Thursday, 30 July 2009

Oh Canada

For years now M & I have been considering emigrating to Canada. I must admit that I'm the chief reason we haven't acted on it so far, mainly - no, entirely - down to fear of the unknown.Free Emoticons The weird thing is, when I was about 25 I spent 6 months living and working in Dallas, so I've kind of test driven the 'crossing the Atlantic' experience; we both love Canada and the Canadian people that we've met; and I know that if things don't work out its only an 8 hour plane flight home, yet I've been paralysed with fear on it for years. Another side to it is of course the distance from family, but they do understand why we want to do it, and would like the (almost) free holidays, so that isn't a showstopper either. But lately something weird has happened to me. We recently discussed this again, and I pointed out that with the economy in the state its in - not just here in the UK, but in Canada as well - it might be a really bad time to try to do this. We'd have to sell our house and buy over there - not easy at the best of times, let alone in this economy. We'd have to support ourselves until finding work, and like everyone with investments, our financial position isn't what it was; the rate of exchange is less favourable than it has been at other times we've considered this; plus I don't think Canadian companies would be too ready to offer jobs to British immigrants with no Canadian work history while Canadian IT staff are being shed. But even though its possibly the worst of times to do it, it suddenly feels like far more the right time for me to do it... Given that it can take years to go through the process maybe these things don't matter that much; after all, most 'experts' agree that by next year at the latest things will be pulling out of the current slump anyway. I'm still not jumping into anything, but its the most positive about this that I've felt for a while - maybe the time is finally right! I'm going to be thinking about this a lot while we're away; if I still feel the same way, I think I might be proposing that we take the first steps when we get home again.

Coffee and Rainbows

Well, after yesterday's binge day I'm feeling remarkably good today. Fairly cheerful given that for the third day running I was awake before 3:30 am; remarkably cheerful given that I binged yesterday. Maybe I just feel positive because I thought about my diet (small 'd') yesterday and came up with a new (hopefully sustainable) plan for the future that reduced the guilt; maybe the 2 mugs of coffee this morning helped; maybe the 2 rainbows I saw as I drove through the driving (hah!) rain this morning put a bit of colour in my mood as well!Free Emoticons
I didn't weigh this morning, I don't think I would feel at all perky if I had. I considered training this morning to burn off some of the ice-cream, but I was tired (pre-coffee) so I opted to rest instead. Right decision I think - even though I won't have time tonight either.
Food today:
All bran & strawberries plus a bigger than usual smoothie with fromage frais as well as soya milk and whey protein - it was delicious, and creamy, but I forgot to adjust the water to take into account the fromage frais so it was more of a soup like texture.
Home-made soup and a Waitrose sandwich (french brie and grape with damson chutney - looking forward to it!)
Chinese takeaway - planning to have vegetable chow mein, my current favourite from the takeaway we use
2nd half of yesterday's binge-muffin, big tub of water melon (still ploughing through it!) and some cherry tomatoes and home-grown (by my Mum's OH) cucumber to nibble on as they won't last through the holiday.

Another change to my binging habits - normally I'd try to be really restrictive today but that I think just feeds into the next binge-cycle so I'm going to ease up a bit. Quite a bit actually - the sandwich at lunchtime has way more calories than I'd usually have for lunch! (I removed a slice of mayonnaise-smothered bread though - probably saved over 100 calories there. And it wasn't great - why on earth put mayonnaise in a cheesy sandwich??? for me, cheese and mayonnaise DO NOT mix!!! Free Emoticons) I am feeling slightly odd today - my habits are telling me to keep eating, but I'm feeling kind of stuffed still so I don't really want to. At the same time, on the day after binging I typically get a 'food hangover' and need the equivalent 'hair of the dog' so I don't want to wait until I get hungry and then turn a one day binge into a two day binge...
The FSA wants to force manufacturers of chocolate bars to reduce sugar and fat and shrink the size of the bars. They've got 3 years to do it in, and the reductions in size aren't very big.
I must admit to being a bit pathetic here -I like this idea, especially the portion size reduction. To me, a bar = a portion - whether the bar in question is a normal sized milky bar (which I don't like btw) or a massive Toblerone, so having smaller bars is a good idea. I also think that if all the manufacturers started a gradual reduction in the amount of fat and sugar now, a smallish percentage a year, they wouldn't lose customers because every company would be doing the same thing and over time our taste buds would adjust to not even notice - or maybe prefer - the change. The only thing they don't explain is how they're going to stop people eating more than one bar at a time / in a day? They don't mention multi-packs and they aren't (thankfully!) going as far as to suggest that shops should restrict what people can buy in the way that its no longer legal to buy multiple packs of painkillers in one transaction. Speaking as a binger, I would have no problem going through more than one bar or pack in a day, and making the contents more healthy wouldn't alter my emotions at all - I'd still crave the comfort, still feel guilty about lacking control, still eat yet more because of that guilt.... Its amazing how organisations assume that they can control our behaviour just by telling us it isn't suitable and offering us a healthier choice - like we don't currently know that a smaller portion is better or a 'diet' chocolate may be lower in calories. Generally speaking I am awkward enough to want to eat 3 times as much chocolate as I otherwise would just because someone told me not to (I think this is the heart of my binging issues - I don't change my point of view even when I'm the one telling me what I can't do!) but in this one instance, depending on implementation, I might just go along with it. Or maybe I'll buy 14 small low fat, low sugar bars, melt them down and add 1/2 lb of butter and 1/2 lb of sugar then eat it with a spoon....

I binged AGAIN yesterday

It all started with a toffee mousse meringue dessert thing from the canteenFree Emoticons - I've such a sweet tooth these days! I can't believe for years I barely touched sweet things / chocolate - I wish I felt that way now! Having said that, I came to some decisions yesterday about my eating going forward. I've decided to stop obsessing over having a sweet tooth. I've been so focussed on healthy eating that I've actually become unhealthily obsessed - I think this is the core of the binging. When I get back from the holiday (ideally also while on holiday, but its a lot harder so I don't hold up much hope) I will continue to count / watch my calories, at least loosely, but I'll aim to eat whatever I want that fits within those calories. If its all unhealthy, I'll start to feel unhealthy, and then I'll want healthier food to feel better, but as long as I don't gain weight (which I shouldn't, staying within calories, whatever carb-haters / low-fat fanatics say) I'll just roll where it feels right to me... This is what I did for years while actually losing my weight, and never at any other time - so when did it stop - when did everything become about healthy eating till 'breaking the diet' made me feel not just guilty and weak but also dirty? I will continue planning meals (and using up food) but if I really don't want a planned meal one day, I'll have it the next day instead, or freeze it, or adapt the ingredients to give me something I do want... whatever it takes to put the pleasure back in meal times, where it belongs!
There were some good and bad things about yesterday's binges that are new.

The bad -
1) that it happened at all (couldn't I even wait till Friday when I would be eating really good stuff that isn't available every day of the week?).
2) That I didn't just ransack the kitchen but also drove to the shop in the pouring rain (using a need to buy some Paracetamol as my excuse)

The good -
1) I didn't randomly grab a huge pile of crap but bought two things I've been looking at and wanting to try since the shop opened (deprivation - should have bought them (one at a time) weeks ago!) - a carrot, raisin & walnut muffin and a tub of stem ginger ice-cream. Even though I went there thinking I wanted chocolate I didn't buy any for the sake of it, because when I saw those I knew they were what I really wanted.
2) I didn't eat it all - either item! Two thirds of the ice-cream is in the freezer and half the muffin is waiting to be a snack for today! I didn't feel as good last night as I would have if I'd eaten my nice (relatively) healthy turkey & veg curry with brown rice and then stopped - but I didn't feel so stuffed I had to undo my jeans either. I didn't train, but I could've done so much more damage.
3) I didn't stuff the food into my mouth so fast and mindlessly I couldn't tell if I had room for more. I put the ice-cream into a bowl (apart from 2 spoonfuls straight out of the tub to try it....) and broke pieces off the muffin, and ate them sitting down in my chair and then realised I didn't want more right now - and didn't have to eat it all right now - so I stopped. I think that's a break through for me. In the past the main reason why I might not finish something in a binge is because when the pain kicked in I'd throw the rest away - then if the pain eased off I'd regret it and look for something else to eat. This time I think it was a less extreme - less of a baby out with the bath water, more of a considered response. And possibly the key to moving from binging to just over-eating and from there to just eating.... we'll see!
4) I did all the above even though I had 1.5 glasses on shiraz after the food. Free EmoticonsUsually wine makes me more likely to eat the wrong stuff, not less - but I think it helped this time because the idea of followinga full-bodied, spicy Australian shiraz with sweet creamy ice-cream of sweet muffin just didn't appeal.Free Emoticons It also helped that I was busy with chores to get ready for the holiday, not just sitting comatose with my head in the ice-cream tub too. Hmmm, maybe a little of what I fancy followed by some kind of food-unfriendly activity is another technique I can try in the future...

I'm inclined to feel like a failure, even though I genuinely believe that you only fail when you give up. I'm not giving up, and I'm not a failure - these things may or may not work, but I will try them, and if they don't work, I'll try something else... I can beat this. I didn't always binge. Its not part of the way that I'm wired, an inevitability that I just can't escape. All I need to do is figure out the route, and if it means gaining a few (just a few!) pounds along the way I'm OK with that - at the moment anyway!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Ran today

After work I headed out for a run. As always I'm wondering why its been so long since last time... why can't I just be more consistent??? According to mapometer I managed approx 5K - and I ran it all!!! I think it was probably a little less than that as my line was a bit wobbly when tracing out the route. I kind of wanted to die a few times, but it was good to get home knowing I did more this time than last time. Choosing a new route with less hills definitely helped - I'm not strong enough yet for hill running, it makes me go wussy and start walking instead. I want to change that eventually though! If the weather's good enough I hope to use the running track on the ship in a couple of days (may run again before then); if not, I want to try running on a treadmill. I'm a bit worried that I might fly off if the speed gets too much for me and I can't adjust it fast enough.... but we're thinking of getting one when our finances are stronger, so its worth having a try to see how I get on!

I think I've overdone the caffeine this morning....

I have a strange floaty feeling! As if my head might actually take off for the ceiling at any moment... Not sure what to do to neutralise it, but it does slightly insulate me from the tedium of work so maybe I don't want to... At the moment I'm just trying to flush my system with lots and lots of water, which requires lots of comfort breaks and therefore also makes being at work less boring - so no downside there (except its slightly embarrassing!Free Emoticons)
Food today:
All bran with strawberries and a random 'use stuff up' protein smoothie - summer fruits, blueberries, strawberries, banana and spinach all made an appearance, along with ground flax, goji berries and chia seeds. Not quite thick enough, but yummy!
Home-made veggie soup with spelt sunflower seed bread and a leafy salad with mixed sprouts, radishes, watermelon and feta cheese.
Spicy chilli with brown rice and a salad; corn on the cob

Fromage frais with peaches, stewed pear(nowhere near as good as stewed rhubarb - tastes bland and has a gritty texture), and a big tub of water melon (why are watermelons so bloody huge???? I've still hardly dented the thing - I'm going to have to freeze a huge chunk of it before we go away!)
As I went mad and bought too much fruit & veg at the weekend for a week when we're off on holiday soon I have to try to find ways to use them up - and I don't have time to eat it all! So I'm planning to try baking a crust-less quiche this evening to use up some egg whites, onions, mushrooms, peppers and courgette. I haven't done this before, though I have made lots of frittatas on the stove top with egg whites, so I'm looking forward to trying this. I may also add some jalapeno peppers and low fat (cathedral city) cheddar or grated parmesan. I'm thinking it might be nice with salsa and salad leaves in Weight Watchers wraps, or for breakfast for protein (instead of a smoothie if I'm not in the mood for a sweet breakfast), maybe on a muffin with some bacon and grilled cheese... Depending on the calories it might make nice snacks as well, as even I don't ALWAYS want to snack on sweet foods. Its a bit annoying to be freezing more stuff when I'm supposed to be clearing the freezer but its more important not to waste the veggies I think, and I will go back to the using up food policy after the holiday...
Anyway, here's the baked frittata - a rainbow of lovely veggies, and the finished product!

Weight today: 140.5 lbs (10 st 0.5 lbs)

Monday, 27 July 2009

Sounds like an excuse

But I've decided to just relax a bit this week - not go crazy, but just take things easy. I've realised that a big part of my over-eating lately is knowing that I'm on holiday soon and that weight gain on holiday (especially on a cruise) is inevitable. But because I have been trying to 'stick to' my healthy eating plan the nibbling has made me feel guilty and weak and therefore inclined to comfort eat / binge. So now I'm going to allow myself to relax a bit - not go crazy, just not worry so much about slip ups.
I grazed all day again yesterday and today I weighed 10 st 1.25 lbs (141.25 lbs). That's actually less than I weighed when I bought the clothes I'll be wearing on holiday so maybe its in my interest not to be too low, I want to look good in these clothes not look like an aging kid dressed in her mother's cast offs!
Today's food:
All bran and a smoothie. The smoothie was rubbish sadly - a banana (which I forgot to freeze), spinach, vanilla whey and some frozen strawberry - about one large berry, sliced. I brought it to work and it was just not very good. I drank it anyway because I needed the protein.
Pasta with pastrami salad plus a green salad. And a dessert thing called cherry meringue dessert
Vegetable soup with more veggies added. I'm adding a little ham roll to the soup.
Ryvita goodness bar * 2 (for the fibre); stewed rhubarb with plain fromage frais (I stewed the rhubarb in apple juice with cinnamon, no sugar added - this looked absolutely diabolical, I mean really nasty, but it tasted great with the fromage frais - I'll do that again!!!); peaches and fromage frais; a pot of mussels in vinegar for the protein
Brown rice pudding
I'm a bit low on protein so I may try to add some more somewhere.

Change of plan on the food for this week - there will be no rut-buster this week (unless I count the mystery meals I'll be having on Friday and Saturday on holiday) and no panhackelty tomorrow. Instead I'll be focussing on using up food - fresh vegetables and frozen food because my freezer is still unfeasibly crammed. So tomorrow I'll be defrosting a portion of chilli & some brown rice. Wednesday I'll be defrosting some turkey, pineapple and coconut curry and some rice. Both will be eaten with salads. Lunches will be salads with defrosted home-made soups. I won't be buying any more fruit or veg this week (and that's going to be hard for me... I love fresh vegetables and fruit!) Every days snacks will be using up fruit that I already own, and so will smoothies (if indeed I have any to make them with)
I managed to get in a good yomp and burned off some of the calories from yesterday, it was beautiful, sunny and warm, and I've been busy all evening so quite happy and pleased with myself today!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Next week's food plan

Homemade veggie soup with chick peas & millet, served with spelt and sunflower seed bread
Panhackelty - a northern casserole made to use up left overs. I'll be layering slices of potato, carrot, swede, turnip and onion with healthy low fat bacon and low fat sausages. I'll just layer it all in the slow cooker, cover with a mixture of chicken and vegetable stock, and cook it all day
Rut-buster Wednesday! Another Chinese meal from my recipe book - lamb and vegetables with rice or noodles, don't know which yet
Vegetable chow mein from a Chinese takeaway to minimise mess adn avoid cooking ready to embark on my holiday on
Absolutely no idea, except it will be lovely, and probably very unhealthy!

Sunday & lots of food

Breakfast! I added some peaches to my normal all bran, plus a spoonful of dorset cereals muesli, and I added some blueberries to the smoothie as well, then topped it with chia seeds and a few raw cacao nibs. Last night I had a traumatic experience - a friend asked me to help with sugaring (the hair removal technique, that's not a euphemism for anything!!!). As said friend had never been sugared / waxed before neither of us enjoyed it much and I calmed my nerves with some ginger & plain chocolate cookies - they were the tastiest medicine I ever ate, but I deserved my 140.3 lb weigh in this morning for eating the whole box, and I needed lots of nutritious fruits and grains this morning to settle my stomach!


A rut-buster lunch - Pasta with pastrami salad. I thought it would have been better less dressed, but it was tasty all the same. I'll finish it tomorrow for lunch.

A very very spicy curry! Prawns and veggies with brown rice, wholemeal pitta, tomato & cucumber and mango chutney

A small bag of Cassava crisps - thai green curry flavour, a seeded spelt cracker, and some watermelon. I'm also having some fromage frais with strawberries later and I must admit to nibbling a few sultanas, a ryvita goodness bar and a little peanut butter as well. So much for cutting down on the snacks - I think now my holiday is so close I'm inclined to think it doesn't matter much until we get back.

Saturday, 25 July 2009


Bison is very very yummy! No picture because I was in too much of a hurry to try it! The goat was really good too, but the bison was outstanding

Saturday & another weekend!

Rut-buster alert!!!
I'm making slow-cooker rice pudding right now, with semi skim milk and short grain BROWN rice! Instead of adding sugar I'm sweetening it with home-made applesauce, some mixed spice, and I had a cinnamon stick in for most of the time. It had about 4.5 hrs on low, then I do the cinnamon stick out, turned it up to high and left the lid slightly up to thicken it as the milk obviously didn't boil off at all. Its very nearly ready, looking forward to tasting it!
Food today:
All bran and strawberries with a wonderfully thick and spoonable summer fruit smoothie with vanilla whey and spinach
Onion soup with cider (Waitrose - tasty but a little too sweet) with spelt & sunflower seed bread spread with laughing cow light and a tomato grown by my Mum's OH.
Salad with corn on the cob, BISON steak and GOAT chops!!! Can't wait to try the exciting meats, though I'm not usually one for so much animal protein in one meal
Ryvita goodness bar * 2, some peanut butter (about a teaspoon) and a spelt seeded cracker. And a few nibbles of frozen grapes and banana.
Had a lovely walk into town this morning. I desperately needed a haircut before next week's departure on holiday and I also went to the library, where I managed to satisfy my blood-lust with lots of murder mysteries including a 21st century investigation into Jack the Ripper. I'm not murderously inclined myself, but I like a good mystery!
Weight this morning: 9 st 13.25 lbs (139.25 lbs)

Friday, 24 July 2009

The Relief...

One Senokot and 60g of fibre later I'm finally fixed!
Weight this morning 9st 13lbs 4oz (139.25lbs). I know I shouldn't really care - at least not to the point of mood-altering effects, but I got on the scales with my eyes shut and after peeking had a big grin on my face for the next hour!
Food yesterday:
Meals were OK, All bran & strawberries and a summer fruit smoothie for breakfast, lunch was a small salad followed by Dutch Apple Crumble, dinner wheat & oatbran cooked in water with pumpkin, banana and vanilla whey, topped with raspberries and soya milk.
The snacks included mini chocolate glazed doughnuts, mini caramel cake bars, peanut butter, frozen grapes & banana, seeded spelt crackers....
pretty sure I was over cals but I got fed up of recording it so I don't know the full horror.
Today's food:
All bran with strawberries, summer fruit smoothie (with kale - still don't like that as much as spinach so I'll be getting spinach for next week)
Egg sandwich bought in the work's canteen because I couldn't face getting food together while so depressed and fed up yesterday, possibly with some tinned mandarin oranges to follow
The mushroom pasta I was supposed to have yesterday
Trying to cut back on the snacking as it seems to be becoming an issue. The 80-20 rule doesn't mean eat healthy meals at meal times then every so often eat non-stop in between the meals I don't think!
I did have one more chocolate mini doughnut, it wasn't as good today so no more. Also a protein bar, very filling and high fibre as well as high protein. And 3 mini savoury bites (mini scotch eggs filled with chopped hard boiled egg)
I'm hoping to go for a walk and a run this afternoon after work. I need to buy some money for my holiday today, so that will give me a walk if the weather's good enough - not a very long one, but every little helps. Then I think I'll see if I can run further than usual on a flatter course - my target (again depending on the weather) is to run continuously for 15 mins, then turn round and run back (possibly with a rest at the farthest point.) I've been running for maybe 19 or 20 mins up to now, so I may not make it, but usually I have to slow to a walk on the way out because of some hilly bits that I find quite hard. I want to run hills, but right now I want to be able to run for longer first, then increase the speed / inclination to up the intensity.

Rain stopped run, but I managed the walk - then had some apricots, apple and a seeded spelt cracker because I was feeling a bit giddy

Thursday, 23 July 2009

I am so sick of myself

And so sick of posting that I nibbled or binged all day. Today I nibbled all day. I'm not going to type it all up because its boring and annoying. I need to figure out what's wrong with me right now and do something about it or the apparent maintaining phase will be over and I'll start seeing the numbers get bigger.
I'm depressed because I've been constipated all week. TMI I know, but I feel like a big lump of crap and its getting me down

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

I'm a binging fool

Another bad weigh in today - and its ALL my own fault!!!Free Emoticons 10st 1.5 lbs.(141.5 lbs). I know its undigested food weight as I reluctantly added everything I ate last night into my food diary on WLR and though I was 1000 cals over yesterday, I'm still under for the week. Just about. I'm not just annoyed at the eating sabotage either - after a really lousy rainy day the evening cleared up and was beautiful. I couldn't take the time for a long walk because I had too much housework to do (Mum & her OH are coming over today) but if I hadn't eaten and drunk so much I could have gone out for a 30 minute run - and I didn't because I would have thrown up if I'd tried. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!Free Emoticons
However on the plus side I won't be able to pig out tonight with my parents over, though we are having a Chinese takeaway, because I'm too embarrassed to be seen binging.
And I'm wearing my favourite (smallest) trousers today - they not only still fit but are still comfortable (and that's not true for a very wide weight range) so I know that once things get moving through my system I should still be maintaining rather than gaining! It is someone's birthday this week so I'll probably be having something cake / biscuit-like for that, but otherwise I plan to be good for the rest of the week and up the fibre (and water).
Food today:
All bran with strawberries; Green monster smoothie with kale, vanilla whey, soya milk and goji berries.
Thai chicken salad (leftovers) - surprisingly tasty. I was put off by the salad leaves looking a bit limp, but the whole thing was quite nice after sitting in the fridge a couple of days - next time I might mix the dressing, meat, and veg together in advance than add to the salad leaves at the last minute. (and leave out the noodles)
Chinese takeaway - I've already decided to go for a King Prawn Foo Yung (basically a big prawn omelette) and split some stir fried veggies with Mum.

Seeded spelt cracker, spelt muesli with fromage frais, apple.
Hmm, bit of a spelt theme there ;-)

I'm thinking of adding a weekend post giving my full week's plan for evening meals. If I do that it will be more clear when I change my mind, and if not sticking to the plan usually means I'm heading off a cliff into a vat of chocolate or if I still manage to make some healthy choices. I do plan my meals a week at a time on WLR so it wouldn't be a big change - but might possibly make me more accountable. Also I'm considering cancelling my membership of WLR to save money, in which case I'll need somewhere else to do my planning. I don't know how good an idea cancelling is, as clearly I'm not remotely as sane as I want to be - but then is membership of a site revolving around calorie counting adding to my obsession / binging pattern? Hmmm. (if I do cancel it will be after I lose the extra weight I'm going to gain on holiday.... and it may be very temporary if I find my weight creeping back up - as it will if I don't get my brain out of this intermittent binge tendency)

So, in the interests of the accountability thing:
Thursday: fresh red pepper and chilli pasta (Waitrose) with a mushroom & vegetable sauce using fromage frais.
Friday: Wild boar steaks with vegetables and new potatoes
Saturday: if the weather permits I plan to barbecue. That will be pork, basil and tomato sausage * 1, spicy beef kebab * 1, lamb shish kebab * 1, corn on the cob * 1 and a small salad to help all the animal protein go down!
If the weather doesn't permit I think it will be chilli con carne with buckwheat instead of rice and a side salad

My week starts on Sunday so I'll post on that at the weekend.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Coming out...

....No, not like that!
When I started this blog I didn't tell anybody about it - not even my husband. I wanted to spend a while writing it, see if I stuck to it, see if I enjoyed it, before letting anyone actually READ it - if I'd given up on it instantly that would have felt like promising something I couldn't deliver otherwise. Well, I've stuck with it pretty well I think, given that its been a series of self-obsessed whinging posts sent off into a black hole without feedback or interaction of any kind. So now I'm going to start owning up to it - just a little bit. Not to anyone I actually know in the real world, but when I post on someone else's blog, I'll add a link. See if anyone follows it. If not - or if you do, and you hate it - I'll keep going for as long as it suits me. Even if I'm the only one here. And if you do, who knows, maybe I'll actually get to be part of the community eventually!
So Hi!
My name is Chris, and I'm a blogger!!!

Early start today

I got up early this morning and after weighing in I went on the elliptical walker for 40 mins. I like training first thing, but as I leave for work about 5:45 am (my choice, so I can get out of work at 3pm and finish at lunchtime on Friday) I don't really have the time very often.
Food today:
All bran with strawberries and a smoothie. I forgot to put kale in the smoothie and I must admit I enjoyed it more - but that might also have been because I replaced some of the summer fruits with blueberries.
Another rut-buster! Thai beef salad, a mixture of raw carrot, courgette, red pepper and pan-fried rump steak with sesame & sunflower seeds in a dressing of peanut oil, lime juice, soy sauce and sweet chilli dipping sauce. I also added some rice vermicelli noodles for carbs as I didn't feel like my usual bread and laughing cow. I would have photographed it but serving it out of a tupperware box removed a lot of the appeal, so I'll wait and get a picture next time. I won't bother with the noodles next time - or I'll double up the dressing - because they were fairly bland and nowhere near as tasty as the rest of the salad. However I did make enough for 2 meals (except the second one is a thai chicken salad) so I'll use that up anyway... Ooops - a little mini-tub of vanilla ice-cream with chocolate chips and bits of nut. Not enough to break my calories but I wasn't planning it so that was naughty! but nice! and so was the fruit, nut and puffed rice bar half-coated in dark chocolate....
peanut butter from the jar, and the oven's on to cook some McCain's wedges too...
Also a new recipe - if you can call it that. Just a tin of tomatoes, a tin of chickpeas, some mixed bell peppers and onions that I mixed with harissa and stuck in the slow cooker to slowly turn into a hopefully tasty soup, to which I will add some courgette ribbons later. Unlike most of my rut-buster recipes this one didn't take far longer than expected to cook.... I have noticed that since starting to cook more interesting food my meals are later and there are more dirty pans to deal with!

Fromage frais with peaches and raspberries (yawn) plus a big slice of Galia melon (already eaten at 7:30 am) and a Dr Karg Seeded Spelt cracker. I'm trying to turn myself onto these instead of my beloved No No Hot & Spicy flatbreads - they're more fattening but I figure the seeds and the wholemeal spelt flour is probably healthier than the refined wheat flour in the No Nos. Though I've also had the No Nos and some bread sticks and some frozen grapes and banana... I've had a couple of glasses of Sauvignon Blanc (I don't generally drink as much as I have since starting this blog and now I've finished this bottle I'm going back to abstinence - it has a bad effect on my self-control. I'm still eating!!! and eating!!! ah well, tomorrow is another day.....
Didn't enjoy weighing in today - 10 st 2 oz (140 lbs)
I know why - lets just say my morning bathroom visit was unproductive and leave it at that. Plus I got a bit nibbly after dinner, nothing too bad, and ended up having some muesli and fromage frais for supper. I was still under maintenance calories + exercise calories but my stomach was fuller than usual and I'm still lugging a fair bit of it around! This is one of the reasons why I rarely eat supper...

Monday, 20 July 2009

Why Life is Unfair...

For years I wasn't interested in sweet cooking or baking. A few months ago I started wanting to bake cakes, brownies, cookies... you name it. the problem is I don't have an off-switch - and I've never seen a recipe for 1 cookie or one brownie. So I still don't cook or bake sweet things to avoid eating dozens and dozens of cookies in one go. I've thought about baking on a Sunday and bringing the spoils of my labour to work on the Monday, but I've nothing against eating cookies on a Sunday so there probably wouldn't be any by Monday morning. I've thought about baking a smaller quantity (half or a quarter if the amounts can be divided that much) and freezing the remainder - but I've very weird and love eating frozen / half-frozen cookies, fruit breads, and brownies - some of them I actually like better that way! I've also considered (and indeed tried) only baking when I'm expecting guests, feeding them while they're here and sending them home with care packages. The problem with that is, it doesn't give me a chance to practice the recipe and make sure they're good before giving them to my visitors.
And that is why life is unfair... at the end of August I have a barbecue planned. In total there will be 11 people there (including myself and my husband). Some of the visitors are bringing food, but I'm determined to do some baking. I will be baking banana bread, which I've done many times and already know to be good, and beer bread. I also want to make some peanut butter cookies or some brownies - I guess I'll have to risk making them for the first time that day, and just get some commercial baked goods to substitute if they don't turn out well. But I wish I could just practice the recipe, give away the results (if they're good enough) and move on like a normal person. If that ever happens I'll start posting recipes and photos for baked goods. For now though I'll have to rely on fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth - or buy small quantities of suitably sweet fare. Sigh.........

To Get Rainbows, you need Rain

Nope, not being profound, just talking about the weather... For years I didn't understand the British pre-occupation with the weather; then I started walking and running, and now I hate it when it rains. If I had my way we'd only have rain at night, neat and tidy, so that when I was awake I had the complete freedom to choose whether or not I went out. And it wouldn't be too hot for running either, so that when motivation strikes I can do something with it. This morning it was drizzly and horrible as I was driving into work and I was already feeling Monday morning-itis so that really annoyed me. If I can't do something energetic on a Monday I feel less than optimal all week, but because I generally sleep badly on Sunday night I rarely have the energy for a full-on work out (last week was the exception and I think that's why I developed the migraine - dehydration because MAN I sweated...) So on Mondays being able to walk or run is important to me and rain on Mondays is a VERY BAD THING and it makes me GRUMPY.
And then I looked slightly higher up in the sky to see how thick the clouds were... and saw a beautiful rainbow. FOr the rest of the journey I was struggling to look at the road instead of the rainbow, but I was smiling as I drove. And now the sun is out... some of the time, anyway. Hopefully I'll drive to the shop and then try to find the energy to I'll be able to run. If not, then I'll try to use the gym equipment - but without going crazy like last week. And then I've got housework to do this evening - oh, the excitement!
Food today:
All bran with strawberries and summer fruit protein smoothie
Leafy salad with radishes, spring onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese, nimble bread (nearly finished it and then I'll start eating REAL bread) and laughing cow light wedge.
I have a Rut-buster planned - Spicy shredded beef with stir fried veggies and brown rice udon - LOVE these noodles. And a glass of Sauvignon Blanc might have snuck in there.... OMG - that was yummy! Not as hot as I'd hoped, but really tasty!!!

2 slices of toast. The usual fromage frais with peaches and raspberries. Also possibly some extra fromage frais with home-made unsweetened applesauce - I made some for baking some low fat banana bran muffins for my husband and ended up with left-overs Free Emoticons, and half a Dr Karg seeded spelt cracker to try.
Plus a couple of hot & spicy crackers (so addicted to these!)

Weight this morning: 9st 12lbs 2 oz (138.1 lbs)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Major fail rut-buster

On the radish chips.... ah well, another time maybe!
The rest was nice though..... especially the bean burger. And a very colourful salad!

Wet but relaxing Sunday

I was tempted to run today, but a) its raining and I'm demotivated by that and b) getting out of bed this morning I felt 800 yrs old with the aching legs from 2 days in a row. If the weather had been better I would have gone for a walk, but as it is horrible I'm declaring a rest day (unless I feel inspired to hit the gym later). I ordered some padded cycling shorts today so once I have them I hope to be a bit more inclined to use the stationary bike!!! There are some places I don't want to feel 'bruised'...... and even with a replacement gel saddle our bike is not the comfiest piece of kit we own!
Food today:
All bran as always
The same sandwich as yesterday, but I had a carton of Covent Garden Watercress and Creme Fraiche soup as well - delicious!!!!
Bean burger with roasted butternut squash and a large leafy salad. I'm having some radishes (not one of my favourites, but I may try to make radish chips with them)
Protein smoothie with summmer fruits, frozen melon and kale - huge and freezing cold, I ate it out of a bowl with a spoon and it piled up in the bowl! It was like eating slightly soft ice-cream (if you can imagine a lettuce ice-cream, because the kale was a little too strong!). Protein bar - chocolate flavour from
My protein is lower than I like today, so I may have some mussels in vinegar later on as well.
Weight: 9st 12lbs 4 oz (138.25 lbs)


Saturday was a good day! I ran and went for a good walk as well, so plenty of exercise. For the first time I used my ipod on the run, and was a little bit disappointed that it cut out and went static-y a few times.
All bran as usual, with a summer fruit protein shake. I used kale in it instead of spinach, and didn't like that quite as much
A yummy sandwich made with spelt & sunflower bread, jalapeno hoummous, mixed raw peppers and some salad leave - I ate it too fast to get a picture!
Was great!!! A huge stir fry of mixed veggies with chicken, served with noodles in a Vietnamese-style sauce. The noodles were a bit sweet, and a bit spicy - then lip-burningly, mouth-tinglingly HOT!!! And that I did manage to photograph before digging in!
And a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to put out the flames ;-)
Micro-airpopped popcorn with garlic salt, another protein smoothie and some nibbly bits!
And in the evening we watched Twilight on blu-ray. Great film! I liked the book, but almost preferred the movie (I never prefer the movie if I read the book first!!!). It was so well done, I thought the romance was well acted, the action (when it came) really upped the tempo of the movie, and the scenery during the forest scenes was absolutely stunning! We don't have anything that looks like that in South Wales!!! Can't wait for New Moon now, and I may have to read all the other books (Twilight is the only one I've read so far as its the only one they have at my local library)
Weighed in at 9st 13lbs 4oz (139.25 lbs)

Friday, 17 July 2009

I've just been for a run!
I managed to run more of the route, and sped things up at the end when I hit my street again, so I feel pretty good now - even if a real runner could do that distance in her sleep and even if I could probably walk it faster if I pushed myself!
I'm thinking about entering a 5K in September, haven't decided yet as my running has been so very intermittant so far but I think it could help motivate me to be more consistent about it!


Things I Hate about work
Not having time to do the things I want to do
People who listen to ipods and sing / hum / whistle along to the music
People who listen to music turned up so I loud I can hear it
People who bring smelly food to their desks: curry. fish & chips. fried breakfasts. even toast...
Constantly having to answer the phone - always for other people
Being bored but unable to read a book / blog because I'm at work
Feeling restless but unable to go for a run / walk / cardio workout because that's not what they pay me for
Not making a difference to the world

Things I like about work
Getting paid
Half day Fridays

Weighed again today

And very happy I did. After yesterday's (relatively) mini binge I didn't expect to see 139.8 lbs (9 st 13.5lbs) - but I did! It may be TMI but I'd been 'bunged up' and now I'm not so I guess that was all it took. A good cheering start to my new onslaught on healthy eating starting today. By healthy of course I now mean everything in moderation - and since I started allowing myself some soft drinks (diet of course) and my sugary all bran I am so much happier and calmer! Maybe that means I am an addict, but it doesn't seem to affect my weight, I don't feel unhealthy for it - and I did feel unhealthy this week without it, though I admit I can't really tie my migraine to quitting - and I don't actually object to it on ethical grounds, so I'm going to welcome it back with open arms. I'll still drink more water and tea than soft drinks, but one or two a day won't hurt me!
Food today:
All bran with strawberries & soya milk - its back and I loved it!!!
Summer fruit smoothie made with green tea & coconut milk for a change - not a particularly exciting change so I probably won't bother another time if I don't have coconut milk to use up. Although it was quite filling.
Home made pasta salad and a mixed green salad
Banana, sugar snap peas with jalapeno hummus, 2 flatbread crackers
Brown rice with black beans under roasted red & yellow peppers, red onion, sweet potato, courgette and mushrooms. I'll probably toss the veggies in a little Harissa sauce first. And a leafy salad.

Weird Dream

I had the weirdest dream last night;-)
I think it was just an anxiety dream, I'm prone to these when I have things on my mind, but this one was a reminder as well - that in a couple of weeks I'm going on holiday and need to do the online check-in this weekend ideally.
I dreamt that I was on a bus heading to Heathrow Airport to catch a plane when I suddenly remembered that my passport was back home in Wales - and we were reaching the Airport only 3 hrs before embarkation, with no other stops along the way. That's not so weird, I've had lost / forgotten passport dreams before. Then it got weird. My husband (who has never met a US President, real or fictional, dead or alive) called up President David Palmer (who isn't a US President, and is dead, and has never met my husband and isn't in the UK) and persuaded him to send a helicopter from London to land on a golf course just down the road from my home, so his Secret Service people could break into my house, retrieve my passport, and fly it back to Heathrow. And he did!
I'm weird. With hero fantasies of someone saving the day when I screw up. But it made me smile when I woke up anyway. Until I realised it was 3:20 am, and I wasn't getting back to sleep. Ah well.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

I wish I hadn't done that.... any of that...

I confess, I weighed myself this morning. Baby steps.... or not, as I didn't like what I saw. 141 lbs (10st 1lb). If I'd weighed yesterday I might have seen a bigger number then, and be happier today; as it is I'm reconsidering my not weighing every day decision. The problem is I'm a little paranoid; my protein-loving husband has been trying for months to brainwash me into cutting the carbs; since deciding to up my calories (while keeping the sweet stuff out) I've seen my carbs creep up (although they're still generally only providing around 50% of my cals) and this is making me wonder if he's right. I'm very reluctant to believe it, because I do love my carbs.... but for months I've not eaten carbs at every meal, just breakfast & lunch, and stayed mostly below 10st; now that's changed. As I said, if I'd weighed yesterday I would know if my weight has been creeping up or if its heading down since Tuesday's excesses, but now I feel a bit adrift. Of course a more likely explanation might be that upping the calories while excluding sweet stuff has resulted in an increase in the food I'm eating & therefore the err 'undigested waste' I'm carrying around... Why didn't I think of that sooner, when it could have reassured me??? Instead of assuming that I'm gaining fat, even rather than retaining water???
Which is possibly part of the reason why I just binged again - and this time the sweet stuff was back with a vengeance! I'm so sick of myself right now... a jaffa cake bar was fine, only 129 cals. The carrot cake and crunchie bar though, are a different matter!!! What is wrong with me???? OK, I've been stressed for a couple of weeks trying to find out if my contract is being extended and today I found out that it was - but just for 4 weeks, and that means that I'll have to start chasing them again in about a week's time... still, that isn't an excuse for a binge-fest and I could just smack myself in the face for being so stupid and self indulgent. I wouldn't mind any of the snacks I had individually, but all of them together is just unbelievable. And I haven't much training time today either, so I can't even burn it all off later. Why oh why oh why am I so bl**dy stupid???
Kill me now....
Food today:
Weight Watchers Beans and sweetcorn on toast, topped with low cal cheddar. This was a nice change, but I think I over-did the cheese and as a result felt a little bit 'clagged up' by the end.
Greek pasta salad (link to yesterday's post) from yesterday. Nimble bread & laughing cow cheese.
Home-made vegetable soup to make up for binge-fest - but some crackers as well, to make it worse. cool about it now though, no guilt, no over-reaction. I might have a glass of wine later, and chill out a bit, and tomorrow its back to healthy eating for Chris!
Fromage frais with strawberries and raspberries
Unnecessary, stupid, annoying binge-eating:
100g carrot cake
1 Crunchie bar
1 jaffa cake bar
6 or 7 potato wedges before I came to my senses and threw the rest away
tiny bit of yoghurt with pineapple, kiwi fruit and grapes

Small glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel: I'm finally learning not to eat until I'm stuffed even if I don't particularly like what I'm eating (even though I hate wasting food). The carrot cake was quite nice, but enormous - half the slice was enough so I threw the rest away.
The wedges were rubbish, so I threw most of them away.
The yoghurt with the fruit was so sour you'd think that not only didn't they add any sweetening, they actually managed to remove the natural sugar from the milk first - so that also got binned.
I've wasted far too much food (and by extension, money) today - but it would have been worse for me to have eaten it all.
Wouldn't it?
Yes, it would.
I think.
But so, so, so, so much better not to have bought it at all........ Maybe the fact that so much of it was rubbish also contributed to me buying so much... maybe if the yoghurt had been nice enough to finish I would have been satisfied sooner? I don't know. But I do know I need to figure out a better way to deal with not so very much stress than this.
One thing I am doing is rethinking my not weighing daily. I need it to stay accountable and aware of my eating. Until I can go for a few months without any binging, I think that experiment will have to wait. I WILL be weighing tomorrow - even though I know that after this little display of greed I won't be any happier with the results. In the meantime, I'm drinking gallons of water and herbal (rooibos) tea to flush myself out.
By the way, all the above actually puts me about 200 cals over for today. And leaves me still with a (tiny) deficit for the week if I stick to plan for the rest of the week - more if I train today, tomorrow and Saturday as well (without binging again obviously). So really I'm just a huge drama queen! My attitude towards food is clearly not healthy, but I'm not exactly eating myself into an early grave at the moment, and I can in fact claw back that number of cals this week with relative ease. Once again, I'm an idiot!!! Head bashing more or less over... now I've realised that I'm actually more bothered by my over-reaction than the initial splurge. I'm trying to un-demonise foods and stop living with a diet mentality, and I think I've proved today that needs some more work!
There are some bloggers in the world who have already got the brilliant, healthy, balanced attitude that I want to have towards food. I find them so inspiring... in particular, Kim, Kath, Heather, Monica, Jenna and Courtney, although there are many more. What I love about all of them is that they do eat real food, they don't feel they have to deprive themselves of the pleasure of eating good food, they keep fit, and look great - and none of it seems to be the source of massive angst, emotional self-flagellation, or guilt. When I grow up I want to be more like them! For now I'll settle for reading their blogs and envying them their balance! (and try not to hate them for being so comfortable in their bodies and their lives when they're all younger than me!)

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Not much to say

My headache yesterday turned into a migraine in the night so I didn't make it to work today. Lots of sleep and loads of Midrid later, and I'm feeling much better - I took a walk this afternoon and the fresh air helped to blow away the cobwebs as well. Just wanted a little boast - I pigged out yesterday, yes, can't deny it... but still no sugar and no artificial sweeteners!!! In the past when I've tried to do this, I've caved very quickly, so now I'm on day 4 and even though I wanted lots of chocolate yesterday (still do to be honest) I haven't done it!!! Yay me!!! And double yay me because I didn't weight today either!!! I'm still finding this reeeally hard, as I have a tendency to act like I can eat whatever I want if I don't have to look at the consequences... this one may well go by the wayside after Saunday...
Today's food:
Potatoes, red & green peppers, onion and turkey rashers cooked in the slow cooker over night.
Greek Pasta salad, mixed salad and some nimble with laughing cow.

Lots of fruit! 2 flatbread crackers, 2 protein smoothies with various berries, an apple & a huuuuge bowl of cantaloupe.

Dinner: crockpot slow-roasted pork over noodles with a salad drizzled with Brianna's poppy seed dressing

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


Started out well today, with just a bit of binging this evening to finish the day.... cheese, crackers, peanut butter, toast.... :-(
I had a headache all day, its still there now. Painkillers didn't help so I had wine. Wine did its usual job on my self control, so now I'm stuffed, drunk, and still have a headache.
Can't be bothered to talk food right now so I'll fill in tomorrow

Monday, 13 July 2009

Follow up to another boring Monday

Well, I did my circuit - 25 mins each on the rower, elliptical, and cycle. I should have had a snack before hand though - I was shattered afterwards, and even though I had dinner fairly soon I've also eaten some peanut butter, raisins and spicy nuts. And I'm about to add a glass of wine. That will use up ALL the calories I burned earlier, and possibly more besides. At least I did train though... I'm still so tired I could just lie down adn go to sleep - so I think I might do that!!!

Another boring Monday....

The weekend was really good despite the unreliable weather, so I really didn't want to get up and come in to work today. Yeah, I know, me and the rest of the working population... I want to go for a run right now, hopefully that will last till I actually have the time and opportunity.
Its due to rain this afternoon, so that will probably dent my motivation - I've never actually run in the rain yet and don't really want to, primarily because I wear glasses and they are very annoying when it rains. If I don't manage to force myself out in the rain I'll try to do something else, maybe even a circuit of all our cardio equipment.
Last weeks rut-buster challenge went well, with 3 new recipes in the end - the tofu thing, the tacos (yes, I used a kit, but even so...) and the slow roasted pork, which turned out really well.
Tonight I'm doing a sort of pad thai. I am cheating and using a jar of sauce because it needs to be used up, but I'm using it on a mixture of stir fried vegetables and replacing the noodles with spaghetti squash. I've never tried spaghetti squash before, so I figure trying a new ingredient qualifies it for the rut-buster challenge.
Food today:
Massive (and I do mean massive) egg salad sandwich made with rye bread
Salad with feta cheese, also a very small test portion of wild rice salad from Waitrose. Served with ryvita crispbreads and laughing cow.
pad thai squash with teriyaki tofu
Fromage frais with strawberries and raspberries
Second day of the no sugar or sweeteners plan! I managed yesterday - just about - really missed the soft drinks, and did eat quite a bit of fruit, and some no-added sugar peanut butter. Today though, less successful - I bought a low fat yoghurt pot at work, the yoghurt itself was plain but there was a layer of fruit at the bottom and it tasted pretty syrupy. I'll keep trying for the rest of the week though, and hopefully still do better than usual. It may not be all bad - I had a persistent (slight) headache earlier and now its gone... maybe I should do this the way I quit caffeine every so often - cut down considerably one week then cut it out the next...
Weight: 9st 12 lbs 6 oz (I know I said I wasn't weighing daily any more but I got up half asleep and was standing on the scale before I realised what I was doing...)

Sunday, 12 July 2009

A Beautiful Sunday

Its a lovely day now, although this morning it was damp and grey. I still managed to walk into town for a little shopping though. There was a triathlon happening in the area, and the cycle route went past the end of the road, so I got to see quite a few competitors along the walk. I must admit I like the idea that someday maybe I could do a triathlon, but I'm held back from trying by being completely awful at swimming - the running I couldn't do either now, but I could picture that changing; likewise I'm sure I could handle the cycling with a bit of training, but the swimming is different. I can just about manage a very poor front crawl - without the proper breathing - and don't know any other strokes at all. Because I am very short sighted without my glasses I feel disorientated and anxious in the water as well. I keep thinking I should have swimming lessons, but then I keep putting it off - like a lot of my fitness aspirations. Ah well, maybe some day...
I also baked some bran muffins today, using coconut oil for the first time. They seem to have turned out quite well but we'll see.
Oat & Wheat bran cooked in water, thickened with banana, whey protein and soya milk.
Home-made vegetable soup, rye bread with laughing cow cheese, made into open-faced sandwiches with chicken (roasted in a peanut-butter yoghurt marinade), tomatoes and cucumber.
Chicken roast dinner with dry-roasted potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower and steamed peas.
Popcorn (air popped), summer fruit protein shake, and too many raisins and Dormen's Spicy nut and satay bean mix - oops.
Weight: 9st 12 lbs 6 oz (138.4 lbs)

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Movie afternoon

Just watched the movie Valkyrie. I'm not really a Tom Cruise fan, but I liked it a lot - and the cast was stellar! I knew they wouldn't win the day obviously, but it still got the blood pumping when everything seemed to be working out for them, and then the crash when everything went belly up....
Yesterday I tried to watch Quantum of Solace, I used to be a James Bond fan but Daniel Craig doesn't do it for me, and I lost interest after a while. I miss Pierce Brosnan :-(

Forgot to mention my weigh in earlier
(yes, still weighing in daily till tomorrow): 9 st 13 lb 2 oz (139.1 lbs)


Wow, posting on a Saturday for a change. And a very overcast, damp and depressing Saturday it is too. I started the day with one of my least favourite activities - supermarket shopping in Tesco. I like the prices, and some of the products, there, but its not what I'd call a fun experience. I get there early as I can, usually about 6, so that I'm out of the way before the families with bored small kids show up and the carpark fills up. A guy who also shops regularly at that time - whom I've been exchanging nods and good mornings with for a while - actually stopped to ask my name and introduce himself today. We had a little chat, which was quite nice, but he seemed to be suggesting (maybe he was joking!) that he'd be looking to go at the same time as me for a while now because 'seeing me cheers him up!' and finished by saying that he might take me for a coffee some time.... I've seen him chatting to loads of people there, he seems to be a naturally friendly guy, but I must admit I wasn't expecting that!
After that bit of shopping I walked into Caldicot for some more supermarket shopping, but the fun kind this time - buying luxury items instead of essentials, in Waitrose instead of Tesco. I also went to the library and got a few books by new authors, so hopefully I'll have found someone new to enjoy. I love finding a new author and going through all their books, as the ones I already read can't come close to keeping up with me!
Food today:
All brans with strawberries and soy milk. I've really missed it the last few days, so I enjoyed that. I'll be dumping it because of the sugar next week, so I'm glad I had it today.
Home made veg soup with light rye bread and laughing cow. I put a few cherry tomatoes on one slice, and a chopped spring onion on the other to make it a (very) little more interesting!
We're trying tacos tonight! I've never had them, I'm just making them with a Discovery kit. I'll just have 2 little shells if all goes to plan - to see how I like them - and eat the rest of my share as a taco salad. To complete the Mexican theme I got a small tin of spicy refried beans and some guacamole, and I'll be using reduced fat cheddar (Cathedral City) as well. Looking forward to it! That will be my main rut-buster new meal this week, but I'm also making (as I type) a slow roasted pork shoulder in the slow cooker. I took the recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking but used a smaller joint & slow cooker - everything else stayed the same. Smells pretty good so far!
Already had a summer fruit smoothie. I added spinach which I like, and on impulse added some cucumber as well - a bit too much, it tasted rather odd so I won't do that again. (still drank it though!). 2 ryvita thins, and later I'm having a fruit salad with fromage frais.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Eat Less, Live longer?

I know everyone's heard about the restricted calorie lifestyle and how it may increase your lifespan. As you may have gathered from my earlier post, its not a lifestyle I think I could stick with given my binging tendencies. Today's BBC website posts another story on the subject - rheseus monkeys live longer on a restricted calorie diet. I guess the study removes my theory that you don't really live longer, it just feels like it when you're permanently depriving yourself, as the study was based on monitoring the actual health of the monkeys not just asking them how they felt about life!
However, unless I'm much mistaken the monkey's diet was being controlled by the scientists not the monkeys themselves - so it doesn't answer my other question - is it really sustainable long term or would it be more likely to cause someone to go on a rampage in a Millie's Cookies stand until arrested (smeared with chocolate from head to toe - and not in a sexy way)? Anyhow, I think I proved to myself this week (again) that I couldn't live that way unless I too was locked up in a cage with no access to any food except what was being slipped through a hole in the door (and don't think I haven't considered suggesting that to my husband at times) so I guess I'll just have to live a shorter life (and work on the sanity issues) instead of benefiting from this study...

Feeling like a failure today

I really thought I'd got past the days when I would binge horrendously one day, then keep it up for the rest of the week - but yesterday suggested I was wrong about that.
In the morning I wrote a post, but didn't end up publishing it because it felt no longer true... so now instead I'll post a confession.
I binged again, for the second time this week (if my big 'thai' meal day qualifies as a binge, which now I think probably does). My breakfast was fine - oat & wheat bran again, with banana and berries and whey protein.
My lunch started well - soup and bread with laughing cow (the soup was only a tin, so a bit processed, but still....). And then things started going wrong. I bought some cheesecake in the canteen. Even though it was actually very poor I ate 3/4 of it before throwing the last bit away. I think then I felt cheated - I'd eaten excess, unplanned for calories and they were wasted on a bad dessert. So after work I bought vegetable crisps (fried not baked), a piece of gingerbread, and some single serving tubs of Ben & Jerry's. I had my planned dinner - chicken baked in the slow cooker with salsa and mashed swede - but in addition to the crisps and gingerbread I also ate two of the Ben & Jerry's pots - Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Then I felt bad enough about what I'd done to drink some sauvignon blanc. Another day ended > 2000 cals over, and now, as I said, - failure.
It has made me look harder at what I've been doing though. I've been saying that I'm maintaining now, while actually acting like a (bad) dieter. According to my maintenance calories should be 1756 a day. I've been aiming to save at least 3-400 of these, plus at least half of any extra calories 'earned' through exercise. I don't need to, its just become a habit. Is it any wonder then that I feel deprived and want to binge? If someone else asked me that, I'd say no. I can live on 1300 cals a day - or less, I managed with 1100 a lot of the time while I was trying to get to goal. But those were also times when I binged heavily, deprived myself in compensation, and ended up 1) worried that I was developing an eating disorder and 2) found myself maintaining when that wasn't my goal. Now, maintaining is my goal - but so is getting sane and moving further away from my fears of an eating disorder. In the interests of that, I've decided its time to up the calories to a more sustainable level in the hope that I'll feel less deprived and therefore overall less likely to binge. My intention is to get those calories from healthier, higher quality foods rather than processed, highly refined junk food. And also to get those extra calories without adding masses more bulk in food. I'm a natural volume eater and I'd like to shrink my appetite so that if I do go off the rails I stand a chance of my satiety point being reached before I've eaten too much crap.
So next week I'm going to try to cut out all refined sugars, as well as most artificial sweeteners. No soft drinks for a week - help! I'm addicted to diet ginger beer so this one will be very hard. I'm going to stop obsessing over micro-managing my macro-nutrients (primarily fibre and protein) and start eating food that satisfies me mentally and emotionally as well as physically. If a dinner of vegetarian pasta or a huge bowl of fruit or cereal is what I want, and eating it leaves my protein levels lower than I usually aim for, instead of trying to cram extra in elsewhere, I'll just accept that today is a lower protein day in the knowledge that tomorrow or the next day may well be a higher than usual protein day. I'll replace diet bread with real bread, ideally nicer bread - stone-ground spelt or buckwheat, rye or granary bread - rather than just a more calorific sliced, processed loaf. I'll replace some oil spray with small quantities of olive oil where it seems appropriate, and start making my own salad dressings. I'll continue trying to plan my food - mainly for financial / logistical reasons, so I don't keep going shopping for ingredients to do different meals on impulse - and I'll try to bias my planning and substituting towards using up the massive amounts of food in my cupboards, fridge and freezer.
I'm going to stick to my plan of trying new recipes so that I don't get bored, and if I'm eating something that turns out disappointing I'll stop eating it and get something else. (or try to think of a way to jazz up the disappointing food - I hate wasting food if I can help it).
And I'm thinking again about cutting back from daily to weekly weigh ins... this morning I woke up determined not to weigh in and still did (10 st 4 oz or 140.25 lbs BTW - lower than I expected). I always thought it was a good idea to weigh daily and therefore be aware of (and un-fazed by) fluctuations but now its finally getting through to me that given my obsessive personality maybe its just another way to keep the whole diet and weight loss thing right at the forefront of my mind. Maybe I'll try that next week too... I've been reluctant to make changes before my holiday in case I gain weight, but I know I will gain weight on the holiday, and therefore need to cut back when I get home, so as long as I'm still fit and healthy (and fit into my clothes) does it really matter if I have one or two more pounds to lose afterwards? Or indeed if I don't lose them? I can still gain 14 lbs from this morning's weigh in without exceeding my healthy weight (although I don't feel or look as good at that weight so I don't want to); maybe I should consider the possibility that a slightly higher, more easily maintained but still healthy weight would be better than paranoia at a lower weight....
In case this sounds like preparing to regain a lot of the weight I lost it's not... there's no way I'm ever going back up to 180 lbs +... but relaxing about things a little will only do me good I think.
Food today:
Disappointing protein oatmeal made with soy milk; wholemeal toast
Goat's cheese, laughing cow, mixed salad leaves, tomato, cucumber & red pepper in wholemeal bread.
Small fillet steak pan fried with steak seasoning in olive oil tossed with a big salad of mixed leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, red, yellow & green peppers and spring onions plus sweetfire beetroot.
Apple, satsumas, prtein bar, chocolate berliner...
Planning to walk into town for some red wine (I won't be drinking it myself - had enough for one week)

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I ran today!

For the first time in about 4 or 5 weeks I went running. Bearing in mind that I was just starting to learn back then, and haven't tried for so long I am very impressed that I managed to run about a mile and a half (I covered a 2 mile course with a little walking on the way out, but ran ALL the way back - so it could well be closer to 1.75 miles). And I enjoyed it! It was very hot, but I had some cold water with me. I probably ran slower than my usual walking pace, but I could still feel the difference. Now I just have to remember how good I felt for a few days and try to build on it while its still fresh!

Shame, guilt and remorse?

Not so much actually - I still feel a lot better today than I did yesterday, so maybe I really needed a blow out? Plus despite what the calorie count tells me, last night didn't exactly fall into the pattern of my old binges - 1000 cals of wine is rare for me, and was even when I was binging, and replacing a healthy low cal meal with a much more calorific one for a change doesn't produce the same out of control feelings as standing in front of the fridge / freezer desperately looking for something - anything - to eat. I did make some decisions I regret - for one, if I could go back in time I'd walk the ~ 4.5 miles round trip instead of driving, and if I'd done that 1) I might have consumed fewer calories because walking has its own medicating effects and 2) I'd have burned off some of the calories I did ingest.
The scales this morning said I'd gained 3 lbs at 10 st 2. I do hate seeing the 10 at the front, even when I know exactly why, but I ate enough excess calories to gain 1 lb at most, and was in deficit prior to that so if I get back on the wagon the excess should swiftly disappear again. The only thing that doesn't cheer me in that thought is that I'm noticing a trend in my behaviour - I weigh in every day (thinking about changing that, but one step at a time) and I find myself having a reasonable weigh in on the Thursday / Friday, less pleasing ones for several days after that, then just about getting to the same point by the time my next 'official' weigh in comes along - or to put it another way, I'm running to stay in the same place. I've tried this before but I'm seriously considering a no-sugar pledge to try to help fight this, as I think it contributes to my occasional 'crazy heads'. I want to maintain my weight rather than lose more, and I know that's what my current behaviour is achieving if all you look at is the numbers on the scales / clothes labels, but it doesn't feel like a healthy sustainable lifestyle. It DOES feel like I'm making it more trouble and effort than its worth. Wouldn't it be better to eat more calories day by day, but get those calories from healthy, enjoyable, quality food in satisfying but not excessive quantities? Why yes, I think it would. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to enjoy a takeaway or meal out without feeling guilty because I 'should' be restricting my cals to make up for some other 'misbehaviour'? Yes again, I think. Wouldn't this help me to stop with the constant obsessing and occasional binging? Hmmmm. I think it would. Now I just need to translate these thoughts into actual action. Find a way to level out my intake instead of depriving myself 4 days a week to make up for slip ups on the other 3.
Food for today:
Oat & wheat bran cooked in water with a pinch of salt, cooled with a splash of soya milk and flavoured & thickened with a banana and some plain protein powder.
Cheese and pickle sandwich in wholemeal bread. After a bad day I feel the need for a little extra fat in my food, so today I'm scheduling it in instead of adding it in snack form
'Hash' of potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, tofu, red & green pepper cooked in the slow cooker & served with 2 poached eggs.
It's not very pretty, but it tasted better than it looked, and not too 'heavy' on the stomach!
Fromage frais with peaches and raspberries, and an apple.

Today I am due to babysit my work experience boy. I've decided to see this as more of an opportunity - at least while he's here I won't be likely to eat all my snacks at record speed, and won't be able to go for any more. I have NO cash in my purse to spend in work, and no intention of going out to get any later. I usually manage to eat almost as much rubbish the day after as I do during a binge - even more so if alcohol as involved - but today I'm going to try something else - namely providing my body with healthy nutritious food that will fuel it to repair the damage inflicted yesterday. I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Happier now...

As we say in Britain (no offense intended to anyone) I'm pissed.... by which I mean, I've had too much to drink... still, I'm happier now than I was before... probably won't be in the morning / middle of the night - but right now - cheers!!!

Bad day

:-( bad day already by 6:30 am... I've just been told that I'm expected to spend half the morning tomorrow babysitting a work experience student... I'm not a mother because I don't like children - and even people who do like children don't like teenagers... and even people who don't mind some teenagers don't like teenage boys. So I get to spend a few hours with a teenage boy explaining the joys of testing. He'll be bored rigid in under 5 minutes - and who can blame him? It bores me rigid and I'm supposed to make it appeal to this kid???? Aaaarrrgghh. I've done this before and hoped never to have to do it again, but now my boss has decided I'm his work experience 'go to girl'. Lucky me....
I'm feeling thoroughly pi**ed off now and I don't know why.... I do actually want to binge today but I don't know on what... I hate days like this, I just don't know what to do with myself. I wish I knew how to box, hitting something really hard might actually help right now. If only Body Combat classes had found their way to this corner of Wales...!!!
Food today:
All bran with strawberries and soya milk. I was going to have a smoothie, but I felt like a fruit salad instead so that's what I did. A lovely bowl of Galia melon, strawberries, raspberries, a fig, blackberries and fromage frais topped with cracked linseeds. And it was yummy - even though I planned to add a banana & some blueberries and forgot!

Salad with feta cheese and soya beans with a tiny drizzle of Cardini's low fat caesar salad dressing
Egg white frittata filled with tuna and onions and a big salad was what I planned.... But I was in such a foul; mood that I couldn't do! So, to Waitrose to buy a feast - Thai fish cakes, red curry & jasmine rice plus a bag of salted cashews and a small bar of Green & Blacks dark chocolate (to melt and coat the cashews). It was good, but like most disgusting over the top binges, not as good as I'd hoped - and now I'm stuffed.

Fromage frais with peaches. Work canteen's version of a cherry fruit corner - plain yoghurt with cherry sauce swirled through it. Lots of fruit today! and WW toast * 2 slices
dread to think what tomorrow will be like - after going 1700 cals over on food and drinking the best part of a bottle of Chardonnay as well!!!
Weight 9 st 13 lbs (139 lbs)

Monday, 6 July 2009

Going nuts

I think I've finally cracked...
After months of battling binging last year, now I'm actually wanting to want to binge! I was planning a big day off the calorie watching today, and in the past that's always meant pigging out on a mixture of foods but with a heavy emphasis on chocolate biscuits. Today I had a chocolate mousse (topped with tiny bits of cadbury's flake and some chocolate sauce) at lunch time. After finishing it I felt a little bit ill - and no inclination to eat any more chocolate today. In fact I haven't even eaten the soup I had planned for lunch yet, and I don't really feel like it. That might very well not last, but at the moment I couldn't think of a chocolate treat that would tempt me - and I'm slightly disappointed about that!!! I think it's because when I was binging, regardless of how bad I felt afterwards, at the time I did feel some comfort. As well as a defiant 'that'll show 'em!' type feeling that didn't seem to depend on me being annoyed with anyone in particular so it makes no sense. I think it felt good to be self-indulgent and 'naughty' somehow, and nothing else offers similar feelings of comfort now that that has gone. Don't get me wrong, when going out or on holiday I suspect I'll still over-eat considerably, I haven't exactly learned self-control or lost interest in food - in fact my day-long slow nibbling at weekends proves that point - but the binging switch seems to be in the off position right now. And as I want a little comfort at the moment, I'm a little at a loss to know what to do instead. Booze doesn't do it (and god knows that's a substitution I really don't want to make); nor does trying to pamper myself with facials or nail varnish etc... a massage from someone else might do it, but with M at work, and our agreement not to spend unwisely, that's out of reach right now - along with one other activity that springs to mind... I do have a movie to watch tonight, so maybe I'll slap on a face mask and watch it with some air-popped pop corn and diet ginger beer (now that feels naughty even though its not!). A nice trashy horror movie (Jessica Alba in The Eye) when I should really be doing housework should definitely feel self-indulgent and naughty too!

Food today:
All bran with strawberries and plain low fat Fromage frais with peaches
Canned Spring vegetable soup; light rye bread with laughing cow; chocolate mousse (feel slightly nauseous now - is that the best I can do???)
Tofu with chilli sauce; lots of spinach with garlic
Fromage frais with raspberries; summer fruit smoothie; apple

Weight 9st 13 lb 4 oz (139.25 lbs) - nibbled too much yesterday I guess - and not enough fibre!

I did manage to get my appetite back after my walk. I had some nibbly raisins and frozen bananas, plus a smallish bowl of spelt muesli with skim milk for supper. I bought a bunch of fresh fruit to snack on but didn't bother.... so I ended up well under cals for the day

Garden Invasion

On Friday I went for a walk and when I got back M was in the garden - sunbathing and reading a book about weight training.He noticed something weird - a wasp flying up to the table holding a piece of leaf in its 'paws', disappearing up inside the parasol cover and then coming back out without the leaf. It happened two or three times so he carefully unzipped the cover while it was gone and then watched it disappear into the folds of the parasol... that made us suspicious so when it came back again we sprayed it with fly & wasp killer then opened up the parasol to discover not one but two partial wasp nests being built in there!!! How lucky where we that he spotted it - that's the first time he's ever gone outside to sit in the sun and read his book!!! Wouldn't fancy having a wasp's nest right outside our back door! It took ages to clean up the parasol after we finished off the wasp (I don't like killing things and neither does M (except in computer games) but there are limits to peaceful coexistence!!! Must remember to keep an eye on that in case any more wasps get ideas of colonization...

Sunday, 5 July 2009


Still not much to talk about. So here are some photos from this mornings (hot and sweaty) walk.

Went for my walk about 7:30 this morning and it was already way too hot. It doesn't feel right in the UK when it never cools down! It didn't help that I wore jeans because I was wading through a nettle patch either. And again with the hungry picking....

Food today:
Beans on toast
Homemade vegetable soup with added soya beans; nimble bread with laughing cow cheese
Prawns & feta cheese in homemade tomato sauce served over wholemeal pasta, cabbage and courgette
Green monster smoothie, granola bar, some incredible chocolate coated ameretto soaked cherries, raisins, flatbreads, frozen banana.........

Weight: 9 st 12.5 lbs (138.5 lbs)


Didn't post yesterday because I had nothing to say - and still don't! Went for a good walk in the morning, but it was sweltering hot and that left me feeling tired the rest of the day. We watched the X-files movie 'I want to Believe' in the afternoon, which was good but not really alien / paranormal enough to seem like a proper X-files.
My food was spotty: the meals were OK but I nibbled a lot - not enough to eat all my calories plus exercise, but more than I should've done really.
A 'hash' of potatoes, reg & green pepper, onion and muchrooms topped with tesco low fat sausages. It was cooked in the slow cooker over night and was yummy though it didn't look too pretty - I think the mushrooms were a mistake.
Houmous & mixed peppers sandwich in pepper chilli bread
Big pile of roast mixed vegetables with feta cheese
Ummmmm. Yoghurt with raspberries. Protein bar. Smoothie. Some pistachios. Some raisins. Some dim sum from Waitrose. Some frozen bananas. Some crackers.

Weight: 9 st 11.5 lbs (137.5 lbs) - a good weigh in, so why did I rush off to eat too much????? Seems to be a trend when I'm happy with my morning weigh in

Friday, 3 July 2009

I didn't train yesterday, and I think that was the right decision as my legs now feel much better for the rest. Today if the weather holds I want to walk after work (finishing at lunchtime today, yay!), if not I'll train at home. Either way I hope to include some kettle bells while I'm still in the 'zone'. It is feeling cooler today (and grey, damp and miserable) so I'm hoping to do some running (my version of running) tomorrow and Sunday as well as a walk tomorrow morning (to get a hair cut and go to the library - god the excitement) and if its not raining, Sunday morning as well - my favourite day to go for a really long walk as Saturday is the morning I do my big weekly shop and other errands that get in the way.
M and I agreed yesterday to stop spending money on a whim until we can reduce the balance owed on our mortgage a bit. If he'd just waited till today to suggest it I was going to buy myself a spiralizer... ah well, I can't even convince myself I really need one, so it'll wait a few months, though I probably won't want it as much if the weather's cold by the time we're happier with the financial position. I do want to try replacing pasta with courgette / carrot 'noodles' though not raw veg - I already do use veg in place of pasta when I make bolognese sauce but they don't look as appetising as some photos I've seen of spiralized veggies. (My own fault because I don't have the patience to pretty them up so they're very obviously just thin slices of veg) I did order 3 books before he mentioned it, all of them about how thoughts and mood can influence health and fitness, so I'm looking forward to reading them and hopefully coming away with something to work on my depressive nature and calorie obsession!
The books were "The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe" by Lynne McTaggart
"Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel" by Deepak Chopra and
"The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles"
by Bruce H. Lipton
I'll be blogging what I think about them when they come!
Food today:
All bran with skim milk and banana; summer fruit smoothie with frozen spinach, goji berries, soaked chia seeds, green tea and skim milk. I ate the smoothie out of a bowl with a spoon, and scattered a tiny few cacao nibs on the last few spoonfuls to try. They were... interesting. I think I'll like them... I knew they'd be more bitter than processed chocolate but I think I underestimated the need to get used to them. Plus to be fair I don't usually add chocolate of any kind to a smoothie - even a puddingy one - so that's a bit different too. I do look forward to trying them on oatmeal - I've got some rude health apple and date porridge to test them on at some point.
Mushroom and onion omelette (one large whole egg + 68g liquid egg whites) and laughing cow light
187.5g kobe beef burger (no bun), topped with a big slice of red onion and mushrooms if I train, with home baked oven chips and salad
someone's birthday jammy doughnut - yum!!! (but also oops)
Natural low fat bio yoghurt with mandarins, 3 flatbread crackers, some raisins and a few bits of frozen banana

I didn't train in the gym, but I did go for a walk (with my heavy backpack) for an hour so I think I did quite well - especially in this heat!
Weight: 9st 12 lbs 6 oz (138.4 lbs)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Aching and Paining today!

Yesterday I did indeed manage another kettle bells session - 6 minutes swinging (alternating a minute on, a minute rest, 11 mins in total) and 5 mins Turkish Get Ups. Then I spent 40 mins ellipticising. Almost straight away my legs started complaining and I'm feeling a bit bandy-legged today as well!
I have to confess that I didn't 100% behave yesterday, though my weigh in says I could've been MUCH worse! In addition to my planned food, I had about 4 KFC popcorn chicken pieces, about 4 fries, and a mouthful of a mini fillet. I also had maybe a dozen salted pistachio nuts. M Wanted the KFC, and I resisted joining him properly - and after eating the few bits above I was glad as it was nowhere near as good as I remembered it. KFC used to be my favourite takeaway (I loved the fillet burger, and that I didn't try again so maybe I still would) but now I don't mind if I never have it again. In the end, M agreed, though he still ate a fair bit of it. I admit we may both have been influenced by the fact that we live 20 mins drive from the nearest KFC franchise and I drove home with it rather than it being eaten freshly cooked. After eating the KFC bits I was in the mood for salt, so that's when I tried the pistachios and they were AMAZINGLY nicer! They tasted fresh, natural, a little sweet, a little salty....oh yes, and a little nutty! I could've eaten the whole bag, but was relatively strong - and didn't! The rest are still at home, so I need to do something about them before my next bad day though... (photo of pistachios bag?)
Still feeling rather less interested in snacking all day at the moment. I did have a small handful of frozen banana & grapes after training, but I needed it - for the coldness and for the carbs - so I don't regret that at all. All in all, quite a successful day!
Today is due to be a rest day since the gardener is coming this evening. I hope it isn't raining, as the grass needs cutting badly - last week he sprayed it with a weedkiller / lawn feed combo that couldn't be applied within 3 days of a mowing so its looking very overgrown. And the weeds don't look very dead yet either.... If I feel energetic later in the day I may try to fit in a short training session (no kettle bells though!). It's weird - some weeks I barely train at all, other weeks I get antsy if I can't train for one day... shame I can't even out so that I consistently train 6 days a week, but I guess that's just not the way my body / mood works. I'm hoping the recent heatwave will ease up a bit now as its forecast to, so that I can pick up on the attempt to run again. I've got four weeks to the holiday (including this one - so really more like 3) and haven't run at all for weeks now. The problem at the moment is I can't go before work or at lunchtime, and by the time I get home in the evening its so hot I'm very reluctant to risk it. Or maybe that's just an excuse, I don't really know.

Food today:
All bran with strawberries, green monster smoothie made with frozen spinach & banana, skim milk & chilled green tea, and chocolate whey protein - I prefer it with vanilla whey myself
Sandwich made with Nimble bread, houmous, mixed salad leaves & mixed bell peppers; one large egg hardboiled, mashed with laughing cow light, and spread on 2 dark rye ryvita crispbreads.
Innocent Veg pot (Tuscan bean stew) with cauliflower, & broccoli. The veg pot wasn't as nice as the last one - the thai one
Natural Fromage frais with mandarin oranges, natural bio-yoghurt with blueberries, a Weight Watchers pineapple yoghurt, 3 flatbread crackers, some raisins and more pistachios (oops)

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 1587
Protein (g) 95.9
Carbohydrate (g) 196.1
Fat (g) 45.4
Fibre (g) 60.1
Fruit & Veg 11.7