Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Day 48 -53

Just a short post today as I'm feeling quite tired. I have a bit of a cold and have probably pushed myself too much rather than slowing down. Anyway - worked like a demon today then dashed to the Golf Club AGM (snore). Managed to limit myself to one fight only - God they're such a bunch of whinging old minnies sometimes - I love the game but sometimes the people playing it are a trial. Actually, there are loads of really nice women down there but the Committee types take over and the nice lot just bite their lips. I had a small scuffle over one policy making it virtually impossible for working women (very much in the minority) to take part in anything, but otherwise sat back a bit.

Apart from that it was very gratifying that so many people who I haven't seen since before the diet commented on how much weight I have lost. They were all shocked that I couldn't drink - the food was very much secondary! Just goes to show eh?! Deprive a golfing lady of her wine and you'll hear about it!!

After that went for a jog with Shelley and did it pretty fast despite the terrible weather and driving headwind on the way out. Now I'm absolutely knackered so I'm heading for the warm telly and then an early night! Night night....

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Day 47 -54

Well, D is back to the rig today so I'm back to living alone for another couple of weeks. We've had a really good time this trip so I'm going to miss him but it'll go in quickly and we've got our trip to France to look forward to next trip. Also, it's nice to be able to stay in nights and get some chores done and just have a little me-time too.

Was quite busy at work but managed to get to the pool and made it to my target of 60 lengths (3/4 of a mile) in 30 minutes so I'm pretty pleased with myself. Typically, I had just got back from swimming when my friend Shelley texted and asked whether I wanted to go jogging this evening. I put her off 'til tomorrow as I don't want to do too much and have a cold coming on. That's a nice little reminder D left with me - sneezes, snot and a sore throat! She's the one getting married on Friday so I'm a bit surprised she wants to go jogging but maybe she wants to start a new regime before the big day. I know they've been manically busy recently so maybe she want to make some time for herself now. She's also a bit of a whippet so I'll never keep up!

Had a quiet night in this evening - lit the fire, cuddled the dog, sorted out some ebay stuff and did this blog. I also put a load of photos in a frame - there's a set of 9 spaces in the mount and I've filled it with a selection of heathery photos of Bamford Edge. Individually they're not wonderful but together it's a pretty effective collection. It was quite strange as, once I'd finished it, my first thought was what a great reminder of the countryside round here it will be when we move to France! So, the move must be becoming real in my head even though it is some way away. That's quite comforting as I wasn't sure how I felt about the idea in my heart of hearts.

Maybe this diet is allowing me to face scary concepts and think about major changes. I suppose when your body is changing so rapidly and your habits and I can see that I'm not falling apart as a result of this regime, a different sort of change is not as daunting as it might have been before.

Anyway, I'm going to have an early night today as I have a big day of meetings tomorrow. Night all!

Monday, 26 February 2007

Day 46 -55

Well, D is due to go back to the rig tomorrow so I got him to take a couple of photos in the hallway as an update. I've compared them to my first lot and can definitely tell the difference. Trouble is so could D's mum n the webcam this evening - she mentioned that I had lost weight! It's a pain 'cos I wanted to surprise them and now she will be watching out for it. I could have killed D for putting the camera on me. Usually when I go in shot it's just the face and I hide my chin so the fact that I'm slimming is not as obvious. Oh well, it'll still be a shock.
I had a good day today. Went to Meadowhell at lunchtime to try and find something for Martin and Shelley's wedding on Friday. Went to M&S and looked in the Plus section but didn't like anything - too mumsy. Then checked out the Autograph section and found a nice swirly white skirt with big black polka dots on, a fitted black top and some gorgeous french looking high heels. All in all a good look and all size 20! In fact the skirt is quite loose. I feel so much happier in that outfit than in the brown spotty dress from Evans which really was very old looking, even D said that when I tried it on yesterday and he doesn't usually notice stuff like that.
So, happy happy happy. Back to work to find that it was a colleague's birthday and the table right next to my desk was loaded with cakes and nibbles - I mean really loaded. So had to endure the entire afternoon with people going to the table to pig out, making remarks about how it must be torture etc etc. Wasn't even slightly tempted although I do admit that the toffee muffins and carrot cake looked pretty damn good!
Back home and went for a jog as I hadn't been swimming at lunchtime. Managed 3.5km in 30 minutues so not bad. Slightly further than last time so I'll get to my 5km target quite soon I reckon. I could probably do it now if I really pushed but I'd rather build up to it slowly.
Anyway, I'm off to the pub now as it's D's last evening for a couple of weeks. I don't really want to as the sofa is beckoning in a tempting fashion but will show willing I suppose. Good to hear from you all and good to hear that we're all still on the straight and narrow - keep it up!

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Day 45 -56

We had a good evening last night. D was obviously over the moon with the Irish win and parading round the pub in his Irish jersey. He did pretty well on bets on the game too - God knows what people were thinking betting with him as it was clear that the Irish were hot favourites. I managed to drag him home at 11 after driving round the country dropping people off and picing up curries that I can't eat. felt pretty noble I can tell you.
Quite a few people commented on the weightloss as we were drinking in a different pub to our local. One woman (who is really nice but had had a few) kept going on and on about how she was worried about me and how the diet must be unhealthy etc etc. A bit of a pain as she had just about drunk her body weight in lager so wasn't exactly flying the flag for healthy living! Anyway, I bit my tongue and by the end she virtually admited that really all she wants is for me to stay thinner than her! At that point she backed off and we had a laugh about it. Peoples' motives can be quite abstruse I've found.
Had my french class this lunchtime so finished off my homework (which really took me back to school days!) and headed over to Matlock. It's really good fun to be learning something new again. She's a lovely woman too - I feel like I've clicked with her. The french is going well but there's a long way to go. She complimented my accent so at least I can make my atrocious attempts at the language sound good if nothing else!
After french we headed up the biggest hill in our area. It was bloody steep! We weren't intending to go straight up the hill, just investigating where a footpath we'd spotted a few weeks ago lead to. Well, it lead straight up the damn hill! The views were gorgeous though - the low sun hiding behind the stone wall was especially lovely.
I've got the pub quiz team thing again tonight so more watching people eat. I'm getting good at it. That's all for now - hope you've all had a good weekend and are set for another busy week as ever. Keep it up!

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Day 44 -57

I'vw just got back from the football where Sheffield Wednesday just managed to beat Southend in the last minute with a penalty. Exciting stuff. We were playing really well in the first half and could have scored about 4 in a 5 minute spell but we didn't and that's alway a bad sign. they came back into it at 2-2 in the second and we started playing like no-hopers. So frustrating. Anyway, just when all was nearly lost, we got a penalty decision which was almost the last kick of the game.

I raced back and just made it homein time to see the national anthems of the England-Ireland game in the rugby 6 Nations Championship. I was so impressed by the Irish crowd. They were impeccable during God Save the Queen and the atmosphere is great. Trouble is, now the Irish are beating us and Diarmuid is going to be unbearable if that happens. Come on England!!

Anyway, back to the diet. I haven't seen Jim for a few weeks now and he said that the weight loss was really noticeable. He was chatting to another friend of ours and joking about how I'm changing dress sizes in the space of an hour and how I've had to pop out to the shops to get some new jeans while we've been in the pub etc. He's really funny and it was nice to hear. Also, the barmaid from the New Barracks came up to me and commented on how much I've lost which was good.

I wasn't hungry while he ate his bacon sarnie and gorgeous looking chips but I was really hungry once I got home. I must admit that I had a couple of mouthfuls of chicken breast while waiting for my soup to heat up. Don't feel too guilty as a couple of mouthfuls of chicken won't make any difference but I must work on avoiding temptation in case it leads to worse infringements.

I said no to myself about 3 or 4 times before I eventually gave in and went to the fridge. It's a strange thing. I think I was very hungry and just didn't believe that the soup alone was going to do the trick. Probably a good example of crooked thinking as I'm sure it would have been.

Anyway, I'm off to the pub to see the second half and put up with my husband's crowing. Think we're meant to be going for a meal so that'll be fun......not!

Friday, 23 February 2007

Day 43 -58

What a day! I was working from home and doing pretty well when I started getting a few messages from some of the bidders on one of my ebay items. It seems that I listed an item wrong and I've spent literally hours trying to sort it all out without upsetting people and getting negative feedback. Can't believe it as the item was only going to earn me a few quid - that'll work out at about 10p an hour!

Hmm, so much for my ebay scheme. Oh well, most people have seemed pretty understanding so no harm done and I'll probably be better next time.

Apart from that we've had a nice day. We didn't do much but we had a nice walk in the afternoon and popped to Bradwell to the antique shop for a nosy. Once again, back to the retired couple thing.....

Anyway, it's going to be a short post as I haven't done much and I have to rush off to ebay again! Nightmare...

Day 42 -59 Weigh in time again

Hey, I've found a other little motivational gadget on the web. Everyone on seems to have one of these customised tickers showing their weightloss or target weight so I thought I would get one too. Nifty eh? I don't think that the BMI is totally accurate as I'm not sure of my height but it's near enough.
Anyway, it was the big weigh in last night and I've lost another 5lbs which takes me to 40 lbs off in 7 weeks! Only 2 more lbs to the 3 stone mark which is the most I've ever lost on a diet before and I've nearly done it in less than 2 months! This diet really is remarkable. I would recommend it to anyone who has a reasonable amount to lose.
Class was good last night. We're really bonding and we have a proper laugh together. I suppose we know each others' foibles and have the basis of having a joke together despite our different ages and backgrounds. It's really nice to hear the ring of 12 women cracking up over a silly joke but also supporting each other and being relentlessly positive.
One woman has been missing for the last 3 weeks. She went awol and off the programme for a bit. Anyway, last week the Counsellor asked us all to text her and persuade her to come back. As it happened she didn't get the texts but she came back anyway. She has stayed the same weight-wise and seems ready to make a fresh start. It brought it home to me how fast this diet is as, although she has only missed 3 weeks, the rest of us are streets ahead of her in terms of weight loss and mental attitude to the diet. Not that it's a competition of course but it was obvious and a mental note to keep going to class.
The other gratifying thing about her return was that as she walked in and was saying hello to everyone she turned into the room and saw me. She stopped dead and said "Bloody hell! You can really see how much you have lost!" She said afterwards that she could see the loss in everyone but that it was most obvious in me which was nice. It's a strange thing, perception - your mind doesn't seem to keep up with your eyes or something so you go in leaps and starts of realising that you're thinner.
We were talking in the class about crooked thinking, ie. justifying something you know is bad for you or laziness or something by some tortuous logic. Like "I've had a hard day at work - I need a glass of wine". Use of language like "need", "deserve" etc. I felt the exercise was not that relevant to me this week as I'm feeling so much more in charge of myself recently. The Parent- Adult- Child thing really resonated and my Adult side is pretty vocal at the moment! But, that said, I do remember using crooked logic to justify being a lazy cow and adhering myself ass to the sofa rather than getting up and doing stuff so I must stay vigilant.
I didn't have time to go swimming at lunchtime so went for a jog before the class - managed 3.2 km this time so I'm not far from my 5km Race for Life target.
One of the women at class brought some clothes in but most were too big! I did scarf a pair of combat trousers and a filmy top so not bad for free.
Anyway, I'm meant to be working from home today so I had better get back to it! Keep it up everyone!

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Day 41 -60

I was just flicking through my files when I noticed this one of me and my mother in law at Christmas in Wexford! I was struck by how big I look and how tight my clothes are. I know she's only little but even so! I'm so looking forward to not being so big and surprising Nellie and Nick by my new slim self.
Anyway, what have I been up to today? Well the day ended really well. It was a fairly normal day at work but I had a touch of backache all day so was really looking forward to my aromatherapy massage. I rushed back from work a bit early, dragged the dog out for a jog as I'd missed swimming at lunchtime, showered and raced off to the massage, really looking forward to getting rid of my aches and pains. Only to find that the woman had been called away for a family emergency! So, there I was, knackered, stiff, stressed from all the rushing and no massage!

Anyway, I decided to join D in the pub instead so went looking for an outfit and discovered that, not only can I fit into my brown tweedy asymmetric skirt, but it's actually flatteringly loose! I was totally overdressed for the pub but I didn't care. It's such a blast getting back into old clothes and throwing, selling or giving away fat clothes! I feel like I'm really turning a corner now and am hopeful for a good result at the weigh-in tomorrow. Even the lads in the pub were commenting on my looking slimmer so that was nice. Thing is, now I don't care nearly as much about casual compliments as I used to as I have much more interest in what I think about myself. Another healthy change I think.

I have so much more energy than I had a few weeks ago. The jogging, swimming, longer walks, jobs at home, ebay, even this blog. I'm watching loads less telly and feel like a different woman. Now when I veg out for a while, it's because I want to not because I can't be bothered to do anything else.

Also, I'm so glad I'm sorting out the weight now as the papers are all full of how British women are the most obese in Europe. Pre-diet that would have really depressed me - all this fat bashing stuff in the newspapers used to make me feel really inadequate. Now I just think - not for long!!

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Day 40 -61

Another busy day at work. I can't believe I made it in for 7am for the second time in as many weeks - it's really not like me! I went swimming at lunchtime and managed to increase my lap tally to 56 - nearly up to my 3/4 mile target of 60 lengths. I reckon I'll be able to get up to a mile (80 lengths) in time but it depends whether I can fit it in to my much hour I suppose. Still, 56 is a good number and I'm doing it much faster and smoother now too.

I had another session getting stuff onto ebay this evening so maybe another few pennies in the bank.

What else? Oh yeah, I went to the doctor this evening re the BP. It's still raised but we decided between us that we'd put off starting anydrug treatment for another month and hope that it stabilises and comes down as I drop more lbs. I'm pleased - I'm sure this is not a long term thing and don't want to start on drugs which might be tricky to get off. So, a reprieve for the time being.

That's all for now, dull day, dull post....sorry...

Monday, 19 February 2007

Day 39 -62 Dog's haircut(!)

In honour of the grief and stress my dog has had to go through today, I thought I'd show her before and after pictures! Actually the before one is last (she'd snuck out to the hall at my parents' and was sleeping on a pile of coats). She's never had a proper clip before and we can't get over the transformation in her. I'm not sure which I prefer: the sleek headed posh dog or the scruffy scamp? Also, check out the eylashes in the top close up. Maybe it's Maybelline!
Anyway, I had the day off today so we headed off to Matlock to take Shelagh for her haircut. It takes 3 hours can you believe?! So, we had plenty of time to wander around. Usually when we have a few hours to kill we would end up in a cafe or a pub and have lunch or something so it was weird not to have that option. We indulged in a little retail therapy and spent a good chunk of time in a big antiques emporium and bought a side table and picture there. D had a delicious looking cheese and ham toastie for lunch and I virtuously stuck with a black coffee. (Gold star for me there!)
It was a good day although I stupidly managed to leave half of our shopping in a knitting shop while buying the makings of a sweater for D, so he will have to go back there tomorrow to pick it up.
Once back I went for a jog with the dog (another gold star) while D went into town to buy a couple of webcams so we can speak to his family in Ireland and chat on camera. We couldn't get them working this evening but I'm sure he'll sort it tomorrow. It would be really good but might scupper my plan of not letting them know that I'm losing weight and surprising them. I might have to avoid the camera if possible or wear big baggy jumpers...
It's going to be a shock to the system going back to work tomorrow. My long weekend seems to have gone on forever. It must be all the fun I'm having. Oh well, all good things must end and there's a living to be earned (for a while anyway!).

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Day 38 -63

Another day, another dollar (spent...).
Tried my hand at selling on ebay this morning. I've decided I'm going to try and sell my fat clothes as I slim out of them and then hopefully may have a small pot of dosh at the end to treat myself to something nice. You have to start somewhere so I put a nice print top on which is too baggy on me. It's a pain going through all the forms but I think it'll get easier now that I've done it once. Hopefully I'll make a few pennies which is better than nothing.
At lunchtime I was off to my first french tuition. It's over in Matlock which is 45 minutes away and at 12.15 on a Sunday is not the best time but it was all she had. She's a very nice woman and we spent a few minutes discussing our mutual love of birds (see above) before getting on with the class. I think, if I put some work in between classes, I should be able to make real progress this way. Better than the evening class I did last year anyway - I didn't seem to get anywhere with that.
When I got back D and I went for a walk, not too far as he's a bit under the weather and we're both feeling a bit drained after yesterday's marathon. I then spent a happy but frustrating half hour trying to take pictures of birds in the garden. They're not great at posing so the above is the best I could do - must try harder!
So, a busy but not spectacular day - have been feeling quite hungry recently and not sure what to do about it. More water perhaps? If that doesn't work then it will be "grin and bear it" I suppose!

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Day 37 -64 -

We said good bye to Graham and his lot at crack of dawn this morning - 5am - which was a blessedly brief job - and crawled back to bed for another few hours. Then up for a nice long walk.
We started with the massive hill you can see in the first photo. It doesn't look bad there but believe me it is really steep and very long and tht photo was only taken half way up. I managed it fine and noticed again what a difference the weight loss has made. It was good though, as once that hill is out of the way we could really enjoy the rest of the tramp which was nearly all level or downhill.
I really like these photos as they're the first ones of me where I have been able to "see" that I've lost weight. Obviuosly I know that I have and I can feel it in my clothes but there's a gap between knowing and seeing. When I saw these shots, I could see that a couple of chins have gone, my neck is longer, my legs are thinner and I just generally look healthier. It's great.
We had a good chat round the walk about France and what we might do over there and where we might live, whether we want a place to do up or a renovated place - useful stuff.
Back at the ranch, I cooked boiled bacon and cabbage for D as he has been missing home cooking since he's been cooking for himself and then lay wallowing in a gorgeous bubble bath. I lit candles, got the music on (through D's new bathroom speakers) and just enjoyed life and counted my blessing for a good hour. Bliss.
Now, better go and get ready to go out.

Day 36 -65 (Blood pressure stuff)

Well, why do I have to be the weird one??! Every piece of literature I've read about this diet and other VLCD's says that losing weight will normally bring blood pressure down and often quite rapidly. Not in my case. Mine has gone up so now I have high blood pressure. Great! Actually I've been quite upset about it but now have put it into perspective and realised that it's not the end of the world and that it's not going to stop me finishing this diet.

I went to the doctor this morning to get my results from the 24 hour monitor. The doctor was also baffled by the increase despite the fact that I've lost weight. He wasn't very proactive though and almost said I should off the diet (at which point I started crying - yikes!). Anyway, he backed off when he realised what it meant to me and batted it back to Lighter Life. He said he wanted to start treating me but that I should check with LL whether there was a causal link first as, if there is, I should come off the diet rather than be treated.

So, I spent the rest of the morning checking it out on the internet and ringing various bodies including the British Dietetics, British Blood Pressure Organisation and Lighter Life itself. The consensus seems to be that there is no causal link. No-one had ever heard of VCLD's causing an increase in BP so they concluded that it must be another reason. Possibly, I have always had hypertension tht only manifests itself at certain times??

LL said that they were happy for me to continue on the diet and that I should explore treatment with my doctor and keep them informed. The BP Organisation nurse (who was unbelievably helpful and pleasant) gave me a list of things to talk about with the doc so I'm going in armed for my next appointment. After all that I felt a bit drained but at least happy that my LL journey is not coming to a premature end.

I was "working from home" yesterday but, as you can probably tell, didn't do much so think I had take a few flexy hours when I fill my time sheet in on Tuesday!

On the plus side, my brother and his family arrived again for the night as they were flying off to Canada this morning from Manchester airport. We had another good evening. They had a chinese takeaway as Lachlan was desperate to have Crispy Duck (which he remembered from his last visit 4 years ago when he was 6!). After eating D and Graham and I went out to the pub and we had a good long chat, culminating in G and I chatting over a whiskey (his not mine!) about life, love and family. It was brilliant to re-connect with him. I know he's not the perfect brother I used to think he was when I was a kid but he's the only one I've got and I love him. We talked really openly about Mum and her mental deterioration, Hilary and her manic family, ourselves, Hadi, Diarmuid, having children, him possibly adopting another child. The lot. He probably doesn't remember much as he'd had a few but I do and I treasure it. I'm looking forward to seeing them all again in June - miles slimmer too!

Friday, 16 February 2007

Day 35 -66 - Weigh in time again

I had another good day. Busy at work, managed a good swim at lunchtime though - 50 lengths!

I've found a good weight loss website/forum (thanks Karen!) called I haven't quite got the hang of it yet as it seems quite complicated with loads of different groups and sub-groups but, once I check out my registration email, I'm sure I'll be away. Everyone who posts seems to have a ticker bar below their name showing how far they've come in their weight loss journey or how far they've got to go. Very motivating. Some people have lost loads and are into the maintenance stage which is even more promising. I like the idea of keeping up with it at the end so maintenance is not so scary!

This is the first diet where I've felt so positive about about the fact that I'm going to lose weight that I can devote head time to how I'm going to ensure that I never put it back on! I'm determined that it's going to be different this time. If nothing else I have the experience of not eating at all and the knowledge that it's not that bad to fall back on. Also, I must remove the word "treat" from my vocabulary in the context of food. I don't care how "good" I've been or how much I deserve it, food is not a treat for me. Get yourself something nice (clothes, book, bubble bath..), do something else (walk, film, outing...) but don't feed yourself as a treat.

What else? Yes, try and give out lots of positive comments to other people. It makes you feel good and them and then you're more likely to get them in return - when you get lots of positive stuff you won't fall back on self administered "strokes", ie, food. You have to start valuing yourself for yourself so others will do likewise, then your friend food won't be as important as he has been in the past.

All very deep, but I really have time to think about all this stuff and it seems so obvious now. When I'm in the middle of wondering what I can eat next on a normal diet you just want to avoid analysing why you're so obsessed with food. It's the last thing WW or SW would tell you as they actively want you to be obsessed with food! How else can they sell you all the diet products and magazines and classes? I know LL charges more but it genuinely has broken me out of food prison. Thank God!

Anyway, down to business - I lost 6lbs last week taking my total to 35 lbs (2 and 1/2 stone) in 5 weeks! How amazing is that? I'm not slowing down or wavering at all either. As Matt said in a comment - "Pat yourself on the back and then forget about it and look forwards to the next goal", or something like that.

I'm going to do a full set of measurements and another set of hallway photos too this weekend to record where I'm at now. It's fantastic.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Day 34 -67

The day started badly as I was still attached to that bloody monitor thingy. It was getting damned irritated by the morning and I still had a couple of hours to stick it out. I have never known 2 hours crawl past more slowly. It was pure heaven when I took it off. I'm sure my BP was sky high by the end as I was just so pissed off with it!

Anyway, once the bliss of having my arm to myself settled, I was able to put it all out of my mind. Had a busy, productive day and back home reasonably early to a nice tidy house and a massive bunch of flowers from D. He was gutted 'cos he thought they weren't very good - "it's not a very big bunch!" - but they were quality blooms and, once I'd arranged them they looked gorgeous!

We exchanged cards and gifts last night after midnight and were both quite shocked by the results. Normally we don't do much for Valentines Day but this year we had bought each other identical cards (and not just from the local garage before you ask!) and inside we had both arranged a long weekend in France! Not only that, we had both made the same corny joke in the card. It was freaky how our minds must have been working on the same track.

The only difference was that I had actually booked our flights and car hire to Limoges, as that it is the region we're thinking of moving to so I thought we could check it out. D had just made a promise to take me on a romantic weekend to Paris anyway time I choose. He said he would have booked but wasn't sure if I would want to go if I couldn't eat or drink. I was pleased that he had gone for the romantic option of Paris rather than the practical option of driving around looking for houses and he's dead right - I don't want to go to Paris until I can eat some goodies (sensibly of course!).

So, I get the best of both worlds - an active, walking, sightseeing, outdoorsy weekend in Limousin or Auvergne whie I can't eat and a romantic weekend in Paris once I'm slim and gorgeous! Yay! This is just not like us - we both seem to be much more hopeful and loving than we used to be. Long may it continue!

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Day 33 -68

I went to the doctors today to be fitted with the 24 hour blood pressure monitor. I feel far too young for this. It's also weird that I've never had a problem with my BP until now when I'm actually losing weight which is meant to help. Oh well, if there's a problem then I need to know about it and at least the doctor was very supportive of the diet rather than knee-jerking me off it.

I worked from home today and have been wearing the monitor since 10.30. It's a funny feeling having something quite constricting around your arm and being wired up to a box on your hip which then takes your blood pressure @ every half hour through the day and every hour at night. Wonder what it will be like sleeping with the damn thing? It's made me a bit ratty to be honest, due to the discomfort and, I suppose, the worry about what the results will be. I shouldn't borrow trouble but you can't help thinking about it.

On the plus side, I woke up and out of the blue decided to go for a run as I didn't have to go to work early. I did the circuit I had been doing before the diet which half killed me. This morning though it was no problem at all. I was puffing of course but I didn't feel as though I was going to die! I also ran much further than the last circuit and included a couple of reasonable hills which didn't phase me. So that was real, hard evidence of how much better I'm feeling and how much fitter I am now that I'm not carrying that 2 stone plus around with me. If that doesn't make me carry on then nothing will.

Anyway, I'm not going out tonight as I don't want everyone round here to know about this thing so I'm going to stay in with my new project - a tapestry cushion! Yep, I'm back to being a granny again even though the knitting is finished but it really does keep my busy and not thinking about food.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Day 32 -69

Can't believe it - I've just typed out a full post and then deleted it just at the very end! Grrr So, this will probably be an abbreviated version.

I had a busy day today. I had a meeting at 10 but had not had chance to prepare for it as the weekend was so busy. I left home at 6am to be in the office before 7 and was working away on the papers when the meeting cancelled at 9am! Oh well, I got a load done.

A couple of people at work who I don't know have commented out of the blue that I have lost weight which was gratifying and I seem to have a collection of others who I meet in the kitchen when I'm preparing my shakes and soups who ask for updates - it should all help to keep me on the straight and narrow.

I got home to find that D had cut through a water pipe (didn't do much damage) so was up to his eyes in tools etc and hadn't had supper. I was happy to help him out and it wasn't too painful even though it was my favourite, roast chicken. I think because I had eaten first so wasn't hungry. Actually it was quite nice working companiably in the kitchen together- I must try and keep that up when I'm back to cooking, even if he's just doing chores.

I have a confession to make. Yesterday when cooking the roast chicken I had a few scraps and a couple of mouthfuls of stuffing and a crust of bread with butter. Not much at all but enough to make me feel guilty and cheesed off with myself. It's not the amount which I doubt will do any harm but the fact that I weakened and broke my goal from a few weeks ago. Also, I'm concerned that, unless I take action, one bite will lead to others.

So, I'm officially putting a stop to it - this is a cheat free zone and I'm not going to nibble again!

Must remeber to eat before cooking as that really helped this evening when I was serving the chicken. Poor D is going to be bored of chicken by the time that one is half done - think the dog will have to help him out!

Anyway, I'm going to hit the sofa now - byee...

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Day 31 -70

I went up to Leeds last night to stay with a freind and we had a girly night in. Angela is on WW and has lost 21lbs since 2 January so has done pretty well. She had a bit of a blow out last night though with moussaka and dessert and wine etc. I don't blame her and she didn't go mad or anything but it brought it home to me how hard it is to control your food intake on a normal diet. I was pretty strict with myself and had my soup and a bar and drank water all night. I didn't feel deprived and seemed to have much more energy than the other 5 girls who were there.

It was a good night but I think I would have preferred going out to a pub or something - they were all bemoaning their single status but they weren't exactly going to do much about it in Angela's living room!

Anyway, I woke up early and should have left straight away but felt a bit guilty "sneaking out" so ended up hanging around while they all slept and eventually leaving just as they woke up, far too late at 11am. Grrr. Stopped off at Meadowhall and bought 3 bras (a size down - yay!), a pair of size 20 jeans and some work trousers. I'm dead chuffed that I'm in M&S size 20 which is smaller than Evans 20. I won't have to shop in Evans for much longer which is a thrilling prospect - I'm so bored of Evans!

Got home and D was off to see the Irish rugby game in Castleton so I took the dog for a long walk round Mam Tor as you can see by the photos above. Another lovely day although muddy due to snow melt. poor old Shelagh had to have a bath when we got in so she's not talking to me now!

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Day 30 -71 Snowy Saturday

Above are some piccies I took today. First thing we went out driving in the snow with our friend, us in the Nissan and him in his monstrous Dodge Ram truck. It was pretty hairy as the back roads high up were very snowy and required some clever driving, needless to say, not by me, by D and Andy. It was pretty good fun though, even when D scraped the side of the car on a gate post (yikes..)and I got some good photo opps.
Once Andy had left we went up to Surprise View car park and then walked up to the rocks on the edge. It was really deep snow although raining in the valley below. Gorgeous stuff. Hard work walking in it though so good for the thighs! There was a heavy mist so the views were rubbish but in a way that made it more mysterious and ethereal. The rock formations seemed to loom up on you out of the mist which was eerie. Anyway, it's been a lovely day and now I'm off to Leeds to stay with some girlfriends and leave D ensconced in front of the rugby and the fire with the knackered out doggie on his lap!
I'm hoping to inspire my friend Angela to take up Lighter Life too as I know she's desperately unhappy with her weight and not making any headway with WW.

Day 29 -72

It was a pretty busy Friday - I went to the proper doctor's appointment and discovered that my blood pressure is indeed high and that I have to wear a 24 hour monitor to get the proper picture. Grrr. Still, the doctor wasn't that concerned as he doesn't think it is a problem based on my previous readings. He was also very supportive of the diet and said I should definitely continue with it. Hurrah!

Had a long meeting in the afternoon after a very busy morning and left for home at 4.30pm through really heavy snow. It was crawling over between Homesfield and Fox House and then, just when the road was way better, some idiot in a 4x4 decided to slow it down even more! We were in 1st gear going as slowly as possible which I think was actually dangerous as you kept bunching up into each other and having to put the brakes on - daft beggar. Still got home without too much trouble.

We were meeting Martin and Shelley to go out late but Shelley got stuck so was late home so we didn't leave the Anglers 'til 10pm - picked them up at their back of beyond lane and then crawled across in the snow to the Woodroffe and met up with Stace and Jim. Had a really good night - everyone was very impressed by the diet and it was good to catch up with Stace and Shelley.

We were talking about her wedding and how hard it will be not to eat at Hassop hall but I am absolutely determined to be good. The only person who was trying to persuade me to eat was Jim - typical I suppose.

Home late after a fairytale white drive through the snow on the back lanes with 3 drunkards all telling me how to drive! Heyho - what it's like to be sober when everyone else is drinking... D was all sentimental and telling me how "hot" I look now I've lost weight off my face - nice to hear but there's a long way to go.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Week 4 Weigh in and wintry pics

Above are some pics from our walk yesterday. I loved the Highland cattle - so cold and stoic looking. I especially liked the last close up as the beast is staring right at me and looking a little feisty - like me when I've been deprived of food for too long!
Anyway, to the weigh in - I lost 4lbs bringing my total to 29lbs in 4 weeks. I'm really pleased that the rate is keeping up even though I'm not seeing the progress during the week. Actually, getting on the scales and not seeing any progress is probably keeping me on the straight and narrow by scaring me into not cheating.
The class itself was a bust which is a pain considering the journey in the snow etc etc. I'm not very impressed with the leader woman - she's not very enthusiastic about the therapy side of things and really, that's what we're paying her for. I think I'm going to have to try and be a bit more assertive about in over the next few weeks. Still, I can't say I wasn't pleased to go early last night as Strines was far too icy and snowy so I had to go the long way!
So, I'm well on my way and have my proper doctor's appointment this morning which should allow me to restart my personal training which can only help. Feeling very positive this morning.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Day 28 -73

What a strange day. The snow arrived at 7.30am and by 9, when I was going to the doctors, it was pretty heavy and covering the roads. I got the doctor's appointment time wrong so had my blood pressure taken by the nurse again and it's still high. The proper appointment is tomorrow morning - Doh!

When I got back I had a dilemma as I didn't fancy going in to work on the bad roads but had a meeting with an American who is flying out tomorrow at 4pm. I knew he wouldn't make it up north because of the snow but I had to give in at lunchtime and make my way in to the office. Of couse, as soon as I got there, I got the call saying that the meeting was cancelled - typical! Anyway, there was talk of me meeting him in Manchester airport tomorrow morning but he will settle for a telephone call at 7.45am tomorrow before he heads off to the airport - phew. I have a few meetings tomorrow and it would have been a pain missing them.

I'm staying late tonight so I can go stright to Penistone and I hope the weather isn't too miserable over there. It's raining here so it shouldn't be but then if it freezes it'll be horrible driving. Besides, you never get an accurate picture of the weather from over here - it's always different on the other side of Sheffield.

I'm keen to make it to my class and weigh in tonight though. I missed the class last week because of Graham arriving so didn't want to miss another one the next week. I've been quite good and been through the book to catch up on what I missed and I've filled in all the questionnaires so I'm a girly swot today!

I'm slightly more hopeful that I might have lost some weight this week as this morning the scales were behaving erratically. No idea whether I've lost nothing, something or loads but at least there's some hope - for the last few days I've been sure it's nothing!

When I was at home this morning we had a nice time - went for a walk to pick up D's car from the Anglers' car park and then he suggested driving home the long way, ie. over the snowy roads in the 4x4. That was gorgeous - lovely views and we saw some Highland cattle near the side of the road so I stopped and took a load of very picturesque photos of the shaggy beasts. I'll post them from home when I report on my weigh in result - fingers crossed.

It almost made me forget what a boorish 'beast' D was last night after I picked him up from the pub. Almost but not quite. I really hate it when he gets like that - arrogant, self-centred and nasty. This time though I really stood up for myself and told him what I thought of the way he was acting. He hasn't apologised - pride I guess but I know it sank in a bit.

Total storm in a teacup stuff anyway about whether I really want to move to France because I'd been looking at properties in Nova Scotia. Well, so what if I look, it doesn't mean I don't want to move to France, even though I've told him loads of times about my reservations. We really have to work on better communications between us. I know I don't always tell him everything as I have these long internal conversations with myself which seem as though I'm discussing things with him but at least when I do, I don't do it pissed and nastily! Trouble is, once it's over, I should raise it with him now, soberly etc but I don't want to rock the boat - I'm too much of an appeaser so he gets to keep on setting the agenda. Must try to change that.

I just hate the uncertainty of everything being rosy one minute and him storming in and starting a fight the next - can't stand it! Beer has a lot to answer for.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Reasons to diet

A while ago, someone at the class said that she had made a list of reasons to diet and then someone else said something about having more than 10 reasons to lose weight and that being a reason not to cheat. Actually that wasn't addressed to me as I haven't been tempted to cheat yet - it was on a Diet Forum discussion board.

Anyway, it set me to thinking about my reasons. Strangely, they are quite confused. I suppose my main reasons are set out in my letter to myself but the inspiring aims and more minor aspirations are probably more compelling than the heavy duty psychological reasons in the letter. Weird really.

So - Reasons to Diet - Lite:

  • Want to fit into a pair of size 12 jeans and look good (sexy).
  • Want to be able to shop in trendy, normal shops and buy the latest looks without having to compromise and alter them to allow for my shape. I especially don't want to have to always cover up my tummy - would love to wear jeans with the belt showing rather than with a long jumper to the hips.
  • Want to be happy in a swimming costume (bikini even) in front of my mates or at Slippery Stones next summer.
  • Want to surprise my Irish in-laws with the slim me that they have never seen. They don't know I'm on a diet so, if I don't see them until September, the difference will be dramatic.
  • Want to be slim when we go to Canada in June; not at target weight but happy in shorts and swimming costume.
  • Want to be fit enough to stride up hills without panting and to be able to talk all the way up the hills at the first and 13th holes at Sicklehome golf club.
  • Want the people (Roy etc) who sit near me at Hillsborough to notice and comment on the change at the beginning of next season.
  • Want to fit into my motorbiking leathers and skiing trousers and get back to doing both those things. Ultimtely, I want to buy some really good looking leathers and go biking with D like we used to (each riding our own bikes of course!).
  • Want to be lighter than my husband for the first time since I met him in 1988 and feel comfortable sitting on his knee if necessary.
  • Want to fit into my old 501 jeans, gold evening dress and wedding dress but not give up then and carry on to lose another couple of stone.
  • Want to be able to run the Bamford Fell race in July - running up Win Hill would be a nightmare but it would be a real achievement - might even do it for charity. If not that, then some sort of physical achievement - a triathlon, a road race, a long swim - something difficult.

Well, that's enough to be getting on with. It will be interesting to check back and see how I get on.

Day 27 -74

Busy day at work and another lunchtime meeting I couldn't get out of so no swimming - again. It's a pain when you want to exercise but are thwarted. Still, I managed to get into town and swapped my unworn black suit for a top and necklace. I found it really hard to find something nice in Evans - I'm just about down to size 20 from 24. The trousers are a little tight but wearable. Still, in a little while, shopping will be fun!

I'm seriously water retentive at the moment so suspect that my weight loss will be pretty poor this week. Shame but hopefully only temporary. I was planning on going to the pub this evening but feel like a water barrel so couldn't face it. So instead am enjoying a lovely warm fire and telly - lovely for a change.

I went to the opening night of a Personal Training Studio locally this evening. It looks pretty good so maybe when 've finished my course with Cat Raynor I'll give Huw a whirl. I'd definitely prefer a proper gym with weights and decent fitness machines.

So, nothing more to report apart from the prospect of snow. The news is going mad with it but I hope it's not too bad as I've got a meeting in Rotherham at 4pm and then my weigh-in in Penistone at 7pm. I don't fancy drivin over Strines in the snow!

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Day 26 -75

Well, it was back to work this morning. I'm impressed by how much more energy I have these days. It was no problem at all getting up early and being in the office by 8. I had quite a quiet day just doing a few chores and not really getting stuck into anything big.

I should have gone swimming at lunchtime and did actually get to the pool but had got the times mixed up so couldn't swim. A bit of a pain once you've dragged yourself out. Still, I got into town for a few useful jobs so all was not wasted.

I've been quite hungry today but have not slipped. I've had 2 savoury drinks though so maybe that helped. I've also been hard at the water again so I hope that makes a difference.

I'm really getting into the financial organisation stuff. D actually finished off all the filing and shredding backlog today so now I can do the real planning. Will try and go through our accounts this evening - well, make a start anyway. We need a proper strategy of pensions, savings, re-mortgage and funding for the works to the house so it's big task. I feel much more up for it than I would have before Christmas!

Anyway, not the most exciting day but I suppose it can't all be thrills and spills. D and I had a few words this afternoon too which got me down a bit. We sorted it out but it still casts a shadow over the day. I'll have to think of something nice for him for Valentines Day seeing as we can't share a meal this year.

Monday, 5 February 2007

Day 25 -76

Another day off work. I thought my brother would be around but as he's up in Aberdeen I had a lovely blank day to fill. Did some paperwork to start with then we went to the market at Bakewell like a proper retired couple and finally for a walk. It's been lovely.

Food not an issue, not even when D had fish and chips in Bakewell which I normally love. It occurred to me that next time I have them, I won;t feel guilty because they will be just an occasional treat and I won't be worried that people will be thinking "look at that fat girl eating chips - no wonder she's so heavy!". I don't know if people do think that and have no idea why I care what they think but it used to bother me.

I suppose it was me who was really thinking that but putting the words into imaginary passers-bys' mouths. Oh well, it's not going to happen again as next time I eat anything in public I'll be slim.

Progress on the scales is very slow which is a bit disheartening but it's not knocking me off course at all. I suppose I have to expect a bad week and I'm definitely pre-menstrual as I'm grumpy as a bear. Hopefully that'll be it and I'll have a really good week next week when I lose all the water.

I find it harder to drink the full 4 litres of water each day when I'm not at work. There I have a routine but at home it's a bit tricky to remember and it doesn't taste as nice. Am working on that.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Day 24 -77

Sunday (today). Graham and his lot left early as they're driving up to Aberdeen so we were up early too. It's great not being hungover and fresh in the morning and you have so much time when you go to bed at a reasonable time! Can't think why I haven't done this before!

We left early ourselves and drove back in the glorious sunshine via Clumber Park. We stopped and had a good long walk round the park. It was lovely; a mix of environments - from pine plantation to old English wood to parkland and lake and formal garden - really nice. There were masses of people though. I know it's good that so many people are out exercising etc but a shame they all do it in the one spot. As soon as you were away from the Visitor Facility, it was quiet again - people really are like sheep sometimes.

I didn't eat though so got very hungry by the time we got home. I've been ratty and grumpy as a consequence. I know it's partly me but D doesn't see that it's also partly him and just blames it all on my mood swing, which, of course, just annoys me all the more.

Anyway, it's not worth spoiling a lovely weekend: I just hope he doesn't get lashed tonight and ruin tomorrow by sleeping all day. If I mention it now, I'll be "nagging" so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now and see what happens.

I suppose my mood could also be partly to do with the fact that the scales haven't shown much of a fall since I've been away all weekend. Shallow I know but I want to see it go down on a daily basis! I'll wait 'til tomorrow morning to see what the real picture is. Anyway, cheer up Lesley and go and stick up for yourself.

Day 23 -78

Saturday in Lincoln. We all went into town to pick up a hire car for Graham and do some shopping. I tried on a load of clothes but couldn't find anything quite right. Still, it was heartening as I was at least a size down. Everything looked much better too so maybe that was why I was more fussy.

Back home and straight to the pub for lunch - groan.... I went home for a while until I thought they might be nearly finished then went back only to find the food just being served. So, another mealtime watching everyone tuck into delicious meals while I sip water - it's getting old fast.

Lachlan and Laila are really good though. lachlan at 10 was eating duck with blackberry sauce and creme brulee! He's a character. Laila is quieter but then again, she is a teenager and for all that entails is still pretty sociable. Both of them have no hangups about food either which is refreshing - Lachlan was fascinated by my diet and Laila (who is very slim) seemed to eat well and sensibly. Full marks to my brother and his wife for instilling good eating habits into them. They didn't even pick at chocolates which were out all weekend. If that had been my sister's lot, they would been gone by Friday night!

I found myself watching them and my sister in law (also very slim) to see how they ate and it seems to be only when they're hungry and only good stuff. Good rules to try and follow when I finish this torment.

Hopefully we're off to Canada to see them in June or July and I really want to be slim(ish) by then. That's the aim anyway - fit for hiking and kayaking and happy to wear shorts and swimming costumes in public.

Day 22 -79

Another good day. Spent an hour or so trying to pin Graham down - he hates being organised but he needs to tell the family where he's going to be or we'll all be running round him like headless chickens. Once that was sorted, D, Graham and Lachlan went for a walk up on Bamford Edge (again). It was a perfect day - blue sky, sunny, sharp - gorgeous. Graham and Lachlan loved it and Lachlan and the dog were running around like mad things.

Walk over then back home to pack everyone up and over to my parents in Lincoln. They were obviously very pleased to see us all so we had a great day just mooching and catching up. Mum is not the cook she once was (memory letting her down I think) so she asked me to "just pop the chicken in the oven"! Easier said than done as it wasn't fully defrosted,there was no stuffing, veggies still needed doing etc etc. So I ended up cooking the full roast chicken dinner for 8 with Hadi helping out a little. Normally I wouldn't mind but it was hard given that I wasn't going to be eating anything of it. I did it though, to help Mum out, and sat down with everyone and ate my soup and bar. Not too bad but still painful.

The pub wasn't much better, drinking water while Dad, D and Graham chatted away over their beers.

It would help if Mum didn't keep asking what I'm eating and saying I could eat the veggies or something. I know she doesn't mean to forget but it's irritating all the same.

Day 21 -80 - Weigh in time again

Today was a good day. I was off work as my brother arrived from New Zealand (via Malaysia and Dubai) with his wife and 2 kids. I picked them up at Manchester airport in the morning and brought them home with me for the night. I haven't seen Graham for a couple of years and the children for 4 years so it was lovely to catch up with them. They are really nice kids - mannerly, bright, active, entertaining. Great to be with.

We had a quiet day as they were all pretty tired but we managed a walk and then they all crashed. I went off to my weigh in and left them all snoring!

Not a bad result - 4lbs off so that's a total of 25lbs in 3 weeks! It's slowing down which is to be expected but 4lbs is a pretty good number.

I didn't stay at the class as I didn't want to miss anything with the family and D was due back that evening anyway. So, back to the ranch and had a quiet night in the local with D and Graham just catching up. I had prepared a big lasagne for them all but as they were sleeping it was just D and Graham eating so not too bad.