Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Quick post to get back in the swing of things!

I can't believe a week has passed since my last post! I've been busy with the pups, work, a guest over Easter, Diarmuid leaving and loads of chores but even so! As that is usually a sign that I'm slacking off, I thought I would write a very quick post to get myself back in the swing of things and remind myself what I'm aiming at.

My targets have become very diffuse and, if I'm not careful, my aim of being skinny for my sister-in-law's wedding in May will slide by leaving a bad taste of disappointment and chances missed.

So, I got new batteries for the scales yesterday and got on them this morning! Exactly 2 stone heavier than my lightest, which is half a stone lighter than my recent heaviest!! Does that make sense? So, while I have gained a little back, I have not gone all the way back and beyond like I used to so that is a small positive. I'm back dieting although I am now battling with a sweet tooth which didn't used to be my problem.

I really do have to go. Those pups create a lot of work and I'm up several times during the night with the little blighters now. They were a lot easier when they were Shelagh's problem!! Adios amigos

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Day 27 (x2)

The Derwent dam, overspilling. It's the dam used by 617 Squadron to practise for their Dambuster raids in the Ruhr valley in Germany during WW2.

Tip's memorial. Her master, Joseph Tagg, was from my village, Bamford and my local pub is on Tagg's Knoll so I've always felt a little proprietorial towards them!

Slippery Stones - we swim in the river up here in the summer but the water looked a tad chilly yesterday!

I'm stiff as a board today....I went for a long run yesterday then had personal training this morning which was v v v sore! Usually I would have a rest day on Monday but this weekend it all went wrong so I ended up using my rest day for my big run - not going to make that mistake again!

The run was fantastic though. I drove up to a visitor centre in the middle of a sequence of reservoirs and then ran round 2 of the 3 reservoirs. It's a total of 11 miles, partly on the road and partly on cycle tracks and it's beautiful. Not mega hilly which is a plus for round here; there are hills but nothing too massive, just steady ups and downs. A perfect training run. I think it'll be good to do it a few times to see if I'm improving.

I did it in 1 hour 50 minutes so there's hope that with some serious application I might be able to beat 2 hours for the half marathon. But more realistically, I'm looking at 2 hours 10 minutes!

There was one poignant moment when I found myself doing my warm up stretches next to the memorial to Tip, the sheepdog who stayed out on the moors beside the body of her master for 15 weeks one winter back in the '50's. It struck me as aptly karmic that I was training to do a run for the stray doggies of Sheffield and was starting off next to a memorial to one of the most loyal, mans' best friend creatures ever! Soppy but true I'm afraid. I think the pups have made me a tad sentimental...hopefully I'll outgrow it eventually.

Foodwise, not too bad. I'm still eating too much but not massively bad and don't appear to be gaining. I'm going to use the 4 weeks without a husband to good effect and have a big push to shrink then just concentrate on maintaining while he's home. It's just nicer to be able to eat together and have the odd drink with the old man and not have to be so boringly sensible all the time.

It's weird too - I've started to think about what I'm going to do after I finish the half marathon..... I don't have any great desire to do a full marathon (just don't think my physique is suited to that distance to be honest - don't want to knacker knees or hips) and I think I'll get stale if I just keep on running (a la Forrest Gump) with no aim in mind. Think it's going to be cycling or canoeing/kayaking. The former is easier but I've always fancied trying the latter....hmmmm

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Day 25-28 (x2) - Warning - this post contains some mild begging!

Being totally and brutally honest, I'm honouring Cambridge Diet solely in the breach at the moment. Although I might have a pack or 2 here and there and try to limit carbs and calories elsewhere, I'm drinking wine, eating bread and cooking meals for myself. Having missed my weigh in on Monday, I haven't booked another one. And, more tellingly, I've not been posting regularly either which is always a sign that I'm spinning away from the straight and narrow.

Still, I've not let it get out of hand and have not been eating madly. My plan is: to book another weigh in for the beginning of the week after Easter (when D will have gone back to the rigs and my Easter houseguest will have left) and crack on with it for 4 weeks while D is away and then that's that.

I will then reactivate my Weight Loss Resources online membership and count calories in an attempt to keep my weight stable. I've recently re-found a blog called Losing the Lard ( which is written by Alison who has lost nearly 5 stone using this method. It seems very healthy and stable and I did it for a few weeks a while ago with some sucess. My downfall then was way too much fruit! I think the difference now will be my mental attitude. Then, it was all about how MUCH I could eat and get away with; now I will be trying to cut down and stick to what works.

In the meantime, I'm still doing the running and training and - in exciting breaking news stylee - have signed up to run the Sheffield Half Marathon on 27th April!!!

I've chosen to run for the Sheffield branch of the RSPCA (an animal protection charity for you non-Brits). They are currently fundraising for a new rehoming centre in Sheffield. It is a travesty that they don't have one in such a big city but their old one had to close (in 2005!) due to the building of a new ring road and they have not got the funds for a new place yet! Still, in honour of Shelagh and her little pups, I thought they'd be a worthy cause. I've always wanted to rehome a rescue dog but with Shelagh and now her puppy, we don't have house room at the moment so this is my way of helping them until I can take one on.

You can help by sponsoring me on plead plead plead....

Anyway, enough of that stuff. I'm really not very good at asking for money - sigh - it's a very British trait. I hope you're all enjoying a wonderful weekend and doing better than me on the dieting front and as well as me on the running/exercising!!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Day 24 (x2)

I've realised just how important exercise is to my dieting endeavours. Today I had been reasonably good - I'd gone out for lunch but made a decent choice and not touched the spicy potato wedges that came with my sandwich (unannounced!) although I did have a couple of biscuits at work (why...why??). Then, tired after a busy and productive day, I ended up passing a Farm Shop on my way home where I'd once had the most delicious caramel shortbread. So, what did I do?? Why, I stopped and bought a slab. It truly is delicious but was totally unnecessary.

Once home, I felt cheesed off with myself and tempted to just write off this evening and sink into whatever comfort food I could find. That despite the fact that I feel bloated from time of the month and was not remotely hungry. wonder if you've made any progress at all.

But then, the non-negotiable which has become my running kicked in and, although Shelley texted to cancel, I didn't once consider not going out myself. It's strange - I'm not keen on heading out into the cold, rainy, windy evening - but I know that I'll enjoy it once I get out there so I just do it. I managed a gale blown 4 miles and returned home much refreshed and totally committed to not eating my way through the evening. And I haven't! I had a pack, a milky coffee and a couple of slices of cold meat and that has been enough.

It's what Mrs said about making certain things "non-negotiable" and setting them in stone as part of one's routine. Well, I seem to have managed it with the running but I'm not quite there on the not eating.

I was thinking about the caramel shortbread too. That is the sort of thing I should be able to enjoy every now and then. It's delicious, homemade and delicious...did I mention that it's delicious??! My trouble is that I don't save up for proper treats like that...I squander my treat quota on crap like ordinary biscuits from the tin at work or slices of bread which I don't really need. If I could just cut them out then I could let proper treats slide in and actually enjoy them for what they are.

That is my goal for Easter - cut out the unnecessary and mediocre crap so that I can really lay into a luxurious Easter egg. Do you know that I've not had an egg for years?? I've always said I don't want one because I've always been on a bloody diet. Not this year - this year I'm going to enjoy it for what it is - a once a year special treat. And I'm going to make sure that I have a good quality and reasonably sized egg too. Can't wait.

Hope you're all well and doing better than I at keeping away from the biscuit tin. Tomorrow - I'm going cold turkey......

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Days 21-23 (x2)

It's a hard life with 2 bairns to feed...

Note the differing feeding technique....Minty (on left) is much more focussed whereas Bobby tends to flail around a bit hence Minty is now 5 oz heavier than him!

Bored now...

Brother and sister resting. Sister on usual...

More Mother love.

I feel a bit of a fraud putting Day 21-23 in the title to this post. I've not really been following the Cambridge Diet for the last few days. Last week was a bit of a disaster. I generally had 2 packs but then went awol in the evenings. Monday and Tuesday I've been better but have not got back to it properly. I missed my weigh in yesterday as I had a meeting in Leeds which overran so am going to re-arrange for next Monday and really concentrate until then. After my off-piste week, I have enough packs to see me through (if I use up some of my old LL ones to supplement!!).

I've not been going mad when I'm off-piste and have been doing lots of exercise so don't think it will set me back much but I really want to get that last stone off so must knuckle down.

I think it's lot harder with D being home. I don't want to deprive myself as much when he's around - I want to eat supper with him and have a glass of wine here and there. When he's away, I can empty the house of all temptation and concentrate on me me me and my intake. Much easier but not as much fun I must admit.

I managed a gentle stretch out type run on Sunday after my 10 miles on Saturday. I did a steady 4 miles but didn't push the pace or anything and I think that was right. Yesterday was my rest day and this morning was personal training. It's all as per my training schedule so I'm feeling very smug! I'm also really looking forward to running again tomorrow evening - ok, who are you and where is the real Lesley??!

I'm so into it now that I was even planning my big run for the weekend on during my lunch hour. Depending on the weather, I think I'm going to run into Sheffield from home! That seems like such a huge thing to so but, if I go over the moors rather than on the main road, it'll only be 8.5 miles to my friend's house on the outskirts of Sheffield. There's a bloody great hill or 2 between here and there though so I think it'll be a challenge.

I remember a few years ago seeing a friend's wife who I know a little running out from Sheffield to Bamford as part of her training for the London marathon. I remember thinking - Wow! Look at that - I'd never be able to do that! Now I'm thinking -Hmmm, I wonder if I should plan a slightly longer route, 8.5 miles isn't that far... What a change eh?

I've just had my old boss and her 2 sons out to visit the pups. At first Shelagh was very jumpy and a bit grumpy but we sat back and let her come to us and after a while she let me and Bernadette hold the pups and the boys could stroke them too. They really enjoyed it (as did Bernadette - I'm sure she wanted to see them and used her boys as an excuse!) and I heard them whispering to mum on the way out - Mummy, can we have a real puppy soon???! I think she may have created a rod for her back there.

Minty and Marvin/Boby are very cute now - their eyes have opened and they're more active. I think we're getting the best one though - Minty is much more active, brave and inquisitive than Bobby. She tries to explore and nuzzles up to you when you pick her up whereas Bobby just cries and bit then falls asleep...! Just like a man I suppose... Hope you like the puppy porn...

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Day 20 (x2)

Minty looking like the "Cow who jumped over the Moon"!

Minty again tucked under Shelagh's back leg.

Little Bobby (we call him Marvin)

The 2 of them together - Minty (on top) is actually bigger than Bobby by 3 oz...go Mints...

Proud mama and her bairns...

Mrs Lard (she's not really any more but what else can we call her??) has requested more puppy photos and I'm never one to hold back on pictures of cuteness! I'm not sure about cute to be honest though; they are monsters these pups! Probably because there are only 2 of them in the litter, they are gaining between 2 and 3 oz a day! They weigh over 2 lbs each now which is pretty hefty for pups who are less than 2 weeks old!

Still, it's really good as they will be putting down good bone stores and, as soon as they start to walk properly, they will slim down.

At the moment, they are almost walking. They do a kind of staggering crawl on all 4 paws but only for a few steps and then it's back to crawling on their fat tums. Their eyes are not quite open yet but that will be happening any day now. Shelagh is still an excellent and loving mother and she must be producing good milk judging by the sheer fatness of her babies. She lets us play with them for a few minutes each day but her eyes never leave them and we don't push our luck as we don't want to stress her out!

Not being able to take her for walks is an unexpected boon actually. I don't feel guilty about going for long runs without her. This morning I went for a ...........drumroll.................10 mile run!! It was cold, a little rainy and quite windy but not too bad and still I headed out into the greyness and managed the full 10 miles. I'm very proud of myself and I know I could have carried on home for another 2 miles if I'd had to. I decided not to though as I think you should build distances up gradually and stick to your schedule as far as possible. Also, the last 2 miles would have been into the teeth of a gale and I was getting very tired. So, D picked me up instead!

More Millennium there anywhere without it? I quite like this series actually...

Ladybower Reservoir looking glowering and chilly...there were loads of fishermen out - nutters...

Derwent reservoir....v pretty
I thought ducks were meant to swim...not this lot...they're the greediest ducks in the world!

NowI'm just tidying the house before heading up to the pub to watch the rugby. I'm missing the football at home today as my football pal is away for a birthday celebration and I thought I'd spend some time with the husband...strange that since he disappeared off to the pub for the Ireland game an hour ago!!

Anyway, hope you like both sets of photos and have a great weekend.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Day 19 (x2)

Well, I was going to post a reasonably long post but a friend who I haven't spoken to for ages just rang and we "watched" Crufts together over the phone. It was tricky chatting as Shelagh expressed her opinions quite forcefully throughout the programme!! She has spent most of the programme standing directly in front of the telly, barking, wagging and growling depending what she thinks of the dogs on the screen. She was not happy that the American Cocker Spaniel beat the English Cocker into second place in the Gundog category! Neither was I to be honest.....would have been nice to see a Cocker in the Best in Show competition....

So I haven't got long before I set off to the pub....I've had a pretty good day. Not foodwise, it's been too hectic and included too much travelling to worry about packs but I've not gone mad and just eaten "normally" that's novel eh?

I was knackered when I got back from my 6 hour legal negotiation meeting in Birmingham and really didn't want to get out for a run. BUT I had missed training today due to the meeting so I made myself get changed and get out there. I managed a brisk 5 miler and felt like a different person when I got back in. Whereas I might have been tempted to eat poorly if I hadn't not been out for the run, when I got in, I prepared a proper evening meal and have not pushed my luck.

I'm so much more in the zone with my running than I was even a few weeks ago. I even forgot I was running for a good 20 minutes at the end of my run and just processed my day and daydreamed. It's quite strange to suddenly find that you've covered a couple of miles and hardly noticed it! I'm going to try and do at least one BIG run this weekend. I'd like to try for 10 miles but the weather might not be conducive to that. We'll see.

In general, I've been aware of my growing fitness over the last few weeks. I have noticed little things like ease in climbing stairs, speed of walking round town or running up the steps to the football on Tuesday evening of even just the fact that my feet don't hurt like they used to. I have not forgotten how hard those things used to be when I was fat and it still gives me a lot of pleasure to inhabit this new body.

I hope you all have a great weekend and get some exercise in - it's great stuff!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Days 17 and 18 (x2)

I was looking for thin pictures of me which I liked - I definitely look better round the jawline with slightly less weight.

I love this jumper and it's too snug for comfort now - must get back down to the 12's!!

I can definitely feel myself "relaxing" away from my diet over the last few days. This is NOT good because although I'm pleased to see that I'm not pigging out or anything, I'm really only prolonging the pain. I really do want to get another stone off and doing a half-assed version of the diet will just delay reaching this goal.

Why do I want that stone off? Well, there are a few reasons:

  1. I have a load of nice clothes from last summer which currently don't fit me. Looking back at my photos, I liked them and looked good in them so I want to get back to into them.

  2. It's my sister-in-law's wedding in Ireland at the end of May and I want to be able to buy a killer outfit and look truly hot in it!

  3. I'm running a half marathon at the end of April and it will be a lot easier if I am not carrying that extra weight.

  4. I want to prove to myself that I can manage my weight within acceptable boundaries. I didn't last year so this second diet is a way to show that I'm not the same person I used to be. To give me confidence in myself really.

So, targets:

  1. Step away from the snack table at work!!! I've been raiding the biccie tin and picking up sweets at will. This is CRAZY! I didn't used to do that as much when I was fat so why am I doing it now?!

  2. Keep up with the running and training. This is going fine actually but I need to keep the pressure on.

  3. No more bread. Period.

  4. More water.

There - simple when you write it down in black and white. I'll let you know how I get on.

Although I've been slipping at work, I am still sticking to my shake in the morning, soup for luncha nd big salad in the evening so I'm not going mad, just adding a few too many treatlets. I felt lethargic and tired last night but that was probably because I'd had a very busy stressy day at work (enjoyable stress but stress nonetheless). I nearly didn't but eventually managed to drag myself out for a run and really enjoyed it. 4 miles in just under 40 minutes! I did 5 intervals of a minute each sprinting during the run which is what my trainer recommended for endurance training - improves your recovery apparently. So - I know what I have to do and what I enjoy doing.....just have to step back from the brink before it's too late.

It's probably also partly the sugar's fault that I feel tired and lethargic....if I avoid that I bet I have much more energy.

Wish me luck!

Update - I managed to avoid (nearly all) temptation today despite going to a seminar with pastries and bacon sarnies this morning and being mad busy all day which are both usually triggers for me. So - I'm very pleased I wrote this post this morning before I left or I'm sure I would have gone awol. Now v v hungry but am going to go and prepare a sensible supper. Chicken salad and a pack!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Day 16 (x2)

Just a quick post as I can't be late for work this morning. I've just been to personal training and feel pleasantly tired. He was a bit of a sadist this morning as he pushed me really hard on the cross trainer right at the end of my workout....thought my thighs were going to shred!

I had a bit of an off day yesterday. I had allowed for a rest day in my training schedule but that seemed to thave the effect of giving me a rest day in my diet too!! That isn't right. I think it was partly work too - I had to work through lunch so grabbed some biscuits on my way to my next meeting and then just carried on in that vein for the rest of the day. Nothing too bad but definitely not going to help the Cambridge Diet!!! Still, I have time to put things right this week so all is not lost.

The pups are still gorgeous. It's alright for them to pile on the weight eh? Seems very unfair. Shelagh is looking great too and eating like a lion. She must eat twice the calories I do per day yet she's slim and fit as anything! Hey - you know things are topsy turvy with food when you start feeling jealous of your dog's diet!! Still, she gets chicken, minced beef, steak, fish, eggs...lucky bitch!!

So, I've got the footie tonight (Sheffield Wednesday v West Bromwich Albion for those who might be interested) and am going to have a small salad in Pizza Hut beforehand. Then back to the running on Wednesday through to Sunday! No training on Friday due to a meeting in Birmingham. I think, after my blip yesterday, that I need to keep the pressure on with my training as it seems to affect my eating too. And be a little more organised so I don't get caught out as I did yesterday.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Day 14 (x2)

How is that for Mother's love??

They've piled on the ounces! Sometimes they're gaining over 3oz in a day! They're like little fat barrels at the moment but it's great news for their development.

This is Minty, the one we're keeping. See what I mean about the fat!!

Close up of Minty.

I had budgeted for a day off on Sunday. It being Mother's Day and my parents coming over to visit me (who am I kidding...they were definitely coming to visit Shelagh and her pups....!). It was great!

Before they arrived, I went out for another run in yet another gale. The weather was crisp, sunshine, blue skies, not too cold, small hurricane.... but I wouldn't countenance missing my run. That's a great feeling - when you're actually excited about setting off as you pull on your running gear! I wanted to do a 7 miler but the route I chose turned out to be just shy of that at 6.6 miles. I must get better organised and go on Map My Run BEFORE I go out so I know what I'm getting into. Still 6.6 miles of very hilly terrain, most of which seemed to be into the wind (I know that's not possible but I think the valleys round here were chanelling the wind so it seemed to be coming from all angles!) is pretty good by any standards.

The only time when the wind was very definitely behind me was, blessedly, as I ran up a really long steady hill, probably nearly a mile of solid climb. I was amazed that I did it without stopping. As I cleared the trees, the wind was just pushing at my back and I was forced to virtually sprint!! It was bizarre; my legs were aching from the effort but it was harder to resist the wind and slow down than to give in and just fly!

So - after that, I felt quite happy tucking into the proper roast Sunday lunch which I prepared for the Olds. It was a great day - cooing over the dog who was so proud of her pups and seemed to want to show them off to my parents; D showing Dad pictures and films of his new ship being built out in Korea; me and Ma shooting the breeze; me booking them flights out to Canada on the internet. My Dad is not disposed to learn to use a computer himself but he's quite happy to have his daughter do it for him!!!

The only small downside was after they had left and D had gone to the pub - I had toast! That I didn't need. Should have had a pack and a cup of tea if I was a little peckish. But I'm not going to worry too much. I'm back on the straight and narrow this morning and I'm sure the running will do its job.

It's snowy out here at the moment but I don't think it's going to settle. Have a great dieting week all.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Day 13 (x2) Unlucky for some...

But not for me!! I went to my weigh-in this lunchtime. I was apprehensive because I have, as you know, had a few cheats along the way. But, I've been feeling thinner and I've been doing a hell of a lot of running so I would have been disappointed with a poor loss or, worse still, no loss at all.

So - 5lbs off!! That's a stone down in 2 weeks and it hasn't been too hard either because of the little extras I've allowed myself. I'm sure the running has made the difference.

That said - I still have another stone to go as I tried on my size 12 jeans and, although they will now just about do up, the muffin top effect is comical. It's a little unfair as they are "boy cut" jeans from Next so they're very narrow in the hip but even so, there is some way to go! I just hadn't realised how much weight I had slapped on and how quickly!

Apart from the weigh-in it's been a nice weekend so far. My friend Becky came over last night to see the puppies. We haven't met up for a while (mea culpa) so it was great to catch up. She's as mad about dogs as I am so we had a happy coo over the ratlets. An hour or so in the pub and then home. I met a couple of friends from the village who I don't see out much as they have kids so that was good too.

This morning it was just the usual chores and then, once my weigh-in and trip to the shops had been got out of the way, I set off on a 6.7 mile run into the teeth of a vicious wind. The route was pretty hilly but the worst hills and the worst wind resistance was at the beginning so, by the time I was on the home stretch, I felt that I could have carried on and on. In fact, I nearly turned off to extend the run by another 3 miles but luckily I spotted massive rain clouds heading in my direction so thought better of it!

It's good though to feel so strong and able. I think back to what I could do this time last year. I was so pleased with myself that I could run 2 miles without stopping! Now I can run 4 times that distance and faster. Thank you Lighter Life....(and now Cambridge Diet...!). In fact, I've just checked back through my blog and seen that, after some swimming, I started running again back in mid-February last year and was thrilled to be able to manage my pre-diet circuit without stopping - that was about 3.5km!! Now I'm doing 10km or more and much much faster! Makes me feel all warm inside!

Must keep it up.

So - my bath is ready now so I'm off to wallow. Have a lovely evening.