30 November 2008

Recipe for Success!

If only...

26 November 2008

Blue meanies

Oh Lordy! So much for my grandiose thoughts of shedding the remaining lbs by Christmas. I should have known that I was tempting fate.

Just a little while after I posted on Monday things started getting a wee bit out of control again. In fact, this week isn't going very well at all, so far.

I had a headache for most of the day on Monday, but didn't think too much of as I was pretty tired after the weekend, and the start of the week was nothing if not hectic! But, I ended up going home at the end of Monday with a muzzy and aching head, achy most other places, a bit of a sore throat and eyeballs feeling like they'd been lightly sandpapered. Not altogether a happy bunny.

Because I felt grotty, I missed my Chi Kung class - and then, of course, felt dreadfully guilty about not going. Pooh!

Hubby had made us some lovely onion squash soup, which was great (I may post his recipe sometime), but I still felt pretty sorry for myself, so ended up going to bed quite early with paracetamol and a hot drink. It wasn't milky hot chocolate, although if we'd had any in the house, it would have been. Still not sleeping properly - despite this lurgy/virus/whatever, or maybe because of it?

Tuesday was much the same, with me surviving another busy, hassle-filled day on willpower and paracetamol (and the odd tissue). I did have a session with the Physio in the afternoon though, and that was quite positive.

The down-side was that I'd taken a birthday cake in for a friend and, er, didn't just have the ladylike little slice that I'd planned. Oh no, it was a decent old chunk of deliciously gooey pear and Belgian chocolate cake that passed my lips. And, once I got home and had eaten the bacon and bean stew for dinner (not awful, but not overly healthy), I still felt 'orrid so lovely hubby put me to bed with a very generous glass of whisky mac!

Not a fantastic night and today dawned feeling, oooh let's guess, aching and dismal. And, mother nature has decided that this is a perfectly reasonable time to land me with her monthly revenge for my being born female, bless her! So that's why chocolate has seemed soooo terribly enticing for the last few days. Stopped at a coffee shop on the way in for paracetamol and a hot drink. Success. Avoided the sweet stuff by the skin of my teeth.

Until, that is, break time, when a scone tripped me up. I did scrape off the spread but... Today, my nice healthy fruit box (apple, pear, banana and clementines) just couldn't compete. My patience and temper have got even shorter through the morning (is that possible, the fat lass wonders?) so I hid at the bottom of the fire escape and munched my lunch in relative peace. OK, it was cold and uncomfortable, but it saved me snarling at anyone.

There is a little relief in sight for this afternoon - one of my meetings has been postponed, thank heavens! I'll try to eat a sensible, healthy dinner tonight (because of my lousy planning we are eating out tonight too) but if I lose an ounce this week I'll be amazed. Even staying where I am is looking less likely. Right, off for another cuppa and a paracetamol.

24 November 2008

Good progress - or over-optimism?

After the slightly negative feel to my last post, I think it's time to be positive and make a solid plan for the remaining weeks of 2008.

I got on the scales this morning and am 72.5kg today - a wee bit down from last week, which is good.

At the start of this month I set myself a mental target of getting to 70kg (a nice round 11 stone) by the end of January 2009 and I actually told lovely hubby that was my aim. Oooh, the fat lass is getting brave!

It may be a little over-optimistic to even be considering this, but I might be able to bring my date forward.

It's now two weeks, and counting, until I next see the dietician. I'm rather hoping that things will keep on a steady downward trend between now and then, and that I may make it to 71kg (that's 11 stone 3 lbs) by then. It's pushing it a bit, especially as we have a meal out with friends on Thursday, then another the following Sunday, but it might be possible if I really take things carefully for the rest of this week, and the next.

If I can do it (and I know it's quite a big 'if'), then maybe, just maybe, I could get the final kilo off in the two weeks leading up to Christmas?

I'm not going to go crazy over this, as it is a notoriously difficult time of year, and I won't beat myself up if it doesn't happen. But I will try, and live in hope. It would certainly be a lovely present to myself. God knows, with the various and multiplying worries life is landing on me right now, I need one at the moment.

21 November 2008

Heading for the danger zone!

Gosh, I'm tired... and the danger zone is where we are moving towards. I'll really, really, really have to be on my guard in the next few weeks. A holding position at the current 73kg would be great, but I'd really prefer to keep making progress and lose a few more pounds. Not entirely sure what my chances of that are, but...

And the tiredness? Well, let's just say I am glad it's Friday today. It has been quite a week, with a fair scattering of stressful events at work. And today? Just don't ask! Even though we have a hectic weekend in store (e.g. the loooong drive there and back to Wales to see my Mum), I know it will be a nice one. I just wish so much that we lived closer and could see her more often.

As I mentioned, approaching this weekend I'm dog tired (could be something to do with worries and not sleeping, methinks!) and lovely hubby seems pretty tired too. We would both really appreciate some quiet time soon to recharge the depleted batteries. Huh? Who am I kidding!

Next weekend is the only time up to Christmas that we don't already have something planned - and a lot of the plans are food-related too. Here we are - we are supposed to be the ones with a 'stay-at-home' mentality and not what you'd normally describe as social butterflies. How'd this happen?

Oh well, next weekend will have to be the time we do the seasonal stuff, namely buying and writing cards, actually buying the presents we've been thinking about and planning exactly how we will be 'doing Christmas' this year. Oh yeah, and the usual weekend tasks we are postponing from this weekend away. Doesn't sound too quiet, now I come to think about it.

A tip to 'me' for this jolly time of year. I must remember to make time for as much exercise as possible, despite the fact that curling up on the sofa with hubby and a good book sounds like heaven right now. A few regular, bracing walks would do both of us a lot of good.

And, at this time of year, we are heading into shark-infested festive waters, food-wise. Mince pies with or without brandy butter, stollen (oooh, how I love stollen!), Christmas buffets and nibbles, a neighbourly glass of sherry or two, thoughtful presents of chocolate and that 'heck, it's Christmas - let's celebrate' feeling are all waiting to trip me up. Plan ahead carefully, fat lass, and don't let the season get the better of you!

Still, let's take it one weekend at a time. At least this one will be a good one, and from the weather forecast we may even see a little more snow. It'd be great to see it, but we probably won't get time for a lovely walk in it, even if it does happen.

And then, once we get home, even more tired than today, Monday morning's alarm will go off in my right ear all too soon!

19 November 2008

What a fantastic start to my day

My lovely hubby just made my morning. As I was about to leave for work, he said I looked 'shapely'. Then he revised it to 'sexy shapely'!

All I could think was wow! I was a bit stunned as I can't actually remember anyone ever calling me shapely before. And sexy? Huh? To my shame, I didn't accept my darling's compliment gracefully, but made a joke about having been shapely before - just a rather odd shape.

You see, to me it's kind of funny as in my eyes I'm still a lump, even though I 'know' (logically) that I've got to have changed shape a lot as I've now lost around four and a half stone. But, I still have a lot of excess belly fat (which I hate and which gravity helps to accentuate) overlying the muscle that is gradually developing and, when I look in the mirror (have to admit, I try not to do this too much!), the places where some of the old flab resided e.g. torso/thighs/upper arms/etc. are now looking rather wrinkly and saggy baggy. Sophie Dahl I definitely ain't.

But how wonderful it is that the most important person in my world a) thinks I'm shapely, and b) tells me. I know I'll never be a conventional 'beautifully shaped' woman. I don't have the height, bone structure, youth or toning - and I am still rather larger than I ought to be. But it is another step to seeing 'me' as something to be proud of, inside and out.

Thank you my darling.

18 November 2008

Craving busters

Hmmm, I'm not sure if this is a good idea long-term, but I'll share it anyway and let you know if I change my mind.

Even given my porridge breakfasts, which I love but which don't keep me full all morning, I've struggled recently with a 'fake hunger' or odd cravings mid- to late-morning and found it quite hard to keep myself on track. I'm not at all happy about this as it threatens to derail the progress I've made or, at best, slow down the progress I'm making at the moment. So I've given it some thought, and identified a couple of things that may help me to kick those dreaded 'I want something nice, and I want it right now' cravings right where they hurt.

For me, something which is definitely strongly flavoured and usually not too sweet is where my cravings want to take me. So, apart from those 'want chocolate' days (which are generally time of month related and for which I haven't found a good substitute... yet!) something savoury and/or salty is often what I would naturally gravitate towards. This puts the dreaded crisps and savoury snacks (especially the stronger flavoured ones, like garlic or chilli) and salted nuts firmly in the frame - and they're not a good choice. Why? Well, what do they generally have, other than strong flavours and salt? Loads of fats, so loads of calories (often well in excess of 500kcal per 100g), and once you start off with 'just one' from a packet, the rest seem to evaporate!

So what should I choose that will satisfy the cravings, that I can eat only a little of at one time, that isn't excessively high in calories (although if can only eat a little and be satisfied, this is up for negotiation) and is readily available so that I can keep a little stock at work?

My two (proposed) craving busters are:

Single salt liquorice (either Belgian or Dutch ones are good)
Like these Belgian ones

These weigh in at about 300kcal per 100g, and 100g gives you in the region of 32 or 33 of the little lozenge-shaped beauties, so around 9kcal per lozenge. The best ones are the harder type - the softer ones disappear far too fast. With the harder ones I cannot generally eat more than two in one session!

Dark chocolate covered coffee beans
Like the ones from Caffe Nero (sorry chaps, can't find a way to include the accent!)

These weigh in at about 469kcal per 100g so don't sound quite such a good idea, but they are sold in little 25g boxes, with around 18 or 19 beans inside. This makes them about 6.5kcal per bean, and I can usually stop myself after three or four.

OK, these aren't really savoury, but they aren't sweet either. Given the bit of a chocolate coating, these may also combat the 'want chocolate' cravings - watch this space.

Add to this, my old favourites of herbal teas, fruit and Ryvita, and you never know, I might just be on to something. Maybe it's time to go shopping?

This fits in with a number of my original 'rules of engagement', which were to:

  • think before I eat - make active choices, not just follow old habits
  • eat much more slowly and take time to enjoy the food in front of me
  • eat only what I'm actually enjoying (not liking it = leave it)
  • reduce the portions I dish up (get a smaller plate)
  • choose with common sense - swap high fat foods with healthier options (same goes for sugars)
  • cut down on the salt I'm eating (by a lot!)
  • cut down the alcohol I drink each week (and increase my water intake)
  • drink fruit teas more often
  • increase the amount of fruit and veg I eat - I like the stuff for heaven's sake!
  • pick some really nice fruit for those little snacks, not crisps or biscuits

17 November 2008

Food budgetting

I've been reading recent posts from both Lynn at Escape from Obesity about her monthly calorie budget and Diana at Scale Junkie about her weekly zigzag eating and the more I think about it, this is pretty much what I have been doing for some time. And you know what? It works.

Proof? After the holiday weight gain and one or two 'dodgy' days since, I've pulled myself back to being sensible, and made up a bit for the various excesses. I'm now down to 73.5kg and that feels good.

Unlike Lynn and Diana (both of whom I admire enormously) I didn't sit down and make a carefully reasoned decision to follow this approach, it simply seems a logical thing to do, so that's what I've somehow slotted into doing. That probably says a lot about the two ladies that they both think so much more carefully about this whole process than I do, but I guess I'm too grey-haired to change about me that too.

The general idea is this - if you eat 'so much' on Monday and think that was too much, then cut down on Tuesday. If you know that on Saturday it'll be hard to keep the food intake to a reasonable level, then take it easy for a couple of days beforehand. OK, I know that's not exactly the approach Diana is taking, but it's pretty close. Overall, in a week or a month (or whatever timescale you use) you'll consume on average the number of calories that is right for your sustained weight loss. It's that phrase 'on average' that's the key. Easy, huh? Do the sums.

It certainly makes a whole lot more sense to my mind than the slavish insistence that 'I can eat only X calories today' approach, with all the attendant dangers of beating yourself up desperately when you find you've ingested some 30, or 50, or even 500 calories more in a given day than you are 'allowed' to do. Let's face it, we are almost always better at handing ourselves brickbats than bouquets!

A bit of flexibility, and recognising that we are all capable of making healthy, adult decisions? Yep, that works for me. We are all intelligent people, just people with accumulated flab that we are working to shift. We do not need to follow a horribly prescriptive regime to reach our goals - after all, we are the ones who make the daily choices and we are the people in control of our own waistlines. This concept probably won't make the best-seller diet books list, but what the hell - I don't read them anyway.

As I've said before, the blog posts from the two ladies are great and I really admire them both, for their honesty about the trials and tribulations they face (and which we all share from time to time) and for keeping on keeping on. So, a final thought to share - pooh on those people who tell Lynn that her way isn't a good one (stupid? I don't think so!), and a message to them both - good on ya, gals!

12 November 2008

Dodgy days - Part 2

So much for my plans and positive words yesterday. Still, as my Dad used to say when I was a nipper, "worse things happen at sea". Don't ask me why.

Today I've felt like I'm starving - permanently. That is, I've felt hungry enough to devour an elephant, nibble by elegant nibble, except with the way I've been feeling I'd probably have gobbled not nibbled! A bowl of porridge didn't stand an earthly of keeping me feeling full today I'm afraid. I ended up eating my apple early (er, actually very early - by just after 9 o'clock) and then munched a low-fat seedy bar thingy with a cuppa at 10 ish. Oh no - still hungry.

Maybe I needed to drink another cup of herbal tea or something warming, just to keep my grumbling tum to a minimum decibel level? Tried that. Didn't work.

I think it has had a lot to do with feeling generally tired, down and bluesy, and a bit under the weather today - almost like I'm starting a cold, but not quite. I guess this isn't helped much by my having had one of those 'difficult' days at work. Not that this is anything like a good honest excuse for what I did though.

I ate my lunch - that crispy, flavoursome tuna salad (with no dressing) that I mentioned yesterday and followed it with a low-fat yoghurt. Yeah, great, lovely, fine, healthy and all that - but I was still ravenous. Couldn't even contemplate a soup-in-a-cup after the last time so what could I eat now? Hmmm, the canteen was closed. No more fruit about, no low-fat seedy bars left, nothing like Ryvita to be had, not even any dried fruit in my drawer. But I wanted something, and I wanted it NOW.

This is a serious learning point for me - I must keep my emergency 'snack attack' supplies in place. That means my work fruit bowl properly topped up with apples and oranges - even when I know I'll be out for a few days, and dried berries in my drawer. A box of Ryvita is always a good plan too. But I let it all run down to nothing and, today, found myself in deep doo-doo.

So, how did I solve my 'need to eat' problem? I did the bad thing, of course, and went to the vending machine with a £1 coin. The intent was to pick up a bag of Quavers. Not a great choice, I know, but lower in calories than most of the rest of the stuff on sale. But I didn't get Quavers as the darned machine didn't have any! Just not my day, is it?

I carefully selected a bag of Frazzles instead. OK, that's still not too bad at 112 kcal, I guess, not as low-cal as Quavers but far less high in fats and calories than the other crisps on offer. Loads of salt, of course, but hey - I'll drink plenty of water.

If only I had stopped right there. You see, I also got change back from my £1. There it was, in my hand, just the right amount for a chocolate bar. You know what's coming don't you?

Yep, you guessed it. Mea culpa, the fat lass confesses, I also ate the chocolate bar (a Cadbury's Twirl, weighing in at 230 kcal) and do you know what? I enjoyed every last tinsey teeny tiny morsel. It hit that 'hunger' spot dead centre.

For once, I'm not going to feel too bad about it either and I won't beat myself up over my 'sins'. It has shut up that hunger completely and I'm actually in a far better frame of mind than I was early today. The overall damage isn't that awful and I will just make sure I'm especially careful for the next couple of days. Biscuit avoidance tactics coming right up!

11 November 2008

Good days... phew!

On Monday, when the scales told me I was back up to 75kg I decided to get myself motivated and try very hard this week. I want to see that needle moving in the right direction before I see the dietician in around three weeks time. So far, not too bad.

So, Monday's breakfast was porridge (made with 60:40 water and skimmed milk), then it was fruit and a small portion of muesli during the day (semi-skimmed milk as I couldn't get skimmed, but not too much). Finally, a little bowl of spaghetti and tomato sauce for dinner. Said 'no' to a glass of wine. Did my walking, my Chi Kung class for an hour (even though the walk there was horrid in the wind and rain) and all my physio exercises, like a good fat lass.

Today so far has been porridge again for breakfast - I really do love it. I have a few bits of fruit and a tuna salad (no dressing) for lunch and I'm on a promise of one of hubby's soups tonight [mental note - must buy some bread!]. The physio stuff went OK this morning, I've walked a bit already and will do some more later. The needle on the scale had twitched slightly downwards to just under the 75 line when I stood on them this morning. Not awfully scientific, I know, but it's made me feel better.

Tomorrow is all planned out with more porridge and another tuna salad. So far, so good, eh?

Thursday is when I have to begin to be really careful as it's another training day (one of two), and I'm out for a Thai meal in the evening. Wish me luck with those biscuits!

10 November 2008

Dodgy days... Part 1

Training courses. Killers aren't they? There you are, locked up for a couple of days with a group of people you've never met, in a small, windowless room with a plate of biscuits on the table in front of you just begging to be saved from going soft. So, being the kind-hearted person you are, you help out by eating one or two. Well, actually, you eat four on Thursday and then another four on Friday! OK, so you didn't touch any of the chocolate-covered ones - but you did munch the crunch cremes. Er, no, wake up! That is NOT being virtuous.

Then there's the lovely lunches that the trainers thoughtfully provide for you. You start off with great intentions - just one little sandwich, or maybe two depending on the filling, and you are going to fill up by grazing on the inevitable salad garnish, with an apple or a banana for dessert. You are going to have absolutely NONE of those deep-fried tidbits, no way, no how.

Until you see them, that is. They look and smell delicious, and you are, of course, hungry now, after all that sitting on your bottom, hard work and concentration. So maybe just one? But you are chatting and you don't move away from the table - so one becomes two, then three, then... oh dear! And that sweet chilli dip goes so very well with them. Seems like you've blown it now anyway so, what the hell, a mini cream-filled choux pastry chocolate eclair won't hurt you much more. No point having an apple at this stage, eh?

Then comes Friday night and you've worked really hard this week. There's a busy weekend ahead so you deserve a little R & R, don't you? A take-away curry, with naan bread of course, seems reasonable. So does that beer you buy to go with it.

And Saturday arrives. As predicted, a whizzy, whizzy morning so breakfast was a quickly grabbed piece of fruit and some bread. No time for lunch at all. Cooking all afternoon and cleaning the house up for your overnight dinner guests. By now you are very, very hungry (tummy growls LOUDLY) so plans to be abstemious go right out of the window after one glass of bubbly. Instead, you indulge yourself with all the goodies you cooked 'just for them'. You eat some of the cheeses you bought in lieu of a 'naughty' pudding too, and drink copious quantities of wine! You fall into bed far too late, tired, a bit inebriated and stuffed to the gills!

Sunday starts well, but then it turns into 'what shall we do with the leftovers' day. You can guess the rest.

Monday morning dawns and, surprise, surprise - the weight you'd put on during your holiday is back. Just as the scales had started on their downward journey once again, you blew it!

And the bad news? This week is a busy one, bringing a meal out on Thursday, and then there's another two days training still to come. It's not looking good.

05 November 2008

Attack of the Munchies

OK, what's going on? I'm not sure whether it's because today has been dreary, gloomy and drizzly, and it's now quite dark, or if I'm just having an off-day, but I've developed an afternoon case of the monster raving looney munchies!

So far today I've eaten my lovely, and supposedly long-term filling (huh?!?), porridge for breakfast and a nice crispy apple with some dried berries at break [...giving myself a stern warning to avoid the chocolate, my girl!]. Then a bowl of my lovely hubby's bean & veg soup (given extra pep with a shot of hot Louisiana chilli sauce) and some fresh strawberries, blueberries and grapes for lunch. Up to then, not too bad.

I did have a wee taste (just the size of little fingernail... honest) of cinder toffee earlier, as it's Bonfire Night, and found that I am not all that keen on it any more. I'm now nibbling fresh physallis with a cuppa (usually quite a satisfying treat).

But, I just came really, really close to buying cake - a big slice of buttercream-topped lemon cake to be accurate. Huh? It isn't one of my favourite ones, even if it did smell nice. I *know* that I actually don't like buttercream very much at all, and *always* regret eating the oversweet, sickly, gooey stuff, so why did I even consider it?

As I write, I'm still filled with a silly urge to buy 'something bad' and stuff my face. And, mentioning Bonfire Night a moment ago, now thoughts of a big plate of bangers, fried onions and buttery mash keep creeping into my head.

I'm at a loss to understand why. It can't be carb cravings - porridge and beans should have satisfied those through the day. Shouldn't be wanting a strong flavour - both soup and physallis hit that spot. So why on earth do I want eat so badly, if needs be to tear the leg off the nearest table and munch, munch, munch?

Right now I'm managing to resist, but it's a big struggle.

More super soups?

Aaaahhh, yes. A steamy bowlful of warming soup with a hunk of crusty bread! As you'll have gathered, this is a subject very close to my heart - and pretty good for it too... well, mostly.

This time, though, the potentially delicious bowls of delight don't stem from the mixing spoon of my lovely hubby. I found these beauties by happy accident whilst looking for veggie winter warmer recipes. Just by chance I stumbled across a whole section of 'super soup' recipes on dear old Delia's website. Serendipity, or what?

Some of them (like the Roasted Tomato Soup with Purée of Basil and Olive Croutons and the Polish Beetroot Soup) sounded just wonderful and made me want to try them out right now. Check out the deliciously deep ruby colour of the beetroot soup - wow!

I really do struggle with the idea of sticking slavishly to a recipe though - I may just have to suggest to my darling that we use these as a starting point for an evening of soupy experiments. Happy stirring!

04 November 2008

One of hubby's super soups

My lovely hubby made a great soup in our slow cooker for dinner last night. I've just had another portion for lunch and it tasted even better the second day. So good, in fact, that I thought I'd share it.

The recipe is purposely left a bit vague - soups always seem to taste best if you play it by ear, adding in what you actually like, and don't stick rigidly to a recipe. Actually, that seems to be my mantra for cooking in general. Best not apply that logic to meringues though.

Hubby's Mixed Bean & Vegetable Soup (makes about four servings)

About 250g of dried mixed beans (this mix included, pinto, black, green & red lentils, pearl barley and several others)
2 large carrots, chopped into half-moon rounds
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
Half a small savoy cabbage, roughly chopped
A little olive oil
About a litre and a half of stock (whatever type you have)
A healthy dollop of tomato puree
Small handful of storecupboard dried herbs (again, whatever you have)
A spoonful or so of black pepper to taste (or paprika or chilli if you prefer)
A ham bone, or chopped meat (spicy sausage is nice) can be added if you want to

Soak beans overnight, then discard soaking water. Add fresh water, bring back to the boil and boil fairly briskly for ten minutes, then discard water again.

While beans are boiling, gently sweat the vegetables in the olive oil, until some of them are lightly browned. Place beans and vegetables in the slow cooker whilst still hot, and sprinkle with your herbs.

Make up stock with boiling water and add the tomato puree. Add this to the slow cooker, whilst still piping hot. Add the meat now if you are going to use it

Cook (on low setting if your cooker has one) for 8 hours. Taste for seasoning and add black pepper or paprika until it tastes the way you like it. Remove ham bone before serving, if used, and serve with hunks of crusty granary bread.

I hope yours turns out to be as delicious as lovely hubby's one. Enjoy it!

Good news... and a bit of bad?

Well, we had a wonderful, wonderful break, with a resident woodpecker in the tree outside our window. Crazy weather, with a bit of everything. It even snowed for us! What a lovely treat to wander through woodland that looked like a scene from a fairytale, complete with gorgeous views, red kites flying overhead, roaring waterfalls and beautiful icicles. Magical!

We quite surprised ourselves as we didn't go mad, even given the multiple celebrations. We mostly ate pretty sensibly (with lots of whole grain things and vegetables), but I expected the scales to have gone up a lot more than they have done as we definitely didn't count the calories in any way. What with one thing and another (er, including several Accident & Emergency visits) we didn't even do that much walking. But even though we 'treated' ourselves to a few naughty things like a couple of bottles of wine, the odd pudding and deliciously lovely full-fat cheese for a change, I've only put on a couple of pounds in total. I'm still happy at 75kg.

And the bad news? All the lovely relaxing time we spent seems to have gone right out of the window, all in the space of one morning - yesterday, to be precise. And why? Stress!

I've come back to a very hectic couple of weeks at work and have already been hit by a variety of problems I hadn't anticipated, as well as the ones I guessed I'd come back to. My boss wants to meet me 'urgently' and hasn't mentioned either when or why. It's going to take me an age to catch up with the massive pile of email and post. I'm off to the physio tomorrow, and then I'm away on a training course from Thursday. The timing could not be worse to be honest. We even have a busy weekend coming up - with a dinner party as part of that. "Oooh", you must be thinking, "the poor fat lass"!

All this is going to make it very hard to get back on track though - especially with readjusting my attitude. I need to get back into a decent morning exercise routine and good healthy food choices. It didn't help that I didn't have much time yesterday morning as I had to leave a bit early - so what did I do? I chucked some cereals in for my lunchbox - hmmm, not very appealing! OK, I ate my apple at break (well, an hour or so later) and bought myself a banana to eat with my lunch, but what I very nearly did was to say 'pooh' to it all and go for a baguette and a choccy bar. Oooh, that was close!

Oh yeah, a tip to the wise - packets of generic soup-in-a-cup look like a reasonably low calorie, warming choice for lunch or a break, don't they? Not so. They are really chemically and crap. Don't even consider buying them! I had something red and glutinous that purported to be spicy lentil soup yesterday. I don't know what was in it, could not have identified it had I been blindfolded, and am not sure I want to know as it might have been anything. It tasted truly disgusting!

Today has started in an odd way - I was inadvertently party to murder most 'fowl' this morning. Sort of a re-run of 'Who killed Cock Robin?'.

There was a little bundle of feathers in my path as I walked to catch my bus - a robin. He was obviously hurt/dazed. The poor little thing fluttered onto the middle of the road as I walked towards him and I couldn't leave him to get run over so moved closer to him to gently persuade him to move further across the road and onto the relative safety of the pavement.

I'd only just turned away to leave him to recover when a sparrowhawk pounced on him! End of robin, with only a small squeak to mark his passing. Just a couple of feet away from me, it was. I can only assume that's why the poor wee thing was a bit dazed to start with. At least it was a quick end.

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