Friday, 30 June 2017

Slimming down (clothes and body)

Thanks once again for the positive comments, we're really getting into the Fasting diet and feeling confident we'll be able to carry it on indefinitely.  We had our second fast day on Wednesday, had mushroom omelette and tinned tomatoes for brunch, followed by veggie stirfry with a small amount of thinly sliced beef for dinner.  I used a supermarket pack of ready-prepared stirfry veg - won't be doing that again, it was too full of hard big pieces of core and stem and stringy outer leaves of cabbage.  I only bought it for convenience, as we were going to be out for most of the day and I wouldn't have a lot of time for chopping loads of veg.  We do like stirfries though and it's a good thing to have on fast days, I'll just make sure I prep my own veg in future.

I've ordered a couple of fasting/low carb books from A**zon, looking forward to getting those.  Haven't weighed yet but definitely feel less bloated already.  I've managed to get out with OH for dog walking 4 times this week, but am still having bad backache and lots of muscle would help if I remembered to do the exercises the chiropractor gave me!

We'll be having the next fast day on Sunday, it'll probably be 2 rashers of bacon with mushrooms and tinned or fresh grilled tomatoes again for brunch, OH likes to feel he's still able to have a cooked breakfast on a Sunday, albeit without the beans or toast!  I'll do poached chicken breast with a pile of green veggies for dinner.  I doubt we'll do the same days every week for the fasting, it will depend on what we're doing, but we'll definitely try to have 2 (or even 3) fast days per week.

I spent Wednesday going through my wardrobe and chests of drawers and thinning them out.  I was quite ruthless, throwing out anything I didn't love wearing or hadn't worn for about a have 2 dustbin bags full of clothes and a carrier bag of shoes for the charity shop.  So there's now plenty of room for the new clothes I shall need when I've lost loads of weight!  😎

It looks like I have another couple of new followers, welcome and thank you for reading.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Betty pic and 1st Fast Day

I tried to post this pic yesterday, but Blogger (or my computer) wasn't cooperating.  Betty was licking OH's head (to try getting his hair to grow perhaps?!), she just loves jumping all over him, especially when he gets down on the floor (he'd just been looking for something in the bottom drawer of the sideboard).

Some new followers have joined, welcome to you.  And thanks again for the comments - several of us are now dieting it seems, I hope we can all support each other.

We had our first fast day yesterday and it went well.  Michael Mosley has recently updated his Fast Diet and now says that, instead of the 500 cals per fast day for women and 600 for men, everyone could have around 800 cals and it will still work, albeit possibly a bit slower.  I'm not going to be slavish in counting calories, but know that by drastically reducing carbs/portions the calories will be a lot less.  OH says he doubts he would manage on just 1 meal on the Fast days, so we're having 2 - brunch and dinner, we have our brunch around 10 am and dinner about 5 pm - that way we have a good long fasting period between dinner the night before and our brunch on Fasting day, and then another long period between Fasting day dinner and breakfast the following morning.

So yesterday for brunch we had 2 rashers of lean grilled bacon, 2 of the large Portobello mushrooms and half a tin of tomatoes, OH also had a poached egg.  For dinner we had some roast beef slices from out of the freezer, heated through in gravy made from an Oxo cube, and a pile of green veggies - cabbage, broccoli and courgettes.  I did miss the roast potatoes, but never mind, I didn't die!  We'll have our next Fast day on Wednesday.  

I've managed to walk Betty with OH both Saturday and Sunday, although by last night my back was killing me again.  It's not too bad this morning though, so will go again today.  Even if I only do one of her walks daily, and a short one at that, it's still better than nothing.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

How to tackle the weight problem

Thank you so much again for the lovely supportive comments, I've been so touched by the amount of empathy and positive support I've had from you all.  Pam, I did laugh at your first comment when you said "Keep your chin up" - it should have read 'chins' plural!

Starting diets (or healthy eating regimes) has never been a problem for's keeping it going that I find hard.  So I'll need support in a month or so if I find my resolve wavering - I'll have to make sure I come back and admit to it if I'm losing my mojo.

OH is keen to lose weight too - like me, he's lost around a stone since we've had Betty, but it seems to have come to a standstill now and he'd ideally like to lose at least another stone.

On Friday we went out for a pub lunch.  I had a Ploughmans, with huge wedges of cheese, some doorstep sliced freshly baked bread, both wholemeal and white, and a generous ramekin of butter - none of those tiny little foil-wrapped packets!  It came with a lovely mixed salad with seeds and balsamic dressing, slices of apple, pickled onions and 2 kinds of pickle, it was gorgeous.  And then I had a dessert, which I very rarely do - since being diagnosed as diabetic I almost never eat puddings of any kind, unless we're staying with someone or on rare occasions when we go out for a meal.  I had a Black Forest Sundae - it was pieces of chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream, cherries soaked in Kirsch, chocolate chips, topped with cream and a Flake.  Oh yum, it was lovely if extremely sweet.  I didn't eat it all myself, we got 2 spoons and shared it between us.  And then last night we had takeaway fish and chips for supper, another rare treat.

There is a point to eating all that calorific/carby food - I knew that it would make me feel unwell.  Lots of carbs, especially wheat-based ones, and sugar always affects me, making my joints ache, giving me bad stomach upsets and severe bloating, and making me feel very lethargic and just total yuck really.  Which is exactly how I woke up feeling this morning.  It's like I need to make myself ill to get the resolve to do something about it, it certainly puts me off carby, sweet or heavy food for a few days.

So the new healthy eating regime starts now.  We've had a discussion about how to go about it and have decided to do Michael Mosley's 5:2 diet.  We've done both that and his BSD 8 week 800 cal diet and both found the 5:2 easier to stick to.  We know the 5:2 will mean a slower weight loss but that's fine, it's a marathon not a sprint.  We're also going to cut down on carbs on the non-fasting days and have smaller portions.....our portion sizes have crept up over the past few months, so we'll use smaller plates.

I've just tried to post a Betty pic but Blogger won't let me for some unknown reason.....there've been a few odd things going on with my computer for the past day or so, since a new Windows 10 update installed, grrr.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Weight problem Part 2

Wow, so many comments!  You all seem to understand very well how I'm feeling, that's so reassuring.  I think sometimes we do tend to think that we're the only one and that nobody else knows or understands how we feel, when the reality is that there are many, many others in the same position.  Several of you are also diabetic, or have other health problems that restrict exercising.  Some of you have lost weight - Sheila and Eleanor, 7 stones, blimey!!  That's amazing.

I suppose what's prompted me to talk about this weight/size issue is an incident that occurred a couple of weeks ago.  I was walking through the small shopping centre in town by myself (OH stayed in the car with Betty), wearing jeans and one of those cold shoulder tops which, if I'm honest, was a bit tight on me.  2 blokes in their late 20s I guess walked past - one of them stared at me and said something, quite loudly, then he and his mate both laughed.  I won't repeat what he said, but it was very insulting - a rude 'fattist' comment - and I was absolutely mortified, so embarrassed and upset I had to gulp back tears.  I didn't say anything to OH, having forced myself to breathe and calm down, but when we got home I immediately went upstairs and changed out of the top and haven't worn it since. 

Years ago I would probably have shrugged the comment off and not shown how much it hurt me, but over the past few years, since I've been going through the menopause, my confidence has taken a real nosedive.  There are plenty of big women who have the confidence to wear what they like and don't give a shit what anyone else thinks, and good for them, I admire them.  I used to be more like that, but not anymore, I just don't have that confidence anymore.  And it's for that reason that I wouldn't go swimming for exercise, like some of you have suggested.  Well, I'm not a very good swimmer anyway, but I just wouldn't be seen dead in a swimming costume in public.

So that comment, and the recent hot weather which made me feel so uncomfortable, have prompted me to change things.  None of my family or friends know exactly how I feel, although OH has a good idea and is supportive.  It's easier for me to say - well, write - it on my blog to you lot, than it is for me to talk about it face to face with people who know me.

Thank you so much for your supportive comments, it's so good to know there are people who understand.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

A big weight problem (pun intended)

This will be a hard post for me to write, as I am very self conscious about my weight - I pretend I'm not, that I couldn't care less about what people think of me and just brush it off, but that couldn't be further from the truth actually.  I do care and get very embarrassed and upset, although I hide it, when I know people are looking at me and thinking 'look at the size of her!'. 

I've had a weight problem most of my life.  I wasn't a fat child - photos of me taken when I was about 5 or 6 show that I was actually quite skinny.  However, around the age of 8 or 9 I put on weight and got quite chubby, it was known as puppy fat back then and people (including our GP) were always saying to mum, in front of me, 'oh it's just puppy fat, she'll lose it when she gets older'.  I think that's when I started to become self conscious, especially as I started developing boobs at about 10 or 11 and classmates commented and laughed (I was the first girl in my class to have a bra aged 12 and can remember being hugely embarrassed when my mum first bought it for me).

Between the ages of 12 to about 16 I did lose a fair bit of weight, becoming almost skinny again - partly I guess because I was getting taller, but mostly because there was a lot of traumatic stuff going on in my life then.  However, once I was in the Sixth Form at school and we could wear our own clothes, life was less structured, I got a part time job and started going out more with friends, I again began to put on weight.  Trips to the pub and takeaways with friends, earning a bit of money and being able to buy chocolate and crisps for lunch at school resulted in me gaining 2 or 3 stone.  And then when I was 19, a friend of my mum's said to me 'You're too young and too pretty to be so fat!' (it was at a party and she'd had a lot to drink).

So I started going to SW diet classes - with that friend of my mum's!  I stuck to it quite rigidly, losing 2 stone in about 3 months and getting down to a size 14.  At that point my then boyfriend told me he didn't want me losing any more weight as I was getting too skinny!  So I stopped going, even though I'd intended to carry on until I was a size 12....well, we all want to please our boyfriends when we're young, don't we?!  Ironically, we split up shortly after that when I met the man who I would go on to marry.  Although I was no longer dieting, I maintained the same weight for 3 or 4 years - a very hectic work and social life, plus upping sticks and moving from London to the Midlands with my future husband saw to that.

Well, then we got married, lived in a rented house for a year and then bought our first home together.  I was working full time with quite a long journey by public transport to/from work, eating toast for breakfasts, sandwiches and crisps for lunches, garlic bread with a pasta dish or pizza as a quick to make meal when we got home, or a takeaway when we didn't feel like cooking.  Lots of meals out with friends (there were a couple of those 'all you can eat' buffet style Chinese/Indian places nearby) and pub outings meant my weight began creeping....well, more like galloping.....back up again. 

And so fast forward many years until now.  3 or 4 years ago I was the heaviest I'd ever been and was diagnosed with T2 diabetes, which was a shock.  Since then I've lost about a stone.  Getting a dog just before Xmas last year and starting to go for twice daily walks meant I lost another half a stone, without dieting.  However, 6 weeks ago I sprained my Achilles tendon and could hardly walk around the house as I was in so much pain, and the limping had a knock on effect and gave me terrible backache too, so walking Betty was out of the question....thank goodness for husband who's been walking her by himself.  Yesterday I weighed myself - I'd been putting it off, dreading it, feeling sure I'd have put weight back on, but was pleasantly surprised to find I'm actually a couple of pounds less than I was before spraining the tendon.  I reckon it's because of doing a fair bit of walking last week when we were away in Cornwall and, although I've been resting quite a lot since we got back as a result of awful back pain, eating a lot less because of the heat this week. 

The overpowering heat of the past few days has meant I've felt terrible - sweaty, uncomfortable and headachy, I feel like I have nothing suitable to wear - well, nothing I'd be happy to wear in public.  And that's been the worst thing for me this week - we've had to go out a few times and I've had to wear things that cover me up....partly because last week I got sunburnt a few times (I'm fair skinned and burn easily), but also because frankly I'm too embarrassed to have large chunks of my flesh on display.  So there I am, covered up, sweltering and sweaty, feeling like I'm melting, whilst all around me are much slimmer women looking effortlessly cool in shorts and little vest tops. 

I've had enough of this, I can't go on like it anymore, I've got to lose weight so I can start feeling better about myself - and obviously improve my health!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Been away

Thank you Sheila, 50 and counting, and Knitty nutter for your comments on my last blog.  Betty has, we think, now more or less finished her season.  Her spaniel farm dog suitor hasn't been seen for a couple of days and she seems less restless and more like her normal self.  We'll be ringing the vet this week to arrange for her to be spayed, it'll probably be in a month's time (they say it needs to be several weeks after the season finishes, to allow the previously blood-filled uterus etc. to get back to normal).

We've been away visiting relatives and had a lovely time.  Went to a bbq with some cousins last Sunday, hadn't seen them for years and it was fantastic to catch up.  Then last Monday we went down to Cornwall to stay with my brother and sister in law, they are wonderful hosts and we always have a great time with them.  They had several days out planned for us, in fact we were out pretty much all day every day - lots of walking, lunch on a sunny restaurant terrace or pasties on the beach, plenty of coffee & cake or ice cream stops, all outdoors.  We met up with an uncle and aunt and another cousin, who were staying near Bude on holiday, had a lovely walk by the canal and lunch out.  Hadn't seen them for years either, in fact the last time we saw them was in Southampton hospital when my uncle was in a medically induced coma following a big heart attack, 7 years ago.  None of us thought he'd survive that, but luckily he did. 

As I said, it's been lovely, but I'm not feeling very well now.  It's been scorchingly hot all week, and I don't do well in hot weather - being fair skinned and blonde I burn easily, get heat rash and headaches, and hot weather just wears me out.  My Achilles tendon is still painful, meaning I'm limping and walking awkwardly, which in turn is making my left hip and back hurt a lot.  My back's been spasming the last couple of days, which is painful.  And eating pasties and cream teas (well, you just have to when you go to Cornwall don't you?!), as well as burgers, etc (2 bbqs) plus cakes to go with coffee stops, and ice cream of course - all things we don't normally eat at home.  So my stomach and joints are now suffering, but it was worth it for all the fun we've had.  And it's not like we do it every week.  I am glad to be home now though, and will be having a few days doing not a lot and eating just chicken and fish with salads.

Oh, and yesterday we went to an air show at Weston super Mare, they have it every year.  We were on the beach with about a 1000 other cars.....more hot sunshine, but combined with a sharp wind, gave me a headache and even more of a red nose. 

Took lots of pics over the past week, will post some when I've sorted them out and put them on the computer.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

No rest for the retired!

Wow, it's the 10th of June already, 10 days since OH retired, and our feet haven't touched the ground....don't know where the last 10 days have gone, we've been so busy.  There's certainly been no wondering what we might do today, it's more a case of we've got so much to do and not enough time to do it in.  OH is outside most of the time, catching up on all the potting up/planting jobs that he hadn't time to do before.  The raspberries, which he thins out every year, are again threatening to take over the entire fruit bed, so he's been getting all the runners out again.  He's also been weeding (why do weeds always seem to grow faster and stronger than everything else?!) and netting everything that the birds are eating or will attract the dreaded white cabbage butterfly.  He's also been to help an unwell elderly (more elderly that he is!) neighbour with his garden. 

I've been trying to do more decluttering.  We both have a tendency to hang onto things - me for sentimental reasons, OH because 'it might come in useful sometime'.  My aim is to eventually get every room fairly close to a minimalist state, so it looks tidier, needs less cleaning, and we can find things we need in a hurry!  I've done a fair bit of cooking too, meals like cottage pie, pasta bake, curry etc. for the freezer, and a lot of dog food also made and frozen.  This is all for days when I don't feel like cooking or am too busy.

Betty is still in heat (2 1/2 weeks now, still dripping although that part of it is lessening, thankfully) and is keenly interested in male dogs, especially her ardent suitor the male unneutered spaniel from the farm down the road.  He's running back and forth along the garden fence every day, he even managed to get in the garden the other day, he squeezed in through a hitherto unseen gap.  Thankfully, Betty wasn't in the garden at the time, we saw him through the glass door, OH chased him out, he went out through the same gap he came in by (presumably) so at least OH could see where it was and mend it with some small bore wire fencing.  We take Betty out early morning and late evening now, always on the lead at the mo, when there are fewer, if any, other local dogs around.  She's still so restless, clingy and out of sorts, she even keeps trying to hump her bed cushion, obviously pent up hormonal frustration!  Poor thing.  Can't wait for it to be over and done with so we can arrange for her spaying, she's definitely not going to have another season.

People keep asking why we don't want to breed from her as she's such a lovely looking dog and they reckon we could sell the pups for a lot of money - bonkers, we wouldn't even consider it, it's hard enough coping with one lively puppy let alone a few of them!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Change of plans

Thanks everyone for your retirement congratulations for hubby....he's enjoying his new life so far - well, we both are.  The only thing is we both keep forgetting what day it is, him being here permanently now is muddling us up!  I'm sure we'll get used to it sooner or later.

Well, this week was supposed to be our celebratory (anniversary and retirement) week of days out, but the weather has put paid to that - rain, or at least heavy showers, and gusty winds forecast for most of the week.  Never mind, we'll spend this week starting our big declutter instead....after all, we can now choose to have a day out whenever it's a nice sunny day.  It'll probably be best if we stay in this week anyhow, as Betty is in the middle of her season and is now showing a definite interest in male they are in her!  Can't wait for it all to be over, she's so not herself at the mo, poor thing.

So today we're starting on our so-called utility room.  It's a brick built outbuilding stuck on the side of the kitchen, it used to house a bread oven (long since gone, although the chimney is still there) and a loo - the previous tenant ripped that out ages ago and used it as a coal shed, it now houses the central heating boiler.  The walls are mainly bare brick with one old coating of paint, which is peeling off.  The floor is bare concrete of differing levels and is uneven.  Ceiling looks to be plasterboard, heavily stained with mould in one area of about 2 square feet directly under the chimney - the chimney's pointing had all fallen out and water was leaking into the room when we first moved in, the previous tenant obviously didn't take much notice of it.  We informed the landlord, he sent builders round to repoint the chimney but nothing was done about the ceiling....the mould hasn't increased thankfully now the chimney no longer leaks, we've been monitoring it.  The previous tenant installed a range of second hand mismatched wall cupboards, which are serviceable but in need of some repairs to sagging shelves and replacement of missing or broken hinges and door knobs.  There's also a worktop running along one wall, which needs recovering with Fablon.  There's one single glazed old metal framed window with a broken metal blind, and a double glazed outer door that we put in ourselves (given to us by a friend) to replace the old rotting wooden door.  The door into the kitchen is also old, half wood/half single glazed.

At the moment, the room houses my washing machine and tumble drier, small chest freezer that we were given, plus a small under the counter freezer we'd previously bought, and spare small fridge we were also given.  I also keep supplies of cleaning stuff, tinned and packet foods in there, the packet foods in lidded plastic boxes.  It's quite a large (10 foot by 12 foot) useable space, it just needs refurbishing, and clearing out of all the junk that seems to accumulate in there.  I obviously need to go in there every day and would like it to be more user-friendly and the moment I hate going in there, it's so gloomy, scruffy and cobwebby.

We've approached the landlord and said we'd like to refurbish it.  He's agreed to cover the cost of having the ceiling treated and replastered and the floor relaid and evened out, a neighbour who's a plasterer will do the work.  We've said we'll paint the walls ourselves, as we already have a supply of white paint.  We'll also pay for vinyl floor covering once the new cement floor is dry, room size remnants are easy to come by and are cheap enough.  OH, who is very handy, will refurb the cupboards and work surface.  We'll also buy a new blind, and look out for another, better condition, second hand door to replace the one into the kitchen.

The mouldy ceiling

The uneven stained concrete floor....and a cheeky shot of Betty sniffing around for any dropped dog biscuits!

The mismatched cupboards - excuse the mess!  I did say it was full of junk ;-)

I shall look forward to taking pics of the finished and hopefully much prettier space that deserves to be called a utility room!

And finally a much nicer pic:-

The retired husband and Betty enjoying a walk in the lovely nature reserve last week.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

It's started

Well, two things have actually.

The big news is of course that OH is now officially retired.  He finished his last shift early.....clocking out at 01.00 am, about 3 hours earlier than normal.  He'd requested a shorter, easier run as it was his last day (and why not?!).  The manager called everyone together and made a (very nice, apparently) speech and presented him with a lovely watch (from the Company), huge card signed by everyone and an envelope of cash from the staff whipround.  Lots of his colleagues, and the management, said they'd enjoyed working with him and would miss him, the manager also told him that if he ever wanted to go back, there would always be a job for him (he's 66, how long do they expect him to carry on working for?! lol).  He had lots of hugs, very touching seeing as they're mostly big hairy male lorry drivers!  He was well liked there, I'm so pleased he had a good last day. 

He's got mixed feelings at the moment, understandably.  Whilst he's very relieved to have finally given up work after 51 years, and he had been finding driving long hours on night shifts an increasing strain recently, he's also going to miss his colleagues and all the banter, if not the actual work.  He's a relaxed happy-go-lucky soul though, loves working in the garden, taking Betty out and disappearing for chats with the neighbours, so I'm certain he'll not miss work for long. 

And the second, not so welcome (in fact positively unwelcome!) thing that's started is to do with Betty.  As I said, she's having her first season, she's a week into it now, her behaviour is definitely off kilter but things haven't been too bad.  But this afternoon she started whining at the door to be let out in the garden for a wee, or so we thought.  Well, when OH opened the door she shot out, barking, closely followed by OH - one of the farm dogs (none of them are neutered) was in the garden, it had obviously jumped clean over the fence.  Betty, bless her, chased it straight back out again!  Good girl, she's clearly not yet in the mood!!

We went out and bought some trellis to fix along the top of the fence, raising the height of it by a foot or so.  And she won't be going out in the garden now without one of us checking it out first and staying out there with her.  Roll on another month or two when we can have her spayed and we (and she) won't have to go through it all again.