Winter in Bradwell

Winter  in Bradwell

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Mulling...

I’ve been mulling over the last few days. Not making major changes, just tightening up and allowing thoughts to float around in my head as to my next steps. I’ve been thinking about my diet and working out what is wrong with it and what can be changed. I think I have come to eat too much bread and carbs. They tend to come accompanied with butter and other goodies and make me feel bloated and uncomfortable which itself mitigates against exercise and activity. After a bread-based meal I often feel sleepy and have an uncomfortable tummy.



I’ve been thinking back to times when my diet has worked for me and when I found losing weight relatively easy. (Obviously NOT thinking about the time I gave up food altogether and existed on chemical dust and lost 9 stone because I’m NOT going to do that again!! Not that I regret it mind, just it is not the solution for now!)



Landing onto the fertile ground of my vague mullings, one lightbulb moment came when I read Lovecat’s blog and she listed what she eats most of the time. This was especially inspiring bearing in mind that, after a long time treading water, she has really made strides recently and has now hit the magical 12 stone zone!! Big congratulations Lovecat, I’m in awe.



But, back to what I was saying, her list of food was very protein, vegetable and fruit based and light on the carbs. Like a sensible version of Atkins or a red day based Slimming World. Now, thinking back to my chequered history of dieting, these were the times when I lost weight in the past and, crucially, had loads of energy for exercise and didn’t feel hungry. Before I ignite the red touch paper, I know Atkins itself was too extreme and not healthy but I do think a sensibly modified version has merit. I also think the kick-starting for a couple of weeks was a good thing as it got you through your sugar-cravings.



Looking back, I realise that my everyday diet has moved quite a lot over the last year. From muesli with fruit for breakfast and sushi with fruit/yoghurt for lunch to cereal for breakfast and 2 sandwiches for lunch. Much more carb-y and less healthy which might explain why a) I’ve gained weight (bread leads to more bread in my experience so toast has been creeping into my breakfast repertoire as well and as an evening snack!) and b) less energy so harder to make myself go swimming at lunch and running in the evenings.



So – I’m going to ban the bread for a while. Breakfast will be either bacon and egg, or omelette or muesli and fruit (high GI and not carb-y in the same way). Lunch will be cold meat or fish with salad and coleslaw/mayo as required. Suppers will be the same as I presently have but either with no spuds/rice/noodles or dramatically smaller portions of the same and extra veggies. I will change beer to wine or water or less calorific option.



I will also continue what I have been doing recently re exercise to make sure that I get plenty of this. Swimming, running and personal training are all crucial I believe.



My fridge is not currently set up for the new lunch regime so this will start on Monday (as is traditional I believe) but I’m going to knock the bread on the head straight away. I’ll also reinstate the daily weigh-ins which have lapsed to “intermittent” and report weekly on progress. There WILL BE progress. If progress does not happen by itself on this regime I will go to Slimming World and follow a modified version of the regime under their supervision. I know I can lose weight but it is the keeping on keeping on that I struggle with so that is what I’m going to focus on. Funny, Lovecat’s list of things which made a difference also mentioned this.



Frequent blogging and mini-targets will also make a reappearance.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

It's nice when it stops.

Peridot mentioned her holiday to the East Coast of the USA and her desire to see a moose. This reminded me of my holiday to Nova Scotia in 2007 when I saw a few moose/mooses/meese.. They're very shy so this was the best of a very poor selection of moose pics!! BTW, there was a baby moose hiding behind her ma. Enjoy Peri...


Isn’t it weird how a sad mood can just evaporate? I don’t know where it came from. I know why it lasted for a few days and I certainly know why Monday was so wretched but I’m glad it’s gone now.



I went to bed last night feeling lighter and happy again and woke up feeling refreshed and ready for the fray. I had a good early start and, because I was in before 8 (no mean feat when I have an hour’s drive to the office!) managed to catch the big boss for a review of several matters. Once we’d spoken about work I referred to the sh*t storm of Friday to clear the air and get my side of the story over (namely that I wasn’t even working on that matter so how the hell did I get dragged into it?!). He was absolutely fine and didn’t even seem to connect me to it. Which is a bit of a mystery. So now I wonder what Chinese whispers are happening round here. Sometimes it might suit people to “share” the blame, especially when I’m conveniently out of the office working from home? Or it might suit a manager to exaggerate a problem in order to exert greater control over your day?? Hmmm. It’s hard to know who to trust round here but it’s a good lesson learned.



I’m glad I didn’t wallow for too long. I’m glad I didn’t take it out on Rich. I’m glad we went to dancing. And I’m glad it’s over now.



Rich is not golfing this evening as he has matches later in the week so we have a nice quiet night in planned and I’m really looking forward to it.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Baaaaaaad Day

Minty met a cat....but, for change she did not go mental and chase it five miles down the road. No idea why, maybe being enclosed in an alley way...

The cat was not happy but perhaps saw a way out...Shelagh looked on, unimpressed!
Clever things, cats - Minty'll never get her there!
Haaaaa ha ha ha ha ha - ner ner ner ner ner......

We’ve all had them but sometimes they arrive when you’re already feeling blue and sad so you’re particularly weak and defences are low. Well, that’s what happened today.



We’d had a weekend of nothing much happening. I had been brooding over feeling neglected by Rich – nothing major, just felt like he wasn’t showing me much attention when I needed some attention. I knew I was overreacting which is why I didn’t say anything for a while but, once the feeling started to fester, I did say something and then wished I’d raised it sooner and not let it taint my whole weekend. So then I’m feeling grumpy about that as well.



I’m sure part of it was just me feeling out of sorts and wanting him to somehow guess how I felt and wave a magic wand to make me feel better. I feel blue so rarely that I’m not very good at coping with it. And also it was a pretty miserable weekend weather-wise – not too bad on Saturday but solid rain nearly ALL day on Sunday - harrumph. As you know, I like my exercise and the great outdoors so felt very deprived.



While I know that part of my impression was right – he hadn’t been very affectionate or attentive over the weekend. But, being fair, part was me building it up in head. He noticed on Saturday evening that I was bored and grumpy so suggested that we went to the cinema. We ended up taking his mum to see Harry Potter. He later said he felt bad ‘cos perhaps we should have had the time together but I like his mum so that wasn’t the problem. The problem really is me not articulating what I want and Rich, being a bloke, trundling along taking the easy life. It’s just that, sometimes, you want them to SEE that you need attention, to WANT to be romantic, not to do something just ‘cos you ask them to.



And I care about him, us, so much that I don’t want just to let things slide. I want to make things brilliant again.



I have a terrible habit of thinking too much. I get an idea in my head and then start to plan something and then, if the plan doesn’t come off, I get disproportionately disappointed and all the time, Rich doesn’t even know what is going on… Aaaargh.



So, I came to work this morning feeling as though the weekend had been a bust and feeling really stupidly sad about that. For crying out loud, nothing bad happened. Rich has not done anything wrong, he’s just been a bit lazy if anything. When I told him how I felt we didn’t have a row, lots of kisses and cuddles. Hopefully I’ll learn to say something sooner and at a better time of day (not just before bed!) and he’ll learn to pick up the hints a bit quicker.



The trouble is, I came to work in that frame of mind and walked into a sh*t storm! When I’d been working from home on Friday accusations had been flying around about me delaying a matter. They were totally unfair in that I wasn’t even dealing with the matter but, by the time this had been corrected, the damage is done and all sorts of other things are being brought into the mix by bosses who haven’t bothered to check their facts. Work is pretty torrid at the moment but I don’t think I earn enough to have to put up with this rubbish. My immediate boss has been very supportive but it leaves such a nasty taste in your mouth. Now I feel unappreciated at home and work! Excellent.



The cr*p at work has, however, overshadowed the angst of home so I’ll go home, have a good cry on Rich’s shoulder and hopefully turn up to work tomorrow some more in a more robust frame of mind.



I even thought about missing dancing tonight. Rich asked what I wanted to do and suggested going out for a bite to eat together instead. But I then thought dancing would be the perfect distraction. A physical task, bodily contact, concentration, release of adrenaline. Better than eating or drinking my way through my pain.



This morning, at the height of the storm I was RAVENOUS. I stuffed my sandwiches into my face bang on the dot of 12. I was clearly suppressing the anxiety of the situation with food which is very retrograde behaviour. But, the positive thing to note is that I didn’t go on to eat any more and I’ve been very restrained today overall. Not only that but my weekend of restraint has yielded a slightly lower weight this morning too. So, that’s my one teeny tiny positive for the day!







Actually I've had a much better evening than I thought. I nearly didn't but eventually agreed to go to dancing and I'm so glad we did. Even on the drive into Sheffield I started to relax and the minute we got going on the cha cha the horribleness of my day just disappeared. Rich was a star, kept me going thru the lapses in concentraiton and just stared into my eyes all the way through the cha cha, the samba, the rumba (which I swear he loves - those hips are not wiggling by accident), the foxtrot (fiendishly difficult) and the waltz.

Then, instead of heading home and leaving him to his darts match, I stopped into the pub with him. It's normally a bit of a lads' night out and tonight was no exception as it was just the 2 teams, me and the landlord. But I didn't care. I wanted to be out and I had a good laugh and a good chat with the boys. I left before the end though as I was starving and wanted to get back to my computer! What a grudge match!! Top versus second in the table and I left it at 4-3 up. Rich's team has the advantage though as their run-in is much easier. I fully intended to leave after a pint but the matches were so absorbing that I ended up staying for 6, matches that is, only 2.5 slowly supped pints!!

So - I'm a happy girl again (until work starts again tomorrow). Thank God for that - I hate feeling miserable.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Trundling along

I've definitely turned a corner since my last post. I have turned away from treats several times even when my chimp was actively encouraging me to chow down.

For example yesterday at work I had some brilliant work related news and found myself in town with 30 minutes to kill. My chimp is in my head telling me to go and have a coffee and possibly cake to use the time to treat me, after all I "deserved" it having found the deed which had lain lost in the Council's archives for 30 odd years!! I went so far as to walk into not one but 3 cafes (well, one was McDonalds actually), look at what was on offer and then walk out again.

I ended up returning to the office early, having my sandwich and fruit and getting on with my work. No biggie.

I turned down a slice of my french teacher's homemade chocolate cake yesterday evening and didn't pick at the spicy wedges and homemade houmous and pitta bread in the pub last night. This is good.

I also braved the scales again this morning after a hiatus of a fortnight in readiness for starting all over again next week. The scales reveal that I'm back to where I started at the beginning of P2P1, ie. I have regained the 2 lbs I had lost. Heyho, that's not too bad. At least I'm not gaining.

I've (nearly) definitely decided to give Slimming World a go. I've not found myself a diet buddy but have found a convenient class which I can go to straight from work on a Tuesday night so I'll see. I need some discipline and external accountability and maybe SW will give me that.

Hopefully losing a stone or so will help with my pesky high blood pressure which has improved but which won't quite settle into the safe range. I'm on medication but it's not quite doing the trick. Grrr.

In other news, I went to a Bamford event last night - the Carnival Quiz night. It was nice to see pals from my old village and be reminded that not everyone there thinks I've grown 2 heads since I left D!! It was a stinker of a quiz, fiendishly difficult and our team did not impress. We fell into the trap of being quite good at every round but not brilliant at any so didn't win any prizes....boooo.....

I'm working from home today so have put in loads of hours and should be able to finish early and get out onto the golf course in the sunshine before the weekend of gloom which we're promised ruins all that.

I had a lesson on Wednesday evening and it was BRILLIANT! The pro Patrick was very complimentary about my game and took it very seriously (previously he's been quite jokey and flippant). He didn't do much just corrected my aim and adjusted my timing slightly. And what a massive difference it made. It was so EASY. Shot after shot of simple, sweet strikes. Nirvana for a golfer. I'm not so daft as to think that I'll effortlessly carry that form onto the course but at least I know what I'm aiming at now.

He has shown me a practise drill too so now I know HOW to practise. Before I felt a bit silly hitting a few balls and not knowing what I was trying to achieve, effort without focus.

So, I'm re-energised on 2 fronts - dieting and golfing. I hope this newfound energy yields results for both!!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Ooomfff!!

Simply put, I haven't got much. I am coasting along not really achieving anything in the weightloss world at the moment. I lost a couple of lbs last month then sat back and did nothing for a couple of weeks. After a brief flourish during P2P1, my exercise has dwindled back to golf, dancing, walking, the occasional jog and personal training. My food intake is, shall we say, "generous".

This would all be great if I was at the weight I'd like to be longterm but I'm not. I'm a stone over what I was content at and 2 over what I'd ideally like to be at.

I don't feel particularly attractive at the moment either. I know I can still scrub up alright but my casual clothes are a bit too strained to be flattering. Belly and ass are definitely fat now, not just "generous". The mirrors in the dance studio on a Monday night are beginning to get me down.

Happily this is in no way connected to Richard so I don't have that element weighing me down as well...."weighing"....geddit??.....but it matters to me so I need to do something about it. Putting my money where my mouth is so to speak but it's more like not putting food where my mouth is.

I'm toying with 2 options. A more public, accountable P2P challenge again, ie. actually doing it compared to honouring it in the breach as I have this month. Or going to (back to) Slimming World. I've been to SW a few times in the past and have had some sucesses with it in that I lostt a couple of stone at least twice through SW.

The last time I went though I didn't stick to it and obviously didn't suceed. The new programme was confusing; the woman who does it near me is good at what she does but a tad on the depressing side (tbh she makes Eeyore look frivolous and light-hearted); my diet buddy dropped out very soon after we started going (it was the so-called pal who publicly unfriended me a few weeks ago which just goes to show...); and I think I felt a general diet fatigue so couldn't be bothered to commit.

I've heard that another woman I know locally is going to a different local class so I've sent her a message enquiring and that could be the solution. I like the group thing, it worked for me in Lighter Life and I could do with a kick up the (rather large) ass, frankly.

So, that's the plan. I'm coasting along for the next couple of days, increasing the exercise and cutting back on the treats and will start whichever new challenge I pick next week.

What of other news??

I got my golf handicap cut last week from 19 to 18 so I'm now officially better than Rich who is still languuishing on 19. This is good but I'm only just into 18 and the way the handicap system works my position is extremely precarious - one bad round and I'm back to 19. This means that I can't enjoy the crowing I'd like to do over Rich but hopefully I'll cement my superiority (on the course) soon and the crowing will flow!!


I'm loving the golf at the moment. I played this morning and am actually pining to go out again this evening. Rich's golf society is playing locally and I nearly went and joined them! The only reason I didn't is that the dogs need to be walked and I've got a lesson with the pro later this evening...how sad am I??


We had a nice weekend. It was my ma's 80th birthday on Friday so we went over to Lincolnshire for a family celebration. Due to the wretched Alzheimers, my ma had no idea it was her birthday although she did recognise the date when I read an article referring to it from the paper. But she seemed happy to see us all. Her memory must be really slipping though as she doesn't now greet us all by name in case she gets it wrong. She gets a slightly crafty look as she evades slipping up. Poor love. Also she never mentions D and doesn't seem to question the appearance of the new chap, Richard.


How sad it is to see her slide away from us. And how sad for my dad to lose his wife of 55 years gradually and in subtle increments.


Because she forgets everything she can be very impatient, constantly complaining tha the restaurant was keeping us waiting when it had not been that long since they'd taken our order. It must be hard for dad to deal with on a daily basis. I have to work at not snapping at her!!


On the plus side, my brother is moving back to my parents village from Canada very soon so Dad will have company on hand which is fabulous news. Also, Rich fits in really well with the whole motley crew of us. It was only the 2 of us on Friday as my sister's lot didn't arrive 'til Saturday so we went to the pub on Friday night and chatted to all Dad's cronies. It was great to see him in his element and reconnect with his mates. He's the oldest at nearly 80 but the rest aren't far behind and they're a lovely lot.


So mostly life is very sweet. I just need to keep on top of the pesky waistline!!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Weekend of Fun in the Sun

I actually typed this post a couple of days ago but because I wanted to insert the relevant photos into the middle of the text, it has taken longer than usual to publish. Hope you like the pics though.

I’m feeling all mushy today (Well, I was feeling all mushy on Monday....although he's been very sweet today too..) ‘cos I got a sweet text from Rich this morning saying thank you for a great weekend. How lovely. He’s not the most gushing of men, doesn’t splash around the flowery compliments but I know he really thinks about things and makes an effort with our relationship. I occasionally get a bit sulky about the lack of flowery stuff and have to remind myself that romantic words are all very well but they mean nothing if not backed up by deeds. And it’s the deeds which make you happy. So I’m doubly happy to hear the words as well. At the end of the day, all I want to know is that he’s as happy as I am, which is very.



We had the weekend off together. Without being asked, he arranged it so that he didn’t work on Saturday morning and neither of us played golf on Sunday – we just spent a couple of days doing nice, sunny, holiday things together. Being previously used to always being the one who had to plan anything, it was lovely to find that a weekend off had been arranged without me having to nag, cajole or even suggest it! He must have recognised that we have been too busy recently, cramming too much in and not spending enough “downtime” together and taken steps to sort that out. Bliss.


So, what did we get up to on our weekend off??


We had friends over on Friday evening and went to the local pub which had a band on. They were a rather strange collection of middle-aged blokes playing modern rock covers. All Oasis, Kasier Chiefs, Killers, etc They were very good but there was something “funny” about the lead singer….he looked a bit like a middle-management accountant type, who had grown his hair, brushed it forward in that uber-annoying "yoof" style and borrowed his teenaged son’s clothes for the weekend.
But the good thing about living in a village is that entertainment of any sort is valued so there’s usually a decent crowd for a band. The pub was full; the beer and wine were flowing and our friends were on good form and we had an excellent night out. I didn’t envy them, though, as they thoughtfully crept quietly out of the house to go to work at 8.30am! We both turned over and went straight back to sleep - a proper lie-in - yay!!


We went for a somewhat subdued, hungover walk along the river to Hathersage in the afternoon. As it's about 5 or 6 miles, we wimped out and took the bus back rather than walking!! Well, it was hot and we had to get ready to go out again… It was the dogs’ first trip on a bus and they liked it! They sat happily on our laps looking out at the view and were extremely (and uncharacteristically) well-behaved. I was very proud of them.

We're waiting with trepidation at the bustop in Hathersage....but they were good as gold!

Saturday evening saw us head off to Buxton for the evening do of a wedding reception. Very pleasant but we didn’t know that many people; the ones we did had kids so were not staying late; and we were still feeling a bit under the weather from our big Friday night. So, we left relatively early and caught the Haye-Klitschko fight!! A bit of a let-down after all the trash talking that Mr Haye has been dishing out. I wish he had really gone for it but, even then, I suspect old Vlad would have had a bit too much talent for him. And sheer size too. I do like a spot of boxing from time to time!


Sunday was just lovely. Gorgeous weather, no hangover and nothing planned. We just packed a backpack and headed out into the hills. We set off over Hazelbadge (the massive field at the end of our road) past a forlorn hanglider who bemoaned the lack of wind while watching dozens of paragliders flying high above him. Then through a herd of inquisitive cows with calves and the most muscley bull you’ve ever seen. That particular bull freaks Rich out but I think he’s very handsome and confidently presume that, if he wasn’t pretty placid, he wouldn’t be left in a field with such high traffic of dogwalkers, paragliders, golfers, children playing football etc etc Would he??

What a handsome chap eh?? Not quite so handsome when he gave us the hard stare but he kept his distance so all was well. Rich did not stay next to me as I stopped to take pictures though...wonder why??

After Hazelbadge, we finally walked up this limestone dale I’ve been eyeing for weeks and it was lovely. Hidden, deserted (apart from sheep of course) and very pretty. In some parts not like England at all as it was so bright and dry – it had a Mediterranean feel with shorn sheep sheltering from the sun under thorn bushes and craggy white rocks in a sea of dry grass. By the way, a dale is the local name for a v-shaped, grassy ravine/valley which looks like it should have a stream at the bottom but which doesn’t, presumably because the water has filtered through the limestone landscape into an underground system, hence all the caving locally.


Once out of the dale we walked along the top of the moor to Castleton, partly on quiet lanes and partly through fields. The wildflowers were staggeringly beautiful; every verge heaving with colour and texture. I was in heaven. The variety was stunning and the plant life has changed even over the last couple of weeks since I last walked that route. We turned one corner to be faced with the most beautiful bank of orchids in full bloom. Simply gorgeous. I made a big fuss and took loads of pics only to find that the orchids followed us on and off all the way to Castleton! The views of the hills crowded with tourists on the other side of the valley were gorgeous too.
The lovely bank of orchids although the photo does not capture the sheer number and radiance of them, sadly.
A dashing MG whizzed past us - what a very English sight (apart from the blazing sunshine of course)!
Unfortunately it’s a pretty dry landscape in the White Peak so, apart from one cattle trough I found for them, the dogs were short of water and pretty hot. Our walk was accompanied by a chorus of panting - Shelagh keeps her head down and trots at our ankles but Minty kept lying down in any shade she could find, giant tongue lolling which made us feel a little guilty.


We shared our water with them from time to time and eventually made it into Castleton where they could have a paddle in a brook to cool down and re-hydrate and we could have an ice-cream! The return journey was totally different – along the valley floor beside a stream through lush green fields. Re-energised, Minty was desperate to find some swallows to chase but without success. Shelagh was just happy to badger us for a swim every few minutes!
We stopped for an apple and gave Shelagh the core - too sour for her she had to go off and bury it!!
Steeeep - I'm glad we were going downhill in this field.
Everyone needs a helping hand sometime even if it is not very dignified eh Shelagh?
Blessed cool shade...
The pretty, and very touristy village of Castleton.
One of many swims for the dogs, lucky beggars.

Truly, it was a heavenly afternoon. Topped off by a very tasty and well-earned supper of roast chicken with all the trimmings and the final episode of Scott & Bailey! Aaaaah – contentment!


And today– just to top up my cup-which-runneth-over – after a barren couple of weeks, I have a couple who want to view the house!! More finger crossing please….

Friday, 1 July 2011

Frustration - The Waiting Game

I feel as though I’ve made huge steps in the last year. I’ve left my marriage physically and mentally and now legally. We were officially divorced back in May. In the event it didn’t turn out to be a momentous day, especially as, despite my solicitor’s promises, I didn’t find out about the grant of the Decree Absolute until over 2 weeks after the date! But I was never going to be “celebrating” it as such so that was not a problem.



I know some people have divorce parties and clever cakes with icing sugar figures on top depicting “hilarious” scenarios. Good luck to them if it helps them but that’s not for me. I don’t like the thought of celebrating something negative like the end of a marriage. I’d rather celebrate something positive like a new, happy relationship.



However, despite the fact that I’ve moved on, some things continue to hold me back. And one of these is the blasted house! It is on the market and I initially had several viewings but none of these have come to anything. Now I haven’t had a viewing for a couple of weeks and it looks as though it is going to be a slow old road. This is tough because, until the house sells, I don’t have any capital to clear various debts (not least divorce solicitor’s fees!) so my income is severely limited. I want a holiday but am not sure if we can afford it until the house is sold. Rats.



I know it is not the end of the world – if we can’t afford to go away, we can just take time off and spend it at home together which will be lovely too. But part of me wants to be strolling through some foreign town in the sunshine, hand in hand looking for a lovely harbourside restaurant or waking up in a lovely white bedroom with the sun streaming through the curtains with nothing planned but a spot of swimming, a walk, maybe a game of golf and some holiday reading.



Gnash gnash gnash….



So, patience is the order of the day. All things come to those who wait and I must look to my blessings rather than hankering for things I can’t have, yet. The dogs’ll be happy.