Monday, 1 December 2014

Happy December

Happy 1st of the month all!

Can you believe it's December already?  Crazy, right?

Here in Meribel I feel like I'm suffering a little pre-season blues, so I'm making the effort to try and make it at least a little festive to cheer myself up!

As you can see, it's still greener than a green thing here, which I think is part of what's getting to me.  I think the rest of it is just that I forgot how intensive this first month of training and resort set up is, and it's just wearing me down a bit.  Looking back to entries from this time last year, and remembering how it was last season, it's nothing different ... in fact, honestly, it's probably slightly easier going this year, as I know what I should be doing this time round.  At the same time, I'm not the newbie in the team any more, so I'm being leaned on more, and also being relied on for my French more than last year which is a little stressful as I don't feel very confident about that.

At the moment, our flat is being used as the resort social hub for our staff team - it's invaded morning, lunchtime and evening, and often between-times too, for meals, work and relaxing, and I'm finding having people around all the time very intense ... especially as my flat-mate and I are basically expected to host - cook every meal and clean up after the boys afterwards.  Some are better than others, but we keep finding empty beer bottles in unexpected places, wet foot-prints on the floor and they'll happily sit there and let us cook and wash up for them.  It's a lot of people for a smallish place, and I feel rude retreating to my room, but have started doing so anyway, just for the illusion of some space and peace and quiet!

This too shall pass though, eh?

The snow will come, the lifts will open, the guests will arrive and I'll settle back into my normal relaxed routine.

And it's not all bad!  Whilst I miss my friends in La Plagne, I drove over to see them a couple of nights ago, and realised they're actually much closer than I thought they were which is ace.  And Meribel itself is pretty cool - it's very pretty with it's traditional chalet style architecture and lack of high-rise buildings, and it's certainly got the facilities (or will do when it's all open!).  We must have at least 6 bars within 50m of the apartment, the bar staff I've met seem friendly, and the offices I'll be needing for my work are all within walking distance of my apartment instead of a bus ride away, which makes for a lovely novelty!

On the weight side of things, I didn't have my scales with me for training, so I stepped on them with some trepidation when we arrived in resort, only to find I was pretty much exactly where I was when I left the UK - not bad for 10 days of training!  I'm seem to be holding steady at the moment, which considering we're cooking 3 meals a day for the boys and doing a lot of hanging around working without much moving or any skiing, and a bit of comfort snacking on the side, isn't too bad.  I'm keeping an eye on it, and trying to make sensible decisions and hope to see some downward movement when the season proper kicks in.

So now we're just waiting on the snow .... where are yoooooooou??

In the meantime, we're getting some very pretty, dramatic views from our windows - love a bit of cloud forest!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Happy Birthday To Me!

Greetings from the not quite-so-snowy-yet Alps, where I am currently celebrating my 34th birthday.

Good grief! 34?! How on earth did the years pass so quick??

It's been a busy sort of week, in that I drove out last Saturday / Sunday, and went straight into training every day, 9-5, on Monday and the days go very quickly!

(Everything packed in the car ready to go)

(Beautiful autumnal fog as I passed Gloucester)

(Chilling out on the exceptionally quiet ferry as I waved farewell to the UK)

The journey itself went very smoothly, with a stop overnight in Reims, and I think I got most things done that I needed to before I left. It's so strange coming at it all again for the second time; so many things are familiar and others so different!

I got to see a few friends at home before I left, and spent a couple of days with my dad before the expected emotional farewell for 6 months. And then, quite suddenly, I'm back with friends from last winter and it's all heartfelt hellos!

I'm taking things much easier this year on training, so rather than being out every night and exhausted / hungover in training every day, I've had two big nights out, one relaxed night in the lodge bar where we're staying and two really early nights, which I've absolutely loved! I feel like I have nothing to prove this year so I can just sit back and enjoy the ride a bit more.

Weight-wise, I obviously didn't hit my targets before I left, but I did manage to drop 3lbs of my gain back off again. I've bought my scales and like last year I shall try and find the balance. Unlike last year, I have a flatmate this season who loves cooking and is keen to do some healthy eating too, so I might actually get some regular vegetables in my gob over the next couple of months - hoorah!

Looks like I just have to survive tonight, when everyone seems intent on having a massive night out and getting (me) hammered!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 13 November 2014

It's Nearly Time

It's 8am on a Thursday, and I'm wide awake in my old bed at my Dad's house. Yesterday I left the corporate world of my job behind and I have two days at home before I drive out to the Alps for the winter.

Two days in which I want to unwind and let the stress of the last couple of weeks go. Stop and stand still for just a second before I start packing a small part of life into the car to take to the mountains for the next 6 months.

I feel exhausted and pretty gross from eating too much bad food as I've gone through the whirlwind of saying goodbye to UK friends - not quite how I wanted to feel at the beginning of the winter season. Last year, I was so excited and I'd worked hard on my eating and fitness to feel pretty good about myself as I embarked on a new adventure. This year, not so much. However, I also feel calmer and less terrified, and I'm excited about returning to friends, rather than venturing into the complete unknown.

And of course, rather than being on sabbatical, I've jacked in my job completely to see where life takes me.

It's time to close one door and open another.

(My empty flat - home for the summer)

It's the same again, but also different: Winter Season no. 2.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 7 November 2014

All Systems Go


It's never a good sign when someone disappears for a while is it?

I shall get it out the way and 'fess it up straight away. I did indeed gain last week, as expected. 4lbs. Did I get back on the derailed train at that point and get back to work? Nope. I had another hectic week with not enough caring and added another 2lbs to that.

Soooo glad I worked so hard then for the autumn and undid it all in two weeks.


So pretty much back where I started the summer and too busy to care enough to do much about it. Another sigh.

Somewhere in the midst of that, work's quiet period came and went (a whole week! Lucky me!) and everybody seems to either have a birthday that needs celebrating or want to see me before I leave. Oh, and the flat needs packing up and moving backs to Dad's again.

I'm getting there slowly and tomorrow is the do-or-die day where I have a van for just 8 hours to get everything loaded and 70 miles away and the van back again.

I might find some energy to start caring again about my diet, but not just yet it seems.

There's been some of this:

And this:

And then some of this:

And all whilst living in this condition at home as I try and pack.

(From top to bottom: sticky jerk ribs at Turtle Bay, the wonderful Indiana at Thekla, pizza and gin at The Stable and ... a mess in my room)

T - 8 days until departure to the continent.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 30 October 2014


I have some new eye-wear. They're very different from the style I've had for a for a few years now so I'm still getting used to them, but I think I like them. What do you think?

P.S. How nice is my hair looking? I just indulged in one of my favourite guilty pleasures and got my hair sorted. My salon has full length reclining massage chairs with light hoods and head massages so it's well worth the cost for a bit of self-indulgence.

In other news, I'm fully expecting a gain tomorrow and I'm just going to have to roll with it. For 6 out of 7 days I ate out and even if I'd been really super careful, which I kinda wasn't, then I'd have struggled to lose anything. Especially as I really only skipped a gain the week before by luck. I feel pretty bloated think I'll be glad to get back to a bit if a quieter social life this week. Just got to see what the damage is first.

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, 25 October 2014


Well, that was an all-round win.  Admittedly, I weighed in a couple of hours later than I would during the week due to a well-earned lie-in, but I scored a stay-the-same on my weigh in.  Most assuredly, that wasn't deserved at all, considering how far I strayed last week, but I'll grab it with both hands!

That definitely feels like I got this weekend off to a good start.  This morning I feel relaxed, better rested, and guilt-free after choosing not to indulge last night.  I'm ready for a semi-productive and thoroughly enjoyable day - brunch (waiting for it to arrive currently), a Skype date shortly with one of my besties in Brussels, my favourite boots are at the menders for emergency life-sustaining measures but will survive to see another pavement, going to get some chores, winter season stuff and shopping sorted this afternoon, and the day will be topped off with dinner and a night out for a good mate's 30th this evening.

Tomorrow is all about another lie-in, and meeting friends for autumnal walks.  In short, I feel much calmer now.

Aaaaaand reeelaaaaax.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Listening To The Little Voice In Your Head

Welcome to Friday Night Ponderings, wherein I'm sitting at my kitchen table on a Friday night with a cup of Rooibus tea and a biscuit because I am sooooo rock 'n' roll, don't you know?

My prolonged period of work has FINALLY come to an (overdue) end and I'm gratefully slumped in my flat counting the minutes until I can legitimately get into my bed and embrace unconsciousness.

As I sit here, I find myself pondering upon the choices we make when we're trying to lose weight and be healthy. Earlier this evening I found myself having that age-old mental battle with myself as I wrestled one of life's greater decisions: do I have have takeaway or not?

I fancied it, because it's one of my favoured "treats" and it's a Friday night, but at the same time there was a nagging little voice in my brain pointing out that I'd had a lavish meal out last night (game terrine! Venison! Apple crumble in iron skillets! Wine!) and have another big meal with drinking tomorrow night (curry - slightly the other end of the gastronomic spectrum but still delish!). Should I not therefore, the little voice whispered, be a bit more restrained tonight?

It's not the first occasion in recent times when I've been really aware of this internal monologue / battlefield happening as I decide whether to be good or splurge, and I wondered whether this was actually the deep-buried healthy side of me screaming to make itself heard. More importantly, I considered whether I should just listen to that voice. After all, when has anyone genuinely regretted making the healthy choice? I don't remember ever thinking "damn, I should have just had the burger and chips" or "god, I wish I hadn't gone for that run!", where I can't even count the times I felt horribly guilty (and probably a bit sick) after over-indulging on food or skipping the gym.

To take that further, what if I work on listening for the little voice of reason, which is obviously when I sub-consciously know I'm about to make the wrong choice, and only choose to splurge a little when I'm 100% behind the decision, not 50 / 50. What's to lose? Better choices, less guilt, and just possibly a healthier me?

So this evening I listened and decided not to get the takeaway, and I feel good about it. And tomorrow night I'll enjoy my curry knowing I have a few extra weekly points to play with because I didn't blow them needlessly tonight.


On a different note - weigh in this week, has been delayed until tomorrow. Why? Because I had a 30th birthday dinner late last night and there was no way I was going to get anything approaching a sensible weigh in this morning as a consequence. I'm still expecting a gain this week, as I've faithfully tracked EVERYTHING and know I was a rather significant 100 points over this week, which doesn't surprise me too much all things considered. However, I'm proud that I kept tracking even when it was clear I'd veered off track and interestingly, I saw my lowest weight yet on the scales this week before it all went a bit Pete Tong, but I'll take it on the chin tomorrow morning.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to finish my tea, put the biscuits away and go get comfy in my bed .... it's past 9pm which seems like a reasonable time to me! :-)

Happy Start Of The Weekend all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 23 October 2014


I feel like I might be approaching burn out at the moment. I feel exhausted and rather emotional and heavy .... not a scale-related heavy, just the kind where everything feels like such am effort - at least 50% more than usual.

I've worked through bad quarter ends at work before, and looking back I know I've been bought to the verge of tears before too, but 17 days straight at work with only one day off on day 6, trying to organise to move countries in a few short weeks and dealing with M's death feels like the perfect storm; finding I have a deadline today that I thought was next week might just be the wave that sinks the ship.

I want to do one of 3 things: sleep for a week, curl up in a dark, quiet corner and hide from everyone or eat. A lot. So far, I haven't given in to that, but today definitely feels like a step too far. I don't hold out hope for a great weigh in tomorrow, especially as I have 30th birthday dinner I'm supposed to be going to tonight ... if I ever make it out of work.

I just need to make it until tomorrow evening - then could somebody wake me up on Monday, please?

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, 19 October 2014


Yet another rough week last week with too much going on and a lot of farewells, some good, some bad.

In terms of quantity, the week's farewells were all to my free time as work hit its peak and evenings and the weekend were all sacrificed to the Office God.  It's been a case of get home, sleep, get up and go back to work.  Squeezed in amongst that were a pub quiz on Monday night, when I was so saintly I felt invincible, eschewing burgers, fries, sticky toffee pudding and wine a la everyone else for something healthy, soft drinks, and tea.  No dessert.  We even won the quiz too.

That sense of invincibility might have been my undoing on Tuesday night though when we had dinner with friends and I toppled off the virtuous horse somewhat.  Still, it was welcome relaxation as we sat round their log burner, dogs asleep on the rug and chatted away the evening.

If work was quantity, then the quality farewell was surely that of M and son's funeral on Thursday.  The more we inevitable talked about it in the preceding days, the more I got worked up about it to the point where I didn't sleep on Wednesday night and honestly didn't want to get out of bed on Thursday morning.  In the end it was a beautiful send off for a beautiful lady - perhaps other people don't cope with funerals as well as me and I was allowing myself to feel their dread, but most of the time, I see the funeral as something of a celebration of the deceased's accomplishments and a time to remember them fondly, not sit and bawl it out.  It was standing room only at this one, testament to how well loved she was, and I giggled and sniffed my way through the 5 lovely little eulogies, and was glad to get a couple of minutes to speak to M's poor husband afterwards and offer a few words of condolence.  Embarrassingly, when we first saw him, I wasn't sure if he'd remember me as we've only met briefly before, and I was at the end of a queue of people coming in - in my head I was going to explain that I worked with M and then say how much we missed her, but when I actually stood in front of him he was clearly having a bit of an emotional moment and I ended up just impulsively hugging him.  I realised as I walked away I hadn't said who I was and felt pretty stupid!!  Luckily, I was able to speak to him again later and it turned out he did remember me - phew!

The only happy farewell of the week, despite Tuesday momentary lapse of food judgment, was that I was pretty damn good for the rest of the week, and that showed up on the scales on Friday with a lovely little loss of 1.25lbs.  Three losses in a row - yay!!  I'm getting tantalisingly close to getting back into the 12's again.

This week is overwhelmingly hectic again.  I've worked all weekend, and still have a charity evening and a 30th birthday party to get through, plus 2 more deadlines at work.  Working the weekend has put me in better shape for those than I was, but left me little time to unwind which never leaves me in the best frame of mind.  I had a bit of a blow-out on Friday night after a long day, which used up all my weekly flex points.  I've tracked the lot, but that does put me a bit on the back foot for the rest of the week.  The best I can do is try and stick as closely to my points as possible.  I'm tempted to move all non-neccessary appointments like the hairdressers to next week to try and create a bit more time to look after myself.  I did manage to get to training on Friday, thanks to which I'm still struggling to walk properly (thanks for completely killing my butt-muscles, Trainer!) but there doesn't look to be a lot of time for anything else at the moment.

Hard to believe that tomorrow will already be last sensible-sized pay check for the foreseeable future.  Christ - I'm committed now!  I've worked out I only have 3 weekends left before I head to France ..... and soooooooo much to do!  Argh!!!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

All Change!

WOW - lots to catch y'all up on.  LOTS.

Right - where to start?

First up - I'm not going to lie, it's been a bit of a rough week, emotionally speaking.  I was dreading Monday, and it wasn't so bad in the end as our team is close enough to talk about this stuff and it's a kind of comfort to share your memories and sadness with others feeling the same.  Still, it was busy as all hell this week, with a lot of late nights, early mornings and a Saturday in the office.  Yay.  In fact, it's been the kind of week where I packed yoga stuff to take in on Wednesday, booked my class online in the morning, and then didn't twig until 2pm that I'd completely forgotten to go to the class.  My brain has not been with it this week.  I did finally make it into the gym on Friday after work for a personal training session (that I'm still feeling 2 days later), but that was my sole effort for the week.

Suffice it to say I've therefore been a bit off my eating and exercising game.  Last weekend had a bit too much comfort / distraction eating going on, and this week was all about convenience and grabbing what I could, when I could.  I didn't feel like weigh in was going to be great therefore, especially since I had a pretty big loss last week.  I was fully expecting a small gain at the scales on Friday morning and was braced to deal with it.  But no ... 0.5lb off. The body does indeed work in mysterious ways!

That was a fantastic result as it meant I recorded a new lowest weight since getting back on WW in May, for the second week in a row.  Better still, this is the weight I came home at, as far as I can tell.  Looking back, I should have realised it might be a good result, as Thursday night I was desperately hunting for a pair of jeans to go to the pub in (side fact: my laundry pile has outgrown the laundry basket by a good foot in height - bad times), and as a last ditch effort I pulled out a pair of black jeans I haven't worn since ski season.  Surprisingly, they were tight but went on.  Guess the scales explained why.

This week is going to be every bit as hectic again, with a metric fuck-ton more work and deadlines, plus M and son's funeral on Thursday and a few social engagements, so my one goal for this week is to make a valiant effort to track everything and stay in my points for the week.  It's going to be an effort, but it's a good target if I want a loss for a third week in a row.

Ok, so that's health stuff out the way.  Which brings me to the OTHER stuff.  Big life changes straight ahead.

Deep breath:  I quit my job on Friday.


After a lot of conniving, planning, double-checking the numbers (and my sanity) and negotiating it's all go and I'm going back to France for Winter Season - Part Deux.  Except this time there's no sabbatical, no job to fall back on when I come home, if I come home even.  I now officially have a life to plan, and beyond the next 6 months there's no set pattern to follow.  And, as my senior manager said to me when I told him my decision:  in light of what happened to M, we only get one life - what's the point if we don't live it?

The practicalities are that I'm heading out again on 15 November (5 weeks yesterday - eeeeeek), and after 10 days in Val d'Isere, I'll be in Meribel for the rest of the season.  For a variety of reasons, I've decided that if I'm doing it again I should have a crack at a different resort to last year, although it's with mixed feelings because my friends in La Plagne are not too happy with my defection.  I'm taking my car though, for independence, so I should be able to meet up with them pretty often, as the resorts aren't a million miles apart.

I can't tell if I'm crazy to chuck my career, which I'm pretty sure is my dad's viewpoint on the whole situation, or being brave and taking a leap into the unknown to see what might be out there.  At the moment, there is no plan to come back to another permanent job like the ones I've had for 10 years as I'm too dissatisfied with the big, bad corporate world.

And look how pretty Meribel is:

So there we are - it's all go here.   I've planned and sorted bits out, and I'm in the process of doing other bits - there's a lot of lists that need making: packing lists, to do lists.  And long story short, in 5 short weeks I'll be back in the mountains, in my other home.

Monday, 6 October 2014


With everything else going on at the moment, I forgot to say that about an hour before the fateful phonecall in Friday morning I did my weekly weigh in and recorded a lovely 3lb loss. Week's off can sometimes be kind to the scales.

Since then I've been perfecting the art of distraction to keep my mind from settling on the painful truth for too long. Over the weekend that distraction took the form of a trip to London and spending time with friends. Today has meant a return to the office, which was something I was SO not looking forwards to. There's not a lot you can do to pretend something isn't so when you're in the very place you usually spend time with the person who's gone. It was a somber atmosphere this morning and I was probably more productive than I've been in a long time as I just threw myself into my work.

A few of us spent a cathartic couple of hours this afternoon crafting together some squares for a memorial blanket that M's sister-in-law is making in her memory. It was surprisingly comforting to sit around the table cutting out the pieces for the blanket and reminiscing about M.

I thought I'd comfort eat more today but I've surprised myself by being really quite motivated to eat sensibly. It was a long day, since I had to catch up the time I spent crafting in the afternoon (my choice, my boss told me to go home), but I've stayed pretty on track and I'm pleased with that.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 4 October 2014


It has been the worst of all possible news. We lost my friend on Thursday night and tonight I now know her tiny, little boy lost his battle too. One 38 and one just 3 days old. Both gone.

Such a goddamn waste of two lives.

I dread this Monday more than most, going into the office and knowing we will never see her there again.

So so sad right now.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 2 October 2014


My brain seems to have a repeat refrain of "what the fuck??" right now.

The latest news is that my friend has been on life support since surgery a couple of days ago. Life. Support. Just .... I barely know what to think. From what I hear her condition was caused by something relatively simple but she seems to have complication after complication. It doesn't seem real that it could have come to this.

Jesus Christ, life-fucking-support. We're just waiting for any sign that she can, and will, pull through this.

In the meantime, her tiny little son is still fighting and all my thoughts are with her family who must be frantic with worry.

Come on, M, you can do this!

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


I've just heard the heart-breaking news that a friend of mine, someone I saw just last week, is in the hospital following an emergency C Section yesterday. The pregnancy was just 25 weeks along.

Details are vague at the moment; it seems her little boy is still hanging on in there and fighting but my friend is not in a good way.

I'm sure they're both getting the best possible care and medical attention but my heart is in my mouth, my fingers and toes crossed that this can have a good outcome. If I believed in a greater power, I'd be praying right now.

Why does life have to kick people in the balls like that?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 29 September 2014

When It's Not Greater Than The Sum Of The Parts

We all know the saying - something's greater than the sum of its parts, meaning something magical happens when you put two or more things together and you get a multiplication effect: 2 + 2 = 5 or more!  Comedians that are great on their own but absolutely magical together.  Ingredients that become a taste sensation when combined.  Weird chemical reactions producing far more than they logically should.

However, when is this not true?  Well, apparently it's my leisure activities.  I had a bit of insight today and reminded myself why I started trying to focus on one thing at a time in my spare time, eating definitely being one of those.

What am I talking about?

The fact I ate some dark chocolate earlier, and I honestly couldn't tell you what it tasted like because I was busy reading at the same time - 50g of dark chocolate and I might as well have not eaten it for all the pleasure I got from it.  Reading - something I love.  Chocolate - something I love.  In theory, the two together should be a source of great pleasure indeed.  The reality is that since I can really only pay attention to one thing at a time, it's a waste.  The reading wins - of the 5 senses it would seem taste is not the dominant one.  Vision and audio will always win out.

I've noticed myself sliding back into the habit of eating, and particularly snacking, whilst distracted recently - it's not a good habit and might explain my stalled progress, or some of it at least.

Other than that, it's been a funny old week.  Last weekend I was camping and surfing and staffing a catering and cake stall at a surf comp on the beach in Devon.  On Wednesday, I did 8 solid hours of heavy gardening and heavy DIY for a charity day where we basically Ground-Forced a sensory garden at a local dementia care centre.  Tuesday night I ran for the first time in well over a year.  Thursday morning I trained before work - a solid hour of TRX.  It's definitely been an active week, no denying that, but my eating has slid a bit as a result, since I've often been hungry and tired by the time I get home.  Add to that the fact that I know heavy training / exercise always has a negative impact on the scale within the first 24-48 hours for me, and it was no surprise to see the scales jump back up 1.5lbs on Friday morning to 13st 7lb.

Now, I take this with a pinch of salt and a hint of insouciance.  I've burned a lot of calories this week and I don't feel heavier particularly, but my eating wasn't exemplary.  Add to that that I've received 3 definite compliments / comments in the space of the last week that I'm looking trim / am I on a diet and I just think I need to keep powering on.

The weekend was all a bit last minute as I had no plans and then ended up going out for drinks on Friday night at the gorgeous Cozy Club in Bristol and then shooting off for a short stay in London on Saturday - multiple walks by the river, with multiple pub stops - again my eating wasn't amazing, but I've tracked the lot and as I'm off work this week I'm determined to eat well and track properly whilst I have time.

Maybe this week I can break off my current plateau and make some progress.  Unfortunately, on that note I'm off out for dinner .... but conscientiously.  Life is not without its challenges!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Going Down

The dreaded Friday Scale Bounce struck again, but this time the scales were sufficiently down that the FSB didn't completely negate it An Actual Loss was recorded.

Well. Thank fuck for that is all I can say!

So a loss of 1.5lb was recorded this morning ... not as big as I'd have liked but a move in the right direction none the less. It means that while progress is achingly slow, my weight is in fact slowly, slowly going down. Hoorah.

I've had a pretty solid day at work eating-wise, and am now sitting replete after a rather delicious takeaway. Naughty but nice. I'm heading down to the coast tomorrow morning for a friendly surf comp I'm helping out at (keeping the judges and competitors supplied with tea and cake!), and I'm hoping to get myself out on my board for the first time this year too. I don't however feel like this needs to be an excuse to lose the plot this weekend, so I'm going to try and keep a lid on my eating and drink. It's only one night away from home camping - normal breakfast tomorrow and I'll pop a sandwich in the car for lunch and pick out something sensible for dinner and breakfast. Sunday lunch will be on the beach and dinner back at home, so as long as I don't lose my head around all the cake on Sunday, I should be fine. That's the plan anyway - with any luck, I'll be too busy running round and having fun to sabotage myself!

Don't have too much fun without me whilst I'm at the beach!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Fingers Crossed

Well, if I do say so myself, I've been pretty damn good this week. I've moved plenty (walking, hurling myself around It's A Knockout and putting myself through KettleHell, sorry, kettlebell training yesterday), I've eaten moderately and I even managed to bake a big ol' batch of cookies yesterday evening without diving head first into the cookie dough. The scales have looked good all week .... so based on recent experience this probably means disappointment at weigh in tomorrow, no?

Well, in the face of past trends, I'm going to go with idiotic optimism instead and hope for a loss tomorrow.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Grit Your Teeth

Well. It's Tuesday and I haven't yet posted about Friday's weigh in. Uh oh.

Traditionally, delays in posting, or just altogether silence, mean one thing: no news is bad news.

Or in this case, news that took me a little while to get to stop sulking about, and them a weekend just spent enjoying real life, to get round to posting about.

So yeah. It wasn't the weigh in I was hoping for. I was soooooo close to clocking a loss by Thursday but that bastard Friday-morning-scale-ping struck. AGAIN. The result was a lb on and some gratuitous sulking.

The sulking was followed in shortish order by some world class teeth gritting as I strongly reminded myself that nothing good comes of giving up ("yeah right" I told myself debating the cooked breakfast in the canteen at work).

Long story short though is that I made Friday a pretty damn decent day, despite the fact I had a damn good case of scale resentment and some seriously aching (read: destroyed) muscles from Thursday's training session.

Saturday and Sunday were spent being terribly adult and sophistamacated at a country house with tea, cake and dog-walking and a picnic on the Downs respectively. There was even home made pasta on Saturday night. I used up my weekly points, but didn't go way overboard, and caught up on a hell of a lot of sleep.

Yesterday was a slightly more childish affair as a bunch of us from work gleefully competed at an It's A Knockout event that my work put on at the beautiful Ashton Court. Cue much hysterical laughter, water, foam, budgie costumes, inflatables and a healthy dose of competition. I even remembered I was supposed to be watching what I was eating at the subsequent BBQ and surrendered my free beer for a refreshing pint of Diet Coke - yay me!

As expected, Friday's irritating scale aberration started to come back down almost immediately and at the half way point in the week I'm on for a healthy loss if I stay on track. FINALLY. Just to make sure, I've bought more supplies of cereal, soup and veggies to keep my cupboards healthily stocked.

If I don't get a sodding loss this week. There. Will. Be. Trouble.

Just saying.

Wish me luck!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 11 September 2014

An Ass Kicking

That is what I have duly administered to myself this week. After the weekend of over-indulgence (albeit offset by moving a flat), the malaise somehow continued inadvertently into Monday. It started so well and then somehow slid downhill.

Somewhere during the unintentional slide though, I decided that enough was enough and I needed to buck my ideas up. Not only that but the intention was followed by a plan ... take breakfast to work (a measured portion of cereal and milk to go in the fridge), get bananas for my desk and some soup from the supermarket and take my Tupperware to the office so I could easily heat it and return to my desk. A scarily simple and easy plan - so why is it sometimes so hard to get on plan???

I took it one step further on Monday when I was at the gym by actually asking one of the trainers about personal training and booking in a consultation for Tuesday and my first training session this morning before work. Long story short: I'm currently suffering a strong sense of impending immobility due to kettle bells.

It might have been a little late coming, but I've picked my game up a step this week. I would love to see a loss of some sort tomorrow on the scales to break out of the territory I've been stuck in for so long. I would also love to have at least some form of movement available to me tomorrow ... both might be long shots but nothing like positive thinking, eh?

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 8 September 2014

Weigh In Woes

How does the weekend come and go so quickly?

Friday's weigh in was ... frustrating. Yet again. However, it was a loss, just the piddliest little loss possible. A teeny, tiny 0.25lb off.

I'm not sure how long the scales can keep doing this - getting increasingly lower during the week then mysteriously bouncing back to virtually the same weight Friday after Friday. I was so sure I was going to get at least a fairly decent loss last week that I virtually had steam coming out of my ears when I stood on the scales. After I'd taken a minute to calm down though I tried to look on the positive side that a loss is a loss, and however slow it is, it is progress and it is in the right direction.

After that the weekend took over and suddenly it's Monday! The girls night out on Friday got cancelled at the last moment on Friday morning, leaving me fuming that I had no plans for the weekend. A quick conversation with one of my oldest friends and I had volunteered myself to help her move flats down in London - hard work but worthwhile and I thought positive karma for all the people who've ever helped me move house!

Saturday was a long, hot, sweaty day of loading and unloading the cars and running up and down stairs - good exercise! We did surprisingly well and got it all cleared in short order, although the Cadburys Finger consumption was legendary during the day! Yesterday, I helped with a bit of the cleaning at the old flat before heading off to meet a ski season friend for lunch in Richmond which was lovely.

The theme of the weekend seems to have been hard work but a little too much good food, and I now need to get back on the straight and narrow today.

In fact, I've decided as a whole, that if I want this loss and it's going too slow, then I'm just going to have to work a little harder for it. More walking, a bit more gym and get my eating a little cleaner ... especially on the weekends.

I am DETERMINED to see a loss this week!

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Ups And Downs

This week has been an interesting one. At the start, there was a wedding which meant a bit of an excess of food and booze. Aaaaand theeeeeen ... about 14 of us got ill after the wedding ... all courtesy (we think) of a very cute little 5 month old girl!

Yup - baby lurgy.

In my case, it was a joyous two days of nausea, stomach cramps, head ache and occasional temperature / dizziness. And naturally, loss of appetite.

So after 3 days of too much food, there came 2 days of not a bloody lot of food. Then 2 days of getting-back-to-normal amounts of food.

Basically, I'm not too sure where that leaves me this week! I finished last week on 13st 6.5lbs. After the weekend I was up 3 lbs, and then a couple of days ago I'd dropped down 6lbs to be 3 below where I started, and I have no idea where I'll be for tomorrow's weigh in! Some loss from last week would be good!!

Next week, luckily, is looking a bit simpler, as I finally have a quieter week ahead: just some drinks out tomorrow night with my old housemates - stick to the gin and avoid cocktails and wine! - and then the rest of the weekend and the week is pretty free - hooray!

I've got my fingers crossed for some sort of good news tomorrow!

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 1 September 2014

Wedding Weekends

One huge problem, or should I say challenge, of trying to eat healthily and lose weight, is that life will insist on throwing road blocks in the way.

Weddings, for instance, with the best will in the world, will always be a pain in the ass to navigate. The food's dictated to you, the booze is flowing and emotions are high. My tactic? Have a good healthy breakfast, take a snack (because you always eat at weird times and nearly always HOURS after you last ate) and then just go with the flow and enjoy it. But, most importantly, pick up straight away with where you left off the next day!

Well, that should have been the plan anyway. In actual fact, it went like this:

Friday - disappointed from weigh in I had a long but not terrible day at work eating-wise, then started the chaotic running around that is prepping for a wedding weekend. In this case it also included hosting a friend on Friday night, whose birthday happened to be on the wedding day. I bought healthy stuff for dinner but it turned out to be so late by the time she arrived and I was ready to cook that cooking was cancelled. Takeaway was proposed but we were too lazy and actually ended up with jacket potatoes with cheese and beans accompanied by a birthday bottle of champagne and followed by cake. More frantic packing and a late night.

Saturday - up early, much primping and faffing and we did manage cereal with a banana for breakfast before leaving 30 mins later than planned. Drive to friends' house near venue, get changed quickly (hair and make-up were already on) and then catch our lift to the venue. Ceremony, Pimms on the lawn, kept missing the canapés, hungry, hungry, hungry!!! Wedding breakfast, a lot of wine, more wine, a gin, sleeeeeeeeeepy. Evening food out - two bacon rolls, cone of chips and a bit too much wedding cake. Dancing, talking, nearly falling asleep on the steps outside waiting for lift home. Fall into bed.

Sunday - wake up before everyone else and creep downstairs for a cup of tea. Toast when the others wake up. Here's where it goes wrong: as the wedding party arrive home, a get together is suggested. I have a few quick chores to do as I have to get the present from my dad's house nearby and wash my car (I picked a VERY bad place to park my car overnight and it was somewhat defaced by birds). By the time I catch up to the others there is tea and wedding cake. We leave at 7pm at which point I learn that there was proper food but they'd eaten and then put it back in the kitchen and forgot to tell me! So my entire day has consisted of 2 pieces of toast, and 2 bits of cake. Obviously I arrive home and takeaway happened.

Damn it!!

Ok, so not the worst takeaway but pretty much 3 days of not great food. Done. Move along. There will now be 4 days of very good food for the rest of the week ... which could be tricky as I have 2 nights being cooked for this week! :-/

Best foot forwards! And maybe a lot of walking and moving to help it!

The wedding was beautiful though so I can't regret that.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 29 August 2014


That's exactly how I felt standing on the scales this morning.

Fucking aaaargh.

The week before last: 13st 7lbs. Last week: 13st 7lbs. This week: fricking 13st 6.5lbs.

That's what 2 weeks of hard work got me. And let's not forget the 2 weeks before that when I also worked hard and had a gain followed by a moderate loss. Or the week before that when I was on holiday, and not tracking but not completely off the ball, and put on a lb and a quarter (which incidentally, I was really pleased with at the time).

In other words, in the 5 weeks since just before I went on holiday, I have spent one holiday week semi-tracking and 4 weeks pretty much nailing it ... and I've lost a grand total of 0.5lb.

I could sob. Or scream and rant. In fact, I feel like I'd probably burn more calories that way!

The MOST frustrating thing is that both this week and last, I've soldiered through the long weekends, the meals out, drinks and all the other challenges and I've been consistently lower all week, only to bounce back up on Friday mornings for no good reason.

Take this week: long weekend, and I've navigated dinner out, BBQ, cream tea, lunch out and takeaway, and have been sitting pretty down on 13st 5.25lbs all week. I've made good choices. I came home last night, ate veg and grilled turkey for an early tea and then stormed round the local mall sorting out a load of chores. What in all of that caused me to suddenly put 1.25lb back on over-night??????

Yeah, I'm pissed. Yeah, it's a rhetorical question. Yeah, giving up and eating angry chocolate won't help me long term.


And so we swing into this week's challenges. I'm hosting a low key birthday evening for a friend tonight - there will be cake. Tomorrow I'm at a wedding all day. Sunday, I'm guessing, we'll be staying with our friends for a bit then heading home.

So I'm clinging on to the positives: I wore a tailored dress to work yesterday that I swear wasn't QUITE as tight as it was when I last wore it a few weeks ago. The scales were consistently down all week. And the biscuits survived another week. That's all I can come up with right now.

Time to go back to soldiering on!

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 22 August 2014


Short story: I stood on the scale this morning. I was disappointed.

Long story: I tracked all week, did some planning, messed up slightly but not enough to make a real difference and the scales were down all week. This morning they were 13st 7lbs. Which is exactly what they were last week. So a week of effort for no results.

Before anyone starts in with all the reasons this should be ok: I know them. It still doesn't stop me being disappointed when it's only my second proper week back on track and I get that to show for it.

Anyhoo, this weekend is looking particularly challenging. It would be much easier to throw my hands in the air and say that this food-centric weekend is going to chuck me off track anyway, but that won't actually help anything. I have dinner out tonight - it's at a place that specialises in sausage and mash and ALL OF THE OTHER BAD THINGS. ALL OF THEM. The plan is to keep my food fairly light during the day, just have straight up sausage and mash with some steamed veg on the side tonight and try and restrain my drinking intake. No starters, no desserts.

Tomorrow my visiting friend has requested a cream tea ... not much I can do to make that healthier apart from leave the cream off, and then we have a BBQ in the evening. Plan is to take chicken and some veg skewers along for the grill, avoid bread and just make up a single plateful for myself. Again, I'm going to try and keep the booze intake down - maybe wine spritzers.

Sunday - possibly Sunday roast before my friend leaves mid-afternoon, I reckon that will be ok if I have fruit for breakfast and soup for tea. And Monday is as yet unplanned.

On the upside I did manage to do Body Pump followed by Pilates last night so I feel virtuous if a little achy today.

Right - I shall take my gloom off else where - enjoy your weekends!

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 21 August 2014

On It!

This week has proved that it's possible to muddle through tough days when you're firmly in the driving seat of This Shit Is Happening.

I was dreading Monday with a fear that only those dieting will understand: lunch out AND dinner AND a cinema trip. How to do that and stay on plan??? But I survived it with a little forward thinking and planning. Fruit for breakfast, lunch was eaten in two halves and I saved some of my leftovers for the afternoon (I was able to take it back to the office in a takeaway box) and I excused myself from dinner to just meet my friends at the cinema. Ditto Tuesday when I had to get a super early train and was working in London all day.

Which brings me to my next point - it's also entirely possible to lose concentration for 30 mins and find you've squandered a load of points and didn't even really enjoy them! Hmph.

So my learning point (or re-enforcement of what I already knew) is that eating in front of the TV is just not possible for me. I just can't focus on what I'm eating, no matter how earnestly I try and then 5 hobnobs have been dunked in the hot chocolate before you know it. I learn. I move on. I won't beat myself up about it but I will try and use that knowledge.

I'm hoping for at least a small loss tomorrow to show for my hard work. This week has been light on activity due to the socialising and working away, which also means my tracker looks a bit lean and I'm slightly over my points. I realise that this probably isn't as bad as it would have been in previous weeks though as I've stopped tracking my general walking as activity.

I'll just have to wait and see!

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Satisfying Saturdays

I am currently lazing in my pyjamas on the sofa - yep, it's after 11am and I don't care. It's the weekend, I have no fixed plans and nowhere I need to be - its really rather pleasing!

Yesterday's weigh in was good: a solid 2.25lb loss, made better by the knowledge that it wasn't the lowest the scales had been this week. I'll take that!

I enjoyed a nice relaxing drink and chat with a friend after work yesterday and walked home absolutely staaaaaarving, dreams of a takeaway pizza in my head. Then I thought that I'd got pasta in the fridge so I could just have that. Do you know what I actually ended up having? Toast and cuppa soup. Single girl cooking, huh?? :-)

Other good things this week:

1) I have the satisfying ache this morning of someone who got up super early yesterday and hit up the 7am Body Pump class at the gym - definitely a good sign I'm in the mood to look after myself at the moment!

2) I finished my weekly Weightwatchers tracker with points unused this week. It's been a very long time since I haven't used up all my points, including activity points, but there were a (scant) few left this week. AND I've stopped tracking my activity points for my daily walk to work. I remembered that I did the same last year, because if I track it, I have a tendency to want to use them and that walking is really just part of my life.

3) I got my half year rating at work this week, and despite work currently not being satisfying AT ALL, I still got a good rating!

Right - I have to go and figure out what I might want to do with myself today.

Have a lovely weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Home Comforts

Tonight's dinner literally made me so happy. It was pure, 100% comfort food.

What's was it?

Sausage (quorn), mash, gravy and lots of greens.

The funny thing about this dinner was the most comforting, childhood memory part of the dinner was actually ... the mash!

I can't remember the last time I had mash and it was soooooo nice. I took a slightly unconventional approach as I actually used new potatoes which were in the veg drawer but, as I've just discovered, this actually makes really nice mash! Personally, I'm a big fan of skin-on mash so I just chopped the new potatoes in half, boiled them, added salt, pepper and some butter and roughly mashed them.

Pure. Home. Childhood. Comfort.

Better still, although the dinner was a little heavier on points than my usual dinner (12 points) I had enough points to cover it all, so have managed two absolutely bang-up perfect days in a row.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Zen Rewards

I know - two posts in one night - what's going on?

This is what's going on:

This is me giving myself a little non-food related treat. And yes, I realise there is actually some food in this picture but that's actually my final points for the day.

My actual treat to myself though is that I'm giving myself some unadulterated me time. I'm closing the door, muting my phone, lighting a lovely smelling candle, lowering the lights and allowing myself to watch a film, completely undisturbed.

A rare treat indeed.

- Posted from my iPhone

Fresh Eats

Do you know one of the worst things about eating healthy, and especially eating healthily enough to lose a steady amount of weight?

The boredom.

The mind-numbing tedium of working out which quick, cheap and easy meals work and then rotating them ad-nauseum, until you eventually give into the backlash and fall into a tub of ice-cream.

Nope?  Is that just me?

As an essentially lazy person, I probably end up eating the same 5 dishes for weeks at a time.  Which is probably why I find eating out such a nightmare, because I'm just so thrilled to be eating some DIFFERENT that I go nuts.

Having read through a load of my old posts from this time last year for both inspiration and motivation, I can see that one of the maxims I gravitated towards was either having starchy carbs or protein with my evening meal, but not generally both.  This turned out to be a quite unconscious evolution at the time, as I gradually worked out what low points meals were easy for dinner, and the reason it worked is that it meant I had to massively stock up on the veggies on my dinner plate.

However, there is a limit to how much chicken and broccoli or pasta with veg sauce I want to consume before I start bashing my head against the kitchen window.  So this time round, whilst I am very motivated, I'm also seeking out a little variety in my diet.

Yesterday I suddenly realised that what I'd really like was a mushroom stroganoff - something that tastes decadently creamy, and doesn't use bloody pasta or tomatoes.  A quick google later, and completely by chance, the first recipe I found was on the BBC Good Food site and was a slightly healthified version.

I've tried it this evening and can report that it tastes really nice.  I would show you a picture, but I scoffed it before there was time for photographic evidence.  BUT here's the really great news:  if you're a follower of Weightwatchers, a decent portion of this is a mere 7 points.  SEVEN!!!  (If you're a Slimming World peep, then I'm pretty sure this is also free with a Healthy A portion).

Note:  I used a 60g portion of rice, a spritz of olive oil (which I don't count) with a little water to sauté, and Sainsbury's Be Good To Yourself soured fresh cream.  Oh yeah, and a standard beef Oxo cube because I can't be arsed faffing around with this low-sodium bollocks.

Bliss.  A new, quick, easy, cheap recipe to go into my roster.  I used this one here:

Happy fricking Tuesday all!

(And since I have points left over, I shall go and enjoy a hot chocolate with a couple of chocolate chip  Hobnobs guilt-free now)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Little Improvements

I've had a fabulously relaxed weekend - time with my dad, tea and cake with my friends and their gorgeous little girl, pre-holiday purchases that weren't quite right returned for a refund (I'm post-holiday broke so being practical is good!), car vacuumed ... I felt quite productive!

Better still I've tracked EVERYTHING I've eaten and survived the snack-tastic over-eating potential that is Dad's house, and even managed to finish the weekend without quite using all of my weekly points or any of my activity points.  

What I'd like to improve on next is tracking at least some of my food before I eat it so I have a better idea of the total points I'm eating.  I'm making pretty sensible choices on my food, but I sometimes forget how the sensible choices can add up, so the best thing I can do is to pre-track my food which gives me a better idea of how many points I have left over for the nice little things.

So that's my project for this week, along with getting some activity in and lots more veg.  I'm feeling pretty motivated right now, so it's time to make the most of it.

I love a good bit of motivation!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Weekly Weigh In

It wasn't the greatest weigh in - annoyingly up another lb from last week's late weigh in, which immediately back from holiday.

However, I have to be slightly prosaic as I know I've eaten pretty damn well the last couple of days and I've been honest with my tracking all week and it's not been a terrible week. So I just have to believe that if I hold steady it will all sort itself out and head off in the right direction again.

In the meantime, I'm hitting the gym at lunchtime and hoping to finish early this afternoon.

Happy weekend!

(p.s. I did avoid the wine last night - hoorah! I may have had a few of the snacks though. Something to work on and vigilant about).

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Random Thoughts

1) I'd forgotten how nice roasted squash (or any other root veg) is! I was reading through some very old posts on the blog today and suddenly got reminded. Dinner was a score as a result!

2) How naive I was in said early posts about the progress I would make! I even hypothesised that I'd be at my goal weight of 11 stone in November 2009, just 11 months after I started out. 5 years later and I'm still not there .... but I'm wiser in so many other ways.

3) How there are some foods that conscious eating may cause me to pretty much forsake altogether. This was thought as I was enjoying a bit of ice-cream for dessert and musing over how it's no wonder I could never stop after a few mouthfuls, as I was previously practically unaware I'd even had those full mouthfuls due to distraction. This lead me to thinking about foods I only EVER eat when distracted by something else, like popcorn, and how I would never in my right mind sit down to eat a big bowl of popcorn without the distraction of a film. Therefore how I was rather unlikely to eat much popcorn anytime soon. And I don't feel overly sad about it.

4) If I get my arse back in gear I'll have the joy of getting some of my smaller clothes out of the storage suitcase again, and just how bloody lovely that feeling is.

Right - I'm off to go nose around a friend's new flat and resist drinking wine :-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Little Pleasures

After returning from holiday, I now seem to have roped myself into getting decently back on track with my eating. Yesterday there was lots of veggies and it was the first day in quite a while where I was bang on my Weightwatchers points.

Looking back to last year I had a holiday in late August and although I'd been back on Weightwatchers for a while it was that holiday (or the return from it) that lit a fire under my ass. I realised that the start of the ski season wasn't that far away and I wanted to be in better shape for it. This year the holiday's a few weeks earlier and I'm a lb or 2 lighter but the fire seems to be stoking the same way. Hooray - I've been looking for my motivation and thought I'd misplaced it!

On the conscious eating front there have been definite positive benefits. I feel like I've stopped wrestling with myself over a lot of food. I'm now capable of having biscuits and ice-cream in the house and not nose-diving into them. I can sit and really enjoy a chocolate chip hobnob without fighting myself to put the rest down or feel guilty about it. It feels like a huge step forward!

I feel like I've been looking at it the wrong way round for years. When they said "pay attention to how you feel - whether you're full or want to eat for an emotion rather than hunger" all they really needed to say was "stop distracting yourself from your food - enjoy it and the rest comes later". At least it's that way for me.

Without the food multi-tasking I can also concentrate more on whatever else I'm doing too: a good book, a TV programme and enjoy how that makes me feel independently of the food.

To top it off, I did the most amazing yoga practice yesterday that left me feeling so zen and refreshed (and not a little sweaty!) - inversions are the best!

Another little pleasure I've been enjoying this week: taking time to cook properly and the joy of leftovers. I'm monumentally broke after the holiday so I'm turning it into a positive and using it as a good excuse to investigate the fridge, freezer and cupboards and do some proper cooking. I've enjoyed smoked salmon and lemon risotto this week, along with making a big batch of veg and tomato sauce to go on pasta, jacket potatoes or with chicken. Way more satisfying than processed food.

So generally, this week has been full of positives ... hope yours is too!

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Holiday Is Over

Boooooooooo - the return to reality is kicking in after a fantastic week in the French Alps. Sucksville to be home from this:

I've had a fantastic week in Les Deux Alpes where I ski'd, zorbed, swam and sunbathed, read, and ate a fantastic amount of cheese, and I'm feeling relaxed but knackered now.

(Top to bottom: heading up the gondola to the glacier in the morning with some of the guys, a well earned après-ski beverage in the sun, zorbing)

The weather was sometimes a bit hit and miss - we had a couple of heavy rain-storms and a cool day or two, but also enough sun that I managed to burn myself not once, but TWICE. Idiot.

The company was fun, the atmosphere relaxed.

I spent quite a lot of time playing around filming and photographing the guys in the park and on the rails, especially after I nearly dislocated my thumb with a stupid fall from a kicker (first morning and I was desperately hungover and not concentrating properly) - so I thought taking it easy might be a good idea! Of course, I look super cool when I'm chilling (ahem - not):

In all fairness, it was super sunny that day so most of the above is actually an attempt to avoid being burnt to a crisp and / or blinded by the sun on the snow.

Food-wise all was miraculously good. I chose not to track but the conscious eating trick really worked as I managed two 17+ hour travel days with absolutely minimal snacking on very little effort. I really enjoyed my food though out the week, including a couple of nice meals out, crepes and the group catering, and even with the massive amounts of alcohol involved I was only 1.25lbs up from when I left when I stepped on the scales this morning - result!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Ski, Sun, Swim

It's been a beautiful first day here in Les Deux Alpes - it's glorious bluebird sunshine weather, so we headed straight up to the glacier for a cruise round on skis this morning.  It was so lovely being back on my skis after 3 months away from them, but I think the combination a slight hangover from last night and the extreme change in altitude (I live at sea level, the resorts at 1650m, but the glacier's over 3200m) ganged up on me and left me feeling pretty woozy so after a couple of runs, I crashed out for a nap on a giant bean bag at the bottom of the piste in the sun.

A late, leisurely and tasty lunch in the sun followed and finally a dunk in the outdoor pool and some sunbathing to round off a lush day.

I'm still feeling a little delicate, and I've certainly picked up my fair share of "colour" today (read:  I caught the sun a teeny bit), but life out here is definitely my speed.

Friday, 25 July 2014


The absolute worst thing about holidays - ridiculous start times:

But on the upside, I'm shimmying off to the Alps tomorrow for a summer adventure - whooop!

Pre-holiday (and weekly) weigh in was this morning, and was a surprise 2.5lbs off! Huzzah! Since starting the mindful eating a couple of weeks ago my weight has been a bit up and down, but seems to be showing an overall downward trend which I'm definitely in favour of.

Next week being a holiday week, I'll likely not track but will continue the mindful eating. Social eating is always a bit of a minefield for me, but that's contained to the table. Away from the table between meals my snacking seems far more conscious these days so that's definitely something I'll continue to exercise next week. Not to mention the actual exercise since we'll be doing some combination of summer skiing, mountain biking and walking during the day with free daily access to a pool and tennis courts too.

Happy, happy days!

Have a great week without me! :-)

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Going Minimal

I feel like I'm going through a bit of an evolution at the moment. The concept of minimalism has attached itself to my consciousness and seems to slowly be worming its way into my life.

I have to admit, I didn't know much about minimalism before, but as I mentioned last autumn, I launched a mass declutter of my life as a way of organising myself for my ski season, and as a result of googling tips for decluttering, I started coming across a lot of information about the wider topic of minimalism.

I have always lead a chaotic, cluttered and thoroughly dis-organised life, which is something which I now realise is completely inherent to my personality type (more on that some other time, as that's a whole other topic I've been reading about) and, more often than not, it stresses me out.

A lot of the advice about decluttering touched on the idea of living minimally in a physical sense - the concept of having few possessions, but of good quality and used often - something which I found appealed to me increasingly, and I soon started to realise how minimalist concepts apply to other parts of your life too: to your finances, your social life and social media, and goal-setting for career and long term life goals.

I like the fact that minimalism actually comes in degrees from moderate to extreme (I would be aiming for moderate) and involves divorcing yourself to an extent from the acquisitive and advertising-driven modern day world. This is turn means being able to turn away from the constant comparisons and feelings of inadequacy of the keeping-up-with-the-Jones mentality we're so often afflicted with.

I like that minimalism (to me, at least) encourages you to not feel guilty in acquiring something you really need, but also teaches you to look at whether you do really need it in the first place.

I have even applied this to my eating a little recently - that it's better to have one really good thing to eat and really appreciate it (and eat it mindfully!) than a bunch of diet, fake things you didn't really want.

I'm only a little way down the road so far, but my living space feels more peaceful and my mind feels calmer (and whilst the scales haven't momentously moved downwards they are down a little). I still have a huge amount of belongings to sort through, food habits to break and I'm very interested in the way these habits can be applied to your money (and yes, I still shop when I want to!), but it feels good.

A little transformational almost! :-)

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Feelings: They're Ok.

I was going to write a humorous post today about my mishaps the last couple of days, but I'm not feeling it right now.

Instead, I met a friend for a few drinks tonight, someone who was very significant in my life for a while, and I've come away with the sad feeling that this maybe the last time we meet up.

Our lives have moved in different directions and, maybe, I hadn't quite realised what a big part in my life he played, even if only for a short time.

So tonight I'm allowing myself to feel a bit sad and maybe even a bit lost, because while his life seems to be so sorted now and settled, I feel like I've gone the other way. There's a lot of things I now know that I don't want in my life, but I still don't know where that takes me and what my plan should be, but I do know that it's ok to feel that. Just to feel. That it might be scary and unknown but feeling is ok. Grieving the loss of a friendship / relationship is healthy. And looking into the abyss of the unknown is ... good.

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Summer Fruits

I was feeling like it was just too warm and humid to want to eat anything hot or even savoury for dinner this evening, so my veggie pledge became a fruit overload.

Dinner was a massive bowl of all the fruit that needed rescuing from the fridge before it was lost to the heat, with some full fat Greek yoghurt. If there's any yoghurt that's going to get me excited about it, it's this Rachel's Organic Greek yoghurt with ginger ... soooo tasty, and amazingly rich after making do with low fat yoghurts for years!

Summery, a little off-beat for a dinner but so refreshing.

What do you eat when the weather gets too hot?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Weekend Relaxing

So far I'm having a lovely relaxed weekend of resting, reading and some shopping and chores. As promised, I got another healthy big dose of vegetables yesterday, and felt good for it. I also had takeaway last night, and this might sound weird, but sitting and eating it mindfully, I felt weirdly like I've not been tasting things properly for ages - it was amazingly delicious! (And sensibly split, so I have another portion for lunch today.)

My shopping also took me on a foray into new clothing territory: The Midi Skirt.

I'm sure this is what my mum used to wear in the 80's and 90's and yet here they are back in fashion! Although I'm also pretty sure my mum didn't have one so eye-wateringly bright and tropical.

What do we think? Can I carry it off?

(Apologies for the crappy photo!) Also bought on my marathon shop: TWO pairs of sandals (why is it, that after weeks of looking, I find two pairs at the same time???), shorts for holiday next week, cute vest top and new hoodie.

So now I have NO money for the rest of the month!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 18 July 2014

Vegetables: Missing In Action

It has been a looooooooong couple of weeks. Work has been mega hectic (which is not unexpected for this time of year), and last week was a social whirlwind too, so after working last weekend it's been an effort dragging myself through this week.
YAY for it finally being the weekend!!!

First things first: weigh in this week. Ummmm ... yeah. 2 lbs on. If I say it quickly it doesn't seem so bad.

The question is: why? And I think I realised the answer today. Whilst I have continued to eat mindfully, which has 100% cut down on the amount of snacking I do (and the guilt I feel when doing it too), time pressures and general slothfulness have meant my meals have fallen into the "quick and easy" category. Not terrible in their own right, but rather .... processed. To the extent that I suddenly realised today that I can't remember the last time I ate a proper fresh vegetable.

Horrifying, n'est pas??

Of course, I rectified that straight away! I had a healthy dose of proper fresh vegetables with my dinner (tender stem broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potato, don't you know?) and I've promised myself to ensure a good further dose of vegetables over the rest of the weekend. Which if we remember, is generally the worst time for eating for me. This weekend? VEGETABLES!!

Since eating mindfully for a couple of weeks, I've definitely not felt bloated in the mornings as a result of over-eating, but I now realise the lack of good veggie intake has left me feeling a bit sluggish in a dietary sense. Sorry, Body - I'm working on it.
So what else has been happening?

I let myself off the leash and allowed myself a little shopping venture last weekend (the bit I wasn't working) and scored big in the John Lewis sale. The green dress is for a wedding at the end of August, the gold top is just delectable, and the dark dress, whilst gorgeous, is going back as I'm not sure I'll wear it enough to justify it ... especially as I want to break away from the office environment (more on that at a later date).

Then today I tried some Heidi braids in my now over-long and rather dry hair. And got an absolute ton of compliments when I got to work! Yay for something which resuscitates day old unwashed hair :-)

Finally, after a long and tedious day at work and a spin class to start the weekend (I must have been out of my mind when I booked that), I settled down to wait for my chicken and vegetables to cook with a well-earned cold cider.

Happy weekend all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Busy Busy

It's nearly the end of another week and it's one of those where I'm not quite sure where the days went.

I've continued with the mindful eating, and have also conscientiously recorded everything in my Weightwatchers tracker. The results are interesting because, while they aren't anything approaching a perfect week and I'm definitely over my points allocation, it's still a lot better than some of my bad weeks and I know it's 100% honest too.

Eating mindfully has made the process of tracking a lot easier because I eat far fewer snacks or bits so it's much easier to remember everything when recording it. Also - big victory - the biscuits and ice-cream are still in their respective parts of the kitchen relatively unscathed!

It's been a pretty busy week socially with dinners with friends and a shitload of work in the office - frankly I'm surprised I'm not further over my points with so many meals out, but the mindful eating genuinely seems to help with that.

Even better, yesterday I took a sandwich to work for lunch which I ended up not eating. I thought I'd have it for dinner instead and then just top up with food later in the evening if I was still hungry. Instead I got stuck into crafting my mask for a charity fancy dress event this evening and didn't even realise until it was bed time that I hadn't felt hungry again. Yet again, proof that I need less food than my eyes tell me!

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 7 July 2014

Day 7 Mindful Eating

So, my first week of mindful eating draws to a close, and I can honestly say I've made some interesting discoveries about my eating habits this week.

I had a very relaxed day yesterday, just doing some bits around the house and sorting out my bills and finance records, and meeting a friend in the afternoon for a chat. I ate modestly at my meals, but enjoyed a milkshake with my friend since I've been craving one for weeks. I didn't feel even a tiny bit guilty about it either.

This mindful eating has moved me away from feelings of guilt or oooh-I-shouldn't and towards just enjoying something properly and then moving on. It's curbed my snacking and lessened my feelings of constantly fighting myself, and eased in a slight sense of trusting myself instead.

At the start of the week, I didn't worry too much about tracking my food or making healthy choices, and just followed my instincts. Interestingly, this in turn lead back round to me starting to naturally balance my food and even stopping when I was full. My portions got smaller because, even though I wasn't actively monitoring my hunger levels, concentrating on the actual process of eating ended up making me aware of them - I've started noticing when I'm full and also that I don't want the food so much when that happens.

All in all, it's felt like quite a natural process, although there's still some thought required for how to eat in social situations.

I'm going to carry on with this idea, but won't bombard you with daily updates anymore ... unless I actively feel like I have something interesting to report, of course!

And in practical terms? Well, I've finished the 7 days about 2-3lbs lighter and feeling a little slimmer - can't be bad for a week that included gin, takeaway, a BBQ, ice-cream and milkshakes, eh?

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Day 6 Mindful Eating

I wasn't feeling the most cheerful yesterday morning, but by the time I'd had a decent lie in and mulled things over, I'd come to the conclusion that my Grandma would never tolerate moping over her loss, men will always be annoying and frustrating and that doesn't change who I am or what I'm worth, and my financial situation doesn't benefit from sulking (I was having a small wobbly over that at the weekend too).  All in all, I concluded, wasting a perfectly good sunny day in bed feeling a bit sorry for myself was a rather pointless exercise.

After 6 days of this mindful eating malarkey, I've started feeling rather proud at how I've adjusted to a subtly different mindset.  Yesterday I was able to finish the takeaway leftovers for lunch (well, brunch, I'd missed breakfast and was too hungry to wait for lunch) and attend a bbq in the afternoon without really thinking about it.  It wasn't until I was leaving the bbq that it occurred to me I'd subconsciously applied the mindful eating rules to the whole afternoon - I'd had a sausage in a roll from the bbq, which I'd taken my time over, I'd had a couple of pieces of grilled halloumi and two mini egg bites, and a piece of the cake which I'd totally savoured.  And that was it.  No crisps.  No breadsticks and hummus.  No nibbles.  I felt great!  What's more, I hadn't been consciously been "resisting" eating the other things.

To cap the evening off, I quite fancied some ice-cream, and given how well I've coped with having things like biscuits in the house this week; things that are normally big trigger foods for mindless consumption; I thought I'd get some and enjoy it.  I had some in a bowl with a chopped up banana, and the rest went straight back in the freezer.  I took my time, and in all honesty, I started thinking I'd dished myself up too much rather than wanting more.


It's been nearly a week of consistently following this new logic, and whilst I hesitate to say it's any kind of magic solution, I can honestly say I've found it refreshing because for the first time in a very long time, I don't feel like I'm fighting food, my appetite, my will power or anything else.

That isn't to say it's easy; I've felt like I'm being an anti-social git at times when I eat solo in the kitchen, away from other people, and I've still haven't quite figured out how to deal with social situations - I know I need to eat slower and stop trying to talk and eat at the same time, but that's still a work in progress.

One thing that has really surprised me has been that I've occasionally felt resentful of self-awareness this exercise has given me.  That I'm now aware that I've been using the distraction of the tv or a book as a way of shoving down far more food than I need and I don't really feel I can do that any more.  I felt something similar when I first started seriously doing Weightwatchers in 2009 and for the first time I was really aware of how bad some of the things I'd been eating were - I resented knowing and not just being able to consume them anymore in ignorance - just a vague sense of guilt rather than deliberately ignoring that knowledge.

Hopefully, though I can use this new awareness to try and tune my habits to something more healthy all round.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Day 5 Mindful Eating

Yesterday was a hard day emotionally speaking. It was my grandmother's funeral, and whilst I've coped pretty well up until now with her death, the old pictures on the order of service and the sight of the beautiful wicker coffin she'd requested, absolutely covered in white lilies, reduced me to a sniffing, teary wreck. The funeral itself was short but lovely - thank god, as I would probably been sitting on the floor bawling if it had gone on much longer.

Added to that, I already felt a bit low because I had a fabulous date with a guy on Wednesday then .... nothing. A text replying to mine saying he'd had a great evening too, then complete radio silence. Sigh.

My point is though, that I let myself wallow in all that, but ate like it was a normal day. There were even small victories:

1) NO snacking - I conquered the kitchen gauntlet, and even though I did look thoughtfully in the biscuit tin at one point, I closed it and walked away empty handed.

2) We had takeaway last night, the first since I've been trying mindful eating, and it went well. I didn't order too much (for a change) and Dad and I had a sensible sized plate each, and the rest was packed straight away into the fridge. I sat and tasted it properly, savoured it (and it was delicious!) and I didn't feel more than comfortably full when I'd finished.

Yesterday was also my weekly weigh in and it was 1.25 lbs off. I'm particularly pleased with that since I didn't start the mindful eating until Sunday night and the weekend wasn't at all good!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 4 July 2014

Day 4 Mindful Eating

Yesterday proved a couple of things to me:

1) A single sandwich is enough for lunch. Is doesn't have to always be soup and a sandwich or crisps and a sandwich. Some days I may want or need more than that, but yesterday it was fine - I think I've been automatically adding unnecessary calories just because my eyes tell me a sandwich alone (or something similarly sized) can't possibly be enough.

2) I had a sweet treat yesterday afternoon, after my lunchtime spin class, of a snack pack of Oreos. Normally, that it probably take me 5 - 10 mins to devour the 6 smallish biscuits. Yesterday it took me 3 hours, and I did actually debate just taking the last one home with me, or even binning it. Yikes - who AM I???

3) Eating slowly and with focus allows me to make an objective choice on whether I'm really enjoying something or not. Breakfast yesterday? It was ok, but I probably won't bother with quite that combo again.

Today will be a new challenge because I'm back at Dad's for my grandma's funeral. Dad's house has become somewhat of a food war ground for me over the last couple of years because he keeps snacks lying around everywhere! There are Wispa bites lying open on the side, next to the biscuit tin which lives in plain sight. There's always chocolate or sweet nibbles in at least two of the cupboards. I don't usually manage to pass through the kitchen without chomping on something whilst standing up. Plus there's the fact that the dining table is so covered in his art stuff that all meals are taken in front of the tv.

Oh boy - this will be a challenge!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Day 3 Mindful Eating

Whilst I've been concentrating on eating mindfully, I've not been worrying too much about what I've been eating. I've just gone with the flow, and picked out whatever I've really been feeling. Interestingly though, I've noticed that I've started to self-regulate - if I have a heavier lunch, I pick a lighter dinner.

What really surprised me yesterday though, was that I happily stopped before the plate was clear at lunch and chucked what I didn't need away. You must understand that I am, ordinarily, an obsessive plate-cleaner so leaving something behind without an extraordinary psychological wrestle with myself is ... well ... virtually unheard of.

As I sat eating my tea yesterday (just a bowl of soup without any bread or toast - also unusually because I normally have more than one component to a meal) I pondered whether the difference comes from actually looking at my food. Not just putting it on the plate and then averting my gaze to the TV or a book, but properly watching my food as I eat it and seeing what I've had.

A strange thought indeed!

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Day 2 Mindful Eating

Today's discoveries:

1) I didn't need to snack at all today as my meals actually kept me full until the next one - was this because my body actually took on board that I'd eaten and how much?

2) Food tastes GOOD! I mean that it tastes really good when you stop and pay attention! I couldn't believe how satisfying a soup and sandwich could be for lunch yesterday because I was paying attention for a change.

3) It's entirely possible to take out a pack of chocolate chip Hobnobs whilst you're preparing dinner and only (mindfully) eat one because you're too busy cooking or catching up on the day's internet to sit and eat. That one biscuit will taste amazing.

4) I still haven't figured out how to deal with the cinema. I generally have something at the cinema, but by definition I can't focus on it because, well, there's a film. Does this mean no snacks at the cinema ever again?? I may have had pic'n'mix - something to work on.

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Day 1 Mindful Eating

Things I discovered yesterday:

1) Eating takes up a REALLY long time.

2) I often shove things in my mouth at my desk without even thinking about it - I kept catching myself doing it and either had to put the food down or stop and focus on it.

3) I take mouthfuls that are too big - no wonder my jaw aches and I end up gulping down half-swallowed food. Smaller bites required.

4) It's hard focusing on your food when people are talking to you, but not impossible. Just have to take my time, listen more and remember to swallow before starting talking again!

I still ate more than I strictly should have done yesterday but I was very conscious of everything I ate and enjoyed it all. It's definitely hard work trying to shift your habits though!

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Mindful or Mindless

I was reading something this evening, a blog post, and something in it really clicked with me.

I'll be honest, that I've not had the easiest of weeks.  Aside from being pretty distracted with family stuff, a busy social week and work starting to hot up, I've been beating myself up because I couldn't understand why I keep going so off-track with my eating.

I start each new day with best intentions, and then somewhere along the line it usually goes wrong.  Whether it's me indulging pointlessly on my own at home, making bad choices on the run, or getting carried away in a social situation, it's simply not been a very productive week on the food front.  Again.

This weekend has been no different, since I've been down in London visiting a friend, and there just seems to have been a multiplication affect of questionable choices.  On their own, none of them would have been terrible, but together ... well.

I won't lie and pretend I didn't already see a(nother) gain on the scales on Friday morning as well.  I'm pretty much back where I started a couple of weeks ago.

Back to this article then.  It was talking about an eating tool, rather than a diet, in the form of mindful eating.  I've come across aspects of this before, in the form of the whole eat-when-you're-hungry-don't-eat-when-you're-not tactic, i.e. checking you're actually physically hungry before you eat and that it's not emotional hunger.  However, this particular piece of writing was talking about another aspect of it - when you're eating, make sure you're completely concentrated on eating - in other words: focus.

I literally can't tell you how many thoughts whirled through my mind as I read this:  that I'm a horrible multi-tasker and always eat whilst doing at least one other activity (and possibly more than one), that I rush my food - usually readying the next bite whilst still chewing the first, that I quite frequently eat whilst standing, that in a social situation I'm often so busy talking that I talk with my mouth full whilst trying to eat as well and even then I'm usually the last person to finish eating (yeah, don't judge me - that sounds like I'm spluttering food all over the table, and I promise you I'm not).

Looking at what I've written above, I think that it's no wonder I eat too much, as I can be hardly tasting a thing I'm eating and sometimes must barely realise I've consumed a whole meal!

How many of us eat whilst reading or watching tv?

As I sat and thought about it (ironically, whilst eating part of my dinner), I came to a startling conclusion:  I never just eat because it seems like a waste of what little free time I have, hence I rush it or do something else at the same time to distract myself.  Eating is more like an neccessary accompaniment to a lot of my day to day activities (work, reading, watching tv, spending time with friends) than an essential act to maintain life and health in its own right.

I hadn't even realised that I view it that way.  It seems almost impossible now that I stop and think about it, but I view eating in two completely different and opposing ways: 1) something I deserve and a reward / comfort / security blanket, but also 2) a pain in the ass waste of time to be gotten over with as quickly as possible.

No wonder I'm fucking confused and conflicted on it!

I'll tell you right now, that when I realised what I was reading, I stopped eating to concentrate on reading the section I was interested in.  And then I sat and tried to deliberately focus on eating my dessert of a bowl of fruit with a little sweetened marscapone (delish, if you've not tried it), with the laptop switched off and my phone locked.  Good grief - it's actually flaming difficult to do!  I realised how fast I tend to eat, gulping down my food, and how I ready another mouthful whilst chewing the one I'm on.  I also realised how I started noticing that I was feeling full not halfway down the bowl, and how my jaw became tired of chewing .... cues I've been missing whilst I normally distract myself.

I'm in no way saying that I think this revelation is a miracle cure, but I'm certainly intrigued by what I've learned about myself today.  I feel like I've basically just discovered a huge mistake I've been making, and we all know we're only clever if we can learn from our mistakes.  I'm already thinking what, and how, I can learn from this, and how I can try to concentrate more on my actual eating (rather than just tracking my intake) for the rest of the week and see where that takes me.

I have a feeling that it's going to be both not that simple and also eye-opening for me.