Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Golf is ace for a Fitbitter

I played golf this morning. Once again it was a frosty start but luckily my playing partners could play a bit later so I got a couple of hours work in before heading up to the club at 10 am.  After an hour or so the skies cleared and the sunshine appeared. It was  a truly beautiful morning.

A round of golf at my club clocks up around 12,000 steps and over 50 flights of stairs which helps greatly with the calories in/out calculation.

Usually I would tuck into a bacon and egg sarnie before and some sort of a bar of the way round. Today I still had bacon and eggs but replaced the  bread with tomatoes and mushrooms. I did without the snack as well.  I also managed to have a healthy lunch after golf despite being ravenous and wanting to fall into something fattening with bread!

This restraint is all due to my current Fitbit obsession. Yay - long may it last.

Then it was back home for more work and squeezing in a 30 minute dog walk before it got dark. The skies were gorgeous too. Apricot in one direction and pinky mauve in the other. Then later the apricot had darkened to tangerine. Just wow.

Life is hectic at the moment so even after the walk we still had plenty to do. An hour painting in our bedroom for me before leaving Rich hard at work and heading over to a friend in Bamford. She is a whizz with a sewing machine and has a new overlocker (whatever the hell that is). This made her the perfect pal to exploit in my quest for a fancy dress costume for the Santa's Scramble golf match next week.

I think I've posted pics in previous years - onesies and a snowman have both featured. This year my team have chosen the Spice Girls. I'm Ginger (in your honour of course Peridot). The trouble is, bought fancy dress costumes tend to be somewhat skimpy and, although mine went on, it was like a sausage casing on me. No worries - my mate expertly inserted some side panels into my Union Flag dress and I'm good to go!!

So then home to cook supper and collapse in front of the telly. Luckily all the walking left me with loads of calories to go at so lamb chops and apple pie.....A lovely reward for a busy day!!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Frosty Tuesday

Oh how I love working from home. On a frosty, crisp autumn/winter cusp day it is just heaven. I forced myself to stay at my desk from early until 11 then grabbed the dogs and headed out with my camera.

I took loads of pics with my DSLR camera until the battery gave up when I switched to my mobile. These were taken during the second half of our walk on the mobile.

As you can see it was a stunning day. A hard frost with wisps of icy mist hanging in the air.

As I said yesterday, I'm loving my Fitbit. I'm using the calorie tracker to keep tabs on everything I eat and this is getting easier day by day as I save my  favourites and get in the habit of weighing certain foods which we eat often. I like the visual effect of seeing the calories I've expended outstripping those I'm eating and drinking.

It seems to be sticking in my mind more effectively than that "calories in vs calories out" thing ever has with me. Maybe I'm just rather slow; I've heard that maxim over and over but it has never previously affected how I actually behave.

I usually either limit my intake extremely strictly (Lighter Life) or stick to certain rules with a view to eating as many "unlimited" foods as possible. The Slimming World mentality if you will. This has in the past lead me to a habit of unrestrained grazing which is not too bad when I'm grazing on good stuff but, as the reins slacken, the toast and sweets kick in.

With this new unvarnished calorie counting approach there seems to be less hiding and more accountability. I'm thinking about whether I want every morsel, every piece of fruit or slice of ham. Do I really want or need it or am I just eating it because it's in the unlimited bracket?

It also puts a premium on the extra calories one "earns" through exercise. Today, having taken the dogs out for a hilly hour at lunchtime, I still had the motivation to go for a short, sharp (and very cold) run just before it went dark this afternoon. I'm pretty certain that motivation would not have been there without the Fitbit tyrant strapped to my wrist.

So I managed 13,000 plus steps today and 45 flights of stairs climbed. Let's see how I do tomorrow!

Monday, 28 November 2016

Post Bootcamp reality

 Saturday was a dramatic day. The Valley was blanketed in one of the thickest fogs I've ever experienced. We were due to play golf early so dutifully turned up to the club for a 7.45 start.  Too frosty to go out until 8.30 so we had a coffee confident that soon the fog would lift.

It did not. We played the full 18 holes in a thick cloud. It was a bit dicey at times not knowing whether the group in front had moved far enough on not to be in range, especially as one of our group hit the ball a country mile.

I felt confident that no ramblers would be daft enough to walk over a golf course in that fog but later chatted to a mate who had assumed that none of us would be daft enough to be out playing!! She had been dicing with death (or at least a serious golf ball sized bruise)!

Anyway, Rich played out of his skin and I backed him up a bit and we were narrowly pipped into second place. Yay - vouchers to buy more golf gear!

I had to go to B&Q in the afternoon (not my favourite task but still preferable to painting the ceiling). As I drove into Sheffield I climbed up onto the Moor near Fox House and suddenly emerged from the cloud into a brilliant afternoon of blue sky and bright sunshine. I have seen that effect before but never as dramatically. The fog was so dense and the sunshine so clear and bright. You coukd see the tops of trees poking out from the cloud. Stunning stuff.

I took the photos above on my drive back from Sheffield - they don't really capture the pillowy cloud in the valley with the setting sun reflecting on the top of it. If I had had more time I would have found a better spot but I had to race back to shower and change for our big night out.

It was Rich's work's "Christmas" dinner and the bus was picking us up at 5.30! Eeek. I drank rather a lot of average wine and ate well but sadly the DJ was awful so we did not do as much dancing as I would have liked. Some, but the halfway decent songs were rare and isolated!

Anyway, here we are looking unseasonably festive.

I think the excesses of the last 2 weekends have encouraged me to get back on track. I have been working hard to keep my step count up and do more exercise. My Fitbit has started to change my behaviour. I'm consciously parking further away from shops and the office and getting out of the lift at the third floor and walking up the next 2 floors.

After a week of focusing on steps etc I started tracking calories today too. It is the first time I've had any confidence in tracking. It somehow seems easier than previous efforts.  Okay so it is only day 1 but I'm feeling quite positive. And 500 calories spare today too.

Long may it last!!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

That London

We went down to London for my birthday weekend.  There was to be football involved but we decided to do the full weekend for a change. We were staying with a mate in Docklands right next to the Thames Barrier as it happens. Nice flat and convenient for  the DLR.

We headed out nice and early on Friday evening. Out to Greenwich and the Cutty Sark to see just how expensive beer is in London.  Very is the answer - £16 for 3 pints of average bitter (with no head) in the Gypsy Moth! Eeek. Still, that was the most expensive place we went to.

We had a great view though.

After beers we went to a nice Vietnamese restsurant for a buffet. What gorgeous food! The whole steamed sea bass was pure heaven.

It saved us from hangover too. We woke up to a stunning Saturday morning. In a bid to keep my steps up I went for a walk down to the river (after delivering breakfast ingredients to our host/chef) to inspect the Thames Barrier at close quarters. Sadly I couldn't walk along the riverbank but it was still impressive.

Cooked breakfast was great- it's always good when someone else produces it.  So we were fully energised for our trip across London to Putney Bridge and more river views.

A few beers at our Fulham local - The Bricklayers Arms - and off to Craven Cottage. 3,900 Sheffield Wednesday fans eager to find out which way it was going to go. 2 years ago we lost 4- 0 but bounced and sang. Last year we won 0-3 and scored 2 worldies.  What a match.

This year, to ring the changes, we scored early and dominated the first half. Sadly we then let them back in in the second half and on 92 minutes they equalised. Gah!

More beers followed and a monster hangover on Sunday. We were meant to be meeting up with Rich's brother Dave and his wife along with his niece and mother who were down in London for his mum's 70th birthday treat. A day of schlepping across London to drop off our bags at the station then down to the Churchill War Rooms, lunch then train home. It was going go be "challenging" in our fragile states.

Then a reprieve - sadly Rich's mum was poorly so they were leaving early. We hung around the flat for a few hours then went for lunch and the slowest train to Sheffield it is possible to catch. It stopped EVERYWHERE. My we were tired that evening.

You may have spotted a few calories encrusting my weekend....I feel and, indeed, am quite fat now. But this extra bulk has concentrated my mind. Over the last 2 days I've been much better and disciplined. My new Fitbit is helping too. Exercise tomorrow!!

Monday, 14 November 2016


This is me with my oldest and closest friend Jenny. I love this pic, it reminds me of dozens of shots just like it over the years. We used to do selfie on film cameras which was always a gamble but some came out well

And this is the 4 of us from school looking really happy to be together, which we were.

I had been meaning to organise a get together and spotted an ad for an artisan craft market being held at Haddon Hall near Bakewell. Amazingly we were all free on less than a week's notice. It was a short rendezvous but lovely.

The location for a posh craft market could not have been better and the weather was stunning.
The stalls were diverting and I bought several Christmas gifts (and a little giftette for me too).

Diet still going nowhere but I made it out for a run on Saturday. Hmmmm. Come on woman, get it together!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Less golf, more running, ahem, dog walking

This Wednesday just gone, when I should have been playing golf, the snow arrived.  Only on the hills but enough to stop us playing, yet again.  So back home to my laptop and waiting for the fog to lift so I could go out at lunchtime.

I really meant to go out for a run, honest, but that day my chimp won.  She used some seriously rubbish excuses involving running gear being in the wash and it being cold, and I fell for it. So a walk it was. Hey ho, you can't win 'em all and I've been out running since so no harm done.

The skies were a lowering grey but interesting and the hills were snow capped so it was a lovely lunchtime brisk tramp with my girls.

We said hello to these little chaps sheltering behind their wall on top of the hill.

Still a few autumn colours left.

I forced my unwilling models to pose on a park bench and in 5 shots found only one in which they were not blurry or grumpy.

The house to the right has been derelict for years but is now being renovated. I'm jealous of the lovely views and location.

I like this moody, misty shot though the trees over the ravine to Bradwell Edge beyond.

This horse might look lonely and forlorn but he had several pals in his field.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Autumn running

This was a week last Wednesday. I should have been playing golf but the frost lay thick and crispy on the course. My playing partners and I sat with coffees for an hour but eventually had to concede defeat and go home to do some work instead. By lunchtime it was clear and sunny so I took the dogs out for a run along the old railway track up to the Ladybower reservoir.

The autumn colours were lovely, the sky not as blue as it could be but beautiful nonetheless.

Bamford Edge loomed over us to our right.

I chugged slowly but surely up the big hill to the dam wall and was proud that I didn't stop.

The sun started to peek through too.

Then over the dam wall and down the hill to the Derwent River. I watched a dipper on a rock for a couple of minutes.

Bootcamp (such as it has been) is nearly over, only 2 more weeks. It has not been a great success for me in terms of weight loss but there have been some positives:

  1. I have stuck it out, been to class every week and done my best in trying circumstances.
  2. I've met some lovely women.
  3. I have not gained weight and even hope to drop a few lbs in the last fortnight with a decent late push.
  4. Work was a pig for most of the 10 weeks and I have in the past gained large chunks during those tough times which I haven't this time.
  5. I HAVE regained my enthusiasm for proper exercise and am not finding it hard to get out for runs or to go to classes. 
So I'm NOT going to be disheartened, really what would be the point? And I AM going to build on the exercise thing and keep reminding myself that I really do enjoy it!!