Friday, 28 May 2010

It's the little things...

Well, I'm sticking to it but no progress in 3 days! It's disheartening when you feel a little thinnner and step on the scales to be greeted by the exact same weight (to the decimal point - which I don't believe in anyway!) that you saw yesterday and the day before! I suppose this is the downside of weighing oneself every day. I know a lot of people don't weigh every day for this reason but I find that the accountability benefit outweighs (forgive the unintended pun) the negatives. If I don't step on the scales nearly every day then I can start to drift away from my regime and my chimp's arguments start to gain a toehold. You know the ones - "have this now and you can catch up next week" or "you don't feel like running this evening - go swimming tomorrow instead" etc etc

If I weigh every day I know what progress I'm making or not making and can't hide from it. I'm more likely to have a sensible breakfast which sets me up for a sensible lunch and more likely to go swimming at lunchtime etc. At least that is the theory.

So, although I feel a little disheartened this morning, I know I've not done anything major wrong and I know I'll see some progress soon. But, if I'm honest, I haven't pushed as hard on the diet as I could have done. Yesterday wasn't bad but it wasn't stellar either. (Apologies for list of food but it helps sometimes):

Breakfast - 2 small slices toast (one with pate, one with jam) (no milk or yoghurt so couldn't have cereal or muesli/ fruit combo)
1 apple
1 orange
Lunch - sushi and yoghurt and 2 custard creams
1 banana
2 biscuits with coffee at french class
mushroom soup with 1 slice brown bread and butter
2 J2Os in pub as well as multiple sparkling waters etc

Not bad but 4 biscuits, J2Os instead of water or diet drink and toast for brekkie. It's an extra few hundred calories which weren't needed and could have made a small difference. I'm not going to get hung up on these sort of things overall but, every now and then, it helps to analyse exactly what I'm eating so that I can identify the small extras which can creep in. You know exactly what you're doing when you're scarfing a cake or 16 pints but you don't always notice the little things.

So - must be good this week as I really want to see half a stone off before this wedding at the end of June! Have a great Bank Holiday everyone but don't use it as an excuse to trough - it's not worth it!

PS. Typed this at lunchtime when I genuinely thought I would be going swimming but then work intervened and I didn't. So - am just going out for a run, with a post-supper, beachball PMT stomach - it'll be a very slow run!! Go me!!!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Drifting no more

Hi again. I've been a bit slack but very busy recently hence not posting much. We had our final filming for the TV Revisit Show over the weekend. Saturday afternoon was a chat with the crew and then a talk with Steve Peters, the psychiatrist from the British Olympic team.

It was great to see him again and he was pleased with what I've achieved over the year. He sounded a note of caution in tht I have obviously gained weight since filming ended but I have been really pleased that, having gained weight, I was able to put a relatively prompt stop to it and turn the tanker around.

He kept on saying that being happy is the main aim - and I'm certainly that at the moment.

Anyway, reviewing my chart on the kitchen cabinet, I notice that I have been drifting over the last few weeks. Since we came back from Ireland I have only managed to lose 4 lbs and 2 of those were the ones I put on over there. That's not to be sniffed at (and I know Peridot is now knashing her teeth in frustration that I'm appearing to be unhappy with 4 lbs!!) but I can do better than that.

So, what have I done about it? I've started afresh with a new chart and new goals. I started again at 13 stone 10 lbs (see how I admit my weight now??) and I have a fresh target of a wedding on 26 June to aim for. I tried on the dress (shown above) which I wore to Craig's wedding last July and, although it goes on, it tugs unappealingly over my tummy and doesn't hang well. I reckon 7-10lbs off will make it slide slinkily over my (flat-ish) tummy and skim the bum area.

(As an aside, my bum will never be petite - I may as well accept that I tell myself that people seem to like J-Lo and Beyonce (not to mention the woeful Kim Kardashian??!) for a reason...)

So, since Monday I've dropped 1.6lbs and am heading in the right direction once more.

Monday was a good start in that I knew I had a meeting at lunch so no swimming and a filming date in Manchester in the evening. So I got up at 6.30am and pounded up and down the road for 3 miles! Go me!! Tuesday was personal training and golf this morning. It's all good.

So - wish me luck. 4 or 5 weeks to go but I need to do the main work in the next fortnight before the World Cup starts and the lure of boozy afternoons and evenings in the pub shouting at the telly takes over!! Yes - I am that hooligan!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


It has always been my opinion that "I hate confrontation". I've always struggled with it physically: blushed, wavery voice, shaky hands, tendency to tear up. And I'm no shrinking violet. While I react to confrontation, I don't shy away from it if it is necessary and I'm generally quite sucessful once embroiled in it.

So, this morning when I was publicly ambushed by a senior collegaue (not my boss as such but "a boss"), all the same physical reactions kicked in. I argued my case as firmly and quietly as I could manage, trying to find a resolution, apologising for misunderstandings but not backing down. And I didn't do badly. But it still felt horrible. Like I'd been mugged in front of other colleagues first thing in the morning and the rest of the day sitting not 10 foot away from this chap loomed ahead of me.

Anyway, this time, I didn't walk away from a confrontation, I sought another to properly resolve the problem on my terms. When he returned from the kitchen, no doubt satisfied that he'd swung his weight around and roughed me up a bit, I approached him and quietly but firmly asked to speak with him in private. Then I explained that I considered what he'd done to be unprofessional and inappropriate. That if he had a problem with something there was nothing stopping him raising it with me but he souldn't do so without warning in front of 3 colleagues and in a louder than normal tone. He listened and restated his original argument (which we'd already discussed) but I wouldn't let him turn away from my point until he'd acknowledged it, apologised and said he wouldn't do it again.

Then I made peace and really felt it. While my respect for him is zero (it was before today anyway) I can at least be pleasant and professional and I don't (always) want to punch him as I walk past his desk (which I do whenever I go anywhere in the office - the photocopier, the kitchen, meetings, anyway...). It may in fact have saved his life!

I don't think I would have been as calm and composed or as clear in my determination to resolve matters on my terms until I had first lost the bulk of my weight and secondly been through the TV programme thing. I've come a long way and feel more grown up (which I damn well should do at 40!) and less caring of how people view me. And it feels good.

But he's still a tosser.....

Friday, 14 May 2010

No change but lots of food for thought

Well, I had a bad Monday food and exercise wise but, apart from that, have been good and have done loads of exercise. I was particularly proud that I managed to go running in the morning on Wednesday. I had been intending to go swimming when, late on Tuesday evening, I remembered that I had a lunchtime meeting so wouldn't be able to. I also had a hair appointment that evening which would make doing something after work difficult, so what to do??

I'll go for a run first thing I said confidently and set the alarm accordingly. To be honest, I didn't really expect that this would happen as early morning runs have never featured heavily in my life. I manage to go to personal training at 7am because I would feel guilty about standing Huw up at that hour but, with no-one waiting for me, running seemed unlikely.

But, to my great surprise and that of my unwilling chimp, there we were at 6.30am, pounding up the road in a somewhat stiff and sluggish manner!! Go me. It was definitely chimp management that made the difference. I did all the "you'll enjoy it when you get out"; "it's no different to going to Personal Training"; "if Peridot can do it (and earlier too) then you can!" and something must have worked because I did eventually manage 3 reasonably sprightly miles.

What I hadn't factored in when choosing my route was how cold it was going to be - it's May for God's sake!

And, that I was running along the main road in the Valley along the route to a local factory. Loads of people I know from the pub or football work there and apparently start work at 7am so I was getting beeped and smirked at the whole way. Next time (and there will be a next time!) I will run over the fields....I could do without trying to look athletic at that time in the morning. There I am, running at my usual sensible, slightly slow pace when I see a car I recognise and my vanity (or maybe my chimp's vanity) impels me to speed up and run "bouncily" until it has passed....pathetic....and tiring!!

Weightwise, I maintained the exact same weight, right down to the decimal point, for 6 consecutive days until yesterday when it dropped slightly. Not enough to say that I have dropped a lb but at least it changed. I was beginning to think that the scales had broken. I'm hoping that it is time of the month which is causing this stickiness but, in case it is not, I have cut out all cappucinos and am limiting fruit until I see another drop.

On a different tack, has anyone heard of a condition called Electrosensitivity (ES) or sometimes Electrohypersensitivity (EHS)? I met a woman on Tuesday night suffering from this and am appalled at what a huge effect it has had on her and how it hit her out of the blue. Basically it's a condition which develops as a result of overexposure to electricity and radiation and over time sufferers become effectively "allergic" to their computer, mobile phone, cordless phone, microwave and, in more severe cases, all electricity.

The woman I met (Allison) had come round to talk to me about walking my dogs. She's a bright, intelligent, attractive, fit and healthy looking 40 year old woman and we clicked immediately. I was asking where she lived and why she was dog walking (as it was obvious that she was a professional type woman from the South of England) and she told me her story.

She was living in London with her longterm partner working at a professional but very computer and phone based job. Fine and dandy. Over a long period of time she started getting symptons of low-level illness: being rundown, headaches, bad skin. Put it down to the normal malaise of busy modern life. Tried to get healthy etc but it just got worse. Eventually she was coming out in bright red rashes, itching, pain in the head and neck, loss of bladder control, difficulty breathing all of which went away when she was outdoors and away from her computer or mobile phone!

She has been diagnosed (which was apparently a battle as it is not widely recognised) with ES and has had to move to a remote place to get away from all masts, mobiles, wifi, radio waves. She's now living in a motorhome on a campsite in Hope while trying to find a more permanent cottage which will allow her to totally detox. So all last winter she was here on her own: no lights, no mobile, no computer, hardly able to go in shops because of the till technology, only able to drive for limited periods, only seeing her partner every other weekend, signed off her job on longterm illness and going to bed at 5pm for want of anything better to do. I think I would have gone spare!

And the prognosis is not great. She is hopeful that, if she totally detoxes, she will get to a stage when she will be able to live a relatively normal life (without computer, mobile, heavily adapted home etc but at least reasonably functional) but this may take years.

Yet she is sunny and as positive as possible without coming across as a nutter. So, she's now walking my dogs with her young cocker spaniel Hope. What a name in the circumstances - both the place where she lives in exile; and her hope for sanity and company and her hope for a future I suppose! Minty and Hope get on like a house on fire - it's a cocker lovefest of barking, playing, chasing and jumping when they're together. Shelagh, much more sedate, trots along behind and only joins in when sorely provoked.

Allison and I are going to join the tennis club in the village at my suggestion. We walked past it and I thought that it would be ideal for her - it's sociable, outdoors and well away from mobile technology. And good for me too to meet a new friend and combine it with exercise instead of drink!!

As you can probably tell, meeting her made a big impression on me. I couldn't help think that there but for the grace of God go I and so many others. And I wondered how positive and lacking in bitternessI would remain in similar circumstances. I'm sure she has had and still has her dark times but she was an inspiration to me to look to what you CAN do and maximise the good side of life rather than dwelling on the negatives.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Food issues, what food issues??

It really feels as though I don't have an issue with food any more. Now, being a wary soul, as one is wont to be when one has packed on the amount of weight I have over the years, I'm sure those issues are just lying dormant waiting to pounce on me, maybe when I'm tired and weakened but, at the moment, I'm very chilled.

It's great. I eat when I'm hungry; I don't feel compelled to put as much on my plate as my eating companion; I don't mind if I eat more or less; I just eat what I want. Revolutionary. I heard myself say yesterday, "ooh, I'd love some chocolate" and not in a bad way. There was no guilt, no I'm having chocolate because I'm at the cinema or because I'm tired or I deserve it. Chocolate was just genuinely what I fancied at the time.

As it happened we were at a trendy Arts cinema which didn't sell chocolate!! How can this be? No icecream or popcorn either. And the seats were bloody uncomfortable. (The Cornerhouse in Manchester in case you were wondering.) Anyway, we were there to see a film produced by my good friend Stacey. It's called "A Boy Called Dad" and it was pretty good. Not perfect but it had lots of good things about it.

It was about a 14 year old lad whose girlfriend has a baby and at the same time he starts to reconnect with his own deadbeat Dad. That bit was great, funny, heart warming etc It got a bit ropey when he abducts the kid (for various slightly farfetched reasons) and heads off to North Wales. Still, it was a proper feature film in a proper cinema, produced by my friend who used to be a high flying city solicitor! How great is that?

Stacey often teaches me lessons about life. Firstly she was a very ambitious, intelligent, high flying type living in Hong Kong and London when she came to visit me for the weekend, met my pal Jim (not my football buddy, a different Jim) and ended up marrying him, moving up to Derbyshire and giving up the law in faviour of film making. So- Lesson one - have no fear and follow your dreams.

Recently and very unfortunately, she fell down the stairs at home early one morning on her way to put the kettle on. Broke her back and now has extensive nerve damage to her lower limbs and internal organs. It looks like she is going to make a complete recovery over time but she is incredibly lucky to be even walking again. Doctors told her 98% of people with her damage would be paralysed. That's a stat to make you ponder life....

So - Lesson 2 - you don't know what is round the corner so enjoy life, take every chance and be ready to change your plans at a moment's notice.

So - well done Stace - it was a brave film, not perfect but yours and hopefully it'll lead to many more.

Back to mundanities - I'm maintaining my 2 lbs loss despite not being able to do any vigorous exercise. My face has settled down and is not too puffy any more so I should be able to recommence exercise tomorrow. I played golf today anyway so I've not be a complete sloth. Just 4lbs to lose to be back to last year's low in time for filming in 2 week's time. I can do it!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Sore mouth but silver lining...

Just a quickie. I had dental implants, er, implanted yesterday afternoon!! Aaargh. I've had troublesome teeth in the upper right area for years and the crown/bridge wasn't really working longterm so I finally took the plunge with implants a few weeks ago. All the prep work and a big gap for the last 2 months and now a big sore gap with stitches for the next 3-5 months before my shiny new teeth can be inserted. And v v expensive.

God it was horrible - a big burly greek dentist and 2 nurses, gowned and gloved, racing around my mouth peeling back gums, scraping away with bone grafting (rats - hadn't thought I needed it), then drilling 2 holes right into my brain (it felt like), inserting the titanium pins and then sewing me up. The stitches are right up the side of my gums and in the roof of my mouth too so not attractive.

There was no pain as such but it's a nasty shaky experience. Still, got through it and the pain subsided with some heavy duty Ibuprofen and an icepack while watching the golf last night. Only a bit swollen this morning! I wished I'd scheduled it for when D was home so I could at least have had a cuddle to make it better. Some times, I'm just too independent for my own good.

Anyway, the upshot is, I don't feel much like eating. The downshot is that I shouldn't do any heavy exercise for a few days. And the silver lining is - probably as a result of the being good and exercising over the last few days, but I'm going to assign it to the implants - I dropped 2 lbs this morning so am now 1 stone 2lbs lighter than I was in March! Progress at last.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

PS. Maxi dress

The dress in my banner pic above is not the maxi dress I referred to, it's a bona fide evening dress which I wore to the rugby club do. I really like it but the pics I have don't really do it justice.

The maxi dress is more casual and has yet to be worn!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Stalled but high on life...

Right, I really need to get moving again!!

I lost another lb last week taking me to a total loss of 1 stone, 1 lb and then had a massive, drunken blowout on Sunday (which I will come to later) and put it back on again. I have had stern words with myself and went for a swim at lunchtime to stop the rot but this hovering around on the same weight has GOT to stop! I need to see progress and I need to see it this week.

Anyway, back to the fun stuff and the reason I'm not really regretting the blowout. As I have mentioned once or twice (probably more), Sunday was the day of Sheffield Wednesday's last game of the season. It turned out to be a massive game. We were playing Crystal Palace and whichever team won would stay up in the Championship, the other team being relegated. We had the worse position in that we needed to win whereas Palace could afford to draw and still stay up. It was a monster game - the ground was full and the atmosphere was brilliant.

Chanting, singing our little hearts out, flags, balloons, tension, gut-churning nerves. Marvellous!
The team did their part and played hard taking it to a stomach turning, terrible 2-2 finale. So, we're down but not bowed. And I'm not even that depressed. I was in the pub by 9.40am which involved getting a very early train from the village. Had 4 pints and a bacon sandwich before the game and then it just got worse (better?)! Straight into the pub after the game going pint for pint with the lads. Then into town for bars, a cheesy disco and ending up in a curry house. What a great night. I haven't had such a pure boozing session for a long time - I think the final tally was 14 pints (a classy mixture of bitter and cider...) and 2 shorts!! How many calories is that??? Who cares...

Amazingly I was still able to stand, get a taxi, put the bins out when I got home (breaking but a single jar in the process) and still have all my possessions and a good part of my dignity intact! I do remember bouncing around a dancefloor to The Jam at some point and then looking up to see an old trainee of mine from years ago grinning at me and shaking his head..... The hangover wasn't great but didn't break my good mood so it's all good.

I think what I have taken from it is that it's good to have a blowout once in a while - it's great to feel young(ish) and free from time to time. If that means you have to work a little harder or that you get to your ideal weight a little later then what does it matter? I feel good NOW and want to be enjoying my life NOW not in some theoretical time in the future when I will be the "perfect" shape and weight. That's not to say that I'm not committed to losing weight and maintaining my fitness but I'm going to do it on my terms and at the right pace for me.

I have earned this lee-way by losing all that weight in 2007. I don't think I could have had such a great night out back at my former weight (nearly 20 stone...yikes!). I would have felt fat and unattractive, sweaty, feet hurting and could not have let go in the same way, especially when out with a male crew. So now I can walk as far and as fast as the evening's demands dictate. I can dance (a little wildly), stand up at the bar chatting all night, have a go on the surf board machine in Walkabout without disgracing myself (or showing my knickers like most of the young girls did!) and, in short, am fit and healthy which I was not before.

So, I'm not going to break my regime for just any old thing but I am going to have a good time on the way. If having a lot of fun makes me feel as alive and youthful as last Sunday did then that's worth more than being a lb lighter come Monday morning!!!