early start insomia

Let me set the scene.

You have to get up early – much earlier than usual.  It could be for fun (an early flight to a great destination) or not (a work commitment)  You still have to fit in all the normal “morning stuff”  and possibly a bit more, so you try to get to bed a bit earlier than usual – but don’t really manage it.  You set the alarm for the ungodly hour.

Do you then, like me, work out how much (little) sleep that means you have, even if you fell asleep immediately …… which, of course, you don’t.  Do you lie awake, trying to “nod off”, aware of the precious minutes of rest you are wasting, lying there NOT sleeping  Do you also then wake every 45′ or so to check the ckock and see how much sleep you have left??  Do you finally, almost gratefully, crawl out of bed and begin you day, much wearier than you could have been.

Or is it just me?

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mind “the gap”

About 18 months ago now, I noticed that the “seal” across the back of my wooden kitchen worktop was looking daggy.  In fact, I suspected there was a bit of mildew growing behind it – right behind the sink.  I mentioned this several times and eventually my dearly beloved removed ALL the sealant across the back of the worktop.  This left “the gap”.

When I asked when it would be re-sealed I got a manly explanation about “giving it time to dry” etc etc and, being a mere woman, I let it lie.  On occassions over the ensuing 18 months I have mentioned “the gap” and the fact that it is easy for water to get under there – I spend time after each use of the sink (mine or otherwise) drying around the area thoroughly.  It has not been re-sealed

Today, I decided to make an omelette for my lunch, before I go out to do my first lecturing session at the University of Coventry Business School.  I don’t even LIKE omelettes, but they are supposed to be quick, healthy, protein-filled goodness and so I gritted my teeth and decided to make one.  I was up early to get to the gym to get things “done” before work.  I am a wee bit shaky ……..  I dropped an egg.

The egg spilled onto the worktop and I had to look on, fascinated and horrified, as the whole thing slipped through “the gap” and disappeared! It ran down the wall, behind the fitted cupboards, onto bare floorboards (behind the kick-board) and thence into the gaps between them and heaven knows where after that.  I have tried to wipe up the egg, the dribble down the wall, the remaining puddle on the wooden boards.  I have tried to get it all off the hot-water pipes that run there.

I decided against the omelette, I never liked them.  In fact there is no time left now for lunch.

There will, of course, be “words” later about “the gap”.  There will be helpful re-wiping and maybe even a fast application of silicone sealant.

But, you just KNOW it is now going to stink of rotten eggs in our house and there is little I can do about it.Don’t visit for a while and, if you do …….no, we did not just fart!

You have been warned

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Long Time No See

For all sorts of reasons, I haven’t posted anything here for ….. over a year.  How time flies when you’re having fun (please use a heavy amount of ironic inflection when saying this in your head).

I have to say 2011 was not  my best year and so – because I can – I am going to totally ignore it.  No “catch up”, no “reminiscences”, not even an “edited highlight” or two.  There were some good times – some very good times – but overall 2011 was pants.  End of.  Moving right along.

So, here we are, January 2012.  After doing some interesting reading lately, I am pretty much coming round to accepting that “what you project into the universe is what you get back”.  This also neatly fits with my Catholic guilt perspective on life –  “it’s MY fault 2011 was pants”.  But you know, I think it probably was.  SO I am working on “projecting” positivity.  It’s not helped by all sorts of daily “stuff’ and I may unload that here and see if posting on a blog is; a) therapeutic and b) a way of bypassing the karmic payback of being a grumpy old sod.

Tomorrow I begin a brand new challenge – lecturing at a University.  I am “sending out confident vibes” into the universe for that one.  I have also applied recently for a few very interesting jobs – “projecting professional magnificence” in all directions for that.  I am also about to embark on – yes, you guessed – a diet!!  “Really”, I hear you say, “that’s not like you”!  Sarcasm – not good karma.  I have exactly 8 weeks to get into shape for a fitness convention I attend every year with my husband.  I am currently fatter and un-fitter than I have been for …. maybe a decade.  This is going to take major “universal assistance” – I am, therefore, “projecting strength, speed and flexibility – plus a hefty amount of self-belief and endurance into the cosmos” and hoping it will bounce right back at me!

All extra positive thoughts appreciated – and I’ll try not to leave it so long til next time.

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and another thing…..

Last night I made Slimming World history.  Despite sticking to the rules 100%, I managed to GAIN 2.5lbs in my first week!! No-one could understand it – when I said “I haven’t cheated at all” one person behind me in the queue to get weighed muttered “well, you MUST have”, which made me very cross.  I am not stupid, there is no point in lying.  It’s also not rocket science – I followed the instructions to the letter.

So, why didn’t it work – why am I now heavier than when I was driven by desperation to join a slimming club??  Dunno.  Maybe my body is putting up a fight, hanging on to the fat, resisting change?  Maybe I HAVE gained some muscle – I’ve been working out hard?  Maybe I simply consumed more calories than I needed, despite all the exercise?  Whatever happened, it was very depressing.

So, I came home and the cravings began.  BUT I didn’t give in.  Somewhat perversely, I feel more inclined to continue, not less.  There is just no point in bingeing.  The diet may not “work” straight away, but pigging out on sugar etc won’t help.  It will just make me even more miserable – “a moment on the lips” etc etc.

I am going to persevere.  I will “tweak” what I am eating, I will try even harder and I will go again next week and stand on those sodding scales.

Meanwhile, today is day 22 of my “sugar free” journey.  That’s definitely something.

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20 days without sugar

It’s sad.  I sat and wondered what to blog.  What did I come up with?  “20 sugar-free days”.

I am boring obviously.  BUT let me tell you, I am also a sugar addict.  (Yes, I do believe that’s a real addiction – there have been good scientific studies on rats.  Poor things were apparently willing to withstand electric shocks to the feet rather than eat proper, healthy rat food and drink water instead of going for the sugar syrup.  Some days, I know how they felt.)  So, 2 days is “good going” for me – let alone 20.  No sugar – and therefore no chocolate, no cookies, no cakes – that’s several staple foods removed from my dietary lexicon!

To be fair, this time I’m not really suffering.  I have NO idea why not.  I am just taking it as it comes and feeling grateful.  No cravings – well, not strong ones.  Not the ones that drive me out into rain and darkness to raid off licenses and petrol stations for large supplies of the sparkly, white crytallised stuff.

Which reminds me.  Isn’t it odd that sugar, the white refined stuff, is so visually reminiscent of cocaine?

But I digress.  I’m not saying I would resort to mugging or burglary to fuel my sugar habit, but I have imagined myself grabbing the large slice of chocolate fudge cake from someone else’s plate in a coffee shop and making a run for it!

Tomorrow will be 21 days – that’s 3 weeks!  It’s also my second visit to the Slimming World group I have joined, to find out how I’ve done in my first week.  Now, if I have lost weight all will be well in my world.  I have, after all, followed all the rules.  BUT if I have not lost or, God forbid, I have managed to gain …….. that’s when the sugar monster may raise it’s head and sing me a siren song of pleasure and comfort.

I can only hope for 22 days.

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rest day

Today, is a “rest day”.  I don’t mean from working, as I’m not currently employed, I mean, from exercising.  That sounds great – to most people.  Most people are sane about diet and exercise.  But for me, its a day of constant stress and guilt, full of “should’ves” and “ought-to’s”.

I have cut back significantly on the exercise I do.  Six months ago I had somehow gotten myself into a position where I “had to” exercise in excess of 3 hours a day, every day, without fail, sick, injured or absolutely exhausted.  I had to run for an hour, get to the gym and onto a spinning bike for an hour, then maybe do a weights or aerobics class, then possibly a yoga class and “finish off” with a 30 – 50 length swim.  People were amazed at my endurance, some were worried at how thin I was getting.  Maybe that attention was part of the problem, maybe I began to not want to let them down?  But mainly, let’s face it, what kept me on that destructive path was pure fear.  Fear of being fat.

I struggle with weight and food and I have always been a very ‘all or nothing” person.  So, when I stopped working and had more time I increased my exercise and thought I’d try to finally get to my goal weight.  I was already exercising for and hour and a half a day  minimum – so my starting point was quite high.  The weight did come off.  But now I was trapped.  If I stopped working out so much the weight would come back. If I had even a day off, the “pattern” would be broken and I would stop working out at all and become as huge as I used to be.

So, I continued to punish myself daily – until a bad fall, while out running, stopped me, literally, in my tracks.  Broken ribs will do that.  For the first few days I fretted – the scales were going up and I was eating to comfort myself which was adding to the problem.  After a week I tried to run again and made myself worse.  I was doomed to rest.  One month later – and over 14 pounds heavier – I could begin to train again.  But the mojo had gone.  I was so heavy that beginning to run again was torture, the spinning bike hurt my backside, the weights had somehow become much, much heavier.  My clothes didn’t fit and there was NO way I was getting into a swimsuit!!!  I struggled to make myself do any exercise at all and I continued to comfort eat and to gain weight.

Time passed. Thankfully, a holiday gave me the chance to look at myself, have some time away from what had become my routine and “reset” my head a bit.  For some reason, I now have my mojo back (who knows for how long – I just make the most of it while it’s here).  I am heavier than I have been for years and I am very embarrassed to be back at the gym and so fat, but I am training regularly and trying hard again.

My point – and the point of this post – is that I am trying to develop a different attitude to rest.  I think, with hindsight, that the fall did me a favour.  I am back to exercising for over an hour a day most days, but I also make myself take a rest day.  I am trying really hard to look at this “time out” as part of getting fitter and healthier…. and, even, slimmer.  It’s not easy though, the demons are gnawing away at the back of my mind, telling me I’m getting fatter, I’m lazy, I’ll give up completely if I stop for a day.  I am trying to see them for what they are – dangerous liars and part of my very distorted view of myself.

Today is a rest day – tomorrow I will exercise.  That’s just how it’s going to be.  All I have to do now is to find a way to not just manage it but enjoy it.

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the big slim (again)

Tomorrow, I join Slimming World…. or should I say, “re-join”. I have been to two previous groups. The first time, I stopped going because – well, to be blunt, I disliked the other people in the group. Cliquey, brought small noisy children, not very articulate in the “group support” area. Not for me. Then, I bounced back to my “get worried” weight and I tried again at a different group. This time I did actually like the people. BUT – the group leader was enormous and over the period of time I attended the class, I reached goal and she didn’t seem to lose a pound. Hard to be motivated by someone who you don’t believe in. “Practise what you preach” and all that.

This time – well, I am apprehensive. I’m not very good with groups of people, especially new people. BUT we will have that “common goal” and this time my dearly beloved is coming with me. (He also wants to shed a few pounds). Of course, he will probably be a star slimmer and I will struggle, but it is something to do together and maybe the shared competition element will be useful?

I have no idea what i weigh at the moment, I just know its a LOT. I must have gained about 20 pounds in the past 6 months. I had just reached the lowest weight in adult memory. Then, well a lot of things happened. I was hit by a tidal wave of depression – I ate. I lay on the floor and waited for the blackness to pass and I ate. When the darkness lifted a little, I was a lot bigger – and unfit. I began to exercise again – and then I had an accident that put me out of commission for a month. No exercise – and I ate. When I recovered, I was a lot bigger – and VERY unfit. I attempted to fight my way back to my usual fitness but the mojo had deserted me and so, I slowly continued to gain weight.

So, what’s different now? I don’t really know – but the mojo is back and while it is I am going for it. I am back to exercising and building up to my usual “pre-wobble” levels. And I am ready to go for it on the diet front too. Who knows how long it will last. Every day is another 24 hour challenge for me. BUT I have managed a couple of weeks without a massive sugar binge and thats a definite improvement.

Slimming World isn’t the “be all and end all” of diets…. in fact, I think low fat is a bad idea really for life. But its easy to follow and a good place to begin. Once I lose some weight and feel a bit stronger in myself, I can play with all the ways of eating that I think are probably actually better for me to live with in the long term You have to have a focus I guess – and so, for now, I will aim for weight loss. Then there can be fat loss and body composition. (I sometimes think I know too much about diet and nutrition and exercise. I love information and over the years I have probably read dozens of (contradictory) books on “how to”. I can become “frozen” into inactivity by the mixed messages fighting it out in my head. I have to lose weight though so any start must be better than “going tharn”).

I know I’m just another diet blogger, but I think of it as another tool in the box, another way to stay motivated. I am a diet bore and I suppose this is another outlet – one that can’t glaze over and try to change the subject when I obsess.Because I need to obsess. I need to keep that mojo.

Onward and – well, downward (on the scales).

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