Midsummer evening

Midsummer evening

Monday, 30 April 2012

How NOT to diet

I've been pretty good all week but the scales have been stubbornly unimpressed.  Hey ho, I don't worry about that when I'm eating right and exercising.  But I have been aware of a BIG Saturday day out looming.  Sure enough, on Saturday morning, my scales show a nice healthy 2lb drop.  Yay.

So this is what I did, knowingly and with "malice" aforethought:

7am - up, showered and dressed.  Feed dogs, quick walk and kiss them goodbye for the day (the dogwalker will come twice though!).

7.30am - Hit the pub. 1.5 pints and a bacon sandwich

8am - Buy Maccy D cappucino for the coach ride.

11.30am - Hit the next pub. 3 pints and fish and chips for lunch.

2.15pm - Arrive at Brentford United's ground, fail to get into a pub for more beers so spot the celebrities (well, Milan Mandaric, our owner, Ron Atkinson, our former manager and Roy Hattersley a big fan).  Another muddy coffee from the ground.

3pm - Kickoff.  Bounce on and off for the next 2 hours!!  We won!  The pressure is now on our neighbours, Sheffield United to win in their late kick-off game versus Stevenage.

5pm - Coach ride home.  Eat pack-up - chicken and stuffing sandwich, mini porkpie, share of bag of crisps, some sweets, another (Starbucks) cappucino.  We listen or watch the United/Stevenage game during the journey.  When Stevenage score the coach erupts and there is much bouncing.  We did not drink cans of beer or cider but many people did.  Much joy and singing and bouncing on the coach when United fail to win (they drew 2-all) which leaves us 1 point ahead of them going into the last game of the season on Saturday!!  It's in our hands now.  If we can beat Wycombe at home, we're promoted automatically and don't have to got through the nightmare of the play-offs.  Bring it on.

8.30pm- Arrive back at our home pub in Sheffield.  The landlord buys everyone a pint and we settle in for a party.  Another 4 pints later, we leave at midnight.

I don't want to even think about the SW syn count for the day.  The thing is - I had a brilliant day and I'd do it again.  If it sets me back, well, it'll just take me longer to get there but what is my hurry.  The key thing to remember, is not to let the "bad" day carry over.  And I didn't.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Rain, rain, go away...

Look, I know those southerners and easterners need this sort of rain to fill up their empty aquifers etc but we had full reservoirs before it all started over a fortnight ago and this level of deluge is just annoying now, ok??! It puts you off doing fun stuff like walking the dogs, golfing, going for a run, gardening, walking down to the pub/shops etc etc It leaves you sitting in front of the telly or computer screen thinking about snacking. Now, I did plenty of that over the winter and am now ready for glimpses of the Great Outdoors again so ease up on the precipitation, at least here in the sodden north, pleeeeaase...


Yep, despite my sterling performance on the golf course yesterday, the rain is getting me down. (I have just discovered via the invaluable "How Did I Do?" website, that I won the comp on Wednesday. Go me!!)


I want to get back to that lovely sunshine we had at the end of March - golfing in shorts and t-shirts; taking the dogs for a run along the river bank (currently impossible due to mud); sitting outside the pub with a glass of cider (currently impossible due to biblical volumes of rain...). Come on! I'm bored of winter now.


I was so tempted on Wednesday night just to light a fire and stay in and watch a DVD or something but, no. We dragged ourselves out into the downpour, crept throught scary sheets of water to Sheffield for the first ever midweek Social Dance practise session. It was pretty good in the end - 2 hours of music to dance and practise to for a mere £3 each so good value too. There was even a little tuition if you could snaffle the teacher in between changing the music. There was much amusing marital discord going on on the floor and Rich and I started off a bit tetchy (probably the rain...) but, once we got going, it was well worth it. We made definite progress in the waltz and tango as we actually managed to remember the routines all the way through and master the turns so that we ended up dancing in the right direction! It may seem an obvious thing but this has been a problem for us, especially with the waltz: we remember the steps but don't have the floorcraft to keep it going in the right direction and find ourselves reversing or heading into the middle of the floor, which is not to be recommended!! Anyway, as with dieting, baby steps are the way to go. You have to take the positives (waltz, tango, rumba, cha cha, samba and jive) and forget the negatives (Rich wasn't up for even trying the quickstep or foxtrot as didn't feel confident that he could remember the steps). At least we know where we are, had a pleasant evening out and can work on the quickstep and foxtrot in evenings to come.


I was so pleased with the waltz though - it was a breakthrough to feel Rich's arms confidently swirling me round and to realise that we had made it all the way through the routine and could start again unscathed.


As always, it is a fantastic place for people watching too. We took some breaks and had a beer to loosen up and there were some intriguing couples on the floor. There was one couple who were obviously very proficient - they knew loads of steps and danced with style and panache - but NEVER smiled.... Why?? Why would you do something like dancing together for years; obviously commit a lot of time to it but not seem to actually enjoy it? They were also annoying as it happened as, despite the fact that they were better than everyone else there and easily able to navigate round the floor, they didn't and just ploughed through you sighing theatrically! What did they expect from a practise session, Strictly?!


Then there was another couple, also much better than us but wild and hectic looking; they had no neatness or style but real enthusiasm and energy. They were a big couple and they set off round the floor like a pair of wrestling hippos (especially in their solo Viennese Waltz!) but seemed to be having a lot of fun and were happy to help out with a step or make room for you if they could. I know which couple I'd rather be!


In passing, I would have hoped that my sodden round of golf and 2 hour dancing session might have encouraged some progress on the scales but, so far, they are remaining stubbornly unmoved....(maybe it's the rain...). I will keep at it and keep smiling!!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Cliffhangers

I often have this problem while trying to work from home - 2 cocker spaniels on my lap do not aid my typing and telephoning ability!  Do you think they want something here?  Love? Chicken wings?  Attention?

At other times, like now, they totally ignore me in favour of a warm, cosy sofa...

Anyway, back to diet and exercise news.  I was not displeased with the 0.5lb off last night.  Obviously I would have preferred a miracle and to have dropped more but I had a big weekend and I was also somewhat half-hearted all week so am pleased that I managed not to wreck everything and scraped a drop.


I feel back in the groove exercise wise too.  A run on Monday, another on Tuesday, a very hard round of golf this morning.  It's a good start to the week. 


Golf was HARD today!  It was pouring with rain but, because I'd had a good round in the first part of the competition last week, I thought I should give it a go.  Hardly anyone turned out to play as the weather was so foul but my playing partner, despite having no chance in the comp, valiantly agreed to walk round with me to mark my card.  She stopped playing after 9 holes as her fingers had frozen and she was too miserable.  Luckily we met some mates walking in and they took her clubs in for her and lent her a dry hat and warm mittens to keep her going.


I, on the other hand, was just sodden, soaked through to the knickers.  I had left my waterproof trousers in the boot of my car which is in the garage so was just wearing cords; drenched, freezing cords. I was carrying my clubs for the same reason (had left my electric trolley in the boot too).  My brolly was not strong enough to stand up to the wind and my hat was too big so kept blowing off.


Weirdly though, once I'd resigned myself to being cold, wet and uncomfortable and to inflicting the same on my innocent partner, I started to play quite well.   I managed a mere 3 over par for the round giving me a collective score for the 2 rounds of 3 over.  As the only other women out on the course when I left had started their second round at 4 over, I'm hopeful that I will have won but not SURE!  One of them could have played a blinder and come in under par despite the terrible weather and the suspense is KILLING me!!



Normally I'm not so competitive.  I accept that all I can do is my best and it doesn't matter if someone else's best is better on the day.  But today, because it was so hard to get round and I played so well in such dreadful conditions, I feel like I DESERVE to win (not to mention making it worth my gallant partner's suffering).  I will be gutted if one of those 2 women pips me at the post!   I'll also be very impressed as they will have had to have played really well to do it! 


So, once again, I ask you to cross those fingers fervently for me!!

Ho hum....

Half a lb off. Not thrilling but after my big weekend I'll take it!! Got golf in the rain (again) now so more later.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

WI tonight!

This evening is going to be awkward so I need a plan. I am at work but on the train as my car is still in the garage. This meant a very early start but hopefully also means an early departure. So, if I'm organised and determined I might be able to cram it all in: I need to get the train back to Bamford; pick up my car (assuming it has been repaired); get home and prep the chicken and pop it in the oven; go for a 50 minute hilly run; quick shower then off to WI; no time to stay for class but allow for 5 minutes sobbing in the car park before driving home for supper and collapsing in front of the telly!! (I'm only joking about the sobbing BTW, I hardly ever do that...) So, that's the plan. Wish me luck peeps!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Stuck on the hump and sulking

In my last post I was keen to move forward but I have not.  I put a lb on and this is despite having a pretty good weekend (the one before last, not the one just gone).  I can only put it down to having slackened off on exercise and a few too many carbs when tired one day. 

I was frankly disappointed and disheartened and it has showed in my dedicaiton this last week too.  While not "giving up", I have been very half-hearted about exercise and drank quite a bit over the weekend.  Not out of control as I still threw in several diet drinks between the beers but it was not great SW-wise!

I also hid from the blog scene too which is a sure sign that I was in denial and a bit downbeat.

Luckily, this hiding and lack of determination has not persisted for long and I'm hoping not too much damage has been done.  (I will find out tomorrow.)  I went for a lunchitme run today which is a good sign and my eating has been stellar today too.  The weekend was too beery but I didn't go mad.

And I'm back blogging even if it is going to be a bit of a nothing-y post.  It will get me back on track and hopefully over the hump NEXT week!!!

In other news, the football has been AMAZING recently!!  I had written Wednesday off as definitely in the play-offs after the weekend before last's draw against Colchester.  But on Saturday we beat Carlisle and Sheffield United lost to MK Dons bringing us to 1 point behind them with 2 games to play.  While United are still in the driving seat with the extra point and better goal difference, it is now anyone's automatic promotion.  We're going to the away game against Brentford on Saturday which should be an awesome atmosphere.  We are just praying that United slip up against Stevenage and we win, even a draw will be enough if we win both our next 2 games!!! 

And the great thing is that, even if we do finish 3rd, we still are favourties to go up through the play-offs! 

The extra-time winning goal on Saturday triggered an explosion of noise at Hillsborough!  I haven't seen a crowd go crazy like that in years!  All 3 home sides of the ground were just bouncing up and down (a peculiar celebration developed by the Wednesday crowd which is strangely effective).  I even saw people in the directors' box bouncing!  It's hard to describe how good something like that feels - collective emotion is very powerful.

I've also been playing quite a bit of golf.  Mostly in the pouring rain.  Last Wednesday was soaking wet from start to finish and yet me and my playing partner played really well!  We are lying 2nd and 3rd at the halfway point of the 36 hole competition and both had our handicaps cut.  I played in a knockout comp on Friday afternoon too.  It started really badly (because I was rushing from work I think) and I was 3 down after only 3 holes.  Somehow though, I managed to settle it down and gradually overhaul the deficit until I eventually won 5 up with 4 to play!  Most pleasing.

Then there was a great band on in our local on Saturday night;, another golf match on Sunday morning (didn't play well); and finally my friend from Oz  came for a catch-up on Sunday afternoon.  It has all been Go in this household.

So, I'll go and take my WI punishment tomorrow and get right back on track - I promise!  (BTW - I took my Oz mate to Castleton and peered disconsolately at the 1530 restaurant which is to be my half stone reward - it is getting further away!)

Monday, 16 April 2012

On the edge of "Fresh Fat"!!



I hope you like a couple of pics I took on my mobile during the drive back from my french class last Thursday evening.  Below is the lovely Chatsworth House bathed in sunshine and sporting a beautiful double rainbow.  After I stopped to take this picture the colours became achingly intense and it looked as though the rainbow would be right over the house itself. 
I tried to drive up the driveway to capture the sight of the lovely bridge in the foreground and house with rainbows but there was a sign.  It said "House closed. No unauthorised persons beyond this point".  I thought about driving the extra 100 yards round the bend anyway then thought - would I like people driving up my driveway to take pictures of my house when I'd expressly asked them not to??  I also remembered the other part of the sign saying that CCTV cameras are in operation and couldnt face the embarrassment factor if caught.  So, no, I won't suffer for my art apparently...
And no close-ups of the house.  Boooo...
As I got closer to home the storm intensified into a massive greeny grey mass.  It was truly stunning but these photos do not do it justice.  I tried driving up hill to find a vantage spot where I could fit the whole perfect arc into one shot but to no avail.  The frustration.
Anyway, in diet news:  I am teetering on the edge of fresh fat. It is quite exciting. When I say "fresh fat", I am aware that I have lost these very lbs not once but dozens of times in my lifetime, the last time being last summer but it fresh for this time round, ok??!
 
 
 
This teetering business means that this next week or so is crucial in determining the progress of this latest phase of my eternal battle with the fat. If I can get over the hump and drop half a stone, the likelihood is that I will continue on to the stone mark. If I go backwards now I may fanny around for yet another few weeks. I really do not want the latter to happen. I will get over the hump.

So, HOW am I going to go about achieving this?

I mentioned in an earlier post that, driven by boredom and mild irritation, I had actually opened (and read) my SW book during class one Tuesday evening. Well, I've done it a few times now.....it may even become a habit!! I really focussed a couple of days last week on doing the plan properly and I'm proud of myself that I've managed a few whole, perfectly observed days! I know it sounds silly but I usually don't follow the plan as such, more follow a theme. I do a fair bit of exercise and tend to lose weight reasonably easy so, in the past at least, I have been able to "get away with" not being scrupulous and still lose weight. But, as you will have noticed, it's not really worked in the long run has it? While I have dropped the lbs here and there, it has come back on and I'm still here, more or less at my starting position 7 months later.


So, although I am a somewhat slow bear, I'm not totally daft and am endeavouring to change this. To go back to what worked for me at the outset and what will, no doubt, work again. So, what have I noticed about the plan now that I've actually doing it once more?




Firstly, you have to be organised. It is no good hoping that you will have the right things in the fridge because this road leads to TOAST! (And toast is the enemy in SW.) The plan allows you to eat loads but does not lend it self to quick, unplanned meals unless you have a very flexible fridge and larder. So, I have re-stocked the fridge and adjusted my mindset to make sure that I do not fall back on cereals for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. You just can't make SW works if that is your norm, well, not unless you're willing to use up all your syns on bread and have none left for alcohol or sugar, which I'm not!


A better typical day for me starts with bacon, eggs, tomato and mushrooms. It fills me up much longer and doesn't use up any of my "Healthy Extras" (sorry about the diet jargon non-dieters!). This means I can have plenty of milk in my tea and coffee during the day or a spot of cheese in my evening meal as my A choice. And, if I'm able to resist bread and cereal altogether as I did yesterday, means I can have olive oil instead of bread as my other B choice.


Lunches tend to be easy - pasta, salad, jacket spud, leftover from the night before, no problem.


And then supper can be almost unchanged from my non-diet choice. Obviously I can't be launching into fajitas or cheesy bakes very often (at all?!) but most main courses can be adjusted and brought into the SW regime. Last night was rump steak, mash and veggies with pepper sauce all syn counted and very tasty. So Rich hardly notices the difference and I feel full and "normal".


That just leaves snacks. I made a conscious effort during the day NOT to have any apart from fruit and cups of tea and found it easier than I had expected. I hadn't realised how much I had become acclimatised to treats. When I first started on SW last summer (and was dropping weight steadily) I had hardly any, then gradually they crept back in until I was having chocs/biscuits/random stuff (often "healthy" type choices) morning, afternoon and evening "just because". No wonder I gained the weight back! So yesterday I had nothing during the day but I told myself (and my chimp?) that I could have something in the evening after supper. And then I didn't.


Wow! How did that happen? Well, I kept on putting the treat back a bit, just having my usual piece of fruit after supper, then later a coffee. Then, when I was tempted by the digestives Richard was scoffing (he is a sucker for plain digestives, I have to hide them....)I thought, maybe a choc ice instead. So, rather than heading straight for the kitchen, I thought "knowledge is power" (Hi Mrs Lard!!) and first looked up the syn value of both (see what I mean about the book??). I discovered that I could have 2 (!!) digestives for 7 syns or 1 choc ice for 7 syns. Hmmm, dilemma. But, somehow, through all this I realised that I didn't need or particularly want either. I'd put the treat off for so long and not missed it that I was happy not to have it at all. Last night that is. I'm not saying that I won't ever have an evening snack but I will try not to have it unless I really fancy whatever it is and am not just eating out of habit or boredom or because Rich is having it and I "deserve" it.






It was mindful eating for the first time in ages. Not just randomly saying no to things, cooking healthily or cutting stuff out and hoping that it'll work. But actually sitting down and working out what I really want and what I can have under the plan. It's early days but hopefully I can keep this going now. I WANT that 2 stone off. The other thing which I'm finding is helping me (which has never helped in the past) is the thought of my half stone reward meal at 1530 in Castleton. It's only a few lbs away and it is helping me to keep going. I haven't told Richard so that should be a nice surprise for him too.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Cold, grey walk round Curbar Edge/Baslow/Froggatt)

Here are some pics of our walk on Good Friday (the one I didn't organise very well!).  We started at Curbar Gap and admired the grey, rather angry views of the valley below.



Minty found some snow to cool her paws on.


Here she is looking somewhat perplexed as to why I had plonked her on a big rock for no good reason.  Answer:  I remembered a sunny photo I had taken a couple of years ago of Shelagh sitting in the hole in this very rock and wanted to reproduce it.  I couldn't reproduce it, however, as the hole was now full of icy meltwater.  Hey ho, you've got to try these things...


And here is Richard looking somewhat perplexed as to why he is on top of a big hill in the biting cold when he could be sitting in front of a fire with weekend football on the telly.  Answer: because I made him and it's good for us!


Shelagh slurps nasty looking water.  But it's not dirty, honest, just peaty.


A big rock.  Can you see the evil toad face in it??  No? Just me then....books shrink appointment....


Highland cow observes madman....


Hang on, I tell a lie, that cow isn't observing anything through that fringe.  (Thought you'd like the ginger, Peridot!)


The view of the green valley below, Chatworth House in the distance.


Then the lovely downhill tramp along farm lanes into the pretty (although somewhat "southern looking") village of Baslow. 


Baslow is an odd one in the Peak District.  It's rather "posh".  All quaint interior shops selling frenchified dressers and heinously expensive knick knacks.  As well as those shops, there's a deli, florist, childrens' toy shop (the sort that only sells wooden stuff that kids don't want), art gallery, bistro, cafe, snooty dress agency, old fashioned sweet shop and a few pubs and restaurants but the only opened Spar a couple of years ago!  It's that sort of place.

Don't get me wrong, it's very pretty and there's a lovely cricket pitch with pavilion and bowling green  but I wouldn't want to live there even if I could afford it.  I think it fancies itself because it's right next door to Chatsworth but, really, all that means is that the traffic can get terrible when there's something on at Chatsworth!!


Richard on the bridge at Baslow crossing to the Bubnell side.  He's not scratching his backside, he's trying to save Minty from diving in front of the car that's approaching us!


Nice houses backing onto the river.  Must be lovely in summer. And winter for that matter.


A sign of the times.  Anti-poaching signage in, I assume, Polish.  It is, I'm told by our local fisheries manager, a big problem.  Whereas UK anglers usually catch and release, the Eastern Europeans eat fish we do not so lots of the bigger, older carp are being taken, thus reducing breeding stock.  Not to mention the expensively introduced trout!!


I love these hosues...the pretty aubretia just beginning to blossom.  Last time I walked along here it was summer and I had a long chat with the old lady who lives here who was weeding the gravel bed further down.  She was really nice.  Hope she is still hale and hearty.


Looking back up to where we have come from  over the river.



Shelagh stops for a swim at a bend in the river.  Brrrr


 A very fancy barn at Calver.  Why does a barn need a clock tower, carved columns and ornate windows I wonder?


Walking along the mill race from Calver to Froggatt.  You can walk along the riverbank on the other side and, to be honest, having done both now, the river side is prettier.


Crossing the river at Froggatt.


You can see these houses from the road on the other side of the valley.  I remember this house being built and remember thinking - that is one massive lawn!  It is huge, must take ages to mow even on a ride-on.  The newly created pond is a bit poncey though.  Sigh - ignore me, I'm just jealous...


Pretty riverside path with daffodils - I'm beginning to regret the hill we have still to climb.


It is STEEP.  Not only that, I took the wrong path and ended up going straight up rather than on a daigonal.  Whoops.  As I said, schoolgirl errors all round.


Too tired for many pics of the ascent but here we are just below the Edge and almost back at the car.  Majestic eh?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Still got some snow left...so....

In honour of the strange and changeable weather we have been experiencing recently I thought I'd post my latest snow pics.  I took these last Wednesday in a blizzard of wet slushy snow.  Well, wet and slushy here in the village but 10 inches deep and drifting up on the tops!

I worked from home and stuck it out until lunchtime before venturing out to go and buy milk.  Yes, it was so bad that I managed without a cup of tea until lunchtime!!

Peri - I tried to go without boots but, as you can see, it was too cold and wet.....boooo! 



Boots safely affixed we set off.  The snow was driving into my eyes so it was not very pleasant.  But not a long walk to the shop so I can't whinge too much.



The dogs always find something to interest them.



And there is always something pretty to look at even in a grey little village like Bradwell.


Anyway, I'm sure you're all on the edge of your seats waiting to hear how I got on last night at WI??  No?  Well, you're going to hear about it anyway as I dropped 2 whole lbs!  Count them - 2!

I think the Tuesday evening run contributed to that loss but I wanted so much to post a total and keep the pressure on so think it was worth it even if it could be seen as "cheating".

So, only 3 lbs to go until my half stone reward. The thought of it it is really motivating me.  The first time ever that I have cared about a scheduled reward.   Which just goes to show that, even if you've been dieting for aeons like me, it is always worth trying new things or old things which might not have worked before.  If you feel yourself getting stale, rethink your strategy!

I played golf this morning and carried my clubs rather than using the big electric trolley.  I've always kind of fancied carrying, it's what the "cool" golfers do, but have been a bit concerned that it will tire me out and take away energy which I need for the golf itself.  I carried today as I was not 100% sure that my trolley battery had charged properly so thought I'd give it a go.  And it was great!  Liberating and not tiring at all.  In fact I feel less weary today than I usually do.  Who knew?

We had a proper "four seasons in one day" round with warm sunshine, fresh breezes, gentle rain, freezing, driving hail and rain and grey mist alternating all morning but my 'Barney' purple waterproofs once again aquitted themselves well and I even got a birdie in the middle of the hail storm!

I played in a pairs comp with a another woman of around my age (believe me, we are a rare breed in the golf club world).  She is fun and lovely and we played pretty well together after a slow start, which is good as we're signed up for the pairs knockout together all summer! She's a good golfer too - plays off 6 compared to my 18 so hopefully I'll pick up some tips.

So, wish me luck for next week.  There is no away game with accompanying day on the beer this weekend.  Well, there is but we are not, amazingly, going to Colchester but instead are staying at home and doing the garden!  What a breakthrough.  So, hopefully diet-wise I might make some progress.

Easter Review

We had a packed programe of events for the Easter weekend as you would expect and it was lovely. Knowing what was to come, though, we started with a "nothing" day on Friday. A lovely long lie-in, pancakes for breakfast (not SW compliant but I didn't have anything else in the house!) followed by a long, cold walk in the afternoon.


You'd think I never go for a walk as I made so many schoolgirl errors in the planning, or lack of it, of this one! Firstly, 3 measly pancakes do not provide sufficient fuel for a long, cold walk! We were starving by the time we got about halfway round!! Secondly, I parked at the TOP of a massive hill. Stupid woman. So we walked along Curbar Edge, down the big hill to Baslow, along the river to Froggatt and then, when we were chilled through, had achy legs and were tired and hungry, we had to tackle the massive and very steep hill back to the car. As I said, schoolgirl!


But it was great to be out for a few hours blowing the cobwebs away and watching the dogs pootling around the rocks, fields, heather moortop, river and woodland. My photos are not great as it was pretty dark and murky but at least we didn't get wet.


Saturday was another marathon but of a different sort. We went to the away game against Huddersfield which entailed meeting up in the pub by 10 for a lunchtime kick-off. I really tried to limit my beer intake, honest, missing out rounds and throwing in the odd diet coke but even so, the tally was too high at 3 pints and a bottle of lager. And the food was woeful too. I made a big breakfast before we went in the hope that this would stop me eating junk. Well, it did but we were ravenous by late afternoon and the choice was very limited - so a cheeseburger it was. And then someone sent round free chips!! Aaaargh.


I must try to learn from this. I did save up as many syns as I could prior to the day out so I suppose the beer was countable and not too fatal. I should NOT have had the extra, impulse bottle at the ground though. And I will take sandwiches or something to eat on the coach next time - at least this will keep me away from the rubbish burger/pie/chips option which I don't even like!


But, I'm not going to beat myself up as it was a cracking day out! Huddersfield are not only local, Yorkshire rivals but also only one place behind us in the table. They are, like us, still in the hunt for automatic promotion behind our other rivals, Sheffield United. So we had a massive boost following a 2-nil victory and played extremely well. Bliss. I think the battle is now just realistically between us and United but, unfortunately for us, United will keep on winning as well - it's most inconvenient!!


Sunday was a cool breezy and slightly drizzley day so golf it was! I played a social round with my golf buddy Nigel while Rich went up to his club for a competition. I got right back on track diet wise which I was pleased about. I nearly weakened and opened a bottle of wine to go with the Sunday roast but Rich helped keep me on the straight and narrow. So, full of fresh air after golf and dog walking and Sunday dinner, we settled down in front of the fire and TV for yet another marathon, this time watching the final round of the Masters at Augusta. What a competition! So many twists and turns and brilliant golf. Perfect.


And that just leaves Monday. More football watching. This time we were at home so not (quite) as much beer and healthier food. My pal Kerry turned up and we had a great laugh. And the football wasn't bad either. They didn't play well in the first half but still managed a 3-nil victory. Happy smiles all round.


And now I'm going to come back down to earth with a bump. Weigh-in tonight! What sadist planned that then? I will be lucky to scrape any sort of loss but am ever hopeful!


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Snowing! (and WI news)

I know everyone is saying the same thing but this is bizarre!  Last week I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt while playing golf in the sunshine and even picking up a bit of of a tan.  Today it is chucking it down with snow.  We have a couple of inches of fluffy, settled snow and lots more blasting out of the sky on the gale force winds.  Who knows what it is like at the top of the hill?? If it slows down this afternoon I'll head up there for a look and let you know.

At the moment though, I'm working from home (yes, I see the irony but I'm having my breakfast...).  What a boon - no getting up, dressing in inappropriate clothes and crawling to work on dangerous, slippery roads, worrying about it getting worse and how I'm going to get home.  I just get up, sling something warm on and wander next door to my laptop.  Bliss.

Anyway, this was meant to be a quick update post regarding my weigh-in last night.  It was slightly disappointing in that I only dropped 0.5lb.  However, I went, I lost, I stayed to class and I emerged re-motivated once more.  I also suspect TOTM issues as I still feel very bloated.

The class was quite full and somewhat annoying slow which prompted me to (discreetly) pull out my SW book and leaf through.  What a revelation (for a slow bear like myself)!  I need to do more of that!  I realised how far I have strayed from the actual SW plan.  How daft am I?  Thinking that just saying that I'm following the plan, being "good" in a vague way of turning down some food and drink and turning up to WI once a week means that I'm really doing the diet.  Erm, not so much...

So today I'm re-focussing on the actual SW plan.  Counting again and checking the book.  I also had a chat with Rich last night about the amount of socialising we're doing.  We've been spending too much for one thing but it also makes it harder to stay strong diet-wise.  He agreed so we're going to cut back a bit and keep an eye on social plans from both perspectives.  For example, we're going away to the Huddersfield game on Saturday and, instead of getting to the pub at crack of dawn and having 4 or 5 rounds (which would have cost a fair bit and also caused me major issues of temptation and empty calories) we are going to go later for a couple of rounds, I'll drive and won't feel deprived because we're only having a couple of rounds.  Simples.

So, I'd better get back to the grindstone.  Enjoy the snow if possible.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Trying, really trying....

 Time fo another run!! Some photos from my big run on Sunday afternoon.  I started out along the river route which I covered a few weeks ago so I'll start part way through at the point I turned off last time.  This time I carried on along the river going towards Hathersage.


 It was a coolish day , sunny but with a fresh breeze.  Perfect for running.



Crossing the stream over a little bridge - the dogs have to wait for slowcoach to let them through....



The wild garlic is coming up on the riverbank but hasn't blossomed yet.  It's usually lovely there.



I stopped to give the dogs a swim and spotted a weird tiny little pink plant.  I had no idea what it was so took a picture so that someone here might identify it.


Then  a few metres later I saw a bigger one and realised that it must be Gunnera...




I covet this house....


A self-timer picture of me and the girls about to start up another big hill!


I managed to run this far but was running out of puff by now (having been going almost solidly for over an hour).  This is the gorgeous view looking back towards Hathersage and Stanage Edge beyond.


We turned into field with sheep so I dutifully put the dogs onto the lead only to discover that it was a field of grouchy rams (or tups as they're known round here) banished while the ladies do the hard work of lambing.  The dogs ignored them (as they do all sheep) and they glared balefully at us...


Then into a (very steep) wooded hillside.  This is not a well-known valley in this area so was peaceful and deserted.  Magical.



Then we emerge near the top of the hill.  Wow!


I covet this Hall....(so does Minty by the look of it...).


Now we're back round to the Bamford side with views of Win Hill and Bamford Edge (as usual!)


And pretty daffs.


Then we're finish up in the hamlet of Shatton, stopping to let the dogs have a drink at the ford.


Anyway, back to more usual fayre:
 
I KNOW there is a serious school of thought which says I shouldn't weigh myself every day. But I've tried NOT weighing daily and I tend to drift off and lose a week here and there doing that. On balance weighing daily is, for me, the lesser of 2 evils. The trouble is, it is darned frustrating (note the ironic "darned" there!). I have a good couple of days food and exercise wise and duly see a drop on the scales - yay - the plan works, let's just stick at it and all will be well! Then, unfathomably, the scale jumps up, not by 1lb but 3, then drops again, then jumps. I truly don't know where the hell I am this week and, despite sticking to my guns, am not feeling the love for this evening's weigh in.


It is probably TOTM issues but I FEEL fat today despite having been restrained . C'mon the scales.....


In other news, it was a nice but underwhelming weekend. I had 2 house viewings on Saturday morning, one of which might be promising so get some fingers and toes crossed peeps! They caused me to miss out on a couple of pints of beer before the game too so a little less temptation there too.


The match itself was just awful. Preston came to stop us playing and the referee joined in for fun too so the first half was the most dreadful display of stop/start rubbish. Aaaargh. The second half was slightly better, more open and my team could get the ball down and play some football for, ooh, whole minutes at a time... We eventually won 2-nil but so did our nearest rival, Sheffield United so we're still in the same position - third, when we need to be second! It's looking like the play-offs for us this year which is going to be torment. Torment I tells ya....


Saturday night was a 40th Birthday party in a local pub and much fun. I had a glass of red and then decided that I was quite happy not to drink any more and to drive home. Go me. I spent the rest of the evening happily suppling down diet coke and felt great when I sprang out of bed on Sunday morning....which is more than can be said for Richard!! And he had to play golf at 9am....tee hee.


That left me with a spare morning and no plans to fill it. This is very rare for me but quite pleasant. I had been planning a run first thing but my chimp stepped in and whittled away until I no longer fancied it. Cue much internal chimp-management while doing chores round the house. Eventually I was sucessful. I decided to "go for a walk" but wearing my running gear and taking only my little camera. I then modified this to running for at least 20 minutes along the flat bit of the river and then walking for the rest of the route. Of course, once I got going, I was enjoying the running in the fresh, crispt sunshine. I ran for well over an hour and only stopped when the hill got too steep. Even once I had walked up the steep bits, I ran again when the route flattened out. The dogs loved it it of course and we were out for over 2 hours so not a bad job all in all. If I had said to my chimp - right we're going out for a 90 minute run and hilly walk, get your kit on! - she would have freaked out. But, because I eased her into it, said we only had to run for a short while on the flat and would walk the rest of the way, she was fine, loved it even and then didn't once think about stopping once we had got going. She's weird that chimp of mine!


Then yesterday was working from home and personal training - very hard on my sore post-run legs and dancing in the evening. This all sounds very virtuous....I'm starting to feel hopeful for tonight now - stop it Lesley - what will be, will be....


Wish me luck everyone, I need it this week!!