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.

 

 

Targets

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One of the ways in which I keep myself motivated is to have loads of mini targets. This is where the geeky part of me kicks in – I do love to do a bit of maths. So I have entered a few things on a google drive spreadsheet and I will tick them off as I (hopefully) reach them.

For example I have targets of ‘5% bodyweight lost’, ‘into the 13’s’ (that’s stones…), ‘into BMI overweight category’, ‘2 stone lost’, etc, etc. It means I’m never that far away from a particular target. I have ticked off four targets so far and the next one I’m aiming for is ‘13.5 stone’. This is a significant target because I specifically remember, about 10 years ago, going to Slimming World feeling MASSIVE and this is what I weighed. I was horrified at how fat I’d become. Well, here we are, several years on and I’m aiming for that weight and will be well chuffed when I get there.

It is quite horrible how the weight creeps on, and when you’re as scales-phobic as me, and you love food and eating out, it’s so easily done. I convince myself that as I don’t eat junk that I’m eating healthily, whereas the truth is cheese, bread and wine still have calories in them and I consume (used to consume) far too much of them.

I had a fabulous walk round Loe Pool with my friend Eve this morning. The sky was glowering but the rain managed to hold off. We passed fields of golden daffodils, a hint belied by the weather that Spring is on its way.  I am starting to wonder what I did before I made walking such a priority. How did I keep myself sane? Although I have always been a walker I have never been disciplined about it and would often go days without walking much. Doing it every day has made so much difference to my mood, sleeping, fitness. I am a complete convert.

Yesterday for breakfast I had 2 poached eggs on rye toast, chicken with chickpeas, feta and red peppers etc for lunch (leftovers from the night before, a BBC Good Food recipe), and for dinner I had steak and tomatoes with parmesan, peas and garlic mushrooms. No wine. God. It was Saturday night too. I will treat myself tonight I think.

I lost another couple of lbs this week making it 16.5lbs in total, so far. Only another thousand to go.

Emerging

A few things have shown signs of emerging this week. Crocuses, daffodils, and – dare I say it – possibly a waistline. Yes, I was staring at myself in the mirror this morning, waiting for the shower to warm up, when instead of the usual bemoaning of my hideously large, drooping breasts my eyes instead landed further down on my waist. It is going in! It actually indents a little where a waistline is supposed to indent!

This has made me very happy. What has also made me happy this week is that I lost 1.2kg, which makes up for the paltry 0.2kg I lost last week. No rhyme or reason, have eaten exactly the same, in fact had a very nice meal out this week which I didn’t the week before. So I have now lost 6.4 kg or one whole stone. Yay!

I am also happy this week because my partner and I have booked a holiday in Tavira, Portugal for about six weeks’ time. It will be my favourite sort of holiday in that we will use Tavira as our base and we will spend our days touring. Seville is high on the list. What is slightly weird about it is I was expecting my son to come too (he loves holidays) but no, he wants to go on holiday with his friends instead. I was at first gobsmacked, then delighted, then scared.

Scared because my son has cystic fibrosis and he is often very unwell. He takes about 30-40 tablets a day, just to keep him alive. He has had to give up university, give up lots of things in fact, because of his illness. It is of course unfair but he copes with it with very good humour and a huge degree of stoicism. He lives at home and being his mum I can tell instantly if something’s wrong, if he’s coming down with an infection. He will be away for a week and will be drinking and carousing. I’m so pleased for him yet also bloody terrified!

Yesterday Angus was 23 and to celebrate we went out for a meal at Olivers, my absolute favourite place in Falmouth. Fabulous food and no I didn’t have pudding, but I did have coffee with home made petit fours which were to die for and possibly even more calorific than a pudding. The scales will reveal all next Wednesday…

Twenty miles

 

 

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That’s how far I’ve walked in the past seven days according to my Walkmeter App. This app is brilliant, especially if you’re a bit of a geek for stats like me. I have the pro version, which costs roughly £5 for the year, and it’s the best £5 you’ll spend if you love walking.

Not a step, a temperature, a cadence (whatever that is), an ascent or an average goes unreported. The walk is mapped so forever more I can see where I walked on what day and what the weather was like as I was doing it.

Obviously I have walked more than twenty miles in the past week but that is the distance the recorded ones add up to. As in the ones I press ‘start’ and then ‘stop’ for. I don’t record walks into town or to the beach for example, just my daily three mile constitutional.

Today was freezing cold and normally that doesn’t deter me but today it did and I went off to bed this afternoon and snuggled down with my electric blanket on. By the time I woke up it was starting to get dark and it would have been very easy not to go for my walk. But! the good news is I now really, really, really want to go for my walk. I feel discombobulated if I don’t. So I did a slightly shorter version of my default walk and cut through past the Leisure Centre rather than walk the whole way round Pendennis Head.

I was wrapped up against the biting wind but it still took my breath away. The sea was gunmetal grey and angry. It was magnificent. Not for the first time I thanked God, the universe, whoever for allowing me to live in such a fantastic place. My daily walk has become part of me and my mood is so much brighter as a result. I often talk to Bob on the way round as well. Bob is someone ‘out there’. I can ask his advice, laugh with him and he teases me, but always I feel love coming from him. I constantly have to check myself: is this voice really just my subconscious speaking to me? Or is he some sort of other-worldly guide? But whenever I doubt something happens. Bob surprises me with an answer, or does something quite unlike something I would consciously invent. Or he responds in a really unexpected way. But actually what convinces me most of all that he is real, is that he really, really makes me laugh. He has a fantastic sense of humour. I giggle away at things he says sometimes because he is so funny. I probably look completely demented: the mad woman with the wild red hair who roams Pendennis Head laughing and cackling.

Today I have eaten my muesli mix for breakfast (seeds, nuts, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds etc, etc), halloumi and ham salad for lunch and stuffed peppers and salad for supper. I can eat salad – as long as it has a lovely dressing – till the cows come home. White cabbage is the secret – it gives loads of crunch for its calories and takes a long time to eat so I feel, psychologically, completely satisfied.

Last night we ate out. My lovely friend Vicky was staying and it is her birthday next week so she and I and my partner and my children strolled the 200 yards to Gylly Beach Cafe and had a gorgeous meal. What with a meal out next Wednesday as well for my son’s birthday this might be a non weight loss week…

Desperately seeking walking weather and a dry coastal path

I have lost a paltry 0.2kg this week. Wah! I’ve eaten nothing after 7pm, barely a carb has passed my lips, I have had no meals out, I have barely had any wine. However… I haven’t done as much walking as in previous weeks. The weather has been too crap.

And I’m blaming my thyroid. It is underactive but treated – sort of – with 100mg levothyroxine. However having done a bit of research I am thinking I could do with a bit of T3 hormone thrown in as well. Unfortunately the NHS doesn’t stretch to issuing T3, even if people need it, and it is all kept a little bit hush hush.

So I can either go to a private endocrinologist or try to find a supply online, which is what many people do. I would be very, very sensible. I would take an absolute minimum dose for a month to see how I get on. If I feel worse then I don’t continue, and if I feel better well then I’d have to make a decision. I’d also have to tell my GP otherwise when I come to have my TSH levels assessed she’d wonder why they are so much lower and would then lower my levothyroxine, which is obviously not what I want.

My search for online liothyronine (T3) has led me to all sorts of dubious websites. I have entered the world of anabolic steroids it would appear and the language in the forums is not a language I understand. Easy enough to order T3 but you have to pay by bank transfer or Western Union. All seems very dodgy so now I’ve been put off the whole idea, which is probably no bad thing.

I will just have to up my walking considerably, if I want to get back to losing a kilogram a week, though I suspect those days are probably long gone.

It’s all about the head

motivation

Let’s face it, dieting is actually really easy if you’re motivated enough. If someone offered you a million pounds if you lost 4 stones in 6 months you’d do it, wouldn’t you? Well, unless you’re already very rich and slim. I’ve always said this – it’s not the dieting that’s hard, it’s keeping your head in the right place for long enough to make a noticeable difference that’s the problem.

So where’s my motivation been the past few years? Why have I got fatter and fatter and not done anything about it? Well it’s not been for a lack of trying. I do think I’m finding it easier now that my thyroid meds are stable. Before I would cut down and cut down but never lose that much, so I just gave up after a few weeks. And the cycle would continue.

This time, weirdly, I am losing weight, and losing weight fairly consistently. (Though I’ve only been doing this 4 weeks, so not really long enough to tell just how consistently). But I am also definitely more motivated than before.

For a start my beloved partner is really, really overweight. Morbidly obese. He was when I met him and we developed our friendship through walking. He knew I didn’t fancy him so he lost weight because he wanted to be with me. Aaah! However…. a major house renovation, moving to a new town, worries over my son’s health and the both of us have turned to food for comfort. My partner is now back up to the weight he was when I first met him and I am actually a couple of stones heavier than I was then.

It is not wanting my partner to die that has really motivated me this time. He is a bit of a secret eater and struggles with denying his greed far less well than I do. He has no stop button. Like me he doesn’t eat crap food – he doesn’t like puddings or beer for example – but he eats far too much of everything else.

After 8 years together I realised he was never going to lose weight for as long as I remained fat too. Fair enough! And he shocked me a couple of months ago when he revealed that he thought of me as being as fat as him. I was completely shocked because a) I hadn’t realised he saw me as that big, (and crikey maybe I was and was in denial), and b) it showed me that he thought of himself as far slimmer than he actually is. He has body dysmorphia. (For the record my BMI is about 32 and his is about 41 so in my eyes a big difference!)

So to encourage my partner to lose weight I was going to have to lose mine too. So here I am. I lost another 2.4lbs this week, making 11lbs in total and my partner has now lost 12lbs altogether. Yay! He is already asking me if he’s lost enough yet… He has about 6 stones to go…

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.