Sunday, 30 May 2010

So far, so good

At the beginning of the week I mentioned that I was going to try tracking on the notes application on my mobile phone. The idea being that if I could get in the habit of tracking on the phone I might be able to tackle my chaotic approach to the weekends.

So all week, I've been quietly building a new habit of tracking during the day on my phone, and then transferring it to my online tracker in the evening. Yesterday was therefore the first test to see how it would work for me, away from my structured days in the office and evenings at home.

And the verdict? So far, so good. We spent yesterday at the Guardian Literary Festival in Hay-on-Wye. Normally, as much as I enjoy these fun days out, they are a nightmare for me in terms of food. Out all day, limited options on healthy food, but all the opportunities in the world to eat tastey but bad food.

It really helped to have something on hand where I could just discreetly note everything down and keep a running total. I like that, as an iPhone user, people are used to me fiddling around on it all the time, so nobody is any the wiser that I'm actually tracking my food. I know it's stupid, but although I'm not ashamed of my dieting, I don't want it constantly on view to my friends.

Anyhoo, it did make things easier, and I could make more conscious choices. Even to the point where when I picked out my lunch, I stopped to check calories and sat fat, and didn't dump the whole pot of dressing on my salad.

I won't deny that I was a few points over my the end of the day, but I felt in control and I knew that everything I'd chosen to have was worth it and much appreciated. And to be fair any day when you finish 7 points over but manage to have incorporated cake, champagne, and other such niceties is a good one.

Today I'm still feeling comfortably control - I'm actually currently lying on a blanket in the park listening to the weekly brass band concert. I'm on track to save a few points - mostly because I cooked a big vat of homemade minestrone soup last night and I've avoided the usual icecream in the park today.

Other than that - yesterday was lovely if a little more rainy and overcast than we'd have liked. We saw some interesting talks by Bill Bryson and Quentin Blake, who was drawing characters from the Roald Dahl books as he went along on the overhead projectors. We also spotted quite a few famous folks round the place like John Snow, Rob Brydon and Kirsty Allsop, and generally had fun.

Tomorrow I'm heading off to the beach for the day with Jo and Lissa.

More later!

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 27 May 2010

A bit of love for me

Is it wrong for me to say I LOVE my legs today?

I don't know, and I'm not sure of the etiquette on these things, but I'm going to say it anyway:

I super love how my legs look today :-)

Maybe it's the additional bit of colour they have after the sunny weekend (in shorts no less! SHORT shorts!). Maybe it's the shape and definition that continues to change slowly (a combination of running, cycling and body combat is fabulous for your calves). Maybe it's the new shoes and favourite skirt I'm wearing today (with a proper tucked in shirt for a change - I've totally started wearing more girly clothes these days). Anyhoo, I feel good.

I was a bit gutted last night, that when it came round to the evening, both Bridget's meeting ran over and the heavens opened, so the walk got cancelled. Booooooooo. But we've rescheduled to catch up tonight after our respective classes - Body Combat for me and Balance for B. Mmmmmm - bring on the sweat!

Without anything to do last night I cooked a simple tea and flaked on the couch. Always nice so I wasn't complaining. Besides - I kind of like sitting comfortably inside listening to rain pattering in the trees outside through the open windows - only beaten by lying in bed listening to it!

Sorry, I think the point I was trying to make there, before I got distracted, was my simple tea. I've noticed that when I'm eating well and on plan, my food gets simpler. It's like my tastebuds get more sensitive the less crap I eat, and the plain stuff like a grilled chicken breast, a jacket potato and some peas and sweetcorn tastes fab.

In between watching a bit of tv, and enjoying my tea and the sound of the rain, I read some more of the wise words of Ms Beenie - almost makes me want to dive back into the world of dating and try again. Or at least, have a slightly higher opinion of myself and not feel I should be less picky as some of my friends tell me I should be.

What??? I can't help having high standards!

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Swimming and flirting

Oh my lord - I'm totally stuffed at the moment! Innocent Veg Pots do a rather tastey mushroom risotto which was easy to grab for lunch today and now I'm muchly full. I love that I can be totally, satisfyingly full and on plan.

As promised I went for a swim last night. I blitzed my errands on the way home (bank, parking pass for the hills renewed, Fat Face sale raided - another cute short skirt, good jeans and a totally lush knit waistcoat bought - and a health-conscious trip to the supermarket), had dinner, walked round to the library to return some books, before burrowing round through my room to try and find my swim goggles.

It occurred to me (when I couldn't think where on earth my goggles were) that it must be at least 6 months since I last went swimming - tragic! I love that I can leave my flat on foot at 5 past 9 and be changed and in the pool by 9.15 ... so I'm not sure why it's so long since I last hit the pool.

Given my lengthy absence I though I'd take it easy and just go for a nice round 40 lengths at a steady speed. Actually, that felt really easy, and I probably would have stayed to do more but I fancied 5 mins in the sauna and a leisurely change afterwards. So 1km swum in 30 mins - not too shabby.

On the downside of life - because there always is one - the guy I liked at work, and thought just might have reciprocated a bit of my interest? TOTALLY going out with another girl from work, and I was the only one who didn't know. Shows you how faulty my radar is, doesn't it?

I can't read the signs, miss then when they are there, and apparently imagine them when they're not. Kind of embarrassing as I'd been saying to him how much I find clingy new couples annoying, and he'd been kindly agreeing with me .... but is in a new relationship himself. Ach .... bury head in the sand time. I give up, since I only seem to embarrass myself.

Better to know now I guess than embarrass myself properly later!

Better go and finish reading Sarah Beenie's book on flirting and dating (her off Property Ladder on the tv, and owner of the mysinglefriend website) and see if I can get a clue!

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


I think that last night's spinning class must have absolutely been the sweatiest on record. Our air-con seems to be a bit screwed up at the gym at the moment, so it was like cycling in a bowl of warm soup in there last night. To add insult to injury, usually we all get a turn with the big fans turned on us to cool us down, but there's a lady who's still spinning despite being 7 months pregnant. She therefore got the fan for the full session, despite the fact she was just taking it easy while the rest of us sprinted and climbed the metaphorical hills!!! Not that I begrudge her the fan, but I was highly jealous of her coolness as I dripped all over myself and the towel.

After that epic effort I didn't have much more energy in me other than to get home and collapse with an Innocent Veg Pot and a bit of bread and butter.

Today for the first time in ages, I've felt something really positive. I've been able to imagine myself losing more weight - properly clearly visualise how I'll look and feel as I get a bit smaller again.

I know it sounds weird but that's so comforting to me, because it means I feel like I believe in myself again. When I first embarked on my Weightwatchers journey, I wasn't really convinced that it would work for me, but I was desperate so I stuck to the plan, and waited to see what would happen. As the weight started to peel away, and for the first time I knew what that sort of success felt like, I was able to imagine how it would feel to lose further weight, and make further steps like buying smaller clothes.

Since I've been struggling in my rut, I've not had that same sense of positivity or clarity about where I'm going. I've been feeling like this was the end of the dieting line and I wouldn't be making any further progress.

I'm not sure why the imaginary slimmer me has suddenly become visible to me again so sharply, but it's a nice feeling.

Bqck in the real world - having purchased a new swimsuit at the weekend that actually fits and will keep my modesty in tact, I'm planning on running a few errands after work, then grabbing some dinner and a couple of hours chill out time, and rounding off with a late evening swim.

How do you guys cope with staying active in the heat?

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 24 May 2010

A lesson learned ...

... the hard way.

Isn't 20/20 hindsight a marvellous thing??

I just did a quick but painful exercise which proves a point about how easy it is to go so horribly wrong.

Points actually consumed this weekend - a horrible 49 over my budget.

Now go down the side and make a few quick substitutions. Swap food at the Saturday night BBQ from what I actually ate to what I wanted to eat but was too self-conscious to ask for. A couple of drinks subs (shandies and Pimms for vodka) and cut an extra brownie I wouldn't have eaten had I realised the damage I was doing.

Et voilĂ  - amended total only 10 points over.


A clear reason to figure out how to keep tracking over the weekend.

How does anyone else do it? Tips please!

- Posted from my iPhone

Losing my head in the heat

Oh, weekends - how I have such a love / hate relationhip with you!

I've had a dreamy, sunny, summer weekend - one of those where you have very little planned and it turns into an epic of fun.

Friday lunchtime after work, I beetled off to meet up with my friend Claire who is on maternity leave at the moment. A couple of the other girls from work were there too and we had a lovely catch up on all the news over lunch, in between cooing over how gorgeous little Maddie is (just 7 weeks old!).

I left there a little later than I'd intended and had to rush home, grab a bag full of clothes and shoot off over to Lissa and Jo's for the weekend. Our friend Katherine, who's getting married in July, popped over for the evening and we had takeaway and sat in the late evening sun in the garden chatting and catching up.

Saturday dawned gloriously sunny, and since surfing plans were shelved due to lack of organisation, we decided a day in the Cotswolds was in order. Shorts, vest tops and little summer dresses at the ready, we piled in the car and headed off for lovely Bourton-on-the-Water. We had a picnic by the river in the centre of town (us and about 5 million other people), browsed the shops and boutiques, bought homemade fudge, played in a maze and tried to solve the puzzle in the middle, and finally slumped in a very nice sun-trap of a pub garden on giant outdoor sofas to recover with icy cold shandies. Lush.

We were supposed to be having a BBQ when we got home, but the coals resolutely refused to light, so eventually we put the food on the grill indoors and relaxed with a Pimms and lemonade. Clearly I'm getting old as I fell asleep on the sofa afterwards watching Sherlock Holmes.

Yesterday was ANOTHER gorgeous day. How lucky are getting with this weather???? After breakfast in the garden, I pottered from the girls' house to the shops, and spent a happy couple of hours in air-conditioned comfort browsing for summer clothes.

I'd been home approximately 10 mins before being dragged back out the door by my flatmate Sheena, for an afternoon of live music. Just enough time to shove a bowl of cereal down my neck as a late lunch and change to another pair of short shorts and a clean top. Trilby and aviator sunglasses at the ready for that cool summer vibe.

First stop - the park for an afternoon of musical classics played most excellently by a military brass band. Picnic rugs and icecreams at the ready. From there onwards to a pub up on the hills holding a weekend long music festival - sweltering heat, some really good blues music, cold drinks, and later on, our friend Moss doing his DJ thing with a mix of funk and reggae for a sunny afternoon.

Finally, back home and collapse in a very humid flat to eat dinner, tidy away the mess of the weekend's packing and fall into bed.

The downside of weekends like that is that I still struggle to hold it together eating-wise. After my recent weeks of making an effort, I can see elements of my eating that have improved, better habits that are creeping in. Things like lunch on Saturday when I automatically picked up a prawn mayo sandwich and Walkers Baked crisps because I know they're healthier. Choosing one scoop of ice cream instead of two, or an ice-lolly instead of a Magnum.

But there's still areas I slip up.

1) Lager shandy may be deliciously cooling in the heat but it's crammed full of sugar. Best I don't get too attached to them and instead stick to my usual vodka and slimline tonic or just diet Coke. At least I had my Pimms with diet lemonade on Saturday night.

2) Little Starfishies can't count. An accountant I maybe, but when it comes to keeping count of my points on the weekend I suck!!! During the week I stay accountable by the simple method of having a pad of post-it's on my desk which I jot down my intake on daily. It's quick, it's easy and it's THERE - I can see at a glance what I've had and what I've got left for the day. Come the weekend there's no desk and no post-it's, so there's no on-the-spot tracking. I'm trying to train myself this week to use the notes function on my phone to do my tracking, to see if I can do it over this coming weekend too. That would be a vast improvement if I could, because I tend to forget what I've eaten til much later otherwise.

10 weeks til Costa Rica - I need to figure this out. I think I've got a little too comfy where I am - afterall I wouldn't have dreamed of wearing short shorts this time last year, but I should bear in mind that I can still be much more comfortable in this heat and that bikini season is coming soon - eeeeek.

Oh - and I bought a new swimsuit at the weekend .... if it's too hot to walk / run / bike then it's time to take it to the pool!

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 21 May 2010


Another non-movement on the scale - neither up nor down. Another strop; 5 minutes considering whether just to give the whole thing up and then the realisation that it will NEVER be better if I do that.

Good things: I found a ready-made salad I liked last night, and I DID go the gym, after much mental to-ing and fro-ing that it was far too hot to bother.

Bad things: the stupid salad turned out to have 9.5pts in it. I get 21pts a day. How is that fair??? Why does eating healthy have to be such a mine-field? Thank god I'd been to the gym huh? I also made brownies last night. I haven't had any, but they're sitting on my desk tormenting me.

Today is going to be tough. I've got a lunch with the girls, where I'm going to meet my friend's new baby for the first time (hence the brownies which are my contribution to lunch), and then over to Jo's this evening for another girly reunion and takeaway. Give me strength!

I badly want to stay on track, as I'm DETERMINED to break out of this rut.

I'll check back in later and let you know how it's going.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Reason no. 343 to lose weight:


I am therefore enormously grateful that I am no doubt far more comfortable than I would have been either this time last year or the year before, but not as good as I could be yet.

I went for a run last night to boost my points, since lunch had used up more that I'd expected .... Jesus - I need to run more often as I had stitch most of the way round. I do like the fact that it's a relatively time efficient workout though. Now if only my belly didn't jiggle as much when I ran, I'd cut a much more dashing figure. Well, not so much dashing really, as slowly and tediously jogging, but you get the gist.

Still doing my best to make each day as good as I can manage, and for the most part I'm winning ... so if the damn scales would like to acknowledge that, even the teensiest bit, that would be just peachy.

I guess I can take solace from the fact that the scales are at least bouncing around the low end of my current range, rather than the high end, but damn me if they're not in a hurry to go anywhere. I wouldn't mind if they'd just step down a couple of lbs and then hang around there for a bit, but SOMETHING would be nice!!

Got to try and cram in a (no doubt very hot and sweaty) Body Combat class this evening, as well collection of brownie ingredients and some swift baking, as I'm providing dessert for a girls' lunch tomorrow.

Weekend plans are all up in the air again, and bizarrely the guy I like in my office bought me lunch today (yeah, I'm not quite sure what happened there either), but don't go getting all excited and reading anything significant into that shit, as I'm not.

Right, kids, got to shoot as I have a meeting now.

Later, dudes!

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


I know I generally talk more on here about what I'm doing and how, rather than the whys, and the touchy-feely stuff.

Right now, though, I'm having a mini-crisis. I feel like I've lost control of everything, and with that has gone the feeling of security I've built around being me.

In short, I'm worried about money, I'm worried about my job (although I'm working on sorting that one), I feel like my dreams are drifting slowly out of my reach, and worse I feel an apathy about that - that this is the best it will ever get. That's more depressing than I can tell you.

I worry I'll be single forever, and then I question what's wrong with me that that is the case (and why I appear to have "Other Woman" tattoo'd on my forehead in big inviting letters), I'm scared at the moment that the dynamics of my friendship group seems to be changing frighteningly fast and I can't decide whether to cling on and try and keep things as they were or run before I'm pushed. The group that has been my safety net and my comfort zone for so long feels like a group of strangers at the moment. Or maybe that's me and I'm the stranger - left behind whilst everyone else moves forwards.

For the last 5 years, Malvern has truly been home for me - spiritually as well as physically, because I felt liked, loved and safe there. I wouldn't leave, even when I seriously considered it, because so many of my friends were there, and I wanted to stay close to my Dad.

So how do I now feel so claustrophobic? Is it a passing thing or permanent?

In the midst of all that introspection, I'm realising that the only thing I can hope to control at the moment is my weight; my exercise and my eating. I can at least make something positive out of that.

I've been trying to break out in the last couple of weeks and spend time with other friends and keep myself busy, to alleviate the dependency on my Malvern friends. It's worked in part, but I still need to do more, as I'm not ready to face the big decisions yet.

In between that I can focus on the control of my eating though. It's like the opposite of emotional eating - trying to strip away all the emotion I'm feeling - sad, lonely, depressed, scared, nostalgic and a little bit paranoid - and focusing on eating for health.

Yesterday wasn't quite as perfect as I'd have liked (damned shortbread and I've still not quite conquered the boredom eating) and I was about 6 pts over, but there were big positive points. I was honest with my tracking where I wanted to deny it, and I avoided my usual pitfalls at the cinema last night (pic'n'mix) in favour of a little bag of Maltesers bought from home.

Iron Man 2 provided a couple of hours of welcome distraction from reality which I needed. And I discovered I'll be needing a new denim mini-skirt soon - it's too big when you can remove it without unzipping and unbuttoning.

In the meantime I'm still fighting the scales, still hovering just above where I want to be. Still battling.

Apologies for the epic wallow - there's a lot going on in my head and my life at the moment. Normal service will no doubt be resumed at some point.

Please don't trip over the chaos on your way through!

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

A narrow escape

Everything went quite well yesterday, in terms of food - I found I'd barely used my points by the end of the working day, due to cereal for breakfast and homemade soup for lunch, which left me free to indulge in something tastey, but ordinarily too high in points, for tea. The only problem was that I couldn't make up my mind what that was going to be!

Anyway, before I could get to teatime, I had a meeting after work with my recruitment consultant to discuss my job search for September. Admittedly, I'm still a little panicky about the whole money situation whilst I'm off travelling for a month, but I felt better after a positive discussion, that I shouldn't be jobless for too long at least.

Anyway - having the meeting at 5.30pm, I had assumed that I would miss my spinning class at 7, but it ended up that I was home 20 mins before class, so just had time to run down there. Imagine the irony then, that I had made it but the instructor hadn't as he was stuck in traffic! Luckily, one of the super-fit regulars stepped up to the plate, and with the gym's permission granted, we had an impromptu session. And my god, if it wasn't harder than normal!!!

During the class I got chatting to the girl next to me, Sandra, who I happen to know rides with the group I was meant to go out with on Sunday. Well, it turns out it's a good job I didn't! Apparently, they're ridiculously fast and quite often don't wait for stragglers, so if you're at the back you can just get left behind! Rubbish! Thank god that didn't happen to me.

On the upside, Sandra is keen to start a slower (and possibly girls only ride) in a couple of weeks time once she's got some exams out the way, and said to keep an eye on the website for tlonger longer ride, more relaxed pace and a focus on building confidence and skills. In other words - perfect! I shall definitely be looking out for that!

After class, and a check-in phone call with Jo about the coming weekend, it was back to trying to decide what to eat. Could I make my mind up??? Could I hell!!

I ended up grabbing a shower and some clean clothes and jumping in the car to try and find a supermarket still open at 9pm so I could satisfy my craving scampi - worth it in the end, but I ended up not eating til after 10 which I hate. At least the dreaded takeaway was avoided though.

Mind you, I then went to bed far too late after a long heart-to-heart online with a friend in London. They were trying to persuade me to move back down there, or at least move away from Malvern and make a fresh start, and the longer I think about this, the more I wonder if it's what I need to do for me. No idea, but I'm feeling pretty trapped at the moment.

That aside, I'm trying hard to avoid the amazing shortbread that someone's bought into the office today, and not to obsess over the guy in my office who I like but am too shy to do anything about - curses on my lack of self-esteem! So life as usual really!

More anon, beloved followers of my chaos!

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 17 May 2010

Oxford and dinner parties

Another weekend has flown by - partly lazy, partly hectic, partly on plan, and partly flying by the seat of my pants.

Friday I got away from work after a very productive morning, and realised that a bit of food shopping was in order. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, food shopping when ravenously hungry requires a Herculean effort of self-restraint not to come away with the whole shop in your trolley.

Luckily for me, I managed to pull that off and left with a basket of tastey but healthy food. The makings of picnic style sandwiches was left in favour of pumpkin-stuffed pasta which is easy to portion out and eat with salad. The cakes were reluctantly abandoned in favour of a single wholemeal scone fresh from the bakery counter to be eaten with posh but low sugar jam. Mission accomplished.

And so the rest of Friday passed in a blur of somewhat hormonal eating of low-fat and healthy snacks and food, until I finally got bored of thinking of what to eat next and forced myself out the door for a late evening walk. After that an early night and a sigh of relief that I hadn't overstepped my points.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny (and well rested), and I jumped in the car to meander through the sunny lanes and pretty countryside to Oxford to meet my schoolfriend Kate. (Slowly being the operative word, since I appear to have a notice on the front of my car, asking every slow and idiotic driver on the roads to wait til the very last minute before turning out agonisingly slowly in front of me, causing much hard braking, gesticulating, and gratuitous use of the horn. Grrrrrrrrr.)

Saturday was always going to be a challenge as I was out for the whole day and then off to a dinner party in the evening. The tactic therefore was to just keep making the best decisions I could and see how it turned out.

I decided to forego my usual weekend breakfast which has a few more points in it, in favour of my normal workday breakfast of Rice Krispies with skimmed milk which keeps me full up.

After a quick bus ride into town (Oxford has a very efficient and ridiculously cheap park and ride system, so it seems silly not to use it) we had a mooch round the shops, where I fell in love with the most beautiful dresses for a black-tie event I've got coming up in July. They looked fabulous, but the budget dictates that I'm not buying anything just yet on that front. Sob.

Lunch was at the lovely G & D's where a bagel with sun-dried tomatoes and Swiss cheese was duly scoffed, and a single scoop of their amazing homemade icecream (Dime Bar no less!) was wandered off with for a walk in the greens around Christchurch College.

More shopping followed, lots of catching up, and a small fruit smoothie and half a shared gluten-free brownie at afternoon tea.

After a pleasant drive home, there was just time to get changed, yell a quick greeting to my flatmate and then stroll across town and over the common in the late afternoon sunshine to Amanda and Steve's for dinner. Staying away from the alcohol and avoiding seconds was the tactic adopted for the evening, and home to bed for about 1am. Honestly? I was over points. But not nearly as over points as I could have been, and I'd added in some activity where I could so I was happy enough.

Now for a slight confession. I was meant to go biking yesterday with a new group, but I woke up at 7.30am and it was raining. I thought "I'll see what it's like in an hour or so and then make a decision on whether to go" and promptly fell back asleep and didn't wake up til 10am!! I guess I must have been more tired than I thought. So there went the biking. Or rather there didn't go the biking. Another hungry, hungry day instead but I held it together with more low-point snacks and did ok.

I'm still doing ok today too, so so far Saturday is the only off day I've had in a week and a half. Much better than anything I've managed recently.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 13 May 2010


I've been a-experimenting in the kitchen this evening - oh my lord, do I love my new toy!!

So - what I have purchased is a Kenwood Smoothie-2-Go. It cost an extortionate £20 - yep, ridiculously cheap, I agree.

This is my little baby set up to play in the kitchen. It's very compact in size, with a really nice solid feeling base with little gripper feet to stop it sliding around. So far, so good.

Not being the owner of any smoothie recipes, I sort of lobbed a couple of handfuls of stuff in the cup and gave it a whirl. Literally.

It's flaming powerful, and just chomped through the frozen mango with no sweat, and came up with a lovely smooth consistency.

This one is strawberry, banana, mango, just a touch of low fat vanilla icecream and a bit of apple juice to thin it. And a little taste test ...


I think there will be many more yummy smoothies ahead!

- Posted from my iPhone

Gadgetry ..... ooooooh ....

Hey, what's up, troopers?

Me? What's up in my world? Not a damn lot. The eating is still pretty much on plan (I know, I know - over a week now!), so there's not a lot to be said there, and I've got Body Combat tonight to kick my arse.

The little bastards that reside in the corner of my bathroom and cause me so much pain (that's my scales to you) have finally started to very, very slowly meander back in the right direction. One day I'll actually crack through that stupid barrier of 12st 10lbs that I've been swearing about since skiing - one day, but I'm not quite there yet.

I've had a bit of a cold coming on for the last couple of days, which bizarrely seemed to completely kill my appetite yesterday. I normally eat quite a few (healthy) snacks during the day at work, but I barely needed any of them yesterday. I kept going to eat something out of habit before realising there was no need. This was good though as it meant I had plenty of points to spare for dinner at my dad's last night so I could have comforting pasta amd 2 little brownie bites without worrying.

I was quite excited to day to see this at lunch while I was shopping - a half wrap with salad - tasty and healthy!!! I mean it looks nice doesn't it??

And the verdict?? Sadly, a resounding "Meh!". The wrap part was nice enough - chilli beef - although a tad heavy on the sour cream for my tastes, but the salad was plain nasty!! The rice was hard and freezing cold, like it had been frozen and only partially defrosted, and the rest of it managed to be tasteless, and in the case of the piri-piri dressing both tasteless and hot. And for the same points I could have had a much nicer wrap or sandwich from Boots or home.

Better luck next time Sainsburys!!!

BUT - Sainsburys did come up trumps on something else. I've been experimenting with smoothies and juices at home the last week or so and I'm really liking them. My baby blender, that is part of my handheld blender kit, doesn't quite cut it, so I was looking for something a bit stronger. I found the best thing ever!!! It's a smoothie-maker / juicer that blends the drink straight into a sealable travel mug so you can go straight out the door in the morning!! How awesome is that?

No more making too much, or extra washing up, and it comes with a second cup if you want more than one - I'm totally excited to try this when I get home! :-)

Of course, my poor flatmate's going to hate me if I make smoothies before 7 in the morning to take to work! Lol.

I'll have an experiment this evening and post up my findings!!! I've got bananas, strawberries, mango, apples, etc at home, plus skim milk, low fat natural yoghurt and low fat vanilla ice-cream. I tried banana, vanilla and cinnamon the other day which was lovely, but super thick!

Anyone got any suggestions for healthy or just tasty combos???

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A few little niggles

So I think I'm now up to 7 straight days of clean eating - which frankly has to be some kind of record for 2010.

At the moment I'm just taking it a decision at a time, a day at a time, and just attempting to keep stumbling along in the right direction. And honestly? It's going ok!

The scales on the other hand, sabotaging little bastards that they are, are doing their best to undermine my patience and willpower by either jumping up unexpectedly or stubbornly refusing to make any kind speedy progress back down. Not the most encouraging thing ever, but I take heart from the fact that they, ever so slowly, crawling back downwards, and that if I just keep doing the eight thing, they'll keep crawling in the right direction.

In the meantime, I'd take great delight in throwing them out of the window. Screw 'em!!!

I was a bit gutted last night to have yet another treat debunked as being off-limits - why is the nice stuff always so bad??? I had to go back to Cribbs Causeway after work to go and get yet another iPhone replacement (version 3 - let us pray this one doesn't self-destruct like the first 2!), so I went to my favourite juice bar there to get a smoothie to tide me over til I could get home and cook some dinner. I picked a small one with mangos, banana and low fat yoghurt, and while I waiting for them to make it I was intrigued to see that they had a booklet for customers with all the nutritional info in. I wish I'd never looked. My little smoothie had about 5 points in it!!!!! 350 calories! I should have just gone to Starbucks and got a sodding Mediterranean chicken panini for the same points. Sigh.

All in all, it wasn't the best day yesterday, as work also told me that they won't be giving me time off foe Costa Rica. Full stop. Non-negotiable.


So I had a mild panic, and then realised that this just brings me back to Plan A, which is to leave a job that I frankly hate. Just a couple of months earlier than otherwise expected.

Ah well - at least my eating wasn't bad - with the exception of the Surprising Smoothie, I was on plan yesterday.


- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, 9 May 2010

So far, so good

My good, lovely, darling readers ....

Could it be? Could it possibly be? Is this thing, I am currently experiencing, that holy grail known to some as "a weekend on plan"????

Surely not!!!!

And yet, here I am, on a Sunday afternoon, sitting in my biking clothes, having just been out for a lovely 2 hour jaunt round the local lanes (clocking up a reasonable 17 miles along the way).

More to the point, we went out for drinks on Friday night, and had a film-night with take-away and ice-cream last night, and I'm only 7 points over for the whole weekend so far.

Will wonders never cease?????

I definitely noticed the improvement in my stamina out on my bike today - I was actually cycling for 1 hour 40 mins, as I'd stopped by the river for a banana, and then swung by my dad's house on the way home, only to find he'd inconveniently decided to go out, but I felt fairly rested for most of the ride, and it only started to tell a bit in the last couple of miles, when I did the long slog back up on to the hills. I wasn't super-fast admittedly (it works out to a shade over 10mph on average), but I was comfortable and enjoying the scenery, and my average heartrate was only at the 130 marker - with stats like that the exercise just turns into a pleasant experience, and you don't notice the calories being burned, or muscles being used. Just the way I like it really!

It would be quite interesting to know how different that ride would feel on a road-bike, because obviously my mountain bike isn't really designed for road riding, but just for the moment, I don't do enough of it to justify another bit of shiny kit, so I use what I have access to.

Right - I'd best go have a shower and make myself presentable - catch you later!

p.s. this will be 5 days on track today - possibly pretty much the longest I've managed since Xmas since my weekends keep getting in the way ... looking good so far!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

3 days back on track and counting

Morning boys and girls,

I feel like some member of an alchoholics anonymous meeting - I have now been clean for 3 days and counting .... except it's food not alcohol that's my problem!

Anyhoo, yep - 3 days of good eating after the disaster that was the Bank Holiday weekend, and as always, as soon as I'm back on it, I feel much better. I'm taking it fairly easy on myself so far - I'm easing back into it, not being ridiculously strict, but that seems to work better for me - I might end up the odd point over here or there, which slows things down a little perhaps, but it stops me derailing and having a toddler tantrum because I can't have something when I want it.

Not a lot of exercise has happened this week so far, as it's been an absolutely manic week at work, and I gave blood on Thursday which meant I couldn't do my usual Body Combat class in the evening, so I've been concentrating on getting "incidental" exercise instead - just walking to local things instead of automatically getting in the car - out to the library, into town, to polling station to vote - that kind of thing. I also turned down two invitations to eat out last night, for the twin good reasons, that I'm feeling pretty poor, but also that restaurants are the quickest way I know of for me to fall off the wagon. Best avoided if possible!

So - this is a weekend post, and I won't ramble - but I did promise some photos to catch you up on what I've been up to recently. I definitely notice that I feel far more comfortable with how photos of me look these days.

Picnic stop on a 10 mile walk to Ledbury in March:

Group shot on the same walk, at the top of the North Hill:

A sunny Sunday afternoon walk with Bridget on the hills (we've said we're going to be doing lots more of these this year - very pleasant to gossip and get fresh air at the same time ... and the obligatory ice-cream at the end, guilt-free!):

Another weekend, another 12-miler - this time with a few extra added hills:

On Adam's leaving do from work in Cheltenham, after an afternoon at the horse-races:

Bridget and Hannah on the foot-bridge to Barmouth, on B's birthday weekend in Wales:

Getting ready to go biking at Machynlleth on the same weekend - the weekend of my first ever black run!

Yep - there's been some of this too - looking extra sweaty after last week's Body Combat class - 620 calories zapped in an hour, and a lot of excess frustration and tension got rid of:

A weekend's gentle stroll on the hills - a pleasant 2 hours, and 5 miles, exploring some of the quieter trails on the hills:

Some of the locals I met along the way (how cute at these pretty ladies?):

Playing around with the light and shadows on the beach in Wales:

Working the camera, baby, on Jo's birthday night out!!

Monkeying around on the Clent hills on Lissa's birthday adventure - another day, another 12 miles on foot - and it's getting easier:

No birthday outing is complete without a champagne picnic!

There seems to have been a lot of this recently - I blame Jo! A night out on the cocktails and shots, in Cheltenham last week - this is where a weekend goes wrong!

So there we are - something of a whistle-stop tour through the last 2 months or so! Lots of good times. I'm going to be spending this weekend, concentrating more on the getting out for fresh-air and less of the drinking / eating out.

Have a great weekend, folks!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The pity party is over

Yep - yesterday I totally wallowed. I wallowed in how rubbish I felt about going so wrong over the weekend, and in wallowing I ate more rubbish.

Clever, huh?

But the thing with wallowing, is when you're done you're still in the mud.

Today I'm back on dry land and making (another) fresh start. I want to see how many days in a row I can go staying on track. Probably about 2, but the memory of how good I felt last week is still fresh in my mind, along with how rubbish and panicky I felt over / after the weekend, so hopefully that will help.

Day 1.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Switching off the eating

It turns out it's pretty hard to just switch off the eat-eat-eat mentality of a weekend that crossed the line by so much, that the line was just a dot in the distance.

I tripped up this morning on birthday cakes, so I'm vowing now to make the rest of the day right.

I'm so tired of my bad attitude to food, but mostly I'm tired of not remembering how bad it makes me feel til after the deed. Why does my brain never register it before??

If only I was already at goal weight - maintaining seems to be the one thing I'm good at when what I want to be doing is losing.

Right now, I hate restaurants, I hate social-eating and I hate my own lack of willpower.

I honestly wonder if I'm ever going to get out of this rut I'm stuck in.

-- Posted from my iPhone


That's what weekends are. Especially Bank Holiday long weekends.

It's been an eating out marathon and I feel thoroughly sick this morning. And that's in spite of trying to make sensible choices. I gave up trying to track when I passed the 50 point deficit marker.

Back to eating normally today. And no more weekends. I might barf if I see another restaurant this month!

-- Posted from my iPhone