Midsummer evening

Midsummer evening

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel

The dogs have had a much delayed haircut! As you can see from the above "before" pic, they were beginning to resemble yetis and I was spending several evenings per week hacking at matted bits which they detest!

Below is the "after" - so smooth and sleek. Minty's fur is not as thick as Shelagh's so the groomer managed to preserve her leg "feathers" but Shelagh had to be taken back to skinny prongs which is not flattering for her more matronly frame!! Still I think they both look gorgeous - biased much??!

They're not natural models though are they? The expressions give the impression that I'm about to set about them with some sort of drill....




It was my weigh in last night and things got worse with yet ANOTHER lb on but, just to make a change, I didn't feel too bad about it. I'm glad I went because it means I'm not hiding from reality . I had hoped to STS or even lose 0.5lb but it was not to be. Now I know where I am and can really get cracking (and mean it) on reversing the gains.



If I hadn't started this latest push with SW, I would have been 5 lbs heavier than I am now and would probably have put even more on. So, yes, I have wasted a lot of time and gained weight that I've already expended effort to lose, but, in the grand scheme of things, it's not the end of the world. I'm still going and will continue until this is beaten.



The main thing is that I can finally feel my health and strength beginning to return to me and with them comes the motivation to say no to fattening food and yes to exercise.



Last night was a case in point - Rich was out at a golf club committee meeting (lucky man!!) so I was vegging at home after supper (sensible stir fry). I had the now familiar urge to roam the kitchen looking for "stuff" but managed to limit my intake to a few raisins, a small glass of sherry (don't ask!!) and a few satsumas. All in all not bad. And saying no to your urges once makes it easier the next time which helped me restrict myself to a sensible lunch of omelette today too.



It's weird, you'd think I'd be depressed by a gain but in fact I'm chirpy and positive. I feel I have weathered the storm and made it through to other side and I'm still lighter than I was when I set off on my journey.



I played golf this morning - one advantage of a strike day I suppose and it was tiring but pleasant. I didn't score very well but played some good stuff so it was quite pleasing and my partner is always good company.



So, what's coming up on the Lesley'n'Rich social whirl?? Well, this weekend we're going to our first ever Social Dance at the dance studio!! I'm very excited. Rich less so - "oh, thought you might have forgotten about that...!!" Luckily 2 other couple we hang out with at class are also going and I don't think they've been to a Social either so that will help. If it's too scary we can always disappear to the pub next door which has a band on!! I can't wait to tango in earnest (is that possible) but hope we can do it without someone shouting instructions and counting us in!!



I've no idea how dancing will go when we've had a few drinks?? Could be helpful, could be disastrous. I hoped to have a go at something at the Golf Club dinner last weekend but it didn't really work out. Last year, the dancing had started with a formal dance straight after the speeches but this year they had to move some tables and this meant that when the dancing did start it was straight into disco and the kids. We danced a bit but not anything ballroom-y. It's lovely though, even a slow dance at the end of the night feels lovely - after over a year of dancing together we're so "in tune". Aaaah....

Monday, 28 November 2011

Grumpy.....


A bit like Seren on WW Foodie was a week or so ago, I too am feeling grumpy this week (I just deleted the words "low level" - it's not low-level - it's full-on grumpy!). However for me, the cause is not November, or even Christmas being on its way. It's due to a combination of 2 things neither of which I seem to have much control over:

Firstly I'm STILL SICK!! This is really getting me down now. The horrible sore throat and cough which I developed on our return from holiday briefly cleared up before I started with a racking, violent cough which persisted for well over a fortnight. This improved but did not go away and has now morphed into a sneezy, runny head cold now with another cough thrown in for good measure. 3 separate illnesses with hardly any time off in between for good behaviour over the last 9 weeks. Grrrrr

I'm persisting with gentle exercise and trying to eat sensibly and healthily (lots of vitamin c) and not to drink too much but nothing seems to improve the situation. I'm tired of feeling poorly and not sleeping well. Boooo, whinge, groan, moan, grumble, carp, whine......I'm boring myself now.

The second factor is our new offices. We've moved from a frankly hideous 1970's monstrosity with a giant square open plan floor plan, murky olive carpets, mismatched furniture, opaque (and very few) windows and horrid strip lighting. It used to be a Grattan Fashion warehouse. Yes, it was terrible and needed changing but what we've moved to, while it's gleaming and shiny, makes life and work much much harder and is worse in so many ways.

We've moved to a brand new building in which the whole of the Council can be accommodated in one office (three 5 storey high "fingers") which should be better than being spread around town in a series of grim 1960's and 1970's concrete gulags. I suppose it may be one day. The offices are bright, clean, flooded with natural light and reasonably central to town. So, what are you whinging about woman??!

Well, in order to fit us all in, the decision was taken to drastically reduce the amount of space per person in the office to less than is actually required. In fact each team has been allocated 58% of the desk space it technically requires. So we have had to move towards "agile working". Ie. we do not have our own desk but share a number of "hot desks". We each have a locker and have to clear our desk each evening and find another one the next day. This involves unplugging everything, putting all pens, papers, mugs etc etc away which takes a surprising amount of time and culling all team facilities - pens, paper, staplers, hole-punches - all the usual officey things. Obviously holidays and meetings will only take us so far so we also have to work from home for a certain number of days each week or there would simply not be enough space for us all.

As you can see from the pic, the desks themselves are arranged in cramped pods with low level dividers and stretch across the open floorplan unhindered by walls or dividers. It is a call centre in other words, just one without the telephones and headsets. And few indian, geordie or glaswegian accents.

Our filing space is drastically reduced as well which doesn't affect most of my colleagues but is a pain for me being a solicitor who is required to keep adequate files. And don't get me started on deeds storage or IT storage allocations!!

The IT necessary to make up for the deficiencies of this new environment has NOT followed (presumably due to cost-cutting measures) and the overall effect is one of extra effort each day for less return in terms of work output. This adds stress and irritation.

The new office doesn't have any car parking so we all have to walk much further and also, because we're working from home much more, have to lug laptops and files home with us. I have already spoken about the extra effort involved in getting to the gym.

It's rubbish I tells ya!! Rubbish. No pictures on the walls, no plants, no team atmosphere, no character.

The one good thing is that now I care a whole lot less about my work and can work from home 2 days per week thus saving me petrol and dog walking fees and giving me extra time at home with Richard and the dogs.

Thanks for listening while I moan. I'm trying to stay positive at work so this has been invaluable. I just look across this soulless barn and want to scream.

I'm sure I'll get used to it one day and maybe, if I don't, I'll find something else to do when times pick up but, in the meantime, I'm stuck here, and will start to make the best of it once I start to feel better. Until then.....groan, moan, grumble, mumble, whinge, whine.......

Normal Pollyanna service will be resumed in due course.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

How many times??





The pictures are just a couple of snippets from everyday life round here. The flowers were a lovely surprise from Rich for my birthday. We had agreed no pressies as we're pooling resources to go on a long weekend to Rome after Christmas so purty fleurs were a bonus. The first ones he's bought for me too!!


The cake is our christmas cake (well, durrr..) which I am now feeding with brandy and will be icing soon. It's looking yum. I'm wondering whether I have the energy to make another one for Mum and Dad.


I should also have taken some snaps of the gorgeous sloe gin presently doing its wonderful stuff in the kitchen cupboard. I will remember next time I give the bottles a shake.....I made it a bit late for Christmas this year but the berries were bursting with juice and beautifully frosted so I'm sure it'll be a good batch. Can't wait.


Well, that's the Domestic Goddess stuff out of the way - back to 'fessing up re your "diet" Lesley!!!


I was right - I had put on weight over the 2 weeks since my last WI. I knew that first week had been bad but I'm pretty certain the second one wasn't too bad, I just stopped the rot so to speak. But overall I gained 4lbs!! Aaaargh! How does it go on so quick?? Especially as I had been even lower than my last SW weight midweek so the gain was actually even bigger.


Doesn't bear thinking about. So I won't.

I am back being mindful of what I eat and resisting the worst excesses. Back doing regular exercise and cutting back on the demon booze. The scales are assisting my endeavours by grudgingly heading back in the right direction. There are few positives from a nasty cold/cough which caused me to forget what had been a reasonably sucessful diet and pile on 4 hard-lost lbs but let's have a try at finding them eh??
I'm back on track and I did not actually fall off the wagon.


If I hadn't started the diet and lost some weight, I would be even heavier now - I'm still half a stone or so lighter than I was when I started and who knows how much I could have added to THAT total?!


It's not the end of the world and will give me motivation next time I feel grotty not to let it all hang out....I will try and remember this sickness ambush and guard against it.


In other news, we're off to Meadowhall tonight to try and find something nice to wear for the Golf Club dinner on Saturday night! I had hoped to be able to fit into some party gear from a year or so ago but I'm prob at least half a stone off that.....grrr. Hey ho - I like having some new gear every year and we might be able to do some dancing this year - they might play a waltz or even a tango and there's always the cha cha or a jive. I'm not really looking forward to Meadowhell at this time of year....especially not with yet another cold brewing - this one a runny headcold, just to ring the changes...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Big Birthday Weekend and crawling back again

My Birthday Trip to Tranmere! It was more fun than it sounds, honest! This is my pal Kerry slightly shocked to find herself with a pint of bitter in her hand at 9am as we ordered our full English breakfast in the pub while waiting for the coach to arrive. Tee hee...
Usually we would go to a village pub somewhere on the way to wherever the match is. It was different on Saturday as the coach broke down on the M62! That could really have put a damper on the proceedings but, luckily, my mate Jim knew the area well and knew there was a pub only a mile or so off the motorway with a coach-friendly carpark. The coach was able to limp back to the pub and we enjoyed our pre-match beers there instead.
It was not the sort of pub we'd usually go to - it was a v. smart gastro-inn (The Turnpike Inn near Ripponden if you know the area) all set up for a wedding later that day! Luckily they were happy to serve us and we enjoyed the sunshine out on the terrace looking over the reservoir and the M62 across the moors.
Eventually the replacement coach arrived (in the background there) and the boozy, football-beshirted hoards could depart and race over to Birkenhead! I think the pub was relieved that we wouldn't be getting in the way of their swanky wedding crowd who were not due to arrive for another hour or so but they were also happy to have sold out a barrel of beer (it was called Dam Fine Ale - what a great name for a beer!) as a Brucie Bonus on a Saturday lunchtime.
Our friend and my quiz team colleague, Richard (left) and Rich's Dad, Gordon (on the right).
Team photo:
It was very sweet - the landlord of the pub had told the rest of the coach that it was my birthday so they made a big fuss of me and even arranged a brownie complete with icecream and candles and sang a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday!! Not what you expect at 42....but very nice.
So that was Saturday - we were only a few minutes late for the game and Sheffield Wednesday duly obliged by winning 2-1. It's very tight at the top of League One this year so we have to keep winning just to stay in 3rd place. Annoyingly all the teams around us also won so we didn't climb. Better than nothing though.



Sunday was another good day. My brother and his wife drove over from Lincolnshire and we went out for a pub lunch. Then, while having coffees and desserts at home, Rich's mum and auntie popped round for a chat so now 2 strands of our families have met which is nice!



Diet wise it's been pretty disastrous. After holding on for one week, the second week of being ill cost me big and I reckon I've gained several lbs (missed WI so not sure how bad it is). However, I'm better now and got back to my exercise routine last week with swimming x2, running and training and being better with food (which, as you can tell, all went out of the window over the weekend!!).



I've changed my training day to Mondays now when I'm working from home so that'll free up Thursday for another session.



We've moved offices now so I'm 15 minutes further away from the gym. This could have been a disaster but, in an uncharacteristic move for me, I planned ahead! I bought a secondhand folding bike which I can leave at the office and use to cycle to the leisure centre in about the same time that it used to take me to walk. It works fine so I have no excuse for not going swimming! Not bad eh? Usually I would have done nothing until after the move, whinged for a few weeks, got totally out of the habit of exercise and fallen off the wagon and eventually had to make a colossal effort to get back to it....perhaps I really am changing??

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Flagging

This cough is really persisting and I seem to have lost the will to diet!

After a very promising beginning and middle of last week I only maanaged to drop half a lb which is fine but uninspiring. I'm not surprised though as I've been too poorly to exercise and have been "treating myself".

What a bore.

This week is likely to be even worse unless I pull up my socks. Which is doubtful.

I'm not often as despondent and uncaring about success as this. I think having a painful wracking (racking??) cough which keeps me (and Richard) awake most nights for over a week now has taken its toll.

Grrr.

So - I'm not going to be hard on myself. Just going to keep trying and if I don't get anywhere this week, well, what harm? I can turn it round later. I think damage limitation has got to be the name of the game for the next few days though...

Sorry to be gloomy peeps. I'll try and cheer up soon. The cabin fever from staying in isn't helping. And nor is the fact that we're moving offices tomorrow so we've been chucking stuff and packing as well as trying to do our work for the last fortnight.

Blegh



So - what's been GOOD about this week??

Well, dancing was good on Monday night (apart from the last 5 minutes when we couldn't do the jive). Lots of cha cha and we just about got the hang of the tango.

Managed to finish my packing on schedule on Tuesday despite feeling like death warmed up so at least I know that my files will fit on my allocated shelving in the new office!

Worked from home on Wednesday and had a lovely evening in with my boy - a bottle of wine, roast pork and apple crumble (see what I mean about the treats??) and lots of cuddles to cheer me up.

Had a course in Manchester today and I actually made it to the seminar!! I so nearly didn't get on the train and just went home to bed but I didn't. I persevered and learned something (admittedly on the very boring topic of the new planning legislation and the Localism Bill....snoooze....). Worked from home in the afternoon and had our chimneys swept so we can now have fires in both kitchen and dining room. Yay!! Not only that but I got some very tough work jobs out of the way.

So you see, although it's been a tough week, there has been something good about every single day so far. I don;t have good feelings about tomorrow being our actual moving date (and 2 big meetings too...not helpful). But who knows? Something might turn up.

A better week next week....

Monday, 7 November 2011

The weekend

I'm battling my second lurgy of the season ALREADY! That can't be right. Usually I only have 2 colds each winter and it's only the first week in November. This one is not as bad as the first - I feel mostly fine but have an infrequent but violent cough which really knocks me out. It also makes sleeping tricky as it's worse when I'm lying down. 6 days and counting tho...grrr...

Still, I have not let it drag me down and it has only slowed me a little bit. I took Friday off as felt very weak but ended up having a busier day than usual. I was pottering round getting the house sorted for my weekend visitor (Natalie from London), shopping, picking up the TV from the mender etc etc when I got a call from Rich - "Are you alright to pick me up from the Hallamshire?". The Hallamshire is one of the Sheffield hospitals and the nearest A&E's to us! Hmmm... "Why?" "I've drilled my finger". Apparently his drillbit broke and jumped into his finger - he was lucky as it didn't go through nail or bone and came out cleanly leaving no metal shavings. He said it didn't even hurt until the nurse started prodding at it!! So that used up half my day and left Rich with a big fat white bandaged up finger for the weekend (it wouldn't stop bleeding!) which fascinated the dogs. I think they thought it was some new form of tasty sausage as they kept on pouncing on it! Anyway, he had it re-dressed yesterday and all is well - phew!

I do like having visitors - it is nice to to have a shiny, spotless house with flowers on every surface and a fridge full of goodies. I know my house is not normally a pit or anything but you make that little bit of extra effort for friends.

Because I wasn't on top form healthwise we didn't go for the most strenuous of walks but we did have a lovely 2-3 hour tramp round the reservoir on Saturday and a nice hour out on Sunday in the glorious autumnal sunshine. The colours were spectacular and the dogs were in seventh heaven. We took in a bonfire, a meal at home (a non-SW-compliant sausage casserole with gorgeous Borworst sausages from our local butcher) and a few glasses of wine with friends on Saturday and another meal out on Sunday combined with the local Farmers' Market. You can't beat it.

Nat is such a good friend too - so caring and upbeat. She's facing a bit of an uncertain work future at the moment (the markets and all that) but doing it with such grace and calm - I really hope the worst does NOT come to pass for her. It's so nice to see Rich effortlessly fitting in with my good friends too - he doesn't try to dominate or impose his wishes on the proceedings, just lets us enjoy ourselves and as a result everyone relaxes and has a good time.

Foodwise I didn't go mad but treats WERE taken. We were ravenous after our walk on Saturday so stopped into the little cafe which has just opened in my village - cappucino and tiffin....mmmmmm.....tiffin.....drooool..... Red wine on Saturday evening...quite a lot of it! Sunday lunch was not too bad and I did not partake of the apple and blackberry crumble (go me!). But I did weaken in the face of my Farmers' Market goodies and have a couple of pieces of Tablet (well, she halved the price - it would have been rude not to....). The single slice of delicious New York style cheesecake is still in the fridge though and will be shared this evening after dancing (mmmmm....cheeeeeesecake.....)

One of the stalls at the Farmers' Market was honey based but the chap had such a good sales patter and was so engaging that we ended up buying loads of stuff. I didn't know how versatile honey could be! A jar of honey, natch; a tasty tomato, garlic and honey ketchup; pickled onions with honey and balsamic (for Rich as I can't STAND pickled onions!!); and finally mustard with honey.....hmmm, reaching the limit here. Rich and I weren't too bad though - Nat bought a couple of mini hampers for presents as well!

Nat left on Sunday afternoon for the long drive south - belly full, sleep caught up on ("It's so quiet here!") and hopefully lungs and limbs refreshed by the good country air.

I rounded off the weekend by standing in as captain for the pub quiz league match. As I mentioned before, our usual captain Dave (formerly known as "Quiz Dave" but now possibly "Dave the Bus") was knocked over by a bus and is still in hospital. Thankfully it looks as though his injuries are not as bad as first thought so he may be out by next weekend but I had to stand in for him in last night's Cup match. It was another resounding victory! We're getting quite good at this - 45-63 is a decent margin, especially without Dave who knows a hell of a lot of stuff! My captaining skills only let me down once - I picked one wrong answer when the correct one had also been suggested...but apart from that the team was firing on all cylinders....aaaah - all in all, a very satisfying weekend.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

"I can't" (yes you can Orville!)

As I get older I come to hate those 2 words more and more. They just seem to represent such a defeatist attitude. I know they must be justified sometimes, after all there are things one just cannot achieve but often they are a self-fulfilling prophecy.


2 recent examples of this spring to mind:


In SW class on Tuesday night, one of the women had had a gain. She has never been a particularly perky or positive member and has obviously been having trouble dropping weight for ages but this week her negative attitude really struck me. Phrases like "I just can't" or "that wouldn't work" tripped off her tongue without her really thinking about what was being suggested. Beth, the Leader was really trying to get to the root of the problem with her as to why she is slowly but steadily gaining weight (half a stone since summer apparently). She said that her meals were all SW compliant but that it was what she ate between meals at work which was the problem. I think she works in the Health Service and apparently any chocs and biscuit gifts are left in her office and she can't (there's that word again...) resist them.


Beth asked for suggestions. They came pouring in as we all tried to come up with helpful solutions for her: put a brightly coloured sticker on the box or table to make you pause before you indulge; set mini-targets of half a day for resisting and build on each small sucess; tell people that you're not having anything in the hope of shaming yourself (your chimp!) into resisting; suggest pooling all the gifts and distributing them by raffle or rota once a certain number has built up so they are not opened at work (seemed like a good one to me); put them away, out of sight; etc etc etc. We spent quite a while on this topic and I thought that, out of these suggestions, one at least would work. But then I looked over at her and realised that any suggestion other than a magic wand to instantly make her thin would have been too much effort for her. She seemed to ENJOY her failure to lose weight and her face was totally closed off to the possibility of doing something about it. It's a shame as she seems like a nice woman and she has a very funny turn of phrase.


But, in the face of such resolute negativity, what can you do?? Who knows, maybe she'll surprise me next week and report taking action. I hope so and I'd be happy to eat my words (calorie-free as they are). I doubt it though.


The other example was less dramatic. I played golf yesterday with a very nice, very posh older lady. In most respects she was pretty positive. She was out playing despite struggling with the after-effects of a broken wrist. Her game had suffered but she still enjoyed the sport despite not being able to hit the ball as far now. But yesterday her putting and short game were terrible! It was costing her shot after shot. But instead of slowing down and focussing on trying to change it, she got more lacksadaisical and casual, just walking up to each shot and bashing away without thought or care. She kept on saying "that's it, I just can't putt today". "My putting is rubbish today, I just can't do it!". She effectively talked herself into playing badly. I'm sure that what she SAID made the difference between a mediocre round and a terrible round. If she had said - "right, I really need to focus here, I can do better than this" or "I'm going to have a better back nine" or "I'm not going to 4 putt again" or something, I'm sure she would have improved.


So - I'm going to watch what I say and make sure that the dreaded negativity and tentativeness do not creep in. Beth agrees with me: she pulled a few people up for saying that they were going to "try"....and asked why they don't just "do it" instead??! A good point.....

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Beep beep beep beep

That's me reversing in case you didn't get it.....

I'm slowly reversing the weight gains I've had over the last few weeks and reinstating the good habits I had been working on. I dropped 1.5lbs at last night's weigh-in and stayed to class. It's no biggie and that is a good thing. With that Daily Mail article in mind, I made sure to prepare a bread-free salad lunch yesterday day AND to make sure that I didn't get sidetracked by work and miss swimming. And I'm very pleased I went.

As I walked to the pool I reflected how long it has been since I last went and was amazed again how quickly the weeks can speed by. When I first dived in, the water felt fantastic - cool and silky and incredibly refreshing. "This is going to fly by" I thought. Wrongly as it turned out! After 20 or so lengths my chimp was really playing up. "This is tooooo hard" she whined. "We haven't been for sooo long, let's stop after our agreed minimum of 40 lengths..."

All through the 20's and 30's I wrestled with her. Thing is, I was loathe to revert to my minimum of 40 as it has been months since I've swum fewer than 50 lengths and to go backwards would feel like a retrograde step. At around 36 or 37 I'd had enough. "That's it! We're going to 50 and that is all there is to it!". I was firm and reassured her that the extra few minutes it would take would not hurt us and that the pool was emptying so the swimming was getting easier anyway. And strangely, she accepted it. My chimp just shut up and let me enjoy my last few lengths.

So much so, that when I hit 50 I was enjoying the peace and quiet and space to daydream so much that I carried on for another 6. It would have been more but the whistle went for the end of the lunchtime session! So - it just goes to show - I am occasionally in charge of my chimp.

Despite feeling positive, I'm not going to expect too much of myself in terms of weightloss over the next couple of months before Christmas. I'd like to lose half a stone and that is do-able but, in the scheme of things, as long as I'm still moving forward and more or less sticking to a plan, what does it matter whether I've hit a certain arbitrary weight by a certain arbitrary time?? One of the reasons for my low expectations is the recognition that we have a LOT coming up over the next few weeks. We have something planned for every weekend between now and the beginning of December having already been busy for the last few weekends. I've no idea why but it's always like this in the run up to Christmas.


Given all that socialising, meals out, away games etc, I'm not expecting rapid weightloss. As long as I can lose a little from time to time and not pile weight ON in the hectic weeks then that will be a bonus.


And, as I've mentioned before, being happy and enjoying life is far more important. I really am so happy with Rich at the moment I worry that I'm getting boring about it. I enjoy his company when we're doing things or when we're just watching the telly, enjoy his texts through the day, his thoughtful little questions, his remembering the little things about my day. And we have such a laugh together. I feel so lucky that I've found someone who is such a good "fit" with me, especially at this stage in my life. Every time I see him fussing the dogs; worrying about whether he'll have his lucky Wednesday shirt to wear for the big match (don't ask); loading the golf clubs into the boot; hunting round the house for sweets; or just looking down at me with mild fear and confusion etched on his face as we're about to set off into a tango or waltz, I feel happy and lucky at the same time. And my heart feels too small to hold it all sometimes.

So, that's good.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Daily Mail - it MIGHT be right...

A lovely sunny evening walk up Bradwell Edge.









As you know, I've just about been keeping in touch with my diet recently although going through a shaky phase. And Peridot is also dissatisfied with SW and wondering whether to jump ships in search of a better fit so the subject of what diet works for what person has been on my mind. So, when I noticed an article on this subject in the Mail Online (my secret vice....I only read it for the celebrity gossip, honest....) I had a look. And surprisingly the article struck a chord with me. This is either because it is sooooo obvious that it doesn't impart any new information or because it could have a point!

The article is in Femail and is called "Wise up to lose weight". The premise is that peoples' brains work differently (well, durr) and therefore they will have more or less sucess with different diets according to their "brain types". So far, so DM.

We are then divided up into 4 types - Compulsive, Impulsive, Emotional and Anxious. The handy mini questionnaire aided diagnoses (which was useful 'cos I would have put myself in Emotional from the blurb but I actually fell squarely into Impulsive). We were then diagnosed and different types of diets recommended for each brain type.

"Whaaat a Looad of Rubbish" I'm singing to myself as I read the article. (I don't usually give much credence to these sort of girly things...)

But then, as I read it, it seemed to make a lot of sense. I AM impulsive. I do fine when I'm sticking to the rules and I never PLAN to deviate but I just sort of do it! When I don't exercise, my diet also struggles. Booze affects the sucess of my diet. I know these are obvious in one way - but lots of dieting wisdom does NOT affect me. So it's a case of picking out the stuff that is relevant.

I am therefore recommended to follow a generally high protein, low-carb diet. Avoid/cut down on alcohol and sugar. And prioritise exercise.

When I am doing well, this is what works for me - ping - hello lightbulb!

I thought - "well, maybe this article is a load of guff and all the advice would apply equally". But, having read the advice relating to the other brain types, I realise that it would not be for me. For example a high-carb (Low-GI), gentle exercise (like yoga), grazing type regime....have tried that and it was useless.

This knowledge doesn't really change things much for me. I'm still going to carry on with SW because I can incorporate that sort of thinking into SW. And, to be honest, I don't follow the SW plan slavishly anyway; it's more about the accountability and turning up for class!! But I WILL re-emphasize high-protein, low carb food within SW and make an effort to keep up with the exercise. (That is one element which always mystifies me about SW - their lack of emphasis on exercise which is so very helpful for me.) I will also work on cutting right back on boozing opportunities given my lack of impulse control as this makes it even harder to keep to a diet.

So - it just goes to show - I thought I was flicking through the Mail Online for the stories about which Z list celeb now looks good/bad/scarily thin/curvilicious in a bikini but really I was learning....so there!!

(In my defence, I have answered many quiz questions on the back on my Mail Online habit....I was the only person in either team last Sunday who knew who Mrs Jamie Hince is. There are not many celeb/footballer marriages which escape my notice and don't get me started on Hollywood divorces or jailbirds....! I even know stuff about TOWIE, GS, the horrible Kardashians and MIC despite never having watched a minute of any of those execrable shows. Actually - that is not much of a defence is it?? In my defence, I do read lots of "good books" too!)