Friday, 31 August 2007

Days 231 and 232 - final weigh in and carbfest 2007!!

I had my final Development weigh in on Wednesday night and had lost 2lbs. It could have been more if I'd stuck to abstinence but, as I am totally happy with where I am now, I didn't mind at all. Actually I was in a very celebratory frame of mind and feel fantastic. I wanted one day to revel in the fact that I HAVE HIT MY TARGET!!! I know the ticker says 5lbs to go but, when I set the target, I had no idea what I would look like or fit into at this weight so set it at the far end of what I might need to lose. I always caveated the target by saying that it would probably be somewhere between 8 and 9 stones to lose and I would know when I got there. The size 12 thing was more important to me than the lbs and ounces.

Now I'm there, I DO know and I feel great. In fact, I may be getting a bit small for some 12's....!

Anyway, after my class I KNEW I was going to eat at home and I did. Some toast, some crackers, a bowl of noodles and a bowl of icecream. Quite a lot really, but not high fat, not fried not (apart from the icecream) sweet stuff or processed and, really, not too bad. I don't even feel guilty about it. It was what I wanted to do.

I was a bit worried about the next day and whether I would want to carry it on but that didn't happen. Thursday morning, I was up with the lark for my personal training at 7am and, although I did have a small carb "hangover", did fine in training and had a perfectly abstinent 4 pack day! Weird. There were several opportunities to cheat at work - a choc cake, sandwiches etc etc, I could have had a milky coffee. I sort of tested myself on these things and found that I just wasn't interested. Even when D came home last night (absolutely knackered poor love) I was happy to cook him a nice supper (steak and onions with mash), make milky coffees etc and go the pub and not a flicker of desire to cheat. This is huge. I can control things ( at least a little bit).

Today, I'm working from home (well, I will be when I'm caught up on the blogs!!) and feel strong for another day. I'm sticking to the packs until I start RTM on Monday evening so Tuesday will be my first RTM day. I already know what my first permitted meal will be - smoked mackerel, mmmmm so tasty!

So - hope you're all well and happy and sticking to your regimes. We CAN do it!!!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Day 230 - Whoops!!

I got on the scales this morning to find that I was maybe 4 or 5 lbs lighter than last week - in other words, heading for a good weigh in tomorrow night!! So - did I renew my efforts, stick to abstinence and ensure that it's even better tomorrow??

Did I buggery.....

The extras I have scoffed today on Black Tuesday have been: a Wide Boy Pepperami; 2 small Danish cookies at work, 2 choc chip cookies (which I bought for the turfing man), 2 small crackers and a piece of beef cooked for the dog!!! NOT good Lesley, not good.

I think I just get complacent and relax my guard when I've had a good result (in this case a good weigh on the scales) and the cheats slide in. Crooked thinking all the way - "I've been good, I deserve it, I can get away with it". Or, I just plain forget to monitor myself as closely.

It's very annoying because it will probably all show on the scales tomorrow and I really wanted to lose at least 4 lbs this week!! Think I've probably blown it. Sigh....

That said, I'm not changing my plan - I'm slim enough and I'm bored of Development. I want to go onto RTM and I think I'm ready to cope. I've been planning for eating for a few days now, right down to when and where I'm going to go shopping for my first few meals!!

I spent a happy and expensive hour on the internet at lunch buying cooking apparatus: - a Foreman grill, some foil containers for cooking ahead and freezing, a grill cookbook and a couple of GI books and a few other foodie bits and pieces. I also got a new coffee maker 'cos ours has bust and an icecream maker (which sounds daft but it's something I've wanted for ages). I'll have to restrict myself to yoghurts for a while but I won't be using it often due to it being fiddley so I don't think it'll damage the regime unduly.

So - as for my targets?

1. Sticking to abstinence
A mixed result. 4 perfect days and 3 not so perfect. No uncontrolled binging but today's snacking was very scrambled and scattered eating. Not too bad and I still have another few days to go.

2. Losing 7 lbs before I start RTM on Monday
Well, If I'm good for the rest of the week until Monday I still might. It's not so important to me as I feel that I'm where I want to be now and to be honest don;t want to get much thinner. Definitely on;t want to get stringy and another few lbs might do that.

3. Read the RTM books and prepare
Done that and done lots of preparation and getting ready to cook again and change my culinary habits so that's been good.

Maybe all the focussing on food has made abstinence harder over these last few days and contributed to the snacking??

Anyway, I'm not going to beat myself up. What's done is done and I've learned from it. I know I can stop before a snack becomes a binge and I just need to keep being vigilant. When D is home it'll be easier as I'll have company around.

Day 229 - Bank Holiday Monday

It was a nice day but cold! When the sun came out it would briefly warm through but then another cloud would sweep across bringing another arctic shiver with it. This 'having no layer of blubber to keep you warm' has its downsides!!

I was up early doing yet more house and garden chores. I'm enjoying having the opportunity to sort and tidy and clear out little ventured into corners and cubbies. The house will never be a pristine affair (well apart from when we sell it!!) but it's definitely looking more spruce in the last week or so. My friend Jenny and her 2 kids were due to visit me mid morning and I realised that I had nothing in the house (bad hostess Lesley!) but instead of jumping in the car and nipping the mile or so down the road to the garage I called the dog and walked it! Very green and health conscious eh?

A nice walk, checked out the blackberry and elderberry picking spots and worked on the dog's heelwork. She's pretty good - I don't have her on the lead unless the path runs right alongside the busy main road. If there's a decent verge I can trust her to stay at my side and she's a lot happier being able to sniff around etc (when I let her of course!).

Jen came over and admired the work in progress garden. She's got a really good eye so I appreciated her suggestions for the finishing touches. The kids always seem happy to run around my house. I've no idea what they find to amuse themselves as we're not very child friendly really - think the electric reclining chair and the Kids/Games section on Sky mostly but also noticed my fitball and mini trampoline being called into action! They're only 4 and 6 but so self-contained - pretty much amused themselves!!

Jen, as befits her status as my oldest friend (we met on the first night in boarding school when I was 10 - she was in the bunk bed above me due to the fact of alphabetical order!!), was duly impressed by my weightloss and also openly pissed off that I'm skinnier than her now "Size 12 - well, really!!". She's ALWAYS been thinnner than me. Not once have I breached that barrier until now. Ouch!! True she has gained a few lbs over her holidays but I'm sure she'll lose those as she stays pretty much round the 12/14 mark. It was great to see her though and chat everything through and I know there's no 'edge' to her remarks - when you've been mates for as long as we have, you can say the unsayable...

We took the kids to the Hope Show which is a local agricultural/country fair. It was smaller than usual due to the ban on livestock movements but there was still a good crowd. The kids had a laugh; I met half the Valley and we watched the gundogs, the vulture and eagle flying display, the dancing diggers etc. I bought the final plants for my last empty bed near the pond and a good (if chilly) day was had by all.

I finished off the day with a few in the local pub then crashed out. Didn't sleep well though due to too many coffees trying to warm me up in the pub and suddenly getting cold feet about our party!! I started panicking in the way you do in the middle of the night when you're half asleep and there's nothing you can do about something!!

Still, I've got it in perspective this morning and I'm sure it'll be a good do. D will no doubt whinge along the way and we'll probably row about it but, if no-one stuck their head above the parapet and threw a big party once in a while, life would be a bit dull! It's a bit scary being the ones to go for it but worth it.

A girl I know a little came into the pub as I was leaving with her mother. I have a feeling it was a set up by the mum and they made a beeline for me. She's a very big girl in her 20's and her mum obviously wanted me to talk to her about LL. The girl, Emily, asked me what I'd done etc and took it all in but clearly wasn't ready. I did my best to explain it but could see the resistance in her eyes. I think she's tried so many things and failed that she was backing away from trying something else so as not to fail again. Her mum was clearly so hopeful that this would sink in - I tried not to preach and just told her - "It's brilliant, hard work but the results come quickly if you stick to it. When you're ready for a drastic solution, remember it and and come and talk to me about it". She might - you never know. She couldn't see past what she would be giving up to what she would be gaining though. Youth I suppose.

Actually, she was more excited about coming over and picking through my fat wardrobe which isn't a great sign!!

Anyway - a bit of a waffley post so I'll draw it to an inconclusive end. I feel as though I'm still processing what it means to be at the end of this stage of my journey. Like things are still a bit scrambled in my head but now there's more room for the thoughts and ideas to stretch out so they are falling into place. I definitely don't want to lose any more weight though - feel there isn't much left to go and don't want to get boney or stringy looking. I'm still very positive about RTM and adamant that I'll plan ahead anddo my best to stick to it.

Remind me to revisit my mini targets in my next post!!

Monday, 27 August 2007

Day 228 - Fab Sunday ii

A very quick late night post to finish off a great day.

Did chores and gardening all afternoon and very satisfying it was too. Then met Eric for a quick early doors drink as I haven't seen him all weekend. He said he thinks I've gone too far on the weight loss thing and preferred my physique about a stone ago but he didn't say it in a critical way or anything, just an honest opinion. I happen to prefer where I am now so that's that!

Then onto Castleton for a night out with a different crew. God - I was pleased to get out of my local pub. I love it etc but I feel like it's got a bit stale through overuse and being sober all the time doesn't help.

I saw a few people I haven't seen for a long time and had the inevitable diet-based conversations with them. To be honest, I'm still lapping them up but am conscious that I need to find a way of closing them down quicker because I'm turning into a one-trick pony, and not through my own choice - it's what "new" people want to talk about but I get it all the time so it can be a bit repetitive for me and, more to the point, the people I'm with who have to sit through the same conversations over and over!!
One of them I haven't seen for years and she genuinely didn't recognise me - she actually said, "I only know one Lesley from round here and you're not her....." then clapped her hand to her mouth when she realised it was me!! Really funny. She's a lesbian and kept saying how she'd really like to make a move on me but doesn't do that with married women.... not really relevant whether she does or not in my opinion but funny nonetheless. I took it as a compliment and in the spirit it was intended!

We ended up in a pub with a band on. They have a terrible name (Hot Bitch) but were excellent value as you can see from the photos. Despite the name they are all blokes and played metal and rock covers. Very good musicians and a fantastic singer (middle-aged doctor with long curly hair who could murder anything by AC/DC - what a combination!!). It sounds cheesy but was a brilliant bop and a right laugh.

I appreciated all the usual things you notice when you've lost weight:- non-hurty feet, not sweating on the dance floor, being able to dance for ages, getting chatted up by women (erm, no that's a new one...). Also loved the being sober thing:- my eyes don't go all vacant; I don't talk crap (much); I could drive home when I wanted to rather than having to wait on a taxi or try and cadge a lift; I know I'll feel fine in the morning.... the list goes on.

So - after a bit of a sad evening yesterday, I had a lovely day today. Hope you lot did too. Night night all..

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Day 228 - Sunday is better

Well, Sunday is only half way through but already I feel in a much more stable frame of mind. Had a good lie in and then went for a run with my friend Shelley. She hasn't been running for about 6 weeks due to being really busy at work and having a dodgy knee so, where she
normally forges ahead, I was right behind her and not puffing and panting either. I could have gone faster to be honest but there is no point in putting her under pressure so I took it steady.

It was a good long run - about an hour - which took us through some gorgeous countryside near Castleton. it also took us through a giant cement works on the way back - talk about from the the sublime to the ridiculous!! Still, people need Fluorspar (apparently!) so the cement works stays put in the middle of the Peak Park and many people are happy for the jobs round here believe me!).

I have been walking and running and exercising with Shelley for years and have always done my best to keep up and not hold her back but have always been the fatter, less fit friend. That didn't matter because what I lacked in speed, I made up for in determination so I actually got us out there exercising. Now though, it is nice to be on an equal footing with her. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower but able to keep up and do everything if not more.

As of this morning, we weigh the same on our scales, 10 stone 10lbs (that's not my LL weight, but my morning home scales weight which I go by more and more now). She's taller than me but has a lighter build and skinnier legs . I can't believe it really which is why I made Martin take the picture of us before we set out. I wanted to "see" for real the fact that I am, effectively, the same size as Shelley. To persuade my mind that I am slim. Sometimes you need proof because it still doesn't really feel like that in my head.

I remember back in March on St Patrick's day, Shelley and I went for a really good run and I posted pictures of me running. I had a lovely day and was beginning to really feel the progress. It was Day 65, I had lost over 50lbs and I was feeling great!! This is what I posted:

"I thought I had better prove that I do actually do all the running I talk about on the blog! I met up with Shelley at 10 yesterday (Saturday) and we set off up a massive hill! Nightmare - still, we got to the top then hit the fields and from then on had a lovely run. It was great being off the roads so Shelagh could flit betwen us and smell the smells in her doggie way. It's also good seeing new views of the Valley I live in although hopefully one day they won't all have my friend's backside in them (the views that is!). As you can see, she is a bit of a leggy girl so I don't keep up with her but I don't lag too far behind. On the upside I have way more willpower than Shelley so it is me who makes us get out there in the first place!
Anyway, the last photo is of me is running up Shelley's drive and I was well and truly knackered by then after about 4 very hilly and muddy miles!"

Times have REALLY changed. Hills don;t faze me, I'm not knackered at all even after a much longer and hillier run than that one (we don;t even do that one any more unless we're pushed for time as it is too short!). I was so happy back then but now I'm there, I've done it - what I set out to achieve has been achieved. I've reached my goal. Obviously, it's only the first part of the journey and I have still to manage my weight for the rest of my life but I can truly say that I've reached my target now even though I'd still like to shift the last couple of lbs. They're just technicalities - I'm slim now and that's what I've dreamed of for years, if not my entire life.

I can't really type now as my eyes are full of tears and I'm blubbing like a good 'un but it's great feeling. It's just sort of hit me - maybe because I've taken my foot off the accelerator today so I've been able to process what's happened to me and my body over the last few weeks.

So - no rest for the wicked. I'm going to get out in the garden for an hour or so then do some chores and car boot sorting (for NEXT week) and then hopefully get out and about in the Valley for a big night out. I was out last night and had a good time but it was quite quiet. I was also being hit on a bit which was flattering but a bit of a pain. My usual chums weren't around so I felt a bit "exposed" as a single woman even though there were loads of people I know - they weren't good friends, just pub mates, if you know what I mean.

Have a great day everyone. Thanks for sharing my big emotional moment with me. I feel that the ceiling should have opened up and a load of balloons shold have dropped down or something - like when Homer Simpson got his perfect 300 at the bowling alley!!

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Day 227 - Saturday is tricky

It's been a strange day. I was up early for my hair appointment and had a fantastic time there - how weird is that? I think of haircuts as awkward - all that time spent staring at yourself in the mirror is not great when your face is round and moon like! Now though I was chatting to my new hairdresser and really happy with the cut she gave me a few weeks ago. The only trouble is how fast it grew out - shaggy in less than 5 weeks! So, we had a good chat about life and weight and kids and all sorts and she chopped away. We then decided to dry it straight which I haven't done for ages. I didn't used to like it much - firstly it took so long when I had long hair and secondly, I didn't like the overall effect as, with a large body, I think you need lots of hair to balance it out - otherwise I thought I looked like a pinhead!

This time though, with my new short cut, it looked fab!! When it's straight, it's a bit like Victoria Beckham's cut although obviously not blonde and not perched on top of Skeletor's body!! I had my big shades in my bag and I was away!! Loved it.

I was really looking forward to showing it off tonight in the pub but, because the cut was so early this morning, it has already kinked and is not looking as good as it did this monring - shame! I'll try and smooth it down but don't have any straighteners (not being a girly girl) so think it'll be a compromise at best.

Then a bit of shopping - picked up 6 items in M&S and bought 5 of them (although one is going back, to be fair). What a result. Skinny shopping is AMAZING.

Wacthed a fantastic Zimbawean singing and dancing group in the shopping street (part of some Sheffield Festival of Culture of something). They were singing that unaccompanied African harmonic stuff, just clapping and singing and harmonising with about 8 male voices. While they were singing one or 2 of them would dance and it was so simple but just great - so vibrant and such a gorgeous, mellow sound. Took me back to my youth in Nigeria. I was, unfairly, a bit frustrated by how straight-laced we Brits are. Although I could tell that the crowd was really enjoying it, there was planty of applause and whistling after each dancer finished his bit etc, but no-one joined in the clapping or danced even a little. I suppose that's the way we are. I'm sure in other countries the crowd would have joined in more. I certainly wanted too but then I'm not typically British!

Then back home and picked up the keys to the holiday cottage which we completed on yesterday on the way back. Then out to my friends Martin and Shelley's place to see what they're up to and see if they wanted to check the cottage out with me. Shelley was in the middle of a 3-4 hour hair and nails appointment (much to Martin's incomprehension) so it was just Martin and I. The cottage is as lovely as I remembered it (thank God!) and, better still, it's totally furnished and ready for guests, right down to pictures on the wall, sheets on the bed, crockery and cleaning products in the cupboards! Everything you would expect in a holiday cottage is there - amazing.

The area is lovely and peaceful too so I was reassured that we've done the right thing.

After that - I was meant to be doing chores and preparing for a car boot sale tomorrow but couldn't get into it. Couldn't settle to anything. In the end I just got up and called the dog to go for a walk - anything just to get something done. I was intending a quickish walk round the fields (about half an hour) but ended up trying a new route across the golf course and back along the river. The dog was in seventh heaven with all the new smells and the walk was a good long one - about 90 minutes over hill and dale and including several swims for pooch. I really enjoyed it but by the time I got back it was too late to do the car boot stuff and my hair was frazzled (boo, hiss) and I still felt unsettled.

So, what did I do? Had my third food pack with a drink and spoke to D on the phone - good. Watched some telly - good. Sorted some books for the car boots NEXT weekend now - good.

Then that wasn't enough for some reason so ate a small can of tuna with cucumber and a teaspoon of mayo, about 3 tblsns of dry Alpen and 2 tblspns of vanilla icecream. - v. bad! I'm pissed off that, after 3 perfect days, I have succumbed to eating but am reasonably pleased that at least I ate properly. I will not have my 4th foodpack now and, what I ate, wasn't bad. I did enjoy it; it wasn't furtive cheating, eating. I feel full now and I've come up to here to get it all off my chest and make sure that I don't go downstairs to the kitchen hunting up more trouble. Compared to my bingy eating of last week this was totally different. I'm not pleased with it but it was at least controlled and reasonable stuff.

I remember the last time I went off the rails was in 2 evenings when D had just gone away. I felt at a loose end and unsettled/lonely. I realise that's what I feel now. I'm going to see my mates tonight in the pub but nothing is arranged so it may be a bit of a scramble. D is away and everyone else has their other halves around them. So I've turned to food. Not in a terribly self-destructive way but defiantly contrary to my big push this week. It's not great but at least I have learned from the experience. I MUST arrange company for the holiday weekends and not leave myself vulnerable to this feeling.

Still - I'll rustle up some chums for tonight's bonanza, sort my hair out and get out there in my new skinny jeans (if they'll go on after the tuna-LOL!) and all this angst will be forgotten.

Ready to re-commence the 10 day challenge afresh this evening.

I gather from the blogging silence that everyone is having a busy BH weekend. Be good!!

Day 226 - Day 2 of perfect abstinence in my "Final Push" challenge

Well - another good day under my belt.

I was up mega early doing some work from home before my day off kicked in. It was hectic but I just about got what I needed to do done before I had to race off to the Rugby Club Golf Day.

I'm too tired and it's too late to go into details but the weather was gorgeous; golf was rubbish; company was lovely and supportive (although started taking the piss as the beers mounted up!); and I stood firm against: bacon sarnies, sandwiches, soup, chips, crisps, roast beef dinner with sticky toffee pudding to follow, wine and copious amounts of beer!!

I did leave early to be honest as I couldn't see the point in watching them all eat so went to the pub and drank a gallon or so of sparkling water. Had a good time there too and one of my new outfits got an airing to general approval!

I must be retaining water as I drank like a camel and only peed once all night!! Eventually I felt ridiculously full and bloated so came home to eat my final pack and blog while I waited for D to phone me from the rig. I feel like a barrel now and my trousers were noticeably tighter by the end of the evening. Who cares though? It's nice to know that it'll all disappear over the next day or so and that I'm not stuffed because of over-indulgence even though it is a bit uncomfortable at the moment.

Anyway, I have an early haircut in Sheffield tomorrow so am going to be knackered if I don;t get to bed. Just wanted to report that I'd been good for another full day - it IS do-able!!

Night night all and have a great BH weekend!!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Day 225 - so far so good

It's been really hard sticking to the plan ABSOLUTELY today. I hadn't realised just how many tiny cheats had crept in to my everyday routine so that even good days were not perfect. Things like: I know you shouldn't eat mints as they can compromise ketosis but I have being having the very occasional Smint (tiny, sugar free breath mint) and had a packet in my handbag. The minute I knew I couldn't have any more, I wanted one all the more.
Or, I usually cut up a small slice of cheese into Shelagh's supper or give it to her as a treat and had been of the habit of sneaking a tiny piece of it each evening. That had to go. Or, every few days I would have a cup of tea with a splash of milk, etc etc
So I realise that what I was calling abstinence wasn't really abstinence anyway which had proably also contributed to my restlessness. I suspect I haven't been in ketosis for ages now, hence the increased hunger. Also, these tiny insignificant habits have a tendency to mount up when you look at them in the round.
SO - they've all gone and I've been pure as the driven snow yesterday evening and so far today!! No - really, I have...
And it's been hard but worth it.
I had personal training at 7am which was a shocker but excellent. I must appear to be the vainest woman in the world because I honestly cannot get enough of looking at myself in the floor to ceiling mirrors!! I just can't believe that it's me. I can see a bit of tummy and saggy underarms but that is nothing compared to the arm muscles and wide shoulders, athletic legs and flat tum. I know I sound like I'm bragging but it's more disbelief that I could ever be happy looking at myself wearing lycra leggings and a little tight lycra vest top that doesn't go anywhere near my hips!!
Anyway, on to work which was hectic. I did sneak out at lunchtime though as I had some errands to run and nipped into Dotty P's. I bought:- skinny jeans in size 12, a fitted v-neck sweater which is waist length and very va v voom ; a thin knit tunic top which comes down to mid thigh and is quite slinky so NO room for any bulges and some high heeled wedges. Once again, I can't believe that I can get into them and actually look nice in such unforgiving outfits and they're 12s!! I'm going to get D to take a picture of me in one of the outfits in the hallway and post it when he gets back from the rig.
Early evening was the golf driving range with a pal who wants to learn golf. That was good because it took my mind off eating and shortened the evening at home. I joined the lads for a couple in the pub early doors which has the same result. Then a quick walk round the fields with Shelagh (no bird action for her this evening I'm afraid) and home to the computer. It's going well as I still have one pack left to eat and I'm pretty confident that I'm going to make it without breaking.
I'm playing golf all day tomorrow in the local Rugby Club Golf Day (11 holes in the morning and 18 in the afternoon) so that'll keep me busy and away from food (Oh - apart from the bacon sarnies first thing, lunch (soup, sandwiches and chips) and roast dinner.....aaaargh!!).
Fingers crossed for me - NO chips in passing or corners of bacon, Lesley - that means NONE/ZERO/NADA/ZILCH!!!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Day 224 - Sunny walk and weigh in

As you can see from the ticker I only lost 1lb last week. I know this is because I sabotaged myself by eating in a pretty uncontrolled manner on Thursday and Friday of last week. On the plus side, I'm pleased that I managed to rein in the eating almost totally after that and have had several very good days. I'm pleased that I kept up the exercise all the way through too, even on the days that I ate.

I'm not pleased that I ate though and I'm especially not pleased with the manner in which I ate - there were definitely bingy type overtones to it. I was determined to eat - I actually
stopped at a garage and bought milk, ostensibly for my friends but they weren't arriving until Saturday so there was no need to buy it on Friday evening - I KNEW what I was sub-consciously planning to do...!!

So - what am I going to do about it?? As I said last week, I'm going to do Development for one more week and then start Route To Management on the following Monday. However, I want to go into RTM in a positive frame of mind and be ready to follow it to the letter as per Mrs Lard's instructions. So - I'm determined to have a really good 10 days and give myself every chance to lose the last 7 lbs in that time. I know that is do-able for me. If I'm perfectly abstinent this week, I could even lost it this week!! So that's the plan!


  1. To be TOTALLY abstinent over the next 10 days
  2. To lose 7 lbs before I start RTM on Monday 3 September
  3. To read the RTM books before I start the programme (which I didn't do in Development - I didn't pick up the Green Book for the whole time and feel the poorer for it)

I'll set new targets when I get to RTM and will evaluate how I did on these ones then too. I will have a buddy in this endeavour. Tracey from my class (the woman who has lost over 10 stone!) was planning on going into RTM this Monday but went a bit mad last week and managed to GAIN 4lbs! It's the first time in over 10 months on the programme that she has had a gain and she's pissed off with herself. So, she's going to do one more week and start RTM on the same Monday as me. We're setting ourselves the same challenge.

Anyway, I played golf this morning which was good but very windy and I seem to have picked up a banging and persistent headache from that. I worked from home in the afternoon and then took the dog out onto Bamford Edge for a walk in the sunshine. That was really windy again and now the headache is pretty insistent. I've taken the edge off with tablets but it's not gone away. I haven't had a headache for months so this is a strange feeling. Anyway, I'm resisting the urge to medicate myself with food.

I hope you like the pictures. It wasn't an ideal afternoon for photography - it was very bright, windy and slightly hazy so everything has that "white light" feeling to it. I love the one of Shelagh on the rock though - I think it looks like one of those seventies studio portraits with a fake background behind her!! The one of me and Shelagh is also amusing - she just hurled herself into my arms for a cuddle as the self-timer clicked.

I love it up on the edge - - it's close to where they filmed parts of Jane Eyre (both the Keira Knightley version and the latest BBC serial) and it's got that lovely wild, open feel to it.

Anyway, I'm off to watch Heroes and resist eating any unauthorised food. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Day 223 - Tuesday again

A bit of a nothing-y day today. I worked hard at work but didn't really get anywhere - just kept getting dragged from one task to another so it was rather dissatisfying. You get days like though so no biggie.

Mindful of my problem with early evenings and knowing that I didn't have anything planned for this evening, I texted various mates and met the lads in the pub for early doors drinks at 6pm. It was pretty good, got a few waters in me and got me over the 5-7pm danger spot. I could have gone for another run but am playing golf tomorrow morning and ran last night. I don't want to get obsessional about it!!

It's such a little male enclave at that time - quite enjoyed it but wouldn't want to go out every night. It's very useful though as I had several queries about builders, hog roasts, marquee hire, plasterers, presents for Diarmuid, and a few other things and was able to pick their brains en masse. It's a very useful resource the pub - if you don't know something, there's bound to be someone there who does!!

It's Diarmuid's 40th birthday in September and I've finally persuaded him to let me throw a party for him. He was not keen but I've worn him down and he's agreed. I knew he would eventually and I know he'll pitch in and really enjoy it ultimately. I wanted to have a party as we've been quiet this year due to me being on LL. He's 40 for God's sake and I'm thin!! We might be living in France this time next year (although I suspect not quite!) so we should grab the chance while we can. Also - it'll be a good target to have to make sure that we totally finish the garden - D is a bugger for leaving jobs not QUITE finished - this way he won't! Sneaky eh?

So, it's set for 22 September. I think I'm going to make it a catered Hog Roast so I don't have to cook masses of food - just salads and sides and desserts. I'm still tinkering with the plans - not sure whether to be an evening or late afternoon do but, as it's the end of September, we will definitely need a reasonably secure mini marquee with heaters. If there are loads of kids likely to be coming, I'll hire a Bouncy Castle but otherwise not. Lots of lighting and candles round the garden and near the pond (which will be fenced off!! I'd like fireworks but will have to check with the neighbours due to 2 lots of stables full of horses on either side of us so suspect that might be a non-starter!

Music could be tricky - I think I'll have to rope in various more musically up-to-date pals to get me sorted with a Ipod party playlist so I don't have to worry about it.

I'm going to sort the invites out this weekend (before, if I get round to it) and then get bashing away at the outstanding garden chores. Chief of which is making SURE that the turfing guy is coming next week as promised!!! That would be a disaster - a garden with no grass!

The present thing is really tricky - can't go into detail in case he lurks here (which I don't think he does but he might - hello D, if you do - love you!!). He's the sort of guy who tends to get himself what he wants or needs so extras are hard to think of. I have a plan but it depends whether he's off the rig at the right time and now, with the likelihood of his rota changing around November time, it's almost impossible to be certain. I remember this happening a few years ago and, for a while, we just couldn't plan anything in advance - most frustrating when you've got used to a steady rota.

When I got home, I had my lemon bar and black tea then set to clearing out a couple of cupboards and chucking, recycling or putting in the Car Boot box. Most satisfying although the recycling won by far and the Car Boot box is looking a bit sparse. Maybe tomorrow night's cupboards will yield a better result.

So - all in all a good day and I have golf tomorrow morning to look forward to, followed by working from home in the afternoon. I have my weigh in but, frankly, don't expect to lose much, if anything. The cheating fromThursday and Friday seems to have really hurt me and I've stayed solid on the scales since last week.

I must say, this makes me worry about how I will possibly be able to go back to eating a "normal" diet. I've been thinking aout this for a while. At the moment, I'm eating 550 calories or so on the packs and, on a bad week, cheats of, at most a few hundred calories on 2, at most 3 days a week. I'm exercising quite a lot and on that, on a bad week, I'm just scraping a lb off. That's on a diet of only around 1000 calories for a couple of days out of the week with the remainder at 550-650 and I'm still only just staying the same!! How can I ever sustain my weight going forward?? I have to say that, the closer I get to finishing, the more worried I am about this. Going to tackle my LLC about it tomorrow because the stats are seriously concerning me. Is it a depressed metabolism - in which case, I have only to stick it out for a few months and it should return to normal (according to Peridot's nutritionist!!). Is it something more sinister?? God, I hope not!

Anyway, less of the doom and gloom - I'm sure it must be possible to sort this out so I'll stop borrowing trouble and report what the LLC says tomorrow.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Day 222 - Monday equals Run Day

Actually I'm cheating (again) because I took these photos last Thursday! I went on a lovely run up Win Hill in the evening sunshine. I'm missing the sunshine so much that, when I had a choice of routes (at the signpost), I actually chose the uphill route because it would take me into the sunshine whereas the flatter router was in the shade.....I really miss the summer this year....sigh...
Anyway, I didn't have time to post them last week and it was so grey and cold and miserable today I thought it would cheer me up to have them on my blog! I did go out for a good run this evening though, just didn't take my camera due to the clouds! I'm not cheating that much!!

I had a really productive day today - did loads of chores and ticked masses of items off both my home list and my work list. They were mostly the sort of smallish task that gets left behind because they're fiddley and not really intrinsically important but they need to be done sometime! I had a full day of clearing up crap, in other words!!

The process of our buying the holiday cottage is finally coming to a conclusion - we've not really pushed it but it looks as though we should complete on Friday. I'm going to meet up with the sellers to have a chat about their accounts and customers before we do though - it's been hard to do that before as they've been abroad.

My productivity continued once I got home - I went out for my run and then, instead of showering and heading to the pub as I usually do on a Monday, I got stuck into doing some paperwork and clearing my wardrobe out. I've sorted the whole lot - a pile of size 14/16's to give to friends, a pile for the charity bag, a pile of the larger stuff for ebay and a few things left that still fit me!! I have kept a few of the size 14's which are not actually falling off me for gardening and slobbing round in and a few of the nicer items which I might try and have taken in but, apart from that, there is not much left! My work wardrobe is decidedly thin (if you'll pardon the pun) as the only 2 skirts I kept are very baggy!

My run was good - part way round I met my mate Kate running in the opposite direction so we stopped for a chat. We've set a running date for Friday night which will be good as I have trouble forcing myself out to run on Fridays and, if I go then, it'll leave more of the weekend free. Anyway, because we'd stopped, I was fresher when I got to a crossroads and therefore chose the longer route. It meant an absolute bugger of a hill - really long and steadily steep - but it made my run into a good solid 50 minutes at a really good pace. I was chuffed.

Amanda - I was thinking about what you said about breathing while jogging while I was out this evening. I'm not sure if it's of any use, but I worked out that I breathe in and out through my mouth and I tend to time the breaths with either 2 or 3 steps, depending on how fast I'm going. So, if I'm going fast, I'll breathe in for 2 steps and out for 2 steps. If I'm going more steadily, it's 3 in and 3 out. I always keep it even though so I'm in a rhythm with the strides and breaths and I never do uneven 2 in 3 out or anything like that - maybe that's what you need to focus on; slow rhythmic breathing to match your strides, then walk when you feel that you can't keep it up any more, then start up again when your breathing is back under control?? I don;t know if that is the "right" way to do it (if there is such a thing) as I've never had an issue with my breathing, it just seems to come naturally to me. Just a thought. Good luck.

I did something else that I've never done today too - I was idly thinking ahead to midweek footie game and how Jim and I always meet up at Pizza Hut. I was wondering what I should eat there as the non-pizza options on the menu aren't extensive. So I looked up with the menu on the internet and noticed a "Nutritional Values" button. I checked out all the various options and worked out that the Warm Chicken Salad is by far the best option! I might have guessed that the Chicken Caesar Salad or Chicken and Bacon Salad wouldn't have much different but, Boy, would I have been wrong?? A good 400 caories different and that's not even taking into account the massive gulf between the relative fat contents etc. So - PLANNING is King once again!

This diet must be changing me because I would NEVER have thought of doing something like that in the past and would have probably ended up, without the advance planning, either having a fatty "salad" or giving in entirely and going for a pizza!! Not going to do that now.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Day 221 - Rainy Sunday

My friends left reasonably early this morning - they had things to get to and I was going to meet my mate Jim before the first home football match of the season. I was up really early (about 8am after reading for a while - on a Sunday!) probably because I was so childishly excited about the footie.

So got up and did loads of (quiet) kitchen chores while the other 2 lay-in. Cleaned the fridge, the oven and cleared various cupboards out! It was very refreshing and a nice feeling to have a v spruce kitchen again. I think because I haven't been cooking, I haven't noticed that it had got a little, erm, grubby shall we say! D cleans and wipes but not to one's own standards I find. Anyway - it's lovely and sparkley now, ready for me to restock and start cooking in a few weeks time!!

We took the dog for a shortish walk and got caught about 200m from the house in a downpour and then said our goodbyes. It's been lovely seeing them and we're all at turning points in our lives so we had lots to talk about. Angela left with a massive stack of my larger clothes so I have some room in my wardrobe too which is a bonus!

Met Jim in the pub as usual and he was full of shock at the transformation - he last saw me in May at the cricket in Headingley and I suppose I've dropped a couple of sizes since then. He said my face was the most different thing - that it had changed a lot although I don't really see that.

What was funny was all the other football regulars. We sort of know each other after years of meeting at the same pub before the game every other Saturday during the season but not names or anything - quite a few came up and made comments about "where had I gone?" etc and the bar staff as well. It was really good fun. I'm sure the guys on the table next to us thought we were mad though as Jim was commenting on my disappearing bust and asking about saggy skin etc etc - he's very in touch with his feminine side is Jim (although not gay or anything - he'd want me to assure you!!).

Onto the game itself and, as I'd hoped the people who sit round us made a big fuss of me - Roy gave me a big hug and a kiss, the blind bloke's Mum asked me all about it and then had to explain to her son what everyone was going on about! Even the young lads (@19 or 20) who sit in front of us withdrew from their youthful self-absorbtion to mutter a comment. It's a nice little community and everyone was really sweet.

I appreciated the game more too - no worrying about squashing my neighbour's leg or panting while climbing the stairs to the top of the Kop. I bounced down to the Ladies, missed our only goal while I was in there and then ran back up. A totally different experience.

For the record - Wednesday played reasonably well but lost 1-3 in a pretty bad tempered and poorly refereed match against Wolves. It's going to be a long old season and I don't think we're going to get much joy out of it!

One other thing to report - anticipating my evening weakness before we left the house, I insisted that my friends threw away the milk and bread I'd bought in for them and took away any cold meat and houmous left over from last night. I was so happy that I did when I was strong this morning as I'm sure I would have succumbed when got back in tired and hungry after the game. So - planning is all.

Now I'm heading out for a run - wonder if the dog will come with me??! Doubt it - traitorous little bitch...

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Day 220 - Sunny Saturday and Fat Trousers!!

This'll be a really quick one 'cos I've got guests eating their supper downstairs.
Just wanted to say that I've felt great all day today and not been in the slightest bit tempted to eat despite having guests and being in and out of coffee shops etc all day.
I was giving Angela a load of my old clothes and came across my "fattest" trousers. I've tried them on before and not wanted to post piccies as I was so ashamed of how big I was. This time, though, it was funnier and so I'll let you peek!!
Amazing isn't it? I can't get over the fact that I'm the same woman who used to wear those trousers. Admittedly, they were never tight on me but still!! We nearly did the cliched "2 people in one pair of trousers" shot but restrained ourselves.
Anyway - must dash now. Thanks for all your lovely support yesterday - it is just fantastic and makes ALL the difference. MMWWAAHHH!!

Friday, 17 August 2007

Day 218 and 219 - Black Thursday and Grey Friday

Sorry kids, to be grumpy but I thought I'd better post about it in the hopes of sorting it out in my head. I've been kind of down the last couple of days. Maybe 'cos D is away so I haven't got someone at home to jolly me along, maybe because I've eaten a fair bit both evenings after having good diet days. Eaten consciously and far too much. Not too much in the real world and not bad stuff really but too much in LL when I'm only 2 weeks away from going into Management.

I've been rubbish at work too - hardly able to concentrate and just drifting through the days. And then losing myself in books for hours on end at home and not really doing anything.

I hope it's just a phase but I remember doing this a lot of the time before LL and it didn't make me happy.

The one good thing is that I've exercised both evenings - a good long run in the sunshine up Win Hill last night and a really hard session with the personal trainer this evening followed by a walk with the dog. So at least that isn't sliding. After the exercise, I feel a lot better and have no temptation to eat whatsoever. It really is a concentrated period of my day (around 5-7pm)where I have allowed myself to lose control and revelled in the eating thing.

I've tried to analyse why and do a thought record but I genuinely can't work it out. It'll come I suppose. In the meantime, I need to avoid temptation in that period and get more active as this sitting around is pissing me off.

Having said that, I've just had a nice long bath with a book and am going to watch some telly and have an early night. I have a couple of friends visiting tomorrow so they'll probably cheer me up and then there's the footie on Sunday. So things are looking up and I'm just being a grumpy guts for no real reason!!

I'm glad I dragged myself over here to the computer as I feel better already. I really didn't want to post - wanted to hide like Cath said on hers (welcome back cath by the way!!) - but I'm glad I did. Night night all.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Hi Hopefilly!

Thanks for popping in! 5 stone 5lbs!! That is faaaantastic!! I remember our early email exchange and it's great to hear how well you've done. I'm so pleased for you and so pleased that you let me know how you were getting on. Only a stone to go you say - well, keep it up and you'll be there in a few weeks - then comes the fun part!

Day 217 - Weigh in time again

So, I had a nice solid 4 lb loss this evening. I'm pretty pleased with it although, to be honest, my home scales were hinting that it might be more.... hey ho, 4lbs is 4 lbs and you can't argue with that!
The more observant of you will have noticed that my ticker has not gone down by 4 lbs and that my BMI seems to have changed. Well, while doing my blog spring clean yesterday I looked back and realised that some dodgy maths had occurred and I'd been reporting a fraudulent weight loss by a whole 2 lbs!! I must throw myself at your collective feet and beg for mercy for this inaccurate reporting - not intentional I assure you!
Re the BMI, I was guessing at my height when I created the ticker and the proper LL measurement confirms that I'm 5'6" not 5'7" as I've been pretending to myself for years!
So, we're all straight now - I know where I am and I've made some decisions about Maintenance etc: D said again last night that he thinks I've lost enough and he's not just saying it - he means he thinks I'm getting a bit too thin. I still want to go for my target but the motivation is not quite there. So, I've decided that I'm going to stick it out for the next couple of weeks as I originally said I would and try and lose the final 8lbs but, whatever happens, I'm going into Maintenance after that. Decision made. It feels good to know where I am and where I'm going and now I can start looking at the GI diet which is I think the plan I'd like to follow (roughly) for life.
Anyway, I had a very intense and busy day at work with back to back meetings. I saw a solicitor who I hadn't seen since March and she just stared - took me a while to click into why she looked so shocked. When I told her how much I'd lost she laughed and said that I'd lost more than she weighs! She's only tiny! The main meeting I was in between 12 and 4pm was a bit of a nightmare with a variety of sandwichs and fried goodies (samosas, satays, etc) followed by a tray of yummy looking cakes which sat there in front of us for the whole time. I resisted of course, especially with the weigh in looming!
I wonder, though, if I hadn't told all my colleagues about the diet, whether I would have been as sucessful at resisting such goodies over the last few months?? I think the fact that all my colleagues know that I'm not eating ensures that I'm too proud to approach the snack table or scarf down a cream bun in a meeting!
After my weigh in I raced over to meet a friend and we went for a lovely walk through the fields down to her local for a quick drink and a catch up. She was full of admiration too and we had a really nice evening. Her husband hasn't seen me since Christmas so his jaw nearly hit the floor and he kept repeating himself - "you look amazing"...."I can't believe it...." etc etc
So - a nice day and now an early night as I have a big day ahead of me tomorrow which starts with dropping the dog off at the farmplace (D has gone back to the rig today) and the car to the garage and walking from there to the station to catch the 6.37am train!!! This is very early for me....I'm not looking forward to it.....night night...

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Day 216 - Tuesday at home

As you can see, I've had a bit of a spring clean of the blog - added some links to you lovely people and calculated exactly how many days I've been doing the programme (well, I was off it for a bit in Canada but it was never forgotten!).
The pictures are a teensy wee cheat - I actually took them last Tuesday on my way back from my french class as I was driving through the Chatsworth estate. It was such a gorgeous evening and the sky was full of balloons (there were at least 4 in view). I forgot to post them though so saved them for tonight to cheer up a miserable rainy day!
I did drive through Chatsworth again this evening and, although the sun did peek through the clouds, it was not nearly as beautiful. It took ages too as I hit animal moving time - great flocks of sheep and herds of cattle and a smaller herd of deer were all trundling in opposite directions along and across the road. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to their movements - some were going in one direction; others in another; some just standing in the middle of the road pondering the meaning of life from what I could tell. Still, with the low sunshine it was quite a sight and I didn't mind idling until they'd all decided which side of the road they wanted to be on.....
I ended up working from home tody as the only doctor's appointment I could get was at 11.30 (although, predictably, I didn't see the doctor until well after 12 being the last appointment of the morning!) and with the hour's drive to Rotherham and my french there would have been hardly any point in going. I was quite productive (although I admit that quite a few home chores got done too!!). D enjoys it when I'm around, especially as it's his last day before heading back to the rig. He kept sticking his head round the door and making spurious excuses to interrupt me!
I must also admit to scarfing down a few mouthfuls of chicken and a small (about 2 inches of a small loaf) piece of french bread with butter! All very irritating considering that it's my weigh in tomorrow. I hope I don't live to regret it. I forced myself out for a very brisk but short run this evening after french (it's getting dark earlier now so I couldn't go too far) and that seems to have stopped the rot for the day. It's weird really as my chatterbox was not loud at all today and yet I gave in to temptation - whereas yesterday it was giving it laldy and I resisted! Maybe I'm just a girl who needs a challenge to bring out the best in her..... Easy Street don't suit me...
That said - I still have 2 packs to eat so I'm going to head down to the sofa for a chicken muffin and chocolate/coffee - Mmmmm, hmmmm!

New Start 43 (ii) - Poorly Monday

I think I know why I was so tempted all day yesterday - I wasn't well. I've got cystitis but thought it had gone away after treating it with an over the counter remedy over the weekend. Probably all the water I drink masked the symptons too. Well, it hadn't gone away and came back with a vengeance over the course of the day once the treatment had run out! God - it's painful and miserable. It got worse towards evening time and it's obviously gone to my kidneys because I feel as though I've been punched in them repeatedly!!

So - I had a quiet night. D took me for a stroll in the last of the sunshine which was nice - nothing energetic just a pleasant wander round the old railway track and over the stepping stones. We went through the dog's favourite swallow field so she had a blast and she also had a good swim at the Mill. D's been really good with me being poorly - doing all the housework, trying to cheer me up and coming back from the pub when I asked, ie. when I'd finished doing the house buying chores and wanted diversion!!

Foodwise - I took Mrs's advice and stayed away from the kitchen - I even wrote "STOP!" on the back of my hand and it worked!! I had a completely abstinent day - right down to the last mouthful. I feel great about that and confident that I will be able to do it again.

As of this morning, the scales are showing a decent loss so I have to keep that up until tomorrow evening's weigh in. I'm also off to the doctor's this morning so hopefully the cystitis will be a thing of the past soon. I'm feeling a lot better this morning but you always do feel better in the mornings so I'm not fooled that it's gone....

I'm looking forward to a better day today anyway.

Monday, 13 August 2007

New Start 43 (i)

A quick note for Mrs! I seem to be "walking round the hole" (translation - resisting food temptation) a hell of a lot today and, just when I get round one hole, there's another one waiting there in the sidewalk for me! How come some days there is temptation everywhere and you can't seem to get it off your mind and other days you glide through without thinking about food??

The good thing is I haven't sucumbed to the temptation and, for that, the poem has been very helpful. The bad one is, that I know that, in the past, when I've resisted for ages, I'm more likely to give in in a weak moment. So now I'm nervous about this evening at home. I'm determined to change that pattern.

Wish me luck!

New Start 42 - Sunday

Another good day although less productive than my Saturday. I had a good long chat with Mum and Dad before they left at 12 but must admit to chafing slightly at the inactivity. I realise how busy I am generally now (similar to what Antonia was saying on her blog) so sitting and chatting for a couple of hours was quite difficult.

I have been trying to (gently) encourage my parents to be more active but could see that Dad wasn't going to go for a walk as the weather was very changeable in the morning. (Mum is a bit of a lost cause at the moment - she has no interest in exercising and is incredibly stubborn so that's that I'm afraid.) I was chatting to Dad about steps etc and trying to do 10,000 and it seemed to catch his interest so I dug out one of the many pedometers littering my house and passed it over. It was hilarious - he was striding round the house, counting his steps and then checking the screen to see how accurate it was. He's taken it with him so I'm sure I'll have an update as to how many he manages over the next week!!

After his heart attack and bypass op about 12 years ago he used to go for a walk every day but, in recent years, this has fallen by the wayside. He does more gardening now that Mum is less active but not much aerobic stuff. I'm hoping that the step thing and the pedometer will spark his interest and get him back to walking round the village again. He always takes Shelagh out when she stays with them! So - it's not just you lot that I bully into exercising - the next challenge will be getting Diarmuid to do something!!

D arrived home from Wales shortly after they left and told tales of his big adventure. I posted the picture of him with his dogfish 'cos he looks so proud of himself! He was tired out but couldn't resist unpacking the new garden furniture which was delivered on Saturday. It's a boy thing - he must unwrap any parcel immediately even if it won't be used for a while!

I'm really pleased with the furniture. There's a big table which extends to seat 10 easily, 8 folding armchairs with cushions and a parasol. The table and chairs are made of Acacia hardwood and the cushions and parasol are a nice shade of linen/cream. It was a fantastic deal on the internet. I'm told that garden furniture is cheap at the moment because of the terrible summer. I remember looking at this set wistfully back in April because it was well over a grand and over my budget - I got it this week for £429 including the cushions and parasol!! Bargain or what?! It'll look good in France too...

I can't WAIT to have people round for a meal/bbq in the new garden - it's so close now. We sat at the table and stared at each other while making a list of all the tidying up things which still have to be done. We then made coffees, snacks and packs up etc and had a happy half hour down by the pond. It really is nice down there - we would never have put in a pond if we hadn't employed a garden designer but we're so pleased we did - it gives us a reason to come down to the end of the garden and sit on the deck. The designer did the design and the planting plan and we have done all the work and I'm sure the garden is SO much better than if we'd economised and made it up ourselves. One of the best couple of hundred quid we've spent on the garden to be honest!

I went for a good long run in the early evening sunshine with the dog. I wasn't in the mood for big hills yesterday so ended up running up the old railway track to the dams, round the dams to a little cove called Raspberry Bay (because of all the wild raspberries that grow there - and, yes, I did have some of the late stragglers - delicious!) and then back up to a pub on the main road a few miles outside the village. It has a sunny front seating area so the dog and I sat out there and waited for D to come up and join us. I got chatting to a couple of bikers who always stop at that pub as it's on a good biker road and D told me later that he had felt a novel sensation of proprietory pride/jealousy when he walked up to see me chatting to them and clocked them checking out my backside (in tight lycra) as we left!!

We had a really good talk yesterday evening about how proud he is of me now and how happy. I tried to keep his feet on the ground a bit to say that I've not totally cracked it, that this is a long long journey but I knew he wasnt' really taking it in. He got all emotional which was really lovely for me but I'm not like that - more realistic, less emotional - I KNOW the struggles I have ahead and the likelihood (to be fair and frank) that I will regain at least some of this weight. Maybe it's our different heritages: D is a romantic Celt through and through and is totally black and white about things so he is happy and thinks this is it. I'm more hard headed and aware of the shades of grey so see the big picture stretching into the future. I really enjoyed his pleasure though and am pleased that he could take me with him and his enthusiasm.

Hope you all had a good weekend and have a good diet week.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

New Start 41 - Sunny Saturday

It was great to have a day to myself with nothing planned and no-one to answer to, and it was sunny! I sent my parents off to their party then did some chores around the house (nothing nasty!) then met up with my friend Stacey and her mad dog Josie for a walk. I hadn't done that route before and it was lovely. A classic english country scene of sheep filled fields; stiles; little farm places; hills and streams. It was a good long walk, took nearly 2 hours, so the dogs were tired and happy and we'd covered all the topics under the sun by the time we got in.
Stace and I have known each other for years. We met at the College of Law in Chester in 1991 and she met her husband up here when visiting me for a weekend 4 or 5 years ago. Jim is a local friend of ours. Since then, she gave up her job as a very high powered City solicitor and moved up to the Hope Valley, did a Media Studies Masters and is now one of 2 Directors of a film making company with a couple of feature films in production! I often think about how brave and fearless she has been in totally changing her life around. She has gone from the definition of urbanite - born in Glasgow, lived in London and Hong Kong, couldn't even drive until she was over 30! - to a country wench with wellies and fleeces in her hallway. But, she hasn't compromised much on her career ambitions, merely changed the focus of them.
She and I are rapidly becoming the last of our circle of friends not to have children and we were discussing this during our walk. We have both come round to the idea of children but have reservations (me less so I think). It was good to click back into the old ways as, even though she lives so close, we don't see as much of each other as we'd like.
Anyway, we both had things to do - so after the walk I left her to her script and headed back to my garden. 3 hours of hacking away at overgrown shrubs and clearing the pond later, my arms were covered in scratches and I had a satisfied glow!! I'm really looking forward to the time when gardening is a nice mellow activity involving a trowel and a pair of secateurs, rather than a monstrous battle with great trees and shrubs and acres of mud!! One day...
Mum and Dad returned happy after their day of nostalgia - they had met people they hadn't seen for decades! Old friends and colleagues from their lifetime working in Nigeria - it must have been a real old colonial gathering!! They were full of tales of people I could only dimly rememer but I ummed and aaahed in the right places and was happy to see them so happy.
Quick few drinks in the pub with dad and then an early night. Very happy day. Hope yours was too.
D texted me from the campsite in Anglesey to say that he'd only caught one Dogfish, sea fishing was really "hard" and he was sitting in a cold tent listening to the rain beating down!! Don't think he'll be rushing back to a fishing weekend with this group of lads again!!! I'll cook him a nice supper tonight to make up for it!
Diet not too bad - a pick at some chicken but nothing bad....

Saturday, 11 August 2007

New Start 40 - Friday means party time

I had a pretty good day at work. Not perfect diet wise unfortunately as I started with a skinny capp on the station on the way in. Daft, daft daft. Falling in that hole again.

Left reasonably early as Mum and Dad were due and I was on the trian and had to pick up the car and the dog before getting home. It was a pleasant evening so was sat out by the pond reading and eating my bar and tea when the parents arrived. Shelagh was funny as ever, she was with me and spotted Dad at the other end of the garden before I did. She didn't make a sound - no barking or whimpering - she just set off down the garden like a bullet. Straight at Dad and in seconds was rollong on her back at his feet in ecstasy. True love on both sides!

The Olds admired my soon to be splendid garden and skinny physique and I fed them a snackette so we were quits.

I left them settled in front of the telly fighting over the dog (and the remote) and went off to the 40th birthday party I was due to go to. It was held in a barn in a field half a mile away so very convenient. I was mindful of the cold so wore jeans and trainers which left my mother somewhat nonplussed - "I thought you were going to a party!!".

It's a lovely venue, open to the hills and really remote so you can be noisy and feel free. The barn is kitted out with a dancefloor and a bar and an open but covered area for eating- perfect. I didn't know that many people but enough and initially went through that slightly awkward feeling when I go to something on my own, especially I wasn't eating or drinking so didn't have that social prop. That soon passed and we got down to the serious business of dancing the night away.

I LOVE dancing nowadays! I always used to like it but after a couple of tracks I would start to sweat and my hair would get wet or my feet would hurt or I just felt self conscious about being the fattest person on the dancefloor. Now, there's no such issues and I can dance all night without stopping and love every minute. I can be more inventive about how I dance, funnier steps, cooler moves - I just love it. And it doesn't seem to matter that I don't drink - I can dance sober now! Brilliant.

I like the photo too - Yes - the 2 other women are really tall. I'm 5'6" but they are at least 6' each and one was wearing heels! But - for years I've looked at them and admired their slim figures - now I can see that I'm easily as slim as they are and probably a little younger looking too. My world has tilted on its axis - again!!

I left , sober and happy at 12.30 and must admit to grabbing a mini bhaji on the way out! Why? Opportunity - that's all it can be. I had resisted cake, curry and booze all evening but unthinkingly grabbed something I didn't even really want on the way out. I'm weird.

Still, I did dance for about 2 solid hours so doubt it will be a problem.

Friday, 10 August 2007

New Start 39

First up - thanks for all your positive posts about my fears regarding keeping the weight off. it's obviously a common concern but we won't know until we try and I'd rather be trying to maintain my weight at 10 or 11 stone something than 19 stone plus!!!

Guinea - you are spot on - I'd LOVE to see a survey showing who keeps the weight off after what diet etc but you NEVER see that information....

Secondly, I've been meaning to answer your question Mrs, about the running, so here goes: I generally run 3 times a week for between 50 minutes and an hour and 15/20 minutes. How long and how far I go depends on how I feel, how much time I have and how hilly the route is. I'm not really one for marking out distances and times etc as I prefer enjoying the scenery and freedom/challenge of running new routes etc. I reckon I usually run a minimum of 5 miles though and often up to 7/8, maybe more. I stopped wearing a pedometer ages ago because it had been set to a very old step length (when I was slower and fatter - tee hee!!) so was very inaccurate. So, all guesswork.

I think because of living where I live, I appreciate getting out and seeing new places and even old places from different angles or at different seasons. The open moors or quiet, hidden country paths are my favourites. Hving said that, I can do urban running too as I've recently taken up a once a week lunchtime run round Rotherham! It's not quite as pretty (!!) but you get to nose round some interesting spots and see a lot more of the town than usual. I tend to incorporate some running along the canal in Roth which is incredibly industrial and somewhat seedy but fascinating.

Anyway - Thursday was a very good diet day - spotless in fact. I repeated the poem mantra to myself whenever I felt tempted to go down to the kitchen for some nameless reason (ie. to nose around the cupboards or fridge!!) - "Walk round the hole, Lesley, walk around it!!". And it works! Thanks for that poem Mrs, it's been a lifesaver recently.

The lovely Huw is back from his holidays so I had personal training again. He's still lovely and toned and tanned so that was nice! He said I had shrunk in the time he'd been away (nearly 3 weeks since he saw me last) and I talked him through some of my recent runs. It was good - I don't seem to have lost any strength and feel great about working out the muscles as well as the aerobic stuff. His workout is very Pilates/Core based and I can really feel my core strength increasing - my abs and back muscles are more defined than they have ever been.

D is off fishing in Anglesey this morning for the weekend and says he's going to be pining for me (and the dog)!! Sap! I'll be alright though as I have my parents coming to stay and a party to go to tonight. We women are much tougher than them there blokes....

Thursday, 9 August 2007

New Start 38 - Weigh in time again

I lsot 2 lbs last week. It was always looking to be a slow week as I've been retaining water and the loss I saw on the scales on Tuesday disappeared again on Wednesday for which I blame Slimfast and my mystery cappucino!! Still, I'm not too disappointed with 2 off. It's in the right direction etc.

My LLC, on the other hand, gave me a proper bollocking and said I'm sabotaging myself and faffing around and that she would rather I went straight into Management than continue doing this etc etc She pointed to my previously consistent weight losses and basically left me no place to hide. She's dead right - I have been pushing the envelope regarding nibbles and coasting along which does bite you in the the bum in the end.

So we've agreed, I will not dick around for much longer, no more than 3 weeks more in Development. I'm going to set myself some SMART targets this week too and really concentrate. She's right, there's no reason why I can't have a really good loss this week and next and then go into Management asap.

In class, we did a SWOT analysis of our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, mostly regarding weight but also touching on other life issues. I am going to focus on that when setting my SMART goals too as it threw up some interesting points. Nothing earth shattering but all useful stuff in trying to make some changes for these last few weeks and then into Management.

Apart from that, I had a productive day and a pleasant evening in the pub with D. He's off fishing for the weekend and doesn't really want to go!! It's a measure of how much things have changed between us that he'd rather spend the weekend with me than with the lads fishing and pubbing it. Still, I'm making him go anyway 'cos I know he'll have a good time when he gets there and I don't want to get the blame from the rest of them!!

BTW - did anyone see Diet Doctors on Five last night? There was a small section absolutely slagging off VLCD's. They had one woman who had obviously had a bad experience on LL (I recognised the packets) and who was not sticking to the plan but yo-yoing on and off it. They said that her body was "in starvation" and that her metabolic rate dropped so weight would be piled on afterwards and the woman in question said that she could gain a stone in 3 days!! She also said that her self esteem had fallen even lower and that her relationship with food was worse than it had been. It was a real hatchet job with absolutely NO attempt to be unbiased. No-one from any of the VLCD organisations; no attempt to discuss how the plans should work if you do them properly rather than coming in and out as this woman had done. Terrible reporting in my opinion.

I'm going onto the Five website later to make my views known. But - you can't help but be worried about regaining the weight can you? So it was very unsettling watching for that reason.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

New Start 37 - Tuesday - must be French!

I started the day well with another loss showing on the scales but then mucked it up pretty quickly by forgetting my packs for work. I don't have breakfast until I get to work so this was bad news. With my french class, I don't usually get home until 8pm on a Tuesday and would be struggling without eating anything all that time.

Especially as I had a meeting planned to include a site visit of a 300 acre site and the adjacent Country Park which would involve at least an hour of clambering around the site to see it from several angles and climbing hills etc to get views of the whole development area!!

In the end I decided I needed something and bought a Slimfast meal replacement bar from Boots. It was 200 calories and like a rice crispie type bar with chocolate on the bottom. I must say it was absolutely delicious and seemed to go on forever, really substantial and chewy. Way better than our bars!! Anyway, that tided me over until the evening when I had 3 packs almost together and felt pretty stuffed! The site walkaround was fairly strenuous and the meeting after intense, both of which would have been awful on a totally enpty stomach so I'm pleased I ate. I feel I made the right decision for me, even though it's not strictly the LL way.

So, if that was all hunky dory, why did I have a large cappucino at the motorway service station where I stopped to do my french homework on the way to french?? I didn't really need it, I was hungry but not ravenous and had previously resisted temptation several times at that very cafe. I think it was the break from routine, the idea that I'd been good and deserved it etc etc. Grrr

Still, I managed not to have any of the goregous looking cakes or pastries there and, even though I was there for well over an hour doing my prep, didn't have seconds, just a bottle of water. So not all bad.

French was fun as ever and D was back early so we could watch a film together so the rest of the day was pretty good.

When I was heavy, I would never believe that the day would come when I would hear D tell me that I have lost enough weight and that I'm in danger of getting too thin!! Well, he did last night!! I think he's wrong, actually but it was nice to hear. We had a good chat about it and realistically I think I only have the 10/12lbs (depending on what I lose at my next weigh in) to lose taking me to 10 stone 10 on the LL scales or 10 stone 5 at home in the morning (my preferred measure). I have decided NOT to go any further (as I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago) but do want to be dead in the middle of size 12 and to have a few lbs wriggle room too, hence I'm sticking it out for another 2 or 3 weeks. I think you're right Chris - don't want to look gaunt or too boney.

So - bar the mystery cappucino - not too bad a day.

Monday, 6 August 2007

New Start 36 - sunny evening run to Abney

Well, thank God the scales have relented and shown a small loss this morning - just 2lbs down but they're moving again. I feel a lot thinner so suspect it was water retention. Actually that makes sense as I was drinking like a camel all weekend but not peeing like a horse (sorry to be so indelicate!!).

I had a good day at work and nipped out at lunchtime for some desperately needed work clothes. I bought a pair of size 12 black tailored work shorts in DP's along with 2 size 12 tops (one a fitted white blouse with puffed sleeves - very french looking and the other a pretty red tee with sort of ruched neckline). It's nice to be able to dress in a really feminine way now - I used to shy away from too fitted styles and everything I wore was really simple as I thought too much decoration looked terrible on my heavy figure. Now I can get away with all sorts. I'm never going to be a frilly girly girl but love that I can try new stuff and wear tight fitting clothes without worrying about lumps and bumps! Now I want to show off my waist and back and hips - well - everything really....I'm just a big show off...
Got home and had my now traditional lemon bar and coffee with D, sitting down by the pond. He's fitted the pump to the pond and is going to buy some fish this week - how exciting - real live fish - hope they last. He's also fitted a load of lights round the edge of the decking and on the bridge over the pond which will look great at night. Not sure how often we'll go down there in the dark but it sounds good!
I cooked him supper while he tidied up then went for a run. I fancied something a bit more adventurous than my usual local runs so deciided to head over the big hill to a pub called the Barrel at Bretton. It's a massive hill then a long downhill followed by another massive steep hill but there is a pub at the end of it! I knew I couldn't make it there and back so D said he'd pick me up and we'd have a drink.
Anyway, set off, got all the way up the hill (which is the one I did in the last run plus another 5/10 minutes of uphill on top!!) and made it all the way to the top without stopping. Was truly amazed. Trouble is - I think the excitement destroyed some brain cells 'cos I ended up taking the wrong path at the top so had to change my destination - luckily I found a pay phone to call D as there was no mobile signal up there. I ended up running along a gloriously sunny deserted back road for a few miles (mostly gently uphill) with Shelagh chasing hares and birds and having the time of her little doggie life alongside me. I met D at a gliding club right at the top of a beautiful hill overlooking a lovely valley.
It was a really special run for me as I got that runner's high thing I have only previosuly heard of, never experienced. I was gabbling like an idiot when D picked me up. I truly loved it and feel so fresh now that i an't belive I ran for an hour and 20 minutes including some serious hills. Next time want to go further - next time I will not take the wrong path!!
Anyway, was briefly tempted to eat when I got in - crooked thinking regarding treating/rewarding myself for such good run I suspect. I managed to distract myself by saying to myself that I could eat but only once I'd gone upstairs and downloaded my photos. Now, of course, I'm sitting at the computer posting this and have no desire to eat. Clever eh??
Have a great evening everyone.

New Start 35 - Golfing Sunday

What a fantastic day for a round of golf and all for chaaaairiddeee!!

I was up bright and early to iron my golfing gear and to rejoice in the fact that I can wear shorts and cute bright pink tee shirts rather than too tight trousers and dreary oversized men's polo shirts which are way too long and have sleeves that reach down to my elbows in order for the rest of the shirt to stretch over my huge belly!! Those days are gone, baby, long gone!

Met the lads at the club, took my camera and then didn't take a single shot - the boys aren't really into that sort of thing and I was concentrating on my swing so as not to let down the team.

We had a great day though - perfect weather, adequate but not scintillating golf and the Club raised over £13k for charity.

Normally D has a real chip on his shoulder about the golf club and, for various reasons, some of which are reasonable, has not set foot in it for over 10 years. This has been a bit of a bone of contention for me but I've let it lie. Well, yesterday I thought - sod it - I want him to join me and our friends for a simple meal and few drinks after the game (especially as I'd already paid for the meal in my ticket and I wasn't going to be eating it!) so I asked nicely but firmly for him to come along as a favour to me and to support me in the diet.

He was grumpy and resisted so I made it clear I was disappointed but left him to make the decision which, 5 minutes later, he duly did! It's another example of how I/we have changed through this diet. Now, I'm quite happy to stand up for myself and expect D to do the right thing - I don't get all emotional and teary about things. And it seems to work.

So - we had a really nice afternoon, sitting out on the patio quaffing down wine in the evening sunshine (well, sparkling water in my case) and chatting 'til the midges drove us to the pub. I went home then to water the plants. I was really pleased that D put his money where his mouth is and came through for me and he seemed to enjoy himself too. One less bone of contention from now on in I hope.

On the downside - I've been really good food and water wise over the last few days since my weigh in on Wedensday but the scales are showing NO signs of shifting at all. I've been cheesed off about it but have stuck to the system. Grrr I feel slimmer in my clothes but no lbs disappearing at all. I know a lot of you don't weigh yourselves as recommended but I find that I need to weigh myself every morning or otherwise I feel that I'm cutting myself off from the diet. It's just me.

The other thing to report is that I'm toying with the idea of trying to get to a slightly lower weight than my original target of 10 stone 10lbs. I know I was struggling last week so set myself 3 good weeks before Management irrespective of what I lost in that time. Having had a good weekend, I'm now thinking that I might want to stick it out for another few weeks and see what 9 stones something looks like!!! Not sure - it's just a tentative thought at the moment. Will see how the 3 weeks go before I commit to that!! Knowing me I'll have yo-yoed back to struggling next week - that seems to be the pattern.