Midsummer evening

Midsummer evening

Monday, 31 March 2014

Hiatus and Mothers' Day woes

I am a silly fool at times.  I have a measure of success and then become complacent and forget what I was doing to achieve that measure of success and start allowing little extras to creep back in.  I've done it before and now it has happened again. I managed a stay the same last week after a weekend of indulgences and a week of too little deprivation.  Even that was lucky to be honest.  So I started this week keen to stop that rot but now my pesky body has chosen to retain water.

I woke up this morning, stepped on the scales to see an unhelpful number so gave myself a shake and a metaphorical slap round the chops and vowed to do better for the rest of the week and give myself a chance for a drop come Thursday.

Accordingly, I have been pretty good today.  I took the dogs for a run mid morning and felt quite chipper and we had dancing this evening too (that jive is not for the faint-hearted) and I'm presently resisting the lure of toast or biscuits.  So, I have hope that my lapse in concentration from last week can be put behind me and I can make some progress before we head off to Malaysia in May.  I know I'm not going to be slim but even a few more lbs off will make a difference.

It's strange: you try and comfort others by saying stuff like "it doesn't matter how slowly it comes off" and "you can't fail as long as you don't give up" but somehow you don't apply those phrases to yourself.  This thought hit me yesterday morning when I woke early and was mulling over various things in that crack of dawn way one does.  There IS no deadline.  I haven't "failed".  I will have a good time whatever weight I am and I have all year, all next year if I like, to get this sorted.  It was a quite liberating thought so I happily fell back to sleep for a nice Sunday lie-in.

Yesterday, Mothers' Day, was a pretty tough day to be honest. Facebook was full of heartfelt, loving wishes to mums and thanks from mums for lovely gifts and treats and several sad but stoical RIPs too.  But I feel quite left out.  I'm not a mum myself and my own mum, while alive and healthy which is a blessing, barely knows me and certainly doesn't know that she is a mother.  I felt guilty because I wasn't there but then realised that she has no idea that it was Mothers'Day and no idea that her children should be there.  Then I felt guilty for taking advantage of her dementia to alleviate my guilt.  It seemed as though I was cheating and short changing her.  But mum was/is the last woman to worry about that sort of thing.  She was/is a practical sort of woman who knew she was/is loved and didn't need us to dance attendance on her to prove it.

It's a horrible illness, taking your mum away but leaving her there as a reminder of what you don't have any more.  I got quite teary several times yesterday probably because I made the mistake of reading some blogs written by women in similar situations.  I suppose I don't find it very upsetting often, and tend to worry more about my father and what he has to cope with so, when I do think about my poor old mum, it tends to hit hard.  Richard had a fair bit of cuddling to do yesterday!!

I don't think I'm particularly upset about not having children myself, although I suppose that could have been part of it.  I've always thought that I'd have been a decent mother and it was something I wanted to be in the past but I'm pleased that I didn't do it for the wrong reasons with Diarmuid. Rich and I talked about it when we first got together but it seemed as though we would have been rushing into it too early in our relationship and putting too much pressure on too quickly just because we were at "that age".

And now I FEEL too old (and Richard well and truly agrees) and we are happy with our life.  I know that some people would go for it at 44 but it's not for us.  We're just not desperate enough for children to take on that amount of risk, upheaval and effort. That doesn't mean that I don't have the odd pang - the odd wondering whether I'll regret not have children when we get old (and it's too late).  But, I do know that we have made the right decision for us.  So it took me a little by surprise that Mother's Day was tough.  I'm sure that most of it was sadness for my mum but a little part of it was saying goodbye to the possibility of me being a mum one day.  It has been creeping up on me over the last year so I suspect I'll be coming back to the subject from time to time. (Sorry.)

Monday, 24 March 2014

Weekend of highs and lows

Low:

I was struck down with a nasty bout of conjunctivitis out of the blue on Friday.  I've never had it before and I was NOT impressed.  By Saturday morning my left eye was swollen to epic proportions and gummed shut.  Yeeeuch!  I bought some cream in Hillsborough before heading to the pub and it started to clear up pretty quickly and has nearly gone now but it wasn't pretty and required a no-make-up weekend.  I didn't mind doing the no make up selfie for Cancer Research but wasn't happy about taking it on full time!

High:

Lovely weekend with Richard and good pals.  We went to Doncaster for the football on Saturday and it was a good trip out with Richard, Richard The Post and The Other Richard (and Rich's dad). We met in the pub early and then took the tram and train over to Donny, into an Irish pub and then off to the match.

Low:

We played like part timers who have not met before.  Aaaargh.  It is so frustrating.  The team had scored 7 goals in its last 2 games and demolished top of the table opposition.  So, when we come up against struggling Doncaster Rovers, what do we do? Fall apart, that's what.

Another low:

As we left the ground, it started to rain.  The taxis we had booked were not there.  The 2 buses were full and departed without us with no more on the way.  The police and stewards we encountered and asked for directions were rude and unhelpful.  Did I mention it was cold and chucking it down?  It was a 40 minute walk into town.  Rich got into a bad mood and took ages to cheer up (which really irritates me). I drank beer I didn't really want.

High:

When we cheered up and thawed out, we had a laugh on the train singing Wednesday songs and caught the connection out to the Valley by a matter of minutes saving us from a 90 minute wait in the station bar (admittedly an excellent pub) drinking yet more beer while wearing soggy jeans.  We had fish and chips when we got home and fell asleep on the sofa cuddling while trying to stay awake for Match of the Day.

Low:

I woke up on Sunday and the other eye was swollen to epic proportions and gummed tight shut. The house was a tip from the plasterer and we had to spend several hours cleaning, tidying and cooking to get it into a presentable condition.

High:

My parents came over for Sunday lunch bringing over my brother's surplus to requirements lawnmower.  We had a lovely time.  Dad approved of the house and mum seemed to have fun despite wanting to go home 20 minutes after she got here!

Another high:

I went off to the final match of the pub quiz season.  It was a top of the table clash with us needing not to lose by more than 10 points in order to win the League.  We did better - we won the match and the League, retaining the title we won for the first time ever last year.  Well chuffed.  I know it's only a pub quiz league but it has been really good fun and was very satisfying to win.  The guys from the team were some of the most stalwart friends when I left Diarmuid.  Where others from the village dropped me from a great height, they stuck by me (and put up with the nastiness when D chucked pints of Guinness all over me) and I'll always remember that.

Some more highs:

Both eyes opened this morning and are nearly better.  The scales were kind despite an imperfect weekend.  Well, I wasn't really bad apart from the beer and fish and chips but there was not a lot of exercise.  The dogs ate Rich's sandwiches so I made some more and me and the dogs ran up to his work and back - about 3 miles.  We have dancing this evening.

So the weekend has ended on a high at least and there were definitely more highs than lows which is pretty much all you can ask for isn't it?    

Thursday, 20 March 2014

A week in one post (or "I started this days ago and haven't finished it so you're getting it all in one go!")

I have been doing really well exercising and making decent choices and,in the early part of this week, my morning weigh ins were pleasingly positive. Buoyed up by my half stone off on Thursday I went for a run on Friday and then, early Saturday morning, I not only went to personal training but I also ran there and back (just under a mile each way)!! It helped my morning as fitted the dog's walk around training and also meant they had company for an extra hour but the main thing was the extra exercise. The dogs were hilarious at training, barking at themselves in the big mirrors and jumping all over me whenever I was on the dog shelf...(floor).


Despite an unscheduled curry on Friday night I managed to keep a lid on excesses and limited the boozing too.


And what was my reward for this healthiness?? A streaming, stinking cold! It started Sunday so I was pleased not to be going out to the quiz (we had a bye) and enjoyed a night in front of the fire and telly.


Monday I was playing golf in the morning. My golfing partner Sarah and 1 had won through to the regional rounds of the Daily Mail Foursomes and this was an away fixture at a very exclusive 9 hole course near here at Chatsworth. You can't turn up and play there, can only play with a member, so neither of us had played the course and it did not disappoint. It was stunning. Set in the rolling, sculpted Chatsworth Park with beautiful views from every fairway and littered with ancient, massive trees. Pheasants, rabbits and squirrels pootling about and sheep and deer over the fences. Just gorgeous.


And we won! We both played very well and thrashed them 6 and 5! So, we're into the next round and are hopeful of drawing another good local course.


I was fine playing but my cold got worse in the afternoon and Rich was poorly too so we aborted dancing and snuffled away at each other on the sofa  all Monday evening. Tuesday was the football so we had to drag ourselves out despite still feeling like death warmed up.  It didn't matter because Sheffield Wednesday distracted us with an awesome 3-nil win over QPR who are miles above us in the table and have a squad littered with expensive Premiership players.  Despite somehow finding the energy during the match and jumping around singing and shouting, we suffered for our excesses afterwards.

Wednesday I was golfing again in the morning and then had to race into Rotherham for a management meeting.  As an aside, I have been handed a temporary promotion while my boss is on longterm sick. It's good in one way (extra money, recognition for doing what I was doing anyway) but bad in another as I suddenly have a heap of managerial tasks to fit into my already busy workdays.  My boss (on sick with stress) was not really doing these tasks anyway (PDRs, file reviews, client liaison etc) but suddenly I have to do the job AND make up his backlog.  Hmmmm, am I a patsy here??

So an afternoon of management crud then race back to get to the village Panto in Hope.  What a change of pace!  It was good but not as good as our village's panto a few weeks ago....hehehe

So, all in all, I've not had any spare time to relax since Sunday and there's not much to come in the near future either.  Darts and dominoes tonight, meeting a friend for divorce counselling and legal advice early doors tomorrow night (but hopefully getting home in time to watch the last 2 episodes of Line of Duty), football away all day at Doncaster Saturday, Mum and Dad and quiz final Sunday and then it all starts again.

I'm knackered just thinking about it.

In between all the events, the plasterer has been Monday-Wednesday to re-plaster the hallway, stairs and landing so the whole house is full of splodges of plaster, dust and a vaguely dank air.  The plaster dust has been horrible with our colds, really drying and tickley but at least we could get rid of the bulk of it this evening with a good hoovering and dusting session before D&D.

It will look great though.  Sleek walls and white woodwork.  Begone manky, peeling textured wallpaper painted grubby cream and too-thin red-dy burgundy.  Begone, cheap, gloomy pine EVERYWHERE.  Begone dado rail.  Begone stained brown carpet with non-existent underlay so it feels as though you're walking on bare boards.  All this is yet to come but the plastering was the first big job to be done and that is now finished!!  We can start motoring now.  Although I suspect getting Richard off the golf course may be tricky.  We need a few rainy Sundays..... (I can't believe I just said that).

What of diet and exercise you might enquire (if you've stuck it out to here that is)?  Not bad actually. I had my weigh-in this lunchtime and was chuffed to see a 2 lb drop on the scales taking me to a pleasing 9lb total drop.  It feels real now.  A long way to go but I have made a proper start and it is fitting into my life with minimal adjustments.  Long may this continue.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Weigh in result

I'm disproportionately happy with my 1lb drop. And that's better than being disappointed with it. That lb has taken me to a total drop of 7lbs in 5 weeks, the magic half stone barrier. I'm happy with that because I have now put together 5 consecutive weeks of dieting and exercising for the first time in a year. I'm back, baby! Yes, I had a fortnight setback but I didn't give up, I just carried on carrying on.
My overall target of 4 stone off is 1/8th completed and I'm not miserable in doing so.

For me, the real test comes once I've dropped 15-20lbs and start feeling slimmer. At that point the dreaded complacency usually strikes but half a stone is half a stone and hopefully it will soon be a stone. I'm hopeful that sticking to this class with its motley array of attendees will leep me going. There is a positive and supportive atmosphere and I think I need that weekly accountability.

Also, I have a shiny sticker on my SW book and Jovita (scary Russian lady) is pleased with me (although she does want me to increase the rate at which I drop the lard).

I'd love to drop a stone before Malaysia in 7 weeks' time but, realistically speaking, there will be no difference between 11lbs and 14lbs so as long as I'm still sticking to it and dropping steadily, that will suit me fine. Even another half stone will make all the difference in terms of my summer clothes fitting me comfortably and not needing to buy a bigger size.

And here's a picture of the lovely Minty, valiantly guarding the house against the omnipresent threat of THE POST!!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Spring!!

I haven't posted many pics recently so here are a few from our lunchtime walk round Bamford Mill and old railway route on Monday.

The diet is going well this week so, as long as I keep the pressure up today, I'm hopeful of a drop tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

We're off to Wigan for the football this evening so it will be a case of resisting pints and pies. Boooo.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Disappointment

I went to my weigh in at lunchtime. Without much hope of a drop to be honest, maybe a smidgen. It was dashed. A STS after 2 weeks. I KNOW it could have been worse and it's still 6 off in 4 weeks but...but but but...

Waaaaah

I'm a big baby and I wanted to hit my half stone and I wanted this to be easier. However, this has not dented my determination. I'm still going to carry on but will just tighten up a bit more as there has been a fair bit of slackness in the system. So, I'm keeping a food diary and I'm going to tot up those syns properly rather than broadly guessing (or ignoring them altogether!).

I'm pleased with how well I'm doing at the exercise and that will only get easier as it gets warmer and brighter. I even managed a 6.30am jog round the fields this week. Only 30 minutes but I enjoyed it.

In other news, my flare-up of what could have been gout but has not been confirmed as such has flared down. Thankfully. My big toe went from a low key, dull ache of a few months to a debilitating, sharp, impossible to ignore pain overnight. It got better day by day but the severe pain lasted a week and it had me worried. The GP says it's probably gout as my blood pressure tabs can promote an attack. Great. My blood test, though was inconclusive. I have some pills to take if it comes back but their horrendous side effect of sudden and uncontrollable diarrheoa would make me think twice!! A proper warning would have been appreciated there Doc....

Apart from diet angst, life is good. Rich is still lovely. The football is better than it was before Christmas (losing in the FA Cup aside). We're top of the league in the Quiz League with 2 matches left and second in the Dominoes League with a few more to go. I'm getting better at seeing pals and going to the theatre etc and our house is slowly taking shape. Even work is fine. This must be my most stable phase for years. Long may it continue.

Right, just the diet to conquer..... Again.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Time flies

Well, I turn my back and another 9 days fly by!! I did not have a WI this week as I was staying with my parents and couldn't find a class to suit. Probably a good thing as, somewhat out of the blue, my weight leapt up by 5lbs between Sunday and Monday and I spent the rest of the week wrestling it back down! As to why, well we went to a house party on Saturday night where I drank copious amount of rum and diet coke but I did masses of exercise that day and my eating was not excessive so I would be surprised if that accounted for the full gain. I suspect TOTM was part of it and just generally not-doing-the-diet-properly.

It's my rebellious, "I know better" nature. I always think, despite all evidence to the contrary, that I can buck the system and get away with it. Sigh....I can't....

The good news is that, rather than tailing off in my efforts, the threat of next week's WI and our looming holiday to Malaysia is making me buckle down. I'm back down to the last WI weight and have til Thursday to drop a couple of lbs and get moving again. It WILL happen!!

Exercise is good, lots of short runs and a few home workouts so that will help.

Not to mention decorating the house. It's happening, slowly, but steadily. We're at the stripping and preparing stage so the hallway, stairs and landing and spare bedroom look shocking and the house is full of little pieces of damp wallpaper padded around on doggie paws. But the papering and painting of the spare room will start soon and we're having the hall, stairs etc replastered so that'll look good. I can't wait!!