Sunday, 24 February 2013

Back and back in Lincolnshire

I never mean to not post for a while; it just sort of happens.  You hear people saying, "If I'd known it was the last time we spoke I would have said something meaningful". Well, my Valentines Day post turned out not to be my last but it was certainly my last for a while.

However, the oft repeated mantra about no news in the fat-blogging world being bad news, also holds true in this case as well.  However, I wouldn't say I stopped blogging because of the bad news, more because I just felt tired from work and home chores and couldn't face my laptop.  Work has been very intense so the last thing I feel like doing after a long day hunched over a hot computer is turn on my home laptop in the evening. Add to that getting the house sold (yes, I accepted an offer on the old house a week or so ago!) and the work that goes with that, well, there has been a lot on my plate.

So, to the bad news.  Nothing dramatic, only weight ON.  But it has been most puzzling.  On 12 Feb I hit a new low of 14.4 lbs .  I was pleasantly surprised as I knew I didn't really deserve it and felt that it might not be "real".  Well, I was right but I didn't think I deserved 8lbs on either!!   Yes, you read that right - within 3 days of seeing 14.4.0 on the scales, I saw 14.12.0 on the very same scales.

I dismissed that top number as an aberration and not real and, indeed, that number has not been seen again but I have been resting around the 14.7.mark for the last few days.  It feels very unfair as, after several weeks (all of January and February really) struggling to cement the diet and exercise plan back into my life, I had actually turned a corner and got back to running and low-carbing once more and it was then that the weight went up!  Grrrr

I have managed NOT to become disheartened or to hide out on the sofa but I have been puzzled and perturbed.  Having mulled it over, I think that the excesses of January and February, which I had been holding off and "getting away with", eventually caught up with me at the same time as a poor TOTM timing.  Okay, in the scheme of things, it's annoying that I now weigh a lb more than I weighed the week before Christmas but at least I have got back to a good routine and no great damage has been done.

So, back to the grindstone once more.  I realise that I had allowed too many carbs back into my everyday diet - toast with my bacon and eggs, sandwiches at lunchtimes instead of salad etc etc.  I have cut these intruders out and re-introduced my lunchtime runs and home workouts.  I've also cut back on the casual 2 or 3 pints of bitter  or shared 2 bottles of wine(!) here and there which had been becoming more frequent.  I had a pint before the football yesterday (force of habit) but went straight onto diet cokes afterwards.  And at darts and dominoes, I stuck to rum and diet coke or just diet coke rather than either bitter or merlot.  I'm getting there again.

I think the busy-ness has both helped and hindered.  Work has gone mad but I suspect that this level of work is now my new norm - I can't see it getting any easier in the foreseeable future.  So, all I can do about that is not take the stress onboard, stay healthy, do plenty of exercise, make sure I go out at lunchtimes and not take the Council's problems into MY life.  All I can do is my best, and if, doing my best, I cannot service the work which is required, that, ultimately, is not my problem.  Having said that, I've applied for a couple of promotions in the Restructure so it might become my problem if I'm successful!

At the moment, I'm over in Coleby looking after my mother for a couple of days.  My dad has gone down to London with some friends to see an opera (must ask him what he's going to see) and won't be back until late tonight so I drove over at crack of dawn this morning and will work from here tomorrow and home tomorrow.

It is NOT this gorgeous today.  These photos were taken a few weeks ago when Rich and I were visiting - stunning eh?!

My childhood home, solid and reassuring as ever.

Minty loves a massive, flat, snowy field.


The amazing flying Minty!

So, I'll try and post a bit more frequently now and hope you're all getting on alright too!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentines Day

You know it seems to be the prevailing view that Valentine's Day is a total commercialised rip-off and only saps go out for meals or get flowers etc?  Well, I sort of agree with it and certainly am not interested in meals which cost twice as much as they did a few days earlier for less or forced, plasticky flowers.  But, I do think there is a lot to be said for the day itself. 

A reminder to have a think about your other half and what they mean to you.  A chance to write it down so they can read it whenever they want and an excuse to have an nice extra snog first thing in the morning!!

So, no faux romance for us today - darts and dominos at the local tonight - but lots of real romance all the time.  I wasn't expecting us to be doing anything to be honest but Rich told me a few days ago that he's going to take me into town tomorrow to have a meal and watch a film.  So nice to have someone think about us doing stuff together and actually plan it out too.

Work has been mental for the last few weeks and however much I try it doesn't seem to be getting any lighter so it's especially good to have someone I can relax with when I get home.  Someone who does his share of the chores and knows when I need a hug. 

Right, I'd better go and get changed or I'll be late for dominos and that would never do!!

Have a lovely and love-filled Valentine's Day!!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Alternative WI (or Second Chance Tuesday)

As you know I've been trying the alternate day WI tactic, ie. I get a chance on both Monday AND Tuesday to drop some weight and actually make some downward progress.  Yesterday was a STS but today, Tuesday, I managed a 1.6lb drop taking me to bang on 14.4 and a total drop of 17.6 lbs.

I don't think that I'm cheating by having a go at 2 WIs.  It's more that I'm desperate to get back going  again and I'd rather be trying to drop weight from 14.4 than from 14.5.6.  It's a harder target and will mean I get down into the 13's all the sooner.

Perhaps yesterday's run and dancing last night helped.  In celebration, I went for another run today, not as long but hillier and faster so hopefully I'll see some more downward action this week.

I'm meant to be off this week to do some decorating at my old house in the hopes of getting it shifted this spring.  Fortuitously, however, I accepted an offer on Monday so do not now need to do the decorating!!  Yay!  I took today off anyway as I still have a load of chores to get through (not least taking the paints and other stuff back to B & Q unopened!). 

I know there is many a slip 'twixt cup and lip and a long way to go to get the house sold but this is great news.  It means that, hopefully, soon, I'll be finally finished with the last tie to my ex.  He has been a brooding, negative shadow in my life over the last couple of years; doing his best from afar to be as awkward and unpleasant as possible and increase my expenditure wherever possible.  While I have no doubt that there'll be one last stab at causing me irritation, selling the house will be both advantageous financially and also enable me (and Rich) to turn the page properly and really move on.

It's very exciting and I just can't wait.  It feels as though my new life (which I've been enjoying so much anyway) is about to really kick off.

It would be nice if I could face this new beginning slimmer and fitter too so that's what I need  to do - get that next stone off in time for summer!  Come on Lesley!!!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Quiz No Show

I crow-barred myself off the sofa last night and headed into the snow (yes, it arrived late) for the quiz.  Got to the pub and, as I was walking in, received a text telling me that the quiz was off!!  The other team had set off from their pub in far off Winster but had had to turn back due to the snow.  Hey ho.  Wish they'd found out earlier so I didn't have to put on make-up and leave the house but I can't say I wasn't a little relieved.

I was very good - a quick diet coke and chat with my pals and then back home and NO chocolate biscuit cake.  Go me!

And, even more virtuously, I got up early this morning and, despite the disappointment of yet another STS, went out into the snow for a run!  As you can probably guess, I'm going to try what I did last week and have another WI tomorrow in the hopes that I can eke out a little teeny, tiny drop.

It was a great run though, look:

Over the fields, slopping through the only slightly frozen mud.

Picking our way through the slushy streams...

Then through the woods to the golf course.

I extended the run too by running to the far end of the golf course and back, past some teasels as it happens.  (I like teasels.)

So, fingers crossed for tomorrow, again!!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Snow No Show

 The weather forecast said we were going to have heavy snow  all day today - 12cm in the Peak District.  We planned accordingly for a day of indoor chores and sport watching and cancelled a possible day's walk.  Well, it snowed most of the morning but only wet, sleety snow which settled prettily up on the hills outside our window but not on the street outside.  Then even that stopped and turned into icy, slanty rain.  The need for the chores went away too (more of that later) so we've had a bitty day with no real focus. 

We did go out for a 90 minute, cold, wet and muddy walk which was refreshing but hardly scenic.   We were ready for home by the last 20 mintes - my thighs were like ice! My new camera is over a week late from Amazon (!!) so I wasn't tempted to take any pics.  Hence you have some shots I took last Monday when we had (unheralded) proper snow!!

I was working from home so this is our usual lunchtime walking route. 

The snow was fluffy but slightly wet - perfect for snow marbles.  I rubbed oil into their fur in an attempt to prevent the dreaded marbles.  It worked on their back legs which are usually worse than their front but I obviously didn't rub enough into their ears or front paws which were soon balled up good and proper!

Minty scampers up the steps, eager to get to the field at the top.

 I stop for a rest to take a photograph.

The end of the road....someone had cleared two paths in the snow the whole way up to this last house in the village but no further (fair enough).

Shelagh's not happy with her collection of snow marbles...

So, after our walk, a warm bath and some cooking I'm not settled in front of the fire watching the England/Ireland rugby match and waiting for glazed gammon with mashed spuds, braised red cabbage and veggies to be cooked.  I've got to go out later for the quiz which is a bit of a shame - I'd quite like to attach myself to the sofa and have a night in!  But quiz commitments are quiz commitments and questions about trivia will not answer themselves!

I feel as though I've said these next words rather a lot over the last few weeks - I've not had a great week diet wise.  Not bad but not great.  I'm looking at YET ANOTHER STS!!    Aaaaargh!  Do I not listen to myself??  Clearly not.

This is not good enough.  I could easily have a stone off by the summer and fit properly into the lovely clothes which are hanging up in my wardrobe but that weight will not shed itself from my frame.  I need to actively do something to shed it.

So, a food diary next week.  And signing up to a 10km in May with the training which will have to be done for that race.  I could run 10km tomorrow if I wanted but the race I have in mind which I'm being bullied by a pal into running is particularly hilly so WILL need some bespoke training.

My only reservation about the that race (Chatsworth Golden Gates) is that it is linked solely to the Helen's Trust - a local hospice and charity for the terminally ill.  Don't get me wrong - I think it's a wonderful charity and have run for it and donated to it in the past.  But at the moment I want any fund raising I do to be for animal charities - IFAW or Four Paws.  So, before I sign up to the Chatsworth race, I'm going to see if there are any non-affiliated races locally around that time which I could do instead.

It's hardly worth me analysing where I have gone wrong this week but, for the record, I was much better during the week with my meals but drank too much - Richard's birthday on Thursday (lots of red wine); 2 bottles between us on Friday and beer at lunchtime and another 2 bottles between us on Saturday.  It has been ages since we've had 2 bottles on a night in so that is a habit which has to stop. 

I also baked which is not like me.  I made a chocolate biscuit cake for Rich to take in to work on his birthday but then had some time the night before so made a batch of chocolate brownies as well.  Rich took in the brownies (which went down very well) and I thought, great, they're all gone.  Except he brought one back for me AND we now have a batch of delicious dark chocolate biscuit cake haunting the house!  We are being quite good and only having a one piece each per day but really....

Only the no snacking and exercising is saving me from gains. I'm on the edge and must turn back.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Thanks for all the clothes advice ladies.  I hate shopping at the best of times so am going to TRY online but also drop into Matalan as it's cheap and there is one on my way home from Rotherham (good tip K).  I will let you know how I get on.

Ah well, it was worth a try!

The scales must have got wind of my plan and disapproved; they remained stubbornly unmoved this morning leaving me with a STS of 14.5.6.  Hmmmm

I suppose the weekend eating and drinking fiesta of meal at Las Iguanas, bottle of wine, Jaeger Bomb, Sambucca shot, and 4 rum and diet cokes WILL have taken its toll.

It was a good night though.  No real dancing beyond the jigging on the spot variety and the bit of drunken samba'ing at the end (to a salsa beat so not entirely sucessful).  I felt pretty old in my out of date outfit surrounded by youngsters but our crew was mostly of any age (or older...).

Sunday lunch at my old school pals new house was a revelation though.  It was GORGEOUS!  Set on the side of the hill above Hathersage with the most beautiful views over the valley a spectacular Victorian country mansion.  I'd guess at 7 or 8 bedrooms but there were probably more.  And that's not counting the myriad games rooms and dressing rooms and attic rooms.  Downstairs, beautiful drawing room with massive windows and that VIEW (it was everywhere like a framed oil painting).  Country kitchen, mudrooms, pantry, dining room with a table round which 14 of us sat with room for more. Original and beautiful stained glass windows facing the non-view side, flowers everwhere.  The garden (more views) with terrace and wooded area.

  Sigh, it was just bliss, like one of the nicest B&Bs you've ever stayed at.  And Louise LIVES there!

There were 3 couples invited and none of us are as minted (or minted at all in fact) so our envy (and pleasure for our friends' good fortune of course!) levels were high.  I'd suspect that all of our 3 houses and gardens and garages would have fitted comfortably into that of our hosts!!

That said, it was a lovely afternoon - 8 adults and 6 kids (of the young teenager variety) all eating, drinking and chatting.  The kids kind of cancelled themselves out by disappearing off to play electronic stuff and then go outside to the fire pit to burn stuff (I saw homemade bows and arrows too but didn't enquire too closely).  It was great to re-connect with Louise who only lives a few miles away but who I don't (kids and different social lives) see often enough.  They have just got a dog - a wriggley, gorgeous working cocker - so we have set some walking dates so hopefully that will change.

Thinking about it, I suppose that the multiple pies (choice of chicken, beef and fish - I tried all 3) and the chocolate cake and homemade chocolate biscuit cake with coffee later WILL probably have had an effect on the scales. Do you think....?!

Must redouble efforts and I think the key is keeping on with the structure of my days but tightening up on the carbs.  I have strayed from the low-carbing I was doing and I suspect that is not helping.  So - today (Tuesday) is going to be a GOOD low-carb day to get me back in the swing of it.  I have training later and will take the dogs out into the snowy wilderness at lunchtime.

I'm meant to be going over to my parents after training this evening to WFH there tomorrow.  But now I'm not sure what the roads will be like.  I really didn't expect this much snow.  It was forecast but not to be this heavy somehow...  It could disappear as fast as it has arrived, the sun is peeping out as I write, but then again it was falling thick and fast only 10 minutes ago.  Who knows?

Monday, 4 February 2013


First Monday is an (optional) WI day for me. Optional in that I choose, occasionally, to WI on Tuesday instead given Monday's fiendish proximity to the weekend. This weekend I have a dilemma in that I did step on the scales this morning and have had a STS. BUT, I want to keep the pressure on and demand a bit more of myself so that I actually make progress rather than just treading water. I am hoping that I can do a bit better tomorrow morning which will give me a harder target for next week. So, my conclusion is that I'm going to take a banker of a STS this morning but try again tomorrow for a drop.

My other dilemma is to do with clothes. As I have mentioned, I have a fair few clothes which I will fit into soon and just enough to clothe me in the meantime for my usual activities of pub going, football, dog walking, work and dancing. But, where I'm sadly lacking is going out clothes. Nights out in Sheffield or beyond. Trouble is, even when i it into stuff in my wardrobe, I have to accept that it is sadly out of date and doing me no favours in the fashion stakes.

What has brought this to a head is Saturday night's extravaganza in Sheffield for Tom's (a pal of Richard's) 40th birthday. Last time Rich and I went out with Tom and his new (much younger) girlfriend Claire, I wore jeans, boots and a evening-y top. I felt totally overdressed and frumpy and commented on the fact that ALL the women out in town were wearing party dresses. So this time, for a bigger do with more people, I tried a bit harder. I was going to wear the bodycon style dress I wore to a few pre Christmas parties which fits fine. Trouble is, when I put it on, it felt too formal for a night out in town. A bit too dinner dance-y. A bit too long (it is just above knee length. So, I tried some black 3/4 length evening trousers I had from a few years ago which I was pleased to discover fitted me. The previous evening top also felt too mumsy and I was just plain bored of wearing it as it's been pretty much my only option since last spring! So, I dug out an old sleeveless Next top.

I know that, objectively, the outfit looked nice on me, suited me and fitted fine but it is dated and out of style. I have seen that Next top or others in the same material everywhere and it is just not what the girls are wearing "out there".

They are ALL wearing dreses. Mostly short dresses. Mostly of that short, ballerina flaring out style. Even the ones who do not have the legs for short dresses. I do NOT have the legs for a short dress (especially not a flarey out one) and just cannot bring myself to wear one anyway. I have tried but look like a hippo in that particular style with my broad ahoulders and chunky thighs!! I would feel silly and try to make it a rule never to wear something unflattering just because it is in fashion. The legging under a dress thing seems to have passed too (is this right?).

I am vain enough to want to look nice AND reasonably current but also tight enough not to want to fork out money for clothes which hopefully won't fit me in a few months time. Aaaaargh!

So, the dilemma is, do I buy something party-ish for the next couple of months or do I suck it up until the summer when my options open out a bit?? I think, having typed this out, that I'm sufficiently miserable with my choices to buy something party-ish to tide myself over. I'm skint, yes, but as long as I don't spend too much, I deserve something nice to wear!

So - any recommendations??

Friday, 1 February 2013


Okay, you SAY you're not bored with all the talk of resetting but I know better.  I think you might need some doggie love to help you through it!  Doesn't Minty look cute with her little chin resting on the stile and Shelagh all hangdog because I'm making her pose for a photo!!

This'll just be a quick post to say that I'm pretty much sticking to the plan and hopefully will see some progress next week PROVIDED that this weekend is not too manic (and drunken).

I was working from home again today which is the only way I can get any work done these days.  I seem to spend every day in the office either locked in meetings being given yet more work or desperately doing those office tasks I can't do from home (arranging copying, sealing, binding etc).  Which only leaves home to actually read the documents, prepare the reports and do the drafting!  It sort of works but it is a bit stressy as there is just SO much work to do!!

I suppose I shouldn't complain as at least now they really can't get rid of me!!  I'm literally the last property solicitor left at the Council!!

Working from home is good for the diet plan.  I'm in control of my timings and I can do POMs and cold shower and black coffee when I want and eat what I want.  So, today I went for a brisk, hilly dog walk first thing; did another quick one around lunchtime and then had personal training in the evening.  Perfect.

Late brekkie was fantastic - totally non-regime and somewhat bizarre and I'll never be able to replicate it but it was gorgeous!!  Leftover Hash.  Fried onions, mushrooms, cold chicken, the last piece of bacon, some knackered baby plum tomatoes all stirred into leftover mash potatoes with a grating of cheese on top.  Mmmmm....

Lunch, toast and pate, fruit and tea.

Supper, Thai Green chicken curry.

No wine but a choc ice and a couple of pieces of shortbread.  A weird day but not a bad one by any means.

There are MANY challenges ahead this weekend.  Football tomorrow.  Big night out in Sheffield tomorrow night for a friend's 40th birthday followed by a big Sunday lunch party on Sunday(obviously).Tomorrow night is going to be tricky - we're starting at Las Iguanas, then drinks and then cheesy nightclub.  I'm going to do my best to minimise the damage but who knows how sucessful I will be....I will be heading out with the best of intentions but, as you'll all know, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

This is NOT to admit defeat in advance I promise!! I've had some good successes recently so have every faith that I CAN do it.  I'll let you know.  I think the best bet would be to try to not drink at the footie and at least save those calories....but will that make me more likely to blow out later?? 


I'll go for a run as a bare minimum and let you know how it goes.