Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Back to work!

It was misty today as I drove in, which I must admit I always find a bit scary, especially when I'm driving on windy, hilly country roads that I'm not yet very familiar with.  I got in bright and early despite starting the day with a 40 minute elliptical program.
At lunchtime I managed another walk in the sunshine. I wanted to explore a foot path I'd noticed last week; sadly after I walked through 10,000,000 spiders webs the path just stopped at the canal and I just had to turn back  and change direction :-( It was still good to get out and get some (sort of) fresh air though! I find myself much less prone to a post-lunch slump if I can do that (I still don't much like the early afternoon mind you...) There still isn't much to do in the village, I'm not sure it will stay a nice place to walk for the full 2 months of my contract. I know I seem to walk to the same two places all the time, but I'm generally doing that so I can do something specific when I get there!!!

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I decided to wait until after my walk to eat lunch to see if it helped me resist the snacking urge in the afternoon. I'm not sure that was the best idea though as I ended up stopping at a local garage and buying a tiny snack... it was only just over 100 calories though! (Fudge bar, haven't had one for ages, used to love them....)

Food today:

Breakfast: A gorgeous protein shake of iced coffee, vanilla rice milk, chocolate whey and a banana (with some chia seed goo I soaked at the weekend when planning some baking that didn't happen) pre- and post- training, followed by soaked oatbran and oats with blueberries, raspberries & strawberries when I reached work.

Lunch: Salad with prawns and a mandarin Muller Light yoghurt. I haven't had a flavoured yoghurt for months and this wasn't very satisfying so I think I'll stick with the Greek yoghurt instead!


Dinner: Massive stir fry with teriyaki tofu

Snacks: Greek yoghurt with We Are Bear granola; protein bar; Fudge bar


and some liquorice allsorts…
I've decided not to weigh daily while I'm working. If you don't want to suffer TMI, look away now...
I've been getting into a ridiculous ritual process ever morning where I go to the bathroom, weigh, drink a cup of coffee, go to the bathroom again, weigh again... This started when I started feeling a bit constipated, the first weigh in often happening before I've managed to... er... go. That was fine (if ridiculously obsessive) while I wasn't working because I had all day for chores, training, cooking etc. Now, I can't fit it into my morning alongside training unless I start getting up earlier - and even I'm not that obsessive! So I didn't weigh this morning and I'm planning on leaving it until Saturday, though I may weigh sooner if I decide on a rest day in the week.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Work-free Monday!

I do like Bank Holidays when I have a job – even after just over a week in the working world!

I walked into Chepstow this morning, to make the most of the lovely sunshine. It was nice to have a chance to make a fuss of the farm dog Border collie I’ve mentioned before; less nice getting chased across a field by a herd of cows again! Coming back again I didn’t go through the fields… ;-)

I’ve been feeling kind of nibbly today. I wouldn’t call it a binge and don’t think I went anywhere near going over calories, but I was feeling a bit off – and a bit odd – and I woke up with a headache that came back several times throughout the day, so I haven’t been firing on all cylinders today, and I’m not sure why. Obviously I didn’t let it stop me going out, but I didn’t really enjoy bits of the journey back because I was feeling peculiar. It wore off after a while though, and I’ve been taking it easy this afternoon (originally I meant to do the basic resistance workout I tried last week, but fairly easily convinced myself that was a bad idea). We tried watching another movie that somehow made it onto our lovefilm rental list, but gave it up after about 25 minutes because it was just too odd. It was a Thai movie called Raging Phoenix, and was subtitled, and supposedly a martial arts movie – except that it featured a martial art that seemed to be a mixture of break-dancing and karate (I kid you not, they really did incorporate break-dancing movies into their fights) and required the fighters to be drunk to perform it…  It was just too silly to stick with!!!

Food today:

Breakfast: All bran with peaches, blueberries, raspberries & strawberries – there is cereal in there, I promise!!!


Lunch: Grilled vegetable sandwich with an egg – a bit deconstructed as you can see! I had a couple of slices of beer bread from the freezer, and really enjoyed it!


Dinner: Roast chicken breast with dry roasted potatoes & veg


Snacks: Protein smoothie, cottage cheese (pineapple & mango flavour!)

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A slice of ‘skinny’ lemon poppy seed cake at Coffee #1 in Chepstow


and a few roasted soya nuts


Weight today: 10 st 3.5lbs (143.5lbs) – and I’m quite pleased given that we ate out yesterday!

Sunday Bank Holiday weekend

My brother came to visit us yesterday, hence the late post.

We had a great day! Before he arrived I found myself right back in the mood to binge – my same old urge that always comes back when I know I won’t be in control of the food. I did give in a little bit, but then decided to train before he got here to minimise the bingeing time, so I spent 40 mins on the elliptical walker. I wasn’t too depressed by that decision, I do like the approach of filling good bingeing time with exercise instead!!!

We tried to take him to our favourite Thai restaurant for lunch, but they were on holiday – closed till Wednesday :-(. Instead we went to an excellent Indian restaurant about a mile from our house. The food was lovely, the service was very good, we all enjoyed chatting – and although I ate more than I meant to the damage was a bit contained by us each ordering our own food rather than going for a stomach-stretching set meal, so that was good.

After lunch my brother and I walked along the railways embankment into town. By this time it was bright and sunny, though not as warm as it looked, and we really enjoyed the walk. I did a bit of shopping and we headed back feeling a lot less bloated for the exercise!


Food today:

Breakfast: All bran with strawberries & raspberries

Lunch: Indian food! I forgot to photograph most of it because we were too busy talking, but I had 2 poppadoms with condiments; lamb chilli with boiled rice (below * 2),



and a portion of strawberry frozen yoghurt. My lamb was wonderful – the curry was very spicy (half a dozen green chillies in my portion that I could see) and the lamb was unbelievably tender!

Dinner: I was too stuffed to eat until late and even then struggled to decide what to eat. Dinner ended up being half a honeydew melon and a Greek yoghurt with We Are Bear granola!


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with honey and a bag of peanut butter M & Ms – these aren’t widely available, at least not in our part of Wales; I bought them in Cardiff on Saturday at a deli specialising in US imports. Yum! But not so good I would want them all the time


Weight today: 10 st 3lbs (143 lbs)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Lovely Saturday

I decided I needed to shop for more clothes for work today! The dress code in the office is smart casual, and I’m used to having to wear a suit so I didn’t have many options. Cue a trip to Cardiff and a visit to Marks & Spencer – plus of course a bit of food shopping while in town! The sky was blue, the sun was bright, but it wasn’t too hot thankfully – I hate trying on clothes when I feel sweaty!

I went to Starbucks first for a coffee and snack, then headed to Chinatown. Unfortunately I got there before the supermarket opened, so I went back into town to visit a deli that might have provided what I wanted (Hot and Spicy Chinese curry paste) – no luck. Then I tried a department store in the town centre – still nothing. Though they did have something else I’ve been searching for – banana liqueur that I need to make my planned Christmas cake this year – a Caribbean rum cake that I hope will replicate the famous Tortuga rum cake of Grand Cayman. (Yes, I know I could just substitute dark rum, but I want to try doing it properly!)

My second visit to Chinatown was more successful, and the clothes shopping went well too. I struggled for a while – to find trousers small enough, love that problem! – but got there in the end. By this time I decided that it wasn’t a good idea to drive home and cook soup from scratch as was my plan – I would be too hungry by then – so I bought a sandwich for lunch (I’ll admit I was tempted to go to a restaurant, but that would have been piggy!)

This afternoon we watched The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus – I started out with a HEFTY dose of scepticism, but in the end we both really enjoyed it! It must be one of the weirdest movies ever made, but certainly not boring – or predictable!!!

Food today:

Breakfast: All bran with strawberries & a mocha protein shake with half a banana blended in

Lunch: Boots sandwich – falafels and salad. Very tasty!

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Dinner: Seafood risotto made with pearl barley instead of rice and a frozen seafood mix, with a salad


Snacks: Starbucks yoghurt with wildflower honey & granola + a skinny flat white coffee


And cottage cheese with nuts and seeds


Weight: 10 st 3lbs (143 lbs)

Friday, 27 August 2010

TGI Friday

And finally a dry day at work! It has literally rained every day since I started work until today (and even today I drove in through a steady light drizzle).

Below you can see the new bane of my life… the food supplies at the office. Can you see how healthy it all is??? The drinks cabinet contains sugar-free flavoured water, pepsi max & diet coke – everything else is full sugar & calorie; likewise the only low cal options in the food one are Special K bars and sugar free gum. Guess I’ll keep leaving the money behind!!!

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At lunchtime I finally managed to get out for a walk around the village. It is kind of pretty, though there isn’t much there in the way of amenities. There is a path alongside the canal, so I’ll be exploring that as soon as we have another dry work day! It was so nice to stretch my (still achy) legs for a change instead of eating at the desk and sitting there right through my lunch break. I had also done a short stationary bike workout in the morning, just to try to get the blood moving in my legs!

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Food today:

Breakfast: Food today: Soaked oats and oatbran with peaches, strawberries AND raspberries.


Lunch: Salad with falafels, egg and feta cheese.


Dinner: Stir fry with quorn chicken style pieces



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Weight: 10 st 3.4lbs (143.4lbs)

The words…

I wrote this yesterday and again forget to send it to myself. Didn’t have time to rewrite it, hence the wordless post I filled in with yesterday. So – that was the Thursday that was….

No morning training today. I'm aching a fair amount today, I guess that the workout from Tuesday hit home. Obviously the secret to not feeling frustrated by the need to take a rest day is to work hard enough that you ache so much a rest is all you can think of...;-) I ordered a foam roller yesterday so that should be lots of fun... I had a deep tissue massage years ago (lympahtic drainage) and it was really painful, so the idea of a self-inflicted sports massage is really appealing... but as I am aching today (mainly my legs - and my hamstrings are soooo tight) I wish it was here already so I could get on with it! (I've had to settle for stretching at every opportunity and hoping no-one walks into the ladies as I'm touching my toes!!!) Does anyone know if using a foam rollerhelps to open the hips a bit more? Still thinking about my rubbish squats...
I'm still not happy with the food options I'm choosing so far here either. I know I'm going for convenience and portability, but I can't help wanting to be satisfied and enjoy the food as well, is that so much to ask??? Actually while typing that I've realised what the problem is, and how stupid do I feel... for months I ate my main meal at lunchtime because it stopped me grazing through the afternoon and now I've reverted to a more traditional pattern with very little notice / adjustment time - and I'm wondering why I want my afternoon snack as soon as I've finished my lunch???? Now that makes sense, I shouldn't have taken so long to figure that out! AND my Greek yoghurt portions have shrunk because I was eating 200 ml at home and the Fage pots I'm now buying are only 170. OK, not a huge difference, but still, at least now I can see a reason for increased hunger other than insanity / upcoming binge. Oh yes, and today excluded I've also trained in the mornings - and all my training this week, morning or evening, has been higher intensity than the walking I was doing previously. Wow, I've been sleep-walking through my own brain worrying about my hunger signals this week!
More rain today... I hate driving on the M4 in rain, how is it that the M4 produces so much more spray than any other road? I switch from the M48 to the M4 and I really notice a difference - I guess that its down to the volume of traffic but it seems weird. And annoying.
Food today:
Breakfast: Oats & oatbran soaked over night in soya milk with peaches; also an iced coffee - whey smoothie (I added raspberries and strawberries as an experiment - it was odd, not horrible, but probably won't do that again!)
Lunch: Salad with a hard boiled egg and cauldron falafels
Dinner: Quorn bolognese stuffed red pepper and a salad
Snacks: Greek yoghurt with seeds;
2* babybel light with an apple.
6 mini eggs. Then I entered them into WLR (still under calories - hurray!) and discovered that in that small handful of sweets was 96 calories (based on the numbers for the Cadbury's version.) Argh!!! Nice, but so not worth that - and now that I know it, really rather obvious too. That should help me resist them from now on!
Weight: 10 st 4.4lbs (144.lbs) and still constipated...

Thursday, 26 August 2010

No words today

Food today:









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Weight: 10st 4.6lbs (144.6lbs)

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Last night after I posted I attempted Rachel Cosgrove's Week 1 base workout (body weight only for most of the exercises while I learn them). As promised I was sweating profusely by the end of the warm up - I will admit I generally don't rate warming up as a real part of a workout, but that one did feel like I was training already. Especially the Inchworms... I really struggle with squats though and can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. My knees seem to collapse inwards and I can't keep my feet flat on the floor, which is one of the reasons I haven't progressed with any of my plans to take up weights so far - I can't help feeling like I'm going to completely mess up my knees or ankles that way. I'm not aching too much this morning (though some of the exercise had my muscles screaming even with no weights) so I started the day with an elliptical workout (even though Ms Cosgrove told me not to...) It really helps me feel more energised for a day at work to train in the morning, and the routine in the book takes too long - especially when I have to keep checking the instructions. Plus its going to take a while to get my head around the number of days off - today should be a rest day, so should Friday and Sunday... I figure that I need less rest while in exercise learning phase though, so I have time to work it out inside.


This is the view from my front door this morning!
Keeping my eye on the road was even harder this morning as there was a hot air balloon out - I really want to go up in a balloon some day, and seeing that floating above beautiful scenery on a gorgeous sunny morning just epitomised my dream trip. I guess I'm better start planning for making it a reality...

On the other hand, the weather turned to crap mid-morning and I was glad to be inside the office not out in the torrential rain! I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re flooded in by morning at the rate its going!

Food today:
Breakfast: Soaked oats & oatbran with soya milk and strawberries plus a protein frappe of iced coffee, soya milk, cookies & cream whey and half a banana. I had the shake as a pre- and post- training snack and kept the oats till I reached work.

Lunch: Cous cous and roasted vegetable salad with beans added for protein

Dinner:Frozen hake topped with pasta sauce (Loyd Grossman’s Tomato & Almond Sauce) and cheese, served with grilled vegetables. Very tasty (although I had to finish cooking the fish in the microwave – might have been better to defrost it first!)


Snacks: Greek yogurt with home-made unsweetened applesauce and seeds stirred in;

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a protein bar. I might have had a small amount of pic’n’mix after dinner as well…

Weight this morning: 10 st 6lbs (146 lbs) WTF??!!! I think this must be a combination of constipation and water retention from my second training session yesterday. If not, I really don't know what I did to deserve that (unless the chocolate tart at the weekend has been skulking around waiting to ambush me today!!!)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Blog today:
Bizarre weather as I was driving in today - bright sunshine (dazzling at times) with rain at the same time. The rain persisted long enough to get me more than a bit damp by the time I reached the office! I drive in through some really beautiful scenery that I obviously can't share with you because I'm driving the car and don't want to die ;-) The problem is once again that I can't look at it and enjoy it! Hard though it is to believe I wouldn't mind one (just one!) traffic jam in the right location so I could have a good look around and enjoy it for a change!

I did a short session on the stationary bike this morning. My borrowed mountain bike has no light and I'm leaving the house just as it gets light so I can't use the real bike in the mornings sadly. On the other hand I get to watch TV while I cycle, so that's not too bad. Apparently I burned hardly any calories, though the sweat dripping from my hair when I finished said otherwise. I think its probably because I only remembered to put on the chest strap to measure my heart rate a few minutes into the session - must remember to do that up front next time, and to moisten the contacts at the start rather than waiting till the sweat does that. I followed it with one chin up and one pull up - I know that's pathetic, but I injured myself at the weekend so they were really testing if it was healed yet. "Just about" was the answer - and for both I managed to get my chin up above the bar (with a very little starting jump) - more than I've managed in the past. I also did 2 sets of 20 press ups this morning. I've been thinking that for time efficiency I should incorporate Tabata workouts - has anyone tried these? If you have, what did you think of them?

I left all my cash out of my bag for work today, as I am feeling the pull of the vending machine already. It worked on my last contract, and I'm not ashamed to use strategy to bolster (weak) will power! I'm not sure if it the knowledge that I can't get extra food, the morning training or the fact that I had my breakfast earlier than I'm used to, but I was starving by about 10:30 this morning. I've decided to bring my main breakfast to work rather than eating it then driving for an hour to start work at around 7 am - there's too big a gap between breakfast and lunch that way. If I have my protein shake split between pre-and post-training like this morning, that should keep me going until 7am, when I'll be able to have breakfast at my desk. I must admit there's a large part of me that is screaming in protest at having to come up with all these strategies just to stop myself overeating. I can't help thinking that now I'm been maintaining (around holidays) within a 4 lb weight range for about 3 years it should be starting to come more naturally to me. I know a new job is a bit of an upheaval  and routines do need to change as a result - but I also know, and you know too, that it doesn't take anything that specific to put me back in a place of over-eating or wanting to. I do feel like a bit like a jelly fish at times like this (no idea if jelly fish binge - I'm just talking spineless!)
Then I think about it and realise that actually it does come more naturally to me now. I don't want all the same things I used to want, and I certainly don't want as much of them. I'm just more hyper-aware of what I'm eating or wanting to eat than I used to be, and I guess that's a small price to pay for being so much slimmer. Even if it doesn't always feel like it. So that’s good.

Food today:
Breakfast: Pre- and post training shake of MP Max chocolate whey blended with half a banana, ice and and iced latte. All bran with peaches and strawberries

Lunch: A salt beef & gherkin sandwich and a small portion (I think the last) of Watermelon and Red pepper soup. I like the convenience of a chilled soup in a flask for lunch at the office, so I'll be making some more / looking for more chilled soup recipes. Any suggestions?


Dinner: Slow-cooked mushroom, barley and lentil stew with grilled asparagus and broccoli. This was delicious, although you’d have to really really like mushrooms – the dried mushrooms in this recipe are really strongly flavoured, and the overall effect is very meaty


Snacks: Greek yoghurt with oats, seeds and raspberries, and a protein bar - very easy to eat at my desk obviously, but I'd rather be eating real food. I must come up with a new snack idea for the afternoons that boosts my protein, is easy to eat, doesn't smell (don't want to be antisocial - so hard boiled eggs and tins of fish are out!). Help...?
Weight today: 10 st 3.4lbs (143.4 lbs)