Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas greetings from my daddy's household where I'm currently residing for the holiday period!

I'm watching the Christmas Strictly special and waiting for an extremely-imminent chicken and stuffing sandwich to appear for tea.  I'm relaxed, happy and enjoying the day, which is full of new traditions for me and my dad.

It's the first year it's just the two of us.  I've been away for two years, and before that we had my frail grandmother to get dinner delivered to, but this year it's Christmas Day a deux and we've made it just for us.  A few presents under the tree, a proper breakfast at the table, an amazing Christmas lunch (if I do so myself), bits of seasonal tv, Christmas music from the Puppini Sisters on Spotify while I cooked and some festive jigsaw-ing this afternoon.

It being a Friday, it was my weigh in day for Weightwatchers this morning.  I didn't weight in last week, due to being in the Alps skiing and all (shaaaaaame, I know) so this was judgement day for a week of chalet board and booze on top, as well as the usual pre-festive buildup.  Ordinarily, my friends and I joke that we put on about half a stone for every ski holiday week we do.  You can see why - multi-course breakfasts, hot lunches, afternoon tea and cake (and beers in the hot tub), 3 course dinner with limitless wine and usually drinks in the evening.  Ummmm, yeah.

Damage report: a mere 2lbs.

I'm feeling pretty damn chuffed about that, since I also had Chinese takeaway for dinner last night!

So here's to Christmas!  I hope it finds you well, wherever you are and whoever or however you spend this day.  I hope you're with friends, family or loved ones, got some nice presents, but more importantly appreciate those that make you happy.


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Back Where I Belong

This week's episode is bought to you all the way from the French Alps, where I'm currently enjoying some early snow, a lot of cake and cheese and catching up with friends.  A terrible start to Christmas, as you can imagine, but I'm soldiering on.

It was a busy week last week with interviews and a lot of social stuff, so I'm treating this week as a bit of a retreat .... hence the fact it's nearly 11am and I'm still in bed in the chalet.  This is my old stomping ground, and as it's all familiar ground to me in La Plagne, I absolutely refuse to feel guilty about honouring myself with some rest because I can feel that I need it.  Having said that, I have been up the mountain for at least some time every day with friends so I'm not being soooooo lazy.

Ski weeks, especially those in catered chalets, are never that healthy because the food is plentiful and rich.  Rather than try and worry about it, I'm just trying to pay attention to when and how hungry I am and work from there.  So although breakfast is vast if you want it, most mornings I've just been having the cooked bit (bacon and scrambled eggs or similar) and a bit of fruit or yoghurt, and leaving the bread and cereals alone.  For lunches I've just eaten until I'm full and left the rest if it's too much.  That's something I normally have trouble with, but I've been working on it recently and I'm getting better at it.  I still fully expect to go home a bit heavier than I left, but hopefully not crazy amounts.

Booze on the other hand has been plentiful, and I had shocking hangovers the first couple of mornings, so I've been trying to reign that in since then so I can actually survive the week!

Best of all though (aside from time spent with awesome friends), I got a call yesterday afternoon to say I've been offered a new contract for January!  When you're self-employed as a contractor, there's always a slight worry that another job won't come through when you need it, and there's always a slight anxiety lurking even as you're enjoying the break between contracts.  So it's always a relief when one comes through - especially as this is only my second contract and I worried that getting the first one was a fluke.

So now, I can sit back and enjoy the last couple of days up here .... all I have on the agenda for today is meeting an old friend for lunch and cruising round the mountain this afternoon on the empty, empty pistes.  Such a chore.

Damn, I'm lucky sometimes.

Friday, 11 December 2015

All Change

Happy Friday y'all.

This morning is all change in my household as I step over to the new Weightwatchers plan with trepidation.

For anyone not trying to get to grips with their weight, this would seem like a fairly trivial thing, but for those of us that basically use the twin W's as a lifeline against The Outward Creep Of The Waist, it's like someone telling you that the way we're all going to breathe has changed, 5 minutes ago, and you'd best figure it out now because it isn't changing back and how you're currently doing it is wrong and will not work anymore.


Having said that, despite hearing a lot of cries of protest from the Community Boards of the Weightwatchers forum, I'm determined to approach this change with neutrality, even if I can't muster positivity.

So far it .... doesn't look too bad actually.

First things first, I put a lb back on this week, but that's unsurprising as it's been a crazy busy week and I've been feeling bloated. I didn't expect to lose last week and did, and haven't quite put it all back on so I'm still net down and happy with that.

The week has been a crazy rush of booking and sorting holidays (tomorrow - eeeek), job stuff, visiting dad, and Christmas social stuff: parties, drinks, catch ups, gigs, and hangovers.

I may have been offered a job yesterday. I say may, not because I'm being coy, but because I'm genuinely not sure. We were talking on the phone about a contract they're interested in using me for, and the next thing I know they're hanging up with "cool, well we'll get all the paperwork sorted then". It took me about 5 minutes in my hungover state to think "wait, does that mean I've got the job? Did I accept the job? But we haven't even talked money yet!".

So yeah, super confused.  In the meantime, I have another interview and a separate coffee meeting today for other opportunities- might as well keep all avenues open, eh?


Ok - let's talk Weightwatchers then. New points system and allowances for all. New targets for fitness points but you're not allowed to swap them for food unless you're desperate. Foods have all changed points values, some up and some down.

A lot of people have commented that they feel like their choice is being taken away from them because things like chocolate have gone up so much in points. For me, it's my darling ice cream that's rocketed. Sob.

BUT. We still have the option to eat it, just at a slightly higher cost than before, and honestly it should be an occasional treat anyway, not a regular part of our diets.

I had a glance through at a lot of my standby foods this morning, and not too much has actually changed radically for my go to meals. Carbs, at least refined ones, are generally more now, but basics are all the same. Meats and Quorn are down - happy days, I eat a lot of those. Veg and fruit is still free. Plain carbs (pasta, rice, etc) are the same. Butter's gone up but I eat too much of that anyway, so I might go back to subbing with low fat cream cheese for some savoury stuff.

As I have a Christmas party with 3 course dinner tonight and then I'm off skiing for the week with chalet cooking, I might be largely ignoring the plan this week, but it honestly doesn't look too bad from my point of view.

Now I just have to avoid putting on half a stone over the next week just in time for a ball next weekend and Christmas itself.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 4 December 2015

Lost Again

I'm a loser again, in the best possible way.

I really didn't expect it this week, as I was away at the weekend, and there were lots of cakes on my last day at work on Monday, and dinner out on Wednesday night, but 1.25lbs is missing from the scales.

Which makes me very happy.

It also makes me the exact weight I was when I went off for my ski season last year - hooooorah! I love little coincidences like that.  And after all, it took me 6 months to put on that bit of weight, so makes a sort of sense it would take 6 relaxed months to lose it again. Yes?

Also, it means I'm only a tiny bit over a stone from where my happy weight is, which is back at 12 and a half stone - a stone seems very do-able, especially since I'm in no hurry whatsoever - no deadlines makes the whole thing much more amiable.

The weekend just gone was gorgeous - I went to South West Wales with the girls, to a friend's cottage in the middle of nowhere.  Heaven.  The cottage was down a single track lane and then a mud track, and you could literally walk out the end of the drive, turn 20m right and be on the beach of a tiny natural harbour.  There was a log fire and no phone reception, which makes it a haven and perfect relaxing territory in my book.

The weather could have left a lot to be desired in typical British fashion, but actually the wild and wintry weather just added to the cosy factor of being holed in a cottage with really good friends, a fire and wine.  Mind you, wine is not great for the old healthy eating, but at least I can honestly say that when the chocolates, crisps and dip were put on the table on Saturday night I didn't bother.  I realised I was already full from dinner and enjoying the glass of wine I had in my hand, and that nibbles weren't going to add anything to that.  Winning at life, that's me!

(my friend Stacey at Little Haven, the girls at breakfast, a hidden beach near Dale, and us all messing around at Little Haven)

I finished my current contract on Monday, with my old team and saying goodbye yet again (3rd time round) was weird and a bit sad, but since most of the contracts I'm looking at for my next role are in the same building, I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing them soon.  Since then I've been enjoying some downtime at home (as opposed to downtime on holiday - yeah, they're really different, get over it).

I had an interview on Tuesday for a contract that I didn't really want but allowed myself to get talked into.  Remind me to follow my instincts in future - I really didn't want it at all after the interview just based on the job spec itself, but was also getting a strange vibe from the interviewer that extra-cherry-on-top put me off.  Aggressive and yet intermittently glancing at my boobs .... not a great impression!

Other than that, I've been reading, watching Netflix (sooooo much good stuff!), colouring in and allowed myself a quick trip to the mall to get a few bits I've had my eye on for a while.  I was an exercise in self-restraint and didn't buy anything not on the shopping list apart from a cool t-shirt though.  Yay me.

Oh yeah, and I got a bit bored and booked some flights to flee the grey gloom and cold for some wintry snow and extra cold next weekend ..... I spontaneously organised a last-minute trip to go and stay with friends in La Plagne for the first week of the season. OhmygodI'msoexcitedImightspew.  Mates rates are the best and I'm staying in my friend's amazing chalet for a week of luxury and great company - aaaaaaaah - time off really is the best!!