Tuesday, 30 June 2009


I did it, I did it, I finally really did it!!!
Not for very long, and using a very wimpy weight - but I finally did some kettle bells all by myself, just little me and some pretty coloured kettle bells! 4 minutes swinging an 8 kg kettle bell (two handed) and 5 minutes of wussy Turkish Get Ups with a measley 4 kg kettle bell, but for someone who doesn't do resistance / weight work it felt pretty good - and I broke a hell of sweat, breathed hard, heart rate up - the whole enchilada!
I followed it with 40 mins on the cross trainer and a shower as cool as I could make it - I was HOT HOT HOT!!!

Getting back on track

Well, I didn't manage to train yesterday and I did some more picking at food as well - probably why my weigh in today was disappointing (140.25 lb, or 10 st 1/4 lb). I must stop picking - so today I've got no money at all in the office and can't buy extra food at work. I'm feeling sort of motivated to get back below 140 lbs so hopefully today should go better.
I need some fresh vegetables tonight, so if its dry I'll walk into town after work, and if not I'll detour on the way home and then train in the dryness of my own home. I'd like to combine the rowing machine, the cycle and some kettle bells if I do train at home.

Next week M starts work and won't be around in the evenings. This will be depressing and lonely, but also will make it easier to eat right since he has been eating quite unhealthily lately and I find it hard to stay on track myself when he doesn't. I know that sounds like I'm blaming him, but I'm not - I know he isn't force-feeding me with pure lard or anything - its just that I tend towards a 'well why should I bother if he's not?' mood. Its stupid because I'm determined not to regain the weight I lost, and that should be a good enough reason 'to bother when he's not', especially as I genuinely did lose the weight for myself and not for him. The other advantage is that I feel more inclined to train when he's not at home. With any luck I'll get back into a more focussed mind set while he's doing this work and form some healthier habits and attitudes for when he finishes up again. Previously when he wasn't around so much this didn't happen because I was in a binging place a lot of the time - at least partly due to the contraceptive pill I was taking, which I have now changed. This time round I want things to be different, its time to get some habits in place that will make it possible to maintain for the rest of my life without the struggling. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks - even if it isn't easy!

All bran with strawberries and soya milk
Salad with feta cheese, Spicy cajun tomato cup a soup
Basa fillets with roasted butternut squash and peas
Seeded flatbread crackers * 2
Fromage frais with raspberries and peaches

Feeling relatively peaceful about the food right now. I replaced my morning smoothie with extra all bran & strawberries - I wanted the fibre, but lets not go there.... ;-) and didn't feel my normal need to eat all my snacks in ten minutes flat. I actually brought some Nimble bread to go with the salad for lunch but forgot to bring my normal laughing cow triangle and couldn't bring myself to eat the bread dry so I substituted a cup a soup for the bread and cheese - and didn't even eat the soup until 2 pm - a record I think! Not sure if the past few days picking and nibbling have left me wanting to not feel as stuffed today, or if I'm slowly regaining control, but I'm not pinning too much hope on that just yet!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Emotional Eating?

Is it emotional eating if you eat when bored?
I don't tend to eat as much when I'm depressed as I do when I'm bored. I don't tend to want to binge when I'm happy (which is too bad because M is always looking for an excuse to 'celebrate' with food and especially wine, and I just don't feel it.) But one habit I absolutely cannot break is eating when I'm bored. This is bad, because I have the most boring job in the world. Seriously. If any other job is half as boring I can't think what it might be - and I've worked in a meat packing factory (before starting university - I needed the money!)
I'm ravenous when I'm tired (like today) but I don't think that is an emotion, that's just my body trying to find some energy from somewhere (SUUUUGAAAR...). But when I'm bored - even when I'm already full - I find myself thinking about what I can eat next for something to do, and then I find myself eating my mid-morning snack at 9am, my afternoon snack at 10 am, my lunch at 11am.... luckily most of the time I manage to stop at that, but I sometimes find myself eating dessert at 12....
How do you stop eating out of boredom? I've thought about leaving my (pre-packed) lunch in the car until my lunch break so I just can't get at it, but at this time of year I think I'd end up food poisoned, which probably isn't worth it.
I thought about bringing less food (I only bring one day's worth but also keep a few alternatives in cans in my drawer in case I can't face yet another salad) and no money, but it occurred to me that having no cash at all was risky - what if something happened to the car? And what about the endless collections for birthdays and leaving cards? I do leave most of my cash in the car, but I can (and often do) go out and get more of it if I 'need' something else to eat.
People with will power - or who just don't like food much - would probably say 'just don't do it' but its not that easy. At home I have the option of going for a walk, taking a bath, going to bed early, training, cross stitch or nail painting and a dozen other distractions / busy works to fill the time (and it still doesn't always work) but I don't think any of those are options for work - my boss might start wondering what he's paying me for! I've actually considered hypnosis to improve my relationship with food, but I'm not entirely convinced it works so it doesn't really seem like a great idea to shell out for (I believe) multiple sessions of something I have no confidence in. Ditto therapy (besides that seems extreme to me - why should I bore some innocent bystander, who's never done anything to me, with my self-obsessed drivel at £X phr when I can vent on here for free and no-one has to read it?)
I can't blog - or read my other people's blogs - here at work for inspiration, but I can type up my own entries sans photos in Notepad and that does keep my mind and hands busy for a while at least so I guess this is the best answer I have. If there are 58 mind-numbingly tedious entries in one day, that's a sign that I've been bored - and avoiding the vending machines as much as possible. Some time I may also try to write something that someone might eventually find entertaining - if I ever decide to let anyone know about this blog, which is doubtful.

So so tired

Not a good start to the day...
I have a feeling today is not going to be a good day. I've been up since 3:15 this morning so I feel like the day should be a lot further along than it actually is. I woke up around 10 to 3 because of the heat, and just couldn't get back to sleep, so instead I got up for a while 'to tire myself out' and never made it back to bed. I think I'll be taking my caffeine intravenously by lunchtime.... and my weigh in didn't help. I'm choosing to believe it was mainly down to water retention from the sushi and to compensate for dehydration on my mammoth walk in the morning. Plus although I was nowhere near eating the calories I burned on my walk, I did still eat more food than usual so I guess that's weighing me down as well - should be better tomorrow.
It'll be a miracle if I have the energy for training after work today.
Speaking of training, haven't used my kettle bells again yet... so much for good intentions! Tonight isn't very likely, I think at most I'll be up to a walk, and very possibly not even that.
Countdown to my holiday - 4 weeks to go! That means I have 4 weeks to try to get some running done so I can use the treadmills on the ship. Don't want to make myself ache too much while I'm on holiday!

As usual, summer fruit smoothie with spinach and soya milk, and All bran with strawberries.

A big salad with mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, red & yellow peppers and hard English goat's cheese for protein. Also bread and laughing cow light.

Stir fry with teriyaki tofu. I froze the tofu to firm it up and I'll be marinating it in a bought teriyaki sauce for an hour or so after I press it. The rest of the stir fry is a cheat as well - every Monday I tend to use a bought stir fry pack as I can't be bothered with all the chopping to do it myself. I am getting bored with this though, so I may have to dig my Chinese recipe book out and start doing some REAL cooking - once I've tweaked to reduce the oil and sugar dramatically.

Natural low fat fromage frais with raspberries and blueberries, I bought an apple tart - but the pastry was rubbish so I only ate the apple - and a packet of snack a jacks rice cakes (I think that's quite good for a day after almost no sleep). Also a few chewy sweets brought in by someone who just got back from his holiday :-(. I needed the sugar. 'Nuff said.

Weight: 140.125 lbs (10 st 2 oz)

Holiday countdown

In 4 weeks time I have a holiday booked. I'll be gone for 8 nights, cruising the Norwegian Fjords on the Celebrity Equinox (brand new ship on its inaugural voyage - not 100% confident that that is a good thing, I'd be a little bit happier if they'd already spent some time practising on someone else first!) The ship looks beautiful, very new and shiny and pretty big. We've cruised with Celebrity before and found the ship, the service and the food all to be really good. We've mostly cruised in the Caribbean or the Med, with one trip to Scandinavia and the Baltics. I don't really know what to expect of the weather, apparently it could be 15 degrees, 30 degrees, or anywhere in between - and its their wettest season as well. I guess I'll take lots of layers and hope for the best. Plus waterproof jacket AND trousers - we've booked a couple of hiking tours and they run whatever the weather is doing. It will be nice to get a hike or two in the Norwegian forests, and have a more active time than usual.
I'll be in the gym every day as well I hope, burning off some of the calories that I will be eating all day...

When we go on cruises we generally travel with M's parents. We introduced them to cruising a few years back and they're hooked like us now. My father and his wife also like cruising, they went for the first time last year, and I hope sometime we'll go with them. My mother and her OH will never join us on a cruise sadly... Mum hates the sea, can't swim a stroke and goes green on a river boat so she'll never be persuaded that she wants to try a cruise. I don't blame her, they cost too much to go feeling negative about them. I doubt very much I'll post anything while I'm gone, but I'll try to take loads of photos to upload when I get back.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Great walk today

Got up this morning planning to walk to a recycling bin with some glass recycling (I like to load up my rucksack on walks) then coming back alternate between jogging and walking. When I got to the end of my road I realised it was quite foggy, and as I have to walk on the road (no pavements) for my 2 favourite walks, I was down to one choice - walking alogside the A48 woo hoo. This is the least interesting walk I do, though there are some nice panoramic views a few miles down the road.
So I headed off into the fog, it was pleasantly cool at about 7:30 am. An hour or so later the fog cleared and the sun came out... the recycling bin was further than I expected, so it took an hour and a half to get there, by which time it was too hot and I was too tired for much jogging, in fact I only managed a couple of short bursts and walked the rest. I still needed a shower as soon as I got home though! I walked 11.33 miles according to maymyrun.co.uk, and got back starving!

Food today:

All bran, strawberries & soya milk
Protein bar
Vegetable and bean soup (home made - and not very good sadly) with german rye bread & a laughing cow; a few pieces of sushi from a box I bought for M.

Summer fruit smoothie
Innocent veg pot - thai coconut veg - with extra veg (broccoli and cauliflower)

I baked some bran muffins this afternoon for M. The original recipe uses raisins but I substitued banana for most of the muffins. they smell great but are a little sweet for me


So, no post yesterday...
Basically I had a busyish morning including a walk, found myself picking at food all day long (healthy stuff like flatbread crackers and rice crackers, frozen grapes and frozen slices of banana (in unhealthy amounts) and peanut butter - straight from the jar, at least it was no added sugar) so I was too embarrassed to post.
Gorgeous barbecue for dinner - pork & venison sausge, Tesco meat free burger, chicken on a skewer and mixed peppers, courgette and mushroom also skewered. Oh yes, and corn on the cob, boiled first then reheated on the BBQ. It was yummy, and pretty healthy, but too much meat I think, so I felt a bit stuffed (or was that the crackers I ate while perparing it? hmm) and ended up spending the evening just vegging in a cooool bath!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Didn't work!

It kept me under control while I was at work, but distracting me from food didn't take away the desire to eat.
I lasted till evening though, and then had a larabar and a ryvita goodness bar. And some seafood sticks, a little peanut butter.... I'm at least 60 cals over for the day :-(
definitely could have been worse though... but that doesn't stop me feeling like a failure, just less of one than I used to be

Having a bad day...

I'm bored out of my skull today, which is as always leading me to think about food, and particularly about unhealthy food. I've eaten my lunch and had the equivalent of an extra breakfast - 2 slices of toast - that wasn't in my food plan today. Now I'm hoping that typing drivel into this will help me avoid heading for the vending machine.... I'm not even kidding myself that I'd hungry, because if anything I'm a little bit stuffed - as you would expect me to be, having eaten everything I planned to eat for lunch and the day's snacks by 10 in the morning, plus toast. But I want to eat more stuff. Actually right now I feel like the kind of binge I've never done - fast food, chocolate, crisps... (the only bit of that I haven't done before is the fast food, I'm more inclined to go to the supermarket than the chippy in this kind of mood.) I feel like eating thousands of excess calories and the only reason I can pin down is that I'm knackered after waking up at 2:30 this morning and spending the rest of the night tossing and turning. I always struggle to sleep well, and it often makes me want unhealthy food. The problem is that today I'm adding extreme boredom into the mix, and I'm feeling a little bit out of control. A few months ago I introduced a rule for days like this where I take very little / no money into work so I can't buy loads of garbage to eat. I can get more money, but to do that I have to go outside in the rain and swipe my card on the electronic gates to record my departure and return. There have been times I've done that - usually because I want a dessert from the canteen - but so far today I'm resisting it. But I do have enough cash on me for a packet of salt and vinegar crisps or a twix - my favourite cheap and cheerful chocolate bar. Must resist....Resistance is futile... Must resist....We'll see. At least I'm trying not to! And thanks to this blog diary, I've staved things off for at least 15 minutes while grizzling on here about it, so that helps!

Apparently its finally raining at my house so maybe I won't need to water the lawn tonight to activate the weed killer on it. This must be the first day I've EVER in my life hoped for rain and thought I might be disappointed (certainly the first day since I moved to Wales). Now I can get on with hoping it stops by lunchtime - I'm finishing work at 12 today, and I'd like to go for a walk afterwards. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Green smoothie, All bran with strawberries & soya milk

WW wrap with a little roast beef, dijon mustard, salad leaves & peppers. And its 9:45 am and I've already eaten it!!! And it wasn't very good, the wraps I've had all week were much better.

Egg white omelette with tuna, peppers and sweetcorn, with a big salad

Natural yoghurt with blueberries and raspberries2 slices wholemeal toast (and very possibly some kind of chocolate bar or a packet of crisps - I'm in one of those moods.....)

Weight this morning 138.25 lb (9st 12lbs 4oz)

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Thoughts on Training

I am in a rut as far as physical activity is concerned - probably something I have slipped into because I always saw exercise as necessary for weight loss rather than looking to improve my fitness and health.Recently the most activity I have achieved has taken the form of walking - I love to walk, enjoy being out in the open air, enjoy being able to go shopping without adding wear and tear on the car, using petrol etc. and have recently enjoyed photographing the flora and especially fauna around my home, and in particular the grounds of Caldicot Castle.

I also find walking very stress-relieving, sometimes almost meditative. However, although I am pleased that I can walk around 12 miles with no ill-consequences except the odd blister, I have been forced to admit lately that what I'm doing, though it is enough to maintain my current weight with some dietary restrictions, doesn't do anything to make me fitter, and now that weight loss is no longer my main preoccupation I do feel that I should be working to improve my health in other ways. The problem I have is that I am emotionally more satisfied and motivated by endurance or steady state exercise than anything else I've tried. I'll happily spend 40 - 80 mins on an elliptical walker (helped out by watching TV, I admit) or 40 mins on a stationary cycle or rowing machine (neither of which I've done for a while, admittedly) but the idea of lifting weights fills me with horror and a sense of dread... Unfortunately I am not getting younger, and I know that in my late thirties I should be looking to add resistance training to build bone density, so I've been trying to decide how to motivate myself for this.

Traditional 'heavy lifting' is seriously scary for me. I don't trust my judgment or form, and having had years of back trouble I'm afraid of the possible consequences of getting it wrong - trying to lift too much weight, or twisting / bending wrong while supporting the weight. Also I know that my mindset isn't really suited for the 'train to failure' method favoured by M (who very much is motivated by heavy lifting) - once I start something physical I tend to finish it no matter what - or die trying!!! (not literally so far obviously)I considered yogalates, and still am considering it. I have a DVD (which I've done exactly once) and have resistance bands to go with it. However, although I see 90 minutes as just about right for a walk in the great outdoors, 90 minutes spent training indoors without copious sweating just doesn't feel like exercise - so there's no motivation there either, even though I do believe it would improve my overall tone and condition greatly if I could do it regularly. If this contract isn't extended and I therefore have some time off I think I'll try to incorporate it into my day - after all, there will be so much more time that I can do something sweaty as well!

Enter the kettlebell! I have a set of kettle bells in pretty colours and a range of weights, bought in a fit of enthusiasm after M took them up and raved about them. Kettle bells are smaller weights than a habitual lifter would train with using more traditional lifting techniques, but they achieve their results through a range of exercises based on swinging the kettle ball in one or both hands. The exercises work the whole body, with particular emphasis on the core, and because of the nature of the swinging exercises they are very efficient at raising a sweat, raising the heart rate, and exhausting the trainee very quickly - it wouldn't actually be possible for most people to train with them for more than 30 - 40 minutes (more like 2-3 minutes for me at the moment!). During the Cold War the Russians used them to train their soldiers.


So my plan to add resistance training is to use the kettle bells first, and try to add yogalates if I have some time off work (or maybe just as a background activity on the weekends). To start with I'll focus on the swing and the turkish get up, with the intention of adding other exercises if / when I feel ready. I'll do that every other day (I started yesterday, so no kettle bells tonight). I also want to shake up the cardio side of things, so weather permitting I'll start the running program again; on bad weather days I'll carry on using the elliptical, rowing machine and bike, but try to include some HIIT intervals at the start when I'm fresh, to get my heart rate up. Thursday will be a rest day, and I'll continue to take walks on the weekend (as well as doing something more active, not instead of) and when I want to shop for just a few things that I can buy locally. In an attempt to be more accountable, I'll try to report what I do on this blog.To start with, yesterday I spent maybe 2 minutes doing the kettle bells (pathetic - and I need to start timing things as well) and 40 mins on the walker, of which the first 10 minutes were HIIT intervals and the other 30 mins involved me manually adjusting the resistance to give myself a 'hill' work out. I was watching an episode of Babylon 5 from the first series at the same time, which helped distract me from what I was doing, and I definitely got my heart rate up.

Food plan for today

Green monster smoothie - today's was 30 g vanilla whey protein, 95 g frozen banana, 50 g frozen spinach and 45 g frozen avocado. I couldn't taste avocado, and it was yummy.

WW tortilla wrap stuffed with cajun spiced chicken, salad leaves, bell peppers and laughing cow light cheese. I'm really liking the wraps for lunch these days, its a good change from the huge salads but my fruit and veg has come down so I'll be reintroducing the salads soon, maybe not every day

Caribou steak with oven baked fries, dry fried mushrooms and salad
I enjoyed it, very similar to venison. M wasn't as keen as he didn't think the texture was as good as venison.

Natural low fat bio-Yoghurt with fruit, natural low fat fromage frais with fruit and a ryvita goodness bar. Possibly some 'no no' flatbreads later (hot and spicy flavour - love these and don't even need a dip!)

I ordered some novelty (to me) foods last week and they arrived yesterday. I now have some chia seeds to experiment with at the weekend, as well as some raw cacao nibs and a larabar (cocoa mole flavour, I'll try this on my next walk - tomorrow or Saturday). I also got a loaf of sprouted grain bread, it was expensive and the loaf is tiny so that won't be a regular purchase for me even if I love it. I would rather spend that kind of money on a (much bigger) buckwheat or spelt loaf from the Tesco / Waitrose in store bakery - my favourites at the moment. Of course if you can buy sprouted grain flour (without needing to remortgage the house!) I might try making my own if I do like it.

Weight this morning 138.125 lb (9st 12 lbs 2 oz)

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Its a beautiful sunny day and I'd rather be outside! But its still nice to look out the window at blue skies and sunshine, especially when you live in Wales and don't have many opportunities to do so!
The garden is finally finished, and looks quite good if a little bit severe in places.

Very little to say today.

All bran, strawberries, Green monster smoothie.

WW wrap with houmous, goats cheese, salad & some leftover baked sweet potato from yesterday.

M insists he wants KFC for dinner tonight so I'm going to try a zinger salad (no dressing) as a defensive move. I looked up the nutritional info on their web site and that looks OK to me (although I've always liked the fillet burgers so we'll see how my self control holds up)

UPDATE: They didn't have any salads so I made a chicken fried rice instead- probably much healthier!

Fruit with natural low fat fromage frais

Weigh in this morning: 138.6 lbs (9 st 12 lbs 6 oz)

I managed to do 40 mins on the elliptical walker yesterday, doubt if I'll have time for any training today

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

In a rut

I'm feeling in a rut right now. I cook much the same food all the time, walk the same walks, spend my evening watching TV - the same shows, mostly - while reading blogs. Work is definitely always the same, I wear the same clothes... major rut. I think its time to work out something new I can try to shake up some aspects of my life.
This one should be easy, all I need to do is look online or read one of my millions of cook books and pick some new recipes, even perhaps a new theme for this week's food. Or maybe, maybe branch out and try not diarising every single mouthful of food I eat to see if relaxing and doing things more on the fly might make things more interesting - this one's more scary to me as I'm afraid of gaining weight, but maybe facing that fear's a good thing
Don't really want to spend money on new clothes right now. I could go through my wardrobe and see if there are clothes that I've forgotten about that I could wear - its a bit awkward though as I'm working in an office and need to dress professionally, which limits me to a subset of my wardrobe. I suppose I could look for sale items online...
Well, that defines being in a rut, and there's really not much I can do about it. As a contractor I don't have the right to ask for training or a change in what I do for career development - I am a hired gun whose only value lies in doing what I already know how do - namely testing. I don't think I can do anything to make this more interesting, but as my contract is currently up at the end of July and I haven't heard anything about an extension yet it may not matter for very long. The job market is dreadful at the moment so I could be looking at some serious time off.
I think I'll get an ordnance survey map for my area so I can plan some new walks. I'm not sure how much scope there is to really make many changes, but there might be some interesting destinations I don't know about.At the same time, I think its time to cut back on the 'if I can't walk I'll do nothing' mindset I've been in. I love to walk in the fresh air, I enjoy stopping to say hello to the neighbour's dog, and the horses in the farm up the road, love watching rabbits scatter all over the fields when anyone goes near them and looking at the swans on the pond at Caldicot Castle with their cygnets. But I know there are more effective forms of exercise I could be doing, and others that will help me feel less stressed and bored with myself, so I should try them. I've got a yoga dvd and a yogalates dvd with a resistance band, so that might be a good start. I've also got a set of kettle bells I've used exactly twice - and I don't currently do any resistance training, so I should get them out, especially as they work you so hard that its impossible to do them for very long, so it shouldn't be boring.
And they're very good for toning the arms and core, which are areas I want to build my strength in.Also need to get my finger out about the running program. I've wanted to do this for so long, and I'm the only one getting in the way of it. My holiday is about 5 weeks away and I want to be able to add running to my usual gym training on this holiday. I've got a HUGE blister at the moment so I'll wait for that to get sorted and then I'm going for it!

Thoughts about life after (my) weight loss

Things I like about being slim:

1) My thighs don't rub together when I walk
2) I don't feel like an overstuffed sausage when I wear a pencil skirt
3) I like looking at my stomach in the mirror - with no clothes on!
4) I don't feel like a hot summery day will kill me - even in the Caribbean
5) I feel less elephantine walking down the corridor
6) Not struggling to find nice clothes in a big enough size
7) Finding it easier to squeeze through and over narrow stiles on walks
8) (Sometimes) enjoying shopping for more interesting / fun clothes that I wouldn't have worn before to avoid looking silly / drawing attention to myself
9) Losing my double chin
10) Gaining cheekbones, hip bones & collar bones
11) My legs!

Things I don't like so much:
1) Obsessing with guilt whenever I eat outside my plan - and feeling disgruntled about expecting to eat more or less this way for ever now
2) Having trouble finding nice clothes in a small enough size... (but even though the result is the same, that feels better than 6) above) and indeed not being sure what my size really is anymore
3) Feeling the cold much more - clear, cold winter days used to be my favorite kind, but now I'm much less comfortable and my hands and feet often feel cold
4) Feeling more insecure about my body a lot of the time - having lost my ability to go into denial about the things I'm not happy with (my bum, my arms...)

Hmm, there are fewer things in the second list but in a way some of them seem bigger and harder to deal with....

Food for today:
normal breakfast - all bran with soya milk and strawberries, summer fruit and spinach protein shake.

Bored with salad so I went with a weight watcher's wrap filled with salad leaves, grated carrot, peppers and houmous. Not sure how filling that will be, but if it works I'll do something similar tomorrow

Using up a Weight watcher's pizza with home made baked sweet potato fries and salad

Natural low fat fromage frais with raspberries and peaches; ryvita goodness bar; some seafood sticks (I know they don't resemble any known fish but I like them!!!) and a small portion of roast turkey - got to get the protein up.

Weight this morning: 138.5 lbs (9st 12.5)

Monday, 22 June 2009

Mission Impossible?

I've just ordered a huge amount of 'alternative meats' - things like kangaroo, ostrich, goat and impala - and then realised I have hardly any room in my freezer. So my new mission is to use up as much as possible in a short time and otherwise reorganise the freezer so the remaining food takes up less space. Should be possible to make quite a space saving just by consolidating multiple bags of chicken portions and frozen loaves of bread, but I will have to quickly eat some stuff too. The problem is at the moment I want salads and stir fries all the time, which doesn't tend to use up much in the freezer! Tonight I'm having a stir fry with quorn 'chicken' from the freezer. M is having chicken in some form, but I haven't entirely decided what yet. Hopefully it will use up a few bits at least.

Todays food:

The usual all bran with soya milk and strawberries, plus a summer fruit protein shake made with more soya milk.

A salad with feta cheese, Waitrose Adzuki & Edamame bean salad, mixed leaves, tomatoes, cucumber and spring onions. Also a couple of slices of Nimble bread with a Laughing Cow Light triangle.

WOW! I tried the bean salad yesterday and thought it was kind of bland and disappointing - not bad enough to throw away, but now good enough to buy again. Now I realise what was missing - feta cheese! the saltiness of the cheese makes the whole thing come to life! Happier with my lunch than I expected to be!

Natural bio-yoghurt with raspberries and peaches, and I'm fighting the urge for another sliver of the chocolate cake from Friday. I'm telling myself it will be dried out by now.... the work canteen is helping me in my battle against unhealthy eating - the dessert of the day is deep fried banana with chocolate sauce, I don't even want to think about it much less eat it!
Sadly I fell off the wagon after typing the above - a packet of crisps, a crunchie and a couple of bite sized cake bits later I'm feeling suddenly motivated to go for a big walk after work to burn off some calories. Not much of a binge by the standards of last year though!!! only 165 calories above maintenance cals, I can easily work them off.

And I did, with a 5 mile walk carrying a heavy back pack

Saturday, 20 June 2009


Carrying bags of gravel around hurts. Bending down over and over again hurts. I'm so tired. And did I mention I hurt?

Friday, 19 June 2009


Busy time today - for M! We've just had tons of gravel and slate delivered to go on the flower beds in our garden. Lots and lots of bags... all needing to be loaded into a wheel barrow, then shifted to the beds and spread on all visible soil. I'm not sure how it'll look, but at least it should mean no weeding is necessary for a while - especially with the help of a layer of weed suppressing sheeting underneath the slate. Sounds like quite a work out, I doubt if I'll feel like doing much tomorrow. Before that I'm going shopping - a new Waitrose just opened in the town near me, and I want to go look for some exciting new products to buy. and some wine for a little anaesthetic this evening! Hopefully there'll be plenty to experiment with! I'll also be buying some eggs - the pet shop sells huge free range eggs at half supermarket prices so I get at least half a dozen every week, more if I'm baking.
Food today:
All bran with soya milk & strawberries & Summer fruit smoothie with a tiny bit of spinach & soya milk plus plain whey protein
Sunflower and honey roll stuffed with roast turkey
Feeling lazy today, so sushi (Waitrose) and Covent Garden Minestrone Verde soup. I'll be making a mixed grill for M to rebuild his strength after all that slate and gravel hauling!
My usual yoghurt and fruit snacks, plus a ryvita goodness bar (mixed berry flavour) was the plan....The test team just got given a chocolate cake as thanks for something or other so I had a tiny slice (to much verbal abuse from the guys on the team). It was lovely but I couldn't have eaten more - I don't have that high a tolerance for chocolate cake, especially at 9:30 am (which is just as well given my binging tendencies) Its nearly 11:30 and they're still making jokes about my portion size... And I accidentally ate rather a lot of rice crackers from Waitrose as well... how did that happen???

Thursday, 18 June 2009


Last night we got a phone call from our credit card company checking some unusual transactions that had been charged to our card. Someone had charged hotel accomodation and membership in an online dating service on our card! So angry, now we have to mess about getting new cards and the crook in question isn't even going to get anything out of it as the transactions were picked up and challenged on the same day.

We don't know how the card details were acquired, and I guess we're never likely to find out. I must admit I'm grateful to the credit card supplier for being on the ball. In the past we've had legitimate charges queried and found that a bit annoying but I guess this demonstrates the value of the service, so thanks guys!

Todays food:

BreakfastAll bran with strawberries and soya milkProtein shake with frozen summer berries, whey protein, spinach and goji berries

LunchEgg salad sandwich(I don't usually have sandwiches for lunch as I'm a volume eater and prefer a massive plate of salad, but I'm still easing back into real food and watching my fibre levels)

DinnerTofu & veg curry made with a Sharwoods jar sauce - I'm too wimpy to make my own curry sauces as I don't really have a clue about the spices. I do have some Indian cookbooks so I'll have to start looking for some simple recipes to try. The sauce is a new one - Pineapple and Coconut - milder than most I use but I fancied something sweetish. It's also violently yellow in colour so that should be exciting! Actually it wasn't all that exciting, but very tasty in a sweet stew kind of way.

Snacks natural bio-yoghurt with raspberries, natural bio-yoghurt with peaches, Nature Valley Crunchy granola bar (canadian maple syrup flavour)

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Todays food

All Bran with strawberries & soya milk
Green monster smoothie

Egg sandwich
oops.... profiteroles with chocolate sauce to follow. I'm pretty sure after my digestive problems this week I could spare the calories! They were yummy but a bit sickly by the end, I didn't finish them but it might've been better to stop sooner. Ah well, I enjoyed them!

Hoisin baked Tofu with stir fried veg (I cheated and used a bought stir fry pack). Not a big fan of baked tofu - or maybe I'm just not very good at it!

Snacks:Plain yoghurt with raspberries, plain yoghurt with peaches, ryvita goodness bar, apple

All my life, I've had a dream of being a writer - a novelist. Unfortunately I don't so far have the discipline to even find out if I have any talent, and I guess I don't really believe in myself enough to try. When picking my A-level subjects at school, I wanted to study History and English Lit, but didn't really see much chance of that leading to a viable career (I never have liked the idea of teaching) so instead I took Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics, and decided to go into Medical Research. I did study Biology at University, and got a good degree, but by the time I graduated I knew that I was not cut out for the tedium and frustration of research, so instead I took a further degree - a Masters in Computer Science, which led directly to my current career as an IT consultant. The irony is that 2 of my friends while studying Computer Science had degrees in History and English respectively, so I could have ended up in the same place, having enjoyed the journey much more. Sadly, the place I've ended up is one that I don't like one bit. I find testing incredibly tedious and I find the office lifestyle too constraining. However, working as a freelance consultant is very well paid, and I have no clear career path that I think I would like to follow - least of all one that could offer a similar standard of living, so I keep plodding along hoping for a lottery win that could free me to find a happier place... (I don't actually enter the lottery that often, so that's an even more passive approach than it sounds...) I'm attracted theoretically to the idea of working in food and nutrition, and I'd still like to write, but so far I feel paralysed by indecision - and the fear that whatever I try next will prove as unsatisfactory to me as my current working life. Instead of fixing things, therefore, I complain a lot. And I do mean a lot. Even I'm getting bored of hearing how bored I am...


No work today because of a stomach problem for several days that finally forced me to the pharmacy for some kaolin and morphine.Only one dose later and I felt great as it not only cured the immediate problem, but also soothed my stomach pains, relieved a very uncomfortable bloated feeling that had lasted all day Monday, and gave me my appetite back (with a vengeance) I'd had to force down a couple of slices of toast for breakfast because I was feeling light-headed and washed out, and just had a small turkey sandwich for lunch, but by mid-afternoon I was scavenging...

My husband, M, put in a request for a barbecue instead of my planned lower cal dinner, and I gave in. I grilled diced lamb, bell peppers, red onion & mushrooms on skewers, along with some lamb and mint sausages and chilli beef burgers. And some corn! One small sausage, 1 burger (in a roll), one head of corn and 2 skewers later I was very full but very happy - it was lovely! It was a beautiful day, very bright and sunny, so barbecuing was fun too. M lights the fire for me (its a charcoal barbecue) and he enjoyed going caveman and playing with fire - so cute!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Feeling positive

Reasons to be cheerful:
The sun is shining and its looking like a pretty day
I have a nice garden without effort since we got a gardener to help keep it pretty.
I saw some cute rabbits on my way to work today.
My diet seems more back on track and right now I'm not even interested in eating unhealthy foods.
I've quit drinking for a while, and feel healthier for it.
I have a job - it may be boring, but its well paid too, convenient, pretty easy and the people are OK

I've decided to start recording my food on here. Just as a text diary for now, but I may start adding photographs if my broadband speeds up enough to let me upload them properly.

The plan:

Breakfast:All bran with peaches and soya milk
Mug of coffee
Smoothie made with berries, whey protein, soya milk, a few goji berries and a couple of handful of spinach. I want to get some chia seeds to thicken my smoothies with - I find them more fun to eat with a spoon rather than drinking them, but have trouble making them thick enough to be worth it. I've only found a couple of websites that sell chia seeds in this country, they haven't been approved for eating in the UK yet, so I haven't tried them, but I think I'll order some this week and give them a try. Maybe in the meantime I should grind some flax seeds and see if they help as well.

Lunch:Big salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber & spring (salad) onions with a tin of WW tuna and sweetcorn in mayonnaise, served with 2 slices wholemeal bread and a laughing cow light triangle. I need to work on making my salads more interesting...

Dinner:Tesco crustless quiche lorraine with salad and new potatoes.

ooops, 2 meals with processed foods today, 3 counting the cereal. That's unheard of usually. I love to cook but get in a rut with the foods I do cook, so I think I'll have to start working through some websites and cookbooks to get some new ideas.

Weigh in this morning: 138 lbs 6 oz (9 stone 12 lbs 6 oz)

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Big walk

Walked about 12 miles today. I didn't walk at all last week, and about 5 miles yesterday, so it felt great to get really moving and even my sore feet were welcome! They've not sore any more and my legs don't ache after my break, so that feels good. Weather permitting, tomorrow I might try a little running (I'm trying to learn to run, but haven't yet managed to motivate myself for more than a couple of days). I'd like to do a 5K or even 10K someday, but so far I'm just working up to a couple of miles, starting off with a mix of walking and running

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Product envy

Every day I read dozens of blogs, most of them written in the US. There are so many products out there that sound so good - the many kinds of peanut butter, the larabars and Kashi meals and cereals to name but a few - that just aren't available here. And the stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods. None of this has made its way to Wales, even if it can be found in London, and I often find myself wishing I lived in the US too. Interesting reason to want to live move continents, the food - guess that proves my point about disordered thinking on the subject! Ah well, we don't have to wait for Easter to buy Creme Eggs....

Friday, 12 June 2009

Small things.....

These are my new yoga toesocks!

I am so in love with them! They are incredibly comfortable, and I think they're really cute - just wearing them cheers me up! (not that I've tried wearing them for yoga yet!) Just don't look too hard at the snowy white legs above them!!!

Introducing Me

I am starting this blog as an online diary and to try to make myself accountable for some unhealthy choices I'm making, and habits I'm forming. Several years ago I was overweight and started a calorie counting diet. Now, I'm 7 lbs lighter than the target weight I set back then, and have kept the weight off for nearly 2 years.
That sounds good, but there's a problem. To lose weight successfully using calorie counting you have to be (I believe) a little bit obsessional about it. My obsession is not going away now that I'm maintaining. The other problem is that I don't find maintaining anywhere near as satisfying as I did losing - so whenever I weigh myself and the scales haven't shifted, instead of feeling like a success I feel like a failure. Which has started to trigger one of 2 equally unhealthy behaviours - either I decide to restrict my calories, or I feel so demotivated I fall completely off the wagon. Even if I do restrict my calories, I'm so much lighter now that I don't see the results I used to, which takes me right back to the falling off the wagon thing.... and the guilt, and the depression that follows....
What I want to achieve, with the help of this blog, is to retrain my brain into healthier paths. I want to be able to eat normal, real food, in normal, real amounts. I want to keep my body healthy by fueling it properly and exercising it properly. Most of all, I want to free myself from the obsession and start living a fuller, more rounded life with new experiences and fewer regrets.