Friday, 29 February 2008

Day 12 (x2)

It's strange: a couple of weeks ago I was totally focussed on losing most of the weight I had regained. It was going to be abstinence, pain, self-flagellation all the way. Now my thoughts have shifted yet again.

I still want to lose the weight but I don't seem to be focussed on food much at all. I'm doing a kind of hybrid abstinence - 2 or 3 packs a day; lots of water; skimmed milk in tea and coffee; a protein and salad mini meal and the occasional very small treat. I'm sure it'll slow my weight loss down but, if I can keep to it as I currently am doing, then I don't care because, for once, food is not the central focus of my life!!

Now I'm focussed on my fitness and, more particularly, training to run the Sheffield Half Marathon on 27th April. I've got to get the miles into my legs and the interval/intensity training done so I don't die on the way round! I want to be able to do it in 2 hours if poss but that may prove slightly ambitious!!

It's a good time to do the training too as the weather and evenings are improving and the dog doesn't need walking due to her puppies!

It's very refreshing to have a non weight-related goal to works towards. I'm sure the training will improve my physique and should help me lose weight too but the point is - I want to be able to do the race!! feels like a revelation from's NOT all about what I weigh....

I've just been to personal training and managed a swift 4 mile run last night in 39 minutes (first time I've beaten 42 minutes on that route) so the Games have well and truly commenced.....bring on the Lions.....

So, on that buoyant note, I'll leave you as I still have to shower and get to work and I'm running late....geddit....running.....

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Day 11 (x2)

I'm working from home again today as I have a massive document to read, review and then discuss with our solicitor. It's 88 pages long and v v complex and I'm really not looking forward to it. Honestly, I don't know why I chose the law at times like these, it's not really my thing! I'm much better with real times issues and dealing with people, all this detail work bores me!! I suppose that's why my job at the Council suits me as there is less pure legal work to do and more strategy and advising on the hop.

Anyway, today I'm going to have to suck it up and get it done. I'm starting early so that I can fit in a run if possible. I'd like to do a 6 miler but not sure how much time I will have as I also have my french class this evening. We'll see.

Now today, I don't feel thin!! Why is that? Yesterday I felt noticeably slimmer and today, bloaty. Grrrr. Could it be something to do with the slice of white bread and butter I had last night??? Probably. It's amazing how one transgression can weigh on you both physically and mentally. Physically, I genuinely do feel less "empty" and mentally I feel cheesed off that I weakened and had a slice of bread of all things!

When D is away there is no bread in the house (well, maybe a Burgin's seeded loaf in the freezer but I can ignore that). When he comes back though, there's lovely fresh white crusty bread just sitting on the counter (he could at least put it away!), right next to the butter.....sigh.....

Hope you like the latest pictures of Shelagh and her pups. Little Marvin looks so sweet there doesn't he? Full as a barrel and totally content just lying next to his sister and on his mum's belly. Bliss. They're gaining weight like crazy and no-one tells them off....lucky little blighters....

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Day 10 (x2) [updated]

Well, I feel thinner and I think I've lost weight although my scales seem a bit variable at the moment. I managed a swift 4 mile run yesterday lunchtime to compensate for missing training. The first half of the run was both predominantly uphill AND into the teeth of a biting and very strong headwind! It was bliss to turn around and float home! I was pleased to put the effort in and find that I'd managed to increase my speed to 10.5 minute miles from 11 minute miles!

If I am going to do this half marathon (I haven't put the form in yet - will decide today) I'll have to be constantly increasing the length of my runs every week from here on in. At the moment have been playing it rather safe.

Apart from that, food was okay. I slipped up in the petrol station on the way into Sheffield and bought a Lindor mini egg!! But it could have been worse. Not difficult to identify the trigger for that one - petrol stations are an ever present but also D and I had had just had "words"! Nothing serious or long-lasting but enough for me to just grab at chocolate as I passed. I suppose the good thing is that it was only a small piece of chocolate, in the past that might have been MUCH worse!

When D first arrvies back from the rig, we're always really pleased to see each other but within the first few days we usually snipe at each other. Sometimes the sniping creates bitterness and causes a hangover which last for days. We're trying really hard this time not to let little spats escalate or taint our time together and learn from past mistakes. I think it's a natural period of re-adjusting to each other. D is back in "my" house; he's tired, he's been used to bossing a team of blokes doing a really high pressure job; now he has only me to boss!!; I don't like being bossed (no shit Sherlock!); we haven't been able to talk properly for a month so all new issues arise; a combination of factors...

This though, like with CBT in LL, we're going to try to break the pattern and do things differently so as not to allow the inevitable readjusting to last for half his trip home! So far it seems to be working - what "words" we have had have been expressed and then forgotten (not something D is good at!!) and I'm doing my best not to be the martyr...

That can only help us get to the good times sooner!

This all sounds very clinical but when you live in a relationship of 4 week chunks it becomes easy to see patterns and not always easy to break out of them! For 4 weeks, I'm single and independent, then have to adjust to being accountable to D and for 4 weeks he's the boss of a big crew doing high-pressured work and he has to readjust to being a "partner" rather than a boss.

On happier subjects - the pups and Shelagh are well. We took them all to the vet for a check up yesterday morning and all is fine. Since then she has turned into the best Mum in the world! When we have to move the pups (which we do very sparingly) she can't bear to be parted from then and her eyes just shine with love for them. She's obsessed, shepherding them around the box, licking them, suckling them. It's lovely to see. She stayed in the box with them constantly from 11am yesterday until we brought them all downstairs to the living room and the fire and then again all night. I had to persuade her downstairs to go out for a wee and she would not go to the back door as too far from the pups! She is a gorgeous mother!!!

I have also been visiting human babies. My friend Kirsten the vet (who I rang for guidance during the whelping) turned out to be less than helpful as she was herself having her child, unfortunately nearly 5 weeks early! They're both fine though and I went to see them yesterday evening. He's only tiny but well and not in an incubator or anything. It made me quite broody for the first time. Think I'll have to get going on this babymaking idea. ...

Happy dieting and training everyone!


I managed another swift 3 mile run this evening with Shelley. I can really feel the progress that I'm making now that I'm running consistently. Whereas Shelley was puffing and panting up the hill, I could have gone a fair bit faster. Shell is naturally a faster runner than me (long skinny legs see) so, at the end, once we were on the flat, she really upped the pace and I was still able to keep up! Great stuff.

So, that's decided it; I've filled in my Sheffield Half Marathon application form and will post it tomorrow. I will have to be going for the training big style to be ready by 27 April!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Day 9 (x2) - Welcome to the World and all that....

Well, I managed to get some sleep eventually once I was assured that Shelagh seems to be a good mother. I ended up sleeping on a mattress next to her box in case she needed me and that seemed to relax both of us. I woke up every hour or so and after about 5 hours she left the pups for a couple of hours under the heat lamp and got some kip too. When they cried though, she hopped back in the box and looked after them - phew!

The pups are pretty big and hardy and seem to be feeding well which is probably a result of there only being 2 of them. I'm a tiny bit disappointed there aren't more but it will certainly make it easier on all of us only having to care for 2! We're still thinking about names but working titles are currently Mitzi and Marvin! Well, you need to call them something....

Mitzi is the big one with the larger black blotches and Marvin the mainly white boy. They'll both turn silvery grey with black splodges as they get older.

On the food front, I was well impressed with myself that, after D had crashed out and me and Shelagh were feeling our way, I didn't settle into eating for England, especially as the house was newly stocked with food ready for D's return. I made a coffee and a pack and had a small piece of turkey and that was that!

I've had to cancel personal training this morning but will try for a run later when D is up and about. At least I got my 5 miler in last night.

So - thanks for all your good wishes. It's great fun and I'm even looking forward to the chaos ahead. It'll probably distract me from eating if nothing else!!

Monday, 25 February 2008


Shelagh just had 2 pups! She seemed fine, just tired then D arrived and she came downstairs and sort of greeted him but then we saw blood and gore (D was actually sick!!) and I went upstairs and found a little scrap on the bed!! So we got him (the pup, not D) cleaned up, and sat with her through the next one (a girl) and now she's in her box with her 2 babies, licking them and they're suckling away like old pro's!!

D has been travelling for 27 hours straight through and has just fallen asleep in front of the fire and I'm popping in to check on them all from time to time!!

What a welcome home!

Day 8 (x2)

Shelagh is definitely very near to giving birth. She really didn't want to go to the farmplace where I leave her when I go to work this morning. Normally she races out the door and jumps in the car but today she wanted to stay close to the house. So I left her at home and came back early and worked from home in the afternoon.

I tried to take her for a very gentle walk and she was kind of waddling and wanted to turn back before we were out of sight of the house. Once we turned back though, she was pulling hard and moving faster than I would normally run!! And she's hardly moved from her bed since I've got home. It's not long now!!

I've had a good day. Got lots done this morning then headed home and did another bit at home before heading out for a run. I managed 5.1 miles in 55 minutes so I'm still on 11 minute miles. I don't know whether I should try to speed up or concentrate on longer runs?? Will have to talk to Huw about it tomorrow.

Because I went a little off the rails over the weekend - not too bad but not the right stuff, for example a couple of small sarnies in celebration of our big win in the quiz last night! Well, anyway, because of that I've refocussed on being really strict today and have had no problems. Suspect it's a weekend thing - it'll be easy to stick to the diet all week and then at the weekend, it'll be a nightmare!

I also looked into the Sheffield Half Marathon. It's on Sunday 27 April and I'm sorely tempted. I've got 9 weeks to really get some serious training under my belt and it could be just what I need. Yep - I'm going to go for it! It should make the 10k I've already signed up for in May feel very easy!!

The downside of today is that time of the month has landed and I feel as though I've swallowed a bowling ball and it's currently lodged in my lower belly. I hate it. It only lasts a day or so and not very painful but so uncomfortable! I suppose it means I did all the better actually carrying the bowling ball round for my 5 mile run - yay me!

The (very big) plus side of today is that D is due back from Korea any minute now. I can't wait. I'm going to go downstairs now and light the fire and wait for Shelagh to go mental!

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Day 7 (x2)

Shelagh showing off her pregnant belly. Actually, you wouldn't know she was pregnant at all unless she lies on her back. I'm well impressed with how well she's kept her figure!

The dreaded whelping box. She's getting used to the idea but, when the time comes, I bet she finds somewhere really awkward for all concerned!!

Today wasn't too bad at all. As it happened, going to my parents was not the big temptation I thought it would be. I wasn't there long and it was just really peaceful and pleasant and we didn't go out for a meal or anything so no angst about food. My dad had thought ahead (what a star) and decided that they would have a Chinese meal in the evening after I left.

Mum was in good form too so, all in all, daughterly duties accomplished with much pleasure all round.

Shelagh is very tired nowadays. Her due date is very near (next Friday) and all she wants to do is sleep. I think the drive to Lincolnshire was probably a bit much for her actually. Still, she was an absolute star when we met the couple who would like to buy one of her puppies (all being well). I dropped round on the way to my parents, partly because I think it's better for people to meet the mother before she has pups and gets all protective and partly so I could check that they would be able to provide a suitable home for the pup! They were lovely and their 5 year old daughter was a really sweetie. Shelagh was a big hit too so I'm happy that at least one of her pups will have a lovely home to go to.

I've been mulling over my Rules/non-negotiables for when I'm back eating normally again. One of them is definitely going to be running, probably at least 3 times per week. I was thinking about what Mrs L said about her Expert Friend's determination and then I was watching a film with Sharon Bullock in which illustrated the point perfectly. It was "Premonition" which is about a suburban housewife who keeps waking up either days ahead or days behind her husband's death. Her life is totally topsy turvy as she tries to work out whether she's going mad or actually foretelling her husband's death but still, every morning, she goes for her run!! How cool is that? I'd like to have a figure like SB to!! Really nice and lean but curvy and not scrawny. She makes it look easy but I'm sure it's not....

So, that's one Rule into my book.

Now I had better go and get ready to go out now - it's the final inter-pub quiz match this evening and it's the big grudge fixture against the Derwentwater Arms in Curbar....ooooohh I hear you all say...... wish me luck!

Day 8 (x2)

It's Sunday morning and I have a busy day ahead but I wanted to just sit down and get a few thoughts out of the way; to keep me on the straight and narrow through some tempting times I have in front of me today.

I've got to do about an hour of housework (not really tempting I know but under pressure as three's no other time to do it)!

Then I'm off to visit my parents for the day. It's not really convenient but I promised myself that I would go over more frequently. Unfortunately, my lovely mum has been showing signs of severe memorey loss for a year or so now. We're not really facing it as a family and, although I'm doing better than most, I need to drag my siblings to the forefront and force them to help my Dad more. He is carrying a big burden and needs company and support. All this sounds great but, you know what it's really like in families, very difficult to actually say these things out loud.

So - maybe not today but soon I'm going to get something sorted. For one thing, what if there is some treatment (I think there may be) which could help her and, through inertia and squeamishness, we're not getting it to her?? The daft thing about all this is that my sister is a GP and seems to be burying her head in the sands!!! I do the legal stuff in the family...consult on wills, house sales and purchases, taxes, divorces etc That was the deal. My sister does the medical stuff. And now she isn't. Grrrr.

So the upshot is, I always feel very tempted to eat at my parents. Not least because my Mum forgets I'm on a diet and can't understand why I'm not eating!!

So, this time I will allow myself my small amount of lean protein and salad for lunch and step away from anything else. The scales are showing a good loss and I'm feeling slim again (although still not in the size 12 jeans) so it is definitely worth continuing.

On the plus side, I'm taking Shelagh to meet the potential owners of one of her pups this morning on the drive across. Hope they're nice as I won;t sell them a pup if the place isn't suitable!

I had a great day yesterday - a good weight loss; Sheffield Wednesday finally won a game and well; I managed to force myself out of a swift 3 mile run at 5.30pm on a Saturday evening (not easy); and then off to the pub to watch Engalnd beat France in the rugby. All in all, pretty good stuff.

Oh, and I stopped into a little designer-y boutique shop in Sheffield which had a spring sale on and bought 2 tops. All part of my quest to wear better quality and nicer things. That was a plus too.

Have a good weekend all.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Day 7 (x2)

So, my first weigh in after 6 days and I've lost 9lbs! Not too shabby. Given the fact that I've had little extras along the way, not too bad at all!

And, exciting developments in the CD world.... When I "confessed" (without much guilt it has to be said) to my chicken and milk in tea/coffee etc, the CDC said that the guidance had changed and they've brought out a new Sole Source Plus just for me!! Apparently they've brought out a new programme in the latest literature called Sole Source Plus which allows you your 3 packs (unless you're over 5'8" when you get 4) PLUS a v v small meal of lean protein and tiny veg/salad and 200ml skimmed milk! How perfect is that?? It's exactly what Ive been doing for most of the week anyway but sanctioned and now I'm not cheating so I don;t have to deal with the head stuff about "failing" etc to be abstinent....Yay!

So - got to dash, it's the rugby soon but I'll post in more detail later. Hope you're all having a great weekend and welcome back Sam of Soon Be Slim fame.....

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Day 6 (x2)

[Me in the jeans that won't now do up (in Ireland in October)!!! The shame of it....]

Hey - I managed to put my eating of chicken behind me and didn't have my third pack to partially compensate so last night was not too bad. I've just been to training with the luscious Huw and all is back being right with the world. Actually, I felt as though I didn't have much juice in the tank today which is probably understandable as I'm on the packs but I took it slowly and worked pretty hard. I can see that I look slimmer already. there is that slightly "empty" look about my flesh. Hard to explain but unmistakable.

In the pub last night, I met a woman who goes out occasionally but who I haven't seen for a while. She lost 6 1/2 stone on Slimming World a couple of years ago and has now put it all back on again, or very nearly. I didn't know her before but remember seeing her in SW classes back in the day as we started on the same day and when I fizzled out after a few weeks she kept going so that, several months later, when I tried again, she was there, stones lighter. I remember at the time feeling desperate and envious. How come she can do it and I can't??

Well, now, unhappily for Tracey, the shoe is on the other foot and I felt very sorry for it. She is battling with the weight and has obviously stabilised over the last few months but can't seem to start anything properly. She tried LL but only managed 3 weeks. It really made me appreciate how far I have come.

All that wittering about will I/won't I start back on the packs? Am I over-reacting? Well, the answer is no! I'm not risking going back there and making all my hard work go to waste. I am going to be one of the few who becomes a longterm slim woman, even if I have to do packs every now and then (although I hope it doesn't come to that!).

Something else stiffened my resolve last night too. Before I went out I was feeling a bit thinner (you know how it goes) so thought I'd try on my size 12 jeans. The ones that made me cry when I could get into them in Next. Well - I can't do them up. Not even after nearly a week on the packs. I was kidding myself about how much I had gained in January. The jeans fitted me fine in October in Ireland, slightly tight but perfectly ok to wear I could even wear them in the run up to Christmas. Now, they wouldn't meet over my belly!! Keep at it Les - no more wavering and thinking that everything is fine....that is just a slippery slope.

In the great scheme of things, everything is fine, I do look fine, but I'm determined not to get any bigger and need to get back down there before it's not fine any more.

Finally - Mrs L posted a link about a hypnotist from Celebrity Fit Club (which I have never seen). She's called Marisa Peer and I think she was the one from Super Skinny - Super Size (or whatever it is called) the other night (Peridot was asking about it). She seemed pretty good on that. On her website she's advertising a series of seminars she's giving this spring. I enquired and am told that a half day seminar costs £250! Or £190 if more than one of you book together. I'm half interested in the one in Manchester on 22 March (I will have done packs for 4 weeks and will be desperate to go back to food by then) and wondered if anyone else might be interested? I can't make the London one but could probably do Newcastle if anyone would prefer that? Just a thought.

Happy dieting all.

Day 5 (x2) - struggling a bit!

Well, all good things must end I suppose. This evening my abstinence went wayward.... I was ravenous when I got in and the thought of a chocolate shake just didn't cut it. So, when I was cutting up chicken for the dog (yes I know she's spoiled but she's pregnant!) I dragged a leg and thigh off the carcass, made a (skimmed) milk cappucino and headed through to the living room to enjoy it! Which I did but so much that I headed back for the other drumstick....sigh

Still, I have stopped the rot there and, in the scheme of things, it's not too bad a fall from grace. I was at the petrol station earlier to fill up and was sorely tempted by just about everything in there and didn't crumble so I should be grateful for small mercies.

Now I'm up here on the computer and then going to go to the pub for an hour or so so hopefully that'll put temptation behind me. I'm fine just drinking water in the pub and tonight I can even have a diet coke if I REALLY want one which should stave off the boredom.

I have not exercised today beyond a walk around town at lunchtime. Was going to go swimming at lunchtime but was too busy. Could have jogged after work but late back and ravenous as previously mentioned. Still, it's my first week on the packs so I don't feel too bad. My weekly result is:- Monday - day off; Tuesday - personal training; Wednesday - long, hilly run; Thursday - day off; and Friday - personal training. Usually I only have one day off per week but this one I've had 2, which is not so bad.

The run yesterday was FAB! I was working from home so could go out at lunchtime. I was going to go for a 5 miler along a footpath up to the dam and then back home along the road. But, it was so pretty on the path near the reservoir that I couldn't leave it and run on the road. So I went off-piste and ended up climbing half way up Win Hill through forestry tracks back home. It was 6 miles in total and very hilly. I was knackered but so exhilerated. I stopped to take some photos but it took 75 minutes which seems like an 11 minute pace which is not TOO bad. I'd like to bring it down to nearer 10 to be honest.

Hope you like the photos. I was FREEZING hence the strange garb!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Day 4 (x2)

Every now and then I like to take a really grumpy photo of Shelagh. I think she does grumpy quite well!!
She's in full stick-burying mode here. She gets really furtive and purposeful and hates it if I see where she chooses to bury her beloved sticks. I just hope she doesn't try and do the same with her puppies!!

I'm working from home today so, after an early start, I'm enjoying the freedom of being able to check out blogs without the nasty "Websense" filter popping up! I suppose it's only fair to expect me to work while I'm at work but, honestly!!

It's another frosty morning but no glorious sunshine today so I think the lovely crisp wintry days are on their way out now. My garden is frozen and white and there are birds crowding every branch waiting their turn to get to the bird feeders. I've just had a cloud of long tailed tits descend and there are a good dozen blackbirds on the ground clearing up the sunflowers seeds dropped by the messy green finches and gold finches! I'm pretty religious about feeding the birds and now, after a couple of years of consistent food supply, there are masses of them, especially on such cold days when all other sources of food are rare.

The irony did strike me, as I poured out another huge batch of sunflower seed hearts, that I'm keen to find the most highly calorific food for my birds while seeking to limit my own calories as much as humanly possible!

The pond is frozen and next door's horses are currently charging round the field bucking and playing and all is pretty much right with the world. I'm not sure whether I could work from home all the time but I certainly love it once in a while!

Foodwise, I'm doing alright on the packs. I must admit to having a few splashes of skimmed milk in my tea and coffee but only have 2 or 3 each day so not excessive. I just can't seem to be able to go back to black. I rationalise it by saying that I'm freezing and need something tiny to make me happy to stay on the packs and so far it is working. I haven't had any headaches yet (although I wonder if one might be coming on) and my stick turned pale pink last night so I know I'm heading into ketosis and I have definitely lost a few lbs already so it's coming along.

The CD packs are nice. Towards the end on LL I had lost interest in all flavours other than chocolate, vanilla, banana muffin and mushroom soup. Maybe it's because I've had a break from packs but I've enjoyed the choc orange, spiced orange (a bit like mulled wine shake!!), cheese and broccoli soup, loved the chicken and mushroom soup and am not really bothered by the chocolate! Haven't trid a tetrabrik yet but must admit that the idea of the convenience of them for certain times is comforting.

I had an eating/not eating dilemma yesterday. I was meant to be going to the football (Sheffield Wednesday v Coventry) in the evening which means meeting my football buddy Jim at Pizza Hut. I had already forewarned him that I wouldn't be eating and had planned to have a tetrabrik and a diet coke (yes - they're allowed in moderation on CD). Mid-morning I started to witter to myself about this and to persuade myself that I could have the low-cal chicken salad I usually have and not eat the 4 tortilla chips that come with it and only have water or diet coke. I was to-ing and fro-ing over this for some time and eventually did a Thought Record about it.

The result was strangely inconclusive as usually I come to a definite conclusion when I bother to do such a thing. My conclusion of sorts was that I would postpone the decision until I got to the restaurant and would try not to have the salad but, if I really wanted it there and then, I would do so and not let the eating go any further. I think what it showed me was that I'm more confident in letting myself make decisions about food. I'm maybe not as slavishly following the Rules but nor am I trying to evade them. I'm being a bit more adult about it.

I THINK I would not have eaten having made that decision. I think it was the temptation and the thought of how awful it was going to be, the feeling that I couldn't eat which was causing me the trouble. Once I'd allowed myself to eat if I really wanted to, well, the urge wasn't so strong thereafter.

In the end it was all academic as the game was postponed due to a frozen pitch. I'm glad, to be honest, as the thought of sitting in a freezing stand in minus 5 or 6 temperatures for a couple of hours watching Wednesday lose again was not overly appealing!!

So back home and another night in in front of the fire (2 in a row - not like me). I didn't eat and wasn't too tempted to either (maybe because I know there's nothing in the house worth having!!).

The photos are from our walk around Linacre Reservoirs on Sunday afternoon,.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Day 3 (x2)

Just a quick early morning post after my personal training session. I was hungry last night and roamed the house seeking some sort of sustenance. In the end though I made do with a coffee with a little bit of vanilla pack in it and a shed load of sweetener to make me feel as though I had got something naughty. I forced myself upstairs to the computer when I had the urge to roam the kitchen again and I eventually lost myself in a film so managed to stay pure!

I needed a quiet night in, but those are the hardest times to resist eating, especially when there's no-one else around. So, I'm pleased I emerged unscathed.

Training was good today too. Because I feel a little bit lighter (not clogged up with carbs) I was happier doing the exercises and can see the light at the end of the tunnel for a slim summer. I'm definitely in that "zeal of the convert" stage!! Hallelujah!

While I'm typing this, D has just rung me from Korea and the dog wanted her turn too so we had a chat on Skype. It cracks me up watching her talking to him. She listens for a while with her head cocked to one side and ears pricked (well as pricked as they'll ever be for a spaniel!) then she answers by howling at him with her little nose in the air. So sweet.

So - another day, another dollar. Have a good one all.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Day 2 (x2) - Dog's Galore!

Well, you ask for it, you get it! You say you want doggie pictures so here are a FEW of the many I took at Sandra's yesterday. The first few are of Shelagh's beau, Archie (or Wilmerella King's Legacy to use his full title). He's a beauty isn't he? The rest are of the melee of spaniels she released after we'd had our photoshoot. In there somewhere are Archie's sister and son but I couldn't pick them out of a doggie lineout! They're very exuberant, merry creatures who live to "connect" with their human family. Real communicators. I'm glad Shelagh is going to have company soon when we keep her daughter (if she has one) as it was nice seeing all the dogs together.

Anyway, what else is new? I've been very good today, still no slip ups. I haven't experienced any negative side effects yet, ie. the headaches haven't appeared, but I have been pretty hungry. So far I've managed to stave the pangs off with tea or coffee but I'm sure that will wear thin (geddit...). It didn't help that it was FREEZING today! -9 when I set off from work and the office hadn't really warmed up from the weekend so I spent a lot of the day shivering. I forgot how much the water chills you too.

Anyway, I'm pretty positive because I feel thinner after only one day....can't be bad. Think it's just that I don't have that bloated "eaten too much feeling" but I'll take it. I'm desperate to be able to fit into a few of the clothes which have grown too tight recently. My current wardrobe is extremely limited (I'm giving Mrs Lard a run for her money) and I've refused to buy new stuff. So, I reckon a stone off should get me into a fair few items and 21lbs would open up nearly all my wardrobe (only missing the couple of items I bought at my skinniest, assuming I was going to keep losing and have never worn!).

Mrs wrote a very thought-provoking post yesterday about when thin becomes too thin. I've mentioned it before too as I've had a lot of feedback from friends and colleagues which overwhelmingly indicated that I "went too far". At the time, I really did not think that though and have decided to keep an open mind as I lose the weight again. I really liked being that slim. I say slim, I was still nearly 11 stone and my BMI was only just peeking under 25 but I think I must have a very dense frame because I don't think you would have guessed at what I weighed. Anyway, I liked it and I'm going to monitor myself all the way down until I'm happy with my body and clothes, rather than being a slave to the scales. I might ask D what he thinks too, if he's good!! I didn't allow him much input last time but I'm sure he has an opinion...

So, a nice long evening at home is all I have planned for this evening. No exercise, I'm taking a rest day and not pushing my luck at the start of the diet (although I am going to training tomorrow morning). I want to get some phone calls made, use up the veggies in my fridge by making soup and slob in front of the fire and the telly with the dog on my lap. Can't wait. Hope you're all well and keeping battling!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Day 1 (x2)

It's been a busy busy day. I've hardly noticed that I've not eaten proper food although I'm ravenous now and really looking forward to my soup which I'll have after I've typed up this post!

I woke up early (the anticipation maybe?) and looked out the window to see another spectacular sunny frosty morning. Instead of going back to bed as I have done the last few weekends, I got up, dressed and headed down to the river with the dog and my camera. It was just beautiful. Blue sky, hoar frost, bright sunshine and peace.

After that, a hilarious conversation with D on Skype. The dog must recognise the distinctive Skype ringtone as she came bombing through before D had even answered and was whingeing and howling at the screen all the way through. I had to chuck her out of the room for a while or D and I would not have been able to have any conversation at all. It's very sweet though and I know both D and Shelagh love their Sunday morning "chats"!

Next up, a frosty run with Shelley. A very brisk 4 miler with 2 bigs hills at the start and finish. Shell had to walk up part of the second but I pushed on up and was rewarded with the runner's high for the last half mile or so. Fantastic. I was really pushing it at the end and felt great. I'm ready for a longer route next week (provided I have any energy on these packs that is).

I'm back in the zone with running after a bit of a lull since before Christmas. I've been running but my heart hasn't been engaged so have not wanted to go out of my comfort zone. Well, last night I had dinner with Louise and James and Lou is a keen runner (has done the London marathon!) and she was talking me through training and showing me books and stuff. It really rekindled my interest. She has lent me a Marathon training book and, while I'm adamant that I will NOT be running a marathon (just have no interest), I'm seriously considering a half marathon as I have mentioned on several previous occasions. Time to put money where mouth is methinks...

After the run it was time for Shelagh to go and meet her boyfriend! I went up to visit the woman who owns Archie (the father of Shelagh's pups) to take some pictures of him in case anyone interested in the pups wants to see him and to have a chat with Sandra about whelping and looking after pups. She also wanted to pick my brains about LL as she has lost 3 1/2 stone on it and is nearing the end of Development. I told her in no uncertain terms that she should take RTM VERY seriously and not relax her guard as I have done!

The house was Cocker Central. It was swarming with gorgeous blue roans who were all really lively and good tempered. Shelagh acquitted herself well and didn't fight with any of them although she was a bit uneasy about the sheer numbers of wriggling jumping creatures who all wanted to sniff her and play! Sandra has 6 now and they're mostly all show winners and Champions!

Finally, we stopped off at Linacre Reservoir near Chesterfield on the way back for a walk and had a good 2 hours or so going round the 3 reservoirs. The weather was just stunning and it was incredibly peaceful. I'm very hungry now though as I have only had one pack so far today. I'm heading downstairs in a minute for Cheese and Broccoli soup (!?), Then a quick break before I head off to the pub for the inter-village pub quiz league match!! Serious stuff indeed!!!

I've been very tempted several times so far today but no cheats yet. I'm trying to take each hour as it comes and resist each challenge separately. Wish me luck.

Hope you like the frosty pics from this mornng. I'll post some cocker shots tomorrow when I have downloaded them to the computer. Hope you all had a lovely weekend!!

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Last day of eating for a while....

And I'm actually enjoying it. Not going mad but I have enjoyed a few last day treats. Had pancakes for breakfast. And chicken pitta for lunch and a slice of flapjack out on my walk. So a bit carbtastic but I don't care....I'll be on the packs from tomorrow so that'll be the end of life as we know it for a few weeks.

I went to meet my new CDC (Cambridge Diet Counsellor) yesterday and she is really nice. A trained clinical psychologist so there'll probably a bit a of actual counselling going on. She seemed very caring and as though the job is more than just a business to her. I felt my previous LL counsellor had gone beyond that point (maybe as it had not worked for her being as she had regained all her weight?) and saw us all as cash cows. This woman is definitely more my type and, sadly, I mean that socially as well as in a more general way.

I always feel a bit bewildered when the knotty issue of class raises its head. I genuinely don't see it as a problem and have friends from all walks of life and always have had. My previous LLC though, clearly felt threatened by me being a middle-class, educated professional type. She often dismissed my contributions and clearly "sided" or ostentatiously had more in common with other women in the class who were a bit more "rough and ready" shall we say. Now that makes me sound like a terrible snob and I'm really not, but it was definitely true.

The weird thing was though, it was only the LLC making the destinction...the rest of the class mucked in according to who we liked etc not according to who did what or who had what accents etc.

Anyway, I suppose I'm dissing my previous LLC because I can now see that there is another way of doing things and my new CDC seems extremely nice and very positive...not a pushover though!

Anyway, I start tomorrow and I'll keep you posted.

Today, I forced myself to stay in this morning to do a load of chores around the house which had built up over the week. I have done 4 loads of washing! And there's only me in the house! I did sneak away for a half hour to sit in the sunshine down by the pond and read my book though. It was heaven. I was wrapped up from the cold but it was sunny and crisp. The birds were yelling their little heads off and the goldfish, who have miraculously survived our neglect, were chomping away on the fish food I shamefacedly gave them. Next door's dog (who I don't really trust and who I feel quite sorry for) was curled up on her side of the fence as close to me as she could get and Shelagh was curled up on my lap. It was a very peaceful scene.

After that I dragged myself out for a walk and headed up Lose Hill. As keen-eyed readers will know, I often go up Win Hill which is the big hill just behind my house. Lose Hill is a couple of miles down the road and faces Win Hill. Centuries ago, there was a big battle between a Celtic tribe from these parts called the Picts (I don't know who they were fighting against - don't think it was the Romans but could been I suppose - probably themselves, they seem the type!) and each side ranged itself on opposing hillsides. The winners were from the Bamford side (my village) hence Win Hill and the losers came from not much change there then.... (a bit of small-minded parochialism there for which I apologise).

While we're on the subject of the Picts - the Peak Distict is named after them. I used to think it was a strange name for the area as it is not blessed with craggy peaks or anything so there you go... it could come in handy for a pub quiz I suppose...

It always surprises me how, for such a small place, crammed between Manchester and Sheffield and crowded with trippers, the Peaks can feel so expansive and endless. When you're on the top of what are not really very impressive hills by international standards, you feel as though you are on top of the world! My Canadian cousin agreed. She is from Nova Scotia and goes hiking in endless forests and up massive mountains. She has been to Vancouver and seen the amazing outdoors there yet she said the hills near me "felt" bigger and were in some ways more beautiful. I think it the proximity of real life (roads, railways tracks, quarries, mills) which emphasizes the natural beauty more. Also, the ancient farming practises have moulded a very pleasing landscape, with hedgerows, tracks, moorland, barns and farmplaces dotted around. I love it here and am really going to miss it when we go to France.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Good Lesley, Bad Lesley, Good Lesley....

My love of the great outdoors must come from my Nana! I just noticed this old piccie which D must have scanned onto the computer for some purpose. It's my father's mother, Elinor and was taken by my grandfather (a keen amateur photgrapher) in 1923 whe she was 23! She looks happy in her knitted gear don't you think?!

I'm glad I'm going to meet my CDC this evening as this limboland is not good for me! I've been mostly good and have done a fair bit of exrecise and resisted lots of fattening stuff. Last night though I had a biggish slip up. I think it's when my plans change that there is scope for unscheduled snacking and that can be a trigger for the crooked thinking, and eating basically.

I had to race back home from work to meet a plumber up at our cottage and then go on from there to my french class rather than going straight there from work. I didn't know whether I'd be able to make french and even half planned ditching it. So in the gap between the plumber and french I went to the petrol station (another trigger area) and, along with petrol, purchased a Mars icecream and a Lindor miniegg! Yeah - that's just what I need!

Normally I go to our local petrol station and find I don't impulse buy crap partly because there are several women I know who work there who would comment were I to do so (busybodies if you will but useful busybodies!). Unfortunately, they weren't working and it was a new guy so no moral pressure to abstain from that quarter. How pathetic s that?! If someone I know might see me I won't buy crap! where's my gumption?!

Anyway, when I got to french it was her birthday and she offered me a slice of homemade chocolate cake so I had that too! I was stuffed with chocolate. I should have just skipped supper or had a very light one as I wasn't hungry but I had some pasta in and had that and finished up with 2 slices of toast with jam!!! Stellar.....not!

hey ho.....

I was up early this morning and went to training and worked extra hard so feel alright again. I've prepared a load of carrot batons so lunch will be carrots and hummus with fruit and yoghurt and I'm meeting my CDC after work to get started . So, in the scheme of things, not the worst thing in the world but disappointing nonetheless.

Think I'll start CD on Sunday due to the dinner party I've got to attend tomorrow night and the fact that I have some food in the fridge to use up. Strangely, I'm actually looking forward to it. Maybe that is the benefit of my off-piste eating last night!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

This evening...

Shelley rang and suggested a run. She wanted us to do a longer one than our normal route which suited me so I picked a 3.5 miler. It's got one big hill in it but otherwise not too bad. It was great to be out. We ran within ourselves to be honest which was obvious as we chatted our way round (once we had done the hill!) but next time we'll be able to push a little harder. We're getting the bug back and planning a quick run for Friday night followed by a long 'un on Sunday. Yay - we've got our mojo's (whatever they are!) back!

Thick chick asked about my personal training with the luscious Huw and what strength training we do. It's heavily Pilates based. I generally start with 10 mins on the cross trainer and finish with at least 5 but sometimes (depending on what running I've been doing outside the class) he'll surprise me with a 20 minute interval session on the treadmill or cross trainer. Generally though I alternate between a class of heavy slow weights and exercises (lunges, squats, rows, presses - all the usual) and a more dynamic class with quicker reps, more balance exercises and lighter weights.

Nearly all the weights are self-supporting (standing, balancing on a dome etc) so you're exercising your core as well as whatever bit of the body he's currently torturing. At my request he rings the changes so I never get into a routine but I do repeat most of the exercises over a 2 or 3 week period. I know he increases reps and weights as sometimes an exercise which I have been finding easy-ish suddenly half kills me! He's sneaky like that.

I go twice a week and I can honestly say this is the most consistent I have ever been with any form of exercise. It's been well over 8 months and apart from the odd unavoidable cancellation for holidays or illness, I've not missed a single session.

I like it because, although it's only an hour, there's no waiting for machines, no finding your weights or adjusting bars/bands/balls etc. he does all that while I'm doing one exercise. There's no let up and nowhere I can hide. He spots every little adjustment of posture and doesn't let me away with anything. He marks down everything so I don't have to worry about it. He knows far more exercises and variations than I do so I don't get bored. And he's a nice guy who is very easy on the eye! A bit "earnest" for me though - I prefer a bit of rough to be honest! Hope D isn't reading this!!

Anyway - that's quite a paeon of praise to the lovely Huw. I would highly recommend him in particular and personal training in general (although you do haveto find the right trainer).

If it's not an option, why not try a training buddy who sets one workout and you set the next - that way you don't get bored and you push each other a bit?? I did that for a while before sorting myself out with Huw.

Anyway - it's not been a bad day foodwise. I'm just treading water 'til I restart CD on Friday (or Sunday probably as I'm going to a DP on Sat which has been in the diary ages and it would be a bit rude to turn up and not eat!). Still - not going mad and feeling much more in control.

I'd better go downstairs now and check on my roasted veggies and cous cous with salad which is my supper - sounds healthy - hope it's tasty too!

Night night....

Still hanging on..

I nearly went off the rails with the last supper thinking yesterday - had a lasagne for lunch and some sweets but managed to rein it in with a virtuous salad for supper and no snacks so not too bad.

No running yesterday, just an hour's personal training at 7am with Huw. It's really good but I don't think it helps keep my weight down - just tones me up and keeps my muscles nice and firm. No bad thing. I've noticed that it's been harder though since I gained the yet another reason to shift it.

Apart from struggling with last supper syndrome, I've been feeling really bloated and fat. Partly because my clothes are tight and partly because it's that water retaining time of the month.....what fun!

Still, I managed to haul my flabby ass down the Penistone Road to Hillsborough for Sheffield Wednesday against Charlton Athletic. It was (surprisingly) a good game for a nil nil draw. Our favourite goalkeeper, Nicky Weaver, who annoyingly plays for Charlton, made 3 amazing saves thus proving why he's our favourite but breaking our hearts at the same time. I met my mate Jim before the game in Pizza Hut and managed to resist the call of pizza so I feel pretty good. It was a close run thing though.

By the way, if you're ever in Pizza Hut and trying to be good, the Warm Chicken salad is low in calories (in the 200's as I recall) whereas the other salads are much much higher, especially the Chicken Caesar. I looked them up on the Pizza Hut website once!

So, no major revelations about life and food control - just blathering about what I've been up to. I suppose I'd better get off to work now. Have a good day everyone and no cheating!!

Monday, 11 February 2008

I've only gone and done it...

The photos are to remind me why I'm doing this. I went back and had a look at my LL file and saw these befores and afters. I'm still a lot nearer the afters but I'm NOT going to risk straying anywhere near the befores so ....action must be taken!

I rang round a load of Cambridge Diet counsellors and eventually spoke to one who sounded like she fitted the bill so I'm meeting with her on Friday evening after work! As you know, I've agonised about this decision but, having finally bitten the bullet, I feel like it's the right one.

Ironically, this last few days, I've been much better at regulating my eating and doing lots of exercise and feel thinner and fitter. That, of course, led to the demon crooked thinking - "well, I'm doing it now, why I don't I just keep doing this?" But, I've been here before and it led to a gain once I'd relaxed into NOT going back on the packs. The risk is too great now -I'm at the outer edge of going back to being genuinely fat again. I'm NOT going to go there.

So, I'm glad I made the calls and I'm glad I've found someone who sounds nice and seems interested in the counselling side if I want that (she is a trained clinical psychologist as well as a CDC).

Speaking of crooked thinking - as soon as I'd put the phone down and made the date with her, my first thought was - "ok, now that's sorted I can pig out this week - what shall I have now?"! How terrible is that. Luckily I "heard" myself say it and have NOT pigged out. I was busy this evening so had a snacky supper of scrambled eggs and grilled bacon on Burgin's Linseed and Soya toast (high GI and delicious!!) which is pretty damn healthy. Even there though - the dog is in a hungry mode and was eyeing my plate beadily so I ended up giving her half the scrambled eggs! And, of course, I'm up ere blogging and that is distracting me as well.

And, I've been for a short sharp run this evening with Shelley. She led and is a much faster runner than me even though I'm probaby fitter and have more endurance than her. She has long skinny legs and can just accelerate so over a short distance it was a great workout.

We've signed up for a 10k race in Chatsworth in May (never fear - you will be seeing the sponsorship begging post in due course!) so we have something to train for now. I'm not too worried as I know I could run 10k tomorrow if I had to but I'd like to be able to do it and feel good. Hopefully losing the extra lard will help too!!

Anyway - all this decision making has left me feeling pretty good so hopefully, I'll be fitting back into the 2/3rds of my wardorbe which is currently out of bounds in a month or so. Wish me luck!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Sunny Sunday

You can see her preggers belly in this one. She's getting heavy too!

Me and Shelagh on a rock (you'd never have worked that out!!).

Sunbathing Highland cattle - they look a bit warm in those shaggy coats.

The marshy footpath across Birchen Moor

I fully intended to go for a long run this morning (honest!) but (and here come the excuses) Diarmuid called from Korea and we chatted for ages on Skype; then the computer crashed so I spent an age fixing it and then it was so sunny and gorgeous that I wanted to spend time with the dog! If I went for a run, she couldn't come as she's too pregnant to go running with me now.

So - as a compromise, I picked a long and hilly walk and promised that I'd do it at a brisk pace! Am I let off?

I've been working my way through a little book of circular walks in the Peak District and trying to go to places I've not been before. Today was a 5 miler at Birchen Edge above Baslow and Chatsworth. It was another lovely day and the walk took me up steep hillsides, along gritstones edges, through birch and sessile oak woods and past a couple of very strange monuments to Nelson and Wellington set on rocks in the middle of nowhere on oppostie sides of a big valley. I also passed a herd of Highland cattle sunbathing which is a very strange sight. It was fascinating and breathtaking in places. Pretty busy with walkers being a sunny Sunday after all but everyone was friendly and the dog acquired a blue checked hanky to make her look jaunty!

I've eaten well so far and have avoided calling into the petrol station as I had a suspicion that I would end up buying a bit of chocolate, so so far so good. I want to do half an hour of gardening just to tidy up a patch of the front garden and then maybe some paperwork if I can be bothered.

Tonight our lovely managers from the local pub are leaving. Once again the Brewery is making an incredibly stupid decision based on blinkered short termism and getting rid of a fantastic young couple who can cook and really know how to run a pub. We'll have yet another run of pathetic temporary managers running the place into the ground and then the cycle will start again. No wonder we're leaving this country when we can't even look after our national heritage in the form of village pubs. Grrrr - makes me very angry. So, after the inter-village pub quiz (yes, I appear to be THAT sad!) I'll be going up there to say goodbye and wish them all the best. they would love to stay but can't afford to take the pay cut the Brewery was forcing on them.

Anyway - I'm blathering on a bit. I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend and that the weight is dropping off you!!