Sunday, 30 October 2011

Another run?!

Yes I know, hard to believe that I might make it out twice in one weekend but 'tis true! We got back from my sister's this afternooon and I spent a very frustrating hour on the phone and facebook trying to sort out a quiz team, unsucessfully as it happens. Eventually I realised that, with the hour having gone back, I needed to take the dogs out before it got dark. I suggested a walk to Rich but he was tired from his drive and chilly and didn't fancy it. So HIS laziness prompted ME into going for a run instead!!

So, out we (me and the dogs) went: the light was fading and it was cold but we managed a good 40 minutes round the fields and golf course and it was good....well, sort of. My stomach felt like a lead weight from the beans on toast not long before but I just about managed it!!

We had a nice weekend down south at my sister's. We went out for a lovely meal on the Friday night - moules mariniere followed by belly pork washed down by red wine (hmmmm not sure how SW would calculate THAT!) Then over to Wycombe for the football on Saturday which was a laugh. A nervy 2-1 win to the mighty Owls and another 3 points in the bag keeping us third in the table. Then back to my sister's for a lovely home cooked meal and relaxed chat with my sister, her third daughter and her husband. Yay!!

So, back to this afternoon and the frustrating non-quiz. I got various messages this morning that our team captain had been knocked down by a bus and airlifted to hospital. He's alright, if you count 10 broken ribs and a busted pelvis and shoulder blade as "alright", which I don't! Poor bloke. I tried and tried but couldn't get a confirmed team so reluctantly rang the other team to cancel at 5.30pm....just 5 minutes before a couple I'd been leaving messages for all day rang and said they could make it!! By then it was too late to un-cancel as the other captain's phone was engaged obviously ringing round his team to cancel. Aaargh!! How annoying. If I'd just waited 'til 6pm all would have been well.

Ach - a nice quiet night in instead. And no temptation in the form of beer and sandwiches to derail me so, looking on the bright side, not too bad!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Get in!!

I really do NOT want to be going for a run right now. I'm hungry (stomach rumbling hungry) and there is freshly made leek and potato soup on the hob.

But I'm dressed in my winter running gear and I'm going anyway. Now THAT'S motivation.

At least it's sunny!!

Thursday, 27 October 2011


I've been planning my birthday celebrations for November (when I'll be turning 42...yikes!). Nothing major given that it's not a Big Birthday but I still like to have something arranged.

I was torn between football and a more "romantic" type celebration. Last year we went to Bakewell and had a night in a nice hotel and smart meal out followed by a trip to Milton Keynes for the footie! This year I think I've found a similar compromise although only after a bit of bargaining and putting my foot down.

Our Sheffield 'local' is putting on a coach trip actually on my birthday to the away game against Tranmere (not the most glamourous or romantic of locations I'm sure you'll agree). I sort of want to go but don't want to miss out on a nice night out either. Torn. Then, in the background, hovers my desire to go to a Social Dance at the dance studio where we take lessons. They hold these dances every month and I, along with the female halves of our dancey pals, have been pressing to go for ages now. Rich (along with the other blokes) has developed cold feet about dancing "for real" and in front of people who are better than us!!

So, I thought that my birthday would be a good opportunity to insist.

But then I also fancied the Tranmere game and knew that Rich did too. Dilemma!!

I got a bit sulky after dancing on Monday night by Rich's lack of desire to go to a social dance and felt a bit "taken for granted". The drive home was, erm, frosty, shall we say. He was obviously mulling this over, and eventually came out with the compromise. We could go to the NEXT social dance at the beginning of December AND the Tranmere game on my birthday. Good. I can live with that and now have something nice to look forward to at the beginning of December. Dressing up and dancing "for real". It made me happy too that I didn't have to press the point, just made it clear that I thought it wasn't fair, didn't nag or whinge, and he came round. Choosing to do something he isn't keen on to make me happy and because I want to do it. That's nice

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Turning the tide

I went to my weigh-in last night and stayed for the class too. I don't know why but it DOES help. I have been much more motivated today.

Oh, forgot to report the WI result - 1 lb ON! Sigh....

But anyway, back to feeling more motivated. Healthy breakfast - figs with yoghurt; sandwich for lunch; round of golf; fish pie (SW recipe). A stellar day all round.

So, on that note, lets hope that one day of motivation leads to many more.....

It's a good thing I am feeling more positive though 'cos I was a tad niggled yesterday in class. Dispirited by going backwards....I had lost 12 lbs and now, after 5 weeks of faffing around, have gained back 3 of those. Grrr There is a woman in the class who joined the week before me and she has now lost 1 stone 5 lbs. If I hadn't stagnated I could have been around that mark. Grumble grumble grumble.

I know it's all down to me and I have chosen to go slow and have fun too but I must admit to being grumpy last night.

Today though - motivated. Phew!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Weekend Update - better late than never...

It's been a really busy weekend but a really good one too. (Do I EVER post a blog saying....did nothing and had a rubbish time???)

We both had Friday off to play golf. It was the final Society day of the season held, coincidentally, at my Golf Club. There was also a meal and prize-giving afterwards with wives and girlfriends turning up so all in all very pleasant. I played alright but didn't trouble the leaders but Rich was in contention for the main prize for the best 3 scores over the course of the summer. In order to win overall, he had to win on Friday. If he came anywhere other than first on Friday, his friend Darren would win the big prize. Talk about pressure!

Anyway, we played together and he had a really steady round. His score was good not brilliant but he was the leader in the clubhouse when we got in. But we were only the second team out so he had a very nerve-wracking hour while he waited for everyone else to come in to see whether he was the winner. It was quite amusing for me to watch - there he was trying to be casual and pretend he didn't care! Ha! Anyway, his wait was worth it as he won on the day AND the season competition as well and picked up a very pleasing £125 worth of golf vouchers! Not bad for a game of golf eh?!

The meal was, as ever at my club, gorgeous and I was not in any way restrained - lots of red wine, roast pork and the most delicious sticky toffee pudding I've had for YEARS!! Aaaargh. I'm sure I said something recently about not having any temptation planned for this week - how did I forget that?! Although in my defence, I didn't have any lunch and played golf all afternoon so I was starving....yeah, no, I know that doesn't wash....

So that was Friday. Saturday was a lovely relaxing day at the football. I can't believe this season so far....Sheffield Wednesday are flying high - third in the table, 2 points off the top, unbeaten in 6 games and 7 wins out of 7 at home. It is truly amazing! After the rubbish we had to put up with over the last many seasons, this feels brilliant. Our neighbours across the city (Sheffield United) are 4 points behind us in 5th and their fans are angry with how BADLY they're doing!! It's a matter of perspective - they think they should be cruising through this division having been relegated last year whereas we're just appreciative of every good result. I can't remember looking forward to going to a match as much or feeling so relaxed while at the's bizarre!

More beer was taken before the game but I stuck to halves so damage limited.

Sunday was hectic! Up early for a round of golf with Nigel. We were on the course by 8.30am and finished by 11ish. Then home to walk the dogs, shower, change and head out to meet up with some old school pals. Me, Jenny, Kirsten and Stephanie have been good friends for over 30 years now, since that first term at school so it's great to all get together once in a while. I didn't think it would be so soon since the last visit as Kirsten moved to Australia in April. She's back for a flying visit to help her mum and dad with a health issue (she is BRILLIANT at negotiating her way round consultants and the NHS) so we all managed to carve out a few hours for Sunday lunch with 3 kids in tow. It was lovely but did involve eating, again. I didn't go mad but you know that a pub roast is not perfect dieting fayre.

Then back home for coffee and chat. As soon as they were gone it was off to Rich's mum's for an hour or so as it was her birthday and then back for supper before dashing straight off to the pub quiz!! I was knackered....

I'm loving the pub quiz this year too. Like Sheffield Wednesday, the Anglers Rest is enjoying a very good start to the season. We've lost one (narrowly) and even more narrowly won 2 against good opposition. Sunday night's match was really tight, high-scoring and we were kept on our toes the whole way through. We won it on the last question AND we won the beer round too. Cracking!

So - dieting extremely indifferent but that IS going to change. Life is good though.

I spoke a bit too soon......just heard that Wednesday have lost away at Carlisle this evening.....rats......

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


The glorious castle of Warkworth. We went for a walk along the beach and round the town first though....

More stick action....
and some swimming...

Another week has slipped by without me achieving much in the weightloss sense. We had a lot of fun and I didn't go mad. I had a STS last night at weigh-in so not too bad. But that is now a month gone by with no loss to show for it. I don't mind the fortnight around holiday and being ill but the fortnight afterwards when I was fine and healthy - well, I could have done a little better, methinks.

(I actually just typed "I SHOULD have done better" but changed that to "could". I am not going back to the days when I judged myself by my weight and everything was "should" "ought" "good" "bad". Weight and weightloss is NOT a moral judgement of worth Lesley - got it!!)

However, I feel as though the fog is clearing a bit and I'm going to make a proper effort to reinstate my positive routines this week. I had a good day Monday with Pump class, dancing and decent food and drink. One unhelpful element which has crept back into my routine is too much drink. I don't have any "drinky" social occasions planned this week so I'm going to try and have a pretty dry week; limit the wine at home and eliminate the casual pint of bitter. I need to go back to saving drinking for when I'm going out or have something special planned (or REALLY fancy a glass of wine!!).

What was very helpful this morning was receiving the second "Letter to Myself" which I typed back in August when i started my diet. Here it is:

So, how're you doing now that the weather is drawing in? I hope you're still sticking to the diet but if you're not, it's never too late to start again. there is no shame in it. I just wanted to remind you how positive you felt back in August when you'd only lost 5 lbs but were really enjoying life. Starting the diet was YOUR choice and it's something you WANT to do, no-one else. So make the effort to stick to it because you'll be taking the credit and reaping the rewards.

The food side is not hard. Take it steady and relax when you need to but really, the diet food is so tasty once you make the effort to prepare it that there is no hardship!

And the exercise. Are you still going to Pump? Have you been to Zumba? I hope so 'cos you were really enjoying the Pump back in August and the swimming and running and training and golf. Don't let it all go down the Swanee; this is your chance for a different end to the year. You're doing this because you care about yourself and you want others to value you too. And because you want to be sexy for Richard too.....

Think about those Christmas parties...think about being able to wear your nice going out clothes and not having to buy new stuff!! And dancing. You can still lose half a stone before Christmas if you put your mind to it so get on with it!!

Good luck honey.

Lesley xx

I must say, corny as it may be, it really helped me to re-focus on reading it this this morning. I like the fact that I'm not giving myself a hard time if I haven't stuck to the diet but am emphasizing the positive and reminding myself how much I enjoyed it back then.

I also notice some telling words in the second paragraph "once you make the effort to prepare it"!! I have got a bit lazy about what food I prepare, partly because we've been very busy so shopping has been more erratic and less planned and then you just have to make the best of what you have in. Partly because we've been eating out more too. So, I will start on lists to ensure that I have nice food in and get back to cooking the tasty diet-friendly food that I did so weel on back in August and September.

I also like the fact that I haven't given up on the exercise. It slipped a little in intensity but I have still made it to Pump nearly every week and been running and swimming.

So, in summary, I haven't fallen off the wagon, just stopped in a layby for a few weeks. Now I'm ready to gee up the horses and get back onto the Weightloss Highway. (Sorry peeps, I'm truly terrible at analogies/metaphors/similes.....)

Monday, 17 October 2011

Fun fun fun

It's been a busy and very entertaining weekend. Not, I admit right now, a dieting weekend.

I finished early on Friday afternoon and we headed over to the flatlands of Lincolnshire to stay with my Ma and Pa. What a beautiful afternoon and evening it was. It's always great to see them both and Dad was on good form (despite the perennial complaints that we're not staying for longer....I presume everyone gets those off their parents?!). We joined my father at his local pub for his favourite Friday evening session. His pal Robin was out and his daughter (who I have known for years on and off) joined us all later with her husband so we were a chatty bunch. Quite international too - Robin lives part of the year near his son in Valencia, Spain. Another woman who joined us is Dutch and Robin's daughter's husband is currently working out in the Falklands. There was much discussion of Christmas traditions which was fascinating but did rather put the focus on what WE'RE going to be doing at Christmas, which is currently undecided!!

Saturday was a much needed lie-in, a viewing of my brother's new pad a couple of miles from home (they're away but dad showed us around, proud as a mother hen of the place!). I must say, it's very big and swanky - I had a nasty case of property envy. There just seems to be more space in Lincolnshire for nice big houses and gardens. Then a decent pub lunch followed by a good long walk in the sunshine. It's so strange to find yourself wearing cropped trousers and a t-shirt in mid-October. We walked and walked and eventually tired the dogs out. Lovely.

So all that rest and relaxation set us up nicely for a day of debauchery and football yesterday!

In readiness for the big Steel City Derby between my team, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, we were in our football local before 9 for beer and a cooked breakfast. NOT on the SW list of advisable activities I'm afraid. A few hours of "preparing ourselves" for the game (AKA, drinking and singing Wednesday songs) before a fleet of minibuses took us across the city to our local's rival's shed, otherwise known as Bramall Lane!! The game itself was a really good Derby clash - frenetic, passionate, a packed stadium, good atmosphere and players giving their all. These occasions sometimes fall flat but yesterday's was a great game.

We were, of course, gutted to find our team 2-nil down after 20 minutes and, although they kept on trying and had some great efforts, that's how it stayed until 8 minutes before fulltime. Then we scored!! We didn't celebrate much - it was too tense but our mood lifted and the mood of the home fans dropped through the floor! Then 4 minutes later, after a scramble in the goal mouth, we scored again!!! What a comeback. THEN we went mental. We were jumping about, shouting screaming, singing, hugging, kissing (anyone). My voice totally disappeared for an hour or so. It felt like the greatest victory ever even though we had only levelled the score. We had a chance to pinch a win at the death but it ended up 2-2. Who cares?? The Wednesday fans bounced out of the ground feeling like winners whereas our opponents slunk out, gutted, having been so close to a win! Heavenly stuff.

So, back to the pub and then a bite to eat before a late afternoon bus home. I'd reluctantly agreed to take part in the pub quiz that night as we were short on numbers. I couldn't drive (too much beer) but a team mate picked me up and dropped me home afterwards - I MUST be worth something to merit that kind of treatment!!? As our bus home turned out not to be going all the way to Bradwell but stopped 2 miles short, I ended up going straight to the pub where I was being picked up and from there straight to the quiz. So, all in all, I spent the better part of 14 hours in various hostelries! Not counting the hours watcing the game itself, walking between hostelries and to and from bus stops. A marathon effort. Looking back, I didn't actually drink THAT much - we were sipping quite slowly - so happily I've been fine today.

I was even quite lucid for the quiz. Which was a good thing as oour problem with numbers had led to the captain bringing in a new couple who were a bit older and seemed a little, how shall I put it, straight-laced. I suspect they'll loosen up in time but the reality of a slightly merry football fan bouncing in on a high was probably a bit overwhelming! Anyway, my memory was in good order and the team gelled nicely so we had a good win - we managed to beat one of the better teams in the league for the first time ever!

So, all in all, not a dieting weekend but a cracking one!! For what it's worth, I went to Pump this lunchtime and dancing was very energetic - samba, cha cha, rumba and jive! You never know....

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Hmmmm, positive reinforcement required

Well, it was coming. I've not been doing very well this week as I've mentioned but the scales had been showing a STS. Until this morning that is... Luckily I had the heads up first thing this morning so was not too gutted to see that I've gained 2lbs at my weigh-in this evening. Blegh!

But, hey ho, I knew it was coming. I've already put matters right, just too late for this week's total. So I'm not going to get down on myself about a gain.

I stayed to class but it wasn't the most helpful of classes as it was a "Taster Evening". Several members brought in a selection of food which was either "free" or very low in syns. What a selection too!! Syn-free pakoras, chicken liver pate, rice, pasta and potato salads, desserts. It suited me fine as I didn't really have anything convenient for supper in the fridge and Rich has already eaten 'cos he has a golf committee meeting this evening. Now I don't need to cook!! Thanks clever SW cooks; I'm sorry I didn't join in.

Exercise wise, I've been good today - swimming 50 lengths at lunchtime and food has been good too so I'm confident that I'm really back on track now. Bring on next week!!

Now that I've temporarily hit the skids it occurred to me that I need some incentive to get back to making the sacrifices that dieting entails. I used to talk about the advantages of being slim all the time because they were such a novelty to me. It's not something I've thought about for a while so maybe I should remind myself what it used to be like when I was grossly overweight; both to appreciate the strides I've made and to make sure I don't go back there!

Longtime readers will have seen some of these photos but some newbies might not know what I used to look like. Big eh??

Nowadays I bemoan being a couple of stone over what I'd ideally like to be but I'm still only a size 16 and I'm still in the "normal" range. No-one would look at me and pigeon hole me as a person with a serious weight problem. That in itself is a blessing.

What else?

I can shop in normal shops; buy clothes off the internet; borrow t-shirts or jackets off Rich. I can buy golf gear and replica football shirts that are actually meant for women rather than a mens' Xl or even XXL which would then swamp me in the arms and shoulders. I couldn't find tights to fit. Now, even if it's an emergency and I only have a limited choice, I can usually find something. A social occasion could cause panic as, if I needed a certain outfit, say formalwear or fancy dress, the choice would just NOT be there in size 22 and what was available would cost far more!

Then there's the physical side of things: I am fit and can run, go to a class, swim, walk for miles or play a round of golf without pain. My lower back gives me some jip (golf!) but NOTHING compared to what the pain used to be like! My feet used to hurt nearly all the time and I got tired really easily. My legs would chafe together during the summer. (Chafing pain is the worst!)

I worried about what I looked like when I ate or drank. I had to think ahead all the time: will I fit in the backseat of the car if I get a lift off so and so??; will I get through that stile??; will I be able to haul myself into the boat if I try waterskiiing?; is there a weight limit for that horse-riding class?; will I fit into the airline seat or roller-coaster seat?? It didn't stop me doing things but it did limit my pleasure.

Although my weight does fluctuate over the course of a year, the fluctuation is in the region of a stone or one clothes size. Previously, I could be going up (mostly) 2, 3 or even 4 stone over the course of one year and then dropping a couple of stone through a big diet. I didn't know what size I would be year on year and seldom fitted into the same clothes from one winter or summer to the next. Over the last 3 years, I have been around the same weight give or take a stone and my wardrobe has continued to fit. I'd like to go downwards, but at least I'm not going upwards!

What a coincidence - I was writing this at lunchtime and then bumped into a woman in the kitchen at work who I haven't spoken to for a while. We forged a friendship over our mutual weight issues when I was shrinking rapidly on the LL diet back in 2007. We've discussed it at length several times over the years but she ended up going on to have a gastric band fitted. Since then we chat periodically to see how we're each getting on. She was bigger than me when she started and still is but she has shed some 5 stones and is hovering around the size 18-20 mark. Today we were talking about stability and how, although ideally we'd both like to be a couple of stone lighter, we're a lot happier here than we were and how being "normal-ish" is such a boon.

Kick up the backside!!

It's what I need! I have been getting complacent and my weight is stagnating around the same level and, after this morning's step on the sclaes looks like it's going to to go up! I can understand why but I need to put a stop to it before my SW efforts are derailed.

Shall I start with the excuses? Yes, why not. It is helpful to understand how you get derailed after all.

I expected not to lose while on holiday and that happened, albeit I did better than expected with a small loss. Then when I returned from holiday I was felled by a nasty cold. Once again, I expected not to lose much that week as I had had to cut back on exercise and felt so grotty. But, I was pleased by the small loss that week too. So why, when I felt so much better, this last week have I not pushed on an really gone for it??

Partly because I've been so busy catching up with my work after holiday and illness. Partly because I wasn't 100% better straight away. Partly because I've been busy socially. And partly because I've been slack and let bad habits creep back in!! And one of the most important factors in the complacency has been the fact that I have not stayed to SW class for the last 2 weeks. I have just nipped in, been weighed, "got away with it" and driven home thinking "well, that's alright then - I can do this without making an effort after all!".

So now I have to put the brakes on and alter my course to make sure that my good work is not lost.

To this end I was adamant that I was going to go for a decent run on Sunday. But even with that determination I didn't get up and go straight away. Rich was golfing so it would have been ideal. Instead I mooched around the house, reading, watching more episodes of The House of Elliot, doing chores and paperwork and generally waiting for an excuse NOT to run to occur to me. By lunchtime though, I realised what was happening and decided to go out immediately. I lived to regret my delay as the morning had been fine and mild but my leaving the house heralded an immediate deterioration in the weather.

First it started to drizzle but I carried on running as it was still mild. Then after 15 minutes the rain became heavier. I could have changed my route then and headed back to the village. "Nah, it'll be alright..." I said and carried on with the longer, hillier, field-based route I'd originally planned. It was at that point (of no return) that the rain REALLY started to come down.

Because I'd been so quick to go out (fearing that my chimp would somehow change my mind!), I had not dug out my running waterproof from the basement. So I was only wearing a t-shirt and leggings. By the time I ran back into the village, I was soaked through and concerned that the t-shirt was exposing more than it covered (it was white!). What could I do? Nothing - so I slopped through the village, cold and knackered; the dogs hanging back sulkily causing me to have to tug on their leads from time to time. And then a lorry swept through the narrowest part of the village far too fast, hit a puddle and drenched me from head to toe (and the dogs). I was by then so wet it didn't make much difference but if I had been reasonably dry I would have been incandescent with rage!!

Actually it was quite funny by that stage....when you hit the point that you can't get any wetter the only option is to laugh! I took some pics to record it and I hope I have learned a lesson - which is NOT to procrastinate and to go for my run as soon as possible if it is fine - seize the day and all that!

So that left the rest of Sunday as a bit of waste. I had a bubbly bath to warm through and waited for Rich to come home from golf. I was miffed that he was so late as by the time he DID get in there was nothing really to be done with the rest of the day. Grrr. Weekends are so precious, I hate wasting days like that. But, I suppose, what could we have done? It was chucking it down. Harrumph. With hindsight, I should have gone out for my run, arranged to meet my pal for lunch or a coffee and then come home and done paperwork in the afternoon and not cared that Rich stayed out. I will remember that feeling and hopefully I won't do it again for a long time!

All ended well though as I was out for the first pub quiz league match of the new season Sunday evening! A trip to Bakewell. We lost narrowly but scored well and won the all-important beer round and the pub and other team were fun. It was nice to be back with my quiz team muckers again after the summer off. Diet-wise, I need to be a bit careful. I used to drive every week so only had one drink if that and resisted the sandwiches and chips. Sunday night, my frustrating day as well as the pleasure of being with my friend again led to me drinking 3 glasses of wine (I wasn't driving!) and tucking into sandwiches and chips. Hmmmmm, this had better stop!

I continued with the good work today by going to Pump class yesterday lunchtime and dancing in the evening. Pump was a major sacrifice as it was chucking it down at lunchtime so just getting to the leisure centre was an achievement! God that class is hard! Dancing is always a pleasure though.

So - hopefully I have stopped the rot despite maybe having to endure a gain (for NO good reason!!) and I'll stay to class this evening to reinforce that. I just want to drop a few more lbs before the Christmas party season, say 5-7!! That can't be too hard surely??

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Coasting somewhat

The beautiful Holy Island. It was a lovely day and we saw LOADS! Above the view of the old lime kilms on the mainland shore. Below the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory. I hadn't realised that it was originally built as a smaller scale version of Durham Cathedral. The effort involved in such a project just boggles the mind.
My little family.
It's "Bamburgh Castle" syndrome again. I had to stop myself taking endless photos of the same thing from slightly different angles! I failed miserably.
There were loads of these sheds built out of halved boat hulls. Even the National Trust used them as coat and bag stores up at the castle. Ingenious.
We toured the Priory with the dogs. They particularly enjoyed chasing the Priory cat! I believe the historical aspects of the building may have passed them by.

I thought this wall looked like an alien face....

Then we dropped the dogs back to the car and walked up to the castle for a tour. Mercifully for you you couldn't take photos. It was interesting but not a "real" castle. It was renovated by Lutyens in the early part of the 20th century for his pal Hudson (some rich geezer who bought it on a whim) so much of the military history has been covered over. Still, the Lutyens rooms were beautiful so just about worth the entry fee!

Once again, I'm trying but failing to publish posts on the day I type them up. This was Friday's offering:
'm writing this longhand to be typed up later while sitting in a very dull meeting. 19 people are sitting round a large table strewn with plans and Gant charts discussing the first draft of a masterplan for a large residential development of @330 units, sorry flats and houses (since when did peoples' homes become "units"?). The development is to be built on the site of former housing acquired and then demolished by the Council (don't ask me why - I don't know how bad they were). It all seems to be a colossal repetition of effort but houses are what we need, according to the Government, so houses it is!

Most of the 19 seem to be fascinated by it all - the architects, engineers, traffic consultants, planners (3 different flavours are needed apparently), developers, Affordable Housing Officer, Secure by Design Officer, etc etc I suppose I should be too. The trouble is, it's not really my thing. There are no legal issues as yet. Snoooooze.

In one sense it's interesting to consider the sheer number of issues to be taken into account and the vast number of potential obstacles to bringing forward even a relatively simple development. When you have politicians bandying about demands for hundreds of thousands of new houses to be magicked out of the ether each year, this sort of meeting brings home the reality of the impossibility of meeting such deadlines.

So, it's been helpful to me in a personal sense as it has provided a couple of hours to write (surrepticiously [ that spelt right??]) a list of things to be done at home; to ponder various issues; and to plot strategies. I have been keeping half an ear out for points of interest but, honestly, I do NOT need to be here!

I've been feeling a bit out of control on the homefront. Filing, clutter, jobs, doctor's, vet's and dentist's appointments, chores, repairs, things to be sold, discussions to be had etc etc. So the opportunity for a mind dump has been a boon. Usually I keep on top of the majority of things but, once a year or so, I lose the reins and then it's like a runaway carriage racing away from me. I need to wrestle the horses back under control. Now! That sensation of being a bit out of control tends to cause paralysis in me - so I do even LESS than usual rather than more. Blasted chimp!

Hey - I was just called on to say my little piece. 5 minutes of boring everyone else with only 1 other person really involved. We could have dealt with that issue privately over the phone and saved me the effort of attending....sigh......

Anyways, back to life in general:

I had every intention at the start of this week of hurling myself straight back into dieting and exercise. It has not quite worked out like that. I DID go for a run on Wednesday but then had to cancel training on Thursday due to work and couldn't exercise in the evening as we went to see Reginald D Hunter (which was very good - thinking comedy). I played golf this afternoon so that is not bad but I need to do more strenuous exercise ideally. There's still the weekend and Monday to retrieve the situation though.

Foodwise, however, I've been decidedly, half-hearted. I cooked supper for Rich and his brother on Wednesday and, for some reason, added a pavlova (with real cream) to the menu on a whim. I think my thought processes went along the lines of: "I have these meringue baskets in the cupboard, and strawberries and raspberries are half price at the Co-op and this cream needs using up before it goes off and, well, James and Rich will appreciate a dessert for a change...." As you can see, none of these are valid reasons why I had to partake in the pavlova!! I could just as easily have had the fruit with yoghurt for a SW compliant dessert but no - pavlova it was!!

Then today, a colleague had brought in delicious looking homemade cupcakes for someone's birthday. They were the sort that are more icing (piped chocolate/orange ganache to be exact) than cupcake. I took one. I ate it. I felt sick it was so rich. I now regret it. I could just as easily have turned down the cupcake and had a Thorntons choc as a little treat instead.

As it happened, it was not such a disaster as the rich cupcake caused me to totally forget that I hadn't had lunch and go off to play golf without eating! That is soooo not like me! Forget to eat?!

Golf was great. After such a wretched day on Thursday the weather turned gorgeous. We were playing a lovely (and quite hard) course in Rotherham called Sitwell Park with Rich's brother and half-brother. It was a grudge match between us and them. And we won! I didn't play brilliantly on the front 9 but picked up and played the back 9 very well so I was a happy girl!
Sensible-ish supper last night (we were both starving as we'd both forgotten to eat our lunches) and early night due to being absolutely knackered - all that fresh air and exercise just knocked us out, leaving us both snoring on the sofa by about 9'o'clock!
So, this morning I need to implement the sensible stuff. It's going to be tricky as we're going to the footie at lunchtime. Big game (for us) against chesterfield. because we live out in the Peak, lots of our mates profess to be Chessie fans so it is a big game out here, less so in Sheffield itself. Still, there shold be a decent crowd and I hope a Wednesday victory. I have to negotiate the pub and the lure of beer and chips! Wish me luck!
I am contemplating a run this evening but that, realistically is a 50:50 likelihood. Tomorrow will be easier as I have nothing planned.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Human again!

I typed this post up yesterday but didn't get round to posting it so it's a little out of date now!! But here goes....

I know I’ve been a bit of a bore whinging on and on about having a cold but I really hate them! I’m usually quite active and get out and about al the time so I hate having to miss things and take it easy. Missing dancing because I felt poorly last night was just sooo annoying.

But that said, it was definitely the right thing to do and I felt better before the night was over. I cooked up a chilli stuffed full of veggies as per SW’s strictures which was JUST what I fancied and then we cuddled up on the sofa with the dogs watching nice things on the telly – Downton Abbey, Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

I had my first decent night’s sleep in a week, no snuffling, no coughing – bliss. And I duly woke up this morning feeling like a different person. It is just sooo nice to be sitting here at my desk (it’s lunchtime) without an aching back, fuzzy, clogged up head and sore throat. I don’t think I appreciate what a boon it is to be a generally healthy person and I should count my blessings on that front more often.

That’s probably wrong, really. I often do count my blessings. Even recently, when we were on holiday on Holy Island, among the hundred of tourists walking into the village from the car park there was a woman struggling slowly along on sticks with badly damaged legs. Rich and I remarked admiringly how strong-willed she must be to still be out and about DOING something despite the pain and discomfort it must be costing her to walk even that short distance. We went on to muse on how lucky we are to be able to stride along beaches and golf courses and take our legs for granted.

So, what I’ve waffled on about for 4 paragraphs seems to be this – I do appreciate my health and I’m glad it’s back!

And just in time as it’s WEIGH-IN tonight! I’ve been stepping on and off the scales all week for some reason and they have not been showing scary readings exactly but there’s not been much downward progress either. There was one wonderful morning when it appeared that I’d lost about 3lbs but I discounted that at the time as a blip caused by dehydration and I was right. I’m hopeful for a STS or small loss this evening and that will be fine given the cold and excesses of Saturday in Hartlepool.

I feel that if I can “get away with it” this week, I can start next week with a resolute mind for a decent drop. I’m actually looking forward to getting my food organised back to better SW meals and to going back to the gym, training, Zumba and my weekend run.

Given that I’ve had 3 weeks now of very little movement though, I’ve had to check that my chimp (Remember her? The sneaky one) is not lulling me into thinking that all is well when in fact I’ve been derailed. But I don’t think so. A small loss after a holiday counts as good and a STS when you’ve been ill is also not too bad. As long as I DO get straight back to it this coming week, I think Chimpetta remains under control.

What else is going on Chez Lesley’n’Rich??

Well, Rich is in his Captain’s Final this evening at the golf club. It’s the annual singles knockout competition in which he has, for the very first time, made it through to the final. He’s very excited and I REALLY hope he wins. Hopefully he’ll still be at the club after his game when I come home from WI so I can join him for a celebratory drink.

His club is much smaller than mine so doesn’t make a fuss about the Knockout comps; they just arrange a time between themselves and go out and play like all the earlier rounds. At our place, all the finals – Mens’, Ladies’, Juniors, Seniors, Pairs, Mixed etc - are all played on one designated day and the Captains and other members walk round with the matches as supporters etc. I’ve never been in a knockout final but I suspect I’d prefer HIS club as playing in front of spectators sounds terrifying!

My brother and his family have moved over to UK from Canada and have rented a lovely house not far from my parent’s. Dad sounds very happy to have seen quite a bit of them. They are, however, disappearing for a few weeks shortly so Rich and I are going over for a visit next weekend. It seems, then, that family life is settling down nicely after all the upheavals. We still have the perennial issue of where we going to be spending Christmas – sigh – is this such a huge issue for everyone else??

Last year was a very quiet Christmas at Mum and Dad’s which felt a little awkward and sad, especially as we’d really rather have spent the whole day quietly together last year. This year, my brother’s family will be there (not my brother who will be on an oilrig in Kurdistan!) and so will my sister’s family and all the boyfriends too – 15 without me and Rich. We are invited but have also been invited to go to his brother’s with his Mum and sister. Decisions, decisions. While it would be nice to be part of a huge throng at the Parentals, if we do that, we’ll be at Rich’s lot next year and then Mum and Dad might need someone. Aaarrgh!

So – life is busy and full and generally very good. I just need to remember about the losing weight thing among all the other competing priorities!!
Update - I lost 0.5lbs at WI last night so I'm moving forward albeit slowly. But then, if I were to drop 0.5lbs a week for a whole year I would be nearly 2 stone lighter!!

Today I've got back to my exercise routine back on track - I went for a run after work! Go me! It was hard work but I really enjoyed it. And just missed the rain.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Lingering and straying

The sun hid for a spell - how glowering is that view?

You can't get the staff...we asked a chap with a giant expensive camera to take apic of us cos we thought he might do a decent job....not so much.....
But then the sun came out again - yay!
Chasing swallows!! It's the BEST thing ever!! Even better than the beach!!
More chasing of swallows - this time on scratchy stubble but who cares??
Bring back the swallows Mum!!
How are we going to get through here then??
I felt a bit sorry for this long gone Happy Joe.....don't suppose many people "rest awhile" on this seat anymore!

My cold is lingering on and being a pain. Work was really hard today. Everything was such an effort and I felt headachy, shivery and tired out. Why is it so much harder to be sitting in an office than sitting at home? I suppose the getting up, showered, dressed, driving and thinking/talking must take its toll.
I was looking forward to dancing this evening, especially after Strictly started last weekend but, by the time I got home, I didn't feel any better so we reluctantly decided to give it a miss this week. Grrrr. I feel better now, as I sit doing nothing in front of the telly, but I know I would have struggled to think through the steps and flagged physically so I know we made the right decisions.
So that's the lingering accounted for. What about the straying eh?? Eh??
I have definitely strayed further from the path of righteousness than I would have done if I'd been healthy this week. Double Grrrr.
I have not been able to do any strenuous exercise since the cold struck and that is frustrating. I've played golf and been walking but, despite what SW says, I really believe that exercise DOES make a difference to me in terms of weight loss. Maybe because I do exercise pretty damn hard?!
And in terms of food intake, well, apart from the beer etc on Saturday, it's not been BAD. But, I haven't had the energy to be really GOOD either. Today's lunch was probably the worst transgression. I was picking out my snack from Boots' Meal Deal and instead of having my usual yoghurt or fruit I just grabbed a small bar of Galaxy and went and bought it, and ate it. Resolutely. Knowing what I was doing and doing it anyway. And you know what?? It DID make me feel better. I felt so tired and shakey after just a short walk into town, all tense round the shoulders and back and weirdly the chocolate cheered me up.
I'm not usually a woman who turns to chocolate. And I'm not about to start now. I'm not going to regret it but I am going to make sure that this "using" of food for emotional reasons is NOT going to become a habit.
So, I'm cooking a chilli tonigth and no snacking!!