Wednesday, 27 January 2016

That Was A Long Blip!

I'm back! It's only been six years or so......

And I've gained even more weight. In fact, at the beginning of January I was the heaviest I've ever been (non-pregnant). I blame the menopause, which began in 2009... just before the last time I posted, in fact and the 'lady problems' I had at the end of 2013/beginning of 2014. Add to that the fact that I didn't really bother reining in my food intake on a regular basis and drinking wine as if there was no tomorrow, here I am a good stone or so heavier than the last time I blogged here.

However, I am undaunted. So.... what have I done to change things so far this year?

I always like to start with an exercise regime I enjoy and can stick to. I started cycling regularly in 2014, but, despite doing several ten mile cycle rides a week, it wasn't getting me as fit as I would have liked. So.. I have taken up running again. Pretty daunting since the last time I ran was in the spring of last year (and then not much at all) and the fact I'm that much heavier. I've taken it slowly and this is my third week of running my little 0.89mile route round the block. I managed four times the first week, five last week and I'm aiming for five this week. I aim to substitute one of those shorter runs for a 1.5 mile run either tomorrow or next week and continue to build up slowly. This way I won't be easily put off; it will be manageable and hopefully, I won't injure myself. Obviously, I'll chuck in the odd cycle ride if the weather's particularly nice and I fancy it.

The second thing I always have to address if I want to get anywhere weight-loss-wise is alcohol. Those who know me well, will know that I love wine. Red, white or rosé, I'm not fussed. I'm also partial to a G&T with ice and a slice. I have to confess that my regular booze habit got so out of control by the end of last year that I began reading sobriety blogs and seriously considered giving it up for good. I'm still reading sobriety blogs and books by women whose wine habit has got seriously out of hand and they've helped enormously. So.. since 11th January I've managed not to drink alcohol Monday to Thursday and I've even managed a Sunday without. I have to stop drinking alcohol on Sundays or just have one glass of wine with dinner (those miniature bottles are very handy or de-alcoholised wine for the psychological benefit), otherwise Mondays are trashed. I don't want Mondays to be trashed, as I have a lot I want to be getting on with, not least the possibility of some 'return to teaching' training. I don't think I'm the only one who has found their tolerance for alcohol has weakened since hitting 50 and I realise I'm going to have to take serious care of my body if I want it to last long enough to see my grandchildren.

And finally, the third thing. The third thing is, surprisingly, the tough one. I won't mention the 'D' word, because I have been on so many of those since the age of 14, you wouldn't believe. I've had enough of the 'D' word, so I'm not even going to consider going on a 'D'. Instead, I'm aiming for an overall improvement in what I eat and how often. I've realised that if I cut down too much on food, I turn to wine or G&T to fill the gap and that is a dangerous precedent (see above). Last week I read the latest 'D' book, Michael Mosley's The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet. (It was going cheap on amazon) I found it an interesting read and it supported my deep-seated belief that lowish carb is the way to go (Atkins this isn't!). He claims that his 'D' can reverse Type-2 diabetes and has some compelling evidence and testimonials to back it up. Now, I'm not a Type-2 diabetic, but I don't want to become one either. We're now being told that sugar is the baddy, not fat. Yes, yes, finally! And that sugar is as addictive as nicotine and alcohol. Yes! So cutting right down on sugar has to be a good thing, but it isn't easy.

As with the exercise and cutting right down on the booze, I plan on taking baby steps. I'm aiming for mainly low carb food, but I'm well aware that if I try to follow any regime too strictly then I set myself up for failure. I'm an 'all or nothing' person by nature and a bit of a rebel, so following a strict set of rules isn't for me. Certainly not in this context. I plan to blog most days about what I'm eating and drinking and any good recipes or supermarket finds I make. I hope my posts will be interesting enough for one or two of you to follow my progress (or lack of!). In the meantime, here are some of things I've made and/or eaten today:

Half an avocado mashed with Philli, tuna, red onion and red pepper

Tesco's Sugar Free Buttermints (2 or 3 per day with a cuppa to satisfy a sweet craving)

Fresh tomato and red pepper soup with cream

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Confession Time

It's time to 'fess up! I'm ashamed to say that I have gained all the weight I lost since October 2006. There, I've said it. I'm not quite sure how it happened. I just got lazy, I guess. I stopped exercising as much and didn't follow a diet. I guess I'll always be a yo-yo dieter. And yes, if you go on a diet, you will always gain the weight back and more besides, unless you stick to that diet... forever.... Oh God, that sounds like a death knell.

So what now? Back to Weightwatchers Points. Back to exercising more. Sounds easy, doesn't it?

I always gain weight on holiday or at Christmas. Unless I get straight back on the diet and lose that weight asap, I'm doomed. That's the lesson I've learned the hard way.

I don't like being this heavy and unfit, so I have to do something about it. It's so sad seeing all those lovely clothes in the wardrobe that now no longer fit.

Wish me luck as I embark on yet another weight loss journey!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Good week's weight loss!

I weighed in this morning (Sat 10th Jan) and have lost 6lbs since 2nd January. Phew! So pleased, and it hasn't been too hard. I haven't even exercised that much.... at least an hour's worth of walking on Tuesday and a 4.5 mile walk on Thursday. I went slightly over my points last night (it was Friday after all), and drank a bit too much wine. I also ate my own weight in vegetables yesterday, as I actually craved them. I made a vegetable soup with red lentils at lunchtime into which I put swede, parsnip, carrots, onions and celery. Very nice it was too. I'm off out for my usual weekly Indian meal tonight, so hopefully I can make wise choices and look forward to a good loss next week.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Hungry and Cold!

Today is the first day I've actually felt hungry since starting the WW Points plan last Friday. I'm also very cold (it's snowing outside). I don't think it's any coincidence that I did lots of walking yesterday (at least an hour's worth). There was a discussion on the WW 'Stay on Track' message board today about exercise and the benefits/disadvantages. Some people said that because they were building muscle, their weight losses weren't as good. I'm not so sure about this, because exercise seems to help me lose weight in that it speeds up my metabolism. The downside is, as I've just mentioned, feeling hungrier, so it's more difficult to limit my food intake.

I'm still on track today, but really don't feel like exercising! Just the thought of changing out of my cosy jumper and into gym gear makes me shiver! And I really don't want to get into the shower in the cold bathroom afterwards. I have planned a long walk with a friend tomorrow, so won't feel too guilty if I don't exercise today.

It's half an hour to go before lunch and I can't wait to get stuck into a bowl of warming butternut squash soup!

Monday, 5 January 2009

It's That Time of Year Again!

January and most people are on a diet. The supermarket shelves are bulging with low calorie/low fat ready meals and the magazines are shouting about the latest way to lose weight.

I gained the usual half a stone over the two week Christmas holiday period. The difference this year was that I was already half a stone over my 'this feels comfortable' weight. I'm half a stone heavier now than when this picture was taken back in August. I feel awful. There are rolls of fat bulging around my midriff and my jeans are tight. Ugh! I hate feeling like this, which begs the question, 'Why stuff your face then?'

I guess most of us who struggle with our weight are just plain greedy. When all's said and done, we'd rather sit on the sofa eating something nice than go for a three mile run.

After a year of 'messing about' with different eating regimes, I've come to the conclusion that the only way to lose weight successfully (for me) is the Weightwatchers Points Plan. I can eat anything, but in moderation. Just plain common sense. I started last Friday (2nd Jan) and even after just one day I felt better and more in control. I just feel so annoyed with myself that I'm a stone heavier than this time last year. All that hard work undone, and I can't say I particularly enjoyed undoing it either! Oh well, onwards and downwards!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

New resolve

I've been avoiding this blog. Why? Not sure. I'm finding it difficult and a tad personal to be talking about my eating habits and struggles with weight in such a public place.
All year I've been struggling to keep the weight off I lost last year and the year before. It hasn't been a great year. Since the age of 14 I've either been on a diet or off a diet. Nothing in between. I don't think an 'in between' really exists for me. Sad, but true. I'm naturally an 'all or nothing' person, as I've said before.
I feel a bit silly. A few posts ago I was raving about the Weightwatchers Points Plan and how it's the only thing that works for me. And after just two or three days on the Points Plan I realised I just couldn't stick to it. It felt too much like deprivation and I was sick of depriving myself. You can only do it for so long. The Points Plan is very much in the 'starve/binge' category, as far as I'm concerned. You feel deprived, therefore at some point (pardon the pun!) your body rebels and yells, 'Food, food, food. Anything. Just feed me!'
For a long time I've been drawn again and again to the Weightwatchers Core Plan. Yes, I know, I've mentioned it in an earlier post. I don't lose weight in quite the same way as on Points. But I do lose. The scales might show the same weight one week, but I always feel slimmer and my clothes seem to fit better. The scales do lie (there are many articles on the Internet written by medical experts who can give scientific reasons for this). So yes, I'm giving 'Core' another go.
There are two main reasons I find it difficult to lose weight. I like to snack and I like to drink wine. The Core Plan discourages me from doing these things, because you're only allowed to snack on fresh fruit or veg and you have very few Points to spend per week (only 21). You can eat three healthy meals per day from a long list of 'free foods' and you eat until you feel comfortably full. If you do this, the desire to snack diminishes anyway. You don't have to count Points for these meals. You only 'Point' the things not on the Core list and anything that isn't fruit and veg in between.
I usually feel hungry at around 4.30pm and an apple sees me through till tea. A Medjool date (frozen to make it chewy like toffee) satisfies my craving for something sweet. 9-10pm is my second danger zone. I make a decaff coffee with skimmed milk and this makes me suitably sleepy before bedtime and is a great substitute for a glass of wine. I haven't even missed the wine this week and feel much more energetic as a result. I do have to have some fruit at this time as well. Last night it was melon and a few grapes.
So far, so good. I feel slimmer. I feel healthier. I don't feel deprived and I'm eating plenty of food (low fat, wholefoods). I'm not eating rubbish. I'm eating lots of organic fruit and veg. Can't be bad, can it?

Friday, 24 October 2008

An Inspirational Poem

I have got lots of wise and wonderful (or not) thoughts to share with you on the subject of food, but it' will have to wait. I've had a very hectic week getting ready for our holiday in Snowdonia (we leave tomorrow) and sending out the first issue of my new magazine, The Yellow Room (see my other blog).

Instead, I'm sharing a poem I find inspirational. I came across it on one of the Weightwatchers Message Boards. I have no idea who wrote it, so apologies to the poet for not crediting you!

Don't quit!
When you've eaten too much and you can’t write it down
and you feel like the biggest failure in town
When you want to give up
just because you gave in
and forget all about being healthy and thin
So what! You overindulged a bit??
It’s your next move that don’t you quit!
It’s a moment of truth, it’s an attitude change.
It’s learning the skills to get back in your range.
It’s telling yourself, “You've done great up to now.”
You can take on this challenge and beat it somehow.
It’s part of your journey toward reaching your goal
You're still gonna make it, just stay in control.
To stumble and fall is not a disgrace,
if you summon the will to get back in the race,
but often the strugglers, when losing their grip,
just throw in the towel and continue to slip
and learn too late when the damage is done
that the race wasn’t over...they still could've won.
Lifestyle change can be awkward and slow,
but facing each challenge will help you grow.
Success is failure turned inside out;
the silver tint in a cloud of doubt.
When you're pushed to the brink, just refuse to submit