Still (slightly) on a downward curve

 

 

I’ve had a bit of a summer off, as in diet wise. I’ve still been walking, still been eating humungous salads at lunchtime but there have been the inevitable meals out, days on the beach, ripening figs (still full of sugar despite sounding healthy) and time away from home. So actually, when I think about it, the girl done good, considering.

I’m a couple of kilos down on what I was at the end of June. In total now I have lost 16 kilos, or 35 lbs in old money. Hooray! I am noticeably slimmer and I feel miles better. The more I lose however the more I realise I need to lose. Ideally I would like to lose another 10 kilos, which at this rate will take me another 10 months. That’s ok!

I am still walking, though some days now I go to an exercise class instead. Clubbercise is my new passion. I even – whisper – did Day One of C25K, but I didn’t get any further. The problem is not that I can’t do it, it’s more that I need the crack of a whip from a fitness instructor and/or the motivation of loving what I’m doing. I love walking, I can’t say I love running. But I will try again. My daughter is wanting me to try spinning with her. Not tempted, but I suppose I could give it a try.

In the last two months I’ve been to El Cortijo Romero in Spain, which is a kind of alternative retreat type place. The course I did was ‘Finding the joy within’. I didn’t find a lot of joy because the course itself was rubbish but I did love the place itself and made some lovely friends. I’ve also been to Port Eliot Festival which is an annual fixture in my diary and probably my favourite weekend of the whole year. The setting is just gorgeous and there are so many people to listen to, things to do, delicious food to eat. This year unfortunately it rained incessantly so I didn’t enjoy it nearly so much as usual but that won’t stop me buying a ticket for next year.

I have had the most stressful August however, due in no small part to a Mr Fuckface (possibly not his real name) who has done his best to make my life a misery. I let out a holiday cottage and mostly because of the incessant rain this summer (I suspect) he did not enjoy his holiday. The cottage wasn’t ‘fit for purpose’, was ‘filthy’, wants his money back blah, blah, blah. Oh and apparently it was too noisy to even think! The fact that other reviews have said how tranquil it is and that everyone else has been perfectly happy with their stay doesn’t seem to bother him. I have been threatened with credit card chargebacks, lawyers, Trade Description Act, etc, etc. The man hasn’t a leg to stand on but it’s still stressful.

The second stress factor I’ve been dealing with is my son, who has been put on a new regime of antibiotics. Now if you’re about to put someone who is already thin and ill on 3 new very strong antibiotics wouldn’t you phase them in? Try one first, then after a couple of weeks if no adverse reaction introduce another one? No. It appears that would be far too sensible.

One of the antibiotics is licensed to only treat leprosy (my son does not have leprosy…) and is known for causing skin discolouration and a lack of appetite, amongst many other things. My son has lost his appetite, massively. He looks like a cadaver. I literally cannot bear to look at him.

So that is my summer. Lovely stuff and not so lovely stuff. But I have still lost 2 kilos!

Swimming not walking

The weather has been so utterly glorious this past week or so that I have swum in the sea more than I’ve walked. It is bliss. The water temperature is apparently only 15 degrees but it feels warmer than that. I have never seen Gylly Beach so packed with people actually in the sea as I have this week. There is normally a stiff Cornish breeze deterring people, if not actual rain and less than clement temperatures. It is amazing how quickly people get used to being able to get home from school or work and head straight down to the beach. Alas, I think this heatwave is expected to end tomorrow.

Dietwise I have been on a holiday since I last posted (Lindos in Rhodes) and I’ve been to a festival. I have eaten whatever I’ve fancied for the duration. Both times I have got straight back to my normal food regime once I got home. It is interesting to see how much weight I put on on holiday, eating carbs etc, and how quickly it comes off afterwards.

I put on about 2 kilos in Lindos, which is roughly the same as the amount I put on after a week in Portugal. So that’s not actually too bad I don’t think! It takes about a week to 10 days to lose it. Again, not actually that bad I don’t think, and it goes to show I can have a week eating bread etc now and again and it won’t have a lasting effect so long as I immediately get back to my normal routine.

Something I’ve bought recently which has had an impact is a blood glucose monitor. About £10 from Amazon and I wish I’d bought one years ago. To my horror I have confirmed that I am pre-diabetic. My fasting glucose is 6.5 mmol/l. It is one thing to suspect it it is another thing to know.

So. This has galvanised me even more. I do not want to become a full blown type 2 diabetic. No wonder I am fat – I have far too much insulin swilling round my body all the time. The only way I am going to solve my weight problem permanently is to sort my pancreas out. The only way I can do that is to give it a bit of a rest. Which means seriously few carbs for a time. I am now exploring the murky world of low carb bread etc. By the way I can thoroughly recommend Jason Fung’s ‘The Obesity Code’. It is brilliant and utterly fascinating.

Today is my weigh day and I am now 80.4 kilos. Yay!! I am so pleased. So I have now lost 30lbs. I look at photos from Lindos, when I was about 25lbs lighter than I was in January and I look enormous. I am only now realising how awful I must have looked at 94 kilos. I would love to say ‘never again’ but I feel that is tempting fate so I won’t. But… I do feel something has, at least for now, switched in my head. I just don’t want to be huge any more.

Yesterday’s meals:

Br: 2 fried eggs

Lunch: humungous salad with halloumi, cranberry sauce and french dressing.

Supper: Tom Kerridge’s porky bolognese with courgetti (delicious)

9pm: a few strawberries

OMG I went for a run!!!!!

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I am in shock. I don’t do running, on account of my arthritic knees, my dodgy hips, my unstable back and my massive norks. Haven’t run for years. When I say run, I really mean shuffle. As in slightly more than a walk, but it would be a stretch to call it a run. Even a mere shuffle results in my tits swinging wildly about, despite being practically bandaged to my rib cage.

What brought this about? Well… by chance I watched a programme called Mind Over Marathon last night, which is about a group of people suffering from mental health problems, grief, depression etc, etc. And it’s about them training, as a group, for the London Marathon, which is this weekend. I was so moved by their stories. These are people who in some cases haven’t set foot outside their house for years, or who suffer such crippling depression that to walk, never mind run, is a major feat. I cried throughout the programme, as I suspect most people who watched it did. I suddenly found myself wanting to join them, but thought no more about it. I am 56 FFS! My running days are definitely over, although I think I could count the number of times I’ve been running in my life on the fingers of two hands so you could argue they’d never actually begun.

In an effort to communicate with my 23 year old (going on 15) son I agreed to play racquetball with him this afternoon. I haven’t played for ages. I enjoyed it. (He needs the exercise, he has cystic fibrosis). We drove home and I thought, I have my trainers on, I have my joggers on, my tits are already hoisted into a highly engineered steel structure (I might be joking about the steel bit) so if I’m ever going to try a bit of a run again before I die THIS IS MY MOMENT.

So, slightly in shock at my own daring, I grabbed my iPod and started jogging! I bloody did it! Ok it was mostly a walk, but I really did jog a little bit too. And it was bloody brilliant. Will I ever go again? Maybe. Who knows, it might encourage the scales to shift a bit.

I can but dream…

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Of the good old days, back in January, when I was losing consistently 1.1kgs a week. This week I have actually put ON 0.1kg and I have been eating more or less the same as I was a couple of months ago.

Or have I? Have the portions sizes been creeping up? The wine consumption become more regular? The walking slightly less frequent and more slowly maybe? Or is it just that I am 56 and basically fucked when it comes to trying to lose weight and keep it off because of pesky fat storing hormones?

One of the things I really wanted out of this trying-to-slim-down lark was smaller tits. Surely, surely they will reduce in size as the rest of me does? Well, no. My bra size is still massive and hasn’t changed at all. Maybe I fill the cups slightly less pneumatically but what I really want is noticeable difference. Not too much to ask when you’ve lost a stone and a half is it? Apparently yes.

I’ve been walking 3 or 4 miles a day, as usual, though I did have a couple of days off this week because I was feeling poorly.

Things I have eaten in the past week:

Thursday

Br: 2 fried eggs on one slice rye toast and butter

Lunch: 3 slices belly pork fried in magic dust, salad

Supper: Pork chop in M&S cheddar sauce, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli

Friday

Br: muesli mix

Lunch: carrot and bean chilli on some leftover veg

Supper: sausages, baked beans and chips (parboiled then oven roasted with Frylight)

Saturday

Br: 2 poached eggs on rye toast

Lunch: salad with half a quiche (pastry removed)

Supper: steak, mushroom, salad, onion rings, peas, pepper sauce

Sunday

Br: muesli mix

Lunch: (Easter Sunday, lunch out) roast beef, Yorkshire pud, 2 potatoes, veg, gravy, most of a bread and butter pudding (divine). Much wine.

Supper: salad with half a quiche, pastry removed

Monday

Br: 2 poached eggs on rye toast

Lunch:salad with halloumi cheese and cranberry sauce, turkey slice

Supper: roast lamb in orange and ginger sauce, veg, parsnips, wine.

Tuesday

Br: muesli mix

Lunch: salad with halloumi, cranberry sauce and turkey slice

Supper: courgetti bolognese

Wednesday

Br: 2 poached eggs on rye

Lunch: salad with turkey and corned beef

Supper: balsamic pork, pesto cauli mash and salad

Walked round the Trelowarren Estate today with Eve. Absolutely gorgeous. The thatched cottage above is just one of many we saw on our walk. Cornwall in Spring is so beautiful.

 

 

A little hiatus

I have just been on a lovely holiday to Tavira, Portugal. We stayed in a fantastic, but cheap, hotel and ate lots and lots of gorgeous food. And wine. A LOT of wine. Prawns seemed to figure a lot too.

Came home, weighed myself and I’ve put on over 4lbs. Wah! I did enjoy every ounce though. The problem is I’m away again in six weeks’ time. (It’s that time of year). And there will be more eating of food and drinking of wine. Probably not so many prawns though.

As of today I am 85.0kgs. Which means I have crept back into obese territory. Sob. Last night my brother came round with his family and also my mother and we had an Indian take-away.  I had determined to be good but somehow the best part of a peshwari nan and a few onion bhajis slipped down my throat along with the champagne my brother had brought with him. Not good. I really need to buckle down now.

One thing I have missed the past ten days has been my walk round Pendennis Head. I miss it hugely. Today I will actually have time and I can’t wait. The sun is shining and Falmouth is looking gorgeous.

I suppose a loss is a loss

…Even if it’s only 0.4 of a kilo. Huh. I was honestly expecting a little more encouragement from the scales than that! Maybe the wine has started to creep in a bit… I have now lost nearly 19lbs which actually is pretty good now I think about it. I’ve just googled what this amount of fat looks like and 20lbs looks like this.

20lbs-of-fat

Ugh! It’s good to know that is gone from my lardy middle. Plenty more where that came from though, unfortunately.

Yesterday I had..

Br: muesli mix

Lunch: crunchy salad with chorizo, bacon, french dressing.

Supper: pork steak in lemon and rosemary, salad, french dressing.

 

I walked very hastily around Pendennis Head yesterday as my son was cooking and I was running late. I cut through Princess Pavilions to get home a bit quicker and the daffodils and the blue sea lifted my spirits and I didn’t care anymore that I’d ‘only’ lost 0.4kg this week. I live in a fantastic place, my son was cooking tea (and I never ever take his health and ability to do that for granted) AND we’d just booked a holiday to Vietnam for the autumn. Another reason to be slimmer and I seriously hope my partner loses some weight beforehand because otherwise it’ll be a bit of a squash sitting next to him on the plane. And it’s a loooooong flight.

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Food diary

This is what I’ve eaten recently. The days are complete in themselves but I haven’t written down every day as that would be a bit boring. Three meals a day and no snacks. No messing!

20 Feb 2017

Br: muesli mix (this consists of a tablespoon or thereabouts of Dorset Cereals nutty muesli, about 10 Bran Flakes, coconut flakes, seeds, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and hazelnuts (about 5 of each). I have about half a teaspoon of sugar and some skimmed milk. It fills me up till lunchtime.

Lunch: steak with mushrooms, tomatoes and peas.

Supper: cod in parma ham, creamy pepper sauce, roast veg.

 

 

23 Feb 2017

Br: 2 poached eggs on one slice rye bread and a little bit of butter.

Lunch: Parmesan crusted chicken and salad

Supper: Chicken with chickpeas, feta, red peppers, courgettes and cabbage.

28 Feb 2017

Br: 2 poached eggs on rye toast

Lunch: Marks & Spencer ‘Balanced for you’ Harissa chicken and couscous salad

Supper: Red Thai curry (homemade) and cauliflied rice.

 

3 March 2017

Br: Muesli mix

Lunch: Chicken cakes, salad, feta, pomegranate seeds

Supper: Asian beef stir fry

 

5 March 2017

Br: 2 poached eggs on rye

Lunch: salad leaves with halloumi and chorizo, tomatoes, onions, parmesan, dressing.

Supper: 3 sausages, baked beans, chips cooked in fry light, roast tomatoes.

 

10 March 2017

Br: muesli mix

Lunch: beef and bean stew

Supper: roast pork, apple sauce, veg, gravy, glass of wine.

 

 

Still edging downwards…

I have now lost the grand total of 8.2kg, which is about 18lbs. Go me! It has slowed down a lot but I am still losing a fairly steady pound a week, which is utterly fantastic as far as I’m concerned, mostly because I seem to have hit upon a diet that is completely sustainable. In that I don’t feel deprived (Ok, I do sometimes, but not often), I really, really enjoy my food and I don’t get that hungry.

It is good, healthy food so hopefully my gut bacteria are changing slightly too, and the ones that promote weight loss are becoming more prevalent than the ‘weight gain’ ones. I can whole-heartedly recommend a book called ‘Gut’ by Giulia Enders. It sounds a bit dull I know but it is anything but. I couldn’t put it down. It is endlessly fascinating and I was more riveted by it than many a novel I have read over the years.

I’ve been keeping a diary of what I eat, so that I can look back on any given week and collate it to how much weight I lost – or gained – that week. I’ve been recording it on an app, which I now discover deletes all entries over a month old. Wah! So I’m going to start recording them here too.

The walking is going great. I hate it when I can’t go for my 3 mile walk now. I am sleeping better, it never fails to uplift me and it must be helping the weight loss too. It is a no brainer. Now and again I think to myself I ‘should’ be doing a spinning class or breaking into a jog but then I think no! If I start feeling pressure to do more I will feel depressed if (when) I fail so I’m sticking with the walking.

Mending fences with a prawn sandwich

Lunch today was spent in companionable conversation with my Dad, at his house. I brought him an M&S prawn sandwich, one of his favourites. I’ve done this many times over the years but just now it has more poignancy. We are mending fences, Dad and I. This was not just a casual turn-up-for-lunch type thing, although we are both pretending that’s exactly what it is.

Until recently we were estranged. He said this, I said that, blah, blah, blah. I was hurt, he was hurt. I said to my brother recently that I got all my rows with Dad done in one year. And it’s true. Up until the point we fell out I had never had a row with him. He would often row with my brother and half-brother but we never did. Then, when all hell broke loose, over a Chinese meal, I realised I had a million grievances. Stupid really. None of them very important. Except for one.

My son, my beautiful first born child, had a terrible accident at Dad’s house. He died. But Dad never once asked me if I’d like him to move house afterwards. So all the years of visiting Dad since have been the most horrible, painful reminder of what happened 25 years ago. And until we had our fall-out I hadn’t realised how much I had suppressed anger about that. And boy did I feel bloody angry. He could have moved, but he chose not to, like what happened was nothing.

Anyway. Tis done. Dad and I have now made up (my mother is now not speaking to me but that’s a whole other story) and my peace offering was a prawn sandwich. I meanwhile had an M&S salad for lunch which was delicious but left me so, so hungry I could have eaten one of the cats this afternoon. I didn’t though. One of the things I am really, really trying to change permanently is not to snack. Ever. So I drank a load of fizzy water, went for a walk and when I came back I made some (delicious, though I say it myself) cauliflower rice to go with the Thai curry Angus had made (also totally delicious).

Tomorrow is weigh day….

 

Breakfast: poached eggs on rye toast

Lunch: M&S salad

Tea: red Thai curry, cauliflied rice.

Walk: Pendennis Head

 

Just me and my boy (and the cats)

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It is awfully quiet in the house. My partner has gone to Italy with his son, skiing. My daughter and her boyfriend are up country visiting his parents, so it’s just me and my son and our two cats rattling around this house. And it’s rather nice. Much as I miss my partner and daughter sometimes it is nice to not have to cook for lots of people and to have to consider their needs. The not so great thing though, about today, was that Angus went to college and made pastries. Aargh. He came home with an apple pie, apple turnover, spotted dick and eclairs. They all looked totally divine. Agony.

It was lovely to see him eat a load of eclairs though. He needs, as ever, to put on weight. It is a constant battle. People with cystic fibrosis generally do better the more weight they have on them, yet it is so hard for them to gain weight. I wish I could siphon some (all!) of my excess fat to him. For the last twenty odd years we’ve had this weird dichotomy whereby I am trying to lose weight at the same time as he is trying to gain it. It is madly frustrating.

I was at Rock Choir this morning and my friend said, ‘have you lost weight?’ I beamed. Yes, my lovely friend, I have. Over a stone in fact. It is nice when people notice. Unfortunately I was so overweight to start with I think the amount I have lost is still barely noticeable.

Today the weather was cold and temperamental and it would have been very easy to stay indoors. But! I ignored the call of the log fire and donned a heavy mac. I did the usual Pendennis Head walk. When drier weather arrives I will start being a bit more varied. However I do love my regular walk even though I got hailed on today and I notice when I got back how much my mood had lifted. Walking really should be prescribed on the NHS.

Today I ate:

Breakfast: my muesli mix (which consists of nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, dried cranberries, a couple of tablespoons of Dorset Cereals muesli)

Lunch: I found a home-made cottage pie in the freezer and had that with broccoli and carrots.

Tea: 2 pork steaks in sweet chilli and soy sauce and salad.