Will it ever stop raining?

I walked in the drizzle today. I was determined to get out. It has rained non-stop for 3 days now. I was getting cabin fever.

This weekend I cooked a sit-down dinner for 15 people. Go me! I got drunk at Christmas and suggested that instead of going out to a boring and soulless Chinese restaurant for my mother-in-law’s birthday – her usual choice for some unfathomable reason  – wouldn’t it be a terrific idea if everyone came to us instead? I absolutely should never, ever issue invitations when I’m drunk. I also never expected that every single member of my partner’s family would accept.

So there I was last week, realising that my moment of madness had caught up with me and I had to produce a heck of a lot of food. And work out how to sit 15 people round our table. I did stuffed pork, quiches, salads, coronation chicken, pavlova, chocolate brownies and I ONLY ATE THE PORK AND SALADS. I did drink a vat of wine but even so. I was restrained. I love brownies, I love pavlova, I particularly like my caramelised onion quiche but I did not eat any. Please God let the scales reward me next Wednesday.

The following night it was my father’s 82nd birthday and he wanted his birthday meal at his favourite chippy, Morrishes in Redruth. Now Morrishes’ fish and chips are the finest in the land. I toyed with the idea of taking with me a salad in a tupperware box and ordering a piece of chicken. When I told my daughter and partner this brilliant plan they were both aghast so I thought bugger it, I’ll have a piece of fish and two portions of peas. Which I did. And bloody gorgeous it was too. And no wine, just a cup of tea!

I’ve checked the weather forecast and it is just rain, rain, rain for the next 3 years. If I’m going to walk myself slim I’m going to have to invest in some waterproof trousers and swish my way round Falmouth in the drizzle. I will doubtless cut a dashing figure.

Legs like lead

 

Most of the time I absolutely love my walks. But some days – and the last few days have been like this – my legs have felt like lead. Every step, especially uphill, is a struggle. If it was all the time then I could put it down to the massive sack of potatoes I’m carrying around my middle or just general unfitness but it isn’t. I can only assume it’s my pesky hormones.

The other thing that’s starting to get on my nerves slightly is that every time I go for a walk, no matter that I’ve just had a wee before I left, I always, always want to go when I’m out. It’s a bloody pain in the backside quite frankly. (No pun intended). I become more and more aware of the need to go, until it takes over everything and I stop enjoying the walk and start becoming terrified that I will just go. Right there.

So! Not to be deterred I have bought, courtesy of Amazon, a present for myself. A She-wee!  According to all the reviews (mostly glowing) I have to practise peeing into this thing in the shower first to get the hang of it. Oh the joy.

Yesterday I had to pick up my car from the menders the other side of Truro and as we had tickets for Ghost at the Hall for Cornwall there was little point in coming home in between time. So we had supper at Pizza Express in Truro. With my halo shining I ordered their Legera superfood salad and it was bloody gorgeous. And for less than 600 calories! It took a satisfyingly long time to eat as well. I did have wine with it though. Well there are limits to my saintliness.

Well this morning I was rewarded by a 2.4lb weight loss this week, making a grand total of 8.5lbs. Hooray! God knows what next week’s weigh in will be like though. I am cooking for 17 people on Friday (mother-in-law’s birthday) and then going to a chippy the next day for my father’s birthday (his choice). I am half thinking of taking a salad with me and just ordering a piece of chicken. Can I do that? Will they notice? Is it a tad rude or am I just sensibly putting my health needs above propriety?

Today’s walk was around Argal Lake. The colours of the lake against the green moss on the trees and rocks are spell-binding. There are a thousand shades of greens and browns. Quite beautiful.

 

 

Waiting for the rain to stop

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Both my Yahoo and BBC Weather apps are wrong. Every morning I check both to see when to schedule my walk for the day. They have never let me down yet. Until today! It is apparently ‘sunny’ here in Falmouth right now but I am definitely looking out of my office window at relentless rain. I should have been warned though.

This morning I woke up to the most beautiful sunrise (see pic above). Isn’t it ‘Red sky in the morning is a shepherd’s warning’? So nature did provide me with a warning but I did not heed it. I am loathe to skip a day of walking. I have done eleven days on the trot now and don’t want to break it.

I think my weight loss is slowing down already – aargh. My mid-week weigh showed only a 0.1kg loss. I blame my daughter for having a birthday so that I had to drink rather a lot of wine.

Slightly less bulbous?

 

 

Now that I’ve got over the blister stage my body has decided to inconvenience me in another area: my hips. My 56 year old hips are protesting vigorously at my prancing about up hill and down dale as if I were a yearling, and they are giving me gyp. So today, before I started my walk, I took a couple of ibuprofen. And it made a big difference.

Having enjoyed yesterday’s walk so much, and with the weather still so glorious, I decided to do the same walk again, but this time not go wrong and end up walking an extra mile. To my great delight this new route took in some excellent Cornish stiles. I have a thing for stiles. The old granite ones are things of great beauty. They are all slightly different and many are hidden away, and it is only if you are a map reader par excellence like me (ahem) that you know, you just know, that there has to be a stile under all that bramble, behind those shrubs, in amongst that rusting farmyard detritus. My determination to find a hidden stile invariably pays off and it gives me a little frisson of pleasure far in excess of what it should do.

As I was setting out today I noticed something. Or thought I noticed something. Was it my imagination or was my hoody ever so slightly looser? Or rather slightly less tight? ‘Loose’ is not a word generally ascribed to descriptions of my clothing. Or had it just given up all hope against the might of my enormous mammaries and stretched even more? I’m going to go with the thought that maybe my boobs have actually shrunk an infinitesimal amount. This is very pleasing.

Less pleasing was being accompanied on part of my walk by a woman and her dog. I’m sure she was very nice and her dog was lovely but dear God, why would she think I want company? One of the things I love about walking is being alone with my thoughts. I don’t want to make small talk. Harrumph. I must try and perfect my ‘I-hate-people’ expression. I did meet some lovely donkeys though. When I came across them they make a heck of a noise eeyore-ing all over the place. I think they hoped I had a carrot tucked about my person. Must remember to fill my rucksack with donkey dreamies if I do the same route again.

I walked 4.19 miles today and expended 472 calories. This is good as tonight we are going out for my daughter’s birthday and much wine and steak will be consumed.

Weigh Day

And today’s scales showed…. I have lost 2.4lbs this week! I am so in the zone it’s not real. I have walked at least 3 miles every day this week and I’m now at the stage where I would miss it if I couldn’t go.

I am incredibly lucky to be self-employed and also this is a quieter time of year so the only thing I really have to worry about, in terms of fitting a walk in, is the weather and the relative lack of daylight hours. I know this won’t last. Life will get in the way, work will get busy and stressful, my son will have to go into hospital, other people will need me. But while I can do it, I am doing it. This is about me and for me. And I am absolutely loving it.

Today’s walk was heading out from Swanpool, along the coastal path to Maenporth Beach, up a bridle path, round the back of Penmorvah Manor and then down through Boslowick to  Swanpool. I took a wrong turn at a farm and ended up walking nearly 5 miles instead of 3. The weather was sunny but cold. Perfect walking weather. I can’t stand being too hot when I walk.

I have only had four glasses of wine since New Year’s Day. This is slightly unnerving me, and the rest of the family.

 

Walk – sing – walk

 

 

img_1316I am incredibly lucky to live on the best street in the best town in the best country in the world. At one end of my street I have a beach, and ten minutes’ walk in the other direction takes me to a town full of life, restaurants, people. My default walk – the one I always do if I can’t be bothered to think of another one – takes me out of my house, past some lovely buildings, then past the docks, then through some woodland, then past one beach and then another. It’s bloody brilliant.

I love the docks and the view over them towards Flushing. I love the noise, the industry, the reminder that Cornwall is not all tourism. There are old granite multi-storey edifices alongside modern, low-rise but vast pre-fabs. Telescopes dot the wide pavement above them as the view is just stupendous.

Shortly after by-passing the docks a footpath appears that plunges the walker into quite different territory. This is my favourite bit. It is a jumble of trees, shrubs, undergrowth designed to trip you up. The sea can be glimpsed through the branches. Half-way along there is a bench with many, many bunches of flowers on, and a poem. The bench is dedicated to a 17 year old girl who died this time last year at this spot. It is very moving.

Onwards through winding and muddy paths, brightness periodically giving way to gloom as the trees thicken, then to an old blockhouse which is something to do with Henry VIII but I can’t remember what. Then to Pendennis Head where an ice-cream van seems to be permanently open, even on a gloom morning mid-week in January. There are always lots of cars here; people parked up for a lunch break, Sunday drivers taking in the view. I imagine many an affair has been conducted here.

Turning right my walk is now fairly flat and with a fantastic view of the sea directly on my left. I pass Castle Beach and then Gyllyngvase Beach. At the cafe I turn right up the hill and then I’m home. It is almost exactly 3 miles and takes me about an hour if muddy, 50 mins if not.

Today was slightly different however. It was the first day back after Christmas for Rock Choir. And this is held in a hotel along the sea-front. So I decided to wrap my walk around my singing. I walked 2 miles of my usual route, warbled for an hour and half, had a cup of coffee and a natter with my friend Gill then walked the last mile home. It was all quite lovely.

It is 2 days to Weigh Day…

 

 

Triple whammy

eveloepool

As I was walking alongside Loe Pool yesterday with my friend Eve, I was pondering when and how I got so fat. And it struck me that most of the fat has piled on in the last 8 years or so and frankly I didn’t stand a chance, given what I was up against.

I gave up smoking almost exactly 9 years ago. That was the start. I then met my partner Ian, who likes food even more than I do (I didn’t think that was possible, but it turns out it is) so we have spent much of the past 8 years eating delicious food. I then segued quietly into the menopause and at the same time my thyroid decided to stop working properly. That’s actually four good reasons now I think about it. So I have gone from being a reasonably attractive 4o-something year old to a saggy, flabby 50-something year old with pneumatic breasts. Tis a cruel fate that awaits us women.

However! My friend Eve has lost a stone and a half in the past few months. She is my inspiration. Because she is my age, she has also been overweight for much of her life, and she too loves her food. If Eve can do it surely I can do it?

So we meandered happily beside Loe Pool and nattered away, neither of us pausing for breath much except to debate whether or not to defy a farmer’s attempts to keep us out of his field. Eve likes footpaths and doesn’t much like the possibility of being chased by a bull and I see an attempt to keep walkers out as a challenge. I won. The photo above is of Eve climbing over the gate at the top of the illicit path.

We walked 3.75 miles, according to the app Walkmeter, much of it laughing at life and ourselves, and it was all quite lovely.

It would have been very easy…

cliff-road

To have sat at home by the fire today. All day. The rain has been lashing down and the temperature outside has plummeted. We were up late last night as I had my brother on the phone telling me he thought I was having a nervous breakdown (he could be right) and police and sniffer dogs in our garden searching for a missing neighbour. It was midnight when we got to bed and I was overwrought re brother, and worried re nice neighbour. Oh and the boiler had packed up in the midst of all the drama so we were freezing.

Woke up this morning, checked Twitter re neighbour (still missing, could hear helicopter overhead) and lit the fire lest we all freeze to death. Round about mid-morning I noticed that the radiators were red hot. How completely bizarre. So we are now all walking round in our Bermuda shorts.

Anyway… as I said, could happily have stayed ensconced by lovely wood burner all day. However the skies cleared at about 4pm and I took the risk and went out. Did my 3 miles. Felt loads better for it. Also did 3 miles yesterday and the day before that.

Yesterday was Weigh Day. And I have lost…. roll of drums…. 1.7kg or 3.75lbs. Hooray! Only another 51 weeks to go….

 

 

 

 

Too many pies

 

 

fatwoman

 

About twice a year I find myself absolutely determined to lose weight; this time I’m going to do it, I will never eat another piece of bread again, blah, blah, blah. I bore my partner rigid with the latest research into how our bodies gain and lose fat, I implore him to join me in my odyssey (he is even larger than me), and announce, pompously, that I’m never going to be this fat again.

I then embark, with almost religious fervour, on a ‘healthy eating and exercise’ plan avoiding bad carbs and not eating after 7pm, etc, etc. I lose about a stone, feel a lot better and then spend the next few weeks and months putting it all back on again and more.

I’m not saying that this latest moment of Absolute Determination won’t end in the same way but I do have an added bit of armoury up my sleeve. One of motivation.

For a couple of years I’ve thought about getting a breast reduction. My norks are massive. Always have been. Once a great asset they are now a hindrance. I look like Ann Widdecombe.

Every day I stand in front of the bathroom mirror while waiting for the shower to warm up and suck my stomach in. I then usually decide that I wouldn’t look that bad if my breasts were only smaller. In other words I think I look much fatter than I actually am purely because of my mammaries. This is almost certainly rubbish.

Biting the bullet on January 2nd this year I went off to the Duchy Hospital and was greeted by a man I can only describe as some sort of God. He looked like Tom Hiddleston’s better looking younger brother. A nurse was called into the room (lest he molest me, so driven with lust was he bound to be), and I was asked to undress. I stood, naked from the waist up, before this demigod while he stared, wordlessly, at my tits which were hanging down somewhere around knee level. ‘You are overweight’,  he said, ‘breast reduction operations aren’t successful when the patient is as fat as you’. He didn’t actually phrase the last bit like that but that’s what he was trying to say. He did a tremendous job of making me feel I’d eaten far too many pies without ever once using the words ‘fat’ or obese’. Fair play to him.

He did me a favour. It was the kick up the arse I needed. So here we are, a few days in, and I am Absolutely Determined. Again.

I have also realised that if I do actually manage to lose 3 stones I almost certainly wouldn’t need a breast reduction op, thereby saving myself several thousand pounds. Is the prospect of avoiding an operation and saving myself a not inconsiderable sum of money going to be enough for me to actually do it this time? Dear God I hope so.

 

 

Walking myself slim

This year I am going to lose 3 stones. Or 42lbs. Or 19 kilos. Whichever. I’m not going ‘to aim’ to lose 3 stones, or ‘hope to lose’ 3 stones, I am going to lose 3 stones.

Like many people my age (56) I’ve tried approximately 3 million different diets. In my younger days I tried eating only fruit (I lasted an hour), or only cabbage soup (an impressive 3 days) and I have worked my way through low calorie, low fat, low carb, Slimming World, 5:2, cutting out wheat and sugar. In other words I’ve tried everything. And guess what? I’m fatter than ever!

This is not the fault of any one diet – they all work if you stick to them. My problem is I like food too much. I don’t like crap food. I’ve never liked fizzy drinks – diet or full-fat – have never had a sweet tooth, don’t particularly like crisps and definitely don’t like processed food. I like cooking and I like cooking good, healthy food. Protein and veg, salads, yummy stuff. I also like bread, particularly sourdough bread and this is probably my main downfall. I also eat far too much food.

So what’s a (fat) girl to do? Just give up and meander into old age and type 2 diabetes with a resigned shrug of the shoulder? I don’t know, I have no answers.

In attempt to find the answers I wondered if walking – lots – could be the answer. I like walking, I’m quite happy walking along with my own thoughts. I tend to go for a walk when I think about it, when the weather’s nice, when I’ve been feeling cooped up. But what about if I made walking my weapon of choice? Would it work? Can it work?

I started googling ‘blogs about people who have walked themselves slim’. I wanted to see startling results! Confirmation that my idea is indeed the way forward! But… nothing. If there are blogs out there I couldn’t find them and I am a demon googler.

So, on my walk today, I decided that if there were no blogs about walking yourself slim then I would start one. Will it work? Just walking lots? I don’t know. But I aim to find out and this blog will be my record.