Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Like a brick

I love autumn, and if you could hear me babbling on about Christmas plans at the minute you'd probably think I was some kind of rabid hyper active chipmunk.

But, it's just that time of the year. On the one hand, I'm happy the sun does not blind me into wakefulness at four in the morning, but on the other hand I can feel the bad side of the change of season. I've been fidgety all weekend and today it's really hit me quite hard.

I'm determined though not to let it get to me. I kinda just want to curl up in bed and hibernate till spring (getting out to wrap up presents and decorate for Christmas, of course!) but I cannot. You cannot just shut off from the world like that.

Last year I managed to get through winter without anti depressants, and I'm not going back on them (because coming off them gives me a really bad physical withdrawel, nothing sinister about them, just you can't really expect to stay on them forever!) and there's no point going for counselling because there's nothing to be counselled about. I just have to kick myself up the bum.

Something interesting to chew on. I often (and so do many others) turn to food to soothe my low moods, but I think I feel worse for wear today because I've had a bad weekend and I did binge on toast and cereal yesterday (first time in a while). I think that, hard as it is when you feel this way to stick to healthy eating in general (not just for weight loss) we make it worse for ourselves when we let ourselves go...our bodies feel better for being properly nourished, and whilst some people I know just don't get it, it's the physical side of depression and anxiety that's the worst.

So despite the fact that I've barely slept a wink all weekend and I can hardly keep my eyes open, I feel really weepy and woeful, I'm going to put on my makeup, grab me a serotonin laced banana, and go shopping (because it is payday, and what is there to feel sad about on payday?)

First I'm going to go and buy lovely Christmas presents for family and friends, and maybe even Ben. I'm going to treat myself to a lovely new lipstick to congradulate myself on my 17lbs loss (and also because the light pink I bought for work does not suit me at all and I need something other than my alternative harlot red shade because, you know, don't want to give the customers the wrong idea). Then when I'm all shopped out I'm going to ASDA to buy things we actually need. And Some lovely flowers, because my other lovely flowers are looking worse for wear, and a house always needs lovely flowers. And then I'm going to come home, nom on some apple, and go to ChildLine for more training. And hopefully by then some good old fresh air and sunshine will have brightened my spirits, and my fellow trainees are always good for a giggle. In fact, I think that if my attempts at faux pumpking pie making go well on Thursday I shall make one for them for our last training session on Sunday.

See, just talking about it makes me feel better already ^_^ but before I do any of that....I think I'm going to need some caffeine....

Monday, 26 September 2011

Fire up for Fall - Week Two

1 - What have you done this week to help achieve your goals?

Well, I haven't been on this 100%, however I've been keeping up the good work, remaining positive, keeping motivated. I managed to loose another pound this week even though I know I wasn't perfect all the time. I've returned to weighing in every day and logging it at The Hackers Diet to keep my mind focussed on the goal. I don't think I'm drinking all the water I should be, so I've started drinking a pint with my breakfast (I can easily down a pint of water) and class it as one of my vitamins in my mind to make it habitual (I certainly take pleanty of those!). The working out is still not what I'd call inspiring, but we're booking into the gym on Friday (Ben needs to get a special support for his ankle first) so that should pick up soon!

2 - What have you done to make yourself feel fabulous?

As stupid as it sounds, I took the time to blow dry my hair straight, and then put the straighteners on them the other day. It takes a good hour to do so (used to take two hours before I cut my hair in February) so normally I don't bother, I wear it curly (and clogged up with mousse!). It was nice to try something a little different.

3 - What is your talent? What are you good at?

I think I'm pretty good at cooking though the size of my flat and kitchen and cooking appliances means I can't entertain often so I can only get feedback from Ben ^_^ I'm pretty good at planning things out, and figuring out contingency plans (though implementing plans...not so much!). I'm good at reading maps...that's a useful skill at least! And in a not so useful skill I think my jewellery aking ventures usually turn out well...it's just finding the time and energy to spend on them!

4 - What's been the highlight of your week?

Taking my first few calls at ChildLine! Obviously I can't go into details, but I did actually help a couple of kids and they said I made them feel better and helped them with their woes, so I've been walking on sunshine ever since!

5 - What's your guilty pleasure TV?

Eastenders. None of my friends actually watch it, none of my family watch it...I just got dragged in one evening when there was nothing else on and it hooked me, damn it. Now I can't stop!

And now for my positive picture...

MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

I have to admit I can't be bothered to take a simple screen shot so it's just my ticker lol. Today it says 17lb lost...and it's a big finally moment for me! If you are reading this in the future just ignore whatever it says now, and take from me that today it says 17 lost and that is a great feeling ^_^


Sunday, 25 September 2011

All filler

Today, someone got to this blog by searching for "Evil sexy stare"

Thanks for giving me a giggle, whoever you may be!


Friday, 23 September 2011

It's broken

My record of 16 pounds is broken today ^_^ I've lost 17 pounds, making this the biggest ammount of weight I've ever lost on any attempt to loose, and also making me the lightest I've been in about three or four years.

So I'm going to celebrate by appointing some of my weight watchers weekly points to a yummy mocha at costa, but not before cashing in that cheque that our former electricity supplier just sent us for overcharging us for a year (despite telling them they were doing that, apparently low life customer scum like us aren't to be believed that we in our one bed flat couldn't possibly be using as much as they claimed...but hey...thats another £150 towards Ansterdam!) scouting out pie tins in Lakeland for the scrummy low cal pumpkin pie I plan on making, and investigating the new Simply Be shop that opened today. Internet rumour has it they're giving out goody bags....and I'm a sucker for a freebie...

Then tonight I take my first ChildLine call. Bricking it, darlings, absoloutely bricking it.

This requires some energetic build up music....rocktastic playlist GO!

What are your fave build up tunes? Answers in the comments please, no postcards, we're trying to cut down on paper waste here!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Off it already?

Hey guys, just needed a little space to vent. I've a few things to vent about.

Firstly, all my weight loss buds out there should check out this article from the beeb. It's nothing mega or huge, however it does kind of give more of an answer to the eternal question "why am I plateauing" other than "you're just adjusting!".

Secondly, I want to rant about my banks fraud prevention. I have no problems with banks putting fraud prevention into place, hell I'd be sorry if ever my card was stolen or copied and the fraud prevention wasn't there....but there's absoloutely no consistency. I mean, just look at these examples...our card was blocked and we were called up about it way back when we went to pay our debts off...they were substantial ammounts of money after all and I can understand that, however embarrassing it was for it to happen when trying to pay for our dinner out.

Another notable time was when that thick skulled idiot in the virgin media shop decided that the name of the bank we use was our account name (and wouldn't be told otherwise when I pulled her up on it) when we first went along to get us a couple of phones on contract (being tired as we were of topping up all the time). Obviously our credit check failed, though she tried it three effing times, and once again that bank went...hold up...and blocked the card and called us up for it. Once again, completely understandable in a way.

But I cannot for the life of me understand why they pulled us up about it this morning. We're presuming it's the fact that we finally got round to ordering our new phones via the magic of telephone (personally I feel better speaking to an actual person about this stuff, but hell if I was going back in the virgin media shop after the last time) but that was a week ago (and so you would presume we'd be a bit fucked by now if it realy was fraudulent) and the list of transactions our bank gave us to ask if it was fraudulent or not was astounding...regular transactions of no suprising ammount at all from atm's and shops that we frequent on a day to day basis.

And it just makes me wonder, because my parents use the same bank as us and my mum has been called up about it too, but in other situations. For example she buys a lot of video games from amazon and play.com on behalf of my brother and sister and it's a pretty regular occurence...yet a couple of times she's been pulled up about that....however when I got paid last month (for the first time in over a year, so do forgive me) I pretty much went on a £300 shopping spree (it was like a binge, but without the food) all over Liverpool and then all over the internet too, on a clothes site I'd never ordered from before...but not a single batter of an eyelid was had by my bank.

I wonder about the first few times I visited Ben's family when we first got together, how I'd go a bit mad on the stop off in London, and wonder why no one pulled me up about that since I'd never been before. And the shopping we've done in Kent since then. Girl from Liverpool suddenly makes purchases in Blue Water of, once again, substantial ammounts compared to what she usually spends...but £7.50 is taken by a company which takes money from her account once a month and boy oh boy is there hell to pay! Mister Banker, it has to be said; your fraud team is inconsistent.

The third thing to be vented is that I'm tired. I won't be spending a single evening at home until Sunday, and haven't since Tuesday. I know it's mostly my own doing with the ChildLine stuff, and it's because it's the end of the course and we're being pushed out to go and save the chidlers of the UK and all that jazz, combined with work needing me in for evening shifts...but boy oh boy is it starting to take its toll. Whats quite shit about the whole situation is that some days, like today, I get to spend the whole day alone, then go out for training for a couple of hours, then I get to see Ben for like...two hours maximum before bed time. There's nothing to be done, I just wanted to say that I'm starting to feel a bit dragged down by it all, and will be glad when I can settle back into the only having to go there once a week routine.

Finally, last on my list of venting is that I've already dropped off of the bandwagon. We meant to have a lovely carbonara last week, however for one reason or another it didn't happen so we saved it for this week. Except I was a dunce and never checked the use by date on the sauce and we were supposed to be having it last night and in the end had to do some emergency quick thinking and replace carbonara with something else not so healthy if you catch my drift. First week into the autumn challenge and I'm already off plan. Combined with a sluggish run down feeling, I don't think I'll have lost come tomorrow and I feel like flash backs from last year where I got to this weight then it all went to hell.

However, whilst I may have already screwed goal number one, I'm keeping goal number six in mind. It's been a busy couple of weeks and if I maintain or even gain a pound or so, then so what, today is a new day, tomorrow marks the start of a new diet week. I've even given myself a little incentive...I'm currently at 321 pounds...when I get down to 310 (so less than a stone, totally doable!) I'm going to book myself in for a full Indian Head Massage...because they're amazing and I've only ever had partial treatments from my mum when she was training. I've never had a full one, and Ben can tell you, I love having my head and hair played with ^_^

Well, till later folks...and thanks for putting up with moaning myrtle here!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Big step

I'm absoloutely loving it at ChildLine, as I think I've mentioned time and time again on here...however, aside from listening in on phonecalls as part of our training, and practising our skills on each other, I've yet to actually counsel anyone.

Well, that's about to change. We passed around the sign up sheets for our first mentored shifts at training last night and the only one I could make will be this Friday on the late shift. I'll be the first one of our training group to do it, and the late Friday shift has been noted as one of the busiest ones going.

I think we're all feeling nervous about it. What if we get that big call...some poor soul whose had enough of it all and wants to kill themselves, some kid who is being abused in every which way by an adult. All of us in the group signed up because we want to help children in these circumstances...but we're all hyper aware that we're new to this, and we've all got that niggling worry that we might say something that is just 'wrong'.

Our tutors have been really very helpful and supportive, and assure us that if we didn't have the skills or the right attitude to do it, they would not be letting us on the phones. I suppose that should really go without saying, but when self doubt comes knocking at your door it is relieving to hear someone say that. They've also said that there's very little that you can say that is wrong or damaging, just different ways of approaching a situation, some better than others. And of course, these first shifts will be mentored....whilst we can't end the call or pass it off to someone else, however serious it gets, we will have someone there with us, listening and offering advice, support and feedback...and suggestions should our minds go blank!

The course so far has been really amazing, and I think it has taught me more about myself than I do about child protection or the way that, for example, the NSPCC works now that we're coming to the end of it. Pretty much everyone else in the group feels the same way. I was speaking to a couple of the mothers on the group who were saying they've developed a much greater awareness of their children, and have even improved their relationships with them. It has forced us all to start thinking outside of the box when it comes to dealing with people in general, and when people make little throwaway statements you begin to realise the depths that lie behind them, you begin to realise there's a whole story and a whole ocean of complex issues behind that simple little statement.

I used to say that it takes "a special kind of person" to do this kind of thing, but there's nothing particularly amazingly special about the volunteers at ChildLine. I think just about everyone I've met through this has an amazingly unselfish spark in them, but they are otherwise just your everyday caring, compassionate people. As for my training group, we all feel like better people, even after just doing the training. Nicer, more understanding people. I'd seriously encourage anyone and everyone to volunteer. Maybe not this if you didn't feel you could cope, something else perhaps. Make sure it's something you're passionate about or enjoy. I used to volunteer twice a week in a red cross charity shop. I wish I could say I enjoyed it or was passionate about it, but whilst i truly believe the red cross does brilliant work I can safely say I was neither passionate nor eager to spend those days there. It was possibly because I was coerced and pushed into it, but there you go. If you're going to volunteer, you need to do it off of your own back, and you can't give yourself whole heartedly if you don't feel passionate about it.

Finally, it has to be said, if you know anyone in the UK under the age of 18 who needs to talk to someone impartial, none judgemental and in confidence, get them to give us a call on 0800 1111. We don't just talk to abused children. Anyone whose having a bit of a rough time, whether that be exam stress or boyfriend problems can call ChildLine, to talk about anything they like.


Monday, 19 September 2011

Fire up for Fall - Week One

It's Autumn...and boy oh boy is it Autumn! I can almost taste Winter in the air, but that's probably me getting way ahead of myself and getting much too excited for Christmas way before time. So without further ado, and without tripping over myself for holiday festivities (I mean come on, less than 100 days!!!!) let us concentrate on the here and now and I'll get myself sorted for this season first!

1 - What are your goals for the fall challenge?
  1. Stick to my diet plan 100%
  2. Get into the habit of drinking 4 pints of water a day
  3. Work towards hitting point 3 in my PCOS action plan
  4. Work out at least 90 minutes a week
  5. Loose 5 pounds
  6. Don't beat yourself up if things go slow
2 - Why have you chosen those goals?

I've explored them all more on my challenge page but in brief the reasons behind my goals are;

  1. I haven't got a good track record of sticking to my diet plans when push comes to shove and the going gets tough. No more excuses. If I want to loose this weight and get a bun in my oven before I'm too old for it anyway (because lets face it that's the only reason I'm seriously up for this at all) I need to stick to it.
  2. I know from experience that I find it easier to loose weight when I'm drinking this much water a day, but like everything else it's a case of having lost the habit.
  3. This plan isn't a weight loss plan, it is a plan to eat healthily in order to kick my ovaries in the nuts (lol). By the time I hit point ten and am fully following the plan my entire outlook on food and my relationship with it will have changed completely (it will have had to in order for me to follow it at all!)...it's going to take a lot of time to implement all of the points, and point three is where it starts to get difficult (for me, at least), so I think reaching and sticking with point three by the end of the ten weeks will be a major victory in itself.
  4. Need to work out to loose weight and improve fertility and reduce chances of prematurely popping it. I lead a very sedentary life. Need to kick start my engine house and get my rear in gear! Also, starting the gym in a couple of weeks...I need to get into the habit of going! Once I'm in the habit of going I can begin to make tougher challenges for myself in this area of my life.
  5. Whilst I'm making all these healthy changes to my life, it would be nice to loose a few pounds in the process ;)
  6. I always get discouraged when the going slows down, and get off track. I'm so easily led astray! So I need to keep everything in perspective. I need to acknowlege that I will face these feelings during the next ten weeks, and know that I will not just give up on myself yet again.
3 - What have you done this week to make yourself feel fabulous?

I hit the 16 pounds lost mark! I've already blogged about why this is a major personal milestone for me, so I won't go into it again. But I do feel great for it, I feel a tad smaller and my work shirts already fit better (not much because they are poorly designed, but better nontheless) which makes me feel less of a twit at work!

4 - What do you think will be your biggest challenge in reaching your goals?

Dealing with the negative feelings that inevitably come when progress is halting and slow. Staying motivated, and not letting those feelings overwhelm me. There is a reason I never hit my "loose ten pounds" goal over Summer, and this is it. It didn't matter so much because for much of the challenge it wasn't about weight loss, it was about lifestyle as a whole. I didn't start off in the right place, mentally, to even consider loosing that ammount of weight. I've done a lot of thinking and introspection over the past month, however (as is evident on my blog!) and am now mentally, physically and financially invested in it. I can't think of a time in the past five years where I've been better equipped to finally get up and do it than I am now, and if I balls it up by becoming unmotivated or defeated then I'll be doing myself a massive disservice...I'll be letting a lot of people down, not just myself, so this time it has to be for real.

5 - Where in the world do you live? What's amazing about it?

I live in Liverpool, and let me just say, what's not amazing about it? Ok ok there is an awful lot about it that isn't exactly stella...especially in my neighbourhood...but on the whole, I love the place. I'm not from Liverpool originally (check out my sisters blog for more about my homeland), but since moving back to my home town or to Ben's is not an option, I can't think of a better place to be "in exile". It has history, it DOES have culture (despite what the nay sayers think!) in fact it has a rather distinct one all of its own, it is possibly one of the best cities to have fun in, and it is situated so perfectly, nestled up against both mountains and the sea. Ok the people are all absoloutely bonkers, I've yet to meet a local who is quite all there in the head...but that just means I'm surrounded by my own kind! They all know how to have a laugh, and a more family oriented bunch of people you will have a hard time to find here in England. Cameron may talk of a broken society and the collapse of the family...but if you glance in the wrong way at someone here, expect to have their cousin thrice removed who they've never met before baying for your blood. It's brilliant. It's mad. It's awesome :)

And now for a positive picture! Since I've yet to figure out all the new and wonderful photography features on my shiny new phone....I shall start with the best thing I have to a full length "before" picture...

This was just before Christmas when I'd put all my weight back on for the first time. It's positive in only a roundabout way I suppose...I LOVE that dress, and I love my curly curly hair and I love my style. I love an awful lot about myself. And despite how humongous I am here, and that this Christmas was going to be one of those stupid "first one without..." ones and I was out of work and skint, and we thought Ben was about to be made redundant...I'm so happy! And that night was pretty damn amazing! I have one of those photo keyrings of me and 2 of my best mates in the whole damn world taken on this night, and it makes me feel happy whenever I see it cause that night was just brilliant. I'm not in circumstances quite as shit as I was when this picture was taken...in fact I couldn't have asked for a better out come really, all things considered. I want to hold onto everything about this picture, how I feel happy and content despite the feeling that everything was collapsing all around us, and use that positive energy to help me stick to my goals. At the end of this challenge I'm going to put that dress on again, and I'll be damned if I look as fat in it as I do here come ten weeks time!


Friday, 16 September 2011

Holy shizzackle!

I've mentioned before that I class my heaviest weight (from which I measure my weight loss) as being 24st 1lb (337 lb) because that was the heighest weight Ive been that I could ever actually remember, but I knew I'd been heavier when seeing my dietician, which is why I eventually said "screw you" and stopped going. I couldn't remember what it was so I never counted it.

Well, I found it today. It's no wonder I left.

My actual heaviest weight that I have ever been my entire life was actually 24st 10 lb...346 lb...almost 350...

You'd think a figure like that would stick in your head but I'd actually just scrawled it down in kilograms and not bothered to convert it. I just knew Id had enough.

Of course this means that I've lost in total 25 lb's... but that would just be nit picking since I've been counting otherwise ^_^

However I'm going to take this moment to congratulate myself on out doing a trained health professional and sticking two fingers up at the NHS's abysmal record of effective obesity treatment. But that is an entire other rant.

Now to go to bed having not enjoyed my Friday pizza very much. Apparently my tongue no longer responds to salt laden nutritionally devoid junk food. Which sucks, cause now I'm going to have to think of something else to treat myself to on Friday and use up all those damned weekly points!

Till later folks :)

Looking forward...

To alleviate the hot and heavy deep introspective themes that have permeated into my blog of late, here is something a little mor light hearted; some things I'm looking forward to!

Christmas (it's only 100 days!)

Christmas shopping (starting soon!)

This is why I love Xmas in Liverpool! {via}
 Brand new phone (coming on Saturday!)

Simply Be opening it's first high street store next week (I love me some clothes!)

Going to the Gym (Just need to get Ben kitted out!)

Going to Leeds (Just over a month to go!)

Going to see The Queen of Spades {via}
Pumpkin Pie (Gonna make my first ever one after pay day)

Christmas Cake (I'm making my own this year! No nuts!)

Loosing more weight (I'm down to 16lb's lost...from here on in it's uncharted territory!)

Pizza Tonight (Gotta love Weight Watchers!)

Amsterdam (Might be pushed back to April now...but still very much on the cards for next year!)

Such a pretty city ^_^
Girlie nights out (just gotta get them organised!)

Finishing my ChildLine training (and getting onto the phones by myself!)

Twilight (One of my many guilty pleasures!)

Skyrim (SQUEEE!!!)

NaNoWriMo (November is going to be busy...)


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Bad habits revelation

I've just had a bit of an epiphany whilst writing a comment on Mary's latest blog. Not a life changing ephiphany or a great revelation of how to move forward and achieve super powers and save the world from all its ills...more like an..."oh my gosh what were you thinking" kind of epiphany. An "oh my gosh I'm glad I got over that quickly" kind of epiphany.

I don't know why I thought it was a good idea, but through the months of May, June and into early July (When it became physically unsustainable and I started bingeing on everything in sight instead) I live in a cycle of starving myself through the week and bingeing at the weekend. A typical week day looked like this;

I would show you a typical weekend too, except that I didn't log the weekends. It was too shameful. But it was ok, because my calorie intake was so low throughout the week that bingeing brought my overall weekly calories into line with my BMR...I didn't need to eat all my calories every day, weight loss is (still is now) about total accumulative calorie deficit, not a single day. You don't have a bad day and wake up ten stone heavier, after all.

But obviously I was taking this to the extreme, and for some God forsaken reason I thought this was ok.

What you see there is not exactly the entire truth, however. I would regularly just not eat lunch, and we'd have very low calorie dinners, but what you don't see is that because I didn't want to post it up for the world to see is the massive bag of crisps and bar of chocolate I ate before dinner because I was physically too weak to stand and cook it otherwise. Even on the days when I had lunch it didn't matter because that lunch consisted of a bowl of noodles..or a repeat of breakfast.

To make myself feel better about all this, I've included kitties
Being on MFP people did sniff me out a bit...an acquaintence messaged me saying she was concerned, looking at my diary...my first reaction was to make it private, I was appalled. I didn't know her, how dare she comment on my diary...I was loosing the weight, what did it matter? I was sick of yo-yoing up and down and after weighing in heavier than ever with the dietician I'd taken these drastic steps to cut it out, and it was working (technically). I wrote her a lovely reply telling her not to worry, I'd been out and about a lot (lies, I'd been sat on my arse at home wallowing in self pity and doing not an awful lot of anything much) and just had been much too busy to write up my diary, but I assured her that I was in fact eating more than 700 calories a day (more like 1400 if you add in the shit, still not much though is it considering my goal was another 1000 on top of that) and thanks for her concern, yes indeed I do love bran flakes they are delicious.

I knew it wasn't healthy as such and having been on MFP for 9 months when I started eating that way I knew what it was I was doing wrong and why it was that it was wrong...but I'd also read alot about how seriously obese people such as myself could get away with being on a very low calorie diet and still loose consistently without doing damage to themselves because of the sheer ammount of fat they have stored away.

What I failed to remind myself was that after my weekend binges I wasn't on a very low calorie diet, I was on a middling number of calories diet, and those diets had all been supervised by professionals and did not consist of bran flakes, packet noodles, crisps, chocolate, and a ton or so of pasta on an evening with a weekend of pizza and roasts and all sorts.

What I'm eating now after having floundered my way through Summer not particularly thinking about what I should be eating for the sake of weight loss or health is a whole different kettle of fish. I mean, I actually get my five a day through the week...not so much through the weekend but I'm working on that! I never skip a meal, and feel like shit if I skip my mid afternoon piece of fruit. Not only am I loosing the weight, but I'm loosing more than I did on my stupid stupid starve-binge diet and I don't feel deprived. I no longer have a ban on bread in the house...we have loaves of wholemeal (yes, wholemeal) bread in and I don't feel the need to eat the whole damn thing in one sitting as toast because I'm fulfilling my bodies requirements by eating healthy, wholesome food.

In a way I should have known I was setting myself up to fail. You hear it all the time, womens stories about how they yo-yo'ed and starved themselves but put the weight back on. I have to be honest I took them for fools who couldn't control themselves or took it too far or lost the weight then didn't have the brains to adjust their diets to keep the weight off. Heh. Look who's talking, right?

But it wasn't till just now that I realised what an idiot I was being. I used to be of the "a calorie is a calorie" school of thought and "yeah right like eating every two hours is going to make a blind bit of difference" and "why bother with fruit and veg when all I want to do is be skinny, I'll sort that out when I get there". Actually, it really has made all the difference to be eating this way. I'm not going to pretend that having spoken about it I don't really really want a nice big packet of munchy salty crisps, but it's not the same feeling as before; it's more of a "hmmm, yeah, that'd be nice to indulge in" as opposed to "holy shit I will keel over and die if I do not feast upon this right now".

So yeah. I hold my hand up and say that despite the fact that I knew much better I was one of those people who tried to starve the weight off, and starve enough to allow for mega silly meals at the weekend. But at least I'm much better now. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I think it's the WW that's done it for me. I don't fret about spending calories on extra salad or having an apple if I feel peckish...that said when I've lost enough as to be finding it difficult to loose and my weight is being stationary I will probably look back into the counting the calories. I'll just have a healtheir insight into how food works for me when I do.

I will now end this rant with more kitties, because they make me feel better (even if they are secretly mocking me :o )


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Autumn 2011 has arrived...

At the changing of the seasons, there is always a day when I go outside, and the scent of the new season hits me in the face. The next day it might go back to boring old whatever you're in at that time...but then a couple of days later, bam, again, that scent, that feeling of the new season coming in. At work we've been joking that September came along and autumn began on the very first day, as it has certainly been blustery and autumnal since the off. However it was this morning that it really hit that autumn is here.

Yesterday we were blown about by the tail end of Hurricane Katia (though unlike my homeland of Co. Durham, we here in Liverpool were somewhat sheltered from the worst of it, probably by the fact that it's a city with buildings for blocking wind!) and all through the evening and into the night I listened to the wind howling through the narrow streets around about here, turning them into massive musical instruments, God sized whistles if you will. And then I woke up this morning, the wind still blowing, the air fresh and crisp, and the sun beaming down from between and behind great big fluffy clouds.

Just like this, but with less tress, picture from the bbc
I haven't even been outside yet, I've been doing my homework for ChildLine tonight and catching up on some housework that's fallen behind, but I can smell it from in here, which is a new one to me. Usually it is most definitely an outdoors phenomenon. But I can't wait for my walk from the bus stop later on; I go through a very tree full area and I can't wait to see if the leaves are turning yet (though perhaps it's a bit early for that?)

In the meantime I'm looking forward to all the autumnal activities that are coming up; Halloween and Bonfire night (although I probably won't be attending the bonfire festivities as they can get a little rowdy for my liking here in Liverpool!) are the main ones, but also the pulling out of wooly jumpers and fluffy scarves, hot chocolate coming back onto ones personal menu...and then of course I spied a recipe for Pumpkin Pie in this months Weight Watchers magazine which is only 25 points in total (so something nice to make and share between friends...or eek out for myself!) and since I've had a bit of an obsession with finally getting the stuff to actually make a pumpkin pie for the past couple of autumns (but having never gotten round to it) I shall certainly be giving this relatively low calorie recipe a go.

Ok I admit it, one of my major reasons for loving autumn is the cuisine!

And soon after will be winter and Christmas will be on the cards. Is it any wonder that so many people say that autumn is their favourite season? All that anticipation of the festivities to come and the wonderful sights and smells in store for us. I love it. Absoloutely, whole heartedly feeling in my element with it!

Hoping you are enjoying the first signs of autumn wherever you may be (unless you are in the southern hemisphere of course, in which case enjoy the first few signs of spring!)


Monday, 12 September 2011

Gyming it

So tonight I'm on a mission, a mission to buy clothes suitable for the gym. I think I've screamed it accross Facebook and Twitter enough times already so I may as well blog on it too, whilst the fires of enthusiasm for this are still hot!

Now I'm pretty lazy, I won't deny it, and I can fully admit to being happy to slog it around infront of a computer screen. Becky and I have mentioned a few times now that we should start going for walks to try and kick our weight in the ass...but for one reason or another we've mentioned it then never brought it to fruition...possibly because, honestly, I hate walking...

But do you know what I don't hate? The gym...and I think the main thing about it that I enjoy is the whole gadgetry thing.

Our exercise bike at home, aside from not having very much resistence, is litterally you sit and pedal, but there's no feed back, no input. My Wii Fit on the other hand, once again, can easily have a couple of hours spent on it because it gives feedback and that keeps me motivated. I like aiming to burn x number of calories. Time isn't a motivating factor mind you...I hate time...time is my enemy...if I say I wanna aim to do 30 minutes...I find myself clock watching.

I think it's probably because I can't control time though...and I don't achieve time. I know I can aim to do 30 minutes, but for half that time I'll be fidgeting and not giving it my all. Aim to burn 300 calories though, or bike a mile etc, it doesn't matter how much time it takes, I burn it off and I have control over it.

I'm probably talking a load of nonsense so I'll just sum it up...the clock is just not gadgety enough for me!


After having started reading Weight Wars and a small loss during the Beat The Heat challenge, it's really been hitting home to me that I really do need to start working out more and more intensely than I can with what i've go to hand in my flat if I'm going to beat this beast once and for all. I've always toyed with the idea, but it's been even more half hearted than my dieting attempts.

It all got started though because I wanted to do C25K. I've never taken up the challenge however because I know I'd be on my own and whilst some people brick it at the thought of going to the gym my thought has always been that the gym is there to help keep fit and loose weight...running through the streets in broad daylight infront of the general public of Liverpool on the otherhand makes me break out in a cold sweat, so whilst I've toyed with it on various occasions, I've always ruled it out.

But it was whilst talking to Ben about my wish to accomplish C25K but not on the streets that he said it...why don't we get a gym membership.

I always said that once I got a job I would invest, and so far I've been put off because I thought I'd be on my own...but since Ben has expressed an interest and said yes indeed we shall go...I am frankly extatic! Everything seems to be coming together...the scales are moving, my will power is improving, I know what it is I'm fighting for, my motivation is better than ever...this is just the next step in it all and I'm thrilled to be taking it!

We will be booking our induction after pay day and getting a joint total gym membership (so that I can take advantage of their classes...zumba and xbiking and eventually, hopefully, I'd like to get some yoga on too) and in the mean time I'm investing in some basic clothes suitable for it all as I haven't anything at all that is suitable for working out in (doesn't matter if you do Wii Fit at home in nothing but your bare skin, the instructors WILL kick you out for this in a gym!) and of course shopping being a favourite thing of mine I'm really in my element.

And of course this is all kicking off as Rebecca at Weight Wars prepares to host this autumn's seasonal challenge after doing such a stella job of it over the summer. This challenge is most definitely going to be all about health and fitness and weight loss for me...I did mostly lifestyle and "to do list" type things last time so this time I'm taking the opportunity to keep focussed. Of course by the time we start gymming it the challenge will be a couple of weeks in so I won't be able to incorporate anything specific regarding that into my goals but it will definitely be there in one way or another.

I'm sorry but I have to say it again....ridiculously excited about this, and springing the next step of kicking my rear into gear into action!

Till next time,

Friday, 9 September 2011

Success always makes me feel awesome

And why the hell shouldn't it?

I've been meaning to catch a spare few moments to sit down and write about how I'm finding Weight Watchers and how I'm combining it with this amazingly common sense probably should have been doing this all along and I've known it too PCOS diet (diet in this case being "food I eat" as opposed to "weight loss programme"...I'm doing WW for that part of it). Since today is my weigh in day and I've lost more weight this week and am two pounds away from an important personal milestone I figured I'd take this chance to talk about it. I could make seperate posts but I figure...let's condense it all...

I'll start with why in two pounds time I'll have hit this personal milestone. Looking over at my ticker there I've lost, since about this time last year, 15 pounds. Or in Brit speak, that's 1 stone and 1 pound. For a years worth of weight loss it is kind of pathetic but for most of that time I've been writing here and you know as well as I that I've not been sticking strictly to plan at all over that time. But when I started seriously trying (once again, this time last year, with the help of MFP) I got all the way down to 16 pounds lost in the space of about two months. It was the first time in my life I'd ever lost that ammount of weight, on any form of diet or weight loss programme (though I use that term loosely) ever, and I'd been on a fair few since hitting puberty.

I'm sure many of you will know that feeling and recognise that pattern.

So what messed it up? Well a family obligation took me way off of plan for a weekend or so...and it wasn't the kind of family obligation that involves merryment and cheerfulness...we basically all gorged our grief away on food and emotionally ate our way through a task that, simply, just had to be done. And since then I've always allowed myself to go off plan every time family came to visit or a friend had a birthday or Xmas...good God in heaven, Xmas...as soon as December hit, woosh, I said "fuck you, diet, you aint working anyway!"

And have thus struggled ever since. In the time since, I put on way over those sixteen pounds, I just don't class it as my heaviest weight because my scales were too puny to weigh me, and I can't remember what I was in kilograms at the dieticians during my brief forray down that avenue.

So once I've lost another pound I'll be back at that initial 16 loss and when I loose two pounds I will my own personal milestone...the lightest I'll have been in about four years.

But not to forget all milestones, because the very fact that I am at 15 pounds lost means that today I'm the lightest I've been since October last year, so that in itself is fantastic!

Now for how I'm finding my method of loosing this weight...Weight Watchers system is working for me in that it is essentially a simplified version of calorie counting, but it also includes a little of what I was doing for a while, when I was looking at long term intake so if I went over one day it didnt matter as long as I was under another day...doing that through its system of 49 points a week to splurge however you wish.

I just want to say now actually, I'm not raving WW and saying it's the way ahead, just that so far it seems to be fitting very nicely into my life.

As for the PCOS diet, it is essentially just what every health professional worth their salt would prescribe to anyone at all for optimum health, it's just that it's broken it down into steps to follow and there's no pressure, I can go to the next step when I'm ready. But the way they've put it works in my mind and makes sense to me, and giving reasons as to why I should eat that way specific to my situation really helps me stay focussed (ie, "how this will help your PCOS" as oppsed to "do it cause it's healthy to").

Seperating it from my weight loss has helped me too. When trying to loose weight before everyone has said, essentially, to count your calories and try to eat good wholesome food. But eating said wholesome food isn't a prerequisite. I always told myself...whatever...I'll eat healthy when I can be bothered, as long as I loose...except that 1000 cals of mars bar or pizza is not quite as fulfilling as, say, 1000 calories of vegetables...can you imagine trying to eat 1000 calories of celery? I mean...seriously...you would be sprouting it out of your ears...


Which is pretty obvious, but when you just don't want to give up your nightly bag of crisps and massive bar of chocolate (why yes I did do this every night then complain I wasn't loosing) then you'll do anything to justify that. But the problem is that when it comes to losing weight I really will just say well...I may be eating crap but I am creating a calorie deficit...never mind the fact that I still crave more and more, and will blow my diet on a massive take out at least once a week, plus deciding that weekends are a "no go" when it comes to diets...

But for whatever stupid self delusional reason, I'm eating healthily now not to loose weight but to prime my body for child rearing, and am doing WW for weight loss. It works in my head. If I have to overcomplicate it then evidently that's just the way I'm wired to work!

Anyhow, I'm kind of doing steps one and two of this miraculous wonderful PCOS diet at once (though focussing on the first) as they are "eat more often" and "eat more whole foods". The eat more whole foods thing is a gradual process and involves us totally overhauling our old habits and food cupboard...I still have a few weight watchers frozen dinners but I have plans for them (out of necessity and convenience of my schedule more than anything) but the eat more often thing has already made a massive difference to me. Since fruit and veg is free on WW I've been making sure that I eat at least once every three hours, and if it isn't meal time I will just eat fruit and I just haven't been craving chocolate or crisps or anything since I started it. I haven't even had the room...

But it's not that I'm immune to it...Ben and I caved last night and got a takeout, but because I'd been filling up all day on fruit and then at Costa Coffee on yoghurt I didn't even eat half of what I ordered for myself, and I felt pretty ill all night. I remember when I first ordered this particular meal, I wolfed it all down and said to Ben "that was lovely, and just enough to fill me up without making me feel ill". Talk about a turn around.

Now, normally on a Friday it's our treat day, and I would blow my weekly 49 points allowance and get a pizza in and this that and the other. But I'm gonna be good. I'll still treat myself, but we're having lunch at "Skinnimalinx" which is a diet cafe on Castle Street here in Liverpool (gives you the nutritional information, calorie counts, WW points, Slimming World syns etc of all their food) so I don't want to eat something yummy and healthy there only to blow it all on Pizza tonight, so I'll probably pick up some nice ham and a granary sub and have a stacked out ham salad sandwich. I feel so positive about my progress that, actually, I don't want to blow it all! I'd rather save my weekly allowance and have a glass of wine sometime through the week with one of my lovely home made dinners.

In other news...more success since that's what we're talking about...I had my midway assesment at ChildLine, and it was like basking in praise for five minutes. Which, you know, absoloutely lifted my spirits since work is beginning to feel more like a drag at the minute. Not the job itself or the people, but I'm being pretty much pushed into doing way more hours than I signed up for and I'm worried about the bill I'm going to get from the tax credit office in April when it turns out the average hours I've worked is closer to 30 as opposed to the 20 I've told them I'm working, based on what my contract says. I understand why I'm working those hours and why my manager needs me to...and I don't mind working the odd 30+ hour week from time to time to help out...however it does become a problem when it starts to become something regular and I think it's probably about time some of the other part timers started pulling their weight with regards to filling up some of the gaps in the rota because I'm the only one doing as much as I am. Anyhow, I'll see how the next rota looks and then I'll start complaining!

And as for the ChildLine thing, well I shall tell you more about that next Wednesday when I have my report infront of me...honest to God it's like being in school again and getting a good report to take home to your mum! But until then...or anything else I happen to want to blog about...I give you a very happy farewell!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Beat The Heat challenge - Final round up

Weight Wars

This is the end, folks. It's the first time I've ever participated in a blog challenge for personal motivation outside of the blogging world so....hows it gone?

Well, before I look at it in more detail, I just want to say that when I made these goals I made them with one thing in mind...keeping myself busy and "productive" through what was prospectively my second summer of unemployment in a row. My timetable is now completely different. Tomorrow I have a twelve hour day followed by a thirteen hour day as opposed to so, you know...I didn't really have time to do some of what I'd given myself to do! Of course in the next challenge I will be tailoring it to my new employed status so be expecting much more win and much less fail!

1. Loose 10 pounds

Euch. Miserably. Fail, fail fail! However! I have not put weight on...I have actually lost some...2 pounds! Which is better than gaining. I've...learned a lot. Yeah yeah yeah, I've been "dieting" for years and reading the whole "you need to make lifestyle changes" thing forever now. It's never really sunk in until the past couple of weeks though, and it hit me hard over this weekend as I was reading the book on PCOS I bought on Friday. When the Autumn challenge comes along, I plan on aiming to loose 5 pounds, as I'm a wuss and don't want to set myself up for a fail again...however I will be tailoring my challenge goals to encompass a change in lifestyle as opposed to "I will loose!" without any real plan other than "umm...I'll be good, honest!". But...that's for then, and this is now. I don't feel like a failure as such because at least I lost some, but I know I could have lost at least five had I been good and stuck to my guns. 

2. Make at least five Xmas presents

Another epic fail, I haven't even finished the one I started! Once again, this was in response to being out of work and without much to do, also with no money to buy anything in. I think I'll be heading down a semi home made semi bought gift route now, with less time but more cash. Yes, this is a failed goal, but it this was one of those tailored to my lifestyle and circumstances when the challenge began.

3. Work towards my Day Zero list

I only failed to complete 2 of the five projects I set out to do, so I feel relatively happy about my success to fail ratio on this one!

4. Expand my recipe journal by trying some new recipes

I've tried many, many new recipes over the past couple of months, more than the three I set myself out to do. Most have been resounding successes, some have been a little bit "meh". All in all though, this particular challenge was a success.

5. Keep on track with the job search.

Epic win!

6. FLY through my chores

This has slipped a little bit I will admit over the past couple of weeks, but not tremendously. Instead of doing loads every day I now do only what is desperately needed each day then more when I have days off. I also veered away from the FLY system and made my own. Either way, the flat is still tidy and clean, and certainly a world away from the way it was when I started the challenge. Success!

All in all, I've really enjoyed the challenge...like I said it was the first one of its kind I've taken part in. I may well take part in more if I come accross them, and I hope with all my fingers and toes crossed that there is an Autumn one soon!


Friday, 2 September 2011

That was a long day....

I'm tired because I never really got much sleep last night. I'm not sure why. We went to bed quite late anyhow, and then I tossed and turned all night. I dreamt that I was working a job in which I had to scrub dead, mutilated fish which were as long as my arm span and with killer needle teeth. It was my only job, and I was being threatened with the sack; a blessing and a curse, really, given my dream selfs situation.

We were awoken by our intercom going off. At first, as it jolted me from my disturbed sleep, I thought it was the courrier bringing the lovely new clothes I ordered on Tuesday, but as I stumbled sleepy eyed down the hallway to answer I caught a glimpse of the clock in the living room and realised it was only quarter to seven in the morning. I picked up the reciever, but no one answered my greeting, so I went to look out of the living room window to see if I could catch our cold caller.

Right outside of the flat was parked a police car, but not just parked up at the side of the pavement; it was right accross the road, blocking it off from oncoming traffic. A police officer was walking down the street, away from our flat, scribbling in her little notebook. I wondered if there had been a "domestic" as they are not infrequent around here, but as I took in the sights from down the road I saw more police cars cordoning off the other end of our block.

Ben had joined me and this point, and suggested we go back to bed for now, we'd soon find out what was what, and if it was an emergency they'd surely be more persistant at our door. This time I fell straight into a deep and blessedly dreamless sleep, to be woken again at half nine by Ben coming through to give me the news about what was going on in our street. According to the local radio, a fifty year old man had been beaten about the head with an iron bar in a brutal assault in the early hours of the morning, litterally a few metres away from our flat. He was alive (and I've heard no news since to the contrary) but in hospital. I got up and started my morning routine. It didn't take long before the police were back to ask if we'd heard anything. We hadn't of course, our bedroom is on the other side of the building.

When we finally got out we were two hours later than planned thanks to our prolonged lie in. We knew we'd be out and about in town today, going for a meal and going to see Conan the Barbarian at the cinema. We also needed to sort some things out at the bank. As it turned out, the bank took much longer than we initially expected, however we did what we needed to do and then went to investigate the times for the cinema.

Given our lateness (you can ask my friends, I'm only ever punctual for work!) we weren't going to be able to enjoy our meal in a relaxed fashion and get to the cinema on time too, so we decided to opt for Apollo 18 instead, which we'd both read about and were very much interested. Plans reshuffled, we headed for Jamies Italian for a much looked forward to feast.

We'd been before, back in February, and thoroughly enjoyed it. However we'd not had any starters, and so this time we decided to go the whole damn hog. We went for a meat plank to start, though I have to say that as delicious as it was, it was a little dissapointing on the size department for the money we paid...there was one sample of each thing (one Lombardi chilli, one piece of prosciutto, one piece of salami etc) so we carefully divided each bit up. Then, because I'm now on Weight Watchers properly and counting all my points properly (as opposed to last week when I signed up then got distracted by familial meals out again...) I ordered a Prosciutto and Pear Salad...which was most definitely not tiny and was absoloutely divine.

Sadly the dessert didn't live up to expectations. Knowing I was trying to stick to being good I'd checked out the menu beforehand and decided to go for a sorbet. However, I noticed they had a dish that involved super thin slices of pineapple with mint chilli and blood orange sorbet, and remembered that fruit is all free to gorge upon on Weight Watchers, so I decided to try it. It was...unusual. I suppose the mint chilli should have been a clue. Anyway, it just wasn't to my taste, I kinda wish I'd just gone for regular old sorbet...however, since I had been very good all day I decided to be a little naughty and leave half of it then get a Ben and Jerry's at the cinema later (which was most definitely to my liking!)

If one thing put me off the whole thing, it was our waiter. Don't get me wrong, he was indeed a lovely guy, but he was so....involved...to start with, I asked for what was essentially a sweet sherry to drink. I knew they provided table water, and I generally only have one drink with a meal (I'm a very slow drinker, in fact I probably don't get enough fluid in general because of this). He twisted his face however;

"Really? You know, that's really supposed to be a dessert wine...."

"Oh, I know," I replied, "but I love this, and I really really just fancy it"


"Yeah, I love it!"

"Well....if you're absoloutely sure....are you sure?"

At this point I kind of lost my temper a little bit. I don't drink a lot of alcohol. I tend to have a drink with my meal if we're out and about, and if we arrange to have a few hours in the pub every couple of months with our friends then sure I'll have more than just one....and then there's the once a year or so when I go a bit bonkers on a night out...but seriously, when I drink I'm drinking because I want to drink something specific. I wasn't in the mood for 'actual' wine. His face was a picture when I turned around and said;

"Oh ok then, just get me a diet coke then".

Not the response he was looking for I feel.

He felt similarily involved with our starter. After explaining what every individual piece of garnishing was he finally left us to it, however when he returned to find everything gone but the mega olive (neither me nor Ben like olives) he pointed at it like my mum would if she'd found I hadn't eaten all my meal. After arguing with me over it I eventually picked it up and took a bite out of it.

"There, you see?" he said.

"Mmm...it's really not to my taste".

I'm going to stop reviewing our meal time now before I burst into an even more violent rant about it.

After lunch, we still had an hour or so to go before the film, so we decided to go to Waterstones and browse the books.

I had in mind a book I wanted to get after having stumbling accross it on this blog belonging to one of Ben's old University mates, called "The Ultimate PCOS Handbook". Having read her overview of it, it appealed to me; like Nicki, I've been poo pooed off by various doctors who don't seem to appreciate the difficulties it causes, and when sent to see a dietician about it, she just infuriated me (as I've previously discussed) with her inane suggestions and no talk of how best to treat my condition. Anyhow, I've never actually read a book about the condition, and all my knowlege is based around the symptoms, supposed causes, and "if you loose weight it goes away, but the condition makes loosing weight a shitter" so I decided hmm, can't hurt. Plus it'll keep my mind focussed on the reason I want to loose weight; to make babies.

After our impromptu shopping trip to Waterstones we perused HMV then made our way to the cinema where, to our joyous suprise, we ran into Becky and her lovely lover Steve. They'd come from work as an impromptu thing so I convinced them to join us for Apollo 18 thinking it'd be great. I now feel nothing but horrifying guilt.

Dont get me wrong, Ben absoloutely loved it. And it consisted of a lot of the things I love in a good horror; great tension, bare little glimpses of what it is that is terrorising the victims, great jump spots...and I loved Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield...but this just didn't do it for me. Once you realised what was happening (which didn't take long) the mystery had vanished and all you were left with was some tension built on the promise of having a jump. It really didn't deliver it well, however.

It was filmed to look and sound like grainy old footage from the early seventies, and this kinda helped to give it suspense because you couldn't really see what was happening...sadly this method made for such a distorted hour and a half of visual and audio that by the end I had a splitting headache and was dizzy for at least an hour afterwards, as well as motion sickness (and as I said, I loved Para and Clover, so it's not like this has happened before with this kind of "amateur footage" film). I also found the "monsters" behind it all to be pretty mediocre. I mean, the film is marketed on the basis of "this is why we never went back to the moon" but all it really says is "we never went back to the moon because the moon has crabs" - or should I say rocks that turn into crabs. I know there's nothing much on the moon other than rocks, but really...crabs? Your evil alien overlords that burry into your body and drive you slowly insane are crabs?

I really didn't enjoy it, and I could feel from her body language that Becky wasn't enjoying it either. I feel kind of bad for dragging them into it now, especially since we had to go to do the shopping pretty much straight afterwards...but never mind. You win some and you loose some. Like I said, Ben thought it was great so perhaps you will too.

Anyhow, that pretty much sums up our day...we did the grocery shopping, then when we got home my mum called and we had a nice long natter. Me and Charlotte are going to see The Queen of Spades in Leeds at the end of October so I was explaining some of the arrangements to mum since we'll have to stay there overnight (Charlie and I did consider just hopping a late coach back to Liverpool after, but the show ends half an hour before the last coach and we didn't want to risk it.) I'm really looking forward to it, and of course I'll be able to scratch off "go to see another Opera" from my day zero list!

Appologies for being so verbose with not even a single picture! I just had such a lovely day, and now I have to head bedwards as it's a work day tomorrow. Till later everyone!