Plans and optimism

Thank you all for letting me be so self-indulgent here recently. I’ve been alternating between miserable and happy like a weathervane in a buffetting storm, and it must be quite hard for some of you to keep up. Today alone I’ve veered at least three times!

However, I’ve come to an important conclusion. January and February are stupid months to try to change my eating habits, and so I’m postponing my conscious dieting until March. I shall keep on trying to exercise more, and I’ll think more about what I eat, trying to get more fruit and veg into my diet, but I’m not calorie counting or anything until March.

I’ve decided that the fewer things I have to stress about in my life the better. There are several things which I can’t do anything about, but those that I can, I will. And dieting is one of those.

Speaking of exercise, did I mention that I went on a (for me) long walk at the weekend? I’m hoping to have another long walk this weekend, so long as the weather isn’t filthy. Eventually I’ll build up to jogging, but one step at a time. Perhaps that’s something else I’ll get to in March!

January though, is just for me. And spring cleaning. I made a good start today, and with my three free days next week I’ll press on some more. February will be a planning month, I think, easing myself into productivity, then hopefully by March I’ll be back in full flow.

Also, by the end of March my sister-in-law will be half way through her pregnancy, and then I will be thinking about crafting for my new niece or nephew!

Plans for the weekend? A little exercise, some visiting relatives and croissants for breakfast – sounds good to me!

Slim for Sorrento

I’m a lucky girl this year. In September I’m off on another holiday, this time with my best friend Maria. In order to celebrate our 22nd birthdays* we’re going back to Sorrento in Italy. We had a holiday there a few years ago to celebrate our 21st birthdays and so thought it only fitting that we should return to mark the latest milestone. (I have some photos of that to share with you, but I can’t find the lead to connect my camera to the computer, and GG’s asleep so I can’t use the scanner, so you’ll have to wait for them!)

However, last time we went was pre-motherhood and I was a good two stone lighter. So I’ve decided that I’ll try to lose 1.5 stone by the time we go away, or half a stone each month. My aim is to reach this target by the end of August so that any holiday clothes shopping can be done in the early part of September, before I go away.

What I really need to focus on though is my exercise. I’m fully aware of what I should be eating, thanks to the Rosemary Conley GI diet which has been my diet of choice over the past few years (it does work when I have the willpower to stick to it!). Rosemary Conley also writes a blog which helps me with the motivation, and each evening she tweets a short fitness challenge to keep you on your toes. Last night we had to go up and down stairs four times consecutively and then do ten press ups. Well, this inspired me to move to I slotted a half hour power walk in the middle of it. I tweeted this when I got home, and had a direct message reply from Rosemary telling me well done. What a motivator!

I wrote the rough draft of this post on the way to work, and there was a little girl on the bus with her mother, around a year old, screaming her head off. I well remember the embarrassment of that situation and the feeling of helplessness when there’s nothing you can do to calm your child, as well as the feeling of being trapped inside the bus with thirty pairs of hostile eyes burning holes in your back! I don’t miss that part of my childrens’ babyhood at all! Situations like that were definitely the sort that would send me to eat to comfort myself. I still comfort eat a lot, mostly when noone is watching, but I recognise that I do it now, and a lot of the time I can stop myself by trying to work out why exactly I want to eat. I don’t always manage to talk myself out of it, but I’m definitely improving! On the way home this afternoon, there was another baby girl on the bus with the most infectious chuckle. I got off the bus feeling happy myself after listening to her contented giggles for twenty minutes!

Anyway, so far I’m 4lbs down and 17lbs to go, so any words of inspiration are welcome! I just hope that noone gives me anything edible for my birthday. That would definitely slow me down. I’ve not yet grasped the concept of ‘everything in moderation’.



*22 years and 96 months, if you’re being picky

A duty of care?

As a mother, wife, daughter, daughter in law, friend I feel that I have a duty of care to all of my friends and relations who mean so much to me, to do my best to help them out. Of course, the extent to which they need my help varies widely between, for instance, my sons and my friends, but the principle remains the same.

Today, another thought occurred to me. If I am trying to live by this principle of doing the best I can for the people I care most about, surely that means that I should be doing the best for myself as well. Not because I care about myself as much as I do these other wonderful people (I don’t, by the way, and often wonder how I’ve managed to gather such a great group of people around me!), but because if anything were to happen to me, it would rebound onto those I care about. For instance, quite apart from my sons and husband not having a fully capable mother and wife respectively, I wouldn’t be able to take my mother to do the shopping, or share the many moments of laughter we enjoy over the silliest of things. I’d be unable to make cakes, biscuits and preserves to share with, well, all of my nearest and dearest, as none of them ever turn food down! I’d not be able to help Jo out with the pigs and chickens on the occasions when she needs a hand. And many other small things which I like to think make a (very small) difference to these people’s lives.

In line with my new year theme of discipline, I’ve once more decided to try to lose my excess pounds, and take more exercise. It would definitely benefit me greatly, in both mind and body, but it feels so self-indulgent to spend that amount of time on myself, rather than on the hundred and one other things I’m sure I could find to do. But maybe I’m looking at it all wrong. Perhaps I should think about it like this; if I take regular exercise and get fitter, if I lose weight, I will be better able to live the sort of life I’d like to lead. If I manage to give up my bad habits of excess snacking and a fairly sedentary lifestyle it will undoubtedly improve my health in the long run. I am healthy now, but who is to say what troubles I am storing up for myself by staying that couple of stone overweight as I am?

So maybe taking the time to look after yourself isn’t purely selfish, but slightly selfless as well when you consider that it benefits the people around us as much as it does ourselves. And I really don’t want to give up my snacking and neither do I enjoy exercise, so I definitely won’t be enjoying my new lifestyle, at least until I’ve settled into it! In my book, that counts as not at all selfish if you’re not having fun!

Quiet time with the Husband

Today I had a treat. My husband (who I won’t refer to as NDT, Jo!) took a half day holiday from work today and took me out for lunch. We went to La Tasca and enjoyed our last uninterrupted meal and calm daylit half hour which we will have for the next week and a half. Yep, school has broken up for half term, so I can look forward to a week of trying to find things to keep the boys amused (and I’m including Hubby in that!).

True to form, school has sent home a half term project for Cheeky again. This time they want him to “create a mobile representing ‘light and dark'”. Oh good. Something to keep Cheeky and Hubby entertained while Handsome and I find better things to do with our time!

But back to our meal. It was all a bit muddled up, really. We originally decided to have lunch in La Tasca because I had found a voucher entitling us to two for one on all tapas dishes. However, when I looked at it this morning, I found that it was only valid Sunday to Wednesday. Duh! And so then I remembered a £5 off voucher that I had for joining their online club. However (again), on closer inspection of that offer, it was likewise not valid for use today.

Never mind. They have a lunchtime offer of which we took advantage instead of these other promotions. I had already decided that I didn’t want a huge meal, so it suited me fine. The offer was a choice of any three tapas dishes and one of the set drinks (from the special lunchtime menu) for £7.95. We each chose three different options and then shared the lot – yummy! And then Hubby bought me a cake to have with a cup of tea after collecting the boys from school. I was spoilt rotten today!

When I got home, my Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness magazine was waiting for me, but i really wanted my cake so I’ve not opened it yet! I’ll save the guilt trip for tomorrow, when I’ll probably open it to find a whole feature about the perils of eating tapas and iced danish whirls. Ah well, it’ll get me back on track, I suppose. But I did really enjoy my meal out, and feel no guilt about the excess food that I consumed today. I might do tomorrow, but I’ll deal with that when I get to it!

Banishing the lurgy!

Maybe this is a little premature, but ever the optimist!

Well, I’m feeling much better now, having had two pieces of toast for lunch (my first food since Monday evening!) and a bowl of soup with a few slices of baguette for dinner. I’m still feeling quite thirsty, but other than that I think (cross fingers) I’m OK.

Out of interest I weighed myself this morning, to see what effect my horrible day yesterday had had on my system. I was amazed to find myself 4lbs lighter than I was on Monday! I know that dehydration and starvation are not the way forward (and for those of you who know me and worry about me, rest assured that after the last couple of days I could never be a bulimic or anorexic!) but wouldn’t it be nice if, as a reward for putting up with the icky bug I’m slowly pushing out of my system, the weight gods could allow me to keep off that 4lbs! I know, I know, as soon as I weigh myself tomorrow or the next day, after eating and drinking relatively normally, it will all have gone back on. However, I shall persevere with the diet, and soon that 4lbs will be gone for real. If anything, this bug may have helped a bit as it has reduced my appetite (these things always do, don’t they?) and is making my brain crave healthy foods.

Happy days!

Eating bad things

I want to find someone who has felt the same as I felt recently. While at work recently, a friend did a bakery run and offered to fetch cakes and pasties for us all. Without thinking I ordered a french bread pizza and a chocolate covered, patisserie cream filled doughnut. When he returned I ate them both without giving it a thought. But then ten minutes later I felt awful. It wasn’t that the food had gone off, but my recent weight loss attempts have included some sort of self-education and self-programming as to what sort of foods I should be eating and what I should be avoiding. And when my friend asked me if I wanted anything to eat my mind went completely blank as to my diet, and stayed blank until well after I’d finished eating. As I said, ten minutes after I had finished eating I started to feel ill, and I really wanted to be sick. It was almost as if my brain was telling me that I was feeding my body all the wrong things and I should get rid of it. It was quite scary. I sat quietly for a little while until these feelings subsided, but I continued feeling ill and having no appetite for most of the rest of the day. Now, this must have been, at least in part, attributable to my cold. However, I’m sure that most of the reason that I felt ill was guilt at having eaten these things which I have been avoiding for so long. But the part of it which has been puzzling me the most was the total thoughtlessness which led to my buying the food in the first place. I had very carefully taken fruit to work so that I would have something to snack on, so it wasn’t that I was particularly hungry.

Maybe I’m over-analysing myself. However, I want to work out what it was that a) made me buy the food and then b) made me feel so ill afterwards. I’m trying to build up a healthy relationship with food rather than using it as a comforter, but from this experience it appears that I might have veered too much the other way. Surely it’s not right that I felt ill for the day after this slip?

Any help and advice welcomed!

Weight loss progress – end of week 7

I’ve not weighed for two weeks, because I knew that last week wouldn’t be a reassuring time to have a weigh in! And I probably shouldn’t have weighed this morning after a huuuuuge roast dinner last night (roast pork, all the trimmings and also pudding with double cream!) but I did, and I’ve lost 1lb over the past two weeks. However, small and insignificant as this loss seems, I will not become downhearted. It is a loss not a gain, it is all progress in the right direction and next week my loss will be greater!

This week I pledge to drink more water and try to reduce portion sizes, especially if I cook another dinner like yesterday! I also hope to get out and do some exercise this week, although some of my exercise I think will be in the form of housework and decorating. More next Monday.

Weight loss progress

There won’t be a graph for your perusing pleasure today. I have decided that I’m not going to have a weigh in this week as I gave myself the weekend off the diet to celebrate my wedding anniversary. We had a chinese takeaway on Saturday night, as well as sharing half a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream. We then had croissants for breakfast yesterday, followed by a roast dinner at lunch time cooked by my mother in law, and then a chocolate cake for dessert. So, although I’ve only had that day off, I think that the weight which would show today would probably be inaccurate and not indicative of my progress overall. Therefore I’ll weigh in again next Monday, after a week of my diet being back to normal and I’ll be proud to be able to tell you that I’ve lost more weight, I’m sure. I plan to start up my exercise this week again, which will all help.

Update on the diet, end of week 4

I’ve lost a couple more pounds this week, which takes me up to nine pounds overall! I’m very happy with that as I’m still just short of the end of my first month, and as I had a target of losing seven pounds a month I’m two pounds ahead of target. And so I’ll move on to next month’s target – I hope to have lost a stone by the end of September! The children start back to school next week, which I hope will facilitate my being able to do more exercise. I’ve not yet decided whether to try to go back to the gym or just to focus on cycling and walking. I’m leaning more towards the cycling as I can fit it in with other daily tasks like fetching bread and milk from the shop and suchlike. Ah well, time will tell. I just hope that my will power keeps me on track for another couple of months at least so that I can start to see a real difference in myself.

I was very proud of myself yesterday. We went out with two of my husband’s relatives for Sunday lunch to a pub in North Cardiff. They all had roast dinners but I managed to avoid the temptation and had a chicken and bacon salad. It was really nice, and I didn’t miss the roast dinner at all. I think that it tasted nicer because I knew that it was a healthy choice and that I wasn’t damaging my diet by eating it. I’ve noticed that I’m definitely not enjoying things like pizza at the moment, even when I’m actually eating them, because I constantly have on my mind that it is a bad food choice if I want to be slimmer by next year. I’m glad of that though. This is what I’m trying to educate my brain to tell me, rather than accepting the ‘quick happy fix’ that junk food and snacking has to offer.

In other news, visits to my blog went past the 20,000 mark yesterday! This is great, especially as it was only in about March that I reached 10,000 and I thought it would take until about Christmas to get to this target. So thank you to you all for visiting and helping Jennieworld Today reach this target. Roll on 30,000!

Update on the diet, end of week 3

I’m content! I’ve lost another 1.5lbs this week, bringing me up to a total of 7lbs or half a stone in three weeks! I’m a week ahead of my target to lose half a stone a month, so I can get stuck into next month’s half a stone a bit early!

I’m especially pleased as I had a slip on Saturday night and gave in to the temptation of Dominos Pizza. However, it was a slip not a slide as I managed to get it together before having lunch with my husband’s family yesterday – I only had a drop of gravy, lots of vegetables and no pudding. And then quiche and salad for tea. So I feel that I redeemed myself yesterday!

This week I’ll be happy with another 1.5lbs if that’s possible. I’m hoping that the weather will be better than last week so that I can get out with the children and go to the park a few times. They’re old enough now that I can take them swimming on my own, so I might try that either this week or next as well.

I’m so glad that my will power has kept up this week – it’s such a good feeling to see the chart going down!