Tumultuous Times

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…And……..breathe…..  It’s been a difficult few months. My son has been in and out of hospital, culminating early on Boxing Day by his needing to be rushed to A&E, having difficulty breathing. I kind of knew we were building up to it, but when it happened, and because it happened so suddenly, it was horrible. He had been hiding how ill he was.

I spent the next few days utterly terrified that he was on his way out. If not right then then in a few months’ time. Angus had a gastrostomy tube fitted in December and this had not gone well. He’d been in pain and without access to the painkillers he really needed (as it turned out), so he stayed in bed a lot. Staying in bed a lot when you have cystic fibrosis is wrong, wrong, wrong. You simply cannot do that. You have to keep moving. So that your lungs keep moving. If the alveoli in your lungs are constantly moving it is much harder for a bacteria to take hold and unleash micro bacterial havoc.

I visited my son every day, sometimes twice a day. We watched the stats. How much oxygen was he taking in? Too little, he needed extra O2. What about heart rate? Far too high; signs of infection (and also lung damage). I cried when I wasn’t with him. He was so thin it was impossible to see how he could still be alive. I have watched one of my children get thinner and thinner, and then die, I railed at the universe that I might have to do it again. It seemed impossibly cruel.

And then. A miracle. Angus turned a corner. The antibiotics started working. The gastrostomy tube stopped being so painful. Food was being absorbed through it overnight. This in turn led to his appetite starting to return. I could see – physically see – in his face, that he was putting on weight.

Another miracle: Angus somehow (and I have no idea how this happened) managed to improve enough so that we could go on our pre-booked family holiday to Lanzarote. Medical supplies and permissions from airports were hastily arranged. We needed to take seven huge feeding bottles in our hand luggage; way, way over the normal liquid allowance but it was all ok because Angus had a note!

As a result of us all expecting not to be going and then going we had the best holiday ever. The sun shone, Angus ate, Sorcha and Matt played pool by the pool, Ian and I swam in the sea. My mother though – aargh – managed to fall over at the airport before we’d even picked up our hire car and spent the rest of the week looking like a victim of domestic abuse.

This tale of woe has meant that my weight has been up and down and all around the houses. But some interesting stats: I started this #walkingmyselfslim campaign at 94kgs. Exactly one year later on 4th January 2018 I was 76kgs. I’m bloody proud of that! I have now been 76kg for about 3 months though…

I am still in the overweight area of the BMI chart though so I really, really need to lose some more. So… I AM BACK! Let the walking re-commence!

Today’s walk was round Mylor and Pandora. We even woke up to a little bit of snow, unheard of in Cornwall. ‘Twas lovely.

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.

 

 

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.

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.

Triple whammy

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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…

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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….

 

 

 

 

Too many pies

 

 

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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.