Tuesday, 31 July 2007

New Start 30 - Tuesday - day off in the sun!

Well, I had a lovely day off in the sunshine. Got up early and started with some mild chores before heading to the doctor's for a check up and sign off. He's still well impressed by the diet and congratulated me while also saying that I shouldn't lose too much more, if any more....not helpful Doctor!

D wanted to go and visit a friend and chat about his new trailor and other machinery (dull dull dull) so I stayed at home and sat out by the pond supping my hot chocolate pack with coffee combination (very tasty) and doing my french homework. It felt so lovely and relaxing - made me wonder why I work!!

In the afternoon, we went up to a local garden centre with a good selection of pond paraphernalia and had a good root around. D quizzed the guy on the mechanics of pumps and water features and I selected a load of marginals and oxygenating plants. Not cheap but decent size and well established and that's what I need as I'm a total novice regarding ponds. I think D is on with the pump etc today so that should be good. We're going to stock it with some fish so we have soemthing to look at!

Next up was a walk along the river near the garden centre. It's a new one for us and was very beautiful, although anything is beautiful when the sun shines after the summer we've had thus far.... The dog was in heaven as she could swim and paddle in the river and run in lovely fields. I was really pleased with the 2 piccies I took of her running along the top of the weir with me below - she looks so purposeful with her stick in her mouth......like she's on important business! Which of course, she is!

I had my french class in the evening so wasn't back 'til nearly 8 so thought I'd go for a jog to try and run off a lb or so in advance of my weigh -in on Wednesday. Trouble was, it was pretty late and my heart wasn't in it. I did go out but didn't get the bug and only lasted for a very short trot. I may as well not have bothered to be honest. I think I will learn from that; that if I feel like that in future and it's late, I'll stay at home. I finished the day with a nice long bubbly bath and had a crap night's sleep.

Weird eh? After a great day, I ended up feeling down and sad and sleeping really badly. My dad rang and asked me to help him by getting my mum kitted out for a party they're going to. That set me off worrying about her and how she's not looking after herself and her memory's going etc etc I then got onto my Dad and how, although he tries really hard, he's not best equipped for the role of a carer and how a lot of it is going to fall on me but we're going to France etc etc

I then started fretting about D and why he's out so late (it was after 10 at this stage) and then got pissed off with him for ringing me for a lift home (he didn't get one!) but by that stage I was well and truly on the go.

Starting thinking about how I've been eating this week. Now, I've been pretty relaxed about it - I know why and I'm annoyed because it's setting back my target date but I've no real concerns that I won't get to target eventually. But, in the middle of the night when I was tired and couldn't turn of the thoughts in my head, all the eating of the last week came back to haunt me and made me feel even worse.

Eventually D came home and that seemed to let me switch off and go to sleep but I woke up through the night and D was a pain about snoring and not turning over etc so, all in all, a crap night's sleep.

Sorry for whinging, but it's been ages since I felt so low and for it to happen on top of a really good day, it took me by surprise and maybe seemed all the worse for it. I feel fine today and right back on track diet-wise so no harm done. Had a go at D for his behaviour and he was most contrite so we'll see how that plays out tonight. I'm picking him up from the pub on my way back from my weigh in so an early night for the pair of us. Hopefully, I'll be able to chat through all the Mum and Dad stuff with him and tackle the eating too - that usually helps.

I'll post later with the, no doubt woeful, results of my weigh in tonight!! Wish me luck...

New Start 29 - Monday and a great day for a run!!

It was a glorious day and I REALLY did not want to go to work. After such a lovely weekend in the garden and outdoors, the thought of driving to an office in Rotherham where I can't even see a window, let alone see out of it, was not positive!! Still, I dragged myself over there, worked like mad and then went to my boss at lunchtime and told him I was taking 1 1/2 days off as I'd cancelled leave the previous week due to pressure of work!! He was great and I skipped out of the office about 30 seconds later!!

I had a happy half hour in Matalan buying my, hopefully, last lot of cheap work gear and a couple of long sleeve tops as I feel the cold so badly now and then raced home and into the garden. We got the spraying done and a load of tidying up and after a couple of hours of that, had a happy hour or so sitting in the sunshine by the pond chatting again. I love it down there - we just need some fish and frogs and stuff now. Sorting the pond out is Tuesday chore and I'm really looking forward to it.

When D was sorting his supper out, I decided to head out for a really good long run and try and run off some of the weekend's sins. I called the dog, who is usually well up for a run, but she wasn't interested. She must have caught a whiff of D's supper (lamb chops) and decided she'd stay with him rather than running with me - little traitor. As you can see from the photoes, she was really not keen so eventually I left her behind!!

It was a gorgeous evening, a cool breeze but bright sunshine - perfect for running. I went up a massive hill and then along the top, down the hill again and back home along the river - about 5/6 miles and an hour in all. It was just beautiful and made me feel glad to be alive. I hope the pictures show how lovely it is up there. I only met one other soul - a glamourous blond on a big horse.....he was tasty!!! The blond that is, not the horse...LOL! Shame I was just reaching the top of the hill and was panting like a steam train and probably a deep shade of beetroot!!

Spent the evening in the local doing the pub quiz and bingo (didnt win - never win).

In answer to your question Antonia, yes, D and I are are much closer. It's like a switch has been flicked in both our minds. I know it makes him seem shallow that he is so much happier with me now that I am slim, but that's the way it is. In his defence, I know that I am also a different person - much more relaxed, less grumpy, more active, more willing to have a laugh and less naggy. All these things are by-products of losing weight. I don't know whether I was grumpy before because I was fat and uncomfortable or because I was conscious of D's disapproval - probably a combination of the 2.

I just know that, in the last couple of weeks, the journey that I have been making has reached its very final stage - I seem to have accepted in my head that I AM slim and actually feel it in my heart too. That, combined with D's excitement and happiness, means that it's a great place to be right now. I know we've got a long way to go and I still have to guard against the dreaded complacency and make sure that I don't regain the weight, but, for now, I'm enjoying our time in the sun!!

You're dead right too though Antonia - I must stop cheating and just finish off the diet. I'm going to get to goal if it kills me and the quicker I stop nibbling, the quicker that'll happen. I've been good on Monday and Tuesday so hopefully no damage wil be done at tomorrow's weigh in and next week I will have another good run.

Thanks for your support everyone.


Monday, 30 July 2007

New Start 28 - Sunday

We had another good day on Sunday. We finished off the planting which felt like such a great achievement. It makes a massive difference to the garden as you can see what it's going to be like soon. Just the turfing to go now!!

Then had a wander round a classic car show and argued over which of the many gorgeous vehicles we'd buy if we were suddenly flush with surplus cash. Actually, we argued until we got to the AC Cobra and then immediately agreed!! So, totally impractical show-offy muscle cars are something we agree on!! Who knew??
Finally we went and picked our friends' labrador, Beanie, up from kennels as they were not due home 'til after they shut. She was very aptly name Beanie as she is really strong and totally full of beans. Once released from the kennels, she went berserk so we took her straight out to a deserted field and let her go for a big run. Poor old Shelagh took a bit of a pounding due to Beanue's excess energy but soon gave as good as she got! It was nice to see actually as neither of them are nasty dogs so no real bites, just lots of energy and bouncing.
A good walk, if a little bracing but so nice to see the sun for a change.
I had a quiet night in but we had a laugh when D got home from the pub - I laughingly told him I was too sleepy to walk upstairs and he'd have to carry me - next thing, D (who is only a couple of inches taller than me and wiry of build despite the beer belly!) had picked me up in his arms off the sofa and was carrying me through the hallway and up the stairs!! I was laughing my head and clinging on for real life!! It was not like in the movies, what with D grunting and swearing and me in hysterics but very amusing. I thought he was going to make it too but he lost it on the very last step! He put me down and collapsed panting at the top of the stairs while I just lay there and laughed like a drain!
I can never in my entire adult life remember being carried. It used to be a fear of mine that I might collapse or something and it would take half a dozen blokes to pick me up. Now, my weedy husband can actually pick me up in his arms - awesome!!! I told him not to do it again though as I don't want thte blame for slipped discs or heart attacks or anything!!

New Start 27 (ii) - BBQ

Went to Martin and Shelley's for a BBQ and took packs etc. I was being good and dutiful and drinking my water and black coffee when I got too cold. When everyone else was just about to eat, I discovered that their microwave wasn't working so couldn't make soup or muffin and I hadn't brought anything else with me. I know I could have made it with the kettle or sat and eaten nothing and a few weeks ago that's what I would have done but, on Saturday night out with friends and feeling slim and happy, I just didn't want to!! It all seemed a bit artificial as the 3 other women there were all heavier than me and not dieting so it seemed strnage me making a big thing about sticking to my diet while they ate....crooked thinking I know but thre you go. I did go into it with my eyes open.. (Chapter 3 of the poem there Mrs!!)
So I ate real food again and enjoyed a glass of red wine. I didn't have bread or potatoes, just meat and salad (which was delicious) and refused all of the gorgeous looking cakes etc so didn't feel too bad. It has given me a taste of how I'm going to cope with eating out when I finish. It was a lovely evening too.
The trouble is - I'm not quite there even if I feel as though I am. I haven't reached my target yet and, if I don't, I know I'll regret it forever and all this eating/cheating is merely delaying my getting there. So, much as I am enjoying myself and not really beating myself up about the eating/cheating, it is a pain and I must get back to dieting ways again.
So, after a pretty ropey weekend foodwise, I'll be back on track come Monday!! And jogging like a mad thing!!

Sunday, 29 July 2007

New Start 27 - summer's here and we're in the garden

I had a haircut this morning!! Usually my hair doesn't do very much - it's pretty much brown and curly. This time - I asked for an actual style -and got one!! It's an inverted bob quite long on top and sides and pretty short at the nape. I love it. It's quite sassy and punky.Like a flicky, soft ball or something more poetic...

I'll post a decent shot of it all "done" at some stage as you can't really see from the gardening shots but I'm really chuffed.

I also booked a colour next Saturday but I'm rethinking that. Partly 'cos of money - do I really need to spend loads on a colour when I quite like my natural colour and have no greys?? Partly 'cos I don't want to get too 'fake' - it's not really me to have glossy colour and scrunchy highlights etc... I'm a bit more of an outdoorsy girl and can't be assed to spend my weekends primping. I got rid of my acrylic nails for the same reason. Loved them when I first got them done but found the upkeep wearing and the effect not really 'me'.

To the piccies.... the top 2 are pictures from the past (as I hope you all spotted immediately!!). We have been doing the blasted garden for years now - it has been a major project. I thought you might like to see the contrast between the very wide working woman of yesteryear and the new look slimline gardener of today! We're really close to finishing the garden now - we've planted all the shrubs and perennials and just have the turfing and general tidying up to complete which should be done in the next fortnight. I cannot wait to get on with the nice stuff like buying garden furniture, bbq and candles etc etc

D and I had a really good few hours planting and we worked well together. I know we have done in the past but I couldn't help reflecting on how much easier it was being slim - my back didn't ache (as much!), I had comfortable clothes, I didn't cry when I saw the pictures (!)... We larked around and sprayed water on each other and the dog and then, when we'd finished, sat by the pond and had a coffee and chatted about France and what still needs to be done and bitched about the neighbours' trees shading our garden and it all felt great...

Went to friends for a bbq in the evening and will post more of that later and some piccies too. It all went Pete Tong on the eating front there but que sera sera etc etc....onwards, ever onwards...

New Start 26 - Friday

Not a bad day on Friday. I had a very high powered meeting all morning and it went well. It was one of those where I should have been there as a solicitor but ended up chairing and doing my boss's job for him. He really is as much use as a chocolate teapot. The meeting started - a tough negotiating session with the other side and loads of consultants and he just sat quiet with his eyes cast down - there was no choice but to speak up. I know our consultants were quite shocked and they were really helpful to me, realiing that I was in over me head.

Anyway, we got what we wanted (and more) so I felt pretty good.

My boss's boss heard about it and came and apologised to me and also raised the question of my pay grade!! It's pretty unheard of for boss's to actively raise the point so I reckon I should go for the jugular and see what I can get out of them. After all, I may have another year here before France so may as well fill the coffers!

Food wise I pretty much stopped the rot and apart from a tiny nibble at home didn't transgress. Tried to go to Circuits for the second week running but discovered that it's on a summer break so was thwarted again! I took the dog out for hilly walk instead. Lucky girl!

We went out to the local pub and stayed late but, actually, despite all my recent whinging on the subject of the pub, I had a really good time and D was on good form so it was nice.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

New Start 25

There was a little girl (well, largish lady)
With a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead
And when she was good, she was very very good
(And lost 7lbs in one week)
And the next day, she was horrid!!

"When I've been good - I'm very very tempted....and I usually give in!"

I've finally pinned down the pattern. Had a busy busy stressful but sucessful work day and, when I had a break in Sheffield city centre at lunchtime, I looked at slinky jeans, didn't buy but was well impressed by my rear end in size 12 Gap tight fits!!

So, what did I do then while waiting for my document to be finished? Sit in a cafe and enjoy a black coffee (having already had my soup and not being remotely hungry)?? No, I walked up and down the gorgeous Continental market in the pouring rain and, after much thought and deliberation, bought myself a chocolate tart. Only small but rich and sweet and delicious. I don't even feel guilty about it!

That lead to some other minor but wilful transgressions over the course of the rest of the day. So - before the day could get too bad and I could go from feeling irritated by myself but not depressed to downright miserable, I forced my sorry ass out into the rain (with the poor dog who wasn't happy about atoning for my sins I can tell you!) and we went for a short but very fast run up to the dam wall. I feel better now. Like, I've done it. accepted it, run part of it off and stopped the rot.

I know I will always want occasionally to eat lovely fattening things and, realistically, don't see anything wrong with that. I just need to understand that I can't let straying from the diet path lead to loss of control. I need to trust myself that I will stop (and pretty quickly as there isn't much slack in our likely calorie range!). I also need to keep up the exercise and try and create a link between the 2 sides of my life.

I know I was treating myself, pure and simple. I felt great about last week and being slim etc and I was working hard and feeling tired in that adrenaline fueled way and food was the quick fix I craved. So I overode my defences (totally purposefully) and took what I wanted. And enjoyed it too!

I'm not tempted to eat at all now and doubt I've done any lasting damage but a few things are clear:-

  1. I'll always be subject to temptation and I'll sometimes give in;
  2. Processing what is going on when I'm tempted and eat is important - typing this post has noticeably calmed me and I feel as though life etc is much simpler than when I first sat down.
  3. I can't keep hiding from emotions like I used to do - masking things with food. So, I need to learn how to cope with food and express my emotions some other way.
  4. Life is not about perfection - sometimes damage limitation is a sucessful outcome in itself.

On a different topic, has anyone else noticed that several of our regulars are awol?? I know Cath's on her hols, butMel, Sam, Claire and a few others....hope they come back soon.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

New Start 24 - Normal service is resumed!

In more ways than one! The rain is back but so are my losing ways so I'm a happy chick. I lost 7lbs last week and have less than a stone to go before going into Management. Can't wait.

It's been hungry week so it hasn't been easy but, apart from a few controlled and limited nibbles, I've been pretty good and have done loads of exercise. Jogged (and I mean proper runs over hills and dales for at least 5 or 6 miles at a time) 5 times last week and walked a fair bit too. I even went for a lunchtime run round Rotherham today, partly to see whether I could fit the run and shower in in my lunchbreak; partly because I knew I wouldn't be running tonight or tomorrow; and partly because I wanted to maximise my loss this evening!! Well, it worked but am still hungry!

Anyway, not long now so I'm going to "enjoy" the sensation of hunger and hug it to me as a badge of honour.

Re my quest to get D out of the pub earlier, I had partial sucess this evening. He agreed that he'd leave early tonight so I should pick him up on the way back from the class at 7.30pm. I walked in to find that a friend who we don't see often was in for a quick one so, of course stayed for one with them. D then stayed for another quick half (which, to be fair, was the truth as he was not far behind me). Trouble is, he hadn't eaten so is down in the kitchen cooking supper and I'm up here. Still, we should meet in the living room before 9.0opm which will be a first for a while. Still not enough for me but I'm not going to nag or whinge. I want him to want to spend more time with me.

I want to go and see the Simpsons Movie this week too so will see if/when that comes about.

D and I had a really good chat about all this a few days ago and I expressed my disappointment that all the things he promised would change were I to lose weight, have not materialised. He accepted that but also said how fast he felt the transformation has been - how he feels that he hasn't had time to adjust and is only now realising what it all means. I have some sympathy with that as it's how I feel a bit too. But at least now I know he wants to make the changes, just is lagging behind in the execution!

We agreed it's like when an actress puts on a fat suit for a film - I feel as though I'm wearing a "thin suit" and almost acting the part of a slim woman! I look great and know that I am genuinely slim now but my brain hasn't quite caught up with the new reality - well D is a little bit further behind that again!!

Anyway, I'm rushing tonight as you can tell. Hope you've all had a good day.

Sandra - I hope your new Development Class is promising. I've got fingers crossed for you.

Mrs - I gave my pooch and extra big hug this evening because you can't hug yours - it won't be forever and you'll be reunited soon. Hang on in there.

New Start 23 - sunshine at last!

And typically, I couldn't get out in it much. I would have loved to have headed home on time and gone out for a long walk with D and doggie but I had my french class so duty called. I had to miss it last Tuesday due to an accident on the motorway so I wasn't going to miss another one on the bounce.
I really enjoy it - I can feel my understanding increasing as the weeks go by and I'm getting much more fluent (although I'm far from being actually fluent!) and confident. I also like the teacher - she's really down to earth and involves me in her family quite naturally - seems like a good mum and has a nice lad. Today I ended up holding his Guinea Pig on my way out so he could finish cleaning out its cage - a first for me but I like hairy creatures (even D!) so not too worrying!!
Anyway, when I got home I was starving so wolfed down a bar and then, as D headed off to the pub, I grabbed Shelagh and drove up a hillside for a quick walk in the late evening sunshine. It was gorgeous. I didn't have long before the sun slid behind the hill but just half an hour of fresh air and beautiful views, on top of a lovely drive through the Peak District on the way back from my class, was enough to make me feel as though summer has finally arrived.
Now, I'm well aware that it's been miserable for many people today so I'm counting my blessings. I'm also aware that it's going to rain again tomorrow ....sigh...
What else?
Clothes. They seem to be on everyones' minds at the moment. I went out at lunchtime to try and find some size 12's as my current 2 items of workwear are getting on the baggy side. Trouble is, although I can get into the 12's, they ar still too tight to be respectable. Very va va voom at the mo but not very professional! I'm a bit of a slapper when it comes to my dress so I have to make sure I fall down on the right side of fitted!!
Actually, I feel a bit at sea clothes-wise - like I'm nearly there with the diet but not quite. I want to buy nice clothes but don't feel quite ready to pay decent moneyfor anything. I think I know what suits me but I'm not quite sure whether that's the look I want to take forward with my new figure. Everything's "almost there". So, inertia set in and I left without purchasing even though there were a few nice enough things I tried on.
I think, rather than putting pressure on myself and making expensive mistakes, I'll put clothes buying on hold for another fortnight and just enjoy tightening my belt. That should take the pressure off and, hopefully, my ideas about clothes/wardrobe will have sorted themselves out in my head in the meantime so, when I go back to it with another half stone or 10lbs off, it'll all make more sense to me! That's the plan anyway...
When I hit goal and once the autumn fashions come into the shops, I'm going to go on 2 shopping expeditions with 2 different friends in Manchester and London to buy big items like good jeans, a winter coat and boots. These are items I never really prioritised before. I didn't want to spend big money on them when I was fat so just made do. Now, I want killer jeans and boots in particular. I want to look more grown up in terms of my dress, less disposable High Street fashion, more as though I have a "look". Which, of course, means, that I have first to get a "look"!
Wish me luck...!

Monday, 23 July 2007

Getting together??

I'd love to meet up with some of you sometime. I know quite a few of you would like that too. I know summer is a rubbish time to arrrange anything and some of you would like to be a bit further along than they are with the diet but I thought we could start having the fun of discussing where and when and what we're going to do etc in the meantime.

So a list of questions:
  1. Who would like to come along?
  2. When? I think October would be a good month given that summer will be over but we won't be into the pre-Christmas rush but I'm open to alternatives.
  3. Where? Several options spring to mind. A neutral venue which could be either London (just because it's London) or somewhere roughly midway between the paricipants. I'm easy either way - I like London but would be just as happy doing country stuff.
  4. What for? A lunch? A walk? An event? Paintballing (that last one was a joke but for illustration purposes to show that we could decide to do anything really!). A spa. A daytime meeting? A night do?
  5. I would have imagined that it would be just us, not partners/children but not sure if anyone has different thoughts on that.

I'm not appointing myself "leader" here or anything but would be happy to do some organising, co-ordinating and throw out some suggestions once I hear from you on the above.

Bye for now. Lesley xx

New Start 21 and 22

Well, it's been a busy couple of days. Sunday was a bit flat as we didn't really have a plan and D was still tired from the rig. I went for a run in the morning with Shell so felt all bouncey after that but then it was a case of drifting through the day rather. I wish we'd got stuck into working on the garden but I could see D wasn't in the mood and I didn't fancy doing it without him to encourage me!

Antonia - I don't know how you get your motivation to garden - it's a difficult one for me to make myself do even though I know I'll enjoy it when I get out there! I wish I could sell you some of my energy in return for your gardening ability!!

Anyway, I was determined not to do nothing so we ended up going to Buxton for a look around. It's a lovely town, pretty Victorian architecture and park with Pavilion, old Spa, Public Baths, bandstand etc. Very old-fashioned and pleasantly satisfying. We didn't do much, just wandered around, bought a few minor items and sat and listened to a brass band for 40 minutes or so but it was strangely soothing.

The brass band were playing some lovely standards, some you'd recognise from Brassed Off of course but other more traditional northern stuff. It brought a tear to my eye as always, which made me feel pretty silly standing in a crowd on a (rare) sunny Sunday afternoon!!

Stupidly we were sitting next to the icecream stand selling Bradwells icecream (the best icecream and made only a couple of miles from where I live - in the village where our holiday cottage is situated actually!). I lusted silently after a butterscotch ripple but didn't articulate the desire and stuck to my black coffee stoically. The dog behaved like a princess - accepting pats from strangers as her due so, all in all, it was a lovely afternoon.

So, ultimately, slowing down and enjoying a bit of a nothingy Sunday (one like Sundays used to be) was "a good thing". D and I enjoyed a nice (but too long as ever) evening in the pub and I felt energised and lively this morning.

Now today - a different story - Mrs asked me about the holiday cottage and how we're getting on with it. Well, we've had a bit of a wobble on it. I got worried that we were taking on too much and that property values are not increasing so basically started getting cold feet about the whole project (not France - just the buying the cottage a year early!).

In the end I made the financial adviser come out and take us through the figures again and assess what we need, what our outgoings will be etc and address whether we really want to do it. Well, I made him earn his commission but he did a good job and answered all our questions - went through best and worse case scenarios and we've decided that we will proceed. Which is a good thing as I was dreading having to tell the sellers we were pulling out!!

I think it concentrated our minds on what was important and D is talking about knuckling down and getting the house finished so that's good thing too. I could have said all the things which the adviser said but it wouldn't have had quite the same weight as it did hearing it from an outsider!

So - we're are leaping in after all and the purchase should go through in the next couple of weeks as all motrgage offers and title stuff is ready. I felt refreshed and clearheaded after the adviser left so headed out for another run - 2 days in a row - not like me! I think financial stuff can really clog up your thought processes - well for me anyway as I generally hate thinking about money and making financial decisions.

I suppose as an antidote, I took the dog on a new route for me (I've walked it before but not run it). It starts with a massive steep hill (during which you want to cry but don't have the energy and it wouldn;t stop your legs hurting anyway...) and then is mostly either downhill or flat and you end up running alongside a lovely river through a massive meadow. I felt so strong and powerful and didn't stop on the hill at all which was total shock to me as I hadn't expected to egt beyond halfway without a break.

So - positivity is oozing now. I just need a good weight loss on Wednesday to compound this and take me into the last few weeks. I'm so close I can taste it - I can get size 12 straight leg jeans on in M&S and Dotty P's but they're a little tight for comfort - another stone I reckon!!

That's enough waffling on for now - have a good diet day everyone.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

New Start 20 (ii) - Grasping opportunities!!

Hi all. I was leafing through a file of photos I took last weekend when my Malaysian guests (sister in law, niece, nephew, SIL's sister and her daughter) were staying. I had sent them off to my brother out in Papua New Guinea on a land rig (yes, he's also in the oil business like D - in fact that's why D is in that business). I was laughing at us going out for a walk on the moors in the siling rain and saying that Lisa (the smiling, wet, cold Malaysian girl in the last piccie) must have thought I was mad. Anyway, he replied that he'd heard through Hadi that she had loved the walk - said it felt like proper England and made her really understand what the countryside of Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice was like. (It helps that they filmed both of the latest versions of those film and TV series not far from where we were walking!!)

So, I got thinking about taking opportunities - how sometimes you don't want to do something because it's cold or not perfect or you're not sure how it'll turn out. And how, if you make yourself do whatever it is, often that is the best thing to have done. Gosh - I'm so articulate tonight...words are dribbbling off my keyboard in a terrible fashion here - could I BE anymore awkward to read??

So often, leaping in is the best thing to do. I leapt into LL - saw Kate at a party and, once I'd managed to reconnect my jaw to my face, asked her what she'd done; the following day looked it up on the internet; on the Monday I rang my LLC and attended an intro session that very night; and signed up for the January class there and then. It was the best thing I've ever done.

I have spent hours talking to people about the journey and explaining the diet to them (at their request) - women and men who would really benefit from it and all the time, I've known that none of them are going to go for it. I think you recognise the required level of desperation/determination pretty quickly and none of them so far has shown it. I so wish you could make them do it but you can't, so I just rattle on and then say.... " no pressure - it's not for everyone. Good luck with starting SW/WW/Atkins for the hundredth time" ...!

Now that I've taken this opportunity - I'm ready for more. France, the holiday cottage, a creative writing course (couldn't find a belly dancing class in the evenings!), maybe a small enterpreneuring importing business on the side (of which more later if it comes off).

So - leaping then looking seems to be the way to go for the time being (well, looking a little....I'm not totally daft).

Maybe that's why I'm doing so much analysis on the blog - 'cos I'm so busy living outside of it that I have to have an outlet for the "processing".

Anyway - that was my message/thought. We all made a leap of faith into the unknown to start LL or CD or whatever and, in the main, it has worked for us - maybe we should start leaping a bit more and grasping opportunities and just doing different things because who knows what'll happen when we do??

New Start 20 - Final Canada pics (phew!)

The final journey - you must all be sick of Canada now but the piccies are for me to remember a good holiday and an important step in my diet journey so I've persevered!
We went to Ottawa to stay with my cousin Michael for the final 3 days of our trip. He took the time off so he could be tour guide which was a bit unexpected but which meant we did see loads of sights - the Parliament Buildings, Museums and the Mounties' Sunset Ride. The latter is a ride of a select band of the Mounted Police set to music which tours round Canada in the summer, ending up at the Calgary Stampede. It was surprisingly good fun - a really gentle family atmosphere with the added bonus of lots of hunky men in tight trousers which always helps!!
I think our police could learn something from the Mounties as they were obviously very popular despite various scandals about heavy handed dealing with riots and corruption etc. Maybe our Bobbies need to do more family entertainment and try and catch the kids young??
I included a few pics of the best looking one for the girls (sorry Guinea for this blatent sexism) Can you spot the one who turned round and winked at me??!
I also liked the poor longsuffering dog dressed up as a horse! He wasn't happy about it but what could he do?!
The swimming cossie one is of me hurling myself into what looked like a very cold and choppy lake just so I could say I'd done it. My cousin has a weekend cottage up there and it was gorgeous. As it happened it wasn't cold at all so had a good swim, a bit too choppy for staying out too long though.
Anyway, back to England. We went out to the local last night. It has changed hands again! The village is getting sick of it but we'll give this lot a chance as ever. They're a funny lot though - a Bar Manager who clearly doesn't like people and isn't very good at serving pints! And is as camp as a row of tents which will go down well in t'country. Actually people are remarkably tolerant in the village but his attitude is already raising eyebrows. We had a couple of butch lesbians running the other pub for a few months a while back and everyone loved them because they were a laugh and ran a good pub - it's not what you are, it's what you do with it that counts! The landlord and landlady are harder to work out so we're reserving judgement.
It was karaoke last night - turned out to be a good laugh so hats off to them for trying. Our mate Eric made his usual fool of himself and I could't stop dancing - since I've got slim, I just can't stop jigging around and so last night was no exception. D couldn't keep his hands off me - kept clutching me to him and holding hands, singing into my eyes and generally acting the loved up swain. Our mates were taking the mick of course but it was nice.
I think the fact that he's going to have to something about his belly and drinking has now sunk in - he said to me last night "Les - you've cracked it - now I've got no place to hide have I?" Very ruefully. So, my post of a couple of nights ago seems to have been accurate. Weird isn't it?
Also, a few of the locals were swarming round and saying how D'lll have slim down to join me in the Fell Race next year, or he won't me able to hang onto me - all that macho mens' stuff which I just take as a laugh but which actually sticks in men's heads. Quite amusing, especially from the perspective of a sober girl!
So, he's still sleeping this morning tryng to catch up from 2 weeks of night shifts but hopefully we'll have a good weekend and I'll see whether D is going to put his money where his mouth is!!
Wish me luck!

Friday, 20 July 2007

New Start 19 - Cabot Trail in Cape Breton

Above is more shots of Canada - the first few are of the Cabot trail in Cape Breton. Once the fog of our first day had dispersed, it was stunning up there, gorgeous views and lovely trails. We were up on the top of a headland watching a school of dolphins attacking a shoal of fish for a good 20 minutes and Fin Whales out in the ocean - gorgeous. On the walk back we encountered a mama moose and her calves (can only just see one). She was HUGE - absolutely massive. Really great to see out in the wild. As you can see, contrary to my grumpy post of yesterday, I do quite like D!! He's not all bad!!
The second half are pics of a walk round a crystal clear lake in Gatineau Park just outside Ottawa with my cousin Michael. The waters were so clear and blue I found it quite hypnotic and found myself just staring into them for ages. We saw quite a bit of wildlife that day too - a couple of turtle, chipmunks, an Osprey and half the walk was accompanied by the competing boom of bullfrogs - I couldn't believe how loud they were!!
Anyway, back to real life. What a miserable day. I hope no-one has been affected by the flooding. It sounds nasty and terrible timing with the schoold breaking up. It's just foul up here - pouring with rain and just like mid-winter. Maybe that's why I'm fighting the desire to eat. I've been prowling the cupboards since I got in but luckily I got rid of anything I might have been tempted to snack on so my dark side has been thwarted.
I was worried though hence retiring upstairs to the computer to stiffen my resolve and distract myself from the thought of eating.
Poor old D is home now and absolutely knackered after a trying trip on the rig. Normally I would have taken one look at him and cooked supper for him but I didn't feel strong enough tonight so have withdrawn. I can hear him pottering around downstairs though so will go and join him soon, once he's thrown his leftovers away like a good LL husband!
Suspect we'll have a quiet night tonight and hope that the weather improves for the Bamford Carnival tomorrow afternoon. I'll pity the poor Carnival Queens and Princesses if they have to parade around in the rain in all their finery.
I was intending to go to circuit training this evening but got the time wrong so missed the first 20 minutes and was too late to start. Will go for a run tomorrow instead and try again next Friday. My friend Stacey swears by it so must give it a try. Still, I've had a tiring day today with a high-pressure meeting which all landed on my shoulders this morning so probably a rest is the best thing for me.
Have a great weekend everyone. Keep it up!

Thursday, 19 July 2007

What might be stopping me??

This might be a bit random but worth a try:

  1. Complacency/Habit

    I'm already feeling slim and attractive as "I'm there". I don't want to have to stick to the plan now. It's an old habit I've got from previous diets, never quite making it to the end. It's also a crap reason for not finishing something.

  2. It's summertime

    I associate summer with treats, picnics, barbeques, relaxing in the sun outside a pub, fruit (preferably with cream or icecream!). I feel that I'm missing out on stuff. Well, I missed out on stuff all winter and I missed out on things because I was fat, so that's also a crap reason for not finishing.

  3. I've eaten in the past and still lost weight.

    Well, yes, I have got away with it in the past but, if I'm honest, it has slowed me down on occasion. Also, what I ate before was much less than my eating over the weekend and didn't include much in the way of carbs.

  4. Am I scared of getting to goal?

    I don't think so. I'm slim now anyway and happy as anything about it. What will change?

  5. What WILL change??

    I'll have to cook and eat and keep the weight off. Yes, but that doesn't worry me - I'm positively looking forward to it. I can't wait to try new healthy eating recipes and shop for lovely tasty food again.

  6. Diarmuid? Will things change between us?

    That seems to be the worry at the back of my mind but I can't seem to pin it down. What will change? Nothing...

  7. Is that what I'm afraid of?

    That nothing will change? Possibly, yes. I've done all this work and really changed my attitudes but D doesn't seem to have met me in the middle. He's still going to the pub every night despite me asking him not to and drinking too much. I'm scared that he won't change and I'll have done all this for nothing so am I easing off the accelerator to give him more time to catch up? Which doesn't make sense as I've obviously done it for more than just us. Maybe I haven't. Maybe I had, at the back of my mind, that if I lost the weight, D and I would be better - "solved".

    I'm gutted that he hasn't made more changes in himself but, frankly, those changes are more likely to come when I reach goal and we get back to normal routines of eating together etc

    I need to focus my issues with Diarmuid on Diarmuid rather than on my weight. I've always said to him that there's more going on with us than just my weight, but it appears that I've taken on board what he has said about my weight being our main problem.

  8. Am I frightened that when I'm at goal, I'll be under pressure to have a baby?

    No - I want a baby, just want to make sure that D and I are alright before I do so.

So - a fair bit to mull over there. I know D and I are mostly fine but there are, inevitably, longstanding resentments bubbling under which have accumulated over the years. I need to try and get him onside for a clean sweep. I know how good it feels and I want him to meet me half way, especially if we're moving to France together where we'll be relying on each other a lot more. I trust him and know that he usually comes round to doing the right thing - it just takes him a lot longer to come round to it than me...

In the meantime, I shouldn't let this derail my weight loss which is for me, me me!! And is so close!

Sorry for the navel gazing - probably a bit personal but I feel more accountable getting it down here.

New Start 18

Well, it was a pretty good day yesterday but a mixed week so I thought a list of negatives and positives would help me sort out the wheat from the chaff:

  • I ate over the weekend and on Monday evening and have had difficulty sticking to abstinence last week.
  • I only lost 1lb at last night's weigh in
  • I have been toying with the idea of finishing the diet early and going into Management


  • Although I ate, I didn't go mad and, immediately afterwards, I threw away the rest so could not carry on eating. I stopped the rot, in other words.
  • I had been contemplating going to my weigh in on Saturday instead of last night but didn't do that, which I feel would have been avoiding the issue, and turned up to face up to what my eating has cost me.
  • I still lost a lb which is better than nothing. Also, my LLC re-measured me and I have lost several inches off bust, waist and hips so I am still shrinking physically.
  • I had a good chat with the LLC about what might be stopping me from finishing off the last few lbs and getting to goal. It cleared my head so I feel ready to do the headwork to address the point.
  • I ran in the Bamford Fell Race last night - over 5 miles straight up and down a massive hill. I did it 53 minutes and was 4th last (but not last!!).
  • I feel refocussed and ready to polish off the last 20lbs and get to goal before the end of August! Just 5 short weeks!!

So - what might be stopping me from reaching goal? I'm going to have a serious think about it and will probably post later if I reach any conclusions. Nothing occurs to me off the top of my head though, so maybe my LLC is off base with this one?

The Fell Race was excellent. There were over 200 entrants, mostly club runners and harriers etc but a few locals. We had decent weather and I got a lot of support from the village. There were loads of people down there at the start/finish who I knew and I got a big cheer as I came to the finish line. Several people came over to congratulate me and marvel that I had done the race. A few people said something along the lines of "who'd have thought that you'd be doing this, this time last year??"

I felt really proud to be honest. It's quite an achievement as Win Hill is pretty big and very steep. Next year I want to beat 50 minutes and run up the steps at the top rather than stride up them as I did last night.

I think the concrete achievement of running the race has re-invigorated me and my approach to the diet so I hope I can keep this feeling for as long as possible. Doubt it'll last the full 5 weeks I have left but fingers crossed!

Bye for now!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

New Start 17

I have been wondering whether I'm ready to stop the diet early given that I have been cheating a bit recently. Well, decided to look back through my blog to see if that provides any assistance and inspiration. I found an early post from 7th february setting out some of my aims in losing weight! I thought it would be interesting to post it again and address each one:

"So - Reasons to Diet - Lite:

  • Want to fit into a pair of size 12 jeans and look good (sexy).
    Not quite there yet - size 14 but not far off.

  • 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.
    Yep - got it.

  • Want to be happy in a swimming costume (bikini even) in front of my mates or at Slippery Stones next summer.
    Well, I wore a cossie in Canada in front of my cousin and am a bit flabby round the thighs but not too bad. Would happily go swimming with mates now (to be honest would have done so before but would have felt bad!)

  • 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.
    I haven't seen them yet but can safely say it will be dramatic. They have seen piccie of us in Canada and were well impressed. Tick.

  • Want to be slim when we go to Canada in June; not at target weight but happy in shorts and swimming costume.
    Tick again.

  • 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.
    Tick again

  • Want the people (Roy etc) who sit near me at Hillsborough to notice and comment on the change at the beginning of next season.
    Season hasn't re-started yet (not long now!) but I'm sure they will notice. They had noticed before the end of last searson to be honest!

  • Want to fit into my motorbiking leathers and skiing trousers and get back to doing both those things. Ultimately, 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!).
    Not done anything about this. We've been too busy to even think about the motorbike. My old leathers are far too big now and likewise my skiing gear. So a qualified tick.

  • 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.
    Haven't sat on his knee (don't know why - just didn't think about it) but am definitely lighter than him - about half a stone lighter!

  • 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.
    Tick. Tick. Tick. They're all too big now.

  • 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.
    Didn't get round to doing it for charity but am planning on doing the Bamford Fell Race this evening. Want to do the Worksop half marathon in October and will definitely run for a charity then!"

So - not far off BUT, crucially, not quite there either. The verdict is that I would be daft to give up now just because I've had a few days of eating. It's not the end of the world and I can recapture the dedication if Ireally think about what I want.

On that note, I'm going to post this as the dog is going mental, whining and clawing at me, demanding my attention and I've been out nearly all evening so am going to give her a cuddle and share my last pack with her - chicken stuffing in case you're wondering. She's in season so a bit on the horny and desperate side and, as I haven't provided her with an outlet for her lust yet again, it's the least I can do (share the chicken pack with her that is - nothing sinister!!!)!!

I'll do a proper update as I've got loads going on in my head at the moment as soon as I can get to the computer. Hope you're all well and virtuous.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

New Start 16 - Hiking and Nature-y stuff!

As I've been a poor Lighterlifer over the last few days, I've decided to get back to basics and that means more blogging! It was one of the things that kept me away from temptation in the early days so why not try it again? I've been watching more telly than usual recently and we all know that telly means snacks!!

So, above is some photos from Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia, Mahone Bay (with the 34 churches) and our first and very foggy day on the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton, NS. It was lovely up there but so frustrating that day as the fog obscured what you knew would be fantastic sea views. Still, we saw some amazing wildlife including puffins and assorted seabirds; the Bald Eagle pictured taking a fish from the sea behind our boat; seals, that gorgeous and fearless littel red squirrel eating his pine shoots behind us for a good 5 minutes 'til he got bored; woodpeckers, and many others.

Charming D managed to persuade me to pose with the Moose sign - suspect he's running a caption competition amongst our friends but think he'll receive more insults than me so good luck to him!!

We also spotted some rather more brightly coloured wildlife in the little town of Baddeck, namely their High School Seniors heading off to the Prom. Dig the dresses girls and great suits lads!! And I know it's mean of me to point her out (especially given the largely supportive group that we are) but how did the mother of the girl on the far right in the inadvisable pink dress let her out?? I mean, it's one thing to be big but not to dress with half an eye for your size and shape is just plain daft. Hope she wasn't too miserable.

Anyway, what else? I was meant to have my French class this evening and, for once, I'd done all my homework really thoroughly so was really looking forward to it. I'd prepared to talk about our whale watching trip and even taken photos to illustrate. Set off from work early at 4.30 to leave plenty of time and promptly hit a traffic jam behind the M1 southbound being closed. I must have missed the accident by minutes as well. So, 2 hours later I got home having not made it anywhere near my French class. Grrr... hope the accident wasn't serious. Don't think it was from the radio coverage.

Got home and took the dog for a lovely sunny walk along the river, including a swim for her where I thought she was going to get washed down the river, it was running so strongly after all the rain we've had! I was all ready to lunge in but she pluckily managed to paddle back to shore and then turned round and asked me to throw another stick for her....daft mutt! Now I'm back, being good and avoiding the kitchen - gold stars please!!

Actually, just reading the 3 comments I've had so far to my "binge" confession, makes me realise what great support this blog has been. The worst thing you can do is avoid posting because you might feel down or distant from the diet. That is precisely the time you need the support the most. Not that I was actively avoiding it but I wasn't actively making time for posting either and then complacency and cheating set in. For me, it's like weighing myself every morning - it's a declaration of intent to follow the diet and stick to it for another day. I might not always suceed but it's a good start.

So thanks for your help and support, it is, as always, much appreciated.