Thursday, 28 June 2012


I'll be quite honest - I was dreading getting on the scales this morning. The house-warming on Friday night, followed by the hangover on Saturday (all day) weren't kind to my healthy eating intentions. Sunday was better but still featured a few too many gin and tonics. And then Monday I flew off to Edinburgh for 3 long days work. All restaurants, all the time. Even with the best of intentions it's hard-going making anything good of that lot.

However, it looks like my good intentions, for at least most of the time, has paid off. The scales remain pretty level - both a miracle and an anticlimax to my dread. Believe me - I'm celebrating!!! And I've also jumped straight back on to my normal home plan today - no point not taking advantage of it!

In non-food news, Friday's house party was a raging success - so much so that we were all destroyed on Saturday. I pulled on my big girl pants - or in fact, my Supergirl pants - and braved a pretty silly costume in support of our S-themed fancy dress.

I was convinced that I hadn't drunk that much, but Saturday's hangover said otherwise - the punch was clearly lethal. My flatmate's had done us proud with their catering and organising - there was everything from pizza to cupcakes - and I even got my own personalised cupcake made for me!! It was delicious.

By Sunday I felt more-or-less recovered after a good long sleep, and I met up with a ... a friend? The guy I'm sort of dating? ... anyhoo, him, for a late lunch in the sun and then football-watching with his friends.

I can't really define what we are, which is a bit confusing, which is probably why he hasn't been specifically mentioned here before. More than friends, definitely, but we haven't seen each other often enough to qualify as more than that, as we've both been ridiculously busy over the last couple of months, and besides have both been a bit burned and so are cautious with each other. However he's fabulous company, fun to be around and I've stopped stressing about defining it or the speed we're moving along at, as I've realised I'm quite confident that he likes me and finds me attractive, so what will be will be.

Looks like being a quiet end to the week, after the hectic of Edinburgh, which I'm really quite happy about. I'm off to a surf club BBQ tonight, so just need to hang on to my self-restraint and not go silly, then nothing too much planned for the weekend. I foresee a lot of sleep catch-up!!!

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

One of the things I have always struggled most with in my efforts to eat better and lose weight is routine. Or in my case - a lack of it.

Although I do a 9-5 office job, and make a habit of getting to the gym on my lunchbreaks these days, I'm often out on weeknights and away on weekends. Not such a problem in itself but it does mean a lot of temptation in the form of eating out and drinking.

In fact, I don't generally find the drinking issue too hard to deal with - you can choose to stay sober, or stick to spirits and diet mixers, or some combination of the two. And while there maybe be peer pressure to share a bottle of wine sometimes, it's still a choice.

Eating out on the other hand is a different beast, at least for me. If I'm eating out then I need a meal of some sort. I don't like most salads, so the obvious healthy option is out. And then there's the guess work - alcohol comes in standard units, so working out the calories and making an educated choice is easy. Restaurant menus are anything but standard, so trying to work it out accurately is a nightmare. And usually they're littered with calorie-laden nightmares and over-large portions.

So imagine my delight when, taking my dad out for a late birthday dinner last night, I checked out the menu for Ask online yesterday and found that they not only have little tags against items on the menu that they consider healthy but then list the calories for every single dish in the further information!

God almighty - does that make life easier! For a start, I was rather impressed that there healthy mains are all under 650 calories and there were actually quite a few to choose from. I had a lovely crab and crayfish ravioli with a rocket salad for about 550 cals. That was followed by a couple of scoops of sorbet and a green tea to finish. All very tasty.

So thank you, Ask, for making life a little bit easier. Now if only all the other restaurants would do the same! (To be fair - Yo! Sushi have gone one better and put all the calorie info on the in-restaurant menu - I heart you!!!)

Trundling along trying to build a bit of routine right now!

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Spinning Around

Ola people!!!

It is biiiiiiiz-eeeeeee round here at the moment. I feel a bit like I'm in the washing machine on the spin cycle with everything going past super fast. Or at least at least spinning an entire field of plates and trying to keep them all going.

I had a crazy weekend driving round the country, from Bristol to Aylesbury, then up to Northampton, back across to Cambridge, back to Aylesbury and finally home to Bristol - it felt a lot like I'd spent the whole weekend in the car and on the move by the end! Since there was so much travelling and then a big dinner out on Saturday night and a christening on Sunday followed by family dinner at my friends, eating was unsurprisingly over my targets. I did my best to remember everything for the tracker though, and was quite surprised to see that although I didn't reach my target calorie deficit for the week, I did manage a deficit of a 1,000 calories still. Being able to see actual units, rather than just being an arbitrary number of Weightwatchers points over for the week, really seems to help.

I've swung straight into this week, with Body Balance yesterday and circuits today. The circuits was possibly the most boring class I've ever been to, 6 exercises for a minute each (30 seconds in the second half of the class), repeated over and over again until we were done. People got do bored they started changing the exercises to other things for some light relief - thank god we don't have that format often!

Work's also crazy busy and we're still supposed to be in the quiet period at the moment! I found out yesterday that I have to go to Edinburgh for 3 days next week, so have been trying to dairy that out, which then only leaves me 2 days after that before the real crazy starts in July.

However, by far and away the most exciting thing this week, was going to the travel agents last night and picking up the tours brochure for Africa!!!!! So much choice I hardly know where to start!!! There's a couple of possibilities that look amazing, but I've been totally seduced by the idea of a 21 day tour from Livingstone in Zambia to Cape Town in South Africa - sandboarding in the Namib desert, Victoria Falls, white-water rafting on the Zambezi, travelling by dugout canoe, safari, Table Mountain - so. Much. Stuff!!!!!! Not entirely sure it's viable, but lots of possibilities and a girl can dream.

In the meantime, scales are back to 13st 3, I'm plodding along steadily and off to the cinema tonight to see Rock of Ages.


- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 15 June 2012

Burst Bubbles

A minor grumble if you please.

And what's this grumble about?

My weight.

According to the tracker I am currently using, I have had at least some kind of calorie deficit every day this week. So could somebody please explain to me how the scales therefore say I've put on 4lbs since Monday?????

Four. Fricking. Pounds!!!!

I was so happy to apparently come back from holiday lighter than I left, but since then the scales have steadily climbed. What the hell??

I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, or this is something crazy delayed gain from last week's holiday, or if my metabolism is just totally screwed up from 3.5 years of dieting, but suffice it to say: I'm totally fed up.

My official weigh in for the week puts me back at 13st 6lb - yet another higher weight I didn't want to ever see again.

Not much I can do but shrug it off and keep trying, but it does make me want to cry a little.

But hey, it's Friday - I can't cry on a Friday!!

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Sweet Dreams

Just a spot of bedtime reading I picked up from the library today!!!

Went to see Phantom of the Opera at the Bristol Hippodrome this evening - fantastic!

- Posted from my iPhone

Life Notes

I don't know about you, but I'm a list-lover. As a life-long member of the Terminally Disorganised genus of the species, lists are like a little slice of temporary peace from my great disability. Of course, the chances of my actually doing something useful with my list are around 50% - I usually start them but don't finish - but it doesn't make me love them any less.

You see, my brain is a lot like my life ..... pure chaos. All these amazing thoughts whizzing round, but I never quite keep track of them. I have all these fantastic ideas, whether it's something I need to pack for an upcoming trip, something I want to do or a new way of solving a problem, and then like a butterfly on a flower, it's gone again.

I'm the same with goals. I love the process of setting them, and then planning how to achieve them. But unless it's very visible, and the steps are small and easy to achieve, I tend to lose interest or get disappointed. Yet another reason why I'm still so surprised I managed to lose a bunch of weight in the first place!

What I'm not good at is coordinating any of my efforts. Lists are haphazard, scribbled on random pieces of paper. Goals occasionally get written on coloured card and stuck on my notice-board, but are rarely updated. Lists are left undone. Thoughts go unrecorded. And I'm useless at journalling with any regularity so memories fade.

Recently, I've been feeling flat. Life is still fun, but the lustre's dulled a bit. The sparkle's lacking. And I haven't known why. And that's made me restless.

Suddenly something wonderful has happened though - I've gone from feeling restless last week to truly alive this week. And all it took was the acceptance of an adventure.

A mighty big adventure to be sure!

I've always been the kind of girl who is happiest having a plan. For me, the worst part of any situation is not knowing. Moving house, exams, jobs, debt - it's the limbo of the unknown that unsettles me - once I have an outcome, whether it was the good or the bad one, I can plan and make the best of it.

Recently, I've sort of been in an extended limbo. The debts are slowly on the way to being sorted, the house move is over and I'm not dating currently, and I think that the lack of big stresses or events on the horizon led to me feeling flat.

And it's funny, because having a big event in one area of my life, seems to have re-energised me in all areas.

I looked at my food tracker the other day, and realised that for all the time I've used it (about 3 weeks now) I've tracked for all but the 5 days I was on holiday. And for all the days I've tracked, I've had at least some calorie deficit on every day but 1. It might not always have been as big as my target deficit, but it was there. The scales are faffing a bit currently, bouncing up and down without deciding on a direction per se, but if there's slow progress in the right direction I'll be happy. And now I feel determined - if I can keep up the daily deficit whilst being honest in my tracking, then that should happen in time. I feel like I can make those decisions to keep going.

My upcoming trip has also reawakened my urge to plan! I want to plan my trip. And my expenses. And the new laptop I'll need soon. And my goals!! I want to plan everything. I also want to crack on with decluttering my life. Physically, I have a lot of stuff, which often leads to mess. In turn that leaves me feeling claustrophobic and chaotic in my private space. I share a flat with lovely flatmates, which means most of my worldly possessions are in my bedroom. The space where I go to relax is not very relaxing. Especially because I am, by nature, messy.

Last night, on my way home from work, I popped into Paperchase and bought a big, pretty notebook. I've christened it my Life Book. Somewhere I can scribble all my lists, my thoughts, my goals, and my musings. It will live on my bedside table where I can grab it, but I'll take it away with me too. It will be part-journal, part planner. What has been and what will be.

I'm excited again!!!

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Difference A Day Makes

This morning, I woke up and it was just another normal day. This evening I lie in bed thinking about sleep, and remembering the phone call I had earlier where I was told that I'd been successful in my application for a charity project taking place next year.

Looks like I'm going to Kenya next February for 8 days to help build a school and teach the children.

Ho-lee. Shit.

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Wanderer Returns!


I have returned!

(If you even noticed I'd disappeared, that is.)

I've just got back from 6 gloriously sunny days in peaceful Alcudia, on the north of Majorca, and it was blissful.

A perfect interval of total downtime with my girls, Jo and Lissa - a time-out from life to R & R ourselves and catch up on each other. Since we go way back to age 11, it's a great partnership.

I have to confess that in all the relaxing, and the fully-inclusive nature of our holiday, my thoughts for tracking went somewhat out the window and I just had what I wanted, so I wasn't overly enthusiastic about getting on the scales this morning. I expected a good 4 or 5lb gain, because although I haven't been awful and I haven't been great either.

Bugger me backwards then that the scales showed not only no gain but what looked suspiciously like a loss. Especially compared to where I was on Sunday morning before I left! Back to 13st 2lbs and more than content with that!!

Just in case that was some kind of crazy fluke, I've jumped straight back on the tracking wagon this morning. The only thing I can think is that the work I put in just before I left tided me over, even though I didn't see it on the scales before I went, and that 5 days hasn't undone it. I guess I also drank considerably less than the girls too, only having a beer or sangria when I really wanted it, and defaulting back to diet coke in between. And although meals were big (2 courses for breakfast and usually 2 or 3 for lunch and dinner), there was a fair amount of fresh fruit, veg, grilled meat or fish, and soup. Maybe that offset the bits of cake or chips that snuck in. Anyhoo - I got off lightly!

This holiday was definitely the most body confident I've felt, despite not currently being at my lowest weight. I quite happily paraded round in my 3 bikinis, which as Lissa commented, seem to be getting more revealing over time. Ah well - I felt pretty good about myself - probably helped by the fact that our hotel was quiet and lacking in too many other people our age, being rowdy or flirty.

I think this recent upturn in confidence largely stems from my surfing. When you've spent all winter getting changed in and out of wetsuits and swimwear on the side of various windswept roads and bleak carparks, with only a towel to protect your modestly and only the most hardcore of surf boys and girls out there you start to forget your issues. I also think my rather liberated gym changing room is wearing off on me, where the women are friendly and just, practically and openly, get on with the business of getting ready for the gym or work whilst chatting away merrily. Finally, I think the circuits class as left me more at peace with my body. Not because I'm so much fitter or more sculpted, but because as an imperfect amongst so many honed and super fit bods, but never judged and always encouraged in friendly fashion, you learn to appreciate your body a bit more for what it can do, not what it can't.

Which is fine by me, when I'll proudly tote my virtual-bikini tan in there tomorrow.

In other news, nothing is really resolved with the boy - I still don't quite know where we stand or what he thinks, and as per usual my life is busy and his is chaos, so I guess it will or won't resolve itself at some point. When we have time.

In the meantime, I'm busy helping to plan my next holiday to the Loire and Paris in August, going to the theatre on Thursday to see Phantom of the Opera, and starting to think about the rather large housewarming we're hosting in two weekends time. Then there's surfing and biking to be slotted in, a christening in Cambridge next weekend with lots of my Malvern friends, ooooh, and some crazy deadlines at work!

Back to reality already!

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, 2 June 2012


Having a new routine means working my way round my danger spot, the weekend, in a new way.

Gone is my extra weekly allowance of flex points on weightwatchers, my new tracker purely runs day to day. So last night, my flatmate Krissie and I fancied some Indian food. I still had 1200 calories to use (which came from both my calorie allowance for the day and what I'd burnt walking to and from my office and at lunchtime Circuits), and using those would still leave me my calculated 500 calorie deficit for the day.

We decided to share the takeaway - a korma, rice and naan, sag aloo and an onion bhaji between us. I had also bought a chocolate bar thinking I wanted something sweet afterwards. I am SO glad we shared, as there was tons of food and I so didn't even need to finish what I had!

Food straight into the tracker, and although I'd cut into my daily deficit, I was still running at a (small) deficit for the day. I looked at the glass of wine I'd been handed on the table - I'd drunk half already but wasn't really feeling it - and I left the rest. I didn't bother with the chocolate bar on the kitchen table - after all, I was stuffed. I probably could have stopped eating earlier too, but overall I feel like I did pretty well.

Off surfing with the girls today, and no plans out for tonight (and no takeaway either - I've settled that need for now). I've even already bought a sandwich and snack to take - well the chocolate from last night - so can pre-track my food.

I'm feeling pretty good about this weekend!

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 1 June 2012

Surprisingly ...

... I've actually lost a little weight this week. I say surprisingly, because I wasn't particularly amazing at the weekend and that usually results in a stay-the-same result, and then I also switched routines half-way through the week to a new way of tracking.

I feel like I've eaten tons the last couple of days, but the scales are sort of delicately edging down (although they did bounce up slightly, earlier in the week, which was probably the delayed onset of the weekend). Anyhoo - back to 13st 3lbs again, and I'd really like to crack on and see something lower than that soon as it's been waaaaaaay too long since I was closer to the 12's.

The new tracker feels like it suits me better though (for which I must thank Love Cat for pointing me in the right direction). I'm using MyNetDiary, and tracking on a daily basis suits me much better I think. I like all the little geeky stats telling me how my day breaks down, and encouraging me to eat more breakfast, and prompting for more fibre and less saturated fat, and I like their little daily breakdown of your progress against your targets. There's much less encouragement for me to splurge on a single day of the week, and I feel more in tune with the exercise I'm doing.

I still don't know what's happening with the boy - I didn't hear from him last night, and I'm guessing he's still buried in moving since he's usually quite good at getting back to me when he says he will, but surprisingly I'm ok with that too. What will be, will be, and it's not going to kill me either way, and at least I've put myself out there for once and taken the risk.

Instead, of sitting waiting for the phone to go last night, I headed out for another edition of dusty-trails-on-my-bike last night and it was epic. Not the length of the ride, but the quality. A bit faster, a bit flow-ier, and I suddenly figured out how to jump my bike off the rollers and down steps last night - AWESOME! Only problem is then I wanted to jump my bike off everything!

I'm enjoying that today's my last day in the office for a while, as I've got my first full week's holiday this year next week. I intend to relax, have fun and be kind to myself next week.

Have a lovely jubilee weekend, folks! Xx

- Posted from my iPhone