Tuesday, 30 December 2008

And So To 2009

Week 51

(Can't quite bring myself to type the stats...)

Did everyone have a lovely Christmas? We did. I'm now very ready to embark on healthy eating again! What I wish is that I could bottle how bad all the excessive eating actually makes me feel, to stop me making the same mistakes again - bloating, heartburn, clothes too tight, lethargic, and headaches, terrible headaches! I can feel every single one of the cough[7]cough pounds I gained in the last 2 weeks. No regrets though, it was Christmas and could have been a lot lot worse! It did bring home to me though how incredibly bad I would feel if I suddenly weighed what did this time last year - I wouldn't be able to move!

I found resisting blogging in the last couple of weeks harder than I expected. Several times I logged on and started writing some random entry, but then I would get called away and end up deleting what I had written. You didn't miss any great dieting revelations, I just had an urge to waffle!

A Nintendo Wii has entered our lives this Christmas - what a wonderful device that is! As yet we don't have Wii Fit, but we will! But even playing Wii Sports is working up quite a sweat, and my arms are killing me! And I'm getting a bit competitive on the tennis game - playing every point like I'm on the verge of winning Wimbledon ;)

So, on to the serious business of New Years Resolutions! I don't make many, I don't like setting myself up to fail! But here they are in all their glory:

1]Continue Slimming World with renewed vigour, aim to lose another 5 stone this year.
2]Spend less time online!
3]Exercise more, and train for the next Race for Life which I have promised to actually run this year, in support of Ted again, who is going through a truly terrible time at the moment. My heart goes out to Ted and his family.
4]Save some money (this is likely to be the one I fail on, something always comes up that takes anything I have managed to save!)

That's the lot!

My next entry will be about the brand new SW plan, Extra Easy. I want to try it before I give my opinion, but my first reaction is Wow!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Festive Tidings!

Week 49

Weight: 17st 8.5lb
Loss This Week: 5.5lb
Gain lost: 73lb

I toyed with not revealing the figures this week. Truth be told I tried to avoid seeing them myself, but the lovely lady on the scales made me look! I won't attempt to defend myself, I overate, and drank too much, but damn I had fun! Party season is upon us after all. I anticipate ongoing "problems" until Boxing Day, when I am back at work and the party is effectively over. I'm hoping I start 2009 still 5st lighter than I started 2008. If I do that I will be happy.

On the subject of parties, I loved dressing up for my work party - I was very comfortable with my choice of outfit, and the compliments flowed all night! People who I see all the time appeared to suddenly notice I'd lost weight. It goes to prove how unflattering a nurse's uniform is! I can't wait for next years now :-)

Apparently there is a shiny new Slimming World plan being revealed in January. I've seen a hint of it in the current magazine and I'm very excited to see the full details revealed, although I'm not sure quite how it will work, as the little I've seen has both red and green day components piled freely on one plate! My best guess is this means the food list is more limited, but until January I won't know!

I don't anticipate getting the chance to blog over the Christmas period so

See you on the other side!

Monday, 8 December 2008

On Resolutions.

Week 48

Weight: 17st 3lb
Loss This Week: 2lb
Total lost: 78.5lb

Phew, a loss! And actually a new low, by a whisker!

There's an interesting phenomenon occurring here, so far not mentioned. On the weeks I gain, Mark loses, and on the weeks I lose, Mark gains. What the hell is happening here? You'd think we'd be charting a similar course, but no, not at all! He has almost caught up with me now, but slipped back a bit this week. I imagine he can look forward to a healthy weight loss over Christmas and the New Year ;)

Is everyone all organised for Christmas? Presents bought and wrapped? Tree up? Cards posted? No, me neither. I've bought nearly all I'm buying but there's not a card written and not a fairy light to be seen. Happily I have a week off work next week so I can get it all done then. I don't like the decorations up too early anyway, they tend to get on my nerves fairly quickly - bah humbug!

Oh! Pedometer - what pedomoeter? ;)

OK I promised to walk how ever many steps, and last time it was mentioned I was trying it out to see how many steps I took on a normal day. It worked out pretty much as I expected, around the 7000 mark. But the following day I very rapidly racked up 99,999 steps, leaving me a tad suspicious that it wasn't very accurate. And there endeth that experiment. I like gadgets and figures and charts, but I can't cope with inaccuracy at all! If anyone wants a pedometer, let me know, there's one going dusty in my drawer.

What I need is a New Year, and some New Years Resolutions. I'm going to have a careful think about what they may be, and I will post them here when I've refined them. I'm happy to say that I pretty much achieved all I wanted to this year. OK I never made it to 15st by Christmas, but that hardly matters, I lost 5 1/2st over the course of the year, I did the Race for Life in June and already have my name down for the 2009 race, and I went rollerskating! I'm happy to see the year drawing to a close with that lot under my belt.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

'Tis the Season to be....?

I'm so 100% on track this week that I feel quite excited about getting weighed! I actually feel slimmer and lighter too. Now I'm getting my hopes up, god forbid they are dashed on Monday! I swear if I don't lose this week, I'm defecting to Weight Watchers! (Only joking Heather ;) )

What I really really want to do soon is some more progress pics, and maybe even a "measure in"! I know I look different, and I want to share, those of you who are sticking with me while I get nowhere deserve to see something encouraging I reckon. My usual rule is progress pics every 2 stone, so I'm around half a stone off doing them. I don't know, what do you think? Should I do some if I lose weight this week? I'm tempted!

Is anyone else kind of dreading Christmas? It's all about food! No matter how much you don't want it to be, unless you lock yourself in a darkened room for a fortnight (minimum!) then it's all about damn food! And not in a good way! I know nobody forces me to eat, I know I can just say no. But that is a lot easier said than done at this time of year when there's nuts and chocolate just lying around, when mince pies lurk in cupboards to lure you in, when it's party season and the alcohol and nibbles are there just to get you started! God knows I don't want to weigh more in January than I do right now, but how I'm going to achieve that without going into hiding or getting very depressed I don't know! I'm not planning on buying all the usual trappings in, so I should be safe at home. But even work will be full of temptation! Does anyone have any foolproof strategies to get through this season? Tell me quick! There's less than a week to go till my first test!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

And Again.

Week 47

Weight: 17st 5lb
Gain This Week: 1.5lb
Total lost: 76.5lb

I'm so frustrated, I could gnaw my own arm off ;-)

Actually I'm OK about this one, it's almost certainly attributable to the fact that I ate a late lunch while out with friends, before weigh in. If all things were equal (I would normally have just got out of bed after working a night shift and would be getting weighed on an empty stomach) I imagine it would have been a maintain, or close to it.

However I really really really do mean business this week! I have absolutely nothing standing in my way, possibly for the last time between now and Christmas. So I'm giving it 100%. I'm going to do a food diary which I haven't done for ages. That should keep me focused. And I already have my Quorn Curry on the go - smells wonderful!

Yesterday I was on a girlie shopping day - I needed something to wear for our work Christmas party, so we went to Stoke and I shopped at Matalan for the first time in my life. I was so impressed! I got a gorgeous gorgeous dress which is nothing to do with the party, but just because I love it, a lovely bright coloured top, a black velvety skirt, earrings, necklace, rings, xmas cards and presents, all for £70. I definitely need to shop there again!

Now the next burning question is can I get away with coloured tights in order to be "on trend" or should I just keep my legs encased in black and play it safe? Hmmmmm. Decisions decisions!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Mirror Mirror On The Wall...

I've always hated mirrors, at least those mirrors that pop up in front of you when you are least expecting it. I have always needed time to prepare my face into a pleasing expression, to turn my body to it's most advantageous angle, to suck in my belly, lift my shoulders, and make sure that my cute dimple is present to distract the eye from any less pleasing aspects.

Come on, tell me you all do it!

Anyway, while Christmas shopping on Friday, I stepped into a lift which had a full length mirror lining the entire back wall. Who came up with that idea! But an amazing thing happened. As quickly as I cast my eyes away from the view, I found myself drawn back for a second more detailed look. I realised that I hadn't hated what I saw. Closer inspection revealed that actually I was looking astonishingly good! I shouldn't have been looking good - I had just finished a night shift and was frankly rather tired. I had no make up on and my hair was scraped back in a ponytail, with several strands making a bid for freedom. But my skin looked clear, my cheekbones were visible, my Asda coat was fitting and flattering me beautifully and dammit, I liked what I saw!

It is of course possible that I was so tired that total delirium had set in and I was hallucinating. But at least I got happiness instead of spiders and snakes!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Neither Rhyme Nor Reason.

Week 46

Weight: 17st 3.5lb
Loss This Week: 3.5lb
Total lost: 78lb

I have absolutely no explanation for this result so let's not talk about it!

Instead, let's talk about Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor - much more fun! I adore Strictly. How I would love to be able to dance. Like John Sergeant at a minimum ;) but more ideally I would like to dance with the gorgeous hunk of manhood that is Austin Healey. I want to do the Quickstep with him - that would burn a few calories hey!

Who do you think will win? I think it will be Tom & Camilla and Rachel & Vincent in the final, and Tom will win. Rachel has peaked too early, and Tom just keeps getting better and better.

As for X Factor, my God, who is voting for Diana ?? That girl murdered my favourite ever Take That song on Saturday, murdered it until it was stone dead! There's quirky, and then there's just plain bad, and I know which side of the line Diana has fallen.

Poor wee Eoghan couldn't reach the high notes, so they wheeled out the extended Von Trapp family to do it for him, and his mentor the mighty Simon Cowell as good as admitted it when he said "Just doing what I have to do, protecting my act!" with his smug smirk.

Ruth to win! That woman can rock it!

Friday, 21 November 2008


Thanks everyone for your supportive comments - every one appreciated!

I've struggled so far this week. I felt so demoralised, that I was falling at every hurdle because I struggled to see any reason not to. So when I've gained this week, I shall of course deserve it!

I don't want this to become a weight gain blog, so I need to pull myself together right now! So I need to look at my goals and work out how I can motivate myself again. Weight related goals aren't going well, not at all. Food related goals haven't worked for me so far this week because it's almost as though thinking about food so much has been counterproductive. How bizarre that this time last week I was cruising along finding it all so easy!

So that leaves exercise goals. I need to up the ante and get moving more. But I really need it to be a goal I can achieve, failure is not an option! So I've invested in a pedometer to try to increase my steps in a very tangible way. Today I'm trying to have a normal day so I can see my baseline. So far today I have walked 4049 steps, and that's just the school run and dog walk really. The school run alone was 1000 steps. The dog walk was a nice long one because the weather was nice and I had nowhere else to be. I don't go so far every time, but it all adds up. I'm guessing today will come out at about 7000 steps. Once I have a baseline I can look at realistic achievable goals. Achieving them should give me the boost I so desperately need! I wonder if skating will register as steps? I expect so! If so, that will make tomorrow's step count most excellent!

Don't give up on me yet, I'm still in the game!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The Tyranny Of The Scales

Scales, an inanimate electrical or mechanical device, have the ability to elevate my mood to positively glowing, or dash it to smithereens on the rocks of despair!

I wish I could ignore the scales, walk away from them never to return. But the scales are the auditor of my self discipline, the gains are the taxes levied on slips, indiscretions, or sometimes for no good reason at all. If I didn't face the scales every week, I would never have enough discipline to keep this weight thing moving down.

So since I know I can't walk away from the scales, I need to find a way to stop them from hurting me. How have I arrived at a position where I am brought to tears by the wrong number flashing up on the screen? They have me in their tyrannical grip and I am their unwilling slave. If I'm really good 100% of the time, they are supposed to be a benevolent master.

I can only conclude the Heather's scales are moody and mean, and like to torment me. I'll show them! I'm going to make those numbers fall, and I'm going to break free of their shackles! Ha!

(don't send for the men in white coats, I composed the entry in a sleep deprived haze and I kind of liked the metaphors!)

Monday, 17 November 2008


Week 45

Weight: 17st 7lb
Gain This Week: 1lb
Total lost: 74.5lb

This gain has come as a real blow and I'm too gutted to find anything positive to say about it.

I know it's only 1lb, but if I lose 1lb I get to say "a loss is a loss!" so I'm forced to admit that a gain is a gain!

I'd had such a good week too. I'd enjoyed my week, I'd stayed on track and enjoyed the food I cooked. I was feeling smug for gods sake, smug that I had sailed so easily through the week. In fact this entry was meant to be me musing about why some weeks it's so very easy to stay on track, and some weeks it's so very very hard.

*shakes head and sighs deeply*

Onwards and upwards and all that!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Recipe Corner

I have simply got to share this recipe with you, it's gorgeous!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

6 skinless chicken breasts
6 spring onions finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons artificial sweetener
2 tabespoons raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
100mls passata

1] Slice the chicken very thinly, place in shallow dish. Sprinkle over the spring onions and garlic. Season well and pour on the light soy sauce. Toss to mix well, cover and marinate in fridge for 30 mins.

2] Spray wok or frying pan with Frylight, when hot addthe chicken mixture and cook over a high heat. Stir and cook for 5-6 mins, and then add all the other ingredients. Stir to mix and well, and bring to the boil.

3] Reduce heat and cook gently for 3-4 mins, or until chicken is cooked well through. Check seasoning and serve immediately.

It's very very easy and just to die for! I actually use just 113g of chicken per person, and bulk it out with veg suitable for stirfrying, so peppers, mangetout, mushrooms, whatever is in the fridge. That way I can eat it with plenty of rice and it's just 1 healthy extra b choice on green. (Or free on red if done as per recipe and not served with rice!)

Also watch the seasoning - don't forget the soy sauce is quite salty so don't go mad with the salt (I made this mistake first time!)

I tried it with Quorn, but it didn't work so well for me. But it is endlessly adjustable to suit your own needs and tastes I think.

Oops nearly forget to say the recipe is taken from Slimming Worlds 100 Comfort Foods recipe book.

Try it and let me know what you think, and any variations you make too because I'm all for variations!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Porridge, Soup & Diving Suits

Week 44

Weight: 17st 6lb
Loss This Week: 2lb
Total lost: 75.5lb

My feeling this week is overwhelming relief. Although I knew I had been on plan all week, and had no reason to have gained weight, my useless godforsaken home scales have been creeping up and up all week. I can no longer explain why I keep standing on the stupid lying machine, other than the fact that I am obsessed, and, well, stupid!

Brrrrrr I'm so cold, winter is definitely well and truly set in I fear. I've just read Jeanette's latest blog entry, she's just back from a Quaker Oats weekend and I'm hankering for some nice warming porridge now (remember the Ready Brek ads with the warming glow??). I'll add it to my shopping list and concede that I am an ad-man's dream.

Is it easier or harder to lose weight when it's cold? This was touched on at SW a few weeks ago, when we had a stand in consultant. Looking at my stats, I'd have to say I tend to do better in the winter months. I think this is because I am more motivated to cook delicious warming meals when it's cold outside, but it's possible that there is something psychological at work too...I'm just not sure what! The type of food I love - curries, casseroles, soups, lend themselves best to the colder months and probably it is no more complex than that.

This tiny bit of self analysis is only possible because I have been on this campaign across all 4 seasons now, for the first time ever. This unprecedented longevity, with all it's ups and downs, encourages me to believe that it might just be possible for me to go the distance this time. If I keep getting back up every time I fall, then I will make it to the finish line, even if everyone else has packed up and gone home by the time I get there. I'm like the man who walks the marathon dressed entirely in an antique diving suit. Except far far less heroic.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The Shape Of A Woman

Week 43

Weight: 17st 8lb
This Week: Maintain
Total lost: 73.5lb

I did a unique thing this week - I stayed the same! That never happens ever! I'm almost pleased with that just for the novelty factor. And frankly I didn't do anything to help the cause for getting a loss on Halloween, so no angst from me for this one!

No blog entry today would be complete without saying a mighty Congratulations to Barack Obama. What wonderful news to wake up to this morning. A historical landmark, and a very emotional result. Well done.

Apologies for the late entry - I worked Sunday and Monday night, and was way too tired to blog yesterday, having got no sleep because I had to run around trying to get solutions to the problem of fireworks and a terrified dog. I'm not against fireworks, I love a good organised display. On November 5th. I hate hate hate the incessant banging that has been going on for the last week, and which I don't expect to really stop until January. If it were up to me, fireworks would not be legal for anything other than organised public displays by people holding a special expensive licence.

Rant over. For now.

Today I am thinking about the shape of women. Without the influence of TV, Heat magazine and Photoshop telling us what shape we should be, what would we all be happy to look like? I was watching Last Man Standing and couldn't help but notice that all the Wauja women where overweight by any western standards. But these women are hardworking tribal women. They eat the food that they and their menfolk can catch, they don't have fast food restaurants and takeaways. They can't even nip to Sainsbury's for a handy prepacked salad. They look happy, healthy and fully loved up - they even complained on the show that the foreigners (the contestants) were taking too much of their mens' time up, causing them to have less sex! These are strong confident women, and not a breast implant in sight!

I'm not for one moment suggesting that I'd swap my life for theirs. But how I'd love their body confidence, belly overhang, swinging breasts and all. I wonder how many western women would share that confidence, no matter how toned, slim, tanned, waxed and enhanced they may be? We are bombarded by photoshopped images of women, never the real deal. Breasts are always perfectly pert, bellies are always flat. Skin is airbrushed to plastic perfection, and of course the body is posed and positioned to create an artists impression of beauty. Meanwhile in the pages of Heat et al our celeb women are ripped to pieces for being too thin, or a few extra pounds later, too fat. No wonder they develop issues!

I revelled in seeing those Wauja women last night. I will continue my journey to conform to the acceptable standards of our society, while feeling quietly chuffed to bits that there are communities out there that would love me just as I am!

Friday, 31 October 2008

Blood Soup and Worm Cake

Happy Halloween!

I'm just back from my kitchen, having rustled up Blood Soup and Worm Cake for tonight's Halloween party. Blood soup is really carrot, beetroot and leek soup from this month's SW magazine - I'll have to get back to you on how it tastes because it's still cooking. Worm cake is of course cake with worms! And green vanilla flavoured icing, and jelly pumpkins and ghosts.

One of those dishes is a healthy choice.

I'm happy to be fully back on plan so far this week. I am of course partying tonight, and there will be many more dishes than just my blood and worms. I chose to do the soup so that I have some kind of control over what I can eat but I'm not going to be sitting po faced and pious at a party where everyone else will be eating doughnuts suspended from the ceiling with their hands tied behind their backs (it's the doughnuts that will be suspended - there will be children present ;) ) I will try to maintain a semblance of control though.

This week I've shaken it up a bit and done a couple of "Red" days. I never do red days because I crave carbs too strongly, but I really wanted to try something different, I think it helps to keep focussed! I said in a previous entry that I thought my dieting mojo was lurking within the pages of a recipe book, and I do still think that's true. I definitely stay on track better when I have new recipes to try, and 100% better if I have some healthy food already prepared and ready for when the munchies hit!

So on Wednesday I made a Beef Goulash, also from this month's SW magazine, and very nice it was too. Expensive to make though, compared to veggie food! But to be fair, it made 4 very hearty portions, and it was much, much tastier on day 2! So in future I will make it a day ahead of time to give the flavour chance to develop.

I'm off to check out the Blood Soup now - exciting!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Dieter In Weight Gain Shock!

Week 42

Weight: 17st 8lb
Gain this week: 4.5lb
Total lost: 73.5lb

Well not a shock, but I'm still very cross with myself. I've set myself back weeks! It's so much harder to lose than to gain,if I totally starved myself I'd be unlikely to lose 4.5lbs! I felt so embarrassed to have done that as well - everyone else in class had really good losses this week and then there's me with all that weight piled back on! F for effort this week for me!

Oh well, line drawn, clean page opened, etc!

I'm tired and cold and I've got to go to work in a few minutes so I'm running away from my failure leaving you with a very short blog entry!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

I Can Resist Anything....

...Except temptation!

I'm facing a gain this week I'm afraid. I need it to be Monday night ASAP so I can get onto my clean sheet. Yes I know it is in my power to make a clean sheet right here and now, but I seem to be having a problem with that. I was stood in the kitchen earlier wrestling with myself over a prawn cocktail that was in the fridge. I had a very convincing argument for not eating it. I firmly and wholeheartedly believed that I didn't want or need a prawn cocktail, and that what I really wanted and needed was to lose weight. I felt very serene and in control. Then I grabbed a teaspoon and headed for the fridge. The prawn cocktail is no more *sigh*

So what has brought about this downfall? Well it began with a bit of a binge on Monday night to be horribly honest. For a start I couldn't stay to my SW class, and time after time I prove to myself that I do much better if I do actually stay to class, although I have no clear idea why. Anyway, I decided to have a little tipple, and that led to the munchies and a total loss of anything approaching control. Then on Tuesday I was in Manchester on the first of 2 days of tests, following my recent course. The morning was hellishly hard, and I thought I was doing really really badly by lunchtime (The first test paper was 15 questions, which we had 45 minutes to answer. People started handing their papers in while I was on question 3! I glanced at my watch in horror and 30 minutes had already passed :( I finished, but in a terrible rush). Lunch was lush, so I comfort ate. I discovered in the afternoon session that I hadn't done really badly at all, in fact I did fine. But the damage was done by then.

Wednesday I tried to regain control but wasn't 100% successful to be honest. Thursday I was fine, praise be! But Friday was Rebecca's 7th birthday and involved taking her and a friend to Pizza Hut and then to see High School Musical 3. I had 2 1/2 slices of pizza and some salad, and then some maltesers in the cinema, and then some birthday cake, oh, and then we had prawn baguettes for tea. But I'm not going to beat myself up about enjoying a special day, that isn't what this is about. If only that was all I had done wrong! So bring on Monday when I know the battle will be over and I will be a few pounds heavier than last week, and I can work on losing them again. No matter what I tell myself between now and then, I know I'm going to be fighting a tough battle to stay on track until I stand on the scales.

And now an appeal. If you are anywhere near the New Forest, please please could you keep an eye out for Meg, a lost greyhound? She has been gone 24 hours now and everyone is worried about her :( (not my dog btw, but from the same rescue)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

"I Love Your Blog" Award!

A big Thank You to Kate at School Gate Chic for this lovely award! My first award ever, I'm chuffed to pieces :-)

Now I have to award it to 7 other people and the rules are as follows:
1. The nominated is allowed to put the picture on their blogs.
2. Link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate seven other people and link to them.
4. Leave a message on those people's blog to make them aware that they're nominated.

I choose:

1: Kath at There's a Me Hidden Somewhere
2: Brhyer at Bryher's Blog
3: Spence at Siren Voices
4: Loth at The Gym Isn't Working
5: Shauna at The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl!
6: Sharon at Sharon's Blog
7: Jeanette at Pasta Queen

So many blogs, so hard to choose only 7!

Monday, 20 October 2008


Week 41

Weight: 17st 3.5lb
Loss this week: 1.5lb
Total lost: 78lb

Yaaay I got a shiny! And that's 4 consecutive weeks with a loss now, I am truly on a roll!

Guess what I did on Saturday night? Go on, have a guess and then I'll tell you!

OK, I only went rollerskating!

Since last November I have sat on a bench, or often the floor, at the side of a hall in the leisure centre every Saturday night watching Rebecca skating. That whole time I have longed to join in. I even went as far as getting some skates for myself from Freecycle, but I could never do it. First of all the skates didn't fit because my ankles were too fat, and second of all I'm a great big cowardy custard! To be fair the last time I skated was when I was 9 years old, and I broke my arm that time so my fear isn't entirely unfounded. But still.

But on Saturday I was riding the crest of a joyful wave, after my Cinderella experience, and I vowed that this would be the day that I would skate. Rebecca argued very strongly against it, and I had to promise that no one would ever know she was with me before she caved in with a resigned sigh and agreed that it would be OK if I gave it a try.

I'd given my skates away by now so I had to hire skates from the skater dudes. I elected for the kind with a wheel at each corner rather than inline skates because I really wanted to minimise the "making a total arse of myself and breaking my collar bone" opportunities. Rebecca kindly reminded me that she was advised to learn on inline skates because the wheels are slower. Damn, that left me open to the terrifying prospect of flying into orbit with no way of stopping until I hit a wall. Or a small child. Or, as nearly happened, a show-off skater dude who got right in front of me then proceeded to do a series of jumps and spins. Nice and impressive and all, but I would have killed him if I'd hit him at speed!

So when I first wobbled to my feet, my legs were like jelly with fear. But I have watched kids learning for nearly a year so I know what you have to do! I put into action the lessons I have been absorbing and teetered round the hall, grabbing the wall and praying no one got in my way.

An hour and a half later my legs were like jelly from the sheer physical exertion of skating for all that time. I was loving it! I had my balance, I was skating relatively confidently, I had released the wall to those in greater need, I'd had only a small handful of collisions, none of them fatal, and I think I had somehow annoyed my daughter because she had been sitting down and demanding to be taken home for about half an hour. Sorry baby, no dice. I sat on that bench for 11 months. Now I'm off it I'm staying on the skates!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

A Cinderella Moment.

I was just sat here browsing online clothes shops, and bemoaning the fact that I can't buy skirts and dresses for winter because I can't get boots to fit my fat legs. And I love dresses with opaque tights and long boots.

Then I had a little lightbulb moment. If I'm a size 18/20, it's inconceivable that I have the fattest legs in the kingdom anymore, surely. And Evans makes boots for the chunkier of calf. They used to be too small, but now?

And then lightbulb moment number 2. Somewhere in my cupboard lurks an old pair of black high heeled knee length boots, from my younger slimmer days. So I found them. And tried them on, more in hope than expectation. It was almost a Cinderella moment. I slipped in my foot. It went easily. I grasped the top of the boot and tugged on the zip. Up it went,up and up! And they were on, and fastened, and enough room in the boot for an extra arm!!

I can get BOOTS!

(I swore a tiny bit but didn't think it added anything to the story so left it out!)

Friday, 17 October 2008

Utterly Gratuitous Post!

Indulge me if you please! I just thought I'd share some photos of my beautiful greyhounds (plus a couple of my gappy toothed daughter!)

Click on the thumbnail to view :-)

View this montage created at One True Media
Greyhound Montage

Monday, 13 October 2008

I Love Chickpeas, I Do!

Week 40

Weight: 17st 5lb
Loss this week: 1.5lb
Total lost: 76.5lb

Hurray for another loss. I think that's 3 consecutive weeks with a loss now, which is my best run since July. There's no way I can break a good run like that by failing to lose this week, plus I still need that flipping 5 1/2st sticker that I really really thought I'd got in the bag this week. Damn my hopelessly inaccurate home scales!

Right so how am I going to make sure I get that loss this week? I think carry on doing what I've been doing is the best answer - it ain't broke, nothing to fix here! I like the whole "try a new recipe every week" idea, and it certainly paid dividends for me a couple of weeks ago. I did it over this last week too (sweet potato curry), so to stick to the theme on I'm the lookout for a good new recipe. Something that uses that butternut squash that's in my fridge would be good.

I've been browsing cookbooks in Waterstones - so many books, so little time! The trouble with most of them though is that a hefty proportion of each book contains recipes that I just wouldn't be able to modify to fit into the SW plan. Probably because I choose to do the green plan, ruling out so many tasty meat dishes, not to mention the puddings! I've got a nice veggie cookbook here - Vegetarian Express by Rose Elliot. There's loads of quick and tasty dishes in there. I'm thinking Fusilli with tomato sauce and chickpeas has got promise. I'm loving chickpeas at the moment.

If you'd have told me 12 months ago that I would type the phrase "I'm loving chickpeas..." I'd have laughed and told you that could never happen. Funny how tastes change!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

When the Inner Voice is Wrong...

Last winter I was without a warm winter coat. I found one I liked, warm, comfortable and a good fit in a size 28. But I didn't want to spend £80 on a coat that I said would only do me for one season, since I had no intention of being a size 28 for very much longer. So I put it back on the rail, didn't buy it and made do with what I had. But my little inner voice was saying "yeah yeah, heard it all before. Next winter you'll be back here looking at the size 28s again."

So I just want to tell my inner voice that it was oh so very wrong. In fact I have just purchased a winter coat for this season. But I didn't want to spend a fortune because I don't plan on staying this size for very much longer either. So I've just splashed out an amazing £15 on Asda's Little Black Coat. In a size 20. What a bargain! And this year my little inner voice knows it's place!

Funny how 1lb, or even 2 or 3lbs, doesn't sound like very much. Some weeks I've even felt a but fed up when I've "only lost 1lb". But just look how it adds up! I'm thinking in January I will be about half way to my ultimate target. Not that I've set a target yet, but I'm starting to feel vaguely halfway there. And it feels good.

Monday, 6 October 2008

The post with no name.

Week 39

Weight: 17st 6.5lb
Loss this week: 3.5lb & Joint Slimmer of the Week!
Total lost: 75lb

This has been a really top week for me. I've been really fired up and enthusiastic. I've enjoyed some great food, and I've felt at the top of my game where healthy eating is concerned. My Syn intake has been through the floor, and I've never felt hungry or craved anything other than seconds of healthy foods.

That all by itself is kind of interesting actually because this morning my period crept up on me, and usually I would know it was coming, in spades! Normally I get cravings and insatiable hunger pre-menstrually, as well as being a bit of a moody cow (no, really!) So is it possible that the kind of food I've eaten heartily this week has actually had benefits beyond weight loss? Pulses, grains, vegetables, spices mainly. It may be worth me noting a lack of pasta in my diet this week, where normally I eat quite a lot. Hmmmmmmm. I've always known that I have a bit of a problem with bread and wheat based cereals (you know the one I mean!) in that they cause me to get heartburn and feel very bloated. Pasta doesn't have that effect on me, but maybe it is something I should keep an eye on, for future reference.

I already have a raft of wonderful meals planned for this week, and my fridge is chock full of beautiful fresh fruit and veggies. So I am aiming high and looking to get a shiny sticker next week :-)

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Recipe Post.

As promised, for Kath and Shauna.

Both recipes are taken from Slimming World publications and modified in some small way by me. Hoping I don't get in copyright trouble for posting them here! If I disappear, will anyone visit me in prison? ;)

Carrot & Lentil Soup

About 10 medium carrots peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
85g red lentils
85g pearl barley
2 pints of stock (I use chicken bovril)
salt & pepper to season

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil, simmer for about 90 mins, checking regularly and adding water if necessary (Tip: Don't walk the dogs while you do this!)

Blend, season, enjoy.

I likes my recipes simple, I do!

Quorn Curry

1 onion
1" piece fresh root ginger
2 garlic cloves
Small handful fresh coriander
2 Green chillis
Bag of Chicken Style Quorn Pieces
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Fry Light
1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
1/2 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp each ground cinnamon and paprika
1 tbsp mild or medium curry powder
1/4 tsp turmuric
400g can chopped tomatoes
1/2 pint stock (chicken Bovril, natch!)

1] Prepare the ingredients: finely chop the onion, grate the ginger, crush the garlic, chop the coriander, deseed and slice the chillis. (The recipe says season the chicken but I'm not sure applies to chunks of frozen Quorn....)

2] Fry the onion in Fry Light for 5-6 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic, cumin, ground coriander, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, paprika, curry powder and turmeric, and cook for 1-2 minutes.

3] Add the Quorn and cook for a few mins. Then add the tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 mins, stirring occasionally.

4] Remove from heat, season to taste, and serve garnished with freshly chopped coriander and sliced green chillies.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Rolling Rolling Rolling!

There's a bandwagon in town and I've jumped right on!

Cooking. I'd forgotten I'd learned to love this thing! OK it's early days and by tomorrow I might be saying "toast for tea!" but right now I'm fired up and cooking!

I haven't made the 3 bean chilli yet because I got distracted by the Curry booklet that came with the SW magazine. So yesterday I went to Sainsbury's and loaded my trolley with every conceivable spice, went home and made Quorn curry. OK the recipe was for chicken curry but since I don't do red days and need a load of carbs before I feel like I've eaten it had to be Quorn. I was nervous. Very nervous. I wasn't at all sure how this wild combination of spices could end well. In fact I wondered if it might be better eaten at the end of a night out with a pint of lager! But you know what? It was bloody gorgeous! If I had any Quorn in I would have made it again tonight! I have never made any kind of curry from scratch before because long lists of ingredients scare me quite a lot! But this long list was just all the spices.

As I type there is a pan of carrot and lentil soup simmering on the stove. There's a bit of improvisation in this recipe since I didn't have all the ingredients, but I can't see why it wouldn't work out just fine.

Did anyone watch Jamie Oliver's new programme - Ministry of Food? I wish someone like him had come to Cheshire and taught me this stuff years ago. It's pretty shocking seeing how badly people eat, and feed their kids. It made me stop and wonder why I didn't really have great cooking skills, since my mum was actually a pretty fine cook in her day. The reason is this: she used to make it seem horribly hard work. She'd be hot, bothered, stressed. She'd be in the kitchen for hours, and dishes I now know are pretty simple would seem to require a bewildering array of pots and pans and complicated processes (she used to leave the shepherds pie outside for some reason!) Certainly she never wanted her kids under her feet trying to learn how to cook. So I grew up with the idea that being in a kitchen was a form of hell. Therefore I consider it my duty to make my daughter think cooking is fun, and to this end she has just peeled and chopped all the carrots for the soup, and she helped me with all the spices for the curry.

Yes, that's it, I'm facilitating her learning. Not using her as slave labour at all ;)

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Fame Game

Week 38

Weight: 17st 10lb
Loss this week: 1lb
Total lost: 71.5lb

Humph! That felt like a lot of work for 1 pound off! I suppose not everything shows on the scales immediately though, so I maybe had really gained more than 1lb last week so have in reality lost more than 1 this week. Or something like that!

It's on the way down and that is of course the main thing. But I'm going to have to work extra hard this week now to be on track for my 10% off by Christmas!

The challenge this week is to try something new foodwise, so I am searching for a recipe that is cheap, simple and appealing. I have found one in this month's Slimming World magazine for 3 Bean Chilli. I already have most of the ingredients for that one in the cupboard so I may well try that tonight. I will report back on how it goes!

I forgot to mention last week, we had a press photographer at class who took a group photo of us...I would have been happier with a bit of lippy on but hey, maybe this is a lesson to me to be well groomed at all times, just in case! I don't know whether the picture appeared in last week's local paper because I forgot to buy it! I'd make a rubbish celeb!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

A Recipe for Success

This week is going along nicely. I've eaten healthily, lots of good walks leaving me the required "slightly out of breath" and I think I maybe may have lost a teeny bit of weight. The scales in my bedroom long ago ceased to be a reliable indicator though, so it's a case of fingers crossed!

Yesterday I dug out one of the recipe books I used loads way back at the beginning - I think my mojo is lurking within the well used pages of that book. Along with various food stains. That is the mark of a good recipe book though. A pristine recipe book is clearly not doing it's job!

I have decided to give you the recipe for the divine soup I ate yesterday. In the end it was nearly all I ate, it was so filling!

Sweetcorn and Coriander Soup


Fry Light
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
handful of fresh coriander or 2-3tsp dried coriander (I like a good handful of fresh, adjust to your own taste though!)
Large can of sweetcorn (I like the creamed variety best in this recipe)
3/4 pint of stock made with chicken Bovril or Vecon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh coriander to garnish


1] Spray a non stick saucepan with Fry Light and gently cook the onion and garlic for 5 mins until soft. Stir in the coriander and sweetcorn and continue cooking for 2-3 mins. Add the stock and simmer for 10 mins.

2] Transfer the soup into a blender (in small batches is safest!) and puree. Return to the pan and simmer for a few more minutes.

3]Season, serve and garnish.

How quick is that! The recipe in the book actually has pasta added but I tried that and thought it ruined a very nice dish. I like coriander a lot, but you can make it as mild or as strong a flavour as you like. For those of us on SW, it's free on green.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

A New Dawn

Week 37

Weight: 17st 11lb
Gain this week: 1lb
Total lost: 70.5lb

I never know quite what to say here when I've had a gain. I don't want to appear to be making excuses for my slip up, nor do I want to slip into negativity about the whole thing. Sometimes I may transiently feel negative but I'd prefer that not to be the overriding impression left on my blog!

So I will merely say here that I am really very much OK with a 1lb again,bearing in mind I haven't been to class for a fortnight, which just inevitably leads to a loss of discipline, and I know there have been enough times where I went off track for me to have fully earned a gain!

So no angst here, nothing to see, move along please!

I have decided that I'm going to have to shake things up a bit in order to keep this lifestyle going. Of late I have definitely slipped into a bit of a rut with regards to what I eat. Naturally that is going to get dull and dreary. There are a million wonderful healthy recipes out there, the shops are groaning under the weight of delicious ingredients. What I need to do is rediscover the excitement that I felt 6, 8 months ago and get experimenting! And revisit some of the recipes I adored when I was last feeling experimental too.

Last night at SW, Heather asked us all to set a mini goal for 3 months time, which takes us to Christmas. I'm not seeing my 15st by Christmas goal as achievable anymore, and that's OK, I'm not about to beat myself up over that when I have lost 5st so far! So I decided to make my goal to lose 10% of my body weight, which roughly equates to around 25lbs. When you start at SW, one of the early targets is to lose 10% of your weight as that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity related cancers. Club 10 was a brilliant award, I remember feeling really really excited about achieving that. So this now feels like a fresh start. Yesterday was the Autumn equinox so I have a brand new season, a new goal and a refreshed attitude.

You officially have my permission to kick my arse if I mess this up!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Testing, testing...

Apologies for the absence of words this week - I've been on a course in Manchester all week - long long days of filling my head with clever stuff, in the presence of people far cleverer than me. I now have 4 weeks in which to really really learn all the clever stuff before the first of 2 testing days. I wish I could show you the amount of information I have to learn. I'm quite overwhelmed!

Because of the course I wasn't able to get to weigh-in this week, so no update available on that score.

The venue of the course was most pleasing, and they provided an excellent range of food and refreshments. I was really really happy with the vegetarian choices, but I couldn't really have them because they weren't diet choices! The 2 things, sadly, are not synonymous. On day one there was a wild mushroom risotto, which I did eat, followed by cheese and fruit (or a fabulous looking chocolate gateaux which I resisted!) Day 2 was a Quorn moussaka which I thought looked wonderful. But I didn't eat it, I went to the salad bar instead. I followed with cheese and fruit again, resisting the fruit pie and custard option. Day 3 I wasn't so virtuous, I chose the lamb with olives and chorizzo because I can never afford to buy lamb and it's my most favourite meat in the whole wide world. And then I followed it with lemon meringue pie because of course the faulty wiring in my head inevitably leads me to say "I may as well, since I've already blown it....." So the bad news is that even on the days I made the healthiest choices I was not working to The Plan, but the good news is that I'm right back on it now, no question.

I'd best go and get my nose back in my books. My brain my explode with the amount of new information now held within. If that happens, at least I'll have eaten lamb before I died.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Slimmest town in Cheshire!

This week in my local paper there is an article saying that in our town we have lower rates of obesity than our neighbours. (inexplicably in the online version of the article they have included only the Before photo of Heather, my SW consultant! You shoud see how good she looks these days!) Just 6.6% of patients in our area suffer with obesity apparently. A pretty low figure when you put it in the context of headlines shreiking "Obesity Epidemic!" Since that headline puts nearly 25% of adults in the obesity bracket should we conclude that the obese are a healthy bunch, since such a small number are counted as patients? Or is our town incredibly slim and healthy, way way below the national average? Or is that just an attention grabbing headline with no basis in truth? Hmmmmmm....

My attention was grabbed by this:
A spokeswoman for East Cheshire PCT said: "We would expect to be in one of the lower bands due to the low level of deprivation in the area.

So deprivation is a recognised link to obesity. But is it really true that it's cheaper to eat rubbish? Sometimes when I'm handing over my hard earned for a few bags of fruit and veg it can certainly feel like it! But I decided I needed to be a bit more thorough with my research than that, so I have done a little leg work (finger work since it's all online?)

I have devised 2 meal plans. One healthy, one not so much. I then went with the shopping lists for the 2 plans to My Supermarket and priced up the shopping baskets for both. I assumed some basic store cupboard ingredients and took liberties with assuming not much in the way of cooking from scratch for the unhealthy week cos I'm lazy like that. On the "bad week" I took the cheapest options and on the "good week" I took the lowest calorie (the site software makes this easy!)

Bad week

Meat pie, chips and mushy peas
Pizza and garlic bread
Spaghetti Bolognaise
Egg, bacon, sausage, beans and fried bread
Sticky Sausage and Savoury Rice
Egg, chips and beans
Chippy tea! (I'll allow a tenner for that, but it may be less, I can't remember!)

I've added the ingredients for cereals for breakfast, sandwhiches for lunch, snacks and drinks.

Total spend: £52.99

Good Week

Stir fry Quorn, veg and rice
Spaghetti bolognaise made with Quorn
Vegetarian Chilli
Baked potato & cheesey beans
Eggs, SW chips and beans
Quorn Cottage pie
Meatballs and spaghetti

Additions to basket as above (but healthier!)

Total spend: £43.70

Hmmmm. Not a scientific study but it kind of belies the myth that it costs more to eat healthily don't you think!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Aspiring to Obesity!

Week 35

Weight: 17st 10lb
Loss this week: 2lb
Total lost: 71.5lb

Thank goodness, I re-earned my 5st award - I totally hate it when I have a gain that takes me above an award weight - it makes me feel a total fraud! So a big sigh of relief from me tonight!

Right I have my eye on the next 10lbs because last night at work I was looking at the BMI chart on the wall and apparently when I get to 17st I go from "Very Obese" to merely "Obese" so that will be a landmark moment for me. Who knew becoming Obese would be something to aspire to - those are the kind of life goals that seem achievable ;)

Way back in the beginning I mentioned that my husband had joined me in coming to Slimming World, but since then I haven't talked about his journey at all because he doesn't want to be "plastered all over the internet"! So I am just going to take a sentence to mention that he is doing really really well too, and that him being there with me has made my own journey that much easier. And a little healthy competition at the scales does no harm at all!

For those of you who wanted to see me in my specs, here's a bigger version of the tiny pic in my profile - excuse the lack of make up and hair a mess, it is a candid self portrait taken the day I got the glasses!

Finally an apology to Heather, my SW consultant. I know she hates it when people "Pay and Weigh" and don't stay to class. I feel like I'm doing just that quite a bit lately and my defense is that I am working Monday nights a lot, and there just isn't time to stay to class, feed us all, walk the dogs, sort Rebecca out for bed, get myself ready for work and still get there on time! So I do have to leave after weigh in on those days. Sorry. Next week is as bad, if not worse. Not sure about the week after!

Friday, 5 September 2008

It's the end of the world as we know it.

Thanks to Sara for posting this link in her lastest comment. It makes an interesting read and if nothing else it allows me to cut myself some slack when I've gained a little weight. Is that a good thing though? I think it may not be. Once the crushing disappointment of a gain has had chance to abate a little, I tend to get down to the serious business of putting it right. The information held in Why Scales Lie may just tempt me to make excuses and carry on with whatever unfortunate error led to the gain in the first place.

For those who can't be arsed to read the link, it is a very interesting and measured article on how and why weight can fluctuate by up to several pounds even in the course of just one day.

However, the author states that
Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn.
I'm going to have to question this. I really can't see that last week for example I consumed an extra 8500 calories in order to gain my 2.5lbs. I know a gain was probably justified because I was aware in the middle of the week of not eating properly according the SW plan. But that is one humungous amount of extra calories and I think I'd have noticed if I'd eaten them!

Oh my god, my brain couldn't let it lie at that. Nope. My brain had to think how many extra calories gets a person to 13st overweight. 637,000 is the answer. I definitely should have noticed eating them! Bet I didn't even enjoy them all.

Did you realise we only have 5 days left to live? Yep, apparently the world will end on September 10th 2008, when scientists will cause a black hole to consume the earth. (It's in The Sun so it has to be true, right?!) Well this begs a huge question. What will you do for your last 5 days on earth? I guess I'll be watching my diet, walking my dogs and mostly having fun with my daughter. Some of those nights will be spent working too. If I knew for a fact it was definitely my last 5 days on earth I'd eat cake, drink whatever the hell I could, have lots of sex and hold my family close. But I'm not a risk taker so I guess my final days will be like the 41 years that went before them.

If you want to watch a really cool simulation of the world ending, complete with most excellent Pink Floyd soundtrack, click here.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Should have gone to Specsavers.

Week 34

Weight: 17st 12lb
Gain this week: 2.5lb
Total lost: 69.5lb

Oops, it must have been a huuuuge scone! OK, it happened, the line is drawn, and it's back to it - I will do a food diary this week and make sure I weigh my Healthy Extras and syns, and count my syns before putting them in my mouth!

I've been having some trouble with my eyesight recently. Well for a while really if I'm honest. My eyes have been aching. Can't read close up stuff, can't read the on screen TV guide either. I struggled to read the dosage instructions on Rebecca's medicine last week and in my job you have to be able to read dosage instructions! Then today I had a blinding headache. My eyes throbbed! So I gave in and trotted off to Vision Express for an eyetest and discovered that I am in need of glasses for both close and distance - no flipping wonder I was struggling and my eyes hurt! So I will soon be the bemused owner of a pair of varifocal specs.

I see this as a new fashion opportunity - all those fabulous frames to choose from! The only problem is, the price made me suck air through my teeth - good thing I have just been paid or I'd have to be a month blinder before I could afford them. The glasses I have chosen are a very bold style - I didn't go for those discreet almost invisible spectacles. If I have to wear them, they will make a statement! And if people are looking at my specs, they won't be noticing my flabby belly hey! I just hope those frames don't weigh much...maybe I won't wear them on Mondays ;)

Saturday, 30 August 2008

The Self-Sabotage Fairy!

Grrrrr I'm so frustrated with myself! I know I'm in for a gain this week because I've allowed myself to be careless, to not monitor my food intake properly, to eat things without knowing the syn value first, and worst of all, to eat something I shouldn't because I'm with people who are eating. (Jam and cream scone if you want to know!)

I know these pitfalls exist. I know that if I fall into them I won't lose weight. I know what I have to do to reach my target. But the self-sabotage fairy is sitting on my shoulder whispering things like "you won't gain 2lbs just by eating a scone!" and "how much difference will it really make if there's a bit too much meat in the chilli" not to mention the all time humdinger "you deserve a treat!" How much do I hate that one!

I'm not writing the week off, I'm doing all I can to haul a loss from the jaws of a gain. But my scales, although unreliable, do tend to accurately show an upward or downward trend. And it's up this week.

On the plus side I'm walking enough to exhaust 2 greyhounds, to the point one of them lay down on the mat last night and refused to go out again when I put her lead on. Some personal trainer she is! ;)

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Creamy pudding and sympathy

Week 33

Weight: 17st 9.5lb
Loss this week: 1.5lb
Total lost: 72lb

Yay another loss! I've still got a very close eye on that "15st by Christmas" target and it is still achievable, but only if I keep my eye firmly on the ball now. There isn't a lot of room for slip ups if I want to make it, and I so do want to make it. Obviously if I don't, it won't be a disaster because I will still have lost a lot of weight over the course of a year, and no doubt at all that I will continue. But for motivation, you can't beat hitting targets! I've always worked very well to a deadline so I think it's time to really see my deadline approach and tackle it head on now!

Last week Dietgirl showed us her recipe for Eton Mess, substituting 2% greek yoghurt for the whipped cream, and I vowed to make it. Not only did I make it, I served it to guests and it went down a storm! I have had the real deal in all it's creamy sugariness, and the low fat version is every bit as nice, no question. And takes a couple of minutes to make. For other Slimming World followers out there, I used the Total 0% greek yoghurt which is of course free food, as are the strawberries. And I used meringue nests from Sainsbury's which are 2.5 syns each. So if you allow 1 meringue per person that's an delicious sweet creamy pudding for a measly 2.5 syns. Well it would be rude not to make it really!

Finally today I'm going to use my blog to whip up a little sympathy for my poor daughter who, at 6 years of age, is suffering with shingles. I didn't even know kids could get it! Poor baby, she is doing really well but she is in pain. Lots of love and very gentle hugs for Rebecca, get well soon baby xxxxxxx

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Talking of great underwear...

I took this photo so you could all point and laugh at the state of my gorgeous Bravissimo bra. But when I looked at the picture I spotted something much much more exciting!

Look! I have collar bones!!

I suddenly feel all feminine and delicate ;) I still need to go bra shopping though!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Undress the Nation

As promised, a thoughtful and considered post today - I have been pondering my thoughts on this one for a few days.

I recently saw a "debate" on a parenting forum entitled "Celebrating Obesity?" and the subject matter was Trinny & Suzannah's recent programme featuring size 16+ women and their struggles to find flattering clothing. It's still available to view on ITV's website if you missed it as I did, and want to watch.

The focus of the programme was (in my eyes) helping larger women find flattering clothes that would make them feel and look good. The focus of the debate in question was how unhealthy they all are and how could anyone think it was OK to celebrate their fatness. And because one of the "fat women" (she is a size 18, I'm still aspiring to that!) made a throw away comment about designers only catering to "size 10 freaks", slim women got all up in arms about "thinnism".

So here's my critique of the programme, in all it's glory.

First of all, I have to say I did cringe at the size 10 freaks comment. I'm sure the woman who made it would love to be a size 10 freak and I'm also sure it was made in jest, with an undercurrent of jealousy maybe. But not a great way to get people on your side! Another thing I found very cringe worthy was Trinny & Suzannah donning fat suits to go on a shopping trip with 2 of the ladies. That was patronising and unnecessary. They could still have seen how hard it is to find good clothes without the fat suits. But the women on the show didn't appear to feel patronised by it so hey, who am I to judge!

Having discovered that you can't buy a size 22 evening dress easily on the high street, they then confronted a group of retailers about their offerings. Now this is another part I just didn't like. I saw no point at all in asking representatives from stores that do not in anyway cater for the 16+ market to turn up. They don't have to sell plus size ranges, any more than they have to sell sausages for god's sake! Better to concentrate on the retailers who do profess to sell larger ranges, but make a dog's ear of it in my humble opinion. Naturally they offended the retailers by ripping into their ranges which I guess is their confrontational style, but certainly it wouldn't be mine.

On to the intersting part of the show - this is why we watch - looking at how to dress to flatter the shape of our bodies. Empire line dresses, good underwear (and oh my god what a difference good underwear makes!) and bizarrely jackets that won't fasten! Yes, you read that right...they put big busted ladies in coats and jackets 2 sizes too small so they won't fasten, to allegedly give a smaller appearance.

Not. Convinced.

A group of fashion students designed a range of clothing for the women, which inevitably needed lots and lots of adjustment before the garments where anything approaching flattering. But in the end they did a good job and the women looked great. And it was bloody heart warming to see that they felt great too, so much so that many of them were reduced to tears. It takes a hard hearted woman to watch that and then say they shouldn't celebrate because they are so unhealthy (Does anyone really think the debaters really give a damn about the health of these women?!)

Representatives from Evans and Elvi where wheeled out to view the collection and declared themselves impressed. They were very gracious considering their own ranges had been under the spotlight at the start of the show.

Here's the thing though. Even I can see that it would be very hard for a high street retailer to replicate the cut and fit of the tailor made garments shown. We don't all have the same shape so one size is never ever going to fit all. So if they were to go off and try to make an off the peg evening dress for size 22 women, how could it ever fit and flatter in the same way as the bespoke dress that has been fitted and tailored for the one woman who will wear it? I'm sure the same is true in a size 10, but does the problem not scale up with the size? I suspect it would.

So are we about to see an influx of fabulous fitted clothes in Evans? Well I will watch and see, but somehow I doubt it.

But great underwear - we can all do that!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Hang out the bunting!

Week 32

Weight: 17st 11lb
Loss this week: 4lb
Total lost: 70.5lb

Imagine me here doing a little happy dance - ok a big big happy dance! I smashed the 18st barrier that has held me back for so so long, and grabbed myself a shiny 5st award into the bargain - I bloody knew last week's gain was just an anomoly! Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah! (I was sort of singing that!)

I can't do a big flashy entry right now, sadly, because I have guests (and apparently my chilli is standing at number 1 on the leader board!). So I will return with a thoughtful and considered post in the next day or so.


Saturday, 16 August 2008

Red Alert

Today I am having a "red alert day" which means, in a nutshell that I am having very strong food cravings and in my battle to keep the "bad" food at bay, I risk seriously overeating anyway! Aaarrrrrgh!

I'm craving sugary carbs it seems. How Rebecca's Frosties made it from the kitchen to her belly without diverting to mine this morning I will never know (her bowl may have been 1 spoonful light...!) And then there's the breadbin, which contains a wealth of opportunities - jam butties, cheese on toast, toast and jam, did I mention cheese on toast, oh, and look, there's crunchy peanut butter - uh oh!

So how am I managing it? Well I had toast, as perfectly allowed, but this means I've eaten into my Healthy Extra allowance for the day right at the very start, which is often bad news. And I used syns to have some butter and jam on it, same problem as the toast really. I followed with a big chunk of melon to try to get the sweet hit without the damage. And I have filled up on savoury rice for lunch and then took the dogs for a very long walk indeed. The dogs are in a state of collapse on the living room floor now, and I do actually feel much much better.

So. Sweet sugary carbs bad, didn't stop the cravings at all. Long walks good, crisis possibly averted. Must remember that lesson for next time!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Happy Healthy Eating.

Thank you for all your lovely supportive comments on my "Woe is Me" post on Monday! Have no fear, I remain firmly committed, am fully on track and in fact my scales do show a small loss this morning so fingers crossed this was just a mad diet anomoly sent to test my mettle!

I *will* do this!

I don't talk about what I eat very much so I have decided a food post is in order. In order to be successful on the Slimming World plan, I have had to make a real effort to re-educate my palate. If you are not familiar with the plan, basically there are 2 ways to go - red days mean plentiful lean meat, fish, fruit and veg, and a very modest allowance of brown pasta, or wholemeal bread, or potato cooked in a healthy way. Green days allow for an abundance of pasta, rice, potato, and pulses, fruit & veg, and of course a small allowance for meat, wholemeal bread and other healthy choices. Once you've read and understood the plan, it's very simple and you soon get into the swing of it. Initially I tried a more or less equal mix of red and green days, but I found that red days left me craving carbs, feeling generally hungrier, and my purse much lighter! So I quickly moved to 99.99% green days which suit me very well.

My new best friend is Quorn. I used to think the mushroomy stuff was vile beyond redemption, but it is just a case of finding the right products to ease into it and then only a matter of time before your favourite thing at tasting sessions are the ones made with Quorn! The product that swung me round was Southern Style Burgers. At 2.5 Syns each (from a daily allowance of up to 15 Syns) they are syns well spent. Lots of the other burger type products are wonderful too, as of course are the Quorn mince and Chicken Style Pieces. I am afraid the bangers are still vile and disgusting though!

I am a fan of a lot more vegetables these days too. I have always loved fruit so no learning curve to speak of there, but veg has perhaps not featured highly enough in my diet down the year. There's nothing I like more now though than a delicious serving of roast veg - I use whatever veg is lying around in my kitchen but I especially like root veg.

And homemade soups - mmmmmmmmmm! Lunch today will be homemade sweetcorn soup with coriander and it is to die for! Roll on lunchtime! And for tea, egg, beans and SW chips. Happy days!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Oh dear.

Week 31

Weight: 18st 1lb
Gain this week: 0.5lb
Total lost: 66.5lb

Somehow I've gained a half a pound this week, and I don't know why because I've been totally on track, and exercised, done the best I can really. This is a major psychological blow because I've been 18 something for a very long time now - I think I arrived here in May. I've been fine with the gains I expected, where I'd been off plan, but it's much harder to accept this. I'm afraid I didn't stay to class because I needed to escape to lick my wounds.

I still feel like crying if I'm honest.

Sorry for the woe is my post, I'll try harder next time!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Gok, Gok, Wherefore art thou, Gok?

Following on from my post about my clothes not fitting I have had a meander round the shops to see if I can pick up a few pieces. I came home empty handed because a: I don't really quite know what size I am, b: I'm not accustomed to shops other than Evans so I felt very much out of my comfort zone and c: I just don't know what suits me now!

I have established that fitted tops look good on me, enhancing the "hourglass" part of my shape. But I can't get much beyond that. I tried on a shirt in Dorothy Perkins that was fabulous - fitted in at the waist, slight flare over the hips, detailing at the bust to draw attention to my best (though shrinking away!) assets. And then the whole look was destroyed by the sleeves. Puff sleeves. That ended at the fattest part of my upper arms. My eye was drawn right there and they looked extra extra large surrounded by puff sleeves!

Undeterred, I find another nice fitted shirt, but this one lacked the detail that showed my best bits. OK it lacked the detail that showed my worst bits too, but why couldn't we have compromised! A couple of Tshirts later I was losing heart and didn't even bother with the trousers I had picked up.

Trousers. A whole other minefield. Too short or too long. Jeans are not a good look on me, but oh so practical, unless the hems are trailing in the puddles, which is most of the time since it's August! And then there's the whole gaping waist issue going on.

I really don't know what shape skirts I should be looking for, I mean I seriously have no clue. I've hidden away in dark trousers for so long. I do have a couple of skirts but I don't feel especially comfortable in them and can never wait to get them off and get comfy at the end of the day.

So what I need is a Gok in my pocket, to help me throw a few key pieces together and make me look fabulous right here and now!

Gok, if you're reading (if not, why not??) help me please!!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Let them Eat Cake!

Week 30

Weight: 18st 0.5lb
Loss this week: 3.5lb
Total lost: 67lb

Yay I lost all my gains! That's a good result, I'm happy as I can be with that. Now to get the SW scales to say 17 something. My own scales, that have pretty much consistently weighed me 2lb lighter than SW for the last 30 weeks or so have had me at 17 something for about 3 weeks now! According to them I was 17st 9lb 30 mins before official weigh in. Why have they forsaken me! I guess this means I can't trust them anymore. Maybe my secret scale hopping days are due to end. I'll stop soon. Maybe when the difference becomes really bad..... ;)

At SW tonight I heard a lot of negative language around food and eating..."I was bad" "I've only myself to blame" "It's all my fault" and similar. I hate that food, which is both essential for life, and an absolute pleasure, becomes a sin, a guilty secret, a stick with which to beat ourselves. If there is a problem inherent with slimming clubs I would say it is that it does seem to make people beat themselves up in this way. I don't know about other classes, but this certainly doesn't stem from our consultant. I've never heard Heather berate anyone for their choices. And it is a choice. Stay on plan, Food Optimise 100% and lose weight most weeks, or cut loose, eat and drink what you fancy, and deal with a gain.

My advice (for what that's worth!)is this. If you choose to cut loose and take the gain, enjoy it, don't feel guilty. Just get back on track as soon as possible. Get that line drawn and move on! Life is way way to short to waste it feeling guilty about eating a cake.

Just make sure the cake is a really really good one.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Comfy Slippers

I am delighted to be able to report, more or less half way through this week, that I have slipped comfortably and easily back into The Plan. It was like putting on my comfy old slippers, no pain or angst involved. Phew! Always good to know you have things under control. I feel better when I'm eating better. It feels odd for me to say this, but I could feel every bit of those 2 extra pounds I gained while I was away. I felt bloated and sluggish and remarkably my heartburn had returned with a vengeance. I never would have believed that 2lbs could make such an impact to be honest. I doubt I've shed them yet, but I have already lost the heartburn again and feel lighter and slimmer deep down inside!

I'm feeling a bit of clothes angst at the moment though. Nothing is quite the right size. My work uniforms are too big, my jeans are too big, my skirts are too big. My tops are mainly OKish, and I have a few pairs of trousers in the "Can do them up but they feel too tight" category so I have something to shrink into. But right here right now I feel a bit of a scruff to say the least! I need a clothes fairy godmother to regularly replace the stuff in my wardrobe and drawers with clothes that fit and look good. For free, obviously.

On the subject of clothes, I whipped out my fat trousers for a laugh (the one pair I kept for the special photo at the end when all the weight is lost)and I can already almost get both legs into the one leg of the trousers - those things are huuuuuge! I'd love to tell you they were baggy on me.

But I can't.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Judgement Day!

Week 29

Weight: 18st 4lb
Gain this week: 2lb
Total lost: 63.5lb

I got home from our camping trip yesterday tanned, grubby, knackered, and 2lb heavier. 2lb, that's fine. Better than fine. I essentially relaxed and ate what was available when I was hungry for a whole week. Oh yes, I may have only camped for 4 nights but I couldn't rev myself up to be bothered on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday either. So it could have been much much worse. I'm actually seeing it as a very positive little gain because in the past I would easily have gained half a stone if I cut loose from The Plan. 2lb indicates to me that there were some internal checks and balances at work stopping me from going wild in the country.

I feel a need to address the issue of my relationship with food here. My desire to cut loose on holiday wasn't born from a need to eat more or eat badly in order to enjoy myself. It was out of a desire to not have to spend my break worrying about food, about finding a way to fit in with everyone else. I wanted to be able to stop on a visit somewhere for lunch and grab a sandwich from a shop to eat in the park. I confess to an icecream in the park one day, with everyone else. In other words I wanted, for just those few days, for food to be an absolute non issue, thought about or discussed only when strictly necessary. Isn't that how it is for normal (thin!) people?

I'm now 100% back on plan, happy to be eating healthily, looking forward to my bowl of strawberries and yoghurt later. And I'm also excessively delighted to have found a stockist of Warburtons All in One which is a white bread loaded with all the fibre and goodness of wholemeal. 2 slices from the medium 800g loaf is 1 Healthy Extra B plus 1 syn. You can only understand how ecstatic this has made me if you have spent over 6 months managing your toast and bread needs on 2 slices from a 400g loaf of wholemeal. Breadtastic!

My aim for this week is to lose all of the 3 1/2lbs I have gained over the last 2 weeks. Wish me luck!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Then there were 2

Week 28

Weight: 18st 2lb
Gain this week: 1.5lb
Total lost: 65.5lb

It's been a week of ups and downs. All week I felt ridiculously hungry. I'd eat a hearty meal and 2 hours later I felt almost sick with hunger. It was hard to keep making the right choices, but I managed to do so right through till Friday evening, when I just caved in and ate something that appealed rather than what I knew I could or should eat. It was so good that I can't even remember what I ate now. Unfortunately though that set the tone for the weekend, and I had some cake, some chips and even some sweets over the next couple of days. On Friday it would have been redeemable. By Sunday I knew it wasn't anymore, and there would be a price to pay on the scales. I actually feel fairly relieved the price is as low as 1.5lbs!

I'd love to say to you that I am now 100% back on track and a dead cert to lose again this week. But if I'm going to be honest, I'm going away for 4 nights on Thursday and I don't have any strong plans to be too inconvenienced by trying to stay on plan. I know that's not a fabulous attitude, but it's probably the only holiday I'll afford this summer so dammit I'm going to relax and enjoy it! I promise that normal service will be resumed as of next week.

In better news this weekend, I bought some stuff in the Next sale. For me!! That's never happened before!

Also quite exciting this weekend was a new addition to our family. Lola is 2 years old and is half sister to Barney. When she turned up at Greyhound Gap it would have been impossible for me to look away! She looks like a younger, smaller and prettier version of Barney, and they look so good together. But my goodness she is a different personality! Barney is so laid back you'd hardly know he was there, except for the weight of him leaning against your leg! Lola is bouncy and cheeky and very very nosey, and oh so very greedy! I have spent the better part of today wrestling various food and non-food items from her jaws, including a yo-yo which had me worried!!

There'll never be a dull moment now!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Friday Night Ponderings.

This post follows neatly on from my last, in relation to BMI and body size.

I've noticed that when I look in a mirror these days, the woman looking back at me appears to be a fairly "normal" size woman. OK yes still an overweight woman, but even so, I feel as though my current body size and shape conforms more easily to the norms of society. I don't think I would draw any gasps of amazement or furtive looks of disgust. That's a pretty nice feeling, and I'm not sure when it happened.

Now here's a mystery. How come I am now, at 18st or so, wearing a size 20. I'm pretty certain that shouldn't be so. I'm as sure as I can be that in days of yore an 18st woman would have been more like a size 24 or 26. Vanity sizing? I'm not sure that entirely accounts for it. I am happily wearing a waterproof coat that I bought about 10 years ago. It was from Next and I recall being pretty jubilant about being able to buy it from Next at the time. I would have weighed maybe 15st, maximum. So it is as though my body is physically smaller per pound than 10 years ago. Is that weird or what!

Of course this begs the question of where my goal weight will fall. What will my "Happy Weight" be? I have a feeling it will be higher than those pesky BMI charts would like.

Of course it could just be that I'm delusional. That's OK too. As long as it keeps a smile on my face, it's all good!

Monday, 14 July 2008

Lazy, in so many ways!

Week 27

Weight: 18st 0.5lb
Loss this week: 1.5lb
Total lost: 67lb

Oooh that's getting me close to the 17 somethings! In actual fact, because my scales at home weigh me marginally lighter than those at my Slimming World class, I am already at 17st something at home - hurray! That evil 20 something is starting to feel a safe-ish distance away now, it's increasingly unlikely that I'll just wake up in the morning and find myself back there. Phew!

I was asked by a fellow SW member tonight how I'm going on at the gym, and I had to admit with horror that I haven't been there since my Race for Life - that's over 3 weeks ago! Shame on me. How easy it is to slide out of the routine, to break the good habits and return to the bad. My only defence is that I am getting plenty of walks courtesy of Barney the greyhound. But he's quite lazy actually and tires before me - we did about 2.5k this morning and he was knackered for the rest of the day! Bless! Maybe I'll have to build his stamina up so he can do my next 5k race with me. Maybe he should build mine up so I could actually run it ;-)

I'm very tired right now, having worked last night, so I'm going to take the lazy way out of this blog entry and direct you to a fellow blogger. Sharon has written a very thought provoking entry on the subject of weight and women's tendency to lie about it, making it very hard to identify what a normal healthy weight is for those of us looking for a target! Her post ends with a link to a series of images of many women of various weights, and their label of underweight, normal, overweight, obese or morbidly obese. It's worth spending the time it takes to scroll through every image - some will astound you I promise.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Pasta Queen Avert Your Eyes!

Pasta Queen Jeanette has posted a link to this article, while categorically refusing to read it. I can totally see why - nobody wants to read something that suggests that they are genetically doomed to fail! However I have taken the "Knowledge is power" approach and greedily devoured the article in lieu of a burger. And actually I find it quite uplifting. It's good to be told that it's not all my own fault that I'm fat, that down the years I have self sabotaged all the good work I have ever done in losing weight.

Did you hear that? It's not all my own fault!

I feel really liberated by that. I don't have to blame myself, beat myself up, hate myself if I gain a few pounds. I'm not weak, lazy or greedy. If I'd have known and understood the evolutionary process that leads us to self sabotage, I may have been able to deal with it years ago.

For anyone not bothered about reading the article, the gist is that by losing 10% of our body fat no matter whether we are fat or thin to start with, we experience a drop in leptin levels which causes a series of physiological changes as our bodies to attempt to claw it back ASAP. In fact, in evolutionary terms, I'd be a survivor!

Dr. Leibel also says that people should understand that regaining lost weight "is not free will. It's biologically determined and the species that didn't have this are the ones you see in the Museum of Natural History."

Suck on that, skinny birds who think it's all about less calories, more exercise!

OK I've come back to edit this a bit, by adding that I realise evolution can't explain how I got to over 300lbs, but it certainly helps explain why it's so hard to maintain a weight loss. As I said earlier, knowledge is power and if we know what is likely to happen and why, we can be prepared for it.

Monday, 7 July 2008

5 Good Reasons

Week 26

Weight: 18st 2lb.
Loss this week: 2.5lb
Total lost: 65.5lb

6 months in, time for reflection. How has losing 65.5lbs affected me in real terms?

1: Clothes. I have a choice. I don't have to go to Evans for all my clothes. Actually that dress in my previous post is from Evans, but it didn't have to be. I had a choice. You don't know how big a deal that is unless you have been in the position of having no choice.

2: Self esteem. 65.5lbs ago my self esteem was low. I wouldn't say non existent, but certainly low. Now I feel like I could conquer the world. I smile more, I chat in the playground more, I go out and do more. Life is good.

3: Exercise. A little over 6 months ago I did nothing. I eyed stairs with trepidation. The car was my friend, and I made ridiculous excuses to use it as often as possible! Now I can run up stairs without a second thought, I am happy to go on long walks, and will even break into a jog. I enjoy exercise now! My car is using a lot less petrol - I wonder why!

4: Health. I was lucky really, in that my health hadn't obviously suffered despite my weight. The only tangible health benefit I can identify is that I stopped suffering from heartburn and acid reflux a few stones ago. I used to have to take regular medication to prevent hydrochloric acid searing my oesophagus on a daily basis. And now I don't. The less tangible benefits to my health are a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, strokes and obesity related cancers. What a bonus!

5: Blogging! I get to tap into my creative streak and write all this stuff down! I love blogging, and it shines through for me as a totally unexpected bonus of my weight loss. So expect to see me here for a long time yet :-)

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Dress Toes & Hair!

By popular demand, a photo post. Who am I to ignore the requests of my public ;-)

Friday, 4 July 2008

Sparkly Toes

Today, in celebration of the weight I've lost so far, I treated myself to a non-food reward. I went for a professional pedicure. This took almost as much nerve as going to the gym all those months ago, somehow I don't feel like I deserve to be in a beauty salon amongst all those young slim perma-tanned girls. But I wanted a pedicure, I wanted my feet to be rewarded for carrying me successfully for all these years!

I have to say it was bliss. My feet have never, in 41 years, had an hour and a half of non stop attention lavished upon them. They have been soaked, exfoliated, moisturised, polished and sparkled and it was a most relaxing way to spend the morning. And I now have bright red toenails with gems on - how sexy is that!

I've also had a haircut today, and bought a new dress to hang in my empty wardrobe. The dress is way too nice for me. I will wear it to a party tonight and then the plan is I will dress it down, add a brown belt instead of the shiny one supplied and make it daywear. But whether I am realistically able to carry such a glamorous daytime look remains to be seen. I hope so, I do love it!

In other news, Rebecca hopped on the scales yesterday. I am now able to say that I have lost a whole one of her! Look at her photo over there <-------- that's how much weight I've lost! I can still give her a piggyback, but I wouldn't want to be carrying her around full time!

Monday, 30 June 2008

Out with the Old!

Week 25

Weight: 18st 4.5lb.
Loss this week: 2.5lb
Total lost: 63lb

Yay! That's 4 1/2 stone, a nice shiny sticker, and I'm back!!

I decided to have a fresh new look on my blog, and a fresh new look in my wardrobe! So I had a massive sort out of my wardrobe at the weekend. Here are all my fat clothes, and my wardrobe now. The bag of fat clothes is full to bursting point - fat clothes take up a lot of space! My smaller clothes look almost non existant only because they are so small that they just disappear!

If I gain a pound, I'll have nothing at all to wear! (Obviously I have kept 1 pair of fat pants - I'm aware of my obligation to be photographed in one leg of them when I reach target!)

Let me know if you like the blog's new look - I'm not 100% decided yet.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Elephant in the Room

I suppose I ought to talk about the elephant in the room - what an unfortunate choice of phrase to use on a fat blog ;-) The elephant to which I refer is of course my gain of 2lbs this week. My first gain in fact, and a slight blow to the smooth run through the 18s that I had hoped for.

OK first let me get my feeble excuse out of the way. On Friday, before I did anything "wrong" at all, I felt fat and bloated. I told my friend I felt fat and bloated and we pondered the probability of it being a hormonal issue. 6 days later I'm thinking I might have to rule that out though.

I suppose the real problem is that after my victorious race on Saturday morning, I "deserved" treats and I "deserved" to celebrate with my friends by eating my body weight in pizza. I also "deserved" to wash that pizza down with a hefty dose of alcohol. I forgot in the heat of the moment that what I really deserved was to see a loss on the scales on Monday, and so blew my chances of that happening.

Was it worth it? Well, I had a good time, I enjoyed my treats and it was good to cut loose and not think about what I was doing too much so yes in that respect it was worth it. Just as long as I don't look back on this episode sometime in the future and recognise it as the beginning of the end. If that happens, then no, it wasn't worth it.

Let the record show that I *am* currently back on track, but that I am feeling more hungry than usual, which is where my fear comes from. I think I have it under control but my next trip to the scales will be the acid test. I'm aiming to lose those 2 horrible fatty pounds plus an extra half - I feel I need a sticker and 2 1/2lbs will get me a nice shiny 4 1/2stone one!

Monday, 23 June 2008

New Personal Trainer

Week 24

Weight: 18st 7lb.
Gain this week: 2lb (Celebratory pizza!)
Total lost: 60.5lb

My new personal trainer goes by the name of Barney. Barney is a 5 1/2 year old ex racing greyhound who came to us on Saturday afternoon, via www.greyhoundgap.org.uk

Now I know he looks like a lazy lump not even capable of quite getting quite as far as walking through the door, but the reality is he makes me get up in the morning and take him for a nice walk, and a second one later in the day. And he wouldn't say no if I took him to the park inbetween. Fresh air and exercise - much more fun than going on the treadmill 3 times a week I can promise you!

I really have to big up the work of Greyhound Gap here. Not only do they rescue these beautiful dogs, but they work tirelessly to make sure they find a happy forever home. Foster carers home the dogs until the right home comes along, and consequently they have fantastic knowledge of how the dog behaves around kids, other animals, alone in the house, out on walks, etc etc. Barney has come to us neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, deflead, dewormed, housetrained and just divine! Special thanks to Mike and Judy who were his foster parents - what amazing work they do,before handing the dogs over to their forever home. If you ever feel you could give a good home to a dog, consider Greyhound Gap.

Now I've done the Race for Life, I have to keep a promise to complete a new challenge. Dietgirl invited her readers to join her in doing the One Hundred Push Ups challenge, which takes you from zero to 100 in 6 weeks allegedly. That's good because zero is the exact amount of pushups I can officially do as of this morning. So why the hell not - I'm in. I start today. Anyone else going to join in?