Friday, 29 November 2013


I am back at my Dad's now having caught the train after work. Tomorrow/today - Friday I mean - I'm picking up the courtesy car while working from (his) home. Luckily the automatic is available so I won't have to try to remember how to change gear while driving around Lincoln. I just have to remember to collect the TomTom charger from my car while I'm there.

Food today:
Breakfast: Microscrambled eggs - overcooked & dry again, I usually add tomatoes and haven't this week - they go annoyingly watery in the microwave but they do keep the eggs moist
Lunch: lamb-stuffed pitta from the canteen
Dinner: cottage pie (topped with sweet potato mash) & peas; gf cranberry & pecan flapjack to follow
Snacks: Greek yoghurt with fruit & seeds.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Doing better... more or less

I took a taxi in to work this morning, it arrived outside the hotel early and so did I, so I was in the office by about 6:05 am!
I have fewer aches and pains today although if I sit still for too long my upper back / shoulders stiffen up and that's uncomfortable until I get up and move around. Its really nothing though, all things considered. I managed to walk back to the hotel again without problems from my knees, but felt really tired by the time I got back (unsurprisingly I haven't slept well the last couple of nights)
The garage that will be fixing my car have told me they expect to finish with it by the 9th of December. The work shouldn't take that long but they're having to order parts of course. I'm hoping to get a courtesy car, but mine is an automatic and I haven't driven a manual since May 2011 so I want an automatic; unfortunately they only have one so it depends if they finish another job on time. It's due back tomorrow at the moment and I'm going back to my Dad's for the weekend (all or part of it depending whether or not I get the courtesy car on Friday.) I feel like I haven't been home for years rather than a week & a half... I'm feeling a bit lonely tonight to be honest, which is why I had dinner in the hotel restaurant before my hot bath...

Food today:
Breakfast: Microscrambled eggs - overcooked & dry sadly
Lunch: Beef chilli from the canteen
Dinner: Roast chicken with green beans followed by a peanut chocolate parfait (how did that happen???)
Snacks: Greek yoghurt with fruit & seeds, and cashews

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Back to work

First off thank you so much for your lovely comments after yesterdays post - it really gave me a much needed boost! And I'm taking your advice to take it easy - absolutely no training (I have no real choice there since I have backache, shoulder ache, a sore elbow and a twingey knee) and lots of hot baths, and no dieting until I'm feeling better.
My Dad drove me to work this morning, a 100 mile round trip for him, and showed me the route I should have used yesterday, which was much better (mind you we left after rush hour, when it was light, as opposed to around 6am in the pitch black, so it was bound to look better) - wider, straighter roads with more warnings where there were bends, fewer ditches and more villages to provide light & landmarks. We got here around 10 and he took me to my hotel first so I won't have to manhandle my suitcase this evening. Which is good given the backache. Everyone in the office was really nice and sympathetic. At the beginning I was feeling over-emotional, I think because once dad left I felt kind of alone in what is still a strange city to me, and got a little bit tearful in the face of people being kind,but I managed to settle myself down after a bit by focusing on work.
And then it just got everyday boring, which was kind of a relief :-)
I know I'm not fit to train but I'm not that smart either so I walked the 3.7 miles from office to hotel this evening. Possibly more than I should have done given that earlier in the day my left leg was bothering me, but in the event it was fine. However I had some more back pain as a result of carrying my rucksack - with a laptop in it - all the way back.
When I got to the hotel I went to the bar for some comfort food, then did a little shopping before taking a hot bath with Epsom salts as some people believe it helps with healing or at least alleviating muscle pain. Unfortunately the plug in the bath didn't fit brilliantly so the bath slowly drained away, which made it less relaxing than I'd hoped.

Food today:
Breakfast: Omelet with diced tomato, yellow pepper & mushroom
Lunch:  Chicken fajita from the canteen
Dinner: Fish & chips from the hotel bar (and a beer) followed by a mini pannacotta from Tesco
Snacks: pork rinds & a dark chocolate (70%) Green & Blacks mini bar

Monday, 25 November 2013

A wonderful weekend–with a horrible ending :-(

So, I love Lincolnshire and have reluctantly forgiven my Dad for moving up here.
On Friday he & I strolled around the village and stopped in a pub for a pint (of beer – yes, I did!)
On Saturday the three of us went to another little village nearby called Woodhall Spa. This is a lovely village, with some really nice shops including a fantastic deli, an excellent butcher, a lovely Victorian / Edwardian hotel called The Petwood, where we had a little lunch, and a truly unique retro cinema called the Kinema in the Woods – a tiny little 2 screen cinema literally buried in a small woodland area, with an actual live organist who plays in the intermission when they play old movies!
On Sunday we all went into the beautiful city of Lincoln. I was born in Lincolnshire when my Dad, who was in the RAF, was based in a camp here, and apparently I visited Lincoln a few times in my early years, but I’ve no real memories of it apart from a very steep hill in the middle (It’s called Steep Hill – truth in advertising!!!) which you can climb to visit the castle and cathedral, and the lovely old shops in the Cathedral Quarter. We didn’t tour the castle or cathedral as it was a taster visit and we wanted to see everything, but did go into a few shops, and a cute little tea room which tempted me to forget the gluten thing and eat a scone with clotted cream and jam (best scone I’ve ever had!) while drinking hot chocolate with Baileys in it – amazing!!!
Then the horrible ending… If you’ve been to Lincolnshire you’ll know its very very flat, with acres and acres of sky, lots of reclaimed (drained) fenlands and enormous fields like something from the American midwest (I imagine – I’ve never been). At 5:45 this morning I headed off into the darkness (because these rural bits have no street lights ANYWHERE) on my way back to Nottingham. My TomTom took me on a bluntly horrible route through dead black countryside on a road that was dead straight for several miles, then right before a small village, it went into a series of sharp bends – also unlit.
I drove round a bend that I misjudged.
The road surface was damp and a little slick.
I went off the road and into a ditch.
The car was sitting nose first in a heavily overgrown drainage ditch with its ass sticking slightly out into the road, right after an almost blind bend, that is apparently a rat run, AT A 45 DEGREE ANGLE.
It wasn’t coming out without being towed out.
I was being followed along the road by a lovely and very helpful lorry driver on his way to work. He stopped and helped me by calling the police (I had NO idea where the hell I was at this point) and let me sit in his car in the warm while we waited. Then another lovely thing (in context) – another car stopped. in that car were a couple, who happened to be police officers on their way to their station to start their shift. They let the first man go off as he was going to be late for work, and waited with me for the responding cars to arrive before going to work.
When it first happened I’d called my dad saying I was about 13 miles from his house, but unfortunately, as the tomtom had taken me on a route he wouldn’t use it took ages for him to find me (I didn’t know where I was and he didn’t know that area) so I sat in various police cars while waiting. I have to say that all the officers I spoke to today were lovely, very helpful, sympathetic and reassuring when I was feeling upset about things. Even being breathalysed (A new experience for me! And not one I want to repeat) wasn’t as freaky an experience as it could have been because they were so nice – if you have to have an accident I’ll recommend the Lincs police to anyone!
Eventually Dad showed up to get me and my stuff, and the officers let me go off while they waited for the recovery vehicle to come and get it. I think I was probably cursed by many, many commuters this morning especially when they had to close the road (briefly I hope) to let the recovery vehicle do its thing. Later I realised I’d left something I needed in the car and we drove to get it from the recovery site. I was nervous of seeing my baby in that place but actually it looked really pretty good, just one small dent in the front wing (and some foliage), lots of dirt and probably scratches, but I didn’t even break a head light (and the airbags never deployed either) so you can tell I nearly managed to stop it before the ditch happened. I will confess that when I realised what was happening I screamed like a little girl… I don’t think I ever have just screamed in fear before, at least not as an adult, its weird…
My car, as a flower pot…
Anyway, I didn’t hit hard but I still do have some aches, pains and stiffness today. At the time I was absolutely fine – but of course in shock slightly, or at any event under the influence of a major adrenalin surge. As the day has passed I’ve had new and different twinges and aches, most of which passed on by. I think the stress / tension I’ve been under today are as responsible as my accident itself – unless I get dramatically worse I can’t claim much sympathy. Consequently, assuming that I’m able to move tomorrow morning Dad is going to help me get back to Nottingham so I can go back to work, and I’ll have to decide what happens next as I get an update on the car and it’s immediate future. It looked like I could have driven it right away, but they still need to check it over, fix the dent and clean up some scratching before they’ll release it to me.  I got off lightly, but that doesn’t mean I’m taking it lightly. It was a horrible experience, a real downer after a great weekend (though not so bad that it put me off coming back to Lincolnshire again – it feels kind of like home) and an expensive mistake in terms of car recovery charges, repairs to the ‘road furniture’ I damaged, a lost day’s work, etc etc… But I was very very lucky in terms of the lovely people I dealt with today, and although none of them will ever know about this post I still want to thank them for making a bad morning a little less bad.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Testing... testing

This is an experiment with blogging from my phone (no clever apps, just using the phone to access directly instead of through live writer on my Pc or iPad. I thought I wouldn't like doing it this way because of writing the post on a virtual keyboard, then realised that was daft - I always do, its just that usually I email it to myself from the phone so I can finish by publishing it on the pc.
If its totally lacking formatting you'll have to forgive me...
I decided to try this because I wanted to mention something I forgot to post yesterday - I'm not going home this weekend, instead I'm spending the weekend at my Dad's new house. I'm pretty excited about it as I haven't even seen it yet (apart from the advert on rightmove when they found it) and I haven't seen Dad and his wife since they moved either. Obviously.
I am accepting the strong probability that my new plan for healthier eating will probably go by the wayside for the weekend and I'm fine with that since this week has demonstrated how quickly I start feeling better on reverting to plan. Its my Dad's wife's birthday this weekend, so whereas I have inflicted my diet on them in the past, this time I won't. Expect some moaning on Monday, but hopefully more rambling about how good it was to see them!!!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Operation Back to Gluten free day 4

Still going (relatively) well - gluten free, real foods, less salads in dressings made of cheap crappy oil & artificial sweeteners etc. I'm still not entirely grain free obviously but keeping it to white rice which is at least not allergenic as far as I can tell - certainly not for me. I have still been eating packaged meats, which of course are cooked with lots of salt and some added sugar. Yesterday I finally bought some cheap microwave safe crockery - hence the ability to cook breakfast, though I know a purist wouldn't use a microwave, but there are some things I just can't afford to worry about.
I slept much better last night and woke up feeling better as a result. That might not be cause and effect but I think eating more - and some of it hot! - helped yesterday.
Today I didn't train after work because my knee had been bothering me all day - just an uncomfortable twinge, but I felt it every time I bent my leg. So bloody annoying, but I will rest it now to be able to train properly next week. Instead, faced with going food shopping again - I do find having to shop more or less daily because I can't store anything that needs refrigeration annoying - I went to the pub in my hotel for a hot meal (it was freezing when I left work and I couldn't fancy cold meat & salad as I'd planned.) The canteen at work has been partially closed since I joined and I was hoping once it reopened fully - which happened today - I might find enough to eat my main meal in there daily. I should have known better, the extension seems focused on increasing the number and type of grain based foods available for breakfast & lunch. At breakfast they did add poached eggs and tinned tomatoes to their previous offerings of bacon, sausage (not gf), and hash browns (not gf) in bread rolls(you guessed it), but they also added baked beans (probably gf but not low carb / Paleo),  black pudding (not gf) veggie sausages (not gf) toast & bagels (not gf) and porridge (not gf). And lunch follows a similar theme... I enjoyed my dinner anyway, nothing special again but actually very tasty. Now its time for the daily bath…

Food today:
Breakfast: Eggs scrambled in the microwave with a diced tomato
Lunch: Microwaved sweet potato with a portion of tuna mayonnaise from the canteen
Dinner: Flat iron steak with a fried egg & salad. It normally comes with fries rather than salad, and when I decided to order it I told myself I'm allowed potatoes at the moment, but my mouth wasn't listening and asked to sub the salad before I could stop it! As a result my dinner was absolutely Primal / Paleo except, I suspect, for the oils used to cook the meat & egg.
Snacks: nuts & Greek yoghurt

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Operation Back to Gluten free day 3

Got into work at 6:15 this morning,switched my PC on, blue screen of death.... The service desk doesn't open until 8am, so this was not the most productive of early mornings (and the early mornings are generally the best time of day for me)
I was feeling a little bit rocky this morning to be honest anyway. I slept a but better but woke up with a niggling headache, I think dehydration as I don't think I drank enough fluids last night to make up for training. I won't make that mistake again!!! Anyway, that being so, I was quite glad that today was an IT away day - permies only - so the office was quieter than usual. Although there was a slight 'holiday' atmosphere due to the absence of most managers. Around 10 I stopped waiting to feel better through eating breakfast / drinking lots of ginger tea & sparkling water, and bought some pain killers - which didn't noticeably improve the situation. As I was feeling rough I decided to eat a 'proper' lunch in the work canteen... Nothing special, but a hot meal is always comforting. After eating lunch I finally started feeling better, but decided not to train tonight since I'm just getting back into it - I'll train again tomorrow. I settled for relaxing with a little shopping followed by a hot bath (this is now my established technique for avoiding any temptation to go to the bar for a drink / extra food, it not only kills time but also makes me unlikely to bother getting dressed just to go misbehave afterwards

Food today:
Breakfast: Boots salmon, cucumber & potato salad followed by Greek yoghurt
Lunch: beef madras with rice
Dinner: chicken & tomato 'sandwich' - the chicken breast was the bed, the filling was the tomato
Snacks: nuts & Greek yoghurt

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Operation Back to Gluten free day 2

I went to the gym today! God, it felt good to work up a sweat!
I plan to look into exercise classes there as the hotel gym offers a reasonable range including a few I've considered trying for a while such as Body Pump, Body Combat, and Spin, but today I just wanted to get on a machine and cardio my ass off, so that's what I did, using my old favourite - an elliptical machine. The gym in my hotel is open to non-residents to join and includes a proper swimming pool (I currently feel too fat to go swimming in public) so its quite well stocked and much larger than the average hotel gym, it was a pleasant surprise and I kind of wish I'd tried it last week. I followed the session with an indulgent bath again - ever since we moved from Wales I've been settling for showers due to low water pressure so it feels good to take a bath again!
I stayed gluten free again today as well. I was tempted by some sausages at breakfast time but was pretty confident the company wouldn't buy gf as standard so I didn't risk it. I'm feeling much less bloated already but, annoyingly, I'm still constipated and I have a (massive, painful, hideous) cold sore on my lip so clearly I'm not 100% yet.
I'm also still quite tired today after waking up early again. I tried to relax over my wine in a soothing bath last night and did fall asleep fairly easily, but it just didn't last long enough. My hotel is still quite noisy even though I'm in a different part of the building from last week, which doesn't really help any. At one point as I was in the bath I could hear the TV next door almost as clearly as if it had been on in my room...

Food today:
Breakfast: smoked salmon and cashews
Lunch: chicken & bacon salad followed by Greek yoghurt
Dinner: mackerel & salad
Snacks: more cashews...

Monday, 18 November 2013

Operation Back to Gluten Free Day 1

I'm so tired....
I woke up at 3 am today. I wasn't getting up until 4:30, but once I'm awake, I'm awake... I got up on schedule and headed out as soon as I was dressed, and I'm happy to say I had my best drive in so far by far - as I had my best drive home so far on Friday - 2 hrs. 35 minutes each!
I spent some time at the weekend thinking about where I'm at with the food etc., which can be summarized as rubbish and not very happy about it, and trying to work out a way forward. As part of that I weighed myself. As I already knew, I have indeed gained weight - all the weight I lost doing the whole30 to be precise; however I thought I would have gained back more than that, so it almost - almost - seems like good news!
I now have a sort of plan to start working my way back to food sanity. (Starting today)
Step 1, and most important - ditch the gluten. Including beer, even though I don't react to beer. But I will, in the short term, allow limited amounts of gf grains such as rice and gf oats, as well as starches in the form of potatoes and sweet potatoes, if it makes life working away easier, which it most definitely will. And I’ll try to make sure the potatoes and sweet potatoes aren’t all deep fried…
Step 2, almost as important - ditch the sugar & sweeteners. No gf sweet treats, no chocolate, no dried fruit. I will eat fresh fruit but if I want a snack it shouldn't have any refined sugar.
Step 3 depends on logistics quite heavily - that would be getting Primal 80% of the time, and may not be possible during the week right now
Step 4 probably won't happen until I'm finished working away, but nothing wrong with planning ahead - another whole30, which may extend into a whole45 or 60 depending how long it takes to feel like I've restored my sanity. And which won't include the unlimited nuts I allowed myself last time.
I won't be leaping head first into trying to achieve all of these at once, since I do have certain logistical problems to work around, and much as I love setting myself unachievable goals then bashing myself for not achieving them, I actually want to get somewhere with this one.
Of course that is all about food, which is not the whole picture... I need to get active as well. Given my long weekly journey I know I won't train or walk any useful distance on Monday or Friday (some weeks I may work from home on Friday in which case that applies to Thursday instead) but I'd like to do something on each of the other days. Also, I won't be walking to work as M has asked me not to (he thinks its dangerous as I was walking in the dark) and I don't want him worrying about me on top of all the other long distance relationship demons which in my case include regular Sunday night meltdowns at the thought of going away again. Whether I go for a walk in the early evening or hit the gym will depend on the weather, how much time I have at my disposal, and, when away, how busy the gym generally is in the early evening as it doesn't open early enough to let me train before work. This part of the plan will have to be flexible (and include recovery time at the beginning as I'm really unfit now)

Food today:
Breakfast: sausage & onion 'sandwiches' - 2 gf grilled sausages, cold, with caramelized onion, wrapped in romaine lettuce leaves
Lunch: hard boiled eggs (home made) & salad followed by Greek yoghurt, no fruit or seeds.
Dinner: chicken breast, prawns and wine. No veggies - without the wine I would have been all Dukan phase I about it!!!
Snacks: cashew nuts & a bag of crisps (gluten free, grain free, not sweet... Definitely not primal / Paleo or whole30 but I never promised perfection, especially on Mondays)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Doing better

First I wanted to say thanks for being supportive, Deniz & Diane, I really appreciate your comments the last couple of days.
I'm still at a loss as to why I went so overboard yesterday; I'm not overwhelmingly tired, I don't consciously feel depressed (well, not until after the boatload of unnecessary and undesirable carbs, anyway), I'm definitely not over exercising. I did feel run down over the weekend, with the start of a cold that hasn't yet fully manifested itself,the first spots I've had for ages and a general lack of energy, so I suppose that even though my brain believes excess carbs hinder healing, health and happiness my body wanted them as easy energy sources to feel better. Or maybe I just haven't broken the emotional link between sweetness & comfort. I spent some time on Tuesday reading success stories on Mark's Daily Apple for motivation but I must admit I think that actually made me feel kind of inadequate due to the general theme of 'this is so easy and satisfying' and 'I don't even want to break the plan' when I'm not finding it easy at all and I damn well do (well, did) want to break it. I think I'll have to steer clear of stories that stir up those unhappy comparisons until I feel a bit better about myself! Maybe its pathetic but I'd actually feel better reading about people who found it really hard to change, struggled to find motivation to train and to carry on, and took much longer to achieve their goals than expected - but did so, eventually, and despite slips and mistakes along the way... I guess that kind of thing doesn't present the desired advert for a diet or healthy living plan though...
Ah well, I have reached one conclusion spending yesterday feeling out of control, hippo-like and bloated, constipated and pissed off... Even if I don't lose weight / can't lose weight I want to feel healthy again and this really isn't going to do it!
I don't have scales here (body or food) as well as not having a fridge or the ability to cook, so my usual highly anal weigh everything I eat & weigh myself every morning approach is not within my grasp (actually that might be part of my problem - maybe I feel adrift without those familiar routines to cling to? God knows its been years since I went any length of time without them)
I'm not willing to schlep my scales backwards and forwards (plus I believe that they need regular recalibrating if you keep moving them) so I need to get over that loss - at least until the end of January - and find other ways (healthier ways) to ground myself.

Food today:
Breakfast: small sweet potato with ham
Lunch: ham salad and 0% fage
Dinner: salmon burger (no bun - but ok, it came with a small portion of fries)
Snacks: cashew nuts; unhealthy chocolate, caramel & walnut slice purchased from a charity bake sale in the office supporting Children in Need. I wanted to give, and I guess I should have thrown it away after buying it, but that just seemed wrong somehow. It was delicious and strangely didn't result in more bingeing.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


No walk to work today - all the fruit last night left me with a dodgy tummy and I didn't think it was a good idea to spend over an hour walking with no bathroom access. :-(
It was really cold this morning, my car was thoroughly iced up and I spent 10 minutes on defrosting it before I could even start out. The drive in on empty roads took slightly less time than defrosting the car- only 9 minutes compared to the 65 minutes to walk it. That may mean I walk even less often than I predicted... It's hard to convince myself that its worth walking with such a discrepancy, and the use of a gym & pool at the end of the drive...

And then.

The binge monster did strike today.

Big time.

Chocolate, I hate you

Gluten, I never want to see you again

WTF is wrong with me? Today my suit felt tight. So I ate chocolate. And many other evil things.

After work today I did intend to train but the binge left me feeling bloated and icky so I didn't.

I am not happy with myself.

Thankfully tomorrow is another day..

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The road to hell…

Well, for once I made plans to do something healthy & active and stuck to them - I walked to work today (and back again, obviously) It was a walk of 3.7 miles each way, and as well as giving me a very healthy daily total it also killed 2 hrs that I otherwise would probably have spent sitting in my hotel room reading or watching tv while solemnly swearing to go to the gym tomorrow...
I doubt if I'll do it very regularly while staying at this hotel - it does take a lot longer than driving (3 times longer than rush hour driving, probably 5 times longer than it would in the morning) and its less efficient than 40 minutes in the gym will be once I work up to it, plus of course it is weather dependant and at this time of the year that's likely to be an issue. Plus of course I'm not going to do it with my suitcase or on top of the long drive on Monday or Friday. Still, I feel better today than at any time last week, so if its dry in the morning (I don't care as much in the evening) I may as well do it as often as possible.
However,that will mean changing some things, which I didn't do today... I was starving all day, and I think its because I didn't eat till I arrived at work, and then didn't eat enough. I caved at about 3 pm.... I'd struggled most of the day not to eat anything except what I brought with me, and was totally preoccupied with food the whole time until I gave in. Damn, its hard to get this stuff right without access to a fridge, cooker, or even microwave.... Anyway, the holding back until 3pm put me in a binge mood and I overindulged in dried fruit, strawberries & cream (feel slightly sick now). I will try again, but if the binge monster resurfaces I will have to reconsider

Food today:
Breakfast: Tesco cooked chicken breast, small amount of salad & some fresh raspberries
Lunch: salt beef roll ups containing mixed salad leaves, with cherry tomatoes & red pepper
Dinner: Tesco cooked chicken breast with salad
Snack: cashew nuts and an apple. And a packet of crisps Surprised smile


Monday, 11 November 2013

The start of another week… working away

The drive in was better today because I left half an hour earlier and left the motorway at a different junction so I only had ordinary work traffic to deal with rather than monster roadworks work traffic. I still got in just before 8am - slightly under the 3hr mark - when I'd hoped for closer to 7:30. By the time I entered the building I was so desperate for the loo I felt I might explode!

It rained all day so I didn't do anything or go anywhere at lunchtime today. After work I drove to my new hotel, checked in, then donned my waxed waterproof jacket to explore a bit, as I should have done last week near the other hotel but was too depressed to bother. This hotel slightly weirdly, is in a retail park, and there’s a Tesco Express & Lidl not too far off, so I'm reasonably well set up here.

I brought a couple of prepped (bought) salads and some cold meat with me for dinner today & tomorrow and put them in the work fridge on arrival, then took one set to the hotel today while leaving the other in the fridge for tomorrow, making me feel more in control this week straight away. Even though I ended up eating in the hotel restaurant instead... I thought it was worth scouting out, particularly as Monday’s, with their early start – I was up at 4:25 this morning and it still wasn’t early enough – and their need for hours of concentrated driving first thing (on only one coffee in an attempt to avoid the dreaded toilet break) are never going to be days when I eat strictly to plan and work out. Realistically, it just isn’t. Though I have plans for tomorrow…

The hotel has a bar and a separate grill/restaurant. I had a pint of beer in the bar first, then wandered through to the restaurant. The food was nothing special – decidedly average hotel restaurant fare – but quite good value  and I think doing that rather than holing up in my hotel room straight away helped contribute to a much more positive mood this evening than I experienced last week or during the weekend. Maybe things are looking up! The drive back to this hotel took 20 minutes (actually that’s from my desk, and not from starting the car) rather than the tortuous 45 minutes to cover a very similar distance all last week. And a much less stressful 20 minutes it was too, without the bumper to bumper lurching travel I enjoyed so much then. Now its time to watch TV and collapse into an early night!

Food today:
Breakfast: Waitrose gf egg mayonnaise roll
Lunch: Waitrose gf chicken salad roll & an Eat Natural bar
Dinner: sweet corn & pancetta soup followed by roast chicken & green beans from the hotel restaurant
Snack: nuts, roast turkey & an apple

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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Friday, Saturday & Today

Friday was crap. Not all of it – I enjoyed going to the pub for a drink with the test team – but apart from that, it was crap. And the trip to the pub ruined my very short gluten free run as I didn’t get lunch beforehand, thinking I’d pick up something at the pub, didn’t, and then when I got back to the office had nothing available but a beef burrito. In a wheat wrap. I considered fasting but knew that wouldn’t be likely to help with the sustained driving effort so I bit the bullet (and the burrito). I spent the morning & early afternoon getting stressed about the journey home (soooo productive) then got in the car at 2:40pm and had the journey home from hell. I got home at 6:15pm. I was exhausted after such a long drive, and by the end was barely hanging on to my reflexes and observation. I had been planning to stick some fish in the grill (cook from frozen – so handy) but I was just too tired. So we popped round the corner to the nearest pub and I drank San Miguel while eating a massive burger and fries. I started out eating the burger roll, but, no credit to my sense, had to leave most of it not because of the gluten but because it was just too massive.

Saturday I had a reasonable breakfast – gf sausage, bacon, scrambled egg. Lunch was fine too, lettuce wraps with hardboiled egg and tomato. But I’d eaten a mini box of 4 Guylian chocolates before lunch. Dinner was a gf curry, but I had no cauliflower for cauli rice so I had white rice (and really enjoyed it!)

I think in the short term I will focus on gluten free, try for mostly grain free, and aim to avoid refined sugars while I get to grips with the new lifestyle. At least that should reduce bloating and digestive issues, though it won’t cure them as I don’t do great with grains generally. Today didn’t go brilliantly in terms of the refined sugar as I had a GF Mrs Crimble’s chocolate brownie, but the food was all gf all the time, so it could have been worse.

On the non-food front, I was tired on Friday so an early night was called for – and enjoyed. Saturday I tried to avoid driving anywhere since I felt like I’d spent the whole of last week in the car, and walked to not one, not two, but three different supermarkets with my rucksack. In total probably about 6 miles walking, but lots of weight in the rucksack, so still tiring. In the even I had a total meltdown and ended up weeping, wailing, snapping at M and eventually crying myself to sleep.

I’m such a heroic figure, you must be in awe of my warrior nature.

This morning I woke up around 4am, feeling like I’d barely closed my eyes all night, and continued Saturday’s nuttiness. I walked to one of the furthest away supermarkets in town – not that far, a 5.5 mile round trip, but bought some heavy vegetables and a kilo of rice there (plus some 21 days dry aged sirloin steaks for Friday) and again the rucksack was too heavy – and I still didn’t have everything I wanted, so I then made one last trip to Waitrose and was verging on collapse by the time I got home. I need to learn to pace myself rather than trying to fit in everything I might want to do in the two days I have at home.

Food today:

Breakfast: Scrambled egg, bacon & a gf sausage

Lunch: Turkey salad ‘sandwiches’ – the turkey was the container, with lettuce, cucumber & tomato in between the slices of meat

Dinner: will be the low carb meatloaf I’ve posted about before, with steamed veggies tossed in homemade pesto

Snacks: Greek yoghurt with defrosted summer berries; nuts; gf brownie

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Chugging on

A mere 4 days after starting work (2 days later than originally planned) I got a work PC yesterday. It wasn't set up by the time I left, but I came in with high hopes this morning only to find I can't log into anything at all. Ah well, its not like they're paying to work in IT or anything... The annoying this is that for the past 2 days I've been using my own laptop to at least check my email but today I didn't bring it in because I knew the work one would be here...Ah well, by mid-morning it was mostly working apart from a few inhouse systems (the ones I'm supposed to be testing of course!!!)

Last night I still didn't train (the gym in this week's hotel is tiny & busy) but managed to be good as far as the diet went, giving me 2 consecutive days of no booze or (refined) sweet stuff. Though I did study the room service desserts menu with a little too much interest. Still, I'm already feeling less bloated and flabby thankfully.

At lunchtime I walked a (very) little - just over a mile. I've had backache most of the day (I'll call it backache though its actually slightly lower...) and hoped getting out would help, but it continued hurting so I stopped. The fresh air did help though, it was a beautiful sunny lunchbreak with wildlife sightings... As I walked along I was thisclose to a very fat, rather cocky rabbit eating the lawn!

After work I had another go, but covered even less distance, about a half mile, but it was worth it as I came back with a tummy (very Paleo) takeaway dinner!

Thanks for your kind and supportive comment Deniz. I must admit though, there have been times I definitely did think stuff it - like on Saturday, when I ordered pizza for dinner... but it was only a temporary 'stuff it', I always intended to get back on the wagon again!
Food today:
Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with fruit & seeds
Lunch: chicken Caesar crouton-less salad
Dinner: mixed chicken, lamb, pork kebab with salad - no naan / pitta.
Snack: nuts, Greek yogurt & an apple

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Where I am

So, you've probably gathered if you've slogged your way through my recent pity party that I've lost my way lately in terms of both diet & exercise. I'm not being all self-hating or overly critical when I say that, I've had lots of challenges and haven't really invested enough time & energy to overcome them. The result is that I feel fat - and the way my clothes (don't really) fit supports that feeling. Part of this - a small part - is down to me allowing carbs, including the dreaded gluten carbs, back onto my plate so that I'm now retaining some water. More of that is down to the sheer amount of food I've been eating (and to me allowing myself a fair amount more booze) so that I've gained actual weight, though I've no idea how much. As far as the constant eating is concerned that's also down to a few things - the comfort / stress eating is a large component, but I do also believe that carbs increase the appetite and make it harder to be mindful and resist overeating.
I obviously don't have the degree of control I'd like over my food. I'm not staying in the serviced apartments I was looking at so I don't have a kitchen. To save money I'm staying on a hotel that offers a corporate deal to the company I'm contracted to. The good news is that the hotel I'll be staying in next week has a full health club attached, one good enough to attract non-resident members, so I'll have no excuse to continue avoiding exercise. Of course we all know you can't outrun - or out-train - your mouth, so I need to find better ways to manage my food. This week I'm kind of giving myself a pass as I was too busy at the weekend to be able to plan my eating let alone execute a plan. But that has to end. I have discovered that the office has a breakfast bar with full fat Greek yoghurt, fruit - mostly tinned or defrosted - and seeds, so that sorts out breakfast (though it doesn't open till 8 am which isn't ideal. I could buy tomorrow's breakfast today & stick it in the fridge over night perhaps.)
Lunch is difficult because the main options are sandwiches or pasta salads, and I have to treat getting rid of the gluten as a top priority, even above general low carbness. There are options, though limited, I just have to accept them.
Then there's dinner. This week's hotel is a 3 minute walk from a Lidl store, and I used that yesterday quite satisfyingly (although I carried a 100 g bar of dark chocolate around the store with me and only put it down at the last minute). I'm not sure if there's anything similar near the hotel I'm moving to next week, and if not things will be both awkward & expensive should I have to rely on their restaurant. I may buy a small veg / rice steamer - electric - at the weekend in the hope I can use that to make things better. I can easily bring tinned fish for protein and some meat as well so long as I use the fridge at work to keep it cool.
Today there was a team lunch at a local pub, so I was immediately faced with a challenge. I tried to check the menu online in advance and couldn't find anything compliant with all the restrictions I wanted to impose, so was forced to focus on the gluten issue. I did really enjoy the lunch despite it including potatoes, and as they're one of the lest processed starchy carbs you can eat I don't feel too bad about it.
Food today:
Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with fruit & seeds
Lunch: not low carb, but grain & gluten free - salmon fillet with pesto mash & green beans,topped with a poached egg
Dinner: chicken Caesar salad (minus the croutons) with a snackpack of raw veggies & pot of butternut squash dip to make up for the boringness of a Caesar salad with no croutons. It didn't
Snack: almonds & an apple

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Moved and moving on

Yesterday was my first day working away. I have to admit the prospect had me fairly upset in the morning before I set off - not just the obvious stuff like missing M and not knowing quite what to expect, but also because I was just so tired from the house move. We worked quite hard on unpacking Friday & Saturday and the house is now liveable with nothing left to do this weekend,which is nice - but I don't feel like I had a week off between jobs at all.
The drive to work yesterday took 3 hours thanks to roadworks this end. It should take 2.5 hrs without those problems, and most of it went smoothly enough (even the M25!!!!!) but after I left the motorway everything went to crap. Luckily I'd left myself 3.5 hours to get here as I didn't know what to expect so it didn't make me late for my first day.
The first day in the office was monumentally boring but I expected that - I was reading documents for most of the day,and that's never interesting,but its more boring when you don't really understand what you're reading and its impossible to take anything in like that. All the people I met seemed lovely and the office has all the mod cons, so if it were only 150 miles south I think I'd be very happy with this contract, though its way too early to say for sure.
After work it took me another 45 minutes to reach my hotel - 5 miles from the office. That was a combination of me going the wrong way, roads being shut for construction work, and volume of traffic. By the time I got there I was so knackered I just changed my clothes, ordered a fattening and non-gf burger from room service, and drank a bottle of wine before collapsing. On the plus side I slept better than I've managed for weeks!
This morning I left the hotel at 6:30 and was in the office before 7 - a much better journey! I didn't have quite so much trouble getting back either. One thing I will say for driving through a city in the rush hour is that you have lots of time to react to any mistakes as you crawl along at 2 mph, much easier than trying to get back on track at 40-70 mph!
Food today:
Breakfast: pack of deli roast pork and Greek yoghurt with fruit & seeds
Lunch: chicken salad
Dinner: smoked salmon & salad
Snack: nuts & flapjack (I know, I know!!!)