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.

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.

Legs like lead

 

Most of the time I absolutely love my walks. But some days – and the last few days have been like this – my legs have felt like lead. Every step, especially uphill, is a struggle. If it was all the time then I could put it down to the massive sack of potatoes I’m carrying around my middle or just general unfitness but it isn’t. I can only assume it’s my pesky hormones.

The other thing that’s starting to get on my nerves slightly is that every time I go for a walk, no matter that I’ve just had a wee before I left, I always, always want to go when I’m out. It’s a bloody pain in the backside quite frankly. (No pun intended). I become more and more aware of the need to go, until it takes over everything and I stop enjoying the walk and start becoming terrified that I will just go. Right there.

So! Not to be deterred I have bought, courtesy of Amazon, a present for myself. A She-wee!  According to all the reviews (mostly glowing) I have to practise peeing into this thing in the shower first to get the hang of it. Oh the joy.

Yesterday I had to pick up my car from the menders the other side of Truro and as we had tickets for Ghost at the Hall for Cornwall there was little point in coming home in between time. So we had supper at Pizza Express in Truro. With my halo shining I ordered their Legera superfood salad and it was bloody gorgeous. And for less than 600 calories! It took a satisfyingly long time to eat as well. I did have wine with it though. Well there are limits to my saintliness.

Well this morning I was rewarded by a 2.4lb weight loss this week, making a grand total of 8.5lbs. Hooray! God knows what next week’s weigh in will be like though. I am cooking for 17 people on Friday (mother-in-law’s birthday) and then going to a chippy the next day for my father’s birthday (his choice). I am half thinking of taking a salad with me and just ordering a piece of chicken. Can I do that? Will they notice? Is it a tad rude or am I just sensibly putting my health needs above propriety?

Today’s walk was around Argal Lake. The colours of the lake against the green moss on the trees and rocks are spell-binding. There are a thousand shades of greens and browns. Quite beautiful.

 

 

Waiting for the rain to stop

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Both my Yahoo and BBC Weather apps are wrong. Every morning I check both to see when to schedule my walk for the day. They have never let me down yet. Until today! It is apparently ‘sunny’ here in Falmouth right now but I am definitely looking out of my office window at relentless rain. I should have been warned though.

This morning I woke up to the most beautiful sunrise (see pic above). Isn’t it ‘Red sky in the morning is a shepherd’s warning’? So nature did provide me with a warning but I did not heed it. I am loathe to skip a day of walking. I have done eleven days on the trot now and don’t want to break it.

I think my weight loss is slowing down already – aargh. My mid-week weigh showed only a 0.1kg loss. I blame my daughter for having a birthday so that I had to drink rather a lot of wine.

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.

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.

 

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…