The Great Flat Lode is far from flat

For a long time I’ve wanted to walk the Great Flat Lode, or at least part of it. This is a long trail around the old tin mines near Redruth and as many of my ancestors were tin miners and both my parents were born and brought up in the area it has particular significance for me. I am also a woman in want of a flatter stomach and a good old hike is a step (excuse pun) in the right direction.

Lo and behold what should pop up on Facebook a couple of weeks ago but a lady who likes rambling and who likes people to join her on her walks who just happened to be leading a walk around The Great Flat Lode. She calls herself Cornish Ramblings. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time but haven’t been quite brave enough to do. ie just announce a walk I’m about to do on Facebook and see if anyone’s interested. Jodi is her name and good for her for being braver than me and inviting others who like being led on a walk, to be led.

I like both exploring by myself (I am never happier than with a map in my hand) and I like being led. With the latter there is no thinking involved and also you can have a good natter to whoever happens to be walking along beside you. If you don’t gel then no bother, you just drift apart and the next person you strike up a conversation with could end up being your next best friend. It is quite brilliant.

After weeks of rain the Gods were shining on us as was the sun. We had a fantastic walk though the name is a misnomer as it is far from flat. We even walked past the house by father grew up in, in Carnkie, and the house my mother was born in, in Four Lanes. We also walked past Carnkie village hall where there is a little plaque dedicated to my father. Such fame! It was six miles of heaven as two of my closest friends, Jan and Denise, came too, and we put the world to rights at the top of Carn Brea.

In dietary terms things Are Not Going Well. My friend Tamara gave a tea party for another friend Natalia, for her birthday. Tam makes the most wonderful cakes and I ate about 7 of them. And sandwiches. Well it was rude not to.

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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.

 

 

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.

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.

 

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.