Saturday, 30 May 2009

Heading off now....

Off to sunny London today to go play for the weekend. Got no f*cking clothes that fit me .... gaaaaaaah .... not the kind of thing to make a girl feel good about herself even if it is because everything's too big!!! Scales are still holding steady at a shade about 14 stone, so here's hoping for some nice news on Monday morning .... assuming I haven't drunk myself to death by then!

Right, going to go and have a further clothes stress now about what to take for tonight, and see if I can't pull something out the back of the wardrobe to look good!


Friday, 29 May 2009

Just another day

*Taps fingers on the desk and pouts whilst wondering what's new to report*

Errrrr ... went for a run last night, actually up on the hills, with my little running club. I had a bit of a stress that I didn't actually know which car-park we were meeting in, but luckily by lurking in opportune places I got found by Mark, our lovely leader.

It was actually a glorious evening up there, still clear blue skies and sunny (by which, you should read, hot) at 6 in the evening. We ran (well, more of a slow jog really) a mixture of hillside trails and some road, and did a kind of convoluted figure of 8 to bring us up to the 5k marker. There was some walking in there (because I was dying quietly) and a couple of short breaks whilst we all caught up with each other, but besides that it was quite a nice steady pace. I was literally dripping sweat by the time we were done, but that's definitely a route I'd consider running on my own.

Besides working on my stamina, which I guess will just get slowly better with time, I'm conscious that I'm a very slow runner, so when I'm out I sometimes concentrate on just trying to lengthen my stride a little bit to increase my pace. Tiring but satisfying. I'm just hoping this running club keeps going as the 5k race the others have been training for is the weekend after next, and I'd hate to think this little club might disband so soon. I might have to lobby to make it a permanent fixture if the others are interested.

Besides running, I ate lots of food yesterday! We had a buffet lunch out, and whilst I did just about manage to reign that in enough that I didn't run over my points for the day, that would have meant eating a zero point tea, and frankly, I just didn't feel like it after running. So I had a nice tea instead, but I still managed to save one point for the day after balancing it against running.

Today? I had a toasted teacake with butter this morning at elevenses, and thoroughly enjoyed every damn mouthful of it! Hopefully, I'm meeting my dad in a bit for lunch in the sunshine on the hills at a local hotel which does very nice bar-food. Just need to make sure that I make a sensible food choice, although luckily the rising temperatures at the moment reduces my appetite somewhat. Going to have a night with the girls tonight, and then I'm shooting off to London early tomorrow morning to meet a friend for lunch in Clapham (and extended sitting in the sun / drinking / gossiping) and then a house-warming party in the evening. Sunday's down as being my chill out day and possibly a sorting out kit for Norway day.

Eeeeeek - I hate packing, so watch the procrastination begin!!!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Oh crikey!

Firstly, I'm feeling very happy this morning. Nay, I would even go so far as to say smug and self-satisfied.

"Why?" I hear you cry!

Because, as usual, I sneaked a look at the scales this morning (sorry - it's the one bad habit I've not been able to break myself out of) and they are about this close (holds fingers about half cm apart) from being dead on 14 stone, and therefore nearly under 14 stone, and therefore getting to 2 and a half stone gone, and therefore ......... (big breath) ........ being halfway along my journey to goal. Just 2lbs to get there in fact.


On the other hand, I've just realised that I'm eating out for lunch today, tomorrow and Saturday and I'm supposed to be drinking lots at a house party in London on Sat night.


So, on the one hand, eating shit-loads of really calorific food and shifting my ass like crazy over the last 2 weeks appears to have jumped my metabolism into overdrive (woohoooo), and on the other hand, I have a feeling the scales might show a small reversal on their current position by Monday.

Ah well - once I've seen it there on the little screen once, I know it's easy enough to get it back, so hopefully I'll be there soon enough.

I'm due to go out running on the hills tonight with my little running club. Luckily we're not actually running up the hills as we're driving up there to meet, but I'm sure it'll be pretty challenging anyway.

I've also just realised that I'm heading to Norway a week today, and I'm totally unprepared. I haven't got my currency yet, and I've not got much in the way of clothes to take, so I think I'd better spend what little spare time I've got over the weekend trying to get a bit of sorting done - make some lists, get all my stuff washed and get a handle on what I need to buy, etc. Yep - that's right! - I shall actually attempt to be organised about this and not leave everything until the last moment so I can tie myself in knots and have a huge stress about packing. See - I can change my spots :o)

*Contented sigh*.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Rolling back the years

I had a strange thought earlier, that I'm quite literally rolling back the years with this weight loss malarkey. It's quite a nice thought really. At the current time I weigh about the same that I weighed in my gap year, which was in 1999 / 2000. Once I've lost another stone, I'll be back into my sixth-form years 1998/1999. About a month ago, I was the same as my final year at uni, which was 2003. But I feel more confident than I did at any of those times. I also look better if I'm honest, and think I will always continue to do so, no matter how much smaller I get.

I was definitely a late bloomer in the style-stakes - I spent years wandering round in the sartorial wilderness before I finally stumbled across a clue, made it all my own and started to use it. I clearly remember the day at uni that I came across a gorgeous, long, funnel-necked cream wool coat in the sales after Christmas. I looked at it. I coveted it. And I was scared of how damned impractically, screamingly, decadently look-at-me it was. I put it on and I felt glamorous. And I think that is that moment that my shopping addiction started. I blame that coat because it made me feel good, and every subsequent shopping trip was an attempt to capture that feeling again.

The problem I now find is that whilst I found it hard to accept that at the time I was getting too big for my clothes, I'm finding it even harder to get my head round the fact that I'm getting smaller again. I walk straight past shops where in theory there might now be clothes that fit me, because I've still got my big-girl mentality firmly on. Weird. When I take in stuff to try on in my new slightly smaller size, I half expect the sales girl at the changing room to scoff and ask if I'm sure I don't want to try that in a bigger size. The only thing I can do is keep chipping away at the weight, and know that one day, when I've tried on everything there is to try in this smaller size and it's fitted, I'll accept that that is what I am now ... and then presumably I'll have to start the same battle all over again with my brain over the next size!

I guess I'm feeling pretty chipper (I love that word!!) this morning because the scales say that I've dropped down by another half a lb since weigh in Monday, and everything I lose now feels like new territory. It's not obviously, because I had to go through it on the way to getting bigger, but it's been so long since I was here, that it feels new. Everything I lost until I got to 14 and a half stone was the weight I'd lost in my final year at uni, and was then revisited again when I moved home from London in 2005, so it felt like it was the same old ground, covered in the footprints of my previous visits. I guess to continue the metaphor, this ground hasn't been visited in so long that the previous outward bound footprints have blown away and I can tread a new determined set in the virgin territory. One small step for weight loss, one giant leap for Sue. :o)

p.s. the couscous tasted just as good the second time round. Yum.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

A new discovery

I have just discovered something called couscous!!!!

Now I realise that there are plenty of other people who have previously made this same discovery, and I am therefore re-inventing the wheel somewhat, but it doesn't stop me from being overly excited about finding something that will obviously revolutionise my life!!

On a more serious note - I actually am quite excited about making my re-acquaintance with this stuff, because my first encounter with it wasn't pleasant at all, and my second one was good, but there wasn't any follow-up action prescribed, so it's taken me this long to actually try cooking it for myself.

I had some for dinner with salmon and veg - lush!! But the best bit is that since it can be eaten cold, I've got the other half of the portion plus the spare salmon fillet and some mixed leaf salad to have for lunch tomorrow - heaven.

I keep looking for a) carbs that agree with me more than pasta, and b) ideas for stuff I can take for lunch, so this is ticking all the boxes so far. Hooray!!

Aaaah rats!!!

I keep remembering other things that I've eaten and drunk over the weekend and yesterday and that I haven't pointed. Rubbish! :o(

Just a small slip-up

Aaaaah bollocks! Yes, I only had 2 slices of pizza last night. Unfortunately it was accompanied by some nachos with cheese and tomato and spicey potato wedges. I don't think that was exactly what I intended!

Oh well - in some ways I prefer playing catch up on points for the week, rather than just banking them for the weekend, as I know specifically what I've got to do, rather than aiming for some hazy target.

I'm going to head to the gym tonight, to spend a bit of one-on-one time with the treadmill and a few other instruments of torture. I don't much feel like going for a run outside tonight, so I shan't force it, and B won't mind gymming instead.

The only problem with my non-stop life at the moment is that I haven't got time to do anything practical - I'm severely out of food at the moment, but haven't found any time to go and do a proper food shop. I've also still got to fix my bike - hell, I've still got to remove its muddy carcass from my car, and my washing pile had officially reached the height of your average 10 year old. I must try harder to stay on top of everyday stuff, as I'm slowly sliding back into my usual state of chaos, which I hate. God - I wish I could be one of these people who effortly maintains their home and life in a state of decluttered zen-like calm. Mine looks more like I was broken into and the whole place has been tossed by robbers, and then a pair of hyper-active 5 year olds has been let loose - eeeeeeeek!

Monday, 25 May 2009

A fresh new week

The verdict's in from last week: no change in either direction. I officially stayed the same this week, and I can't quite work out whether I'm relieved or disappointed. On the one hand it's obviously good that I made it through the crazy amounts of food at the weekend without completely destroying all my good efforts, but on the other hand, you can't help feeling a bit disappointed that all that good work in the early part of the week counts for nothing!!!

We've spent today having a picnic at the nearby Ragley Hall, and playing in the park - no kids involved, just a bunch of very immature and childish young adults! I pointed my picnic before I went, but I fear I may still run over my points today, as I've just said sod it to having pizza next door with the boys for dinner. I do hearby solemnly vow to only have 2 pieces though, and to fill the rest of my plate with spinach and some sweet chilli sauce.

It's been a gorgeous day - the weather was a bit shakey earlier, but we persevered through it and the sun eventually made its much awaited appearance - yay!!! Aside from the picnic, we've played in the dual-layer maze, messed around in the adults adventure playground on the zip-wire and trampolines, and the big slides, we've played frisbee and rounders and I've been goofing around with my mate's diablo.

So today marks the start of a fresh week. No crazy saving of points this week, as although I am away in London this coming weekend, it shouldn't be anything too lethal on the healthy-eating front. It'll be nice to be free to play with my points a bit more this week, which allows me the little luxuries of things like pizza tonight. There should still be plenty of exercise, as B will be over tomorrow night, and I've got spin and running club on Weds and Thurs. I also think the hotter weather helps, as I'm more inclined to eat lighter meals and have more salad on my plate.
I've got a little mini challenge on for myself to try and beat the 14 stone marker round about the time I head to Norway in a fortnight - I have no idea if I'll get there in time, and honestly it's not the end of the world if I don't, but it's a nice little thing to keep me focused for the next two weeks.

Hope you've all be enjoying this early summer sun - I certainly have as my somewhat red right shoulder will bear testament!! I'm going to leave it here for today and potter about and do a bit of tidying before the pizza's ready.

Catch ya later, kids!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

A weekend of excess ....

Phew - it's been a good weekend (mostly), but I honestly feel like I have consumed way too much. Too much food. Too much drink. Too much sun.

Friday afternoon I shot off from work to go mountain biking. I was going to post some photos up here of how glorious the trail looked, but unfortuately, they're currently stuck on my phone and I can't download them. I rocked up to the centre to find it really quiet, which was how I wanted it, but I still felt a bit nervous about going out on my own. Of the few other people there, they all seemed to be the usual guys who know exactly what they're doing with their bikes, competent and kitted out to the nth degree. I didn't mess around, just put my bike together and got out of the trail away from anyone seeing me doing something stupid. Actually once I was on the trail I barely saw a soul. They'd been logging in the area recently, and where this had crossed the trail it was sometimes really hard to actually work out where it went as it because practically invisible, but away from those mercifully short sections, it was generally in pretty good condition. Certainly better than the last time I was here, when it was a foot deep in mud!

I started to race round the first circuit, and soon realised that I'm not yet as fit as I think I am! The climbs were really taking it out of me - legs and lungs burning, and not helped when my chain was occasionally jumping which threw me off my rhythm. Once I slowed my pace a bit, I found it easier, and stated to enjoy the downhills and all the drops, jumps and turns. After about 45 mins, I tore out the end of the trail feeling pretty chuffed and stopped at the car. Checking the time, I debated quickly whether I had the time and energy left to try for a second circuit, and so headed back into the woods again.

The second attempt started better as my pace was steadier, and I had the advantage of the trail being fresh in my memory this time which helped to pick out the lines to take. However, it quickly became apparent the skipping chain on the first lap wasn't a one off, and the problem started snow-balling as the chain started jumping off completely or coming slack and sticking with alarming regularity. I persevered for a bit longer, before jumping off to inspect it properly, and finally realised that part of the chain guard (a piece of plastic that I never bothered to strip off when I first got the bike) has snapped and jammed between the wheel and the rear cassette, preventing the wheel from spinning freely. Not the best thing having a bike that can't freewheel properly when you're out on singletrack that deliberately goes up and down hill.

Since I didn't have any tools with me, or anyway to fix the problem, I limped on a bit further on the bike, until I got a section that would be absolutlely impassable with the bike in it's current condition (i.e. everytime I went downhill and freewheeled to any extent, the chain pulled slack, and I'd then have to put in 3 or 4 full turns of the pedals to pull it taut again before I could actually put any power in with the pedals). At this point I was close enough to the end of the trail to decide to risk using one of the wide open logging trails to try and run paralell to the trail and find my way back to the centre. 5 mins later I made it back to the car grumpy, but relieved, and with just enough time left to grab a shower and shoot off to meet the girls for dinner.

Dinner was lovely but, my god, it was rich! Couldn't finish all of either my main or dessert, despite the fact that I was absolutely starving when I got there. It was great seeing the girls though and catching up on the going's on at my ex-work. Made it home about midnight and collapsed into bed.

Yesterday I was up bright and early at 7 for the wedding. For once I was out on the road on time and over with Jo and Lissa in plenty of time to get changed and get some make-up on before we left for the church. It was a beautiful day, both in terms of the weather and the service and reception. The bride looked ravishing, the speeches were emotional and the venues were lovely.

The food was pretty good, if not the best for someone on WW's, but I think it was the free-flowing champagne and wine that was the killer. Because I wasn't pointing, having worked quite hard all week to earn my day off, I paid no attention at all to what I was drinking, and since I've been drinking far less anyway since the start of the year, suffice it to say that it all got the better of me, and I was quite ill when we finally made it home, before passing out in bed. I'm pretty embarrassed by that, although at least I didn't do anything stupid at the wedding itself.

All in all we had a glorious day:

The picture at the very top of this post was taken just after Jo had flashed her pants at me for some unknown reason - hence my slightly traumatised expression!!!

Weigh in's tomorrow morning, and right now I feel like a total heifer, so I will be extremely surprised if I've lost anything this week. Guess I'll just have to get my head down and concentrate next week. The one nice thing I have taken away from this week though is that my confidence in myself is definitely on the rise. I had lots of nice compliments yesterday, and I now just casually accept them and thank the giver of them. I also noticed that I didn't have any moments yesterday when I felt self-conscious (well, apart from when I started to feel very drunk and didn't want to do anything stupid lol), and Lissa commented this morning that I seemed much more self-assured, especially larking around in front of the cameras.

Anyway - I'm exhausted so I'm going to head for bed now. The final test will be tomorrow when I climb on the scales - I will report in tomorrow.

Friday, 22 May 2009


Ugh - feeling sick - had WAY to much to eat at dinner, although it was only a main and a dessert and left a little bit of both. Still feel sick though.

Bike ride was good - did two laps but suffered major mechanical problems on the second one. Big pain in the ass. Going to sleep now as got an early start tomorrow.

More later peeps.

Day 4 (Week 2) - Status Report

I'm still here (more or less awake), I'm still capable of walking (just about), and I'm still planning on going mountain-biking on my own this afternoon (eeeeeeek!).

I went along to running club for the first time yesterday. I'm torn between saying it was lots of fun and I did good, and that it was hell on earth and there ain't no way I'm doing that again. At least until next Thursday.

Firstly, there were about half a dozen other ladies, and I can confidently say that I was the youngest, and completely middling in running ability and general size in the group. Everyone ran at different paces - I wasn't the fastest or the slowest, and it was quite weird for me to be running a section, then stopping to stretch, or waiting for others to catch up. When we were stopped for a minute, I found myself restlessly pacing because I was scared that if I stood still that would be it and I would just seize up and grind to a halt.

The route was more testing than something I would have chosen to run as it featured some quite steep up and downhill sections, and I couldn't believe that I voluntarily found myself doing shuttle runs up and down a short gentle hill section, in public, without feeling really embarrassed or self-conscious. That was hard, doing the shuttle runs, knowing I was out at the furthest point on the run, and therefore still had to run back. Mark, our instructor was quite cunning as when we got to that section he told us what we were going to do, but not how many. The instructions were to put all the effort into running up the hill (a short distance of maybe 75 metres to a specific lamp post) and then to just really gently jog back down. So we did the first 2, and then he told us we were doing another 4. So 4 more we did. Then he said just to head back the way we'd come, didn't matter what speed, but to keep jogging rather than falling back to a walk, and he'd meet us back at base. I interpreted that as back at the gym, so traipsed all the way back in one long run. By the time I was near the end, it was a matter or pride to not walk so I just kept mechanically going along. There were 4 of us at the front of the group, and although we took slightly different routes back (2 sides round the square type scenario), we all arrived back more or less together. It was then about another 5 mins until the rest of the group got back. I was probably really annoying for that 5 mins as I was still pacing up and down, unwilling to just stop, although I did stretch.

Mark's heart rate monitor, said he'd been running for 56 mins, so adjust for the fact that we got back 5 mins before him (he was running with the slower runners) and we were out for about 50 mins. Obviously not all of that was running as there were a few breaks, and we were walking for 5 mins at the start as a warm up, so conservatively, I reckon I was running for about 35 mins or so. Maybe a little bit more. In that time we covered roughly 3.5 miles, which is about 5.6km for the metric folks.

Surprisingly I feel no after effects at all this morning, not even sore legs. I've said I'll meet them again next week for the Thursday run, which is going to be up on the hills proper, although we are driving and meeting up there, so we don't have to run all the way up there first! I'm quite looking forwards to running up on the open grassy trails of the hills.

So yesterday, in summary:
  • Points eaten 20.5 with 2.5 saved. I had quite a points heavy lunch which didn't leave much left for the evening, but I made lovely home-made soup again which I had for dinner. Also means I've got another bowl for lunch today which is yummy and low points.
  • Fluids - enough for the now familiar smiley face.
  • Exercise - running, and probably more of it than I ever thought I'd be able to do.

Now we're on Friday, and this is where it all starts to go horribly wrong. I've had my usual healthy breakfast of cereal with skimmed milk, and a glass of orange juice. I've just inhaled a cereal bar as I'm starving, and I've got healthy soup and a yoghurt for early lunch. My bike's packed in the car with my kit, and I'm going to head over the Forest of Dean when I finish work at lunchtime and brave some singletrack on my own. I don't know whether I'll do one lap, or 2, or chicken out and just go for a cardio work out on the family trail. I guess it depends on the weather, how much time I've got when I get there, and how busy the singletrack trails looking. But I'm hoping to do one circuit of the singletrack minimum which should take about 40 mins if my last performance there is anything to go by (it's a 3.7 mile circuit, but very technical and with some vicious climbs in it).

From there the plan is to grab a shower at the bike centre (assuming the visitor's showers are open!) and then change quickly back in to my normal clothes and head down to the Cotswolds to meet the girls from my old work for dinner. Dinner will be a challenge as I've seen the menu and it pretty much all look really good, or evilly bad, depending on which way you look at it. After that I shall head home, grab a good night's sleep and then I'll be up bright and early to head off to the wedding tomorrow via Jo and Lissa's house to dump my car and overnight bag there for tomorrow night. I'm going to leave my bike in the car, and shove in some clean kit, and I'm hoping to ride out for a bit in the Wyre Forest on Sunday, to kill off a bit of tomorrow's excesses.

That's the plan anyway. God knows how it will pan out! I shall report in on Sunday with a full account.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Things I would like to do this year ...

I've been thinking recently of all the things I want to do. The odd thing strikes me here or there, and I think "hell yeah - I definitely want to try that!". So, here for prosperity, is a list of the things I would like to achieve this year. Some might be done sooner than others, some might not be done til next year, the year after, or may always be a pipe-dream, but here goes:

  • Run for 30-40 mins consistently without dying. Preferably enter and complete a 5k, and possibly a 10k run, and do something for charity while I'm at it.
  • Complete a black run on my mountain-bike without committing inadvertant suicide.
  • Wear a pair of size 14 trousers.
  • Learn to get up on my heel-edge on my snowboard even when the piste's flat, and learn to ride / turn goofy (back leg first).
  • Also get down a red run on a snowboard in one piece.
  • Have another go at climbing, and try not to panic this time.
  • Walk up a mountain (without dying and constantly whingeing, moaning, being the tale-end Sally, feeling sorry for myself).
  • Wear a backless top and feel good about myself.
  • Generally, feel good about myself.
  • Have a really girly photo-shoot done when I reach my current goal weight of 11st 6lb.
  • Get the hang of beach-starting on my windsurfer.
  • Learn to feel comfortable planing in the harness on my windsurfer, because I'm not going to be constantly worrying that my excessive weight is just going to pull the whole thing over.
  • Stop feeling so bloody self-conscious about trying things just in case I get them wrong and somebody laughs at the fat girl.
  • Actually flirt with people I find attractive, because I'm not going to just shy away from possible rejection.
  • Get in front of the camera more often, rather than ducking out because I'm not feeling as extrovert as everyone else.

I think that's all the ones that I can come up with easily at the moment. It's probably a never-ending, never-changing list in reality, but these are the one's that catch my attention at my current state of being.

Day 3 (Week 2) - Status Update

Firstly, and on a completely unrelated note, I've just noticed that my counter is showing a 1000 hits, so thanks to everyone who's been coming on regularly and reading about my exploits, and especially to those who've taken the time to comment - it means a lot.

Right, down to the business for the day. As promised, yesterday was more like the rest of the week should have been.
  • Points used - 20, and 3 points saved. I was going to save 4, but to be honest I nicked one for dessert, as I felt I deserved it by the time I'd got back from the gym and stumbled out the shower. It was a lovely dessert too - a concoction of 0.5 points worth of meringues, crumbled in a bowl, a Weight Watchers strawberry yoghurt, 0.5 point, tipped over and mixed in, kind of Eton Mess style, and then a small tin of apricot halves (in juice) on top. I kept the juice back to have separately, so it didn't all get too liquid, but it all tasted lovely, and only 2 points for the bowl.
  • Fluids - tick. Job done.
  • Exercise - done, and done again. Spinning and a run, and I actually feel absolutely fine this morning, where I thought I might feel a bit crippled. So no excuses for not going along this evening and seeing what this running club malarkey is about.

So far the scales are holding steady this week, and I haven't dropped anything further since Monday (boooo), but then with my general monthly hormonalness upon me, I'm not overly surprised.

In some ways, I'd be surprised if I lost a lot more anyway, because now I'm getting to the point where I've lost quite a bit continuously, I just keep thinking that it will all stop soon, and I won't be able to lose any more. And I know that this block is in my head, but it's hard to get past it. I think it stems from years of the knowledge that losing weight is hard and diet's fail that has been drummed into me, whereas in reality I know logically that if I stick to the plan, it should just keep slowly coming off a bit at a time. I guess for the moment, I just have to put my doubts to one side and just keep proving myself wrong, one tiny little step at a time. Afterall, for years now, I've been saying that running is the one thing I just can't do, that it's not my fault, I'm just not built for it, and I've been slowly proving myself wrong on that front.

Either way, I'm still holding that golden ideal in my head of being close to goal, if not at it, by the time I jet off windsurfing again in November, and I refuse to give up on that dream.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

No Freakin' Way!!!

I am super-proud of myself!!! And I don't say that often! :o)

I did my spin class - 45 mins, then I jumped on the treadmill, just intending to do 5-10 mins to finish off. 21 minutes later I slowed down to a walk. 21 steady minutes at 5mph, which I am informed works out at a 12 minute mile. So that's roughly 1.8 miles I ran. If I ran for another 3 minutes, I'd be killing 2 miles, straight off.

What's better, is that not only was this after spin, but that while I ran one of the gym's instructors wandered over to talk to me. And for the most part I was able to talk back, which means I wasn't absolutely dying and out of breath. I mean I wasn't talking like I would if I was walking, but I was managing input into the conversation.

The upshot of the conversation is that I've been talked into trying out the running club that he runs from the gym on a Tuesday and Thursday with one of the other instructors. I'm hopefully going to go along to tomorrow's session. The instructor tomorrow is the one I was chatting to, Mark, who also happens to be my regular spin instructor (although just to confuse you I did spin with Owen tonight as I was in a different session to normal). Mark's lovely - one of those priceless instructors who is really approachable and non-intimidating, in fact he looks a bit like a teddy bear I always think, but at the same time I know that he's run marathons both in the UK and abroad, and therefore has both achieved things that I can't even dream of right now, and knows his shit when it comes to running. I don't know the guy who takes the Tuesday session as well as I know Mark. I've seen him round the gym, and he always seems quite smiley and approachable, but he also looks more like your typical male gym bunny, which I find a bit intimidating, especially when it comes to running where I'm very conscious of my beginner status and still somewhat deficient fitness level.

Anyhoo - Mark reassures me that I'm exactly the same standard as everyone else in the group, and that they only started the club about 4 weeks ago. So they've had 4 weeks structured training starting from absolute scratch as non-runners, and I've had about 4 weeks of completely non-structured runs just going as far as I can each time, but maybe starting from slightly above a base level, as I'd started running before I knackered my back in Jan.

It'll be totally different for me, as I've almost come to the view that walking is failing, and this will be a proper program with walking sections built in, and some hill-work and stuff too. Mark was saying that he could get me up to 5K level in 3 weeks if I was prepared to train 3 times a week, but I think I'd be happier just testing out running with the club and seeing how it goes.

So there we go - they say do one thing everyday that scares you. I think going to running club tomorrow might be my thing.

Warning - sightings of irrational, unreasonable woman reported today

What I really want right now is chocolate. I'm hormonal, grumpy, uncomfortable, pissed off and generally just hormonal - oh right, I mentioned that one already. Extra-irritatingly, I wasn't expecting to be any of the above until the weekend, so to add to my general pissed-off-ness with the world, I'm also pissed off with myself for being disorganised and unprepared.

Can you feel the general aura of irritation radiating from the screen?

On top of all that, I've been looking at a VAT rec for the last hour, and I'm damned if I can find the last £49.05 that's stopping it balancing. Personally, I wouldn't walk past any windows in my general vicinity right now as there's a high chance of being brained by a flying computer exiting the building at speed. Bet the weatherman didn't put that in his report this morning - "some light cloud cover and a 50% chance of falling laptops". Humph.

I'm torturing myself by looking at the miserable little treat-size Crunchie sitting on my desk rather than eating it, as I'd quite like to have at least some points left for dinner today. This is definitely one of the days when not throwing your hands up in the air and yelling "I give in!!!!" before diving face-first at the nearest bad-but-tastes-oh-so-good food sucks completely.

Day 2 (Week 2) - status report

I'm feeling somewhat disappointed with myself for yesterday's choices. They weren't as good as they could have been, so I didn't save any points, and the blame sits firmly at my door (i.e. nobody strapped to me to a chair, forced my jaws open and shoved food down my throat).
  • Points eaten - 23. Not over my daily allowance, but no points saved like I wanted either. I don't feel like I'm as focused this week, and so when B came over for tea last night, I allowed myself to be tempted away from the path of righteousness, a.k.a. sticking to my plan, and then I used more points than I intended. I need to refocus and get my mojo kicked into touch for the week.
  • Fluids - fine - got a smiley face on my tracker.
  • Exercise - went for a 20 min run with B. My legs still felt absolutely knackered from Pump on Monday, but running with someone was nice - I think I'm slowly losing the fear of that. We did walk briefly twice on the circuit - both times instigated by B, but I've got to admit they were a relief. I think the difference with the break though is I run slightly faster in between which kind of evens it out a bit. It still takes 20 mins to complete and I'm still absolutely dead when I'm done.

It's a fresh day today and my foot is readied to kick my ass in gear. This is a complicated manouvre involving some interesting contortions if you've never seen it done before, but I'm practiced at it. Circus contortionists ain't got nothing on me when I decide a little self-ass kicking is in order!! I promise that tomorrow I will report both points saved, and exercise done. It's spin tonight, but I'm in a later class than normal with my old instructor. Actually, it'll be good because his classes are a lot faster with a lot of sprints and races to get a real burn going, plus forfeits for the losing team. So that's half an ass-kicking right there.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Day 1 (week 2) - status report

So here we go again for the week. It was a funny old day yesterday as I spent most of it in town either at the opticians for various appointments or lurking / shopping waiting for my glasses to be made up. For me, that means that it's great for snacking as I'm busy and not thinking about food, although does mean making a sensible choice come lunchtime (god bless Caffe Nero and their healthy choice paninis!).

All in all, not a bad day yesterday:
  • Points eaten - 21. I ate an extra point over my 20 purely because I didn't have any normal size jacket potatoes left in the house when I was cooking dinner and have to have a larger one, but I think I can live with that. I was absolutely gagging for some dessert of some sort in the evening, so I resolutely spent about an hour and a half doing some much needed tidying of my room instead to distract myself.
  • Fluids - tick. I was coming up a bit short on this as I went into the evening so I chugged my way through 2 pints of water whilst I was tidying. Good - but not wholly conducive to an unbroken nights sleep!
  • Exercise - Body Pump class. I was typically late to get there as I thought it started 15 mins later and arrived in a dishevelled, flushed mess and had to try and squeeze my workstation in to the packed class. I hate being late as it means most of the kit is already in use and you have to make do with what's left. So no 5kg plates left, and a weirdly annoying bar end (the gadget that keeps the weights on the bar). It was a tough class as I miscalculated when loading my bar for Squats and ended up with more weight than I usually have, which is hell when you hit the bottom half only squats and your legs are screaming. Definitely seeing some improvement in other things though - I can just about manage the tricep dips which are my nemesis, and actually doing full plank in the abs track rather than doing a cheat-y knees on the floor plank.

So on to day 2. Been back to the optician's this morning and they've said that there's still an interruption in the cornea but it seems to be healing clearly. I've got to leave my lenses out for 5 days and then see how I go, which by my calculations means I can put them back in on the day of the wedding (yay!).

Got healthy food with me today, and tonight's my night for running. Bridget's asked to come out with my this evening on my run, so we'll see how that goes. I was just thinking about the weekend, and I reckon I might take my bike over to the girls' house with me, before the wedding, and I can go try out the trails in the Wyre Forest on Sunday then.

Monday, 18 May 2009

And the optician's verdict is .....

.... that I've got a tear in my cornea.

So I've got medicated eye-drops to prevent infection, and since I'm going to have to wear my glasses for a bit whilst it heals, I've also had to fork out £180 for a new pair of glasses with an up-to-date prescription in. Bloody marvellous. And just in time for the wedding this weekend when I'd have really liked to be looking my best. Grrrrrrr. Plus I have to go back again at 9am tomorrow for them to check up on it, creating a myriad of problems at work as I was meant to be out on an external training course.

I've also misery shopped while I was hanging round in town waiting for my new glasses to be assembled, and spent way more money that I needed to, so I have an additional burden of guilt to bear. Actually, the only purchase I feel guilty about is one of the pairs of shoes I bought, everything else was legitimately purchased to fulfil a need, but still, I'd thought I was getting better at this stuff. I did get a pair size 16 skinny jeans though (reduced in price too) which will encourage me in the next little bit of my weight loss - they're the new hanging-on-the-wardrobe-door garment to help me keep focused. Honestly, they look ridiculously small to me although I can just about get them on and done up. But I do mean just about. Definitely need to lose a few more inches for them to be comfortable.

Under 200!!!

I've just updated my tracker and realised what this morning's weigh in means. Drum roll please .............. I'm under 200lbs!!!!!!

That feels very significant somehow. No idea why, but I'm not arguing. Also means, my loss to date is now in the 30's of lbs and not the 20's - 31lbs gone!

Right, the world quota of exclamation marks has now been seriously depleted, so I shall go get in the shower and actually get on with shit for the day.

:o) (that's a representation of the big smile on my face)

The Plan - results week 1

Just a quick update - I lost 4 lbs this week, which kicked my gain from last week in the ass :o)

I put on 1.5lb last week, so I've got rid of that and shed an extra 2.5lbs on top. That puts me at 14st 3lbs now - only 4lbs to go before I crack the 14st barrier and get to my halfway point on this journey. Seems quite do-able if I really apply myself over the next couple of weeks.

With a wedding this weekend which will involve another unavoidable sit-down dinner of hugely excessive calorific value, plus what will probably be pints of wine, I'm going to revert to the Plan again. As if I didn't need any extra motivation for this idea, I'm also out to dinner at a very expensive restaurant on Friday night and staying away with friends after the wedding on Sat, and it seems to be a good way to control the amount of rubbish going in my mouth!

Today is therefore day 1 again - I'm back on 20 points and I've got a Body Pump class tonight. I'm also off work with my stupid eye - it got worse last night and when I checked it before I went to bed the entire white had turned pink and the lids were swelling shut. It wasn't the most restful night of sleep, but it looks a little better this morning, and I've got an opticians appt in an hour to get it looked at. Which means I'd really better get my ass out of bed!!!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Day 7 - status report

As promised, this will be a proper update of the weekend. It's been a blast, and I'm a tad knackered now. The pic on the left is me hoofing it down one of the paths at Llandegla yesterday, which was awesome fun. But the biking comes later, so rewind 24 hours.

I was pretty good up til Friday lunchtime, with the exception of the giant chocolate chip cookie that I had on Friday morning. Can you classify yourself as being good if you still make one bad choice? Everything else was good anyway. Friday afternoon passed in a blur of last minute packing, panicking over which dress to wear (and the inevitable final decision to go with something completely different than originally planned) and just about being ready when my lift arrived.
The journey up to North Wales was tediously long as we got stuck in traffic, so we ended up just making it with 10 mins to spare before dinner started and all dived in the loos to get changed quickly out of jeans and into dresses and heels. This is Bridget and I in all our posh dress glory.

Dinner was probably about a million calories - it didn't start too bad as there was soup and bread rolls (with actual proper butter - god that stuff is good!), and then pan-fried chicken with loads of lovely veg, stuffing, and roast potatoes. So far, so good. The main was enormous, so I loaded up with veg, ate til I was full and left some of the potatoes and chicken - a good habit for me to practice. Then there was dessert which was profiteroles with fresh cream and a light and dark chocolate sauce. This is why I'd been saving points all week and it was well worth it. There were probably about 4 or 5 glasses of wine with dinner, and then 2 glass of sparkling wine afterwards - in other words: many, many points.

After a fun night, and a late finish (I think we got to bed about 2am), we were up bright and early to split up into a biking party and a walking one. We rocked up to Llandegla in the rain, and as expected B looked a little bit mutinous at the prospect of the weather. We cajoled her to at least come to the cafe for lunch first (the best bacon baps in the UK they claim, and to be honest they were pretty damn awesome - I had mine with extra mushrooms) and luckily once we'd refuelled the weather was looking a little less fearsome, so we kitted up and set out. That's my baby in the pic below - expensive but worth it! And then a general pic of us getting ready.

This particularly cheesey shot, is me looking smug that we've got to top, and a tad excited about where we're going - i.e. the fun downhill bit in the forest below that I'm pointing out. We were only doing the blue run as B wasn't feeling up to trying the red, but the long swooping runs down were just awesome and as they weren't too technical I was able to hammer it on the speed front which felt fantastic.

The shot above is Bridget showing off her mud collection. I wasn't quite as bad as my bike sports some rough and ready mud guards which fend off the worst of it. The trails were still pretty wet, and in the big version of the opening shot in this post you can actually see the spray being thrown about 6 feet in the air off my rear wheel, although I doubt you can see it on here. The best thing about the trails, really though, was that I found the climb up during the first couple of miles pretty easy going - I felt good and not too strained. I am sooooooo tackling the red route next time I go there!

Once back down to the centre, we jet sprayed the worst of the mud off the bikes and reassembled the jigsaw puzzle involved in getting 3 bikes, some luggage and 3 people back in a medium size car. Then a long drive home, and I admit that I wasn't as good as I could have been with my evening food choices. I was going to have home-cooked stir-fry before realising I had no stir-fry veg. Then since I was feeling tired and hungry I was going to go and get some take-away since I didn't feel like waiting round for something to cook, but didn't have the energy to leave the house either. Finally I remembered that one of the local takeaways delivered, so ordered some vegetable chow-mein to be bought to the house. Not ideal, but also not the worst choice I could make.

I have pointed up everything from this weekend as best I can, and as at this morning, I had pretty much broken even. Today's been all about running around. I had to retrieve my overnight bag back from the boys as it got bought home in the walkers' car from Wales, then go over to B's to get my bike back, then shoot down to Bristol for a first date, which lasted over 3 hours (we only met for coffee!). Just need some tea now, and then I'm going to have a quick tidy and collapse.

My right eye is killing me - it's been sore all day, but I've just taken my lenses out and now it feels worse. I'm praying I haven't got another ulcer on my cornea as I remember it feeling like this when I did just before Christmas. It won't stop watering like crazy as well as being overly sensitive to the light. Might have to go get an emergency optician's appt tomorrow if it's still feeling a bit off.

So in summary:
  • Food eaten - way too much - about a million calories, but it was good. Although rich food doesn't agree with me so much anymore.
  • Fluid intake - plenty - but mostly alcoholic, or post-ride Lucozade - errrrr, perhaps a little more water required.
  • Exercise - one awesome bike ride, and then not enough today.
  • Time spent off plan - about 12 hours longer than intended, but I'm back on it now, for next week.

And then repeat all over again starting tomorrow for the wedding next weekend!

  • Weekends enjoyed - 1 really good one!!!

Update - Still alive!

I'm back from going AWOL in Wales for 36 hours. I've eaten a lot, well, frankly, a hell of a lot, but I'm home again and back on the plan. Going to be doing a lot running around today as got a hell of a lot on, so will update and account for excesses properly later.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Day 4 - Status Report

The highlights are as follows:
  • Points eaten - 19 - 4 saved, which makes up for my little indiscretion with the ice-cream yesterday (that sounds kinky somehow doesn't it?!).
  • Water drunk - lots! Smiley faces on tracker - 1.
  • Exercise - errrrrr - I don't suppose playing Shaun White Snowboarding Tour on the Wii balance board really counts does it? Ok, so I might have dropped the ball a little bit here. I admit it, I got home, it was cold and miserable outside, and I just plain couldn't be arsed to go out again to go to the gym. So I kinda, sorta had a night off *looks a bit embarrassed*.

On the upside the scales say another 0.5lb off, so that's 2.5lb off this week. On the downside, all bets for maintaining that loss til Monday are now off as it's Ball Day today. I doubt I'm going to have time to slip in any exercise this afternoon between getting home, packing and heading off to Wales, so I've just planned my food til lunchtime, and we'll run from there. I have no idea what's on the menu tonight, so I'm not going to stress it.

Tomorrow morning we're heading off to Llandegla for some mountain biking action. The weather's turned a bit pants today, so it could well be pretty muddy up there but that doesn't particularly bother me - just part of the challenge. It won't bother Tim either as he's a pretty hardcore biker, but I'm hoping it won't put Bridget off as she's probably not as in to this getting on the bike come rain or shine malarkey as she's still a pretty nervous rider. Really, really don't want to get the bikes all the way to Wales and then find it's called off because of a bit of rain and mud ....... fingers crossed please!!!

p.s. is it wrong that I'd like to mountain-biking with my friend's boyfriend, but without the friend occasionally, because it would faster, harder and more exhilarating??? I feel it would be somehow.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Day 3 - status report

Ha - ironically, on the less complicated day food-wise I actually ran a point over because I decided that I wanted a little pot of Haagen Dazs pralines and cream at the cinema last night. Typical. It tasted pretty good though. So here's the major highlights:
  • 21 points used, 2 points saved. Not quite perfect, and in fact it would have been 2.5 points saved but I forgot I had an apple at lunch. Oh the little things ....
  • Daily drinks quota - tick.
  • Exercise - ditched spinning as I just didn't have enough time to get to the supermarket, spin and have dinner before the cinema, but went for a 20 min run instead.

I really, really didn't feel like running last night. By the time I'd driven back from work, done a very quick pitstop at the supermarket for essentials, and got back home I was feeling tired and low-sugar, and it was drizzling rain and cold. But I kept thinking that if I didn't do it I'd break all the effort I'd put in so far this week, and in any case if I was feeling tired I could just walk when it got too much. So having dumped the shopping bags on the kitchen counter, I literally stopped long enough to get changed, drag on a fleece and fill my water bottle and then headed out.

I did my usual circuit, but in reverse for a change of scenery and gradients, and chopped out the last tiny bit to turn back up the hill one road earlier (the difference is literally about 50m's in distance, but the hill on the earlier turning is a lot kinder, the further one is steep and a killer). Set out with legs already feeling like lead, but crested over the first little incline without stopping and on down and across, and that kind of takes you to half way, and then it's down and across again. Then up another little incline, cross the main road, and then across and down again, and then it's only the final road back up and flat back home. I kept thinking that I could just stop when it became too much, and though I was barely more than walking speed sometimes, my wibbly-wobbly apres-windsurfing legs somehow got me the whole way round. Does it ever get any easier though??

On to day 4. Soup and low fat mousse bought from home for lunch. Home-made muffin for a snack. I'm going to try and save 4 points instead of 3 to make up for yesterday, and I've got a night in organising my packing for tomorrow so no temptations tonight. Haven't decided yet what exercise to do tonight, but I will try and do at least half an hour of something - maybe just go out for a walk and get some fresh air and let my tired muscles relax.

It feels a bit like a military operation this week, and I certainly couldn't keep this level of discipline up for ever, but it's a good way to give myself a kick up the ass and remind myself what I'm capable of when I set my mind to it.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Day 2 - status report

I'm now on day 3 of this week's mission. Day 2 wasn't easy, but I was successful in each of my aims.
  • I squeaked in at 20 points for the day, with the aid of a zero point dinner - just did my usual tomato and chunky veg sauce that I have with gnocchi or pasta, and didn't bother with the carbs themselves. Still tasty and filling though - kind of like veg casserole.
  • The smiley face is there on my chart - testament to me drinking plenty of water. I probably also inadvertently picked a few extra millilitres of lake water whilst windsurfing too!
  • As you may have guessed the weather held, so we went windsurfing last night, so that's my exercise in the can. First time out in 6 months, feeling very wobbly and a little nervous, but no time to worry with the wind gusting up a storm and lots of concentration required. Fell in a lot, but got some good sailing in too, and felt more confident as time went on. I was absolutely dead after an hour on (and in) the water, so made my way back up wind to the beach and called it a day. I've got a few new bruises this morning, 2 on my shin and one on my arm, and lots of aching muscles - if you want an all over work out, screw body pump, just do an hour on the board! My glutes hurt, my abs are sore, my triceps are one solid ache and my shoulders protest when I move. It feels gooooooooooood. FYI - it appears losing 2 stone makes it a lot easier to haul your ass up on the board - good job really as I spent quite a lot of time doing that last night!
So - on to day 3. Things should be a bit less complicated food-wise today, as I haven't got any annoying lunches out or cakes to contend with. Bought my lunch with me from home, had a good solid breakfast, and I'm nearly at the bottom of my second drink already. I've got spin tonight to tick off my exercise goal, and a peek at the scales this morning says another half a lb gone.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Hah - victory over the chips

Not only did I resist the temptation of (ginormous) muffins this morning, I beat the chips into submission at lunchtime too. It wasn't a massive bowl of chips, but I left about the last quarter of them or thereabouts. Ok, so I said that potentially I'd only aim for half the portion, but the fact that I stopped at all is a result in my book!

And the forecast is still looking good for windsurfing - woohooooooo!

Day 1 - status report

Just to report that I'm sticking like glue to my plan for the week. Just look:
  • Points used - 18.5 - Errrr - I'm not actually sure what happened here as I was aiming for 20, so I could save 3, and I thought that was what I used, but somehow miscalculated and stopped short. Slightly annoying as I wasted half a point that I can't save past the maximum 4 for the day. Note to self - PAY MORE ATTENTION!!!
  • Water intake - smiley face achieved! And I swear to god I've probably walked half a mile backwards and forwards to the kitchen for refill drinks and the ladies for ... well ...
  • Exercise - 1 x Body Pump class done.

A little look at the scales this morning shows the gain from yesterday back off, so we'll see where we go from here.


Not sure how today will pan out as I've got lunch out today. In fact everything's conspiring against me today! Firstly, I ran out of cereal this morning so had to have porridge - 1.5 extra points. I chose a grilled tuna sandwich on brown bread to try and keep points down for lunch, but then somehow put down that I wanted chips because it was a choice of chips or salad, and I don't like salad. I've put everything in the tracker already, and decided that if it's anything more than a few chips on the side, I'll only eat half the portion to keep points down, and give the rest away. I've resisted the massive muffins that were bought into the office today, in favour of one of my home-made muffins from the weekend (2.5 points versus at least 8-10 I should think). And I'll have a very low points tea tonight - so hopefully I'll just about scrape it to remain under 20 points.

I'm also hopefully off windsurfing after work this evening for my day's exercise - can't wait as it'll be the first time this year. Just got to make sure I avoid the ritual pub dinner afterwards, although shouldn't be too hard as we're due at the pub at 9pm this evening, so just time to get home, eat and sprint up there .... for a couple of diet cokes, natch.

Monday, 11 May 2009

.... And up again!

I think what I'm feeling is disappointment. And annoyance. And it's all aimed at me.

I've put 1.5lbs back on again this morning, and since I'm the only person doing the eating round here there can only be one culprit for this. Yep - me.

I'm currently trying to work out exactly what went wrong.

Let's see - I weighed in later than usual in the morning last Monday because of the Bank Holiday, and was surprised by my 3lb loss, which is bigger than average for me. So I suppose we could say that it was a bit of a false reading, and lay some blame there. Only problem is that when I stepped on the scales on Tuesday morning back at my usual early time, I'd actually lost a little bit more again, so that argument doesn't really hold much water.

I've finished the week with a small deficit of 2.5 points, which wouldn't normally make any difference to my losses - on the other hand that does indicate that I have over-eaten during the week. Add to that that I ran on Tuesday evening and did spinning on Wedsnesday, and therefore picked up a few exercise points, and that means that the amount I over-ate by goes up a little bit more to get to that end of week deficit. So I think we can lay some blame there, and most of it on Saturday night where my best guess is that I ended about 8 points over. Although I was out shopping on Saturday day which means I was walking around for several hours and I didn't point that.

Yesterday morning, my scales showed a fairly sensible number that would still have been a 0.5lb loss for the week, so basically I've put on 2lbs since yesterday.

Here's what I suspect maybe the culprits -
  • I've noticed this week that my little drinks indicator on my tracker hasn't been getting it's smiley face very many days, and I've also noticed a few other indicators that might point to me being a bit dehydrated.
  • I had pasta last night - I love pasta, but I eat a lot a less of it these days, and I've noticed that when I do, I really tend to bloat. I don't think my body likes pasta very much - I should stick to gnocchi instead.
  • I've noticed over the last couple of weeks that I'm not as *ahem* regular as I was (sorry, if that's too much info - just pretend you didn't see it). I'm not sure what's causing this as I'm eating tons more veg, but wonder if I'm just not getting as much fibre as I used to because while the veg consumption has gone up, my bread / pasta consumption has gone right down.
  • I suspect that there maybe a few little "bites" of things that are slipping under the wire and not getting pointed. Generally I'm pretty good, but it won't help me stay on the straight and narrow if I don't have an accurate record of what I've actually eaten.

So, back to it this week. I've got a ball I'm going to on Friday night with a 3 course sit-down meal being served, doubtless with oodles of wine. There's not a lot I can do about my choices for that, so the plan is mitigation, mitigation, mitigation all week. I'm allowed 23 points a day on WW's, so if I cut to 20 points for Mon - Thurs then that's 12 points banked. Add on to that activity points from Pump tonight, a run tomorrow, spin on Weds and maybe a walk or something on Thurs night - that's maybe another 10 points. I'll keep my points down on Friday before the ball, but Friday night I'm not going to stress. I won't point the meal as I can't change what I'll have, and I'm not going to know what it is til I get there. If there's wine with dinner I'll drink it, but when I get a chance I'll stick to vodka and slimline tonic. Saturday morning I'm straight back on the points, and will probably stick to 20 a day for the rest of the weekend.

I'm going to plan my lunches and make sure I bring them from home this week - soup, or jacket potatoes, or wraps. the only downer is I've been thinking about biscuits non-stop for the past couple of days, so I'm going to try and build that in somewhere in the points so I can have a couple and stop thinking about the damn things. And I'm going to try and get my drinks meter to smiley-face status every day this week.

I'll be interested to see how this plan works, as I've got a tough couple of weeks coming up. I've got a wedding and a night out for dinner with friends from my old work next week - double whammy of bad food, and the wedding is going to be a no-choice affair again. Then a weekend in London, and after that a trip to Norway for 5 days - I am going to get a handle on this eating malarkey before all that so that I don't derail.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Downtime Day

I'm having a selfishly me-focused day. I've had a lie-in, I've cooked (and eaten) soup. I'm debating walking to the supermarket for baking ingredients to make molasses muffins. And I'm going to tackle the clutter. I'm also thinking of going for a nice walk later, or a run, to collect some activity points.

Lovely and lazy, with no thought for anyone else - just the way I like my days. If I had a hammock and a bigger balcony I'd probably lying out soaking up the spring sunshine with a straw hat tipped over my nose - that's the kind of mood I feel in today.

My flatmate, culinary genius that she is, has just rolled home-made pasta which is currently hanging on racks in the kitchen airing (or whatever it is that home-made pasta has to do). It all feels really nice and domestic.

I haven't really got much else to say today, so I shall go and do something off the list at the top and stop wittering on.

I'm honoured!

The lovely Natasha (over at Creating Natasha) has very kindly passed me a little blog award.
*Sue blushes with pleasure :o)*
So here it is:

Ooooooh - shiny!!

I've seen a couple of these being handed out on blogs I follow in the last couple of weeks, but didn't think I'd get one!!

So here are the rules:

  1. You post the award on your blog somewhere.
  2. You pick your own favourite 5 bloggers to nominate and name them on your blog. Stick a link on so people can go see how fab they are for themselves.
  3. Pop a comment on their blog so they can feel your love for them!
  4. Link back to the person who was kind enough to nominate you.

Easy really!

Right, here in no particular order are my 5 favourite blogs. I don't care if any of these fabulous people already have awards - they're just the ones I enjoy reading:

  1. Mel at The Incredible Shrinking Me - funny and lively, and doing soooo well with her weight loss mission, plus I like that she posts lots of photos and funny pics up.
  2. Natasha at Creating Natasha - for her insight and determination - very inspiring.
  3. Poppet at Jane's Journey - I just really like this blog - really appeals to me.
  4. Byher at Bryher's Blog - inspiring seeing someone who has already reached goal, and the lovely Bryher is ever helpful!
  5. And last but not least - Losing Waist because this lady just keeps piling into the headwinds of life and I love her determination.

So that's my list. I read lots of other blogs besides these ones, and enjoy them else I wouldn't keep going back, so I love you all just as much *grin*.

Saturday, 9 May 2009


I went shopping today with my friend Bec. I've both spent too much money and eaten too much food. Damn.

I can go for a walk tomorrow and watch my points which will help repair that damage - I've only got about 8 points to haul back - 1 hour walk plus 4 points saved will solve that, but I'm in a bit of a conundrum what to do about the shopping. I could take back some stuff, but one of the things I bought is a red dress from Dorothy Perkins that would be really rather nice for the ball next weekend (and it's a 16 - I actually fitted in it even though it's a really fitted style and everything!!!). So I don't know whether to keep it, on the basis that it's really pretty, or return it on the basis that it cost £40, I do have another dress I can wear (I think - as long as it hasn't got too big round the bust - need to check that), and with any luck and a bit of hard work I'm not intending on staying a 16 for very long. Argh - decisions, decisions!!!

If I post some pictures up on here during the week will people help me decide??

Also bought a pretty cotton top from French Connection that's actually a 14(!!!!) but only because of the cut of the top - just a lot of fabric going on, a really cute trilby hat, and 2 pairs of shoes from Faith. I needed work shoes and found some in Faith, but I'm not convinced how comfortable they're going to be as I suspect they might pinch a bit. Then since it was buy one, get one half price (how gullible am I??) I bought some really nice tan wedge sandals as well. Soooooooo much money spent.

I need to have a serious think about what I want to keep - can't really afford all of it all. Oh pants.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Having a night off

But only in terms of my social life .... don't worry the food-y stuff is all still firmly in tact. It's been a funny old sort of day - I overslept by an hour this morning, so had to grab breakfast on the run on the way to work. I stopped in at the Sainsburys and grabbed a big box of pineapple and a bottle of Coke Zero, intending to be healthy, but then got slightly side-tracked by the lure of Starbucks as I was leaving.

I have to admit I caved to temptation but rather than blowing it completely I had my chai latte skinny (which to be fair, I always have done) but tall rather than grande, and I did pick up a (skinny) blueberry muffin. I put the pineapple in the fridge for mid-morning munchies and indulged in my Starbucks luxury breakfast. Points heavy at about 7.5 points, but yummy.

Not to worry though, the rest of the day's been pretty healthy, and I met my dad for a nice coffee break this afternoon and a little stroll round town in the sun.

I'm currently sat on the sofa with my feet propped up on the coffee table, watching Jonathan Ross interview Tom Hanks and actually I'm really enjoying having absolutely nothing I'm meant to be doing at all. Usually I get bored super quickly, but it's nice to unwind.

I watched the ITV show earlier about Claire (from Steps) weightloss to get married last year. Whilst she obviously has the advantage of not having a daily office job and a budget to contend with, I do admire what she achieved, and it is an example of what determination can achieve.

Interestingly, this week I've been feeling far more in tune with my body and my "self" this week. One of the blogs I read is written by a lady I follow on Twitter called Fat Nutritionist. Her blog is fascinating - she's completely anti-diets and huge on learning to love yourself. She makes a really good point about how we tend to think of ourselves in terms of our body versus everything else about ourselves - our minds, souls, personality, and in every scenario the body is the enemy. Well, I finally feel like my body sometimes amazes me and now that I treat it right, it's treating me right - sometime in the future we may even become friends.

On the subject of my body - I don't feel like I've lost much in terms of lbs this week, in fact I might even put on, despite being good, but I did feel earlier that maybe the inches are slowly dropping away again - we'll see.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


I had Chinese for tea, and I don't feel so brilliant now. I didn't have anything excessive, some chow mein and some chicken and sweetcorn soup, but it's sitting like lead in my stomach. Gross. Next time I want it, I might just not bother.

What's worse is that my next door neighbour Sid gave me grief earlier (albeit in a teasing way, but grief none the less) because a) I didn't feel like going for a run with him when I got home from work, and b) I said I was going to have Chinese. His grief on the second point was along the lines of "what's the point in doing all that exercise if you're going to go and have Chinese now?". The point of doing all that exercise is so I can have Chinese or similar food if I want to and still lose weight. Honestly, I feel like I'm being nannied by the world's biggest hypocrite - I've seen what he eats when he wants to!!!

Tuh!!! MEN!!!

I'm going to go and take my grumbling, gurgling tummy off somewhere else now.

Signing off - the not-very-happy-bunny.

Still here ...

... still plodding along. Not a lot to report really - I'm eating ok this week, got a few points saved up, I'm exercising, went spinning last night, and then ran for 10 mins on the treadmill afterwards, and just generally had a bit of a stressy week at work so far, so that's about it for my life as I've been working in the evenings too.

I'm just kind of glad that it's Thursday already, and nearly lunchtime at that. That means the rest of the week will fly by and it'll be the weekend and me-time so, so soon.

I'm feeling a bit more relaxed today - the worst of the deadlines at work have gone now, and I found a chance to catch up with my dad last night - after having my guilt-trip yesterday about him (although come to think about it I blogged that over on Chaotic Life, not on here) he actually rang me out of the blue and sounded so much happier - when he's happy, I'm happy and then I can let some of the guilt go.

Not a lot planned for this weekend, so I should really spend some time doing something, anything, with the growing pile of discarded clothes on my bedroom floor. They're not going to bag themselves up and take themselves to the charity shop / recycling banks (although I really wish they would - it would be uber-helpful), so I'm going to have to do it for them. Additionally, there's about half a rainforest's worth of paper dumped on my floor that needs sorting and shredding / recycling. If I can do those two things I might have a half a chance of finding the floor of my room somewhere under all the crap .... it's been a while since I've seen it, so I'm hoping it's still under there!!! You never know - I might even introduce it to the vaccuum cleaner!!!

The only other thing I plan on doing this weekend is going to see Star Trek at the cinema ..... I know .... geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek alert!!!! I can't help it - I love blockbuster movies :o)

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

20 minutes

That is how long I ran for today. Which is in fact my entire 1.5 mile route without stopping.

Shock. Horror. Oh my god. What the hell happened there?

Yes, I'm a little surprised too. After my really good run last week, I was pretty damn chuffed to do 15 mins without stopping, and only one break on the whole run. But I was very careful to reassure myself that if the next run wasn't as good, then it was no big deal because we all have good days and bad days. And that's what I was telling myself the whole way round this evening's run, especially as I hadn't particularly wanted to go in the first place.

But somehow I just kept going this evening, even when I got to the little hill where I stopped for a breather last week. I thought maybe if I just ran to the top then I could have my breather at the top instead, but then there didn't seem much point stopping, so I just kept going until I got back.

Which isn't to say the run was easy - going up the hills I was practically at walking pace, even though I was technically still jogging, and it's a little depressing when a runner comes out their house just in front of you and just effortlessly drifts off into the distance, but I'm still mega-satisfied with what I did.

I'm going to keep running once a week at least, and have a regular night I do it. My aim is to do it whatever the weather, and if the weather's really shit, to take it inside and run on the treadmills at the gym. I've had a morbid fear of doing this in the past, partly because I hate running really badly in front of all the fit people, and partly because I'm a terrible clock-watcher in the gym, but once I get a little better still, I hope that neither of these will be such an issue. In the meantime, my plan is to keep the same distance / route for the time-being until I've acclimatised a bit more. I'm aware that I've come on in such unexpected leaps and bounds the last 3 weeks that if I push too hard I'll burn out and start to hate running, so I just want to make sure I take it easy. In the long run if I can get to a stage where I can comfortably run for 30-40 mins once or twice a week, I'll be perfectly happy with that.

Other than that, everything is as usual. I bought a new denim mini-skirt yesterday. My old one, which was a size 20 (but I've got long legs, so I was able to get away with it), was loose enough to remove without actually undoing it, which nearly led to an embarrassing incident in Cheltenham two weeks ago, when I got out the car, and self-consciously tugged my skirt down, only to nearly tug it too far down. Additionally, the jeans button that fastens it has been dodgy for ages, randomly popping off when ever it feels like it, with no warning or provocation at all. Well, it finally disappeared altogether when the skirt was washed after it's last outing, so I've admitted defeat and bought a new one. It's a size 16 - still a tiny bit snug around the waist, but I can't get over how damn small it looks (relatively speaking, in relation to my usual clothes) - doesn't look like it should fit round me at all!

I've also finally got the art of buying food for entertaining a bit more sorted. Since we had friends over yesterday, I got a few nibbles. I bought Kettle Chips, but when I put them out, I weighed out a separate bowl for me so I knew how many points I'd eaten. French Fancies, because they're only 1.5 points each. I fed the dreaded Belgian chocolate truffles that I got for Easter to my guests, and only had 1 for me, and I got fresh raspberries to snack. Just the right amount of food and it all got demolished, without me having to go over points for the day - genius!!!

Monday, 4 May 2009

2 Stone!!!

I am a most happy bunny this morning - I have officially reached 2 stone lost at weigh in this morning. After a couple of weeks of rather blah results when not a lot happened (and yes, I realise that I only have myself to blame for that), the scales stuck by what they've been promising all week and I've dropped 3 lbs. Awesome.

In fact, I've noticed that I seem to fall into the same pattern that a few other people have commented on - I'll have a really good loss one week, and then a couple of weeks of not really going anywhere, and then another really good week. I suppose it must have to do with our eating and exercise cycles, but it would be interesting to understand it better.

Anyway, I'm feeling really pleased this morning, and for once I'm going to take the time to sit back and congratulate myself on what I've achieved, before I go haring off after the next target. This means that I've now achieved 40% of the total weight loss I'm aiming for which feels like quite a lot.

I've also just been looking at the dates in my targets bar on the left of this blog, and I've noticed that actually, to date, I've been achieving around half a stone a month losses, which feels like much steadier progress than I thought I'd been making. In my head, I thought I'd lost tons at the start and then really slowed down to nothing, but obviously that's not the case.

Right, I'm going to head off and have a really lazy day now. We had originally planned to go out biking again today, but the weather's pretty grey and wet, so think we're just going to mess around and have a guitar hero session instead. I might also head out to the shops and get some food top-ups, and maybe have a sneaky little browse round the clothes shops too ...... shhhhh - you didn't hear me say that. :o)

In the mean time I'd better get myself out of bed - how lazy is that - quarter to 12 and I'm still lazing in bed catching up on people's blogs - ooops!!!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

I'll take Flapjack for 12 points, please Bob

Read it and weep - 12 freakin' points for a flapjack!!!! Just one of those run of the mill, pre-packaged ones that you see at every service station in the country. How many times have I eaten those never knowing the damage I was doing?????? Never again!! It's just not worth it!

Right, with the rant out the way, rewind 24 hours or so. I spent a gorgeous day yesterday in Oxford with my friend Caroline. Since I was up late I had an early lunch of home-made soup and toast, and then let myself off the lead a bit food-wise for the rest of the day. I can't decide if it was entirely intentional, or just a bit of accident, but it was nice to enjoy the day even though I did end up at a whopping 39 points for the day. Eeeeeek!

But in those 39 points? A heavenly white chocolate and raspberry muffin, fruit smoothies, the most amazing haddock and green pea risotto with a poached egg on top, and the fantastically named Banoffee in a Bag dessert - baked banoffee in a sealed brown paper bag with ice cream and smashed ginger nuts on the side - rip the bag open with the provided steak knife - throw in the contents of the pots and devour. Oh. My. God. Pretty much an instant food orgasm!!! lol

The risotto and dessert were courtesy of The Living Room, which might now be near the top of my list of favourite chain brands - lovely food, really nice ambiance, live lounge music, great staff and surprisingly ... really well priced!!

In between the smorgasbord of good food consumed yesterday we pottered around Oxford, doing a little shopping and wandering amongst the scenic backdrop of college buildings on a sunny day. We talked a lot, walked a little and ate the good stuff. A really good day.

I was also extremely pleased to try on a pair of size 16 linen crop trousers in Fat Face and have them fit - in fact I'm sat wearing them as I type. Technically I was meant to be buying new work trousers with any money left over this week, but with the weather so good I got diverted into summer trousers instead!

I've spent today with Bridget and Tim biking the singletrack trails down at Ashton Court , just outside Bristol. 2 hours 20 mins of some quite strenuous biking, and I feel really good. I had a few moments when my legs felt like lead, but generally I'm feeling a lot fitter in the last couple of weeks which is great.

And then came the dreaded flapjack. We packed the bikes away and wandered up to the tea-shop to grab a sugar boost since we'd missed lunch. I was very tempted to grab a cheeky burger or some chips, but thought no, I'll get something a bit better for me, and swiped a flapjack off the basket on the counter. Just checked the points in the tracker ..... 12 ..... I can't believe it. So that one little piece of chewy, oaty, evilness has cost me more points than I earned on the bike.


Saturday, 2 May 2009

I feeeeeeeeel good!

"I feel good, da na na na na na na,
Like I knew that I would, da na na na na na nah ......"

Skips off to Oxford for the day singing ....

Friday, 1 May 2009

A bit of R & R

Much better today - I've just chilled out about the whole thing and I've found my sense of patience to just let it take its own time getting slimmer and fitter. Consequently, it's like I've found my mojo again - had a good day eating wise, and in fact, since taking some time out yesterday evening just for me, I just generally feel more relaxed and on the ball.

I haven't exercised either today or yesterday as I'm going to be walking round Oxford tomorrow, and then mountain-biking Sunday and possibly Monday, and I've really just generally enjoyed having this little time out.

Friday's always screw with my food patterns a bit because of the whole half day at work thing. By the time I've done my 5 hours and finished up I end up having a very late lunch when I get home. This in turn means that on an evening like tonight when I know I've got to be at the theatre at 7, I get a bit confused when it comes to dinner because I'm still full up. Realising I was still full today, I compromised by just grabbing a big bowl of cereal before I headed out, so was left with the lovely situation of still having just under 10 points left over for the day. I feel like I've really treated myself having an ice-cream in the interval at the theatre, and a packet of crisps at the pub. Yum.

Got tomorrow planned out in my head already - I'll have eggs for breakfast - probably scrambled or poached on toast, and then the left over homemade soup from today for lunch - thereby leaving loads of points for dinner out tomorrow. Good stuff!