Friday, 31 May 2013

I've gone deaf...

Temporarily deaf that is, due to water in my left ear. So embarrassing, not being able to hear anyone talking at my left side...
I’ve spent the whole day inadvertently ignoring people who stood that side of me and tried to talk.

Today is a day when I wanted to stay in bed before I got up and wished I'd stayed in bed once I got up. I don't know why - I'm not particularly tired or depressed, I just feel like letting the world get on with things while I take a duvet day. Unfortunately I don't get paid to stay home so I got up and went to work anyway...

I did enjoy my breakfast today, I made Paleo Scotch eggs last night to use up some pork mince I had lying around (flavoured with fresh sage & rosemary) and they turned out rather well. Very filling too, I had half for breakfast and half as a snack mid-morning. Yum!

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At lunch time I looked out the window and saw something strange and unfamiliar... A bright light coming from the sky... I seem to remember we used to call it... The Sun!!!
I felt it would be ungrateful to waste it after the last few awful days, so I went out for a walk - just over 2 miles, obviously not a stretch but I had a specific target in mind, exploring new territory. A few days ago I Googled farm shops in Berkshire and discovered one a mere 1.1 miles from my office. I scoped out the route by car earlier in the week - checking I could walk there without becoming road kill - and this was my opportunity to check it out properly. I could have spent a fortune there - especially if I'd wanted to quit the low carb thing as they had a wide selection of really interesting artisan chocolate - but I made a huge effort to keep it to veggies (ok, also coffee and local green bacon, but a girl has to have SOME fun) and otherwise just took notes for future visits. They had some very interesting meat, game and cheese there when I'm looking for that. And donkeys in the garden - what could be better???

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As always when I finally persuade myself to be a little active I thoroughly enjoyed the walk (it was very still, quite warm, and I got a little sweaty so my colleagues may have wished I had less fun...) and I definitely enjoyed browsing the shop. I love this area.... though to be fair there were good farm shops and farmers markets in Wales too, just not so convenient that I could walk there and back, and browse, in 50 minutes, they were always a trek away.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Down, down, down down down...

Ok I give in. I'm not good at fasting.... Even though I don't currently binge, I'm still a binger and may always be.... a bit like the way that alcoholics are still alcoholics even though they don't drink.
I tried to fast this morning and maybe its lack of sleep or having a headache or being depressed because of the appalling weather... but whatever the reason, by 8am I was actually thinking about the vending machine here in the office - with love & hope rather than my normal disinterest / loathing. Fortunately I had some nuts & Babybel cheeses in the office and a bag of pork scratching in the car, so I was able to break the fast with foods that don't break the low carb diet, and once I'd done so I lost interest in the chocolate instantly - no further will power required. So I'm not planning fasts any more (and I know I gave up easily - but remember I've tried this before with wildly varying results) but will instead focus on eating when hungry as its something I've never been good at.

Apologies for the way my plans have been bouncing around this week - I think I'll settle down now!!! Feel free to tut in disgust at my weak will and lack of spine - I don't mind! Well I might, but I'll pretend I don't...

It's been pouring with rain literally all day today, which combined with not much sleep has made me thoroughly fed up and miserable today. I want to run away to a Caribbean beach and live in a shack on the sand. Eating fish, fish and more fish…

Grim, grim, grim - and my mood isn't improved because we have no holidays booked, or plans for any, at the moment so I'm completely at the mercy of the British weather...
The forecast says it will improve from this evening to the weekend. It bloody better!!!

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Still tweaking the plan...

New definition for my fasting - on fasting days I'll omit breakfast (or lunch) to reduce overall calories and increase non-eating window, but I won't skip both unless I'm not in work. That way I shouldn't have to worry about feeling dodgy and not being worth the money they pay me to work. If I don't feel hungry at lunchtime after missing breakfast I might extend the fasting window until dinner or mid afternoon, depending on how I feel at the time, but unless I'm very busy I rarely don't feel hungry at meal times so that's not likely. On the plus side though, if the fasting is shorter I feel more comfortable increasing the frequency and less worried about triggering over eating as a result... So I'll aim to miss breakfast 3 days a week and see how I get on. I always used to feel I had to eat 3 meals a day regardless to avoid hunger and then started skipping meals if I wasn't hungry without specifically deciding to fast, but I am definitely a creature of habit so I struggle with long expanses of day uninterrupted by any food at all. Does the above sound like rationalisation? Maybe it does... Is it? Maybe it is... Maybe I'm setting myself a minuscule target so I can meet it without too much effort...? I don't know the answer but I'd rather take baby steps to the end than fall on my face taking a big leap forward, and if that's wussy I don't care... much.

No breakfast for me tomorrow... And I mean it!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

How can the long weekend be over already? 3 days in the office seem infinitely longer than those did...
I had a great weekend, my brother arrived Friday evening and we had a good chat, then on Saturday we went to London. It was a fairly short notice decision so neither of us had anything we desperately wanted to do except S, who has recently started cooking a lot more due to starting a healthier lifestyle, wanted to go to Brick Lane so he could visit some Indian supermarkets and search for ingredients to make his curries more authentic. First though we got off the train at Paddington, walked (ambled really) through Hyde Park, wandered towards Piccadilly Circus, along to Covent Garden where we spent a while exploring the Jubilee Market before heading down Carnaby St and into Soho.

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We walked past a lot of adult shops till we found a tube station, then switched to public transport to reach Liverpool Street station, then walked to Brick Lane. We had lunch in an Indian restaurant there - Tandoori mixed grills, good but not spectacular.

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Then went in a couple of supermarkets before walking back to Old Spitalfields Market for a browse ( much better market than the Jubilee one) before we had to return to Paddington. We always go in at least one coffee shop as we walk around London and usually we rather wussily stick to the safe consistency of Starbucks / Costa but on Saturday we branched out and tried an independent place just off Carnaby St called the Speakeasy Espresso House. Best flat white I ever had, S agreed his latte was also fantastic, and they took your orders and delivered your coffee to the table - Starbucks don't do that! Later on as we waited for our train home we did go to Starbucks and it was disappointing by comparison.
On Sunday S and I stayed more local. In the morning we went to a garden centre where I bought some herbs in pots that I expect to kill and eat fairly quickly. After lunch we went to a local nature reserve and spent a few hours wandering through fields, woods, and around lakes, with a small recess in a pub that you have to go through a ford to get to it where I just had a diet coke.

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It was lovely, and when we got home we watched Looper and it only took 3 of us working together to follow the plot... ;-). We enjoyed it anyway.
Monday I didn't go far as I had a couple of beautiful blisters to nurse, but I did pop into town to buy a disposable barbecue and I barbequed all the fish in my freezer plus some chicken and sausages, which turned out great!
And we had 3 days of virtually constant sunshine, unheard of on a bank holiday, which has now totally disappeared... I woke up to pouring rain, drove through rain and spray to work, and sat in an office all day looking out of the window at unspeakably horrid, grey, wet, dreary weather...
Confession time... I know I've boasted a lot about not wanting sweet stuff these days, well, at the weekend that changed, and I started firstly feeling a bit wistful because I don't eat that sort of thing any more, than feeling like a treat was overdue. I wouldn't say I went crazy - on Saturday I had a protein cookie and on Sunday a protein flapjack; both were artificially sweetened not sugary, and both contained grains. I'm happy to say I didn't really enjoy them and don't feel any desire for more now. I was a little uncomfortable after eating the cookie (it wasn't gluten free either) and that combined with disappointment over the flavour has refreshed my disinterest in the whole thing. I think they only appealed in the first place because of been fairly active for prolonged periods on both days and my body wanted a bit more fuel, but for now onwards if I feel that way I'll have to find that extra fuel elsewhere, that just wasn't worth it.
Today as you may remember was supposed to be a fast day; I did fast until lunch time before starting to feel unwell. At home I would have had a lie down and preserved the fast but when I'm being paid to work I don't want to be sub-par when there's no need, so I forged a path to the nearest shop through the relentless pouring rain and bought some cold meat & nuts to lunch on. I felt better within minutes, happily. Occasionally a fast just doesn't feel right and its easy enough to switch days, especially when you're only aiming for 2 days in seven anyway, but I will admit I was disappointed not to get one under my belt today.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Nuts!

Somehow I managed to feel guilty eating breakfast today... Last time I had an IF plan I fasted every other day and the decision to only fast 2 days a week this time seems kind of wimpy by comparison. I suppose I'll get used to it, and when it stops producing results I'll just add in extra fast days to restart things. I got over the guilt very quickly and was quite happy to snack & lunch as usual (yes, I'm still snacking. I will work on that sometime honest). The snacking included rather too many nuts…


Annoyingly (because I have trouble focusing on the bigger picture) we have had a viewing booked for tomorrow morning. I'm still going to London with my brother, but we may have a shortened day that starts with housework for me... jolly good - not! I shall be very annoyed if they don't buy the house!!!!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Food days are harder than you’d think

I have to admit that this morning I was somewhat tempted to rampage through the office eating everything that wasn't nailed down. Everything low carb that wasn't nailed down, that is - and obviously only the stuff that belonged to me. I kept it to a minimum though, no point fasting one day and then eating enough the next day to completely wipe out the calorie deficit - unless you're fasting for general health and not weight loss, which I definitely am not. Or bingeing insanely, which ditto.

I am pleased that my lack of interest in carby crap continues, though I kind of fancied something sweet at lunchtime and picked up a container of strawberries (which of course are low carb anyway) that was a very mild, easily ignored fancying, and I ended up putting the berries back before I paid. Annoyingly I bought some chicken drumsticks intending to add one to my lunch, only to realize quite soon after I started to eat one that they had clearly previously been frozen - and in fact it was only partially defrosted. I considered defrosting it the rest of the way in the microwave but ended up throwing the rest of that one away and saving the others for tomorrow’s lunch, since my original plan of freezing any leftover was also scuppered.

After dinner I had peanut butter as a snack. Not incredibly low carb, and as a legume, frowned upon by Primal / Paleo purists.

However it was unsweetened and had no added sugar so it wasn’t too messed about with, and it was less sweet than the cashew butter that I am now avoiding like the plague.

Tomorrow evening my brother is visiting for the long Bank Holiday weekend. Yay Bank Holidays! If only it wasn’t the last one till August – and the end of August at that. Sigh.

Still, watch this space for another trip to London on Saturday and some kind of excursion on Sunday – though I probably won’t check in to tell you about them till next week. Just imagine, I may manage a whole post without mentioning carb counts…. except probably I won’t  ;-)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Fast day fun…..

Well, my theory about large dinner = no interest in breakfast was rubbish... I think my body actually thought 'that was nice... And big... Let's do that again' as I was hungry before 6am today. Or maybe that was just tiredness being interpreted as hunger because I woke up around 1:30am and struggled to get back to sleep (as predicted, moaning about not sleeping...) Either way, I didn't get any free pass on breakfast and in fact the feelings of hunger were actually sharper than the previous fast day morning as well as earlier - but they wore off quite quickly as well, so I suppose that was something.
All I had before I left the house was a couple of glasses of water (cucumber-lemon water, so there were a very few calories probably) and then I dived into a pot of black coffee as soon as I reached work, and swam around in there for a while ;-)
Once again the 5 hour stretch of morning was the hardest... its amazing to me how much I rely on eating stuff to break up that period. I guess it'll take a while to retrain my brain - and body - not to do that. Which would be a good thing anyway, let's be honest, as grazing shouldn't be needed with this 'diet/lifestyle' anyway. I did get to 10:30 today before I really started to feel like something was missing from the day - not hunger in reality but definitely just lack of finding/getting/making food as a break. Drinking fizzy water helps with feeling empty but not with boredom, clearly.
And at lunchtime things got harder.... I had a mug of Bovril because my stomach was gurgling loud enough to be heard across the office. And that was making me feel much better.... Until the guy who has the desk directly behind me brought in fish % chips. FISH AND CHIPS!!!
I know that being gluten free and low carb makes everything you can buy in a chip shop out of bounds, but knowing that doesn't help when you can smell the food... let's just say the guy is fortunate that I have such amazing self control that I didn't trample him into the carpet and steal his lunch. I'm pretty sure, given the right provocation (as I was!) I could take him....
Do you know what stopped me breaking the fast (until I got home and exceeded my 500 cal allowance – but was still low cal for the day)?


1) Self control? Nope.
2) The lack of low carb food options? Nope.
3) The fact that punching the fish & chips guy would lose me my contract and possibly get me arrested? Nope.

Give in?

The fact that yesterday I blogged my intention of fasting today was the only reason I did. So thanks guys, if anyone read that post, you really helped me out there. Not that I entirely appreciated it at the time...

It will get easier with practice… especially if I find something other than food to think about all day.

Still, Week One of 5:2 fasting a la Michael Mosley (but low carb) survived!!!

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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Are you effing kidding me??

Well, having survived my first low carb fast day yesterday I felt pretty pleased with myself, not least because I didn't get hungry for breakfast today until around 7am (I get up at 5am, and woke up at 3:50 this morning) so it didn't drive me crazy either (so far anyway). My food plan for today gave me a low carb, high fat, moderately high protein plan that wasn't ridiculously high calorie - and I stuck to it all through the working day with no desire to binge or even overeat - and then at 1:30 this afternoon our estate agent called asking if we could let someone view at 7:30 this evening. Of course we said yes despite the short notice, came home and rushed around checking everything and touching up anything that wasn't spot on, then went put for a Mexican meal so that

a) no cooking smells in the house
b) no worrying about washing up, spills, or mess and
c) we'd be out of the way.


So we got back to the house after a delicious but unplanned and not really wanted meal out... and it looks like they didn't bother viewing. Our agency asks viewers to fill in a feedback form and all the others have done so, but there was no form this evening, no note or message to say they refused, and no sign that anyone else had entered the house. I am so unimpressed... I did pretty much stick to the low carb rules though; I had a starter of huge king prawns cooked with lots of butter (plus a small amount of salad) followed by a grilled sirloin steak with more salad, and no dessert. I had one (5g carbs) beer plus sparkling water with the meal, and I think the salad dressing was a little carby - it was creamy, wholegrain mustardy, but slightly sweet along with the kick from the mustard. So not as controlled as I could have been at home; but at least I didn't go off the plan in any significant way. 

Tomorrow is another fast day if I can manage it. The larger than usual dinner should help me miss breakfast fairly easily anyway. M is doing full on alternative day fasting and although I only plan to fast 2 days I decided to match those 2 up with 2 of his for catering convenience, so this week Monday & Wednesday, next week (if I stick with it, and I plan to) Tuesday & Thursday. I'll avoid weekends because on those days I have lots of time for exercise / training if I want to so I want to be sure I have the energy, plus its easier to give in to temptation during the hungrier times at home and then I'll have all the guilt and self-blame to contend with...
Anyway, that was my day. I didn't walk at lunchtime because the weather was unappealing (just grey and damp, but I didn't feel like it) and after work I was focused on the house (I did climb lots of stairs) then I walked approximately a mile round trip to the restaurant. Work was so dull my head may have exploded - I wouldn't have noticed - and the probably didn't happen viewing has left me seething with frustration. Guess you'll be putting up with me whinging about not sleeping again tomorrow...


    Monday, 20 May 2013

    Fasting low carb

    This weekend I discovered a way I can be inspired to binge without strictly breaking the diet I'm on. I knew cheese was a risk, but compared to this new food, it barely registers on the diet breaking scale... Have you tried cashew nut butter? I don't know if all brands are the same but Myprotein.com now sell big tubs of cashew nut butter and I can eat it by the spoonful... No, actually, I could eat it by the bucket load. Its fairly sweet, very rich and creamy (it only comes in smooth) and its so much nicer than any other nut/seed butter I ever tried... Its basically dangerous to a person inclined to over indulge such as myself, and I need to stay well away from now on. A little is NOT enough...
    I'm actually feeling pretty ok today despite eating nut butter at 8pm yesterday.
    I fasted today - no breakfast or lunch. If it hadn't been for the nut butter it would've been 24 hours,as it was I went 22 hours with no calories. I had a hungry hour from 9:30 to 11 (yes, I know that's more than an hour!!!) But otherwise the main problem was boredom - the morning stretches on and on when you can't break it up or enliven it with food!
    At lunchtime I escaped from an office that never fails to fill with food smells and went for a 3 mile walk. I planned the walk to stay away from shops, restaurants and fast food sources and basically spent the whole hour walking around a little lake / nature reserve. Apart from dodging dive bombing insects it was very pleasant and included swans, geese and goslings, which are always nice. Then it was back to work and another hungry hour.... I'm planning to fast two days a week, hopefully it should get easier with practice, and I'm going to try to walk at lunch break on those days the weather permits just to break up the vast expanse of foodless day and get away from other people's lunches...

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    I've felt awash with water, black tea and black coffee today. You're supposed to get relief from hunger of you drink plenty (sometimes works...) as well as ensuring that you don't get dehydrated or mistake thirst for hunger. It also allows you to spend a lot of time in the bathroom....

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    Friday, 17 May 2013

    On a roll…

    Sleeping better and feeling better as a result - two decent nights in a row now!

    Getting a better nights sleep last night didn't stop me forgetting that I planned to take my breakfast to work - it was all ready in the fridge, and it still is now! I had the weirdest breakfast in a recent run of somewhat weird meals lately - I'd taken a can of steam-cooked mackerel to work in case it appealed for lunch one day but had chickened out of eating it because I was worried about it smelling too fishy for the office - I was actually carrying it backwards and forwards every day hoping at some point I'd eat it outside! Anyway I let my concerns be overcome by hunger, and ate it in the kitchen, straight out of the tin for breakfast today, and followed it with a couple of mini Babybel cheeses. I quite enjoyed it as a definite one off but kept imagining (i hope it was just imagination) that I could smell fish all morning... It didn't satisfy me for very long unfortunately, despite being all fat & protein, so I ended up eating half my lunch by 11am. Lesson learned... Unless deliberately fasting, don't forget your breakfast, especially when you only took your lunch out of the freezer at 6am so you can't just eat that instead... (I'm using leftovers for my lunches at the moment and don't always even know what they are till they defrost since I never remember to label what goes in the freezer...)
    This evening M asked if I fancied eating out and I resisted. I even got takeaway for him and stuck with my planned stewed lamb with asparagus... Go me!!!

    Crappy crappy weather and very little walking – but I don’t care!!!

     

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    Thursday, 16 May 2013

    Took ages to feel like posting today

    Not for any really negative reason, I just didn't have a lot to write about. I'm quite busy at the moment, so I don't while away the hours thinking of stuff that may or may not end up here on the blog. In my lunch break I was reading a very interesting book. I probably find it more interesting at the moment because it supports my growing obsession with low carbing and more primal / pales eating (well, pales plus dairy because of my love of cheese. And yoghurt.) the book is called The Meat Fix and its by an English guy who was a vegetarian off and on vegan for 28 years getting increasingly ill with appalling IBS symptoms until his wife suggested one day that maybe their health problems, which in his case he had been suffering for about a decade, where not due to something they were eating, but to something they weren't - namely meat. So they did a complete 360 and started out by eating liver before expanding to eat all types of meat & fish, and instantly improved their health hugely (btw please don't think I'm writing about this to offend any vegetarians or vegans who read this, I just find its interesting because so many of my own problems have improved since going low carb) anyway, after telling you his own story the rest of the book is something of an angry anti-government, NHS and big business rant, but its really interesting and I really like the way he looks back at the food and habits of his own childhood (in 60's Yorkshire) and his parents & grandparents to compare them with the ones that made him (and many of us) ill. Really interesting but possibly more appealing to people who already agree with his opinions given his Angry not-so-young man tendencies!
    I also did walk a couple of miles at lunchtime around an artificial lake with waterfowl. No walking after work though as once again it started raining the minute I got in my car to drive home. I'm too easily diverted from physical exercise this days, I must work on that.... She says for the 30,000,000,000th time this year alone...
    So, anyway. Still very low carbing at the moment mainly because I'm not currently very interested in food or eating. Except far too many nuts, so that's not translating into shed loads of weight lost. I suppose that may be contributing to my loss of interest in getting moving... Or maybe I'm just a lazy cow.

    Wednesday, 15 May 2013

    Aaargggh

    More rain.
    No walking.
    Hardly slept. Felt like my body was trying to crawl out of my skin, and my brain was whizzing around insanely.
    Déjà vu....
    I am a zombie today, struggled to get through work and collapsed when I got home. How long does it take for sleep deprivation to cause insanity? About a day less than I've been unable to get a decent nights sleep I suspect.
    Ok, enough moaning from me.
    Eating fine. Mood better than the above might imply.
    Longing for the next bank holiday.
    Lunchtime I went to the nearest shop & ended up running most of the way back. I stopped because the bags I was carrying were annoying and I dropped my phone and settled for walking and getting wet the rest of the way. Almost interval training if you ignore the fact that there was basically one interval and none of it was very intense (I don't wear a sports bra to work so I couldn't even if I wanted to)
    After work the sun was put but the clouds were heavy and dark so apart from a quick stroll into town I didn't do much, which was lucky because it poured down not long after I got back, but at least I got a little exposure. And some spots of rain.

    BMI still 26. (I decided to add some accountability but this allows me to brush it off slightly as I don't really believe in the BMI.)

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    Tuesday, 14 May 2013

    Just going through the motions

    The weather is still letting me down and getting me down as well... Today has been showery but the forecast for the rest of the week looks awful - heavy rain across the board. I want the sun back please please pretty please????
    I slept much better last night till I was woken by some kind of loud noise outside. At 4:30 am Ffs!!! I'm starting to feel persecuted - the universe is against me... not as tired today as yesterday, but still I didn't have the energy to train, and the river falling from the sky when I got home persuaded me not to go for a walk either...
    So I have nothing much to write about today, and totally lack inspiration...
    Chrissie out
     

    Monday, 13 May 2013

    Weekend round up plus

    Nothing much to report for Saturday, I did very little - mostly household stuff - and only walked a mile. The forecast was so patchy I didn't trust the weather enough to go for a proper walk, and therefore missed an opportunity because in the end it stayed dry all morning and for a chunk of the afternoon even though it looked ominous.

     Yesterday I walked along the Kennet & Avon canal for 6 miles, mostly in glorious sunshine and, with little wind, high temperatures. It was lovely, but my original plan to walk about 11 miles was cut short because my walking boots died under me and I had to order some more. Luckily they were despatched today so I can start breaking them in soon- I generally spend a few days or weeks clumping around the house in new boots before I take them out for real.
     
    Last night I struggled to get any sleep to speak of. I tried to get an early night because I was falling asleep anyway, but it didn't work out so well - I took ages to get to sleep, woke up several times, and woke for the last time just after 4am. It was both hard to get up - because I was knackered - and impossible to stay in bed longer - because I was frustrated, bored and stressed by the lack of sleep.

     I couldn't get a proper walk at lunchtime because I had to go to the post office to return some faulty electronic appliances before the deadline to do so. As always there was a queue and I was stuck in there for 6 years or so. I hate that... I wouldn't have gone much further anyway as it was also showery. Once my lunch break was over of course it got sunny, only to start raining again as soon as I walked from the office to my car. In fact it started to pour down as exactly as I turned into my street... I took that as a sign that I was too tired anyway, and settled in for the evening.
     
    I tried a kind of Dukan-ization of my day today. I slipped up slightly yesterday and bought a large cappuccino without remembering that it had almost a full meals' worth of carbs. So I cut back big time on the carbs today - for breakfast I had bacon, a sausage (some carbs but not a lot) and hard boiled egg. For lunch I ate meat and cheese, for my snacking (yes, I snacked!) I had biltong & cheese, then for dinner I had a burger - no carbs, just beef and seasoning - topped with a slice of cheese, a poached egg, and some mushrooms cooked with a little cream. No salad or veg at all. I wouldn't want to do that everyday and I'm pretty sure some of you at least threw up a little just reading that, but as a one off it was kind of a guilty pleasure... ;-)
     

    Friday, 10 May 2013

    Calming down...

    Feeling pretty good today after venting my frustration yesterday. (thanks for letting me get it out!) Obviously I do realise intellectually that Jess' comment was right on the mark - I'm simply eating too much energy dense food (in fear of not getting enough energy without the carbs), and need to deal with that or accept this weight as my 'new norm' - can't see that happening! I'm still not happy about where I am, but I'm feeling re-motivated, once again, to tweak things so that can change.
    Also I'm snacking too much still, my body may not need to without the blood sugar peaks and troughs of a carbier diet but the brain has been well and truly trained after all these years of 5 'meals' a day. Must un / re brainwash myself...
    Anyway, no aches or pains after the Versaclimber session yesterday - even in the annoying lower back area. This morning I did 40 push ups before breakfast, and more later on - 60 in total, though I can't pretend they were all done with perfect form. Then another 40 minute session on the Versaclimber today while watching an episode of Criminal Minds... its not as emotionally satisfying as a walk in the sunshine, but then there wasn't a lot of sunshine... and if I'm going to get wet, I'd prefer sweat to rain showers any day... Plus being able to watch TV while working up that sweat takes away some of the pain!

     

    Thursday, 9 May 2013

    Why I'm finding low carb harder than I expected...
    I love reading the books on the low carb phenomenon... They all explain in great detail why its not my fault I regained almost half the weight I lost, they don't expect me to train 7 hours a day, and they talk of the weight reaching a natural equilibrium without hunger or calorie counting, food scales or conscious portion control. They mostly also contain success stories by people who apparently melted the excess weight away while sitting on their shrinking asses eating neat butter by the slab.
    I want to lose between 14 and 21lbs, which I know is less than a lot of the people quoted but its not like I'm trying to lose my last 3lbs to reach a borderline emaciated body shape... I'm eating less carbs than the maximums quoted in these books, more protein and plenty of fat. I haven't genuinely binged (though once or twice I've overeaten I think because of my body craving something *else* rather than something specific. I've eaten chocolate (in small qualities) on 3 occasions, dessert once - in almost 2 months (check before posting) AND THE SCALES HAVE BARELY MOVED. I'm hanging in there because I like being able to ignore the many occasions when my colleagues find an excuse to buy doughnuts that I shouldn't eat because of the gluten even if I wasn't trying to lose weight and I love not being tempted by the dessert menu at restaurants. But if you believe the claims of massive weight loss achieved while consuming mammoth numbers of calories, I should not still weigh almost the same now as I did in the beginning... I really shouldn't. I'm so frustrated I could almost overlook the improvement in my sleep (very recently), the steadier moods (when taking into account the fact that I came off the antidepressants and TTOM) and the fact that I've not eaten till I feel sick and then wanted to die since beginning this approach... because let's be honest, these things are all good, but I'm in it to lose weight first and foremost. I believe if I stick to it easier maintenance will be on offer too... But FFS, not maintenance at this weight, 7 lbs above the highest healthy weight for my height!!!
    I read a post yesterday by Laura yesterday that I really enjoyed and respected. She looked at the health implications of her very successful weight loss, added in the effort required to maintain it, and made the deliberate decision to gain some weight back in order to improve her health and happiness (and it doesn't hurt that she looks great). I wish I was capable of being as, well, wise I guess, as she is - because frankly when I look in the mirror I don't see a body much healthier than it was st peak weight, I see a body significantly heavier than it was at peak weight loss... And even though I felt my face was too thin back then, now I just want to see that again. AARGH I wish I wasn't so obsessive about this rubbish... My body is less fit than I'd like, but fundamentally healthy. My mind? Apparently not so much... Having said all that, there's a difference between making an intelligent reasoned decision and just letting yourself go...
    The weather did not cooperate with my desire to walk today... It didn't rain constantly, in fact there was a little sun... but the timing of the showers prevented a lunchtime walk and discouraged a post-work walk. However, instead of just collapsing on the sofa for the evening when I got home, I spent 40 minutes on the versaclimber before dinner (then collapsed on the sofa ;-))
     

    Wednesday, 8 May 2013

    It's raining....


    ...off and on anyway...
    I guess Spring & Summer are over now and we've gone straight into Autumn... Bloody British weather...

    On a more cheerful note I managed to do 20 pushups and a plank last night (I was going to claim it was a 60 second plank before I remembered that actually I just counted to 60 and probably the counting sped up as the plank continued...)

    This morning I decided to skip breakfast as a first experiment with low carb intermittent fasting... By 9:18 (precisely!) I was so bored that I was seriously considering giving up on that just for something to break the tedium (what can I say, that's software testing for you!) I decided to resist for as long as possible... struggling all the way... drinking gallons of coffee, water and black herbal tea... 

    Fasting at work offers less temptation since I don't have a kitchen full of food at my disposal but my god its hard not to obsess about food when your brain is screaming in agony at the total and utter BOREDOM being inflicted on it... I did allow a mug of bovril around 10:30 and that seemed to help more than the calories in it would suggest it should. Then I had half my lunch early because I had some shopping to do at lunchtime & didn't want to shop hungry. I didn't eat any solid food until 11:30 though, and as its the first time I've done anything like fasting since going low carb I'm quite pleased... Boredom was definitely more of a challenge than hunger, so I'll be trying that again.

     I walked two miles at lunchtime and one this evening - a round trip to the Indian restaurant in town, where I avoided poppadoms (sob!) and ate a starter of minced spiced lamb stuffed in an omelette followed by tandoori lamb chops with cauliflower bhaji. 
    Followed by a complementary Tia Maria shot (they always offer and I always end up feeling it would be rude not to...). During the meal I just drank sparkling water so I could've done worse, though I don't know how many carbs were in the cauliflower bhaji. Or might have been mixed in with the mince in the starter.
    The meal was slightly spoiled by M discussing at length the fact that he wants to move back to Wales... I love being in England again, and really don't want to, but he made some valid points that I'm struggling to come up with arguments against.  Not the least of which being how much better the house prices are over the Severn...
    Don't wanna is not my most compelling argument of all time... 
    Will you still read me if I end up back in the land of feral sheep and leeks???

    Tuesday, 7 May 2013

    Relaxation and recuperation

    This weekend was very relaxing and enjoyable, yet now feels slightly wasted. Saturday wasn't wasted at all - I visited my mum, which is never wasted time, we went to Frome in Somerset for the morning and in the afternoon braved the horrendous winds to walk into town in the sunshine, and I loved every minute I spent there. (and spent a fortune on food in the market at Frome - obviously!)
    On Sunday I drove home and was feeling a bit tired so apart from a pathetic one mile round trip walk into town with a heavy rucksack (very heavy on the way back) I just watched TV and The Expendables 2 and caught up on spending time with M, telling myself I'd go for a long walk on Monday... Yeah, not so much. I was still very tired so I basically set up camp on the sofa again and the most energetic thing I did was chop a few veg and cook dinner. At the time it felt good, but by the time I arrived at work today I was cursing myself for wasting good walking in the sun time, especially as its due to rain for most of this week. Still, my body was demanding rest so I guess I should just accept that I gave it what it wanted...
    I was thinking of bringing back my 25 mile challenge this week, but as I already lost a day and if it rains in lunch breaks I simply won't go out it seems pointless - I'll just have to do what I can this week. 5.35 miles today, in glorious sunshine...
     

    Friday, 3 May 2013

    Why I'm finding low carb easier than I would have believed possible

    Years ago the idea of going low carb would have horrified me. My beloved All Bran WAS breakfast, pasta was practically a food group in its own right, with noodles as an important sub-group, I baked my own bread yet still enjoyed trying every new artisan bread that I came across in farmers markets, bakeries etc... As for rice, I loved curries and Chinese food and my favourite Indian takeaway was biryani with a naan bread. How could I lose all that???

     The answer - initially - was self-diagnosing gluten intolerance after years of off-on constipation, bloating etc. Even then I tried desperately to change things as little as possible, switching to gluten free versions of my favourite staples, buying gf flours so I could continue baking, taking a gf cookery course (where I picked up a recipe for brownies so good it could still disturb my dreams...) And though I felt better within 3 days of making that change, clinging on to those things kept me wanting them, and left me dissatisfied because (with the exception of the brownies mentioned above) they simply are not as good as the originals. I'm sorry, they just aren't. Period.

     So when the return of bingeing behaviour forced me into this new dietary change, I wasn't giving up my favourite staples any more - I was giving up the pale imitations that had kept the love alive for too long and therefore kept me occasionally going back to the real thing even though it was bad for me - and that wasn't nearly as much of a hurdle!

     Obviously the huge ginormous exception to that statement is beer... I shouldn't have been drinking it on my gf diet but during my rebellions against that diet I discovered most beer didn't bother me as long as it was in moderation (I think I'm sensitive to wheat more than barley, as wheat beers were worse and therefore avoided) and therefore carried on regardless, as 90 percent of gf beer just isn't worth drinking... And I really do miss that!!! I could just try to drink the lower carb beers in small quantities but that feels like repeating the gf mistake all over again so I'm trying to resist that temptation as much as possible. But no-one ever talked about drinking a nice cooling, refreshing whiskey (even on ice) on a hot summer's day, or did a whiskey-food pairing dinner, so trying to transfer my allegiance to carb-free spirits is also unlikely to fully satisfy me. And I've cut back hugely on soft drinks to avoid that source of sweetness... I'm going to have to stick mostly to water... And that really hurts!!!
     
    Any low carb options to make water taste more interesting, or do I just have to accept it as it is and let my taste buds die a little???
     

    Thursday, 2 May 2013

    Carb bore

    Another beautiful morning today - cold as hell when I headed in to the office, but so bright and blue-skied it really perked up my mood (which was needed because I came in sans breakfast and coffee in an experiment into eating breakfast later, then had to hang around in the car park for 10 minutes waiting for someone to unlock the door...) I think I'll stick to at least having one cup of coffee in the morning in case of emergency....
    I had another go at push ups this morning with the same result. I figure even if 10 is all I can manage now, doing that daily should build my arms up again fairly soon - fingers crossed. In the mean time I'm doing the odd half push up to build them as well.(well, the odd = 60-ish today) If I'm totally honest I've always been kind of proud of my undeserved ability to do push ups, so I'm really not impressed that its gone. I'm not exactly athletic, so I can't afford to lose what I have!
    On the positive side the scales shifted slightly in the right direction today. I'm not yet ready to share the numbers yet, but it was a small downward shift after a very frustrating plateau situation the last few weeks. Now I just have to resist the urge to sabotage myself again (I've seen this number a couple of times since switching to low carb and so far I've immediately bounced back above it through over eating / constipation / retaining water due to too much salt, carbs, or not enough liquids... one thing after another. I am so ready to drop below that number now... And hopefully never see it again! 
    Of course this doesn't necessarily help... we went out for dinner this evening! Lowish carb Mexican dinner - BBQ wings
    King Prawn fajitas (minus the tortilla) 
     
    But with the other accompaniments...
     
    Utterly and completely delicious - and apart from the BBQ sauce on the wings (and the single San Miguel beer - chosen because its only 5g of carbs per bottle) it was low carb too! And because it was, I finished the meal without feeling yucky - a good reminder why I shouldn't cave to carbs! A reminder that was timely, as certain husband's in my life have been making it subtly clear that he thinks I'm becoming a bit of a carb bore / Nazi - but that's just tough luck! If he stops offering me dessert or sweet drinks, he'll stop hearing about carb counts.... 
     
    Exercise today apart from the semi-push up = 2 miles walk at lunchtime, 1 mile to the restaurant and back this evening.
     

    Wednesday, 1 May 2013

    Hi there!

    I was too busy to post yesterday - in the office, then housework after I got home as we had another viewing booked for this afternoon, and obviously we're both working today.
    After all that the viewing was cancelled so I wasted good walking time last night. Wasted it. Goddamn time wasters...
    To sum up though, food yesterday was very good apart from some unnecessary macadamia nut butter in the evening, lunchtime I walked - about 2.75 miles, since I was also shopping - but not after work because of the housework. My skirts seem to be fitting better & my stomach seems flatter, so that's all good.
    Less good is that I decided this morning to try to introduce a little strength training, starting with push ups (I know, I know, I know that its not necessarily a good idea with all the back problems I've had lately, but I was feeling so frustrated with it not getting better...) Anyway, I used to be able to do sets of 20 and repeat several sets in a day. Today, although my back was fine, my arms hurt like hell from the first one and I just barely managed to tolerate it for 10... A very concrete and undeniable reminder of how much I've let slide. I'd like to say that I intend to build it back up, and right now I do, but I'm not making any grand declarations at the moment because I know how bad I am at keeping them....
    At lunchtime I had to go to the post office and queue so I didn't have time for a proper walk (walk-wise this week sucks so far) but after doing my errands I went for an ambling exploration and found a new public footpath in more or less countryside, so tomorrow, weather permitting, I should have a choice of attractive destinations for a proper walk. And after work I did a 3 mile amble around some local fields in the sunshine.

     This (long) weekend I'm planning to visit my mum, so that will cheer me up a bit (though it will also stop me going for long Saturday walks, but its worth it!)