Saturday, 29 August 2015

What A Difference A Year (Or 11) Makes

Today, I went and got my eyelashes done again. I'd been counting down the days until Stef came back from her holiday so she could sort my eyelashes out for me! Now Stef is very kind and, as I left, she said that my jeans looked too big. (Love Stef!) So when I got home, I thought I'd get out my next-size-down jeans to see if I could squidge into them. The jeans I had been wearing were the biggest of my 14s. They're a Matalan 14 and Matalan flatters its customers by being somewhat, ahem, generous. The jeans I pulled out to try on are M&S ones. Proper size 14s.

They actually look ridiculously small when I compare them to what I was wearing just seven months ago, so I didn't hold out much hope for getting into them. But, yippee! They fit!

Then I found something in the pocket. It was a train ticket dated 05 Jun 04. That's probably the last time I wore them. The last time they fitted me. Eleven years ago. Then I thought about that date some more and realised that exactly one year later, 05 JUN 05, I was in labour with my gorgeous son, Thomas.

Funny old world, isn't it?

Still dieting and walking though, and still losing the weight - albeit more slowly than I'd like.


Breakfast: Yakult, grapefruit.
Lunch: Plain omelette
Dinner: Thomas and I baked bread today, so I had some of that with all manner of naughty things on it ;)
Snack: Ovaltine Options hot choccie drink.
Drinks: 1.5l of tap water

This little lot adds up to about 840 calories according to FitBit.

FitBit Stats From Yesterday

Steps: 10,983
Distance: 6.99 miles
Active minutes: 64

My Stats

Current weight: 11st 2.6lbs
Next weight target: 10st 13.8lbs (Giddy with excitement at being '10 stone something')

Sunday, 23 August 2015

At last, I'm Overweight!

YES!!!! I am no longer obese and am now just considered to be overweight according to the NHS BMI charts. I know, I know, the BMI charts aren't the perfect way of measuring, but I'll take that win. However you look at it, I'm certainly on the right path.

I haven't written anything in my blog for a while because I've been ridiculously busy with work and I've really struggled to lose weight. I think it's because I'm so desk-bound. When I'm working, I'm not moving and that's not good. I have been moving a lot more than I would have done in the same situation before, but it's still not enough. I've only missed my 10k steps target on one day though.

Despite this, I've managed to battle my way down by another 2lbs to hit my mini-target. Yippee! I'm even wearing shorts - and no, I don't care that I don't have 'thigh gap'. I don't look too awful in shorts (which are actually chopped down jeans that are too big for me) and it makes me happy - and cool - in the hot weather to not need to cover up.

Better still, I have so much energy that my house is still clean and tidy AND I even got out some paint yesterday and I gave the hall, stairs and landing a quick going-over to freshen it up. Who knew that losing weight could be so good for your housework? :D

Here's how I'm doing...


Breakfast: Yakult, dry toast and grapefruit.
Lunch: I have quite a bit of fruit kicking around, so I might just eat a load of that.
Dinner: Hard boiled eggs and salad.
Snack: Ovaltine Options hot choccie drink.
Drinks: 1.5l of tap water

This little lot adds up to about 680 calories according to FitBit.

FitBit Stats From Yesterday

Steps: 10,900 (This isn't very accurate because I took off FitBit when I was painting)
Distance: 7.07 miles
Active minutes: 68

My Stats

Current weight: 11st 3.8lbs
Next weight target: 10st 13.8lbs (Giddy with excitement at being '10 stone something')

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Help! I Can't Keep My Knickers Up!

My diminishing girth is causing me a problem. My knickers keep falling down. I have considered stapling the sides to make them fit again, but perhaps it's time to pay M&S a visit? What? Other shops sell knickers? Don't be ridiculous!

It's not just knickers though, I just put that in the title as an unashamed way of getting people to read the page. 'Help, my t shirts are baggy!' does have quite the same pull, does it? Tis true though. My t shirts are all too big as well. Luckily, as I put weight on, I kept all my old jeans, so I'm OK there. You'll just have to pretend not to notice that they're all a bit 'retro' being as how they are at least a decade old.

So, knickers have gone from an 18 to a 14, and my t shirts have gone from a 22 to a 14 - I bought three tees today. Whoop, whoop and thrice whoop! I can cram into a 14 jeans too, but it's really not a pretty sight. Still, I think I'll claim that as being 'about a size 14', if anyone asks my dress size. I've always been a glass half full kinda girl ;)

M&S now do packs of lacy knickers not just the plain ones that I would usually get, so I'll treat myself to those. I need to bras too, but they're expensive, so they'll have to wait for another couple of stone.

New clothes! How exciting! Must resist buying too much just yet. I still have some way to go :D

I still have a nasty head cold though. Poor me :(. It's making me feel shattered all the time and walking is exhausting. I spent two hours asleep yesterday afternoon which isn't like me at all, so I must be ill. Bah!

This is all by way of an excuse for not having lost any weight again. I wonder how much snot weighs. Perhaps that's what's holding me back.

So today...


Breakfast: Yakult and a grapfruit
Lunch: Salmon fillet with veg and avocado.
Dinner: Quinoa and chicken.
Snack: Ovaltine Options hot choccie drink. 
Drinks: 1.5l of tap water

This little lot adds up to about 810 calories according to FitBit. 

FitBit Stats From Yesterday

Steps: 10,624
Distance: 6.12 miles
Active minutes: 36

My Stats

Current weight: 11st 5.6lbs (pffft)
Next weight target: 11st 3lbs (I will go from 'obese' to 'over weight' according to the NHS's BMI stats)

Monday, 10 August 2015

To BMI Or Not To BMI?

In the next thrilling instalment of my weight loss saga, I will soon be hitting 11st 3lb. At this point, I go from being obese to *just* overweight according the the NHS BMI table. Who knew this could be so exciting ;)?

It got me to thinking about the whole BMI thing. What is a BMI? Should I care about BMI?

BMI is your body mass index. It's meant to tell if your weight is right for your height. If you're over or under weight, you are susceptible to all sorts of health issues, so it's handy to know where you are. I know it's quite flawed. Athletes, for example, are likely to be heavy for their heights because they have lots of muscle which weighs more than fat. However, it's still useful to have some idea of what constitutes a healthy weight for your height, even if it's not entirely accurate.

For most adults, your BMI should be between 18.5-24.9. You can check yours out here.

Mine will be 30 at 11st 3lb. This gives me a toe hold into the 'overweight' category, which in theory makes me less likely to have a stroke or to develop diabetes. Obviously, nothing's as cut-and-dry as that. There won't be a magic point at which such risks just disappear, but the more weight I lose, the less likely I will be to suffer from these things - and the more likely I will stick around longer for my son. So, although it's not perfect by any stretch, it's good to have something else to aim for that inches me closer to a healthier me.

Did I mention that I've been wearing shorts and t shirts for the last couple of days? None of the neighbours have complained (yet) and no one has been ill. So all good ;)

Now. How am I doing today?

Not as well as I'd hoped because I've had a horrible head cold that has rendered me virtually useless. I've had a sore throat and have been forced to drink lots. By 'drink lots', I mean 'eat lots of ice lollies'. I've not been able to walk much either, so that's annoying. Despite this though, I haven't actually put any weight on, so that's good. I've pottered around the garden in a bid to be a bit active.


Breakfast: Yakult and a lovely fresh croissant with some marmalade.
Lunch: Roast chicken breast, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes and a dollop of mayo.
Dinner: Quinoa and salmon.
Snack: Ovaltine Options hot choccie drink. 
Drinks: 1.5l of tap water

This little lot adds up to about 920 calories according to FitBit. 

FitBit Stats From Yesterday

Steps: 10,279
Distance: 6.2 miles
Active minutes: 69

My Stats

Current weight: 11st 5.6lbs
Next weight target: 11st 3lbs (I will go from 'obese' to 'over weight' according to the NHS's BMI stats)

TOMORROW: Help! I Can't Keep My Knickers Up!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Weight Loss Plateau

Arghhhhhh! This is the most frustrating thing about the whole dieting thing. You're tootling along nicely losing weight here, there and everywhere and then suddenly nothing... nada... zip. It all comes shuddering to a halt.

When I started dieting and exercising, the first stone melted away really quickly. I could easily lose 4-5lbs a week. But sometimes your body just slams on the anchors and hangs on to all the weight it's acquired. The Mayo Clinic has a nice succinct article about why this happens here.

For me, I've found that having a day or two off of dieting can help to kick start things when you go back to dieting. Increasing exercise also helps. One thing that really seems to burn the calories is housework. I know, I know, but since I've been on my 'new healthy me' programme, my house has never been so tidy. I have lots more energy and I figure that I might as well burn off some of that fat by improving my environment too. (This must surely top the list of things I never though I'd hear myself say).

My weight stopped dead for two days this week, but I kept at it and it's on the slide again. Whoop whoop!

So don't get disheartened. Get the hoover out instead ;)

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am with my weigh-in news today. I have smashed through the 3st target and can now knuckle down with the next target. Whoop whoop! I added to my general feeling of well-being today by getting my eye lashes done again. So now I feel great and look as good as I'm ever gonna look too. Thanks Stef!


Breakfast: Yakult and a pink grapefruit.
Lunch: Roast chicken breast, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes and a dollop of mayo.
Dinner: Spanish omelette
Snack: Ovaltine Options hot choccie drink. 
Drinks: 1.5l of tap water

This little lot adds up to about 760 calories according to FitBit. It's well below what's suggested, but I feel pretty full on it. 

FitBit Stats From Yesterday

Steps: 12,703
Distance: 8.08 miles
Active minutes: 85

My Stats

Current weight: 11st 5.6lbs (Yippee!!! Another target SMASHED.)
Next weight target: 11st 3lbs (I will go from 'obese' to 'over weight' according to the NHS's BMI stats)


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

What The F*** Is Quinoa?

I've heard lots about Quinoa [keen-WAH] (yes, really, it's not pronounced Quin-noah), so I thought I should investigate it.

The Incas called it the 'mother grain' and The UN says it contains all eight of the essential amino acids we need. They consider it to be a supercrop that's packed with dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest. 

I tried a ready-prepared batch from Sainsbury's first. I ate it cold with salmon and some salad. The grains were white and red, with the red ones looking very like cress seeds. It tastes a bit nutty really. It doesn't have a particularly strong flavour, so if you like things like rice or couscous, I can't imagine you'd struggle with this. The grains are quite solid and chewy, but again, that's all fine.

Next, I tried heating it up. Two cups of water to one cup of quinoa, simmering it for around 15 mins. You need to rinse the grains first because the outside is quite bitter. I haven't tried flavouring it yet, but I'm sure you can in the same way that you'd flavour rice.

It's quite nice warm too.

I can't dance around the house with excitement over something so utility, I mean - it's not exactly chocolate cake, but I am excited about it because it seems to be pretty healthy and gives me something new I can bulk my food out with that isn't starchy. Yippee!

I'm going to experiment with flavouring it, but am just pleased to have something else to add to my repertoire.

It seems to be available in various forms in the major supermarkets and also in the health food shops, so it's pretty easy to find. The first lot I tried came from a little high street Sainsbury's.

Let's see how I'm doing today...


Breakfast: Yakult and a pink grapefruit.

Lunch: Chicken and baked beans
Dinner: Tuna mayo salad with some quinoa ;)
Snack: Ovaltine Options hot choccie drink. 
Drinks: 1.5l of tap water
This little lot adds up to about 620 calories according to FitBit. 

FitBit Stats From Yesterday

Steps: 21,548
Distance: 8.54 miles

Active minutes: 171

My Stats

Current weight: 11st 7.8lbs (Somehow I'm a pound heavier than yesterday. Perhaps I've retained some water, or turned lots of fat into muscle with all that walking. I wonder if I can get away with blaming my sister's birthday cake on Monday? Annoying.)

Next weight target: 11st 5lbs (I'll have lost exactly 3st at this weight.)

Next: Weight Loss Plateau

Monday, 3 August 2015

Moving Targets - Losing Weight Little By Little

One thing I discovered very early on is that having your eye on the end game is very daunting. If, like me, you have a lot of weight to lose, you are much better off looking for little targets that are achievable in a few days. It's a bit like climbing a mountain. You know you need to get to the top, but finding finger and toe holes is what will get you to the top.

I started this at 14st 5lbs and I'm now at 11st 6.8lbs. I've just moved my target from 11st 7lbs (my pre-holiday weight) to 11st 5lbs because that's when I'll have lost exactly 3st. V exciting! My target after that will be just one pound further along - 11st 4lbs. This is the point at which I go from being obese to just being overweight. According to the NHS anyway. Then I'll be able to concentrate on getting to 10st-something. I can hardly believe that I'll soon be 10st-something. That seemed impossible back in February when I started this little adventure.

I can't wait to tell you why 10st 10lbs will be a target :)

Little steps allow you to tick off all these minor wins and let you see that you're heading in the right direction. You won't lose all the weight overnight, but you really can feel very much better about yourself very quickly.

Do it!

Let's see how I'm doing today...


Breakfast: Yakult and a pink grapefruit.
Lunch: Going back to salad for lunch probably with salmon because I bought a twin pack yesterday and need to eat the second one. Need to take it easy because it's my sister's birthday today, so there will be cake ;)
Dinner: Veg stir fry and cake.
Snack: Ovaltine Options hot choccie drink. 
Drinks: 1.5l of tap water

This little lot adds up to about 900 calories according to FitBit - I had to guess what the cake might be because it's home-made and won't appear on the FitBit stats. 

FitBit Stats From Yesterday

Steps: 13,036
Distance: 8.29 miles
Active minutes: 106

My Stats

Current weight: 11st 6.8lbs
Next weight target: 11st 5lbs (I'll have lost exactly 3st at this weight.)

TOMORROW: What The F*** Is Quinoa?

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Do Low-Calorie Desserts Really Exist?


I've had a look at online recipes for things purporting to be 'low-calorie' (especially chocolate things) and can report that not a single one was any such thing. When they joyously proclaim things like 'only 50 calories each!', reading a little bit further will reveal why they have so few calories. 'Makes 97 servings'.  Hahaha! So, it's 50 calories, but only if you have so little you won't be able to taste it.

Who makes a batch of something and then cuts into into such teeny portions that even a sparrow would ask for more?

I then thought it would be fun to have a look at the calorific differences between 'diet' sweets and 'normal' sweets. You know what? If you only have half a Mars Bar, you'll not be far off the calories and <ahem> nutritional value of a Slim Fast chocolate and caramel bar.

Mars Bars weigh twice what Slim Fast bars weigh, so by halving the Mars bar, you'll have eaten the same quantity as the Slim Fast bar and only 20 calories more. There's more fat and sugar in the Mars bar than the Slim Fast bar, but the Slim Fast bar has lots of scary 'bulking agents' and such.

Then I had a look at yoghurts. They're nice and healthy, aren't they? In it's natural form, yoghurt is very sharp, so the commercially-produced yoghurts have lots of sugar pumped into them. Muller do a range of diet ones that look OK though.

So tell me, do you have any genuinely low-calorie ideas for desserts? (Aside from actually eating a piece of fruit. I do that a lot anyway.) I'd love to see them and try them out. I'll keep looking and I'll see about injecting some 'interesting' things into my diet too.

Here's how I'm doing today - check out the weight target! <beam>


Breakfast: Yakult and a pink grapefruit.
Lunch: Tried out toasted Weightwatchers bread. It's like eating dust and is not at all satisfying. I've not been hungry in ages, but I was after that, so I had an apple.
Dinner: Baked salmon, spinach and... quinoa. Will report fully on this soon.
Snack: Ovaltine Options hot choccie drink. 
Drinks: 1.5l of tap water

This little lot adds up to 770 calories according to FitBit. 

FitBit Stats From Yesterday

Steps: 15,352
Distance: 5.93 miles
Active minutes: 79

My Stats

Current weight: 11st 7.2lbs (Close enough! On the the next target...)
Next weight target: 11st 5lbs (I'll have lost exactly 3st at this weight.)

TOMORROW: Moving Targets - Losing Weight Little By Little

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Cutting Out The Cack

My new 'healthy me' scheme involves cutting out a lot of cack. Not just from my diet, but from me too. I suspect we all do it. We say things like 'I'm perfectly happy like this...' or 'nothing I do shifts the pounds...' or how about 'I don't think I eat that badly...' It's all rubbish isn't it? Just trying to kid ourselves. As soon as you can cut that cack and recognise that you need a long term plan to get healthy, get happy and lose a bit of weight, the better. Well, it was for me anyway. And it's no good looking for a quick fix either if you have a lot of weight to lose.

I've also cut a lot of cack from my diet. Mostly, I've cut out processed sugar - including sugary drinks because those really are empty calories and needless sugar, and I've cut out starchy foods like bread, pasta and potatoes. It was quite tough at first, but it's quite easy now. I just avoid them much of the time, but I'm no saint, I have cake at birthdays and I pinch some of my son's sweets sometimes. I just don't do it anywhere near as much as I used to.

I bulk my food out with fresh vegetables and have discovered that I love fresh sweetcorn. Baked beans are quite good for making a meal filling too. I have yet to brave the packet of quinoa I have in the cupboard though...

I feel so much better for eating better. I just feel more awake, more alert and more alive. It's great! Try it for a couple of days and you'll see too.

My diet's been pretty boring though, which doesn't really bother me, but I'm going to start searching out tasty, healthy recipes (assuming such things exist <g>) to see how much fun I can make this diet.

I've been working today and so my diet's been a bit hit and miss, but I've done OKish...


Breakfast: Yakult (I was in a rush...)
Lunch: Chicken and salad with mayo
Dinner: I might have had a slice of marble cake
Snack: Ovaltine Options hot choccie drink. 
Drinks: 1.5l of tap water

Not entirely sure what this lot really adds up to because FitBit inexplicably doesn't have 'massive chunk of cake' listed. I reckon it's probably about 1,000 calories in total. Lucky I didn't eat the really big slice of cake eh? Happily though, I've spent much of my day on my feet, so hopefully that will have burned a few calories along with all the smiling and being nice to people that I've done. That takes a lot of effort too, so must burn calories :D

FitBit Stats From Yesterday

Steps: 15,264
Distance: 6.09 miles
Active minutes: 99

My Stats

Current weight: 11st 8.0lbs (How annoying is that!?! So tantalisingly close to being 11st 7-something)
Next weight target: 11st 7lbs (pre-holiday weight)

TOMORROW: Do Low-Calorie Desserts Really Exist?