Snowy sunshine

Snowy sunshine

Monday, 29 June 2015

Helloo! I've missed yooouu!!

 Wow, that was a long break from blogging!  I don't know what happened.  I went on holiday, thought about posts, promised posts but never quite got round to taking the laptop out from its hidey hole and turning it on.

So, very belatedly and now somewhat unseasonally, some chilly, rather grey photos from Northumberland in May.  Yes, I appreciate these make it look as though it was November but it was May, honest.  And not THAT cold or grey.  We actually had quite a good week weather-wise and a lovely one as holidays go.

This walk was from Warkworth to Alnmouth.  Well, to a view of Alnmouth as, when we got there we discovered we couldn't cross the river without a monstrous detour. So we stood on the dune and looked at it.  We never did get to Alnmouth!

Northumberland is always gorgeous though, whatever the weather.  Massive skies, stunning beaches, big dunes, sand martins for the dogs to chase, great golf courses, nice pubs, good restaurants and friendly folk.

Yep - there it is - Alnmouth the unreachable.

So, what's been happening since we got back from holiday??  Golf mainly.  We have both been playing a LOT! Since Rich joined my club we have been joining in with the mixed comps on Bank Holidays and some Sundays and that adds to our normal, already packed schedule.  Good though.  I'm not playing particularly well sadly, although I have had some good rounds here and there.  But it's been a great summer for golf so far.

Although I'm noticing that when we're not playing we're watching which might be taking things a little far...

A reasonable amount of swimming although this has dropped off a little since the weather got better and the pool got busier.  I'll have to start going at more anti-social hours to combat the crowds.

Hardly any running. I managed a run along the canal last Monday and it was my first outing for 5 weeks!!  Eeek.  Will have to rectify that.

I've spent a fair bit of time over at my parents.  3 days and 2 nights last week to allow my father a break from constant caring of my mother and a trip down south for an Anna Netrebko concert.  Sadly Anna was ill and the concert cancelled but with my encouragement, he still travelled and went to visit various old pals from decades ago.  It sounds as though he had a wonderful time judging on how "light|" he sounded over the the phone after their various excursions.

Mum and I had a good time too.  I took her out for lunch one day which was a laugh and reminded me how lucky I am that, although she is not her old self, she is still here and we can still make the most of what time we have together.

Work.  Dull, apart from when it's stressy and very hard at the moment.  There is TOO MUCH to do.

A little bit of socialising in between the golf.    A few weeks ago I started feeling a bit boring, slightly lonely (not counting Rich), as though we were spending too much time together and not enough with other people.  I suppose that, during the football and darts and dominoes season, we automatically see people several times per week.  In the summer it is more golf based which is less social.  Anyway, on recognising this hermit phase, I made a bit of an effort and organised a few nights out and now the next few weeks are a bit TOO full!  Typical.

Gardening and working on the house.  The garden is now (as of today) fully re-fenced and that had made a huge difference.  Now I can see that any effort I make on the beds, pots and lawn will be worth it.  When the fence was battered and falling down with patched up sections it seemed as thought any effort was pretty much wasted.  So, roll on the nice weather for some serious weeding and planting!

Lots of lovely, evening dog walks hunting for the perfect swallow-chasing field.  We have hit the motherlode over the last few evenings and the dogs have been in swallow heaven.  It is great having the light to go for walks in the evenings and, even if we don't find swallows, we do enjoy the fresh air.

And, in between all that, a little too much sitting on the sofa watching rubbish sport and reading pulp fiction.

Dieting has taken a back seat, very definitely, but when I make myself step on the scales I am reassured that I'm still holding onto that solitary stone off.  Just.  I am working up towards getting started again before all that hard work goes to waste.  I know how quickly weight can creep back on and I am determined that, while this year might not see 4 or 5 stone come off, it will still be a losing year.  If I managed to drop and then maintain 1 stone off in the first 6 months of 2015, surely I can manage to drop and keep off another stone in the second 6 months??  Not too dramatic an aim.  A manageable target.

And the work towards it starts now. Well, tomorrow, I've had quite a good day today anyway.

My mini target for tomorrow is a run along the canal at lunchtime and to limit my intake of bread - a salad for lunch.

I'll let you know how it goes - this week I hope!!

Friday, 12 June 2015

A month!!

A month!! A whole month. Sorry peeps for the desertion. I'm still holding onto (just) that hard won stone off but not making any progess downwards. It all starts again on Monday!! I'm in a rather dull seminar right now so can't chat but will post properly with some pics very soon. It's a rainy day tomorrow so that might be something nice to do. Lxx

Tuesday, 12 May 2015


We're having a lovely if somewhat breezy time here in Northumberland. I love it here. The beaches are just stunning and empty. The dogs LOVE it cos there are sand martins flying every evening so they run around like mad things.

We have walked for miles, golfed in a howling gale (exhausting) and eaten and drunk like people who know no limits! I think it is the sea air...well, that's my excuse and I just don't care as we're having a wonderful time.

Photos later.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


Not doing very well this week.  I WAS doing well then had a vicious and unscheduled bout of food poisoning which temporarily helped with dropping weight but scuppered exercise and derailed eating with care.  There was far too much pain,white bread going on.  Then there was a beer-based last away match of the season in Watford on Saturday (what a day!), a lazy Sunday and a golfing Monday followed by meal afterwards.

The Bank Holiday confused me (doesn't take much) so I didn't actually weigh in on Monday but I'm thinking a small gain.

So, the plan is a careful, sensible week this week, followed by a wonderful holiday week in Northumberland, followed by a serious renewal of vows when I get back.

I have started well today with a delicious crab salad for supper.  Mmmmhmmmm

Exercise is taken care of this week with golf tomorrow and Thursday and swimming or running on Thursday so hopefully I can reset the few bad habits before we go away.  I'm not too worried though as the holiday will be active and lovely and there is plenty of time to get back into losing ways following our return.

Good luck to all on diets, both the active and successful and the lapsed and languishing.  WE. CAN. DO. IT!!

Monday, 27 April 2015

On the move again

I don't know why I stopped posting regularly over the last 2 weeks but I do know that I missed it.  I have composed countless posts as I have ploughed up and down the swimming pool or walked the dogs but, when I am home sitting next to the laptop, I somehow got out of the habit of writing some of them down.

Maybe that first week it was bewilderment that the confidently predicted "reasonable drop" actually materialised as a mysterious gain of 1.8.  That was compounded by pure laziness and a dash of the old "fuck it" attitude.  But this last week I have got my act together again returned to the basics of tracking (mostly), exercise and moderation and I still didn't blog,even though I KNOW it helps me!!

That's why I dashed off that last post - to break the hoodoo and make sure I got bck on the horse asap. This morning has been weigh in day and there has been no reluctance to stand on the scales or calibrate where I am up to.  Strangely, although I was expecting another stay-the-same or, at the best, a small drop, I have manged a very respectable 2.6 off, taking me into fresh fat!

So to stats:

Start weight - 17.0.4
Week 14 drop - +1.8
Current weight - 16.0.4
Total drop - 14

Start weight - 17.0.4
Week 15 drop - 0
Current weight - 16.0.4
Total drop - 14

Start weight - 17.0.4
Week 16 drop - 2.6
Current weight - 15.11.8
Total drop - 16.6

So, as you can see, I have effectively taken 3 weeks to drop a single lb!!  Ha ha

I prefer to look at it like this - I could have given up but I didn't.  It has happened often before at this sort of stage in a diet.  An unexpected gain causes me to waver and ultimately wander off to regain anything I have dropped.  But I didn't.  I retrenched for a week and then got back going again and now I'm a lb ahead of where I started.  This is GOOD news.

It's only bad news if I were to start imposing deadlines on myself - I must weigh X by May, I must drop Y by June.  Then, a 3 week hiatus means failure.  But what is the point of a deadline??  I'm 45. I've been fat most of my life to varying degrees and I'm trying to learn how not to be.  THIS is my life now, not when I have dropped X or Y. Now.  So, if I can live my life, do lots of fun things and also diet and exercise so that, for the most past, I'm heading in the right direction, however slowly, that is a success!

Over 16 weeks, I have reversed the entire trajectory of last year and that should be a cause for celebration not disdain.

What have we been up to in the last fortnight?

  • Not running!  I am still plagued by that torn left calf so I'm leaving that well alone for a few weeks.   
  • Lots of swimming.  I can't express how gorgeous it is at the open air pool in Hathersage in the sunshine.  It's like being abroad.  I have been going at least 3 times a week and am LOVING it.  I have swum at last 1/2 a mile, mostly 1km and occasionally a full mile each time and can feel the benefit already.
  • Golf, loads of it.  I played well a couple of weeks ago and my handicap has been cut to 15 but I suspect it will be up to 16 soon as it was only just at the top of 15 so 2 more poor rounds and I'm back up.  But good news nonetheless.  I also played in our first match of the summer and trounced my hapless opponent 4 and 3.  We were away at Headingley Golf Club in Leeds yesterday and it was heavenly in the chilly but bright sunshine.
  • Decorating.  We have almost finished painting the hallway and stairs.  We've done all the bits around the stairs and have had the new carpets fitted.  It looks great.  Just a few bits in the downstairs hallway to finish off.  Next up the bathroom which looks very dingy by comparison!
  • Dog walking. Natch.  In fact I have a most disgruntled Shelagh sitting next to me expressing the opinion that we should be dog walking right now.  Soon, my love, soon.
  • Football. Natch.  It's pretty dire but only one more match to go this coming Saturday - away at Watford.  An early kick off so we have to leave home at 6.30am!!  Gah.  Roll on next season when hopefully we will have some new players and maybe a new manager to bring back some sparkle.  Although the overall result of 13th in the Championship is better than last year, the results at home have been awful - just 4 wins all season. 4!!
  • Socialising.  A bit, not much.  Went to see a band called Grin Factor at our local on Saturday which was good.  Managed not to drink too much so didn't ruin either the diet or golf on Sunday morning which was even better.
I can't be bothered to talk about work.  It's not too bad right now but not great either.  2 more weeks until we have a week off for our holiday in Northumberland (Amble).  Cannot wait.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

I'm still here...

Having a break from blogging and not exactly racing down the scales but not doing badly either. I'll be back soon, promise. Hope your endeavours are going well. Don't let yourself be derailed!!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Swimming, running and musings

Apologies for TMI (again) but it feels relevant.  I seem to be heading in the right direction despite some tribulations.  Physically, I'm healthy but until yesterday I had been having a continuous period for nearly 3 weeks.  Not unduly heavy and not bad symptons but damn persistent and just, tiring and energy sapping.  Also, Rich has had a nasty cough/cold and I think I've been fighting it off which also takes its toll on energy levels.

However, despite that, I've managed to stick to my regime for the most part and am hopeful of a reasonable drop at weigh in tomorrow.

With my car being poorly since Tuesday, it has been harder to fit in swimming as we're sharing cars but I managed a lunchtime run along the canal at work on Thursday and swims Saturday and this morning.  The canal run was good as I made myself extend my usual run beyond the 2nd lock taking it to 4.6km from 3.5km.  Next time - 5km!!

I was particularly proud of myself going swimming yesterday as the weather was grim.  I was up to drop Rich off at the golf course and really felt for him after a sunny work week, having to play golf in the cold wind and rain.  But I still managed to talk my reluctant chimp into the pool and powered up and down for 36 laps in 25 minutes!

This morning I only went for a quick dip while Rich was snoozing - 28 laps in 20 minutes but it was equally "brisk" so still good work.

There seem to be quite a few regular diet-y bloggers suffering from a loss of motivation at the moment.  I've been pondering on what causes this - why,when you're happy with your diet and happy to be dropping weight, does it suddenly become so hard to stick with a regime which was easy and working only weeks before??  It happens to everyone and sometimes you can plough on through and get back to the grindstone while other times, the stumble heralds weeks and months of gaining and frustration (see 2014).

Looking back, I think I nearly faltered this last few weeks myself.  The combination of unhelpful bodily cycles, social life,a hard year end at work and slow progress on the scales definitely ended my honeymoon period with this latest regime but somehow, either though luck or judgement, I have managed to steer myself back onto the SW track.  Maybe the early hint of spring has helped with the swimming pool and hills beckoning me and reminding me how nice it would be to have some summery clothes which fit me this year rather than having to go out and buy bigger ones like last year!!

As to whether there is anything we can do to regain mojo, I don't know but I DO think it must be within our power.  I suspect it is about chimp management and doing a series of small things to head in the right direction until the diet-love returns.  There have been days when I have been close to cutting loose and eating everything in sight  but somehow I have limited the damage.  The difference this time is that I seem to be able to recognise when I truly need to loosen up a bit and enjoy some treats and do just that (but no more) without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I mentioned a mini chocolate fest in one of my recent posts which was one such occasion.  I was so close to letting go but started with a lush hot chocolate and a piece of toast with Nutella and then realised I didn't need any more and stopped.  Despite the chimp voices in my head, I didn't eat biscuits, or more toast, or finish off the Lindor truffles which are my evening treat or any other contraband.  I had some extra stuff but then stopped.  Wow! It IS possible!  Who knew??

So, the result of all this rambling navel gazing is that I'm feeling cautiously positive for the next few weeks at least and that, in dieting world, is pretty much all you can ask for.  Good luck everyone else who is striving to become or to stay slim - may your mojo be ever with you.