Friday, March 09, 2007


I'm sitting here doing this, when I should be doing all manner of Other Things.

Well, I am so much better, in body and mind! I went for the scan and it came back normal. Now, would you believe it, the pains I had (both sides of the upper stomach, and under the breast bone) disappeared within days. This happened before, after I had a colonoscopy. Anyway, it's like a miracle, not worrying anymore. For anyone that doesn't know what it's like to be in the grip of raging hypochondria, it takes over your life (this last bout went on for four months). Every waking moment is filled with a feeling of impending doom, even when you look like you're having a great time. It never goes away. You just can't talk yourself out of it, even though you know you've been through it all before. And you're so certain that there must be a reason for the pains this time. And it turns out you're fine and will live to see another day. The power of the mind is incredible, and psychosomatic symptoms are no joke. If only I could harness the power of the mind to positive effect - must find out how.

I haven't felt anxiety now for about two or three weeks - and it's like heaven. I'm hoping I can keep this up for more than a year (my record is a year and a half).

Right now, though, I am actually a bit under the weather. Had a raging temperature yesterday (you know, sore skin etc) but feel a lot better today, though my glands are up and my throat is very sore. I can cope with that - it's not a mysterious illness, so it doesn't worry me.

Charlie has been ill on and off for a month now. He's had conjunctivitis and a terrible cold, with his temperature going up and down like a yoyo. I'm so looking forward to us all being well again. It's just typical that I'd been back on the fitness thing with renewed zeal for about a week, when I got this bug. So frustrating.

Thank you so much for asking about me, and I can assure you I feel like a different (normal) person and I'm enjoying every day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

For Goodness Sake!

I have already failed! The day after I started back on the healthy thing, I got a cold. The sort that makes you feel a bit crap. Carried on eating healthily for two days (including juicing all kinds of fruit and veg) and then thought, oh well, I can't exercise so I might as well eat some nice things now, and then get back on it when I'm feeling better. And of course, that scan thing is tomorrow, and I'm thinking I'll be more focused after tomorrow. But that's probably not true, as once they've ruled out kidneys, liver, gall bladder, etc. etc (assuming they do) I'll be worrying that it's my lungs instead. Or my stomach, or something. That's how bad I can be. But the point is, why do I make these excuses to put off the things I should do, when that's exactly what they are - excuses? I've always worked better and been more productive with a deadline hanging over my head. And that isn't relevant when it comes to eating heathily, or at least, not in the same way.

I have only fallen off the wagon in as much as I have eaten several large handfuls of peanuts, but still, I know what wicked plans I have in my head for this evening. I will try not to fall off completely. It's not just a weight thing. In fact, it's not the weight thing that niggles away and worries me. It's the health thing. Now, that's crazy. You would think someone like me would ensure that never a bad thing entered my digestive system. But no. Although compared to most people I do eat well. Maybe I'm being OC about this. After all, there are so many terribly obese people out there who seem relatively healthy - who don't succumb to life-threatening diseases. Trouble is, I also know of so many previously heathy and fit people who have. You can go on rationalising one way or the other. It doesn't do any good. Wouldn't it be great if we could switch our thoughts off for a while!

Frankie, if you read this, good luck with your mammogram (and thinks for your good wishes). I've never had a mammogram, so I don't know what it's like. But aren't we lucky that there is a whole network of people taking care of us?

I will try not to sound so depressing next time! Just so you know, I am very happy. I'm not depressed at all, just neurotic!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Here We Go Again

I know, it's been ages since I posted here, and in truth, it's been ages since I made any kind of effort at eating healthily, or exercising. Don't get me wrong, I still cook fresh every day, but I have also been eating complete rubbish in the evenings (dime bars, cream eggs, loads of peanuts etc). I have had an unidentified health problem since October and the worry of it (I'm an out-of-control hypochondriac, remember) has meant I can focus on little else. Ridiculous. I think if I knew what was causing the pains I have, the worry wouldn't be so bad. It's the unknown. Anyway, I'm going for scan on Tuesday so that should either show something or rule a few areas out.

Worry or not, I feel crap due to all the rubbishy extra snacks and need to buck my ideas up. I now weigh 8st 9 and my fat % is 29. It's true. How can I get fat so quickly? Mind you, if you work hard at doing the right things, it can come off quickly, too.

So I'm checking in today to give myself a kick. Maybe I should post once a week, instead of feeling a failure at not posting every day and then giving up entirely. Yes, that a good idea. Post once a week, unless I have more time.

So, see you when I'm thinner. I hope (well, I did use 420 cals working out today).

Better go and stir my curried lentils - I always burn them

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Keeping It Up

Yesterday (Saturday), I happened to have about 90 minutes to myself during the day. That just never happens when you have a pre-school child, so when it does, you make the most of it. And what did I do? I leapt around the dining room (or it used to be, before I pushed the table and chairs back against the chimney breast so I could exercise) doing my Charlie Brooks routine and sweating buckets and puffing and panting and labouring in a most inelegant manner. Whilst I was doing this, I was wondering why on earth I wasn't doing something I really like. And the answer was: if I just sat around reading or knitting I would not achieve my fitness goals. As I've mentioned before, I don't want to be skinny - I want to be fit and feel good in my clothes, too. And when I'm tempted to use stolen time to do something nice, I give myself a pep talk. I remember that all the exercise I do - as well as getting my circulation going, and as well as giving my heart and lungs a good workout and boosting my metabolism and strengthening my muscles (even my bones) and releasing endorphins etc.- is actually burning off small amounts of fat right there and then. I visualize this happening and then I visualize myself as I might be if I just didn't bother. I think of my body inside and out, and of how I would feel, and it's not pretty. That is how I motivate myself to carry on. And getting fit, or staying fit, is not achieved without sacrifices. Unless of course the only thing you like to do in life is eat and exercise well. I feel great spiritually and physically during and after exercise, but that's not to say I would not rather be doing something else sometimes! But it's just not good enough to make excuses. Anyone can think of an excuse not to do something, but not all of us can resist the urge. The power is within all of us to do the right thing, but you have to want to make that change. And that is half the battle won - the decision to start fighting and to know what you are fighting for.

Yesterday my fat % was 26%. Today it's back to 27% but I'm hoping it's on the cusp between the two. I must admit that this weekend I've eaten a lot of ice-cream and some belgian chocolate and lots of nuts. By this evening I will have finished the bottle of wine I opened on Friday, and eaten an Indian take-away. But I'm not worried. The biggest experts have confirmed that when you're on a reduced-calorie diet, you absolutely must boost the metabolism every few days. I don't think they had ice-cream and golden syrup and take-aways in mind, but I'll gloss over that bit conveniently. It works. It honestly does. What could be more annoying than eating so healthily all the time, only to find your body slows its metabolism down and you get fatter eventually, rather than thinner? For more info a great place is Tom Venuto's site, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. He's brilliant.


Fat: 27%
Weight: 8st 5

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm Back (with a vengeance and a new favourite)

So, I hadn't exercised at all since 31st October, when I got a cold ( a nasty one, which is still on my chest now) and then I started throwing up on 9th Nov and it went downhill from there.

I suspect some people think I'm a bit over zealous in my avoidence of colds. I have been known to turn people away at the door, after all. I believe that, though I can catch a cold from a Tesco trolley, if I can avoid one, I will. What's the point in putting yourself in the firing line? No, I detest colds, and the fact that it's potluck whether you get an okay one or a really evil one. The symptoms of the evil ones can stick around for weeks, as I'm finding now. Honestly, I would rather get a sick bug, throw up for a day and then feel great! At least it's over quickly (usually).

The other thing about having a cold is that I just want to eat comfort food non-stop. Mind you, the sick bug soon put paid to that!

So now I'm back to the exercise and back to the healthy eating. Today I discovered frozen soya beans and they are suddenly my favourite quick snack. Just bung them in the micro, like frozen peas (don't even want to know about the dangers of microwaving - it's quite rare I use mine). But these are delicious. Much nicer than the dried ones I roasted a couple of weeks ago. Get some.


weight: 8st 5.5
Fat: 27%

Food today:
  • home-made smoothie: milk, live yogurt, ground almonds, assortment of frozen berries, honey
  • spinach, tuna, houmous, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives (nothing changes around here)
  • 1 apple, 1 orange
  • some ham
  • some soya beans
  • a rich tea biscuit
  • chicken in fresh chilli and lemon and garlic, roasted butternut squash & onion with rocket in balsamic vinegar dressing, roasted green pepper and cherry tomatoes
  • 5 pints of water
  • 1 cup of fresh black coffee

Exercise: 260 cals Davina

Monday, October 23, 2006


Yes, I'm still here. I'm pleased to say that my fat percentage has been at 27% for the last five days. As you'll see, it did reach 27% on odd days in the past few weeks, but not consistently over a period of time. Now, it seems firmly at 27%. As the weight comes off, though, I'm expecting it to jump back up to 28% temporarily, as this is the pattern my weightloss seems to follow. Eventually I'd like to get it down to about 25% but all indications are that it might take a while; after all, it's taken fifty days to get it from 30% to 27% - and it's more difficult the lower you go.

As you've probably noticed, I don't belive in cutting out the calorie-dense but nutritious things, like olive oil in my cooking, nuts, avocado, etc. But I also haven't completely stopped eating the really truly bad things, like golden syrup (yum), clotted cream (yum)...and other baddies. I should mention that I am coming to terms with the fact that you can have a little of what you fancy every now and then, without considering it "bad", and feeling guilty. If it's not too often, it's not going to do me any harm, or hamper my efforts. And it's not healthy to feel guilty all the time, when really I'm doing so well.

Weight: 8st 7
fat: 27%

I've lost almost three inches from my waist and hips (each!) and half an inch from my arms and thighs. I wish my thighs had lost three inches! Still, I'm pleased and am still full of motivation.

I'm exercising for at least five days a week. It's simple: I make sure the ingredients for my evening meals are prepared in the afternoon (garlic is peeled, chillis are chopped, veg prepared, etc) and I exercise between 7:30 and 8:30, after Charles goes to bed. Then I have dinner. It's a case of fitting in the exercise when I can. Not many people really have the time to spare. It's almost always a case of making the time, of squeezing it in somehow. A friend, who is desperate to get fit, recently asked when I exercise. Her response when I told her was that exercising at that time would absolutely kill her and she didn't have any other time she could fit it in. In other words, it isn't as important to her as she thinks it is! I know it's hard to get motivated - but if you want to do it, you can.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Carrot, Orange & Coconut Soup

Make this soup! Oh, but you absolutely must. It's so simple and quick to make - and so delicious I just can't say. This soup is extremely smooth and silky, with a slightly sweet yet tangy taste. Adjust the quantity of orange juice to your preference. As the oranges were tasty but a little sharp this time, I only used one and a half, and added 1tsp of sugar (unusual for me). I forgot to take a photo, which is a shame, as the soup is a vibrant bright orange.

450/500g of carrots, sliced
2 large oranges, juiced
20g creamed coconut
a little olive oil for frying onions
one medium onion
garlic, if desired
about 1 1/2 pts stock

Chop and fry the onions (and garlic, if you're using it) with the lid on your casserole dish/saucepan, to stop them browning (you could do this part with water instead of oil if you like). Once the onions are soft, add the carrots and the stock, Simmer with the lid on until they're cooked. Blend, after cooling a little. Reheat gently and add the orange juice and creamed coconut. Season to taste. Delicious!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Built For Speed

I was going to call this entry "Comfy Jeans" and then the OH walked in and said, "wow! You really look built for speed today, babe". Imagine it in a Bill Nighy voice (though Nick's voice is nothing like that, thank heavens) and you'll understand the tone of this comment. Infer from it what you will.

Anyway, I was having a what-to-wear crisis six weeks ago before going out to see a friend in a band, when last I tried on these jeans. I remember turning to Nick and wailing that I couldn't even wear them with the biggest and baggiest jumper ever, as my stomach and hips hung out so far over the top, it was obscene. You probably think I'm exaggerating. Honestly I'm not. It was a lot of flesh to see (shudder). But now, I can even sit down in them without causing huge ripples of flesh to hang over (just small ones now).

I've been feeling really quite demotivated, thinking I'm doing so badly and failing miserably and now I feel better. These jeans have told me I'm not doing so badly. In fact, I'm now built for speed. Yeah.

Funny thing is, I've only lost five pounds in six weeks, though that has mostly been fat. Five pounds of fat must take up a lot of space, if you think about it. And I would have done better if I hadn't had at least five or six serious lapse days. I guess this proves you can trim up without completely depriving yourself (I have been exercising a lot, though). Trouble is, though I can see results, I'm not happy with my less-than-perfect attempt at eating well. Oh, I'm hard on myself, as I eat better than every other person I know (bloglanders excluded).

Enough. I'm fed up with talking about myself.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pulling it Back Together

Over the weekend I went off the rails a bit. I only intended to eat a little bit more, just to speed up my metabolism a bit. You know, make sure my body didn't go into hoarding/starvation mode. It's true, that does happen and it does affect fat loss. Anyway, I ate loads of salted peanuts (usually don't go near the salted variety), clotted cream, cornish ice-cream, home-made walnut and chocolate cookies (5 huge ones), chocolate fingers, and loads more. I carried on exercising, as if it makes a difference when I've been that greedy. So now I have to get it under control. I made home-made baked beans yesterday morning and ate some for lunch. They're really delicious. And today I'm making lentil and tomato soup for lunch, and a really tasty chinese dish for dinner this evening.

I must keep going, and not give up just because the weekend was a rocky road of tempatation.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Checking In

I just couldn't be bothered to post every day over the last week. Doing all the exercise etc. was enough work on top of everything else in the day. For instance, yesterday we started baking walnut cookies at 8:30, and then spicy couscous and adzuki bean chilli and that took up most of the morning. Then there was cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming etc. etc. Then lunch and quick workout at 1pm-ish...writing the menu and shopping list for next week blah blah blah and then it was Charlie's dinner time....playing with the train set, bedtime for Charlie, another PROPER workout, dinner for me, a bit of knitting and then bed.

See what I mean?

I have been working really hard on getting the fat percentage down. Although I really do look sleeker, minus clothing, it's not really reflected so much on the scales. Well, that's what I say, and then I remember I've lost 3 or 4% body fat and I have to remind myself that it's excellent results in just five weeks. My clothes feel and look so much better, although I still have a big wad of fat on my hips and my upper thigh has always been relatively chubby. So, keep going I must.

Hips: 35 ( 37)
Arms: 10 6/8 (11)
Thighs: 21.5 (21.5)
waist: 28 (30.5)

Weight: 8st 7.5 (8st 12)
Fat: 27% (31%)

Exercise: 330 cals. A mixture of Joanna Hall and Hotpants
In brackets are the measurements of five weeks ago. As you can see, my thighs are the same. I'm not imagining it. So annoying. But on the plus side, my midriff has come in considerably (as have my hips) and I'm pleased about that. I'm sure that's due to the pilates stomach exercises in the Charlie Brooks dvd.

Food today:
  • shredded wheat (surprise again)
  • black grapes, pear and kiwi fruit
  • almonds and walnuts
  • spicy couscous and tuna
  • two cheesy Carr's biscuits
  • small packet of yoghurt-coated cranberries
  • some ham
  • adzuki bean chilli with brown and wild rice and raw baby sweetcorn. Yum.
  • red wine (it's the weekend)