Wednesday, 30 March 2011


Hmmmm ... spot that I maybe a little excitable this post!  Unfortunately, and just to burst you bubble straight away, neither of my exciting things has anything to do with eating well or lower numbers at the scales. 

So, sorry and all that.

Two good things today though!

Firstly, and the lesser of the two ... possibly ... is that I finally learned mastered how to do proper poached eggs in boiling water this evening.  Now this is something, that as a relatively keen but amateur cook, I have intermittently tried to master, but inevitably ended up with an eggy, watery mess in the pan.  However, tonight's planned dinner was poached eggs on toast with mushrooms (which can I just say is one of my favourite simple but tasty and filling meals), and there I was in my kitchen faced with the conundrum of one of my silicone poaching cups being missing. I have a pair of them, and they're excellent as they turn out perfect poached eggs, time after time.  Well, I did have a pair of them ... now I appear to have only one!  I looked everywhere.  I had a single poached egg last week, so I know I had it then, but it is nowhere to be found in the kitchen now.  I even turned the rubbish bag out on the kitchen floor as I suspect I've accidentally thrown it away during last Friday's mammoth clean up.  Nothing.

I finally thought "where's the harm in trying just one more time" but decided to follow the instructions from Gizzi's Kitchen Magic this time ..... et voila, via the magic of her instructions, 2 perfectly done poached eggs.  YES!!!!!

So that was one cool thing, as I love mastering new techniques.  Especially when it's been something that's been eluding me for a while.

The second great thing today, was I went for a solo long run straight from my office today.  The plan was just to take it easy and run for an hour.  With the 10k and duathlon coming up in May and June, I want to be prepared.  I already know I can run 10k at my current level of fitness, but I've up (or downed?) my time goals from the last official run at Ashton Court in October.  So I want to get some more long runs in and know I'm going to enjoy it on the day.  I know my 5km time is slowly easing down in the direction of that magical 30 mins barrier, but I don't do enough longer runs to know how my endurance is panning out.

I left for my run straight from office today - just me and my iPod and my work pass, so I could pick up my kit and handbag on the way home.  My plan was just to run around the harbour and then out under the Clifton Suspension Bridge on the trail by the river.  Run til 30 mins on my watch, then turn round and head back round the other side of the harbour.  Mostly, I felt ok today - sometimes I'd hit my stride, sometimes I felt a little sluggish, once I just had the beginnings of a stitch, and a few times I wished I had some water, or had eaten something to boost my energy before leaving.  At least this time, I remembered to keep an eye on landmarks so I could map my run afterwards.  I had 1hr 5mins on the clock when I got back, and GMAP Pedometer shows it was 9.67km - which would put me at 1hr 7mins for the full 10km. 

And here's why I'm pleased - that first 10km at Ashton Court, I was aiming to finish under 1hr 20 tops, and preferably under 1hr 15.  We made it back (knackered) at 1hr 12.  For the Run Bristol in May, I'm aiming for 1hr 10 tops, and preferable under 1hr 5.  My last long (and admittedly very relaxed and chatty Sunday afternoon) run with Hannah was 1hr 20.  So 1hr 7 today?  Already right in the zone I want on the day, with 6 weeks of running time still to go!  And totally my fastest run to date.  By a good 5 mins.  I have absolutely no doubt that I would have continued at the same rate for that last piddly 400m had I needed to.

I didn't feel particularly pushed today - I tried to stay at a comfortable, easy pace for me and just enjoy it without thinking too much about time / distance until right at the end.  Sweet.

On the eating end of things - yesterday was great, until we went to the cinema in the evening.  I deliberately didn't go out for dinner with my friends before hand, and met them ready for the film, except we ended up going to see a later film (oh my God - True Grit everyone - brilliant!), and the suggestion to get dessert came up.  And not just any dessert, but The Lot.  Which is literally a speciality of the bar / restaurant at the cinema (we have fancy cinemas in Bristol).  It's to share between 2 people (and being there was 4 of us you can see how I got suckered into this), and it's basically 6 scoops of Ben and Jerry's icecream (pick your flavours, people!) and two platters on the side - one chocolate with chocolate fudge cake (big slice of), chocolate flakes, chocolate sauce and lots of chocolate type bits to scatter on your ice cream, and one the old-fashioned sweet shop with cheesecake (big slice of), raspberry sauce, dolly mixtures, and lots of different jelly sweets.  Ridiculously good, but also a ridiculous amount of food for 2 people.  If you ask me, one between 4 of us would have been fine!  So yeah, that kind of tripped me up.

Today we've had lunch out with work (a chicken wrap and a small portion of skinny fries), and then my boss bought me latte and brownie at our afternoon planning meeting, hence the eggs on toast for tea.  Good job I ran for an hour then!

Normality resumes tomorrow.  Oh and Fitball class at lunchtime, which has been known to fell far fitter people than me!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Snotty McSnotterson Checking In

Bleugh - I've got a cold, and I totally hate.  Mind you - what it's really drawn my attention to is that fact that I must not have had a cold / been ill for ages, as I'd completely forgotten how much they suck!

Sneeze, sneeze, sniff, blow, sniff, sniff, sneeze. 

I don't have time to be ill, people! I have things to do!

That said, I didn't feel much like working out today - funny how the inability to breath properly affects your motivation!  But I was feeling pretty stiff after the walk on Saturday (seriously??  Why so stiff after a flipping walk??) as my calves and glutes were pretty tight, so thought a lunchtime Body Balance class would be better than sitting in the office feeling miserable.  And I was so right.

In fact - I magically stopped sniffing for the duration of the class.  How does that happen??  It was a great class - the lady taking it was awesome and I felt much better for it afterwards.

Eating's not been terrible, and not been fantastic either, today.  I can't taste that much, but I'm also feeling sorry for myself, so a Frency Fancy and some malt loaf snuck into my mouth.  Lots of fresh veggies for dinner with pasta to make up for it though.

On the practical side of things, I've managed to sort my new car finances out today, and after a sweaty palms moment, passed the credit checks, so I shall hopefully be picking up my new car and getting rid of the unrealiable Corsa this week ... woooohooooo!  I'm downgrading from my 1.7l Corsa SXI to a little 1l Citroen C1 citycar, which I'll be leasing for the next 2 years.  Multiple plus points in this arrangement for me as I can plough the equity from my current car into my debts (every little bit helps, huh?) and in return I gain a new, (hopefully) reliable, warranty covered, super economical car to run.  So I get money for my debts, and the car costs me less to run - pretty much a win-win situation!!  Especially given that I was just given the bad (but not at all unexpected) news today that I won't get a payrise for 2011 since I only joined the company in October. Slightly disappointing, but never mind.  Just got to keep ploughing on with what we've got to hand.

Debt and weight loss - like peas in a pod.  A long, slow process, where the best you can do is chip away, try not to think about how far you still have left to go, and accept that life will make things difficult and occasionally set you back!


Sunday, 27 March 2011


Well, my lovelies, that's it!!!

My sense of taste has officially deserted me and all food now tastes of ... nothing whatsoever.

Stupid cold.

Oh well - I guess if I can't taste anything there's no point in eating very much!


Walking, curries and cars

I'm having such a nice weekend! We had a gorgeous walk from Malvern to Ledbury yesterday, even if the cloud did decide not to clear from the top of the hills for ages, but it was so nice to be out and doing stuff with friends anyway!

Friday night I went for drinks with friends, which nicely rounded off my spur-of-the-moment day off of relaxation. And then last night we had dinner at a lovely local Indian restaurant and then went to see a local band play. And of course the best thing about having done 10 mile walks earlier in the day is you can put the food-guilt on one side at dinner time.

In fact - I'm having a pretty good weekend for eating. The not drinking thing totally helps as I'm not wasting calories (and my precious pennies!) on alcohol - I might end up sticking with this for a bit longer after Lent is done and see if it will help me finish getting this last ~10lbs shifted to get me to goal!

And I made good choices with my picnic yesterday, checked my available points before I went out for dinner last night so I could make an educated choice and have tracked everything as I've gone. I'm almost in danger of having a great food weekend!

I've also been very proud of myself on my positive thinking - I've been making a very conscious effort to not be negative about things - to be positive about myself and my current situation, but also to keep unhelpful negative opinions to myself when talking about other people. I don't like how I either turn other people's good fortune to a whine about my bad fortune, or am just pointlessly bitchy sometimes - it feels much nicer to only come out with the positive / constructive stuff.

Other than that, I've been doing a bit of haggling with the garage and think I've sorted out a new car for myself that sees me (hopefully) getting rid of my horribly unreliable and expensive Corsa in favour of something much more economical and even frees me up some money to pay towards the ever-hovering debts. Fingers crossed it all goes through ok!!

Hope you've all had good weekends - I'm going to go back to lounging on my bed reading in the sun from the window and intermittently emitting snotty sounds - stupid colds!!!

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 25 March 2011

Skin Of My Teeth

Happy Friday boys and girls!!!

I don't know how, but after a weekend of particularly heinous cake-fuelled eating and a subsequent week of not overly inspired getting-back-to-itness, I've somehow arrived back at my lowest weight to date of 12st 2.8lbs.  Unless you count my second standing on the scales when I got up properly after my lie-in in which case I'm at a new low ... but I don't, so we shall ignore that.

I think it is fair to say that I have exercised my Jammy Bugger card this week and got away with it by the skin of my teeth.

However I got here - fate, the Gods, downright flukiness - it now comes down to me to put in a bit of effort to keep going.

I've had a lovely impromptu day off work today - basically the equivalent of the US' mental health day - a last minute decision yesterday that I didn't want to go to work today and just wanted a completely unplanned day to relax and unwind.  And that's exactly what I've had, except it's actually turned out oddly productive.  I've woken up naturally without an alarm, wandered into town in the sun to collect my contact lenses and then stopped at Starbucks on the way back to sit for a quiet hour with a muffin (skinny of course) and just peacefully devour a magazine from cover to cover. 

I've also tidied the flat, done several loads of washing, cancelled some direct debits, chased some money owed to me and made some enquiries about a new car ... productive or what!  And in between times had extra tasty lunch and read some of my book.

Eats have not been at all bad today so that's pleasing.  The plan for this weekend runs something along the lines of driving back to Malvern tonight to stay with my Dad, and then meeting up with friends tomorrow for a nice walk somewhere and possibly dinner and watching the England v Wales football, or something along that line anyway.  I'm still not drinking due to my giving the old alco-frol for Lent, so that makes things a little easier - here's hoping (and aiming) for a fairly restrained but fun weekend.

Enjoy the sunshine, lovelies!

Today I like: (aside from the sun and free time obviously) the way I have natural colour along my cheekbones which accentuates them ... and hell, that I have cheekbones at all these days :o)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

A Little Bit Easier

Hey boys and girls,

How's it going?  Aren't you just loving this amazing Spring weather?  Two days of walking to work with no coat, and I'm in a skirt and bare legs today, and it's totally perked my mood up!

My eating's still not perfect, but it's certainly more conscious than it was - case in point - I wanted something sweet to take to Hannah's last night to watch a film, but didn't want to go for chocolate so got one of those sherbert dip things instead as it was smaller.  And today, I know I've got left over lasagne for dinner, so I'm being careful with my daytime points.

I've been out for a run in the glorious sunshine this lunchtime with Liz, who I work with.  It turned into a bit more of a jog / amble as she was getting terrible stitch, but just getting out and getting sunshine, fresh air and movement was great.  I alos got an extra hour's walking in the sunshine yesterday lunchtime, so at least I'm doing something.

I'm taking tomorrow off as a me-day - just a day to chill, catch up on sleep, get a few chores out the way and relax before the weekend - no special plans, just the luxury of some spare time - and I'm so excited!!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Well, after this morning's shower-time revelation as to my recent comfort eating, I've made it through the day in tact.

Spin class at lunch time (although with very tired legs) and have even managed to squeeze in dinner out and a small pack of Maltesers at the cinema this evening without deviating from plan. Better.

- Posted from my iPhone

Blinded By The Light

This morning, I had one my legendary shower-inspiration moments. 

For some reason, the shower is a place where I have frequently struck mental-gold over some snarly problem that I've been stuck on.  God knows why, but in my uni days it wasn't unusual for my flatmates to find me frantically writing code several hours after I got out the shower (I did a computer science degree, just to clarify) still sat wrapped in a towel.  I never could get my head round programming, and I could be turning a problem over in my head for hours with the solution just tantalisingly out of reach, only to get in the shower and have the answer crystallise perfectly after 5 mins under the hot water.  Not wanting to lose my train of thought I'd just grab a towel and throw myself back into my desk chair and pour it onto the screen before I forgot my logic.

Anyhoo ..... back to the present .... the last couple of weeks, the observant amongst you may have noticed a somewhat up and down trend with my weight.  After a couple of weeks solid progress at the start of the year, I stalled.  I knew what I should be doing, but just couldn't quite consistently hang it all together.  I've continued to work out a steady 3 or 4 times a week, but have trouble extracting my hand from the cereal box and my head from the fridge for extended periods of times.  And as for the weekends .... mostly best not spoken of.  This weekend has probably been the worst yet, as I haven't even bothered to track it.  Never a good sign.

What I haven't been able to figure out was why I was behaving this way.  I still wanted it - there as no doubt about that, but I was just consistently saboutaging myself, and then having to turn myself inside out to try and make up lost ground.


Shower inspiration!!!

It came to me as clear as day this morning - I have been indulging in absolutely, text-book perfect emotiomal eating, and I hadn't even realised it.

The compulsion to eat, and the comfort it gave me, as I sat there with my hand mindlessly moving between the cereal box and my mouth?  Looking around for the next thing when I finished the first?  Errrrr - yeah - classic emotional eating.

I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier what I've been doing, because I've been feeling it for a few weeks now.  I guess I didn't really register how all the stress about money, men, my car, my low-self-esteem and worrying about my friends was affecting me. 

It's weird, because the moment I realised it, I felt like somebody had flipped a switch in my head.  I just feel lighter today.  Or maybe that shining a light on it has made the gremlins go away.  Not knowing why I kept wanting to eat made it virtually impossible to stop as it was just trying to fire brute-force willpower at the problem, and effectively fighting myself.  But understanding my behaviour means I can find alternative ways to cope with it instead.

Aspects of Self-esteem

OK, I'm officially rubbish - I started this post yesterday and never got round to finish - there's a few of those knocking around in my drafts box at the moment - must do better!

It's funny isn't it, how we can have such conflicting opinions of ourselves.  My feelings about myself, whilst changing all the time, also range between the emotional responses and the logical assessments - it's just a shame I can't iron them out into one overall opinion!

How is it possible for us to have positive objective series of thoughts about ourselves, and then somehow come back to an overall negative subjective opinion? It just doesn't make sense!

Have an example if you will - I have, at various points over the last week had the following thoughts:
  • I have a great curve from my waist to my hips;
  • My legs looked great in my city shorts on Saturday night;
  • All my features are int he right place and a nice / shape proportion (yeah, don't laugh - I do think that way) - my face is "pretty";
  • My hair looks great;
  • Proportionally, I look a pretty healthy weight these days - I'm a normal size;
  • Although smaller than it used to be, my wardrobe contains a good mix these days and I dress well, and I'm great at accessorising (just going on what people tell me - honest!); and
  • I come across as confident, friendly and outgoing (again - this is feedback from other people).
So please explain to me, People of Wisdom, why it is that I still think of myself as unattractive in an overall fashion, and am convinced there is something heinously wrong with me.  Please.  Anybody?

And when I say "unattractive", I do mean actively "unattractive", rather than just neutrally not "attractive", if you follow me.

I am at my wit's end - for all the positive talking I do to myself, pointing out my advantages and good points, after professional councelling and endless reassurance from friends, acquaintances and near-strangers alike (until they're blue in the face, poor things), I still can't move from my default setting.

And annoyingly, when I pin down the source of my conviction, it's bloody men.  Doesn't matter that everyone else in the world (ignore the slight exaggeration, please) thinks I'm fine, it would appear that my mind is fixated on the one point that there isn't one specific someone telling me that.  Gaaaaaaaah!!!! 

I have in fact, recently given up men.  For the benefit of the last two remaining shreds of my sanity (one of which is already severely frayed), I have gone cold-turkey on dating.  I am trying very hard to move away from my dependency on external validation that I am allowed to love myself.

I felt great at the beginning of this year when I was seeing London Boy for a while, and now feel worse after being dumped.  But mostly I dislike that I've allowed it to get to me.

Can anyone please give me suggestions on how to get it into my concrete-density head that I am in fact, just fine.  Anyone??


Sunday, 20 March 2011

Hideous But Fun

That is the best way I can describe my eating this weekend! 

We've been celebrating Jo's 30th birthday, and the diet has gone out of the window in favour of spending time with friends and marking a waypoint in our lives.  And that is absolutely fine .... as long as the bad eating stops there and doesn't continue into the rest of my week.

I didn't post my weigh in on Friday because I stayed the same.  Although I saw a new low weight in the early part of last week, I bounced back up: this is the result of my good-during-the-week-bad-during-the-weekend eating I tend to resort to.  And last week wasn't even a terrible weekend. 

I do need to get this a bit more under control.  I tried popping my own corn tonight and it actually turned out really well - it's nice to eat it and know exactly what's gone into it from start to finish.  However, I did make the mistake of not measuring out the portion first, and at the bottom of the bowl, I found myself licking the surplus sugar / cinnamon combo off my fingers when I realised I was just eating sugar for the sake of it.  I don't need it, and I want to lose weight more ... I need to remember that more often.

Anyway - the cake, karting and one-off drinking fest of this weekend is over now - onwards with some decent eating and exercise for the week!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Sweet Roasted Roots with Grilled Halloumi

Since a couple of you commented that this recipe sounded pretty good, I thought I'd actually post the (very simple) recipe for your delectation.

This was taken from the Weightwatchers magazine this month, and is a great weeknight supper that reheats well (hello tasty lunch today!).

The original recipe serves 4, but being the greedy sod I am, I split mine into 3.

Sweet Roasted Roots with Grilled Halloumi:

3 fresh beetroot, peeled and roughly diced
600g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
300g carrots, roughly chopped
3 tsp oil (the recipe says olive oil, but personally, I use rapeseed oil)
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
250g halloumi, sliced (the recipe suggests light halloumi, but I couldn't find it so just used regular - there's not much difference in terms of fat content)

1) Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 / 200 C / fan 180 C.  PLcae the beetrooot, squash and carrots in a large roasting tin and add the oil.  Season well, combine and roast for 45-60 mins, or until lightly charred and softened.
2)  Drizzle the vegetables with the balasamic vinegar and stir.  Top with the sliced halloumi and pop under a hot grill for 3-4 mins to brown the cheese.

Yep - just 2 steps - best thing ever!!!

With my portion sizes and whole-fat halloumi, I worked out the points to be 8 points - pretty reasonable.  I served with broccoli and a side of raw spinach.  The recipe actually has suggestions for a salad as follows, but I didn't do this last night:

1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 tsp olive oil
1 bunch watercress
1 bunch spring onions, chopped finely

3)  While the vegetables and halloumi are under the grill, combine the lemon juice, mustard and olive oil.  Season and whisk in 1tbsp water.  Toss togerther with the watercress and onions, and serve alongside the finished dish.

The great thing about this dish is that the veg can be varied to suit whatever's in the fridge - in fact, I swapped in carrots instead of sweet potato - allowing me to up the cheese portion and keeping the points down - but any sweet root veg will work I should think!

Enjoy!! :o)

Today I like:  my resilience - you can try and keep me down but I have tendency to bounce back - I'm a natural fighter!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Ramblings and Musings

Evening all!!

Just for once, I'm glad to say that my radio-silence has not co-incided with dietry disaster (ooooooh, alliteration so early in the post .... pretty!!!!).  Which may come as a shock, but just occasionally it happens.

I seem to have regained my "I can be bothered because I want this momentum" this week, and I've been busy clocking points on my tracker and making the best of it.  My eating's been pretty solid, and I've been to spinning and done a run today, so is all is well on that side of things.

As far as the scales go, they seem to be pottering around a bit all over the place, and normally that would be leading to screaming frustration on my part.  What's different this week is that I came to one or two conclusions that help me deal with the fluctuations a bit more calmly.  Firstly, as often follows the weekend, the scales dipped on Monday / Tuesday, then bounced up this morning.  I've no idea why the weekend excesses (whether controlled or free-for-all) take a few days to show up on the scales, but by now I'm used to it.  Yesterday's number, in fact, was a new all time low for me (just), so rather than fret at this morning's spike, I reminded myself that as long as the dips get to new lows, then the little peaks don't matter.  After all, the peaks now as what used to be my lows, so there is very slow (but bumpy) progress in the right direction.

I decided that this week would also be a good time to resurrect my start-of-year intention to try more new recipes, so I experimented with one from Weightwatchers magazine this evening.  It was in the latest issue and is for Oven Roasted Sweet Roots with Grilled Halloumi.  Flipping lovely too!  You can play around with what veg go in, and I dropped the salad part as it had extra points I didn't need, but the rest was gorgeous.  Beetroot, butternut squash and carrots, slow-roasted for an hour, and then popped under the grill with a tablespoon of balasamic vinegar and the halloumi on top.  So simple, but I would never think of adding the vinegar normally, or indeed using the cheese instead of meat.   I'm totally adding that to my list of regulars though!

It did occur to me earlier, that giving up alcohol for Lent is actually going to be great for my diet.  If I look  back over the past couple of weekends, the amount of points I've lost to alcohol is just obnoxious - just cutting out the drink will probably save me around 30 points a week when it's a heavy social weekend.  Good for my liver, my purse and my diet???  WINNER!!!

The only other thing going on at the moment really, is my ongoing struggle to figure out how to get my debts repaid in something less than 20 years time.  The only real long-term way I have to make a real impact on the numbers is to move to a cheaper flat and save on the rent.  Problem is I love my little flat (even though it isn't cheap) and adore the location.  I've been vaguely chatting with one of the girls I work with about house-share options in Bristol, but it looks like that option's not available to me just yet, as I checked my lease this evening and it's for a full 12 months with no opt out - looks like I'm not going anywhere til the end of the year.  I'm not sure whether I'm glad I'm not forced to move out for frugal reasons, or depressed that yet another option has been removed.  Bank won't give me a loan, and I can't move to a cheaper flat.  For god's sake - learn from me, and look before you leap into debt!!!

I'm currently trying to figure out if I can get away with selling my car to avoid yet more bills on it, since it's proven itself to be the most unreliable heap of junk on the planet, and whether I could use a chunk of the proceeds to try and make at least a little dent in the mountain of debt.  Hmph - money-worries suck - especially if you have the added humiliation of being an accountant who should know better!  Thank god, I can at least afford to keep things ticking over for the moment, and I haven't reached critical meltdown point - one positive thing - it can always be worse.

It's funny how one person's life can go up as another's goes down, and they can still be upset about it though.  Whilst I scratch my head in depressed fashion over the money, and consider the total lack of anything exciting on my horizon in the form of holidays, spending, occasions, all whilst having made the positive decision to totally give up on men whilst I try and figure my self-esteem problem out (so add a total lack of any exciting dates in the foreseeable future too), Hannah is having holidays galore, and is off travelling round South America for 3 months in the summer, shopping like it's going out of fashion and has a new man.  And yet, there she was on my sofa last night after the cinema, in tears, because she still loves her ex, is scared about the prospect of the new guy, worried about travelling alone and is having fits over how much money she's spent even though it was all saved for a rainy day.  The irony is I'd kill for her life right now!

Hopefully, something fun and exciting (and preferably in a good way and cheap since I have no money) will come along to cheer me up soon, because right now my life looks like a slog of the totally-no-fun-whatsoever variety.  Ah well - keep fighting the good fight!

Today I like:  the shape of my calves between my pencil skirt and my heels.  Sexy! :o)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Monday, bloody Monday.

This weekend turned into an interesting balance of bike ride and very good food.  We spent Saturday in Bath and afternoon tea at the Pump Rooms, which was amazing, but cake-heavy.  When we finally recovered some form of appetite later that night, we had a late dinner at Goldbrick House - again - beautiful food.  The good thing with both of those though, was that very good food often comes in smaller portions.

What doesn't come in smaller portions is fudge from the Fudge Factory in Bath.  Absolutely phenomenal, but it turns out that there is a limit on how much you can eat before you feel physically sick.

All honestly noted down in the tracker though.  And then yesterday, we went for a 3 hour potter down the nearby Strawberry Trail.  Even a three hour potter on the bike earns quite a few activity points, so I've finished what was a very foodie weekend, without too much damage inflicted. 

Today's been pretty good, as I've been on the ball with my eating (although having a rest day on the exercise front), and I've even managed to stop when I'd used all my points.  Boo ya.

Oooh - and did I mention I've given up alcohol for lent?  Yes I have!

And continuing on from the previous post and bolstering my self-esteem - today I like:  my lips - the're a good shape - that's all :o)

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Yay Me! No - Yay You Guys! Oh Sod It - Yay All Of Us!

I never fail to be impressed your most excellent cheerleading skills.  Although I have to admit that I genuinely don't want to write with the idea of getting comments or validation on any particular thing (believe me, you'll know when I do!), it is always nice to get comments like those.  So thank you (again), and I heart you all.

Claire pointed me off in the direction of the rather excellent Eat The Damn Cake.  And I have to admit, I rather liked it.  It's quite a mish-mash of different articles and thoughts around all sorts of points, but mostly with the focus of feeling better about yourself and not worrying so much.  What I liked best of all though (aside from the fact she's passionate about cake, which I wholeheartedly approve of) was the "unroast" that she has at the end of every post: a little unrelated line where she says what she likes about herself that day.  Ending on a positive thought if you will.

For me, yesterday, I liked 2 things - 1) that I got up at 6am and went to the gym, despite none of my clothes having dried properly so having to go in slightly clammy kit and there being no clean jeans so having to wear a mini-skirt instead because it was what was clean.  I had determination.  2) wearing that skirt all day gave me a healthy appreciation that I like my legs, because they're long (in proportion to my very average 5ft 6in self anyway) and strong.  They ain't skinny, and I like that I can see my quads moving when I walk and move, and that I have calf muscles.  A tiny bit leaner at the tops (which happens when I run anyway) and I'll be very happy indeed.

And another cool thing - I was looking at my running log for the year on Thursday (yeah, I'm keeping one this year, along with a workout timetable - I like being able to look back and see how much I've done), and my next run will take me over 60km run this year.  That's over a marathon (easily) in the first 2 and a bit months.  For a novice runner, that feels like a pretty awesome achievement.  Lots more miles in these legs yet this year.

I'm taking this weekend off from real life - being selfish and enjoying some R & R time.  This does not mean I'm taking the weekend off the healthy-eating and moving, because that's part of the self-love programme.  I enjoyed my food yesterday, including a long awaited Chinese takeaway for tea (I think vegetable Chow Mein and dim sum might be my new favourite menu - yum!), did a 6.45am spin class followed by 7.30am Abs yesterday, had a drink with friends at lunch, finished the piece I was working on in the office, and a very long chat with Jo on the phone yesterday evening.  I watched the tv I wanted (Grey's Anatomy - love, love, love it!!) and slept like the dead.

And now I'm going to get my lazy ass out of my pj's, have a shower and go walk to the station and catch a train to Bath for a lazy afternoon with friends.  And on that note - ciao!  Have a fab weekend, folks!

(Final note - my heart goes out to all those affect in Japan - I've been watching a lot on BBC News online, and it's awful - I can't believe how lucky we are in the UK).

Today's Self Love - I like that my hands, while not the most elegant, can do stuff.  They bake pretty awesome cakes, they play (or used to play) instruments and make music (grade 7 viola, thank you very much - bet you didn't know that!!), and they can draw (although horribly out of practice).  They have skills!  I miss being creative.  I should be more creative again.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Fear and Self-Loathing in the West Country

Deviating slightly away from the healthy thing on this post.

I have spent most of this morning (and in fact most of the last couple of days) feeling pretty down and miserable.  I haven't been feeling the best about myself the last couple of weeks, as I haven't really bounced back from getting dumped a couple of weeks ago.  I guess I've been sulking a bit.  Then something happened this weekend, which made me realise that there's another relationship in my life that's pretty toxic too, and was making me feel rubbish.

Those two things on top of each other, have well and truly pummelled my self-esteem into the ground.  I took the brave step (after a short delay) of ending that second relationship myself to save myself some longer term pain and I'm glad I did because I've known for a while I needed to but couldn't find the willpower to do it.

What both of those events have made me realise is this though:  other people don't care for me enough to either put me first.  Ok, painful.  But that eventually led me to another realisation:  I don't care for me enough to make other people feel the same.

I just don't like myself.  There's bits I don't mind, I'll grant you, but there's far more I dislike.

I know from my councelling last summer, that part of this boils down to the double standards I apply to myself and the world - the ones for me are far, far stricter.  I thought I'd started to move past that, but I guess I've backslid some.  The other part though, is pure and simple that there are aspects of myself and my life that I. Just. Don't.  Like.

So, what do you do when you feel like that?

Option A is sit and wallow.  Feel miserable, and pity myself.  Whine to my friends (my dear ever-patient friends), and drive them away.  Have people respect me even less.

You know?  While that might be tempting, it doesn't sound like it'll be fun for more than about 5 minutes.  And whatever else I am, I'm generally a fighter.

So that leaves Option B.  Option B is to figure out how to like myself a bit more.  Not an easy task to be sure, but I'm convinced that doing something will feel better than doing nothing.

It turns out that the internet is a wealth of information on this type of stuff.  A quick google reveals pages of articles and blogs and general scribblings on the subject of liking yourself and building self-esteem.

There seem to be lots of ways to approach it, but generally they seem to fall into 3 categories:
  1. Focus on what you do like about yourself.  Make a list, write it down, appreciate the good stuff, and stop worrying about the rest.  Sounds a bit like denial to me.
  2. Focus on what you don't like (yeah, I'm good at that), but do something about it.  Make a list, write it down, but turn into a To Do list and work at improving those things.  Hmmmm, confrontational and scary.
  3. Scare yourself.  Apparently self-esteem is very closely linked to self-respect, so the act of doing something scary and conquering it bolsters your self-respect, and by default your self-esteem.  Ummmm - I'm not sure I like scary things.
But clearly I need to do something because sitting here miserable sucks.  And in a couple of months, Hannah's going off travelling for the summer and then I'm going to be even more alone, and it's a truth universally acknoweldged that sitting around miserable and alone totally sucks.

That's kind of as far as I've got with the thought processes so far .... a committment to trying to something, even if I'm not quite sure where to start yet.

Must Do Better

This week has proved a little haphazard so far, and I don't like what the scales say as a result.

So today, I commit to making it a good day of eating. It's a rest day on the exercise front (pre-planned) but that is no excuse for sloppy eating.

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Just Gotta Keep Going

Sometimes, no matter how rubbish you feel before you run (think proper blood-sugar crash with hot and cold shakes while I was walking home from work), it all comes right for no apparent reason. 

As we finished our 5km lap, I still felt fresh, so put another 2.5km under my belt before I headed in.  I could have done more again, but it was great as it was. 

I may or may not (so read: may) have come home and eaten a couple of spoonfuls of nutella after dinner ... the damn stuff is like crack for me, and we bought it for pancakes yesterday .... ah well, at this rate I don't expect it will last very long.  It's tracked, and I'm still just about in bonus points for the day.  Good enough, I guess, for now.

I'm off to take my not-quite-as-disciplined-as-I'd-like-it-to-be-but-still-trying ass to bed for a decent night's kip.

More anon, fighters of the good fight.

Blogging DOES Help

See, I knew this would happen: as soon as I get back to blogging regularly, I'm in the zone with my food and exercise.  Or more in the zone anyway, as I already 'fessed up my pancake guzzling last night.

Today, however, is a new day full of promise, and so I'm back on the healthy eating.  The scales have a me a couple of lbs up at the moment, so I'm aiming to get as close to a stay-the-same this week as I can, and use the extra couple of day's good eating as a spring board into next week. 

It occurred to me, that with my bi-weekly social planning at the moment (just the way it's turned out), if I can stay-the-same on social away weeks, and manage a good loss on the week's off, I should still be moving downwards at a steady pace.

In the meantime, I'm off to go and do some more financial planning - I'm great at the planning, even if I lack a little panache in the execution stakes! lol

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Pancakey Goodness

I feel like I've been MIA for a few too many days now, and I notice that when I don't have the accountability of my blog, I'm not always so good.

Going into this weekend, which was barging in Wales, with a partially completed food journal certainly helped, but there were things I hadn't accounted for, like somebody bringing a load of those boxes of mini bitesize treats for dessert on Friday, and there being a lot of rum punch on Saturday night. 

Still, I tracked every damn thing I could remember, including the half bag of Jelly Babies in the car on Friday, and at least I know how bad the damage is. 

Sunday wasn't too bad, as I was already out of the holiday thinking, so I talked myself out of the takeaway on the way home, and just had some beans on toast and went to bed early.

Yesterday, I was positively virtuous on the food front, and thankfully Hannah dragged my totally lethargic ass out for an evening 5km run which did me some good.  I love to report that today had gone similarly virtuously, as I rang the gym and booked myself in for lunchtime spin at 7am this morning, but the day was somewhat ruined by both a lack of food in the flat, meaning I resorted to careless eating during the day for convenience, and then pancakes this evening.  Oh my lordy - great pancakes - we had thin ones, fat American style ones, savoury ones with salmon and cheese, sweet ones with banana and chocolate, lots of fruit salad, and even blueberry pancakes.  There were too many, as my complaining stomach pointed out, but at least they were dinner rather than an as-well-as.

Back to fabulous eating tomorrow, now that the annual pancake-fest is out the way - onwards!!!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Early Weigh In

Today has very much been a day of ups and downs.

On the upside, I weighed in a day early this morning so as to get a realistic weight on my own scales at my normal weigh in time (rather than my Dad's slightly sketchy scales tomorrow morning). This week's result: 12st 2.8lbs, which is down, ummm, quite a lot from last week. 3.2lbs I think.

On the downside, I got a call-back from the bank just as I was leaving my flat for work, to tell me that they'd turned down my loan application. I've tried so hard not to get my hopes up about this, but I felt pretty crushed to have that option taken away from me.

Apparently, I've been turned down because I've been over my agreed overdraft by about £10 sometime in the last 6 months and that makes me a bad prospect. Never mind that I make all my bill payments on time, and want to use a small part of the loan to clear and shut my overdraft completely and also ease my cash-flow a bit.

After considering crying for about 30 seconds, I told myself to suck it up, as it won't change anything. I tried, and for the moment it didn't work. Ok, so for the time being there's no (slightly) easier way out of my debt. I'm just going to have to keep plodding and do it the hard way, and if it is like wading through treacle and thoroughly demoralising, well tough shit. I got myself in this mess, and it's down to me to get myself out.

Like everything else that's worthwhile in life, it's not going to be easy and I'm going to have to fight hard for it. As per usual, Jo stepped in with practical words of support as well as cheering me up over email, because she's an awesome friend, and I'll keep fighting this thing.

Off home to Dad's tonight, and then off barging in Wales tomorrow - a busy weekend (and probably the last one away I can afford for a while). I just need to sit back and enjoy and stick to my food plan.

Keep fighting!

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Digging Deep

I will be the first to admit that there are days when I'm just not feeling it.  When it's a struggle to find the motivation to spring out of bed and book a spin class. 

This morning was definitely one of those days.  I rolled over, turned off the alarm, and .... just lay there.  Debating whether I could be bothered to spin, even though I said I would.  Eventually (after a couple of minutes) I hauled my lazy carcass out of bed, and at least looked at the timetable to see what time lunchtime spin was today.  Wooooohooooo - no spin class.  Oh rats - except that means I should run instead and spin tomorrow.

You know what turned that decision over for me, and made me pack my bag - I actually sat there and asked myself "how much do you want this?".  I talked about how you need to really want it a couple of weeks ago, and then you're prepared to make the neccesary decisions and sacrifices.  But right then, I wasn't following my own advice.  So I stopped and asked myself "how much do I want it?", and surprisingly, the answer was "enough".

My run turned out to be one of those where I was not feeling it.  I don't know if it was a hangover from last night's feebleness, but  I'm still fighting a total lack of energy, and feeling dull and lethargic.  So my completion of that run was born out of sheer bloody-minded stubborness.  I'd got most of the way round without stopping, and I hadn't died yet, so I just dug deep and got on with it.  5km, no walking breaks, but it felt really slow and ploddy, and just leaden really.  Also my first run without company for a couple of weeks, so without a companion to pace against, I felt a little lost. 

I was therefore very surprised to look at my watch as I finished and see it was dead on 31 mins, for just a 100 or so metres of exactly 5km.  That is, if not my quickest ever run, damn close.  Huh - go figure!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

You’re Sounding A Little Faint, Dearie …

Oh dear – not the best workout at the gym tonight. 

I had a personal training session after work today, but all did not go to plan.  We started off ok, with a warm-up on the X-trainer, an interval training cardio blast on the rowing machine for 10 mins, followed by circuits.  Each round of circuits is two reps and then adds an extra exercise in – so the first two rounds are just stomach crunches and then step-ups, repeated in quick succession.  On the next round we added in kettle-bell swings in the middle.  Then tri-cep dips on the end on the 4th circuit and replace the crunches with Russian-twists (another ab exercise).  By the end of the 3rd round I was starting to feel a bit off – just a bit light-headed, but after a quick pause, it faded and I pushed on.

However, halfway through circuit 5 (hellooooooo lunges with 6k dumbells in each hand), I knew I was in trouble.  I was feeling too hot, and couldn’t seem to catch my breath.  The light-headedness returned, and when my ear’s started to buzz and the noises started sounding a far away ….  I promptly sat down on the step and apologised for being a wimp to my trainer.

I’ve literally no idea what came over me.  For my heartrate at the time (I wear a monitor while I’m working out) there was no way I should have been struggling with my breathing like that – I was actually a bit concerned I was going to start hyper-ventilating at one point as I just couldn’t seem to get enough oxygen in.  Rob and I went over my day while I recovered – I’d eaten a decent lunch (sandwich on granary bread, small fresh vegetable soup, a pack of Quavers (but hey, we’ll gloss over that, right?), and a yoghurt).  I had snacks later on – grapes mid-afternoon and a banana in the hour before the gym.  I’d drunk plenty (I get through a lot of cold drinks at work).  The only thing I could think of was that I’d complained to my colleague that I felt dizzy this morning, when my vision went funny and the book I was trying to write in appeared to keep sliding off to the right.  We have concluded that I’m either coming down with a bug, or it is, for want of a technical term, just one of them days.

Anyway, we binned circuits once I’d decided I wasn’t going to faint (hey – having to have a sit-down on the gym-floor in the midst of a crowded gym was humiliation enough ….. no way was I actually going to pass on top of that!), and did a bit of light upper-body strength work.  Then Rob stretched me out.  Yeah, you heard.  I had foolishly mentioned at the beginning of the session that my hamstrings and inner thigh (abductor?  Adductor?  I can never remember which one) were super tight at the moment, so Rob literally took me at my word and spent the last 15 minutes pretty much lying on top of me on the mats contorting my legs into weird (and slightly painful) places in the name of loosening my muscles a bit.

There is nothing quite so uncomfortable as getting that up-close-and-personal with your trainer!  Yeah, I’ve had my physio do this sort of work with me before, but a) she’s a trained physio so I kind of expect it, and b) she’s about 40 and female.  A bit different when it’s your strapping mid-twenties trainer instead!  I can only say that I was eternally glad that I had super-smooth legs (yeah, I’m vain – so shoot me), and that it is somewhat uncomfortable (and not just in terms of resisting muscles being stretched) to have your leg pressed up over your trainer’s shoulder as he leans over you and presses down, whilst carefully studying your face for … probably pain, I would guess.  Or how about, your entire lower leg resting sideways across his stomach and your foot practically in his groin (try not to wiggle your toes too much!) and the same leaning (glutes stretch …. soooooo painful!).  Is it wrong to contemplate (in an entirely objective manner obviously) how rock solid his stomach feels at that point? (Seriously – what does have he have under that shirt?  An actual metal washboard????) 

I did a lot of careful studying of the ceiling past his ear, and cracking jokes, because honestly it all felt a bit too intimate for me to be relaxed.  Not that I’m often in those positions mid-sexual encounter obviously (what do you think I am, a contortionist???), but it’s just a bit weird when it’s a near-ish stranger and you’re right in the middle of the gym and overlooked by a very full free-weights area and a whole queue of people waiting for the next studio class.  The only funny thing was the guy on the mat next to me who appeared to be getting a full-on sports massage / pummelling from his trainer, who was making some very odd and painful noises!

Anyhoo – apparently I’m quite supple or so Rob says. 

So other than the traumas of the gym, it’s been an on-track day of eating, and I’m going to throw myself into bed in a minute.  I still haven’t heard from the bank (booooo – although no news might be good news I guess) and I have started thinking about pre-tracking my weekend as best I can, so I don’t go way overboard. 

Night, chicks.