Saturday, 31 October 2009

Living for the weekend

Having a weekend of great fun with the girls. After a crappy day of much stress and picking up after other people at work, plus dealing with stress about the flat and my flatmate moving out, I met up with Hannah and Bec at Bec's house for the evening. Too many crisps with humous and some pizza and luscious cupcakes from the patisserie. See how pretty the cakes are (and the girls obviously):

Today we've been to Stratford for lunch and shopping. We had a gorgeous lunch at Russons which is a fantastic family-run place with delicious food. I had a butternut squash risotto with a side salad and I HAD to try the pumpkin pie with maple and pecan cream. A-mazing!!!! Totally off plan I know but yum, yum, yum!

Had a stroke of luck in Blacks which was having a closing down sale - 70% off everything!!! Picked up a Roxy fleece and halterneck summer top, O'Neill linen crop trousers and a Technicals running fleece to replace my current one which is too big now, all for £46. Flippin' marvellous.

Back home now at Bec's again, pyjama'd up and we've just finished carving our pumpkins! Aren't they pretty too?

I suspect there'll be far more food than I need tonight again. I'll try not to be too stupid, I promise!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 30 October 2009

Slow and Steady

Well, it might not exactly be supersonic speed, spectacular progress, but it is progress none the less. Another lb off this week, taking me to 12st 11lbs.

In the end, I'd rather be moving slowly but steadily in the right direction, than zig-zagging unpredictably up and down. Actually, thinking back a couple of weeks, that was exactly why I changed my weigh in day, so I guess it's working!

Being able to see my true weight loss, rather than the ups and downs of the weekend allows me to be far more realistic with my goals. There's no point me aiming to lose a stone by Christmas when I only average about 1.1lb losses each week, because unless I change something radically from what I've been doing for the last 40 weeks I won't meet that goal.

Side note: can you believe I've been at this 40 weeks already??? When I started out, I kind of hoped I'd be finished already, but I also secretly thought I wouldn't stick it out this long. So to have lost 51lbs in 40 weeks is great, but to have got to a place where I feel comfortable to just keep plugging away at this healthy new lifestyle? In the words of the Mastercard ads ... priceless.

I'm finding at the moment that my confidence and self-image is up and down all over the place. Somedays I feel great and totally feel like I look hot (today's one of those days), and other days I think why do I bother because it makes no difference to everything else I think is wrong with my life.

Yesterday I woke up thinking "this is still going to be me when I'm 40. Still single, still renting and unable to afford my own place because I can't manage my money, just more lonely and desperate". Well, whatever happens, I can't let that stand in the way of me getting healthy an looking after myself.

This weekend's going to be a bit of a minefield eating wise. We're having a full on girls' weekend whilst the boys are away in Amsterdam. They banned us from going, but we're damn well not going to sit around waiting for them to get back with tales of partying, so we're doing our own thing. Tonight is going to be relaxation: G & T's, chick flicks and pumpkin carving for Halloween. Tomorrow day we're going to Stratford (home of Shakespeare) for the day. We're having lunch out tomorrow, hitting the shops and doing some sight-seeing. Tomorrow evening we're making sushi and tapas, and then maybe heading out for some drinks. I'm going to have to plan carefully so I don't stray too far off track.

I've been invited out for a bike ride with friends in Sunday morning which I might do. I did Balance last night, and as expected the hip track was .... well, challenging. I nursed myself through the class though and I did feel better for it. The class was really friendly with a lovely chatty instructor called Becky. She was great at giving out alternatives for injuries and making me feel at ease when I got completely lost in the warm-up. I'll definitely go back next week.

This morning however, all my aches have kicked in full force. Not my back injury, that's still ok, but all the muscles that are feeling abused after this first week back exercising. My hamstrings and inner thighs from circuits, upper back and shoulders from Combat and bow my calves after super tight from Balance. I'm going to take a few days off now to let it all subside. We're going to be walking around enough tomorrow to keep me moving.

Have a good weekend!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Mmmmmmmm - yummy!!

Just thought I'd share my afternoon snack with you (yes, weird, I know!), but how nice does that look:

-- Posted from my iPhone


Ooooooh - I'm like one big, continuous ache this morning. It's all nice satisfying gym ache though, and no nasty back pain, which I'd say is a bit of an achievement!

Tonight's challenge will be Body Balance. Oh good god, what am I letting myself in for? I haven't done any yoga / pilates based classes regularly in about 2 years or so. In fact, I know it's at least that long because I had to go and retrieve my yoga mat from Dad's house, and I moved out of there 2 years ago. It's going to be quite a challenge as I'm extra stiff today due to all my gym aches, but I am hoping that the session might actually help loosen some of that up.

In the past I've stopped doing yoga or pilates classes because I have to confess I usually get bored after the first couple of classes. And I don't like the Balance classes at my own gym as they are totally over-crowded, with all the mats literally end to end, so I'm going to try a new class / instructor combo over in Worcester which is the one my friend Bridget and her mum go to. Hoping that that will make it a bit more fun, as I need to keep going this time under orders from Kate the physio.

This is supposed to help build up all my core muscles to help protect my back from further relapses, which will then allow me to get on with my life without these painful interludes. Or that's the theory. Sounds like enough motivation to me to be worth giving it a whirl.

I'm on track with my food today. Yesterday, I was suddenly aware that I'd been eating a lot of snacks, and actually managed to run out of points before dinner. Not a disaster as I clock up plenty extra doing Combat, but not ideal. So today I've stocked up on fruit and I'm monitoring my intake closely. It's looking a lot more balanced so far, but on a side note: avoid Weightwatchers' Caramel Mallow snacks like the plague! They might only be 1 point each, but they taste like soggy, chewy cardboard with something vaguely sweet in the middle. Not too pleasant!

That's pretty much all from me for today. Not expecting any great shakes at weigh in tomorrow following the return to my exercise routine and Friday's over-eat. My weight dipped back down to 12st 10lb's after the weekend but has stubbornly gone back up to 12st 11bs and stayed there ever since.

More anon, lovely readers!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Return to Combat

Wooohooo ... made it through Body Combat in one piece!! God, I've missed that class! I punched hard and kicked carefully, and got my sweat on 100%. I've not lost as much fitness as I worried I might have done, and had a grin on my face for most of it, when I wasn't frowning in concentration trying to work out what I was supposed to be doing.

Good times.

Body Balance tomorrow hopefully!

And the Challenge Ends

Gym Challenge Results

Duh duh duuuuuuuh ......


Yeah, ok, not great. 3.5lbs over 6 weeks.

I'm stuck in a bit of a plateau at the moment, as I always seem to be
when I transition down past a "boundary" - 13 stone to 12 stone or 15
stone to 14 stone. In the 3 weeks before the challenge I lost over half
a stone, but the challenge has happened when I'm stuck in another flat
section. Because I've already been at this healthy malarkey for 8
months or so, there's not much I can do to shake it up when I hit a flat
section, unlike the other folks on the challenge who were mostly just
starting to lose weight. Mark told me yesterday that I had the lowest
BMI at the start of the challenge, and I know from my nutrition report
that my diet was already bang on, so I should be pleased that I've just
had a steady result.

But now we're going to be positive. During the same 6 week period, my
lean body mass has actually gone up, which means I've actually lost more
than 3.5lbs of fat. I've lost an inch off my hips, another half an inch
off my waist, say a quarter inch off my arms, and nearly an inch off my
legs (and yes, the missing measurement is my chest - didn't change -
phew!! Lol). And all this whilst my exercise regime has been severely
compromised by the fact that I pretty much haven't been able to do it!
Not so bad really. I should have asked Mark for the actual percentages
from my metrics sheet, so I can actually work out my fat loss properly,
but I forgot .... will definitely do that next time I'm in the gym

We have another refresher weigh in in about 6 weeks time, so I'll be
interested to see what progress has been made by then. Also, because I
missed those 3 sessions when I was trying to rest my back, Mark has
invited me to attend the same sessions on the next challenge they run,
which starts next week, for no extra charge, which I thought was very

Training wise, we just had fun last night, once all the weigh ins were
done and the prize had been presented to the winner - we played indoor
cricket in the studio! Lots of fun actually, and who'd have thought you
could burn 250 cals in 30 mins (500 cals an hour - not that far short of
what I'd clock up spinning!) having a giggle, standing round fielding,
with occasional bouts of manic running round! I had a few unsettling
moments when I lunged for the ball on the ground and felt my back
twinge, but doesn't seem to have done any harm. Which means .....
proper fanfare this time ..... I'm going to Combat

WHOOOOOOOOP!!! Yes, I'm am SUPER EXCITED about this! And it's going to
be a shiny new routine too as they moved onto the new release whilst
I've been away. I'm going to enjoy me some punching and kicking and
prancing round tonight - oh YEAH!!!

Whoa - toning down the excitement now before I wear myself out lol.

Food, Glorious Food

After the buffet yesterday, I had no problem not eating tea til after
the gym. I had a Skinny Cow Berry Blush bar (mmmmmmmm - in a Homer
Simpson stylee) and was still mega-full. I have to admit though that
when I got back from the gym, I still wasn't hungry enough to merit
cooking a proper tea, so I went round to the boys' flat and chatted to
them for a bit. And I further have to admit, that since they'd ordered
pizza while I'd been at the gym, I snaffled 2 slices. Not the end of
the world, but marginally over my points for the day. Today, I'm eating
all the healthy food that I was going to have yesterday - guess today
should be pretty good then!

And in a sec I'm heading off to go and buy some new shoes - the ones I'm
wearing today are slopping round on my feet like a pair of my Dad's
wellies - since when were size 7's too big for me????

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Attack of the Buffets!!

Gaaaaaaah!!! Obstacles in my path!!! I've got final weigh in tonight
for the gym challenge at 9pm. I think you will agree, that that's not a
fabulous time for a weigh in, as it's practically impossible to forgo
your dinner until after the weigh in and subsequent hour long work out,
without falling over in a dead faint through complete sugar crash. With
that in mind, I carefully planned out my meals for yesterday and today
to keep to my plan, and get the best possible result today.

I was going to have a big bowl of soup for a lunch, a small bowl of
cereal this evening an hour or so before the gym, and then a light
stir-fry afterwards. Small flaw in my plan though - I forgot that we
had a leaving lunch today at the dreaded Teddington Hands. I'm sure
I've talked about the buffets this place puts on before: an insane
amount of food, incredibly rich, loads of butter and mayonnaise - in
short a heart-attack on a plate.

Well - I've done the best I could. It wasn't as ideal as having my
soup, but actually I'm pretty damn proud of my last minute planning.
3/4's of a sandwich (they all come cut into quarters anyway and
ludicrously full of tasty filling, so you can pick and choose what you
want), including egg mayo and tuna, to keep points down, the smallest
portion of quiche I could see, 2 lean slices meat and 1 mini sausage
roll as a treat. You know what? I couldn't even finish all of that!!!
It was soooooooo ridiculously rich that I stopped short on finishing the
quiche as the crust was practically pure butter. But I can look at that
plate and feel proud, because everyone around me had plates piled high,
and went back for seconds, and I'd listened to my stomach and just had
what I needed to feel satisfied. You want a list of the stuff I didn't
have? Fresh bread and proper salted butter, big slabs of cheese,
crackers, chips, chips and chips, potato salad, coleslaw, pork pies, a
squillion more sandwiches, and sausage rolls. I'm pretty pleased
actually. I went down that buffet table, actively looking for stuff
that wouldn't do me too much damage and I felt happy about it.

Actually, since I didn't snack too much this morning either, I've got
some points to spare, and I'm sure as hell not going to need anything to
eat this afternoon! Which is lucky really, as there are about half a
dozen "doggy bags" of remaining buffet sitting on the cabinets just down
the office from me, which thankfully don't hold any allure right now.
Just got to stay off the soda this afternoon now (caffeine is banned
before weigh in, so that they get a proper accurate lean mass vs. body
fat reading) and job done. I'll still have my little bowl of cereal
before the gym, and I think I'll be ok. Then I've got lovely fresh tuna
to stir-fry with crispy veg tonight after the gym - yum!!!

I'm really glad to report that I'm now two nights of exercise down, and
no back niggles showing up yet - woooohooooooo!! Got some achy,
protesting muscles that haven't been used for a while, but otherwise I'm
feeling strong. Sooooooooo hoping that I'm going to be able to make
Combat tomorrow night, and I'm super-excited about getting back to that.
Heee hee - I love that I'm excited to be getting back to an exercise
class - I've turned into such a geek!!!

So that's me - still taking it one day at a time and steady as she goes.
I've got my deficit from the weekend down from 21 points to 11.5 now -
not bad work! Now cross those fingers that a) I manage to lose
something at the weigh in tonight (actually I already know that I've
managed to lose some inches, but I'd like some lb-age to match, 'cos I'm
greedy like that!), and b) I make it to Combat tomorrow night and can
enjoy it!!

Thank you, that's all for now! :o)

Monday, 26 October 2009

The Challenge is nearly over

Tomorrow is the final weigh in for the 6 week challenge I did at the
gym. I'm rather resigned to the fact that the scales are going to show
me as having not lost very much at all - maybe a few lbs if I'm lucky.
It's been frustrating, because this back problem just kept going and
going way past when I thought it would be cleared up, and aside from the
actual challenge training sessions themselves, my normal routine has
fallen by the wayside. In fact, I even ended up missing 3 of the
challenge sessions, as I just got to a point where I couldn't risk
aggravating my back any further. I've run once in 7 weeks, and I
haven't been able to do Combat at all in that time. I've had one long
walk, and a couple of shorter ones, but that's really been it. I feel
rather let down by my body because I haven't managed to focus my full
efforts on this challenge, and consequently even going slightly off the
rails food-wise results in a gain or staying the same.

Having lost half a stone in about 3 weeks on returning from holiday,
I've spent the next 6 weeks messing around, trying to get properly in to
12 stone territory. I overheard one of the other participants in the
challenge at the gym yesterday, saying that she'd lost about 20lbs in
the same 6 week period. Am I jealous? You bet your grandma I am!!! Of
course 20 lbs isn't realistic for me, at this stage in my weight loss,
but half a stone would have been nice.

I guess, I should be glad I've made any progress at all, instead of
being frustrated. According to my own scales I am a couple of lbs
lighter, and I think I've lost some inches. In fact I'm wearing a skirt
today that I bought a couple of weeks ago, and I'm sure it's looser than
it was. But yeah, there's still a bit of frustration there.

After missing the last 3 gym sessions, I made it back yesterday
afternoon for a combined Body Pump / spinning training session. Fun but
torturous - doing 2 supersets of an exercise (60 seconds, then 45
seconds, lunges, squats, dead lifts, bicep curls), back on the bike for
3 mins sprint, and off to do the next exercise - repeat through all 8
exercise sets, with just a 30 second break between the 2 weights sets to
breathe. I was a bit scared that I'd done more damage, when I felt my
back twanging sitting up after then chest press, but it seems to be ok
this morning, with just the usual soreness from tired muscles. I'm
hoping this is the week I can get back to normal, and if so I've got an
ambitious timetable lined up: spin tonight, final weigh in and group
training tomorrow night, Body Combat on Wednesday and Body Balance on
Thursday, run on Friday. All the things I've missed doing. I'm just
going to have to take it a session at a time and ease up if it looks
like being a problem.

Pleeeeeeeease, don't be a problem!!

Food was good yesterday - stuck to my points and put my activities
towards writing off the deficit from Friday, and will hopefully be able
to do the same today. I'm going ok so far, although I was ravenously
hungry this morning - just got to avoid the massive stacks of biscuits
and chocolates all over the office!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Food hangover

Friday blew. Or I blew up. Doesn't really matter which, as I still ate twice as much food as you're meant to in one day. I had an evening with the girls, and allowed myself to get talked into eating something other than what I would have picked for myself. We had takeaway, and whilst I wanted to just order a chow mein, or a single dish and plain rice, I gave in to ordering a whole selection of starters to share .... soooooo many points in all that stuff! I ate past when I was comfortable, but I did stop before everything on the plate and in the cartons was gone.

On the entirely positive side - there was a huge tin of chocolates, a tin of pringles and various other cakes and stuff, and I did a good job of keeping my nose out of them .... not taking stuff unless you're offered it totally works! Oh, and I stuck to white wine spritzers, which was good too!

We had a great night, with lots of laughter and some truly bad karaoke (which I was overjoyed to find out had turned up on Facebook in video format yesterday - lovely). However, I woke up yesterday with a hell of a food hangover - ugh.

Yesterday was my friends Claire and James' wedding in the evening and I had a great time. Despite the potential pitfalls of a hangover and weddings, I made it through the day without goofing.

The really nice thing about doing this whole "make every day the best you can" thing, is that I'm not panicking about overdoing it so much on Friday, and that I didn't pull any points back yesterday. Because I made the best of yesterday, and today I'm having a really good day, and tomorrow I'll make the best of that day too. It's actually quite calming really!

Circuits later and then a nice relaxing evening. See ya later, folks!

Friday, 23 October 2009


Weigh in this morning - half a lb off. Which is great because I was
fully expecting to stay the same or gain given how the scales had been
behaving this week. However the mysterious behaviour of the scales was
revealed last night simply to be the result of me not checking my diary
and being ambushed by my hormones yet again, and with that in mind I'm
chuffed to have lost at all as I often struggle to lose during that time
of the month.

So, after that overshare of my bodily functions, we'll move safely back
to the main topic of this post: that little half a lb means I have now
lost exactly 50lbs, since starting Weightwatchers!!!!! Oh my lord - I
don't think I ever thought I'd get here, and I am so proud of myself for
doing it. It's been a long time coming, and I know that a lot of people
in my little blogosphere have done it quicker, but this is what has been
comfortable for me. I've achieved this loss without losing my "quality
of life" along the way, and although I might have has a few sense of
humour failures over the months, I feel like I can genuinely say I have
made progress towards changing my habits to something healthier and

I've got 20lbs left to go to get to goal - but I already lost 1.5lbs of
that this week, only to regain it due to stupid water retention, so if I
keep to my one day at a time plan, I can hope to see another decent loss
next week, fingers crossed. I made yesterday another good day ... god,
I love being able to report that!!! My snacking has been getting a bit
out of hand second half of this week (surprise surprise given the
hormone driven craziness!), so I've been eating more during the day and
then light evening meals, but I made a conscious effort to reign that
back in yesterday and I finished last night with a point to spare,
absolutely stuffed after my lovely dinner of venison grills, asparagus,
broccoli and oven baked mushooms. Since I still don't want to risk
running, I also went out for a nice brisk 45 min walk last night to get
some exercise in. To make sure I didn't run, since I actually felt
pretty good, I deliberately went out in normal clothes instead of my
exercise stuff, but walked one of my running routes. So I was finally
able to answer the question about how much faster I run than I walk -
the run usually takes 30 mins, vs the 45 mins to walk it quite quickly -
not bad!

I'm having a nice celebratory breakfast this morning - Starbucks skinny
blueberry muffin and skinny Chai latte, and fresh fruit salad from the
salad bar - yum!!


Then a light lunch later, and I'm heading over to Jo's tonight for a
night in with some friends - we're going to watch cheesy films, have a
little bit to drink and do some karaoke - fab!! I'll keep an eye on my
points so I don't run over by too much, as it would be such a shame to
muck up now. Tomorrow evening I'm off to my friend Claire's wedding,
with loads of friends from work, which should be awesome - I can't wait
to see her in her dress!! Sunday will be a nice quiet day, gym session
in the afternoon (apparently it's going to be a combine Body Pump / spin
class ... that should be interesting!) and then off to the cinema to
watch Up! with Bridget. A really lovely weekend to look forward too!
I'm planning on taking lots of photos tomorrow, so I'll try and make
sure to post some up here!

Have a good weekend, and make it a good day today. And remember - in
the words of the lovely Tricia at Endurance Isn't Only Physical - if you
feel like quitting, maybe quit tomorrow instead!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Damn scales!

Ok, so weigh in isn't officially until tomorrow, but I'm a
stand-on-the-scales-every-day kind of gal. I just like to make sure
that my body's not betraying me and wandering off in the wrong
direction. Or I'm not betraying it and allowing it to. Whatever - I
check in, once a day, first thing in the morning.

And let me tell you - I hate weeks like this one on the scales. Over
the weekend my weight continued to drop (woohoooo), so by Monday I'd
moved from 12st 12.5lbs (from WI on Friday), down to 12st 10.5lbs. Have
I stayed there following my sustained good eating (and one small piece
of pavlova)? Have I even dropped a tiny bit lower? Have I heck!! The
scales have spent this week so far, resolutely climbing back to where
they were on Friday. Oh bravo!!!! How clever of them!!!


And before you all yell at me: yes, I know that this is a long-term
thing, and yes, I know that most people advocate only weighing once a
week (tried it - my willpower in that department is about as tough as
cooked noodles: limp), and yes, I know that all sorts of things can
cause fluctuations. But people - I'm just allowing myself a little
wallow of self-pity for a minute. Humour me.

The healthy routine was alive and kicking again yesterday - I ate just
under my points, I had veg and fruit aplenty, I drank loads of fluids,
and thanks to running round like a loon at lunchtime trying to find
balloons and streamers to decorate my colleagues desk, I'd say I burnt a
few calories. The deficit's down to 3.5pts. Good work, huh? Today,
I'm kicking it again. There's cakes in the office, but I don't need
them as I have my own food with me. I'm a bit short on fruit, but have
a good healthy lunch, and plan on over-clocking the veg tonight at
dinner (yum!). I'm really starting to miss my regular exercise now, but
I'm going to give myself a few more days as I'm really starting to feel
back to normal, so the break is obviously good for my stupid injuries.

Boardshort Crisis!!

I tried on the dreaded boardies last night. I was right .... they did
look small. The good thing is that I can do them up. The bad thing is
that they are quite tight. But when I double checked against my
flatmate's boardies which are the size up, I'm definitely somewhere
between sizes as hers would come down with a good yank. Dilemma! It's
two weeks til we go, so not enough time to get rid of all the bulge, but
I'm not sure there's any point in sending them back for the bigger size.

As it is, Jo (who is coming to Egypt with me) has offered me a spare
pair of her boardies which are unworn, in a 16. Which is awesome on 2
counts: 1) it means that she too has lost enough inches and lbs that
they are too big for her - soooo proud of her, as her body is very
stubborn to give up the lbs even when she eats and exercises like a diet
trooper! And 2) it gives me options. I've also got another pair of
boardies that do fit, however they are, ahem, rather short. I mean
short, short. So I wasn't sure whether I wanted to actually windsurf in
them, as they won't give me a lot of protection against board rash.
Although actually, my worst board rash is always on the inside of my
left knee, which isn't protected anyway. I think I'll keep my
boardshorts and see how I go.

On the positive side - I have now decided to retire my size 16 work
trousers. I've been wearing one pair of 14's to work for the last
couple of weeks and, as I said earlier in the week, they're definitely
fitting better now. My 16's on the other hand, besides being baggy in a
most unsightly manner, have recently started sliding down a bit at the
waist. Tis time, that they went to the graveyard of so many of my other
clothes. With that in mind, I hit the shops last night to go and grab
an extra pair of 14's, and they fit pretty well! I also picked up some
more knits for the winter, as pretty much all my smart cardies and
sweaters from last year are looking a little baggy now. So nice to be
buying all 14's, and I feel very well dressed today in trousers that
actually fit my ass, and a big snuggly knit layered over long sleeves.

The moral of this? Even if my size 14 boardies don't quite fit
comfortably yet, it's hard to feel sore when so much else does. As for
the scales? In some small way, fuck 'em. I won't let them upset my
eating for the day, else they really won't move in the right direction.
I guess they'll catch up with me eventually!

Hope you're all having a good week too!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Pavlovas, pears and pineapples

Hands up, I admit it, I ended up getting yesterday a bit wrong.

Ah, bugger.

My food plan stayed as I'd made it, unfortunately my exercise plan
didn't. I decided against circuits as I'm still suffering with a few
twinges here and there, and a bit stiff, so my plan was to instead take
physio approved exercise and walk my ass to and from the pub for
birthday drinks for Sid. I realise that this sounds like the biggest
cop out EVER, so just to clear that up - the pub is a good 20 min walk
away (we usually walk it, but it's a very good pub, so well worth it),
I'm staying well clear of the alcohol at the moment, so all I drink when
I get there is Diet Coke or sparkling water, and then another 20 min
walk home again. Plan went slightly wrong in that we were late leaving
and Sid therefore decided to drive us all to the pub and abandon the car
there. Half my walk gone. And then as we finally got thrown out after
closing, we realised it was absolutely pissing down with rain, and being
that we weren't really in the mood to get drenched (and I had a coat and
boots on that really wouldn't appreciate it), and I hadn't drunk and was
therefore good to drive the car - we promptly chauffeured ourselves back
home again.

Then there was a sneaky bit of birthday cake.

It could have been a whole lot worse - it was a 5 point deficit in the
end, but irritating none the less.

Here's another irritating thing - I'd been thinking about the cake all
evening, knowing it would be in the boys' kitchen, and had decided to
soak up the deficit and allow myself a piece. But despite it being home
made pavlova, and therefore worthy of point sacrifice, when I actually
got round to eating it, it just wasn't as good as I'd built it up to be
in my head. Which is kind of disappointing.

I've noticed this happening a few times recently - I have something I've
been really craving, and then get reminded that it's really not all
that. On the flip-side, sometimes I talk myself into eating something,
and even though I wasn't that enthusiastic about it, it's way better
than I'd been expecting! Mostly that happens when I'm trying to make
good decisions with my snacks .... yesterday afternoon it was the
decision between a treat size pot of Cadbury Buttons and the pot of
fresh pineapple I'd bought from home. I talked myself into the
pineapple and it actually tasted amazing in the end - and was obviously
a far bigger portion for the points. I'm glad I made that choice.

I'm also totally in love with pears at the moment. In the spirit of
still trying to keep my diet varied, I'm trying to buy different fruit
each week. Recently, I've had nectarines, satsumas, apples, pineapple,
mango, raspberries and strawberries. And this week it's pears. So nice
too! I haven't had them in forever, but I remember my mum loving them
when I was little - will definitely get them again!

Continuing my routinve of making each day a good one, yesterday's
mistake is behind me. Today is a fresh start and another chance to get
it right. So far, I'm bang on track to achieve that, and I've planned
out the rest of my day to keep that going.

My final test for today will be whether my new boardshorts fit - eeeeek!
I ummed and ahhhed for ages over which size to order, as last time I
tried on the size 16 they were a bit big, but I'm worried that a 14 will
be too small. I eventually bought the 14, with the thought that I can
always get my hands on some bigger ones if I need to. They arrived this
morning, but I haven't had a chance to try them on yet. They look a bit
small ... but then I think loads of my clothes look to small for me at
the moment ... so I won't know until I get home this evening. Fingers

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Still being good

Not quite such a clean day eating yesterday, but I still scrambled through it and emerged unscathed. I found myself munching through a fair bit of stuff at work yesterday, and although I did pull myself up, I didn't have many points left by dinner time. As promised though - I went for a walk. In fact, I did a bit of practical multi-tasking, since I'm not terribly good at non-scenic, aimless walking in the dark - so I walked my butt over to the supermarket to pick up some healthy stuff for tea. 15 mins each way, plus meandering time in the supermarket, equals the minimum 30 mins that I wanted to do. Between those few precious activity points, and the couple I had saved, I safely navigated tea when Bridget arrived - very tasty oven-baked haddock in an oatmeal crust and a big pile of veg - tenderstem broccoli, green beans, some oven baked mushrooms with just a spritz of olive oil and a pinch of tarragon, and a load of lovely, leafy baby spinach, finished off with a little blob of low fat mayo on the side. Who needs the chips, eh??

Had a little individual pack of Weightwatchers cookies afterwards while watching a Gossip Girl marathon and job's a good 'un!

I'm a little bit munchy again today, but more under control, and I think I'll prob be heading to the gym tonight for circuits (very carefully), so that's even more of a cushion - I'm happy I can make this day another good one. Which is really all I need to do.

Spent most of my lunch break shopping for a new rash vest online - makes such a difference from this time last year, when it was really hard work finding a brand that went up to my size. I found the rash vest ok last year - since they're stretchy I was able to get a size 18, although I had to pay nearly £40 for it, but the board shorts almost reduced me to tears. Not many companies make shorts up to that size, and the pairs I found were just too small ... by inches. I ended up having to buy the biggest size in the mens' shorts (a 38" waist) and even then it was a struggle. I hated the thought of possibly standing out, hated that sports clothing companies seem to think you couldn't possibly want to do sport if you're over a size 14-16, hated that I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. I hated that when I got there I had to stay hidden in my tankini, and only felt really comfy around the windsurfing club when I'd got my cover-up on. Hated that I felt so self-conscious beside the professionally fit windsurfing staff (who incidentally, couldn't have been nicer and less judgmental) and that I shied away from the cameras during the video tutoring sessions we had. I hated that after an absolutely fabulous holiday, I bought the video of the week, and cringed when I caught a glimpse of my bulk on film.

I'm hoping to be as close to 4 stone lighter as I can be this year. I'll wear bikinis and feel more comfortable about who I am. With any luck I may even see an improvement in my windsurfing through having more energy, better balance, and it not being such an effort to get back up on the board when you've fallen in. Events like this holiday account for so much of my motivation to lose weight - they're the thing that keeps me going when I'm struggling with the day-to-day trudge of trying to get it right.

Beyond this holiday, my friends are currently starting to organise this year's ski trip. I desperately want to go, and I'm juggling my finances to try and make it work. And the reason I'm so desperate to go? I want to go while last year is still so fresh in my mind. I want to see the contrast between feeling ungainly last year and having a bit more confidence this year. Last year was injury-ridden - I spent 4 days of the week away cooped up in the chalet after ripping muscles in my back snowboarding (although it didn't stop me going out for one last blast on the last day, doped up on painkillers, because I refused to be defeated by it) - as a result I'll have to switch back to skiing this year.

The last time I skied I totally lost my confidence, whereas the first time I absolutely loved it. The difference between the first and last times? Weight (well, weight and age, but mostly weight). I first went when I was fresh out of school. I weighed about what I do now, prob a little more, and ironically, it was when I was so disgusted with my weight that I first tried Weight Watchers. It didn't work, but I had the best time skiing. Took to it like a duck to water and bombed everywhere for the week with the utmost confidence. The second time I went was about 5 years later, and 5 stone heavier. I was the heaviest I'd ever been - close to 17 stone, or thereabouts. Nothing fit, and I had a massive stress (again) trying to find ski-pants to fit. I felt exhausted very quickly, and my muscles protested all the time. I felt out-of-control because I tended to speed up so quickly, and I found it extraordinarily difficult to get up after I'd fallen over (sat down - Lissa and Jo said I never fell over, I just sat down when I decided I was going too fast) without taking one of my skis off. Not surprising that I switched to snowboarding after that! Well, I want to give it another go now, and see if I fare any better. And the other reason? I want to see the people we ski with, people who I mostly haven't seen for a year, and surprise them with my weight loss. Shallow. As. A. Puddle.

Well, after that melodramatic little tour through my sporting holiday miseries, I shall go get on with making the rest of today a good one!

Ooooh, and before I forget - thanks for all your comments yesterday!! Yes, I'm terribly excited about holidays, and I love going exotic places to do the things I love! And you should all totally come on holiday with me - the more the merrier!!! :O) What? I should have given you more notice, because you can't just drop things and come along? Well, that's rubbish!! Next year!!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Still storming along

Good morning, troopers, and welcome to another shiny new week!

I'm feeling pretty upbeat at the moment, because my healthy eating is really on a roll. I stormed the weekend and have even come out with a few little points saved! Virtuous on the food front? Oh yes indeedy!

The scales this morning have rolled on since WI on Friday, but I shan't talk actual numbers yet - that's a Friday thing. I'm happy anyway.

Exercise-wise the weekend was a bust, as I'm still resting my back. It's feeling quite a bit better though, but whilst there are still any minor niggles I'm going to continue to protect it and not risk another back-track (no pun intended). I'll tell you what though - ripping all that tape off on Sat night that the physio had put on? P.A.I.N.F.U.L. Basically removed 3 foot of very sticky plaster. I still have two wide red stripes down my back where it was. OUCH!!!

I'm having a bit of a hungry day today, but that's fine. I'll just have a light tea tonight, and hopefully I'm going to pop out for a 30 min walk round the block this evening to stretch my legs.

I feel good at the moment though. My size 14 trousers are fitting better, and I like what I see in the mirror more than ever. It's the little things away from the scales that are nice to achieve.

Can't believe that 3 weeks today I'm going to windsurfing on the Red Sea again - can't wait!!! Got most of my kit together now, and just need to get a new rash vest (my old ones I bit big, surprise, surprise) and I've got a line on a new harness on Ebay that I'm watching like a hawk. Excitement!!!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

And while I remember ...

.... I'm highly jealous!!

All those bloggy folks over in the States are having a a meet up. Kerry aka Skinny Me ... Coming Soon has rallied a whole load of folks to meet up and have drinks and talk weight loss and life in Toront. S'not fair that they all live so close together!! There's some folks over here I'd love to meet but everyone's so spread out all over the place .... *sigh* .... will just have to keep reading about you!

I'm going to try Honey and Sunflower Ginger Scones tomorrow ..... exciting!! Will let you know how they turn out :o)

Welcome to the weekend!

Living the High Life:

Well, Jack Sh!t complained the other day that there weren't enough photos, so I'm treating you to an insight into the glamorous life of Sue:

Oh yeah - this is Saturday night for this week - crashed on the sofa in a snuggly fleece, under a cozy blanket, watching Strictly Come Dancing, and enjoying a tasty (pointed) take-away. And yes - that is my laundry you can see in the background - just be glad the underwear is drying out of camera shot (mostly)!!

I've been chilling out this weekend so far - caught up on my sleep, done a bit of shopping (new short, layered winter skirt and pretty graphic print top with zip detailing on the shoulder - cute, cute, cute), watched the scales slide down a bit more (yay!!) and spent a bit of time with my dad.

It's funny - this week I feel a lot more relaxed about the weekend, not worrying about the Monday hangover from salt / MSG / alcohol, etc, and at the same time, I really care about what I eat because it's the start of my pointing week and I don't want to cock up and leave myself a points deficit for the week. So far, so good then!

Ringing the Changes In:

I made yummy spaghetti bolognaise last night, which I shared with Sid next door. It's really nice, because I can see that this is one of the areas of my eating where I've really adjusted. My mum bought me up to cook unadulterated, true Italian bolognaise - simple and intensely tasty - no extra veg or frills, but a good slug of wine. As lovely as that is though, it's not as kind on the points, so I've finally relinquished my mother's teaching - the wine has been cut back, and there's now loads of lovely veg in there to bulk it out - carrots, courgette, mushroom and peppers. And you know what - it still tastes pretty damn good.

And the best part of cooking bolognaise (or chilli for that matter)? You get the leftovers on toast the next day .... drooooooooool!

Another behaviour I've adjusted? When I'm in company, I don't eat food unless I'm offered it. Actually, this is a really good rule - it stops me raiding the boys' biscuit box unnecessarily (they keep an awesome biscuit box under the coffee table like an unexploded bomb, but they don't have the sweetest of tooths, so this really helps me keep my nose out of it), and on occasions like home-made pizza it means I only take once slice from each pizza when it's first passed around. Simple, see?!

Nasty Realisations: Only Myself to Blame

Don't worry - nothing too bad. I was reading blogs yesterday, talking about binge behaviour and sliding a bit off track. Specifically, the blogger in question was talking about ice-cream as comfort food. I totally agree that it is - ice cream is definitely one of my biggest weaknesses. The thing is, that reading it, I immediately started resenting the fact that I couldn't go and get a big tub of ice cream and get stuck in.

But what I really realised, was that it wasn't that I couldn't have it, because nothing's banned on Weight Watchers. What I really resented was that the onus is all on me .... that if I have it, and I gain, it's my own fault. The responsibility to make the right decisions lies with me, and I am now armed with the knowledge to make that decision and understand the impact. And consequently, I can't make the same decisions I used to in my "ignorance".

What an absolute bastard that is!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Is it a weigh in? Maybe!

Ok - so Monday this week I decided to move my weigh in day to Fridays to try and escape the perilous weekend food hangover. Obviously, I weighed in on Monday, before I made that decision - which was a lb on. So it's a bit hard to decide whether this is a "proper" weigh in, since it's only 4 days later, or if my first proper weigh in will be next Friday, but I thought I'd share this mornings scale encounter with you anyway.

2 luuuuurvely lbs gone.

Oh yeah.

Lowest weight to date?

Ah hell yeah!

Half a lb shy of my 50lbs gone, but I'm really pleased to see the scales moving in the right direction again. S'all good.

The Ongoing Saga of the Back Injury

After speaking to my physio yesterday, she decided that it would be best I went in to see her, and try and work out what's going on with my back. The verdict is that the ankle pain is a flare up of the sciatica that I had earlier in the year when the nerves in my back were getting pinched after ripping the muscles around my L4 / L5. So we've done more manipulation on my back, more ultrasound, and I've got my back taped up for 48 hours to help keep my posture correct and ease the pressure on my spine. It feels a bit weird, but I'm getting used to it now, and it certainly feels a lot more comfortable today, so I guess it's doing its job.

Kate has said that I'm best staying away for the gym for the next couple of days, but that gentle walking or swimming might be good to keep moving.

So that's me for the minute - I'm having a quiet weekend, partly to rest my back, and partly to rest my purse (payday is Monday, so it's the usual end-of-the-month poverty). Nothing too exciting happening. I was reading KK earlier who's been cleaning her wardrobes out again .... think I'd better make likewise as I haven't looked for a while and it's starting to look a little crowded in there again with all the new stuff!

One final thing - I found a fab new blog yesterday. Actually, more accurately - Nic found me! And I'm glad, because her blog makes for some awesome reading! She'd already lost 45lbs and her blog The Last Twenty documents the last bit of her journey to goal, but it's her writing and her committment that makes it so inspiring. So go read if you've got 30 seconds!!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Just another day - but I've made it a good one

There's been a lot of talk over at Lindsey Under Construction about just taking it a day at a time, and making each day a good day, as a standalone. This is very much something I subscribe to, for a number of reasons:
  • If you look at the weight loss / healthy eating thing as a long term project (pretty much forever), it's completely overwhelming, and enough to send you diving mouth-first into the nearest vat of doughnuts.
  • When you've had a period of time where you've been completely all over the healthy-eating thing, it's easy to let the days run together and become complacent ... just let things slide a little bit.
  • If, on the other hand, you're coming off the back of a whole lot of bad eating (say a holiday), it's hard to know where to start at getting back on track ... just a day ... that's not so hard.
  • I have a very short attention span :o)

So with that in mind, I'm glad to report that since Monday I have been all over this healthy eating thing, every single day! Nice.

Which is just as bloody well since exercise has currently gone out the window! I'm really mixing my food up this week, and challenging myself to eat a more varied menu. I've not had the same breakfast the last 3 days in a row, I'm varying the dishes I've fallen into a pattern of using at dinner time, and as a result I'm sticking to my points and feeling full. More importantly, I've been very conscious of what I've been eating, and I've appreciated it more.

Want to hear something weird? I was looking through my photos last night - some old, some from earlier this year, and I can't believe how bloated my face looks in pictures I used to think were really nice. Just ... puffy. It's strange. It's quite weird to look back on them. I'm almost a little ashamed of them ... wish I could just wipe them out, and pretend I never looked like that. Except then I'd have to wipe out all the happy memories that go with them.

Does anyone who's sucessfully lost a lot of weight ever wish that they could just go back and have a do-over on all the photos and experiences that you had whilst fat?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Boring rambling ahead!

Hi guys,

Brace yourself - it's going to be a pretty boring post, as I don't have a lot of interesting stuff to talk about today. In fact, I won't be offended if you decide to wander off elsewhere and read something better / funnier / more exciting.

Anyone still here?

Right, well, as I say, there's not a lot to report. My eating was good yesterday - surprisingly good in fact. Maybe I was feeling boosted after deciding to move my weigh in day, I don't know, but I actually saved points, so that was good. Mmmmm - I also had the loveliest tea - I love it when I find new products and new ideas for using them!

I did a food shop last night, and I was actually looking to see if Waitrose stocked the new Weight Watchers' reduced fat cream, as I was thinking of a fish pie. They didn't, but what I did find was a new creme fraiche substitute from Presidente. It's less than 3% fat, so really easy on the points.

Disclaimer - normally, I don't go a whole bundle on the whole "diet products" phenomenon - they taste of less, have more artificial stuff in, and I don't want my weight loss to be based on eating cotton-wool versions of what I used to eat. Instead, I make an effort to use proper fresh produce, or "real" products, but added in moderation and appreciated in full. However, there are some things like cream to go in fish pie, where I don't mind a sneaky substitution.

I was fancying pasta or gnocchi by the time I got home, and also fancying a mushroom sauce on top - creamy and extra mushroomy - so I did a little experimenting. I did a big heap of mushrooms, some onion and garlic and sauteed it slowly in a frying pan on a medium heat (I use a little real olive oil sprayed on the pan, and then top up with water to stop it sticking - much prefer it to low-fat sprays). Once it was going golden, I lobbed in a generous sprinkling of tarragon and about half a vegetable stock cube, and then a generous dollop of Philadelphia Extra Light (one of my fridge staples, and general all-purpose life-savers!) and a big tablespoon of the Presidente. A bit of freshly ground salt and pepper (I don't know what I'd do with out my grinders - cry probably) and then whilst the gnocchi was on the other hob simmering for a few minutes, I lobbed in two massive handfuls of baby spinach to wilt.

Oh. My. God. Sooooooooo good. A big plate of creamy, mushroomy heaven!

I was meant to have been going to gym after dinner for my next gym challenge training session. It didn't happen, and I'm gutted I've had to miss one. However, whilst I doing my food shopping I noticed that my ankle was starting to feel really tight and tired and a little bit cramp-y. By the time I headed to the tills, I wasn't really able to walk properly and was just kind of gingerly shuffling along, and carrying everything up to the flat hurt. I therefore made the executive decision to rest it last night, and not risk antagonising anything.

I've been noticing a slight pinching sensation in my lower left back, right where my back meets my buttock for most of the week, but haven't really thought about it. I spoke to my physio last night (a scheduled call) and she said that walking on the hills at the weekend is probably the cause and that's what's aggravating my muscles. I've tentatively booked an appointment for tomorrow evening, with instructions to only go if I need it. It was sore again this morning but does feel a bit better now.

Mind you - if I hadn't gone walking - look at the views I'd have missed:

Walking with Hannah:

Ah well - I ended up spending last night splatted out on the sofa just relaxing - points saved but no exercise. And I'm not going to do any more until this has settled back down again .... *sigh*.

On a completely different note, I have a real hankering to buy a spin bike for the flat, so I can be doing something at home on nights when I can't be arsed, or don't have time to make the gym. I don't know whether it would be a complete waste of money though, given that I don't have a particularly big flat, and I know what I'm like with buying equipment to use at home .... a.k.a a complete waste of money as I never make use of it!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Changing the plan

I've decided to change my weigh in day to a Friday for a bit as an experiment.


I'll explain.

Every week my eating falls into a set pattern: during the week I eat pretty clean. I cook my dinners, mostly from scratch, I eat breakfast and a proper lunch, and I have snacks to keep my metabolism boosted. I get some fruit and veg, and I drink plenty of fluids. I also get some exercise. My weekends then fall into one of 3 categories:
  1. It's a really quiet weekend, and my eating's the same as during the week. Clean.
  2. It's a normal weekend - I do a bit of planning, but it's a little bit more fluid than during the week. I'll stick to my points, prob including any saved points from during the week, but I might eat out, which will be added sodium and MSG (doesn't particularly agree with me). Not as clean as during the week, but not overly bad.
  3. All hell breaks loose, and I go massively over points somewhere along the line. My eating is in no way clean, I've probably not drunk enough (or too much of the wrong stuff), and I know I'm on track for a gain. There's no point even trying to regain the points I've gone over, so I just switch to sticking to points for the remaining days till weigh in.

Very occasionally, scenario 4 occurs:

  • Sue is broken. I've gone so far over the line, that the line is a distant memory, just a pinprick on the horizon, and I just give up trying to point it, as I don't have that many fingers and toes (I'm an accountant, and it's a well known fact that we can't count very well). All damage control measures are thrown out of the pram along with the toys. I stop caring, until after weigh in. When I care very much.

With all that in mind, weighing in on a Monday is a bit of a traumatic experience, because I never know how the weekend is going to have affected all the groundwork that I layed the previous week.

Ultimately, of course, the groundwork still counts, and in the grand scheme of things, I still lose the same amount of weight over the long run. But how often have I bemoaned the fact, that if I was just weighing in a couple of days later, my weight wouldn't be fluctuating so much.

Well, call me slow, but it's just occurred to me, that I don't have to weigh in on a Monday if I don't want to. So I'm going to move my weigh in day as far away from the weekend as possibe - et voila - we end up on Friday.

(See how I've neatly cycled back to the beginning - beautiful. Unless, you're one of those impatient types who wanted me to actually make my point quickly, in which case my friend, you are on the wrong blog entirely!!)

So there we have it - it's not going to make me lose weight quicker, I'm not that deluded, but it might help me avoid the traumatic peaks and troughs, and make better sense of what I can get away with, and what is genuinely too much.

That said - moving my weigh in day has meant that I have inadvertantly bought last weekend's excesses into this week - oh goody! I've somehow got rid of about 8 points of my deficit already, but I've still got another 11.5 to get rid of.

I optimistically booked myself in for Body Combat last night whilst I was at the gym, but I now realise that I'm still far too stiff to attempt it. I desperately want to know how much longer all these twinges can last for, because my stretches don't seem to be making much difference. Think I'm going to have to back as see my physio again, and hope and pray that she says it will fix itself. Preferably without me having to take 1 or 2 complete weeks of exercise. And definitely before windsurfing in just under 4 weeks. Getting a leeeeeeetle bit worried about it now!!

Monday, 12 October 2009


1 lb on. I'm not happy, not happy at all. Mostly, I'm frustrated that it's up this morning, after Friday's excesses, when it had got to a new all time low on Friday morning. I'm frustrated that I can't keep a lid on my socialising, unless I'm actively planning - just winging it doesn't seem to work for me.

You know what I hate the most though? I hate having to come on here and 'fess up that I've screwed up again. Hate it, and I'm always so sorely tempted to just not post my weigh in, or at least weight until I've got past it. Just gloss over it, and pretend it didn't happen. I love reporting the victories, but I got to tell you reporting the fuck ups is just depressing.

I have got to get a good week in this week. The next couple of weeks are relatively quiet, or at least, as quiet as my weeks ever get, which means there'll be dinner with friends and visits to the pub, etc. However, there's nothing outrageously difficult to negotiate past and I'm expecting to do my regular exercise sessions, so there's no excuse to not get some good losses in.

I need to kick my ass back into doing what it should be doing, as the only redeeming point about this weekend, was that I didn't allow Friday's indiscretion to continue over into Saturday and Sunday, and worked to balance those days with the activity points I earned.

I've got a few tight muscles this morning, as they're definitely kranking up the effort in Sunday circuits, but I'll be spinning as usual this evening. Really hoping that I'll feel up to getting back to Body Combat on Thursday this week, but I'll see how that goes, as I'd like to get some running in too.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Birthday Celebrations (just not mine)

It's been a pretty intense weekend - hence the lack of blogging since sometime Friday.

There's been a lot of friends around, and much stuff happening, including eating, drinking and walking. A hell of a lot of all 3 in fact.

My original prediction was that Friday would be fine, Sat would be difficult and back to normal today. Friday turned out to be a foody fuck up - I overslept, got to work, and therefore finished work, late, had to do some shopping, and therefore didn't eat lunch til gone 4. I was therefore wide open to the temptation of home-made pizza, and wine, and cheese and biscuits which the boys plied me with. I ended up eating pretty much a whole day's worth of extra food - not clever, and also discovered that if you don't drink for a while, 4 drinks will get you pretty much battered.

Saturday, I walked all over the shop. The main walking party set off early in the morning as planned - I listened to them leaving from my lovely warm bed (with my lovely warm hangover - ugh). I got up at a much more reasonable hour, drove part way up and strolled along the hills for an hour to meet them at a hotel for lunch. Had a lovely (and sensible) lunch of jacket potato with tuna and lime mayo, and then we strolled back along the hills to my car .......


Arrrrrrrrrrgh - just remembered that my car is still up on the hills!!! Gaaaaaaah!

*runs off next door to beg one of the boys to give me a lift up to get my car back .... not going to be getting to work in the morning otherwise - stupid, stupid girl. Right, where was I?*

....... oh yes, whilst the others continued on a further walk up and over the Beacon, and on to the pub, I took a detour, and walked down into town to go and meet my friend Katherine for a quick coffee. She lives up in York normally, so I don't get to see her very often, so I grab my chances when I can - even if that is mid-birthday celebrations.

On the walk back down, I found myself going in the opposite direction to the annual Beacon Race, as around 200 runners stormed up the path towards me. Sod's Law is that you always meet them at the narrowest point on the path isn't it?? Anyway, once I'd safely negotiated them without tripping anyone up / slowing anyone down, I spent a very nice hour in the coffee shop gossiping. Another healthy choice of a fruit smoothie and no cake. Then walk up to the pub to catch up with the others - stick to the diet cokes, especially after this morning's hangover. Sometime later, saunter back to the flat (I opted for a further walk with the boys, rather than hitching a lift back like the girls from a friend with a car).

Just time to crash for 5 mins, then have a shower and glam up (sorry, forgot to take a photo) and headed out for dinner. Dinner was at a very posh Indian restaurant, but I think I just about safely negotiated it, by ordering a little of what I wanted, but then not finishing anything. It was lovely, but there wasn't any necessity to lick the plates clean.

Finally, there was some drunken stumbling back to the flat, where some genius got the Jenga out, and increasingly drunkenly complex rules were put into play, culminating in the famous Toe Jenga (not advised for those of us wearing very short skirts, so I stayed out of that round).

Another late finish, another wooly head this morning, and I spent most of the day crashed on the sofas next door with the other survivors. I seem to have eaten a lot of cake and biscuit today, but not much in the way of normal food, until I got off my ass and did a butternut squash risotto for tea. Luckily Weight Watchers allows for cake days, as long as you eat in moderation, which I did.

I also dragged myself off to circuits during late afternoon (brutal and ouch) and then we watched bad films. Oh yes, and the aforementioned late night car rescue dash.

God only knows what the scales tomorrow will say!

Friday, 9 October 2009


Yaaaay - bit of a victory to report!!!

About 2 years ago I bought the most beautiful pair of long boots. I verge on having an obsession with long boots, I have to admit - I wear them a lot of the time - flat, heeled, casual, smart, with skirts or with tucked in jeans - I love 'em. However long boots are not kind to those blessed with anything less or more than the "average" calf size.

So anyway - I saw these boots online and had to have them (plus they were in the sale), so I bought them and crossed my fingers that they would fit.

They didn't.

Don't ask me why, but I was far to stubborn to send them back. Since they were good quality leather I thought that I'd prob get them stretched to fit, and I was prepared to pay to get it done properly. Story of my life though and I never got round to it. They've sat quietly in the back of my wardrobe for 2 years - occasionally pulled out and wistfully tried on, in the hope that they might have miraculously stretched to fit all on their own, which unsurprisingly, never happened.

When I started losing weight this year, I'd try them on every so often, to see if they might be any closer to fitting. Lo and behold - in a complete clothing crisis this morning (one of those days when nothing looked right) I grabbed them out the wardrobe in a fit of desperation - not only did they fit, but they slid right on over the skinny jeans I had on (shame the skinny jeans are looking a bit baggy, but that's another story).

I love days like today. I've had several people tell me how gorgeous they are already this morning :O)

Other than that, I'm on plan. I made a last minute decision last night to go and see Julie and Julia at the cinema last night with Bec. It was a really sweet film and I'd saved my afternoon chocolate bar to take to the cinema for a little treat. We wandered round to the boy's flat afterwards to say hi, and stayed to play some Worms on the PS3 (oh yes, we are mature). I fully resisted the bag of giant cookies on the coffee table, and all offers of a G & T. Feeling strong!

On the other hand, my hip's grumbling a bit after the run on Wednesday night, and I was sneezing so violently last night that it was pulling on all my leg muscles quite painfully. Baaaah - I hate colds!!

Feeling a bit more human today, although still feeling rather unattractively phlegmy / snotty - not great timing, as I've just found out that there's a guy I rather like who I'll be seeing this evening - aaaaaaaarghh!!! Not that he's particularly interested in me (at least I don't think so), but you know, it's still nice to be able to make a good impression lol.

Ok - girly moment over with - you didn't see it, it didn't happen, and if you tell anyone, I'll have to hunt you down!!

Just saying :O)

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Return to Running

Morning troops,

How's it going? Are you being good? I do hope so!

Pounding the pavements ...

As you may have guessed from the title, I'm glad to be able to report that I finally made a welcome return to running last night. I hadn't originally intended to actually run properly when I set out, but it felt fairly comfortable so I just went where it took me. I didn't push myself, so I took short walking breaks far more often than I normally would, but my intended 20 min route turned into a 30 min route and I felt fine. In fact, even with the frequent breaks, I was barely slower than I usually am (which prob says more about my usual running pace than anything else lol).

I have to say though - sometime between my last run (sometime back in early September) and last night, it got bloody freezing out there!!! I remember running in a vest last time and being quite hot, but last night was chilly, even with my Technicals fleece chucked over the top. Time to start thinking about a few key pieces of winter clothing I think!! Mind you, I don't think it helped that my beloved fleece is now too big - turns out they're not nearly as warm when the wind can just whistle straight up the hem! I've spent a bit of time this morning looking at tights and soft-shells / winter jackets for running / biking.

Anyway, it was really nice to be out - I was lucky that I caught it while it was still light, although my whole route is lit anyway. Everything looked really different from last time, as my route is mostly on tree-lined streets and all the colours have changed, plus having to skirt round (or kick through!) huge piles of leaves! Oh, and Tricia was right - for the length of my run, my cold seemed to disappear - my nose miraculously unblocked, and I stopped coughing and sneezing. It came back later but at least it was a bit of a respite.

Still snotty ...

Otherwise, the cold continues full force. I can't smell anything, and my sense of taste has pretty much abandoned me, and my hearing feels a bit muffled - basically I'm feeling a bit like somebody hit the mute button on my world! Still really hungry and sleepy, but still on plan (go me!!). Mind you - eating stuff when you can't taste it isn't really that satisfying - I had porridge with cinnamon in this morning - a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, and I couldn't taste (or smell) it at all!!!

Measurements update ....

I talked sometime earlier this week about weighing in at the midpoint of the challenge but not having lost anything as yet. As we all know though, the scales telleth not the whole story - Syl more than proved that point with her 30 Day Shred Challenge in September (bloody amazing results they were too!). So this morning, out of curiosity, I whipped out the tape measure as I was getting ready. I decided at the start of the challenge, that I should chart my progress in more than just one way, so I took my measurements, even though I didn't publish them on here. The plan is to do a full round-up at the end (another 3 weeks yet). But I felt like I needed a little extra encouragement, and I have it. I'll not put the results up til the end, but suffice to say that in the first 3 weeks, I have lost some inches - yay!

I'm planning on having a nice quiet evening in tonight - no exercise, just a bit of pampering for me. I've worked out hard the last 4 nights in a row, so I think a rest would be good. Hopefully, by this time next week, I might be able to think about going back to Body Combat class - can't wait!!!

I'll leave you with this perfect example of my complete inability to plan my own social life - I realised last night that I have managed to book gig tickets to go and see Paramore in Birmingham with Bridget for the same night as my office Christmas party in Cheltenham. What a total idiot!! No idea what to do as I really want to do both things! Genius, I tell you!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Just call me Snotty McSnotterson!

Oh yes indeedy - the cold has arrived. Yesterday's sore and raw throat has vanished miraculously overnight, and in it's place is about 3 tonnes of snot and a rather attractive tickly cough with occasional added chesty rattle.


My appetite has returned with a vengeance, with the appearance of all the snot, and I can't quite get enough to eat at the moment. This meant another day yesterday of eating all my activity points in addition to my daily points, especially as I inexplicably got starving hungry after the gym last night. I haven't gone over my points though, which I'm pleased about.

Since the cold hasn't completely incapacitated me (yet), I'm just concentrating on staying healthy. I went to my usual gym training session last night, where we did intervals on the spin bikes for about an hour (including warm ups and cool downs). Quite fun, and burned another 400 calories. I also had a weigh in for the half-way point of the gym challenge. Bizarrely all my measurements were exactly the same as my initial ones - including my hydration levels, which is a bit freaky.

Ok, so this also means that my weight isn't showing as having dropped at all, but I'm not too worried as the initial weigh in was mid-afternoon when I'd only had one meal for the day, a good 3 hours before the session, and this one was a late evening, when I'd just demolished a huge bowl of (homemade) soup about an hour before. I'm confident that there will be movement by the end of the challenge, and I'm quite tempted to ask Mark to re-weigh me before Sunday's session for something more comparable.

My plan this evening is to stay away from the gym, and the intense exercise, and to go out for just a 30 min walk when I get home from work. Two reasons for this: 1) I need the fresh air - I've pretty much moved from flat, to car, to gym the past couple of days and I feel like I need to blow out the cobwebs. 2) The muscles I use for walking need to get back in use - it's all very well going to the gym, but it's not using my everyday muscles which are still a bit tight. I'm going to put my usual running gear on to go out - partly because my trainers have my custom insoles which will help keep my sore ankle correctly aligned and help my posture, and partly because if I feel ready I might incorporate some very short jogging sections into my walk. We'll see how it goes.

After that, Bridget's coming round for the evening for dinner and girly tv - yay!!! :o)

I am determined to behave this week and see a decent loss at the scales - I've had two hard days with me feeling a bit off, but I'm still sticking to my points, and Tricia made a very good point on her post yesterday talking about how exercise can have a positive effect in counteracting feeling ill, so there's no need for me to give up and go and sit in a snotty sulk. I want this loss.

p.s. if you not seen Tricia's blog, she's pretty new to the scene, but she's also pretty awesome - she's lost a ton of weight already and has come to the blogging scene with that under her belt and a whole lot of tales to tell and advice to give. Great stuff.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Aaaaaaaaaah Factor

Oh god - I've just totally remembered something that I meant to put in my earlier post and completely forgot about!!

There's a new woman in our spin class - a bit older, I'd say in her later 40's or more likely early 50's.

Well, I was on the bike next to her last night, and after the first sprint track (2nd track over all), I was suddenly very distracted by the sounds of moans coming from the next bike. I'm talking, the sort of moans, where you think oooops, I've interrupted something here, and turn and walk quickly and quietly away.

Every exhalation, another moan. I glanced over at the woman next to me - looks normal, but it's definitely her making the noise as she's catching her breath.

Everything quietens down, and then we do some more sprints ...... aaaaaaaaah, pause, aaaaaaaaaah, pause, aaaaaaaaaah, pause .... over and over again.

I looked around the circle, but nobody else seems to have noticed.

Aaaaaaaaaah, pause, aaaaaaaaaaah, pause .....

I catch our instructor Tim's eye, and can see he's trying to keep a straight face (not that you'd notice, since he's always grinning insanely or laughing at something). Turn away, and try not to laugh too.

Aaaaaaaaaaaah, pause, aaaaaaaaah, pause, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah ......

Phew - she's caught her breath.

Until the next set of sprints or climbs ... which y'know, are kind of often in spin.

Spin class with added orgasmic soundtrack .... it's just disturbing!!!

Feeling bleck!

Yep - you heard me .... I'm just not feeling that great today. I suspect, I'm coming down with a cold, but it's so long since I last had one, that it's hard to remember how it starts!

I was hungry all day yesterday, and started to develop a tickly throat. By this morning that had moved from tickly to sore. I'm a bit sniffly, my head aches intermittently (although not badly), and I just generally feel lethargic today. My appetite's gone down again, probably partly due to the fact that eating or drinking is just uncomfortable now on my raw throat. Still, not a lot I can do - either it will go away again, or it'll get worse - and deal with that if and when it happens.

I went to spin last night, and prob pushed myself harder than was wise, as I came off feeling rather achey. Note to self - never take the piss out the instructor for not having enough resistance on his bike, as he will make you swap bikes with him to prove a point. And then you have to finish the rest of the track without sitting down, as he's about 6ft and I couldn't sit on the saddle and reach the peddles on his bike. D'oh!! Although I still maintain that he was totally slacking on the resistance!

Frustratingly, I had my heart-rate monitor on, but it kept turning itself off during the class, whenever my wrists were bent back at an acute angle (during things like press-ups), so when I got the summary at the end, it was only reading an average heart-rate of 135 and 296 cals for the session, which is way out. Think I'm going to have to start wearing the wrist unit with the face on the inside of my wrist to avoid accidentally switching it off. Does anyone else have this problem??

I had physio straight after spin (and a much-needed shower) - same routine as last week - some manipulation, sports massage and ultra-sound. We talked through movements I'm still struggling with (mostly anything requiring any back extension or outward hip rotation on the left) and what I could do to combat that. The verdict now is that she expects me to be more or less back to normal in another week's time, so I've just got to ring her next Monday and let her know if I'm still struggling.

Due to yesterday's revved up appetite, I ate all my activity points for the day, but managed to stop there, so that's not too bad. I'd love to see a good 2lb loss this week, to take me past my 50lbs lost, and put me on track for my target of half a stone off for Egypt in 5 weeks. It's funny because I keep finding myself mentally counting down to goal at the moment ... you know the sort of thing: once I've lost this next stone, there's only 7 more lbs to go. It's tantalisingly close, but I'm trying hard not to get impatient, as I suspect this last bit might be a bit of a slow slog. I also suspect that I might move the goal posts when I get there, and start a kind of Phase 2. I've suspected this for a while.

When I was at 16 and a half stone, the concept of getting to 11 and a half seemed impossible - I wasn't sure there was enough on me to lose. Now I'm so much closer, I can see that I've still got tons I can lose. I'm going to be incredibly proud to get to that first goal, and I definitely don't want to move the goal posts before I get there, as I think I need to see how I feel at that point. I need to find a balance between reaching a point where I'm happy and proud of what I've done, and avoiding getting caught up in my never-ending perfectionist expectations. It's in my nature to never stop and appreciate one achivement before I start finding things wrong with it, and decide there's something better I want. I live in a world where there's always something bigger, and better and shinier on the horizon to aim for, and sometimes that leaves you never satisfied and finding it hard to compromise.

Whoooo - this is getting deep!!

Back to normal stuff - I've got an interval training session at the gym tonight (eeeeeeek!), and a pile of laundry and washing up (not the same pile though, that would just be weird) that I need to sort, so I guess that will keep me busy!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Weigh ins and weekends

Morning, morning, morning!!

How's it all going, comrades?


I hope so!

Weigh in this morning, and I'm down a lb. It's not much, especially since I put on half a lb last week, but on the upside it does take me (just, by the skin of my teeth) into the 12 stone bracket. Oh yes, I have finally, officially, made it below 13 stone.


I'm a little bit sad it wasn't more this week, but the scales have just been very slow to move anywhere. In fact, until this morning, I wasn't sure they were going to move at all, so I'll take what I can get!

Also rather pleasing is the fact that I couldn't find any clean pairs of suze 16 work trousers this morning, so I had to resort to the size 14's that have been hung on my wardrobe for the past couple of weeks, and they pretty much fit. Whoop!

So what have I been up to since we last spoke?

Well, I spent Friday night with my friends Bridget, Tim and Jo enjoying a very relaxed night in. We played a bit of Guitar Hero and chatted a lot, and it was generally nice and chilled out.

Saturday day was also nice and easy ... I slept in and then pottered into town to get a wedding card and have a little browse of the shops. What was nice, was this was the first time I've felt comfortable enough to walk into and around town since my back went again, without being worried that I'd put myself in a lot of pain. Baby steps, but steps none the less.

Sat evening was the wedding of my friends Dan and Emma, and it was a gorgeous evening. They got married at a beautiful barn conversion in the country-side, and when we turned up for the evening it was all softly lit with fairly lights and looked stunning. It was a great evening, and Emma and Dan just looked so happy that it was utterly infectious. The evning passed in a blur of friends, celebrating and dancing. Even better - it wasn't a complete killer points-wise as I'd eaten lightly during the day and decided not to drink for the event. I ended up with 1 and a half (I split the second one with Sid) rolls from the hog roast (soooo tastey!) and a slice of wedding cake, and then I went and danced for over an hour, so it was guilt free too. I haven't seen any photos from the evening yet, but I'll put some up here when I do.

After my late night on Sat, I just had a really long, lazy lie-in yesterday before getting up and pottering around the flat. I had circuits yesterday afternoon and they are definitely starting to ramp up the effort required now. I found the first couple of sessions relatively non-taxing, even with injuries, but yesterday's definitely required some effort.

They'd got it layed out with two circuits down each side of the studio, set up in pairs of antagonistic exercises (so bicep curls followed by tricep dips - that kind of thing) focusing on legs, arms, abs and upper body, and then two cardio zones at either end of the gym. So my circuit was 15 mins spinning, then 8 stations - first 4 for 60 secs work, 60 secs rest, then repeat for 45 secs work, 45 secs rest, then 15 mins rowing on the ergos, and the 4 stations on the other side of the room for 2 sets. By the end of the session my heart rate monitor was saying 145 bpm average over the hour, maxed out at 181 (which I happen to know was on the rower). Oh, and I've got some achey triceps today!

After circuits, I headed back round to Bridget's for more chilling out. I was a bit cheeky, as she'd been baking all afternoon, so I subsitituted a proper tea for two pieces of cake. Perhaps not the most balanced way to do WW's but it seems to have worked. Plus, I'm not too worried as I had an extra healthy lunch of baked salmon fillet, wholewheat couscous and loads of green veggies yesterday.

So, that was my weekend, and I'm back to work today .... booooooooooo! The next week is going to be interesting as I've had to redo my points quiz on WW's and have now lost another point - eeek!! Tonight I'm heading spinning, and then for more physio afterwards. Hopefully, that will clear up a few more aches and pains! Fingers crossed.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Haircuts and heart rate monitors

Wooohooooo - it's Friiiiiidaaaaaaay!!


Well, thank god for that, because frankly, it's been a long and tiresome week at work!! It's funny how you feel much better once you've left the office for the week, been home and had some lunch and then had a bit of pampering at the hairdressers. I'm now sporting some ultra-big, glam-style hair (that'll last as long as the next shower!), which I think looks rather nice!

What's been extra nice today is I've had loads of compliments on both my weight loss and my clothes - I do soooooo love it when that happens. I am fabulous after all lol.

Friday's are always a bit funny for me, as I only work 5 hours, so don't have a lunchbreak. So I always end up snacking my way through the morning but missing out on lunch - apart from the very few weeks when I'm organised enough to remember to take something with me. Ah well, no harm done!

I'm looking forward to spending time with friends tonight - we're all feeling pretty poor at the moment after booking holidays and other such stuff, so we're having a fun night in with the Wii - we'll be rocking out with a bit of guitar hero I reckon!

New Toys - Revisited

My shiny new Polar F6 hear rate monitor arrived today ... it was there to greet me on the front doorstep when I got home.

Yes, of course I ripped the box open and started playing pretty much straight away. So I now know I have a resting heart rate of around 60. I think that's quite good so I'm pretty pleased. Can't wait to test this baby out .... guess it'll have to wait til Sunday's circuits though, as I've got stuff I've got to sort tomorrow during the day before the wedding in the evening.

Broken ... And Then At Least Partly Fixed

I had my first session with Kate, my physio, last night. Yikes, that woman can be brutal sometimes. It's a little disturbing lying face down on the table, mid-conversation, when your back suddenly gets pounded so hard it cracks audibly and you come to an abrupt halt mid-word! Just started talking again, and another thump / crack. Maybe she just wanted to shut me up???

After 45 mins of sports massage, work with some weird vibration massager that feels like an excrutiating mix of pleasure / pain when you hit a really tense spot (like pushing on a sore muscle the morning after a hard work out - it's on the border of pain, but oddly satisfying - then magnify by about 20), and finally ultra-sound with freeze gel, I wearily dragged myself off the table. But I feel a million times better today.

My walking's looser today, and I can tell that the niggles I've got now are just where I've not been using muscles for a couple of weeks. Kate reckons it's exactly what I had in January again, and nothing worse.

Basically, what came out though, is that I'm an impatient sod, and I can't expect it to just heal itself up instantly. When I said about the doctor / NHS physio telling me to get back to my normal routine as soon as possible, Kate just looked at me, pretty much rolled her eyes, and said "they didn't mean your normal routine though!!!" Apparently, they just meant going to work etc, not running, spinning, blah, blah, blah. So I've got to allow myself another couple of weeks to heal properly, before I can expect to get fully back up to speed. Grrrrrr.

Right, well I'm off to grab some food before I head out for the evening. Have a great weekend all! xx

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Keeping it balanced

Hey guys,

Can you believe it's Thursday already??? I mean, seriously, where does the time go? I'm back with the plan today ... in fact I've had such a busy morning, when I didn't have any time to eat at all, that I've just been able to have a luxury lunch of panini and Tyrells crisps and a bit of me-time in a coffee shop ... mmmmmm! Feeling a lot less stressed now I've stepped away from my desk for an hour!

The Importance of Being Nutritionally Balanced

One thing I forgot to talk about yesterday was my nutrition report, which I got back from the gym on Tuesday. I was super excited by this, because as it turns out ......


Oh yes, I am! I was reading it at the gym with a big grin on my face, because the basic gist of the report was keep doing exactly what you're doing now. Sweeeeeeeet!

For the week they reviewed - which was in fact one of my less brilliant weeks because it was the week I was stuck at home with a completely caned back and hip - I was bang on an adjusted calorie target of 500 under basal metabolic rate. Their target was a daily allowance of 1437, and I was averaging 1407. Booyaka!!

My carbs were at 99% of my suggested RDA - whooop! My proteins were a touch over, my fibre intake a touch under - just need to balance those a bit. My sat fats were under, which is definitely good, my trans fats were a bit over. That last one's something to watch as trans fats are the really nasty ones - however I take comfort in the fact that I was eating much less fresh, home-cooked food that week and more prepared stuff from the supermarket / takeaway - so that explains that - I suspect on a normal week, my trans fats would be quite a bit lower.

Basically though, I've arrived at a place where I eat a nutritionally balanced diet, even on an off week. Awesome job, Sue!! I shall now perform that lesser known manoeuvre - the pat on your own back.

Cheat days

I'm intrigued by this, as I know quite a few people have cheat days after weigh in, and the lovely Lindsay was talking about it earlier.

Now I understand the concept of the cheat day, but I have to admit, it's just not for me. I can't imagine having free-reign over what I eat, for a period each week, and not having to pay attention to the points, because I'd certainly have to pay the consequences on the scales.

I think the problem is that I'm far too logical. Throughout a normal week (we'll ignore holidays or special occasions, because they're a bit different), I approach the whole WW's thing in a very logical manner. Generally, I look at each piece of food and decide whether I want it based on it's impact on my numbers for the day vs. the gratification I'll get. Basically the outcome is how much I want it - and if I really want it, then I'll have it, and work around it.

The outcome of that is that I get everything I want throughout the week. And I decide everything else is just too high a cost for what it is, and I'm not bothered about it.

So here's the thing - why would I then have a cheat day? There's nothing I can't have at any other time during the week. And if I didn't want it then; if I didn't consider it worthy enough of my points on a normal day - why would I suddenly want to eat it on a "cheat day".

The concept of a cheat day kind of feels like going to a shop in a sale and buying everything just because it's a bargain .... whether or not I actually genuinely wanted it before it was a bargain. All you end up with is a load of stuff you didn't really need, and the cost usually adds up to be far more expensive that you'd intended - far more expensive than if you'd just bought the one or two items you actually needed / wanted at full price. Do you see where I'm going with this? A cheat day, for me, just seems like an excuse to eat a load of stuff I don't really want, just because I can.

On the flip-side I can understand that those people who have cheat days are quite possibly much stricter than I am during the rest of the week and need to blow off steam sometimes .... I just don't think I could function like that.

Do you guys have cheat days? Or even cheat meals?

And how do you cope with the constant switching on and off of your point-counting brain? I find mine's pretty much constantly switched on, even when I'm on holiday, or supposedly off plan for some reason - I just can't forget the numbers (even if I then choose to ignore them lol).

Overall, what I discovered, thinking about cheat days, is that I've been doing this so long, that I don't need a day off as I've just fallen into a pattern. I have what I need as I go along, and just try and balance any splurges . Every couple of weeks, I relax up a bit, last week was one, but I never think of giving up on the plan altogether, and that's just how it works out for me.

What I really discovered though, is that I'm happy now with how I eat. And that kinda feels really nice.