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10th July 2019

1st blog

My first blog, oooh this is exciting! So, I’m going to use this week to make sure all naughty foods are out of the house, then at the weekend I’ll pop to Boots to get a print out of what their scales tell me I weigh, as of this morning I am 16 st 13 lb on my home scales, a UK size 24, and consistently 5’5″ 🙂

I’m excited for how I hope to see myself in the future, though I know I always start off enthusiastically, I’m hoping this will continue for at least my initial two and a half months.

It’s daunting knowing I have 10 weeks to lose 28lb, that’s nearly 3lb per week – hopefully the first week, which I’m counting as Sunday 21st, will show a good weight loss and encourage me to continue.

Good wishes welcome!!!

Quote for today

It took more than a day to put it on. It will take more than a day to take it off.

Hello :)

Where to start…

Deep breath…

In a nutshell: lost job, went to Wales, new love of crafts, health worries, possible cancer, new job, health investigations and ops, still got new job, not cancer, job confirmed after probation, put on loads of weight, exercise non existent, still a non smoker!

Yup, it’s been a wild ride!

First and foremost, health. Jan 2020 I went to the doc and said, how tired I am due to constant need for loo. I had a load of tests, and then a urology referral. September last year I had my first consultation.

I shan’t bore you with all the details, but a quick itemisation (is that a word? I don’t think so, but I’m keeping it 😁), embarrassing flow tests, ulyrasound scans, consultation, flexible cystoscopy – growth in bladder found, cat scan for growth separate to bladder, cat scan also finds swollen adrenal glands, diagnostic operation under anaesthetic, after op, a few hours of optimism, was literally thinking “time to sort out life”, then told need to wait for results, waiting, scan, consultation, no bladder cancer! Yay! tablets for overactive bladder a possibility, not good side effects, referral for adrenal glands, first consultation in May – suspect had this all my life so not worried.

Do I get any more sleep? No, I’m in exactly the same position as I have been for years… ah well, there’s still things I can try.

Paul and I were extremely lucky as we were able to stay at the little holiday cottage in Wales last September, we went on some great walks, longer and harder than before, but nowhere near able to walk up Snowdon.

Great news actually on my birthday in October, got a job! And I’ve just, last week, had my probation period completed and am a fully fledged member of virtual team! It’s been a bit of a slog learning and doing this job under our global circumstances, however, I have a job… woohoo!

With all these new job stresses and the health worries, I completely let myself slip with my healthy lifestyle. I don’t think there’s been a single evening where I haven’t had shed loads of crisps, alcohol has become a lot more prominent, and those cream liqueurs aren’t renowned for low calories!

And I’m so dog tired people. With good sleeps so rare, new job, health concerns, I am always, always just so bloody knackered!

Paul is baking loads as he’s still furloughed, breads, brownies, cookies, cakes, pastries… you get the picture.

As for exercise, well I just couldn’t be bothered. Walking was my preferred choice, it was something I could measure, how long, how quick, how many times up a hill… what with my painful heel, I just gave up. Not just on walking, but also on strength and cardio home workouts.

There was a big part of me that was thinking, “sod it, I might have cancer, why bother!” I know that’s defeatist, but there we go. I just thank my lucky stars that I didn’t give in to the pull of of fags. God knows it would have been so easy. Not sure I would have been so strong had I then been diagnosed with cancer!

Interestingly, I have never felt, and do not feel now as if I have given up on my healthier me dream, just put it on hold a bit. Hey, nothing like a challenge 😆

There was something that helped me, given me focus on something nice, I found a love of crafts! I made xmas decorations, and now make cards. Honest to God, the cards and papers I buy are so lovely I might paste them all over my walls 😆. On a serious note, this has kept me sane.

So where am I now?

Exercise – Ah, well… so now my head is getting back to where it should be, I started walking again last week, only 7.5km over 3 walks, but it’s a start, and no painful heel so far. Also started stretchy exercises a couple of weeks ago, not regular yet, but it’s a start, and so necessary for constant aching thighs (same dining chair for 50ish hours a week).

Food – our nutritious day food hasn’t changed too much, though our lunches are being tweaked gently away from sarnies back to salads. It’s really the delish crap I eat as well as the usual food. Ah dear. All those extra empty but lovely calories, at a time when my calorie expenditure is at an all time low.

So, my plan this coming week is to walk a total of 10km, cut crisps down to 3 nights, do stretches 2 times this week, keep on top of lunches.

I guess that’s me for now, I’m not going to promise nightly updates, but I will try for regular updates. The next update will have my weight on. Warn you now… no clothes fit, so I fully expect to be as heavy if not heavier than before.

I remember writing in my first post that I’m a yo-yoer, but I’m also a firm believer in cutting ourselves a bit of slack and drawing a line under what can’t be changed. Onwards and upwards.

Bye 👋

One door closes, hoping the next door opens soon!

Hey all, thought I’d do a quick check in, let you know my state of play.

First off, three years ago, my wonderful daughter and I braved the shave! We raised a FABULOUS £790 for MacMillan. Here’s a pic

Me and my beautiful daughter!

Amy keeps her hair short, not this short but short. It suits her 🙂 as for me, I’m glad we did it, and I might even do it again in the future, but I had a ridiculous fear that my hair wouldn’t grow back! It did, I’m pleased. For me, my hair is part of my feeling feminine.

OK, now with the shitty news.

I am currently jobless. As per the terms of my settlement I’m not allowed to talk about it, so I can’t share any more than that with you.

This was and is a shock, and at nearly 46 years old, feel too old to be in the job market again!

Ah well… and the wheels keep on turning.

Last week was a true fight with myself, I could almost have murdered for chocolate, crisps and more than anything fags!

I did myself proud my friends, I did not pig out, and I did not get some ciggies… I remain a non smoker 🙂

I wasn’t entirely good with food, by that I mean there were a couple of dodgy spells, some rum truffles, a kebab, a cider or two, but on the whole I carried on enjoying my usual foods. My dairy and water has been hit and miss.

As for exercise, well, damn. Not brilliant. On Sunday Paul suggested a walk, and on seeing my face said we didn’t have to. Truth is, no I really did not want to, but I knew a walk would do me the world of good, yes for the exercise, but mostly for my mood.

So we went to our number one park, Irchester. Glad we did, it gives me some respite from reality.

I’ve never had this mythical runners high, but I do get a real buzz from walking up and down in the woods, there are so many peaks and troughs to climb up, some of them are a good 4 metres high, and the tracks barely wide enough to walk on sometimes. You can go in, follow what looks like a track, only for it to peter out to nothing, so you need to back track. Some times the hills are so steep my knees are upto my chest.

I know I’m not explaining very well, but pictures don’t seem to do justice to the peaks and troughs, but it feels great to walk this park. I thoroughly enjoy the peace and quiet and the physical exertion I need to put in. This is my equivalent to a runner’s high!

We also went on Wednesday afternoon.

Then today, Saturday, Paul is helping his sister move, I’m surplus to requirements, so I asked Paul to drop me off at the park on his way to Karen’s.

I feel this is as close as I can get to the walks Paul and I do in Wales, so good preparation for our week away in September.

As I write this (having learned I can hotspot my phone data to my new tablet) I’m relaxing at a shaded park bench having completed nearly 10k, and all of it on the up and down! I feel goooooood!

I’ve also got one of my boots off plus socks because my heel feels utterly bruised, it’s currently resting on a bottle of chilled water… God knows what people must think of me 😀

That bruised feeling has been worse in the past and started earlier during walks, I bought new hiking socks yesterday, and on comparing them to my old ones, they’re very cushioned on the heel… bliss.

Anyway, here’s my screen shots for today.

So this is where I am, very proud of myself for refusing the nicotine pull (4 weeks 2 days free as I write), pleased I’ve kept mostly to the foods that are my lifestyle now.

Worried about the future, I have a decent cushion to tide me over, but that doesn’t take away the worry. Preparing myself for the job hunt race! Working hard on keeping myself from slipping into doldrums.

Hey… one door closes, another door opens 🙂

So bear with me, it seems my life is always more chaos than stability, this is just the next installment, let’s hope I get a job quickly.

I’ll post as I can, but it probably won’t be every day, it will depend on how much time I’ve spent staring at the screen job hunting.

By for now.

24th July – a non strenuous day today. Masks!

Evening all, hope you are looking forward to the weekend 🙂

I’m gonna start this with a thought on masks. Here in England it is now law that we wear masks. They’re uncomfortable, makes my skin feel uncomfortable, and I don’t like the hot moist breath. I will of course wear them, despite my dislike of them, and here’s why.

It is every person’s duty to behave in a community minded manner, this is the same regardless of the society a person lives in, and has always been the case. This enables harmony within the society.

Regardless of our personal beliefs about the effectiveness of masks, we don’t know that they do not work, so we should wear them just in case they DO help against the deaths of our friends, families and wider communities.

My wearing a mask probably won’t give me any protection, but my wearing a mask probably will give anyone I am are close to some protection. I don’t have the virus… to my knowledge… but any stranger I pass doesn’t know this (and let’s face it, I might have it) and I don’t know if they’re virus free.

Of course, I’m pissed off with our government, we should have been wearing masks much sooner, instead of our lying government saying “there’s no evidence masks help, so no masks necessary” they should have said “the evidence is inconclusive at this point, we simply don’t know” i would have been wearing a mask or at least a face covering months ago.

So let’s all mask up and continue to be good to one another.

Right, enough of my rant!

I’ve had a very lazy day today, nothing to report.

Sleep – it wasn’t too bad a night.

Fluid – 200ml milk, 3 glasses of water, 2 cups of tea.

Food – 40g natural nuts and 75g dried fruits for breakfast.

Beans and cheese on half a jacket potato with a knob of proper butter.

We were getting rid of two bits of cheese, a healthier cheddar, and a creamy blue, so there were two dairy portions in lunch.

Dinner was lightly dusted cod with oven chips.

And fruit for afters.

Exercise – I’m aching quite a bit today, so decided on a non walk day today. But I still did my resistance programme and the additional arm strength routine. I don’t mind admitting to you that I’m glad not to be doing anymore strength until Monday… my muscles are hurting!

Unfortunately my watch ran out of battery half way through so no tracker screen shot, but its about 30 minutes with both routines.

Challenge board – again the water is thanks to the board. All in all pleased with progress this week.

I’m probably going to have a square of dark chocolate and a vodka and pepsi max this evening.

Night all 🤗

23rd July – cardio was much harder today!

Hiya all

My cardio today was round with Angela. We both found it a lot harder than Monday. My legs were burning! But we did it, and with 2 more minutes of hell than Monday!

Also popped round to mum’s for a natter, she had her friends round and they both told me how much more slimmer I look. Sharon even told me my skin looks healthy 😊

And two weeks fag free.. YAY!

I now have 1 red strawberry and 1 turning red strawberry 🍓, paul and i might get a treat of home grown strawberries at the weekend 😋

This evening Paul and I went back to Irchester Park, i took a hiking stick which meant I could get down the long hills and not turn back. We also found loads of new paths. I used to like this park for the gentle short walk, now we go through the woods and get of the path I LOVE it!

Here are some photos, next time we’ll have to make a note of our elevation!

So, on to the details…

Sleep – not too bad, I got 9 hours of actual sleep albeit disturbed too many times!

Fluid – 200ml milk, 1 Pepsi max, 3 cups of tea, about 2l water!

Food – 40g natural nuts and 75g dried fruits for breakfast.

Salad, hummus and couscous for lunch.

After being so impressed with the Naked Glory vegan burger a couple of weeks ago, we had it again today. Again… tasty, succulent, great mouth feel! I had sprouts and mushrooms that needed eating, so sprouts were simply boiled, mushrooms low cooked in pan with knob of real butter, loads of garlic puree and a pinch of cumin. We had oven cooked sweet potato fries as well.

When we got back from our walk we had a banana and oat cookie. And as I’ve only had two dairy portions (glass of milk and feta in salad) I had a babybel as well.

Exercise – yup!

So my cardio was 5 mins each in turn on exercise bike and rowing machine for two turns, then another two turns but 3 minutes each, 32 minutes in total. (Take no notice of total time, we stopped for plenty of water and breath breaks!)

Then a very enjoyable walk this evening.

So a good day, looking forward to tomorrow 😃

Night 🤗

22nd July – bbq chicken and a new exercise programme.

Hiya all, hope you are well.

I’m sorry to say it looks as if my herbs have all died off.  I’m gutted 😢.  On a brighter note, what Paul told me were lilies, are actually dahlias, and they’re coming up beautifully!

There’s even success with the strawberries.

At least my onions still look strong.

Had a new discovery for my strength training.  I’d just finished my normal programme and youtube clicked on to another programme.  This one was a 12 minute arm strength routine.  I quite liked it, so I’m gonna incorporate that into my exercise plan from now on, to be done after my usual all over programme. Gotta try and reduce those wings 😆

And while on the subject of exercise, I went for a walk today with the new insoles in my boots.  Very uncomfortable!  When I got home I immediately got an ice pack out and rested my foot on it.  now I can walk around without pain, however because I didn’t use my brain, I don’t know if I can walk because of insoles or ice pack!

Oh, and my foreheads worse, not as bad as it has been in the past.

And Paul fired up the bbq again, this time for 2 chicken quarters for dinner.  It might seem like a bit of a  waste, but it’s practise for when we invite people over.  Besides it tasted delish!  And we ate outside so it felt different and good…  well right up to the moment our neighbour come round complaining about the bbq smell in his house!

Gonna have to figure out how to change the garden around now so the bbq is as far from his garden as possible and still be safe.  Oh well 😔

So, on to the daily details…

Sleep – not too bad last night.

Fluid – 200ml milk, 2 cups of tea, 1 glass of cider, glasses of water. Although I’ve hit my target, I do feel as if I should have had more water today.

Food – 40g natural nuts and 75g dried fruits for breakfast.

Cheese and beans on toast for lunch normal baked beans instead of the five beans.

Followed by fruit.

Dinner – chicken with salad, hummus and couscous.

Exercise – over all resistance training, followed by arm strength training, those were my first two logs in photo.

And then a walk. A more gentle walk than normal, very pleasant.

Challenge board –

So another all over good day 🙂

Speak tomorrow.

21st July – another fantastic day.

Hiya 👋

Despite the sun hiding all day when we went to Skeggy on Saturday, it still managed to get me! I always carry factor 50 suncream, my sunhat and sun glasses, but because the sun didn’t actually emerge, I didn’t use them!

Now my forehead is suffering… grrrrr! You can just about see the inflammation above my left eyebrow. This will get worse over the next few days. Hey-ho, lesson learned, even in a non sunny day, cream required!

When mum came to dinner on Sunday she was saying how she just can’t get the motivation to go to our local park for a walk, so today she and I went to the park just with the aim of enjoying the outside for a while.

Mum didn’t want to take her walking stick, feeling self conscious, but as I said, she doesn’t know anyone there, she’s not having xmas dinner with them, so it doesn’t matter. She laughed and took the stick.

I’m glad she did, since having her knee replaced she worries about falling over, the stick gives her stability and confidence.

Well we didn’t just go and spend some time sitting on a bench, mum managed to walk around the top part of the park! We took it at a nice gentle pace, took one bench break and then another one with a drink from the cafe. Mum had a vanilla milkshake… with cream! I had a bottle of apple juice 😇

It was a nice way to spend an hour or two, so pleased for mum, with any luck she will now have the confidence to start going on her own again. 😊

My butt cheeks are quite tender from Angela’s exercise bike, hope they’re OK before tomorrow when I’m thinking of going back to Angela’s!

Anyway, onto the day.

Sleep – less said the better!

Fluid – 200ml milk, 1 cup of tea, 1 bottle of apple juice, 1 Pepsi max and 3 glasses of water. Thank God for my challenge board, I wouldn’t have bothered with the 3rd glass of water without it.

Food – I got up quite late today so didn’t bother with breakfast other than half a cookie with my tea.

For lunch we had greek salad with sweetcorn left over from yesterday, couscous, hummus and chicken.

Mid afternoon I had fruit and nuts. Not as much as usual, just enough to see me through to dinner.

Then we had slow cooked lamb curry, white rice (I know! My preference would be the healthier, less refined brown rice, but Paul doesn’t like brown rice and he was cooking) with a flatbread. It smelled good and tasted better!

Then for supper we had some fresh fruit.

On updating my challenge board I found I had slipped on dairy… again… so I had a babybel.

Exercise – YES!

This morning I did the youtube (body project) cardio workout.

Then tonight we went for a walk and a stop at the local supermarket. The first 3km before going into the shops were the best I’ve done in months.

Challenge board – water and dairy was completed only because of he Challenge board. Glad I kept them on the board, though I do wonder of I’ll ever naturally be good with water and dairy.

So that’s my day.

Bye for now 🤗

20th July – a great start!

Hiya all, hope your Mondays have been OK.

I am so chuffed with my day! I wanted today to be a good exercise day, and it was.

Let’s start at the beginning…

So sleep was crap.

For breakfast I had my usual 40g natural nuts and 75g dried fruits along with a cup of tea and 200ml of milk.

Then I visited with my friend, and while there we both worked out on her exercise bike and rowing machine. Oh my WORD!!! the bike nearly had me! I got on it, the pedals didn’t move! Angela thought I was just not used to it, so i ended up hard slogging through 5 minutes of sheer hell! I thought my legs were gonna burn off! Then we swapped and that’s when Angela realised i wasn’t making it up! She got off and fiddled with something or other, then peddled happily away… grrr!!!

So, we did 5 minutes on each piece of equipment three times. It felt like hours! But we did it, pushing each other on, encouraging one another not to give up.

During my time with Angela, I had a glass if water and 2 cups of tea.

On returning home, I immediately got on with my resistance training from youtube! Go me!!

Then I prepared lunch. Salad, hummus, couscous and chicken with a glass of water.

The afternoon was relaxing with Paul making banana and oat cookies. We had two each as they wouldn’t fit into the biscuit barrel!

Had this banana and oat cookie with a cuppa

I also wanted to go for a walk today, so we did this before dinner.

And then for dinner, sockeye salmon with rice and sweetcorn and another glass of water.

I’ve had another glass of water and a babybel cheese portion.

Here’s the fresh challenge board, you’ll see I’ve removed youtube cardio and written in cardio because I’ll probably go to Angela’s again at some point this week. I’ve also upped my walk target to four times this week. I’ve kept water and dairy as is because I think it’ll always be a challenge for me to take in.

Now Paul and I are going to enjoy just relaxing for an hour or so in the garden, with a cuppa, and…

What is it about a fireplace that makes a person feel so relaxed?

Good night my friends.

19th July – a relatively relaxing end to the week.

Hey all, hope you are well.

Firstly, a couple more photos from yesterday, provided by Amy.

And moving on…

Slept like a log last night, got up just twice for loo stops, fell straight back to sleep. Woke around 7.30am, got up around 8.30am.

You know I was writing about heel pain a post or two ago? Yesterday Paul suggested I go to Skeggy in trainers, not boots. I didn’t see how this could help, I love my boots, have had them for about two years, and this heel pain has only been in the last few months.

Well, as much as I hate to admit it, Paul is right (shhhh, don’t let him know 😉). I have not had that pain at all. Yes my feet are a bit achy, but not the horrible agony!

On trying to understand what the difference is, I’ve realised I’ve only been wearing one pair of socks these last few months, so i shall go back to two, maybe that will help with shock absorbency, and maybe my feet are thinner too, so the boot may be looser too.

If I still have pain I’ve got insoles for boots which might help if necessary.

Mum came round today, she and Paul don’t have an easy relationship but it was a lovely afternoon.

The visit was twofold, one – catch up and dinner, two – tell us what we can throw out from the shed and what she can take back to hers (for those who don’t know, we bought the house from mum after my stepdads death, the shed never got sorted).

Mum’s always had issues with her teeth, and a huge fear of dentists thanks to poor work when mum was a kid, however she is currently in the middle of major dentistry which will give her fixed falsies and a tonne of confidence. Right now though food has to be a considered affair.

We didn’t really have anything in the freezer, I decided on cottage pie with veggies slightly over cooked, and hit the shops after a breakfast of sausage roll.

The dinner went down well with mum and Paul.

My uncle and his wife have been baking during these last few months, and always bring mum something when they visit for games on Saturday evenings. Mum brought round some of this weeks deliciousness! Ginger cake!!

It just so happens we had some custard in the cupboard, light custard of course, so we had cake and custard for desert.

We also had some honeycomb, and a sharing bag of crisps.

I’ve had several teas and Pepsi maxes, but no water today.

Below is my challenge board for this week.

So not a great day in terms of my health and fitness, but tomorrow will be the start of another week, one I’m (currently) looking forward to working hard on more exercise than last week and great healthy, tasty eating 😋

So the end of another week, bring on the next!

Night all

18th July – what a lovely day 😊

Hey all, it’s 22:39 and we’ve just got home. Blues Brothers is on TV, perfect end to the day 🙂

I have finally taken off trainers and socks, which are slightly damp from a quick run through water, or face being stranded and wading back to shore… not good if you don’t like jellyfish!

We started the day with sausage roll and a cuppa.

Made up the picnic.

Left at about 10am, arrived in Skegness about 12.30pm.

We had lunch as soon as we arrived. I had a cheese and ham roll, a piece of pork pie and couscous, followed by cherry bakewell tart and choc mousse (healthier option).

We left Amy and Katie on the beach and headed off for a walk. Quick question… at what point (age or weight) does walking on dry sand become difficult!

Our walk was really cool! I feel really lucky if I spot sea creature, well today I saw a couple if 1 inch crabs, prawns and a starfish (unfortunately not alive) and then loads of jellyfish! Here’s some pics.

This was definitely a scary looking one
Until this one came along! It was a good 10 inches!
This poor little one was beached. A prod (with a rock, im not using my fingers) let me know it was too late to return to water.

We were walking along the shoreline which has some sandbanks, so we were on one of these when I thought the tides coming in, we should really get off and get back to the main shore! Now we weren’t in any real danger other than the fact I hate the thought of sea creatures eating me, and I’d just spent 45 minutes marvelling at the jellyfish, and the variety of species!

Imagine my slight panic at running towards what was our path and watching the water wash over it! Within just a couple of waves it was under water! Had I not suggested turning when we did i would have gone into full panic meltdown mode!

As it was, Paul said “just run” and that’s what I did 😆

Here’s a couple of pics from the safe side!

In case you’re wondering, I did see a jellyfish as I was running across, one of the little purple ones!

Since then I’ve been walking around with damp toes, socks and trainers 🤣

We made our way back, eventually, to the girls who had been enjoying sitting on the beach.

We popped on the pier, something I love doing. And we we’re lucky because the tide was coming in so there was actually some water under the pier!

Then we spent a bit of time wasting a couple if quids worth of 2ps in the penny falls in the arcade.

And then a bit of crazy golf! Now for once Paul didn’t win, and I didn’t lose 😆

Paul, Amy and Katie.

We have a rule on crazy golf, i don’t know if it’s a homemade rule, but it’s a must for us… attempts to down the ball are capped at 6!

Not entirely sure why Amy’s looking so uncomfortable 😆

Anyway, at this point we were thinking about dinner and home. If anyone is ever in Skeggy, I would highly recommend seafood fisheries, it is a great chippy, battered fish is fantastic in both fish and batter, a real treat! Tonight however, there was a massive queue, and no seating used (presumably covid), so we had to rethink.

Another of my favourite places to eat over the years has been the vine Hotel, the quality of food is never less than exceptional and service always exemplary, tonight was no exception. This is a treat meal for those able to spend more than average restaurant prices.

Paul’s dinner
Katie’s dinner
Amy’s dinner

I’m building the expectation for my meal… fish and chips? Scampi? Mac and cheese with beef short rib?

Mine!

Pan fried sea bass with chorizo (gave half of it away), broccoli, asparagus and saffron cream!

I wasn’t actually that innocent though, I had a couple of Paul’s chips and a bit of his battered fish, just a mouthful or two, but then I also tried a bit of Amy’s dinner, and I had full fat coke! I just couldn’t face diet coke.

And then the drive home.

Both girls fell asleep.

Katie
Amy

And now we’re all home, Paul and i are enjoying a Pepsi max and have had another bakewell tart each.

Here’s my activity tracker for today.

And to top off the good news, I don’t remember having a single ciggie craving!

So, great day and great for activity, not perfect on food, dairy and fluid.

And after the film I’m going to enjoy collapsing into bed!

Night 🌙

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