Saturday, 7 July 2012

Hang Over

I've had a bit of a "low" spell recently, as I think I may have mentioned in my post on quitting sugar. This week has been a terrible week for trying to get over said low spell, involving various different people in various different areas of my life getting ill or stressy or whatever. I've been tossing and turning all night and it's been difficult to drag any kind of motivation out of the depths of my...motivational storing device. Whatever/wherever that is.

Still, despite feeling so blue and lacking in motivation, I've managed to lose 8 pounds since I decided to give up sugar. 8 pounds! That kind of weight only ever comes off me after long and arduous ammounts of dieting and workouts. Yet here I am, just over a week of no sugar and 8 pounds lighter! Perhaps there's something to be said about the effects of sugar on women with PCOS.

Still, I'm a little dubious as to whether I'll be able to record such a loss come official weigh in on Monday. My lovely doctor and a psychiatrist from the crisis team have had a head to head with the lovely therapists I'm going to see in 3 months time (or however long the waiting list is...) and the crazy people nurse I saw and decided to change up my meds. I can't tell you how excited I was about this, I've been told it can be a great starting point when you hit a brick wall. Mirtazapine was prescribed and went skipping away happy. Almost.

I read the long list of side effects. Drowsiness...increased appetite and with it weight be brutally honest with you, nothing unusual from an anti depressant. I can officially say, however, that after one pill (taken over 24 hours ago) I'm only just starting to feel hung over. After a relatively restless (but better than normal) sleep last night I've spent the entire day tell you the if I've just smoked a big, fat, juicy spliff. Complete with the munchies. Oh the munchies.

I've decimated our supply of snack a jacks, demolished a weeks worth of cream cheese, shovelled down a chinese takeout (normally, I cannot finish them) polished off the ryvita, and then I made Ben take me to Bargain Booze (or rather, I was going  and he couldn't stop me but he didn't want me going on my own in case I passed out in the street) for pepsi, chocolate and wine gums (I must have looked like a stoner on a munchies run, but that's ok, I pretty much blended in to the local populace). At one point I even tried to eat a coconut, which I got in the shopping to try out later this week as part of my sugar free food experiment, and ended up losing the half I was trying to prepare after my mum called. I still haven't found it. I hope I don't stumble upon a half rotten half a coconut later this week...

I've decided not to take any more Mirtazapine. I think a combination of some wierd reaction and sugar starvation turned me into some kind of crazy stoned munchy beast. That aside, I was so out of it I couldn't go on my scheduled run, start my 30 day shred or go to a party I was really looking forward to (and since, hunting trip for choccy aside I spent most of the evening passed out accross Ben's lap, that was probably for the best) which has bummed me out and pissed me off severely, however funny the effects might be if seen from a certain angle. I'm only just feeling like I'm "coming round" and it feels like a hangover. I'll discuss what's gone on with the doctor when I see her on Thursday. Until then, I really hope I haven't scuppered my efforts too much, and back to sugar free as!


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Pleasantly surprised

In the past, whenever I've opted for a Ryvita based lunch, I've not done so well. I get hungry, I get cravings, I get bored.

Whether or not it's to do with the being sugar free over the weekend (presumably I've had no huge spikes in my blood sugar levels) or just clicking onto an amount and type of food that suits me, who knows, but I've not been a hungry hungry hippo.

Yesterday I ate my usual spiced porridge for breakfast, ryvita with full fat cream cheese and cucumber, a large portion of veggie full pasta bolognaise and I snacked through the day on the activated chilli nuts I made at the weekend, some snack a jacks, and fresh fruit (boy is it going to be hard to pass up the fruit when the time comes!). Over the past few weeks I've found it difficult to stay within my calorific allowance, but yesterday was no problem at all and I was really fulfilled. I cannot remember the last time I felt fulfilled with this kind of food.

Today I'm dining on veggie and cream cheese omelette for lunch, half an avocado for after my run later on, and tofu (yes, you heard me right, I convinced Ben to allow tofu into our house) stir fry, with the same portion of nuts and fruits as yesterday for snackage through the day. I shall certainly let you know how that particular recipe goes.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sugar free day 4

So today is day 4 sans sugar. I'm taking it in baby steps so I haven't had desserts or sweets or candy or (shock horror) chocolate (a huge deal for me, truth be told) since Thursday. I've skipped the sugar in my tea and started mixing my porridge with cinnamon, a little stevia and some extra milk instead of Nutella.

Three days without added sugar in the form of sweeties and the such isn't such a huge deal, even to me, but I'm proud of myself anyhow as I've chosen a killer time to start this (that is, my husbands birthday weekend). But in a way it's good that I started at such a difficult time, because I'll know it'll make it easier later on. I had to sit through mister Ben eating one of my favourite desserts (Pizza Hut cookie dough with ice cream...gosh!) and I resisted! And then the same day my best friend ordered another of my favourite desserts...chocolate fudge cake and ice cream. And the best thing is I was mildly tipsy at this point too, usually the time when all of my resolve goes flying out of the window and I say "oh hell whatever, pass the cake, she loves the cake!"

So far I've found that having put up the "sweeties and desserts and added sugar are absoloutely not allowed!" rule has made it much easier to resist temptation. I still drink diet pop, and this does mean I get a sweet taste. Perhaps one day I'll give this up too, but for now, when I'm doing so well, I think it's more of a help than a hinderence!

Things will not be all plain sailing though. As of tomorrow I give up refined carbs (in other words, anything not wholegrain) which I usually only eat occasionally anyhow. It will make eating out interesting, but it should also encourage the eating of more wholesome foods at lunch time.

I would normally bulk lunch out to be more healthy on fresh fruit but in a couple of weeks time, fruit is also disallowed (I know, shock horror, but it's not permanent, it's just to try and get all the sugar out of the system, it's only for a few weeks). So I'm really scratching my head about this. I've settle on rye bread topped with cream cheese and veggies, and a boiled egg thrown in for good measure. I even found a little lunch box with a tub in it so I can plop in my portion of cream cheese before I go to work and not worry about eating too much. I hope that the protein and fats in the egg and cream cheese will help to fill me up, and it'll be great to increase my veggie consumption - I know we're told by the powers that be to get most of our five a day from veggies rather than fruits (because of the sugar issue).

And if this isn't filling enough I've stumbled accross a little invention called the activated nut. We're always encouraged to eat raw nuts because they're full of healthy oils and packed with minerals. But, frankly, raw nuts just make me go "meh" in the mouth. They've a bitter after taste. I think it's the Phytic acid in them. Obviously I can't really eat them sugar or chocolate coated.

I read about fellow sugar quitters snacking on activated nuts, in which nuts are soaked to begin the germination process (thus breaking down the phytic acid) and then dehydrated in a very low temperature oven ready for consumption. I've no idea why activated nuts are particularly good for the sugar quitters, or if sugar quitters are into health food trends and have just latched onto them (it is thought the phytic acid prevents the absorption of many of the great minerals in the nuts). But anyhow, one thing that everyone agreed upon was that they taste so much nicer than raw nuts, so I decided to give them a go and found a great recipe for them on Scandi Foodie.

Or rather, I saw that and put my own twist and just soaked a bag of mixed nuts (including peanuts, though I've never seen anyone talk of activating peanuts so I hope I haven't poisoned myself) and tossed them in a bucket load of paprika, some hot chilli poweder and a little salt. Next time I think more chilli powder is required, but on the whole they are delicious, warming, and not at all bitter. I have a new favourite home made snack!

Till next time folks,

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sugar and diabetes and PCOS, oh my!

Well hello there! Yes I still exist! Yes I am still here!

The past few months have been hectic and I've had little to no time for blogging or reading blogs, but I've been (mostly) enjoying myself. I'm working in a new shop (same company, they like to move us around) and whilst I've settled in quite nicely the new routine leaves little time for a bit of a contemplation or rant on a blog on an evening.

Why suddenly start blogging again then? Well I've decided I'm going to give quitting sugar a go. Not earth shattering, but I figure that when I'm pulling out my hair from sugar withdrawl I may find a little weep and a rant on my blog somewhat therapeutic.

A little up to date on the situation. No progress on the weight loss. Not that I've been paying it much attention to be honest. I've been focussing on getting fitter and healthier, and I am seeing progress in these areas, little by little. I can now jog for 5 whole minutes straight (hooray for C25K!)...I remember when I tried to jog for a minute back in April when I first started jogging properly in the park (That is, not on a treadmill!) and I was almost in tears from the pain of it, and had to stop during the walking intervals. No longer do I require to douse my poor shins in deep heat, no longer am I plagued by chronic soreness and cramping in bed after my runs! And whilst I've not lost any weight (not a pound) I've been buying clothes a size smaller and my workmate has noted that she thinks I look more toned and slim. Score!

Quitting sugar is the next step in my get healthy kick. I understand it's been a big thing, a bit of a health bandwagon to jump on recently, with blogs and ebooks and tv programmes and all kinds popping up every where. When I first heard about people doing this last year, I laughed myself senseless. There was no freaking way I could ever live without it. Well maybe there isn't, but I'm going to give it a go. The obvious health benefits aside there are a couple of reasons I've decided to do this despite having my reservations at first.

1) Honestly, the most influential and important, impacting influence of my decision? A close relative (who's identity shall be anonymous for their confidentiality...if you're a member of my family you'll know who it is) has just been told their diabetes will require them to take insulin, and they are having the appropriate analysis etc to be put onto it. Another close relative has been heading that way and has only been able to avoid it by taking 10 mile runs every day and eating nothing but porridge in the morning and leafy green salad in the evening to control their blood sugar levels. Oh yes, this was as well as medication. The medication, from what I've been told, simply wasn't enough

You don't go from zero to doing ten mile runs. Said relative was, and always has been, very very fit. Their job requires it. So what does that tell you? It tells you how strong the diabetes gene is in my family. I have all the physical hallmarks of someone predisposed to diabetes. My apple shaped body, the PCOS, various other mildly embarrasing and shall not be talked about here symptoms. I've been sent for many, many diabetes tests over the years because, frankly, my doctors just cannot believe that I'm not diabetic. Yet the results say not.

Seeing my relations go through what they're going through has, frankly, scared the willies out of me. I feel like there is a time bomb in my pancreas just waiting to explode. These relatives are middle aged, and I'm just'm worse than they were at my age...I have to get a hold on this now.

2) Friends are getting knocked up, people are having babies. When I lost a bit of weight last year I noticed some of my PCOS symptoms getting milder. Recently they've been getting worse again. Cutting down on the sugar is one of the best things you can do for PCOS (as well as losing weight, but I'm feeling that will be a welcome side effect of the sugar quittage).

I think I've spoken before about one PCOS handbook. I kept saying "oh yes, this time I'm going to follow the plan, I'll stick to it!" and I never do. Why? I get stuck on step 3 - cut back on the sugar. I'm ignoring the rest of the plan for now. I'm going straight to sugar. I'm quitting it. It shall no longer be a factor.

3) I keep sabotaging myself with binges. Now, I'm not saying I'm not going to want to binge but if I'm not allowed to eat sugar I'm thinking it might help. Something that I didn't particularly look into but that keeps coming up is how eating sugar can provoke the feelings of wanting to have a binge; the feeling of not being able to have just one biscuit from the packet. I can put my hand on my heart and tell you truly that many of my binges recently have been sparked by just having one little piece and then descending into a slobbering pile of sugar shoveling gloop. I don't know how true these claims are, but I'm willing to give it a try to see if it works for me.

4) I theorize that if I'm just point blank not allowed sugar it will be easier to say no to treats...there's no "oh I have the calories for one little piece of chocolate" (see above as to what happens next). Perhaps this will be a help too.

5) I recently had a bit of a relapse into a depressive phase, and it wasn't pleasant. I'm not blaming sugar on that, but I have heard that people who have quit sugar have felt a general improvement in their mood and quality and quantity of sleep, higher energy levels, greater concentration etc. Once again, I don't know how true these claims are or if it will help me the same way, but given the way I've been feeling recently, I'm willing to try it out just to see.

So I have my "programme" ready...or rather, I really jumped a bandwagon and invested in a little ebook about it. It's 8 weeks long. Maybe I won't have any benefit and I'll be tearing my hair out for a bar of chocolate by the end...but for now I'm gonna give it a go. As of now and for the next 8 weeks, consider me refined sugar free.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Hey guys!

I know it's hard to believe, but I am indeed still alive! I thought it's about time I dropped a line since I have been a truly terrible blogger recently.

I've been very busy, though not necissarily with anything "blog worthy". Things are still getting set up in the house, though we're mostly there. I really need to get a few extra picture hooks, but the place is already feeling more like a home than "the new house".

And what home would be complete without a family pet? Ben has pledged that I can finally get my pet Cockatiel ^_^ I'm so happy! I can't wait to bring him/her home and train them and play with them...I may even feature them in my very first Vlog. Perhaps if I'm totally overwhelmed with pet-ernal love for it, I'll vlog it often with all the tricks I'm so obviously going to teach it...

In other news, I started C25K on Wednesday. It was something I was always very cautious about doing as I'm sure any obese wannabe runner would be (both self concious about my appearence and worried about my health), but I started in the gym on the treadmill on Wednesday and today I completed week one in our local park. Sadly I have the flimsiest pair or trainers in the world, bought out of sheer necessity when I was skint and my old pair were bust and they offer no support whatsoever. As a result my ankles are aching and I'm getting worrisome shin pain (not a huge ammount but it's there) at the end of my runs. I'm concerned about progressing whilst I'm still getting this, so for now I'm going to repeat week one, in and out of the gym, and go for week two when I get my running shoes (my birthday present from my lovely mummy).

All that said, I'm not going to be blogging about it here. I've got a lot to say and journal and complain about regarding fitness and diet and what not, so I've started a new blog dedicated to it (finally!) and Adventures can go back to journaling my day to day adventures in life for posterity and family and whoever else may be interested.

Between falling in love with my local park (I'm a huge bird fan and it has lakes full of ducks and geese) preparing for my birthday party and getting excited over my upcoming addition to the family, I have quite a bit to blog about in the next month or so. I can't wait to give my new camera a spin and share all the fun I'm going to be having, so do stick around!

Monday, 12 March 2012


Sometimes, what you really need to find motivation, is girl talk and a few too many glasses of wine.

On Saturday night I swapped my Ben for a Becky. Whilst Ben took some time out with Becky's now fiancee Steve (yay for love!) and the other boys in our life to eat pizza, watch Star Wars, and generally be big manly nerds, Becky and I shared wine, talked weddings (did I mention yay for love?) and, well, you know how it is, discuss the finer, deeper, psychologically deep seated issues in our lives. But mostly wine and weddings.

And football.

And pizza too.

But I digress. Such girl time is often self exploratory and always therapeutic, and of course talking about weddings, the future, love and health and all that, really re focused my mind on what really matters, especially now that we're living in a home which could easily accommodate a mini Myatt...

I've been coasting along, health wise (and by that of course I mean weight loss wise), since Christmas. Granted we weren't expecting to be chucked headfirst into moving house, and I still have to pinch myself to remind myself that yes, we are here and here is indeed ours, not that mouldy little flat we used to call home. Trips to visit my family and the stress of new duties at work...despite my doctors great two pronged plan for me, it's been way too much. Way, way too much.

However, as good excuses as all of these are, Becky and I got to the topic of making choices towards the very end of the night, and I think I realised that actually, excuses or no, I really need to make the choice for myself. Do I make the choice to continue as I am and hope life becomes just "perfect" to start getting healthy and loosing weight again, or do I make the choice to grasp at every tool available to me, and all my past experience, and just go for it in earnest again, however ideal or not the situation may be? I think we all know what the winning choice is most likely to be.

And, as simple and obvious as that may sound, I think coming to such a realisation and deciding to make the choice has added a peppering of another key ingredient that makes weight loss a little big more obtainable. I feel brimming with motivation, and raring to go.

Of course, the proof is usually in the pudding, in our deeds and actions, not just in empty, rambling blog posts like this. So I went ahead and gathered said tools and have, I think, made a good start.

This morning I held my breath and braved the scales, knowing that I have to know how I'm doing in order to push myself. I was't looking forward to it, and I've been avoiding it. Oddly enough, having the scales packed away thanks to the move and enabled my avoidance perfectly, but I got up early for work and unpacked them (yes, I knew exactly where they were).

To my pleasant surprise, I'm not as bad as I thought I was. At my lowest weight since the summer I was 318 I'm 327 pounds...I was 346 pounds when I started, in earnest, to try and loose weight. Basically, yes, I've been bad since Christmas...but boy oh boy am I thrilled with the fact that I've gained less than a stone, less than half the weight I lost in the first place...I haven't gone back to square one at all, and I am leaping on that to get me going!

I've also really focused on taking back good habits that helped me last time. I took my lunch in to work with me, a tomato and basil pasta pot, an apple and a banana, I've chewed compulsively on sugar free gum, and I didn't even look at the sweets when I went to get the racing post from the newsagents this morning when I had to open shop (the newsagents we get the post from has a special deal on chocolate bars - three for a pound - and I have no choice but to go in there when I open shop!). I walked just short of a mile after work, and I've logged every morsel of food to pass my lips today. All in all, a lot of little victories, and not only do I feel good in myself for having achieved them and not made excuses to back out of them, but I feel good physically for treating my body so kindly. I knew today would have to be a good one to start this thing off again, and I think I've laid great foundations to begin getting healthy.

The one thing that's missing this time that's different from the last time I was successful in losing weight is having a challenge. I decided not to wait or look for an upcoming blog challenge. This is for me, not anyone or anything else. Taking inspiration from a challenge I saw ages ago on (I think) either the MFP or weight watchers forums, I'm challenging myself to walk a marathon between now and this time next month. It seems fitting; the walk to work is much gentler on me now (no steep hill to claw away at my asthma riddled lungage) and we have a huge park a stones throw away from our house. Because I need to encourage myself back out to the gym (because I will never be comfortable running around in public enough to achieve a comparable level of fitness to that which I know I can achieve in the gym) I'm counting treadmill miles too. I started yesterday, and have walked 1.73 miles so far...which may not sound a lot, but for me that is a big deal, I don't do walking and will get a bus to go just two stops down the road.

But lazy or not...only 24.49 miles to go!

I really think I can do it :)

So glad to feel that my mojo is well and truly back, and here's me lifting a virtual glass of (low calorie) wine to it staying for a goodly time yet...I have my best friends wedding to slim down for, after all!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Winding back to reality

Feeling positive and happy today!
As of today, I am attempting to return to "real life". We're pretty comfortably settled into the new house now, with only little bits and bobs, and our pretty decorative things like pictures for the wall to be unpacked. Ben and I both start back at work on Monday, so we will be back to reality in that sense then.

This past week has been more of a new year than new years.... I went up to stay with family on Tuesday, saw my favourite ever band on Wednesday with my little sister and returned to Liverpool with a swanky new hairstyle and, I think, a much more positive outlook on life. It's amazing what a new do can do! But it's more than that. I feel like the little trip up north just ended the old Bex of the old flat and began the new Bex of the new house.

And new Bex has a whole lot of go get em power. Sadly the funk I found myself in throughout the latter part of February has set me way back on my weightloss efforts. I know I wasn't doing so well after Christmas, but with our sudden moving house, my diet has been atrocious. I confided in my doctor that I'd been binging almost every day, but I don't feel the need to do so right now. I feel so at ease in my new place, and more relaxed than I have been for a long time. We also don't have a sweet shop right next door to us either, so that may also explain my good behaviour this week! Anyhow, I've decided to re rev up the Beck diet book (I only got two and a half weeks into it last time) and work on my resolve and will power. I'm feeling very chilled and happy about where I go from here, and I've scheduled myself in for two trips to the gym this week...the first in a month...I'm looking forward to it so much!

And I need it. I bought myself a band t-shirt at the concert on Wednesday...I saw a few beefy older men wearing them so I figured if I got myself the biggest size I'd be ok. Well as you can see it's a little's not restrictive in any way, but I couldn't just wear it without feeling very self concious about it drawing attention to my tummy! My current diet goal therefore is to slim down to feel comfortable in my new tshirt...I will consider it a win when I feel comfortable enough to wear it out...not just to the gym (which I probably will wear it to because I need tshirts for the gym!) but actually out and about in public.

I know I still haven't posted any pictures of the new house (although that there piccy of me in my shirt is my bedroom!) but thats because it isn't quite finished soon as I am totally unpacked, I shall show you all!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Our home

My new living room!
We finally moved out of our dingy, damp little flat and into our first proper house!

We've only been here two full days, but we're already firmly settled in and unbelievably happy. So far, the stress I went through running up to the move has been very much worth it.

We've unpacked most of the boxes, but there is still quite a way to go. As soon as everything is in its place I will be sure to provide you with a little virtual tour! As for now I leave you with this tiny little update and bif you auf wiedersehen...I'm off up north tomorrow to finally see Rammstein! Expect much squealing and happiness from that when I get back to Liverpool!

Monday, 13 February 2012

The joys of moving

As you will know by my excited bleating, I am currently preparing to move house. Or rather, move from my tiny flat into an actual house.

This is turning out to be both more stressful and more expensive than first anticipated. We first got excited by the prospect of no deposit required (being that we are sticking with our same landlord) but the other expenses of course mount up. Not least of all because, for example, my kitchen wear has chosen this specific moment to start breaking down (a new set of pans required) or that, having moved the boxes and crates we were storing in our bedroom we realised the damp problem was way, way bigger than first thought, and whether through our actions causing the spores to be disturbed and spread or because of the very wet, cold weather we've had lately, the problem has litterally doubled in the space of a couple of weeks and has given us cause to basically "burn everything with fire" - new sheets for the bed, duvet and pillow sets all adds up!

I've managed to get rid of a lot of junk, which is great, yet the stuff I'm not getting rid of knows no end. I think this is more to do with the space premium in here than the ammount of stuff...with such little space to put things, things get a bit piled up, unorganized, stuffed into tiny nooks and crannies that I'd simply forgotten about. Rest assured FLY lady would be horrified to see me hold on to the ammount of crap I'm keeping, but I've tossed so much, and there's only so far I'm willing to toss right now!

As you might imagine I'm very stressed and my nerves are pretty frayed. Between packing and coping with the financial strain this has put us under I've had to take on extra responsibilities at work (part of the contract from the beginning now that I've been signed off of probation and am a fully trained member of the team as it were) which has affected my day to day routine, and ChildLine has been putting on all of its refresher training and workshops. Everything seems to be getting on top of me, so many things I need to remember, though I must be doing it well enough because I've yet to forget anything. I find it difficult to talk about because I feel like a whinging baby, this is after all what being a grown up is all about, right? The other week I had a phone assesment for counselling which my doctor is pressing me to take, and the attitude was so bad it reinforced my feeling whingy.

Of course all this stress and upset has a knock on effect and I've spent the past month or so basically in one big massive binge. I stopped even looking at the scale. I can feel it in myself, I've put so much weight back on. I'm trying to coax myself back into eating healthily, and on the whole my main meals are still very healthy and wholesome. It's everything I stuff in my face between times.

We all go through tough times. Times have been worse before now, I got through them and I'll get through this. I'm really dissapointed in myself for the over eating, but I will get control of it again no doubt. If I have to claw my way to my goals I will, with blood sweat and tears. But first things first, lets get into more comfortable surroundings.

I really cannot wait to be in my new home :)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Let's get rolling

I picked up a load of sturdy cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and packing tape on Friday, and yesterday I started packing all of our worldly goods ready for our move!

This in itself has revealed more reasons to validate our moving out. I've started by packing away all of my pictures and ornaments and decorative nick nacks that serve no purpose other than to brighten up our day. I started by taking down a pair of oil paintings that were painted and gifted to Ben and I by Becky and discovered that the wall behind them was litterally dripping wet...thankfully, the paintings themselves seem to have survived without any damage that I can see...but "ewww" is the only way I can describe it!

And then there was the box. This was one of the plastic boxes we had in our bedroom, you know, the tiny wee bedroom that I've said is only big enough for a double bed and some stacked storage boxes? Well in this box we were storing the cardboard boxes for the Wii, Xbox etc...figuring it'd be a good idea to keep said boxes to provide protection for our consoles when we moved. Well out we dragged them, and found that the undersides were black with mould and the plastic box in which they had been kept contained an inch of water in the bottom.

I mean, seriously, how damp can a place be to get to the point where walls are slimy and boxes fill up with water?

On a note, we aren't completely naive, we knew they place was suffering with damp, but it's only the external walls, walls that we generally don't touch or go near anyhow.

But yes. That was quite a revelation, and only makes us feel even better about the fact that we have less than a month now until we move!

In other news, it has to be said, my weight loss efforts seem to have gone flying out of the window. I think the stress of sorting this move out and trying to juggle our new financial situation hasn't helped, but I need to stop making excuses again and get back on track. I've been trying the Slimming World way, however I find it difficult to stick to this. I'm pondering paying for Weight Watchers again, as that really seemed to help me keep focussed and whilst I wasn't necessarily loosing at a rate of knots, I was loosing. The way the new system works, not having to count fresh fruit or veg, and a more flexible approach than MFP's brand of calorie counting, was the best combination of healthy eating and calorie counting to work for me.

Well anyway, we shall see what we shall see. For now I have to get back to life and to packing!


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Happy Blogoversary to me!

It was my "blogoversary" yesterday and I totally forgot because right now, as you may or may not have guessed, I have a lot of things to juggle, organise, sort out etc...

More so than I did at new years I'm thinking back at the year that has been, possibly because I started this blog for a very specific reason, but that reason is now completely irrelevant and I find myself in a position I could never have guessed at this time last year.

Instead of being ensconced in the North East as we had planned, we're still in Liverpool but finally in the process of upgrading our castle to a larger model. Ben was (thank God) not made redundant after all and is still in his same job, whilst I find myself employed in an area I never imagined I'd ever be employed in (it's not that exciting...just not what you would think of immediately for me!) and, surprisingly, enjoying it. I've made new friends and reconnected (however loosely) with old ones. I'm the lightest weight I've been in years, although the going is a constant struggle and very slow. I now eat mostly fresh home cooked meals from scratch (ok, minus the odd packet of ready chopped onion because I'm lazy) as opposed to the pie and chips of this time last year (which I justified with "it's still under my calories!"). I exercise. I have a freaking gym membership! I volunteer my time freely to a cause I believe in passionately in an area I'd love to eventually build my career in. I'm in the process of getting back to college to get the qualifications to forge that career and have been invited to a skills assesment (though I'm having to wait for a new date...that whole being employed thing can get in the way!). I'm more confident, more self assured, more me living a life that whilst is not perfect is not out of control. I no longer merely exist, but I have take control and am steering things in the right direction and I'm doing it my way. Not my mothers or my friends or anyone else I've tried to pander to in the past. This is all Bex, baby.

Oh, and Ben, but he said I can decorate the house however I like so I guess that makes up for any influences he may have over my life in general!

I hate to be gushy and cheesy...nah, I don't, I love being gushy and cheesy! I'm not the biggest interactor in the blogosphere, I'm actually a quiet and shy person and I don't comment very much...I struggle to come up with replies, but I try to spread out and offer comments when I can think of them! But can think this absoloute BS if you like or you may think it's over sentimental or just a load of old tripe, but I want you all to know that either through your comments or through your blogs which I have been following (and lurking upon, even if not commenting) and through having this blog in general to put things down in writing, have that space to think and read it all back, having challenges to do with like minded people who offer support...through all of this, it played a very big role in shaping me over the past year, in spurring me on to take control and make my life what it is today.

Like I can believe me or not, or you can say I'm full of nonsense, why did I need a blog to do it, the blog did nothing, the blog was just here. But it's true :)

Basically what I'd like to say is...

Thanks, guys :)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Six word Saturday: Time to move on

We're moving to an actual house!

I've lamented to you all before about the serious lack of space in our flat. It is a one bedroomed thing, it's at the top of two steep flights of stairs (Which, despite what one would think, has done nothing for our health!) with a kitchen in the lounge and a bedroom big enough to fit the mattress into it (and some boxes stacked in a free corner!). I've moaned about the trouble of house hunting and the pitfalls that await you and I've recently had a major security issue that has been the straw that broke the camels back so far as tolerating the place as somewhere livable is concerned.

Well, our landlord took us around a small two bedroomed house in the area yesterday, and whilst it is neither huge nor elaborate nor sparkly fantastic, it is a major improvement on what we're coping with now. Being that we're staying with him we've no deposit to pay, we just start paying the higher rent next month and move on in.

Aside from my womanly glee and day dreaming about the wonderful things I plan on buying for my new home, I'm excited about this for a number of reasons;

  • The downstairs is laminate flooring throughout, a blessing for my asthma!
  • Two bedrooms means space for eventual babies, but more immediately, space for guests!
  • Mould is not creeping in, a bonus for our health in every way imaginable (especially as our current bedroom is on the edge of being over run by the damn stuff)
  • We have drawers as well as many cupboards in the kitchen!
  • There is space for a tumble more mount washmore because we ran out of space to dry laundry!
  • It is around the corner from one of the biggest parks in Liverpool, great for perhaps starting going for some jogging?
  • It is a self contained house, not a flat/appartment in a shared block, meaning no more drug addled neighbours stealing/opening my post before I get to it!
  • The bathroom is downstairs, so my Granny can come and visit!
  • It has a fitted wardrobe with mirrored doors so we won't need to fork out for a new one, and I'll finally have a full length mirror!
  • It has a proper sized oven! BAKING SHALL HAPPEN!
  • There is space enough for a dining room table, we can host parties and people will have chairs to sit on!
  • Both the gas and electric meters are "normal" - no running out of gas and having to run to the shop to top it up in order to keep the heating on!
All in all, many many many reasons to be feeling excited about the move. We have a month to prepare, and I am starting today by doing a mega junk toss. Next weekend (ie pay day!) I shall be fetching some sturdy cardboard boxes and beginning to pack all the nick nacks that we don't use day to day. The place will be bland and undecorated, however I can live with that for a month given what will be waiting for us at the end of the road!

So yes, todays six word Saturday is a very happy one, and I can't wait to show you around my new house ^_^

Thursday, 19 January 2012

What do you hate the most?

We're always told to love our bodies, that we should not hate what we have. People have been parading that picture on facebook and pinterest lately, that when did stick thin become sexier than "old hollywood" glamour picture. Other, similar pictures show stretch marks and tell us to embrace them, we're tigers who earned our stripes. The message is that we, as women, are all beautiful and all sexy in our own way. All our imperfections are beautiful in their own way. We should not hate our bodies, we should not even hate a part of our bodies. For the most part I would agree with this.

However, I want to talk very candidly about one particular aspect of my body that I hate with every fiber of my being..

It's not my belly.

It's not my bingo wings.

It's not my bum.

It's not my boobs.

It's my beard.

It's getting out of control and it's downright depressing. It's dark and coarse and long. Well actually, I don't know how long it is exactly because in general I shave every other day to keep it under control.

I've been trying to keep off the shaving just to see how bad it gets. This week I've had a holiday from work, so it was the perfect opportunity to let it go wild. I put down the razor a week ago today and let nature take its course.

By Monday it was bad enough to move me to tears in my GP's office, but I'd seen it that bad before. I've let it grow on further and I physically cannot allow it to get worse. It is dark, and it is long. It looks like Ben with maybe two days post shave stubble, and he has a very thick, luxuriant, and quick growing beard.

In the summer when I started really knuckling down to loose the weight, I honestly thought certain aspects of my PCOS symptoms were getting better. I didn't seem to have to shave so often, and I even had (albeit only very tiny) a period. Alas, things aren't going so well now. I've lost all but two or three pounds of my Christmas gain, so really I'm around the lightest I've been for a few years, and yet the PCOS symptoms aren't showing any signs of loosening up.

Aside from more weight loss there's nothing the doctor can do, and she's giving me support in this. She was yet again a new doctor (le sigh) but at least for now she's listened to me and my concerns and we've come up with what I think will eventually be a successful course of treatment for me. It's going to take time and I'll probably shed a few more tears before the end, but it's the most hopeful I've felt about it for a long time.

For now I've got to go back to shaving. I used to believe that by shaving I was making it create a standard you want every day, and of course there's the old "it looks coarser" thing...but actually having let it "grow out" a bit I can see that this is really not the case. There are areas of my face that I shave that have very, very little hair growth (barely any noticeable at all) and then there is the fact that underneath my chin is way way worse than my upper lip and sideburns, but extends up to either side of the point of my chin.

Euch, it's gross and unnerving to describe it in such a way, but it is what it is.

And facing up to it is maybe what is going to make me stick to this treatment. Infertility sucks, but my mum told me when I got married that unless you are ridiculously rich you will spend a lifetime waiting for "the right time" to have a baby, financially at least. So whatever and whenever something like that happens is still almost an ethereal concept to us. Being fat is unhealthy and it sucks, but I've been fat all my life and I'm pretty comfortable looks wise in that sense. But the body and facial hair? It's just too much. I don't want to shave forever, I don't want a hairy chest and an ape like back (yes the start is there), and I don't want to be a bearded lady. I just want it to go away :(


Friday, 13 January 2012

Something positive

Something really scary happened to me yesterday. I mean, really freaking scary, and not in a "Bex is being a sarcastic bee-hotch again."

As I've moaned about before, we live in a tiny wee flat. It's not in a big block of flats, it's one of three in the building. I think the row of buildings used to be a row of shops before our landlords company bought most of them and converted them. He's been doing a pretty good job and over the years the place has gone from a run down looking thing into something that looks like, eventually, it could be quite nice and presentable. The building has a heavy, reinforced front door, and each flat has its own key and an intercom system. Given the area we live in (one of the main roads leading down to Liverpool Football Club's stadium) it can get noisy and a little busy outside. There's been a few occasions where we've locked our door and drawn the blinds as it were (well no, that's not true, Ben ALWAYS pokes his head out of the window to see what's going on!) but we're pretty damn secure in here. It'd take a lot for someone not only to break into the building but then to get into our individual flat.

So yesterday, with my door locked, I'm pottering around. Well, to be precise, I'd decided to have a shower. Yes it was just before 4 in the afternoon, but I just really really felt the need to freshen up (have been feeling a bit run down lately). I potter on into the living room where my clothes are all neatly lined up for me. Oh yeah, my flat is so small that my bedroom is litterally big enough for our double bed and some boxes of detritus we've no where else to put, so my wardrobe and ottoman are in the front room and we get dressed in there. It's ok, because we're on the second floor. Who is going to see us prancing around naked humming the Skyrim theme to ourselves up there?

Who indeed.

So humming the Skyrim theme (I was about to play it, you understand) on went my lovely undies (and thank God they were clean and generous in their coverage of my ample body) and I slipped on my white blouse and began buttoning it down when I hear a key in the front door of my flat. Not the own, individual, sacred and secure little flat

Now my mind instantly leapt to one thing...Ben is home early. It was four in the afternoon, and he doesn't leave work till six. However, he was meant to be going to the gym after work. And he would have told me he was coming home early. He has played a little trick on me before where he didn't tell me he was coming home....however he always called out through the door...and all I could hear were strange voices outside.

"Whoa whoa whoa!" shout I, going to see who is waltzing through my front door. He hadn't opened it fully, I couldn't see who it was. One of those adrenaline pumping, everything slows down moments I think, because I was pooping myself. It definitely wasn't Ben, because he would have called through by that point.

Keep in mind right now that the hallway goes from my front door straight into my living room so I'm stood there in full view not knowing whether to protect my dignity or protect myself or protect my property because I haven't a clue who is opening that door.

Despite me shouting out, the guy on the other side opens up and steps inside...the door is pretty much fully open and he is a step inside my flat, but face to face with me in naught but my lovely undies and my half buttoned up blouse. I'd never seen him in my life. Given he was dressed in a white hoody I thought at first he was one of my landlords workmen, but they've always knocked before now, and the landlord has always let us know that he is having work done in a letter which he personally delivers.

I waved my hand at him in a "get out!" kind of motion because I was absoloutely gobsmacked. It then really hit me that my lower half was naked so I kind of tried to hide behind the door frame, still waving frantically at him to go. He made a strange, strangled noise. He could have been anyone, but he was clearly as shocked as I was, in a way. Eventually I found my voice, and in a clear, assertive tone (which surprised me when I was looking back on it later...adrenaline survival instincts I guess) I just said "Could you please get out?"

No swearing or hollering, rather polite in fact.

He legged it.

I heard him say something to whoever it was he was with, and I ran and locked the door, for all the good it would have done since he clearly had a working key to my flat.

I called Ben first because it was my first reaction, and then I called the landlord. He was fuming, and told me he was looking into it. Ten or fifteen minutes later he called back and said he'd found out the intruder was an employee of a lettings management company he uses to find and vet tenants. The other person I heard him speaking to was the person he was showing around. He was supposed to be showing him around flat two downstairs (the one with the big brass numeral two on the door...perhaps sir requires some basic maths lessons?). Landlord had given them a master key and evidently mister stupid had never been to the building before. Complete, utter stranger.

There was nothing much that could be done. The young man in question never came back. I heard him in the flat downstairs and then they left. Not even so much as a knock on the door to appologise and explain who he was and why he was there. My landlord has had very stern words with the company in question...I don't know whether he is taking it further.

But something positive may well come from this.

My landlord has always done good by us and has been understanding and patient at times when we've struggled. So I said to him, after everything is said and done I don't feel so secure in here. Other peoples guests feel free to roam the stairs and knock on the door, and that wasn't a problem before because frankly I just ignored them, but having someone just unlock the door and walk straight on in is a bit of an "enough is enough" moment. I explained we were looking for a two bedroomed house and wondered if he had any.

As it happens, he has an empty one that he is managing on behalf of another lady a few streets away from us. We know the area and the transport links. It's within walking distance of the gym. Our parents won't have to struggle to learn a new area of the city. I won't struggle to get to work, and we're still only a bus ride away from our local ASDA. The street backs on to a huge park. Yes we're still just down the way from the stadium but it's off the main road. It was slightly over our budget, but he says it's been empty for a while and so he can probably get it for a better price. All things going well we'll be looking around it a week today, and because he knows us and we're sticking with him he doesn't require a deposit.

I'm not putting all my eggs in this basket but it could be just the kind of place we're looking for, and if we get things our way we could be moving out at the end of February. I'm really excited at the prospect, and can't wait to see what the place is like next week!

I believe everything happens for a reason, so whilst I'm rather shaken and completely enraged by that idiot of a lettings agent, whoever he was, and embarrassed and humiliated that he saw me in my most vulnerable state (at home half naked) which is a state which only my husband is allowed to see me, I'm rather pleased that we have the prospect of something rather positive coming out of it all :)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Win a Kenwood Smoothie Maker to Go

I'm coming up to my first blogoversary. Indeed, I do believe it is the 24th January.

Before I started my epic blogging adventure, I never really read blogs, and as well you know I started this one as a bit of a me and mine only. Alas, the world of blogging is a vast and many splendid thing, and in this seemingly ridiculously short year I've been dragged into many a challenge, community, whatever. Some I've passed with flying colours, and some I've failed miserably. Remember that photo challenge I signed up for at the beginning of the month? Hardy har!

But right up until now I've never signed up to a giveaway. It's one of my 101 in 1001 blogging goals to host one, so I thought I'd better see how it is to be on the other end first ;) But I'm not one for entering any old carp (glub glub). This is no flimsy little gift from a blog who wishes only for self promotion. Nay lads and lassies. This is a smoothie maker.

A smoothie maker to go.

Indeed, it is a kenwood smoothie maker to go.

Why am I so thrilled about this? You've all seen the piccies from my kitchen in the summer when I did my big clean out. It is tiny. It occupies the slightest little corner of my living room. If you have not seen them, then here is one;

You see that thing that looks like a microwave with hobs and knobs in the background? That's my oven. It's a brilliant little thing, don't get me wrong, we made Christmas dinner in it and it was a damn fine Christmas dinner at that! But my point is...I have no room for real, full sized kitchen utensils. My space is limited, and it's frustrating because I can only achieve so much with what I've got to hand.

This may well be just me, but if I had my hands on one of those there smoothie makers, it would become like many things in this here little flat of mine; multi functional. Smoothies, yes, delicious as they are, would grace my smoothie maker, sweetned with honey and thickened with the most delectable of 0% fat greek yoghurts. I'm drooling already. But also soups, purees and juices, all would I spin out of this pint sized wonder. What is a happy little gym gadget for some would mean a whole new lease of life in the kitchen to me.

So here's the deal. Check out Rebecca at Weight Wars and see what you think. And enter your little self on in there. Men and women of tiny little kitchens, take heed, and dream yourself up the wonders you could create with such an awesome little gadget.

And Rebecca, I know it's all randomised and everything....but please please please please please pick me!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Resipe: Chorizo and Chickpea Tagine

We had this last night, and can I just say...both me and Ben absolutely wolfed it down! The chorizo means it's not exactly amazingly healthy, but you could substitute it for paprika marinated chicken for something healthier. Also, we served it with couscous again (The third time this week I've eaten couscous...I've not eaten it since the first time I tried it when I was 13 and decided I didn't like it!) but it would go amazingly in a pitta bread. I'm considering making it one night and saving it for work the next day, but I don't think it'd last long enough! Oh, and I think I've figured the secret of using the tagine...cook my chickpeas first, and it survives wonderfully under a higher heat than I used the first time!

Chorizo and Chickpea Tagine

Serves 2

200g tinned Chickpeas
1 desert spoon of olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pepper, finely chopped
1 Chorizo sausage, cut into rounds
1 tsp hot chili powder
1 tsp dried sage
2 tsp dried thyme

  1. Cook your chickpeas however it is you like to cook them (saucepan, microwave, however it is you like to do it)
  2. Heat the oil in your tagine or heavy bottomed caserole dish 
  3. Saute the onion, garlic and peppers till soft 
  4. Add the chorizo and cook until it begins to brown
  5. Add your chickpeas, chili powder, sage and thyme, stir in well, and cover and cook for about 15 minutes 
  6. Enjoy the delicious yummyness!


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Recipe: Carrot and Chickpea Tagine

My mum got me a Tagine cooking pot for Christmas, and I thought that it might be a great idea to make use of the recipe book that she got me to go with it and put the pot to its intended purpose (as opposed to using it as a pretty Moroccan style piece of decor.)

Being that we're trying to get back on track with the healthy eating (though, to be honest, not necessarily succeeding so far!) I took the chance to make a mini resolution of trying to have at least one vegetarian day a week, as there are some lovely sounding vegetarian recipes. I cooked this last night, changing the original recipe here and there to make it more healthy. I've still got to get used to cooking with the Tagine pot - it's meant to be used to cook tagine stews slowly on a low heat, and will apparently sustain damage if used on a direct, high such the carrots were a bit tough and the chickpeas a little undercooked...but the flavour was good, very earthy and wholesome. I served it with couscous and a salad of finely chopped onion, pepper, chili, cucumber, garlic mint and parsley, and dressed in freshly squeezed lemon juice.

If you don't have a Tagine cooking pot you can use a heavy bottomed, lidded caserole pot, or other pan you would use for making stews on a hob. I used a low heat throughout but I probably should have gone up to medium or increased cooking time.

Serves 2:

1 Onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large carrots, cut into rounds
1 tin (410g) chickpeas, drained
1 desert spoon of olive oil
1 desert spoon of clear honey
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp hot chili powder
Fresh coriander, roughly chopped/torn

  1. Heat oil in the pot, and sautee the finely chopped onions and garlic till soft
  2. Add the carrots, honey and spices (except the fresh coriander) and mix in well
  3. Add enough water just to cover the bottom of the pot, cover and leave to cook for 15 minutes (I actually left mine on for about 30 mins on a low heat, so stick a knife in there and test your carrots to see if they are cooked to your standards!)
  4. Add the chickpeas, top up water if neccesary, and cover and cook for another 15 minutes (I did leave it for that long, and as said, my chickpeas were cooked but not particularly soft)
  5. When it's cooked, stir in the fresh coriander, and serve
Later this week I'm doing another one, but made with Chorizo and chickpeas. I'm really looking forward to it as I love chorizo, but am not a huge fan of pulses (hence why I'm trying to make these chickpea tagines, to  introduce them more to my palate and get myself used to them...same with the couscous...I did it with pasta so I can do it with these!) so I hope the one will cancel out the eww factor from the other! I will let you know how it goes!


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Something you adore

I had to plan ahead, in a way, with this photo. It would have been so easy to give you another picture of mister Ben! But if I did that, he'd probably be popping up every other day of this here photo challenge, so instead I give you...

A clock!

Please excuse the dust!

Of course this is a very lovely clock, and was a gift for our engagement from Ben's aunt (she seems to have my personality and likes down to a fine art!) which gives it a lot of sentimental value anyhow, but it's the birdy on top that is what I adore.

I love birds, and when I finally get into a place where I have a bit more free reign over the design the place will be practically an aviary.

Birds can be graceful, stupid, clever, ugly, magnificently beautiful, clumsy, clutzy, bright, dull...but always, always quirky, and they can all reduce you to feeling like a dumbass when they turn their heads in that way that they do and fix their beady little eyes on you.

They're like fish, but there's something a bit more sentient about them. I think it's because they have a little bit more movement in their faces than fish. You can also have a cuddle with a bird. You can't with a fish.

Monday, 2 January 2012


Photo number two...breakfast!

Mmm...appetising...can you guess what it is?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happiness in 2012

Well they say to start the year as you mean to go in this case, productively!

I've signed myself up for two challenges this month. Well, one is for this month and the other is for the entire year. A year seems a long time to think about but when I think that this year I'll be celebrating my third (yes, THIRD!!!) wedding anniversary (holy cow, where did the time fly to?) a year really isn't that much.

The first challenge is from the wonderful Rebecca over at Weight Wars, who never fails to come up with wonderful ways of keeping us challenged and motivated! This year she's going back to basics and offering up a little pearl of wisdom of what really helped her to get into the right place to start losing weight the right way. I'm not going to go into too much detail about what it entails and why here because you can find out all about the Happiness Project over at her blog, so if the following lists confuse you and you really need to know, go check it out!


Happiness Project 2012: My own personal guiding principles in life
  1. Remember that small victories add up into big victories
  2. Eat well 
  3. Make time for friends
  4. Enjoy what you do
  5. Just because someone else thinks it's a drag doesn't mean you have to!
  6. Go forth and be creative
  7. Always have some kind of goal to work towards; if the big one seems unachievable, make a smaller one to get you on the way
  8. Actions make things happen, so just go and do it!
  9. Don't change your priorities just because someone else thinks you have them all wrong
The rules of adulthood
  1. The best way of building trust and reaping the rewards is to fulfill your responsibilities, whether those be to your boss or to your friends
  2. Friends can be just as important as family
  3. Sleep is a precious commodity
  4. You have to give to others before they will give to you
  5. Some people are poisonous to you and need to be cut from your life for your own benefit; but remember that to someone else they are more precious than diamonds
  6. Treat everyone as an individual who is the result of their own, unique experiences; their outlooks, relationships and priorities are not the same as yours, but their feelings and needs are no less valid
  7. You must respect yourself if you expect anyone else to
  8. A year can make a world of difference
January Resolutions - Vitality
  1. Get to bed no later than eleven
  2. Eat your meals regularly
  3. Get to the gym twice a week
  4. Make a to do list each day and stick to it
  5. Get back into the chores routine
Challenge number two is a little less introspective than this...a playful, light hearted challenge in which you take a photo a day. Sadly for you guys, the first photo is a photo of me, and today I have bummed around doing nothing in particular and generally feeling delicate and sorry for myself after last nights frivolities. For this reason, I've kept it till last. Happy new year!


Happy New Year!

Happy 2012 everybody!

I didn't blog at all through the last couple of weeks of 2011, because I was having way too much fun! But it wouldn't feel right to not check in today!

This year I have a lot of things I want to do, many goals, wishes and resolutions. For many of these things I already set the ball rolling in 2011 so I'm looking forward to seeing them to completion or to get well on my way. These deserve a post in and of themselves though, so I shall be writing more about them later.

I'm hoping to give my blog a little bit of a makeover so I hope you can bear with me whilst things get changed around!

The big question of course is that of weight. Ive no stats really to post this month as I didn't really do much in the way of working out anyhow. I put on ten pounds in total over the Christmas week and a bit, although I've already lost three of those by Friday. I'm not at all phased about the prospect of loosing it again.

All in all I'm feeling so optimistic about this year, there are so many things to do and complete and start. 2011 was a great year and I started 2012 in such a great place in my life by comparison to last year, I can only anticipate all our hard work and efforts will pay off in an even better year this time round.

Wishing you all the best and can't wait to share the year through all of your blogs!