, individual chocolate bars, so if I want a sweet treat, I can have it. And as each item is self contained, I'm not tempting myself to eat a whole block of chocolate, or a whole tub of ice cream. Strategy! I'm also cooking myself puddings, but as single puds in ramekins, so it is pre-portioned. So far this has been successful.

I do feel much better this week than last week. Snacking in between has mostly been confined to helping myself to another big coffee (milk, no sugar) and a piece of fruit. I've had peaches, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, oranges this week. A couple of ramekin sized apple crumbles (lots of apple, less crumble + a dab of half-fat creme fraiche = delicious + a happy me! I did have 100g of chorizo, a 800g loaf of white bread, 3 croissants, 180g nut chocolate & a large Twix this week. But in the overall weekly menu compared to what my bread/sweets/processed consumption has been over the summer this is brilliant. I'm happy.

Keep this up for a month, and I will have a new set of good eating habits to stand me in good stead for my goal of getting half a stone off. And a smaller tummy = less strain on my back and knees = happier to walk about more me. More activity = creating happy endorphins = happier mindset = more willing to keep going. Good consequences all round.

There are still a few Cox's apples on my garden tree. I like how picture-book red they are! The weather is now definitely turning chillier. Leaves are dropping. Perhaps this week I might go for a small walk at Harcourt Aboretum to enjoy nature's autumn show.

I haven't been out in the garden for a few days. Last time I did, I slipped and fell on the path and it brought back unpleasant recollections of my last bad fall a few years ago when I damaged ankle and knee ligaments and was effectively crippled for nearly a year. Luckily, this time the only damage was to my self-esteem! I felt just like my cat does when she does a boo-boo, got myself back together and then told myself what a silly I was! But it did bring home to me that getting fatter does compromise my agility and ability to avoid mishaps like this. Another good reason to keep to my good foods healthy portions no snacking routine.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

a ray of sunshine

It has felt, over the last few months, rather like I was sinking into a dark, dank, well. I guess this must have been some emotional cycle I was in. Lately though, I've been feeling more aware that life is passing me by. And that through my own choices I am mouldering and festering in this current rut.

This week I travelled voluntarily to see friends, something I have refrained from doing for quite some time. It reminded me that I have some wonderful friends, and that being with them is energizing, even of all we do is chat and drink tea.

I've also splashed out on some art materials. This is to explore that creative side that has gone into hiding. As my friend put it, creating something purely for myself opens up a plethora of possibilities - paint? pastels? pencils? print? Should it be big, tiny, small, enormous? Very colourful? Restrained? I have no one to please but myself. No criteria to achieve except to do something that I find interesting. No cut off point. No deadline. No one else's opinion is necessary except mine.

What I want is to feel absorbed. To get so into what I am doing that time ceases to matter. To feel happy. To be enthusiastic. To be excited by what I am doing. To explore an avenue simply because. I might also do some creative stuff on the computer. Get away from the idea that anything digital is work.

The sun has come out. It has been raining on and off all day. I've got another friend coming to visit today. And for the first time in weeks, I'm actually enjoying just being here at home. I'm not hiding. The curtains are open. There's been fresh air flowing through the opened windows this morning.

For the first time in weeks I feel happy.

Oh yes, another happy thought - my apple tree has outdone itself this year. It is laden with exquisite red fruit. I think they are Cox. Such joy, to pick it fresh off the tree. Hmm, I wonder if the supermarket will let me have one of their fruit trays so I can store mine?

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Spring clean!

I tackled the clutter again today, kind of like I did 6 months ago when I revamped my house to utilize some feng shui principles to help me energize my home and lifestyle.

I've re-subscribed to the swimming pool, but have yet to get up there. Perhaps tomorrow will be my maiden swim (again!) - work is quite demanding this week, lots of deadlines and little time to create everything that has been asked for. I am in the business of achieving work miracles however, got to keep my reputation up :)

Food today has been really good:
bacon & scrambled eggs on one slice of buttered toast, and a slice of toast with butter & lime marmalade
loads of cups of tea
a couple of pieces of buttered toast with pate, lettuce & tomato for lunch
more cups of tea
a couple of home-made scones with butter & blackcurrant jam,
plus lots more tea and a nice conversation with a friend who dropped by (I sent her home with a couple of the scones!)
dinner was two slices of toast with a tin of sardines in olive oil
250 ml cider

Veggie-wise I haven't made my 5 a day, but I have eaten normal portions of everything which is great. I think scurrying around the house with the damp duster & the vacuum cleaner has done me and the house the world of good. I've been occupied, active and busy - ergo no time to think about food.

Yesterday was very tired after long work day and feeling morose, so dinner was pate on toast with lettuce & tomato plus a big Twix and a whole carton of sour cream & chive Pringles. I don't feel guilty about that though I am concerned that I ate so much salt & preservatives. Maybe I've gotten the junk food craving out of my system for a bit now and can concentrate on eating good-for-me foods for the next few days.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Checking in back into the real world

I've been awol for the last couple of weeks - lost in the fantasy world of fiction. I do this from time to time, when I get down and cannot cope with stuff - just check out of real life and disappear into a book :) In some ways it is quite like an addiction. I read novels rather like I used to chain-smoke! However this time I am noticing that I am checking out, and tell myself that the real world IS waiting, and when I am back it IS a good place to be. Foodwise in the last two weeks, I have over-eaten, and am back up 4 lbs. Some of that might be natural fluctuation so I'm not going to worry about it.

So yesterday I finished Book 5 of Earth's Children - The Painted Caves. Engrossing story and it inspired me to try out a different method of cooking. Instead of frying my onion and then making a stew, I imagined being some Pre-Historic cook, and boiled everything all at once. The rosemary lamb & lentil stew turned out great, and as a plus I didn't use any oil at all. Next time I make this I will use leaner meat and see if it is just as tasty.

This morning I saw a job ad which I'm thinking about applying for. All my insecurities are rearing up right now, all my negative self-talk. I'm going to spend some time working on those issues with some EFT and positive thinking this morning, then I am filling in an application. Don't ask, doesn't get after all. The worst that could happen is that I get a rejection letter and I will be in the same situation as I am now. But the best, I get an interview, and the job, and a whole new work situation, new people to interact with and a great new reason to wake up every morning!

Back on the fresh start every day theme: I'm starting good this morning. Little successes every day contribute to the good feelings that I want to continue. The kitchen clutter is finally conquered! And breakfast today is fresh melon and grapes. I might have some weetabix later on. If I feel hungry. Goal for today is to drink plenty of water and go for a walk. Oh yes, and to check back into this very real world!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Sowing seeds and sneaking extra activity into my day

Yesterday, Sunday, I pottered around the garden for a couple of hours. Planted a couple of barrels with 5 Charlotte and Arran Pilot potatoes each. I'm ultra proud of myself that I used this as an opportunity to build an extra bit of activity - the seed potatoes are upstairs, so instead of taking them all downstairs at once, I did two lots, so I went up and down the stairs twice - yay!

So. Back to my pots. 2 down, another 13 more to plant! I might cheat and fill three big planters with 10 potatoes each, and find various sized other odd receptacles to plant the rest, or stick a few right into the ground. This spring I had all these plans to plant a load of potatoes of all sorts in the allotment. But I gave it up, and there are all these potential seed potatoes bursting to sprout into lovely viable plants...I feel obliged to at least give them the chance to prove themselves! So it looks like I will be growing veg in the back garden and the front.

I feel all excited now at this prospect. Let's see what I ordered: 10 Charlotte, Arran Pilot, Rocket, Kestrel, Rooster, either Anya or Pink Fir Apple; then some blight resistant varieties: 20 each of Sarpo Mira, Sarpo Axona and Blue Danube. Theoretically I will be bursting with potatoes for a good few months! I think I will go look for some cheap receptacles from somewhere and plant a few as gifts for my friends. ;) I know it is everyone's overriding desire to grow potatoes...!!

I also plonked in a few seeds in the garden. I hope they will grow. Nasturtiums in the lily pots, chives & lemon coriander in the new flowerbed I created in April. That bed is now full of rampant raspberries! Amazing what a couple of months of sun and decent watering can do. I'm hoping for a nice little autumn treasure from them. Heh - in financial terms that would be called a decent return on my investment of time, effort and cash.

Sitting in my garden is always a joyful thing. I am surrounded by my successes! And the garden underscores for me the importance of doing. Doing stuff as in planting the seed. Watering the seed. Making sure harmful things are kept away from the ensuing plants. Moving them to better positions if necessary or possible. Feeding them with good nutrients. Removing competition so they get good nutrition. Trimming back dead and superfluous portions to allow the plant to concentrate its energies. And I am rewarded with beautiful flowers, and delicious fruit. Everyone is pleased with success like this. And I can see and appreciate parallels in my quest to becoming a fit, healthy, active person.

I've been selecting and planting all sorts of thought seeds in my head. Nurturing a few growing plans and desires. I've been removing the harmful influences and practices that constrict my growth and abilities. I'm now at the stage of putting those seeds into practice, by nurturing myself with good nutrition, hydration and positioning of my body in places where it can heal itself like in the swimming pool and walking. And just being more active every day. Every day is an incremental change. In a few months or a couple of years or so, I will be rewarded with the sweet glorious tangible success of being FIT, HEALTHY and ACTIVE.

That's definitely a good return to be aiming for!

Yesterday's food:
brunch: red rice salad, 2 quorn Cumberland sausages, 2 quorn Southern-style burgers
late tea: 2 courgettes, 2 slices bacon, crumbled feta cheese, a few pinenuts - stirfried in a little peanut oil
snack: sunflower and pumpkin seeds, grapes
very late supper: steak, madeira gravy, cup of petit pois

Sometime today I'm going to clear the detritus from the stairs to the attic and get up there. My lovely ex set up a weights bench there for me, so I have a home gym! I know I have a yoga mat and a contraption that helps me do abdominal exercises lurking somewhere too. And if I put the radio up there too it will make working out fun. Yay! Isn't it amazing? I already have everything I need to help me in my increased activity quest. Big grins. :D

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Garlic love and a fresh start every day

I made red rice salad today. Have been attempting to rein in the unhealthy eating pattern I've indulged myself with over the last few weeks. A few too many pizzas, chocolate bars and pork pies! However it seems I haven't done too much damage, weight-wise. But I DO feel less energetic compared to May, when I was generally eating well and swimming 3-4 times a week.

Yesterday I started off quite well, but succumbed to a mug of cocoa & a pizza on top of all the healthy foods I had consumed. An extra 1325 calories - yikes! Never mind, today I have done better - yay! Red rice salad (mucho garlic in that) with a couple of quorn sausages and quorn southern style burgers I found lurking in the freezer. The rice salad is stuffed with good things - chickpeas, tomatoes, grapes, hazelnuts, peanut oil - lovely and filling. Heh - I'm still fuming out wafts of garlic!

Yesterday's healthy foods - lots of protein!
2 rashers back bacon, 3 scrambled eggs and a grilled tomato for breakfast
a cup of strawberries/raspberries/currants from my garden (yesss! I am so proud of my gardening skills this year, hehe) with a tablespoon of sugar mid-morning
chickpeas in balsamic dressing for lunch
the pizza/cocoa carb-fest (eek!)
dinner of steak with dijon mustard and a cup of petit pois
very late supper of penne pasta, tomato sauce with crumbled feta and grated cheddar.

I've been having tiredness spells for a while now, being prone to dropping off for a nap after eating large amounts of carb foods. My doctor had warned me that my fasting sugar level was on the high side. There is a predisposition to diabetes in my family, as well as high blood pressure. I do know I am a lot less agile and flexible than I used to be, and my big stomach just gets in the way All The Time! Intellectually I know all the stuff to fix this. Subconsciously I'm still blocking. I think I'll start listening to my Louise Hay tapes again, do some EFT every day, and just keep on doing little changes. Eating garlic is certainly a good start ;) Anyway, I picked up a book from the library last week - Magic Foods for Better Blood Sugar, published by Reader's Digest. I'm heartened to realise that I already do lots of the stuff they recommend in there - yay!

Loretta from Loretta's Journey from 460 to 199 mentioned that it takes time adjusting the skewed portion size perception that a habitual over-eater has. I have to accept that for me this may be a long long road back to being an active healthy individual. It took me 2 years to put on this extra 4 stone - it may take just as long to get it off, and more years to get down to my 150 lb ideal. I think even if it takes 10 years to become that idealized version of me in my head - the me that is fit, active, toned and healthy, it is worth it.

Every day is a new day. Every day is a fresh, hopeful new start. Staying positive. Drinking lots of water. Keeping busy so I'm occupied. Doing a little more exercise every day to build my activity up. Keeping in touch with my loved ones. Finding happiness in all the small things I do and experience everyday. This is what will help me succeed.

Hmm - dinnertime now. I know there are some lovely courgettes lurking in the fridge waiting to be turned into something delicious for dinner! Courgettes with crumbled feta & red rice salad? Yum. And I know there is a lovely Solero for pudding too.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Dog Day

Dog days are great! I spent yesterday with a friend who has 5 dogs. A couple of retired greyhounds, a lurcher, a beddington terrier and a whippet. I had the loveliest time. Dogs don't care about your appearance, they only care about the affection, food and safety we can offer them. In return we get oodles of affection back. I swear I have muscle ache from all the stroking and cuddling I did! I only wish I was fitter so we could have played more in the garden.

Today I got back and squeezed my cat, lovable little spikey rogue that she is. Pets are wonderful. I'm so glad we have them in our lives.

Five good things about my week:
1. I've lost 3 lbs! Hooray!
2. Today was a beautiful sunny day, and really hot. (It has been cold and blustery and wet most of this month here in England)
3. I've been getting gazillions of strawberries from my very own plants. Yum Yum!
4. I've realised that my month of swimming during May has paid off - I feel far less creaky. Time to hit the pool again.
5. It is 10 months since I started this journal, and although I may have not lost weight, I have gained in other directions. I feel far more centred in my life than I was last year, and far more hopeful that I can make changes for the better in my life. :)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

pool inspiration

This is the pool that I swam in for the whole of May. It is so lovely, surrounded by palms, serenaded by a rushing gurgle of a fountain, hot and tranquil and quiet on most late morning/early afternoons when the sun is high overhead and most sensible people stay indoors. That time however is and has always been my favourite time to swim. I just don't get the attraction of swimming in the shady evening when one can do so in the sun and enjoy the contrast of cool water and sunshine. Plus, solitude is something I particularly enjoy. It is nice too, when there are others in the pool, but much less easy to meditate or zone out for all the body dodging of boisterous children required!

I swam a total of approx 540 laps of 25m each making that 13.5 km or 8.4 miles over 14 visits. I'm a slow and sedate swimmer, doing breaststroke or backstroke, taking around 50 mins to make 40 laps. My mum says my shape changed and I do know that I do feel a little fitter, and amazingly, have remained the same weight as I was last month. Smiles all round.

June so far, back in England has been alternately hot and freezing! After recovering from jetlag last week, I've done one small walk to the park, visited my sister in Yorkshire and collected my cat from lovely kind friend in Manchester who catsat for a whole month.

I'm also downsizing my obligations - I'm giving up my allotment because I'm not making the most of it. And that is a relief! For me, I have realized, proximity is key. Being able to step outside and muddle around anytime in my garden is easy. Kind of like how quick it was to step outside my mum's condo, hop in the lift and be at the pool in a matter of minutes, made it easy to go swimming so often during May. I'm working on my attitude - my goal - a walk a day. That will be a Good Thing, every minute I make an Active minute is an Excellent minute!

Hmm, I'm Thinking like a Bear by the name of can learn a lot from A. A. Milne's stories - how to enjoy life in the moment for instance. :)

Friday, 27 May 2011

new personal best!


I swam seventy laps this morning.
yep. seven - oh. :)

I'm just so totally amazed at what I can do. Yay for my perseverance!

Day off from swimming tomorrow, Sunday perhaps I'll swim 30 laps to keep those muscle fibres in line.

Gosh, I just am smiling all over, inside and out!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

A day at the beach

Picnic & swim at Telok Batek, May 2011


Thanks to lovely Stacia at swimming it off, I have the courage to post this here.

I had this pic taken last weekend on a beach in Malaysia. I was out on a picnic with my mum and her friend, neither of which like water, getting into the sea or swimming!

But I got into my suit under a sarong on the beach, and trekked off into the sea amidst a load of young people, who amazingly to me didn't comment once on my size or even pay me much attention, which was great. Yay for the self-confidence to do this - I certainly wouldn't have attempted this last year despite being smaller then! The undercurrents are a little treacherous in this area of the world, as the beach shelves very quickly so swimming out to sea wasn't an option, but treading water for about 40 minutes and a little leisurely breast-stroke was do-able. And gosh, were my arm and shoulder muscles sore the next day!

It's lovely and sunny here, and I get to use the pool at my mum's condo most days which is great. The last three weeks of swimming have paid off already - I wore a top yesterday that was tight around the hips two months ago - hurrah!

Still no idea what I weigh, and actually it doesn't matter. What counts is that my general outlook is positive and happy, and that I eat healthy stuff on the whole, and that my body likes to move. I've decided to focus instead on how much smaller my waist and hips are becoming, and dropping dress sizes :)

Still missing my dad - mum & me talk about him often which is really good. I allowed myself to feel my feelings of grief yesterday and indulged in a few tears, and kept away from the fridge. Self-help reading this week: Women, Food and God, by Geneen Roth.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Tropical days

Happy Mother's Day! I'm spending a month with my mum in lovely super-warm Malaysia. My mum hates to cook, so I'm on kitchen detail which is great. My mum has been really pleased with my efforts so far - some great salads and pasta and soup.

I'm also swimming. The condo has a pool, fringed with palms and exotic huge plants. I go down there in the mornings when the sun is just breaking out over the pool, so part of it is in the hot sunshine and part of it is still in the shade. Last week I managed a 40 minute, a 50 minute and a 12 lap session that was terminated by rain - yay for me.

I don't know how much I weigh right now. All I am trying to do is to eat as well as possible and to keep doing exercise whenever I can. One plus to me so far is that I've refrained from my usual gorge on all my favourite Malaysian delicacies. Mum & I have instead opted for getting ourselves a huge amount of fruit - mangosteen, longan, papaya, watermelon, grapes, mangoes, guava, durian, pears, oranges and apples. My mum also loves junk food, by which I mean stuff like sweets, peanut brittle, bombay mix, tapioca crisps, prawn crackers, fried nuts, murukku etc, so the house always has this stuff which is a big temptation for me. I've allowed myself to eat them this past week, however this coming week I'm going to get with the eat fruit instead, or drink some water plan instead of reaching for those crunchy munchies!

Perhaps tomorrow I'll do a walk as well as swim. :)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Weight update

23 stone 6 lbs on the scales today.

This morning I woke up and I thought, I've got to do something to help myself in the eating stakes. So, I poured a whole, unopened half pint carton of double cream from the weekend down the sink. It reminded me of the time I gave up smoking, when I cut my remaining cigarettes in half and soaked them in water.

In giving up smoking, in Feb 2005, it took me about a year to completely give up. I backslid. Sneaked the odd fag when I went out, which luckily wasn't that often. Back in 2005 I started a diet with Slimming World in Sept and my weight then was recorded as 22 st 5 lbs. I'm pretty positive I had been bigger in 2004. But still. Right now I'm a whole stone bigger, yikes.

Well, it has taken me all of two hours to backslide again. I've just eaten a whole load of crackers with butter & roulé. However, I'm not going to beat myself up about this. What I'm going to do is go swimming at lunchtime instead, and enjoy the experience. Cool water, seeing the sky through the skylights as I do backstroke - maybe the sun will come out. And in between this morning, I'm doing a little gardening. That flower/veg bed isn't going to make itself! And even if it isn't perfectly put together, I don't think the seeds and plants will mind - they'll just be happy to be in the soil, nurtured by water and raring to pop their little noses out into the big wide world!

Yes - I've realised that I put a lot of stuff off by imagining it needs to be perfectly done to be done. Not so. Lots of stuff can be pulled together and work on just a wing and a prayer. The important thing is that I do it. So pouring the cream out was a good thing. Eating crackers is fine - it is fuel for the day - this activity filled day I'm now planning. The most important thing is that I feel good about everything I do. Nothing is intrinsically bad, only the feelings I attach to it.

Those crackers & cheese tasted really good. My tummy feels fine. I'm no longer hungry. It is 10 am now. Adult lengths session starts at 12 noon, so I'll be moseying up the hill around then, with another little enjoyable pitstop after to change my library books. Filling my day with activities and treats that I like will make doing the stuff I don't enjoy so much easier to do. Like tidying up, and vacuuming.

And if I fill my head with other stuff then those crackers won't be calling my name so insistently!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Swim first

I swam this weekend, for the first time since November last year. And I am so pleased with myself, because I swam 32 lengths of 25m, then, because my athletic friend was with me and wanted to continue for longer, I swam another 10 lengths, one of which was front crawl - a stroke I almost never do because I find the breathing a little restrictive.

I did it though, and got up there by practicing a few strokes in the breaststroke length I was doing beforehand. Psyching myself up. Focusing on feeling my arm movement. Concentrating on breathing evenly, and telling myself, yes, you're doing this, and yes, you're doing just fine, and yes, you DO have enough air.

I'm amazed at what I can do. I was on a little happiness vibe for the rest of the day. And that was in addition to the fact I had visitors for the Bank Holiday weekend - two people very dear to me, my ex - him of athletic friendship now, and my only brother. It was wonderful to have people with me. To prepare food for a sunny afternoon barbecue, to cook a yummy lunch for them, to have conversation and companionship.

My father died last month, after a short stay fighting to stay alive in hospital. His heart finally gave out. I miss him, but I'm also glad it was a fast ending, with just a few hours at the end when he was no longer aware of my mother and sister who were at his bedside. I'm glad he was his usual autocratic self, right up to the end, compos mentis to the very last. I'm glad he had a good death. I'm glad I made my peace with him a few years before. I'm glad we finished on a good note between us - Daddy & I often had a rocky relationship, much as we loved each other.

I'm not sure what grief stage I'm in right now. I'm pottering around, getting the garden in shape, doing not very much. Watching things grow. Enjoying the company of my cat. Feeling sad now and then, but getting on with living. Which is good. If this has happened a few years ago, when my emotional outlook was less positive I am sure it would have had a much worse effect on me. Instead of which I am looking on the positives, the gains I made with my relationship with my parents, the mending of them, and the fun times we had both in the long ago past and the recent past. I'm glad a couple of years ago I made the effort to really talk with my dad who was never very communicative, I believe we said everything that was needful between us and things were as good as they could be when he died.

I'm spending a month with my mother, so she will not be alone without family. All of her children and siblings live in other parts of the world. She can't fly due to ill-health herself. And she has a good, busy, friendship-filled and happy life where she is. And being there has the additional benefit of a change of scene for me, an opportunity to kick-start my health journey again.

I did the free BUPA online health age check, just out of interest. Eeek! I am 67! But the good news is, if I improve my nutrition, exercise every day, AND lose weight I can reduce it by 27 years...

I love optimism. I love the 'so, you're in not such a good place right now, but hey, you can fix that' attitude. It is empowerment. It is something that can be changed. Change is good. Life is change. Self-care is always good. Doing nice small things for myself and my environment every day. Like sitting in my garden, pottering around, reading great thought-provoking books, having interesting conversations with friends and family, stroking my cat and playing with her, being mindful about what I say, do and eat.

This was the blog entry I read today by wellness coach, Christine Inge. I think, we can't always control every facet of this river of life we're on, but we can certainly direct it, divert it, and use its momentum to carry us to places we want to be and places we will find most interesting. The best thing I can do now is improve my health and live life fully and well. My current weight is 23 st 4 lbs. Let's see what this summer brings.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Healthy Hearts

I'm doing a lot of thinking about hearts right now. My dad is in hospital, again, and needs another bypass. He's had five already, since the early 1990s. We are all very worried and hope he will pull through.

This kind of crisis though, could have been mitigated if my father had been the kind of person to take advice! I love him dearly, and yes, I do sympathize that many of his favourite foods/activities were denied him because of his failing health. Maybe he decided life was no fun without 'yummy' food and salt, and that is his perogative. I wish he wasn't suffering so much now though. It is a sad thing when one has to see one's parents activities as a dire warning.

I'm trying to see all this through an objective lens, as thinking about it in personal terms fills me with fear - of his dying, of not being there in time to support my mum through this, of feeling so helpless. Now isn't the time to be succumbing to weeping and wailing, because it does no good.

Seems to me like the whole world is full of unhappy happenings these few weeks. I was greatly saddened and shocked by the aftereffects of the Japanese tsunami - my heart goes out to all those touched by that disaster, too. Donating to the Red Cross is a very good thing, and I strongly encourage people to do so. It might not seem much, but every little helps when it is multiplied by thousands and millions of kind souls.

On a more personal note, this month has been awful, healthwise for me. I've had 3 bouts with either the common cold or some strain of vigorous influenza, coupled with having to meet critical deadlines. Yes, me and the rest of the world both! I know I am not the only person suffering viral transgressions, however it amazes me how something of little medical note has the ability to take the stuffing out of me!

My weight has increased to 321lbs - a big high. I know I am not going to enjoy the flight to be with my parents - this big bottom squashed into a tiny seat is definitely no fun. I will take every opportunity to walk about and sit at the back whenever possible.

So, am back to thinking about hearts. With heart disease a definite indicator in my family, that is a huge red flag to me to get my weight under control. I have been planning my spring fitness campaign - no reason to delay it, and every reason to start is right now. Exercise will keep me busy and keep me from worrying myself sick.

All set now, just have to get the moggie settled and then I'm off. I'm EFTing for my dad, and asking the universe to keep him safe. If it is his time to go, I will be happy for him, because he has had a good long life and done many things that he has enjoyed.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

On yer bike!

I've been able to cycle since I was a really small child. Growing up in Malaysia where the weather was ultra hot, and with over-protective parents kind of nixed being adventurous on a bike though, so I happily trundled my way around on a big tarmac driveway in big circles, flanked by our dogs with waving tails. We had one bike, with stabilizers, between the three of us.

Then when I was 6 or 7 we moved to a house on a hilly housing estate, which dad deemed safe enough for us to zip around by ourselves without adult supervision, and that was great. My dad bought my brother a chopper, and when he went to boarding school my sis & I got our hands on the bike. I'd cycle a route that took me past houses of people my family knew, houses that had interesting plants near their gates, one house that had millions of pots of chillies!!!, another with a huge prickly cactus like some kind of threatening monster...oh yes, and there was also a house which had attack Yorkies euuwww! Not my fave animal. But cycling was always fun, always an adventure, even if I never got the scabbed knees and spectacular falls my sis did (she was a fan of going fast)

Then I went to school in England, and we walked everywhere. In pairs. My parents moved again, to another town ripe for exploration, so when us kids were home for the holidays, I nagged my dad for a bike, since he had gotten himself one for fitness. So I got the Big Green Machine - a wonderful sit up and beg bike, with a wonderful three gears! I think it came from India. It weighed a ton! But it had massive wheels, and when I cycled anywhere in it, it was like I was flying. That was when I realised cycling was more than just fun, it was independence, the power to choose where I went, and when.

As I got older, at every stage of my life, a bike has eased my path eventually. At Uni, I had a beaten up old no gear relic with reverse pedals for stopping - peeling blue paint, and a bell - Bertha was great because I could safely leave her outside the lecture halls and on the streets and know that she'd still be there to come back to...she took me on some fun adventures with my friends, got me home safe after nights out floating in a sea of alcohol, and it was with some regret that I finally traded her in for a swanky tourer on the advice of the then boyfriend, a keen cyclist.

That was a beautiful bike. I spent an absolute fortune on her - as much as I'd spent on my hi-fi system! Yikes! She was the lady who took me on my greatest cycling adventure, the 27 miles to Oxford. I regret to say I moaned the whole way there, fitness enthusiast I wasn't! But after that baptism of fire, I settled down to 6 -15 mile journeys quite comfortably, usually involving pitstops at pubs. Inevitably, she got stolen one day, and I mourned her dreadfully. After that, I got myself another old banger to see out Uni days, a red hand painted frame that had spent 20 years so the seller told me mouldering in the shed...

The Rattletrap was an excellent bike - she looked like shite, but rode like a dream, even though she wasn't any sort of carbonfibre superdooper melange. A great, reliable 10 speed. When I started work in a town I commuted to by train, she was the bike I rode the 10 minutes to the station, heaved onto the guardsvan, and then hopped onto for the five minutes to my workplace. By this time I'd learned proper strategies to minimize bike disappearance with a couple of stout locks and always looking for an immovable object to clamp my darling to.

I moved to the town I now live in and carried on cycling everywhere. It was just second nature. Even when I eventually bought a car, I still cycled to work every day - it really was quicker! The traffic problems we had 20 years ago were dreadful, even commuting by bus was a no-no, as the buses got snarled up in the general mayhem. So cycling it was. Every day. Just under 4 miles there and back, plus any other excursions I might do lunchtimes, or extra trips on weekends or the odd evening out. The car was for visiting my boyfriend on weekends - initially still living in my old Uni town, then at his Uni town over in Wales. On one memorable occasion I plonked the bike in the back and we cycled to Castell Coch, a fairytale 19th century castle! A Disney precursor, it was the Bute family weekend cottage...!!

Finally, I started making a little extra cash doing freelance work on the side, so I bought myself my lovely Dawes Hybrid - currently languishing in my dining room. I cycled every day for 10 years. Then I went fully freelance, bought a new car, decided I needed to look 'smart' ie not be doffing cycling helmet & various cycling paraphernalia wherever I went to see clients, so cycling stopped being a regular thing, and just became something I did on weekends, then less and less.

I really do think that stopping cycling was one of the factors in my huge weight gain. I've always been a chunky girl, always been around 20-30 lbs bigger than the norm even at my smallest. But even at 17, 18, 19st I was still able to get where I needed to go on my own steam. I walked a lot. I went to dance classes. I cycled. I went to the gym. I swam. Yes, I did eat lots of unhealthy stuff - umm, doner kebabs?? greasy chips & burgers?? chow mein takeout?? and I smoked, drank beer & spirits. But I was fit for my weight, active, and most of all, adventurous. Interested in the world around me. A notable thing about this lifestyle is that I did not use my car a lot. I cycled, walked or got the bus, and then walked again.

I think it is kind of sad, that I don't cycle any more. That despite trying to eat healthier, I'm still putting on weight because I'm not regulating my portions. That I let the weather tell me that I can't get on my bike. That I allow fear of being seen as 'that fat bird on the bike' put me off getting back on my lovely Dawes Hybrid. That I'm full of excuses to not exert myself.

I've always liked living in England. I like the variable weather. I never thought that I would be complaining about the cold like I am now, and using it as an excuse for not going out on a walk, "its too cold to go swimming", "the roads are all wet and greasy - too dangerous to go cycling". Hmpf. When did I become such a whiner?

Okay - time for fairy godmother voice: "Think about how much fun it was to cycle. How good the wind felt. How fabulous it was to go fast under your own steam. How happy you were when you managed to climb up a steep slope, how victorious you felt. How strong your lungs and legs were. And all the places you got to see. You can have all that again. Yep. Really easy."

How? whispers me.

"Get on yer bike, luv!"

Now isn't she lovely? 18 gears, comfortable trailbike handlebars, and somewhere I have a gel-tech saddle cover for those loooong bum-challenging trips. Her brakes are splendid, and the carrier has accompanying panniers for any gear I want to carry around. Who could resist taking her out for a spin, hmm?

Ummm. Once this squall is over...
FG waves wand ;)

Saturday, 19 February 2011

A happy surprise

The last couple of days I've been down in the dumps because my scales showed me an unpleasant figure: 23 stone. Eek! That is 322 lbs. I have been neglecting myself in favour of work. I forgot that I come first, and have been putting all my energy into creating miracles for others. Which is allright to do, so long as I am also benefiting, something I forgot.

That number was a icy splash in the face for me. And it left me feeling morose and despondent for a few days. And I have to say, I didn't behave at all well in that time, eating chocolate, carbs and nuts like they were about to become extinct foodstuffs! Yesterday evening though, I decided enough. And today is a new day. I am living today, yesterday is old news. So, last night I drank lots of water, and went to bed, vowing to myself that every morning is a new chance, a new beginning, a chance to treat my body and myself with love and respect. I adjusted my mini goals to reflect this.

Today I am 46 years old. Today I also weigh 22 stone and 12 lbs. And that was after having breakfast! I don't know what miraculous thing occurred overnight, but I am very grateful. A two pound loss! Thank you Universe. This has given me the impetus to keep the day going well.

When I was 40, I decided to give up smoking. It took me a couple of years to stop feeling the cravings, and there were occasional sneaky puffs. However, today I am decidedly a non-smoker, and my lungs are much healthier for it. I believe I can also become a fit, healthy, active person too. She IS there, somewhere inside me.

I found this little snippet on my desktop today. It is a good list to think about as I go forward. I'm sorry I don't know where it came from, but whoever it was from I am sure they will be pleased that their words are helping another person become a happy, healthy and vibrant being. I've paraphrased her words to fit me.

"I deserve to eat food that has been prepared with love and kindness."
"I deserve the man who loves me unconditionally and joyously, and who loves that I love him unconditionally and joyously."
"I deserve to have a career that supports me emotionally, mentally, spiritually AND financially."
"I deserve to care for myself in a way that supports my well-being."

And here are a few words from Danielle La Porte:
"You are worthy of your desires. Really wanting what you want gives you the power to get it.
You were born free. The more you try to earn your freedom the more trapped you become.
You are worthy of love and respect. Lovable."

And I like this list of hers too:
"You deserve:
eye contact
smiles in the morning
food made with pure intention
clean drinking water, fresh air
Hello, Please and Thank you
time to think about it
a chance to show them what you're made of
a second chance
an education
healthcare, including dental
multiple orgasms
weekends and the summer off
8 hours of sleep
play before work
to change your mind
to say no
to say yes
to be seen
to be loved for what is seen

You deserve all this just because you showed up.
You're that monumental.

What's on your mind these days about what you deserve and what you don't?"

I've had phonecalls, texts and birthday cards from my friends and family today, so I know I am loved. And that is a wonderful thing.

How I feel like today! copyright here
It is a funny thing too, today. My cat has been extra specially loving this morning, and wanting lots of hugs and snuggles. Heh - good vibes are in the air today!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Blowhole breather


I've been so swamped with work, I have been like a whale on a looooooong dive into the depths. Just come up for a quick breather. :)

I can see the horizon though, soon it will be time again to focus on getting healthy again. Spring is here. Little bulbs are squeaking out of the earth. My Amaryllis has become a triffid from a dormant pot of dirt I acquired from the supermarket in January...

Still haven't been to get myself those running shoes. Think it is partly because I will feel embarrassed at having to contort myself to get the laces tied (blush!). Another GOOD reason to get back on the healthy eating & swimming & stuff.

I've been listening a lot to the radio while I work. And have realised that they often re-run things - so we get another chance to hear the program. I'm thinking here - I'll get to rerun my getting healthy effort too :) a second chance.

This weekend might be the first one this year I will have to myself and not have to work. A lovely long walk might be in order. Mmm, sunshine, fresh air, heh. I am Mole, coming out of hibernation!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

creative inspiration

I like seeing how people 'grow', especially in creative directions. It was a real joy to look through this artist's progression over the year of her drawings, and see how her confidence has increased, how less becomes more, how assured the quality of her linework, and also her ideas become.

It also reminds me that to become good at anything requires practice. Practice, perseverance, and picking oneself up and carrying on even when stuff isn't going the way one wants. It is about taking aboard the lessons one learns from making mistakes to create things that work. Sometimes of course perfection occurs naturally, however more often it comes about from the experience of going the 'wrong' way! And sometimes, the wrong way has its own benefits. :) Nothing in my experience, goes to waste. We are all constant learners, no matter how old, how professional, how 'mastered' we become in any endeavor. And that is the joy of living.

I am a work in progress! :D

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Happy loss - one pound down

Stood on the scales yesterday (yep I know I said sundays, but yesterday just seemed right) and the unreliable scales told me I had a one pound loss. Yay! I got on and off 3 times to make sure. :) 312 lbs this week. Heh!

I think I have been more relaxed this week, so bod has reciprocated by letting go of what it had been hanging onto in its flight/fight energy corralling reaction. Good oh.

This sunday I woke up ridiculously early - before 4 am. Pitch black outside and f-f-f-freezing still. Still ice on the buckets in the garden. So have been reading blogs. This time of the personal finance variety. I love blogs now. Full of stuff I never knew, and every so often I come across one or two that resonate. Again I am reminded here: when the student is ready the right teacher will appear.

One of the goals I outlined in my list of last week (highly personal so not on my blog) was to reach some personal financial goals this year. Reading other people's experiences and dedication in this area, and also their backstory to their efforts gives me ideas on how to tackle my own issues.

I have plenty of hang-ups I want to deal with. This year I truly believe I can do it. And man, it is a GOOD feeling when I do.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

A weekend 2 lb loss, hurrah! Goal setting and squid tales.

I've been feeling really miserable about my lack of success and lack of motivation or seeming lack of ability to persevere. A few days ago the scale said I was 315 lbs, but yesterday it dropped me by a pound, and today by another pound, so perhaps now I am decreasing instead of increasing. My legs have been feeling very heavy and tight for the last few weeks - a consequence of too much sitting, no exercise and eating indiscriminately. The last few days I have endeavored to lessen my intake of starchy carbohydrates and this seems to have gained me a result. I'm feeling much better now, and so hopeful, that I sat down this morning and made myself a really long list of goals in all areas of my life.

I've never really set specific goals before. A couple of days ago I read a blog which sent me to this link: How to keep a resolution and the various stages we go through. I found it very useful! I can see I have been flipping between stage 2 - contemplation and stage 3 - preparation for the last few months. I've been full of conflicting emotions, ambivalence, plus experimenting with small changes, collecting all sorts of information, having small successes and regressing...

I went to sleep last night thinking 'I have to change.' I woke several times in the middle of the night because my dreams were so vivid, and they were all about changing states (wierd and wonderful ways, not just getting slimmer! I have been reading a lot of fantasy recently). The constant thought each time I woke was 'I want this change for the better.' I'd feel the weight and heaviness of my legs and I would think, 'I want this to change for the better.' It is now a constant refrain in my head.

I am so ready now to shuttle between stage 3 - preparation and stage 4- action now. Stage 4 is all about taking direct action towards achieving a goal. Buying some new walking shoes. I've been doing some research online and am hitting the local sports outlet tomorrow. Stating my goal intent of walking 1 mile today? I've found my existing trainers and am planning a gentle walk that I've mapped out in googlemap pedometer.  Planning my lunchtime swim every day this week. Got my swim kit all ready to go. And am telling self that it is okay to wash my hair every day, so long as I condition it each time! Rewarding myself with a small cash incentive stashed away towards a fun holiday for each activity I do. This is going to pay for fab walking/painting/sailing holidays over the coming year. A very good incentive! The more activity I do, the fitter and slimmer I become, and the more likely I am to enjoy this summer running around doing active things.

This was another motivator. This summer I want to enjoy myself. Not feel like a beached gasping whale out of its element. I'm going to be a happy go lucky dolphin or perhaps killer whale ;) enjoying herself having fun. Bitchcakes also gave me a reframe to think about. Nothing is hard. Any activity I have not done before is interesting, challenging, unusual, teaches me new stuff, shows me the depths of my resourcefulness, engages my attention totally because it is all about learning. And I do it until I get proficient, like learning to walk. And learning is FUN!

A great little example today is my making calamari. I spotted a squid (an unusual event!) for sale at the supermarket's fish counter. I've always bemoaned the fact restaurant calamari is only ever the rings in this country. And here was my chance to experience eating tentacles! A humungous creature, easily a foot long and pricey, but I had to have it. I was going to try my hand at making calamari. I put it off for a day (nerves!), and this morning I had to gut the thing, clean out all the slimy innards, and rub off all the outer covering. My hands were f-f-f-f-freezing running it under the cold tap! Endless scrubbing and fishing about! Definitely a viscous chore! I thought I'd never get done. But then I did, and I was amazed. I have never done this before, a first for me, and in future I will know what to expect, and perform this chore quicker. :) Cat was a very interested observer throughout! But she turned her nose up at raw squid. Then to the frying. I really don't like deep frying - an inherent cautiousness around hot fat. But I told myself to be prudent in the choice of vessel - a nice deep one, and only filled it about 2 inches deep. Following all instructions in the recipe I made myself my first ever calamari. It was yummy. A little home-made mayo and a home made chilli dipping sauce, fresh watercress and fresh tomatoes made this a fabulous first effort. And cat totally approved of crispy tentacle...I also feel quite guilt free about this meal because of all the effort that went into the making of it, since it is a fish meal that isn't white fish, and also because breakfast today was honey sweetened citrus & melon fruit salad of minimal calories. It hasn't triggered off any carby cravings either. :) My snacks so far today have been 1/3 cup dried fruits and nuts, a banana, a couple of tangerines and 50g of Green & Black's Cherry Chocolate. And lots of tea!

Sadly no photo of my calamari - the phone camera ran out of juice!

I know this is a small effort in doing new things, and in a realm that I already enjoy experimenting in. But my happiness in scaling this little mountain - conquering my squeamishness at the feel of the fish, and focusing instead on the prettiness of the squid as its lustrous white flesh was revealed, reaped me such dividends. I've expanded my cooking horizon, and am so chuffed with myself for conquering my fear of deep frying also. It isn't something I plan to do often, but I'm so pleased that any future deep frying efforts will be conducted with confidence.

On the exercise & pounds coming off front: I'll post again when I have something of significance to write about.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Day 148 Recess

I've decided to take a short break from blogging everyday - well, at least in a daily numbered sort of fashion! Work is ultra busy and my food habits are haywire, and until I get a handle on some aspect of my life that's blocking me, that isn't going to change. So, instead of writing about stuff I want to do, and speculating strategy on here, failing and moaning about it, I want to actually do it, and maybe when I'm back I'll have some fab pictures of my efforts! I'll still be looking in at all my favourites whenever I have a few minutes.

Good luck all of you on all your amazing efforts - races, losing pounds, getting healthy, achieving your goals! Never lose sight of that. :)  A humungous hug for all of you.

Rowie xx

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Where I can improve

Looking at my food gallery today, I can see where I can make a few changes that will pay me off dividends without adding to my hips. Portion size adjustment.

The cheese & biscuits. Well, I can still have them, just instead of 3 large and 6 small, I have 2 large and 4 small. What was good about the plate today was no butter! Yay! Less biscuits also means a little less cheese...

The porridge is good. I do use a tablespoon of honey. Maybe I can try having it this way - a little dash of honey, and lots of sweet cooked apple. Microwaved or softened with some water in a pan.

Absolutely nothing wrong with my fruit - good to have a variety. I'm thinking of that breakfast fruit platter I had the other day - nashi pear, grapes and plums - that was luscious, took me a looooooong time to eat, and I totally enjoyed it.

Again, nothing inherently bad about my nuts & dried fruit. I don't eat this that often, and it is way better than scarfing down chilli peanuts and chilli crisps, which was what I was doing last week. Still, perhaps 1/3 cup instead of 1/2.

The biggie about dinner was the rice combo with the protein/veg. Both were healthy foods - unfortunately, together they make a hefty meal. Next time, just the protein/veg OR rice/veg. Seeing as I have this difficulty in not having seconds...

Making a 2 egg instead of a 3 egg omelet. Smaller frying pan required.

Good stuff about today's food choices: I was careful about the use of fat. A small amount in the omelet, with a small knob of butter. And a small amount to fry the chicken. And it is a really good thing that I'm not relying on bread, or rushing out to buy some.

And the solero? It is okay. Loads better than eating chocolate! I'm going to investigate making my own sorbet/ice-cream/frozen yoghurts now I have a spare freezer space. Home made 100 cal delights can be mine!

Really sleepy now. Probably still catching up on the missed out zeds from last week. Going to turn in early tonight. Goodness, it is before 11 pm...

Day 147 Photographic Evidence

Yup. I have it in pictures. And amazing really, how much I actually eat! No surprise that I've been piling on the pounds instead of losing them. I'm going to have to start learning how to put food away when I cook too much too. This evening I made chicken with leeks, carrots and courgettes with spiced saffron rice.  One leek, half a carrot, one courgette and two boned chicken thighs didn't seem like a lot before I started but was a very substantial plate with the rice! Erm, it was so delicious that Hmm, I've eaten the lot!

I wonder what emotional stuff is disturbing me at the moment that I am craving starchy food and sweetstuff. :o perhaps it was paying out so much money to the Inland Revenue, and now feeling precariously penurious? :D - well, subconscious, I have a remedy for that, put in my invoices for all the work I've done over the last 7 weeks...

Here's the evidence...
When I look at this evidence, I can see that my food choices are on the whole, healthy ones. My problem or perhaps to put it in a better way, my challenge, is QUANTITY. My cake-hole is a black hole...slurps down enormous quantities with the greatest of ease. Gulp. Gotta get it trained into being a tad more selective on how much.

Good things about today:
I read a LOT of new blogs, and added some to my list - always good to read about other people's successes, tips, accounts of their journeys. Makes me feel less alone in my food obsessions too.
It is a glorious full moon, or near as damnit! Bright and shiny, like a new start :)
In the course of my blog reading, I signed up for the 10 week walk of Life program on If I'm going to be eating so much, I'd better start trying to match up the extra calories with some expended energy!

Useful facts I learned today. My body fat % is 62.87%, which means my lean weight mass is 117lbs. So my protein requirement for my current sedentary lifestyle is 82g.

I also found out the mileage of a variety of walks I can do from my front door, so I can feel virtuous in having expended a measurable number of calories! At my slow pace it takes me 20-30 minutes to walk a mile, depending on the terrain, so I'm aiming for a gentle mile plus for this week. And building up the distance over the next few weeks. Going to be back tramping through the woods again this spring. :) Not long now!

I'm feeling a tad more impelled to do something now, because horror of horrors, my 60 inch tape measure no longer goes around my hips with inches to spare. :( Now that is really quite distressing. 315 lbs, I am saying GOODBYE quite firmly now!