Winter in Bradwell

Winter  in Bradwell

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Days 257 and 258 - Tuesday and Wednesday

I struggled big time with resisting temptation on Tuesday and, apart from some extra fruit and a pack of king prawns at lunchtime, came through unscathed. I stuck to the plan reasonably well and had training in the morning so managed my exercise.

Yesterday though, although I wasn't really ravaged by temptation, it went a bit rubbish in the evening and I had some unauthorised bread and a bowl of cornflakes! Which is stupid because I went to Pizza Hut and really enjoyed my calorie counted salad. Also, for various reasons I couldn't fit in any exercise. It was always going to be tricky but I just couldn't leave the office for a run at lunchtime and I had the football in the evening so couldn't go then either. Still, the football does involve quite a long and brisk (it was freezing!!) walk to and from the ground so not too bad!

The game was really exciting - Carling Cup game against Everton. We played so much better than I have seen them play this season and were well on top of the Premiership side for most the game and had loads of shots at goal - just couldn't quite score (story of our life). After about the 10th shot was saved I just knew it wasn't going to be our day though and, sure enough, Everton, with their first real chance, scored and right at the death took another 2 so it ended with a really unflattering 3-nil scoreline which makes you think that Everton battered us - but they really didn't. A strange game, football. (Or "soccer" for you Americans!!)

It was cold last night but I felt it way worse than I used to. I'm also suffering from poor circulation in my hands and feet these days. The doctor said I have probably always had it (and he's right, it is a family trait) but, when I was fat, my core temperature stayed high so my body didn't have to restrict blood flow to my extremities to keep my core warm. Now I'm thinner, my core gets colder so my fingers and toes suffer!! So - I really need good coats, hats, gloves and boots!! Shopping is now more of a necessity than a pleasure.

I traipsed around Meadowhall in a spare 45 minutes before the game and bought a lovely bright red 3/4 length wool coat. It's fitted and really cute. I also bought a pretty dark grey hat but couldn't find a smart scarf and glove set to go with the coat for work type wear. I want something in pewter grey and black to tie in with my grey work stuff and my black suit. It's very complicated!

I'm also at one with Shauna (Dietgirl) in her quest for good long length winter boots. I'm somewhat dischuffed to note that, despite having lost 81/2 stone, my calves are STILL too big for long boots in all the normal shops. I'm going to have to fork out for internet boots from Duo or somewhere similar....grrrrr But I'm going to do it sooner rather than later because the nights are fair drawing in....

Anyway, that's enough blathering for now. Keep it up fair dieters and we'll all be skinny minnies together soon.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Day 256 - My Comeuppance!






Well Bliogger is playing ball today so a few piccies from Saturday night for your amusement.

I'm seeing the food business clearly now after a weekend spent in a fog of carbs and sugar excitement. I think getting out for the run on Sunday evening made the difference - I did eat after I came back (I'd pretty much written off Saturday and Sunday for diet purposes) but while I was out I formulated my plan and, when I woke up this morning, it was all there, ready to be implemented.
I've learnt that much about myself - if I process something and set out a plan of how I'm going to behave, there's a good chance I'll stick to it without too much trouble. If I leave it to fate, there's a good chance I'll make some seriously dodgy decisions! I think it's the walking round the hole thing - so far, I can plan to walk round the hole with my conscious mind but not unconsciously walk down the other street.
[The hole analogy won't mean much to others but came from a poem posted by Mrs Lard which is printed in the front of the Lighter Life Route to Management book. It's an illustration of how you gradually learn to manage food, consciously at first and then as part of your everyday life.]
So - I had my weigh in this evening and over the last 2 weeks have gained 3 lbs. I was expecting something like that especially due to the big weekend but think the weight was creeping on notwithstanding the party. I'm not too upset about it though as I have my plan in place. Obviously I'll be gutted if my plan doesn't work by next weekend but we'll give a chance shall we??
The plan is to revert to Week 1 of management with the addition of a couple of pieces of fruit and to do some form of exercise (either running or training) every day this week. I have written out food plans for every day so I don't go off plan. Today's was as follows:
Breakfast - chocolate shake
mid-morning - small orange
Lunch - mushroom soup
mid-afternoon - small orange
Supper - cottage cheese and green salad with fat free dressing
Evening - lemon bar
I've cut out the milk in teas and coffees which had crept in and the nibbles of verboten items too. So far, it's gone very well today so I'll do something similar tomorrow except vary the fruit and change the cottage cheese to mackerel I think. I feel much more in control and think this could be something I do when necessary to drop a lb or so.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Day 254 and 255 - party and day after party!

Hmmmm - for some reason Blogger isn't letting me post my party pictures. I've faffed around for long enough now so am going out for a run and will try again later.

The party was GREAT!! Loads of people turned up; the weather was mild and so we were outside all night; the dancing went on 'til late and me and D and had a good time too. It's all tidied up now (which wasn't too bad 'cos all outdoors so no indoor damage). We have masses of drink leftover though due to our inexperience in knowing how much to buy; everyone bringing their own stash and D adding a keg of beer (72 pints) to the order at the last minute thus leaving about 48 cans of John Smiths untouched!!!

So - we'll have to have another party at Christmas (or maybe next spring....).

Seriously - I loved it - it reminded me of the parties my parents used to throw when I was a kid in Nigeria. Loads of people, all different ages, different social groups and all chatting, dancing and getting on.

The garden looked good too. D had a good time and got loads of nice presents and some very dodgy ones as well. I re-discovered 1990's rave and house music thanks to a friend who brought down a serious dancy CD to which the last 10 of us danced like Cream and Hacienda nutters for the last couple of hours before finally collapsing and going to bed at 5am!

I also have several desserts leftover and a gallon of cream. Am taking them all to work tomorrow to make everyone else as fat as me!!

I was well off plan over the weekend. No regrets. Am going to go to class tomorrow, take the punishment and then possibly do a week on 4 packs a day to lose what I will have gained!!! It's not just been a bit of booze (probably only 3 glasses of wine over the whole evening) but also roast pork and beef sandwiches, salads (the bad sorts), carrot cake, tarte tatin, a fried breakfast this morning and numerous other travesties. I know I must pay and pay I will!!

So - jogging now and will try again with the piccies later. Byyee!!!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Day 253 - Friday is manic preparations day!!

I'm off work today getting ready for the party. Poor D is up to his eyes in assembling the marquee which should have saved him time!! Just one of those things. If my friend had explained all this to me we'd have popped off to Macro and bought one of those plastic gazebo thingys and had it up in an hour!!

Still - thanks for your lovely comments re the party - I know we're going to have a good time and, once the arrangements are done, it shouldn't be too much work for me as the catering is all being done for me as is the music and desserts are being pre-bought. Lazy really but that's the best way!!

I'll do my best with photos and am looking forward to it.

One thing I've been meaning to do for a bit is some advertising re the holiday let. A few people have asked about it. We're intending to let it out on a 6 month tenancy in a while (when we find a tenant) and currently have some people staying 'til the en of Sept but it would be available for anyone looking for a cheap week or long weekend in the Peak District from the beginning of October for a few weeks at least. Just thought I'd mention it. I haven't thought much about rates but would be offering a good discount from the usual rates for fellow bloggers and details (including pictures etc) are available on request. It's a 2 bedroom little cottage in the village of Bradwell which is a couple of miles from me in prime walking and tourist country and has all amenities (shops, pubs etc). 1 double bed and 1 with (large size) bunk beds.

So, there you go.

Come and get in while it's hot!!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Day 252 - Thursday






I realised that I haven't posted any piccies for a bit and I know they liven up the endless diet chatter so thought I'd put some up from my big run on Sunday morning. I was so busy over the weekend that I didn't really say much about that day anyway.
I got up early (before 8am on a Sunday is early for me anyway although I suspect Mrs might have been up a while by then!) and went on a proper long run - probably about 7 or 8 miles and starting up the big hill that I have struggled up a few times recently. When I got to the big house in the second picture, I usually turn left and head down to the river and back home but this time I decided to carry on and add an extra loop. By the way - the big house - how gorgeous is that, I covet it badly, Hey ho.
It was a chilly and windy morning but every now and then we were rewarded with a patch of sunshine and it was so fresh and pretty that I didn't mind the weather. We had a laugh (that's Shelagh and me, in case you were wondering - Diarmuid remained snoring in bed!), took some pictures on the self timer and Shelagh had a couple of swims. I finished off by picking some more blackberries as I suspect they're on the way out and wanted to make the most of the season.
Mum and Dad visited for Sunday lunch that day and to inspect the completed garden and we had a really nice time. Spent a lot of the day in the garden trying to pretend that it was warm enough to sit out. It was warm when the sun came out but decidedly chilly when it went in again! I cooked a lovely healthy lunch of steamed herb and lemon trout caught by our friends (D not quite there yet with the fly fishing, Guinea!) with spinach and broccoli and new potatoes for the rest of them. I finished with an apple and blackberry crumble and custard for the others and had a spoonful of it with yoghurt myself which was delicious. I wasn't tempted to have any more so felt very good. Mum and I then spent ages peeling and chopping apples to make another lot of apple sauce so the day was even productive.
Anyway, back to today - not much to report. More party chores, calorie counting sucessfu although a few extras crept in today. Still, not bad and I'm going for a run early tomorrow before I really set-to for the party.
The marquee arrived this afternoon and it's big! Way more than we need but our pal who is going into the marquee business and using this as a practise run went a bit overboard! This party is growing arms and legs and getting rapidly out of hand! I hope it's a good one or we'll look like idiots!
So, on that note, I'd better get to bed now...fingers crossed please bloggers!

Day 251 - Wednesday is calorie counted!

So a third day of writing EVERYTHING down and counting calories and the results from the Derbyshire Jury are looking good! Around 1,800 because I weakened after a round of party shopping in Costco and had a small packet of honey roasted cashew nuts at nearly 300 calories! But good apart from that and I did go for a good fast 45 minute run at lunchtime which would have burned off (I'm told) 400 calories!

I'm doing a free 3 day trial of the food and exercise diary on Weight Loss Resources website. Has anyone else used something like this? I'm finding it pretty good and will probably sign up for a month at least to keep me on the straight and narrow and see how it goes. It's a bit fiddley inputting the food you eat to start but as you go on your Favourites list gets longer and more helpful so it gets quicker.

We're doing nothing at the moment apart from preparing for the big party so life is a bit dull. I'm ditching french this evening to clean the house for example - not thrilling!

I'm just grabbing a quick 10 minutes to update after my early morning personal training session with the luscious Huw. It was great this morning, did my measurements as I wanted a base for the Management stage of my journey. Now that I'm not planning on losing much more weight (maybe half a stone over the next few months if I get the hang of this calorie counting stuff!) I want to see what other changes are to be made. It's nice to know that all my measurements, fat %, body composition etc are well within the normal healthy range - still can't get over it!

Anyway - I'd better dash off to work. Have a good day everyone!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Day 250 - Another quick morning post - aaargh!

I'm still really pushed for time and didn't get in 'til late lasy night from the abject, woeful, dire display of football on offer at Hillsborough. (Sheffield Wednesday lost (again!) to Burnley - we've now lost 6 out of 6 at the start of the season and are the only team in the League (all 96 clubs) to have 'nul pointes' so far this year!!!)

Anyway, I'm not here to bemoan my football team's performance (much) but to report on how I'm getting on in controlling my 'urges' - phnarr phnarr...

I totted up all the calories from my food diary on Monday and realised to my horror that I was up at about 2,600!! The banana muffin, 2 large skinny capps, peperami wideboy and slice of white bread and butter which I added to my otherwise healthy day's intake were clearly not invisible in calorie terms!!! Seeing it in those terms helped, I must admit. I've been sort of sliding those sort of items under the carpet and thinking, well I COULD have had 2 slices of bread; or a cream cake or something worse but forgetting that these items are NOT everyday things to consume.

SO. Tuesday was much better. I haven't totted up the calories yet but reckon it'll be well under 1,500. I had my 2 packs, some fruit, some yoghurt, milk in my tea and a big leafy chicken salad (at Pizza Hut no less). Even though I was driving around and stopped at a service station I didn't use that as an excuse and buy something which I have been doing recently. When I was hungry in Meadowhell (large shopping mall in Sheffield) I nipped in to a cafe and bought one of those green waxy apple that looks as though its been there for ever and is for decoration not eating - actually it was delicious. My head was saying - go on, a quick coffee and "healthy" oatmeal biscuit - but that would have been an extra 4/500 calories which I didn't need.

So - much much better today and I've got a strategy - the old fashioned calorie counting (within the LL aegis of course). I feel that this could be the way forward for me. It's a bit like Antonia doing her WW.

In case anyone is wondering, my car was not fixed on Monday night so I couldn't get to my class. In a way, I'm pleased because the last few days of being accountable to me and me only have been a good thing - a revelation really. I feel like I'm finally "walking round the hole" because I want to, not just because of the tyranny of my next weigh in!!

Watch this space.

I have been reading everyone else blogs so I know what you're all up to, just haven't been able to post a comment. Hope all's well.

Re the potential London meet - from the various replies it looks as though 3 November might be a date. What do people think??? To be honest, that's the best day for me so I was going to come down on that weekend to stay with a pal anyway and hope I could meet up with as many as can be around....

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Day 249 - Quick thought for Tuesday morning

What with not being able to post from work any more, eating and being busy with the garden and the party, I've been a bit slack with my blog recently. It troubles me because when I got on the scales this morning I had put on at least 3 or 4 lbs from my lightest weight when I started Management. I've weighed myself every morning and been fluctuating in the "okay" range" but I've known really that I'm not doing my utmost on RTM and am stretching the boundaries beyond their original design. The old food thoughts are creeping back in and I've "treated" myself several times.

So - after all the hard work of Foundation and Development, it is not really licked. It's a whole lot better but not licked (I didn't really expect that it would be to be honest).

So, this post - before I dash off to work, followed by a course in Leeds, followed by the football - is to pledge some hard work to get back on track, not to throw out the baby with the bathwater but to get serious about the Rules of eating again and not to allow myself to settle back into complacency and gradual gains!!

GOT IT LESLEY???!!!

Mrs - does that answer your question about whether I see myself as a food addict?? LOL Yes, I do - I think, if I was honest with myself (which wasn't always) I did before LL too. I knew that my attitudes to food were out of control and different to most other peoples'. I'm not generally an addictive personality (no troubles with booze, fags or drugs) but maybe I just roll it all up into food? I could and can happily sit and eat almost continually when I'm not hungry and know I shouldn't - can just switch off, zone out and just eat...I think that's addicted behaviour. I spend a lot of time thinking about food too - more so in certain circumstances (travelling for example) but just generally too.

So - more hard work starts now. I've started keeping a food diary and will work on minimising excess through that medium. And some more targets methinks. Will be tomorrow now though - sigh....

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Day 247 - B&Q and soul searching!

We had a busy Saturday - loads of chores to get ready for the party next week. First up was buying the booze. Now I know there'll be loads of people, but how many? And how much wil they bring and what will they drink?? It's a nightmare. Eventually we've gone online to Tesco's and ordered a load of cheap beer and wine and mixers nd gone easy on the spirits. We've also arranged for a cask of bitter and borrowed a bar and tap so there should be enough for the boozehounds.

Next up was the garden stuf and a mammoth trip to B&Q - I thought it was finished but it seems that the finishing touches are going to cost us half as much again - LOL! Anyway, the lighting is all sorted and the stepping stones for the bit of lawn between path and pond which was getting a bit worn have been purchased. D is happy now as he frets about these things.

So that was pretty much the whole day done. But not a bad day's work.

We ended up cooking separate suppers as Diarmuid didn't fancy the sound of my chicken stirfry. I think he regretted it when it was done though (although his steak did look good) as the flavours were spot on and it looked and smelt fab. I seem to be a better cook now! What happened there? I think it's because I'm not using all the usual ingredients so am having to make the flavours go further so I'm concentrating on marinades and herbs and stuff and really taking care with my food (as I appreciate it sooooo much!) so the end results are pretty good.

I certianly don't miss the bread or spuds or gravy etc. On Tuesday when we had a roast chicken dinner I thought I would be eaten up with envy at the roasties, stuffing and gravy that I didn't have - but I enjoyed the chicken, ratatouille and broccoli so much I didn't even have a pang for the rest!

Likewise last night - my marinaded chicken grilled on a bed of stirfried veggies with the full gamut of garlic, ginger, soy, rice wine and a hint of chilli was lovely so I didn't miss at all the mash, fried onions and juicy rump steak that D was tucking into!

Sorry for all the food talk, you who are still abstaining. It's part of the process I'm afriad. D says I'm obsessed with food, addicted to it even! In fact he's been worried about that. I just laugh and say - well duur! Of course I'm bloody addicted to food - how do you think I got that fat in the first place??! Yes - I've got a problem and yes I'm obsessed with food but at least at the moment I'm obsessed with controlling and avoiding food!! With cooking healthily and avoiding the temptation to stuff my face with crap!

I take his point though - I have been going on about it a lot recently (reading diet books and recipes, watching foodie TV, all the hedgerow picking and jam, jelly and chutney making etc etc) and this can only make it harder to stop thinking about it. So I'm going to try and not talk about food (even if I'm thinking about it) in the hope that this will reinforce the behaviour of a non-food-obsessive and lead, eventually, to me being able to act "normally" around food.

Which leads me on to the knotty question of "normality". See - I can't even say it without inverted commas!! I hate thethought of being normal but D oftens throws it in my face as something he thinks I should be. I'm never going to want that or aspire to it but occasionally I do see the value in trying to behave "normally" and, around food especially, that would seem to be a good aim. (As long as the normal in question is not the doom and gloom national stereotype we hear about on the media of processed food, fried stuff and binge drinking!!!)

So - this post covers the full range from a very "normal" day of DIY shops and domestic chores to the deepest inner parts of my soul - my aversion to normality and my addiction to food - what a ride!

Friday, 14 September 2007

Day 246

A pretty quiet day today. Worked hard as usual but went food shopping at lunchtime and daydreamed about all the nice things I'll be able to eat soon. Actually Tesco was a bit of a nightmare. I forced myself not to buy stuff I can buy in my local butchers, fruit and veg shop etc and only get more exotic stuff from the big bad supermarket etc. I was walking and carrying so that made sense anyway. But, once I'd got nearly everything on my list, I started being consumed with desire to buy and eat bad stuff - anything from the bread and pastry shelves, biscuits, chocolates, not crisps but then I've never been a crisp girl, nuts, anything bad! It was an almost physical torment but I couldn't seem to leave the shop.

I managed to resist (just!) and left with only some fruit and a very small kiddies' bag of apricots to snack on! Not bad. I must admit that I did eat more of the fuit than I needed for my lunch but compared to what could have been, I was a positive angel!

I left work early and dropped into B&Q to pick up some bright red paint for a couple of garden chairs (Adirondack style ) which we've bought cheap on ebay.

Then back home and staright off to personal training. It was nice training in the evening again - a bit easier than at 7am as my body has woken up! Huw rang the changes a bit and we did lots of abs stuff which was pretty good - hope I'm still saying that tomorrow morning!

Supper was v healthy - I sorted D out with a pie, mash and gravy and made a gorgeous salad for me - leftover cold chicken, mango, a few pine nuts, leaves and cucumber and a dressing of balsamic, orange juice, sweetener (to take the edge off) and a TINY splash of olive oil. It was absolutely delicious and very different to what I would previously have eaten. I'm pleased that my tastes seem to have changed for good.

Now I'm going to jump into the bath with the England rugby match on the radio and then off to the pub for a very quiet couple! I'm determined to get D home at a decent hour - he's complaining of a cold and cough and yet does nothing to look after himself!

Hope you're all set for a nice weekend - look after yourselves.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Days 244 and 245 - Wednesday and Thursday

I took my day off on Wednesday as well as Tuesday even though we hadn't gone away. The weather was just too nice to pass up on after this dreadful summer. Diarmuid had a godawful hangover (fully deserved as I'd tried valiently to drag him away from the Guinness at least 4 pints before we eventually left and he would have felt a whole lot better without those 4 pints!!) so we were even quieter on Wednesday than on Tuesday!

The plasterer came round and had a good laugh at the state D was in which I enjoyed! Then it was just another day in the garden - D working away at the garden shed (moving the door from one side to the other so we can use it properly - God knows what the people who put the shed facing that way were thinking!!). Me - sitting at the new table peeling, coring, chopping and mincing apples and shallots for a big batch of apple chutney and a load of apple sauce. I'm determined to get full value from our apple tree this year. It has masses of fruit on it this year and I'm trying my best not to waste too much.

The chutney and sauce both look good and my cupboard now resembles a WI larder with a shelf full of neatly labelled jams, jellies and preserves! Anyone would think I was 57 rather than 37!Still, it's been most satisfying and something I intend to do every year - if we move to France it could be even more fun.

At one point, while we were both working away with the radio on and the dog padding between the 2 of us, D said - "Think Les, it could be like this all the time in France"! And I swear I had just been thinking the exact same thing. I really hope this comes off because I know we'd love it!

Anyway, all good things come to an end and Wednesday night had a touch of the Sunday night back to work feeling to it. I didn't go to the pub and was, for some reason, absolutely knackered (think I've been fighting off D's cold) so stayed in and unfortunately succumbered to foodie temptation. It's a bugger when you feel like you're doing really well and then get sandbagged by a bad night. Toast (again!), cornflakes, yoghurt with fruit and a few other bits and bobs! Bit of a nightmare really.

Still, I'm reducing the number and frequency of the binges and isolating the causes of them.

Today (Thursday) was back to work. I worked hard all morning and then was taken out for lunch by an old colleague who I haven't seen for years. It was nice to catch up and luckily the pub he took me to had a Week 2 friendly option on the menu - tuna steak on a bed of stirfried veggies (all on the list amazingly) and a salsa in balsamic dressing. It was absolutely delicious and guilt free. Then off to french, home for nearly 8 and out for a pounding run in the dark. I knew I wouldn't be going out tonight and wanted to make sure that I wasn't sitting on the sofa thinking about food, especially as I have already had my meal today. It seems to have worked as I still have 2 packs to eat today (if I want) and am not overly bothered. So - that's the strategy - plan how to avoid being on the sofa and tired as that is the danger time!

Sorry for waffling - the trouble with trying to fit 2 days into one post. If I'm not commenting on your posts as much as before, sorry, I'm still reading blogs but can't comment at work due to changes in our Web policy - grrr... I suppose it's only fair though...I should be working!!

Hope you're all well and thriving and happy shrinking!!

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Day 243 - Happy 40th D!




As you can see, it's D's 40th birthday today. I had totally blanked on a decent present - I had originally wanted to take him on surprise weekend to Paris for the Ireland-France Six Nations rugby game in France in Feb but then his work rota changed so he would be away for it and after that could not get inspired by anything! He's the sort of guy who isn't into clothes or designer gear and, if he needs something, he'll just go and buy it. He's a nightmare to shop for!
So, in the end, I decided to take a couple of days off work to surprise him and whisk him away on a road trip either camping or staying in a posh hotel somewhere. Short notice but the best I could come up with. It was funny because just before we fell asleep last night he said - "we should go away somewhere - just the 2 of us, maybe camp - why not tomorrow?" which just made me laugh! So - he was really happy with the surprise and not bothered at all about not getting an expensive present. In fact he said that my losing all the weight was the only present he'd wanted and the best thing he could imagine, which was pretty nice!
But - as with all half-assed plans, somthing was sure to go wrong. D has a horrid head cold which has today spread to his chest and after a few coughing fits which really took it out of him I suggested that he wasn't up to a road trip and, seeing as the weather at home is so gorgeous, why didn't we just stay at home together and potter? He was happy with that too and we've had a really great day. Finished chores, oiled all the new garden chairs and table, sat by the pond in the sunshine and had a lovely roast chicken dinner followed by a walk together this evening. He's gone to the pub for a couple and I'm going to join him in a minute.
So - a lovely birthday and a big party coming up in a couple of weekend's time. Spot on.
Food wise, I've been pretty good. I didn't have any spuds, stuffing or gravy with my roast chicken just chicken breast, broccoli and a ratatouille. I know I shouldn't have tomatoes until next week but, in the scheme of things, it's not the biggest sin. I'm absolutely loving the yoghurts and looking forward to making up some dips to have with the new veggies I'm allowed. It's all good - just need to keep it going and exercise like a mad thing.
Tonight I had decided that I wasn't running as have been out the last 2 nights and going again tomorrow. But, I felt really full and sluglike which is why I dragged D out for a latish walk round the fields. I still feel full but slightly better. Just goes to show that exercise can be a bit addictive when you actively miss it after just one night off. This eating business is tricky in more way than one! All the water I'm going to drink in the pub tonight should flush that bloaty feeling out though.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Day 241 and 242 - Sunday and Monday

Sunday was another lovely day. We planted up the bed round the pond and the herb bed and Diarmuid cracked on with putting in the logroll edging round the shrub beds and other dull tasks. It looks great now - I'm so pleased with the progress we have made - feels a bit like a magazine shoot though - like someone is going to roll it all up and put it back in the lorry in a few weeks' times!

I took the dog round the village delivering party invitations too which turned into a bit of a catch up session with various friends and I ended up making a running date for later on with Kate. We were both keen and there was a definite glint in her eye so I knew we were going to having a proper work out! We went for a good 6 or 7 miles over hill and dale and loved every minute of it. At one point I was having the "good to be alive" feeling and looked across at Kate who was also grinning like a Cheshire Cat. She said "it's great to be doing what your body is designed to do" and that just summed up how I was feeling.

Trouble is, and there's always a "trouble is" these days, when I got home and showered etc and stayed in rather than going to the pub, I had a bit of a pigout session. Just kept on going back to eat more stuff. And some of the stuff included toast! Not good. Handfuls of raisins, fruit, toast, chicken leg, milky coffee - it went on a bit! Not good. I definitely should have gone to the pub and distracted myself with endless glasses of water or come up here to blog but sat in front of the telly eating instead. Haven't done that for a while!

I put a stop to it but felt bloated and pissed off with myself. Really not the best thing to do and on the night before a weigh too!

Anyway, this morning (Monday) the scales looked as though they were going to be kind to me so I resolved to be very good at work and put a stop to all the little extras which have been creeping in to my day. Which I did, sucessfully. I did loads of walking for various reasons at work too and then went for a run before my class this evening. That's something I have been thinking about doing anyway as I don't have time to drive home and then get to the class but I don't want to stay at work that late either so I will fill the gap with a run or maybe (if the weather is dreadful) a trip to Meadowhall!

So - overall I was relieved to have got away with a single lb GAINED!! I don't feel too bad about it but WILL do better next week. I've been getting my head round various tactics and will post about them tomorrow when I've got more time.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Day 240 - Sunny Saturday





We've had a day of togetherness yesterday and it's been great. We were up early and made a start on all the chores (cleaning, shopping and breakfast) then hit the garden running. I planted up the bed round the garden with the plants I bought at the Hope Show a week ago and D worked his way through loads of little tidying up tasks. I was thrilled as he's usually terrible at these and now the garden is very nearly done. We also had a serious session at the garden centre so now I have even more plants to plant today in the herb bad. Next year I'll plant it up properly but for now I just need to get some colour in there.
After all the gardening we went for a really nice long walk with the dog. We picked a load of sloes and I'm going to make sloe gin for Christmas at some stage (maybe tonight if I get round to it!).
Then a night in the local which was, for some bizarre reason, absolutely hopping. Packed full of people all intent on partying. Very random but a good laugh.
So, although it was a nothingy day really - I loved it - we were really happy and it passed in a flash.
The only downside was the food choices I made at the last. I had been pretty good all day stuck to the packs during the day, only had one milky coffee and the rest black tea or water. My evenig meal was only very slightly off plan. But, before I went to the pub I had a bowl of cornflakes with blackberries. Not a big bowl but not necessary! I need to stop the extras.
So - that's what I'm gong to work on - going to come up with a plan today and set some goals later. I'm rushing now an don't want to go off half cocked. Have a good Sunday everyone!

Friday, 7 September 2007

Day 239 - Back to my first Management Class








Thought I'd recap back to my first Route to Management class seeing as I didn't say anything about it on the night due to my spat with D. The pictures are of my drive over to the class - not bad eh? It's been truly beautiful at times over the last few months - in the winter when it was snowy and I saw white hares, foxes and barn owls in the car headlights then spring with the blossom and daffodils and then summer and the gorgeous heather. It is a fun drive.
As you can see, I lost a single lb between my last Wednesday class and Monday night. I'm not displeased with that as I had been loosening the reins a bit over those few days of limbo.
The class was great - one woman from my Foundation class was there who was, coincidentally, also there when I went to my Introduction session way back in December. She gave me a big hug and we admired each other - she looked fantastic - so young and vibrant. I was blown away and I could see that she was too. Between us we've lost over 15 stone!!! There was another woman there who I really took to too - about my age and a mother and a doctor! She was tiny (short as well as slim) and just looked like one of those women my former self would have envied as effortlessly slim - all brown from her hols and wearing really nice clothes - she's lost over 4 stone which on someone as small as her was a serious achievement and the result was stunning. Just looking round the room at all these slim happy looking women was very inspiring.
Where Development is a bit overwhelming and a bit of a drudge, I think Management is much more positive. And you can talk about food!
Anyway - I haven't been perfect this week but I've never forgotten what I'm doing and I've not binged or been out of control. I've managed to keep up the exercise quota (went on a fast run this evening) and hopefully will manage to maintain by Monday night - fingers crossed for me!
I think I'm letting a few too many little extras pass my lips though - things which I would not even have thought about in development (like holiday sweets at work!) have suddenly become open season - so temptation is back with avengeance. I'll have to make a new target about those things because there's no point in whittling away at my sucess for the sake of a few sweets and nibbles here and there!!
Re the photos - a bit of a disappointment really. We went for our preview this evening and I promised Diarmuid that, unless I was blown away by the piccies, I would not allow myself to be talked into spending ridiculous sums on anything. Well - they were lovely and there were some I really liked but, overall, nothing blew me away. Some of them could have looked very effective but only if we had bought the most expensive product - like the massive canvases or a collection of 9 shots all together but these products were well over £1000 (up to £2k in some cases!) and I just couldn't in all honesty justify spending that sort of money. The shots just weren't QUITE good enough. I would have loved some of them but would only have paid up to £500 for them and that was not enough to get what I wanted so we ended up walking out with nothing but the 7 by 5 gift picture and leaving all the lovely shots of Shelagh and the 2 of us behind...!!
I was disappointed but it was my choice and I did feel that the level of the prices had been kept from us - they're not on the website and not given to you in your introductory brochure so I do feel that they kind of sandbag you with them. Next time I will do more research.
D understood how disappointed I was and was sympathetic - he also said he could see what I was after now and that he should have been a little less stiff (which did show in the pictures to be honest). So he said - do some research to see if we can find something more suitable and better value for that sort of money and he'll co-operate fully. So that's good.
He's being really nice this weather too so I had better get in the shower and go and join him in the pub!! We have an ocean of gardening and getting ready for the party chores to do tomorrow! Not to mention dealing with all the damn apples - making apple chutney tomorrow!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Day 238 - Inspiration

Every now and then I receive a comment from someone who isn't one of the "gang" who regularly posts and comments. Usually it's about how they read my blog and I inspired them to start LL or CD or something and how reading it keeps them going. Now, this sounds unbearably bigheaded bringing it up and it's not meant to be (well, maybe a little bit!!) but I just wanted to record how important those posts have been to me.

The thought that someone out there was feeling crap about themselves, casting around for a solution and found my words inspiring enough to give LL or CD a go really amazes me and makes me feel proud and happy at the same time. It also makes me take what I'm doing a bit more seriously - I mean, if it's good enough for someone who has never met me to help them try and change their lives, then it should be good enough for me to devote some real energy to!! The posts remind me how important and serious the whole getting healthy endeavour is, which is easy to forget once you've lost a fair bit and are feeling great.

I know we've all wanted to go up to women in the street who look big and uncomfortable and sad and say "there is an answer; here it is - you do this!". But we can't. Well, in effect, we can. We can help all the people who are surfing the net in the vain hope that something will pop out at them and present itself as a possible answer. How fantastic is that? So all this blogging is not just self indulgent navel gazing, it's valuable support and help and humour and a laugh and a picture of what can be....

So - here's me being v v soppy but also totally appreciative of all the inspiration and support I've received from the blogs and comments. I'm sure I would not have done as well without you all.

Oh, and I'd like to...sob....thank my agent and my Mum and my dog and my great granny who died in 1965....you've all been bewdiful....I'm blessed....sobs again....wipes fake tear from heavily mascara'd eye...

Day 237 - Photos!

It was a busy day at work so I couldn't get out running at lunchtime as planned. Shame but there you go. Life happens. I will just to make sure I get a good run in on Friday AND over the weekend to keep up my 3 a week quota which is one of the few targets I've ever managed to stick to long term.

I ended up rushing like mad to get to the photo session but we made it - showered, hair and make up done, dog brushed (very unwillingly), husband browbeaten into submission!! It was fun - the dog was an absolute star and behaved herself perfectly. She even performed her tricks on cue and helped us relax together. I loved it and would have liked to have been more active and mobile but Diarmuid was pretty stiff and couldn't relax to that degree. He co-operated but it's really not his cup of tea so I think, on balance, that it was as good as it was going to get.

The photographer was nice and said we had plenty of good shots. So we'll see. Once you finish the session though is where the rub comes in! I realise now that the website and pre-publicity are very carefully structured to avoid showing a price list. Once they give you the price list you realise why!! There's nothing for less than £250 and most of the good stuff is around £1000 plus!! I know they're pretty cool products but my God - they had better be good!! God know what D is going to say!!

Still, having said that, if the photos are lovely and spot on (and only if) they are meant to record this amazing thing I've done and that's important. It's not every year you lose nearly 9 stone and emerge looking like a totally different person so, as long as the piccies are really good, I'm going to go for something special to reward and remind me of how good I feel about myself right now! I think D'll go for that!!

One of the poses she had us in was D carrying me in his arms with the dog on her back legs trying to hold onto my toes! I hope that one comes out well. So - if anyone's thinking of doing one of these sessions because they've got a voucher, think hard about what you can afford before you spend the time doing the session. You can always just walk away with the complimentary 7 by 5 print but you'll have to go through the hard sell first!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Day 236 - Reconciliation day

First up -thanks for your comments, they were lovely and just what I needed to hear, a great mixture of support and constructive assistance. Aren't bloggers fab?! I knew that it would be sorted but I was pretty hurt and it helped me to get it out, process it and ensure that, this time, I didn't just push it under the carpet when D apologised but tried to get to the root of the problem (or at least part way there) and talk it out properly.

So, when I first got home, I didn't push it, we enjoyed eating our supper together for the first time in 9 months!! I cooked D a really nice looking omelette with salad and I had my smoked mackerel fillets. It was really good to sit down together and maybe that is what we've missed??

Anyway, I raised the subject before D went off to the pub and we had a partial conversation about it but that was pretty unsatisfactory. It did at least keep it on the agenda and made him think about it while he was out. He kept telling me to "cheer up" and I said I couldn't when my husband thought I was a big fat failure and refused to listen to me explaining why I was not!

When he got home later there was just much more of a meeting of minds and D really truly apologised (and I could tell he meant it). I just talked about the diet and how it works and what I'm trying to get out of it and my ongoing issue with food. I think he thought that I was "cured" or something so that, when he saw me eating something, he thought it was all over!! When I explained that I still have food issues and have to battle against eating because I'm bored, tired, down, etc etc every single day, he got the point of the diet a bit more clearly. I also explained that his harangueing me had made it worse and made me spoil my first day on RTM (not badly but there you go). Anyway, I got it all off my chest and felt as though he was listening which is a big thing for me.

Apart from that, I had a decent evening - prepared a couple more pies for the freezer either for us or for my Mum and Dad. Elderberry and Almond tart and Apple and Elderberry tart. They looked gorgeous if I say so myself!! I also had a chat on the phone with ann old school friend who I haven't seen for ages but who has moved to the village next to ours this summer!! She's always been a southerner so the move is a major surprise (due to her husband's job) and it'll be great to rekindle that friendship and see more of her. I invited her to D's party in a couple of weeks' time and she invited me on a Sunday morning run called the Stanage Scramble which just happen to be at 9am on the morning after our party!! It's only 6km but up a very steep rocky road up Stanage Edge! Not sure that it'll happen but you never know!!

So, I'm a much happier bunny this morning and, consequently, am finding making good food choices a lot easier. Yesterday in addition to the 3 packs and one good meal I also had a small bowl of muesli and blackberries for breakfast, a small bag of cashews nuts at lunchtime and a slice of bread and jam with assorted nibbles of fruit in the evening. I could have had a lot more to be honest as my inner chatterbox was giving it laldy and encouraging me to just let go and have something big!! Luckily I resisted that but the rest wasn't great. Today, I feel totally in control and it just goes to show how much emotional eating is a factor for me. I've not seen it with such clarity before.

I'm glad we've got it sorted to be honest as we're having our photos taken at a Venture Studio tonight (with the dog of course!) and it would have pretty hard to look all loving and spontaneous if I'd been feeling like I did yesterday!!

I realise that I haven't really talked about my first Route to Management class because of all the angst. I must remember to do that in my next post. Hope you're all having a good time and shedding those lbs. Keep it up!!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Day 235 - Route to Management starts here....but...

It's been a strange day. I've felt so in control and happy about reaching my target and starting RTM recently and I've been happy and content regarding food and cooking and looking forward to making great changes. So that's all well and good. The trouble is my husband does not seem to be in the same place as me. Home life has been very strained since he came back on Thursday night and that has really taken the shine off.

Last trip he was over the moon about me being slim and couldn't get enough of me. This time - no compliments, niggling rows. He says I've been less interested in him and, to be fair, maybe I have. Maybe my obsession with this stage of the diet has caused me to overlook the fact that he's doing incredibly well at work and I've neglected him a bit. Or maybe my hurt at being ignored and not complimented and left in favour of the pub (again) caused me to withdraw? Hard to say - chicken and egg etc.

Anyway, it all came to a head last night. I thought we'd sorted it on Sunday when we'd had some words and I was genuinely making an effort to ask him about his interview and talk about work etc (not that we'd had much time together yesterday anyway). Evidently not - D just sat down and picked a fight. No other word for it - he had a go because I'd chosen to have a piece of toast with a mushroom (I'd picked in the fields while jogging) on it for my last supper before RTM (in place of a pack!). Just slagging me off for failing at the diet and how it was all going to go back on and how "he knows me and that's that now...". It came out of the blue (or it felt like it did) and it was incredibly hurtful. Grabbing the LL magazine and repeatedly hectoring me to show him in there where it's ok to have toast!!

I tried to be rational and sift through what he was saying and take on board what was right and contest what was not but there was no stopping him.

Ultimately, it was incredibly hurtful and I felt bullied and wounded. It was like he has no trust in me and the changes I've made. At the first sight of me eating he freaked out and went mental. I begged him to calm down and have some faith in me. I lost a lb since Wednesday night so I'm not exactly piling the lbs on! In any event, I'm not doing this for his approval, it's a way of life etc. I tried being rational and I ended up sobbing on the kitchen floor with my dog in my arms!

Really painful stuff and I probably shouldn't be letting it all hang out on a blog. But I just don't know how else to process it and react differently to how I might have done in the past. The thing is - I haven't turned to food and there was never any impulse to do so. So I have changed.

I know there is wrong on both sides and I know there is a grain of truth in what D says about my eating over the past few days and me not paying attention to his work needs. But I also know that I have it under control and that LL is not about being perfect - it's a process and the point of it is getting and staying slim and healthy, not following the diet to perfection. It's learning how to live my life forever my way, not ticking boxes. D doesn't see that. He's very black and white about things - things are either good or bad, right or wrong. He doesn't allow for shades of grey or different ways of achieving the same end. It's very debilitating.

The anger and rage I feel at him now is pretty high but not very productive.

D did apologise first thing this morning (4am) and usually, being pretty non-confrontational in my relationship, I would leave it at that. But this time I'm going to try and talk him through the diet and try and prevent it happening again. I was so hurt and now so livid that he could treat me like that. It's not on.

He's just rung me and been pretty conciliatory (in his way) but doesn't seem to understand how serious it was for me. I said we need to talk it through tonight and he 's all "I apologised" "whatever". I think it got through to him though so maybe this a good thing - a new way of communicating and a new me!

So - being slim does not solve all problems but it makes you stronger in dealing with them (which can in turn create more problems). One thing is clear though - I'm a different person and I'm not going to be bullied like that again. Gutted. What a nice way to start on the Route to management eh?

Monday, 3 September 2007

Day 234 - Chatsworth Country Fair





It was another freezing summer Sunday so we decided logically to spend the entire day outdoors! We did a few chores and then headed out to the Chatsworth Country Fair. It's a quasi agricultural show which has been going at Chatsworth for a few years now and is very popular. It's heavy on the huntin', shootin', fishin' type stuff and has all the usual trade stands and craft stuff. Very expensive to get in though at £15 so a bit of a rip-off but the diversions are of good quality and there's plenty to see and do so every few years we'll grit our teeth and hand over the readies.

The setting is incomprable - watching the angling demonstration bythe river; or the gun dogs retrieving across the river under the creamy stone bridge with the house in the background; the clay pigeon shooting up on the hill with various follies and hunting lodges behind - beautiful. Of course it rained so the craft stands were rammed and the dog got a bit grumpy with the crowds and the rain but it was a good day.

The Cossack riders were great (not real Russians of course - they all had names like Amy, Tom, Henry and Sebastian so very public school!) but God - they could ride!! They looked so young but they've been doing stunt work in loads of big films and Beeb productions - well impressive. I also liked the dog on the man's shoulders - they were like that for ages with the dog seemingly as interested in the gundog retrieving show as the man!!

Foodwise I spent most of the day seeking out the Derbyshire Smokery stand to buy their creamy smoked mackerel for my first official meal tomorrow night - I was disappointed not to find them until, on our way back to the car, we found another little court of food stands tucked away and there they were - phew! I had been really looking forward to their mackerel - supermarket stuff would not have been half as good. I also found a seriously impressive mushroom supplier and noted where they sell and which Farmers' Markets they go to - didn't buy yesterday as not ready but their stand was amazing.....mmmmm....

I admit to a few free nibbles at various stands but didn't have any major weakening - just plenty of water and black coffee. Hopefully I've learned now that I don't have to stuff my face at these events.

In general, since Wednesday, I've been sticking to the plan but have gone down to 3 packs per day and have substituted one for a small bowl of high fruit, low GI muesli with added blackberries and a very small splash of milk. I know it's not within the plan and have only one bowl left so am not going to buy any more until I'm ready for that stuff within RTM. It was an impulse buy and, combined with the fresh blackberry craving I currently have, was too good to resist!! I've also very slightly loosened the reins in terms of nibbles but haven't had major eats or major carbs since Wednesday night so not too bad. I've kept up the exercise and am ready to start RTM in earnest tomorrow. It's as though the last few days have been a kind of controlled limbo period, a little hiatus, but LL has not been forgotten!!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Day 233(ii) - Blackberry picking and cooking





I got up early this morning and was out with the dog picking blackberries by 8am! It was a beautiful morning and I cursed myself for not bringing my camera - the banks of lush black and red berries glistening in the early morning sunshine were so photogenic - sorry!


The dog was happy too - none of this jogging rubbish - she could snuffle around with her head buried in the long grass to her heart's content. It was a really old-fashioned treat - took me back to my Lincolnshire childhood it did - oooaaarrrh..... I looked like a kid too - my fingers were stained and I don't think my trousers will ever be the same again - I looked as though I'd been on a killing spree from all the berry juice! Still, it was lovely to be planning cooking again, even though I won't be eating the fruits of my harvest for a little while longer. I didn't want to miss out though, just because Autumn is unseasonably early this year!!
After the picking it was off to the footie. True to the dictates of the Great God Television, we were playing at 12.45 today so all our usual matchday rituals were upsidedown. Match first; get good and depressed by yet another gruesome defeat (Wednesday have Nul Points so far this season!!); then go to the pub for a couple of beers. I did actually have some beer this afternoon too!! I have been very good and have stuck to sparkling water since January but am loosening the reins a bit and had 2 halves of bitter and a water. It was gorgeous too.
Then back home to find that all my cook-y stuff had been delivered and the George Foreman grill too. D tried it out for his Lamb Chops and was favourably impressed although less keen to clean it after himself I notice! Maybe this'll wean him off his beloved frying pan?? Hope so - his waistline could do with all the help it can get!!
Then started the marathon cookoff: 4 mini blackberry and apple crumbles (used half oats instead of flour and wholegrain flour instead of white) and sucron instead of sugar in the fruit mixture. Froze them in small 2 man portion foil containers so there will be no temptation to overeat!! I hope my plan works.
Next up a big batch of bramble and apple jelly. I'll probably end up giving most of it away but it's nice to use up the apples from the garden and a big batch of blackberries from the hedgerows.
Tomorrow I'm going to make some pies - damson and apple, apple and elderberry and almond. Also to be frozen in small portions and with the pastry and fillings duly low-caloried and high-GI'd as far as possible.
So - we're off to the pub tonight but I reckon we'll not go to the local as I was bored last night - D is up for a change of scene to so we'll see what we can rustle up. Hope you're having fun.

Day 233 - What a transformation!!


No, not me, the garden!!

Above is a pretty rubbish "before" shot. I did take some better ones but the computer crashed and this was all we could salvage. Below it, the "after" shot. I hope you think it's an improvement. We now have a big patio, a level lawn, a raised herb bed, paths, shrubs, ornamental grasses, a pond and decking looking over it and I couldn't be happier with it. We have even put some fish in the pond although the little blighters weren't showing themselves this morning when we went down to check on them....fingers crossed for them. It was murky this morning as we had some rain last night.

I had a good day working from home yesterday. Got loads of work done and also spent a nice time with D and the dog. Perfect. I went for a quick but hard jog with Kate too so didn't abandon the exercise.

Foodwise I was pretty controlled. I stuck to the packs but did have a bowl of high fruit and high GI muesli. It was GORGEOUS! Way better than Alpen - why did I bother with that powdery rubbish when there are such superior products available? Also, cheaper and lower in calories, fat and salt.

We went to the pub last night frankly I wish we hadn't bothered. After last weekend when I had a pretty good time out, I found it dull and edgy. The people out didn't seem to be gelling or having a great time; the landlord and landlady were miserable and useless and all in all it was a waste of time and money. At least I don't have a hangover this morning.

Just by way of example - I drank sparkling water all night apart from one pot of black coffee (which they also mucked up) and I had to ask the landlady for ice EVERY single time I had another bottle!! Why? Surely she noticed after the 4th time? Just incredibly poor service. Also, the ice was invariably delivered with a fake "smile" and a sigh as if it was the biggest imposition I could have placed upon her.....some people really should not be running a bar...

Anyway, today (Saturday) is looking up. I got up early to go blackberrying (of which more later) and soon (when I've washed the stains off me!) I'm going to the footie to meet up with Jim.

Have a nice Satuday!