Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A Post-Christmas Confession

Hi, my name is Sue, and I can't actually remember when I last tracked my food properly.

Yep - I'm a Weightwatchers member who doesn't seem to be following the rules right now.  Which is probably why my weight wandered back up to 13st recently. 

Last week's loss of appetite did then cause it to drop back down by a few lbs, which was rather nice, but having made it up to and through Christmas Day with no obvious damage, I do seem to have been paying rather too much attention to the chocolate the last couple of days.  And one senses, that without a tracker to keep me honest, that could be a little damaging if left unchecked.

I've rather fallen into a pattern since last week, of only having one big meal a day.  If I eat a proper lunch, I just have a bowl of soup for tea, and not accompanied by my usual couple of slices of toast.  And other days, I just don't bother eating very much until tea-time and then have a proper meal.  This is all very good behaviour.  The overwhelming (and growing) allure of the Naughty Cupboard (full of all the sweets and goodies) is not. 

So, if I can't step away from the sweeties over the next couple of days, I'm going to have to go back to tracking properly, and to be quite honest, I've rather enjoyed not having to track and just adjusting my eating naturally to suit.  For now, I've simply removed myself up to my bedroom (at my Dad's house) and away from the siren call of the kitchen.

Since I've been home, I've managed to complete the first two training runs for my half-marathon - a 30 and a 40 min easy run, respectively.  I find it odd just running for a set time and not worrying about distance or pace, and have been working in a cool down walk at the end of my runs by running out a few mins further than I need to, so I can cool down on the way back to the car.  It's been lovely running back on the Malvern hills again, although I was somewhat irritated to realise that I've forgotten to bring my iPod Shuffle home with me, so they've musically unaccompanied runs so far.  One thing I will need to do, and soon once I'm back in Bristol, is go to the running shop and get some new shoes.  My poor trainers have literally got a hole in the side, which is a sure sign of how many miles they've got in them now - I've had them for a good couple of years and have probably done all my running in them since I started in 2009, including the training for 2 10ks and a duathlon.  I'm not sure they've got a HM in them too.  I did get to test out my lovely new Icebreaker base-layer on my runs though - I swear it's even lovelier for being a half-price bargain!

I'm hoping that I'll be able to get back into my running fairly quickly and that I'll see my fitness start to improve quite soon.  The first 4 weeks of the plan don't look too terrible, as this week is a 35 and another 40 min run, and the long runs over the next two weeks are 45 and 55 mins.  That doesn't sound too terrible, but after that it starts to look a bit scary.  I'm supposed to be doing short interval runs both last week and this one too, but I have a feeling they'll both get skipped - I know they're supposed to be good for you, but I loathe them with a passion and I am just not ever going to be a fast runner.  I think the compromise will be this:  skip the first two, then the 4 or so weeks are 3 steady runs a week with no intervals, and then the intervals come back - hopefully by then I'll be feeling fitter and will be able to face them a bit better.  We'll see.

Anyhoo - I'll be keeping an honest eye on both my eating and running and see what happens.  If I have to be stricter with myself, I will be, but I'd like to prove to myself that I can just bimble along in a more relaxed fashion and still make slow progress in the right direction.

Other than that, my sale shopping is all done - I raided Fat Face yesterday and left with a full bag - new coat, new cords, a jumper-dress and a cute knitted headband.  That officially is my whole sale shopping budget done.  Other than that, I'm still trying to find a surf board for myself, which is proving annoyingly more difficult than I anticipated - at least if I'm going to be good and stick to my budget.

I've got a fairly quiet week this week, seeing a few friends but generally chilling and still catching up on all that lovely missed sleep from the last couple of months.  Towards the end of the week, I'll head down to London for a relaxed New Year with friends, then New Years Day, Chris is back from snowboarding (lucky sod) and I'm heading down to see him for my last few hours of freedom before it's back to work (and oh boy, is it going to be chaos) on the 3rd.

I'll let you know how the eating and running goes!  And honestly! :o)

Hope everyone's enjoying the post-Christmas food coma!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Here's wishing you all a very merry Christmas this year. I hope you're all spending it with family, friends and loved ones.

Christmas chez Sue is a rather understated affair with just myself, my Dad and my Grandma, but it's nice for all that. Somehow, it's still a rather stressful day because of the need to cook the whole lunch, pack that and Christmas tea plus all the presents up, and decamp 50 miles away to my Grandma's house for the day, but it's gone relatively smoothly so far.

There was a minor trauma this morning when I was admiring possibly the most perfect roast potatoes I've ever produced as they sat roasting in the goose fat, only to discover as I flipped them over, that the roasting tin had decided that today was a good day was a good day to die, and there was silver lining stuck to the underside of virtually every potato. Noooooooooo!! We managed to rescue them though :-)

Christmas this year has been marked by something different for me: a marked lack of gluttony. Although I'm no longer feeling sick, the need to snack or over-indulge has stayed away. Instead I've been back to eating very intuitively - I eat when I'm hungry and don't when I'm not. I don't pay too much attention to whether it's a meal-time or not, and I seem to have stopped suffering from my eyes-bigger-than-my-stomach syndrome for the moment. It's rather nice to feel just comfortably full and not guiltily stuffed or tormented by all the festive foodstuffs around me.

Tomorrow will be a chill-out day - my true Christmas day to relax and do what I want to. Mostly reading, and getting in my second HM training run I think, with maybe a quick trip into town to have a peek at the Fat Face sale when it opens and see if I can get the coat I've had my eye on all season!

Merry Christmas one and all!!!

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 22 December 2011

One Appetite: Missing!!

Woohooo - it's been a bit of a roller-coaster week, as expected from my travel plans that I had!

The work Christmas party was great fun, but thankfully I neglected to get drunk and make a prat of myself. What a shame. Instead I shuffled off home at about 2am, in a relatively sober state and with a camera full of photographic evidence of other's shame!

The Enchanted Christmas on Saturday was lush. Very pretty and very silly, and not a little bit smushy, but we'll just gloss over that shall we? Beautiful Christmas-lit forest was strolled around (new conclusion - every tree should have a floodlight and a mirror ball in it!), Christmas tree decorations were (attempted to be) made (and much giggling at how crap ours were), super-chocolatey hot chocolate was consumed, followed by roast chestnuts and mulled wine whilst watching the carrollers - it was all very good. Afterwards I was treated to dinner at River Station in Bristol .... but only after we'd wandered all around town trying to decide where to go and finding everywhere busy and practically ending up back where we started - classic incident for us!

Sunday saw a very lazy lie-in followed by a bimble to the M Shed museum with Chris and Hannah. I was meant to be going to candlelit carols in the evening but didn't feel up to it and spent the evening lazing.

On Monday, still not feeling fabulous, I trundled down to London to see the girls. We hit Winter Wonderland on Monday evening, which was excellent, Kew Gardens on Tuesday followed by cake in the village for lunch, and then Jo took me to see Wicked! on Tuesday night as my b'day present - amazing!!!

I'm now finally back at my Dad's for Christmas and wholeheartedly ready to relax. That's the last of the running round now. The next few days are just chilling out and short trips to see local friends.

Something weird has happened though. My appetite has disappeared. It started on Saturday night after the lovely dinner out. I had to stop half-way through dinner as I was so full, and started to feel sick an hour or so later. Half nauseous, half so-full-it's-painful. I wasn't sick and I wouldn't have said I was that full when I stopped eating, but it took a couple of hours to go away.

I didn't eat again til lunchtime on Sunday, by which time I felt properly hungry again. I had a single panini, no trimmings. About 4 hours later - feeling sick again. Exactly the same sensations, and it lasted all evening. With a bit of dizziness and lethargy thrown in for good measure. Again, I wasn't sick, but hence no carols.

By the time we were at Winter Wonderland on Monday, I'd managed a half bowl of cereal for breakfast and 2 bits of toast for lunch, but the smells of all the foods at the markets held absolutely no appeal at all. Not the Belgian waffles, the burgers, the confectionary - nothing. I managed one small cup of mulled wine, but couldn't have any more. I did manage some fajitas when we got home, but less than my usual greedy self, and thought maybe I was getting better.

It's been coming and going since then - on one day I'll be ok-ish, but even then I'm still eating less than I normally would, because I've no inclination to snack or gorge. On other days I'm barely eating - yesterday was a busy day as I drove from London to Bristol, packed at the flat and loaded the car, popped into the office to sort some bits, ran a few quick errands and then drove home to Malvern, but all I ate all day was 2 pieces of toast at about 9.30-10 in the morning and then a very light meal with my dad in the evening. I just wasn't hungry at all.

I don't know if my body just overdosed on rich food last week and is rebelling this week? It's all very odd. On the upside, I think I've lost a lb or two as a result!

Will just have to keep an eye on it and see what happens!

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Festive Frenzy

I seem to have allowed myself to be thoroughly swept up in the spirit of the festive season this year and I suspect a chunk of that is due to feeling much happier this year than I have for a while.

This time three years ago, I was pretty miserable. I was overweight and at the end of my tether. Nothing much seemed to be right with my life. That Christmas resulted in a pact with my best friend Jo that we would really make the effort to lost weight and improve our health in 2009.

By two years ago, I was over 4 stone lighter, and in losing the weight I was starting to realise all the other ways I was trapped and dissatisfied with my life. Lighter but still miserable, just in a different way. The thing with becoming aware of yourself is you start to see how big the rut you're in really is, and how far you're going to have to go to get out of it.

Christmas 2010 was right after a big period of change - I'd been travelling, given up my job, moved cities, cut some ties, or at least distanced myself a bit. I'd maintained my loss for a year, but was still largely trying to work out who this new person was. Surrounded by a new place and new people, I was slowly getting to grips with her, and I'd had a period of introspection with the help of some councelling to get me there. I'd moved out of my comfort zone and was surprisingly finding it wasn't that uncomfortable at all. Bristol was proving a fresh start to be who I wanted to be.

A year on from there, and I can't believe how many new friends I have now, and how settled I feel here. I've maintained my loss for 2 years now, I've tried so many new things, and I know now that I'm still evolving. I feel more secure in myself. This is me.

Over these weeks in the roll-up to Christmas I have celebrated, and will celebrate, with many friends who accept me for exactly who I am - something I'm learning to do too. They encourage me to do fun stuff, push boundaries, grow personally and just be me. 

That's no slur on my friends I've left in Malvern at all, they're all lovely too, but in the hothouse environment of a close-knit group in a small town, most of whom were at a different place in life to me, I was stifled. Now I can enjoy the time I spend with them, although I regret I haven't seen them quite as much as I'd like to, and appreciate them for who they are, rather than occasionally resenting them.
This Christmas, I've shopped and planned until I'm relatively organised (for me at least). I've got something fabulous to wear to the work party tomorrow night, that makes me feel great - helloooooooo black sequin skirt, silky bronze assymetric top, little black fitted blazer and sexy black heels (or maybe slouchy suede boots for ease of walking and dancing!). My Secret Santa has been selected and wrapped. Most of my presents have been ordered or worked out, and festive fun has been planned.

And yes, having a lovely new man on the scene doesn't hurt in ramping up the excitement and feel-good factor :o)
Christmas, so far, is looking like this:
  • Work Christmas party tomorrow - 3 course lunch at the lovely Bordeaux Quay followed by .... probably lots more drinking and some silly dancing, I should imagine!
  • Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum on Saturday early evening with Chris.  A floodlit walk through their beautiful woods, followed by mulled wine and roasted chestnuts in their little Christmas village.  Yep, it's smooshy and vomit-inducing ... and I'm totally looking forward to it.  Shoot me.  Followed by dinner in town and possibly Christmas drinks with our friends depending on what they organise.
  • Candlelit carols in Clifton with my friend Sarah from work on Sunday evening.
  • Monday I'm off to London for a couple of days to see Jo, and I think our friend Lissa is now joining us.  The Costa Rica Girls reunited!  We're going to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, ice-skating, Christmas markets, more mulled wine, and general Christmassy goodness.  Plus lots of gossiping and a bit of wine, I should imagine.
  • Back home to Worcestershire on Thursday - hopefully I'm going to catch school friends for drinks in the evening whilst they're home (damn these people who are all getting married and not coming home for Christmas anymore - it makes it difficult to catch up!)
  • Coffee catch-up with another friend and her husband on Friday.
  • Christmas with my dad and grandma.  Low-key, chilled out and comfortable.
  • Hopefully get hold of my friends Bridget and Tim and see them between Christmas and New Year, either at home or in their new gaff.
  • Back to London for New Year - simple and relaxed - watch the fireworks by the Thames and more girly fun.
After that it will be back to work for the silly season.  Between then and now, it's like a Christmas binge!  Hell, I've used the "C" word 15 times in this post alone!

One thing I do need to be aware of is my weight.  The festive season is not generally too kind to the waist-line, and I'd like to emerge the other end without damage.  Since seeing 13st again on the scales last Friday, I've actually scraped back down under there.  What I haven't been doing is tracking.  Neither is my exercise at the level it would usually be.  There is a fine line to tread between success and disaster, and I need to be careful. 

This week will see me miss both my spin class (I had a team lunch out with work today) and my circuits class (work party tomorrow).  So that's a general lack of exercise happening.  On the other hand, I'm due to start my half-marathon training plan next week, which should see me running 3 times a week over the holiday period.  2 hours of running in the first week and building from there.  That's a slightly frightening thought, but if I stick to it, could prove to be a waist-saver. 

Despite not tracking I'm trying to be quite balanced with what I'm eating; so a big lunch, or afternoon snacks (we had work drinks in the office yesterday) is followed by a very light tea.  Since starting reading the Mindless Eating book, I'm also suddenly finding myself more conscious of my behaviours.  The chapter I started reading last night was called The Forgotten Food, and looked at how the mind / body often doesn't remember what we've eaten - I was very conscious of that at lunch today because we were at a buffet restaurant which is the worst culprit for that sort of behaviour.  I can't say how I'd have behaved if I hadn't read that chapter just last night, but I can categorically say I've just had one small / medium plate of Chinese food, a bowl of Pho soup which I didn't finish because I realised I didn't need to, and a small bowl of dessert.  And I'm stuffed.  I don't know if it's because I'm very conscious that I've eaten a lot, so I'm feeling full, but most of the people I was with had 4 or 5 plates of food, and one guy had 7, so I'm very pleased with my 3.

Reading that book over Christmas is going to prove interesting, as I have a sneaking suspicion it might provoke me to think a bit more about what I'm eating.

Hope you're all gearing up for a happy, fun but healthy holiday too!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A Little Light Reading

I headed off to go and do some more of the dreaded Christmas shopping last night. Not my favourite task because, like packing to go away, it requires an element of forethought and planning and frankly, I'm more of a live-in-the-moment kind of girl.

As I wandered round the mall, gathering bits from my list and ideas for other gifts, something caught my eye:

Could this book be more appropriate for me? The author is a leading expert in food psychology, with particular interest in how marketing and our environment affects us, and the book covers a number of studies and discusses how we can reverse the trend. It's split down into lots of punchy chapters, so I thought I might aim to read a chapter every day or so.

Once I'd wrapped up as much of my shopping as I could, I picked up the car and headed for home. I've been fancying takeaway for a few days now, but had been putting it off. Partly because when I order online and get it delivered I end up with a lot of food. Instead I decided to find an actual takeaway on the way home last night and just order the one thing I really wanted. So much better - I had a delicious duck chow mein (dodgy looking takeaway but scrumptious food - the duck breast, complete with crunchy seasoned skin, was sliced across the top of the noodles - heaven!) and didn't feel over-stuffed or bloated.

I read the introduction and first chapter of Mindless Eating then trundled off to bed.

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 12 December 2011

30 Second Hangover Cure

I can't believe that another weekend has been and gone already - where does the time go??? 

After my colleague's sad, sad news on Friday, I sort of threw myself in to the weekend, with a determination to enjoy what I've got.  Friday night was the surf club's Christmas party, and I managed to book a taxi and actually be ready on time, which is always a surprise for me!  I had a sparkly top, some massive fake eyelashes, and a sensible budget of cash for the night, and the will to have fun. 

I was a bit surprised at my menu choices - I evidently picked my dinner when I was in a very health-conscious frame of mind, but it was tasty anyway, and I dodged the bloated feeling after a meal involving pizza or pasta, because I'd opted for veal with vegetables and little tiny roasted potatoes instead.  I enjoyed some top-notch gossiping over dinner with a few glasses of prosecco, and some crazy dancing in the club afterwards, but took myself off home at a reasonable(ish) hour of 2.30am, because I was conscious that I was getting tired, had had enough to drink and needed to get up in the morning.  The 30 min walk home from the club was good to clear my head, and possible because I'd had the forethought to pop some flat pumps in my handbag in a plastic bag to change into - ultra-organised!

I still woke up feeling a bit fuzzy and tired on Saturday, and it was a bit of an effort to drag myself very slowly out of bed and get sorted, but I managed to leave pretty much on time to go and meet Chris at his place, and after a quick lunch it was back in the car and off to the coast.  Let me tell you, that a mid-December surf in the UK is the best hangover cure you can get.  All feelings of fuzziness will be eliminated in under a minute and leave you feeling wide-awake!

I had my first session on a proper surf-board as opposed to a beginner's soft-deck on Saturday.  I hired from a local shop and they offered me a choice, and since I'm trying to find a board to buy at the moment, I thought it would be good to get a feel for a proper board.  Lighter and shorter than I'm used to, but actually lots of fun.  The surf was a bit choppy and changeable, but I managed to catch a few waves, and probably managed to get to my feet at least 5 or so times, so I was pretty damn happy with that.  Chris had opted to take his surf-canoe down instead and was off out back catching the surf, which actually worked out pretty well, as we were keeping an eye out for each other, but he wasn't close enough for me to feel self-conscious about constantly falling off in front of him.  We checked in with each other a couple of times, but mostly enjoyed solo practice time for me, and remembering old tricks and playing for him. 

I came out when my hands finally got too cold to move, but having had a couple of good waves to finish on.  My hands were so cold I dropped the board twice on the way up the beach as it just slipped out of my grasp!  Definitely need to look into getting some gloves to go with my winter wetsuit and boots!  Once we'd managed to struggle out of cold, wet gear and crawl into warm, dry clothing and strapped everything back to the car, we beat a hasty retreat to the closest pub for hot chocolate and brownies.

The good thing about spending time with Chris is that I seem to eat quite well when I'm with him.  Normally, post-surf time is an excuse to chuck a load of sugar and fat down your neck in an attempt to warm up and ward off the post-surf exhaustion that tends to sneak up on you.  Instead, I enjoyed the brownie and hot chocolate, and then we jumped back in his car and headed back North, where he cooked me hake with garlic and lemon, tenderstem broccoli and lovely mashed potatoes with nutmeg and butter, whilst I slumped on the sofa with Strictly Come Dancing and a gin and tonic... at his encouragement.  You've got to love a guy that takes you surfing for the afternoon, then reminds you Strictly is on whilst cooking your tea and making you a drink!! Good man!

Saturday evening and yesterday were pretty much all about the chilling out - bad tv on the sofa and a lot of dozing and hanging out.  I was quite pleased to see that the scales had shuffled back down under 13st this morning too.

This week is all about planning and tidying up odds and ends.  It's the last week in the office before the New Year, and I've got another Christmas party and some work drinks eating into my office hours.  I've got plans to finalise for next weekend, next week, and the New Year, and a few more presents to buy - nothing to stressful, but I need to be a little bit organised about it all.  I think I shall maybe do my Christmas cards tonight and a bit more research on the presents I have left to buy.

Thanks so much for your lovely compliments on the photos too .... I really love them, so it's nice to know others think they're good too.  It's obviously not what I look like day-to-day, but it's good to know I scrub up well ;-)

Friday, 9 December 2011

And Just Like That ...

Everything can change in an instant.

That is what I have learned today, and I wish to God I could have learned it in a better way.

Yesterday, I walked home from work, thinking that whilst it had been a shit day, it could all have been infinitely worse.  The damage to the phone was only cosmetic - it could have been totally busted.  My landlord seems at least to be willing to talk about the deposit.  All the little niggles that had gone wrong during the day, were just that: little.  They could have been big.  I started to look at it all in a more positive light - nothing truly terrible had happened.

I went home, got changed, and drove up to the photographic studios to collect my photos from the shoot, and then over the river to collect the veg box for my friends who are currently putting me up.  All was safely achieved, and I went home.  I had a mutual moan with Hannah's about how shit our respective days had been, ate some comfort food in the form of a jacket potato with beans and fresh bread and butter, and chilled.

The photos were beautiful (more on that another time - I'll show you a few soon), and by the time it rolled round to being time to go to the pub for surf club, I was feeling much better.  I trundled up there, and was a bit surprised to see nobody there I knew, but realised this meant I would be able to reclaim my valuable parking spot at Hannah's and not have to move the car in the morning.  See - every cloud has a silver lining.

This morning, I walked to work, enjoying the sun, and still with a bounce in my step over how lovely the photos had turned out.  I felt good, and shiny, even if the scales did show my the dreaded 13st this morning - the wages of too long spent not paying attention.  But even there, I'm slowly returning to my exercise routine, and I'll be running regularly soon, and it's within my control.

I was complimenting one of my colleagues on her new hairstyle just half an hour ago - a lady I know and like and enjoy chatting too, and her response was this: "well, I  might as well tell you, I've got cancer". 

Secondary cancer.  Just a couple of weeks ago, she went for a routine mammogram, and they found a large lump.  Last week she went back for the results, and they told her it had doubled in size, in just those two weeks - it was very aggressive cancer, but the good news was her lymph nodes were clear, and they would operate. 

But this Tuesday, further tests revealed that it is in her blood, and has already spread to her lungs. 

In the space of a week, in the space of that instant even, all hope has been taken away.  They won't be operating, because it will just keep coming back.  All they can do is treat it, and see how long that works for. She'd cut her hair so it wouldn't look as bad when it started falling out from the chemo.

She's dying. 

I can barely take it in.  How can that happen?  She's not even 50 yet, doesn't smoke, lives pretty healthily, but she's dying anyway.  The only question now is how long she fights it for.

Everything else tastes like ashes today. 

We should take care of everything we have, because I've just learned today, that it takes approximately 5 seconds to have it all snatched away from you.  Appreciate the hell out of what you have, kids, because in the end, it's all you have.

Live well.  Love well.  Take care of yourself and those you care about.  Forget about what doesn't matter and just focus on what does.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Karma's A Bitch

And She seems to have it in for me this week.

Seriously - I seem to be having the worst luck ever.  I feel a bit like I had one nice weekend, and now I'm having to pay for it big-time.

So far this week:
  • I've walked into the sharp corner of the coffee table twice - one bright red stripe to each knee - and a bench on the way to work - huge scrape / bruise to the shin.  All in the space of 12 hours.
  • I finally managed to get hold of my errant ex-landlord to chase him about my releasing my deposit, only to be told that actually he wants to deduct me £185 for cleaning.  Cleaning!!  I vacuumed, washed, swept and tidied that flat when I left, and it was in pretty much exactly the same shape as when I arrived.  It was tidy and habitable, and there was no damage outside what you'd expect for a year's normal wear and tear.  I hadn't even smashed a plate or glass in my time there.  Unfortunately, the landlord didn't go to inspect it himself, but sent a professional inventory clerk, who even more unfortunately went in with the new tenant.  It would appear that the new tenant has demanded everything be professionally cleaned, including the sofa, which already had faint marks and wear and tear when I moved in.  No way in hell am I paying for some new tenant's super-finicky cleaning requirements, especially since the clerk probably didn't see the flat before I moved in so therefore can't make a judgment on the condition.  I'm just so fed up with all this shit from this house-move.  I'm disputing the deduction, and the only vaguely good thing is that when I spoke to the landlord yesterday, he sounded like he's open to negotiation.  Mind you, the agency are being a pain and could take a masterclass in "it's not our problem and we won't be helping".  Thank god the law comes down on the side of the tenant on this, but means I won't probably be getting any of my deposit back any time soon until it's sorted.
  • I was still technically dating somebody else until yesterday, who I'd been seeing for a couple of months.  It was sort of dying the death anyway, even before the new boy came along, and I was kind of hoping it would all just fade away quietly, since we hadn't seen each other and had barely spoken since before I moved, but no such luck, and I had to tell him last night.  I haaaaate letting people down, even though it did have to be done and he agreed with me, but it was still traumatic and crappy.
  • I dropped my iPhone (the new one I've only had for about 2 months) on the way to work this morning and cracked the screen, scraped / chipped the top.  Great.
  • The surfboard I'd found on eBay that seemed perfect was withdrawn from sale before the auction even flipping ended.
  • And just for a finale - my fruit salad box didn't close properly this morning, so as I was carrying my notebooks and breakfast to a meeting, I suddenly felt something cold trickling down my left side, and realised that my notebook, on which my salad box was resting, was a little lake of orange juice that my dripping all down my pale jumper and grey trousers.  Great.
So you can see why I feel just a little bit put upon at the moment.  Unreasonably or not, I feel like this is my payback for actually having a nice weekend.  That just as I might be able to line up one part of my life, everything else starts falling apart.  Grumble, grumble, grumble.  I probably just need to get over myself, and accept that bad stuff, bad days, well, they happen from time to time.  And sometimes it will all seem like it's coming at once .... especially if it's on the back of a stressful period (like not having a house) and you're probably more sensitive than usual to all the little things.

Le Sigh.  Just time to batten down the hatches and keep plodding I guess.  The house stuff will all sort itself out eventually.  Breaking up with Andy was the right thing to do.  The phone is only cosmetically damaged, bruises will fade,  and the fruit juice has dried out.  And in the meantime it's nearly Christmas and time to catch up with my friends and family and appreciate what has gone right.  Nearly the end of the year now.  Fresh starts, a brand new year and brand new adventures hover on the horizon, beckoning us forwards.  I just need to tidy up the loose ends and move forwards.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Wales Weekend

..... or the post that was nearly entitled Fluffy Bunnies, because I appear to have lost the plot.
I had an unashamedly fantastic weekend.  Except I do feel a little shame-faced about it, because I find myself in an annoying gushy state, where I seem to have some kind of coy grin glued to my face everytime somebody asks me about it.  God help me - I seem to be having a Soppy Phase.

My friend Liz at work was killing herself laughing at lunchtime, because I famously doesn't ever get involved with other people - I dabble, I play, I flirt ... and then I run off screaming in the other direction.  And yet here I sit, having just come back from a weekend that Liz pointed out would have given heart palpitations to much longer-standing "new" couples: The First Weekend Away (And With Other Couples Too), and I loved it.  Bollocks.  My reputation is ruined.

As Liz put it "you've gone from meeting to married in about 3 weeks!".  I'd argue it's not quite that bad, but I do appear to be unusally chilled out about it all.

The weekend itself was in North Wales, in a friend's little cottage, complete with log fires, lots of team board games and winter walks in the rain and mud.  And a smattering of snow on the way home.  It was about as twee cliche as you can get!  Dan, who's cottage it was, also prepared an obscene amount of good food to keep us going - from the vegetarian variation of a tartiflette (with roasted squash in - yum!) followed by caramelised pears that greeted us on our arrival on Friday, to the American pancakes in the morning, full roast dinner with local lamb and every trimming you can think of, homemade lemon mousse with lavendar shortbreads, and the amazing meringure creations and warm scones we finished with on Sunday afternoon. 

Surprisingly, despite all that, I didn't actually eat too much on Friday or Saturday, as we were out walking and not snacking, and the portions weren't that crazy and I refused seconds.  I didn't drink too much either, as it was red wine on Friday night, and I bought my own bottle of white for Sat, but only had about 2/3 over the course of the evening.

The original plan was to spend more time outdoors, but the weather was pretty foul - we were all kitted out for going up Tryfan on Saturday, but it was so windy when we got there and raining hard too, that we decided it would be too exposed and went for a walk up the valley next door instead.  Even then, we were getting blown sideways and drenched, so I'm pretty glad we didn't go up the Tryfan as the words "scrambling" and "gale-force" do not go together in my book.  On another trip perhaps.

Anyway, it's all back to earth with a bump now - back to work and starting to fret about what Xmas presents to get various people, and how little time there is til the craziness of the festive period takes off, and day-dreaming about next weekend and going off for a sneaky surfing trip followed by dinner with .... oh FFS - someone please tell me when I'll snap out of this???  It doesn't last long right?

Right - feel free to laugh at me - I'm just going to go and bury my head in shame ...

Thursday, 1 December 2011

I've Started So I'll Finish

Hmmmm - yesterday's committment to the plan didn't quite go to plan.  It wasn't terrible but it was definitely a far more "relaxed" attempt than it should have been.  And that is not going to help!

I was reading through my blog feeds this morning and this post gave me a wake-up call.  A get-off-your-ass-and-make-the-effort kick up the backside (thanks Phil!).

I can't remember the last time I had a proper food-Nazi day when I was really strict with myself.  In fact, I've been rather relaxed for a little too long now, and I know it because the scale tells me so.  Having got back down to my lowest point over the summer, I'm now back hovering where I spent most of last year.  And most of last year was spent thinking "my clothes feel a little too tight!".  I'm still maintaining, obviously, but I'm maintaining at a slightly higher weight than I really feel comfortable with.  That's doubly annoying since I hadn't actually lost everything I wanted to yet - from where I am now, I have another stone and a half or so to go.  20lbs.

20lbs exactly, as at this morning, as it happens.  I've been hovering in that 10-20lbs to lose bracket for the last two years, which is great because it means I've maintained a 40-50lb loss for that time, but annoying because I don't feel like I'm finished.  The story doesn't have an ending.

In the past 3 years since I began this whole adventure, I've started or tried so many new things: running, surfing, climbing, wake-boarding, dating again, liking myself, hell - even inspiring other people.  It would now be really good to finish something - losing this weight.

Obviously, I still need to work out what approach is best for that.  For today at least (again) I've prodded my inner food-Nazi until she's woken up, roared and taken command (and I'll figure out how tonight's cocktail meet-up with my new flatmates fits into that) - I'm not sure if I just aim to maintain that, one day at a time, until I get where I want to go, or try some other routine to get me there.  20lbs is really not that far though.  Especially if I break it down into 4 lots of 5lbs each.  For now, howabout I aim for that first 5lbs, to take me back to 12st 7lbs.  There doesn't seem like a better time to start than today, with Christmas and all the parties looming!

I'm meeting with my new flatmates tonight to discuss the housing situation, and then I have to try and pack for this weekend away with The Boy (I'm just going to have a mini freakout here for a moment).  No backing out now as he's already told his friends I'm joining them for the weekend.  breathebreathebreathe.  I'm sure it'll be fine, fun even, it's just I've always kept all of my relationships very separate from my friends before - hell, none of them usually last that long, so why complicate them with introducing friends into the mix and worrying what other people are thinking? 

Guess that choice has been taken away from me this time - a big step into a big, bad new world (don't judge me - I'm about as emotionally advanced as 13 year old when it comes to relationships - always have been!).  New things might be scary, but so was trying all the new stuff I listed above, so why not this too?!?!