Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Getting my act together!

I know, I know. I went a little overboard on the photographs....people take fewer at weddings! It was just such a stunningly beautiful evening and I was in a place I'd never been before. I was blown away to be honest.

I was bored of our usual evening walk routes so picked a short walk at random from my stock of books. This one was a few minutes drive from home around a ridiculously picturesque village called Litton and took in2 Limestone valleys called Tansley Dale and Peter's Dale. The unusual flat topped rock formaton is Peter's Rock and very impressive it was too. The landscape round there is totally different to round my home even though it is only 5 or 6 miles away. It's on the White Peak which is limestone so lots of lush green fields and gorges and gentler hills rather than the Dark Peak which is gritsone and made up of heather moors, wide valleys and craggy edges. They're both lovely in their different ways.
Last night was just perfect: warm, sunny, drowned in that lovely golden evening light which makes you look like a good photographer! Loads of wild flowers, rabbits, sheep, even a kestrel and I think a merlin up above. The dogs in heaven and me too. I got that sappy, poetic feeling of wellbeing which sometimes settles on me in a really beautiful, peaceful place when even a rationalist like me thanks God for being alive.
Anyway, enough gushing. It was nice, ok!
I'm need to post a more meaty post about what I'm doing and need to do about my weight. It's coming together in my head but not quite there yet. In the meantime....I'm treading water (neither good nor bad) and enjoying life and I hope you like the photies.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Shocking lack of willpower....

I am really struggling with the running at the moment I was full of good intentions to run this evening and then Shelley cancelled on me. That should make no difference whatsoever but suddenly I full of mental discussions with myself about what else I could do instead of running. Me, who used to be so self-motivated!!

I had just about talked myself out of running this evening and decided that I really "needed" to stay in and do chores in readiness for my friend coming this weekend....in actual fact, penance for not running!

But I just read J's comment on my last post about going out for a 20 minute run and that "not being in my league"....! You can imagine the shame I feel at that. That someone thinks I'm out there pounding the streets and I was just about to take the pooches for an amble then stay in.

So, I'm going out for a run NOW and a heart felt "THANK YOU" to J for inspiring me to do it!

Hope you like the piccies, I tried to upload them yesterday but blogger was not cooperating for some reason....
Update - well I made it out for a decent run - I was out for over an hour but walked for the last 5/10 minutes as I wanted to give the dogs chance to sniff around and chase rabbits on the way home. It was hard but I managed a good long route and a couple of decent hills.
I was not terribly hard on myself or anything, took it steady and stopped a few times to take photos, let the dogs have a quick swim and get Minty on and off the lead occasionally. I think being relaxed helped. At the moment I'm not training for anything so why shouldn't I stop every now and then?? Hopefully that attitude will make it easier for me to go out running more regularly. I need this to become the habit it used to be for me once more.
Training tomorrow and another run with Shelley planned for Friday followed by a hiking weekend with a mate visiting from London so there's a good chance that this week will be properly active.....about time too.....
Fingers crossed for me!!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Sunny evening and gorgeous, gorgeous summer...

I had a hard day at work today, I was in a heavy negotiation meeting from 11am 'til nearly 5pm with no food or tea/coffee, only water, and not enough of that for all of us!! What a cock up.

Anyway, it was a productive meeting but hard work concentrating for that period of time on quite tricky stuff. Ultimately satisfying though, as Mrs L would say, it's "real work"!! It was also quite satisfying remembering that being a bit hungry is not the worst thing in the world either. After training I had a really good breakfast of grilled bacon and poached eggs with one small piece of wholemeal toast so it wasn't as though I was going to starve or anything...a useful lesson.

I had a coffee and a banana muffin on the way home and then took the dogs straight out for a good long tramp. We didn't go anyplace special, just the Mill and the stepping stones but it was a lovely summer's evening.....not bright sunshine but a beguiling mixture of sun and cloud. I was so taken with the ducks on the river and the sheer brilliant brightness of the plants growing among the rocks in the shallow, fast running part of the river below the weir.... They were so fresh, acid bright and lush...simply delicious.
I spent ages taking pictures until Shelagh yelled at me to hurry up as she had swallows to chase and all this hanging around was annoying!!
I know it sounds a bit sappy and generally I'm well aware how lucky I am to live here, but sometimes I'm struck anew by little, stunning things and appreciate it all the more. This evening was definitely one of those times.
So, that's really all I've got to say now as I posted this morning too. Thanks for your best wishs to the naughty-but-nice Minty, much appreciated....she is currently chewing a pillow and no doubt looking round for something more dangerous to sample....bleach or something...

Clinging on....

In honour of her survival....I'd rather see her eat sheep poo than rat poison!!

Well, I didn't make it to my weigh-in last night. I fully intended to and was even changing into my running gear and about to set off when I noticed that one of Minty's poos (sorry to be indelicate) was bright emerald green!! I was wracking my brain to think what she could have eaten when it came to me.....rat poison!!

Checked, yes indeed, the block which we put down under the sink behind the bin over a year ago was indeed missing and she had had her head in there when I'd emptied the bin the previous evening (24 hours earlier!). She was fine, jumping and playing but I had heard all these terrible stories about rat poison causing internal bleeding etc etc.

Rang the vet who said bring her straight in....what a drive that was, Minty having a great time without Shelagh for a change and me worrying like crazy! Anyway, she's fine. Apparently, she would have needed to have eaten the whole pack to have done any damage. I feel very stupid but very relieved too.

Anyway, no weigh-in but we did visit a friend who lives near the vets for a coffee and catch up so that was a bonus.

My personal trainer Huw is back from his hols. Thank the Lord! I ws beginning to forget how to sweat. Now at least I will always have my minimum of 2 sessions per week, however rubbish I am outside of training. It feels good to have that certainty back.

Diet wise, I've been eating healthy breakfasts and loads of fruit and trying to cut out bread which is my main trigger for bad eating. I've been a bit crap in the evenings though, not very organised and not keen to prepare sensible meals for one. Not easy when I've been so busy but I'm not gaining and have dropped a few lbs over the last 3 weeks. It's too slow to be satisfying but better than nothing. Need a couple of good weeks now...a proper push.

Good luck to everyone else who is struggling too. We can do it!!!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Busy and carbed out...

I had a great day yesterday in Leeds at the cricket (Test match against South Africa). I spent the day with my football buddy, Jim and then had a night out in Leeds with Jim and his girlfriend. That was good too, a lovely french meal and several posh bars for cocktails etc.

Trouble is, I have been rushing and am not organised re food so today have been incredibly busy and rushed and when I finally got to sit down after hours in the wind and rain (of which more later), I ended up eating crackers and cheese 'til they went out of fashion!. Don't know why, it was just all I had in that was handy and required no effort.

Of course, immediately afterwards, I had a massive carb-fueled crash. And I mean CRAAASSHH!! I just fell asleep on the sofa with both dogs on top of me and woke an hour later feeling terrible, really stiff and lethargic and fat!. Grrrr

I'm meant to be going to the pub tonight and really should as I haven't seen my local mates much recently but all I want to do is go to bed....at 9pm on a Saturday!

Anyway, I came up to the computer and read a couple of blogs and now feel a little more motivated. I'll have a wash and change and head out and see how it goes. I'm cheesed off with my weight though as I feel I may have undone some of my good work and I have my SW weigh in on Monday but I'll cross that bridge later.

Go for a run tomorrow and have a healthy carb-free day!!! Can't believe how bad I felt this evening...really sluggish and bloated. Food is not to be trifled with.

Hey ho...sometimes rushing is not good but then sometimes you have to participate in life and get involved. You can't cut yourself off from everything just because it makes eating sensibly harder. It was just the combination of a busy week, a few weekends away followed by a day/night in Leeds followed by a busy day in a stall at the Bamford Carnival.

I'm part of a group raising money to fund a complete makeover of our local childrens' play area. It has become a disgrace, the equipment old, broken and uninspiring. So we're applying to the Lottery (and loads of other funding sources) for £50k to re-do it. This afternoon was part of the eternal "community consultation" bollocks which you have to do as part of the application!! It's ridiculous, everyone knows it needs doing, all the mums in the village agree but we have to jump through hoops, organise petitions, stands at the local fair, I've set up a blog and we've done questionnaires, all to "evidence" a local need for this facility....sigh...

Anyway, it was really windy here today, and rainy, and sunny, and showery, talk about Four Seasons in One Day! So it was pretty tiring but good fun.

So, I don't regret my busy time but I need to step back and get better organised and have a few quiet, settled days very soon.

Bye for now. xxx

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Time flies...

I haven't been too bad, honest!!. Just time seems to be flying past at the moment and, before I notice, days have passed without posting. I'm not losing weight at any great rate but I am not gaining and am a few lbs lighter. I had a very poor week for exercise last week only managing to go out for walks with the dogs, no runs.

This week has been marginally better in that I have managed 2 runs and the usual walks, plus a long walk on Saturday (which was fab).

I'm rushing as I have a big chore to do tonight and want an early night but thought I had better remind myself how to post before I forgot.

And say hi to everyone.


Will be back soon with pictures.


Wednesday, 9 July 2008

3 days down and doing well...

Doesn't the rock look like a snake or lizard or something...

Minty, looking from Surprise View towards Carl Wark and Higger Tor

View towards Hathersage (I love that farmhouse....so jealous...)

Shelagh with Stanage Edge in the background

I've stuck to the Slimming World plan for 3 days now and it's not that bad! I have had a few Syns mind but all counted and not excessive. I think I'll be a little better organised next week but I can already see some progress on the scales so that is very heartening.

I don't know why it took me so long to get my mind into gear about this diet but it seemed very hard to get started. Still, I have done so now and I'm going to just keep going at a slow and steady pace for the next few months until I have hopefully lost a couple of stone and am back in my 12's (maybe not the thinnest ones but most of them!).

Re my mini-goals, the only one which is eluding me is the exercise. I have not upped it this week. In fact I have NOTHING since my run on Sunday. I fully intended to go running Monday, Tuesday and this evening but have found "valid" excuses each evening.

The main one is the dogs. When D is away, they are home alone (2 of them with access to the garden whenever they want and neighbours who come and go, but alone nonetheless). When I get back in, I just want to spend time with them and take them for a walk and so far the walks have pushed out the runs. I could take them running and will have to do that if I can't come up with an alternative because this is not working at the moment.

I know I will enjy the exercise but am not doing it for some reason.

Anyway, tomorrow, I'm working from home so I will be able to go for a guilt free run in the morning as I won't have a long drive to work. Hopefully that will kickstart me.

This evening I WAS going to go but then Shelley cancelled because it was chucking it down....and I used that as an excuse ....again... So am taking the dogs out now. At least I'm walking, better than nothing I suppose. And there's a bucket load of hoovering to be done so that'll burn off some calories.....sigh....

Monday, 7 July 2008


My dad in his garden with the dogs...talk about devotion!

Lovely sunny Lincolnshire - I love it when I go back to the mothership!

We were watching planes from the Waddington Airshow overhead but I failed miserably to catch them on camera....they were too quick and you couldn't work out whch direction they were coming from! Still, I saw the Red Arrows, various jets and the Lancaster and Spitfire etc

Random shot of pigs in a field!

Yaaay! I have managed to get my head into Slimming World gear eventually. I think Diarmuid going back to work and leaving me with a clear 5 week run at it has enabled me to stop prevaricating and pretending to diet and actually start being accountable to myself.

I went to my parents' for the weekend as soon as D's taxi left the driveway which was great. I didn't really watch what I ate much but didn't go too mad although some lemon cake was eaten! I did manage a run on Sunday though which is a first for a while. I had a really good time with my sister and her family and my aunt and cousins but all the time let the idea of dieting mull around my head. On the drive home, in between listening spellbound to the Mens' Final of Wimbledon, I had a very stern talk to myself (and the dogs too) and formulated a plan.

(I also stopped to take photos of some huge, happy-looking, free-range pigs to remind myself what I do not want to turn into! Well, I wouldn't mind being happy or free-range but I'd rather not be a huge pig thank you very much!!)

So, today I actually read the book (only a week late in terms of my mini-goals!) and implemented the diet. That means I didn't have a big slug of muesli for breakfast on the grounds that it's healthy - right?- I grilled bacon and poached a egg and really enjoyed a tasty breakfast. I didn't grab a sandwich or random stuff for lunch but bought a lovely grilled chicken salad with fruit and yoghurt and had it with water, not a milky cappucino!

It means that, although I did weaken at 5.30pm just before leaving the office and have a biscuit, it was one, plain biscuit and it has been counted and included on my diet sheet for the day. Actually that was shocking in itself. I realised how many biscuits and chocolate I had started to have each day whereas a few months ago I wouldn't have had ANY! I actually took a Roses choc too but, when I looked it up and saw how many Syns there was in one choc, I put it back!!

So, I've not in any way deprived myself today, just reminded myself of how I need to live 80% of the time. The treats had become routine and that is not right.

I was due to go running tonight but got home late and tired so am going to take the dogs for a walk instead and go to aerobics tomorrow night instead. See - I'm not totally evangelical!

God, I hope this sinks in this time. I'm going to really work on the head side of things. Wish me luck!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Hanging in there

The weir at Bamford Mill

Dogs chasing low flying swallows....they're not very bright!

View towards Win Hill from Bamford Mill

Well, to be honest, I'm not really doing very well. I'm not seriously dropping weight at the moment and I feel really fat. I know in my head that I'm still 6 stones lighter than I was last January but I also know that I'm 2 sizes bigger than I was this time last year (16 to last year's size 12/14) and that's just annoying.

I'm not gaining anymore and I have cut back a lot on the picking but I have not fulfilled my goals from last week in that I have not read the Slimming World book and I have not done enough exercise. I have cut right back on picking and not had nearly as much to drink though so 2 out of 4.


Diarmuid has just left for South Korea and will be away for 5 weeks. This means I have NO EXCUSES! I can sort out the fridge. I'm preparing food only for me and I do not need to go out for meals and drink as much.

I have been toying with the idea of doing LL or CD properly for 5 weeks but think that is unsustainable so will do SW PROPERLY (!) for 5 weeks instead. I should be able to lose at least a stone and a half in that time and remind myself how to regulate my intake.

Exercise is key for me too. Because I feel fat, I'm less keen on running. This is strange as I used to go running when I weighed 19 stone but then I didn't know how much easier it could be without the weight. Now I've gone the other way, it seems very painful and often I elect to take the dogs for a walk instead of a run.

Now that D is away there will be no excuse of going for a family walk together rather than a run.....the dogs will just have to learn to enjoy jogging! At least I'm not going as far or as fast these days!

I hope you like the photos, they were taken yesterday evening when the sun shone, which seems a million miles away from the rainy gloom of this morning. There is a lovely enclosed field near the river where the swallows come to feed on sunny evenings and Shelagh loves racing round the field chasing them. She runs as fast as her little legs can carry her and doesn't stop until she can run no more. As she runs, she makes little yipping noises. It's hilarious and just gorgeous to watch, sheer doggie heaven, just natural instinct at play. Minty is not sure what her mum is doing but she joins in gamely. She isn't chasing the swallows though, she's chasing Shelagh!

PS. I just started the 100 Push Up Challenge that Dietgirl is pimping......tiring! I managed 10 first time (proper manly push ups though, not girly on-the-knee ones!) and have done my first work out...watch this space!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Still trying

Well, as to the goals:

  • I haven't read the SW book yet but have kept a diet sheet today.
  • I haven't been for a run today but it was my day for personal training so ws up with the lark at 7am sweating like a mad thing. It was very hard this morning for some reason but I persevered.

  • I've cut right down on the picking. Tally today has been 2 (small) cookies at lunchtime and a slice of bread this evening before going for a walk. I have avoided picking several times though so it is good news.
  • Booze not so bad but then it wouldn't be on a Tuesday night! One drink with supper, then water.

Having said that, I have eaten more than I strictly should have as we went for a longer than expected walk along the riverbank and ended up going to the pub for supper. I had Thai Prawn curry and rice with plenty of fresh veg and salad so not too bad. Anyway, I don't really care because it was a lovely evening and it's going to rain for days now and D is back to the rig on Saturday so I want to enjoy this week.

In other news, Minty is losing her baby teeth. I vaguely knew that this happened to pups but it was a bit disconcerting this morning to see one of her canine teeth hanging out of the side of her mouth!! It doesn't seem to be slowing her down any....she had a cracking time by the riverjust romping after Shelagh amd running around in mad little circles. She's not happy going out of her depth in the water yet but is perfectly happy to stand in it up to her chin....little coward.

So - I'm going to avoid the picking at home now and try to make sure that today has been neither good nor bad foodwise, just ok but fun on all other fronts!

Have a great week everyone.