Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Not Trying Much, But Not Losing The Plot Either.

I suspect that's the most some of us can hope for, and in it's own way, it's a good thing.

Many of the food/medical/slimming experts tell us that complete deprivation can lead to a diet (or weight loss programme) being ditched completely. I agree with that and always have.

However, we CAN re-train our taste buds (if I can, anyone can) so that things we used to love no longer tempt us like they used to, but I find it harder to abstain completely from foods which I find 'nice' and pleasurable to eat.

I also find it hard to opt out of social occasions which involve food. Part of me thinks it's sensible to tell myself that I don't have to give them up altogether. We get one life...and food and drink ...eating..is one of life's pleasures in my book. Sitting with people and sharing food and conversation is just not the same when they are tucking into a wonderful roast dinner and I go for a cracker, a small cube of cheese and some cherry tomatoes! I have to build such family food times/celebrations into my diet...and if I lose weight slowly because I do...so be it. I can live with that. I also have to learn about portion control....and I am doing that too.

Getting a balance is what it's all about I suspect. Even more than that, we have to train ourselves out of our piggish and greedy ways. We have become fat because we have eaten too much. We have to get a handle on that...for life. We aim to become the person with self-control. We have to learn to go without fast food, not to turn into the drive-in when we pass one, we have to learn to eat only when we are hungry and to stop ourselves nibbling and 'grazing' throughout the day. We can manage on less. It doesn't have to be too difficult or restrictive. New eating habits help us stay in control, even if the control isn't perfect.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing. There is a middle way. Our biggest challenge is learning to alter our habits on a day to day basis - knowing that eating occasions can be enjoyed, without deprivation but without over-indulgence. It isn't about living on salads and 'slimming foods' for the rest of our lives, thankfully :) If I remind myself that there are no forbidden foods I tend to make sensible choices. It's only when foods are 'off-limits' that temptation rears it's ugly head and messes with my mind. So - no foods are off limits and I trust myself to eat sensibly.

Yesterday I had to see my Doctor. He was going to examine my lower legs, so for a change I thought I'd wear a skirt for easier access. I usually wear trousers or jeans. I dug one out of my wardrobe....one I hadn't worn for about two years.....but only because I don't choose to wear skirts much. It had been washed but not ironed. I ironed it and tried it on. To my surprise (this was a real shock!) the waistband was loose!

Gradually, my middle has become smaller. Not much, but it hasn't grown either.

I haven't been very good about exercising lately. Not good. The plot was lost there...

We've had snow and I have been housebound for some of the time. I have lazed about at home....decorating it for Christmas, tidying up, cleaning etc. I have also spent a lot of time on my computer, a lot of time in front of the TV (good films and comedies on around this time of year!) and lots of time reading. I am behind with my Christmas cards, and not one present has been wrapped yet. I am far too self-indulgent...BUT...I haven't been with food.

Oh, I have enjoyed sweet treats and puddings, but I haven't bought in any chocolates or biscuits for Christmas. I have bought nuts, savoury snacks and my favourite cheese straws (pastry and cheese...eeek...a wonderful combination, especially with a glass of good wine.) I intend to enjoy my food...BUT given at the back of my mind I still want the thin me to emerge, I know I'll undo all my good work if I go overboard. I am 'maintaining' by the looks of it! :)

For me, this is a time for all things in moderation. I shan't pig-out, that I know, but I shall have small amounts of things I enjoy eating and drinking. My weight isn't likely to go down, but hopefully it won't go up too much either..

I could say now that come the new year I'll earnestly cut back and it will be different...but that would be a hollow resolution.

Come the new year, I'll keep on working on those good habits and try to incorporate more exercise into my day. No other promises. Slowly, slowly...I'll leave behind the fat woman I am.

I could leave her behind temporarily if I go on a calorie reduced eating plan and start exercising like a whirling Dervish...I could be slim before my next birthday if I cut right back and became solely focused on myself....but...I am long in the tooth. I know myself. A plan like that would last two or three months at best....and then I'd feel a failure. That is not for me.

I believe in me. I want to be a smaller version of me, for health reasons mainly...and partly because I am vain. I don't like my midriff bulge, my chunky legs, my rounded face. I could look better. It matters. However, I am happy generally.

I hope you are too, wherever you are. We have to remind ourselves that we are more than a number on a scale.

If you have lost the plot..or have, like me, not been focusing much on the plot, why not join me in promising yourself that you won't stop believing - believing that you CAN do this...but you might have to take it slowly, and most of all, realistically?

Don't set yourself wild goals. Do promise yourself that you WILL look after your body...every day, without feeling deprived or on a course of action that you cannot maintain. It has to be workable, long term, and I suspect that's where many would-be dieters come unstuck.

We are OK. It isn't a race. We'll get there.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Christmas is Coming, The Goose is Getting Fat...

"Please put a penny in the old man's hat."  My Mum used to smile and repeat that rhyme when I was younger.

"If you haven't got a penny, a half-penny will do" (half penny, said "hape-nee" as it's prounounced here in the UK)

"If you haven't got a 'hape-nee,' God bless you!"

Hmm. Christmas IS coming. I can't afford a fat goose. The only fat thing around here is me:)

I won't be able to afford much this Christmas, but that is OK. I have come to terms with it and I'll determine to make the house warm and welcoming and hopefully create happy memories. Love is what Christmas is all about, after all.

I'll go and sing some carols at church - carol services are always packed - and I'll decorate the house and tree as usual. I'll play lots of Christmas music and listen to brass bands...We have snow in the UK at the moment and lights decorate many houses, so it's all beginning to look very festive. I feel a little out of the loop. All I can offer really is hospitality.

Fortunately, I am not fond of many edible Christmas goodies. Mince pies are OK but I eat very few, I don't like Christmas pudding much, or rich Christmas fruit cake. So, I haven't made any. I'll buy a small pudding from a local baker, who makes rich, nutty ones. That will be served after Christmas dinner. I do like thick brandy cream and Stollen though! I shall try to hold back. My man is cooking again this year, so he'll buy the turkey and take on board most of the expense - and hard work. I feel bad about that...my pride is hurt, but I'll hide it and do what I can. I want to be the provider, the hostess. This won't be my show - it will be his, but when all is said and done - does it matter? Nope. I must swallow my pride and learn to accept and take gracefully. That's what I have to do. He'll cook the vegetables. I'll buy and cook a small ham, and do all the trimmings. I'll decorate the table. My adult children will contribute too..buying Stollen, cheese, crackers, a chocolate log perhaps. I shan't over-eat on Christmas day. That bloated feeling is horrible. It's just another day after all - a special day, but not one for gorging on food. I hope I have a handle on that.

I am proud to say I haven't bought any sweets, liquers, chocolates, pastries etc, even though the shops are packed with them right now. I am not tempted by them, so it hasn't been that hard. Even if I wanted to I cannot afford the excess buying.  For years, my parents house, and my own house, the house I shared with my ex husband etc, was always stocked well for Christmas. We used to laugh and buy 'Christmas Fayre' as well called it. We'd stock up week by week on food and drink goodies which we'd put away for the run up to Christmas. In many ways, it's hard not to be able to afford to do that now, but I have to convince myself that it's OK. My tummy and waistline will thank me for it.

Part of me feels sad that I can't go overboard, be the hostess with the mostess, indulge in excess, and part of me feels perhaps this is the way it SHOULD be. There is a case to be made for the immorality of over-indulgence on special occasions I guess, especially when so many people in the world are starving.

I shan't starve, I shall have a jolly, happy family time and for that I am grateful. I am rich  in many ways, and I must remind myself of that, often. This year, my focus is not on food. I have felt a bit like the poor relation. However, is there is a silver lining in that cloud which is the shortage of funds? It's another learning curve for me, that's for sure even though it's been a hard one to take onboard. I have had to tighten my belt, and sometimes, that is a GOOD thing.

A blessing in disguise perhaps?

Food-wise, is the run-up to Christmas day easy for you?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Fat and Lazy?

I deliberately put the question mark after lazy.

I suspect I am fat because I am lazy. There. That takes the heat off all those people who might have become indignant.

I can say that I don't make much effort. I give in too easily. No healthy eating regime stands a chance for long because it involves effort...and I can't be bothered to make that effort every single time I need to eat.

There are a group of overweight people who would have us believe that because of some profound damage done to them they have no choice but to eat and eat and eat..Alcoholics would say there is a need to drown their sorrows. Drug addicts would say there is a need to get high and forget reality. We all know we have to wean ourselves off the substance which soothes us. It involves effort and determination to do that.

I'd also say OK. Yes, I eat out of 1) boredom, 2) because I don't like my fat self much, 3) because I am greedy, 4) because I have no self-discipline, 5) because fast food tastes great and  6) because there have been times in my life which have had a damaging impact on me and caused me to be the way I am now. They all apply.

I know all about comfort eating, but to the suffocating feelings with food lobby I'd say - we do it, but we have a choice.

In simplest terms? Our choices are 1) to lose weight, or 2) to remain the same.

What's easier? Choice 2 of course. To continue sitting down, continue eating all before us....for whatever reason we do it. We don't want to stop the rot, or we cannot summon up the effort it takes to stop the rot. In allowing ourselves "Just one more slice of cake" we inwardly make a pact with ourselves to remain a fat person. We choose. We do it with every mouthful of food.

When people say "There, there. I understand why you are fat" they give the overweight a get-out clause. We even give ourselves that get-out clause. "My life is crap, I am mentally and emotionally fragile, I am fat and useless...so I'll eat. Hell, I might as well pig-out too." This allows us more time to continue eating cakes and feeling sorry for ourselves because the scale shows us that we weigh more today than we did yesterday.

Don't most of us, no matter what our past, choose the easy way? Yes we do.

It's harder to make a salad than it is to buy a bar of chocolate or a burger.
It's harder to find self-discipline than it is to say "Oh well, I'll do better next week".
It's harder to remain stead-fast and disciplined than it is to say "Well, I deserve that cake. A little bit won't matter much."
It's harder to promise ourselves "I'm going to do this!" than it is to remain in a nice comfy rut of our own making.
It's harder to walk round the block on a cold winter's night than it is to sit in the warm and watch TV.
It's harder to prepare and cook vegetables than it is to microwave a ready meal.
It's harder to determine to change than it is to remain the same.

By the way - I AM that person I'm describing above. I conclude that I am taking the easy way out by remaining the same. I know myself quite well. I'd rather be fat and lazy than disciplined, hard-working, determined and thinner. I am choosing not to put on my walking shoes, and choosing to stay in my comfort zone.

You too?

Monday, 6 December 2010

Lack Of Effort Or Giving Up?

First of all - thanks to those people still interested in my progress, or lack of it.

I haven't posted for a week or so, for two reasons. I've been busy one way and another, and I haven't had much to report. Amazingly, I stood on the scale this morning after my shower and couldn't believe that I hadn't piled on all the weight I had lost. Today I weigh 203lbs. I have gained six pounds since my last weigh-in. Not too bad.

My trouble is I am just too....'lack-a-daisical' as my old Mum used to say. I am too laid back, too easy-going, too contented. I just don't want this enough. I don't seem able to make the sacrifices I have to in order to lose weight. It's not just about sacrifices though. It's about effort, and I'll hold my hands up. I haven't been making any!

What to do? Make an effort with Christmas approaching? (I can hear you scream "YES!")

I am partly kicking myself, because when I read about some of the struggles with food other bloggers have, I know I have it fairly easy. I tend not to binge eat. My sweet tooth tends to be for cakes...but not all cakes. I hate cakes with icing (frosting?) or fudge. Far too sweet. A bit of jam in a soft doughnut? Lovely. Fresh cream in an eclair? Mmmm. A flaky pastry apple turnover filled with whipped cream? Yes please. However, the craving I had for cakes has subsided. It's been sated. I walked to get the cakes, and I walked back home again, so I worked off a few of their calories! (I am laughing here at my trying to justify my cake-buying spree.) Cakes aren't tempting me any longer. Wine and savoury nibbles at night whilst watching TV has been my latest downfall...but one glass of wine and one small packet of something savoury isn't a major over-indulgence. I am doing silly things like having tortillas and sour cream with chilli con carne - as well as the rice. I am not pigging out. I am just not being careful, not cutting back, when I could. Nor am I exercising enough.

I cannot remember the last time I had a take-away from a fast food place. I really have forgotten when that was. They don't tempt me. Last night I nipped over to my daughter's house to drop off a birthday present for my neice who is living there temporarily. It was late when I left after a cuppa (with no biscuits or cake!) and a McDonalds with a drive-through had to be passed on the drive home. I momentarily thought "Oh a burger and fries...that would save me cooking." Did I stop? No.

Earlier in the day I was out shopping and again, felt peckish as I hadn't eaten for a while. As I walked back to my car with the shopping I could smell in the air the tempting aroma of fried chicken. A KFC was about 200 yards away. I got into the car and decided I'd call in and get chicken and fries. Now, I do love KFC...but again, I cannot remember when I last had it. However, once buckled up, I told myself "Hang on. You are broke. You cannot afford fast food. Go home and cook something. How stupid! You do not want to be paying out money for something greasy and not good for you!" And with that, I drove home. No pangs, no regrets.

OK, so when I got home I heated up a creamy chicken curry and had two chappatis with it. I also had one glass of wine later, and a small, individual packet of potato rings...

So - not good choices really. I am not eating much in the way of fruit and veg, and I am not being very good about cooking healthy meals either, as the boys tend not to be around at dinner time. (The girls in their lives hold more appeal than home-cooked food! Bad really, because I don't want them to go down the "I'm hungry - I'll grab a burger, kebab, fried chicken" route.)

Anyway. If I get my act together and try a bit harder, I could do this.

I guess that is true for a lot of us?
I just have to want it enough, and I don't seem to be able to work up a sense of urgency or need in myself. I don't like what I see in the mirror (from the shoulders down!).

Perhaps I need to invest in more full length mirrors?

How do you keep going? How do remain fired up to do this?

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Cake Madness and Calorie Shame.

When will I learn? I am kicking myself for not looking at the nutritional information on the back of a box of cakes.

Ye Gods! I am turning into a cake fiend. It's like I have to have a cake every single day, yet a while ago, I gave them no thought. I'd gone without them for a while and the fewer I had, the less I felt the need for them. (I mean - no one NEEDS cakes, do they?) I had tamed my sweet tooth or so I thought. It's amazing though how once you indulge, it's SO hard not to carry on indulging. I don't mean all in the same day....I am not a binge eater...I can stop, but I can also over-indulge day after day after day until 'bad' foods become a tasty comfort - something to look forward to, an indulgence, a treat.  That's what I have been doing. I can 'allow' myself too many 'little treats' throughout the day, and boy, do those calories add up!

It's nothing to do with allowing foods I fancy into my diet and accounting for them. Oh no. This is "I want a cake and I am having a cake...so there!" I am defying my own willpower - deliberately and consciously damaging myself and thwarting all my efforts to lose weight....destroying all the good habits I'd incorporated into my eating, because my inner brat was not going to stop screaming! I gave in to that demanding inner child - knowingly, and I feel rather ashamed. I was joining the inner brat in looking forward to a cake-buying spree every day. And yes, I can also get my head around the fact that the brat is me. I WANT CAKES - l have to be honest with myself.

WHY do I want cakes, knowing they contain fat, sugar and not a lot else? No idea. Comfort eating, plain and simple. Just as a mother might stop a baby wailing and wanting by stuffing a dummy into it's mouth, I soothe myself with cakes.

Then, playing amateur psychologist, I ask my self WHY I need to soothe myself? What is creating this urge for cakes? I shan't say it's an uncontrollable urge, but it's an urge I am not fighting. I am bright enough to know that I can distract myself, busy myself with other things, or eat oatcakes, apricots, bananas instead of cakes, if I REALLY feel the urge to eat. I also know that these urges have absolutely nothing to do with hunger.

Why have I stopped fighting these impulses?

I just don't know.

Anyway - tonight I casually looked at the packet which contained two egg custard tarts...sweet pastry cases filled with a rich egg custard. Two individual little tarts. I bought TWO packs of two, because my intention was to share them with my man's relatives IF they popped round tonight. They didn't, so wey-hey - more cakes for MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I ate two at lunch time...with an interval of about 90 minutes between each. I had both with a big mug of tea. Then this evening when they called to say they didn't have time to pop in (lots of urgent things to do in the course of one day's visit, so understandable) I was quite delighted that there were two more small cakes for me to eat! I had one shortly after they phoned, and one for pudding after my evening meal. Four egg custard tarts in one day.

Casually I looked at the box they came in and lo and behold, each tart contained

240 calories.
5 grams of protein.
28.4 grams of carbohydrate, of which 13.4 grams were sugars.
11.5 grams of fat, of which 4.8grams were saturated.

Today I ate 960 calories in cakes alone. Oh blush.

20 grams of protein
113.6 grams of carbohydrate - 53.6 grams were sugars.
46 grams of fat - 19.3 grams were saturated.

Those soft, custardy cakes took only minutes to eat....

A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.

Little pickers wear bigger knickers.

Fridge magnet philosophy, but well...quite appropriate.

Doesn't it make you feel bad when you tot up the totals of 'bad' foods?

*THINKS: Now, if I'd been aware at the outset that my cakes contained such 'badness' would I have binned them?  Into the bin - or into me? I am not sure, but sadly, I am also not convinced that I'd have thrown them away :(

I wouldn't put sand into the petrol tank of my car, so why do I think it's OK to run my body on rubbish? It's strange, isn't it? I'd bet we've all been there.

I feel rather ashamed that I am treating myself so badly. I am not going to weigh myself right now. I don't need any more shame. I can't even promise I have seen the light and will eat sensibly for every day of my life from now on. I can't even promise that tomorrow I'll eat healthily.

I do know however that all sorts of emotions are coming into play. If you love yourself and value yourself, you don't treat your body like a dustbin or a land-fill site, as I have been doing lately, with carefree abandon.

However..a little shock to the system does no harm. Wake-up call. How much do I NEED cakes, now I am aware of those figures, above?

Onwards. It's my call, my body, my life. I need to think about what I am doing to myself. I hope perhaps that this post might encourage you to do the same?

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Doctor's Orders.

Hello again...and sorry I vanished for a while. I've been feeling rather useless.

I am back, with my left leg encased in tight bandages from groin to foot and I am wearing a full length support stocking on top of that lot! I have had painful phlebitis in my leg and had a foam scleropathy op at the hospital yesterday.

Sigh. It's at times like this that I wish I didn't have big wobbly thighs. The bandage and stocking are digging in tightly and will do for the next fortnight, until they're removed. My leg hurts...and painkillers only serve to make me feel groggy. My grumpy blog name suits me right now.

I haven't much to blog about really other than my own lack of desire to do this thing - to lose weight. Oh the wish to be smaller remains, but the will to make it happen seems to have vanished in a haze of indulgent comfort eating. I find myself making my way to the far corner of the supermarket where the fresh cream cakes are stacked in the cool cabinets. I have done that three days in a row. I have bought a two-pack of cakes, taken them home and eaten both with a big mug of tea. I won't lie. I enjoyed them immensely. They've been wonderful.

Doctor's orders are that I have to walk daily after this operation, to get the circulation going I suppose, so that the blood by-passes the foam-blocked, useless veins, and my other veins, compensating for their loss continue to 'pump' efficiently..or whatever the medical term is for the valve actions we have which are responsible for good blood flow.

Hah. My two daily walks have taken me to the supermarket where I have stocked up on crap-but-good-tasting-food. Foods full of fat and sugar. How stupid am I????

It's like I have an urge to eat the crap - in an "I just don't care" kind of way. I may not have been losing weight at a fast rate, but I wasn't gaining because for the most part I had gone without indulgences. I'd been eating sensibly....lazing about too much, but eating nutritious foods mainly and in reasonable quantities.

Why do we do this? Why do we sabotage ourselves in a sort of "I don't care how fat I am!"mindless way?

Do you have episodes  like this? My cakes are my indulgences, my comforts, my treats. I 'deserve' them I tell myself even though they'll add to my weight and rekindle my desires for sugary foods. Why don't I buy myself a book or a new lipstick? Why did I, like a woman possessed make a bee-line for the cake shelves?? Why?

I don't understand it. A moment on the lips...a lifetime on the hips...because yes, that gungy, gooey, wonderful, soft, creamy cakiness is only in my mouth for a short while. Afterwards I feel part guilt at succumbing, part arrogant defiance at whatever it is in me that tries to control these urges. I can't blame my hormones. Most of those vanished with the onset of the menopause when I was 42!

I hope this madness won't last. When I eat cakes regularly it's like all my good food intentions fly out of the window too. You know the thought processes. "Oh well. I have had cakes, I have derailed, I might as well enjoy it for a bit longer. What's in the fridge?"

Anyway, one good thing is, I have to walk daily and on several occasions if possible, so I'll be a fit fat woman. I have planned a pre-dinner walk in the countryside with my man tomorrow. Doctors orders. 'You must walk.' Thankfully I am not defying that instruction.

I just hope I can find the urge to get back on track. I feel I don't want to, that I am OK with giving up on myself. Right now if I had the chance to drown in a bath full of cream cakes I'd jump in :(

~ Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent. ~

Friday, 12 November 2010

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Just a quickie from me, as I still have lots to do today, with visitors arriving this evening. I have to really force myself to get started on long overdue tasks (some of them around the house) but once I get going, I really get into it. That has always been my problem - getting started. I can procrastinate for England. I am an Olympic Gold Medal standard procrastinator, even though I know that eventually I have to get on with doing whatever it is I am putting off.

I wouldn't have cleaned my house as thoroughly if I weren't having visitors. I need that shove.

I could compare my lack of enthusiasm for really getting started to my efforts at losing weight I suppose. I have been dipping my toes in and out of the water, rather than jumping in, becoming submerged and enjoying the swim. I am on the edge, a safe place where I can easily go off plan if I feel like it, because I am not fully committed.

I tell myself the sooner I start in earnest to tackle this problem, the quicker the problem will go away.

I have to commit. Long term. Every day. That's the hard part.

I tell myself (once again!) that yes, I WILL do this. To be honest, I haven't been too bad. I am not a binge eater, but I have made some silly food choices - quite consciously. I am not practicing much restraint and I am eating more than I should. (between 1700-1900 cals.) I think I probably have to go down to 1300 calories per day to make a noticeable difference. I am maintaining wonderfully, but I don't want to maintain this obese frame!:)

Anyway, since I last registered my weight I have lost 5lbs. I am not getting too excited...it's been a few weeks since I jumped on the scale, so it's not as good as it sounds! I put weight loss down to more activity, including frenzied house-work over the last few days! :)

Right - back to the grind-stone. Things to do..carpets to vacuum. I'll do it to music to make it more enjoyable and I'll exaggerate my movements.

I hope you are into a weight-loss routine and commit to it every day. It sounds like a simple thing to do, but it isn't is it?

There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either in or out. There's no such thing as a life in-between. ~ Pat Riley

I am hoping practice will make perfect, coupled with commitment. It's time to jump in, and to keep going. Actions speak louder than words.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Having a sweaty work-out.

Afternoon all. That title fooled you eh? Yes, it's me, believe it or not, the slug on Valium who resists exercise...working out. I lie actually. I am not working out in the true sense. I am just going mad doing some much needed house-work. It all counts! :)

I have my sister from Surrey and some mutual school-friends from London and Kent descending on me this weekend. I sort of dread having visitors...not because I am anti-social. (I am quite gregarious and chatty and like people generally.) It's just that having visitors, and people who stay for the weekend, means I have to clean the house properly, from top to bottom. Well, I don't have to, but me being me, I function better if my guests aren't silently thinking "This woman is a complete slut. Have you seen the state of her windows?"

I miss my ex MIL visiting. She was a nice lady, but quite nosy and she lived in a bit of a show-home. Her cleaning standards were bordering on OCD. She was the sort of person who'd whisk your mug away the minute you'd finished your tea, and you just knew she was itching to get a damp cloth and wipe the space where your cup had been. The minute you stood up...after a decent interval of... oooh..all about four seconds...she'd rush over and plump up the cushion where you'd been sitting on the sofa. You know the type. Uncomfortable with anything out of place.

Thankfully, I am nothing like her as far as my house-cleaning standards are concerned. I did ALWAYS and without fail clean my ovens before she visited though. Ghastly job, but her impending visit gave me the impetus to do such tedious things. Shame she doesn't call any more...the oven could do with a clean. Should I put a padlock on it do you think, in case friends get the urge to cook for me? ;-)

The ovens aren't on my list..but nearly everything else is. I wish I were more methodical and organised, but I can live with a bit of mess...I am a bit of a clean freak as far as loos and sinks, and work-tops are concerned, and I do like my domain to look nice, but I prefer comfort to immaculate show-homes.

So, I have taken a well-deserved break to write. I am having a cuppa. (I just couldn't exist without proper tea throughout the day...None of yer herbal muck and soddin' hot fruity water infusions masquerading as 'tea' for me! Oh no. I am a tea purist.)

I feel grim..hot, sweaty, manky, but I tell myself all the bending, stretching, pushing and pulling and stair climbing is good for me. It's amazing isn't it, that when you get the body moving, food doesn't seem very important? Two dry oatcakes (because I couldn't be bothered to slice tomatoes and onions or cheese) with my tea served as lunch. Not a good lunch, but I am not hungry. I had a decent brekky. This is win-win exercise and I fully recommend it. Not only do you get a full and long work-out,  you get a clean house at the end of it too! Result!

If I haven't lost at least 35lbs today I'll be very disappointed! ;)  If only, eh?

So, in the spirit of encouragement, I'll leave you by urging you to ensure you follow my excellent example.....(snort!) and exercise today!

Come on. Up you get! Yes you.

Ha ha. (I fell off my chair laughing as I typed that bit!)

Ooooh.  Even more exercise - a sideways lunge, a stretch, forward roll to the floor and a sit-up in one swift movement! :)

Have a good 'un.

“My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance”

Monday, 8 November 2010

Ditching the Blog is Healthier?

It can become a bit of an obsession, can't it? Focusing on the body I mean. I know when I focus on mine, in it's out of shape, lardy condition, I can bring myself down. I knacker my brain and my self-esteem with focusing on how big I've become and how slow my weight-loss progress is. Not good. I try not to, but in all honesty writing about fat me and how I deal with my eating problems/lifestyle problems is becoming a bit all-consuming. I'd be better off out walking somewhere (in the rain) than sitting here writing this.

Until fairly recently (OK, so sometime in the 1990s) I just got on with life, going about my business, never taking much notice of what I weighed. I didn't jump on the scale much at all. I have never been one of life's 'dieters' or weighers really - not because I was always slim and fit (far from it) but because I just wasn't preoccupied with me. I was busy and happy, successful at work, generally up-beat and content in myself, no matter what my size. It wasn't an issue really, even though I wasn't a particularly slim woman. What happened?

I realised I was gaining a considerable amount of weight, and it was at a bad time in my life, because my Mum had died. I was ill too with one condition/illness after another. I was inactive and fed up at the turns my life had taken.

I did nothing about it. I ate more, hated my shape more and the cycle continued...with hospital visits thrown into the mix. I didn't stop the rot, I just became fed up with the way I was living ad the shape I was becoming. However, if the frame of mind isn't right, there is no way you change your diet and lifestyle to fight the fatness. Mentally, you have to be 'in the zone' and I had no idea where my zone was.

And anyway, I hate being herded, made to conform...Fat? Get thin then. Huh! No way was I having that!

My brain was all over the place, trying to hold on to all I was, telling me to resist changing, yet at the same time agonising about my lifestyle and my shape. I am fat. I don't like being fat. But don't you dare tell me slim is the only way to be! Confused? I was.

I wallowed and drowned in a sea of fat self-hatred, but did nothing about it - almost rebelling against the diet and exercise philosophy so prevalent in the western world. This was my thinking. "Sod off! Leave me alone. I am me, like it or lump it. I am not buying into the slim and fit marketing scam. I like cakes too much. I realise the world is full of air-brushed and beautiful women - I'll never be one of them, I don't want to be either, I am a feminist don'tcha know, so go away you horrible jogging woman in skin-tight Lycra and let me eat and whine about life's unfairness es. I am not buying into it. Go on. Clear off! Leave me be, just as I am."

Laughing here. Too much resistance is just as destructive as a dieting obsession? :)

I am not sure, but if I analyse the way my mind worked, that was the tape I was playing for most of this decade. "I am not going to conform and become a diet bore. Not me. I am above that nonsense. Obsession with shape and size is for bimbos."

Resist, resist, resist.

Then, when I came out of that unhappy and muddled place and confronted my denial I decided that it would be best for me to draw up a plan for myself, so that I could be the healthiest version of me possible. I wanted to come out of the blinkered darkness and see the light. This was about my health really, not my looks. That's what I told myself.

And then - OMG - then I'd see a recent photograph of myself and be plunged into despair. My looks DID matter after all. I looked hideous in photos. I didn't look good, despite my self-conscious smiling for the camera. Where had my looks gone?  Ageing is bad enough, but when every photo is one you want to rip to shreds, you know changes in either thinking or physique have to be considered.
Then the thinking went - "I've tried. This mountain is too big to climb. I can't do it. There are too many changes to make, and even one by one I am missing cakes. It's too hard. I am a mess. Unworthy. Useless."

Oh-oh. Warning signals. Despair. Depression.

The mental battles were affecting my well-being. This was my thinking once I started my campaign and the progress was slow and I reverted to my former idle lifestyle.  "Remain fat. Resist the wisdom that tells you such a big body is an unhealthy body. I am fat. Let the world deal with it - and in the meantime I'll glower. How dare society cast me out for being a size 20/22? Huh! I am staying like this. Get over it world!"

See how the thought processes became completely f*cked up?

Then in gentler, more forgiving moments I'd tell myself - "Embrace the knowledge that you can change yourself and retain your integrity. You don't have to become a diet bore, a woman obsessed with what she looks like. Actively start to fight your resistance. Slowly. Gently. Start making healthier choices about the way you live. You deserve to treat yourself well, and remaining fat and unhappy isn't to do with a superior feminist code, it's more to do with a lack of belief in your ability to change things."

And that's where I am now. Trying to do this gently.

Doing it because I deserve to be healthy. I want to be healthy. It's good to be aware of  the choices I have. I think that's a fairly healthy state of mind.

I won't lie to you. It's hard doing this every day, because I still invariably beat myself up when I have a 'bad' day.

All I know is - trying to lose weight seems to take over a large portion of the brain and consciousness. That disturbs me. However, I suppose it HAS to be that way, until a healthier way of life is established and becomes automatic?

I am wondering whether I should just get on and do it (or not do it) and leave the blogging behind? It seems to me that I can almost write myself down. It highlights my lack of progress. It allows me to zoom in on my short-comings. (I have many!) I'd zoom in on my successes too, and I do recognise all that is good about me, but my failure to lose weight steadily and regularly is all too clear, because I write about it - and may be focus on it too much?

Blogging helps me remain accountable, and I am slimmer now than when I started writing, but it also documents the struggle. Does my blog scream "Loser! No commitment!" to you? It often does to me. I am fired up, and then I'm not. I am enthusiastic about drawing up a plan, and then I'm not. I am going to do this - and then I fail to do it regularly, consistently...until I get fired up again. It's not good, is it?

Perhaps I am just being hard on myself - again, but I am not sure if my writing about my up and down days as I try to lose weight is helping me. If it's not helping me - how can it help you? What is the point of it?

I have a dilemma, however, my fingers get lots of exercise when I write. Every cloud has a silver lining eh? :)

Is blogging helping or hindering you?

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Art of Self Esteem.

I was thinking the other day that I really ought to treat myself better. I ought to love myself more. If I did hold myself in high regard, I'd surely look after myself well and treat my body kindly and with respect.

Fat people tend not to do that. Their body becomes the 'punching bag' for all of life's ills, disappointments, regrets, heart-aches. We take it out on our digestive systems. We put too much food into our stomachs and have our bodies deal with it. We enjoy eating. It soothes us. We over-eat. The chances are that we make no big effort to exercise off our big meals or our plentiful snacks either. We slowly, slowly become plump, then rotund, then blobby, then obese...really fat. I don't think the term 'morbidly obese' existed when I was a child in the 60s. If it did it wasn't bandied around as it is today.

"When you love yourself, you invest in your personal growth and development. You endeavour to be the best that you can be, and you strive to achieve your potential."

Ha ha ha. I read that (above) in an article entitled "Love Yourself" or something similar. We have heard it or read it all before, right? Well, on the surface it makes perfect sense, but I suspect that even the slimmest, most gorgeous specimens of human beauty are wired to find fault with themselves in some way or another :) We can so easily bring ourselves down, can't we? I hold up my hands to being able to do that really well.

I could write a list now of all the things that make me a wonderful individual. It would be quite a long list too. You could do that as well. We all could.

So, if there is so much about us that is really good and worth hanging on to, why do (most) overweight people dislike themselves so much?  I have to say now that I wrote recently about being too comfortable with myself and my lifestyle. I only become down and depressed about my shape when I consciously see that I am fat...Certain situations bring me down, photos of me are depressingly horrible and I am always aware when I am the fattest person in the room, because I scan the room and make comparisons. Awful, but I do. Some situations trigger self-loathing of the body, but I am contented and happy otherwise.

Now we all know that we live in an age where we are bombarded with images of human perfection. Most of the still images have been airbrushed and most of the animated ones have had thousands of pounds worth of beauty treatments lavished on them. They also have the benefits of having make-up artists and hairdressers following them around. They have life coaches and physical fitness coaches as part of their entourage. It's not a real world....very few people inhabit those realms, yet we suddenly have a new guage, a new level of gorgeousness that few of us can aspire to.

We tell ourselves this and we know it to be true, yet all of a sudden, to be overweight is an indication that we are couch potatoes, fairly worthless nonentities who stuff our faces full of food and slob about all day. We become invisible. We are overlooked for jobs...we just don't measure up.

Pah! No wonder our self esteem takes a beating.

Anyway....popular thinking tells us that when you love yourself you automatically take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.  Do fat people do that? Not often. You take care to look and feel your best by nurturing your body, mind and spirit.

So....if fatties don't do that (and most of us don't take care of ourselves properly, do we?) then surely we have to start appreciating ourselves more and caring for ourselves every single day? It's crucial I'd say.

If we don't love ourselves enough, we are told to start taking care of our body and our mind and spirit. If our self esteem is low, we can raise it - right now. Today. In really, properly caring for ourselves we'll become more self-aware, and we'll hopefully generate feelings of self-worth and accomplishment when we do sort out our diet and exercise programme. The more you do, the more success you achieve, the better you feel about yourself in all areas. We only have to read the blogs of successful slimmers to see that their confidence has soared and that they can accomplish things they wouldn't have dreamed of attempting when they were overweight and full of self doubt.

I have a big glass of water by my keyboard. I have not had a good eating day today...but tomorrow doesn't have to follow the same pattern. Long term goals are no good for me, but on a daily basis I can keep myself motivated. One day at a time I will stick to my plan, and every day that I do faithfully eat well and make the effort to exercise, the more I'll begin to love myself more. I am banking on those small daily achievements boosting my self esteem. I have given up on myself for too long. I allow myself to fail. When I fail I continue to chip away at my own self-worth.

 I don't want to grow any fatter, but I do want to grow lots of healthy self-esteem.

Do you love yourself enough? Have you decided you are worth the enormous effort it takes to do this, day after day after day?  These are the days of our lives after all. We owe it to ourselves to make them good ones.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Doing It Long Term...Or Forever.

The more I write and the more I try to 'diet' to shed the pounds, the more discontented I become. The writing bit is fine, but I am so conscious of writing about the way I CAN'T get into 'dieting' or long term healthy eating and living.

I keep slipping up, but I am so aware that I should be sending out glad tidings...and I'm not. Forgive me, because I am not sure if reading about my lack of progress or my angst is what blogging (in this sphere anyway) is all about :)

I did warn you I wouldn't be a particularly good role model or indeed a source of inspiration.

I know there has to be a plan which is faithfully applied if we want to lose weight. It's the faithful application of the plan which trips me up!

I know the theory and I have for a long time been buying healthy foods. My boys were on a low sugar, fat and high fibre diet since they were little...the sort of eating plan which we should all follow I suppose. It's one that wouldn't harm us if we used all the food groups and ate in moderation. A good healthy diet, with no calorie counting, no excluded food groups and an awareness of eating (mainly) only when we are hungry, allowing for the occasional food treat, coupled with lots of movement (not necessarily planned exercise sessions) used to keep me fit and reasonably trim. I didn't even think about what I was eating or the amount of time I was 'resting'. I just lived.

Life was however hectic and busy - and at times super-stressful and very worrying. It still has it's moments but on a daily basis I have reclaimed my peace of mind (because I no longer work and do all the things single working Mum has to do.) Some of the stress (not all) has vanished...to be replaced with a sort of stagnation.

This is the most overweight I have ever been...my 228lbs starting weight. Inside I am happy..content..OK.

In a way, Colette says it for me. "I believe there are more urgent and honourable occupations than the incomparable waste of time we call suffering."

I refuse on a daily basis to let my shape or my lifestyle make me miserable - and ironically, perhaps that's my problem! Being fat isn't - on my life scale anyway - worthy of too much suffering. (We all know what real suffering is when it visits us and affects our lives.)

You either spend time anxiously worrying about it, letting it cloud your day, or, if it's possible, do something about it  - that tends to be my philosophy regarding most problems. Fatness as a problem can be overcome. (it's not easy or simple - it can be a complex set of problems that cause a person to become over-weight, I appreciate that, but in the great scheme of things, a fat person is capable of becoming a thinner person.) I can feel the odd pang of guilt, but for the most part, I forget I am fat, until I get one of those wake-up calls. My particular wake-up calls I list later. I tend to not want to worry about my weight, so I don't. Perhaps I should?

My life is OK, but I am aware that I really am not doing much with it. I socialise, I have a lovely man in my life, we get out and about often, and I still have to do housework (that never goes away!) but for the most part, I can idle my life away. I do a bit of voluntary work and I sit on a committee a couple of times a month, but if I want to have a lazy day, I do.

The trouble is - I am able to have LOTS of lazy days. There is no husband to come home at night expecting a meal on the table or a clean, shiny bright house. The boys are young men with lives of their own. Sometimes we eat together, sometimes we don't. They can help themselves if I am not around. I do work around the house in fits and starts - a bit here, a bit there and a complete purge when I am expecting visitors :) I am my own boss. It's a good job I don't have to produce an income, because as bosses go, I am a complete slacker! :)

So there we have it.

The root cause of my fatness is me and my lack of organising my day (into exercise sessions / healthy meal breaks /planning for eating out) and not wanting it - slimness - enough.

We all get the flashes of inspiration when we say we are going to change our lives and we'll work on 'me,' and we get fired up...but then many of us lose heart or just forget that every day has to be a day in which we 'diet' and do all that goes with it. But, if life is OK anyway, and thankfully, it is, doing the work on me has to be dedicated. I have to focus 100% - and I don't.

I lack that dedication to the cause, because on some days the cause (me) doesn't worry or trouble me. That has to be good - yes - in terms of mental health, but in terms of physical health it isn't, because my frame is lugging round five or six stones too many. I am permanently carrying the weight of a child on my back. (One stone equals 14lbs.) 14 x 5 = 70lbs. Or 84lbs if I want to be my optimum weight. At 142lbs I look positively svelte, so I don't need to get myself down into tiny clothes, nor do I see myself as becoming a very slim woman. I just want to rid myself of this excess weight.

See...when I write about it - like now - it makes perfect sense that I need to do this. I feel vaguely fired up again. :) Yay for blogging!

I am worth the effort of a healthy lifestyle, but can I be bothered make that effort, day after day after day? Week after week after week, month after month after month...and OMG..then we are into YEARS. It all seems too much, yet I know we have to do this one day at a time. And we have to do it for ...FOREVER. Gulp.

I get periods of self-loathing - my wake-up calls - caused only by :-

1) Seeing photos of me

2) Special events which involve dressing up. Whatever I wear to 'look my best' doesn't feel good on me...ever. I try to make the most of myself but feel uncomfortable during 'dressy' occasions.

3) When I know I am the biggest woman in the room (it shouldn't bother me, but it does.) I do a quick scan of the room and discover that I am indeed the fattest woman in it.

4) When I am naked and see myself in the mirror after showering.

5) This one is completely daft. Being in the company of successful, bright (and SLIM) career women. (When I have my regular committee meetings.) Now - doesn't that sound stupid? It's almost like I can make myself feel instantly inferior because I am fat. I have the brain-power, I have had the same success in the workplace, I have tons of relative experience - but these days, I feel awkward and BIG and I let that fact suck away my self-confidence. That is madness, but it happens. Major inferiority complex because I feel big - like I am not competing or functioning at the same level. I was appointed to the board for my 'wisdom' and the contribution I could make, yet I feel somehow 'inferior' because the women around me are trim, slim and well groomed. I am well groomed. That's where the similarity ends! Wrong and stupid, and I am conscious of it and can do all the positive self-talk to eliminate such worries, but they remain. I feel big and awkward and worry that I look big. Stupid, but there you go.

Oh there is a number 6 too. I am not married to my man and we don't live together, but even after five plus years of closeness and being engaged to marry, when we sleep with each other there is no way I am parading around in all my naked glory (or grossness.) It's an under-the-sheets-quickly routine for me. I should be too old and too experienced to worry. He loves me unconditionally, which is wonderful but I now get that big girl naked shyness.

On a day to day basis I am fine, so most of the time I am OK and then - smack - I am in one of those situations and all I can think about is my fatness, or all I can see are my rolls of fat and the blobby body. Sporadic self-hatred... It doesn't last. On a day to day basis I forget I am fat. Put on some big clothes, see a friend, have a laugh, see my man and my world is OK again. The face is fine - but from the shoulders down? Well, I can forget about that. It tends not to worry me much. I do my hair, my face, smile at myself and I am fine and go about my business not thinking about body shape and size or being overweight.

So...during the day I completely forget that I don't like the way I look. It's not uppermost in my mind, and rightly so.

I am finding that I FORGET I am big. I forget because I am happy and content or at least OK with life generally (even though it can still be worrying at times.)  I eat lazily and live lazily - and enjoy it all.

Things have to change - but, I ask myself, do I want this enough - this slim and healthier body? I keep forgetting that I am supposed to be losing weight!

Do you struggle with the 'life plan' on a daily basis, or has it become a way of life for you?

Friday, 29 October 2010

Spice Up Your Life...

Hah. Gotcha! No, this isn't a kinky weight-loss post, a soft-porn edition. It's about soup and drastic weight-loss measures:)

Being virtuous (and into making soups right now) I made a big, big pot of carrot and butternut squash soup yesterday. It was for me and the boys - enough to last for two days.

I was tasting as I went. The soup was sweet, despite seasoning, but had a good, yummy 'vegetable' flavour.  I thought I'd add a bit of chili to give it an edge...take off the sweetness. I threw in a few chili flakes. Perhaps I added more than a few? Silly me. That was a mistake.

I blended it, served it up, with wholemeal bread for the boys, and took a spoonful.

Aaaaaargh! I almost spat it out. Oh yes...the taste of carrots and squash remained, but I didn't really want my insides to feel they'd been set alight as an after-shock! :)

Today I write to you with a burned tongue and gullet :) Not really, but I did ruin a big pot of soup. It was more than spicy! I may throw some boiled potatoes into it, and perhaps blend it with milk when I reheat it. That might take the burn-i-ness out of it. (I don't think burn-i-ness is a word...but 'heat' just doesn't describe it properly.) It seems a shame to throw the remainder down the plug-hole.

Ah well. Hot or not, it was healthy soup.

If all foods had an after-shock, I'd be able to avoid them like the plague. Easy-peasy. Imagine cream doughnuts tasting firey? They'd lose their appeal.

I may patent that. Slimming foods so spicy you just can't eat them. I have actually heard of people deliberately ruining their (tempting and fattening) food with peppers and spices and sauces so they wouldn't be able to eat them. You would go off food if it didn't taste nice, wouldn't you?

Just musing.

Thanks for indulging me.

Oh, one pound down this morning. Probably because I wan't able to drink my soup last night...either that or my insides have been burned out and weigh less :)

Have a good weekend.


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Putting it off, and putting it off...

Morning all. It's been so good to read that some of my favourite bloggers are doing well. They are losing weight, getting out there and enjoying life and their new found confidence rings out. What fantastic success stories. I want a bit of that for me. I can have a bit of that too. Nothing is preventing me losing weight.

So, can anyone tell me why I put off having my own success story?

Oh I know my life is about much more than losing weight, but a while ago I determined that this is what I would do, I'd lose weight, because being a fat woman was spoiling my life in many ways. I was becoming miserable, losing my enthusiasm for joining in, taking part. I'd wallow. I still do on some days. It's easy for me now to let life pass me by. I am finding it hard to make my days worthwhile. I could slob out all day. However, when I read a few blogs here I tell myself I have to make a decision. Do I really want to slob out and miss out on truly living, or do I want to be part of the game, to make today count for something?

I'd guess that with extra pounds and new rolls of fat their comes a certain sort of misery...not because we are so shallow that we believe the world is full of slim, air-brushed model types, but because our tighter clothes, our reflection in the mirror and the sight of recent photos makes us feel down. Everything we do as a fat person takes a bit more effort. Moving as others do becomes harder. We get out of breath quicker.

Let's not pretend there aren't negatives that come with the fat suit, because there are, no matter how much the fat acceptance people tell us we are being brain-washed.

This is the life we have, and if it becomes harder in many ways, then it isn't as good as it could possibly be, is it? We can laugh, we can have a jolly exterior and some people can be genuinely fat and happy. I think I am in a way. I am content and I am lucky to have a good life style but I know it's not a particularly healthy one.

On days when I have nothing much planned, (now I don't work, and my children have grown) I have the option to sit and do nothing much. Hmm. Nice. I deserve a life with fewer pressures.

However, I can go online, write, drink tea, graze all day long...and at the end of the day feel angry with myself that it's a day wasted, a day without goals, a day I have drifted through and probably gained a pound. Muscles haven't been used, brain has been engaged but the body, full of tea and grabbed snacks - all reasonably decent - is feeling sluggish. Sluggish body affects mind - and hey voila! - all of a sudden I turn from being a bright, middle aged woman who is content with her lot into a lazy, self-indulgent fat cow who deserves to grow fat and rot because she wastes life and opportunities to live.

*Laughing and shaking my head here.* Isn't it incredible how we can so easily bring ourselves down?

My dear old Mum always used to say keeping herself busy helped her to forget her cares and woes. It works. Too much time spent thinking, analysing, pondering can bring us down and have us focusing on all that isn't good with our lives.

I have a million and one jobs to do around the house, so today I have determined to tick at least one or two of those chores off my list. Win-win situation, as I'll  exercise my body too. I'll also force myself out into the fresh air. Fresh air always lifts a mood I find.

I felt good yesterday. I walked for miles around Batsford Arboretum with my man and we saw the thousands of trees in all their colourful Autumn glory.

Being out in the world and being part of it helps me. It lifts me physically and mentally.

'DOING' does that for us. It lifts us, so don't we owe it to ourselves to join in, to make our bodies move?

Sometimes, when we feel miserable about being fat all we want to do is wallow, but in wallowing we put off the day when our body becomes lighter and healthier.

Today I am working towards a slimmer and healthier life by making sure I engage with life itself. I could waste my day or do something with it, and I choose to be part of it all, fat or not.

What are you doing today? Whatever you do, move if you can. Change the scenery if you can. This is a reminder to myself too.

Have a good 'un :)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Well, There is Always Next Year....

To the right of this post there is a little saying on my page, which includes the words 'keep fighting.'

It's hard to keep fighting for a new body, a new way of eating, a new way of using your time actively, isn't it? It's SO easy to slip back into old ways. Do you find that, or has your healthy eating and exercise campaign become a breeze?

Sigh. It hasn't been a good week, mainly because people have been visiting, we've had a busy weekend and eating on the go or eating out has been part of it. I just ate what I fancied, and although there were no binges, I ate lots of calorific things. I didn't make any attempt to work off the calories either. Basically, I didn't care, I enjoyed myself and any guilt I had when ordering a pudding quickly vanished.

Oh woe is me? No. Not at all. This was my doing. I hold my hands up. I just didn't try.

Since I last weighed myself I have gained 4+ lbs. Four plus? Lets just call it five. Back into the 200lbs+ zone.

So, 'dieting' wisdom tells me I shouldn't give up, that I have to get back on track. All is not lost. I can undo the damage. I can carry on. I tell myself a transformation has to happen now, and it will only happen if I keep working on myself. I entitled this piece "Well, there is always next year..." because I really feel I keep putting off (in my head) the time when I will be a slimmer, fitter version of me.

There is no finishing line, this isn't a race, but I am like the runner who keeps falling over. I get back up and fall over again. By the time I have crossed the finishing line all the other competitors have gone home and the stadium has been locked up.  (If this were a real scenario I'd not be concerned about getting out or climbing over the gates - I'd be scouring the food outlets for left-over burgers and popcorn I expect.)

I know, I know. Nelson Mandela famously quoted Marianne Williamson, saying “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

Maybe some people find achieving personal goals easy? I know I don't. Oh, I could study and pass exams, that was no trouble, and any personal obstacles in the road of life I have worked around with determination and moved on, but I don't seem to be 100% motivated to lose weight. I have good reasons for wanting to be slimmer. It's just a 'want' however, not a burning ambition, or a firm goal. Although I have lost some weight, every pound I lose involves a struggle....and what I see as 'sacrifices.' I register the struggle, rather than the victory.
I keep forgetting I HAVE a goal. I give in too easily, without much thought.

Oh well, never mind there's always next year...

It doesn't have to be like that, does it?  Not if I am determined to do what it takes. Not if I'm determined to achieve my goals. I appreciate that there is one clear truth with personal goals - no one can reach them for me. There has to be action on my part.
I have to remember why I am doing this. I have to constantly remind myself that I need to exercise the muscle of self-discipline more than any other.

The other day I read something which amused me, and which is also very apt, given I am losing weight so slowly. “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”

Here's a drawing of a happy snail :)
(OK, OK. I liked it.)

We all have to persevere, don't we?

Are you still working at it? I hope so. I'll leave you with something written by Jim Rohn.

“How long should you try? Until.”

Friday, 22 October 2010

Some Days Are Harder Than Others.

Why is that? Why do I feel really revved up some days and full of confidence that I can follow my plan - then a few days later, feel reluctant to do so?

What happens? Today, and it's early as I type, I feel I am going through the motions. It seems like a slog. All the enthusiasm I felt a few days ago seems to have waned. It seems like an enormous task to lose this dumpy apple shape of mine - to get rid of these tyres of fat around my middle.

So far I have done the sensible thing. I have had a good, nutritious breakfast and I don't feel hungry. I've taken my daily medication. I fed the cat and later he head-butted me and purred against my arm as we had a chat.  He is now asleep on his cushion. I have a big glass of water by my side and I am sipping it as I type. I got up at 6.45am as usual, saw my boys off to work, have done some work in the kitchen and as my house is on three levels I have been up and down the stairs several times. I have loaded the dishwasher and washing machine, chopped up some ham fat and put it on the bird-table for our feathered friends, (it's getting cold in the UK - very cold!) and now I want to slump, to laze about.
I have told myself that my indulgence is my blog post and then I'll put on an exercise DVD before showering. (I might just put it on and watch it - I have done that in the past!!!)

It's all a bit half-hearted.

However, we know how to get through spells like this, when we struggle to feel motivated. You just have to do it.

I could whine to myself until the cows come home about it 'not being fair' that I have to change my lifestyle. It won't help. Action is what is needed and sometimes you DO have to fake it to make it. I am doing this FOR ME, after all. Why would I make it more difficult than it has to be? In truth, it should be easy. (I almost wrote 'a piece of cake.') It isn't though, is it? Old ways and habits can get the better of us and slip ups, even small ones can trigger a downward spiral. That seems to be a common problem.

The most important thing is to take the next step. That makes sense. For me, the next step is to get moving, even though all my instincts tell me I could catch up with episodes of The Apprentice. I could make myself a nice mug of coffee and put my feet up. However, if I get my exercise out of the way, (even if I only do 15 minutes it's better than nothing,) then shower, I may feel psyched up to tackle the day with enthusiasm and gusto, or at least feel satisfied that I have been true to myself and stayed on plan.

You have to start if you want to achieve. It's the getting started that is sometimes difficult when there are cosier options to choose from. This is why gym membership is a non-starter for me. I did become a gym member  - twice - and I wasted the (quite considerable) membership fees. Getting there was the hardest part.

I am finding that I have to KEEP planning throughout the day. A daily plan is no good. An hourly plan is better, for me. I have to keep having a 'next step' and I have to remind myself that the next step ought to be a healthy one that will bring me a little nearer to my goal. I already know what I shall be having for lunch. A soft tortilla with lots of salad and home-cooked ham...and a squirt of extra light mayo.

OK. Post done. On with the day.

Nike got it right. Sometimes, no matter what your mood, you just have to DO IT!

You are doing it for yourself today as well, aren't you? :)

Have a good one.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Something is Working.

Woohoo. A few days ago, on one of my random weigh-ins, I discovered I'd lost one pound. I was going to record it but didn't get round to it.

I weighed myself this morning after my shower (I'd already had breakfast so imagined the one pound lost wouldn't register.) To my surprise, I'd lost two more, so, since I last recorded my weight loss (I am not recording gains) I have lost 3lbs. I know my weight fluctuates in between random weighings, but the scale is registering lower numbers - and it's those I am interested in! I am now 198lbs! I went under 200lbs without being very aware I'd reached that point, given my weigh-ins have been sporadic. I almost expected to gain and remain over 200lbs for ever and a day! What a nice surprise. Now - I don't want to gain those pounds back. Staying under 200lbs will be my goal for now!

My clothes are feeling decidedly loose. I cannot afford new outfits so I am gathering up items that used to fit and then became too tight. They'll get another outing.

Something is working. Maybe my meal planning is helping? I can't say I have been very good about exercising regularly. In fact I stayed in all day yesterday and I didn't do any exercise except movement round the house and some light housework. Not good but sometimes I have to tell myself I am allowed to have lazy days once in a while. Life used to be extremely hectic and busy - and stressful. It still is on occasions. The odd lazy day  is what early retirement is all about - my reward for being always responsible and the sole breadwinner for many, many years! :)

I had a lazy day - because I felt like it. I think we have to give in to our moods once in a while - so yesterday was spent online, watching TV, sorting through old photos, doing puzzles, talking on the phone, reading and preparing food and drinking lots of tea. I changed the bedding, (I love having fresh clean sheets on the bed when I turn in at night) put two loads of washing out on the line to dry and did a small pile of ironing. It was a nice day. I just didn't feel like venturing out.

Today I went out with daughter. It was her day off and she drove us into town. She had some shopping to do and we had lunch together. I didn't want much so we went to the food court and eyed up all the food outlets. I decided I wasn't very hungry, so I had a tuna salad with a small slice of garlic bread. I drank diet Coke, which I don't really like, but I felt thirsty and wanted a long drink. (Should have had water.) We did lots of walking. I took the stairs instead of the lifts or escalators. (Every bit of exercise helps!) We stopped later at Starbucks for a coffee. It was amazing that this is a coffee house. So many people were spooning whipped cream and chocolate flakes from the top of their cups. Fortunately, coffee for me means medium strength freshly brewed coffee with a splash of semi-skimmed milk and nothing else. That's how it's always been. A creamy, chocolately concoction  is more like a pudding than a drink but so many seem to get their fix that way. I felt quite virtuous! :) 

Daughter visited a cake shop because she was having visitors later and she chose a selection of little cakes and had them boxed up. I watched - not feeling in the least tempted. They looked a bit sickly-sweet. What's going on???

It could be that my chewy breakfast of one Weetabix sprinkled with hemp and also seeds (flax, sesame, linseed, pumpkin and sunflower...Neal's Yard, Breakfast Sprinkle) is filling me up? I don't feel hungry until much later in the day, sometimes having a very light lunch when I am at home. A bowl of homemade soup (I am into making soups lately!) is all I need...and I tend to have whatever I cook the boys for dinner - or whatever my man prepares if I am at his house. I watch portion size but nothing much is off limits. My appetite seems to vanish at times though. That's good. I can't manage large meals any more. Now, if only I could MAKE myself take time out to exercise, I'd probably speed up the weight loss.

Having said that, I am not racing - there is no end point. I just want to tweak my life - to eat less, to eat healthily more times than not, (treats allowed occasionally, foods I love incorporated into the 'diet' - in moderation.) and move more every day. Significantly more. The lack of movement over the last few years, rather than pigging out regularly is what contributed to my weight gain.

Vigilence is what it's all about - being conscious of what I am doing with my days, being aware of the ways in which I look after myself.

I just want to feel compelled to exercise. I want to yearn for exercise, to enthuse about it - and I don't, although I do relish a walk these days. So, I am setting myself a mini-target. I am going to 'DO' exercise five days out of the next seven. I shall set time aside for biking and exercise DVDs. I am hoping that the more I do, the more I'll enjoy it and feel good for doing it. We'll see.

Hope you have a plan which is working for you.

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. ~ Foster C. McClellan

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Going Back, Moving On.

Well, feeling really gung-ho over the weekend I ate sensibly and didn't feel deprived. I counted calories - I even made myself broccoli soup, own recipe, using a whole onion, a large head of broccoli, one carrot that was skulking around and some chicken stock. Boiled up with a pinch of salt and black pepper, plus a few dried herbs, and then whizzed up with my stick blender - and that's what I ate on Saturday evening...with a slice of granary bread. Yummy and filling. I was a bit of a slacker where exercise was concerned though - not using the bike, not walking. No one to blame but me. I didn't use my time wisely. I could have fitted in some exercise but I deliberately avoided the bike, which is parked in front of my TV (a bit of an eyesore in my sitting room really, but for now it reminds me -sometimes - that I could be sitting on it pedalling instead of lounging around on the sofa when I watch the telly.)

Today (Monday) my man took a day off work because he was having his gas boiler serviced. The gas man had been and gone by 9.30am, so we went out for the day. We are members of the National Trust so we go out to visit stately homes and gardens in the vicinity. It was a cloudy day, but dry, so we drove to a grand house in the countryside, but, man being useless with instructions and directions, didn't notice that it closed on Mondays during some weeks of the year. This was one of those weeks. We drove up the long tree-lined driveway and parked anyway. Even the gardens were closed. However, just up the lane was a stile and a path to the parish church, winding over fields and through woodland. I insisted we walk it, because old churches and graveyards can be so interesting (I think!) I wanted to walk, to stretch my legs and it was good to be out in the countryside, far from the madding crowd. The path was strewn with red, gold and brown crispy autumn leaves and it wound past a stream, complete with ducks and a field full of grazing sheep. We were completely alone in the middle of nowhere...miles from the roads. All was still and quiet. At the end of the long and winding path was a gated archway and the path leading to the church door.

The old stone church was tiny but very pretty. Sadly, it's a sign of the times that it's big studded oak doors were locked. I tried to turn the big iron ring handle, but modern locks on the inside of the door were in place. Whatever happened to seeking sanctuary in a church? Shame, because I like looking round old churches in the gloom (they are always quite dark) imagining who might have worshipped in them over the years..admiring the stained glass windows, the leaded lights, the worn flagstones on the floor, the wooden pews, the amazing and intricate stone carving of the pillars.

The church yard was also fascinating. Many of the ancient tomb stones had weathered and the inscriptions couldn't be read, but some humongous Victorian stones stood proud and tall, decorated with ostentatious carvings of angels, chains, anchors AND creepily, small skulls, the eye sockets black and gloomy, the teeth fixed in a grimace. What a cruel reminder to the living that this is how we end up! :)Ooooh. They feared death did those Victorians but they knew how to mark their final resting place too.

Whole families were buried together...and sadly, not many lived to grand old ages. It was also really moving to notice that the children of the family often didn't make it into adulthood, victims of their time I suppose, struck down with incurable deadly diseases or by life's hardships. The Lord and Lady of the Parish and their relatives had massive plots, surrounded by iron railings to keep out the commoners, and their pets were buried in small graves beside them.

Wow. So much history in such a short visit...The birds sang, the sheep stared, disturbed by people walking close by. It was so peaceful and beautiful. It was also a reminder I suppose that life is fleeting and precious. We were here, all alone in the middle of a leafy patch of England, walking down the path which so many generations had walked before. This is our time on the planet. Our time and space, and really, aren't we bloody lucky that we have modern medicine, and technology which makes our lives so much easier than those of the people whose remains lie in that churchyard?

Man and I walked back to the car hand in hand...appreciating that we were in our fifties, and this was OUR time. The wierd thing is - my body may not be wonderful, but it has served me well, and inside - this is so strange - inside I am still a girl, a young woman. I have wisdom born out of living five decades and a bit but in my head I am still the person I was at 25...but a wiser, more confident, more balanced person. If only I knew then what I know now. I have experienced so much over the years...good and bad times, and times when I felt if life dealt me one more blow I'd stay down. I'd not bounce back like I had before, but strangely, we do. Life is a wonderful thing...despite it's knocks. We are made of strong stuff and I want the years ahead to be good ones. I want to be strong and healthy and I want to enjoy however much of this life I have left. Our children have grown up and become reasonably independent. We have our health (mostly!) and strength (when it doesn't run out!) and so much to be grateful for.

We jumped into our 'horseless carriage' and made our way down the long sweeping drive, away from the grand house, now empty, but which had been a home to so many people over the last centuries. I imagined the horses and riders who might have galloped up to the house, and the ladies, in their big skirts and finery, sitting in horse-drawn carriages. There'd have been weather-beaten men and women - and their children, working on the land, in the fields surrounding the house. In my mind's eye I could see them all.

Back to the here and now and an appreciation of how different life is today. How am I going to make the best of my days? The ease of modern living has made us fat. The pressures and stresses that come with it often make us ill. We have easier lives but it's ironic that we knowingly live unhealthy lives too. We weren't designed to sit around, drive everywhere, not walk, and eat and eat and eat until we feel stuffed. I need a dose of reality sometimes to remind me that I too will be pushing up daisies some day.

I have spent so much of my life in a fat suit - not all of it - I was wonderfully slim at times - and at times slightly rounded, but never obese as I am now. I have been out of shape, unfit, lazy, self-indulgent and allowed my body to become so big that I am not happy with the way I look. In the great scheme of things, that's not a lot to be truly bothered about but even though I laugh lots and have good times, this is a cloud hanging over me. It's about health and it's about vanity too. Being fat is ageing. I have aged - it comes to us all, I am past my prime, but I feel I have lost part of me along with my confidence, if that makes sense? I have become invisible, rounded, matronly. I want to stop the rot.

I could read every single book on self-esteem ever printed, every web site pronouncing we are truly beautiful inside yet still hate looking at photographs of myself. I know all the 'love yourself' stuff, yet I still feel self conscious when I walk into a room, I still feel like the fat one when I meet up with friends. I know I am much more than my size, of course I am, but if my size makes me unhappy, why have I delayed doing something about it - mending my ways?

OK so all the psychological reasons surrounding our lifestyle, mental blocks, food addiction, our over-eating and obesity can be brought into the ring too - but at the end of the day, we are the only ones who can fix the parts of ourselves which hold us back. We have to mend ourselves. All the talking, therapy, writing, self-reflection, and self-esteem courses in the world can't help us unless our thinking is clear and we decide we'll eat fewer calories and exercise more. We all know that's not as easy as it sounds either.

If I don't make the most of myself now, when will I? When I am a pensioner, sitting in an old folks home relying on carers to dress me, toilet me and feed me? It ain't gonna happen then, is it? I won't be able to hold a mirror or stand up in front of one, never mind apply make up and do my hair or care about my clothes. Will I make old bones and have an old age?

All I know is, earlier today in that ancient church yard the old cliche 'Carpe Diem' was ringing through my head. 'Carpe' translates literally as 'pluck' - it refers to the picking of fruit, so a more accurate view is 'enjoy the day, pluck the day when it is ripe'. The extended version of the phrase 'carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero' translates as (I discovered - isn't the interweb wonderful?)  'Pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the future'. Make hay while the sun shines. Gather ye rosebuds while you may.

Who knows what the future holds? How many of us have wasted our days, months, years wallowing in fat misery? It's a hard place to move on from, I know that only too well. However, if today is all we have, don't we owe it to ourselves, fat or not, to seize it, to make the most of it? This is it folks. This is the life we have.

Don't we owe it to ourselves to do something with our days, even if the only thing we achieve is a day of healthy eating? We can do that. Life can be cruel, hard and it can knock us down. It's not always easy to think about self-care, but if we can make today a day in which we have tried to look after our bodies, isn't that a day well spent no matter what our circumstances, and an investment in our tomorrows?

My walk today had me thinking. We cannot wait until some golden age when all will be well, and we of course will be slim and fit. Don't waste today thinking about eating, and er, eating some more, and then er...snacks, followed by naps and TV and erm....more junk food, and eating and eating and um...what next...loafing about doing nothing much. That's how to waste life. Instead, plan tomorrow's healthy meals, trusting that today will end well, and tomorrow will be even better.

That's what I am trying to do. I don't always succeed fully but I am conscious that how I spend my days is how I spend my life. Sometimes we need the realisation that time is flying by. I am contented with my lot. I could tweak my life and make it healthier. That's my plan. I don't want to waste my life wishing, hoping, dreaming about a body I can be proud of. I don't want to live in Never Never Land or that place over the rainbow where dreams come true. I want to start walking towards a healthier, slimmer me today, appreciating all I have right now, enjoying life AND looking after number one while I have the days to do it. If I don't look after myself, no one else will. Same applies to you.

Seize the day. Yes?   x x x

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
 ~ Fr. Alfred D'Souza

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Planning to Succeed.

Saturday, and it's been a lovely lazy day without too much pressure. My man is at his football game, with his brother and son, following his beloved team to Manchester. One of my sons is out, the other in, and preparing to go out. (I think there is a woman on the scene. Cave man rocker boy is sprucing up, hair cut, new T shirt and smelling good. We women know the signs...) and I have the evening to myself. Daughter phoned. She and her man are going out for a meal with friends this evening. All is well. (When my kids and man are OK I tend to be too.)

I have planned an evening on the sofa with the cat and a chick-flick. (The cat tells me he prefers all action adventure films, but tough he watches what I want or goes out to hunt mice.) No wine sadly, no crispy garlic bread (oh, pine, pine and wail!) but I HAVE to be firm with myself.

Yesterday I had a bit of a personal shake up. I knew I was getting by with doing as little as possible, eating what I wanted, which wasn't excessive (less than 1900 calories) but was certainly more than I should have had if I want to lose weight - given the only 'exercise' I had was walking around doing shopping. I was being self-indulgent, sluggish and not really conscious of my weight-loss goals. It was OK - no beating up going on, but when I went to bed last night I couldn't sleep. I tried, I lay there but sleep wouldn't come.

I got up, had a big glass of water and turned on the PC and went straight to a calorie counting site, joined and totted up my food totals for yesterday.

Light Bulb Clip Art

Then I made a meal plan for today...a sensible and healthy breakfast lunch and dinner, allowing a banana and a small bag of Ryvita Minis as a snack. I turned the PC off,went back to bed and fell asleep immediately! 1300 calories is the plan plus at LEAST 40 mins exercise per day..two lots of twenty minutes if necessary but I shall do it, every day.

It's now late afternoon and I am on track..and feeling better for tightening up my plan. Every night, before bed, I shall draw up my menus for the next day...looking at the food groups and calories of my choices. I'll also ensure I have all the foods I need in the fridge or cupboard. I think planning has to be essential for me. I am planning to succeed. I have to - or be content to stay the way I am. What do the motivational speakers say?  "Fail to plan - plan to fail."

Now..all I have to do is exercise. I had ten minutes on the bike in front of the TV before I was disturbed. I have cleaned the kitchen and washed the floor, to music, so exaggerated limb extensions going on as well with my microphone mop. Lots of bending and stretching too. I am planning to go for a brisk walk in a minute before it gets dark. I'll walk down the hill and up the hill - long, steep hills, to the local supermarket. OK so I'll have to walk on a main road - it's not ideal having traffic passing by, but it's a walk. I can't use that as an excuse. It's not gym-level activity, but it is essential movement given I was turning into a house-bound slug (and enjoying every minute of it!)

I have kicked out the slug. I have my shoes on.....

Houston, we have lift off.

Stock Photography: Rocket Launching

Thursday, 14 October 2010

My Way.

Was listening to Frank Sinatra singing 'My Way' in the kitchen this morning. (Well, he wasn't in my kitchen - that would have been hard - the song was on the radio.)

I don't know anyone of my age who doesn't join in with that last, long drawn-out refrain at the end..."I Did It Myyyyyyyyyyyyy Way." (OK, so it might just be me, but I like to sing along.)

The next song to be played was The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" and that's a fantastic one for jigging around to. Good job my kitchen is a reasonable size. I was clearing up after breakfast and decided I would jog on the spot until the song finished. I hadn't realised the presenter was playing the long version of it, with all the instrumental parts, so I jogged and jogged, wondering if it would ever end. My flabby tummy was wobbling up and down, and I wasn't wearing a sports bra so I cupped my breasts as I jogged...It wasn't a pretty sight. It wasn't sleek, purposeful or athletic. I was a fat woman having fun, and getting breathless in the kitchen.

I have called this post 'My Way' because regular readers might have gathered that I cannot work up enthusiasm for workouts in the gym, nor do I want to become a runner. Now, it's pretty obvious that some of the bloggers I read enjoy their gym sessions and they have become a regular part of their lives. Some bloggers are runners, others like to get out on their bikes...some, like me, enjoy walking. Different strokes for different folks. I am sure my walking and kitchen dancing/jogging doesn't burn as many calories as a good workout in the gym, but I am OK with that.

I think my reticence comes from

a) Having to travel to the gym. My nearest one is a car ride away, expensive and very busy. Given I used to go (a few years ago when I worked full time and could afford it) because I felt I 'should' - that's what people do to keep fit - I always went reluctantly.

b)I was OK once I got there but eeek...those rooms full of machines, television screens, mirrors, people plugged in to their music, poseurs (does every gym have them?) and serious athletes....I never ever felt part of it or enjoyed it. It was BORING and a chore and as for the awful music if you didn't have head-phones.. Aaargh! It was the sort of thump-thump, bass, tinny dance racket I'd get my kids to turn down at home. (I do oldest son a disservice. He wouldn't listen to 'club' music - R&B, hip-hop, rap, house, garage, whatever it's called, if you paid him.)

c) Changing rooms. Body hang-ups and feeling it's a drag to take off clothes, put on clothes, get sweaty, shower, dry hair, get dressed again. Sounds pathetic? Yup. But that was the mind-set of a fat, unfit woman who felt pressured to be part of it. I just wasn't happy being naked in communal changing rooms. Oh I can do the 'wrap my towel around me' bit, but I feel uncomfortable. I still can't get over the super-fit who'd strut around and even pose naked. I am pretty sure some were exhibitionists. The more modest or older, flabbier women tended to lurk in the corners...drying off quickly.

I am sure things like that don't bother most people, but even when I was going regularly I never felt part of it or enjoyed it. Even when my fitness improved, it was still a huge drag taking myself off on a cold November's night to the gym when I could have been cosy and warm at home. I can be up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to walk for miles in the countryside - no bother - but ask me to go to a gym and I'd be reluctant.

So..back to the point of this post - it doesn't matter if the gym is not your thing, does it?

Yesterday I wrote that some of the overweight posted about their fatness as though it was a certain death-sentence.

OK - It's not healthy, and being 'morbidly obese' gives us a bit of a clue about the dangers too, but 'fat' and the word 'death' in the same sentence is a nasty modern phenomenon. People make television programmes about such fat people (freaks?) and we gawp at the misery of others. I've done the same.

Fat does not equal death. (I wrote too that it makes sense to lose weight for health reasons..) I was thinking as I was kitchen-jogging, about the whole diet industry and the way in which we are steered down roads we may not want to go.

Some people love working out, and that's great, but why do the majority of fat people also buy into "I must become a gym member" too? Lots do. many people become enthusiastic and love it and need their work-outs, but from speaking to others it's apparent that a lot of people don't enjoy working out at the gym.

Not 'getting into' that sort of movement and routine can be counter-productive in that we feel like the non-sporty geeks that were never picked for teams in their school days. It almost puts us off exercise when we fail to become regular gym-goers.

They reckon most gymnasiums/sports centres make their money from the people who sign up for a year and then use the facilities rarely. Guilty as charged, the first time I joined a gym - because I felt I 'should'. By the same token should we equate the words "Gym member" with "You must lose weight."? Are we in thrall to those who work out regularly and blog about it? Do they become our role models?

There is a whole lot of marketing savvy going on there methinks. The drop-out rate at my gym was incredible. So many new faces in January who'd vow to get fit but who obviously fell off the face of the earth in February. Some people get into it...loving the routine and what it does for them and I have no argument with that whatsoever. Way to go.

It's just that many, like me, NEVER get into it and feel a sense of guilt almost that they shun the gym. Do I deserve to be fat because I didn't 'feel the burn' when celebrities (making money) were telling us we should, way back in the '80s? I sort of opted out then on principle I think :)

The world has changed. We realise that activity (which we used to take for granted before cars and computers came along) is important, so we have to go to places 'to be active' which still seems a bit wierd to me.

Only professional sports people worked out when I was a child...(Professional footballers would run around the pitch, practice their kicking, passing and dribbling skills, and then go off to the pub for a lunch time pie and pints of beer. No one questioned this and they still turned out every Saturday to win matches.) Some active types took up hobbies like tennis or swimming, but just as many kept slim by walking to the shops, going to the park with the kids, throwing balls about, running, skipping.....moving, cycling to work, or catching buses. Movement was incorporated into the day, it wasn't something you had to GO and do at a certain time.

Anyway, I am bucking the trend here ;-)

I fully recommend my "Jogging to Roger Daltry in The Kitchen" warm-up, and the "Thirty Minute Walk to the Shops To Buy Bananas and Milk" work-out. Later I shall be doing the "Bending and Stretching Autumn Routine" as I collect fallen leaves on the patio and in the garden.

Just like Frank, I am doing it MY WAY, and to all those out there who know exercise is important and that they have to move more, I'd recommend it as an alternative to the gym, if that isn't your thing.

Do whatever floats your boat but do it regularly. It's important to move...so move, and have fun doing it too. It certainly lifts my spirits and the more active I am, the more I want to do.

OK.....hands off the keyboard and move away from your computer. Go on. Now. I am watching you.

Have a good day :)