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Monday, 19 December 2011

Congratulations!

Well everyone, here we are: the final check in.

Thank you to everyone who participated, I hope this challenge was helpful to you and motivating. If you made your goal then don't forget to post a picture in your awesome new item of clothing! If you didn't make your goal then congratulations for the attempt, keep going! As for me, I'm finishing this challenge slightly heavier than I started (doh!) but things could be worse. Even if I didn't achieve what I wanted to here, I got to read a load of new blogs and get to know quite a few new people.

Can you all believe it's less than a week until Christmas? Where did the time go? Are any of you making new year resolutions?

I've had a couple of people ask if I was planning on doing any other challenges now that this one is over; the answer is no, I will not be hosting another challenge. I've enjoyed hosting this one, but with me going off to China in February I don't know how my internet access is going to be n the weeks before I get set up in my new apartment, so I can't guarantee I'd be able to put weekly links up. If anyone has any other challenges in mind though, please let me know! It would be fun to take part in one I think.

Alrighty then, here's the last link!


Friday, 16 December 2011

Shopping good.

Oh. My. God. you guys, have you tried the BADgal mascara by Benefit? I spent far to much money on make-up today and I don't care because look what it does:


My sister bought some a few weeks ago and has been raving about it, but it's pretty expensive and I like to use waterproof mascara, so I didn't think about it too much. Then I saw pictures of my sister wearing it and got super jealous of her pretty eyes. It's like magic!


FOR THE RECORD, MY FACE DOES NOT USUALLY LOOK LIKE THIS. I WOULD LIKE IT TO LOOK LIKE THIS MORE OFTEN.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Week 12 Check In

How is everybody doing? I'm still buried under a mountain of paperwork, and will probably have more coming. My exam for book-keeping is tomorrow, but I'm not hugely worried about it. I've gotten a first class pass in all my mock tests, so as long as I'm careful on the day there is no reason I can't get a good mark. My log in for the TEFL-C modules I need to do to get my visa have also come, so that's more work to focus on. It's busy busy busy here.

My step-mother got out the car a couple of weeks ago and asked to borrow some money, it didn't matter how much so long as it was a note. I gave her a tenner and she held it up between her and the tiny thin crescent of the new moon and shook it. Apparently one of the thing she grew up with was if you shake money in front of the new moon, your money will grow as the moon grows? She's from Ukraine and I like hearing these occasional titbits of information like that. So I smiled and did it too, then thought no more about it. Then last week I got a letter form the tax office telling me that I'd overpaid my income tax and here, have a cheque for £140! The Government wanting to pay me money feels a little like someone handing me a unicorn, but it definitely came at a good time as I am broke at the moment.

Weigh in is the same, but I'm still on the tail end of TOM, so that might be it. I stopped eating after 19:30 5 out of 7 days, and will try and make that all 7 this week. The weather has been bad so that really cut down my exercise, only one walk this week. Hope everyone had a good week, let's all pull together and make the last week the best shall we?



Thursday, 8 December 2011

Red Tape

I had an upswing in weight the other day which didn't go away, I had broken out in spots too so I assumed it was my confirmation of non-pregnancy come to call, but it was touch and go whether I was going to avert the Big Freak Out when things were taking longer than I expected to resolve themselves, but fortunately for all (except my various aching body parts) I have now been proved right.

My visa paperwork has started! Oh happy day. My recruiter sent me eight (8!) things to fill in so that he can process the invitation letter & employment license I need from China so that I can actually start applying for the visa here in the UK. I remember Japanese red tape being bad, but in reality they were soft - SOFT I TELL YOU - compared to how I think China is going to be. I've asked them to send me details on whether I need a pre-medical check in order to apply (the requirements are different depending on the country you're going from). I think I do and that will be time consuming if I have to get referrals etc. However, I know it's compulsory to have a medical check in China once I get there, so I might get lucky and be able to skip it beforehand. Fingers Crossed!

Bleurgh, it's been raining all day and gale warnings are in effect (up in Scotland they have 100mph winds!), so after work I'm going to raid the freezer and see if there is anything in it that will negate my need to go to Sainsbury's (it's my turn to cook tomorrow). There's also a possibility of a little snow tonight/tomorrow. Apparently my new computer has arrived (yippee! Dad got it me as an early Christmas present as my laptop was glitching) so I'd much rather be indoors sorting that out.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Week 11 Check in

Oh the things that I've had going on this week!

On Friday I failed my driving test. Again. I was thrilled. But that was the only bad news for the week so that's something. I did well in my mock tests, scoring in the 90s both times so I'm quite well sorted for that I think, and the big news is I was offered the job in China with Disney English!

On a sidenote, it was the easiest, fastest recruitment process I've been through in a long. long time. There were some technical hitches with getting my application submitted, but once that was done on Sunday night, I got an email Monday morning inviting me for a Skype interview, had the interview Wednesday, and was offered the job at the end of the interview. It was kind of shocking! When I went for a temp retail job over Christmas I had to do an online application and aptitude test, a phone interview, and a 4 hour group interview to get in.

At the end of the Skype interview the recruiter lady said 'Well, I think you'd be fantastic in the role and we'd love to take you to the next stage', and I thought 'oh, yeah, they must do a face to face in person as well' (which I had been expecting). Little did I know the next stage was 'so what time frame are you looking to leave in?'. When I told her January onwards would be fine, she said I had a choice of three cities leaving in February (Choices! I was expecting to find out when I got there), and I called her back a few days later with my choice of Nanjing. I'll find out which of the two centres I'm at when I arrive, but apparently they try and give a choice in terms of which city where they can. It's such a surprise that it can be do easy after the year long application for China, and the hoops I've had to jump through for even basic part time work here in the UK.

So yeah! I'm leaving February 9th for Nanjing!

The news has left me feeling quite buoyant, and hugely motivated. In terms of my eating and weight loss, I've been completely on track since I heard the news. I don't want to be this weight when I go out there, and that has given me a big motivational boost. I've put myself on a 7:30pm curfew for eating and it has helped ENORMOUSLY. I eat so much at night, to just say 'no' and be able to stick to it has been of great help to me. Typical that it happens all of two weeks before the challenge finishes! There is a chance though, that I could finish this challenge under my start weigh (something that that was looking depressingly unlikely for me a week ago).

This challenge hasn't really worked for me I'm sad to say, but I think I went about it the wrong way mentally. I was hoping the challenge would motivate me because I was struggling, when really I needed to be motivated to tackle the challenge. It's a shame I haven't done better being the host and all, but it has kept me from losing it completely when times were bad. A couple of weeks ago I briefly saw 240 on the scale and it made me want to cry, a clear 10# over my start weight. Today, after 4 days reasonable eating and no night junk, the scale said 231.8 and I'm thankful for it. Some of you have done so well on this challenge, I wish I could have been a better example to you. I hope someone out there decides to do another after this finishes, I think perhaps I'd make a better participant than host. My motivation appears to be back so I think I'd do more justice to the next one. If I can get away with maintenance for this challenge then that's something at least.

So how did you all do this week? Last week's sign ins were a bit sparse, I'm guessing due to Thanksgiving. If you've had a foodfest over the holidays, please please please don't be embarrassed or ashamed to sign in. It's trying again that counts and we'll welcome you with open arms, don't give up just because Christmas is coming, I'm proof of how fast things can change.



Monday, 28 November 2011

Week 10 Check In

So sorry everyone!

I've had a bit of a busy day, coupled with intermittent Internet problems, and I just completely forgot about putting the check in up! As oppose to when I just wish I could forget about it;). Actually, the Internet connection is fine, but my wireless adapters have decided to have a tantrum, which makes me think I need a new laptop. Ideally I could ask for one for Christmas, but I don't think I can go the month without mine.

How was every body's Thanksgiving? That was this week for American's right? I hope you all had a lovely time and got some bargains in the sales. Things have been OK here, I had a driving lesson (test on Friday - merp), and I got through to the next stage of my Disney English application to go teach English in China for a year. I have a Skype interview with them on Wednesday (assuming my Internet lasts that long - I DON'T NEED THIS EXTRA PRESSURE). It's kind of long, they said leave 60 minutes? I assumed it would go: online application, Skype interview, face to face interview, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the logistics of interviewing worldwide just mean they use the Internet. When I did the International programme at the Florida theme park I had to go to their head office in London to have my face to face, but that involves a lot more people I would think. Guess I'll find out? I've also just (about 10 minutes ago) finished a mock exam for my book-keeping course and I got 95%! Now if only I can do that on exam day.

So many things to freak out about, so little time!


Monday, 21 November 2011

Week 9 Check in

Sorry this is late! I wrote the rest of this post earlier and thought I had posted it, but just went to check the links and saw it in my drafts. Sidenote: Does anyone know what has happened to E.Jane? Her blog has been deleted :( Crisis averted :).

I was toying with the idea of pulling out of the challenge since having to buy a new dress, not stopping the challenge (you're all doing so well!), but not taking part. Then I thought about it and now I think it would be pretty shoddy of me to do that, even if I doing terribly. It's kind of hypocritical of me to tell people to keep trying and do their best if I blow the whole thing off myself. So here I am. Weight is up 2 pounds from week before last, but down 4 from TOM weigh in, so I suppose how good/bad I did depends on your perspective.

I was reading Michele's post yesterday and it galvanised me into trying to oil the treadmill, hoping against hope that that was all it needed. It wouldn't even pretend to work for a while after, it just sat there moaning. I think the motor is well and truly burnt out. The weather is getting cold, and very dark very early here (dark at 16:30 before I leave work dark), so I'm really not doing much exercise at all. Excuses excuses I know, but you'd be amazed how hard it is to motivate yourself with it.

Work is very quiet today, but all the paperwork we sent out last week for revisits will be coming back on Friday, and will all need to be processed and turned that same day to get them out for regular visits in time, so things will be absolutely manic.

But enough about me...


Saturday, 19 November 2011

More Shopping

Everyone is away for a wedding in Cornwall (5-6 hour drive away) so I have the house to myself for a few days. I'm hoping I don't go nuts while everyone is away, food wasn't great today, but wasn't full out binge.

So, I've coming to terms with the fact that I really haven't put the effort into this challenge I should have, even though all you guys have been fantastic! I actually weigh heavier now then I did when I started, which isn't a great feeling. I had to be realistic and accept that even if I go hardcore for the rest of this challenge there is no way I'm fitting into my dress by the date I need to, so when I went into town last weekend I picked out something new for myself.

On a side note, things didn't go exactly to plan that day. I was supposed go and find something for my mum and step-mum, instead I spent £130 on myself and came home with no presents - Christmas shopping fail!

If you'll excuse the crappy phone pic, here's the new dress! Due to afore-mentioned crappiness, I don't know how much of the detailing you can see, but it's made of a black glittery material, and the shoes are gold glitter rather than the colour material they look like (in case you haven't guessed, glitter is very much on trend for the UK right now, also, the return of the cowl - the seventies are back baby).

I was trying to avoid going to town again because it's going to start getting busy with Christmas a-comin' (35 days! No, that's not a Christmas countdown app on my phone...) but after taking the above picture I decided I didn't like the gold shoes. Originally I wasn't going to wear black tights, so the gold shoes would have been fine and would tie in the gold belt, but then I realised my legs the outfit really needed them, so the shoes didn't look that great. That meant today I went back into town. The bad news is I was right, it was absolutely heaving with people! Really busy. The good news is my step-mum's present arrived via post this morning and I got my mum's in town so my Christmas shopping is now finished, I shouldn't have to go in again. All I need now is to wrap. The really good news is that I got these babies to replace my gold shoes:

I think they're going to look much better. They do have an unfortunately down side of being impossible to walk in, but I love them enough that it's a price I'm willing to pay.

Party on people!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Week 8 Check In

God, is it that time again? I won't be weighing in this week as I'm on my period (again, it feels like I always am sometimes).

This week has flown by as per usual, but the feeling has probably been mad worse due to the fact that everyone has been running around putting out fires (so to speak) at work. I work in quite a small company, and we found out beginning of last week that one of the engineers (a recently hire who has been working with us for a couple of months) has basically not been going to sites properly. Instead he's been driving to most sites (still missing a few) and stopping at them for a few seconds before moving on, then forging the results he's supposed to collect (thinking that the tracker on the van only shows a map of where he's been, rather than all the times it actually shows). Going through the paperwork it looks like he started doing it pretty much as soon as he finished his training (so once he was left alone), caused pandemonium, so we're having to sort out revisiting a load of sites.

We miiight have got through the worse now, assuming the plan for this week goes smoothly and the person dad hired last week to replace the guy is OK. Honestly though, in this economy who would throw away a perfectly good job right before Christmas when your girlfriend has a baby on the way? It's been a little stressful anyway.

But that's not what your here for! How did weigh in go? You know the drill, so here's the linky:


Monday, 7 November 2011

Challenge check in week 7

Hello Comrades. I understand last week some of you were buried under a freak snow event, is that still the case this week? Hope you're all staying warm.

I failed my driving test. FML. So many countries have joke tests where all you have to do is start the car, go to the end of the road and turn around, why couldn't I live in one of those? I have another one booked for December 2nd, but if I there is a cancellation closer I'll take it.

Weight-wise I'm up. I was doing fine (weight was the same as last week) until literally this morning, owing to the fact that I ate more bread yesterday than any reasonable person should ever. So my weigh in today is 231.6, that's +0.6. I walked twice, once on Saturday to the library, and once yesterday to the store, which is not the three times I was aiming for, but is a damn sight better than the big fat zero I had clocked up on Friday night.

Enough about me, what about you? Check in below!


Friday, 4 November 2011

Not that Friday Feeling

Ugh, the clocks went back an hour last Sunday and now it's pitch black when I leave work! This had seriously affected my walking, as I haven't done any. I think weight is about the same, so no major disasters, but bad weather and darkness do not a happy me make. I was going to walk today after I finished in the office - dark be damned! - but it started pouring rain an hour or so ago and it hasn't stopped yet. It's days like this I wish the treadmill still worked, I may try it again and see if it has magically fixed itself.

It's a secret (shhh!) but I have my driving test tomorrow. I'm hoping for cloudy, but not raining, weather. If it's bright the winter sun hangs too low and blinds me, not to mention it reflects off the water on the road (see previous paragraph, re: rain) making the road markings really difficult to see. Everyone pray for me as Saturdays usually mean idiots both pedestrian and driving, and just because they do something stupid doesn't mean I can't fail for it. I still haven't told my dad because I didn't want the extra pressure, but I'm hoping to give him a good surprise.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Challenge check in Week 6

Big shocker, but I'm running late for my driving lesson so I'll make this quick. I weighed in at 231 this morning, that's a loss of one pound for the week. I am very glad to be able to report a loss for a change! I managed to get in my three lots of exercise and overall made some reasonable choices. I wasn't perfect, or even close, but I was better and it showed. Hopefully it will continue this week.

Hope everyone had a good week! Try and resist the Halloween candy!


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Contain your shock...

An actual update! Determined that this week shall be better than last I wanted to make sure I posted on days other than check in, hopefully to keep me a little more 'present' in the challenge.

I had plans to walk yesterday, but then 10 minutes before work finished we had quite a fierce downpour. Huddled under my umbrella as I crossed the garden back home I though it would put paid to any exercise outside. It rained hard for about 15 minutes, but then seemed to ease into a light drizzle. I dithered for a few minutes, torn between waiting the rain out because I didn't want to get wet, and saying 'sod it' and going now. Eventually I let the voice of reason telling me that even if it stopped raining I was unlikely to go after dinner when I was warm and full and outside was darker and colder (it's getting dark so early now!) prevail, so 'sod it, go now' won after all.

I was justly rewarded for my efforts! I stepped outside, wrapped up in a jumper and my coat, to find the rain all but disappeared. This was on the horizon (causing me to give up hope originally):


Fortunately I turned around and realised I was heading in this direction:


I walked to the supermarket and back (3.2 miles), it may have rained while I was in there I'm not sure, but I stayed dry both ways.

10 minutes after I arrived home, it started to seriously pour again. I'm so glad I didn't put it off! It's half term week here in the UK, so schools are closed. This means I don't have to rush to college tonight so I'm going to walk again, give myself a bit more leeway later in the week if my enthusiasm wanes. Food today has been good, if sparse (I chose sleep over breakfast, and as my breakfast is actually lunch I'm now hungry), but then it's food in the evening that tends to be a problem for me. I've had some grapes for a snack, but I need to eat something when I get in so I don't buy unhealthy things when I go the shop.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Challenge Check in, Week 5

I know I seem to say this every post now, but how has another week passed? If time goes any faster I'm going to get whiplash.

Food this week was middling, but I didn't get enough exercise. The newly revived scale says 232, which means I've now got a net gain for the challenge (fail!). That being said, I have no idea what last week's weight was, so that could well be a loss for the week given how I ate while I was away. Therefore, I've decided no freak out necessary. I do wish I could find my proper kick ass mojo again though!

Hope this week has been awesome for all of you! I will make some time tonight to go through the blog list and check in properly, I've been neglecting you all.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Challenge Check in, Week 4

Sorry for not being around this week, and for not checking in on everyone's blogs. The first few days I redecorated my room and didn't want my laptop around as I stripped wallpaper and painted in case I got anything on it. The last few days I spent in a holiday resort in Skegness with my mum and family because it was my mum's 50t birthday, and though I took my laptop so I could update, there was no wifi access on site.

Food was bad, let's get that out the way right now. Most places to eat there some kind of fast food, and I didn't try to make good choices. Oddly though, mentally I'm in a better place now then I was at the end of last week, even though physically I feel significantly fatter. I say 'feel' because my scale decided to do the merciful thing and through up gibberish and err messages when I stepped on it, apparently it needs a new battery.

On the plus side, I want to go downstairs and eat vegetables and other things that were grown in the earth, it's significant how much worse not eating good stuff makes you feel. Even when I'm binging on bad stuff, I tend to have my 5 a day and things, so it was odd not to.

I hope everyone's week went well! Thank you for all the comments last time, I really was feeling like a failure and the reassurance helped. I'll try and be more supportive to you all in turn this week.


Monday, 10 October 2011

Challenge Check in, Week 3

Weight last week: 228.0#
Weight this week: 230.4#
Difference: +2.4#

Ugh, UGH, I don't even want to talk about it.

I will say thank you for all for the supportive comments though, and thanks particularly to Lauren whose well timed chat over google stopped me from baking a batch of scones and then falling face first into them.

This is stupid, I'm being stupid. I'm exercising, if I eat right I will lose.

Here's the linky, you all know what to do. Please remember to add your links, just updating your blog isn't enough! We need to be able to actually go and see it.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

ARGH!

I've spent the last two days in full out binge mode, and the damage is bad. Not quite sure what else to say about that really other than the fact that I absolutely do not want to weigh in tomorrow. I feel really crappy that I did this to myself.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Thursday again

Seriously, every time I turn around...

Autumn has decided to return to the UK, and I'll admit I missed it. The sun was lovely, but I was just about ready to start snuggling into blankets and jumpers again.

Today has been fine so far, I think yesterday was a bit off though. Nothing major, but I didn't track properly, which I think may have led to me eating either slightly more than I should of, or if I wasn't over then the food was less balanced. I did my walking after work but I had to get some shopping when I got to the supermarket, so by the time I got home I was tired and decided to take the lazy way out and have a weight watcher's chicken curry microwave meal and some asparagus for dinner. It's rare I eat convenience food. Everyone else went to Ming Moon though, (a massive all you can eat Chinese buffet in town), which I declined, so overall I think things could have been much much worse. I was slightly up from yesterday when I stepped on the scale this morning, but I think that's because of the unbalanced food.

Exercise has been going fine, I walked Monday and yesterday, so I'll walk again either Friday or Saturday to round off my week. I've noticed that it's started getting darker earlier and it was super windy yesterday, which is making walking outside less pleasant, but I'm still doing it for now. I think I need to get some new shoes though, I've started to wear through my current ones, leaving me with soggy feet yesterday. Tonight I won't be walking though, I have to look at the 'show me tell me' questions for my driving lesson, and at some point this week I need to do my accounting homework.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Challenge Check in, Week 2

I have a driving lesson in half an hour, so this is going to be rather a flying update.

Weight last week: 229.6#
Weight this week: 228.0#
Difference: -1.6#

I'm glad to see a bigger loss this week. I was going to moan it wasn't more as it's higher than my low point yesterday but then I remembered at my heaviest I was 2 lbs up on last week, so decided to shut it. If I'd had a bit more sleep I probably would have seen a bit lower, but I had to get up for my driving lesson so that's that. I did well with exercise this week, walking four times, which exceeded my goal.

I hope everyone's week has been successful! Here's the linky, don't forget to link directly to your post.



Saturday, 1 October 2011

Saturday

Denmark introduces world's first food fat tax. Hmm, what are everyone's thoughts on that as an idea. Good/Bad/Won't make a difference? Why?

Today has also gone well, I've managed to get my third walk in so I've made my goal for this week. We've had record high temperatures for October today, in the region of 29C (a very high temperature for the UK even in summer), so it seems that everyone has taken the opportunity to get outside while they can. Personally, I had my priorities in order and chose a day walk so that I could be home in time for the new series of Merlin. I passed an older couple on my way up my route, then passed them again on my way home; they'd obviously had the same idea as I did and had gone for a walk. When I saw them again I took my earphone out and laughed, saying 'back again' and they told me yes and that they really appreciated the fact that I'd smiled at them when I saw them in passing first time round, because most people glue their eyes to the floor, so they had been talking about how nice I was. It was a lovely moment.

Knock wood I'll have a good day and be able to pull a good loss for Monday's weigh in. I'm down on the scale right now, but not as much as I'd like to be. Given that at my high point this week I was at 231.8 though (a 2# gain!) I should be happy that I'm down at all! Shows what a difference a few good days can make. Tomorrow will be a full on cleaning day as it's my turn this weekend and I have a tonne of laundry to do anyway.

Friday, 30 September 2011

At last!

Almost two weeks into the challenge it's about time I was able to write this: I completely rocked today.

Lunch: Bowl of Covent Garden 'Souper Greens' soup, piece of toast, grapes, banana

Afternoon snack: Ginger Nut Crunch granola bar

Dinner: 2 Quorn Sausages, a mixture of butternut squash, red onion and red bell pepper that I oven roasted with some herbs, then finished off in a pan mixed with a little sun-dried tomato paste, and some asparagus. For dessert I had a peach.


That's 8 portions of fruit and veg AND I went and did my walking. I even left my bag at home so that I had no way of giving in to temptation and buying anything. I told my family to eat without me so I could walk straight after work, then made my own dinner after I got back. They eat around 17:30-ish and it tends to mean I'm hungry again in the evening. I'm hoping my eating later will mean I can stop the midnight munchies I have such a problem with. I'm currently on 1100 calories so I have a little leeway if I get desperate.

I usually try to not post twice a day because generally anything new I have to say in the last 12 hours can wait for tomorrow, but I was excited about this, so I figured why not every once in a while.

Paging September

HOW IS IT FRIDAY AGAIN? Where the time goes I really don't know. I've started a basic accounting course on Tuesday nights and am increasing the frequency of my driving lessons as I get closer to test level, add that to work and the days just seem to disappear. Every time I turn around I seem to be staring another weekend in the face.

I've only done one lot of walking this week so far, again, the time seemed to run away from me. I'm going to walk tomorrow night and this weekend though to make sure I hit my three times at the very least. Food continues to be a struggle, but I'll put my all into the next three days to really try and make a difference. Good thing I know you guys read this, it gives me motivation to get my arse into gear.

The weather has been kind of mad here in little Britain. Last week the temperature took a kind of plummet. The cold nights and rain that had me upgrading to my winter coat and buying jumpers, crushing acorns as I took my walk and having to stop every two minutes so my stepsister could pick up conkers to play with at school. This week? Glorious blue skies and sunshine, temperatures of 22-24C. It's been this way for four days (a long time for any type of the same weather to stick around, let alone sun) and is forecast to continue for the rest of the week. Britain, who are you and what have you done with the real country? In true British fashion I can't just have something nice happen and that be it though, the ladybird infestation of my window ledge has made a reappearance, forcing me to hover up all the little bastards and gaffa-tape my window edges shut (not a long term solution I realise, but my window isn't fitted properly, and it's the gaps that lets them in to gather and breed). I know ladybirds are on the nicer end of the 'things my room could be infested with' parade as they are of the non-bitey non-stingy persuasion, but I had to kill 14 of them when I opened my curtains tonight! I'm not that much OK with the idea of sleeping when flying insects can land on me and crawl everywhere. Fortunately, there's no way the sun can handle being here much longer, so their days are numbered.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Challenge Check in, Week 1

Hey folks, here's the very first check in, how did everybody do?

I had some good points and bad points this week. The bad was my eating, it was really quite terrible and will have to make a huge improvement. Aunt Flo is jut about packing up to leave though so that should make things easier, but late night eating really killed me. I have removed some foods I can't control myself around from the house, so that will help.

To focus on the positive, I worked out three times this week so I made my exercise goal. Yesterday I made a batch of vegetable chili, split it into portions and froze it, so I have that as a quick to prepare backup when everyone else decided to bring home a take-away, or have fish and chips. For the last two nights I've managed to not give into the temptation to go downstairs late at night and eat.

It's not all bad, but it wasn't good. If I can conquer this overeating then I'll be in good form. As host I should be setting a good example, so I'll try extra hard this week for you guys. Here are the number:

Last week: 230.0#
This week: 229.6#
Difference: -0.4#

A teeny loss, but I'll take it happily. Exercise saved my ass this week, if I hadn't done it I'd be looking at a gain right now. Everyone sign in the linky and let us know how you did, I hope your week was more successful than mine. Please link directly to your post, rather than just your blog. If anyone didn't link up a start (goals) post but still wants to be in the challenge, then please put your goals in your week 1 check in post.


Friday, 23 September 2011

A mixed bag

Tally ho bloggers! How's everyone doing? My week has been a bit of a mixed bag. Exercise is doing fine, I've done the supermarket walk loop twice so I'm on track for my three lots of exercise, but food still continues to be a struggle. I've banned nutella and crumpets from my cupboard as I don't seem to be able to control myself around either of them, so not buying them seems the best solution for now. I used to use a teaspoon of nutella as a quick chocolate fix when desperate, but it's gotten out of hand. I'm also making a concious effort from right now to limit the amount of bread I eat. Not because I'm low carbing or anything, but because I've been using it as a quick snack and it's also creeping up. I bought some cereal bars, but they're only here on a trial basis as I've had trouble with them before (I find them a little too moreish). I have the chocolate fibre plus bars (really delicious, exactly the texture I need for a satisfying bite and a good flavour), and these new ginger flavoured bars by... Golden Valley I think?). I'm saying I can have one a day, if I find it too hard to do that, then I'll cut those from the shopping list, not point putting myself in temptations way.

It sounds a little ridiculous, reading this back, that I have to take those kinds of measures, but if it works it works I suppose. To be fair, TOM arrived late last night/early this morning, so the struggles I've been having may just have been the unknown onset of that. I hope so. Fingers crossed that it disappears quickly enough (and I get enough control over my food) that I see a loss this week. I'd be disappointed if I didn't, especially as I'm the challenge host!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Things I learned today that I already knew

People here to sign up to the Christmas Dress Challenge, the linky is here. I've got 19 people in the challenge but only 13 link ups, so please remember to before it closes tomorrow!

Today I learned was reminded that if it's a case of staying in bed VS. well, pretty much anything else, staying in bed is going to win. Easily and every time. I suppose it goes back to what I said about being realistic about what you can achieve. A lot of people get up at 5am so they can exercise before they start their 'real' day, going to work/caring for their families etc. My part-time work schedule doesn't demand it (I work from 1-5pm mon-fri) and my natural sleep cycle is completely a night owl. So why am I putting myself out of sorts by trying to do my exercise in the morning? No reason it seems. So I didn't get up and went walking after dinner instead. With the weather turning it may become a problem when it gets colder, but for now I'll manage. I'm hoping to get a recumbent bike at some point, once I get the money together as they're super-expensive, which will help when it gets really cold.

So, good news: I did my exercise today, (kind of) bad news: I refused to do it when I woke up at 9am for that purpose, deciding instead to sleep some more. I also ate within calories and have decided to give myself a 9pm cut off for eating to stop the night eating I sometimes have a problem with. All in all, a successful day.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

Okay everyone! We'll be starting the Christmas Dress Challenge come Monday, so I'm going to post the Mister Linky at the end of this post so everyone can link up and check everyone else out. It's a bit earlier than usual because it's the first time, for the duration of the challenge I'm going to be putting up the linky every Sunday night, and closing it for submissions some time Tuesday. I'm keeping it open for a couple of days because I'm working on UK time and I know a lot of you aren't, but check in day is Monday.

I'm going to do a quick recap of the rules, as well as suggestions to help your progress. FOLLOW THE RULES. I've deliberately made them as few and as flexible as possible, so I'm not asking too much. Whatever else you add to them is up to you, if you feel you're capable of doing more then go for it! If you're fine with what's here now then that's great too, keeping going and being consistent is key here. I'd rather you did the basic two things and keep doing them then have a list of 10 things you want to do that make you quit three weeks in.

Rules:

1) Define your goals
Having a goal is really important, it gives you something tangible to work towards. To this end I want everyone to do a start post outlining your goals and link it up below. If you have a Christmas dress, or another piece of clothing, then tell us what size it is, and take a picture (if you can). Tell us where your starting from and where you want to get to, be it a number on the scale, a dress size, or a combination of the two.

2) Link up every week
I cannot stress this enough, the check in is compulsory. Whether you do well or whether you struggle, come check in day I want your name on that linky. Everyone has bad weeks, we're not here to mock you for them. For the check in I will expect everyone to weigh in. You don't have to post your number if that makes you super-uncomfortable, but you will have to post how that number changes (so for example, you don't have to write 'today I weigh 400#', but you would have to put 'this week I lost/gained 2#). A couple of you have pre-approved exemptions from or adaptations of this rule, you know who you are.

I would also appreciate it people would put this graphic on their sidebar and link back to me, I will have a link to all participants up in my sidebar ASAP, based on everyone that commented on the challenge description page (if you're not on the sidebar when it goes up and you should be, please let me know! If you're on the list and you shouldn't be, also leave me a comment):


That's it for the official rules! If you wish, you can also think of adding in extras such as a regular exercise target (brolmo.com do some good calendars you can put in you sidebar to help track this), a calorie/carb/point (depending on your eating plan) daily dietary target, and a fruit/veg and water target. I would highly recommend having a regular exercise target of some kind. 3 times a week is a good start, more if you can manage it, but don't sweat it (see what I did there?) if you can't. The kind and amount of food you eat is much more personal and harder to pin down, but regular exercise will make goals more reachable for every single person here. You don;t need to have a gym membership, home gym equipment, a Wii or DVDs. Those are great tools to use, but something as simple as going for a walk will do.

In the interests of leading by example, here is my start post:

Current weight: 104.3kg/230.0#
Current size: 18-20UK depending on item

Goals:

a) To fit into this size 16 dress for a Christmas Party on December 22nd:


Currently I can get this dress on my body, but I can't zip it up. I may have another dress in contention for 'the' dress, which is also a size 16, but I haven't bought it yet.

b) To exercise at least 3 times a week.

I'm hoping for a bit more, but I want to be realistic and choose goals I can stick to, so we'll say 3 for now and anything else is a bonus.

Although I don't have a weight goal in mind for this as I don't know how much it will take for the dress to fit, I also have a mini goal of getting below 100kg. It been a number I haven't been able to crack for years and I'm pretty desperate to finally see the back of it.

Good Luck everyone!



Monday, 12 September 2011

Just Do It

How much did I absolutely not want to exercise today? Why, a lot! Thanks for asking.

Seriously, I was up earlier that usual (er, that is - in the morning) because I had some training to do at work, than had work itself, then it was shepherd's pie for tea so all I really wanted to do was slump somewhere. I didn't exercise yesterday (which is fine), so it meant that I had to today. I always have a problem with non-exercise days, it's a fight to get back up and start again. I had the last episode of True Blood downloaded and a new book on my Kindle, both of which were calling me. Finally I made a deal with myself that I could have them after I'd gone out to the garage and worked out.

I was also dragging my feet because the treadmill is still non-operational, which means I got on the air-walker for half an hour instead. Turns out, I don't really like the air-walker. Ours is kind of a crappy one, so you can't change resistance, I miss knowing how far I'm going in distance, and it doesn't sweat me out the way the treadmill does, so I don't feel like I'm being challenged as much using it. I simply don't enjoy it very much. It's what I have to work with though, so I guess it's a case of suck it up and live with it for now. Tomorrow's exercise will be the supermarket loop, so I won't need to use the machine at least. Still, enough moaning, I'm glad I got it done. Calories were juuuust within limits today, but only just, so it was a good idea to burn a few.

I hope everyone is having a healthy week, and if you're not then don't give up! Make your next decision better than your last. My Christmas Challenge is still open for joiners, so take a step in the right direction.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Hallelujah

In preparation for the start of the challenge, I decided to sort myself out and try and get myself back into healthy habits. Try and make it so it's not too much of a shock when we go for real. I also thought 'well, if the motivation is there then I don't have to wait for the challenge to start' so I went for it. I'm proud to announce that for the first time in a long time, yesterday was completely clean eating (ended the day on 1256 calories and all my fruit/veggies in)! About time too. I also did my exercise, which is the hardest bit for me, despite the fact that it turns out my treadmill is not fixed after all (doh!). At 0.8 miles it conked out again. I would usually decide 'well, that's it' but the motivation was strong in me, so I had dinner and then did the Sainsbury's loop for a total of 3.2 miles, so that was 4 miles for the day.

Today is going well so far. I had an egg/spinach wrap for lunch, the went for a walk to the library to return some books (just under 2 miles round trip) so I can count that as my exercise for the day, then had a banana as a snack when I came back. There seems to be some pizza defrosting downstairs, so I'll pass on that for dinner and make my own.

Man, it feels so good to have a successful day under my belt. It's amazing the difference it makes.

Have you all signed up for the Christmas Dress Challenge? Yes, I'm going to keep plugging it. We have a group right now but I'd love some more participants, so don't be shy! I've tried not to put too many hard and fast rules in so that it's as flexible for as many different weight loss styles as possible. I'll put a few recommendations up when we start of other things you could add if you're looking for a bit more guidance, but the basic sign up musts are setting a goal and checking in regularly.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Christmas Dress Challenge

Okay, as some of you may have noticed, I have a new tab up there on the top of the page. This is my version of the Christmas Dress Challenge, and if anyone wants to join me in it, they'd be more than welcome! All the details are here, or you can just click on that little tab. The challenge will run from September 19th until December 19th, so about a week and a half from now.

I had a great time on the Summer challenge, even if I did flounder a little, and would love some company with the next big push!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Good Morning Vietnam

Aaaand I'm back. Where did the time go?

It seems to be flying by here, my step-sister returned from visiting her Ukrainian grandmother for the summer (her grandfather was over visiting here at the same time, but he's staying a bit longer yet so they'll still get to see each other) and is back to school tomorrow. My mum's 50th birthday is in mid-October, which feels right around the corner, so we're trying to get things planned out for that, and time seems to be going really fast.

I was watching a program on TV once and they said that the way we perceive time internally, that is the way some things can seem to take forever and others go in a blink of an eye) changes as we get older because it depends on the percentage of your life that time is taking. So for a child a day is forever, but for an adult that day takes up a smaller percentage of their life, and therefore time seems to move faster the older you get. This explains why every time I turn around it's Thursday again and we're gearing up for the weekend, but also makes me feel very old.

I was having trouble tracking down a dress for the challenge, but eBay seems to have come through for me. I was having a problem because the Christmas-style party dresses don't really come out until late October, but I want mine in a few weeks and I also don't want to spend the world on it. I have a tendency to go a little overboard with how much I pay for it because it's a special party, but then because of that I buy an outfit specifically, so I don't often wear it again.

Right now I have it down to three finalists (er, I say this with love for you all, but if you look and think 'ooh, that's nice, don't be a dick and bid against me, that's just mean). As you can see, they're all size 16s. It's a risk because I am emphatically not a 16 at the moment, but as they're not mega-expensive I may get a couple of them and do my best to fit into them when the time comes.

Speaking motivationally, finding some possible outfits has given me a boost. I kind of lost my forward momentum the last couple of weeks, aside from a couple of days nothing monumental, but enough that I don't want to leave myself floundering any longer. To that end, I got up this morning a little earlier (haaard! I was already doing overtime so had to be in work for nine, I'm not a morning person and usually work afternoons) to give myself time to do a full skincare routine and make breakfast and a lunch (nothing fancy, whole wheat pasta with some low fat pesto with tomatoes/cheese). It's amazing how much better and more focused you can feel from doing your make-up properly, it just makes me feel more put together and able to handle the world than when I rush from house to office feeling crappy. No one else is in the office today so it's not like anyone is going to see me, but it still changes your perspective. Choosing/having the dress(es) as a concrete goal that I can see/touch/try on will be really good for me.

Next mini-goal: I've found some silicone spray for the belt, so spray and back to the treadmill!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Filling time and going shopping!

I shouldn't really be updating from work but My. God. it's been quiet today. I'm just waiting around for an email from one of the clients so I can action the info, and watching the phone.

I plugged my lasagne into spark recipes and it comes out at about 450 calories a serving, which is less than I was anticipating so I'm feeling good about that. With a salad it makes a good dinner that everyone can eat. It was a mad dash to get it all layered up before work though, I was against the clock and left quite a mess...

I'm going to Wellsbourne Market on Monday because it's a bank holiday so no work! Hurray! This will be the first bank holiday I'll actually get off as I used to work them when I was in retail. Even though I've been super-broke this month I've managed to keep my last £50 in reserve for this (pay-day Wednesday! Not a moment to soon). The market is massive, I have a lot of memories of going to it in early December time when I was younger, to look for Christmas presents at a good price, and (later) buy dresses for the Christmas party. Who knows? Maybe I'll find 'the' dress for the challenge I'm getting ready. I seem to remember it being a long journey when I was little (but then, every journey feels long when you're little), but with where we live now it's only about half an hour away by car.

It's terrible really that I remember things by food, but we'd always visit when it was quite cold, so you'd freeze walking around, but then in the middle of the market there was this big baked potato stall where we'd go to thaw out and refuel. It's always stuck in my mind for some reason, even though there are loads of burger vans etc. It was just something we would always do.

It makes me think of Christmas, and I've realised it's not really that far away in terms of pay-days (!). I've been trying to work out my budget, and if I don't want to be stuck I'm going to have to start putting some money to the side for it each month. I've set it up in my budget program on my laptop, so I know how much I'll have to work with total. I'll keep an eye out for anything I think people will like while I'm at the market anyway, because it's likely to be cheaper. I don't mind saving them for a while if it means I can spread the cost out rather than panic in November.

Edit: GOD DAMN IT! I just got an email from my period app telling me I'm due in a couple of days. I absolutely refuse to have my final weigh in while TOM is here, if it comes to it I'll give the WI a bit late.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Good news

Both yesterday's food and today's have been good, which has been a huge relief. I walked to the supermarket to get some ingredients for tomorrow's dinner (I cook for the family every Wednesday) so that was just over 3 miles. The treadmill is still kind of iffy so exercise is a little harder for me right now.

Dad's requested lasagna, baked potatoes and salad for diner. I'm going to be using quorn mince for the filling instead of beef, so that will help cut the fat a bit. Still, lasagna isn't the healthiest thing, so I'm going to be having it with salad and forget the baked spud to bring the calories down.

Have any of you seen the Philadelphia cream cheese adverts recently? The recipe ones? I've been wanting to make the strawberry meringue one for a while so today I got the ingredients, it was so delicious! Though, I did use supermarket own brand low fat soft cheese instead of philly, which does rather defeat the point of the entire marketing campaign. Basically, make/buy some meringue nests (I got a pack of 8 from Sainsbury's for £1 for convenience sake), mix together some halved sweet strawberries, the soft cheese and low calorie sweetener to taste, the dollop the mix on top of the nest (add some strawberry sauce to finish it off if you like). There! Super easy, tasty, and reasonably low calorie for a dessert as meringue next are only about 50-ish calories and I used low fat cheese with sweetener instead of full fat and icing sugar. I had enough calories left that I sandwiched the mixture between two meringue nests, but it will be equally delicious with one.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Back

I broke my treadmill just over a week ago and went a little crazy. it was like my mojo just disappeared completely. This also coincided with my scale coming to a stall and I lost it. With the end of the challenge coming up I just wanted to disappear, but I don't want to balloon up again and I most definitely will if I just leave myself to my own devices.

So what now? I've said before that I can deal with the scales ups and downs, and that even though I hate the ups, it's a good motivational tool for me. I like to see progress. All this is true, except recently I've been feeling like that scale is starting to define me, and that's not a healthy place to be. If it's going down then it's great, it makes me happy, blips I think about and it's not great, but stalls? Oh the stalls. They send me out of my mind, I don't see the point if I'm not seeing the progress, it's a bit insane as I know rationally that every bit of progress I see won;t be in weight so I should chill already. I'm so not chill.

Anyway, what's the point of my ramblings? This is the last week of the challenge, so I'll try and make it end with a bang rather than a whimper. Dad went and looked at the treadmill (it had cut out while I was using it and started making this horrible groaning sound) and couldn't find anything wrong with it now, so I'll give it a try and hope it has magically healed itself.

In mid-September-ish I'll (We'll?) be starting a new challenge (you'll all welcome to join, I'll be posting details closer to the start). In the 3-4 weeks in between I'm going to try sticking to things without the scale. I don't know if it will work better for me or not, it'll be my little experiment before the challenge proper. I'll have look at how it's gone before the new one starts and decide where I want to go from there.

Friday, 12 August 2011

TGIF

It's been a long week. The other office person had holiday booked, so I went to full time hours to cover her absence. Tiring, but it will be good when my pay-cheque comes though. Given the state of my bank account this month it will greatly appreciate the overtime injection.

The scale is being stubborn, but I'm still eating right and exercising so I'll have to see some progress eventually. I was sooo close to breaking half an hour for my 3 miles on the treadmill the other day, it was 30:04! Today I wasn't feeling well (kind of like I'm getting a cold but it hasn't quite taken) so I was a couple of minutes slower.

Yahoo news was talking about a website, My Body Gallery today. Here's a short excerpt:

A recent study found that 95% of noneating-disordered women overestimate the size of their hips by 16% and their waists by 25%, yet the same women were able to correctly estimate the width of a box,


The site allows women to upload photos of themselves, then specify weight, height, size, shape etc. It's interesting to see people my size, the huge range in how they look and carry the weight differently.

Monday, 8 August 2011

STSC Results - Week 9

man I was tossing and turning last night. I wish I'd gotten a better nights sleep and wasn't so tired now, I think it would have made a difference to my numbers.

Weight lost this week: -1.7kg/3.7#
Total Challenge weight loss: -8.2kg/18#

The crazy thing about this (emphasis on the word 'crazy') is that I'm actually disappointed with what would usually be an awesome loss, mostly because (as you an see from my newly truthful sidebar) it doesn't completely undo the damage from last week, so I'm not at my low point. I feel like seeing as I worked my ass off for this I should have made it back to my previous weight. Nothing I can do about it now I suppose.

Speaking of working my ass off, I did with exercise this week. I went on the treadmill every single day, and have seen a definitely improvement.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Walking it

Last Sunday I finally made a return to exercise. Oh, how I was dreading it. I wouldn't have done it at all, but with my change of job my activity has gone from 35 minutes walking to and from stations with 4 hours stints on my feet, to a desk job in an office 30 seconds away from my house. So, the treadmill it was.

I'm sure I'll have times when I absolutely do not want to get up and work out, but luckily so far things have been good. I started on Sunday and have used it ever day. I usually do three miles. Check out my times:

Sun: 44:12
Mon: 43:13
Tue: 40:08
Wed: 39:23
Thu: 35:35
Fri: 34:38

What's really surprised me is how quickly I've seen an improvement! I don't 'run' per se, but I had times yesterday and today when I was at a solid jog for a whole song and fast walked the rest. It doesn't seem like much, but I've only ever walked before so it's a big deal for me. I really pushed myself today to try and get my times down, I'm talking manning up and dripping sweat.

My sister is coming to visit the weekend after this one, and she hasn't seen me since before the challenge began. I'm kind of hoping I will have done enough that she'll notice the difference? I think I'll be a little disappointed if she can't see it. My dad has a work Christmas party that she and I go to every year, and I've decided that one of my mid-term goals is going to be my Christmas dress, I want it to be a size 16. I (only just, and briefly) fit into a size 16 when I came home from Sweden for Christmas in 2003, and that was because it was a forgiving style. I want it to be a 16, a real one.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

So...

I have a confession to make. I bought the markers. You know? The markers? The markers that were way too expensive for me, whose purchase may have been a result of watching the shopping channel at 1am and subsequently being consumed by desire for them? It just so happened that my tax refund from my Japanese pension money came through yesterday, so after putting £1300 in savings I had about £45 left.

Had I been sensible I would have just put it all into savings and not bought anything, especially as my current account is not particularly flush with cash at the moment. But then I thought 'come on, you can't worry about money all the time'. I get a mild... anxiety? when I think about money, like a little pressure in the chest, but the fact is I have very few outgoings right now (the one advantage of having to live at home). While it's important to save (I have a plan to save up enough for a little deposit on a house, I'm about half way there right now but it will take another 2 years at the rate of savings I have in mind) I'm not in trouble with money. I don't need to panic about it.

I think I was dithering on it a bit because I don't know if I'll use it enough to make it worthwhile. If having them makes me happy though, then that's good. A couple of hours after I bought them the price wet back up to £10 more, I'm taking it as a sign I made a good decision hehe. I was looking at some stamps too, I love Debbi Moore's Art Deco ladies! They used some of her pictures in the TV demo and they really were pretty. Speaking of pretty things, this picture is one of the examples of what you can do with the pens:

I know it's a long shot, but do any of you crafty-type people know where I can get this stamp or who designed it so I can track it down myself? I love it, it's so cute. I've had to restrain myself so I didn't go completely nuts buying stamps on eBay, it's all very tempting.

To keep all this on topic I'd like to say I kicked ass on the treadmill last night, and as soon as I've made a new playlist on my phone I plan to do it again.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The dangers of late night tv

Aunt Flo turned up after my workout today (3 miles on the treadmill, oh yes), I cannot tell you how sick I am of seeing her. Every 3, 3 and a half weeks? Bam! There she is, knocking on my ovaries. This will also mean the scale will be even more stubborn - bonus!

I shouldn't be allowed to watch shopping channels, I'm far too impressionable. There were these awesome brush pen sets that blend really nicely, and now all I can think of is getting into card craft. To that end I've spent the last hour looking through ebay for Deco style stamp sets and picture element CDs. Thus far I've managed to resist because it's an expensive habit to get in to (the pens are pricey!) and I'm a bit short this month anyway. But I want them bad.

I'm going to have to go to the shops tomorrow for ingredients for tea. We're trying a new thing at home where they let me cook dinner on Wednesday nights, so I'm making lasagna. Hopefully I can time it so I can make the stuff and layer it up before work, then bake it when I get home. It will also mean I can get my exercise from the walk there and back. Given that this whole plan hinges on me not waking up tomorrow, grunting, and going back to sleep, I guess I'd better sign off now.

Monday, 1 August 2011

STSC Results - Week 8


No official weigh-in this week. I weighed myself this morning and it had gone down very slightly, but still well up on my last check in.

I got up this morning and got on the treadmill. I only did two miles and then dad and step-mum's dad (step-grandfather? He's visiting from Ukraine, staying with us for three months doing a lot of jobs around the house) arrived to do some work in the garage. I have a thing about exercising in front of people so I left it there. I'm toying with the idea of going back out tonight though, maybe have shorter workouts but do them before and after work? Except tomorrow I have a driving lesson before work so I guess it will have to be the evening only, I'm still working out the kinks. Speaking of kinks, I can feel the use I made of my legs today and yesterday, should have done some stretching!

I'm hoping the exercise will help me smash the scale this week, but I'm also trying to stay realistic so I don't lose it when I don't see any movement. Every time I've ever starting exercising properly it's taken a week or so for my body to adapt to it and let go of the weight. I have a tendency to freak out when this happens.If When that happens, someone please give me a cyber-slap and remind me I foresaw this.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Oh dear

I've been a baaaad, bad blogger. See that road to hell in front of me? It's paved with all my shiny good intentions.

Before I went to mum's I made a big song and dance about how I was going to try really hard and update frequently and could use some extra support. Then I disappeared. That should tell you how well this week did not go for me. I suppose it could have been worse, when I arrived mum had plans to make both a big batch of carrot cake cupcakes with her magical cream cheese icing, AND a lemon cake with a lemon version of that same icing, all because she knows I love them. I managed to convince her not to, but was less forceful when we she we decided to make this a.maz.ing ginger and lime cheesecake. That wasn't all I ate this past week either, I think I'll just have to accept that mum's house is always going to be somewhere I struggle with. She can have lots of goodies in the house because she doesn't care either way for sweet things, but I simply can't deal with having stuff there and not eating it, better to just not put myself in that position and keep all the food.

So, I saw the number on my scale this morning, and with official weigh-in being in about 12 hours I've very much considering redeeming this, and just not posting the number...


It's not completely bad news though. I did get back to things today, and ended the day in my calorie range. I needed to get a birthday present for my aunt so I walked to over 3 mile round trip to and from the shop. Later on I also managed to drag myself on treadmill (for the first time in a very long time, even though I didn't feel like it) to do another 3 miles, so I got all my exercise in. I've tried to drink quite a bit of water today so all in all I'm hoping with a better night's sleep I'll be able to make a dent in the gain.

Aims for the next week (beyond the usual 'eat within calories') focus solely around exercise, and getting it on some kind of regular basis. I don't have a set number of times per week planned at the moment, we'll have to see how much I can stand.

Monday, 25 July 2011

STSC Results - Week 7

Weight lost this week: -0.5kg (1.1#)
Total Challenge weight loss: 8.5kg (18.7#)

I'm a little disappointed by my numbers to be told. My week was fine, but the scale stayed stuck around the same weight for a long time, yo-yo-ing up and down by a point here and there. Looking back at my weigh-ins though, I seem to have one big week, one little week, so hopefully I'll see better results next time. It's still a loss for now.

I'm going to my mum's today and staying until Saturday! I'm taking my laptop with me because I'm definitely going to need to check in a lot, I find it so hard eating within calories while I'm there, I'm really going to make the effort this time though, I've been doing well enough that I don't want to wreck my progress now.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

NSV

Things are still quiet on the blogging front, I hope that's because people are busy and not because they're struggling. Either way, please update everyone!

I've been on plan this week so things are fine there, but I was struggling a lot with the scale and its lack of movement. It see-sawed in tiny increments, but ultimately stayed level almost all of this week. That would be super-frustrating right now if I hadn't said 'almost' because I weighed myself about 10 minutes ago and saw a little swoosh. Not massive numbers, but enough that it makes the effort feel worth it. I took a walk yesterday (round trip to the supermarket, just over 3 miles) and worked a bit harder on my water intake (which admittedly has been a bit dodgy the last couple of weeks), which I think helped me. The official WI isn't until tomorrow, so hopefully I can maintain it, or maybe even shave a little bit more off so that I can see a new kilo? I'm getting closer to a big mental/physical milestone for me too, so hopefully that will keep me motivated the next couple of weeks while I try for it.

I have a bit of a NSV to report. I went to the supermarket yesterday to get a new coat, my trench has been getting looser and looking a bit tired, so when one of the buttons popped off yesterday and the rest were getting loose, I thought I'd treat myself. When I started this challenge I was a tight UK size 22, in the in-between stage of moving up to a 24 (so, US 20-22). My new coat? Size 18 (US 16) bitches! It was a supermarket 18, not a plus size store 18, and I was wearing a size 18 top from a department store, so they were 'real' sizes. I think my bottom half is still a size bigger (I'm pear shaped), so my trouser/skirt size will be a 20 still I think (I haven't bought/tried any on in a smaller size recently so I can't say for sure) but my overall size has definitely gone down!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Hello?

Where has everyone been this week? Posting seems to be really slow. Is there something going on in America that I should know about?

My weight has been pretty even all week, I'm not sure why as things have been on track, all I can say is that's the way weight loss rolls sometimes. My step-mum and step-sister are going back to Ukraine to visit family on Friday, so we're going out to dinner tonight. I'm going to be eating very lightly beforehand to help counteract any problems this may cause. I finish my job on Friday and then am going to visit my mum for a week on Monday. Traditional mum's house is a signal to eat all the things, something I tend to embrace wholeheartedly, but this time I really want to try and stay on track while I'm there. I won't have a scale (I don't like weighing in on other scales, they're never the same) so if I'm successful or not will be a surprise for when I get home Saturday. I'm taking my laptop though, so I'll try and keep checking in to keep focused. I may need a bit of extra support to keep at it when I go!

Monday, 18 July 2011

STSC Results - Week 6

Weight lost this week: -1.9kg (4.1#)
Total Challenge weight loss: 8kg (17.6#)

It's another quick update because (you guessed it) I have work. I did quite well this week with the numbers, which was a relief after last week. From next week I'm going to have to figure out an exercise routine, as my new job is a sitting one, and just behind my house so I don't have to walk there. I'm a little worried that I'll have to actually make the decision to work out, rather than have it built in to my day. It gives me the opportunity to miss it. I may drop my calories back to 1200 if I find the scale sticking again, either way I will probably see a slowing down of the kind of numbers I've been losing once my current job finishes.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Sigh

I've been putting off blogging for the last few days, and now it feels hard to start again. Fortunately the reason wasn't my eating.

I've had a bit of upheaval this week. I didn't end up getting the job I was going for, which still makes me tear up a bit when I think about it too hard. I really put everything into it, and now that I know I won't be working there, it's left me feeling really deflated. The news didn't send me into a food tailspin, but less eating has meant more crying, and I'm still at a loss to decide if I prefer the trade. Things are still a little fresh though, the sting will fade with time.

Dad has been looking for a part-time admin assistant for his office, and today he offered me the job. He had something like 200 applicants, but a lot of them seem kind of moronic, the general impression seems to be 'well, I can't do anything else so I thought I'll do admin'. If he's going to have to train somebody, at least he knows what he's getting with me. It's the same 20hrs a week that I do now, but the pay is slightly more p/hr, and the hours would be regular (13-17, mon-fri), instead of the ever-changing shift work/evenings/weekends that get thrown into my schedule now. The office is the converted stable on our property, so in addition to extra 100 I'd be making a month, I wouldn't have to put the time and money into transport either.

I have a few concerns, but the major one is the personal/professional divide (or rather: lack of same). If I do something wrong I want to be spoken to like an employee, not shouted at like a daughter. Dad and I don't/haven't always have/had the easiest personal relationship, so that's the biggie. I also don't like the idea of being financially dependent on him in terms of my wages, but it is money I'm earning rather than something he's giving me, so I can live with that.

Given all the advantages I think it would be stupid to turn down, so I've said yes (I'm handing in my notice at work tomorrow). That niggling doubt is still with me though, I'll have to see how it goes.

Monday, 11 July 2011

STSC Results - Week 5

Weight lost this week: +0.4kg (0.9#)
Total Challenge weight loss: 6.1kg (13.4#)

So, unfortunately it's a gain this week, but I'm feeling surprisingly good about it. As I mentioned in my last post, at one point I was up a crazy 7lbs because of post-binge imminent-TOM weight. I think if it hadn't been my special time of month right now I may even have managed to maintain, so I'm not as upset as I thought I'd be. I got back into the same kilo I was in last Monday, and that's helped a lot. I can see it as a blip, rather than freaking out, because it feels quite close.

I'm also quite proud of myself that I was able to get home and get back on track. Yes, I had three bad days, but I had my reasons and now they're over. I was going to say 'hopefully next week I'll be back in business;, but I think I already am, so I'll settle for 'hopefully next week I'll see some new territory'.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Say hello to my little friend

TOMs back in town (What? Didn't he just finish a visit like3 weeks ago? WHY YES, YES HE DID, welcome to the joy of my body). There is a silver lining to this though, because I stupidly stepped on the scale last night to see what damage my interview freak-out had wrought, and nearly had a heart attack at the number. I don't care what I ate for those two days, it wasn't enough to gain 3.4kg (7lbs-ish!) from my last weigh in.

Nu-uh, no.

Admittedly, stepping on the scale in the evening was stupid anyway, because I always get heavier during the day and it's no big deal, so adding that padding to the already unfortunate figure didn't do me any favours. Now that TOM has made his presence known, the number has gone down some, but I'm still heavier than I was. It's a bit much to hope for, but I'm hoping he'll have left by the time Monday weigh-in rolls around. If he does and I'm careful, maybe I could break even on this week? I have been careful since I got back, two days eating clean and within calories. I'd still be looking at a big-ish loss to maintain, but hopefully I can make it. I dont want to see any 'official' gains during this challenge.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Back

I'm back from my interview, and now we wait. Luckily, they're not the kind of company that you have to wait weeks or months for an answer (aka EVERY OTHER JOB I'VE EVER APPLIED FOR), so I should know how it went in 3 working days. Everyone keep your fingers crossed, I really want to change my current job.

Today it's getting back to eating healthily. I'm writing it down here specifically to avoid the trap of giving in to temptation and deciding 'well, one more day won't matter' that's so easy to do when you've been off plan. I don't want the one bad day, one truly appalling day (I had a full out binge the night before the assessment), and one so-so-ish day, to turn into a week, or a complete plan destroyer.

Monday, 4 July 2011

STSC Results - Week 4

Weight lost this week: 2kg (4.4#)
Total Challenge weight loss: 6.5kg (14.3#)

Aaaaand that's a full stone gone, a good amount for the first month of the challenge. I was really pleased that I managed to get back to a full 2kg down, it was my low point of the week (before the little spike I was moaning about yesterday) so I wanted to be back at it at least by the time official weigh day came.

My interview is getting closer, arrrgh! I've managed to get the basics of my presentation down, so after work tonight it will be a case of making the handout, tweaking my main points, and laying out the script into bullet point reminders so I can check them easily as I'm talking for reminders if I need them. I wouldn't say I've handled the stress well (seeing how I've managed to pull half my hair out) but I've managed not to binge during it, so you take little victories where you can get them.

And once again I've got to go because blogging is making me late for work, you'd think I'd learn!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Heavy meals make heavy girls

The scale went up a little both today and yesterday, which is annoying as weigh in is tomorrow. I went slightly over calories a couple of days ago, but nothing that should have caused this. I think mostly it's the fact that the way I've been eating has been different for those two days.

Mostly, I've been focusing on lower calories meals, which means I have about four a day. I always swore I'd never be able to do that because it makes me feel like I'm grazing all day instead of like I've eaten something, but that's the natural pattern I fell in to. For the last two days I've had a low calorie meal for brunch, and then a high calorie one for dinner, which has left me with no calories for snacking after. Now, I haven't snuck in any snacks so it's not that I'm cheating, and it's not like those meals have been deep fried or anything, but one was a large roast dinner and the other was barbeque meats (chicken and sausages) that my dad saved for me because I was getting back from work late. Basically, it's heavier, and more meat, than I've been eating. I'm assuming its led to some bloating and that's what's going on here. I wonder if I drink a lot of water today and lay off the meat I can bring the number down again for tomorrow?

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Just Dance


Debbi posted about the Just Dance 2 game for the Wii a few days ago, and it prompted me to go downstairs and see what games my stepsister has for her machine. Lo and behold, at the bottom of the pile sat 'Just Dance', the first version of the game Debbi reviewed.

I played it yesterday and today, it has songs I can enjoy (Katy Perry's Hot n Cold, A Little Less Conversation, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun) and if you do a couple of full version of the songs properly you'll find yourself working up a sweat. I only did about 20 minutes a time, but it was fun and I'd do it again. With the walking I do it's a good addition to my week.

In other news, my presentation is still killing me and I'm not even started with preparing for the other bits of the day. Why am I finding this so hard? It's only a 5 minute presentation after all.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Stress on the horizon

Today and Sunday are my days off, so the plan at the moment is to work on making my presentation for my interview next week. So far I'm having a bit of trouble with it, but I'll have to buckle down and figure it out. I feel like I'm in university again and putting off writing a paper.

I'm happy to say the scale is still responding well to the slight upping of calories, so assuming I don't let the stress get to me over the weekend I should have a good number to report on Monday. I'll be staying overnight for the interview and have decided not to sweat it about what kind of food I eat while I'm gone. Things will be stressful enough without trying to tally up calories. Although it will do a little damage, it's only two days.

(side-note: oh god the hotels were so expensive! Which is odd as the area I want to go to isn't exactly a tourist attraction. There was a place that was a bit cheaper but it was in an ass-inconvenient area so I sucked it up and paid more for location. But seriously, my poor bank account! I was hoping I could find a cheaper deal on laterooms or something closer to the time, and then make the new booking and cancel my old one, but it doesn't loo like it's going to work out. It was a slender hope anyway)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Or...

...maybe food will help, food will help?

After my binge-like cravings started yesterday, I fought with them for a bit, blogged a little to distract myself, and then though 'eff it, I'm going downstairs and having a sandwich'. I figured at least the sandwich would fill me up and not be too bad for me (turkey and salad, using Kingsmill 50/50 bread), and then maybe I'd be satisfied enough to go to bed rather than EATING ALL THE THINGS. I was at the point where I decided if it meant going over calories than damn it, I'd have what I wanted and just go over. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it took my calories up to 1355, so I was still within my range, and was substantial enough that I could go upstairs again afterwards feeling somewhat satisfied.

I weighed myself the this morning and lo and behold, I'd lost overnight. Actually, I'd lost a little more overnight than I had the entire week.

Now, I don't want to go crazy and say 'right! that was it, I must EAT ALL THE THINGS!' because it's perfectly possible that the loss was a delayed reaction to eating strictly last week. However, my calorie range is 12-1400 and my logs show that I've mostly been on the bottom end of that (12-1250ish). I was higher yesterday, and have eaten higher today (around the 1350 mark again) to see what happens. I'm wasn't in starvation mode before or anything, I've been eating enough, but maybe 13-1400 is a better number for me, I don't know.

I'll see what the scale does the next few days. If it responds better to the slightly higher counts then that's something to consider. I don't want to freak out and change everything up for the sake on one weigh in (a weigh in that, I remember in my more sane moments, still showed a loss [however small]) when it could just of easily been a blip.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Feeling a binge coming on...

... so getting out of the kitchen. I'm uncomfortable from the mugginess and still disappointed about this morning. I want to eat, and it's not from hunger.

Food won't help.

Food won't help.

STSC Results - Week 3

I didn't have time to post this before work this morning, so I'm a little later in the day than usual, but here are the results:

Weight lost this week: 0.3kg (0.6lbs)
Total Challenge weight loss: 4.5kg (9.9lbs)

That's right, 0.3kg. The scale remained stubborn all week. I hoped in vain as I went to bed last night, that somehow the little whoosh I'd been hoping for would save the day at the last minute, but no.

The bad news is I was doing everything I should have been, and nothing I shouldn't, so there's no reason for me not to have lost a proper amount of weight. The good news is I have been doing everything I should be doing, and nothing I shouldn't, so there's no reason for me not to lose proper amounts of weight next time.

Angela Pea posted a timely link about plateaus and the scientific theory behind them, which (while not making the scale any less frustrating) made me feel a little better about it. Even if we don't know exactly what's going on, a plateau isn't arbitrary. There are reasons and it will start to move again.

One other good thing is that I was on plan all week. A lot of the time when we don't lose a lot/maintain/gain we can look back at our week and (if we're honest) see what the culprit was, in my case I know everything was fine. When I didn't see any change for my last post I was sure to be extra careful with things as my numbers were see-saw-ing a little, up and down. Posting a gain would have really dealt a blow to my motivation, so my diligence paid off in that respect. I had a weak moment a few days ago when a market find of some lovely cheap fresh cherries coincided with my 'baked and delicious' magazine subscription delivery, but after a bit of a struggle I realised baking could only lead to two outcomes:

a) bake. eat. cry.
b) bake. don't eat. sulk.

so for the sake of both the challenge and my mental health I decided against it.

Let it be noted that I will not be keeping my more positive attitude if I see no movement next week. Should that happen, I have a rather large tantrum building specially for the occasion.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The lament of the impatient

The scale, it is not moving.

It glares balefully at me every time I enter my bathroom, knowing what I've come for. Then again, if someone came over every time they woke up to stand on me, I probably wouldn't be too pleased to see them either. "Move! Move!" I tell it, but it doesn't deign to lower itself to my demands. If it were a cat, it would have stood up, stretched, made all the motions of looking like it was going to move, then sat down in exactly the same spot again, but with it's back to me. That's what it thinks of me.

I need to keep reminding myself it has only been two days since weigh in. I tend to not see movement for all of two seconds and go !Crazytown, when I could just as easily have nothing for a few days and then a whoosh with a bigger loss. I hate hate hate weeks when things stay the same (er, when I'm eating correctly that is) because it seems so unjustified, putting the effort in and not seeing numbers. I'm a 21st Century girl, I need immediate results!

Monday, 20 June 2011

STSC Results - Week 2

And the numbers are in!

Weight lost this week: 1.4kg (3lbs)
Total Challenge weight loss: 4.2kg (9.1lbs)

Looking back on this week I think thing could have gone a lot worse given that I had some bad cravings at times. The only day I'm a little disappointed at myself with is yesterday. I'd grabbed a bacon sandwich from one of the trucks as we walked around the boot sale because I was really hungry and hadn't had a chance to eat before we left. That isn't the best food, but it was delicious and the calories would have been fine because it was a combo of breakfast and lunch anyway. This was at about 11 o'clock, so far so good. But! Then we went home and dad decided to have Sunday dinner at about 2:30 because my sister had to leave to go back to Cardiff (she was visiting because of Father's Day). This leaves me with two problems because Sunday roasts are always a bit higher calorie anyway, but then there was no way I was going to last the rest of the day without eating and I had used up all my calories, so I ended up going over. This meant that instead of losing a little bit more (I was at 3.3lbs lost and was hoping I could get a little closer to 3.9, not likely I know, but being able to say 10lbs lost in 2 weeks would have been great!) I went up by a bit. Don't get me wrong, 3lbs is still a good loss, but I couldn't help but think I could have done better.

I'm hoping things will be easier over the next week as Aunt Flo has officially left the building, so I'm hoping for less cravings to deal with. My water was fine this week, and my calories were on target (bar yesterday of course). I walked to the supermarket on Thursday to get ingredients for my next batch of freezer meals, so I made my 10,000 steps goal on one of my days off, which is an unusual bonus for me. I normally exceed my steps when I'm working (5 days a week) and then don't sweat it on the two days I'm off because it all evens out.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Drabble

What's the statute of limitations on a craving? Because I'm currently on day 5 of a major chocolate brownie/chocolate cupcake craving that's been driving me kind of crazy, and I'm going back and forth as to how damaging it would be to just eat the damn cake. Would the sugar make subsequent cravings worse? Or would satisfying the craving make things better? Welcome to my brain.

I've got the complete season 1-7 of Gilmore Girls on DVD, and decided recently to start a massive re-watch of the show (hence the sidebar). That's been great, but they are eating junk food every two seconds (damn them). I seem to be having random post-period cramps. Like, I was all finished, fine for a day, then had another day complete with all the cramps I missed before. It kind of sucks.

I have to be up for work in less than 6 hours, WHY AM I STILL UP?

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Food, Glorious, horrible food.

I was forced to give my body a stern tweeting to earlier so it would COOL IT ALREADY with the food cravings. I thought it was hunger, but now that it's 3am and I actually am hungry, I can see it was more me going 'eatnowcakeyesgoodfuneatNEEDCAKEeat'. The last few days have definitely been a slog when it comes to cravings, I hope that passes soon as it's getting me down a bit. I've managed to keep calories on track so far, but it's been close sometimes.

I ate the last portion of the chilli I had frozen (a lifesaver when I come out of work and am starving. Some days I only make it home without buying food because I know it's right there waiting), so I'm going to be spending my day off tomorrow walking the 3+ mile round trip to the supermarket for lentil/veg curry ingredients for the next freezer batch. At least, that's the plan. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. If it's chucking it down the way it was my last day off, I'll have to have a rethink.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Flatline

I have an assessment day for a job I've applied for on the 7th of July, and I'm really nervous about it. One of the activities is a marketing presentation, I was having trouble getting prepared for it (was hitting a complete mental blank), but fortunately my dad's friend's wife is a marketing director, and was nice enough to have a look over the task. We had a chat and now I feel like I have a bit more direction, so that's made me feel much better. I still have to put the presentation together of course, but I have a basic idea what it will be about. Now there's just 4 other activities to freak out about!

I was about to write 'The scale hasn't moved since Tuesday [bitchmoanwhine]!' but then I realised it's only, er, Wednesday and perhaps a freak out about it is premature. TOM is still here, I'm hoping I'll see a drop tomorrow when it's gone.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Oooooh, THAT'S what that was...

(Possible TMI, feel free to press back: now)

One thing I always notice when I eat healthily is that the symptoms of my period become far less pronounced. I'm a little irregular, so I never know exactly when to expect my special little visitor, but there are the usual signs of an imminent arrival. You know the ones, heavy, achy, back pain, binging... (God, it's like the worst 7 dwarfs ever) so imagine my shock when I had to nip to the loo earlier and 'Oh, hello there'.

In retrospect, it may be an alternate explanation for my hating everyone and everything on Friday night, shortly followed by an averted binge (rather than, you know, me being a bitch). It also tell me that I weighed in this morning (er, yesterday technically at this point) on what traditionally is my heaviest day, and still lost just over 6lbs. It leaves me with hope that I may be able to see some movement on the scale next time, despite the curse of week 2.

I'm a huge romance reader, and have just finished Robin D. Owens' 'Heartmates of Celta' series. Anyone read it that can recommend anything similar I'd like? Help me update my sidebar people!