18 October 2010

Back on track and soup(er) food!

Good news. Despite already coming down with cold/bug no. 2 of this autumn (dammit!), I'm getting back into the swing again and feeling a lot better for it. Sniffy and grumpy and dopey and sneezy (and probably several other of the seven dwarves), but better. There's some fresh fruit and vegetables back in my lunchbox once more (OK, grapes and apples anyway) and these are being enjoyed with suitable delight!

What's more, I've fallen in love all over again. Truly, madly and very deeply indeed.

The object of my affections is my lovely hubby. There's a general sort of all-encompassing love, as befits somebody with a wonderful wedding anniversary fast approaching... and an additional quite specific love and affection for his uncanny (there's a pun in there, should you wish to giggle) ability to make the tastiest, healthiest soups on the planet from, seemingly, the 'nothing much' that remains in the darker reaches of the fridge!

Most often they are veggie soups, usually a mixture of various different veggies, but sometimes they'll be based on a delicious home-made chicken stock or laced with the odd leftover scrap of meat if we have it lurking in the fridge. A few simple and wholesome ingredients are transformed into steaming bowls of tasty goodness with (apparently) miminal effort on my man's part. That begs the question though - why aren't mine that good?

Sometimes he'll make broth-type soups - like divine bowls of cabbage and bacon soup, or maybe a veggie broth with a few bits 'n bobs of teeny pasta shapes. On other occasions we'll have his thick and warming whizzed veg soups - the velvety ones which include cauliflower are my particular favourites. Just a little bit of cauli makes them soooooo creamy and delicious. Yum!

To be honest, these lovely soups have been my saving grace over the last week or so. I had been suffering from a serious case of the winter 'eat anything' munchies and the scales were beginning to reflect this new-found obsession with food... any food... in a rather disturbing manner.

But, the beautifully warming and satisfying soupy evening meals have (quite literally) tipped the balance and those worrying increases have morphed into decreases once again. Who knows, I may yet hit my interim target of 59kg before our holiday by the end of this week. A bit optimistic, but let's see, eh.

What's also helping is increased walking. Last week I clocked up an absolute minimum of 10,000 steps every day (indeed, today, I'm at around 10,000 steps and it's only just after lunch), with a couple of days topping over 16,000 steps. That's panning out to somewhere between 5 and 7 miles per day, on average, which makes up a little for the continued lack of rowing (I'm still coughing and wheezing too much for it at the moment).

I'll postpone the rower until we are home again - hopefully fully fit - and add in a few more abs exercises at that stage too. Never fear, I haven't forgotten my longer term goal of getting that belly apron cut down to size. Onwards ever...

13 October 2010

Human failings

Oh dear. With feeling more human again and eating more normally as a result, I seem to have moved completely to the other end of the spectrum and been really rather silly.

What with catching up from the infection (which still hasn't gone completely), worries in family life, travelling at the weekend, good old Mother Nature's monthly surprise, some seriously long/busy work days and a lot of stress (and yes, I do know that is just the way life goes) I've craved... and given into, so eaten... way too heavily from the carbohydrate storecupboard and ingested more sugar and salt than I usually would in a month!

Fresh veggies and fruit seems to have been set aside in favour of warming 'somethings'. Why, for heaven's sake?

It may be too, with the weather turning colder, that I've been unthinkingly switching into a semi-hibernation mindset and 'stocking up' for winter. That really has to stop - I do not need to carry my own insulation around with me. That's why the good Lord gave us sheep... to make woolly sweaters!

Whatever is actually behind this, I can't say I feel great 'cos that would be a lie. I feel tired and heavy and leaden and unenergetic... and pretty sheepish right now! I also feel fatter - something that my waistbands and bathroom scales would agree with! Just a shade UNDER 60kg has become just a shade OVER 60kg, and if I don't stop this in it's tracks...

C'mon fat lass. Get a grip and turn this around. Hop back on the rower, even if it does make you cough, and walk EVERY lunchtime! You can do it.

08 October 2010

Human again...

...well mostly. I didn't needed the b***! inhaler at all yesterday (hooray!) and it only came out once the day before. Yes, the infection is losing the battle. The fat lass is winning the war.

Went for a lunchtime walk yesterday with something approaching enthusiasm. I was knackered afterwards, mind you. Even after a full night's sleep last night I'm pretty tired today too. OK, so there is some distance to go until I'm properly over this thing. But a corner has been turned.

Eating is more normal now (although the cough sweet taste is still an issue - grrr, spit, wash mouth out) and I have put a pound or so back on. I seem to be hovering around just over 59kg to just a shade under 60kg again. I'm OK with that - it is to be expected. I just wish tea tasted good again. While I like hot water... and am very grateful for it, it just isn't my beloved cuppa.

Anyway, I'm feeling positive again and, if this keeps up, I'll be back on the rower on Monday (crosses fingers while types). Even feeling rubbish I sort of missed it.

05 October 2010

A treat... and I'm going to enjoy it

Well, there's somewhat mixed news to report. This bloody chest infection is still with me, despite the inhaler and antibiotics, so I still feel considerably less than 100%... although I am a fair bit better.

Because things are not yet back to normal, for some of the time food still isn't really all that attractive (although I did eat like a horse yesterday) and much of it still doesn't taste anything like 'right' at all. This is probably, in part at least, down to the all-pervasive flavour of various throat sweets, sucked madly in an attempt to shut the damn cough up. Moans to herself... why can't they make something which isn't so flamin' sickly sweet - bleh! This leads me to the treat which I'll 'fess up to later.

The lack of enthusiasm for eating, together with an increased liquid intake (since regular mugs of hot water are keeping me going), has had one positive effect. The scales now put me just a whisker under 59kg (the interim milestone I had hoped to reach by mid-October). Sure, I'll admit I'm happy with the number, but rather less so with the method by which it was reached! Still, never look that gift horse in the mouth, eh?

And, speaking of a lack of enthusiasm, wow, am I ever dog tired. So much so I could sleep for England! Exercise is right off the cards for now and the coughing makes even the thought of it challenging - just the walk getting to work is an effort at the moment, but that'll improve I guess.

Ah yes, that treat. Well since it it is now the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness... and chilly mornings, of course... breakfasts have changed from the summer routine to my much-loved porridge! Since I like it so much*, my new treat is a small pot of cold, semi-set porridge for morning break to eat with my customary apple. I can almost hear the 'yuck' from the doubters amongst you, but if you've never tried cold porridge, trust me, it's delicious. Can't say it looks pretty but...

* we make it with jumbo oats, cooked with half skimmed milk and half water... and absolutely NO sweetening at all! Have tried it all ways but this one is the best to my mind. Never could figure why it still tastes creamy... but it does.

I probably won't keep going with this for too long. After all, an apple really should suffice, shouldn't it. But, for now, I'm relishing my morning treat pot.

01 October 2010

Resentment and reassurance

I don't know if you are like me, but when you are at a low ebb that inner brat makes a bid for dominance.

Yep, she's right here, sulking, stamping her feet and whining 'don't want to' loudly and persistently. While the brat isn't winning at the moment, she is still making her presence felt at every opportunity.

This time, what the brat doesn't want to do is be sensible and use her inhaler. She bleats that it 'isn't fair' to have to rely on it after two years without needing it once! Stoopid? Yes, because gasping for breath (periodically) tells the logical bit of 'me' that the assistance is just as much needed as the antibiotics.

This feeling of bitter resentment can be all too familiar, can't it. My brat responds similarly with food and treats - that 'want it now!' moment I'm sure we've all been faced with. She sulks and throws a tantrum if she is denied, despite the sensible part of 'me' knowing that she's out of order. But, I guess it's just one of those things we learn to deal with as best we can, trying to keep the adult part of ourselves firmly in control.

Sometimes it is all too easy for self-doubt to slide in though. For the adult part of us to lose heart, worry that we are wrong, or odd or somehow lacking. I know that has happened to me many times in the past. Times like when I felt that, for all the positive progress I was making, the negatives outweighed it.

An example... I was jubilant when I'd got down to a size 18 (from a 24) and had bought a skirt in this fabulous new size. Then I saw a photo of myself wearing it and my buoyant mood hit the floor. It seemed to me that I looked as fat and bulgy as ever and I felt like quitting. The journey seemed way too hard, the destination too far in the distance.

Another example was finally reaching a 'normal' weight and BMI but being very upset that, when I looked in the mirror, my belly still sagged and bulged and made me feel inadequate. Somehow my progress wasn't 'worth it'.

What saved me, on those occasions and many others like them, was the reassurance I found by reading the highlights and low spots of other people's journeys. I'm talking about you chaps out there in Blogland. Reading about your feelings made me realise that what I felt wasn't unusual, but the low points were just part of the process. You guys kept me going because you did - and you gave me reassurance that I was not alone, or strange, or ungrateful, or just plain crazy.

I guess what I've been trying to say (to myself, as well as to anyone who reads this) is keep going and take strength, support and reassurance from the people who know what you are going through. They know because they are going through it, or have been there, too. Tell each other what's in your head, even if it sometimes seems too negative to talk about. It may just help someone (like me) to see that we are not alone. That the struggle is something we can manage... with a little support from our friends.

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