Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Monday, 30 March 2015


The scales WERE kind and so were your lovely comments.  So, without further ado, it's on to the stats:

Week 11 (seeing as I didn't blog last week)

Start weight - 17.0.4
Week 11 drop - +1.8lbs
Current weight - 16.4.8
Total drop - 9.6lbs

Week 12

Start weight - 17.0.4
Week 12 drop - 5lbs
Current weight - 15.13.8
Total drop - 14.6lbs

So, that's 2 very welcome milestones - the first stone off and just scraping into the 15s.  I'm very happy that, despite 2 wasted weeks, I was not derailed and stuck to my task.

I'm also happy as I had promised myself a reward, when I hit the stone off mark, of a slice of Christmas cake (I know, I know - you shouldn't have food-based rewards but it kept me motivated so ner).  The trouble is, I had not anticipated that it would take me so long to drop that first stone and Richard has been working his way through it at a steady pace.  Also, the icing is seriously yellowy now so I'm only just in time!!  There is enough left for 2 generous slices so we will be tucking into it after supper tonight.

I was working from home today and had intended to go and buy my season ticket for the Hathersage (outdoor) pool and have my first swim of the season but then life intervened.  I worked out that I didn't have time to swim, walk the dogs, go to the doctors, make supper AND leave for dancing at 6.15pm.  Instead I combined walking the dogs with exercise and took them for a run at lunchtime.

We headed up the old railway track from Bamford Rec towards the Ladybower Reservoir.  A slightly longer run than usual at 4.8km.  And very lovely it was too - sunny, birds singing, spring springing etc etc.  It would have been over 5km except I pulled a pesky muscle in my calf right at the far point of the route so turned back a bit early.  And that also knocked dancing on the head as quite sore and pull-y.  So it looks as though I'll be swimming instead for a few weeks giving my leg time to recover.

But I'm doing it all with a smile on my face now after 2 hard weeks!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Crazy body

It has been a tough time this last fortnight.  Year end at work has been mental and capricious.  I work like mad on one "priority" matter then receive unfeasible pressure about another "urgent" and then am told to waste a few precious hours looking into a totally non-urgent, long-standing, domestic quibble merely because the Commissioners are looking into it.

There's no winning.  If you don't waste the time, the Commissioners come down on us; if you do, you risk not completing on a matter which will spend grant money that will otherwise disappear, bring in much needed funding stream to the Council for next year as well as providing affordable housing for the Borough.  I know what I should do so I did it AND spent the time pandering to the Commissioners' ridiculous demands.

So that leaves other worthy matters undone and delayed.  Gah.  I hate not being able to do my job as well as I'd like.

So all that has left less time and energy for exercise and diet.  Despite that I have not gone off-piste and have stuck reasonably well to the diet and fitted in as much exercise as possible.  A couple of runs at mum and dad's, a couple more at home, dancing, golf, dogs walks etc

And despite THAT my body has resolutely maintained or steadily gained weight!  Double gah!! I have felt bloated, slightly constipated (sorry for TMI) and generally heavy and lacking in energy.  I tell you , it has strained my commitment to this bloody diet.

Over 3 weeks, only a few days of which have been "bad", I have gone from 16.1.0 up to a peak of 16.6.6 and mostly hovered around the 16.4/5 mark.  It has been most disheartening.  I have tried to convince myself that it is time of the month and body stuff but that is hard to believe day after day.

However, my weakened faith was rewarded yesterday with a drop back to 16.1.8 and then this morning I saw 16.0.6!!  If I can keep this up through to weigh in tomorrow morning, I will finally get to that elusive first stone off, maybe even into the 15s....  That is not a given because I feel terrible today - sore tum, cramps, general rainy day blues but I WILL stand firm.  I will.

 Sorry this post has been so whiney.  I try not to be but thought I'd better explain my radio silence.

So, hopefully back to normal service next week.  Good luck everyone!

Monday, 16 March 2015

All good things must come to and end OR Week 10 Weigh In

The events of the weekend have taken their toll and I seem to have found the 2lbs I dropped last week. Gah!!

I feel irritated with myself to be honest. I just went overboard with both drink and food despite knowing what was coming up. But then am I right to be annoyed? I could have said "no, I'm not drinking" on Saturday before the game but I did enjoy it I won't be doing that every Saturday by any means. I could not, however, have turned down the delicious (but overly rich) food cooked by our friend on Saturday night without being rude (although I will be firmer in future about insisting on not eating too much when out and about).

And, apart from Saturday, I was not bad and  I have done a fair bit of exercise this week.

It's just a shame and annoying that so much damage is done from one heavy weekend. Before you say it, I do appreciate that 2 lbs is not that bad and I'll probably get shot of those 2lbs next week. It has, however, set me back by at least a fortnight.

I'm grumpy now and setting down my stats is not going to help but rules is rules:

Starting weight - 17.0.4
Week 10 drop    - +2lbs
Current weight  - 16.3.0
Total drop          - 11.4lbs

Nope, that didn't help but the run first thing this morning (after WI) did lift my spirits and I hope that it's a case of easy on, easy off. Maybe I needed this setback to remind me not to become complacent or start thinking that I've cracked this weight loss malakey....sigh....

Onwards and downwards.

Double Gah!!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Too much!

I knew Friday and yesterday were going to be tough days on my diet but I rather overdid it nonetheless.   I started out with the best of intentions and doing quite well, honest.  Friday night was a night out with  friends to see a punk band we've not seen before at our Sheffield local (The Shambollix).  Despite everyone else being on pints, I managed to stick to gin and slimline tonic or rum and diet coke for the evening thus minimising booze damage.  And we did an awful lot of energetic bouncing and dancing which must have burned some calories. So far so good.

Saturday started well too.  Rich was up heroically early to play golf despite our late night and boozing and I couldn't sleep much after he left.  So I was up not long after and went straight out for a run despite feeling a little ropey.  Trouble is, I think the pogo-ing from the night before had left me with tight calves and, being tired, I was too lazy to stretch properly so, at the point we were furthest away from home my left calf twinged painfully.  I limped/walked/shuffled home but it was not the greatest of workouts.

I was still in damage limitation mode so had a sensible, veggie packed pasta dish for lunch in order to avoid worse at the pub before the match.  But then came the big diet decision of the day.  To beer or not to beer?

Our local (well, the brewery) has abolished its loyalty scheme and yesterday was the day our little gang had designated to "spend" the 21 vouchers for free pints before it was too late.  In other words a free day!  Do I enjoy the pints or stick to diet coke??  I had intended to have 2 free pints then switch to coke or water.  So, on the basis I would only be having 2 pints, I picked my very favourite beer - Castle Rock's Screech Owl at 5.5% which I hardly ever drink.  And it was gorgeous. And I ended up having 4, count them, 4, pints of it.  Gulp.

So, off to the match (a dreary 1-1 draw, sigh), back home and then out for dinner at friends.  Sean, who was cooking, had made it very clear that I would not be dieting there so I was by then resigned to my fate. And what a gorgeous fate it was!

Mushrooms in cream and red wine to start.  Beef cheeks in a very rich red wine sauce with buttered carrots and layered potatoes and onions baked in cream and goats cheese (I know there's a name for the dish but can't remember it).  Followed by a mint chocolate cheesecake all washed down with delicious red wine.  It was a splendid meal but extremely rich.

My body has been on quite a low fat, low alcohol, high veggie diet for the last 10 weeks so is not used to such luxury.  Boy, did I pay for the excesses of the day in the middle of the night!!  I woke sweating with painful stomach cramps.  Went to the loo and managed not to be sick.  Still sweating and cramping, I started to feel faint so sat down on the edge of the bath and the next thing, I must have fainted as I came to lying on the floor having crashed my head into the bathroom door!More sweating and moaning before I finally started to feel better and could go back to bed.  It was short-lived but horrid. That'll teach me to drink so much strong bitter, rich food and red wine!  (Or will it??)

Today is going to be much more controlled.  We had planned to play golf but were just too knackered to get up in time to golf and still fit everything else in.  So, a much needed lie in instead.  We have still to walk the dogs, cook a late Mother's Day lunch for Rich's mum and then get off out to the quiz.
Weight-wise I'm on the very edge of losing a smidgen, staying the same or suffering a small gain.  It will be touch and go tomorrow.  Gah!!

What do I learn from all this??  That, when I know I have a big night/meal to cope with, I need to be even tighter during the week to still drop weight.  And, that I should not compound a big night/meal with extra booze on top.  Even had it not been for last night, I would not have been dropping much this week, maybe a lb or so. As I've bemoaned repeatedly, my margins are pretty slim which is, I suppose, the problem with trying to live your life while dieting.  As that is what I have chosen to do, I suppose I need to accept and cope with the odd dodgy week and just suck it up!

Fingers crossed for weigh in tomorrow!! May the scales of doom be kind and bountiful to this pitiful, undeserving  but nonetheless hopeful subject.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Big goals

I recently caught the back end of a TV programme called "Obese - a year to save my life".  It featured a very large woman (30 stone plus) who needs to drop 20 stone which will take at least 2 years.  It was interesting to see my former mindset - the "I must get "there" as quickly as possible".  As though weight loss is a destination and your life between here and there is one of transit, ie. not normal.  I understand why when there is so much to drop and that's why I selected Lighter Life back in the day.  But I'm so pleased that I'm not doing that again.

I definitely feel that I'm just living now rather than putting everything on hold and gradually, as I live, I'm shrinking too.  Now that I'm (almost) at the stone mark off I am starting to feel the difference.  Clothes are baggy (or baggier). I feel less resistance to going out and running because it hurts less.  I'm more satisfied with my meals and find it easier to walk away from snacks or treats.  The diet maths have receded a little which is particularly pleasing.  I don't say no to things because they will involve food or drink I just try to plan how to do them without doing too much damage.

The pressure point for me is work and how much there is of it. I know that when I feel out of control at work that has, in the past, translated to pressure on my diet and exercise plan.  So I'm trying to keep on top of work to help me keep on top of life in general.

To which end I had better get back to it!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Monday Weigh In Report (Week 9)

So, if anyone kindly wished me luck as requested in my last post, thank you very much!  We won the quiz with a solid if unspectacular performance and this morning's weigh in registered a drop!  2 whole English lbs.  Yaaaay!!

Stats are as follows:

Starting weight - 17.0.4
Week 9 drop     -  2lbs
Current weight  -  16.1.0
Total drop         -  13.4lbs

That first stone off is tantalisingly close but even more tantalising is the prospect of getting into the 15s for the first time since last April.  Hopefully it will be next week taking me to a stone in 10 weeks but, if it is not, it'll be the week after so no need to fret.

We have quite a bit of socialising to do this coming week.  A punk band called Shambollix with friends on Friday.  Football on Saturday followed by dinner with friends Saturday evening and something on Sunday but I can't for the life of me think what!

I think exercise is going to be the key this week to ensuring a drop.  I am feeling slightly fitter and stronger now so running is not as much of a chore as it was.  I suppose I am carrying less weight now and have been running (albeit in a haphazard manner) for a couple of months so it is to be expected.  But it's also very welcome.  Not only is it easier to make myself go out for a run (and possibly the improved weather is a factor here) but I'm also running more steadily, further and for longer.  I've added an extra loop to the end of my "standard" quick run taking it to just over 2.25 miles with several hills over fields which I do in around 40 mins.

I've made a running date with Amanda for Wednesday evening so that will help cement it into my weekly diary.  I've been to zumba and will go again so there's another strand of exercise to build on.  And the Hathersage outdoor pool will be opening in April for the summer season so I'll be joining on day 1 to make the most of my season ticket.  I'm hoping that these elements will keep the lard dropping steadily from my frame as I've still got a long way to go.  I want to drop 5 stone overall and at least 4 stone this year which is do-able but only if I maintain momentum.

Right, I've had my breakfast and I'm tired of watching England's pathetic performance against Bangladesh so I'd better get back to work!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

I just kept on running...

I'm glad I posted yesterday because a) it stopped me from eating what I wanted to eat last night and b) I mentioned a run today which made it much easier to actually go for one today.

We had a quiet day in today.  Nice lie in then lovely cooked breakfast watching old FA Cup ties and the Football League Show from Saturday night (we can never stay up late enough to watch it).  Then chores and Rich did some painting in the hallway (we will finish it one day!) while I took the girls out for a run.

It had been raining all morning so the fields would be too muddy.  Luckily the sun came out so it was just a case of picking a route which would not be a mire.  I drove over to Bamford to run on the old railway track.  I decided to be more ambitious than I have been for a while and, instead of parking halfway down the Route (pronounced locally and inexplicably, rowte rather than root), I parked at the Rec.  I wasn't sure how far I'd manage but, as I got going, I felt good so was hopeful that I'd make it all the way around.

And I did!  Up to the dam wall, over it and then back along the main road, through Bamford and back to the Rec.  It took me about 55 minutes which is nearly 15 minutes longer than I've been running for well over a year. I've been sticking to routes of @2-2.5 miles but this one was 4.5-5 miles!! Go me.

And go Shelagh and Minty too, especially Shelagh.  She is not keen on running.  She quickly identifies whether we're walking or running from my clothing choices; the minute she spotted the sports bra she knew it was running not hiking and started shivering and whining.  Creeping over to Richard in the hope he would be able to save her!  But, once we get going and she realises we're on the Route not the road and therefor not on leads, she is fine. But it's still pretty good going for an elderly lady of 11 years.

I felt fine too so I know I'll be okay for the 10km I have planned for June as long as I keep up the regular jogs between now and then.

I'm in the middle of cooking roast chicken now and then I'll be off out to the quiz in Bakewell.  We've had a bad run of losses since Christmas so wish us luck.  Oh, and wish me luck for my weigh in tomorrow morning!!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Another weekend under pressure

 But before I chat about that, here are my last lot of snowy pics for a while.  Spring seems to be springing so I'm hoping no more snow for this winter.

These were taken one lovely Sunday afternoon.  Rich was poorly so I headed out with the doggies.

We started from home and walked over the fields towards Brough.  This one is looking back towards Bradwell.

And then down the Valley towards MamTor (my last lot of snowy pics) with Hope Works in the foreground.

Ahead towards Win Hill (as ever).

Up a very steep, snowy field.  The dogs loved it.

You make height very quickly round here but the views are totally worth the effort.

And the blue, blue skies helped with the pain from the steep hills!

Across towards Lose Hill (on the left) and Win Hill on the right.

We went over to my parents' yesterday to catch up with my Dad's sister, Barbara who was visiting from Dublin.  She's a fit and fun 81 year old so I have to try and see as much of her as possible.  I'm plotting a trip to Dublin later this year as it seems a shame to have a place to stay in a great city and not make the most of it as well as spending time with my favourite aunt.

I've always been close to her as she lives in Dublin and also married an Irishman many years ago.  Very strangely, she also divorced him (back in the early 1980s when it was pretty tough to be divorced in Ireland) making Barbara and I the only divorcees in the family.  What do we learn from this?? That women from my family probably should be very careful about marrying Irishmen!!

Happily my sister, her husband, one of her daughters and her boyfriend were also up for the weekend to see Barbs and the parents so it was 5 birds with one stone so to speak.  We had a chaotic Indian takeaway for supper followed by a boys' (and me) trip to the pub.  I almost stayed at home with the womenfolk but it's just not really me!

Also I was very tired after a tough week at work and just fancied a few drinks in relaxed company rather than chores and chat at home.  I'd love to spend more time with my sister but to be honest, when I do, she never really relaxes and talks properly.  I sort of knew that if I stayed with them she'd be faffing over the daughter and supper for them (they arrived late) and we'd not really connect.  I'll try again another time or on the phone when she does focus a bit better.

So, in the middle of the paragraphs above, you may have spotted the fatal words "Indian takeaway".  I knew it was on the cards so I ate very sparingly during the day and fully intended to choose as wisely as possible in the evening too.  I had wanted a Chinese which is easier to be low-cal but was overruled so went with the Indian and was STARVING by the time it eventually arrived.  All restraint went out of the window.  Poppadums, naan bread, lots of rice, several tasters of the creamy Makhan Chicken and Patthia which I had eschewed in favour of a slightly better tomato and spinach based dish.

Hey ho.  These things happen.  I drank 5 drinks in the pub too.  But managed to avoid beer and only had 2 glasses of wine so did limit the possible damage considerably.

Today has been borderline dodgy too.  Breakfast was SW compliant (bacon, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes).  Lunch was a third of a bag of Haribo Tangfastics (whoops)while driving home and listening to Sheffield Wednesday beating Blackpool on the radio.   Supper was a very under pressure smoked haddock and prawn chowder, which was fine by SW but sadly the 2 slices of white bread and butter scarfed down with it were not.  Since supper I have reeeeeally been wanting to cut loose.  I have wanted a hot chocolate (made with milk and real chocolate), leftover banoffee pie, a Lindt truffle and lots more heinous contraband.

I have, by the skin of my teeth, managed to avoid the above and made do with a coffee and a smooth toffee flavoured Muller Lite.  Aaaargh.  Some days are not easy.

I will be back on it tomorrow and will work on going for a run too.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Betcha thought I'd gone missing??

I know what a week off from a dieting blog usually means when the blogger in question has previously been more committed to her art, ahem.  Well, in this case it is only partly true.  I did slacken off at the back end of last week.  Tracked up to Thursday and then wandered off.  This, from the woman who ended her last post extolling the benefits of, erm, tracking!!

We had a busy week too.  I was out for supper with Kerry on Wednesday. Darts and dominoes on Thursday. Work do on Friday.  Football and friends over for dinner on Saturday then out to a Comedy night on Sunday. Oh, and dancing Monday.  It's been full on.

And that has showed in Monday's weigh in - a measly but nonetheless totally worth it drop of 0.4lbs!

So my stats are:

Starting weight - 17.0.4
Week 8 drop     - 0.4lbs
Current weight  - 16.3.0
Total drop         - 11.4lbs

Glacial I know but still moving (creaking and groaning) and hopefully as unstoppable as a glacier too!!

However, once Monday rolled round, I've been back tracking even better than before and I think/hope I'm on for a decent week this week.  I've been running, walking and I'm even planning on, whisper it, zumba tonight!!

So, sorry about the lack of pretty photos and regular updates.  It's been a bit hectic in Rotherham Council solicitor world but I'm still on it and still shrinking, albeit slowly!!