Monday, 31 December 2012

Post Christmas Reckoning

Before I reveal my Christmas numbers, I'll distract you with some pretty pictures.  These were taken on my Boxing Day walk with Carolyn and Wispa (and Shelagh and Minty too of course).  We set off from Rich's dad's place and headed over the hill to Hathersage.  It started out extremely bright and sunny as you can see.

A walk wouldn't be a walk without a picture of Win Hill from a different-ish angle...

Up towards Bamford Edge.

Along New Road above Bamford looking back towards Win Hill.

And out over the Valley.

Forwards towards Hathersage.

 Then we headed under Stanage Edge and down to Hathersage.

Stopping to collect and bury some sticks.

Have a good romp in the fields...

And a swim for Shelagh of course....

Once we got to Hathersage we looked for a cafe for sustenance.  We found one but had to sit outside in the cold.  No biggie given that we had 3 wet, muddy dogs but it was amusing when, after the other people had left the courtyard, we spotted a big, sleek, glossy rat run out from behind a shed, along a wall and scarf up a load of seeds left out for the birds.  He (or she) went back and forth and it was obviously totally relaxed and used to the routine.  I doubt the cafe owner would have been as amused but we didn't tell them - the rat looked so happy and healthy.  And he only came out when there was no-one in the courtyard and he stuck to the wall.  We were sitting on the far side, miles away.  So, a mannerly rat.....

We then walked back but the weather was not kind - it rained.  The stepping stones were flooded and the field route too muddy so we ended up tramping down the main road chatting ten to the dozen.  Good walk.

So, enough of the walk chat.  If I were you I'd be wanting to hear how I'd done over Christmas given all the partying we have been doing.

I last weighed in (properly) on Monday 17 December.  It was a good day and I hit 14.6.2.  Go me!!  I had an interim WI on Sunday 23 December but it was a hiccup at 14.8.6 (whoops).  When I came back from my parents' I weighed in at a very heartening 14.6.6 (v exciting!).  And today, after a fortnight of seasonal festivities I saw 14.7.2 flash up on the scales (as it has for the last 3 or 4 days).

I'll take it!! A single lb on over the whole of the Christmas period.  And we've not stinted on the food, drink and fun either.  We have a house littered with cheese, wine, chocolate, cake, pate and other deliciousnesses so I am very pleased with a single lb on.  I'm already working my way back towards dieting and healthy living and have fitted a fair bit of exercise in over Christmas anyway so maybe that's why I haven't had my usual Christmas chunky gain.

And the other thing I think has made a difference is those weirdo cold showers every morning.  I know it sounds daft but it has meant that I'm doing SOMETHING dietwise every single day.  It has concentrated my mind on making good choices every single day since 19 September and I think that has helped. 

Even when I go out and have a night in the pub (like last night) I'm changing my routines a little - I stuck entirely to shorts and diet mixers instead of beer or wine last night and suspect I saved 800 plus calories in so doing (and no hangover!).

Having said all that, today, for the first time in ages, I have carbed out.  I was out shopping and, at the last minute at the till, grabbed a fresh baguette.  No plan for it but that's we had for lunch - baguette with all manner of eaty-up goodies - pate, turkey and stuffing, honey.  Mmmmm but NOT going to be a habit.  Alright chimp - NOT going to be a habit!

Right - enough feeling pleased with myself (and slightly nervous about the carbfest and what it might herald).  Rich has gone into town and I have to walk the dogs and then prepare a glazed gammon for supper! C'mon woman stop watching Friends and blogging and get outside before it starts raining again!!

Sunday, 30 December 2012


Quick post.

I tried on a load of non-fitting clothes from the wardrobe in the spare room.  Very exciting.  Lots of stuff will go on and do up.  Too tight to wear at the moment but they go on.  I estimate 7-14lbs will see me fitting into:  I pair smart Oasis jeans, 1 pair slouchy boyfriend jeans, 1 pair black skinny jeans and 2 pairs brand new walking trousers (all new or nearly new).  I didn't check out the tops but suspect there will be lots of "new" stuff there too.

How's that for a New Year Incentive??!

New clothes, here I come.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Back to "Normal" after barrel-dom yesterday.

Yesterday was a day of excess.  Large cooked breakfast around lunchtime and only a short walk due to timing issues.  Then we were straight into town to take Rich's mum for her Christmas present excursion.  She wanted to see The Hobbit so we took her to see it and for a meal afterwards. 

A few chocs with the film and then a delicious brazilian meal.  Only a chain restaurant (Las Iguanas) but really tasty and thoroughly enjoyable.  NOT diet friendly in any way.  I had lamb empanadas to start and chicken and crayfish Xinxim (creamy, limey, peanut-y sauce) with rice, beans and fried plantains for my main course.  Then, because Sue and Rich were having a dessert, I caved and had a caramel cake!!  With a large glass of red and a cappuccino to wash it all down!!  I was FULL.  But happily so.

However, I vowed yesterday evening after all that naughtiness that I would definitely go for a run today.

Then was woken repeatedly through the night by the high winds and lashing rain.  To be honest I very nearly did not go.  I lay in my warm bed contemplating what else I could do - a DVD and home work out?  Swimming in town?  All a bit of a cop out or too tricky to organise.  So I peered through the window and spotted that the rain had lightened up a bit and it wasn't THAT cold and talked myself back into it.

So, with that thought, I sprang out of bed before I could argue my way out of it, got my running gear on and headed out.  I spared the pooches.  Partly because they would not enjoy it but also because it would be easier for me not to have to drag unwilling, unhappy little dogs along.

And it wasn't too bad.  Wet, windy, cold, splishy.  I was fooled by the wind being to my back on the way out so ran further than I'd intended and then struggled on the way back but I managed it.  35 brisk minutes.  Brisk as I usually take longer to do that route.  Possibly the rain encouraged me onwards....

We went into town to mooch round the sales later and I was pretty successful for a change - decent work shoes, a nice jumper that I'd decided against at full price but was happy to snap up at 50% off, a teapot (didn't get one for Christmas despite hints!), next year's Christmas cards and replacement make-up to cover the stuff lost by a nightclub just before Christmas.

And, the good thing is about today - NO snacking!!  I'm about to cook a healthy supper and then go out to the pub - will I manage a good night in the pub or will it all go wrong??

I'm hoping the former as I'm still hopeful of a STS over Christmas or at worst a lb on.  Fingers crossed peeps!!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas Tidy Up

I was whizzing through a few posts from the last few weeks and spotted a few promises of photos to follow, which promises have not been fulfilled.  Poor Blogger!

So, here are the pics from the Sanata's Scramble fancy dress golf at the beginning of December.  My team chose, as a theme, Primark Onesies.  That's how up-to-date and on the fashion button we are.  I'm telling you.....

Shame we couldn't find 4 Primark Onesies of the same design in our 4 sizes though.  We were a somewhat disparate bunch.  Still, I like my reindeer onesie and have spent a whole evening in it.  I may even wear it again!!

Other teams went for more traditional Christmas choices - Shepherdesses for example.



Golfing Reindeer...

Three Wise Men following the Star...

Glam Rock band...

It was all very well round the clubhouse but got somewhat bizarre out on the course.  But it was a glorious day and thoroughly enjoyable.

So, it's the day after Boxing Day and our first morning back at home since the Sunday before Christmas.  I weighed in on the Sunday although it was not an official WI as it was a day early and the day after a big night out.  I saw a gain that morning but didn't think hoped it wasn't a real gain 'cos  of the timing and big night out stuff....

So then there was Christmas.  I wasn't bad, honest.  There was a LOT of temptation hanging around but I didn't eat that much naughtiness at all.  I felt stuffed of course but, when I think back to Christmas Day I really didn't overdo it at all.

Right, I'll stop blathering as I'm sure you'll be keen to hear about this morning's number.  I was scared.  Truly nervous about how bad it was going to be.  I told myself not to be disheartened if there was a gain.  After all, it doesn't matter if I DO gain a few as I know how to drop them.  It'll only set me back a few weeks at worst.  BUT old habits die hard, and I really didn't want a bad number.  I suppose, I'm still fearful that I could slip back into my old ways and lose my way as I have done so many times before.

Right, come on, spit it out.

I weighed in at 14.6.6!!  That's 2 lbs less than on Sunday and only 0.4 more than the Monday before last!!  Can't quite believe it.  I'm quite pleased with myself but remain nervous that it'll be all snatched away from me with a dose of complacency over the next few days.  After all, there is still a shedload of chocolate, cheese, pate, wine, mince pies and Christmas cake littering the house. 

In exercise terms I went for a good long walk with Rich's stepmum Carolyn yesterday while Rich, his brother and his dad were at the football. (I wasn't bothered about the trip over to Bolton and thought Carolyn would appreciate the company. Also, to be honest, I thought - "Do I need a day on the beer and pies or would I prefer a good long walk in the hills?" and the hills won.)  We walked over the hills to Hathersage, stopped for a coffee and piece of flapjack in a cafe there and then walked back.  We got soaked for the last 30 minutes but it made stopping, unpacking the car, and settling into a foamy, hot bath all the sweeter. (Photos to follow - rats!!)

And we had another walk, not quite as long but pretty hilly this afternoon with my pal Kerry.  Although, the walk involved stopping for a pint and after walking came Christmas cake with stilton....hmmmm.  Supper was the last of the turkey in the form of a turkey, ham and leek gratin (see me avoiding pastry!!).

So, the trick is NOT to become complacent.  Not to think that I've got this pegged.  I have not; all I can do is keep trying and keep resisting.  But, at least I'm not starting from a higher number.  If I can get into Fresh Fat by the WI on Monday 7 January, I will be a very happy OMG'er. 

Monday, 24 December 2012

A Lincolnshire Christmas

So, here we are in rural Lincolnshire for Christmas staying at my parents'.  These photos, however, were not taken this visit because the weather has been unremittingly wet and miserable (as it has been everywhere from what I can tell).  I took these last time I was over when it was freezing but very beautiful.  The first was taken one evening as the sun set over the Welland valley and the rest were taken on a frozen run the following day.

It never got light just stayed a perpetual pale grey all day.  Everything was rimed with frost but the ground was frozensolid so no mud and perfect for running.

Amazingly, I managed to make myself go out for a 40 minute run this morning.  How very different it was.  Cold and chucking it down with rain.  The roads (I didn't even consider hitting the fields) were slathered in sludgy, yellowy brown mud and deep puddles.  The dogs were NOT impressed to be dragged out at 9am, before being fed even.

Shelagh staged a one-dog protest and had to be dragged from the house.  Even once we were out she held back and made her feelings extremely clear - it is Christmas and I should be in Nana and Grandad's warm kitchen being stuffed full of contraband, not out here running!!. 

The dogs scarf up an impressive amount of contraband while visiting Nana and Grandad.  Nana being a woman with very little memory but a great love of dogs, has only to look into their melting brown eyes to diagnose extreme starvation and rustle up some tasty treat.  She will butter bread and either spread it with jam or honey or cut pieces of dad's best gammon, pieces of cake, fruit, bits of mince pie, more ham, more bread and butter.  I turn into the worst kind of jailor, constantly vigilant to prevent them turning into little barrels.  No wonder they don't want to go for a run!!

I'm doing my best to avoid barrel-dom myself.  It is not easy as the house is full of foodie loveliness - my home-made Christmas cake, mince pies, pate, stilton, the aforementioned ham, cheese, biscuits.  And more will be opened tomorrow.  I'm doing alright.  My trousers still feel loose and I managed to stick to the morning POM, black coffee and 3 hour wait for sustenance this morning.  I fear tomorrow will be harder still.

But hey - IT'S CHRSIIIIIISTMAAAS!!  And I can go back to the dieting afterwards.

We're off to my sister-in-law's for supper this evening which will be an extravaganza of gorgeous Asian food followed by the pub.  Tomorrow pure tradition prepared by Moi.  Mmmmmm

I hope you're all having a wonderful time with friends, family, loved ones, furry family and food.  I hope that none of you are affected by the terrible flooding which can be seen if I allow the news to enter my consciousness and if any of you are, my thoughts an prayers go out to you and I hope you get through it as best you can.

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((BIG HUGS TO ALL MY BLOGGY PALS!!))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

2012 Review

Lovecat posted this list of questions which she'd pinched from Fat Girl Fighting so I thought I'd get in on the act:

1. What was your greatest personal accomplishment in 2012?
Hmmmm, tricky.  I think it's the improvement in my golf.  I've cut my handicap from 19 to 16 and won a few comps and also got better at playing unfamiliar courses or matchplay events. Most pleasing.

2. What’s the best thing your did for your health?
I dropped 15 lbs very slowly and got back to running again.  I seem to have discovered moderation.  Not bad at "only" 43!

3. Share one thing that caused a significant change in your life this year.
My dad getting broadband and a carer to help with my mum.  It has freed him from worry for a while and allows me to work from my parents' home so that I can visit more often without having to go at weekends or use leave.

4. List a few things that you experienced for the first time at some point over the last twelve months
The Pembrokeshire coastal path, wonderful.
Incessant rain - I can't ever remember so much of it.
My mum not knowing who I am.
The Olympics being in the UK.

5. What was the coolest place you visited?
The Olympic Stadium definitely.  We were there for the evening session of Super Saturday.  We were sitting just behind the longjump pit and saw 3, count them, 3 awesome Team GB Gold Medals - Go Jess, Mo and Greg!!

6. If you could change one thing about the last year what would it be?
I would have sold my old house.  It is the last tie to my ex husband and I really want to be totally free of him and move on.

7. What is the best meal you ate this year?
A curry in a restaurant in Hillsborough called Darbaars.  It was my birthday and it was lovely.

8. Tell us about a new friend you made.
Caroline - we're email diet buddies and she has really helped me stick to my plan.  I really look forward to her emails most days.

9. What did you hope to accomplish this year that you did not?
Well, there's the house sale. 

10. Share something you learned in 2012. 
I learned to play dominoes - 5's and 3's for our local pub team.

11. Share an odd and unexpected thing that you experienced this year.
Fancy dress golfing.
Drinking 'til dawn in our local after the golf club dinner.

12. How do you think 2013 will differ from 2012?
We will almost certainly be moving house.  Our landlord is trying to sell this house.

So - how about you lot??

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Kindness of the Scales

Not something I say often obviously but, today, the scales have been kind.  After a big Saturday night I managed a drop of 1.6lbs taking me to 14.6.2 and a total drop of 15.4 lbs,  FINALLY I hit my stone off.

To be honest the stone thing isn't that special because I have been circling it for a few weeks now and was only 0.2 lbs off for the last fortnight but I'm very pleased with 1.6 lbs off!  I know it came because I worked hard at sticking to the plan this week and, although I had one big blowout, I didn't let it start early or bleed into the next day.

So, what can I manage in the last week before Christmas?  A STS would be perfectly acceptable to be honest given that I have a big Council Christmas lunch followed by clubbing round town in Rotherham on Friday and then the weekend will begin.  And, thinking about it, we're going to my parents where there will be no scales so next week's WI will have to be a day early on Sunday morning before we go.  That's commitment for you!

Right, no time for more.  We've got to take the dogs out before heading into town for the dreaded shopping excursion.  Hope you're all doing well and having fun!

Sunday, 16 December 2012


So, I called it right on SPOTY.  Well done Wiggo and well done to ALL of the amazing contenders.

But, what I'm sad to be thinking about are those children and teachers in Newtown, Conneticut.  And now, of course, their families.

HOW can this still be happening??

When there is so much good stuff happening which we could all be celebrating and then it's all spoilt and tainted by such horrible tragedy.  I felt shallow being so happy and excited about SPOTY and the memories it brought back of this wonderful year but then there's no benefit in spoiling the good stuff with the bad. 

But I couldn't not mention them either.  Sigh....I'm a bear of feeble brain today and this is too serious a topic so I'll shut up now..... 

Another Sunday, another hangover.

Guess what?  I won't be seeing this view tomorrow morning as I will not be going to work!!  Yay!  I love long weekends.  And I need one too as today as been a very, erm, "quiet" day.

It was Richard's work's Christmas party last night.  It was over the other side of Sheffield so we booked into an Ibis nearby and got over there early to watch the Sheffield Wednesday vs Barnsley match on Sky.  AMAZINGLY Wednesday won!!  3 points.  We finally ended a 7 game streak of defeats.  It was edgy and we probably didn't deserve to win as the goal came from a foul on the keeper but I DON'T CARE.  We have had such bad luck from referees this season that I will happily take any scrap of luck in our favour.

So, that put us in a good mood.  It was a good night out - not as much dancing as last year (the music was a tad dodgy) but a fair bit.  We drank too much of course but not MASSES too much.  As usual, we were nearly fine but blew it at the last of our mates had won a bottle of vodka in the raffle (Rich won a camcorder - could have been a 50 inch telly or ipad or kindle or travel vouchers but, no, a camcorder?!).  Anyway, back to the vodka - it would have been rude not to have forced them to open it and guzzle some down with extortionately priced diet cokes and coffees.

So, this morning was somewhat "tender" but I'm pleased that I have managed to stop (nearly) all rot in its tracks.  Cold shower, 3 hour wait 'til breakfast, sensible brekkie (I so nearly chowed into a carbtastic 2 bacon and egg sandwiches (4 slices of bread!!) but at the last minute managed to convert it into bacon, egg, muchrooms and tomatoes with ONE piece of toast only), afternoon walk, no snacking and healthful beef stew packed with veggies for supper. 

Somehow, a pack of winegums slipped into my shopping basket though.  I'm not actually that fussed about winegums but Rich is so rather than the chocolate I was craving the winegums were a compromise.  Hasn't stopped me craving chocolate all day though......grrr......but there's none in the house so an evening in front of SPOTY with no chance of naughtiness apart from a few winegums.  Sigh.

So, day off Christmas shopping tomorrow and hopefully a weigh in that won't make me sad???  Fingers crossed peeps.

PS.  My tip for the winner of SPOTY just before it starts is...........Bradley Wiggins.  At least I think he should win it but possibly Jess Ennis might pip him to it.  Rich is sitting on the fence - I've pushed him for a prediction but no go!  To be fair it is a tough pick tonight - so many fantastic achievements this year. What a wonderful year it has been.

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Did I blog about Brown Fat a while ago?? If I didn't, I did mean bad. There have been several recent articles about Brown Adipose Tissue and its wondrous potential to raise our temeperatures and thus burn more calories. This GOOD fat is apparently sited around our shoulder blades and activated by being cold (but not to the point of having to shiver). So maybe my slightly freaky (Six Weeks to OMG!) diet is onto a sound thing? I've been having these cold showers more out of faith than belief and now it turns out they might be rooted in good science!

Since I read the articles I have developed a slightly manic sounding cold shower mantra. I repeatedly exhort my brown fat to get going "C'moooon Brown Fat!!" I murmur as I turn the shower temperature down to bleeding arctic! "Cmon and get burning those calories for me!" Should I tell people this stuff I wonder? I think I sound mad....but hey, whatever works. It has certainly helped me stay under the cold water for longer and never wimp out with a warm shower even when I really want to. So, thank you Brown Fat, you are truly my friend.

Moving swiftly on, today I went for a 50 minute run along the canal path at lunchtime. I was very pleased with myself in that I managed to make myself continue past my usually turning back point to the next lock along. It was as lovely as a canal in the heart of industrial Rotherham can be. Everything was frozen; the path, the grass, the water; every plant rimed with ice; and the surface of the frozen canal scattered with what, in the Peak District would have been sticks thrown by children but in Rotherham was an assortment of beer cans and bottles. Most uplifting.


In other exciting news (well, for me) I saw a new number on the scales this morning - 14.6.6! So Operation Wriggle Room is going well so far. I'm trying to convince myself that this does NOT give me licence to see how much of that I can "use up" on Saturday night and instead turn it into a challenge to retain as much of that drop as possible. All I will say is, watch this space!

I'm also extremely excited about a long weekend. Having had to cancel a few day's leave during my work crisis, I had to take a few days to make sure I didn't lose them so have taken this coming Friday and Monday off. Rich is joining me on the Monday and we have Christmas shopping planning but Friday is a totally free day. I am going to take it easy and do nice things like icing the cake, decorating the tree and house, writing some cards (whoops, leaving it late this year), personal training (nice??!) and shopping. Actually that sounds pretty busy - something might have to give to allow some sitting in front of a fire watching an old movie!!
I hope you're all enjoying the festive season and not going too mad on the demon mince pies. Have fun peeps!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Week 12 weigh in and pretty pictures to distract you....

Well, the weigh in came and went.  Actually I'm quite pleased to see a STS this week which contrasts nicely with the slightly despondent me reporting on one a couple of weeks ago. 

Last week was never going to be a stellar dieting week - 2 Christmas lunches; darts and dominoes against a local side; a home football match; a big night out in Sheffield; friends staying over so hospitality duties (and a hangover!) and a winning quiz.  No, I was not destined to drop poundage last week. 

I'm pleased that, in between the mayhem, I did some good damage limitation and have emerged unscathed.  Especially as I believe it is my traditional STS/fifth week.  So - great things this coming week??

Erm, maybe not.  I have nothing particular planned for the week but Saturday is going to be a Big Night Out (again).  It is Richard's work's Christmas party which was a really good night out last year.  this year it is over the other side of Sheffield so we're going to stay over in a nearby hotel for the evening. 

We will also be starting out early as Sheffield Wednesday is playing local rival, Barnsley in a televised fixture that evening so we will be out watching that before we go to the party.  it is a measure of how much we enjoyed last year that we're giving up the Barnsley away fixture in order to attend!!

So, the theme for the week is moderation in order to create wriggle room for a big Saturday night out.  There will be food and drink and dancing and I'm really looking forward to it.

At the moment I'm working from home from my parents' place which has been nice.  It gives Dad a break and the dogs love it.  I took them out for a 40 minute run before it got dark which Shelagh could have lived without (I had to drag her out the house on her belly the lazy thing!).  I can't blame her though - it was arctic.  Clear, icy, freezing but very fresh and ultimately I think even Shelagh enjoyed it - she's like my chimp, unwilling but usually fine once we get going.  Wouldn't it be good if we had giant humans to drag us out for a run when we don't feel like it?

I'm on leave tomorrow so half a day here in Lincolnshire and then home to sort out the Christmas tree - yay!!  I'm not doing too badly this year - the cake is made and a few presents bought but no cards written as yet!  Whoops.

Anyway, below are pictures of our hungover walk with friends last Sunday.  We'd had a big night out in Sheffield and had not got to bed until after 5am so I think we did well to manage a couple of bracing hours out on the moors.  It was stunning and well worth the pain.  Eagle-eyed readers will spot that Rich and I did most of this walk a few weeks ago...recycling eh....lack of brain power to think of somewhere new more like!

Claire was adamant that she was going to fall over so hands were held pretty much the whole way round.  It made me laugh here as Tom looks as though he's dragging her along. In the end, she didn't fall over but Rich did!

The light was A.Ma.Zing.

Minty looks petrified here but I assure you she was wagging her tail - it's just wagged to the other side!!

It was SOOO windy when we hit this corner, we could hardly stand up and taking a photo was a majoy achievement.

Awww - it must be love.
He fell over.....

Then the wind dropped as we came lower and the sun came out and it turned into a stunning afternoon.

Righto - better go and put supper on - roast beef for us!!