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!