Midsummer evening

Midsummer evening

Monday, 17 July 2017

Quick helloo!

The jury is out on 5:2. As of this morning I appear to be back to where I started. Hmmmm....

This could be time of the month variations. It is more likely to be that my 2s are not "2" enough and my 5s are too "5".

Either way, I have not given up on it but I am reinstating calorie logging via the Fitbit to keep me honest.

I have to get to work now but wanted to put a marker down.

Have a great week everyone and I'll be checking in properly soon. Lxx

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Nearly a week has passed, how did that happen?

My weigh in was mildly successful; I dropped another lb taking me down to 16.11 which is 3 lbs lower than my re-start.  This is good news as 5 days of not dieting was FUN! The long term success of 5:2 remains to be seen, however, as I'm struggling with the starve days and can feel my chimp start to push the boundaries.

I have done my 2 starve days for this week but neither of them has been anywhere near perfect.  On Monday I was pretty good foodwise and then ruined it with a pint of cider (there were extenuating circumstances which I'll get to).  Today has just been a little too much here and there - slightly too much ham salad,a couple of pieces of fruit, a couple of coffees, supper was again slightly more calorific than it should have been followed by a few strawberries and yoghurt afterwards. I have struggled to stick to the limits today big style.  So, it was a good diet day but it was not a starve day.

I do not have time this week to fit another starve day in so I will try to make up for the extras by doing another good diet day tomorrow rather than just a normal day.

So, back to Monday and the pint of cider.  I had been in the office and had been pretty good there (I do find it easier at work somehow).  I dashed home, grabbed a sensible supper and we headed back into Sheffield for the Green Day concert at Sheffield Arena.  Now, Green Day is not my big crush but Richard's.  I like their music but don't know it as well as he does.  I felt a bit low in energy and like I wasn't going to really enjoy the gig which would have been a shame as it had cost a packet.  I caved and had a pint of cider to get me going. And it worked - we had a great night and bopped the night away.  They certainly give good value for old rockers- came on at 8.30pm and didn't finish until 11!

Apart from Green Day, it has been a week of golf.  Sunday in the Mixed, Tuesday night playing a knock-out (which I won); Ist President's competition on Wednesday morning (I'm currently lying second with second round to come tomorrow); 2nd President's competition Friday afternoon; Woodroffe Arms Golf Day on Saturday morning; and a mixed competition on Sunday.

The President's is the big one so I'm pleased to have done well in round 1.  There are loads of women just behind me though so there will be no complacency tomorrow.  The leader is my foursomes partner, a tiny Thai woman called Kanchana.  She is quite a high handicapper but has been really coming good this summer and she had a STUNNING round of 7 under par so she is 5 shots ahead of me.  I'm so pleased for her but that doesn't mean I don't want to beat her!!  All to play for so wish me luck!

I have been over at Dad's since yesterday which has been lovely but hot.  (Perhaps that is why I pushed the boundaries on the starve day today?) The dogs love dad's garden - pootling around, in and out of the undergrowth and keeping the gardener company.  I had to stick inside at my desk (boooo) but it was nice to see them all enjoying themselves.

It was too hot at lunchtime to take the dogs out, especially as they had spent the entire morning outside and were looking tired.  So, instead, I took them out for a walk on the way home.  We drive through a lovely village in Nottinghamshire called Wellow and I have wanted to stop and have a closer look for a while now.  I checked out a walking route online and that is what we did.   It has lots of very handsome buildings, a wide village green overlooked by 2 nice looking pubs and equipped with an enormous maypole at the centre.  The village and is surrounded by the playing fields of a posh prep school and the thoroughbred studded fields of a very smart looking equestrian centre.

It was as splendid as I had expected but very dry compared to the Peak District.  We are used to having handy streams or reservoirs to dip in when we're out and about and this was pretty much water-less.  However, there was a fishing pond right at the end so I managed to find a quiet corner to let them in for a quick swim before heading home.  While they were swimming I was watching a stunning heron fishing from a nearly pier. What a master fisherman he was but I failed to catch any photos of him I'm afraid; I couldn't leave the dogs to get the right angle.

I was so hungry when I got home which I suppose might also explain the pushing of boundaries food wise.  I was also tired so have stayed in rather than go up to the pub for more dart-based humiliation!!  Saving myself for golf tomorrow perhaps....

Sunday, 2 July 2017

First week of 5:2 is over

My second starve day was on Thursday which was a tough day for it.  I was working from home but had a packed programme of tasks to do.  I also made myself take the dogs out for a run!  I wasn't sure how running on a starve day would pan out but it was fine.  I managed the same, hilly-ish route I started with last Saturday but a bit longer and a bit faster.  4.8km at 9.4km per hour rather than 4.1km at 10.35 per km.  So that is progress eh?

I had a nail appointment immediately after work; then a meeting about raising funds for the village Memorial Hall; and then straight up to the pub for a darts tournament.  I had not intended to play as I'm absolutely rubbish at darts.  However, they only had 15 entrants and needed a 16th to make the knock-out work so I was in.  It was extra hilarious as, instead of being drawn against one of the blokes who would thrash me in no time and put me out of my misery, I was drawn against Carolyn (Rich's stepmum) who, although better than me, is not much cop either.

We persuaded everyone to only play one leg and eventually, after throw after throw nowhere near a double, we also gave upon finishing on a double.  We were being heckled by half the pub by this stage which just made us laugh and then throw ever wilder darts.  They were everywhere!  Carolyn finally hit a 3 and I was defeated.....phew!!

A busy starve day is good though as you don't have time to focus on being hungry so that is a tip for future weeks.

Since then I've been busy too.  I was working on Friday morning and had a scratch golf match against Rotherham Golf Club in the afternoon.  I was handed a golf lesson by a doughty older lady.  She was good!!  Still, I look forward to facing her at home in a couple of weeks time.  Straight from golf to a surprise 50th birthday party complete with gin & tonics and curry....mmmmm

This was the view from the pub at High Bradfield.

Saturday was a dental operation in the morning (the second part of my implants) followed by what was meant to be a quiet day pootling round the house not upsetting my stitches.  That plan didn't really work as our neighbours gave me a load of plants so I had a busy time planting them out.  We then went over to Bamford for a walk and ended up going far longer than planned. Good for the steps...but me and the dogs were knackered.

The pics are from the end of our walk at the lovely Bamford Mill.

Today has been lovely.  We had a mixed exchange golf match at a course near Stockport (Bramhall). It was a swanky sort of course situated in a very chintzy suburb full of houses which look relatively ordinary but cost a fortune because of where they are.  All very nice but very definitely not the sort of place I would like to live in.

The golf was fun, lovely weather and a very manicured parkland course.  At one point a fox appeared out of the rough to the side of us.  Only about 20/30 yards from us.  It stood and looked at us in the full sunlight then retreated into the trees and bushes alongside the fairway and trotted down just ahead of us.  It was magical.  Totally relaxed.  It didn't start to run until it hit the end of the trees and had to cover some open ground.  I've seen urban foxes often but there is something special about a seeing a beautiful wild creature in it's natural habitat.

So, on the dieting front I have not been particularly good nor especially bad, lots of activity but a few drinks and decent meals.  Tomorrow's weigh-in will tell how it worked.

I think I'm going to do a starve day tomorrow.  We have tickets to see Green Day at Sheffield Arena so if I drive that should distract me from my hunger and desire to eat! That will leave the second starve day on either Wednesday or Thursday both of which are problematical at I'll be over at dad's. I think that is going to be the trick - prioritising the starve days and not letting busy life take overand push them out. We'll see.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Day 2 report

There is nothing like a bit of affirmation to get you going on a diet. I stuck it out yesterday although I suspect I was nearer 700 calories than 600. However, it was not too bad and, if I can get some soup sorted for tomorrow, will get better. 2 salads in a day is a tad "thin". I was hungry by bedtime but not unhappy.

The affirmation came this morning wgen I stepped on the scales. I KNOW a daily weigh in is inaccurate but it was heartening to see 16.8 flash up when I have been hovering around 16.12- 16.13 for the last week. I don't expect that to be my weekly total come Monday but I'm hopeful of a decent drop, provided I don't go mad on non-starve days that is.

There was great temptation this morning to have a bigger breakfast than normal (and chocolate), you know to make up for yesterday. But that woukd have been counter-productive now wouldn't it chimp... so I resisted that temptation and now feel fine.

I should have been golfing but relentless, driving rain has mercifully put paid to that so now I'm wondering what exercise I will do on this grotty day.  Obviously the dogs need walking but they won't want to be out for long in this. I'm thinking either a home workout or a swim in the rain. I didn't get a season ticket for the outdoor pool this year and it is normally too busy in the public sessions but I doubt that will be a problem today!!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

1st starve day since Lighter Life

It was tough making that start. Remembering not to have a proper breakfast and grab a cappucino. Selecting a crappy salad for lunch (which turned out to be quite nice actually). Planning.....more planning....

However, it's not been bad so far. Being peckish is not the end of the world is it?

I have a loooong day at work today due to a site visit at 6-7.30pm this evening so I won't have any temptation at home. We'll see.

I think ramping up the effort is necessary though as doing what I was doing before was a little too "comfortable". I dropped a single lb last week but that rate of progress is too vulnerable to one bad week. I need a few lbs in the bank and I'm hoping 5:2 will assist with that.

Last year I ended the year a stone lighter than I started it. I want to be able to say the same or better this year and head to Australia in the 15s at least. This is do-able but not if I keep fannying around.

So, there are my stern words to myself. Help me keep on the straight and narrow peeps!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Couch to 4.1km

I finally made it out for a run after a hiatus of around 3 months!  I have been thinking about getting back to it over the last few weeks but it has been too hot, too wet, something else was happening, the dog was ill, well, you get the picture.

One episode gave me hope and inspiration: 3 weeks ago, my niece and her fiancee came to visit and on the Sunday we went for a long walk around the Derwent reservoir.  The forecast was for it to be dry all weekend.  At the halfway point around the reservoir, the heavens opened and soaked us.  We tried sheltering under trees until the water came through and it became apparent that the rain was not going to stop.  At this point we were still a good mile from the car.  I couldn't get any wetter so decided to jog to warm me up and I ended up jogging all the way back to the car!  This saved the others a few minutes and ensured that I got to change into the only dry top in the car - Rich's golf top.  I was so wet and chilly that I just stripped my top off standing by the car next to the road - I did not care who saw my flabby tum and bra, just wanted something dry on!  But the jog told me that I still have some residual fitness and helped me get out this this morning.

I utilised the getting dressed straight into running gear to ensure that my chimp didn't talk me out of it.  I told myself we could just do the short 2.5km route over the fields but, when it came to it, I turned the other way and went for the longer, slightly hillier route.  4.1km in total and VERY slow.  When I was running regularly in January and February, I got down to 8.5km per hour average speed.  I'm back up to just over 10km per hour.....whoops.

But, I'm happy to be out there and really enjoyed it.

A facebook friend from the village who is quite a large woman posted yesterday that she is starting a fitness programme to drop weight and get back to fitness.  She is a young woman who has previously dropped many stones of weight but then re-gained them plus more.  I found her post and the comments on it very inspiring.  It is nothing to do with appearance but all about fitness and avoiding the illnesses and lack of confidence which come with being very overweight.  I read the post while I was out walking (which is itself quite weird as I don't usually look at FB while I'm walking) and it inspired me to add an extra, hilly loop to my evening walk.  It also helped this morning to make me get on with the running.    So, even though you probably won't read this, thank you Kate and good luck!!

Weight wise, the scales are heading steadily in the right direction.  I'm down to 16.12 now so that is good news.  My friend Kerry was praising and recommending the 5:2 diet which I have been toying with in my mind for a while so I'm going to give it a go next week.   The difficulty is picking the starve days but, it's like anything, you just have to make it your priority and stick to your guns.  So, Monday and Wednesday it is, despite the fact that I have dancing on Monday and golf on Wednesday.  Gulp!

So,next up is some gardening today and a mixed golf match tomorrow afternoon.  I'm doing a lot of dreaming about how much I can drop before Spain in November (golfing with the girls) and Australia over Christmas but trying to keep my feet on the ground.  I've also got to get back in touch you you lovely bloggers and see what you've been up to while I've been on sabbatical!!

In the meantime, here are some pics from extra long dog walk yesterday evening.

Monday, 19 June 2017

The day of reckoning has arrived

I have been feeling better for a few weeks now.  Did I leap straight back onto the diet and exercise wagon, gleefully embracing my newfound healthfulness??  Did I hell!

I enjoyed several weeks of playing loads of golf, dog walking, gardening, drinking and eating and working like a mofo.  I have not been for a run or swimming or anything beyond golf and dog walking for nearly 3 months.  Gulp. However, over the last few days I have started to feel ready to focus again. I've also started to realise that Australia (and Spain) are only a few months away and I am still pretty fat.  Double gulp.

After a few days of this lovely heat I've realised that carrying this extra weight is annoying.  Skimpy clothes don't do the larger lady any favours and it is just plain uncomfortable.  I don't want to be lethargic and uncomfortable on our holiday; I want to be active and at least a little slimmer than I am presently.

So,that means yet another restart.  Today.

I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to step on those pesky scales this morning and did it.  Not horrific.  17 stone dead so about 6lbs on from my lightest this year.  And nowhere near back to my heaviest from last year so the damage is contained.

I'm going to go back to what was working before I started coughing my guts up for 3 solid months - Fitbitting, calorie counting and exercising.  I have done it today and, apart from craving carbs and sweet stuff on and off, it has not been bad.  It was roasty hot at lunchtime and I had a meeting so I couldn't face going out for a walk and getting all hot and bothered so stayed in the office.

BUT I made sure that I took the dogs out for a walk this evening once it had cooled down.  They enjoyed splashing in the stream and trotting through the long grass and I enjoyed walking through beautiful flower-filled meadows and picking elderflowers to make my annual batch of elderflower cordial.  They are steeping now and I'll finish it off tomorrow evening.

Rich is out playing darts this evening which could be a dangerous time for me and temptation but I have limited snacking to some strawberries and natural yoghurt.  It feels good to get going.

Tomorrow brings more temptation in the form of a drive and train journey to Nottingham for a course.  There will be food at the course and of course the temptation to eat contraband in the anonymity of the train and station environment.   But forewarned is forearmed so I intend to be a Very. Good. Girl.  Wish me luck peeps.

Monday, 8 May 2017

I was lost but now am found....

I can't believe it, I'm STILL coughing.  It stopped for a while (well, subsided) but has returned in a drier, more barking format just to ring the changes.  I'm not feeling as poorly as I have done but my energies are still low.   But, you can't put your life on hold forever so I'm trying to get back on track this week with both dieting and exercise.  I'm tracking again on the Fitbit and pledge to do some exercise more than just dog walking or golf at some point this week.

I fully intended to weigh myself this morning (for the first time in weeks) but, something came up and it slipped my mind.  Tomorrow.

I don't FEEL that I've piled on the lbs.  My clothes don't feel noticeably tighter but complacency has fooled me before so we will see.  I hope that I'm not stricken with disappointment tomorrow when I do finally dance with the devil.

Despite not being at my best, life is very busy.  The golf season has started and I've been playing a lot of matchplay and really enjoying the competitive element that brings. I'm in 2 teams so that is a lot of matches.  It's been great as I've been playing good golf in the matches and winning all but one.  Shame I can't seem to reproduce that form when I have a card in my hand but that is a perennial golfer's complaint.

Football too.  You may have spotted that my beloved Sheffield Wednesday has made it into the play offs for the second year running.  We have our semi-finals next Sunday and the following Wednesday and, if we win those 2 games on aggregate, it will be the final at Wembley on the Bank Holiday Monday.  It makes planning one's life somewhat complicated as we didn't know which semi-final we would be in until our final league game yesterday.

As it happens I don't think I'm going to go to the away game on Sunday.  I have a school reunion on the Saturday night.  It's 30 years since we left school and, for good or ill, I'm going back with a couple of pals to see what the old place looks like and chat to some old school mates.  I can't say I'm looking forward to it massively but I'm sure I'll have a good time when I get there.  I talked Jenny into going as she really wasn't keen so now I'm feeling that I shouldn't now bugger off to the football at crack of dawn on Sunday.  It would be more sociable to hang around for lunch etc (and then watch the game later on telly of course).  This is a major departure for me folks.....you saw it here first (and I haven't quite decided yet).

We've been to a boxing match (Crolla vs Linares) at the Manchester Arena and the Premier League Darts at the Sheffield Arena which were both great nights out.  Soon, to balance out the boy events, I'll be going to see Take That at the Manchester Arena with Jenny.  So, it's not as though we're taking it easy despite the interminable poorliness.  I'm craving some down time though.  Some quiet weekends with nothing planned when we can get on with some long overdue gardening and go for a long walk.  June I reckon.

It would be nice to be back running and swimming soon as well and that is something which is NOT going to wait until June.  I'm working from home on Thursday so am going to set that as the date of my first run in about 6 weeks.  And more blogging too.....

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


It's what I do these days. I notice that I referred to the "tail end of a nasty cough" in my last post on 28 March. This proved inaccurate as there was a giant sting in that tail! The cough came back with a vengeance and then settled onto my chest and then infected poor old Richard too. Well, misery loves company eh?

So, there has been no running for a while but a fair bit of walking, some golf too. I haven't lost the plot foodwise though so when I summon up the emotional energy to step onto the scales again, I'm hopeful that I won't have piled on too much.

Here's some slightly out of date photos from a sunny spring walk a week or more ago. We walked around Hope and it was a walk of noticeable things. Like the cemetery below, it was just stunning with beautiful scenery and belting birdsong. But there was a burial about to take place so a sad group of family and friends (as well as a couple of Council gravediggers in their van eating sandwiches). I hope the bereaved took some comfort from the beauty of the day.

Pretty yellow hedgerow flowers.

Pretty purple hedgerow flowers.

The first caravan (well, RV) of spring.

Shelagh's first swim of the year.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

See, writing stuff down helps!

If I hadn't written in my post yesterday that I was going to go for a run then I am fairly sure I would not have gone out for a run.  Today was hectic and without that motivation I reckon my chimp would have rationalised an excuse for not going out. But I DID say I was going for a run so run I did. Yay!!

It was hard work. A week off and the tail end of a nasty cough meant that I felt every step. But it was well worth it to ensure that the running does not slide off the agenda. It had been chilly during the day but once we set off the sun came out and it was almost too warm. I managed 35 minutes at a very stately pace so now I have a nice low bar for improvements.

Food has been fine but 2 glasses of red, whoops!!

Anyway, it was a good day..... Golf tomorrow, I hope the rain holds off until we have finished.

And in a clunking change of gear, here are some pics from a glorious Lincolnshire walk a couple of weeks ago. The light was just heavenly as the sun went down. Minty was poorly so it was just me and Shelagh which possibly explains how I managed to grab a couple of decent photos of her for a change.  She wasn't very happy though as she brushed up against an electric fence. She howled and glared at me and on our return trip refused to enter the offending field. Luckily we could bypass it or I would have had to carry her!!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Starting again, again, again...

But I'm not starting again from a bad place. I'm still weighing in at 16.7 so in effect, after shifting the Christmas 4 lbs, I have spent the last nearly 3 months in "active maintenance". I have not strayed far or slapped weight on but neither have I forged ahead with dropping weight, self evidently.

So, I need to go back to what WAS working rather than the looser, vaguer version of it which is not working.

To that end I am back logging ALL my calories EVERY day. And I'm going back to proper amounts of exercise rather than the 1 run and lots of walks which has appeared. Blogging too - I'm always much better when I post more frequently.

To be fair to me, I fully intended to do all this at the beginning of last week but was stricken by a combination of a nasty cough hitting on Sunday (yes, another one), a dental operation on Tuesday (dental implants) which left me with a horribly sore and swollen face and year end leaving me with a mountain of urgent work. It was a tough week but I'm quite proud with how I coped with it. I didn't overeat and, although I didn't do any running (couldn't have done it), I did go for decent walks every day. My weight did not change so the proof of the pudding is there.

So, the restart is on. Dancing tonight, run tomorrow, golf Wednesday, run Thursday, walk Friday and golf again on Sunday. Should be a good week provided I keep a lid on the calories.

Fingers crossed for me peeps. In the meantime here are some only slightly out of date pics of a walk over the golf course and around Bamford. I used to live there so it used to be a standard walk but now it was more unfamiliar and all the more lovely for that.