Wednesday, 30 September 2009

28th September
Weight: 18st 4lbs
Gain this week: 2lbs
Total Loss: 4st 7 1/2lbs
Blood Pressure: 125/87

Well at least my blood pressure's gone in the right direction!

I was a bit gutted at the scale on Monday, I wasn't expecting a 2lb gain. But standing back and looking at things in the cold light of day, I can see how it happened.

First of all, couple a woman with PMT with the week before payday, and you tend to get a sub-optimal diet! I took in a lot of poor quality carbs over the weekend, mainly in the name of staving off the chocolate cravings, but I will confess to having cup-a-soup and *gasp* white bread! (The cupboard was bare, I had the choice of that or tinned peas....)

And then there is the whole cholesterol thing. I have found that the food I am supposed to eat to reduce bad / increase good cholesterol is highly likely to actually have increased my calorie intake. For example the Benecol yoghurts are 2 syns each, and you're meant to have 3 servings per day for the health effect to kick in. And I don't normally tend to have the Healthy Extra A choices, but now I'm eating porridege every morning, that's lots of milk (calories!) my body isn't used to having. And that "little" glass of red wine a few nights a week - well the syns are mounting up at an alarming rate!

So my plan for this week is to be more careful! I've found the Benecol drinks - only 1 serving per day required, and still 2 syns each, which means I can go back to my Muller Lite yoghurts which are syn free. And I'm going to have to measure that glass of wine ;)

I am away at the weekend - we are having a girly night in a hotel, which will include drinks and "snacks" so the scales may not be a cause for celebration next week either. But at least I'll be giving it my all for the rest of the time - the balance will be better!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Weights and Measures.

21st September
Weight: 18st 2lbs
Loss this week: 4 1/2lbs
Total Loss: 4st 9lbs
Blood Pressure: 181/103

Today I have started medication (2.5mg Lisinopril)for the blood pressure, so I'm taking the liberty of using my blog as a diary for that as well as my weight. And since I'm being cheeky, the least I can do is return to comprehensive detailing of my actual weight and loss. So there it is in black and white, for all time.

I told you being catapulted into middle age was good for focus! 4 1/2 lbs off and Slimmer Of The Week (SOTW). Mind you, there were others in the class with losses as good, and better than mine, my advantage was only that I also had a loss last week. So well done to them too. Part of the SOTW prize booty is a bag of assorted fruit and other food donated by the class members. One of the items is a bag of beetroot crisps which apparently comes in at 3 syns. I'm eyeing them with interest and caution..if they satisfy crisp cravings then they are a wonderful discovery indeed. But beetroot?! Well, I'll try them, maybe tonight at work, and report back.

I have also left class today with a wealth of tasty fish recipes - lots of delicious suggestions and I can't wait to try some of them. I'm particularly looking forward to baked salmon with sweet chilli sauce, and fish curry. I do like a nice curry! I am loving Porridge at the moment, made with Scott's Porage Oats. What a tasty hearty breakfast, it properly sets me up for the day. It's a slight faff to make when you are running round in the morning trying to get even 1 small child to school in time, but very worth it I feel, on balance.

There's a shiny new recipe book in my bag - if all goes well, I shall do a recipe post later this week. If it doesn't go so well, I can tell you about that too ;)

Friday, 18 September 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the wall.....

Well there's nothing like being launched into "high risk for cardiovascular disease" to focus the mind - I could no more eat a pizza right now than fly to the moon. (when I say right now, I use the term loosely since it's barely 9:30 in the morning!)

In addition to the high blood pressure, I now know I have high bad cholesterol and low good cholesterol. The odds are stacking against me. Good job I don't smoke and am not diabetic, or I'd have the full set of risk factors!

So, cholersterol then. I'm struggling to think of what I can now cut out to help matters. I scarcely touch meat these days, maybe once a week maximum. I can't remember the last time I used any kind of fat other than Fry Light to cook. I eat tons of fresh fruit and veg, pulses, grains, a variety of beans and only very low fat dairy products. Even when I was off track and gaining, I wasn't down the chippy every night, nothing even close to that unhealthy.

Raising the good cholesterol concerns me a little bit too - oily fish seems to be the way forward but I'm not a huge fish fan (although I did actually have fish for tea last night before I even knew this latest news.)I will have to do my research!

Many years ago, when I was a student nurse, we were taught about Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs, the premise of which is that as humans we need our physiological need for food, water, shelter etc fulfilled before we are able to address our higher needs such as the need for love and personal achievement. It's all a bit woolly now, it is 23 years since I looked at it! But I've remembered it this week because I have found myself floundering at the lower levels involving health, and so unable to focus on any higher needs. It's astonishing how much these simple test results have adjusted my own view of myself. I feel mildly embarrassed about myself and suddenly the reflection in the mirror looks like an imposter - that person who I still perceive as being young and full of opportunity in my reflection bears no relation to the person who's blood pressure is 166/118 and has high cholesterol. The two identities are incompatable.

So I'm looking a little bit harder at the mirror, and who is that I see? Why, it's my mum!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Too Little, Too Late?

A very lovely 3lb loss this week, definitely in the right direction now!

But is it too little, too late? Well it's never too late as they say, and apparently every little helps! But maybe if I had done a lot more a lot sooner I wouldn't now be back from the GP with a raft of blood tests to be done, and the strong probability of a lifetime of medication for high blood pressure.

The high blood pressure was an accidental finding, although if I'm honest I've been feeling less fit, more tired, maybe even a little breathless on relatively little exercise of late. I put it down to the slight increase in my weight over the summer. I felt as though I'd crossed an invisible line between fit and unfit, that one particular pound gained must be a pound too far. And maybe that is so, and maybe in a few weeks this problem will magically melt away with the pounds.

What happened was this:

I had a crack in my tooth at the start of the summer holidays, and I preferred to wait if I possibly could until Rebecca was back at school before I had the dental work done. This meant I was taking Ibuprofen regularly for some weeks, and eventually I suffered some painful gastric side effects. So I popped off to the doc for a remedy for that, and while I was there she checked my BP. The reading was very high, but at that point she dismissed it as being her "useless machine", prescribed my some meds for my gastric pain and sent me on my way. However, I'm a cardiac nurse with a pretty strong family history of cardiovascular disease, and I wasn't happy to just be fobbed off, so over the last week or so I have been using the Coronary Care equipment to monitor my own BP while I've been at work and readings have without fail been depressingly high.

So I trotted back to the GP with a list of my recent blood pressures this morning and I have to have lots of blood tests, get an eye health check, keep monitoring my BP, and return when the results are back. I can't decide whether it would be better to find something (treatable!) wrong with the blood tests that would explain the BP, or for it to just be one of those things and for the BP to need lifelong treatment. But I know I feel utterly weird about a future that includes me having to say, when asked about my health, "I have hypertension".

Reading that back, it sounds like a cascade of health issues and I sound so unhealthy - I have never been unhealthy and poor health would be a very bad fit on me. I won't stand for it!

But I lost 3lb this week :)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Cut off at the Legs!

Well I haven't literally been cut off at the legs, but it certainly feels like it. My car isn't working - the radiator is like a leaky sieve, and since it's already been patched up a couple of times recently, I'm starting to think a new radiator may be the way forward. So in the meantime I am having to walk everywhere or rely getting a lift at the odd time I can. The walking part isn't so bad in itself, all good exercise. The trouble arises when you've got the shopping, and you forgot the car wasn't in the car park, and home is all uphill...oh, and don't forget the whining child who thinks the world is ending because you've got to walk the mile or so home! Walking for leisure and exercise is lovely. Walking home from town with the groceries is, I have discovered, a form of hell on earth.

So what I am doing a lot of at the moment is trying to make a tasty healthy meal out of whatever is in the cupboard and that is remarkably hard! My cupboards are very full, but somehow nothing seems to come together to make a meal. The other day I was thwarted for the want of an onion - how frustrating is that!

What I need is some planning, organisation and a good stock of useful ingredients rather than random tins of soup and veg. I don't even like tinned veg, they are an abomination! If I do some meal planning, I can do my grocery shopping online and have it delivered to my kitchen - a process I have resisted until now because I like to go and choose my own produce, but all of a sudden this seems like a damn fine idea!

I went to SW last night (late, because of no car!) and lost 4lb. This is a nice chunk of my summer holiday gain gone. I've got nothing standing between me and success from now until the end of October, when I've got a weekend in London planned. So I'm hoping to be down a stone or so in time for London.

I'm sad to have to confess to having to buy a pair of jeans a size bigger, but they have a belt and I look forward to tightening it!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Badly as it turns out!

All my hard work and high expectations has led to some delicious home grown food, but a fair bit of disappointment too.

The lettuce has been a great success - minimal effort has yeilded a steady plentiful supply of delicious fresh Lollo Rosso throughout the summer, with no sign of waning yet. The blackberries that tried to take over the whole garden are sweet, delicious and have contributed greatly via tasty homemode puddings to my current weight situation (which is being dealt with even as I speak - Quorn, welcome back to my life!) Spring onions worked well despite repeated snail attacks. And the strawberries keep on growing and ripening, but we can never get them before the slimy critters, so I have no real clue whether they were a success or not! If success is measured by meals on the table, then clearly not!

Sadly the tomatoes perished. I don't know whether it was weather, disease or just neglect, but on return from one of our short breaks in August, the plants were all dead. Some of the fruit continued to ripen, bizarrely, but doesn't look healthy or appetizing, so mark that down as an abject failure. I did taste 1 tomato before the fatalities, and it was divine. But effort certainly didn't match yeild!

If nothing else it's been a learning experience. Next year I will be more successful! And actually, it has been something else - 2 other things. It's been fun, and it's been great exercise, so you can't say fairer than that!