30 July 2012

Water, water, everywhere...

Duh! Friday was one of those days.

There was the fat lass, thinking she felt hungry, but knowing she couldn't actually still be hungry because a delicious lunch had been munched not all that long ago (OK, if you must know - it was two large, juicy, deep red and fragrant chopped tomatoes and a spread of hot pepper paste on a slice of rye bread) .

The old 'bad' side of her started hunting about for something 'acceptable' to eat, and was getting close to doing something she'd regret when (thankfully) the penny dropped. Silly old fat lass! She was not hungry at all. What she was feeling was thirsty!

I usually fill my water bottle first thing when I get to work, and then have emptied it to refill again by just after lunch. What's more, I usually have a big mug of lemon tea mid-morning. However, Friday was a little hectic and although I drank most of my tea (albeit cold) my water bottle remained, filled to the brim and unloved, on my desk. It was also a summer's day, even if not the hottest summer's day ever.

Aha, dehydration! OK, that was remedied easily enough and... as if by magic, the hunger disappeared. Elementary, my dear Watson!

A trip out to a lovely waterside pub (on the banks of the River Nene) for lunch with friends on Saturday was also on the cards. We knew this was going to be a serious indulgence so planned accordingly and daintily nibbled a suitably 'minimalist' breakfast before we went.

I couldn't even consider fighting my way through three courses (oh, how things have changed!), so skipped the starter and sipped a spritzer instead. Mind you, lovely hubby's starter of home made chicken liver pate looked and smelled delicious and I did steal some of his salad accompaniment. He had a monster-sized battered fish fillet (from Moby Dick?) and thick-cut chips as a main course, and pronounced it to be very good - but couldn't finish it all, it was such a big portion.

I opted for the Ploughman's for my main course (laughably on the 'light bites' section of the menu) and was not disappointed. I think it would have stuffed two ploughmen, to be honest. There it sat, on a wooden trencher, a substantial hunk of freshly-baked, warm cottage loaf (and generous pat of butter on the side), an ample(!) chunk of cheddar, a thick slice of lovely home-cured ham, a quarter of a gorgeous home made pork pie with beautiful hot water crust pastry and loads of lovely jelly (which was delicious!) and the usual, plenteous, accompaniments of pickled onions, a Branston-style pickle and a fantastic chunky and spicy piccalilli (of which I am a serious fan). I'm afraid I couldn't do the cheese, bread and butter justice... but the rest disappeared!

Between the four of us, we shared some deliciously indulgent (and highly calorific) puds. Even so, we didn't manage to eat everything and felt a bit guilty that we couldn't. We groaned outside for a stroll by the water afterwards. Neither lovely hubby nor I wanted anything to eat for the rest of Saturday!

More water on Sunday morning. This time in the form of a lovely walk along the river Cam, setting off about 7.30 out towards Baits Bite Lock. We figured that we probably walked about six and a half miles in total (when we added in our little 'oooh, I wonder what's down there' diversions) and had a fabulous morning out in the sunshine. Chatted to people out for their own constitutional, made friends with a variety of dogs, saw rowers, runners, cyclists and strollers, watched herons, ducks, swans and a gazillion pigeons. Food was rather more restrained than on Saturday and our tummies said a heartfelt 'thanks' for that. A very good day.

In fact, a very good weekend.

24 July 2012

Super news - celebrating health!

And the good, brilliant, wonderful news is...

...my darling lovely hubby, who is now around four and a half stone lighter than he used to be (and looks terrific), has seen our GP and...

...is just about to come off meds for Type 2 diabetes!

Now if that isn't something fabulous to shout from the rooftops I don't know what is.

More love indeed!

23 July 2012

Whyever did I delay?

Lordy, but the fat lass can be really stooopid sometimes!

I've been a real old moaning Minnie recently, mithering on for ages about not having been exercising properly and not feeling enthused to start again, and still doing nothing much concrete to change things... until this weekend.

This weekend I bit the bullet, and it saw me back on the rower in the mornings. Hey, do you know what? It's great! OK, it isn't easy - in fact I puffed and blew like a grampus after my first stint, but the good news is that I'm back in the saddle (or on the rowing seat, anyhow).

My shoulders surely do know I'm doing it (ouch!), but my legs have been managing without a problem, and I've already upped my number of strokes after just a few short days. I'll be back up a respectable level before you know it... and that's a promise to myself!

I've also hauled the abs torture instrument out of mothballs and am back to that too. Er, my poor old belly muscles are noticing that I'm insisting on them doing some work... my belly's telling me loud and clear this morning that it isn't used to the trauma. But, it'll shut up soon enough if I keep at it... and I intend doing just that.

And the benefits of the increased exercise will be? A bit more tone back in the old bod (especially around the mid-section) and a whole lot more energy! My poor achy knees are already feeling easier.

Onwards ever...

13 July 2012

O M G !!!

Well, today has been a startling day. Good old Auntie (that's the BBC, for the non-Brits out there) has a little test to try on their news website asking the question "Where are you on the global fat scale?"

Nothing ventured - nothing gained, and all that jazz, so I gave it a go. To say I'm stunned is putting it mildly! Delighted? Hmmm, well I think I probably am, but I'm more stunned to be honest.

I already knew roughly what my BMI was as it's one of the things I keep an eye on and re-check, now and again. It is only a ball-park guide though. The 'normal' range is quite broad and BMI calculations aren't great across the board because of variances in body composition. For example, athletes, with higher proportion of muscle mass than most of us (me included, sadly), can come out with a poor BMI figure. Go read about it.

What I didn't know was where my value (BMI currently about 21) rated in terms of other women of my age in the UK. See the diagram!

I have been aware for a while that I see a lot more people than I used to who carry a few extra pounds. Actually, I see a lot of women in my age range who carry a lot of extra weight - it's a trend I've commented on in the past, and one which both worries me and provides an incentive not to revert to old bad habits.

But that was only my first surprise. Looking at where I am in the global position I am equally amazed. What? Most similar to a woman of my age range in Eritrea? Eritrea??? You have to be joking, surely. OK, I'm fairly slim(ish) these days, but hardly disappearing! After all, I still carry a few pounds of fat I don't need in that (apparently immoveable) belly skin pouch of mine. That truly is a shocker, in an 'er, I think it's good' sort of way.

Onwards ever...

09 July 2012

New salad idea

Wheeee, I've got a new salad to try for my lunch. It looks (and smells) amazing and I can hardly wait.

It all came about because my darling lovely hubby was pretty poorly with a sneaky little bug over the weekend, and completely lost all interest in food. He's still not really OK, and is still achy and tired out, but at least his temperature has reduced. He doesn't have anything like an appetite right now (nothing tastes 'right', poor lamb), but he's eaten a little bit and is feeling slightly less grotty this morning.

So, there it was - the lovely bag of crisp, ready-chopped veggies I'd bought to make a stir-fry on Saturday was languishing in the fridge, looking forlorn. I wasn't going to eat stir-fry by myself, and it would probably be inedible if I leave it until hubby is interested. All those gorgeous beansprouts, red peppers, cabbage, onions and carrots... just looking for a home.

Then it struck me. It needn't go to waste - this is the basis for a no-hassle Asian-inspired salad. Alright then - added some sweetcorn kernels, fresh coriander, more beansprouts and half a tin of tuna in brine. Also plopped in a dollop of my beloved chipotle paste and lemon juice for a dressing and mixed it all up in a big bowl. Well it looks the part and smells very appetising. What's more, there's enough for two days. A winner, if you ask me.

And the rest of life? Well, on the food front, things have improved a lot and I feel much more on balance (phew!). On the weight front, the news is also good and I'm down to just under my 55kg 'fighting weight' once again. On the exercise front though... still not doing well. Definitely room for improvement here and that's the next step in my cunning plan.

Wish me luck! Onwards ever...

05 July 2012

Walking the tightrope....

...and occasionally falling off?

I don't like to admit to this, but I'm going to. I've been struggling for a while. Struggling a lot, somehow, but not in a practical manner. Rather more of an internal struggle, often in the form of a battle with my inner child.

With some good news and an end in sight to my darling lovely hubby's health problems (well, we think that's pretty much the case), life 'ought' to be straightforward and cheery and I 'should' be happy as a lark, but somehow things are not quite like that.

Hmmm, so what's been going on here? Blowed if I can figure it out yet, but let's get it down in black and white and see if that helps.

When I look back at the last month or two, I've had spells where I seem to have sunk into a bit of a pit, and have lost the incentive (interest?) to look after 'me' properly. This bit sounds really silly, but I haven't even been taking care of those little personal things, like shaving my legs or painting my toenails. Sure I got my hair cut, but I'm not too fussed about the results of that even.

My eating has slipped, quite badly, for short periods. My inner brat bellows "I want" very loudly and 'me' has been giving in to her raucous demands just to shut her up. Then I realise what's going on and I get it back in hand... for a while, until it happens again.

I'm not exercising daily as I should be. Huh? Why ever not? I would usually do my exercises willingly and get pleasure from it. At the moment, it all seems a huge chore to be endured not enjoyed.

As you'd imagine, the combination of poor food choices and lack of exercise is having the expected effect - my waistband has got tighter and weight has been fluctuating.

Not very happy to say this aloud, but a week or two ago I was nearly half a stone heavier than I want to be [picture a horrified face here, à la Edvard Munch's 'Scream'].

I had begun to feel old and tired most of the time. My joints were beginning to complain and I'd started to look pretty darned flabby, not toned. Er, although I've managed to shed some of those pounds, I still feel that I look flabbier than I want to... and that's despite some assurances from lovely hubby that I'm not really turning into a complete jellified blob again.

The worst part is that I 'know' what I have to do to get back on track... but just can't find the will/energy/self-discipline to get up and at it, then keep on keeping at it.

Buffetted by the strong side-winds of life's stresses, I can feel myself wobbling on my tightrope and feel in real danger of falling. So far, when I've slipped,  I've just about managed to grab hold of the rope on my way past and pull myself to my feet again, but look out! There's peril ahead. I'm likely to miss my grip at some point, and I know if that happens my own personal 'gravity' will take over. It's an awfully long way down from here, and it won't be a comfortable landing. Worse, I'll have a serious battle to haul myself back up onto the rope. My weight loss efforts over the years will have been wasted.

I'm also scared that, if that happens, it'll sink me deep into the black despair I've felt in the past and that's just hovering in the periphery at the moment. Something needs to change.

It may be, in part, a reaction to the emotional roller-coaster ride of the last year, with periods of intense stress and spells of relative calm, but no real resolution until recently.

It may be, in part, that it hasn't been possible to take a break - almost all of my annual leave allowance has been used when lovely hubby came out of hospital after the various rounds of eye surgery. Boy, I could do with a holiday, but...

Whatever the cause, I need to take full control. It is MY choice, and my choice alone, whether I descend off the rope into a crumpled (and obese) heap, or whether I hold up my head and walk onwards, despite the odd wobble.

The plan is to choose the latter path. Onwards ever...

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