Monday, 27 April 2015

On the move again

I don't know why I stopped posting regularly over the last 2 weeks but I do know that I missed it.  I have composed countless posts as I have ploughed up and down the swimming pool or walked the dogs but, when I am home sitting next to the laptop, I somehow got out of the habit of writing some of them down.

Maybe that first week it was bewilderment that the confidently predicted "reasonable drop" actually materialised as a mysterious gain of 1.8.  That was compounded by pure laziness and a dash of the old "fuck it" attitude.  But this last week I have got my act together again returned to the basics of tracking (mostly), exercise and moderation and I still didn't blog,even though I KNOW it helps me!!

That's why I dashed off that last post - to break the hoodoo and make sure I got bck on the horse asap. This morning has been weigh in day and there has been no reluctance to stand on the scales or calibrate where I am up to.  Strangely, although I was expecting another stay-the-same or, at the best, a small drop, I have manged a very respectable 2.6 off, taking me into fresh fat!

So to stats:

Start weight - 17.0.4
Week 14 drop - +1.8
Current weight - 16.0.4
Total drop - 14

Start weight - 17.0.4
Week 15 drop - 0
Current weight - 16.0.4
Total drop - 14

Start weight - 17.0.4
Week 16 drop - 2.6
Current weight - 15.11.8
Total drop - 16.6

So, as you can see, I have effectively taken 3 weeks to drop a single lb!!  Ha ha

I prefer to look at it like this - I could have given up but I didn't.  It has happened often before at this sort of stage in a diet.  An unexpected gain causes me to waver and ultimately wander off to regain anything I have dropped.  But I didn't.  I retrenched for a week and then got back going again and now I'm a lb ahead of where I started.  This is GOOD news.

It's only bad news if I were to start imposing deadlines on myself - I must weigh X by May, I must drop Y by June.  Then, a 3 week hiatus means failure.  But what is the point of a deadline??  I'm 45. I've been fat most of my life to varying degrees and I'm trying to learn how not to be.  THIS is my life now, not when I have dropped X or Y. Now.  So, if I can live my life, do lots of fun things and also diet and exercise so that, for the most past, I'm heading in the right direction, however slowly, that is a success!

Over 16 weeks, I have reversed the entire trajectory of last year and that should be a cause for celebration not disdain.

What have we been up to in the last fortnight?

  • Not running!  I am still plagued by that torn left calf so I'm leaving that well alone for a few weeks.   
  • Lots of swimming.  I can't express how gorgeous it is at the open air pool in Hathersage in the sunshine.  It's like being abroad.  I have been going at least 3 times a week and am LOVING it.  I have swum at last 1/2 a mile, mostly 1km and occasionally a full mile each time and can feel the benefit already.
  • Golf, loads of it.  I played well a couple of weeks ago and my handicap has been cut to 15 but I suspect it will be up to 16 soon as it was only just at the top of 15 so 2 more poor rounds and I'm back up.  But good news nonetheless.  I also played in our first match of the summer and trounced my hapless opponent 4 and 3.  We were away at Headingley Golf Club in Leeds yesterday and it was heavenly in the chilly but bright sunshine.
  • Decorating.  We have almost finished painting the hallway and stairs.  We've done all the bits around the stairs and have had the new carpets fitted.  It looks great.  Just a few bits in the downstairs hallway to finish off.  Next up the bathroom which looks very dingy by comparison!
  • Dog walking. Natch.  In fact I have a most disgruntled Shelagh sitting next to me expressing the opinion that we should be dog walking right now.  Soon, my love, soon.
  • Football. Natch.  It's pretty dire but only one more match to go this coming Saturday - away at Watford.  An early kick off so we have to leave home at 6.30am!!  Gah.  Roll on next season when hopefully we will have some new players and maybe a new manager to bring back some sparkle.  Although the overall result of 13th in the Championship is better than last year, the results at home have been awful - just 4 wins all season. 4!!
  • Socialising.  A bit, not much.  Went to see a band called Grin Factor at our local on Saturday which was good.  Managed not to drink too much so didn't ruin either the diet or golf on Sunday morning which was even better.
I can't be bothered to talk about work.  It's not too bad right now but not great either.  2 more weeks until we have a week off for our holiday in Northumberland (Amble).  Cannot wait.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

I'm still here...

Having a break from blogging and not exactly racing down the scales but not doing badly either. I'll be back soon, promise. Hope your endeavours are going well. Don't let yourself be derailed!!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Swimming, running and musings

Apologies for TMI (again) but it feels relevant.  I seem to be heading in the right direction despite some tribulations.  Physically, I'm healthy but until yesterday I had been having a continuous period for nearly 3 weeks.  Not unduly heavy and not bad symptons but damn persistent and just, tiring and energy sapping.  Also, Rich has had a nasty cough/cold and I think I've been fighting it off which also takes its toll on energy levels.

However, despite that, I've managed to stick to my regime for the most part and am hopeful of a reasonable drop at weigh in tomorrow.

With my car being poorly since Tuesday, it has been harder to fit in swimming as we're sharing cars but I managed a lunchtime run along the canal at work on Thursday and swims Saturday and this morning.  The canal run was good as I made myself extend my usual run beyond the 2nd lock taking it to 4.6km from 3.5km.  Next time - 5km!!

I was particularly proud of myself going swimming yesterday as the weather was grim.  I was up to drop Rich off at the golf course and really felt for him after a sunny work week, having to play golf in the cold wind and rain.  But I still managed to talk my reluctant chimp into the pool and powered up and down for 36 laps in 25 minutes!

This morning I only went for a quick dip while Rich was snoozing - 28 laps in 20 minutes but it was equally "brisk" so still good work.

There seem to be quite a few regular diet-y bloggers suffering from a loss of motivation at the moment.  I've been pondering on what causes this - why,when you're happy with your diet and happy to be dropping weight, does it suddenly become so hard to stick with a regime which was easy and working only weeks before??  It happens to everyone and sometimes you can plough on through and get back to the grindstone while other times, the stumble heralds weeks and months of gaining and frustration (see 2014).

Looking back, I think I nearly faltered this last few weeks myself.  The combination of unhelpful bodily cycles, social life,a hard year end at work and slow progress on the scales definitely ended my honeymoon period with this latest regime but somehow, either though luck or judgement, I have managed to steer myself back onto the SW track.  Maybe the early hint of spring has helped with the swimming pool and hills beckoning me and reminding me how nice it would be to have some summery clothes which fit me this year rather than having to go out and buy bigger ones like last year!!

As to whether there is anything we can do to regain mojo, I don't know but I DO think it must be within our power.  I suspect it is about chimp management and doing a series of small things to head in the right direction until the diet-love returns.  There have been days when I have been close to cutting loose and eating everything in sight  but somehow I have limited the damage.  The difference this time is that I seem to be able to recognise when I truly need to loosen up a bit and enjoy some treats and do just that (but no more) without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I mentioned a mini chocolate fest in one of my recent posts which was one such occasion.  I was so close to letting go but started with a lush hot chocolate and a piece of toast with Nutella and then realised I didn't need any more and stopped.  Despite the chimp voices in my head, I didn't eat biscuits, or more toast, or finish off the Lindor truffles which are my evening treat or any other contraband.  I had some extra stuff but then stopped.  Wow! It IS possible!  Who knew??

So, the result of all this rambling navel gazing is that I'm feeling cautiously positive for the next few weeks at least and that, in dieting world, is pretty much all you can ask for.  Good luck everyone else who is striving to become or to stay slim - may your mojo be ever with you.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Update on Shelagh

She is fine. I took her to the vet on Tuesday as she was obviously in pain all day Monday and little better on Tuesday. The very thorough vet checked her carefully and pronounced a pulled muscle above the elbow on her front left leg. I suspected she had pulled something out in the garden as she is not quite as nimble as she used to be, especially first thing (probably a touch of arthritis - boooo!).

Anyway, we have some painkillers and instructions to limit walks to short but frequent where possible. And now she is back to her old self. Still hamming it up for attention when she remembers but much happier despite the limp. I reckon she'll be totally recovered in a week.

It was awful seeing her so poorly on Tuesday morning. She was all scrunched up, tail under and shivering violently while looking up at me with her big brown eyes beseeching me to make her better. But I couldn't help her straight away. It was very frustrating but she hasn't held it against me.

I feel as stiff as her now after my 4.6 km run along the canal at lunchtime. My pulled right calf is better although I now have a twinge in the left calf! Gah!!

So far so good but chocolate was taken this evening in the form of a hot chocolate made with copious amounts of real choc and a piece of toast with nutella....luckily I managed to stop before I went crazy though...phew!! It was touch and go for a while. Maybe my restraint over Easter was too strict?? Hopefully not too much damage done.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Week 13 weigh in and Bank Holiday mixed golfing adventures

Amazingly, considering all the meals out we have had over the last few days, I managed to drop a lb last week.  I suppose, in between all the eating, I also played a lot of golf in poor conditions (which makes it harder work, honest) and I went running once and swimming so that must have been enough to swing it.

So, the stats are:

Start weight - 17.0.4
Week 13 drop - 1.0
Current weight - 15.12.8
Total drop - 15.6

Somehow it feels real that I dropped some weight now that the total is 15 as opposed to 14.  Why I couldn't possibly tell you....

But the eating out has not stopped so I'm already fearing for next week.We played in the Bank Holiday Mixed Greensomes today.  Our first of the Bank Holiday mixed comps since Rich has only joined my club this year.  It was a bit of a baptism of fire as we were playing with the Mens' and Ladies' captains.  They were funny though and very relaxed and, even better, being on the captains' table for the meal after means that you don't pay for wine as they pick up the tab on their entertainment budget!! We didn't trouble the leaders but didn't play badly either and the meal was gorgeous. Turkey, bacon with all the trimmings followed by sticky toffee pudding.  Mmmmm, heaven.

Poor old Richard has had to head straight out again to play darts (first match of the summer league) but I am happy vegging on the sofa with a poorly Shelagh.  I'm hoping she is not really sick but she is definitely under the weather and I have no idea why.  She seems to be limping a bit but I can't find an actual injury.  She is eating and drinking and can muster a small wag from time to time but mostly she is really hangdog and quiet.  I don't like it.

And, in another annoying development my car has broken down again.  It started then cut out on me this evening and is now saying there is an "Engine Immobiliser Fault" which sounds deeply depressing (and expensive).  Gah!  I had planned to go swimming first thing tomorrow before work but that is not now going to happen.  So it'll have to be a run along the canal at lunchtime (fingers crossed that the pulled calf muscle is okay, I haven't felt it tug for a while).  I had better do something as that sticky toffee pudding is not going to work itself off.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Heavenly long weekend

We've had a lovely long Easter weekend so far.  It started in the rain and wind on Thursday with a nightmare drive over the hills to the Shropshire/Cheshire border and a golf resort hotel called Hill Valley (which I have mentally re-dubbed Happy Valley for some reason).  The weather was reasonably kind - well, it didn't actually rain on us on Friday but the course was drenched and sodden and extremely muddy.

But that doesn't really matter does it?  It's just good to be away in a nice hotel, playing golf, having a few drinks and a good meal and a change of scene.  The forecast for Friday was terrible so we had agreed that, if it was pouring we would either not go out or walk in when it got too grim.  However, the forecast was overly pessimistic. It was not exactly a lovely, sunny day or anything - constant mizzle which came and went throughout our round - but not the driving rain which had been given.  So, we played the full 18 then headed back over the hill, by now in the driving rain.

We stopped off for a pub lunch on our way back which was good, solid Easter scrans too.

Saturday was another busy day.  Chores all morning while Rich played golf (again).  I just managed to catch a bus into town to get to the pub nice and early so that I could save a big table for all the extras only to be beaten to it by my mate Jimbo!  I used to go to the football with Nicola and Jim years ago before they moved away from Sheffield and I took up with Rich so it was great to catch with my old muckers.  Also good to meet Nicola's new chap, Andre.  She's been resolutely single for years but he seems to be a really nice bloke.  Dutch, funny, sensible and they seem to fit.  Yay!! Isn't it great when your pals get fixed up?

Since those days watching football together we have all broken up with our significant others and then found someone new and we all seem to be much happier this time around.  Maybe relationships are too tricky to be trusted to the young??

After the football we all met up for a meal in Sheffield.  Kerry,now back with the bloke she broke up with on Christmas Day so there was the, erm, awkward meeting with him to get through.  Especially awkward for Rich as he had been more outspoken in expressing his views about the chap than me.  It could have been awful but they were both proper grown ups and the chap seems much more relaxed and willing to listen as well as speak this time around so, in the end, we all had a good night out!

True to form Nicola and Jim and their other halves gibbed early and went back to the hotel straight after the meal.  Lightweights!  We had a few more drinks with Kerry and Rolie so all must have been well.  At this time, I eventually spotted the enormous rock of a diamond on her left hand.  Yep, they're engaged!  Speedy but I must say, she seems very happy so who am I to judge??

So, that's all 4 of us hooked up and happy and very nice to see too.

Sunday could have been golf but I'm pleased it was not.  We were talking about painting and chores but ended up chucking the dogs in the car and heading out onto the hills.  What started out as a cool, cloudy day, once we hit the moor all fleeced up, turned into a glorious, warm spring day.  T-shirt weather!!

I'm so glad we took the day.  We haven't been out for a proper walk other than round the usual stomping grounds of Bradwell or Bamford for months.  We parked at Surprise View Car Park above Hathersage and headed up to the Saltcellar rocks and then over to Carl Wark, along Burbage Brook to Padley Gorge and then back to the car for an ice cream!  Yes, you heard me - an ice cream and it was gooooood too!!

Near the rocks and the car park, it was busy with groups of friends and families.  But, just a few hundreds yards away, it was peaceful.  The moors absorb the crowd.


I was feeling slimmer and sleeker in my new jeans a size smaller than the old ones.  Then I see the pics and realise I have a long way to go.  Still lumpy and bumpy just a size smaller!  I'm not knocking myself really, what I see first on this photo is how happy I look with that big smile plastered across my mush.  I had a great day and was healthy too so what's not to like?  Hopefully next spring I'll have the figure I want but, in the meantime, I'm not going to worry about the (generous) size 16 ass, tummy and thighs!

The dogs were in heaven too.  They loved it up there.  Scampering up and over the rocks, snuffling through the heather and the bracken, slurping water out of puddles, exploring nooks and crannies, paddling in the marshy bits and the brook.  Pure doggie heaven.

We didn't walk up to Higger Tor - it was rammed, you could see the crowds like ants swarming all over the rocks.  It is very close to the road so all the lazy gits can go that far and no further.  We went instead to Carl Wark which is an Iron Age hill fort.  Over 2,500 years old!!  How amazing it that?  I can't believe there weren't more people up there but it was good to be able to poke around without the crowds.

This valley (Burbage) used to heavily wooded with conifer plantations but they have nearly all been felled now.  I wonder if they are going to replant with deciduous woodland or leave it to revert to open moorland?

We had to scramble to find a spot to cross the Brook, took me back to being a kid again.

It was a big leap!

Anyway, while we were enjoying our ice creams under begging doggie eyes, a bloke and his young daughter approached us.  She had eaten all she could of her ice cream and wondered if the dogs wanted the rest??  Oh. My. God!  Best. Walk. Ever!!

Little Sophia resolutely held onto the cone while first Shelagh then Minty licked happily away.  We were happily surprised at how well Minty did, only tugging the cone out of her hands once all the ice cream had gone.  It was a very sweet.

So, we're all tired but happy now.  Dogs sleepy dreaming of ice cream (probably)!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


Wednesday morning...

After the big high of Monday morning, I'm feeling a bit low.  Maybe the fact that it coincided with the end of year end?  Maybe the fact that I don't have my next target in mind?  Or maybe just the grim weather?

I'm meant to be golfing today but the course is waterlogged so the comp has been cancelled.  But, never fear, plenty more golf to come.  Rich and I are off for a mini-golf break to Cheshire tomorrow.  It's only one night and 2 rounds of golf but nice to have a break together so fingers crossed for decent weather and a nice restaurant.

I shouldn't be low when I think about it - I'm about to have 5 days off work and have loads of fun stuff planned: golf; old friends visiting Sheffield on Saturday for the football and a night out; more golf on Monday (our first Bank Holiday mixed comp now that Rich has joined my club).  So, now I think about it, I'm not so low and am starting to look forward to a fun long weekend.

I haven't bought any easter eggs yet though.....hmmm.....gonna have to think about that.

Wednesday evening....

Writing the above sorted me out a bit so I decided to go for a swim at lunchtime, you know, strike while the iron was hot.  I bought my season ticket for an eye-watering £165 which means I have to swim at least 28 times to get my money's worth. That should be no problem as the pool is open until October so only once a week will do it.  Having just paid up, I was chatting with the guy about it being really quiet which is when he mentioned that the pool was extra cold because it had been too windy to put the cover on for the last couple of days.  Now he tells me.

He was right - 19 degrees is very chilly compared to the usual balmy 28 it is heated to!  I really had to put the burners on to warm up.  I was pleased with how easy it felt after so long.  I managed a brisk 34 lengths which, in that old Victorian pool of 33 yards, comes to (I'm told) 1km.

So, a start has been made.  And I'm looking forward to it - I wonder how much weight I will have dropped by the end of the swimming season??

The next thing I need to do is set a target and think of a reward.  I've given it some thought.

The target is going to be 15.4 which is my Club 10 weight, ie the weight at which I will have dropped 10% of my starting body weight. When I get there, I'm going to take a day of and treat myself to whatever I feel like doing at the time. Shopping, spa, walking, photography lesson, a trip somewhere, gardening - just whatever I feel like, alone or with a pal if I can rustle one up on a school day.