Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Back to the grindstone

Yep - it's time to put my nose back to the grindstone, in more ways than one.

Not only am I back at work today (oh yeah, let me hear a big fat booooooo! about that), but it's high time the healthy eating resumed on a proper basis.

Christmas has been a bit odd this year because, as you may have read, I got food-poisoning. The end result of that was that ate pretty much nothing on Christmas Day and was pretty ill to boot, didn't eat a hell of a lot on Boxing Day, but then Sunday I was at a friend's family Xmas party pretty much all day and night and was surrounded by a plethora of amazing food. I didn't start too badly, and I was conscious all along of how much I ate, but perhaps inevitably I was a fair way over on points. I say inevitably because if you'd missed your entire Christmas lunch and tea, and had barely eaten for 2 days you'd have given yourself a bit of leeway too! Didn't drink much though and certainly didn't eat as much as I could have done.

Yesterday morning we had a post-party full English breakfast - I had one small bit of everything and left it at that - and then I was off into town to meet a bunch of old school-friends for lunch. It was great to see everyone, as I don't get to see them at all often since they're so scattered these days, although I didn't have as much time as I'd have liked as I had to bolt off to my opticians straight afterwards.

On a side-note - can I just say my opticians are absolutely useless buggers!!!! I had new lenses fitted a month ago and I've been really struggling with them and couldn't focus properly on stuff. They did a full check yesterday to see what was wrong and it turned out they'd only managed to mix up my prescriptions so they'd had me wearing my right lens in my left eye and vice versa for a month. Idiots!!!

Weight-wise, I lost quite a lot with the food-poisoning and was down at about 12st 2lbs from about 12st 9lbs. Following the two day binge of Sunday and Monday I was back at 12st 6.5lbs, but I reckon it should stabilise a little lower than that now I'm eating normally again. I'll do a proper weigh-in before New Year and let you know where I finish!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 25 December 2009

The sandwich that ruined Chrstmas

Guys - I tell you - Santa bought me the ultimate dieter's gift that keeps on giving this year!! Forget the Wii Fit Plus that my Dad bought me - this was the present that answers all a dieter's prayers. Have you guessed what it is yet?

Well have you?

Oh yes - Santa ... well, he bought me food poisoning. Gee thanks, Santa, you are tooooo kind!!!

Let me just explain the benefits of food poisoning to the dieter. What are the two things all dieters pray for at Christmas?

1. Some iron self-will so that they can make it through the days without completely derailing the old dieting wagon.
2. Spontaneous loss of those pesky extra lbs to make it to their end of year goals in one piece.

Thanks to Santa, I'm two for two on those wishes this year. I'm so nauseous I can't touch food - and in fact couldn't be in the same room as the turkey and had to run away to be sick. Again. And with my body's total rejection of all that was removable from it, I can safely say that the scales have moved heavily in my favour today. About half a stone in my favour when I looked several hours ago.

Santa, dude, you outdid yourself this year!!!

And if you haven't spotted the sarcasm yet, I'll come and hit you ... when I have any strength to get out of my bed.

The worst thing is I think this is self-inflicted. I was in a rush last night between getting back from lunch with friends and shooting out for drinks with old schoolmates, and I made myself a quick chicken wrap. I remember glancing at the date on the chicken and thinking it was a day or two past its display date but that it would be fine. I drenched it in sweet chilli sauce and wolfed it down. It wasn't til this morning that I realised that the date had said the 16th December - I don't know what date I thought it was yesterday but I seriously didn't twig that it was over a week out of date.

I'm feeling pretty guilty amongst other things because I'm staying at Dad's for the weekend, so not only was I not able to cook the lunch, which is my contribution to the day (and Dad has had to do as well as running out to do the 2 hour round trip to collect my grandma) but Dad's been running up and down the stairs every hour or so to check on me. He's a superstar.

So that's been my day - numerous sprints to the bathroom, lying in bed sleeping or feeling horrible, and nearly passing out earlier as I staggered back to bed.

I've now managed to sip about half a can of Coke (figured I needed the caffeine and sugar after the near-fainting) and I've nibbled about 3/4's of a Nice biscuit. That's it. I haven't opened my presents, seen my grandma or wrapped Dad's presents so he can have them.

I think we can safely say Xmas has been a write-off this year. I hope yours have been fab and you've faired better and had a great day! X

-- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 24 December 2009

I found another way not to diet.

Oh deary me - I'm just not very on the ball at the moment. I made it through yesterday without taking any damage from the gauntlet of sweets at work and then promptly fucked it up in the evening.

The snow finally arrived for us yesterday night - so I left work early and swung by the retail park on the way home to pick up de-icer and screenwash for the car. And some warn pyjamas for Xmas and skiing. Since I was already in M & S for the pj's, I ducked into the food hall to pick up a few extra provisions in case of it being an impromptu snow day today. Salad. Fine. Some croutons - checked the nutritional info - fine. A small snack pack of savoury Xmas treats, a slice of Xmas cheesecake and a little box of 6 chocolates .... errrmmm ... would be fine if I didn't consume the cheesecake, chocolates and half the snack pack in one go after my dinner. FOOL!!

I feel pretty gross today. So, in the interests of being festively positive what have I learned?

1. I only ate half the snack pack - I knew I didn't want or need all of it with tea, so I stopped.

2. The cheesecake was ok, but actually it wasn't spectacular. I should have stopped when I realised this half-way through the slice. I felt guilty and annoyed afterwards. I know that that having the cheesecake wasn't better than having that disappointed feeling. I already knew that halfway through the slice. Everytime this happens and I acknowledge that feeling I find the balance tipping slowly towards the not-eating side. In the beginning I didn't think til afterwards. Then I started to have vague thoughts which I'd discard in order to continue eating. Now I full-on stop and waver before continuing, or sometimes I actually stop. In time I'll win this battle with my fear of not finishing things. There's no shame in throwing away food that you don't really want. There's no waste in not clearing your plate if you're not hungry or don't really like something. And if you do like it, but you're full, it's not going to magically disappear from the fridge when you're not looking. My brain knows this - my body is slowly learning to listen.

3. Those chocolates were gorgeous but rich. Oh so rich. I should have saved half for tonight.

I've payed for my indiscretion on the scale this morning. I know it's temporary, no-one can gain 2lbs of fat overnight. I want to be disappointed, but I shall look at the positives above instead. Someone yesterday was talking about Thomas Eddison's quote regarding his invention of the lightbulb - "I didn't fail to make a lightbulb a 1000 times, I just found a 1000 ways not to make a lightbulb". I think we can safely say that I found another couple of ways not to eat healthily for life last night. Habits that still need to be dissolved.

The only good thing about the times I trip up like last night? I wake up in the morning with a sour stomach and a refreshed sense of purpose. I had beans on toast for breakfast and bought fruit on the way to work this morning. Wish me luck for lunch out later!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


I think I am one of the few people who actually looks forward to the holiday weekend from a diet point of view. Yes, I am indeed a total freak. I'm sure this merely confirms the suspicions you already had!

See - when I'm home, I'm generally well behaved. On the basis that I can't eat what I don't have - I'm safe. I don't keep crap in the house - that's temptation I don't need, and I've got a handle on the tin of homemade cookies from the other week - I might have one or two but I don't binge.

But when I'm at work it's another story. A very different one. The people I work with LOVE having treats in the office. And that's just during the rest of the year - at Christmas they just go nuts. Today there are 3 or 4 separate boxes of chocolates, 2 boxes of mince pies, and 2 boxes of chocolate covered biscuits dotted around on the cabinets lining the main corridor. It's like a gauntlet of food everytime you step away from your desk.

Yesterday it was just the chocolates - none of the rest of it had appeared yet. Yesterday my eating was fine ... if you ignore the however-many-far-too-many Celebrations chocolates that found there way into my mouth. Today the temptation, and variety of it, is trebled. Well ... enough. Today I challenge myself to keep my hands and my mouth out of the snacks. It's 11am now and I'm clean so far. I'm also not hungry and I've kept myself busy which helps.

So there's my challenge. I'm still after that elusive number on the scale on Friday, and I've got a lunch out tomorrow to navigate. Time to pull the big girl pants on and suck it up!

On a separate note - how delish was my breakfast this morning??? I had porridge Christmas-stylee! When it was cooked I added a couple of teaspoons of golden caster sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, stirred it and popped it in the microwave for a 30 second blast ... soooooooo nice!!! Try it! Warm and spicy and Christmassy!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Ummm ... ouch?

I learned a valuable lesson last night: coming in out of the freezing cold into a very warm room and starting Balance almost straight away with Shivas (reach tall and then swing and release down into fold position) is a recipe for an achey back.

I did Balance last night, followed by a 45min Bootcamp class. By halfway through Balance my back was twinging a little bit. By the time we got to the 3 - yes, 3!! - back-to-back abs tracks in Bootcamp my back was out right twanging and tightening up and generally not a happy bunny!!!

Today it's best described as crunchy. Not the best. Luckily, I didn't have any hardcore exercise scheduled for tonight - just lots of errands that'll help me keep moving, which is probably the best possible thing for it. I'm picking my Dad up straight from work this evening to go do the Christmas food shop - this is good because it means I get to partly cotrol what food is in the house over the festive period when I'm staying with him. After that I think I'm going to meet friends for one last drink before everyone scatters there separate ways to go home to their families - so we'll be walking to and from the pub.

I'm going to heed the lessons I've learnt earlier in the year with regard to my back - rest and gentle movement heal it much quicker - and by gentle I now know that my physio means normal day-to-day movement not exercise.

Food-wise I need to keep tracking, tracking tracking everything as that's where I go wrong. Track it before I eat it if possible. Then I stay on plan. And I want to stay on plan. I want to recapture what I saw on the scales at the weekend and score another loss come Friday. So now I've just got to do it!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 21 December 2009

Gotta keep moving!

So another weekend's been and gone. I finished Saturday being fine for food but then spoilt it a bit yesterday by going out for dinner and having sticky toffee pudding for dessert - this is what happens when you accept late invitations for Xmas dinners you hadn't planned for and then take your eye off the ball. At least I'm starting to think more about hungry I am though, as I didn't automatically devour everything on my plate for my main course.

As I lay in bed yesterday morning thinking about getting up I was busy talking myself into going for the run that I chickened out of on Sat because if the cold. And you know what I saw when I got up and opened the damn curtains - frigging shining bright mirror ice all over the road and pavements outside. The cars and pedestrians looked like Bambi on ice out there, so no WAY was I going to be running on it. Hell, you couldn't even walk properly on it, and it just didn't melt either. Damn - foiled again! I did get a little bit of exercise helping Sheena move some of her stuff in, carrying it up the steep drive from the road (no cars could get up our drive at all) and then up two flights of stairs to the flat. Other than that and going to see my Dad, I stayed firmly indoors in the warm!

Today we've had our dept's Xmas quiz and lunch. I'm on our social committee so this is something I've been planning for the last couple of weeks, so I was quite nervous all morning that everything should go well. We had a buffet lunch but I just kept an eye on what I ate, and tonight I'm going for a short yoga class and then a bootcamp class with Bridget after work, so that'll be a good chance to work up a sweat!

I think exercise is going to be a bit hit and miss between now and the New Year as after tonight all my regular classes are cancelled and the weather's certainly making running difficult! My plan is to get my exercise where I can: walk to the pub for for Xmas drinks, walk on the hills and the common, especially if we get lots of lovely snow - hell if we get that much snow play with the sledges and burn some calories laughing myself silly and running back up the hill, go running from Dad's house over Xmas if the roads / paths clear enough and use the Wii fitness software that I bought. I don't want to just sit in and veg, because I'll feel gross if I do. Gotta keep moving!!! I feel I can move the scales downward a little bit more yet this year!

Ooooh - do you think we might even have a White Christmas this year?? How exciting!!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Chilled by the cold and chilling out

I'm chilled out, I'm sat in front of the tv watching the Strictly Come Dancing finals and I've had a nice day. I was over on points yesterday, as I had a Chinese takeaway for dinner. I hadn't actually planned on eating as much as I did, but a combination of the flat being absolutely freezing and me being unable to get anything like comfortably warm, and all the cash machines being broken by the takeaway, so I had to pay on card and meet a minimum cost, led me to getting a cheeky portion of spare ribs. Pretty much tasted like heaven, but I actually felt a bit ill afterwards.

That said I've got plenty of points to spare this evening, even after my dinner. I'm playing around with a lovely recipe tonight for sauteed chicken with cider and tarragon - I say playing around because the original recipe has both butter and double cream in, so I'm trying it with some healthier substitutes - will let you know how that goes!

Running has not happened over the last couple of days because it is tooooooooo bitterly cold to get out - the temps with wind-chill here are about -12 celcius at the moment ..... brrrrrrr-idiculous! The only exercise that has happened was Body Balance on Thursday, which was a really good session. Mind you, I've not been sitting that still as I've been tidying round the flat and helping move Sheena's stuff in, as well as running round the shops getting stuff sorted for Christmas.

I've been into town today and bought a wooly hat with pom-pom and some layering clothes, because it's flaming cold and I LOVE hats - you should seriously see how many I take skiing!!!

I also found gorgeous orginal oil painting in the Christmas arts and crafts market in the grounds of the priory, which was an absolute bargain! Can you believe this was £40???

And finally I bought more more veg as I seem to be getting through a lot of it at the moment! Oooh - and some heavenly festive fudge! Which I may have started nibbling while I'm watching Strictly ....

How strange - I'm now watching the broadcast of Take That's Circus Tour on ITV, and have just realised it was the gig I was actually at in Wembley this summer!!!! Good memories!! And funny to think I'm somewhere in those crowd shots!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Shuffling forward

Well the scales have finally moved a little bit again. Not far, another lb gone, taking me to 12st 8.5lbs. A new low for me. Just.

16.5lbs to go til goal. 2.5lbs to go before I get to 4st gone. Another day to try and get it right. One day at a time. One foot in front of the other.

I've got another weekend at home - excellent because I'm too damn tired to do anything else at the moment!!! Which doesn't mean I don't have loads of stuff that needs doing this weekend, so there's still plenty of running round to do.

Yesterday we booked the chalet for our ski trip in January - muchly exciting as it's a super-luxury pad with ski-in access, sauna and hot-tub on the deck and full-time chalet bitch / ski guide to cater to our every need. It also has more bedrooms than you can shake a stick at so I'll actually get a room to myself instead of having to share - heaven!!! We've just got to book our flights and transfers now, as the chalet company will do the rest of our holiday planning for us!!! 4 weeks tomorrow we jet off to Geneva - yay!!!

I've also just found out that I should now definitely have New Year off work so I can now set about some hasty celebration planning for that weekend - whoop :-)

Right - well I was going to run this afternoon, but it's so cold out we keep getting snow flurries, and I don't have kit to deal with that kind of cold, so I'm thinking of substituting for a walk on the hills instead - def want to get some kind of fresh air today.


-- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Is there an end in sight yet?

Is it a success that I'm stressed but know that what I eat doesn't make me feel any better, so there's no point doing it anymore?

I stayed on plan yesterday. I might even do it again today. I'm desperately looking forward to yoga later so I can just release all this tension I'm holding onto right now and re-centre a bit - trite-sounding but true.

I'll feel a lot better when I break from work for Xmas - ironically I'm a lot more in control away from the office. At the moment, I'm just looking forward to the respite of the weekend though.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Soldiering on

I just read that Kari over at Fat Free Me has got to goal. Isn't that fantastic??? I am so pleased for her as I've been following her adventures for a while now and have admired her unswerving focus on what she was doing.

It does highlight to me though the following question - what the bloody hell have I been playing around at????? Whilst Kari has been steadily losing every week, I've been up, down, unmoving and then down a little bit more. I always knew it would get harder the further along I got, but for the last couple of months I've really struggled to move in the right direction.

I left for Croatia, back in August, weighing 13 and a half stone. In the 3 weeks after I got back I lost another half a stone, and I've essentially stayed pretty much there since then. I lost 3 lbs, I put it back on, lost it again and the scales continue to bounce.

I can't seem to find my rhythm at the moment - I've lost my groove.

I continue to do what I can, trying to make each new day, or even hour, a fresh start when I get it wrong, but it's not enough and right now I can't seem to get down to and through that 4 stone barrier. And it feels exactly that ... a barrier.

I'm not down and out yet, just struggling to get enough of it right to make any move forward. Last night is a good example - I made a healthy tea of homemade soup to counteract the big lunch, then made Xmas cookies to bring to work and made myself feel sick by eating the leftover dough after I'd cut out all the cookies. Stupid.

At least I'm leaving the cookies alone today though, even though the open tin is right in front if my desk. All I can do right now is keep my head down and keep plodding along.

I have to admit that I was half-tempted to say I'd switch to maintenance just for the Xmas period and give myself a break and a fresh start in the New Year, but that smells a bit too much like defeat to me so I won't do that. Well, not intentionally at least!!

Yesterday I said that I was just shooting for 12st 8lbs at the moment, and I am, because that's the golden number that tells me I'm back to breaking new ground. This morning the scales had somehow bounced back up 3lbs since yesterday so I've got my work cut out to turn this shit around. But I'm going to keep trying, keep working, keep pushing myself. Because sometime soon I'd like to make like Kari and shout GOOOAAAL!!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Too much to do!!

I've got so much on my plate at the moment that I'm feeling a bit frustrated and panicky about managing everything.

After a hectic day at work yesterday I got home and had a whole 25 minutes to prepare tea and eat it before Sheena arrived for an another evening of decorating. Needless to say I was still eating when she arrived and then ended up juggling a phonecall from my Dad as well.

I didn't have many points left last night for dinner, but using my rush as an excuse for making a poor choice isn't good enough. I chose to eat pasta with some pancetta and pine nuts, and realised when I totted it up later in the evening that I was way over at 30pts for the day. Spinning also got ditched in the rush so I was feeling pretty grumpy by the end if the day.

After a rushed visit to the DIY store we managed to finish painting at 10.40 last night, so aside from needing to tidy up tonight, that is at least one big thing off my to-do list.

I was quite excited when I got home last night to pick up my post and see that part of my Xmas present to myself has arrived. Now, I don't know how good it will be, but I ordered myself a copy of the My Fitness Coach game for the Wii. I've wanted something I could do at home for ages, for when it's too miserable to go out and I don't have the time or inclination to go to the gym. What I didn't want was a static video-based routine where you just do the same thing over and over, so after a bit of research I stumbled on this game.

The idea is, that unlike the Wii Fit (which I've also ordered for Xmas), this is a personal trainer program rather than a series of games. It has pretty much solid 5* reviews on Amazon, which encouraged me, and I thought it might be good as I really enjoyed the circuits classes I did at the gym.

The game sets up a profile for you and then runs a series of basic fitness tests to see how fit you are to start with. You then decide what you want to work on and what sort of workout you prefer - such as strength, cardio, yoga and flexibility, and how long you want your workouts to last for, and it then builds a set of ever-changing programs for you which you go through with a virtual personal trainer on screen. Every 10 sessions you retake the fitness test to see how you're progressing.

I honestly don't know how good it will be, but I thought it was worth a try, especially at this time of year when the weather's frequently crap and the gyms are closed for Xmas and then rammed in the New Year with all the January Resolutions. And it was only £12!

With that in mind, I can't decide whether to go for a longer run out in the miserable freezing cold tonight (which I kind of need for the race), run at the gym on the dreaded treadmill, or stay in and try out the new toy. Urgh - decisions!!!

Incidentally, I figured out why I find running at the gym harder! I started a running log the other day (which I'll post to the blog soon) and I realised that I set the treadmill considerably faster than I run on the road - if I set it a bit slower I might find it less of a mission to complete 20 or 25 mins!!!

I've buggered up my points somewhat today already - I had Xmas lunch at work and used up all my points for the day already - lucky I planned on having soup tonight anyway!! I really want to keep on the straight and narrow this week and make it a good week - I really really want to make it to 12st 8lb and past this sticking point of 12st 9.5lbs where I've been hanging around for the last couple of months. I'm still hoping and aiming to make it to my 4 stone off at 12st 6lbs for my New Year weigh in .... come on Sue, you can do this!!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 14 December 2009

Weekend report

Phew - it's been a busy, busy weekend!

Before I start on that I'm going to backtrack slightly to last week and something that happened on Wednesday night. That was the night, if you'd be so kind as to cast your minds back into the depths of last week, that I went for dinner at Bec's and we had the roast veg with oil, oil and oil incident. Something else happened though that I forgot to mention, or more accurately just blocked from my mind. I committed the dieter's cardinal sin of sneaking food. Seriously -why the hell would I do that??? Am I the only one who STILL does this from time to time?? Such a stupid behaviour.

I did it because I was straight out hungry, and Bec was still busy washing up before putting dinner on. Because I was hungry I nicked two triangles of Toblerone from the big bar that was open in the living room. Not so bad in the scale of things I guess, but why did I sneak the food when I could have just said to Bec "I'm starving, is there anything I could have while dinner's cooking?". I evidently still have issues with food. I don't know if it's because I still feel paranoid about being judged around food sometimes. The old "look at the fat girl eating that Mars Bar" style paranoia, where I think people will judge me for what I eat and my appetite. I don't know - but it's frustrating none the less.

Fast forward to Friday and weigh in day. I've got a confession - I did something a bit weird with weigh in this week. Normally I just take whatever weight I get on the scales on a Friday morning, but having been moving steadily downwards all week, it jumped back up by 2lbs for some reason on the morning. So I left it a couple of days over the weekend to see if it was going to settle up or down. It settled down so I took the lower weight, which means I lost 1.5lb this week and I'm back to my lowest. And my reason for doing that? I was so bloody grumpy after the gains of the last 2 weeks (which were admittedly well deserved) that I didn't want to depress myself by posting a 3rd consecutive gain if it wasn't a true gain. A little bit cheaty maybe but it's TOTM again so I'm fluctuating.

The weekend was pretty good for me. I bombed off to Birmingham with Bridget after work on Friday afternoon. Did a bit of Xmas shopping, bought a lovely new ski jacket and some work clothes and then had dinner out. We ate at Wagamama's and despite major cravings for cheesecake for dessert, I decided I was just comfortably full and left it there. Nice. We then went to see Paramore at the NIA, who were absolutely fabulous live and finally stumbled back tired to the car and home. I also plucked up the courage to tell Bridget that I wasn't going to New Year at hers and got myself off that hook. It was an uncomfortable 10 mins of explaining and apologising, but it's done now.

Saturday I had a bit of a lie-in and a lazy morning in my pyjamas til lunchtime, then had a walk into town. After a bit of fresh air, I set to baking and made my mum's recipe Christmas Swedish biscuits - nearly got the recipe right - second batch tonight to bring to work. Just watched some tv in the evening with Sid and fell asleep on his sofa and an early night.

Sunday morning Sid dragged me out at 9am for a run, and 47 mins later he'd pretty much broken me!!! We did my longest run to date at 6.3km - obviously I had a couple of quick walking breaks, not least because of the big hill up for the first 12 mins, but I'm pretty pleased with that. I might use the weekends to do a longer run in future and just run as far as I can and then walk to recover.

I had a mad scramble when I got back to have a shower and get to the DIY store for wallpapering goodies and then back home for 11 - just about made it as my Dad turned up at the flat. We spent the rest of the day, through til half 9 last night, decorating the back room. Just managed to finish the papering with Sid's help, so I've got to tidy the edges and sort paint out tonight.

Foodwise the weekend was good - I'm on track with my points, so that's great. This week's going to be pretty manic as we race to get the bedroom finished and Sheena moved in, and I've got tons of tidying and other stuff that I want to do. Not quite sure how much exercise is going to get done, but we'll see!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Musings from my messy room

Nothing to do with weight loss at all this - just something random.

As I was sat on my bed this morning drying my hair and putting on moisturiser, I was looking round my room. It's an absolute bombsite at the moment (as per usual) but I was struck by the fact that it looks like it belongs to somebody with a split personality! Imagine if a girly-girl ran head first into a tom-boy - my room kind of looks like the fall-out from that explosion.

Next to the huge unmade bed ( don't know what I do when I sleep, but the duvet and pillows look like I've wrestled then for 7 hours by the morning) is my bedside table which has a delicate glass lamp, and a sprawling pile of one-off silver jewellery tangled with necklaces bought back from abroad - coral from Croatia and turquoise from Egypt. Mixed in with the mess is a headtorch and my runners water bottle. On the floor by the table is my Lonely Planet career break guide, a load of remote controls, the hairdryer and various miscellaneous shopping bags.

The chest of drawers looks like a triathlete went past shedding stuff - swimming goggles, spare inner tubes for my mountain bike and a heart rate monitor litter the top, along with a rainbow of nail-polish bottles, moisturiser pots, boxes of contact lenses and the Wii remotes.

Next to that is the laundry basket which is towering at an impressive 4 or 5 ft in height at the moment. A quick glance reveals bikinis, board shorts, rash vest, girly maxi dresses, gym kit, bright printed t-shirts and sequin- encrusted going out tops with the latest shoulder pads. On the floor is a pile of sweaty running kit from yesterday morning - gross but I was in a huge rush when I got back from my run yesterday morning - don't judge me!!

On the other chest of drawers is a huge spray of silk flowers in a vase, 3 straw hats (one cowboy, one trilby and one panama) and a pile of car brochures for Mazda MX5's, BMW 1 series and Z4, and Audi A3's, my passport, and a pile of miscellaneous currencies - Euros, Swedish and Norwegian Kroner, and more.

The contents of the wardrobe sprawl out through the doors - crates of handbags, piles of fabulous high heels dotted with my Scarpa's, running trainers and cleated shoes for the bike. A big pile of ski gear is currently in front of the wardrobe, with my windsurfing harness left on top - still not back in the drybag in the back of the wardrobe with my wetsuit and other bits. My Camelbak hangs on the wardrobe next to a pretty graphic print short dress.

I don't think I quite know who I want to be when I grow up!!! Outdoor cool girl or city chic extroafinaire?

And yes, I am horribly untidy - always have been and suspect I always will be! Lol.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Would you like some veg with your oil?

Which is the unfortunate scenario that occurred last night, when I went round to Bec's house for tea. We'd wandered around the supermarket looking for healthy stuff (me for my diet, her because she's waiting to hear results from tests to see if she has Coeliac disease), and picked up ultra lean steak and loads of root veg to roast.

Back at Bec's all the veg was chopped and ready to go in the roasting tin. She drizzled a load of oil in the bottom of the tray, and I was thinking "wow, I've not been using that much recently". Then the veg went in. Then she picked the oil up again, and proceeded to slug it over the veg like it was going out of fashion. Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

"Stop!! No, that's enough now!! That's plenty! Whoa Bec, you're going to drown them!!"

"They'll taste nice."

"They don't need that much though!"

"Well, our oven's a bit hot, and they won't burn this way".

"Well, just turn them down and cook them a but slower then."

"But I'm hungry!!"

"Do you know how many points are in all that oil though?"

"There's points in oil??"

"Errrr, yes."

"Oh. Oooops. Sorreeeeeee."

And thus, the healthiness of my dinner kind of went out the window. In Bec's defence, she genuinely seemed not to realise that olive oil can be bad for you, or too much anyway. To be honest, I realised how much I prefer my spritzed with olive oil veg, which is how I cook - our veg last night didn't really go crispy, the aubergine soaked up all the oil and kind of went downright slimy (well, tasted like that for me anyway), and I just felt all I could taste was olive oil.

I think I like it better without in future please!

Aaaah - freak out!

So the ever sensible Trio suggested yesterday that if I'm worried about being last in the race, I should just check out the finish times from the last race and see what the standard was.

Good suggestion, done that and now I'm reassu.... oh no, hang on - not in the slightest bit reassured!!!!! Big panic. There were only 16 people in the short race in the last event in November - and the slowest time was a shade over 40mins - which incidentally the same as the OPTIMISTIC time I put down on my entry form.

Shit - I'm totally screwed. I guess the only thing to do is keep training and if it looks like I'm still going to be massively slower with a week to go, I can always pull out to avoid total humiliation. Groan - why do I never make things easy for myself??

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Slight miscalculation

So here's a truth for you: eat haute cuisine and you'll surely lose weight because the sodding portions are so small!!!

One thing I forgot to take into acount with my points yesterday was portion size. I naturally assumed that everything would be standard restaurant portions, aka bigger than average. In fact, the portions were downright skinny albeit delicious. Another error in my calculations was assuming there would be veggies with the main course even though they weren't specifically mentioned ... there weren't. Overall, I reckon I still came out where I expected to be on points - dessert was way smaller as was the meat portion but I scarfed a few small slice of bread and butter in lieu.

I did my run before I went to dinner, and it was pretty cold and wet. My running itself felt fairly steady and not too laboured, but I'm still ridiculously slow. I clocked 4.2km in just under 32 mins - def need to speed up for this race.

I have a big fear that I'm going to be last by a long way in the race. And because it's a race I feel the added pressure that I can't walk if I get tired. I know that really I have to set realistic goals - I'll be happy if I can just run the whole thing, uphill first half included, at a steady pace, and if I come last then that's fine. Afterall, someone has to come last at these things. I just don't want to embarrass myself and relive a repeat of my school athletics nightmares. The 1500m races always used to kill me, and the same with cross country. I could play stop-and-start sprint sports like hockey and netball easily enough, and indeed played hockey on the school team on my own time, but I was always a weak distance runner. Ah well - it's certainly giving me the motivation to get my runs in!!

On a different note, I've just booked myself a private ski lesson on a local indoor slope for just after Xmas. I want to hit the slopes running (well, skiing obviously) in Jan and a refresher session will be just what I need! Better start doing some squats to condition my legs soon!!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Plan, plan, plan

I am the planning QUEEN today!! Yes, I am!

And the reason for this military-like co-ordination? My spinning class's Christmas dinner this evening. It's a 3 course spectacular at a gorgeous local restaurant, and I'm scrambling to find that perfect balance between enjoying the meal I'm paying for and an evening with friends, and not cocking up my week for weight loss.

So how's this plan working? Well, I already know what I'm eating as I had to make my menu selections last week. I looked down the menu and made the healthiest choices I could - avoiding cream and opting low fat where possible. I've already worked out, to the best of my ability how many points that accounts for (the number eeeeek springs to mind!), and I've given myself a drinks allowance for the evening which allows for my free Winter Pimms when we arrive and a couple of glasses of wine at the table if we're sharing bottles.

I'm also implementing a few simple rules. Leave any bread and butter that come with the soup starter. Leave any snacky bits like the "apple crisps" that will be on the side of my dessert - they're bound to be highly calorie laden. No more than 2 roast potatoes with my main, and load up with free veggies / salad. Leave something on the plate at each course. Don't touch the nibbly bits before dinner and just one chocolate with the after dinner coffees. I think that covers it off.

I've allowed for wine with dinner but if it's not being shared at the table I'll save points and go for a different drink. And finally, I'm going for a run straight after work to get some activity in.

Planning Central!!! I've also planned the rest of my day's food to keep it light, with lots of fruit and I've foregone my usual morning hot chocolate (skinny of course). I'll still be over points at the end of that day, since the meal alone comes to 27 points -but it won't be anywhere near as catastrophic as it could have been, and I'll make further savings if I can.

Food yesterday was good and I did my quick run after spin, so feeling fairly happy with that.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 7 December 2009


It's a quiet day today for me. My food is planned and so far I'm sticking to it. I'll be spinning later and want to get in at least 15 mins on the treadmill at the gym before or after the class. I've started to get the Fear about the run in Jan and need to up how much I'm running each week, whether that's short runs built around my classes or longer runs outside.

I'm also being a grumpy, ungrateful bitch today. I found out yesterday that the New Years party I accepted an invite to back in September is now only going to be myself and my friends Bridget and Tim, and Steve and Amanda. Yep - two couples. And two of the most coupley couples I know at that. It's every single girl's worst nightmare, finding out that you're actually celebrating New Year with 2 couples and a very grown up dinner party, when what you were expecting when you accepted was a raucous party full of lots of people.

The worst part is that I have 3 other New Year invites - all to the kind of event I'd like to be going to, but when I accepted Bridget and Tim's invite back in September I thought I was working the whole of New Year and therefore couldn't make any of the others as they're all away trips for several nights. Now I know that I'm not actually working and could go on any of the others, but Bridget will be really upset if I back out now. What's a girl to do? Go to an evening that's just going to rub in my face how very single I am and will frankly depress the hell out of me, however much Bridget promises me that it won't, or upset one of my best friends in a purely selfish move to make myself feel better??

I need some advice here folks, because at the moment I'm just considering throwing a sicky and ditching New Year in favour of curling up in bed and shutting out the world!!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Out of the clouds

I'm feeling a lot like the picture below, as this weekend draws to a close:

After the doom and gloom of Friday's weigh in (which I also have to subsequently own up to - I can't add up - I'd gained another lb, not half a lb .... boooooo!), and the realisation that I'd been cheating myself last week, I feel like a bit of a rainbow peeking out from behind the dark clouds ... evidence that there might be better, less stormy weather on the way.

I've had a good weekend - I had a bit of a stroppy morning at work on Friday, when I realised that as per usual on my short day in the office, I had a list longer than my arm of stuff that had to be done. Yuck - but ultimately I knuckled down and got it sorted. There were cakes in the office yet again, but I behaved myself this time. By the time I left for the afternoon, I was feeling the need for a bit of therapy and relaxation time. I wanted some fresh air, and since I've been wanting sweet stuff all week, I thought it was time to go the whole hog (in a controlled fashion) and just bake something nice for the weekend.

I find time in the kitchen to be very therapeutic - especially if I'm doing something new which has lots of prep stuff to do, and requires me to pay attention to a recipe. It's time when I can just put aside the troubles of the day, and do something else completely. The other benefit to baking being that I get something sweet to eat, that probably tastes infinitely nicer than a chocolate bar or shop-bought cake (well, it does when it works anyway!), and isn't full of artificial crap, because I know exactly what all-fresh ingredients went in there.

After a happy 20mins perusing my baking book, I settled on Raspberry, White Chocolate & Cinnamon Blondie, and walked into town to go and collect the missing ingredients and have a little mooch. Feeling a lot better for the fresh air / leg stretch, I settled down to make a mess in the kitchen, and about an hour later, this is what came out the oven:

Dense, scrumptious cake with a raspberry and white chocolate layer right through the middle - think a kind of albino chocolate brownie. And better still - 4.5pts a square!! I took it round to the boys' next door and they happily devoured some with me. Well worth the splatter effect left in the kitchen, which it turns out happens when you don't grate the butternut squash finely enough and it gets caught in the whisk .... ooops!!

I was happy with Friday - I stuck to my points, I de-stressed for the weekend, I tried a new recipe which was a resounding success, and I remembered to take some of Thursday's tasty soup with me for lunch.

Saturday, I spent with my new flatmate Sheena, stripping wallpaper in the back bedroom, so we can redecorate before she moves in in a couple of weeks. We had a really productive day, and managed to do pretty much all of it - I just need to tidy up the bits round the skirting boards and coving before Dad comes round to help me rehang the lining paper.

I did learn a valuable lesson yesterday though - another bad habit that's contributed to my weight gain prior to the start of the year. By the time we broke for lunch, I suggested we do what we've often done in the past - grab some fresh baguette from the supermarket, a roast chicken from the rotisserie counter, salad and some crisps and build yummy, fresh sandwiches. Total error!!!! We used to do this all the time on weekends when there was a group of us - everyone just building whatever combination they want and sharing the food, but when I added it up to track afterwards, I realised that my little half baguette and vegetable crisps had cost me a mighty 16.5pts!! Good grief.

This actually made me pretty sad initially, as it's such a fun social way to eat, as well as marvelling at how deluded I'd been. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought of ways I could make it healthier without too much trouble. I mistakenly had cheese as well as chicken ... extra 4.5pts (god, I miss the lovely nutty taste of Jarlsburg - heaven!) and didn't measure out the crisps and just put them in a shared bowl - just sorting out those two things, would have saved me about 6 points or so, taking the lunch to a more manageable 10pts. Having a roll instead of my demi-baguette would have saved me more. Small changes, but at least I feel educated now.

Takeaway for tea (pre-planned and I didn't automatically scoff all of it), and then a lazy evening watching Strictly Come Dancing and Inglourious Basterds, which may well be my favourite Tarantino film to date. I also managed a pretty good job at keeping my hands out of the snacks Sheena had bought (Doritos and Cadbury's Buttons), and stayed off the vino in favour of Diet Coke. So, some points over from the lunch error, but not catastrophic by any means.

Cleaning up this morning, and be very proud of me please guys, all the leftovers - including half a share bag of Doritos went in the bin. No picking whatsoever!!

I've had quite a productive day today - I've cleared all the mess from the second bedroom and bagged it up, taken two of the four rubbish bags, plus two bin bags of non-recyclable clothes to the tip, tidied the flat, done some washing, been to look at ski jackets at Cotswold Outdoors, and now I'm sitting waiting for Bridget to come round for tea and tv. My food has all been planned for the day, including enough left for tea and a slice of cake afterwards. Nice.

In fact, since I've got a spare 5 mins, I might sit and plan my food for the next couple of days, something I very rarely do, but I've got a 3 course Christmas meal on Tuesday night with my spinning class and it can't hurt to be prepared.

So I'll leave you with a picture of my pretty Christmas tree which I put up on Sat afternoon - I've never had a full-size tree before, so I was very excited to have a proper 6ft one!! I love it as it's got all my mum's Christmas decorations on, some of which date from Austria in the 70's - it's nice to see them out again.

Hope you all had a good weekend!!


Friday, 4 December 2009


For the first time since I started in January this year I've gained for the second week in a row. Only another 0.5lb but a gain none the less. I'm soooooooo frustrated with myself. I thought I'd got a handle on it this week, but I was obviously kidding myself. I realise now that while my points looked fine I've been quietly "forgetting" to record little things if they were too incovenient to work out points for, or I plain just wanted to sweep them under the carpet. Not helpful, Sue, not helpful.

Soooooooo - I refuse to give up, I just have to be more honest with myself and you guys. I've made a promise to myself to try and encourage myself - I only have two pairs of jeans currently , some size 14 skinnies and my size 16 boyfriend jeans. The boyfriend jeans are my chill out uniform, but I can now remove them without undoing them with just a little wriggle, so they're starting to get too big. I can have some new ones when I get to my 4 stone off, which is 12st 6lbs. That's 5lbs away from where I am now (back) at 12st 11lbs. I've seen 12st 8lbs on the scales once already a couple of weeks ago, although it was never an official weigh in. So I'd better get a shuffle on before I lose my jeans and embarrass myself. No time limits, just a target.

I'm eating soup today - lots of it. I made it fresh last night, and I'm hoping to kick myself off back in the right direction. I've got a weekend at home redecorating with my flatmate, chilling out and finding Xmas decorations - no excuse not to make it a good one for food and moving.

Have a great weekend guys!!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Plodding along

I'm being boring at the moment with my eating, but in a good way. I knocked out another good day of food yesterday and I'm on track for another one today. Having said that I don't expect to see a loss at the scales tomorrow because I don't think my body has quite forgiven me for last week yet. We'll see.

I was in a bit of a mad rush last night after work as I had a date. I knew I couldn't go to Combat because of the date, and that I wouldn't have a lot of tine after work as I also had to swing by the retail park and grab a new cardi as I managed to leave mine in London at the weekend. So it was very tempting to say sod it, I won't do anything in the way of exercise, but I got home, stuck my running gear straight on and plodded out the door in search of a sweat. It wasn't as windy as last week but it was flipping freezing out, as I soon realised when I could see my breath huffing out as I walked down the drive. I ran just a little further and a few more hills than last week, and it was just shy of 4k in 28 minutes, which I'm sure is an inprovement over the last time I ran that loop.

I had a quick dinner when I got back, and for the first time in as long as I can remember I voluntarily didn't finish my whole plate - too much jacket potato so I just left about half of it.

The date wasn't amazing to be honest, but I'm proud of my eating and exercise for the evening so not a complete loss of a night. (just to clarify - the date wasn't BAD either, he just wasn't really my type, and I don't think I was really his either). Went home afterwards and went round to the boys' to discuss ski holiday planning stuff (so excited!!!)

Body Balance class tonight and need to do a bit of tidying before the weekend as Sheena (my lovely new flatmate) and I are going to be redecorating the spare room. Oooooh - I do live the high life don't I??? ;-)

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

I'm on FIRE!

Good news everybody - I'm still walking the path of good eating!! Hurrah, I hear you shout!

Put it this way - the more weight I can lose before my run, the easier it will be!

In case you missed it yesterday, I've entered myself for my first ever race in the second of the Scott Aztec Trail Series runs in the Forest of Dean on 10 Jan. I'm running the short course, which is 5.4km, and the race is all over trails in the woods, no roads. I'm slightly scared that this is an actual race, rather than a charity fun run, and they have a whole points scheme for places (mostly for people running the whole series of races), and the timings are done via fancy-Dan ankle chips that each runner wears, but it does say it's for everyone from complete novices to elite, so what the heck - in the words that I heard all windsurfing holiday - "go big or go home".

After yesterday's realisation that I've back-tracked to eating crappy food which isn't keeping me satisfied, I've been keeping an eye on what I've been eating, as well as how much. I was reading an article in Zest magazine about the energy density of foods (which is basically what the Weight Watchers filling foods principle is based on), and it just reminded me what I already knew - that foods with lots of water in are much lower in points, but sure keep you filled up for longer. Plus they tend to be much less full of artificial rubbish. So it's back to basics again! Poached eggs for breakfast, soup and a yoghurt for lunch, stir-frys and pasta for dinners, and I feel a lot better for it already.

I need to get my head into a healthier place in the long-run as I don't want to struggle when I hit maintenance, and when I can't be close to a computer to monitor my calories all day. I also want to fuel my body for maximum efficiency - I've got lots of stuff I want to do next year, which will need my fitness to be higher than it is now (as much as now is a vast improvement on a year ago).

You want a sneak peak of stuff I want to do next year?
  1. Obviously skiing in Jan - I'm looking forward to this as I'll be lighter and fitter than I've ever been when I've hit the slopes before.
  2. My 5km first race, and I'd like to work up to a 10km or so during the year.
  3. Kite-surfing weekend - I'd love to give this a go, as we see the kite-surfers when we go to Egypt and it does look like fun, and Jo's up for heading somewhere like Cornwall and giving it a bash.
  4. Hit the lake and make some proper improvements to my windsurfing. This went a bit under the radar this year, with hitting the gym and a 1000 holidays, plus back problems, but I want and need to get it moving again this year.
  5. Career Break.

Yep - point 5 is the big change that I've been talking about. It's been a long time coming, but I'm at a point where I'm ready to take the bull by the horns and do stuff. I'm booting around a couple of ideas at the moment, so I can't really say exactly what I'm going to do yet, but at some point from the summer onwards next year I'm planning on jumping on a jet plane and disappearing for a bit to go and do something completely different. Without going in to too many details at the moment, general fitness and point 4 above potentially come into my plans.

I've been dreaming my dreams for ages now of a better lifestyle, but I totally lacked the confidence and self-belief to get up and make the moves I needed to. Now it's a different story, and whilst the uncertainty and enormity still scares me silly, I'm ready to face it head on and get stuck in.