Midsummer evening

Midsummer evening

Monday, 23 December 2013

Just about sorted

If by "sorted" I mean we have a house whose downstairs is not disgusting and whose upstairs doesn't quite make me weep! We spent 5 days desperately painting and cleaning then we moved in on Thursday and filled most of our clean magnolia'ed rooms with boxes....aaaaargh!!

We have so much stuff. There is much more ebaying to come. I didn't want to be too ruthless until I knew what the new house would need.  Now I know, it needs more space!!

We (along with Rich's dad and a couple of pals) have painted the kitchen (now officially the nicest room in the house), the dining room, living room, bathroom and hallway and put up curtains, shower screen and installed freesat until Sky moves over soon. It feels almost like a home although I still haven't lost the feeling that I'm camping in my own home. But we're getting there. Everything takes so long though doesn't it?  You want to do a simple task but it invariably entails locating a box (usually at the bottom of a pile) or buying a fitting thingummy from the hardware store (thank God there is one in the village!).

Dieting is not on the agenda but I stepped on the scales a day or so ago and saw a couple of lbs off so, while it is not great, the hard work is at least keeping the festive spread at bay. Exercise you say?? What's that? Unless it is lugging boxes, painting, shifting furniture, cleaning, mopping, hoovering or walking the poor, neglected dogs, it doesn't exist! January.....I will look up the meaning of this "exercise" you speak of (and perhaps even DO some) in January. What a tired old cliche....sigh.....

I am LOVING the new house though, well, the concept of it anyway. I know Rich and I will be happy there. I can't believe how unstressy and happy the whole move has been. We are exhausted but strangely enjoying the time together and not a cross word or snap has been heard (even when things are dropped, lost, broken etc). Just lots of kisses, cuddles and laughter. Joy joy joy...

I am checking blogs when I can and will have wifi soon. So, in the meantime....HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you all. Have a wonderful time. L xxx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Still standing, just

It's been radio silence for a while now. Mostly because life is very hectic. But there is good news to report......drum roll......after 6 and a half months, we have finally exchanged contracts on the house!!! We complete this Friday and then take the following week to clean and decorate before moving in on the 19th December. So, not a busy time at all....

The seller was disorganised about finding somewhere to move to but, to be fair to her, local landlords were a pain in the ass.  Eventually she got it together just in time for Christmas (and just before our mortgage offer expired!!).

So, my diet hasn't really stood a chance. I remain stubbornly clinging onto that solitary lb off. Which actually represents control over my weight in trying times. I just wish I wasn't controlling it at this heavy point but somewhere south on the scale.

Worse, though, is the fact that  exercise has dropped off a cliff. Missing personal training, dancing, no running for 5 weeks.....eeek. To this end, I VOW that I'm going to go for a run this lunchtime.

My train is arriving now so I will leave it at that!! But I feel better for making that pledge. Wish me luck peeps!!


But, just before I go, here are a couple of pics of my naughty hounds who both rolled in something foul and had to be showered. Typically, this happened just before we were going out to Rich's captain's dinner at the golf club last weekend.  grrrrr

I was not sympathetic to their complaints....

Monday, 25 November 2013

Courage

I screwed up my courage and stepped on the scales this morning. You know, knowledge is power and all that. It was, mercifully, as I felt, just the 1lb on. This is manageable.

I originally planned a fast day today then changed my mind but am now reconsidering. My breakfast was fast-friendly apart from the banana so think I will limit my intake today after all and then Wednesday (maybe Thursday if I bottle out of fasting while working from home on Wednesday!).

If I could see a 'real' drop by Friday's WI, it would be most motivating. Just a teeny lb would be good!!

Below is a snap of the sunset looking towards Gibraltor. I took much better ones on my proper camera but this is handy on my phone for now.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Back home blues

I haven't dared to step on the scales yet. While my clothes don't feel particularly tight, I can't believe that I have got away scot free so I might wait until after my first fast day tomorrow!! We ate and drank well but were also very busy and active and missed several meals due to rushing about. We don't tend to snack either so I'm hopeful that I haven't done much damage.

The dogs were extremely pleased to have us home even though Rich's mum would have looked after them well in our absence. It was not a great week to pick to go away as it happens as Rich's sister Jo went into hospital just before we left to have her baby born tiny and 4 weeks early. She, Paige Georgia, was not gaining enough weight in the womb so they whipped her out early. She is fine now but still small and still in hospital for another week at least. It was a tough week for everyone by the sounds of it and we missed the lot!!

Since our return we have been totally depressed and demoralised at the football yesterday and spent this morning moving Rich's mum into her new flat. So, it's been all go and no time to focus on what I'm eating. However, we're about to go shopping now so I can make sure that I'm properly stocked and have no room for excuses.....AT ALL!!

Wish me luck....after a week of paella, pasta, gambas pil pil, steak, bread, olives, wine and San Miguel, work and fasting is going to SUCK!!

The photos below are from Cala Nova GC. We played quite early hence the sunrise and it was a stunning course up in the mountains. We joined up with a mad frenchman so I got to chatter in french as well as play golf. Can't be bad.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Golfing in the sunshine

The journey over to Spain yesterday was pretty tiring. It all went to plan but you forget how tiring airports and car hire and driving on the wrong side of the road in unfamiliar (and almost totally unsignposted) areas is. 

But I'm NOT complaining, believe me. We did a lot of getting our bearings yesterday but still had a lovely meal out and saw a stunning sunset.

Today has been all about golf. We had a great round on our 'local' course. It was not the best course I've ever played but a long way from the worst too. 

It was gorgeous being out in the sunshine wearing short sleeved shirts. Not baking hot but pleasant. Heavenly really. I was loving the bird life too. we saw hawks, kestrels, bluejays and, thrillingly for me, hoopoes. I haven't seen hoopoes since we went to Botswana years ago and before that they take me back to my childhood in Nigeria.

So, all in all, it was a lovely (and healthy) day. We're off for supper now, totally ravenous...whoops....

Friday, 15 November 2013

Holiday

God, I'm knackered. We are well out of practise at getting ready to go away given that it has been so long since we had a proper holiday. We have been making very heavy weather of it.

The last couple of days at work are always a nightmare trying to get everything finished. And there's always the people who come round with the "I know you're really busy getting ready for your holidays but could you just.....". This sort of request makes me want to punch the requester in the face but I usually restrain myself...

Surprisingly I managed to do everything I set out to do by 4pm (a rare day indeed) then had to traipse into town to do some very dull Post Office based chores for my brother over in Malaysia. Grrrr. I was totally shattered when I got home and had to start with the ironing, sorting and packing.

We're leaving at 3am too so it really is bed time! However, I just have time to report in my midweek WI. My pal Jenny wanted to switch from Monday to Friday WIs which suits me with this holiday. So I agreed and dutifully weighed in only to find out that Jen forgot! Anyway, 2lbs off so my challenge is to hold onto that drop while we're away. Which is quite a challenge....

Hasta la vista amigas!!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Emotional eating

Thanks for all the lovely comments, I feel like a princess!!

But now back to reality. I don't think that emotional eating is normally my particular problem. I eat too much, drink too much out of habit and desire but I don't think that I'm generally eating too much to suppress unwanted emotions. But I had a nasty brush with it yesterday.

I was over at my parents looking after my ma while my pa went down to my sister's and then into London to see my nephew perform in a massive youth concert in the Albert Hall. Dad has been to this concert several times in the past to see various nieces so he wanted to tick off the full set. And he loved it do it was well worth the effort involved.

I worked from home on Tuesday with mum chirruping away in the background. It was nice (although frustrating at times). We went for a short walk together and read magazines together. Then yesterday the arrangement was for to put her in respite care as my Dad was going to be late home. This was also an opportunity for me to see the home and for mum to get used to going in as Dad will need more respite in time.

I took her in, filled in the various forms then sat with her for a while and gave her her pills. We chatted and read some magazines and then I left her. As soon as I got into the car I cried like a baby. There was nothing wrong with the place; the people were nice, it seemed clean and bright and there was plenty going on. Mum seemed bright and happy enough. I can even see that the stimulation might be good for her.

But, despite all that, it was heart breaking. She was so sweet and quietly happy and accepting of so little. No one there knew the woman she used to be (not even her). And that just broke my heart. I feel bad for all the times I've been short with her and taken her for granted but it's too late for that now.

This horrendous process of grieving for someone while they're still there continues. And it's not all bad. I can still cuddle her, see her sweet smile and flash of humour. So that will just have to be enough.

I'm better today but yesterday I felt myself eating to forget. Mostly comforting carbs of course. I did go for a run but only because I was already wearing the gear and it was sunny and the dogs needed a stretch.

I'm on a fast day today so I hope this will undo yesterday's excesses. And holiday next week. Hallelujah!!

Monday, 11 November 2013

One week in and no change

Whoops. I may have fasted valiantly for 2 days (and at one point observed a 4 lb drop on the scales) but those 2 days were no match for the carnage of a big weekend with the boys!

Friday evening our favourite punk band were playing in our local. We usually see them in Sheffield but we took our landlord a few months ago and he liked them so much he booked them. It was a bit nervy really as you never know how a band will go down in a new pub but we shouldn't have worried as it was a storming night! Everyone jumpibg up and down nearly all the way through. I started trying to be good with 3 or 4 rum and diet cokes but that got too sweet and I ended up switching onto beer.

We were up supping an ever more random selection til 4.30am. Whoops. This was followed by an early dash for the train to Sheffield for a big day out at the Derby away game. What a great day but: cooked breakfast, lots more beer, pukka pie for lunch, switch to red wine on our return to Sheffield and finish off with a curry. Double whoops!!

So, a STS is really quite a good result after that debacle. I'm on a fast day today and I'm pretty hungry to be honest. My big bowl of veggie soup for lunch has filled me up but not assuaged my hunger. Hmmmmm

I'm sticking to it though. Go me!!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

5:2 Update

After my recent technological whining I thought I reflect on how I'm getting on with this new look regime. Yesterday, a non-fast day started brilliantly while I was at work but deteriorated somewhat through the evening. I know that you're meant to have some leeway on non fasting days but I don't think you're meant to take that as carte blanche to scoff at will.  I didn't really scoff but I did indulge in a few extras like raisins, some toast, a couple of pears and a hot chocolate.  Hmmm.  Must try harder.

Today has not been tooo bad.  I would've liked to have cracked on with my second fast day but I was golfing (and we're off to see Micky Flanagan this evening too) so I thought better of it. Now I will have to do it tomorrow which is not ideal. I have french straight after work which might be a strain and then darts and dominoes at night so I'll have to stay dry and resist the treats. Booooo

Wish me luck for tomorrow peeps!!

Snarling with frustration

You know how at certain times of the month everything winds you up and the term 'hair trigger' makes perfect sense?? Well, today is one of those days. So, perhaps not the best day to try something new on Blogger. That last, rather disjointed and inelegant post with 3 paltry photos almost killed me.  Trying to tap it out on my phone was incredibly frustrating. The cursor  went missing and Just. Would. Not. Cooperate. for minutes at a time.  Editing or correcting typos was nigh on impossible.  I was almost weeping and came as close as I have ever been to smashing an inanimate object.

It then occurred to me that it was the photos buggering everything up.  So this post is by way of a sanity restoring experiment. Will it work if I type the post first and then add the pretty pictures?  Who knows but this has been painless so far.

Fingers crossed!

You didn't cross them did you?! Now I can't upload photos. The Google + app which I spent so long installing does nothing and the manual one at a time method which worked fine yesterday is mysteriously not working today.

I. Hate. Blogger.

That is all.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

First fasting day.....and first pictures from my phone!!


It was my first  fasting day yesterday and it went well.  To be honest, I'd say my calorie intake was nearer 700 than 500 but I don't feel too bad about that as it was my first attempt and I went for a run along the canal towpath at lunchtime and to dancing in the evening. I ate as extras half a cold sausage and a cereal bar before dancing but, if not for those, my intake would've been stellar. I managed to say no to a Magnum Mini AND not feel hard done by when Rich ate his (having had to be reassured repeatedly that it was okay!).


As you can see, it was a glorious day so I was genuinely looking forward to getting out running. I didnt feel at all bothered by having less food in my system so figure that I must have sufficient reserves (which is no great surprise).  It is helpful to reminded that being a bit hungry is not the end of the world.


Why is everything so difficult?? All I wanted to do was to upload photos from my phone onto the blog. This has necessitated registering for Google + (as it turned out, needlessly) and numerous failed attempts.  However, I seem to have managed it now, somewhat clumsily, so I can introduce my personal cygnets to you. Tadaaaa

They were on their own so maybe their parents have lefthem to fend for themselves now. I will report how they get on after my next few runs. (See how optimistic I am!!)







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Sunday, 3 November 2013

New plan

The damn laptop has stopped working again. I really need to get it sorted properly but it's one of those jobs which seems difficult to pin down. Grrr

Anyway, I met my pal Jenny for lunch today in Hayfield. It was a foul day until around 2 so the planned walk was dropped. We were discussing diets over lunch (as you do) and inevitably the 5:2 diet came up. I've been resisting it but now so many pals have had success with it, I'm going to give it a go.  We have set ourelves a 6 week pre-Christmas challenge starting tomorrow. Watch this space!!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Pretty pictures for a stormy night

Actually, now I come to look at these photos, the weather was very similar to today's.  I walked through this big field this morning and it was grey, glowering and blustery.  The dogs were loving it - the wind sets Minty off into a frenzy of barking, and pouncing on poor, long-suffering Shelagh.

This is my pal Nicola enjoying the views and the hills.  Rather different to her home near London.  She'e recently taken up triathlon as a hobby (nutter) so the hills were a breeze.  I had to puff a bit to keep up with her long legs (she's 6 ft!).





The sun peeked out  towards the end.


Shelagh didn't bother looking - too busy sticking her head deep into the undergrowth looking for God knows what.


Two grumpy rams (they call them tups round here) glared at us - especially Minty who chose their field to run into having a last look for long-departed swallows.  Sigh.

I got her back and gave her a good talking to about unauthorised entries into sheep fields!



We've had a lovely quiet weekend.  Rich has worked both mornings which is a shame but it's been nice taking it easy and catching up on chores and telly programmes.  I went for a good long run yesterday morning and took the dogs for a decent blustery walk this morning so exercise not too bad and food fine too.  No damage done but I doubt I'll see a drop tomorrow.

Now, we're just waiting to see who is going to be leaving Strictly before I head out to the quiz.  I could live without seeing Dave Myers back next week to be honest - fear he has nothing more to add and his dancing freaks me out it is so bad!!

I've cracked it!!

Clearly not the dropping lbs I'm afraid.  But I've been within the same 3 lbs for the last 3 months.  That must count for something?? 

As you can tell from my somewhat sardonic tone, I'm not exactly thrilled with this latest development.  How is it that I was able in September last year, to start a regime and just drop a stone over the next few months, without any great effort??  Yet this year, I'm doing the same and staying the same.

The answer of course is that this year I'm NOT doing the same and thus I'm staying the same.

As we all know (yet I try to forget from time to time), you cannot drop weight without cutting actual food out of your diet and without doing actual exercise (in my case).  So, while I'm doing a reasonable amount of exercise (I wouldn't say I'm doing lots to be honest, just a steady amount), I'm not cutting out a great deal.  Enough to stop me gaining and even to drop for a few days each week, but not enough to see me shrink.

This was put into sharp relief last weekend when I had lovely visitors to stay.  Peridot and Seren came up and down respectively for the weekend and we had a lovely time.  (I'll get onto that later.)  I noticed that Seren was what I call "actively" dieting.  Eating what she'd budgeted for, not having the little extra treats that Peri and I enjoyed (not massive excesses of anything) and generally eating like a sparrow.  While not going on about it at all (kudos - I tend to talk of nothing else when I'm in the midst of true dieting zeal) she stuck to her guns with grace and seeming acceptance.

And then I read that she has dropped a stone in 4 weeks!!  Aaaah - pennies tumbling around me - maybe THAT is what I should be doing??!

It's just ridiculous isn't it?  How many years have I been treading these same boards?  With a great deal of success overall too.  But I still don't want to believe that you have to say "no, thanks" in order to drop weight.

So, on that note, I'm going to stop avoiding exercising, stop blogging for now and take the dogs out up a hill somewhere.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Swans

I went running again this lunchtime.  That's the third run this week - get me!  I'd say it was my best run for ages.  I kept up a decent pace and didn't get distracted by taking photos or picking blackberries.  Slowly I can feel my fitness returning and the pleasure of running (yes, really) made a brief but definite appearance.

There is one downside to this running lark though.  You know how soft-hearted I am about animals and wildlife??  Well there has been a family of swans hanging round "my" stretch of canal this last couple of weeks.  Mum, Dad and 2 kids, erm, signets.  I'm starting to look out for them and feel proprietory towards them.  In a grim place like an industrial canal running through Rotherham this could be a heart-breaking development.

I've started noticing (even more than usual) the horrific levels of rubbish in and around the canal and the towpath.  It's hard not to see it when you're watching a family of swans chugging through the weeds and algae alongside a sinking armchair and numerous floating bottles and cans.  Then I started to think about those awful, heartrending photos lodged in my brain of birds trapped in plastic can holders (you know, the tough plastic rings in sets of 4 holding your cans of Skol together). 

I know I can't pick up all the rubbish I pass as I run - my runs would not last very long although I suppose dragging the hundred weight of cans and other trash would be exercise of sorts.  But what I can do is pick up every plastic can holder I see.  In the hope that "my" swans don't end up trapped in one on my patch.  So that's what I do now.  I feel a bit daft by the end, clutching a handful of plastic but it's worth it - 4 on Tuesday (I only started looking halfway back) and 7 today.

The other downside of this enhanced awareness of litter is the suspicious looks I'm giving to (possibly) innocent passers by.  Where I would normally puff out a friendly "hello", I now find myself glaring at anyone carrying a can or other item of food.  I'm assuming that they're going to drop it when they finish it.  To be fair, the evidecen would be on my side in this assumption but it is not fair on the occasional good sort.  I found myself glaring at one chap with a can and a bag and then, once I was well past him realised that he was actually picking up litter today.  Whooops!  I hope he noticed the can holders and realised that I'm a kindred spirit.

I'm feeling the need to do more but am not sure what.  Not sure I have the personality to organise and litter pick or something major, head-above-the-parapet like that.  I'll probably fall back on that bastion of the English middle classes and "write a letter"!

In other news, we're not going to Cappadocia.  I'm gutted to be honest but Richard didn't have enough leave.  If we'd gone he would have had no leave left for when (note - WHEN) we move.  Cancelling my provisional reservation was tough as it is a place I'd really like to see and the trip really was a bargain.  We'll get there one day I hope.

The house move is frustrating too.  Everything is sorted apart from one issue.  The house our seller is going to move into needs electricity and there is a problem with the connection which requires the attention of British Gas.  This is not good - being at the mercy on British Gas is not a comfortable place to be in. It had better happen before Christmas tht is all I can say!!!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Gorgeous day

It is a stunning day in Rotherham today. I was working from home yesterday so was totally spoilt and could take the dogs out for a nice run at lunchtime. Today, stuck in the office, it is just frustrating looking at the sunlight lighting up the closed blinds and picturing how nice it is outside. That said, I have a date with the canal towpath in an hour so, once I get over the pain of running 2 days on the trot (stiff leg muscles), I WILL enjoy it.


Life is a bit overwhelming at the moment. Both home and work lives are full to the brim. My lists are ridiculous. I could spend all day adding new things to be done without ever starting on actually DOING anything. It is a bit scary to be honest.


And it's only going to get worse once we eventually have a date for our long-delayed house move. At the moment I'm dimly aware that I will have to sort out removals, switching bills, telephone, TV, addresses on everything and packing etc. As soon as the date is finalised those tasks will land on our heads like an avalanche. Eeeek.


I'm not helping myself though. In the midst of all this, a proper bargain of a holiday opportunity has appeared and I'm seriously tempted. I think it's because we have not been on holiday all year, just a few weekends here and there. Initially we didn't book a holiday because of Rich's captain's duties up at the golf course, then it was so that we could save some days to decorate the new house....ha....but now, as the year slips by, we both want to get away.


I'm fine, I still have loads of holidays to take before the end of the year so I could afford to take a week when we move as well as just over a week for this possible trip. Rich only has 9 days left though. So his new house decorating days would be limited. Hey ho - I can do what I can without him and I'm sure his Dad would give me a hand and then he'd have to do a shift over Christmas and at weekends now that the golf is drawing to a close. It'd be worth it I think.


I blame my sister. She offered us a cheap week in Spain that she couldn't use. This then fell away but left us both with the desire for a break. The current temptation is an amazing offer (from a golfing website) on a trip to Cappadocia and Antalya in Turkey. The scenery looks amazing and it is somewhere I've long wanted to visit. Just to stoke the fires, I rpicked up a detective story by chance recently which was set in the very region and that has just made it worse. I suspect our fellow holidaymakers might be somewhat geriatric but hey, for a last minute trip it could be just what we're after.


So, item number 52 on my list is now trying to find a decent week for this trip, which won't clash with our house move (ha), isn't booked up and which doesn't involve missing too much football.


Sigh.


Update - I just telephoned the company to find out about availablility and, despite there being literally dozens of dates listed from 6 different airports, there is only one possible date available and that is in a couple of weeks time! Typical. I've reserved it and now will have to see what Richard thinks.






Monday, 7 October 2013

Hello again!

My laptop is  very temperamental - working one day, notsomuch the day after.  But today it has relented and  allowed me in.  The first thing I did was to back up all my photos.  I have had the hard drive ready to do that sensible task for many months but it was only the proposect of losing them all which finally goaded me into saving them.  Done now so, phew!!

We had a wonderful weekend.  My tall pal Nicola came up from London on Friday afternoon for a packed programme of events.  We worked out we hadn't seen each other for about 3 years!  It's amazing how time flies by.  It was so nice to catch up again and we both promised not to let so long pass before we get together again.   Shelagh and Minty will be nagging me to invite her up again soon as they really took to her.  Climbing onto her lap and begging shamelessly.  She lapped it up as only  a true frustrated dog lover could.

So, a quiet night in on Friday eating, drinking wine and chatting.  Then a good long dog walk on Saturday morning before heading into Sheffield for the pub and then the football.  We met up with mutual friends Jim and Kerry in the pub as well as the usual football gang.  The match wasn't bad, but not good either.  Yet another draw.  That's our 6th and no win yet this season.   I don't think Jim or Nicola were particularly impressed and they certainly haven't missed the last few years without that!

Saturday evening was a bigger night out with Jim's partner Kate and Kerry's partner Rolie joining us for a smart meal in town.  It was great although somewhat frustrating to be honest.  Too many of us to really catch up properly.  Still, when you haven't seen people for a while you have to start somewhere.  Baby steps etc etc

Sunday was a lovely big cooked breakfast followed by another hilly walk in the glorious sunshine before saying good bye to Nicola.  As soon as she left Rich and I looked at each other and headed out onto the golf course to really take advantage of the blue skies and unseasonal warmth.  We met up with another couple so played 10 or so holes with them which was pleasant.  Good to be sociable and play with another couple as I'm used to being one of the boys!

It all finished off with the first match in the winter quiz league.  It was an away fixture in my new local pub.  A resounding victory 70-57!  70 always a good score so we were all chuffed with ourselves.

Too much booze, food but plenty of exercise.  The diet started again this morning and I managed a run this lunchtime out of pure guilt and feeling-fatness too.  Getting there, albeit rather slowly.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Successes

I was reading “A Stone to Go” on www.notsohighbmi.blogspot.com and the writer was recounting a minor but significant success in buying scones and cakes with her children but not then going home and eating them mindlessly as she might once have done. She went on to say that it was a petty success but, petty or not, it hit a chord with me.
 
Any time you can turn away from a temptation and, more importantly, feel good about it is a good day. I did it the other day and even thought about blogging about it (and then didn’t – God, I’m a slacker these days!). I was in a petrol station on my way to my parents’ filling up and buying a coffee. On my way to the till I also picked up a mini pork pie and a bar of chocolate!! I stood for a few seconds and thought about why I had picked them up (habit – I’m in transit – it doesn’t count, etc etc) and what it would do to my otherwise good day so far then placed them back on the shelf.
 
My coffee tasted all the sweeter as did my lunch on arrival at Mum and Dad’s.
 
That brief action made it much easier the next time I found myself in a petrol station – then I only picked up one item but returned it to the shelf even faster. So, I’m making progress.
 
I’ve been lurching between 15.6 and 15.9 for the last several weeks, gaining then dropping the same 3 lbs. Yesterday, however, I feel as though I’m finally heading downwards and although yesterday morning I was back to 15.6 it was the first Monday in a long time that I have been at the bottom of that 3 lb swing. This morning I'd dropped down to 15.5. It is a start.
 
The trouble is we have a big weekend coming up. My erstwhile football buddies Jim and Nicola are in town. Not together – Jim with his partner hotelling in Sheffield and Nicola staying with us. We are going to the match on Saturday (the poor things!) and then out for a meal and drinks with Kerry and her chap. Judging by the restaurants we are discussing, it is not going to be an abstemious afternoon/evening. 
 
So, I must have an abstemious, exercise filled week in preparation.
 
The week started well with a hilly run on Sunday morning. I hadn’t bothered fixing up a round of golf so did some chores and then took the dogs out running. When I think about it, this was another minor but significant success! I had intended to go on the old railway track up to the dams and back but realised that this was my chimp chickening out and picking a flat route. Instead I made us take the hilly field route from my house which I used to run often. It was a struggle but not that bad and I managed the full route without walking except for gates and stiles. So hills are now back on the agenda.
 
I had personal training yesterday too which is usually on a Friday so maybe that helped as well. I noticed while I was training that my fitness levels have improved from their low a few weeks ago which was heartening but annoying also. Because I'm that little bit fitter, I can push myself more and do more reps. So I'm just as knackered after the hour has passed. I'm also planning a run tonight and have gone so far as to arrange meal times with Rich in advance so that there is no chance that I'll use "Oh, I've just eaten" as an excuse not to go out!! Ha! In your face chimp!!
 
If I get moving and motivated I can be back out of the 15s in a matter of weeks if I put my mind to it and this is my aim. I hate the 15s!!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

New beginnings

I have been plugging away at the diet and exercise and have succeeded in stopping the rot but not in reversing the trend. A year has passed since I started my last push and I am exactly where I was back then. So, by one interpretation, no harm has been done. But, by another.....how annoying is that??!


I choose to look at it as a positive. I'm no worse off. It is a year during which I have not gained weight and for large part of it was in control.


I must look back at what worked for me between September 2012 and February 2013 to work out how to get back moving in the right direction and then address what went wrong between February and August of this year to avoid falling into THAT beartrap again.


But, first things first, good habits. As ever I'm mindful of not trying to do everything at once and setting myself over-optimistic targets which I will not achive. Mini-targets are always the way for me:


  • Carbs - I am STILL eating too much bread and too many carbs. I will set as my carb target - no more than 1 breadcake (roll, bap, bun, etc etc) or 2 slices of bread each day. I have had this for lunch so no more bread for me today. I'm less bothered by pasta etc as this is generally part of my meal and not extra in the way that toast or cereal often is for me but I will work on portion control for non-bread carbs.
  • Booze. Too many pints. Last year I actually cut back; d'ya hear me Lesley - CUT BACK! No more casual bottles of beer, in fact no more booze until the weekend and even then A LOT LESS!!
  • Exercise. I'm already better at this. I have reinstated running, long walks and training so just need to keep the pressure on and ensure that these don't fall away when the weather worsens.
  • Cold showers, black coffees etc etc. Well, surprisingly, I never really stopped on those although the waiting for 3 hours to eat breakfast did fall away somewhat. I think it was just the whole package fell away leaving intermittent rather than actual observation of the regime. I am getting back to doing it properly and I'm sure I'll see the benefits soon. The main thing I need to work on is getting some early morning exercise in - a dog walk, home workout, anything first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Bleurgh....but it WILL happen.
  • Blogging. Accountability. Call it what you will, experience from the past tells me that I need it. So you're going to see a lot more of me round these parts....poor you.

In other news the house purchase is crawling along with many a setback but seems finally to be reaching a happy conclusion. IWe've received our mortgage offer so it is just a case of agreeing a completion date with the seller.  She is a bit of a pain but I think she is being mucked around somewhat by her prospective landlord  (ironically I think he's our CURRENT) landlord) who won't confirm the date she may have the house.  But he will eventually and then we will be able to exchange contracts with completion set for the beginning of November sometime. Cross those fingers and toes for us. I can't wait to get in and start decorating and homemaking. I hadn't realised how much living in a rented place (and one which is on the market at that) has stifled that side of me. I want to be building our future, not treading water.


I suspect it might be a tricky thing to get Richard into the whole domestic chores business as he's not owned a house before and his last place was a small flat with tiny "garden"....but hopefully I can cajole, nag and enthuse until I have full cooperation. I'm looking forward to making the place look like we want it to; knowing that it's worth hanging pictures as we won't have to be moving soon; choosing the colours we want rather than putting up with magnolia; planting the garden I want; saving up for furniture we want to live with forever, rather than putting up with the stuff we have for now. I'm sick of making do and temporary ease, putting our life on hold as we are doing at the moment. I'm sure that being in our house will make it more permanent.


I don't remember feeling this way about my last house, much as I liked it. Maybe easy come, easy go was a factor - I didn't appreciate how lucky I was to have such a nice place in the same way I do now? I enjoyed working on it and making it nice but I don't remember the pride I'm already anticipating when I think about the new house.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

London....6 weeks ago....sigh....

Well, my laptop is out of intensive care.  I don't think it's cured but at least it is showing some signs of life again.  Trouble is, after so long without it, I am out of the habit of blogging so it may take ME some time to get back to business as usual.  So, to get me back in the swing of things and to liven up all this unfamiliar word only posts, here are some photos from our long weekend in London at the beginning of August.

As you can see, we started at the Tower of London, then Westminster Abbey (which was closed by the time we got there) so we then walked along the south bank to St Pauls.  Gorgeous, gorgeous, historic and vibrant London.  (Sorry Isabelle, I know you have a personal grudge against the place...look away now!) 




So ancient and with meaning and significance oozing out of every cranny.


The White Tower. 



I find certain buildings repeating themselves in my albums endlessly - Tower Bridge, the London Eye and now a newcomer - The Shard. 



This chap was great.  Worth every penny....oh no, the tour was free!  He had to shout to be heard by well over a hundred followers and deal with 90% foreignness but he did it with grace, humour, opinionated political non-correctness and, at times, great poignancy.
 


One of the captive ravens of the Tower.  Poor clipped-wing chap, hopping along, taking one for the team to save the Tower.

 
See what I mean about my Repetitive Building Syndrome.
 



The Palace of Westminster. 
 


The sun came out and the sky was blue for our walk along the river.  I love it.  Those stunning, massive cityscapes in every direction mixing old and new and making you feel that  you are in the middle of Somewhere Important.





I fear photo fatigue may have set in....






Brutal indeed - the Tate Modern.



So, have a great week everyone and I'll be back to write some stuff soon if I can remember how!!