Sunday, 2 June 2013

Organised Chaos

That's what this blog appears to be suffering from right now. Not for a lack on inspiration for things to write, but just a lack of time and mental power to string words together to post something.
My life is currently a string of events, each seeming to trip right of the heels of the one in front, with not a lot of break in between. Lots of exciting things, but it's exhausting none the less!!
In recent weeks I have got on stage and sung backing vocals in front of several hundred people at a sold out gig, busked with a little choir at work to raise money for charity, been on a hen do, marshalled at an urban arts festival, started learning the ukulele, picked up my viola again, visited London and walked my butt off, been to the physio and been given new core-strength exercises and the ok to start working out again when I feel ready, been trying to organise my sabbatical with work, re-written my CV for a ski-season and started to doing job applications, kept up with my French lessons, and just arrived back from weekend up near Blackpool .... and tried to find some time in between to sleep and look after myself. The last two may have inadvertently taken a bit of a back seat.
It's been a roller coaster ride, and a lot of things have come about from a somewhat minor (at the time) decision of mine to just say "yes" to something for a change, instead of faffing around, ummmming and ahhhhing, when I want to do something, but am too scared to say so. There's talk of more singing and more gigs in the months ahead, as well as assorted other musical fun-ness, and it's such a long time since I've joined in with anything musical, that I'd forgotten how fun and therapeutic it could be. The joy of music is that you can't worry about anything else while your playing as all your concentration is taken up elsewhere.

Sound-check and set up at the venue, pre-gig. I've never done a sound-check before. Scary!!

The beautiful bluebell woods in full colour in Kew Gardens, London.

Chilling out in the sun at Malvern Spa on the hen party. God bless the sun for finally making an appearance - it was heaven to be lying outside and not freezing for a change!!
On the injury / physio front, she was very pleased with my progress at my last appointment and gave me some core exercises to do, and then told me to go away for a month and get on with it. So I am. The exercises do seem to help, and I've had around a week now where my back as felt far more settled and normal. I've still been too scared to get back go exercise, and have now thoroughly fallen out of the habit, but have decided this is the week that has to change. So this week I shall be making a real effort to get back into the gym. A swim first, then some Pilates / yoga, and if it's still feeling ok after that, I shall risk some spin. Gently.
One thing that's lacked somewhat in the organised chaos of my life is my eating and sleeping. With exercise taking a back seat, as well as the availability of general down-time, I've been slipping on my discipline and there's been too many takeaways and eating out. Again. I was doing rather well but it didn't last, so back to the beginning we go again. I HAVE maintained my tracking for some of the last month, but with not enough discipline. I'm not in a terrible place on the scales, just exactly where I've been for the last year and not where I want to be. Still, we all know the answer to that!
Back soon (I promise!!!) with more tale of adventure and the mundanity of life!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 17 March 2013


I'm still alive, just buried very deep in southern Africa and far away from my real life.

I'm in Botswana at the moment, and have seen so many beautiful and amazing places and people in the last 3 and a bit weeks ... I could cry a little at the thought of having to go home again. I'm already plotting my return trip to see the next chunk of this stunning continent.

I have no idea what I weigh, as I haven't been near a scale since being here, and sometimes not even a mirror for days at a time. All I know is that my clothes still fit and I'm very brown! My feet are filthy as I haven't worn shoes when I can avoid it for several weeks, my hair is a tangled, unconditioned, sun-lightened mess, I've worn makeup once since getting here .... and I'm absurdly happy.

Day to day life is a long way from my norm, as we're frequently up by 5.30 or 6am, and in bed by 10pm as a result. I've given up putting up a tent when I can avoid it (i.e. when there's no hyenas or elephants around) and have taken to sleeping under the stars and a mosquito net tied to the back of the truck. Food is whatever we're dished up at meal-times and occasional snacks when I've remembered to buy them in the last town we drive through.

The only problem I'm finding is that if you keep expanding your horizons, you realise how much you've still got to see and experience.

The Germans have a wonderful word for it: fernweh. Literally - far-sickness; the longing for far away places and the yearning to travel.

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Cape Town Calling

I've made it to Cape Town, as they kindly decided to let me into South Africa, and it's bloody lovely here.

For one thing, after a week of sharing a very sparsely furnished house (so basically there were beds and one long table with chairs and that was it) with 9 other people, no air con and some extremely temperamental plumbing, I now have a double bed and lots of hot water with a functioning AC unit - luxury!!!

I also had my first meal today that wasn't rice, veg and a bit of meat. And a bit of chocolate - it would have melted in 3 seconds in Kenya. But for all that, Kenya was wonderful and I miss it mightily.

Over the last days of our work in Magadi, we finished painting and fixing at the school and helped run a free medical clinic for the local tribes with the help of 6 wonderful doctors from Nairobi. I even learned a bit of on-the-spot Swahili so I could help dispense the medicines .... which was fine until we started encountering older tribe members who only spoke Maasai. Still, we bumbled through and managed!

All in all, it was an emotional and amazing week, and I'm so glad I took a chance and wrote that off-the-cuff application all those months ago.

It was hard saying goodbye to everyone at Nairobo airport yesterday as I'd grown close to so many of them do quickly ... and it was also frightening to be flying off to countries unknown for my first solo trip!

One step at a time though, and I now find myself safely installed in my hotel in Cape Town. I arrived yesterday evening and just took the chance to relax last night as it was a looooooon day as we'd been up at 2am to leave for the airport.

This morning, I took a deep breath and (after a lengthy lie-in) I found a launderette to sort out my filthy clothes from last week and then navigated my way downtown to explore the Waterfront area. It's vibrant, pretty and lovely, albeit VERY full of tourists. Still, I passed a leisurely lunch in the shade readying and people-watching and then wandered a little more.

I attempted to get a taxi up to Table Mountain to get the cable car after that, but got there to find the cable car closed ..... grrrrr. As it was sunny and clear, it didn't occur to me it might now be running so I hadn't attempted to check .... Doh!!

I did argue the taxi-man down on the fare though as he dropped me back at my hotel and then tried to charge me double the agreed one-way fare from the Waterfront to Table Mountain .... since my hotel was only about the distance back I pointed out that was rather steep and won! Yay me - I hate bartering arguing, but stood my ground - twice in 24 hours in fact, as a man at Johannesburg airport attempted to fleece me for a $10 tip yesterday for telling me where Terminal B departures was and then insisting on walking me the whole way. I was brave and said a couple of $'s was plenty for what was a 3 min walk - I felt mean but $10? No way! Note to self - don't stand looking lost next time!

Tomorrow im getting a quick day tour in of Cape Point, Chapmans Peak and the Boulders Beach penguin colony amongst other things, before I head off on my big tour on Monday.

Weight-wise, I've no idea where I stand, but I doubt last week's rice, meat and veg diet did me any harm. The only bad stuff I had was the occasional fizzy drink or beer to cool down, and we were running round from about 8 til 6 most days in 40 degree heat.

I'm relaxing for the couple of days I'm in Cape Town, as I imagine our diet on the main tour will be pretty basic since we'll be cooking in a camp kitchen for most of it .... no chocolate or snacks and I can't see there being too many alcoholic drinks ... and that's assuming I don't catch some dreaded stomach bug. I've been ok so far, but accommodations last week were scrupulously clean at least! You never know - I might even lose some weight this trip! :-)

One big discovery for me - apparently I love watermelon!!! Can't believe I thought I hated it for so long!! Still, doesn't change the fact I hate normal melon though :-)

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 22 February 2013

Greetings from Nairobi!

Yay - I'm travelling again!

After all the angst and stress of the last couple of months at work and planning this trip, I'm finally away and I feel so much more at peace already.

Right now I've been up for about 36+ hours straight, and frustratingly I don't yet feel that tired but I think I'll sleep better than I have done for a while tonight!

Up early tomorrow morning for a 7am departure for a safari day an then heading deep into the Masai Mara for the rest of the week.

Happy days.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Week 8

Yay for another fairly awesome result this week, after a week of steadily plodding through life with a few duff evenings of eating and a lot of steady meals of goodness. There may even have been a pre-work swim or two in there as well.

In short, I managed to ditch another 1.5lbs at the scales at weigh in this week.

More excitingly though, the scales (my home scales that is) showed me a weight I haven't seen in over a year this week. Just a half lb shy if 13 stone, and therefore only a lb away from getting back into the 12's!!! Of course, since then there has been a birthday cake for my flatmate, pancake day and several shit days at work including today where I left work at 8.15pm on Valentine's day, grumpy, very single, and hating the world ... so there might have been a bit more cake. So I have little work to do if I want to make any kind of loss appear on the scales next week ... best get cracking!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Week 7

This week is mostly bought to you by a fog of tiredness. Too much work and a little too much socialising have bought be head to head with a wall of exhaustion that I hit with a resounding thud this morning.

Weigh in this week was great as far as I was concerned. I felt like I'd had a pretty good week and hoped for a loss, but no way did I expect to lose 2.5lbs and not o ly take off last weeks hormonal-base gain, but also the week before's post-sickness gain AND go half a lb more than that.

Very pleased indeed.

Not too much to get in the way this week - I have a couple more portions of home-made soup in the fridge, I've been trying to make some time to go to the the gym where possible, and although last weekend was a social workout with way too ,ugh booze, this weekend looks much quieter.

Which is good .... because I badly need some sleep!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Week 6

Ahem - I'm thick.

Last night's weigh in wasn't actually as bad as I'd feared, as I was geared up for a gain, and a big one at that, so the 1.5lb reality was actually pretty benevolent in the end.

I was all prepared with my "take it on the chin" attitude all day - grumpy but prepared. Until 3 o'clock in the afternoon when my uterus quite suddenly started trying to exit my body via clawing through my right hip (or at least it felt like that - reality may have been slightly less dramatic) and it all became blindingly clear. As per usual, I can't recognise the flashing neon signs of blatant PMS when they're clouting me over the head, but that's exactly what my tearful-grouchy-bloated-scales-don't-love-me-anymore self was suffering from.



After that, I approached weigh in with an altogether more cheerful attitude. The lady at the scales even gave me a wincing "sorry" look whilst noting down my gain and seemed entirely puzzled by my cheerful "well that wasn't too bad response" .... little does she know my body's capacity to gain 4 or 5 lbs around my period!!

Ironically, it would seem all 4 of us who Slimming World together I are "synced", if you get my drift, so we agreed that it wasn't the night to turn the other face to our various gains and maintains, but rather to indulge a little and soothe the day away with Thai. And a bit of chocolate cake. And it was really sodding lovely.

I think I've sort of made up for it today though, as I've only just got home from work at 10pm and I can't be arsed to eat dinner (a pack of Mini Cheddars in the office counts as a square meal doesn't it?), so I've decided to not bother.

Strange as it might seem, this is actually a major break-through for me, as I've long had a problem with obsessively needing to eat because it's a meal-time, even when I'm not hungry, so yay for something good!!! (And just to reassure you, I did have a whacking great big jacket potato with roast pesto veg for lunch, so I'm probably still digesting that .... definitely no starvation round here, just a measured decision that I'm not hungry and it's too late for tea).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


I'm feeling tired and grumpy and just ... miserable today. Maybe it's the lack of sleep last night, despite taking the time to wind down and still have my head hit the pillow at just after 11pm; sleep just eluded me again.

Maybe it's the fact that work is not going well today and I feel a little over-stressed and teary, and I found a ladder in my tights after I got to work.

Maybe it's the fact that despite a week of not terrible eating at all, and finally finding the time to run and spin, the scales put me over 2lbs up from last week on Slimming World weigh in day.

Either way, I just feel out of kilter with the world and like I could happily curl up under the duvet and hide.

Being tired does not work well for me. It seems to really affect my ability to deal with life's day to day traumas.

The scales aren't working well for me either, to the point where I tiredly wonder whether I should just stop standing on the damn things and making myself miserable. Not that I should give up the healthy living, you understand, but stop judging myself every day. I don't know.

I can't change today, so I'm trying to keep a level head on my eating anyway, and I'll take the weigh in on the chin tonight. I'm just so .... frustrated. Especially as my flatmate just emailed to ask how I was expecting it to go tonight and to say that she's eaten pretty much the same as me this week and she's expecting a loss. I'm frustrated by her ability to lose when my body has mysteriously gained.

At the same time I feel a bit numbed to it, and recognise that I can't do anything but plod forward and live the best life I can for me.

And just for one final hurrah of self-pity, I'm getting depressed by the Valentine's hype that's suddenly everywhere again, and how I'm back to single and with no interest at all.

All hail the self-pity train.

I promise to get off at the next station and walk.

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Taking Time

After several weeks of flat-out crazy at work, I finished some of my last big deadlines on Friday and it's finally about to ratchet down a couple of notches.

Thank god for that!!!

Everything else in life has mostly been on halt while work took over, so it's nice to contemplate the next couple of weeks with some time in them to do things for me.

Whilst my eating hasn't been too terrible over the last couple of weeks, exercise has definitely taken a back seat. A few dips in the pool at the gym and walking to work has pretty much been it, apart from last weekend's snowy walks. As a result, I was feeling pretty jaded by Friday - too much adrenaline from working frantically this week and not enough sleep.

Friday night was leaving drinks for a colleague from work and I gratefully inhaled 5 or 6 gin and tonics whilst I let the working week go. After that we headed for a curry, which was kind of awesome because I've had curry on my mind for a few weeks now and it tasted every bit as lovely as I'd been imagining! I vented all my work stress and curry-dreams in one go, and woke up Saturday morning ready to eat healthy and look after myself again.

I've been kind of reclusive this weekend - all I wanted was sleep and me-time. I've literally not spoken to anyone I know since Friday night and I'm kind of happy with that. Instead, I've caught up on sleep, tidied my room and sorted long accumulated washing, read my book, done puzzles, curled up on the sofa and watched Chalet Girl, cooked proper meals, and played with my new toy that arrived last week ready for safari!!!!

Ooh - shiny!!! And so many buttons to get to grips with that I'm very glad I bought a separate beginner's book on it too!!

This morning, I finally woke up feeling refreshed and ..... keen to get out of bed and run!!! I looked at my workout log afterwards and realised I haven't run since last October, so it's no wonder my lungs feel like I knocked something loose in them!!

It wasn't an easy run, but I'm glad I did it. At the time I felt pretty bad for most of it, and I marvelled at my loss of fitness considering I did a half marathon less than a year ago, but my fitness log tells me that my minute miles were actually pretty quick for me, so it's no wonder my lungs feel decimated!

My fitness kicks always seem to go in cycles - sometimes I'm in the mood and sometimes not - and I've learnt not to stress it too much when I'm not, as the urge always comes back eventually. Just to make things easier, I've already checked the gym timetable for tomorrow and picked a class (spin - and it runs twice just in case I miss the first one!), packed my kit and put it by the door for the morning.

I'm hoping this might mark a return to a more active mindset for me as I'm feeling winter-sluggish at the moment and could do with some more energy to get stuff done!! Lots to do this year and lots of adventures to organise and enjoy!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Week 5

Blimey - where do the weeks go??

This one got swallowed up in snow and leaving drinks, and a mountain of work, and here we are and it's the middle of the week again already!!!

Weigh-in first - this was my 5th weigh-in at Slimming World, marking around my 6th complete week on plan, and I'm actually pretty pleased with how it's going. Given that I lost 4lbs last week due to a stomach bug (hi there, side effects of the yellow fever vaccination!), I was overwhelmingly chuffed to have only put on 0.5lbs this week.

It sounds perverse, I know, but last week's weigh in came at a point where I'd basically consumed very little food and fluids in the previous 36 hours, so it was perhaps inevitable that the scales would creep up a little again as I resumed eating normally. Additionally, I had a stressful week at work, which seriously curtailed my gym activity, I had drinks on Thursday night, cake and takeaway on Saturday, and dinner out at Yo! Sushi on Monday followed by pic'n'mix at the cinema, so I feel like that it was an all round great result. I'm still lower than I was pre-Christmas and that is fine by me.

It's been a fairly jam-packed week as you can tell, as my ex-flatmate Sam flew away to Borneo for 5 months over the weekend. On Thursday night we gathered for drinks to toast her health and bid her farewell (for now anyway), and it was quite an emotional night.

Above, there's smiles from those of us staying behind, but there were some tears and wobbly lips too.

Then on Friday the snow struck. It has to be said, Bristol doesn't get a huge amount of snow, so I waterproofed up and stuck it out for another 12 hour day in the office, before adjourning back in on Saturday for more .... given it was still snowing out and I couldn't be bothered carrying extra shoes to the office with me, I modelled an unconventional choice of office footwear at the weekend ...

.... big wooly slippers to keep my feet warm!!!

After work was done, I was able to slip away for a walk at picturesque Ashton Court with Hannah - which was rendered even prettier by the snow. We borrowed our friend's dog Henry, and he was super excited by the snow, which sort of rubbed off on us too! We built a snowman (which looked oddly like a moomin), threw some snowballs and dodged the sledges, before winding up at the cafe for hot chocolate and cake.

I managed to fit in another walk on Sunday with other friends, and added snow angels and more snowballs to the list of fun - the fresh air was the perfect antidote to all that work time I've been logging recently.

In between work and playing outside, I've been curled up in the warm reading. I go through phases with my reading, and right now I'm loving it again. I'm a huge fan of my local library for enabling me to devour the latest by my favourite authors without guilt about money or space taken up by bookshelves, and also for letting me try new stuff. This one looks a bit intimidating but we'll see how I get now with it; it seems engaging so far!!

And finally, I've been ticking yet more items off my Africa list. Travel insurance and a coach booking to get to the airport have been sorted this week.

This time in a month I'll be there!! The excitement is starting to bubble up in me now, as I think it's finally starting to sink in that I'm really going. I absolutely can't wait (although there's a tiny little bit of me acknowledging I'm scared to be going away on my own for a month!), and I treated myself to a new camera in honour of this amazing trip this week. I'm going to be seeing such amazing scenery and places and I want to be able to record those memories as best I can .... and well, basically, I've been hankering after a proper SLR for ages now, so I've got a Nikon D3100 somewhere in the post winging its way to me .... so I can hopefully catch some images like these:

In order from top: Sossusvlei in Namibia, the Okavango Delta in Botswana and Etosha NP in Namibia.

Squeeeeeeee - I can't believe I'm actually going to these very places!!!! Oh, the excitement!!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Week 4

Well that was an interesting weigh in! It would appear that eating correctly for 2 days, off-plan (so let's go with "badly" for the sake of argument) for 2 and then a stomach bug and no-real-eating-apart-from-toast for subsequent 2 days will result in a 4 lbs loss at Slimming World. Rather embarrassingly that also netted me the Slimmer of the Week award for my class .... I did protest, but my group leader said I deserved it because I'd been good all last week too and not seen anything to show for it at my previous weigh in. She's very sweet.

I was back at the travel clinic again today for my next round of jabs, and and the nurse thought that the bug was actually a side-effect of my yellow fever vaccination last week - "mild flu-like symptoms" was what they warned me of last week .... I don't call vomiting repeatedly at 2am mild to be honest!!

It's slightly cheaty really, but has a brilliant psychological advantage because it puts me lower than I've been for about a year. Just 1 little lb above that magic 13st barrier I want to bust back through. And furthermore, my appetite is still not back to normal yet - certain things make me feel nauseous and I'm eating less than usual. So I want to use this as a kick start to keep me going towards my current deadline of my Africa trip. I want to be feeling as good as possible by the time we go, and with that motivation and my little head start, I'm feeling in a fairly good place mentally.

I've allowed myself to follow my instincts on what I've wanted to eat the past couple of days, and it has mostly been little and toast related. As of tomorrow I want to get fully back to eating on the Slimming World plan though as a girl cannot live on bread alone!!

I have very little planned socially over the next week as I wasn't sure how my work was going to pan out, so aside from drinks tomorrow night which I'm not planning o actually drinking much at (a massive deadline day in the office on Friday helps with that resolution), it's looking pretty quiet. My aim to week is to get even just a 0.5lb lower than I am now at meeting next week. Consolidate what I've lost and try and lose a teeny tiny bit more. Hope I can do it!!!

Other than that, this week will be lots of booking of last bits for Africa - coaches go airports, travel insurance, etc. I've got pretty much all my kit I need now - just need to start thinking about my packing list .... ugh ... I hate packing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 14 January 2013

Loud And Clear

I believe my body was listening when I bemoaned my eating and the scales a few days ago, because she's responded with something to remind me that being fit and healthy is not something to be sneezed at. She sent me the mother of all stomach bugs to put me in my place.

Thankfully, this one seems to be falling into the "short and sharp" category of illnesses ... I started throwing up (and the rest, but we won't go there) at about 8 last night, and by 2 this morning I was contemplating that death might be a nicer option, or at least fainting ( which i nearly did on a trip back up the stairs), but that maybe the worst was past. Having said that I'm too scared to try drinking much or eating anything as yet, so it could simply be a mid-game break

I'm not very good at being ill, and this has come at the worst possible time as this is very likely my busiest week of the year at work. I was debating trying to drag my weary carcass into work later so I don't get too far behind, but my boss pointed out that usually they prefer people who've been vomiting copiously to stay away from the office for fear of taking out the rest of the team with an infection. Hmph. Maybe I'll drive down for a couple of hours quiet work this evening if, you know, everything's staying where it should be by then.

Remind me next time, not to moan so much!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Road Bumps

After last week's disappointing weigh in, I was determined to buckle down and make it happen this week. This was made trickier by the fact that the scales seemed determined to go up instead of down, and that's it's also been a week of birthdays and goodbyes with three social events to get through.

Tuesday through to Thursday went off without a hitch (aside from the blasted scales resolutely climbing instead of dropping), and last night I determined to be a night off because a birthday party of mussels, frites and wine is just not compatible with a healthy eating plan, but enjoying it in moderation is .... but I have to confess this is where it's all gone a little awry, because today just didn't go to plan at all.

Fed up with the scales and my metabolism, fed up with working on a Saturday, and just generally a bit edgy today, I haven't eaten well. I had plans to take my own food to tonight's dinners (it was a picnic style affair), and I did take some, but also underprepared and then just gave up. Now I'm annoyed.

I suspect that the scales are going to give me more News of Gloom on Tuesday anyway, but in order to maintain my sanity I'm going to get back in control tomorrow. Right now, in fact. I left the others to go out drinking, and retired home for an respectable night, knowing that I haven't got any money for a night out, and am working tomorrow again and need the sleep. Mild insomnia has been plaguing me this week and I suspect it's related to stress, so I need to find better ways to unwind in the evenings. However, it's only the second week of the year and therefore far too early to give up on resolutions and goals.

In good news - my passport reappeared in the post this morning, fresh from the Kenyan embassy and now sporting a shiny (not literally) visa for my trip - whooooop!!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Week 3

Otherwise entitled "Oh".

Well, weigh-in didn't go entirely to plan. For a start I stayed the same as last week. And then I stayed the same as last week.

In all my infinite wisdom, acquired over 4 long years of healthy eating and losing weight, I know that it's stupid to take this to heart. My home scales have shown me slowly, but steadily, losing weight this week at my far more consistent early morning (and decidedly less clothed) weigh-ins. I feel smaller. I've eaten well all week, so this is clearly just a blip. I just need to wrap my head round that and keep my motivation high. I think this has just hit me hard because for once I went in expecting to see good things and then was totally shocked to see it still the same.

I've said many times before that more often than not I see the fruits of my labours a week or so behind when the actual labours take place, whether that's a gain or a loss. And weighing in the evening is always going to be a less predictable result due to having to, you know, actually eat and get dressed before the event. So I hereby promise to not let this put me off and to keep an eye on my own trusty scales over the next few days to see that they're still going in the right direction.

In the meantime I've got lunch to make for the next few days, and a couple of meals to plan for this week as I'm potentially eating out twice, and need to decide how to tackle that.

Just need to tuck my feelings away and keep going on auto-pilot for now.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 7 January 2013

Pre-meeting Jitters

It's nearly the end of another Slimming World week, which means the terror of the weigh-in is looming again already. Suddenly, that target I set last week to lose 3lbs seems foolish because I feel like I've set myself up for failure, especially as it's been a short week of 6 days due to the meeting being a day late last week.

Having said that, I can genuinely be proud of how I've eaten this week. I can honestly stay I've stuck to the Slimming World plan and tracked my food accurately. I've been to the gym for a short swim and sauna three times, had a walk in the local big park on Saturday and have of course resumed my 5 times a week, 30 min's each way walk to work.

I've eaten lots of veg, lots of lean protein, lots of fruit and lots of simple carbs. Very little processed food, and carefully monitored treats .... which isn't to say I haven't enjoyed a few treats because I've had a Twix, hot chocolate and a Christmas cookie and a slice of Rocky Road at various points this week, but they've all been within my proscribed allowance, and oddly enough for me, I've not been getting hungry between meals and I haven't been feeling deprived.

The deprivation thing is a huge issue for me, as it's usually where I trip up - I seem to live with a morbid fear of not being able to have something. The minute I feel deprived, I start craving something and then I just bust the whole plan out the water. Often times, I don't even get to the deprived point before I psychologically wimp out .... just the fear of looking ahead and worrying that I might feel deprived is enough to cause a freak out, so it's very comforting to not be feeling that right now.

Tomorrow though ... I'm hoping I've lost something and feel like I might have done, but I'm not sure I'll make it to my foolish pledge of 3lbs .... so whatever happens, I promise to be happy with it and move into next week feeling positive. Even without my weigh-in result, my eyes and clothes tell me that I've definitely ditched some bloat this week, which is great, whilst still eating until I'm food and with plenty of variety.

First week of the new year and I'm sticking to my aims and feeling good!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Week 2

I faced hint up to the Xmas demons last night and took myself off to my Slimming World meeting for the post-festive weigh in. Although technically I have now been with SW for 3 weeks, it was only my second weigh in, due to the Christmas holidays that occurred in the middle.

And, oh, what holidays they were! There was much eating, drinking and merriment, and my own scales indicated a gain of around 4-5lbs yesterday morning, so it was therefore with much trepidation that I braced myself and stepped on the official scales last night. It wasn't actually nearly as bad as I'd anticipated; 2.5lbs on from my last weigh in (and a chunk of that is likely salt-related bloating from fish and chips the night before when faced with empty cupboards), and if I add that to my 1.5lb loss from the first week, then I have ended up a stately 1lb heavier than I was at the start of my 3.5 week mega-Christmas holiday - not too shabby at all.

Of course, I'd have liked to have not been heavier, but I did indulge here and there (whilst thoroughly appreciating everything I had), and enjoyed the holidays for what they were - a chance to relax and take time off. And of course, without the mindfulness last night's impending meeting instilled in me over the last 2 weeks I could have been far, far heavier!!!

For this week, our whole group is focusing on going back to basics, which in my case is still my starting point anyway! We were asked to give a goal for this week, and I wasn't going to set a big target loss, because I often struggle to lose, but my flatmate's friend Christine said she was aiming for 3lbs, and then my flatmate Krissy said she was too, and it was the number I really wanted as 3lbs would take off to week's gain and give me a half pound loss on top ... fresh fat if you will, so I thought "sod it, I'll go for it".

Things in my favour: our other housemate Nina has just joined our SW group too!! We are now a total SW household!! If that doesn't help, I don't know what does! And I have my resolutions - goals to follow such as early nights, gym and exercise and cutting back on eating out and booze. On top of that, work starts the crazy season again this week, so my life is totally structured around the office and my social life scaled back over the next couple of weeks.

I've kicked off with healthy food today and yesterday, resuming my walk to work (an hour total each day), and a swim / sauna / steam room today after work which was lovely. So lovely, I might go again tomorrow, in fact!!

Here's to a good week, and aiming high, to start this year off!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Hola!! Happy new year!

Welcome to 2013 and all that hoopla!! Personally, this is a year I'm very excited about, and I hope it lives up to all my hopes, and is equally good to you too.

In time-honoured tradition, and I suspect like many other long-suffering dieters out there, today was the last farewell fanfare of the Christmas feast. A combination of a hangover, and arriving home after 10 days away to find naught in the fridge and the supermarket closed, led my flatmate and myself to the door of the local fish and chip shop, but with strong vows that as of tomorrow we're getting food in and sorting our acts out :-)

I dare say that tomorrow's weigh in a Slimming World won't be at all brilliant, but actually, the knowledge that I had that weigh in at all has led me to make better decisions than I otherwise would have over the festive season, so whatever gain I see tomorrow is less than it could otherwise have been. I haven't been bad all the way through the holiday, but I will see the effect of the last 3 days which have featured rather a lot of booze and 2 take outs, plus a restaurant meal. That can't be helped, and is just a temporary blip.

In another time-honoured tradition, my lovely friend Jo and I sat in the pub the other night (sipping diet Cokes thank you very much) and put together our goals, resolutions and challenges for 2013. We've done this every year since 2009, when this act first spurred me to take my weight loss seriously and join Weightwatchers, and they're a fun exercise to undertake. As usual, we were very organised and didn't bring anything to write on, so mine is scribbled on the back of an old Christmas card envelope that happened to be in my handbag!!

This year, mine is split into 4 sections: weight / health, debt, career and social. Here's a sneak peak what I'm aiming for this year.


- Slimming World: commit for at least 2 months (sticking to it properly) to see if it will work for me, and make as many of the meetings as possible (sometimes tricky with my work schedule in January).

- Get back under 13 st, and make a real effort to get below 12st.

- Gym: at least 3 sessions a week, minimum of 3 weeks of the month.

- Limit drinking to 3 times a week max.

- Get 4 good sleeps a week (8+ hours a night).


- Get remaining credit cards completely cleared.

- Use bonus for debts.

- Build savings to cover 5-6 months of loan repayments (if not used for 2013 winter season, make loan overpayment).

- Aim to get under £14k of total debt by end of year.


- Finish researching ski season jobs and make an application.

- Have a think about where career is going next.


- Limit eating out to twice a week.

- Use work learning fund to book a course (probably French lessons).

- Go singles wine tasting in Jan or Feb

As you can see, it's a mix of targets and "doing" resolutions. Hopefully, the "doing" ones will support the targets. I intend to get a nice big tracker I can put on the wall, so I can tick off my targets as I achieve them each week, as it's good to see progress.

Also this year - The Great Africa Adventures (Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia over 31 days)! Glastonbury! Lots of weddings and hen parties, and a black-tie birthday party. A city break. Camping weekends. And perhaps the greatest adventure of all ... just maybe .... moving abroad for awhile!!

Happy 2013 everybody!!

(Now I'm off to bed to tick off one of my "proper" sleeps this week!)