Sunday, 31 January 2016

Crap scales!

We've just discovered, by chance, that our bathroom scales are rubbish.  OH weighed himself this morning and noticed that his weight was actually more than last week, despite a solid week of no deviation dieting.  So he got on the scales again.....and again....and it was a different reading every time.  So I had a go straight after him - weighed myself 5 times in a row and got 4 different readings....and there was a variation of 10lbs - TEN POUNDS! - between the highest and lowest weights!  So who knows what we weigh and how much we've genuinely lost?  We know we've both definitely lost weight, we can see and feel it.  To be fair, the scales are probably 10 years old (and most likely full of dust and talcum powder!) so obviously in need of replacing.  We'll get new ones tomorrow, will probably go for ones with a body fat monitor also (that'll be scary!). 

We're also going to a couple of furniture warehouses I found online, with a view to hopefully getting a new recliner armchair.  I think I've mentioned before that the one we have is on its last legs, it's about 12 years old, the leather is fast wearing out and looks decidedly tatty and the springs are going, so it gets more uncomfortable by the day.  I use this chair a lot, on the nights when I'm having difficulty sleeping I often come downstairs and sit/recline in this chair, I even manage to sleep in getting a replacement is a priority.  We've seen a few second hand on ebay or in 2nd hand shops, but none were any good for one reason or another.  We've got money saved for it, but would just rather have been able to buy one second hand but good quality, as is our usual way.  I'm just a bit suspicious about the ones I've seen online in these warehouses though.....although new, they are quite a lot cheaper than others I've seen.  Obviously we'd like to pay as little as possible, but I don't want it cheap and nasty!  A bargain is not a bargain if it's not going to last.  Still, we can but look.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Still yuck

I thought I felt a bit better this morning, but just kidding myself.  Still feeling crap, slept again this afternoon for another couple of hours, still absolutely no energy whatsoever, aching, limp, soooo tired.  Off to bed.  Thanks for all the good wishes, I am listening to my body and just's all I can do right now anyway.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Run over by a steam roller....

....that's how I feel right now.  I have zero energy, my neck glands hurt, a crushing headache keeps coming and going, and I keep suddenly feeling so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open - literally.  OH asked if I thought it was to do with the, I don't think so at all, I reckon it's some sort of virus.

Spent the afternoon in bed yesterday and actually asleep for a couple of hours.  Got up at teatime, but fell asleep again in the armchair in the evening, waking up to go to bed about 10 pm.  Slept most of the night, got up around 6 am and came downstairs to get a coffee and put the washing machine on (husband had brought the washing down for me last night).  Sat in the armchair and promptly went to sleep again for another couple of hours.  See what I mean?  I just seem to want to sleep and sleep, I still feel tired now.

This is highly unusual for me, unheard of almost, as I have had insomnia practically all my life.  Perhaps it's 50-odd years of sleeplessness catching up with me!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

A quick clarification

Following on from my previous post.....

Dawn and Marlene have both commented on my loss of 9lbs - thank you both.  Dawn....9lbs is nothing really to me, hardly notice the difference and will explain why in a minute.  Marlene, 2lbs off is really good, well done.

I'm a big girl, as in I have stones (about 4 of them) not just pounds to lose, so even a big initial loss of 9lbs isn't really that noticeable just yet.  The bigger you are, the more weight you tend to lose in the initial couple of weeks.....and it's mostly water anyway (I've been peeing for England this past week!!).  The loss will steady off very quickly, I'm sure.....that kind of loss isn't healthy or sustainable over a period of time!  I'm expecting it to be more like a pound or two per week within the next couple of weeks, which will be fine. 

As I've said before, whilst the weight loss is gratifying, it's reducing my blood glucose to normal levels and keeping them there, and thus being able to come off my diabetes medication that's the most important thing to me.

Diet success

We've now been on the 8-Week Blood Sugar diet for one week, so weighed this morning and took our fasting blood glucose readings (husband isn't diabetic, but we took his reading for comparison purposes with mine).

I've lost 9lbs (in a week!) and my BG has come down from 8.3 last week (not good) to 5.4 today....that's normal, non-diabetic level (anything below 5.6 is normal level...husband's is 4.7).  Husband has lost 5lbs.  I will continue to monitor my fasting BG and if it stays at normal levels for another week or so, will make an appointment to see my specialist diabetes nurse with a view to coming off my medication.

I'm not going to be always going on about the diet here, that's not what this blog is about, but it is part of my life and a very important part right now.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Getting fitter

I'm stuck at home 4 days a week whilst OH is at work (I don't drive, and we live in a very rural area with no public transport) - not that I mind, I don't at all, but it does mean that I'm not as active as I could be.  Walking around our rural lanes is a bit of a no no - they're very narrow (one vehicle width), full of mud and with tractors and horse boxes going down them all the time.  Sometimes it's possible to walk in the fields, the farmer doesn't mind, but it depends whether there's livestock or crops - they're not organic, they do spray their crops. 

Whilst we're on this diet, we do want to exercise as well to aid weight loss and fitness.....OH, although he's an HGV driver, does a fair bit of walking and manual work during his shifts, so he's ok.  We do have a good quality heavy duty exercise bike....I haven't used it much recently but intend to start....I'm going to try Michael Mosley's suggestion of doing some High Intensity exercise - 10 second bursts of high speed against resistance pedalling, interspersed with slower pedalling with less resistance.  I think even I can probably manage 10 seconds! 

In the afternoons I generally sit crocheting or crafting whilst watching a film....I think it will be a good idea to stop every hour and run (walk!! more like) up and down the stairs a couple of times, or have a quick couple of mins pedalling.  Any exercise is better than none, I just need to get into the habit of doing it.

Changing the subject, I've killed 2 flies upstairs this morning.  Living on farmland with lots of cattle and sheep, flies are a perennial problem here, but not generally in the middle of winter!  Our recent (very brief) cold snap clearly hasn't killed them off.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


As mentioned before, I'm diabetic T2 and overweight, OH isn't diabetic but is also overweight.  At my last annual review last November, my blood glucose level had gone up a bit...I'd been having problems with side effects from my medication and hadn't been taking it as regularly as I should, which had caused my BG to rise....I knew it had as I test myself regularly and intended to discuss options with the diabetes nurse at review.  We mutually decided that I should change to a different med that doesn't have the same side does, however, have a couple of negatives - it can in a few people affect the liver, giving you jaundice.  I have a minor congenital liver defect which can also give me jaundice under certain circumstances, so I have double the risk with this new med, so have to have regular blood tests to be monitored.  No problem, I'm more than used to those!  However, the new med can also make you gain weight. I need that!!

OH mentioned last week that he'd really like to lose a stone, which gave me the incentive to do something about dieting.  Coincidentally, the TV doctor Michael Mosley has just published a new diet, called The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet - it's a very low carb, low sugar, 800 cal per day diet aimed at T2's and those who are pre-diabetic or at risk of becoming so.  Perfect.....fate obviously!  So I read up on it, ordered the book (it arrived yesterday) and it seems perfect for us.  You follow the diet as much as you can for a month, then check your weight, BG and BP (via the GP if necessary - I have a BG monitor and BP one too at home) - if they've gone down sufficiently then you can relax the rules and go on to a kind of maintenance diet, or you can carry on for another 4 weeks.  It's healthy home cooked food, plenty of veg, lean meat and fish, no bread, potatoes or pasta but brown rice in moderation.  You can also have dairy (inc. cheese and butter!), nuts and pulses in moderation too.  No alcohol though.....well, not for the first 4 or 8 weeks.  Oh, and no fruit juices.....juices have no fibre and are more or less pure sugar.  It's a sort of Mediterranean diet, you're encouraged to have olive oil on your veggies.

We've been doing it since Sunday (I found quite a bit of info on the internet so was able to start before the book arrived) and both of us feel good - no unpleasant side effects like you can get on some strict diets.  I have been weeing a lot though.....that always happens when I go very low carb, carbs clearly make me hold on to gallons of water!  I had a sneaky peek at the scales this morning and have already lost 6lbs - now my weight does tend to fluctuate from day to day, and it's obviously a water loss mainly at the mo, and the scales might show something entirely different tomorrow, but it's encouraging all the same. 

We're eating very well - today's main meal is cottage pie made with veal mince (got it reduced in the supermarket the other day, I thought it was venison initially but veal is just as healthy), with a topping of mashed cauli with a bit of grated cheese and butter, rather than mashed spud.

Yesterday was chicken breasts cooked in chopped tinned tomatoes with chopped red onions, mushrooms and pesto, topped with a bit of ripped mozzarella.  Monday it was pan fried trout with roasted Mediterranean veggies and a little brown rice and lentils.  Sunday was roast chicken with mashed swede and green veg. 

It's all lovely and we certainly don't feel deprived or even like we're on a diet.  We are having portions slightly smaller than we would normally, and are not snacking between meals (or having cheese & crackers before we go to bed!).  I've not been feeling hungry at all, although husband has said he doesn't feel as full as he would normally, but he knows that's a good thing!

I do feel heaps better already, having dropped the carbs - carbs have always affected me quite significantly, not only with bloating, gut ache and alternate constipation/runs, but giving me aching joints and making me feel sluggish and generally just yuck.  That's all going rapidly.

I think this will be a way of life, not just a short term diet.  I'll be very interested to see how my BG falls, as well as weight.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

That Swedish shop...

Went to Ikea today.....unplanned, but got a message late yesterday from a friend asking if we wanted to meet up there for coffee.  This friend I haven't actually met before, we know each other through a forum and have emailed and spoken on the phone and have similar interests, so I knew we'd get on well.  We did....she and her husband are lovely, the four of us chatted as if we'd known each other for ages, no doubt we'll do it again soon.

As we were there, we (the Royal we!) decided to have a look round the kitchenwares section.....well, it would be daft not to, their bits and pieces of equipment are so cheap, you can come out with a bagful of stuff for about £20 (we did!).  Got some utensils, glass Kilner-type storage jars, tea towels, napkins, freezer bags, the exact type of lemon squeezer I've been after for ages, plus a couple of pretty flower covered storage boxes for my wool. 

We don't go there often, it's about an hour's drive from us, but it's good to go and stock up on a few things occasionally.  I'm not that keen on their furniture, generally speaking (too modern and stark for my tastes), and I hate the fact that you have to traipse round seemingly endlessly through EVERY department.  But I do like the kitchen stuff and it's so cheap, but is robust and doesn't fall apart after 2 uses.

Thank you for all your comments on our Ilfracombe holiday, we did enjoy it but are glad to be back home and into a routine again, and eating healthy home cooked food again!

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Back and thinking

Back home, OH enjoyed his birthday holiday in Ilfracombe, thanks for all your birthday (and age) comments for him, he's got over his fear of becoming an old man.

The cottage was lovely, very well equipped with ample good quality cutlery, crockery and glasses (how many times have we been to places that had just the basic minimum crap stuff they could get away with), lots of books, CDs and DVDs, and very efficient central heating.  Had a nice view of part of the harbour.  Good location on the edge of the town centre, although it was right opposite 2 pubs so there was a bit of noise at closing time....not bad though and only lasted for a few minutes.

The only downside of the holiday, and one which we hadn't really considered, was that as Ilfracombe is primarily a holiday resort, at least 2/3 of the shops and restaurants were closed for the winter, which was a bit of a nuisance.  We'd planned and budgeted for eating lunch out every day and just having cheese & biscuits or toast in the evenings, to give me a break from cooking.  We were a bit limited for choice in where to eat, therefore, but we managed. 

Went to the pictures twice - Star Wars which was husband's choice.....he enjoyed it but I was bored and thoroughly confused, seeing as it's not really my thing and I've only ever seen one Star Wars film before and so didn't have a clue what was going on or who half the characters were.  Then couple of days later we saw The Danish Girl....much more up my street.  Quite difficult to watch in some parts, but a very absorbing story and I did enjoy it.  Although enjoy is probably not the right word.

Ilfracombe is nice, we've been before many years ago and I'd forgotten how hilly it is.  The weather was mostly dry, we were lucky in that the couple of times it rained we were indoors at the time, so didn't get caught in the rain at all.  However, it was VERY windy and bloody freezing cold....trying to walk uphill with a gale force icy wind blasting you in the face is not pleasant!  And wherever we walked and whatever direction, the wind ALWAYS seemed to be coming straight at us.  Huh.  Well, we can't say we didn't get any exercise or fresh air!

Some pics now....I didn't take many as it was just too blooming cold to stand still trying to hold and focus my phone in frozen hands (I'd forgotten to take gloves, how idiotic).

These gigantic brick structures, which I thought were a horrible eyesore and OH thought were a marvellous bit of building work, house the tourist information centre, a theatre and a very nice café.

One of the many beaches, we didn't go down on it as, although it was sunny, it was just far too cold and windy.

View of the harbour from the cottage side window.

This is Verity, a very pregnant woman done in bronze by the artist Damien Hirst, it's at the entrance to the harbour just around the corner from the picture above.  It's huge, 66ft, this side of the statue has her skin peeled back to show all her insides, including the foetus.....very clever indeed but pretty gruesome!  The artist, who apparently lives near Combe Martin, also owns a restaurant by the was closed (like most others!), having a refurb.

Well, although I took several notebooks intending to write lots of lists and plans, not a single word got written.  We did, however, do lots of talking about plans....I also did lots of crocheting and OH watched a lot of TV and generally had a good rest.  He works hard and long shifts through the night and doesn't get a lot of sleep, so he deserved a week's relaxation.

Now we're back home and getting back into a routine, I'm going to get those notebooks out and start using them.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Happy birthday.... my officially 'old' man!  He's become a pensioner today, bless him....he keeps saying I'm now his official carer (I'm 10 years younger than him)....I say I've always been his carer ;-)

He's actually been a bit down in the dumps about it all recently, says he feels like he's suddenly become an old man.  I told him all it means is that he's one day older than he was yesterday, and everyone we know says he doesn't look or act like a 65 year old. 

Today's just a normal day really.....birthday celebrations start on Sunday when we go away.  OH is off to work this afternoon, I'm doing housework and packing.  One lot of washing already done, another load about to go in the machine....I like to make sure the washing basket is clear before we go away, seeing as we always bring mountains of washing back with us (I'm sure we must change our clothes 2 or 3 times a day, without us even noticing, whilst we're away!).

A loaf of bread to bake this morning, clean the kitchen, put all the dry washing away, finish the packing, then that's me done.

And it's a lovely sunny day!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Crochet and daffs

Thanks for the comments about my supermarket bargains.  Kate Steeper mentioned whole bries at 25p in Tescos.....unfortunately, we don't have a Mr T nearby (amazingly!).  We had to go into town again today so popped back into Sainsbugs to see whether they had any more hams.....nope, not at 70p anyway, hardly surprising.  OH decided he'd have a load more of the 10p mince pies to take into work on Friday - it's his 65th birthday then, they don't normally do a cake thing on birthdays at his work, unlike most of the places I've worked at, but for 10p a box he thought it was worth it!

The recipient of the gifted throw I crocheted (my sister) has now received it and is delighted with it, I'm happy to say, so I can now put on a picture of it:-

It only took me just over 3 weeks to do this one, I'm getting quicker!

When we were out last week, we saw these:-

Loads of daffodils alongside the road.  They're so early aren't they?  I know others have mentioned seeing daffs flowering too.....does that mean when Spring comes there'll be no bulbs in bloom?  :-(

Monday, 4 January 2016

Great bargains

Just got a couple of really good bargains in the orange supermarket.  Boxes of their deep filled mince pies reduced to 10p - they had stacks of them, we were very restrained and just bought 2.  I don't eat them as they're far too sweet for me (I'm diabetic), but OH likes them and it saves me making a cake for him this week!

And they had 1.2 kg shrink wrapped gammon joints reduced to 70p - yes, 70 pence!  Dated to 14 Jan, they're a discontinued line, apparently.  There were just 3 left on the shelf, a chap in front of us picked up 2 of them, so we were left with the last one  (should have elbowed him out of the way ;-) hehe).  We've already got a large piece of gammon in the freezer, but for 70p we weren't going to leave that behind.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Finishing and prepping

I've finished crocheting the throw that is to be a gift, have been sewing in the myriad ends, a job I loathe doing.....still got a few more to go but have stopped for a break.  Must finish today though, as it's got to be posted off tomorrow.

This week is all about finishing up a few jobs and preparations for other things in the pipeline.  I've got 2 black bags full of clothes for the charity shop, just need to sort out some shoes, books and a few unwanted kitchen things to go too. 

We're off on holiday next week, it's OH's 65th birthday holiday, so there's packing to do for that.  We will be using some of the time away to make our plans for this year, so I'm packing a few notebooks to write lists and plans in.

I want to spend a couple of hours starting on a new craft project I have in mind - it's just a trial at the moment, to see if I can do it easy enough.  If it works out ok, then it's something I will hopefully be doing a lot of.  More to come on that another time. 

I also want to crochet a test swatch for the next throw I plan to make with the lovely flecky wool I bought in Hobbycraft last week, I'm taking the wool away with me to do next week on hols. 

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my end of year post, you are kind. 

Welcome to my new followers Ariel El vikingo dark, mchild, Jan Doling and KC'sCourt, happy to have you and I hope I don't bore you to death!