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!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Day 146 Food pictures and 3 good things

I took photos of the food I ate yesterday, and some of today, just because it looked so good.
I'm eating too much again, got to work on that 'tasty food' habit!

 Have to confess, I had another plateful after this...

I had this again for dinner, and more cheese & biscuits later. Also, a big teapot full of mint tea with honey, so I think I may have made my fluids intake! Looking at the photos I can see I really do need to address the idea of portions. Perhaps trying this out to start with - filling the plate, then taking off a third, will get me used to smaller portions. As will using a smaller bowl/plate. Hmm - I feel a trip to the cookshop coming up.

Stress foodstuff I ate today was a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Turkish Delight 140g - eek! Didn't take a photo of that! No swimming yet, perhaps tomorrow will be the day. :)

Three good things about today:
I filed my Tax Return and paid my income tax. Painful but necessary, and now I feel quite virtuous :)
I got lots of positive feedback for some extra work I did yesterday, which is going to be very useful for lots of other people in the company. Nice that. Am feeling a professional glow. :)
I went out for a 5 minute walk. Just to the postbox and back, but it was lovely to be out in the fresh air and sunshine.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Day 145 Fabulous Fruity and my new start

Jan 17th 2010. Start date to getting below 300 lbs.

I finally got back on the scales this morning, a month after finishing the Fat Burner Plan where I lost 7 lbs. I'm sad to say, but not surprised that that loss has been regained and more. My current weight is 315 lbs. I know it is down to undisciplined portion sizes, eating foods like butter, white bread, cheese, chocolate to excess, and most of all, not doing any regular exercise.

I've got a mini goal list set up. My first goal is to get below 300 lbs. So I'm aiming to lose 16 lbs. And when I do, I will treat myself to a beauty treatment, like a facial, a pedicure or a manicure.

The plan from today is to eat less, and move more. Especially the moving more! The eating less, means less of the white bread, butters, cheese & chocolate, and any other processed foods, and more wholefoods, and unprocessed foodstuffs. I'm eating more fruit and veg again, more lean proteins, and wholefood starchy carb sources. All things I like. I am incorporating treats into each day, which I can have IF I wish. And there will be a 'cheat' meal option, once a week, that I can use for socializing.

I have discovered over the past month of undisciplined eating that when I did eat 'naughty' foods, that curiously, I don't enjoy them as much as I once did, AND that I am happier with less. Yay for changing my eating habits! My plan is to keep to my new instincts and replace buying snacks with non-food treats for those 'I've-been-working-so-hard-I-deserve-a-treat' moments. So many things I can have - like a haircut, a massage, a pedicure, a manicure, a cinema trip, a theatre trip, a gig trip, some new music, art classes, art paraphernalia, perfume, cosmetics, nice bath products, scented candles, a good book. And instead of reaching for a snack, I can go for a little walk to clear my mind and get some fresh air.

The biggest improvement I am looking for over the next month or so, is doing more activity. I have not been swimming since the beginning of November. I only went on one tiny walk in December, in the snow, which was fun. This is what I want to work on over the next two weeks initially, to bring back exercise as a habit, so I am back into that groove I had started in late summer, swimming most days, and going for an interesting walk every weekend.

Today has started off well. I had a fruit platter for breakfast - grapes, nashi pear, and a couple of plums with roobios tea. Lunch is going to be home made minestrone soup, and a mushroom & spinach omelet. Dinner, I'm planning turkey breast steak, leeks, carrots, courgettes and new potatoes. I have fresh pineapple for snacks, and if I want, there is ice-cream Solero at 100 cals in the freezer.

Tonight I am planning a trip to the swimming pool. I've collected together all my swim gear, and checked the adult swim times: 8 -10pm. I am visualizing myself swimming in that pool. :) It'll be good to get back into the water.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Day 144 Making Good choices

144 is the same as 12x12. Random day fact. Funny what surfaces in a brain's idle thinking, hmm.

Yesterday's Nepalese dinner outing could be a qualified success. For the first time ever, I practiced moderation and good choices in a food area I normally am gluttonous to the point of feeling overstuffed and comatose. My friend even remarked on it! I guess all that reading about stratagems to deal with such food challenges has paid off. Yay!

The food WAS absolutely delicious. I did order some nice stuff, but I'm most proud of the fact I chose wisely. My starter was not deep-fried! No bhajis, samosas or poppadums either. Gosh. Then my entree was yummy, and I chose something that didn't have nuts or cream in it. Double gosh! I chose a vegetable side that was unusual and not carb based (jackfruit's stats from caloriecounter are A-, wow.) I passed on the rice, and ate three-quarters of my very plain naan (very light and non-greasy). I had a pint of my favourite beer - London Pride, and we had sweet lassi to finish, as my friend had had some rather spicy stuff and required de-combusting!

I have no idea how many calories it was, but the main thing was I had a lovely dinner, had a nice time, and came home feeling fine. I like that. So many eating out memories involve coming home and feeling stuffed to the gills and uncomfortable. Next time I go out to a restaurant I'll practice this new method of making good choices.

Today I have been catching up on my sleep. Somnolence was a big feature!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Day 142-143 Winding down

Friday, 14 Jan, was probably the most stressful day of the year so far, and all the days so far these last two weeks have been majorly busy. I managed to get the project sent off, not quite to my preferred standards of finish, but definitely enough done that the next stage will make its deadline. Phew.

Today is Saturday - 3.30 pm UK time, and I've had a lovely morning pottering about and generally returning to normal life. This evening am out with a friend to sample Nepalese cuisine. Going from the allotment's Nepalese contingent's delicious offerings last summer fête, this is going to be a very spicy experience!

Last night, my aromatherapy massage was a very interesting one for me. Second ever massage in my life, and I think, something I will be indulging in on a regular basis in future. My therapist used an oil scented with ylangylang, vetiver and ginger, none of which I am familiar with, but all scents I liked. I also discovered I have an extremely ticklish back! which made for an amusing few minutes while I tried to get over my giggles!

When I got home, after a spot of tea & a sandwich, I conked out for the next 12 hours. Body was definitely catching up on its zeds. Feel tonnes better today. Tomorrow am back at the allotment. It is mid Jan, and time to get the beds dug in with compost and perhaps get some broad bean seeds in. There are those Aquadulce Claudia seeds I got last month lurking about somewhere.

Ever since I started utilizing a few Feng Shui principles, I have found I am much more aware of my surroundings, and am much more likely to do stuff as it comes up, instead of putting it off. I like this. Life seems easier and simpler somehow, even including my last two work heavy weeks. Heh, I wonder if that will apply to digging as well? ;)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Day 141 Both ends of my candle are melting away...

I have ten hours to create a miracle. I hope I do it. I'm visualizing myself doing it. There's a lot riding on this. Hmm, nothing like a bit of pressure! 2.30 pm, is going to be my finest hour. Actually, what I'm hoping is - by 1pm or 2 at the latest, everything will be done and dusted, and I'm lounging back with a nice cuppa, and a well deserved feet up on the sofa.

At 3.45pm this afternoon, I am treating myself to a massage. I hope it is going to be an aromatherapy one. I definitely deserve it, after the last two weeks of major stress. And I'm also glad I chose this form of self-reward, instead of food.

Another step in changing my habits.

One day, that cuppa and feet up will be after a physical challenge. Something like having walked a 5K. Swum a mile in less than an hour. Cycled 15 miles...

It is exactly 2 weeks to the end of January. Wonder what I can accomplish by then?

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Day 140 Talking of Change

Got out of the hermit mode today. Went to see a friend for dinner, and ended up telling her all about my desire for change, but not knowing exactly what that entails. Her response: make little changes, everywhere, to reflect the areas you want to explore, and it will eventually be the Big Change you want.

Another discussion in a different area, was that to make sure whatever we change or fix, to ensure that there is a firm, healthy foundation to it. Something built on shifting sands, unhealthy tissue, toxic soil, will eventually disintegrate. I want something that will last.

This time next year I want to look back and be able to say: look how different, how much better, how much more interesting and fulfilling my life is now.

Yes. That's what I want. Head work first, and everything else will flow from that.

Hope Lynn from Lynn's Weigh gets her book published soon. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Day 139 Vegetablicious

As a reaction to yesterday's processed-white-bread-and-butter fest, today my body has really craved fresh fruit and veg ( plus lots of sleep! ). Thankfully I obeyed this imperative and spent a happy hour at Sainsbury's fondling luscious veggies, drooling over beauteous flowers and generally chilling out walking around the store. My butt has been thanking me for this - it still doesn't feel that happy being plonked on a chair, so maybe some other activity is on the agenda for tomorrow.

I did come home with a haul of exotic cheeses, but these have been stowed in a box with a solid lid in the fridge, and I have given myself permission to eat from it once a day. What I don't see immediately, I won't be thinking about! Well, that's the idea at any rate.

Yummy fruit & veggies for today:
Rocha pear - sweetly perfectly ripe! Score!
Home-made minestrone soup, packed with carrots, celery, onions, borlotti beans, digitali pasta, tomato puree
Four clementines - sweet zingy
Nashi pear - crunchy yummy
Five new potatoes, smashed with a tablespoon of olive oil, freshly ground pepper, seasalt & topped with boiled brussels sprouts (this is my lo-cal version of colcannon)
A harlequin bowlful ( about 2 cups) of chopped peppery radishes, crunchy carrots, red, orange & yellow sweet bell pepper

I guess I've definitely had my five-a-day!

Other eats:
several mugs of chai & lapsang souchong tea with milk
50g chilli peanuts
a cupful of Kettle's sweet chilli crisps
small slices of 5 different cheeses with 6 Ritz, 3 high bake & 3 oatcake biscuits and 15g butter

I've kept a lid on the fats for today plus addressed the calcium, protein, fibre & starchy carbs factors too.

I had intended to have grilled fresh sardines, but fell asleep early evening and woke up craving veg. The Omega 3 will have to wait for tomorrow's lunch.

Today was sunny, I got some fresh air, got rid of some more clutter & junk, and have almost caught up with my work schedule. I'm also feeling a lot less anxious about that project from last week. It is almost out of my hands now, which is always a good thing.

Cool observation of the day: I nearly threw away those sprouts I had for dinner. They looked really sad - black mottling on the outside, browned stems. I don't know why, but instead of dumping them, I gave them another chance and pulled off the outer leaves, and cut of the browned stem bits, and yay! they were perfectly firm and fresh looking underneath. I felt, the whole time I was fixing them, that this could be applied to my life. I'm in the process of lifting off the damaged, mildewy bits, and revealing the essential goodness at the core.


And those sprouts were delicious!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Day 138 Nose firmly to the grindstone and...

in the trough...! :o

There is definitely a correlation between manic work deadlines and my tossing all good eating habits out of the window.

Will post again when I come up for air.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Day 137 Back on the food wagon

For a while there, my eating was completely emotional. I'm still under a lot of stress to deliver on this project, and I guess my emotional feelings about it are very ambivalent. I can't seem to get up the enthusiasm or the ability to create, or perhaps what I am thinking inside as I make this thing is that it is a sad and grotesque creature, a long long way from my initial happy creation. Perhaps that is why I am dragging my heels on it, maybe hoping for some miracle to effect a transformation to change the pig ear to silk purse...and to deal with it I have been eating in my usual stress fashion, indiscriminately cramming in processed carbs and fat - bread, butter, biscuits, least not in such 'large' quantities as a few years previously, but a definite turn for the worse from my much better eating habits of recent months.

I took a break from it today and last night. Instead I concentrated on catching up with my sleep, and tidying up various other corners of my home. Again, the pervading feeling I get when I walk into a newly re-claimed area is one of satisfaction and quiet peace. Which is lovely. How do I get that same feeling when I deal with this recalcitrant project? I think what I will do for the rest of the evening is visualize a happy outcome to this project, and sleep on it. Tomorrow is another day. A fresh day. A fresh eye to cast over it. And maybe a day to make it look wonderful.

I do believe that the tidying up has helped me rein in my eating urges. My new fridge arrived today. Happy days! It is smaller than my last one, and has a little freezer at the top. Perfectly sized for my smaller eating habits. :) And my smaller shopping trips. I'm working on the premise that with a smaller fridge, like a smaller plate, I will be happy and satisfied when I fill it up. Got to say my food shopping too has improved so much. I used to spend vast amounts, now I spend less, and buy less, and in smaller quantities and much more discriminatingly.

I've had my treat for the day, this time it was a Fry's Turkish Delight. Beer for another day. Rest of day was good. A couple of slices of oats & seeds wholemeal toast with peanut butter, no butter for breakfast, spicy home made minestrone for lunch, a proper oven baked potato with a measured amount of butter for teatime, then spaghetti puttanesca for dinner. Lots of lapsang souchong tea. I still feel tired and out of sorts, but better than yesterday.

Good things about today. I remember seeing a perfect slice of crescent moon when I opened the curtains this moring. :) Later on I got inspired to get my sketch book and pencils out AND draw a picture..., did a quick sketch of my cat :) That is the FIRST drawing I have done that had nothing to do with work in years! I also looked up art courses on the internet, and I think I might call on Monday to check a couple of them out. One is a freestyle drawing/painting course, the other is a life drawing one.

I'm thinking here about this: about doing the same things over and over and expecting to get a different result. Perhaps this is what I have to do. Take a different approach to solving my creative dilemma with work. Look at the project in a different way. :) How I wish I could do yoga shoulder stands! Hehe. Now that's a funny concept, working on my computer while upside down...

Friday, 7 January 2011

Day 136 Splooshy Slooshy

It is raining cats 'n' dogs out there. Real cat & I are ensconced in our comfy, getting tidier house. Hmm, the tidiness has backslid somewhat, eek! My new fridge arrives tomorrow, so it is going to be a slightlymanic evening of shifting stuff and dismantling.

I've decided to keep the various plastic & glass bits of my old appliance, because I reckon they will make excellent pigment spreading surfaces and holders for all my arty paraphernalia. :) I can already visualize myself rolling out ink on those nice clean glass shelves, or perhaps making a wax resist drawing and litho printing it. :D Heh - lots and LOTS of scope for sheer messiness and experimenting and just having fun. F-U-N.

Ahhh. I do like that word. A LOT.

I guess I am pretty lucky really. I have a great little attic space that is just big enough to be my studio. And it has a proper north facing skylight too. No water up there, but we can get that sorted with the help of a friendly plumber.

I'm a tad euphoric, no sleep, and more deadlines and work quotas to finalize. Mainlining, and eating loads of carbs. Sigh.

I was examining my figure in the mirror. Not a single sign of that old hour-glass left. :( I am totally and reprehensibly round. Never mind. Currant buns are cute too, and even currant buns can go cycling, and walking, and swimming. And if a fantastic brother can, he's bringing me a whole bagful golf clubs to go whack down at the local golf club this spring. If not, then I'm getting myself a putter, and a No. 7 and taking self off to do some serious walking and get me some fresh air.

Okay, time to rejoin RL, and do some work.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Day 135 The Good News Channel

It struck me today, when I was reading the posts in my blog list, that starting my day with this has been a very positive step. In my mind this is my Good News Channel. A daily update of a little part of the world that generally cheers me up, inspires me, gives me good ideas, exercises my compassion bone on occasion, and genuinely encourages me to take an interest in my fellow beings. Thank you, all of you that I manage to read, and all the others I occasionally dip into by way of looking through other bloggers blogrolls. Although we may never meet, or perhaps are not ever aware that I read your observations, I feel that each of you extends the hand of friendship by posting your thoughts. Thank you all of you for being my Good News Channel contributors!

Today I am drinking my water. One and a half glasses down, 2 cups of tea so far - I have a new favourite tea: lapsang souchong. I love the smoky scent and the refreshing taste.

Food choices. Hmm. Yesterday I really felt the need to eat something spicy, meaty, junky, processed after having dinner. After considering all the options - go get another Divine chocolate bar from the supermarket (hmm, lots of temptations there!), eat more fruit (hmm, had already eaten masses that day), make something sweet (no eggs, not in the mood to cook), I decided to just pop over to our local 24 hr shop and decide. My final choice was a pork pie rather than cakes, biscuits, chocolate. This was because I am slightly worried about my sugar levels spiking, and also because when I got into the shop the items I was most drawn to were the Indian pakoras/samosas combos! Which I discarded because I didn't want to have indigestion & reflux. Another plus in favour of the pie was it was calories known, was just one item, and I had not eaten one in months now, and I'd never experienced stomach problems from eating them in the past. I chose the best quality one they had, on the premise that it would have a better meat content, and less dodgy fats content... :)

I have to say, I totally enjoyed eating that pie. I waited for a while. And asked myself, did I really want it. Was my tummy hungry. I drank some water beforehand, and asked those questions again. I finally ate it, and paid proper attention to the eating of it. No distractions, no reading, watching TV, listening to the radio. My whole attention was on this pie. And it was a truly enjoyable experience. The best pork pie eating experience I have had.

What I learned from this little episode is that treating my food with respect, asking my body what it really wants, and paying attention to what it tells me equals a successful outcome. Yes, pork pie is probably more in the 'bad' camp of foodstuffs than in the 'good'. In terms of the alternatives - stuffing down anything I had in the cupboards and feeling annoyed and sick later, or going to the supermarket and coming home with heaps of foodstuffs I didn't need, the expedition, consideration, and consumption of this particular foodstuff was 'A Good Thing'. I really wanted it, I bought it, I contemplated it, I ate it slowly, I extracted every microcosm of enjoyment in the doing of all of this. In short, I truly lived in the moment of all of it, and it is now filed away in the realm of 'happy' experiences in my memory.

Another good thing yesterday. I had pasta salad. At first when I threw in the small amount of pasta remaining in the packet into the boiling water I was thinking, gosh that is such a tiny amount. I'm going to be hungry later. But...when I'd plated it all up, mixed with chorizo sausage - on a bed of raw spinach leaves, halved marzano tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, it was Just The Right Amount. heh, now I am starting to sound like Dr Seuss! - speaking in Important Capitals! 90-100g of pasta is fine by me now. previously I would have given in to the urge to cook more than that, AND eaten it, and felt too full. Yay for learning better choices and for understanding and accepting them.

Today I am making good choices. I have had marmite on toast with butter, lapsang souchong tea, a selection of biscuits with philadelphia (less biscuits, I am finally getting to grips with portions), and when I have finished writing this post I am going to have egg salad, made with the last of my home made mayonnaise. Now, that experiment was a total success. If I ever feel the urge or need for mayo in future, I will always make my own. That way, I will know exactly what went into it, I will have expended energy in making it, given myself a self-made serotonin boost in achievement terms (awesome! look at what I can do!), and enjoy every mouthful consciously. Gosh, I'm so proud of this salad I took a picture of it.

Have a good day, if you're reading this. I am!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Day 134 Out of whack clock

I've been working all sorts of odd hours & extended periods this week, so my body clock is completely out of whack. Slept this morning, after working all through the night, and it is NOT GOOD.

So. Am chilling out this evening. Re-charging my 'id' or 'chi' or whatever that innate human spark  is, that is 'me' energy. Am putting work thoughts on hold until tomorrow, and getting to bed early/at a reasonable hour tonight.

Studies have shown that being out of whack from one's normal circadian cycle can lead to depression and ill-health. Definitely a land to avoid!

Apart from my sleep thoughts, I've been reading blogs. I was over at Dr Fat to Fit, and she's posted Spunkysuzi's Question Day, so here's my stab at it. Thanks for the inspiration, Suzi!

1. What have been some of your healthy choices so far this week?

Having veggies instead of pasta/rice/potatoes with my meat/eggs/fish this week. Despite not watching my portions, I do feel better for eating less starchy carbs.

2. Is there anything healthy you haven't been doing or have been inconsistent?? Are you working on it?

Drinking enough water. Am joining in Lyn's (Escape from Obesity) A Good Habit A Week programme - this week is about getting in enough water & liquids.

3. What are you planning for dinner tonight?

I had lamb chops souvlaki style, with courgettes & red peppers. Melon, pineapple & grape fruit salad to follow. Yummy.

4. How many meals do you make sure your having vegetables with?

At least one, usually two. Sometimes all three if I'm being particularly inventive. I really like veggies. Am intending to grow more of my own this year.

5. Do you love to cook? Or would you rather eat someone else's cooking or eat out??

I love to cook. Pottering around in the kitchen is a relaxing thing for me. I enjoy eating out in good restaurants, the kind where there is linen tablecloths & candles, and an a la carte menu...with a lovely companion for good conversation! :) Don't get to do this too often though. 

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Day 133 Plodding on, how insignificant little things can become big deals, and paying attention

Gosh that was a strenuous 24 hours. I cleaned and tidied and generally fussed about until about 3 am, before I finally felt ready to tackle that work project. Am about halfway through, deadline for submission is tomorrow, meeting to discuss is tomorrow, going to be another busy night owl. Have to say, it all flowed really smoothly this time, so doing that decluttering really helped.

At least now my wrist has stopped twinging and feeling sore. I was really quite worried about RSI, as my livelihood is entirely dependent on being able to work on the computer using small movements. Big movements and using my other hand more, has helped, as well as creating another good new habit in being more ambidextrous :) Now why does that remind me of frogs??? ;)

My desk is also pretty clear. I've moved those months old tottering piles off it, and it now holds just my computer, the radio (essential for work!), my current project paperwork, some pens, the phones, and a nice shiny stack of empty writing pads to pour out my thoughts into should I feel the need to scribble or doodle...

I'd put some little tea-lights in glass jars out on the mantlepiece last night. Bright lights are supposed to add to 'chi'. Well, in my clearing out, I had this small bit of paper with an important number scribbled on it, and for some daft reason I wanted to burn it. Dropped it into one of the tea-lights and it just sat there, doing nothing. I forgot about it and carried on with what I was doing. About half an hour later, there was an odd noise, a little 'guffing' sound, and I looked round. OMG there were great big flames coming out of this little jar! Eeek! First I moved everything that might possibly catch fire, then blew on it (urgh! DON"T DO THAT IN FUTURE!) and when that didn't work, got a plate and covered the mouth of the jar. No oxygen = no flames (THANK YOU, SCIENCE CLASS!)

Panic over, huge clouds of smoke in my living room, all the windows wide open in the middle of the night, I reflected on this incident. Any small thing that is done can have much bigger consequences down the line depending on the circumstances.

I could have burned down my house had I not been vigilant and paying attention.

I could take a lesson from this, tossed all the candles and never have tea-lights again. That might be a prudent course. It is also overly reactionary, overcompensating for the incident. What I chose to do, once I had calmed down a little, was:

Move the remaining tea lights to an area that had less combustible objects nearby.
Continue enjoying the beauty of them, and replacing them as they burned out, safely. ie, not dropping in odd bits of paper...

Moderation, in a word.

I can apply this to whenever I go off course, and eat a bit too much, find myself in a place where my body tells me it feels ill from what I have been stuffing down it. Instead of resolving to never eat that foodstuff again, I remind myself that a little bit will be okay. That I just have to watch my portions. Be vigilant and pay attention to myself. That way, I will be able to deal with any little conflagrations that my body presents me!

I'm going to try putting in a video link - I love this woman's voice. So uplifting.

Going to go get the rest of my tea now, have to catch up on my liquids intake.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Day 132 Decluttering

I've been feeling really blocked and miserable for the last couple of weeks, and the degree of clutter in my home had reached quite insupportable heights. Today, I'd finally had enough, and instead of completing a work project, I've cleaned house. And now I feel great, even though I still have a million things to get done for tomorrow for work. I don't mind, because now, I can set to on this with a feeling of expansiveness. All that stuff, that was lurking around, hemming me in has been removed. Well, most of it. My desk is still full of various piles :)

Tomorrow I will be opening all the windows and letting in a blast of fresh air. Re-energizing my home. I've bought an amaryllis to grace the front room, too. It is a Red Lion - very auspicious name!

What is really cool about all this is that I've taken action today, and made a difference, a positive one, to my home life. This will I hope, spill over to positive action in all other areas, like my health, my career and my prosperity. Have been reading all about various feng shui stuff, quite fascinating. Butterflies and flowers, abundant fish, thundering horses, graceful cranes, dynamic dragons, glorious phoenixes - a plethora of imagery. Hmm, might be inspired to create some art perhaps. :)

Have drunk loads of water and roobios tea today. Right now am trying out my gunpowder with mint - it is yummy. I made it in a dainty little teapot I have, and am drinking it out of a pretty gold rimmed bone china mug decorated with fruit . I thought it fitted in well with the idea of abundance and health. Have been to the loo about a zillion times today though :o

Food wise, pretty okay. I've not tracked calories, but have eaten lots of roast chicken pieces, fresh mango, orange & pineapple. I also tried out spaghetti with marmite! Interesting, and worth keeping in mind when there isn't much to plonk on pasta in future. I was planning on broccoli & stilton soup, maybe later when I get bored of staring at the screen, I'll do some cooking to give myself a break.

Right. Time to see if my space clearing efforts have reaped dividends in space-clearing my mind! I'm going to try reframing my ideas about this project. Give it a positive spin to get the creative juices going. :)

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Becoming a joiner, getting slooshy, and sporty activities

Gosh. Really don't know what has come over me. ;) I am, as I've said before, not really much of a joiner. I like doing stuff by myself, I generally feel uneasy in crowds, and am not much better in groups - I either become the mouthy one or I never speak, no middle ground.

Anyway, one of the list of things I am to do, to increase my confidence, and to create a better social circle is to join stuff. I am starting with joining in with Lyn's (Escape from Obesity) Habit-A-Week Challenge. Yes, I know this is in blogland, but it is still joining in. This week's challenge is to drink more water. I've checked out my stats here at the hydration calculator and I am to drink 3.9 litres a day.

At first I was astonished, for my first calculation said 5.1 litres...EEK! But that was without factoring in a possible alcoholic drink (I am aiming to have a nice glass of wine, or a bottle of beer, or a gin & slimline tonic now and then as treats).

So. Daily liquids I already have:
4 mugs of roobios tea with a dash of milk 1600 ml
5 small mugs of water throughout the day 1200 ml

I can up this by drinking a couple of mugs of herbal tea or different tea - I bought some gunpowder tea with mint, rosehip tea, lapsang souchong and chai today, to cover that. :) And one extra small mug of water - hot would be nice, with a slice of lemon, and if I want, my alcoholic treat.

This week is already looking better and better!

Even if I don't do anything else. If I flunk out doing the FBP, I can still feel good about creating a Good New Habit.

On the joining thing, IRL, I'm going to make a list of stuff I like to do, imagine I might like to do, did use to do and choose something off that list. Saturday Art Class might be a good start. That involves getting the bus into town, walking to wherever the studio is and interacting with the teacher & fellow students. Sounds good. Or there might be a pottery class somewhere. Squishing clay sounds like fun.

On the other hand, I was very impressed with Sean Anderson's post today, where he has a video of him at around 400lb playing squash. I am so heartened by that video, because it is saying to me, it doesn't matter what size I am, so long as I am having fun and enjoying the activity. I haven't played squash since I was a teenager.  And it looked like fun. And, for me, the quintessential loner, it has added benefits, I don't have to have someone with me to play. Yay! If I do take it up, and if someone offers to play with me that will be a bonus. :)

Off to write my list now. And eat delicious grapes!

Mirror Mirror

I've had a bit of fun today, messing around with my make-up. This is significant because I haven't used any for nearly 18 months now. So this is a good sign that I'm getting back my self-confidence and self-belief, that I feel I deserve to look good when I leave the house, instead of looking like a bag lady. I also wore a skirt, and a nice flattering top, instead of my usual shabby old tracksuit bottoms, Tshirt & hoodie ensemble. :) And jewellery! And perfume! Yay! This is how I feel...

Another giggle, did my eyebrows as well, but I think I took a little too much off, so tried evening it up with some black eyeshadow, heh - have given myself Joan Crawford eyebrows! They're a bit startling, being so defined and all, but I quite like them. Hmm, perhaps this year will be the year I wear more slap. A trip to Boots & to Debenhams in order for tomorrow to check out the beauty counter. A new red lipstick is on my shopping list!

Didn't get the bike out after all. Did go shopping. Wandered around for ages, so that is plus marks for activity today. Have picked up lots of yummy fresh veggies, & fabulous fruit, pâté and french bread. I also saw a woman with the most perfect bottom, she should be cast in bronze for posterity! Excuse the dreadful pun! :) I am also noticing men again, which is really great. That means I am finally, finally getting over my ex - hooray!

All in all, a really feel-good kind of day. Tomorrow I am definitely going out again after experimenting further with my make-up stash. I felt like I was painting a picture, and that was a good feeling. Perhaps the make-up brushes will extrapolate into actual paint and paint brushes? We'll see. There is all that rolled up pristine white canvas loitering in the attic...

Day 131 Currant Bun Figure

I just had a look at my calendar, and I've pencilled in dates for being on the Fat Burner Plan - Day 1 is on Monday.  I think if I incorporate my 6 small meals with the ethos of the FBP, this will be a successful start to the year, along with getting myself out of the house for a 20 minute walk.

It is also helpful that I am lacking a refrigerator at the moment, so am unable to zip to the shops and buy lots of tempting stuff to keep. I am thinking here that my 20 minute walk could involve daily trips up to the local green grocers for each day's supplies. :) Now that IS a good plan!

Today I am going to have a dairy day - the last of the christmas festive food. There is a wedge of stilton and a whole camembert in a wood box left. Not much in the way of veggies - only a courgette and a couple of new potatoes. Some leftover prawns, home made mayo...hmm, what can I make... baked camembert with new potato wedges & a wholemeal bagel? Courgette omelet with stilton melted on top? Prawns Marie Rose with the last of the lettuce...crisp sliced apple with a crumble of stilton and a few Ritz biscuits. Might pop up to the supermarket after all, for some fresh veggies to dunk into a bowl of aoïli made with my home made mayonnaise. And perhaps a head of broccoli for broccoli & stilton soup. That freezes okay.

Last night's reading was Nigella Lawson's How To Eat. Now that is a woman after my own heart. She loves food with a passion, however given her beautiful figure, she also practices moderation interspersed with her avowed greed! And probably has an active lifestyle. I think  having her figure as something to aspire too is a good goal, as when I am less weighty I do have a more hour-glass shape. Currently though, I just look like a currant bun!


Just had a GOOD IDEA. I can go for a cycle ride to the supermarket! Win win on all fronts! :)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Day 130 A new year


Imagine the world without arabic numerals. :)
So many good things come from all sorts of sources. Just have to find the methods that work for me.

I get a bee in my bonnet about doing stuff sometimes. Like today, I absolutely had to try making mayonnaise. Now, I don't usually eat the stuff, and totally dislike fat free mayo. Uh, and since I watched Jimmy's Food Farm, I definitely wouldn't eat that again!

My mayo making experiment was quite successful. I have a cupful of the thick, creamy, pale yellow glop, and a sore right arm from all my whisking. Good point here is that I probably expended at least 50 cals making it :) I've calculated the calories spread out over 6 portions, and I will have 6 very interesting meals. Got to use it up in 2-3 days, as it has raw egg yolks in it.

I've realised I am happy I made the mayo. I love to cook, and making stuff, interesting food, gets my head into a wonderful zone. Perhaps I ought to think about doing a cookery course or two, and learn how to become proficient at more complex techniques.

Anyway, the point of this was, finding stuff that makes me happy to do it. Like perhaps taking a walk to a cafe. That way I get to eat a piece of cake, and have some exercise. I was reading Slimming World's Body Magic guide, and their criteria for an active lifestyle is 30 minutes of exercise 6 times a week. I used to cycle to work - 20 mins there, and 20 mins back, that's probably how I managed to keep my weight down so long. Fitting exercise into my daily activities. Being more active. Getting off the couch...

Going to see what I do tomorrow.
Baby steps. :)