31 August 2012

Wish I'd taken a photo...

...of today's lovely lunch so I could share it with you.

It was pretty simple, as lunches go, just chunks of broccoli stalk, some cauliflower florets, sticks of carrot and celery and a handful of gorgeous cherry plum tomatoes, all with a dip of Greek yoghurt and Marmite, but it was wonderful.

I ate half before I went for my walk, and attacked the rest when I got back. I'm just polishing off the last morsels now. Heaven! I even have pudding (later). Some cherries, blackberries and blueberries. What more could a fat lass ask for?

Oh, and I have a treat to go home to... the Concept 2 rower was delivered this morning. Exciting, eh? Now, where did I put my screwdriver?

Things are pretty good at the moment - long may it last. Onwards ever...

21 August 2012

More victories...

Wheeeeeee! Guess whose lovely hubby has been back to his GP and has now been taken off blood pressure medication too! That's pill number 2 off his prescription, and I'm so happy I want to put banners up at the window and shout through a megaphone from the tallest building around.

He's hitting these health targets out into the stratosphere at the moment. And his daily control of blood glucose levels, with sensible foods and careful thought given to what and how much to eat, is going pretty darned well too. What a star!

OK, we still get the odd surprise, but they are not really horrendous surprises (more of a little 'huh?' moment) and we are definitely learning more about the foods we eat... a whole lot more! If we average his readings for the period he's been testing, they fall merrily into the 'strict control' range. More power to him - so I'm officially awarding him the 'fat lass' gold medal for significant health improvement.

Now, if you'd like to step up to the podium, sir...

And me?

Well, the cunning plan that the dodgy knee would respond politely to exercise has paid off. After a weekend of some serious furniture shifting, and moving the associated mountain of books (my passion), and a good thorough cleaning, I did ache and realise I'm not twenty-something any longer (as every bit of me felt it), but my knee ached no more than any of the other bits. It had swelled a bit again by Saturday evening, but had settled by Sunday morning and seems back to normal... apart from my customary random welter of odd bruises, which I pick up all the time without having a clue what I did. Phew!

My eating is also going well and I'm sitting at my 'happy' weight and not really missing any of the sources of carbohydrates we used to eat more of. For me, this low-carb business is a great excuse to add some extra delights to my favoured veggies, and I'm getting a real taste for the proteins... To be honest, it suits me just fine :-)

We've even added peanut butter back into our lives. Those of you who have known me for a while will be aware that this is a very big step for me. Why? Because peanut butter is a firm childhood favourite and something I have never been able to be moderate around. For the course of my journey to weight loss  I haven't even been able to keep it in the house.

However, what we are doing now is mixing a teaspoon of gorgeous, crunchy, no added sugar PB from the wholefoods shop (sorry, Sun-Pat, but I just don't love you any more 'cos you're too sweet for me) with two or three teaspoons of Greek yoghurt and that's enough to give me the taste and the pleasure of eating it, and provide my darling with the necessary fats and proteins, without loading up on the calories. I'm happy to have this occasionally on a thin slice of seedy toast and, so far, this seems to work well. Victory indeed.

Some exciting (certainly to me) news too. We've bitten the bullet and ordered a lovely new (well, a second hand, but professionally refurbished) rower!

We are upgrading from my beloved old Horizon Oxford II (which has been a great workhorse and helped me a lot) to a sleek and athletic-looking Concept 2 Model D which is very like the ones they have at the gym. I've always got on well with these and the Concepts are the rowers I've always secretly coveted. We feel that now the extra cost (er, £££ ouch) is justified as we KNOW we'll both be using this Rolls Royce of rowers for a long time to come.

It should arrive in about ten days time, and we felt it deserved a rather more suitable home than our current beast, so this is why we spent the hottest weekend of the British summer totally reorganising our home office, replacing the mega-huge desk with a smaller version, to convert it into a home office/gym (and freeing up much needed space in our bedroom in the process).

Onwards ever...

16 August 2012


I think it's time we started looking at a few the positives, and stopped (well, me anyway) dwelling on the problems, puzzles and the times things don't quite go to plan.

The sun is shining, those nasty blue meanies are on the run once again and I feel that, overall, life is good. Nope, I'll go further than that. Life is pretty darned good!

Between us, lovely hubby and I are gradually building a fairly good feel for what is worth a try, foodwise, and what is likely to be off the menu chez fatlass & co.

We've also found a few places we can look up nutritional values for 'unknown' foods (like here) so we don't have to make a complete guess.

And my knee is improving. As well as the walking (and it isn't a half-hearted walk/limp now), I'm actually back on the rower. Started off very gently a couple of days ago and, whilst the knee grumbled a bit (and the swelling hasn't subsided completely), it went OK.

So much so that I managed to do my full session this morning. Alright, so the time was s-l-o-w as heck, but I did it!

Phew! Onwards ever...

14 August 2012

Two steps forward...

...and one step back?

OK, I've puzzled and puzzled 'till my puzzler is sore.

How, after eating the self-same breakfast at the same time several days running, can there be such a disparity in my darling's blood glucose (B.G.) readings.

Usually, a small bowl of jumbo porridge oats (cooked the same way every day) results in a fairly consistent reading an hour after breakfast of high 5s or low 6s (mmol/l). But not today. Today, the same breakfast caused a spike of about 8 mmol/l. How? I just don't get it and that bothers me.

Even stranger (or is it? - I don't know) is that the readings from tests 2 hours after eating all seem pretty similar, sitting neatly in the low-mid 5s or low 6s.

I don't even know if this is something I should be getting hung up about, or if this may just be down to inaccuracies in the testing process (read somewhere that test strips can vary by c.0.5 mmol/l at the c.5.5 mmol/l range and the meters are not infallible either).

That aside, there are other things bothering the fat lass. A couple of nights ago I turned over in bed and felt the most appallingly excruciating pain in my left kneecap. I kid you not, it felt like the darned thing was coming off! By holding it really tight and first flexing my leg then straightening it, I managed to get it back to bearable, but it's not exactly what I'd describe as OK.

Now I know I haven't done my poor old joints a lot of favours over the years, carrying so much excess weight for so long, and do have the odd problem, but this was something new. The knee is still a bit swollen although there's no bruising I can see, and it's still quite painful, especially coming down slopes and steps or if I twist. I've put off the rower for a day or two but continue to walk (carefully), but I just want it to get better again... and fast!

It's scary how something so silly and simple can affect daily life so drastically. Ho hum... onwards ever!

09 August 2012

Getting to grips with change

Well, they do say that you live and learn. And I have to agree wholeheartedly. The learning process isn't without it's frustrations though, and sometimes it would be all too easy to throw our hands in the air, stamp our feet and state "we just can't do this". But, liking a challenge as we do, we are not going to take that approach!

It's proving to be quite an 'interesting' period at the moment, this experimenting with food choices to control blood glucose. The phrase 'live by the meter' is something we are saying to one another... a lot! You see, things we start off by happily considering to be nice 'healthy' choices (mostly because, setting aside B.G. concerns, they are!) appear to be the cause of some fairly hefty short-term spikes in a way we definitely do NOT want.

Bananas are a case in point. We both like them, and we thought they were a pretty good idea on a thin slice of home-made wholemeal toast, for breakfast,... Er, but not for my darling lovely hubby, it seems. Porridge (which we thought would be worse) is actually much, much better for him.

Rice, even a very small portion, was also a bad move so we threw out the remaining white rice in the pot and will try brown at some point. Likewise, pasta has been exchanged for wholemeal and will be tried out... sparingly, and with much vegetable padding.

Some experiments are a tremendous success though. Last night's leek & potato soup with added kale (try it - it's lovely), and a beautiful side salad of chopped tomatoes, red onions, basil, walnuts and nectarine chunks (which I've just had again for a lovely lunch) was brilliant and barely gave him more than a smallish blip in B.G. readings.

We've had some really helpful tips too from the nutritionally minded, with a special mention going to FattyMcFatPants

So, things are progressing and we WILL get a better understanding. Soon, I hope. Onwards ever...

06 August 2012

Learning curve

I can happily confirm that teaching a couple of old dogs some fancy new tricks is not an easy process, but it's certainly going to be achievable... albeit with a bit of head scratching, puzzling and figuring out.

OK, so what am I blathering on about?

I'm talking GI, and I don't mean Joe or Jane here! This is GI a.k.a.Glycaemic Index. Even having managed to lose and keep off a significant percentage of my former bulk, this isn't a topic I can say I'm exactly familiar with, nor have I ever really given too much thought to it. Have to admit that I've spent much more time considering calorie and fat content of the foods we choose. However, this is about to change big time, now that my darling lovely hubby is off medication and relying on diet control for Type 2 diabetes.

The crux of 'good control', and by that I mean the best way to go about minimising the likelihood of diabetic 'complications' (a nice, dainty, polite word for some pretty awful outcomes!), seems to be avoiding spikes in blood glucose and generally keeping a relatively 'constant(ish)' sensible blood glucose level through the day.

To do this, the carbohydrate content of the food we eat is something we need to become very aware of. These little tinkers, and how the body deals with them, are the things which seem to affect blood glucose most directly, so it's time for us to get back to the classroom for Carbs 101.

Even given just a brief trawl through the wonderful worldwide web, there's a HUGE amount of information out there. However, some of it seems conflicting... and complex... and frankly counter-intuitive. But, nothing ventured..., here we are, making our start on the bumpy road to getting to grips with it. Wish us luck!

To be honest, while I haven't really thought much about it before, this will be a very good thing for us both, benefiting the fat lass long-term as well as my darling. But it does, of course, mean making adjustments to what we eat... again. Hmmm, I think we'll both be keeping food diaries. What a studious household we'll be!

Onwards ever...

02 August 2012

Good stuff

Yep, good stuff indeed, in all sorts of ways. My darling Mum has always exhorted everyone in the family to "count your blessings" so I'm doing just that!

For example, my beloved lovely hubby is doing brilliantly well now that he's come off the Metformin tablets. He is SO much more conscious of what he's eating and is actively experimenting and getting to grips with the direct effect of different food chioces, and exercise, on his blood glucose levels.

Never thought I'd see the day when he kept a food diary (and he was pretty vociferous about never, ever even contemplating such a thing), but... keeping it he is!

As to me, things are also pretty good. I'm fairly happy with my weight, happy with the food choices I'm making (muching on califlower florets with a youghurt and Marmite dip as I type) and enjoying being back to regular and progressive exercise. While hopping on the rower at just after 5 a.m. is (and always will be) a bit of a challenge, I know it is the right thing to do and do feel better for it afterwards. I'm very pleased to have got back to doing the positive things that I know benefit me.

The sun is shining (at the moment) so I'm off for a walk in a wee while and I'm going to take advantage of every teensy glimmer since, although it's still quite warm and muggy, it's looking like our all too brief summer has deserted us again.

The only blot on my landscape is that my asthma seems to have decided to play up a little. Although my peak flow is still holding up reasonably I have needed my salbutamol inhaler a few times recently.Generally at the oddest times for no apparent reason. Have to keep a watch and go to see the asthma nurse if this continues.

Oh well, onwards ever...

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