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.


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 ( 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


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


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!