I am probably mad but…

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…it’s got to be worth a try, right?

My weight has been very much Groundhog Day these past few months. I lost 20 kilos relatively easily in the first 9 months last year once I’d put my mind to it. Far, far more easily than I thought I would, having been on and off diets all my life.

But then the dreaded plateau struck and I’ve been hovering between 74.5 and 77 kilos for the past 6 months. God it’s boring. On the plus side at least I haven’t piled all the weight back on again for which I’m truly grateful. And I have learned what my maintenance diet is. Essentially fairly low carb most of the time with a bit of a bread, wine and cheese blow out when I’m away from home (which is quite often).

I refuse to give up my trips away from home as they keep me sane, surrounded as I am by various family members’ hideous illnesses and diseases which I often think affect me as much as they affect them. And I refuse to not eat delicious bread when I’m away from home. Life is too short for such denial. This attitude is my lardy downfall.

I would really, really like to get down to 70 kilos and then try and hover around that weight for ever more if at all possible. There will be ups and downs I know. I will still technically be overweight even then but that will do for me, being a woman of a certain age. Don’t want to get even more haggard and wrinkly looking.

So – what is a girl to do given that even when I am being ‘good’, like now, the scales still aren’t budging? Well… I have decided to try a 48 hour fast to shake things up a bit. I am probably mad. I have read Jason Fung’s Obesity Code, which is one of the best books about insulin resistance and how we have come to gorge on carbs by default that I have read. Dr Fung recommends fasting and actually if you’re in ketosis from low carbing it isn’t (allegedly) as horrendous as it sounds, as your appetite is already fairly suppressed.

Having started low carbing properly again on Monday I am edging towards ketosis I think and hopefully by tomorrow morning I’ll be in it. I’m planning on eating my last meal tonight and having my next meal on Saturday night. Is this even possible?! I will be recording my progress. Or lack of.

Today’s 3 mile walk was around Pendennis Head and up through Princess Pavilions (of which there is a picture of the grotto, above). Today’s food was a rasher of bacon and 2 eggs for breakfast. Lunch was chicken and salad out with friends. Dinner tonight will be steak and kidney pie without the pie, and veg. No wine. Gah.

That will be my last morsel of food until Saturday, 6.30pm. Gulp.

Guns ‘n’ beaches

IMG_0175Out on my usual 3 mile stroll around Pendennis Head I came across two men with a gun. One of them was shooting something down on the beach. I stood on the footpath and watched them – they had no idea I was there. I took a photo. I carried on staring at them, wondering when and if they’d notice me, and if so what they’d do. Eventually one of the men turned round and looked somewhat alarmed to see me. At this point it occurred to me that it might not be an air rifle but a fully loaded shot gun so I decided not to hang around any longer and continued on my way.

Just round the bend, the other side of the cove, where there’s a good view of where the men had been standing I turned to look. They’d gone. I was perplexed. Was what they were doing legal? They were so brazen it seemed to me it must be. But then I started to question it so mentioned it on Facebook where the conclusion from friends was that yes, I should report it to the police.

Which I did. And now the police are saying I should have dialled 999. Aargh! They’ve also asked me to keep an eye out for the men when I next go for a walk so this is going to make my daily constitutional much more interesting.

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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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.

 

 

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…

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…

 

 

It would have been very easy…

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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….