Saturday, 9 October 2010


Just a quick update:

Where I am right now is getting back into exercise. I was having my blood pressure checked last week as part of my hypertension review, and chatting to my doctor at the same time as you do - relax, don't get tense, keep those numbers as low as possible! Anyhow, somehow he managed to get through to my tiny stubborn little brain with the words "you need to be doing an hour a day exercise, every single day. You need to prioritise that hour, and if you were to do that and change nothing else, you would lose weight."

Nobody else has ever told me that I need to exercise for a whole hour per day, 7 days a week. This was new, startling and frankly unbelievable advice. I went away thinking there was no way I could ever find an hour a day! But then the whole needing to stay alive thing kicked me in the head, and I was suddenly very very motivated to do my best, come what may.

I already have my bike, I already enjoy riding it. So I just need to step that up really. That and be less lazy, walk or ride instead of using the car, go a bit further and brisker on dog walks and so on.

So on Saturday I dragged Rebecca out against her will and we went for a 10 mile bike ride. It took an agonising 2 hours because I had to be extremely positive and encouraging to get Rebecca to keep moving forward, and we did sit and have a little picnic at the halfway point. We have a similar ride but quicker, planned for tomorrow. And in the meantime I have cycled most days, walked harder, and generally kept myself physically active in a way that I haven't for quite some time.

Right at the very beginnning of this journey, before I started blogging, before I started slimming world, I started exercising in earnest. Once I had a good solid exercise regime up and running, that was when I felt able to tackle the eating. So maybe, just possibly, cycling will, well, begin the cycle again!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Haste Ye Back!

Oh god, I've been missing all summer! And this is true of real life too, we spent the summer swanning off on various camping trips, punctuated by a few short bursts of work. I'll pay the price of the lack of working in my wages at the end of this month, October may not be easy!

So rather than prattle on about my weight or my diet, I thought I'd share my holiday snaps with you for a change.

To launch the summer, we headed off to Delamere Forest, with our bikes in tow. We had just 2 rides in the forest before my brand new bike's chain jammed between the gear cogs, rendering it unusable. The conversation in the bike shop began like this: "So, I was out on my bike in the middle of the forest, miles from home..." and happily ended with my bike repaired and returned to me the same afternoon.

For our second jaunt of the summer holidays, we headed to Bakewell in the Peak District, where we spent a few fabulous days with my imaginary friends from the internet. We've all got them, right?

Finally we headed north, to Bonnie Scotland. We stayed in a Eurocamp tent at Cobleland, near Stirling. We had the best time, being absolute tourists and visiting places we had never visited before - Edinburgh, Stirling, Loch Lomond, Gretna Green!

So that's it, the summer's over, it's September and it's high time I climbed back on the wagon!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Lose Weight, Or Die Trying!

This was my motto this last week. It was a motto I chanted to myself on a regular basis. There was no way on earth I was going to allow myself to return to the scales last night with anything but a loss. The size of the loss didn't even matter, one again it was simply about regaining control of the situation and getting those pounds moving off again.

And happily I once again proved that when I give it 100% effort, I can indeed shed the weight - a nice healthy 2.5lbs loss this week, bringing me to 1st 8lbs off (and over 4st since this whole thing began back whenever it was, which is good for me to realise sometimes, when I am in a less positive mood!)

I achieved this loss by doing a "Speed Food Challenge" which involves choosing more of my food from a list identified as being good for speedier weight loss. So most fruit and veg (for some reason when we talk of speed food in class, we all think of pineapple, but that's not the only speed food!), poultry, beans, some fish and so on. I could have been limited by my budget, as pay day is next week. But Google is my friend and upon searching for speed food recipes I found Mushy Pea Curry - and all the ingredients were already in my cupboards! I confess to feeling a bit nervous about trying it - let's be honest, you're never going to see it made on Masterchef! But actually it was really tasty and filling. It was very reminiscent of chip shop curry sauce, and although I enjoyed it with Basmati rice, I could well imagine eating it poured over Slimming World chips instead. The only thing I would say is if you are the sort of person for whom presentation is important, you might want to close your eyes when you sit down to eat this curry!

My other great revelation this week was frozen chopped onions - how could I have got to 43 years old without knowing about them? They have saved me so much time and effort this week, and I can make a chilli without all those onion related tears now! Whoever invented them, I salute you!

Friday, 16 July 2010

In which my brain broke.

After that amazing 6lb weight loss, wouldn't any normal person be inspired enough to keep up the momentum? You'd think! Sadly, my wiring is all wrong and so that wasn't what happened. Instead I have struggled to find the plot. First of all there was more camping which meant I let things slide a bit. On our return I did battle like mad to recover from any harm done, and managed a half pound gain. And then this whole week I have just struggled constantly to make the right choices.

And then, if we needed any further evidence that there is something not working as it should in my brain, an hour before weigh in I went to MacDonalds and out of my mouth spilled an order for a sweet chilli chicken deli sandwhich, fries and a Mars milkshake. What the hell was I thinking?!

If anyone out there has any idea what would drive someone to do that, an hour before weigh in, please please enlighten me because I don't know!

By some miracle I got away with a maintain this week but I'm going to have to work damn hard to avoid converting it to a gain next week. I'm doing a speed food challenge which I know can have amazing results, but the main result I desire is control.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Give Yourself A Shiny!

I'm still doing it! Why I haven't updated the blog I just don't know, other than being busy with working and camping and stuff! I do have an incomplete post I started a couple of weeks ago after weigh in, but it feels out of date now!

So a couple of weeks ago I lost 1lb, gaining me a lovely shiny 1 stone award, and then last week, mainly due to being too hot to bother with much food, I lost an incredible 6lbs! This right after telling Heather that I was very happy to lose a pound a week - she must think I'm a big liar now and went out to have a big loss on purpose!

We went camping again this weekend and it was a very very basic site with really no facilities. This meant the easiest thing to eat was sandwiches really, so I did, but hopefully in sufficient moderation to have done no real harm to the weight loss. It did however invoke evil heartburn in me - there is little doubt in my mind that I am quite intolerant to wheat, since I only have to eat a small amount of wheat based food to need to heft out the Gaviscon. Coming from many generations of bakers, this is either shameful or hardly suprising, I'm not sure which!

I'm hoping for a 1lb loss this week to bring me neatly to my 1 1/2 stone award. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Judgement Day

You might have gathered from my last post that I spent last weekend enjoying food and drink with no attempt at moderation. We were celebrating a friend's upcoming 40th and really you can't do these things moderately! Knowing what was likely to happen, at class last week I decided to aim for a maintain this week, and I knew that even that was going to require some Herculean effort for the remainder of the week. So once the debauchery was over, I survived on fruit, salads and jacket potatoes. I kept my syns way down low and reduced my portion sizes from gluttonous down to hearty.

Thursday arrived and I stood on the scales with a deep breathe to steady my nerves. I was genuinely amazed to see a number 1.5lbs lower than last week, a result I wouldn't have had the brass nerve to hope for!

So I don't really have any right at all to feel in any way disappointed to have hovered half a pound away from my one stone award, but we know how much I enjoy receiving those little shiny stickers! So colour me ungrateful and prepare for my celebration next week when that sticker shall be mine. Oh yes it will!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 14 June 2010

Dear Future Me...

Hi there, how is the 45 year old me doing? Did you manage to resist all those leftovers from the party when Dom brought Debs over to meet us? There was so much food left over, torturing me every time I went in the kitchen - all that white bread, the Pringles, the dips! Luckily there was also lots of salad and fruit and as I type those are the leftovers that I am enjoying. But only the future me knows right now how well my resolve lasted!

Sitting here writing this, I am 43 years old and weigh 19st 4.5lbs. I lost only 1/2lb last week in spite of my monumental self control while camping, proving that every single thing we eat does definitely count - that loss of control on the Saturday exacted a price! This week I am only aiming for a maintain because of Debbie's 40th - remember that Friday / Saturday at the hotel? Amazing I can remember it now really, when I think about those Pimms Debbie was making. And it turns out that drinking Cava from the bottle in the hot tub was a fairly serious breach of Health and Safety rules! Still, no harm done, not until I stand on the scales next time anyway. Did I manage to maintain in spite of the Cava, the Pimms, the £25 bottles of wine, and all that food? When I write it all down I have to say I don't hold out much hope! Good job I played some tennis, at least I can lay claim to some Body Magic.

So how has the weight loss journey gone in these last 2 years? If I lost just 1lb a week between now and this letter reaching you, I would be 104lbs lighter and that would be fantastic! Have I achieved anything that amazing? Maybe I'm even at Target, whatever that turns out to be. Maybe I am the elusive Size 12. Am I?! How does that feel? I bet it feels like a dream. I can imagine looking in the mirror and not recognising myself - when you have always been fat, it must be quite hard to see yourself any other way.

There is so much to ask you, Future Me. Where am I living, working, how is Rebecca doing? Are we all happy and fulfilled? But I guess I'm just going to have to wait and see, unless they invent a way for you to reply to my email.

See you in 2012!


Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Holiday is Over

We are home from camping! We got home late yesterday afternoon, and just in the nick of time since I am now looking out of the window at miserable rain!

We had a brilliant time, the sun shone brightly the whole time, so we have come home hot, sweaty, filthy, sunburnt and totally knackered - all the hallmarks of an excellent camping trip! I have written a long review of the campsite for and will let you know if/when it gets published.

So. How did the dieting go? Well I had very strong resolve, and actually did a really good job of staying on plan all week. I didn't drink, and I ate meat and salads and jacket potatoes, and fruit for dessert. I made my low fat version of Eton Mess one night and it went down a storm with everyone which was nice. I do have to confess to slipping right off plan yesterday though, starting at lunchtime, when I could still have salvaged it - we were packing up and the kitchen stuff was all boxed up and put in the car, so we ended up sharing a portion of chips which I could easily have counted the syns for and not strayed at all. But then I succumbed to some wine gums in the car for the homeward journey, and totally blew it by getting Chinese for tea - doh!

No worries, that's done and dusted, and is only 1 day out of my whole life. I'm back on it this morning and don't at all have that "I've blown it now, may as well carry on!" feeling - if anything I'm more determined than ever because I am absolutely hell bent on seeing a decent weight loss when I get back on those scales on Thursday!

I will report back!

Monday, 31 May 2010

Happy Camper

We are off on a camping trip to Shrewsbury tomorrow, so I've had to weigh in today instead of Thursday, so only 4 days since my last weigh in. Truth be told I was a touch apprehensive, worried that 4 days might not be enough to see a difference, or that last week's mega loss might turn out to be an anomaly. I was psyching myself up to have a brave face if I'm honest. So I'm delighted to be able to report a nice steady 2 lbs loss tonight. Phew!

Now obviously the important thing is not to lose my grip over the next few days while we are away. So I have meal planned, snack planned, emergency planned - there should be no meal situation I am unable to deal with! I have already cooked our meal for tomorrow night - a nice Food Optimised spaghetti bolognaise, so very easy to heat on a camping stove once the tent's up! There will be barbecue one night, chicken salad another, and I've even built in a takeaway plan - I will have fish with the batter removed and half a portion of chips. My breakfast porridge is packed, and fresh fruit and salads will be bought on a day by day basis. Nothing will go wrong.

See you on the other side!

Thursday, 27 May 2010


I had forgotten so much!

I had forgotten what to eat, how to eat, what I ate when, and how I made it. This week has been a journey of rediscovery as I dug out old favourite recipes and remembered just how much I enjoyed making them. I have eaten so many delicious meals that have left me wondering what on earth made me go back to beige food 5 months ago. It's been such fun furtling among my jars of herbs and spices, choosing which to add to that chilli or this pasta sauce. I make awesome pasta sauce! And fruit! Sweet, sweet fruit. The simple delight of a peach, the satisfaction of a banana eaten to stave of an early morning blood sugar drop when I'm working a night shift, the complexity of the wonderful pineapple - worth the effort every time!

I had forgotten what it was like not to suffer with heartburn all the time. I have a very large bottle of Gaviscon on my bedside table, and I had needed to take it every day, sometimes several times a day. But for the last 7 days I have not needed a single drop. My stomach is calm and settled.

I had forgotten what it was like not to be slightly worried every time I got dressed that this time something would be too tight to wear, this time my bra might not fasten, this time I wouldn't be able to breathe in my jeans, this time my one last fitting uniform wouldn't pull on over my arms. That slight nagging fear has grown over the last several months, even coming true in a couple of cases. This week the fear is gone. I have been able to dress myself in a relaxed manner, and in fact even had to add a belt to my jeans today, so much looser than only a week ago!

I had forgotten the feeling of elation caused by standing on the scales at weigh in and seeing those numbers drop. But I remember now, because when I stood on the scales tonight, I was 9.5lbs lighter than one week ago. Can you see my grin from there?

Friday, 21 May 2010

Once Upon A Time....there was a woman who seemed at first so very successful at following her healthy eating plan, and lost lots and lots of weight. And then she began to struggle, and bit by bit her victories began to slip away. Pound by pound, inch by inch the fat returned. For a long time this woman battled to regain control, and sometimes it seemed as though she might win! But then in the depths of a freezing winter the war was lost. She stopped turning up to her Slimming World class, stopped taking the Orlistat her GP had prescribed, stopped cooking delicious healthy meals from scratch, turning instead to convenience food, instant comfort. And the longer she allowed this to go on, the harder it became to return. At first she felt horribly guilty each Monday evening, knowing that she should have been at her class, being weighed, being inspired, offering and receiving support from other people in the same boat. But eventually the guilt began to fade, leaving nothing more than a slight sense of failure...

If you have come to read about gloriously successful weight loss, you may have landed in the wrong place. But if you are happy to read about someone who is prepared to get up, dust herself down and start all over again, I'm your woman!

Last night I took a deep breath and walked back into Slimming World. Stepping back on the scales was terrifying, but also somehow a relief. It was as bad as I expected, but no worse. I weighed in at 20st 2.5lbs. A weight I never wanted to see again. But the only way to stop myself going all the way back to my highest weight is to stop it now, and that is what I am doing. I haven't got any other goal in mind than "getting back in control". Once I feel as though I am in control I will consider goals.

So my target for this week is to lose anything at all that I can, and I will do this by following the Plan 100%. No pills, no gimmicks, no shortcuts. It's all about the food.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Choose Your Vices Wisely

I'm a bit late with this update due to work getting in the way of my writing. But the eagle eyed among you may have spotted this weeks's result when it appeared on my Twitter updates over there <---- on Monday. For those who missed it, I lost 4lb, bringing me down to 18st 4lb. I'm delighted with that result and think I can attribute it to my 100% effort in the main. The Orlistat may have had a hand in the matter but I think only a small percentage because I don't think I'm giving it anything to work with. I'm certainly not experiencing any of the adverse scary side effects that I have seen reported on the internet, and any initial discomforts that I did have settled down quickly. So I shall plod along happily with the Orlistat and Slimming World working hand in hand. I have to say I am feeling lighter already!

When I was in the chemist collecting my prescription last week, I found myself waiting near the "New Years Resolutions" dislay, the one containing all the smoking cessation and diet products, and it came to my attention that it is cheaper to give up smoking than it is to lose weight if over the counter pharmaceuticals are your method of choice. Alli, the over the counter version of the Orlistat I am taking will cost you a hefty £32.95 for a 14 day supply but Nicotinell patches will only cost a measly £12.98 for the same timescale. And that cost is easily offset against the fact that you won't be buying cigarettes at, I believe, over a fiver a pack. AND the Alli purchaser not only still has to buy food, but if all goes to plan, new clothes as well!

So my lesson for the day children is this: if you must develop a bad habit, make it one that is cheap to give up. Put those crisps down and have a cigarette instead.

Only kidding. Honest!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Magic Potions

I bring glad tidings! I got weighed ysterday (after only 4 days, I wanted to bring my weigh in back to a Monday!) and had already lost 3 1/2lbs (bringing me to 18st 8lbs)- yay me! I knew I had lost some, I was spending an abnormal amount of time dashing for a pee! It's nice to feel the effects of healthy eating so quickly though. And I'm really loving feeling in control again.

Has anyone heard of magic porridge? I stumbled across this on the internet, and tried it with trepidation, and it was soooooo tasty! Basically all you do is mix 28g of porridge oats with a muller light (or a yoghurt of your choosing!), any flavour, leave it overnight and the oats absorb the yoghurt so it's mega creamy, and then you can eaither warm it gently in the microwave, or just eat it cold. I ate it cold, with some blueberries and banana and really loved it. I'm going to try it warm in the morning just to see how that works out.

I went to see my GP this morning and my blood pressure is really not well controlled at all, so he has increased my meds even further. He also wants me to take Orlistat because he feels we need to optimise the weight loss. He is happy with me doing Slimming World, and is accepting me going there in lieu of a referral to a dietician, but he just feels that the blood pressure is so related to my weight that we have to take medical measures to deal with it. I'm disappointed and kind of feel like I'm going to be cheating. But I have every reason to trust my GP so I'm going to go with it. I'm nervous about starting the Orlistat though - I know about the side effects! If I suffer bad side effects, I'm stopping, I have a limit to how badly I want to be skinny!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

One Day At A Time

Oh god, here we are, year 3. I've spent 18 months or so yo-yoing, but always managing to at least stay below 19st. And as I emerge bleary eyed and bloated from a lengthy Chrsitmas and New Year binge, I can only be thankful that I am still just about the right side of 19st.

So when I last wrote, I think I was doing OK, and I did OK right up till about 14th December, which was my first Christmas party night. And from that moment on, Muller Lights were swapped for mince pies, homemade soup became home baked cookies, and every day began with a "fresh start" and ended with a guiltily full belly and possibly a large glass of Baileys.

No matter, I am now back on it. I weighed in on Thursday and eventually got around to looking at the figures. I am now 18st 11.5lbs. And my blood pressure? Well it had been reasonably well controlled, and then in the week or so before Christmas I started feeling really unwell - headaches, throat pain, exhaustion. And so checked myself out agin and it was back in the 170/120 zone. When this had gone on for a few days I increased my own meds. It took about 5 days for that to really help but now I am again doing OK, but on double the dose I was on before. So I have an appointment with my GP on Tuesday to find out whether I should try to decrease again, or stay as I am. I wonder whether my weight gain is enough of a factor to have caused this?

Exercise at the moment is fun - we have about a ton of snow, like everyone else in the UK. My thighs ache with the effort of walking through it, or maybe it's the effort of staying upright? Or maybe it's the climbing to the top of big hills so we can sledge down? I wouldn't have dared sledge a couple of years ago so we can add that to the list of things I can do now that I couldn't do before! Also we have a new Wii game called Just Dance. It does what it says on the tin and is very energetic and addictive - no matter how exhausted I feel, I always want to do just 1 more dance. I've been working up quite a sweat in my front room. With the curtains tightly shut!

So, on to New years resolutions. Well, if I've learnt one thing, it's not to set myself up to fail, so with that in mind, I'm going to do this on a week by week, if not day by day basis. I can eat well for 1 day. I can eat well for a week. I make no promises about a month! So I hereby promise that this week I will give 100% effort to eating well, exercising often and losing weight.