Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Ooops!

Let me tell you a little story, about a good little Weight Watcher who was doing oh, so well, until she went to her Daddy's house for dinner. And then it happened. Dessert. Sigh.

Story of my life that! My dad, Lord love him, is at heart, a feeder. He's never really happier than when he's fussing over people, and able to offer them nice food. Especially cakes and desserts. And I'm such a sucker for rhubarb crumble that it would take some Herculean-style effort of willpower for me to say no. And Hercules I ain't.

Luckily, this story isn't all doom and gloom because I had points saved for this week already, and since I was still a few points short when I got home and added it up, I shoved my swimsuit and a towel in my bag and pottered off to the pool for 30 mins (and 30 lengths), to collect a few more.

Oh yeah - and at least I said no to the fudge that was offered apres-pudding!

Other than that, it's been another good day lol.

Physio Appointment

And thank god for that - tomorrow evening I'm off to see Kate, my trusty physio. I've given up waiting for the NHS to remember me and my "urgent" referral, and I know Kate's good because she straightened me out (literally; and then she made me touch my toes again) in January after crippling myself snowboarding. I can't wait - even swimming tonight I could feel horrible cramp-i-ness in my left ankle and (weirdly) ass-cheek, and this whole episode is just beyond tedious now.

So I'm quite sure she'll lever me into some ridiculous and wholly uncomfortable position and laugh at me when I whimper in pain, but I'll feel better afterwards. Kate's hilarious - she's really posh and swears a lot, usually whilst wrapping your leg round the back of your head or something equally weird, all whilst telling some crazy anecdote about her family life, but she sure gets results. Well worth the money.

New Toys!

I'm such a big kid when it comes to shiny things - I get all excitable! So I was very pleased earlier today, to receive an email to say that my new heart rate monitor had been dispatched - yay!!!

I've wanted one of these for ages, and I've been umming and ahhhing over cost and what to buy. I finally settled on a Polar F6, which has the option to transfer your work-out data from the last 12 workouts onto your computer and save online for comparison over time - hopefully, I'll be seeing some progress!

It's also got audio-visual alarms if you want to work in a set heart rate zone, which will be great for this aerobic working out that I'm meant to be doing as part of the gym challenge. For me, my zone is 115 - 135 for my body to be burning fat rather than gycogen, so the monitor will really help me target that.

I've been thinking about everything I've been reading, and been told, about aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and I'm thinking one of the things I can do to mix things up is to try and get a bit of both in the week. At the moment, pretty much all of my preferred work outs are anaerobic - spinning, running and combat are all in that zone. What I want to do is make sure I get a few lower impact sessions in the week. My intention to start yoga / pilates will fill in one session. Swimming is probably another one for me, and then I guess more walking would be good too. I'm quite enjoying the whole circuits class at the moment too, so I might look into whether there are any of those around that I could do.

Anyhoo - I was really pleased because I managed to pick this baby up for just under £50, when it should be about £80 or £90 full-price - bargainacious!

And there you have it - half way through the week already, and wondering where the time's gone!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Weigh in

I'm feeling a little more sane this week. I'm back on track - 2 good days in the bag, and after circuits on Sunday, I managed to make it to spin last night. I didn't go at it full pelt like I usually would, but I found I could do most things without aggravating my various injuries too much.

Even so, weigh in yesterday showed a small gain of 0.5lb. Pretty much the smallest gain I could have had, but a gain none the less - can't escape the scales when you've been over-eating pretty much 6 days out of 7 of the previous week. It did occur to me yesterday to check my diary though, which partially explained last week's temporary food insanity - I must have PMS'd my way through the latter half of the week without realising it, which multiplied the effect of my doom-and-gloom over everything else. Ah well - as I say - normal service has now been resumed.

I've also decided to bite the bullet and book some private physio again. I've got less than 6 weeks before windsurfing, which will be a pretty rough week on my body, so I need to get myself sorted out, and clearly waiting for the NHS to forgive me for missing an appt (through no fault of my own) and give me another one is not going to work. That and the fact that I'm still eating painkillers like their candy, and I'd quite like to have a stomach-lining left when I get old and disgraceful!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Feeling a bit more like the old me

Just got back from circuits which were good, even if there are definitely still things I can't do. Most of the static exercises like squats, press-ups and crunches were fine, but I've still got tightness in my hamstrings, as proved during the shuttle runs and alternating lunges. I was kind of thinking I might be ready to go back to running next week, but maybe not just yet. It was good to get a sweat on again though, and I've booked in for spinning tomorrow, even though I'm just going to take it easy.

I've also bought 2 new bikinis and some board shorts for the beach - can't wait for them to arrive so I can see how they fit and get some motivation to keep going.

I'm having a bit of an inadvertent cleansing day food-wise, as my appetite seems to have deserted me. I'm not pushing it though, just eating some healthy stuff as and when I feel hungry ... and on that basis, I'm off to make some soup now for later.

Damn BBQ's!!!

First off - thanks for your kind comments yesterday - I was receiving them throughout the day on my iPhone and it kind of acted as a nice reminder: that I'm not alone and to just keep trying above all else.

I thought I had a pretty good handle on things yesterday. I had a sensible breakfast (cereal), a healthy lunch at a friends house (scrambled eggs on toast with some baked beans) and a plan for the birthday BBQ we went to last night. Unfortunately, when I actually added it up in my tracker this morning, I was proved completely wrong - 14 points over - arrrrrghh!!! Proving yet again that I sometimes get it completely wrong with the numbers even though I'm an accountant!!! :o(

To look on the positive side though, it could have been a lot, lot worse. Originally, we had been going to go out for lunch as well, so at least we had made an effort at being healthy at lunch by staying in. My plan for the BBQ was to have no more than 1 of any given thing - so no multiple burgers, or hot dogs (in fact I only had 2 things off the BBQ) and to make sure I loaded up on salad-y stuff. Actually looking back, I've just thought how I could have been better - since they were serving jacket potatoes, I could have skipped on the bread rolls - why didn't I think of that at the time??? Must store that for future reference!!! I didn't drink last night either, so that's good, although I did have a cupcake, and then a small slice of b'day cake.

No use dwelling though, right? It's done, and today is a fresh day. I've planned my meals already. I'm going to the gym for a (very careful) session with the challenge group this afternoon. I will keep plugging away at this until I get it right!

I'm not sure what the scales are going to say tomorrow morning (eeeek), they're a lb up at the moment on last week, but then I did eat late (and too well) last night.

Told you I struggled losing more than 4 weeks in a row didn't I?? Maybe this is my own special form of self-sabotage! lol

Other than that, we went to see Fame at the cinema yesterday afternoon, which I liked, but kind of wish had actually been a bit cheerier, as it quite gloomy in parts. We also had a mooch round town, but I didn't see anything that really caught my eye in the shops. I want something nice and transitional for the Autumn, and I also need to get some new board shorts and bikinis for holiday in 6 weeks, but of course those last 2 items are long gone from the shops by now! I'm going to hop on line and order some now - that'll be motivation to keep going I guess - 6 weeks before I hit the beach again!!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Struggling

I'm slipping this week. I haven't managed one day actually sticking to points - not one. Granted most days I've not been ridiculously over, but I've currently got a shortfall of 15 points for the week. I don't want to slide off plan, but my focus isn't there this week so far. I start each new day thinking I'll get it right, but it hasn't happened so far. Not having my usual plethora of activity points to run over into isn't helping either, nor is that fact that, frankly, I'm feeling sorry for myself.

I'm so frustrated with my body at the moment. I just want it to be healed already so I can get on with stuff, and it so fricking weak instead.

I went out shopping on Thursday night with Bec, and while it started out ok, after 90 minutes wandering round the shopping centre I was feeling pretty sore. I went to bed aching, and didn't get a great night's sleep, and then managed to oversleep yesterday as a result. It felt like such a setback, after it felt like it had all slowly been getting better. Of course, getting up late also put my schedule for the whole day out, as I got to work late, which meant working til later, plus I then had to do overtime to get something sorted - long story short, I didn't get home til nearly 4, and was starving since I hadn't eaten lunch by that point. I scrapped the leisurely bike ride I had originally planned - firstly because I had much less time than I'd anticipated, and secondly because I was still feeling sore.

Bright idea - I'll do some gentle yoga in the flat instead, and just try and loosen myself up a bit. I gave up after the first run through of Sun Salutation, as I'm not kidding, I couldn't get through any of the transitions, and could barely hold any of the positions. I am so not better. I tried just doing some of my physio stretches, but they either don't target the right area, or are so bloody painful it's hard to do them and continue breathing.

By the time I went down to Bec's for tea last night to watch Strictly Come Dancing (which incidentally, I am completely addicted t0), I was so totally sore that I just wanted to cry. I'll tell you how bad it was - it was cold at Bec's place as the heating isn't on yet, so she lent me some thick socks to keep my feet warm - I could barely lift my feet to put them on, and that was when I was sitting on a chair. Just great.

Is this why I ended up consuming about 8 points worth of chocolate before and after dinner last night?



I don't know. But I did. In fact, I almost sneaked the chocolate before dinner - I was cooking stew in the kitchen while Bec packed for a weekend away, and there was no one around to see. I was absolutely starving, so I raided 4 chocolates from an open box of Roses in the cupboard. I can't explain why, but my natural inclination was to hide that, especially when I heard Bec coming back down the stairs. I just totally felt like a guilty child, caught doing something I shouldn't be. I know I'm not the only one who does this - I was reading a post of Jen's a couple of days ago, talking about the same thing, and knowing I'm not the only one, I thought I should break the cycle, so I just yelled to Bec that I'd pinched some chocolates as I was hungry - kind of felt liberating actually.

So there was those chocolates, then Bec had put a Cadbury Twirl on one side for us to have for dessert after the stew - so I had half of that, and then she said help yourself to the chocolates in the box on the floor. I didn't initially, but I did have two before I left. What can I say about all that chocolate - I practically inhaled the ones in the kitchen. I was so hungry, that I barely tasted them - pretty much wasted. I savoured my Twirl, and the other two from the box. I'm still annoyed with myself though. For not stopping when I ran out of points.

It's been the story of this week. I get frustrated with my body, and I take it out on the food.

On a side note - pretty much all my friends have left for a long weekend in Munich this morning, to go to Oktoberfest - the humongous beer festival that happens every year. I can't go because of stupid, shitty working requirements that mean I can't take time off at a month end. Although it's a beer festival, and I don't actually like beer, I'm still sad not to be going, as it's going to be something fun that I'm missing out on, and I hate being left out.



I couldn't go in anycase, since I am currently stony broke, and have zero leave left, since I've already had about 6 million holidays this year. Did I mention that I booked my windsurfing in Egypt earlier this week? In just 6 short weeks, I shall be flying out for a week at the beach, with perfect windsurfing conditions every day. I'm telling you now - I have to be fixed by then!!!! No two ways about it! We're going in luxury this year - 4 star superior, baby! Whoop!

I'm digressing aren't I? Ok, positive thoughts. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl, which is why I'm struggling with this exercise situation at the moment. If I can't do it hardcore, there's no point doing it (in my mind anyway), and I know my body is nowhere near ready for that. Well, here's something to help me. For the next 4 weeks, we've been given a chart from the gym challenge. You know the stats you hear everywhere about 5 lots of 30 mins activity every week - well we've got to log it for the next 28 days. But the log is interesting, because it includes all sorts of things I wouldn't have thought of like housework and cleaning, gardening, and just plain old walking. So, I'm going to try and change my mind set - stop chafing at the bit about what I can't do, and just concentrate on getting 30 mins of something I can do in.

And I'm going to start yet another day and see if I can get the food right this time. Luckily, the scales aren't going against me yet for my indiscretions, but neither are they travelling downwards.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Enough already

I went over points yesterday. I freely admit it, although I'm not proud of it. I had one of those days when I was easily distracted and just couldn't seem to get enough food. Practically zero work got done, and my emotions fluctuated all day. I have these days intermittently - it feels like I've just zoned out a bit, and I'm about half a step out of synch with everyone else all day.



Part of it, I think, comes down to my still virtually non-existent activity levels. When I'm exercising regularly, I feel hyped, focused, energetic and happy. The first couple of weeks of injury, aside from feeling frustrated and and a little bit stir-crazy at not being able to leave the house really, I didn't notice any other downturn in my feelings from the lack of exercise. But I think, now I'm out of that initial "I hurt" period, I'm noticing the side-effects of prolonged laziness. I've not been getting out into the fresh air. I've not been getting into the brightly lit studios with loud rhythmic music and the shared sense of adrenaline and achievement.

The less exercise I do, the more sluggish I feel, and the less I feel like I want to do any. I finished work last night and made excuses not to go swimming - my shoes had developed a hole in them, so I had to stop at the shops after work and get some new shoes. Then I ended up hosting friends round at ours last night, so I had about 20 mins between getting home and them arriving to grab some dinner and tidy up. No swimming.

So how about a compromise - I won't do anything tonight, but I will do something tomorrow afternoon. I was going to go to Body Balance tonight, but honestly I feel so tight that I don't think I'd get anything out of it - I doubt I could reach my knees right now, never mind my toes. I will however ask my friend to book me in for next week's class and I'll work on getting loosened up by then. Tomorrow afternoon I'll get my bike out and head for a gentle ride up the hills. Fresh air, sunshine, some time to myself, and exhilarating views. I'll take it steady and opt for the gentler inclines and stop to rest if I need it. But I will go out.

The other part of yesterday's meh-ness was my food I think. I looked at it, and at the last couple of days - carbs, sugar and artificial stuff, not enough fruit and veg. There were too many snacks yesterday, and then I found myself unwilling to say no to homemade pizza which the boys bought round for everyone last night. I'd already had my dinner, so I wasn't hungry, but the willpower was lacking. Or the will to use the willpower. It wasn't the worst over-eat - 9 points over, but it was unnecessary.

Today, I'm eating fruit - lots of fruit. I had yoghurt and fresh raspberries for breakfast. I had a banana and a nutri-grain bar mid-morning. I've got a nectarine for a snack this afternoon, but I've eaten a good solid lunch, so I shouldn't feel too empty. I'm going to Merry Hill (huge shopping centre) after work with Bec - she's shopping and I'm returning stuff - so at least I'll be strolling round all evening, and away from the fridge. I'm going to make soup over the weekend and get back to my veggies.

I need to boost my energy, and not with caffeine either, so it's back to fresh foods, fresh air and exercise. Fingers crossed, I'm going to be able to start spin class again next week too!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Cardio training last night

Honestly, I'm a little bit disappointed with the session we did last night. We spent the first 15 mins talking through stuff - multi-tasking though, which I liked, as we did it while sitting gently spinning on the circle of bikes that the spin class use.



We talked through some basic nutritional stuff, and the approach that this challenge aims to take - basically, that just food or just exercise isn't enough - that it needs to be a balance to get the most efficient loss. I'm absolutely in agreement with that, although it is stuff I already know. We then went on to talk about working in your fat-burning zone for maximum weight loss. I vaguely know about this - how you have percentage zones of maximum heart-rate which are supposed to be optimal for either weigh loss (mid-range) or cardio training (high zone) because the body accesses different energy sources - fat stores vs glycogen etc. The instructors have worked out our optimal heart rates for fat-burning activity based on our ages and weights and other mystery stuff - we were all told our individual numbers and then the aim of the session was to go and do 30 mins continuous exercise in that range on a piece (or pieces) of cardio equipment that we wouldn't usually use.



And this is where I get disappointed. Because for me, my max heartrate to stay in the zone was just 135 - at 135, I'm barely breaking a sweat, and am in no way out of breath. I was expecting the session to be a real calorie-burn ass-kicker, and instead I got a walk in the park. I kind of feel like I'd wasted a session. I like getting really hot and sweaty in my cardio sessions - things like running and Body Combat, or even a spin session, so it seems completely counter-intuitive to me to be going so slow. I guess this is another way in which this challenge could really force me to shake up my thinking. Since I'm now resigned to the fact that I need to start doing Body Balance / yoga / pilates to try and strengthen my core muscles and support my back, I guess I'd be really interested to see what sort of average heartrate I come out with during an hour long class.

I'm going to be buying some toys over the next couple of days which I've wanted for a bit, so I'm quite excited about that! Going to be getting new headphones for running, the Nike clip-on pedometer that will then link up to my iPhone and provide me with Nike+ data, a sports armband for my iPhone / iPod, and a proper Polar heartrate monitor. I luuuuurve geeking it up with new toys! One of my goals for the 6 week challenge is to take my resting heart-rate now and then see if I can reduce it over the next 6 weeks.

Food was fine yesterday, and the scales have bounced back down again today. Ankle's feeling sounder, although my muscles are still tight, tight, tight from the gym. Hopefully, I'll go for a quick swim or walk this evening to get some activity in, and then I'm going to slob at the boys house and play geeky board games with them ;o)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

I ate all the pie!

God, I ate a lot yesterday. I kept feeling hungry, but by the end I just felt ridiculously over-full. I still haven't got the hang of stopping when I'm full, as I well and truly proved to myself at dinner last night.

Ok - backtrack a little. First day back at work yesterday, and I got a bit stressed out, but food was fine. Injuries were all feeling markedly better too, so I stopped at the supermarket on the way home to do a full shop and properly restock the cupboards. Hmmm ... maybe I'm not quite as healed as I thought, because by the time I'd trawled around the whole supermarket, I was starting to feel really tired and achey and couldn't wait just to get home. By the time I'd lugged my shopping up to the flat, my ankle and foot were starting to cramp and I got a sharp pain whenever I tried to lean forward with any weight on the foot - not so good.

I was absolutely starving by the time I got in, but I was really craving butternut squash risotto, so made the time to cook it anyway, rather than just doing something quick. Classic hungry person error - because I'd been feeling so empty whilst I was shopping I'd decided that I needed a bread roll to go with my risotto to fill me up - I'll just say it now - I soooooo didn't. I should know this by now - the hungrier I am when I eat, the quicker I fill up, but I just can't seem to get my head round that!

Anyway, to stop me snacking whilst I waited for dinner, I decided to be a multi-tasking domestic goddess, and bake me some American Vanilla Cupcakes from my new baking book. Had a moment of minor stress when I realised that I'd forgotten two ingredients, but luckily I'd also spotted the boys next door heading into the supermarket just as I left, so one quick phone call to them soon remedied that!

So get me being organised - get risotto started, and put all the shopping away while the veg roast. Risotto out, rice and liquids added and put back into to bake for the second half, get cupcake mix put together and doled out into the cases. Risotto out and sitting, cupcakes in, risotto served and eaten whilst cupcakes bake. Cupcakes out to cool, and whip up the icing, which can then go straight on the now-cooled cakes - masterly, I tell you!!!

I am so proud of my little cakes!! Ok, so they're not the smoothest glossiest things ever, and maybe they're something only a mother could love, but I've never baked cupcakes before, so I was super excited. And best thing ever is, because they're from the healthy book - 2.5pts a cake - GET. IN.

Back to my eating issues - I totally overate at dinner, and have no idea why I didn't stop. So silly - I need to get more conscious with my eating. Normally, I'm quite a slow eater, and pay attention and savour each mouthful, but I feel like I was just shoving food in my mouth last night, and I just kept going til it was gone.
And of course - I had to try a cupcake too! I took two each round for the boys, plus one for me. All the others are boxed up in the fridge - 4 to bring into work tomorrow, because I've been told off for not bringing them in for friends to try today, and a couple more for me.
So, I was 3 points over yesterday, and although the food was all nice, I didn't feel good after eating so much. I'm going to hang on to that feeling for next time.
This morning, all my aches from circuits on Sunday seem to have caught up with me. My ankle was still a bit sore too, but seems to be easing up as the day goes on, while all my other muscles seem to protest more and more with gym-soreness. I'll let you in on a little secret though - I like the gym-soreness! It's a different kind of discomfort - I've earned it and it's kind of satisfying.
I'm supposed to be attending session 2 tonight, and I'm in a conundrum. I know that tonight's session 9-10pm will be cardio only. I don't know what though, and I don't know how my injuries will react to that, where they coped with resistance and strength training. On the other hand, I don't want to just chicken out without even trying. But there's a temptation too, as there's also a speed-dating evening on locally, and my friends and I have been saying we'll go to one forever. But then I started this challenge saying I'd commit to it, make no excuses and see it through 100%. It feels like not going would be using my injury as an excuse, when there would surely be some alternative form of cardio I could be doing, even if I can't be joining the main session. I don't want to be a quitter. I'm paying for this challenge. I haven't quit the healthy eating, so I shouldn't quit this either.
Oh, and as expected, the scales bounced slightly this morning. No big thing, as I was fully expecting them to - seems to be a weekly pattern with me! One thing I did notice looking at my weight loss graphs though (yes, I am a horrendous geek - I fully admit that!) - I've never had longer than a 5 week stretch of straight losing, before I gain or STS. I had one 5 week stretch, and 2 x 4 week runs, but other than that it's bobbled up and down. So here's a little challenge. I've lost for the last 4 weeks in a row. Can I make it 5? Can I make it 6? Worthy of a challenge do you think?

Monday, 21 September 2009

Weigh in, and training session no. 1

So, my little darlings - as you can see - I have survived the gym to fight another day - whooop!

First things first, since you're obviously all gagging to know: weigh in.

Loss: 1.5lbs
Emotion: bloody confused, but happy none-the-less.

I have no idea how this happened, since I weighed in yesterday morning at 13st 1lb (can you believe I just tried to type 15 stone again???? When am I going to stop trying to do that????), at around 9am. Time of weigh in makes a huge difference for me, as I'm almost always a couple of lbs lighter at that sort of time, than if I weigh in at my usual 6.30am start. I don't know why that is, because I wouldn't have eaten breakfast at either time, but I digress.

We went out for a meal last night, and it turned out to be a buffet (argh - dieters worst nightmare!!!!) - 2 medium sized plates of Thai food later (a mixture of appetisers and mains), and I was convinced there would be a gain this morning, from the salt alone if nothing else - so convinced, I stood on the scales 3 times this morning to check!

So here I am - 13 stone nothing, and tantalisingly close to the 12's.

Which leads us nicely to my other topic of discussion - the start of the gym challenge yesterday afternoon. How much do I love the gym's scales???? A LOT! If you weigh in at 13st 1 in the morning, then eat a light breakfast and lunch, and as instructed, try to take on plenty of fluids ... oh and get dressed of course! ... you expect to weigh in at around 3.30pm at maybe 13 and a half - right?

WRONG!!!!

12 stone 13 and a half pounds. I nearly dropped to the floor and kissed their fancy, schmancy scales - except that they were still busy generating other readings like lean muscle mass and my current state of hydration, so I wasn't allowed to move. 12 stone something - hoooooow nice was it to see that??? Ooooooh - very nice - I'm getting all warm and fuzzy feelings just thinking about it!

Other than that, apparently my lean muscle mass isn't bad (I can't remember the number - I'll have to ask) and I was a bit dehydrated.

Once all 8 challengers had been weighed in, and had handed in our food diaries, we headed for the studio to be introduced to each other, and shown what we'd be doing for the session. Stats on the group - 7 women, 1 man. I would say I'm quite possibly the youngest of the group, or very near it. With the exception of the guy, I would also possibly say I'm the fittest of the group, even injured, although there's one lady whose quite close in terms of that, and in fact I remember her from the jogging group a while ago.

Yesterday's session was a circuits class, with a recorded step test being the opening item. 1 minute on each station with a 30 second rest / move to the next station break. The step station was the only one where the results were recorded (and the bloody step was about 1ft high, so I had to be damn careful not to trip over it!), and they'll be compared against our closing step test.

Here were the stations:

Step
Shoulder press with 3kg or 5kg medicine ball
Stomach crunches
Squats
Press-ups
Rowing on Concept 2 machine borrowed from the main gym
Lunges
Back extensions
Standing cable row
Lateral stomach crunches

We went round twice without stopping, with a 3rd speed session for those still standing. To be honest, I didn't actually find it too hard - my press-ups are a bit shakey towards the end of the minute (and yes, I cheat and keep my knees down, but otherwise fully extended), but otherwise it was ok. I didn't do the third circuit though as my left hamstring was starting to protest and tighten up towards the end of the 2nd circuit and I thought quitting while I was ahead and having a longer stretching session might be wise. It was good to be doing stuff again though!

I'm walking a little bit easier again today, and I've switched myself off my hard-core anti-imflammatories back down to Ibuprofen and stopped the Diazepam altogether. I'm back at work today, and so far feel not too bad (well - aside from work itself of course!).

We've got a cardio session with the group tomorrow night, so not sure whether to have a night off tonight, or just do a little something. Thursday I'm going to start Body Balance classes (yuck), in an attempt to finally do something about my core muscles.

That's pretty much it from me - just nibbling on my California rolls at my desk and catching up on all your adventures!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The challenge begins

So today is the start of the Biggest Loser challenge at the gym. For the next 6 weeks, I'll be going to twice weekly group personal training sessions on top of what I normally do, and generally being scrutinised, encouraged and ass-kicked into losing some more weight and toning up.

It's not come at the best time, with me still being somewhat injured (or maybe I should say that me being injured has not come at the best time, with me starting the challenge), but I'm going to do the best I can.

3.30 this afternoon, I shall be facing scales, impedance testing, fat calipers, tape measures and a round of circuits designed to test my underlying fitness. I shall also have my food diary from the last week reviewed by a nutritionist, who will no doubt tell me where I'm going wrong, and what I can do to improve.

*Gulp*.

My joints are all feeling loads better today - the constant walking of the last couple of days, although painful, really seems to have helped, so I'm feeling like I might be able to put in a decent effort this afternoon. Just got to make sure I do plenty of stretches before I go up to the gym.

So, before this afternoon, I'm going to get some serious tidying done around this flat. Going to put some loud music on and dance my way around (yes, probably literally - I'm a bit like that) putting stuff away, sorting more stuff to be thrown out, doing the laundry and cleaning.

The scales are still holding steady for the moment - I mentioned earlier in the week that after last week's big loss, and because I'd been really inactive and now I'm starting to move again, I'd be more than happy just to stay the same this week. Of course if I lost anything I'd be ecstatic, but I'm being a realist. I also know that I'm eating dinner out this evening - eeeek! I'm heading to a restaurant called Spice Fusion with Lissa and Jo (my lovely holiday pals) to have a catch-up dinner. I looked up their website last night, and the menu is a mix of all things Eastern - some Indian cuisine, Thai and Indonesian - so I'm going to have some form of stir-fry with either noodles and rice and keep it light.

Thanks for all the input on the dress yesterday - I'm still undecided, but logic tells me that taking back the expensive dress (at least for the time being) is the thing to do. Damn, I hate logic. Need to take back some other stuff from yesterday's shopping extravaganza too, I think - why do I always get so carried away???? Although, on the nice side - 2 of the things I bought were a size 14! No way!! At least I know it's still working then!

Right, time to get up, get some breakfast, and get moving.

Expect me to be a little bit broken next time I report in!

p.s. - please check out the video at this link: http://ultimatethailandexplorers.com/no_cache/destinations/chiang-mai/applicants-profile/?user=baffy232004

One of our fellow bloggers, Caley, has entered a competition, with her partner Robert, to win a trip to Thailand to help with tourism growth over there. Judging is based on the quality of the video, but number of views will also probably be taken into account, so let's see if we can help them out a bit! We're all chasing our dreams on these blogs, and telling the story of how we're doing - so let's see if we can help Caley and Robert get a bit closer to achieving one of theirs - thanks guys!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Food overload

Just a quick post - I'm very sorry to report, that although I kind of stuck to my plan today, somehow it went a bit horribly wrong, and now I'm on the guilty wrong end of feeling like I've scoffed too much food and messed up.

Firstly - I completely mis-remembered how many points were in the chai latte at the coffee shop this afternoon - got confused with the Starbucks points I think, so underpointed there. Then when we went to dinner, I was good and didn't order a starter. Unfortunately, the girls did and insisted I share it, and it was more than my willpower could do to resist it - so I consumed several slices of their garlic bread.

My planned perfect pointing, turned out a little less than perfect, and I suspect it will show on the scales tomorrow. Somehow 31 points instead of 22. Just in time for the weigh in for the start of the gym challenge, and to sit there staring me in the face on the last day of the food diary which I've got to hand over to the nutritionist for scrutiny tomorrow.

Oh joy.

Dress Dilemma

I mentioned earlier that the Green Goddess (as I've now nicknamed the dress) was a tad on the pricey side for my budget, much as I am in love with it. So today I stumbled across this alternative:


So it's the above, or the original:



Bridget reckons I should take the GG back and buy it closer to Xmas when I'll have dropped another size (damn right) and will get more wear out of it. I'm torn, but then I've always been an instant gratification kind of girl instead of being able to look to the long term.

HELP!!!

The Dress

Ok - I've taken a very quick picture of the dress - excuse the wet hair / just out of the shower look! It's a good dress - right?

Keeping moving is getting expensive!

So, the scales are starting to play ball and head back in the correct direction, which is good, but I am going to have to do some serious planning to keep them there until weigh in day. I've got dinner out tonight, and then again tomorrow night ..... eeeeeeeek!!!

So I'm planning my whole menu for the next couple of days, and keeping the eating around the meals out healthy and fresh to compensate.

I spent yesterday out and about, just still trying to walk and keep moving. It's still pretty sore, but I guess there's some small signs of improvement. I went into town, since I can't exactly go walking on the hills ... at least in towns there's benches if I need to sit down and rest .... but I ended up spending a huge amount of money. Damn, damn, damn!!

Ended up with gorgeous cowboy boots for the winter - I've had my eye on these babies in Office for ages, but didn't think they'd fit my chunky calves. I don't know why I thought I'd finally get round to trying them yesterday, but anyway they fit like a glove. It would have been kind of rude not to get them after that! Plus, since I was whinging to the sales girl that I'd had a rubbish day so far, she murmured to me that she'd give me 10% if that would make me feel better - how nice was that!!!!

I was actually looking for a dress for the weddings I'm going to next month. Oh boy, did I find one - but it was £135! Ouch!!! But how's this for a compliment - I had it on in the changing rooms and was looking in the main mirror in the central corridor, and a woman came in with a load of dresses, looked at me, turned to the sales girl and said "where's that dress? That looks great - I want to try it"! Also when I bought it home - Bridget and Sid made me model it for them - Sid's reaction - "you look gorgeous". I'm thinking this is a pretty good dress, but it is mighty expensive, so if I do find anything cheaper but nice, it might have to go back. But, but, but ...... it's so purty!!!

I'll try and post a photo at some point.

I ventured back to to the gym last night. The inactivity is driving me bonkers, and I wanted to see how low-impact work on the machines would work for me. Despite the walk to the gym hurting, I was able to comfortably do 15 mins high resistance on the recumbent bike and 20 mins on the cross trainer. Did a long, long session stretching afterwards, and also did some killer ab exercises that I've come across - talk about working everything in one go - those babies hurt!!!

(If you're curious - sit straight with your knees pulled up, bent at 45 degrees in front of you. Raise your feet off the floor, tilting your upper body backwards slightly, until you find your balance point - kind of like a V-sit with bent knees. Keep your hands loosely by your ears so your elbows are bent forwards, pointing towards your knees. Slowly twist your knees to the left, whilst twisting your elbows and shoulders to the right. Return to the centre and then twist your knees to the right, upper body to the left. Repeat the full motion 10-12 times, without dropping your feet to the floor, and do several sets. Believe me - you'll feel the burn.)

I felt much looser after the gym, but as soon as I walked out the pain returned, so it's definitely an impact thing. Bugger. Just got to keep the stretches going I guess.

Just as I was getting back from town yesterday, I got a call from my boss, just checking up to see how I was and whether I'd be back at work next week, as she's off on holiday. I mentioned about the physio appt problems to her, and she's said she's going to see if she can get me private physio through my work's health insurance - fingers crossed for that!

So that's me - going to meet some friends in town for coffee in a bit and a bit of a mooch round the shops (again), then heading out for dinner tonight and to the cinema to see 500 Days of Summer.

Friday, 18 September 2009

I blew it!

Oh god - can't believe this. More precisely, my brand new, sparkly iPhone blew it for me. The honeymoon period is officially over.

After being the jammiest git ever, I skipped the whole queue and landed an NHS physio appt for this morning at 10.45. I set my alarm for 9.30 - woke up, did a few of my pyhsio stretches, had a leisurely shower, got a healthy breakfast and sat down to check my emails while I ate.

I glanced at the clock on my laptop: 11.01.

WTF????

Grabbed my watch to double-check: just after 11.

Grabbed my iPhone - 10.02.

WTF again?????

My freaking iPhone had reset itself to fucking Reykjavik local time sometime in the last 24 hours, and so was an hour behind.

Long story short - I've missed my appointment and they're super-pissed with me. I rang immediately to apologise and explain, and they're still super-pissed with me, and sounded distinctly like they thought I'd done it deliberately. There are no more appointments. In fact, I'm probably now so far down the list of appointments there are people with toe-sprains probably ahead of me. I asked about making a new appointment - they will notify me when something becomes available.

Which will be a couple of weeks.

Or possibly never.

Shit.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Aim - be more active

So I went to bed nice and tired last night, and slept well. I also forgot to take half my tablets because I'm an idiot, but I'll take that as a sign of improvement, since I obviously wasn't living from one dose to the next.

I'm a little irritated this morning as the scales are showing signs of bouncing back up again .... I'm telling you now ... not going to happen. I don't mind staying the same this week after last week's big loss, but I sure as hell am not going back up again.

And I know exactly where the fault lies. I'm bored (as I was last week), but I'm also more mobile - so I can now get to the kitchen. I can see I've started snacking, or eating dessert, and although I'm within my points, it's not good food. Time to get back on it. I made soup yesterday, and bought loads of fresh veggies, fruit and yoghurt yesterday, so no excuses.

I've got some more errands to run today, so that will get me out the house for a bit and walking round. The physio's said that the more I can do (within reason) the faster I'll be better - the discomfort is from muscles being waaaaaaay too tight, and the best thing to do is move. So move I will. This morning I'm going to the post office to send parcels. This afternoon I shall try and get out the house again and do something gentle.

Because I'm a lucky, lucky person, I've skipped the 6 week waiting list for physio on the NHS and been given an appointment for tomorrow morning. I asked for an early morning one, so I can get the hell out of bed and get moving. I collected my exercises yesterday and I've been doing them - did them in bed this morning before I got up, since a lot of them are lying down ones! I think it feels a bit better - it certainly highlights where the tightness is - good god, my left hamstring and calf must be about 2 inches shorter than they usually are!!!! I'm not going to swim again tonight, but I'm thinking I can aim for another short swim tomorrow night.

Loads and loads of my friends are going away this weekend. I was meant to be going with them, but since they're going on a walking weekend that's a bit kaput for me. So I'm staying home - just going to have make sure that I keep myself moving and active. Ach well - I might be missing out on some of the fun, but at least I'll be saving some money - the constant weekends away don't half give me a headache on the money front! I think I might mooch into town on Sat and look for a posh frock - got two wedding evening do's I'm going to next month and not a lot to wear to them.

Anyhoo - time to go pack parcels and get out the door - more anon, folks!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Walking is like jabbing hot needles in my foot

Oh joy - I think the blog title says it all really.

Dad came round and picked me up this afternoon (seriously - I have to start getting up, showered and dressed before 3pm - this is becoming a bad habit) and we swung by the community hospital's physio dept to go collect my exercise sheet. The bad news is that I'm limping before I've even got down the stairs of our block of flats. Ouch - even with Dad chauffeuring this is going to be a loooooong trip out.

Locate physio dept in the little mini-hospital, collect instructions and ask about the actual appointment. Oh good - there's a waiting list and by the sound of it, it might actually be weeks before I get an appointment - they'll let me know, and in the meantime I need to do the exercises on the sheets I've been given.

Limp back out to the car - mild burning sensation in my ankle, but it's doable. Next stop supermarket - because after over a week my fridge is severely depleted, even with everyone's donations of the last couple of days. Eeeeek - trawling round the supermarket is a serious case of self-inflicting pain on myself, but has to be done. Like hundreds of hot needles all around the ankle bone with every step, and my calf muscle is gradually reaching the approximate tension of your average granite rock. Nice. On the upside, I get a voicemail whilst I'm at the checkout to say that the physio dept have had a spot free up next week so they can fit me in then - yay!! Gratefully slumped back into the car when it was finished, and then just one final stop to the post office. Still limping.

Luckily, my Dad's a sweetie and helped me carry all my shopping up to the flat. By which I mean, he grabbed pretty much all of it, and left me to carry a bunch of flowers and a roll of bubble wrap. Gotta love Dads!

Anyway, I'm a glutton for punishment, and doing zero exercise is seriously driving me demented, so I girded my loins (well, braced myself for further ankle pain - my loins don't have a lot to do with that really!), grabbed my swim stuff and limped / shuffled off to the gym for a gentle swim. I figured if weight-bearing exercise is banned then floating around in the pool should be ok.

Seriously - my gym is about a 4 min walk down the road, and I wasn't convinced I was going to make it. How bad is that??? Had to sit and have a rest in the changing rooms before I headed for the pool. The pool was nice (a bit chilly today though!), but not quite as therapeutic as I'd hoped, as my ankle still felt cramp-y. On the other hand it didn't make it any worse, so I just spent a very gentle 25 mins doing some very slow lengths and then resting and rotating my ankle. 20 lengths. It was ok. I could probably have done more, but didn't want to push it, so I hopped / shuffled out and treated myself to 5 mins in the sauna instead.

Hunted down Mark, the trainer who's running the challenge for the next 6 weeks, to reassure him that I am still alive, still participating and have started tracking and will be along on Sunday. We discussed alternative training for the bits I can't do, but he said it won't really hot up til week 2 or so, so fingers crossed I'll be a bit more back on the ball by then. The first session on Sunday is going to be circuits - I'll go along and see what I can do and just cut out what I can't, like the 1 min step test. We'll work around it.

I needed veggies this evening, so I've cooked up a batch of leek and potato soup and finished off the crusty bread with it. Nice.

Kit Kat Chunky bit me on the ass

Hee hee - told you it probably would at some point! Bridget and Bec came over for dinner last night which was lovely, but I have to admit I got hungry waiting for them, so the Kit Kat got munched. It was yum. I savoured it. All in all, not worth 6.5pts though. I wouldn't buy one for myself I don't think. No regrets though.

We had a nice dinner - healthy pasta with a tomato and chilli sauce with extra veg in, and then the rhubarb crumble with some low fat vanilla ice cream. It's gone from the fridge - whooop! Now that was yum - very nice!

So, points were a few over yesterday - I'm not too fussed. Yes, yes - I know, I've been very, very good, and kept it up, blah, blah, blah - it's fine though - this whole thing is a little give and take. Nights when I'm entertaining are always a bit challenging - actually, I've now nicely asked everyone to stop bringing me bad food to make me feel better - it doesn't, it just makes me go off track! See - if I don't ask, I don't get - so I've asked nicely, and hopefully, I now won't get! lol

Meds are all starting to nicely do their thing - I actually slept in until quarter past 9 this morning, which was lovely. My ankles still sore and far weaker than it should be, but my hips starting to feel a lot better, and I've managed to speak to the physio this morning. I'm heading round later to pick up a list of exercises to help and to make an appointment for a full review. The physio doesn't think it actually is bursitis - she said it's a diagnosis the doctors often make, and while the symptoms are similar it's much more likely to simply be a result of my back problem and treatable the same way it was in January after snowboarding. I prefer this diagnosis as it means I haven't done any more damage to myself in the interim.

So another quiet day on the cards - I'm going to eat some veg, potter about and then run some errands with the help of my dad this afternoon.

Still good, still slow and steady.

Ooooh, and my iPhone arrived yesterday - is this my favourite new toy or what?!??!?! No more being away from my blog from me - blogging on the move is now totally on the agenda!!!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Sticking on plan

New meds = slightly different aches and pains, but on the whole better. I think I slept further into the night last night, but then woke up feeling totally achy in the early hours. The difference was that this was straight forward aches and not the sharp pains I've been having, so I'm going to take that as an improvement. I thought I was going to hurt when I got up this morning, but actually not so bad, and, dare I say it, my posture seems a bit improved. Baby steps.

My eating's going fine. I guess having to fill in 2 separate trackers makes you super conscious of just what you're sticking in your gob. All the stuff I've been given remains in the fridge (or bizarrely in my handbag - probably should move the Kit Kat to the fridge!). It just doesn't tempt me the way it would have done before. Maybe I'm tempting fate by saying that, and I'm going to get the most enormous cravings in about 10 mins, but for the moment that's true. I guess by the time you've got a streak of good controlled eating built up, there's more and more reason to keep it going.

After all, I have everything I need - I just get it in moderation. I've had Chinese takeaway - but I always split it in half and have some for dinner and some for lunch or something the next day, and that way it doesn't seem to overdose me on salt and MSG the same way. I've had Ben and Jerrys - but I have the frozen yoghurt and I strictly dish it out in a 60g portion, as I now know it's so rich that that is enough to give me the taste and kill the craving. I've had cake, and pre-portioned it and rationed it. I've also had tons of fresh veggies and grilled meat or oven baked fish. I eat less carbs, and what I do have are a far higher proportion of either fresh natural stuff like potato or sweet potato, or wholewheat like couscous. Most of all, I enjoy what I eat.

My fellow Healthy 2009 challenger, Jo, has just signed up for a 10k race on 4 October. Well, actually her housemate, Lissa, signed her up for it, so she couldn't back out. Jo wanted to know if I'd do it with her, but there's no chance I can - even if I wasn't injured it would be a hell of a push to go from running 5k to 10k in about 2 weeks. I would have liked to have run a 5k the same weekend though to keep her company. Doubt I can even do that, but I can be there with her on the day, cheering her on with Lissa - we're going to make banners and everything!!!

Right - I'd better go ring the physio now, and see what they want me to do!

Ola!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Re-medicated ... and why do ill people always get given food?

Ok, so first things first - I've been back to see the doctor and after some discussion and a re-exam, I was given the option of either stronger painkillers, or stronger anti-imflammatories. Daft question really - one will mask the pain, and one will deal with the root cause! So stronger anti-imflammatories in the form of Naproxen it is. Since I'd also mentioned the trouble sleeping because of not being able to get comfortable, she's taken me off the constant doses of 2mg Diazepam during the day in favour of one night-time 5mg dose, so that's cool and will hopefully knock me out cold.

Incidentally, why is it that you always see hotties at the doctors' surgery when you're in crappy clothing, no make-up and hunched up like Quasimodo, and probably gurning due to the pain? Anyway, I digress!

So anyway, the first dose of Naproxen seems to be helping a bit, and I feel a little more comfortable than I have, and a bit less hunched over than I have been.

Why is it though, that people seem to think that if you're not very well, giving you food is the answer???? And completely non-healthy food at that! I mean Bec bought round lunch yesterday - yes, there were baguettes, fresh roast chicken and salad, not so bad, but also a huge pack of Kettle Chips and cheesecake (thank god the crisps were a flavour I don't eat so that's one temptation removed!). Then my dad turned up to give me a lift to the docs this morning, bearing the biggest rhubarb crumble you've ever seen (oh god - I love rhubarb crumble - how the hell am I going to resist that???), and then after we'd stopped for petrol on the way home, he dropped a Kit Kat Chunky in my lap "to make me feel better". Seriously??? I've just checked - the suckers 6.5pts, just for a chocolate bar!

It's no wonder we've got a few fucked up notions about food, when other people keep reinforcing them unconsciously! In pain? Eat chocolate! Or crisps! Or crumble! Or all three!!! I was more impressed with the grapes Bec bought me "because every sick person has grapes!" lol. Much better.

So I'm going to be spending this week, rationing out all the goodies, and preferably feeding them to visitors and / or the boys next door. I think the crumble's going next door - then I can have a bit, and they can have the rest. Job done. Having said that, my dad did also drop off two packs of easy cook, fresh veggies, so thanks Daddy for that - that is good!

I'm a bit bored already, and I've got another 5 days home alone - arrrrrgh! Let's hope I can start the physio soon and that'll give me some (potentially slightly painful) entertainment to keep me diverted. I think it's going to be a long week otherwise! Although I did just order myself a new iPhone, so maybe that'll give me something to play with.

*EDIT* - Just noticed that I've completed all my current goals in my side bar! Whoop! Need to put the next load up there to do now! Don't worry, I've got some ready to go - unfortunately they're on my tracker sheet at work. Damn.

Monday Weigh In

Loss: -3.5lbs
Emotion: Not particularly overwhelmed as have a sneaking suspicion that it's not quite a true number due to spending large amounts of the last week lying in bed being feeble and doing absolutely bugger all exercise!

So, as mentioned earlier in the week, the scales have dropped quite sharply and ended up staying there this week. I'm glad to say that my eating has been pretty steady all week. I was about 5 points over at the end of the week, due to the pizza and dessert blow-out, back on about Tues or Weds, but other than that it was all good.

One weird thing about this week though, is that my weight has dropped out of the obese BMI zone and into Overweight without me noticing. Been so busy being distracted by other stuff that it completely by-passed me until I thought about it this morning, which is hilarious because I've been fixated on that number for weeks now! lol

I'm feeling a tiny bit more comfortable today, possibly due to the addition of paracetamol into the tablet cocktail on the advice of the out of hours services from the doctors yesterday, but still pretty shonky on the whole. I'm trying to get a doctor's appointment for this morning to get it re-checked, but their telephone system seems to have rather inconveniently broken so I've been getting a busy tone for the last hour, where there's normally an automated service and a queuing system. We're giving it another 5 mins, and then my Dad's coming round to just drive me down there and see what we can do.

Started tracking separately yesterday for the gym challenge. It's more detail that my WW's tracker as I have to fill in times, moods before and after and a few other bits and bobs, but I just do it at the same time as my online tracker and it's not too bad.

So, here's hoping that the doc a) has some answers, b) has a stronger prescription for me, and c) signs me off work for some or all of this week, so I can stop stressing about that.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

My own personal hell

So 3 days in and no sign of improvement. The constant ibuprofen don't seem to be doing anything to either bring the swelling down or relieve the pain, as I still have continuous aches in my hip and ankle, sharp stabbing pains in muscles and joints when I move, and standing straight, never mind walking, are completely beyond me.

I think I need to go back and see the doctor again, except I'm not sure I'll be able to walk the required distance to the surgery from the car, even once I've got my dad to drive me down there, so I'm unsure what to do.

Being trapped in the house is driving me absolutely nuts. Being bored and lonely, I just keep dwelling on how bad I'm feeling.

On the other hand, my friends have really pulled through for me - Amanda and Steve popped round yesterday to check on me, and cleaned my entire kitchen and took out the rubbish for me. Today my friend Bec has been to Waitrose, bought me essentials plus nice lunch and kept me company, despite my grumpiness, for several hours. A and S have also just been back up to check on me again.

I've spoken to NHS Direct, and my own surgery's out of hours emergency service, who have said that it's not normal that I'm not responding to treatment yet. I've been given advice to tide me over to tomorrow, but been told to get my ass back to the doctors tomorrow to get it re-looked at .... well, at least I know I'm not just a wuss and totally paranoid.

Eating-wise, I'm keeping it real. To be honest, my appetite has really started to desert me over the last couple of days so I'm now just eating because it's meal-times. So there's good and bad in everything I suppose. At the moment, it looks like I'm going to clock a good loss this week, but how much of that will be genuine loss, I have no idea.

Finger's crossed for some kind of good news, or at least stronger, more effective meds, from the doctors tomorrow. Because I've about had it with this crap!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Hanging in there

Well, I've survived the night. Mostly because I did what you're not supposed to do and knocked myself out with an extra dose of Diazepam and painkillers. I know, I know - not big and not clever, but I was full on desperate by then.

Yesterday sucked on so many levels. Firstly, because it was damn near impossible to get into any position that didn't hurt somehow. I spent most of yesterday lying curled tight in a foetal position to take the strain off my hip, but it wasn't until last night that I figured that if I banked all my cushions to raise my upper body that it gave extra relief to my hip.

Of course the problem with not being able to stretch out is your muscles get all achey everywhere else - all I longed to do was straighten my back and stretch my legs, but no can do.

Then there was the episode where my entire left leg (the bursitis is on my left hip) went into to total lock-down spasm for 20 mins. I think that may have been the single most painful thing I have ever experienced - and in my accident prone life I have broken multiple bones, concussed myself and ripped numerous ligaments, as well as winding myself so bad I thought my lungs had stopped working. They had nothing on this. I'm not ashamed to admit that I lay there and cried hysterically for pretty much the whole thing. It's frightening when you literally can't move, because everything makes it feel worse - even gasping in breath. It was like every single muscle in my leg, up to and including my hip and down got simultaneous bad cramp. All of them. Calf, thigh, quads, all the little muscles in my ankle and foot. JESUS! And rubbing them doesn't help. Anyhoo - it passed eventually, but I think I lay there for another hour or so before I dared to try moving again.

I woke a few times in the night a bit uncomfortable from the immobility, but I think that last lot of extra tablets before bed made the difference, as I slowly found myself able to stretch out a bit, move to my back, and even over on to my bad side for a little bit this morning. I finally slept in till 11am which is good.

I'm a little bit more mobile today. Walking's still difficult, but I'm a little bit more upright, and sitting and lying are better. I'm not going to venture out today though - just going to take it easy as. Going to have to ask my neighbour if he could be a star and take my kitchen bin out for me though - I haven't been able to do any cleaning in the kitchen since Tuesday when this all started - it's been as much as I could do to go in, get easy food and hobble out again, but it's a disaster area in there now. I reckon if he can take the bin out, I can make a vague attempt at starting to clear some of the washing up a bit at a time.

Ironically, I ended up exactly bang on for points yesterday, without counting it up, just because I was grabbing what was easy and quick from the kitchen. The scales have gone back down again though this morning. Weird.

So that's me - thanks for the nice messages the last couple of days - internet's been virtually my only contact with people, so it's nice to read them. I was supposed to be seeing friends this evening, but I don't know if I feel up to it yet. They were just going to come round and bring take-away, so I'll see how I'm doing by then.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Not such good news

Hi guys,

I'm feeling really down. I've been to the doc's - in fact I got overtaken by a doddery old pensioner on the way in to the surgery, who asked if I was alright and did I need a hand. I've reached a new low. The doc checked me out (amidst me nearly bursting into tears again whilst I talked her through it all) and has diagnosed something called trochanteric bursitis.

It basically means that the fluid sack that everybody has on the outside of their hip bone has become really sore and inflamed, and that's what's causing so much pain. So I'm back in bed again. I'm not kidding, I wasn't sure whether I was going to be able to walk the distance from the doc's surgery, to the pharmacy across the road, and then back to my car. It hurts. So. Goddamn. Much.

All I can do for it is take anti-imflammatories (cue extra-strength ibuprofen) and keep my weight off it. A hot-water bottle helps a bit, and I've got a referral for physio. Sadly the physio centre is closed today so I'm going to have to wait til Monday to even find out when I can get an appointment.

I also got a bollocking for driving after taking a dose of Diazepam this morning for my back. Apparently the warning on the box saying "this may make you feel drowsy - don't drive or operate heavy machinery if it does", actually translates as "don't drive. Full stop. You're uninsurable if you do". Who knew?

I feel like a total freak. I literally cannot stand up straight, I can only hunch over, and walking is practically impossible. In fact every movement seems to jar it, and putting weight on my leg hurts every-which-way. It's a nightmare. Sitting's difficult - lying down is about the only thing I can do, and even most positions of that hurt.

I have a huge (and probably irrational, but I can't help it) fear that this isn't going to get better and I'm going to end up looking like one of those little old ladies whose back is hunched over permanently at a 90 degree angle and they can only look at the ground. Except I won't even be old.

Sorry - I'm feeling massively sorry for myself. And everything is such a huge effort. I'm living on my own, so I've got no-one to get stuff for me - there's no danger of me over-eating in this state - getting to the kitchen is a major mission and I can't carry much stuff as I need one hand to prop myself up on the wall. And don't even talk about going to the bathroom - extra hard mission.

So, I guess I can report that my eating's fine. As expected, the scales stabilised slightly after yesterday's dip, so I'm about 1.5lbs down for the week at the moment. Exercise is dead in the water though. Doc said that once I'm on my feet again (whenever the hell that is), I can maybe swim, but no weight-bearing exercise for a bit, other than gentle walking. No running. No spinning. No combat. God knows what this means for the gym challenge.

Yep - I'm miserable.

Mood - self-pity, rage and why me?

Serioulsy - I could cry. In fact, I already did, but that was pain-related.

Woke up this morning with my back feeling way better, but my hip in burning agony. And in this case, agony is very nearly not an over-statement. Hence the tears. It feels like the worst cramp, except it's not exactly the muscle. I literally can't sit. I can just about lie down comfortably if I spend 5 minutes working out where my leg goes so it doesn't hurt. Standing and walking is difficult. I'm just on the phone waiting to try and make an appointment to see the doctors as I don't know what I should be doing, or whether I should continue to take the Diazepam, or rest, or try and move around.

Total nightmare.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Nose back to the grindstone

Having gone a little bit stir-crazy after being confined to the house for 2 days (and pretty much confined to the bed / sofa at that), I've hauled ass back to the office today. Not 100% better, and a lot of the ache has now transferred down to my left leg, but at least I'm (almost) capable of standing straight today and my hips are no longer freakily kicked out of alignment by the muscle spasm.

I would love to say that my eating was all good again yesterday, but honestly, I splurged slightly in the evening. Everything up to and including dinner was good, but I went to go spend some time with the boys next door in the evening and they gave me chocolate pudding and a slice of home-made pizza - I reckon it's about an extra 8 points.

Bizarrely, and completely despite that, the scales had suddenly dipped down by about 3lbs this morning! Since I ate normal amounts of food yesterday, and drank normally too, it's a bit weird. Tell me - how long does muscle wastage take - 2 days of complete inactivity???? lol. I expect it will have stabilised back up to something normal tomorrow, so I shan't worry too much.

I'm still nowhere near being able to do any exercise at the moment, which is entirely frustrating. I've got to go by the gym tonight to go and pick up my food trackers for the challenge. We're tracking for the week before the challenge starts, which will then be reviewed by a nutritionist at the start of the challenge. What do you bet that my eating next week suddenly becomes super-clean because I'd be too embarrassed to take anything less to the nutritionist??? Not sure if we have to track every week during the challenge too - so many questions I've got about it!

This week feels like it's really flown by - luckily I've got another blissfully quiet weekend ahead of me to continue recovering. Man - it totally sucks that I'm 28 and my back is this screwed up - let that be a lesson to you all that back protectors are a bloody good idea when you're jumping horses! And possibly for snowboarding too!

And one final thing - part of my challenge for holiday (which I've now realised is only 8 weeks away!) is to get down to a size 14. In honour of that - I bought a pair of size 14 trousers - I wanted to see where I was at now and how much work I had to do to get there. Surprisingly, I can actually put them on - it's just that I need to lose a good inch or 2 off my waist to make them a comfortable fit. But at least I know where I'm starting from and what I've got to do now!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Still housebound

I'm now on my second day of mostly lying still and trying very hard not to move too much. The Diazepam's doing it's thing and I'm seeing a return of some small amount of mobility, but moving too much (mostly anything involving either bending my back, or trying to sit up from a reclining position) still hurts like a bastard. I didn't exactly sleep well last night as I start to ache once I've been lying in one postion for too long, but then obviously it's difficult to get into any other sleeping position.

I made it through yesterday with just 1 point over. As much as I wanted to eat stuff to comfort myself, I also didn't want to have ruin my eating - I've been doing so well, and it would be such a shame to ruin that now. I'm a bit short on food in the house now, so I'm going to have to totter out later and get stuff.

On the upside the BNS risotto tasted absolutely fab, and was so easy to cook. I'm really glad that I'm able to add such lovely new recipes to my repertoire. I have my dishes that I cook well, but I'm not terribly good at following recipes, so they scare me a bit, but the last couple I've tried have been pretty great.

God, I don't want to have to get up - it just seems like way too much effort, and it's just going to hurt. But then, I also feel disgusting at the moment so really I should get up and have a shower. Ugh.

Oh - good news though - I'm going to be doing the Biggest Loser challenge at my gym - whooop! That's going to be a great motivation not to cut any corners over the next 6 or 7 weeks.

*Edit* - Whooop!!! I've just been entering some of my recently discovered recipes into my points tracker since I'm a bit bored. My cinnamon banana bread which I baked at the weekend turns out to only be 3.5pts a slice instead of 4.5pts!! How awesome is that! I'd worked the points out from the calories and sat fat info given in the back for the recipe book, but of course WW's counts some of the ingredients such as the vegetable substituions as 0pts - awesome! Which also means I'm now under points for the week instead of slightly over - yay!!!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

My back and I are no longer friends

I gave up on work round about lunchtime, and slunk off home. Well, hobbled really. I even struggled to carry my laptop, which really says to me that I shouldn't have bothered bringing the damn thing home.

So now I'm popping Diazepam and heat pads and waiting for the damn thing to unkink itself. I'm trying very hard not to pity-eat - so far so good. I'm experimenting in the kitchen instead - since pottering around seems to help my back from siezing. I've got the beginnings of a butternut squash risotto in the oven, and I'm determindely not looking at the bottle of wine that I've just got out for cooking purposes. If not for no other reason than I'm not supposed to mix the pain pills with booze. Probably just as well as a big glass of wine so cold it's sweating on the countertop looks like heaven right now. Which would probably be followed by me cracking open the other full bottle in the fridge, and most likely the ice-cream after that. I'm so not good with the self-pity!

Instead, I'm snacking on a WW's cookie and watching lots of tv - good job I've got a shit-load of good shows just sitting recorded waiting for a rainy day. So far this afternoon I've polished off 3 episodes of True Blood, which brings me up to date, and some Supernatural. Might switch to 90210 next.

If my back doesn't improve I'm sacking off work tomorrow and staying home - no point driving in again and just feeling miserable all day.

More anon, lovely people. Mwah.

Ouch - pain! Lots of pain!

Bugger.

Bugger, shit, bollocks and fuck.

Sorry - lots of swearing because I'm in pain - my back's crunched out again this morning and now I'm subject to stumbling round like a granny for the next couple of days again. And because I feel guilty about missing work, I'm in the office, which means I can't take the good painkillers because they're at home and I can't drive once I've taken them.

Not happy.

So I guess that's the gym struck off for the next couple of days - I don't see Combat happening on Thursday - think that would just be asking for trouble, although I might be able to manage a gentle swim tomorrow.

My running was still really off yesterday -I did my spin class, which was good but knackering, but couldn't find my pace with the running. Rather than push it, I set myself a (really short) time, achieved that and stopped. Not sure what's happening with that, but never mind.

I finished yesterday in a seriously eat-everything-in-sight frame of mind. Just felt insatiably hungry, so really struggled with waiting for my tea to cook and not nose-diving into the cake in the interim. Managed it, just, but I did eat all my exercise points on top of my daily ones. I had massive pudding cravings after dinner (still in the eat-everything place obviously), but used one of my coping strategies - it sounds stupid, but just a teaspoon of Nutella on it's own. I think because it's sticky, it coats the mouth with the sweet taste and seems to really squash the remaining cravings. Weird but useful.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Holiday Snaps!

Well, I did promise some holiday pics, and I've finally got round to posting some up. I'm going to try and put some of the scenery ones up on my other blog at some point.

Exhibit 1 - the great celebration that we actually made the damn flight! A well-deserved drink after the absolute trauma of nearly missing our plane!


Messing around in camp after a day at the beach in Biograd.


Playing around in the water showing how elegant we are! Oh well, ok, just playing around in the water somewhere random on the coast where we've stopped for a swim because we're too damn hot!


Believe it or not, this shot wasn't staged - I'd just dried off after the swim above and was smugly admiring the scenery when Li papped me.


On one of our last nights on holiday - walking along the beach to Biograd town for dinner


Looking thoughtful, somewhere in Croatia!


Playing around doing starfish impressions off the island of Lokrun - we had the whole beach to ourselves apart from about a million cicadas and a couple of peacocks.


Daft pictures whilst exploring Trogir.


Looking moody in Krka National Park - probably because I've just had to walk up the steepest slope ever and am no longer cool from my swim in the waterfalls at the bottom.

Walking along the promenade at Zadar with Jo on our last night of the holiday.


So there you go - sun, sillyness, moody shots and proof that I did in fact wear a bikini!

2lbs down ... and it could have been more

Whoop - I'm in new territory again. Finally!

After hovering around that 3 stone lost point for bloody weeks now, I've finally moved forwards and broken through it officially! Fabulous!

Which is lovely, because it means the "left-to-lose" numbers finally, finally shift to 1 stone something instead of 2 stone something. That sounds sooooo much better don't you think?!

So I'm off to a cracking start on my 1 stone challenge for holiday in November - 13lbs to go to hit my weight target. It could have been a bigger loss this week, as I've seen lower numbers over the weekend and late last week, but we had dinner out last night quite late, and I feel super full of food still. That's cool though as it means the other numbers will be back later in the week - gives me an easy strive to aim for. Also, I'm now only 2lbs away from that golden moment when my BMI moves from obese to overweight - awesome!

Clothing-wise I feel like I might be on plan to get my holiday target there too. My work trousers are starting to move into that annoying hinterland of between sizes again, where they're looking pretty baggy around everything except the waist, although there's even a little room for manoeuvre there .... there maybe a size 14 somewhere in my future, and my near future at that!

Aside from pub dinner last night (although that didn't blow my points - just weighed me down with food), food's all good again. I bought some of the home-made cake to work today from one of the little foil wrapped parcels in the fridge. It was one of the 2 slice parcels, so I gave the other slice to my friend who I sit next to, who appreciatively wolfed it down.

Exercise tonight will be spinning and probably a quick run after, and I'll also find out tonight whether I'll be able to do the Biggest Loser challenge at the gym .... fingers crossed for me! Even if I can't, I'm going to be working super-hard over the next couple of months. I'm finally starting to feel like the end is in sight, and I can't wait to make this final push and get my (obviously slimmer) ass there. I'm such a flibberitgibbet normally that I'm rubbish at seeing stuff through to the end, so meeting this goal will be amazing. Even if I do then do an evaluation to see if I want to lose anymore - the fact that I've done the first huge chunk will be brilliant.

So - this morning I was 13st 5lbs - I'd like to aim for another 2lbs off this week - I already saw 13st 2 / 3lbs this week, so let's get it on the scales officially! This week's another quiet one socially - evening's will mostly be exercise, whether in classes at the gym, or with friends. As well as a running buddy in my neighbour Sid, my friend Bex has now volunteered herself for a swimming buddy which would be lovely - although I'd better be careful to make sure I don't get carried away chatting and don't do my lengths! Got another nice quiet weekend at home ahead - there'll be a few more friends around this time, but nothing too destructive on the cards as far as I know.

I'm purposely keeping my diary fairly free at the moment to give me some bank account / body recovery time after the hectic summer. There are some events coming up over the next couple of weeks and months - birthday weekends and weddings, but I'm planning for them already. I'm on FIRE at the moment!!! :O)

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Running and cake

Went out for the slowest ever 5k this morning. Good grief - running when your legs feel like lead is zero fun!! Not quite sure what was with that - they felt pretty dead from a couple of minutes out, and that didn't get any better as the first quarter of the run is uphill. Still, perseverence occurred and 37 minutes of not very happy running later I stumbled home. Ach well, done and done.

On the fun side - I baked cake this afternoon!!! And it turned out goooooood! I'm diversifying into new skills that I think I should have, and I think baking should be something everyone should be able to do at least a little of. First attempt - cinnamon banana bread - a little loaf type number. I actually royally messed up the ingredient proportions, so I was expecting a complete disaster, but it actually turned out totally lush!! My flat smells amazing, it was so satisfying to be able to turn out a perfect little loaf - a slightly crispy shell and fluffy moist inner. I'm in love with my little creation!!

And even better still - I had a slice (had loads of points available today), gave a couple of slices away to very appreciative friends and pre-sliced and foil-wrapped the remaining slices to go in the fridge, ready for snacks over the next couple of days. I could quite get to like this baking lark!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Sunday breakfast in bed

Hey guys!

Just having a quiet weekend, which is lush. I've been catching up on my sleep, had a little drive out to the Costwolds with a friend yesterday and just had a night in watching tv in bed last night.

We dropped in on my friends milkshake van yesterday (For Heavens Shakes - I think I've mentioned it before), as she was working at a fringe festival in the Cotswolds, and enjoyed the luxury of a milkshake off the books, well the points anyway. I very rarely eat something and knowingly don't point it, but Kirsty's milkshakes, are an exception. Doesn't seem to have made any impact on the scales though, so I won't regret it.

Started today with a lovely bowl of fresh strawberries and yoghurt. Got another lazy day ahead .... quite want to do some exercise, but haven't quite worked out what I want to do yet. A walk maybe? Or a run? Or a swim? Frankly, I'm still in bed watching a proper chick flick at the moment!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Measurements - part 4

Thought it was about time to update these, so they are now:

Hips - 42.5" (44")
Lower Waist (at belly button) - 41" (43")
Upper Waist (at narrowest point) - 36" (36.5")
Chest - 42" (44.5")
Arm - 12" (12.5")
Thigh - 25" (26.5")

Progress made all round - good, good!

(Just in case anyone's interested, the numbers in brackets were my previous measurements at the 1st of June - here, in the same order are what they were back just after I'd started on 1st March - H: 48", LW: 46.5", UP: 40.5", C: 46", A:13", T: 27.5")

Death by Combat

I would just like to say, that if anyone is looking for a way to make their Body Combat class more intense and more of an ass-kicking - just swim 70 lengths of the pool the night before - it seems to work a charm!!! Good god, I was knackered afterwards - arms and legs like lead!

I was pretty damn good with the food yesterday - the TOTM sugar cravings are fading, and I'm back in control. With the exercise yesterday, I'm only 1 point down for the week now - whoop!

It also turns out that there is much to be said for being a long-term, favoured member of the gym, not to mention a persistent bugger to boot. I saw a poster at the gym yesterday saying that there were still places available on the first session of the Biggest Loser challenge, even though I'd been told it was full. So I hunted down the instructor in question and he said it was full, but he wanted to try and squeeze me in, since I couldn't do the later session in November. There's a lady who signed up who he hasn't heard from for a couple of weeks, so she's got til Monday to reappear and then she's bumped and I'm in - wooohooooo!!!! Let us all pray that she has swine flu and I'm in. (Yes, yes, I know that that's entirely selfish, but damn it, God, you OWE me this one!!!).

Please tell me you don't all hate me for wanting it this much!

So far this week the Scale Gods are being pretty kind - I'm seeing some interesting numbers, which I'm really hoping will either stick or drop some more for Monday .... ooooh - is this new territory I'm venturing into??? Is it??? Oh, yes, I think it might be!

Generally, I feeling nauseatingly good at the moment - I feel super confident (and wore an obscenely short skirt to the pub last night to prove it - my legs are looking better and better!). My friends gave me a severe talking to on holiday about my self-confidence and I think some of it stuck!

Got a nice quiet weekend ahead. Going on a girly day trip tomorrow to lovely Hay-on-Wye for some book and boutique shopping. Last time I went, I was a bit self-conscious that all the boutiques didn't go up to my size - it's going to be very different this time! Other than that, most folks are away this weekend, so I'm having a quiet one catching up on my unpacking, cleaning, tidying, washing and all the other boring crap of day-to-day life. I might bake too. And sleep, lots of lovely sleep.