Thursday, 31 January 2013

Steps taken (but in what direction??)

Well, the resetting continues but without any major effect on the scales. I will continue to have faith.

The first of today's re-tunes comprised managing NOT to buy crap at the petrol station. I was thwarted by a non-functioning Pay at The Pump pump so had to go into the shop. There I thought I'd grab something for my late breakfast as I didn't have anything with me. I grabbed 2 pepperamis and then, at the last minute, a chicken and bacon sandwich. Luckily the till roll needed changing and, in the time spent waiting, I perused the nutritional informaiton - 557 calories for a rubbishy petrol station sandwich! I put it back and limited my late morning breakfast to the pepperamis and an orange.

I'm also PLANNING to re-tune back to my previous good behaviours at darts and dominoes this evening. When I started this regime back in September/October I was managing not to drink too much, too often and not to snack after darts and dominoes. Recently both of those achievements have been but distant memories. So, tonight, if I do drink, it must be spirit and diet mixers NOT wine or beer and NO pizza/chips/sarnies etc etc NONE...Nada...Niet...Rien....

Oooh, just thought of another actual retune! I was in town this lunchtime and went into Timpsons for a watch battery and new ID tags for the dogs (Minty has lost hers and Shelagh's is barely legible). He said it would be 30 minutes. So, what to do in town for 30 minutes?? Too far to walk there and back to the office. Done the rest of my planned chores. Coffee?? Coffee and cake?? Mmmmmm, caaaake....

No!! I brisk walked to Tesco and there bought the low fat stuff Rich needs for his cholesterol reducing diet which I can't buy in my local shops and then back to pick up my watch and tags. Much better behaviour. And did I miss the coffee and cake?? NO, to be honest. As I mentally bargained with myself and was heading down towards Tesco, I said, well, you can always have a Maccy D's cappucino after you've picked up your watch on the way back to the office. But when I had picked up the watch, it didn't even occur to me. Chimp duly managed.

God - this stuff is so boring! I can't believe there's anyone out there still reading it. Sorry. But it's helpful to me to keep it going and to keep striving so you'll just have to skip through the tedious mental bargaining and domestic minutiae in the hope that, eventually, I'll post some pretty pictrues of the dogs or something more diverting!

And now I've just thought of a not-so-good reset. Shortbread has wormed its way back into my intake. Why? I managed to avoid it all Christmas and now it's back. I bought a pack af ew days ago (right there at the till, reduced to 50p) although I've only had 2 pieces. And then a colleague brought a Christmas surplus tin in and I've just had another 2 pieces. Grrr

So today is a story of 2 (hopefully 3) steps forward and (at least) 1 step back! Ach well...not all bad then.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

More resetting

Why do you feel all "can't be arsed" one week and then motivated the next?? What IS it which causes the change from week to week? Why, when you're perfectly happy on a routine and dropping weight steadily, do you suddenly slacken off and start eating toast or, when you're enjoying the toast, suddenly start running again??

It's weird.

Still, in my long history on the dieting and exercise rollercoaster, this is the smoothest section of the ride I've think I've ever experienced. Fewer ups and fewer downs and the downs of a noticeably shorter duration thus creating an overall gentle climb towards my goal. (That analogy SO does not work! You can't have a negative "up" so overall you have to be climbing, but what roller-coaster CLIMBS to it's eventual end?)

Oh well, you'll be used to my weird similes and metaphors by now!

Anyway, I'm pleased to say, I seem to have regained my motivation (or at least ditched the "can't be arsed mentality") and have been resetting several behaviours over the last day or so. I'm back on my green teas in between meals (I still have a milky tea or coffee with the occasional meal). No snacking after supper and good solid plans for exercise today even though a lunchtime run has been thwarted by multiple meetings over the lunchtime period.

Yesterday, I turned the telly on while having my late breakfast to see "Areobics Oz Style" on Sky Sports 2. If you can avoid being transfixed by jealousy of the lithe, tanned Aussie beauties doing the exercises on a beach in some gorgeous Antipodean setting, it didn't look too bad. Quite steady and easy to follow and no equipment required. I couldn't do it there and then and it was halfway through anyway but I recorded an episode and thought that I could keep it in my Sky Plus box for tricky days. It is cheaper than a DVD (ie. free) and saves the hassle and frustration of picking an unsuitable DVD which I seem to have a particular knack for doing.

So, tonight I'm going to do a quick jog or trampette to warm up and then a Sunday Telegrph home workout with Sally Gunnell (I purchased some hand weights over the weekend) and then, on Wednesday when working from home, I can either go for a run or, if it's too slushy and rainy, do Aerobics Oz Style! It's all in the planning eh?

I'm also not frightened of getting on the scales any more. It was only a few days, but I did not like that desire to avoid which started to creep in. That has been the thin end of the wedge for me in the past. Now, I'm actively curious and there is no downside, whatever the scales say, it is all part of my process and I feel like I going somewhere.

Clotheswise, I've started wearing some work trousers which I stopped wearing well over a year ago. They are snug but not too tight which is pleasing. My previous work trousers were so baggy they were beginning to look like Clown trousers! Since I've been wearing the "new" pair, I have had several pleasingly complimentary comments and the big boss asked me if I had a hot lunch date and then added "It's not an interview is it!!?" Which I took as a compliment....I think....

I'm still several lbs away from most of my "new" kit and getting a little frustrated that it's taking so long to get into them....grrr I suppose the fact that my interest in clothes is re-awakening is, in itself, a good thing.

Righto - better get on - supper this evening is going to be white fish (feel too guilty about Haddock or Cod so Cobbler or Pollock it is) cooked in milk with poached eggs, peas, tomato and new potatoes (and maybe a slice of bread and butter to soak up the fishy milk!!). Sounds weird but it's truly delicious and quite virtuous. Were staying in as I think I'm going to see Les Miserables tomorrow with a pal. Never really fancied it but she's a fan and lots of other friends have raved so I thought I'd give it a go.

I should have posted this last night but got stuck into Silent Witness (or "Stunned Witless" as I think of it now that the plots have descended into fantasy).   I was good last night and have been resetting some more today....

I did Aerobics Oz Style as my morning POM (quite mild aerobically but a good abs routine) and then went for a lunchtime run as well.  Get me!  I also cut out the toast which had crept into my supposedly carb-free breakfast of bacon and eggs.  Yay!!  It is happening, now I just need some progress on the scales.  Pleeeease Dieting Gods.....

Monday, 28 January 2013

Press the Reset button

I'm not sure now what day my WI should be on.  It started out on Monday but has been on Tuesday for the last 2 weeks.  So, I'll give you my numbers this morning and then try again tomorrow just in case I can do any better.

But first, how have I got on this week?  As you know, I was somewhat suspicious about last week's miraculous foray into fresh fat, wondering whether that the 3.2 lbs off was too good to be true.  And I was right.  The very next day, a lb "popped" back on.  And that lb has stayed there ever since.  So, my number this morning was 14.5.6.

I also noticed that my maths are exceedingly poor as well.  In my last post, I said that 14.4.6 took me a total drop of 18 lbs.  Actually, it was only 17 lbs.  So now, I must confess that the true drop is just 16 lbs.

So, as of this morning, last week saw a gain of 1 lb but, to be fair, as the 14.4.6 was a brief abberation, it's not so bad.  It does mean, though, that I didn't drop any weight last week at all.  Sigh.

Ach well, I'm not too disheartened.  I'm still a lower weight than I was pre-Christmas and January IS a tough month to make progress, as many bloggers seems to be finding out.  I have been rather slack from time to time but, in between those times, I've also been quite good. 

I just need to RESET the dieting button and get back going again.  Take the good behaviours and do more of them and minimise the slack stuff.  Sounds simple eh?

The snow didn't help.  It stops you going running - you think you canbut it's almost impossible in thick snow with icy, gritty, slushy roads.  Besides, when it's so gloriously pretty and white, I would much rather go for a walk in the snow with my camera and the dogs than slog through the slush and ice without them.

The snow has for the most part gone so I forced myself out for a run first thing this morning.  (Pressing reset you see....).  It was icy and frozen but also intermittently muddy and flooded.  I picked my way through the muddy bits, managed not to twist my ankles on the frozen bits and was doing really well.  Right until I hit the frozen sheet of ice at the golf course.  I couldn't run up that so went to cross the track and run up the 18th hole instead.  I coudn't even cross the track though without losing my feet and landing with a massive bump on my ass and elbow. OWWW!!  The ass and hip seem to be fine (well padded see) but I'm going to have a massive bruise on my forearm/elbow.

I enjoyed the run though so will not complain (much). I'm also enjoying getting back to basics as well after a weekend of offpiste indulgence.  Not bad but not good either.

We went over to my parents' place to see the Olds, my aunt over from Dublin and my brother and his wife who are staying there while they pack up their house and move to Malaysia.  We might not see Graham and Hadi for a bit now so it was good to have a weekend with them before they head off.  Now we have to start saving up for flights to Kuala Lumpur to visit them!  Nice to have a goal eh?

This week should be a bit more normal - not so busy during the week and only one big night out planned for the weekend (Rich's pal Tom's 40th birthday bash in Sheffield).  So - pressure on, reset button depressed and dieting on full throttle.  Watch me go!!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Freeeeessh Faaaaat!!!

The pictures reflect my mood!!  Yes, it's THAT good!  And THAT surprised.  These were the last few pics from my big walk last Monday but not much has changed sinced then.  We now have even more snow and not quite as much sunshine although it is quite bright.  I haven't seen a sky this blue for ages though - can't beat it!
Check out the snow marbles on Shelagh!!  She is really funny - when they annoy her she hops over to me with a "poor me" look on her face and holds her little paw out for me to sort out.
The gorgeous village of Bradwell nestling in its valley, looking all cosy.

I went for a Tuesday weigh in this week as I've been all over the place this last week and had had a bit of a dodgy Sunday.  (Just call me coward...)  I was still scared though when I got on the scales, even though I've been quite good this week.  It has been a crazy week on the scales, a gain last week, then a midweek gain, then a drop, then back up again.   Think it must have been TOTM as, this morning saw a decent drop - 3.1 lbs! 
Some proper new numbers on the scales - 14.4.6!  That's a total drop in 16 weeks of 18 lbs (yes eagle-eyed readers, I got it wrong last week - it should have been Week 15!).  At last I'm on the move again. 
I'm chuffed but quite suspicious.  Because it has come out of nowhere I can't help think that tomorrow it's going to bounce back up.  However, my scales are very stern and do not give me options so I have no choice but to believe in them, and cross my fingers....
14.4.6 seems so much better than 14.6 or 14.7.  It is just that much closer to the 13's and fitting into those "new" jeans and trousers.  I'm tempted to try them on again but will hold out for another few weeks.  It is gratifying though that I've got moving again so my Six Weeks to OMG plan IS still operational (I was beginning to doubt it).  Phew, I'm not having those sodding cold showers every morning for nothing!! 
Hey, I did another one of those Sunday telegraph workouts last night.  I knew we weren't going to be going to dancing because of the snow and also couldn't go for a run for the same reason so after my hilly dogwalk thought I'd fit in a quick workout at home.  I picked out another Mark Foster set as he doesn't need a weighted bag like Sally Gunnell (although I will sort a bag out so I can do a Sally set next - it's all about being prepared).  God, it was EXHAUSTING! 
I had to do 4 sets each of the plank (for a minute!), flutter kicks on a chair (for 40 seconds), 20 leg raises from a chair and 12 hip circles.  It didn't look hard on paper but it really was.  Tough on the stomach and core muscles to the extent I was sweaty and groaning out loud at the end of each set.  I'm seriously impressed that a newspaper pullout can achieve such tough results.  I will definitely keep up with this little routine.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snow Day

We've had a lovely, lazy snowy Sunday.  Up late, nice breakfast, a few chores (moving my car down to the main road ready for tomorrow in case some more snow comes (although it's not looking likely at the moment)0.  Then Rich's niece came up after she finished work and, once we'd put the lamb shanks in the oven for supper, we headed out for a snowy walk.
As my camera is probably dead (it's currently with the insurer's inspector awaiting confirmation of its fate) it was up to April to snap our walk.  As she's obsessed with snowy dogs, that's what we've got most of!  Here, Minty observes Shelagh's snowy snuffling with puzzlement. 
Maybe it was the unfamiliar photographer but, with a little assistance from me, April managed to capture both of them! A miracle.

Cute eh?
And a shot of me in familiar pose.  Shame it's only my camera phone....I really miss my Canon Eos!
Richard throws snowballs for Shelagh.  Strange as it may seem, she chases them and then carries them off to be buried in a sea of snow!  Bizarre dog.
Can you see the snowball in Shelagh's mouth as she carries off her prize?
Then she has to run to catch us up after the elaborate burial ceremony.
We conducted a downhill race.  Minty won of course. 
We had a go at a family portrait but you try getting all 4 of us looking at the camera and smiling at the same time.  April didn't stand a chance.
And here's April with her uncle Rich!
Some snowy ponies as we got closer to the village.
Foodwise, not a bad day.  Supper was most tasty and healthily cooked braised lamb shanks with root vegetable mash and green beans.   Mmmmm  I couldhave killed for a pudding straight afterwards but now I'm pleasingly full so why did I want a sweet?  Habit I suppose.
There's no Sunday evening quiz tonight.  Ironically, this weekend was set aside to play any matches which had been cancelled due to bad weather.  We haven't actually had any cancelled games so far but tonight would not have been a good night for trekking over to Wigley about 15 miles away!  So, it has worked out nicely.  The fire is on and the dogs are curled up on either side of me keeping me snug. 
Now, as I lay snoozing before getting up this morning, I thought about a subject for a blog post other than my tedious battle against the bulge.  Can I remember it now??  No, I bloody can't.  It was good too, I tells ya.  I even planned out some paragraphs.  Hmmm, I swear I'm only 43 years of age.  I hope I'm not taking after my mother!! 
Ach well, it'll come back to me eventually and next time I'll write it down.    

Friday, 18 January 2013

Latvian Food

Well, it turns out that it was not necessarily Latvian.  The woman who is in the process of setting up the company and who is carrying out the marketing trials of her product lived in Latvia before coming to the UK with her son but she is actually of Russian and Ukrainian stock.  She was at pains to say that her product was not Latvian at all but had it roots in Russia and a bit from Ukraine.

She was very keen to ask our opinion about the product but even more than that, about how she should market it and pick our brains for apossible name for her brand.  Unfortunately, she was one of those people who has very pronounced views and although she listened, it was clear she wasn't really "listening".  We all thought that she should use the Eastern European heritage of the food as a USP so we asked what the little dumpling are called in Latvia/Ukraine/Russia.  She cam eup with various names and we thought they sounded fine.  But she said that her product is not "authentic" so wanted to give it a generic name like "pockets".  Hmm, I thought pockets makes it sound a bit Findus/Iceland cheap synthetic rather than a healthy, interesting and useful ethnic speciality.

Her product is essentially a cross between dim sum dumplings and ravioli/tortellini.  Thin pasta with fillings but more filling to pasta ratio than in ravioli or tortellini etc or dim sum.  They can be deep fried, boiled, steamed and cooked within various sauces.  She cooked a load up in a cheesy carbonara bake and it was heavenly.  They were extremely healthy in a thin broth too which you could "Chinese" up with spices and soy sauce or add chilli or herbs to your taste.  I thought they would make a very easy and filling bake in a tomato based veggie sauce with a sprinkling of cheese on top.  And they worked well in the buffet finger food zone too.  Extremely versatile.  I especially loved the )sadly deep friend potato pockets in the shape of mini pasties - mmmm - although these are probably the least versatile and least healthy of her entire range.....sigh.

I'm going to go back and buy a pack of the smoked chicken filled  pockets for the freezer as I reckon they would be v handy for those days when you haven't planned a meal or have forgotten to take anything out of the freezer.

So, that was fun and interesting.  I even had a couple of peach filled "pockets" with dulce de leche......mmmm (only a couple before you nag!!).

Right, today?  Not bad.  Despite the snow and icy wind, I managed 2 hilly 20/25 minute walks with the dogs and a decent (sweaty even) home workout.  I started with 18 minutes on the trampette (would have been 20 but Rich got back and I wasn't going to flail around in  front of the telly)!  Followed by my first go at the Sunday Telegraph's Get Fit in 28 Days routine with Sally Gunnell and Mark Foster.  I like having something telling me what to do rather than just making it up so thought I'd give it a go.  Very favourable.

Having completed the multiple choice pop quiz to establish my fitness level I found that I'm apparently in the Elite zone!!  Go me!!  Which meant I had to do the highest  numbers of reps.  I finished the first set of 4 exercises (sqauts, star jumps, knee raises and hip lifts) and thought "is that it?".  Then read it again and realised that I had to do 4 sets of those 4 exercises.  Well, I did it without trouble but I was sweaty and can feel it in my legs.  I certainly know I've had a workout.  I'm looking forward to Sally's exercises tomorrow or Sunday.  I am supposed to have a day's rest between sets so I suppose I'll follow the rules!

We're now hunkered down in front of he fire with a nice bottle of very tasty Spanish red.  It went very well with supper of paprika chicken with tomato, chorizo and butterbeans!  I love snowy days.  Hope you're all warm and safe and can enjoy the snow tomorrow.   

Thursday, 17 January 2013


Just a quick one to say that, happily, yesterday's rogue extra lb has disappeared so I'm Back, Baby!!

I'm back "in the zone" after last week's disconcerting foray away from it. I'm quite hungry thpugh so need to guard against the dangers that can bring. Today could be a tricky one. I am going to a Latvian Food Tasting Experience for my lunch. I have no clue if this will help or hinder!!  Then we have darts and dominoes this evening with the temptation of wine and goodies afterwards. I will not drink more than 1 glass and will resist the foodie stuff. It should be slightly easier than normal as wont be rushing to and back from french beforehand so will be able to have a proper meal.

Fingers crossed peeps. I reeaally want to eliminate last week's gain this week and get back into fresh fat next week!!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Smiley Faces

So, today has been another good day (apart from the bad news on the scales this morning that is).  I'm pretty confident that that bad news was a temporary blip so I'm not going to be too miserable about it.  I stuck to the plan all day and also went to personal training and sweated hard for an hour so I'm hopeful that it will start to turn around soon.
Food was a mid-morning breakfast of light cheese and ham quesadilla (tortilla wraps instead of bread to cut down on carbs).  Lunch was leftover veggie curry and boiled rice.  And supper was grilled pork chops with mustard mash and stir fry brussels sprouts with bacon and mushrooms.  A little fruit and only 2 milky teas all day, the rest either black or green.
I was going to weaken this evening and finally open one of he 3 (3!!) chocolate oranges hanging around since Christmas.  But thankfully Rich talked me out of it.  It didn't take much to be honest and now the chocs have now been put away!! 
Anyway, didn't do much else today apart from work, walking the dogs, haircut and training.  A nice day.
But no decent photos so I'll post a few more from  my snowy walk on Monday.  It was bit brighter than when we first set off and then got gradually brighter and brighter.  

See, it's getting sunnier already and the sun is peeking through.

A tiny bit of blue sky.

But that's all for now, you'll have to tune in to another post to see the sunny end of the walk.....

No news IS bad news!

Just a few snowy pics from our lunchtime walk on Monday.  It was very gloomy to start with but then the sun came out and it was glorious.  I don't have time for the gorgeous sunny photos yet but they will be posted soon.

I didn't weigh in on Monday morning. Partly out of sub-conscious lack of confidence in the likely outcome but mostly because I was faffing around debating whether or not to go into work or work from home given the weather forecast. It was passable first thing but giving heavy snow showers later. And I have to factor in the big hill and windswept moor between home and Sheffield. In the end I worked from home and saved myself the stress of slithering over the hills and battling through town.

The snow shower when it came WAS heavy - big, steady, fat flakes of snow pounding down and carpeting the world in 3 inches of fluffy white stuff. But it didn't hang around on the roads so I probably would have been alright. Better safe than sorry. In the midst of that, I had my black coffee while emailing various people at work about my decision and only afterwards thought about my WI!

So, I got on the scales yesterday morning instead. Oh dear. My first GAIN since I started the Six Weeks to OMG! diet. A solitary lb taking me back to 14.7.8. Grrr. I really am treading water now. I'm irritated with myself because I actually did BETTER over the Christmas and New Year period than I did last week and now it'll take another couple of weeks to get into fresh fat. It's not surprising though. I knew I was battling against myself all week and then, to top it off, had a big weekend out in Hull during which I was not in the mood AT ALL to exercise restraint.

Hey ho. I was very good yesterday foodwise and went for a good long walk in the snow with the doggies and I feel more motivated now so hopefully I have got last week's ennui and general rebelliousness out of my system and can knuckle back down again. It's only a lb.

I'm going to take each day as an individual challenge - so Monday gets a smiley face to start me off

Now, could I do the same yesterday? I was up early although got into work late (just found LOTS to do before I could leave for some reason) so had a relatively early breakfast this morning of a plain bacon sandwich (small roll and only 2 grilled rashers, not too bad). I had a tuna wrap and small salad for lunch and some fruit. Supper was risotto - too carby but not bad by any means.

This weekend has nothing major planned so there is every reason to be confident that I WILL get rid of that pesky lb (and more??) by next week. It CAN be done!!

Wednesday Update - I WAS good yesterday so have awarded myself another smiley face BUT the scales have been cruel this morning. Yet another lb "popped on". Grrrr I'm putting it down to hangover from the weekend or TOTM and soldiering on grimly. I've got personal training today so that should help.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Hull Times

We had a good trip over to Hull.  The much-heralded snow did not arrive so we didn't have to battle the roads.  Actually the motorways over that side of the country were amazingly clear and we had an easy run.

We found our hotel without pain and discovered it was just over the road from The Deep.  But, we hadn't planned on going there so didn't have time.  A shame, maybe next time?

Hull is one of those cities which gets a bad rep but is a lot better than you expect it to be.  A fairly grotty approach true (but loads of cities look terrible on the way in) but, once you get past that to the revamped Marina, there was much to admire. 

We didn't have a lot of time to look around so it was more about getting a flavour of the place really.  We walked from the hotel which was sited in the edge of centre in the old dock quarter.  Then through The Old Town and into the main shopping area.  Quite handsome civic buildings and, crucially to my mind, the smart new shopping and leisure developments are all IN the city centre.  So, instead of driving all the traffic and money to some soulless out of town shopping centre like Meadowhall, The Metro Centre, The Trafford Centre and Thurrock etc etc etc, you actually bring them IN to spend their money.  Genius....

Our pre-match quest was not shopping, however, but a pub which had been recommended to us.  A real ale place called the Wellington Inn.  It was unpromisingly sited but a cracking pub.  Low ceilings, LOTS of beer and cider choices all from small independent breweries.  A nice atmosphere with friendly locals and a bit of pre-match banter (although no other Sheffield Wednesday fans in which was a shame).

The only trouble with a lot of chocie all from small, independent breweries is that you don't know what to drink!  We chose 4 different beers between us in our 3 rounds and, althought they were interesting and well kept, only actually LIKED 1 of them!  Next time we should have 2 different halves instead of pints so increase our chances of hitting on a beer we enjoyed.

Still, you've got to support these places and they're better than a picking a lager-barn or a Wetherspoons!

Then, off to the ground.  A 20 minute walk to the stadium which looked really close to the town centre but wasn't really!  A dodgy burger from a van and in.

A nice stadium considering it's a purpose-built bowl (which I don't usually like) but we were very close to the home fans and the atmosphere was a bit combative.  the police and stewards didn't help being very picky and quick to chuck Wednesday fans out for very little indeed.  I saw one guy (admittedly a rude, ignorant little prat) being hauled out bodily for putting his feet up on the back of the chair in front at half time when it was totally empty all around him!!  It's not necessary and creates an unnecessarily fractious atmosphere.

That said, there was a fair but of humour and we applauded warmly when their keeper had to be carried off with concussion so not a bad game by any means.

We played well!!  Really well.  What a shocker.  Third from bottom (us) against second from top (them) and we beat them 3-1.  It should have been 4-1 but we had a perfectly good goal disallowed for a wrong reason (it was clearly a goal on the telly).

They equalised right near the end to take it to 1 all and their crowd were singing "We'll score when we like!" (fair enough but I wouldn't have picked 82 minutes!).  We then scored a couple of minutes later to take it to 2-1 and sang it right back to them!  So sweet.  And our third was even sweeter.  Bliss bliss bliss.

So, a night out in Hull to celebrate.  We had intended to go back to the hotel to change but no - out in town wearing woolly jumper, fleece, waterproof jacket, jeans and trainers.  It makes you feel very old and mumsy though as you see girls in TINY dresses tottering past.

Hey ho - we had a good night out and finished off with an Italian meal in a deserted restaurant.  2 couples in when we arrived who both finished shortly afterwards leaving us alone sipping our wine as the staff bustled around cleaning up for the night.  Tee hee

We found GREAT pub in the Old Town on the way back to the hotel and very nearly got sucked into a lock-in at midnight but, after a day of eating and drinking, it's probably best that we didn't!!

So, as you will have guessed, food and drink was not particularly restrained.  We were on our feet a lot and it could have been worse but not restrained.  Who cares, we had a lovely trip away and saw Wednesday win away for only the 3rd time this season and play well - Yaaaayy!!!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Hanging on

Okaaay, you know I've said a couple of times that this is the week that I need to make progress and walk the walk.  This is the week in which the eating will prove the pudding.

May I back away from that for another week please?

It's just that I'm not making dramatic progress, so's you'd notice.

It's not that I'm going wild or anything.  I'm still having the cold showers, black coffees, POM and waiting 3 hours before eating.  So far, so good.  I'm not reeaaaally snacking either, but there are some snacks and the odd mouthful here and there is creeping under the radar.  And I'd include in that the tendency to have proper tea or coffee in between meals rather than green tea.

Lunches tend to be quite good - soup, sandwich, salad etc.

And then most suppers haven't been bad either.  So where am I going wrong?  I think the errors which have been littering this week have mostly been caused by poor planning and lack of application.  The rushing home, hungry and having a snack-y meal rather than waiting to eat something sensible; the overly carb-y meals instead of more stringently planned low-carb suppers. 

And, twice, the total failure to avoid temptation - quiz night last Sunday (red wine and sandwiches with chips) and darts and dominoes on Thursday (red wine and bacon sandwiches with curly fries).

On the plus side, today has been stellar and I've done lots of exercise.  Yep, that's about it for pluses.

So, let's build on today and try to limit the damage for the week then start again renewed and chastened next week.

Will let you know how Hull goes...

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Complacency, Ennui and Hull

I wonder how many posts I have titled "Complacency" over the nearly 6 years I have been writing this blog? It is certainly a recurring theme. I can feel myself teetering on the edge of complacency now, hence the post. But, crucially, I don't think I have actually succumbed to it.

I'm spending a fair bit of time planning what I'm going to be fitting into and weighing at various times in the future "when I have dropped X lbs" etc etc. This is all very well and can even be useful to motivate and help you visualise success (I seem to remember Paul McKenna going on about it). However, you have to ensure that you are actually DOING something to further your aims. I have to walk the walk and deliver a drop THIS WEEK to make sure that I'm still on track.

What worries me is that my manipulative chimp has a history of fooling me into thinking that we're dieting but then gradually retreating from the diet while still "pretending" to do it. Even with daily weighing I have been fooled. Back in 2009, it was only when Steve Peters (the psychiatrist working with us on the TV cycling show) confronted me with the incontrovertible fact that I weighed the same that day as I had 4 weeks earlier, that I actually realised what my chimp had been up to.

So now I can see the parallels to that time. Looking back through my blog, I can see that I weigh a solitary lb less than I did 5 weeks ago on 3 December. So, no major progress there. Now, I'm not beating myself up about this. I realise that keeping Christmas and New year gains down to a single lb and then starting back promptly is A. Good. Thing. What would be fooling myself would be if I don't drop anything next week yet keep on blithely saying that I've got this diet and exercise business cracked. This is what I need to guard against - the dreaded complacency.

But hey - that's good news too! I'm writing a post about complacency to AVOID becoming complacent, rather than once I have already fallen into that trap.

To this end, I'm trying to make sure that my weekday routine is pretty tight. Mid-morning breakfast of cold meat. No snacking. Soup or salad for lunch and a normal healthy meal for supper. In general, I'm cutting back on the booze and doing more exercise. 
Despite this, I'm am experiencing some ennui and some deviations from the plan.  This evening, for example, there has been a fair bit of snacking instead of a meal.  I worked from the office today and then went home, packed and picked up the dogs and then drove over to Mum and Dad's.  I snacked (on healthy stuff) before I left and then decided to finish off the wretched Crunchy Nut Cornflakes so that I wouldn't have supper at my parents'.  The drive then took longer than it should due to an accident near Newark .  I had a coffee then and a couple of Pepperami too.  I did resist Dad's home cooked fish and chips (although I had to watch my niece tuck in!) but succumbed to a small slice of apple pie.   No booze though.  I don't feel  as though I've been too bad just think I'm going through a TOTM dip in form.  I'll be back!
Looking for some positives, I really enjoyed my run at lunchtime.  2.5 locks of the canal in Rotherham.  I'm definitely running faster and smoother now and it was a beautiful sunny day.  I'm working from my parents' tomorrow so will fit in another run then too.  Lucky dogs eh?
And I had a nice fillip from Rich this evening as well.  We were hugging goodbye before I left for Lincolnshire and he put his hands on either side of my waist and said "I can really feel that you've lost weight." It doesn't sound much but he isn't the most demonstrative of men, prefers actions to words, so noticing that my waist feel slimmer and is more toned is really nice to hear.   I, of course, have noticed that his arms reach further round me for a while but it's nice that he has caught up!! 

So, in other news, we have a weekend excursion to plan for though. Richard and I are going for a "romantic" weekend to the Venice of the North - Hull!! I'm joking. We ARE going to Hull but it's not intended to be a romantic weekend and I'm under no illusions about Hull's cultural status (although I hear there ARE nice bits). Sheffield Wednesday is playing Hull FC and neither of us have been to the KC Stadium so we fancied a trip out. This was planned when Wednesday were experiencing a brief patch of decent results around Christmas but that enthusiasm has since evaporated along with the wins and now we're stuck going to Hull for the weekend!! He he he.

Not only that, but it's an evening game and televised so the crowd won't be great and we could have stayed at home and still watched it - Doh!

That said, we've booked a hotel for the night and we will get to have a look around Hull which is not somewhere I've ever been to. We were given some restaurant vouchers for Christmas so we'll use these and make a weekend of it. It's always good to have SOMETHING different to look forward to in the middle of the grey and gloomy month of January even if it is only a weekend in Hull and a free meal out.

So, diet wise, I'm going to be good. A run in the morning, sensible lunch, not too much to drink before the game and wise choices in the restaurant. Sunday shouldn't be a problem either as we will only be driving back in time to take the dogs out. I'm going to drive to the quiz in the evening despite having a lift so that I CAN'T drink 3 glasses of red wine and then be carried away on the sandwiches and chips as a result!!

 So, all in all, with a fair wind, this week is looking good for food and exercise. If I can keep the diet under control I should be okay for a drop, whatever happens in Hull (ooooh, get me tempting fate....!).

Monday, 7 January 2013

Hairy Dieters Update

PS.  Peridot - Hairy Dieters seem to follow a low calorie plan rather than focussing on fat or carbs.  Very Old Skool eh?  They restricted their diets to 1300, then 1200 calories a day for around 3 months and dropped around 3 stone each!

So, the recipes tend to be both low fat and low carb as they are restricting calories overall.  Their priority seems to be maintaining taste and trying to retain the food they love (pies, curries, meat) while dieting.  Very Boy-ey.  But, they do look at eating from an interesting angle - "we like doing this, how can we keep doing it and still drop weight"? 

The spicy yoghurt marinaded chicken with cumin crusted roast veggies we had last night (with a minty yoghurt sauce) was gorgeous though.  Really moist chicken despite having all the skin and fat removed, tasty from the marinade, crunchy roast potatoes and crisp, tasty veggies and, instead of gravy, a few teaspoons of minty yoghurt.  Rich had seconds and requested that this dish be added to the rotation and be repeated.  (The dogs were happy with the bowls of chicken skin, fat, backbone and "stuff" which they got out of it too.)

And I'm looking forward to the leftovers for my lunch today.

Win win win.

Week 16 Results

It took some doing working out how long I've been (gently) following the Venice Fulton "Six Weeks to OMG!" plan.  I started over the weekend of 15-16 September and had my first official WI on Monday 17 September.  Unlike most diet plans, Venice does not pooh pooh starting a diet on a Monday; he says it makes sense.  Which, as every woman knows, it does!!  That's not to mean that, if you have not started on any given Monday, you should go mad in the run up to the NEXT Monday!

Anyway, today is my 16th WI and, as usual, it involved scale-based trepidation.  I have been back on plan after the Christmas and New Year "relaxation" but not quite as strictly as I would have liked.  There are still tasty things knocking around the house and the habit of eating and drinking a little more than I need is hard to erase.  It is happening but slowly.

Offsetting this is the fact that I've done very well on getting back to exercise.  I have managed to go running every other day last week and fit in some "trampetting", personal training, lots of stairs at work and a few walks. 

That said, I was not particularly good last night at the quiz - several sandwiches, a few chips and 3 glasses of Merlot.  Hmmmm.  (We managed a hard fought draw against the team just behind us in the table - we're probably down to second now as the other team on joint second will probably have won and leap-frogged us both.)

But, getting back to the scales, I managed a VERY modest drop of 0.4 lbs taking me from 14.7.2 to 14.6.8.  Not quite back down to my pre-Christmas low but not far off.  Next week will be better organised.  And, a drop is a drop, is a drop.  I'll take it (and mentally thank my scales for having decimal points!).

The main thing is, I'm still doing the plan.  I have not gone off it for one single day.  That is not to say that I haven't overeaten or drunk too much at times but at no point did I lose sight of what I was doing or contemplate not starting the following day back striving again.  Cold Showers Rock.

That said, next week is a crucial week.  I need to talk the talk and actually drop blubber to get back into Fresh Fat or all this patting myself on the back for not going mad over Christmas and New Year will just have been hot air.  I'm conscious of that and need to keep reminding myself of it.

I think bootcamp may have gone by the wayside.  The other parks are not convenient for getting to work afterwards or for Kerry and, to be frank, why should I pay £90 for a month when I'm already doing plenty of exercise for free??!  It would have been good but this way I get to lie-in a bit more.

I will pick up the DVD idea though so, when the running doesn't happen, I have an alternative.  Got to think ahead to outfox the sneaky Chimpetta. 

Right, I'm waffling now so will stop.  I'm chuffed with a drop and determined to get back going with more focus next week.  Watch this space peeps! 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Mixed bag

It's weird, I have been pretty good this weekend but because of one mistake on Friday night, I feel as though the whole weekend has been a dieting and exercise bust which is just not true!  On Friday evening I got a text from Rich on my way saying he was going to the pub and would I join him for a couple.  Fine.  But I was absolutely starving after my first day back to the office and didn't have any make-up on.  So I nipped home first for a snack.  Pepperami and a chicken breast - so far, so good.

But, protein doesn't act quickly enough on hunger.  Instead of trusting that what I'd had would be fine in 5 minutes, I was in the "I'm hungry, must have something NOW" mood.  So, I had not one but 2 bowls of Crunchy Nut cornflakes!!  Yeah, great idea Einstein!!  Idiot.  I was kicking myself afterwards, especially as I'd even asked myself "do you really want/need this" while walking to the kitchen for the second bowl and said - "sod it, yes" in reply.  Idiot.  Usually I can manage to stop at that point but not on Friday evening.

In the great scheme of things, 2 medium bowls of cereals with semi-skimmed milk is not the end of the world.  But it did pretty much wreck my night.  While I was in the pub I suddenly felt faint and dizzy.  I went pale and started to sweat a bit and thought I might be sick.  I was okay after a few minutes but I felt rubbish for the rest of the evening.  I can only think that it has been so long since I had sugary carbs in the form of cereal and milk that I couldn't handle it?  While I haven't given up carbs, I have restricted them to bread, potatoes, pasta, rice etc and have not had huge amounts of sugar for months.  It was quite dramatic.

With the nausea came (misplaced) guilt and irritation with myself .  Annoyance.  I would have done better to analyse and work out what I'd done wrong (about from the obvious of scarfing down 2 bowls of cereals!).  So, what did I do wrong?  I didn't eat enough.  All day I'd only had a few slices of glazed ham and an apple for breakfast and veggie soup and a roll for lunch.  So, eating was necessary but protein didn't cut it.  I would have done better to have some toast (or just go straight to the pub and have a pack of crisps!!). Or perhaps I should have avoided temptation by eating something like chcicken from the Co-op and go straight to the pub.

After Friday evening though, I was pretty good.  I went for a good long run on Saturday morning; limited the drink before the pub to 1 pint; and prepared a healthy chilli on Saturday night.  Today was also good - Hairy Dieter's brekkie of spiced berries with crumpets, yoghurt and honey (mmmmm); a round of golf carrying my clubs; a ham sarnie snack; and Hairy Dieter's supper of spicy yoghurt marinaded roast chicken with cumin flavoured roast veggies.  Also mmmmmm.

My weight is sort of flatlining over the last few days so I'm hopeful of a STS for this first (part) week back at the coal face.  And then I REALLy must get going on actually dropping some lard.

The bootcamp idea has been (possibly temporarily) thwarted.  Kerry and I signed up for it but there wasn't enough interest in the Hillsborough Park sessions so they are not running.  We are having a think as to whether the other parks might be suitable. In the meantime, I'm doing plenty of running so don't feel too bad about it.

BTW, thanks for the various DVD suggestions.  I'll see what I can snap up on Amazon.

Righto - off to the Quiz soon so I'd better sort out my face and find something presentable to wear!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Hairy Dieting

I know it's been on before but has anyone been watching the Hairy Bikers dieting quest this last couple of nights??  I asked for the cook book for my birthday but have not got round to actually cooking anything from it although took it out only a few days ago.  And then, serendipitously, we spotted the shows repeating this week.

We have been quite gripped by it and certainly inspired by some of the recipes.  To be honest, their diet adaptations are quite similar to quite a lot of what I do already but they are more rigorous and don't "just" add a knob of butter due to lack of imagination.... 

Rich has been interested too - maybe because they are proper blokes and yet still gripped by the whole dieting bug.  And their results have been very impressive so far.  Who knows what it may lead to......

I have made a mental note to make at least 4 of their recipes so far - the spicy yoghurt marinaded roast chicken and roast veggies; the meat and potato pie, the low fat bacon and eggs brekkie (well, it's almost the same as my current brekkie) and the tuna nicoise wrap. (Actually 5 - I quite fancy their toasted crumpets with berries, yoghurt and honey but it doesn't really count as a recipe as such!!)

So - today, apart from watching the Hairy Dieters, I prepared a boned and stuffed pheasant for supper (Not too tricky but we didnt really take to it so it won't be repeated.)  I also did a mini-workout of 20 minutes on the trampette and 10 minutes of crunches, squats and press ups this morning.  On the basis of this I had totally talked myself out of going for that run I said I was going to be doing last night and was going to substitute this with a walk instead.

But then, I dropped round to Rich's work to drop him off his lunch (yes, I know - how 1950's can you get?) and he reminded me that I HAD said I was going to go for a run.  And this reminded me that I'd actually written it in my blog too and I wouldn't want to be lying to you lot.  He was laughing but it was sufficient to guilt me into to going out for the promised run!!  And a good 'un too.   I ran fairly briskly for 50 minutes of reasonably hilly, muddy paths in the rain.  The dogs were seriously unimpressed.  Minty was actually trying to stop dead in the street the little traitor! 

I can feel myself getting better at the running.  I'm keeping up a steadier pace and running further too.  There is hope for me yet.

I have also been thinking a LOT about the bootcamp concept.  I THINK I'm going to do bad can it be??

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Run on New Year's Day - gloat gloat gloat - and future exercise planning

I may have mentioned that I went for a run on New Year's Day.  Before 10am!!  Well, if I didn't, you're the only people who don't know.....
Although the photoes below do follow the route of my run, it was not that pretty.  These were taken a few weeks ago on a frosty but stunning day.
Win Hill (again).

The lane colloquially (and accurately) known as Dogshit Alley.  Pick it up people!!

Back to school work.  Boooo!!  Down with work.  Actually it wasn't so bad.  I had purposely arranged to work from home knowing that that would help break me in gently to the world of work after a delicious 11 days off.

I took the dogs out for a nice walk and then had personal training at lunchtime.  I even enjoyed that!  I suppose I haven't had a full break from exercise so training wasn't a massive shock to the system.

Okay, where's Lesley and who is this imposter??!

I'm working from home again tomorrow as I have a meeting on Friday so hopefully more of the same.  I'm planning on going to go for a run. Definitely.

So, I've been thinking about exercise and how I need to really cement it into my lifestyle.  It is a bit hit and miss at the moment and that will only get worse as the weather gets worse.  So, I'd like to have something in reserve which I cannot avoid doing, whatever the weather and which doesn't require a large financial outlay. 

Gyms just do not work in the long run for me.   I go regularly for a few months at a time then stop and waste hundreds of ££s on subs for the next few months until I either get going again or give up in disgust.  And I hate going during the summer months too.

So, no gym.

And I'm not going down the exercise machine route.  Unless you get a really good one, it is just an expensive waste of time and space and ends up cluttering up your house as a glorifed clothes horse.  I LOVED the super-duper exercise bike (a Wattbike) the TV company provided us with during filming of the cycling show but that cost over £2k and tehy took it off us when we'd finished filming!

I bought a (mercifully secondhand) Wii Fit 2 years ago and have used it only once and never the balance board thingy!  It is still in the cupboard and should have been resold ages ago when it might have yeilded some dosh.  Bad Lesley!

So, DVDs it is.  Cheap, quick and there can be no excuses not to do one.  However, I'm not an experienced exercise DVD'er so any recommendations would be gratefully received.  I want something quite aerobic which doesn't need too much in the way of equipment and isn't insanely difficult to follow. 

The other barrier to this scheme is the where of it.  I don't want to have to use the main telly as this is in the front room and would then not be practicable if Rich is at home.  So, before I can implement this scheme, I will have to sort out the little telly for the dining room which will involve a trip to the repairman. It's like mending a bloody hole in a bucket this is!

And in other news, my pal Kerry (well, she USED to be my pal) has brought it to my attention that there is a bootcamp starting up in Hillsborough park on Monday.  Outdoor training 3 times per week from this coming Monday until 1 February for a mere £90.  Not bad you're thinking but the problem is that is starts at 6.15am.  This would require me to get up at 5.30am dress and drive to Sheffield.  But, but good would I feel and what a great, short term boost it would give my diet and exercise regime??!  I'm seriously tempted.  It would be a lot easier for Kerry as she only lives a few minutes up the road but I'm still seriously tempted.

Watch this space and feel free to remind me if you don't hear any more about either of these schemes.

PS.  All this thinking about exercise has made me hungry so we finished off the last (rather large) slab of Christmas cake.  It was gorgeous but I'm quite relieved that it's gone.  I left a chunk with my parents so we didn't have to wade through the whole thing. 

PPS.  Everyone else seems to have de-Christmassed their houses but I can't bring myself to take down the tree.  It still looks lovely and has been my favourite tree ever.  The weekend....sigh......