25 June 2012

Sweet & Sour

Hmmm, that just about sums life up at the moment. The last week or so has been... mixed.

First the sweet stuff... I am delighted to report that my beloved lovely hubby is doing well and his surgeon doesn't want to see him for another six months. A major victory! Also, our weekend visiting Mum went pretty well and she was (er yes, I did indeed use the past tense!) doing really well.

Then the sour... on the way home from seeing her we stopped off and bought a little piece of Scandinavian (I think) coloured glass, and promptly left the darned thing in a coffee shop! They still had it, and kept it for us, but it's taken a loooong drive and a day we could have used for other things to retrieve it. Grrr.

Worse, my poor Mum had a minor fall after we'd gone (although she wasn't really hurt) and her all too fragile skin has broken out with a collection of small leg ulcers. She's seen the district nurse just about every other day since then. Not a good thing at all and I'm pretty worried about her.

I could tell a similar sweet and sour story about the last week at work, the weather and all sorts. And that 'all sorts' also includes my weight, which walloped it's way back up the scale over the week due to... yep, overindulgence and the age-old crutch of stress-related munching!

Mea culpa. I've recognised it, I've stopped myself (again), I don't like the result and... now to get it shifted... once again!

15 June 2012

Sweet Thursday

Hmmm, this week's post was about to be called "Soggy and fed up" and then, thankfully, Thursday happened. And what's so sweet about Thursday, you may ask? Well, for a start the sun shone so I had a super lunchtime walk.

It really isn't a great summer, here in the UK, and it's been affecting my mood a bit. Oh, I've got so fed up with grey skies, cold weather in June, and unremitting rain. I wouldn't mind so much, but we still (apparently, and completely crazily) have a hosepipe ban as we are in a 'drought'!

We had a lovely weekend (if not too sunny), and even managed a day walking which was fabulous. However... earlier this week I had a couple of pretty bad days. I got absolutely drenched three times on Monday and was none too happy about it. I did at least get home to a lovely hot bath, courtesy my darling lovely hubby who'd figured out I wasn't in the best of spirits. That helped... a lot.

Tuesday was slightly better, but still... how can I word this? Ah yes, 'challenging' (actually, work stuff has been awful all this week!) so my cheerfulness seemed to take a hike and, well, you know those days when you just don't feel 'nice'? You do? Well, Tuesday was one of them - big time. Wearing exactly the same clothes as I've done in the past, and felt good in, on Tuesday I felt old, fat, worn out and frumpy.

My weight is OK, so it isn't that. After a few more treats than we should have eaten over the previous weekend I got up to a tad higher than I'd like to report - about 56kg. But I saw the change, have addressed the problem before it could get worse, hit the veggies and am making progress in getting that needle to move a little way back down the scale. Only a wee bit more and I should feel truly content with it again. My clothes still fit (some old favourites are even a bit too loose), but I.guess some more toning wouldn't go amiss. No problem, just something else to address :-)

Wednesday... well it was a day. Not completely dreadful, but not great either.

And Thursday? Well, still a (very!) challenging day at work, but Thursday was sweet, and the sunshine really helped.

It has reminded me that it's pointless to let things get on top of me, but way more sensible to kick up a notch and change things for the better. I have so much to be grateful for - my darling lovely hubby, my health and a welter of other things too. Hmm, maybe a post listing them might be an idea... soon!

John Steinbeck said that "Sweet Thursday is the day between Lousy Wednesday and Waiting Friday". Today is Friday and I'm waiting alright - I'm off to see my darling Mum in just a few hours time, and can hardly handle the wait!

Have a great weekend. Onwards ever...

06 June 2012

Happy, happy, happy days

My darling lovely hubby and I have enjoyed four glorious days together, away from it all on a smallholding in the countryside (mostly dodging the downpours!) with a very charming and welcoming hostess and host. We had the added bonus where we stayed of lots of canine cuddles from an elderly, near-blind but very sweet-natured Standard Poodle, and a vocal and demanding Siamese cat gracing us with her presence when she chose to do so (mostly whenever we tried to read the newspapers). Bliss!

Even the truly abysmal weather could not spoil the amazing Jubilee weekend we've just had... and I have to say that it was pretty extreme for June!

While we were away we drank way too much coffee-shop coffee (we had to get out of the chilly wind and rain whenever possible, eh) and munched the odd cake too. We ate very well indeed (including fabulous eggs for breakfast from the hens pecking about outside our bedroom window) but we still managed to be 'fairly' sensible and not come back feeling like a couple of Goodyear blimps.

We walked as much as was wise in the inclement weather (even if not as much as we'd hoped or planned), went exploring through some beautiful villages in the pouring rain (must go back in better weather), had fun at a Jubilee-themed craft fair and enjoyed jazz in the garden at an art gallery's slightly soggy summer exhibition where we also spent far too much money (don't ask). All in all, we had a great time.

It's back down to earth with a bit of a bump today though, and it's also lovely hubby's first full day back in the saddle after his recent surgery. Work for me isn't going too badly (amazing - dare I even think this, let alone actually write it!) and I just hope it's being kind to him too. Went for a lovely walk at lunchtime (er, not exactly in the sunshine, but hey, it wasn't torrential) and I made it back to work just before the heavens did open up with a vengeance... again. Talk about changeable!

Whilst I was out I bought some fresh raspberries for tomorrow's lunch and checked out the fresh pea situation - the British ones are just coming through. Yippee! They're still silly money (hmmm, funny how the price hasn't fallen) but ooooh, they are delicious. Much smaller than the imported Itailian ones from last week but fresh and sweet and wonderful. Summer in a pod.

Maybe life is finally settling down to something like normality once again. I do hope so, and then enjoying proper exercise and a focus on loss/maintenance will become an easier task once more. Not that we've abandoned it completely of late, I'm glad to say, but it is harder when those dark worry-clouds build on your horizon.

The motto? Take life's little pleasures wherever you can find them, and keep going. Onwards ever...

01 June 2012

Nice stuff

OK, I've dropped off the radar again which, as ever, means things have been more than a tad stressful and weight loss/maintenance has taken a back seat for a while. However, things didn't get too out of control and, although I've gone up, down and back up again, I'm still fairly happy with where I am.

The stress... well, my poor lovely hubby has just been through his third round of major surgery in less than twelve months. Er, it's not been a great time but, to get the silver lining up front, this at least gave me the opportunity to play with my Florence Nightingale costume again. He is now recovering very well though, so it isn't all doom and gloom. Phew!

Although it hasn't been lots of fun, it is nevertheless a positive thing. And there have been a couple of other very nice things from the last few weeks...

The first was the results from my recent lung function tests. There is a table, apparently, a series of 'expected' results, based on gender, age and height and, if one attains the expected target when tested, one would see a resulting figure of 100%.

My results for ALL of the tests were better than the expected figure (yippee!), and, for three tests my results came back at c.130%, so are considerably better than the expected norm for this old bird (extreme yippee!). Reminder to self - regular exercise is a VERY good thing.

The next nice thing is that fresh peas in the pod have arrived at my local market stall. They are Italian, hence imported, and still quite expensive (until the British ones hit the streets), but I bought a little bag today as a special treat and they are gorgeous. Mmmm, fat lass heaven :-)

That led me to thinking... I've been getting a little bit stale and bored with what I'm eating during the day recently. A potentially bad move, as that way (especially when things get stressful) lies the temptation to look around for 'other stuff' to eat and maybe even tempt me to visit that devilish vending machine. This, as with most of them, is a complete waste of hard-earned cash and has absolutely NOTHING at all nutritionally decent inside. It also leads to gaining lbs as I lose ££s!

So I need to get myself more organised... once again, and it is about time that I reminded myself of something nice to eat. In fact, several 'something nice' things.

You see, I sometimes struggle (half awake, first thing in the morning) to decide upon what on earth I can put into my lunch box and take for healthy snacks. It has to be appealing (to shut out any possibility of the call of chocolate and crisps) and it has to satisfy me and stop me feeling 'fancy hungry'. I also need to have thought about it and planned beforehand so I can buy in the darned stuff!

So, a few suggestions to help my brain into gear... and remind me what to keep handy in the fridge.

Vegetables for crudites:-
Broccoli (or cabbage) stalks
Cherry tomatoes
Sugar snap peas (or, better, pod peas when I can get them)
Baby sweetcorn

For nice dips to go with my veggie crudites:-
Greek yoghurt & Marmite
Houmous, Greek yoghurt, chipotle paste & coriander

Or, for fruity stuff:-
Greek yoghurt, thyme honey and ginger (yum!)

Fruit, etc. for snacks:-
Apples (Pink Lady for preference)
Berries - blueberries, strawberries and raspberries
Oranges (the big, juicy, messy to eat type)
Grapes (red or white, just not too many!)
Mango, or melon
Pineapple (tinned is nice too)
Cold oatmeal porridge
Mixed seeds (or just pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
Ryvita (remember - pumpkin seed & oat is the one you like!)

Cottage cheese (all the better with chives & onion, or a little garlic & black pepper)
BabyBel Light cheese portions
Philly cheese with spring onion & black pepper
Hard-boiled egg
Edamame (soya) beans
...and my beloved Greek yoghurt (actually it's Turkish, but there's little difference)
Or, as a very occasional treat:-
Cooked meat (chopped chicken, turkey or lean beef, with red & black pepper)
Jerky or biltong

That should keep me going for a while.

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