Monday, 31 August 2009

Back to it

Had a lazy day today, and sooooo not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Have restocked the fridge with all kinds of colourful vegetably / fruity goodness - mmmm, can't wait to get stuck into that lot. Bought a cook book devoted to healthy, organic, and amzing baking. This is a skill I will master - I might just have to feed most of the cake to other people! Also got prodded by my next door neighbour until I got off his sofa and went out for a run with him. Just over 5km, 30 mins, and only 1 stop - which to be quite fair to me was a stop to stretch after running the first 10 mins straight up hill. Good times. Or a good time, I should say - I'm bloody proud of that time - especially after nearly 2 weeks without any serious form of cardio.

Going next door to eat pasta now, and vegetate on the sofa for a bit .... the pile of laundry and unpacking remains as high as ever and is clearly not going to be sorted today!

Post-holiday weigh in ... good grief!

Event: post-holiday weigh in
Emotion: ecstatic, and mildly disbelieving
Result: absolutely no gain what-so-ever

Yep - read it and weep. I had to step on the scales 4 times just to check the result. I was braced for another 4 lb gain, or worse, anything up to half a stone, and there it was - still my lowest weight to date!

This is fantastic - I've really enjoyed my holiday, so it feels like major progress to stay in control like this. I'm straight back on plan this morning - I've been excited to get home and back on plan for days now, and I feel so incredibly refreshed and re-motivated.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Croatia - Day .... Lost Track ... Possibly 10

Jesus Christ, this holiday lark is hard work!!!

My food diary is alarming to say the least .... days that come anywhere close to being on plan seem to be few and far between, and the days that I can't even add up the points for, because my mental arithmetic isn't that good, are far too many. Still, I'm hanging in there, writing it all down, and trying to make better decisions each time and learn from my mistakes.

It's difficult, because I'm travelling with one non-dieter, and one on-holiday-dieter, so if I hark on about it too much, or want to be too different and awkward in my eating patterns, it irritates them. Which basically leaves me with the option of making the good choices where I can, and giving way the rest of the time. God only knows what the damage will be when I get home - frankly, I'm not sure I want to know. I'm highly tempted to not stand on the scales for a week and hope it all goes away, but that's just denying the truth, and I think I deserve better than that.

Aside from that grumble, the holiday is fabulous. The weather is blazing blue skies everyday and crushing heat in the 30's, but I'm kind of getting use to it, or at least learning coping strategies. Tomorrow's our last full day and we're heading out on a full day boat trip to the Kornati Islands, which are a national park here with loads of snorkelling and swimming opportunities when the boat stops.

On a positive note, I've seen photos of myself in a bikini this holiday that make me think that maybe things aren't so dire anymore and that progress is being made. That was possibly the one thing that I was dreading above all others.

Whilst I've been diarying this holiday, and mulling things over, and also discussing with Jo, we've decided to set ourselves a challenge for Egypt in November. It's 2.5 months away, and I've been challenged to aim to lose another stone by then to take me down to 12.5 stones, or 4 stones lost. I've also been challenged to try and drop down to a size 14, which is one dress size smaller than I am now. Jo, in turn has been challenged to lose just over another half stone to get her under 12 stone (she's several inches taller than me so is already very close to her ultimate target weight, hence the smaller loss for her challenge). In addition, I've decided that I'm not going to make any excuses, I'm going to get home and sign up for the Biggest Loser Challenge at my gym. I reckon I can use all the extra help I can get!

More tales from Croatia when I get home, plus photos.


Saturday, 22 August 2009

Croatia - day 4

Internet access, how I have missed thee!!!

Have spent the last couple of days absolutely roasting hot, here in Croatia -I feel likeI may never be cool again. Right now, I'm half here for the computer, and half for the AC - it's half 7 in the evening, and the temp has only just dropped back into the 20's.

We're currently staying in Dubrovnik, which is gorgeous, and have spent the past couple of days exploring. Walking the city walls yesterday in blistering 35 degree heat was an experience, so we keep jumping in the sea at every opportunity to cool off. We've been out to beautiful Lokrun island today - just alternately swimming and sun-bathing, and generally being lazy - well deserved after the amount of walking we did yesterday.

Tomorrow we pack camp and head to the next destination down the coast, which will be Split. We'll be stopping off at one of the National Parks on the way to explore the spectacular waterfalls at Krka.

I've been tracking my food and journalling, which seems to help me keep a bit of perspective. Food's been interesting as we have no way to keep anything cool, and until this afternoon we had no cooking gas either (and it's out fourth day now), but despite that it's not been so bad. I've been a bit over most days, as far as I can roughly calculate, but then I haven't added in any activity points to offset that. Mostly, I'm just following what Jo and Lissa eat, and let that be my guide.

Gotta jet off now - I'm getting a great tan, and loving the change of pace, scenery and climate. The only drama so far has been damn near missing the plane out - we had a puncture, and then got stuck in traffic and barely made it - arrived at Stanstead at 4.30, made check-in 1 min before it closed, and boarding was at 4.40 so we had to race across the whole airport to the furthest gate to make it - phew! Gives us a real appreciation of being here though, as we damn near weren't!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

200th post and holiday

Good grief ... where did 200 posts come from so quickly?? I must blather an awful lot of nonsense lol.

Official weigh out for holiday departure - 13st 7lb ..... which is exactly where I was for Scotland. That's both good and bad. Good that I'm back to my lowest ... bad that it's taken me a whole flipping month to get here. Damn, holiday's make things difficult.

I have to go do some last minute panicking - sorry, packing - now. I've a good, healthy, low fat breakfast to kick me off, and from here I'm on my own for the next 11 days.

I will see you anon, fellow bloggers, hopefully not any heavier, and preferably lighter than I am now. Might as well aim high, eh? :o)

Over and out.

Packed and (almost) ready to go

It's official - I haven't changed my mind on how much I hate freaking packing since my last trip away. I keep hoping I will, but it's still the worst job in the world. Gaaaaah!

Made extra worse this trip because I've somehow got to cram a whole tent into my rucksack (it can't be strapped to the outside because we're flying) along with my sleeping bag, sleeping mat, plate, cup, bowl, oh .... and clothes!!!!

So here I sit on my bed at quarter past midnight, the night before leaving, just about packed, but fretting about how little stuff I've actually got with me. I've committed to going with stuff that the new, trimmer me will wear - shorts, bikini, etc, which is a bit unnerving, without some of my fall-back options packed - but we all must move forward, so here's me doing it.

My notebook is packed (must remember to pack a pen though!) ready to diary me through the next 11 days. I'm hoping that remaining actively conscious about what I'm putting in my mouth and how I'm feeling will help to curb the worst excesses. I would love, love, love to come home and not have to be horrified about what the scales say.

My eating's been ... ok ... today. It's been pretty chaotic trying to finish everything up at work, sort tents logistics out, pack, see friends at the last minute, and I've used my saved points from yesterday, but that's ok. I'm happy that I've made some good decisions.

My next goal - to journal every day of the trip. While I won't strictly be pointing (partly because it's holiday, and partly because I won't have access to the resources to), I do want to remain aware of what's going in my mouth, and make conscious, healthy decisions where possible.

Gonna get some sleep now, as I have to be up at 7 to finish puzzling over the packing conundrum of how to get more stuff into the same space ....

Monday, 17 August 2009

Challenging myself

Hey guys,

Eating's been good today - which is a bloody miracle seeing that just about everyone in the office seems to have decided to bring in either cakes, sweets, chocolates or all of the above today! I had half a Danish pastry for elevenses (since somebody had very kindly already cut some of them in to half portions - perfect!), but other than that and a handful of jelly beans, I left well alone. No pringles, Miniature Heroes, chocolate Brazil nuts, or any of the other stuff.

The gym was good too - 45 min spin class and then a 25 min run on the treadmill - felt calm and relaxed towards the end, and just stopped as I didn't want to overdo it. And the secret to my easy running? Having someone to talk to me while I run - shame I can't do that all the time!

Which brings me to my question, which I need a bit of help with. The trainer I was chatting too, is running a Biggest Loser event at the gym. It's the third time they've done it, and they've been successful so they're holding it again. I've not watched the tv show, so I don't know how that works, but here's the lowdown on this one. It's a 6 week thing, which includes two group PT sessions at the gym each week, as well weekly weigh ins and a raft of other measures like body fat %age, inch loss etc. Everyone's food diaries will be reviewed by a nutritionist, who'll be on hand to give advice, and they'll have before a kind of talk / feedback / education session, a bit like WW's do after the weigh in, before the PT session. The group is 8 people max, so it's a chance to get quite a lot of one on one time.

Mark said that if I was interested he'd really like to have me in the group as I'm already on a healthy eating plan and have lost 3 stone and if he can make it work for me, then that's really good. The downside to all this? It's not included in my standard gym membership, so it'd be an extra cost of £75 for the 6 week course.

I have to admit that I'm quite intrigued, but the question is - should I do it?

Pros: It might well give me a much needed kick up the arse to keep going, and having a nutritionist and professional trainer review my habits could well be a bit of an eye-opener.

Cons: Cost, commitment of time (one of the sessions is a Sunday afternoon) and the potential depression if I don't do well, or get overly competitive about it.

I have no idea, but I don't have to give an answer til I get back from holiday, and Mark did make it clear that there's no pressure to do it.

On a holiday note - I've bought myself a notebook. Since I'm going for round 2 of How To Survive The Holiday Without A Massive Gain (something which I epically failed at in Scotland), I've started out as I mean to go on. I have bought a pretty notebook to take to Croatia, and I'll use it as a food journal and general diary of what's going on. This is what I meant to do in Scotland, but somehow never got round to.

I'm heading to bed now, to rest my weary eyes. The challenge for tomorrow - eat in my points again. I anticipate that exercise time will be hard to come by once the packing frenzy begins, so if it happens, great, if not, I'll not beat myself up.

And that scales say ...

I have totally lucked out with an incredibly fluky 2lb loss this morning. However, I fully realise that I haven't earned this, and that it is probably only due to the large volumes of activity I've done this week, and I'm still on somewhat shaky ground with my eating.

Today, as promised yesterday, my aim is to eat clean, stay in my points, and try and find some time one way or another to shift my ass this evening. Spinning if I have time, a run if I don't.

That's my goal. My little green light lit up on my tracker this morning to say I'm back in the 180's; what I want to see next is the one that says 3 stone officially gone. It's 1.5lb off, so I won't hold my breath for seeing it in the next two days, before I go on holiday, however I'm not going to give my body any excuses for heading in the wrong direction.

That's all for the moment. Over and out.

Sunday, 16 August 2009


I don't know what tomorrow's weigh in will bring, but I feel that it's not going to be good, after this last week. I know a couple of you have said don't beat yourself up over a couple of bad days (and incidentally, thank you so much for the supportive messages left this last week - much appreciated), but for me, this isn't just a couple of bad days, this is the start of a long and slippery slope to falling off plan altogether. I say this not because I'm a defeatist, or pessimist, or a glass-half-empty kind of person, but just because I'm world-weary and I've been here before with myself. I recognise the signs.

However, that doesn't mean I have to be here and go there again. I like this new me that can take control too much to want to relinquish her, and I don't want to start undoing all this. Coming back from the last holiday, I said I'd have my gain off quick-smart, and it hasn't happened yet. This last week I said I'd have a good week; it started out reasonably and then went to hell in a handbasket, plan-wise. So I think I need to take a step back, and plan smaller, baby steps until I can find my mojo again.

Therefore, I'll take whatever weigh in throws at me tomorrow on the chin. If it's bad, then I've earnt it, and there ain't noone else to blame for it. If it's ok, then I have to man up and admit that I'll have escaped by the skin of my teeth. No excuses.

Then tomorrow - I want a good day. No cheating. I'm starting small - just one 24 hour period, when I stick to my points allowance, and move my ass, and get my heartrate up. Nothing more. Baby steps all the way, since I can't seem to handle anything bigger.

When I've done that I'll start on Tuesday - same again - get the eating right. Move ass where I can. A lot of the next couple of evenings is going to be spent packing, but that's no reason not to do the rest of it right.

And I need a notebook for Croatia. I will diary. Food diary and blog, even if it is on paper. I think I need the reflection time each day to stop and think about what I'm doing.

Epic fail

Oh dear. So, yesterday - not so good. In fact, really spectacularly bad. Kind of 2 days worth of calories and fat in 1 day bad. As best I can work out. Damn, I hate it when I'm that rubbish.

Not so much in terms of volume of food - just really poor choices and some drinks, including a chocolate-y cocktail that was probably about 4 points or so all on it's own.

Back to it today, and must do better in future when presented with the same choices again.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Exercise is good, eating not so much

Could someone give me a kick up the arse please, as I seem to be going a bit wrong somewhere at the moment.

The exercise is good - I'm building it into my everyday life, and I getting to the point where I want to do it. Yesterday, I finished work slightly later than expected, then went clothes shopping for slightly longer than expected, so it turned out to be around 5pm before I made it home. I had been going to go for a walk on the hills yesterday afternoon, but then stuff got in the way and it didn't happen. I kind of sat there for 5 mins when I got home thinking about it, then thought well, I don't want to eat dinner for at least an hour, so I could either sit here and regret not doing some exercise, or I could do some. An hour? That's a hill-walking length of time if ever I heard of one!

So I went out, and was actually out for an hour and a half. I ended up going up the Beacon and back (the highest point on our local range of hills) which is quite a long trudge straight up (45 mins pretty much continuous steep climbing, door to summit), but worth it when you get there. It's good to get to the top and feel you've achieved something.

My eating however, doesn't seem to be so great. On the surface, it looks fine, but look closer, and I'm a subtle point or so over here and there. It doesn't seem much, but given that the scales don't seem to have wanted to budge down much over the last 2 weeks I'd say it's influential. Apart from occasional fluctuations when they tease me with a new low weight, they then bounce right back up to where they were. I have got to get a handle on it. I don't know if this is because I'm so much happier at this weight that I'm getting a bit complacent, or if I'm just letting life get in my way, but I've got to make some progress again. I haven't even managed to lose that ridiculous holiday gain yet and I'm due back off on another holiday on Wednesday!!!

On the flip side, I got an insight yesterday into what I would look like if I were a size 10/12. I was trying on a jumper dress in the shops and I looked in the mirror to check it out. I swear to god they had the most ridiculously flattering mirrors you've ever seen. They lied. I was looking at them for a good 5 mins trying to work out exactly how much they were flattering me, and must have looked pretty puzzled as the changing room attendant actually came over to ask me if I was ok! I'd certainly like to look like that in real life though - way cool!

So the message here generally, is that the exercise is good, but I need to tweak my eating slightly. I'm going to a flipping beer festival all this afternoon and evening, so no better place to start. Luckily, I'm not a massive fan of beer, and I'm pretty much a drinking lightweight at the moment so that puts paid to me taking in too many calories from alcohol. Maybe I'll have a look at what my friend Becky's doing and copy her. She's naturally one of these very slender people, and they always say we should pick up their habits, so I could do worse than to do whatever she's doing, right?

Continuing yesterday's thankful theme: I love that I can go climb a big hill and enjoy it, and then have enough energy left to still walk comfortably to and from the pub later, and I'm grateful that I have such beautiful hills right on my doorstep to go explore.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Life priorities and being grateful

I got my priorities back the right way round last night ... which is to say that I got to 5.15pm, said fuck work, and legged it out the office door before anyone could call me back in. Into the car at 5.20pm. It takes 40ish mins to drive home, Body Combat starts at 6.15 - can I make it? - you bet your pink panties I can!

Traffic's bad, so 45 mins to get home - park on the drive at 6.05pm, leg it up to the flat; 4 min turnaround to get changed into workout gear, fill my water bottle, grab a cereal bar and GO!!!! Half walk, half run down the road whilst gulping down the cereal bar, mow down some small children on my way through the security gates at the gym, belt up the stairs, sling stuff in a locker and skid to a halt in my usual spot in the studio. 1 min to spare before class starts! WHOOOP!

It was a good sweaty class, which I was in need of, although I kept getting slightly distracted by the greeness of my new work out top in the mirrors. It's really, so very green. It also shows up all the little (or *ahem* big) wobbly bits, that really need working on, which flattering black used to just hide. Still, I will not be ashamed of them. I might be the biggest person in that class, but I'm not the least fit, and I put in far more effort than some, so why should I be ashamed? Just look on it as extra motivation to keep your abs strong and everything sucked in while you're working out!! :o)

Back home, just getting undressed for the shower when the doorbell goes. It's Jon, and I nearly just flashed him, because I almost forgot to pull my top back on before going to get the door (think that would have surprised him a bit!). Would I like dinner next door - spaghetti bolognaise? Why thank you very much! (Yep, I was good and considered my points situation for the day before answering, like a good little Weight Watcher).

We wandered up to the pub for a late drink at 10pm after dinner (half an hour walk there and back) and met up with some friends, so all in all a nice chilled out evening. I'm still off the alcohol, so that makes the pub easy, but I might have had a minor misdemeanor whilst sitting on the sofa watching telly when we got back. I was honestly only going to have 1 biscuit. I only wanted 1 biscuit. So explain to me why I had 3???? Note to self - next time, don't ask someone to pass the biscuit box, unless you're sure you're stopping at 1. Idiot!

I had a little flounce around trying on a few different things, when I was getting dressed after my shower earlier in the evening - mostly short skirts and shorts for next week on holiday. I have to say, I think the combination of running and Body Combat has had a really good effect on my arms and legs over the last couple of weeks - I definitely feel like they look sleeker now. So that means I'll feel ok wearing short stuff next week in Croatia - yay!!

Scarily, it will also mark the re-introduction of the dare-to-bare nightmare that is always beachwear. I'm going to be brave. I'm a fairly trim UK 16 now (so that's what a 14 Stateside and Canada?) .... I'm taking the bikini. God help me (and possibly the other people on the beach who might be struck blind lol), but I'm easing myself into it - yes, the bikini's going, but I'm also taking a loose tunic cover-up, if I want to cover up my top half, and also small board shorts (as in the little bastards are ultra-short - something I'd never have contemplated before), if I want to cover the bottom half.

I'm taking bets now, on what the holiday damage will be this time round. What do you all reckon??

We're away for 10 days, and we're camping. In previous years this has usually meant fruit and bread and jam for breakfast, or occasionally eggs (we have no fridge while we're away, so we can't keep anything that needs to be kept cool). Usually something sandwich-y for lunch, more fruit, and possibly some chocolate, although not if it's too hot. Dinner is either eating out, or cooked on the camp-stove. Given that apparently Croatia has a lot of Italian-influenced cuisine and pasta is easy on a camp-stove, I'd reckon on lots of pasta being consumed. There's quite often wine round the camp "fire" in the evening (not an actual fire, but you get the gist of sitting round in camp and chatting). Snacks are usually cereal bars and fruit and occasional ice-creams. Past years have involved a lot of driving, a lot of walking, some lying round on the beach and pratting around in the sea, and some random miscellaneous activities such as canyoning or white-water rafting.

So what do we reckon? Weight on? Stay the same? Or even a loss?? Hmmmm - I can't work it out.

In the same vein as yesterday's postive thinking theme, and because I was reading someone's blog earlier and they were talking about perspective and being grateful for what you've got - here's my deep and meaningful thought for the day:

I'm grateful I've still got my dad, and that he's starting to emotionally heal after the loss of my mum two years ago.

And, because I'm shallow, I'm grateful I can wear white jeans and a close-fitting stripey jumper and feel good, because I know I look good.

So there.

Over and out.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Zero mud, but much stew

Picture this: I'm all excited (if a little nervous) about going along to the first group run last night. I'm in work at 10 to 8 in the morning, so I can leave early at 20 past 4, go sort my food shopping on the way home, get changed and head out to the rendezvous for 7pm.

Now picture this: It's half past 6 in the evening and I still sat in the bloody office, tearing my hair out at the work I'm trying to do, and feeling like a miserable, grumpy old git because I now know it's too late for me to make it to running.

So there you go - de nada on the running front last night, and in fact, absolutely zero exercise at all last night. Not happy. Not happy at all.

I did at least just about manage to get the food shopping sorted before the supermarket closed, which was good, and I actually ran into the boys from next door whilst I was there. Cue lots of silly waving as we kept passing each other going in opposite directions, racing trolleys down the aisles and them trying to annoy me by hovering, looking over my shoulder, commenting on my shopping whilst I'm packing.

After the yummy-ness of yesterday's sushi lunch, I got a bit experimental in the kitchen last night and attempted a lamb casserole / stew. Oh. My. God. It was (is) soooooooo good. Diced lamb leg, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, fresh rosemary - I completely winged it, but it worked so well, and I'm sitting it eating for lunch too, as we speak. And only 5 points - bonus!!! Definitely doing that one again!

Everything's back to normal tonight. Body combat class, to earn some points and a much-needed vent of aggression, and I might go out for a bike ride or walk on the hills tomorrow afternoon after work. I feel I need some more fresh air this week!

The scales are still pinging around all over the place, so I have no real idea how this week's going at the mo. I am finding though that I've developed a complete disconnect between what size I think I am, and the clothes I wear. Let me explain. I know that I have lost weight. I can see that my body shape has changed. I know that label-wise I wear smaller clothes. But when I look at my clothes, I think good god - how does my ass actually fit in that??? My clothes look so small, and I can't associate them with me, if that makes sense.

Take my jeans for example - size 16 flares that I bought from Next, and probably the smallest of the trousers I currently own. They are hanging on the door drying, and when I look at them the waist looks ... well, just plain small. So in my head, I think that if I can get them on, they must at least fit with a massive muffin-top rolling out of the waist band. But no - when I put them on, they fit just fine. I think my brain's taking a while to catch up with me.

My new thing I'm trying to do this week? Bin the negative thinking. Kick it to the curb. I'm an absolute bugger for mentally talking myself down, and whether or not positive thinking really, really has an affect on our lives, negative thinking is certainly not going to make me feel any better. So, whatever I'm negative thinking about - I'm going to stop it. Not try and stop it, but actually stop it. I want to spend less time wallowing in my own self-pity, when things don't go my way.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Sushi and mud

Oh my lord - I'm eating sushi for my lunch, at my desk - how metropolitan, up-to-the moment, city folk do I feel! Actually, it's pretty damn tasty, although I need to check exactly how many points it is, and it makes a nice change from sandwiches and soup - see, I'm widening my foodie horizons!

I'm due to do my first session with the running club tonight, and just in time all the rain's come back, so I think I'll be digging out my older "outdoors" trainers to be running in, since I suspect it's going to be mighty muddy out on the common - those trainers have already been through several rivers during canyoning trips, and scuffed their way up and over via-ferrata courses though, so I don't think a bit of British mud is going to make them much worse.

My impromtu run last night means that even with last night's unplanned dinner I'm only a point over for the week so far, which'll be put back in the black after an hour running round the common tonight, so that's good.

So it's all good for this week so far. I need to do a bit of thinking about my strategy for the beer festival this weekend. I'm not a big beer-drinker, so I doubt I'll be putting too many pints away (in fact normally my beer intake is strictly limited to the occasional cold bottle on the beach on holiday), but I suspect there might be a fair bit of bad food floating round in the evening to avoid.

Not much else to report, except that I whipped out the tape-measure to get an update on the inches last night and there's bits disappearing here and there still. It seems to have come off my arms and legs this time, so maybe that's the Body Combat and running having an effect. I'll post the latest up here soon.

More anon, folks.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Answers on a postcard please ....

Just a quick question for you: What kind of crazy ass person, takes her dad out for an unscheduled meal out, screws her points up a bit (how can you resist the hopeful look on your Dad's face when the word "pudding" is mentioned - the only favour I did myself was turning down his suggestion of getting the sticky toffee pudding for two to share, and getting sorbet for me instead), and then decides to go for an extra unscheduled run to help burn off two and a half courses of Italian food?

Answer: That would be me.

I ask you this - are these the actions of a sane woman, or someone a leeeeeeetle bit obsessed? I'll leave you to ponder that one.

Whilst I sit here and feel faintly sick.

Weird-ass scales

Well, I truly do not know what's going on with my scales; either they're teasing me this morning, or they well and truly stuck two fingers up at me yesterday, but according to them I'm between 3 and 4lbs lighter this morning (I stepped on twice as I didn't believe it the first time).

Whatever happened, this puts me in new lighter-than-ever territory which is pretty nice, so now I've just got to behave and keep it there!

Food was fine yesterday, and looking at the last couple of weeks, I seem to be settling into a fairly comfortable rhythm recently whereby I get everything I want and need, and I'm able to save points as I need to. Most days I'll earn some activity points, and I usually use 1 or 2 on the day, but bank the rest. This seems to work pretty well as it gives me a bit of wiggle room come the weekend.

Yesterday evening was spin class, followed by 12 mins jogging on the treadmill. When I run after spinning I just do what I feel comfortable with, with a min of 10 mins, since I've already done something pretty intense. Last night I felt pretty strong hence the couple of extra minutes, and I also knocked my pace up my an increment in the last 5 mins. Increments on our treadmills are only 0.1 kph, so it's pretty small, but I figure a little bit here and there will increase my pace in the long run, and I know I could have gone significantly longer had I chosen to - I stopped because I felt satisfied with what I'd done.

I had on a funky new workout top last night (bright, bright emerald green - I guess I'm not exactly the shy and retiring type) and my instructor, Tim, commented on it when I hopped on my bike at the start of the class. It's nice that I feel confident enough these days that I take that as a compliment, or at the very least a neutral comment, and don't just feel like there's something wrong with it or I'm being laughed at. When we split into teams to race off, I was captaining my side of the class, so Tim obviously nicknamed us the "mean, green racing machines" - in his face, because we won, courtesy of yours truly going head to head in a captains race off because the teams were tied. Me, competitive??? Oh HELL yeah!

So that was yesterday, today's going well, although I don't quite know what my plans are for tonight. No exercise though, I think, as I've got about 3 million things I need to do, including popping round to see my dad and doing a food shop, and was also supposed to be seeing the girls too - I think Dad should come first for a change though as I have been a terrible daughter of late!

Monday, 10 August 2009


Sorry to be back so soon, but I've a few things I want to say to myself, and I might as well name and shame myself publicly.

After I did my earlier post, I updated my own personal weight tracker that I keep. And I'm not happy with myself. In the last 7 weeks, I have lost a miniscule 1.5lbs. That is SHIT.

What in hell am I playing at? Not losing weight, that's for sure.

My overall average weightloss per week (ignoring the bumper 3 weeks when I first started as they skew everything) has dropped right down to a measley 1.1lbs a week - way, way down on where I started out, and seemingly continually getting lower.

My getting-to-goal date has shifted back from sometime in November, in time for holiday, to sometime about New Year, and has now disappeared off the end of my model and sometime into next year.

Nope - definitely not a happy bunny. I seem to have lost my zeal to do everything absolutely right. I still do ok points wise, but I don't plan like a used to, and when I save some points, I let myself use them on empty calories. Actually, on that point, too many of my points are getting used on empty calories and "treat" food, full-stop.

I know that we can't be perfect all the time, and that to strive for that is to set yourself up for a fall, but I'm in danger of falling back into old habits and just eating diet alternatives instead.

I've obviously got another holiday coming up which is liable to be another set-back. Another 10 days when I won't be able to point or track online. Won't be able to blog, and will be tempted to get sucked into the "holiday eating" mentality.

I'm walking a fine line between balancing the relaxing of my eating vigilance with my exercise which is still increasing in intensity bit by bit. But if this last week's anything to go by, I'm sometimes stepping over the line, instead of walking it, and I don't even realise it.

I don't know if this is compacency, because the weight does keep trickling away, or tiredness because I've been at it consistently(ish) for over 7 months now, or because I've become a bit more comfortable with where I am now, or something entirely different, but I need to get a handle on it.

I'm also sure I've written this post before, and yet here I am writing it again. I don't want to fall in the trap of falling off the wagon, and then posting about how I'll start again for the eleven-ty millionth time, and you guys reading it and just shaking your head thinking but she won't, will she? I read too many blogs like that, and they're depressing.

Nobody can do this for me, except me. So I need to get up off my ass and do it properly.

And back up we go!

Ok, so I'm somewhat depressed this morning. I weighed in this morning, and I've managed to go back up half a pound. Bugger.

My weight's been hovering up and down all week in honesty; I did see it drop down to 13st 8lb's during the week, but it wasn't to be and I finally finished back up at 13st 9.5lb. I latterly realised that part of the fluctuation will have been due to TOTM, and some is most likely a hangover from last week's epic eat-out-a-thon when I flukily managed to drop 2lbs last Monday, and the rest - who knows? Choices not as good as I thought they were? Just my body taking time to catch up with itself?

Anyhoo, no point bitchin' as it won't change it, so nothing to do but keep going.

Annoyingly, my walk on the hills never materialised yesterday, as after much faffing, my friends decided they couldn't be arsed, and I got caught up in bagging up old clothes and taking rubbish to the tip in the morning. On the plus side, that means that lunch out never materialised either, so it kind of balances itself out. I did get out for fresh air, just not any energetic form, when I went to meet my friend Sheena in the park to listen to the band playing, so that was a really nice couple of hours spent lying in the sun and gossiping. I then had a quick dinner at home and swung by my friends Graeme and Bec's house to sit in the garden with a group of them for half an hour, before dashing off to meet other friends Jo, Lissa and Ellie for a summer evening drink in a picture perfect pub garden. My points were ok yesterday, thanks to diet coke or water drunk when out.

So here's to another week plodding along. I hate these little set backs - they're so depressing, but it's no reason to stop. It just makes me wonder exactly which bit I went wrong on so I could make more of an effort to avoid doing it again, but with so many variables, who knows! What I can cling on to is the fact that although I haven't got rid of my holiday gain yet, I am still smaller in inches than I was at the beginning of June.

This week is going to be spinning tonight, hosting girls night tomorrow, running club on Weds, Combat on Thurs, resting on Fri and a beer festival on Sat. Sunday will be packing and running final errands for holiday and sorting out logistics for next Wednesday's departure. Somewhere in between all of that, I need to do all the clothes washing ready for packing, order my currency, check all my paperwork is in order, do my tax calcs for the year ready for my refund claim, take my clothes recycling to the collection point, do a food shop and do a mahoosive clean of the flat.

Me thinks I'm not going to have a lot of spare time this week!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Ladies what lunch

It was a good job I actually got up fairly early this morning, as there was a ring on our doorbell at 9am, and there was Bex stood outside ready to go shopping. When she said 9am last night after dinner, I thought she was joking, but apparently not.

Due to several hangovers being in evidence this morning (obviously not me, since I wasn't drinking last night) the pool party idea got binned as there simply wasn't enough collective energy available today to shift our asses over to Jon's parents' place. So us girlies reverted to our earlier plan of a chilled out shopping trip. Consequently, I am now a poorer person .... damn, damn, damn .... although I do have some pretty new things draped over the end of the bed.

Food management has gone well today, considering it was all completely unplanned. We had lunch out, sitting out in the courtyard at one of my favourite lunch establishments, but rather than go for one of their amazing, and truly enormous, hot sandwiches, I ordered soup with granary bread, and left the butter on the side. Just as well really, as when the sandwiches the others had ordered arrived, I realised that there is no way I'd have even known how to begin to point them up. Truthfully, I'd ordered soup because I was debating having a pudding, having a craving for an ice-cream sundae like you wouldn't believe (TOTM to blame for that one I'd guess), but I was full after the soup, so didn't bother ordering anything further.

The one good thing with shopping days is that you're getting in the exercise without realising it, as you stroll round from shop to shop for hours at a time. Since we were in town from 10am til at least 3pm - that's 5 hours. Deduct the half-hour time-out that was lunch - still 4.5 hours. Allow for copious amounts of faffing, and conservatively that's still about 2 hours at least of slow strolling round. Add a 20 mins stroll back from Bex's house on the way home (it was a nice afternoon and it seemed a shame to waste the opportunity for a bit more leg-stretching), and that's a nice 8.5 points of activity clocked up for the day!!! Bloody amazing how that works out!

We did grab an ice-cream cone each from Thorntons as we were leaving town - be rude not to really, but I could answer the "single, double or triple scoop?" question without having to think about it. Single, please. Maybe I'm learning.

I now have points banked again for the week, and I'm feeling comfortably full, and like I've had a little bit of everything I fancy today. Tomorrow I'm supposed to be going out for another walk, up on the hills this time, and possibly stopping for lunch while we're out. It's been a really nice chilled out weekend so far, so there's only the guilt of too much money spent that brings me down - problem is, I keep running out of bloody clothes in the wardrobe!!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Warning - smug alert!!!

Hee hee - I apologise for being this smug, but well .... I just am!!!

I've had my meal out with friends at the Indian restaurant, and I still have one point saved for the week. It's like having my cake and eating it!

What's more, I've had a really nice night out, and don't feel like I've denied myself anything. I've stayed off the booze tonight, as I still haven't drunk since my return from Scotland, and I can't quite be bothered to break the dry spell now. I had a chicken tikka starter, and then a korma main - but I shared the dish with my friend Sheena, and had it with plain boiled rice, and only used half of that portion. This meant that even with crisps devoured in the pub beforehand (as dinner wasn't til 9 and I'd been out running at about half 4 and not eaten since), I'm still in my points for the week.


I did another 3.5km route this afternoon on my run, and did it in the same time as Wednesday's run. The difference with today's was there was far more gradient involved, and about half the route was off-road, either over footpaths or on the common. I ran out as far as the common and about half way across it, then I'd already decided before the run that I'd use the big hill up as a walking breather. I actually did jog up two short stretches of it, then ran across the shallower incline at the top, very quick walk over the crest of the hill, then ran back down the hill and ran through the park to take me home. Taking the breathers (or knowing I was going to be taking a breather on the outward run) meant that I could push myself to lengthen my stride a bit and more run than jog, so that made for a nice change from my usual slow, steady maintaining pace.

I'm heading off for a bit of morning shopping tomorrow with some of the girls, then we're off to Jon's parents place to lounge in their pool for the afternoon, have a barbie and play croquet (how quaintly English!!). Hopefully, Sunday will be a day for quiet lounging and going for a walk.

Have a good one, folks!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Running news

Hey hey guys!

How goes it this morning??

I got a reply from Jenny, who runs the novice run with the local group - she was very welcoming, and said she thought I'd enjoy their group. They run about 5k over the course of an hour every Wednesday at 7, and I'm going along next Wednesday to join them. I'm really looking forward to it, because they don't always run actually in Malvern, which means some runs will be flatter and some hillier - at the moment I've always got the hills to contend with somewhere along the line which is .... interesting. Also they run lanes and cross-country during the spring / summer / autumn which will be awesome, and only come into town under the streetlights during the winter nights.

I also behaved at the girls night. For one, I walked up - it's not far, only 10-15 mins away but it's a chance to stretch my legs, and it was a gorgeous evening (something I hadn't appreciated much earlier when I was running, it was warm, there was no breeze, and there were a million insects contesting with each other to be the one to zoom into my mouth and eyes at random!). Also one of the girls (bride to be in 9 weeks) had bought a massive bowl of fresh strawberries with her, which was something I could safely pick on at random , whilst ignoring the massive array of chocolate and flapjack based things. I did eat something else - wait for it - I had 2 Weight Watchers chocolate biscuits. My flatmate had rocked up with a box of them, and since dinner had come to fewer points than I thought it would, I felt safe having one of the individually wrapped packs of 2. All in all, a success!

I'm still on track this morning, and the scales have now retreated back down past Monday's WI weight. And someones just put a load of pots of mini chocolate bites opposite my desk, right in my eye-line. You know what? Not. Interested. I had a low-fat muffin earlier (I went to the dentist this morning and needed something to take the taste and smell of tooth dust away - ack, ack, ack!!!!) and it's totally killed my craving for anything more that's sweet for now.

Body Combat this evening - love it, and looking forward to it!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Comrades! I don't know if it was all your lovely supportive posts earlier today, or the fear / excitement motivator of possibly joining a proper running club, but I totally found my running mojo today. I cracked the 20 min barrier. I also cracked 25 mins while I was at it. I believe my run took me somewhere in the vicinity of 28 mins without stopping.


As you can tell, I am much pleased by this result, nay, I would even say smugly satisfied. I made a route I'd done before new by doing it in reverse (which made for a rather unpleasant 5 mins or so running solidly up hill in the middle, but hey-ho), paced myself, distracted myself with continuous stream-of-consciousness mental dialogue and just kept chugging along.

The only depressing this is that when I got back and checked on my route mapping software, I'd still only covered 3.5km in the time, which is an abysmally slow pace, but know what? I won't be disappointed! One thing at a time. Endurance first, and then when I've got to a reasonable level of that, I'll work on the speed issue. For now I'm just happy. And starving!!!! Must go eat before my stomach digests itself!!

Biting the bullet

Eeeek - I've just sent an email enquiry off to a local running club about joining their novices run every week!

I've never even considered joining a club before as they're full of scarily fit people who can literally run laps round me, but I really want to break through this annoying 20 min barrier I've got to, and I'm not sure how else to do it. I was thinking that I really enjoyed the couple of sessions I did with the ladies from the gym - especially as it took me away from the roads and on to terrain I wouldn't attempt on my own, so I did a little google for local running groups. The first one back on the list is quite large (about 120 members) and while they do seem to do lots of racing, including marathons and crazy fell running challenges, they also run a group specifically aimed at people just starting out. They also say they run lots of groups of overlapping abilities at the same time every week, so it's quite easy to progress, and they seem quite socially oriented which I'm hoping will translate into friendly and welcoming.

I guess I'll never know if I don't give it a try! And best of all - it's free to run with them!

This marks a change for me though - seeing something I want to do, being scared about it, but doing it anyway ... and all without the usual couple weeks / months procrastination when I wonder whether I dare to.

On a completely different note - a little bit of victory this morning: I was starving hungry, and having already eaten one of my satsumas, I went over to the coffee shop to forage. I walked past the cakes at the coffee counter - not really in the slightest bit tempted other than curiosity as to what they were serving today (coconut tray bake, millionaire slices, double chocolate muffins or white chocolate and raspberry ones, and yum yums if you're interested in knowing!) - wandered into the shop with my small skinny hot chocolate, looked at all the chocolate bars and crisps and settled for a Nutri-grain bar. I love it when I can make decisions I can be proud of! I also didn't buy any crisps to eat with my lunch time sandwich - hooray! Crisps are a bit of a vice for me - I associate eating a sandwich or wrap with having a pack, so it's good when I can break the habit and prove to myself that I don't need them to be satisfied - helps me separate the difference between "want" and "need".
I think the scales are giving me payback for the Great Eating Out Debacle of last week, as they've currently bounced back up by a 1lb or so. Deeply irritating, but I'm eating well this week, so I've just got to be patient until I can regain my pre-holiday weight, and start going down again.

I had another absolutely rubbish day at work yesterday, in full out stress mode. I had a big deadline for 5pm, but the data file I needed to work on didn't get delivered until 4pm. The problem is that it takes me around 3 hours to prep the file assuming there are no major problems with it. So on top of the fact that this obviously meant I had to work over by a couple of hours to get it submitted, it meant that I spent mid-afternoon essentially twiddling my thumbs and getting more and more wound up over the non-appearance of my data. So what do my thoughts naturally turn to? Self-medication by food.

It's weird that now I've noticed I do this, I'm hyper-aware of it. Luckily for me, the only food within the vicinity was jelly sweets, which aren't exactly highly damaging. I did pick at a few of them, but they don't come to more than about 2 points worth, so it was fine.

Having done the world's quickest supermarket shop on the way home (I had 10 mins before they closed - lucky I'd done a quick list while I was waiting round during the afternoon so I could just whip round grabbing what I needed), I got home just in time to meet Bridget for dinner at 8pm. I was absolutely starving by that time, so I was rifling through the cupboards for something to snack on while we waited for dinner to cook. It's funny how that works out when there's no crap in the cupboards - do you know what my naughty snack was?

A handful of unsalted cashews and a satsuma. Last of the big bingers, eh?

Had such a nice dinner of left over cold salmon fillet from the night before, a jacket potato, broccoli spears and green beans, and a tablespoon of extra light Philadelphia to substitute for butter on the potato and veg. The best thing about B coming round, is she actively likes eating healthy with me, so it doesn't mess up my routine.

I did catch myself later in the evening when I was reviewing my points for the day, and I realised I'd forgotten to put down my pre-dinner snack - I was half-tempted to say oh well, I don't need to really point that do I?, which I've found myself thinking a few too many times recently. YES!!! I really do need to point them. I need to point everything! That's one bad habit I need to bash on the head right now, otherwise I'm not going to get anywhere.

I've now got a dinner invite for Friday night. I'm a bit wary because it's for an Indian restaurant, and I know that that cuisine is notoriously bad for healthy-eating, but I'm quite lucky really, because there's not that much Indian food I actually like, so it should be ok for me to stick to something healthy, and not be tempted to eat the whole menu.

Anyway, less stressful today (I hope) and then I'm going for a run straight after work. Then a quick dinner and off to the girls night. B and I made a deal last night to watch each others backs on a snack front and to implement wrist slapping as appropriate for straying from the plan.

"I'll get by with a little help from friends ...." Definitely.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Going strong

I'm feeling good this week - really strong.

I've eaten well today and yesterday, and I'm easily sticking to my points, while eating fresh and tasty food. I worked out last night and worked hard. I did spinning, and then jumped on the treadmill for a 10 min run. My running's been lacking the last couple of weeks, and I'm never going to break through that 20 min barrier of pain and lethargy if I don't work at it regularly, so I'm starting to reintroduce short little runs into my week.

I did 15 mins on the treadmill last week at the gym, and 10 after spinning last night - I had a bit of jelly-leg syndrome having just come off a hard 45 mins on the bike, but it was good to work through it and I felt better for it. I find now that my breathing stays fairly easy while I'm running - long, deep breaths rather than short, snatched ones, and it's my legs that give out first. When I can distract myself properly then I just settle into a fairly effortless rhythm without thinking about it too much - I just haven't figured out what the key to that distraction is yet! But I recover quickly now - when I slowed to a cool-down walk, my pulse dropped from it's working rate of 166 to down in the 120's in the two mins I was monitoring it on the machine and was still dropping steadily as I stepped off. I'd love to know what my full resting heart rate is these days, as it was always really rapid, and I bet it's slowed a bit now.

I'm going to head out for a 20-25 mins road run tomorrow night, and then I vow that I will not balls it all up eating snack-y things at tomorrow's girls night. That's the only social thing I've got this week where I might trip up, and I want to make this a good week. Jack Sh!t was talking about the perfect week the other day, and while I won't be perfect this week, I want to be good, or better than good.

Two of my girlfriends have decided to do the Special K diet for two weeks until holiday. My next door neighbour is going on an extreme regime designed to whip military reservists into shape within 3 months. I pity them really, for not knowing, or accepting, that moderation is the only real key to this whole thing. So while they suffer, and toil, crave what they can't have, and ride out the sugar highes and lows, I'll take the middle road and be smug that I'm finally enlightened. That I discovered the secret, and it turned out it was no secret at all - just a bit of common sense. Allow me my moment of smugness, dear readers, because you just know I'll trip up sooner or later, and have to pick myself up again :O)

Monday, 3 August 2009

The scales ... they say "Oh, go on then".

Well, the weekly encounter with the scales is done, the verdict's in, and in a moment of kindness, the scales gave me a Get Out Of Jail Free card and a 2lb loss. Not quite the spectacular 4lbs I wanted, to be completely rid of my holiday gain, but with 4 (unwise) meals out this week I think I've been lucky.

I'm going to try and avoid anymore eating out "adventures" this week, as they are a liability for me, and I'll stick to drinking instead for my socialising, as I've got that one in the bag. I've got plans for spin, body combat and a run this week, and with nothing planned at the moment for this weekend, I'll try and slot in another walk / bike ride. I know I've got a girl's night on Wednesday, so I'll try and avoid eating anything snacky there, as it's a slippery slope once started. B will probably be over for a catch-up tomorrow night, but that's fine as she eats healthily with me.

As per usual, I start the week with the freshest of good intentions - slate-clean, fresh start and all those cliches. As usual we'll see how it goes, but I like the fact that I can start every week optimistic, regardless of how the previous week went - if I just keep doing this and starting every week with my best efforts, no matter if week's sometimes go wrong, I'll get there.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Not again!

Shit, fuck and bollocks. I have to stop eating out, because I've keep getting sabotaged!!!!!

No. Freaking. Soup. On. At. The. Pub.

WTF?????? They always have soup. But no. Nada. Rien. None what so bloody ever. Arrrrrrghh!

And no casserole either - so no cop out with something that at least has lots of root veg in it, and no chips on the side.

My choices were pie, fish and chips (battered or grilled), cheesy leek bake or scampi and chips. I have no idea where the rest of the menu disappeared to as usually there's loads of choice, but I get the impression they'd been rammed all day and didn't have much left. As the lesser of several evils I had the grilled fish, which is good in that I've been craving fish and chips for a week now, and bad in that there were chips. And there might have been apple crumble with custard afterwards, but we'll not mention that shall we? Please?

The only mitigating factor in yet another disastrous meal out is that the walk up there included a slight detour up the Worcestershire Beacon (bloody hell my legs are out of practice at walking up hills), so it took us an hour to get up to the pub, accumulating a flippin' good sweat and a thirst on the way, and then another 40 mins to get back.

All in all, not quite the angelic finish / catch-up for the week that I had in mind, and I'm so annoyed with myself for losing my grip yet again. I did save some points for the day, but I'm still over for the week, and wondering just at what point during the week did my control slip. I would imagine the point where I ate out 4 times.

So here's a challenge for next week. I'm not going to eat out. I'm not feeling like anything's going to have budged in the right direction on the scales tomorrow morning, and I think the blame can be fair and square laid at the door of my lack of self-control / forethought when I'm not cooking for myself. Maybe going forwards I should try and limit myself to only eating out once a week?

More anon, my lovely readers - the moment of truth tomorrow morning.

Detox and stocking up

I've chosen to do something today which isn't entirely advocated by Weight Watchers - I'm having a bit of a super low points day so I can do a bit of catching up on my points deficit for the week. Be assured, my lovely readers, that I'm doing this in the healthiest possible way though.

I've had a bowl of cereal with skimmed milk for breakfast, a small cereal bar mid-morning, home-made soup for lunch followed by half a punnet of raspberries and a low point yoghurt and finally an apple and a biscuit mid-afternoon. We're eating out tonight, but I'm sticking to soup and bread, no butter, and we're walking to and from the pub. By walking, what I mean is a 40 minute hike up and over the hills in each direction.

All of that means that I'll have about 8 points left for the day, plus about 4.5 activity points earned, meaning I'll have nicely deleted my week's deficit. Of course, my online points tracker won't show that because it won't let me save more than 4 points a day, but I'll be happy in the knowledge that I've eaten well (and plentifully) while giving my body a bit of a respite from all the dessert yesterday.

Tomorrow's weigh in will also mark the passing of week completely alcohol-free which was my gift to myself after the week long debauchery in Scotland - thought my liver could maybe do with a bit of a break!

I've spent this afternoon buying bits of kit I need for Croatia. I've picked up some ultra-lightweight convertible walking trousers (you know the sort that roll up or zip off at all sorts of different lengths) and a new day bag for walking and exploring. I have to say that these are the times I really notice the benefit of being slimmer as I don't have the horrible struggle to try and find stuff to fit - I even get a choice of labels!! Sometimes the simple things in life are good. :O)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Not the best day

It could have been worse, but it could also have most definitely been better. We've been out shopping today and as a result we've had both lunch and dinner out and I've clocked about 33 points I think - I have a daily allowance of 22. Ok, so I can probably deduct about 5 points off that if I factor in that I spent a couple of hours walking round the stores and bloody Ikea, but there were definitely things I could have done better.

Error 1 - I wanted a poached egg for breakfast this morning. Toast in, egg in ..... ah crap, I've fucked that right up, and the egg is a write-off. Another egg in, this time using one of those funny little silicon cups .... sunk - second egg written off (spot the fact that I'm still learning how to do poached eggs). By this time the toast has popped so rather than waste it, I eat it. Don't want to waste another egg, so I'll just grab a bowl of the home-made chunky soup I did yesterday evening. That's in to heat up - ah .... but wait! The second egg isn't lost - it's just taking ages to cook! Well, another slice of toast in then, but the soups already heating. Result - breakfast turns into a feast of two slices of toast with spread, one poached egg and a bowl of soup. Points used - about 8.

Error 2 - when friends turn up for shopping, they're chanting "Yo Sushi! Yo Sushi!". So I'm thinking that's lunch then. Too full to contemplate eating right now, but after a very delayed journey to get the mall (2 frickin' hours), we stop for late lunch and I'm thinking I can eat something now. It started well, and then went downhill when I grabbed a dessert. That and I've just got home to discover that chicken teriyaki is actually 7 points for that little dish - what???? Anyhoo, since I was planning on just having a bowl of soup for dinner when we get back - no worries.

Error 3 - we haven't gone home yet, after getting lost somewhere in a particularly dodgy area of Bristol, we're still at Ikea and it's dinner time, so we're staying to eat. Small victory in that I avoid both fresh cod and chips and meatballs, which both look great, in favour of a bowl of fresh tomato soup, no bread. Failure in that everyone grabbed pudding, and I'd picked up cheesecake before then realising further along that I could have had a pot of organic low-fat yoghurt instead. Too late now as already got cheesecake - I didn't eat all of it, but still smacking myself round the head for being too hasty!

I've also spent too much money on clothes for holidays - all in sales, and it's lush to be able to buy board shorts from Animal in a 16 that could shortly be on the loose side, and a size 14 dress from Monsoon (ok - so the back is elasticated and then it flares out - but that's not the point - it fits!), but I think I might have to do some judicious application of really looking at what I need and returning everything else. I just keep getting carried away.

Some good news - since I've been feeling a bit down about the fact I finished the month back where I started due to my holiday gain, I did a few quick measurements this morning, and I've actually lost another inch from around my belly since last month which is great.

And then the serious stuff. I realised this morning how much you guys have invaded my life since I started blogging and following what you're all up to. I might never have met you, I might never do so, but by showing me your vulnerabilities daily I feel like I know you so well in such a short time. I therefore shed genuine tears for Jen this morning, upon reading the awful news that her mum had been killed by a car yesterday. Such a horrible thing to have someone snatched away from you so suddenly like that. It was different with my mum, as she was ill over such a long period of time - an entirely different grief to have to bear, but the end result is still the same. Someone you depend on so much is gone, and there's truly a hole left where they were.