28 February 2013

Sunshine... and a few little experiments

The sun showed her beautiful face yesterday (OK, briefly) and it was SO good to see it. She's here again today and came back from a lovely walk at lunchtime... albeit wrapped up like Nanook of the North as I'm not anywhere close to getting warm today!

It really lifted my spirits... and boy, do they need the lift! My throat thingy has returned with a vengeance and I'm not sleeping so well again. This is down to the need to get up for a drink several times a night to soothe the throat... and then again because I need a wee - grrr. Makes me tired and cranky in the morning, and not a very happy bunny in general.

Thankfully, the nasty little buggy beggar seems weaker than it was the first time around, and I still feel mid-range grotty... but more in waves, interspersed with OK-ish spells. Still, I'll take this 'improvement' as a positive and try to keep looking for life's little plus points... and the fact that I can now see 'spring' beginning is a major plus.

Now, to those experiments... just a moment please, let me don my white coat and gloves and fetch my very best mad scientist mindset.

Every day (because we eat breakfast so darned early) I make us each a little 'lunch-box' of something that my lovely hubby and I call 'fake porridge' for a low-carb, mid-morning snack.

It's a cunning mixture of psyllium husk, ground flax seed (and usually a mix of other seeds ground up too) and full-fat goat milk, with a small handful of berries - either blueberries or a few pomegranate arils. Lovely hubby sometimes adds a little drizzle of double cream to his, just before he eats it, but I don't have that luxury at work. It may sound odd, but it's lovely and it usually hits the spot.

However, as nice as it is, I've been getting a tad bored with it, so have been playing about with making it a little more exciting over the last few weeks. Not wishing to make lovely hubby my guinea pig, I've 'messed' a tad more with my pots.

I've tried adding cinnamon or mixed spices, or dried mint (er, not such a great success), or dessicated coconut and whole seeds at various times. A spoonful of grated ginger is nice too. I briefly toyed with the idea of adding dark chocolate chips (I did find some nice high % cocoa ones with low carb content) but decided that may be a bad move and lead to serious temptation for both of us. Oh well, a nice thought :-(

The experiments have mostly ranged between 'acceptable' and 'mmm, pretty darn good'. But today, I felt even more adventurous than usual and added some coconut, the lovely grated ginger and a scattering of Turkish red pepper flakes (ipek pul biber) to my little box.

Wow! Wish I'd taken a photo as it looks so pretty with the little red flakes just peeping through around the blueberries. And I wish you could have tasted it - it was gorgeous. Tasty and warming, which is just what I need at the moment. Filling and satisfying too - well, that is the point after all.

Hey, this might just be a winner, so I'll try again tomorrow and make sure this was not all just a tiredness-induced fluke!

26 February 2013


 A timely post over at Karen's site today, which I spotted just as the finishing touches were going into this one. Life's full of coincidences sometimes, isn't it.

Well, I'm not quite ready for a return to the rower yet (sorry Connie, my dear), but I still have the last dregs of that darned bug hanging onto me - it just won't seem to go away. I feel grotty once again and have a throat like a saw blade this morning!

However, because I know that exercise is an important part of my 'down-sized' life, as well as good food choices, I am making sure that 'some' activity takes place and I move my sorry ass a bit. To this end, I'm walking whenever I can, and I've unearthed my old step-counter to merrily monitor how much I'm walking.

The other thing I unearthed was the information about steps per day I looked up a few years ago. Wow! It's interesting reading... so more of that in a minute.

On Monday, I totalled around 11,850 steps. I know from what I did and where I went that this is generally a wee bit less than my 'usual' habits, when I'm feeling energetic, enthusiastic and on top of the world.

Today, I got to around 9.30 a.m. and had already clocked up over 3,750 steps... and counting! I'll be off for a walk at lunchtime (albeit under grey skies, in the cold and rain - grrr), then there'll be another (shorter) walk to catch public transport home later on, and I will do the usual running about at work, all of which will add to today's total. It may come to more than yesterday, it may come to less, but it'll probably be roughly similar.

As I say, I'm not firing on all six, so imagine my surprise when I checked out what this sort of level equates to...

Huh...me? Somewhere between 'active' and 'highly active'? Doesn't seem possible at the moment as I'm feeling rather more sloth-like than cheetah-like right now. It's a nice surprise, but I'm taking it with a pinch of salt as it's one I don't have an awful lot of faith in. Still, every little helps.

25 February 2013

The sick-bed roller coaster ride

Ooooh, and what a wild ride it's turning out to have been, for both me and for my lovely hubby.

As a supposedly 'normal' person (i.e. someone without frank diabetes or any recognisable signs of metabolic disease), a combination of sickness, then recovery, adding in a little stress (er, make that a lot!) along the way, now my lovely hubby getting sick, the continuing family tensions and some rather worrysome developments at work have affected my weight to an astonishing degree.

I guess you could say it's hit my much-vaunted 'stability' right out of the ballpark! In the words of those Magnificent Men... when applied to the numbers I've been seeing on the bathroom scales:
They go Up, Tiddly, Up, Up
And They're Down, Tiddly, Down, Down.
Up! Down! Flying Around.

That quite astounding loss I talked about, which happened when I was unwell and had no appetite, did indeed turn around in double-quick time as I got better. Despite not going crazy-mad on the food front as I recovered (after all, I still didn't have all that much of an appetite as most food tasted slightly weird), within the space of just a bit more than a week or so I'd somersaulted around like crazy. Stability? Whoa, not likely chum!

Overall, I descended from my pre-poorly bunny supposedly 'stable' 54kg right down to 51.5kg (actually dipping a little below that, in fact, to not much over eight stone) then galloped all the way back up to a whopping 56 kg (8 stone 11 lbs). Thank heavens I didn't stay there long!

I'm happy to say that I am now back down again to my 'comfortable' 54kg but heck, what changes to to take place within such a short space of time - not much longer than a few days really - and apparently with precious little connection to my actual food intake! Bizarre, eh? I guess it's something the body does in response to a period of physical 'stress' but even after much puzzling I can't figure this out at all. However, it surely did happen.

As to my darling lovely hubby, it's been a similar roller coaster ride, but for quite different reasons. He has been, and indeed is still quite poorly, but his weight has, amazingly enough, remained pretty stable over this whole period of sickness. Good, eh? Well, not entirely as his blood glucose and blood pressure have taken the hit instead.

As those who've put up with my rambles in the past will know, he is Type II diabetic (albeit, usually very tightly controlled). However, whilst he's been poorly, his fasting and after-meals blood glucose levels have been significantly higher than they usually are. Having said that, they haven't hit levels which would prompt a call to the GP... thankfully. Now he's over the worst of the fever (he had a temperature of nearly 39 degrees C) and getting to feel a bit better, the BG levels are dropping back towards his 'normal' levels, thank goodness.

The chart we produce from his daily readings actually indicates when he got sick pretty clearly. He's obviously feeling a bit better now because he has the energy to be a little peed-off, as he says that the recent high numbers 'b**s up' his averages!
The scary change was to his blood pressure though (er, never very high to begin with), which plummeted over the weekend whilst he still had the worst of the fever.

Although he thinks I'm exaggerating (not so, babe!), I was on the verge of calling an ambulance early on Saturday morning when he came within a gnat's-whisker of collapsing on our bathroom floor. He was completely out of it and couldn't even acknowledge me, let alone stand unaided. To be honest, I'm soooo glad he's lost a lot of weight over the last few years - even at his new slinky-self mass he's still a five foot ten inch male (that's a whole lot of man to tote around!) so it took all my strength to support him and get him back to bed.

Thankfully, returning to the horizontal and a rest in bed worked wonders and restored him to something resembling OK once again, but he did have me worried for quite a while afterwards.

What really strikes me is the apparent differences in the way our two bodies respond to a period of illness. It'll be interesting to see if there is any effect on his weight as the days progress, and I do rather wonder if my own BG or BP (untested, sadly) saw any changes while I was ill.

Food for thought, eh? Onwards ever...

15 February 2013


...OK, I'm still not quite yet at 'best', but definitely 'better, and I am not complaining about that. Phew!

That disgusting yellowy 'shag-pile carpet' coating which has lined my tongue for days on end was not renewed overnight, thank heavens, and the last (I sincerely hope) of the painful raw patches in my throat and mouth seems to be healing. Still a bit sore when I eat, but food is no longer anathema... and I'm gradually building an appetite once again.

Better yet, tea tastes 'different'. Still not exactly like tea, but at least palatable to a large degree. Progress indeed. Strangely, the red-fruit tea I was sipping occasionally now tastes like crap, though lemon tea is still a great help. In fact, I have another mug of this wonder substance in front of me as I type. Vitamin C in a heavenly form.

I finally have rather more energy than I have had recently (well, sort of anyway) and am back at work, albeit taking things gently, so things are certainly on the up. Yesterday was my first full day without needing to resort to paracetamol (although I still have the vestiges of a headache, particularly as the day wears on). Yesterday also saw my first full day without a little (or big!) nap when I got completely tired out doing absolutely zip, zilch, nothing at all.

Eating has really not been close to my heart in the last four or five days, much to lovely hubby's distress, so I was expecting to see a bit of a drop on the scale. My darling man's been trying to tempt me with all sorts of low-carb delights, with added fat to give me energy, bless him (hey, who knew that avocado with a drizzle of olive oil soothes a tender mouth and throat as effectively as yoghurt!).

However, what I wasn't anticipating was the darned thing reporting a whopping 2.5kg drop from last recording my weight on Saturday. Ooops! I don't suppose that'll last for long now that I'm regaining an appetite, but it was a bit of a surprise, to say the least.

Right, next task (er, when I have a wee bit more resources to get on with it) is to get my sorry ass out into the sunshine and fresh air and start walking again. Next on the list is a return to Connie and the abs sessions in the mornings. Let's get some muscle tone back... a.s.a.p.!

Onwards ever...

12 February 2013

A poorly bunny

Hello world.

Hibernation is where I've been for the last few days. This has been a good thing since I've  felt pretty sorry for myself, grumpy, achy and generally bleh! You can read this as 'not' being a 'nice person to be around'. My poor lovely hubby has borne the brunt of this (when I've actually been awake!) and, now I'm capable of rational thought again, I'm convinced the man does indeed have the patience of a saint.

Yep, I've found myself floored by one of the buggy beasts mooching around in this wintery environment. Dammit! I thought I'd been really lucky to avoid most of the nasty bugs surrounding me in the office (and there have been a few to choose from!) and on the daily commute on public transport, which very often sounds like an outing from the consumptives society... until now, that is.

This one set off with a towering headache on Saturday night, morphed into a sore throat and general tenderness and aches by the next morning, went through the alternate freezing and sweating like a hog phase, and has left me with a very sore mouth (with some fetching 'skinned' raw patches) and throat and a lingering headache. I've had no energy or appetite at all (the very thought of food has been abhorrent) but a thirst like never before.

Sadly, my beloved tea has tasted (and still tastes) disgusting - never a good thing for the fat lass. So, it's been warm water.. gallons of the stuff. Sometimes with some lemon, sometimes I couldn't even stand the thought of that. A rare cup of Bovril has helped too. Oooh, I wonder if this is indeed still 'beef' or whether the horsemeat has reached here too. Either way, it's a pleasant change from water.

Lovely hubby has made me eat 'something' apart from paracetamol now and again so I don't repeat the fainting and knocking myself out on the bathroom sink routine from my last bout of being poorly. I probably haven't been very co-operative though... which is where his sainthood comes in.

Today, I'm a bit feeble and mopey, but definitely more human. The head is aching but not screaming at me... a major improvement. With luck, I 'may' emerge from hibernation completely by the end of another day. I may even read a few of the blogs I've missed... but that might wait a little longer.

Oh well, onwards ever...

01 February 2013


You know that old saying 'pride goeth before a fall'? Well, I think I tripped myself up and my 'pride' preceded, not a fall, but a gain!.Grrrr.

So when it comes to 'zipped', what I mean is this...

Fat lass, you really need to learn to keep it that way! Because, d'you know what, no sooner do you utter (or even think) the fateful word 'stability' than the needle on the scales will take a wee excursion to the right (yep, that's a move for the worse). I think that's called Sod's Law, or maybe hubris.

So, for all my fine words and after weeks and weeks of seeing the exact same number each and every time I stepped on the darned scales,I apparently gained weight. None too happy about this but had 'sort of' guessed that I was heavier because I suddenly 'felt' bigger (in fact, it felt like I morphed into the Goodyear blimp in one single step) and I sure as eggs did not like that feeling.

There are two things going on in my head at the moment in relation to this.

The first is me telling myself "OK, OK, fat lass, there's no need to call the emergency services just yet - we're not going to panic completely" Hmmm, though maybe just a little bit, for now. Let's just do something about it.

I also told myself to keep it in some sort of perspective. The rise wasn't huge - it was 'only' a pound or so (that doesn't sound too bad if you say it quickly, eh) and I regularly 'used to' fluctuate by at least, if not more than that, on a daily basis. Ooooh, here's a thought to ponder, maybe I still do - now I'm not weighing daily it's not easy to tell.

My other point this. Although I gained, rather more importantly, I 'knew' it from the way my body felt. I can hardly believe I'm saying this but even a single pound does now seem to make a noticeable difference. Having been obese for a lot of years, when I'd barely register half a stone gain, I find this all a bit bizarre and it doesn't seem as though it can be quite right somehow... but that's what's happened.

Hey, does anyone know... is this what 'normal' people experience and is this why they seem to able to regulate their weight without too much problem? Hmmm, I just don't know, but I do know that 'normal' isn't me - I'll always have to keep my old fat suit in mind, else it'll reappear!

So, this offending pound hung about for a few days  (weighed on Monday and again on Thursday morning) and there it still was. It showed no signs of disappearing, so I'm surmising that it WAS a real weight gain, not just water retention or similar. I got a grip and did something about it this week, I've watched what I've been eating and this morning... hey presto, it's gone.

As I say, this episode really should remind me to keep my big mouth firmly shut. And that's pertinent in two senses:

1) I shouldn't say such silly things as 'stability' in a blog post. It's just asking for trouble!

but more importantly...

2) I need to sit up and take notice again, review precisely 'what' and 'how much' has been (and is) leaping into the aforementioned mouth and make sure this isn't the start of a slippery slope.

When I look back and think more carefully about our last weekend away, we ate out (no other choice) and hence 'out of character'. We also ate way, way too much as we happily consumed the portions served and didn't moderate things the way we do with home-prepared food. Yes, it was all low-carb food but, even so, there are limits to what a day's intake should be.

There is a general consensus that a high percentage (some say up to 95%) of people who lose a significant amount of weight will regain most or all of it in a few years. I really do not wish to become part of that awful statistic!

So, the moral of this ramble is to make sure I remind myself yet again that the weight I've lost will ONLY stay away if I remain vigilant and keep eating sensibly. Yes, low-carb helps, but portion control is also something to keep at the front of my mind. Onwards, ever...

based on a design by suckmylolly.com