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